Announcement of Classes: Spring 2012

The Announcement of Classes is available one week before Tele-Bears begins every semester. Creative Writing and (for fall) Honors Course applications are available at the same time in the racks outside of 322 Wheeler Hall.


Reading & Composition: American Song

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Sullivan, Khalil
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

DuBois, WEB: Souls of Black Folk; Sandburg, Carl: The American Songbag;

Recommended: Hebdige, Dick: Subculture: the Meaning of Style; Lomax and Lomax, Alan and John: American Ballads and Folk SOngs

Other Readings and Media

The following texts are required of the course but are available for free online:

Carl Sandburg - the American Songbag
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Mariner Books; Rei Sub edition (October 29, 1990)
ISBN-10: 9780156056502
 
WEB DuBois - Souls of Black Folk
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; annotated edition edition (July 26, 2005)
ISBN-10: 1416500413
 

Description

Course Description:  This course revolves around the popular American Song form from the mid-19th century to the present.  We will approach the American song not just as a historical artifact aided by inventions in technology (sheet music, phonograph, radio, television, film) but as cultural artifacts that circulate and evolve different locales and generations.  It is my hope that we can construct an analytical framework that will account not only for the lyrical content of the songs but the musical genres (or style) as well as the manner in which songs circulate.  Students will be assigned analytical readings from Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style, which focuses on the British punk and reggae scenes but provides an excellent starting point for generating theory.  Additionally, we will review songbooks that include lyrics and sheet music, but formal training in music is not required.  Many of the songs can be found in libraries and online audio archives.  Students should be warned that the content of some songs is explicit and includes a number of controversial narratives and images surrounding the black body, the female body, prison, and other marginalized institutions and figures in US American history.  


Reading & Composition: Apocalypse / Now

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: Cullen, Ben
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Malthus, T: On the Principle of Population; McCarthy, C.: The Road; Mitchell, D.: Cloud Atlas; Placencia, S.: The People of Paper; Vaughn, B. & P.Y. Guerra: Y: The Last Man (Cycles); Vaughn, B. & P.Y. Guerra: Y: The Last Man (Unmanned); Wells, H.G. : War of the Worlds ;

Recommended: Grahame-Smith , S.: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Silverstein, S. : The Giving Tree

Other Readings and Media

A small reader.

We will also be viewing the following films—sometimes in, sometimes out of class: Children of Men, Cloverfield, An Inconvenient Truth. I will do my best to give screenings of all.

Description

The stolen title of this course perfectly captures the two topics this class will explore. The first is "nowness," or what it is to live in our time; the second is the notion of apocalypse—perhaps better understood as the unmaking of nation, of civilization, of humanity, of the world, even of the universe as we know it.  We will be looking for figures, symbols, tropes and technics of apocalyptic imaginings, and while we will primarily focus on apocalypse's influence on various forms of narrative fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries, we will also be looking at real-world discussions of possible dooms. Ultimately, our goals will be to question what it is about humanity's end that so thrills and sparks the West's (if not the globe's) imagination, what we see about society and civilization in meditating its catastrophic destruction, and what consequences (psychological, emotional, political) the notion of an impending real-world apocalypse might have on national/global culture.

You will be responsible for writing four papers, as well as weekly reading responses.  


Reading & Composition: Ideas of the University: School, Work, and the World

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: Larner-Lewis, Jonathan
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Bronte, C.: Jane Eyre; Hardy, T.: Jude the Obscure

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Anderson, Wes. Rushmore (film)

Description

This seems like a good a time to figure out, and maybe even start to articulate, what we are all doing here. We will read and write around the concepts of education, work and leisure, trying to come to some understanding of how they function and interact in our culture and, most importantly, in our own lives, at our own University. We will engage a few novels, some poetry, essays, films, and other documents, using our readings as an impetus to thinking, discussion, and lots of writing.

At the same time we will work hard on our own writing, on how we construct sentences and paragraphs and develop arguments. Our assignments will lead to increasingly complex applications of these skills in the academic environment. We’ll write a short diagnostic essay at the beginning of the semester, followed by three papers of increasing length. An extensive peer-review process during our longer papers will orient you to your audience, sharpen your critical skills, and improve your writing in the way only heavy revision can.


Reading & Composition: Autobiography

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Ketz, Charity Corine
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Augustine: Confessions; De Quincey, Thomas: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater; Equiano: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written By Himself; Proust, Marcel: Swann's Way

Other Readings and Media

a course reader

Description

“I have become a question to myself”

                                           —Augustine, Confessions

“I know that [my accusers] almost made me forget who I was—so persuasively did they speak.”

“But suppose I ask you a question”

                                           —Socrates, Apology

Facing a five hundred-man jury and a death sentence, Socrates is recorded to have defended himself autobiographically: by recollecting his life’s work and mission for an audience and by engaging his accusers in his habitual method of questioning. Roughly 800 years later, Augustine described grieving the death of a beloved friend in his autobiography, saying, “I made myself into my own great question.” In this course we will consider the question of autobiography—what it is formally, how it situates itself with respect to an audience and with respect to time—and we will consider the question posed by autobiography—what autobiography seeks in its presentation of mortality, consciousness, and memory. Sometimes this second question will appear to run after an enigma or to mourn violently. Sometimes it will demand something far more pragmatic (the reevaluation of social practice) or will show itself to be a purely negative (theatrical) power to unsettle conventional feeling. We will read a variety of autobiographies in prose and verse (selections from Plato, Montaigne, Descartes, Rousseau, Benjamin, Wordsworth, and Woolf, along with our major texts), and, beginning about the middle of the semester, will vary our critical with some autobiographical writing.

 


Reading & Composition: Refusal and Resistance in Tragedy

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Moore, Stephanie Anne
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Baillie, Joanna: Orra; Ibsen, Henrik: Hedda Gabler; Shakespeare, William: King Lear; Sophocles: Antigone; Webster, John: The Duchess of Malfi

Description

Tragedy, roughly speaking, is a form of dramatic art that asks whether human suffering can be made to signify. In this class, we will trace a figure who recurs throughout the corpus of tragic plays written in Europe from antiquity to the present: a person, often a woman, who insists on a law higher than reason or social obligation, and who refuses to be moved, even if the alternative is death. Thinking about the changing dimensions of this figure over time will help us think more generally about tragedy itself—as a literary form, as a means of ethical inquiry, and as a type of knowledge, among other things.

