English R1B

Reading and Composition: Abject America

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Fall 2006 Peter Goodwin
TTh 3:30-5 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Edgar Allan Poe,�The Fall of the House of Usher,� and other tales

William Faulkner, Light in August

Dorothy Allison, Bastard out of Carolina

Oscar Zeta Acosta, The Revolt of the Cockroach People

Diana Hacker, A Writer�s Reference

A course reader

Required viewing:

Carrie (dir. Brian De Palma, 1977) "


"In this course we will be exploring the converse of the American dream of �life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.� In texts spanning from the antebellum period to the 1980s, we�ll follow stories of death, captivity, and pursuit by misery. Julia Kristeva�s essay on abjection and Judith Butler�s work on subjection and subjectivity will provide a theoretical framework for our literary studies. Further readings from leaders in American movements for civil rights will provide a pragmatic orientation.

The primary goal of this course is to teach you how to conduct and present research in a clear and compelling way. With this in mind, the readings are designed to guide students in their own research about American experiences of captivity, shame, starvation, sexual violation, and racial hatred. Your final project will be a literary research paper on a topic of your own design. We will devote a considerable amount of class time to learning about the basic tools and techniques for writing a college research paper. "

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