English R1B

Reading and Composition: Re-Visioning the Sixties

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
19 Spring 2018 Koerner, Michelle
MWF 2-3 254 Dwinelle

Book List

Baldwin, James: The Fire Next Time; Charter, Ann: The Sixties Reader; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

Further course materials will be available through bcourses and will likely include: images from Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster series (1964), George Oppen’s long poem “Of Being Numerous” (1968), Valerie Solanas’s The SCUM Manifesto (1967); Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisted (1965) as well as excerpts from the documentaries The Black Power Mixtape and Berkeley in the Sixties.


This reading and composition course will explore selected works of literature, music, and visual art produced during the 1960s. Placing emphasis on the relationship between artistic experimentation and emancipatory social movements (both in the United States and internationally), we will ask how innovative practices of language, image, and sound engaged with the more directly political events of the period. How did writers, visual artists, and musicians use their creative work to challenge war, racism, social and economic inequality, sexual violence and gendered discrimination? What role do poetry, music, and visual art play in composing new collectivities and new potentials for social transformation?

In addition to gaining skills in literary and rhetorical analysis, students will strengthen their capacities to make persuasive arguments and to formulate compelling questions to guide their own research. Writing assignments emphasize drafting, revising, and responding to peer-feedback. In addition to several in-class writing exercises, students should expect to write two response essays (3-5 pages) as well as complete a final research project.

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