Announcement of Classes: Fall 2016


Reading and Composition: Issues

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Ling, Jessica
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Book List

Dickens, Charles: Hard Times; Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie

Other Readings and Media

Selections include:  Thomas Carlyle, "Signs of the Times"; Adam Smith, A Theory of Moral Sentiments; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age; Henry Mayhew, London Labor and the London Poor; Rebecca Harding Davis, "Life in the Iron Mills"; Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Man the Reformer"; Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England; Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, "Striking It Richer"; n+1, "Occupy!"; Nathan Schneider, Thank You, Anarchy!

Description

Note the change in instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1A (as of May 20).

How bad are things, really? This class puts problems of past and present up for debate. We take as our starting point the nineteenth century, looking at techniques by which writers called for change and tracing how reformist language and description evolved across a number of issues: the condition of the industrial laborer, abolition, income inequality, corruption and enfranchisement. Our premise is that how something is argued is just as important as what. We'll therefore think about the relationship between representation and argument; how the scale, seriousness, and persuasiveness of certain issues rest on inflationary or urgent rhetoric; the ways literature gets conscripted into arguments (good and bad); the ambitions and limitations of literature in the public sphere. Other areas of inquiry include the uses of satire and vitriol; facts and "realist" description; the rhetoric of crisis; the effects of continuing coverage and the 24-hour newsfeed. We will approach contemporary activist journalism and election-year debates with a skeptical ear. In examining arguments about hard and "workful" times, we'll start to craft arguments about our own.

Our emphasis is on independent thinking, critical reading, and analysis. You'll be asked to build balanced, well-researched cases on literature and contemporary issues. In-class debates and short papers (3-4 pages) will be the culmination of your work.


Reading and Composition: The Fugitive

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: Johnson, Sarah Jessica
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 225 Dwinelle


Book List

Condé, Maryse: I, Tituba; Black Witch of Salem; Davis, Angela: An Autobiography; Northup, Solomon: Twelve Years a Slave

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Films:  Jim Jarmusch: Down By Law; Steve McQueen: 12 Years a Slave; Stuart Baird: U.S. Marshalls 

Description

Run. Now. Don’t look back. (Wait, come back.) This class will consider the American fugitive. What does it mean for someone to escape some form of imprisonment without being able to lawfully reenter society? Does it mean they sneak in? Take on another identity? Or remain “off the grid”—outside society, looking in? We will read depictions of the fugitive through three narrative lenses: recounting, reporting, and recording.

In thinking about your own position as a student and budding writer, we will confront a couple of  pertinent questions: Does the fugitive speak? Can he write? Does she write? Can writing play a role in a fugitive’s reentry into or rejection of society? In addition to these questions concerning the elusiveness of the fugitive and fugitive writing, we will discuss examples of fugitive meaning. 

Over the course of the semester, we will read of the escape of an enslaved house servant in Maryse Condé’s voicing of one of America’s first and most interesting recorded prisoners, Tituba, an early scapegoat in the Salem witch trials; we will investigate the forms of flight taken by African-American slaves escaping bondage after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act; we will examine journalistic prose about modern day fugitives of the law including Angela Davis, “El Chapo,” and prisoners at Alcatraz. Finally, through film we will analyze fictional narratives of fugitives that imagine the everyday emotional and practical concerns of someone fleeing law enforcement. 


Reading and Composition

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time:
Location:


Description

This section of English R1A has been canceled.


Reading and Composition: Reading Ads: They'll Tell You What You Want, What You Really Really Want

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Ehrlinspiel, Hannah Kathryn
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 50 Barrows


Book List

Barthes, Roland: Mythologies

Other Readings and Media

All other readings will be in the course reader, available at Metro Publishing on Bancroft.

Description

Think of something that you want right now, at this very moment. Now tell me why you want it. Are you sure? Do you really want it, or do you want to want it? Or does someone else want you to want it? How do you know that your desire is your own, that it originates from within and is not imposed from without? When ads surround us—and especially as we enter into the online era of personalized, bespoke marketing—it can be difficult for contemporary existence not to feel pre-packaged, technicolored, high-glossed, unreal. Are we doomed to be dupes, to buy into Kinfolk’s whitewashed minimalism or GQ’s cool-guy kitsch? What type of marketing captures you, and why?

