Skip to main content

Spring 2015

Dear Students,

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

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

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

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

Note: The descriptions that appear below for Fall 2014 are grouped by course. If you do not find your section number, it means that that instructor has not yet provided a description.  The webmaster will make every effort to continually update this page, so please check back often.    

            

If you are making selections to fulfill requirements for the old major 

These courses meet the pre-eighteen hundred literature major and minor requirement: 
These courses meet the ethnic/non-western       literature major and minor requirement:
 ENGL 210  ENGL 267
 ENGL 221  ENGL 273.03
 ENGL 230  ENGL 276
 ENGL 248  ENGL 277
 ENGL 249.01  ENGL 279
 ENGL 251  ENGL 288.02
 ENGL 272.01  LATS 201
 ENGL 273.01  
 ENGL 282  
   

  If you are making selections to fulfill requirements for the new major  (for which you will be able to declare in fall 2014)

These courses meet the history literature major and minor requirement:                
These courses meet the diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement:
 ENGL 210  ENGL 267
 ENGL 221  ENGL 273.03
 ENGL 230  ENGL 276
 ENGL 248  ENGL 277
 ENGL 249.01  ENGL 279
 ENGL 251  ENGL 288.02
 ENGL 272.02  LATS 201
 ENGL 273.02  
 ENGL 282  
   
These courses meet the approaches major and minor requirement:                                                                                              
 ENGL 212  ENGL 272.01
 ENGL 218  ENGL 288W
 ENGL 247  
 ENGL 262  
 ENGL 265  
 ENGL 267  

 ENGL 269

 

Spring 2015 100-level English Courses:

ENGL 100

.01 TR 1310-1425 C. Woods
The Ethics of Persuasion and the Republic of Learning:What do we mean when we say that some argument or idea is “persuasive”? What, in fact, is“persuasion”? How do we distinguish the genuine quest for truth from attempts to use various rhetorical means (often violent or unethical) to convince us of a position through force? In this
course we will discuss and practice the elements of effective and persuasive writing. To facilitate our
explorations, we will use as our main text Plato’s Republic, which is a treasure trove of meditations on,
and demonstrations of, the nature of argument in relation to truth, justice, persuasion, and ethics.
We will use Plato’s dialogue to reflect on various contemporary issues that are hotly debated:
technology, education, violence, and entertainment. As a supplement to our coverage of Plato, we
will also read Sam Leith’s book Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama.

 

ENGL 102W

.01 MWF 910-1000 A. Lehr
Fear Itself: Literary Monsters: They lurk in our closets, under our beds, and in the darkest pockets of our psyches. In this course, we will turn a critical eye upon literary monsters as embodiments of what we fear and reject. From creature features like Beowulf and Frankenstein, to the modern human boogeymen of Lolita and The Pillowman, we will interrogate how historical/cultural expectations about gender, sexuality, and race shape notions of “monstrosity” in order to better understand how we construct the things we most dread. Enroll . . . if you dare.

.02 MWF 1010-1100 K. Mendoza
Silencing the Body: A Brief Literary History of Consent and Violation: How do you define consent? Is it a verbal act or can it be constructed through the material flesh? What happens when language fails to protect the body? Who speaks for those who have been silenced? Through a comparative study beginning with ancient Greek and Roman mythology to contemporary works on the Bosnian War and the Terri Schiavo case, we will examine the attempts to crystallize language, to make it impermeable and static, while attending to the consequences of this potentially ineffectual system of communication prone to misinterpretation, slippages, and suppression. In our readings and discussions, we will critically analyze the role of language in relation to human rights and sexual violence. This class will rigorously interrogate what it means to be a speaking body— agents who use language to determine the limits between ourselves and others. Readings will include Ovid’s Metamorphoses, poetry by Maya Angelou and William Shakespeare, novels such as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, short stories, public debates, and various theoretical works.

.03 MWF 1010-1100 J. Phelan
Mapping and Wandering: This is a course about space. We will consider how real and imaginary spaces are constructed and represented—by architects and city planners, cartographers, writers of fiction and nonfiction, poets, filmmakers, installation artists, comics artists, radio storytellers, web designers, and others. We will also attend closely to the ways we get to know physical and textual spaces by wandering around in them, figuring out how to get where we're going, straying off-path, breaking our own paths, loitering, exploring, getting lost.
This is also a writing course. We will work at writing clearly and precisely, building strong arguments, and backing them up with close, critical reading. In keeping with the project of the course, we will do a lot of thinking about writing and argumentation in spatial terms. We will experiment with different techniques for mapping texts and arguments and remediating them spatially, and we will try out writing exercises that aim to get us wandering around on the page, making discoveries.

.04 MWF 1110-1200 S. Straub
Love Stories: Most people have an idea of what it means to fall in love before it ever happens—after all, from the time we’re children, we’re bombarded with love stories. They’re on the radio, in our films, even in our advertisements (maybe especially in our advertisements). We know the patterns and tropes, the “meet-cute,” the interfering parents, the beautiful-but-clumsy heroine. In this class, we will be analyzing stories that don’t fit our patterns, that defy our expectations, that violate our cultural scripts. Final syllabus TBD, possible texts include Toni Morrison’s Jazz, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, and the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs.

.05 MWF 910-1000 J. Jordan
A IS FOR AFRICA!: This course is guided by two central questions: first, how can we critically study representations of Africa in various genres of cultural production? Second, how do we explain the relationship between representations of Africa, by Africans and non-Africans, and lived realities (to the extent that we can discern these)? We will familiarize ourselves with African histories as well as essays to build an interpretive framework to grapple with the complexity of these questions. Through an exploration of selected themes that may include—but are not limited to-decolonization, language, health, politics, sexuality, religion and genocide, we will attend to a host of ideas and images that seem to “stick” to Africa, as well as unpack a variety of discourses about “the African.” For this course, our primary sites of inquiry and comparison will be the novel, the film and the play, in tandem with the newspaper.

.06 TR 235-350 A. Johnson
The Student Experience, students will read literary texts that depict the origin of the academy in Western Europe, and also study the historical evolution of the American University in terms of racial and gender integration, in loco parentis policies, draft deferment rules, and the so-called “culture wars” of post-Reagan America.

.07 TR 935-1050 K. Navarro

Queer Horror:This course will examine the ways in which the horrific intersects with the queer. The word “queer” is a fraught one that we will consider the history and multiple meanings of. For our purposes, it will come to signal the non-normative as it appears in several different forms, including sexuality, gender, race, and more general societal convention. Just as we will consider the ambiguity and multi-valenced character of queerness as a term and a concept, so will we seek to render the horror genre as similarly fluid: what marks a given textual situation as horrific? How might queerness, as it pertains both to general strangeness and issues of sexuality and gender, broaden our notions of what a horror text can and should look like? Our central focus will thus be on how horror and queerness can be seen to function within and alongside one another in a range of texts both on the syllabus and outside of it. Representationally and historically, what is queer about horror, and what is horrific about queerness? We will grapple with these questions through class-wide discussion and analytical papers. This course will provide you with the toolkit you will need to develop the kinds of persuasive, thoughtful arguments that responsibly engage the themes and questions of the class at hand.

.08 TR 1100-1215 T. McInnis
The Caribbean Exile: Literary critics take various approaches to literature written by Caribbean authors:  analyzing how authors represent neocolonialist tourism in the region, identifying overlapping tropes within works in efforts to identify broader similarities across the region, and so on. Beyond these aforementioned ideas, this course takes as one of its major concerns the substantial “brain drain” which has resulted in a large percentage of Caribbean literature being produced and published outside of the Caribbean. This phenomenon requires a concurrent consideration of how displaced Caribbean authors conceptualize home, belonging, and identity in their works. Through an examination of works by authors such as Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, Shani Mootoo, Julia Alvarez, Ana Menendez, Jamaica Kincaid, and others, we will attempt to address the following questions in our discussions, papers, and through our development and expansion of a discourse about the Caribbean: what global events have contributed to the displacement of Caribbean natives from their homelands? What role do we as consumers play in this displacement? Are there similarities in the experiences of displacement that are reflected in literature from authors from different Caribbean nations? How do race, gender, sexual orientation, and class impact the experiences of exile? How do authors imagine their homelands, their exile, or the possibility (or impossibility) of a return?

.09 TR 1435-1550 C. Land

.10 TR 1435-1550 S. Johnson
This course explores religious identity and spiritual agency as an often neglected entry point for thinking through configurations of selfhood and community within the modern period. While traditional models of secularism might suggest that religion plays a declining role in the formation of modern identity, recent political crises (such as paranoia over Islamic immigration in Europe, for example) would suggest that religion continues to function as an enduring force for political action, cultural expression, and public exchange. This course pays particular attention to the immanent meaning of religion expression within communities, specifically to the spaces, geographical borders, and liturgies of modern religion within literary expression. Through its readings, this course proposes that religion often plays a central role in forming political, cultural, and socio-economic publics. This course will focus on ways to closely analyze texts and to use those close readings to develop complex and creative arguments about a text’s meanings within individual papers.

.11 TR 1435-1550 D. Rodrigues
People, Machines, and Politics: This course will limn the consequences of technological innovation from the Renaissance to the present by examining the relationship between humans and the machines they create. To what extent do the machines we produce enable a more just society and world? Conversely, to what extent do people cede power and responsibility to products born of science and technology? Focusing on literary, philosophical, and multimedia works that place either utopic or skeptical stress on technological progress, we will explore historical emergences of humans depicted as machines and machines as humans; consider Renaissance stagings of soulless persons and “robots” as critiques of human reason and power; investigate the rise and repercussions of automated labor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; trace the appearance in fiction of iconic monstrosities representing the limits of man and machine; and finally, examine and experiment with the electronic devices and interfaces that have become increasingly integral components of our lives. Our objects of study will include works by William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, and Herman Melville, multimedia and theoretical texts, and episodes of The Twilight Zone.

