Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Just Deserts

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 Hearst Annex B1 Instructor: Paco Brito Emily Drumsta

Just Deserts

Comparative Literature R1A: 1 Fall 2015

Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8-9:30


B1 Hearst Annex

Instructor Info: Paco Brito; Office: 4414 Dwinelle; Email:

Emily Drumsta; Office 4321 Dwinelle; Email:

Deserts are both real landscapes and powerful, pliable metaphors, imagined spaces of ascetic deprivation and actual homes to many nomadic and settled peoples. There is both a vast and various literature written from and about desert ecosystems and a literature that uses the figure of the desert to explore cultural barrenness, human mortality, and catastrophe. In this course we will read texts from these diverse traditions, including poems, tracts, essays, novels, and films about life in the Sahara and the Sonora, about mystical and secular experiences of the non-human world, celebrations of sublime nature, and portentous visions of a post-human future.

Though the idea of the desert is relevant to a host of contemporary concerns, from droughts and other forms of ecological threats and transformations to the wars, migrations, and varied humanitarian crises taking place in deserts around the world today, this course will also look back to history and prehistory, to forms of culture and expression that developed and flourished in what we tend to think of as the least generative of landscapes. While global in scope, our course will place a particular emphasis on the literatures of the Arab world and the Americas.

In the same way that the works examined here explore the delicate and complex systems that underlie the idea or symbol of the desert that we often take for granted, so too will we explore the many choices, simple and sophisticated, that go into communicating an interpretation of a literary text to a reader, focusing in particular on the process, as well as the product, of writing.

Required Books:

(1) Gold Dust by Ibrahim al-Koni
(2) Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
(3) The Tent by Miral al-Tahawy
Class Format: This is a discussion-based seminar rather than a lecture course. Most of our class time will be spent talking about the assigned reading but we’ll also hold regular writing workshops. Some of these workshops will be devoted to specific writing skills, others will involve peer editing.  During the latter we expect you to engage with the work of your peers with the same rigor and
intensity that you bring to the class readings. Every paper that you turn in will first receive the attention of at least one of your fellow students.
Assignments: The bulk of the writing you’ll do in this class will go into the three major papers due at roughly equal intervals over the course of the semester. We expect you to come up with your own topic for each of these papers—you’ll see little in the way of prompts in this class—and to then run the idea by one of us before diving in. Before receiving your final draft of each paper we’ll also expect you to hand in (1) an outline or some other substantial form of writing preparation and (2) a polished draft. Please note that this draft should not be rough work filled with grammatical errors–though we’ll spend some time going over some of the trickier issues in writing mechanics, this class is more about putting together an essay than putting together a sentence. If you’re nervous about a grammatical point, a question of usage, or another mechanical issue, please feel free to shoot us an email and ask about it.

These three papers will account for a full 60% of your grade in the course (the first two will be worth 15% apiece and the last one 30%). If you receive a C+ or below on either of your first two papers, we’ll give you one chance to improve that grade through a substantive rewrite. Come talk to us before you start rewriting so that we can hash out exactly what would constitute a “substantive” revision of the paper.

Another 25% of your grade will come from shorter writing assignments and presentations.  The final 15% will come from your overall class participation. Though we expect you to contribute to our class discussions, we’re also aware that everyone has a different level of comfort with this specific kind of participation. Thus, in grading your participation we’ll also be taking into account the amount of care and attention that you pay to your bCourses posts, to your short writing assignments, and to the comments you make on your fellow students’ drafts. Office hour visits are another meaningful form of class participation.

Rules and Procedures: Timely attendance is mandatory. You will get two fully excused, no-questions-asked absences from the class. For every absence after the first two that you don’t negotiate with us beforehand or later demonstrate to me was prompted by an emergency, medical or otherwise, we’ll drop your participation grade by a third (from an A- to a B+, for example). We’ll also count every two instances of your coming to class late as an unexcused absence.  We’re similarly strict about deadlines. For every calendar day that your paper is late, it will be marked one-third of a grade lower (again, an A- becomes a B+). If you face an emergency that
forces you to miss a deadline, please let us know at least 24 hours before said deadline.

Outlines and prewritings can be single-spaced but every paper you turn in must be in a regular font, double-spaced, and feature one-inch margins all around. We’d rather you be honest and turn in work slightly under the expected page count rather than try to trick us by changing your page formatting.

Please get yourself a good-sized folder that you can devote exclusively to this class. You’ll be turning your work in in this folder and every time you turn in a new assignment, all of your previous assignments should be in it as well.

Finally, all plagiarized work will receive a failing grade. Plagiarism isn’t just copying or buying an entire paper or writing exercise from another student; plagiarism is also copying paragraphs, sentences, or ideas without credit, “quoting without quotation marks,” cutting and pasting (whether from another essay, from a reference work like Wikipedia, or from sites like Shmoop or SparkNotes), or otherwise passing off the thoughts, words, and/or ideas of others as your own, consciously or unconsciously.  Having seen your papers through from conception to outlining to the draft stage, we’ll notice any attempts at plagiarism. So don’t waste your time—it’d be faster and easier to do your own work.  For further information, please see: /conduct.html#cheating

Additional Help: If you’d like some extra help on your writing, especially with the mechanics of composition, please head over to the Student Learning Center at the César Chávez Student Center for free tutoring. They’ll either hook you up with a tutor you can meet regularly throughout the semester or help you on a drop-in basis, depending on what you need. You can find their website here:

Note: If you require any disability-related accommodations or other special arrangements for this class, please inform us immediately by either speaking with us privately after class or in office hours.


We’ll be discussing readings on the day in which they’re listed. Don’t fall behind, as reading in this class will move at a fairly fast clip.

Unit 1: Desert Imaginaries Across Cultures

Thursday, August 27th

Class Intro

Shelley, “Ozymandias”

Tuesday, September 1st

Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar”

Yeats, “The Second Coming”

In class: Disney’s Aladdin

Workshop: “Reading” Film

Thursday, September 3rd

Lean, Lawrence of Arabia

Labid, “Hanging Ode”

Workshop: What is a college-level paper?

Tuesday, September 8th                 DIAGNOSTIC PAPER DUE (2-3 pages)

Labid, “Hanging Ode” (finish)

Thursday, September 10th

Selections from the 1001 Nights

Workshop: What is a thesis statement?

Unit 2: Desert Ecosystems and Economies

Tuesday, September 15th

Selections from the The One Thousand and One Nights

Thursday, September 17th

Abbey, Desert Solitaire (“The First Morning,” “Solitaire”)

Workshop: Close and Critical Reading

Tuesday, September 22nd

Abbey, Desert Solitaire (“Episodes and Visions,” “Bedrock and Paradox”)

Thursday, September 24th

al-Koni, Gold Dust (Introduction by Elliott Colla; opening chapters)

Tuesday, September 29th              CLOSE READING PAPER DUE (3 PAGES)

al-Koni, Gold Dust

Thursday, October 1st

al-Koni, Gold Dust (finish novel)

Unit 3: The Desert as Metaphor

Tuesday, October 6th

Baudelaire, “Le Voyage” (excerpts)

Karr, “How to Read The Waste Land…”

Workshop: Building an argument through citation

Thursday, October 8th          PAPER 1 DRAFT DUE (3 PAGES)

Eliot, The Waste Land

Tuesday, October 15th

Eliot, The Waste Land

Beckett, Act Without Words I

Thursday, October 17th

Jabra, “In the Deserts of Exile”

Workshop: Thinking through the structure of an interpretive essay

Tuesday, October 20th                PAPER 1 FINAL DRAFT DUE (4-5 PAGES)

Darwish, “Poetic Arrangements”

Thursday, October 22nd

The Wachowski Brothers, The Matrix

Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (excerpts)

Zizek, Welcome to the Desert of the Real (excerpts)

Tuesday, October 27th

Ballard, “The Cage of Sand”

Ballard, The Drought (excerpts)

Thursday, October 29th             PAPER 2 DRAFT DUE (4-5 PAGES)

Miller, “A Canticle for Leibowitz”

Tuesday, November 3rd

Miller, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” (finish)

Workshop: Revising and incorporating feedback

Thursday, November 5th

Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Tuesday, November 10th

Bolaño, “Gómez Palacio”

Herrera, Signs Preceding the End of the World (excerpts)

Unit 4: Deserts of/as the Future

Unit 5: The Desert as a Space of Memory

Thursday, November 12th              PAPER 2 FINAL DRAFT DUE (5-6 PAGES)

Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Tuesday, November 17th

Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Thursday, November 19th                  FINAL PAPER OUTLINE DUE

Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Workshop: The virtues of a good paper conclusion

Tuesday, November 24th

Rulfo, Pedro Páramo (complete novel)

al-Tahawy, The Tent

Thursday, November 26th – Thanksgiving: No Class

Tuesday, December 2nd

al-Tahawy, The Tent

Thursday, December 4th     FINAL PAPER DRAFT DUE (6-7 PAGES)

al-Tahawy, The Tent

Tuesday, December 8th

al-Tahawy, The Tent (complete novel)

Thursday, December 10th

Concluding Discussion


4:00 PM, XXXX DWINELLE (7-8 pages)

Course Catalog Number: 12983

R1A.002: Made from Scrap: Practices of Salvage in the Americas

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Karina Palau Matthew Gonzales

Made from Scrap: Practices of Salvage in the Americas
Comparative Literature R1A, Section 2
T, Th 9:30-11am, Room #, Fall 2015
Karina Palau, PhD
Office: 4409 Dwinelle Hall, TTh 11 am – 12 pm

Matthew Gonzales

Office:  4321 Dwinelle Hall Office Hours:  TBD

Course Description:

Found poems, quilts, and sculptures made out of trash. Narratives preoccupied with how to recover and retell a lost story.  Museum installations that assemble and remake remnants of a past. Anthropologists obsessed with documenting threatened cultures before they presumably disappear. What do these imply about questions of rescue, recovery, and reuse? What happens
when we ‘salvage’ something—an object, a history, a culture—and what does this practice These are just some of the questions we will explore alongside our intensive work on writing. This course fulfills the first half of the University Reading & Composition (R&C) requirement, and we will dedicate ample time to critical thinking and essay-writing skills, paying special attention
to argumentation, analysis, and the basics of college-level writing.

Texts and Materials:

“Diving into the Wreck,” Adrienne Rich
“Everyday Use,” Alice Walker
The Invention of Morel, Adolfo Bioy Casares
City of Glass, David Mazzucchelli
Chopper! Chopper!, Verónica Reyes
Dictee, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
The Hampton Project installation, Carrie Mae Weems
Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, Saidiya Hartman
Selected ‘found’ poems by Annie Dillard and others
The Heights of Macchu Picchu/Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu, Pablo Neruda
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz
Waste Land, Dir. Lucy Walker
Excerpts from works by James Clifford, Diana Taylor, and Marianne Hirsch

Many of the materials above will be included in our course reader, which will be available at Zee Zee Copy, 2431-C Durant Avenue.  Visual materials will be available through our bCourses site.
Course Objectives:

Skills that we will build together include. . .

