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).
WRITING COURSES. 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. 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).
This course aims to sharpen your reading and writing skills. The literature we will be discussing is "Arthurian": works about King Arthur's court, composed (and widely enjoyed, we may presume) in medieval Europe, but also two books which have reinvented Arthurian legends for distinctly contemporary ends. They are: Chrétien de Troyes' Arthurian Romances, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. The writing you will be doing is part history, part philosophy, and part detective work. Requirements include rigorous (i.e., multiple) readings of the primary material, a willingness to participate actively in class discussion, and several essays in literary criticism. (Tanke)
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.
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 word 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.
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).
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.
239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).
Our world seems less and less literate every day, as advertising images, video, and music become our principal means of expression, but we continue to speak to one another in words, and literature is made up of words. In what ways are words relevant to your daily life and to your attempts to understand and to be understood? This is another way of asking the question "What is literature?" and it will guide our thinking about how language is central to everyday existence. Our accent will be on storytelling and its basic components (ideas about theme, action, character, and plot). Our goal will be to understand why it is important for everyone to know what a story is. Our readings will be chosen from among the writings of Chinua Achebe, Jane Austen, Isak Dinesen, Herman Melville, and Leo Tolstoy. We will also look at some classics of the Hollywood cinema. Requirements include short weekly writing assignments, two 5-7 page papers, and exams. (Siebers)
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite
for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).
Section 101 – Poetry, Loss, and Mourning. In this section, we will examine the lyric poem as an instrument for negotiating human mortality. We will begin with the epitaph, the most succinct of commemorative forms, and will read widely in the elegy, including the contemporary AIDS elegy. But we will also examine poems that do not easily fit into these traditional categories: poems that contemplate millennial extinction and the savage, power-driven differentials of human suffering, poems of rage, of posthumous revenge, of celebration in the face of transience, of hope, both religious and secular. This course is open to all who are interested in learning to read the lyric poem; no previous knowledge of the form is expected or required. (Gregerson)
Section 102. Work in class will be devoted to discussion of particular poems selected from The Norton Anthology of Poetry. The aim of the discussion will be to increase your understanding and appreciation of poetry. The first course objective will be to develop some common questions or assumptions about poetry. The second objective will be to find ways of answering such questions or testing such assumptions, and we will spend the greater part of the course reading poems in an effort to accomplish this. In the final weeks of the course we will read a number of poems by one poet. There will be a midterm, a short paper or two, in-class exercises, and a final. Cost:1 (Lenaghan)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (2). (HU).
This course will provide students with an introduction to some of the political and literary issues that have concerned American writers and readers for some time. For instance: Is there a uniquely "American" genre of writing? If we think of the traditional American literary canon as a "venerable" list including the Puritans, Nathaniel Hawthorne or Herman Melville, where do African American and/or Native American writers such as Harriet Jacobs or William Apess fit in? How have writers addressed territorial expansion, class struggles, multi-culturalism, slavery, urbanization, and immigration, all of which have been standard features of American political and social life since the 1600s? The course will be run as a combined lecture and class discussion. Grades will be based on: attendance and participation (10%); two short writing assignments (30%); one 7-page paper (30%); a final examination (30%). (Gunning)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
301. The Power of Words. (3). (Excl).
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.
318. Literary Types. (2). (HU). May be
repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 101 – Science Fiction. This course will focus upon selected writers whose work engages a broad range of social, cultural, and ideological concerns and achieves an artistic complexity which will reward close reading and discussion. We will begin by comparing Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? with the film Blade Runner, to some extent based on it. We will read selected works by Ursula K. LeGuin, including The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, and Octavia Butler, to explore the ways in which science fiction can be employed to explore boundaries between self and other, human and machine, individual and society, colonizer and colonized, and male and female (and variations we will encounter). The format of the course will modulate from brief informal lecture to discussion; there will be weekly reading quizzes, one paper due at midterm and another due at the end of the term. (Mullaney)
325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (3).
Section 101. Work in class will be devoted to discussion of particular poems selected from The Norton Anthology of Poetry. The aim of the discussion will be to increase your understanding and appreciation of poetry. The first course objective will be to develop some common questions or assumptions about poetry. The second objective will be to find ways of answering such questions or testing such assumptions, and we will spend the greater part of the course reading poems in an effort to accomplish this. In the final weeks of the course we will read a number of poems by one poet. There will be a midterm, a short paper or two in-class exercises, and a final. Cost:1 (Lenaghan)
Section 102. 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.
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. (3). (Excl).
