Courses in English Language and Literature (Division 361)

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.


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 six essays, with considerable attention given to the preparation of drafts and to revision.

125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).

English 125 prepares students for the various kinds of academic writing required of them as undergraduates at the University of Michigan. In addition to informal exercises or impromptu essays, students can expect to write about five formal papers exemplifying the various modes of discourse which comprise our academic community.

223. Creative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

All sections of 223 teach the writing of two of the following three genres: fiction (including personal narrative), drama, and poetry. Different sections will emphasize the individual genres to varying degrees. Classwork involves the discussion of the process of writing and the work of a few published authors. Students will do exercises meant to develop a sensitivity to language and a facility with evocative detail, voice, form, and so forth. Most classroom time, however, is devoted to reading and discussion of student writing. A final portfolio of revised finished work of 35-50 manuscript pages may be required. Course descriptions for individual sections will be available in 7609 Haven Hall.

Sections 102 and 103. The first third of the term is devoted to the reading and writing of poetry. The rest of the term is spent on fiction. Students comment responsibly on one another's work, maintain journals, attend readings, and produce eight poems and thirty-five pages of fiction. Two texts to be announced in class. (O'Dowd)

225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU).

This course furthers the aim of English 124 and 125 in helping writers to analyze the various claims of a given issue and to develop ways of exploring and defending positions, ideas and beliefs. 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 rhetorical articulation. 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 for the purposes of both individual reflection and of audience persuasion.

230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (2). (HU).
Section 101.
Rather than a comprehensive survey of the short story and novel, this course offers an introduction to the basic techniques of analyzing prose fiction. Beginning with short stories, students learn to define questions of narrative construction, voice, characterization, theme, and style. As critical facility increases, the course will consider more challenging and in some cases experimental fiction. At least three novels will be read in addition to numerous short stories. Students should expect to read substantial amounts of fiction, to participate in class discussions, and to write several short literary analyses.

Section 102 Classic British and American Detective Fiction. In this course, we will read British and American detective fiction from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, tracing its history in eighteenth-century criminal biographies through nineteenth-century Gothic tales through late twentieth-century mysteries. Along the way, we will ask such questions as why the genre has consistently concerned itself with questions of identity and the relation of the hunter to the hunted; why women have frequently written in this genre; how British and American detective novels differ, and why; how the depiction of violence has changed over the past two centuries. Authors will include Poe, Collins, Conan Doyle, Sayers, Christie, Hammet, Tey, Barnes, and Cornwell. Primarily for non-concentrators. Three papers, one exam. Textbooks at Shaman Drum, small course pack at Accu-Copy. Cost:2 (Krook)

239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).
Section 101.
In this course, we will examine a range of literary genres, including short stories, novels, plays, and movie adaptations of novels and plays, as we try to answer one question (what is literature?) by asking others: what do we expect from different kinds of literature? what are the different approaches we can use while reading literature, and whatdoes each have to offer? what is involved in writing literary analysis? This course is intended for students considering an English major and useful for anyone interested in literary studies. Two papers, two exams. Texts at Shaman Drum, a small course pack at Dollar Bill. (Krook)

240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).
Section 101.
We live in a period of immensely rich poetic production in the United States: men and women of widely divergent cultural backgrounds, aesthetic persuasions, and registers of "voice" are producing lyric poetry of unprecedented variety and abundance. But how is a reader to find foothold among the hundreds of literary magazines and book publications that clamor for attention? How to negotiate between private pleasure (and solace and reflection) on the one hand and this jubilant (and contentious and contradictory) marketplace of verse on the other? How to find a listening post midst all this noise? This course is not conceived as an historical survey, but we will spend approximately half the term examining poems from another period of intense lyric production the 16th and 17th centuries in England - because these poems provide a particularly vivid introduction to the resources, and resourceful violations, of traditional poetic form. In the second half of the term, we will read and discuss and listen to a group of recent American poems, ones I think are particularly good at suggesting the variety of contemporary pleasures, good too at constructing the margin of silence that poetry, like other forms of music, requires in order to be heard. From this modest, two-pronged historical perspective, we will explore some highly immodest questions about poetic form: How does it make meaning? How does it sound? What is its relationship to human imagination? Cost:2 (Gregerson)

Section 102. 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 WL:1 (Cureton)

270. Introduction to American Literature. (2). (HU).

English 270 proposes to make a study of American literature and of the American experience. A complete description of the course will be available in 7609 Haven Hall.

Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

301. The Power of Words. (3). (Excl).
Section 101.
Students will explore various uses of words in writing descriptive, analytic, and persuasive pieces, with a focus on types of writing that will be useful in professional life beyond the university. Since we gather vocabulary and writing patterns from observing, reading, and listening, the writing will be based on a diverse array of materials. To clear up any lingering grammatical and mechanical problems with students' work, each class will feature a brief lecture on an issue such as comma usage, sentence variety, or pronoun agreement. WL:1

305. Introduction to Modern English. Recommended for students preparing to teach English. (2). (HU).
Section 101.
This course is a survey of English linguistics with applications to textual analysis. We will work through overviews of English phonetics, phonology, prosody, morphology, syntax, and text organization and explore how these descriptions of Modern English structure can be used in understanding (1) current uses of the language and (2) current social and geographical varieties. As time allows, our applications will include prescriptive usage, the language of poetry (sound orchestration, rhythm, poetic syntax), the language of prose fiction, the language of conversation, the language of pulpit and political oratory, the language of advertising, the language of bureaucracy, American dialects (with special reference to Appalachian English and the Black English Vernacular), and varieties of International English (British, Scottish, Irish, etc.). Requirements for the class will include weekly exercises and two medium-length papers (5-10 pages) of textual analysis. The first paper will address a written text; the second, a spoken text. Our readings will come from a combination of course packs and texts. Texts: Sidney Greenbaum, A College Grammar of English; Deborah Tannen, Talking Voices; Walt Wolfram and Donna Christian, Appalachian Speech; Peter Trudgill and Jean Hannah, International English; William Labov, Language in the Inner City. Cost:4 WL:1 (Cureton)

315/WS 315. Women and Literature. (2). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 101 Nineteenth-Century Women Writers.
This course will study the flourishing of women writers in nineteenth-century England and America. We will consider issues such as the relationship between gender, genre, and class in women's fiction, as well as women's role in the literary marketplace. We may also read excerpts from nineteenth-century conduct literature, political tracts, and diaries, as well as selected works by feminist literary critics and historians. Beginning with Jane Austen's Persuasion, texts will probably include Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, George Eliot's "Janet's Repentance," Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." There will be two papers and a final exam. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Vrettos)

317. Literature and Culture. (2). (HU). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 102 Literature and Culture of Ireland.
This course presents for study the literature of Gaelic Ireland in translation, from early saga to modern poetry and fiction. We will read translations of the chief heroic saga, The Cattle Raid of Cooley, of early Irish religious and nature lyric, of medieval satire, of later bardic verse; of the eighteenth-century masterpieces, Lament for Art O'Leary and The Midnight Court; of love poems and folk songs; of twentieth century poetry and prose fiction by the men and women who have continued the tradition of writing in Irish Gaelic. An outline history of Gaelic Ireland will be given to furnish context for the literature. Two short papers, one hour exam, one final examination. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. WL:1 (McNamara)

325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (3). (Excl).
Section 101.
This is an upper level composition course for students interested in improving their writing. 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. WL:1

367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (3). (HU).
Section 101.
This is a course that will concentrate on the Shakespearean tragedy by focusing on "the grand style" of Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. But in doing so, we will study the origins of this tragic mode in the earlier tragedies and its later manifestations in Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus. There will be a midterm and an final exam. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. WL:1 Cost:2 (Brater)

English 370, 371, & 372

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. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 101 Violence and the Stage: Elizabeth's Last Decade.
The burgeoning success of the popular stage in late sixteenth-century England produced a series of virulent attacks on plays and play-going. Anti-theatrical polemicists like Stephen Gosson and Phillip Stubbes argued that the popular stage was an incitement to public disorder, a profound destabilizer of governance, moral restraint, class and gender coherence. I propose to examine in this course some of the ways in which the Elizabethan theatre deliberately raised questions about the nature of order and disruption in human affairs, using violence as a key exhibit in the symptomology of national and psychological and domestic disorder. We will read several rather bloody tragedies Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare), Arden of Feversham (anonymous), The Spanish Tragedy (Kyd), Edward II (Marlowe), Hamlet (Shakespeare), The Revenger's Tragedy (Tourneur) and two plays (Shakespeare's I Henry IV, and Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday ) whose comic efforts to mask violence or send it hastily off-stage have much to teach us about the precariousness of social and political order. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Gregerson)

372. Studies in Literature, 1830-Present. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 101 Literature and Transgression.
This course will study the theme of transgression in British and American literature from 1830 to the present. We will consider the function of transgression as a literary as well as a social strategy, encompassing subjects ranging from manners to murders. Texts will probably include Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Toni Morrison's Sula, and Marilyn Robinson's Housekeeping. There will be two papers and final exam. (Vrettos)

412/Film-Video 412. Major Directors. (2). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits with department permission.
Section 101 Alfred Hitchcock.
Alfred Hitchcock's career spanned a half-century of film making, from the silents to cinemascope. He created a distinctive body of work and succeeded, in his own words, in bringing "murder back into the home where it belongs." His thrillers, with their ingenious plots, virtuosic cinematic devices, and probing analyses of human relations, have been frequently imitated, but rarely equaled. We will view a selection of his most important films, from The Lodger to Psycho. There will be supplementary readings and an opportunity to view each film twice. Students will turn in viewing notes and take a midterm and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:1 (McDougal)

447. Modern Drama. (2). (Excl).
Section 101 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:3 WL:1 (Brater)

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