Close Reading: Close reading is all about paying attention and taking the time to notice and consider elements of a text, material, or film that may not be obvious at first glance. It begins when you read and observe with care, making notes, jotting down questions, and paying attention to a text or film’s devices and themes. It then involves choosing certain passages or elements to analyze in detail.

Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is challenging because it requires us to move beyond our assumptions and engage what we read and see with an open mind and a critical eye.  It involves asking many questions and considering multiple, even conflicting ‘answers’ in the process of thinking about what a text or image might convey and how it seems to function.

Critical thinking also requires that we examine the assumptions that are built into or implied by a work or argument.

Formulating and Articulating Arguments: Every paper that you write in this class will require you to make, support, and develop a unique argument.  When you make an argument, you make a claim rather than describe or repeat, and you work with evidence to support this claim.  Learning how to formulate and articulate arguments involves more than listing your ideas about a text or
material; we need to present these ideas in a focused and organized way.  Working with arguments will also require you to support your claim with evidence, showing your audience that you have reasons, close-readings, and examples to back up your ideas.

Class discussion and dialogue: Our classroom will be a space for sharing ideas, asking questions, listening to each other, and contemplating different points of view. This is not a lecture course; our goal is to form an intellectual community that dialogues and collaborates. Much of our classroom time will be spent discussing in groups large and small, and discussion boards on bCourses will provide opportunities for us to exchange ideas about what are reading and prepare for our in-class discussions. We will also participate in Reading Circles, small groups of four to six students who read and research one of the materials on our syllabus and then lead our class discussion of that text or material.

Assignments & Grading:

One three-page diagnostic essay Required
Two four-page papers (drafts & final versions)* 60 points
One six-page paper (draft & final version)* 60 points
Circle Group work (meeting & presentation) 20 points
Frequent short writing assignments 20 points

Attendance 20 points
Participation 20 points
Total possible: 200 points

You must complete all paper and revision assignments in order to pass this class.  This includes the diagnostic essay, which, although not assigned a letter grade, is a required * Drafts are worth 50% of a total paper grade (for example, 15 points out of 30).

Accommodations: If you need disability-related accommodations in this class, request them from the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) and inform the instructor within the first two weeks of the semester. The DSP office is responsible for verifying that students have disability-related needs and for planning appropriate accommodations in cooperation with the students
themselves and their instructors. DSP: 230 César Chávez Student Center, 510-642-0518 (voice) and 510-642-6376 (TTY).

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all class sessions and come to class having read and thought about the readings and materials assigned. Class begins promptly, and attendance will be taken at every class session. If you are not present when roll is called (i.e. you are absent or late), you will be marked as absent. More than 1 absence will impact your grade, as each additional one reduces your attendance score (worth a total of 20 points out of 200) by 4

Participation: This is a discussion-driven course, and your active participation is key. In-class participation can take many forms, including voicing an observation, offering a comment, posing a question, responding to a classmate’s idea, or volunteering to read aloud. Group work and in-class peer review activities also count toward your participation grade, as do discussions through bCourses.

Because this is a discussion-driven course, we will use our class time to focus on sharing and engaging ideas.  In order to minimize distractions, laptop computers are not permitted in the classroom. Text messaging is also not allowed, as your cell phones should be turned off and put away.

Late Assignments:  Unless otherwise stated in course materials, all assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date assigned. If a student submits a late assignment, it will be graded, but the grade will be reduced a third of a letter grade for each calendar day or portion thereof that the assignment is late. For example, a paper that is two days late and earns an A-

Submitting Assignments: Except for essays marked for electronic submission (see course schedule), you must submit hardcopies of all assignments. In the case of essays due electronically, these must be emailed to the instructor as Microsoft Word documents and time-stamped by 3 p.m. on the specified due date.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism: The student community at UC Berkeley has adopted an Honor Code that states, “As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”  The hope and expectation is that you will adhere to this code and that an attitude of honesty, integrity, and respect will shape all your interactions with your classmates and their ideas, as well as your engagements with the materials that we study this.   To copy text or ideas from another source without appropriate reference is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for your assignment and usually further disciplinary action.  For additional information on plagiarism and how to avoid it, see:


This schedule is tentative and will be modified according to our needs as a class. Short writing assignments and bCourse discussion prompts may not be listed here but are announced in class.  Reading indicates the assigned reading for the next class. Come to the next class ready to go.Writing indicates a writing assignment due at the next class session. Unless the assignment is
marked for electronic submission, print and bring a hardcopy to class.

Course Catalog Number: 12984


Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 209 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students Nicole Jones

Margarita Gordon, Nicole Jones

2015-16 R1A Course Description


“Now the whole life of mortal men, what is it but a sort of play, in which various persons make their entrances in various  costumes, and each one plays his own part until the director gives him his cue to leave the stage? Often he also orders one and the same actor to come on in different costumes, so that the actor who just now played the king in royal scarlet now comes on in rags to play a miserable servant. True, all these images are unreal, but this play cannot be performed in any other way.”

—Erasmus, The Praise of Folly (1511)

Considering that we tend to think of personas as extraneous to persons or personalities, it may come as a surprise that the word person etymologically derives from the word persona rather than the other way around. This Latin term refers to the masks originally worn by actors in Greek, and later Roman, drama, by which the audience was able to identify the characters (or types) they represented. At the same time, the holes in these masks amplified the sound of the actors’ own voices (per sonare meaning to sound through).

This class will be devoted to exploring personas as acts or roles that simultaneously conceal and reveal the people behind them and also to exploring the collaborations between actors, directors, and audiences that produce these them. What personas, we will ask ourselves, are being crafted in our texts? Who crafts or projects them and to what personal, political, or aesthetic ends? What influence do context and culture have? Are these impersonations performed successfully? How are multiple personas reconciled with one another, or with a “true” self? How, indeed, do we, or can we even, differentiate between the person and the persona?

Already in the Classical period, personas became associated not just with role-play in the theater but with role-play in everyday life. Thus, in exploring the personas featured on our syllabus, we can reflect on those all of us, whether or not we’re aware of it, perform in our own lives: in our various relationships, in our work, and online. Who are we, really?

Texts may include:

Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly
William Shakespeare, Richard III
Natalie Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Soren Kierkegaard, The Seducer’s Diary
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
Anton Chekhov, The Seagull
Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One
Clarice Lispector, “The Crime of the Mathematics Professor”
Peter Høeg, “Reflection of a Young Man in Balance”
Franz Kafka, “Josephine the Singer,” “A Report to an Academy,” “A Hunger Artist”
Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”
Honoré de Balzac, “Sarrasine”
Nikolai Gogol, “Diary of a Madman”
Ovid, “Pygmalion,” “Echo and Narcissus”
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Stills
Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo
Ingmar Bergman, Persona
Jean Renoir, The Rules of the Game

Course Catalog Number: 12985

R1A.004: Inside Story

Tu/Th 04:00-05:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: David Walter

David Walter
Inside Story
A good king who’s promised to find the cause of a plague killing his city winds up with himself as a prime suspect. A man working his way up the corporate ladder lets his bosses use him in exchange for promotions, but falls in love with the wrong woman. A teenage vampire slayer falls for an older man only to find out that the perfect happiness she gives him has transformed him into the creature she is sworn to kill. How do these simple plots grow into fully formed stories that capture audiences through the ages?
In this course we pull out the guts of stories to try and understand how storytellers craft works that grip us. In the process we examine classic attempts to say what makes a good story and put to the test the idea that a given genre—crime drama, romantic comedy, gothic fantasy—has certain “rules” that make it successful.
Required Books:
Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays
Colette, The Vagabond (La Vagabonde)
Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk
Required Film and TV:
Some Like it Hot (Wilder, 1959)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling, 1982)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Whedon, 1997-2003)

Course Catalog Number: 12986

R1A.004: Narratives of Formation

Tu/Th 04:00-05:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CLR1A Section 4, Fall 2015

CCN:  17212

T/Th 4-5:30, 242 DWINELLE

Instructor:  Nina Estreich

Office Hours and Location: TBA, 4416 Dwinelle


Narratives of Formation

In this course, we will be exploring a range of texts about various kinds of formative experiences.  In our discussions and readings over the semester, we will consider narratives about education and individual development, accounts of social formation in different disciplines, and imaginative constructions of childhood in poetry and essays. Some of the topics we’ll be thinking about include the role of institutions in shaping social identity, gender roles and identity, selfhood and community, forms of social adaptation and
resistance, and various cultural significations attached to ‘growing up’.

This is a writing class as well as a discussion class. Over the semester, we’ll be talking about writing and doing plenty of writing and revision. There will be opportunities to build writing skills in short assignments in class and in progressively longer written assignments which you will submit over the semester.  Two key skills which we’ll be working on over the semester include making and developing observations about what you have read in a close reading of the text, and producing a written argument which is supported by evidence.


The Brothers Grimm, selected fairytales (online link)
William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience, selected poems (PDF)
Montaigne, “Of the Education of Children”, essay (PDF)
Margaret Mead, Growing up in New Guinea  (excerpt, PDF)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, novel (bookstore)
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “Inem”, short story (PDF)
Malala Yousefzai, I Am Malala, autobiographical memoir (excerpt, PDF)
Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child, novel (bookstore)
André Téchiné, Wild Reeds, film (scheduled screening of film TBA)
Joseph M. Williams, Style:  Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (bookstore)
Rosenwasser and Stephen, Writing Analytically (PDF excerpts)

Books can be purchased at the Cal Student Store at 2560 Bancroft Way.  A number of texts we will be covering in this class will be made available in PDF format on the B-courses website.  Some readings about writing methods and technique will also be made available on the course website. Please bring a hard copy printout of PDFs to class on the days on which we were discussing them.  As we will be referencing texts on the syllabus when discussing them in class, it is important to bring hard copy print-outs of pdfs and any
readings to class on the day that we are covering them.

Course requirements:

Course requirements are:  one short diagnostic essay (2 pp); three  2 pp. assignments, of which one must be submitted in revised form; five one-page assignments of reading response and textual observation, of which one must be revised; one 3-4 pp midterm paper (draft and final version); and a 5 pp. final paper (draft and final version).  Students will be required to make one group presentation (approximately 10 min), and to make posts on the online forum as assigned over the semester.

All assignments and papers must be submitted as typed, doublespaced hard copy with standard 1 inch margins.  Please print your assignments double-sided.  Submit the final version of any revised assignment or paper securely clipped together with the hard copy of your draft and any comments received.  Submitting all assignments and revisions is a requirement for passing this R1A class. Please also be aware that you must meet the page requirements of assignments, as total page counts of written assignments are
an important requirement of this writing course.

Attendance and class participation

Attendance and active classroom participation (paying attention and constructively participating in discussion) are an important component of this class.  In-class discussion is an important way of sharing your ideas about class material with others, and learning from others’ responses.  For purposes of facilitating class participation and limiting in-class distractions, please be sure to turn off and put away your cell phones, smart phones, I-Pods, tablets, laptops and other electronic communication devices during the class.

