English 1102: Composition II

Spring 2006

Contact Information:

Jonathan Goodwin
School of Literature, Communication & Culture
Office: Skiles 307
Office Hours: TR 11:00 AM - 12:00 noon (and by appointment)
Office Phone: 404.894.7626 (use email)
Email: jonathan.goodwin@lcc.gatech.edu
Course Web Site: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~goodwin/s06/1102.html

Course Description:

Departmental Description

English 1102 is a writing-intensive composition course that aims to develop students'

  1. written and oral communication skills through a variety of formal and informal writing and presentation assignments
  2. critical reading of literary and film texts, practices, and material objects through a cultural studies perspective
  3. expertise in conducting research through sustained semester-long research projects
  4. proficiency in electronic writing environments


"Making," yes, but also "human skill as opposed to what is natural" and "an ingenious expedient, a maneuver, stratagem, device, contrivance, trick" (OED). We will see how writers maneuver, devise, contrive, and trick their readers and speculate about the inherent desire to change life through narrative artifice. Prospero's and Conchis's magical godgames will begin and end our study, while we thread our way through Borges's labyrinths in the middle. The technological promise and nightmare of virtual world-creation is the subject of Cronenberg's eXistenZ, and we'll consider the film as an extension of Borges's fictive experiments. As the course serves as an introduction to analysis and interpretation, you will be required to write two papers and create a digital group project. There will also be informal weekly writing online.

Required Texts:

The books will be available from the Engineers' Bookstore. You should purchase a copy of eXistenZ on your own. We will not screen it in class.

Assignments Overview and Grading Distribution:

Software/Computing Resources and Requirements:

You will be expected to have internet access for on-line discussions and to retrieve assignments.


I expect you to come to every class on time with your reading, written, and online assignments completed and prepared to participate in class discussions and group work. If a reading is available on-line, you must print it out and bring it with you (any exceptions I will let you know about beforehand). You are allowed up to three unexcused absences over the course of the semester. After that, each absence will lower your participation grade considerably. Every three tardies will count as an unexcused absence. Legitimate emergencies should be discussed with me on a case-by-case basis.

Office Hours and Communication:

Office hours are for you. Please do not hesitate to come and talk with me about whatever is on your mind about the course. Students who come to office hours regularly are uniformly more successful than those who do not (this is also true of most college courses, I believe). If you cannot make my regular hours, please see me after class or send me an email to make an appointment. I am most easily reached via email, and I will make every effort to respond to your emails with alacrity.


Academic Honesty:

All work you turn in for this class must be your own work, with all outside reference sources properly cited and acknowledged. All written assignments for this course will be turned in through the anti-plagiarism program "Turn It In."

The "Student Conduct Code of the Rules and Regulations" (Georgia Institute of Technology General Catalog, Section XIX) states that "academic misconduct is an act that does or could improperly distort student grades or other student academic records" and offers the following descriptive list:

The Code also notes that "while these acts constitute assured instances of academic misconduct, other acts of academic misconduct may be defined by the professor." Consult the Honor Code online at http://www.honor.gatech.edu or in the General Catalog for more information. Students who engage in academic dishonesty may receive no credit for the assignment or fail the course. In addition, the instance will be reported to the Dean of Students who may take further action.

Students with Disabilities:

Any student who feels that he/she may need an accommodation for any sort of disability, please make an appointment to see the instructor during office hours. Students with disabilities should also contact Access Disabled Assistance Program for Tech Students (ADAPTS) to discuss reasonable accommodations. For an appointment with a counselor call (404) 894-2564 (voice) / (404) 894-1664 (voice/TDD) or visit Suite 210 in the Smithgall Student Services Building. For more information visit the following website: http://www.adapts.gatech.edu.


(NB: This is tentative, and "flex days" signify class days that are open in case we fall behind or need them for something else. I will advise you about what will happen on those days in advance.)

Prospero's Island

Week One
T: 1/10: Course Introduction
R: 1/12: "A Solar Labyrinth" (Handout)

Week Two
T: 1/17: The Tempest
R: 1/19: The Tempest (cont.)

Week Three
T: 1/24: The Tempest (cont.)
R: 1/26: The Tempest (cont.)

Week Four
T: 1/31: Research Procedures
R: 2/2: Research Procedures (cont.)

Week Five
T: 2/7: Peer Review
R: 2/9: Analytic Paper Due; Introduction to Borges


Week Six
T: 2/14: "Tlön Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"
R: 2/16: "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," "The Circular Ruins"

Week Seven
T: 2/21: "The Library of Babel," "The Garden of Forking Paths"
R: 2/27: "The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero," "Death and the Compass"

Week Eight
T 2/28: "Ibn-Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in his Labyrinth," "The Two Kings and the Two Labyrinths"
R 3/2: "The Aleph"

Week Nine
T: 3/7: eXistenZ
R: 3/9: eXistenZ (cont.)

Week Ten
T: 3/14: Group Presentations
R: 3/16: Group Presentations (cont.)


Week Eleven
T: 3/20: Spring Break (Read Fowles)
R: 3/22: Spring Break: (Read Fowles, seriously!)

Week Twelve
T: 3/27: Fowles
R: 3/29: Fowles (cont.)

Week Thirteen
T: 4/4: Fowles (cont.)
R: 4/6: Work Day

Week Fourteen
T: 4/11: Fowles
R: 4/13: Fowles

Week Fifteen
T: 4/18: Final Paper Discussion
R: 4/20: Peer Review

Week Sixteen
T: 4/25: Peer Review
R: 4/27: Final Paper Due