Graff, Gerald: They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing; Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath: Text and Criticism, revised edition
REQUIRED MEDIA: Note: Will be available via YouTube, bCourses, and/or presented in class. DO NOT BUY THIS STUFF!
Films/Theater/Documentaries: The Grapes of Wrath; The Plough That Broke the Plains; House/Divided; 99 Homes
Music: Woody Guthrie, Dust Bowl Ballads; Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad; Rage Against the Machine, "The Ghost of Tom Joad; Desaparecidos, Payola
Photography: Dorothea Lange and Matt Black
REQUIRED READER OF THEORETICAL, HISTORICAL, AND SECONDARY TEXTS: Available for purchase at Copy Central. Includes texts by John Steinbeck, Carey McWilliams, James N. Gregory, Michael Denning, Charles Shindo, Americo Paredés, Ramón Saldívar, Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, David See, Mae M. Nagai, Jonathan Dyen, Susan Shillinglaw, Shannon Jackson and Marianne Weems.
Please note the changes in the instructor, topic, book list, and course description of this section of English R1A (as of early December).
In this course, we will read, analyze, and interpret various artistic responses to the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession of 2008. We will begin with John Steinbeck's 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath and conclude with Matt Black's Instagram project The Geography of Poverty. In between, we will engage works of art by Dorothea Lange, John Ford, Woody Guthrie, Americo Paredés, Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine, The Builders Association, and Ramin Bharani as we attempt to connect the problems of the Great Depression to contemporary problems that America continues to grapple with today: economic collapse, environmental catastrophe, fear and anxiety, the politics of migration, the decline of the white American working class, and the looming threat of fascism. As we explore these works of art and their historical contexts, we will develop your practical fluency in college-level academic writing. In total, you will produce a minimum of 32 pages of writing, including a short diagnostic essay at the beginning of the semester. Full attendance, weekly reading responses, team teaching, writing workshops, and participation in classroom discussion are all required to earn a passing grade in this course.
Jonson, Ben: The Alchemist (New Mermaids edition); Marlowe, Christopher: Doctor Faustus: A- and B- Texts (Revels edition); Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Arden edition); Shakespeare, William: The Tempest (Arden edition)
A course reader will also be provided containing additional primary and secondary texts (including excerpts from Renaissance tracts about witchcraft and modern critical readings of the plays).
Like our 16th- and 17th-century ancestors, in the 21st century we remain fascinated by the supernatural. Yet while witches, wizards, and werewolves abound in the movies and TV shows of today, we have (for the most part) lost any belief in such magical phenomena. For Shakespeare and his contemporaries, however, magic was still very much a ‘real’ fact of human existence. Witchcraft was a hot topic in the popular media of the day, the focus of an increasing number of religious tracts, philosophical treatises, and popular pamphlets as well as plays. This course examines early modern lore about witchcraft, demons, and magic in relation to drama written by three of Renaissance England’s greatest playwrights: William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson. From the devilish pact made by Doctor Faustus with Lucifer to the (apparently) more benign regime of the wizard Prospero on a magical island, their plays contain diverse portrayals of the supernatural, sometimes funny, sometimes frightening. But as well as offering depictions of magic in their plays, the writers we will study also seek to present the theater itself as a form of magic. What might it mean to conceive of theater in this way? What are the potential dangers of aligning an art form with such an ambiguous phenomenon as magic (which could be thought of alternately as heinously sinful or as the greatest expression of human potential)?
The broader academic purpose of this course is to develop your critical reading and writing skills, whatever your major might be. You will write and revise three papers of increasing length over the semester, and work with peers to improve your writing and critical thinking.
Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart; Kincaid, Jamaica: Annie John; Morrison, Toni: Sula
Coaurse Reader and Digital Humanities Project material
Please note the changes in the instructor, topic, book list, and course description of this section of English R1A (as of January 13).
