Georgia Tech, English 1102: "Obsessions" (Fall 2013)
In the fall of 2013 Itaught some special sections of English 1102 at the Georgia Institute of Technology. These sections have been set aside for students who are 3rd years and above but who have not met their English 1102 general requirement. These classes met in the evenings from 6-9 PM. I was encouraged to develop a course from my own research, but I decided that a class solely focused on hoarding would be too idiosyncratic for students who are studying for degrees in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, biology, etc., So I developed a course around the theme of obsessions - a theme, I felt, that everyone could relate to in some form. We're reading works such as Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray , Dickens's A Christmas Carol , John Fowles's The Collector , and Frank Norris's McTeague . We will be able to cover a range of authors, genres, and periods, as well as discuss sub-themes such as greed, avarice, love, lust, and, of course, hoarding.
My students and I also discussed popular songs on the theme of obsession. Here are two of my favorites: