For all English classes, registered students must be present at each of the first two meetings to claim their places. Any student who does not meet this requirement may be dropped from the course. NOTE: If you must miss a class due to religious observances, contact the instructor or leave a message for the instructor with the department (763-3130).
After taking or placing out of Introductory Composition, students may elect either English 224 or 225 for further practice in the fundamentals of expository and argumentative prose. English 325 offers the opportunity for work in argumentative and expository prose at a more advanced level.
Several sections of English 223, the beginning course in creative writing, are available each term. The work is multi-generic, and two of the following will be covered in each section: fiction, poetry, and drama. A more advanced course for creative writers is English 323 (Fiction or Poetry), which is available by permission of instructor and completion of the prerequisite, English 223. More experienced writers may apply for admission to specialized sections of English 227 (Playwriting), English 423 (Fiction), English 427 (Playwriting), and English 429 (Poetry). Admission to these advanced courses is by permission of the instructor, who will require writing samples.
Independent study in English must be elected under one of the following numbers: 226 (Directed Writing, 1-3 hours), 299 (Directed Reading, 1-3 hours), 426 (Directed Writing, 1-4 hours), 499 (Directed Reading, 1-4 hours). There is a limit to the total hours that may be taken under any one number (3 in 226; 6 in 299, 426, and 499). Students interested in independent study should obtain an application from the English Department office in 7609 Haven Hall. Independent study proposals must be approved by a supervising professor and by the Undergraduate Chair of the department.
124. College Writing: Writing and Literature. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
By connecting the two terms of its title, Writing and Literature aims to help prepare the student to produce the range and quality of expository prose expected in college courses. Works of literature will be considered for their effective use of language and argument. They will serve as reference points for thinking and writing strategies. Characteristically, sections of English 124 will involve the writing of a minimum of five essays, with considerable attention given to the preparation of drafts and to revision. The literary works which will serve as points of reference will vary from section to section and from term to term. Some section descriptions follow. Descriptions for individual sections not listed below are available in 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 021. This section of Writing and Literature will be a First-Year Seminar. In this course we will get serious about comedy. Much of the reading will be literary comedies (such as stories from the Decameron, Shakespearean plays, Catch-22 ), but it will also include selections from anthropological and psychological approaches to comedy, laughter, and humor. The writing assignments (about 25-30 pages, including revisions) will be similarly varied. Class time will be divided between discussion of the reading and work on writing. Cost:1 (Taylor)
Section 022 – Daydreams and Nightmares. In this First Year Seminar we will explore writing as a means of discovering ourselves and others. We will explore our fanciful visions, daydreams, fantasies, aspirations – as well as our horrified nightmares. What hopeful visions guide our decision-making processes? What do we imagine as our worst fears? A selection of literary works will stimulate our thinking about these questions. Students electing this section will be free to write on personal topics. They will also be encouraged to reach out and explore how individual dreams relate to social worlds. Myths, such as those found in the legends of history and in fairy tales, give us insight into our collective consciousness and into the dreams of society. Horror stories, such as those about Frankenstein and Dracula, give us insight into our collective terrors. The section is designed to appeal to those who enjoy creative thinking as much as they enjoy analytical thinking. Together, we will solve problems by addressing fears and by imagining the best of all possible worlds. Students will write five papers and may choose to revise several of them. Required texts for this section include Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Reader for Writers, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Shelley's Frankenstein. (Carlton)
Section 023 – Writing Our Own Lives. This section is a First Year Seminar. In effect, in this seminar, we will be asking questions that reveal how we go about "writing our own futures." How did we write the narrative of our pasts, for example? We will grapple with problems of human conflict and value systems which affect our judgments in the decisions we make at both personal and public levels. Although the reading list is still to be determined, we will select from texts that reveal a lawyer struggling to convince a jury to convict a sixteen year old to first degree murder, an analyst trying to come to grips with the "Challenger Disaster," a minority writer trying to understand how his ethnic background can survive in his mind as he attempts to integrate himself into a "majority" profession, a novelist exploring how personal relationships develop and are sustained, a holocaust survivor wondering about the process of decision making for survival, and a civil rights leader asking the essential question of how we can enact our lives to produce the best of all societies. Although much of the reading list is still to be determined, we will analyze John Irving's The Cider House Rules, and selections from Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, William Carlos Williams, Isabelle Allende, and Timothy Mo. Our work will encompass examining what is identified as "five arenas of the mind' – those basic areas that expose diverse conflicts – using texts of both professional and non-professional writers that illuminate those struggles. Some of what we read will be critical analysis and some will be fiction, but we will always be concerned with how we think and how we write. The class format will be discussion and more discussion, and we will be working through our own essay writing consistently in class. The conception of the class is one that celebrates the process of challenging and revising former ideas, one that works towards recognizing a synthesis of more complex possibilities. Each student will write a minimum of four essays, with an option for one major revision. (Back)
Section 024 – The Nature of Evidence and the Construction of Meaning. Meaning. Whenever we persuade others, or find ourselves persuaded by them, the effective agent or factor is usually something we call "evidence," a mutually-agreed-upon body of information with which people "back up" the claims they make. But by what criteria do certain pieces of data qualify (or fail to qualify) for use in our arguments in this fashion? The physical sciences and especially the law are filled with disputes about what does or does not constitute evidence; in many areas of the humanities, however – such as the field of literary studies – the subject has been much less carefully considered. In this course we will think about the role of evidence in our daily non-technical intellectual exchanges. We'll also think about how we determine what a given piece of evidence "means," and about the whole question of how meaning comes to be assigned to utterances or notions. We'll talk a lot in class, both informally (sustained conversation) and formally (frequent oral reports); don't enroll if you're not prepared to talk regularly and intelligently. We'll read a few literary works that invite argument but that complicate the question of evidence – perhaps works such as Margaret Atwood's novel Surfacing, or Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida, or Julian Barnes' fictional History of the World in 10-1/2 Chapters, or Lorene Cary's memoir Black Ice, or Joan Didion's novel A Book of Common Prayer, or If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino - all texts in which we can watch competing versions of evidence and argument at work; and we'll do some writing of our own, in the form of concise exploratory or analytical essays, in which we press harder on the questions raised by our readings and discussions. Students should emerge from this course with an enriched understanding of the problematic nature of evidence and of meaning itself. (Ingram)
Section 025 – Shakespeare and Identities in Conflict. The primary purposes of this section are (1) to strengthen students' ability to think deeply, originally, and perceptively; and (2) to strengthen their ability to write confidently, articulately, and appropriately, to meet their various writing needs throughout college and beyond. In these units of this section, we'll have the sheer delight of using Shakespeare as our guide and stimulus for exploring the section theme, Identities in Conflict. His plays offer unforgettable expressions of the same kind of crises in identity that we ourselves struggle with all our lives. What gives us a sense of identity? How much of our identity comes from within and how much from outside ourselves? What happens when our inner and outer sources of identity seem to contradict one another? Who and what can rob us of our identity? How, if at all, can we cope with such a loss? Can we forge new identities when familiar ones are shattered? Shakespeare shows us all these questions in action and suggests ways in which we can apply them to current issues and our own concerns. This section will not be aimed at scholarly literary criticism. It will ask you to read carefully, think thoroughly, make connections between Shakespeare's worlds and your own, and write in a variety of ways, both formally and informally. Don't worry if you haven't read Shakespeare before or if you find his language difficult; it will soon become familiar to you. We'll probably have some informal video evenings also to see how these plays look in performance. Since we learn best the things we discover for ourselves, this section will concentrate on collaborative learning. We will share ideas in large-group and small-group discussions, and you will critique one another's papers in small peer groups and in full-class workshops. All students are responsible for reading, for writing a great deal, for helping to create their own learning, for participating in class discussions, and for promoting an atmosphere in which everyone can create, share, and argue ideas freely and joyfully. Here the emphasis will be on discovering what complex and fascinating questions we can learn to ask, not on resting comfortably with answers we've already found. (Livesay)
Section 026 – Daydreams and Nightmares. See English 124.022. (Carlton)
Section 027 – Nation of Immigrants. See English 140.005. (Wolk)
Section 028 – Shakespeare and Identities in Conflict. See English 124.025. (Livesay)
Section 029 – Voices From Other Neighborhoods. This section of Writing and Literature will be a First-Year Seminar. Our work in the seminar will be to try to understand, as well as we can, the lives and circumstances of those Americans who are sometimes said to be living on the borders or on the margins of our society: the poor, the homeless, the un- or underemployed; those who are often labeled in others ways, as members of ethnic or linguistic minorities, for example. Most people who fall into these groups are named not by themselves but by others who do not belong to such groups; and very often, the lives such people lead are described only as problems. We are told, for example, that one child in four in America lives in poverty, but we don't learn much about what it feels like to be a poor child or to live like one in a society that takes pride in its affluence. In this seminar, we'll read short stories and novels because imaginative works can provide special insights into the lives others lead. We'll also read autobiographies and other personal accounts as well as books like Alex Kotlowitz's There Are No Children Here, a journalist's narrative about two boys growing up in a Chicago housing project. Our aim in the course will be to learn to listen and attend to voices we don't often hear or hear often enough. In this seminar, you will be asked to write frequently, in short responses to what we read and in extended essays. Careful attention will be paid to your writing in small group workshops and in individual conferences. (J. Robinson)
Section 030 – Literary Responses to Bigotry. The subject of this course is the relationship between bigotry and the art of literature. Its material is imaginative literature written by and about bigotry's victims, divided into the following four groups: I. Native Americans: The Education of Little Tree (Carter), Love Medicine (Erdrich); II. Japanese North Americans: Nisei Daughter (Sone), Obasan (Kogawa); III. Gay Americans: The Zoo Story (Albee), Giovanni's Room (Baldwin); IV. African Americans: The Color Purple (Walker), Beloved (Morrison). Each work will be the subject of a two-page individual paper, and each cultural era that produced the four pairs of texts will be the subject of three-page research papers and presentations by groups of three members of the class. One of the two weekly class meetings will be devoted to discussion of texts; the other will concentrate on the technology of writing. No midterm and no final. WL:1 (Fader)
125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
Like English 124 (Writing and Literature), English 125 (College Writing) prepares students for the various kinds of academic writing required of them as undergraduates at the University of Michigan. In addition to informal exercises or impromptu essays, students can expect to write about five papers exemplifying the various modes of discourse which comprise our academic community.
Course descriptions for individual sections are available in 5207 Angell Hall.
140(126). First-Year Literary Seminar. (3).
