Announcement of Classes: Fall 2014


Reading and Composition: (Self) Portraits in (Post) Modern Literature

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Klavon, Evan
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Carson, Anne: Autobiography of Red; Conrad, C. A.: The Book of Frank; Ford, Ford Madox: The Good Soldier; Rankine, Claudia: Don't Let Me Be Lonely; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will include: Jean Toomer, excerpts from Cane (1923); Langston Hughes, selected poems; Joe Brainard, excerpts from I Remember (1970); John Ashbery, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” (1975); Lyn Hejinian, excerpts from My Life (1987); and some secondary readings.

Description

Our topic for this course in critical analysis and essay composition will be literary portraiture in a series of Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary novels, poems, and cross-genre works. During the semester we will encounter a dandy whose looks never alter or fade, the saddest story ever told, early 20th-century London, early 20th-century Harlem, the 16th-century reflection of a 20th-century poet, a teenage winged red monster, and more. Through class discussion and multiple writing assignments, students will explore how literary works offer ways of thinking about how we think about other people and ourselves. Can we separate our judgment of a portrait from the qualities of the person portrayed? What difference does style or genre make? Where does the artist enter the picture? To what extent is an individual a reflection of society? To what degree is it possible to know or understand an other? What about the self? Can a literary encounter with a fictional character change our approach to the real world?


Reading and Composition: (new topic:) "Structures of Feeling": The Individual in Modernity

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: Lee, Sookyoung (Soo)
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Barnes, Djuna: Nightwood; Cole, Teju: Open City; Conrad, Joseph: Under Western Eyes; McCarthy, Tom: Remainder; O'Brien, Flann: At Swim-Two-Birds; Woolf, Virginia: Jacob's Room;

Recommended: Lanham, Richard A.: Analyzing Prose; Williams, Joseph M.: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace

Description

Let's begin with two loose assumptions, that novels register everyday experience and that novels bear witness to large epistemic shifts. As the possibilities of individual and collective life flounder spectacularly under the pressures of modernity (global capitalism, environmental catastrophe, ceaseless state violence--to name just a few cheery examples), this class indulges in a semester-long thought experiment on how the form and the concept of the novel address these changes. We will begin with two curious texts from recent years, working to extract our own set of terms to describe the modes of subjectivity and the linguistic, temporal, and spatial conditions available to the present. We will then put our idioms to the test, shifting back to a smattering of equally curious texts from the Modernist era, a moment of heightened consciousness about the inexorable dissolution of the self in modernity. We will approach the big questions of being and epiphany by parsing the way these works go about their business of registering and witnessing: how they employ the prose poetics of voice, narrative structure, and discursive style.


Reading and Composition: How Taste Matters: Self-Curation, Public Identity, and the Modern Aesthetic Life

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: Ciacciarelli, Helen
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Forster, E.M.: Howards End; James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings and excerpts:  Pierre Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital,” Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste; John Ruskin, Unto This Last;  Friedrich Schiller, On The Aesthetic Education of Man; Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy; Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy; Lawrence Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America

Films:  Terry Zwigoff, Ghost World (2001); Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette (2006)

 

Description

In 1862, Ruskin wrote of the state, “Economists usually speak as if there were no good in consumption absolute. So far from this being so, consumption absolute is the end, crown, and perfection of production; and wise consumption is a far more difficult art than wise production.” In an age of consumer culture, in which the things we choose to buy and the brands with which we associate ourselves make a statement about who we are, it seems difficult to understate the prescience of Ruskin’s basic premise that identity rests upon “wise consumption.” Over 150 years after the publication of Ruskin’s Unto This Last, our attachments not only to tasteful consumption (the clothes we wear, the books on our shelves, the music we enjoy, the degrees we earn, the places we’ve traveled) but to how we publish the acts of consumption as information, self-advertise, and arrange data into collections in the digital public domain factors largely into our sense of individuality. This course interrogates the ways in which the construction of our own identities are predicated on the ideology of taste, namely the belief that judicious consumption and personal preference ultimately lead to the creation of a self that projects beyond the sum of its parts. We will locate our own historical moment in a comparative framework, conceptualizing various literary figures as prototypes of the hipster: the fin-de-siecle dandy of English aestheticism, the dilettante elitist in 19th century realist fiction, and the intellectual liberal of the Edwardian novel. Furthermore, the class will apply concepts in discussions from historical discourse and critical theory, such as “commodity fetishism,” “culture,” “cultural capital,” and “highbrow/lowbrow culture,” to explore the emergence of cultural and socio-economic distinctions and their bearings on the contemporary practices of self-making. In deconstructing class myths and the cultural connotations of our tastes, we will also conduct more creative experiments with phenomena of the digital era: Instagram filters, selective Facebook “likes,” public Spotify listens, and reports of our experiences with self-conscious curation. In a word, our aim is to investigate the essentially paradoxical enterprises of modern subject formation: the meticulous everyday fashioning of public personae that are simultaneously real and imaginary, meaningful and precarious.

