English R1B

Reading and Composition: Subjects of Mobility: Wanderers, Outcasts, Detectives, and Expatriates


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2005 Monika Gehlawat
MWF (2-3 p.m.) 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf

Tender Is the Night - F.Scott Fitzgerald

Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Good Morning Midnight - Jean Rhys

Farewell My Lovely - Raymond Chandler

Les Fleurs du Mal - Charles Baudelaire.



There will be a course reader including short stories by Flannery O'Connor, James Joyce, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, Mary McCarthy, James Baldwin, and Ernest Hemingway. The reader will also include a play by Tom Stoppard and poetry by William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, W.H.Auden. "

Description

"This class will examine the individual character in literature as a subject of mobility, autonomy, and alienation, while exploring his or her relationship to larger social networks and systems of belief. The characters in the works that we will read exercise their independence of movement in relation to the confines of cities, race or gender marginality, crime and loss, as well as artistic or sexual development. We will explore how movement can affect the body, mind, senses and a person's identity. We will read across literary genres and forms - investigating novels, short stories, poetry, plays and pulp fiction - in order to cultivate a contemporary understanding of the individual subject who moves restlessly through space. Does the fact of dislocation, travel, or homelessness serve to provide these characters with greater freedom from the cultural and social definitions of their communities? Can a wandering individual be both alienated from and sensually attached to his or her immediate world? What can we learn about the city and the country, patriotic and cosmopolitan attitudes, or private and public space through our study of the nomadic figure?



This examination of the subject of mobility will serve as the substantive thematic groundwork upon which students will improve their own writing skills. This course will focus on developing students' practical fluency with larger expository and argumentative units, and it aims to refine the student's research skills. Therefore, in addition to reading the short stories on the reading list, students will be responsible for independent research related to literary criticism of the texts in question, as well as socio-historical research that may enhance their understanding of the place of these works within the larger context of the author's particular experiences and political motivations. A short diagnostic essay (3 pp.) will be assigned at the start of the semester. Students will then be assigned longer essays (totaling at least 16 typewritten pages), with at least an equal number of pages of preliminary drafting and revising. "


Back to Semester List