The course material addresses the writings of the African diaspora in a broader definition of the term. It touches on specific themes and ideas from pre-colonial Nigeria to post-colonial Caribean moving onto the "neo-colonial" New World. The course seeks to define the above terms as concepts and attitudes as exemplified in literature and films.
This course focuses primarily on developing your critical thinking, reading and writing skills. It is the first in a two-course sequence that seeks to hone your techniques of expository writing. Basic rhetorical tools such as description, analysis, explanation, narration, speculation and argument are discussed, enabling you to share your experiences, information and views with others. The emphasis all along is on provocative theses, strategies of argument and competent analysis of evidence.
Eugenides, Jeffrey: The Virgin Suicides; Ferrante, Elena: My Brilliant Friend; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts; Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Plath, Sylvia: The Bell Jar
This course focuses on texts of young womanhood, examining the place of female adolescence in the cultural imagination. It also seeks to interrogate the term “girl” – its fungible application across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, as well as the way it is bound up with questions of class, race, sexual orientation, and gender normativity.
Though our focus will be on post-1945 American novels, film, and television, we will also encounter fictions from other national traditions, as well as poetry, criticism, music, art, and theory. Examining how femininity is, on the one hand, ideologically produced and economically driven, and, on the other, a “naturalized” performance that may feel vital to one’s personal identity, we will pursue how second- and third-wave feminist theory, intersectional feminism, and queer theory might reshape and extend our notions of the feminine, and of what it means to be a “girl.” Finally, by centralizing narratives by and about women, we will consider the possibility of distinctively feminist and feminine modes of reading, writing, and inhabiting space.
Course texts include the writings of Susan Sontag, Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, and bell hooks, the novels Lolita, The Bell Jar, The Bluest Eye, The Woman Warrior, The Virgin Suicides, and My Brilliant Friend, films like Heathers, Crooklyn, The Bling Ring, and American Honey, and television episodes from Girls to Orange is the New Black.
R1A is designed to hone your skills in both reading and rhetoric. As such, we will engage a variety of texts across genres (novels, nonfiction, short stories, poetry, film, & criticism). We will also practice responding to such texts variously, writing and rewriting an analytical paper, a film review, and a critical essay over the course of the term.
Blake, William : Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience; Freud, Sigmund: Civilization and Is Discontents; Morrison, Toni: Sula
Note the changes in instructor, topic, book list, and course description (as of Dec. 15).
Is homicide ever morally justifiable? . . . Is lying? Is it moral or immoral to lie to a murderer in pursuit of a victim? Humanity has long been concerned with questions of morality, questions encompassing both the nature and the development of morality. Along with philosophers, both sage and everyman, we will consider: What is just and what is unjust? Do we construct moral values through social interaction, or is morality the product of cultural, religious, or educational training? We will pursue these questions by considering psychological explanations and literary explorations of morality. Our psychological readings will include the foremost theories of morality and moral development which emerged over the past century, including those of Freud, Piaget, Kohlberg, and Turiel, as well as the perspectives of contemporary cultural psychologists, neuroscientists, and cultural critics. Interwoven with our psychological readings will be three literary explorations of morality, as represented by the poetry of William Blake, excerpts form Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, and the novel Sula, by Toni Morrison.
Since this is an R1A course, we will focus on the development of college-level critical reading and writing skills. The overarching goal of our work together is the development of your ability to understand and analyze complext texts and to gain confidence and skill in articulating your knowledge and position, particularly through your writing. I look forward to our work together!
Austen, Jane: Lady Susan; Carson, Anne: The Beauty of the Husband; Coates, Ta-Nehisi: Between the World and Me; Ortberg, Mallory: Texts from Jane Eyre; Smart, Carolyn: Careen
A Course Reader will also include letters by Austen, Lord Byron, John Keats, and Martin Luther King; poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Patrick Lane; and short fiction and essays by Thomas De Quincey, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Allan Poe.
