Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for ENGLISH
ENGL 104
Introduction to American Literature I
This course introduces students to American literature before 1865 by surveying a wide range of texts-some very famous, some little-known-written by and about people living in the present-day United States, from the earliest Europeans' arrival in the Americas until the time of the U.S. Civil War. The course will trace political, intellectual, and social developments as they interacted with literary culture. Students will both acquire knowledge of American cultural history and develop skills of literary analysis. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 105
Introduction to American Literature II
This course surveys major works of American literature after 1865, from literary reckonings with the Civil War and its tragic residues, to works of "realism" and "naturalism" that contended with the late 19th century’s rapid pace of social change, to the innovative works of the modern and postmodern eras. As we read works by authors such as Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison, we will inquire: how have literary texts defined and redefined "America" and Americans? What are the means by which some groups have been excluded from the American community, and what are their experiences of that exclusion? And how do these texts shape our understanding of the unresolved problems of post-Civil War American democracy? For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 110
Survey of English Literature I: Anglo-Saxon Period to 1700
Through selected readings in works from the Anglo-Saxon period to the late 17th century, this course will study the development of English literature in the context of stylistic, cultural, and historical changes and influences. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 111
Survey of English Literature II: 1700 to the Present
Through readings in novels, drama, poetry, and prose from the Restoration to the 20th century, this course will examine shifts in the forms, functions, and meanings of English literature in the context of cultural and historical changes. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 116
Introduction to African American Literature, Part I
This course surveys African American literature in a variety of genres from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Through the study of texts by Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown, Julia Collins, William and Ellen Craft, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Dunbar, Ida Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, and others, we will explore how these writers represented and influenced the history of people of African descent in the U.S., from slavery and abolition to early struggles for civil rights; how their work has intervened in racial formation and imagined the black diaspora; how literary innovations have engaged with continuing political questions of nation, gender, sexuality, and class. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 117
Introduction to African American Literature Part II
This course surveys African American literature in multiple genres from the 20th-century to the present. We will examine texts by both canonical and emergent writers, such as James Weldon Johnson, Angelina Weld Grimke, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Zora Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, Rita Dove, August Wilson, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and others. Our discussions/strategies for reading will be informed by relevant social, historical, and political contexts. In addition to discussing issues of race, nation formation, diasporic identities, class, gender, and sexuality, we will identify/trace recurring ideas/themes, as well as develop a theoretical language to facilitate thoughtful engagement with these works. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 208
From Epic to X-Box: A Narrative History
This course looks at the way narrative techniques have changed over time and across various media: it begins with Old English Epics and concludes with digital games. How, we will ask, has the experience of narratives and fictional characters varied across time and forms? In what ways has it stayed constant? How have we gotten from stories about Beowulf to games featuring Master Chief, or the Hero of Ferelden? How, precisely, do we interact with stories and storytelling? How do these interactions change, or not change, when narrative becomes interactive, something one can "play" as opposed to "watch" or "hear" or "read?" To think about these questions, we will examine a variety of narratives and explore a number of narrative theories. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 215
Literature and Environment
In this course, we will examine the philosophies that underpin ideas of nature, culture, and the wilderness by reading a survey of poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction across centuries and cultures. We will consider why and how literary art seeks to represent nature, and think about the role of creative literature in the larger cultural conversation about environmental issues. Together we will discuss: How do we approach the relationship between nature and culture? What preconceptions are embedded in our use of quotidian terms like ‘environment,’ ‘wilderness,’ and even ‘nature’ itself? What are the practical environmental consequences of our views on language and literature? For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 220
Crime and Passion: Studies in Victorian Literature
This course introduces students to major writers and issues from the British Victorian period (1837-1901). It will focus on texts–-fiction, non-fictional prose, and poetry-–in which notions of propriety and morality are in productive dialogue with crimes, threatening secrets, and subversive passions. Texts to be studied include Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, D.G. Rossetti’s Jenny, and M.E. Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret. (Please note: this course requires substantial amounts of reading; Victorian novels are long!) For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 222
Victorian Short Fiction
The Victorian period is known for its three-decker novels, but the later 19th century was a golden age for short fiction. We will examine the evolution of the short story and the novella, assessing the impact of technological advances in the printing industry, the rise of the cheap periodical, and burgeoning literacy levels. We will also look at the rapid growth of new popular genres, such as science fiction, detective fiction, adventure stories, ghost & horror stories, and feminist “New Woman” fiction. Writers to be studied include Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Eliza Riddell, Sheridan Le Fanu, Thomas Hardy, Mona Caird, “George Egerton,” and H.G. Wells. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 225
Jane Austen and the Romantic Period
Is Jane Austen a Romantic or a rationalist? Students in this course will analyze Jane Austen's novels. Readings will also include some Romantic poetry and supplementary materials. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 232
Sea-ing the Americas: The Caribbean Sea
Sea-ing the Americas: The Caribbean Sea has played a significant role in defining an area of the Americas often misunderstood. We will focus on literature and festivals of the broader Caribbean region, extending from New Orleans southward through Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Trinidad and embracing mainland areas such as Costa Rica. We will study the culture and literature of a region that has played a more important role in defining what is American in the Americas than is often recognized. Books will include Earl Lovelace’s The Dragon Can’t Dance, Merle Hodge’s Crick Crack Monkey, Quince Duncan’s A Message for Rosa, and others. The festival component will focus primarily on Carnival in New Orleans, Trinidad, and Brazil. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 233
Evolution of the Western Film
The course examines how the Western genre emerged from global popular culture at the end of the 19th century to become one of the most powerful and complex forms for expressing the experience of Modernity. After careful consideration of the political and philosophical implications of the Western, we will track the development of the genre as it responds to the ideological contradictions and cultural tensions of 20th-century American history, focusing on broad trends within the mainstream, the contributions of individual directors, and the global dissemination of generic elements. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 238
The Latin American Novel in English and Spanish
"Latin America is like Europe's insane asylum," Roberto Bolaño told a French interviewer in 2002. “A savage insane asylum, impoverished, violent, in which, despite its chaos and corruption, it's possible to see the shadow of the Louvre." This course looks at contemporary Latin American novels written in Spanish and English. Novels of politics, violence, love, gender confusion and other desperate circumstances. We examine the ways that writers subvert and expand our pre-conceived ideas about Latin America, and how the literary traditions of both western hemispheres -- north and south -- influence and dialogue with each other in fictional works. We discuss the fraught tension between so called national literatures, and those which aspire to, and even come to be regarded as, examples of "world literature." For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 248
The World of Old English: Heroes, Monsters, Exiles, and More
The earliest English literature might not even be considered English at all since it was composed in a Germanic language by Viking invaders. But this language, the ancestor of modern English, produced some extraordinary literature, from deeply psychological exile poems to obscene riddles, from sublime meditations on the new religion of Christianity to poems that play on the borders of polytheism. And, of course, the Anglo-Saxon period gave us the magnificent epic, Beowulf, in which heroes and monsters end up defining each other. This course will examine the spectrum of Old English literature (in translation) within the social, cultural, and artistic context of the Anglo-Saxon world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 250
Forms of Poetry: An Introduction
This hybrid course will focus on the study of poetry as form. We'll begin by investigating the workings of meter and rhyme before reading, and attempting to write in, a series of established poetic forms. Some of these forms, like the sonnet, will be well known; others, like the pantoum, a little less so. Some of the forms will be structural, like the villanelle; others thematic, like the epithalamium. In all cases, we'll mix deep reading from across the ages with invigorated writing. When we come to consider the sonnet, for example, we'll move from the classic (Shakespeare, Keats) to the contemporary (Muldoon, Heaney). This course is open to everyone and is strongly recommended for English majors looking to develop their grasp of poetic structure. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 252
Young Adult Literature
According to Philip Pullman, “There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.” What themes and subjects might these be? What are the implications of this argument? We will read children’s and young adult literature from the 19th-century to the present day, discussing, as we go, its origins, evolutions, and continuities. How did we get from 18th-century conduct guides to Alice in Wonderland to The Hunger Games? Along the way, we will consider common YA themes and subjects, like fantastic settings as alternate spaces that enable moral, psychological, and social experimentation and the function of allusion, allegory, and revision: many YA novels are, on a variety of levels, re-tellings of previous works.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 260
Introduction to Literary Studies
This course introduces students to the fundamental techniques of close reading. The course will show students how to apply this critical vocabulary to a wide range of literary genres from different historical periods, and to develop the writing and research skills necessary for composing clear and compelling arguments in the interpretation of a text. Note: This course is required of all English majors. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for the literature and psychology minor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 265
Introduction to Film Studies
This course provides a general introduction to the study of film and focuses on the key terms and concepts used to describe and analyze the film experience. As we put this set of tools and methods in place, we will also explore different modes of film production (fictional narrative, documentary, experimental) and some of the critical issues and debates that have shaped the discipline of film studies (genre, auteurism, film aesthetics, ideology). Note: Evening meetings of this class are for film screenings only. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. It is also the gateway course for the literature and film concentration. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for the film studies minor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 270
Introduction to Creative Writing
An introduction to imaginative writing, concentrating on the mastery of language and creative expression in more than one genre. Discussion of work by students and established writers. This is a required course for creative writing concentrators. Beginning in the spring 2014 semester, ENGL 270 must be taken before senior year with enrollment of juniors restricted to five students per section. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers.
