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Bianca White, Mimi Hopper, Cody Evans
Department: Liberal Studies
Year: Sophomore
Class: CWL 214

From the Outside: A Comparative and Poetic Exploration of Albert Camus's The Stranger

Here is a brief description of our project that we presented at the Humanities Educational Research Association (HERA) conference in Chicago this past march:
“Our adventure begins with Howard Zinn’s premise and analysis of his rhetoric in “Violence and Human Nature,” in which he argues that humans are not naturally violent, but we act violently because we are influenced by social circumstances; however, he posits that we have the ability to choose how we act within any given environment. We used his thesis statement as a lens to analyze a character in Fernando Meirelles’s film City of God. And culminated our journey with a comparative exploration of Albert Camus’s The Stranger, keeping Zinn’s thesis in mind while also applying Kathleen McCormick’s reader-response theory, which enabled us to research and honor The Stranger’s and our social, cultural and historical situations. Exploring the themes of death, racism, hate, choice, inclusion and isolation, our work culminates with our analysis of Camus’s The Stranger through poetry. Our poems, though they follow simple poetry forms, investigate these themes in expressive, powerful ways that represent our thoughts and meaning more fully than a simple essay could. In our panel, we will share our comparative journey and poetry with attendees, in hopes to inspire them to invite their students to engage in creative writing assignments about the humanities.