Announcement of Classes: Spring 2016


Reading and Composition: Here, Queer, and Chicana/o

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Trevino, Jason Benjamin
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Cuadros, Gil: City of God; Hacker, Diana: A Writers Reference, 7th Edition; Islas, Arturo: The Rain God: A Desert Tale

Other Readings and Media

(All available on bCourses or as course reader):
 Short pieces by Robert B. Reich, Barbara Ehrenreich, Anne Lamott, Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, Jose Estéban Muñoz, Heather Love, Tomás Almaguer, Lee Edelman, Antonio Viego, Leo Bersani, Tomás Rivera, Richard Rodriguez, Sandra Soto, Mel Chen, Michael Hames-Garcia, Judith Butler, Ernesto Javier Martinez, David Halperin, and Richard T. Rodriguez.

Description

We’ve heard the slogan “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!”  But what weight do “here” and “queer” hold when a person identifies as Chicana/o? Does this identity change what it might mean to “get used to it”? Is this a question of identity politics, a question of power, a question of class? How do Chicana/o writings approach queer sexualities? Who and what do we see in these writings? Who is “here,” where is “here,” and who is asked to “get used to it”? These are some of our questions as we develop skills for successful reading and writing at the college level and encounter a set of texts that form a triangle that encompasses the Texas Río Grande Valley, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

This is a writing and reading course that asks students to assist in creating a safe space in which we may read, discuss, and write about Chicana/o and queer cultural productions that speak to our present lives at Berkeley and in the United States.  The emphasis of the course is effective reading and writing strategies for university work. In this class, students will be asked to think about and discover more effective approaches to text that will assist in the development of life-long reading and writing skills. The University asks students to author at least 32 pages of writing during the semester.  In our approach to the writing, I ask students to consider writing as a process that includes the following steps: Understanding the assignment, Pre-Drafting, Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing, Documentation, Last Glance, and the use of graded comments.  Students will author one diagnostic essay at the beginning of term, a diagnostic midterm, and a series of short essays of increasing length (for example one 3-page essay, one 5-page essay, and one seven-page essay).  These assignments will allow students ample time to consider the writing process and grow as readers and writers at Berkeley and beyond.


Reading and Composition: Waking the Ghosts of Tom/ás Joad

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: Cruz, Frank Eugene
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Boyle, T.C.: Tortilla Curtain; Dunne, John Gregory: Delano: The Story of the California Grape Strike; Rivera, Tomás: …y no se lo tragó la tierra / …And the Earth Did Not Devour Him; Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath: Text and Criticism, revised edition; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Under the Feet of Jesus;

Recommended: Graff, Gerald: They Say/I Say; Strunk, Jr., William: The Elements of Style

Other Readings and Media

REQUIRED MEDIA:

Note: Will be available via YouTube, bCourses, and/or presented in class. DO NOT BUY THIS STUFF!

Films/Theater/Documentaries: The Grapes of Wrath; The Plough That Broke the Plains; Harvest of Shame; ¡Alambrista!; The Men Who Crashed The World; House/Divided; 99 Homes

Vernacular Music: Woody Guthrie, Dust Bowl Ballads; Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad and The Seegar Sessions; Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire and "The Ghost of Tom Joad"; Desaparecidos, Payola

Photography: Dorothea Lange and Matt Black

REQUIRED READER OF THEORETICAL, HISTORICAL, AND SECONDARY TEXTS:

Available for purchase at Copy Central. Includes texts by Dorothea Lange, John Steinbeck, Roland Barthes, Carey McWilliams, James N. Gregory, Michael Denning, Charles Shindo, Zygmunt Bauman, Rick Wartzman, Americo Paredés, Ramón Saldívar, Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, David Seed, Mae M. Ngai, Gloria Anzaldúa, Brooke Fredericksen, Cordelia Candelaria, Wendy Brown, Sigmund Freud, Jonathan Dyen, Stephen J. Pitti, Mike Davis, Michael Lewis.

REQUIRED SUPPLIES:

Spiral bound index cards. 2 sets. Like this: http://amzn.com/B000FNHFYGert Hari and John Louis Lucaites

 

Description

In this course we will think about what cultural historian Michael Denning has called the "lowercase grapes of wrath narrative," which emerged during the Great Depression. In John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, this was a story about economic collapse and environmental catastrophe. It was a story about home and homelessness: foreclosures, evictions, and forced migration. It told a story of poverty, suffering, and exploitation and at the same time, a story of hope, perseverance, and social change through activism.