The purpose this class is to develop your skills in expository writing and critical analysis, the value of which will stay with you beyond this class and beyond your undergraduate career.


Reading & Composition: The Social Practice of Love

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Weiner, Joshua J
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice; Constant, Benjamin: Adolphe; Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von: Elective Affinities; Laclos, Pierre Choderlos de: Les Liaisons dangereuses; Plato: Symposium; Sidney, Sir Philip: Astrophil and Stella

Description

De La Rochefoucauld famously wrote that “plenty of people would never fall in love if they had not heard other people talk about it.” Where do we find this “talk about love” that has such suggestive power?  This course will explore some key texts in the long tradition of European love literature that illuminate love as a social practice, which forms certain kinds of subjects. How, through the arts, is love taught and learned as a practice? How do (our) ways of loving, and different amorous subjects, have identifiable histories? How do these social practices of love interface with political bonds, with violence, and with the erotic body? Beginning with canonical texts from the ancient world (Plato) and the Renaissance (Sidney), we will quickly move on to the golden age of love literature that occurred between the late 17th century and Romanticism, exploring central works from France, Britain, and Germany – a trajectory which culminates in de Sade. We will consider contemporary articulations of problems around love as a social practice – for example, queer love, the status of the couple, and polyamory – through short theoretical readings drawn from Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, James Turner, Martha Nussbaum, and Leo Bersani, as well as the films Contempt (Godard), and Shortbus (Mitchell).


Reading & Composition: Communication of Poetic Effects in Shakespeare

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: Castillo, Carmen
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 78 Barrows


Book List

Hacker, D: Rules for Writers; Shakespeare, W: Antony and Cleopatra; Shakespeare, W: As You Like it; Shakespeare, W: Macbeth; Shakespeare, W: Othello; Shakespeare, W: The Winter's Tale; Shakespeare, W: Twelfth Night

Description

We use language to express our thoughts and to be understood: to communicate.  In communication we rely on the shared knowledge and the shared assumptions of our audience in order to ensure as effective communication as possible.  In poetic language there is an additional communication--beyond the communication of accessible content--made up of small fragmentary pieces of incidental material that accumulates and constellates in the audience not as shared knowledge and assumptions, but as shared impressions.  Impressions affect us, “impress” upon us a communication that is not so much understood as it is felt.  In this course we will read six Shakespeare plays and track the experience of impressions that the poetic language communicates versus what the content communicates.  To this end, we will analyze what poetic impressions are saying and doing as a way to generate fresh and compelling assertions and arguments about these plays.

The goals of this course are to have fun, to explore, to learn to read closely, to develop increasing skills in clear writing, thesis and paragraph development, and argumentation.  To this end, we will engage deeply with the texts, discuss them feverishly in class, and write a number of short essays, including revisions, toward the general goal of producing well-shaped and polished critical essays.


Reading & Composition: Ghosts of the Past

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: Knox, Marisa Palacios
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Dickens, Charles: A Christmas Carol; Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Remains of the Day

Description

This course will focus on the presence of the past in various literary genres and texts. We will examine how the past is embodied through flashback, memory, and recurrence, and explore the formal means by which the past structures or intrudes upon narratives. The class will also analyze the ways in which the past either grounds the “reality” of a text, or somehow destabilizes it and by extension the reading process.

Students in turn will continuously work on developing their own writing skills toward clear exposition and argumentation. Through classroom attention to issues of grammar, syntax, structure, and style as well as peer editing and extensive revision for three of four required essays (increasing in length from two to five pages), the course should prepare students to articulate their ideas fluently and coherently in writing.

 


Reading & Composition: Writing About Literarary Experience

English R1A

Section: 9
Instructor: Jordan, Joseph P
Jordan, Joe
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Chekhov , Anton: The Essential Tales of Chekhov; Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist; Gibaldi, Joseph: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers; Shakespeare, William: Macbeth

Description

In this course we will read and write about markedly different kinds of literature—one novel, one play, a good deal of verse, some short stories, some contemporary song lyrics—with the aim of coming to some conclusions about what makes great literature great and why we should care about it.

I’ve chosen not to organize this class around a single theme, first, because the course is by definition a writing course and I don’t want to pretend otherwise. I also want us to resist the urge to compartmentalize experience. It is common for people to like different sorts of literature, but uncommon for students and teachers to think about what, for example, the experiences of little poems and big novels have in common. In this class we will try to make connections between seemingly unlike things—not only between the works on the reading list, but between those works and examples of contemporary popular art forms like country music song lyrics, television sitcoms, movies (and so on). The class will push the notion that the history of English literature is in large part the history of popular English literature—a fact that justifies our giving serious consideration to some things that academic-types usually don’t take seriously.


Reading & Composition: Totality Chic

English R1A

Section: 10
Instructor: Fan, Christopher Tzechung
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: note new room: 224 Wheeler


Book List

Carpenter, Novella: Farm City; Foer, Jonathan Safran: Eating Animals; Pollan, Michael: The Omnivore's Dilemma

Other Readings and Media

In addition to these books, a PDF course reader will also be provided.

We'll also be watching several films, which might include: Ocean's Thirteen, Fast Food Nation, Off the Grid with Les Stroud, Survivorman, Man vs. Wild, and/or Eat, Pray, Love.

A field trip (TBD) will also be in the works.

Description

Where did the sandwich you ate for lunch come from? Where were the lettuce and tomatoes farmed? Who harvested them? Where did they come from, and why? What river or reservoir contributed the water? How about the electricity used -- how was that generated? And how were all the ingredients transported to the restaurant or cafe where you bought the sandwich? Where did the fuel come from? The truck? The driver? And what about the bread?

This is a familiar line of questioning these days. Similar questions could be asked about the clothes we wear, the screen we’re reading from -- even our college and career choices. In fact, being a responsible consumer or citizen now seems to require a deep understanding not just of our own decisions, but of how everything works together. While these kinds of questions have always been around, answering them has typically been the domain of technocrats and academics. It's somewhat surprising then that, today, it's fashionable to have answers to them.

Although this course will certainly be concerned with where your sandwich came from, it will be even more concerned with some character types that have become closely associated with various models of totality: the foodie, the thief and the activist. Let’s call them “masters of totality.” Our focus will be on the first, but we’ll sharpen our understanding of totality -- and its current cachet  -- with help from the other two. The central question we’ll be exploring, then, is how totality chic contributes to a distinctive genre in literature and film.