This course is designed to help students build their skills of argumentation, critical reading, and expository writing. The university requires students in English R1A to compose a total of 32 pages of writing. Students will hone their analytical skills through formal essays, in-class exercises, drafts, peer-review editing, workshops, and shorter response papers. 


Reading and Composition: The First Person, Medieval to Modern

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Strub, Spencer
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic; Kempe, Margery: Book of Margery Kempe; Prince, Mary: The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave

Other Readings and Media

A course reader with selections from Augustine of Hippo, Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Hoccleve, John Donne, Walt Whitman, Junot Díaz, and others. Film screenings to be noted on syllabus.

Description

"I am large, I contain multitudes," Walt Whitman's Song of Myself admits parenthetically. This course takes Whitman's multitudes seriously, investigating change and continuity in six centuries of first-person narration. In order to understand what it means to write a literary work in the first person, we will look across genres and historical periods, examining problems and challenges in the "I" from the fourteenth century to the present. How do autobiography, invention, and convention coexist in the lyric poet's first person? How can we recover the voices of historical autobiographers whose texts have been altered and remade by scribes, editors, and censors? What can we make of the first-person narrator who lies?

This course is intended to teach you to pose analytical questions, develop complex and original arguments supported by textual evidence, and participate in a genuine intellectual conversation with your colleagues. Every reading you do in this class should provide fodder for our in-class conversations. Moreover, as we trace the multitudes in the "I," you will write and revise three major essays, along with several smaller exercises.


Reading and Composition: Temptation and Desire in Renaissance Literature

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Villagrana, José
Time: MW 4-5:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Marlowe, Christopher: Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays; Milton, John: The Major Works; Spenser, Edmund: The Faerie Queene: Book One

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be published on bCourses.

Description

The great English epics and dramas of the Early Modern period can’t do without temptation. Why not? What makes temptation such a generative concept? Can we define it? Is temptation just an excuse to blame devils, monsters, or women for one’s own shortcomings? Does temptation elucidate virtue? In this class we will interrogate decidedly difficult and weird pieces of literature, closely analyzing how the rhetoric of temptation and desire works and fails on various fictive characters and, indeed, on the reader. We will look at how these texts respond to—and complicate—religious and cultural notions of good and evil, hope and despair, and, perhaps, life and death.

The purpose of this course is to improve your critical reading and writing skills in a way that is helpful regardless of your major. In-class participation will play an important role in developing your critical thinking skills, and we will discuss approaches to crafting mature prose that is argumentative, clear, and nuanced. You will write and revise four short essays during the course of the term.


Reading and Composition: Shakespeare and Film

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Liu, Aileen
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Shakespeare, William: Henry IV, Part 1 ; Shakespeare, William: King Lear ; Shakespeare, William: Much Ado About Nothing ; Shakespeare, William: Romeo and Juliet ; Shakespeare, William: The Taming of the Shrew

Other Readings and Media

Films:

10 Things I Hate About You (1999, dir. Gil Junger), DVD X1044
West Side Story (1961, dir. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), DVD 1747
The Hollow Crown (2012, dir. Richard Eyre)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993, dir. Kenneth Branagh), DVD 349
King Lear (2008, dir. Trevor Nunn), DVD X3506

Description

How do filmmakers translate Shakespeare from live theater to screen? How do Shakespeare’s tragedies, versus his comedies, versus his histories, lend themselves to or resist certain types of movie adaptation? Do some genres or plays work better on stage than the screen, and vice versa? (For that matter, do some plays work better on the page?) Do some plays only work on stage—and how would that modify our understanding of film and theater if we decided that were true?

