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).

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. Class work involves the discussion of the process of writing and the works 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.

239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (2). (HU).

In this course we will examine the different ways in which the meaning of literature and the techniques we have developed to read it are bound up with sometimes difficult and contentious attempts to define individual and collective identities. By reading novels and plays from different periods, cultures, and traditions, we will see how the problem of identity generates specific modes of literary expression. We will ask ourselves how we should read texts from cultures other than our own and how different histories and geographies determine which narratives acquire literary value. We will also examine how differences of culture and identity have created some of the most powerful texts in world literature. Our readings will begin in the classical period with Euripides' "Persian Women," along the way we will read an African medieval epic, a few plays from Shakespeare, two novels by the Brontë sisters and modern "classics" of identity literature such as Forster's A Passage to India, Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia, and Joy Kogawa's Obasan. (Gikandi)

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

This class will practice the skills of reading, listening to, and voicing poetry (broadly defined) for purposes of appreciation and understanding, including: description, interpretation, explanation, and evaluation. We will also deal with procedures of communication, role-taking, memorization, performance, and short essay writing. Requirements: a journal; write-ups, and small group interpretation projects; and three or four 3-5 page essays. Cost:2 (Wright)

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

This course will survey 19th and 20th century American literature, mostly fiction. Writers to be studied include Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter and stories; Melville (stories); Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Kate Chopin, The Awakening; James, The American; Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Wharton, The House of Mirth; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; and Faulkner, Go Down Moses. Two short (5 page) or one long (10 page) paper will be assigned. There will be a midterm and a final exam. Cost:2 (Beauchamp)

Primarily for Juniors and Seniors

317. Literature and Culture. (2). (HU). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 Imaginary Homelands/ The Literature of Migration and Exile.
This course will be about relations among home, culture, and identity in global literatures in English. While the idea of home has been central to different modes of literary and cultural expression in the modern period to have a home is to have a language, an identity, and a culture more recent writing has come to be dominated by the idea of homelessness or the unhomely. Our readings will be cross-cultural and global: we will read the memoir of a Jewish woman tracing her exile from Poland to the New York literary set (Eva Hoffman, Lost In Translation ) and a novel about a German Jew in Bombay, India (Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay ); we will read about Barbadian migrants in New York during the great depression (Paule Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstone), and of a woman from St. Lucia making the difficult translation from the Caribbean to the United States (Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John and Lucy ); we will contrast the notion of Indian homes in Rohin Mistry's Swimming Lessons with the homes Indian migrants are imagining in Bharati Mukherjee's The Middleman And Other Stories; and if the idea of home has been the foundation of English literature and culture, we will see how England is being remade by new writers such as Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia), Simi Bradford (Yoruba Girl Dancing ), and Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains Of The Day ). Course requirements include two short papers, a midterm, and a final examination. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Gikandi)

320/CAAS 338. Literature in Afro-American Culture. (3). (HU).

This course will survey the oral and literary forms, themes and traditions of Afro-American literature. Critical attention will be paid to the Black oral tradition as manifest in folk-tale, sermons, devotional music, blues, work songs and contemporary forms. In addition, study of Black literate forms such as the slave narrative and the application of the autobiography, the novel of confrontation and liberation, as Afro-American authors use them to formulate Black identity and consciousness, will also be considered. We will read five to six book length works, historically arranged, including the slave narrative, J.W. Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Hurson's Their Eyes Were Watching God; Wright's Native Son; Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Lecture, discussion, 4-5 papers, each 4-5 pages in length. This course satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. (Chrisman)

325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (3). (Excl).

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.

367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (3). (HU).

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. 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.

371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.

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 satisfies the Pre-1830 Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Beauchamp)

417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator in English. May not be repeated for credit. (3). (Excl).

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)

434. The Contemporary Novel. (3). (Excl).

This course will focus on the form and structure of late twentieth-century prose fiction. To do so, the class will use the problematic fiction of Samuel Beckett as an example and a prototype of how a "novel" might be defined in "contemporary" and "postmodern" terms. Discussion topics will include modes of narration, the limits of authority, the value of close reading, and the complications of lyricism and genre. Students with a background in modern fiction might find this course especially useful. There will be frequent short writing assignments as well as a final term project. Cost:2 (Brater)


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