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Fall 2013

 

Dear Students,

Verify course selections in YES to see the complete selection of course dates and times.

You will need to meet with you adviser IN PERSON before your registration appointment window at which time your adviser will release an electronic academic hold on your account so that you can register. Please email your adviser for an appointment. The name of your adviser as well as the time of your registration appointment window is listed on your YES landing page.

Instructors, sections, and topics for 100-level writing courses are subject to change after Course Request Period, depending on enrollments.

Admittance to Honors sections and 200-level Creative Writing workshops are subject to instructor approval.
See individual course listings for specific instructions.

Note: The descriptions that appear below for Fall 2013 are grouped by course. If you do not find your section number, it means that that instructor has not yet provided a description.  The webmaster will make every effort to continually update this page, so please check back often.

 

These courses meet the ethnic/non-western literature major and minor requirement: These courses meet the pre-eighteen hundred literature major and minor requirement:
 ENGL 237  ENGL 208A
 ENGL 242W  ENGL 220
 ENGL 263  ENGL 230
 ENGL 279  ENGL 236W
 ENGL  288.01  ENGL 252A
 ASIA 251  ENGl 272.02
 JS 248W  ENGL 274.02
   
   
   
 

 

ENGL 100: Composition

.01 MWF 910-1000 L. Saborido

.02 MWF 1210-100 K. Quigley

This course is designed to challenge and empower you to perform three important tasks: to develop and improve your skills as an essay-writer; to devise and carry out an original persuasive essay project; and to understand and respond to other writers’ (including your classmates’) work. The course is primarily skill- andpractice-oriented: in other words, we will spend the bulk of our time together learning skills, putting them into practice, evaluating the results, and brainstorming ways to improve. However, as the course title – “Popular? Culture?” – indicates, our readings and projects will investigate that omnipresent, fluid, and elusive category, “popular culture.” We will ask what it means to call something “popular” or “pop,” what counts as “culture,” and – you guessed it – what we refer to by “popular culture.” Are these terms mutually exclusive? To explore your own position in relation to these complex and intriguing ideas, your persuasive essay will entail investigating a contemporary issue in popular culture, engaging with other writers who have commented on it, and formulating an informed argument of your own.

.03 MWF 110-200 A. TBA

.04 MWF 110-200 D. Fang

The Rhetoric of Place: In this class, we will learn the elements of effective composition through thinking about places. How do we relate to our homes? What do we treasure in our hometowns? How do we relate to the parts of the world that are foreign to us? And most importantly, how do we communicate about these ideas? Throughout the semester, we will read and watch essays, articles, and films in order to explore the rhetoric surrounding homes. In conjunction, we will explore methods of analysis and how to convey these methods effectively in writing.

.05 MWF 210-300 K. DeGuzman

This course is designed to empower you as a writer. We will begin with mastering various sentence structures and then move into writing within various styles. Over the course of the semester, you will learn how to structure the units of writing – words, sentences, and paragraphs – into three longer essays. You will have the opportunity to revise two of these essays in order to grow comfortable with the writing process. We will also read a variety of essays that model strong writing. After reading, we will dissect the essays in our classroom discussions to understand how they work. The course will culminate with two milestone assignments: your written review of a movie, book, or event and a portfolio of your entire semester’s work. By articulating your assessment of a piece of media and reflecting on your semester’s progress, you’ll leave this class equipped to continue growing as a writer.    

.06 TR 230-350 Bagneris 

 The Spectacle of Race: Whiteness, Passing, and Double Consciousness : We exist in the world as racially embodied subjects, which means that our appearance (including the signifiers of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality) shape how we are perceived by others and thus, how we perceive of ourselves. Within the American literary tradition numerous authors have explored the complex construction and psychology of race and racism in different settings and at various historical moments through the short story, poetry, and the novel. Portrayals of visual culture in which stereotypes abound and presumptions about race result in material consequences such as commodification and death have provided audiences with insights into the power of perception and the impact of race upon concepts such as beauty, intelligence, personhood, and privilege.

102W: Literature and Analytical Thinking

.01 MWF 910-1000 D. Armstrong
Rock 'n' Roll Shakespeare
: Perhaps more than any other author, Shakespeare lends himself to adaptation. In the 1960s, Bob Dylan imagined him in an alley, wearing pointed shoes and bells, and in 1971, director Roman Polanski filmed the actor playing his Macbeth in a Mick Jagger wig. This course will discuss these and other curious Shakespearean "mod moments" in music and film, exploring the nature and implications of the larger exchange between rock 'n' roll and Shakespeare. Analysis of modern media will be grounded in close reading of Shakespearean poetry and drama, and students will leave the course with a better understanding of the conventions of early modern drama and poetry as well as a honed critical approach to modern media.

.02 MWF 910-1000 R. Averin

Post-Apocalyptic Literature and the African Diaspora: Post-apocalyptic literature has experienced a surge of popularity in recent decades—particularly post-9/11— but it is hardly a new genre, within or without the African diaspora. In this class we will explore how representations of post-apocalypse in the African diaspora including film, novels, short stories, and plays engage with and/or depart from more dominant figurations of post-apocalypse. Why might writers choose the post-apocalyptic as a genre to engage with present issues of race, class, gender, identity, and belonging? What makes it a particularly attractive genre for certain African diasporic authors? We will look at texts produced by artists throughout the diaspora such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Lorraine Hansberry, Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, and the Hughes Brothers. In addition to textual analysis, past and current socio-political events concerned with apocalypse and post-apocalypse will factor into our class discussions, mirroring the authors’ literary and imaginative engagement with contemporary socio-political issues.

.03 MWF 10:10-11:00 S. Johnson

This course will explore the porous boundaries between science and literature. Science fiction literature and film attempt to represent, in often uniquely allegorical and imaginative ways, the origins, processes, and implications of changing ways of knowing and of controlling physical environments and social interactions. One prominent – even fundamental – element in science fiction is the representation of interaction between how we should classify the “human” and the “non-human,” or “human” and “other.” Almost all the texts we will encounter this semester take as their central theme this problem. This course will focus on ways to closely analyze these texts and develop complex arguments in individual papers and in group projects and class discussion.

.04 MWF 1010-1100 C. Land

Agency and Power in Speculative Fiction: Using novels, short stories, and film, we will examine the nature of agency and its relationship to power and control in speculative fiction. What does it mean to make a choice, and at what point are our choices made for us? What forces affect our actions, and in what ways may we resist? Using these works and questions as a starting point, we will work on developing skills in critical reading and writing by practicing textual analysis, close-reading, critical thinking, coherent argument based on textual evidence, and revision, producing at least three essays over the course of the semester.

.05 MWF 910-1000 T. McInnis

Which South?: Conceptions of the US American South from the 1860s-1980s: What comes to mind when one hears of “The South”? Where does it start and/or end? In this course, we will explore the set of ideas that constitute the US American South through the study of 19th and 20th century literature and various other media, including music and films. The course will move from historically “traditional” understandings of the US American South, with a particular focus on racial and gender politics, to exploring how abolition, migration and immigration have or have not changed the South as a symbol in American rhetoric.  

.06 MWF 1010-1100 K. Navarro

Pop Culture, Literary Adaptation, and Queer Identity: What constitutes a critically analyzable text? This course seeks to broaden the scope of such a question by examining both popular literary source texts and the varied forms of adaptation they inspire. Throughout such an examination of different media, we will explore questions of sexualized and gendered identity, ultimately widening our comprehension of the kinds of texts that can (and should) be analytically and politically engaged.

