CURRICULUM: PRECOLLEGE STUDY

Please note: students who do not require housing may take courses in Session I and/or Session II.

Local students may take one or two courses; residential students are required to take two. 

Focus on Writing

Writing Course: Select One

  • ENGL259 The Art of the Personal Essay / Elizabeth Bobrick

    The personal essay is short-form, first-person, narrative nonfiction that encompasses many genres: memoir, reflection, humor, familial and social history, and cultural criticism. Yet even these boundaries often blur within a single essay, and the personal essay can expand to include almost any topic. Writing personal essays--what author and critic Philip Lopate calls "the self-interrogative genre"--helps us find out what we think, often makes us change our minds, and, ideally, leads us to new insights. In class, we will discuss the assigned readings, participate in group responses to each others' writing (workshops), and write in response to prompts. We will study both traditional and unconventional techniques of nonfiction, focusing on the elements of craft: structure, voice, clarity, the use of descriptive detail, and revision.

    9:00-10:40am, Monday - Friday

  • ENGL246 Personalizing History / Indira Karamcheti

    How much are we shaped by our historical times and places? How much power do we have to make our historical conditions respond to our needs and desires? These questions and others are at the foundation of our class, which includes both memoir writing and memoir reading. We will construct narratives about our times and selves in a series of writing workshops. There will be some exercises where you will be asked to research specific aspects of your times and places. For example, you might be asked to research and write about such questions as when and where were you born, what were the major cultural or political currents of that time, and how was your early childhood influenced by them? Or you may be asked to bring in a photograph of someone important in your personal history and write about that person. 


    The memoir is a distinct genre, with topics/themes particular to it. Some of the most important are memory itself, childhood, place and displacement, language, loss/trauma/melancholia/nostalgia, self-invention or transformation, family and generational differences. The class will engage with these topics in the analysis of the readings and also in the writing of memoirs. Specific techniques will be highlighted for writing practice: the catalog, diction, dialogue, metaphor, description, point of view, and narrative structure, including temporal organization, the doubled narrative, and the narrative frame.

    11:00am-12:40pm, Monday - Friday

Focus on Liberal Arts

Elective: Select One

  • BIOL/MB&B182 Principles of Biology II* / Kathleen Miller

    This course concerns biological principles as they apply primarily at tissue, organismic, and population levels of organization. Course topics include developmental biology, animal physiology and homeostatic control systems, endocrinology, neurophysiology and the neuronal basis of behavior. Evidence for evolution is reviewed, as are the tenets of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The nature and importance of variation among organisms and of stochastic processes in evolution are discussed, as are modern theories of speciation and macroevolution. Finally, the course addresses interactions between organisms and their environments as well as the interactions among organisms in natural communities. Each of the topics of the course is explored from a comparative viewpoint to recognize common principles as well as variations among organisms that indicate evolutionary adaptation to different environments and niches.

    *This course is by permission of instructor only. Interested students should contact precollege@wesleyan.edu for more information.

    9:00-10:40am, Monday - Friday

  • ENGL259 The Art of the Personal Essay / Elizabeth Bobrick

    The personal essay is short-form, first-person, narrative nonfiction that encompasses many genres: memoir, reflection, humor, familial and social history, and cultural criticism. Yet even these boundaries often blur within a single essay, and the personal essay can expand to include almost any topic. Writing personal essays--what author and critic Philip Lopate calls "the self-interrogative genre"--helps us find out what we think, often makes us change our minds, and, ideally, leads us to new insights. In class, we will discuss the assigned readings, participate in group responses to each others' writing (workshops), and write in response to prompts. We will study both traditional and unconventional techniques of nonfiction, focusing on the elements of craft: structure, voice, clarity, the use of descriptive detail, and revision.

    9:00-10:40am, Monday - Friday

  • ENGL246 Personalizing History / Indira Karamcheti

    How much are we shaped by our historical times and places? How much power do we have to make our historical conditions respond to our needs and desires? These questions and others are at the foundation of our class, which includes both memoir writing and memoir reading. We will construct narratives about our times and selves in a series of writing workshops. There will be some exercises where you will be asked to research specific aspects of your times and places. For example, you might be asked to research and write about such questions as when and where were you born, what were the major cultural or political currents of that time, and how was your early childhood influenced by them? Or you may be asked to bring in a photograph of someone important in your personal history and write about that person. 

    The memoir is a distinct genre, with topics/themes particular to it. Some of the most important are memory itself, childhood, place and displacement, language, loss/trauma/melancholia/nostalgia, self-invention or transformation, family and generational differences. The class will engage with these topics in the analysis of the readings and also in the writing of memoirs. Specific techniques will be highlighted for writing practice: the catalog, diction, dialogue, metaphor, description, point of view, and narrative structure, including temporal organization, the doubled narrative, and the narrative frame.

    11:00am-12:40pm, Monday - Friday

  • ENGL152 The Armchair Adventurer: Popular and Literary Fiction at the Turn of the 20th Century / Stephanie Weiner

    At the turn of the twentieth century, stories of travel, action, and adventure enjoyed enormous market success and cultural prominence. This course examines the interaction between the adventure stories told in popular genre fiction--science fiction, historical fiction, adventure stories, detective novels, romance, children's literature, etc.--and their 'high' literary cousins. In the first half of the course, we will read classic works of genre fiction in order to understand the appeal of these stories and storytelling modes, for both writers and readers, and to identify their generic structures, plots, and premises. In the second half of the course, we will turn to four works of literary fiction that emerged in a close conversation with these popular forms.

    1:30-3:10pm, Monday - Friday

  • FULLY ENROLLED - FILM458 Visual Storytelling: Screenwriting / Steve Collins

    Since watching movies (good ones) is so easy and pleasurable, screenwriting is a medium that everyone's uncle thinks they can do. But anyone who has had to read an amateur screenplay knows different. This is a writing course that will start from ground zero: separating the screenplay from other forms, e.g., the play and the novel, and grounding students in visual language as the basis of the medium. How do we write in pictures?

    1:30-3:10pm, Monday - Friday

  • FIST/CGST230 Between Marx and Coca Cola - European Cinema of the 60s and 70s / Ulrich Bach

    In the 1960s and early 1970s, a growing sense of alienation and social unrest spread across Europe, making their marks in both society and cinema. Borrowing the words of New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, these years led to the emergence of "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola." This course, taught in English, will introduce students to a multi-faceted portrait of Europe in the 1960s and 70s through avant-garde and popular cinema from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Eastern Europe. We will focus on films that depict global capitalism, gender relations, and government control. Some of the themes we will discuss include the critique of consumerism and materialism, the changing role of women in society, life under socialism and dictatorship, and youth counterculture. Last but not least, students will learn how New Wave directors challenged traditional approaches to narrative cinema.

    11:00am-12:40pm, Monday - Friday

  • GOVT155 International Politics / Giulio Gallarotti

    This introduction to international politics applies various theories of state behavior to selected historical cases. Topics include the balance of power, change in international systems, the causes of war and peace, and the role of international law, institutions, and morality in the relations among nations.

    1:30-4:20pm, Monday - Friday

Focus on Leadership

Social Justice Leadership

Acclaimed for its proactive stance on issues of juctice, diversity, and social progress, Wesleyan is an ideal place for students with interests in these areas to receive firsthand training. Professional staff from Wesleyan's Office of Residential Life have created a four-part social justice training program that will prepare you to manage interpersonal and social conflict. You will be better prepared for ldeadership roles, increasing you rimpact on your next college campus, and engaging with your community as a world citizen. Students who participate in all sessions will receive a certificate.