Attendance is important. Each unexcused absence will lower your final grade by one level (from A- to B+, from B- to C+, etc.).  Seven unexcused absences is an automatic fail of the class.

Lateness policy

It is your responsibility to plan your schedule so that this course does not conflict with your other activities and responsibilities. Please arrive on time and avoid scheduling conflicts which require you to leave early.   In general, please do not leave the classroom and return during class time as this can be disruptive. A pattern of lateness will affect your grade. Three latenesses to class, defining lateness as arriving to class more than five minutes after the start time, will count as one unexcused absence or missed class. Any
lateness in turning in graded assignments will result in dropping the grade of the assignment one level (from A- to B+, from B- to C+) for each day of lateness.

Attendance policy for the first 2 weeks of class

Attendance is mandatory for the first two weeks of classes. Roll will be taken every day during this period.  Enrolled and waitlisted students who do not attend all classes during the first two weeks may be dropped from the class.  At the end of the first and second week of classes, students will be added from the waitlist.  If you are attempting to add into this class and did not attend the first day, you will be expected to attend all class meetings thereafter and, if space permits, you will be allowed to enroll.  No students will be added after end of the second week of the term without permission from the Department.  Students can only be added from the wait-list.

Grade breakdown

Participation (Attendance, contribution to class discussions, group presentations, and required online posts):  20%
Short writing assignments:  15% Midterm Paper:  25%Final Essay:  40%

Office hours
I’m available two hours a week for consultation during office hour, and also by appointment.  Rescheduling of office hours may occasionally occur.  Every effort will be made to inform students ahead of time.


Please be aware that in general you should not expect immediate replies to emails sent in the evening and over the weekend.  If you have a complicated question which will benefit from speaking in person, please ask me about it in office hour or in class.  You will generally receive a reply within 24 hours for e-mails which are sent during the week (Monday through Friday).  Emails sent over the weekend will generally be responded to by Monday 5 PM.

Disability Accommodations

If you need accommodations for any physical, psychological, or learning disability, please register with the Disabled Students Program (DSP) and then check that I have received the notification of your accommodation needs.  Please see the DSP website for further information:

University policy on plagiarism

The University has a strict policy on plagiarism.  Please familiarize yourself with it, so that you can avoid plagiarism. If you have any questions about it, please ask, as there are serious consequences.  Students who are caught plagiarizing will automatically receive an F grade for the work in question or for the entire course.  Instructors have the authority to refer students to the Office of Student Conduct for a hearing that could result in expulsion. For information about the university’s policy, see

Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source.  This includes:

 Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without acknowledgment.

 Use of the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment.

 Paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor or other literary device without acknowledgment.

(From the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct from the Office of Student Conduct)


8/27   Syllabus Review, Administrative.  Introduction.
9/1 Brothers Grimm, selected fairy tales.
9/3 Brothers Grimm, selected fairy tales.
9/8 William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience – selected poems.
“Little Red Riding Hood” (
“Snow White” (
Writing Analytically, chapter 1 – “Analysis – What It Is and What It Does” (PDF)
Writing Analytically, chapter 1 – “Analysis – What It Is and What It Does” (PDF)
Williams, Ten Lessons in Style and Grace – Chapter 1, “Style”
Writing Analytically, chapter 3 – “A Toolkit of Analytic Methods” (PDF)
optional reading:  Writing Analytically, chapter 2
2 page diagnostic paper due.
Writing Analytically, chapter 3 – “A Toolkit of Analytic Methods” (PDF)
1-page response due (#1).
9/10 Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
9/15 Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
9/17 Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
9/22 Montaigne, “Of the Education of Children”, essay (PDF)
9/24 Montaigne, “Of the Education of Children”
Writing Assignment #1 (2 pp) due.
3 Williams, Ten Lessons in Style and Grace – Chapter 3, “Actions”
9/29 Margaret Mead, Growing up in New Guinea  (excerpt, PDF)
1-page response due (#2).
10/1 Margaret Mead, Growing up in New Guinea  (excerpt, PDF)
Williams, Ten Lessons in Style and Grace – Chapter 5, “Cohesion and Coherence”
10/6 Margaret Mead, Growing up in New Guinea  (excerpt, PDF)
Writing Assignment #2 (2 pp) due.
10/8 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “Inem”
1-page response due (#3).
10/13 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “Inem” (PDF)
Malala Yousefzai,  I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban (excerpt PDF on b-courses)
Midterm paper draft due.
10/15 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “Inem”
Malala Yousefzai,  I Am Malala
Revision of one 1-page response due.
10/20 Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Williams, Ten Lessons in Style and Grace – Chapter 7, “Concision”

10/22 Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Midterm paper due.
10/27 Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Writing Assignment #3 (2 pp) due.
10/29 Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Williams, Ten Lessons in Style and Grace – Chapter 8, “Shape”

11/3 Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Revision of one 2 pp writing assignment due.
11/5 Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
11/10 André Téchiné, Wild Reeds, film (scheduled screening of film TBA)
1-page response due (#4).
11/12 André Téchiné, Wild Reeds
11/17 Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child
1-page response due (#5).
11/19 Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child
Draft of final paper due in class.
11/24 Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child
11/26 Thanksgiving Holiday.  No class.
12/1 Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child,
12/3 Tahar Ben Jelloun, The Sand Child.  Class wrap-up and administrative.
12/7 – 12/11  RRR week
12/14 Final paper due.
The final paper (5 pp) is due Monday 12/14 by 4:00 PM in a box which will be placed outside of the instructor’s office.  Please turn in your final paper (draft and final versions) with a portfolio of the written work which you completed in the course, including all short writing assignments and your midterm paper.

Course Catalog Number: 17212

R1B.004: Family Drama

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 205 Dwinelle Instructor: Jessica Crewe Danny Luzon

Comparative Literature R1B, Section 4, Fall 2015    T/Th, 9:30-11:00, 205 Dwinelle Hall

Jessica Crewe Danny Luzon

Office: 4414 Dwinelle Hall Office: 4321 Dwinelle Hall

Office Hours: T 12-2, or by appointment Office Hours: —

E-mail: E-mail:

Family Drama

As Leo Tolstoy famously opens in Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Beginning with Tolstoy’s premise, this course will explore the close intersection between fiction and the representation of (unhappy) family life. While many domestic texts conclude with an affirmation of the importance of family solidarity and security, we will focus instead on novels, plays, and films about unhappy families. What formal and stylistic methods do the writers of these texts use to engage reader sympathy for their characters? How do novelists and playwrights use the social institution of the family to express anxieties about industrialization, urbanization, and the Other? What models for (or warnings about) family life do these novels produce? And what possibilities do visual media such as film or stage performance offer to artists representing or
reimagining the social conventions of the family?  We will consider these questions (among many) through active class discussion and regular writing assignments.

Required Texts

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Anzia Yezierska, The Bread Givers
Natsume Sōseki, Kokoro
Course pack available from ZeeZee Copy (includes John Milton, Paradise Lost (excerpts); Julia Ward Howe, The Hermaphrodite; Honoré de Balzac, The Girl With the Golden Eyes, Harold Pinter, “The Lover”; Edward Albee, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”; Eileen Chang, “Love in a Fallen City”)

Required Screenings

Alex Garland, Ex Machina (2015)

Requirements and Grades

5%   Diagnostic Essay (2-3 pages)
10%  Paper 1, Version 1 (6-8 pages)
20%  Paper 1, Version 2 (6-8 pages)
10%  Annotated Bibliography and Final Paper Outline
10%  Final Paper, Rough Draft (8-10 pages)
25%  Final Paper, Final Draft (10-12 pages)
10%  Performance Project (“The Lover” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”)
5%  Reading Quizzes and Homework
5%   Attendance and Participation

Course Objectives

This course, the second installment of the required Reading and Composition series, will focus primarily on the analytical and writing skills needed to write a coherent research paper. University requirements mandate that every student in an R1B course produce at least one diagnostic paper and two longer essays (with drafts), for a total of 32 pages of writing.  However, we are not going to launch straight into a 32-page writing assignment. This course will use a combination of writing workshops, reflective homework assignments, class discussion, and group presentations to build up your critical reading and writing skills. In analyzing a series of provocative and difficult texts, we will develop the critical outlook and vocabulary that will be the root of your final project. By the end of this course, you should feel able to present your own research in a well-organized, 10- to 12-page paper.

Writing Assignments

This semester, we will be working on honing both your analytical and your research skills. There will be four individual papers.  The first is a short sample essay of 2-3 pages. The second is a 6-8 page literary analysis, which will be graded and returned with comments. The third paper will be a revision of your 6-8 page analytical paper.  Substantial revisions are mandatory; you should think of the revision as a fresh paper loosely based on your first draft.  Papers 2 and 3 will each receive their own grades.  These papers will serve as a review of what you learned in R1A and will not include research.

The final project for this class will be your research paper.  Your rough draft will be 8 to 10 pages; the final version will be 10 to 12 pages long.  You will choose the text you will research in late October.


We will assign homework regularly; assignments will include reading responses and close readings of selected passages from the class’s texts. These assignments will provide an important basis for your papers, and will also help you contribute to class discussion and activities. Periodically, there will be unannounced reading quizzes, so be sure to come thoroughly prepared to each class session.

Performance Project

As part of our larger discussion of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Harold Pinter’s “The Lover,” we are going to ask you all to present sections of the texts to the class. In groups, you will choose a portion of one of the plays that you believe is particularly vital to a central theme of that text. You will perform this portion of your selected play. You should then give a close reading of the section you have selected, addressing why it is essential to your interpretation of the play and how it relates formally to the work as a whole. Following your performances, we will collect two-page reflections from each of you on why your group chose this particular scene and what kinds of interpretative decisions you made in presenting it the way that you did.

Lateness Policy and Extensions

Papers must be turned in on time.  Your paper grade will be lowered by 1/3 letter grade (B B-, B- C+, etc.) for each day it is late.  It is your responsibility to balance the requirements of this class with those of your other classes.  That said, extensions will be granted in extreme circumstances with prior consent. Please keep in touch if you are having trouble completing an assignment!  We can discuss arrangements to accept late work if you let us know before the paper is due that you need more time.

Attendance and Participation

Attendance is mandatory for the first two weeks of classes; roll will be taken every day during this period of both regular and waitlisted students.  Anyone who does not attend all classes during the first two weeks will be dropped from the class.  During the second week of classes, students will be added from the waitlist, and no students may be added after the second week of the term without permission from the Department. Over the course of the semester, you are granted 2 unexcused absences without penalty; all other absences required advance notice and adequate excuse. 2 late arrivals to class (that is, 2 arrivals after 9:45) will also constitute an unexcused absence. Your grade will automatically be lowered 1% for each additional unexcused absence.

