English R1B

Reading & Composition: The Cold War and American Art

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2012 Rahimtoola, Samia Shabnam
MWF 3-4 225 Wheeler

Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Dick, Philip K.: The Man in the High Castle; O'Hara, Frank: Meditations in an Emergency

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will be required for the course.


National security, the nuclear family, racial tensions, and rampant consumerism mark the early years of the Cold War in the United States.  In this course, we will examine the cultural influence of the Cold War context on American literature, with a specific eye towards the production and policing of social deviance.  At the same time, we will pay attention to the ways in which Cold War politics and technologies, such as eavesdropping, the aerial view, and other surveillance technologies, impacted artistic forms.  Specific works include excerpts from Brown vs. the Board of Education, Frank O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency, James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, P.K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, and Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece.

In this course, you will develop your critical reading and writing skills through frequent, short assignments and longer papers.  Although writing a research paper can seem like a paralyzing task, this class will guide you through pre-writing, research, drafts and revisions to build up to a research-length paper.  We will spend significant time honing research skills through in-class activities, daily assignments, and longer research papers.  Class time will also be devoted to developing analytical, argumentative, and verbal skills to construct more sustained arguments than those the student may have encountered in R1A.  Cumulatively, you will produce at least 32 pages of writing.


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