BMCC Fall 2018
Instructor: Chris O. Cook
Have the texts read for class on the date indicated. Please bring hard copies with you to class (it is not acceptable to have them on your phone; you need paper copies on which you can mark, underline, etc.). For your convenience, I have uploaded all the stories and poems below, so they will pop up as Word documents when you click their links. Depending on what kind of computer you have, you may have to look out for a little download symbol/box and then click "open" on it.
It is a good idea to print out stories/poems several at a time, a few classes in advance, to avoid the chance of being unprepared, especially if you don't have your own printer and are dependent on school computers.
Although all of the stories and poems in the first two Units are online, for the last Unit, on Shakespeare's Hamlet, you will need to buy a copy of Hamlet. Any edition is fine (because it is a play, it is not necessary for the page numbers of everyone's copy to line up, since we can just refer to Act/Scene/Line numbers, rather than page numbers), as long as it is Shakespeare's actual text and NOT one of those editions where they "translate" it (i.e., dumb it down) from Shakespeare's original poetry into boring everyday contemporary English ("translate" is not even the right word, because Shakespeare wrote in Modern English; it is the same language we speak today, just very imaginatively arranged). We will be reading the entire play aloud in class, so you will need the "real" text.
Sun 9/9: Hand out syllabus; discuss supposed purposes of reading quote-unquote "Great Literature."
Unit One: A Bunch of Awesome Short Stories
Sun 9/16: --James Joyce, "Araby"
--D.H. Lawrence, "The Rocking-Horse Winner"
--Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour"
Sun 9/23: --Ernest Hemingway, "Indian Camp"
--Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"
--William Carlos Williams, "The Use of Force"
Sun 9/30: --Gabriel García Márquez, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"
--Isabel Allende, "Two Words"
--Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
Sun 10/7: --Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"
--James Joyce, "The Dead" (LONG - give yourself time!)
Unit Two: A Bunch of Awesome Poems
NOTE: I strongly advise stapling each individual packet together, keeping all the packets in the same folder, and bringing that folder to every class during the Poetry Unit (i.e., you should have a total of seven different stapled packets). The poems are harder to put back in the right order if they get out of order than the stories are, and there have been far too many problems in the past with people missing individual poems or having the wrong packet with them on specific days. And please keep bringing all the packets we have already discussed with you to class for the entire Poetry Unit, because we will frequently want to refer back to them and/or because we might not finish a packet on a given day and need to continue with it next time.
Sun 10/14: --Old & Middle English / Renaissance / Metaphysical /Neoclassical Poetry (700s-1600s)
--First-Generation Romanticism (1770s-1812ish)
Sun 10/21: --Second-Generation Romanticism (1812ish-1824)
Sun 10/28: --Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman (late 1800s)
Sun 11/4: --The Beats and The Confessionals (1950s-1970s)
Unit Three: The Awesomest Thing Ever Written
Sun 11/11: reading Hamlet aloud in class.
Sun 11/18: reading Hamlet aloud in class.
Sun 11/25: THANKSGIVING BREAK - NO CLASS
Sun 12/2: reading Hamlet aloud in class.
Sun 12/9: reading Hamlet aloud in class.
Sun 12/16: reading Hamlet aloud in class.
*I know the school calendar says 12/16 is the Final Exam, but we're not having a Final Exam. However, there's a rule that I must convene class on the Final Exam day even if we are not having a Final Exam (it's a funding thing). Because we have a Final Paper instead of a Final Exam, but still have to meet on 12/16, that day is just another class (but the Final Paper won't be due until the very end of Finals time).
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