Announcement of Classes: Spring 2015


Reading and Composition: Space, Time, and Narrative in Post-1945 Literature

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Dimitriou, Aristides
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Adiga, Aravind: The White Tiger; Amis, Martin: Time's Arrow; Calvino, Italo: If on a Winter's Night a Traveler; Delany, Samuel R.: Babel-17/Empire Star; Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers, 7th Edition; Plascencia, Salvador: The People of Paper

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings may include short pieces by Virginia Woolf, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Cecile Pineda, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Description

How does narrative register and reconfigure the coordinates of space and time? How may a literary model of space and time suggest a particular conception of history? What, then, does this concept of history indicate about the logic of “progress” and the field of power in which issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality are played out? In this class, we will explore these questions, while reading texts that allow us to travel backwards through time, decipher the secret contents of a weaponized language, deliver an urgent message across distant galaxies, meet people made of paper, and chat with a homicidal, business-savvy entrepreneur.

It is no coincidence that most of the texts assigned in this course call attention to the processes by which they are crafted; after all, our primary goal in this class will be to develop critical skills for effective argumentative writing. We will, therefore, concentrate on the development of our own rhetorical techniques alongside those that we read, analyze, and discuss. After a brief diagnostic essay, students will produce several papers of increasing length over the course of the semester. These papers will be developed through a gradual process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising. Additionally, each student will give a brief presentation from our writing handbook on either common mistakes of grammar, style, mechanics, and usage or elements of argumentation and paper-writing.


Reading and Composition: Innocence

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: Ding, Katherine
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Blake, William: Songs of Innocence and Experience; Coetzee, J.M: Disgrace; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Mizayaki, Hayao: The Wind Rises (2013 film); Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Russell, Mary Doria: The Sparrow; Shakespeare, William: Othello; de Toro, Guillermo: Pan's Labyrinth (2004 film)

Other Readings and Media

Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Spring and Fall"; Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "The Grand Inquitor" (excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov); additional selections in course reader tba

Description

What does it mean to be innocent? Is innocence simply the lack of knowledge, or the absence of experience—an immature state that is inevitably lost upon self-reflection and understanding? How do those conceptions of innocence relate to the judicial definition of “not guilty” and not thus not culpable?

What does innocence do to us? How do we read it, evaluate it, respond to it? Why does it seem both so problematic and so alluring? How is innocence leveraged and put to use by others (or by oneself?) Rather than positing a single answer to these complex questions, this class traces this shifting concept by focusing on its relation to the term that it is juxtaposed against: innocence/guilt, innocence/experience, innocence/sexuality, innocence/knowledge.

This class will focus on honing close reading and critical analysis skills. We’ll be working with a variety of media: poetry, plays, artworks, novels, movies. We will also be putting these skills to work in writing five close-reading papers through the semester, in addition to turning in reflections every week.


Reading and Composition: "A Reader Is a Beginner"

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: Vandeloo, David Conigliaro
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Endgame, Murphy; Conrad, C. A.: A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon; Coolidge, Clark: The Crystal Text; Coolidge, Clark and Bernadette Mayer: The Cave; Robertson, Lisa: Seven walks from the office for soft architecture, The Weather

Description

Each of these books explores some everyday occurrence we are familiar with, although perhaps conditioned to pass over. As we read them throughout the semester, they will ask us to rethink how we imagine spaces beyond our current conditions, and whether such imaginings are always entangled in the world in ways that limit our imaginations and/or open them to new possibilities. To this end, we will look at how these texts attempt to understand, describe, perform or frustrate the conditions we currently occupy. How do they resist stability, coherence and shelter, or demand a reconceptualization of our living conditions? Throughout, we will follow Lisa Robertson's suggestion: "A reader is a beginner." Imagining such spaces beyond our conditions, then, will ask us to become beginners--to rethink what such a reading experience exposes, and sometimes even eludes.

These texts, along with the collaborative endeavors of your fellow students, will provide you with approaches to developing your critical reading and writing skills. You will learn how to write a substantial and compelling argument and how subtlety, complexity and clarity illuminate one another. You will develop these skills step-by-step, both in our conversations and through a series of short writing and rewriting assignments. In addition to the texts listed above, you will also be expected to read and comment on the writings of your fellow students through a series of in-class peer reviews. 


