English Literature and Composition
AP Annual Conference Submission
Because the AP English Literature course is heavily skill based, teachers must design their own ways to make the content of their individual courses cohere. Over the years, I’ve found that focusing on tragic and comic perspectives on literature and life works well in my course, providing ways to draw connections between a wide range of texts, from Shakespeare’s classic comedies to Gish Jen’s contemporary novels, from ancient Greek tragedy to James Baldwin’s portrayal of twentieth century America. Further, students may connect these ideas to the narratives that they encounter in their personal reading and viewing. Indeed, as we discuss ways that comedy and tragedy intersect with each other, students may even arrive at useful perspectives on their own experiences, seeing both nobility in struggle and value in taking hardships lightly.