Section 002 – Native American Literature. In this seminar our main focus will be on a selection of eight or nine novels written by major, mostly contemporary, Native American writers: James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich among them. We will begin with Black Elk Speaks, to "warm up" our critical skills and to gain some sense of the background against which Native American novelists have had to work. In their efforts to present accurate, appropriate and forceful accounts of Native American life, Native American writers have had to contend with stereotypes promoted by "Indian-lovers" as well as "Indian-haters." Our study of their writing should complicate if not explode these stereotypes; in some ways students electing this course will emerge from it "knowing" a lot less about Native Americans than they did before, the first step, of course, to acquiring some real knowledge about the highly various cultures, histories and current experience of the first inhabitants of this land. Students choosing to enroll should be ready to participate vigorously in class discussion, to make oral reports, and to write reaction papers each week plus one or more short papers and a long research paper. As all texts will have been written in English, knowledge of Pikuni, Keres, Ojibwa, Lakota or other indigenous languages will not be required. Nor will any dancing with wolves. Cost:2 (Faller)
Section 003 – The Literature of Travel. The connection between literature and travel is an old one: to become a writer, one must go somewhere else, another place, another culture, another space of the imagination; by the same token, the experience of travel only seems to make sense when it is written down as a narrative. This course will be about the transformation of the experience of travel into a literary text. By reading a selection of travel writers in the modern period, we will see how traveling and writing mediate the relationship between cultures, peoples, and places; we will see how, in travel, our identities are formed or changed by how we perceive ourselves in relation to others; we will also examine how travel writing has become one of the most important instruments of making sense of a global community in crisis and chaos. We will start with a detailed reading of one of the classics of modern travel writing – Tristes Tropiques (in English) - the work of the French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, a narrative which was written by the author while he was on the run from the Nazis but ended up being an important meditation on the crisis of the modern self. We will then read several texts which seek to understand the modern or postmodern crisis of culture by going elsewhere: We will travel to Patagonia with Paul Theroux ( The Old Patagonian Express ) and Bruce Chatwin (In Patagonia ); we will be reading contrasting images of Japan in Roland Barthes' The Empire of Signs and Cathy Davidson's 36 Views of Mt. Fuji, and we will going in search of the new Asia as it emerges in Pico Iyer's Video Nights In Katmandu. We will try to make sense of the new Europe through the eyes of a Black British novelist (Caryl Phillips, The European Tribe ) and a New Zealander (Lloyd Jones, Biografi ). We will end the term by revising the gaze as it were, reading selections from travel writing by foreign writers trying to make sense of the United States. The course requires regular writing assignments, a midterm, and a final examination. Cost:2 (Gikandi)
Section 004 – Child Worlds: The Literature of Invented Realities. This course will study the escapist base of literature about and/or for children. It will consider how the alternative worlds that provide the settings of this literature are structured and will compare the rules by which those worlds operate with reality which is judged unsuitable for children although children undeniably are part of it. Further, the course will ask you to consider how effective these worlds are in providing something (to be determined by the class) useful to the experience of childhood. We will also compare the truths of these worlds with the truths, as we are able to identify them, of our own childhoods and the childhoods depicted in literature intended for mature readers. Frequent short papers, one project, and a midterm – no final. WL:1 (Moss)
Section 005 – A Nation of Immigrants. Central to the myth of the American Dream is the construct of the immigrant, those "tired" and "poor" welcomed to our shores, expecting to find "streets paved with gold," "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," limited only by their own desire and energy and capacity to dream. Not surprisingly, some of our most compelling and beautiful literature is written by new Americans as they contemplate both the promise and the disappointment of that dream. Such literature is the subject of this seminar. Our texts will be primarily novels, and our focus will be on the way that the myths of our culture are reproduced and rebutted in these novels. How, we will ask, do the authors imagine the immigrant's relationship to the mainstream culture? How do they express in their writing the experience of marginalization and where do they see in their circumstances access to personal power? We will consider the essential conflicts of these novels - conflicts between old world ethics and new, between parents and children, between so-called "yankees" and "greenhorns" - and the ways these conflicts, despite the diversity of ethnic backgrounds, take on a particular American flavor. The texts will be by some of the following American writers: Richard Rodriguez, Sandra Cisneros, Toni Morrison, Fae Myenne Ng, Anzia Yezierski, Henry Roth and others. We will begin our reading, however, in what may seem a surprising place – the fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who depicts one of the first groups of immigrants – the Puritans - those whose descendants often are considered the Americans. Hawthorne's fiction will give us our first sense of how insider and outsider are defined and of who defines them. This seminar will highlight discussion and analysis. Course requirements will include two 5-7 page essays and an 8-10 page seminar paper, short weekly writings on the readings, active participation in discussion, and regular attendance. Cost:4 (Wolk)
217. Literature Seminar. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Poetry and Emotion. We will move from nineteenth-century bestsellers, long narrative poems of exile or quest, to gothic poems of horror and haunting; from love poems to the in-your-face style of the Nuyorican Cafe; from novels with poetry at the core, like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, to essays by anthropologists; and from films like "The Dead Poets' Society" and Janet Jackson's Poetic Justice to emotion-evading verse that wants to be tough or cool. Required texts will include a poetry anthology, paperbacks of the novels, a handbook of literary terms, and a course pack. Requirements: careful close reading in preparation, including reading poetry aloud; showing up for several poetry readings and one or two film showings outside of class. Discussion format with frequent brief lectures. Prior experience of poetry welcome but not necessary. Cost:2 (Ellison)
Section 002 – Ghost Stories: The Presence of the Past in American Literature. Through literature, voices from the past have the power to come back to life. Stories help us to know about the past and to transform it into something relevant to our present lives. In this way, stories "haunt" us - returning, often repeatedly, to remind us of what was or what might have been. In this course we will think about why stories come back, and read literature about places that are literally or figuratively haunted. How do these stories and novels tell of the past and how do they encourage us to think of our relation to it? How does the mysteriousness of the "haunted house" plot position us as readers? Requirements include: careful reading of difficult texts, class participation, response papers, and several longer critical essays. Reading list may include: Poe and Melville short stories; Fisher, The Conjure Man; Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Morrison, Beloved; Chin, Donald Duk; Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban. (Madsen)
Section 003 – Reading Drama. We will explore the origins of drama and trace critical stages in its evolution. Focusing on interpretation, our purpose will be twofold: (1) to examine a variety of plays as a way of familiarizing ourselves with the techniques of analyzing drama, (2) to ask ourselves how representations of particular characters in local situations are related to cultural constructions of identity (our private and collective ideas on what constitutes Selfhood). By "reading for character" we will investigate the relationship between reading (and recognizing) fictional situations, and the possibility of better understanding the social context of self and Other (the world we live in). We will read Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear, Ibsen's A Doll House, Chekhov's The Three Sisters, Williams' The Glass Menagerie, Miller's Death of a Salesman, Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, and Fornes' Dr. Kheal. Along the way we will investigate the following concepts: story and plot, dramatic structure, the language of drama, character, traditional types of drama, and stage conventions. You should be prepared to take on a considerable amount of reading. Course requirements include three critical essays and a midterm and final exam. (Tessier)
Section 004 – Literature and Loss. This course will examine the ways in which twentieth-century writers have responded to the idea of loss, and to the responsibilities and challenges of living in a world bounded by the fact of mortality. Examining the ideological, political, and aesthetic functions of loss, we will explore – and write frequently about – such issues as mourning; aloneness; the particular difficulty of representing death; generational, familial and cultural connectedness; and the responsibility of the living to the dead. We will focus on novels (William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, Toni Morrison's Beloved), but will also study a nonfictional account (Elie Wiesel's Night ) and a small selection of poetry and essays. We will devote a siginificant part of class time to writing instruction, and students should leave the class with a better understanding of how to undertake literary analysis and how to write an argumentative college essay. (Egger)
220. Intensive Writing. ECB Writing Assessment; open to junior and senior transfer students only. (2). (Introductory Composition). May be repeated for a total of four credits.
Intensive Composition is a course designed especially to meet the needs of entering transfer students. Enrollment in English 220 is limited to senior, junior, and sophomore transfer students. It is a two-credit course, meeting three hours each week for an EIGHT-WEEK (half-term) PERIOD. English 220 will be offered only during the first half of the term. The work in English 220 is intensive and the classes are small. Students move from this course to the ECB-required junior-senior courses throughout the University. Students enrolled in this course will write much and often – a minimum of 500 words each week. This course differs from English 125 in the pace of the assigned work, and in the assumed level of transfer students' experience as writers. Students are advised against taking this course as an overload. If you have any questions, please contact the Composition Program, 5207 Angell Hall, 764-0418.
223. Creative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.
All sections of 223 teach the writing of two of the following three genres: fiction (including personal narrative), drama, and poetry. Different sections will emphasize the individual genres to varying degrees. Class work involves the discussion of the process of writing and the work of a few published authors. Students will do exercises meant to develop a sensitivity to language and a facility with evocative detail, voice, form, and so forth. Most classroom time, however, is devoted to reading and discussion of student writing. A final portfolio of revised finished work of 35-50 manuscript pages may be required. Course descriptions for individual sections are available in 5207 Angell Hall.
224. The Uses of Language. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
The aim of this second-year writing course is to help students improve the critical thinking and writing skills introduced in English 124 of 125. Each section of 224 will focus on the ways a particular value system affects individuals, and will read, talk, and write about that system. For example, students might consider the values that prompt ethical choices, or shape identity, or promote spirituality. Students will explore the way that language is used as a vehicle for urging specific beliefs in order to uncover rhetorical strategies at the heart of such modes of discourse. Classes will be conducted in workshop format and revision will form an integral part of the analytic process.
Section 001 – Finding, Losing, and Reclaiming Edens. We human beings seem to be born with some gene of longing for a perfect world, a perfect happiness, that has somehow eluded us. Perhaps, we think, that perfection existed in some previous golden age, forever gone; or maybe we could create that perfection in the future if only, if only.... Sometimes we experience a brief taste of perfection – perhaps when we fall in love – but like Adam and Eve, we may lose that Garden of Eden. Sometimes we reclaim our fallen worlds by righting old wrongs, by building new structures from old ruins. In this section we will read stories, novels, plays, poems, and articles that will illuminate our theme from a variety of perspectives. We'll start with the original story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis and think about its parallel evolutionary interpretation in Carl Sagan's Dragon of Eden. From there we can study works like Maclean's A River Runs Through It, Ann Tyler's Saint Maybe, Williams Maxwell's haunting novel, So Long, See You Tomorrow, Shakespeare's Othello, Gina Berriault's stunning short story, "The Stone Boy," Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, any number of utopia stories, and/or works from early American literature that saw America literally as a New World, a new Eden. The possibilities for texts are rich indeed, and our own lives will undoubtedly provide many unwritten texts that can enrich our writing and discussion in the course. Course requirement: 4-5 papers, much informal writing, peer critiques, writing workshops, written responses to the readings, regular attendance, and lively discussion. (Livesay)
225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
This course furthers the aims of English 124 and 125 in helping to analyze the various claims of a given issue and to develop ways of exploring and defending positions, ideas and beliefs in writing. Careful attention will be paid to the process of reasoning, the testing of assumptions and claims, the questioning of beliefs, and the discovery of ideas and evidence through analysis and rigorous articulation in written discourse. The course will also focus on considerations of style, formal strategy techniques, and revision as integral to precision in making points and developing argumentative ideas both for purposes of individual reflection as well as for the purpose of persuading an audience. Course descriptions for individual sections can be found in the Composition Program, 5207 Angell Hall.
227. Introductory Playwriting. (3). (HU).
Section 001. A crash course immersion into the world of professional playwriting. We will attempt to unravel the mysteries of effective scene and act construction, providing the student with a solid grounding in the principles of dramatic writing, essential not only for theatrical writing, but screenplay and teleplay writing as well. Original student work will be read aloud each week, then critiqued in workshop fashion by the class. Modeled after the Playwrights Units at such Off-Broadway Theaters as Circle Repertory Company, The Actors Theater, and Ensemble Studio Theater, student playwrights are expected to write two revised one-act plays over the course of the term, see and read a variety of plays, meet weekly with an assigned partner, and have bi-weekly conferences with the instructor. Midterm and end of the year readings are open to the public. Cost:2 (Roth)
230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (3).
