English R1A

Reading & Composition: Things Are Not Okay

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Fall 2012 Junkerman, Nicholas
MWF 3-4 222 Wheeler

Book List

Brown, Charles Brockden: Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist; St. John de Crevecoeur, J. Hector: Letters from an American Farmer

Other Readings and Media

A course reader featuring selected shorter works and critical essays.



This course will concentrate on American works written in the decades following the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  We will be focusing on the work of authors who express unease, pessimism and even anger about the newly created United States.  While they have their hopeful moments, these texts raise serious questions about the stability, the morality and even the sanity of the new nation and its people.  We will consider these dark musings in their immediate historical context, but also in a larger sense.  What is the value of national pessimism?  What are the consequences of righteous anger?  How and why do we write about our fears?

The central goal of this class is to develop tools and strategies for effective writing.  This development will take place alongside and in dialogue with the works that we encounter throughout the semester. Students will be asked to write several papers, the length of which will increase as the semester progresses.  We will take these papers through the crucial stages of drafting and revision, a process which will include peer review sessions and meetings with the instructor.

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