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Fall 2017 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 are Fall 2017 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.

 
1100.01 - Composition: A Secret History of the Essay
Jesse Montgomery
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
To write an essay is to make an attempt. In school, we typically use the word “essay” to refer to a thing: a piece of writing on a given subject that you have to write in order to pass a class. Used as a verb, to essay means to give something a shot, to make an effort. We’ll examine different types of essays – from reviews and blogs to opeds and creative nonfiction – to help us understand our own writing practice better. to our own writing practice. Become better writers and essayists by practicing the fundamentals of rhetoric and composition, participating in workshops, and taking up a range of writing assignments and experiments.

1100.02 - Composition: Where I End and You Begin: Owning Your Arguments
Lauren Mitchell
MWF, 12:10 - 1:00 PM
We laughed when the term "Alternative Facts" was catapulted into the public eye, but whether we like it or not, Kellyanne Conway may be on to something. We'll explore a range of nonfiction writing to consider how language mediates facts and opinions, often blurring the line between the two. We'll also use these texts to help us understand better strategies for constructing well-structured prose. Students are (very) welcome to incorporate interdisciplinary topics into the four required essays.

1100.04 - Composition: Oh, the Things you can Write!
Rachel Gould
MWF, 2:10 - 3:00 PM
Academic writing can seem daunting, but the best writing takes risks and explores new ideas. You'll build on that premise as you explore how writing helps to develop analytical thinking. We'll devote class time to work-shopping writing at various stages, and examining genres ranging from brief personal bios to academic arguments and a multimodal project. You'll end the semester by submitting a portfolio that displays all of your work and explains what strategies have and haven't worked for you. After all, becoming a better writer is a never-ending process.

1100.05 - Composition: From Craigslist to Critical Analysis: The Art of Creative Nonficton
Lee Conell
MWF, 3:10 - 4:00 PM
What rhetorical strategies does a Craigslist missed connection posting share with a New York Times op-ed? In this course, we'll consider effective ways to shape our nonfiction while also studying how certain writing patterns and strategies reshape our own arguments and perceptions. We will use techniques employed by fiction writers to creative immersive works of creative nonfiction, while also looking at ways creative nonfiction techniques may lend power to academic essays. In addition to reading a range of texts (from fiction, to memoir, to reviews, to features, and yes, even to Craigslist ads), we'll experiment with different writing structures to produce our own works of creative nonfiction, including personal essays, reviews, close readings, critical analyses, and academic arguments.

1111.01 - First-Year Writing Seminar: Women's Autobiographical Writing

Kate Daniels
MW, 8:10 - 9:25 AM
In this course, we will explore the construction of female identity as it is represented in narrative, poetic, and theoretical texts 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 narratives and poems we see them absorbing the images of women as depicted in popular culture, including romance, fairy tales, and myth. Psychoanalytic theory describes how some women develop a culturally determined, gendered personality by internalizing early familial and social relationships. These are dramatized in case studies, novels, and short stories. As they reach adulthood, women in these texts try out protective roles in the world of work and writing. Readings will be chosen from such genres as the novel of development (Jane Eyre, The Awakening), autobiography (Woman Warrior), the historical novel (Beloved), case studies, essays, and poetry.

1111.08 - First-Year Writing Seminar: The Simple Art of Murder: Knowledge and Guilt in Detective Literature
Scott Juengel
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
An examination of classic works of detective fiction with a view toward exploring the ways in which knowledge and guilt interact in criminal activity and investigation. Authors to be considered include Sophocles, Shakespeare, Poe, Doyle, Christie, Chandler, Highsmith, Himes, Bugliosi, and Harris. Again and again we will encounter the difficulty of separating the art of murder from the performance of murder; again and again we will see that the art of murder is never really simple.

1111.10 - First-Year Writing Seminar: Shakespeare's Legacy
Kathryn Schwarz
MWF, 2:10 - 3:00 PM
Shakespeare died in 1616, but was not hailed as the supreme exemplar of English poetic genius for over a century. This course will examine the processes through which Shakespeare became an icon of literary accomplishment, drawing on the fascinating responses to his works. We will read several of Shakespeare's plays and poems, study commentary across centuries, examine adaptations including novels and films, and trace Shakespearean citations in a range of cultural contexts. We will neither applaud nor question Shakespeare's poetic genius, but rather appreciate its evolution as a phenomenon.

1111.36 - First-Year Writing Seminar: Foundational Stories of the Western Tradition
Roy Gottfried
MWF, 8:10 - 9:00 AM
This course examines a variety of narratives that have formed the basis of Western literature and culture. Readings include the Old Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Greek tragedy, Aesop, Ovid, Medieval Arthurian romances, The Arabian Nights, and Grimm's fairy tales.

1111.38 - First-Year Writing Seminar: Representations of War
Vereen Bell
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
Representations of War Novels, memoirs, films, poems, and historical writings will provide examples of representations of war beginning with World War I and ending with the war in Afghanistan. Historical events and their representations always contain conflicting truths. The process of identifying and reconciling these truths will be the main focus of this course.

1111.52 - First-Year Writing Seminar: Shakespeare: Madmen, Lovers and Poets
Leah Marcus
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
This course takes its title from King Theseus's disparaging statement in Midsummer Night's Dream: "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact." King Theseus meant his statement to disparage all three groups, but there is strong evidence that Shakespeare disagreed with his dim view of them. Many of Shakespeare's plays hinge on madness and/or love, and all are full of poetry. We will study four plays from Shakespeare canon in order to explore his views of madness and melancholy, love, and creativity. Works to be included include Hamlet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It... We will use film versions of the plays as part of our discussions, and students will be encouraged (but not required) to participate in class performances, depending on student interest.

1210W.01 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Monsters in Fiction
Justin Quarry
TR, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
In this course, we will explore various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fiction 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
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
In this course, we will explore various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fiction 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: "New Woman" Feminist Fiction
Sari Carter
MWF, 8:10 - 9:00 AM
What does it mean to call something "new"? What about calling a woman new? Sharpen your critical thinking and writing skills by analyzing feminist fiction from the "New Woman" movement. We'll explore novels by writers such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Virginia Woolf, whose daring artist expression argue for liberation. Three argumentative essays and revisions, with informal reading responses and a final presentation, aim to develop your ability to effectively use academic writing conventions to engage with the forms and techniques of fiction.

1210W.04 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Rethinking Women's Writing
Alex Oxner
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
In the wake of the gender-charged rhetoric of the recent presidential election, it's critical for us to consider women writers. How do they reimagine gender and sexuality in their texts? We'll examine popular media and works by writers such as Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and Alice Walker to consider who gender and genre play out in a range of forms, from realism and ghost stories to detective fiction and others. You'll write two "mini" essays and two formal essays that incorporate creative writing, close reading, and other writing conventions that can be adapted to writing in your own major.

1210W.05 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Crime and Punishment
Thea Autry
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
What does it mean for the punishment to fit the crime? Develop your critical reading and writing skills by engaging with prose selections that force ethical questions about the nature of crime and the line between justice and punishment. Grading is based on four formal papers in multiple genres, paper revisions, a presentation, and regular informal writing, all designed to prepare you for conversing across a broad range of ideas and disciplines.

1210W.06 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques
Kristen Navarro
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

1210W.08 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques: Robots in the Literary Imagination
Kira Braham
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
What could robots do for us? What could they do to us? In an attempt to answer these questions, writers such as Isaac Asimov, Phillip K. Dick, and Marge Piercy have imagined a variety of roles for humanoid artificial life. You will employ academic and creative writing to explore and analyze the way in which each of these roles—worker, solider, rebel, lover, tyrant—represents the hopes and fears associated with creating life in our own image. We will focus on writing as a process, working together to develop thoughtful writing practices.

