Spring Quarter 2008 News

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I didn’t update much about last quarter or this quarter, which officially started on Monday. Some of you actually care and some of you don’t, but I’m rather excited about this quarter, so deal with it.
First, to last quarter. I officially have grades, thankfully, and they are pretty good:

  • British Canon I: B
  • Colonial American Literature: A
  • Scifi in Multicultural America: A-

Not bad, though I probably could have done a big better in the British Canon course. Still, that puts my grades at one A+, two As, two A-s, and one B. Not bad at all. (No, I’m not bragging. I just take my grades very seriously at this level of work because, well, this is my future, and the better I do…the better. So, if you think I’m just trying to show off, I’m not. I just want to succeed, you know?)

Now for this quarter! Boy is it going to be intense. There are required courses for every literature major here at UC Santa Cruz. One of those required courses is Lit. 101, which is basically a writing intensive course that digs deeper into a particular aspect of literary theory. I’m taking Lit. 101 and the theme is Animal Theory. I’m not entirely certain what that means or even what it is, but it is going to deal a lot with aspects of evolution, human involvement with animals, the human as an animal, and even ideas of creation. I’m writing about a paper a week for that course, but I think I’m going to be okay. The first paper, as I understand it, actually has us creating our own origin stories! If it’s really what I think it is I’m going to have a LOT of fun.
The second course I’m taking is Global Fiction, which was originally going to focus on Caribbean fiction, but now seems to be focused entirely upon African literature from the African continent. It sounds somewhat interesting and certainly will teach me a few things, although I’m finding that a lot of the non-fiction we’re reading is heavily Marxist, which tends to annoy me because I find Marxist politics to be absurd and ignorant.
The final course is the one I’ve been praying I could do: an independent study. I managed to swing it! Yes! I’ve decided to do a course entirely upon Philip K. Dick (author of a whole lot of books and short stories, some of which inspired movies such as Blade Runner, Next, Minority Report, Total Recall, and Screamers, among others). This is going to be wicked awesome, if I’m allowed to use such a phrase. I’m excited and amazed at this bit of news and am grateful I can do it!
Now for the books this quarter. I skipped over what had to be read last quarter partly because I forgot and partly because there were only about six books and a couple readers, all of which were rather small and unimpressive. This quarter though…insane. I give you a picture first:
First things first, I’m missing a book. There’s one more that hasn’t come yet called July’s People by Nadine Gordimer for my Global Fiction course.
Of the books in the picture (going from top to bottom, left to right):

  • 2 Lit. 101 Readers (filled with lovely articles and short stories)
  • The Animals Reader by Kalof and Fitzgerald (Lit. 101)
  • Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala (Global Fiction)
  • The Companion Species Manifesto by Haraway (Lit. 101)
  • The Lives of Animals by Coetzee (Lit. 101)
  • LTWL 115A Reader (Global Fiction)
  • Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Global Fiction)
  • Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog (Global Fiction)
  • Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono (Global Fiction)
  • Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda (Global Fiction)
  • Lies, Inc. by Philip K. Dick (PKD Course)
  • Ubik by Philip K. Dick (PKD Course)
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (PKD Course)
  • The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin (PKD Course)
  • The Philip K. Dick Reader by Philip K. Dick (PKD Course)

That’s my entire reading list for this quarter. Yes, it is a lot larger than my previous two quarters. The result is that I’m struggling to readjust my schedule. Once I get it squared away–this week actually–I’ll get right back into my writing groove.
So now you know what I’m reading this quarter.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

One thought on “Spring Quarter 2008 News

  1. Ufda! More power to ya with delving deep into Literature reading 🙂 Thinking back to my college days, I thrived (was excited) about Calcclus and Advanced Chemistry until I moved forward to Microsoft Certifications.

    We all have our talents! Great job on your grades & solidifying your future.

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