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Fall 2015


Fall 2015 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

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 1000-level writing courses are subject to change after Course Request Period, depending on enrollments.

Admittance to Honors sections and 3000-level Creative Writing workshops are subject to instructor approval.
See individual course listings for specific instructions.

Note: The descriptions that appear below for Fall 2015 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 2310  ENGL 3654
 ENGL 2318  ENGL 3658
 ENGL 3314  ENGL 3662
 ENGL 3330  ENGL 3670
 ENGL 3340  ENGL 3728W
 ENGL 3346  
 ENGL 3364  
   
   
   

  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 2310  ENGL 3654
 ENGL 2318  ENGL 3658
 ENGL 3314  ENGL 3662
 ENGL 3330  ENGL 3670
 ENGL 3340  ENGL 3728W
 ENGL 3346  
 ENGL 3364  
   
   
   
These courses meet the approaches major and minor requirement:                                                                                              
 ENGL 3694  
 ENGL 3720  
 ENGL 3730  
 ENGL 3890  
   
   
   

 

Fall 2015 English Courses:

 
ENGL 1100: Composition

.01 MWF 910-1000 R. Spivey

.02 MWF 1210-1300 S. Johnson
This course is designed to empower you to face the rigors of college-level writing by helping you to practice several common genres of persuasive writing. This course will push you to examine the structural and rhetorical decisions that underpin various genres, and to discern how such concerns manifest themselves in your own writing. This course will also help you to move beyond reading comprehension, and toward analytical thinking and writing practices that will form the evaluative criteria for much of your college writing. We will read and analyze texts that model strong writing in each genre, and learn to identify the strategies that enable persuasive and thought-provoking writing.

Furthermore, this class foregrounds the development of your own persuasive, analytical voice, and will help you to develop strategies for communicating your own unique ideas and assessing others’ writing, including your peers’. We will examine a broad range of “texts,” including prose, op ed columns, ads, music, and film, in order to discern: 1) how such texts communicate with us in both textual and subtextual registers, and 2) how we might use these texts as platforms for expressing our own unique ideas. This course will allow you to practice four genres of persuasive writing: interviews, reviews, visual analyses, and the position papers.

.03 MWF 1310-1400 C. Land

.04 MWF 1410-1500 T. McInnis
Police Brutality: Discourses of Race, Power, and Violence in the Era of Ferguson : In this course, students will think and write critically about a wide range of media, including articles, blog posts, films, tweets, and more, that address the relationship of race and power in the contemporary cultural moment in the United States, with particular attention paid to theorizing the role of the written word in producing cultural narratives legitimizing or denouncing displays of violence. While throughout our studies we will necessarily learn about current events, broader histories that have contributed to instances of racially motivated police brutality and protests, this course will be equally invested in how information about these events is disseminated: how do newscasts, bloggers, and Twitter users present their arguments? How can we imagine responding to these arguments by mastering rhetorical and argumentative techniques? How has social media diversified the kinds of representation we are privy to? The fundamental goal we will work toward over the course of the semester is moving beyond simple summary of or observations concerning the text and into realms of interpretation and critique.  We will address these questions through extensive class discussion, in-class writing, and group work. By developing students’ critical and analytical skills, this class hopes to provoke active engagement in reading and interpreting the multiple texts that surround us every day.

.05 TR 1435-1550 D. Armstrong
English 1100 is a course for students who would like to improve their writing skills. This section will allow students to write and receive feedback weekly. Assignments will include a variety of different practical genres, ranging from brief personal bios and online product reviews to longer project proposals and academic arguments. Much of our in-class time will be devoted to workshopping students’ writing through processes like outlining, one-on-one meetings with the instructor, and peer review. There will also be regular in-class discussion of short, required readings that will serve as models for student assignments. The primary method of approaching concerns about written style, grammar, and usage will be in the context of the assignments, but each student also will be asked to teach a brief lesson to the class on a grammar problem common to college writers. Improvements in written mechanics can also occur during assignment revisions, two of which will be required during the semester. At semester’s end, students will submit a portfolio displaying all of their work and explaining what strategies have worked for them and, because becoming a better writer is a never-ending process, what they still need to improve.

 

ENGL 1111 First Year Writing Seminar

 .30 TR 935-1050 I. Nwankwo
What is America to Me?: Immigration and the (Re)Making of American Identity: Over the course of the semester, we will explore personal stories, films, and literature about migration to the U.S. from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa, learning about and from these immigrant communities’ cultures, histories, identities, and perspectives on the American Dream. We will consider questions such as: What are the push and pull factors that lead these immigrants to the U.S? What are their experiences when they get here? What impact have they had on American society? How have they been represented and represented themselves in literature, media, and film?

We will begin by learning about the history of immigration in the U.S by delving into literature and films. In particular, through the stories of Irish and other European immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 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 from the Caribbean. Novels, autobiographies, and oral history interviews about immigrants’ experiences will figure prominently in this section, alongside films that reveal other nuances of the experiences of these immigrants.

The third major section will focus on African immigrants.  Films will help to round out students’ knowledge about the identity challenges faced and posed by these “other African Americans.”

Throughout the semester we will connect the new information we are learning through our readings and films to current-day issues and happenings.

Tailored training in recognized and innovative research methods will be a core element of this course. Students will learn how to formulate research questions; use library resources to help identify and critically engage pertinent primary, secondary, and tertiary sources; cite sources using accepted formats (MLA); conduct and analyze oral history interviews; take research notes; and compile bibliographies on the path to producing a final paper on an aspect our course topic, all with individualized guidance from the professor.

.31 810-925 M. Schoenfield
Existential Fictions:
What nonsense. They read quickly, badly, and pass judgment before they have understood. So let's begin all over. This doesn't amuse anyone, neither you nor me. But we have to hit the nail on the head.

                                                            --Jean-Paul Sartre, What is Literature? (1947)

Existentialism has been variously identified as a philosophy, literary movement, psychology, and political agent (most often on the left, but across the political spectrum).  In this course, we will examine how works of the classical existentialists—Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus—express concerns about the modern condition, especially with regard to the dynamic of freedom, social responsibility, and the construction of identity and selfhood.  We will consider the themes that emerge from these works, directed in part by our own interests and in part by these authors’ obsessions.  Such themes will undoubtedly include the condition of the self within a social world constructed through gender, race, national allegiances, and economic and technological contingencies.  We will then explore how the ideas of these influential thinkers mold and find new expression in various writers and artists influenced by them.

.36 MWF 810-900 R. Gottfried
Foundational Stories of the Western Tradition:This course examines a variety of narratives that have formed the basis of Western literature and culture. Readings include the Old Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Greek tragedy, Aesop, Ovid, Medieval Arthurian romances, The Arabian Nights, and Grimm's fairy tales. No credit for students who have completed HONS 181 section 53.

.38 TR 1310-1425 V. Bell
Representations of War:
Novels, memoirs, films, poems, and historical writings will serve as examples of how war in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been represented, both in under-view and over-view.  The time span covered begins with World War I and ends with the war in Afghanistan. Historical issues will be a main focus.  As in all such historical events and their representations, there are always conflicting “truths” to be sorted out and, where possible, reconciled.  This process will be the guiding principle of our project.  Faculty from other disciplines will be brought in to guide us, but we will mainly be on our own where all points of view will be expected to thrive.   

 

ENGL 1210W Prose Fictions: Forms/Technique

.01 MWF 810-0900 W. Smeele
“There and back again”: Adventure Fiction: “[A]dventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine,” or so Mr. Bilbo Baggins thinks in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit. This class will look at the different types of adventures depicted in fiction from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century. We will examine questions such as, what is an adventure? Does an adventure need to be a physical journey from point A to point B? And, who is allowed to participate in an adventure? The category of the adventure will also be examined outside written fiction by looking at film, games, and academic writing. Using adventure fiction as a blueprint, we will delve into the process of academic writing, the teleology of the academic essay, and the journey of analytical thinking to examine academic writing as a mode of adventure writing for a select audience.

Texts such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road among others will allow us to examine the imaginative adventure, the goal-oriented adventure, and the adventure of escape alongside one another.

So, in the words of Gandalf: “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging.”

.02 MWF 1110-1200 J. Phelan
How Fiction Means (And What Else It Does): Years of English class can train us to be adept at talking and writing about stories and novels without having a clear idea of what fiction is and why we read it. In this course we will try to bring that into focus by dwelling on a cluster of very basic questions: what does it mean for a story or a novel to 'say' or 'mean' something? Is a 'take-home message,' or some kind of meaning we can summarize, what we ought to be looking for when we read fiction critically? If not, or not only, what else should we be reading for? How do the ways a work of fiction means relate to the other things it does? And if the answers to these questions vary from text to text, how do different texts teach us how to read them? Our exploration of these questions, as we read and discuss a wide range of literary fiction, will be the basis for an intensive group effort to become more effective critical writers.

.03 TR 1310-1425 J. Quarry
Monsters in Fiction : In this course, we will explore portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fictions ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction used to illuminate them and in turn the societal anxieties and desires in the midst of which they appear.  Over our months together, we will attempt to define, and redefine, what, or who, exactly, a “monster” is and what makes such a creature simultaneously horrifying and fascinating, and we will examine novels, graphic novels, and short stories in order to determine the terms by which so-called monsters are understood and described, and what beyond the norm these creatures represent, both literally and metaphorically, in each encounter.

