English | Intro to Writing & the Study of Literature: Genres of Literature, Film, and Everyday Life
L142 | 15842 | Schilb


Lecture:	15842		11:15-12:05pm	TR		BH
310
Discussion:
	22235		10:10-11:00am	MW		SY 022
	15843		9:05-9:55am		MW		GY
447
	15844		9:05-9:55am		MW		WH
106
	15845		10:10-11:00pm	MW		SY 210
	15846		11:15-12:05pm	MW		SY 210
	15847		11:15-12:05pm	MW		GY 447
	27091		12:20-1:10pm		MW		TBA
	27092		12:20-1:10pm		MW		TBA

Probably all of us are familiar with the term genre and various
examples of it.  Those of us who have taken literature courses are
aware of genres such as fiction, poetry, and plays.  But even we
visit our local video rental store, we find sections devoted to
genres such as comedies, dramas, action movies, and horror movies.
Indeed, we work with genres even when we simply talk with one
another, for often we wind up producing apologies, excuses,
requests, demands, and other types of speech.  Yet, curiously
enough, not many college courses deal with the very notion of genre,
despite how much it figures in our lives.  This course is an
opportunity to examine the term's possible meanings, as well as ways
it helps us analyze literature and other kinds of texts.  Throughout
the semester, our study of genres will touch on a variety of
additional subjects, including gender, race, religion, sexuality,
and psychological growth.

The course will be divided into three units.  To become familiar
with the concept of genre in the first place, we will look at
several poems featuring a first-person speaker ("I" or "we").  Next,
to understand how changes can occur within a particular genre, we
will examine issues of gender in several books focused on a woman's
coming of age.  These will include two classic novels, Charlotte
Bronte's Jane Eyre and  J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan,  as well as
Jeannette Winterson's contemporary novel Oranges Are Not The Only
Fruit and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, a graphic novel about the
author's childhood in modern Iran.  We will end this section of the
course with the film Carrie, considering how the genre of the horror
movie can address the section's themes.  In the third and final
unit, we will seek to understand how various genres may treat a
particular subject differently.  Focusing on the topic of slavery,
we will examine how it is handled in Frederick Douglass's 1845 slave
narrative, Jean Rhys's novel Wide Sargasso Sea, Philip K. Dick's
science fiction classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and
Blade Runner, the film version of Dick's novel.

Since this is also a composition course, the lectures and the class
discussions will spend much time considering how to write about the
material we analyze.  Writing assignments will include three short
exploratory "micro-themes" (2 pages each), a medium-length paper (3
pages), and two longer papers (4-5 pages each).  There will also be
a final exam and possibly a midterm.