Participation is a vital part of this course; while there will be occasional lectures and presentations, your active participation is a key component to the success of the class! Please come to class prepared to share observations and questions on the texts we encounter.


The University has a strict policy on Plagiarism:

“Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source, for example:

 Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without

 Use of the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment.

 Paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor or other literary device without

From the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct from the Office of Student Conduct – more information is available at

No plagiarism of any kind will be tolerated in this class. If you are caught plagiarizing, you will automatically receive an F grade for the work in question and, in all likelihood, for the entire course. You will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for a hearing that could result in expulsion.

Disability Accommodations

If you need any kind of accommodation to participate in class or to access the class materials, please bring us a “Letter of Accommodation” from the Disabled Students’ Program as soon as possible. For more information on the services available for students through this program, please visit

Schedule of Readings:

Thurs Aug 27th: Course Introduction
Tues Sept 1st: Writing Workshop: Building an Argument
Thurs Sept 3rd: Introduction to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Tues Sept 8th : Due: Diagnostic Essay on Paradise Lost Excerpt, 2-3 Pages
Thurs Sept 10th: Frankenstein concluded
Mon Sept 14th: Film Screening, Ex Machina
Tues Sept 15th: Discussion, Ex Machina
Thurs Sept 17th: Writing Workshop: Close Reading
Tues Sept 22nd: The Hermaphrodite continued
Thurs Sept 24th: Writing Workshop: The Body Paragraph
Tues Sept 29th: The Hermaphrodite concluded
Thurs Oct 1st:  Writing Workshop: Organizing Your Essay as a Whole
Tues Oct 6th: Due: Paper 1, Version 1 (Frankenstein)
Thurs Oct 8th: Writing Workshop: Peer Review
Tues Oct 13th: Introduction to Harold Pinter’s “The Lover”
Thurs Oct 15th: Writing Workshop: Outlining a Paper For Revision
Discussion, Paradise Lost (excerpt)
Frankenstein continued
Introduction to Julia Ward Howe’s The Hermaphrodite
The Hermaphrodite continued
Introduction to Honoré de Balzac’s Girl With the Golden Eyes
Girl With the Golden Eyes continued
Girl With the Golden Eyes concluded
“The Lover” concluded
Tues Oct 20th: Due: Paper 1, Version 2 (Frankenstein)
Introduction to Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Thurs Oct 22nd: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” concluded
Tues Oct 27th: Library Visit
Thurs Oct 29th: Due: Performance Project
Tues Nov 3rd: Writing Workshop: Incorporating Research Into Your Argument
Thurs Nov 5th: Due: Research Text Selection
Tues Nov 10th: Writing Workshop: The Annotated Bibliography
Thurs Nov 12th: The Bread Givers concluded
Tues Nov 17th: Due: Annotated Bibliography
Due: Two-page Reflection on Your Scene Selection
Introduction to Anzia Yezierska’s The Bread Givers
The Bread Givers continued
The Bread Givers continued
Introduction to Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro
Thurs Nov 19th: Kokoro continued
Tues Nov 24th: Due: Thesis Statement and Outline for Final Paper
Thurs Nov 26th: Thanksgiving
Tues Dec 1st: Introduction to Eileen Chang’s “Love in a Fallen City”
Thurs Dec 3rd: Due: Rough Draft of Final Paper, 7-9 pages
Kokoro concluded
“Love in a Fallen City” concluded
RRR Period, December 7th – 11th: Mandatory Writing Conferences
Final Research Paper (10-12 Pages) Due by Monday, December 14th, 3 PM, outside 4414 Dwinelle

Course Catalog Number: 17236

R1B.005: Eyes Wide Shut

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 243 Dwinelle Instructor: Simone Stirner

Comparative Literature R1B, Section 5          Fall 2015

243 Dwinelle, Tues/Thurs 9:40-11:00am  Stirner & Tran

Adeline Tran      Simone Stirner

Office: 4416 Dwinelle    Office: TBD

Office Hours: Tues, 11-1 & by appt     Office Hours: TBD

Eyes Wide Shut:

Unreliable Narration and Problems of Perspective

In this course, we will investigate the question of narrative reliability and whether an objective, “reliable” representation of reality is really possible. We will look at the complexities of narration in fiction and film by first asking how we define the nature of truth and reality. Is truth an objective viewpoint on our world or a set of subjective interpretations? What role does lying play in society, and how would the perspective of a biased or deceptive narrator problematize our interpretation of a text or film? And what happens to us, the readers, once we suspect the narrator to be “unreliable”? How does this heighten our attention, affect our perception of truth and reality, and possibly introduce us into a mode of critical thinking?

This course is designed to develop the skills obtained in Reading and Composition 1A. In this course, you will learn how to write comparative, research-based literary analysis. To this end, we will work on interpreting literature, producing close readings, developing solid literary arguments, understanding literary theory, doing and presenting outside research, and analyzing and critiquing theoretical work in class discussions and writing assignments. You will be expected to complete all reading and writing assignments in a timely manner and actively participate in class discussion. Course grade will be based on demonstrating careful reading and analytical ability through class participation, short assignments, a group project, one short diagnostic essay and two longer analytical research papers.

Required Reading

Albert Camus, The Stranger
Arthur Schnitzler, Dream Story
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Sandman
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Additional reading material will be posted on bCourses.


There will be three papers for this class. The first is a short diagnostic essay due at the end of the first week of class in which you will demonstrate your analytic and composition skills. It is only worth 5% of your grade, but please do your best on this; the purpose of this assignment is for us to see what elements of writing and analysis we should focus on this semester, as our instruction will be
tailored to students’ needs.  All papers must have an argumentative thesis supported by evidence from the text in the form of close readings. You will write rough drafts for papers 2 and 3. Late papers will not be accepted; if you need an extension, you must let us know well in advance. This class moves very quickly, and it is in your best interest to turn in all work on time.

Papers should also adhere to correct format and citation procedures we will discuss in class.  In your reader, you will find a grading rubric so that you know what we are looking for; we do not believe that grades should be a mystery. All drafts should be turned in with prior drafts, outlines, peer editing work, etc. attached.


Attendance is required. After the first two weeks of classes, you are allowed two unexcused absences. If you are sick or have an emergency, you must email us before the class you will miss. You are responsible for turning in all assignments on time and for all material covered in class, whether or not you are in attendance. Additional absences will affect your participation grade. If you are sick
but already have two unexcused absences, or are sick for the second time, you will need a doctor’s note (such as an appointment confirmation from the Tang Center’s Urgent Care) for the absence to be excused.

You should come to class on time (class starts promptly at 9:40am). We will be covering a lot of material, and your attendance and participation are essential to the academic environment. Arriving late is disruptive; if you are late more than twice in the semester, your grade will be affected. If you must leave early, please notify us before class begins.


This class is based on active, engaged discussion. This means that you must be in attendance, awake, and prepared to participate. You should have your book and any additional materials (reader, articles, short assignments). Coming to class without your book is unacceptable. Your participation grade is based on these elements, as well as on your level of contribution to class and small group
discussion. If you don’t like to speak up in class, see us to make alternative arrangements. Part of any discussion is listening; please help us to create a receptive, comfortable environment. We encourage you to agree or disagree with your classmates, but please do so in a respectful manner.
Food, Drink, and Electronics

Feel free to bring water, coffee, etc. Do not eat in class. Please do not bring your laptop or iPad to class. Turn cell phones off. Do not send text messages during class.


You will have two types of homework: reading and writing. Reading should be done pen in hand; you should underline and take notes. Sometimes we will give you questions to guide your reading or ask you to pick passages to focus on. But in general, read carefully and with attention to detail. Note recurring elements, apparent themes, interesting details, or anything that seems difficult.  Come to class prepared with questions and comments on the reading.  In addition to the close readings and papers listed on the syllabus, you will have frequent short assignments and pre-writing work. Written work is due at the beginning of class on the day it is listed on the syllabus (or, if specified, by email). Late work will not be accepted without our prior consent. All work, without exception, should be typed and proofread.

Group Presentations

On the second day of class, you will sign up to give one 15-minute group presentation on one of the texts we will be reading. Each group must meet on their own to prepare, and has the option of meeting with us as well. The presentations should focus on the historical background of the novel—the author, the time period, the country, etc. Each presentation should have a written
component (like a handout), an interactive component (discussion questions, a game), a visual aid (poster, Powerpoint presentation), and a properly formatted bibliography to be turned in at the end of the presentation. Each member will have an opportunity to report back on his or her individual experience. You will be graded as a group.

Grade Breakdown

Attendance and Participation 25% Paper 1 5%
Group Presentation 10% Paper 2 20%
Short Assignments 15% Paper 3 25%

Office Hours and Email Communication  Please come to our office hours! The point of this course is to improve your writing and reading skills, and often students will need extra help. If you come for help with a paper, please come to the meeting prepared, with specific questions and some good thinking already underway. Believe us: coming to office hours helps your writing and, subsequently, your grade in the course. It is also a good opportunity to have one-on-one instruction at a large university.

If you can’t make our office hours, email us to find a time that works for us both. You are also welcome to send us academic questions via email, but please do not send paper drafts. When emailing, please write, spell, and punctuate accordingly!

SLC Tutoring

While we will spend a lot of time working on writing in class and during office hours, we can’t cover everything. We recommend that students who need more help with writing mechanics use the Student Learning Center in the Golden Bear Building on Sproul Plaza. A range of tutoring options is available, including drop-in tutoring for help with a single assignment and individual tutors who will work with you for the entire semester. R&C students have first priority, but for a dedicated tutor, be sure to make arrangements during the first week of classes. For more information, go to:


Please create a bCourses account for yourself after the first day of class: We will use bCourses to post announcements, assignments, and additional course materials. You are responsible for keeping up with our bCourses course site.


The University has a strict policy on plagiarism: “Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source, for example:

 Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without acknowledgment.
 Use of the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment.
 Paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor or other
literary device without acknowledgment.”

