This class is centered on the premise that reading, writing, and discussion are essential tools in developing the critical and analytical habits of mind that are fundamental to becoming an active and effective participant in the intellectual life of our culture. This course will examine the Beat Generation. It will look at the social, cultural, and artistic impact of this movement in the 1950s and beyond. In particular, this class will give you opportunity to:
• Read, write, and think critically
• Acquire useful strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading your texts
• Interpret and evaluate various kinds of literature
• Construct and communicate sound arguments
• Understand and use the conventions of writing for the academic community
1) Counterculture Reader by E.A. Swingover
2) Beat Thing by David Meltzer
You will write responses to the readings and in-class discussions. These informal writings will serve as a springboard for you formal essays. I may ask to see your in-class writing. If you do not participate in all the writing activities, your participation grade will be docked.
Small Group Presentation
Each of you participate in a group presentation with two or three of your
classmates. For this presentation, you will sumarize and lead a discussion
on the assigned reading in The Counterculture Reader. The presentation should
involve everyone in the group and must be between 15 to 20 min. I highly recommend
using handouts and written discussion questions for the class. DO NOT JUST
SUMMARIZE THE READINGS!
The first two essays must run 3-4 pages in length, 12 font (times new roman or courier). The critical essay must run 6-8 pages in length, 12 font (times new roman or courier). Any late papers, including informal writing assignments, will go down one full letter grade for each day it is late. You will write three formal papers:
1) A reflective essay
2) An explication of poem, short story, or selection of a novel from The Counterculture Reader
3) A critical essay using the book length poem Beat Thing, a poem, short story, essay or selection from a novel in The Countercultural Reader and at least two secondary sources
Since this class is centered on discussion, it is vital that you come to class prepared to participate. Make sure you have carefully read the assigned reading and are ready to ask questions and make comments. You will have the opportunity to participate in both small and large groups.
Reflective Essay (approx. 10%)
Explication essay (approx. 10%)
Critical Essay (approx. 50%)
Pop quizes and participation (approx. 10%)
Group Presentation (approx. 10%)
Attendance: It is imperative that you show up to class, both physically and mentally every class period. I realize emergencies may come up which prevent you from attending class. That is why you have three freebies. It is also important to attend class on time.
Two tardies equals one absence.
4 absences = highest grade b
5 absences = highest grade c
6 absences = highest grade c-
More than 6 absences = consider withdrawing or risk failing the class
Conferences: The purpose of conferences is to give you individual time to talk about your reading and writing with the instructor. Take charge of these conferences; they’re designed to address your needs. Bring your questions, ideas, and your draft to the conference.
Late work: If you do an assignment after the fact, the reason for doing it is often lost. As with any professional environment, if you miss class, the work is still due that day. Give it to me early or have someone drop it off for you. If an emergency arises, contact me as soon as possible, hopefully before class, to see if we can work out an arrangement.
Writing Center: The writing center is a free resource for all writers in all courses and at any stage of a writing project. In addition to books and handouts on writing-related topics, the Center provides individualized guidance from undergraduates and graduate writing assistants. The assistants are prepared to provide assistance in reading, revising, and editing. Writers can bring a draft or just an assignment and explore a topic. The more writers know what questions they have, the more helpful assistants can be.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is intentionally or knowingly representing the words of another as one's own in any academic exercise. This is a SERIOUS offense punishable by failure or even expulsion from school. I will not tolerate any act of plagiarism in this course.
General Expectations: This course will be broad and foundational in nature; it will not assume extensive previous knowledge. In addition, the skills taught will prepare you for understanding and responding appropriately to the various rhetorical situations in any discipline.
Class Schedule (subject to change)
T, Aug 16: intro
R, Aug 18: read intro, Kerouac, and Burroughs
T, Aug 23: read McClure, Snyder, DiPrima, Ferlinghetti, and Conroy
R, Aug 25: read Pirsig, The Diggers, and Kapur
T, Aug 30: read Sinclair, Cayote (GROUP PRESENTATION # 1)
R, Sep 1: read Keltz, Felton and Delton (GROUP PRESENTATION # 2)
T, Sep 6: peer review for Reflective Essay (bring 3 copies of your essay to class)
R, Sep 8: Reflective Essay Due
T, Sep 13: read Leary and Wolfe (GROUP PRESENTATION # 3)
R, Sep 15: read Thompson and Pellerin (GROUP PRESENTATION # 4)
T, Sep 20: read Carson, The Weathermen, and Genet (GROUP PRESENTATION # 5)
R, Sep 22: read Mary Crow Dog and Wendy Rose
T, Sep 27: read Silko, Cleaver, Beal, and Calloway (GROUP PRESENTATION # 6)
R, Sep 29: read Brownmiller, Boston Women’s Health Collective, and Lisker, Holleran
T, Oct 4: read McNeil and McCain, Pinchbeck (GROUP PRESENTATION # 7)
R, Oct 6: read Frasier, Burns, Collier and Horowitz
T, Oct 11: Peer Review for Explication Essay (bring 3 copies to class)
R, Oct 13: Explication Essay Due
T, Oct 18: watch movie (T.B.A.)
R, Oct 20: continue movie
T, Oct 25: discussion of movie
R, Oct 27: second movie (T.B.A.)
T, Nov 1: continue second movie
R, Nov 3: discussion of second movie
M, Nov 8: read Beat Thing
R, Nov 10: read Beat Thing
T, Nov 15: read Beat Thing
R, Nov 17: work day for critical essay
Thanksgiving Break. NO CLASS Nov 22 and Nov 24
T, Nov 29: peer review for Critical Essay (bring 3 copies to class)
R, Dec 1: Turn in Critical Essay (this will take the place of a final exam)