English R1A

Reading and Composition: Party Time

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Hu, Jane
MWF 9-10 211 Dwinelle

Book List

Kazuo Ishiguro : When We Were Orphans; Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway; William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

Other Readings and Media

Alfred Hitchcock, Rope (1948)
Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window(1954)
Luis Buñuel, The Exterminating Angel (1967)
Baz Luhrmann, Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Millennium Mambo (2001)
Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers (2012)

The OC, selected episodes
Mad Men, selected episodes
The Office, selected episodes

Other readings and secondary materials will be made available over bCourses.  


This course broadly explores the concept of “party temporalities.” By examining parties as they appear across a range of subgenres and mediums (novels, short stories, plays, film, TV, pop songs), we will think critically about the relationship between social gatherings and time. What happens to time when you’re at a party? When do parties happen? And why are parties so often regarded as events where one can forget about time? Not only will we consider the time of actual parties, but also that which surrounds them (both party prep and pre-gaming as well as the after-party and, of course, the hangover). 

While this course considers parties, it will not necessarily be a party. Instead, we seek to situate the party in its sociopolitical and cultural contexts—as a space that affords not only levity and play, but which presents problems of social awkwardness, physical threat, obliviousness, and pain as well. In doing so, we aim to locate party time always in its historical time. What is the relationship, we might ask, between the 19th-century ball and the frat party, the office party and the house party, clubbing and a wake?

The purpose of R1A is to develop critical reading and effective scholarly writing skills, to which end we will write and rewrite frequently. In addition to three essays, students will also compose weekly bCourse posts, in-class presentations, and individual reading/viewing journals. 


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