WRITING COURSES :
After taking or placing out of Introductory Composition, students may elect English 225 for further practice in the fundamentals of expository and argumentative prose. At a more advanced level, English 325 offers the opportunity for work in a variety of expository kinds of prose.
Several sections of English 223, the beginning course in creative writing, are available each term. More experienced writers may apply for admission to English 323 (several sections offered each term), English 423 (4 hours), or English 523 (4 hours). 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). All elections require permission of the professor, on an election authorization (override) form to be turned in at CRISP and also on a departmental approval form. GSTA's are not normally authorized to supervise independent study.
125. Introductory Composition. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
Introductory Composition prepares students for the various kinds of academic writing required of them as undergraduates in LSA. In addition to informal exercises or impromptu essays, students can expect to write six or more formal papers conforming to the argumentative conventions of several different disciplines.
Section 024: Permission of Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP). These CSP sections are designed for students who want to be certain that they are highly prepared for writing assignments of all kinds and are willing to devote the effort necessary to do so. These sections will highlight reading materials devoted to minority cultures and experiences and include periodic peer group editing sessions of student compositions.
167. Introductory Composition, Shakespeare. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
Because this course satisfies the introductory composition requirement, writing is the main work of the course. There will be five or six formal papers, some shorter informal assignments, a final examination, and perhaps a midterm. Five or six of Shakespeare's plays are what you write about, the topics arising from discussion of the plays. (Schulze)
Primarily for Freshmen and Sophomores
Courses numbered 200 and above may be elected only after the Introductory Composition requirement has been completed.
223. Creative Writing. English 125 or 167 or equivalent. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.
All sections of 223 teach the writing of fiction (including personal narrative), drama, poetry, techniques of characterization, dialogue, and plot. Different sections will emphasize the individual areas to varying degrees. Classwork involves the discussion of the process of writing and the fiction 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 is required.
All sections of English 223 will have course descriptions available in 444 Mason Hall after November 16.
225. Argumentative Writing. English 125 or 167 or equivalent. (4). (HU).
This course will explore ways of making the style and logic of your writing more effective as you explain or argue. The questions of connotative language and slanting, understatement, surprise, selection of evidence, tonal and organizational variation, and logical fallacies will be considered – in the context of writing to a specific audience for a specific purpose. Class will probably be run on a discussion – workshop basis, with students meeting often in small groups to share drafts of papers or to examine writing examples from periodicals and/or from a textbook of collected essays.
All sections of English 225 will have course descriptions available in 444 Mason Hall after November 16.
Section 010 and 015: Permission of Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP). These CSP sections are designed for students who want to be certain that they develop a thorough understanding of argumentation and logical fallacies and are willing to devote the effort necessary to do so. The section will highlight reading materials devoted to minority cultures and experiences and include periodic peer group editing sessions of student compositions.
230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (3).
Section 004. The purpose of this course is to help you like and understand fiction. We will read and discuss a selection of short stories and novels written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Austen's Pride and Prejudice to start with and several others, such as Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. There will be short written exercises, two hour exams, a paper and a final exam. (Lenaghan)
Section 007. This course will be organized as a selective history of the English and American novel, with three main centers: early Victorian, late 19th century American, and post-war modernist fiction. We will also spend some time, however, studying the novel as a genre. Tentative reading list: Austen, Pride and Prejudice, E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Dickens, Bleak House, Twain, Huckleberry Finn, Melville, short fiction, James, Portrait of a Lady, Barth, The End of the Road, Barthelme, Snow White, Hawkes, The Lime Twig. Two papers, final exam. (Kucich)
Section 011. This course seeks to develop students'
ability to read and to appreciate fiction. Discussion will occupy
most of our class time, as we read closely short stories and novels
by authors including Frank O'Connor, Ernest Hemingway, William
Faulkner, James Joyce, Henry James, Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, and Thomas Mann. There will be frequent writing assignments, in
order that class members learn to apply independently the ways
of approaching fiction which emerge from our discussions. (Radcliffe)
Descriptions for sections 002, 003, 006, 008 and 009 will be available at 7607 Haven Hall after November 16.
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite
for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 002. This course will concentrate on improving reading of poetry. Written exercises of interpretation will serve that main purpose as will discussion and vocal recitation/performance of poems. (Wright)
Section 003. This section of English 240 is organized by subject matter and genre, though most categories of poems will be studied chronologically as well. Students should emerge from the term with a solid awareness of the major poetic kinds and a good understanding of the major periods of English and American literary history. Class sessions will be devoted primarily to discussion, with occasional brief lectures from the instructor and – from time to time – student reports and presentations. English 240 is a prerequisite for concentration in the English Department. Students will be expected to write four short papers and a longer essay on the works of a single poet. Other requirements for the course include class reports, a midterm, a final examination, and regular class attendance and participation in discussions. Major text: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, third edition. (Jensen)
Section 004. This course is designed less as a chronological survey of English poetry than an introduction to the basic skills of close reading and analysis that can be applied to any individual poem. We will take up the central question of how to read a poem throughout the term and introduce the technical aspects of poetry (meter, diction, form, etc.) along the way as tools for deepening our understanding of how poems convey what they do. Poetry of all periods of English literature will be read, and at the end of the course we will concentrate for several weeks on one particular poet. The Norton Anthology of Poetry will be the major text for the course. (J. Fischer)
Section 005. An introductory course in reading and thinking with pleasure about ancient and modern poetry, with special attention to the themes of sex, power, struggle, love, labor, honor, immortality. No special knowledge is assumed; this course is required for entry into the department. We will begin with the familiar – pop song lyrics and New Yorker – style verse – in our pursuit of literary conventions and poetic forms, then find different ones in Sanskrit verse, in Homer's Odyssey, and in selected poems from the shorter Norton anthology of English poetry. We will also consider such popular, "plebeian" kinds of poetry as the anonymous lyric, the broadside ballad, and the work song. We will end by comparing works by contemporary poets Philip Larkin, Carolyn Forche, and Audre Lorde. Throughout the term we will be asking how poetic forms are connected to perceptions of political power, sex and sexuality, class, race, codes of "heroism," individualism, and fame. Several short essays, opportunities for writing poetry, a final, and most important, engagement in discussions will determine the order of things. (Landry)
Section 006. The course aspires to establish the general principles underlying the major approaches to poetry through the detailed study of select poems, both English and American. (Patrides)
Section 007. The aim of this course is to teach - or rather to encourage – the reading of poetry with care, sensitivity, critical acuity, and enhanced enjoyment. To this end we will read and discuss, sometimes word by word, a wide variety of poems written in English over the past 400 years. Most students in this class will be considering English concentrations, but anyone who loves literature or the play of language is eligible to enroll. Vigorous class participation will be expected. Several short papers and a term project will be required; there may be occasional quizzes. (Faller)
Section 008. The aim of this course is to learn to
read poetry by doing it together. We shall give close attention
to a series of poems drawn from different periods. Our focus will
be on what makes each poem work as a poem: its formal and metric
structure, its imagery, the tension between its rhythms and those
of ordinary speech, its tones of voice and imagined speakers, its ironies, ambiguities, allusions, and surprises. Our central
questions will be what kinds of meaning each poem has and how those meanings are made. During the course you will be exposed
to many different forms of poetry and many different authors.