This course is the first of a two-term sequence designed to study the historical development of literature in English. Most of our attention will be devoted to close analysis of a dazzling variety of texts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We will work to foreground the historical, social, cultural, and intellectual issues to which these texts respond, and to interrogate our criteria for designating a text as "major." Writers to be studied include Chaucer, Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, and Milton. There will be two essays of approximately five pages each, a midterm, and a final examination. This course satisfies either the pre-1600 or the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Schoenfeldt)
367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (3). (HU).
A study of selected works of special complexity, which will allow us to examine the ways in which Shakespeare used the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage to explore controversial social, political, ideological, and gender issues – some of them particular to his own age, some of lasting importance to our own. As much as time and facilities allow, the performance of these plays will also be explored, through our own experiments and selected viewing of plays preserved on video. Among the plays to be studied are Midsummer Night's Dream; The Merchant of Venice; Measure for Measure; Hamlet; Macbeth; King Lear; The Tempest. Books will be available at Shaman Drum. Due to the expected size of the class, the format will modulate between lectures and time set aside for discussion. There will be quizzes on each play as well as three relatively short essays. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Mullaney)
Each of these courses will range over the materials of the periods indicated below in one or more of a variety of ways. Some may be multi-generic surveys; some may focus on the development during the period of specific genres; some may be topical, others formal in their principle of organization. All sections will emphasize the development of student skill in writing essays analyzing the materials and evaluating the approaches in question.
370. Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.
(3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department
Section 101 – Violence and the Stage: Elizabeth's Last Decade. The burgeoning success of the popular stage in the 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 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, 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 1 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 satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Gregerson)
371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 101 – The Works of John Milton. This course, which satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators, will be devoted to close reading of the works of John Milton, England's greatest epic poet. We will read some of the early poetry and prose, but the lion's share of our attention will be devoted to Samson Agonistes, Milton's closet drama of sexual and political treachery, and to Paradise Lost, Milton's retelling of the central Judeo-Christian myth about the origin of evil in the world. We will be particularly interested in the relationship between Milton's own career as a political revolutionary and his portrait of Satan's rebellion against God, and in his account of the origin of social and sexual difference. Requirements include attendance and participation, 2 five-page essays, a midterm, and a final. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Schoenfeldt)
372. Studies in Literature, 1830-Present. (3).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 101 – Introduction to Fantastic Literature. Romanticism was a movement of poetic lyricism, artistic rebellion, and personal idiosyncrasy. Fantastic literature enshrines differences and peculiarities of all kinds, highlighting those aspects of experience that venture beyond the strictly human toward a supernatural realm. In fantastic literature, then, the visionary poetics of the Romantic generation and the superstitious nightmares of common people converge, affirming idiosyncrasy, originality, and irrationality on all fronts. This course will descend into the maelstrom of fantastic violence, irrationality, and rebellion to ask how such apparently marginal phenomena prove to be not only central to the nature of literature itself but remarkably stimulating to the modern mind. Works include the short fiction of Hawthorne, Henry James, Poe, Washington Irving and the European writers, Nikolai Gogol, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Guy de Maupassant. Requirements include a few short papers, some exams, and class participation. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Siebers)
381/Amer. Cult. 324. Asian-American Literature. (2). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits with department permission.
From the late nineteenth century to the present, the selected authors and works studied include Sui Sin Far, Mrs. Spring Fragrance; Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart; John Okada, No-No Boy; Louis Chu, Eat a Bowl of Tea; Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables; Frank Chin, The Year of the Dragon; Milton Murayama, All I Asking for Is My Body; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior; Joy Kogawa, Obasan; Cathy Song, Picture Bride; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Arranged Marriage; and Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker. Two papers of 3-5 pages, a final paper of 7-10 pages, plus quizzes. This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Sumida)
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 (McDougal)
413/Film-Video 413. Film
Genres and Types. (2). (HU). May be repeated for
credit with department permission.
Section 101 – Comic Film. This course examines comedy as a motion-picture genre with specific themes and techniques by screening and discussing a number of comic American films from the days of silent cinema to the present. The class also examines the way individual films are influenced by the social and cultural climate of their times. We shall explore, from a larger perspective, the nature of comedy in respect to other art forms and in the context of our everyday reality. All of these approaches will significantly assist us in a major goal of the course, to understand our psychological responses to the comic. The class will begin by studying two silent classics of "The Golden Age of Comedy," Charlie Chaplin's Gold Rush and Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr., and then continue by examining such diverse (and yet related) examples of sound comedy as Duck Soup, starring the Marx Brothers, Ernst Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise, Howard Hawks' Bringing up Baby, Billy Wilder's Some Like it Hot, Mel Brook's The Producers, and Woody Allen's Annie Hall. Students will write a term paper of about eight pages and take a final examination. (Konigsberg)
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