This file dates from March '96.
The English department has updated descriptions on its own homepage (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/courses/courses.htm).
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 the First- and Second-Year Studies Office (formerly the Composition Office), 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 010 – Living with Nature. Readings and discussion will focus on different ways of imagining the natural world and defining our relationship to it. We will ask such questions as: What is wild nature? How wild are we? How do we learn to know and live in a place? What responsibility do we have for our environment? How can we manage the tensions between nature and culture? Readings will include essays, some poetry and short fiction, and several longer works of fiction (possibly Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It and Margaret Atwood's Surfacing ). Some class time will be devoted to discussion of student writing. You will be asked to turn in drafts and revisions of four or five short papers and to do other writing exercises. (Knott)
Section 016 – Aspects of America. This course will focus on aspects of America, as viewed from the perspectives of some of its most distinguished writers. We will read In Our Time, by Ernest Hemingway; The Big Sea, by Langston Hughes; The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather; Selected Poems, by Robinson Jeffers; and Selected Poems, by Gwendolyn Brooks. These various works – novel, autobiography, short story, poetry – reflect a wide range of American venues and interests: the Michigan Upper Peninsula, the Midwestern prairie, the South Side of Chicago, the Carmel-Big Sur region of California, Harlem, Mexico and the expatriate experience in Europe. We will pay particular attention to the fundamentals of effective writing and style and how their deployment helps achieve the personal expression and vision of these authors. Writing assignment: 6-7 papers, of four pages each. (Chrisman)
Section 028 – The Nature of Spaced Pages' Time. We will focus on the way that twentieth-century authors have wrestled with that time-honored matter, time. The page is a spatial arrangement, the act of reading temporal, and there's a difference not merely of quantity but quality in, say, a very short story and a very long novel. We will examine each. The time it takes to read this sentence is not the time it takes to write it (as opposed, say, to the act of speaking and hearing) and we will consider that aspect of the issue – vision and revision, revision, vision - too. The short and intermediate and extended forms of telling all have their special problems as well as possibilities, and we will look at texts as disparate as the very short stories in Sudden Fiction, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Gardner's The Art of Fiction will serve as a companion text to the works of Beckett, Hemingway, Kincaid, Lowry, and Welty. Each in their own way have been obsessed with time as topic; each have proffered a solution to the problem posed. (Delbanco)
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: (1) Native Americans: The Education of Little Tree (Carter), Love Medicine (Erdrich); (2) Japanese North Americans: Nisei Daughter (Sone), Obasan (Kogawa); (3) Gay Americans: The Zoo Story (Albee), Giovanni's Room (Baldwin); and (4) 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. Cost:3 (Fader)
125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
No one ever finishes learning to write, so this course focuses on helping students further develop their unique potentials as writers, readers, and thinkers. By analyzing texts from a variety of academic disciplines, students will come to understand the conventions writers follow to present their ideas effectively to their chosen audiences. What rhetorical strategies are common in different disciplines – and why? How and when might we use those strategies in our own writing? For instance, what writing strategies would we call upon for a lab report, and would we use any of those strategies for a philosophical speculation, a history exam, a love letter? Throughout the term, students will work to identify the writing skills they most need to develop, and they'll invent and refine a personal style of expression that can be adapted to different audiences and purposes. Course requirements include at least 40 pages of writing, including at least 20 pages of revised, polished prose.
Descriptions for individual sections not listed below are available in the First- and Second-Year Studies Office, 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 026 – Daydreams and Nightmares. In this section 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 nightmares. What hopeful visions guide our decision-making processes? What do we know of our worst fears? A selection of readings will stimulate our thinking about these questions. Students electing this course will be encouraged to write on personal topics as well as to write more analytical papers. They will also be encouraged to reach out and explore how individual dreams relate to social worlds. The course 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. Required texts include Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Reader for Writers. (Carlton)
Section 027. This is a course in writing, writing, writing! It is also a course with a strong emphasis on reading, thinking and discussing. Be prepared to write five relatively long essays of at least five pages and to hand in rough drafts of them as well. You will also write ten formal critiques and twenty or so less formal ones. You are expected to participate in a class computer conference and to contribute to in-class conversations. A good part of class time will be spent discussing student texts: each student will have one of her or his papers workshopped by the entire class once during the term and all other papers discussed by small peer group members. Readings cover important but wide-ranging topics which should appeal to most students and should enable every student to develop topics for essays. Come ready to work hard but to enjoy yourself, too! (Kowalski)
Section 028. This course has several major purposes: (1) strengthening students' ability to think deeply and perceptively and (2) strengthening their ability to express their ideas confidently, articulately, and appropriately to meet their various writing needs throughout college and beyond. Since we learn best the things we discover for ourselves, much of the theme and method of this course will emphasize discovery. Most often we discover and learn in community with others; therefore, this section will also concentrate on collaborative learning. We will share ideas in discussion groups and critique one another's papers. All students are responsible for writing a great deal, helping to create their own learning, participating in class discussions, and promoting an atmosphere in which everyone can create, share, and argue ideas freely. 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 030 – 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," and "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," limited only by their own desire, energy, and capacity to dream. Not surprisingly, some of our most compelling writing has been written by new Americans who contemplate both the promise and the disappointment of that dream. This writing will provide a frame for discussion and subject matter for your own writing. We will focus on the way the myths of our culture are reproduced and rebutted in these texts. We will consider conflicts between old world ethics and new, between parents and children, between so-called insiders and outsiders and the ways these conflicts, despite the diversity of ethnic backgrounds, take on a particularly American flavor. We will read texts by Lore Segal, Mario Puzo, Julia Alvarez, Monica Sone, and others. Course requirements include formal essays, short responses to texts, and active participation in discussion. (Wolk)
Section 031 – Daydreams and Nightmares. See English 125.026. (Carlton)
Section 032. This course is designed to help you improve your writing. The basic text of this course is your own writing, specifically the essay you submit for class discussion. We shall read articles from The Michigan Daily, or freewrite in our journals to see if we can generate topics for essays, or discuss interesting issues from our lives. We shall also spend time discussing issues of grammar relevant to our own writing. However, the lion's share of our time will be devoted to class discussions of student essays. Many students enrolling in 125 dread the prospect. Believe it or not, depending on your attitude, you can learn an enormous amount from me and have a good time in the process. (If you don't believe me, ask some of my former students. I always have great fun and so, too, will you.) If you decide to enroll in my section, be prepared to loosen up, have some fun, work hard, and learn some fascinating facts about our language and, hopefully about how you might improve your own writing. (Rubadeau)
Section 033. See English 125.028. (Livesay)
Section 037. See English 125.032. (Rubadeau)
Section 038 – Writing Our Own Lives. Our class will grapple with questions that reveal underlying conflicts and value systems which affect our judgments in the decisions we make. Our work will entail uncovering individual issues of discord and attempting to see how those personal issues might speak to a public forum. In the process of that work, we will examine what is called the 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. We will always be concerned with how we think and how we translate that thinking into writing. The class format will be discussion and more discussion, and we will be working through our own essay writing in class. The conception of the class is one that celebrates the process of challenging and revising former ideas, one that works toward recognizing a synthesis of more complex possibilities. We will most likely analyze works by Isabelle Allende, Margaret Atwood, Maxine Hong Kingston, John Irving, and Toni Morrison. (Back)
Section 054. See English 125.032. (Rubadeau)
140(126). First-Year Literary Seminar. (3).