“Oh no, no! the letter had much rather be all your own. You will express yourself very properly I am sure. There is no danger of you not being intelligible, which is the first thing.” – Jane Austen, Emma
In this class we will consider the letter as object of enquiry. How does the act of writing a letter perform, enact, or mask the personality of the writer? What does it mean to write a public letter (or editorial, open letter, or Reply-All e-mail) versus a private letter? In short fiction, epistolary novels, and poetry, we will read the letter as plot device—the misdirected, lost, blackmailing, or love letter—and as form, a way to think about audience, address, and rhetorical style. We will consider the material conditions of letter writing, from folded paper to texting, and the modes of circulation, from mail coaches to cell towers, as a way to map out changes in speed, industrialization, and globalization from the eighteenth century until today.
This enquiry into the letter as form will allow us to think about our own relationship to writing: who we write for, how we achieve rhetorical persuasiveness, and clarity of communication. As part of this process class assignments will include a series of short essays, with a focus on revision, analysis, and clarity of thought.
Sacco, Joe: Journalism; Scranton, Roy and Gallagher, Matt, eds.: Fire and Forget: Short Stories From the Long War
A reader of poetry and essays. (I will build PDFs and post on bCourses.)
Please note the changes in the instructor, topic, course description, and book list of this section of English R1A (as of 11/4/16).
We're still fighting "The Forever War." We've learned to live with it. But how do we experience it, beyond color-coded terrorist threats, toothpaste confiscations, walking through the airport in our socks? What do we talk about when we talk about war and what does it do to our language? TSA, NSA, IEDs, ISIS, FUBAR, etc. How does our experience of war look and sound in our cultural output? In this class we will read poetry, fiction, and journalism about war, and watch a few films. But our primary text will be our own writing, and the writing of our peers. The course will center around rigorous peer review workshops and required rewrites. Before it's over (will it ever end?) we'll forge a relationship with our own writing process that's less combative and less traumatic.
Bambara, Toni Cade: Gorilla, My Love; Barrie, James: Peter Pan; Carroll, Lewis: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Chee, Alexander: Edinburgh ; Cisneros, Sandra: The House on Mango Street; James, Henry: Turn of the Screw; Levithan, David: Two Boys Kissing; Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye; Nabokov , Vladimir : Lolita; Torres, Justin: We the Animals
The last words of Peter Pan allude to an endless cycle in which children become adults, adults produce more children, and the cycle goes on and on “so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless.” If we should pause over this description, it is perhaps because it may be difficult to think of children as being both innocent and heartless at once. Haven't children always been innocent? And yet to speak of all children in this way may hide the fact that some people's children have at times appeared more or less innocent than those of others. In order to investigate these concerns and more, this course examines various representations of childhood in literature and film, with a unique sensitivity for how they vary across race, class, gender, and sexuality. What does it means to represent childhood as a period of innocence? Whose childhoods get to exist within this category? Finally, how do such ideas and projections impact the lives of the children who must grow up inside of these worlds?
As a writing intensive course, our goal will be to grow as clear and critical writers, regardless of your major. To that end, we will not only learn how to craft compelling questions and arguments, but also how to conduct original research which will engages with the ideas of other thinkers. The course requirements will include two papers that you will write and revise over the course of the semester.
Morrison, Toni: Beloved ; Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom's Cabin: or, Life Among the Lowly
All other readings will be provided iin a course reader or made available on bCourses.
This course will explore the ghosts, corpses, graveyards, and living dead of nineteenth-century American literature. Through an array of fiction, poetry, cultural history, and criticism (as well as potential field trips to local cemeteries), we will delve deeply and morbidly into the central role “death” played in nineteenth-century American society. Most importantly, we will examine its literary function in the midst of immense political and economic upheaval, technological innovation, and artistic and philosophic renaissance. By reading across representations of death and dying that range from intensely sentimental to disgustingly grotesque, we will continuously return to the following questions: how did American society conceive of, and represent, its past in relation to its present and future moments? How do we make historical or theoretical sense of the intimate relations these authors draw between the living and the dead? What is the role of death, and by extension, time and memory, in literature?