Reading & Composition: American Exposures

English R1A

Section: 11
Instructor: Clinton, Daniel Patrick
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Barnum, P.T.: The Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself; Fern, Fanny: Ruth Hall; Franklin, Benjamin: The Autobiography and Other Writings; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass

Description

Dear reader, this is a course that thinks about Facebook while it is pretending to contemplate American literary history. Perhaps you can identify. This course worries that maintaining a fascinating individual identity comes with far too much baggage. It fears that even private thoughts are traceable to public institutions, but secretly believes that’s only true for other people. It wants to tell you all about itself, but worries about appearing self-serving in front of all these people…Or, to put it another way, this class will examine a series of autobiographical texts in order to frame a brief and incomplete history of social networking in antebellum America, during the historical emergence of modern mass culture. Each of the authors we will read thinks very carefully about the relationship of individual life to social customs, artistic codes, and systems of information. These authors do not merely record their lives, but turn to self-description as a means of deciphering the world and acting within it.

Throughout the semester, you will be working to find and hone your own critical voice. You’ll learn how to pose interesting and productive questions about the works we read – and how to shape those questions into an effective argument.  We will be writing a short diagnostic essay and three progressively longer papers. In addition, students will revise at least two papers.


Reading & Composition: 19th- and 20th-Century Experiment/alisms

English R1A

Section: 13
Instructor: Rahimtoola, Samia Shabnam
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: new room: 101 Wheeler


Book List

Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Blithedale Romance; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Thoreau, Henry David: Walden

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader including poetry, criticism, and manifestos.

Description

What does it mean to undertake an experiment? Why might one wish to describe a work of art as “experimental”?  Is there any value in a failed experiment?  Beginning with these questions, this course will explore the hope, euphoria, and despair that attend the life of an experiment in the specific context of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  We will consider a variety of texts that attempt to describe or produce different kinds of experiments: scientific, utopian, and literary.  In doing so, we will consider the possibilities that subsist as dead-ends and dreams in the history of modernity.   Specific works include Henry David Thoreau's Walden, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance, Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, the Dada and Futurist manifestos, and post-WWII works by Fluxus artists.

In this course, you will develop your critical reading and writing skills through frequent, short assignments and longer papers.  Cumulatively, you will produce at least 32 pages of writing, which will include pre-writing, drafts, and revisions.  Significant class time will be devoted to developing analytical, argumentative, and verbal skills.


Reading & Composition: 21st-Century Native American Fiction

English R1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Gillis, Brian
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Hausman, Blake M. : Riding the Trail of Tears; Alexie, Sherman: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; Cheyfitz (Editor), Eric: The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States Since 1945; Erdrich, Louise: The Plague of the Doves ; Matthaei; Grutman, Grant; Amiotte, Gay; Jewel; Thomasson : The Ledgerbook of Tomas Blue Eagle ; Porter; Roemer, Joy; Kenneth M. : The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature; Wong; Muller; Magdaleno (Editors), Hertha D. Sweet; Lauren Stuart; Jana Sequoya: Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women

Description

This course will examine a variety of texts written by or about Native Americans in the first decade of the 21st century. Course requirements will include two preliminary essays (3-5 pp), and a final research component (10-15 pp). At the end of the semester you will present one of these essays at an in-class colloquium.

For more information about the class, copies of the syllabus, and an up-to-date book list, please visit the course website at: https://sites.google.com/site/briangillisteaching/home


Reading & Composition: U.S. Autobiography as Ethnography

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: Rana, Swati
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 31 Evans


Book List

Du Bois, W. E. B.: The Souls of Black Folk; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior; Mukerji, Dhan Gopal: Caste and Outcast; Rodriguez, Richard: Hunger of Memory

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

How should we read the “I” under the burden of representation?  What is the relationship between singular life and group consciousness?  How does the act of self-documentation produce a social record?  In this course, we will explore these questions through readings in texts that are both autobiographical and ethnographical.  We will trace the familiar contours of the life story and explore how these works depart from them, incorporating historical, sociological, lyric, or fictive elements.  What are the demands placed upon the representative subject who is responsive to a given social identity or political exigency?  And what formal innovations do these demands produce within the space of the autobiography?  We will focus on the gap between author and persona, biography and its emplotment, the autonomous and constituent subject—and upon the coincidence of these categories as well.  Where relevant, we will investigate controversies surrounding the reception of these texts.  Our challenge will be to take a broad view of autobiography, to understand how it shapes the politics of ethnic representation in the United States.  These texts will provide the occasion to develop critical thinking, writing, and research skills.  The first half of the course will be devoted to exercises in argumentation and exposition, several short writing assignments, as well as self-editing and peer revision.  In the second half of the course, you will propose a question to investigate and develop a research prospectus and annotated bibliography.  Your work will culminate in an oral presentation and a final research paper of approximately ten pages.


Reading & Composition: No Man's Land--Dividing Lines in the Great War

English R1B

Section: 3
Instructor: Jeziorek, Alek M
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Barker, Pat: Regeneration; Ford, Ford Madox: Parade's End; Remarque, Erich Maria: All Quiet on the Western Front; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

A reader containing several English war poets (e.g. Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, etc.), several not-English not-war poets (e.g. W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, etc.), and excerpts from The Last Days of Mankind, by Karl Kraus.

Description

This is the second class in the Reading and Composition series and, as a result, it will focus on the writing process, critical reading, and research, all of which culminate in a research paper due at the end of the semester. This class intends to demystify what appears to be the daunting task of writing a long research-driven paper by focusing on writing as a process with many small steps. To that end, the assignments will consist of essays that work up to the length of a research paper, extensive and repeated revision, peer editing, an annotated bibliography, a presentation of research, and a working outline, among other smaller assignments.

In order to provide a shared framework for our research papers, the reading centers around the Great War and its multiple dividing lines: the representation of the war by soldiers and the representation of the war by civilians; the Western, Eastern, and Home Fronts; and perspectives on the war from the Allied and Central Powers. Far from developing a comprehensive view of all these dichotomies, this class focuses on the difficulty of the dividing line as such. How do English civilians represent a war that they can hear from across the English Channel, but cannot see? How does this historical moment represent the absence of approximately 18,000,000 lives? In trench warfare, No Man’s Land made obsolete clear boundaries of war. How do texts reflect formally this crisis of form represented in the dividing line of war? More abstractly, we’ll think about how the Great War challenges the idea of a dividing line and the clear distinctions created thereby. Beyond these questions, we’ll also explore the interests of the class as they unfold over the semester.


