For eighteen years, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, South Africa. In his possession, shared among the other prisoners, was a copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare, a forbidden copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Like all the prisoners, Mandela would secretly read from the book and even sign his name to his favorite passages. What has an anti-apartheid revolutionary to do with a son of a glovemaker, who lived on a different island, six thousand miles away and four hundred years ago? In a word, everything.
Reading and writing is dangerous - it thrills, it allures, it makes you feel alive. And that’s what we want, for our students to feel alive, to pull words from the corners of themselves they haven’t explored, or are scared to explore, and compress those words into charged images, metaphors, and syntactical patterns that surprise and delight. We believe that in reading we might discover the world; and in writing, we might reintroduce the world to itself.
Literature ought to include everything, and it does at VES.
- English 9: Culture and Identity
- English 10: Communities and Power
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature and Composition
- English Seminar: Literature as Art
- English Seminar: Experimental Literature: Toys Writers Play With
- English Seminar: The Uncanny: Gothic Horror
- English Seminar: We Must Remove the Mask: The Art of the Personal Essay
- English Seminar: Essential Journeys: Exploring the World and the Self
- English Seminar: Poetry Across the Curriculum
- English Seminar: American Writers