Section 002. This course provides an opportunity for practice in reading fiction. We will start with two well-known novels, Huckleberry Finn and Pride and Prejudice, which contrast to raise significant questions. Then we will read a number of short stories to develop ways of answering such questions. The last section of the course will be devoted to testing these approaches on longer works, Silko's Ceremony and at least one other. There will be a final examination at the scheduled time, short written exercises, and some combination of hour exams and papers (probably two of one and one of the other). (Lenaghan)
Section 003 – Way Beyond Fiction. Do you know what the limits of fiction are? This course will investigate the short story and novel by reading fictions which play with the definitions of these genres. Often called experimental fictions, these stories will allow us to ask about the nature of a narrative, the function of a voice, the role of form, and the concept of character by pushing all of these terms to the limits of absurdity. We will read a variety of fictions from various historical periods and cultural traditions in an effort to rethink what makes a fiction a fiction. This class will also survey various critical methods for examining these uneasy tales. Novels we will likely consider: Barthelme's Snow White, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Winterson's Written on the Body, Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, Perec's A Void, Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. Short stories may include selections from Kincaid's At the Bottom of the River and Borge's Ficciones. This course requires three short papers (3-5 pages), a final paper (8-10 pages), and a classroom presentation. (Aversano)
Section 004 – Mixed Feelings. Most of us are familiar with the emotional sensations one experiences when reading a romantic melodrama or a gothic thriller bought at a supermarket checkout stand. But do our reactions of titillation, sympathy, or horror reflect a "natural" set of affective responses, or is the process more complicated than that? A study of the short story, novella, and the novel, this course will seek to answer these and related questions by analyzing several of the most popular "mass market" fiction genres that have emerged over the past 150 years. We will focus on three main genres from the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: "sentimental" and "seduction" fiction, "gothic" fiction, and "sensation" fiction. Throughout, we will be asking a variety of questions about the various forms these texts take (the labyrinthine confusion of the gothic; the gradual unfolding of the mystery, etc.), and the ways such form guides our own feelings, sensations, and emotions during the reading experience. We will also spend time examining some of the more influential and important theoretical approaches available to us for critical analysis. What happens when we read these texts from a "deconstructive," "feminist," or "psychoanalytic" perspective? What do these approaches reveal about the status of gender, sexuality or race, and what do they leave out or confuse? Students will write two short papers, maintain a semester-long journal recording their own affective responses to the reading and give a 10-15 minute presentation at term's end. Texts will be chosen from among the following: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Bram Stoker, Dracula; William Godwin, Caleb Williams; Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White; Louisa May Alcott, Little Women; Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret; Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; stories by Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Anthony)
Section 006 – Rebels With Cause: The Literature of Resistance. Rebelling against authority can take many forms: writing is a peculiar form of rebellion. Does writing a short story or a novel constitute an effective resistance? Can literature be a source of social/ideological change? How does a work of fiction tangle with the social/political realities of, for example, a nation? These are the larger questions at issue in this class as we immerse ourselves in novels and short stories that are produced from spheres of challenge; for our purposes, we will take examples from a postcolonial/national context. We will be asking throughout the course how these forms of fiction have impact, if any, on the "real world." As importantly, we will be considering how the traditional forms of the novel and the short story are resisted and adapted in these instances. In particular, our class will explore various modes of literary experimentation employed by authors as a means of confronting authority. We will thus be examining the traditional forms of the novel and the short story in order to understand how our modern and postmodern texts both oppose and adopt tradition and why. This will ultimately allow us to consider more generally our reading practices and what we think about our contemporary relationship to literature. We will choose from the following novels: Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman, Michelle Cliff's Abeng, Okada's No-No Boy, Ellison's Invisible Man, N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn, Silko's Ceremony, Ngugi's Petals of Blood, Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin, Gordimer's Burger's Daughter. We will also choose short stories by Joyce, Baldwin, Stein, Djuna Barnes and others. Two short papers and one longer one due at the end of the term. (Desmond)
239. What is Literature? Prerequisite
for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001. As we work at the question what is literature?, we're going to move around a lot. We're going to ask what it means to be an author, to create a story, what that does for/to her/him, and we're going to figure that out, and figure out some answers to the main question by being authors ourselves a little. We're going to ask about our own responses as readers, both as we confront the text alone, and as we attempt to discuss it in ways our backgrounds and educational settings have taught us to discuss it, and we may seek new ways of getting at it. We'll read texts closely and attempt to understand their components and structures, the effect of the social and economic context in which they are written and read, their less accessible meanings, and what's at stake for us, if anything, in the content. We'll be interested in the social purposes of literature and in questions of authors' responsibilities. We'll want to understand what official stories are through seeing the Argentine film The Official Story, and we'll be looking at reporters trying to get the story as they interview My Lai veterans or other Vietnam veterans holed up in Washington State mountains. We'll watch a range of humanists and philosophers argue over what Simon Wiesenthal should have done or not done for the dying Nazi in his Holocaust story, The Sunflower. Other texts will include Coetzee's Age of Iron, Thomas' The White Hotel, Wiesel's Legends of Our Time, Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow, Momaday's House Made of Dawn, Cervantes' Emplumada, and Shange's "spell #7." Class participation will be important, and you'll write 25 pages worth of essays and literature, the nature of which we'll determine together. Creative and group projects will be encouraged. No exams. Cost:3 (Alexander)
Section 002. The theme of this section is "The Art of Interpretation: An Act of the Mind." We hope to do the kind of analytical work in class that will help you enjoy the company of a community of people who carry on a continuing, informed conversation about literature. We will study literature which reflects both the social issues of the times and each author's unique shaping of that material. We want to read closely not only to see what authors say but how they say it. Thus, our readings will often focus on the dynamics of the imaginative process - our own as well as each writer's. Reading and discussing John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany and Ursula Hegi's Stones From The River will help us begin to explore the creative and unique ways in which authors reach out to make a difference to readers. And although still tentative, the remaining readings will be selected from the works of the following authors: Wordsworth, Dickenson, Whitman, Dickens, Hardy, Hawthorne, James, Yeats, Eliot, D.H. Hwang, Toni Morrison, Naylor, Atwood, A. Tyler, Dorris, Allende, Erdrich, Hong Kingston, Timothy Mo, Julie Alvarez, Christina Garcia, Tan, Marmon Silko, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Loreena McKennitt, Nanci Griffith, Holly Near, and Sting. The format of the course will be discussion and more discussion; the focus will be on the exchange of ideas to find the critical questions that are most significant to us. The requirements of the class will include: two thoughtful and analytical essays (8 pages each); a short weekly response to a text; and a comprehensive final exam. Cost:3 (Back)
Section 003. This course will introduce students to literature's formal aspects – how it is put together, to what end, with what effect – with attention to different literary works' relationship to the culture from which they arose and which they in turn helped produce. We will be focusing on American literature in particular, from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and we will examine both canonical and non-canonical works (i.e. "classics" and "popular fiction"), works by both women and men, and will discuss the present state of literary studies, a field itself now attempting to answer the question of what is "literature." There will be three papers, a midterm and a final. Attendance is mandatory. Cost:2 WL:1 (Barnes)
Section 005. In asking the question "What is Literature?" we will be more interested in exploring boundaries and characteristics of different types of writing than in arriving at a specific answer. In that process of exploration we will look back upon our experiences as readers and writers, as well as examining closely a variety of texts. Texts will include long and short fiction, drama, film, poetry, and critical essays, drawn from a wide range of cultures and historical periods. Among other works we will read Dorris, A Yellow Raft In Blue Water; Morrison, Beloved; Silko, Ceremony; Forster, A Passage To India; and Shakespeare, King Lear. There will be frequent writing of short pieces and a final examination. Cost:3 (Howes)
Section 006 – The Uses of Diversity. The subtitle for this section of "What Is Literature?" comes from the title of an essay by the anthropologist Clifford Geertz - an essay in which he asks what we can learn that is personally useful from encounters with lives that are quite unlike our own. As we ask the question "what is literature," we'll also keep in mind the one Geertz asks, for his is a question about what we become as readers, and as human beings, as we try to enter, if only in our imaginations, the lives others lead. We'll ask about the relations of literature to that thing called "life," and about the ethical and political dimensions of reading and the study of literature. We'll read mainly short stories and novels, but we will contrast such readings to other kinds of narratives, ethnographies, for example, and works by journalists, in order to understand the special contributions that reading imaginative literature can make to our knowledge of ourselves and others. Likely authors are Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, Joseph Conrad and Chinua Achebe, Maxine Hon Kingston and Amy Tan, Leslie Marmon Silko, James Welch, and Louise Erdrich; there will be a course pack of works by literary theorists and critics and of other writers. Course requirements, in addition to active class participation, will include frequent short papers (some written in class), three essays, and a final project composed of an oral report and an extended paper. (J. Robinson)
Section 007 – Literary Time Travel: Medieval and Neo-medieval Literature. If literature is always historical, in that it arises from and speaks to a particular moment in space and time, and history is always to an extent literary, in that it must tell a story, what is meant by "literary history" or "historical literature"? If the present is produced by the past, can the past be produced by the present? What happens when the literary present responds not to the past per se, but to the literary past? This course will pursue these and other questions through the phenomenon of "neo-medieval" literature, i.e., texts which re-create medieval worlds for a contemporary audience from a contemporary perspective. We will thus be concerned with the intersection of two literary periods and two literary cultures: the medieval on the one hand and the modern or post-modern on the other. How do the medieval and the modern (assuming we can define these terms) intersect in these works? How are medieval genres adapted to contemporary ends? A tentative list of texts includes: Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur; Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court; Marion Z. Bradley, The Mists of Avalon; Connie Willis, Doomsday Book; Italo Calvino, The Nonexistent Knight; the Icelandic Laxdaela Saga; and Jane Smiley, The Greenlanders. We will also be considering one or two neo-medieval/science fiction films (such as The Navigator ). Course requirements include two medium length papers and a willingness to participate actively in class discussion. Cost:2 (Tanke)
Section 008. In the last 75 years our ideas about the meaning and purpose of literature have changed. In 1919, T.S. Eliot argued that the best art is impersonal: "Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion." But by 1974 Julia Kristeva wants to argue the reverse. She suggests that literature gives us maps of both the personal and the political. In this course we will ask: Why is our vision of the literary text so volatile? What do we want literature to do for us? What is the difference between good art and bad art, and how have these differences changed over time? Are there timeless categories that can help us evaluate literary texts? Are there timeless texts that can help us evaluate literary categories? We will answer these questions by mixing literary theory with works of literature, ranging from high modernist art to the populist productions of People Magazine. Two papers and a final exam. WL:1 (Yeager)
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite
for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Honors. A month of development of poetic forms in English followed by concentration on contemporary American poetry with emphasis on the work of three poets – Alice Fulton, Laurence Goldstein, and Richard Tillinghast – who are faculty members at the University of Michigan. All three will read and discuss their poetry in this class. Daily writing to begin each class but the first and last. Two papers of 5-6 pages each. No midterm; no final. Cost:3 (Fader)
Section 002. In this course, we'll be studying poetry
in the broadest sense of the word – ranging from the love lyrics
of the Renaissance to the rap lyrics of today, and dipping into
different poetic forms and manifestations along the way. We'll
be preoccupied less with defining "poetry" (not to mention
"the poetic") than with sampling the various pleasures
and treasures of poetic expression in English from its origins
to the present day: authors to be studied include (to name a few)
Caedmon, Chaucer, Wyatt, Shakespeare, Donne, Marvell, Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Adrienne
Rich, John Ashbery, Snoop Doggy Dogg. But we will also spend much
of our time thinking about poetry's re-organization of language
(rhyme, meter, stanza) and the relation between poetic form and meaning. And I hope we'll also spend some time thinking about the place of poetry in contemporary America: a place where there
are more self-described poets than subscribers to poetry magazines;
where participants in poetry slams mix vernacular and hifalutin'
idioms – and are hired to advertise "Gap" jeans: where, in short, poetry proliferates but morphes throughout cultures
"high" and "low." Texts: The Shorter Norton
Anthology of Poetry; frequent handouts and course packs.
Requirements: three short papers (2-3 pages); one longer paper.
Section 003. This section of Introduction to Poetry is a very traditional course covering the basics of prosody, techniques of scansion, and verse forms. The emphasis is on pre-20th century poetry, (with more time than some students might like – 2-3 weeks - spent on medieval poetry and ballads) and the aim is to teach close reading and comprehension. The course covers sections from the following poets and types: medieval lyrics, Chaucer, ballads, Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare's sonnets, Donne, Herrick, Herbert, Suckling, Lovelace, Marvell, Gray, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Frost, Eliot, Dylan Thomas, as time permits. The course concentrates, therefore, on traditional poets who are taught in a historical, chronological sequence, with occasional lectures, class explications, several class essays, a short outside paper and final examination. The complete Norton Anthology of Poetry is used. (Garbaty)
Section 004. In this course we shall study closely a variety of poems written in English from about 1600 to the present, with an occasional glimpse at poems in translation. The task of the course is a pleasurable and progressive understanding of how poems work, that is, what techniques poets use to articulate their visions of experience. We shall pay close attention to the language, forms, figures, and themes of verse, and to literary-historical conditions that influence poetic craft. The textbook Western Wind, by John Frederick Nims, will be our chief reading, in addition to a general anthology. The course will conclude with a discussion of one poet's career, perhaps Robert Frost or Elizabeth Bishop. Because this is a discussion class, regular attendance and participation are required. Other requirements include a series of short papers, supplemented by exercises, a midterm and a final examination. Cost:2 (Goldstein)
Section 005. In this course, we will read widely in English poetry, analyzing both its formal characteristics and its characteristic and uncharacteristic themes. The first part of the course emphasizes formal aspects of English poetry, and the second part focuses on thematic issues. We will also work throughout the course on developing your skills in writing literary essays. Requirements include participating in class, taking two exams, and writing short essays. Cost:2 (Krook)
Section 006. In this course we read and study poems rather carefully so that we can read poetry with more enjoyment and knowledge. This activity is prerequisite to concentrating in English. The course can also be a good one for students not intending an English concentration but who want to know more about poetry. We go by as much reading of poems in class and as much discussion as we can. We invite familiarity with the main manifestations of English and American verse through the rapid reading of a great many poems and through the close reading of a given few. That way we can hope to get some sense of the range of lyric poetry as well as some skill at seeing how different kinds of poems are put together and how they work; and this not for the mere sake of analysis but so that we can know the poem more clearly, enjoy more deeply. Toward the close of the course we will study the work of one major poet, Emily Dickinson. There will be a number of written exercises, two relatively short papers, one hour exam and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:1 (McNamara)
Section 007. How do you feel about poetry? Do you enjoy poetry, read poems, and perhaps write poems, or do you think poetry is difficult, obscure, and fairly intimidating? This is not a course about writing poetry, though you may write one or two poems as an exercise during the term. It is a course about reading and enjoying poetry, about finding ways to understand and talk about what is going on in poems good and bad, and about learning how a poet uses the resources of language to reach and move you. We will read a great many poems from different periods, and in different forms, and towards the end of the term will focus on the work of one poet. Active participation in group presentations and in class is required, and there will be a number of writing assignments as well as at least two exams. (McSparran)
Section 008. This course is a prerequisite for concentration in English, but it is open to all students, including non-concentrators. In this course we'll explore various forms, techniques, modes and historical conceptions of poetic expression. While reading a wide range of poets in English from different periods, cultural traditions, and genres, we'll examine some critical approaches to analyzing and writing about poetry, and also consider the issues entailed in evaluating poetic and critical compositions. Giving close attention to poets' prosody and form, voice and rhetoric, theme and ideology, we'll also discuss how other influences, such as public reception and publication media, contribute to the meaning and significance of poetic conventions. Be prepared for participating in class discussion and for rigorous evaluation of writing skills. Several essays and revisions, midterm exam, and reading journal are required. (Ross)
Section 009. This course begins to answer the question of how to read poetry with pleasure and skill. We will look carefully at poem after poem, with an emphasis on the poet's craft, or how the poem is put together. Requirements will include some memorizing, several short "exercises," two formal papers of analysis, midterm, and final. Regular attendance is expected. Class proceeds by discussion. Text is the complete Norton Anthology of Poetry. (Zwiep)
245/RC Hums. 280/Theatre 211. Introduction to Drama and Theatre. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in RC Hums. 281. (4). (HU).
See Theatre and Drama 211. (Brown and Jones)
267(326). Introduction to Shakespeare. Introductory
Composition. (4). (HU).
Section 001. This course is intended for students across the College who would like to include a reading and discussion of the works of (arguably) the world's greatest playwright-poet in their college career. In Fall 1995, we will study a selection of the plays and the sonnets with a special focus on Shakespeare's representation of forms of human bonding. The family, especially, its formation, tenderness, strains, collapse and re-formation, is perhaps Shakespeare's favorite form, social and symbolic, for the construction of meaning and evocation of feeling. We will especially observe his ceaseless exploration of the dynamics of the family in our reading of a selection of history plays, comedies, tragedies, and romances, from the whole span of his career. Other foci for discussion will include his dramaturgy, and his matchless way with words. Plays to be read will include: Richard II, I&II Henry IV, Henry V, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, A Winter's Tale, and Tempest. Course requirements will include lively engagement in discussion, three essays (4-6 pages each) and two examinations. (Williams)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (3).
