My most recent (and so far, favorite) section of Composition I has been pop-culture centric. Many thanks to the fine folks at Barrelhouse for providing me with so much great material. Many of the readings I’ve used in this course were drawn from their first nonfiction anthology Bring the Noise (which I would likely add as a required text if I taught this class again).
The course was split into the following three units. I’ve included the assignment sheets, as well as a few sample readings I gave students to help contextualize the assignments. Readings are included here for educational purposes only.
- Logan Adams, “Albums of Our Lives: Evil Empire”
- Jonathan Lethem, “13, 1977, 21”
- Sarah Vowell, “Take the Cannoli”
- Naomi Alderman, “The Meaning of Zombies”
- Laura Bogart, “Anything Less Than Extraordinary: Breaking Bad & American Ambition”
- Matt Sailor, “Return to Oz”
Note: none of the readings for this unit fully approximate a multi-genre approach, but were instead designed to show students a variety of genre possibilities, or to demonstrate a segmented structural approach to narrative.
- Joan Didion, “The White Album”
- Jennifer Egan, “Great Rock and Roll Pauses by Alison Blake” (Powerpoint chapter from A Visit to the Goon Squad)
- Dinty W. Moore, “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge”
- Mike Lacher, “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole”
- Joe Bonomo, “Beatles Girl, Where Have You Gone?” (video essay)
- Amorak Huey, “Han Solo Explains the Universe”