University of Oregon
ENG399 -- Literature on the Rack: Taking Popular Fiction Seriously
This course will survey some of the types of literature readers find on the wire racks in supermarkets (among other places). We will examine the ways in which popular fictions (western, romance, detective, science fiction) use genre conventions to stage contemporary social issues. A central goal of this course will be to establish connections between "academic" and "extracurricular" ways of reading, introducing you to the powers and pleasures of extending critical reading skills outside the classroom.
- Survey of American Literature, 1850-present
Our critical reading of genre fictions will be based on the idea that genre conventions offer familiar and influential ways to think about events that shape history or occur in daily life. Rather than reading popular fiction as "merely escapist," we will map connections between "fantasy" and "reality," regarding "fantasy" as a means of imagining the origins of and resolutions for contemporary conflicts about class, gender, and race. We'll pay particular attention to the ways our readings work both to revise and reinforce the traditional conventions of their genres.
This is the second course in a two-course sequence that
surveys the history of American Literature from its beginnings to the present.
By examining a variety of texts (short stories, essays, autobiographies,
poems, plays, and two novels), we will develop our understanding of these
texts as literary forms and learn about the historical and cultural contexts
in which they exist, which includes both when they were first published
and now. In short, we’re going to have fun reading around in a wide, hopefully
representative selection of American literature from the late 19th- and
- Introduction to Shakespeare II
This course continues the introduction, begun in ENG 207, to the life,
historical contexts, and interpretations of William Shakespeare’s drama.
We will read five of Shakespeare’s later plays (with a sixth added as out-of-class
reading), studying and discussing their plots, themes, characters, structures,
images, and theatricality, as well as considering how they stand as cultural
documents in their own time and ours. In short, we’re going to have fun
- Introduction to Literature: Fiction
This course is an introduction to reading and writing about fiction.
Through our readings of both short stories and several novels we will be
1) learning about various narrative techniques, styles, and themes available
to fiction writers, and 2) developing skills of reading, evaluating, and
writing about the genre.
WR199 -- Reading, Writing, Using the World Wide Web
In this electronic age, the World Wide Web is increasingly being used as a source of information. How are we to find and evaluate reliable information on the web? How can individuals put their own information where others can find it? In this course, students will take a critical approach to locating and reading web pages, write a three- to four-page essay about their experience with the web, and learn how to write a basic web page. Previous experience with the web is not required, but all students must obtain a computing account prior to taking the course.
WR123 -- College Composition III
In this course we will be continuing the emphasis
on critical reading, class discussion, and reasoned and persuasive writing
promoted in WR 121. We will be discussing readings relevant to a number
of familiar issues, in order to discover our own positions in relation
to ongoing cultural and academic debates, to generate relevant and compelling
questions at issue. You will then write persuasive, argumentative essays
that present a stance on one of the issues we discuss in class. Your
papers will chiefly address the class itself, our discourse community,
as audience, and therefore regular attendance and class participation will
WR122 -- College
WR123 differs from WR122 in that you are expected to develop
your written arguments not only in response to the class and our readings
but also in response to independently conducted research. Your papers
will thus include independent research conducted both on-line on the Web
and in the UO's Knight Library. Paper #3 in particular will stress
your ability to address a topic fully, to make it relevant and interesting
to your audience, and to support your case with properly cited research.
In this course we will continue the emphasis on critical
reading, class discussion, and reasoned and persuasive writing promoted
in WR 121. We will be discussing readings relevant to a number of familiar
issues, in order to discover our own positions in relation to ongoing cultural
and academic debates. You will then write persuasive, argumentative essays
that present a stance on one of the issues we discuss in class. Your papers
will chiefly address the class itself, our discourse community, as audience,
and therefore regular attendance and class participation will be essential.
Nicolas Witschi © 1999