In what ways did this story haunt the American cultural imagination in the second half of the twentieth century? In what ways might it still haunt us today in light of a number of uncanny returns: another crash on Wall Street, another "Great" economic crisis, a new season of environmental apocalypse, and another round of bankers with foreclosure notices in hand? If the twenty-first century reboot of hard times in the Golden State has shifted the setting from California's Central Valley to the postmodern nowhere of Silicon Valley, and if the desperate masses now queue up for hours not at soup kitchens but instead at Apple Stores, is the "grapes of wrath" narrative still relevant? Does the U.S. popular imagination look elsewhere, or to other narratives, to resolve our current crises, to think through what has happened, and to imagine what will happen next?

As we explore these questions, we will develop your practical fluency in college level, academic writing (constructing sentences and paragraphs, thesis development, etc). A short “diagnostic” essay is required at the beginning of the semester. In total, you will produce a minimum of 32 pages of writing, divided among a number of short essays. Full attendance and class participation is also required. 

 


Reading and Composition: Note new topic: Travel and Translation

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: Wyatt, Gabriella
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Baum, L. Frank: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; More, Thomas: Utopia; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Sebald, W. G.: The Emigrants; Shakespeare, William: The Tempest

Other Readings and Media

Films:  The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956 version); I Know Where I'm Going!

Description

Note new instructor, course description, and book list:
 
"If we walk far enough," Dorothy says in L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, "we shall sometime come to someplace." This course will take as its point of departure the travel narrative in a range of texts, and will consider a series of questions raised by embarkation and adventure: what prompts the traveler's desire to be elsewhere, and how does the traveler change—and become changed by—his or her destination? In other words, how is "translation" a spatial and temporal process, as well as one of personal transformation? We will consider these questions in relation to our own positions as active readers, since this too is a process of interpreting, translation, adapting to, and being transformed by what we encounter. Accordingly, our exploration of travel and translation will serve as the frame for our main focus, college-level writing. We will practice developing compelling questions, honing them into provocative theses, and producing well-crafted and polished pieces of writing. We will devote a significant portion of class time to writing mechanics, argumentation and organization, and peer revisions.  


Reading and Composition: Characters

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Wilson, Evan
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Conrad, Joseph: Lord Jim; Fagles, Robert (trans.): The Iliad; Graff, Gerald: They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Pinsky, Robert: The Inferno of Dante

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

We tend to take it for granted that literary works have characters. But what is a character, and what is its relation to a real-world human? What are the stakes of that relationship? Our readings, which range in time from ancient Greece to almost the present day, suggest that answers may vary widely. This course is dedicated to exploring the history of characterization as an aspect of meaning-making in both conventionally literary works and in nonfiction, where “characters” play a key role in description and argumentation.

Along the way on our journey through different kinds of character personhood, you will be honing your ability to write and think critically in an academic setting, regardless of your major. Over the course of the semester, you will learn how to move from an interesting question, to a compelling argument, to a successful paper. 


Reading and Composition: The Literature of Adventure in the Eighteenth Century

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Heimlich, Timothy
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Radcliffe, Ann: The Romance of the Forest

Other Readings and Media

A mandatory course reader will be made available for purchase at Replica Copy at 2138 Oxford Street.   The reader will include William Beckford’s Vathek, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, selections from Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, selections from Edward Said’s Orientalism, selections from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and selections from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s  Travels.

Description

The eighteenth century witnessed Britain’s rise to the status of world superpower.  As the newly United Kingdom expanded its colonial holdings and extended its imperial power around the globe, its writers imagined traversing that globe – and encountering non-British people – with greater frequency and urgency.  This course will explore the rhetoric of adventure literature: what it was used for, where it came from, and how its tropes and preoccupations continue to influence contemporary Anglo-American culture today.  

In the course of this investigation, you will learn how to analyze and mobilize rhetoric in and through writing.  You will not only think about how writers make explicit and implicit arguments about the world around them, but also explore how to develop your own written arguments coherently and effectively.  In addition to a short diagnostic essay, you will write three progressively longer essays and revise each of them, honing your reading and writing skills and better preparing you to present convincing and thorough arguments in the essay form.

 


Reading and Composition: Work and Play

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Acu, Adrian Mark
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Darnielle, John: Wolf in White Van; Diaz, Juno: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Ford, Richard: Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar; Jones, David: In Parenthesis

Description

Work and play regulate the rhythm of living, but when was the last time you saw them represented as you experience them? Realistic novels may mention both to be realistic, only to bypass them in favor of events and plot set-pieces. Workplace media, like police procedurals, are depicted as all discovery and confrontation, while avoiding the drudgery of paperwork, uneventful patrolling, and outreach. And presentations of play, as in professional sports, fail to resemble the weekend soccer game, or the aimless entertainment we indulge in after our work days.

This class will work with texts that foreground work and play as discrete and interrelated: contradistinguished and co-constructed. By wrangling with concepts that are simultaneously familiar and under-explored, we will engage with the kind of thought-work that goes into the best writing, regardless of one's discipline.

