Our texts for the quarter consist of a series of seminal American novels and one reference book. Many of the books may already be known to you either through classes in high school or other college courses you might have taken. Don't let this fact lull you into a sense of thinking that you "know" the book simply because you've read it once before. Since this program was designed for upper division students, my expectations for seminar are that you will read all of these texts at a much deeper level than you normally read a book. Thus, if you've read a book once before, you should come to your re-reading of it with the attitude that you are looking for something beyond the surface level of the plot and simple character development. Since, hopefully, you are a much more mature individual than what you were when you initially read a book in high school, you should expect to approach your second reading of it as an opportunity to learn a great deal more about the text than you believe you already know.

In addition to the novels that we will be reading, the only required book is an art history text, American Photography by Miles Orvell. It is designed to fill in many of the blanks that you might have in terms of a coherent sense of the history of photogrpahy. Since the book is not ordered in a manner which neatly fits the chronological course of study we will pursue in class, don't expect that there will necessarily be a correspondance between what we're discussing in class and what we have just read in Orvell's text. Subsequently, you might wish to read it once straight through to get an overall grasp of photo history. Then, you can go back and re-read the individual sections that are assigned week by week.

The novels we read are presented chronologically, and are as follows:

1.  The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane

2. The Jungle, by Sinclair Lewis

3. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

4. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

5. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson


Note in our schedule that some of the books---particularly the longer ones, like The Grapes of Wrath--- will be read over the course of two weeks. Our first text, The Red Badge of Courage, needs to be read and re-read prior to our first seminar on Thursday, April 2.