Our efforts in this class will be two-fold. During the first half of the semester, we will endeavor to be more critical consumers by applying the literary skill of close-reading to less traditionally “literary” texts: ads in a number of media. We all know that sex sells, but what other (perhaps more subtle) tricks and tactics do companies use to catch our interest? What associations might a color scheme conjure? How can an image trigger identification? And what kind of identification? When shopping for soup, for instance, do you prefer the old-school nostalgia of a can of Campbell’s or the new-age wholesomeness of Amy’s Organic? From typefaces to taglines, we will pay close attention to the detail in order to see how design determines desire. We will also attempt to understand how ads not only cater to but also create consumers. Who is included in—and excluded from—the “target audience”? In the second half of the semester, we will focus on resistances to advertising’s pervasiveness, discussing the creative types of “antiviruses” available to combat this viral marketing.  

Through careful attention to the way ads seduce and produce us, we will engage in and with the practices of close reading, argumentative analysis, persuasive writing, and critical thinking—skills that will enable you, in turn, to persuade your reader into “buying” the products of this class: the dazzling arguments of your written work.


Reading and Composition: The Self and Lyric Form

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Viragh, Atti
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 80 Barrows


Book List

Carruth, Hayden: The Voice that is Great Within Us: American Poetry of the Twentieth Century; Ramazani, Jahan: Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry: Volume 1

Description

 "I longed to be that thing, / The pure, sensuous form," writes Theodore Roethke, in a poem about watching a young snake glide out of the shadows. American poets from a wide variety of backgrounds and traditions have imagined poetic form as a space of self-creation or self-exploration. Far from being a conventionalized structure through which ideas pass, literary form for many poets becomes a site of longing, projection, embodiment, and more. Using concepts of the self taken from modern psychology, this course will examine how poets set out to discover and assert something of their identity that is made available to them when they experiment with poetic elements such as line-breaks, narrative, voice, and the lyric “I.” We will put language under a microscope in order to answer the enormous question of how poets encounter the self through the pure, sensuous constructs of lyric form.

The goals of this class are to develop your abilities to read closely, critically and sensitively; to persuasively argue for unique and significant interpretations of your reading; and to craft your own writing with the same attentiveness that we will be giving to the poetry we are reading.

 


Reading and Composition: Wild Women in America

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Bondy, Katherine Isabel
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 138 Morgan


Book List

Morrison, Toni: Sula; Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping; Rowlandson, Mary: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Other Readings and Media

Course reader with selections of documents pertaining to the Antinomian Controversy, the Salem Witchcraft Trials, & the Seneca Falls Convention, along with works by Anne Bradstreet, Phyllis Wheatley, Judith Sargent Murray, Margaret Fuller, Mary Prince, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Sojourner Truth, E. Pauline Johnson, Zitkala-Sa, and others. 

Mandatory screening of Robert Eggers’ The Witch (2015).  

Description

Wild women come in all shapes and sizes: spiritual prophets, melancholic captives, alleged witches, radical reformers, reclusive poets, cunning runaways, intimate rivals, and meditative drifters are just some of the alluring, often challenging, figures we will explore in our survey of American history and literary form. Since its colonial beginnings, American society has been in turn vexed, enchanted, and upended by the presence of transgressive and law-breaking females, both fictional and historical. With a particular eye to the relation between femininity and form, we will read a wide array of women-authored prose and poetry spanning the first three centuries of the nation’s existence. Our inquiries will include, but not be limited to: female spirituality, prophecy, and revelation; gender reform, politics, and early activism; Native American writing and rights; questions of authorship, popularity, and canonization; sentimentality and sympathy; slavery and black womanhood; motherhood and kinship; domesticity and its experimentations; the potentials of female friendship; women and non-human relations. In our final turn to the twentieth-century with Toni Morrison’s 1973 Sula and Marilynne Robinson’s 1980 Housekeeping, we will shift these questions into a more contemporary moment as we continue to wonder: what difference do women make in American literature?

