English | Intro Writing and Study of Literature
L142 | 6974 | Herring


TOPIC:		TOWN AND COUNTRY
INSTRUCTOR:	Scott Herring

LECTURE:
6974		MW	10:10A-11:00A			BH 310
DISCUSSION:
11238		TR	12:20P-1:10P			BH 336
6975 		TR	1:25P-2:15P			BH 221
6976		TR	1:25P-2:15P			SY 0006
6977		TR	2:30P-3:20P			BH 011
6978		TR	2:30P-3:20P			SY 006

Are you a city slicker or bonafide hoosier? Is your Zip code from
inside the Circle City or from the hinterlands of IN? Does your
family come from Martinsville or Schaumburg or Owensboro? And why do
these questions seem to matter so much? No matter where you live,
almost all of us have an opinion on the differences between the
country and the city.  Usually, it's not very pretty. This class
will tackle this topic - its history from the Romans to Amy Poehler,
its stereotypes, and where it may be going in contemporary American
culture - over sixteen brief weeks. We'll read some novels, a play,
a memoir, and a short story. We'll also listen to a few songs and
watch a film. To make the large topic of "town and country"
manageable, the course is divided into three sections that each
addresses a different theme: pastoral, migration, and places left
behind.  In "Pastoral," we start with Book Two of Virgil's Georgics
on the uses of olive oil, move to Our Town and My Antonia, and end
with some songs by John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, and Gladys
Knight and the Pips. In "Migration," we'll cover two classic works
in African-American literature, Sula and Their Eyes Were Watching
God, then a heartbreaking memoir about Haitian refugees by Edwidge
Danticat. In "Places Left Behind," we’ll read short stories by
Bobbie Ann Mason and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and address some local
tensions between Bloomington's recent Slow Food movement and the IN-
37 Cracker Barrel. Coming full circle, the course concludes with
another work that uses olive oil creatively: the 2008 film Baby
Mama. As this class also works toward fulfilling the English
Composition requirement, we will practice critical reading and
analytical skills that are part of academic writing in college.
There will be three major papers that each go through a round of
revision as well as a midterm and a final exam.