English R1B

Reading and Composition: note new topic: When Reading Goes Wrong

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
12 Fall 2013 Bauer, Mark
TTh 2-3:30 225 Wheeler

Book List

Ishiguro, Kazuo: Remains of the Day; McEwan, Ian: Atonement; Nabokov, Vladimir: Pale Fire; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

A course reader of essays and poems


Every day, we're called upon to make hundreds of interpretive judgments based on things we read, see, or hear.  But what happens when we misjudge a text, or when we're unable to judge it at all?  Depictions of failed readings are a favorite literary trope in the second half of the twentieth century, but these misreadings also raise important questions about our expectations for genres, not just as readers, but as writers.  What do we assume about a poem, for example, or an essay, when sitting down to read or write one?  How do the writers of those pieces manipulate generic assumptions for their own ends?  This course's focus both on depictions of reading practices and on the practices themselves across a variety of genres will allow us to think more deeply about the constructedness of written text, an exploration that will in turn lead to careful considerations of writing and the elements that help to constitute skillful uses of language.  In addition to these investigations, the course will hone students' ability to write and revise somewhat longer papers than those in R1A, culminating in an eight- to ten-page research paper near the end of the semester.

Back to Semester List