Course ID EES87QWR
Department English
Subject Core English
Can you take this course more than once? No
Periods per Day 1.0
Special Permission No
  • All of the following are true:
    • Student is in 11th grade
  • Fulfills the following graduation requirements
    Also in the following groups
    Syllabus No Syllabus Found


    Stuyvesant seniors have one foot in the past and one foot in the future; the Writing in the World curriculum is meant to honor and reflect this unique crossroads. The course includes literature that expands upon the European and American traditions of sophomore and junior years, and writing assignments that prompt seniors to reflect upon their four years at Stuyvesant and to look towards college and beyond. During the semester, students will read major works of literature that enter into conversation with each other and with historical events. While some of the works studied may revisit the European and American canons of sophomore and junior year, syllabi will include works from beyond Europe and America, and much of the literature will move beyond the canon. For instance, a more traditional text like Jane Eyre may be paired with Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, a postcolonial prequel to Bronte’s novel, or Patricia Park’s Re Jane, a Korean-American retelling of the story. Writing assignments are intended to consolidate and reinforce the skills that students have acquired over the previous three years, including research and citation, and to provide opportunities for taking stock of those years and contemplating what lies ahead. Students will write pieces that ask them to join the larger academic and cultural conversations of our time, from college-level academic writing to other forms that exist outside of academia. Seniors taking the class in the fall term will complete a personal/college essay as a first assignment; seniors taking the class in the spring will complete a comprehensive culminating assignment that prompts them to reflect on the semester and/or their years at Stuyvesant.

    Major questions discussed may include:

    • How and why do we adapt classic stories?
    • What do the stories we remember and choose to retell reveal about us?
    • How do contemporary authors draw on the literature and events of the past and adapt them to comment on their present?
    • How can we use writing to join the larger academic and cultural conversations of our time?
    • How are people shaped by the loss of power? By the pursuit of power? By the act of dominating or being dominated by others? What happens to a people when they are colonized, and what happens after the colonizer leaves?

    Works studied may include:


    Grendel, John Gardner

    Canterbury Tales, Chaucer

    Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, Henry IV, The Winter’s Tale, Richard II Shakespeare

    Selected poems by Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Marvell, et.al.

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift

    Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

    Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

    Heart of Darkness/The Secret Sharer, Joseph Conrad

    Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

    The Hours, Michael Cunningham

    The Orwell Reader, George Orwell

    Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

    Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee

    White Teeth, Zadie Smith

    The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, Franz Kafka

    Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

    The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster

    Catch 22, Joseph Heller

    A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

    The Passion, Jeanette Winterson

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

    Goodbye Columbus, Philip Roth

    Re Jane, Patricia Park

    Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

    Middlesex, Jefferey Eugenides

    Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The Sellout, Paul Beatty

    Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Our Country’s Good, Timberlake Wertenbaker

    Exit West, Mohsin Hamid