ENGL 200 B: Reading Literary Forms

Narrative Experiments with Time

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 10:30am - 11:20am
THO 119
Emily Bald

Syllabus Description:



English 200 B_Fall Syllabus.pdf


Course Calendar


Week 1

Wed. 9/30: Syllabus

Thu. 10/1: Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (CP)

                 Wolff, “Bullet in the Brain” (CP)


Week 2

Mon. 10/5: Doerr, “Memory Wall”-- through p. 45 (CP)

Tues. 10/6: “Memory Wall”-- through p. 65

Wed. 10/7: “Memory Wall” -- finish 

Thu. 10/8: Wells, The Time-Machine -- through section 3 (p.23 in Penguin ed.)


Week 3

Mon. 10/12: The Time Machine-- through section 8 (p. 70 in Penguin ed.)         

Tues. 10/13: The Time-Machine -- finish

Wed. 10/14: Finney, “Such Interesting Neighbors” (CP)

Thu. 10/15: Bender, “The Rememberer” (CP)

                   Calvino, “All at One Point” (CP)

                   Hollowell, “A History of Everything, Including You” (CP)


Week 4

Mon. 10/19: Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (through p. 51)

Tues. 10/20: Slaughterhouse-Five (through  75)

Wed. 10/21: Slaughterhouse-Five  (through 98)

Thu. 10/22: Slaughterhouse-Five (through 117)


Week 5

Mon. 10/26: Slaughterhouse-Five (through 166)

Tues. 10/27: Midterm Paper Draft due in class and on Canvas

Wed. 10/28: Slaughterhouse-Five (through p. 190)

Thu. 10/29: Slaughterhouse-Five (finish)

                     Extended Office Hours (1:00-4:00)


Week 6

Mon. 11/2: Ferris, “The Breeze” (CP)

Tues. 11/3: Baker, The Mezzanine selections (CP)

Wed. 11/4: Bring hard copy of most recent paper drafts

Thu. 11/5: Knausgård, My Struggle: Book One selections (CP)

Fri. 11/6: Midterm Paper Due via email by midnight 


Week 7

Mon. 11/9: Egan, “Safari” (CP)

Tues. 11/10: Lahiri, “A Temporary Matter” (CP)

                     July, “The Man on the Stairs” (CP)

Wed. 11/11: NO CLASS: Veterans Day

Thu. 11/12: Sacco, Palestine selections (CP)


Week 8

Mon. 11/16: Bechdel, Fun Home

Tues. 11/17: Fun Home

Wed. 11/18: McCloudUnderstanding Comics pp. 8-9; 94-105; 116 (on Canvas, under Files)

                      Marker, La Jetée (watch in class)

Thu. 11/19: La Jetée


Week 9

Mon. 11/23: Review and brainstorm for Final Paper 

                     Final Paper Proposal due on Canvas by midnight (/before Thanksgiving)

Tues. 11/24 - Thu. 11/26: NO CLASS: Thanksgiving Break


Week 10

Mon. 11/30: Brockmeier, “The Year of Silence” (CP)

Tues. 12/1: Sample paper (on Canvas--Files, titled "Sample Midterm Essay")

Wed. 12/2: TykwerRun Lola Run

Thu. 12/3: Run Lola Run


Week 11

Mon. 12/7: Solwitz, “Alive” (CP); Post Working Claim on Discussion board by 9 p.m.

Tues. 12/8: Claims Workshop

Wed. 12/9: Final Paper Draft due in class and on Canvas

Thu. 12/10: Concluding Thoughts

                    Course Evaluations

                    Surprise Time Experiment!



* Final Paper due on Canvas by midnight Wednesday, December 16th *

Additional Details:

English 200 B: Narrative Experiments with Time

While all storytellers must represent time in a particular way, some experiment with narrative time in order to draw readers’ attention to time itself, rendering it suddenly strange and unstable. The narratives selected for this class attempt to wrestle with the unclockable dynamics of temporal experience, from the interplay between memory and anticipation to the sense of time racing or crawling. In Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, for instance, the disordering of linear time plays a central role in narrating the irrational violence of WWII. In Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” an interval of several seconds is stretched to span eight pages, allowing Bierce to unpack the minute impressions of a man’s consciousness as he prepares to be hanged. Such texts encourage us to ask, “To what ends do narratives challenge our assumptions about how time works?” And from a literary standpoint, “How is time involved in the ways we experience different forms of narrative, from short stories to films?”

Do note that this course fulfills the “W” requirement. In addition to the assigned reading, there will be several short, informal writing assignments which build toward two formal (5-7-page) essays.

Texts likely to include:

Short fiction: Ambrose Bierce, Tobias Wolff, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jack Finney, Jennifer Egan, Haruki Murakami, Sherman Alexie

Novels: H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and selections from Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine

Graphic Novel: Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home

Films: Chris Marker’s La Jetée and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

Catalog Description: 
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 12:38pm