English R1B

Reading and Composition: The Undiscovered Country

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
12 Fall 2017 Lorden, Jennifer A.
TTh 12:30-2 50 Barrows

Book List

Calvocoressi, Gabrielle: The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart: Poems; Delanty, Greg, ed.: The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation; Faulkner, William: As I Lay Dying; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet

Other Readings and Media

Film screening: Sunset Boulevard. (We will be screening this in-class.)


Note the changes in instructor, topic, book list, and course description for this section of English R1B (as of May 30).

The experience of death is one of the most difficult, yet most urgent, to imaginatively represent in literature. Since, of course, no writer can offer a firsthand account of that "undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns," each who seeks to deal with the subject of death must resort to myriad creative strategies to paint a portrait of death that is, so to speak, true to life. This class will approach one category of such representations, those in which a main character or group of characters is dead from the very beginning of the narration. How does the presence of the dead function in a work of literature, and what do these texts suggest about the way death functions in life?

For the purposes of this class, of course, our primary concern will be to develop critical arguments from these texts. You'll share your findings through in-class discussions and writing workshops and discover ways to construct arguments from such disparate genres of writing. You'll write and revise two research papers, in addition to a short initial diagnostic exercise.

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