1210W.09 - Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques
Hortense Spillers
TR, 9:35 - 10:50

1220W.01 - Drama: Forms and Techniques
Bridget Orr
TR, 1:10 - 2:25
This course explores the 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: The Fourth Wall Down and the Family Exposed
Judy Klass
TR, 4:00 - 5:15 PM
In this course, we will look
at how plays have changed over the last 2,500 years, and how theatrical conversations like the Green 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 the "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 remains.
The theme running through the plays selected for this course might be described as: "the fourth wall down and the family exposed." Theater, as opposed to film, is a form with obvious spatial limitations, and that can create a claustrophobic atmosphere on-stage--but such an atmosphere is ideal for an exploration of certain families in which characters feel trapped, stuck with the people they live with, doomed by blood ties, and perhaps by economic circumstances--or by a need to connect, to inflict harm, to be affirmed, forgiven, or vindicated. Audiences observing any group of characters are voyeurs, in a sense, but film audiences are more like peeping Toms, watching a parade of visual images go by, while theater audiences are more like eavesdroppers, listening as complicated arguments and conversations reveal things about the speakers. Moreover, there is far more room in a play than in a film to let a scene play out, over time, and to peel away the layers of the characters and of their relationships as one might peel an onion; the unlikely mix of love, hate, anger, guilt, resentment, admiration, playfulness, bafflement, and certainty involved in some family relationships can be given full scope, as it cannot be on film. So we will look at how plays about families have changed over time, and make connections between some very different works.
In this course we will 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.
WARNING: Some of these plays can be hard to read if you are going through a rough patch in your own family. If that's the case, this may not be the time to take this course.

1220W.03 - Drama: Forms and Techniques: The Tragic Sense of Life
Chance Woods
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM

This course examines how drama, particularly its tragic form, has been used at key moments within Western history to explore and to transcend human suffering. Focusing principally on Attic and Shakespearean tragedy, we will analyze important dramatic works that reveal how individuals were able to confront mutually contradictory aspects of life. One important dimension of our exploration will involve appreciating how tragedy, contrary to popular belief, does not necessarily entail a pessimistic or nihilistic stance towards human existence. We will explore perennial concerns such as heroism, national and familial loyalty, individual freedom, universalism, sexuality, and the limits of empire. We will see how tragedy is at once both existentially and collectively important.

1220W.04 - Drama: Forms and Techniques
Bridget Orr
TR, 9:35 - 10:50
This course explores the 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.

1230W.02 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Literature and the City
Lucy Kim
MWF, 8:10 - 9:00 AM
How do cities shape us? Develop your critical writing and analytical thinking skills by reading canonical works across multiple genres that coalesce around the common element of urban environment and experience. These formal essays (with at least one mandatory revision for each assignment) will comprise the majority of your grade. You'll end the semester with improved skills of literary analysis as well as clear and effective writing using academic writing conventions.

1230W.03 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Hacking the Color Line: Black Cultural and Political Improvisations
Terrell Taylor
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
How have black artists and thinkers altered the codes of white supremacy and anti-blackness in the pursuit of freedom? We'll explore the innovations and improvisations in African-American literary and cultural works, reading such authors as W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, to better understand how texts interact with their audiences. You'll write and revise three essays that progress from analysis, to comparison, and finally evaluation.

1230W.04 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: What is Nature?
Rachel Teukolsky
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
What is nature? Is it found in a park where you wander among trees and cute forest animals? Is it an untouched, pristine wilderness? Are some of us closer to nature than others? This course examines the ways that artists and writers have constructed "nature" as an idealized place or set of qualities, partly imaginary, partly concrete. We will consider a broad range of literature, imagery, philosophy, and film, including clips from Disney nature films like Bambi; Steven Spielberg's shark-shocker, Jaws; science fiction/eco-fiction by Octavia Butler (Dawn) and Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Romantic nature poetry by Wordsworth; H. Thoreau, Walden ("Why I Went into the Woods"); Charles Darwin, Origin of Species; H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau; and Hayao Miyazaki's animated film, Spirited Away. Assignments will emphasize student writing and analytical skills.

1230W.05 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Love and Marriage
Thomas (TJ) Cienki
MWF, 8:10 - 9:00 AM
Why do we love love? Learn and hone your critical writing and argumentation skills as we explore stories, plays, novels, and rom-coms that end happily ever after or otherwise devolve into marital malaise. Representative works include: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Anne Fletcher's 27 Dresses (film), and short stories by Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Nell Freudenberger. End the semester with an outstanding portfolio that includes two analytical essays and one final creative adaptation based on the traditional marriage plot or one of its variants.

1230W.06 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: The Center Cannot Hold: Twentieth Century Literature
Nancy Roche
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM

In his poem, “The Second Coming”, W. B. Yeats states: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”  Written in the aftermath of WWI, Yeats was disillusioned with violence and its effect upon society.  The Twentieth Century saw the rise of two world wars, protest movements and political revolutions, social upheaval, changes in manners and mores, the dissolution of empires, and the technology necessary for globalization.  Furthermore, this time frame produced two major literary eras: Modernism and Postmodernism.  In this course we will look at texts that herald and reflect major social change and analyze the cultural and historical context of their construction.  We will consider various genres and a diverse collection of writers from this period, including: James Joyce, Joan Didion, Virginia Woolf, Cormac McCarthy, Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Thomas Pynchon. 

1230W.07 - Literature and Analytical Thinking: Love and Money
Elizabeth Meadows
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

How are love and money entangled in the stories we tell and consume—in literature, in films, and in our lives? What do we value more, and how are those values represented in cultural expressions like TV shows, books, movies, and advertisements? Students will develop their analytical thinking skills by considering these questions as we examine texts ranging from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to the best-selling Bridget Jones’s Diary, with a number of poems, a novel, and a very different play in between. Through weekly response papers, writing workshops, three essays (with a creative option for the final essay!), and multiple opportunities for revision, students will hone their writing skills and become more adept in deploying academic and creative writing strategies appropriately and effectively.

1240.01 - Beginning Nonfiction Workshop: The Art of the Personal Essay
Piyali Bhattacharya
T, 12:10 - 3:00 PM
In the age of the online essay, what is it that makes a piece of writing go "viral?" In other words, what makes a piece of nonfiction resonate with readers, many of whom may never have gone through the experiences about which the essay has been written? What are the reasons to write a personal essay? Is it for the writer to find meaning and healing, is it to connect with a community of others who feel the same way, is it to make passionate arguments about deeply held beliefs? How is the form of Personal Essay different from that of Memoir or Autobiography? These are the themes we will explore in this course. During the semester, we will read pieces by successful essay writers and identify the reasons why they have consistently struck a chord with readers. Additionally, the course will be a workshop for student writing in which we'll draw from our own life stories to write well-crafted, thematically cohesive, and pithy essays. Each student will submit at least two essays during the course of the semester which will be critiqued by the members of the class.

1250W.01 - Introduction to Poetry
Beth Bachmann
MWF, 12:10 - 1:00 PM
The aim of this course is to cultivate critical reading and writing skills for analyzing poetry. Through close readings, discussions and writing assignments, you will build a vocabulary for thinking about poetry and acquire tools for interpreting and appreciating poems. It is my hope that by learning to read and write about poetry, you will develop your own responses to the questions, ‘what is poetry’ and ‘why poetry matters.’
Course requirements: Participation 20%; response papers 10%; presentation 15%; essay one 15%; essay two 15%; essay three 25%.