To try to answer these questions, we will consider five of his plays (a sampling from each genre) and their filmic adaptations: The Taming of the Shrew with the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (1999); Romeo and Juliet and Bernstein/Sondheim’s Broadway musical West Side Story (1961); Henry IV, Part 1 with the recent, lavish BBC TV mini-series The Hollow Crown (2012); Much Ado About Nothing and Kenneth Branagh’s rom-com Much Ado About Nothing (1993); and King Lear and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s King Lear (2008), filmed and broadcast by the BBC.

With the exception of King Lear, any solid scholarly edition of Shakespeare will suffice (e.g. Riverside, Pelican, Signet, Folger, Arden, Norton), but having the Oxford Shakespeare editions that I've ordered will make it easier to follow along and reference in class. I require you to purchase the Oxford Shakespeare edition of King Lear, however, since different editions of that play can vary widely. All films are available to screen in the Media Resources Center in Moffitt Library.


Reading and Composition: The Idea of the West

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: Zisman, Isaac
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Johnson, Dennis: Train Dreams; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping; Wallace, David Rains: The Klamath Knot

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader:  Selections from T.C. Boyle, Joan Didion, Cecil S. Giscombe, Jack London, Jon Raymond, Peter Rock, and Gary Snyder. 

Screenings:  McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Robert Altman; Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock; Twin Peaks (selections from season one), David Lynch.

Description

In this course, we will examine a variety of texts in order to ask the question: what do we mean when we talk about the West? What is it that writers and artists imagine might be possible here at the edge of the American expansion, far from the urban and cultural centers of the older East? This will not be a class about cowboys, though such figures do appear. Rather, we will work through what Wallace Stegner called the response to the West, “the response of eager, dazzled, deluded, often misguided, greedy, spiritually impressionable people to country more overwhelming than they had previously known.” Through the critical activity of close reading, we will consider how these various authors—disparate in backgrounds, eras, and geographies—treat the experience of western landscape and how, in turn, that experience transforms into aesthetic project, a way of seeing the world, an idea.


Reading and Composition: The Literary Character

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: Yu, Esther
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre; Milton, John: Paradise Lost

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will include selections from the Bible, Virgil's Aeneid, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's sonnets, Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, and Richardson's Pamela; a number of critical readings will also be provided.

Description

How do loose bits of textual material transform into literary characters of heft and substance? The question seems deceptively simple when referred to the poles of cultural habit or of the fluid workings of the reader’s imagination. In this class, we’ll look more closely at the role of literary design, and experiment with a range of analytical terms to bring the construction of character into clearer focus. Before reflecting on the “realistic” characters of novels, we’ll survey a handful of ancient, medieval, and early modern texts to consider alternative models of the literary character. How do the figures of the Bible or the classical epic exceed representational demands on the way to becoming larger than life? How does the artfully imprecise rendering of a figure in, say, Renaissance love poetry enhance its affective power? We will have occasion to consider texts that primarily deploy characters as embodiments of concepts or ideals, and will think critically, too, of the historical shifts that have formed our taste for literary figures of flesh and blood.

Students in this course will frequently be asked to think through writing, and to think self-consciously about their writing. A substantial portion of the class will be devoted to the skills and strategies necessary for writing persuasive argumentative essays. Core assignments include a diagnostic paper and three essays.


Reading and Composition: Writing and Rights: Literature and the Fight against Oppression in Nineteenth-Century America

English R1A

Section: 9
Instructor: Sirianni, Lucy
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Keller, Helen: The World I Live In; Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom's Cabin

Other Readings and Media

A course reader containing works by Lydia Maria Child, Mary L. Day, Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller, Frances E. W. Harper, E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake), Lydia Sigourney, James Whitfield, Zitkala-Sa, and others

Description

"The artist ...  is the holiest reformer of them all, for she is creating."-- Paulina Wright Davis, The Una, 1854

"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 temperance, free love, 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 literature transformed and was transformed by the reformist projects considered.  How can the act of turning from the "real" to the fictional render the author or artist "the holiest reformer of them all?" Are the categories of "polemic" and "epic"--activism 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.  Over the course of the semester, you will outline, draft, workshop, write, and rewrite three papers, refining along the way your ability to read closely and write persuasively.


Reading and Composition: Making American Literature

English R1A

Section: 10
Instructor: Ramirez, Matthew Eric
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Atwan, Robert: Best American Essays; Doyle, Brian: The Thorny Grace of It; Emerson, Ralph Waldo: Nature; Frost, Robert: Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays; Melville, Herman: Billy Budd and Other Stories; Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass

Description

What does it take to write American literature? What in the history of the United States distinguishes the culture, texture, and style of American letters?