Section 001. This course will use two regional literatures in the US to explore when and how "American" literature came to be American literature – as against, say, British literature. The first region will be the Northeast, specifically New England and its Puritan beginnings and subsequent evolution from that point on. And the names will be reasonably familiar ones, I think; so, too, some of the themes. (As much Emerson as Dickinson; sermons and "Indian" captivity tales). The second region will be the Southwest, an area subject to particular cultural pressures from the South (i.e. Mexico) and from the enormous turmoil that was involved in trauma of (re)making and (re)settling "Indian" cultures as well as in the making (up) of the "frontier." Here, we will read texts in which Mexico/USA/Asia/Native America add to and subtract from processes in the making of American culture. Candelaria (Memories of the Alhambra ); border ballads; Maxine Hong Kingston (China Men ); and Leslie Silko (Ceremony ) will be among our texts. At the end, we'll try to see how/where/if a common literary "American-ness" can be fashioned out of our readings. The major project for the class will involve a comparative essay making use of any two "regional" areas, one which may be, incidentally, different from the term's focus. (Johnson)
274/CAAS 274. Introduction
to Afro-American Literature. (3). (HU).
Section 001. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with some of the basic scholarly questions which arise in the study of African-American literature: Exactly what makes a text "Black"? The race of the author? Her or his discussion of certain subjects? The expectation of a reading audience with preconceived notions of what Black people ought to write about? Also, why study African-American literature at all? Should Black authors be read as an act of charity to Other voices, or can these voices in fact have a profound influence on our critical understanding of American literature and culture as a whole? Readings will be drawn from eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Black American prose and poetry, as well as from contemporary scholarship on African-American culture and literary history. Requirements: a midterm, a final, and 15-20 pages of writing. (Gunning)
285. Introduction to Twentieth-Century Literature.
Section 001. We will consider how a variety of writers reflect and respond to the major historical, social, political, philosophical, and moral issues and preoccupations of this century. The works we will study are eclectic and arbitrarily chosen; there is no attempt to be all-inclusive, nor will we limit ourselves to English and American authors. Our subject will be some representative works of modern thought and literature. We will place equal emphasis on what these works say and how they say it. Our purpose is to sharpen the insight and intelligence with which we read and analyze some of the probing "documents" of our time. Reading: some standard authors and works; some idiosyncratic selections. Availability of texts and reasonableness of prices will be factors. I will also try not to duplicate too many selections from the last time I taught this course. If I can keep the topic fresh for myself, maybe I can do the same for you. Candidates for the reading list include works by Camus, Kafka, P. Roth, Mann, D.M. Thomas, Kosinski, P. Levi, Morrison, Bellow, Durrenmatt, Beckett, Atwood, Silone or several others. Obviously, we will not be studying all of these. I will post the reading list outside my office (2627 Haven Hall) before the end of April. Informal lecture and discussion, the amount of which will be influenced by the size of the class. Two papers (5-7 pages each) and a final exam. Cost:2 (Bauland)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
302. Writing About Good Books. (4). (Excl).
Section 001. Our primary goal is to help students improve their writing by strengthening their personal voices and improving their technical skills. Class time is devoted to in-class writing exercises and small-group discussion. This is a large-enrollment class that meets in an auditorium. In addition to our work in groups, a portion of each class session will be devoted to a lecture. We read and write papers about three books, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, The Diaries of Jane Somers by Doris Lessing, and A Room Of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. Each paper is revised. The final weeks of the term are devoted to further revision and to the compilation of a portfolio of the term's work. The portfolio includes the three major papers and a selection of revised in-class writing assignments. (Meisler)
305. Introduction to Modern English. Recommended
for students preparing to teach English. (3). (HU).
Section 001. Though a requirement for students seeking certification as secondary school English teachers, English 305 appeals to a broader audience interested in the structure of English and its varieties. Topics to be discussed include: gender-based differences in American English and regional and social dialects in the United States, including African-American English, Appalachian English, Hispanic English, and Native American English; English as a rule-governed language, shaped by its history, and the history of ideas about good (and "bad" English). English 305 is designed for native-speakers of English (with no prior study of the language or of linguistics) who are curious about the language community of which they are a part. A midterm and final examination allow students to demonstrate the ability to make well-founded generalizations based on the material studied. Short papers invite explorations of domains of language. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Bailey)
310. Discourse and Society. English 124
or 125. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – The Henry Ford High School Project. This version of English 310 teaches students how to use their creative skills and social commitments to facilitate the powerful expressiveness of high school youth. It is rooted in respect for the youths' abilities and voices, in excitement about an educational process that promotes creativity, and in imaginative collaboration with the school faculty and administration. The small number of students admitted to this course work an average of two to three hours a week at Henry Ford High School in Detroit, at the Phoenix School in Howell, at the Adrian Training School in Adrian, or at Maxey Boys Training School in Whitmore Lake, where they assist youth in creating their own video tapes, plays, photographs, music, and other forms of art. An additional two hours is spent in class meeting, where we discuss background reading, analyse and develop our work with the youth, and teach each other our own hands-on methods. A further hour is devoted to meetings between each site team and the instructor. We also plan and participate in one or two excursions by the high school youth to Ann Arbor. No exams; the nature of written work will be determined by members of the class. Admission to the class is by permission of instructor. Check 1631 Haven for specially posted hours for interviews for this course. Cost:3 (Alexander)
313. Topics in Literary Studies. (4).
(HU). May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.
Section 001 – From Fiction to Film. Many film classics - from "Gone with the Wind" to "Forrest Gump" - are based on works of literature. This course investigates the dynamics of cinematic adaptation in order to discover how film develops such literary resources as point of view, plot, symbolism, and interior dialogue. Each week we will read a play, short story or novel and view a film based on that work. We will see a wide range of movies (old, new, foreign, American) including some of the following: "The Shout," "Blow-Up," "The Servant," "The Decameron," "The Fallen Idol," "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," "Black Orpheus," "Macbeth," "Rear Window" and "The Throne of Blood." Students will write short (1 page) essays on most of the films, a longer essay on a single film, and will have the opportunity to write an original filmscript. There are no prerequisites, no exams, and no incompletes. Text: Made Into Movies: From Literature to Film, by Stuart McDougal. Cost:2 WL:1 (McDougal)
Section 010 – Fantasy. This course will explore the nature and uses of fantastic narratives from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present, drawing texts from such widely different fields as fairy tales, science fiction, and the so-called New Novel. No special background in literature is required. The course requires attendance at two lectures and one discussion section per week. The written work for the course will proceed on a contract-like basis involving weekly short papers, an optional longer paper, and two or three examinations. Texts include: Household Stories Of The Brothers Grimm (1812-1815), Dover; Tales of E. T. A. Hoffmann (1809-1822), U of Chicago Press, ppr; The Portable Poe, (1835-1849), Viking, selections only; The Annotated Alice, (1865-1872), Lewis Carroll, NAL, ppr; The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1896), Signet, ppr. and Best Science Fiction Stories, Dover, ppr. H. G. Wells; The Complete Stories, Franz Kafka (1915), Schocken, ppr; Orlando, Virginia Woolf (1928), Harcourt Brace; The Erasers, Alain Robbe-Grillet (1953), Grove; The Tolkien Reader, (1949-1964), Ballantine, selections only; The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster (1961), Random House, ppr; Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino (1965), Harbrace; The Dead Father, Donald Barthelme (1975), Penguin, ppr; Woman On The Edge Of Time, Marge Piercy (1976), Fawcett, ppr. Cost:4 (Rabkin)
Section 020 – Fictions of the Body. In this course, we will read contemporary fiction for its representations of real and ideal bodies in love and trouble, in pleasure and pain, in reality and fantasy, in sickness and in health. Bodies are both the most abstract and the most concrete of things – abstract because so much philosophical, literary, medical and legal theorizing goes on about the body; and concrete for the obvious (but mysterious) fact that our bodies are the material manifestations of our identities. The novels we will read will focus our attention on questions of gender, race, sexuality, and identity as they are written on the body; on how new "technologies of the body" (including plastic surgery, fitness training, reproductive technologies) change the ways in which we think about, and experience, the body; on how the body is enlisted in consumer culture; on how bodies are both vulnerable and resistant to social control. At least some of the novels are likely to be controversial, concerned as they are with such bodily matters as: eating disorders, pregnancy and birth, sex, sexual dysfunctions, violence, mutilations. We'll also read a few provocative articles on contemporary understandings of the body. Novels are likely to be drawn from this list: Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out Of Carolina; Margaret Atwood, The Edible Woman; J.M. Coetzee, Foe; David Guy, The Autobiography Of My Body; Gayl Jones, Corregidora; Stephen King, Misery; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Audrey Thomas, Mrs. Blood; D.M. Thomas, The White Hotel; Fay Weldon, The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil. Requirements: Lots of (interesting) reading; daily in-class written responses; several short papers; a longer paper; final exam. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Robinson)
315/WS 315. Women and Literature.
(3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – Women Writers of the Romantic Era. This course will introduce students to some of the most popular and interesting female writers of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century England. We will sometimes make reference to canonical (mostly male-defined) Romanticism – discussing, for instance, Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journals in relation to her brother William's poetry – but we will be looking at women writers primarily on their own terms, using them to complicate our understanding of Romanticism as an era and a movement. We will examine some common themes and issues in these writings; for example, we will discuss the views of Hannah More, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Jane Austen on the issue of sensibility, and we will compare the opinions of Eliza Inchbald and Mary Shelley on the topic of motherhood. But we will also focus on each work in its particularity, paying close attention to the form, internal logic, and historical context of each piece. Readings will range from poetry to philosophical prose to novels, and course requirements will include a class presentation and several papers. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Henderson)
Section 002 – Lesbian Literature. This course will offer an introduction to "lesbian literatures" as a set of texts belonging to a literary tradition that has as its focus the representation of female same-sex desire. Drawing on a body of work written in the 20th century, questions will range from what is a lesbian text to how have writers represented same-sex desire to who has been included in a tradition of lesbian writing and why. Texts will range from the classic lesbian novel of the early part of the century, Radclyffe Hall's Well of Loneliness to pulp fiction from the 1950s such as Ann Bannon's Beebo Brinker to Audre Lorde's biomythography Zami to Jeanette Winterson's postmodern novel The Passion. Requirements include several short papers and a take-home final. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Herrmann)
Section 004 – Women in Contemporary Theatre. The course will explore the participation of women in theater in the U.S. and Europe since the 1950s as playwrights, producers, directors, and actors. We will study texts and performance documentation, seeking to discover how women construct production such as staging, setting, costuming, and casting. Frequent informal staging of scenes will aid our study of performance. We will read about a dozen plays including Churchill's Cloud Nine, Benmussa's The Secret Life of Albert Nobbs, Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, and Norman's 'Night Mother. Reading will also include essays and criticism from theater journals (The Drama Review and Women and Performance), the feminist theater literature, and the popular press. Students will write two papers and perform in or assist with in-class performance projects. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. WL:1 (Cohen)
Section 005 – Steal This Language! (Twentieth Century American Women's Poetry). If you've wanted to read poetry in a context that helps you make sense of it, if you've been curious about the explosion of American women's poetry in the twentieth century, and if you've longed to embrace the ecstatic, these poets are waiting to help you. What's important is that you're willing to read closely, make mistakes, and share your insights. You need not be a poet or know a great deal about poetry, but you do need to bring your curiosity and your willingness to try things out to this class. Poetry is a stone around our necks. In this course we'll examine how American women poets have taken that stone and used its magical properties to create a world anew, often inventing a form of language, a way of speaking that carries the weight of vision, necessity, and urgency. Half shaman, half witch, half domestic goddess, these writers explore the intimate, everyday, and natural worlds for the secret languages hidden within, the languages that carry our history, articulate our emotions, give birth to our psyches. These poets teach us how diverse visions permit us to realign the universe so that three halves can make a whole. Works to be considered include: H.D., Trilogy; Anne Sexton, Selected Poems; Adrienne Rich, Fact of a Doorframe; Denise Levertov, Poems, 1968-1972; Diane Wakoski, Medea the Sorceress; Joy Harjo, She Had Some Horses; Cathy Song, Frameless Windows, Squares of Light; June Jordan, Naming Our Destiny; Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems; Lorna Dee Cervantes, From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger. Requirements include two 3-5 page critical papers, one 7-10 page critical paper, and a capacity for wonder. This course fulfills the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. (Agee)