English R1B builds on the critical reading and writing skills developed in English R1A, working toward the production of an original research paper. In preparation, we will examine our texts in their historical and critical contexts, exploring the potential benefits and limitations of the multiple approaches to research.
Brown, Charles Brockden: Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist; Waterman, Bryan, ed.: The Salem Witch Trials Reader
All other readings will be provided in a course reader.
The biblical book of Hebrews famously defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1, KJV). But in eighteenth-century Europe and North America, “unseen” things were as much a matter of faith as a problem of knowledge. Theories of the occult, notions of the supernatural, and supposedly miraculous events were increasingly submitted to empirical inquiry, scientific scrutiny, and rational analysis. Meanwhile, technological innovations like the microscope suddenly made visible entire worlds of objects that had never before been seen. This course will examine how literature of the long eighteenth century sought to represent, examine, and analyze supernatural, miraculous, occult, or otherwise obscure phenomena. We’ll ask how our authors sought to define and codify what counted as evidence of things, supernatural or otherwise, that were not or could not be clearly seen. Readings will vary across disciplines, from scientific texts like Robert Hooke’s treatise on microscopes and Isaac Newton’s on optical physics, to documentary accounts of events like the Salem witchcraft crisis, to works of fiction and poetry that deal in hauntings, miracles, and visitations from “beyond” the natural world.
Of course, R1B is also designed to engage students in extensive essay writing and informed scholarly research. To that end, we will use questions and discussions about evidence from our readings as a platform on which to think about what counts as evidence in our own research projects, what kinds to use, and how best to do so. In this course you will develop your writing practice and experiment with and hone your skills in scholarly research, critical thinking, and intellectual analysis by writing and reading texts that are concerned with evidence and research. Appropriately, the history of the word essay is tied to histories of evidence and experimentation. In its original sense, an essay is “a trial, testing, proof”—an “experiment” (OED, entry 1a.). Writing assignments in this course will allow students to experiment with different kinds of research methodologies. We will also put our work on trial, as it were, through continuous and thoughtful peer review. The goal is less to critique, however, than to create an open and engaged conversation about writing well and how to make our own writing better.
Hesse, Herman: Siddhartha (1922); Miller : Bhagavad Gita (1986); Nishida, Kitaro: An Inquiry into the Good (1911); kwe: Dirges of Becoming (2010)
The journey to self is a theme that we can all relate to and, perhaps for this reason, one that has been explored by many poets and philosophers from many cultures and traditions. Yet, writing about self often seems much like lifting a cup of water from a rushing stream and asking someone to guess which way the river is flowing. In this course, we will travel many streams of thought and expression of the human experience, embracing a wide array of selections exploring the notions of self and experience in the world. By reflecting on and writing about our readings (some philosophical, some poetic), we will turn attention to our own life experience and the expression of our individual understandings of self.
English R1B is a writing-intensive course that develops students' practical fluency in expository and argumentative writing, in close reading of primary and secondary texts. This course also builds and refines the skills required for university-level research. Emphasizing the development of research skills, this course will teach you how to locate academic sources, evaluate these outside materials, and use them to construct your own positions. Above all, the class will provide a space for you to expore your spoken and written voice within a community of learning.
Austen, Jane: Northanger Abbey; Blake, William: Selected Poetry; Coleridge, Samuel Taylor & Wordsworth, William: Lyricial Ballads; Hogg, James: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Shelley, Mary : Frankenstein; Wordsworth, Dorothy: The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals
A course reader including writings by Edmund Burke, William Godwin, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Since the nineteenth century, the popular image of Romanticism has been that of the solitary genius. Typically poised atop some cloud-capped mountain or madly penning his verse in candlelight, this lone figure appears as a testament to the sovereign powers of mind and self. Yet for all their representations of solitude, so many works from the British Romantic period are driven by a desire for and fear of another. In this course, we will trace the persistent presence of others in key literary and political texts of the period. From the ideal friend of Romantic poetry to the pernicious fiend of Gothic fiction, this class will explore how a social world materializes in the space between individuals.
