Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for ENG 266 Effective Fall 2021

Course Number:
ENG 266
Course Title:
Literature of War
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces a range of international texts and films pertaining to war in order to explore the social, cultural, political, and historical conditions that have led to war, the experiences of those directly and indirectly involved in war, as well as its aftermath. Explores various perspectives, including those of combatants and their families, innocent victims, returning soldiers and veterans, and later generations. Explores the many complex questions about the evolving definitions of war; the morality of war; the roles of race, gender and religion in war; the roles of propaganda and anti-war movements; the ways in which wars are remembered and forgotten; and the possibilities for peace. Covers memoirs, fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, graphic novels, documentaries and feature films created by both combatants and civilians. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss qualities of war literature and film, and the unique issues confronted by writers and readers alike when approaching this literature.
  2. Analyze works to determine an author’s/director’s purpose, perspective and use of rhetorical strategies in creating a work of literature/film.
  3. Use international literary texts and films from a variety of perspectives to understand the wide range of experiences around war, and to engage in thoughtful discussion and self-reflection in the context of this understanding.
  4. Assess the cultural and social differences that allow us to cast the "other" as an enemy in times of war and make peace-making break down.
  5. Write coherent and compelling essays that continue to explore the complex questions pertaining to the Literature of War.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

English and Writing courses align with the PCC General Education philosophy by providing an appreciation of writing and literature from global and personal perspectives. Students in English courses engage the imagination, critical inquiry and self?reflection, and in the process of doing so, cultivate a more complex understanding of their own culture(s), linguistic/communication practices, and perspectives in relation to others. Because the literary arts lie at the heart of most human cultures, they are essential for understanding each other and navigating our differences. In literature classes, students explore significant texts from diverse cultures and periods in history. Students look closely at texts from a range of genres, articulating the way elements of writing, content, form, and style are interrelated, and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time and through different theoretical lenses. Students engage texts through critical analysis and creative response, learning to use evidence to support their interpretations and to navigate critical conversations. Students explore literature both as an art form designed to provoke thought and challenge social norms, and as an expression of human experience. Writing and Literature courses foster a stronger sense of engagement with history, culture, and society. Writing and Literature students develop an awareness of themselves as readers and writers in a global world, and an enlarged understanding of the relationships between language, identity, ideas, scholarship, communication, and transformation.

Cultural Literacy

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to analyze and evaluate how cultural systems relate to broader social dynamics.

Course Activities and Design

This course may include lecture, discussion, and group work, along with videos relating to war, possible guest speakers, oral presentations, and in-class writing.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

May include essays, reading responses, exams, student presentations, class discussion, research tasks. Attendance policies vary with instructors.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The Composition and Literature SAC values the autonomy of individual instructors and a diversity of approaches to its courses. The following content guide reflects these values. This guide is not intended to be prescriptive; it is descriptive of what we do in our classes. It is not a list of outcomes, but rather is a description of the ways we ma get to those outcomes. It describes the typical activities students may undertake in the process of working towards these outcomes. Some of the items in the guide may overlap; some may contradict each other. These inconsistencies reflect the SAC’s inclusive approach to course content as well as the oftentimes messy and recursive process of designing a literature course.

 Identify and discuss qualities of war literature and film and the unique issues confronted by writers and readers alike when approaching this literature.
1. Discuss unique issues that confront readers and creators of this literature, including guilt, responsibility, and the tensions among the need for accuracy, the demands of artistry and the unreliability of memory.
Read/watch closely and analytically to determine an author’s/director’s purpose, perspective and use of rhetorical strategies in creating a work of literature/film.
1. Participate in class and small group discussions and activities to work towards an understanding of the often complex relationships between form and content, purpose and structure, writer and audience in war literature.
2. Recognize and evaluate the role of voice, tone, diction, syntax, figurative language, and other stylistic features of literature.
3. Recognize and evaluate the role of cinematography, scripts, lighting, music and other stylistic features of film.
Use international literary texts and films from a variety of perspectives to understand the wide range of experiences around war and its aftermath, and to engage in thoughtful discussion and self-reflection in the context of this understanding.
1. Assess and question personal knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors in the context of unfamiliar readings and/or an open exchange of ideas.
2. Discuss the value, validity and purpose of exploring war literature and film in a classroom when wars continue to occur while the class is ongoing.
Discuss the cultural and social differences that allow us to cast the "other" as an enemy in times of war and make peace-making break down.
1. Participate in group discussions about the ways cultural beliefs, values and practices, and long-standing/historical political contexts can come together to lay the foundation for war.
Write coherent and compelling essays that begin to explore the complex questions pertaining to this literature.
1. Practice both informal and formal writing that includes revision as opportunities to explore one’s thoughts pertaining to the very complex ideas in this literature.
2. Balance the need/desire to find easy answers with the reality that there are only complex ones when it comes to war.