Class assignments include five short essays, one longer paper, and multiple presentations and weekly writing assignments. 


Reading and Composition: Conversation

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: Neal, Allison
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Greene, Graham: The End of the Affair; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Lerner, Ben: 10:04; West, Nathanael: Miss Lonelyhearts

Other Readings and Media

We will read essays by William Wordsworth, J.S. Mill, I.A. Richards, Walter Benjamin, Susan Stewart, Lisa Robertson and William Waters, among others. We will also engage with a vast swath of poetry, including work by Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, W.H. Auden, Frank O’Hara, Adrienne Rich, and Claudia Rankine. These materials will be available on bCourses. 

Description

How can we best listen to literature? How is literature like or unlike a conversation? If a text is speaking to us, how might we respond? Do we believe what it tells us, and in what way? This course will examine a variety of twentieth-century British and American literature in order to probe the ways that we might listen to a text in an age of mass culture. It will examine how various mediums—the letter, the radio, the telephone, the internet—affect how texts envision their audience, questioning the extent to which we might connect literature, speech, and belief.

This class is organized around texts that thematize the oral aspect of literature, and accordingly, its primary goal is to generate a dialogue between you and the texts that we read. Just as literature produces different modes of listening, your writing will be characterized by different modes of conversing with and engaging those texts. This class will be structured as a workshop and will include peer revision, individual meetings, and in-class discussions of various techniques of essay writing. Students will be responsible for writing a series of short essays and revisions.


Reading and Composition: Nothing Doing

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: Kelly, Tyleen Louise
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Melville, Herman: Billy Budd and Other Stories; Sartre, Jean-Paul: No Exit; Toole, John Kennedy: A Confederacy of Dunces

Other Readings and Media

Additional critical materials and shorter works will be provided in class or on bCourses.

Description

What would lead an author to create a 'leading' character who does not seem to want to move forward in life? Why might such characters attract readers, and what's so funny--or depressing--about their everyday lives? In this class we will be investigating the properties of sloth, indecision, existentialism, and other behaviors and philosophies that may cause an individual to not do what is expected or "not do" full stop. We will discover the exceptions to laziness, rebelliousness, or apathy, and additionally encounter a host of dynamic characters that try to over-compensate for the hero's apparent lack of anxiety, passion, and ambition.

While these questions and materials will furnish us with material for rich discussions, this class is chiefly geared to improve your writing. We will attend to both mechanics and style, learning how to read closely, formulate interesting arguments, gather evidence, and organize claims into persuasive essays. Over the course of the semester you will produce approximately 32 pages of written work through a gradual process of drafting, editing, reviewing, and revising.

 


Reading and Composition: You Say You Want A Revolution*: From Independence Hall and the Bastille to Tahrir Square

English R1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Albernaz, Joseph
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Burke, Edmund: Reflections on the Revolution in France; France, Anatole: The Gods Will Have Blood; Shenoda, Matthew: Tahrir Suite

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader with (possible) excerpts from: Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Helen Maria Williams, William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, William Blake, Germaine de Stael, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Hannah Arendt, Vladimir Lenin, Rosa Luxemberg, Karl Marx, Jean-Luc Nancy, Walter Benjamin, Angela Davis, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Amiri Baraka, et al.

Other media we might examine could include painting (Jacques-Louis David, Wassily Kandinsky), film (Sergei Eisenstein, Christopher Nolan), music (Ludwig van Beethoven, The Beatles), and spoken word (Gil Scott-Heron).

Description

Etymologically, the word “revolution” (from the Latin revolvere) signifies a “turning back.”  However, the word has come to take on quite a different meaning: the overthrow of the existing order and the birth of something radically new. This course will examine the valences, effects, and legacies of revolution starting with those events often considered to have inaugurated our modernity (the American and French Revolutions), and ending with the recent spate of revolutions around the world known as the “Arab Spring.” Along the way we will make stops to explore the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in the early 20th century and the turbulent uprisings of the 1960s.

Throughout the semester we will hear and analyze the voices of equally fervent supporters and detractors of revolution, but we will also pay attention to people simply trying to live out their lives against the backdrop of chaotic revolutionary times. Just a few of the questions we will consider include: Do the social media-inspired revolutions of the Arab Spring trace their origins to the democratic promise of the American and French Revolutions? Do revolutions in aesthetic form have to accompany political revolutions? What do we do with hopes for a new world once revolutionary and utopian promises disappoint and start to fade?

The central goal of the R1B course will be to build your research skills and habits. You will write three papers of increasing length over the semester, one shorter one and two longer papers based on research and revision.

*Well, you know, we all want to change the world. 