.07 MWF 1100-1200 Rodrigues

The Superhero: from The Faerie Queene to Final Fantasy: Just what is a superhero? When and how did this figure swoop into popular consciousness, and why has he-she-it become so enduringly attractive to literary and cinematic audiences? This course will take a global journey through literature, art, and contemporary forms of media to identify and critically assess the mythology, psychology, and pseudoscience that have conspired to produce what we recognize as the modern superhero. By investigating literary and cultural texts from ancient Greece through medieval and Renaissance Europe, we will, first of all, challenge the notion that the superhero is a contemporary invention and fascination. Second, we will examine and unearth non-Western representations and approximations of this construct. Finally, we will interrogate the notion that the superhero is merely a product of popular entertainment by considering the ethical, existential, political, and scientific implications of superheroic acts and exploits. Throughout our studies, we will examine superheroic identities and ideologies through critical prisms afforded by feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, myth criticism, and theories of posthumanity and consumerism. Our objects of study will include works by Ovid, Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde as well as graphic novels, video games, and films such as The Avengers and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

.08 MWF 1210-100

.09 MWF 1210-100

.10 TR 810-925F. Barter

Imagining New York: How do literary texts and films construct New York City? How do you imagine New York City when you picture it in your mind? It might be the iconic skyline, the Subway, a particular neighborhood, the fashion and garment industry, a site of immigration, or something else altogether.  In this course, we will examine literary constructions of New York City, paying close attention to how authors attempt to breathe life into the quintessential city.  Particular attention will be paid to how people and place collide in New York in ways both exhilarating and oppressive.  Possible readings include Fires in the Mirror, Brown Girl, Brownstones, Passing, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Possible film screenings include The Gangs of New York, Do the Right Thing, and Girls.

.11 TR 810-925 R. Boutelle

You Say You Want a Revolution?: We all want to change the world. This course examines literary and political texts that explore the rhetoric, ideologies, and aftermath of revolutions from across the globe. We’ll be reading manifestos, historical texts, critical essays, and literature that emerge from/in response to anticolonial movements and large-scale rebellions. We’ll explore the relationships between calls to action and organized violence, the frequent disconnect between proposed reformations and actual change, and alternative perspectives on the same political upheavals. In our consideration of power and responses to it, we’ll consider how issues of race, gender, class, and nation manifest in revolutionary discourses.

.12 TR 935-1050 A. Castro

.13 TR 930-1050 L. Mensah

Course Name: The Quest for Individuality in Fiction: What does it mean to be an individual? How can individuality be expressed? In this course, we will read a variety of texts that will provide the framing for exploring these two complex questions. We will also spend considerable time discussing the challenges of individuality. Texts we will read in this class— such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God— will shed light on possible roadblocks that can prevent people from truly expressing themselves. And furthermore, these texts will help us examine the array of consequences that threaten those who refuse to conform to societal pressures and norms. Additional readings for this class include Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Self Reliance, Richard Wright's short story, "The Man Underground," and Jack Kerouac’s novel, On the Road. Films include Jason Reitman’s Young Adult and Gus Van Sant’s (screenplay written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) Good Will Hunting.

.14 MWF 1100-1200

.15 TR 810-925 P. Samuel

Censorship, Silencing, and Resistance: Reading Literature at the Margins: While the appearance of WikiLeaks in 2006 has marked a new moment in national discussions around censorship and resistance, themes of suppression and silencing have long been taken up in literature and other forms of media. In this course, we will be examining literature, music, art, and film that has been directly impacted or influenced by censorship--including works that take up censorship and suppression as central themes and works that have themselves been censored, banned, discredited, or marginalized. What are the politics of censorship? How are works identified as dangerous, unlawful, or inappropriate for public consumption? By what mechanisms and for what reasons are voices suppressed, silenced, discredited, or marginalized? We will be engaging a broad range of texts, with an emphasis on minority literatures, and a wide range of multimedia sources.

.16 MWF 1010-1100 C. Woods

This course exposes students to the evolving conceptualizations of the self and of personhood through western culture from classical antiquity to the height of English Romanticism. One consistent theme of this intellectual trajectory will be the implications of orienting the self around technologies of writing. Writers such as Plato, Augustine, Dante, Shakespeare, and Coleridge dwelled at length on how writing and reading change human psychology and humans' disposition toward the world and others. Thus, this course will give students an opportunity to think about the very idea of writing and reading as they engage in the processes of reading and writing. We will consider how various media (e.g. the scroll, the codex, the manuscript, the printing press, the Internet) through history have fundamentally altered our manner of conceptualizing the world and our place in it. The course thereby presents students with the unique opportunities to engage in the meta-cognitive practice of writing about writing through history and to consider their current place in the evolution of discursive media in modern culture.

.17 MWF 910-1000

.18 MWF 1110-1200

 

ENGL 104W: Prose and Fiction: Forms and Techniques

.01 MWF 810-900

.02 MWF 410-500

.03 MWF 110-200 J. Quarry

.04 MWF 310-400

.05 MWF 310-400

 

ENGL 105W: Drama: Forms and Techniques

.01 MWF 310-400

.02 MWF 410-500

 

ENGL 115F: First Year Writing Seminar

.07 TR 935-1050 B. Bachmann

Women Poets in America.

In this seminar, we will trace the development of American women's poetic voices and study the work of several poets, beginning with Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) and ending with Adrienne Rich (b. 1933). Poets include Gertrude Stein, H. D., Marianne Moore, Louise Bogan, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elizabeth Bishop, Muriel Rukeyser, Gwendolyn Brooks, Anne Sexton, and Sylvia Plath. Contemporary poets will be studied in portfolio, and we will pay particular attention to the plethora of multicultural expression since 1980. Students will be required to keep journals of reading responses, to meet regularly in small groups outside of class, and to attend the literary readings (two or three) sponsored by the Department of English during the semester. There will be one significant writing project, biographical in nature, and two or three shorter pieces (topic and style to be chosen by students after consultation with instructor).

.08 TR 235-350 S. Juengel

Simple Art of Murder: Knowledge and Guilt in Detective Literature.

An examination of classic works of detective fiction with a view toward exploring the ways in which
knowledge and guilt interact in criminal activity and its investigation. Authors to be considered
include Sophocles, Shakespeare, Poe, Doyle, Christie, Chandler, Highsmith, Himes, Bugliosi, and
Harris. Again and again we will encounter the difficulty of separating the art of murder from the
performance of murder; again and again we will see that the art of murder is never really simple.

.25 TR 1100-1215 . Jarman

From Frost to Dove: Storytelling in American Verse.

There is a great tradition of storytelling verse in American poetry that extends from the 19th into the 20th century. In the 20th century Modernism had a profound effect on this tradition, as it did on all art forms, but narrative poetry continued to be vital for some important American poets. Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, and Robinson Jeffers in the early 20th century and Robert Penn Warren, Gwendolyn Brooks and Rita Dove in the later 20th century all made use of narrative in their poetry in innovative ways. Plot, character development, setting, and narration, all elements of prose fiction, are elements in the poems of these poets, along with form, rhythm, and imagery. The central events of modern American history are also reflected in their poems, from the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, migrations west and north, and the Civil Rights Movement. Reading their poems we will not only become familiar with some great stories in poetic form, but we will watch the development of modern American society and personal identity. Class meetings will focus on discussion of the reading and discussion of writing critical analysis of narrative poetry. Students will occasionally be responsible for leading discussion of individual poems. They will also have the opportunity to read drafts of one another’s papers in order to assist the process of revision. Grading will be based on three assigned papers (two of which may be revised), class participation, and a final exam. Texts: Edwin Arlington Robinson, Selected Poems; Robert Frost, Early Poems; Robinson Jeffers, Selected Poems; Robert Penn Warren, Brother to Dragons; Gwendolyn Brooks, Blacks; Rita Dove, Thomas and Beulah. FALL. [3] Jarman.

.31 TR 935-1050 M. Schoenfield

Existential Fictions.

