FYS-121 Soldiers’ Tales – Reading and Writing War

Instructor: Adjunct Assistant Professor Ian Andrew Isherwood
Department: Civil War Era Studies

Course Description:
War is a subject of fascination in our society; but it is an experience only truly understood by participants. War literature is one of the means of conveying the experiences of war to broader audiences. Writing is a way in which soldiers try to convey and contextualize their memories in print. This seminar is an opportunity for students to read and reflect upon some of the literature of modern war. In reading non-fiction and fiction recollections, by discussing the themes and contexts of war books, and through writing reflective and thoughtful papers, students will learn something of the history of modern war from the point of view of the participant. Students will learn history through literary memories and, it is hoped, will gain the methodological skills to approach literary and historical sources for analysis. For first year students, this seminar will introduce them to the methods of research writing in the humanities, through reading about war.