Section 002 – Literature in America; Literature in Africa. We will look at six texts, three from each of two geographical areas, and try to answer some of the following questions in comparative ways: What is the function of literature? How does it relate to social conditions? What value derives from the way in which the writer or artist conceives of her art? What connections, if any, exist between, say, an Arthur Miller and a Wole Soyinka (of Nigeria) - both of them modern playwrights? Between an American poet, say, Walt Whitman, and one from Kenya or Egypt? In what kinds of traditions do these cultures find their inspiration and confirm their various identities? Here, the examples may involve the influence of, say, Christian and Islamic histories; Native American or Yoruba imagery. We'll try to see if anything at all provides bridges between the two regions that we'll cover during the term. (Johnson)
Section 003 – High Culture/Low Culture. In this first-year seminar, we will explore how and why we make distinctions between high (or "serious") culture and low (or "popular") culture; and where and why those distinctions might break down. We will explore how economic and social forces within American consumer culture influence the divisions between high and low, art and entertainment, what sells and what's "good." Who has the power to decide these questions? Are there hidden agendas in definitions of what constitutes "real" as opposed to "trashy" cultural forms? Course texts will include novels from both sides of the high/low divide and in-between (possibly Nabokov's Lolita, King's Misery, Hagedorn's Dogeaters; DeLillo's White Noise ); essays by both journalists and academics interested in defining and/or questioning the high/low culture divide; a couple of films; some television. Requirements: Attendance and vigorous class participation; one group presentation; frequent short writing assignments; three or four papers. (S. Robinson)
Section 004 – 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 005 – Women and Gender: Victorian Women. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with History 197.002. (Israel)
217. Literature Seminar. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU).
Section 002. You know Marilyn, Madonna, Julia, Demi, and Alanis, but how well acquainted are you with Elizabeth, Anna, Hester, Antonia, Miranda, and even Scarlet? – those great women of literature? Here's an opportunity to read some of the books you've been meaning to read and to meet these larger than life literary creations. (Extra credit to those who can recognize these novels!) Come ready to read, discuss, and write about some of the greatest characters in literature. (List of books and characters subject to some changes due to unavoidable circumstances.) (Kowalski)
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 junior/senior writing courses throughout the College. 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 First- and Second-Year Studies Office, 5207 Angell Hall, 764- 0418.
223. Creative Writing. Completion of the
Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU). May not be repeated
Section 002. "A writer is not so much someone who has something to say as someone who has found a process that will bring about new things through the act of starting to say them" (William Stafford). In this course we will explore the mysteries of the creative process and the practicalities of craft by writing a lot. There will be a strong emphasis on the dynamic aspect of workshop: participation, collaboration and fun. Texts will be a combination of assigned works, instructional essays and your own choices. We will spend equal time on poetry and fiction, yet your final manuscript may emphasize the genre you enjoy most. You can expect to write at least 5-10 poems and 2-3 revised stories by term's end. (Simmons)
Section 003. No experience needed for this introductory class to writing; what is necessary is the desire to engage in a group of people who are writing, reading, and talking about writing. We'll do half fiction, half poetry, and workshopping your work (kindly and honestly) will be the priority. We'll try revisions (the final portfolio is 35-50 pages of revised material), exercises, and experiments in the name of bridging that space between what's in your head and what's on the page. In between, we'll read as much excellent published stuff as we possibly can, alternating traditional stories and poems with ones that will force you to redefine fiction, poetry, and life in general. And I'll pressure you to attend local readings (since there are awesome writers visiting Ann Arbor this fall). Basically, come to this class with brilliant ideas and a wide-open mind. (Libaire)
Section 005. This course will introduce students to the language of poetry and prose through both conventional and creative methods. Students will be expected to engage in lively, critical discussion of both their own work and their classmates' work. Exercises will be assigned to help students access and release reserves of creativity previously unexplored. By the end of the term each student will have a portfolio of 2-3 revised stories and 5-10 revised poems. (Stroud)
Section 006. Writing, like other art forms, is a matter of serious play. The goal of this course is to engage your creativity and to offer you the tools to shape that creativity into works of art. The primary focus will be on your work: each student will write and review 2-3 stories and 6-8 poems. The class and I will offer constructive feedback in a workshop format. Other writing will include sporadic in-class exercises, to help you get the juices flowing, and written critiques of others' work, to develop your editorial eye. For inspiration, education and enjoyment we will read a variety of published stories and poems which will form the basis for discussions on how good writing works. In this class, risk-taking and writing from personal experience are encouraged. (Twiss)
Section 007. This course will provide structure and community for the creative writing that you want to pursue. In the form of short stories and poems, you will cultivate the mental notes you take as you roam around Ann Arbor (or elsewhere), interact with others (significant or not), watch people walking by on the street, et cetera. We will consider the impact of daily life on our senses and how this is represented in writing, i.e., the effects of film, music, traffic, and daydreaming. What you may consider mundane could be the source of a good story or poem. To complement the writing, there will be regular reading assignments from modernist and contemporary writers. The readings will help us explore issues of voice, structure, and content that we will apply to the in-class workshop. By term's end, you will be expected to have a portfolio of two revised short stories and a group of poems. (Coleman)
Section 008. Writing is both a passion and a craft, and this course is meant to be an apprenticeship – the only prerequisite is that you want to learn to write. We'll explore the craft of writing poetry and fiction in a workshop setting, which means that you'll bring your work to class for considerate discussion and constructive criticism. (While we will work in two genres, this class will emphasize poetry.) Along the way, we'll examine the different steps of the creative process, using short exercises both for inspiration and as a way to develop particular techniques relevant to each genre. Also, as one of the best ways to improve your writing is to read the work of others, there will be a variety of readings in contemporary poetry and fiction (with a special emphasis on female writers); you'll also attend on-campus readings to broaden your exposure. Requirements include: a final portfolio of 15-18 pages of revised poetry and 20-25 pages of revised fiction; careful reading of and written responses to other students' work; class attendance and participation. Overall, you should bring your enthusiasm and creativity to this class – as a group, we'll take it from there. (Carlin)
Section 010. This is an introductory workshop in creative writing. Though we will spend one-third of the term on fiction, we will focus primarily on poetry. Initially, students will practice writing images and metaphors and complete several exercises in "automatic writing." Then students will be asked to write poems employing techniques designed to force the author to release control of the poem's direction, to surprise him or herself. The underlying principle on which this course will be based is that often the most resonant or mysterious writing occurs in spite of the author's intent. While we will focus primarily on student work, we will look at Susan Sontag's essay "Against Interpretation" and read poems, stories, and essays by such authors as Frank O'Hara, James Tate, Franz Kafka, Paul Auster, and Elizabeth Bishop. A final portfolio of revised finished work of 35-50 pages can be expected. (Murray)
Section 011. We will rescue the imagination from dead language, tired ideas, and lazy rhetoric. Though your writing will be the focus in class, reading like a writer is inseparable from writing itself and you will meet with me at the start of the term to devise a short (3-5 book) personal reading list. You meet a wide array of voice and style across class, race, sexuality, and culture. Genres introduced will include many forms of poetry, tale, short story, and epistle. This course will emphasize poetry (2/3) and fiction (1/3), with an introduction to the creative writing potential in computer-based formats. Exercises in many forms will be assigned, but we won't be limited to these. Those willing to work generously and with ruthless compassion toward each other's writing (and toward the reading) will enjoy this class. 35-page cumulative portfolio. Keywords for this course: generosity, passion, pleasure, and discipline. (Lundin)
