English 1002 (formerly English 50): College Composition
Seers, Phantasms, and Writers: How We Write About What We See
Anderson Hall 106
Instructor: Jeff Renye
Office Location: 1143 Anderson Hall
Office Hours: M 11-1 and by
As a mass noun: illusion, deceptive appearance.
e worldes dweole & hire fantesme [L.
tr. J. de Voragine
289/1 The deuylle appered to
them in guyse of a maronner in a shippe of fantasme.
R. W. EMERSON
Conduct of Life
283 'Tis all phantasm.
A thing or being which apparently exists but is not real; a hallucination or vision; a figment
of the imagination; an illusion.
Dyets Dry Dinner
, According to the phantasmes and visions, which
appeared to them in their sleepe.
10 Or else it was a fantasm bred by
the feaver which had then seis'd him.
True Intellect. Syst. Universe
68 The Minds of men strongly possess'd with Fear, especially in the Dark, raise up the Phantasms
of Spectres, Bug-bears, or affrightful Apparitions to them.
E. R. EDDISON
124 As the drunkard that swallowed the true live frog in his beer-mug, supposing it but such
another fantasm as he was customed to?
Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. But there is also
another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the
surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we
are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."
John Berger, from
Ways of Seeing
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence,” ll. 1-4
Course topics and goals:
In this course, we will be looking at the ways important, even controversial, issues are presented
and examined in select literary and visual works. The primary focus of our readings will be a mix
of short works of fiction, occasional essays, paintings, graphic illustrations, and digital copies of
illuminated and engraved copper plates. Topics cover ideas regarding the complex and varied
relationship between how we see and perceive and the language used to describe and analyze
visual expression of ideas, phenomena, and objects. We will also consider the problems and