21L.488 | Spring 2018 | Undergraduate

Contemporary Literature: Street Haunting in the Global City


There are three types of assignments in the course.

Analytical Papers

Analytical papers will be focused on close reading and the careful construction of argument. All papers are due at the start of class on the date listed on the syllabus. All papers must be submitted in two formats: printed hard copy submitted in class and e-mailed back-up copy. The hard copy you submit will be the one read. The back-up is for emergency printing nightmares, and to keep on file.

Assignments: Paper #1, Paper #2

Creative Street Haunting Assignment

You will have the opportunity to explore the city streets of Boston and/or Cambridge (or any city you spend time in), and to produce a final creative piece. Your piece might be fictional or nonfictional, written or another type of media (documentary, short film etc). You might explore a neighborhood you’ve never been to, notice architecture, explore the history of a street or site, talk to people and gather their stories, etc. Please note that if you choose to do a project that is not based in prose, you must also hand in a written explanation of the creative choices you made as they pertain to our course discussions and readings.

Assignment: Creative Street Haunting Assignment

Re-Reading Assignments

At two points during the semester, we will slow down to catch our breaths, and you will be asked to re-read something from earlier in the semester. The goal is to notice details you might have missed the first time around, and to build in some freedom and room to reflect and contemplate without the pressure of ever-more assigned pages. This is also a golden opportunity to get a head start on potential paper topics and ideas, and to generate new questions. This is the kind of skill that will serve you well throughout the semester and in future classes, particularly when it comes to brainstorming for papers, and I want to provide the conditions that allow you to get the hang of it.

You will be a given a series of guiding questions and prompts, and asked to complete 2 tasks:

  1. Write up a response to your re-reading, approx. 2 pages long, which you will hand in.
  2. Choose 1 passage to print and bring to class for discussion.

These are casual, informal responses and unlike analytical papers, will not be as rigorously graded according to argument, grammar and prose quality, etc. The grade will simply reflect thoughtfulness and effort, and therefore this assignment can be a great place to boost your grade if you struggle with the technicalities of analytical writing.

Assignments: Re-Reading Assignment #1, Re-Reading Assignment #2

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2018
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments