An Introduction to Literature, [Film, Art, & Photography]

Tuesdays & Thursdays 11 to 12:15 | GMCS 333 (aka, the Imagination Lab)
Professor William Nericcio

Fall 2013 | English 220

ere you will find all the basic rules that will allow you to bag a delicious A+ for your work this term; alternatively, this is also the place to read the basic rules that may spell your doom if you elect to be a total mindless slacker.  That's right, on this humble page you will find the various laws of our groovy literary/arts “nation”, circa Fall 2013—here you will find listed all the little gates, cages, locks, handcuffs, and statutes, ordinances, edicts, and principles that will allow our exotic and experimental collective to prosper!

Let me underscore that you have absolute intellectual freedom in our class, but to receive that right you must also succumb to the reasonable responsibilities outlined in this, our passport. After all, we want to have a blast, to be the best literature class on the West Coast, even! But to do that, we need some peace and quiet—to forge our forays into the damaged mirrors of our assembled authors, directors, and artists. 

Law 1.117 aka, Alpha-B-9-READ_READ_READ

Every day you walk into this class you will have COMPLETED the reading that appears on the day-to-day class calendar! This calendar is online and located at this location:

Note that this class diary or day-to-day schedule, will be constantly subject to updates and that you are responsible for visiting it three to four times a week during the semester (and always the night before class to ensure you are up to speed for given day's work). Think twice about joining us if you have not finished the readings—the quality of our class depends upon your dedicated work and your relentless and independent curiosity. Without your periodic intellectual donations, the class is likely to evolve into a boring, even painful waste of time. Coming to a literature class without doing the reading is like a surgeon operating without scalpels, a fireman without hoses, gardeners  raising roses without shit, a streetwalker without, er,... ...  well, I better stop there.  Do the readings.  Do them twice if you can MAKE the time!   

Law 1.2389 aka Beta-Tango67PCkaput

Your laptop, ipad, netbook, etcetera etcetera will be asleep or off and IN YOUR BACKPACK during class. Have you noticed how anytime a student uses a laptop in an auditorium there is a "cone of distraction" alongside and behind the student using a computer? (click image to enlarge)

This is usually due to said student surfing the web via wi-fi perusing erotic delights, facebook profile updates, tweets, and TMZ news flashes.  As NAKED MIRRORS, DAMANGED PSYCHES is a reading/writing/book zone, we will have no need for electronic media in our seminar auditorium

Law 1.311893 aka Zed-BogieViperCell

Your magnificent droid, your cherished Blackberry, your fetishized iPhone, your primordial pager will be off, off, OFF once you take a seat in our Scimaginarium, aka GMCS 333.* Cellphones KILL collective learning spaces with their ill-timed, annoying clattering rings, bongs, squeaks, chirps, and themes. Yes, the trauma of that delayed text, Yes, the horror of that missed hook-up call, will no doubt doom you to years and years on an analyst's couch, but we, the rest of us, will gain some silence, a kind of sanctuary without which ideas wither on the vine. 

*If, for some reason, you are expecting an emergency call, set it on VIBRATE (for privacy, pleasure, or both!) and let me know about your emergency BEFORE class, and sit in the back near an exit. If you sit with your phone in your lap ON during class, you will be asked to LEAVE our Scimaginarium.

Law 1.499556 aka Charlie-Delta_Thief

PLAGIARISM is for cads, thieves, and idiots who desire an "F" for the class. Plagiarism comes from the Latin word, "plagiarius" which means kidnapper--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 your 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. SDSU is SERIOUS about this shit, so don't take any chances!  Rely on your own mind and your own precious imagination and NEVER EVER EVER cut and paste from Wikipedia and other online "resources"(do Spark Notes and Cliff's Notes sound familiar?).


One social media site for this class, Facebook-based, is located here:  If you are a member of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s mad experiment, then you are expected to post class-related links, images, videos, articles, etc at least ONCE a month or 5 total for the whole semester.  If you have not bought into Zuckerberg’s mad experiment and stay away from facebook like the plague,  you have a second choice--you can directly submit a posting to the Naked Mirrors/Damaged Psyche Tumblr site (the tiny pencil icon is the SUBMIT button).  I, too,  will be posting course-related materials to our Tumblr from time to time—feel free to follow the page and make suggestions for additions/deletions. 

{how to SUBMIT to the NakedMirrors tumblr}

If both Facebook and Tumblr remain alien to your consciousness, you can send your suggested links/images/videos to me; however, I don’t promise that I will post ALL of your forwarded materials. I will try, however, to see that some of them make their way to the fabulous internets.  


You will be asked to write TWO Analytical Imagination Challenge during the course of the semester—in other words, TWO 3 to 5 page essays during our session. Please note that you will never be compelled to write about something you absolutely loathe. Please see me during office hours and we can always brainstorm a substitute essay assignment. There will be an Examination Festival (aka, the FINAL) on the last regularly scheduled day of class, TUESDAY, December 10, 2013.  Your final is comprehensive; it assumes you have read all the books and screened all the movies that are part of our required work. If you do the work, the final is a breeze--even "fun" if you can believe it. If you slack off, you will find the final as enjoyable as a guest appearance with Dr. Phil or a twitter-chat with Andrew Weiner.

QUIZZES, CINETREKS, AND ATTENDANCE  There will also be a couple of in-class Panic-Inducing Challenges otherwise known as "check that you did the reading carefully and on time quizzes." You can expect these miserable quizzes from time to time, the number of quizzes depending on how many of you are nostalgic for high school. In other words, if everyone acts like a talented university undergraduate, we will enjoy FEW if any quizzes during our semester. The whole point of this class is to work together, the idea being that we convert our boring, somewhat high-tech classroom into a chaotic, unpredictable and exciting intellectual laboratory.

Missing class, you miss as well the whole point of the adventure. So please bypass no more than three classes. Miss MORE than three classes during the term and your grade will decay in an ugly way. EXAMPLES: your hard-earned A- will morph into a B-; your "gentleman's C" will appear on the webportal as a "D." Ditching this class too often will be as fun as a case of flesh-eating virus.   Also note from time to time we will NOT meet in the classroom—I am cancelling some classroom time in order to compensate for the 2 or so “cinetreks” you will be making this semester: more on “cinetreks” or “out of body” experiences to follow. 


33%    Quizzes, In-class "Panic-Inducing Challenges", In-class participation, attendance, cinetreks, etc.

33% "Analytical Imagination Challenges" aka your two essays

33% Final Examination Festival 

1% Chutzpah, ganas, will, and drive. 


Why 'office hours'? I expect you to visit me in office hours at least once during the semester. At SDSU, it's easy to fall through the cracks, to feel that you are nothing but a number or some warm pile of sentient flesh filling a seat. In order to underscore that the person teaching you is somewhat human, please make a point to take the time to introduce yourself in person. My office hours in Arts and Letters 273 will be after class on Tuesdays from 12:30 to 1:15pm and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:00pm. If these hours are inconvenient, do not hesitate to call me at 619.594.1524 either to schedule an appointment or discuss your questions via telephone, though I am much easier to reach via email than phone. My E-mail address is: or

Dr. William A. Nericcio
Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature
Director, Master of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences