English R1A

Reading and Composition: Work and Play

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2016 Acu, Adrian Mark
TTh 11-12:30 222 Wheeler

Book List

Darnielle, John: Wolf in White Van; Diaz, Juno: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Ford, Richard: Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar; Jones, David: In Parenthesis


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.

Class assignments include five short essays, one longer paper, and multiple presentations and weekly writing assignments. 

Back to Semester List