1250W.02 - Introduction to Poetry: Between Ecstasy and Truth: An Introduction to Poetry
Chance Woods
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM

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.03 - Introduction to Poetry
Pavneet Aulakh
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
"Poetry makes nothing happen," W. H. Auden wrote in his elegy for the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Describing it instead as "A way of happening, a mouth," he nonetheless emphasized its physicality in a way complementary to Yeats' own insistence on the material labor of "stitching and unstitching" language into a poem. Instead of writing poetry, he wrote, it would be "Better [to] go down upon your marrow bones / And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones," unless you're fully committed that is. In a far more idealizing vein, Sir Philip Sidney celebrated the "high-flying liberty of conceit" that enables poets to deliver us a "golden world" instead of the "brazen" one in which we live. In this course, we will engage with these definitions along with the broad range of means by which poetry has been defined and the ends to which it has been put to use. Treating our class as a singing school--where we will indeed sing on occasion (only metaphorically, so don't worry!)--we will begin by approaching poetry as a material craft involving the various elements of meter, rhyme, imagery, line construction, and formal organization. The goal here will be to gain an appreciation for, and sharpen our ears and eyes to, the making of poetry. Poets got their names after all because they were makers (πoeîv, to make). But in our journey through a history of poetry, we will also concentrate on the different purposes poetry has served: whether in the interests of private meditation, public protest, and even popular culture.

1250W.04 - Introduction to Poetry: Crazy, Stupid Love
Joanna Huh
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
Is it really better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all? We'll examine love poetry from the classical to the modern period, considering how poetry has shaped our concept of love today. You'll compose three formal essays and a short creative writing piece, which will help you to become a more critical thinker, reader, writer, and communicator.

1250W.05 - Introduction to Poetry: Science in Verse
Katie Mullins
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
What do species extinction, atomic structure, and weather patterns have in common? Poets like Lucretius, Margaret Cavendish, and Sherman Alexie have explored each of these concepts in verse. We’ll explore how science and poetry complement each other, and examine the long history of intersection between these discourses. Your grade will be based on three writing-intensive projects that you’ll develop and revise throughout the semester: a close-reading essay, a scripted podcast, and an analytical research poster. You’ll leave the course with knowledge of the mechanics and aesthetics of poetry, an appreciation of the relationship between poetic form and scientific thought, and a better command of your own academic writing and revision skills.

1250W.06 - Introduction to Poetry
Lisa Dordal
MWF, 11:10 - 12:00
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 also will 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 collection 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.07 - Introduction to Poetry
Lisa Dordal
MWF, 12:10 - 1:00 PM
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 also will 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 collection 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.08 - Introduction to Poetry
Pavneet Aulakh
MWF, 12:10 - 1:00 PM

1250W.09 - Introduction to Poetry
Rick Hilles
TR, 9:35 - 10:50 AM
This course will enrich your understanding and love of poetry by introducing you to--and asking you to meaningfully engage with--a wide range of influential poems written in (and translated into) English. Toward this end, we will focus on major poems written from the Renaissance to the present time. We will examine how poems achieve their power both formally (through a close examination of their prosodic elements) and through close readings, primarily in the form of class discussions, but also in the form of written explorations of these texts.

1250W.10 - Introduction to Poetry
Nancy Roche
MWF, 2:10 - 3:00 PM

The purpose of this course is to enhance your understanding and appreciation 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 includes poets writing outside the English language.   

1250W.11 - Introduction to Poetry
Amanda Kinnard
TR, 8:10 - 9:25 AM

1250W.12 - Introduction to Poetry: Between Ecstasy and Truth: An Introduction to Poetry
Chance Woods
TR, 9:35 - 10:50 AM

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: Poetry as Performance: From the Page, to the Stage, to the Screen
Courtney Brown
MWF, 8:10 - 9:00 AM
We'll confront various poetic forms and moments, from Renaissance, to the Harlem Renaissance, to contemporary slam poetry. Our focus on basic rhetorical analysis and strategy will help you build the tools necessary to engage with and improve upon your own writing both as process and as critical text.

1260W.01 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Shakespeare and Film
Lynn Enterline
MWF, 1:10 - 2:00 PM
Shakespeare was part of the film industry almost from its inception: the first Nickelodeon attractions showed the public a version of “King John.” This seminar puts Shakespeare’s plays in dialogue with film adaptations of them, ranging from Hollywood and BBC to avant-garde productions. And it is organized around topics that pertain both to sixteenth century and contemporary culture. For example: visual representation and political power; gender, cross-dressing, and cultural anxiety; education and class. Even students who have little familiarity with Shakespeare will find that the course is structured to give them plenty of time to absorb and interpret his work, since we read and discuss the play texts before watching and discussing film interpretations of each. The class will acquaint students with drama in both comic and tragic modes, consider the difference between theatrical practices and film production, and familiarize students with a variety of ways to think about film “authorship.” Finally, it will enable students to learn the basics of literary and visual interpretation and to bring those skills to bear as they learn the art of the analytic essay.
Texts to include: Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Othello, Titus Andronicus, and selected sonnets.
Films to include: Shekar Kapur, Elizabeth (1998), Kenneth Branagh, Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Richard Eyre, Stage Beauty (2004), Rupert Goold, Macbeth (2010), Peter Hall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968), John Madden, Shakespeare in Love (1998), Trevor Nunn, Twelfth Night (1996), Oliver Parker, Othello (1996), Julie Taymor, Titus (2000), Franco Zeffirelli, Taming of the Shrew (1967).

1260W.02 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Film and the Ethics of Desire: Love and the Body in the Film Image
Sam Girgus
TR, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
“Film and the Ethics of Desire” sees the body in film as a scene for enacting an ethical philosophy of sexual difference that transforms the flesh and renews time. The study argues that the body in film inevitably entails an ethical encounter in its engagement with the other and in its social and cultural contexts. While film in a society of image, media, and manipulation historically promotes the exploitation of a spatially-framed and confined sexual body, film also can envisage the redemption of a new time of infinite ethical alterity. Film can engender meaning through the embodied Levinasian “face” of love and responsibility for the other. Reading Emmanuel Levinas, Julia Kristeva, and Lucy Irigaray, it becomes possible to see in film an embodied merging of eros and ethics that imitates what Irigaray would call the time and “wonder” of eros.
Bridging ethics and psychoanalysis, the class proposes that the thought of Levinas, Kristeva, and Irigaray intersects on love, the body, and the other to provide a critical apparatus for studying the crisis of the ineluctable embodied relationship between eros and ethics on screen. Despite their differences, these three thinkers cohere in seeing the body as the vital center in a philosophical, psychological, and cultural struggle for revivifying our understanding of the significance of the relationship between love and ethics in our time. Thus, this project in film integrates Levinas’s philosophy of radical ethical demand, Irigaray’s program for embodied love and identity, and Kristeva’s psychoanalytical approach to love, culture, and history.

1260W.04 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Amanda Kinnard
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM

1260W.05 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Shelby Johnson
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
This course is designed to empower you to face the rigors of college-level writing by helping you to practice several common genres of analysis and argumentation using a broad array of literary genres and texts. Using “extinction” as our analytical point of departure, we will explore how literature and film portray and reflect on the disappearance of languages, cultures, lifeways, ecologies, animal species, and (in the some of our more powerful science fiction narratives) human life itself. In particular, we will pay close attention to how these narratives are constructed – When, for instance, can one tell when a language or an animal species is truly gone? Who has the authority to describe why an ecology or a civilization disappeared? And who gets to tell the story? Perhaps most importantly, do you need a survivor – who can function as either narrator or reader – to describe the end of the world? For many of the texts we will encounter, the form of the narrative moves back and forth between depicting wide-ranging and complex forms of extinction and the singular experiences of a narrator. In this way, issues of decay, destruction, and survival become inextricably bound up in the ways we tell stories.
Given this focus on narrative, genre, and forms of storytelling, this class also foregrounds the development of your own persuasive, analytical voice, and will help you to develop strategies for communicating your own unique ideas and assessing others’ writing, including your peers’. Using a variety of analytical techniques – including personal narrative and creative writing, close reading, and writing with primary and secondary sources – you will analyze the narrative strategies and forms of the texts we read, while also practice constructing your own arguments or narratives.

