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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2005

T C E603B • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31300 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
PAR 104

Course Description

“Larger universities must find ways to find ways to create a sense of place and to help students develop small communities within the larger whole.” Carnegie’s Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities Our primary goal is to “create a sense of place,” an awareness of this campus as your second home, your Alma Mater (nurturing mother). One of our mottos will be “think outside the box.” Hence, some class meetings will be outside the classroom box, devoted to drawing and writing about nature, buildings, and works of art, at campus buildings and nature sites. In other words, we will become readers of all the texts the campus and the world present to us, especially those in nature and in architecture and their representation in world literature, science, sculpture, and painting. We will write answers to basic questions about ourselves and our environments, such as “what is this?” “where did it come from?” and “why is it here?” We will discover that objects around us are palimpsests with layers of meaning we can trace through time back to various eras and places. For example, the carved griffins on the mantle in the Littlefield House will lead us, via the internet, to medieval cathedrals and what Adams and Ruskin wrote about them.

About the Professor Jerome Bump was awarded the Jeanne Holloway Award for undergraduate teaching, the Dad's Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship for instructing Freshmen, the Rhodes Centennial Teaching Fellowship for directing the Computer Writing and Research Laboratory (devoted primarily to lower division instruction), and chosen as a Mortar Board Preferred Professor. He is the author of Gerard Manley Hopkins and many essays and reviews. At the moment he is particularly interested in writing about nature and architecture, especially gargoyles. For more information see

Grading Policy

The final grade (1000 points) will be determined as follows: 500 by two ten-page formal writing projects on paper or on the web (150 for each first draft, 100 for each revision), 300 by informal writing assignments (averaging about 45 pages per semester), 100 by the final portfolio of all of the student’s work, and 100 by class participation. Grades are not negotiable: students will receive exactly the grade recorded in the online gradebook, even if it is one point short of the next higher grade. 900 points are required for an A-; 800 for a B-; 700 for a C-; 600 for a D-. Inspired by a famous Freshman English course at Amherst College, the method of this course is discovery learning, also known as active learning, or learning by doing. Hence at times there may be fewer instructions than what students may be used to from other courses. In other words, students should be prepared to think for themselves. This can be frustrating for some, especially those who want a detailed formula that will guarantee them a good grade. Instead students will be encouraged to be creative and write about what is important to them. More features of my teaching philosophy can be seen at


A related goal is to define our college experience, especially by comparing it to that of others unlike ourselves. Thus, in the second semester we will explore time as embodied in place, moving from the Littlefield house to medieval and medievalist art, architecture, and literature, guided by some of the authors studied in the previous semester and by Adams, Morris, the Rossettis, and others. The course will conclude with a “sense of place” as a region, comparing the south with the north, focusing on Ruskinese “Gothic,” and its key principle of “Truth to Nature” in Gawain and the Green Knight, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre. Students will do presentations on murals and paintings in the second semester. A collection of xeroxed materials to be purchased from Jenn's at 2000 Guadalupe.


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