English 1A Instructors and Topics
Most English 1A sections include an "umbrella topic" for the
research paper, and the outside reading of two full-length works. Since
these vary from instructor to instructor, this page contains information from
professors on their course reading and themes as an aid to deciding which English 1A section best fits your needs and
interests. Some instructors have websites; click on their names.
The central themes of my English 1A are
love and marriage, and the course as a whole is devoted to
literature and literary analysis. Students will be expected to
read Shakespearean love sonnets and seventeenth century poems in
the carpe diem tradition, as well as Shakespeare's romantic
comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Jane Austen's comedy of
manners Pride and Prejudice. The major assignments include two
summaries of poems, a synthesis of the play and background
sources, and a research paper and revision based on Pride and
Prejudice and critical essays about the novel.
My class examines American culture by looking at
historical and literary movements of the late nineteenth century that have
influenced American society today. Readings and films will explore
American realism and naturalism as a reflection of society. Students
will read two novels, Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Norris's
McTeague; short stories include such writers as Kate Chopin, Eudora
Welty, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Susan Glaspell, and Flannery
O'Connor. Two short papers will be written on the novels.
Additional writing assignments include a long summary, two critiques, and
a ten-page research paper which focuses on analyzing the origin of some
change in an element of American society (women's rights, treatment of
minorities, class divisions, labor movements, advances in technology, entertainment) and how that change has
influenced American culture or
Our focus will
be on information competency, also known as information literacy.
How do we decode the complicated world around us?
We live in a world of rapid technological change
and countless information sources, many of them unreliable,
either through deliberate bias or sheer incompetence. We are
confronted with diverse news and entertainment media, including
the Internet; corporations’ public relations’ departments;
advertising agencies; political and other special interest
groups; and more. Too often we do not closely question the
authenticity, validity, and reliability of our chosen sources.
Both the dubious quality and increasing quantity of information
pose challenges that we, as inhabitants of one of the world’s
superpowers, must face. The mere proliferation of information
does not result in an informed citizenry if citizens do not
possess the abilities necessary to understand and use
information effectively. In 1989, the American Library
Association (ALA) Presidential Committee on Information Literacy
issued a final report that defined the four crucial components
of information literacy: (1) the ability to recognize when
information is needed and to (2) locate, (3) evaluate and (4)
use effectively the needed information. We will be studying and
practicing information competency skills as we look at
the American food system and the impact of
corporations, advertising, media multinationals, and news media.
all the ingredients for one of those summer blockbuster disaster
movies — a hurricane, collapsed levees, citizens killed or
trapped in their flooded city, and an ill-equipped government
response. We were transfixed by the news coverage, and at times
outraged and horrified by the images we saw. My English 1A will
explore media coverage and interpretations of Hurricane Katrina
and its aftermath. We will read 1 Dead in Attic: After
Katrina by acclaimed columnist Chris Rose; After the
Storm: Black Intellectuals Explore the Meaning of Hurricane
Katrina, edited by David Dante Troutt; and we will view
Spike Lee’s award-winning documentary, When The Levees Broke:
A Requiem in Four Acts.
readings will be the basis for in-class essays in the
Humanities’ computer lab, as well as a short paper, as students
learn how to cite sources to avoid plagiarism. Students also
will learn how to find their own college-level research through
the Bakersfield College library for a ten-page paper.
The common thread running through my English 1A
course is social issues that include prejudice, aging, sexism, raising
children, the United States' role in the world, and the American dream.
The United States' role in the world and the American dream are explored
with the two novels used in the class: Joseph Conrad's Heart of
Darkness and Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The other themes are explored through short essays, poetry, lyrics, and
video clips. The research paper topic is left to the student to decide
with the approval of the instructor. Students are encouraged to research a
topic that is relevant and important to them.
My English 1A
focuses on the themes of masculinity, society, and sanity and
the connections between these themes as exemplified in
literature and film. The course focuses on seven major works of
fiction (Fight Club, Shawshank Redemption, One
Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Lolita, Of Mice and
Men, The Godfather, and Dracula) and explores
the literary aspects of the novels as well their adaptations
into film. We will be reading scholarly articles pertaining to
the novels and films and viewing portions of the relevant films
in class. In addition to the intense reading schedule, students
will complete a short analytical paper for each of the seven
novel/film pairs as well as a seven-page research paper that
deals with a topic pertinent to our readings.
My English 1A course explores
contemporary issues in varied academic disciplines through
essays, movies, fiction, and non-fiction created by a diversity
Students exhibit their understanding of course concepts in
writing assignments including summaries, a critique, essays, and
a synthesis. Throughout the quarter, students learn the research
techniques and the process of researching, writing, and
presenting a research topic. The course culminates in an
8-10-page research paper.
