English R1B

Reading & Composition: Authenticity, Fraud, and Representation

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Ben Cannon
MWF 9-10 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Peter Carey, My Life As a Fake

Course reader may include short stories, poetry, essays and excerpts by: Arthur Conan Doyle, Jorge Luis Borges, Edgar Allen Poe, Daniel Defoe, Herman Melville, Philip K. Dick, Wyndham Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Fernando Pessoa, Plato, Rem Koolhaas, Jean Baudrillard, Hugh Kenner, and Walter Benjamin. "


"Visual art may include: Rubens, Goya, Corot, Warhol, Koons. This course will consider the relationship between concepts of fraud and authenticity in literature, using this basic opposition to explore questions about originality, representation, and identity. Can something fake be real if it provokes a genuine emotional response? Can fiction ever be �real�? What about things we are supposed to understand to be fake? Are collage and pastiche genuine artistic expressions, or simply legitimized modes of fraud? Is all art in some sense fake in that it is removed from direct experience? How does fraud complicate concepts of biography and personal history? Finally, why does it matter so much anyway? What is at stake in our claims of authenticity in relation to works of art?

This course will use these questions to help students generate and revise three papers of progressively greater length over the course of the semester as they develop their skills in analytical reading, research, and argumentation. "

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