English R1B

Reading and Composition: Visions of the World

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
13 Fall 2017 Rajabzadeh, Shokoofeh
TTh 2-3:30 262 Dwinelle

Book List

Butler , Octavia : Blood Child ; Maalouf, Amin: Leo Africanus ; Rowlandson, Mary: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Wilson, G. Willow: Ms. Marvel ; Zitkala-Sa: American Indian Stories, Legends and Other Writings


“To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together.” – Archibald MacLeish, comment on the “Earthrise” after the Apollo 8 mission.

While NASA was collecting images of Earth as early as the 1940s, it was not until the 1972, when the famous "Blue Marble" photo was released, that the public saw an image of Earth in its entirety. How did this vision of our home from space affect our perception of our world and our place in it? How could this isolated object, so “small and blue and beautiful,” sustain a global community? 

In this class we will interrogate the role that place plays in creating, dividing, and imagining community. How do acts that change inhabitable geographies, such as colonialism, exploitation, and environmental disasters, change the communities formed on that land? How does one's perception of a community change as one physically moves across land, whether traveling, migrating, or making a pilgrimage? How do authors write their characters into, or out of, the communities sustained by the worlds they portray?

The goal of this course is two-fold. Firstly, its aim is to help you develop and strengthen your close reading, critical thinking, use of secondary sources, and research skills as we explore the relationship between people, earth, and our idea or sense of place. And secondly, the course aims to help you develop the ability to craft your analyses into clear and effective academic writing through drafts, revisions, peer-review feedback, and weekly writing exercises.  

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