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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gregory Daniel Laynor
ENGL 242
Seattle Campus

Reading Prose Fiction

Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.

Class description

In this writing-intensive "W" and "VLPA" course, we will be working with five novels as well as their adaptations as works of musical theater: L. Frank Baum's 1900 The Wizard of Oz, Patrick Dennis's 1955 Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade, Edna Ferber's 1926 Show Boat, Anita Loos's 1925 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and E.L. Doctorow's 1975 Ragtime. In working with print-based novels later adapted into works of musical theater on stage and as recorded sound and moving images, we will be thinking about how works of prose fiction change across different media and about the relationship of prose fiction to other art forms such as music and dance.

Work for the course includes short exams on the assigned readings, two papers of approximately 5-pages each (one due in the middle of the quarter, with the option of revision, and the other due at the end of the quarter), and in-class writing assignments and homework writing assignments with which you will prepare to write the two papers.

Class time will be used for short lectures on relevant concepts and history, demonstrations of research and writing techniques useful for the two papers, screenings of film adaptations of the novels, and discussions generated by questions developed in your writing.

Required Books:

1. Baum, The Wonderful World of Oz (Penguin, 1998), 9780141180854 2. Dennis, Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (Broadway Books, 2001), 9780767908191 3. Ferber, Show Boat (G.K. Hall, 1981), 9780899682815 4. Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Penguin, 1998), 9780141180694 5. Doctorow, Ragtime (Penguin, 2003), 9780812978186

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Gregory Daniel Laynor
Date: 10/17/2013