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

.04 TR 1435-1550 J. Quarry
Monsters in Fiction : In this course, we will explore portrayals of various monsters—both realistic and fantastic—in fictions ranging from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and analyze the elements of fiction used to illuminate them and in turn the societal anxieties and desires in the midst of which they appear.  Over our months together, we will attempt to define, and redefine, what, or who, exactly, a “monster” is and what makes such a creature simultaneously horrifying and fascinating, and we will examine novels, graphic novels, and short stories in order to determine the terms by which so-called monsters are understood and described, and what beyond the norm these creatures represent, both literally and metaphorically, in each encounter.

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

.05 TR 810-925 S. Straub
On Art and Ordinary Life: Or, Did Emma Bovary Have to be Killed?:Emma Bovary, Flaubert’s ill-fated heroine, dies precisely because she makes the fatal mistake of trying to live as though she were in a romance novel—that is, of confusing art and life. Although Emma is punished severely for this sin, it’s one most of us are guilty of to some extent. This course will explore the ways in which we make sense of lived experience through the kind of stories we tell. Is it possible to tell one’s own life story without ever relying on existing narratives? Does the media we consume influence the way we understand our own place in the world? And how can we take control of our own narratives? Possible texts include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Lolita, High Fidelity, and The Bluest Eye.

06 MWF 1010-1100 J. Jordan
Never Catch Me:American Fugitivities
This course is primarily concerned with figures of the fugitive and rhetorical structures of escape produced by American authors. What does it mean to escape? Is escape only a matter of space, or does time also have something to do with it? In what sense do fugitive fictions address issues of history, nation, politics and desire? We will consult a variety of cultural artifacts—literary, cinematic, sonic and scholarly—to investigate modalities of fugitivity. Since fugitivitity is not a neutral phenomenon, particular emphasis will be given to the sexual and racial dimensions of escapist fictions. To this end, Beloved, Indian Killer, The Joy Luck Club and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? comprise the central texts for this course.


ENGL 1220W Drama Forms/Tenique

.01 MWF 1110-1200 A. Lehr
Lewd Acts: Desire and Dramatic Performance
Perhaps more than any other fictional form, drama sizzles with sex. Whether suppressed, sublimated, or raging unchecked, desire so frequently serves as the engine driving characters to shocking extremes of behavior that “drama” has become shorthand for all sorts of our relationship foibles. Beyond its thematic engagement with desire, however, live theater presents us with the unique opportunity to see these typically private struggles played out in front of us by real, warm bodies sharing our space. What does it mean to give desire a physical presence? How do our understandings of “fiction” and “reality” grow fuzzy when literature is made flesh? At what point does the spectator become a participant? From the rollicking sex comedy of Aristophanes’s Lysistrata to the winking gentility of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest to the bald lust of Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr. Sloane, we will explore the humor, sorrow, and absurdity of human wants and needs, all the while asking what it means to confront desire face to face.

.02 TR 935-1050 K. Mendoza
Spectacles of Violence in Theatre and Performance:
“You have to show violence the way it is. If you don't show it realistically, then that's immoral and harmful. If you don't upset people, then that's obscenity.” —Roman Polanski
“…[I]f murder can be experienced aesthetically, the murderer can in turn be regarded as a kind of artist—a performance artist or anti-artist whose specialty is not creation but destruction.” —Joel Black
What is the relationship between performance and reality? How do audiences respond to beauty in depictions of violence? In this course, we will rigorously engage with staged representations of abuse, murder, and sexual assault by approaching dramatic works through the methodologies of queer and phenomenological discourses. Students will perform scenes from plays such as Titus Andronicus as well as analyze various film adaptations. From the tragedies of ancient Greece to contemporary choreopoems on racial violence and date rape, we will discuss and explore the ethical and social consequences of works by artists such as Euripedes, William Shakespeare, and Ntozake Shange.


ENGL 1230W Literature/Analytical Thinking

.01 MWF 910-1000 M. Baumkel
What is a natural body?  Do we know what bodies look like and how they act?  What narratives adhere to our own bodies and how do those narratives inform our actions?  This course will begin by investigating and redefining the concept of "the body," and will progress to explore how bodies are shaped both in and by our contemporary digital age. Beyond turning an eye toward our own online presence, we will answer questions such as the following:  What are the boundaries of a body?  Are digital technologies a part of our bodies?  How can we paradoxically conceptualize embodiment as much of our time continues to be spent acting through screens and digital systems?  To address these questions, we will analyze literary and cultural texts, including short stories, video games, journalism, music, television, and movies.  Many of the course texts are authored by queer and trans people, people with disabilities, and people of color. We will also learn and hone the skills of constructing formal academic essays with particular emphasis on the creation of compelling analytical arguments.

.02 MWF 910-1000 S. Carter
From the Louvre to YouTube: How We Think and Write about Art: The definition of art has been debated for centuries. From cave paintings to digitally manipulated images, from ancient Greek poetry to graphic novels, the question remains: what is art and how do we write about it? Does it matter whether it is carefully archived in museums and literary canons or graffitied on a factory wall? What makes something aesthetically beautiful or provocative or challenging? These questions about the art object are inextricably connected to others about subjective identity: what is an artist? Is the artist a born genius or a fashioned persona available to anyone? What is the artist’s role in society? This class will explore these questions, broadly conceiving art as literature, visual painting, photography, and film. As we engage these questions, we will also seek to develop analytical and persuasive writing skills through in-class presentations, revisions, and workshops.

.03 MWF 1010-1100 R. Gould
It's a Small World: Cross-cultural Encounters Then and Now In British Literature
We describe the world around us through binary divisions: local and global, East and West, public and private. But how did we create these lines and what happens to them when we come face-to-face with other cultures? How do we respond to different expressions of living and different patterns of thinking? Through the study of British fiction, drama, travel narratives, and other genres, this course will engage Britain within a global context. We will explore how movements for and against colonialism shaped modern thought on issues of nationalism, race, economics, and religion. Readings will include Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave, Antoine Galland’s translation of Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, and other texts depicting cross-cultural encounters.

.04 MWF 1010-1100 A. Oxner
War as History: War Literature and the Individual: Most of us have lived through a war (or perhaps “wars”) for the majority of our lifetime – and the climate of perpetual war has left a lasting impact on our psyches, both consciously and unconsciously. Through a narrative arc spanning from the early twentieth-century with the beginning of The Great War through to contemporary issues with which we may be more familiar, this writing-intensive course will explore the tensions between literature (arguably a medium of creation) and war (a destructive force). These tensions speak to larger issues surrounding representation (racially, socially, economically, regarding gender, etc.), time and memory, violence and visuality, childhood and maturation, the language of psychology, and more. This course will ask you to explore how war influences configurations of individual identity within larger, looming models of collectivity such as the military and foreign/international communities.

.05 MWF 910-1000 C. Ludwig
Here is my course description for Gender & Sexuality in Gothic Literature:What is so scary about sexuality? Gothic texts, which are both horrifying and romantic, include fascinating representations of gender and sexuality that require examination. In this course, we will interrogate Gothic films, poetry, and prose to expose explicit characterizations and implicit assumptions about gender roles, human sexuality, and the range of subjective possibilities peculiar to this literary style.

.06 MWF 1010-1100 L. Mitchell
Narrative, Medicine, and Literature:This course explores the intersections of literature and medicine by critically considering what it means to bear witness to narratives about medicine and the human body.  How do literature and medicine fit together?  How can models of thought most commonly found in the humanities work within a medical or scientific context? We will use literary and critical texts to learn to read with what scholars call "narrative humility."  Different modes of textual and visual media will be discussed in this class, including memoir/non-fiction narrative, fiction, performance art and film, and anatomical textbooks. As the primary goal of this course will emphasize skills in critical writing, students will engage with literature to develop clear arguments and to ground them with textual evidence.  Students are welcome to incorporate scientific studies into class discussions and their written work.

.07 R. Spivey

.08 MWF 1210-1300 A. Miller

.09 TR 810-925 J. Montgomery
We walk to class. We walk the dog. We walk in the park. Walking as an everyday action often goes unconsidered. It is, as Rebecca Solnit describes it “the most obvious and most obscure thing in the world.” What, then, is the meaning of walking? Is it simply a way of getting from here to there, from Point A to Point B, or does it allow us to see the world in particular ways? The poet Wallace Stevens once wrote, “In my room, the world is beyond my understanding / But when I walk, I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud." How do we experience space when we walk? How does walking relate to politics and transgression? How does it relate to class and gender? In this writing-intensive course, we will explore the art of walking by examining novels, films, poetry, music, and essays that take walking as their subject, and in doing so raise questions about who walks, where, and why. We will also be doing some walking ourselves in order to explore and analyze Nashville’s natural and built environment (shoes and a sense of adventure required!).

.10 TR 810-925 K. Korsnack
Reading and Writing the Hypertext: What is a hypertext? From Wikipedia to Reddit, Prezi, Project Gutenberg and countless other examples, over the past 50 years versions of hypertexts have saturated contemporary culture, especially since the development of web browsers in the early 90s. Hypertext has become a powerful tool for communicating information to others.  In this class, we will chart the development of the hypertext and explore the many implications of this concept in different time periods and across genres of literature and communication. How has this definition changed over time?  How are hypertexts utilized in different contexts across the globe? And more locally, how are hypertexts being employed in interesting ways by Vanderbilt faculty and students? Beginning within the realm of literary studies, we will look at the different ways literature engages the concept of hyper-textuality and explore how the digital hypertext effects the creation, consumption, and interpretation of literature within the humanities.  Along the way, students will read and analyze a variety of literary and other hypertexts, explore and gauge the effectiveness of multiple platforms for creating hypertexts of their own, and be challenged to think about the hypertext as a model and a mechanism for writing academic arguments. 

