English R1A

Reading & Composition: The Uses of Art

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Spring 2008 Monica Soare
TTH 2-3:30 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

(all the material will be in a Course Reader)


"This is a composition class loosely structured around the (admittedly huge) question of what art does for us personally and for the culture as a whole. Why do we respond to certain music or movies or novels and not others? What governs the art trends that we live through? Does art have any power to change the world? What motivates us to make art and what motivates us to consume it? With the help of some classic critical works, we will think through these questions as we read, view, and listen our way through some notable artwork of our time. Because Berkeley hosts some of the most exciting contemporary artists and programs, we will be attending art-related events around campus all semester. With a fund given to this class by the Consortium for the Arts, we will visit the Berkeley Art Museum (where painter and printmaker Enrique Chagoya and video artist Joan Jonas are scheduled to have shows), see films at the Pacific Film Archive, attend a play and/or a dance performance through Cal Performances, and go to a poetry reading.

The class requirements are: regular class attendance and attendance at the artistic events, several short essays you will be required to revise, weekly 1 page response writings, and occasional quizzes. To help you tackle the different types of works, however, we will practice analyzing the various types of media in class. We will also study and practice the skills needed for good expository writing: how to analyze a text, how to create a strong argument, how to support the argument, and how to express your ideas clearly. "

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