Reading and Composition: Living Photographically

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: Yoon, Irene
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Agee, James & Walker Evans: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Rankine, Claudia: Citizen; Sebald, W.G.: The Emigrants; Sontag, Susan: On Photography; Turabian, Kate: A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations; Woolf, Virginia: Orlando

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader, including essays by Charles Baudelaire, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Siegfried Kracauer, Virginia Woolf, Lewis Hine, Roy Stryker, Sharon Musher, Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Roland Barthes, Geoffrey Batchen, Leigh Raiford, Teju Cole, and Alison Winter.

Description

This course examines the increasingly central role of photography in capturing and constituting events in our everyday lives. We will conduct a broad survey of critical essays on photography from its inception to the present day, tracking not only its technological development over the last century and a half but also key debates regarding photography's capacity to change the world and our sense of ourselves in it. As we begin to understand the world as photographed and photographable in the twentieth century, new questions emerge as to the kinds of narrative practices we turn to in telling stories of our individual and collective experiences. Does photography record history or make it? What kinds of (in)visibility has the medium offered its subjects throughout the last two centuries? We move from critical investigations to contemporary literary texts that attempt to grapple with these issues thematically and formally. Our class will enter these ongoing conversations in a similar spirit, maintaining a Tumbir comprised of mixed photographic and verbal responses both to our texts and to each other's posts. This course also requires two short essays and will culminate in a final research project and presentation.


Reading and Composition: Image and Text

English R1B

Section: 4
Instructor: Clark, Rebecca
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Agee, J.: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Baker, K.: Nat Turner; Bechdel, A.: Fun Home; Clowes, D.: Ghost World; Lewis, J.: March; Moore, A: Watchmen; Saint-Exupéry, A.: The Little Prince; Satrapi, M.: Persepolis; Tomine, A.: Shortcomings; Yang, G.: American Born Chinese

Other Readings and Media

Film adaptations, TBD

Description

This class will look at a variety of works--comics, graphic novels, chidren's books, advertisements, political cartoons--that combine images with text to tell stories. How, we will ask, do words and images play with, against, or off of one another when we read these hybrid works? How does their combination help authors alternately to create fantastical new worlds, document painful or playful quotidian realities, or navigate and narrate traumatic personal and national histories? What special demands do these works make on their readers? What narrative and thematic possibilities do they open up? How can we analyze and write about them?
 
In this course, you will produce approximately 32 pages of written work through a gradual process of drafting, editing, reviewing, and revising. We will work on reading critically, posing analytical questions, crafting and supporting well-reasoned arguments, and developing research skills. The course will culminate in an original research paper.


Reading and Composition: Black Radical Thought, From David Walker to Kendrick Lamar

English R1B

Section: 5
Instructor: Muhammad, Ismail
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Douglass, Frederick: My Bondage and My Freedom (1855); Du Bois, W.E.B.: The Souls of Black Folk (1903); Jacobs, Harriet : Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861); Larsen, Nella: Passing (1929); Morrison, Toni: Beloved (1987); Rankine, Claudia: Citizen (2014)

Other Readings and Media

Film:  Melvin Van Peebles, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971); Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep (1974)

Music:  Nina Simone, Nina Simone in Concert (1964); Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) (2008); Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)

A course reader, including short texts by Phyllis Wheatly, David Walker, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Toni Morrison, Nathaniel Mackey, Cornell West, Michelle Alexander, Fred Moten, Hilton Als, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, will be provided. 

Description

In this course, we’ll consider the origins and concerns of a radical African American intellectual tradition. Working with a variety of texts, including slave narratives, poetry, music, and film, we’ll trace the debates that structure black radical thought, with special attention to the socio-political concerns that occasion such thought. What constitutes a distinctly African American tradition of socio-political discourse? What does it mean for this tradition to be "radical"? How is this tradition central to the history of American democratic politics? How does it diverge from such politics in search of more utopian possibilities? What is this tradition’s relationship to American capitalism? How do these texts articulate “blackness” while shying away from essentialist identity politics? How and why does race/racism intersect with gender/sexuality? What is the connection between blackness and queer or otherwise non-normative gender/sexual identities? What has changed in American life as a result of black radical thought? What issues persist despite it?

Throughout the semester, you will be working to improve your skills as both a critical writer and researcher. You will write two short essays to sharpen your close reading and writing skills. In addition, you will conduct short biweekly research assignments into topics that you find particularly interesting. These assignments will form the basis of a research paper on how a literary, cinematic, or musical text investigates an historical problem of your choosing. Ideally, these papers will meditate on an of aspect race, class, and/or gender. We will hone skills like sentence craft, effective argumentation, critical thinking, source gathering, and proper use of secondary materials. 