Section 012. This introductory course is for students who wish to begin writing poetry and/or short fiction more seriously and skillfully. Students will spend the majority of class time critiquing each other's work – by "critiquing" I mean the thoughtful, intelligent approach to suggesting improvements. We will discuss the work of a diverse group of published authors: what formal elements in it cause us to exclaim, "I wish I could write like that!" We will discuss the importance of reading and how it relates to the success of creative writers. Requirements are: class attendance and participation, writing improvement, 35-50 pages of poetry and/or fiction. There is always something at stake in good writing: "I'll find the field," Richard Hugo writes. "I'll go feeble down / the road strung gray like spoiled wine / in the sky. A sky too clear of cloud / is fatal. Trust the nimbus." This unequivocal desire to tell a story, to show beauty in language, to find truth in feeling or idea will drive this course. (Antonello)
Section 013. This course will be an introduction to writing fiction and poetry, with an emphasis on fiction. In addition to writing our own work we will examine the stories/poems of several published authors; our main focus will be analyzing how the use of language produces a given impression on the reader. For example, how do you create and maintain a particular "voice"? The class will follow a workshop format, with students providing written and oral critiques of each other's work. In addition, students will be required to attend at least one local fiction reading and one poetry reading during the term. Aside from short writing exercises, a final portfolio of at least two new, completed and revised stories and several poems will be required. (Hall)
Section 014. This course is designed to teach the beginning writer basic methods of discourse in poetry and short fiction. The emphasis of the class will be on the students' work (a portfolio of 35-50 pages is required), which means there will be a large amount of time spent "workshopping" poems and stories in a courteous but incisive manner. Because it is an introductory course, there will also be a good deal of reading required. I will choose texts (like Denis Johnson, Robert Hass, Jane Miller) which I love, and which inspired me to write, in hopes of inspiring the same from you. There will be a couple of collections of work by individual writers which will be core texts, as well as a course pack with a myriad of world writing, minority writing, etc. There are a great number of wonderful voices saying important things in contemporary literature. There is much to be learned from them, but the emphasis will be on you. (Short)
Section 016. This course will concentrate on poetry and fiction. We will spend a considerable amount of time on the reading of contemporary and older literature. We will also discuss and develop methods of workshopping one another's poetry and prose responsibly and intelligently. Each student will be expected to write 2-3 stories and 5-10 poems during the term. In addition to creative work, you may be asked to write one or two small papers discussing an issue of craft – narrative, character, story and so on – in a short story or poem. I hope to show you how it is that a writer, as opposed to a critic, might read literature and how you, as writers, might profit from your reading. While I will try to create a relaxed classroom environment, I also hope for a serious group of writers. (Fulton)
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 First- and Second-Year Studies Office, 5207 Angell Hall.
227. Introductory Playwriting. (3). (HU).
A crash course immersion into the world of dramatic writing. Principles common to the forms of playwriting, screenwriting, and teleplay writing will be studied and practiced. 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 and Ensemble Studio Theater, student playwrights are expected to write two revised one-act plays over the course of the term, see one play a week, read at least one play a week, meet weekly with an assigned partner, have weekly conferences with the instructor, and keep a journal. Midterm and end of the year performances are open to the public. (Roth)
230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (3).
Section 003 – Double Voices and Multiple Selves. Before psychoanalysis gave us a model for describing the complexity of the human mind, fiction writers employed a rich variety of fictional strategies to represent that complexity. Stevenson's odd couple – the refined Mr. Jekyll and the sinister Mr. Hyde – occupying the same house (body); Hawthorne's eternally veiled minister; Charlotte Brontë's madwoman in the attic – all brilliantly imaginative constructions of the contradictions and perversities of a psychic self. But even after psychological discourse became common, writers still spoke indirectly and symbolically in representing what the human mind, after all, went to great lengths to hide and deny. We will make the means by which fiction writers signify psychic conflict the focus of this course. Since a particular culture determines how guilt, shame, and madness are defined, we will consider the fiction in the context of the culture that produced it. And we will ask why so many authors choose issues of crime and punishment to represent the hidden self. Our texts will include the writing of Stephen King, Dostoevski, M. Shelley, T. O'Brien, and others. (Wolk)
Section 004 – Growing Up in Fiction. How do fictions of growing up help us interpret our own lives? Many stories deal with childhood quests or with the struggles of growing up, finding oneself at odds with dominant cultural values, coming to terms with adult responsibilities and decisions. Authors such as Carson McCullers, Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, Frederick Douglass, Jamaica Kincaid, Tim O'Brien, Sherwood Anderson, James Baldwin, D.H. Lawrence, Rudyard Kipling, and Tillie Olsen variously represent the process of growing up. What personal meanings can we make from these fictional accounts? What gender, class, or cultural issues do they raise? What can we learn about history and our own identities as we practice being competent readers of fiction? Required: active class participation, a reading journal, two short papers, and a final paper. (Berggren)
Section 005 – Writing the Road: Travel in American Literature. Narratives, like trips, have a beginning, take you somewhere, and leave you somewhere else. American narratives have a particular obsession with travel. What is it that propels Americans back and forth, up and down the country, or across its borders? And what compels writers to endow travel with such rich significance? How can we understand the places of departure and arrival as metaphors as well as geographical locations? What ideas about the freedom to move divide Americans and what ideas do many seem to share? Texts may include: Melville, Porter, O'Connor, Faulkner, and Hemingway stories; Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Larsen, Quicksand; Stein, Paris France; Kerouac, On the Road; Morrison, Song of Solomon; and Reed, Flight to Canada. Requirements include: careful reading of difficult texts, class participation, response papers, and several longer critical essays. (Madsen)
Section 006 – Monsters Among Us. Ranging from as far and wide as Shelley's Frankenstein and Stoker's Dracula to the freak show heroines of Dunn's Geek Love, monsters have had an impressive resonance within our culture. Yet the potent symbol of the monster ultimately stems from a strikingly amorphous category. How do we actually recognize a monster? Are we in agreement over what that designation – the monstrous – means? This course will examine representations of monsters and the monstrous in a wide selection of short stories and novels. We will be creating working definitions of the monstrous, definitions that will likely grow and change as we examine monsters in a variety of contexts. In the process of fleshing out our understanding of this cultural phenomenon, we will also hone our skills at reading and analyzing literature. Authors may include: Crane, Gilman, Kafka, Kingston, O'Connor, Welty, and Wright. Requirements: two short papers, a midterm and a final project. (Paschild)
239. What is Literature? Prerequisite
for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001. What does it mean to be an author, to create a story? To figure that out, we'll be authors ourselves a little and ask about our own responses as readers. We'll read texts closely, attempting to understand their less accessible meanings, the effect of the social and economic context in which they are written and read, 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 read or view The Official Story, Interviews with My Lai Veterans, Wiesenthal's The Sunflower, Coetzee's Age of Iron, Thomas' The White Hotel, Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow, Washington's Iron House, 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. No exams. Cost:3 (Alexander)
