T C E 603A • E 603A: Composition and Reading in World Literature
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Reading a book can change your life. Reading does more than impart information; for many, a book has provided a formative experience that shaped personality, led to a conversion experience, or provided guidance in a time of crisis. During the first semester we will explore texts that have enlightened or guided many readers. After that we will examine autobiographies of people whose lives were profoundly affected by what they read. For the spring semester the books will be chosen in consultation with the students. There will be some guidelines and an attempt to pick texts that work well together and that continue some of the themes developed in the first semester, but the focus and specific works will be decided on by each class.
About the Professor Marjorie Woods is a medievalist specializing in the history of rhetoric, schoolbooks, and teachers notes. Her wider interests include the history of reading, and she studies how the desire for knowledge is represented in the western tradition. For fun she likes to travel, learn languages, and listen to vocal music.
Students will be required to write four analytical or creative papers and one autobiographical essay of 3-5 pages each during the first semester. During the second semester four slightly longer papers will be assigned, although students may choose to write one short paper and a research paper of 15-20 pages. Classes will be conducted by discussion and close reading of texts. Each student will be responsible for one or two short informal oral presentations each semester as well as regular class participation. Attendance is required.
Fall Iliad & Odyssey, Homer Symposium, Plato Aeneid, Virgil Heroides, Ovid Confessions, Augustine Vita Brevis, Gaarder Spring (some of the works chosen by students in recent classes) Inferno, Dante Gulistan of Sadi Paradise Lost, Milton Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Autobiography of Malcolm X The Dubliners, Joyce