English R50

Freshman and Sophomore Studies: Social Reform in Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Black, Kelvin C.
Black, Kelvin
TTh 2-3:30 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House; Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward; Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil; Richard Wright, Native Son.

Supplementary Texts:  Frederick Crews, The Random House Handbook, 6th ed; Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed.; William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell, The Elements of Style.


What is social reform? What are the thought processes involved in defining a social problem?  And how does this definition affect the manner and methods used to solve it?  This course seeks to better understand the impulse to want to solve a problem perceived in society.  Before they can be solved, problems are things that first must be imagined as solvable.  The literature of social reform affords us the distinct opportunity to observe such imaginings. This course is reading and writing intensive, and aims to develop in students fluency with the method and discourse of the analytical essay.  Special emphasis shall be placed on the refinement of sentence construction, thesis development, and research methods.  Additionally, systematic reasoning through close reading will be stressed both in class discussion and in the course’s various writing opportunities. 

English R50 is intended for students who are planning to be English majors and who have already taken R1A. It satisfies the College’s R1B requirement.

This course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required for the English major.

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