The authors in this course will unanimously challenge and destabilize our expectations, literary and otherwise. We will therefore spend the semester learning how, as readers and thinkers, to respond critically, creatively, and compassionately. This is a writing intensive course: you will be expected to produce 32 pages of writing in total, which will take the form of weekly reading responses, short essays, and longer revisions. Beyond sharpening basic critical writing skills through the development of strong close reading practices, our objective will be to discover how to incorporate literature’s language into our own—to echo it, converse with it, and expand upon it.


Reading and Composition: Forms of Humiliation

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: Callender, Brandon
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 41 Evans


Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Chee, Alexander: Edinburgh; Kincaid, Jamaica: A Small Place; Kingston, Maxine, Hong: The Woman Warrior; Rankine, Claudia: Citizen; Torres, Justin: We the Animals

Other Readings and Media

Other texts will be made available through the course website. This will include work by a range of authors, such as Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, Thomas Glave, Wayne Koestenbaum and others. 

Description

What do bullying, body-shaming, and bashing do to one’s experience of language and the world? Often, scenes of humiliation involve an encounter between some private ideal we have of ourselves and our public reception. But what is humiliation – this word that has humility at its core, and expresses the common fear of being outcast, misaligned, and misunderstood? In this course we will examine the shifting forms of identity and belonging to see how humiliation can reinforce national, racial, and gendered identities while also providing murky escapes from these categories. To that end, we will consider the role that humiliation plays in the politics of individual and group representation, especially pertaining to questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. How does humiliation transform our relationships with our bodies and the world that they inhabit? What happens when we understand works of fragmentation not as broken or impaired forms, but as differently-abled modes of artistic expression?

The goal of the course will be to improve your writing and critical abilities. We will work to develop compelling arguments and clear, artful prose. You will be expected to write and revise three papers over the course of the semester.


Reading and Composition: The Essay and American Life

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: de Stefano, Jason
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Book List

Als, Hilton: White Girls; Robinson, Marilynne: When I Was a Child I Read Books

Other Readings and Media

All other readings will be provided in a course reader.

Description

Note the change in instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1A (as of May 10).

The social theorist and cultural critic Theodor Adorno described the essay as a curious hybrid, at once more open-ended and more hermetically closed than we might expect. If that's the case, then the essay might be the quintessential American genre, for the nation's own political experiment has often involved confronting tensions between openness and closure: the ideal inclusiveness of a democratic society versus a coherently defined national identity; cosmopolitanism versus communitarianism; neighborliness versus self-reliance; freedom of information versus personal privacy; open borders versus closed. In our readings we will investigate how writers from the earliest days of the United States to today have used the essay as a means to think through these and other aspects of American life, broadly defined. We will also ask how the essay as a genre has been and can be called upon to situate the lives and identities of particular individuals with respect to American culture and society writ large.

Of course, R1A is also designed to engage students in their own extensive essay writing. In this course you will develop your writing practice and experiment with and hone your skills in critical thinking, rhetoric, and intellectual analysis by writing and reading essays. To that end, we will ask of our essays and of those of some of the form's most famous practitioners: what is an essay, or what can it be? how do essays "work"? and how do we understand the essay's place within a broader intellectual and literary culture, both in history and today? An essay is more than an exercise in composition. In its original sense, an essay is "a trial, testing, proof"—an "experiment" (OED, entry 1a.) Writing assignments in this course will allow students to experiment with different kinds of writing, from the more creative and personal to the analytic and scholarly. We will also put our work on trial, as it were, through continuous and thoughtful peer review. The goal is less to critique, however, than to create an open and engaged conversation about writing well and how to make our own writing better.