.11 TR 810-925

.12 TR 935-1050 A. Miller

.17 MWF 1110-1200

 

ENGL 1250 Introduction to Poetry

.01 MWF 910-1000 J. Plummer

.02 MWF 1010-1100 J. Hock
This class will introduce students to a wide range of poets and poetic forms. Taking the Renaissance, the Romantic period, the mid-nineteenth century, and the twenty-first century as historical touchstones, we will focus on some of the most important poetic forms of the anglophone tradition: the sonnet, the ode, the psalm, and free verse. In order to understand poetry from the inside out, we will write our own imitations of the poems we read for class. This writing practice complements the second goal of the class, which is to acquaint students with the skills necessary for researching and writing academic papers. The contention of this class is that academic writing, as poetry, can be learned through imitation. Students will learn about poetic form and poetic history while practicing the art of literary close reading and developing critical writing skills. Requirements will include poetic imitations, response papers, short writing exercises, homework assignments, essays (plus revisions), and active participation in class.

.03 MWF 1110-1200 K. Cosner

.04 MWF 1310-1400 J. Klass

.05 MWF 1410-1500 J. Klass

.06 MWF 1410-1500 L. Dordal

.07 TR 1600-1715 A. Hearn
As a course for the general student, this section of English 116w offers an introduction not only to reading, writing about, and enjoying poetry of all kinds, but also to college-level writing in general.  We will read poems in a variety of genres from a variety of times, places, and poets as we build a vocabulary and set of strategies for analyzing poems: from voice and point of view to diction, rhythm, sound, meter, imagery, allusions, and figures of speech.  We will likely write at least three formal academic essays, with two of them certainly involving a draft, individual conference, and revision.  We may write some of our own imitations of poetic forms, but these exercises will not form a major part of the final grade.  The ultimate aims of the course are to make both poetry and essay writing less formidable—even satisfying.

.08 TR 1435-1550 L. Dordal

.09 TR 1210-1300 K. Cosner

.10 TR 1600-1715 L. Dordal

.11 MW 810-925 K. Daniels

.12 TR 1100-1215 K. Finberg
Reading Poetry:Does poetry serve to “teach and delight” throughout history (Sidney), or is it illusive and finicky like a “fading coal” (Shelley)? What is its role in the world? Is it a companion to political resistance like the Athens “riot dog” that accompanies protesters and warns them when police are at the door (Commune Editions)? Or do poems carry “no news” (Williams)? Can we agree that poetry is “a vital necessity of our existence” (Lorde)? Or is poetry simply when we have “nothing to say” (Cage)? Can it be genuine and ugly, “an imaginary garden with real toads” (Moore)? Does it look like our innards (Anzaldúa)? Like “Hearts Brains/ Souls splintering fire” (Baraka)? Or is it modestly “palpable and mute / As a globed fruit” (MacLeish)? This course will introduce students to a broad range of poetry and poetics in order to study how poetic form takes on expressive and political power throughout history. Students will learn to read, discuss, and write critically about poetry through an exploration of the history and traditions of poetry and poetics in Anglophone literature. The course will focus on important poetic forms—such as the sonnet, ballad, and elegy—and on methods and devices for reading and writing about poetry—such as lineation, metaphor, and scansion—to ensure that students will gain a technical vocabulary for scholarly work in poetics. Knowledge of these forms and methods are useful for simply appreciating poetry more, too. After a broad survey of poetry in English, the course will conclude by reading a full-length book of contemporary poetry, Citizen by Claudia Rankine. In addition to academic papers and presentations, students will engage in the process of poetic production and memorization.

.13 MWF 310-400 K. Cosner

 

ENGL 1260W Literature and Cultural Analysis

.01 MWF 910-1000 G. Briggs
This course examines the depth and breadth of the cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance. However, rather than view this episode as an isolated period of African-American expression, we will see how Renaissance era artistry extended an earlier “New Negro” tradition, and how it encapsulated African-American cultural responses to early twentieth-century social, political, and economic stimuli. As such, students will work toward developing strategies for positioning authors and texts within specific cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts. Within this diverse landscape we will investigate artists, essayists, poets, musicians, and novelists that include: Aaron Douglass, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, Louis Armstrong, Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Rudolph Fisher, Wallace Thurman and George Schuyler.

.02 MWF 1010-1100 D. Fang

.03 MWF 1110-1200 P. Aulakh
It seems strange, even a bit extravagant, to talk about things having lives in anything other than a metaphorical sense. The books and papers shuffling in a ceaseless circuit from my office shelves to my desk or book bag, the phone that comes to life at the touch of a thumb and then burrows back into a jacket pocket, these and all the other inanimate things that fill our lives would only seem to acquire any life from the motions we put them through. Viewed from an anthropomorphic vantage, that is, whatever life they might suggest would only seem to be figurative. Yet, revisiting the etymological roots of the word “thing,” which originally bore a legal and legislative significance (ranging from deliberating jointly to an assembly or council or parliament), invites us to shift our perspective on the relationship between things and us. If we were to look from the perspective of things, might we discover that they can move and assemble us as we do them? This is one of the questions this course will take up. Rooting our thinking in this etymological history and drawing on a variety of writings ranging from the literary to the scientific, from classical poetry and eighteenth-century It-narratives and contemporary work in the history of science will allow us to discover not only how things fill up but also mediate our lives, how they are agents in their own right that create networks of association, and, ultimately, why things matter.

.04 MWF 1210-1300 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.

.05 MWF 1410-1500 K. DeGuzman
Atlantic and Pacific Narratives: This writing-intensive literature course juxtaposes texts by Caribbean- and Asian-born authors to explore subjects that include migration, race, and gender. Places such as Jamaica, Haiti, and the Philippines of course have distinct histories and cultures, but they also share complex pasts shaped by European and American imperialisms. They are moreover located on islands— landmasses often imagined as tropical paradises on one hand and “backward” peripheries on the other. Our readings, which range from narratives of overseas Filipino workers in Bahrain to Caribbean migrants working in London’s public transportation system, will enable us to explore the transnational historical and cultural contexts that inform the literatures of these small and often understudied places. We will also examine visual media such as tourism advertisements in order to understand how stereotypes are constructed and reinforced. Authors include Edwidge Danticat, Sam Selvon, Carlos Bulosan, and Milton Murayama. 

.06 MWF 1410-1500 L. Dordal

.07 TR 1310-1425 C. Tichi
This is a course in the novels and nonfiction narratives that are focused on serious social issues of our time—issues that educated Americans are facing in the 21st century--including food and water safety, immigration, conditions of work, healthcare.  Students write three essays and revise one of them for resubmission. Extensive (and frequent) outlines for essay planning purposes are also required. The class sessions operate as a seminar.

.08 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 closely examined.

Focusing on the postmodern era, this class examines adaptation in the form of traditional, mainstream Hollywood film 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.  Possible works include: Much Ado About Nothing, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner), Fight Club, The Virgin Suicides, Angels In America, and Coraline .

.09 TR 935-1050 K. Finberg
Postwar Experimental Literature and the Arts:This class focuses on innovative, genre-bending, multi-media texts of the postwar period and the historical and political contexts in which they were produced. At the mid-twentieth century, distinctions between literary genres and artistic media became more flexible and porous, creating new categories for characterizing experimental works such as “verbal arts,” “event scores,” “conceptual art,” or even “theatricality,” and “arts in general.” This new categorization called for new modes of reading that were more process-based, open-ended, and interdisciplinary. What does the term “experimental” mean when it comes to literature? To answer this question, our course pursues a radically interdisciplinary approach, examining inter-arts works that experiment with new possibilities of perception, spaces, and aesthetic forms. This approach allows us to attend to an expanded range of cultural, artistic, and intellectual practices including performance, visual arts, architecture, political activity, and even mathematical algorithms. We will primarily cover networks of texts and artworks produced in the U.S., but we will uphold a global frame in our discussions. Students will become familiar with modernist and contemporary textual and multi-media production; engage theories of the avant-garde, experimentalism, and interdisciplinarity; engage in meaningful discussion about twentieth-century literature and verbal-based arts; as well as sharpen skills and techniques in argumentation, comparative analysis, interpretation, modes of inquiry, and close reading. Readings include scripts and scores by Fluxus artists, texts from the Black Arts Movement, feminist performance art, constraint-generated poetry, multi-form novels, and conceptual writing.

.10 TR 1435-1550 S. Girgus
Shakespeare on Film:The course investigates film as temporal space in which ideology, psychology, and history intersect for the study of cultural expression and action. It will emphasize Shakespeare on film, examining how film contributes to the meaning of the plays in terms of the psychological construction of character through the look of the camera, the use of cinetext and scene for historical reenactment, and the search for transcendent meaning. Other forms of film as expressions of modern culture also will be included in the course.

In spite of the long history of scholarship on Shakespeare and the considerable work already done on Shakespeare and film, new territory remains to be explored for original critical thought and fresh analysis of the translation of dramatic Shakespeare into film. “Shakespeare on Film” will concentrate on how cinema art and technique influence and enlighten three spheres of meaning in Shakespeare that relate to the broader study of violence, time, and transcendence in film.  Shakespeare on Film will focus on studying the cinematic construction of psychology, love and the self; the portrayal of history on screen; the representation on film of a transcendent realm of spiritual, ethical, and religious meaning.

