Skip to main content

Fall 2016 Course Descriptions

Dear Students,

Please verify course selections in YES to see the complete selection of course dates and times. You will need to meet with your 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 may register. E-mail 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.

Admittance to Honors sections and 3000-level writing workshops are subject to instructor approval. Please refer to the individual course listings for instructions.

The descriptions that appear below for Fall 2016 are grouped chronologically by course number. If you do not find your section number, it likely means that the instructor has not yet provided a course description. The webmaster will continue to make every effort to update this page, so check back often. 


please click here for a list of courses that satisfy the (History, Diverse Perspectives, Approach, Program II Creative Writing) requirements for English Majors and Minors. 

For more detailed information about the English Department, please click here for pages from the 2015-2016 Vanderbilt College of Arts & Science / English Catalog.

Fall 2016 Course Descriptions
(please note: subject to change)

ENGL 1100 - Composition                                                                                            
For students who need to improve their writing. Emphasis on writing skills, with some analysis of modern nonfiction writing. [3](No AXLE credit)
1100.01 - Composition
Joseph Jordan 
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
Sophists are those who are skilled language users, adept at finding a variety of ways to convince their audience of their perspective. Within your undergraduate career at Vanderbilt you will often be asked to be persuasive in your writing and speech. In addition, within the current political climate of the U.S.A., self-evident don't seem to be enough - consider, for example, the many instances of police violence and false testimonies against vulnerable, innocent people. Therefore, it becomes important that we learn to persuade others of our truth and to critically assess the truths that others offer us. To this end, we will be addressing several questions: how do I move from sentence to paragraph, and from paragraph to argumentative essay? What are the components of a good thesis? What does it take to write a persuasive personal statement? To ensure that we do not lose right of the ethical - the difference between wrong and right - we will be reading Toni Morrison's Nobel lecture on language as well as some case studies by academics who push the boundaries between truth and lies. 
Primary texts may include: Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture in Literature, 1993; Ron T. Robin, Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Cases That Shook the Academy; XJ Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Marcia F. Muth, The Bedford Guide for College Writers with Reader, Research Manual, and Handbook.

1100.02 - Composition: The Fine Art of Complaining
Amanda Lehr
MWF 12:10 - 1:00 

Complaining gets a bad rap. While it’s often associated with whining and pettiness, complaining means essentially to state a grievance or express dissatisfaction with the status quo. Most meaningful change in the world begins with a complaint. In this class, we will not only consider the different purposes of complaining, but learn the writing skills needed to communicate your opinions in a compelling, convincing manner. Together, we’ll read and analyze texts from a number of persuasive genres – including satire, reviews, politics, editorials, and journalistic pieces – to identify strategies that effective writers use to sway their audiences. The fundamental goal of the course will not only be to become more critical readers of others’ words, but to be able to adapt these strategies to express your own ideas in original writing projects. This learning experience will allow you to prepare yourself for college-level writing and to explore the surprisingly productive potential of the complaint – a mode that does not simply portray the glass as half empty, but can provide the spark that mobilizes all of us to try to fill it up again. 
Primary texts may include: Catiline Orations, 1.1, Cicero; “The Case for Reparations", Ta-Nehesi Coates; “A Meat Processing Professional Reviews…” series on The Toast, Helen Craig; “Letting Go," Atul Gawande; “Against ‘Against X’," Ivan Kreilkamp; Audre Lorde; “The End of the College Essay: An Essay” and “I Tried to Kill the College Essay," Rebecca Schuman; “A Modest Proposal," Jonathan Swift; “As Not Seen on TV," Pete Wells; selected segments from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; selected Amazon product reviews; The Bedford Handbook, Diana Hacker. 

1100.03 - Composition: "Rockin' in the Free World": Progressive Bias in U.S. Politics and Culture
Kirsten Mendoza
MWF 1:10 - 2:00 
This course is designed to help students improve their skills in critical and responsible writing. Students will develop flexible strategies for constructing strong, persuasive, and compelling prose. The rigor of each class will be driven by an ethos of responsibility that we owe to our readers, our sources, our critics and audiences, and to ourselves as writers. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the ways in which our communities, cultures, participation in and exposure to prior conversations have influenced our (mis)understandings and (dis)connections with others. Through reading and discussing a broad rage of texts - including non-fiction works by Saba Mahmood, documentaries, critical essays, poetry, Radiolab podcasts, sitcoms such as "Better off Ted", and interviews conducted by Fox News - we will wrestle with our various perceptions of freedom and progress. How have we been conditioned to accept uncritically social inequality masquerading as justice, diversity, and the epitome of "first-world" liberation? Together we will analyze how the various platforms of each text communicate and express ideas to audiences. We will devote a considerable amount of class time to writing workshops and peer reviews. By the end of the semester, students should feel empowered by their abilities as responsible college writers.


1100.04 - Composition: Decision 2016 / Persuasion 2016 / Revision 2016
James Phelan
MWF 2:10 - 3:00 

This class is all about persuasion. We will analyze how writers persuade readers, looking closely at arguments made in a wide range of modes and genres, and we will hone our persuasive writing skills by building different kinds of arguments, taking them apart, and building them back stronger, again and again. The purpose of this class is to help you become attunes to the ways rhetoric shapes how we live and what we believe and better able to write things that will make other people agree with you, however you want to use that power for good or evil. It’s a class that should, if nothing else, help you do better in lots of other classes. The class will be conducted during the last stretch and immediate aftermath of this year’s presidential and congressional elections, so it only makes sense for us to think about persuasion in that context. Our reading and discussions won’t be limited to contemporary politics, but the election’s progress will guide what we read and talk about. We will read essays and stories, watch political speeches and stand-up comedy, look at ads and listen to records. We will pay careful attention to the debates and the nominees’ final pitches to the electorate. And, more than anything else, we will write and write and write. When we’re done writing, we will revise. 
The final selection of primary text sources will depend on how the democratic process plays out over the next several months, but I will generally aim for a combination of highly topical readings and old classics – all fairly brief, to prioritize close reading. So, for example: Sady Doyle’s essay on Hillary Clinton’s “likability” but also Gloria Steinem’s “If Men Could Menstruate," selections from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration," but also Ursula Le Guin’s story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," Jeet Heer’s Twitter essays about Donald Trump but also A.J. Liebling’s New Yorker article on Huey and Earl Long. Whatever happens between now and then, I’m sure “Politics and the English Language” will find a place. For a secondary text, I plan to use They Say, I Say, along with some handouts I’ve worked up teaching 1210. 

1100.05 - Composition: Migration and Immigration: Moving in the 21st Century 
Wietske Smeele
MWF 3:10 - 4:00 
English 1100 is a course on writing for those who want to improve their academic writing. By practicing weekly writing, this course will give you the tools to face the challenges of writing at the university level. Using the topic of migration and immigration in the 21st century as a guide, we will examine how an array of media - from news articles, to blogs, to illustrations, music videos, and documentaries - use argumentation techniques in different ways. How are arguments about migration and immigration supported by visual media as opposed to written commentaries? What kinds of rhetorical and argumentative techniques can we harness to respond to anti-immigration rhetoric? Written assignments will ask you to develop a variety of argumentative techniques, from the personal essay and opinion piece, to academic and analytical arguments. Much of our class time will be devoted to discussing techniques of writing, developing essays through project proposals and outlines, and peer-reviewing each other's writing, but we will also spend some class time discussing short required readings. The central goal of the semester, however, will be to move our writing beyond summary and observation and towards interpretation and critique. 
Primary texts may include: selected stories from Growing up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be American, ed. Maria Mazziotti Gillian and Jennifer Gillian (1999); A Monk Swimming: A Memoir, Malachy McCourt (1998); Humans of New York photography series on Syrian Refugees (2015); MIA's music video for "Borders" (2015); and USCIS language on Green Card and Citizenship eligibility and requirements (2016). Secondary texts may include: selected news articles on the European immigration crisis (2014-2016); selected opinion pieces on illegal immigration into the United States (2001-2016); Comaroff, Jean, "Alien-Nation: Zombies, Immigrants, and Millennia Capitalism," The South Atlantic Quarterly (2002); Hart, Christopher, "Argumentation Meets Adapted Cognition: Manipulation in Media Discourse on Immigration," Journal of Pragmatics (2013); Oliviero, Katie E., "The Immigration State of Emergency: Racializing and Gendering National Vulnerability in Twenty-First Century Citizenship and Deportation Regimes," Feminist Formations (2013).

ENGL 1111 - First-Year Writing Seminar                                                                    
Independent learning and inquiry in an environment in which students can express knowledge and defend opinions through intensive class discussion, oral presentations, and written expression. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (AXLE credit category varies by section)
1111.01 - First-Year Writing Seminar:  Women's Autobiographical Writing
Kate Daniels 
MW 8:10 - 9:25 
In this course, we will explore the construction of female identity as it is represented in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by and about women. These texts show girls and women sometimes unconsciously accepting, but at other times questioning or even resisting, conventional expectations of them as daughters, lovers, wives, or mothers. In realistic novels, stories, and poems, we see them absorbing the images of women as depicted in popular culture, including romance, fairy tales, and myth. In creative nonfiction, we see women authors using the materials of their lives to explore larger issues of gender roles and the expectations that emerge from tradition and conventional social practices. Readings will focus on twentieth century and contemporary works. This seminar will combine academic and creative writing, and will explore the topic from both perspectives.

1111.22 - First-Year Writing Seminar:  More Than Mr. Darcy: The Life and Works of Jane Austen
Andrea Hearn
TR 9:35 - 10:50 
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman of good feeling must be in love with Mr. Darcy. Like all such truths in Austen's fiction, however, this one could stand some finessing - there's more to Jane Austen than Pride and Prejudice. (There's also more to Pride and Prejudice than Mr. Darcy). Jane Austen the woman and Jane Austen the novelist offers students an excellent personal and academic model: so much of her fiction, indeed the course of her own life, turns on the acquisition of self-knowledge, sound judgement, and independent thought - qualities essential to living a good life as well as writing a good essay. 
Although the study of Jane Austen and her fiction could happily engage a lifetime, we will make a good start by reading at least three to six of the main novels, dipping into the novelists entertaining letters, and exploring the world of the woman and her work. We will likely read the two novels that bookend Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice (Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park); we may also read Austen's final novel, Persuasion. We will study these works as both literary texts and examples of successful composition, gaining an understanding of their historical, cultural, and biographical contexts. We will write three formal academic essays. with one assignment having a research component.
One final note: one need not love Austen's work or even know it to enroll in and enjoy this course. Also one need not be a girl.

1111.25 - First-Year Writing Seminar: From Frost to Dove: Storytelling in American Verse
John Bradley
MWF 1:10 - 2:00 
There is a great tradition of storytelling verse in American poetry that bridges the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Modernism had a profound effect on this tradition in the twentieth century, as it did on all art forms, but narrative poetry continued to be vital for some important American poets. Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, and later, Robert Penn Warren, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Rita Dove all made innovative use of narrative in their poetry. Various elements of prose fiction, such as plot, character development, setting, and narration are apparent in their works, along with form, rhythm, and imagery. The central events of modern American history are also reflected in their poems, including the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, migrations west and north, and the Civil Rights Movement. Reading their poems allows us to become familiar with some great stories in poetic form, while also watching the development of American society and personal identity. Texts include: 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

1111.31 - First-Year Writing Seminar:  Existential Fictions
Mark Schoenfield 
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
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 will enter 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 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.

1111.34 - First-Year Writing Seminar:  In Search of Gandhi
Leah Marcus 
MWF 2:10 - 3:00 

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 (first published in 1957). One of Gandhi’s central projects was the attenuation of the Hindu caste system, particularly improvement in the lives of Untouchables. We will read Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable (1935), which introduces Gandhi as a would-be savior of the novel’s hero. Another key element of Gandhi’s political role was his use of non-violence to bring about India’s independence from Great Britain, which receives an interestingly equivocal critique in R.K. Narayan’s short, brilliant novel Waiting for the Mahatma (1955). One of the roles for which Gandhi was most criticized in his own time was his acceptance of the fateful 1947 Partition of India into modern India and Pakistan, which caused rioting and slaughter on both sides of the new border and brought about the deaths of millions of South Asians. This episode came at the very end of Gandhi’s life and is not treated except embryonically in his autobiography, but it overshadowed Gandhi’s reputation in South Asia for decades to come. We will consider the Partition of India as portrayed in a novel by the Pakistani Parsi novelist Bapsi Sidhwa, Cracking India (1991) and a film version of the novel by Deepa Mehta titled 1947 or Earth (1998). Throughout the seminar we will be making complex connections among literature, film, and their South Asian cultural contexts. 

