Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
Travel and Alterity. The goal of English 242 is to encourage and develop practices of critical interpretation in the reading of fiction. This course will set about pursuing that goal by proposing reading, discussion, and writing on a regionally and temporally diverse collection of fictional texts operating loosely around the general theme of travel and encounters with "others." In order to intelligently approach the interpretation of this diverse group of texts, primary readings will be supplemented by shorter secondary readings drawn from a course pack and possibly online material.
Texts: Voltaire, Candide: Or, The Optimist; Herman Melville, Typee; E.M. Forster, A Passage to India; Dave Eggers, You Shall Know Our Velocity.
Secondary materials will likely include selections from Questions of Travel by Karen Kaplan and articles by Kwame Anthony Appiah and David Foster Wallace. These materials will be available via a course pack.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
This class offers a "W" credit. This means that course participants will be expected to produce a total of 10-15 pages of formal, academic writing which has gone through a cycle of instructor feedback and revision. This requirement will be met with two 5-7 page essays over the course of the quarter.