Reading and Composition: Grant Writing, Renaissance to Modern

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: Villagrana, José
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 225 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

In this class we will read a small selection of letters and poems by English Renaissance poets William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, and John Donne written for the purpose of obtaining patronage. These letters and poems were typically directed to wealthy and politically connected individuals in order to secure funding or political favors which enabled these authors to pursue a variety of interests and projects. These works were more than just a direct appeal for money, though. The letters and poems needed to be persuasive, succinct, resourceful, and artful, arguing in measured detail for the quality and merit of both author and work. Although these works might seem distant and irrelevant, they can nevertheless teach us a great deal about developing strong arguments that consider and match our own motivations for funding with potential funders. We can apply this to contemporary fundraising across a large spectrum of disciplines: public health, arts and humanities, entertainment, science and technology, and education. Guided activities in this class will teach you to develop grant proposals based on careful research of a potential (hypothetical) project in any discipline, and you will learn to research funding organizations (both public and private) alongside your own project. We will also learn how to write persuasive appeals for crowdsourced funding. Although we are reading early modern English literary texts to develop our critical reading skills, this class encourages you to pursue a research project based on your own interests and areas of expertise.

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.

All required readings will be made available in a course packet and on bCourses.


Reading and Composition: Queer in Nature

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Diaz, Rosalind
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Butler, Octavia: Fledgling; Griffith, Nicola: Ammonite

Other Readings and Media

2012 (film); a course reader with selections from Alison Kafer, Ladelle McWhorter, Donna Haraway, Nancy C. Unger, J. Jack Halberstam, and others. 

Description

In this course, we will consider how we think about and how others have thought about the relationship between humans and nature, focusing in particular on ideas about human sexuality. We will read two novels which ask us to question our understanding of what is "human" and what is "natural" through the lens of speculative fiction, and we will watch a recent film that also uses elements of speculative fiction. To help us dig deeper into this complex, open-ended topic, we will seek out and read materials from a range of disciplines, including ecofeminism, queer theory, history of science, disability studies, indigenous studies, and critical race studies.

Our inquiry will lead us to encounter questions like: what does it mean to be queer, to think queerly, or to queer something? How have certain sexual practices and identities been stigmatized as “unnatural” or “against nature”? What assumptions about the natural world do we make when we label something “unnatural”—or, for that matter, when we imply that certain races or cultures have a special understanding of nature? What might we gain from reconsidering the various assumptions that shore up our “common knowledge” about animals, humans, and nature? How does speculative fiction offer ways of imagining different ways of relating to nature? And what other sources might we turn to as we strive to open up and clarify our ideas on these topics?

Together we will tackle the project and the process of writing a research paper. We will break down this larger project into a series of steps designed to help you build on and expand your existing skills. Topic proposals, drafting, revision, and peer feedback will all be integral to this process. We will focus on developing research skills and on incorporating these source materials into our essays. 


Reading and Composition: "Those Other Times Are Running Elsewhere": Contemporary British Fictions

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Fleishman, Kathryn
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Byatt, A.S.: Possession; McEwan, Ian: Atonement; Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas; Smith, Zadie: NW

Description

This course explores the investment of contemporary British culture in multiple, imaginative, and alternative concepts of time, from historical novels to speculative fictions, from London’s punk rock scene to its dubstep moment, from live comedy shows to TV serials, and from architectural constructions to art installations.

We will begin with a primer on British modernism, using visual culture (such as paintings and subway maps) and readings from T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Graham Greene to illustrate how certain formative modernist concepts of history and memory persist in British art today. Though our focus will remain on the novel, we will integrate studies in history, poetry, criticism, art, music, and television, placing particular emphasis on the way that post-imperialism, immigration, and urban development have contributed to the richness of temporal and narrative experimentation in contemporary British culture. Readings will center around questions of history, futurity, and multiplicity, including novels by A.S. Byatt, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell, and Zadie Smith, the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney, the comedy of Steve Coogan and Jennifer Saunders, cultural criticism by James Wood and J. M. Coetzee, and episodes of The Hour and Downton Abbey

In R1B, students build on the techniques of both reading & rhetoric introduced in R1A. As such, we will engage a variety of texts across genres (novels, nonfiction, poetry, film, television, & criticism). We will also practice responding to such texts variously, writing and rewriting an analytical paper, a film review, and a research essay on a related topic of your choice over the course of the term. 