This course is not open to seniors.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 277
The Strange Meaning of Things
How important is your “stuff” to you? What does it mean? When is a thing just a thing, and when does it represent something else? In this course, students will examine the literary representations of material culture, including clothes, tools, collections of things, paintings, jewelry and books, in a range of works from the Renaissance to the present. We will analyze what different kinds of things mean at different periods of history, and how writers invest them with magical, religious, satirical and sentimental significance. Readings will include drama, novels, poetry, poltergeist tales, and journalism, as well as some history, and anthropological and literary theory. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 288
World Cinema
This course provides an introduction to the study of world cinema, with a focus on cinematic cultures other than those of the USA or Europe. We will begin by considering some of the theoretical questions involved in intercultural spectatorship and introducing/reviewing critical categories we can use to discuss the films. We will then proceed through a series of units based around specific cinematic cultures, focusing on movement, genres and auteurs and on the historical, cultural, and geopolitical issues that the films illuminate. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for the film studies minor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 290
The Inaugural Address
This course considers one of the most familiar traditions of American oratory—the presidential inaugural address—as a literary form. We will study some of the most acclaimed examples of this genre (including speeches by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy), reading them closely, learning about the cultural and political contexts in which they were delivered, and considering their changing shape and function over time. Student projects will explore several less well-known inaugural addresses. By the conclusion of the course (January Term ends on the same day as the 58th Presidential Inauguration), students will be equipped to offer expert real-time analysis of the inaugural address of the 45th President of the United States.
0.50 units, Seminar
ENGL 292
Tolkien and His Times
J.R.R. Tolkien is rarely considered in the same breath as the great modernist writers with whom he shared the middle decades of the twentieth-century. And yet, with its explorations of war, totalitarian politics, ecology, religion, and other big issues, his work holds a fascinating mirror to its times. In this course, we will take Tolkien seriously both as a literary author and as an interpreter of twentieth-century Britain. Readings will include most of Tolkien’s published output, a handful of modernist texts, and selected readings in contemporary culture and politics. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 300
Shaping the World: Considering the Writer's Craft
How do you get from that first scribbled note to the final draft of a story or poem? How do you use the work of other writers as a source of inspiration, a jumping off point? In this course we’ll analyze the craft of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We’ll read and discuss important recent works in all three genres as well as a mixture of essays, interviews, and articles on craft issues and the writing life. Each week we’ll turn over a different topic, looking at how one aspect of craft operates across these genres. Students will respond to the readings and discussions via papers, creative work, and group work. We’ll also engage established writers in our conversations through class visits and Skype sessions. For English majors, this course is open to students wishing to fulfill their 200-level elective requirements under petition.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 270.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 301
Literature and Meaning: from Aristotle to Queer Theory
This course explores the different ways in which literature has been—and can be—interpreted and justified. Students will read critical theories from Platonism to feminism and queer theory, and will apply these theories to selected texts by Shakespeare, Keats, Austen, Conrad, and others in order to define their own literary theory. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 303
"Major American Authors"
Search any college bulletin from the beginning of the twentieth century onward and you will probably find a course on “Major American Authors.” While the authors listed on the syllabi have varied, the topic itself has remained a fixture of many English curricula. Why is it so popular and tenacious? What exactly makes a major American author? Why have these criteria changed, and when? What’s the difference between a class focusing on “Major American Authors,” and one, say, on “Major American Texts?” This course examines the evolving construct of authorship within the American literary canon and charts the trajectory of “major” American authors from Anne Bradstreet to George R.R. Martin. This seminar is research-intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing critical reflection or a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 304
Cinephilia and Philosophy
This course offers a systematic introduction to some of the most prominent approaches to treating film as philosophy (Cavell, Deleuze, cognitivism, and others)as preparation for a free-ranging exploration through a series of philosophical texts and films designed to challenge us and provoke creative thought, open-ended discussion, and elegant, poetic critical writing. The course will be conducted as an advanced seminar; some prior background in either philosophy or film studies is recommended, and a serious commitment to the common cinephilosophical endeavor is required. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 310
Postcolonial Literature and Theory
This course provides an introduction to Anglophone literatures produced after decolonization. We will read postcolonial theory alongside novels, short stories, poetry, graphic novels, film, and drama in order to consider how these literatures represent issues of identity, nationalism, globalization, and race. The seminar will address the effects of literary form on these fraught representations, as well as the implications of approaching literature through the lens of “postcolonialism,” as opposed to globalization studies, World Literature, transnationalism, or the study of the Global South. Readings may include theory by Homi Bhabha, Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak; and literature from Anglophone Africa, South Asia, Pacific Oceania, the Caribbean and the British Isles. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900, or a course emphasizing critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 313
Contemporary American Prose
Between the de-escalation of the Cold War (mid-1980s) and the beginning of the war in Iraq (2003), a quiet revolution took place in the way American writers articulated their concerns and their sense of what it meant to be American. Beginning with Don DeLillo and Toni Morrison and continuing through David Foster Wallace and Marilynne Robinson, we will explore both the “how” and the “what” of American fiction and nonfiction in the waning years of the 20th and the dawn of the 21st centuries. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 320
Contemporary Americans
This course will focus on important individual collections of contemporary or near-contemporary American poetry. Rather than scanning a selected or collected volume for highlights, we'll look at poems in their original context, considering the single volume as a unified project (a concept increasingly important to contemporary poets) rather than simply a gathering of miscellaneous pieces. Working at a rate of roughly one poet/collection per week, we'll consider classics such as Louise Glück's The Wild Iris, C.K. Williams's Tar, Philip Levine's What Work Is, Yusef Komunyakaa's Magic City, and Jorie Graham's Erosion. We will also consider at least one very recently published collection and one first or near-to-first book. These readings will be supplemented by some theory on the state of contemporary poetry from both poets and critics. For English majors, this course would fulfill the requirement of a course emphasizing poetry and/or a course emphasizing literature written after 1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 321
Curiosity and Literature
This course will examine the way curiosity transformed literature and culture in the age of inquiry, when Peeping Tom was invented, modern science was institutionalized, and the detective novel was born. We will read texts that explore both approved and unapproved kinds, such as witchcraft, voyeurism, and the exhibition of monsters. Texts will include drama, journalism, poetry, satire, and novels by Aphra Behn, Defoe, Johnson, and others. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written from 1700-1900. It is a "research-intensive seminar." Not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 322
Social Networks of the Romantic Era
Romantic-era writers like Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth were deeply invested in the question of ‘genius,’ of how artistic inspiration chooses and works upon an individual. This investment has affected our conception of Romanticism, most obviously in our continued focus on the “big six” male poets as defining the era’s literary production. This course pivots away from Romantic individuality to approach the era through networks: friendship, collaboration, rivalry. Emphasizing the social nature of Romanticism, this course asks: How do relationships revise our ideas of Romantic authorship and authority? Is Romanticism still ‘Romantic’ when we emphasize connections over the myth of the individual genius? Readings will include works by the Wordsworths, Coleridge, Lamb, Wollstonecraft, Burke, Paine, Austen, the Shelleys, Polidori and Byron. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement o f a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 325
Spaghetti Westerns
This course interweaves a comparative exploration of the global range of the genre, Westerns made in Germany, India, Thailand, China, and Brazil, with a comprehensive examination of the remarkable series of Italian Westerns that were made during the 1960s and 1970s. Working as a team, the class will develop original insights by employing the methods of experimental cinephilia, paying close attention to the aesthetics at work in individual films, while at the same time considering the films’ relation to their social, cultural and political contexts; though we will begin with the guilty pleasures the Spaghetti films are known for, these pleasures shall lead us to a deeper understanding of how they function as art. This seminar is research-intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement o f a 300-level elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 329
Civil War Literature
In this course, we will learn about the literary culture of the Civil War era (by reading Louisa May Alcott, Rebecca Harding Davis, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman, among others) and also consider broader questions about how we read, value, and remember literary works. What makes a text "Civil War literature"? Must it have been written during the U.S. Civil War, or about events of that war, or by a person who participated in the war? And do we understand literature differently when we organize it around a historical event rather than forms, genres, or authors? We will engage with the most recent scholarship on the subject and converse (in person or via Skype) with some of the nation's leading experts on Civil War literature.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 330
Sex, Violence and Substance Abuse: Mexico by Non-Mexicans
Some of the greatest and most lasting depictions of México in fiction, non-fiction, cinema and photography have been produced by non-Mexicans. Rather than exposing any lack of significant Mexican creators in all these genres, such works reflect the strong pull, the attraction and at times repulsion, exerted by this complicated country and culture on outsiders. We will choose readings from such twentieth and twenty-first century works such as John Reed's Insurgent México, Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, DH Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent, Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory, the short-stories of Katherine Anne Porter and Paul Bowles, the novels of B. Traven, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, the poetic meditations on Pre-Colombian México by recent French Nobel Prize winner Le Clézio, the contemporary México novels of the Chilean Roberto Bolaño, and, in Ana Castillo’s fiction, a U.S. Chicana's return to México, as well as other contemporary writings. Movies will be chosen from among A Touch of Evil, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Wild Bunch, Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Night of the Iguana, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and Sín Nombre. The emphasis will be on the prose, novels especially, with three or four movies, and a class devoted to photography. We study the works themselves, their relation to their own literary-cultural traditions, their depiction of México, and the multiple issues raised by their status as works created by "foreigners." Supplemental readings, some by Mexicans. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 333
Creative Nonfiction
In this writing workshop, we explore the genre of creative nonfiction. The term "nonfiction" implies that the writer is telling the truth--that the reader can assume and trust that the writer is describing people who are real and events that have happened. The writer strives for accuracy, even if the nature of that accuracy remains within the bounds of human limitations. The adjective "creative" refers to the fact that in creative nonfiction there is an important transformation of life into art, through the use of poetic and fictional techniques. Our readings will enhance our understanding of how creative nonfiction essays are constructed; they will also serve as springboards for writing exercises. In writing workshops, the main focus of the course, we will produce various types of creative nonfiction. For English literature concentrators, this course satisfies the requirement of an elective. For English creative writing concentrators, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop. For writing, rhetoric,and media arts minors, it counts as a core course. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers.