Reading and Composition: Arthurian Legend

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Crosson, Chad Gregory
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Benson, Larry: King Arthur's Death: The Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Alliterative Morte Arthure; Borroff, Marie: The Gawain Poet: Complete Works; Kibler, William: Arthurian Romances; Malory, Thomas: Le Morte D'Arthur Vol. 1; Malory, Thomas: Le Morte D'Arthur Vol. 2; White, T.H.: The Once and Future King;

Recommended: Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers

Description

From medieval manuscripts to twentieth-century film, Arthurian legends have undergone various changes as they passed to new generations and cultures.  The content of this course will consider some of these changes, from some of the earliest English presentations to 20th-century revisions.  Along with this investigation of the legends’ history, we will also explore the representation of these tales across the literary spectrum: poetry, episodic tales, and the novel.  We will examine closely how each literary genre shapes these legends: How does the medium and literary form influence the legend’s narrative?  What do changes in the legends and their form tell us?  What do the revisions of these enduring myths say about those telling them?  These are just some of the questions we will consider over the course of the semester.  As we discuss these legends, you will also sharpen your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.  You will do this by writing a series of progressively longer papers, as well as short weekly writing assignments, which will consider both your readings and class discussion.


Reading and Composition: Magical Engines

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Mead, Christopher
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid's Tale; Euripedes: Medea; Scott Card, Orson: Ender's Game; Shakespeare, William: Coriolanus; Wells, H.G.: The Time Machine; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader with theoretical selections from Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Katherine Hayles; poetry/short stories selected from the book of Genesis, Virgil, Ovid, Chaucer, John Donne, Margaret Cavendish, Rudyard Kipling, D.H. Lawrence, William Carlos Williams, Michael Donaghy, and Richard Brautigan.

Films: Georges Méliès: Le Voyage Dans La Lune; Ridley Scott: Blade Runner

 

 

 

Description

This introduction to college writing and argument explores texts about machines--both real and imagined--from Greece through the present day. While writing and theorizing about tools, inventions, and devices seems to have taken on special urgency since the Industrial Revolution, human imagining about machines is at least as old as writing itself. Our course materials will help us formulate questions about the machine’s relationship to nature, cultural change, the body, and literary form. A site of both utopian dreaming and dystopian nightmare, thinking about machines reflects our greatest hopes and fears about the potential of the imagination.

This is a writing-intensive course, and part of the course requirements include drafting and revising three essays. Our constant goal throughout the semester will be to augment our skills as critical readers and enhance our ability to articulate arguments in clear and sophisticated prose.


Reading and Composition: note new topic: US Popular Song & the Problem of Authenticity

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Sullivan, Khalil
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Miller, Karl: Segregating Sounds; Suisman, David: Selling Sounds

Other Readings and Media

Additional essays and various 20th- and 21st-century US American popular songs (handouts to be provided)

Description

Note new course description (and book list and instructor):

While literary scholarship can speak freely about the death of the author, popular music must tread with caution. In popular music, performers stand in for songwriters, imploring audiences to witness and believe. 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 the identities and roles performers can exercise. Consequently, debates ensued, and we will spend time examining the discourse around contemporary popular song performance and problems of identity and authenticity. Students will be encouraged to theorize methods for analyzing popular song media, both song lyrics, music videos, and promotional material.

As part of the University's Reading and Composition requirement, this course will help you develop your reading and writing skills, as well as your strategies for making effective arguments. You will write and revise a series of short papers over the course of the term, adding up to a total of 32 pages.

 


Reading and Composition: Rebellion, Revolution, Revision

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: McWilliams, Ryan
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Crevecoeur, J. Hector St. John de: Letters From an American Farmer; Melville, Herman: Great Short Works of Herman Melville; Melville, Herman: Israel Potter; Paine, Thomas: The Thomas Paine Reader; Poe, Edgar Allan: Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket, and Related Tales; Sansay, Leonora: Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo; Turner, Nat: The Confessions of Nat Turner and Related Documents

Other Readings and Media

A required course reader will contain brief excerpts from authors such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Freneau, Edmund Burke, Washington Irving, William Apess, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, and Rebecca Harding Davis.

Description

From the British perspective the American colonial uprising was a rebellion, an anarchical break with order. But writers such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine called it a revolution, using a term that signified an extension of natural order (akin to the “revolution of the heavenly spheres”). That natural order, they claimed, was the wellspring of equal rights for all (white, male, propertied) citizens. In this course, we will examine how the meaning of the terms rebellion and revolution were subject to debate, censure, and revision not only during the struggle itself, but also until the Civil War. We'll consider texts by authors who feared that the revolution unleashed wild energies on society and yet simultaneously worried that the democratic potential of the revolution might be subject to decay. Additionally, we'll read works by antebellum women, African Americans, and Native Americans who used the rhetoric of rebellion in order to call attention to political actualities, arguing that in some ways, the project of the American revolution was ongoing.