 


Reading and Composition: Writing About Television

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: Chamberlain, Shannon
Time: MW 4-5:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Dunn, George A.: Veronica Mars and Philosophy; Wilcox, Rhonda: Investigting Veronic Mars: Essays on the Teen Detective Series

Description

Writing about television constitutes one of the most popular forms of literary criticism outside of academic circles today. TV critic Lili Loofbourow argues that episode recaps and their in-depth analysis of our favorite shows fulfill our need for a "sustained, ethical, collective conversation" and that television shows provide the common text for that conversation in a secular age. This course will examine the claim that TV shows provide a way to talk about questions that used to belong to the domains of religion and philosophy, through our own sustained engagement with the first two seasons of the critically acclaimed teenage noir detective show Veronica Mars, which we will watch and discuss together in the form of a group recapping blog. As with most multi-arc television shows, there are many potential topics that students might choose to pursue, from issues of the conventions of the detective show genre and its structure to the ethical quandaries faced by a teenage private eye in a socially and racially diverse southern California town. Part of the course's aim is to help you learn how to decide what engages your interest and makes for an effective critical approach to a topic.

The class will involve a substantial time commitment: at least four hours of weekly TV viewing; supplementary reading to help students learn the stylistic and formal requirements of episode recaps; group blogging; and several papers that develop blog posts into larger-scale engagements with the course material and the question of mass media's role in ethical debates. Peer review will play a significant role in the editing and grading processes.

Please note that in addition to the books above, you should also obtain a copy (DVD/Blu-Ray or digital download) of Veronica Mars, seasons 1 and 2. 


Reading and Composition: Record Keeping

English R1B

Section: 10
Instructor: Lewis, Rachel Thayer
Time: MW 4-5:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Barthes, Roland: Camera Lucida; James, Henry: The Aspern Papers; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Wordsworth, Dorothy: The Grasmere Journals; Wordsworth, William: The Prelude

Other Readings and Media

Additional texts, along with video and audio files, will be posted to the bcourses site.  

Description

This course will explore the ways in which we attempt to capture, preserve, and convey our experiences.  We will trace how these forms—or media—structure our memories, and how they may also obscure or distort past experience.  Reading across a variety of literary genres and other media, we will contextualize forms of expression in light of historical and cultural forces and consider how cultural, political, and technological conditions inflect various modes of representation.  Centering our study around two periods, the mid-nineteenth century, which witnessed the rise of photography and early sound recording, and more recent decades, which produced the internet, we will delve into what kinds of differences a medium makes. How does a poem on the page construct a different sort of record than an audio recording of a poem?  How does a print diary differ from a blog? 

The central aim of this course is to develop and refine critical thinking, reading, writing, and research skills.  While we will address issues of mechanics and style, the emphasis will be on how to gather evidence, organize and support claims, engage secondary materials, and ultimately formulate well-researched and well-reasoned arguments for clear, persuasive essays.  To that end, this course entails one short diagnostic essay (assigned during the first week of the semester) and three critical essays of increasing length, culminating in a final research project (~10 pages).  Students are responsible for careful completion of all reading and writing assignments as well as active participation in class discussion and peer review.  


Reading and Composition: Modernity and Objectivity

English R1B

Section: 11
Instructor: Rodal, Jocelyn
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Frayn, Michael: Copenhagen; Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers; Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Toomer, Jean: Cane; Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

Other Readings and Media

Selections from Gillian Beer, Hugh Kenner, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Raymond Williams, and William Carlos Williams.

Description

“On or about December, 1910, human character changed.” With this remarkable claim, Virginia Woolf tells us that in the modern world knowledge, consciousness, and emotional experience have transformed. She implies that, somehow, human subjectivity has become objectively different—in fact, that it has become more subjective, more complicated. People of the early twentieth century were preoccupied by their own modernity, convinced that in their era human experience was utterly distinct from anything that had come before.

In such shifting waters, how can we know how much we actually know? With change comes uncertainty, and, in part because their innovations were so radical, many modernist writers became newly motivated by evidence. Ezra Pound wrote that “the arts, literature, poesy, are a science, just as chemistry is a science.” Yet if human productions are totally objective, they might be no more than objects, mere uncomplicated things. On World War I battlefields, human bodies piled so high that living soldiers used them as physical barricades to provide cover from flying bullets. Modern technologies of war seemed to reduce people to objects. In opposition to writers like Pound, who championed exactitude and absolute knowledge, many modernists instead insisted that human experience was so complicatedly subjective as to be impossible to pin down. These thinkers pushed back against modern technologies and world-views that valued the absolute above the ambiguous.

This course will consider how subjectivity and objectivity operate together in poetry and fiction. What exactly is the difference between fact and opinion?  Do art and literature create objective knowledge? You will use original research to develop progressively longer papers, ultimately completing 32 pages of writing in drafts as well as revisions.


Reading and Composition: What Is Literature?

English R1B

Section: 12
Instructor: Ketz, Charity Corine
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Dostoevsky, Fyodor : Crime and Punishment; Shakespeare, William: Othello

Other Readings and Media

Other texts will be distributed electronically.