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 334
Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
Students will write and rewrite fiction. The class is run as a workshop, and discussions are devoted to analysis of student work and that of professional writers. For English creative writing concentrators, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers.
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 335
Literary Nonfiction Narrative
This workshop explores the form of writing that combines the craft of fiction writing with the skills and practices of the journalist. We will read some of the foremost 20th-century and contemporary practitioners of this form of writing (V.S. Naipaul, Joseph Mitchell, Joan Didion, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Rory Stewart, Alma Guillermoprieto, Susan Orlean, Jon Lee Anderson, etc., and selections from some of their important precursors: Stephen Crane, Jose Marti) and discuss, often, the form's complex relation to literary fiction, the tensions and difference between journalism and imaginative works, and so on. The workshop will begin with practical writing assignments: first paragraphs, setting, character, how to develop meaning, short pieces, etc., with the final goal being to produce a New Yorker magazine-like (in length and craft) piece using some aspect of the city of Hartford. NOTE: For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers.
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 336
Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
Students will do in-class exercises, and write and revise their own poems. The class is run as a workshop, and discussions are devoted to analysis of student work and that of professional writers. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers. This course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop for creative writing concentrators.
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 341
American Literary Modernism and the Great War
This course will consider the impact of the Great War on American literary modernism. Grappling with apocalyptic devastation in Europe, massive shifts in global politics, and dramatic changes in technology, the Lost Generation responded with enduring and enigmatic works, haunted by wounds both psychic and spiritual. We will consider canonical writings by Ernest Hemingway and e.e. cummings, lesser-known works by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Edith Wharton, and first person accounts by combatants such as Thomas Boyd. As our focus will be on introducing the aesthetics of modernism through the context of the war itself, we will study maps, songs, photographs, newspapers, and other historical materials alongside traditional literary objects. Assignments will include a creative research project, weekly responses, and short essays. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. It is research intensive.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 345
Chaucer
A study of The Canterbury Tales and related writings in the context of late medieval conceptions of society, God, love, and marriage. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 346
Dream Vision and Romance
A study of two major medieval genres as they are developed in the works of Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain-poet, and Malory. The course will explore the structural and stylistic as well as the political, social, and psychological issues raised by these genres and the individual authors' treatments of them. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 347
Writing Women of the Renaissance
Anne Boleyn. Queen Elizabeth. Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke. Penelope Rich. Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford. These Renaissance women were important leaders, writers, patrons of the arts. There also exists a rich and long tradition of representing them in history, literature, and film. What does this sustained fascination reveal about the continual process of historical revision, and ultimately about our own cultural preoccupations? This course will examine a range of texts: biographies, early modern texts by and about these figures, and more contemporary representations (in popular histories, plays, and films) of their lives and times. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. It is a research-intensive seminar.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 348
Women Writers of the Middle Ages
This course will study works in a variety of genres, from the lyric and the romance to the autobiography and the moral treatise, written by medieval women in England, Europe, and Asia. In addition to analyzing the texts themselves, we will be examining them within their social, historical, and political contexts as we discuss such issues as medieval women's literacy, education, and relationships to the male-authored literary traditions of their cultures. Through the term, we will be trying to determine the degree to which we can construct a recognizable woman's literary tradition for this period. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 349
Elizabethan Literature
This course focuses on literature produced in England between 1558 and 1603, with a focus on works of poetry, prose, and drama that reflect (and helped to shape) an “Elizabethan Age.” The reading list will include the epistolary and religious writings of women (including those of Elizabeth I herself), examples of sixteenth-century lyric and narrative poetry, the plays of Kyd, Marlowe, and Shakespeare, the satires of “University Wits” like Greene and Nashe, and the travel writings of Hariot and Raleigh. This seminar is research intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 351
Shakespeare
In this course we will study selected Shakespeare plays, with an emphasis on understanding cultural contexts and on plays in performance. We focus on Shakespeare's language and the language of the theater and the drama of his age, with an eye also to helping you understand why these plays and this dramatist have earned such an extraordinary place in the cultural history of so many people and places, from Russia to Africa. Plays to be studied may include: King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest. These choices are subject to change. For English majors this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700.
This course is not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 353
Challenging Authority: Literature of the 17th Century
The early 17th century was one of the most important and contentious periods in English history, and literature was a formative part of its rich culture of debate and innovation. The Stuart monarchy was trying to establish an absolutist culture, and the resistance to it led to the first political revolution in modern Europe. The 17th century also witnessed the movement of women into public life and print as highly vocal poets, preachers, prophetesses, and political theorists. Advances in scientific inquiry reshaped how writers thought about the cosmos and their place in it. Readings will include works by Donne, Jonson, Marvell, the women poets Lanyer and Bradstreet, the quasi-scientific writings of Bacon and Burton, and samplings from the period's rich popular literature and pamphlet wars. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. It is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 355
Narratives of Disability in U.S. Literature and Culture
This course introduces students to the ways in which disability has been used to represent both "normalcy" and extraordinariness in literature. We will consider how "tales told by idiots," as framed in Shakespeare's Hamlet, often supply the unique and insightful perspective that mainstream characters cannot see, hear, or experience because of their own limitations. We will look at how the notion of disability has been aligned with other aspects of identity, such as Charles Chesnutt's representation of race as a disability in his turn of the century literature or of slaves using performances of disability to escape from the horrid institution during the 19th-century. We will read a variety of genres, fiction, memoir, and some literary criticism to come to a clearer understanding of the ways in which the meaning of disability and its representation in a variety of texts echoes a broader set of beliefs and practices in the U.S. For English majors this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 359
Victorian London: Literature of a Changing City
London grew from a city of one million in 1800 to over four million inhabitants by the year of Queen Victoria’s death. We will investigate literary responses to the rapid transformation of the city, focusing on how different urban spaces and occupations were represented. Questions to be addressed include: what were the hopes of urbanization, and what were its problems? How was the relationship between the center, the suburbs, and the slums conceptualized? How was the urban interior represented, and what about the urban garden? Writers to be studied include Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Jane Ellen Panton; students will complete a research paper on Victorial London at the end of the course. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 360
Shakespeare on Film
In this course, we will study selected films based on Shakespeare plays. Though we will read the Shakespeare plays as prelude to film analysis, the films will be studied as independent texts. The film script (adapted from or based on a Shakespeare play) will be treated as one aspect of the text. Students will concentrate on analyzing camera angles, mise-en-scène, lighting, sound, editing, and script as aspects of a composite text. We will also discuss film genres and look at the signature work of specific directors, such as Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh. Plays may be selected from Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and King Lear. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. For literature and film concentrators, this course fulfills the requirement of an advanced course toward the major, and counts as a course in literature and film. This course is research-intensive.