1260W.06 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Shelby Johnson
TR, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
This course is designed to empower you to face the rigors of college-level writing by helping you to practice several common genres of analysis and argumentation using a broad array of literary genres and texts. Using “extinction” as our analytical point of departure, we will explore how literature and film portray and reflect on the disappearance of languages, cultures, lifeways, ecologies, animal species, and (in the some of our more powerful science fiction narratives) human life itself. In particular, we will pay close attention to how these narratives are constructed – When, for instance, can one tell when a language or an animal species is truly gone? Who has the authority to describe why an ecology or a civilization disappeared? And who gets to tell the story? Perhaps most importantly, do you need a survivor – who can function as either narrator or reader – to describe the end of the world? For many of the texts we will encounter, the form of the narrative moves back and forth between depicting wide-ranging and complex forms of extinction and the singular experiences of a narrator. In this way, issues of decay, destruction, and survival become inextricably bound up in the ways we tell stories.
Given this focus on narrative, genre, and forms of storytelling, this class also foregrounds the development of your own persuasive, analytical voice, and will help you to develop strategies for communicating your own unique ideas and assessing others’ writing, including your peers’. Using a variety of analytical techniques – including personal narrative and creative writing, close reading, and writing with primary and secondary sources – you will analyze the narrative strategies and forms of the texts we read, while also practice constructing your own arguments or narratives.

1260W.07 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Kristen Navarro
MWF, 1:10 - 2:00

1260W.08 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Contemporary Asian America through Novels, Film, and Television
Piyali Bhattacharya
TR, 4:00 - 5:15 PM
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: Literary Cinematic Adaptations
Nancy Roche
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM

This course seeks to establish an understanding of the relationship between literary texts and their cinematic counterparts. Through the study of plays, short fiction, novels, children’s literature, graphic novels, and foreign films, students will discern principles governing the process of cinematic adaptation. We will review narrative theory and structure, map changes in plotlines due to particular strategies of filmmakers, and observe cultural differences in foreign to domestic adaptations.  Elements of film art such as cinematography, mise-en-scene, lighting, use of color, costuming, computer generated imagery, and editing will be closely examined.
Focusing on the postmodern era, this class examines literary adaptations in the form of traditional, mainstream Hollywood films and low-budget, independent cinema. In order to scrutinize methods of narrative construction, we will consider stories that are manipulated to fit the objectives, methodology, and means of cinematic production. An analysis of specific literary texts, along with close observation of the films they generate, will allow us to judge the efficacy and merit of their content.

1260W.14 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Border Crossings: Home, Exile and the Refugee
Alex Dubilet
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM

Perhaps nothing marks the contemporary moment as much as the global refugee crisis. Images and stories of people fleeing their homelands to escape catastrophe saturate the contemporary political and social media landscape. Engaging poetic, fictional, and theoretical texts, this class will explore the ethical, affective, and political dimensions of the figure of the refugee, the exile, and the migrant. It will ask how can aesthetic production by and about displaced people complicate our understanding and allow us to think critically about the nature of the nation, of the state, and of the home. During the semester, students will learn how to read, analyze, and write about various genres of cultural production.

1260W.15 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Kristen Navarro
MWF, 3:10 - 4:00 PM

1260W.16 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Border Crossings: Home, Exile and the Refugee
Alex Dubilet
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

Perhaps nothing marks the contemporary moment as much as the global refugee crisis. Images and stories of people fleeing their homelands to escape catastrophe saturate the contemporary political and social media landscape. Engaging poetic, fictional, and theoretical texts, this class will explore the ethical, affective, and political dimensions of the figure of the refugee, the exile, and the migrant. It will ask how can aesthetic production by and about displaced people complicate our understanding and allow us to think critically about the nature of the nation, of the state, and of the home. During the semester, students will learn how to read, analyze, and write about various genres of cultural production.

1260W.17 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis: Literatures of Community
Don Rodrigues
MW, 4:00 - 5:15 PM

This is a course all about communities: identity-based communities, institutionally-erected communities, communities both physical and virtual. We will focus particular attention on how “community” interfaces with and challenges notions of “individuality,” and how these matters are represented and theorized in works of literature, philosophy, film, and digital culture. Our studies will begin in the Renaissance and take us to the present; texts will include works such as Thomas More’s Utopia, Edgar Allan Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death,” and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. As this is a writing-intensive course, you will compose three essays throughout the term, one of which you will revise. You will also be expected to participate vigorously during every class as we examine the possibilities and limits of the multiple, intersecting communities to which we belong, including our very own classroom.

1260W.18 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis
Mary Somerville
MW, 4:00 - 5:15 PM

In Marilynne Robinson’s essay collection When I Was a Child I Read Books, she writes that, as a child, she read widely, devouring “books that were old and thick and hard,” exploring poetry and history and everything in between.  Just as a familiarity with narrative contributes to the development of the individual, she writes that ancient narratives were vital “in the development of human culture.”  In this course, we will ask how America is currently developing through its relationship with the written word.  We will read a number of classic poems, plays, short stories, and essays and investigate their connection to present-day American culture by taking a critical look at performances, advertisements, and other media platforms.

1270W.01 - Introduction to Literary Criticism: Love Stories
Robbie Spivey
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction to Literary Criticism: Love Stories This course is subtitled “love stories” partly because we will read two celebrated examples: Antony and Cleopatra and Wuthering Heights. Here, “love” is an adjective, describing a set of narrative conventions. But “love” is also a verb, signaling one of many things readers do with stories. As readers, we may love literature, learn from literature, and believe that some literature is especially good for us.  But how do we know? What standards apply when deeming a text worthy to be called “literature,” or “good”? Our answers to these questions may be influenced by classic critics – from Plato, who believed that poetry corrupts, to Matthew Arnold who believed that good poetry would replace religion.  As this course surveys the work of these and later critics, we’ll find that twentieth-century critics show less concern for which texts are worthy of our love and more concern with which actions are worthy of a text. For example, when psychoanalyzing a text, is the goal to reveal the repressed desires of the author or the repressed desires of the reader? To what degree should we consider an author’s intention for a text, its cultural context, or even the means of production (who printed the words on paper, bound the pages, and distributed the book to readers)? What does it mean to read like a gender critic, a cultural critic, or a deconstructionist? As we answer these questions we will apply various critical approaches to Antony and Cleopatra and Wuthering Heights. We can also apply these critical approaches to other, less conventional love stories – for example, the selfie. What happens when we read the selfie as a sort of love story, and what does critical analysis of the selfie yield? This course will help complicate the questions we ask of literary and cultural texts and complicate our understanding of how such texts shape experience – perhaps even our own love stories. Note: Students will be encouraged to attend the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s production of Antony and Cleopatra (and to take a selfie, of course!).

