English R1B

Reading & Composition: Regions

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Spring 2014 Chow, Juliana H.
MWF 1-2 225 Wheeler

Book List

Anderson, Sherwood: Winesburg, Ohio; Dillard, Annie: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek; Leopold, Aldo: A Sand County Almanac; Niedecker, Lorine: Lake Superior; Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping; Thoreau: Walden (annotated); Thoreau: Walden (not annotated); Toomer, Jean: Cane


Regions are hard to pin down. On a map, there are states, countries, and other political designations outlined; a region, however, is something else, something more like that black splotch of terra incognita. It is not a cosmopolitan center, but the amorphous periphery associated with the minor, the rural, the provincial, and the pastoral. The region is certainly something distinct--there is the Lake District, the South, the Bay Area, and so on--but its exact boundaries are not fixed. In this class, we will read literature and view art according to regions, according to some idea of a regional organization. What does it mean to read by regions? What is regional literature and art? What would distinguish the ideas shaping a region; that is, what would distinguish regionalism or comparative regionalisms?

As part of the university’s Reading and Composition requirement, this course develops reading, writing, and research skills applicable across the curriculum. We will focus on how to find, evaluate, and make effective use of research tools and resources for analytic writing. The primary writing assignments for the course will be three progressively longer papers (3-4 pages, 6-8 pages, 8-10 pages), combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources. Strategies for revision will form another major focus of the course, and the second and third papers will include substantial work (and feedback) at the prewriting and draft stages of composition.

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