The full syllabus is available here: syllabus.pdf.


Readings are to be completed by the day they are listed under. The schedule may change as term goes on. The most up-to-date syllabus will always be available via

When commonplace-book entries are due, they are to be posted by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Thursday, January 21.

  • Introduction.

Monday, January 25. Elevating fiction.

  • James, “The Middle Years.”
  • Commonplacing: both groups. All students should choose a single sentence and comment on its use of observation.

(Tuesday, January 26.)

  • Last day to drop the course without a “W.”

Thursday, January 28.

  • James, “The Middle Years.”
  • James, “The Art of Fiction.”
  • Woolf, “Modern Fiction.”

Monday, February 1.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chap. 1–2.
  • Commonplacing: group A. Theme: Joyce’s treatment of childhood.

Thursday, February 4.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chap. 1–3.

Monday, February 8.

  • Joyce, Portrait, chap. 1–4.
  • Commonplacing: group B. Theme: art and artistry.

Thursday, February 11.

  • Joyce, Portrait, complete.

Monday, February 15.

  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, 3–92 (twelve o’clock).
  • Commonplacing: group A. Theme: pasts.

Thursday, February 18.

  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, complete.

Monday, February 22.

  • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, continued.
  • Commonplacing: group B. Theme: only connect.

Thursday, February 25.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, 3–81.

Monday, March 1.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, 3–179.
  • Commonplacing: group A. Theme: limits of vision.

Thursday, March 4.

  • Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, complete.

(Saturday, March 6.)

  • Paper 1 due.

  • Sayers, Whose Body?, at least through chap. 5.
  • Commonplacing: group B. Theme: mysteries and social problems.

Thursday, March 11.

  • Sayers, Whose Body?, complete.

(Saturday, March 13. Spring break.)

Monday, March 22.

  • Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, complete.
  • Commonplacing: group A. Theme: the moral code of the novel?
  • (Last day to withdraw with a “W.”)

Thursday, March 25.

  • Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, continued.
  • Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder.”
  • Hammett, “Suggestions to Detective Story Writers.”

Monday, March 29. Contesting racial convention.

  • Toomer, Cane, pt. 1 (“Karintha” through “Blood-Burning Moon.”).
  • Commonplacing: group B. Theme: form.

Thursday, April 1. Seriously.

  • Toomer, Cane, further selections from pts. 2–3:
    • “Seventh Street.”
    • “Avey.”
    • “Bona and Paul.”
    • “Kabnis.”

Monday, April 5.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes, 1–99.
  • Commonplacing: group A. Theme: Janie’s relation to a social context.

Thursday, April 8.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes, 1–128.

Monday, April 12.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes, complete.
  • Commonplacing: group B. Theme: Hurston’s (further) South.

Thursday, April 15.

  • Hurston, Their Eyes, continued.
  • Walker, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston.”

Monday, April 19. Globalizing literary English.

  • Tagore, “The Postmaster.”
  • Commonplacing: group A. Theme: the narrator’s relation to Ratan.

Thursday, April 22. Earth Day.

  • Tagore, “The Hungry Stones.”

Monday, April 26.

  • Anand, Untouchable.
  • Commonplacing: group B. Theme: the proletarian subject matter.

Thursday, April 29.

  • Anand, Untouchable, complete.

Monday, May 3.

  • Anand, Untouchable, continued.
  • Anand, “On the Genesis of Untouchable.”
  • Course conclusion.

(Sunday, May 9.)

  • Paper 2 due.