Section 003. This course explores some fundamental questions about the meaning and significance of the study of written and oral "literature." In addition to examining the historical development of literary studies itself, we'll explore some of the varying conceptions of and attitudes toward literature in different periods and cultures. We'll explore some basic theories and methods that are used to think about and write about literature both by reading accessible theoretical texts and by writing about a variety of literary-critical forms from different periods and cultures. By examining how literary and critical forms and practices shape and are shaped by changes in technology (such as the invention of print and TV), in socio-political institutions (such as the university), in economic structures, and in cultural customs and beliefs, we'll analyze what our own current literary-critical practices reveal about American cultural habits. Discussion format. Brief weekly writing assignments, occasional oral presentations, a journal, and a term essay-project. Cost:3 (Ross)
Section 004. 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 examine 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; Shakespeare, King Lear; and Twain, Huckleberry Finn. There will be frequent writing of short pieces and a final examination. Cost:3 (Howes)
Section 005. This course will explore the relation between how we read literary texts and how we experience and consume media like film and television. What, if anything, does literature offer in a "communications" era increasingly dependent upon more visual forms of representation? Are there forms of critical thought available to readers to literature not available to viewers of film and television? These questions will be asked in the context of American novels, films and TV programs concerned with the American political system (from Robert Penn Warren's All the President's Men, Robert Coover's The Public Burning, and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, to "conspiracy films" like The Parallax View and JFK, as well as to TV programs like The X-Files ). Our concerns, then, will be historical as well as formal: having identified significant differences between literature, film, and TV, we will trace how particular authors have put those differences to explicitly political ends. That is, we will focus on how American authors have used self-consciously literary forms of representation in the service of their political narratives. (Szalay)
Section 006. This course approaches literature from two directions: both as a personal pleasure and as a provocation to thoughtfulness about our world. One goal of the class, however, consists in clarifying how these two directions resist total separation from each other, for the writing and the reading of literature both involve profound negotiations of individual and social realities. We will mount a compact review of several approaches to the question "What is literature?" Then we will embark on a relatively freewheeling procedure of discussion and response, aiming by the term's end to develop a purposeful and ramified sense of what literature means and how it means. Texts will be chosen with an eye toward variety, and will include fiction, drama, poetry, film, literary criticism, and some philosophy. Course requirements include careful reading, active participation, several papers, and a final exam. (Thomas) Section 007. Good question! Even if we don't quite answer it, it lets us ask a lot of subsidiary questions that ought to provoke our thought – questions that may seem simple but, on reflection, aren't. What are books for? Pleasure? Instruction? Passing time? Why do different people admire different books - or no book at all? Under what cultural influences? How does a book get to be thought a great book, a canonical book? Then again, what is fiction? What is a poem? Why? Who decided? How and when? How does a tradition get started; why does it stop? How is "literature" effected by such media as speech, print, and electronic communication? In order to explore such questions, we'll read some oral poetry (e.g., Homer and the Anglo-Saxon Widsith); two novels (Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Conrad's Heart Of Darkness ); a film (Apocalypse Now ); a play (?); some short stories; a few essays; and quite a number of poems. We'll also read and analyze various kinds of "non-literary" texts, such as greeting cards, ads, and part of a Harlequin Romance. Assignments: participation in a story-telling workshop; three essays on increasingly challenging topics; two creative exercises. Collaborative work will be permitted but not required. The final exam will test critical thinking about the course readings and about a short new text. Cost:2 (Smith)
Section 008. The power of words in drama and fiction needs to be compelling for us before we can really begin. For this course, we will read three plays and five novels, all of them concerned one way or another with human relationships – mostly with "family" and some with "love." The plays are by Sophocles (Oedipus the King and Antigone ) and Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet ); the novels by Austen ( Sense and Sensibility), Woolf (To the Lighthouse ), Nabokov (Lolita), Wright (Native Son), Maclean ( A River Runs Through It), and Kinkaid (Lucy ). The course is limited in enrollment to allow for lively discussion; hence attendance at class meetings is required. In addition to a midterm and final, there will be two papers (about 8 pages long) and several short essays (2 to 3 pages long). Cost:2 (Bailey)
Section 011. How do you decide, when you open a book, whether what you are reading counts as "literature" or not? How do we decide what a story means? This class is designed to explore and challenge common assumptions about literature, language, and culture; to disclose the active role of narrative in shaping self and society; and to open up a critical perspective on the workings of our own culture. We will approach these topics through a wide variety of readings, including both fiction and cultural theory. Format: discussion. The class is designed to encourage critical thinking; it will even be all right for students to question the accuracy of the teacher's views – at least, I will do my best to remain calm. Students' responsibilities: punctual completion of reading assignments, class participation, an oral presentation, three short papers, one examination. (Howard)
Section 012. This course approaches literature from two directions: both as a personal pleasure and as a provocation to thoughtfulness about our world. One goal of the class, however, consists in clarifying how these two directions resist total separation from each other, for the writing and the reading of literature both involve profound negotiations of individual and social realities. We will mount a compact review of several approaches to the question "What is literature?" Then we will embark on a relatively freewheeling procedure of discussion and response, aiming by the term's end to develop a purposeful and ramified sense of what literature means and how it means. Texts will be chosen with an eye toward variety, and will include fiction, drama, poetry, film, literary criticism, and some philosophy. Course requirements include careful reading, active participation, several papers, and a final exam. (Thomas)
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite
for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Honors. Pleasure and knowledge – in the writing, reading, and critical discussion of poetry – is a recurrent theme of this course. Our aim is to explore a number of critically esteemed works of poetry and to introduce methods of reading that will help us appreciate the radically transformative potentials of poetry. At the same time, we will look at the ways in which poems cannot help but reflect their time and place. Focusing on British and American poems of the past two centuries that have defined the notion of the "romantic" (or Romanticism?), we will consider questions such as the following: What are the formal practices specific to poetry? What are the philosophical assumptions on which they are based? How do the social and economic conditions under which poems are produced affect their value systems? In short: how do poems and their readers make meaning? Some of the writers we will read include: (British) William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron; and (American) Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, H.D., Gary Snyder, Robert Hass, Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg. We will create a lively and demanding classroom, in which active participation is required of all of us. In addition, you will be asked to write three short essays and an exam. (Levinson)
Section 002. The first third of this course will concentrate on prosody – the techniques of verse, how poems are put together and how they work. The second third will be devoted to the study of a few major poems as they represent various periods/styles in English and American literature (e.g. baroque, romanticism, modernism). Finally, the last third of the course will be determined by class consensus – whatever you (plural) would like to read. The text will be The Norton Anthology of Poetry. I will probably assign you a short paper (2-3 pages) each week and most likely will give a final exam, although if everyone does a super job all term long, I might forget it. (Beauchamp)
Section 003. This course will provide an introduction to poetry, emphasizing the association of form and content and their link to the historical context in which poems were originally written. We will examine the ways various poetic forms reflect assumptions about the function of poetry for its audience, the role and status of the poet, and the relation of poetry to the marketplace and to people of different social classes. Our poets will range from Shakespeare to Christina Rossetti to Seamus Heaney. The course will, for the most part, be organized chronologically, but we will on occasion trace certain themes, techniques, and forms as they appear in a cluster of poems of different periods. We will also use other cultural artifacts to illuminate the workings of the poems of particular eras. The class will discuss, for instance, the common features of Renaissance poems and paintings that praise Queen Elizabeth, and the relationship between twentieth-century impressionism and the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Course requirements include active class participation and several short papers. (Henderson)