Reading & Composition: Victorian Research

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: Terlaak Poot, Luke
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 35 Evans


Book List

Collins, Wilkie: The Moonstone; Dickens, Charles: Sketches by Boz; Doyle, Arthur Conan: The Lost World; Oliphant, Margaret: The Library Window; Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Stoker, Bram: Dracula

Other Readings and Media

A course reader containing stories, poems, and essays

Description

This course will be about research in two senses: first, we will learn how to perform research on a number of Victorian texts; second, we will discuss the way research itself is represented in these texts. In other words, we’ll be researching Victorian research. The ends and means of research dramatically expanded during the Victorian period, which makes this epoch especially suitable for this kind of attention. Over the course of the semester we will work on developing questions, methods, and goals for our own work, and in the process we will grapple with the many different ways that Victorians thought about, performed, and presented research as a particular kind of work. We’ll follow the figure of the researcher through libraries and laboratories as we read texts that conceive of the activity as detection, exploration, persuasion, entertainment, and more. 


Reading & Composition: Speaking the Unspeakable, Voicing the Unspoken

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Seeger, Andrea Yolande
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Allison, Dorothy: Bastard Out of Carolina; Baldwin, James: Go Tell It On the Mountain; Faulkner, William: Light in August; Morrison, Toni: Beloved

Description

This course, while seeking to build on the basic writing tenants introduced in R1A by essaying longer expository and argumentative pieces with an emphasis on learning and utilizing research skills, will focus on exploring the unspeakable and unspoken with texts that reach beyond the boundaries of the social customs that dictate silence.  Through writing the forbidden— speaking the unspeakable and voicing the unspoken—the writers we will be working with challenge the social structures of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and victimization. 

Students will write and rewrite progressively longer essays as the course progresses, culminating with a 10 page research essay.  This class places a premium on research, writing, revision, peer editing, and student workshopping.

Besides the books indicated above, there will be secondary reading TBA.

 


Reading & Composition: Beyond Islands

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Shelley, Jonathan
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Book List

Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; More, Thomas: Utopia; Shakespeare, William: The Tempest; Swift, Jonathan: The Writings of Jonathan Swift; Wells, H.G.: The Island of Dr. Moreau;

Recommended: Hacker, Diana: Pocket Style Manual

Other Readings and Media

The Island (film), Michael Bay

Description

The meaning behind this class’s title is twofold. While it will use islands—which frequently inhabit a strange, fantastical space—as a guiding theme for its selection of texts and readings, this class encourages thinking beyond that theme to the wide range of topics, issues, and questions that these texts elicit. These might include (but are not limited to) political philosophy, economic theory, empire, colonialism, satire, ethical treatment of humans and animals, ecocritcism, theories of the other, and magic. This class hopes to employ interesting readings in order to engage and discuss multiple lines of inquiry and write about them effectively.

The primary goals of this class are to refine comprehension and analytical skills, improve writing, and learn basic research skills. Students will compose essays of varying length and investigate a topic of their own choosing and design for a final research paper.


Reading & Composition: The Gothic: Revivals and Survivals

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: Cannon, Benjamin Zenas
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Description

The word “Gothic” still evokes stock images of darkness, decay, and danger, from the mouldering Castle Dracula to the inky bayous of True Blood. The source of these images is ultimately the Gothic novel tradition. From The Castle of Otranto to Dracula and beyond, these novels are filled with images of a dangerous past that threatens the present. Yet for much of the 19th century, the Gothic was also a powerful tool for imagining the transformation both of aesthetics and society. The Gothic Revival in architecture brought back “free” medieval forms as an answer to the rigidity of the classical tradition; it also made powerful arguments for the dignity of labor in answer to the alienation of the industrial revolution. This revaluation of the Gothic was not limited to architecture: in painting, the Pre-Raphaelite movement proclaimed the purity and spirituality of medieval art techniques; the Arts and Crafts movement adopted the medieval guild system as the basis for a revolution in industrial design. This class will consider the Gothic in both of its guises--as a hopeful revival and as a dangerous survival. In doing so, we will consider as well the more fundamental question of modernity's relationship with history; is the past a repository of vital "natural" traditions with which modernity has lost touch? Or is it rather a dangerous force that must be overcome or suppressed? Slideshows and tours of Berkeley's Victorian revival architecture will supplement our readings of major Gothic novels. Students will write three progressively longer papers over the course of the semester, incorporating original research. This class fulfills the second part of the Reading and Composition requirement. 

 

Readings:  Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.  A course reader, including: Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles; John Ruskin, from Stones of Venice; William Morris, from the SPAB Manifesto; Sigmund Freud, from Civilization and its Discontents and The Uncanny; Michael Lewis, from The Gothic Revival.

Film:  Twilight

 

 


Reading & Composition: Strange Cases

English R1B

Section: 10
Instructor: Mershon, Ella
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 223 Wheeler


Book List

Doyle, A. C.: Sherlock Holmes: Selected Stories; Melville, H.: Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales; Poe, E. A.: Selected Tales; Shelley, M.: Frankenstein; Stevenson, R. L.: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Stoker, B.: Dracula

Other Readings and Media

There will be a course reader that will include works by Coleridge, P. B. Shelley, Keats, Byron, Whitman, Hawthorne, Rossetti, Browning, Tennyson, Le Fanu, Tyndal, Huxley, Arnold, Galvani, and Ruskin.

Description

Per the title of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, this course will explore a number of “strange cases”—serpent seductresses, mesmerized corpses, duplicitous doppelgangers, spectral monkeys (and other inexplicable apparitions), monstrous bodies, uncanny coincidences, and perverse desires—in an effort to flesh out what made the “strange” such a desirable literary and scientific topic in the 19th century. As we examine these bizarre and ofttimes beautiful cases, we will consider how the strange (strangers, estrangement, strangeness) struggles for articulation in an era that is “betwixt ancient faith and modern incredulity” (to quote an early reviewer of the gothic novel). Hence, we will work to juxtapose the historical construction of strangeness as it embraces new scientific incredulity with the aesthetic allure of the strange within and beyond the domain of the literary.

While these texts will hopefully furnish us with material for rich discussions, the primary goal of this class is to improve your writing. Building upon the praxis of literary analysis stressed in R1A, we will work to develop your fluency in writing longer and more complex papers with specific attention to the cultivation of effective research strategies and evaluative skills. Learning how to evaluate, respond to and incorporate source material into your prose will be the primary focus of this class, over the course of which you will produce 32 pages of written work through a gradual process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising.

