Spring 2017: R1B, Section 1

Reading and Composition: Celtic Existentialism

4 units
183 Dwinelle
MWF 2-3
Stanley Levers

This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree.  Courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be taken for a letter grade.

In this course we will investigate the early-mid 20th century philosophical and artistic movement called “existentialism.” We will begin by looking at the characteristics of existentialism, its roots, and its contributions to (or remnants in) the world we live in today. The brunt of the class, however, will be focused on literary representations of existentialism, in particular those of Celtic origin: Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot and Joyce’s seminal Dubliners. Alongside discussions of these texts, students will work on developing methods for effective academic essay writing: formulation of a thesis, use of evidence, techniques for structuring and editing. Students will be graded on three essays, a take-home final, and participation in in-class discussions and writing exercises.

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement or its equivalent.  Students may not enroll nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.