In this course we'll explore highly effective strategies in American literary writing. We will look at the composition processes of many leading American writers, including Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and Brian Doyle.

The goals of the course are as follows: 1) to study American literature at the level of the line and 2) to write analytically and compellingly about the strategies and structural choices that authors design. You will write and revise four short papers over the course of the term.  


Reading and Composition: Modern Minds

English R1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Abramson, Anna Jones
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Gilman, Charlotte Perkins: The Yellow Wallpaper; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

In this writing- and research-intensive course we will consider how late nineteenth and early twentieth century writers both responded to and helped shape modern  conceptions of the human mind. Our readings and discussions will focus on the bidirectional relationship between innovations in literary form and shifting ideas about time, memory, madness, and trauma. By drawing on supplementary reading in history, psychology, and philosophy, we will gain a richer sense of where narrative converges with and diverges from contemporary models of the mind and brain. We will also investigate how psychological accounts themselves rely on specific narrative practices and literary devices.

Building on the strategies you learned and practiced in R1A, this course will further develop your reading, writing and research skills.  Significant class time will be devoted to pre-writing, peer-review, and developing research skills.  You will produce at least 32 pages of writing—including pre-writing, drafts and revision, and culminating in a rigorously researched paper on a topic of your own design.


Reading and Composition: American Transience in the 20th Century

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: Miller, Christopher Patrick
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Agee and Evans, James and Walker: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Cather, Willa: O Pioneers!; Johnson, James Weldon: Autiobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Kerouac, Jack: On the Road; O'Hara, Frank: Meditations in a Time of Emergency; Robinson, Marilyn: Housekeeping

Other Readings and Media

In addition to the book list, we will read a series of shorter essays to help situate us culturally and historically that will be made available online.

Description

Since the imperious dream of Westward expansion, notions of American autonomy, power, and identity have often been caught up with living in motion.  But of course, motion also involves exposure: to displacement, to homelessness, to precarious labor conditions, etc.  How do we then talk about both the possibility and costs of remaining in motion?  And how is motion experienced across the constructions of race, class, and national borders? 

This class will take up a series of questions about the uneven experiences of living in motion through a variety of narratives and cultural documents.  We will look at not only popular representations of vagrants, hobos, migrants, and modes of transit but also more indirect representations of personalities or communities for whom movement is an integral part of their existence.    

Building on what you have already learned in the first of the Reading and Composition courses, this second course will use the questions that this material poses of us, as well as those we pose of it, to develop your critical reflection as well as your writing and research skills that will culminate in a larger research paper at the end of the semester.


Reading and Composition: Note new topic: War, Empire, and Asian American Cultural Critique

English R1B

Section: 3
Instructor: Lee, Amy
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Ghosh, Amitav: Sea of Poppies; Hagedorn, Jessica: Dogeaters; Hwang, David Henry: M. Butterfly; Okubo, Miné: Citizen 13660; Park, Yongsoo: Boy Genius

Other Readings and Media

A short selection of short stories, poems, and critical essays will be made available online.

Screenings:  A Little Pond (Lee Sang-woo, 2009) 

Description

Dubbed the "American Century," the 20th century bore witness to the rise of the United States as a global superpower, the outcome of American involvement in World War II and the Cold War. From the Philippine-American War to the Pacific War to the Korean and Vietnam Wars, America's strategic accumulation of global power was largely staged at the site of the Asia-Pacific.  In this course, we will survey a wide range of Asian American cultural texts--novels, graphic novels, short stories, plays, essays, and films--that elucidate America's imperial and military engagement with Asia.  We will pay attention to the representational strategies deployed in these texts to narrate and historicize America's encounter with Asia from the varied standpoints of those who bore its consequences.  In addition to the ramifications of war and empire on cultural production, we will learn about the ways in which cultural texts both facilitated and contested received narratives of US incursions into Asia.  Finally, we will consider how Asian American writers have shaped the canon of American literature by inflecting the language of war and empire within American aesthetic practices.