This course is not open to first-year students.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 364
Literary Transformations in the 18th Century
How do writers transform traditional literary forms to express new perceptions of identity, sexuality, society, and nature? In this course, we will examine the way the poets, playwrights, journalists, and fiction writers of Restoration and 18th-century England imitated, reworked, and finally rejected old genres to forge new kinds of literary expression. Readings include works by Aphra Behn, Dryden, Swift, Pope, Johnson, and Goldsmith. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. It is a research-intensive seminar.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 373
Irish Poetry Since Yeats
We’ll consider the blossoming of Irish poetry in English since the foundation of the Irish Free State. Given his centrality to both the state and the art form, we’ll begin by considering the work of W.B. Yeats. From Yeats, we’ll move up through the 20th century, looking at work by Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Paul Durcan, Eamon Grennan, Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson, Vona Groarke, and Sinéad Morrissey. We’ll consider the poems through the lens of Irish independence and cultural identity, the Troubles, tensions over religion and class, the urban/rural divide, and the place of women within the tradition. We will also consider the poems as aesthetic objects, governed by different schools and traditions within the art form, Irish or otherwise. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature after 1900 and a class that emphasizes poetry.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 377
The Revolutionary Generations: American Literature from 1740 to 1820
Hannah Arendt suggested that the United States failed to remember its revolutionary tradition because it failed to talk about it. This course will recover those memories by reading the texts that founded the American rebellion, the writings produced in the aftermath of independence, and the creative works crafted in the wake of revolution. Our focus will be on the literature from 1740 until 1820 that struggled to define ways of being in the world that seemed specifically American; therefore, we will look beyond the context of New England to consider the roles played by Africa and the Caribbean in the cultural imagination, and we will trace how social class, race, and gender inflected the output of American writers in a post-1776 world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 379
Melville
Though a superstar during his early career, Herman Melville watched his reputation decline as his literary ambitions escalated. One review of his seventh novel bore the headline, "Herman Melville Crazy." Not until the 20th century did even his best-known work, Moby Dick, attract considerable attention, but it now stands at the center of the American literary pantheon. Melville's work merits intensive, semester-long study not only because he is a canonical author of diverse narratives—from maritime adventures to tortured romances to philosophical allegories—but also because his career and legacy themselves constitute a narrative of central concern to literary studies and American culture. Through reading and discussion of several of his major works, we will explore Melville's imagination, discover his work's historical context, and think critically about literary form. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is also research-intensive.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 383
Modern British Fiction
This is a course in British fiction between 1890 and 1945. The prose (novels and stories) of this period is characterized by tremendous ambition, radical experimentation, the questioning of old conventions and the creation of new ones. Authors will include Wilde, Conrad, Ford, Forster, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. It is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 399
Independent Study
A limited number of individual tutorials in topics not currently offered by the department. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ENGL 401
Introduction to Literary Theory
This seminar is designed to provide a perspective on varied critical vocabularies, and to explore the development of literary theories and methods from classical to contemporary times. Emphasis will be placed on a broad examination of the history and traditions of literary theory, the ongoing questions and conflicts among theorists, and practical applications to the study of works in literature. Students will compose a substantial critical essay based on research and the development of their own perspective on understanding and evaluating a literary text.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 404
Women and Empire
This course examines women's involvement in and relationship to British imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. What part did ideologies of femininity play in pro-imperialist discourse? In what ways did women writers attempt to “feminize” the imperialist project? What was the relationship between the emerging feminist movement and imperialism at the turn of the 20th century? How have women writers resisted and complicated imperialist axiomatics? How – and in what language – do women authors from once-colonized countries write about the history and experiences of imperialism? Authors to be studied include Charlotte Brontë, Flora Annie Steel, Rudyard Kipling, Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, Louise Bennett, Nuala Ni Dhomhnail and Jhumpa Lahiri. English 404 and English 804 are the same course. For English majors, this course satisfies a post-1900 distribution requirement. This course is also research intensive. For the English graduate program, this course satisfies the requirement of a course in British literature, or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 409
The Problems of the "American Renaissance"
Within a few years in the early 1850s, U.S. authors published some of the most famous works in literary history, including The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Leaves of Grass. In the 1940s, a literary critic dubbed this period the “American Renaissance.” The name stuck, and it shaped the American literature curriculum for generations of students. It also raised questions: were some authors unjustly left out? Does the hopeful image of a “renaissance” make sense for literary culture in a nation careening toward civil war? In this class, we will study several literary texts from the 1850s (some famous, some less so), as well as the work of scholars who have sought to define, redefine, and challenge the idea of the “American Renaissance.” (Note: English 409 and English 809 are the same course.)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 409
Non-Fiction Screenwriting
Analyzing contemporary nonfiction audiovisual scripts through the prism of classical persuasive rhetoric and modern visual communication theory, students will build both an intellectual framework and the practical skills that are in high demand in business, education, marketing, documentary and news writing. Specifically, students will develop pitching and writing skills, learn formatting conventions and sources for professional advancement while developing a written portfolio of four nonfiction pieces for audiovisual media. Reading assignments include selections ranging from Aristotle to Vorkapich. Guest presenters will include writer/producers from news, documentary, marketing, advertising, and educational video fields. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400-level elective. This course counts as an advanced film course for literature and film majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 412
Modern Poetry
“It appears that poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult.” When T. S. Eliot wrote these lines in 1921, “difficulty” was self-evidently a term of praise: it signaled a willingness to grapple with the intellectual, esthetic, moral, and erotic complexities of modernity. Today, however, that same difficulty gives poetry of the early 20th century its somewhat scary reputation. Why read tough texts when so much else goes down easily? A premise of this course is that the excitement, the beauty, and the sheer greatness of modern poetry are inseparable from the challenges it poses to the reader. Between 1885 and World War II, Eliot, Yeats, Pound, Crane, Moore, Bishop, Williams, Stevens, Frost, and Auden made poetry possible for modern life. We read their work. (Note: English 412 and English 812 are the same course.) For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of an advanced class in literature written after 1900. It also satisfies the requirement of a poetry course. For the English graduate program, this course counts as a course in American literature or British literature for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, or media arts track. This course is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 414
Remixing Literature, Part II
Has "the remix" always been an essential art form in literature? This course will research new examples of classic literary works and their cultural adaptations and appropriations across multiple media arts, ranging from redactions of oral folktales to cinema blockbusters, digital mashups, and transmedia storytelling. Source texts will include Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Stoker's Dracula. We will study these texts and linked remixes, explore the reasons for their continued popularity, and address topics in creativity, originality, and remix theory. Students will help choose contemporary remixes and have opportunities to experiment individually and in small groups with crafting their own literary remixes and mashups. English 414 and English 814 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course counts as an elective or fulfills the requirement of an advanced course for literature and film concentrators. For the English graduate program, this course counts as a core course for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track or as an elective for the literary studies track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 414
Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams: Representative American Dramatists
In this course we will study selected plays by Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams, with a focus not only on the individual plays but on the broader dramatic and cultural contexts in which these two authors wrote and in which their plays were initially performed. We will consider some early sea plays of O’Neill’s as well a selection of his mythic and autobiographical plays. Plays of Williams will include The Night of the Iguana, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Sweet Bird of Youth, among others. We may view films of major plays. This course is open to undergraduates with permission of instructor. For graduate students, this course satisfies the requirements of a course in American literature or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the Literary Studies track. It serves as an elective for the Writing, Rhetoric, and Media Arts track. For undergraduate students, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1800 or a cultural contexts course.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 418
17th-Century Poetry
The poets of the early modern period made their contribution to an English literary tradition against a dynamic context of religious, political, and social change. Poets studied in this course will include Lanyer, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Marvell, Philips, Bradstreet, and Milton. English 418 and English 818 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This is a research-intensive seminar. For the English graduate program, this course fulfills the requirement of a course emphasizing English literature or a cultural context for the literary studies track. It counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 422
Milton
In this course, we will consider the works of John Milton, with attention to how his prose and poetry synthesizes long-standing intellectual and literary traditions and grapples with issues that still engage us today: the relation of men and women, the realities of loss and mortality, the concept of significant individual choice, and the power and limitations of language as the tool with which we forge an understanding of the world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 423
Southern Gothic Literature and Film: Case Study in Genre Theory
Southern Gothic literature and film provide an excellent case study for exploring theories of genre. With the tools of modern genre criticism, this course will seek to define and map a controversial and disputed literary and cinematic territory, one that focuses on a culture of terror and horror as it spins tales of murder, madness, freaks, and monsters. It is a narrative mode that pushes what Flannery O’Connor called “the limits of mystery” in attempts to deal with tragic extremes of human behavior and comic twists of the grotesque. Readings include works by Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, and Cormac McCarthy, along with contemporary Southern “pop-gothic” movies such as Deliverance, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. English 423 and English 823 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 distribution requirement. For literature and film concentrators, this course fulfills the requirement of an advanced course toward the major, and counts as a course in literature and film. For English graduate students, this course counts as a core course in the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track; it counts as an elective in the literary studies track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 424