What nonsense. They read quickly, badly, and pass judgment before they have understood. So let's begin all over. This doesn't amuse anyone, neither you nor me. But we have to hit the nail on the head. Jean-Paul Sartre, What is Literature, 1947.Fiction, D.H. Lawrence suggests, is a laboratory for philosophical problems, and this course willenter the lab of existentialists. Sometimes called, with scorn or praise, a "psychology," existentialism has been a dominant post-World War II philosophy, because it directs its concerns not to a transcendental realm but to the world of human behavior, a world of guns, unrequited love, people reading too quickly. Sartre's continual effort to be understood (illustrated in the above quotation) characterizes both his method and what he saw as the human condition. For him, people are free – or condemned - to choose. But what does choice mean, if the consequences cannot be reckoned? To choose as an individual or an institution? Finally, why choose to be human? We will take on such questions in the fictions of existentialists (Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus) and in the existential ideas of other contemporary works (Murdoch, Atwood, Madonna, Oe, Elvis Costello). We will try to hit the nail on the head - if we can identify it and find a hammer.

.34 TR 110-225 L. Marcus

In Search of Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi is such a towering historical figure that it is hard to realize that he was very

controversial in his own time. We will study key works in English from South Asia associated with the life and career of India's most famous twentieth-century figure, starting with a survey of Gandhi's career through the film Gandhi (1982) and Gandhi's autobiography, Experiments with Truth. We will move on to consider several short novels and films that interrogate elements of Gandhi's career as pacifist and agitator for Indian independence. What did India's traditional elites think of Gandhi and his non-violent movement for reform? To what extent did Indian writers associate him with contemporary developments such as the Partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, which brought about the deaths of millions of people on both sides of the new border? Throughout the seminar we will be making connections among literature, film, and their South Asian cultural contexts.

.36 MWF 910-900 R. Gottfried

Foundational Stories of the Western Tradition.

This course examines a variety of narratives that have formed the basis of Western literature and
culture. Readings include the Old Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Greek tragedy, Aesop, Ovid,
Medieval Arthurian romances, The Arabian Nights, and Grimm's fairy tales. No credit for students
who have completed HONS 181 section 53.

.38 TR 110-225 V. Bell

Representations of War

Novels, memoirs, films, poems, and historical writings will serve as examples of how war in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been represented, both in under-view and over-view. The time span covered begins with World War I and ends with the war in Afghanistan. Historical issues will be a main focus. As in all such historical events and their representations, there are always conflicting “truths” to be sorted out and, where possible, reconciled. This process will be the guiding principle of our project. Faculty from other disciplines will be brought in to guide us, but we will mainly be on our own where all points of view will be expected to thrive.

 

ENGL 116W: Introduction to Poetry

.01 MFF 910-1000 J. Plummer

.02 MWF 1010-1100

.03 MWF 1100-1200

.04 MWF 110-200

.05 MWF 210-300

.06MWF 210-300

.07 TR 810-925

.08 TR 235-350 Bradley

I want this course to give you a strong foundation in reading, discussing and enjoying poetry. We will look at poems drawn from a wide range of periods and approaches and consider their content and their form as you build the skills and confidence to engage any poem with greater pleasure and understanding. Our attention will be focused intensely on the language of the poems we’re reading, but as a “W” course, our attention will also turn to exploring your own language and writing processes, as well. Formal and informal writing will be a major part of our course, and I hope you will remember it as a course that pushed you to embrace writing as a medium for developing and exploring your ideas at the same time that you honed your mastery of writing about poetry as well as the conventions of persuasive academic writing, in general.

.09 TR 400-515

.10 TR 400-515

 

ENGL 117W; Introduction to Literary Criticism

.01 MWF 1100-1200 M. Duques

.02 MWF 1210-100

.03 MWF 210-300 M. Duques

 

ENGL 118W: Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

.01 MWF 110-200 C. Hart

Detective fiction, as a genre, emerged during the mid-nineteenth-century. The rest, as they say, is history. One need only turn on the television, go to the movies, or peruse the shelves of any bookstore (real or virtual) to witness the continued popularity and to appreciate the cultural significance of this genre. But why? Why is detective fiction so popular? Why does detective fiction matter? What is detective fiction’s place in our culture? How does detective fiction reflect or shape or expose our perception of the world in which we live? To foster the opportunity to explore and answer these questions, this course will allow students to learn about the genre of detective fiction by reading works by several authors, including Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ed McBain, China Mièville, and Jasper Fforde. In reading these texts and the detectives that inhabit them, we will discover the conventions, development, and innovations in the genre and understand the ways in which detective fiction is concerned with narrative, ways of telling, ways of seeing, ways of reading, ways of knowing, questions of identity, questions of interpretation, plot, character, and setting.

.02 MWF 1210-100

.03 MWF 1010-1100

.04 MWF 1110-1200

.05 MWF 210-300

.06 MWF 210-300 C. Hart

Detective fiction, as a genre, emerged during the mid-nineteenth-century. The rest, as they say, is history. One need only turn on the television, go to the movies, or peruse the shelves of any bookstore (real or virtual) to witness the continued popularity and to appreciate the cultural significance of this genre. But why? Why is detective fiction so popular? Why does detective fiction matter? What is detective fiction’s place in our culture? How does detective fiction reflect or shape or expose our perception of the world in which we live? To foster the opportunity to explore and answer these questions, this course will allow students to learn about the genre of detective fiction by reading works by several authors, including Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ed McBain, China Mièville, and Jasper Fforde. In reading these texts and the detectives that inhabit them, we will discover the conventions, development, and innovations in the genre and understand the ways in which detective fiction is concerned with narrative, ways of telling, ways of seeing, ways of reading, ways of knowing, questions of identity, questions of interpretation, plot, character, and setting.

.07 TR 400-515 L. Enterline

Epic Discontent: Epic was for centuries the preeminent genre of nations – narratives about the rise and fall of cities, states, and empires – but epic poets often signal considerable skepticism about the costs of imperial ambition and its ever-vanishing promise of “eternal peace.” For example, an important book about Virgil’s Aeneid bore the title, Darkness Visible. Because of time constraints, we will read only selected moments from an array of epics while progressing from the ancient world to the 19th century. The class will acquaint students with some of the most influential narratives in European literature – this is a self-referential tradition keenly aware of its crucial place in literary history – while asking what the epic tradition and the “translation of empire” can tell us about what Freud once called Civilization and its Discontents. Beginning with Freud’s text, we will read selections from among the following: Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Beowulf, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Milton’s Paradise Lost. Alongside self-proclaimed epics, we will also read texts that take epic discontent into different forms: Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece; Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage; Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Topics may include: political and personal identity; representation and violence; poetry and education; epic theories of language; teleology and dissent; the epistemology and temporality of “visionary” poetics; allegory, ideology, and hegemony; analogies between nations and families; epitaphs and death-songs; the tension between social contracts, gender, and the world of desire.

.08 TR 400-1214 T. Goddu

This course will introduce students to the methodology of cultural studies through detailed explorations of sites of historical memory. We will locate ourselves in a number of different historical moments—the Holocaust, slavery, Vietnam, 9/11—in order to examine how cultural texts represent and reconstruct a traumatic past. We will be especially interested in works that refigure the horrors of history as an imaginative act of re-membering. We will analyze a variety of texts from novels and films to museums and memorials. We will ask the following questions (and more): How does the present have everything to do with how we re-member the past? What are the different models of memory and narrative used to resurrect a painful past? How can trauma be reclaimed and made usable instead of imprisoning? Who bears the burden of remembering? How is public memory produced?

.09 TR 1100-1215 B. Orr

Pasifika Literature and Film: The last few decades have seen an explosion of writing and film-making from Oceania.  This course engages with novels, short fiction, poetry and film by (among others) Albert Wendt, Sara Figiel, Epeli Hau'ofa, Witi Ihimaera, Alan Duff, Robert Sullivan and Patricia Grace.