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 and Composition: Obsession

English R1B

Section: 4
Instructor: McWilliams, Ryan
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Orlean, Susan: The Orchid Thief; Poe, Edgar Allan: The Essential Tales

Other Readings and Media

A course reader may include excerpts from Bill Brown, Sigmund Freud, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx, Michael Pollan, Thomas Pynchon, and others. We will also watch and discuss two or three films during the semester. 

Description

This course will give you a framework to think (and write) more critically about the things you can’t stop thinking about anyway. Throughout the semester, we’ll pay attention to the role of monomania as a coping strategy for a world bewilderingly overburdened with significance. We will ask how and why the seemingly random or arbitrary interest—a flower, a particular girl, a sperm whale—consumes the attention of literary characters and readers. We will consider why certain objects, hobbies, and texts tend to cause monomaniacal absorption while others do not. We'll look into ways that obsessions have been theorized: as signs of madness, creative brilliance, or both; as addictions; as fixations, fetishes, and projections; as commodities, collections, and collations; and as “possessions” that own or inhabit us even while we think we control them.

Gradually, we will turn our attention to the question of academic obsession, asking what differentiates research from monomania. As we refine our own investigative projects, we will keep in mind Barbara Tuchman’s observation that “research is endlessly seductive, but writing is hard work.” Eventually, we'll use our insights into the nature of obsession to help manage the transition from investigation to application.


Reading and Composition: Note new topic: Theorizing the Popular Song

English R1B

Section: 5
Instructor: Sullivan, Khalil
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Davis, Angela Y.: Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday; Miller, Karl Hagstrom: Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow; Suisman, David: Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music

Other Readings and Media

Also, texts I will provide:

Matt Callahan, "When Music Mattered."  Ten Years that Shook the City, 1968-1978: City Lights: San Francisco (Handout)

Zoe Chance, "How Much Does It Cost to Make a Hit Song?"  NPR: All Things Considered. June 30, 2011 3:58 PM ET  http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/05/137530847/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-hit-song  (Handout)

Tressie McMillin Cotton, "When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland."  http://tressiemc.com/2013/08/27/when -your-brown-body-is-a-white-wonderland/ (Handout)

Peter C. Muir, Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in America, 1850-1920. Chapter 3. (Handout)

Description

In this course we will examine recent scholarship on the emergence of the popular recording industry in the early 20th century, paying particular attention to how the demands of a capitalist marketplace (mass reproduction, advertising, and distribution) put pressure on songwriting, authorship, performance, and audience receptivity. Students will be encouraged to theorize methods for conducting popular song research and contribute their knowledge of contemporary song performance and recordings. In addition to historical scholarship, we will also examine long and short-form music videos, recordings of live performcances, audio recordings, song lyrics, and blues poetry.


Reading and Composition: Sincerity & Honesty

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: Ding, Katherine
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Mansfield Park; Coetzee, J. M.: Disgrace; Moliere: Tartuffe; Plato: Hippias Minor; Shakespeare, William: Othello; Sophocles: Philoctetes

Other Readings and Media

Additional selections in course reader:  Aristotle, selections from The Nicomachean Ethics; Niccolo Machiavelli, selections from The Prince; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, selections from Revelries of a Solitary Walker or Confessions; Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lying in the Extra-Moral Sense”; Fyodor Dostoevsky, selections from Notes from Underground; Hannah Arendt, “Truth and Politics”; George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”

Description

What does it mean to be sincere or honest? How does one even define honesty, and how has that definition changed over time? What are the prerequisites for truth-speaking to take place? Is sincerity even possible? What is the cost of honesty, and who pays for it? We will be reading a wide selection of philosophy and literature that wrestle with these questions and arrive at very different answers.

This class is structured as a workshop to hone close reading skills and to guide students through the critical tools needed to write a research paper. To that effect, students will write four formal papers: a short diagnostic essay, a close reading paper, a research summary paper, and a final research paper that combines research and close reading. In addition, students will be turning in informal reflections based on the readings every week in which no paper is due.