1270W.02 - Introduction to Literary Criticism: Love Stories
Robbie Spivey
MWF, 1:10 - 2:00 PM
Introduction to Literary Criticism: Love Stories This course is subtitled “love stories” partly because we will read two celebrated examples: Antony and Cleopatra and Wuthering Heights. Here, “love” is an adjective, describing a set of narrative conventions. But “love” is also a verb, signaling one of many things readers do with stories. As readers, we may love literature, learn from literature, and believe that some literature is especially good for us.  But how do we know? What standards apply when deeming a text worthy to be called “literature,” or “good”? Our answers to these questions may be influenced by classic critics – from Plato, who believed that poetry corrupts, to Matthew Arnold who believed that good poetry would replace religion.  As this course surveys the work of these and later critics, we’ll find that twentieth-century critics show less concern for which texts are worthy of our love and more concern with which actions are worthy of a text. For example, when psychoanalyzing a text, is the goal to reveal the repressed desires of the author or the repressed desires of the reader? To what degree should we consider an author’s intention for a text, its cultural context, or even the means of production (who printed the words on paper, bound the pages, and distributed the book to readers)? What does it mean to read like a gender critic, a cultural critic, or a deconstructionist? As we answer these questions we will apply various critical approaches to Antony and Cleopatra and Wuthering Heights. We can also apply these critical approaches to other, less conventional love stories – for example, the selfie. What happens when we read the selfie as a sort of love story, and what does critical analysis of the selfie yield? This course will help complicate the questions we ask of literary and cultural texts and complicate our understanding of how such texts shape experience – perhaps even our own love stories. Note: Students will be encouraged to attend the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s production of Antony and Cleopatra (and to take a selfie, of course!).

1280.01 - Beginning Fiction Workshop
Carla Diaz
MWF, 3:10 - 4:00 PM

1280.02 - Beginning Fiction Workshop
Alina Grabowski
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM

1290.01 - Beginning Poetry Workshop
Sophie Stid
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM

1290.02 - Beginning Poetry Workshop
Cydnee Devereaux
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

2200.01 - Foundations of Literary Study
Elizabeth Covington
MWF, 1:10 - 2:00 PM
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 on 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 domain.

2200.02 - Foundations of Literary Study
Elizabeth Covington
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
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 on 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 domain.

2200.03 - Foundations of Literary Study
Pavneet Aulakh
MWF, 2:10 - 3:00 PM

2200.04 - Foundations of Literary Study
Mark Wollaeger
TR, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
This 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 as 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 sources (e.g., critical, contextual, theoretical) to enhance your analyses and arguments and to ways pf tapping into your creativity as both a critical and creative writer. Indeed, the course presupposes deep affinities between creative and critical thought. Requirements: three essays, three exercises, regular attendance and participation.

2310.01 - Representative British Writers (from the beginning to 1660)
Roger Moore
TR, 9:35 - 10:50 AM
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.
(HISTORY/PRE-1800)

2316.01 - Representative American Writers
Gabriel Briggs
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
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.

2316W.01 - Representative American Writers
Shelby Johnson
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
At the 2017 White House Correspondents Dinner, Indian-American Muslim comedian Hasan Minhaj compared the press’s experiences under the current presidential administration to that of minority groups in the United States: “When one of [the media] messes up, [Trump] blames your entire group. Now you know how it feels to be a minority … Now that you're a minority, everyone is going to expect you to be a mouthpiece for your entire group.” In making this joke, Minhaj puts pressure on what it means to be a “representative” American – or, more particularly, a representative American writer. In this course, we will explore autobiography and life writing from American writers as a way to think through the tensions between expressing a singular, unique point of view and “representing” a culture, ethnic group, religion, or sexual orientation considered to be “minority” experiences within broader American culture. We will address a range of writers composing autobiographical works from the late 1600s to the present, and who are working within multiple genres, including prose, poetry, drama, graphic novels, stand-up comedy, and visual albums. We will also closely attend to the politics of publication – the significance of editors, translators, amanuenses, distribution networks, and the creative tensions of “semi-autobiographical” genre decisions – to think through experiments in self-fashioning in American literature.
Given this focus on the techniques, genres, and tensions of autobiographical storytelling, this class also foregrounds the development of your own persuasive voice, and will help you to develop strategies for assessing others’ writing. Using a variety of analytical techniques – including personal narrative and creative writing, close reading, and writing with primary and secondary sources – you will analyze the narrative strategies and forms of the texts we read, while also practice constructing your own persuasive arguments.

2318W.01 - World Literature, Classical
Julia Fesmire
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”
The above quotation from Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing explains why I think the study of literature is important. This course is an opportunity to become familiar with some of the most powerful texts of our literary tradition. The texts I have chosen for this class will, I hope, provide an opportunity for us to learn something about how literature has developed and changed from classical antiquity through the Renaissance. We will focus on concepts of heroism and courage, paying particular attention to the hero’s reaction to change, instability, adversity, and death. How do these texts portray the task of the hero? How does his quest affect relations between mortals and immortals? Within the models offered by our texts, is it possible for women to be heroic? How do fear and grief become avenues for challenging the social and order, and how do these emotions contribute towards the hero’s education?
Texts will include: 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); Gilgamesh (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).
(HISTORY/PRE-1800)

2319W.01 - World Literature, Modern: What in the World is World Literature?
Akshya Saxena
TR, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
What in the World is World Literature? Quite simply, this is the question our course is asking! In its most expansive sense, however, we are interested in the relationship between what is understood as globalization, literature, and the organization of literary studies. With both the world and literature being fiercely contested categories, how do we make sense of the idea and allure of a singular canon of world literature? How does an intellectual stake in "world literature" illuminate imaginations and contestations of cosmopolitanism, worldliness, nation states, and the idea that there is one humanity? What is the role of translation from and to globally hegemonic languages such as English and French in consolidating a world literature? What does world literature have to do with markets and orientalism? Does "world literature" run the risk of lapsing into a kind of literary tourism?
We will work through these questions (and formulate many more!) through a wide variety of literary and theoretical texts. We will examine the ways in which the category of "World Literature" has been imagined in different time periods, literary cultures, and geopolitical contexts through the writings of Goethe, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Gayatri, Spivak, Rabindranath Tagore, Jing Tsu, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, et cetera. Equally important, we will read texts considered examples of "Modern World Literature" that complicate the notion of one humanity and one world. Readings will include works by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt), Assia Djebar (Algeria), Derek Walcott (St. Lucia), Salman Rushdie (India), Rabindranath Tagore (India), Lu Xun (China), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia), and Okot p'Bitek (Uganda) among others.
(DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE)

2319W.02 - World Literature, Modern: Reading, Romance, and the Novel
Allison Schachter
MW, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
Why are novels about romance and desire marketed directly to women through categories like chick lit and romance? What is the relationship between and novel reading and women’s desires? In this course, we’ll look at the role that women’s desires play in the rise of prose fiction from nineteenth century France to twenty and twenty-first century Vietnam and Argentina. We begin with Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1856), a controversial and groundbreaking novel that was charged with obscenity in the French courts because of its realist and objective depiction of adultery. One of the novel’s defining features was its willingness to represent everyday life, including the everyday experiences of women. We will then read a range of novels that are in conversation with Flaubert’s ground breaking realist aesthetic and his protagonist’s adulterous desires. We will examine how these later novels portray romantic desire, the act of reading, and the banalities of everyday life. We’ll link these portrayals to social, economic, and political transformations in a range of different cultural contexts. The course will be writing intensive, focusing on skills such as persuasive argumentation and close literary analysis. This course fills the diverse perspective requirement for the English major.
(DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE)

2320.01 - Southern Literature: Making History, Reading Fiction
Colin Dayan
TR, 9:35 - 10:50 AM
What is the South? How do we understand what it means to be “Southern”? We will begin the semester with C. Vann Woodward’s Grady McWhiney’s, Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South and C. Vann Woodward’s The New Jim Crow. Our next readings will be antebellum slave cases (1830-1858). After a discussion of histories of the Civil War—and the battle over symbols—we will ask how writers of fiction grappled with questions of race and romance, gothic terror and amorous bondage, turning briefly to Edgar Allan Poe, Lydia Maria Child, Harriet Jacobs, and more familiar twentieth and twenty-first century writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Cormac McCarthy, Jesmyn Ward, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Requirements: Class participation, weekly response papers, a presentation, and a final paper.