.12 TR 1600-1725 D. Armstrong
In the course of our busy day-to-day lives, we often hear talk about “managing” or “buying" time. These common figures of speech suggest that “time is money,” as Benjamin Franklin so famously said, and that it can be exchanged, made equivalent, and traded in the marketplace. This course will look to literary figures who live according to the tick of a different watch, so to speak: characters who steal time, or ignore, accelerate, or hoard it. Drawing from various genres and reaching across different historical periods, from Renaissance sonnets and drama to postmodern novels and long form television drama, we will explore how literature can give us different--though not necessarily new--ways to think and talk about our own time. 

The course will teach close reading as a method of analysis and encourage students to extend this method beyond literary study to other disciplines. A presentation and discussion will require students to think carefully about how language creates certain perceptions of time in their own fields of interest. Discussion of texts and of student writing on course blogs will occupy most meetings, but some in-class time will also be devoted specifically to the formulation of literary arguments and the writing and revision of literary analysis papers. Outside of class, students will work toward writing goals by crafting three literary analysis papers, and in-class sessions will include peer review and several one-on-one paper conferences with the instructor about that work.

.13 TR 810-925 W. Smeele
Beyond the Laboratory: Experimental Science and Medicine in Literature What happens when our experiments leave the laboratory? How are medical and scientific advances incorporated into the cultural consciousness? How does literature’s treatment of science and medicine reimagine the category of the “human”? This course will consider how literature manages scientific and medical experimentation within and beyond the space of the laboratory. By coupling non-literary texts with fiction, we will trace the dialogue between science and medicine, and literature. This course will be structured by topics such as creating the human, cultural constructions of beauty, the ethics of medical experimentation, especially through vivisection and human experimentation during the Third Reich, and the category of the human as it becomes complicated by technologies. Through our readings, we will work towards an understanding of what constitutes an “appropriate” space for experimentation, while considering what implications the merging of the humanities and the sciences have for this conversation.

.14 MWF 1010-1100 L. Dordal
The main objectives of this course are to widen your knowledge of literature, to help you become close readers of literature, and to help you develop your critical writing skills. First, we will focus on poetry, learning how to do a close reading of a poem and how to make a claim about a poem. During our unit on poetry, we will read and discuss TJ Jarrett’s collection entitled Ain’t No Grave (and possibly one other collection of poetry). After this, we will turn our attention to fiction (short stories, specifically). In addition to reading poetry and fiction, we will read several texts about the creative writing process in order to get a sense of how writers do what they do and what the life of a writer “looks” like. Requirements will include three papers (plus revisions), one or two class presentations, short response papers and homework assignments, and participation in class discussions. 

 

ENGL 104W Prose Fiction: Forms and Techniques

.01 MWF 910-1000 L. Mensah
20th Century American Horror Fiction: This course explores the meaning of horror in the context of 20th century American literature. That which horrifies usually belongs to the “unknown”—it could be a human, a non-human, an object, a place, or even an idea. Through our class readings, discussions, and writing projects, we will work toward a working definition of horror and think about why and how horror affects us. By doing so, we will begin to see why the genre of horror—whether in the fields of literature, television, film, or music— has been such a critical influence in American culture.

 In this class, you will develop your critical reading and writing skills, which you will apply to your analysis of how horror operates in literature, and what political, social, economic, and cultural messages the authors of horror fiction convey. Texts that we will read in this class include Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Stephen King’s short stories, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and Tom Perotta’s The Leftovers. Because horror is so visual, we will also be exploring its presence in American film and art.

.02 MWF 1110-1200 P/ Samuel
The Time is Out of Joint”: Aberrations of Time and the Politics of Temporality: In this course, we will examine a wide range of literature and multimedia sources that depict time behaving in unconventional ways: whether time travel like what occurs in texts like Octavia Butler’s Kindred, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and Rian Johnson’s 2012 film Looper; time loops like what we see in Harold Ramis’ 1993 film Groundhog Day; projections of alternate pasts or futures like what we observe in Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Eric Bress’ 2004 film The Butterfly Effect; or even the past infringing on the present as in Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved and M. NourbeSe Philip’s 2008 poem Zong! By examining texts that display creative iterations of both the movement and texture of time, this class will enable us to discuss the importance of our conceptions of time to our sense of our social, historical, and political realities.

What does it mean to make progress through time? How might our understanding of our realities change if we view time as cyclical, rather than linear? What is the relationship between time and identity (national, racial, ethnic, gender, religious, etc.)? How might a given conception of time support political identities or philosophies? Furthermore, how do our colloquial expressions—such as being “in time” or “out of time”—reflect a certain understanding of how time functions?

.03 MWF 1210-1300 A. Miller
Prose Technologies of Exploration: Prose has been an integral tool in Western histories of exploration and discovery. This course examines how prose’s affinities for both realism and romance were used to mediate competing visions of non-European lands and people in its readers’ imaginations. This course pairs non-fiction prose (journals and memoirs) with eighteenth and nineteenth century British novels written by European and non-European authors alike. Our objective is to discover how these individuals utilized prose techniques to imagine and re-imagine familiar and alien places. Texts examined include Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Scott’s Waverley, Owenson’s The Missionary, Equiano’s Interesting Narrative, and the Travels of Sake Dean Mahomed

.04 MWF  1510-1600 J. Quarry
In this course, we will explore portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fictions ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction (such as, but not limited to, characterization, point of view, setting, plot, symbol, and imagery) 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 proceed to 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.

.05 MWF 1410-1500 J. Quarry
In this course, we will explore portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fictions ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction (such as, but not limited to, characterization, point of view, setting, plot, symbol, and imagery) 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 proceed to 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.

.06 MWF 1310-1400 E. August

.07 MWF 910-1000 E. August

 

ENGL 105W Drama: Forms and Techniques

.02 TR 935-1050 J. Klass
In this course, we will look at how plays have changed over the last 2,500 years, and how theatrical conventions like the Greek chorus and the Shakespearean soliloquy have given way to other techniques and approaches. We will look at Aristotle’s ideas about the unities and about what constitutes true tragedy: ideas about katharsis and hamartia (or a “fatal flaw,” as it is sometimes translated.) Aristotle argues that plays should either be tragedies or comedies, but not a mixture of the two forms. We’ll look at the plots that are associated with both kinds of plays – and at plays that break his rules about not mixing forms, about suitable heroes, and about the time frame for plays. We may also get a sense of how influential his ideas from the Poetics remain.

In particular, 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.

.03 TR 1310-1425 J. Klass
In this course, we will look at how plays have changed over the last 2,500 years, and how theatrical conventions like the Greek chorus and the Shakespearean soliloquy have given way to other techniques and approaches. We will look at Aristotle’s ideas about the unities and about what constitutes true tragedy: ideas about katharsis and hamartia (or a “fatal flaw,” as it is sometimes translated.) Aristotle argues that plays should either be tragedies or comedies, but not a mixture of the two forms. We’ll look at the plots that are associated with both kinds of plays – and at plays that break his rules about not mixing forms, about suitable heroes, and about the time frame for plays. We may also get a sense of how influential his ideas from the Poetics remain.

In particular, 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.

.04 TR 1600-1715 B. Orr
This course surveys drama, largely but not exclusively in the European tradition, from the emergence of tragedy and comedy in classical Greece, through to the reworkings of those forms in the modern era.  We will consider the cultural, social, political and existential tensions articulated in theatrical modes, observing changes in such fundamental categories as protagonist, plot and setting as well as methods of performance.  Reading classical Chinese tragedy and contemporary postcolonial drama alongside plays from the Western tradition, we will explore the cross-fertilization that has informed theatrical developments over space and time.  Texts will include: Medea; Lysistrata; Snow in Midsummer; Hamlet; The London Merchant; A Doll House; Pygmalion; Six Characters in Search of an Author; The Good Woman of Setzuan; Waiting for Godot; Death and the King’s Horseman and M. Butterfly.

 

ENGL 115F First Year Writing Seminar

.04 TR 935-1050 J. Wanninger

.19 MWF 1310-1400 C. Amich
Growing Up Latino and Latina: What does it mean to “grow up Latina/o” in the multicultural United States?  In this course we will survey a broad range of cultural texts that provocatively and poignantly address the issues of language and education, race and migration, class and gender that Latina/o children and adolescents experience.  We will pay special attention to coming-of-age stories that explore the psychological and political dimensions of encountering cultural difference and responding to the pressures of assimilation.  We will read short stories, memoirs, essays, poems, plays and journalism, as well as watch films and documentaries that educate their readers and viewers about the rich differences that define the Latina/o community in the United States.  Course texts may include: fictional works such as Sandra Cisneros’s House on Mango Street and Junot Díaz’s Drown;excerpts frommemoirs such as Julia Alvarez’s Once Upon a Quincea ñera and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World; essays on language such asRichard Rodriguez’s “Aria” and Gloria Anzaldúa’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”; and films such as Real Women Have Curves and El Súper.     

.22 MWF 1010-1100 A. Hearn
More than Mr. Darcy: The Life and Works of Jane Austen: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman of good feeling must be in love with Mr. Darcy.  Like all such truths in Austen’s fiction, however, this one could stand some finessing—there’s more to Jane Austen than Mr. Darcy.  (There’s also more to Mr. Darcy than Mr. Darcy.)  Jane Austen the woman and Jane Austen the novelist offer students an excellent personal and academic model: so much of her fiction, indeed the course of her own life, turns on the acquisition of self-knowledge, sound judgment, and independent thought—qualities essential to living a good life as well as writing a good essay.

Although the study of Jane Austen and her fiction could happily engage a lifetime, we will make a good start by reading at least three of the six main novels, dipping into the novelist’s entertaining letters, and exploring the world of the woman and her work.   We will read the two novels that bookend Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice (Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park); we will also likely read Austen’s final novel, Persuasion.  We will study these works as both literary texts and examples of successful composition, gaining an understanding of their historical, cultural, and biographical contexts.  We will write three formal academic essays, with one assignment having a research component.

