Shocking!  Outrageous!  Obscene!  Yes, this class will be all of that and more as we delve into literary and cinematic meditations on everyone's favorite extracurricular activity.  But this class will be more than just an excuse to ogle voyeuristically at gorgeously entwined bodies, more than an indecent perusal of erotic excesses.  Truth be told, some of the finest works in literature and film depend on sex and sexuality to drive their storylines.  While a study of human sexuality in literature and film will be the order of the day, other crucial sex-related themes will drive our curiosity; these include: psychological pathology, fetishism, taboos, the nature of human desire, voyeurism, masochism, etc. etc. The list of required readings include:

Films to be screened free in class include

This class is OPEN to ALL majors and will feature graphic narrative, art, photography in addition to cinema and literature!

first assignment
Responsibilities, Requirements, Entitlements, and more...


You must attend class!  This is not one of those slacker-haven classes (yes, I have heard of them) where you can get an A or A- just for showing up in our sexy blue classroom.  You must attend class, and, brace yourself, do the readings.  Much of the success of our class depends on you being in the room and prepared to think and, even, SHARE your thinking.  While I have been known to lecture like any self-respecting professor, what I really enjoy is the revelation of a student blowing me out the water with surprising speculations and startling findings.  This is your biggest responsibility of the semester--to be, in short, a dedicated, focused university student! Me? I will go out of my way to not be a "pretentious jerk"--yes, I read my ratemyprofessor entries and NO, I don't write them!


You are required to care. Additional requirements? 1. Use your brain! 2. Read and write as if your life depended on it. 3. Be curious. 4. Share your curiosity. 5. Do the readings (see "responsibilities" above). 6. Attend class (ditto). 7. Be skeptical and cynical--it is entirely possible that much of what I say during the class is wrong or ill-conceived; it is your job to call me on it when that occurs. 8. Reread requirement 2, three times! 9. You must be willing to deal with adult material--while I promise that the erotic content of the class will not go further than your typical HBO program, there may be days that we discuss things that push the envelope; be understanding, tolerant, open-minded, and curious and everything should be OK!


You are entitled to a lively, energetic, safe, and exciting classroom environment where the professor is committed to NOT wasting your time and money; I can almost guarantee that this will be the case--and, if it is not, I expect you to call me on it.  You are entitled to be thrilled intellectually and, also, given the subject matter of this class, to be offended or made uncomfortable at various times during the semester.


Your grade for the semester will be based on your performance in the following areas:
  • 25% Quizzes, In-class writing, short essays, in-class participation, etc.
  • 25% Essay 1 (2-5 pages)
  • 30% Essay 2 (4-7 pages)
  • 20% Final In-class Sex-focused Intellectual Imagination Challenge (more on this soon)
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Bianca Chapman, biancaaisha AT gmail.com

Office Hours
Tuesdays, 9:20am to 11am and by appointment for Bill Nericcio in Arts and Letters 273; Bianca Chapman, your amazing GTA, has office hours from 9:30 to 10:45am on Thursdays--her office is in Arts and Letters room 260.

Spring 2009 | SDSU
English 493
Professor William Anthony Nericcio
one more new video that deals explicitly with sexuality albeit in unpredictable ways:
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 13:04:01 -0800 (PST)
From: William Nericcio <bnericci@mail.sdsu.edu>
To: "ENGL493-01-Spring2009": ;
Subject: English 493 Assignment #1: ENGL493-01-Spring2009

Greetings, if you just signed up for this class, read this first email;
your first assignment appears below!

Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 07:37:51 -0800 (PST)
From: William Nericcio
To: "ENGL493-01-Spring2009": ;
Subject: test | greetings | links | london: ENGL493-01-Spring2009


This is just a test email to newly
enrolled students in my Spring 2009 Engl 493
class; the syllabus for the course will be
online--you can see it here (it is still in flux):

you are already here! don't click this link!

an unofficial, optional myspace page for students
in this class is here; it is also populated by dozens
of my former students from my other classes
at sdsu.


additionally, if you are interested, i am leading
a merry band of sdsu students (all majors welcome)
to London this summer--think about joining


lastly, I am the Chair of the Department of English
and Comparative Literature department; if you
are having trouble finding classes that amaze
and professors that rock, look no further than here...


for lists of cool open classes; most Lit classes
are open to all majors and presume no MAJOR
knowledge of literature and the arts!

I look forward to working with you beginning
January 22, 2008--if you REALLY want to get
ahead, go and read Nathanael West's Miss
Lonelyhearts; but brace yourself: it is powerful

over and out & happy new year

Bill Nericcio

here we go; this message is the first required "text"/lesson of the class
and it is a video.

it is NOT for the squeamish and it is decidedly sexual; but the domain
of the sexual is the province of our class, the focus of our semester long
project, it is important that we hit the ground running.

the oxford english dictionary tells us that "sex" means:

"1. trans. To identify as male or female; esp. to determine the sex of
(an animal, an individual from skeletal remains, etc.) by examination.
2. colloq. (orig. and chiefly U.S.). a. intr. and trans. To have sexual
intercourse (with). b. trans. With up. To arouse (a person) sexually;
(also) to have sexual intercourse with (a person). 3. trans. colloq. With up.
To make more sexually exciting or explicit; to inject sexual content into
(a book, film, etc.). Now also more generally: to make something more
interesting or exciting; to spice up."

Consider how all these definitions of the verb, "sex" are "at play" in
the making of the filmed advertisement below; as much as I am asking
you to think about what the short ad means, I want you to think about
HOW it means, and, as well, to ponder how this type of filmed
entertainment figures in American and British mass culture.

READY? Go see it here at boingboing.net; next, go to the ad director's
site for the filmed out-takes!

You are welcome to appy the questions/approaches above
to all filmed materials archived on our syllabus/website and on
our optional social networking site:

Note that two of the filmed materials already featured in this class
are ads that target sexually transmitted diseases; recall as well that
SDSU has a deserved reputation as STDsu; how does the nature
 of disease and pathology connect to the realm of the sexual in the
21st century; can it be that this connection, real and metaphorical,
influences the telling of stories and the making of films that feature
sex as one of their main themes!?

More for us to discuss starting next Thursday!

over and out,

bill nericcio
english 493 ringleader

ps: if you like the approach to this class and
its materials, don't be shy about forwarding this
email; my best students come to me via word
of mouth.... gracias!