English R1B

Reading and Composition: Regions: Revising the Lay of the Land

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Spring 2015 Chow, Juliana H.
TTh 12:30-2 225 Wheeler

Book List

Anzaldua, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera (1987); Niedecker, Lorine: Lake Superior (1969); Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping (1980); Sebald, W. G.: The Rings of Saturn (1995); Toomer, Jean: Cane (1923)

Other Readings and Media

Films by Agnes Varda, Patricio Guzman, and Grant Gee, as well as a course reader.


Note new course description (and topic, book list, and instructor):

Region is an area ruled, from regere, 'to rule or direct'; it is an area measured and surveyed so that its boundaries depend on and change with its rulers. In considering regions, we will think about what forms of knowledge underlie the measuring and surveying of land and, in turn, shape the lay of the land: where border lines are drawn, what appears and disappears as visible and legible, within and without. In particular, how does the attention to lines--of poetry or prose, of itineraries and tours, of color/race, of sight, and of time--inform our sense of the environment, the land, and the working of the land? How does the organization and revision of a composition--diurnal, seasonal, topographical, archaeological, or elemental--bring together history, place, and language in regional writing? We will explore the environmental, political, and racial implications of these lines through a selection of literary texts and criticism.

In this course, you will continue to build upon your reading and writing skills through the craft of literary criticism and through extending the inquiries from that criticism into your own research project. As a class, we will develop the skills needed to read closely and critically; generate a research question; find, evaluate, and analyze sources; develop a nuanced and complex argument; peer edit and respond to each other's work; and write and revise two analytical essays. As part of the university's Reading and Composition requirement, you will produce 32 pages of written work over the course of the semester through assignments leading us through the research process step-by-step.

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