This was the living, breathing website for a remarkable group of undergraduates @ SDSU in the summer of 2004. It remains here on the Internet as a monument to their rich intellectual labor.

Tattooed Souls & Damaged Psyches in World Cinema and Literature
William A. Nericcio | web portfolio | bio | email

Our grand summer seminar, our adventure in intellectual madness, begins with the unspectacular premise that the human animal is a curious species--two-legged, bipedal, sentient and prone to psychological disorder. Evidence for this perhaps unspectacular contention will be provided by various aesthetic artifacts including novels, sequential art (graphic narrative), documentary films, essays and short stories. The men and women we meet in books, films, art etc. are not exactly like the ones we meet in elevators, bars, churches, street corners and shopping malls. These textualized "men" and "women" are more honest, more troubled, less in control and utterly MORE interesting. Veils cast aside, these actors and actresses reveal themselves to be a splendid cast of deranged and intoxicatingly honest informers, revealing the damaged psyches that drive their day to day existence. Through these creative works, we will come to better understand the hidden and obvious psychological tattoos that permanently mark and determine what the ancients called the soul, what Freud called the "unconscious" and what we usually call the human mind. Though technically a "general education" course and hence, at SDSU at any rate, potentially guilty of boring even ambitious undergraduates to tears, our class, will aspire to greatness.  It is open to all students with a curious mind and a strong stomach.

DISCLAIMER: this class deals with ADULT issues and activities. If you are squeamish about insanity, human sexuality, erotic taboos or if graphic art, literature and film leave you weak, angry, disgusted etc., PLEASE drop this class BEFORE you get the urge to call on your parents and clergy to remove your scandalous professor from his job! This is a university-level course exploring usually hidden elements of the human psyche: you should EXPECT to be disturbed and moved. 

Films, screened FREE in-class, include Frederick Wiseman's Titicut Follies, Krystov Kieslowski's The Double Life of Veronique, Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich, Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher and Steven Shainberg's Secretary.

Required books include: Zarate & Appignanesi's Freud for Beginners, Gary Greenberg's Pop-up Book of Nighmares, Nicholas Blechman's Empire, A. S. Byatt's The Biographer's Tale, John Banville's Eclipse and GRANTA #71 Shrinks

NOTE to Comparative Literature majors, English majors, and even, graduate students: Those of you who have already taken e301 and no longer need the GE credits, can take the class as an upper-division English or Comparative Literature 499 Special Study class (CompLIT499 requires Special Study paperwork that we can fill out at the first class)--graduate students can sit in on the class, do a little extra work and receive English 798 Special Study units.

FACTS | ENGL 301 | The Psychological Novel | Schedule# 01256 | AH 2132 | 1200-1345 MTWTH | 12-JUL-04 through 20-AUG-04 | Dr. William A. Nericcio  | office hours: T/W 11 to 12noon and by appointment |
This is NOT one of those pathetic, waste-of-time, high school-style classes where you can skip the readings, bs, forget to go to class, and get a solid "C." Members of our "Tattoo parlour" must attend class having done the reading and be prepared to participate in class discussion; while the professor understands that NOT ALL STUDENTS ARE COMFORTABLE contributing to class discussion, he nevertheless expects his students to exhibit signs of intellectual life and to share their curiosity, questions, gripes, and views on a regular basis. Undergraduates who know they are going to miss more than three sessions, for WHATEVER reason, should look for another summer class.
There will be two written essay assignnments during our summer semester: the first essay will be an in-class short essay challenge; the second will be a 5-8 page researched IMAGINATION CHALLENGE that will make use of at least TWO published outside scholarly books related to YOUR chosen subject. NOTE: WHILE THE PROFESSOR (no tattoos!) WILL PROVIDE PROMPTS FOR THIS ESSAY, STUDENTS WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO DEVELOP AND PURSUE THEIR OWN THESES!!!  There will be a comprehensive, in-class final exam on the final day of our class, THURSDAY August 19, 2004. As for quizzes and other tests NOTHING WILL BE WRITTEN IN STONE; the hotter and more lively the class discussions (NOT BY THE SAME THREE PEOPLE), the fewer busywork quizzes and tests.
Plagiarism comes from the Latin word, "plagiarum" which means KIDNAPPING--not a GOOD thing. In the university, plagiarism refers to the art and crime of presenting other people's work under your own signature--definitely a bad thing. While the professor is forbidden by CSU/SDSU code from tattooing the word LOSER on the foreheads of guilty students, he can promise that felonious students will be remanded to the state-authorized SDSU executioners.
My office hours are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 to 12 and by appointment. Contrary to legends passed around by legions of SDSU undergraduate doofi (plural for doofus), "office hours" are not time periods set aside for students to "suck up" to professors in need of worship.  Office hours are times set aside by scholars for students in need of class assistance, etc.  The University of Wisconsin, Madison, has a great handbook for undergraduates by undergraduates that addresses the mysteries of "office hours."  Take a peek.
40%     Attendance | Quizzes | In-Class Assignments
30%     Essays
27%     Exams
  3%     Attitude | Ganas | Chutzpah



Class Resources
Gilman reading for the Lanzbom lecture on Wednesday! Scroll down to the PDF of the short story!
NEW BUKOWSKI SCREENING  We will gatherTuesday nite AUGUST 10 @ 7:15 at the KEN CINEMA  for a screening of BUKOWSKI--you can read info on the film by clicking the links and images in this table box.  THIS OUTING IS OPTIONAL! BUT IT IS ALSO A GREAT EXTRA-CREDIT OPPORTUNITY. Here's the director, John Dullaghan, on the film: "From the very beginning, we tried to dig beyond the “Bukowski Myth” —that of the raunchy, vulgar, “beer-drinking machine”—to show the highly perceptive artist underneath. Then again, this “myth” was carefully created and sculpted, mostly by Bukowski himself. So the facts keep looping back upon themselves. In movie scripts, people’s lives can follow perfect “character arcs.” In reality, they rarely do. People go to their graves deeply conflicted and mysterious, with loose ends still unraveled. With someone as complex as Bukowski, a biographer or filmmaker has to accept and embrace these kinds of contradictions. Sometimes there’s just no easy answer."  SOUNDS PERFECT FOR THIS CLASS. Ticket prices at the KEN are $8.50, I THINK!
August 12, Thursday |LAS MENINAS INFO--MORE SOON | regular ticket prices are $22 but we only pay $14.

TREStalented final paper by your colleague, Mike Villaluz

COOLpaper beginnings by Valerie Holmes!