Gender Conflicts and Issues
The umbrella topic for my English 1A course is "Gender Issues
and Conflicts." Course readings, discussions, and essay
assignments will focus on definitions of masculinity and
femininity in American culture (and in other cultures as well),
both now and in the past, and also on prominent issues that
highlight the differing expectations and treatment of each
gender. Students will read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
and Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms; each author provides
intriguing insights into the motivations and behaviors of men
and women. The research paper will be based on a "gender issue"
selected by the student and approved by the instructor.
Our class topic for English 1a is “Society and Crime Fiction.”
We will read two novels that look at the private investigator:
Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress and Lucha Corpi's
Black Widow's Wardrobe
(2000). We will also read a number of short stories that help
illustrate the history and the popularity of the genre. Our
focus will investigate, through the use of scholarship, the
various forms of detective fiction, as well as research into why
this particular style continues to thrive and how the style
reflects the views and concerns of society.
Our class topic for English 1a is “Science
Fiction and Society” We will read two novels that demonstrate
how science fiction uses literature to explore our society. In
addition, we’ll read several science fiction short stories that
reveal how science fiction takes aim at our lives, our beliefs,
and the complex challenges we face. With each of these works, we
will investigate how science fiction has confronted the world we
live in and, as a result, how we may shape our future.
Advertising and Hollywood have us working jobs we really don’t
want, just to buy things we don’t really need. With this
philosophy, Fight Club’s Tyler Durden tries to shake the
sleeping giant of America awake and into action. While this
advice comes from the novel we’ll study in my course, it is the
focus of much scholarship and criticism surrounding mass media
and popular (consumer) culture.
This English 1A class will look at how multinational corporate
giants have gained control of our airwaves and checkbooks to
further their own agendas. We’ll study the scholarship and
fiction surrounding consumerism, ad techniques, and threats to
democracy. We'll spend the first half of the semester looking
at Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation to see exactly what is
wrong with the American food supply, and we'll read Fight Club
and some other literature that examines problems with the
typical American over-consumerism and corporate greed.
My course explores the archetype of the Hero's Journey in Greek
myth, Medieval legend, various religious traditions and into the
modern American novel, autobiography, and film. We will explore
this journey on two levels: as Joseph Campbell's "monomyth", a
pattern of mythic and literary tradition found in all cultures
throughout recorded history; and as a tool to help you navigate
your own life's path. You will read Barbara Kingsolver's
Prodigal Summer, and Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father.
Carol Pearson's The Hero Within will help identify and
explore our personal archetypal patterns and Writing Worth
Reading (3rd ed.) will assist in the structural portion of a
10 page research paper requirement on our topic.
The central topic for my English 1A
course is the public perception of science. We will cover some
related topics, such as technology and social media, science
education, and the current state of American science literacy,
but we will focus our attention for much of the course on famous
controversies and breakthroughs in science and engineering and
what those have meant for Americans. The research paper
assignment will ask students to examine public and official
government responses to contentious issues such as genetic
modification of foods, cloning, stem-cell research, the
exploration of space, climate change, and the teaching of
evolution in public schools.
My English 1A focuses on the theme of journeys and quests, the
search for meaning, achievement and knowledge. Starting with Joseph
Campbell's ideas on the hero's quest, the course deals with short readings
from an anthology called Thresholds, by J. Sterling Warner, and two
full-length works; one, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, traces one
young man's tragic pursuit of the perfect wilderness experience and what,
for him, constitutes the most meaningful life. The other book, Animal
Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver, a novel, tells the story of a woman's
search for meaning and belonging in the wake of a very difficult
childhood. The research essay topic is up to the student's choice of any
significant journey, quest, hero or heroine. Students will also need
Lester's Writing Research Papers to help them through the course.
My English 1A umbrella topic is food. The
course readings focus on topics such as food safety, nutrition,
consumerism, body image, food production, factory farming,
hunger, and food technology. These readings provide the basis
for class discussion, writing, and possible research paper
topics. To augment our study of the history of food production
and conditions for animals and workers, we read the historical
fictional novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Other
major readings include In Defense of Food by Michael
Pollan and a significant portion of Fast Food Nation by
Eric Schlosser. During the first half of the semester, students
write three summaries, short essays, and critiques as well as a
longer essay on a topic raised in The Jungle. The latter
half of the semester is focused on the persuasive research paper
on any topic related to the umbrella topic of food.