English R1B

Reading & Composition: Country and City

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
14 Spring 2012 Bauer, Mark
MWF 3-4 221 Wheeler

Book List

Dillard, Annie: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby; Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the D'Urbervilles; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

The course bSpace site will include poems by Horace, Hart Crane, Jean Toomer, and Frank O’Hara, and essays by Wallace Stegner, Raymond Williams, and Jane Jacobs, among several others.


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, whether it’s diminishing habitat for polar bears or famines caused by fluctuating food prices.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 will hone students’ ability to write and revise longer, research-based papers, while still focusing on the skills of literary analysis needed to think critically about the course texts.

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