One final note: one need not love Austen’s work or even know it to enroll in and enjoy this course.  Also, one need not be a girl.

.45 TR 1600-1715 C. Dayan
WORLD WAR I: A HUNDRED YEARS LATER: World War I generated a tremendous amount of writing by soldiers, soldiers’ families, politicians, journalists, poets, and others. Some celebrated the “Great War,” others decried it. This course takes a broad and interdisciplinary approach in order to reconsider this conflict and its legacy. We will read poetry, novels, memoirs, journalism, propaganda, and, now, the just released diaries of British soldiers (actually regimental diaries) from the front. We shall also look at how the War was used in the new medium of film. What made citizens of the most “civilized” nations on earth kill one another at unprecedented rates for four years? What kinds of writings seek to recall, commemorate, or condemn “the war to end all wars”?

Readings include poetry by Wilfred Owen, Siegried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, and others; novels such as Ford Maddox Ford, A Man Could Stand Up, Geoff Dyer, The Missing of the Somme, Pat Barker, Regeneration; memoirs including Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth, Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That; and historical works, for example, Adam Hochschild, To End All Wars and John Keegan, “The Somme, 1 July 1916,” The Face of Battle.

 

ENGL 116W Introduction to Poetry

.01 MWF 910-1000 N. Roche
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 poetry movements. To this end, we will examine poems written from the Renaissance to the present, which not only focus 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 forms and content, and work to determine the ways a poem achieves its power and lyric. Furthermore, students will consider how poetry engages with and reflects—or rejects and criticizes—the poet’s world. To accomplish these objectives, we will engage in close readings of individual poems, group discussion of styles, forms, and movements of poetry, and written analysis that will improve your writing expertise.

.02 MWF 1010-1100 C. Cosner

.03 MWF 1110-1200 L. Dordal
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, rhythm, etc.). In the second half of the course, we will read and discuss Nick Flynn’s collection of poetry entitled Some Ether and TJ Jarrett’s collection entitled Ain’t No Grave. The second part of the course also will include brief case studies of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Langston Hughes. Requirements will include three papers (plus revisions), two brief class presentations, short response papers and homework assignments, and participation in class discussions.   

.04 MWF 1210-1300 C. Cosner

.05 MWF 1210-1300 E. August

.06 MWF 1310-1400 J. Morrell
The goals of this class are to familiarize you with a range of poetry and poetic devices, to practice close reading and analysis, and to practice writing and revision.  We will read widely across poetic traditions, from Beowulf to Bob Dylan, discussing poetry written in English and poetry in translation.  We will explore the connections between music and language, form and ritual, and sound and sense, discussing how poetry is distinct from and continuous with other modes of creative expression.  Assignments include essays, class presentations, response papers, and shorter writing exercises.  Students will be expected to attend occasional out-of-class poetry readings.

.07 MWF 1510-1600 L. Dordal
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, rhythm, etc.). In the second half of the course, we will read and discuss Nick Flynn’s collection of poetry entitled Some Ether and TJ Jarrett’s collection entitled Ain’t No Grave. The second part of the course also will include brief case studies of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and Langston Hughes. Requirements will include three papers (plus revisions), two brief class presentations, short response papers and homework assignments, and participation in class discussions.   

.08 TR 935-1050 D. Birdsong

.09 TR 1100-1215 A. Johnson

.10 MWF 1410-1500 C. Cosner

.11 TR 810-925 A. Johnson

.12 MWF 1110-1200 A. Kinard

.13 MWF 1110-1200 J. Bradley
Poetry forces us to slow down and experience language in ways we may not be accustomed to: how it sounds in our ears, how it look on the page, how a text means something, not just what it means. It challenges us to imagine the world through other eyes and, in the process, it may jostle our own perspective, too, in lasting ways. This course aims to empower you step up to those challenges, and through it I want to set you on the path to a life-long appreciation of poetry. But you should know your efforts in the course will produce short-term benefits, too. As you learn to grapple with poetic language, you’ll have the chance to reflect on and sharpen how you use language yourself—as a speaker, a writer, and a thinker. In class discussion, through short presentations as well as a variety of formal and informal writing assignments, you will build analytical habits of mind and gain experience constructing effective arguments, skills that will prove useful throughout your education and in any number of careers. That’s the view ahead—we’ll get there together in this class, one meeting at a time, reading and wrapping our heads around an exciting and engaging array of poets and their poems.  

.14 MWF 1210-1300 N. Spigner
Twentieth-Century African American Poetry and Theory: This course will focus on twentieth-century African American poetry and concurrent theory and criticism of gender, race, and class.  Together, the class will work through issues arising from shifts in poetic form and content throughout the century, and consider the function of African American creative production within its scocio-historical context.  We will discuss the various poetic schools, including the turn-of-the-century, Harlem Renaissance, modernist, Black Arts, and post-modern movements.  From our reading of these poems along with critical and theoretical essays, we will identify creative and societal/cultural concerns of the various movements.  Additionally, we will examine the efficacy of creative production as the potential representative and agent of criticism. Authors will include but are not limited to: Anne Spencer, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Melvin B. Tolson, Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, and Audre Lorde. Prior poetry study is not required. Come to class prepared for vigorous discussion and critical engagement with a variety of questions arising from and surrounding the works described, above, and particularly issues of class, gender, sexuality, and race.


 

ENGL 117W

.01TR 1100-1215 F. Barter
"The king stay the king": Literary Theory via The Wire
This course will introduce you to literary theory and criticism, which are methods we use to gain a deeper understanding of literature and narrative. We will organize our study around a central text: season 1 of The Wire. Each week, we will explore a set of theoretical/critical readings on topics that may include: theories of surveillance/incarceration, critical race studies, critical legal studies, Marxist theory, gender and feminist studies, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and cultural studies. We will also examine a different episode of The Wire each week, using that show as a testing ground for 1) how texts--including film--perform theory, often with complicated results; and 2) how we can use our understanding of theory and criticism to deepen our own reading of a text. There will be brief, low-stakes writing assignments each week. These assignments, which will allow you to experiment with your own analytical frameworks, are designed to help you form and develop paper topics.

Note: The Wire -- and by extension our discussion of it -- addresses issues of violence, including sexual violence.

.03 TR 1100-1210 A. Castro

 

ENGL 118W

.01 MWF 810-900 A. Miller
This course exposes students to various aspects of cultural theory which pertain to the many components of the “virtual”—specifically, the virtual as created by digital means. The primary “texts” of this class is the online simulator Second Life (available free). Students will be trained as cultural theorists, and over the course of the semester they will record their observations of Second Life’s content. Each week students will be required to focus on a different theme (corresponding to that week’s theoretical readings) and must draft a two-page, prose record of those observations (to be posted to the class blog). These observations will serve as examples for in-class discussions of that week’s theoretical readings. At the end of the semester, each student will be required to produce a ten-page essay that critically analyzes these observations using one of the theoretical models discussed throughout the semester. The result will be a compendium of observations and critical insights on Second Life, authored by students, and made available to them as a single document at the end of the semester. 

.02 MWF 910-1000 R. Spivey
"Reading the Prison" Why does the U.S. incarcerate so many of its citizens – more than any other nation in the world? What role does prison play in the national imagination? In this course we will explore answers to both questions through the study of literature by and about prisoners. We’ll begin the course with Orange is the New Black -- the memoir by Piper Kerman that inspired the popular Netflix series. Kerman’s memoir challenges us to question our assumptions about the prison system in general and the plight of incarcerated women in particular. To explore the history of prison in western culture, we’ll turn to Joseph Hallinan’s book, Going up the River and selections from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. These texts will help us understand how the goals of imprisonment have changed over time. We’ll focus on nineteenth-century reform efforts and examine ways those efforts are reflected in the literature of the period (including short works by Dickinson, Poe and Melville).  We will also read three longer twentieth-century texts: Truman Capote’s non-fiction thriller In Cold Blood, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, and Jimmy Santiago Baca’s autobiography A Place to Stand. As we read these texts, we’ll identify themes that recur in the narratives of crime, punishment, and imprisonment – even when the stories are told from dramatically different perspectives.

.03 MWF 1010-1100 G. Briggs
This course will examine the rise of American Literature in the United States from the end of the revolutionary period to the late-nineteenth-century. We will read the work of authors who shaped America’s literary landscape, challenged conventional wisdom, and who help us to imagine alternative literary histories in the US. As much as the course will provide students with a window on cultural responses to prominent issues from our nation’s past, it is also a course in developing the students’ general critical skills. As such, this course is designed to strengthen critical reading and writing skills as we examine literary texts to understand how writers use their work to preserve, disseminate, and analyze the social, cultural, and political issues of their day.

.04 MWF 1010-1100 A. Miller
This course exposes students to various aspects of cultural theory which pertain to the many components of the “virtual”—specifically, the virtual as created by digital means. The primary “texts” of this class is the online simulator Second Life (available free). Students will be trained as cultural theorists, and over the course of the semester they will record their observations of Second Life’s content. Each week students will be required to focus on a different theme (corresponding to that week’s theoretical readings) and must draft a two-page, prose record of those observations (to be posted to the class blog). These observations will serve as examples for in-class discussions of that week’s theoretical readings. At the end of the semester, each student will be required to produce a ten-page essay that critically analyzes these observations using one of the theoretical models discussed throughout the semester. The result will be a compendium of observations and critical insights on Second Life, authored by students, and made available to them as a single document at the end of the semester.

.05 MWF 1110-1200 G. Briggs
This course will examine the rise of American Literature in the United States from the end of the revolutionary period to the late-nineteenth-century. We will read the work of authors who shaped America’s literary landscape, challenged conventional wisdom, and who help us to imagine alternative literary histories in the US. As much as the course will provide students with a window on cultural responses to prominent issues from our nation’s past, it is also a course in developing the students’ general critical skills. As such, this course is designed to strengthen critical reading and writing skills as we examine literary texts to understand how writers use their work to preserve, disseminate, and analyze the social, cultural, and political issues of their day.