 


Reading & Composition: Recent Memoirs on Loss

English R1B

Section: 11
Instructor: Fritz, Tracy
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Didion, Joan: The Year of Magical Thinking; Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers; O'Rourke, Meghan: The Long Goodbye; Oates, Joyce Carol: A Widow's Story; Trillin, Calvin: About Alice

Other Readings and Media

There will be a course reader of literary criticism.

Description

In her review of Joyce Carol Oates’ A Widow’s Story (2011), Janet Maslin describes the memoir as a contribution to the growing “loss-of-spouse-market.” Indeed, from Calvin Trillin’s About Alice (2006) to Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking (2007) to Meghan O'Rourke's The Long Goodbye (2011), memoirs about death--spousal and otherwise--seem to be quite popular. While they may offer consolation to the bereaved (and whether or not they do is debatable), these texts also offer new insights into the limits of language. In this class, we will explore the following questions: How does pain—both mental and physical—resist linguistic representation? How does a traumatic event like a death disrupt narrative? Given the lack of modern mourning rituals, how does writing give form to grief?

Students will explore these questions while learning how to read critically, write clearly, and argue persuasively. Emphasizing the development of research skills, this course will teach them how to locate academic sources, evaluate these outside materials, and use them to construct their own positions. Over the course of the semester, students will produce approximately 32 pages of writing. This writing will be broken down into three essays which will increase in length as the term progresses. For the final two papers, they will be required to perform research tasks and reference texts beyond those provided in class.


Reading & Composition: Late Victorians

English R1B

Section: 12
Instructor: Naturale, Lauren
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Eliot, George: The Lifted Veil and Brother Jacob; Hardy, Thomas: The Return of the Native; Rossetti, Christina: Goblin Market and Other Poems; Stoker, Bram: Dracula; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Other Readings and Media

Film: Velvet Goldmine (dir. Todd Haynes)

Description

"I don't believe there is much of a future to speak of. We're in a bit of a decadent spiral, aren't we? Sinking fast. Big brother all the way, baby. Which is why we prefer impressions to ideas. Situations to subjects. Brief flights to sustained ones. Exceptions to types." - - Velvet Goldmine

What does it mean to live outside one's time? What are the possible consequences of having "a face on which time makes but little impression?" From characters who don't age to the actual undead, these texts explore different modes of "belatedness" in the later decades of the nineteenth century. Our primary focus will be on the process of drafting and revising successful essays.


Reading & Composition: Country and City

English R1B

Section: 14
Instructor: Bauer, Mark
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 221 Wheeler


Book List

Dillard, Annie: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby; Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the D'Urbervilles; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

The course bSpace site will include poems by Horace, Hart Crane, Jean Toomer, and Frank O’Hara, and essays by Wallace Stegner, Raymond Williams, and Jane Jacobs, among several others.

Description

The opposition between city life and country life goes back at least as far as ancient Rome, but today it takes on a new significance as urbanites are asked to respond to a problem that is often felt more sharply in rural areas, whether it’s diminishing habitat for polar bears or famines caused by fluctuating food prices.Investigating the city/country divide will provide insight into the cultural significance and constructedness of each sphere, and also the degree to which they depend on each other, both for their identities and for mutual survival.  In addition to these primary spheres, we’ll also explore the less clearly defined spaces at their margins – suburbs, and, at the other extreme, wilderness – asking both what constitutes them and what they mean to us.  The course will hone students’ ability to write and revise longer, research-based papers, while still focusing on the skills of literary analysis needed to think critically about the course texts.


Reading & Composition: Storytelling

English R1B

Section: 15
Instructor: Gordon, Zachary
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 129 Barrows


Book List

Calvino, Italo: If on a winter's night a traveller; David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen: Writing Analytically; Didion, Joan: Slouching Towards Bethlehem; West, Nathanael: Miss Lonelyhearts and the Day of the Locust

Description

This course will develop your writing and research skills through careful study of works that, to varying degrees, concern the art of storytelling. We will closely read several authors ranging from Herodotus to Italo Calvino, all the while posing a number of questions to come to a collective understanding of the genre in its many forms: What assumptions do certain storytellers make about their audiences and themselves? Why do they arrange events in a certain order? What makes the events recounted worth communicating in the first place? In what sense do characters tell themselves stories, and what happens when they stop believing them? Many of these considerations will apply to the composition of your essays as well, and over the course of the semester we will work to make them part of the writing process.

As this is a writing intensive course, a significant portion of our time will be dedicated to refining your prose. You will be responsible for writing a total of three papers: a two-page diagnostic essay and two longer essays, both of which require substantial revisions. The final paper will incorporate independent research. In addition, there will be a number of shorter assignments designed to hone your skills as critical readers and writers.


Reading & Composition: Victorian Crime

English R1B

Section: 16
Instructor: Baldwin, Ruth
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Ainsworth, William Harrison: Jack Sheppard; Braddon, Mary Elizabeth: Lady Audley's Secret; Collins, Wilkie: The Moonstone; Stevenson, Robert Louis: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Stoker, Bram: Dracula; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray;

Recommended: Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers, 6th Ed.

Description

We like to describe the Victorians the way we think about our great-great aunts—well-meaning and sweet, but also uptight, prudish, and stodgy.  But just because polite Victorian society didn’t talk about sex, drugs, and crime doesn’t mean that they didn’t think or read about them.  Sensation novels (the precursors to our trashy romances) and mystery novels were first invented by the supposedly staid, curmudgeonly pens of Victorian writers.  In this class, we’ll discuss topics of equal interest to the Victorians and to us, including the various imagined sources of criminal behavior, the suppression and punishment of criminality, and problems of race and national identity.  The texts we’ll read approach questions of crime, deviance, detection, and discipline from a variety of viewpoints and will serve as a jumping-off point for your research on crime, criminal law, and justice in the Victorian novel. 

Our time will be structured around a combination of small group and full class discussions, which will help you to develop your skills as a reader, researcher, writer, and critic. We will review essay writing and research strategies at frequent intervals in the class (see syllabus for schedule), along with additional discussions of more technical aspects of the writing process as needed.  Our class time will often take the form of workshops and peer review sessions, so the presence of each student is vital to the success of our meetings.  The primary goal of the class will be to hone your skills as a critical reader, researcher, and writer. 