At the end we will spend a few weeks on the work of a single poet, to be chosen by me after consultation with the class. This is
a discussion class and accordingly your attendance and participation
are strictly required. There will be three short papers, a midterm, a final and a series of short exercises. This course is required
for English concentrators. Text: The Norton Anthology of English
Section 009. Our aims in this course will be to learn how to understand and enjoy poetry better, and how to articulate both our understanding and our enjoyment. Our method will involve our reading a number of poems – one or two per class, usually - discussing them carefully together, and writing about them both in daily "scribbles" and in formal papers. Our texts will be about fifty or sixty great poems by various poets from Shakespeare's time to the present, chosen from The Pleasures of Poetry, edited by Donald Hall, plus – at the end of the term – Seamus Heaney's Poems, 1965-1975. (Hornback)
Section 010. The purpose of the course will be to make lyric poetry more accessible to us, or to begin to make it accessible if it is not. We will consider its meters and rhythms, sound effects, forms and recurrent themes like mutability, and especially use of figurative language, metaphor and symbol. The classes will be discussions of representative British and American poems with plenty of chances to cite problems and raise questions. It's a promise of the instructor that if in the end one doesn't enjoy poetry as one of the best things in life, then there is no point in studying it. The section may lay a little more stress on the qualities of the poetry from different periods than do other sections – Renaissance, Romantic, Victorian. Two short papers and a final, not daily quizzes will establish a floor grade for each student. (Creeth)
Section 011. "Make it new," said Ezra Pound to a modern generation of writers, and his advice reflects an expectation that every reader has, not only of recent poetry, but of the great literature of the past as well. In this course, we will keep Pound's advice in mind as we go backward and forward through the history of English and American poetry, considering its continuities and departures, but always asking why the works we read are vital. In what ways are they new? How well are they integrated? What are their principles of order? Questions such as these are useful for the reading of any poetry, and we will ask them primarily in order to develop the ability to respond to literature with confidence and enjoyment. Discussion, therefore, is essential to the class, and so is essay- writing: both will help engage the responses that "new" poems invite. Requirements : three brief essays, a midterm and a final exam. Text: The Norton Anthology of Poetry. (Gellrich)
245/Res. College Hums. 280/Theatre 211. Introduction to Drama and Theatre. (4). (HU).
See RC Humanities 280. (Walsh)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (3).
Section 001. We will study authors and traditions of American literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, beginning with Hawthorne, Whitman, and Dickinson. Written work will include journals, short reports, and a longer paper. (Wright)
Section 002. This section will center around a study of the American ideas of freedom and limitation as explored in the fiction and poetry of selected representative writers. The theme will guide our reading and class discussions, but we will look at other concerns as well. The reading list is intended to introduce you to some of America's major writers and to show the rich variety of their concerns about freedom. We will begin with a nonfiction writer – Emerson – and then concentrate on some of Hawthorne's short fiction, the poetry of Whitman and Dickinson, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . We will enter the 20th century via Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth and continue with The Great Gatsby, Light in August, and The Color Purple. You will write three papers and take a final exam. (Lockyer)
Section 004. This course will make a special effort to introduce the variety of cultures, contexts, and peoples whose output makes up American literature. The readings will cover poetry, drama, the novel, and other special genres (e.g., Native American and slave "autobiographies"). We will thus be involved with Faulkner and Walt Whitman; with Toni Morrison, Leslie Silko, and Kate Chopin. It is also likely that we'll use volume one of the McMichael Anthology of American Literature - and use it in a variety of ways, as an anthology of "colonial through eighteenth century American literature and also to examine the how and the why of preferred and of ignored literary texts. The class will, I hope, be primarily a lot of discussion, some required 2-3 page reports and two longer papers. (Johnson)
285. Introduction to Twentieth-Century Literature. (3). (HU).
This course will provide a sampling of some of the major writers of 20th century literature. It aims not to be exhaustive in its coverage of authors, literatures, or topics, but to reach a deeper understanding to the works we read and of their contexts, literary and otherwise; we will do so by combining discussion with short lectures. Our readings will come not only from English and American writers, but also from writers in other languages (in translation). They will include fiction, poetry, and drama, and will be chosen from authors such as Tennessee Williams, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Wallace Stevens, Eudora Welty, Yeats, Joyce, Shaw, Beckett, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Camus, and Milan Kundera. There will be a required weekly journal, two medium-length papers, and a final exam. (Radcliffe)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
301. The Power of Words. (4). (HU).
Everybody knows how to have fun with language – jokes, word games, songs, and stories. But not everybody knows how we make our language fun. Or serious. Or professional. Or intimate. Language is a system through which we shape and articulate our perceptions, feelings, and beliefs. Some people are good at language because they know how to play the language game. Others are less skillful. What we will explore in our course are these questions: What is the "system" of the English language? How do we use it for various purposes? How do we use it well in all sorts of settings? The class format will be lecture/discussion, and there will be frequent short writing assignments (a page or two), three longer papers, and essay examinations in the middle and at the end. This class fulfills the LSA junior-senior writing requirement for non-English concentrators. The ECB modification must be added at CRISP when you register for the class to fulfill the writing requirement. (Bailey)
308. History of the English Language. (3). (HU).
The subject of this course is the English language and the changes it has undergone from the 7th century (the time of the earliest records) to our time. We shall study both the "external" as well as the "internal" history of English, i.e., the social and historical events influencing language change and development (e.g., the Anglo-Saxon settlement, the Viking raids, the Norman conquest, the invention of printing, the effects of the new learning in the Renaissance, etc.) and changes in the language itself (phonology and spelling, grammar, lexis). Instruction will be by (informal) lecturing and discussion. Assignments will be short exercises, work on illustrative passages of English from different periods and weekly readings from the two required texts: Thomas Pyles and John Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language, 3rd ed. (1982) and John Algeo, Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language, 3rd ed. (1982). There will be a midterm and a final exam. Grades will be based on these and on participation in class. (A. Fischer)
309. American English. (3). (HU).
English 309 will be an historically oriented course in which we survey the development of the English language in America with reference primarily to specific texts and comments on the language from various periods, taking up the important issues as they appear chronologically (the language of the earliest settlers, Americanisms, the earliest dictionaries, tall talk, regional dialects, the debate over usage, social dialects, dialect in literature, rapid changes in the 1960's and 1970's, language watching, etc.). Class meetings will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. A midterm, a final, and one paper. (Lewis)
315/Women's Studies 315. Women and Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
During the twentieth century women have represented their experience in some extraordinary novels. We will study a number of these novels by English and American women, seeking to appreciate them as works of literature and using them as a focus for talking about women's lives. Authors will include Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Joanna Russ (see instructor for full booklist). No prerequisites, but willingness to read and discuss actively expected of all students. Class meetings will include lectures, discussions and meetings for more intensive discussion in small groups. (Howard)