Reading and Composition: The Rest is Commentary

English R1A

Section: 9
Instructor: Magarik, Raphael
Time: TTh 5-6:30 PM
Location: 134 Dwinelle


Book List

Broido, Luci: The Master Letters; Dante: La Vita Nuova; Eliot, T. S. : The Waste Land and Other Poems; Nabokov, Vladimir: Pale Fire

Description

"The verse," writes an early interpreter of the Bible, "cries out, 'interpret me.'" Commentators often justify themselves in this way, deferentially insisting that earlier texts desire, need, and therefore authorize secondary supplements. But verses do not, of course, cry out, and commentators rarely serve the commented-upon text as straightforwardly as they insist. Rather it is the oddly self-effacing genre of commentary itself that calls for explanation. (Though commentary in its narrow sense involves an  exegetical text that explains a target text whose sequence it follows, we will also look at several examples that impose their own order on the target text.) What drives a writer to annotate, gloss, and explain another's work rather than writing "their own"? What do commentators owe their base texts? Why and how do different commentators disagree? Is commentary creative or parasitic?
 
In this class, we will examine a wide range of these second-order texts: ancient commentaries on the Bible, auto-commentary like Dante's essays discussing his romantic lyrics, and T.S. Eliot's notes to The Waste Land, all deranged commentaries that diverge wildly from their ostensible subjects, as well as harshly critical online "fiskings" and digital annotation platforms like Rap Genius, even so-called supercommentaries (that is, commentaries on other commentaries).
 
Wrestling with these questions will inform our own work as writers. After all, commentary straddles the boundary between reading and composition. You will do lots of writing and revision, frequently commenting on each others' drafts. We will practice the tools of analytic writing—from the elements of a good thesis to the details of sentence structure and citation—as we craft our own commentaries.


Reading and Composition: Walking America

English R1B

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


Book List

Anderson, Sherwood: Winesburg, Ohio; Baum, L. Frank: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter; Solnit, Rebecca: Wanderlust: A History of Walking; Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom's Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly; Thoreau, Henry David: Walking (this one will be an electronic text to be supplied by the instructor)

Other Readings and Media

Map: Berkeley PATH Wanderers Association, Berkeley and Its Pathways (to be provided by the instructor with the generous support of the Koshland Course Development Grant).

Movies:  The Wiz (1978); Manhatta (1921)

Short Stories:  Kate Chopin, "A Morning Walk"; Ray Bradbury, "The Pedestrian"

Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Walt Whitman

Description

Note the change in instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1B.

From Walt Whitman's walks through Manhattan to Leslie Marmon Silko's treks through the Tucson wilderness, American writers have long been preoccupied with the subject of walking and its political, aesthetic, and social meanings. This course will examine the theme of walking from a variety of interpretative frames, and from the perspectives of a wide array of American authors. Our goal will not just be to consider the history of walking in America, but more crucially to understand how that history has shaped American literature and culture and consequently the ways in which we each walk in the world.

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


Reading and Composition: Literature and Popular Culture

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: Le, Serena
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Book List

Carroll, Lewis: Alice in Wonderland; Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein: They Say, I Say; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Shakesepeare, William: Hamlet

Other Readings and Media

A small course reader with poems and short texts (available in print and online); will include work by William Shakespeaere, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, among others. Accompanying media (video and audio clips) will be made available thorugh our course website, and we will also schedule a few screenings of film adaptations.

Description

Note the change in the instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1B (as of May 19).

How does a poem about a road merely taken become a poem about a road less traveled? What happens when literature becomes an instrument of individuation and socialization—when something read becomes something talked about, told, retold? In this course, we will look at how and why certain literary works entice, infuse, sustain, and are sustained by popular culture and communal imagination, often at the expense of their source meanings and contexts. From Piper's unwelcome (albeit analytically sound) takedown of Taystee's Robert Frost reference on Orange is the New Black to Lana Del Ray's unabashed (and arguably unwitting) reenvisioning of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita character in the tracks of "Born to Die," we will discuss contemporary portrayals of literature and literariness alongside our own attentive readings of some of the most frequently cited works in the English language.