1111.36 - First-Year Writing Seminar:  Foundational Stories of the Western Tradition 
Roy Gottfried
MWF 8:10 - 9:00

This course examines a variety of narratives that have formed the basis of Western literature and culture. Readings include The Odyssey, The Old Testament, Acts of Apostles, Greek tragedy, Aesop, Ovid, Medieval Arthurian romances, and Grimm’s fairy tales. 

1111.38 - First-Year Writing Seminar:  Representations of War
Vereen Bell
TR 1:10 - 2:25 

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 principal 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 1210W - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques                                               
Close study of short stories and novels and written explication of these forms. [3](HCA)
1210W.01 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques:  Monsters in Fiction
Justin Quarry
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 

In this course, we will explore portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fictions ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction used to illuminate them and in turn the societal anxieties and desires in the midst of which they appear.  Over our months together, we will attempt to define, and redefine, what, or who, exactly, a “monster” is and what makes such a creature simultaneously horrifying and fascinating, and we will examine novels, graphic novels, and short stories in order to determine the terms by which so-called monsters are understood and described, and what beyond the norm these creatures represent, both literally and metaphorically, in each encounter.
Moreover, the aim of this course is to teach you to think critically about literature, and so we also will devote a significant amount of time to focusing on the writing process by way of close reading, discussion, and writing assignments.  Throughout the semester, you will practice analyzing and critiquing our selected literary works in three essays as well as several reading responses and in-class writing assignments, each intended to help you more clearly and more persuasively present your arguments by basing them on textual evidence.

1210W.02 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques:  Monsters in Fiction
Justin Quarry
MWF 11:10 - 12:00
In this course, we will explore portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fictions ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction used to illuminate them and in turn the societal anxieties and desires in the midst of which they appear.  Over our months together, we will attempt to define, and redefine, what, or who, exactly, a “monster” is and what makes such a creature simultaneously horrifying and fascinating, and we will examine novels, graphic novels, and short stories in order to determine the terms by which so-called monsters are understood and described, and what beyond the norm these creatures represent, both literally and metaphorically, in each encounter.

Moreover, the aim of this course is to teach you to think critically about literature, and so we also will devote a significant amount of time to focusing on the writing process by way of close reading, discussion, and writing assignments.  Throughout the semester, you will practice analyzing and critiquing our selected literary works in three essays as well as several reading responses and in-class writing assignments, each intended to help you more clearly and more persuasively present your arguments by basing them on textual evidence.

1210W.03 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques:  Art for Arts Sake?: The Uses of Literature
Stephanie Straub
MWF 8:10 - 9:00 

Why do we tell stories? Authors, philosophers, and lay readers have all variously mounted claims for literature’s lack of utility – we’ve all heard arguments that art should simply be beautiful, or that novels should only tell a good story. In this class, however, we will consider the ways individuals and societies have put narratives to work. How do we use stories to make sense of our own lives, to form connections with others and to construct appealing images of ourselves? Through our analyses of novels and personal narratives and speeches, we will consider the various functions narratives can perform, in the hope of determining whether art is ever created simply for its own sake. 
This course is designed to encourage students to think about literary texts, not as self-enclosed worlds, but as forms of discourse that circulate in our own world and which have tangible effects on the lives of real people, both at the individual and societal levels. By placing an emphasis on the ways in which language can be used and manipulated, I hope to encourage my students to think more meaningfully and critically about their own writing. Finally, the course will encourage students to consider the effects literature may have on their own lives by asking them to confront the ways in which literature effects our perceptions and others. We will primarily focus on close readings of literary texts in which individuals will also be asked to consider the ways in which they themselves may have used storytelling to teach others lessons or to alter the ways others see them. 
Primary texts may include: Allison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006); Cervantes, Selections from Don Quixote (1605); John Hodgman, “Jar Jar Head” (originally broadcast on The American Life) (2003); Nick Hornby, High Fidelity (1995); Toni Morrison, Jazz (1992); Barack Obama, Election Night Speech (2008); David Sedaris, “Go Carolina!” (2000); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818); and Oscar Wilde, Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). Secondary texts may include: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile (paired with Frankenstein); Michel de Certeau, “Walking in the City” (paired with Jazz); and Cathy Caruth, “Trauma, Narrative, and History” (paired with “Jar Jar Head”).

1210W.04 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Mind Reading: Narrative, Memory and Materiality
Lauren Mitchell
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
Stories are often told through memory, causing history to interject the present and, sometimes, the future. This course will focus on the memory's impact on narrative through themes of nostalgia, anxiety, confusion, and meaning-creation. We will emphasize questions about perspective, authenticity, and personal archaeology, and we will highlight close-reading skills by routing our conversations about text through a variety of narrative structures.
While our focus will primarily be on prose fiction, we will push the boundaries of the genre by putting our texts into a conversation with some of the current discoveries happening in neuroscience that focus on memory and brain plasticity. We will consider the questions: How can models of thought most commonly found in the humanities work within a medical or scientific context? How can we read stories with what scholars call "narrative humility," a method of bearing witness to a story that has widely been applied to the field of medicine?
As the primary goal of this course will emphasize skills in critical writing, students will engage with literature to develop clear arguments and to ground them with textual evidence. Students are (very) welcome to incorporate scientific studies into class discussions and their written work.


1210W.05 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: The Monstrous, The Magical, The Mythic: Supernatural Fiction from Poe to Naylor
Alexandra Oxner 
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 

From recent magical films like The Illusionist through classic novels of mysticism such as Wide Sargasso Sea and all the way back to traditional gothic ghost-stories, elements of "the supernatural" have provided authors with unique cultural spaces that operate both within and outside of reality. This unreal space offers readers new ways to understand ourselves and gives writers tools for imagining new stories and histories. We will begin with the nineteenth century, reading texts by authors such as Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe, in order to familiarize ourselves with the gothic tradition. We will then transition to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in order to question how modern and contemporary literature complicates and subverts the conventions of supernatural genres such as the "ghost-story," spiritualist or mystic narratives, zombie tales, vampire encounters, and more. We will use supernatural fiction to explore larger scholarly conversations, enhance our academic writing and argumentation styles, and develop close-reading skills. We will hone our analytical thinking skills by engaging in critical discussions such as: what makes a good ghost story, and what is a ghost's story? How do male authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, write about the "unreal" differently than female writers, such as Gloria Naylor? How does the "supernatural" complicate governing social structures such as religion and politics? What are the relationships among race, gender, and the supernatural? What role does "real" history play in stories told through the "unreal" or supernatural?

1210W.06 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Get Real 
Jesse Montgomery 
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
What is the relationship between art and reality? Can literature, film and photography reproduce reality? Is art a mirror held up to nature, as Shakespeare had it, or a hammer with which to shape it (this according to Brecht)? In order to explore this question, this course will examine art's claim to reality through careful analysis of novels, short fiction, and film. We will begin with a study of literary realism -- an artistic movement that sought to describe things "as they are" -- before moving on to its others: surrealism, hyperrealism, magical realism, and so forth, treating each of these variations as a challenge to, or expansion of the claims of realism. By bringing these realisms together, this course will explore the various ways in which are can shape the way we see the world. This is a writing intensive course designed to build and sharpen your analytic writing skills. As such, a significant portion of class time will be devoted to writing instruction and peer review. 
Primary texts may include: The Portable American Reader; "The Art of Fiction," Henry James, The Turn of the Screw; Boyhood, Richard Linklater; Killer of Sheep, Charles Burnett; Chan is Missing, Wayne Wang; F is For Fake, Orson Welles; On The Road, Jack Kerouac; The White Album, Joan Didion; selections from My Struggle, Karl Knausgaard; "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," Gabriel Garcia Marquez; "The Balloon," Donald Barthelme; Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, Errol Morris; selections from Essays, Montaigne; "The Soul is Not a Smithy," David Foster Wallace; Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman.

1210W.07 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Putting Identity on the Table: Teaching Food in Fiction
Max Baumkel 
MWF 9:10 - 10:00
Everybody eats, as the saying goes. But the food we eat, how we eat it, and the company we gather around the table is perhaps unique to every person or family. in this class, we will explore questions around pleasure and desire, homeland and culture, immigration and exile, and family and memory through novels that take food as one of their central themes. To that end, we will read novels such as Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Tar Baby by Toni Morrison, and The Book of Salt: A Novel by Monique Truong. Students will also have the opportunity to think critically about their own history of and relationship to food in an attempt to answer the question: Can what we eat tell us more about who we are?
This is a writing intensive course. Students should come prepared to learn how to be careful readers, critical thinkers, and engaged writers. 

1210W.08 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: The Twists and Turns of Identity: Searching for Self through Homer's Odyssey
Claudia Ludwig
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
Starting with Homer's Odyssey, this course will examine identity formation and the way that notions of selfhood shift over time. As we read, we will consider the ways in which characters shape themselves and the ways in which characters are shaped by their surroundings. Texts for this course will include adaptations of the Odyssey such as Cold Mountain as well as nonfiction that mirrors the events of the Odyssey such as The Search for Martin Guerre and Imposter.
This course will study the format of storytelling as it has changed over time through close-readings of the Odyssey and its many adaptations. This course will also examine nonfiction stories that fit into the template of the Odyssey, querying the ways in which fictional storytelling unconsciously shapes personal and historical narratives. By close-reading a section of prose literature and completing a series of in-class writing assignments, this course will teach students how to analyze texts and develop arguments about them. 
Primary texts may include: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood; Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier; The Odyssey by Homer; "Penelope to Ulysses" in the Heroides by Ovid. Secondary texts may include: The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell; The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis; The Imposter dir. by Bart Layton

ENGL 1220W - Drama: Forms and Techniques                                                          
Close study of representative plays of the major periods and of the main formal categories (tragedy, comedy) and written explication of these forms. [3](HCA)
1220W.01 - Drama: Forms and Techniques
Bridget Orr
TR 1:10 - 2:25 
This course explores drama over two millennia, in many forms and genres. We focus primarily but by no means exclusively on the Western tradition, beginning with Greek tragedy and comedy (Medea and Lysistrata), then moving forward to a classic Chinese tragedy, Snow in Midsummer. Our readings in early modern English drama (Hamlet and Twelfth Night) will be followed by naturalistic drama by Ibsen, social satire by Oscar Wilde, and modernist plays by Pirandello, Brecht, and Beckett. The final section of the course will focus on recent plays by Caryl Churchill, Wole Soyinka, and David Hwang. We will explore changes and variations in such familiar categories as genre, characterization, setting, and plot and we will look at film versions of the plays to think about how the performative nature of drama shapes its textual construction.

1220W.02 - Drama: Forms and Techniques
Judith Klass
TR 11:00 - 12:15 
In this course, we will look at how plays have changed over the last 2,500 years, and how theatrical conventions like the Greek chorus and the Shakespearean soliloquy have given way to other techniques and approaches. We will look at Aristotle's ideas about the unities, and about what constitutes true tragedy: ideas about katharsis and hamartia - or a "fatal flaw," as it is sometimes translated. Aristotle argues that plays should either be tragedies or comedies, but not a mixture of the two forms. We'll look at the plot arcs associated with both kinds of plays - and at plays that break his rules and mix forms - and discuss his ideas about suitable heroes and the time frame for plays. We will talk about how influential his ideas from the Poetics remain. In this course, I focus on plays about families: Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Hamlet, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, You Can't Take It With You, A Raisin in the Sun, True West, 'Night Mother, How I Learned to Drive, Topdog/Underdog, August: Osage County, and others.

1220W.03 - Drama: Forms and Techniques: Performing Blackness
Mariann VanDevere
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 
Shakespeare one stated that "all the world's a stage, and all the women and men, merely players." In this course, we will use theatrical and cinematic performances to examine the ways we perform race, class, and gender in our everyday lives. We will read works from the Classical period up until the present. Some of the questions we will seek to engage include: How do Black persons invent their identities? How does power affect the abilities of the marginalized persons to create themselves and how does the power prevent them from doing so? Can identity be thought of as performance? How do our individual performances of identity conform to or challenge societal stereotypes? How are our performances of gender and sexuality influenced by race and/or class and vice versa?
To begin to answer these questions, we will examine the ways in which identities are created through texts that are designed to be performed. We will analyze texts in discussion and written work, voice our opinions, and listen respectfully to each other. We will wrestle with questions that have no simple answers; we will produce difficult (and, at times, uncomfortable) questions of our own -- questions that invite us to think in new ways about the performance of gender, class, sexuality, and race. This class will include discussions of highly sensitive topics, and a willingness to engage with your peers in open and honest conversation is essential to your success in this course.