Reading and Composition: Sorrow Songs: Aural Poetry in Nineteenth-Century America

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Osborne, Gillian K.
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Allen, Garrison, & Ware, eds.: Slave Songs of the United States: The Classic 1867 Anthology; Dale, Robert, Ed.: Changing is Not Vanishing: A Collection of Indian Poetry to 1930; Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth: The Song of Hiawatha and Other Poems; Whitman, Walt: The Complete Poems

Description

In this introduction to college composition and research, we will develop skills of close-attention to literary texts and analytic argument through readings of songs, poems, and critical essays, and we will investigate how literary texts (or other objects of attention) invite compelling research questions. In particular, our readings will investigate the relationships between Native American and African American oral poetic traditions and dominant (printed and white) poetic practices of the period. Our conversations will be guided by such questions as: As these oral traditions began to be transcribed for the first time in the nineteenth-century, what poetic expectations shaped their transcriptions? What poetic traditions did Native American poets and black lyricists later draw on? How did they extend or subvert these traditions? What is the relationship between poetry and song? What made poetry such a successful cultural form in the nineteenth-century and what does it mean to study this form as history today? What does it mean to be an author? And what does it mean to read a text whose author, or authors, has been lost to history? 

Writing assingments will include a diagnostic essay, a brief "position" paper geared at developing an argument, and a longer research paper. Students will practice reading, argument founded in textual evidence, and developing essayistic structure and style through composition and revision of their own assignments and by responding to one another's work. During the second half of the semester, one session a week will be devoted entirely to locating and working with historical texts beyond our primary reading materials, and to developing library research skills.


Reading and Composition : Life Stories

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Browning, Catherine Cronquist
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 79 Dwinelle


Book List

Gaskell: Life of Charlotte Brontë ; Gosse: Father and Son; Graff and Birkenstein: They Say/I Say ; Mill: Autobiography ; Thompson: Lark Rise to Candleford

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings on course website including selections from D. Wordsworth, Newman, Dickens, C. Brontë.

Description

This course will examine how authors born in nineteenth-century Britain shaped lived experience into nonfictional narrative, turning their own lives and the lives of those around them into stories. We’ll consider autobiography, biography, memoir, and diaries, noting the ways in which literary technique translates “real life” to the page. Addressing the fraught relationship between life writing and the novel, we’ll ask how authors turn their biographical or autobiographical subject into a protagonist, what kinds of closure are available to the memoirist, and how time is distorted by life writing. We’ll also interrogate our own fascination with life writing, attempting to understand what aspects of biography and autobiography appeal to readers, and to find the line between healthy interest and unhealthy obsession.

As part of the university’s Reading and Composition requirement, this course develops reading, writing, and research skills that are applicable across the curriculum. We will focus on how to find, evaluate, and make effective use of research tools and resources for analytic writing. The primary writing assignments for the course will be three progressively longer papers (2-3 pages, 6-8 pages, 8-10 pages), combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources. Strategies for revision will form another major focus of the course, and the second and third papers will include substantial work (and feedback) at the prewriting and draft stages of composition.  


Reading and Composition : Wild Child

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: Browning, Catherine Cronquist
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 250 Dwinelle


Book List

Barrie: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy ; Burroughs: Tarzan of the Apes; Eliot: The Mill on the Floss; Gaiman: The Graveyard Book; Graff and Birkenstein: They Say/I Say ; Kipling: The Jungle Books

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings on course website including selections from Rousseau, Blake, Maria and Richard Lovell Edgeworth, D. Wordsworth, W. Wordsworth, Darwin, Sendak, Jean Craighead George, Sally Shuttleworth, and more.

Film (to be shown in class, no need to order/buy): L’enfant sauvage (dir. Truffaut, 1970).

Description

This course will explore the literary depiction of the “wild child” and the association of childhood with “primitive,” “savage,” or “natural” conditions. We’ll consider a broad spectrum of wild child characters, including abandoned and orphaned children who become “feral,” children raised in deliberate seclusion or a “state of nature,” children who opt out of civilized society, and children who simply behave ferociously. Our primary focus will be on the function of the wild child as a literary trope, particularly in the nineteenth century, but we will also attend to the real-life phenomenon of neglected and abused children who grow up without normative socialization. Throughout the course, we’ll ask what’s at stake when childhood is figured as the antithesis of civilization, why the figure of the “feral child” is so threatening, and how innocence and primitivism are interrelated.

As part of the university’s Reading and Composition requirement, this course develops reading, writing, and research skills that are applicable across the curriculum. We will focus on how to find, evaluate, and make effective use of research tools and resources for analytic writing. The primary writing assignments for the course will be three progressively longer papers (2-3 pages, 6-8 pages, 8-10 pages), combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources. Strategies for revision will form another major focus of the course, and the second and third papers will include substantial work (and feedback) at the prewriting and draft stages of composition.