Reading Victorian Narratives
This course offers an advanced investigation into major writers and issues from the British Victorian period (1837-1901). We will concentrate on texts—fiction, non-fictional prose, poetry—in which notions of propriety and morality are in productive dialogue with crimes, threatening secrets, and subversive passions. In seminar sessions and in written work we will interrogate textual constructions of sexuality and gender, considering the potential for slippage between high-conservative ideals and actual lived experiences. Our readings will be informed by a range of modern critical, theoretical, and socio-historical examinations of Victorian literature and culture. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature between 1700-1900. It is research intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 428
American Letters
For three centuries, English-speaking North America communicated by letter. In love and business alike, what wasn’t said face to face was said with pen and paper. Letters were the phone calls, emails, and text messages of their time. At first the province of élites, sealed with wax and carried by horsemen, letters became a popular medium. With expanding literacy and postal service, middle- and working-class people began to send and receive letters prolifically. In this course, students read letters by ordinary Americans—among them women, African Americans, immigrants, and children—from the 1700s to the early 20th century. We consider how the epistolary genre changed over time and how the countless writers working in that genre created meaning, conducted relationships, and interpreted their world.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 439
Special Topics in Film: The Documentary
Documentary films chronicle varied cultural, social, and political realities, from coal miners’ strikes and social revolutions to the development of musical genres. Documentary styles range from fictionalized recreations (docudramas) to narrative reenactments to non-narrative commentaries. This course will examine key documentary strategies through representative films, which may include Harlan County USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976) and Shut Up and Sing (Kopple and Cecilia Peck, 2006), Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl (Ahmad Jamal and Ramesh Sharma, 2006): segments of The Battle of Algiers, Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (Renee Bergan and Mark Schuller), Jazz (selected episodes) (Ken Burns, 2001), Say Amen, Somebody (George Nierenberg, 1982), An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2008), and Fair Game (Doug Liman, 2010). Note: English 439-16 and English 839-12 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies a post-1900 distribution requirement, or a core course for the literature and film concentration.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 439
The American West: Mythologies, Literature, and Film
This course will examine aspects of the Western mythology defined by historians, reflected in literature and codified in one of America’s seminal film genres. Its history and evolution follow the mythology of the west and are embedded in notions of the conflict between wilderness and civilization, as well as in the rugged individual Western Hero. Books to be studied include, Murdoch: The American West, Kitses & Rickman, eds The Western Reader, Ferber, Cimarron, and McCarthy, No Country for old Men; films may include Cimarron, Stagecoach, Destry Rides Again, High Noon, The Searchers, Little Big Man, The Wild Bunch, The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, The Burial of Melquiades Estrada, and No Country for Old Men.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 441
Writing for Film
This is a hybrid graduate/advanced undergraduate course. Coursework involves reading relevant dramatic and cinematic theory, studying three produced screenplays and one unproduced script by a major writer, and completing weekly writing assignments. While studying screenplay format, three-act story structure, character development, dialogue, action, and style, students will develop a writing process grounded in the oral tradition. Reading and listening to work aloud in class will develop a supportive “writers room.” Readings will range from John Howard Lawson’s theory of screenwriting to Ed Spiegel’s The Innocence of the Eye. Writing exercises will consist of short film scripts. Students will have a choice of final projects: either a feature film treatment or a fully realized screenplay for a short film. For undergraduate students, the course may be counted as an advanced Creative Writing workshop or an elective for the English major. For graduate students, this course counts as a core course in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Media Arts track and an elective in the Literary Studies track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 447
Serials
Where most of the literature we encounter has a clear beginning, middle, and end, serial literature is open-ended and potentially infinite. What exactly is so fascinating about the prospect of “one story, told piece by piece?” In this course, we will examine American serials, beginning with early-18th and 19th-century magazine novels and ending with Sarah Koenig’s 21st-century podcast phenomenon, Serial. As we look at the various incarnations of serialized texts, we’ll think about their implications with the help of narrative theory. What exactly does the term serial imply? A genre? A technique? What accounts for the popularity of serialized texts? What might the next iteration look like? It is research-intensive. For English majors, this course emphasizes critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 448
Plant Lives in Literature and Film
This course engages with the plant world through novels, poetry, philosophy, film, and painting. We will track major trends in the human understanding of plants, allowing us to analyze how plants are represented in art and popular culture. In rethinking the being and meaning of plants we will necessarily revisit the idea of ‘the human’ and ‘the animal,’ employing these categories while attending to borderline cases where their utility falters. Readings may include well-known Romantic texts like Wordsworth’s “The Thorn,” Shelley’s “The Sensitive Plant,” and Austen’s Mansfield Park, as well as Erasmus Darwin’s epic “The Loves of the Plants”; essays by John Wilkins, Michael Pollan, and Michael Marder; and horror films like “The Happening” and “The Ruins.” English 448 and English 848 are the same course. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. For the English graduate program this course satisfies the requirement of a course in British literature, or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 451
Queer Harlem Renaissance
This course approaches the Harlem Renaissance or "the New Negro" Movement through the lens of sexuality, paying particular attention to the ways in which understandings of racial identity were filtered through representations of sex and gender. We will consider how writers of the Harlem Renaissance explored notions of sexuality and gender given the history of slavery and exploitation that generated rigid formulations of race and gender. How did cultural producers challenge, reinforce, question and imagine sexuality and its intersection with other aspects of identity, such as class, gender, and national origins. Writers/artists include, Wallace Thurman, Carl Van Vechten, Bessie Smith, Angelina Weld Grimke, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Langston Hughes, and Bruce Nugent. For English majors, this course satisfies a post-1900 distribution requirement. This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 451
The Harlem Renaissance
This course will explore the flourishing of black literary and cultural production from the 1920s until late-1930s known as the Harlem Renaissance or "New Negro" Movement. We will look at the aesthetic, social, psychological and political objectives of the period and how these goals are addressed through essays, literature, music and visual art. We will also interrogate the construction of a “New Negro” identity. How is such an identity defined? What artists are deemed acceptable models of this identity? What artists or modes of cultural expression are excluded or silenced? How do issues of gender, class and sexuality factor into the construction of a New Negro identity? In addressing these questions, we will examine the Harlem Renaissance as a precedent for other black aesthetic movements in the later part of the 20th century.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 456
The Puritan Supernatural
The Puritans believed in a complex relationship between the visible and the "invisible" worlds. Quasi-natural phenomena like earthquakes and eclipses, and dramatic perversions of natural law (e.g. witchcraft and demonic possession) all indicated the presence of invisible influences on everyday life. In this course we will read a variety of "wonderful" texts, beginning with Puritan chronicles, sermons, spiritual histories, demonic possession narratives, and trial transcripts. Then we will consider the many ways that the "invisible world" persisted as a major theme of American fiction long after the Puritans themselves had gone. Looking at a broad sweep of eighteenth and nineteenth-century writing, we will examine genres ranging from gothic novels and short stories, to national romances, to antebellum satires. This is a research-intensive seminar. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. For the English graduate program, this course fulfills the requirement of a course emphasizing English literature.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 461
World Cinema Auteurs
This advanced course offers an in-depth exploration of the work of major auteur-directors from the domain of World Cinema, cinema from countries other than the United States or Europe. Three or four auteurs grouped by country, region or culture (e.g. Japan, India, Iran, Brazil, West Africa, or the Three Chinas: PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) will be examined in their aesthetic, cultural and geo-political dimensions using the cutting-edge new methodologies of comparative and experimental cinephilia. Note: This advanced undergraduate/graduate hybrid course - while not required, some prior experience with film analysis, film theory, or World Cinema is strongly recommended. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 463
Feminist Approaches to Literature
This course will examine the sexual politics of literature, criticism, and literary history, focusing in particular on how feminist writers have negotiated the relationship between politics, the body, and eroticism. Topics to be studied include the absence of women from conventional literary histories, the theories (and influence) of Sigmund Freud, daughterhood, adolescence, and identity, the pleasures – and dangers – of romance plots, and feminist explorations of sexual power dynamics. Writers to be studied include Harriet Jacobs, Charlotte Bronte, Sarah Grand, Jeanette Winterson, Helen Cixous, Monique Wittig, Andrea Dworkin, and Maxine Hong Kingston. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 466
Teaching Assistantship
Students may assist professors as teaching assistants, performing a variety of duties usually involving assisting students in conceiving or revising papers; reading and helping to evaluate papers, quizzes, and exams; and other duties as determined by the student and instructor. See instructor of specific course for more information. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ENGL 468
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
Nothing that precedes them in the American literary tradition quite prepares us for the poems of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. We will steep ourselves in the verse of these two literary iconoclasts. At the same time, we will trace the critical history of both, reading essays from the 19th century to the present which have made the complex works and lives of Whitman and Dickinson more legible. The final class period will be reserved for reading selections from 20th-century poets -- not all of them American -- who have openly professed a debt to Whitman's and Dickinson's experimental and often exhilarating poems. Note: English 468-06 and English 868-16 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 469
"Major" American Authors
): Search any college bulletin from the beginning of the 20th century onward and you will probably find a course on “Major American Authors.” While the authors listed on the syllabi have varied, the topic itself has remained a fixture of many English curricula. Why is it so popular and tenacious? What exactly makes a “major” American author? How and when have these criteria changed, and why? What’s the difference between a class focusing on “Major American Authors,” and one, say, on “Major American Texts?” This course examines the evolving construct of authorship within the American literary canon and charts the trajectory of “major” American authors from Anne Bradstreet to Edith Wharton.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 470
Film Theory: An Introduction