3210.01 - Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Advocacy Writing
Sandy Solomon
M, 3:10 - 6:00 PM
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 chose to consider. The class will participate 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 e-mail 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 e-mail all people on the waiting list to tell them whether they have gained admission.

3210.02 - Intermediate Nonfiction Writing: Life Writing: Memoirs about People, Places, Historical Moments
Sandy Solomon
W, 3:10 - 6:00 PM
Of the forms of creative nonfiction, memoir is arguably the most popular. Why so? Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their loves 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 doing so, 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 e-mail 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 e-mail all people on the waiting list to tell them whether they have gained admission.

3230.01 - Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Justin Quarry
W, 3:10 - 6:00 PM
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 craft and strengthening their utilization of narrative techniques, and of incorporating elements of fantasy in literary fiction. The chief texts for this course will be approximately thirty stories written by workshop members, but throughout the semester students also will read and examine craft essays and contemporary American short fiction in order to better understand how to apply what they learn to their own writing. The final for the course will consist of a significant revision of one or two original short 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 waitlist, and you will receive application instructions for the course in early May.

3230.02 - Intermediate Fiction Workshop
Nancy Reisman
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
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, and other elements. The course involves regular reading of and responses 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 in 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).

3250.01 - Intermediate Poetry Workshop
Mark Jarman
M, 2:10 - 5:00 PM
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.
Once you have been added to the waiting list for this class, you should send me, via e-mail, three examples of your poetry. They do not have to be formal verse.

3314.01 - Chaucer
Leah Marcus and Rick Hilles
TR, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
(HISTORY/PRE-1800)

3336.01 - Shakespeare (comedy and history)
Kathryn Schwarz
MWF, 1:10 - 2:00 PM
This course focuses on the first half of Shakespeare's career, during which he wrote histories, comedies, and tragedies. Rather than take a strictly chronological approach, we will look at clusters of plays that invite us to think across genres. How does a tragedy such as Titus Andronicus ask the same questions about political instability as a history such as Richard III? How might a comedy such as Measure for Measure illuminate and complicate both the cultural idealism of Henry V and the cultural cynicism of Hamlet? If Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream were written in roughly the same year, in what ways do they mediate on the same issues and problems, and in what ways do those issues and problems change shape in response to the demands of form? Throughout the semester, we will look for different angles on what might broadly be termed politics: the politics of nationalism, gender, history, violence, identity, community, literary production, and social norms.
(HISTORY/PRE-1800)

3340.01 - Shakespeare: Representative Selections: Shakespearean Sexualities
Lynn Enterline
MWF, 2:10 - 3:00 PM
How different was Shakespeare’s thinking about human sexuality from our own? The plural form, “sexualities,” in the course title is meant to signify that when it comes to questions of gender, love, pleasure, and desire, Shakespeare’s imagination was both exuberant and not entirely bound by social norms. He is just as capable of writing love poems to a young man as to a woman; and his dramatic depictions of sexuality propose imaginary communities in which both homo- and hetero-erotic desires mingle and clash. In his depictions of love, myriad forms of emotion, bodily engagement, aim, and object range widely and often strain against social contracts and definitions of acceptable gendered behavior.
The course is designed to introduce students to all of Shakespeare’s genres—lyric and narrative as well as dramatic poetry—and will do so while focusing on the intersection between sexuality and the rhetorical forms he favors most. The reading is organized around two, interrelated issues central to Shakespeare’s education in classical rhetoric and poetic practice: on the one hand, his distinctive ways of revisiting the generic, rhetorical, and/or linguistic conventions he inherited; on the other, the erotic predicaments that arise from the language choices his characters (and narrators) make. Because both his education and poetic practice drew heavily on ancient and continental precursors—here the sixteenth century humanist practice of invention through imitation is crucial—the seminar will study each Shakespearean text alongside the love poetry that inspired him throughout his career: Ovid’s polymorphous and often perverse poem, The Metamorphoses; and the melancholic voice of unrequited desire in the “scattered rhymes” of the fourteenth century Italian love-poet, Petrarch.
Texts to include:
(Sexuality, rhetoric, and authorship) Ovid, Metamorphoses 1-3; 10-11; Shakespeare, sonnets (selections); Shakespeare, “The Phoenix and the Turtle”
(Rhetoric and polymorphous perversity) Petrarch, Scattered Rhymes (selections); Selection from Freud, Three Essays on a Theory of Sexuality; Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Macbeth
(Gender and sexuality in Renaissance education) The Taming of the Shrew, The Rape of Lucrece, Titus Andronicus, Othello, Hamlet, A Winter’s Tale.
(HISTORY/PRE-1800)

3640.01 - Modern British and American Poetry
Mark Jarman
MWF, 1:10 - 2:00 PM
This course will consider those modern poets, writing in English, primarily between 1900 and 1950, who left a strong imprint on the poetry of their own time and subsequently: W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, H.D. (Hilda Doolitte), William Carlos, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens. In this first half of the twentieth century, each of these poets created a unique style that embodied his or her personal vision of the poet and the modern world. All were born in the later nineteenth century. All but Yeats, who was Irish, were Americans. Yeats, despite living and working many years in London, was strongly attached to his childhood home in County Sligo, and played a critical role in the formation of modern Irish literature and culture. Eliot, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and H.D., born and raised in Pennsylvania, were expatriates, living in London in Eliot’s case, and in H.D.’s case, in various places throughout Europe, with her longtime partner, Annie Ellerman, known as Bryher. Eliot became an English citizen and is claimed by both the U.S. and England. Williams lives and worked as a doctor in the place of his birth, Rutherford, New Jersey. Marianne Moore lived most of her life in New York City, working for a time at the New York Public Library. Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive in Hartford, Connecticut. We will consider these poets’ association with place, culture, society, and the history of their times. For all of them, the art of poetry was foremost. Class will consist of an ongoing discussion of their poems and, where relevant, their prose. These will be two papers, regular homework assignments, and a final.
(HONORS SEMINAR: A 3.4 CUMULATIVE GPA IS REQUIRED)

3650.01 - Ethnic American Literature: Race, Gender, and Confinement in the United States
Marzia Milazzo
TR, 4:00 - 5:15 PM
In this course, we will examine the relationship between race, gender, ideas of freedom, and experiences of confinement in U.S. literature and culture, focusing primarily on the period since World War II. Through the study of multiple genres and media (including fiction, drama, poetry, ethnography, film, music, and news media), students will examine how a differential access to space, mobility, and resources shapes not only literary imaginaries and representation, but also historical and contemporary social conditions in the United States. Themes we will address include segregation, internment, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the death penalty. Students will acquire analytical tools that enable them to appreciate the formal qualities of a text, engage it from an interdisciplinary perspective, gain an understanding of the socio-historical contexts that shaped it, and finally relate it to their own experiences. In the process, they will learn to recognize concepts such as race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality as socially, historically, geographically and discursively constructed, and yet as having real and important implications.
Required books: Mumia Abu-Jamal, Live From Death Row; Jerry Flores, Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration; Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun; Cherríe Moraga, The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea; Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination; Julie Otsuka, When The Emperor Was Divine; *additional readings will be posted on Blackboard.
(DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE)

3654.01 - African American Literature
Houston Baker
TR, 11:00 - 12:15 PM
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.
(DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE)

3662.01 - Asian American Literature: Stranger in a Home Land: Asian American Literature and the Mechanisms of Alienation
Haerin Shin
TR, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

