English | Projects in Reading & Writing: Paradise or Prison?
W170 | 29533-29535 | Hattrup/simek

Projects in Reading & Writing

ENG W170

TOPIC: Paradise or Prison? Exploring the Desert Island from Robinson
Crusoe to Lost

29533    MWF   11:15a - 12:05p   TBA      L. Simek
29534    MWF   12:20p - 1:10p    BH 232   M. Hattrup
29535    MWF   1:25p - 2:15p     BH 221   M. Hattrup

Lord of the Flies, Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, Island
of the Blue Dolphins, Castaway: the castaway myth has been retold
again and again. It appears in everything from novels, plays, and
poems to rock songs, films, and television episodes of The Simpsons,
The Family Guy, and Futurama. Through critical reading and writing
about various retellings of the desert island scenario, this course
will investigate possible reasons for the cultural fascination with
the isolation of an individual in an unfamiliar place. What do these
stories tell us about the self in relation to others, and why do
they often involve an encounter with mysterious "natives"? How do we
understand the self differently when it is isolated from the
everyday world? What exactly does a "return to nature" entail, and
why can it be both appealing and frightening? We will investigate
these and other questions throughout the semester, engaging with
both old and new versions of the desert island story, from fictional
accounts like Robinson Crusoe, Foe, Swiss Family Robinson and the
television series Lost, to "real-life Robinson Crusoes" protrayed in
news stories and reality shows.

This course fulfills the English Composition requirement.