Paula Berggren
Baruch College
Required texts:

Mack, et al. The Expanded Edition of The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, volume II.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Bantam Classic.

Berggren, et al. Contexts and Comparisons: A Student Guide to the Great Works Courses (C&C) (available online on a Baruch computer in the Digital Collections of the Newman Library; outside of the college, a text-only version is available. You can print text from the computer screen for your convenience).

You must bring the Norton Anthology to class, since our discussions will revolve around close reading. It is available both at the College Bookstore, 360 Park Avenue South, and at Shakespeare & Co., 137 East 23rd Street.

Tentative Reading Schedule

Monday, 29 January Course introduction. Handouts: creation stories; defining the Tripitaka; The Heart Sutra.

Thursday, 1 February From Monkey, pp. 10-77. This session will begin in Room 1051 of the 18th Street building.

Monday, 5 February Voltaire, Candide, pp. 518-42. Background: C&C, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Works of Fantasy, Philosophy, and Satire: The beginnings of the Modern World and Neoclassicism in the Arts.

Thursday, 8 February Candide, pp. 542-85.

Monday, 12 February NO CLASS

*Tuesday, 13 February Pope, Essay on Man, I, pp. 489-92, 511-18.

*NOTE: Monday classes will be held on Tuesday, 13 February, according to the Baruch calendar.

Thursday, 15 February Saikaku, The Barrelmaker Brimful of Love, pp. 592-607; Akinari, Bewitched, pp. 634-53; Background: The Rise of Popular Arts in Premodern Japan, pp. 587-91.

Monday, 19 February NO CLASS

Thursday, 22 February From Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, C&C. GROUP PRESENTATION 1. Rousseau, from Confessions, pp. 668-78, plus Xeroxed handouts.

Monday, 26 February Wordsworth, pp. 792-95; sonnets, p. 803; Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind," pp. 814-15; from "A Defence of Poetry," pp. 816-17; Keats, pp. 817-19, "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode to a Nightingale," pp. 821-24 Background: C&C, Versions of Romanticism, An Introduction to Romanticism. GROUP PRESENTATION 2.

Thursday, 1 March Austen, Pride and Prejudice, pp. 1-100; Background: C&C,

"Women's Voices in the Novel--from Pamela to Jane Eyre."

Monday, 5 March Pride and Prejudice, pp. 101-180.

Thursday, 8 March Pride and Prejudice, pp. 181-292.

Monday, 12 March Heine, selected poems, pp. 826-34; Marx, The Communist Manifesto, Xeroxed handout. In-class writing.

Thursday, 15 March Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, pp. 906-35.

Monday, 19 March Douglass, pp. 935-68; Harriet Jacobs, from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, C&C. GROUP PRESENTATION 3.


Monday, 26 March Ibsen, Hedda Gabler, Acts I-II, pp. 1243-83. Background: C&C,

Modern Drama, Nineteenth-Century Theatre: Toward the Modern Drama; Realism-The First Phase.

Thursday, 29 March Hedda Gabler, Acts III-IV, pp. 1283-1304. Handout: Nietzsche, excerpt from Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Monday, 2 April Tagore, "Punishment," pp. 1448-57; Premchand, "The Road to Salvation," pp. 1670-80.

Thursday, 5 April Andrew Peynetsa, "The Boy and the Deer," pp. 2122-38; Birago Diop, "The Humps," "The Bone," "Mother Crocodile," pp. 2172-91. GROUP PRESENTATION 4.


Monday, 16 April T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," pp. 1855-58; W. B. Yeats, "Easter 1916," "The Second Coming," "Lapis Lazuli," pp. 1457 ff.; Background: C&C, Twentieth-Century Prose and Poetry, An Introduction to Modernism.

Thursday, 19 April Lu Xun, "Diary of a Madman," "Upstairs in a Wineshop," pp. 1681-1702. Background, C&C, "Politics and Literature in Modern China." GROUP PRESENTATION 5.

Monday, 23 April Akhmatova, Requiem, pp. 1876-1886. Visit from Alexander String Quartet.

Thursday, 26 April Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author, pp. 1470-1517.

Thursday, 3 May Shono Junzo, Still Life, pp. 2331-2362.

Monday, 7 May Federico Garcia Lorca, "Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias," pp. 1962-71; Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "Death Constant Beyond Love," pp. 2426-36. GROUP PRESENTATION 6.

Thursday, 10 May A.B. Yehoshua, "Facing the Forests," pp. 2738-67.

Monday, 14 May Selected Poems, Lorna Goodison, pp. 2926-37. GROUP PRESENTATION 7. Leslie Marmon Silko, "Yellow Woman," pp. 2937-2947.

Monday, 21 May 10:30-12:30 FINAL EXAMINATION

Course Requirements

ATTENDANCE: No more than four classes may be cut without penalty.

READING AND DISCUSSING WHAT YOU HAVE READ: You will be expected to come to class every day prepared to discuss what you have read. This is not a lecture course: regular attendance is required and active class participation is required.


1. ON-LINE STUDY QUESTIONS: Each week, I will post study questions on the Baruch Course Information System called Blackboard to help focus our discussion and guide you to the kind of careful reading that the texts we will be studying deserve. Before each class meeting, students are required to answer at least two questions and to respond to the comments of at least one other student.

2. WRITING WORKSHOPS: Several times during the course of the semester, we will address questions about writing that will be demonstrated through anonymous examples of your own and other students' written work.

3. GROUP PRESENTATIONS: Each student will teach some aspect of an assigned topic to the class in a group format. This may involve dramatic readings, critical commentary, and the presentation of online materials through Blackboard and in Room 820, which is equipped to allow the display of digital materials.

4. FORMAL WRITING: Each of you will write two comparison/contrast papers during the semester. To receive full credit, these papers must be revised after we have had private, face-to-face conferences.

5. PORTFOLIO: You will be compiling a portfolio of all your written work, to demonstrate the progress you make throughout the semester. Don't throw any of your papers out. The portfolio that you submit gives you a chance to reflect on your communication skills and therefore contains a final 2-3 page essay that addresses at least the following questions:

1. What is your most effective work--and how is it different from the less effective work that you did?

2. How did you go about writing your best work? What problems did you encounter? How did you solve them? What can you learn from this experience that will be useful in other writing situations?

3. How do you relate the process of close reading to the writing of interpretative essays?

4. Summarize the writing assignments for this course and comment on what you take to be their goals. Which assignments seemed most/least valuable to you? Explain why.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

Percentages of Final Grades

  • lively class participation, and depth of thought in Blackboard forum 10%

  • group presentations and in-class writing workshops 15%

  • midterm examination 20%

  • two papers and revisions; final portfolio essay 35%

  • final examination 20%


Thursdays, 9:00-10:30; and by appointment

Room 746 111 East 18th Street 387-1775