Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2005

T C E603A • Composition and Reading in World Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32215 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
PAR 306

Course Description

This section of world literature will do something unusual. It will begin with what is usually the second half of the world literature survey: modern literature. Students will turn to literary works of the ancient and medieval worlds in the spring semester under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Palaima from Classics. Throughout the fall, we will focus on the relationship between individual works of literature and the cultural networks of beliefs, assumptions, rules, prejudices, and values within which these works both emerge and are read. How does a given literary text, for instance, reflect, shape, and/or challenge the hierarchies of power and prestige that prevail in its society? For that matter, how does the text speak to social hierarchies or cultural assumptions of our own day? Both for classroom discussions and for writing assignments, you will be required to pay close, careful attention to textual details. Although learning about various historical and cultural contexts will be important, our analyses will always be grounded in the actual words on the page. Students should plan to do all reading with a pencil in hand! As for the "composition" half of our course title, I will help you make the transition from successful high-school work to college-level writing by pushing you in two directions: towards genuinely analytic arguments and towards a prose style that is not only grammatically correct but also a pleasure to read.

About the Professor Phillip Barrish is an Associate Professor in the Department of English. His research interests include post-Civil War American literature and culture, critical "race" theory, and gender studies. He plays more Yu-Gi-Oh than he would like to admit with his son Eli.

Grading Policy

Essay 1 (2 pages): 10% Essay 2 (2 pages): 10% Essay 3 (3-4 pages): 15% Essay 4 (6-8 pages): 25% [You will be allowed to hand in revised versions of two of your essays.] Ten informal focused responses (1 page each): 20% Oral presentation, class participation, punctuality: 20% NB: You will be allowed two unexcused absences. Additional absences will affect your grade.


William Shakespeare, The Tempest John Milton, Paradise Lost (Selections) Ann Bradstreet, selected poems Voltaire, Candide Jane Austen, Emma Charlotte Brontð, Jane Eyre Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Emily Dickinson, selected poems Henry James, Daisy Miller Thomas Mann, Death in Venice Ernest Hemingway, selected short stories Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues


bottom border