ENGL 1230W - Literature and Analytical Thinking                                                    
Close reading and writing in a variety of genres drawn from several periods. Productive dialogue, persuasive argument, and effective prose style. Offered on a graded basis only. [3](HCA)
1230W.01 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Borderlands: Encounters in the American West
Thea Autry
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
In the late eighteenth century, explorers began moving into the American West, and the "Manifest Destiny" project eventually transformed this part of the country into a site of contact between different cultures, or what Gloria Anzaldúa called a "borderland." In this writing-intensive course, we will critically engage some of the works to emerge from this contact zone over the last two centuries, and we will address a series of questions about the often-shifting nature of borders: what functions do borders serve? Who is being kept in and who is being kept out? In what ways have these issues shaped our ideas of nation, community, and the individual? Is there a sense in which we can benefit from thinking about borders in a multiplicity of ways, as personal and national, internal and external, prohibitive and transgressive? Authors whose texts we engage may include Cormac McCarthy, Gloria Anzaldúa, John Rollin Ridge, Mark Twain, Alfredo Véa, O. Henry, Annie Proulx, and filmmaker Tommy Lee Jones.    

1230W.02 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Sexual Speculations
Kira Braham
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
What if you woke up tomorrow and gender no longer existed - if the terms "masculine" and "feminine" no longer had any meaning? How would our society be different? Our entertainment? Our politics? Our economy? How would you be different? In this course, we will be reading texts that dare to imagine scenarios like this and attempt to answer the difficult questions that arise from such imagining. We will examine works of drama, fiction, and nonfiction from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries that imagine alternate realities in which biological sex, gender, and sexual practice are envisioned radically different ways; for example, we will explore a society composed entirely of women who reproduce asexually and one in which men give birth to worm-like alien creatures. We will travel to the imagined worlds of authors like Margaret Cavendish, Charles Fourier, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Aldous Huxley, and Octavia Butler in order to gain new vantage points from which to examine our own. Through close reading and critical analysis of these texts, we will consider ways in which they address issues such as gender stereotyping, sexual stigma, and advances in reproductive science, that are of pressing concern in our current historical moment.


1230W.03 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Planetary Fiction Across Time and Space
Kylie Korsnack
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
Over the past two decades, planetary phenomena such as global warming, the depletion of fossil fuels, and the detrimental effects of climate change have gained much critical attention. Indeed, the centrality of the planet to the twenty-first century cultural imagination is hard to refute; however, this interest is far from a recent phenomenon. As early as the seventeenth century, planetary concepts such as meteorology, optics, and cosmic pluralism were explored through both fiction and scientific discourse. In this class, we will explore the prevalence of the planet in literary and scientific texts from around the world and throughout history. How have scientific understandings of the planet changed over time? How has the genre of science fiction responded to, taken up, or grappled with some of these scientific discoveries? What is the relationship between science and fiction? By foregrounding the planet, this class will engage in productive conversation about the development of literary form as it coincides with scientific progress and modernity. Along the way, students will real and analyze a wide variety of literary and other genres of writing, explore and gauge the effectiveness of different forms of academic argument, and be challenged to offer their own contributions to these conversations through writing. 
Primary and secondary texts may include: excerpts from Johannes Kelper's "The Dream" (1634); Fontenelle's A Discovery of New Worlds (1686); excerpts from Ludvig Holberg's Niels Klim's Underground Travels (1741); Voltaire's Micromégas (1752); H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds (1897); Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" (1943); Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game Novella" (1977); selections from Octavia Butler's Bloodchild (1995); Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber (2000); selections from Vandana Singh's The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet (2012); Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation (2014)


1230W.04 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Not Quite Freedom: African American Literature of the Post-Civil Rights Era
Magana Kabugi
MWF 10:10 - 11:00  l
In his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of a future America where black children would be judged "not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." However, while American has made substantial progress in the five decades since, our television and computer screens still flash with unsettling images: the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner; shocking instances of campus racism; stubbornly high rates of black unemployment and incarceration. Exactly what progress has been made since 1968? How do black writers, artists and intellectuals see Dr. King's dream realized (or not)? This course traces the literary, cultural and intellectual developments in black American life that emerged during the post-Civil Rights era, focusing on the rise of the black middle class, political unrest among black youth, issues of racial identity, and the backlash of the Civil Rights Movement. Authors and texts may include Anna Deavere Smith, Paule Marshall, Cornel West, and the popular television sitcom A Different World


1230W.05 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Beastly Morals: Animals in Fable from Aesop to the 21st Century 
Katherine Mullins
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 

How are fables different from other types of folklore, such as fairy tales, parables, and legends? Why do so many fables feature non-human animal characters? How have these narratives traditionally mobilized dominant political and social ideals, and how can they subvert those same ideas? This course will address these questions and more as we explore the role of anthropomorphic animals in fables. We will begin by surveying some traditional examples of animals in fables from antiquity through the 18th century and we will end the course with the examination of modern fables, possibly including texts and films like Watership Down, Animal Farm, and Pan’s Labyrinth. As we read and analyze these texts, we will contemplate the ways in which fables create and critique ideas about culture, ethics, law, and personhood. Students will also learn to develop and revise analytical arguments by effectively completing several formal essays as we consider the significance of channeling the morals of our stories through animal characters. 
This course will begin with an overview of fables as a genre, with the intention of familiarizing students with the concept of genre and providing a terminological framework as we move forward through the course. We will begin with traditional examples of fable, like those written by Aesop in the 5th Century BCE, and work slowly through fables from various centuries to track changes in structure, topic, and meaning while maintaining a focus on anthropomorphized animals in these stories. Along the way, we’ll also analyze the diffusion of the fable format through other genres, like poetry, periodicals, and film. Writing assignments that aim to help students improve their technique and style will also be woven throughout the course, allowing us to work through planning, writing, and revising analytical essays both in and out of the classroom. 
Primary texts may include: Aesop’s fables (ca. 500 BCE), Vishnu Sharma’s Panchatantra (ca. 300 BCE), Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables (1668-94), Bernard Mandeville’s The Fable of Bees (1705), George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Richard Adams’s Watership Down, and Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. Secondary texts may include: genre theory; historical context material; excerpts from the graphic novel Fables; or seventeenth/eighteenth century poetry, periodicals, and paintings to supplement discussion in class.

1230W.06 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Multi-ethnic American Perspectives on "the One and the Many"
Terrell Taylor
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 
This course explores the concept of democracy as not simply a mode of governance, but as a philosophical worldview, cultural orientation, and aesthetic practice concerned with negotiating the individual and the collective, the one and the many, the personal and the political. How do members of a democratic society negotiate a sense of individuality with local community affiliation and national political participation? How have different communities artistically and politically defined themselves while engaging with other very different communities? Have these endeavors succeeded and what is at stake if they fail? Texts will include authors from multi-ethnic American literatures such as Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Ruth Ozeki, Ralph Ellison, Jhumpa Lahiri, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and Frederick Douglass. The course will also cover articles and essays surrounding recent American cultural controversies and will reflect on relevant intersections between assigned texts and the upcoming presidential and congressional election. 


1230W.07 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Souls, Demons, and Beings: The Un-Making of the Human
Nadejda Webb
MWF 11:10 - 12:00
Who gets to be considered "human" and who makes such decisions? How does the label of human pivot on gender, race, class, and politics? What are the connections between the soul, humanity, and individual agency? Throughout the semester, we will examine the concept of a "soul," and think through its formation through the intersections of race, gender, and state, paying particular attention to Othered bodies and the ways in which arguments about soul have been used as a weapon against their humanity. This course will use the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer to begin an exploration of the binary relationship between good and evil, thus allowing students to understand the basic un-making of human beings. The course will continue with Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, excerpts from W.E.B. Dubois's The Soul of Black Folks, Toni Morrison's Beloved, Edwidge Danticat's Farming of the Bones, Phillis Wheatley's life and poems, and John Winthrop's "City Upon a Hill" Sermon, to analyze such systems in practice. 

1230W.08 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: The Aesthetics of Violence
Joanna Huh
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
Murder. Rape. War. What is it about violence that lends itself so easily to artistic representation? What does literary violence do to the perpetrators and victims of the violence as well as us, the witnesses? When does violence become art and how is violence rendered beautiful and even appealing? In this course, we will examine how violence in treated and depicted in literature, painting, and film, focusing on the paradoxically beautiful representations of violent, brutalized acts. We will look critically at the artistic transformation that makes beauty from pain and suffering, and we will ask  if violence is an appropriate subject, or perhaps even a precondition, for art. We will discuss the ethical (should we be transforming violence into art?) and methodological  (how do we depict violence? can we even accurately represent it?) implications of beautiful violence. Texts may include Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and Lolita, supplemented by other art forms such as the graphic novel Maus and films like Kill Bill and Mad Max: Fury Road.


1230W.09 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Facing the Stranger
Sari Carter
TR 9:35 - 10:50 
What does it mean to define someone as a stranger? The question seems particularly relevant in light of the current "refugee crisis," as political structures attempt to define who belongs and who is excluded from a nation. But this is not a new question; the experience of trying to understand the encounter with the stranger has always haunted humanity. Ancient myths, religious texts, and legends posit different models of what the encounter with the stranger looks like and what one should do in response. What happens when one chooses to respond with hostility? or hospitality? Between these two ends of the spectrum, there is a range of cognitive and affective responses that change based on the perspectives with which people approach the issue. Perhaps a better alternative to attempting legal definitions of belonging and exclusion is recognition of the fluidity in human experience, which calls into question these vary structures that define the stranger as "strange." Critical analysis of how the concept of the stranger has appeared and changed across time will enable more precise thinking about current issues surrounding this concept. Through close reading and argumentative writing about a variety of texts, including ancient myths, nineteenth century novels, and modern essays and films, this course will explore these questions about what it means to interact with the stranger.
Primary texts may include: Homer, The Odyssey (selections); Hebrews 11, from The Bible; Snorri Sturluson, Prose Edda, "The Building of Asgard's Wall"; Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace (1795) (selections); Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm (1883); James Joyce, "An Encounter," from Dubliners (1914); W.E.B. Du Bois, "Of Beauty and Death," from Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1920); Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942); Marilynne Robinson, "Open Thy Hand Wide: Moses and the Origins of American Liberalism" (2012)


1230W.10 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Talking Back: The Female Author's Response to a Male Literary Market
Rachel Gould
TR 8:10 - 9:25 
In 1763, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's The Turkish Embassy Letters appeared on the market and challenged the depictions of the Ottoman Empire by earlier male travelers. Montagu joined with a line of other professional female authors who signed their works and even dared to talk back to their critics. With interests that ranged from individual right to science, these women wrote texts that challenged power dynamics and considered the place of the woman within the social and political spheres. In this introductory course, we will listen in to some of the stories these women tell, and we will examine their responses to some of their male peers. Through a study of travel fiction, essays, novels, and other genres, we will ask why the woman of imagination was considered a threat to civic and domestic life. Along the way, we will also discuss the form of academic arguments and will use these texts to develop the writing skills necessary to contribute to this particular thread of academic discourse. Readings will include the writings of Jane Austen, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Wollstonecraft, and others.


ENGL 1250W - Introduction to Poetry                                                                        
Close study and criticism of poems. The nature of poetry, and the process of literary explication. [3](HCA)
1250W.01 - Introduction to Poetry
Lisa Dordal
TR 9:35 - 10:50
The main objectives of this course are to widen your knowledge of poetry, to help you become close readers of poetry, and to help you develop your critical writing skills. The first part of this course will be organized around formal considerations (diction, tone, imagery, figures of speech, sound, etc.). The first part of the course will also include brief case studies of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Langston Hughes. In the second half of the course, we will read and discuss Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard, Li-Young Lee's Book of My Nights and selections from Mark Doty's Fire to Fire. Requirements will include three papers (plus revisions), one class presentation, short response papers and homework assignments, and participation in class discussions.


1250W.02 - Introduction to Poetry
Lisa Dordal
TR 1:10 - 2:25 
The main objectives of this course are to widen your knowledge of poetry, to help you become close readers of poetry, and to help you develop your critical writing skills. The first part of this course will be organized around formal considerations (diction, tone, imagery, figures of speech, sound, etc.). The first part of the course will also include brief case studies of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Langston Hughes. In the second half of the course, we will read and discuss Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard, Li-Young Lee's Book of My Nights and selections from Mark Doty's Fire to Fire. Requirements will include three papers (plus revisions), one class presentation, short response papers and homework assignments, and participation in class discussions.


