UW in the Classroom

Alternative Voices

Engaging the Unkown

   In our classroom discussion we talk about John Gardner’s dictum: novels can be simplified according to two major themes: 

          1) A boy leaves home 

          2) A stranger comes to town  

     This novel can be both at the same time.  It is the exploration of the Stranger — the alien to the time and place a character dwells.  By examining the Stranger, we get to ask ourselves the most important questions of the day: Who is the character, and how is he like me?  

     According to Hamid, “In a world where American influence has been, and continues to be, pervasive in film, music, fashion, politics, liberalism, and individualism, {this book} presents an alternative viewpoint, all the while exposing the tensions and controversies that go along with this alternative.”   He’s right, and this novel will give us a place to start. 

     See an Interview with Moshid Hamid


       * Reluctant Fundamentalist, Hamid 

Short Story

    * The Guest, Camus

       * The Stranger, Camus

       * The Metamorphosis, Kafka


       * Another Time, WH Auden


       * Star Spangled Banner (various artists)

       * Born in the USA, Springsteen

       * Tale of Brave Ulysses, Cream

Moving to Mastery of: 

      * Form Criticism

      * Integrating Archetypes, Plotting, and Characterization

      * Timed-Writing (Free-Write)