English R1B

Reading & Composition: Vagrancy

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Fall 2008 Ruth Baldwin
TTh 8-9:30 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Stephen Crane: Maggie, or, a Girl of the Streets; William Shakespeare: King Lear; Rudyard Kipling: Kim; Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist; Diana Hacker: Rules for Writers


"When did it become potentially criminal to be poor? Why is vagrancy a source of such contention and anxiety for so many? What are some of the popular myths and fantasies about vagrancy and homelessness, and where did they come from? What are the stories we tell ourselves about homelessness? These are just a few of the questions that will motivate our reading and research this semester. We will study a wide range of texts about vagrancy and placelessness, from Shakespeare�s King Lear and Elizabethan rogue pamphlets to California state laws concerning vagrancy and the current issue of Street Spirit. Your research may involve interviews at a local homeless shelter, of police officers, of business owners, and of other Cal students, in addition to sources available at the library.

Like all R&C classes, this course will focus on honing your skills as a critical reader and writer. The 1B class is designed to build on the fluency with sentence, paragraph, and thesis-development that you developed in 1A or elsewhere, and to develop your skills at academic research and essay writing. To that end, there will be three short (3-4 page) essays, two of which you will have the opportunity to draft and revise. A final research paper of 8-10 pages based on your collected research will conclude the semester. In addition to the written work, there will be 1-2 required in-class presentations. "

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