317. Literature and Culture. (3). (HU).
May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 – Homicide: Formula, Myth, Fiction. This course is interested in the ways in which narrative prose deals with provoking social facts. Homicide is certainly such a fact, and this course examines three very different ways in which imaginative writers have treated it. In the first of these, conveniently unreal situations are shaped by certain relatively simple formulae; the most notable instance of this is the murder mystery or detective story. We will be reading murder mysteries by Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Raymond Chandler, and James McClure. In the second, actual crimes are cast into narrative modes that make them more comprehensible, or at least less disturbing, than they would be were they otherwise left unretouched. This phenomenon we see operating every day in the various journalistic media, or in books like Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, both of which we shall read. In the third and most considerable of the narrative modes, the situation of the murderer is explored by novelists who are interested in what it may be made to say of the general human condition. We will conclude the course by reading Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Camus' The Stranger, and Faulkner's Light in August. The course will proceed mostly by lecture, but strenuous efforts will be made to allow for some discussion. The course is designed to accommodate students from other departments who, though they have no extensive background in literature, have a lively interest in the way that our real and imaginary experiences of socially important phenomena are organized, and to what effect. (Faller)
Section 002 – Literature and Culture of Ireland. This course proposes an introductory study of the literature of Ireland from earliest times to the present. This means that we select for reading from among ancient saga, medieval and modern poetry, modern prose fiction (novel and short story), and modern drama. We shall sample both Gaelic literature (in translation) and Anglo-Irish literature. The course has no prerequisite and does not presume prior acquaintance with the subject nor with Irish history, though students with some knowledge of Ireland and its history should find the course particularly rewarding. The course will be conducted by lecture, with discussion when possible. There will be brief quizzes weekly but no hour exams. Two shorter papers and one longer one will be written, and a final examination. (McNamara)
Section 003 – Science and Literature. This course is designed for students in the humanities who wonder why anyone studies science, for students in the sciences who wonder why anyone studies literature, and for students who like both and wonder why anyone makes a fuss about it. We will read literary works that engage major scientific debates and will have the opportunity to compare these works with what scientists at the time said about the issues. We will start by reading a few chapters of Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics and begin to pose the central, organizing questions of the course: how does the poetic use of language differ from the scientific? how do myth and religion help writers adapt science to a literary perspective? what does literature reveal about the personal and historical context of science? and finally, do the revolutionary discoveries of science support or threaten traditional humanistic values? We will then read great literary works from three different epochs of scientific theory. Our largest set of readings will deal with the Copernican revolution, beginning with Dante's treatment of the Ptolemaic system in The Paradiso and then considering the shattering of this world-view as treated in Donne's Anniversary Poems, Brecht's Galileo, and an excerpt from Milton's Paradise Lost (Book VIII). We will then move to the world of relativity and indeterminacy in 20th century physics by reading an excerpt from Joyce's Ulysses (the "Ithaca" episode). Finally, we will consider two works that relate Darwinism to the development of character: Edmund Gosse's Father and Son and Margaret Drabble's Realm of Gold. There will three or four short papers and a take-home final examination. (Hannay)
318. Literary Types. (3). (HU). May be
repeated for credit.
Section 001 – Sex, Race, and Damnation in Renaissance and Modern Drama. This course is based upon the premise that much can be learned about drama and culture by comparing plays across four centuries that are closely related through the visions of their makers. Four Shakespearean plays (Othello, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet) will be compared to four contemporary plays (Dutchman, No Exit, The Deputy, Zoo Story) for their treatment of sex, race or religion, and damnation as informing ideas. A midterm and final paper will be required. No one who has had English 367 (Shakespeare) with Professor Fader should take this course. (Fader)
Section 002 – Novels of Espionage. Like all 200-level courses and above, this course may be elected only after the Introductory Composition requirement has been completed. Like all 300-level courses and above, it is intended primarily for juniors and seniors. A prerequisite for admission is the prior successful completion of at least two 200-, 300-, or 400-level English courses or the equivalent. In this course we shall read Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, Somerset Maugham's Ashenden, John LeCarre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Anthony Burgess' Tremor of Intent, Graham Greene's The Human Factor, Eric Ambler's The Care of Time, Charles McCarry's The Last Supper and a novel by Adam Hall to be chosen later. Corollary reading on the development of modern intelligence and espionage will be William Stevenson's A Man Called Intrepid. We shall study these novels not only to analyze the way in which their authors achieve their spectacular effects dependent upon intrigue, suspense, and action, but also to try to understand the psychology of the principal characters, the moral issues underlying the tradecraft of espionage, and the relevance of all these materials to events in today's world. Lecture, discussion, three tests, and an optional term paper. The tests will comprise factual completion questions, identifications of crucial passages, and essay questions. (Blotner)
319. Literature and Social Change. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit.
Reading: Greek, Shakespearean, and "non-political" modern drama to put issues of social change in perspective; Artaud, Boal, Brecht, Growtowski, Klein, Paterson, and others for background and ideas; a play or two from the 1930s; (main focus): plays by progressive groups of the last 25 years, guerrilla theater, Chicano Theater, the Free Southern Theater, Cuba's Escambray Theater, Baraka's revolutionary plays, and contemporary grassroots theater. Excursions (not arranged yet, but hoped for): the Corner Health Center Troupe in Ypsilanti; Workers' Lives/Workers' Stories of the U of M Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations; the United Mime Workers in Champaign/Urbana. Production: This is the main thrust of the course – the first weeks will have intensive reading, the subsequent weeks we'll be planning and producing various forms of progressive theater in our community. Students with theater experience are welcomed, but such experience is not required. Required is an interest in arts and politics, a willingness to try acting in nontraditional contexts, and a cause around which you would want to shape a performance. Grading procedures will be decided by students and instructor. See instructor for permission to enter course: 1631 Haven, Friday, 1: 15-3:00 plus extra hours during pre-registration. (Alexander)
323 Creative Writing. Junior standing and written permission of instructor. (3). (HU).
This is an Intermediate Fiction Workshop for students who already have some writing experience. You will be expected to write a minimum of 50 pages of fiction, attend class, read and critique others' writing, develop a reading list for yourself, attend readings by visiting writers, and meet weekly outside of class with two or three of your classmates. No exams or books, but you will incur some copying costs. Evaluation will take into account your meeting the above expectations. For admission, come to the first class and bring a sample of your fiction. Admission and overrides only during the first week of the Winter Term. (Holinger)
325. Intermediate Exposition. (4). (HU).
This course give students practice in writing expository prose, usually in a variety of non-fiction forms. Its basic goal is the development of an effective personal style, with attention to tone, nuance, and figurative expression. Assignments, totaling 40 pages of prose, will vary in kind and will allow students to draw upon their experience where possible. A long paper may be assigned. It is assumed that students in this course already understand such basic elements of composition as the sentence and the paragraph.
