David Foster Wallace Course Syllabi


In “‘I Urge You to Drop E67-02’: Course Syllabi by Famous Authors,” Emily Temple collects actual syllabi for college literature courses taught by David Foster Wallace, Katie Roiphe, Zadie Smith, and others.

Aside from Lynda Barry’s legal pad doodle, for a course which encourages students to “use up your crayons,” they don’t look that unfamiliar. Indeed, Wallace’s syllabi are remarkably similar to what Steven Taylor and I were writing fifteen years ago.

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James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I am shocked to discover the presence of bullshit in my profession. Shocked I say.


  2. Tyrell says:

    Whatever happened to college profs. wearing bow ties? Now see, that’s the problem. Someone who looks like the normal college student now a days is kind of hard to take seriously anyway. When I was in college, it was dress slacks, oxford shirt, and sweaters in winter.


  3. James Joyner says:

    @Tyrell: @Tyrell: I was a coat and tie man in my teaching days. But the majority of the faculty were, even in a conservative Southern teaching school, dressed more casually.