1250W.03  - Introduction to Poetry: The British Isles
Killian Quigley
MWF 9:10 - 10:00
What is the British poetic tradition, and how have its energies been engaged by poets working on its margins, or beyond its pale? We will approach this question, first, by selectively surveying the canon of British poetry - its preoccupations, its forms, its history. We will turn, subsequently, to a discussion of Irish poetry, and in particular of the ways Irish poets have worked through British materials to cultivate a poetic tradition that might be called Ireland's own. In so doing, we will not only glimpse the character of the British tradition, but better understand its nature as a tradition, one that moves across space and time, susceptible at every juncture to revision and repurposing. We will learn to ask provocative questions of poems, to describe them with acuity, to make compelling connections between them, and to write essays which communicate our insights and debates with clarity and conviction. Expect lively discussions.

1250W.04  - Introduction to Poetry: Modern and Contemporary Poetry of the United States
Keegan Finberg
MWF 9:10 - 10:00
This course will introduce students to poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first century in order to study how poetic form takes on expressive and political power. The center of gravity for the class is poetry of the United States. However, important conversations happen across borders, and thus we will read some Anglophone poetry from around the globe. Students will learn to read, discuss, and write critically about poetry through an exploration of the history and traditions of poetry and poetics in American literature, and through an exploration of modern to contemporary verse. They will become familiar with different poetic schools and movements, as well as the major debates about form and content. The course readings will run chronologically from pre-modernist radicals, Whitman and Dickinson, through various forms of literary modernism, the New Negro or Harlem Renaissance, Objectivism, Black Mountain Poetry, the Beats, Confessionalism, the New York School, poetry of the Black Arts Movement, the rapid expansion of varieties of Native American, Asian American and Latino/a poetry after the 1960s, Language writing, and various twenty-first century forms such as conceptual writing. After this broad survey, the course will conclude by reading a full-length book of contemporary poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. In addition to academic papers and presentations, students will engage in the process of poetic production and memorization.

1250W.05  - Introduction to Poetry
Lisa Dordal
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 
The main objectives of this course are to widen your knowledge of poetry, to help you become close readers of poetry, and to help you develop your critical writing skills. The first part of this course will be organized around formal considerations (diction, tone, imagery, figures of speech, sound, etc.). The first part of the course will also include brief case studies of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Langston Hughes. In the second half of the course, we will read and discuss Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard, Li-Young Lee's Book of My Nights and selections from Mark Doty's Fire to Fire. Requirements will include three papers (plus revisions), one class presentation, short response papers and homework assignments, and participation in class discussions.

1250W.06  - Introduction to Poetry: The British Isles
Killian Quigley
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
What is the British poetic tradition, and how have its energies been engaged by poets working on its margins, or beyond its pale? We will approach this question, first, by selectively surveying the canon of British poetry - its preoccupations, its forms, its history. We will turn, subsequently, to a discussion of Irish poetry, and in particular of the ways Irish poets have worked through British materials to cultivate a poetic tradition that might be called Ireland's own. In so doing, we will not only glimpse the character of the British tradition, but better understand its nature as a tradition, one that moves across space and time, susceptible at every juncture to revision and repurposing. We will learn to ask provocative questions of poems, to describe them with acuity, to make compelling connections between them, and to write essays which communicate our insights and debates with clarity and conviction. Expect lively discussions.

1250W.07  - Introduction to Poetry: Oceans
Killian Quigley
MWF 12:10 - 1:00 
"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth," wrote Arthur C. Clark, "when clearly it is Ocean." In this course, we will give the drink and its chroniclers their due, and ask whether it is sensible to talk of something like "Ocean Poetry." Our sources - and indeed our seas - will by necessity be selectively chosen, but we will adopt a global approach, so as to broaden our aqueous intelligence. Students should expect to read works from diverse times, places, and traditions, disparate works that nonetheless share oceanic preoccupations. Our readings and discussions will focus on understanding the poet's fundamental tools, on describing poems with creativity and acuity, and on observing provocative connections - and tensions - between texts. Essays and shorter writings will afford students opportunities to develop and polish their best and most original insights. Conversation promises to be lively.

1250W.08  - Introduction to Poetry: Modern and Contemporary Poetry of the United States
Keegan Finberg
MWF 12:10 - 1:00 
This course will introduce students to poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first century in order to study how poetic form takes on expressive and political power. The center of gravity for the class is poetry of the United States. However, important conversations happen across borders, and thus we will read some Anglophone poetry from around the globe. Students will learn to read, discuss, and write critically about poetry through an exploration of the history and traditions of poetry and poetics in American literature, and through an exploration of modern to contemporary verse. They will become familiar with different poetic schools and movements, as well as the major debates about form and content. The course readings will run chronologically from pre-modernist radicals, Whitman and Dickinson, through various forms of literary modernism, the New Negro or Harlem Renaissance, Objectivism, Black Mountain Poetry, the Beats, Confessionalism, the New York School, poetry of the Black Arts Movement, the rapid expansion of varieties of Native American, Asian American and Latino/a poetry after the 1960s, Language writing, and various twenty-first century forms such as conceptual writing. After this broad survey, the course will conclude by reading a full-length book of contemporary poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. In addition to academic papers and presentations, students will engage in the process of poetic production and memorization.

1250W.09  - Introduction to Poetry
Nancy Roche
MWF 1:10 - 2:00 
The purpose of this course is to enhance your understanding of poetry by introducing you to a wide range of poems from different time frames and poetic movements. To accomplish these goals, you will participate in close readings of individual poems, group discussions of styles, forms, and schools of poetry, and written analysis to improve your writing skills. To this end, we will examine verse written from the Renaissance to the present, which not only focuses on traditional poetic subjects such as the contemplation of love and nature, but also the complexities of war and politics, race and gender, and transcendence. We will study form and content, and work to determine how a poem achieves its power and lyric. Course materials will exhibit the ways in which poetry engages with and reflects--or rejects and criticizes--the world the poet observes. Additionally, this class not only contains verse from Western Culture, but also poets writing outside the English language.

1250W.10  - Introduction to Poetry
Pavneet Aulakh
MWF 2:10 - 3:00 

1250W.11  - Introduction to Poetry
Nancy Roche
TR 8:10 - 9:25 
The purpose of this course is to enhance your understanding of poetry by introducing you to a wide range of poems from different time frames and poetic movements. To accomplish these goals, you will participate in close readings of individual poems, group discussions of styles, forms, and schools of poetry, and written analysis to improve your writing skills. To this end, we will examine verse written from the Renaissance to the present, which not only focuses on traditional poetic subjects such as the contemplation of love and nature, but also the complexities of war and politics, race and gender, and transcendence. We will study form and content, and work to determine how a poem achieves its power and lyric. Course materials will exhibit the ways in which poetry engages with and reflects--or rejects and criticizes--the world the poet observes. Additionally, this class not only contains verse from Western Culture, but also poets writing outside the English language.

1250W.12  - Introduction to Poetry: Between Ecstasy and Truth: An Introduction to Poetry
Chance Woods
TR 9:35 - 10:50 
Poetry is as elusive as it is alluring. Today, we instinctively turn to poetry or poetic phrases when we wish to emphasize moments of complexity, sentimentality or seriousness. Throughout the history of Western culture, poetry has occupied a preeminent place of importance because it has allowed people and civilizations a means of registering emotional impact, enchantment, historical narrative, prophetic vision, and psychological transformation. In its original etymological sense, a "poet" was "a maker," specifically a maker of worlds. As imaginative worlds, poems have offered listeners and readers two very different paths: on the one hand, a means of reconciling themselves to history, to religion, and to fate (forms of perceived truth); while on the other hand, providing unique channels of subjective experience and reflection that could somehow allow poets and readers to stand outside of themselves as well as the forces of history (forms of ecstasy). This course provides a broad introduction to the scope of poetry's importance in culture from antiquity through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to our own modern day. In reading authors from multiple epochs, such as Homer, Petrarch, Shakespeare, John Donne, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, and Yusef Komunyakaa, we will examine how poetic verse (in its epic, lyric, and dramatic forms) has enriched, enlivened, and reformed human experience in Western culture.

1250W.13  - Introduction to Poetry
Nancy Roche
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
The purpose of this course is to enhance your understanding of poetry by introducing you to a wide range of poems from different time frames and poetic movements. To accomplish these goals, you will participate in close readings of individual poems, group discussions of styles, forms, and schools of poetry, and written analysis to improve your writing skills. To this end, we will examine verse written from the Renaissance to the present, which not only focuses on traditional poetic subjects such as the contemplation of love and nature, but also the complexities of war and politics, race and gender, and transcendence. We will study form and content, and work to determine how a poem achieves its power and lyric. Course materials will exhibit the ways in which poetry engages with and reflects--or rejects and criticizes--the world the poet observes. Additionally, this class not only contains verse from Western Culture, but also poets writing outside the English language.

ENGL 1260W - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis                                
Analysis of a range of texts in social, political, and aesthetic contexts. Interdisciplinary study of cultural forms as diverse as poetry, advertisement, and film. [3](HCA)
1260W.01 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Kin Cosner
TR 9:35 - 10:50

1260W.02 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Cecelia Tichi
TR 11:00 - 12:15 
English 1260W is a course devoted to narratives (fiction and nonfiction) and documentary films focused on urgent social issues of our time, as era that is often referred to as a second Gilded Age, the term indicating that the glitter and sheen mask a very different and more somber reality. From the beginning of the 21st century, American novelists and nonfiction writers have explored such topics as food and water quality, work and wages, immigration, and the U.S. prison system - issues that American citizens confront in this century. The courses promises a "head start," so to speak, on facets and other complex issues that will confront Vanderbilt students in careers and personal lives. Texts by Upton Sinclair, Barbara Ehenreich, Eric Schlosser, and others.
Students will write three essays and revise one of them for re-submission. Students will also submit outline plans for potential use planning a third essay. The class sessions operate as a seminar and therefore class attendance is expected in order that discussion can be maximally effective.

1260W.03 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Film and Culture
Sam Girgus
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
This 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, explaining how the film contributes to the meaning of the play 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. 

1260W.04 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Reading the Prison
Robbie Spivey
TR 1:10 - 2:25
Why does the U.S. incarcerate so many of its citizens - more than any other nation in the world? What role does prison play in the national imagination? In this course we will explore answers to both questions by studying literature by and about prisoners. We'll examine the political and cultural context of the prison with two nonfiction texts. Discipline and Punish describes and theorizes the shift from public torture to private discipline in western culture; The Race to Incarcerate reveals the tragic costs of unequal imprisonment in the United States. After establishing a historical and cultural timeline for the prison, we will read fiction that represents different points along that timeline. In the second half of the course, we will examine three prison memoirs and consider the historical, cultural, and literary value of the genre. We'll frequently supplement our reading of prison prose with prison poetry.

1260W.05 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Writing About Place
Elizabeth Meadows
TR 1:10 - 2:25 

How does where we live change who we are and our relations to others? How do places develop over time, responding to experiences and interactions of people within them?  In this course we will seek to understand how places shape the lived experience of people within them, and how people shape the places they live in through their social interactions.  We will read selections from a variety of genres—urban policy, creative non-fiction, poetry, guidebooks, and histories—as we investigate our individual and communal relations to the places we inhabit.  In our reading, we will focus on how representations of places in various media transform and shape cultural understandings of personhood and belonging. Students will begin by writing personal narratives that trace meaningful locations in their hometowns.  Using GIS technologies (StoryMaps, MapBox, etc.), students will also create multimedia tours of their hometowns to share with each other.  In the second unit, students will do research on the history of Vanderbilt University and write biographies of buildings on campus, using oral histories and interviews with Vanderbilt staff, students, and faculty.  For their final projects, students will craft biographies of Nashville neighborhoods, using a range of media to present their work.
Selections from:
-  Laura Barraclough, The People’s Guide to LA
-  Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience
-  Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Other authors may include Sarah Orne Jewett, Wendell Berry, W.B. Yeats, Vachel Lindsay, William Wordsworth, John Egerton.