Description

In What is Literature?, Jean-Paul Sartre claims that the prose writer “is in a situation in language; he is invested with words. They are prolongations of his meanings, his pincers, his antennae, his spectacles. He manoeuveres them from within….[Whereas] the poet is outside language. He sees words inside out as if he did not share the human condition, and as if he were first meeting the word as a barrier as he comes toward men.” In describing prose as a mode of embodied engagement and poetry as a mode of estrangement, Sartre resolved generically a set of arguments routinely made about literature: that it is uniquely tied to action and that it resides at an absolute distance from the world and its actions. This course begins by interrogating Sartre’s distinction and by examining a set of classical arguments about literature (by Plato, Aristotle, and Sidney) and quickly turns to the broader questions these theorists undertake: what a literary work is and why we care about it. We will scrutinize one novel, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, a few of John Keats’s major poems, and one Shakespeare play, Othello, deriving arguments from them about the moment-by-moment experience of reading; how we might describe literary force; what it means to read well or badly; how we might describe poetry’s relation to other discourses; what the reader’s role in understanding a text is; and so on.

Requirements for the course include a series of critical papers that build toward a final research project.


Reading and Composition: Literary Festivity

English R1B

Section: 13
Instructor: Mangin, Sarah
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Shakespeare, William: Twelfth Night; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader (required) 

Description

In this class we will look at many dimensions of a deceptively simple question: what can a party mean? We’ll study celebrations as mechanisms both of radical freedom and total social control, including the legacy of medieval Church feast-days and folk-festivals as inversions and enforcers of social hierarchies.  We’ll read scenes of raucous gatherings juxtaposed with quieter revelations: the gender-bending romance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the social choreography of Jane Austen’s Emma, and the fraught provisions of a soirée in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.  As the class examines each work in its historical particularity and unique interpretive richness, students will learn strategies for effective academic writing. We will consider matters of sentence-craft alongside those of argumentation, organization, and critical reflection. In the final portion of the term, each student will complete a research paper (8-10 pages long) that develops a thematic strand of the course in an original direction while responding to a broader scholarly conversation.


Reading and Composition: Literary Cartography

English R1B

Section: 14
Instructor: Gillis, Brian
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Anderson, Sherwood: Winesburg, Ohio; Bishop, Elizabeth: The Complete Poems 1927-1979; Harriott, Thomas: A Briefe and New Report of a New Found Land in Virginia; Solnit, Rebecca: Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas; Stevenson, Robert Louis: Treasure Island; Turchi, Peter: Maps of the Imagination; Verne, Jules: Around the World In Eighty Days

Other Readings and Media

Movie: Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)

Short Stories: Jorge Luis Borges: “On the Exactitude of Science”; William Faulkner: “Red Leaves”

Students of this course will be asked to attend a showing of Mary Zimmerman's Treasure Island at The Berkeley Repertory Theater at 7:00 PM on April 27, 2016.

Description

Maps exist in the divide between reality and representation. They are metaphors of space and place, and the allure of the map is grounded in its ability to produce a controlled abstraction of distance, time, space, and location. Cartographers and map makers, much like writers, translate multidimensional worlds into schemas of points, lines, planes, and words that readers interpret. Our course will take up a constellation of texts that take cues from the technology of mapping. During the semester we’ll ask the questions: What is a map? What does it mean to read a map? How do maps tell stories? What is it they say?

The main objective of this course is to equip you with the skills needed to read, write, and analyze literature coherently, and to fine-tune the techniques you use to produce persuasive research essays. The essential skills you learn and refine in this class can become the foundation of your future studies even if your major is outside the humanities, because we will focus on skills generalizable across all classes: reading, writing, researching, and critical thinking. You can expect that the essays and strategy assignments due for this course will build on each other to aid in your compositions and to help you reach new and exciting levels of analysis. 


Reading and Composition: Documentary Poetry and Immaterial Poetry

English R1B

Section: 15
Instructor: Benjamin, Daniel
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Carson, Anne: Nox; Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung: Dictee; Philip, M. NourbeSe: Zong!; Reines, Ariana: Mercury; Reznikoff, Charles: Testimony

Other Readings and Media

A course reader with poems by Langston Hughes, Muriel Rukeyser, Jack Spicer, Hannah Weiner, Susan Howe, and Dana Ward.

Description

“Poetry’s not made of words,” writes Ariana Reines in her recent book Mercury (2012). This course considers that claim. Can literature be reduced to the words that make it up, or is there a surplus that a materialistic view of poetry fails to capture? What is material and what is immaterial in 20th-century American poetry? The central archive for this investigation is a group of texts sometimes referred to as “documentary poetry,” texts with close relations to source material. Some of these texts showcase the author’s deformation of the source text, while others “merely” reproduce them. Questions to be considered include: What is at stake in these interactions with source material? What does it mean for poetry to take up a documentary task? How do poetry’s apparently immaterial aims interact with these documentary approaches?