Revision will also be a major element of the writing component of the course. Over the course of the semester, you will refine a series of short essays, producing a total of 32 pages of work. We will also spend a substantial amount of time honing composition practices through short exercises, peer review, and individual meetings. We will focus on both local issues, such as grammar, organization, and structure, and broader questions of academic norms and audience expectations. 

 


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

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: Gardezi, Nilofar
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 206 Wheeler


Book List

Hayden, Robert: Collected Poems

Other Readings and Media

Additional reading materials will be on bCourses.

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 late 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 tranforming 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'll discover together will motivate us as we work on critical reading and writing this term.

The primary goal of this class is to improve your writing. We will focus, then, on strengthening close-reading skills as well as the different parts of the writing process (e.g., constructing sentences, developing paragraphs, formulating claims, gathering evidence, honing theses, peer-editing and revising drafts) as you work on creating lucid arguments and persuasive essays from your critical examination of readings. Over the course of the semester, you will produce 32 pages of writing, which will be divided over a number of short essays and their revisions. 


Reading and Composition: The Renaissance Sonnet and Epigram

English R1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Villagrana, José
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Graff and Birkenstein: "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing; Rumrich and Chaplin, eds.: Seventeenth-Century British Poetry, 1603-1660; Shakespeare, William: The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems

Other Readings and Media

Additional materials will be posted on bCourses.

Description

When we think of Renaissance poetry, we think of love. There's more to that story, though. This class will examine two poetic forms that enjoyed immense popularity in the English Renaissance. First, the sonnet (It. ‘a little sound/song’) is a work of introspection and individual expression, but it also can address another person – it can delight, instruct, lament, and plead. A sonnet can stand on its own or be read, in a larger sequence, as part of a dramatic narrative. The epigram (Gk. ‘inscription’) is defined by its brevity. It amuses with wit and delivers satiric jabs. But the imagination of an epigram often surprises, outgrowing its few lines.

Taken together, our readings and research will raise questions about humiliation, deceit, conceit, performance, belief, and much more. How can a poem seem to be mired in tired clichés and yet simultaneously rich in singular fancies and wit? How do emblems, images, and symbols intersect with poetic art? We will consider problems of faith, sexuality, and political anxiety to enrich our understanding of often familiar poems.

The purpose of this course is to develop critical reading, writing, and research skills in a way that is applicable across disciplines. In-class participation will play an important role in developing your critical thinking skills, and we will discuss approaches to crafting prose that is argumentative, clear, and nuanced. As part of the university’s Reading and Composition program, this research-focused course will guide students through the acquisition and evaluation of secondary sources and their incorporation into argumentative essays. 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: Unprotected Texts: Tales Told and Retold

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: Hsu, Sharon
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Forster, E.M.: Howards End; Shakespeare, William: Twelfth Night; Smith, Zadie: On Beauty

Other Readings and Media

Films: Twelfth Night: Or What You Will (1996); She's the Man (2006); Clueless (1995)

Additional critical essays and secondary readings will be made available via bCourses.

Description

"Beauty brings copies of itself into being. It makes us draw it, take photographs of it, or describe it to other people. Sometimes it gives rise to exact replication and other times to resemblances and still other times to things whose connection to the original site of inspiration is unrecognizable." -- Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just

What does it mean to re-imagine the opening of a Modernist novel as a series of e-mails? Or to put the words of a beloved Jane Austen heroine into the mouth of a teenage Valley Girl? And why do so many film versions of Shakespeare's plays take place in high schools? In this course, we will explore a series of texts and what we might call their counter-texts -- novels, films, and essays that speak back to or against the original work by reimagining its themes, characters, or settings in a significant way. In doing so, we will ask questions such as: Why do some texts lend themselves to this kind of counter-textuality more than others? How does a counter-text comment on, critique, or subvert its original? And is it ever possible to read a counter-text apart from its original text?

The purpose of this course is to refine comprehension and analytical skills, improve writing, and broaden the scope of your essays to include research. To that end, we will devote considerable class time to learning how to find and analyze secondary sources and critical essays about texts (another form of counter-textuality, if you will) and how our own writing responds to texts and their counter-texts. The efforts of this class will culminate in a larger research paper of the student's own design.