If you are caught plagiarizing in this class, you will automatically receive an F grade for the work in question or for the entire course. We may also refer you to the Office of Student Conduct for a hearing that could have serious repercussions for your academic record. See this website to learn more about what is considered academic dishonesty:


Thurs, Aug 27            Course Introduction
Tues, Sept 1              Diaz, “Cheater’s Guide To Love”
Thurs, Sept 3               Cervantes, Prologue of Don Quixote & DUE: Paper #1 (diagnostic)
Tues, Sept 8         Camus, The Stranger & GP1
Thurs, Sept 10          The Stranger & DUE: Close Reading (on “Cheater’s”)
Tues, Sept 15            The Stranger
Thurs, Sept 17             Schnitzler, Dream Story & GP 2
Tues, Sept 22            Dream Story
Thurs, Sept 24          Dream Story & DUE: Paper #2 thesis statement
Tues, Sept 29            Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense”
Thurs, Oct 1             Peer-Edit Outline Workshop & DUE: Paper #2 outline
Tues, Oct 6               Evidence & Reverse Essay Structure Workshop
Thurs, Oct 8             James, Turn of the Screw & GP 3  & DUE: Paper #2 first draft
Tues, Oct 13             Turn of the Screw
Thurs, Oct 15           Turn of the Screw
Tues, Oct 20             Hoffmann, The Sandman & GP 4
Thurs, Oct 22           The Sandman  & DUE: Paper #2 Final
Tues, Oct 27             Nabokov, Lolita & GP 5
Thurs, Oct 29           Lolita
Tues, Nov 3              Lolita
Thurs, Nov 5            Library Research Day @ 350C Moffitt Library – bring Student IDs
Tues, Nov 10            Lolita & DUE: Paper #3 thesis statement
Thurs, Nov 12          Lolita
Tues, Nov 17            Peer-Review Workshop & DUE: Paper #3 outline & sources
Thurs, Nov 19          Kafka, Parables and Paradoxes (selections) & GP 6
Tues, Nov 24            Parables and Paradoxes (selections) & DUE: Paper #3 first draft
Thurs, Nov 26          No class – Thanksgiving Break
Tues, Dec 1              Film: Memento
Thurs, Dec 3             Memento
Mon, Dec 14            Paper #3 (Final Paper) due
in the “Drop Off” box in front of 4416 Dwinelle by NOON.

Course Catalog Number: 17239

R1B.007: Humanity and Nature: Histories of (Dis)Connection

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 205 Dwinelle Instructor: Bristin Jones

“Give me silence, water, hope.
Give me struggle, iron, volcanoes.”
—Pablo Neruda and
Edward Abbey

Comparative Literature R1B.07, Fall 2015,
T/Th 11:00-12:30, 205 Dwinelle Hall

Instructors: Keith Ford, (office hours: Wednesdays 1-3 pm and by appointment, Dwinelle 4414); and Bristin Scalzo Jones, (office hours: Thursdays 9-11 am 4321 Dwinelle).

To say that humanity has a vexed relationship with nature is a gross understatement. A glance into the literature of any period or place bears witness to the complexity of this relationship.  Across continents and centuries, writers have depicted nature contradictorily: as a space inspiring fear and respect yet also as a space providing succor and comfort; as force to be restrained and dominated or instead as a force to be accepted and embraced; as a presence from which we should distance ourselves (in ways both existential and visceral) or, conversely, as a presence with which we should connect (in ways equally existential and visceral).  This course, by engaging with a variety of genres and art forms, will explore some of the many ways that diverse cultures and time periods have represented and related to nature.  We will discuss themes such as Farming and Land Management; Shifting Perspectives; Labor and the Pastoral; Escapism, Solitude and Solipsism; and Anarchy, Activism and Sustainability. Authors and works for this course include:

 Elbow, Peter: Writing Without Teachers
 Plato: Critias
 Cortazár, Julio: “La Isla al mediodia”
 Virgil: Georgics
 Leopardi, Giacomo: Little Moral Works (in selection)
 Shakespeare, William: The Winter’s Tale
 Wordsworth, William and Samuel Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads (in selection)
 Clare, John: “A Lamentation for Round Oak Waters”
 Tolstoy, Leo: The Cossacks
 Dillard, Annie: “Heaven and Earth in Jest” and “Living Like Weasels”
 Abbey, Edward: Desert Solitaire (in selection)
 Neruda, Pablo: Odes (in selection)
 Fincher, David: Fight Club
 Reynolds, Michael: Garbage Warrior
This is a reading and writing intensive course with several essay assignments which will build upon the skills acquired in R1A. We will approach academic writing as a process, and students will articulate clear and interesting arguments about the texts we are studying while entering the world of literary criticism and learning to integrate and interrogate criticism in their own writing. This course satisfies the University requirement for the R1B Reading and Composition class.

Course Catalog Number: 17245

R1B.008: “Fifty Shades” of Desire

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Paul De Morais

Comparative Literature R1B: “Fifty Shades” of Desire
Section 8 Paul De Morais ( Fall 2015
Office Hours: Fridays 11 AM – 1 PM,  TBA Dwinelle Hall

“The world is little, people are little, human life is little.  There is only one big thing—desire.”

—Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the
tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.”

—Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

Desire manifests in different forms: the desire for a commodity, the desire for status, the desire for love, the desire for sex, etc. While some desires easily find social approval and validation, others appear forbidden and taboo. We all desire, but how often do we critically reflect upon our own desires? What kinds of knowledge about the world or ourselves do our desires enable us to obtain, and what kinds of ethical problems do we confront as desiring beings subject to various passions? In this course we will answer these and other questions as we explore the significance of desire through our careful reading of various novels, poems, and philosophical texts that deal with different forms of desire. We will analyze how the social, the somatic, and the psychological intersect in the production and repression of desires. Along the way we will also explore how desire affects the very structure of a literary work and the significance of desire for linguistic expression. Our range of texts, spanning from ancient Greece to 1970s France, will allow us to observe the manifestation and significance of desire in various historical and sociocultural contexts, and we will examine the ways in which desire is pertinent to discourses of gender, sexuality, race, and class.

This course is designed to help students develop critical thinking, writing, and oral expression skills that are applicable beyond the domain of literary studies. Students will learn how to develop interesting analytical arguments, incorporate research into their
writing, and refine their ideas through the drafting and revision of two essays. Short bCourses posts will also be required in order to help facilitate thinking about the course’s material. Since this is a discussion-based course, a strong emphasis will be placed on active student participation in class.

Required Texts:

Plato, The Symposium (Penguin)
Madame de Lafayette, The Princesse of Clèves (Penguin)
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs (CreateSpace)

A Course Reader

Books are available at the university bookstore, located at 2470/2480 Bancroft Way. The Course Reader is available for purchase at Instant Copying & Laser Printing, located at 2138 University Ave.

Assignments & Grading:

Diagnostic Essay (2-3 pages): Required
Two Annotated Bibliographies: 10% (5% each)
Two Exploratory Essays: 10% (5% each)
Midterm Essay (draft & final revision): 20%
Final Essay (draft & final revision): 35%
In-Class Writing Assignments, bCourses Posts, & Quizzes: 10%
Attendance, Participation, & Preparation: 15%


Course Policies:

Writing: One of the primary objectives of this course is to show how better reading makes for better writing. Writing workshops will help acquaint you with the ins and outs of college-level writing, and reading assignments and in-class discussions will give you
something about which to write. You will learn what an argument is, what can be argued, and how to argue it, as well as how to use introductions, conclusions, evidence, and even punctuation to your utmost advantage. You will also learn how to incorporate
secondary sources such as criticism and other scholarly work into your writing. The course requires at least 32 pages of writing on your part. First drafts will be assigned a provisional grade to indicate the grade that the draft would have received had it been a final draft. As one objective of this course is to practice revision, first drafts must be complete papers. Failure to submit a complete first draft will result in a lowered grade for the final draft. (See “Late Papers & Assignments” for further details.)

All essays must be typed and double-spaced with one-inch margins. In addition to the essays, you will complete several shorter writing assignments throughout the course, both in class and at home. These include the required bCourses posts, which are to be posted by midnight on the night before class. Exploratory essay assignments are designed to help you begin thinking about the content of your midterm and final essays. A good exploratory essay consists of a 3-4 page focused analysis that unfolds the complexity of a particular issue within a primary text and concludes with a tentative thesis. An inability to respond to the text in these writing assignments will be reflected in your grade.

All papers must be accompanied by a works cited page that includes your primary source(s) and any secondary sources that have contributed to your paper. The works cited page and in-text citations should be in an accepted format (MLA or Chicago). Please remember that the works cited section does not count towards the total number of required pages. Papers and bibliographies are due electronically via e-mail on their assigned due dates.

Late Papers & Assignments: Written assignments must be submitted on time. For every calendar day that an assignment is late, its final letter grade will receive one-third of a deduction. These deductions are cumulative: if your first draft and final draft are late by a day each, two-thirds of a letter grade will be deducted from the final grade for that assignment. Notify me in class or by email if an assignment will be submitted late. I am willing to discuss extensions in the case of extenuating circumstances, but I cannot guarantee an extension. If you wish to request an extension, see me after class, come to my office, or email me, preferably at the earliest possible moment. Incomplete drafts will be considered late papers, and deductions will accumulate until you submit a complete draft. Short in-class writing assignments and bCourses posts may not be made up and will not be accepted late.

Participation: This is a discussion- and workshop-driven course. It is not a lecture course. We must all come to class having completed the assigned reading and prepared to participate actively in discussion and activities. Forms of participation include
responding to questions posed by the instructor or other students, posing questions for the class to consider, proposing passages for discussion, and volunteering to read aloud.  Pop quizzes may be given if there is an overall decline in participation. Group work and in-class peer review assignments also count toward your participation grade. We also ask that every student help foster an environment that makes full class participation possible. Friendly debates can be very productive, but everyone’s contribution deserves respect and consideration. Disrespect and hostility will not be tolerated.

Attendance: Attendance will be taken every day in class. If you are not going to be in class, notify me by email to excuse the absence. Members of any groups that require school-related absences (athletes, musicians, etc.) should discuss their schedules with me by the end of the second week of class.

Please note that only two absences may be excused. More than two excused absences, and any unexcused absences, will negatively impact your grade. Three late arrivals will equal one unexcused absence. If you are going to be consistently late (perhaps because
you have a class on the other side of campus), let me know by the end of the second week of class. Arriving more than twenty minutes late or leaving more than twenty minutes early will count as an absence unless you notify me beforehand. Five unexcused absences will put you in danger of failing the course.
Attendance is MANDATORY for the first two weeks of classes. Any student who does not attend all classes during this time period will likely be dropped from the class. After the first two weeks, students will be added from the waitlist. You must be on the
waitlist to be added to the class, and no student can be added after the end of the second week without permission from the department.

Technology: In order to minimize distractions, laptop computers or any other kind of electronic devices (i-Pads, etc) are not permitted in the classroom. (Students who require a laptop for documented reasons are exempt from this prohibition, provided
that they supply me with proper documentation.) You will want to invest in a notebook and a pen or pencil for note taking.

Office Hours: For help with papers, assignments, reading, or any other concerns, come see me during my regular office hours at  Dwinelle Hall, or schedule an appointment if you have a time conflict. Requests for an appointment should be sent in
advance, not the day before you desire to meet. Please arrive on the dot (not Berkeley time) for your appointment.

Additional Help: Students may and are encouraged to consult the Student Learning Center for tutoring sessions. Ongoing tutoring sessions must be requested during the first two weeks of the semester; after the first two weeks, sessions are available by
appointment only. You can refer to the SLC’s website for further information:

Students may also seek writing tutoring through the comparative literature student-tutoring program. See me for more information.