All sections of English 325 will have course descriptions available in 444 Mason Hall after November 16.
355. Core I (Great English Books). (4).
Section 001. This course will consider the development of English literature from the Middle Ages through Milton. We shall examine the great works of this period in all genres, with particular emphasis on non-dramatic poetry. The readings will include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, The Canterbury Tales (selections), a play by Marlowe and Jonson, The Faerie Queene (selections), short poems by Sidney, Spenser, Raleigh, Greville, Donne, and Herbert, and Paradise Lost (selections). Class time will be divided between lecture and discussion. Required: three short papers, midterm and final examinations. Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature (4th edition) ed. Abrams, et al. (Shuger)
Section 002. This course is designed to meet the needs of students who are about to embark on the concentration in English at the upper-division level. The readings represent some of the most seminal literary works of the English Middle Ages and Renaissance, including Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (selections in Middle English); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Everyman; Sidney's poetry; Marlowe's Dr. Faustus; Shakespeare's sonnets and King Lear; Donne's lyrics; and Milton's Paradise Lost and prose treatises. The course is organized to consider the readings in the context of relevant historical developments and to appreciate the specific achievement of each work through close reading. Meetings will proceed by lecture and discussion - with occasional slide shows. Requirements: two brief essays, a midterm, and a final exam. (Gellrich)
Section 003. In this course we will read some of The Canterbury Tales, from the beginning, and Paradise Lost, from the end of our time span. In between we will read a concentrated selection of short poems and two or three non-Shakespearean plays of the Renaissance. The class work will be largely devoted to discussion of some of the assigned readings. There will be short written exercises, at least two papers and an hour exam, and a final. The course text will be the first volume of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 4th edition, ed. Abrams et al. (Lenaghan)
Section 004. A selection of works from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance, e.g., Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Everyman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Spenser's Faerie Queene, Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, poems by John Donne and George Herbert, Jonson's Volpone, Webster's Duchess of Malfi, Milton's Paradise Lost. Mostly discussion, occasional lecturing. Three papers, short written exercises, modest attempts at staging one or two of the plays. A midterm exam; a final exam. (English)
Section 005. In this course we will read and discuss some major authors and works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Some major texts we will read are: Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, parts of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a medieval play, Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, Shakespeare's King Lear and parts of Milton's Paradise Lost. The course is the first in the core sequence required for English concentrators. Instruction will be by lecture and discussion, and grades will reflect students' participation in class as well as performance in a midterm and final examination, and in several papers on assigned topics. (McSparran)
Section 006. This course, the first in the required sequence of core courses for English concentrators, is an introduction to some of the great literature written in English through the time of Milton. Our texts will be Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Spenser's Faerie Queene (Books I and II), and Milton's Paradise Lost. After a few days with Beowulf, we will spend most of the rest of the term reading and discussing the other works for pleasure and understanding. I will occasionally supplement our reading with lectures on historical and critical background, illustrated with slides and recordings. There will be frequent short writings, two or three papers, a midterm examination and a final. I expect regular and active participation in class meetings from students in this course. (Cloyd)
356. Core II (Great English and American Books). (4).
Section 001. The course is designed to survey British and American literature of the 18th and 19th centuries to the extent possible within one term. Readings will include Defoe's Moll Flanders; selections from Dryden, Pope, Collins, Gray, and Blake; a representative sampling of British Romantic poetry; Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; Poe's Tales; Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, and short works by Melville. Attention will be given to the historical contexts within which these authors worked, the literary traditions they initiated, extended, and in some cases parodied, as well as the questions their works continue to pose. Requirements: three short papers and a final exam. (Larson)
Section 002. We will read "major" works as well as some "minor" works by writers of the late seventeenth, the eighteenth, and the early nineteenth centuries. The course will attempt to combine close readings of texts with historical and cultural analysis. Questions to be addressed include: what makes a literary work "major" or canonical? Why are women's writings and popular or plebeian writing often considered "marginal?" What connections can be made between political and social history and literary modes and movements? In these works, how do race, sex, and class function as categories of analysis and control? What is "Augustanism?" What is "Romanticism?" How do American "frontier" literature and culture grow out of conflicting Enlightenment and Romantic politics and literary policies? Readings will include works by Dryden, Pope, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Johnson's Rasselas, poetry by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Stephen Duck, and Mary Collier, and prose by Emerson and Melville. There will be one 2-page essay, two 5-6 page essays, an emphasis on active class discussion, and a final exam. (Landry)
Section 003. We move historically from English neo-classicism to English romanticism to American post-Puritan modernist romanticism, and generically from the 18th century English novel to 18th and 19th century English poetry to the mixed-media extravaganzas of "classic" American literature. Special emphasis will be given to the philosophical hopes and fears engendered in English romanticism and to the distinctive cultural conditions that made American literature possible. Probable authors: Pope, Swift, Johnson, Fielding, Austen, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman, Dickinson. Two papers, an hour exam, a journal on Moby Dick and other American writings. (McIntosh)
Section 004. A course surveying the major literary movements, figures, and works in England and America between 1660 and the 1850's. We will focus on poetry and fiction, and will explore a range of topics: the theme of the spiritual journey; satire in a world of unprecedented social and literary change; views of the imagination; literary uses of the natural world; traditionalism and innovation in literary form; differences in literary sensibility between England and America. Authors will include Bunyan, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Fielding, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Percy and Mary Shelley, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson. Lectures will provide historical, cultural, and biographical backgrounds; they will be complemented by regular discussion. Requirements for the course include attendance and participation, three papers (5-7 pages), midterm and final examination. (Garner)
Section 005. This will be a team-taught section with 50 students; we will sometimes meet in one large group and sometimes in two smaller groups. Authors read will include Pope, Swift, Fielding, Smollett, Austen, Blake, Wordsworth, Whitman, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickinson, Keats, and Brontë. Lectures and frequent discussion will center on such topics as how writers react to previous writers, how each age creates its own literary language to express its perceptions, how literature reflects national attitudes. There will be a number of short papers of various kinds and a final exam. (Weisbuch and Howes)
