ENGL 242 B: Reading Prose Fiction

Summer Term: 
A-term
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 12:00pm - 2:10pm
Location: 
PCAR 297
SLN: 
11321
Instructor: 
Traynor F Iii Hansen

Syllabus Description:

English 242 introduces students to the discipline of English through the reading and critical interpretation of prose fiction. We will read both short- and long fiction and consider the problems and advantages of narrative voice and perspective, plot, setting, character, and archetypes, in order to practice and develop the reading and writing skills that are typical of academic approaches of fiction. This course will take for its theme Baseball Fiction, which, despite appearing a quintessentially American art form, provides a lens through which we can explore larger human (even epic) themes including, among others, desire, success, failure, the existence of God, fate and free will, national and racial identity, and the nature of society and its decay. Our will be John R. Tunis’s The Kid from Tomkinsville (a juvenile novel), Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association, and Don DeLillo’s Pafko at the Wall. The course presumes no interest or familiarity with baseball, but its goal is to look at baseball as a context through which we can understand the nature of reading fiction and of thinking critically about how—and what—we read. 

Note: This course satisfies the university’s “W” requirement, which means you will produce at least 10-15 pp. of writing and will have the opportunity to revise some of your work. I believe strongly in the value of writing as a means of learning. Reading a text is one thing—writing coherently about it is another. Writing requires you to engage actively with your reading and helps to ensure that you come to class ready to contribute to general class thinking. You’ll be writing something for most of the classes we have together—often something informal, an exploratory “thinking piece” of no more than one single-spaced page (more about these below). Given the amount of writing you will produce, however, and combined with the already quick pace of the A-Term, you can expect a relatively heavy homework load for this class.

 

Additional Details:

English 242 introduces students to the discipline of English through the reading and critical interpretation of prose fiction. We will read both short- and long fiction and consider the problems and advantages of narrative voice and perspective, plot, setting, character, and archetypes, in order to practice and develop the reading and writing skills that are typical of academic approaches of fiction. This course will take for its theme Baseball Fiction, which, despite appearing a quintessentially American art form, provides a lens through which we can explore larger human (even epic) themes including, among others, desire, success, failure, the existence of God, fate and free will, national and racial identity, and the nature and decay of society. Likely texts will include John R. Tunis’s The Kids from Tomkinsville, Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association, and Don DeLillo’s Pafko at the Wall. The course presumes no interest or familiarity with baseball, but its goal is to look at baseball as a context through which we can understand the nature of reading fiction and of thinking critically about how—and what—we read.

Note: This course satisfies the university’s “W” requirement, which means you will produce 10-15 pp. of writing and will have the opportunity to revise some of your work. Given the amount of writing you will produce, combined with the already quick pace of the A-Term, you can expect a relatively heavy homework load for this class.

Catalog Description: 
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
March 24, 2016 - 11:25am