As an R1B, this course will strengthen students’ reading and analytical knowledge, while introducing them to some of the essential techniques for research writing. Through close reading of texts (both primary and secondary) and frequent writing assignments, students will learn how to engage with different sources to support their own original theses.
Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the LIfe of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; Fern, Fanny: Ruth Hall and Other Writings; Keller, Helen: The World I Live In; Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom's Cabin
A course reader containing short works by William Apess, Mary L. Day, Helen DeKroyft, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Elsie Fuller, Frances E. W. Harper, E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake), Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Lydia Siguourney, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, William Walker, Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), and others.
"The artist . . . is the holiest reformer of them all, for she is creating."—Paulina Wright Davis, The Una, 1853
"Polemics . . . are not likely to be epics. They are likely to be pamphlets, even when they are disguised as stories and plays."—Albert Murray, The Omni-Americans, 1970
Nineteenth-century America witnessed a blossoming of reformist zeal. A diverse array of activists fought for such disparate causes as prison reform, temperance, and the expansion of missionary work. In our course, we will take up four of the most galvanizing and far-reaching social movements of the era: the battles for the rights of Native Americans, slaves, women, and individuals with disabilities. More specifically, we will take up a variety of novels, short stories, and poems produced by and for these movements, asking how liteature transformed and was transformed by the reformist projects considered. How can the act of turning from the "real" to the imaginative render the author or artist "the holiest reformer we have"? Are the categories of "polemic" and "epic"—activisim and artistry—truly mutually exclusive? In short, what kind of change could literature hope to create, and what kind of literature would be created by the hope of social change?
Throughout the course, we will be attuned not only to the role of writing in the nineteenth century but also to its importance for you as students and thinkers today. The course is designed to help you to prepare for future writing and research at Berkeley and beyond, so over the course of the semester, you will outline, draft, workshop, write, and rewrite a series of papers, refining along the way your ability to read meticulously and write persuasively. Your work will culminate in the writing of a substantial research paper based on the issues central to the course as they relate to your own interests.
This section of English R1B has been canceled.
This section of English R1B has been canceled.
This section has been canceled.
This section of English R1B has been canceled.
This section has been canceled.
This section has been canceled.
This section has been canceled.
Chandler, Raymond: The Long Goodbye; Collins, Wilke: The Moonstone; Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein: They Say, I Say; Mieville, China: The City & the City; Sophocles: Oedipus Rex; Tey, Josephine: The Daughter of Time; Whitehead, Colson: The Intuitionist
“The distortion of a text is not unlike a murder. The difficulty lies not in the execution of the deed but in the doing away with the traces.” —Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism
Freud suggests that murder mysteries appeal to us in part because readers are always detectives, collecting and interpreting clues to a text’s secrets. Taking Freud’s analogy as our provocation, we will use stories of murder and detection to improve as textual sleuths. Our texts will come from ancient Athens and contemporary America, and they will include not only the novels and play listed above, but also several short stories and at least one film adaptation. We will ask how different murder mysteries imagine the process of detection and discovery. Using the rhetorical textbook They Say, I Say and model critical essays, we will also reflect on how we investigate and research literature. A scaffold of increasingly complex research and writing assignments will support a substantial research paper.
Berssenbrugge, Mei-mei: Hello, the Roses; Duncan , Robert: The Opening of the Field; Marlowe, Christopher: Doctor Faustus; Notley, Alice: Certain Magical Acts; Rothenberg, Jerome: Technicians of the Sacred; Shakespeare, William: The Tempest
Course Reader with writings by Marcel Mauss, Lucien Levy-Bruhl, Ernst Cassirer, Emile Benveniste, Stanley Tambiah and Jane Harrison others. Movie TBD.