357. Core III (Great English and American Books). (4).
Section 001. The third of a sequence of three courses in masterpieces of British and American literature, this course will search the art and meaning of modern literature. Our examples will come from Browning, Dickens, James, Shaw, Joyce, Eliot, Woolf, Stevens and Faulkner. Three papers, one in-class, and a final examination will be required. (Schulze)
Section 002. Literature in the modern era, in its
Victorian, modernist, and contemporary movements alike, has been
at once stymied and energized by a recurrent paradox. On one hand, the broadening of literacy has enabled writers to reach ever larger
numbers of readers; on the other hand, writers have suffered from
a deepening sense of cultural marginality, of estrangement from the principal values of the society they have variously aspired
to support, shock, entertain, or reform. We shall explore this
vital paradox, with the formal and thematic tensions it has engendered
across a dozen decades, in the poetry of Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins, Hardy, T.S. Eliot, Yeats, Frost, Stevens, and Bidart; and in fiction
by E. Brontë (Wuthering Heights), Dickens (Great
Expectations), Twain (Huckleberry Finn), G. Eliot (Middlemarch), Joyce, James, Conrad (shorter works), Woolf (To the Lighthouse), Lowry (Under the Volcano),
and Mason (Shiloh and Other Stories). Occasional lectures, but the main emphasis will fall on discussion. Four papers, two
each on poetry and fiction. (Tucker)
Section 003. This course (the last in the English core sequence) will consider major British and American prose and poetry from approximately 1850-1950. We will examine the responses of both cultures to concerns about the relationship between the individual and a rapidly changing environment, the emerging focus on the self, current social and political issues, and experimentations in form. Among others we will read novels, short stories, and poetry by Dickens, George Eliot, Joyce, Yeats, Woolf, Twain, Melville, Dickinson, T.S. Eliot. Students will be evaluated on the basis of classroom discussions, three papers, and a final exam. (Norich)
Section 004. This course will examine works by American and British authors from the Victorian period to the present. The material to be covered will fall into roughly three groups: the Victorian heroine, modernism and history, and American literature. Each section will focus on several genres and will examine the role of race and gender in the formation of a literary canon. Questions will be raised concerning the evolution of literary forms and the impact of history on literary production. The reading list will include Mill's The Subjection of Women, Schreiner's The Story of an African Farm, Hardy's Jude the Obscure, Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession, Forster's Howard's End, Woolf's Between the Acts, Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, Faulkner's Absolom, Absolom!, Morrison's The Bluest Eye, poetry by Christina Rossetti and Frost, essays by T.S. Eliot and stories by James and Wharton. There will be two papers in two drafts and a final exam. (Herrmann)
Section 006. Third of the three Core courses required for English concentrators, this particular section will also be appealing to those who are in other disciplines or working part-to-full time. Meeting for two-hour sessions (MW 7-9 PM)) allows movement from lecture to discussion to group presentation within one period. We will be reading through fiction, poetry, prose, and drama both British and American from mid-19th century to the present. Probable works: Dicken's Hard Times, Hardy's Tess, James' shorter fiction, Lawrence's short stories, West's The Day of the Locust, Updike's Rabbit Run; selected poems by Yeats, Arnold, Auden, Stevens, Plath, Rich and others; Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Woolf's A Room of One's Own, Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son; Miller's Death of a Salesman and possibly something by Shaw or Beckett. Several in-class writings, midterm and final. (DePree)
367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (3).
Section 001. Seven or eight of Shakespeare's plays, selected for variety as well as for excellence. Format will be mainly lecture, because of the size of the class, but I will make periodic attempts to engender discussion on central issues. We will approach the plays as literature, as theatre, and as products of a particular time, place, and person; so we'll talk about history and biography and stagecraft as well as poetics. (Ingram)
Section 002. In this course we will study about a dozen of Shakespeare's plays, all of them comedies. This will enable us to study 12 or 13 plays in their own right, from the earlier, middle, and later parts of Shakespeare's career, as well as to explore the idea of Comedy as it informs and develops in these plays throughout that career. Three hour exams (with some option of paper to replace exam) and a final examination. The course will be conducted by lecture, with opportunity for discussion as occasion and class size permit. (McNamara)
393. Honors Survey: Eighteenth-Century English Literature. Admission to the English Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
A study of major writers in all genres during the period 1660-1780, with particular attention to the religious, political, aesthetic, and intellectual controversies in which their works participate. Authors include Dryden, Wycherley, Swift, Pope, Addison, Steele, Gay, Fielding, Johnson, and Sterne. Lectures, often illustrated with visual and musical material from the period, will develop a context in which to read this literature with perception and sympathy; discussions, for which careful preparation is expected, will focus in detail on the texts. A short analytical essay, a midterm hour test, a longer essay at term's end, and a final examination. (Winn)
394. Honors Survey: History of Literary Theory. Admission to the English Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
A survey of the history of literary theory from Plato's critique of poetry as social mimesis and mania (the heart of oral tradition) to present controversies on the nature of meaning in the interpretation of texts. The historical, changing character of what is meant by 'poetry' and 'literature' as well as of the purposes of the disciplines that study (and often attempt to regulate) these quasi-discursive practices will receive as much attention as genuinely perennial themes and problems. Close reading of major texts in their entirety will be emphasized as far as practicable. Two short papers, an oral report in class, participation in classroom discussion, and a term paper required. (Barnouw)
412. Major Directors. (3). (HU).
We will make a careful analytical study of major films spanning the careers of two maverick American masters. Our focus will be on the cinematic "languages" and the dramatic themes of Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick, the relationship between what they say and how they say it, their styles, their content, and their context. Each week, we will see one film, introduced by a lecture on the previous day, followed by a lecture/discussion on the following day. Size of the class and amount of support staff will determine the feasibility of additional small discussion groups. There is no prerequisite for English 412 (it may also be repeated if content is different from previous election), but this course is not "An Introduction to the Movies." Previous work in film theory, mechanics, and aesthetics couldn't hurt. Should film study be new to you, I will be happy to recommend preparatory reading; come see me during Fall Term. The course will pay attention to meat and potatoes as well as to sauce and soufflé (and, while we're at it, to nuts and bolts; it isn't all culinary). An obligatory lab fee covers the cost of films. Some reading (Giannetti's Understanding Movies); three two-page papers; one five-page paper; one ten-page paper; no exams. No "Incompletes." Illiterates will find no place to hide. Anyone who uses "media" with a singular verb flunks. (Bauland)
413. Studies in Film Genre. (3). (HU).
This course examines a number of comic American films from different periods to establish comedy as a motion picture genre with specific themes and techniques, but also to see the way individual films are influenced by the social climate of their times. We shall explore, from a larger perspective, the nature of comedy in various art forms and in the context of our every day reality. Among the works we shall study are Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush and Buster Keaton's The General, both silent films from the "golden age of comedy;" Horse Feathers, an anarchistic dialogue comedy featuring the Marx brothers; Ernst Lubitsch's comedy of manners, Trouble in Paradise; The Philadelphia Story, a marriage comedy directed by George Cukor; Some Like It Hot, a sex comedy directed by Billy Wilder; Stanley Kubrick's dark satire, Dr. Strangelove; Mike Nichol's social satire, The Graduate. We shall conclude by examining Mel Brook's The Producers and Woody Allen's Annie Hall, using these films also for discussions of ethnic humor and contemporary attitudes about the comic. (Konigsberg)
417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator in English. (3). (Excl).