Section 004. An introduction to poetry: its traditional forms, themes, techniques and uses of language; its historical and geographical range; and its twentieth-century diversity. The course will include discussion of oral and written traditions and the place of performance in contemporary poetry; the kinds of power (from the magical to the political) which have often been associated with poetry; the relationships between secular and sacred traditions in poetry. There will be discussion of the function of historical and national categories, as well as those of race and gender and class. (Goodison)
Section 007. The aim of this course is to introduce you to the art of poetry so that you can read and discuss any poem with understanding and delight. Our basic strategy in the course will be to explore poetic expression in as many ways as possible: through silent reading and reading aloud, through close analysis and more impressionistic response, through class discussion and individual study, and through various forms of writing (both spontaneously exploratory and more carefully argued). During the term, we will move from a general survey of poetic techniques and forms to a more detailed study of the work of a selection of authors from the Renaissance to the present. For the former, we will use Western Wind by John Frederick Nims. For the latter, we use The Norton Anthology of Poetry. To record your day-to-day interactions with texts, I will ask you to keep a poetic journal. More formal writing will include four (ungraded) exercises in poetic analysis and four (graded) papers (3-5 pages) on individual authors and poems. Cost:2 (Cureton)
Section 008. 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)
Section 009. English 240 is a prerequisite for English concentrators, and it is a good course to help you decide whether you wish to concentrate in English. Poetry is a game and a source of pleasure, and to understand a poem fully, just as to understand any complex game, we need to acquire knowledge and skill: fluency. We will read aloud, memorize, analyze, discuss. There will be frequent short writings, and a few longer papers, a computer conference, and, probably, a midterm and a final. Regular attendance and active participation in class meetings are required. (Cloyd)
Section 010. This course is for students interested in reading poetry with increased pleasure and understanding. Close reading of specific poems will be used to illustrate questions of voice, narrative, diction, rhythm and meter, sound, figures of speech, the line, form, authorship, audience, and context. Students will also learn something about the historical development of poetry in English. During the term, we will move from a general survey of poetic techniques and forms to a brief but detailed study of the work of one author, probably Elizabeth Bishop. We will also explore how poetry can help create communities and stimulate moral and political thinking and feeling. I expect to ask you to write four short papers and a midterm. Other requirements for the course are regular attendance and active participation in class. Final grades will reflect all the requirements. Texts: Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms, and The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Cost:2 (McIntosh)
Section 011. In this course, we shall study closely a variety of poems written in English from about 1600 to the present. 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, to literary-historical conditions that influence poetic craft, and to the intertextual connections that create constellations of poems across the centuries. The textbook, Norton Introduction to Poetry (sixth edition) by J. Paul Hunter, will be our chief reading, in addition to handouts. Because this is a discussion class, regular attendance and participation are required. Other requirements include a series of short papers, supplemented by a reading journal, a midterm, and a final examination. (Goldstein)
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 211. (Brown)
267(326). Introduction to Shakespeare. Completion
of Introductory Composition. (4). (HU).
Section 001 – Identity and its Transformation. Shakespearean drama is concerned – one could say obsessed – with identity and its transformation. Sometimes the metamorphosis is a happy one, as when female characters cross-dress as men, escape their harsh fathers, and find lovers of their choice. Sometimes the change is tragic, as when King Lear self-destructs before our eyes. Characters constantly ask, "Who am I?" and assert "I am not what I am." This course will be engaged with exploring the possibilities of, and limits on, identity, examining in particular how identity is fashioned and threatened in terms of gender, social status, nationality, and sexuality. Among the plays we will read are A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, Othello, Merchant of Venice, Winter's Tale, Henry the Fourth, part 1. Requirements: a midterm and a final, short one-page response papers, one 5 page essay. Cost:2 (Traub)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (3).
Section 001 – Black and White and Read All Over. In this class we will examine the textual dialogue between writers of European and African descent (categories that are, of course, not mutually exclusive). In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries African Americans, though often forced by law or circumstance to remain illiterate, nevertheless sought ways to tell their unique stories via literary genres that were European in origin; such works generally appeared as autobiography, but could take the form of verse or fiction. Similarly, Americans who were classified as "white" also drew on the racially ordered nature of life in the ante-bellum United States, incorporating slave narratives or their personal knowledge of life in a racially stratified society into their creative works. Probable requirements: two papers, two exams. (Zafar)
285. Introduction to Twentieth-Century Literature. (3). (HU).
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 to read some representative works of modern thought and literature, our purpose to sharpen the insight with which we approach some probing "documents" of our time. We will emphasize equally what these works say and how they say it. Reading: some standard works; some idiosyncratic selections. Possible authors include: Camus, Dürrenmatt, Bellow, Kosinski, D.M. Thomas, P. Levi, Kafka, Atwood, or several others. Informal lecture and discussion, the amount of which will be influenced by the size of the class. Thoughtful, active participation "counts." Two 5-7 pp. papers and a final exam. (Bauland)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
305. Introduction to Modern English. Recommended for students preparing to teach English. (3). (HU).
This course surveys the forms and functions of contemporary English. We will consider some of the major dimensions of English structure (orthography, phonetics, intonation, word formation, syntax, etc.) and how these structures characterize both English speakers and their linguistic purposes. During the term, we will explore the social and geographical dialects of Modern English (e.g., British vs. American English and Black English Vernacular), its professional jargons (e.g., the language of advertising, religion, law, and politics), and its situational varieties (e.g., the language of conversation, oral narrative, and literature) and will affect our actions and attitudes (e.g., our notions of "good" English vs. "bad"). Requirements for the course will include a language journal, a midterm, a final exam, and a project investigating some aspect of Modern English structure or use. Cost:4 (Cureton)
310. Discourse and Society. English 124
or 125. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – The Henry Ford High School Project. This course teaches students 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. Working two to three hours a week at Henry Ford High School in Detroit, the Phoenix School in Howell, and Adrian and Maxey Boys Training Schools, students assist youth in creating their own video tapes, plays, photographs, music, etc. In two hour class meetings we discuss background reading, analyze and develop our work with the youth, and teach each other hands-on methods. A further hour is devoted to meetings between each site team and the instructor. No exams. Admission to the class is by permission of instructor. Check professor's office door 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 008 – Fantasy. This course explores 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 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; Tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann; The Portable Poe; The Alice books, Lewis Carroll; The Island of Dr. Moreau and Best Science Fiction Stories, H. G. Wells; The Complete Stories, Franz Kafka; Orlando, Virginia Woolf; The Erasers, Alain Robbe-Grillet; The Tolkien Reader; The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster; Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino; The Dead Father, Donald Barthelme; Woman on The Edge of Time, Marge Piercy. (Rabkin)
Section 015 – 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 (McDougal)
315/WS 315. Women and Literature.
