English R1A

Reading and Composition: Noise

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2005 Jami Bartlett
MWF 9-10 204 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Seeing & Writing 2, Donald McQuade, Christine McQuade

The Mezzanine, Nicholson Baker

A Severed Head, Iris Murdoch

Poor Miss Finch, Wilkie Collins

The Conversation, dir. Francis Ford Coppola

Powerful Paragraphs, Bruce Ross-Larson

Course reader with excerpts from Wilde, Dickens, Carver, Pinter, Foster Wallace and more "


"This course is about reading and writing through noise. I have chosen texts that teach us how to listen, that are deliberately indulgent, layered, provocative, and intense. Because the opposite of noise isn't silence but signal, no matter where you write or how you read you're going to have to learn to hear it. We will ask ourselves the following: Does reading have to bully us into bad behavior, searching for the idea at the expense of detail? Is it inherently subject to the interference of memory and projective hypotheses? Why is the 'too little' as noisy as the 'too much'?

I will assign five short, revised papers (each 2-4 pages), two in-class essays, four peer-editing sessions, and weekly weblog responses to course readings. Our aim, as always, is the development of your ability to analyze difficult work, and to use that analysis to produce credible arguments. My hope is that a topic like 'Noise' will allow us to locate more effectively the causes of interference, giving us the tools to understand our distractions, and strategize our responses. "

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