1260W.06 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Contemporary Asian America through Novels, Film, and Television
Piyali Bhattacharya
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
In this class, we will read work by modern Asian American writers such as Ruth Ozeki, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ed Lin, Nayomi Munaweera, Chang Rae Lee, Tanwi Nandini Islam, and Lan Samantha Chang. We will also be taking a look at films such as "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle" and "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," as well as certain episodes of TV shows like ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," written by Eddie Huang, and Netflix's "Master of None," written by Aziz Ansari. Through the lens of these texts, we will examine what it means to develop cultural and political identities; how history, literature, and media shape those identities; and vice versa. We will also examine how gender, class, and immigration status affect the identity politics of various kinds of Asian American communities, and what part art plays in sharpening and minimizing those divides. Finally, we will use these texts as a springboard to examine how these issues play out in our own local communities, and how we can and must contribute to discussions on these topics through continuous and critical awareness of the art, literature, and media that is created by, about, and around us.

1260W.07 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Modern South Asian Literature in Translation
Akshya Saxena
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
This course is an introduction to 20th and 21st century South Asian literature. Writings in English from South Asia (especially, from India and Pakistan) have received a lot of global attention in recent times. We will study some of these English literary texts along with translated works originally written in other South Asian languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Telugu, Bangla, and Marathi. We will pay attention to the shared themes in writings across the vast region of South Asia, and encounter new literary genres such as ghazal [lyric poem] and nayi kahani [New Story]. Through an analysis of a variety of literary and cultural texts, we will learn about the complexities of its regional politics, and critically reflect on the ways in which we have to come see, read, and know South Asia.
We will begin with Allama Iqbal's Urdu lyric poem about the Indian subcontinent, "Saare Jahaan Se Achcha" ["Better than the Entire World"], which was adopted as the anthem in the independence struggle against British rule. The poem is still used by Indian defense forces to express patriotic sentiments, though Igbal is now regarded as an eminent Pakistani poet and Urdu is a minority language in India. We continue the exploration of the relations between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh through Amitav Ghosh's beautiful novel about the idea of the nation, The Shadow Lines. Writings from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka by Mohsin Hamid, Taslima Nasreen, Sivakumar Rai, and Shyam Selvadurai respectively, provide opportunities to examine the dominance of India in South Asia. We conclude the course by taking a closer look at the gender, class, communal, and caste politics in South Asia through the works of Ismat Chughtai, Sri Sri, Prem Chand, Ajay Navaria, and Vijay Tendulkar. Finally, South Asian diasporic writing shows us that the idea of South Asia extends beyond its geographical boundaries. [All readings will be in English.]

1260W.08 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Contemporary Asian America through Novels, Film, and Television
Piyali Bhattacharya
TR 4:00 - 5:15
In this class, we will read work by modern Asian American writers such as Ruth Ozeki, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ed Lin, Nayomi Munaweera, Chang Rae Lee, Tanwi Nandini Islam, and Lan Samantha Chang. We will also be taking a look at films such as "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle" and "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," as well as certain episodes of TV shows like ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," written by Eddie Huang, and Netflix's "Master of None," written by Aziz Ansari. Through the lens of these texts, we will examine what it means to develop cultural and political identities; how history, literature, and media shape those identities; and vice versa. We will also examine how gender, class, and immigration status affect the identity politics of various kinds of Asian American communities, and what part art plays in sharpening and minimizing those divides. Finally, we will use these texts as a springboard to examine how these issues play out in our own local communities, and how we can and must contribute to discussions on these topics through continuous and critical awareness of the art, literature, and media that is created by, about, and around us.

1260W.13 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Racism in American Literature
Andy Hines
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 
This course challenges the persistent idea that the source and solution of racism is solely affective and individual. Instead, we will pursue though literature, film, philosophy, and theory the idea that racism conditions a number of governing institutions and systems. To question anti-black racism as not just a structure of feeling, but a constitutive structure of American life, we must ask questions about capitalism, criminal justice, politics, and even the ways of knowing and being in the world. Because many of these ideas challenge many common-sense understandings of anti-black racism in the U.S. and abroad, students will learn to write and support controversial arguments about the relationship of literature and culture to essential social issues. We will read texts by Angela Davis, Ta-Nahese Coates, James Baldwin, Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison and Fred Moten among many others. Ultimately, we will seek solutions in literature and culture for an ongoing critical dilemma: the inability to broadly acknowledge the systematic and structural aspects that condition anti-black racism in the twenty-first century.

1260W.14 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Religion and the Novel
Alex Dubilet
MWF 10:10 - 11:00
The novel has been seen as the aesthetic form most appropriate to the modern secular world. Novels, however, often offer some of the most fecund sites for the staging and analysis of complicated religious topics such as the relation of humans to the divine, the status of mortality, the significance of conversion, sin and redemption, and the dissolution of the self. They do so by offering what Mikhail Bakhtin termed heteroglossia, a space in which what is primary is not an authoritatively established truth, but modern language and existence performed in a pluralistic and agonistic way. This call will read a number of novels that in different ways stage the complexities of the lived religious experience, including Clarice Lispector's The Passion According to G.H., Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain, The Autobiography of Malcom X, Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood, and Sinan Antoon's The Corpse Washer. In the process we will not only discuss the novel as a literary form, but also pay attention to the way it allows us to think, in complex and multivalent ways, about the nature of religion in a diverse social world. No prior experience with literary studies or religious studies is required. 

1260W.15 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Racism in American Literature
Andy Hines
MWF 10:10 - 11:00
This course challenges the persistent idea that the source and solution of racism is solely affective and individual. Instead, we will pursue though literature, film, philosophy, and theory the idea that racism conditions a number of governing institutions and systems. To question anti-black racism as not just a structure of feeling, but a constitutive structure of American life, we must ask questions about capitalism, criminal justice, politics, and even the ways of knowing and being in the world. Because many of these ideas challenge many common-sense understandings of anti-black racism in the U.S. and abroad, students will learn to write and support controversial arguments about the relationship of literature and culture to essential social issues. We will read texts by Angela Davis, Ta-Nahese Coates, James Baldwin, Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison and Fred Moten among many others. Ultimately, we will seek solutions in literature and culture for an ongoing critical dilemma: the inability to broadly acknowledge the systematic and structural aspects that condition anti-black racism in the twenty-first century.

1260W.16 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Religion and the Novel
Alex Dubilet
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
The novel has been seen as the aesthetic form most appropriate to the modern secular world. Novels, however, often offer some of the most fecund sites for the staging and analysis of complicated religious topics such as the relation of humans to the divine, the status of mortality, the significance of conversion, sin and redemption, and the dissolution of the self. They do so by offering what Mikhail Bakhtin termed heteroglossia, a space in which what is primary is not an authoritatively established truth, but modern language and existence performed in a pluralistic and agonistic way. This call will read a number of novels that in different ways stage the complexities of the lived religious experience, including Clarice Lispector's The Passion According to G.H., Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the MountainThe Autobiography of Malcom X, Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood, and Sinan Antoon's The Corpse Washer. In the process we will not only discuss the novel as a literary form, but also pay attention to the way it allows us to think, in complex and multivalent ways, about the nature of religion in a diverse social world. No prior experience with literary studies or religious studies is required. 

1260W.17 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Shakespeare and Film
Lynn Enterline
MW 4:00 - 5:15 
Shakespeare, and Elizabethan England more generally, have proved irresistible to filmmakers. This class will grapple with contemporary representations and interpretations of "the Elizabethan period" as well as of Shakespeare - as an author, a man, a man of theater, and as a cultural icon. We'll begin with three very different perspectives on early modern London and the commercial theater: Shekar Kapur's Elizabeth (1998), John Madden's Shakespeare in Love (1998), and Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty (2004). We will then turn to derailed comparisons of the written texts of some of Shakespeare's most popular plays and modern film adaptations of them. Overall, students will examine the play texts themselves and film versions of them from several perspectives: early modern and modern; verbal and visual signification; the effects of "the culture industry" in and on his dramatic texts (meaning both the rise of the sixteenth century transvestite theater and of the modern movie industry). Learning the basic vocabulary for cinematic technique, students will also try to grasp the different kinds of interpretations individual filmmakers have brought to bear on his plays. Filmmakers range from Franco Zeffirelli, Orson Welles, Julie Taymor, Trevor Nunn, Peter Hall, to Kenneth Branagh. Specific topics include: power and the field of vision; chastity fetishism; cross-dressing, gender, homoeroticism, and anxiety; education, masculinity, and the critique of the empire.

1260W.18 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Jonathan Lamb
MW 4:00 - 5:15

ENGL 1270W - Introduction to Literary Criticism                                                     
Selected critical approaches to literature. [3](HCA)
1270W.01 - Introduction to Literary Criticism: Edgar Allen Poe and Literary Theory
RJ Boutelle
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
In this course we will explore the history of literary criticism and the development of literary theory. We will examine representative texts from major movements of the 20th century, including, but not limited to New Criticism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, Postcolonial Theory, and the so-called "Transnational Turn" in literary studies. In order to engage in more grounded conversations of these often abstract theories, we will also be reading the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe and watching the first season of the television series The Following.

1270W.02 - Introduction to Literary Criticism: Edgar Allen Poe and Literary Theory
RJ Boutelle
MWF 1:10 - 2:00
In this course we will explore the history of literary criticism and the development of literary theory. We will examine representative texts from major movements of the 20th century, including, but not limited to New Criticism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, Postcolonial Theory, and the so-called "Transnational Turn" in literary studies. In order to engage in more grounded conversations of these often abstract theories, we will also be reading the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe and watching the first season of the television series The Following.

ENGL 1280 - Beginning Fiction Workshop                                                                  
Introduction to the art of writing prose fiction. [3](HCA)
1280.01 - Beginning Fiction Workshop
Mark Haslam
MWF 3:10 - 4:00 

1280.02 - Beginning Fiction Workshop
Kelsey Norris
MWF 9:10 - 10:00 

ENGL 1290 - Beginning Poetry Workshop                                                                  
Introduction to the art of writing poetry. [3](HCA)
1290.01 - Beginning Poetry Workshop
Jesse Bertron-Lowe
MWF 10:10 - 11:00

1290.02 - Beginning Poetry Workshop
Tiana Clark
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 

ENGL 2200 - Foundations of Literary Study                                                               
Fundamentals of literary study: close reading; analytic writing; historical context; abstract reasoning in theory; creative expression. [3](HCA)
2200.01 - Foundations of Literary Study
Mark Schoenfield
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
This course introduces students to interpretive skills (such as poetic analysis) and philosophical issues (such as theories of representation and reality) crucial to exploring literatures. Guided by both techniques of close reading and broad questions of literary forms - how do readers experience such forms, what kinds of knowledge do they create, how do acts of interpretation function in culture? - students will explore a variety of genres (including poetry, the graphic novel, and drama) across several centuries of literature, as well as produce their own. Students will write several pieces, both creative and analytic, as well as present to the class. Readings will likely include William Shakespeare's King Lear, Jane Austen's Emma and its film adaptation Clueless, poetry by Langston Hughes, Margaret Atwood's Surfacing, Art Spiegelman's Maus, as well as work selected by and produced by your colleagues.

2200.02 - Foundations of Literary Study
Elizabeth Covington
MWF 1:10 - 2:00 
In this course, we will investigate the different modes of power and violence in Anglophone literary texts of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries from across the globe. These texts draw in themes of war, racism, patriarchy, heterosexual normativity, and class to contemplate the differential power relationships within and between people of various cultures. Incorporating frames of literary and critical theory, we will interrogate universal and culturally contextual modes of power and violence and consider the role of literary production in relation to the reproduction of and resistance to structures of domination.

2200.04 - Foundations of Literary Study: Technologies of Print, Reading, and Interpretation
Pavneet Aulakh
MWF 12:10 - 1:00 
Most of us have been around books and reading as long as we can remember; and even while we love passing hours huddled up with a good book, our familiarity with the book as an object and with reading as a silent and private practice can dull our sensitivity to their unique and complex histories. Indeed, as we shall lean, books are but one instrument in a history of reading that has relied on technologies ranging from scrolls and tablets to scrollable text on computer screens, iPads, and e-readers, each with their own protocols for use accompanied by distinct advantages and disadvantages. Reanimating our engagement with these instruments of knowledge, we will think critically about what it is we do when we read, and even how and why we read. Since books are the obvious objects of our study, over the semester we will read fiction, drama, and poetry that dramatize lessons in reading and interpretation, and raise the status of books from mere containers of information to objects with considerable power. In our encounters with books that damn (Marlowe's Dr. Faustus), books that lead to madness (Cervantes' Don Quixote), and magical books capable on enchanting an entire island's inhabitants (Shakespeare's The Tempest), we will enrich our awareness of the strange power of books as well as the cultural practices that govern their production and reading. In addition to the texts cited above, our readings will also include Renaissance poetry, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, short stories by Jorge Borges and Jhumpa Lahiri, and Brian Friel's Translations, Designed as a gateway to the English major, this course will introduce, develop, and refine skills of close-reading, critical analysis, and argumentation that are fundamental to your success not just as a student of English literature but at the university at large.