.11 TR 1435-1550 V. Kutzinski
Reading across Genres: This course introduces you to interpretive skills and philosophical questions basic to the study of literature. It teaches you to trace an image in a short story, to see how an author constructs narrators and characters, to understand how and why a poet employs meter and rhyme, and to compare texts in different genres which tackle similar issues and topics. As we move from short stories and poetry (written by well-known authors and, occasionally, by yourselves) to drama, novels, and film, we will identify different aspects of “the literary” as we analyze and argue a host of issues, themes, and techniques, including the tricky matter of interpretive correctness. This is also a writing intensive course: we will delve into the process of writing a strong college paper, try to demystify that process, and help you find approaches and techniques that work for you. By placing you in the dual position of reader and writer, this course will help you understand how language works, what it can and cannot do, and that such an understanding is as crucial to you as it is to any literary author. Much like those authors, you will draw relationships between various texts, literary and non-literary, using historical and critical writing to reinforce, enrich, and complicate your own arguments. Readings include: Shakespeare’s Othello (along with its different film versions); fiction by Franz Kafka, Julio Cortázar, William Faulkner, and Dave Eggers; poetry by Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, e.e. cummings, and Langston Hughes. Writing requirements: weekly short papers and various short creative writing assignments; two longer essays with mandatory revisions.

.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 closely examined.

Focusing on the postmodern era, this class examines adaptation in the form of traditional, mainstream Hollywood film 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.  Possible works include: Much Ado About Nothing, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner), Fight Club, The Virgin Suicides, Angels In America, and Coraline .

.13 K. DeGuzeman
Atlantic and Pacific Narratives: This writing-intensive literature course juxtaposes texts by Caribbean- and Asian-born authors to explore subjects that include migration, race, and gender. Places such as Jamaica, Haiti, and the Philippines of course have distinct histories and cultures, but they also share complex pasts shaped by European and American imperialisms. They are moreover located on islands— landmasses often imagined as tropical paradises on one hand and “backward” peripheries on the other. Our readings, which range from narratives of overseas Filipino workers in Bahrain to Caribbean migrants working in London’s public transportation system, will enable us to explore the transnational historical and cultural contexts that inform the literatures of these small and often understudied places. We will also examine visual media such as tourism advertisements in order to understand how stereotypes are constructed and reinforced. Authors include Edwidge Danticat, Sam Selvon, Carlos Bulosan, and Milton Murayama. 

.14 MWF 910-1000 R. Chapman

.15 TR 110-225 K. Finberg
Postwar Experimental Literature and the Arts:This class focuses on innovative, genre-bending, multi-media texts of the postwar period and the historical and political contexts in which they were produced. At the mid-twentieth century, distinctions between literary genres and artistic media became more flexible and porous, creating new categories for characterizing experimental works such as “verbal arts,” “event scores,” “conceptual art,” or even “theatricality,” and “arts in general.” This new categorization called for new modes of reading that were more process-based, open-ended, and interdisciplinary. What does the term “experimental” mean when it comes to literature? To answer this question, our course pursues a radically interdisciplinary approach, examining inter-arts works that experiment with new possibilities of perception, spaces, and aesthetic forms. This approach allows us to attend to an expanded range of cultural, artistic, and intellectual practices including performance, visual arts, architecture, political activity, and even mathematical algorithms. We will primarily cover networks of texts and artworks produced in the U.S., but we will uphold a global frame in our discussions. Students will become familiar with modernist and contemporary textual and multi-media production; engage theories of the avant-garde, experimentalism, and interdisciplinarity; engage in meaningful discussion about twentieth-century literature and verbal-based arts; as well as sharpen skills and techniques in argumentation, comparative analysis, interpretation, modes of inquiry, and close reading. Readings include scripts and scores by Fluxus artists, texts from the Black Arts Movement, feminist performance art, constraint-generated poetry, multi-form novels, and conceptual writing.

.16 MWF 1110-1200 R. Chapman

 

ENGL 1270 Introduction to Literary Criticism

.01 MWF 1110-1200 A. Hines
Writers, Readers, Texts and Publics: What makes a work of literature? How does literature impact the world? How is literature shaped by the world? How does literature move? Literary criticism and theory provides the means for addressing these questions about the production and productivity of literature. This course supplies an introduction to the foremost concepts, questions, and practices of literary criticism while challenging the widely held notion that criticism is without use. The course readings and writing assignments focus on four key areas of literary critical inquiry: writers, readers, texts, and publics. In addition to encountering several approaches to each key area, students will consider the ways that these varied theories and methods are in conversation with other works of literature and literary criticism. Finally, like any good work of literary theory, the course troubles and rebuilds anew the foundation it was built upon. This means that students must question the privileged history of literary criticism and its institutions, as well as the stakes of certain defenses of criticism’s categorical boundaries. Readings include essays and excerpts by Butler, Derrida, Morrison, Marx, Sedgwick, and Foucault, among others. Written assignments require students to summarize difficult readings with clarity and concision, make arguments that are supported by forms of textual evidence, and read literature through a number of perspectives.

.02 MWF 1210-1300 D. Fang

.03 MWF 1410-1500 A. Miller

 

ENGL 1280 Beginning Fiction Workshop

.01 MWF 1010-1100 S. Lyon

.02 MWF 1110-1200 R. Bulwinkel

.03 MWF 1010-1100 S. Han

 

ENGL 1290 Beginning Poetry Workshop

.01 MWF 0910-1000 D. Haney

.02 MWF 1010-1100 M. McDonough

 

ENGL 1300W Intermediate Composition

.01 TR 1510-1600 K. Deguzeman
Debates and Dialogues: Debates and dialogues permeate our daily lives. Whether it involves news about presidential candidates or conversations with friends about the best movies, situations where positions are taken, explained, and supported constitute the most trivial—and serious—arguments. This course will expose you to a rich range of essays on debates ranging from education to art by writers that include Toni Morrison, Plato, Gandhi, and Virginia Woolf. As you study these writers’ rhetorical techniques and powerful claims, you will advance your critical reading and writing skills and develop the confidence to effectively participate in written and verbal dialogues. Major written assignments include a rhetorical analysis, a report on opposing viewpoints, and a proposed solution to a problem. Other forms of writing throughout the semester include posts to our course blog, shorter essays on our readings, and in-class free writing. 

 

ENGL 2200 Foundations of Literary Study Lecture

.01 MWF 1010-1100 M. Milazzo

Stories and Thoughts of Freedom and Confinement : “Foundations of Literary Study” aims to enrich the experience of reading, writing, and reflecting on literature. Engaging in academic dialogues, students will hone close reading and analytic writing skills that will allow them to further appreciate the formal qualities of a text, examine it from multiple critical and disciplinary perspectives, and finally relate it to their own experiences. This course will pursue these objectives by exploring stories and thoughts about freedom and confinement. We will begin with reading Giovanni Verga’s epistolary novel Sparrow (1871), which tells the story of a young woman forced to become a cloistered nun in 19th century Sicily, and we will close with Sabrina Jones and Marc Mauer’s graphic novel Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling (2013), which deals with the expansion of prisons in the United States. Further readings will include short stories by Anton Chekhov and Ernest Hemingway, plays by Federico García Lorca and Lorraine Hansberry, poems by Emily Dickinson and Juan Felipe Herrera, and essays by Nancy Armstrong and Toni Morrison. Alongside literary texts, we will also examine film, music, news media, and visual art. No prior knowledge or special skill is required.

.02 MWF 1010-1100 E. Covington
What is literature? What is the purpose of literary study? This course will investigate some of the many ways to interrogate a literary text, with particular emphasis on contextual and literary critical modes of thought. Readings for the course will include a wide range of diverse authors from the 19th through the 21st centuries.

.03 TR 1310-1400 M. Kreyling
The books you will need for this course:
E. M. Forster, A Passage to India.
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger.
Rita Dove, ed. The Penguin Anthology of American Poetry.
Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction.
This course begins with the assumption that the foundation of literary study is “close reading” and everything else is built on that. We will spend the first week or two distinguishing close reading from other kinds of reading. Once that level is firm, we’ll move on to the two novels, Forster’s A Passage to India (1924) and Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008). The novels will function as a pair – in some ways very much alike, in other ways utterly different from one another. We’ll use Culler’s Literary Theory as a guide, testing the various kinds of literary theory, thinking, and writing he sketches. During the second half of the semester, we’ll shift from novel to poetry and see what, if anything, we’ve learned from reading fiction carries over into reading poetry.
Be prepared to write and speak often; this course might be defined as “lecture” in YES but that is not how it will be taught. Nobody learns to ride a bicycle by listening to someone lecture about riding a bicycle. I will ask you to write several pieces in each one of the theoretical modes we explore. My goal is to equip each one of you, by the end of the semester, with the beginnings of a repertoire of literary-study skills, and the self-conscious knowledge that you take to some theories more comfortably than to others.
Also be prepared to do online and real library research hunting down some of the theory that Culler mentions. In addition to being a literary theorist, you also have to be a gofer. Part of your grade will depend on in-class reports on what you find. Most of your grade, however, will depend on how well you produce your own written literary criticism.

.04 TR 1100-1215 H. Spillers
From Maggie Tulliver to Wonderwoman: Studies in the Heroine:This course is devoted to selective studies of the heroine across four overlapping categories of western cultural and historical production from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Beginning with a "real" life heroine, Olympe de Gouges and the "Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen," advanced during the period of the French Revolution and in response to male authority, the course will take up the career of the literary heroine and elaborations of the latter in the works of George Eliot and Henry James, both working in the nineteenth century and in James's case, overlapping the twentieth; the latter-day literary heroine will be studied here by way of African-Canadian writer Lawrence Hill's central figure in the writer's early twenty-first century novel, "The Book of Negroes." The course then segues to the category of opera by way of Richard Strauss's late work (tba) and finally draws to conclusion by having a look at the comic strip invention of "wonder woman."