Reading and Composition: Drama's Function in Literature, Philosophy, and the Visual Arts

English R1B

Section: 3
Instructor: Jeziorek, Alek M
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Brecht, Bertolt: Threepenny Opera; Woolf, Virginia: Between the Acts

Other Readings and Media

A course reader with selected short texts from the following writers: Plato, Diderot, Oscar Wilde, Stéphane Mallarmé, Charles Baudelaire, Robert Browning, Richard Wagner, W.E.B. Du Bois, Mina Loy, Zora Neale Hurston, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Nella Larsen, F.T. Marinetti, André Breton, Judith Butler, Peter Brook, Philip Auslander. 

A selection of paintings.

Description

This class takes its cue from the etymological connection between theater, spectator, and theory in ancient Greek. The shared root for theater (theatron, or “place of seeing”), spectator (theōros) and theory (theōria, “contemplation or speculation”) suggests that the theater offers a venue for the spectator to see the performance of a dramatic text, to frame it visually within the architecture of the theater, and to produce theory. Investigating the theater’s unique capacity to perform and absorb other discourses and artistic media, this class will examine how specifically dramatic philosophy, visual art, poetry, and politics manifest the limits of each medium and create the possibility of integrating them into live experience.

Second in the series of Reading and Composition courses, this class asks students to extend the lessons of R1A toward writing a research paper: students will read closely and re-read, ask fruitful questions, develop several perspectives on a question through research, write and revise. 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 writing proposals and essays that work up to the length of a research paper, revising extensively, peer editing, building an annotated bibliography, and planning a working outline, among other smaller assignments. There will also be a diagnostic essay, as well as a creative project wherein students will be asked to adapt a non-theatrical text from class or from their respective disciplines for performance.


Reading and Composition: Lost Literature: Recovering and (Re)discovering Hidden Texts of the Nineteenth Century

English R1B

Section: 4
Instructor: Sirianni, Lucy
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Alcott, Louisa May: A Long Fatal Love Chase; Bennett , Paula Bernat: Nineteenth-Century American Women Poets: An Anthology; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Other Readings and Media

A course reader containing primary texts by Lydia Maria Child, Rebecca Harding Davis, Emily Dickinson, Phillis Wheatley, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and others, as well as a selection of critical readings.

Description

This course takes as its starting point the novel idea that academic writing is more than the frantic attempt to submit a paper on time.  In it, we will both think about and practice literary criticism as a dynamic process of discovery.  In order to explore this notion of discovery, we'll consider the phenomenon of literary recovery.  We will look, that is, at a number of texts that have long been ignored by literary scholars but that are now coming to be seen as deserving of critical attention.  Some of these texts were at first wildly popular, out-selling the works we read and remember today only to be relegated to obscurity in later eras.  Others were never allowed the chance to be appraised at all as they languished unread in attics and private collections before finding their way into the hands of appreciative scholars.  Some have been denigrated, some have been suppressed, and many contain a perceived element of danger, troubling the status quo in ways that have kept them from attaining an uncontested place in the so-called "canon" of universally admired literary works.  Though we will begin with a group of late eighteenth-century texts and end with a recent murder mystery that dramatizes the pleasures and perils of recovery-based literary research, our primary focus will be on the American nineteenth century, a period in which both forgotten bestsellers and newly-found manuscripts abound.  We will read works by marginalized and silenced figures ranging from early feminists to fugitive slaves, and as we do so, we will consider, with the help of leading critics, the aesthetic and political forces that led them to be first overlooked and subsequently (re)discovered.

As we consider this array of texts and the scholars who have resuscitated their critical reputations, students, too, will engage in exciting critical projects.  The course is designed to help you prepare for future writing and research at Berkeley and beyond, so over the course of the semester, you will outline, draft, workshop, write, and rewrite a series of papers, refining along the way your ability to read meticulously and write persuasively.  Your work will culminate in the writing of a substantial research paper based on the issues central to the course as they relate to your own interests.

 


Reading and Composition: Composite-Composition

English R1B

Section: 5
Instructor: Acu, Adrian Mark
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Danielewski, Mark: House of Leaves; Dorst, Doug: S.; Howe, Susan: My Emily Dickinson; Jones, David: In Parenthesis

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be provided on bCourses.

