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Sample Syllabus

While the syllabus changes every year, the below schedule offers a sense of the readings and themes that guide our study of the Cape Cod region.

Week 1: Introduction to the course

THE NATURE OF CAPE COD

Week 2: “Foreword,” “ Introduction,” “How Cape Cod and the Islands Were Formed,” and “The Forces of Erosion,” pp. ix–xiv, 9–32 in A Guide to Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands; and “Loomings,” pp. 1–9 in A Place Apart: A Cape Cod Reader; FILM: Cape Cod: The Sands of Time (13 mins.)

THE BEGINNINGS: INDIANS, PILGRIMS, AND BEYOND

Week 3: “Loomings,” and “How They Lived,” pp. 10–31 and 33–53 in A Place Apart; Selection from Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower (Reserve); FILM: We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower (c. 40 mins.)

CLASSIC WRITERS OF CAPE COD

Week 4: Chpt. 1, “The Shipwreck”; Chpt. 3, “The Plains of Nauset”; Chpt. 5, “The Wellfleet Oysterman”; Chpt. 6, “The Beach Again”; Chpt. 9, “The Sea and the Desert” in Thoreau’s Cape Cod http://thoreau.eserver.org/capecd00.html; FILM: We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower(concluded from 9/15; c. 40 mins.)

Week 5: Henry Beston’s The Outermost House, Chpts. 1–5

Week 6: The Outermost House, Chpts. 6–10; FILM: Portrait of a Coast (29 mins.)

WHALES, COD, NATURAL MYSTERY, AND LAND’S END

Week 7: “Leviathan,” pp. 105–110 and 128–140; “Men’s Lives,” pp. 141–146, 151, 167–168; “Natural Mystery,” pp. 185–188, 214–234, 246–249; “Land’s End,” pp. 251–254, 281–299 in A Place Apart

CONTEMPORARY VOICES OF CAPE COD

Week 8: Robert Finch, The Primal Place, Chpts. 1–6

Week 9: The Primal Place, Chpts. 7–9

Week 10: The Primal Place, Chpts. 10–13; David Gessner, A Wild, Rank Place, pp. 1–27

Week 11: A Wild, Rank Place, pp. 28–135; FILM: The Sea Behind the Dunes (c. 58 mins).

Week 12: Cynthia Huntington, The Salt House, pp. 1–87; FILM: Voyage of the Lonely Turtle (c. 55 minutes)

Week 13: CAPE COD TRIP!

Week 14: NO CLASSES — Thanksgiving Holiday (until 11/30)

Week 15: The Salt House, pp. 88–183

Week 16:“The New Cape Codders,” pp 363–40 in A Place Apart