English R1B

Reading and Composition: Revelation and Revision

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
14 Spring 2013 O'Connor, Megan
MW 4-5:30 104 Dwinelle

Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Douglass, Frederick: My Bondage and My Freedom; Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories; Melville, Herman: Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales

Other Readings and Media

Course reader that may include shorter texts by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, and Walt Whitman.


“… now with the scales dropped from his eyes…”

-       Herman Melville, “Benito Cereno”

As an R&C course, this R1B course will continue to build on the writing practices developed in R1A.  As students further refine the skills of exposition and argumentation, this course will also focus on more complex and sustained arguments.  The writing assignments will be longer than in R1A and the papers will incorporate a research component. 

We will engage the assigned readings – novels, poems, short stories, and essays – as texts that challenge us to read with greater attention to detail, think more critically, write with more precision, and argue with greater nuance.  More specifically, we will follow the assigned texts in asking questions about revelation and revision.  How do these texts present moments of understanding or flashes of insight?  What are the effects of such events in perception?  What kinds of relationships can we see between an individual revelation and one recognized by a larger community?  After a moment of insight, how do these texts present the transformation and interpretation of vision into memory or in the process of communicating the insight to others?  What kind of revision process might that moment of vision undergo?  How does literary form privilege or undermine vision as truth or, alternatively, present it as merely ostensible revelation?


• 3-page diagnostic paper

• Research component to papers

• 16 pages each of preliminary drafts/revisions and final drafts

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