Yours Truly: Examining the Art and History of Letter Writing

Vicki LeQuire
Day/Time Taught: 
TR 2:00-3:15 pm
Course Number: 

This course is designed to help us think about letter writing from antiquity through today.  Historians suggest that, with the advent of the computer and e-mail, our society is the first to leave no personal written communication so that later generations can reconstruct our culture. If the physical way we leave our surroundings and our world when we depart can be called a “footprint,” then I suggest that the things we leave of ourselves so that others may interpret how we felt about our world, the way we lived our lives, and our relationships with the people we chose to love, can be called a handprint.  This course examines the art of letter writing – one method of constructing our personal handprint – and its place in history, our present world, and our future. We’ll look at famous and infamous letters in history, including the love letters of Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine, John and Abigail Adams, Ronald Reagan to Nancy, and Sullivan Ballou to Sarah, among others. We will also examine historical letters, such as those of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth I of England, and Winston Churchill. Students will be asked to research their own family letters or the correspondences of others and to present their findings to the class. We’ll also look at the epistolary novel and at the impact a letter (or a collection of letters) can have. Toward this end, we will launch a letter-writing campaign.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

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