2200.05 - Foundations of Literary Study
Candice Amich
TR 9:35 - 10:50 
This course will be organized around a series of questions central to the critical study and production of literature: What is literary form? How do we experience it? What kinds of knowledge does it provide? How do we create new forms? In our examination of aesthetic form - as both critics and makers - we will explore a variety of genres and media to hone your close reading skills and to gain practice in both analytic and creative modes of writing. In addition to gaining familiarity with the expanding field of English studies and some basic theoretical concepts, students will learn how to: apply literary terms precisely, undertake literary speech, and engage literature creatively. 

2200.07 - Foundations of Literary Study 
Mark Wollaeger
TR 4:00 - 5:15 
This gateway course aims to prepare you for the English major (regardless of track) by introducing fundamental concepts of literary analysis, from close reading to periodization, as well some key issues in literary criticism and theory. We will read poetry and fiction along with some critical, contextual, and theoretical texts in order to widen your range of options when thinking about how to talk and write about literature. Writing assignments and exercises will include attention to the effective use sources (e.g., critical, contextual, theoretical) to enhance your analyses and arguments and to ways of tapping into your creativity as both a critical and creative writer. Primary texts will include novels by Virginia Woolf and Vladimir Nabokov and major poems from Victorian to Modern.

ENGL 2310 - Representative British Writers                                                              
Selections from British literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. From the beginnings to 1660. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. [3](HCA)

2310.01 - Representative British Writers (from the Beginning to 1660)
Roger Moore 

TR 9:35 - 10:50 
This course will serve as an introduction to some of the major works of English literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Restoration. Our major readings will include Anglo-Saxon poems, selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Book of Margery Kempe, and a Shakespeare play. We will also read selections from the poetry of Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, and Milton. Works will be read in light of contemporary cultural, philosophical, and religious contexts. Assignments will include quizzes, two papers, and midterm and final exams. 
This course satisfies the History (Literature before 1800) requirement.

ENGL 2311 - Representative British Writers                                                              
Selections from British literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. From 1660 to the present. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. [3](HCA)
2311.01 - Representative British Writers (from 1660 to the Present)
Elizabeth Covington
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
This course is the 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/eighteenth century, the Romantics, the Victorians, the Modernists, and the twentieth 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 2316W - Representative American Writers                                                     
Selections from the entire body of American literature with attention to contexts and literary periods. Provides a broad background for more specialized courses and is especially useful for students considering advanced studies in literature. [3](US)
2316W.01 - Representative American Writers
Gabriel Briggs
TR 1:10 - 2:25 
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 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 movement? 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.

2316.01 - Representative American Writers
Andy Hines 
MWF 2:10 - 3:00
With Donald Trump as  the Republican nominee for U.S. President and Britain voting to leave the European Union, 2016 has been something of a banner year for the return of nationalism. While they are different phenomena, Trump and Brexit remind us that nationalism is a set of political imperatives, perhaps, masquerading as a patriotism otherwise assumed to be apolitical.. From this vantage point, the upcoming presidential election can be seen as a struggle over various symbolic representations of the United States of America. This course is a survey of a national literature and, with the developments in nationalism under which it is being taught, our discussions will pay particular attention to how American literature contributed to and challenges definitions of the nation from the Civil War to World War II. In doing so, we will discuss literature's capacity to define and critique aesthetic form, capitalism, racism, settler-colonialism, and sexism, among many other issues. We will read for these concerns by thinking not just about novels, short stories, essays, and poems on their own, but rather in their larger literary, historical, political, and philosophical contexts. There will be a rigorous reading schedule, in addition to two formal papers, and a number of informal writing assignments to support this inquiry, Writers include Harriet Jacobs, Herman Melville, W.E.B. Du Bois, Djuna Barnes, and Gwendolyn Brooks. These texts suggest possibilities and limits for the definition of the U.S. and its place in the world.

ENGL 2318W - World Literature, Classical                                                                 
Great Books from the points of view of literary expression and changing ideologies: Classical Greece through the Renaissance. Repeat credit for students who have completed 2318. [3](HCA)
2318W.01 - World Literature, Classical
Julia Fesmire 
TR 1:10 - 2:25
The focus of this class will be on the 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 order, and how do these emotions contribute toward the hero's education?
You will need to purchase the following texts: Cervantes, Don Quixote (trans. Edith Grossman, Harper Collins); Euripides, Medea (trans. Rex Warner, Dover), Ferdowsi, The Tragedy of Sohráb and Rostám (trans. Jerome W. Clinton, U of Wash. Press); Gilamesh (Stephen Mitchell version, Free Press); Homer, The Iliad (trans. Robert Fagles, Penguin); The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (trans. Betty Radice, Penguin); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (trans. Armitage, Norton); The Song of Igor's Campaign (trans. Nabokov, Ardis)
This is a W class, so there will be, not surprisingly, a lot of writing. 
This course satisfies the History (Literature before 1800) requirement.

ENGL 3210 - Intermediate Nonfiction Writing                                                          
Instruction in the forms and techniques of nonfiction writing. Admission by consent of the instructor. May be repeated once for credit. [3](HCA)
3210.01 - Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Advocacy Writing
Sandy Solomon
M 3:10 - 6:00 

To make your case in business and politics, you must write with precision and economy: your audience usually consists of busy people with many other issues to consider, so your argument has to be clear and concise, the evidence compelling. Over the course of the semester, students will write about a variety of public policy issues, topics they choose to consider. The class will practice and discuss such forms as the one-page lobbying document or letter, the op-ed piece, the speech, the article that embodies a public policy argument. In each instance, students will advocate a course of action: "we should/we should not do X"; they will learn to muster research to support their arguments and to attack opposing arguments. Students will offer critiques of each other's written assignments in a series of workshops.
Those who register for this class will join a waiting list at first.  They should write a 250-word essay about a public policy issue (or excerpt a section of a paper written for another class about a public policy issue) and then email that account to Solomon by August 12 with the subject heading, “English 3210 Advocacy Writing Sample.”  The writing sample need not advocate a course of action; it may just describe or analyze a law or federal, state or local policy.  Then, in the week before the semester starts, Solomon will select class participants and email all people on the waiting list to tell them whether they have gained admission.
This course satisfies the Program II Creative Writing Workshop requirement.

3210.02 - Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Life Writing: memoirs about people, places, historical moments
Sandy Solomon
W 3:10 - 6:00

Of the forms of creative nonfiction, memoir is arguably the most popular.  Why so?  Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their lives into a story that a reader may recognize as instructive, insightful, and true to life.  As memoirists consider on the page what really happened, they often create in their reader a sense of discovery that parallels their own.  They evaluate the past from the perspective of the present, and, in so doing, weigh what they know now against what they knew then to create a complex understanding of what happened and why.  The memoirist’s medium is time; managing the reader’s understanding of time becomes one of the writer’s foremost concerns.
Many common topics for memoir—overcoming hardship or illness, coping with substance abuse or tragedy, achieving celebrity, to name a few—do  not readily lend themselves to student creative writing assignments.  This course will concentrate instead on three kinds of experiences that offer interesting subject matter for most people: other people, places, and a historical moment (a remembered event or socio-economic-cultural juncture).  We will read memoirs of all three kinds, and then students will write memoirs that look through these different lenses.   The course will emphasize not just writing, but also revision, the re-vision necessary to enrich a narrative—give prose more punch, clarity and interest; evoke the world in more compelling detail.  These concerns inform good writing in all genres.
Students who register for this class will join a waiting list at first.  They should write a 250-word memoir about a family member—someone about whom they can offer a complex portrait (written in first person)—and then email that account to Solomon by August 12 with the subject heading, “English 3210 Memoir Writing Sample.”   Then, in the week before the semester starts, Solomon will select class participants and email all people on the waiting list to tell them whether they have gained admission.
This course satisfies the Program II Creative Writing Workshop requirement.

ENGL 3230 - Intermediate Fiction Workshop                                                            
Instruction in fiction writing. Supplementary readings that illustrate traditional aspects of prose fiction. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3230](HCA)
3230.01 - Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Nancy Reisman 
TR 11:00 - 12:15
This Intermediate Workshop is designed to help emerging fiction writers to expand their understanding of fiction's possibilities, to deepen their knowledge of craft and technique, to refine their own artistic visions, and to collectively create a writing community. We'll focus primarily on character-based literary fiction (from realism to surrealism and certain uses of the fantastic. Please note: this is not a workshop for fantasy, science-fiction, or other-world building genres). The workshop is a studio class, centered on the development of your own original short stories and flash fictions. Throughout the semester, we'll read published work by a broad range of contemporary, delve into craft, and explore aspects of the creative process. We'll investigate story structure and narrative strategies, point of view/perception, characterization, movements in time, uses of place, voice, image, and other elements. The course involves regular reading of and response to the work of other writers and requires both generosity in those endeavors and receptivity to feedback on one's own work-in-progress. Previous creative writing workshop experience is highly recommended. Instructor permission is required. After course selection, I'll be in touch with interested students to request a brief writing sample (anticipated sample deadline will be in August).
This course satisfies the Program II Creative Writing Workshop requirement.

3230.02 - Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Justin Quarry 
W 3:10 - 6:00 
This workshop is geared toward those who already have some experience writing short stories, with the intentions of broadening students' knowledge of the elements of the craft and strengthening their utilization of narrative techniques, and of incorporating elements of fantasy into literary fiction. The chief texts for this course will be approximately thirty stories written by workshop members, but throughout the semester students will also read and examine craft essays and contemporary American short fiction stories in order to better understand how to apply what they've learned to their own writing. The final exam for the course consist of a significant revision to one of two original stories produced during the semester. Previous creative writing workshop experience is strongly recommended before taking this class, and instructor permission is required to enroll. Sign up on the course's YES wait list, and you will receive application instructions for this course. 
This course satisfies the Program II Creative Writing Workshop requirement.

ENGL 3250 - Intermediate Poetry Workshop                                                            
Instruction in poetry writing. Supplemental readings illustrating traditional aspects of poetry. Admission by consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course per semester. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3250] (HCA)
3250.01 - Intermediate Poetry Workshop 
Mark Jarman 
T 2:10 - 5:00
This class is a workshop in which we will study the craft of poetry writing. As such, this semester we will concentrate on traditional elements of poetry - meter, rhyme, and form. In other words, this will be a class in verse as much as poetry. Each week, using our texts, we will discuss an aspect of what is called prosody: metric feet, rhyme schemes, stanzas, and forms like the ballad, the sonnet, the villanelle, the ghazal, the epigram, and the sestina. You will discover there is a wide latitude within the limitations of form, which is not surprising considering that most poetry in English is formal verse rather than free verse, the latter being relatively young and largely American innovation. But we will talk about free verse, too, even the prose poem, and if you are oppressed by the mere notion of writing in rhyme and meter, you will have the opportunity to write one poem without those restraints.
This course satisfies the Program II Creative Writing Workshop requirement.

ENGL 3280 - Literature and the Craft of Writing                                                       
The forms and techniques of creative writing. Contemporary practices in fiction and poetry in historical context. [3](HCA)
3280.01 - Literature and the Craft of Writing: Time, Space, Place and Memory in the Art of Fiction
Nancy Reisman 
TR 1:10 - 2:25 
This course is designed for students with strong interests in the techniques and craft of fiction writing and, I hope, will be particularly valuable to those with university level fiction workshop experience. We'll explore varied ways in which select fiction writers conceptualize and represent time in their work. In what ways might individual of collective cultural experiences of time influence the elements and concerns of stories and novels? How do readers experience fictional time? How do writers conceptualize and represent different kinds of fictional spaces, including experiences of landscape, city, enclosed/interior and other kinds of physical spaces? What is 'place' within a story or novel de-emphasizing traditional geographies? How might retrospective and the experience of memory shape certain fictions and how might the process of memory be represented? What is nostalgia? In this class, we'll read a range of published fictional works, including flash fiction, short stories and novels, and investigate the ways in which different writers have approached these and other questions. Writing for the course will include both analytical work and brief creative pieces. Experience with fiction workshops is helpful but not required.