316. Intellectual Problems in Literature. (3).
(HU). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Lyric and Subjectivity. In this course, we will explore some of the ways in which lyric poetry imagines the self. How does this kind of poetry construct particular ways of being a self (that is, becoming a self, having a self, performing a self, representing a self) through its imagery, plot, rhetorical address, and many other textual features? In what sense does the writing self, or the figure of the artist, become exemplary of selfhood in general and how does selfhood come to define "the human" in its essential lineaments? In the literatures we will read (nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and American short poetry), the self is often the name for a figure that is distinct from and opposed to other selves, to the natural world, to social life and history, and to the randomness and mere sequence of everyday life. At the same time, we will see that the lyric often undercuts these exclusionary forms of selfhood, suggesting possibilities of thought, feeling, and action that incorporate or deconstruct otherness rather than banish it. Each week's reading will focus on clusters of poems that converge upon a particular model of selfhood. For example, the self that emerges from these poems might be defined as a practice of individuation, as a feeling-state or capacity for sensation, as a deep-structure in constant negotiation with other psychic structures, as a tendency toward philosophic reflection on itself and its processes, and so forth. For each cluster of poems, we will read one or two critical essays that help to elucidate the model of selfhood advanced by those texts. The essays will be drawn from a range of traditions, including psychoanalytic theory, gender theory, and social thought. The objectives of the course are (1) to acquaint the class with particular poems, (2) to demonstrate a range of critical approaches and skills, and (3) to show how genre-study and both formal and intertextual analysis may open onto historical and social inquiry. More generally, the course is designed to dramatize the fact that all experiences and ideas of the self, including our own, are made, not given. Each imagination of the self embodies particular sets of values which both liberate and restrict human experience, and each set of values calls up possibilities that run counter to it. Requirements: three short papers, midterm or oral report, final exam. (Levinson)
317. Literature and Culture. (3). (HU).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – The Quest for Utopia. This course will survey the development of utopian thought and literature from Plato to the present, and some of the anti-utopian or dystopian reaction against it. Admittedly, such a sweep is overly ambitious – even ridiculous – so I will limit our hubris by concentrating on a few of the major nineteenth and twentieth-century utopias – Looking Backward, News from Nowhere, Herland, for example – and a few of the dystopias – We, Brave New World, The Handmaid's Tale. The class format will be primarily lecture, but with questions and challenges always welcome. There will be midterm and final exams and about ten pages of writing in optional formats. Cost:2 (Beauchamp)
Section 002 – Imaginary Homelands/ The Literature of Migration and Exile. This course will be about relations among home, culture, and identity in global literatures in English. While the idea of home has been central to different modes of literary and cultural expression in the modern period – to have a home is to have a language, an identity, and a culture – more recent writing has come to be dominated by the idea of homelessness or the unhomely. This situation of homelessness has, however, proven rich for the literary imagination. As the Anglo-Indian writer Salman Rushdie has noted, mass migration in the last few decades has created new types of persons "who root themselves in ideas rather than places"; to be a migrant writer, then, is to "make a new imaginative relationship with the world, because of the loss of familiar habitats." The first purpose of this course, then, is to understand what has brought about this new situation: how has the transformation of cultures in the new global community led to the collapse of boundaries between peoples and nations? How is the migrant imagination changing our notions of home, of time, of culture, and of space? A second purpose of the course is to understand how the literature of migration and exile is transforming our whole repertoire of codes of identity - our notions of nations, of gender, and ethnicity. Finally, we will consider the specific ways in which the very idea of literature and language is being questioned by new forms of writing in English. Our readings will be cross-cultural and global: we will read the memoir of a Jewish woman tracing her exile from Poland to the New York literary set (Eva Hoffman, Lost In Translation ) and a novel about a German Jew in Bombay, India (Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay ); we will read about Barbadian migrants in New York during the great depression (Paule Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstone), and of a woman from St. Lucia making the difficult translation from the Caribbean to the United States (Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John and Lucy ); we will contrast the notion of Indian homes in Rohin Mistry's Swimming Lessons with the homes Indian migrants are imagining in Bharati Mukherjee's The Middleman And Other Stories; and if the idea of home has been the foundation of English literature and culture, we will see how England is being remade by new writers such as Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia), Simi Bradford (Yoruba Girl Dancing), and Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains Of The Day ). Course requirements include two short papers, a midterm, and a final examination. This course fulfills the Department of English's New Traditions requirement. Cost:2 (Gikandi)
Section 003 – Literature of the American Wilderness. Puritan settlers in New England saw the forest around them as a "hideous and desolate wilderness," a place of "wild beasts and wilde men" that they were destined to civilize. Today environmentalists characterize the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the "last great wilderness" in America and fight to save it from the oil companies. What is wilderness, and how have American attitudes toward wilderness evolved? The course will explore these questions and others about how Americans (including native Americans) have perceived the natural world and their relationship to it, as these arise from texts ranging from the earliest writing about America to twentieth century responses to Alaska. Readings will include texts illustrating the place of wilderness in the American imagination such as Henry David Thoreau's The Maine Woods, John Muir's My First Summer In The Sierra, Willa Cather's O Pioneers!, Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac, William Faulkner's The Bear, and N. Scott Momaday's House Made Of Dawn. We will also read some short fiction, a selection of poetry (including poems of Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, A.R. Ammons, and Mary Oliver), and excerpts from the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition and from Parkman's The Oregon Trail, from accounts of their travels by early naturalists (Audubon), from the writings of frontier women, and from twentieth-century nature writers (including Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, John McPhee, and Barry Lopez). Students will be expected to keep a weekly journal, to write a paper of ten pages, and to take a final examination. Anyone with an interest in the literature and the issues it raises is welcome. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. WL:1 Cost:2 (Knott)
Section 004 – Literature and Culture of Ireland. This course proposes an introductory study of the literature of Ireland from earliest times to the present. This means that we select for reading from among ancient sage, medieval and modern poetry, modern prose fiction and modern drama. We shall draw from both Gaelic literature (in translation) and Anglo-Irish literature. The course has no prerequisite and does not presume prior acquaintance with the subject, nor with Irish history, though students with some knowledge of Ireland and its history should find the course particularly rewarding. The course will be conducted by lecture, with discussion when possible. There will be brief quizzes and one hour exam. Two papers will be written, and a final examination. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 WL:1 (McNamara)
318. Literary Types. (3). (HU). May be
repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Victorian and Modern Monologues. We will explore a variety of "monologues" from Victorian and Modern works, thinking as we go why a writer would choose to work with such a technique, discussing its advantages and limitations. Readings will concentrate on fiction, but will also include poetry and drama, perhaps an autobiography. A tentative reading list will cover the dramatic monologues of Tennyson and Browning; the "interior" monologues of James Joyce (with selections from Ulysses), of William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying or The Sound and the Fury) and of Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine); the first-person narratives of Henry James (The Aspern Papers) and Ford Madox Ford (The Good Soldier); the "dramatic soliloquies" of Virginia Woolf (The Waves); a play by Samuel Beckett (Krapp's Last Tape); the story-telling of Isak Dinesen (Seven Gothic Tales); and the autobiography of Robert Graves (Good-bye to All That). We might make a case for a single speaker in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, explore the uses of the first-person in poetry, and the third-person limited point-of-view in fiction (James' The Ambassadors). Requirements: two papers, midterm, final, assorted informal "exercises." (Zwiep)
323. Creative Writing. English 223, junior
standing, and written permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May
be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Sections 001 and 002 – Fiction. Students are expected to maintain journals throughout the term, to comment thoughtfully and intelligently on one another's work and on short stories selected from the text, and, finally, to come up with approximately fifty pages of reasonably polished fiction. Attendance at the readings sponsored by the English Department is also encouraged. Students who want to enroll in the class should get on the waitlist at CRISP and bring a manuscript to class the first evening. A list of those admitted will be posted shortly thereafter. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
Section 003 – Poetry. Although we shall read quite a number of modern and contemporary poems in order better to understand our actual and possible contexts as writers, most of our work will take place in workshop format: we shall write poems weekly, exchange them, read them aloud, and critique them both orally and in writing. Some assignments will be free; others will entail working within a particular mode or fixed form or addressing a particular theme. (I will read, too, any unassigned work that may be given me.) For the workshop to succeed, everyone will need to turn in work on time and be able to offer constructive criticism - criticism that is respectful but not fawning, honest but not cruel, personally meant but not egotistical. Evaluation will be based on the quality of the work produced weekly, on the quality of a final portfolio, and on workshop citizenship. The goal of the course is that all of us realize our best potential as poets, which should mean that we learn together to improve our craft. (Admission to the workshop will require an override, and we shall begin the workshop the very first class. For these reasons, everyone seeking admission must submit a small sheaf of poems – say, 5 - at least one week prior to the first meeting.) (Smith)
Section 004 – Creative Writing and the Other Arts. A course in mixed media composition, especially combinations of poetry, drama, and fiction with graphic arts, painting, music, dance, and photography. Prerequisite: experience with one or more of these art forms and interest in exploring their relations with other forms of art. Permission of instructor to be obtained before CRISP registration by conference hours (posted on door of 2617 Haven Hall). Requirements are explained in detail during the pre-election interview. They include maintaining a journal of varied writing and other forms of composition and completing a series of weekly composition projects, individual and collaborative. Cost:2 (Wright)
325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (4). (Excl).
This is an upper level composition course for students interested in improving their writing, with particular attention paid to the development of individual style expressed in the details of voice, tone, nuance, and rhythm. All classes will proceed on the assumption that these basic principles inform good writing: that writing is thinking; that writing well requires attention to issues of audience; that revision is a necessary part of the writing process; and that all writing reflects the writer's view of the world. Class discussion will include a consideration of student writing. To focus discussion and to provide subject matter for writing assignments, readings by professional writers will be assigned in most sections. Writing assignments will vary according to instructor, but the general requirement is 40 pages of prose (300 words to a page).
Course descriptions for individual sections not listed below can be found in the Composition Program, 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 001 – Connections. Connecting one insight with another begins the process of making meaning and thus is the essence of composing both what we read and what we write. This course in composition will place the concept of connection - with all its many implications – at its center. In our reading, we will examine the connections between personal conflicts and public controversies as we read the fiction of Toni Morrison, Rosellen Brown, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sherri Szeman, and others who make such connections their subject. In our writing we will explore ways to make connections between our private voice and its public expression, recognizing that the real source of composition is the self and its connections, both imagined and real, to the culture. Class requirements include four 5-7 page papers, brief weekly responses to our readings, regular attendance, and active participation in class discussion. (Wolk)
Section 002 – The Mask. In this writing class we will be responding to some of the strategies enacted by our favorite, most effective, writers. I hope we will come to see "the mask" as less manipulative and negative a feature in our lives and our writing and more as a creative and artful agency of freedom. But whatever the outcome, we want to make the process of analysis of the concept of the mask an educational and fun journey. Each student will be responding to that journey by writing exploratory essays; the nature of the subject of those essays will be determined by the student. Although the reading list is still to be determined, I will select both fiction and non-fiction texts. Selections will probably include A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Floating in My Mother's Palm, and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. There will also be selections of poetry by Yeats and Leslie Marmon Silko and short works by Margaret Atwood, Gloria Naylor, Timothy Mo, and Isabelle Allende. We will begin the term – and set the stage for our discussions of the mask – by reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil." The format of the class will be discussion and more discussion, and we will be working through our own essay writing consistently in class. Each student will write approximately 50 pages of his or her own text (essays and responses) during the term. (Back)
Section 004. This class is designed for advanced essay writers, those who want to learn to write the essay as a literary form equivalent to the short story, novel, or poem. Since the essay is by definition the writer's attempt to figure something out, the essays we write will explore our most compelling questions, rather than assert our opinions. We will work together to develop our writing "voices" in style, tone, pitch; to help in the exploration of compelling questions; to develop our "ears" for hearing others' voices, through reading and discussing essays by each other as well as by professional essayists (Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, James Baldwin, E. B. White, Richard Seltzer, Lewis Thomas, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston and others). This section is a workshop in which students critically and humanely read and discuss each others' work, enabling students to get a great deal of feedback and help in all stages of their work, and to see for themselves what is – and what is not yet – effective in their writing. Because I believe we learn best by doing and in collaboration with others, I have designed the class for active participation in groups: reading groups, small group peer feedback groups and whole class workshops. Because I believe we learn most when we take responsibility for our learning, I have designed the class to allow and require you more choices than what is usual in most classes so that within a "menu" of options, you can select according your own interests and needs: deadline systems or portfolios, reading selections, etc. You will write approximately five pages a week in informal assignments, many drafts of your formal essays, and regular but ungraded reflective pieces, analyses of your own essays and your own writing processes. I hope to give you the freedom and responsibility for your learning processes and for your writing so that you can take risks in thought and language, while providing security to take those risks. (Povolo)
This two-term sequence is designed to give students a principled sense of the range of literary works written in English; the first term will characteristically deal with works produced before the later seventeenth century – to the time of Milton, that is; the second term will begin at that point and proceed to the present. These courses will be open to English concentrators and to non-concentrators alike.
350. Literature in English to 1660. (4).
Section 001. This course is the first of a two-term sequence designed to study the historical development of literature in English. Most of our attention will be devoted to close analysis of a dazzling variety of texts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We will work to foreground the historical, social, cultural, and intellectual issues to which these texts respond, and to interrogate our criteria for designating a text as "major." Writers to be studied include Chaucer, Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, and Milton. The course features three hours a week of lecture; groups of twenty-five students will meet a fourth hour under the leadership of doctoral students to discuss the material further, and to work on their writing for the course. There will be three essays of approximately five pages each, a midterm and a final examination. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Schoenfeldt)
367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (4).