.10 TR 935-1100

.11 TR 1435-1550 S. Girgus

Film and Culture: The course investigates film as temporal space in which ideology, psychology, and history intersect for the study of cultural expression and action. It will emphasize Shakespeare on film, examining how film contributes to the meaning of the plays in terms of the psychological construction of character through the look of the camera, the use of cinetext and scene for historical reenactment, and the search for transcendent meaning. Other forms of film as expressions of modern culture also will be included in the course.

.12 TR 1310-1425 C. Tichi

.13 MWF 1010-1100 M. Duques

.14 MWF 1210-1300

.15 MWF 1510-1600

.16 MWF 1510-1600 C. Hart

Detective fiction, as a genre, emerged during the mid-nineteenth-century. The rest, as they say, is history. One need only turn on the television, go to the movies, or peruse the shelves of any bookstore (real or virtual) to witness the continued popularity and to appreciate the cultural significance of this genre. But why? Why is detective fiction so popular? Why does detective fiction matter? What is detective fiction’s place in our culture? How does detective fiction reflect or shape or expose our perception of the world in which we live? To foster the opportunity to explore and answer these questions, this course will allow students to learn about the genre of detective fiction by reading works by several authors, including Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ed McBain, China Mièville, and Jasper Fforde. In reading these texts and the detectives that inhabit them, we will discover the conventions, development, and innovations in the genre and understand the ways in which detective fiction is concerned with narrative, ways of telling, ways of seeing, ways of reading, ways of knowing, questions of identity, questions of interpretation, plot, character, and setting.

.17 TR 1600-1715

 

 

ENGL 120W: Intermediate Composition

.01 MWF 1210-100

.02 TR 235-350

 

ENGL 122: Beginning Fiction Workshop

.01 MWF 1010-1100 Douglas

.02 MWF 1100-1200 Zebracka

 

ENGL 123: Beginning Poetry Workshop

.01 MWF 910-1000 Kunz

.02 MWF 1010-1100 Strong

 

ENGL 200: Intermediate Nonfiction Writing

.01 M 310-600 S. Solomon

Other People’s Lives

Other People's Lives: Memoir, Profile and Biography Students in this course will read selected portraits of other people - portraits drawn from memory and personal experience and from documents, both historical and contemporary - and then they will try to write their own portraits. This is a nonfiction workshop, so the emphasis will be on writing vividly and offering feedback to classmates about writing. The class will read excerpts of biographies (mostly about writers and other artists); long and short profiles, the latter in the form of obituaries (in Britain are often wonderfully evocative sketches of the man or woman who has died); and memoirs that focus on another person. We will look at how these descriptions can make individuals come alive on the page¿at the details of character and action that give the reader a sense of other people's lives, their idiosyncrasies, their virtues and limitations, and tell memorably what people do and how they do it. Sandy Solomon asks students who register for English 200 to submit a 250 word sketch of one family member. You may tell a brief story about that person or just describe him/her at home. Please also send as background information (and as sometime tie-breaker) your year, your major/s or prospective major/s, and your home town or community. Please make as the subject of your email "English 200 writing sample." FYI, Solomon prefers to limit enrollment to students in sophomore year and above. Because enrollment to this course is by instr uctor approval based on a submission, all students will initially be placed on the waitlist. After joining the waitlist, all students should wait for a welcome email from the instructor regarding the submission requirement. As soon as the instructor selects the class members, that select group of students will be enrolled in the course and all others will be dropped from the waitlist.

.02 M 310-600 A.Little

The Art of Blogging: Learning How to Write and Think In The Age of Self-Publishing. Interested students should register for the wait list and submit to the English Department (calista.m.doll@vanderbilt.edu) a sample blog post of 500-750 words about any topic of their choosing (this could be a post the student has already published or a mock post) Because enrollment to this course is by instructor approval based on a submission, all students will initially be placed on the waitlist. After the instructor selects the class members, those students will be admitted by the department. 

 .03 W 310-600 S. Solomon

Other People's Lives: Memoir, Profile and Biography Students in this course will read selected portraits of other people - portraits drawn from memory and personal experience and from documents, both historical and contemporary - and then they will try to write their own portraits. This is a nonfiction workshop, so the emphasis will be on writing vividly and offering feedback to classmates about writing. The class will read excerpts of biographies (mostly about writers and other artists); long and short profiles, the latter in the form of obituaries (in Britain are often wonderfully evocative sketches of the man or woman who has died); and memoirs that focus on another person. We will look at how these descriptions can make individuals come alive on the page¿at the details of character and action that give the reader a sense of other people's lives, their idiosyncrasies, their virtues and limitations, and tell memorably what people do and how they do it. Sandy Solomon asks students who register for English 200 to submit a 250 word sketch of one family member. You may tell a brief story about that person or just describe him/her at home. Please also send as background information (and as sometime tie-breaker) your year, your major/s or prospective major/s, and your home town or community. Please make as the subject of your email "English 200 writing sample." FYI, Solomon prefers to limit enrollment to students in sophomore year and above. Because enrollment to this course is by instr uctor approval based on a submission, all students will initially be placed on the waitlist. After joining the waitlist, all students should wait for a welcome email from the instructor regarding the submission requirement. As soon as the instructor selects the class members, that select group of students will be enrolled in the course and all others will be dropped from the waitlist.

 

ENGL 204: Intermediate Fiction Workshop

.01 W 310-600 J. Quarry

Because enrollment to this course is by instructor approval based on a submission, all students will initially be placed on the waitlist. After the instructor selects the class members, those students will be admitted by the department. After joining the waitlist, all students should contact the instructor regarding the submission requirement.  

.02 T 310-600 L. Lopez

Intermediate Fiction Workshop is designed to enable students hone skills, such as, but not limited to developing effective characterization, using perspective consistently, proportioning summary (exposition) appropriately to scene, developing setting and imagery that interacts with characterization or resonates metaphorically, as well as applying significant detail to enhance scene, characterization, and tone. To better apprehend and build such techniques and others, students will write original short stories, complete exercises, attend and respond to literary events, and analyze published short stories to discuss structural and stylistic components, in addition to reading text on craft and critiquing work from peers.

Because enrollment to this course is by instructor approval based on a submission, all students will initially be placed on the waitlist. After the instructor selects the class members, those students will be admitted by the department. After joining the waitlist, all students should contact the instructor regarding the submission requirement.  

 

ENGL 206: Intermediate Poetry Workshop

.01 T 1310-1600 B. Bachmann

In this intermediate poetry writing workshop, you will both write and read poetry. While the primary texts will be poems written by members of the workshop, you will also be introduced to the work of contemporary poets as well as to criticism on various elements of the craft of poetry. This semester, we will concentrate on form as it informs both shape and subject matter. As such, assignments will focus on forms of poetry, including self-portrait, ode, terza rima, couplets, epistle, elegy, sonnet sequence, sestina and haiku. In addition to submitting original poetry to the workshop and critiquing other participants' work, you will be expected to complete creative assignments and keep a writer's notebook. Assessment will therefore be based on participation, completion of the assignments and notebook, and submission of a final portfolio.

Because enrollment to this course is by instructor approval based on a submission, all students will initially be placed on the waitlist. After the instructor selects the class members, those students will be admitted by the department. After joining the waitlist, all students should contact the instructor regarding the submission requirement.  

