English R1B

Reading & Composition: Work and Play

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2015 Acu, Adrian Mark
MWF 11-12 225 Wheeler

Book List

Darnielle, John: Wolf in White Van; Diaz, Juno: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Dove, Rita: Thomas and Beulah; Ford, Richard: Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar; Milutis, Joe: Failure: A Writer's Life; Perec, George: A Void

Other Readings and Media

Additional resources will be made available through bCourses.


(Note the new instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this class:)

Work and play regulate the rhythm of living, but when was the last time you saw them represented as you experience them? Realistic novels may mention both to be realistic, only to bypass them in favor of events and plot set-pieces. Workplace media, like police procedurals, are depicted as all discovery and confrontation, while avoiding the drudgery of paperwork, uneventful patrolling, and outreach. And presentations of play, as in professional sports, fail to resemble the weekend soccer game, or the aimless entertainment we indulge in after our work days.

This class will work with texts that foreground work and play as discrete and interrelated: contradistinguished and co-constructed. By wrangling with concepts that are simultaneously familiar and under-explored, we will engage with the kind of thought-work that goes into the best writing, regardless of one's discipline.

Over the course of the semester, you will write two short essays and one longer research-based project. There will also be various shorter assignments designed to hone your ability to formulate complex arguments and ask the kinds of questions that generate fruitful analysis.

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