English R1A

Reading & Composition: Love Songs

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2012 Perry, R. D.
MWF 10-11 222 Wheeler

Book List

Beghtol, L. D.: The Magnetic Field’s 69 Love Songs: A Field Guide; Chaucer, Geoffrey: Dream Visions and Other Poems; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Plato: Symposium; Shakespeare, William: Twelfth Night, or What You Will; The Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs

Other Readings and Media

Please note that The Magnetic Fields' work is in fact a CD box set.  If you choose to acquire it as an MP3, that is fine.  Just make sure to get the complete 3-disc album.

Additional short readings on b-space from the Bible, St. Augustine, Boethius, Richard Roos, John Donne, John Keats, and others.


This course takes as its object of study works of art that concern themselves with the nature of  “love.”  Arguably the most popular and ubiquitous of aesthetic productions, what we will broadly be calling Love Songs are now perhaps most closely associated with lyric poetry.  However, the feeling that we call “love” has a rich history with a wide variety of formal and semantic variation.  Throughout this course, we will look at different historical moments and ask of each what is meant by the term “love” and what kinds of strategies of representation seemed most suitable to it.  We will engage with the term both diachronically, across time periods, and synchronically, attending to the variations within each period.  We will wonder, for instance, what Plato’s “eros” has to do with “agape,” as well as what connection these terms have to either Chaucer’s notion of “love” or Toni Morrison’s.

So, “love” is the subject of our course, but not the work of the course.  The purpose of R1A is to focus on your writing.  We will spend a lot of time in class talking about how you would write on this material, from working on the construction of sentences and paragraphs to the formulation of thesis statements and how to best argue them.  You will write 4 different papers over the course of the semester, revising most of them at least once.

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