Reading Melville: Melville's Theory of Reading|
Spring 2009 not offered
From his first book, TYPEE, based on his captivity by Polynesian cannibals, to his major work, MOBY-DICK, Herman Melville drew on both his own experiences and his extensive reading of previous texts from which he borrowed at will. This course explores the proposition that for Melville, writing is reading, a process of interpretation, translation, and revision that becomes an explicit subject of his work. In addition to Melville's major works, we will examine source materials, letters, and contemporary responses to derive a collective sense of Melville's "theory of reading" and of how it informs his critique of 19th-century culture. Students who choose the research option will pursue topics of related interest--reading race, gender, class, or nature, for example--in contemporary Melville criticism.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Prerequisites: [ENGL203 or AMST155] OR ENGL201 OR [HIST237 or AMST151] OR [HIST239 or AMST152]
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
TYPEE, BENITO CERENO, MOBY-DICK, THE CONFIDENCE-MAN, BILLY BUDD, selected letters and source materials.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Exercise 1. Close reading of a passage from BENITO CERENO, 3-4 pp.
Exercise 2. Creative adaptation of a historical narrative, 4-5 pp.
Exercise 3. Analytical essay on MOBY-DICK, 5 pp.
Exercise 4. Prospectus for final paper, 2 pp. (posted on Blackboard)
Final Paper: Critical essay using material from at least three outside sources, 10-12 pp.
For research option add:
1. Analysis of three or more contemporary critical essays.
2. Annotated bibliography, describing ten or more critical sources.
3. 20-25 pp. research paper (in place of the final paper above).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Fulfills the English Department's research option requirement for senior thesis writers.
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