.05 TR 1310-1425 L. Enterline
This course introduces you to the “foundations” of literary study in several senses: literary history; modes of interpretation; the codes and effects of genre and figurative language; theories of the connection between literature, gender, and culture.  The poetic and dramatic works we read will span the beginnings of English literature through the 17th century, introducing students to medieval and early modern literary texts that continue to influence, or be adapted in, later periods and media.  Students will encounter most of the genres that early modern British writers adapted from the classical past and that persist into the modern world: tragedy, comedy, satire, lyric, sonnet, ode, elegy, epic.  We will pair each of the texts with the predominant kinds of interpretation it has inspired – from formal to cultural analysis – and also share a few influential essays in literary theory pertinent not only to the literary texts in question but to the interpretive practices you will encounter in other courses.  Authors / texts include: Old English lyric, Beowulf, Chaucer, Thomas Wyatt, Sir Philip Sidney, John Donne, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Webster, John Milton, Andrew Marvell. 

.06 TR 1310-1425 C. Amich
This course will be organized around a series of questions central to the critical study and production of literature: What is literary form? How do we experience it? What kinds of knowledge does it provide?  How do we create new forms?  In our examination of aesthetic form—as both critics and makers—we will explore a variety of genres and media to hone your close reading skills and to gain practice in both analytic and creative modes of writing.  In addition to gaining familiarity with the expanding field of English studies and some basic theoretical concepts, students will learn how to: apply literary terms precisely, undertake literary research, and engage literature creatively.   


ENGL  2310 British Writers to 1660

.01 TR 935-1050 R. Moore
This course will serve as an introduction to some of the major works of English literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Restoration.  Our major readings will include Anglo-Saxon poems, selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Book of Margery Kempe, and a Shakespeare play.  We will also read selections from the poetry of Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, and Milton.  Works will be read in light of contemporary cultural, philosophical, and religious contexts.  Assignments will include two papers, occasional tests, and a final exam. 

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



ENGL 2311 British Writers 1660-Present

.01 TR 1100-1215 M. Wollaeger
This is a survey course designed to provide both a broad background for more specialized courses and opportunities for close examination of specific literary texts and their contexts. Special attention will be paid to literary periods, tradition, and to innovations within traditions. Beginning around 1660 – that is, with the Restoration and the 18th C – the course will continue through the Romantic Period, the Victorian, the Modern, and the Contemporary. Rather than accept such period designations as given, we will ask what constitutes a period, and how and why do particular genres go in and out of favor over time? Authors may include Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, William Blake, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce (short stories only!), T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and, leaping forward nearly a century, a contemporary poet or fiction writer.

Course requirements will include regular attendance, two papers, and a final.

 

ENGL 2316W  Representative American Writers

.01 MWF 1310-1400 A. Hines
The American Renaissance to the New Negro Renaissance: The American Renaissance and the New Negro Renaissance are typically read as pivotal for the initiation of American Literature and African American Literature, respectively. Our focus is the way that the American Renaissance and the New Negro Renaissance are in dialogue through sharing and appropriating formal and narrative techniques. In addition to opening up questions about the role of race, gender, and class in defining a national literature, this survey provides an overview of major writers, periods, and literary movements between 1830 and 1930, including key works for the study of feminist literature and Native American literature in the United States. The course is organized chronologically with occasional breaks in pace that allow us to dwell on a particular set of historical and aesthetic concerns and to highlight how certain period categories expand and limit our understanding of literary texts. The course requires students to abide by a rigorous reading schedule. Students will also write two formal papers, a number of informal writing assignments, and will do an in-class, scholarly presentation on a work of their choice from the syllabus. Some of the authors represented include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Rebecca Harding Davis, Zitkala-Ša, W.E.B. Du Bois, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Gwendolyn Bennett.

.02 MWF 310-400 A. Hines
The American Renaissance to the New Negro Renaissance: The American Renaissance and the New Negro Renaissance are typically read as pivotal for the initiation of American Literature and African American Literature, respectively. Our focus is the way that the American Renaissance and the New Negro Renaissance are in dialogue through sharing and appropriating formal and narrative techniques. In addition to opening up questions about the role of race, gender, and class in defining a national literature, this survey provides an overview of major writers, periods, and literary movements between 1830 and 1930, including key works for the study of feminist literature and Native American literature in the United States. The course is organized chronologically with occasional breaks in pace that allow us to dwell on a particular set of historical and aesthetic concerns and to highlight how certain period categories expand and limit our understanding of literary texts. The course requires students to abide by a rigorous reading schedule. Students will also write two formal papers, a number of informal writing assignments, and will do an in-class, scholarly presentation on a work of their choice from the syllabus. Some of the authors represented include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Rebecca Harding Davis, Zitkala-Ša, W.E.B. Du Bois, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Gwendolyn Bennett.

 

ENGL 2318W World Literature, Classical

.01 TR 1435-1550 L. Enterline

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



ENGL 3210 Intermediate Nonfiction Writing

.01 M 1510-1800 S. Solomon
Advocacy Writing: To make your case in business and politics, you must write with precision and economy: your audience usually consists of busy people with many other issues to consider, so your argument has to be clear and concise, the evidence compelling. Over the course of the semester, students will write about a variety of public policy issues, topics they choose to consider. The class will practice and discuss such forms as the one-page lobbying document or letter, the op-ed piece, the speech, the article that embodies a public policy argument. In each instance, students will advocate a course of action: "we should/we should not do X"; they will learn to muster research to support their arguments and to attack opposing arguments. Students will offer critiques of each other's written assignments in a series of workshops.

Those who register for this class will join a waiting list at first.  They should write a 250-word essay about a public policy issue (or excerpt a section of a paper written for another class about a public policy issue) and then email that account to Solomon by August 12 with the subject heading, “English 200 Advocacy Writing Sample.”  The writing sample need not advocate a course of action; it may just describe or analyze a law or federal, state or local policy. Then, in the week before the semester starts, Solomon will select class participants and email all people on the waiting list to tell them whether they have gained admission.

 .02 W 1510-1800 S.Solomon
Life writing: memoirs about people, places, historical moments: Of the forms of creative nonfiction, memoir is arguably the most popular.  Why so?  Writers of good memoirs transform the raw material of their lives into a story that a reader may recognize as instructive, insightful, and true to life.  As memoirists consider on the page what really happened, they often create in their reader a sense of discovery that parallels their own.  They evaluate the past from the perspective of the present, and, in so doing, weigh what they know now against what they knew then to create a complex understanding of what happened and why.  The memoirist’s medium is time; managing the reader’s understanding of time becomes one of the writer’s foremost concerns.

Many common topics for memoir—overcoming hardship or illness, coping with substance abuse or tragedy, achieving celebrity, to name a few—do  not readily lend themselves to student creative writing assignments.  This course will concentrate instead on three kinds of experiences that offer interesting subject matter for most people: other people, places, and historical moments.  We will read memoirs of all three kinds, and then students will write memoirs that look through these different lenses.   The course will emphasize not just writing, but also revision, the re-vision necessary to enrich a narrative—give prose more punch, clarity and interest; evoke the world in more compelling detail.  These concerns inform good writing in all genres.

Students who register for this class will join a waiting list at first.  They should write a 250-word memoir about a family member—someone about whom they can offer a complex portrait (written in first person)—and then email that account to Solomon by August 12 with the subject heading, “English 200 Memoir Writing Sample.”   Then, in the week before the semester starts, Solomon will select class participants and email all people on the waiting list to tell them whether they have gained admission.

 

ENGL 3220 Advanced Nonfiction Writing

.01 W 1210-1500 Dayan
Animal Law, Human Cruelty, and Other Creaturely Fictions: In this class we will deal with the legal story of canine profiling, the history of stigma, as well as larger questions of animal rights, animal welfare, and what the treatment of animals tells us about the meaning of the human.  Though literary in its choice of textual representations of dogs (war dogs, pets, fighting dogs, etc.), the course will also involve law and politics (the "dangerous" classification of dogs, experimentation and euthanasia, governmental regulations, the role of humane societies).

Most important, I will stress your writing as a way of thinking through the human and non-human divide.  We will read essays, memoirs, poetry, and short stories that use animals as characters or ground for re-inventing the self or pushing the boundaries of the writer’s voice.  (Writers include: Vicki Hearne, Amy Hempel, Jesmyn Ward, John Berger, J.M. Coetzee, Mark Doty, Elizabeth Bishop, William Carlos Williams.) Previous creative writing workshop experience recommended. Instructor permission required. After registration, I will be in touch with students to request a brief writing sample. Submission deadline will be in mid-August.


ENGL 3230 Intermediate Fiction Workshop

.01 W 1510-1800 J. Quarry
This intermediate workshop is geared toward those who already have some experience writing short stories, with the intentions of broadening students’ knowledge of craft, strengthening their utilization of narrative techniques, and incorporating elements of the the fantastic in literary fiction.  The chief texts for this course will be approximately thirty stories written by workshop members, but throughout the semester students also will read and examine craft essays and contemporary American short fiction in order to better understand how to apply what they learn to their own writing.  The final for the course will consist of a significant revision of one of two original stories produced during the semester.