Section 001. A study of Shakespeare's dramatic works, selected to represent his exploration of major genres over the course of his career. Although we will be reading the plays intensively as literary works, we will also be considering social and political issues in Elizabethan and Jacobean England in order to clarify the complex engagement of Shakespeare's stage with cultural controversies of his period. Our goal will not, in other words, be merely to appreciate Shakespeare but to examine the impact of his drama in its own day and to explore its ramification for ours. The following plays will be studied: Richard II; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Merchant of Venice; Measure For Measure; Hamlet; Othello; King Lear; The Tempest. The edition used for this section will be The Riverside Shakespeare and will be available at Shaman Drum Bookshop. There will be two lectures a week and all students must also register for a smaller recitation/discussion section. Due to the expected size of the class, discussion will be difficult at best during lectures; students will be expected to be fully prepared, however, and to contribute ideas as much as possible. There will be a midterm and a final exam, as well as three relatively short essays. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Mullaney)
Each of these courses will range over the materials of the periods indicated below in one or more of a variety of ways. Some may be multi-generic surveys; some may focus on the development during the period of specific genres; some may be topical, others formal in their principle of organization. All sections will emphasize the development of student skill in writing essays analyzing the materials and evaluating the approaches in question.
370. Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.
(4). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department
Section 001 – The Comic Renaissance. In this section of English 370, we will trace the major forms of comic writing in the period extending from the early sixteenth century up to the closing of the theatres in 1642. Reading in the course will include a good many works written for the stage – plays by Jonson, Dekker, Marston, Middleton, Shakespeare, and others – but it will also include poetry, narratives, even anthologies of humor and jokes. Supplementary reading in criticism and theory will provide a framework for our discussions. The course will balance discussion with occasional brief lectures. Students will be asked to write two or three short papers, one longer essay, and a final examination. In addition, each member of the class will participate in a group project designed to illustrate a practical understanding of one aspect of comedy. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Jensen)
Section 002 – Epic and Romance. In this course we will read a selection of some major works composed in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We will begin with Old English poetry, including the great heroic poem Beowulf, continue with Middle English literature, including works by Chaucer and the Gawain poet, and then move on to Shakespeare, completing the course with Milton's Paradise Lost. There will be a midterm and a final exam, and two papers. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (McSparran)
Section 003 – History of Early English Style and Poetics. As with, say, contemporary fashion or popular music, early poetry conveyed much of its meaning not just in what it "meant" but in how it did so. In this course, we shall read a number of canonical poets (Chaucer, Langland, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton), as well as Anonymous, as well as some arguably lesser and even dreadful poets. Their themes are the usual ones – politics, religion, love, antipathy, sex, death, the meaning of life, the nature of beauty – and many of their works, although historically remote, remain profound. Among the questions we shall ask are: what made Anonymous anonymous? How do we and how did others before us judge literary merit? How did the early canon get formed, and why? How do some contemporary poets relate to it? What forms and styles appealed to what audiences? Why did what we usually think of as meter replace native English versification? Why did the "free verse" of the King James Bible go largely unimitated? What did "publication" mean? Also, what was the interplay between conventionality and creativity? A lot of our class time will be spent on what used to be called close reading, but this will not be done in an aestheticist vacuum. We shall try to connect questions of style and form with questions of cultural history. Everyone will need to learn to read Middle English as well as to refer to rhythm, meter, and sound. Everyone will be asked to engage in detailed, sustained poetic analysis as well as to write on broader issues. Required texts: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I, and a course pack. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Smith)
Section 004 – Renaissance Epic. The epic was the great narrative form in which European authors attempted to establish the nature of their own culture and, in the process, their own identity as artists. But the task was not only to create a work of art and to explore contemporary social and moral values: it was to establish two sorts of difference a) that between their own culture and the cultures of the past, and b) that between European culture and the cultures of peoples at the margins to the South, the Africans; to the East, the Arabs. The works we will read are amongst the most splendid and challenging we possess. Readings will include: Petrarch, Africa; Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (Roland Gone Mad for Love); Vida, Christiad; Tasso, Jerusalem Liberated; Spenser, Faerie Queene, and Milton, Paradise Lost. There will be three essays of moderate length (4-6 pages), a midterm, and a final examination. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. WL:1 (Williams)
371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (4).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 002 – The Culture of Romanticism. This course will serve as an intensive introduction to Romantic-era culture. In addition to reading poems by both canonical and non-canonical writers, we will read political and philosophical writings, examine other arts, such as painting, and read modern historical accounts of the period. We will work toward an interdisciplinary, historically-grounded understanding of the literature we read, linking both the thematic issues and the formal characteristics of that literature to the political, social, and aesthetic concerns of the age. Course requirements include class participation, several short papers, a group presentation, and a major final paper. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Henderson)
372. Studies in Literature, 1830-Present. (4).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Gender, Power and Love in the Novel. From where do we get our ideas of love? Is love a personal commitment, a cultural construct, a chemical imbalance? Is marriage the embodiment of romantic love or the end of it? In this course we will not necessarily answer these questions, but we will consider the notion of romantic love in Anglo-American culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explore its relation to power and discipline in the novel. To a certain extent, love is always linked with power: to be "in love" is to acknowledge the other's power over you. But how is this represented differently in different classes and in different eras, and how is love different (if it is) for women than for men? We will also consider how the novel not only depicts the relationship between love and power but how it contributes to the power struggle through its representation of emotion. That is, we will be looking at how novels, through particular narrative strategies, assert their own methods of control over readers. The reading list will most likely include Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, Dracula, Giovanni's Room, The House of Mirth and The Remains Of The Day. Course requirements are mandatory attendance, two formal essays, a midterm and final exam. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Barnes)
Section 002 – What Was Modernism? This course will explore Modernism – the style/movement that dominated the "high" art of the first decades of this century. While we will read a few poems (Eliot, Yeats) and glance briefly at some of the art and music, the focus of the course will fall primarily on the fiction. Works to be read include Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Mann's Death in Venice, Joyce's Portrait of the Artist, Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Course grades will depend on two essay exams, two five-page papers, and frequent pop in-class writing assignments. Cost:2 (Beauchamp)
Section 003 – The Victorians and the Natives. The British Empire, with its colonies and natives, played a dominant and formative role in the political, cultural and intellectual thought of nineteenth-century England. "Our possessions," as the colonies and natives were called, exercised the imagination and the intellect of some of the leading minds of the period. For example, in 1865, the so-called Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica elicited reactions, both verbal and material, from John Stuart Mill, Thomas Carlyle, Herbert Spencer, Thomas Huxley, Charles Darwin, Leslie Stephen, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, Alfred Tennyson, Charles Kingsley, Charles Dickens, to name some. In our class, we will examine the ways in which novelists discovered the sources of characterization, narrative devices, and imagery, in the historical and contemporary debates on "our possessions," with particular emphasis on the West Indies. We will pay close attention to the uses of the colonies in the fiction of Brontë, Dickens and others. Tentative reading list will include Jane Eyre, Bleak House, and Treasure Island as well as a course pack consisting of the Mill-Carlyle "West Indian Debate," excerpts from Anthony Trollope's The West Indies and Spanish Main, Oxford historian James Anthony Froude's The English in the West Indies, Charles Kingsley's At Last and Water Babies. (Gregg)
Section 004 – Expansionism in British and American Literatures. By the beginning of the Second World War, the images by which and in which the island of Britain saw itself involved as much Shakespeare and Milton as they do India, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. The USA, likewise, needed to define itself as much by narratives about internal "western frontiers" as by the geo-politics of its extensions into Hawaii; the Philippines; into half of the then-United States of Mexico; into Southeast Asia and into the Caribbean. The processes of these national imagings produced titles that range from Walt Whitman's "Passage to India" to E.M. Forster's A Passage to India; from the Anglo-American France of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises to the African American France, also, of Claude McKay's Banjo. Other texts, as much T.S. Eliot as W.B. Yeats and Willa Cather, will help explore the kinds of pressures that economic interests, military conquests, territorial annexations, and otherwise benign cultural/immigrant exchanges have placed on images of "core" identities in British and American literatures, post 1830. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Johnson)
381/Amer. Cult. 324. Asian-American
Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total
of six credits with department permission.
Section 001. Between 1975 and 1985, a debate, both friendly and serious, occurred between a scholar in Michigan (not me) and a group of writers in California, over a conceptualizing of Asian American literature. The scholar argued that this literature was being invented, in our time; it was a literary category that did not exist before. She praised those who had the vision to be such inventors. The writers retorted that the literature and its conceptualization already existed, and the century of Asian American literary works researched by then were proof of this. English 381 is a study of Asian American literary history, one which perhaps shows how both – and further – sides to such a debate may be valuable and how they interact, when we are dealing with a literature that seems still unfamiliar to many – seems "new" – yet somehow also coheres into a "tradition" or "traditions." The course is also about not taking this racial group's literary culture for granted or for lacking, when we are interested in understanding and critiquing works and themes immediately at hand today. From the late nineteenth century to the mid-1980s, the authors and works studied (some of them in excerpts, reserve readings, or lectures) include Sui Sin Far, Mrs. Spring Fragrance; Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart; Jade Snow Wong, Fifth Chinese Daughter; Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter; John Okada, No-No Boy; Louis Chu, Eat a Bowl of Tea; Frank Chin, The Year of the Dragon; Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables; Milton Murayama, All I Asking for Is My Body; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior; Shawn Wong, Homebase; Theresa Cha, Dictee; Joy Kogawa, Obasan; Cathy Song, Picture Bride; Kim Ronyoung, Clay Walls; Burati Mukherjee, The Middleman and Other Stories. The syllabus brings the literary history up to the moment when certain Asian American writers grouped together became national "hot properties." Historically contexted themes analyzed in the literary works studied involve race, gender, identity, and relations among different Asian American communities and with society at large. No prior study of Asian American literature is required for enrolling in English 381. By method and coverage, this study of literary history is basic to a critical engagement in other courses of Asian American literary and interdisciplinary studies. Two papers of 3-5 pages, a final paper of 7-10 pages, plus quizzes (on readings, lectures, and discussions). This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Sumida)
383. Topics in Jewish Literature. (3).
(HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits with department
Section 001 – Constructing Jewish Literature in Britain and America. This new course will use a comparative approach to constructing a tradition of Jewish literature in English during the last century and a half. We will study the literature both in itself and as a paradigm for contemporary debates about cultural hybridity, assimilation, and ethnicity. Our reading will mix familiar and unfamiliar names (and why so many Jewish writers remain outside the canon will be one question we shall ask). We begin with neglected authors of late Victorian England such as Amy Levy, use Israel Zangwill (author of the play The Melting Pot, which made that phrase popular) as our transition point, and turn to successive generations of Jewish-American authors, such as Emma Lazarus, Abraham Cahan, Henry Roth, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, and Allen Ginsberg. Contemporary readings on Anti-Semitism, economic and educational history, and cultural theory will help us explore the problematic nature of group identity within a complex society. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Bornstein)
385/CAAS 385. Topics in
African Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for
a total of six credits with department permission.
Section 001 – Black South African Literature of the Protest Period. The "Protest Period," from 1948 to 1960, marks the first generation of urban Black South African literature. The period is characterized by two salient features: short stories and autobiographies. Because there were no established, or even nascent, publishing houses which carried Black authors, most of the writers – such as Ezekiel Mphaphlele, Bloke Modisane, Can Themba, Richard Rive, Casey Motsitsi – aimed their work at magazines, newspapers, and fledgling journals. Autobiographies, which signal the end of the Protest era, were produced by many of these writers as exiles. Texts may include: Mphaphlele, Down Second Avenue; Modisane, Blame Me On History; Bessie Head (the only women writer of the era), Tales of Tenderness and Power; Don Mattera, Sophiatown, and Rive, Buckingham Palace, District Six. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Farred)
407. Topics in Language and Literature. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Old English. This course is an introduction to Old English, the language spoken by our forebears until the unpleasantness at Hastings – the Norman Conquest. Since Old English is so different from Modern English as to seem like another language, the greatest effort of this class will be to master the rudiments of the structure and vocabulary of the earliest attested form of English. The reward is being able to read an excitingly different corpus of prose and poetry. You will also develop a new appreciation of where our language, culture and intellectual traditions come from. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:1 (Toon)
412/Film-Video 412. Major
Directors. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total
of nine credits with department permission.
Section 001 – Three Masters of Suspense: Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger. From the time early filmmakers learned to cut back and forth between converging lines of action, suspense has been a central element in popular movies, expressed visually through the distinctive properties of film style as well as dramatically through the conventions of film's melodramatic inheritance. There is suspense in practically every Hollywood genre, ranging from last-minute Cavalry rescues in Westerns to spectacular physical mishaps in slapstick comedy. Yet some films are so permeated with this dramatic quality, they are known simply as "suspense films." This course will focus on three directors who specialized in suspense, yet treated it differently in their films: from Alfred Hitchcock's heightened drama through Fritz Lang's grim matter-of-factness to Otto Preminger's quietly creepy ambiguity. The course will consist of one film a week plus critical readings on the three directors. Frequent written analyses of the films with a close attention to visual style will be required. (Paul)
413/Film-Video 413. Film
Genres and Types. (3). (HU). May be repeated for
credit with department permission.