(3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – Women and Modernism. This course will examine the contribution of women writers to modernism (1910-45), the aesthetic and ideological movement that attempted to reinvent literature and the arts in this century. Along with such male contemporaries as Joyce, Faulkner and Pound, key female authors produced an impressive body of adventurous, experimental, indeed ground-breaking work – frequently using that work to explore and further their own explicitly feminist ideals. Placing our study in the context of a tumultuous cultural landscape marked by two world wars, the rise of consumer culture, the development of the cosmopolitan city, the creation of an international avant-garde, and the disruption of conventional gender roles, we will examine the contribution of women writers to the exciting, confusing, frequently violent cultural ferment that surrounded them. Writers will include Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Jean Rhys, H.D., Nella Larsen, and Dorothy Richardson, as well as a few key male authors. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Egger)
Section 002 – Fictions of the Body. In this course, we will explore contemporary "fictions of the body," not only in novels, but in popular culture, and in public discourse. Our focus will be on narratives of production and consumption, as we look at the ways in which contemporary culture both perpetuates, and challenges, age-old gender dichotomies, such as the equation of woman with body and man with mind; as well as more recent dichotomies constructed by and for consumer culture. Topics range from eating disorders, to pregnancy, to the "feminization" of the male body, to bodybuilding. Texts: a course pack of critical and theoretical essays and, tentatively: Margaret Atwood, The Edible Woman; Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out Of Carolina; Rebecca Goldstein, The Mind-Body Problem; Gloria Naylor, Mama Day; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Katherine Dunn, Geek Love; we'll also watch Pumping Iron, The Women. Two papers, midterm, final. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (S. Robinson)
317. Literature and Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Literature of the American Wilderness. 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 Thoreau's The Maine Woods, Muir's My First Summer in The Sierra, Cather's O Pioneers!, Leopold's Sand County Almanac, Faulkner's The Bear, and Momaday's House Made of Dawn. We will also read poetry (Snyder, Berry, Ammons, Oliver) and selections from twentieth-century nature writers (including Abbey, Dillard, McPhee, 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. Cost:3 (Knott)
Section 002 – Word of Mouth (Food Theme Semester). "Word of Mouth" can best be described as a tour of literary gastronomy – you are what you write as well as what you eat. In this course we'll feast on a variety of literary dishes: autobiography, travel writing, historical narratives, humor, poetry. By reading various writers on a favorite subject – food – we'll see how these individuals construct literary identities around those most visceral and primal of categories: taste and memory. Among authors likely to be included are M.F.K. Fisher, Verta Mae Grosvenor, Alice B. Toklas, Robert Burns, Laurie Colwin; we will also read some theorists, e.g., Mary Douglas, Pierre Bourdieu, and Claude Levi-Strauss. Probable requirements: class participation, two short papers and two exams. (Zafar)
Section 003 – Bigotry and Maturity in the Literature of Several Cultures. This course examines some assumptions of American culture by comparing them to related ideas in America after World War II and in renaissance England. We will read one of Shakespeare's plays at the beginning of units on bigotries of religion, race, and sexuality, and one in the unit on maturity. In these four parts of the course we will read plays by Hockhuth and Albee, novels by Ellison, Kogawa, Baldwin, Walker, Maclean, Morrison, and Kennedy, and a remembrance by Levi. Each class except the first and last will begin with fifteen minutes of writing in response to a question intended as preparation for discussion that follows. In addition to these in-class papers, two 2-3 page papers will be required as preliminary versions of two 5-6 page papers that are the chief written work of the course. No midterm or final examination. This course satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Fader)
323. Creative Writing. English 223, junior standing, and written permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Interested students should get on the waitlist through Touch-Tone Registration and submit a manuscript to the English Department Office (7609 Haven Hall) by noon of the first day of the term (not the first class meeting). Class lists will be posted in the English Office by the second day of the term.
Section 001 – Poetry. This is an intermediate undergraduate poetry workshop. Students will be asked to read contemporary poetry, poetry from earlier periods and essays by published poets on craft and vision; also required will be attendance at several local poetry readings. In addition to writing and revising their own poems (1-2 per week), students may be asked to keep a journal. Students will write thoughtful critiques of each other's work and join fully and intelligently in workshop discussions. (Goodison)
Section 002 – 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. 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. (Smith)
Section 003 – 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. Students may come by during conference hours (posted on the professor's door) to receive the permission needed to register for this section. 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)
Sections 004 and 005 – 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. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
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 First- and Second-Year Studies Office, 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 002 – The Dwarf, The Demon, and The Divided Self. "Works of fiction exist in a space between the Double and the Other. To enter into a work of fiction is in a sense to transform the Other into a Double," writes Professor Paul Coates. In this writing seminar, we will want to concentrate our attention on how and why authors involve us in the most unlikely identifications. What does Gunter Grass, in The Tin Drum, have in mind with a character who refuses to grow up, for example? Or, how does John Irving, in A Prayer for Owen Meany, create a hero for us out of a little guy who looks translucent (his blue veins show through his skin), has a strange sounding voice, and is extremely manipulative? Pretty much all term we will be reading works that help us to make meaning and connections out of the implications of the three unlikely joined subjects in the title of this class. And we will consistently be aware of that "space," between the text and ourselves, between the characters and our own identities. We want to consider the ways in which we, in the process of reading and writing, actually create the text and recreate our "selves." (Back)
Section 003. The aim of this course is to help you write with greater awareness shaped by our identities. We will ask how factors such as culture, ethnicity, and gender shape the expression of our selves. We will ask why some ideas must be said in complex ways and could not be said otherwise. We will also examine the value of clarity in English prose style and what may be communicated – or silenced – by clarity. Course requirements include reading responses, critiques of peer papers, and a total of 25-30 pages of prose (you will have some flexibility in determining lengths of papers that comprise this total number of pages). Texts will include Bartholomae and Petroskey's Ways of Reading and Kochman's Black and White Styles in Conflict. (Carlton)
Section 004. This is a course for people who want to write nonfiction that is as creative, moving, provocative, beautiful, funny and intellectually exciting as the world's greatest stories and poems. (I'm not saying we'll succeed, but we'll try.) We'll use personal experience as well as knowledge and insights gained from reading books, talking to other people, exploring new places and trying new activities in an attempt to delve more deeply into questions that truly interest us and, we hope, our readers. Subjects may concern literature, science and the natural world, history, law, psychology, sociology, popular culture, sports, art ... as well as our own lives. Come prepared to read a great deal (possible authors include Didion, White, Baldwin, Orwell, Chatwin, Ozick, Ellison, McPherson, Gould, Thomas, Agee, Fussell, Capote, Lurie, Rich, McPhee, Trillin, Rodriguez, Dubus, Hyde), to write a great deal (a total of 50 pages of revised prose by the end of the term) and to critique each other's work with generosity, honesty and tact. (Pollack)
Section 005. The goal of this course is to provide opportunities for students to learn to write with increased insight, power, and assurance. Given that goal, I've tried to create a course (1) that gives students much writing practice (though not always as formal papers), (2) that allows students to work independently on an ongoing educational project of their own choosing, and (3) that keeps the whole class sharing ideas and helping each other with writing through-out the term. We'll start by reading Kendall Hailey's The Day I Became an Autodidact, a sort of journal, begun at age sixteen and kept over a period of three years, by a young woman who decided that she would educate herself rather than go to college. (Note: "autodidact" means one who is self-taught.) From the spring-board of that book, students will devise their own series of papers to help achieve that goal. Discussion, in-class writings, and of one another's papers will be the primary focus in the classroom. (Livesay)
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 – Questioning Heroic, Singing Romance. The course will focus on the reading and enjoyment of the dazzling variety of texts which made of the English tradition one of the major cultural streams in the West. At the same time we will explore the implications of these texts in and for political, social, and cultural history more generally. We will give special attention in 1996 to the ongoing rewriting of the heroic, with its shifting models of male and female excellence, and to Romance with its artful fables of desire. Readings will range widely from Beowulf to Roxanna, perhaps even to Blake's America. Major time will be devoted to Chaucer, Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton. The second term course, English 351, will focus on material from Blake to Pynchon. The course features lecture three hours a week; discussion groups will meet a fourth hour to discuss the material further and to work out writing assignments for the course. There will be three essays of approximately six pages each, a midterm, and a final examination. This course satisfies the Pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. (Williams)
367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (4).