.02 MW 1310-1425 N. Reisman
This Intermediate Workshop is designed to help emerging fiction writers to expand their understanding of fiction’s possibilities, to deepen their knowledge of craft and technique, and to collectively create a writing community. We'll focus on character-driven literary fiction and on the development of your own original stories and the refinement of your creative goals.   Throughout the semester, we’ll read published work by a variety of contemporary writers, address aspects of the creative process, and investigate story structure and narrative tensions, uses of narration and point of view/perception, character development, voice, image, rhythm, and other aspects of craft.  The course involves regular reading of and response to the work of other writers and requires both generosity in those endeavors and receptivity to feedback on one’s own work-in-progress.  Previous creative writing workshop experience highly recommended. Instructor permission required. After course selection, I’ll be in touch with interested students to request a brief writing sample; the submission deadline will be in mid-August.

 

ENGL 3250 Intermediate Poetry Workshop

.01 W 1210-1500 B. Bachmann
In this intermediate poetry writing workshop, you will both write and read poetry. While the primary texts will be poems written by members of the workshop, you will also be introduced to the work of contemporary poets as well as to criticism on various elements of the craft of poetry. This semester, we will concentrate on form as it informs both shape and subject matter. As such, assignments will focus on forms of poetry, including self-portrait, ode, terza rima, couplets, epistle, elegy, sonnet sequence, and contemporary study. In addition to submitting original poetry to the workshop and critiquing other participants’ work, you will be expected to complete creative assignments and keep a writer’s notebook. Assessment will therefore be based on participation, completion of the assignments and notebook, and submission of a final portfolio.


ENGL 3891 Special Topics in Creative Writing

.01 M 1210-1500 K. Daniels
Creative Writing in Community
In this workshop/seminar, students will explore firsthand and on site a number of innovative enterprises, centers, and projects which feature creative writing and creative writers – all located in the Nashville and greater community.  We will begin the semester with some general investigation of the history of literary arts programming in the US, highlighting crucial issues like founding of NEA; literary arts funding:  public v. private; governance and organization/administrative structure;  grass roots organizations; identity-based projects; special constituencies (children, patients, prisoners, the elderly, et al); and other background topics.   We will also spend some time exploring the topic of literary entrepreneurship, and how the current digital era has impacted the individual literary imagination and ideas about artistic production. 

After our initial orientation to the subject, a series of site visits and classroom presentations will form the bulk of course work in September and October, as representatives of the organizations/entities listed below (some still to be confirmed) will visit or be visited by the class:

  • The Porch Writer’s Collective (east Nashville): an independent center for writing, connecting, inspiring, and educating writers of all ages through classes, youth outreach programs, and innovative events
  • Global Center for Education (Nashville): a nonprofit arts education center for students, teachers, and the community in the area of multicultural, anti-bias education
  • Magdalene House (Nashville): a recovery community for women recovering from prostitution which offers poetry writing workshops, and sponsors readings by residents as part of its therapeutic programs
  • Sewanee Writers Conference & Young Writers Conference (Sewanee, TN): annual summer writers conference on grounds of Sewanee, the University of the South
  • Sarabande Books (Louisville, KY): an independent literary press, founded 1994
  • The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Social Enterprise (Vanderbilt): a national policy center committed to research and teaching that challenges leaders to rethink the place of art and creativity in our world.  Sponsors Curb Creative Writing Fellowship, and other creative writing projects
  • Southern Festival of Books (Nashville): sponsored by Humanities Tennessee, SFB is an annual literary festival, featuring dozens of writers, that draws thousands of readers each October
  • Chapter 16: an online community of writers, readers, and passersby, sponsored by Humanities Tennessee

For the remaining portion of the semester, each student will imagine, plan, and organize his/her own project, and bring it to development.

 

ENGL 3314 Chaucer

.01 MWF 1110-1200 J. Plummer
We will read a selection of The Canterbury Tales, and Troilus and Criseyde, contextualizing them against the backdrop of both learned and popular literary, artistic, and religious practices of the late middle ages. Instruction will include some background lectures, class discussion, library work, and the use of internet resources. Graded work will include a few quizzes, class participation, two exams, and a paper.

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

Please note this is an Honors Seminar and hence requires a 3.4 GPA for admission.

 

ENGL 3340 Shakespeare Representative Selections

.01 TR 1435-1550 K. Schwarz
In this course, we will consider the strategies through which Shakespearean drama represents both categories of identity and elements that challenge the logic of those categories. Our readings will take up complicated and often contradictory processes of self- and other-definition: the construction of subjectivity in relation to gender, sexuality, and erotic attachment; the representation of political authority and political conflict; the crises produced through mistake, transformation, and disguise; and the tensions surrounding ethnicity, religion, and race. Discussions will draw on historical, performative, and critical contexts, considering both the initial conditions of theatrical and textual production and the ways in which these plays have been read, staged, and rewritten across time.
Course requirements include a presentation and related short paper, a longer, research-based paper, and regular class participation.

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

.02 MWF 2:10-3:00 J. Hock
Lyric Shakespeare:
Although he is best known for his plays, Shakespeare also wrote poetry, producing a sonnet sequence and several longer poems. He also wrote poetry in his plays, where characters speak in blank verse, rhyming couplets, and even sonnets, in addition to prose. As well as using verse forms to write his plays, poetry is a frequent theme in the plays, from Romeo and Juliet speaking to each other in sonnets to Armando in Love’s Labour’s Lost “turning sonnet” as he falls in love. This course will examine Shakespearean drama and poetry in the context of Renaissance poetic traditions, particularly the sonnet craze that came to a head in the 1590s (just as Shakespeare was writing his first plays). As we read a representative selection of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories, we will think about all the different ways they enact and represent poetic traditions. To do so, discussion and reading will take into account different critical approaches to Shakespeare, the historical and performative context of the plays, and their long afterlives.

Readings will include poetry by Shakespeare’s immediate predecessors and contemporaries, such as Petrarch, Wyatt, Sidney, Elizabeth I, and more, as well as the following Shakespeare works: a selection of the sonnets, “Venus and Adonis,” Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Coriolanus, Richard II, and 1 Henry IV. Course requirements include regular class participation, short reading responses and close readings, a presentation, and a research-based paper.

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

 

ENGL 3346 17th Century Literature

.01 MWF 1310-1400 P. Aulakh
As a century marked by profound change, the seventeenth-century, particularly in England, can be labeled without exaggeration as one of revolution. Together, the English Civil War and the beheading of Charles I in 1649 stand as a graphic instance of political alteration (as does the gentler Glorious Revolution of 1688). But, owing to such figures as Francis Bacon, it is also a period to which we can trace the origins of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. In terms of imaginative writing and print, moreover, we might even define the 1600s in terms of the birth of modern Authorship, of our sense of what an author is. The Shakespeare folio was published in 1623, after all, and conferred on the dead Bard and his works monumental status. In this course, we will thus pursue “the new” in 17th-century British literature, be it in terms of the “new science,” or the institution of new genres like the “country-house poem” and the scientific utopianism of Bacon and Margaret Cavendish, or the use of print to establish authorial identity. But we will also consider the other meanings of “revolution,” of revolution as return or repetition, and how seventeenth-century literature translates older forms, like the sonnet, as well as traditions. In developing our understanding of the revolutionary in 17th-century British literature, our readings will include Bacon, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Amelia Lanyer, George Herbert, John Milton, Margaret Cavendish, and Andrew Marvell.

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

 

ENGL 3364 18th Century English Novel

.01 TR 1310-1425 J. Lamb
Conventionally the novel is supposed to have arisen from a new conception of the individual, endowed with new desires for possession and new objects to possess.  We’ll test this notion against some ideas of the `person’ in law and political philosophy, and then see how it is exemplified in early novels.  We’ll start with the first part of Don Quixote and The Princess of Cleves in order to gain a European perspective on the novel, then we’ll examine how `persons’ are framed in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Haywood’s Fantomina, Lennox’s The Female Quixote, and Austen’s Northanger Abbey.  We’ll read some short contemporary accounts of the novel, and its antagonist romance, written by Samuel Johnson, Clara Reeve, Samuel Coleridge and Thomas Trotter and measure the degree of importance they assign to the novel as an exemplary medium of instruction.  We’ll conclude with reading two novels about the formation of persons, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy and Dickens’s Great Expectations.  Among recent critics of fiction we shall use Catherine Gallagher, Nicholas Paige, and Margaret Doody, among others.

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

 

ENGL 3614 The Victorian Period

.01 MWF 1610-1700 R. Teukolsky
Love & Death in Victorian Britain:This course is a survey of sorts, introducing the prose, poetry, and fiction of Victorian Britain, spanning the years 1832 to 1900. Our angle on the period will be to consider some of its most Gothic and dramatic works, exploring violent emotions and dark imaginings. It’s not surprising that the Victorian era produced a literature of extremity, given the upheavals that transformed its social, economic, and political worlds: machine-driven factories generated huge new wealth, stimulating the rise of the modern city and creating the era of the new middle class. Meanwhile Britain expanded its sprawling empire, often through violent means, encompassing much of the globe by the end of the nineteenth century. These changes had a powerful impact upon gender behaviors, encircling both women and men in strict regimes of etiquette and propriety—rules that were often broken or transgressed in works of Victorian literature. The course will consider romantic law-breakers like the star-crossed lovers of Wuthering Heights; the transgressive scientist breaking laws of nature in Jekyll and Hyde; and the curious child trying to survive down the rabbit-hole of Alice in Wonderland. We will ask questions about the numerous female corpses appearing in Victorian poetry, as well as the poetic role of monsters, goblins, and dinosaurs. In the midst of these adventures we will read important thinkers, from Darwin to John Stuart Mill, who rewrote notions of the self, sexuality, and nature. Other authors will likely include Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Florence Nightingale, Matthew Arnold, and Joseph Conrad, among others. The course will include a strong multi-media component, from paintings to modern film, to be featured during our late-afternoon Friday time slot.