Description

Note new course description (and topic, book list, and instructor):

Most research paper classes promote a divide between the object of study and work done by others on the object of study.  But this depiction of primary and secondary material as distinct tends to obscure the organic unity between them that good research papers demand.  Instead, this class will encounter texts that emphatically gesture towards their impact on and interaction with their scholarship.  The various innovative approaches to constellating creative and analytic work will afford you rich source material for your own research papers and more effective models for integrating the work of others into your own original thinking.

 


Reading and Composition: The Art of Conscience

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: Yu, Esther
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Defoe, Daniel: Moll Flanders; Dickens, Charles: Hard Times; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will include selections from the Bible and Shakespeare's sonnets; additional critical readings will also be provided.

Description

What kind of knowledge, or science, does the conscience impart, and how does it make this knowledge manifest? What evidentiary standards apply to this kind of knowledge? This course will examine such questions through the lens of the literary imagination. For all its associations with the cognitive faculties, the conscience has often been endowed with a peculiar responsiveness to fiction. The conscience, given its ability to fire the imagination, might even be figured as a creative principle of fiction itself. In the course of the semester, we'll acquaint ourselves with the conscience in its various guises, from the relentless prosecutor who induces paranoia to the silent companion who stirs in the twilight of life. Along the way, we'll reflect upon its shifting locus (from external to internal and back again), and consider its relationship to consciousness. The entanglement of conscience in both the arts and the sciences will further suggest avenues for reconciling our literary pursuits with the work of other disciplines.

The critical writing skills which are the focus of R1A will be supplemented in this course with training in research methods. Students in this course will produce at least two essays and one longer, research-based paper.

 

 


Reading and Composition: Research Methods

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Ramirez, Matthew Eric
Time: MW 4-5:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Damer, T. Edward: Attacking Faulty Reasoning; Jeffrey, Richard: Formal Logic; Joseph, Sister Miriam: Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language; Wheelan, Charles: Naked Statistics; Zola, Emile: Therese Raquin

Other Readings and Media

Natural Language Processing with Python (online resource)

Style at the Scale of the Sentence by Stanford Literary Lab (online resource)

Description

In this course we’ll study and apply research methods from a variety of fields. We will discover what it means to be rigorous inside and outside a humanistic context. We will look at many methods of interpretation, from rhetorical to discourse analysis; from formal semantics, using first order and modal logics; from statistical models in the social sciences; and from computational approaches such as natural language processing. You will write three progressively longer papers (2-3 pages, 6-8 pages, 8-10 pages), combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources. As part of these assignments, we will focus on strategies for drafting, revising, and polishing your work.
  


Reading and Composition: Other Worlds

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Strub, Spencer
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Alighieri, Dante: Inferno; Chaucer, Geoffrey: Dream Visions and Other Poems; Shakespeare, William: The Tempest

Other Readings and Media

Please purchase the Hollander translation of Inferno, the Armitage translation of Sir Gawain, and the Norton Critical edition of The Tempest. Further readings, both primary and critical texts, to be posted on bCourses. Film screenings to be noted on syllabus.

Description

What does it mean to imagine another world? Is it an opportunity for unvarnished fantasy, or for critical reflection on your own society? Can you tell the truth when writing about an invented place? By way of an answer, this course considers the journeys narrated during a particularly fertile period of otherworldly imagination: the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The writers we will read in this course map the architecture of hell, the landscape of dreams, and the laws of fairyland. We will move from these imagined places to the narratives that emerged out of the cataclysmic encounter between two real worlds: the European colonization of the Americas. Throughout the course, we will examine the contexts – historical, political, literary, religious, and scientific – that help us to better understand these works.

This course is intended to teach you to pose analytical questions, develop complex arguments supported by evidence, and build research skills that will be applicable in your college writing and in your future career. To that end, you will complete drafts and revisions of three substantive essays, culminating in a long paper supported by original research. A number of shorter exercises will supplement and help prepare for these major writing assignments.


Reading and Composition: Victorian Literature of Evolution

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: Browning, Catherine Cronquist
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Darwin, C.: On the Origin of Species; Gosse, E.: Father and Son; Kingsley, C.: Water-Babies; Otis, L.: Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century; Tennyson, A.: In Memoriam

Description

This course will examine British literature related to the evolutionary theories emergent in the nineteenth century. We will read a combination of scientific writing, literary fiction, and poetry, attending both to the scientific discoveries made during the Victorian period and to the influence these discoveries had on the imagination of contemporary authors and the public. The focus of our class will be on evolution as it was understood – and misunderstood – in the nineteenth century; however, for the sake of clarity and comparison, we will also briefly review the currently accepted model of evolution in the biological sciences.