 

ENGL 208 A: Representative Brittish Writers

01 MWF 210-300 King

British Writers to 1660

This course traces the evolution of British literature over almost one thousand years (700-1660) and two major periods (the Middle Ages and Renaissance). As we explore salient cultural and literary developments, we will examine the content, form, and historical context of works such as Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, The Book of Margery Kempe, Morte Darthur, The Faerie Queene, The Duchess of Malfi, and Paradise Lost. In order to connect disparate periods and genres, we will attend to the changing conceptions of what constitutes the state and its subject, gender norms and sexuality, and, of course, literature itself. Enrolled students ought to prepare themselves for regular quizzes, two exams, two papers, a group presentation, and enthusiastic participation.

  Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

 

ENGL 208 B: Representative British Writers

.01 MWF 110-200 E. Covington

This course is a survey of British Literature from 1660 to the present. We will read works from many of the influential and significant writers from five literary periods: Restoration/18th Century, the Romantics, the Victorians, the Modernists, and the 20th Century and Beyond. In addition to a sweeping view of British literature during the past three hundred years, we will focus our attention on the role of women and women writers in a male-dominated culture.

 

ENGL 211: Representative American Writers

.01 TR 235-350 Briggs

This course will cover the rise of the novel in the United States from the end of the revolutionary period to the 1850s. We will read the work of authors who dominate American literary history, such as Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, and Herman Melville, but we will also study additional writers who challenge conventional wisdom, and help us to imagine alternative literary histories in the U.S.  In our reading, we will focus on two related questions: how does the novel capture the social and political pressures of a particular historical moment? Where is the line between fiction and history, dreams and reality? The novels we will examine cut across several literary genres, including the Sentimental Novel, the American Gothic, and the Historical Romance, and we will attempt both to understand and to theorize the relationship between literary and historical writing.

 

ENGL 214B: Literature and Intellectual History

Honors Seminar

.01 TR 11-12:15 V. Kutzinski

USAmerican Modernisms

This seminar explores the cultural dimensions of modernist art in the USA, focusing particularly on the intimate and vexed relations modernist literary works have to various cultural others, however those others were defined. We will read fiction, drama, and poetry in relation to select samples of painting and photography from the first half of the twentieth century in order to understand and question the different ways in which writers and visual artists either tackled or evaded pressing issues of cultural difference relative to gender, sexuality, race, and class, as they struggled to articulate a national identity and poetics. Readings include works by Henry James, Willa Cather, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Weldon Johnson, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Toomer, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, and William Carlos Williams. Requirements: Biweekly papers (500-700 words); one longer final essay (minimum 3,000 words).

Dept honors seminar; 3.4 cumulative GPA required.  

 

ENGL 220: Chaucer

.01 MWF 1100-1200 J. Plummer

We will read a selection of The Canterbury Tales, and Troilus and Criseyde, contextualizing them against the backdrop of both learned and popular literary, artistic, and religious practices of the late middle ages. Instruction will include some background lectures, class discussion, library work, and the use of internet resources. Graded work will include a few quizzes, class participation, two exams, and a paper.

  Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

 

ENGL 230: The Eighteenth-Century English Novel

.01 MW 110-225 J. Lamb

The eighteenth century is generally regarded as the period that saw the rise of the novel. Compared with the prose romances of the previous centuries, where knights battled with each other and ladies were alternately wooed and abducted in Arcadian landscapes, the novel was new (novel) because it showed life as it was. `What delights are works of fiction such as exhibit life in its true state, diversified only by accidents that happen in the world,’ wrote the critic and lexicographer Samuel Johnson. So we shall try to do three things. First of all we shall look at some novels which retain the features of old fashioned romance, then at some which thematise the difference between modern fiction and romance, and finally we shall tackle some novels which offer a picture of a believable world. I want to end the course by setting ourselves the task of considering what fiction is doing in the eighteenth century (and whether that is substantially different from what it does now). So we shall be reading the following novels:

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Eliza Haywood, Love in Excess
-------------------, Fantomina
Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews
Daniel Defoe, Roxana
----------------, Moll Flanders
Ann Radcliffe, Mysteries of Udolpho
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Elizabeth Inchbald, A Simple Story
 

There will be a fair lump of reading to be done each week, but you will find these novels for the most part as easy to read as modern ones. Presentations will be done in groups of three and tackle a specific issue important for the class’s appreciation of the background of a given novel: an aspect of literature, culture, politics or history.

  Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

 

ENGL 231: The Nineteenth-Century English Novel

.01 T 935-1225 C. Dever

 

ENGL 232A: Twentieth-Century American Novel

.01 TR 110-225 H. Spillers

Focused on work produced by a select number of U.S writers, poised between the end of the Civil War and the emergence of the "Lost Generation" of World War I, this course seeks to trace the major trend lines of the American novel and its response to modernist persuasions. Beginning with the controversial work of Mark Twain—Huckleberry Finn—we will pursue the twists and turns of the novel as it is negotiated in the writings of Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Jean Toomer, Ernest Hemingway, and F.Scott Fitzgerald.

 

ENGL 236W: World Literature, Classical

.01 TR 2355-350 J. Fesmire

This course is an opportunity to become familiar with some of the most powerful texts of our literary tradition. The texts I have chosen for this class will, I hope, provide an opportunity for us to learn something about how literature has developed and changed from classical antiquity through the Renaissance. We will focus on concepts of heroism and courage, paying particular attention to the hero's reaction to change, instability, adversity, and death. How do these texts portray the task of the hero? How does his quest affect relations between mortals and immortals? Within the models offered by our texts, is it possible for women to be heroic? How do fear and grief become avenues for challenging the social and order, and how do these emotions contribute towards the hero's education? Texts include: Gilgamesh; The Iliad; Medea; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam; Don Quixote.

  Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

 

ENGL 237: World Literature, Modern

.01 MWF 1110-1200 M. Milazzo

Black Radical Thought: Quests for a True Humanity in the Americas and South Africa

            [The problem] of the Black man … has become a problem that is so complex, and has so many implications in it, that you have to study it in its entire world, in the world context or in its international context, to really see it as it actually is. — Malcolm X

            Radical simply means “grasping things at the root.”  — Angela Davis

This course is concerned with what revolutionary leader and writer Steve Biko, who was murdered by South Africa’s white supremacist government at the age of thirty, described as “the quest for a true humanity.” Through the critical study of autobiography, memoir, essay, and history, we will examine some of the vital contributions that Black radical thinkers, as well as collective movements, have made to global human rights, democracy, and liberatory epistemology. Paying particular attention to four distinct national contexts—Brazil, Cuba, South Africa, and the United States—and focusing largely on the period from World War II to the present, we will perform comparative analyses that interrogate the relationship between literature and social justice, and consider the transnational dimensions of racialized injustice and decolonial resistance. While we engage the Black Panthers’ denunciation of the Vietnam War, Subcomandante Marcos’ letter to Mumia Abu-Jamal, or Carlos Moore’s encounter with Malcolm X and friendship with Abdias do Nascimento, we will also reflect upon the powerful alliances and solidarities that colonized people have forged in the quest to bestow upon the world, to use Biko’s words, “a more human face.” In studying works that take us from South African townships to U.S. prisons, we will work towards “grasping things at the root,” to use Angela Davis’ definition of radical, and examine the systemic reproduction of racial power across institutional and national boundaries. As we denaturalize the relationship between race and space, we will ask how and why what appear to be vastly different racial regimes and socio-political contexts produce strikingly similar dominant ideologies and socio-economic outcomes. In the process, we will remain attentive to the complex interplay between literary form, content, and context; examine the rhetorics and politics of literary genre; and reflect upon the importance of writing itself in sustaining both racial domination and antiracist struggles. We will, in other words, interrogate not only what we know, but also how we know.

In addition to the required books listed below we will read short selections (posted on OAK) by Aimé Césaire, Albert Memmi, Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Huey Newton, Pedro Pérez Sarduy, Tupac Shakur, Subcomandante Marcos, Andile Mngxitama, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Thomas Glave, and others. To enrich our analyses of these writings, we will also critically engage music, visual culture, and news media.