As a student in this class, you will develop skills in debate and argumentation, as well as in research and reportage. Using Gerald Graff and Cathy BIrkenstein's book, They Say, I Say, as our point of departure for thinking and learning about academic writing, we will grapple with the questions of intention and interpretation that lie at the heart of compelling critical analysis. Short written assignments and exercises will build toward a final research paper on a topic of your choosing within the themes of our course.


Reading and Composition: Signs of the Times

English R1B

Section: 3
Instructor: Terlaak Poot, Luke
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Book List

Eliot, George: The Mill on the Floss; Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the d'Urbervilles; Morris, William: News from Nowhere; Scott, Walter: The Bride of Lammermoor

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

Note the change in instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1B (as of May 16).

Do you ever feel like the faster you go, the less time you have? In the nineteenth century, rapid but uneven changes made this paradox difficult to ignore. In this class, we will look at the way nineteenth-century British writing responds to changes in what we'll call the "temporal structure of society." This is a dauntingly abstract phrase, but in practice it means we will be thinking about signs of the times: debates over the length of the working day, celebrations and condemnations of technological changes rendering transportation, communication, and production ever faster, and anxieties about historical progress and decline. We will read some of the century's most important literary forms (the historical novel, the sketch, the periodical essay, the realist novel, and science fiction) and consider how these genres both represent different forms of time and are themselves shaped by those forms.

Students will learn how to conduct research in support of their own original, persuasive writing. Short assignments will provide opportunities to practice all stages of the writing and revising process, and the course will culminate in a longer research paper.


Reading and Composition: "One Fine Day": Diurnal Narratives of the 20th Century

English R1B

Section: 4
Instructor: Fleishman, Kathryn
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 225 Dwinelle


Book List

Baker, Nicholson: The Mezzanine; Isherwood, Christopher: A Single Man; Pinter, Harold: The Birthday Party; Solzhenitsyn, Aleskandr: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

Some of the most powerful stories we tell are constrained within the temporal limits of a single day. This course embraces "the day" as a significant unit of narrative time, exploring diurnal fictions as vital sites of personal reflection, dull routine, social change, self-identity, anticipation, and surprise. Focusing on the textures and sensations of everyday life (as well as their disruption), the theoretical basis of the course will lie in some canonical studies of time, consciousness, and the everyday, such as the writings of Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michel de Certeau. Fictional texts will include excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses, novels by Virginia Woolf, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Christopher Isherwood, and Nicholson Baker, the poetry of T.S. Eliot and Frank O'Hara, short stories by Raymond Carver and John Updike, the drama of Harold Pinter, and films like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Roman Holiday, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Goundhog Day, Jeanne Dielman, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and The Hours.

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


Reading and Composition

English R1B

Section: 5
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time:
Location:


Description

This section of English R1B has been canceled.


Reading and Composition

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time:
Location:


Other Readings and Media

This section of English R1B has been canceled.


Reading and Composition: Lost Literature: Recovering and (re)-Discovering Hidden Texts of the Nineteenth Century

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Sirianni, Lucy
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 50 Barrows


Book List

Alcott, Louisa May: A Long Fatal Love Chase (Dell, 1996; ISBN: 978-0440223016; Bennett, Paula Bernat: Nineteenth-Century American Women Poets (Wiley-Blackwell, 1997; ISBN: 978-0631203995); Crafts, Hannah: The Bondwoman's Narrative (Ed.: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; Warner, 2002; ISBN: 978-0-7595-2764-5); Sedgwick, Catharine Maria: Hope Leslie (Ed.: Mary Kelley; Rutgers, 1987; ISBN: 8601403037727)

Other Readings and Media

Please note that while you are welcome to purchase the required texts for this course from the bookseller of your choice, you must purchase the editions specified above.

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: Staging Desire: Sex and Sexuality in Renaissance Drama

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Scott, Mark JR
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 134 Dwinelle


Book List

Ford, John: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Lyly, John: Gallathea; Marlowe, Christopher: Edward II; Shakespeare, William: As You Like It

Other Readings and Media

Edward II (film), dir. Derek Jarman (1991).

