English 525, C LT 595 or MALAS 600a

Wherein 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.

On this humble page you will find the various laws of our groovy literary/arts “nation”, circa Summer 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, 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 post 1960s American sex, drugs, film, lit, art, and rock’n’roll, to excel in our survey of United States-born/borne Literature, film, graphic narrative, etc.


Law 1.117 aka, Alpha-B-ninerREAD_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 site will be constantly subject to updates and that you are responsible for visiting it at LEAST once each day during the summer session.


Please 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 gardener trying to raise roses without s***, a surgeon trying to operate without a scalpel, a fireman without a hose, 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 IN YOUR BAGS 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? This is usually due to said student surfing the web via wi-fi perusing erotic delights, facebook profile updates, tweets, and TMZ news flashes.


Law 1.311893 aka Zed-BogieViperCell:


Your magnificent cellphone, your cherished blackberry, your fetishized iPhone, your primordial pager will be off, off, OFF; if for some reason you are expecting an emergency call, set it on VIBRATE (for privacy, pleasure, or both!), let me know about your emergency before class, and sit in the back near an exit. Cellphones KILL collective spaces of learning 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 set you up for 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.


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, plunderer, or (get this!) seducer--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!



The social media site for this class 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 week.  If you have not bought into Zuckerberg’s mad experiment, then send your  materials to me via email. I don’t promise that I will post ALL of your forwarded materials, but I will try to see that some of them make their way to the fabulous internets. The class also has a tumblr page here:   I will be posting course-related materials here from time to time—feel free to follow the page and make suggestions for additions/deletions.



You will be asked to write TWO Analytical Imagination Challenge—aka TWO 3 to 5 page essays during our summer 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.  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.



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 3 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"(c), In-class participation, attendance, cinetreks, etc.

* 33% "Analytical Imagination Challenge" aka The BIG Essay

* 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 will be for an hour before and after class Mondays thru Wednesdays in Arts and Letters 273. 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. My E-mail address is: or