EDPU 515: Great American Writers: Flannery O’Connor

Stephen York

EDPU 515: Great American Writers: Flannery O’Connor

Course Description:

Flannery O’Connor was one of the most important writers from the Deep South in the mid-twentieth century.  Though she had a short life (1925-1964), O’Connor’s influence is long-reaching.  Several of her books were published after her death.  IN 1971, for example, O’Connor was posthumously awarded the National Book Award for Fiction for The Complete Stories.  She was only the second twentieth-century writer (after William Faulkner) to have her work collected for the Library of America, the definitive edition of American authors.

This inquiry offers students the opportunity to delve deeply into Flannery O’Connor’s “Deer South” and her perspective of the human experience.  Students will read O’Connor’s novels, short stories, essays, and book of letters.  Consideration will also be given to the rich biographical and literary resources regarding this seminal writer.  Teachers, and lovers of literature, will find rich resources for their students and for themselves.  This course may be taken to satisfy an English content area requirement for teacher certification.

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify Flannery O’Connor’s significance in 20th Century American literature.
  • Articulate the connections between Flannery O’Connor’s life and work and the Deep South, along with archetypes, metaphors, and existentialism.
  • Create a standards-based unit with appropriate models of instruction and assessment based on the Common Core State Standards.
  • Connect the socio-cultural-political-religious influences on the life and work of Flannery O’Connor.
  • Demonstrate a mastery of literary terms and concepts.
  • Provide evidence of utilization of 21st Century competencies.

Course Textbooks:

O’Connor, Flannery.  Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works: Wise Blood / A Good Man is Hard to Find / The Violent Bear it Away / Everything that Rises Must Converge / Essays & Letters (Library of America).  New York: Library of America, 1988.

O’Connor, Flannery.  The Complete Stories.  New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1971.

Whitt, Margaret Earley.  Understanding Flannery O’Connor (Understanding Contemporary American Literature).  Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.

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