English R1B

Reading and Composition: Endings

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2017 Lesser, Madeline
MWF 2-3 225 Dwinelle

Book List

McCarthy, Cormac: The Road; Morrison, Toni : Beloved

Other Readings and Media

Note that the texts for this class will be available at University Press Books, on Bancroft Way.

All other readings—poetry, selected criticism, short stories—will be provided in a course reader. 


What’s in an ending?  In this class, we will explore literature about endings: personal endings (elegiac forms), national endings (the end of an era), and apocalyptic endings (the end of the world).  In addition, we will focus our class on the question of how each text ends.  Endings can serve a variety of purposes—as a new beginning, a failure to let go, a neat conclusion.  We will strive to characterize the ending of each text in order to question how formal decisions contribute to its “sense” of an ending.

The goal of R1B is to develop your writing and research skills.  As such, we will pay particular attention to the question often introduced by the ends of our own essays: so what?  How do we determine the context of our arguments?  How do we frame our arguments so as to intervene in a particular critical framework?  You will write and revise two long essays (~8 pages each) over the course of the semester.  You will also be responsible for weekly reading assignments, peer writing reviews, and an ongoing writing journal. 

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