Students with Disabilities: Please see me if you require special accommodations, either privately after class or in my office. The Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) is the campus office responsible for verifying that students have disability-related needs and
for planning appropriate accommodations in cooperation with the students themselves and student instructors. Students who need special arrangements (such as for evacuation) should request them from DSP: 230 César Chávez Student Center, 510-642-
0518 (voice) & 510-642-6376 (TTY),

Academic Honesty: Assignments must be new material written specifically for this course. Recycling assignments from other courses is considered a form of cheating and will be treated accordingly.

On Plagiarism:

“Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source, for example:

• Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without acknowledgment.

• Use of the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment.

• Paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor or other literary device without acknowledgment.”

(From the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct from the Office of Student Conduct, Emphasis mine.)

If you are at all confused about what constitutes plagiarism, please ask us.  “Accidental” plagiarism is still plagiarism and will be treated as such. If you are caught plagiarizing, you will receive an F for the work in question and may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

Reading and Assignment Schedule:

Date Reading Assignment Assignment Due Date
Thurs 8/27 Syllabus Overview
Tues 9/1 Barthes, A Lover’s
Intro to Course
Discourse (Selected Fragments)

Suggested Reading:
Silverman, “Twentieth-Century Desire and the Histories of Philosophy”


Wed 9/2 Diagnostic Essay Due by 11:59 PM
Thurs 9/3 Plato, Symposium
Tues 9/8 Plato, Symposium
Thurs 9/10 Shelley, “Alastor,” “On Love”
Tues 9/15 Sade, Justine
Thurs 9/17 Sade, Justine
Tues 9/22 Sade, Justine
Thurs 9/24 de Lauretis, “Desire in Narrative”
Tues 9/29 Lafayette, The Princesse of Clèves (Book One)
Thurs 10/1 Lafayette, The Princesse of Clèves (Book Two)
Sun 10/4 Exploratory Essay #1 Due by 11:59 PM
Tues 10/6 Lafayette, The Princesse of Clèves (Book Three)
Thurs 10/8 Lafayette, The Princesse of Clèves (Book Four)

Sun 10/11 Annotated Bibliography #1
Tues 10/13 Berlant, “Desire”
Due by 11:59 PM

Suggested Reading:
Berlant, “Introduction” in Desire/Love

Thurs 10/15 Balzac, Sarrasine
Sun 10/18 Midterm Essay (Rough Draft) Due by 11:59 PM
Tues 10/20 Sand, The Marquise
Thurs 10/22 Marx, Capital (Selections)

Kafka, “The Cares of a Family Man”
Tues 10/27 Rossetti, “Goblin Market”
Thurs 10/29 Baudelaire (Selected Poems)
Sun 11/1 Midterm Essay (Final Revision) Due by 11:59 PM
Tues 11/3 Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs
Thurs 11/5 Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs
Sun 11/8 Exploratory Essay #2 Due by 11:59 PM
Tues 11/10 Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs
Thurs 11/12 Deleuze, “Sade and Masoch”
Sun 11/15 Annotated Bibliography #2 Due by 11:59 PM
Tues 11/17 Colette, The Pure and the Impure

Thurs 11/19 Colette, The Pure and the Impure

Tues 11/24 Colette, The Pure and the Impure

Tues 12/1 Colette, The Pure and the Impure

Thurs 12/3 Wrap-Up / Class Party

Final Essay Rough Draft

Due by 11:59 PM

Course Evaluations

Tues 12/15 Final Essay (Final Revision)

Due by 11:59 PM

Course Catalog Number: 17248

R1B.010: Study Abroad

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Diana Thow Ma’ayan Sela

Comparative Literature R1B: 10 STUDY ABROAD

Tu/Th 12:30-2pm  Diana Thow & Ma’ayan Sela

79 Dwinelle

“Study Abroad” is a current staple of the US college experience, one that requires applications, letters of recommendation, and approved programs of study. But the idea of traveling to study in a foreign country has long been crucial to the formation and education of students across time and cultural contexts. In this class we will think about the way that literature and film explore the experience of this course of study, and together we will investigate some of the issues, problems, and pleasures that arise from studying abroad. Some of the questions that will shape our semester include:  How does identity become defined or suppressed in relation to a new cultural and linguistic experience?  » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17254

R1B.011: The Art in Artifice

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 234 Dwinelle Instructor: Taylor Johnston Alex Brostoff


Tuesday & Thursday 12:30-2:00 234 Dwinelle

Alexandra Brostoff  Office location:  4321 Dwinelle

Taylor Johnston  Office location:   4416 Dwinelle

Artifact. Artifice. Artist. The Latin root “art” signifies skill, and conventionally such skill produces an uninterrupted imaginary experience that is meant to approximate reality. But what happens when the artwork calls attention to the skill itself – to its own artistry? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17257

R1B.012: Point of View: Critical Thinking through Fiction

Tu/Th 04:00-05:30 205 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students


Point of View: Critical Thinking through Fiction

TuTh 4-5:30pm

205 Dwinelle

GSIs: Maya Kronfeld

Active class participation is expected of all members of this class. This will be a discussion-oriented course, and you are expected to engage actively in our conversations, bearing in mind that class participation can take many forms, both in and beyond the classroom. Active listening, critical thinking, and careful note-taking are all productive forms of engagement during class, as are lively involvement in small-group work and thoughtful completion of in-class assignments. Careful reading and reflection on homework assignments and discussion in office hours are valuable forms of engagement outside of class hours. Get in the habit of marking up your texts with notes while you are reading– we will discuss more about what this means in class!

One of our primary goals in this course is to become better critical readers. This requires a close engagement with the text, at the level of its content, language, and style. You are therefore expected to come to class having carefully read and reflected on the material for that day. This often means formulating questions, rather than answers. You will frequently be asked to come to class ready with a question about the text that you would like to pose to the rest of the class. Please bring all assigned texts for each day’s discussion to class with you.

I will hold two hours of office hours per week, at a time TBA. If you have class during my office hours, you are free to e-mail me to make appointments for another time. Some of the best writing coaching can happen on a one-on-one basis, and you are strongly encouraged to use this opportunity to work on your writing, or to discuss aspects of the texts that we did not get a chance to cover in class.  Office hours meetings are especially helpful before you actually start writing a paper. One office hours meeting will be mandatory towards the beginning of the semester, to discuss your diagnostic essay.

This is a writing intensive course. We will frequently devote class time to writing workshop sessions, in which we will discuss the various aspects of an interesting and persuasive analytical paper on a literary text, basic research skills, and the mechanics of writing. You will be responsible for writing a diagnostic paper (two to three pages), a first and final draft of a mid-term paper (five to six pages), and a final research paper (eight to nine page first draft, nine to ten page final draft). All assignments should be stapled, typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt font and double-spaced. First drafts will be marked with the grade they would have received had they been a final assignment, but only the grade on your final version will count towards your overall course grade. First drafts should be complete papers and should show the same level of thought and engagement that you would put into a graded final version. Failure to submit a first draft will result in a failing grade on the final version of the paper. We will spend considerable time revising paper drafts, and I expect to see significant improvement from first to final draft, not only at the level of writing but also at the level of ideas. Failure to adequately revise your paper will result in the final version receiving a lower grade than the provisional grade given for In addition to the graded papers, you will be expected to complete periodic short creative and
analytical writing assignments, both in and out of class. These are intended to improve the quality of our class discussion and your longer papers by encouraging careful critical thinking about our readings through less formal written engagement with the reading. Failure to complete these assignments thoughtfully will be reflected in your participation and homework grades.

**The final research essay is due May 11th, 4:00PM in 4416 Dwinelle**

In-class Close Reading presentations

Students will be responsible for two collaborative in-class presentations:  Presentations will be short and informal (5-10 min each) and will be done with a partner. You will walk the class through your close reading of a (very) short passage from our literary text for that day.  You are expected to attend class regularly and on time. Every unexcused absence will result in a drop of one-third of a letter grade (e.g. from an A- to a B+) from your participation grade. Two unexcused tardies will count as one unexcused absence, and your grade will be adjusted accordingly. Your absence will be considered unexcused unless you notify me by email or in
person in advance of class. Only two absences with advance notification will be excused; any further absences will be considered unexcused unless accompanied by a doctor’s note.

Attendance is mandatory for the first two weeks of classes. Roll will be taken every day during this period, for both regular and waitlisted students. Anyone who does not attend all classes during the first two weeks will be dropped from the class. At the end of the first and second week of classes, students will be added manually from the waitlist. If you are attempting to add this class and did not attend the first day, you will be expected to attend all class meetings thereafter and, if space permits, you will be allowed to enroll. No students will be added after the end of the second week of the term without permission from the Department. Students can only be added through the wait list.

Homework (short writing assignments, presentations): 20%
Papers must be turned in at the beginning of class on the day on which they are due. For every calendar day that a paper is late, the final paper grade will be dropped by one-third of a letter grade, unless you’ve been granted a prior extension. This policy applies to both first and final drafts. If you will have to turn a paper in late because of extenuating circumstances, you must request permission at least 48 hours before the paper is due. The same rules regarding paper If you would like to continue improving a paper following the “final” draft, you are allowed to revise and resubmit all work but the final paper. You are strongly encouraged to consult with us before beginning to rewrite a paper, both to develop a plan for revision and to determine whether
it would instead be more beneficial to devote the time you would spend rewriting to your next paper. We will accept rewrites only on papers that have already shown significant revision and improvement from the first to final draft; if you do not engage substantially with the first round of required revision, you will not be allowed to resubmit the paper. Similarly, I will not accept
rewrites that reflect only cosmetic changes and do not show a serious revision and reworking of ideas. Rewrites are due within one week of receiving our comments and grade on the final draft of the paper. Please note that choosing to rewrite a paper does not guarantee that your grade will increase; the improvement must be significant enough to merit a higher grade.

This is a discussion-based class, and its success will depend on the participation of each class member. In addition to being an active participant in our conversations, whether by introducing your own ideas, responding to a classmate’s comments, posing questions, or actively listening, you have the responsibility to engage respectfully with the ideas of your classmates and to help
create an atmosphere of friendly but rigorous critical engagement. Cell phones and laptops are not allowed in class. Your participation grade will be lowered by one-third of a letter grade every time we see you use your cell phone in class.

“Plagiarism is defined as the use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source, for example:
•   Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without acknowledgment.
•   Use of the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment.
•   Paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor or
other literary device without acknowledgment.”

—From the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct from the Office of Student Conduct

Any plagiarized paper in this course will automatically receive an F. You 5/ also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for a hearing. Please note that submitting assignments or parts of assignments for multiple courses, past or present, without prior permission from all instructors is considered a form of cheating. All assignments submitted must be new material written for this specific course. Please note that I will not respond to substantive paper questions or give feedback about papers-in-progress by email; such discussions must take place in person in office hours or by If you would like additional help with your writing, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Student Learning Center for outside tutoring. The SLC offers both by-appointment and regular
tutoring sessions. See their website for further information:

If you need disability-related accommodations in this class, if you have emergency medical information you wish to share with us, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform us immediately. Please see me privately after class or in office

Thursday 8/27: Introduction to close reading; Dostoyevsky passage
Tuesday 9/1:  Toni Morrison, “Récitatif”
Thursday 9/3: Toni Morrison, “Récitatif”
Tuesday 9/8:  Writing Workshop
Thursday 9/10: Diagnostic Paper Due (2-3 pages)
Tuesday 9/14:  Read Monroe Beardsley, “Analyzing an Argument” and hand in the practice
Tuesday 9/17:  Victor Hugo, preface to The Last Day of a Condemned Man. Read and analyze
Thursday 9/22: Hugo, The Last Day of a Condemned Man
Mandatory Office Hours: All students must meet with me individually during the week of 9/24 to discuss the diagnostic paper.