This course introduces the most important theoretical models which have been used to explain how films function as art, ideology, language, history, politics and philosophy. Some theorists are mainly concerned with the aesthetic potentials of the cinema: How do categories such as realism, authorship and genre explain and enhance our experience of films? Other theorists are focused on the relations between films and the societies that produce them, or on general processes of spectatorship: How do Hollywood films address their audiences? How do narrative structures shape our responses to fictional characters? As the variety of these questions suggests, film theory opens onto a wide set of practices and possibilities; though it always begins with what we experience at the movies, it is ultimately concerned with the wider world that we experience through the movies. Theorists to be examined include Munsterberg, Eisenstein, Burch, Kracauer, Balazs, Bazin, Altman, Gunning, Mulvey, Metz, Wollen, Havel, Benjamin, Pasolini, Deleuze and Jameson. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400-level elective, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. This course fulfills requirements toward the film studies minor. Film screenings to be discussed at the first class meeting.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 473
Dickens/Chaplin
This course treats the work of Charles Dickens and Charles Chaplin from a critical perspective that recognizes their striking similarities. Charles Dickens was the most popular artist of the 19th century; the fictional world and characters he created made sense of modern life for millions around the world, and the adjective "Dickensian" testifies to how familiar his blend of comedy and melodrama has become. Charles Chaplin is remarkably analogous to Dickens; as the 20th century's most popular artist, his work addressed fundamental issues of contemporary social life, and also employed a blend of comedy and melodrama that merited its own adjective: "Chaplinesque". The course examines the evolution of these two major figures over the course of their careers. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400 elective. For literature and film concentrators, this course counts as a course in literature and film. For the English graduate program, this course fulfills the requirement of an elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 492
Fiction Workshop
Advanced seminar in the writing of fiction. Class discussions devoted primarily to the analysis of student fiction, with some attention to examples of contemporary short stories. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers, and an advanced creative writing workshop. This course satisfies the requirement of a 400-level workshop for creative writing concentrators, and a senior project.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 270 and one of the following English 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 441, Film Studies 337, Theater and Dance 345, or Theater and Dance 393.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 494
Poetry Workshop
Advanced seminar in the writing of poetry. Class discussions devoted primarily to the analysis of student work, with some attention to examples of contemporary poetry. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers, and an advanced creative writing workshop. This course satisfies the requirement of a 400-level workshop for creative writing concentrators, and a senior project.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 270 and one of the following English 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 441, Film Studies 337, Theater and Dance 345, or Theater and Dance 393.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 495
Senior Seminar: Meanings in Literature and History: The Phenomenon of Literary Popularity
Why is Shakespeare considered great? Why is Jane Austen so popular? Or Romantic Poetry? Or Stephen King? In this course students will explore the way theorists and critics from Aristotle to Edward Said have understood literary value and meaning, while they also read key texts in British literature. Students will have the chance to develop their own literary theories and apply them to their favorite texts.For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a senior seminar.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 495
Senior Seminar: Around Howards End
How does literature change over time? How do earlier writers exercise an influence over their successors, and how do those later writers grapple with their most powerful forerunners? In this seminar, you will be invited to think about these large questions, which have formed a subtext to your work in the major thus far. To focus our discussion, we will consider one great modern novel, E. M. Forster's "Howards End" - a work which rewrites some key texts of nineteenth-century literature and philosophy, and which, itself, is emulated by several subsequent authors. Additional readings include: Austen, Woolf, James, Nietzsche and Zadie Smith. In the final project, you will have the opportunity to apply our broader conclusions about literary influence to your career as an English major.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 495
Senior Seminar: Indian Film and Literature
This course offers an introduction to the rich culture and society of the Indian subcontinent through some of its most celebrated films and works of literature, with a special thematic focus on the history of post-Independence India (1947-present). We will explore work in different genres (Bollywood films, Bengali art cinema, documentaries, short stories, novels, poetry and non-fiction writing) and several distinctive linguistic cultures (English and Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and other regional languages in translation) as a means to feel at home within the oceanic complexity, the sublime diversity, "the Wonder that is India". For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a senior project.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 496
Senior Seminar: What You Should Have Read
This is your final semester as an English major, and this senior seminar will provide you with an opportunity to reflect back on the intellectual paths you have and have not taken. What texts do you consider true classics, but have not yet read? This course will give you a chance to address those perceived gaps in your literary education, as students in the course will generate the primary reading list. What has led you to think of these specific works as central to the study of English literature? In addition to our list of selected classics, we will read critical essays that discuss issues of canonicity, the history of the English major, and the fate of literature (and literary study) in this latest "information age." Writing requirements will include weekly responses to assigned reading, class presentations, and a longer seminar paper. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a senior seminar.
This course is open to senior English majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 497
One-Semester Senior Thesis
Individual tutorial in writing of a one-semester senior thesis on a special topic in literature or criticism. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and the chairperson are required.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 498
Senior Thesis Part 1/Senior Colloquium
This course is designed to teach senior English majors the techniques of research and analysis needed for writing a year-long essay on a subject of their choice. It is intended to help the students to write such year-long theses, and to encourage them to do so. It will deal with problems such as designing longer papers, focusing topics, developing and limiting bibliographies, working with manuscripts, using both library and Internet resources, and understanding the uses of theoretical paradigms. This course is required of all senior English majors who are planning to write two-semester, year-long theses. Please refer to the department's website for more information. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and the chairperson are required. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
2.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
Individual tutorial in the writing of a year-long thesis on a special topic in literature or criticism. Seniors writing year-long, two-credit theses are required to register for the second half of their thesis for the spring of their senior year. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
2.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 800
Introduction to Graduate Study English
English 800 offers an introduction to the methods of graduate-level scholarship in literature. We will build a foundation of how to read, discuss, research, and write about individual works, genres, periods, and critical debates in literary studies. We will acquire advanced skills in interpretive analysis; summarizing and contextualizing critical positions; identifying, locating, evaluating and citing scholarly resources; developing research within a critical conversation; composing persuasive arguments; and designing and implementing research plans for larger projects. Our goal is to provide the groundwork for the M.A. in English at Trinity College.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 801
Introduction to Literary Theory
This seminar is designed to provide a perspective on varied critical vocabularies, and to explore the development of literary theories and methods from classical to contemporary times. Emphasis will be placed on a broad examination of the history and traditions of literary theory, the ongoing questions and conflicts among theorists, and practical applications to the study of works in literature. Students will compose a substantial critical essay based on research and the development of their own perspective on understanding and evaluating a literary text.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 802
Digital Rhetoric
This course surveys the foundational scholarship of digital writing and rhetoric beginning with the digital turn of the 1990s, with particular focus on new media pedagogy, digital literacy, and design theory. Students will study and compose with these new technologies and practices, creating both traditional and new media texts. This course wills also trace the impact of today's ever-evolving writing technologies: how they shape literacy development, engagement, and output; their potential to shift and refigure power dynamics and rhetorical agency; and their practical consequences for daily social and civic life.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 804
Women and Empire
This course examines women's involvement in and relationship to British imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. What part did ideologies of femininity play in pro-imperialist discourse? In what ways did women writers attempt to “feminize” the imperialist project? What was the relationship between the emerging feminist movement and imperialism at the turn of the 20th century? How have women writers resisted and complicated imperialist axiomatics? How – and in what language – do women authors from once-colonized countries write about the history and experiences of imperialism? Authors to be studied include Charlotte Brontë, Flora Annie Steel, Rudyard Kipling, Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, Louise Bennett, Nuala Ni Dhomhnail and Jhumpa Lahiri. English 404 and English 804 are the same course. For English majors, this course satisfies a post-1900 distribution requirement. This course is also research intensive. For the English graduate program, this course satisfies the requirement of a course in British literature, or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 806
Composition Pedagogy
Language and literacy have always served as lightning rods for social and political issues, as well as for conflicts of theory and practice in education. This course will explore the contemporary teaching of writing, with attention to the range of current pedagogies in US colleges. We will examine influences of 20th-century revival of rhetoric, process and post-process writing, cultural and feminist studies, cognitive theory, the digital revolution, and the implications of "the global turn" for 21st-century students and teachers of writing. For undergraduate English majors, this course counts as an elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 806
Composition Pedagogy
Language and literacy have always served as lightning rods for social and political issues, as well as for conflicts of theory and practice in education. This course will explore the contemporary teaching of writing, with attention to the range of current pedagogies in US colleges. We will examine influences of 20th-century revival of rhetoric, process and post-process writing, cultural and feminist studies, cognitive theory, the digital revolution, and the implications of "the global turn" for 21st-century students and teachers of writing. For undergraduate English majors, this course counts as an elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 809
Non-Fiction Screenwriting