Section 001 – The Pleasures of the (Performed) Text. The big name in drama, Shakespeare appears as a character in most controversies having to do with the study of a canon consisting of white male Europeans, usually in the role of literary genius. In this course we will explore the work of Shakespeare the playwright, the writer for the stage whose creations have been revived again and again to be played throughout the world. Does the nature of revival and performance enliven the relevance of the works? Why do contemporary writers about gender, race, and sexual orientation find the stuff that critical dreams are made of in the 38 plays? Plays: Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Coriolanus, Richard II, Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Requirements include short assignments, mandatory attendance, and a longer project paper. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Skantze)
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 004. If modern society in the West emerges in part out of a differentiation between church and state, and religion is treated largely as a matter of private belief, it takes an act of historical imagination to understand much writing in the Renaissance, when such differentiation was not taken for granted, and the religious and the secular interacted often in very public ways. We will read a range of works from more familiar plays and poems (Shakespeare, Donne and Milton) to less familiar prose works (More, Hooker and Trapnel) produced between 1500 and 1660, considering how writers negotiated and shifting realms of the sacred and the profane in order to define everything from gender relations to the powers of the Prince. Requirements: Reader's Theater performance of one play; three workshopped essays; short response papers; a comprehensive final exam. Active participation is expected. This course satisfies the Pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. (Flannery)
371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (4).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – 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 satisfies the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Henderson)
Section 002 – 18th Century English Literature and the Other Arts. This course offers a wide general understanding of the period: an Age of Reason in which many major authors were mad, an Age of Enlightenment when the upper classes worried about servants learning to read, a period in which England was turning from an agrarian nation of large estates to an industrial one which was also still heavily involved in colonization and exploration. While emotionally we may be children of the later Romantic period, politically and philosophically we still live much of the time in eighteenth-century England, for ours is the first government to attempt (in a limited way) to put into practical application the concepts of equality, freedom, and human rights developing in England in this period. In any time or place the arts are intimately connected: in this period the relationships are so close that each illumines the other and eases an understanding of what otherwise seems obscure. Music and both still and moving images will be provided with the aid of a computer program of my invention which I am still developing. Frequent short writing, two longer essays, and a final exam. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Cloyd)
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? The reading list will most likely include Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, Giovanni's Room, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and The Remains of the Day. Course requirements are mandatory attendance, two formal essays, a midterm and final exam. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Barnes)
382/Amer. Cult. 328. Native American Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits with department permission.
We will begin with the first conquest "autobiography" written by a Narrative American woman and end with the holistic vision of Leslie Marmon Silko. This course will be concerned with original indigenous voices of the United States, how those voices celebrate and/or respond to crises within native cultures, and how gender is represented in native texts. We will read works by Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Zitkala-Sa, Pauline Johnson, Ella Deloria, Louise Erdrich, Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hogan, and Leslie Silko. This course satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. (Bell)
387/Amer. Cult. 327. Latino/Latina
Literature of the U.S. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Contemporary Latino/a Literature. This course will consider the relationship between Latino/a literary productions and the social conditions and possibilities of its production since the early 60s. Topics will include: cultural nationalism as a response to structural racism, the articulations of literary form and cultural nationalism during the Latino Renaissance and after, the fate of both texts and their producers within various institutions, the gendered division of literary labor and the feminist critique of nationalist aesthetics, and queer transformations of the Latino/a literary landscape. This course satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. (Gonzalez)
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 satisfies 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 – Masters of Suspense: Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, and Fritz Lang. 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 – Interior Vision: The Subjective Camera in Narrative Film. Representative international films from Caligari to the present which tell all or part of their tales from the point of view of an involved participant rather than from the stance of an objective onlooker. Selections posted outside the professor's office before term's beginning. One film per week; three lecture/discussion hours; mandatory small discussion groups. Emphasis on relationships between what these films say and how they say it, their styles, their content, and their context. No prerequisites, but this course is not introductory. Previous cinema studies couldn't hurt. Should the discipline be new to you, read Giannetti's Understanding Movies over the summer for a solid foundation. Purchase of a pass [price pending, but inexpensive per showing] admits you to films, most or all at the Michigan Theater. Some reading; rigorous writing standards. Two 2-page papers; two 5-page papers; final exam. No "Incompletes" except under catastrophic circumstances. 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. This upperclass and graduate-level course fosters both sharpened general analytic and presentational skills and technical mastery of a broad range of modern computer-based technologies for collaboration and for gathering, manipulating, analyzing, and presenting electronic data in the humanities, both locally and via networks, with special attention to creating and publishing "compound documents" (e.g., Web sites and CD-ROMs). The course begins with five weeks of intensive technical training and proceeds to five weeks of discussion of works that question the impacts of technology. By the middle of the term, restrained only by time and their imaginations, students also will be working in self-selected groups on creating sophisticated multimedia products using a variety of techniques to address some substantial issue in the humanities. Technical topics include at least information gathering from digital sources, HTML authoring, hypertext documents or novels, collaborative technologies, the meaning of the digital revolution, text analysis, and image manipulation. (Rabkin)
417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator
in English. May not be repeated for credit. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – Masculinity in America. This course will look at various representatives of manhood in American culture from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Since gender and sexuality are fluid rather than fixed categories, we will see that what is "masculine" takes many different forms depending on the context in which the concept arises: that is, depending on historical period, geographical location, particular ethnic, class or sexual orientation of the community, etc. We will be reading about wars, gangs, westerns, romance, and trans-sexuality, among other topics. Works are likely to include but are not limited to The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, poems by Walt Whitman, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Kate Bornstein's Gender Outlaw, Unforgiven, and some stories by Melville. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Barnes)
Section 004 – Films of 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 from a narrowing of this list: Dreams, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Rashomon, The Bad Sleep Well, Ikiru, No Regrets for Our Youth, Red Beard. 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 the opportunity to lead part of the discussion of one film. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Howes)
Section 005 – Europe, Africa, and Asia in American Literature. Three poems by Walt Whitman, "Song of the Broadaxe," "Ethiopia Saluting the Colors," and "Passage to India," will serve as a sort of laboratory to set up the course. In it, we will look at ways in which alliance with, or exorcism of, London and Bombay, Senegal and Dublin, or France shaped how identity and culture have been made (up) in the New World. Other writers, from Wallace Stevens to Henry James, and from Toni Morrison, Thomas Jefferson, and Arthur Miller to Maxine Hong Kingston, will help us track the various ways in which the issue has remained crucial in discussions of American literature. The class will work toward a final project (12-15 pages) in which students will develop a comparative assessment of any two of the connections. This course satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. (Johnson)
Section 008 – Comparative U.S. Cultural Nationalisms. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with American Culture 498.001. (Gonzalez)
Section 009 – Weird Science: Warped Images in the 19th and 20th Centuries. This section satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. For Fall Term, 1996, this section is offered jointly with American Culture 498.002. (Ryan)
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. 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 through Touch-Tone Registration and bring a manuscript to class the first evening. A list of those admitted will be posted shortly thereafter. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
Section 002. 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 through Touch-Tone Registration and bring a manuscript to the first class meeting. Cost:1 (Baxter)
425. Advanced Essay Writing. Open only
to seniors and graduate students. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – My Life/Our World: The Arc of Narration in Essay Writing. It is my hope that our class will find ways in which telling our own stories will ultimately lead not only to singular discoveries but to more plural and public revelations. Although our writing may begin in our own minds, derived from our own experiences, somehow we need to discover the ways in which the narrator who tells "our story" is not the same person who lived the experience. The "I" who tells the story is one who has contemplated the meaning of an experience and has analyzed how to relate that meaning to an audience. In effect, we will work toward forming a convincing and significant rhetorical "I" - not an easy task. Our reading material, although still to be determined, will be chosen because of unique forms of narration. The following exciting authors will probably be included: Isabelle Allende, John Irving, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, and Paul Monette. (Back)