.06 MWF 1210-1300 K. Klein
What Happens When We Write About Sex?: Writing and talking about sex is not a new thing. Sex has been a popular topic in literature since the dawn of the written word. Some of the earliest Western literature is bawdy and tantalizing, and it uses many of the same jokes about sex we enjoy today. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians created depictions of sexual behavior in their artwork and carved symbols about sex and into their most sacred spaces. Throughout time, sex has been treated with both reverence and irreverence by writers. While we will begin with short translations of ancient texts, and look at medieval and Early American writers on sex, this course will primarily explore more contemporary literature about sexual behavior. Possible authors could include Aristophanes, Kate Chopin, emily danforth, Alison Bechdel, James Baldwin, Craig Thompson, David Sedaris, E. L. James, Zora Neale Hurston, D.H. Lawrence, and others.

.07 TR 810-900 M. Minarich
Contraception, Abortion, and Reproductive Choice in 20th Century American Film and Literature: This course will investigate the concept, meaning, and practice of choice relative to women’s reproductive rights in 20th century America as represented in film and literature. We will examine literary and cinematic texts through historical, cultural, and theoretical lenses in order to gain a critical understanding of the nuanced, sometimes contradictory, and often ambiguous forms that such representations take.

 As this is a W course, you will be expected to produce 2 shorter essays and 1 longer final analytical research paper based upon the texts we study; you will also write several short (1-2 pp.) response papers throughout the semester. Additionally, there will be a heavy focus on the writing process, critical analysis, and successful argumentation. Please note also that you must attend required screenings for the films that we cover. 

.08 TR 1310-1425 C. Tichi

.09 MWF 1510-1600 K. Klein
What Happens When We Write About Sex?: Writing and talking about sex is not a new thing. Sex has been a popular topic in literature since the dawn of the written word. Some of the earliest Western literature is bawdy and tantalizing, and it uses many of the same jokes about sex we enjoy today. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians created depictions of sexual behavior in their artwork and carved symbols about sex and into their most sacred spaces. Throughout time, sex has been treated with both reverence and irreverence by writers. While we will begin with short translations of ancient texts, and look at medieval and Early American writers on sex, this course will primarily explore more contemporary literature about sexual behavior. Possible authors could include Aristophanes, Kate Chopin, emily danforth, Alison Bechdel, James Baldwin, Craig Thompson, David Sedaris, E. L. James, Zora Neale Hurston, D.H. Lawrence, and others.

.10 TR 935-1050 N. Roche
Literary to Cinematic Adaptations:  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 emphasized.

 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 which 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. Works include:  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Bladerunner), Fight Club, Coraline, No Country for Old Men, Much Ado About Nothing, and Ringu (The Ring).

.11 TR 1100-1215 P. Aulakh
“Questions of Travel”: This course takes its name from a collection of poems by Elizabeth Bishop.  In a poem bearing the same title, Bishop asks: “Is it lack of imagination that makes us come / to imagined places, not just stay at home? / Or could Pascal have been not entirely right / about just sitting quietly in one’s room?”In this class, we won’t quite have the luxury of testing Bishop’s hypothesis—no time for jaunts to Brazil for us—but in textually traveling from Shakespeare’s enchanted isle to Bishop’s Brazil, from Walcott’s Caribbean and O’Conner’s Atlanta to Lahiri’s immigrant America and Forster’s British India, and from Friel’s colonial Ireland to Coetzee’s Imperial outpost, we will take in a variety of geographies, histories and peoples.  In our textual journeys, we will moreover ask some of the very questions Bishop addresses in “Questions of Travel” and throughout her poems.  Exploring the unfamiliar worlds of their narratives, we will examine in their imagined encounters between natives and foreigners, insiders and outsiders, colonizers and colonized, what it means to be foreign or familiar, and how these cultural exchanges impact our individual and communal identities.  In our age of globalization, we have Lonely Planets enough to make the farthest flung town a little less lonely, a little more familiar, but through our readings of these texts, we will interrogate the politics and ethics of familiarizing the unfamiliar, along with the attractions and dangers that attend these strange encounters.  To better answer these questions, this course will concentrate on developing your critical thinking and writing skills, specifically your ability to close read, analyze texts in support of arguments, and fluidly integrate literary and critical sources into your own writing.  Moreover, it is my own goal to encourage you all to invest yourselves in these texts and to take the intellectual risks that will yield your own unique and informed perspectives, ones that extend beyond the borders of our class to engage the worlds you inhabit.

.12 TR 1310-1425 N. Roche
Literary to Cinematic Adaptations:  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 emphasized.

 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 which 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. Works include:  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Bladerunner), Fight Club, Coraline, No Country for Old Men, Much Ado About Nothing, and Ringu (The Ring).

.13 TR 1310-1425 M. Minarich
Contraception, Abortion, and Reproductive Choice in 20th Century American Film and Literature: This course will investigate the concept, meaning, and practice of choice relative to women’s reproductive rights in 20th century America as represented in film and literature. We will examine literary and cinematic texts through historical, cultural, and theoretical lenses in order to gain a critical understanding of the nuanced, sometimes contradictory, and often ambiguous forms that such representations take. 

As this is a W course, you will be expected to produce 2 shorter essays and 1 longer final analytical research paper based upon the texts we study; you will also write several short (1-2 pp.) response papers throughout the semester. Additionally, there will be a heavy focus on the writing process, critical analysis, and successful argumentation. Please note also that you must attend required screenings for the films that we cover.

.14 TR 1600-1715 M. Minarich
Modernism and Multimedia: Forms, Aesthetics, Technologies


.16 MWF 1010-1100 R. Spivey
"Reading the Prison" Why does the U.S. incarcerate so many of its citizens – more than any other nation in the world? What role does prison play in the national imagination? In this course we will explore answers to both questions through the study of literature by and about prisoners. We’ll begin the course with Orange is the New Black -- the memoir by Piper Kerman that inspired the popular Netflix series. Kerman’s memoir challenges us to question our assumptions about the prison system in general and the plight of incarcerated women in particular. To explore the history of prison in western culture, we’ll turn to Joseph Hallinan’s book, Going up the River and selections from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. These texts will help us understand how the goals of imprisonment have changed over time. We’ll focus on nineteenth-century reform efforts and examine ways those efforts are reflected in the literature of the period (including short works by Dickinson, Poe and Melville).  We will also read three longer twentieth-century texts: Truman Capote’s non-fiction thriller In Cold Blood, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, and Jimmy Santiago Baca’s autobiography A Place to Stand. As we read these texts, we’ll identify themes that recur in the narratives of crime, punishment, and imprisonment – even when the stories are told from dramatically different perspectives.

.17 MWF 910-1000 K. Klein
What Happens When We Write About Sex?: Writing and talking about sex is not a new thing. Sex has been a popular topic in literature since the dawn of the written word. Some of the earliest Western literature is bawdy and tantalizing, and it uses many of the same jokes about sex we enjoy today. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians created depictions of sexual behavior in their artwork and carved symbols about sex and into their most sacred spaces. Throughout time, sex has been treated with both reverence and irreverence by writers. While we will begin with short translations of ancient texts, and look at medieval and Early American writers on sex, this course will primarily explore more contemporary literature about sexual behavior. Possible authors could include Aristophanes, Kate Chopin, emily danforth, Alison Bechdel, James Baldwin, Craig Thompson, David Sedaris, E. L. James, Zora Neale Hurston, D.H. Lawrence, and others.

.18 MWF 1110-1200 N. Spigner
Twentieth-Century American Literature: In this course, we will read broadly across the twentieth-century American literary canon.  We will identify and work towards answers to questions that emerge when comparing the concerns and projects of both canonical and non-canonical works.  We will closely examine the functions of canon and definitions of American citizenship that arise through the intersections of these various texts (fiction, poetry, essay, and literary criticism).  We will consider how canons are formed and to what end. We will also raise questions about canon revision:  Is it important that we revise “the canon,” and if so why?  What are the advantages or disadvantages of a static canon?  Texts will include short stories and novels by William Carlos Williams, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, James Baldwin, John Okada, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Phillip Roth, Ha Jin, David Foster Wallace, and Sherman Alexie, among others. 

Come to class prepared to enthusiastically tackle, through discussion and our own literary criticism, issues of gender, class, and race as they figure in America.

.21 MWF 1310-1400 N. Spigner
Twentieth-Century American Literature: In this course, we will read broadly across the twentieth-century American literary canon.  We will identify and work towards answers to questions that emerge when comparing the concerns and projects of both canonical and non-canonical works.  We will closely examine the functions of canon and definitions of American citizenship that arise through the intersections of these various texts (fiction, poetry, essay, and literary criticism).  We will consider how canons are formed and to what end. We will also raise questions about canon revision:  Is it important that we revise “the canon,” and if so why?  What are the advantages or disadvantages of a static canon?  Texts will include short stories and novels by William Carlos Williams, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, James Baldwin, John Okada, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Phillip Roth, Ha Jin, David Foster Wallace, and Sherman Alexie, among others. 

Come to class prepared to enthusiastically tackle, through discussion and our own literary criticism, issues of gender, class, and race as they figure in America.

 

ENGL 120W Intermediate Composition

.01 TR 1100-1215 R. Spivey
In this course, we will develop a sophisticated vocabulary for analyzing persuasive writing. We will emphasize practical strategies for inventing arguments and developing an effective written style. While the art of persuasion is ancient, we will apply it to issues both current and local. Nashville's weekly street paper, The Contributor, will serve as one of the primary texts for this course.

 

ENGL 122 Beginning Fiction Workshop

.01 MWF 910-1000 J. Quarry

.02 TR 1100-1215 A. Silverstein

 

ENGL 123 Beginning Poetry Workshop

.02 TR 1100-1215 A. Brandewie
In this introductory poetry writing workshop, the student will both write and read poetry. While the primary texts will be poems written by members of the workshop, readings and assignments will also be drawn from a textbook, volumes of poetry, and provided articles .

