Date Reading due

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Weekly schedule. Subject to change—be attentive to the most updated version on our webpage.


Reading due

Writing due

Week 1: Introductions

Thursday, Aug 27

In class: several introductions to novels (Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym) and several hoaxes.

Blog post (by Friday at 5pm): What is a hoax? What is the distinction between literature and a hoax?

Week 2: Humbug & The Freak Show

Tuesday, Sept 1

  • Little Seagull, W14

  • Barnum selections (on course reserves)

  • Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Extraordinary Bodies, chapter 3 (on course reserves)

Take the Little Seagull quiz (21 question version) and email me the results

Thursday, Sept 3

  • Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man (1857), chapter 3

  • Wikipedia entries: “Hoax”; “List of Hoaxes on Wikipedia”; “Do Not Create Hoaxes”; “The Travails and Tribulations of Geoffrey Peacock

  • Little Seagull, W1&2

Blog post (by Thursday at 8am): What tactics do people commonly rely on to persuade others that their hoaxes are the real deal? Use an example from Barnum or a Wikipedia hoax to illustrate your point with specific examples. What makes for a successful or unsuccessful hoax?

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