Juniors and seniors choose one 11/12 course per semester.
English 9 encourages students to think logically, analytically, critically, and independently. Novels, short stories, poems, and plays are used to promote a love of reading and encourage an awareness of theme, characterization, conflict, setting, point of view, style, tone, and literary devices. Students expand their vocabularies while improving their reading and writing skills. Writing exercises focus on basic sentence structure, punctuation usage, paragraph structure, and logical essay format. In addition to formal essays, students discover their own voices through creative writing. Students are also introduced to the basic principles of literary research and documentation. Texts may include The Odyssey, Macbeth, A Raisin in the Sun, Lord of the Flies, Oedipus Rex, and The Bean Trees.
English 10 focuses on world literature from ancient to contemporary, in order to broaden students’ understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Complementing the History 10 course, we examine the ways in which culture and history affect people’s lives, emphasizing the impact of historical events on the development of individuals, communities, and nations. Students will also explore various philosophies from around the world, leading them towards a deeper understanding of themselves. English 10 students continue to hone their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, focusing on the development of reasoning skills and writing techniques. Class discussion and writing assignments emphasize critical and creative thinking, encouraging students to write in a variety of genres, such as personal, expository, and literary analysis essays, as well as fiction and poetry. Potential texts: Othello by William Shakespeare, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, selections from Bhagavad Gita, Chuang Tzu, Qur'an, and Confessions, and ancient and contemporary poetry and fiction.
Place-Based American Studies examines essential themes in the literature and history of the United States through a lens that focuses on a fixed, place-based approach. This interdisciplinary, team-taught course also incorporates contributions from archaeology, cultural anthropology, politics, religion, film, and art. Rooted in serious research and off-campus experiences, including required field investigations to regional sites, students deconstruct the national narrative and develop a deeper connection to Sewanee, the Appalachian region, and the South. Projects of civic engagement and service learning are integral parts of this course. Potential texts include Ely: An Autobiography by Ely Green and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall as well as works by James Agee, William Faulkner, and Jesmyn Ward. For completion of this double-block, yearlong course, students receive credit in English (equivalent to two one-semester offerings) and History (equivalent to the graduation requirement in United States History). Note: Open only to juniors; also, students completing Place-Based American Studies will be ineligible to take American Literature I and II as seniors.