Section 001 – The American Musical. We will make a careful analytical study of representative major films spanning the history of the American musical. I will post the exact schedule of films outside my office (2627 Haven Hall) before the beginning of Fall Term, 1995. The emphasis of the course will be on musicals conceived as films, not on adaptations of Broadway shows (though we will examine at least one of those as well). There will be one film per week, three lecture hours, and mandatory small discussion groups scheduled at your convenience. There are no prerequisites. Nevertheless, the course is not "An Introduction to the Movies." Previous work in film history, theory, mechanics, critical analysis, and aesthetics couldn't hurt. And for this particular outing, neither could a little knowledge of music, but it's not imperative. Our focus will be on the essential characteristics of the American musical film, its history and its various styles and "languages" over the decades. Should film study be new to you, do not feel insecure. You will not be alone, and the course's reading will give you a solid foundation. I will also be happy to recommend preparatory reading before you leave for the summer; come see me this term. The obligatory purchase of a pass, cheaper per showing even than admission to campus film societies, let alone commercial houses, covers the cost of seeing films, most of them probably at the Michigan Theater. Some reading (Gianetti's Understanding Movies or an alternate text if that is old news to you, along with a slim guide to writing about film). If you harbor the deplorable opinion that rigorous standards for composing analytical/critical prose are inappropriate for film courses, this class is not for you. Two 2-page papers; two 5-page papers; final exam; no "incompletes" except under catastrophic circumstances. Anyone who uses "media" with a singular verb flunks. Cost:2 (Bauland)
415. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – Research and Technology in the Humanities. The broad objective of the course is to teach upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in English and other humanities departments the techniques to create, gather, manipulate, analyze and present electronic data both locally and via computer networks with special attention to the techniques necessary to create and publish "compound documents". The course will consider the tools and techniques needed to produce the "products" that will be distributed by CD ROM or on-line computer networks and will teach the techniques available to facilitate scholarship, especially collaborative scholarship, in the humanities. By the middle of the semester students will work in groups of three or four. Each group will be expected to produce a fairly sophisticated and substantial multimedia document that will incorporate a variety of techniques. Projects might include the generation of an on-line resource, including historical material, video clips, class handouts, sciences lessons, and literary criticism in the support of the university's existing lecture/discussion course in science fiction; the publication of a poetry anthology, using typographical techniques and page design to get a desired effect in a digitally published versions; assembly of a documentary tool annotating a series of films, complete with film clips to illustrate points; creating a literary research paper using original digital texts alongside of images of the originally published paper texts; and designing and building information products, for example, a 17th century English culture database that can be searched on-line. The University has the capability of publishing these course projects as Web pages, CD ROMs, or even Laser Discs. The range of possible projects will be restrained only be the time available and the imagination of the students. Topics to be included in the class are: (1) Information gathering from digital sources, (2) Desktop publishing, (3) HTML authoring, (4) Hypertext documents or novels, (5) Collaborative technologies, (6) The investigation and discussion of the meaning of the digital revolution, (7) Text analysis. (Rabkin)
417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator
in English. May not be repeated for credit. (4). (Excl).
Section 002 – The Language of Poetry: Sight, Sound, Syntax, Rhythm. Much of the achievement of a poem derives from its distinctive language, the way that language looks, sounds, moves, and feels. Poets say memorable things in memorable ways, and in doing so, renew language by stretching its expressive possibilities. In this course, we will explore some of the major sources and effects of this distinctive language. We will concentrate on four topics, sound, rhythm, syntax/sentencing, and visual form. In confronting each of these topics, we will consider closely two questions: (1) What expressive resources does the language make available to the poet in this area? (2) How have poets drawn upon and extended these available resources – and why? Readings will be drawn from various sources: general discussions of the structure of the language, general discussions of aspects of poetic language, and close analysis of the language of individual poets and poems. Many of the topics we will consider are at the center of recent discussions of verse in the profession: the relation between poetry and music, the relation between poetry and prose, the influence of syntactic choices on conceptual worlds, the relation between poetic form and cultural formation, the contribution of meaning to rhythmic movement, the relation between intonation and poetic voice, the nature of visual and free verse prosodies, the sources and effects of sound symbolism, and others. Course requirements will include three short papers and a substantial research paper on the language of a poem, poet, or poetic style. Cost:2 (Cureton)
Section 003 – Literature and the Politics of Desire. This course will move from contrasting seventeenth-century impotence poems by both men and women to Toni Morrison's mythic description of the relationship between desire and conformity in Sula and Michael Ondaatje's lyrical evocation of interracial love during postwar crisis in The English Patient. We will focus on a range of works that confront the exchange between expressions of desire and the will to power in particularly intense ways. Attention will be given to the representation of varying norms of masculinity and femininity. One issue of central importance will be the way in which the human body and the body politic so often become interrelated symbols of cultural destiny. Other writers to be studied will likely include Aphra Behn, Horace Walpole, Mary Shelley, Joseph Conrad, Jean Rhys, Thomas Pynchon and Ursula K. Leguin. We will also read from a course pack consisting of critical theory and background essays. Requirements will include two essays, an exam, a series of response papers, oral presentations and devoted class participation. Cost:2 (Flint)
Section 004 – Films of Akira Kurosawa. Akira Kurosawa has left the imprint of his directorial style on all his films to a degree that is unusual, and there is an extraordinarily rich variety in the body of his total work to date. We will try to illustrate some of that variety and that style, as well as looking at some cultural factors, through viewing and discussing a representative number of films chosen from a narrowing of this list: Dreams, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Rashomon, The Bad Sleep Well, Ikiru, No Regrets For Our Youth, Red Beard, Drunken Angel, The Lower Depths (from Gorky's Russian play), Dodesukaden, Dersu Uzala, The Idiot (from Dostoievsky's novel). We will also definitely view Kurosawa's two adaptations of Shakespearean plays, Throne of Blood (from Macbeth ), and Ran (from King Lear ). All films will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles. In some cases we will be able to read the English translation of scripts or sources for the films. There will be short papers, and each member of the seminar will have to opportunity to lead part of the discussion of one film. Cost:2 (Howes)
Section 006 – American Masculinities. In this course, we will investigate changing representations of masculinity in contemporary American culture and ask the question: Is masculinity in crisis? Working against the assumption that we all already know what masculinity is, we will read fiction (and some non-fiction) written by American men from 1970 to the present, and critically analyze the competing representations of manhood found there. Our main focus will be on understanding what gets institutionalized as normative masculinity in American culture, what kinds of foundations that norm is built on, and how men and women respond to the constant shaking, and occasional crumbling, of those foundations. To this end, we will ask the following questions of the texts we read: How are representations of masculinity dependent on representations of femininity? To what degree is normative masculinity represented as white masculinity? Is working class masculinity the same thing as middle class masculinity? In what ways is being a "real man" in American culture dependent on a heterosexual identity? What kinds of male bodies are "normal," and what are the things that can and can't be done with male bodies? What kinds of changes in economic and social arrangements have had an impact on norms of masculinity? How are non-normative forms of masculinity celebrated, punished, and/or assimilated in American culture? Texts are likely to be drawn from this list: Robert Bly, Iron John; Tom Clancy, The Hunt For Red October; Michael Crichton, Disclosure; Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules Of Attraction; Frederick Exley, A Fan's Notes; Ben Hamper, Rivethead: Tales From The Assembly Line; John Irving, The World According To Garp; Ishmael Reed, Reckless Eyeballing; Richard Russo, The Risk Pool; John Updike, Rabbit Redux; some critical and theoretical material on changing representations of masculinity; a couple of films. Requirements: Heavy reading; vigorous class participation; one group presentation; two short papers (3-5 pages); a term paper (10-15 pages); commitment to seeing a few films outside of class. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Robinson)
Section 007 – The Barbaric and the Sublime: Old English, Old Norse, and the Idea of Germania. This is a course for those who may at one time or another have enjoyed reading Beowulf or a Norse saga, and want to learn more about the literature and culture of early medieval northern Europe. There are two main aims for the course: (1) to read closely a broad range of Old English and Old Norse texts (in translation), and (2) to explore the various ways in which an ancient and alien culture may be interpreted. The works we will read fall into a variety of (to some extent overlapping) genres: heroic poetry (Beowulf, The Song of Hildebrand, and The Lay of Weland), wisdom literature (Old English Maxims, Sayings of the High One ); religion and mythology (Prophecy of the Seeress), and the Icelandic saga (Njals Saga ). We will also be reading the Germania of Tacitus, who looked north of the Roman Empire with a mixture of admiration and condescension, and who wrote the first ethnography of the Germanic tribes. Some attention will be given as well to the material culture of early northern Europe uncovered by modern archeology (such as the Sutton Hoo ship burial and treasure hoard). Course requirements include several short response papers, one 12-15 page essay, and a willingness to participate actively in class discussion. The only prerequisites are a fascination with things "barbaric" and "sublime," and an interest in exploring the cultural legacy of the distant past. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Tanke)
Section 008 – America in the Literature of the Americas. This course will explore some of the different ways that the idea of America has informed the literature both of the United States and of Spanish Latin America. We will consider how "America" has been invented and reinvented as an idea rather than merely discovered as a place. Moreover, since the start of American literary history, writers in this hemisphere have tended to invent themselves as Americans, and have made themselves representatives of their diverse ideas of America. Hence America is contested intellectual terrain. Walt Whitman's idea of it differs from Jose Marti's, and both ideas differ from the America imagined by writers with loyalties to native traditions such as Leslie Marmon Silko. Readings for this new course are not set, but may include fiction with a hemispheric sweep by Garcia Marquez, Morrison, and Melville; writings that theorize America by poets such as Whitman, Marti, Williams, and Neruda; writings that make a claim for a native or mestizo conception of America or that are imbued with a nostalgia for a native presence; and more speculative or critical texts by such scholars as O'Gorman, Bercovitch, Pratt, and Saldivar. Requirements: two papers, a journal, and class participation. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (McIntosh)
Section 009 – Women and Modernism. In this seminar we will examine the work of women writers of the modernist period (1915-1945). Along with such male contemporaries as Joyce, Faulkner and Hemingway, these female authors helped to reinvent literary writing of this century – frequently using that reinvention for their own, explicitly political ends. We will investigate those ends as we explore the question of whether women writers produced a truly alternative, indeed "feminist," version of modernism. Focusing on their experimentation in both writing and political thought, we will examine the ways in which modernist women writers attempted to challenge dominant notions of femininity, sexuality, maternity, domesticity, race, history, nationality, and political agency. We will also look at the authors' reliance upon conventional or oppressive ideologies, particularly with regard to race. Because one of the hallmarks of modernist texts is their linguistic and rhetorical unconventionality, we will specifically discuss how to read "difficult" books, while thinking critically about the strategic – and often political – reasons behind their difficulty. we will read novels, poetry, and essays by such authors as Viriginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, H.D., Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen and Dorothy Richardson, in addition to work by recent feminist theorists and critics. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Egger)
423. The Writing of Fiction. Open to seniors
and graduate students; written permission of the instructor is
required. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. In this class we'll be writing, reading, and talking about fiction. Students who sign up for the class should expect to complete fifty pages of fiction; they should be willing to revise what they already have written. Participation in class discussions will be essential to the success of the course. Students interested in applying to the course should get on the waitlist at CRISP and bring a manuscript to the first class meeting. Cost:1 (Baxter)
Section 002. Students are expected to maintain journals throughout the term, to comment thoughtfully and intelligently on one another's work and on short stories selected from the text, and, finally, to come up with approximately fifty pages of reasonably polished fiction. Attendance at the readings sponsored by the English Department is also encouraged. Students who want to enroll in the course should get on the waitlist at CRISP and bring a manuscript to class the first evening. A list of those admitted will be posted shortly thereafter. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
Section 003. This course will focus on student work. Each student will write three new stories during the term and rewrite at least two of these stories. Students must also be committed to helping their classmates improve their work through honest yet compassionate responses to their manuscripts. To inspire ourselves to write and help us study various aspects of form and technique, we will also be reading the works of published authors. A major emphasis of this section will be on structure and theme – not in the sense of obeying conventional narrative modes or inserting messages, morals, sermons and symbols into a text, but in the sense of figuring out a way to unify a story around a central conflict and question, of discovering why a given story is worth telling. Interested students should get on the waitlist at CRISP and submit a manuscript to the instructor before the first class. Cost:1 (Pollack)