A course reader will also be produced containing additional primary and secondary texts including works from Renaissance antitheatricalists like Philip Stubbes and Stephen Gosson, as well as modern theorists of gender and sexuality such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler.

Description

The drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries offers a fascinating site for the analysis of gender and sexuality as historical and theoretical constructs, rather than as the timeless and universal ‘facts’ of human experience which they are often assumed to be. In a ‘transvestite theatre’ in which all roles, male and female, are played by boys and men, assumptions regarding the absolute and fixed nature of gender difference are called into question, while the fact that scenes of heterosexual desire are played out between men creates a space for the expression of homosexual and other transgressive desires. At the level of both form and content, the early modern theatre above all underlines the status of gender as performance. We will read a set of plays produced between the 1580s and 1630s which pose gender and sexuality as central problems, studying these in conjunction with a variety of both Renaissance and modern-day texts confronting these debates. We will seek to reflect upon the immense shaping power of the societal norms which govern sex and gender, and to locate those instances where non-normative identities and sexualities assert themselves.

The broader academic purpose of this course is to develop your critical reading and writing skills, whatever your major might be. You will write and revise three papers of increasing length over the semester, and work with peers to improve your writing and critical thinking.


Reading and Composition

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time:
Location:


Description

This section of English R1B has been canceled.


Reading and Composition: Monomanias

English R1B

Section: 10
Instructor: McWilliams, Ryan
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 41 Evans


Book List

Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick; Orleans, Susan: The Orchid Thief; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will include critical essays as well as short stories.

Films may include: Spike Jonze, Adaptation; Werner Herzog, Fitzcarraldo; Les Blank, The Burden of Dreams; Francis Ford Coppola, The Conversation, etc. 

Description

Note the change in instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1B (as of May 10).

This course will give you a framework to think (and write) more critically about the things you can't stop thinking about anyways. Throughout the semester we'll pay attention to the role of monomania as an epistemological coping strategy for a world bewideringly overburdened with significance. Our readings will explore the potential of such fixations while also considering the darker side of obsession. We will ask how and why the seemingly random or arbitrary interest—a flower, a sperm whale, a mysterious symbol—consumes the attention of literary protagonists and readers alike. In addition to investigating the complex psychological mechanisms of such attention, we will consider why certain objects, hobbies, and texts tend to cause monomaniacal absorption.

To aid these investigations, we will consider the ways that obsessions have been theorized: as a sign 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. Later in the semester we will turn out attention to the question of academic obsession, asking what differentiates research from monomania. As we refine our own research projects through formal research questions, annotated bibliographies, drafts, and peer review, we will keep in mind Barbara Tuchman's observation that, "Research is endlessly seductive, but writing is hard work," using our insights into the nature of obsession to help us manage the transition from prolonged investigation to selective application and synthesis. Over the course of the semester you will produce 32 pages of written work.


Reading and Composition

English R1B

Section: 11
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time:
Location:


Description

This section of English R1B has been canceled.


Reading and Composition: London: Self and the City

English R1B

Section: 12
Instructor: Wise, Diana Catherine
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 175 Dwinelle


Book List

Boswell, James: Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763; Dickens, Charles: Bleak House; Pepys, Samuel: The Diary of Samuel Pepys; Smith, John Thompson: The Cries of London; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader: Robert Herrick, “His Return to London”; William Wordsworth, “London, 1802”; William Blake, “London”; etc.

Description

“What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open,” exclaimed Baudelaire in Fleurs du Mal, his 1857 book of urban poetry: “Life swarms with innocent monsters.”

But what exactly is the relationship between these monsters and the city they’re roaming? Do they produce the city? Does the city create the monsters? What does it mean to be an individual in the enormous, sprawling, complicated, built-up wilderness of London?