In one common sense, we use the word “magic” to refer to the extraordinary, the otherworldly or the supernatural. We associate this sense of “magic” with the belief that one can gain control over external events through special means that defy logic or rationality. More seemingly excessive forms of associative and nonlinear thinking are referred to warily as “magical thinking.” In this course we will consider not only these senses of magic as we find them addressed in a variety of literary representations and discourses, but also other possible senses, such as the more straightforward sense that the notion of magic pertains to what we might call the “self-existence” of the world. In what way do things already have, at their most ordinary level, a mode of existing that it might make sense to describe as ‘magical’? In what ways does the notion of magic have a sense that helps us to engage with the world at this most basic level? Why might literary study be a privileged site in which to ask these kinds of questions?
Since this is an R1B course, students will continue to develop skills in critical reading and essay composition that they began to cultivate in R1A. This time around we will build upon those skills by introducing students to research methodology as they produce final research papers on a topic of their choice pertaining to the course materials. We will continue to work on writing and argumentation skills in a series of in-class exercises, revisions and peer editing workshops.
Le Fanu, Sheridan: Carmilla; Wells, H. G.: The Island of Dr. Moreau
This course investigates monsters—from the stitched-together creatures of The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) to present-day vampires, werewolves, body snatchers, and other frightening creatures of lore and literature. We will read two short novels (Dr. Moreau and Carmilla), watch the films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien, and read a selection of short stories and articles. The material for this course will also include two student-nominated texts (one book and one film).
The monsters that we will investigate are "manufactured" in more than one sense of the word. Their minds and bodies are stitched together by mad scientists or transformed by a fateful bite, but they are also constructed and created socially. They emerge as monstrous because of the way in which they are portrayed. We will ask: what do a culture's fictional monsters suggest about what that culture fears and reviles? To come to grips with this question, we will practice critical habits of mind and draw on critiques from queer theory, feminism, disability studies, and critical race studies. We will also excavate the histories of particular monsters and consider the specific historical contexts in which they appear and reappear.
Together we will tackle the project and the process of writing a research paper. We will break down this larger project into a series of steps designed to help you build on and expand your existing skills. Topic proposals, drafting, revision, and peer feedback will all be integral to this process. We will focus on developing research skills and on incorporating these source materials into our papers.
Anderson, Sherwood: Winesburg, Ohio; Baum, L. Frank: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet letter; Solnit, Rebecca: Wanderlust: A History of Walking; Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or Life Among the Lowly
To be provided in class by the instructor:
Henry David Thoreau, Walking; Map: Berkeley PATH Wanderers Association, Berkeley and its Pathways; Movies: The Wiz (1978), Manhatta (1921); Short Stories: Kate Chopin, “A Morning Walk”; Ray Bradbury, “The Pedestrian”; Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Walt Whitman
With beauty before me, may I walk
With beauty behind me, may I walk
With beauty above me, may I walk
With beauty below me, may I walk
With beauty all around me, may I walk
Wandering on the trail of beauty, may I walk
Navajo Night Chant
From Walt Whitman's walks through Manhattan to Leslie Marmon Silko's treks through the Tucson wilderness, American writers have long been preoccupied with the subject of walking and its political, aesthetic, and social meanings. This course will examine the theme of walking from a variety of interpretative frames, and from the perspectives of a wide array of American authors. Our goal will not just be to consider the history of walking in America, but more crucially to understand how that history has shaped American literature and culture and consequently the ways in which we each walk in the world.
The main objective of this course is to equip you with the skills needed to read, write, and analyze literature coherently, and to fine-tune the techniques you use to produce persuasive research essays. The essential skills you learn and refine in this class can become the foundation of your future studies even if your major is outside the humanities, because we will focus on skills generalizable across all classes: reading, writing, researching, and critical thinking. You can expect that the essays and strategy assignments due for this course will build on each other to aid in your compositions and to help you reach new and exciting levels of analysis.
This section of English R1B has been canceled.