The student will be introduced to the work of contemporary poets as well as to criticism on various elements of the craft of poetry, including line, sound, rhythm, perspective, metaphor, imitation and revision. In addition to submitting original poetry to the workshop and critiquing other participants’ work, you will be expected to complete creative assignments and responses to visiting writers. Assessment will therefore be based on participation, completion of the assignments, and submission of a final portfolio . The guiding theme of this course is ekphrasis: art about art. The student will pick an artistic topic—for example: Jackson Pollok’s paintings, John Cage’s musical scores, Chihuly glass sculptures, Cycladic figurines, Time Magazine photo journalism, Byzantine armor,  etc—as a vehicle around which the student will center their writing this semester.

.03 MWF 1410-1500 E. Kunz

 

 ENGL 199 Foundations of Literary Study

.01 TR 1310-1425 L.Lopez
Imaginative Writing: Joining the Conversation.  “Foundations of Literary Study” aims to enrich the experience of reading, writing and reflecting on literature, while seeking to answer these questions: What is literature?  And why does it matter?  Designated for students interested in pursuing the creative-writing track, this section of the course will also be a good option for those who wish to compose and workshop original poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama while developing close-reading and analytic writing skills.  As contemporary literature is the focus of this class, we will read, analyze, and evaluate recently published work as an ongoing conversation—a context—with which emerging writers must become familiar before entering.  The primary readings will be accompanied by The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms, as well as other critical and theoretical concepts.

Required Texts:
Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing, Megan Stielstra, Once I Was Cool: Personal Essays Neil LaBute, The Money Shot: A Play Jamie Quatro, I Want to Show You More Beth Bachmann, Do Not Rise: Poems The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms 

 

.02 MWF 1410-1500 S. Juengel

“Art, Lit, Life”:This is a course about some complicated questions simply put: What is it we talk about when we talk about art?  What is an aesthetic experience anyway, and why does it matter?  What is poetry good for?  Why bother with criticism?  How is literature something to think with?  This is a course designed to be a broad and intensive gateway to the English major for students who wish to study literature and those who wish to create it.  Given that this is a three-day-a-week class, think of it as a series of fifty-minute intellectual and ethical workouts calculated to prepare you for the kind of advanced work you will do in 200-level classes across the major.  In fact, perhaps another complicated question looms behind all of them: What are you committing to when you commit to being an English major?

Readings have not been determined but will likely be wide-ranging, and may include figures such as Wordsworth, Dickinson, Melville, Woolf, Borges, Lowell, Morrison, Coetzee.

.03 TR 1100-1215 D. Nelson

.04 TR 1310-1425 H. Garcia

 

 

 

Spring 2015 200-level English Courses:

 

ENGL 201 Advanced Nonfiction Writing

 

.01 M 1510-1800 P. Guralnick

Limited enrollment. Admission to the workshop is by instructor permission, with re-enrollment by students who have previously taken the course subject to the same proviso. Interested students should register and contact the English Department about submitting a brief writing sample on an assigned topic, to be turned in before the December break.

This is a workshop on Creative Nonfiction, which revolves around the writing of the participants, with additional readings in work by such writers as Gay Talese, Gary Smith, Jack Kerouac, Wil Haygood, Ernest Hemingway, Rosanne Cash, and Alice Munro.

It will focus on issues of characterization, narrative technique, selectivity of detail, and angle of perception, with special emphasis on the profile – in other words, how to make a real-life story come alive in the same way that fictional narrative can.

This is a workshop in which we are all interdependent on each other's efforts.

Three major pieces of 2500-3000 words will be required, along with the possibility of some brief additional exercises. Every student in the course will critique each of the other students' papers in writing, and the class will consist primarily of constructive discussion of the work. Class participation is the second most important element of the class (after the writing itself), so attendance is of the highest importance. Most of all, the workshop is a kind of shared enterprise in which a mutual enthusiasm for writing (irrespective of the level of achievement) should make it engaging – and fun – for all. The only prerequisite is a commitment to effort and honest self-expression.

 

 

 

ENGL 202 Literature and the Craft of Writing

 

.01 TR 1310-1425 N. Reisman

 Contemporary American Short Story Writers:In this course, we'll explore stories written by a wide range of contemporary and late 20th century American writers, and delve into the into their various aesthetics, literary and other influences, formal and thematic concerns. We'll consider several particular and changing visions of the short story form, distinctive elements of voice and style, varieties of characterization, notions of self, the role of place, the places of language, and the generational and cultural moments from which these writers compose.  We’ll consider the investigations of power within their representations and within the their forms.  Among the writers we'll read and discuss:  George Saunders, Deborah Eisenberg, Lydia Davis, Claire Vaye Watkins, Edward P. Jones, Aimee Bender, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, and many others. This course is designed for students with an interest in fiction writing and the architecture of fiction; no fiction-writing experience is required.  Course projects will include both creative and analytical written work.

 

 

ENGL 204 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

 

.01 T 1510-1800 L. Lopez

 This section of creative writing focuses on developing and refining techniques of fiction writing as related to the short story.  Fiction writing is a craft, as well as a discipline and a process.  This course is designed to help students hone skills, such as, but not limited to developing effective characterization, using perspective judiciously and consistently, proportioning summary (exposition) appropriately to scene, developing setting and imagery that interacts with characterization or resonates metaphorically, as well as selecting and applying significant detail to enhance scene, characterization, and tone.  To better apprehend and build such techniques and others, students will write two original short stories, complete writing exercises, attend and respond to three literary events, and analyze published short stories to discuss structural and stylistic components that contribute to these narratives, in addition to reading text on craft on a weekly basis and critiquing work from peers.

 

Required Texts:

Janet Burroway, et al, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (8th Edition)

Jennifer Egan and Heidi Pitlor, The Best American Short Stories 2014

 

 

ENGL 205 Advanced fiction Workshop

 

.01 T 1510-1800 T. Earley

 

.02 W 1210-1500 N. Reisman

 This workshop is designed as a forum for experienced fiction writers to expand their visions, refine their aesthetics, and consider questions about fictional form and art-making. We’ll focus mainly on short story forms, revisit some essential matters of craft and technique, and consider significant questions about time, perception, and spatial relationships in stories, uses of defamiliarization, and the roles of silence, among other issues. It’s my hope that the workshop will foster experimentation as well as enable writers to further develop established strengths. The reading and writing for the course will be literary fiction generally based in realism (extending to surrealism, magical realism, meta-fiction). The core questions remain: What material, style, methods of storytelling interest you the most and how can you best access that material? What is the potential and what are the apparent boundaries of different fictional forms? The heart of this course is the workshop: the development and discussion of your creative work-in-progress. We’ll also read and discuss several published stories and essays on craft.

Experience in the English 204 (Intermediate) workshop or equivalent strongly recommended.

Instructor permission required. Interested students should register for the wait list: at the end of the course selection period, I’ll contact all wait-listed writers with guidelines for writing samples.

 

 

ENGL 207 Advanced Poetry Workshop

 

.01 M 1510-1800 R. Hilles

 This is an advanced poetry workshop, and, as such, I envision it as an opportunity for a deepening of your relationship to the practice of poetry. To facilitate this deepening, the class periods will be rigorous and packed with what I hope will be lively and insightful discussions. You will be encouraged to experiment with many different forms and styles of poetry, reading extensively the work of both your peers and published poets, while also offering your best insights in open discussions. The main focus for our class will be the writing workshop, where we will discuss your poems and those of your peers, all the while seeking the most helpful and fruitful ways to approach all creative work put before us. Thus, it will be essential for you to keep up with all of the reading. (Besides, you never know how new poems will open you up to other creative possibilities.) Poetry, as you know, is an immensely challenging and a uniquely fulfilling art form, requiring at times Herculean effort and the patience of Job. By the end of the semester, I hope you will have exceeded your own expectations for yourself and will discover some new favorite poems and poets in the process. (Subject to change.)

 

 

ENGL 208B Brittish Writers 1660-Present

 

.01 MWF 910-1000 R. Gottfried

No writer writes in a vacuum. Moved not only by the surrounding events of the time and place, a writer is changed as well by previous authors and works. This course will examine the major periods of English literature from the Restoration to the Modern era in their cultural features and will study the major poets in engagement with their literary predecessors. The course provides an exposure to the famous works of the English tradition for the general student and provides a broad background for those students considering more specialized advanced studies.

 

.02 TR 1600-1725 J. Lamb

 

Strictly speaking the denomination `British’ did not officially exist until after the Act of Union in 1707, but for our purposes we shall include any literature published by a citizen of Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland from the Restoration onwards.  The course will be divided into four genres: nonfiction, fiction; drama; poetry.  Under these general headings certain themes will be highlighted, including Childhood, Voyaging and Travelling, Disease, War, Identity, Landscape.  While some attempt will be made to outline a `British’ character, as opposed to a settler or colonial one, the course will be concerned chiefly to consider the various modes of representing experience in referential language, performance and (in its most general meaning) song, or lyric speech.  Sample texts:

Charles Dickens,  Great Expectations; R.L. Stevenson, Kidnapped; John Milton, Paradise Lost, fourth book; Andrew Marvell, The Garden, Tom Stoppard, Arcadia; William Wordsworth, The Prelude, sixth book; Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Ernest; Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy; Richard Walter, A Voyage Round the World (selections); Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, book 4; Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year;  Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War; George Etherege, The Man of Mode.

 

 

ENGL 210 Shakespeare Representative Selections

 

.01 TR 935-1050 R. Chapman

Shakespeare and the Anti-theatrical Tradition:In this course we’ll explore representative Shakespearean works to examine representation itself, why staged representation was so politicized during the sixteenth century, and how these politics affected concepts of gender and sexuality during Shakespeare’s time. Focusing heavily on early modern anti-theatrical debates, we’ll examine works from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, in order to examine how Shakespearean drama responds to classical concerns over the power of art. We’ll also investigate how Shakespeare’s commentaries on representation relate to and depart from those of his contemporaries such as Philip Sidney, Stephen Gosson, and Thomas Heywood. Readings will include Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Richard III, As you Like It, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Winter’s TaleCoriolanus, and All’s Well that Ends Well.

