Matthew Harrison portrait

Matthew Harrison

Instructor of English
Office
JRC 351
Hours
(Fall 2018) M/W 1:00-2:00pm; R 12:00-1:00pm; also by appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5656

Ph.D. University of California-Irvine

M.F.A. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 121 - W32 Critical Thinking: Lit/Writing - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 SCB 326

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

SCB 326

Course Registration Number:

40961 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Matthew B. Harrison

Students will read and write about literary texts critically and closely. The course emphasizes recursive reading and writing processes that encourage students to discover, explain, question and clarify ideas. To this end, students will study a variety of genres as well as terms and concepts helpful to close analysis of those genres. They will practice various forms of writing for specific audiences and purposes. Students will reflect on and develop critical awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses as readers and writers. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 12 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 203 - W03 Recent Tours of the Afterlife - - - - - - - -

Days of Week:

- - - - - - -

Time of Day:

-

Location:

Course Registration Number:

42691 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Matthew B. Harrison

Literature has a long history of imagining possible afterlives: Odysseus summons the dead in Hades; Virgil speaks to the spirit of his father in the underworld; Dante journeys deep into Hell before climbing the Mountain of Purgatory and ascending into Heaven. While acknowledging these and other precedents, this fully online course focuses on narratives of the afterlife since the late 19th century. We will discuss what recent depictions of the afterlife might reveal about the values of those still living. In what ways do afterlife narratives uphold or question dominant cultural trends? Is the afterlife exclusive or inclusive? Somber or joyful? Is it a courtroom, a ballroom, a vast field, a forest, a cloud city, an underground city, a maze, a mansion, a cosmic choir, a light at the end of a tunnel—what and why and for whom? We will begin with some representative short stories, such as Ambrose Bierce’s 1890 “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” alongside excerpts from Mark Mirabello’s historical survey of afterlife beliefs, A TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO THE AFTERLIFE. We will then read a set of novels: Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE; Kevin Brockmeier’s THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD; and George Saunders’s LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. Our films will include HEAVEN CAN WAIT (Lubitsch 1943), DEFENDING YOUR LIFE (Brooks 1991), AFTER LIFE (Koreeda 1998), and clips from WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (Ward 1998) and THE SEVENTH SEAL (Bergman 1957). Students will write weekly short papers on guided topics and a final research essay, as well as work throughout the semester to develop a map of an afterlife setting. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2019 Courses

J-Term 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2019 Courses

Spring 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - W15 Museums of Stories - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 OSS 127

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

OSS 127

Course Registration Number:

22459 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Matthew B. Harrison

Museums are packed full with stories, and so writers have long told stories about museums, framing scenes based on the histories preserved in artifacts. In museum corridors and galleries that so often feel sacred and mysterious, writers have found inspiration for exploring how people learn to tell facts from fantasies, tricks from truths, histories from “mere” stories. The texts in this course survey the common and strange things that we collect as evidence of our values, our personalities, and our dreams. Readings will include Lawrence Weschler’s MR. WILSON’S CABINET OF WONDER; Mark Doty’s STILL LIFE WITH LEMON; Margaret Atwood’s LIFE BEFORE MAN; Thomas Bernhard’s OLD MASTERS; and selected poems by Donika Kelly, Allison Benis White, Adrienne Rich, Frank O’Hara, William Carlos Williams, Victoria Chang, and others. We’ll view at least one movie: MUSEUM HOURS (2012). The writing load for this course—a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised work—will involve both descriptive and interpretive papers about museum spaces and artifacts. Over the course of the semester, students will also construct a catalogue of images and writing that displays a story about themselves. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)