English R1A

Reading and Composition: Space, Time, and Narrative in Post-1945 Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2015 Dimitriou, Aristides
MWF 10-11 222 Wheeler

Book List

Adiga, Aravind: The White Tiger; Amis, Martin: Time's Arrow; Calvino, Italo: If on a Winter's Night a Traveler; Delany, Samuel R.: Babel-17/Empire Star; Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers, 7th Edition; Plascencia, Salvador: The People of Paper

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings may include short pieces by Virginia Woolf, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Cecile Pineda, and Jhumpa Lahiri.


How does narrative register and reconfigure the coordinates of space and time? How may a literary model of space and time suggest a particular conception of history? What, then, does this concept of history indicate about the logic of “progress” and the field of power in which issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality are played out? In this class, we will explore these questions, while reading texts that allow us to travel backwards through time, decipher the secret contents of a weaponized language, deliver an urgent message across distant galaxies, meet people made of paper, and chat with a homicidal, business-savvy entrepreneur.

It is no coincidence that most of the texts assigned in this course call attention to the processes by which they are crafted; after all, our primary goal in this class will be to develop critical skills for effective argumentative writing. We will, therefore, concentrate on the development of our own rhetorical techniques alongside those that we read, analyze, and discuss. After a brief diagnostic essay, students will produce several papers of increasing length over the course of the semester. These papers will be developed through a gradual process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising. Additionally, each student will give a brief presentation from our writing handbook on either common mistakes of grammar, style, mechanics, and usage or elements of argumentation and paper-writing.

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