Reading & Composition: Alternate Narratives

English R1B

Section: 17
Instructor: Menilla, David D.
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 129 Barrows


Book List

Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas; Pope, Alexander: Essay on Man & Other Poems; Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Woolf, Virginia: To The Lighthouse

Description

The texts we will read this semester have generally been read as stories of self-discovery. Through class discussion and close reading analysis, we will uncover the hidden themes and formal structures which complicate how we understand these stories. In fact, the notions of character and narrative will themselves be challenged by characters who are not bound by the conventions of space and time we usually assign to our everyday experiences--they can see the dead, and the future.  In moving beyond our established reading practices and notions of what a character can experience we will be able to discover a different sense of the ‘real.’  How much of this narrative we can dig up, or how successful we are in overthrowing our ideas of what is possible, will help us to see how we become active participants in creating the story.


Reading & Composition: Modern African American Poetry, 1940-1960

English R1B

Section: 18
Instructor: Gardezi, Nilofar
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 129 Barrows


Book List

Brooks, Gwendolyn: Blacks; Hayden, Robert: Collected Poems: Robert Hayden; Tolson, Melvin B.: "Harlem Gallery" and Other Poems of Melvin B. Tolson;

Recommended: Raimes, Ann: Keys for Writers, 6th edition

Description

In this course, we will examine the “lost years” of the 1940s-1960s in African American literature and culture by critically reading and writing about the poetry and history of this period. Traditional surveys of 20th-century African American poetry focus on two key literary and cultural movements: the New Negro or Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. While these movements were indeed important, I encourage us to investigate and see as equally important what was happening during the “gap years,” particularly the 1940s-1960s. This course will consider what is lost here as well as how and why it matters. 

During and after World War II, African Americans migrated in great numbers from the rural South to the urban North in search of better jobs and opportunities, becoming a new and burgeoning urban population. The recently arrived migrants imagined new black urban selves and created communities in neighborhoods like Chicago’s Bronzeville, Detroit’s Paradise Valley and New York’s Harlem. What were the stories of their lives in the transformed and transforming postwar cities of the North and how were they represented? African American poets Gwendolyn Brooks, Frank Marshall Davis, Robert Hayden, Langston Hughes, Melvin Tolson, Margaret Walker and others wrote about these figures and communities in their innovative postwar poetry. How did they necessarily experiment with the forms of their poetry in order to tell new black urban stories? The years of the 1940s-1960s were also crucial because they witnessed the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. How were the black poets of this period keenly engaging with and responding to the eddying spirit and rising discourse of civil rights and social change in their creative work? These starting questions and others that we discover together will motivate us as we work on critical reading and writing this term.

 


Reading & Composition: Postcolonial China

English R1B

Section: 19
Instructor: Lee, Amy
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 129 Barrows


Book List

Eng, Tan Twan: The Gift of Rain; Ghosh, Amitav: River of Smoke; Li, Yiyun: The Vagrants;

Recommended: Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers

Other Readings and Media

  • Course Reader
  • Films:
    • Wong Kar Wai, Chungking Express
    • Hou Hsiao Hsien, The Puppetmaster

Description

Postcolonialism, as a discourse that analyzes and critiques the legacy of colonialism, has largely been developed to describe the experiences of former Western colonies in the Caribbean, India, and Africa.  This course examines the value and applicability of postcolonial critique to the Chinese context as a way to account for China’s semicolonial past, encounter with Western and Japanese imperialism, and uneven and vexed relationships with Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, and the Global South.  We will query how the case of China adds to and complicates what we know about postcolonialism.  We will consider postcolonial cultural productions from Greater China, including Anglophone and translated works from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora.  Topics we will explore may include the intersections between colonialism, migration, and global capitalism, ethnic and national consciousness, historiography and the postcolonial archive, racial formation and triangulation, language policies, and the poetics and politics of translation. 

In addition to developing our critical thinking and close-reading skills through in-class discussions and exercises, we will spend a significant amount of time honing our research and writing skills. Students will learn how to effectively gather research materials and incorporate secondary sources in their writing to strengthen their argumentative positions.  Assignments include short writing exercises, two research papers (including drafts), and class presentations.


Reading & Composition: Reading California

English R1B

Section: 20
Instructor: Hausman, Blake M.
Hausman, Blake
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Gale, Kate and Veronique de Turenne, Eds.: The Devil's Punchbowl: A Cultural and Geographical Map of California Today; Ridge, John Rollin : The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta;

Recommended: Tan, Amy: The Joy Luck Club

Other Readings and Media

Selections by Pico Iyer, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wendy Rose, Greg Sarris, Michael Chabon, and others.

Film: Bladerunner

Description

This course will examine literature produced in and about California.  After grounding our inquiries with Indigenous stories and questions of performance, we will then explore the convergences of narrative, geography, identity, and economics as portrayed by California writers from the Gold Rush to the present.  Our inquiries will engage a range of perspectives, offering students a chance to read widely about California and conduct research about a topic of great personal interest.

English R1B is a writing-intensive course that develops students’ practical fluency with expository and argumentative writing.  This course also builds and refines the skills required for university-level research.  Essay assignments include a short (2-3 page) essay early in the semester, followed by a longer paper (4-6 pages) at midterm and an extensive research paper (8-10 pages) during finals.  These two longer papers will undergo an extensive series of drafts and revisions.  Research projects will enable students to focus on anything related to California.  Students will present their research to the class before submitting the final paper.


Reading & Composition: Shakespearean Tragedy

English R1B

Section: 22
Instructor: Jordan, Joseph P
Jordan, Joe
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Aristotle: Aristotle's Poetics; Gibaldi, Joseph: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers; Shakespeare, W.: Shakespeare's Tragedies (ed. Bevington); Sophocles: Oedipus Rex

Description

This course is primarily a writing course, and our focus will be on writing. That said, since we need a subject to write about, I've chosen to focus on Shakespeare's great tragedies—namely, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. We will read and study these plays in detail, with the aim of coming to some conclusions about why they, in particular, are commonly thought of as some of Shakespeare’s greatest dramatic achievements and as some of the greatest tragedies in English. We will think a lot about the compartment that we label “tragedy”—or the compartment that Aristotle labeled for us. Do these instances of Shakespeare’s tragedies fit into that compartment? Can we usefully compare them to earlier and/or later instances of the genre? Or are Shakespeare’s tragedies—his conception of tragedy within them and the experience of tragedy they push upon their audiences—in certain ways unique?