American culture stands at the intersection of diverse cultural traditions and ethnicities. Among the many nodes that constellate this colorful landscape, members of certain communities who bear social markers that stand apart from the perceived mainstream are labeled “minority,” and are often represented in ways that frame their presence as alien— strangers in their own home land. Whether it be outright discrimination, unsavory stereotypes, or their satiric appropriations that seemingly subvert but also insidiously reinforce deeply ingrained prejudices, mechanisms of alienation permeate our society on countless fronts. Situating Asian American literature in this broader context of minority discourse, this class invites students to problematize accepted metrics of normalcy and investigate their modes of delivery across different mediums, asking questions such as the following: could the use of racial, ethnic, and cultural stereotypes be justified when framed as critical commentary? How are we to demarcate the thin line between appropriation and inordinate reproduction? What happens when “otherness” as concept becomes translated (in other words, technologized) across mediums such as from written text to visual media, and how may we understand the gaps and misalignments that constitute this process? How does technology, in communicating indexes of otherness or as a source of power in the age of global capital, serve as a double-edged sword in addressing the issues of alienation when specifically applied to the Asian context? Course materials will consist of novels (including Re Jane and The Sympathizer); a television show (Fresh off the Boat); film (Ex Machina); graphic narrative (Gene Yang’s The Shadow Hero); videogame (Papers, Please); media reports on current events (the #cancelcolbert campaign; Ghost in the Shell whitewashing controversy; the Asiana pilot name fiasco, etc.); and critical materials on concepts such as the yellow peril, model minority, racial melancholia, techno-Orientalism, and tiger mom, among others.
(DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE)


3670W.01 - Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature: Global Englishes
Akshya Saxena
TR, 4:00 - 5:15 PM
How well do you know the English language? In this course, we will explore the diversity of what we understand as "English" through its literary, visual, digital, and sonic journeys around the world. We are interested in the multiple languages and cultural enclaves that already exist within the globally dominant "English." We are also interested in economics of accents and brands, and the profound materiality of English in global markets and media.
To this end, we will study fiction, poetry, film, and music in English from a variety of geopolitical contexts. We are looking at the United Kingdom, Australia, India, China, Nigeria, Ireland, and Kenya. This course understands the premise of language as power through histories of colonialism, decolonization, migration, technological innovation, globalization, and class and race conflict, that have spurred the spread and consolidation of the English language(s) as we know it. Readings will include works by Aimé Césaire, William Shakespeare, J. M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, Aravind Adiga, Mulk Raj, Agha Shahid Ali, Derek Walcott, Frantz Fanon, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston among others.
(DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE)

3694.01 - America on Film: Art and Ideology
Sam Girgus
MW, 2:35 - 3:50 PM
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 also consider the relationship of film to American studies, ethical philosophy, and culture. Thus, it will relate visual images and cinetext to cultural and philosophical contexts. We will examine how films treat basic American themes such as the individual and community; frontier and urban violence; race, ethnicity, and minorities; the representation and role of women; visual desire and sexual exploitation; the family and authority. We will study classic Hollywood directors, including Frank Capra, John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Elia Kazan as well as current filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, and Clint Eastwood.

3720.01 - Literature, Science, and Technology
Jonathan Lamb
TR, 9:35 - 10:50
This course will deal with the origin of modern science and its reflection in literature. It will isolate a division in attitudes to sensations and thought that was evident from the very start of what is known as empiricism. Roughly these can be characterized as neo-Platonic and materialist. The neo-Platonics did not view knowledge as an acquirement that perfected us, rather as a timeless truth that we recollected. Empiricists, much influenced by the Roman thinker Lucretius, for the most part powerfully believed in our imperfection, believing that the advancement of learning, as Bacon called it, was to begin the process of our salvation by curing us of the depravities we inherited at the Fall. This led to considerable differences in opinion regarding the usefulness of machines, particularly those that enhanced the receptivity of our senses, such as the microscope. On the one hand they allowed us to see what otherwise would have remained invisible; on the other they exposed the observer to such extraordinary sensations there was no standard by which they could be judged and rendered a common part of knowledge.
How this debate played out among experimental scientists and philosophers will be part of our concern, reading excerpts from Plato, Lucretius, Bacon, and Descartes and discovering how the debate was renewed in literature, such as Milton’s Paradise Lost, Bunyan’s Abounding, and Swift’s Tale of a Tub. We shall be paying special attention to the treatment of sensory perception, whether it is seen as the foundation of knowledge or an impediment to it. We shall notice a difference between an aesthetic approach to experience and a mathematical or geometrical one that is still evident today.
Sample Primary Texts: Bacon, The Advancement of Learning; Hooke, Micrographia; Swift, Tale of a Tub; Margaret Cavendish, Observations on the Experimental Philosophy; Milton, Paradise Lost; Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Marvell, The Garden; Addison, Spectator papers 411-421, ‘On the Pleasures of Imagination’; Pope, Essay on Man, Book I; Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; Mike Jay, The Influencing Machine.
Sample Secondary Reading: Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump; Friedrich Kittler, Optical Media; Michel Serres, The Birth of Physics; John Bender and Michael Marinnan, The Culture of Diagram.
(APPROACH)

3730.01 - Literature and the Environment: What is Nature?
Rachel Teukolsky
MWF, 12:10 - 1:00 PM
What is nature? Is it found in a park where you wander among trees and cute forest animals? Is it an untouched, pristine wilderness? Are some of us closer to nature than others? This course examines the ways that artists and writers have constructed “nature” as an idealized place or set of qualities, partly imaginary, partly concrete. We will consider a broad range of literature, imagery, philosophy, and film, including clips from Disney nature films like Bambi; Steven Spielberg’s shark-shocker, Jaws; science fiction/eco-fiction by Octavia Butler (Dawn) and Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake); Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; romantic nature poetry by Wordsworth and Keats; H. Thoreau, Walden (“Why I Went into the Woods”); Charles Darwin, Origin of Species; H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau; and Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film, Spirited Away.
(APPROACH)

3894.01 - Major Figures in Literature: Jane Austen
Andrea Hearn
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
If you say the name "Jane Austen," chances are, the first thought that springs to mind--for professional critics and casual readers alike--is Pride and Prejudice. For most people, this beloved novel is "Jane Austen." But what if we set aside this "light, bright, and sparkling" work? What does "Jane Austen" look like now? What if the sober Mansfield Park stood in for the writer and her times? What if the spiky Lady Susan or the melancholy Persuasion or even the mischievous Emma dominated our understanding and experience of Jane Austen's fiction?
Setting aside Pride and Prejudice, this course seeks to explore "other" Jane Austen, from the early and surprising Lady Susan to the unfinished and unsparing Sanditon. We will read widely and deeply in the Austen canon, supplementing our discussion of her fiction with a look at her letters and the exploratory essays culminating in a longer work of analysis at the end of the semester.
Since we will by no means pretend that Pride and Prejudice does not exist, students should plan to read (or reread) that novel before class begins.

3894.02 - Major Figures in Literature: Ernest Hemingway
Gabriel Briggs
MWF, 12:10 - 1:00 PM
This course examines one of the most influential writers in twentieth-century American Literature. To better understand Hemingway’s enduring cultural presence, students will read a number of short stories, novels, and non-fiction prose he produced between 1924 and 1951. Students will also develop strategies for positioning the author and his work within specific historical and theoretical contexts. Among the selections we will read are In Our Time (1924), The Sun Also Rises (1926), Men Without Women (1927), A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), and The Old Man and the Sea (1952). It is recommended that students complete longer works over the summer in order to provide ample time for reading and reflection during the fall semester.