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

 

 

ENGL 211W Representative American Writers

 

.01 MWF 1310-1400 G. Briggs

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

 

 

ENGL 212 Southern Literature

 

.01 MWF 1310-1400 M. Kreyling

The spring of 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the American Civil War – the actual shooting phase. With the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox, the assassination of Lincoln, and the legislative beginning of Reconstruction, the cultural phase of the war began. This is where this iteration of ENGL 212 will begin: the muddled hand-off from history to myth. The course will be plotted along a route marked by texts by Southern or South-affiliated authors that have also been influential in the mythic re-inscription of the South into the U. S. imagination by being made into movies.

Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman into D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.

Several of William Faulkner’s novels have been adapted to film, but we’ll focus on As I Lay Dying and James Franco’s film version.

Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Richard Brooks’ film adaptation.
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Robert Mulligan’s 1962 film.
Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood and John Huston’s film.
The Southern Myth in toto and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

This is not, however, a “South on film” course. These are mile-markers on the semester route. In addition to the texts mentioned above, the syllabus will cover other important aspects of the literary history produced in the U.S. South: the Vanderbilt Fugitives/Agrarians and their flawed project to imagine the South as “modern,” Grit Lit and “Country Chic” in the 1990s, post-Katrina impacts, the “re-enacted South.”

This course is constructed as a survey and will therefore move at a fast pace. The order is chronological, with topics chosen for each segment to suggest besetting themes for the “time period.” Get you hands on the texts listed above for each film; other readings will be forthcoming.

Expect to write brief (4-5pp) “ruminations” on the topics or historical periods on which the course is built. One in January, two in February, one in March, two in April.
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

 

 

ENGL 213W Literature of the American Civil War

 

.01 MW 1310-1425 R. Dicker

 

 

 

ENGL 218 Words and Music

 

.01 TR 1100-1215 M. Jarman

Words and Music.  An investigation of works of literature that have inspired musical settings and the musical settings themselves.  Emphasis on literary and musical analysis and interpretation.  No musical background assumed. 
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

 

ENGL 221 Medieval Literature

.01 TR 1100-1215 J. Plummer
This course introduces the student to the chief literary forms and cultural issues of the late 13th through the 15th centuries in England.  We learn Middle English while reading chronicles, saints
= lives, drama, romance, lyrics, and allegory, exploring the alterity and modernity of medieval culture, what we have in common with the period and how we differ from it.  No previous experience with medieval studies is required or expected.  Graded work includes a midterm and final exam, a paper of 8-10 pages, and class participation.

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 230 18th Century English Novel

.01 MWF 910-1000 S. Juengel
“The Novel, The Enlightenment and The Gothic”:The European eighteenth century is known otherwise as the Enlightenment, a period of literary and philosophical inquiry when reason and science were ascendant, individualism was consolidating into its modern form, and trusted doctrines were coming under new scrutiny.  But there was also a countervailing, seemingly anti-enlightenment strain that emerged in the form of the ghost story and the “gothic novel.”  These narratives of terror and horror, violence and haunting, managed to be both popular bestsellers and philosophical treatments of the problem of evil.  This course will provide a survey of fiction of the long eighteenth century across multiple national traditions—roughly Defoe to Poe—but will do so by concentrating on the particular subgenre of what were often called “terroristic fictions.”  This course meets the English major's pre-1800 requirement.

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 231 19th Century English Novel

.01 MWF 1010-1100 E. Meadows
When Families Attack: Studies in the 19th-Century Novel: A critical understanding of the shifting social, political, and cultural meanings of the family in the nineteenth century is the aim of this course.  The family was the primary mechanism for establishing gender and class norms, and nineteenth-century political economists and social theorists alike invoked the family as the building block of social organization.  Yet novelists paradoxically persisted in portraying families that were anything but exemplary.  In this course we will explore how literary representations of families articulate and resist ideas of class, gender, privacy, and identity, even as the institution of the family transformed itself during the period.  We will track the evolving concept of family in novels by Austen, E. Brontë, Gaskell, A. Trollope, and Dickens to investigate how familial power dynamics function in opposition to or connivance with larger social networks and structures.

 

ENGL 232A American Novel 1900-1945

.01 TR 1100-1215 H. Spillers

.02 MW 1310-1425 V. Bell

 

ENGL 237W World Literature: Modern

.01 TR 1310-1425 J. Fesmire

 

ENGL 247 Advanced Poetry

.01 MWF 1110-1200 J. Bradley
In this class, we will ask questions about the relation of form and content in poetic texts that cut across the study of poetry from a wide variety of historical and critical perspectives. How do form, thought, and feeling all act in concert on the page of a text? For readers, how do varying forms of interpretative practice shape what we’re reading and our response to it. We’ll dedicate the first part of the semester to an intense focus on the basics of reading and interpreting poetic form and language, honing our close reading skills and the tools available to us for interpreting poetic form and language. From there we will consider what constitutes “lyric poetry” from a number of angles, before we turn to texts—poetic and critical—that attempt to revise, resist or otherwise complicate the lyric formally and conceptually. We’ll grapple with poems and poetic movements—including digital and documentary poetries—that attempt to dramatically shift our expectations of what poetry is or should be, just as we’ll read the work of scholars and critics—those working in ecopoetics, for instance—that challenge us to view familiar, canonical texts in a new light or with new priorities. The class’s focus on the reciprocal relationship between form and content will apply to our writing assignments, as well: Essay assignments will include shorter analytical pieces as well as the chance to experiment with multimodal alternatives to the traditional essay.

Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 248 16th Century

.01 TR 1310-1425 P. Aulakh
Henry VIII famously announced that England was an empire. In this course, we will study some of the literary works that served to realize his claim and forge English national and literary identity. While our readings, ranging from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia to Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, will allow us to better understand the literature of the period and its establishment of an English literary tradition, we will chiefly focus on Elizabethan England. In terms of its literature and its politics, Elizabeth’s reign has often been styled as a “Golden Age.” If that image continues to color moderns representations of Elizabeth I, as in the recent Shekhar Kapur film starring Cate Blanchett, it is an idealized one that was propagated by Elizabeth herself and reinforced by writers, like Sir Philip Sidney and Spenser, associated with her court. In reading their works, we will examine how their writings were informed by Elizabeth’s own self-fashioning, the public performance of her identity in poems, speeches, and paintings. In developing the very themes, tropes, and generic conventions—courtly love and chivalric service, for example—Elizabeth herself employed, their works certainly reinforced the image she cultivated. But how might they also have served as spaces to register anxieties and misgivings about the very values their authors ostensibly celebrated? Or alternatively, how did they and their peers offer competing ideas of English national identity? Readings for this course will include More’s Utopia, selections from Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti, The Shepheardes Calendar, and The Faerie Queene, poems by Thomas Wyatt, George Gascoigne, Philip Sidney and his sister Mary Sidney, as well as Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday, Thomas Deloney’s Jack of Newbury, and Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller.

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 249 17th Cantury Literature

.01 TR 1435-1550 Hilles/Marcus

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 251 Milton

 

.01 TR 1600-1715 L. Marcus

 John Milton has long been reputed the second greatest writer in English after Shakespeare, but he has almost always been more controversial than Shakespeare. In this course we will find out why.  We will read all of “Classic” Milton: Comus, Lycidas, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes and the minor poems, with major emphasis on Paradise Lost. We will also dip into Milton’s prose, in which he advocated such daring and radical ideas (for his time) as freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and divorce for incompatible partners in marriage. Major emphasis will be placed on considering his writings in the context of the shifting political landscape before and during the English Civil War and its aftermath.  Since this is an honors course, there will be no exams.  Written work will consist of a short paper (4-5 pp.) during the semester and a longer paper (10-15 pp.) at the end of the course.  There will also be frequent presentations by groups of students working together.
Please note this is an Honors Seminar and hence requires a 3.4 GPA for admission.
Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 262 Literature and the Law

.01 TR 1435-1550 C. Dayan
FROM THE PLANTATION TO THE PENITENTIARY: INTERPRETATION, LITERATURE AND THE LAW: Whilst society in the United States gives the example of the most extended liberty, the prisons of the same country offer the spectacle of the most complete despotism.—Beaumont and Tocqueville, On the Penitentiary System in the United States (1831)

This course will examine how punishment, prisons, incapacitation, and torture not only became critical to the meaning of democracy and freedom in the United States but also shaped a history of property and possession essential to what Thomas L. Dumm in Democracy and Punishment has called "the American project."

Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was announced in December 1865.  The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude “except as punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The legal exception became the means for terminological slippage: those who were once slaves were now criminals.  Such an amendment amounted to nothing less than an escape clause, a corrective that left the essence of enslavement intact. 

Crucial questions to be considered:
1) What is the connection between slavery and imprisonment?
2) How does the mobilization of history trump arguments about justice?
3) What are the legitimate rights of the state over the liberty interests of the incarcerated?
4) What is the relation between the status of criminal as “slave of the state” and of the slave as property or thing?
5) What are the conditions sufficient for attaining the status of “citizen”?
6) What does it mean to be dead in law?
7) And perhaps most important now in the United States: Is the prison, though invisible to most of us, now the defining framework for civil society?  Does that zone of exclusion become the grid for discriminatory practice, surveillance, labeling, and disregard in everyday life?

