What to include
Our prompt is simple and open-ended:
Do you consider this text to be a “Great Work”?
Length: longer than a paragraph, shorter than an essay
Style: casual but engaged; could be visual or creative, too
Questions to Consider:
- What qualities might a “great work” of literature have?
- What do we mean by “great”? How does this word operate re: literature, art, or text?
- What makes a piece of literature (or art, or text) count as a “work”?
- Does this text hold value for you or your community? Does it speak to you in some way?
- Is this text relevant for contemporary readers? Why or why not?
- Is it important to have a class that teaches “Great Works”? Who is this class for?
- How is a “great work” of literature determined? How has it traditionally been determined? If it is important to have a canon, how should this canon be determined?
- Is the concept of a “great work” static? Can it change over time?
Seriously: We’re not asking you to write an essay for this.
Our goal is to collect highly personalized responses (as in: not essays) to the texts you read in the course. We’d really just like for you to go. Be you. We’re also not really concerned if you think the book is good or bad (sorry), but how you read it and what you related it to. Big, bold, and honest.
Personal takes on the texts. Intellectual AND honest. NOT summaries. NOT book reports. NOT essays.
Our goal is to facilitate an ongoing conversation between current and future Great Works students about what connections you make to the texts you read; how, when, why, and where you read them; and how you bring yourself to the text—who you are and what connections you make.