Required Books

Mumia Abu-Jamal, Live From Death Row

Steve Biko, I Write What I Like: Selected Writings

Joshua Bloom & Waldo Martin, Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black         Panther Party

Benedita da Silva et al, Benedita da Silva: An Afro-Brazilian Woman’s Story of Politics and Love

Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

Abdias do Nascimento, Brazil, Mixture or Massacre?: Essays in the Genocide of a Black   People

Mark Mathabane, Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid         South Africa

Carlos Moore, Pichón, A Memoir: Race and Revolution in Castro’s Cuba

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement


 

ENGL 242W: Science Fiction                                                                                                             

.01 TR 1:10-2:25 V. Kutzinski   

Science Fiction: African American Speculative Fiction                                                                

Marginalized in literary scholarship, science fiction—now better known as speculative fiction or simply SF—can be characterized as a literary laboratory for examining closely theories and practices of cultural difference. In this laboratory, differences between humans and non-humans, as well as among non-humans, become meditations on the ways in which certain cultural differences in our societies—race, gender, and sexuality foremost among them—have resulted, and continue to result, in socio-economic hierarchies, physical violence, and political strife. In this seminar we focus on speculative fiction by African American writers and explore how the otherworldly scenarios they construct in their novels and shorter fiction take on issues of violence, oppression, and exploitation—issues that are acquiring new urgency in the twenty-first century. Each of these writers creates plots, characters, and settings to imagine the possibilities and limits of living respectfully with so-called others—with very different results. Readings include novels by Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Jewelle Gomez, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, George Schuyler, and others. Written Requirements: weekly 500-word papers; one longer essay (2000 words) at midterm. This is a writing-intensive course.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 244: Critical Theory

.01 MWF 1110-1200 King

Mic Check: Theorizing Revolution, Resistance, and Social Transformation

“Mic Check” refers to a practice in which protesters form a human microphone, a technique that was popularized by the Occupy movement and circumvented legal restrictions on the use of megaphones. It is this concept of voice -- alongside notions of revolution and resistance -- that this course examines in its focused introduction to contemporary critical theory. Examining canonical texts from the fields of structuralism, Marxism, deconstruction, postmodernism, postcolonialism, cultural studies, and gender theory, we will engage with the following questions: How might critical theory and the ways in which we read it constitute a revolution? And how might critical theory simultaneously reveal the limits of that revolution?

Over the course of our semester together, we will grapple with the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Lacan, Edward Said, Laura Mulvey, Julia Kristeva, bell hooks, and Lee Edelman. Though this is not a film course, we will use film as a way of accessing and, perhaps, extending the philosophical ideas we will explore in the discourses of critical theory. Select films will include Fight Club, Trainspotting, The Matrix, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Memento, El Orfanato, Vertigo, and Polanski’s Macbeth. Due to the difficulty of the material, regular attendance and participation in discussion are essential for every member of the class and will significantly impact your grade. In addition, enrolled students ought to prepare themselves for two exams and two papers as well as weekly blog entries.

 

ENGL 252A: Restoration and the Eighteenth Century

.01 TR 935-1050 B. Orr

Money, War and Celebrity: Between 1660 and 1800, Britain became immensely wealthy, globally powerful and obsessed with celebrity.  This course focuses on the way these economic, political and cultural forces shaped (and were resisted by) innovative literary and theatrical forms such as novels, newspapers, ballad operas and sentimental drama.

  Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

 

ENGL 254A: The Romantic Period

.01 TR 400-515 S. Juengel

“Dark Romanticism": The April 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora released immense clouds of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, creating what was called the “year without a summer” in 1816, an extended period of wild weather and daytime gloom throughout Europe and America. This freak occurrence was an ominous reminder of the volatility of nature and the precarity of the human race. Taking this planetary event and its tainted atmosphere as a literal and symbolic point of departure, this course will examine a dark version of romanticism, one defined by the gothic, the sublime, and the catastrophic. The syllabus will cover literature and art from 1750-1830 and will engage many familiar figures of the romantic age (e.g. Austen, Radcliffe, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Goya, Gericault, Blake), but throughout the semester our focus will be on forms of anti-enlightenment mystery and terror.

 

ENGL 258: Poetry Since World War II

.01 T 235-515 R. Hilles

 

ENGL 259: Digital Media

.01 TR 935-1050 J. Clayton

Topic: Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative

Computer games are transforming the entertainment industry, generating an estimated $64 billion in revenue in 2012, double what Hollywood makes. For more than thirty years, online communities have been producing new forms of psychological, social, and cultural experience. Early text-based adventure games such as Zork have become the multimedia environments of online games like World of Warcraft, which combine the written word with graphics, music, skills, professions, and action.  Are online games generating new interactive modes of narrative? How do multimedia environments transform the age-old patterns of quest romances that structure much game play?

This course will explore what happens to stories, paintings, and films when they become the basis of massively multiplayer online games.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy—the novels, films, and video game—are our central examples of how “remediation” transforms familiar stories as they move across media.

Readings will range from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring to poetry by Spenser, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, and others, and include critical theory such as Bolter and Grusin’s Remediation: Understanding New Media, Jesper Juul’s Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, and McKenzie Wark’s Gamer Theory. Students will do reports on selected console games—chosen from among candidates such as Assassin’s Creed, BioShock Infinite, Skyrim, Star Wars: The Old Repubic, Final Fantasy, or others of their choice—and complete a collaborative final project in game design.

As part of our exploration of online experience, students will participate in some of the activities in an online class taught in a Vanderbilt MOOC with the same title, which begins on September 9 (https://www.coursera.org/course/onlinegames). The MOOC videos will not substitute for classroom meetings, but instead will sometimes serve as preparation for seminar meetings in lieu of other homework.

 

ENGL 260: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers

.01 TR 1100-1215 H. Spillers

 

This course is devoted to the study of select writings by women in the social and political context of Nineteenth-Century, industrial America. We will focus on two literary genres in the course—the poem and the novel—as we attempt to examine the central influences and impulses at work in this body of writings by Emily Dickinson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. 

 

 

ENGL 262: Literature and Law

.01 M 310-600 M. Schoenfield

 "Literature in the Time of Rights"

Law and legal thought structures civil society and penetrates into the very conceptualization of personhood and privacy, of our continually developing notion of the individual.  Yet the individual was also theorized by literature, as novels and poems legitimated theories of the self and of social norms.  In this course, we will explore the continual interchange between law and literature, seeking to understand not only how literature represents law, and how law depends upon literary forms of representation, but how the two discourses interact and intersect.  We will consider the rise of rights talk as it filters into literature.   Looking at Walter Scott’s Bride of Lammermoor and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we will explore concepts of property and contract.  Using William Godwin’s Caleb Williams, we will consider notions of criminality and guilt, revenge and justice.  Reading Albert Camus’s The Stranger  will lead us to consider the social rituals and transformations of the trial.  In conjunction with these and other literary works, we will read cases and legal theory, and the course will culminate in final projects on topics, both contemporary and historical, reflecting student interests.

Please note the change in both the instructor and the description.  Professor Dayan will teach this course in Fall, 2014.


