English R1B

Reading and Composition: Radical Berkeley

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
17 Spring 2020 Sutton, Emily
TTh 5-6:30 233 Dwinelle

Book List

Cline, Emma: The Girls (ISBN: 0812988027); Dick, Philip K.: Dr. Bloodmoney (ISBN: 0547572522)

Other Readings and Media

All other material will be available on bCourses.


This course will focus first and foremost on developing the skills necessary to research, plan, draft and revise writing at a college level. You will hone these skills through an exploration of the extraordinary history of Berkeley itself. Berkeley has long been a locus for the radical re-imagining of political and social life in America, and together we will chart Berkeley’s radical tradition from the 1960s onward. This class will be particularly focused on how we can put literary and non-literary texts into conversation with one another to create a nuanced and vibrant sense of place. Readings will include key texts from the New Left and liberation movements (including the Free Speech Movement, the Black Panther party, the Third World Liberation Front, the Disability Rights movement, and local queer and feminist groups), the science fiction of Philip K. Dick and Ursula Le Guin, poetry by Thom Gunn, zines from the East Bay punk scene, the creative journalism of Rebecca Solnit, and Emma Cline’s contemporary fictionalization of the Manson Family. We will consider how we grapple with our radical forebears and what it means to be in Berkeley now. Throughout the semester you will be introduced to some of the myriad, unique resources in our university and community that are available for your research both in this class and beyond.

The primary writing assignments for this course will be a shorter analytic essay that will build on your existing skills and a longer research essay that will focus on integrating secondary sources into your own writing. Both of these papers will be the developed through a series of shorter exercises and revisions. You will be encouraged to think carefully not only about your own writing and the texts on our syllabus, but also the work of your classmates.

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