English R1B

Reading and Composition: Sick

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2021 Cohan, Nathan
MWF 10-11 35 Evans


This course teaches critical reading, writing, and researching skills through a survey of sickness as a bodily and social condition;, and as a literary resource and mode. Students will practice formal analysis of texts in a variety of media including fiction, memoir, poetry, and film, and will enter into existing critical conversations after reading some theories of sickness as a cultural phenomenon and as an ambivalently communicable experience. Topics will include historical conceptions of the body and disease, the healthiness or sickness of literature in general, and fictional, sometimes fantastical diseases. Readings and viewings will likely include works by Hervé Guibert, Susan Sontag, D.A. Miller, Octavia Butler, Nicholas Ray, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and more to be finalized.

Students will write, peer-review, and rewrite a series of literary-critical essays, with the goal of fostering attentive reading and viewing, imaginative analysis, and bold writing. As this course fulfills the R1B requirement, we will focus on scaling progressively longer essays and incorporating research.

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