NOTE: ENGLISH 417 SHOULD BE ELECTED BY SENIOR ENGLISH CONCENTRATORS ONLY.
Section 001 – Beckett's Fiction. The course will be a systematic examination of Beckett's experimental work as a writer of prose. Although we will pay some attention to his work in drama, our primary focus will be on his work in fiction. Students will read Beckett's novels with an eye toward his most recent work in this medium. We'll be focused on works like All Strange Away, Ill Seen Ill Said, and Worstward Ho. These are Beckett's short works in experimental fiction and they will be the particular subjects of our inquiry. Students can count on writing three short papers for this course. There will no final examination. This course will be conducted as a seminar; active participation of class members is not only encouraged, but required. Students will lead weekly discussions and prepare material for individual class meetings, guided by the instructor. Open to a limited number of graduate and undergraduate students. (Brater)
Section 002 – Literatures of the Americas. The "Americas" of this seminar is North (Canada included) and South America, and the Caribbean. Beginning with the strategic intentions of Herman Melville's Benito Cereno, we will look at the various ways, artistic and ideological, in which three continents, Europe, Africa, and Asia, have sought to discover, to rename, and to settle the lands and the peoples bound by the Caribbean Sea and by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Puritans and Conquistadors, Chinese in search of gold mountains, Africans and East Indians, those Dutch sailors hinted at in The Great Gatsby, etc. will become the principal characters in our texts – be they by Cotton Mather or Alejo Carpentier; by Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, and V.S. Naipaul; or by Joy Kogawa (Japanese Canadian), Octavio Paz, and William Faulkner. We begin naturally, with the beginning of the end that we get in The Broken Spears, with the Aztec account of the conquest of Mexico, and with those New England chronicles of acts of genocide against the Pequot Indians. And end with an examination of the New World that is implied in Ariel Dorfman's How to Read Donald Duck (Dorfman is from Chile). Come prepared to read, to research new materials and areas, to prepare individual reports for seminar discussions. (Johnson)
Section 003 – The Tradition of Ulysses. Joyce's Ulysses creates its own tradition to a far greater degree, and more self-consciously, than most literary texts. It incorporates, yet radically transforms, the received canon of literature and asserts its preeminence as a model for other writers to acknowledge or imitate. In this course, we will study the way a text reorients our whole sense of literary history. Beginning with a close reading of Ulysses, we will discuss how Joyce's experiments with style and his use of mythical correspondences remake the past. We will then examine two of Joyce's principal sources, Homer's Odyssey and Shakespeare's Hamlet, asking how and why they are transformed by Ulysses. Next we will look at the converse question, how and why subsequent writers assimilated Joyce's experiments into their own work: T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and Beckett's Murphy. Though previous acquaintance with Joyce's works would naturally be a help, any student willing to engage Ulysses with sustained effort, regardless of background, should find the content and method of this course enjoyably rewarding. I will strongly emphasize the improvement of each student's writing, with rough drafts required for two 8-10 pp. papers and informal journal entries. (Hannay)
Section 005 – The Country and the City. "Outside the polis," Aristotle wrote, "no one is truly human, but rather a god or a beast." From the beginning, however, writers have suggested that inside the polis one may find varieties of divinity and beastliness, and that natural refuges may be necessary for some individuals to discover their fullest humanity. The moral complexity of this condition, as well as the relation of landscape and literary form, are topics we shall study in imaginative texts from the Renaissance to the present. Readings will include Shakespeare's Coriolanus and As You Like It, Gay's The Beggar's Opera, Wordsworth's Selected Poems, Balzac's Pere Goriot, Richard Jeffries' After London, Gwendolyn Brooks' Selected Poems, an anthology of New York Poems, and two contemporary novels. Reserve readings in pertinent non-fiction will be assigned. Seminar format. Several papers and one examination. (Goldstein)
Section 006 – Macbeth. This seminar might be titled "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Macbeth. " We will first read Shakespeare's great tragedy very carefully, with some acting out of scenes, and get it well in mind. Then through a series of reports we will consider various critical approaches that may enhance our understanding; through imagery for example, or psychology, the play's relation to the time it was written, the make-up of the acting company, other Jacobean and Shakespearean tragedy, antecedents in medieval and Elizabethan drama. A final long paper will try to assess the cumulative value of such study of the tragedy. A true seminar, the class will build on the contributions of its members, try to strike fresh insights, and have no exams. (Creeth)
Section 007 – Tragedy, Philosophy, and the 'Death of God'. Nietzsche's famous aphorism in The Gay Science pulls the rug out from under a long tradition of Platonic humanistic thinking as it appears in the work of Kant and Hegel at the beginning of the 19th century. In this course I would like to study some of the ways in which Greek tragedy already engages in full this same critique of humanism (before the fact, as it were) and how the tradition of critical thinking emanating from Plato and Aristotle works systematically to subvert this critique, a critique which continues to appear, however, in the writing that we choose to designate (at least since the 19th century) "great literature." We will read Plato and Aristotle on mimesis, Sophocles' Oedipus and Antigone, Aeschylus' Agamemnon, and Euripides' Medea and The Bacchae. We will also read some of the more well known theorists of the tragic - Nietzsche, Hegel, Heidegger – as well as some recent classical critics – Knox, Vernant, Nilsson – and some recent theorists - Girard, Foucault, Derrida – among others. In the final weeks of the course, we will also make an attempt to understand how this Greek tragic conception might have affinities to the mode of thinking within the Hebraic and Judaic world known as the prophetic and read portions of Genesis. There will be a paper, a final, and a series of quizzes. (Goodhart)
Section 008 – Absent Fathers/Absent Selves: Psychological Approaches to the American Novel. Almost by definition the hero of a novel is in search of his or her identity, either in terms of the relations between the self and a social community, the self and a family structure, or a combination of both. A common form, particularly in the 19th century, is that of an orphan who makes his way in the world in the absence of a father (or, less frequently, of a mother) or the discovery of a missing father at the end of the plot. But compared to his English counterparts, central characters in American novels discover paternity as lost, weak, of horrific with unusual frequency in a pattern that has the most serious implications for the identity of the American hero. This course will involve an intensive reading of twelve central American novels in an attempt to define the problem of identity each book presents and to work towards a more theoretical understanding of the American hero (and of America itself) as typically isolated and alone – a marginal figure subject to violence from without and psychological aberration from within (e.g., alienation, sexual ambiguity, suicide). Readings will cover Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, James, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Nabokov, Ellison, and Maxine Hong, plus secondary readings in psychoanalytic criticism and theory. (J. Fischer)
Section 009 – The Seventeenth Century. The seventeenth century is the gateway between the medieval and modern worlds. Its literature continues the traditions of the Renaissance and yet provides the model for the major poets of this century. It is the age of the religious wars and Metaphysical poetry but also the age of science, empiricism, and revolution. Between 1600 and 1700 the last and greatest flowering of oratorical prose slowly gave way to the modern prose style, while lyric poetry became more complex, individual, and private. This course will examine all the major non-dramatic genres of the seventeenth century, their backgrounds in art, philosophy, and literary theory and their relation to modern poetry and criticism. We will study the major poets (Donne, Greville, Herbert, and Milton) and the development of English prose (including the strange and wonderful meditations on death by Sir Thomas Browne and Jeremy Taylor). And we will try to look behind this literature to its origins in Classical rhetoric, Renaissance iconography, etc. and beyond it to its influence on modern poetry and poetic theory. (Shuger)
Section 010 – Romances. The romance, said Hawthorne, never swerves aside from the truth of the human heart but often takes liberties with the circumstances under which that truth is presented. Romances tend toward marvelous and sometimes supernatural adventure in a world remote in time and place. Unlike novels, they are seldom interested in verisimilitude; their preference is for larger-than-life heroes and heroines who pass through extraordinary experiences. We will try to understand the reasons for the persistent popularity of this genre by close study of selected romances from the twelfth century to the present – e.g., the story of Tristan and Isolde, Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory's Morte D'Arthur, Sidney's Arcadia, Walpole's Castle of Otranto, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and Nabakov's Lolita. The first part of the course will include brief oral reports and one or two short papers. Later each student will present, orally, a preliminary version of a longer paper to be handed in near the end of the term. (English)
423 The Writing of Fiction. Open to seniors and graduate students; written permission of the instructor is required. (3). (HU).