427. Playwriting. Permission of instructor.
(3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 – The Full-Length Play. The challenge is a simple one: to write a full-length play in twelve weeks. Adaptations are acceptable. Treatments and outlines are encouraged but not required. Enrollment will be limited to those who have successfully completed English 227 or those who have learned the fundamentals of playwriting in other creative writing courses. Please submit a representative one-act play in advance of class as a writing sample. A half dozen published plays will be required reading. Partner meetings and bi-weekly conferences with the instructor are also required. (Roth)
429. The Writing of Poetry. Written permission of instructor is required. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
This course is a poetry-writing workshop. Students will circulate and discuss their poems written during the term, as well as analyze a selection of poetry and criticism by eminent contemporary poets. We shall use an anthology of recent poetry as our central text. Students should be prepared to devote considerable time to composition and revision, and to extensive commentary on their fellow students' writing. Each student will keep a journal of readings, ruminations, and materials for poems. Some experience in creative writing courses is desirable, though not essential. Permission of the instructor is required. Leave a sample manuscript of 3-5 pages in Professor Goldstein's mailbox in the English Department office during the week before the first day of class, or bring a manuscript to the first class. A class list will be posted on the professor's office door after the first day of class. Cost:1 (Goldstein)
441. Contemporary Poetry. (3). (Excl).
This course will sample American poetry since 1945, including at least twelve of the following: Lowell, Bishop, Berryman, Roethke, J. Wright, Merrill, Rich, Walcott, Ashbery, Kinnell, Merwin, Pinsky, Gluck, Fulton, and Alexander. The class will focus on questions of language, influence, and development. We will define these poets against their Modern predecessors, and ask whether such disparate individuals share any characteristics as Postmoderns (is there such a thing as Postmodern American poetry?). I hope for a mixture of lecture and discussion, of close reading and broad argument. Requirements: three papers (two short and one long), midterm, final. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:5 (Terada)
443/Theatre 321. History of Theatre I. (3). (HU).
See Theatre 321.
446. World Drama: Congreve to Ibsen. (3).
Section 001 – Staging the World? This course will explore the literary dramatic canon of the late 17th, 18th, and 19th century and the history of theatrical performance between Renaissance and Modern Drama. We will attempt to imagine how the plays would have been staged then, could be staged now. Since traditional academic method makes the history of drama one of printed dramatic texts, we will explore how theater also is a cultural creation made of choices based on visual art, architecture, music. The theater also never escapes and rarely avoids reproducing representations of gender, of race, of sexual orientation, of age, all things human and inhuman. We will consider together the theater from countries not included in the canon of "world drama," as well as the canonical works. Requirements include short papers, one extended project, active class participation, and collaborative mock staging projects. (Skantze)
447. Modern Drama. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Ibsen to Brecht. This course will examine the rise of modern drama in the Western world by concentrating on the work of Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, Shaw, Pirandello, and Brecht. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to read a dramatic text for its performative qualities as well as for its potential for enactment. Although no previous experience in the study of drama or theater is required, the course will begin by concentrating on the differences between the modern repertory and the forms we associate with Classical and Shakespearean dramatic conventions. Other topics of consideration include: the transformation from melodrama to modern drama, the social consciousness of the twentieth-century stage, and the rise of the female figure as subject of dramatic inquiry. Requirements: There will be a midterm and a final exam. Cost:4 (Brater)
471. Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Key Texts.
Section 001 – Classic American Literature. A course in some of the most engaging and demanding texts in nineteenth-century American literature, including Hawthorne's short stories and The Scarlet Letter, Melville's Moby Dick and Bartleby, Douglass' Narrative of a Slave, Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Thoreau's Walden, major poems by Dickinson and Whitman, Twain's Huckleberry Finn and James' Daisy Miller and The Jolly Corner. We will read good books rather than just study a historical period, but at the same time will pay attention to the historical trends and circumstances that inform the texts. Some subjects to be explored are: the willful originality of much American literature; the religious longings and skeptical character of the literature in an age in transition between faith and unbelief; the literary representation of landscape in a country often preening itself as "Nature's Nation"; the political and social strains of this literature in a society racked by slavery and its aftermath. Requirements: class participation and three papers. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (McIntosh)
473. Topics in American Literature. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Class and Money in American Fiction. This course will explore the interrelationships of class and money in some American fiction. These will range from the rags-to-riches success formula of Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick of the 1880's to Tom Wolfe's satire of the glitzy get-rich 1980s, Bonfire of the Vanities. In between we will read W.D. Howells' A Traveler from Altruria, Henry James' The American, Jack London's Martin Eden, Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie, Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus. Grades in the course will be based on three hourly exams and one essay (or perhaps two). This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Beauchamp)
482. Studies in Individual Authors. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 002 – Blake. 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. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Wright)
484. Issues in Criticism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Marxism and Cultural Theory. This course will meet twice a week to introduce students to some of the classics as well as latest thinking in Marxist theory as applied to Cultural Studies. Some of the categories to be explored are gender, "race," mass culture, post-colonialism, internal colonialism, New Historicism, resistance literature, Modernism, and commitment, especially with a twentieth-century U.S. focus. Throughout the term we will be applying our theory to a variety of works of fiction, poetry, drama and film. The cultural practice of particular "moments" such as the fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, and the "Black Arts" movement of the 1960s, may be among those interrogated from a Marxist perspective. Requirements include a short (diagnostic) paper and a longer one; participation in a group presentation to the class; and a final exam. This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Wald)
496. Honors Colloquium: Drafting the Thesis. Admission to the English Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
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. The primary focus of this course 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 annotated 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. (Section 001:Whittier-Ferguson; Section 002:Schoenfeldt)
497. Honors Seminar. Junior or senior
standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 – Subversive Pleasures: Contemporary Poets. This course will focus on the work and affinities of six contemporary poets. In addition to questions of race and gender, we will consider issues of identity; the writer's relation to the notion of literary tradition; and the ways in which she questions such fixed categories as "the natural" or "the universal." By what means does the poem interrupt dichotomies – including the culture-nature, foreground-background, subject-object, spirit-matter, mind-body, and male-female alignments? The poems will guide our investigations of mythology, popular culture, science, feminist theory, autobiography, sexuality, and political issues. We'll also discuss aesthetic concepts important to postmodern poetics. The poets might include Phyllis Janowitz, Susan Mitchell, C.D. Wright, and Lynda Hull. In addition to six required poetry books, there will be a photocopied anthology. You'll be asked to write five 3-5 page papers and to guide class discussions. This class satisfies New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. Cost:5 (Fulton)
Section 002 – Eighteenth-Century Discourses of Taste and Aesthetics. The renewed celebration of classical models in the eighteenth century, along with the rise of renegade styles such as gothic and chinoiserie fueled an intense critical interest in the problems of defining the central but elusive notions of taste and beauty. In this course we will take our turn at grappling with these issues along the lines proposed by the most prominent commentators of the era. Along the way, we will consider some of the reasons behind the explosion of interest in aesthetic enquiry in the period, the social and political underpinnings of the debate, and the relations between aesthetic categories and moral, educational, economic, and gender concerns. The class will be conducted as a discussion-oriented seminar, with an emphasis on incorporating the research interests of the participants. Previous eighteenth-century background recommended but not required. Requirements include a 10-minute oral report, a short (5-7 pp) essay, a research paper (15-20 pp), and a final exam. Regular attendance and participation is required – casual absences are not acceptable. (Porter)
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