Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: N1A:1, Swash & Buckle: Adventures in Film and Fiction

Tu/Wed/Thur 10-12:00
204 Dwinelle
CCN 27905
Jessica Crewe
Session A 5/23-7/1

Summer is the season of escapist fiction: if we can’t use our vacations to visit far-off climes in person, at least we can live vicariously through novels about distant, often imaginary places. Tales of travelers questing across the globe have been a cornerstone of popular culture from Homer’s Odyssey to Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yet, while these adventure narratives continue to seduce large audiences, we must also consider the political and social ramifications of such texts. What ethical problems might authors face in trying to represent foreignness and “the exotic”? How does the notion of “adventure” become part of imperialist and nationalist projects from the eighteenth century to now? Is adventure a gendered enterprise? And how do contemporary writers rewrite and reconfigure earlier adventure narratives? We will consider these questions (among many) through active class discussion and regular writing assignments.


Texts May Include:


Captain Blood, directed by Michael Kurtiz

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Tempest, William Shakespeare

The Tempest, directed by Julie Taymor

Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe

Foe, J.M. Coetzee

Excerpts from Lancelot, Chrétien de Troyes

Excerpts from Le Morte d’Arthur, Thomas Malory

The Once and Future King, T.H. White

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, directed by Steven Spielberg

She, H. Rider Haggard

Shanghai, Yokomitsu Riichi

Basara, Tamura Yumi

Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson

Gentlemen of the Road, Michael Chabon

On the Road, Jack Kerouac

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Course Catalog Number:


155: CL 155:1, The Novel between India and the West

CL 155:1
Tu/Wed/Thu 2:00-4:30
254 Dwinelle
CCN: 27923
Session D 7/05-8/12
Harsha Ram


The novel is a modern genre, imported and adapted to Indian circumstances during the heyday of the British Empire. Over the course of the summer we will be reading British novels set in India, as well as novels written by Indian authors. We will be exploring how British fiction reflected on the “romance” of British Raj, the cultural differences and political hierarchies that arose between the rulers, the ruled, and the middlemen and women who mediated between them. The emergence of the Indian novel coincided with the rise of a new modernizing Indian élite that would lead India’s freedom struggle. The Indian novel thus became a crucial site for cultural debate. Was it possible to adapt western cultural forms while still questioning Britain’s political domination? What new insights could the novel’s narrative structure provide into Indian reality? How did the Indian novel encompass the bewildering multiplicity of local and regional voices, histories and narratives that constitute the Indian experience? How are we to understand the sudden emergence of Indian English literature on the world literary scene? These are some of the questions we will addressing over the course of the semester.

Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Rabindranath Tagore, Gora

E.M. Forster, Passage to India

Raja Rao, Kanthapura

G.V. Desani, All About H. Hatterr

Paul Scott, The Jewel in the Crown

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children

Course Catalog Number: