Reading & Composition
Love: Virtue, Ruin, Illusion
To say that ‘to love is to live’ is nothing less than to affirm the proximity between these two actions, where, if nothing else, only a meager vowel separates the two. Love attests to a paradoxical type of freedom: we must be free to love; yet, when we are in love, we are unable to freely choose who or what it is that we love. Once ensnared in its warm embrace, love encircles us like a python, squeezing gently (sometimes not) until it completely surrounds us. But love can swallow and transform our world as quickly as it departs from it, leaving us only with malady. Throughout the semester we will be examining a variety of texts concerning the idea of love, assessing how certain authors across history have expressed this complicated passion.
This course satisfies half of UC Berkeley’s Reading & Composition sequence and is recommended for students who have completed R1A or have placed out of the R1A requirement. Given the time constraint of summer classes, students will be expected to complete reading assignments (approx. 150-200 pages per week) and writing at an accelerated pace. Students will improve their skills in critical thinking, reading, and analytical writing as they learn how to write with clarity and precision as we address each stage of the writing process. In addition to regular attendance, reading, and participation, assignments include an introductory paper and a series of essays—drafts and revisions—as well as other writing exercises. Ultimately, students will learn how to effectively incorporate secondary sources into analytical writing, and the course will culminate in a research paper of 9-10 pages.