FLR320 201803 Undergraduate

Spring 2019
FLR 320
Applies To: 
Car Cultures

Gordon Sayre

Gordon Sayre profile picture
  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Interim Summer 2020 Head of English, Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-1313
  • Office: 472 PLC
  • Office Hours: Spring 2021: 2-3 pm Wednesdays, 12-2 pm Thursdays
Department Section Description: 

In this course we study car collecting and customizing as vernacular art traditions, and survey of some of the astonishing range of human behaviors around cars and trucks. To better understand cars we also will learn of the history of the automotive industry, environmental issues arising from cars, and U.S. policy on automotive safety, emissions, and fuels. This course satisfies the Arts & Letters group for general education requirements.


The major assignment for the course is a project involving folklore or ethnographic fieldwork. Each student, or team of students, will select and research some aspect of car enthusiasm or automotive behavior, whether monster trucks, tuners or rat rods, muscle cars or microbuses, advertisements or repair shops, parking lots or critical masses of cyclists. There is so much about our automotive behavior that is curious, mysterious, and revealing


C-Literature 1789-Present

Literature, 1789 to the present courses focus on literary work produced over more than two centuries -- from the period of British romanticism and the early republic of the United States up to now -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history.  Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.


Media, Folklore, and/or Culture courses focus on print and non-print media to explore culture and its processes of creative expression.

English Minor

English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts.  The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.