Note: If you already have individual volumes of the plays, or a single-volume edition of the collected works of Shakespeare, those will probably work in place of the Shakespeare text (Shakespeare's Tragedies, editied by Bevington) that I've ordered.

 

 


Reading & Composition: Laughter and Literature

English R1B

Section: 23
Instructor: Huerta, Javier
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 51 Evans


Book List

Diaz, Tony: The Aztec Love God

Description

In this course we will be taking laughter seriously. “No animal laughs, except man,” Aristotle declares. We will study the different theories that attempt to explain why we laugh. I must warn you, student, that it is not the purpose of this class to make you laugh. As you know (or if you do not already know, you will learn it in class), nothing kills a laugh quicker than to explain a joke. I intend not only to explain all jokes but also to show you the origin of all laughter. If we are successful in our analyses, the proper and logical outcome will be not only that you will not laugh in class but that you will never laugh again. So prepare to focus on the analysis of laughter and the laughter of analysis.

 

As the second half of the University’s “Reading and Composition” requirement, English R1B is a writing-intensive introduction to critical reading, interpretive thinking, and scholarly research. Building from a series of short reading responses, two formal essays, and a continuous process of peer editing and revision, your main task in this course will the be the completion of a 10-page research project.  This project will ask you to explore primary sources as well as secondary accounts in order to offer a new critical and historical perspective on the many ways we experience the surprises of laughter.


Reading & Composition: Reading California

English R1B

Section: 24
Instructor: Hausman, Blake M.
Hausman, Blake
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Gale, Kate and Veronique de Turenne, Eds.: The Devil's Punchbowl: A Cultural and Geographical Map of California Today; Ridge, John Rollin: The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta;

Recommended: Tan, Amy: The Joy Luck Club

Other Readings and Media

Selections by Pico Iyer, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wendy Rose, Greg Sarris, Michael Chabon, and others.

Film: Bladerunner

Description

This course will examine literature produced in and about California.  After grounding our inquiries with Indigenous stories and questions of performance, we will then explore the convergences of narrative, geography, identity, and economics as portrayed by California writers from the Gold Rush to the present.  Our inquiries will engage a range of perspectives, offering students a chance to read widely about California and conduct research about a topic of great personal interest.

English R1B is a writing-intensive course that develops students’ practical fluency with expository and argumentative writing.  This course also builds and refines the skills required for university-level research.  Essay assignments include a short (2-3 page) essay early in the semester, followed by a longer paper (4-6 pages) at midterm and an extensive research paper (8-10 pages) during finals.  These two longer papers will undergo an extensive series of drafts and revisions.  Research projects will enable students to focus on anything related to California.  Students will present their research to the class before submitting the final paper.


Reading & Composition: Paranoia

English R1B

Section: 25
Instructor: Ahmed, Adam
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 106 Mulford


Book List

Austen, Jane: Northanger Abbey; Dick, Philip K. : The Philip K. Dick Reader; Kafka, Franz: The Trial; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, including poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Herman Melville’s “Benito Cereno,” selections from Judge Schreber’s journals, selections from Freud’s The Schreber Case, and some stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe.

Films: The Conversation (1974), Rear Window (1954), Videodrome (1983), and The Ghost Writer (2010)

 

Description

We all recognize its symptoms: feelings of persecution, irrational thinking, fear that others are plotting against you. We see its plots in popular culture -- dystopian fiction, political thrillers, and suspense films all move the story along with a deep-seated feeling that something is not right. We know its delusions, so why do we remain suspicious?  Of course we usually designate delusion from suspicion by the credibility of its proof; but even when it remains unverified, paranoia is grounded in some version of the credible. In this class, we will examine this strange overlap between the delusional and the credible -- from 19th century writing on superstition to 20th century plots in which the protagonist is the center of some great network of forces trying to make him (or her) disappear.

While we read these unverified and imaginative descriptions of the world, the goal of this class will be to make sure your arguments do not suffer the same fate. As an R1B, this course will reinforce students’ grasp of grammar and argument, while introducing them to some of the scholarly and analytical techniques for research writing. Through themed groupings of material and several researched essays, students will learn how analyze outside source material and craft their own original theses.


Reading & Composition: Shakespearean Tragedy

English R1B

Section: 26
Instructor: Jordan, Joseph P
Jordan, Joe
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Aristotle: Aristotle's Poetics; Gibaldi, Joseph: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers; Shakespeare, W.: Shakespeare's Tragedies (ed. Bevington); Sophocles: Oedipus Rex

Description

This course is primarily a writing course, and our focus will be on writing. That said, since we need a subject to write about, I've chosen to focus on Shakespeare's great tragedies—namely, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. We will read and study these plays in detail, with the aim of coming to some conclusions about why they, in particular, are commonly thought of as some of Shakespeare’s greatest dramatic achievements and as some of the greatest tragedies in English. We will think a lot about the compartment that we label “tragedy”—or the compartment that Aristotle labeled for us. Do these instances of Shakespeare’s tragedies fit into that compartment? Can we usefully compare them to earlier and/or later instances of the genre? Or are Shakespeare’s tragedies—his conception of tragedy within them and the experience of tragedy they push upon their audiences—in certain ways unique?

Note: If you already have individual volumes of the plays, or a single-volume edition of the collected works of Shakespeare, those will probably work in place of the Shakespeare text (Shakespeare's Tragedies, editied by Bevington) that I've ordered.

 


Reading & Composition: 'They did not wear such hats'; or, Puritans in the New World

English R1B

Section: 27
Instructor: Trocchio, Rachel
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 223 Wheeler


Book List

Bradford, William: Of Plymouth Plantation; Conde, Maryse: I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter; Miller, Arthur: The Crucible; Miller, Perry: The American Puritans: Their Prose and Poetry; Morrison, Toni: A Mercy; Philbrick, Nathaniel: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War; Rowlandson, Mary: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Vowell, Sarah: The Wordy Shipmates

Other Readings and Media

Photocopies, to be distributed in class and posted on bSpace.