An advanced workshop, for experienced writers of fiction - short or long. Students will participate in the workshop discussions, read selected contemporary fiction, and complete by the end of the term a substantial collection of their own work. Permission of instructor required. Submit five pages of your fiction, before December 12, to my office (1620 Haven Hall). Sign up for a 15 minute appointment on January 8, at which time overrides will be available. (Kauffman)
427. Playwriting. Permission of instructor.
Section 002. The craft of professional playwriting is taught through discussions of dramatic structure, thematic structure, dramatic action, conflict and character development in relationship to individual plays written by class members as well as established dramatic works by such diverse playwrights as Joe Orton, Samuel Beckett, John Arden, Jules Feiffer, and David Rabe. Primary emphasis is on new plays written by class members. A company of student actors will be attached to the class to read members' plays. Plays will be selected for public performance at the end of the term. Each class member is expected to write at least two one-act plays or the first draft of a long play. Grades are based on fulfilling the writing requirement, attendance, and degree of class participation. No writing samples will be requested. A sign up sheet will be available outside of 2529 Frieze Building beginning on January 4th. Sign up for a 15 minute appointment to see the instructor on January 11. He will be seeing students at 10: 30 a.m. and throughout the day at the same location. Overrides will be available at the time of the interview. (McIntyre)
429. The Writing of Poetry. Written permission of instructor is required. (3). (HU).
This course will serve as a forum for students who have already written a significant amount of verse and desire to improve their craft by steady practice and by discussion of all aspects of poetics. The workshop format guarantees that each student's writing will get the attention it deserves. In addition, we shall read and discuss worthy poems by our contemporaries – either from an anthology or several slim volumes. Students who wish to enroll in the course must put a manuscript of 3-5 poems in my box (7th floor, Haven Hall) before December 4. A final class list will be available in 7607 Haven Hall on December 11 as well. (Goldstein)
430. The Rise of the Novel. (3). (HU).
We will trace the early development of the English novel, noting the factors that led to the emergence of this form in the eighteenth century and the ways in which these novels still speak to us today. Reading will include works drawn from this list of authors: Daniel DeFoe, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne, Fanny Burney, Mary Shelley, Charles Maturin, and Jane Austen. The class will be conducted by a combination of lecture and discussion. There will be two or three short papers and a final exam. (Howes)
432. The American Novel. (3). (HU).
Why do American writers express the subtlest philosophical issues through violent and melodramatic actions? Why do they create characters who aren't quite people, plots which interrupt themselves so often that they aren't quite stories, environments that are not the streets and houses we know, and endings that are not resolutions or answers so much as disturbing open questions? We will wrestle with these problems in an attempt to define what is unique about American fiction. At the same time, our primary focus will be on each work in terms of itself. The course will proceed ahistorically, by concerns rather than dates. This a tentative listing of those concerns and the writers and works we will consider. Frontier as Metaphor: Hawthorne (Stories), Twain (Huckleberry Finn), James (Daisy Miller), Barth (End of the Road). Thinking the Self into Being: Chopin (The Awakening), Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), Mailer (An American Dream). Ontological Insecurity, or Anxiety and Power: Melville (Benito Cereno), James (Turn of the Screw), Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury). We will move forward and back in time to identify literary and experiential issues that have seemingly permanent status in American lives. The course will combine lectures and discussions. Two papers and a final examination will be required. (Weisbuch)
433. The Modern Novel. (3). (HU).
"The Modern Novel" is a term usually understood to refer to major fiction of, roughly, the period between the middle of the nineteenth century and the middle of the twentieth century - or, more specifically, of the century following the publication of Flaubert's Madame Bovary. We will read a selection of nine novels that represent the major concerns and achievements of writers in English who followed – more or less consciously - the lead of Flaubert (and two of the earliest did so quite consciously): four American novels, James' The Ambassadors, Toomer's Cane, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!, and five British novels, Ford's Parade's End (a tetralogy) and Laurence's The Diviners. There will be introductory lectures, but the conduct of the course will depend on class discussion. Writing assignments will include two or three short essays and a term paper (a total of some 5000-7000 words). There may be a final examination. It is strongly recommended that students have a lower division literature course (e.g., English 230 or 270) before taking this course. (Powers)
434. The Contemporary Novel. (3). (HU).
This course will examine contemporary novels from a wide range of national literatures and will focus on the role of political systems and gender in the evolution of the novel as genre. It will raise questions concerning authorship, narrative structure and the role of fiction in contemporary society. The concentration will be on novels which problematize their own process of story-telling and whose protagonists themselves are narrators and/or writers. The reading list will include Coetzee's In the Heart of the Country, Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, Wolf's The Quest for Christa T., Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, Atwood's Lady Oracle, Leguin's Left Hand of Darkness, Kogawa's Obasan, Morrison's The Bluest Eye, and Berger's G. There will be two papers, a midterm and a final. (Herrmann)
441. Contemporary Poetry. (3). (HU).
A study of American poetry from World War II to the present, concentrating especially on Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsburg, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Gary Snyder, James Wright, and Frank O'Hara, but surveying other important poets of the period. We focus first on the formal verse of the 1950s, represented at its best by Richard Wilbur; next the autobiographical poetry of Plath, Lowell, Ginsburg, and others; then the "deep image" school of Bly, James Wright, Kinnell, and Dickey; and the "New York Poets," typified by Frank O'Hara. The course culminates in a reading of some of today's younger poets. Previous poetry courses would certainly provide good preparation, but there are no prerequisites. In particular a course in Modern Poetry (Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Williams, et al) would be helpful for students contemplating taking this class. An hour test, a midterm, two papers (one of them long), and a final exam will provide the basis for evaluation. The class will be taught through a combination of lectures and discussions. (Tillinghast)
444/Theatre 422. History of Theatre: II. (4). (HU).