ENGL 3332 - English Renaissance: The Drama                                                          
English drama, exclusive of Shakespeare, from 1550-1642: Marlowe, Jonson, Webster,  and others. [3](HCA)
3332.01 - English Renaissance: The Drama
Kathryn Schwarz
TR 2:35 - 3:50
In this course, we will read a number of plays written in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. While Shakespeare is the playwright most familiar to us from this period, he wrote in a time when drama was ascending as a popular form, and his plays are part of a larger context in which that form was introduced, challenged, defined, and revised. We will consider these patterns of development as they are reflected in such genres as citizen comedy, tragicomedy revenge tragedy, and plays based on current events; and our inquiries will address a range of issues: political stability and political chaos; status in the social community; perceptions of gender and sexuality; the justification or condemnation of violence. Discussions will draw on historical, performative, and critical contexts, considering both the initial conditions of production and the ways in which  these plays have been read and staged across time. 
Authors: Francis Beaumont, Elizabeth Cary, Thomas Dekker, John Ford, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton, and John Webster. Course requirements include a presentation and related short paper, a longer, research-based paper, and regular class participation. 
This course satisfies the History (Literature before 1800) requirement.

ENGL 3335W - English Renaissance Poetry                                                               
3335W.01 - English Renaissance Poetry 
Jessie Hock
TR 4:00 - 5:15 
Poetry was the most prestigious and important literary form in the English Renaissance. This course will investigate that statement, inquiring into how poetry was practiced in the period stretching from 1557-1667, and how that practice has been theorized (both then and now). Students will read from a range of authors and poetic genres while inquiring into the role of the poet, and poetry, in Renaissance social and cultural life. How, we will ask, did poetry speak to a diverse range of issues, from politics to gender to commerce to science, and how have contemporary critics situated Renaissance poetry in contemporary cultural debates? In the process, students will become familiar with Renaissance literary and cultural history, and will also fine-tune  their critical reading and writing skills.
Readings will cover a wide-range of Renaissance poetry and poetic theory, including work by such authors as: Wyatt, Philip and Mary Sidney, Wroth, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Lanyer, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, and others. Writing courses require a minimum of three papers, and in this course students will write three original essays of varying length (20-25 pages total), one of which will be substantially revised. Substantial revisions involves close, careful reworking of one's argument and method; it is not mere editing. Other requirements include active class participation, short writing responses, and poem memorizations.
This course satisfies the History (Literature before 1800) requirement.

ENGL 3340 - Shakespeare: Representative Selections                                             
A representative selection of plays, including histories, tragedies, comedies, and romances, designed to give the student a sense of the full range of Shakespeare's work in one semester. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3340W. [3](HCA)
3340.01 - Shakespeare: Representative Selections: Feeling Knowledge in Shakespeare
Pavneet Aulakh
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 
In this course, we will engage a representative selection of Shakespeare's works spanning his career and covering the multiple genres he worked in, from comedies, to a history, and some of his most staggering tragedies, and finally plays that seem to defy these tidy classifications. Along the way, we will ask: what precisely are these plays representative of; and how are they representative of Shakespeare himself and his age? To answer these questions, we will consider the rhetorical and generic conventions by which Shakespeare's plays were understood by his audiences; but we will be equally concerned with learning about our own cultural, editorial, and interpretative practices and how they shape our ow understanding of his art. In addition to being guided by these larger questions of interpretation, authorship, and cultural history, our study of Shakespeare will respond to the frequency with which his plays stage the limits of reason,  the power and danger of the imagination, and the means by which we arrive at knowledge. With our focus on question of epistemology, of what and how something can be known, we shall also have occasion to reflect on how plays as different as Midsummer's Night's Dream, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, King Lear, The Winter's Tale, and Cymbeline all represent Shakespeare's and his culture's views on his craft, which itself traffics in illusions and practices on the eyes and ears of its audiences, including ourselves.
This course satisfies the History (Literature before 1800) requirement.

ENGL 3610 - The Romantic Period                                                                              
Prose and poetry of the Wordsworths, the Shelleys, Byron, Keats, and others. [3](HCA)
3610.01 - The Romantic Period: Spectral Romanticism
Scott Juengel 
MWF 2:10 - 3:00 
Beginning in the mid eighteenth century with David Hume's somber realization that human identity is but a bundle of fictions, a phantasm we call the self, and ending in the 1820s with Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater, this course aims to explore the relationship between canonical Romanticism and its uneasy relationship to spectrality (e.g. the ghostly, the visionary, hallucinatory and the uncanny, the unnatural). In particular, we will be charting where the "popular" fashion for the Gothic and the philosophical and aesthetic project of Romanticism intersect and mutually inform each other. We will cover a range of literary and artistic forms - lyric, autobiography, novel, essay, philosophical meditation, painting, ballads - including works by figures such as Austen, Blake, Byron, Coleridge, De Quincey, Edgeworth, M. Shellley, Wordsworth, and others.

ENGL 3614 - The Victorian Period                                                                               
Works of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hardy, and others. [3](HCA)
3614.01 - Love and Death in Victorian Britain
Rachel Teukolsky 
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
This course is a survey of sorts, introducing the prose, poetry, and fiction of Victorian Britain, spanning the years 1832-1900. Our angle on the period will be to consider some of its most Gothic and dramatic works, exploring violent emotions and dark imaginings. It's not surprising that the Victorian era produced a literature of extremity, given the upheavals that transformed its social, economic, and political worlds: machine-driven factories generated huge new wealth, stimulating the rise of the modern city and creating the era of the new middle class. Meanwhile Britain expanded its sprawling empire, often through violent means, encompassing much of the globe by the end of the nineteenth century. These changes had a powerful impact upon gender behaviors, encircling both women and men in strict regimes of etiquette and propriety - rules that were often broken or transgressed in works of Victorian literature. The course will consider romantic law-breakers like the star-crossed lovers of Wuthering Heights; the transgressive scientist breaking laws of nature in Jekyll and Hyde; and the curious child trying to survive down the rabbit-hole of Alice in Wonderland. We will ask questions about the numerous female corpses appearing in Victorian poetry, as well as the poetic role of monsters, goblins, and dinosaurs. In the midst of these adventures we will read important thinkers, from Darwin to John Stuart Mill, who rewrote notions of the self, sexuality, and nature. Other authors considered will include Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alfred Tennyson, and Joseph Conrad. The course will also include a strong multi-media component, from painting to photographs to modern film. 

ENGL 3644 - Twentieth-Century American Novel                                                     
Explorations of themes, forms, and social cultural issues shaping the works of American novelists. Authors may include Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, Hurston, Ellison, McCarthy, Bellow, Kingston, Morrison, Pynchon. Emphasizes writers before 1945. [3](HCA)
3644.01 - Twentieth-Century American Novel
RJ Boutelle
TR 1:10 - 2:25
The idea of "The Frontier" has been integral to the USA's understanding of itself, serving as both an origin story symbolic of the hardships that European colonists faced as they conquered and settled this continent and as an aspirational goal emblematic of the nation's unyielding desires for national, imperial, economic, and technological advancement. This course will look at a broad range of USAmerican novels that examine how notions of the frontier changed and shifted over the course of the twentieth century. Students will be required to complete weekly response papers (250-500 words) and a final p research project (2500-3000 words). Possible texts will include novels by Zora Neal Hurston, Willa Carter, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, John Steinbeck, Helena Maria Viramontes, and Julia Alvarez. 

ENGL 3646 - Poetry Since World War II                                                                     
Poets studied at vary at discretion of instructor. Offered on a graded basis only. [3](HCA)
3646.01 - Poetry Since World War II
Rick Hilles
TR 11:00 - 12:15

In this course we will read and closely examine British and American poetry by focusing on seven major poets who wrote between World War II to the present time: W. H. Auden, Robert Lowell, Gwendolyn Brooks, Philip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, and Seamus Heaney. Though all of these poets have distinct individual voices, they share strong styles and visions with which they have constructed refreshingly unique and uniquely memorable bodies of work, which we will study together in-depth throughout the semester. Each student will deliver an oral report, write two papers, and take one final exam. [Subject to change.]

ENGL 3654 - African American Literature                                                                  
Examination of the literature produced by African Americans. May include literary movements, vernacular traditions, social discourses, material culture, and critical theories. Repeat credit for students who have completed 3654W. [3](US)
3654.01 - African American Literature: Introduction to Afro-American Literature, 1789 to the Present: A Survey 
Houston Baker 
TR 11:00 - 12:15

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. 
This course satisfies the Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature) requirement.

ENGL 3664 - Jewish American Literature                                                                   
Nineteenth century to the present. Issues of race, gender, ethnicity, immigration, and diaspora. Offered on a graded basis only. [3](HCA)
3664.01 - Jewish American Literature
Allison Schachter 
MWF 11:10 - 12:00 
This course surveys major writers and themes in twentieth-century Jewish literature. We will begin with novels that represent the challenges faced by Jewish immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the second-half of the semester, we will read post-World War II writing by diverse Jewish writers, many of whom have been assimilated into the American literary canon, such as Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Grace Paley. We will pay close attention to questions of immigration, gender, race, and ethnic identity. To what extent should we read these authors as Jewish writers and to what extent are they American? How do Jewish writers in America straddle the divide between Jewish culture and modern American life? How have they defined experience in modern American life?
This course satisfies the Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature) requirement.

ENGL 3670 - Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature                                                   
Literature exploring European colonialism and its aftermath from the eighteenth century to the present: language, gender, and agency in the colonial encounter; anti-colonial resistance movements; and postcolonial cultures. Topics may vary; course may be taken more than once with permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. [3](HCA)
3670.01 - Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature
Leah Marcus
MWF 1:10 - 2:00
This course will study three Anglophone novels treating the colonial period and its immediate aftermath in South Asia and three novels of post-colonial India. Our goals will be to immerse ourselves in an alien culture with an eye toward discovering how colonial and post-colonial ideologies play themselves out in the novel, a form that in South Asia repeatedly portrays national crises and victories like Indian and Pakistani independence by showing how they resonate in individual lives and communities. Special emphasis will be placed on the influence of Gandhi, the problem of caste, the trauma of the Partition of British India into modern India and Pakistan, and post-independence development like the creation of a coherent nation out of many disparate groups and the effect of Western commercialization on traditional Indian cultures. 
Novels to be included are Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable (1935); R.K. Narayan's Waiting for Mahatma (1955); Bapsi Sidhwa's Cracking India (1991) and its film adaptation by Deepa Mehta; Salmon Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981); Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things (1997); and Vikas Swarup's Q&A (2005) along with its film adaptation Slumdog Millionaire
This course satisfies the Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature) requirement.
This course is an Honors Seminar; a 3.4 cumulative GPA is required.


ENGL 3680 - Twentieth-Century Drama                                                                     
Topics in twentieth century drama drawn from the American, British, and/or world traditions. Formal structures of dramatic literature studied within contexts of performance, theatrical production, and specific dramatic careers. Authors may include O'Neill, Albee, Hansberry, Hellman, Stoppard, Wilson, and Churchill. Emphasizes American drama. [3](US)
3680.01 - Twentieth-Century American Drama 
Bridget Orr
TR 9:35 - 10:50 
This course traces the arc of modern drama from the emergence of symbolist and naturalist plays in the late nineteenth century through the development of modernist and postmodernist theater in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will be reading plays by Strindberg, Ibsen, Wilde, Shaw, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, Churchill, Soyinka, Hwang, Wertenbaker, and others. We will combine our readings with viewings of filmed versions of plays and at every point we will focus on the ways in which the performative nature of drama shapes its textualization. 

ENGL 3694 - America on Film: Art and Ideology                                                       
American culture and character through film, film theory, and literature. [3](US)
3694.01 - America On Film: Art and Ideology
Sam Girgus
MW 2:35 - 3:50 
This 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 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; and 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.