 

ENGL 263 African American Literature

.01 TR 1100-1210 H. Baker

Introduction to Afro-American Literature, 1789 to the Present: A Survey

This course is designed and will be taught as an enjoyable and wide-ranging introduction to the world and works of Afro-American Literature. It commences with the fascinating narrative of an eighteenth-century African kidnapped from his village and cast into the worlds of Atlantic shipping, New World slavery, and Evangelical Religion. Its endpoint is the stunning and varied work of writers such as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Nikky Finney, and Percival Everett. Along our chronological way, we shall read and discuss Afro-American folklore and nineteenth-century men’s and women’s slave narratives. We shall spend significant time on the glorious Harlem Renaissance of the roaring 1920s when, as Langston Hughes stated it: “Harlem was in vogue.” Social protest works like Richard Wright’s astonishing novel Native Son and James Baldwin’s famous attack on protest novels titled “Everybody’s Protest Novel” will provide energetic moments of discussion. The 1960s and 1970s Black Arts and Black Nationalist Movements of revolution in the streets and rebellion on the page will come alive for us in the works of authors such as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haiki Madhubuti, and Malcolm X. Readings will be quite reasonable in size and scope, and there will be many in-class moments that feature a perfect combination of lecture by the professor and animated discussion by students. Written assignments will also be reasonable. The connection between Vanderbilt, Nashville, and our class will be an enjoyable project as we discover connections between the Afro-American creativity of our own university and city and the written works we will be studying.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 266: Nineteenth-Century American Literature

.01 MWF 110-200 M. Kreyling

This course is, frankly, composed of canonical authors and works that have been part of American literature curricula for generations. Millions of people know about Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but the book itself was not recognized as part of the national literary canon until the second half of the 20th century. When Melville died in 1891 Moby-Dick was remembered in obituaries as a weird story about a whale; it wasn’t until several decades later that scholarly readers started to explore the levels of allegory that have all but dissolved the whaleness of the whale. What is the canon good for in this century? That’s one of the topics what this class is about.

There are nine titles here, of varying lengths and density. What can I say? Our predecessors in the 19th century thought in long (to us), dense (to us) weavings of printed words. Another question in this course is how a 21st capacity for attention fits (or doesn’t) a 19th century sense of time.

If you elect this course, prepare yourself for a lot of reading – probably an average of a couple of hundred pages per week. Be prepared as well to write about each of the titles once during our discussion of them. Grades will be based primarily on the quality of these writings, with added consideration for meaningful class participation. Whether or not there will be a “final” set-piece essay is still up for grabs. I’ll let you know particulars on the first day of class.

Readings:

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845 edition)

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

Francis Parkman, The Oregon Trail

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)

Henry James, The Ambassadors (1903)

Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895)

 


 

 

ENGL 268A: America on Film: Art and Ideology

.01 MW 235-350 S. Girgus

America on Film: The course studies American culture and character on film. It will consider film as a modern art form, a system of cultural production, and an expression of the diversity of the American experience. Beginning with a discussion of the structure and composition of film as an art form, the course also will consider the relationship of film to American studies, ethical philosophy, and culture. Thus, it will relate visual images and cinetext to cultural and philosophical contexts. We will examine how films treat basic American themes such as the individual and community; frontier and urban violence; race, ethnicity, and minorities; the representation and role of women; visual desire and sexual exploitation; the family and authority. We will study classic Hollywood directors, including Frank Capra, John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Elia Kazan as well as current filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, and Clint Eastwood.

Students will be required to view one film/week outside of class either Tuesdays 4:00-6:00 PM, Wednesdays 6:00-8:30 PM, or Sunday 8:30-11:00 PM.

 

ENGL 272: Movements in Literature - Urban Fiction & Film

.01 MWF 110-200 P. Young

 

Since the mid-nineteenth century, the city has loomed large as a landscape of wonder and anxiety where crowds, new technologies, new architectures, mass culture, poverty, affluence, and violence assault the senses in ways previously unimaginable. The industrial city helped usher in an era that cultural historians call modernity.  Our key writers (ranging from Dickens and Dostoevsky to Woolf and Pynchon) and filmmakers (the Lumiere brothers, Fritz Lang, Ridley Scott) address the city as both a cause of the transformations that characterize modernity and the ultimate expression of these transformations. While written fictions represented the city through pre-industrial literary models, the cinema was itself a product of industrial technology and provided a means of representation that mimicked the speed and confusion of cities. Together these media provide a more complete view of the meanings of the modern city than either medium could on its own.

The central themes of the course include:

the impact of industry on urbanization and social relations;

technology as a utopian/dystopian force;

social crises centered on difference—gender, class, ethnicity;

the individual vs. “the masses”;

urban modes of knowledge and discovery: crime detection, chance encounters, city travel as exploration and negotiation, etc.;

how writers and filmmakers adopt radical new styles—modernisms—to represent the city.

 

ENGL 272: Movements in Literature

.02 TR 400-515 K. Schwarz

Renaissance Novels: Sex, Death, and the Pleasures of Form: 

“All that in this fantastical treatise I can promise is some reasonable conveyance
of history and variety of mirth.”  -The Unfortunate Traveller (1594)

Prose fiction was a thriving industry in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Works
we now recognize as early novels were often wildly popular and sometimes strongly
controversial. These texts are startlingly frank about politics, violence, and sex; for
example, Lady Mary Wroth had to withdraw The Urania from public circulation because
it clearly described scandals at court. Innovations we think of as modern—metaphors
that come to life, characters who know they are in books, magical realism, fragmented
plots, unreliable narrators, parody, and pastiche—characterize these Renaissance fictions.
Some remain influential: Don Quixote is still widely read, and has inspired numerous
movies, a musical, and a ballet; Pandosto and Rosalind form the bases for two
Shakespearean plays; The Unfortunate Traveller offers an early example of fully
developed first-person narration. Others are less familiar to most modern readers, but
collectively these fictions tell us a great deal about the development of the novel as a
literary form.


Authors: Margaret Cavendish, Miguel de Cervantes, Robert Greene, Thomas Lodge,
Thomas Nashe, Sir Philip Sidney, and Lady Mary Wroth.


Requirements: participation in class discussions; a group presentation; a short paper
related to the presentation; and a final paper.


Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

Dept honors seminar; 3.4 cumulative GPA required.


 

ENGL 274 Major Figures in Literature-The Enlightenment

.01 MW 1100-1225 H. Garcia

William Blake and Enlightenment Media

William Blake (1757-1827) has been variously described as a visionary, mystic, rebel, iconoclast, and even, as the famous nineteenth-century literary critic Leigh Hunt did, “an unfortunate lunatic.” This multi-media artist is unique in the way he synthesizes verbal and visual art forms; his “illuminated” books, a composite genre he created, raise key questions about the way that the most pressing issues of Blake’s lifetime were recreated, communicated, and imagined in art. This honors seminar serves two purposes: to study Blake’s poetry and prose as he produced it, complete with illustrations (including those found in the website The William Blake Archive), and to historicize Blake’s works and life. We will focus on his turbulent era, between 1780 and 1830, a period that witnessed the upheavals of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, radical reform movements, the expansion of Britain’s overseas empire, and the rise of prophets and mystics as “insane” as Blake himself. Discussions about his printmaking process, the juxtaposition of image and word, and his bizarre mythical philosophies will help us explore the intersections among literature, visual art, print technologies, and politics.

This advanced honors seminar is designed to give you a firm training in interdisciplinary research methods and in effectively using multi-media and blogs to communicate online with a “real” public audience. Toward that end, you are expected to think, write, create, and imagine as wildly as Blake did. Attendance and participation, in and out of class, are not just mandatory but essential to your success.

Dept honors seminar; 3.4 cumulative GPA required.