427. Playwriting. Permission of instructor.
(3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 – The Art of Dramatic Adaptation. We will "limit" ourselves to the virtually unlimited resources of fictional and non-fictional material which has been (or might soon be) brought to the stage, exploring the various strategies, esthetic ideologies, and practical concerns of the professional adapter. Texts we will consider include Spunk, The Grapes of Wrath, JB, Execution of Justice, The Diary of Anne Frank, I Am a Man, and the instructor's own adaptation of Peter Sichrovsky's Born Guilty, among others. Students will propose and outline a theatrical adaptation and continue to revise their own full-length adaptation. The course is open to any student who has taken English 227 (Introductory Playwriting), or is well versed in the fundamentals of dramatic structure. To enroll, sign up on the waitlist at CRISP and come to the first day of class with a sample of original dramatic writing. Cost:2 (Roth)
429. The Writing of Poetry. Written permission
of instructor is required. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. This poetry-writing workshop will focus primarily on the writing of class members. There will also be a healthy amount of reading in contemporary poetry and written response (informal) to the poems in our texts. Students will be encouraged to experiment with traditional forms and to create at least one of their own. While an important contribution to the class will be spoken and written commentary on students poems to be workshopped each week, discussion of contemporary poets will also be given a high priority. Essential for this course is a willingness to take and give criticism in a thoughtful, honest and respectful manner. Permission of the instructor is required. Leave a sample manuscript of from 4-6 typed pages in Professor Tillinghast's mailbox outside 7609 Haven Hall during the week preceding the first day of class. A class list will be posted on the door of 1622 Haven Hall as soon as possible. Cost:2 (Tillinghast)
433. The Modern Novel. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – Strategies in Prose. This course will deal, in two-week discussion segments and in the following sequence, with these five novels: A Farewell To Arms, Ernest Hemingway; The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford; To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf; The Sound And The Fury, William Faulkner; Ulysses, James Joyce. The remaining classes and individual conference times – to be regularly scheduled – will deal with written exercises and the art of imitation. So what I want to focus on is craft, the craft of our five exemplars (which will imply a special way of reading them) and delimited problems they pose. Instead of asking, what does Joyce mean, we'll talk of what rhetorical means he deploys; instead of discussing Woolf as incipient suicide, we'll talk of Mrs. Ramsay's death in a parenthesis. The article of faith on which this course is based is that imitation - in the form of fifty written exercises imitating the craft of the authors studied – is not merely sincere flattery, but also a good way to grow. (Delbanco)
Section 002. In or about 1910, Virginia Woolf famously claimed, human character changed. This course will study the development of Anglo-American fiction in response to that perceived psychic, social, and historical crises. Thinking in both modernist and broadly modern contexts, we'll consider how the novel as a literary form and a cultural tradition responds to, and shapes, radical redefinitions of culture itself during the earlier half of the century. Of central concern to our readings will be the strategies that various writers develop to address these redefinitions, and the role that changing notions of gender and sexuality play in their formation. Readings will most likely include James, What Masie Knew; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Forster, Passage to India; Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Stein, Three Lives; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Toomer, Cane; and Barnes, Nightwood; as well as manifestos and polemics by various defenders and detractors of the new. Course requirements: brief weekly responses; two 5-7 page papers and a final, longer essay; midterm and final exams. (Blair)
440. Modern Poetry. (3). (Excl).
In this course we shall study the major poetry in English of the period 1900-1940. Our principal subject matter will be work by the most important poets – Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, H.D., W.C. Williams, Marianne Moore, Robert Frost, Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens – but we will also devote some time to special topics like Imagism, the poetry of The Great War, and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as to the social, historical, and literary backgrounds of modern poetry. The objective of the course is a clear understanding of the techniques and themes of modern poetry, which are especially significant because they continue to influence and inform the poetry of our own time. The format is lecture and discussion. Requirements include two papers, a midterm, and a final examination. Satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 WL:1 (Goldstein)
441. Contemporary Poetry. (3). (Excl).
This course will look at a wide sample of American poetry from about 1950 to the present. In the late '50s, when Robert Lowell was writing the poems that would become Life Studies, many influential Modernist poets were no longer living; others had finished their best work. American poetry of the time seemed unsure how to react to the fragmentary yet ambitious projects of Modernism. Out of this situation came movements like (Lowell's) confessional poetry, environmentalist and feminist poetries, Beat poetry, Black Arts poetry, the New York school, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry. We will study some of these movements as well as important individual poets. What views of the self, of the family, of civilization does contemporary poetry involve? What poetic languages are necessary to express these ideas of contemporary life? The reading list includes books by Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Alice Fulton, and Harryette Mullen, plus a course pack of other selections and literary criticism. Requirements: attendance, informal daily responses, 2 papers, midterm, final. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Terada)
445. Shakespeare's Rivals. (3). (Excl).
This course is a study of the chief dramatists of the English Renaissance. Among them will be such writers as Lyly, Greene, Marston, Dekker, Middleton, Jonson, Marlowe, Chapman, Webster, Tourneur, and even an anonymous writer or two. Students will be expected to attend class regularly and contribute to the frequent class discussions. From time to time, I shall be presenting more or less formal lectures. Grades for the course will be based on each student's total effort in the class. Formal requirements will include at least one long essay and two briefer writing assignments, a midterm and a final examination, and participation in the work of the class. This work may include an end-of-term production of a selected play or of scenes drawn from a variety of plays. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 WL:1 (Jensen)
449/Theatre 423. American Theatre and Drama. (3). (HU).
See Theatre and Drama 423. (Cardullo)
459. English Neoclassical Literature. (3). (Excl).
In this course, we will read a wide range of English literature from the period 1660-1745, a period known variously as the Augustan Age, the age of Neoclassical Literature, and the Age of Swift and Pope. We will also read some of the Greek and Latin classics in translation that were most influential in this period: Homer's Odyssey and Vergil's Aeneid. We will ask such questions as what "neoclassical" means; why this period relied on Greek and Latin authors for their models; why some modern readers call that age neoclassical and some reject the term vehemently; why some value classical learning and why some don't. Three papers and a take-home exam. Textbooks at Shaman Drum, a small course pack at Dollar Bill. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Krook)
462. Victorian Literature.
Section 001 – Victorian Poetry and the Body of Woman. This course is an introduction to poetry of the Victorian period, with special emphasis on "The Woman Question" in nineteenth-century England. What is the relationship between politics and aesthetics at that time, between women's changing roles in society and figurations of the feminine in literature? How does the body of woman emerge as a contested and contradictory site of meaning in Victorian poetics? Alongside Tennyson, Ruskin, Browning, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Swinburne, we will read women writers such as Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Augusta Webster, and Amy Levy. Throughout the term we will explore the mutual implication of gender and genre in various poetic forms: narrative verse, lyric drama, sonnet sequences, dramatic monologues. The course concludes with A.S.Byatt's recent bestseller Possession, as a novel that reflects on the survival of Victorian poetry in our own time. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Prins)
465/MARC 465. Chaucer: The
Canterbury Tales. (3). (Excl).
The Canterbury Tales is (are?) a number of things: satire, complex narrative, literary sociology, a pilgrimage story, and most clearly a collection of quite varied tales. The pilgrims make up a generous sample of the middle range of late fourteenth century English society; that fact points out from the text into the culture and its social history. The tales those pilgrims tell form a collection of examples of literary types; that fact points to other literature and literary history. The course will be a balancing act between these two references. We will read most of the tales, in Chaucer's English. There will be either three or six one-page papers, and an hour exam. The grade will be an average of these. The course satisfies the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. WL:1 (Lenaghan)
471. Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Key Texts. (3). (Excl).
A survey of nineteenth-century American fiction, non-fiction, and poetry up until the Civil War. The course will identify important cultural dilemmas and opportunities facing American writers of this period, most notably the emergence of a national culture, the question of a truly "democratic" literature and what this means, the impact of slavery as well as other explosive issues of the time. Authors to be studied include Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Stowe, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson. Requirements: two papers and final exam. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Larson)
479/CAAS 489. Topics in
Afro-American Literature. English 274 and/or 320
strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total
of 6 credits.
Section 001 – Modern Black Poetry, 1900-1980. This course will explore the traditions, movements and trends in modern Black poetry, including the post-reconstruction era, the New Negro movement, and the 1960s Black Arts movement. Attention will be paid to the use of materials generated through the Black oral tradition and its forms, as well as metropole influences such as modernism and social realism. These esthetic influences and the special economic, cultural and political experience of Black Americans, have combined to create a unique body of poetry – bold, expressive, innovative - that has influenced literary trends within the United States and throughout the Third World. Poets studied include Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, Melvin B. Tolson, Sterling Brown, Margaret Walker and more recent poets such as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti, Jayne Cortez, Ntozake Shange, Rita Dove, June Jordan and others. Grades will be based upon six short papers, attendance and class participation. Texts will include The Black Poets, anthology, ed. Dudley Randall; Selected Poems, Langston Hughes; Collected Poems, Robert Hayden; Selected Poems, Gwendolyn Brooks; and course pack selections. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Chrisman)
482. Studies in Individual Authors. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 002 – Hawthorne and James. Hawthorne was a major influence on James; James has had a major influence on modern views of Hawthorne. They form a natural pair. More than that, their most memorable works of fiction have much to tell us about a host of concerns and preoccupations evident in 19th Century American culture at large. For example, questions involving art's changing relation to commerce or gender's changing relation to power inform many of their texts and will be among some of the topics explored. Also of particular interest will be the mutual fascination of each writer in certain moral aberrations brought about by exaggerated states of mind – irrational guilt, self-deception, unacknowledged resentment, etc. - which in turn create ethical dilemmas which recur throughout their work. Biographical and cultural background will be presented when pertinent, but the class will largely depend on discussion. Two papers and a final exam. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Larson)
Section 003 – William Blake's Illuminated Works. This course studies the (scripictorial) arts of William Blake's illuminated works and other literary and artistic inventions in relation to his times and the traditions leading to and from them. Written work will include journal writing with detailed commentary on individual illuminated designs and a longer paper. Cost:2 (Wright)
483. Great Works of Literature. (1). (HU).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Apocalypse Then and Now. Apocalypse is at once a word and an event. The pivotal work in the tradition is the Biblical Apocalypse (the "Revelation") Of St. John. This great visionary text figures the last stages of history before the cataclysmic end, and represents a call to endure until the glorious vindication of the just in an order beyond time. The images generated in the Apocalypse recur insistently in western literature and art, its passions configure political and religious attitudes, and its logic dominates much political discourse. We will read and discuss the text both in terms of its original context and its enormous influence on later literature and art, including film. Figures whose work will enter discussion will include Dante, Joachim da Fiore, Signorelli, Savonarola, Michelangelo, Marx, Freud, and Coppola. Course requirements will include one essay (6 pages) and one examination. (Williams)
486. History of Criticism. (3). (Excl).
This will be an introductory survey of developments in literary theory during the past two centuries, with emphasis on the sweeping changes that have taken place in the past twenty-five years. Major areas of study will include romanticism, modernism, New Criticism, post-structuralism, materialism, feminism, and multiculturalism. We will be using various kinds of literary theory to help us answer basic questions about what and why we read, questions like: What is literary pleasure? Do authors determine the meaning of their texts, or do readers? In what ways are texts embedded in society and politics? Can pornography be literature? Are male readers/writers different from female readers/writers? On what principles was our literary canon established, and should it be revised? Our focus will be on the usefulness theory might have for readers, whether they be students or literary critics. Mix of lecture/ discussion, but with a strong emphasis on student participation. Two, possibly three short papers, and a final project. Cost:4 WL:1 (Kucich)
496. Honors Survey: Thesis and Comprehensive Examination.
Admission to the English Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Senior Honors: Research and Thesis Writing. This course is designed to help you conceive, do research for, and write your Honors thesis – the single most important, most meaningful piece of work you will do as an undergraduate English concentrator in the Honors program at this university. We will spend some time each week working together on learning techniques and methods generally applicable to academic research in the humanities. We will also work as a class to conceptualize what makes an Honors thesis different from a long end-of-term paper. As a way to explore a number of issues surrounding research and writing in the academy today, we will spend some time working with selected poems, fiction, and theoretical and critical prose. The primary focus of this course, however, will always be your own projects as they evolve over the course of the term. You will spend time presenting your own works in progress to the class as well as reading and critiquing the drafts of your classmates. Due dates throughout the term will help you to conceive of this large project as a tightly interrelated series of smaller projects – notes, outlines, research proposals with bibliographies, topic proposals, drafts of sections. By the end of this course, you will have a 20-30 page polished draft of your thesis and a very strongly focused sense of exactly what changes and additions you need to make to that draft before you turn in the final version in March of the following term. You should also have a good idea of the demands and rewards of advanced work in literary studies. Professors Schoenfeldt and Whittier-Ferguson will teach separate sections of this course, but the sections will also meet together periodically throughout the term. (Schoenfeldt, Whittier-Ferguson)
497. Honors Seminar. Junior or senior
standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 – Ink Spots and Material Words: Eighteenth-Century Literature and Print Culture. Why do eighteenth-century works of literature often express complex issues about the nature of language, the public sphere, mass communication and the mechanical reproduction of text by spilling so much ink? Not only are many of these works, particularly the novels, thematically aware of print as a medium, they delight in breaking up the conventional layout of the page. Some provide empty space for the reader to doodle in, others turn text upside down; still others leave whole gaps in the manuscript whose content the reader has to either imagine or ignore. In confronting these and other forms of typographical play, this course will focus on issues surrounding eighteenth-century print technology, particularly in relation to literary works and their portrayal of subject formation. The course will be organized into five sections: (1) theories and histories of print culture; (2) visual representations of the social, economic and political effects of print (in period paintings, graphic prints, etc.); (3) literary works that refer repeatedly or strikingly to the material aspects of writing; (4) literary works that employ typographical innovation (such as dislocated text); (5) a conclusion on print culture and conceptions of self in eighteenth- century Britain. Authors will include some (not all) of the following: Behn, Swift, Pope, Defoe, Richardson, Sterne, Smollett, Wollstonecraft, Inchbald, Blake, Coleridge, Edgeworth, Austen, Shelley. Rigorous attendance and discussion unremittingly required. One short paper; one longer essay; a class presentation and an exam. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Flint)
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