Tuesday 9/24: Hugo, The Last Day of a Condemned Man
Thursday 9/26: Hugo, The Last Day of a Condemned Man
Tuesday 9/29: Paper 1 Prewriting Due
Thursday 10/1: Hugo, The Last Day of a Condemned Man
Tuesday 10/6: Baudelaire, Paris Spleen
Thursday 10/8:  Wayne Booth, Distance and Point of View. Bring three copies of a body paragraph from your paper to class.
Tuesday 10/13: Bring three copies of your working introduction and thesis statement to class
Thursday 10/15: Paper 1 First Draft Due (5-6 pages)
Tuesday 10/20:  William James, “The Stream of Consciousness” + introspection hw!
Thursday 10/22:  W.E.B. Du Bois, chapter 1 from  Souls of Black Folk
Tuesday 10/27: Bring three copies of your revised introduction and thesis statement and of a
Thursday 10/29: Paper 1 Final Draft Due (5-6 pages)   Film: L’age d’or
Tuesday 11/3:  Baudelaire, Paris Spleen
Thursday 11/5:  Beckett, Endgame
Tuesday 11/10:  Beckett Endgame
Thursday 11/12: Paper 2 Prewriting Due
Tuesday11/17: Paper 2 Annotated Bibliography Due
Thursday 11/19:  Excerpts, Virginia Woolf
Tuesday 11/24: Bring three copies of a potential body paragraph for your draft.
Tuesday 12/1: Bring three copies of your introduction and revised thesis statement
Thursday 12/3:  Paper 2 First Draft Due//Class Party
Tuesday 12/14:  Paper 2 Final Draft Due 4:00pm, 4319 Dwinelle

Course Catalog Number: 17260

R1B.013: Writing Eros: Literature and Romantic Love

Tu/Th 05:00-06:30 3119 Etcheverry Instructor: Jonathan Rowan Christopher Scott

Writing Eros: Literature and Romantic Love

Tu Th 5-6:30 pm
Jonathan Rowan ( and Christopher Scott (; office 4319 Dwinelle)

What is this thing we call “love”? Is it selfish or selfless (or somewhere in between)? Is it something we do, or something that happens to us? Is it merely a matter of emotion, or is rationality involved too? Does it always involve illusion—an idealized image of the beloved? How does literary form capture the experience of love? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17263

R1B.014: Fictions of Technology, Science, and Society

M/W 04:00-05:30 289 Cory Instructor: Kfir Cohen Molly Bronstein

Comparative Literature R1B.14          Kfir Cohen and Molly Bronstein

MW 4:5:30pm 289 Cory ;

Office Hours [TBA]

Fictions of Technology, Science and Society

In this course we will develop writing and argumentative skills through exploring theoretical and imaginative texts that revolve around technology, science and social order. We will read texts that take up the questions of artificial intelligence and human attachment (Ex-Machina), the relation between justice and techniques of scientific prediction (Foundation, Minority Report), and time travel (The Time Machine) among others. We will watch several contemporary films and read a variety of texts from different historical periods and cultural traditions, focusing specifically on sci-fi and utopian/distopian fiction. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17266

R1B.020: Fictions of Technology, Science and Society

M/W/F 01:00-02:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Kfir Cohen Amanda Siegel

Comparative Literature R1B.20                                                            Kfir Cohen and Amanda Siegel

MWF 1-2pm 79 Dwinelle                                               ;

Office Hours [TBA]

Fictions of Technology, Science and Society

In this course we will develop writing and argumentative skills through exploring theoretical and imaginative texts that revolve around technology, science and social order. We will read texts that take up the questions of artificial intelligence and human attachment (Ex-Machina), the relation between justice and techniques of scientific prediction (Foundation, Minority Report), and time travel (The Time Machine) among others. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17497

R1B.021: Found On the Road Dreaming: Discovery and Epiphany in Travel Literature

Tu/Th 04:00-05:30 206 Wheeler Instructor: Keith Ford

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

—Bilbo Baggins

Found On the Road Dreaming:
Discovery and Epiphany in Travel Literature
Comparative Literature R1B, Fall 2015,
T/Th 4:00-5:30, 206 Wheeler Hall

Instructor: Keith Ford, (office hours: Tuesdays 1:00pm to 3pm, and by appointment, at Dwinelle 4414). Before we even set out on a journey, the places we go are invested with meaning and, often, idealized goals. Inevitably, there is a dissonance between destination and dream. Perhaps accounting for this, in literature, many travelers are bound to entirely fictitious destinations. And yet, the fiction is as revealing as any fact when considering why we are driven to travel. What values and expectations does the traveler carry with him, perhaps unwittingly? How are indigenous populations represented? What are the social and political motivations surrounding the writing of travel texts?

In order to investigate these and other questions, this course will engage with texts whose treatment of travel ranges from the fantastic (Lucian’s A True History and Apuleius’s The Golden Ass and selections from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring) to the philosophical and imperial (Thomas More’s Utopia, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, selections from both Thevet’s Singularities of Antarctic France and Lery’s True Voyage to Brazil,) to something foundational to identity itself (Momaday’s The Way to Rainy Mountain, Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children).

This is a reading and writing intensive course with several essay assignments which will build upon the skills acquired in R1A. We will approach academic writing as a process, and
students will articulate clear and interesting arguments about the texts we are studying
while entering the world of literary criticism and learning to integrate and interrogate
criticism in their own writing.

Assignments & Grading:
Diagnostic essay (2-3 pgs) Required
Two Annotated Bibliographies 5 points (each)
Two Explorations of Place 5 points (each)
Midterm Essay (draft & final revision) 25 points
Final Essay (draft & final)      35 points
In-class writing assignments and bCourses posts 10 points
Attendance & Participation 10 points
Total possible:            100 points

  Required: Texts

Utopia (Thomas More), ISBN: 978-0140449105

The Tempest (Shakespeare), ISBN: 978-0393978193

The Way to Rainy Mountain (N. Scott Momaday), ISBN: 978-0826304360

Midnight’s Children (Rushdie), ISBN: 978-0812976533


Blood on the Tracks (Bob Dylan)

Films (screened in class):


All other texts will be compiled into a course reader which will be made available at Copy
Central or made available on bCourses (as indicated).

Course Catalog Number: 17500


41B: Studies in Lyric

M/W/F 02:00-03:00 255 Dwinelle Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

MWF 2:00-3:00pm
255 Dwinelle
Professor Anne-Lise Francois

This course will offer a comparative introduction to lyric poetry across different linguistic traditions (including poems originally composed in Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese and Spanish). While we may consider different definitions and origin stories of the lyric genre–as muted song, verbal picture, overheard speech, or emotive expression–our main focus will be on learning how to read and write about poetry in its shorter forms. You will be encouraged to read in the original when possible, but all readings will be provided in English.

Poetry by Sappho, Ovid, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Bashō, Shiki, Keats, Baudelaire, Dickinson, Rilke, Lorca, Bishop, and Niedecker, among others.

Course Catalog Number: 17284

100: Dislocated Narratives

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 262 Dwinelle Instructor: Karl Britto

TuTh 11am-12:30pm
262 Dwinelle
CCN: 17302
Professor Karl Britto

In this course we will consider a variety of written and cinematic texts, largely produced in the last decades of the twentieth century, all of which foreground the movement of individuals or communities across national borders. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss a number of interrelated questions: how do contemporary writers attempt to come to terms with the profound historical ruptures and geographic displacements brought about by the experience of transnational movement? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17302

112A: Modern Greek Language and Composition

M/W/F 12:00-01:00 225 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

MWF 12-1:00
225 Dwinelle
CCN: 17305
Maria Kotzamanidou

Modern Greek is unique among languages in that it is the only modern language directly descended from Ancient Greek. In this course, the student studies reading, writing, pronunciation and use of contemporary spoken idiom, all within the historical and cultural context of the language. By the end of the course, the student should have a strong grammatical and linguistic foundation in Greek as it is spoken today. (No Prerequisite)

Course Catalog Number: 17305

153: Renaissance Literature

Literature and the Age of Exploration

M/W/F 02:00-03:00 134 Dwinelle Instructor: Timothy Hampton

MWF 2:00-3:00pm
134 Dwinelle
CCN: 17308
Professor Tim Hampton

In this course we will study the intersection between Renaissance literature and the great journeys of exploration and conquest that shaped the birth of the modern world. We will read fictional works by such authors as Shakespeare, Cervantes, More, Montaigne, Camoens, and Rabelais, in dialogue with writings of the sailors, missionaries, cartographers, scoundrels, and traders who expanded the limits of the European imagination with their accounts of “unknown” territory. In addition to reading a number of influential literary texts, we will work with primary historical material by studying maps, images, and collections of “curiosities.” Among the questions we will ask: how does the expansion of territory generate new forms of literary representation? How can you describe an object that has never been written about? How is a narrative like a map?


Reading list:

Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel, trans. Screech (Penguin).
Cervantes: Don Quixote, trans. Rutherford (Penguin).
More: Utopia, trans. Miller (Yale UP).
Columbus: The Four Voyages, trans. Cohen, (Penguin).
Camoens: The Lusiads, trans. White (Oxford World Classics).
Hakluyt: Voyages and Discoveries (Penguin).
Shakespeare: Othello (Signet), The Tempest (Signet).



Course Catalog Number: 17308

171: IN OTHER TONGUES: Thought and Literature by Greek Expatriates in 20th Century Europe

F 02:00-05:00 211 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

Fri 2:00-5:00pm
211 Dwinelle
CCN: 17314
Maria Kotzamanidou

This course will examine the work of Greek intellectuals (philosophers and literary writers) who, as adults, in moments of Greek historical and political crises, left Greece and emigrated to other European countries. The primary corpus of the work of these authors was written in the languages of their adopted countries, thus, allowing them to make major contributions to the specific intellectual life of those countries and to European letters in general. Even though these writers have appeared in Greece only in Greek translation, it will be interesting to examine to what extend each crisis, which drove them away from their original homeland, contributed to their evolution, and defined the direction of their ideas abroad.

All materials from foreign languages for this course are presented in English translation.

Greek History, theory and criticism are in English. Films are in English or with English subtitles.