Description

Taking as its focus that group of men and women who came to New England between 1620 and 1640, this course will hone your literary capacities, particularly your expository, argumentative, and research skills. There could be no better subject for spurring us to this task than the Puritans, whose rigorous assessments of self and society offer a phenomenal, albeit neurotic, model for the kind of close reading practice we will develop across the semester. This is to say that we will attend to the Puritan’s style as much as to their content: sin and depravity, mire and salvation, work and labor, the soul and the state. Specifically, we will turn to a number of their writings – journals, personal narratives, histories, sermons (yes, sermons!) – to flesh out our vision of just what New England Puritanism was, and, as our title indicates, what it was not. And because the mythology around the Puritans so powerfully embeds American consciousness, we will also look at 19th- and 20th-century retellings of facets of Puritan experience, most notably, the infamous witchcraft trials.

 


Reading & Composition: Reading California

English R1B

Section: 28
Instructor: Hausman, Blake M.
Hausman, Blake
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Gale, Kate and Veronique de Turenne, Eds.: The Devil's Punchbowl: A Cultural and Geographical Map of California Today; Ridge, John Rollin: The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta;

Recommended: Tan, Amy: The Joy Luck Club

Other Readings and Media

 

Selections by Pico Iyer, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wendy Rose, Greg Sarris, Michael Chabon, and others.

Film: Bladerunner

Description

This course will examine literature produced in and about California.  After grounding our inquiries with Indigenous stories and questions of performance, we will then explore the convergences of narrative, geography, identity, and economics as portrayed by California writers from the Gold Rush to the present.  Our inquiries will engage a range of perspectives, offering students a chance to read widely about California and conduct research about a topic of great personal interest.

English R1B is a writing-intensive course that develops students’ practical fluency with expository and argumentative writing.  This course also builds and refines the skills required for university-level research.  Essay assignments include a short (2-3 page) essay early in the semester, followed by a longer paper (4-6 pages) at midterm and an extensive research paper (8-10 pages) during finals.  These two longer papers will undergo an extensive series of drafts and revisions.  Research projects will enable students to focus on anything related to California.  Students will present their research to the class before submitting the final paper.


Reading & Composition: The Essay--Evidence and Idea

English R1B

Section: 29
Instructor: Speirs, Kenneth
Speirs, Kenneth
Time: MW 9-10:30
Location: Wheeler 305


Book List

Eliot, TS: The Wasteland ; Faulkner, William: Light in August; Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass

Description

This course is designed to prepare you for more rigorous thinking, more elegant writing and more complex academic work.  Our work will focus on the essay.  Not the five-paragraph one.  Not the one that begins with a simple assertion and moves forward, sometimes ploddingly, point by point.  The essays you will write in this class are exploratory and persuasive as well as critical and argumentative; they move forward as a form of inquiry, turning on themselves again and again, surprising even the writer as she writes.  Every good essay, we will discover, yearns to be sui generis, unlike any of its predecessors.

But of course, even the most unusual essay has features in common with all the others:  an idea, or, more properly, a network of ideas that shape and bind the many parts of the essay together, whether those parts be stories of experience, stories about written texts, or reflections about images (paintings, movies, tv shows, or sculpted objects); a three-part structure (beginning, middle, ending); a presentation of ideas (relatively) free of surface errors and adhering to college conventions; and, finally, every good essay reveals how the mind writing it actually makes sense of things.  That final element seems now the most fundamental of all.

The essay does not prove, repeat, or reiterate; it is not a static litany of facts.  Instead, the essay in this class, like the idea, develops, changes, and expands as the writer considers both her subject and her readers, both new kinds of evidence and what her audience will need to know about this particular piece of evidence.  When she gets the words right, when she figures out what she has to say and how to say it, the writing becomes compelling, the subject and the idea more interesting, the reader captivated.

Course Materials

  • Course reader
  • Light in August.  William Faulkner, 1932.  [Vintage edition, 1990].
  • Leaves of Grass.  Walt Whitman, Penguin Classics, 2005.
  • The Waste Land and Other Poems.  T. S. Eliot, Signet, 1998.
  • A trusty, fluid pen, and a notebook brought to every class.

Course Requirements

  • Six Essays– You will complete three extended take-home essays (of 4-6 typed pages) and three in-class essays
  • Mid- and End-term Reflective Letters & Conferences– These letters, and the conferences with me, will give you the opportunity to reflect on what you are learning and what you still need/want to learn
  • Attendance, Participation, Passion, Enthusiasm, In-Class Work


Reading & Composition: The Essay--Evidence and Idea

English R1B

Section: 30
Instructor: Speirs, Kenneth
Speirs, Kenneth
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: Wheeler 305


Description

This course is designed to prepare you for more rigorous thinking, more elegant writing, and more complex academic work.  Our work will focus on the essay.  Not the five-paragraph one.  Not the one that begins with a simple assertion and moves forward, sometimes ploddingly, point by point.  The essays you will write in this class are exploratory and persuasive as well as critical and argumentative; they move forward as a form of inquiry, turning on themselves again and again, surprising even the writer as she writes.  Every good essay, we will discover, yearns to be sui generis, unlike any of its predecessors.

But of course, even the most unusual essay has features in common with all the others:  an idea, or, more properly, a network of ideas that shape and bind the many parts of the essay together, whether those parts be stories of experience, stories about written texts, or reflections about images (paintings, movies, tv shows, or sculpted objects); a three-part structure (beginning, middle, ending); the presentation of ideas that is (relatively) free of surface errors; and, finally, every good essay reveals how the mind writing it actually makes sense of things.  That final element seems now the most fundamental of all.

The essay does not prove, repeat, or reiterate; it is not a static litany of facts.  Instead, the essay in this class, like the idea, develops, changes, and expands as the writer considers both her subject and her readers, both new kinds of evidence and what her audience will need to know about this particular piece of evidence.  When she gets the words right, when she figures out what she has to say and how to say it, the writing becomes compelling, the subject and the idea more interesting, the reader captivated.

Course Materials

  • Course reader
  • Light in August.  William Faulkner, 1932.  [Vintage edition, 1990].
  • Leaves of Grass.  Walt Whitman, Penguin Classics, 2005.
  • The Waste Land and Other Poems.  T. S. Eliot, Signet, 1998.
  • A trusty, fluid pen, and a notebook brought to every class.

Course Requirements

  • Six Essays– You will complete three extended take-home essays (of 4-6 typed pages) and three in-class essays
  • Mid- and End-term Reflective Letters & Conferences– These letters, and the conferences with me, will give you the opportunity to reflect on what you are learning and what you still need/want to learn
  • Attendance, Participation, Passion, Enthusiasm, In-Class Work