 

ENGL 3622 19th Century American Women Writers

.01 TR 1435-1550 H. Spillers
This course is devoted to the study of women writers in the context of Nineteenth-Century America.  Full of portentous change for insurgent, emergent, and suppressed populations, the Nineteenth Century brings about sweeping developments in popular and official culture that will test the new republic of the United States to the breaking point; this “second revolution” at mid-century will engender expansive notions of citizenship with the emancipation of enslaved communities across the southern tier and growing agitation for the rights of women. But just as these momentous changes are reflected in the dynamic literary identity of the United States, the place of women writers in the spread of mass culture is assured as it creates an unprecedented social and political phenomenon; that is to say, between the War of 1812 and the Civil War—roughly five decades of national life—American popular writing rests primarily in the hands of women. As a result of this outcome, we will pursue three main goals in this course: 1) examine some of the chief practitioners of the new women’s literature and gain practice in literary criticism by writing about them; 2) inquire into the problem of form as we engage it in the works at hand, and 3) study the process of canon-making with regards to a national literature.

 

ENGL 3640 Modern British and American Poetry

.01 MWF 1010-1100 M. Jarman
This course will consider those Modern poets who left the strongest imprint on the poetry of their own time and subsequently:  W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens.  In the first half of the 20th century, each of these poets created a unique style which embodied his or her personal vision of the poet and the Modern world.  Class will consist of an ongoing discussion of their poems and, where relevant, their prose.  Two papers, a presentation, and a final.

Required texts:
W. B. Yeats, Selected Poems and Four Plays
T. S. Eliot, Selected Poems
T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Ezra Pound, New Selected Poems and Translations
William Carlos Williams, Selected Poems, edited by Charles Tomlinson
Marianne Moore, Complete Poems
Wallace Stevens, Selected Poems

 

ENGL 3654 African American Literature

.01 TR 1100-1215 H. Baker
Introduction to Afro-American Literature, 1789 to the Present: A Survey
This course is designed and will be taught as an enjoyable and wide-ranging introduction to the world and works of Afro-American Literature. It commences with the fascinating narrative of an eighteenth-century African kidnapped from his village and cast into the worlds of Atlantic shipping, New World slavery, and Evangelical Religion. Its endpoint is the stunning and varied work of writers such as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Nikky Finney, and Percival Everett.

 Along our chronological way, we shall read and discuss Afro-American folklore and nineteenth-century men¹s and women¹s slave narratives. We shall spend significant time on the glorious Harlem Renaissance of the roaring 1920s when, as Langston Hughes stated it: ³Harlem was in vogue.² Social protest works like Richard Wright¹s astonishing novel Native Son and James Baldwin¹s famous attack on protest novels titled ³Everybody¹s Protest Novel² will provide energetic moments of discussion. The 1960s and 1970s Black Arts and Black Nationalist Movements of revolution in the streets and rebellion on the page will come alive for us in the works of authors such as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haiki Madhubuti, and Malcolm X.

 Readings will be quite reasonable in size and scope, and there will be many in-class moments that feature a perfect combination of lecture by the professor and animated discussion by students. Written assignments will also be reasonable. The connection between Vanderbilt, Nashville, and our class will be an enjoyable project as we discover connections between the Afro-American creativity of our own university and city and the written works we will be studying.

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

 

ENGL 3658 Latino American Literature

.01 TR 935-1050 C. Amich
This course will trace the development of innovative Latina/o literatures from the postwar period into the present.  Students will be provided with the historical background necessary to contextualize these writings, as appropriate, in the civil rights struggles of the 60s and 70s, feminist and queer interventions of the 80s and 90s, and current transnational turn. While gaining an awareness of more traditional Latino-American canons, students can also expect to encounter works that challenge stereotypical narratives of what constitutes Latina/o literature.  Course texts will be selected from a wide array of genres including poetry, drama, fiction, memoir, graphic narrative, live art and manifestos, and will feature writers such as Alurista, Gloria Anzaldúa, Giannina Braschi, Sandra Cisneros, Nilo Cruz, Eduardo Corral, Junot Díaz, María Irene Fornés, Coco Fusco, Cristina García, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Brando Skyhorse, Piri Thomas, and Carmelita Tropicana.

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

 

ENGL 3662 Asian American Literature

.01 MWF 1310-1400 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 mainstream are labeled “minority,” and are often represented in ways that frame their presence as alien— strangers in their own home land. Whether it be outright discrimination, unsavory stereotypes, or their satiric appropriations that seemingly subvert but also insidiously reinforce deeply ingrained prejudices, mechanisms of alienation permeate our society on countless fronts. Situating Asian American literature in this broader context of minority discourse, this class invites students to problematize accepted metrics of normalcy and investigate their modes of delivery across different mediums, asking questions such as the following: could the use of racial, ethnic, and cultural stereotypes be justified when framed as critical commentary? How are we to demarcate the thin line between appropriation and inordinate reproduction? What happens when “otherness” as concept becomes translated (in other words, technologized) across mediums such as from written text to visual media, and how may we understand the gaps and misalignments that constitute this process? How does technology, in communicating indexes of otherness or as a source of power in the age of global capital, serve as a double-edged sword in addressing the issues of alienation when specifically applied to the Asian context? Course materials will consist of novels (see the list of required texts below); television program (episodes from Fresh off the Boat); film (Cloud Atlas); graphic narrative (Gene Yang’s The Shadow Hero); media reports on current events (the #cancelcolbert campaign, the Linsanity phenomenon; the Asiana pilot name fiasco, etc.); and critical materials on concepts such as the yellow peril, model minority, racial melancholia, techno-orientalism, and tiger mom, among others. 

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

 

ENGL 3670 Colonial and  Post colonial

.01 MWF 910-1000 M. Milazzo
The power to narrate, or to block other narratives from forming and emerging, is very important to culture and imperialism, and constitutes one of the main connections between them.

            - Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism

Our word is our weapon.

- Subcomandante Marcos and the EZLN

This course examines the relationship between writing, colonialism, and decolonization. Taking a comparative and transnational approach, we will largely study literary works produced in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Our readings will include novels by Tsitsi Dangarembga and Jamaica Kincaid, poems by J. R. Kipling and Tupac Shakur, a memoir by Edwidge Danticat, a graphic novel by Sabrina Jones and Marc Mauer, and essays by Aimé Césaire and Subcomandante Marcos. Alongside literary texts, we will also critically analyze film, music, news media, and visual art. As we pay particular attention to issues of economics, education, and identity, we will engage different histories of colonialism and their consequences, examine the entanglement between colonialism and globalization, and interrogate literature’s potential as a tool for social justice. Main course requirements: weekly reading responses on Blackboard, at least one paper conference with the professor, one film screening outside of regular class time, a final paper or creative project. No prior knowledge or special skill is required.

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


ENGL 3694 America on Film: Art and Ideology

.01 MW 1435-1550 S.Girgus
The course studies American culture and character on film.  It will consider film as a modern art form, a system of cultural production, and an expression of the diversity of the American experience. Beginning with a discussion of the structure and composition of film as an art form, the course also will consider the relationship of film to American studies, ethical philosophy, and culture. Thus, it will relate visual images and cinetext to cultural and philosophical contexts. We will examine how films treat basic American themes such as the individual and community; frontier and urban violence; race, ethnicity, and minorities; the representation and role of women; visual desire and sexual exploitation; the family and authority.  We will study classic Hollywood directors, including Frank Capra, John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Elia Kazan as well as current filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, and Clint Eastwood.

Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 3720 Literature Science and Technology

.01 MWF 1410-1500 H. Shin

Ghostly Bodies and Dreaming Machines: The Question Concerning Technology and Ontology 

“I am a life-form that was born in the sea of information.”

– The Puppet Master, from Ghost in the Shell

As breakthroughs in cybernetics, medical technology and computer science continuously expand the scope of our bodily and mental presence, the question of being presses us with an ever greater urgency. How do we define and know who we are, and how does one certify his or her own existence, in an age when mechanical augmentation, extension, or even replacement of the body is a realistic venture, and the properties of the human mind can be reproduced, preserved, and emulated in the form of digital code? If the human body and its internal mechanism can be compatible with that of machines, and self-evolving machines can interact with or even replace humans in their cognitive capacity, what does being human involve, and mean? This course explores literary and critical works that represent, reflect on and inspire ontological discourses within the context of technological progress. Course materials will include: short stories and novels by Ted Chiang, Isaac Asimov, Mary Shelley, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Murakami Haruki and Neal Stephenson; films and TV productions by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Oshii Mamoru (Ghost in the Shell), and Joss Whedon (Dollhouse); digital literature (Patchwork Girl); graphic narrative (We3); and critical/theoretical reflections or scientific inquiries by René Descartes, Gilbert Ryle, Martin Heidegger, Roger Penrose, Félix Guattari and Jean Baudrillard.

Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 3728W Science Fiction

.01 TR 1600-1715 V. Kutzinski
Humans and other Aliens: Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora
Doubly marginalized in literary scholarship, African American speculative fiction—which includes both more technologically oriented science fiction and fantasy—can be characterized as a literary laboratory for examining closely how humans have negotiated the cultural differences among them. Race, gender, and sexuality are foremost among these differences. How and why have such differences and the ways in which they are perceived produced socio-economic hierarchies, physical violence, and political strife in our earthly societies, and continue to do so? And what alternatives become imaginable in other temporal and spatial locations? In this seminar we explore how otherworldly scenarios that English-speaking writers from the African Diaspora create in their novels and shorter fiction take on issues of violence, oppression, and exploitation—issues that are acquiring ever-new urgency in the twenty-first century. Each of these writers creates plots, characters, settings, and sometimes even languages in order to imagine the possibilities and limits of living respectfully with so-called others, be they humans, humanoids, or non-human aliens. The results of such literary experiments are often quite different. Readings include works by Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Nalo Hopkinson, George Schuyler, among others. Written Requirements: weekly 500-word papers; one 2,000-2,500 word essay at midterm with a mandatory revision. This is a writing-intensive course in which students receive weekly written feedback on their essays. Time will also be devoted to paper conferences and to discussing specific writing strategies.

