Culture Through Literature: ENGL 215

HONORS: 9/11: Loss and Redemption (ENGL 215) [Honors] – Fall 2018

I honestly had no clue what to expect going into this literature class. I expected a class called 9/11: Loss and Redemption to be dark, gritty, depressing, and sickly patriotic, but it was anything but. Instead, it ended up being one of my favorite classes I’ve taken so far at Longwood.

This class, though it was a literature class themed around the events of 9/11, branched out to numerous types of media, both fictional and non-fictional, and discussed and explored the topic in ways I never would have thought of. We read novels, graphic novels, government reports; we watched TV shows and movie clips. And despite how disparate all these sources were, and how few of them actually directly related to the events of 9/11, they were all brought together in discussion.

The discussion was what really brought this class together. In my opinion, classes where discussion is integral to learning the material are always incredibly engaging and educational, and I always come out of them feeling like I understand the material to a degree I never thought I would be able to. This class was no different; I learned more from talking about the materials with the professor and my classmates than I would have just reading or watching the materials alone.

The final project of this class was completely up to the choice of each of the students; we were given free range to create a large project that somehow tied in to the overall theme of the class. For mine, I created a 10-page comic, based on the graphic novel In The Shadow of Two Towers by Art Spiegelman, where I talked about my personal experience with 9/11. This project gave me the perfect place to put together all the thoughts and knowledge I’d gained from class into a cohesive personal statement: This is how 9/11 has affected my life. (Comic is linked below.)