Analyzing contemporary nonfiction audiovisual scripts through the prism of classical persuasive rhetoric and modern visual communication theory, students will build both an intellectual framework and the practical skills that are in high demand in business, education, marketing, documentary and news writing. Specifically, students will develop pitching and writing skills, learn formatting conventions and sources for professional advancement while developing a written portfolio of four nonfiction pieces for audiovisual media. Reading assignments include selections ranging from Aristotle to Vorkapich. Guest presenters will include writer/producers from news, documentary, marketing, advertising, and educational video fields. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400-level elective. This course counts as an advanced film course for literature and film majors.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 809
The Problems of the "American Renaissance"
Within a few years in the early 1850s, U.S. authors published some of the most famous works in literary history, including The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Leaves of Grass. In the 1940s, a literary critic dubbed this period the “American Renaissance.” The name stuck, and it shaped the American literature curriculum for generations of students. It also raised questions: were some authors unjustly left out? Does the hopeful image of a “renaissance” make sense for literary culture in a nation careening toward civil war? In this class, we will study several literary texts from the 1850s (some famous, some less so), as well as the work of scholars who have sought to define, redefine, and challenge the idea of the “American Renaissance.” (Note: English 409 and English 809 are the same course.)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 812
Modern Poetry
“It appears that poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult.” When T. S. Eliot wrote these lines in 1921, “difficulty” was self-evidently a term of praise: it signaled a willingness to grapple with the intellectual, esthetic, moral, and erotic complexities of modernity. Today, however, that same difficulty gives poetry of the early 20th century its somewhat scary reputation. Why read tough texts when so much else goes down easily? A premise of this course is that the excitement, the beauty, and the sheer greatness of modern poetry are inseparable from the challenges it poses to the reader. Between 1885 and World War II, Eliot, Yeats, Pound, Crane, Moore, Bishop, Williams, Stevens, Frost, and Auden made poetry possible for modern life. We read their work. (Note: English 412 and English 812 are the same course.) For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of an advanced class in literature written after 1900. It also satisfies the requirement of a poetry course. For the English graduate program, this course counts as a course in American literature or British literature for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, or media arts track. This course is research intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 814
Remixing Literature, Part II
Has "the remix" always been an essential art form in literature? This course will research new examples of classic literary works and their cultural adaptations and appropriations across multiple media arts, ranging from redactions of oral folktales to cinema blockbusters, digital mashups, and transmedia storytelling. Source texts will include Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Stoker's Dracula. We will study these texts and linked remixes, explore the reasons for their continued popularity, and address topics in creativity, originality, and remix theory. Students will help choose contemporary remixes and have opportunities to experiment individually and in small groups with crafting their own literary remixes and mashups. English 414 and English 814 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course counts as an elective or fulfills the requirement of an advanced course for literature and film concentrators. For the English graduate program, this course counts as a core course for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track or as an elective for the literary studies track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 814
Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams: Representative American Dramatists
In this course we will study selected plays by Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams, with a focus not only on the individual plays but on the broader dramatic and cultural contexts in which these two authors wrote and in which their plays were initially performed. We will consider some early sea plays of O’Neill’s as well a selection of his mythic and autobiographical plays. Plays of Williams will include The Night of the Iguana, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Sweet Bird of Youth, among others. We may view films of major plays. This course is open to undergraduates with permission of instructor. For graduate students, this course satisfies the requirements of a course in American literature or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the Literary Studies track. It serves as an elective for the Writing, Rhetoric, and Media Arts track. For undergraduate students, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1800 or a cultural contexts course.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 818
17th-Century Poetry
The poets of the early modern period made their contribution to an English literary tradition against a dynamic context of religious, political, and social change. Poets studied in this course will include Lanyer, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Marvell, Philips, Bradstreet, and Milton. English 418 and English 818 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This is a research-intensive seminar. For the English graduate program, this course fulfills the requirement of a course emphasizing English literature or a cultural context for the literary studies track. It counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 822
Edmund Spenser
Spenser's poems, written at the height of the English Renaissance, continue to amaze readers with their fantastic imagination of unseen worlds both mythic and divine. Moreover, Spenser's poetic evocations of geographically specific places, including Ireland and America, reflect Spenser's powerful engagement with issues related to English plantation and territorial expansion. In this course we will consider how Spenser's eclectic and allusive works connect to a variety of literary, cultural, and critical contexts, with particular attention to their status as "colonial texts".
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 822
Milton
In this course, we will consider the works of John Milton, with attention to how his prose and poetry synthesizes long-standing intellectual and literary traditions and grapples with issues that still engage us today: the relation of men and women, the realities of loss and mortality, the concept of significant individual choice, and the power and limitations of language as the tool with which we forge an understanding of the world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 823
Southern Gothic Literature and Film: Case Study in Genre Theory
Southern Gothic literature and film provide an excellent case study for exploring theories of genre. With the tools of modern genre criticism, this course will seek to define and map a controversial and disputed literary and cinematic territory, one that focuses on a culture of terror and horror as it spins tales of murder, madness, freaks, and monsters. It is a narrative mode that pushes what Flannery O’Connor called “the limits of mystery” in attempts to deal with tragic extremes of human behavior and comic twists of the grotesque. Readings include works by Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, and Cormac McCarthy, along with contemporary Southern “pop-gothic” movies such as Deliverance, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. English 423 and English 823 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 distribution requirement. For literature and film concentrators, this course fulfills the requirement of an advanced course toward the major, and counts as a course in literature and film. For English graduate students, this course counts as a core course in the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track; it counts as an elective in the literary studies track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 824
Reading Victorian Narratives
This course offers an advanced investigation into major writers and issues from the British Victorian period (1837-1901). We will concentrate on texts—fiction, non-fictional prose, poetry—in which notions of propriety and morality are in productive dialogue with crimes, threatening secrets, and subversive passions. In seminar sessions and in written work we will interrogate textual constructions of sexuality and gender, considering the potential for slippage between high-conservative ideals and actual lived experiences. Our readings will be informed by a range of modern critical, theoretical, and socio-historical examinations of Victorian literature and culture. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature between 1700-1900. It is research intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 828
American Letters
For three centuries, English-speaking North America communicated by letter. In love and business alike, what wasn’t said face to face was said with pen and paper. Letters were the phone calls, emails, and text messages of their time. At first the province of élites, sealed with wax and carried by horsemen, letters became a popular medium. With expanding literacy and postal service, middle- and working-class people began to send and receive letters prolifically. In this course, students read letters by ordinary Americans—among them women, African Americans, immigrants, and children—from the 1700s to the early 20th century. We consider how the epistolary genre changed over time and how the countless writers working in that genre created meaning, conducted relationships, and interpreted their world.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 836
Making Whiteness Visible
This course examines the idea of "whiteness" and how various writers on the margin - Native American, African American, Chinese American and Chicano - try to subvert it. How does "whiteness" mark itself? How does it make its power felt? We will strive to understand what the recent secondary literature on whiteness is arguing and how it can help us understand marginalized writers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 839
The American West: Mythologies, Literature, and Film
This course will examine aspects of the Western mythology defined by historians, reflected in literature and codified in one of America’s seminal film genres. Its history and evolution follow the mythology of the west and are embedded in notions of the conflict between wilderness and civilization, as well as in the rugged individual Western Hero. Books to be studied include, Murdoch: The American West, Kitses & Rickman, eds The Western Reader, Ferber, Cimarron, and McCarthy, No Country for old Men; films may include Cimarron, Stagecoach, Destry Rides Again, High Noon, The Searchers, Little Big Man, The Wild Bunch, The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, The Burial of Melquiades Estrada, and No Country for Old Men.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 839
Special Topics in Film: The Documentary
Documentary films chronicle varied cultural, social, and political realities, from coal miners’ strikes and social revolutions to the development of musical genres. Documentary styles range from fictionalized recreations (docudramas) to narrative reenactments to non-narrative commentaries. This course will examine key documentary strategies through representative films, which may include Harlan County USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976) and Shut Up and Sing (Kopple and Cecilia Peck, 2006), Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl (Ahmad Jamal and Ramesh Sharma, 2006): segments of The Battle of Algiers, Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (Renee Bergan and Mark Schuller), Jazz (selected episodes) (Ken Burns, 2001), Say Amen, Somebody (George Nierenberg, 1982), An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2008), and Fair Game (Doug Liman, 2010). Note: English 439-16 and English 839-12 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies a post-1900 distribution requirement, or a core course for the literature and film concentration.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 841
Writing for Film
This is a hybrid graduate/advanced undergraduate course. Coursework involves reading relevant dramatic and cinematic theory, studying three produced screenplays and one unproduced script by a major writer, and completing weekly writing assignments. While studying screenplay format, three-act story structure, character development, dialogue, action, and style, students will develop a writing process grounded in the oral tradition. Reading and listening to work aloud in class will develop a supportive “writers room.” Readings will range from John Howard Lawson’s theory of screenwriting to Ed Spiegel’s The Innocence of the Eye. Writing exercises will consist of short film scripts. Students will have a choice of final projects: either a feature film treatment or a fully realized screenplay for a short film. For undergraduate students, the course may be counted as an advanced Creative Writing workshop or an elective for the English major. For graduate students, this course counts as a core course in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Media Arts track and an elective in the Literary Studies track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 847
