English

Teaching the principles and mechanics of good writing has been a Hotchkiss tradition since its founding. English classes at Hotchkiss are designed to help students discover and harness the power of language through careful reading and analysis of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and plays. Essays and writing assignments help students sharpen their critical thinking skills, develop their voices, and deepen their understanding of literature.

Summer Reading: Required Texts for 2017

The All-School Read has been announced — The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.

Below are the English Department's 2017 summer reading assignments for each class.




Summer 2017 Reading by Class

Preps

Novel: Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


1. What techniques does Alexie use to move his story forward? Consider, for example, art, lists, organization, and characterization.

2. Why does Junior think of himself as a part-time Indian? What other parts comprise him?

3. What activities, connections, and relationships make Junior's life better? What elements work against him?

Film: Robert Mandel's School Ties

Poem: Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese"

Lower Mids

Memoir: Lorene Cary’s Black Ice

1. How does Cary work to exist within the two relatively disparate worlds of home and school?

2. Resisting the urge to overlap your own narrative on Lorene Cary's narrative, where do you see yourself in the text? Where do you see your teachers, coaches, classmates, friends, and family members?

3. What were/are your expectations about Hotchkiss? What images were/are upheld, solidified, or realized? What images were/are challenged, modified, or shattered?

Film: Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures

Poem: Carolyn Forché’s “The Colonel”

Upper Mids

Novel: Ernest J. Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying

1. What, if anything, does Grant owe, particularly as an educator, to his community?

2. When and how have you helped individuals and groups? When and why have you avoided helping? Where in the text do you see examples of Grant’s ambivalence towards helping?

3. To what extent does one's altruistic motivation matter?

Film: Ramón Menéndez’s Stand and Deliver

Poem: Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”

Seniors

Novel: Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried

1. What burden(s) are you carrying into senior year? To what extent do these things weigh you down?

2. What does it mean to tell a true story? How does O’Brien confront his own version of the truth?

3. What is the relationship between self-reliance and collective allegiance?

Film: Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games

Poem: Sherman Alexie’s “The Powwow at the End of the World”


Meet Faculty

Elizabeth Buckles

Elizabeth Buckles

Instructor in English
Christopher Burchfield

Christopher Burchfield

The L. Blair Torrey Jr. '50 Chair in English, Instructor in English
Marcus Christian

Marcus Christian

Teaching Fellow in English
Christina Cooper

Christina Cooper

Dean of the Class of 2018, The Huber G. Buehler Chair, Instructor in English
James Fornshell

James Fornshell

Instructor in English
Charles Frankenbach

Charles Frankenbach

The Russel Murray Bigelow Chair, Instructor in English
Anna Friedman

Anna Friedman

Instructor in English
Carita Gardiner

Carita Gardiner

Instructor in English
Tyler Gardner

Tyler Gardner

Head of the English Department, Instructor in English
Thomas Herold

Thomas Herold

Instructor in English
Susan Kinsolving

Susan Kinsolving

Poet in Residence, Program Director for American Literature and Theater, Summer Portals

Deborah Lang

Instructor in English
Stephen McKibben

Stephen McKibben

Instructor in English, Dean of Summer Programs
Keith Moon

Keith Moon

E. Carleton Granbery Teaching Chair, Instructor in English, History, and Russian Language
Rachel Myers

Rachel Myers

Instructor in English, Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
J. Parker Reed

J. Parker Reed

Instructor in English, Instructor in Theatre
Michelle Repass

Michelle Repass

Instructor in English