ENGL 3710 - Literature and Intellectual History                                                       
Fiction, poetry, and prose writings that represent overarching themes in English and/or American literature across conventional historical periods in order to define and trace their genealogy and evolution. [3](HCA)
3710.01 - Literature and Intellectual History: The Concept of Representation of Property
Jonathan Lamb
MW 2:35 - 3:50 
The birth of any community coincides with ownership of goods. Even in the primitive economies of hunter-gatherers equipment is needed in order to raid nature for food, fuel and shelter. A spear or cloak belongs to this person rather than to that; and the difference between mine and yours is born - and theft, and war. In utopias, where property is held in common, a tour has to be taken back in time before tribal and social groupings, a period which was never known historically and of which no traces remain. Therefore a property-less community has to be invented, so Hobbes and Rousseau started with imagining two different states of nature, the one anxious and dangerous, the other pleasant and idyllic, each inhabited by an isolated figure. These fictions gain powerful traction in political theory. The noble savage and the ignoble savage are their creatures, and affect even now how we think of human beings and their history on the planet. On the other hand, fiction was also standing by to greet the world of goods, exchange, money, and debt that arose with the end of feudal tenures. So much so that critics have suggested that reading and engaging with characters in a story is an exercise analogous to all other forms of contractual exchange, beginning with the original one that put an end to the state of nature. So literature and property have a unique relationship with each other to the extent that fiction creates pictures both of a world in which things are not yet attached to humans, and of another where they are. Literature in print, particularly the novel, was defended by a law of intellectual property known as the Statue of Anne which is defined immaterial and abstract things such as ideas, images, and stories as exchangeable goods. It turns out that there is nothing that cannot be owned, generating a powerful optimism about the market on the one hand, and on the other nostalgia for a time when solid and real things were independent of any title of ownership. This period coincided with the growth of a very special form of poverty in the West, namely chattel slavery, fiercely defended and fiercely opposed , and with the renovation of an ancient genre of literature, the slave narrative. That genre was blended with another, the animal fable, which grew into what is now called the it-narrative, where former property speaks of its tribulations in the hands of humans. We shall be considering these and other genres in the light of the intellectual history of property. 
Sample literature: Henry James, The Spoils of Poynton; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Edmund de Waal, The Hare with the Amber Eyes; The Fables of Aesop; Dorothy Kilner, The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse; Margaret Cavendish, The Contract.
Sample criticism and theory: Aristotle, The Politics; Stephen Best, The Fugutives' Properties; Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Common Law; William Pietz, 'The Deodand', Plato, The Republic.
This course satisfies the Approach requirement.

ENGL 3726 - New Media                                                                                               
History, theory, and design of digital media. Literature, video, film, online games, and other interactive narratives. [3](HCA)
3726.01 - New Media: Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative
Jay Clayton
MW 2:35 - 3:50 
This course explores the impact of new media on narrative and communication through a focus on online games. Beginning with a massive multiplayer role playing game (MMO) and some examples from the indie gaming world, this course introduces students to the literary and artistic challenges of constructing narratives in a virtual world and the implications of digital media for communication in our daily lives as students, professionals, and members of global communities. 
The course has four components:
(1) Games. Students will play a selection of indie games and join the free-to-play MMO, The Lord of the Rings Online. They will also do collaborative reports on selected games - such as Assassin's Creed, BioShock, Skyrim, or Final Fantasy - indie games (Limbo, Flower, Portal, Never Alone), and educational games.
(2) Readings. Texts will include literature in the romance tradition that inspired fantasy gaming from Spenser, Keats, Tennyson, and Browning to Tolkien; novels and films about gaming such as Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, media and game 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
(3) MOOC. As part of our exploration of the online experience, students will sample a few of the resources developed for an online class taught in Vanderbilt's Massive Open Online Course in the same topic: https://www.coursera.org/course/onlinegames ( coursera ). The MOOC will not substitute for classroom meetings, but videos will sometimes serve as preparation for seminar meetings in lieu of other homework. 
(4) Digital projects. Students will create a blog and use digital tools such as Google Earth, Neatline, Twitter, and other social media to learn how to convey complex arguments in visual, spatial, and audio formats, The final project will be a contribution to a collaborative game design module. 
No background in gaming or digital technology is required.Students will learn the theory and practice of new media through demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Students will need a laptop and a mouse that is capable of running LOTR (see system requirements at http://lotro/com/en/content/system-requirements).
This course satisfies the Approach requirement.

ENGL 3890 - Movements in Literature                                                                        
Studies of intellectual currents that create a group or school of writers within a historical period. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is not duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3](HCA)
3890.01 - Movements in Literature: On the Job: The Workplace in U.S. Literature
Cecelia Tichi
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
With the work ethic as a deeply grained American value, the average U.S. adult worker spends at lease eight of each twenty-four hours on the job. From the industrial age to the digital age, American writers have chronicled the triumphs and travails, the challenges and successes of women and men at work on the high seas, on the farm, and in the factory. The literary record also spans the office to the cubicle and the hand-held device. A panoply of writers have weighed in on the meanings of the varied experienced of working and have done so with their razor-sharp skills of narration, drawing readers into the lives of vividly drawn characters and into story lines that may or may not have "happy endings". This course offers an investigation into the work-related traditions that have shaped, and continue to shape, contemporary thinking about "life on the job". 
Writers include Rebecca Harding Davis, Herman Melville, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Dave Eggers, Walter Mosley, and others. In addition to writing assignments, students will be expected to make presentations to the class and to conduct and record an interview with an adult worker. 
This course satisfies the Approach requirement.

3890.02 - Movements in Literature: Early Modern Women's Writing 
Jessie Hock
TR 1:10 - 2:25 
Women played a crucial role in the flourishing literary culture of early modern England as writers, readers, patrons, and critics. This course introduces students to a wide range of writing by early modern English women (and some of their continental piers), including poetry, letters, drama, translation, diaries, prose nonfiction, biography, and more. Situating this diverse body of literature within its cultural and theoretical contexts, students will learn about early modern literature, history, and culture, and will also read some of the most influential criticism of the past several decades on early modern women and women's writing. Particular attention will be paid to feminist criticism. Key topics of discussion include literacy, domesticity, constructions of self, sexuality, politics, religious and racial difference, print vs. manuscript culture, and scientific culture. 
Readings will include works by authors such as Elizabeth I, Wroth, Sidney, Lanyer, Behn, Hutchinson, Cavendish, and many more. Requirements include active class participation, short writing responses and other homework, and two papers. 
This course satisfies the History (literature before 1800) requirement.

3890W.01 - Movements in Literature: Coming of Age During the Decline of the British Empire
Elizabeth Covington
MWF 10:10 - 11:00
What happens to the bildungsroman - the novel of culture the shows a character coming to terms with his or her place in that culture - when the culture under question is in decline? This course samples various examples of the bildungsroman from the beginning through the full decline of the once-dominant British Empire. From controlling roughly 20% of the globe, the British saw its colonial holdings shrink and cultural control over a wide expanse of peoples contract steadily throughout the twentieth century. The course will begin with a question: when did the decline begin? As we explore the various possible answers to this question in history, culture, and literature, we will begin to theorize the characteristics of the decline and post-decline bildungsroman.

ENGL 3896 - Special Topics in Investigative Writing in America                             
This course will be taught by a distinguished visiting journalist from a major U.S. newspaper or magazine. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [1-3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of ENGL 3896] (No AXLE credit)
3896.01 - Special Topics in Investigative Writing in America: Climate Change Environmental Crisis
Amanda Little
W 3:10 - 5:00
Taught by award-winning environmental journalist, Amanda Little, who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Outside Magazine, this course focuses on the most important global challenge of our time. The story of climate change is a fascinating blend of crisis and opportunity: as warming temperatures pose ecological threats, activists and politicians are struggling to define a oath forward and innovators are forging new discoveries in energy, transportation, architecture, and food production. These struggles and discoveries are changing our industries, our politics, our culture, and our daily lives. This course will explore the thrill and challenge of documenting historic change. In books, articles, blogs, websites, and twitter feeds, we'll sample a broad range of writing on these topics, exploring science, the solutions, the players, the politics, the history, and the local impacts. We will Skype with professional journalists and editors. 

ENGL 3898 - Special Topics in English and American Literature                             
Topics vary. May be repeated for credit more than once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [3](HCA)
3898.01 - Special Topics in English and American Literature: James Joyce's Ulysses
Roy Gottfried
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 
Joyce's novel Ulysses is considered a prime example of Modernism. It is, by turns, a elaborated work and yet a simple human story; it is artfully crafted and yet highly realistic; it is recondite and dense, and yet direct and funny. 
This Honors seminar will be a detailed and close reading of the novel. Because Joyce's work is compendium of twentieth-century modes of thought, reading it should best be a collective and collaborative endeavor. Because Joyce's work has proved congenial to various kinds of literary interpretations and theory, students will be encouraged to find a particular approach on which to focus their response. The seminar, consequently, will be highly interactive, where each student will bring his or her personal interests and interpretations to discussion. In addition to active participation, there will be two papers (the first five and the second twelve to fifteen pages) and a brief book report on secondary material.
This course is an Honors Seminar; a cumulative 3.4 GPA is required.

3898.02 - Special Topics in English and American Literature: Shakespeare and Literary Theory
Lynn Enterline
MW 2:35 - 3:50
Whether as author or cultural icon, "Shakespeare" has frequently been at the heart of modern debates about the connections between culture and such personal and ethical matters as subjectivity, gender, desire, violence, and race. This course will investigate the long-standing, global preoccupation with Shakespeare from several historic angles, all of which could be thought of under the rubric of "theory." When critics today talk about theory, they usually are referring to twentieth and twenty-first century speculative moments - feminism, gender studies, semiotics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism - in which the nature of the connection between literature and culture, between the self and the social, are matters of heated debate. But to explore such problems, these modern theorists (and Shakespeare himself) both drew on a host of writers from the ancient world as well. Placing Shakespeare, an "early modern" author, in conversation with the ancient world as well as our own, "modern" one, we will read a few of his prominent poems and plays from three angles: in light of ancient debates about language, emotion, and power; in light of sixteenth century polemics that defended the theater or attacked it as dangerous to the commonwealth; and in light of modern theorists who adduce Shakespearean texts and characters as touchstones for their critical projects (formalism, psychoanalysis, feminism, gender studies, post-structuralism). No previous acquaintance with literary theory is necessary; we will clarify these movements as the seminar progresses.
This course satisfies the Approach requirement.

ENGL 4960 - Senior Year Capstone                                                                             
Topic chosen by the instructor. Prerequisite: 2200. [3](No AXLE credit)
4960.01 - Senior Year Capstone
Mark Wollaeger
TR 2:35 - 3:50 
Ever wanted a better answer when one of your parents' friends remarks of your English major, "What are you doing with that?" This course is designed to promote reflection on the problem of value in American society as it finds expression in contemporary debates about the future of the humanities, in the University and in society at large. What is the value of an English major, and of literature more generally, in a time of economic precarity, rapid change, and pressure toward the "useful," narrowly construed? to explore such questions, we'll read contemporary debates about the humanities as well as some influential texts from the past, from Friedrich Schiller's notion of the aesthetic education in the eighteenth century and Matthew Arnold's ideas about a liberal education in the nineteenth, up through the mid twentieth century debates about "the two cultures" (science and art) industrial novel, which uses romance conventions to assess the seemingly opposed values of business and the arts, a campus novel that raises related issues, and poetry and fiction that aims to articulate concepts of the literary as an autonomous realm of value. Finally, we'll study one other kind of text as well: the essays you have written for other classes in the English major; these you'll reconfigure into a wiki that locates the concerns in the history of your own writing, with an eye toward your future beyond the English major.

ENGL 4998 - Honors Colloquium                                                                                 
Background for writing the honors thesis. Emphasis on research methods, critical approaches, and the students' own projects. Limited to seniors admitted to the English Honors Program. [3](No AXLE credit)
4998.01 - Honors Colloquium
Teresa Goddu
M 3:00 - 5:40 
The Honors Colloquium prepares students to write their Honors Thesis in the spring (290b/4999). Through shared readings, students will explore a range of critical, theoretical, and creative approaches to literary texts and practice a variety of methodologies. Students will also learn research methods, effective modes of argumentation, and creative technique. Over the course of the semester, students will choose and d evelop their topic as they work collaboratively together in writing groups. The semester culminates with students writing the first chapter of their thesis. 
The colloquium is reserved for students who have applied and been admitted to the English Honors Program. 

Courses in other departments that are eligible for English credit

JS 2250.01 - Witnesses Who Were Not There: Literature of the Children of Holocaust Survivors
Adam Meyer
MWF 11:10 - 12
While much has been written about and by those who survived the German concentration camps during World War II, both fiction and nonfiction, relatively little has been written about and by the children of these survivors. Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, these second generation children began to raise their voices and discuss the Holocaust's impact on their lives, though they were not themselves present in the camps. This course is designed to look at these responses, as seen in both memoirs and fictional productions, in an attempt to understand the rationales and motivations behind their author's diverse reactions to the events.

ASIA 3151.01 - The Third World and Literature
Ben Tran
TR 9:35 - 10:50
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.
 

 

MORE