English R1A

Reading and Composition: City and Country

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Fall 2011 Bauer, Mark
Bauer, Mark
MWF 2-3 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
A reader including poems by Horace, Hart Crane, Jean Toomer, Frank O’Hara, and essays by Wallace Stegner, Raymond Williams, and Jane Jacobs. 


The opposition between city life and country life goes back at least as far as ancient Rome, but today it takes on a new significance as urbanites are asked to respond to a problem that is often felt more sharply in rural areas – global climate change.  Investigating the city/country divide will provide insight into the cultural significance and constructedness of each sphere, and also the degree to which they depend on each other, both for their identities and for mutual survival.  In addition to these primary spheres, we’ll also explore the less clearly defined spaces at their margins – suburbs, and, at the other extreme, wilderness – asking both what constitutes them and what they mean to us.  The course’s chief aim will be the cultivation of students’ writing skills, especially their argumentative and analytical abilities, which they will use to draft, edit, and revise several short papers over the course of the semester. 

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