3894.04 - Major Figures in Literature: Toni Morrison
Hortense Spillers
TR, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Toni Morrison, one of the world's foremost writers, nearly single-handedly shifted the emphasis in U.S canonical writing to African-American and women creative intellectuals; making her debut c. 1969, with the magazine RedBook's serialization of the novel, The Bluest Eye, Morrison would go on to dominate the world of letters for the next three decades, culminating with the publication of Beloved in the late 1980s and a Nobel prize for literature in 1993. Morrison has kept up a prolific outflow of work, including novels and critical essays, well into the new century. This course is devoted to a sustained examination of Morrison's major work and will include most of the novels, the play, Emmett Till, and the influential critical study, Playing in the Dark. This course is all Morrison all the time.
(HONORS SEMINAR: A 3.4 CUMULATIVE GPA IS REQUIRED)

3896.01 - Special Topics in Investigative Writing in America: Investigative Writing on the Environment: Telling the Story of Climate Change
Amanda Little
MWF, 9:10 - 10:00 AM
How do we tell stories of crisis and ingenuity? The climate change phenomenon presents a fascinating blend of both: As warming temperatures pose unprecedented ecological threats, activists and politicians are struggling to define a path forward and innovators are forging new discoveries in energy, transportation, architecture, and food production. Climate change is transforming our industries, our politics, our culture, and our daily lives.
This course will explore the thrill and challenge of researching and documenting historic change. In books, articles, blogs, websites, and twitter feeds, we'll sample a broad range of writing on this topic, exploring the science, the solutions, the players, the politics, the history, and the local impacts of climate change. We will Skype with professional journalists, editors and bloggers into the classroom. In past semesters, we've spoken with Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post, Andrew Revkin of The New York Times, Jessi Hempel of Wired, David Roberts of Vox.com, Bryan Walsh of TIME, "cli-fi" author Nathaniel Rich, and Mark Gunther at The Guardian.
Students will pursue their own local reporting, investigating the effects of climate change and the emerging green economy in Nashville. You will learn the rudiments of good journalism, and are welcome to join with or without previous journalism experience. This course aims to change the way you think about the importance and impact of storytelling, the way you write about complex topics with accessible and engaging prose, and the way you participate in the time of change and progress we live in.

3898.01 - Special Topics in English and American Literature: Joyce Exclusive of Ulysses
Roy Gottfried
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
Examination of Joyce's other works, with an appreciation for biographical elements, Irish and British cultural contexts, and the variety of styles.
Readings include: Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, selections from Finnegans Wake, a short biography.
One short paper; one term paper.

4960.01 - Senior Year Capstone: Valuing the English Major
Mark Wollaeger
TR, 4:00 - 5:15 PM
Ever wanted a better answer when one of your parents’ friends remarks of your English major, “What are you going to do 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 by returning to influential Romantic articulations of the problem and working our way forward. It also asks you to reflect on your career as an English major in relation to possible futures after college. The question of what one will do with an English major scripts the literature student as an impractical soul with few opportunities for employment who is destined to work as a barista. This is obviously a false narrative, but what gives it staying power? How, in this context, do we articulate and assess 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? What determines value? The market? The individual? Social institutions? What should a major “do” for you? Is close reading marketable? How do we “think value” outside the market? Is the historical association between the humanities and the imagining of freedom still viable today? To explore such questions, we’ll begin with contemporary debates about the humanities and the university before leaping back to some influential texts from the past, from Friedrich Schiller’s notion of aesthetic education in the late eighteenth century and Percy Shelley’s vision of heroic aesthetic empowerment, to nineteenth century debates about utilitarianism and “liberal education,” up through contemporary debates about the social efficacy of literary identity politics (invoked last fall in the wake of the presidential election) and the mission of higher education. We’ll also read literary texts that bear on these questions, including versions of the so-called industrial novel (Dickens’s Hard Times and Forster’s Howards End), which uses romance conventions to assess the seemingly opposed values of business and the arts; a campus novel (Lodge’s Nice Work) that raises related issues; poetry that self-consciously addresses questions of the value of the aesthetic (Auden, Yeats, and Moore); and contemporary literature deeply engaged with the politics of everyday life (Claudia Rankin and Ali Smith). Finally, we’ll study one other kind of text as well: the essays you have written for other classes in the English major over the course of your college career; these you’ll reconfigure into a culminating wiki project that locates the concerns of the course in the history of your own writing, with an eye toward your future beyond the English major. Requirements: regular response pages and participation; a midterm; and the final wiki project.

4960.02 - Senior Year Capstone: Pulitzer Prize Winners
John Bradley
TR, 1:10 - 2:25 PM
In 2017 the Pulitzer Prizes celebrated their hundredth year. That's a century's worth of winners we might survey. But each text on the winners list was "new" the year it was selected, just as winners will be when they're announced in April 2018 and every year after you have finished your Vanderbilt education. Like the Pulitzer Prizes, this senior capstone course for the English major aims to look both backward and ahead to the new, as well: Back across your English major and forward to the life--and lifelong learning-- ahead of you after your undergraduate education. To that end, we will draw on the Pulitzer Prizes to provide us with both content as well as a model for our course.
As a source of content, the Pulitzer Prize provides an overabundance. Any of its literary categories (fiction, poetry, drama) contain the makings of many courses, and we will embrace the problem of how to navigate that overabundance by design. Early in the semester we will divide into Pulitzer-style committees charges with nominating a slate of winning works for inclusion in our syllabus. After reading each committee's nomination reports, the whole class will serve in the role of Pulitzer Board, debating our options and voting on which Pulitzer Prize Winners will fill the rest of our syllabus. Having has a hand in shaping our collective reading experience, everyone will also begin shaping their own final project, intended to draw together the skills they have built across the major, while tapping into their interests and passions.
To give us time to collectively select our Pulitzer reading list, we'll start with two recent winners--Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad and Tracy K. Smith's Life on Mars--and engage early and often in reflection on larger questions of how and what we choose to value as a subject of study and its implication, whether we're talking about individual texts or our choice of the English major more broadly as we look to the future. Response and reflection papers will be a regular part of this course.

4998.01 - Honors Colloquium
Teresa Goddu
TR, 4:00 - 5:15 PM
The Honors Colloquium prepares students to write their Honors Thesis in the spring (Engl. 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 develop 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:

ASIA 3151.01 - The Third World and Literature
Ben Tran
TR, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

HONS 1860W.17 - Revolutionary Awakenings: From the Russian Revolution to the Age of Globalization
Allison Schachter
MWF, 10:10 - 11:00 AM
What is the experience of becoming a revolutionary? What are the histories and narratives of revolutionary awakening? How do they relate to our contemporary times? In this course, we will look at narratives by and about revolutionaries to examine how individuals come to identify with and commit themselves to revolutionary movements. We’ll analyze the personal and historical conditions that prompt individuals to embrace revolution and sacrifice themselves to larger movements. We’ll also consider how revolutionaries later understand, embrace, or even come to regret their political commitments. The course will begin with the Russian revolution and the socialist and anarchist precursors, including leading figures such as Emma Goldman, Leon Trotsky, and Rosa Luxembourg. We’ll read accounts by unknown figures who gave up their lives to fight fascism, whether in Poland, France or the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War. We’ll look at narratives of anti-colonial nationalism in Algeria, Vietnam, Germany, and here in the United States for example, groups like the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground. Finally, we’ll look at current-day revolutions, of which there are many: Occupy Wall Street, the Orange Revolution, the Arab Spring to name a few. Are we now living in revolutionary times? Readings will include, memoirs, prose fiction, films, and archival documents. We’ll experiment with various forms of writing, including literary analysis, personal narrative, and online media.

JS 2250W.01 - Witnesses Who Were Not There: Literature of the Children of Holocaust Survivors
Adam Meyer
MWF, 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
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 authors' diverse reactions to the events.