We will examine legal, philosophical and historical texts, as well as fictional and cinematic re-enactments of lockdown and criminality, the death penalty, chain gangs, and supermax confinement. Case law is central to this course. Texts include Mumia Abu Jamal, Live from Death Row; Colin Dayan, The Law is a White Dog;Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow;Herman Melville, Billy Budd and Other Stories; Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? Also, cases such as Furman v. Georgia (1972), Wilson v. Seiter (1991); Madrid v. Gomez (1995); Bea rd v. Banks (2006); Baze v. Rees (2008).
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 265 Film and Modernism

.01 MW 1435-1550 S. Girgus
The course focuses on the relationship of film to the forces and movements that define and impel modernism, including changes regarding sexuality and gender, ethics, belief, identity, values, and lifestyles. Readings will include classics of literary modernism and the modern tradition. We will relate these readings to the cinema of modernism from a variety of national film traditions, including Italian, French, British, Russian, Swedish, American, and other cultures. The course will structure this learning and viewing experience in terms of the personal quest in modernity for belief and commitment. We will examine how film originated with the modernist movement and grew to maturity with the great modernists of art, literature, and philosophy.

A Journey in Two Parts: The Crisis and the Quest

I. Film originated with the modernist movement and grew to maturity with the great modernists of art, literature, and philosophy.  The course will study film from the perspective and within the context of the major themes of modernism: the divided self, the break between language and realism, nihilism and the search for belief, narrative space and time in film, ideology and identity, politics and aesthetics, the body and film. 

 II. The course also will engage what Julia Kristeva terms the crisis of “therapeutic and moral value” in modern times by considering Richard Kearney’s idea of the “phenomenology of the flesh” as a means for rethinking the relationship of the body and “soul” as expressed in film aesthetics and contemporary thought. Students will document their intellectual and personal experiences of their individual journeys toward understanding and renewing ethical relationships.
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 267 Desire in America

.01 MW 1610-1725 I. Nwankwo
Desire in America: Life, Literature, Film, and Popular Culture: What do we want and why? Sexual desire, desire for consumer goods, and desire for particular kinds of experiences or adventures are only a few examples of kinds of desire that surface in the media we encounter every day. Through this class we will deepen our understanding of the national and international dynamics of desire. We will consider questions such as: Where do our desires come from and what drives them? Which aspects of the desires that motivate and surround us are universally human? Which are rooted in particular national, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds? And, most importantly for this course, how do Americans and people in other countries factor into the shaping of each others’ desires?

We will begin the class by exploring this topic through a case study—representational relations between the US and the Caribbean as evident in film, literature, digital and social media, in addition to oral narratives/interviews. In the US, the Caribbean is often portrayed as a tourist destination Americans can visit to relax, relate, and release, to disconnect from their cares. What do people in the Caribbean think about the US, though? Is it possible that they also see it as an exotic vacation destination, or it is as something else? If so, what is that something else? What can we learn from exploring Caribbean views of the US and vice versa?

To find answers, we will look specifically at the portrayal and presence of the Caribbean in US film and television, literature, and digital media as well as the portrayal and presence of the US in Caribbean film and television, literature, and digital media. We will delve into materials as varied as ads for Caribbean rum and beaches; short stories, poems, and novels; cinematic classics like To Have and Have Not (starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall) and Emperor Jones (starring Paul Robeson); more recent films like Pirates of the Caribbean, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Harder They Come, Haven, and Shottas; digital and social media discourses; and contemporary music videos (including pop, hip hop, electronic, reggae, and Latin music videos).  As part of our process we will also consider works by Peter Stearns (including Battleground of Desire) and Stuart Hall (including Representations). We will then move on to thinking about whether and how this case study can help us better contextualize and interpret relations between the US and other nations beyond the Caribbean. Works by Julia Kristeva and Edward Said will help us in our consideration.

Course requirements: reading, viewing, and examining assigned materials and participating actively in class discussion on said materials; periodic reader or viewer responses; a midterm paper (take home); a final project; and a group presentation. Students will be able to choose from among multiple format options for the final project. These options include a standard research paper, a critical essay, a creative work (fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, or multi-genre), a multimedia project, or K-12 curriculum development materials among other options. The professor will guide and help students through the process of conceptualizing and producing the final projects.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 269 Special Topics in Film

.01 R 1510-1800 S. Girgus
ALLEN, SCORSESE, AND EASTWOOD: The course will offer close readings of major films by three of America’s greatest current directors who have profoundly influenced modern film and contemporary culture and values. All three directors have changed our understanding and appreciation of film as art and cultural product. They have directed modern masterpieces as cinematic scenes of cultural engagement, conflict, and transformation. Leaders in developing the creative potential of film art, these directors emphasize certain themes in their work, including changing views of masculinity, the revolution in sexual and gender relationships, violence in contemporary culture, ethnic and racial identities and tensions, the search for meaning and belief, irony and humor.
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 272 Movements in Literature

.01 TR 935-1050 E. Covington
The Literature of World War I
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

.02 TR 935-1100 R. Moore
The transformation of England from a Catholic to a Protestant nation was, to say the least, a disruptive phenomenon.  Monks and nuns were cast out of their monasteries, Catholic and Protestant martyrs suffered public tortures and executions, and Catholic plotters attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  Religious enmities ran high, and intolerance was the order of the day.  In this course, we will analyze the influence of the English Reformation on the literature of early-modern England.  We will begin with William Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man, a highly influential compendium of Protestant themes and arguments that even Henry VIII regarded as essential reading.  We will then study a series of anti-Catholic dialogues, lampoons, plays, and satires (including works by John Bale, Richard Weaver, Robert Crowley, William Baldwin and the mysterious “Luke Shepherd”) as well as Catholic writings against Protestantism.  Religious violence and the responses to it will demand much of our attention; we will examine selections from John Foxe’s popular Book of Martyrs as well as the literature that emerged after the Gunpowder Plot.  In the last third of class, we will read canonical texts (Book I of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus or Tamburlaine, selections from Sir Philip Sidney’s Defense of Poesy)whose engagement with Reformation themes and doctrines is significant.  Assignments will include tests, a couple of essays, and a research project. 

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement.

 

ENGL 273 Problems in Literature

.02 TR 935-1050 J. Plummer
Star-Crossed Lovers:
"Ay me!  for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth."
-- A Midsummer Night's Dream

As Lysander in Shakespeare's play claims, literature is filled with unhappy, unlucky, tragic loves.  This course will examine some of the most famous of these, and enquire into the varieties of "crossings," or impediments to true love as well as exploring reasons for the popularity of the motif.  Some of the literary texts  included are these:
Tristan and Isolde ; selections from Malory's Morte Darthur, especially "The Book of Sir Launcelot and Queen Guenevere" and "The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur Saunz Guerdon"; Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde; Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida, and  Midsummer Night's Dream; versions of the story of Orpheus and Euridice including Ovid's (Metamorphoses), Boethius' (Consolation of Philosophy), the Middle English Sir Orfeo, Cocteau's Orphée [play and film], and the Brazilian film Black Orpheus; Versions of the story of Abelard and Eloise, including Pope's "Eloïsa to Abelard; Pyramus and Thisbe (Metamorphoses 4).

In addition to the films mentioned above we will view Casablanca.

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

.03 TR 1100-1215 H. Baker Jr.
The Black Literary Divide:Black Men and Black Women Representing One Another
From the gendered dynamics of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the creative and occupational roles of African American men and women in the present century, there have been notable - sometimes fractious - distinctions of roles and representations.  On board transatlantic slave ships African men and African women occupied separate spaces, distinctive characterizations, and differential usage. On plantations of the New World, women and men slaves sometimes performed the same soul-killing labor in the fields, but the prospects of mobility and escape from bondage were not equal. Women slaves were more subject to rigorous surveillance (and certain forms of abuse) more often than their male counterparts. Slave women could add to the Masters' store in two forms of "property": they harvested agricultural goods and bore children destined by law to follow the slave status of their mothers. Through reading and discussion of a series of paired texts the present course seeks to analyze the "great divide" between world views, creative styles, and representational strategies of African American men's and women's writings.

Tentative pairings will include: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olauda Equiano and The History of Mary Prince; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl; Dust Tracks on a Road and Black Boy; Zami and The Autobiography of Malcolm X; The Color Purple and Reckless Eyeballing. Secondary readings will include essays, poems, and short dramatic works by authors such as Bell Hooks, Amiri Baraka, Angela Davis, Natasha Tretheway, and others.  Classic debate motivated by differential status, placement, and forms of address to the world by African American men and women will be points of focus.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 274 Major Figures in Literature

.01 TR 1435-1550 R. Teukolsky
Oscar Wilde and the 1890s: “I was a man who stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age.” So wrote Oscar Wilde in 1897, from the confinement of a prison cell. Wilde’s career offers a revealing glimpse into late-Victorian culture and society—from his roots in Ireland, to his ascent in London society as a celebrated wit and playwright, to his stunning arrest and imprisonment for “acts of gross indecency” with other men. This course will examine Wilde’s writings within the context of the last decade of the nineteenth century, when anxieties about the fate of British culture and empire spurred a kind of conservative hysteria, along with the subversive counter-culture known as “decadence.” Texts will include Wilde’s poetry, essays on art, aesthetics, and socialism, his plays The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere’s Fan,and his gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. We will also consider his decadent play Salomé, published in book form with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley and banned by London censors before it could make it to the Victorian stage. Other authors and artists will help us to understand the rebellious art-culture of the 1890s: Walter Pater, R. L. Stevenson, J.-K. Huysmans, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Symons, J. M. Whistler, D. G. Rossetti, Max Beerbohm, George Egerton, Amy Levy, and Michael Field, among others.

 

ENGL 276 Anglophone African Literature

.01 TR 1435-1550 M. Milazzo
Post-1994 South African Fiction: In this course we will examine post-apartheid South African fiction written in English, with an emphasis on novels by young writers that creatively capture the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Starting with an assessment of colonialism and segregation, we will examine contemporary fiction with an eye towards the representation of apartheid’s legacies. In reading novels that will take us from the University of Cape Town campus to the poverty-stricken inner-city area of Hillbrow in Johannesburg, we will explore an exciting literary landscape as well as gain a critical understanding of actual challenges that shape ordinary life in present-day South Africa, especially for the youth. In the process, we will consider the great diversity and vibrancy that characterize South Africa, a country with eleven official languages and ethnic groups, and ask: What is new (and what is not) about the “New” South Africa and its literature? To enrich our analyses, in class we will also examine South African music, video, film, documentary and news media. Main course requirements: participation, weekly short responses on OAK, one film screening outside of regular class time, at least one paper conference meeting with the professor, one final research paper.