This course seeks to develop your critical thinking and writing skills. We will learn how to build evidence-based arguments from our readings of literary texts, and how to construct and pursue compelling research questions. Assignments will include two shorter essays (one of which may be creative), and a longer research essay.


Reading and Composition: Have You Lost Your Mind? Contesting Impressions in Literature, 1873-1973

English R1B

Section: 16
Instructor: Creasy, CFS
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable; Johnson, B.S.: Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry; Joyce, James: Dubliners; Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

Other Readings and Media

A film screening T.B.D.

A course reader with excerpts from Walter Pater, W.B. Yeats, Roger Fry, Rebecca West, Wyndham Lewis, Djuna Barnes, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, and various literary critics of these authors.

Description

Virginia Woolf famously wrote that “on or about December 1910, human character changed.” In her view, the exciting and experimental works of modernism—written by authors like T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Woolf herself—came out of the search for new ways to express this new human character. Many have followed Woolf in considering the masterworks of modernism in terms of changes of the modern age: new ideas about psychology and the inner experience of the individual, war, technology, and an increasingly complex and urban world. In this course, we will spend time thinking about the (often uncritically assumed) emphasis on character, inner experience, and the individual. Not only will we trace the ways that it is illuminating about what makes modernist works so daring, so emotionally powerful, and so difficult; we will also try to think about ways that modernism and its heirs think beyond, beneath, or in opposition to the individual, the character, and interiority.

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. Our attention will be devoted in large part to approaching a research paper as a series of cumulative but individually small and manageable pieces. Supplementing the successively longer and successively more revised essays, these intermediate steps will include things like peer editing, an annotated bibliography, and a draft outline.


Reading and Composition: Reading and Writing the City

English R1B

Section: 17
Instructor: Wilson, Mary
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Joyce, James: Dubliners

Other Readings and Media

Readings: Wordsworth, The Prelude (selections); Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (selections); Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life”; Virginia Woolf, “Flying Over London,” “Street Haunting”; Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (selections); Joan Didion, “Bureaucrats”; Ralph Ellison, “An Extravagance of Laughter”; Clarice Lispector, “Brasília”; Anne Carson, “The Life of Towns”; Mike Davis, “City of Glass” (excerpts); selected poems by Frank O’Hara, John Ashbury, Juliana Spahr, Myung Mi Kim, and others.

Films: Paul Strand, Manhatta (1921); Charlie Chaplin, City Lights (1931); Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989)

Description

The city is many different things in literature. As a plot device, the city is often a place of danger and opportunity, a place where characters make their way or lose themselves in the attempt. As a setting, the city may be open or closed; it may invite the freedom of exploration or provoke the anxiety that arises from exclusion. These interpretations consider the city as a backdrop, as the stage on which the drama of fiction unfolds. But what happens when we push it to the foreground? What happens when we consider the city itself as subject, character, or text?

In this class we will examine 20th- century texts that foreground the city in various ways. We will encounter moments in which urban space is conflated with mental space, private space with public power, cityscape with text. In our written assignments we will try to move beyond the old divisions between character and setting, and to consider the broader implications of these crossover moments.

The primary aim of this course is to develop your critical thinking, writing, and research skills, and to help you to write across the disciplines. To this end, you will write and revise two short critical essays (4-5 pages) and one final research project (8-10 pages). Students will also be responsible for weekly reading responses and in-class peer writing reviews.


Reading and Composition: Life Writing

English R1B

Section: 18
Instructor: Bauer, Mark
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 225 Wheeler


Book List

Johnson, James Wheldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Lowell, Robert: Life Studies; Satrapi, Marjane: The Complete Persepolis; Wordsworth, William: The Prelude

Other Readings and Media

Elizabeth Bishop, Selected Prose and Poetry; Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (online); Florence Hardy, The Early Life of Thomas Hardy (online); Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives (selections online); Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself” (online)

Description

Life writing seems self-explanatory as writing that is about one’s life, but what does that mean, exactly? How does a life become literature, and why should literature, the province of the imagination, be made to present a real life?  This course examines the rewards and difficulties that follow from life writing’s proposition to connect the biographical self of the author with the self of the text.  We will begin with a brief examination of autobiography as a genre before turning our attention to literary works in genres that are not necessarily autobiographical, but which authors have adapted to tell the story of an autobiographical self.  Among other questions, we will be asking how each work creates its identification between the author’s ‘I’ and the text’s ‘I,’ as well as what the work gains, loses, or calls into question through that identification.  In addition to the readings, the course will also sharpen students’ written argumentative and research skills.  You will write and revise several essays, culminating in an eight- to ten-page research paper.