ENGL 496: High School English
Spring 2024
Professor Kate Bergren

Course Reading: TBA

You probably read The Great Gatsby in high school, and your parents probably did too. The most frequently taught books in US high schools form a remarkably consistent canon, creating an intergenerational cultural tradition out of texts that are beloved and loathed, treasured and forgotten. This seminar examines the canon of high school English from your perspective as seniors. What can we learn when we use the skills we’ve developed as English majors to reread the texts that were so meaningful (or meaningless) to us as high school students? Discussions will focus on canonicity, representation and diversity, and the role of English in secondary and college education; our methodology will combine textual analysis with archival research, interview, or observation. Students will generate the assigned texts.