Course Catalog Number: 17314

190: Proust, Woolf and the Modern Novel

M 02:00-05:00 87 Dwinelle Instructor: Dora Zhang

Mon 2:00-5:00pm
87 Dwinelle
CCN: 17317
Professor Dora Zhang

“Well – what remains to be written after that?” wondered Virginia Woolf in a 1922 letter about Marcel Proust’s monumental seven-volume work, In Search of Lost Time. Chronicling everything from the strangeness of kissing to the casual cruelties of snobbery, Proust’s novel conducts a vast and searching inquiry into the nooks and crannies of human experience. At the same time, it’s an unflinching account of a particular era, as the glittering decadence of belle époque Paris gave way to the horrors to the First World War, and rapidly changing modern life came to include new inventions like the telephone, the automobile, and the cinema. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17317

190: Literature and Human Rights

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 107 Mulford Instructor: Victoria Kahn

TuTh 11:00am-12:30pm
107 Mulford
CCN: 17320
Professor Vicky Kahn

This course will explore the history of the idea of human rights and the role of literature in depicting human rights abuses and in advancing human rights claims, with a particular focus on twentieth-century literature. How does literature contribute to the invention of the concept of human rights? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17320


200: Approaches to Comparative Literature

W 02:00-05:00 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Victoria Kahn

Wed 2:00-5:00pm
204 Dwinelle
CCN: 17362
Professor Vicky Kahn

This course serves as an introduction to the field of Comparative Literature. In the first half of the semester, we will take up the question, “What is literature?” Readings will include Roman Jakobson, Viktor Shlovsky, Tzevtan Todorov, Raymond Williams, Kate Hamburger, Jacques Derrida, Terry Eagleton, Catherine Gallagher, and others. In the second half of the semester we will ask “What is Comparative Literature?” Readings from Erich Auerbach, Edward Said, Terence Cave, Christopher Prendergast, Gayatri Spivack, Emily Apter, and J. M. Coetzee. Although this is a proseminar intended for first-year students in Comparative Literature, graduate students from other departments are welcome to enroll.

Course Catalog Number: 17362

202B: Lyric Poetry

The View from the Margins

Tu 02:00-05:00 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Chana Kronfeld

Tues 2:00-5:00pm
263 Dwinelle
CCN: 17370
Professor Chana Kronfeld

This seminar will focus on lyrical poetry produced in the margins – or outside — of the modern Anglo-European canon in order to call into question static typological theories of genre, as well as the majoritarian, heteronormative or Eurocentric set of biases behind contemporary attacks on the lyric as solipsistic, apolitical “personal expression.” Participants will draw on their own cultural and linguistic specialties to help us compile a multi-lingual course Reader of modern lyrical poetry decentered by ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, class, place or language. My own contribution to the readings will include selections from modern Yiddish and Hebrew poetry, and examples of biblical poetry as an alternative model for the lyric, in which the very distinction between the personal and the collective, the political and the “apolitical” is rendered meaningless. Through a series of historically and linguistically informed close readings, we will examine both standard and non-normative theoretical studies of the lyric, maintaining a critical awareness of the extent to which our paradigm examples affect our understanding of the genre. Questions we may want to ask include: How does the view from the margins problematize such western commonplaces as the coherence and authority of the lyrical “I,” the subject-object divide, the dichotomy between apostrophe and address, the conflation of the “lyrical” and “subjective” with the “feminine,” or the lyric’s purported freedom — or flight! — from the historical and the social?

Reading List:

The Lyric Theory Reader: A Critical Anthology, edited by Virginia Jackson and Yopi Prins (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2014)

Course Reader (to include Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Jacob Blevins, Jonathan Culler, Benjamin Harshav, Virginia Jackson, Barbara Johnson, Roman Jakobson, Robert Kaufman, Will Waters, Rene Wellek and selections by seminar participants)

Selections from: The Penguin Book of Modern Yiddish Verse (bilingual anthology), eds. Irving Howe, Ruth R. Wisse & Khone Shemruk. (New York: Penguin, 1988). (Out of print; photocopy available at Instant Copying and Laser Printing).

The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, ed. Robert Alter (New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2015).

The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems (bilingual anthology), eds. Shirley Kaufman, Galit Hasan-Rokem and Tamar Hess (New York: Feminist Press, 1999) (paperback edition).

Course Catalog Number: 17370

202C: The Novel

and Sociological Forms of Knowledge

M 02:00-05:00 233 Dwinelle Instructor: Michael Lucey

Mon 2:00-5:00pm
233 Dwinelle
CCN: 17371
Professor Michael Lucey

What is sociological knowledge? What are social facts and social forms and what kind of existence do they have? How do certain novels acquire the resources to produce sociological forms of knowledge, to encourage sociological forms of attention?  In particular, what aesthetic practices and what features of novelistic form contribute to this kind of knowledge production? What critical frameworks allow us to perceive this aspect of the representational work that novels do?  We will use a series of American, French, and English novels to pursue these questions, reading in tandem with them a variety of sociological works, including work by Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Marx, Lukács, Bourdieu, and Goffman, as well as some recent literary criticism.

Novels:  Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans;  Balzac, Old Man Goriot; Eliot, Daniel Deronda; Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah;  Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Cather, The Professor’s House


Course Catalog Number: 17371

212: Studies in Medieval Literature

Subjects of Desire: Exploring Medieval (Latin) Literatures

Th 02:00-05:00 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Frank Bezner

Thur, 2:00-5:00pm
263 Dwinelle
CCN: 17374

Professor Frank Bezner

Much has been written on Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern vernacular love poetry, and the rich scholarly criticism on Latin love elegy, Troubadour lyrics, German Minnesang, or Petrarcism ranges from more traditional philological, literary, and formalist approaches to fascinating uses of gender criticism and psychoanalytic thought.  Much less critical light, however, has been shed on the Medieval Latin side – i.e. on the prolific and somewhat implausible production of learned love lyrics and related prose texts that were written during the 11th to 13th centuries all over Medieval Europe.

» read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17374

212/art history 192: Studies in Medieval Literature

The Cultural Dynamics of Medieval Manuscripts

Th 02:00-05:00 308B Doe Library Instructor: Frank Bezner Beate Fricke

Frank Bezner / Beate Fricke
Comp Lit 212 / Art History 192 D1 :The Cultural Dynamics of Medieval Manuscripts
Th 2-5
308B Doe Library

CCN:  17356

In this course we will study medieval and early-modern manuscripts as complex intersections of materiality, aesthetics, politics, and institutionality. In a first part, students will be introduced into the fundamentals of codicology, paleography, and manuscript illumination: a hands-on phase for which we will use real manuscripts from Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. In addition, we will discuss some seminal critical work on the cultural dynamics of manuscripts. After this introductory part, our class will explore selected cases and genres such as medieval bibles, books of hours, poetic anthologies, and manuscripts with scientific texts. In the third part of the course, students will pursue their own research in collaboration with the instructors.

Course Catalog Number:

215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Image and Imagination in Early Modern Literature

Tu 03:00 - 06:00 282 Dwinelle Instructor: Niklaus Largier

Thur, 3:00-6:00pm
282 Dwinelle
CCN: 17376
Professor Niklaus Largier

Focusing on the history of iconoclasm, images, practices of figuration, and the imagination, this course will trace key aspects of the literary and intellectual history from the 16th to the 17th century. Readings will include key texts by Luther and the radical reformers; Ignatius of Loyola and his influence; the figure of the fool; the emblem tradition; as well as representatives of 17th century baroque drama, poetry, and mysticism. A final reading list will depend on the interests of the group of participants and will be established at the first meeting. All texts will be available in the original language and in English translation.

Course Catalog Number: 17376

240/CRP 290 (CCN 14454): Studies in the Relations Between Literature and the Other Arts

Urban Space and Literary Form: World Literature and the Modern and Contemporary City

Tu 02:00-05:00 494 Wurster Instructor: Harsha Ram

Tuesdays, 2-5pm
494 Wurster Hall South Tower (Cal Design Lab)
CCN: 17383
Professors Mia Fuller (Italian Studies) and Harsha Ram (Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature)

Literature and urban civilization have long been intimately connected. Our seminar seeks to explore their connection as it relates to the emergence and global spread of the modern and contemporary city. How has the spatial and social organization of the modern city informed the thematic and formal choices writers make?

And how, in turn, have the imaginative projections of literary texts shaped our experience of the city, its emancipatory potential and its alienating constraints? How exactly do cities get not merely mapped but also emplotted? What kinds of urban spaces and city-dwellers become the privileged focus of modern fiction and poetry? How do the density and scale of the urban built environment impinge on the way writers view the world and tell their stories? What genres seem best suited to rendering urban life? Is the city the defining context of modern literature or its implicit if barely human hero? To what extent is the global diffusion of the novel form related to the growth of urbanization? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17383

298: Producing the World: Travels, Encounters, the Clash of Cultures

M 05:00-08:00 220 Stephens Hall Instructor: Francine Masiello

Mondays, October 19-December 7, 2015, 5-8pm
Townsend Center for the Humanities, 220 Stephens Hall
298.03 (1 unit) CCN: 17392
298.04 (2 Units) CCN: 17395

Instructor: Beatriz Sarlo: Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30
Instructor: Francine Masiello: Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, Dec. 7

PLEASE NOTE: This course may be taken as a one-unit course (CC 17392), meeting in four consecutive sessions with Beatriz Sarlo on Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30, or as a two-unit course (CC 17395) meeting a total of eight sessions, 4 with Francine Masiello and 4 with Beatriz Sarlo.

The course will examine the discourse on travel as a way to account for different symbolic, political, social, and ethnic experiences. We will begin with the assertion of travel literature as an “objective” form of autobiographical and of scientific research, and then break down the model. Readings will integrate theoretical accounts of travel from major Latin American authors, among them the 19th century Sarmiento and the 20th century Victoria Ocampo. These examples will help develop an inquiry about tourism especially in its comparative manifestations–as entertainment and distraction for a mass public or as an inquiry for a lettered elite who prevailed upon travel accounts to advance a national project at home. Texts will include professionally written narratives as well as postcards, letters, and visual records from the 19th through 21st centuries.

Readings selected for each meeting include classical travel studies and contemporary reflections. The material should work as an introduction to travel writing and may suggest further ways of considering it in terms of place, time, and mobility. Discussion topics will cover a wide range and will include: Writing and painting spaces; The politician as exile and the idéologue as traveler; When music travels, jazz in Buenos Aires and tango on Broadway.

Beatriz Sarlo is a scholar of Latin American literature and culture and one of the most important Argentine literary and cultural critics of the last 40 years. She has been a Professor at the University of Buenos Aires and has held Visiting Professorships throughout Europe and the U.S. A public intellectual, Sarlo is the author of more than two dozen books on literary criticism, cultural history, visual culture, and politics.

Francine Masiello is Sidney and Margaret Ancker Distinguished Professor in the Humanities in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese & Comparative Literature.

For more information or a complete syllabus, contact Teresa Stojkov, Associate Director, Townsend Center: or visit

Course Catalog Number: 17392