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

 

ENGL 3730 Literature and the Environment

.01 TR 1310-1425 T. Goddu
Cli Fi: Contemporary Climate Fiction
This course surveys twenty-first century fiction that focuses on climate change. What do contemporary writers have to tell us about the natural, social, political, psychological, and cultural changes that we are currently or may soon experience? Using the “coming storm” as a motif, the course considers a range of cultural texts (literature, film, art, new media) that imagine how our world might soon look and offers ways to approach its possibilities and challenges. As we read, we will ask—how can fiction prepare us for a world that has yet to come? Texts will include: Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow; Ben Lerner, 10:04; Cormac McCarthy, The Road; Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles; along with an array of short stories, films (Take Shelter, Beasts of the Southern Wild), and supplementary non-fictional works.

This course counts toward the minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 3851 Independent Study
C l ick here for the required form .

 

 ENGL 3890 Movements in Literature

.01 MWF 1310-1400 J. Hock
Poetic Obsession: Renaissance Love Poetry and the Lyric Sequence: In 1327, the Italian poet Petrarch encountered the woman who would obsess him for the next 20 years. Although the beautiful Laura firmly rejected Petrarch, rarely looking at – much less speaking to – him, Petrarch chronicled every tremor and terror Laura evoked in him in his greatest work, the Rime sparse, a momentous sequence of 366 lyric poems.

Petrarch inspired many imitators, making the sonnet and the sonnet collection some of the dominant literary forms of the Renaissance. This course will study the impact and importance of Petrarch for English Renaissance by thinking about the Rime as a “lyric sequence.” How did combining short works into a longer series expand the rhetorical and symbolic possibilities of love poetry? Although the title means “scattered rhymes,” the Rime was in fact rigorously ordered and conceived as a whole. How does the unity of the collection change the way we must read the individual poems? And how does thematic development over the course of the whole work enrich the meanings of single poems?

With these broad questions in mind, we will study Petrarchan lyric in the English Renaissance, touching on the most important poets of the period and developing a broad familiarity with the lyric poetry of the European Renaissance. Our focus on lyric sequence will also allow us to test the relation between Petrarchism and the other major type of lyric sequence in the period, religious poetry. What, we will ask, do Renaissance psalm cycles and devotional sequences have in common with secular sonnet sequences? What does religious poetry learn about divine love from poems about erotic love?

Readings will include texts by Ovid, Virgil, Dante, Petrarch, Wyatt, Surrey, Philip as well as Mary Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, and others. Requirements include active class participation, short writing responses, an in-class presentation, a short essay, and a research project.
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

.02 TR 1100-1215 M. Schoenfield
Movements in Literature: Existential Literature (Honors) (A)

It is one thing to describe man’s anguish and despair; it is quite another to provide an adequate philosophical and psychological analysis of these feelings and to suggest a solution which does not merely dismiss the protest as adolescent and mistaken…                      --Hazel Barnes, Humanistic Existentialism

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose/Nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free…   --“Me and Bobby McGee”                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Existentialism has been variously identified as a philosophy, literary movement, psychology, and political agent (most often on the left, but across the political spectrum).  In this course, we will examine how works of the classical existentialists—Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus—express concerns about the modern condition, especially with regard to the dynamic of freedom, social responsibility, and the construction of identity and selfhood.  We will consider the themes that emerge from these works, with a particular emphasis on how problems of space and nothingness—the crowd, emptiness, movement across distance, absences—configure how these authors constitute consciousness.  As we follow how existential ideas diffuses into popular culture, for example in works by Margaret Atwood and Woody Allen, we will think about how they intersect with questions of the self within a social world constructed through consumption, gender, national allegiances, problems of sustainability and globalization, and economic and technological contingencies.  The course will be discussion based, with one group project, and the culminating final paper on topics selected by each student.

Please note this is an Honors Seminar and hence requires a 3.4 GPA for admission .
Satisfies approaches requirement for major and minor

 

ENGL 3894 Major Figures in Literature

.01 TR 935-1050 E. Meadows
Charles Dickens: Creative entrepreneur and social reformer:Though Charles Dickens the man is long-dead, the Charles Dickens industry is still alive and kicking—in movie and TV adaptations of his novels, in the theme park Dickens World, in guided walking tours of London, and in merchandise inspired by characters and novels that one doesn’t have to read to know about.  In this course we will explore how Charles Dickens became an industry unto himself, investigating his lasting impact on the literary and cultural marketplace from the nineteenth century till today.  Through readings of Dickens’s novels, journalism, and short fiction, along with a selection of works by contemporaries such Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins, we will track the evolution of authorship as a profession and publishing as a social media platform.

Students will develop an understanding of how Dickens’ publishing innovations transformed the literary marketplace of the mid-nineteenth century and explore connections to contemporary cultural phenomena such as the resurgence of serial television dramas, the prevalence of binge-watching, and the blogger-turned-brand identity.  Students will also produce their own creative and literary enterprise, crafting adaptations and responses to Dickens’ work in a range of media, drawing on their analyses of his texts and our own cultural atmosphere. 

ENGL 3896 Investigative American Writing

.01 W 1510-1700 A. Little
The Story of Climate Change: Investigating Environmental Crisis and Innovative Breakthrough
Taught by award-winning environmental journalist Amanda Little, who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and Outside Magazine, this course focuses on the most important global challenge of our time.

The story of climate change is a fascinating blend of crisis and opportunity: As warming temperatures pose ecological threats, activists and politicians are struggling to define a path forward and innovators are forging new discoveries in energy, transportation, architecture, and food production. These struggles and discoveries are changing our industries, our politics, our culture and our daily lives. This course will explore the thrill and challenge of documenting historic change. 

In books, articles, blogs, websites, and twitter feeds, we’ll sample a broad range of writing on these topics, exploring the science, the solutions, the players, the politics, the history, the local impacts. We will Skype with professional journalists, editors and bloggers into the classroom. Among them, Andrew Revkin, environmental blogger and reporter for The New York Times; Vox.com reporter David Roberts; Bryan Walsh, environmental reporter and blogger for TIME; “cli-fi” author Nathaniel Rich; and Mark Gunther, environmental writer for Fortune and an editor at The Guardian.

Students will also pursue their own local reporting adventures, investigating the effects of climate change and the emerging green economy in Nashville. 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 we live in.

 

ENGL 3898 Special Topics English/American Literature

.01 MWF 1010-1100 R. Gottfried
Joyce Exclusive of Ulysses    

 

ENGL 4960 Sr. Capstone

.01 TR 1310-1425 C. Dayan
WRITERS AT THE EDGE:How do certain writers put their writing to the test, going to the limits to put readers smack in the blur at the heart of hierarchy? When their writing most strains, comes apart, seems least intelligible, it challenges us to experience what it might mean artistically to fracture utopian dreams of perfection, ideals of progress, or instrumental moralism.

We will read novelists who a) question maximum security with minimum inconvenience; b) push characters to the limits of any fixed categories (personal or national); and c) question the humanistic or enlightenment paradigm of secular progress.

There is for most of these writers distrust of periodicity and genre. They are also political, in the best of senses, upending established forms and accepted values in order to get an ambivalent, provisional, and subversive terrain.  Their words become, as the Caribbean poet Aimé Césaire wrote, “miraculous weapons,” even as they offer alternative histories or other sites for what we think of as the Americas.

Requirements: one presentation, weekly responses, a mid-term paper and a final project—“critical” or “creative.”

Readings: Melville, Pierre; Faulkner, The Hamlet; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano; Cormac McCarthy, Child of God; Gayle Jones, Corrigedora; Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods; J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Madison Smartt Bell, The Color of Night.

 


ENGL 4998 Honors Colloquium

.01 TR 1435-1550 T. Goddu
The Honors Colloquium prepares students to write their Honor’s Thesis in the spring (290b). Through a shared reading (the contemporary novel 10:04), students will explore a range of critical, theoretical, and creative approaches to literary texts and practice a variety of methodologies. Students will also learn research methods, effective modes of argumentation, and creative technique. Over the course of the semester, students will choose and develop their topic as they work collaboratively together in writing groups. The semester culminates with students writing the first draft of the first chapter of their thesis.  

This colloquium is reserved for students who have applied and been admitted to the English Honors Program.

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

ASIA 3151

.01 TR 935-1050 B. Tran The “Third World” and Literature: This course examines “Third World” literature in various political and historical contexts.  We will begin by studying the early use of “Third World” at the Asian-African Conference (1955) in Bandung, Indonesia, where the term was employed by decolonizing nations in opposition to emerging, imperial superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union.  The class will then trace the shifting meanings and connotations of the term from its decolonizing and nationalistic contexts to our present moment, when models of transnationalism and the processes of globalization render the category of “Third World” anachronistic.  We will explore speeches and reports from Bandung, moving to the relationship between nationalism and the novel, and finally, to discussions about Third World literature, the nation-state, and contemporary globalization.  The course will be structured around the following topics: Third World Internationalism and the Bandung movement, nationalist culture and consciousness, and “Third World” today.

 

 

 

 

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