All students are welcome; no prior knowledge or special skill is required.

Required books:
Mark Mathabane, Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa (1986)
Zakes Mda, Ways of Dying (1995)
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace (1999)
Phaswane Mpe, Welcome to Our Hillbrow (2001)
Kgebetli Moele, Room 207 (2006)
C.A. Davis, The Blacks of Cape Town (2013)
Thando Mgqolozana, Unimportance (2014)

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 277 Asian American Literature

.01 TR 1310-1425 H. Shin
Stranger in a Home Land: Asian American Literature and the Mechanisms of Alienation: 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 majority are often represented 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 critical minority discourse, this class invites students to problematize accepted standards of normalcy and investigate their modes of delivery across different mediums including written text, film, graphic narrative, television, and social media. The course materials themselves deviate from mainstream Asian American fiction in their style and genre (ranging from science fiction to dystopian futures, magical realism, comedy, and the superhero narrative), further complicating the metrics of “otherness” the class will explore with 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, for instance 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?

Required Texts (Books to purchase):
Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story
Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea
Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew, The Shadow Hero
Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians
Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
Karen Tei Yamashita, Tropic of Orange

Available on OAK
Critical materials on concepts such as the yellow peril, model minority, racial melancholia, techno-orientalism, and tiger mom, among others
News reports and social media posts on current events (the #cancelcolbert campaign, the Lynsanity phenomenon, the Asiana pilot name fiasco, etc.)

Class Screening (also available at the library, or online streaming services)
Cloud Atlas (film)
Episodes from Fresh off the Boat (TV)

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 279 Ethnic American Literature

.01 MWF 1110-1200 C. Amich
This course will survey the major traditions of ethnic American literatures—including the African American, Asian American, Latino/a and Native American—from a comparative perspective that highlights the commonalities and differences among and within these groupings.  In their indexing of other national traditions and forms, ethnic American literatures anticipate the challenge that globalization poses to the idea of an American literature bounded within the borders of the United States.  Reading will include a variety of contemporary poetry, fiction, drama and non-fiction prose works by authors such as Sherman Alexie, Gloria Anzaldúa, Amiri Baraka, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Junot Díaz, Adrienne Kennedy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Li-Young Lee, Cherríe Moraga, Toni Morrison and Leslie Marmon Silko.

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 282 The Bible in Literature

.01 MWF 1110-1200 R. Gottfried

An examination of ways in which the Bible and biblical imagery have functioned in literature and fine arts, in both "high culture" and popular culture, from Old English poems to modern poetry, drama, fiction, cartoons, and political rhetoric. Readings include influential biblical texts and a broad selection of literary texts drawn from all genres and periods of English literature.

Satisfies pre-1800 literature requirement for major and minor
Satisfies history requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 287 Investigative Writing in America

.01 W 1510-1700 A. Little

The Story of Climate Change: Investigating Environmental Crisis and Innovative Breakthrough:Climate change presents one of the most important global challenges civilization has faced. As warming temperatures pose ecological threats, politicians are struggling to define a path forward and innovators are forging new discoveries in renewable energy and efficiency. These struggles and discoveries are changing our industries, our politics, our culture and our daily lives. How do we tell stories of crisis and ingenuity in America? This course will explore what’s going wrong, what’s going right, and the thrill and challenge of documenting historic change.

 In books, articles, blogs, websites, and twitter feeds, we’ll sample a broad range of writing on these topics, exploring the science, the solutions, the players, the politics, the history, the local impacts. Students will also pursue their own local reporting adventures, investigating the effects of climate change and the emerging green economy in our midst. My hope is that this course will 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 in which we live.

 

ENGL 288 Special Topics in English/American Literature

.02 MW 1310-1425 I. Nwankwo
Race, Immigration, and Identity: Reading the Wor(l)ds of New York, Nashville, and Beyond: This class is part of a course series called “Music City Perspectives.” Through it, Vanderbilt students will learn from, about, and with the city’s diverse communities, while also honing their academic writing and research skills and contributing to the greater good.  In this course we will focus on immigrants from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America.  

New York’s immigrant past and present are legend in literature, film, and folklore about the making of modern America. Virtually no parallel material has been produced on immigrants to Nashville. Over the course of the semester, we will explore personal stories, films, about migration to New York and Nashville from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America. As we learn about and from these immigrant communities’ cultures, histories, identities, and experiences in the two cities, we will consider questions such as: What are the push and pull factors that lead these immigrants to each of these sites? What are their experiences when they get to them? What sorts of adjustments do they have to make, particularly with regard to racial and ethnic identity?

We will begin by gaining a solid grounding in the history of immigration to New York by viewing films, perusing newspapers, and delving into literature from and about the time. Through the stories of Irish and other European immigrants who came to Ellis Island in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and responses to their arrival, we will expand our understanding of the foundations of the United States of America as we know it. Next, we will move on to talking about immigration to New York from the Caribbean.  Novels, autobiographies, and oral history interviews about immigrants’ experiences will figure prominently in this section, alongside films that reveal previously hidden aspects of these immigrants’ experiences. Then, we will focus on African immigrants, examining the most current cinematic and public history materials on their migration to the United States.

We will then turn our attention to Metro Nashville through life history interviews, documentaries, digital and other new media, as well as journalistic and other print source materials produced by and about immigrants. Guest speakers from local communities and organizations will also feature prominently in this section. Our ultimate goal will be to create final projects that make a distinctive contribution to the public discourse on these communities in our city and region.

Please note this is an Honors Seminar and hence requires a 3.4 GPA for admission.
Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement

Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement

 

ENGL 288W Special Topics in English/American Literature

.01 T 1435-1715 C. Tichi
US novels and EBooks: This course invites each student to develop personalized, e-book enhanced versions of canonical American novels (plus one lengthy narrative poem, Iris, by Vanderbilt Professor Mark Jarman). You do not need a tablet reader. We will read American novels in print format, the authors including Jack London, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Edith Wharton, all writing in the era of photography, motion pictures and recorded music.  According to your interpretation of each book, you will propose a sequence of “e” enhancements (i.e., motion picture footage, a photo gallery, music) that supports and strengthens your interpretation.

Critics of enhanced e-books in the era of cell phones, iPads, Kindles and Nooks object to the distraction (or randomness) when the reader departs from the printed or onscreen page at the tap of the screen or link.  (Children’s literature, all the while, shows an abundance of “e” enhancements that editors and producers consider to be integral to a project.)  We will emphasize the careful choices of “e” enhancements that support your interpretation. Each novel will require you to prepare a short essay explaining and justifying your choices for “e” enhancement, and your classmates will have the opportunity to appreciate your viewpoint when you present your work, just as you will enjoy theirs.

Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

ENGL 289B Independent Study

Required form is available here


ENGL 290B Honors Thesis

.01 T 1900-2130 H. Garcia

 

Spring 2015 dual-listed courses that may be counted toward the major:

 

Amer 295 D. Nelson
Global Warming: Science, Politics, Economy, Culture: Wikipedia reports that “Global warming is the unequivocal and continuing rise in the average temperature of Earth's climate system.”  “Sorry Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling,” rebuts a Forbes headline.  It’s the surface temperature, it’s the atmosphere, linear reactions, adjusted data.  The climate is warming; the rate of warming has slowed; it’s over.  There’s a strong scientific consensus. . . or there isn’t.  The issue has become deeply politicized, and the economic and social stakes are high.
 
This course will examine the science as well as cultural inputs both to the science and the popular interpretation of the science of global warming in the United States.  Our goal will be to understand both the quality of the science, various popular and policy responses to the science, and the main lines of resistance to that science.  We will think broadly about evidence for global warming, drawing on class research and your own independent and team research, and will narrow our focus to one or two particular policy issues toward the end of the class.  As we go, we will consider carefully the art of persuasion in the light of what we learn.
 
Requirements will include:  reading, discussion, short independent research papers, longer research project, and team reports.

LATS 201 TR 4:00-5:15pm Dr. Marzia Milazzo
Crossing Borders: Introduction to Latino and Latina Studies : This course provides an introduction to the histories and cultural productions of Latinas and Latinos in the United States, with a main focus on Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American and Central/South American communities. We will pay close attention to how race, class, gender, sexuality and citizenship intersect to create differential experiences between and within Latina/o communities. The course will provide a platform not only for examining interconnections and differences between Latin@s but also for understanding key relationships with other groups, in particular African American, European American, and Native American communities. Through the study of history, fiction, creative nonfiction, sociology, film (Sleep Dealer), music (from corridos to hip hop) and other genres, we will grapple with realities that shape the lived experiences of Latina/o communities by employing the conceptual lens of “the border.” In the process, we will ask: Why can some people cross borders more easily than others? What kinds of boundaries separate a “citizen” from an “alien” or a “criminal” from the “innocent”? How are legality and illegality constructed? What purposes do “Close the Border” discourses and anti-immigration propaganda at large serve? What does it mean to inhabit a border? Main course requirements: participation, weekly short responses on OAK, one film screening outside of regular class time, at least one paper conference meeting with the professor, one final research paper or creative project.

Dual-listed with English and Women’s and Gender Studies.
All students are welcome; no prior knowledge or special skill is required.
Required books:
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
Blas Falconer & Lorraine López, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity
Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
Cristina Henríquez, The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel 
Adriana Páramo, Looking for Esperanza: The Story of a Mother, a Child Lost, and Why
They Matter to Us
Victor Rios, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys

Satisfies ethnic-non-western literature major and minor requirement
Satisfies diverse perspectives literature major and minor requirement

 

 

 

MORE