English R1B

Reading and Composition: Re-Visioning the 1960s

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Fall 2019 Koerner, Michelle
MWF 1-2 35 Evans

Book List

Baldwin, James: The Fire Next Time; Charters, Ann, ed.: The Portable 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 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. Our theme places emphasis on the relationship between artistic experimentation and the emancipatory social movements of the decade (in the United States as well as internationally); we will ask how innovative practices of literary form, cinema, and music engaged with the more directly political questions 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 democratic potentials for social transformation?

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

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