This class tackles the self and the city, hopscotching through a long tradition of urban writing about London from the 16th century to the 21st. Beginning with two famous English diaries and the question of fashioning a self in 17th- and 18th-century London, we spend time with 19th-century civic improvements in the form of Dickens’s great novel Bleak House and anthropological documentations of London’s street scenes. We round out the course with Virginia Woolf’s high-modernist exploration of mental and urban wandering and Zadie Smith’s meditation on immigration and the city at the turn of the millenium.


Reading and Composition: Queer/of Color Cultural Productions

English R1B

Section: 13
Instructor: Valella, Daniel
Time: TTh 5-6:30 PM.
Location: 263 Dwinelle


Book List

Anzaldúa, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza; Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Hagedorn, Jessica: Dogeaters; Hwang, David Henry: M. Butterfly; Womack, Craig S.: Drowning in Fire

Other Readings and Media

Required Films (both available in Moffitt Library and on Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play): Paris Is Burning and Boys Don’t Cry

Other Required Texts (all available on bCourses): Short pieces by Chrystos, the Combahee River Collective, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Junot Díaz, David L. Eng, Audre Lorde, Cherríe Moraga, Achy Obejas, and Andrea Smith; episodes of the TV shows Orange Is the New Black and How to Get Away with Murder

Description

What meanings do the terms “queer” and “of color” carry? How do different literary and artistic genres represent the experiences of (racial, sexual, gender, or other social) minorities? What relationships can we trace between textual legibility (how a work of art can, or asks to, be interpreted) and cultural legibility (how an individual or community can, or asks to, be identified)? In this course, we will explore these questions as we read, watch, and evaluate artistic works that transport us across the globe—from Parisian bars to the Rio Grande Valley to Philippine jungles to Oklahoman Indian settlements.

In our travels across space, time, and genre, we will consider the benefits—as well as the limitations—of understanding the term “queer” not simply as a reference to LGBT identities but, more expansively, as a signifier of deviation from any number of sociopolitical norms. Similarly, we will contemplate what can be gained (or lost) by taking comparative and intersectional approaches to the study of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation. How useful is it, for instance, to understand subjects as “of color” rather than “black” or “Asian”? What do we learn when we shift our focus from, say, “Latinos” or “the poor” to “working-class U.S. Latina lesbians”?

As we analyze the various methods of research and exposition that our authors employ to convey social and literary meaning, we will work on developing our own methods of research and analysis for effective critical writing. To this end, we will focus throughout the semester on asking precise and significant questions, on identifying useful print and online sources to help us refine and answer these questions, and on translating our research findings into strong scholarly arguments. Early in the term, we will visit our campus’s Bancroft Library to learn how to work with archival materials. Later, we will meet with a librarian in Doe to learn how to navigate the wide array of library resources available to us as UC Berkeley students. Finally, we will work together to outline, draft, and revise our own research papers (one 6- to 8-page essay and one 10- to 12-page essay) on topics related to the major themes of our course.


Reading & Composition

English R1B

Section: 14
Instructor: Mezur, Katherine
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Condry, Ian: The Soul of Anime; Lamarre, Thomas: The Anime Machine, A Media Theory of Animation; McCarthy, Helen: Hayao Miyazaki, Master of Japanese Animation; Napier, Susan: Anime, From Akira to Howl's Moving Castle; Odell, Colin and Le Blanc, Michelle (Studio Ghibli): The Films of Hayao Miyasaki and Asao Takahata

Description

This section of English R1B started meeting on Wednesday, September 7. The instructor will be be able to supply more details about the course to new students when they come to class.


Reading & Composition

English R1B

Section: 15
Instructor: Mezur, Katherine
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 61 Evans


Book List

Condry, Ian: The Soul of Anime; Lamarre, Thomas: The Anime Machine, A Media Theory of Animation; McCarthy, Helen: Hayao Miyazaki, Master of Japanese Animation; Napier, Susan: Anime, From Akira to Howl's Moving Castle; Odell, Colin and Le Blanc, Michelle (Studio Ghibli): The Films of Hayao Miyasaki and Asao Takahata

Description

This section of English R1B started meeting on Wednesday, September 7. The instructor will be be able to supply more details about the course to new students when they come to class.