 

ENGL 274: Major Figures in Literature - Fig:Shakespearean Sexualities

.02 TR 110-225 L. Enterline

When it comes to the world of sex, love, and desire, Shakespeare’s imagination was exuberant. The myriad forms of emotion, bodily engagement, aim, and object in his depictions of human sexuality range widely over the course of his career and often strain against both social contracts and normative definitions of gendered behavior.   This course introduces students to all of Shakespeare’s genres – lyric and narrative poetry as well as comedy and tragedy – and will pay particular attention to the intersection between sexuality and the most important poetic and rhetorical forms Shakespeare associates with it. Among the texts we will read closely: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Hamlet, The Rape of Lucrece, Venus and Adonis, “The Phoenix and the Turtle,” and a range of sonnets. The readings are organized around two, interrelated issues: Shakespeare’s education in classical rhetoric and his distinctive use of generic, rhetorical, and linguistic conventions; and the many sexual scenes through which he studies the effects of language choices on the characters who make them. Because both his education and his poetic practice drew heavily on ancient and continental precursors – here the humanist practice of grounding literary invention in imitation is crucial – the seminar will read each Shakespearean text alongside the two poems about love that remained central to his career-long exploration of sexuality and poetry: Ovid’s polymorphous and often perverse poem, The Metamorphoses; and the melancholic voice of unrequited desire in Petrarch’s “scattered rhymes.”

  Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major

 

ENGL 274: Major Figures in Literature - Nabokov, DH Lawrence, "Porn"

.03 TR 400-515 B.Barsky

“Wladimir Nabokov and D. H. Lawrence: Authors, Critics, Pornographers”

Two of this century’s seminal authors, rendered famous by their literary masterpieces, and infamous for their audacious betrayal of literary norms. We will explore the corpuses of Lawrence and Nabokov in search of their respective literary styles, and we will at the same time dive into the judicial proceedings for which they came to be known, and remembered, as literary outlaws and pornographers. A study in literature, law and morality, this course will also explore the complex lives of these two remarkable figures, whose artistic work, and literary criticism, have stood the tests and trials of time. 

 

ENGL 279: Ethnic American Literature

.01 MWF 1010-1100 H. Shin
 
Specters of Memory, History, and Trauma: Literary Hauntings in Ethnic American Literature : American culture stands at the intersection of diverse cultural traditions and ethnicities. The “crossings” that occur here are often represented in the form of “hauntings”; lingering, transgressive presences that demand to be heard, seen and acknowledged. Whether it be a deep-seated psychological and physical trauma handed down from one generation to the next, shameful legacies that refuse to be buried, or ghostly figures who return from the dead and try to reclaim their place among the living, the hauntings we encounter in their literary representations can serve as frameworks for the realities they reflect, and the thoughts they inspire. In this class, we will unpack the secret agendas of the forces that haunt the American unconscious, including but not limited to, racial and cultural conflicts, discrimination, immigration, nationalism, assimilation and its discontents. Class materials will comprise novels, graphic narratives and films as primary sources, paired with critical and theoretical reflections on the issues they raise. Authors (directors) of the works we will explore include William Faulkner, Junot Díaz, Toni Morrison, Chang-rae Lee, George Romero, Lynda Barry, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

 

Required Texts :

Lan Samantha Chang, Hunger

Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life

Toni Morrison, Beloved

William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 

Leslie Silko, Ceremony

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest

(Critical/theoretical readings and excerpts from Lynda Barry’s graphic narrative One! Hundred! Demons! will be available on OAK. There will be screenings for the two films, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer, but students are also welcome to view the films individually.)

Class Objectives :

-Examine the interactive relationship between cultural/ethnic hauntings and the haunted, e.g. social justice and ethical integrity, the formation and illusions of racial identity, trauma and healing, nation-building and world-making, diversity and hybridity, etc.

-Understand how the discursive nexus of theories or critical reflections on race and ethnicity may contribute to, contradict, and shape our own understanding of American culture

-Enhance student ability to understand the role of formal structure and narrative strategies in different media

-Develop critical skills to situate and understand the texts not only within the socio- historical rubrics they arise from, but also in connection to the contemporary world and our own lives.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 288: Special Topics in English and American Literature - SpTp:Trans Encounters Islam

.01 MW 110-225 Garcia

Transnational Encounters with Islam in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Literature

Between 1700 and 1830, Britain witnessed a growing fascination with the beliefs, practices, and customs of the Muslim world in North Africa, Turkey, and South Asia. As a way of examining the porous borders of British nationhood, this course focuses on how representations of Islam were intimately woven into the fabric of English cultural and political life in remarkable ways, calling into question entrenched stereotypes that continuously cast Islam as a “backward” religion. The writings of English travelers such as Joseph Pitt (the first Englishman to make the pilgrimage to Mecca), Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (an English Ambassador’s wife who visited the women of the Turkish harem), Lord Byron (a self-exiled trouble-maker who lived among Albanian Muslim insurgents), and Thomas De Quincy (an opium addict who traveled to Asia in his imagination only to have dreadful Malays repay his visits) challenge emerging colonialist and racial stereotypes that sought to bolster British imperial superiority over a degenerate Orient. This course also considers the memoirs of inquisitive Muslim travelers visiting or living in England—such as Mirza I‘tisam al-Din, the emissary of the Mughal Empire, and Sake Dean Mahomet, an Indian aromatherapist who managed his own bathhouse in Brighton. Their unique cross-cultural experiences were committed to print, offering critical insights about the role of the English “Other” in nascent imperial Britain. Our studies will focus on primary texts, mainly travel accounts, although they occasionally will be complemented with secondary criticism on race, religion, orientalism, and colonialism.

This course is designed to foster class discussion, develop original ideas, and improve your writing. To achieve these goals, students will learn to use multi-media and communicate with each other through a private course blogs, in addition to writing and revising a term paper. You are expected to think, write, create, and imagine wildly. Attendance and participation, in and out of class, are not just mandatory but essential to your success.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 289A: Independent Study

 

ENGL 289B: Independent Study

 

ENGL 290A: Honors Colloquium

.01 W 1230-300 M. Wollaeger

This colloquium, reserved for students who have applied and been admitted to the English Honors Program, is designed to prepare you to write an honors thesis/project in the spring semester. To that end, we’ll explore critical, creative, and theoretical questions of use to both critic-scholars and creative writers. Our course of study will be tailored to some degree to your interests and will involve both readings in literary theory and textual analysis and more explicitly writerly readings . At the same time, you will be developing, collaboratively and individually, the projects that will form the basis for next semester’s work, the Honors Thesis. You will work in small groups and develop not only your own expertise for your project, but your group members’ expertise for reading and responding to it. In the second part of the semester, you will be asked to assign both some primary and secondary reading to members of your group and lead discussions on that material. Course requirements include a short paper, take-home midterm, and a final essay conceived of as a first step toward the spring thesis.

Dept honors seminar; 3.4 cumulative GPA required.

 

 

Fall 2013 dual-listed courses that may be counted toward the major:

 

ASIA 251 The Thrid World and Literature B. Tran TR 935-1050

The history of cultural and political concepts of the Third World from 1955 to the present. Contemporary literary and cultural debates regarding models of transnationalism and processes of globalization. National literatures and cultures foundational to the Third World model. The relationship between the genre of the novel and the formation of national communities.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

 

JS 248W Jewish Storytelling A. Schachter TR 1100-1215

This course will examine the evolution of the modern Jewish short story, from the folksy style of Sholem Aleichem to postmodern Israeli fiction. Our readings and discussions will focus on the changing, but ever-present figure of the Jewish storyteller. We will ask how the storyteller transforms from a religious figure sharing morality tales to a modern, secular narrator. We will consider what makes a story ³Jewish² and if the definition of Jewishness changes over time and place. We will also discuss the form of the short story and the short story collection. The course will be writing intensive, focusing on skills such as persuasive argumentation, close literary analysis, and writing style.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

 

WGS 252 Sex, Scandals, and Literature R. Dicker

This course explores women’s and men’s disorderly sexual conduct as it is represented in literature. We will discuss how characters’ discoveries of their sexual selves often conflict with the sexual stereotypes of their culture.  Possible topics include seduction and sexual initiation, sexual abuse and trauma, and prostitution.  Possible texts include Susannah Rowson’s Charlotte Temple, Louisa May Alcott’s Behind a Mask, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.