Serials
Where most of the literature we encounter has a clear beginning, middle, and end, serial literature is open-ended and potentially infinite. What exactly is so fascinating about the prospect of “one story, told piece by piece?” In this course, we will examine American serials, beginning with early-18th and 19th-century magazine novels and ending with Sarah Koenig’s 21st-century podcast phenomenon, Serial. As we look at the various incarnations of serialized texts, we’ll think about their implications with the help of narrative theory. What exactly does the term serial imply? A genre? A technique? What accounts for the popularity of serialized texts? What might the next iteration look like? It is research-intensive. For English majors, this course emphasizes critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 848
Plant Lives in Literature and Film
This course engages with the plant world through novels, poetry, philosophy, film, and painting. We will track major trends in the human understanding of plants, allowing us to analyze how plants are represented in art and popular culture. In rethinking the being and meaning of plants we will necessarily revisit the idea of ‘the human’ and ‘the animal,’ employing these categories while attending to borderline cases where their utility falters. Readings may include well-known Romantic texts like Wordsworth’s “The Thorn,” Shelley’s “The Sensitive Plant,” and Austen’s Mansfield Park, as well as Erasmus Darwin’s epic “The Loves of the Plants”; essays by John Wilkins, Michael Pollan, and Michael Marder; and horror films like “The Happening” and “The Ruins.” English 448 and English 848 are the same course. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. For the English graduate program this course satisfies the requirement of a course in British literature, or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 851
Queer Harlem Renaissance
This course approaches the Harlem Renaissance or "the New Negro" Movement through the lens of sexuality, paying particular attention to the ways in which understandings of racial identity were filtered through representations of sex and gender. We will consider how writers of the Harlem Renaissance explored notions of sexuality and gender given the history of slavery and exploitation that generated rigid formulations of race and gender. How did cultural producers challenge, reinforce, question and imagine sexuality and its intersection with other aspects of identity, such as class, gender, and national origins. Writers/artists include, Wallace Thurman, Carl Van Vechten, Bessie Smith, Angelina Weld Grimke, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Langston Hughes, and Bruce Nugent. For English majors, this course satisfies a post-1900 distribution requirement. This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 851
The Harlem Renaissance
This course will explore the flourishing of black literary and cultural production from the 1920s until late-1930s known as the Harlem Renaissance or "New Negro" Movement. We will look at the aesthetic, social, psychological and political objectives of the period and how these goals are addressed through essays, literature, music and visual art. We will also interrogate the construction of a “New Negro” identity. How is such an identity defined? What artists are deemed acceptable models of this identity? What artists or modes of cultural expression are excluded or silenced? How do issues of gender, class and sexuality factor into the construction of a New Negro identity? In addressing these questions, we will examine the Harlem Renaissance as a precedent for other black aesthetic movements in the later part of the 20th century.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 856
The Puritan Supernatural
The Puritans believed in a complex relationship between the visible and the "invisible" worlds. Quasi-natural phenomena like earthquakes and eclipses, and dramatic perversions of natural law (e.g. witchcraft and demonic possession) all indicated the presence of invisible influences on everyday life. In this course we will read a variety of "wonderful" texts, beginning with Puritan chronicles, sermons, spiritual histories, demonic possession narratives, and trial transcripts. Then we will consider the many ways that the "invisible world" persisted as a major theme of American fiction long after the Puritans themselves had gone. Looking at a broad sweep of eighteenth and nineteenth-century writing, we will examine genres ranging from gothic novels and short stories, to national romances, to antebellum satires. This is a research-intensive seminar. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. For the English graduate program, this course fulfills the requirement of a course emphasizing English literature.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 861
World Cinema Auteurs
This advanced course offers an in-depth exploration of the work of major auteur-directors from the domain of World Cinema, cinema from countries other than the United States or Europe. Three or four auteurs grouped by country, region or culture (e.g. Japan, India, Iran, Brazil, West Africa, or the Three Chinas: PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) will be examined in their aesthetic, cultural and geo-political dimensions using the cutting-edge new methodologies of comparative and experimental cinephilia. Note: This advanced undergraduate/graduate hybrid course - while not required, some prior experience with film analysis, film theory, or World Cinema is strongly recommended. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 863
Feminist Approaches to Literature
This course will examine the sexual politics of literature, criticism, and literary history, focusing in particular on how feminist writers have negotiated the relationship between politics, the body, and eroticism. Topics to be studied include the absence of women from conventional literary histories, the theories (and influence) of Sigmund Freud, daughterhood, adolescence, and identity, the pleasures – and dangers – of romance plots, and feminist explorations of sexual power dynamics. Writers to be studied include Harriet Jacobs, Charlotte Bronte, Sarah Grand, Jeanette Winterson, Helen Cixous, Monique Wittig, Andrea Dworkin, and Maxine Hong Kingston. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing critical reflection.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 868
Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson
Nothing that precedes them in the American literary tradition quite prepares us for the poems of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. We will steep ourselves in the verse of these two literary iconoclasts. At the same time, we will trace the critical history of both, reading essays from the 19th century to the present which have made the complex works and lives of Whitman and Dickinson more legible. The final class period will be reserved for reading selections from 20th-century poets--not all of them American--who have openly professed a debt to Whitman's and Dickinson's experimental and often exhilarating poems. Note: English 868-16 and English 468-06 are the same course. For the English graduate program, this course satisfies the requirements of a course in American literature, or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 869
"Major" American Authors
): Search any college bulletin from the beginning of the 20th century onward and you will probably find a course on “Major American Authors.” While the authors listed on the syllabi have varied, the topic itself has remained a fixture of many English curricula. Why is it so popular and tenacious? What exactly makes a “major” American author? How and when have these criteria changed, and why? What’s the difference between a class focusing on “Major American Authors,” and one, say, on “Major American Texts?” This course examines the evolving construct of authorship within the American literary canon and charts the trajectory of “major” American authors from Anne Bradstreet to Edith Wharton.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 870
Film Theory: An Introduction
This course introduces the most important theoretical models which have been used to explain how films function as art, ideology, language, history, politics and philosophy. Some theorists are mainly concerned with the aesthetic potentials of the cinema: How do categories such as realism, authorship and genre explain and enhance our experience of films? Other theorists are focused on the relations between films and the societies that produce them, or on general processes of spectatorship: How do Hollywood films address their audiences? How do narrative structures shape our responses to fictional characters? As the variety of these questions suggests, film theory opens onto a wide set of practices and possibilities; though it always begins with what we experience at the movies, it is ultimately concerned with the wider world that we experience through the movies. Theorists to be examined include Munsterberg, Eisenstein, Burch, Kracauer, Balazs, Bazin, Altman, Gunning, Mulvey, Metz, Wollen, Havel, Benjamin, Pasolini, Deleuze and Jameson. (Note: English 470 and English 870 are the same course.) For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400-level elective, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. For the English graduate program, this course can count as an elective for the literary studies track, or a core course for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track. This course fulfills requirements toward the film studies minor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 873
Dickens/Chaplin
This course treats the work of Charles Dickens and Charles Chaplin from a critical perspective that recognizes their striking similarities. Charles Dickens was the most popular artist of the 19th century; the fictional world and characters he created made sense of modern life for millions around the world, and the adjective "Dickensian" testifies to how familiar his blend of comedy and melodrama has become. Charles Chaplin is remarkably analogous to Dickens; as the 20th century's most popular artist, his work addressed fundamental issues of contemporary social life, and also employed a blend of comedy and melodrama that merited its own adjective: "Chaplinesque". The course examines the evolution of these two major figures over the course of their careers. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400 elective. For literature and film concentrators, this course counts as a course in literature and film. For the English graduate program, this course fulfills the requirement of an elective.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 898
Internship
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 940
Independent Study
A limited number of tutorials are available for students wishing to pursue special topics not offered in the regular graduate program. Applications should be submitted to the department chairperson prior to registration. Written approval of the graduate adviser and department chairperson is required. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 952
Thesis Colloquium
As part of the culminating two-credit requirement for the MA in English, the colloquium is designed to provide support for students who are completing an academic thesis or final project. The colloquium functions as a structured community within which students can test their ideas, solve process issues, and serve as writing peers for each other. The colloquium instructor does not take the place of the student’s thesis/project advisor or departmental readers, but rather facilitates the research and writing process and provides individualized help in the context of each student’s work. The colloquium, together with the thesis or project, carries a pending grade of IP (In Progress); a final grade is awarded for 2.0 credits for successful completion of the thesis or project in English 955.
0.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 953
Research Project
The graduate director, the supervisor of the project, and the department chairperson must approve special research project topics. Conference hours are available by appointment. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form. One course credit.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 954
Thesis Part I
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 954
Thesis Part I
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 955
Thesis Part II
Continuation of English 954 (described in prior section).
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 956
Thesis
No Course Description Available.
2.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 958
Graduate Research Colloquium
This capstone colloquium provides instruction and guidance in producing a scholarly article in the academic field of English. Starting with written work already completed for a course or unfinished thesis project, students will learn how to identify an appropriate professional journal for their topic, test their ideas and refine their argument, conduct further research as needed, and expand their draft to a rhetorically polished and professional piece of writing of approximately 30 to 40 pages. Activities will include topic-focused library exercises, writing workshops with multiple drafts and revisions, and peer review exchanges. Faculty readers from the English Department will be chosen to evaluate the final work and assign the course grade.
1.00 units, Seminar