Courses in English Language and Literature (Division 361)

125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
Sections 201-203 and 206-207.
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. Sections 206 and 207 must be elected through the Comprehensive Studies Program.

223. Creative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.
Section 201.
A special section: Creative Writing and The Other Arts. This section of 223 explores ways of combining writing with other forms of art in various media, including pictorial/graphic and performance arts. It presupposes experience with at least one art form and interest in finding ways of combining it with others in a workshop setting of collaboration and group discussion. (Wright)

Section 202. All sections of 223 teach the writing of two of the following three genres: fiction (including personal narrative), drama, and poetry. Class work involves the discussion of the process of writing and the work of a few published authors. Students will do exercises meant to develop a sensitivity to language and a facility with evocative detail, voice, form and so forth. Most classroom time, however, is devoted to reading and discussing of student writing. Final portfolio of revised finished work of 25-35 manuscript pages may be required.

225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU).
Section 201.
Argument is reasoned discourse designed to prove, explain, demonstrate, discuss, or persuade. Its basis is in logic, organization, solidity of assumptions and premises, respect for evidence, precision and clarity of expression, and effectiveness of articulation. Argument makes the abstract concrete and the general specific. Argumentative writing is neither invective nor contentiousness; it is illuminatingly analytical. In a certain sense, we are writing argumentatively whenever we have something to say and wish to say it as lucidly, thoughtfully, maturely, forcefully, and expressively as possible. You cannot argue if you cannot think (or have no desire to), if you know nothing (and believe you are entitled to an opinion anyway), and if you have nothing to say (or nothing to back up your thinking). Nevertheless, you should forget that oft-intoned bromide that if you learn how to think (in a vacuum? Without a factual arsenal at your behest? Without the ability to hang words together coherently?), it will follow as the night the day that you will be able to express yourself in language. Our species formulates its thoughts in language; there is no other way. Our problem is not that we cannot express ourselves because we cannot think, but rather that we are incapable of forming a thought without the ability to put it into precise language. Learn to master language, and you may be able to kiss those fat, flabby, fuzzy ideas goodbye. No longer need you reduce all your free-floating ruminations to "Like, man, y'know." There is no single formulaic strategy for writing effective argumentation, so do not expect a prescription to cure all your ills. We will, rather, try to develop the critical temper in which your critical skills may flourish. In this course, you will read, discuss, and learn from the prose of pros and of each other, and we will write, re-write, and write some more. Our goal will be to improve the content, the mechanics, and the style of our writing in a variety of argumentative modes. Count on writing at least as many pages as there are working days in this abbreviated term, and be prepared to attend class and participate with dogged regularity and intelligent effort. (Bauland)

239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).
Section 201 Literary Time Travel: Medieval and Neo-medieval Literature.
If literature is always historical, in that it arises from and speaks to a particular moment in space and time, and history is always to an extent literary, in that it must tell a story, what is meant by "literary history" or "historical literature"? If the present is produced by the past, can the past be produced by the present? What happens when the literary present responds not to the past per se, but to the literary past? This course will pursue these and other questions through the phenomenon of "neo-medieval" literature, i.e., texts which re-create medieval worlds for a contemporary audience from a contemporary perspective. We will thus be concerned with the intersection of two literary periods and two literary cultures: the medieval on the one hand and the modern or post-modern on the other. How do the medieval and the modern (assuming we can define these terms) intersect in these works? How are medieval genres adapted to contemporary ends? A tentative list of texts includes: Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur; Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court; Marion Z. Bradley, The Mists of Avalon; Connie Willis, Doomsday Book; Italo Calvino, The Nonexistent Knight; the Icelandic Laxdaela Saga; and Jane Smiley, The Greenlanders. We will also be considering one or two neo-medieval/science fiction films (such as The Navigator ). Course requirements include two medium length papers and a willingness to participate actively in class discussion. Cost:2 (Tanke)

240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).

The student in this course learns to read and study poems in order to increase enjoyment, knowledge and appreciation of poetry.

270. Introduction to American Literature. (2). (HU).
Section 201.
We will study authors and traditions of American literature from the mid-nineteenth century to present, beginning with Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Whitman, and Dickinson. Written work will include journals, short reports, and a longer paper. Cost:2 WL: 1 (Wright)

Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (3). (Excl).
Section 201.
We will concentrate on writing two kinds of essays: persuasive (formal and "public") and personal (more individual and free form). Forty percent of your grade will be determined by two papers (8-10 pages), one of each of these types, to be written at the end of the term. The other sixty percent of the grade will depend on short daily writing assignments geared toward the preparation of the final papers. These daily assignments will not be graded, as they are "learning experiences," but doing them conscientiously and on time is essential to passing this course. Regular attendance and preparation are, therefore, a must. In designing the assignments, I will try to be as flexible in accommodating students' needs and desires as class size and time constraints will allow. The text for the course will be Richard Marius, A Writer's Companion and a course pack with some essays that we will use for analysis, criticism and (possibly) instruction. (Beauchamp)

Section 202. 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. You will write one paper (4-5 pages) per week. (Lenaghan)

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 201 Medieval Heroic Poems and Romances.
The earliest medieval secular poetry assumed and celebrated a warrior's culture, an ideal life founded on prowess and honor formed and tested in battle. In the twelfth century the French invented the romance. Fusing stories of adventure and that kind of love we now call romantic, it quickly became popular all over Europe, representing and analyzing a new kind of ideal life. The greatest English examples of the type were written two hundred years later, and our focus will be on three of these works: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and Malory's Morte D'Arthur. We will also read a number of other works, such as Beowulf, the Lancelot of Chretien de Troyes, Gottfried's Tristan and at least one other heroic poem. This will be a discussion course. There will be a final exam at the scheduled time, one hour exam, and either a paper or a second hour exam. There will also be occasional in-class written exercises. The grade will be an average of the exams and paper. The course satisfies the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Lenaghan)

371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 201.
The course will consider two "period styles" in English literature the Classicism of the eighteenth century and the Romanticism of the early nineteenth century and a few of the major works that exemplify these styles. As instances of Classicism, we will read Swift's Gulliver's Travels, some poetry of Pope, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice; for Romanticism, we will read a few poems each of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and (cheating a tad) Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. There will be two exams (25 percent each) and frequent, short writing assignments designed to monitor attendance, elicit opinions, and stimulate discussion. These writing assignments will constitute half your grade, so if you can/will not attend class regularly and read the assigned works on time, this is not the class for you. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Beauchamp)


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