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 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: Regions: Revising the Lay of the Land

English R1B

Section: 10
Instructor: Chow, Juliana H.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Anzaldua, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera (1987); Niedecker, Lorine: Lake Superior (1969); Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping (1980); Sebald, W. G.: The Rings of Saturn (1995); Toomer, Jean: Cane (1923)

Other Readings and Media

Films by Agnes Varda, Patricio Guzman, and Grant Gee, as well as a course reader.

Description

Note new course description (and topic, book list, and instructor):

Region is an area ruled, from regere, 'to rule or direct'; it is an area measured and surveyed so that its boundaries depend on and change with its rulers. In considering regions, we will think about what forms of knowledge underlie the measuring and surveying of land and, in turn, shape the lay of the land: where border lines are drawn, what appears and disappears as visible and legible, within and without. In particular, how does the attention to lines--of poetry or prose, of itineraries and tours, of color/race, of sight, and of time--inform our sense of the environment, the land, and the working of the land? How does the organization and revision of a composition--diurnal, seasonal, topographical, archaeological, or elemental--bring together history, place, and language in regional writing? We will explore the environmental, political, and racial implications of these lines through a selection of literary texts and criticism.

In this course, you will continue to build upon your reading and writing skills through the craft of literary criticism and through extending the inquiries from that criticism into your own research project. As a class, we will develop the skills needed to read closely and critically; generate a research question; find, evaluate, and analyze sources; develop a nuanced and complex argument; peer edit and respond to each other's work; and write and revise two analytical essays. As part of the university's Reading and Composition requirement, you will produce 32 pages of written work over the course of the semester through assignments leading us through the research process step-by-step.


Reading and Composition: School Stories

English R1B

Section: 11
Instructor: Browning, Catherine Cronquist
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Brontë, C.: Jane Eyre; Dickens, C.: David Copperfield; Edgeworth, M.: Practical Education; Hughes, T.: Tom Brown's Schooldays; Newman, J. H.: Idea of a University

Description

This course will survey the educational principles and strategies common in nineteenth-century Britain and the depiction of domestic and institutional education in contemporary novels. We will examine the influential educational theories of the period, with particular attention to the work of Maria and Richard Lovell Edgeworth and the continuing legacy of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. With this framework, we will explore the educational experiences of boys and girls of the upper, middle, and lower classes, and the training, or lack of training, of their teachers. The course will also address Victorian developments in higher education, including the growing emphasis on liberal education.

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 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: The Rom Com: Shakespeare & Hollywood

English R1B

Section: 12
Instructor: Liu, Aileen
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Shakespeare, William: As You Like It; Shakespeare, William: The Merchant of Venice; Shakespeare, William: Twelfth Night

Other Readings and Media

Required Films
City Lights (1931, dir. Charlie Chaplin), DVD 217; Swing Time (1936, dir. George Stevens), DVD 4254; The Lady Eve (1941, dir. Preston Sturges), DVD 864; Roman Holiday (1953, dir. William Wyler), DVD 7377; The Apartment (1960, dir. Billy Wilder), DVD 1758; Annie Hall (1977, dir. Woody Allen), DVD 56; The Birdcage (1996, dir. Mike Nichols), DVD 1614; You’ve Got Mail (1998, dir. Nora Ephron), DVD 3016
 

Description

What makes the genre of romantic comedy so pleasurable, when it is often critically maligned as being so formulaic? What defines a romantic comedy? What has persisted in romantic comedy throughout the centuries, from Shakespeare to 20th-century Hollywood, and what has not?

To think about these questions, we’ll look at four of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies and eight Hollywood rom coms from the ‘30s to the ‘90s. Along the way, we’ll explore issues surrounding genre, convention, plotting, taste, gender, ethnicity, and class. Our tools for exploration and inquiry are rereading, rewriting, research, and discussion, so we will practice these skills inside and outside of class. Over the course of the semester, you will write and rewrite two papers of progressively increasing length (for a total of four papers), combining analysis of primary works with research from secondary sources.

Note about our required books and films: Any solid scholarly edition of Shakespeare will suffice (e.g. Riverside, Pelican, Signet, Folger, Arden, Norton), but having the Oxford Shakespeare Series editions that I’ve ordered will make it easier to follow along and reference in class. No e-books. All films are available to screen in the Media Resources Center in Moffitt Library.