This course deals with the development of the Theatre of the Western World as an art form from 1700 to the present. Topics include theatre structures, production, acting, drama, theory, criticism, and social history relevant to the art. The preceding course, English 443 (Theatre 421), serves as a useful basis for understanding this development of the past three centuries, but is not a required prerequisite. The course is primarily lecture oriented, but has time for questions and discussion. It is designed for juniors, seniors, and graduate students; lower level undergraduates who feel prepared for this level are welcome. There are three one-hour examinations, a comprehensive examination, and a term paper. (Bender)
445. Shakespeare's Rivals. (3). (HU).
Even without the formidable presence of Shakespeare, the period of English drama between 1580 and the closing of the theaters in 1642 would stand as one of the most brilliant in the history of world theatre. Not until our own century have dramatists experimented with such a range of dramatic forms, combining the traditional with the innovative, or displayed such diversity of dramatic styles. Written for all levels of London society, their plays explore a number of subjects: the relation of man to his social contexts; the border regions of the psyche, especially the areas of abnormality and obsession; the nature of power and aspiration; the implications of acting, in all its social forms; and the complex interrelationships of comedy and tragedy. Dramatists will include Kyd, Marlowe, Greene, Dekker, Tourneur, Jonson, Middleton, Rowley, Beaumont, Fletcher, Webster, and Ford. Class meetings will combine lecture with discussion; requirements include regular attendance, participation, two papers, midterm and final examination. Familiarity with the plays of Shakespeare is not required, but will enrich the experience of the course considerably. (Garner)
448. Contemporary Drama. (3). (HU).
Careful reading of representative British and Continental European plays since World War I (American Drama is the province of English 449). Consideration of plays in their relationships to dramatic (and cinematic) movements, theatrical backgrounds, social forces, world events, and trends of thought. English 448 complements English 447 (which spills over into some major post-WWI figures); the earlier course is not a prerequisite, but a knowledge of the early modern masters plus Brecht and Pirandello won't hurt. Readings will be chosen from among (not all) these playwrights: O'Casey, Sartre, Camus, Giraudoux, Anouilh, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Osborne, Pinter, Stoppard, Durrenmatt, Hochhuth, Weiss and several others. Lectures and discussion, the quantity of the latter dependent upon class size. Some secondary reading and "outside" play reading in addition to about 20 basic plays. Students will write two papers (the second longer than the first), keep a reading log, and take a final exam. (Bauland)
459. English Neoclassical Literature. (3). (HU).
This course in later eighteenth century English literature will be centered on the most eminent writer of the age, Samuel Johnson, and his friends. He was preeminent in a group of artists, actors, and authors, both men and women, who excelled individually and who shone as a group, making London in the mid- and late-eighteenth century brilliant with their works and wit. Our approach will be primarily but by no means exclusively biographical, using Boswell's Life of Johnson as a handbook as we follow the lives and work of Johnson, Boswell, Reynolds, Goldsmith, Burke, Fanny Burney, Hester Thrale, Hannah More, David Garrick, and others whose lives and work were powerfully affected by Johnson. This course offers students an opportunity to study a few authors in depth, to live familiarly in 18th century London, to examine genres (biography, travel literature, periodical journalism, legicography, history) often neglected in literature courses, and to pursue special interests through study of members of Johnson's circle (a few examples: History, Burke and Gibbon; Aesthetics, Burke and Reynolds; the Theatre, Garrick and Goldsmith; the Novel, Goldsmith, Burney; the Status of Women Writers, Burney, Thrale, More, etc.. There will be a final examination, one common paper, and special projects tailored to the interests of individual members of the class. (Cloyd)
461. English Romantic Literature. (3). (HU).
This course will examine one of the great periods of English poetry through concentration on its six greatest figures – first the generation of Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, and then that of Shelley, Byron, and Keats. Lectures and discussion will explore their efforts to harmonize literature, politics, and personal experience in order to become poet-prophets to their age and ours. Central to that enterprise are Romantic models of the working of imagination, the stages of human growth, the nature of revolution, and the dynamics of literary influence. English 240 (Introduction to Poetry) would be a helpful but not required background. Course work will include a final exam, a short paper or a midterm, and a longer paper. (Bornstein)
472. Twentieth-Century American Literature: Key Texts. (3). (HU).
"Explanations of America" – a study both stylistic and historical that will follow the evolution of vision-making fictions about the nature of American society. The first half of the course will focus on epochal schemes of U.S. life in major twentieth century writers such as Sherwood Anderson, Faulkner, Richard Wright, O'Neill, and Dreiser (with a look back at Sarah Orne Jewett's special view). The second half will test the breadth and depth of some contemporary works such as Silko's Story-Teller, Didion's The White Album, Cheever's O What a Paradise It Seems!, Jayne Anne Phillips' Machine Dreams, Robert Pinsky's narrative poem "An Explanation of America," and the instructor's own novel, The Bohemians. English concentrators, American Studies students, sociology and history students may be particularly interested in this course. Evaluation will consist of short quizzes, a midterm essay-exam, and a final essay-exam. (Cheuse)
482. Studies in Individual Authors. (3).
Section 001 – Mark Twain and Native American Humor. Twain's development from rustic comedian ("Wild Humorist of the Western Slope") to man of letters ("The Lincoln of our Literature") and on to caustic satirist ("That Son of the Devil, Mark Twain"). Following background readings in frontier humorists like Longstreet, Thorpe, Hooper, ("Simon Suggs"), Harris ("Sut Lovingood"), we will be engaged with the major canon of Twain's sketches, travel books, novels, and philosophical fantasies. To be read in full: Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Puddn'Head Wilson, Connecticut Yankee, Mysterious Stranger, Letters From the Earth. If time allows, study of Faulkner's The Hamlet as modern work deriving from Twain. This course should serve as a literary supplement to major historical and cultural developments between 1850 and 1910. Midterm, final, papers. Students will be encouraged to cross the authorial line and write on topics treating later American humorists such as Thurber, the Marx brothers, Woody Allen or to investigate theoretical aspects of humor and comedy. (Eby)
Section 002 – Dickens. Wilkins Micawber, that famous man of letters, wrote to David Copperfield, "Go on, my dear sir, in your Eagle course!... (We) watch it with delight, with entertainment, with instruction." We will undertake to follow Charles Dickens' "Eagle course" through six major novels, and will expect to read "with delight, with entertainment, with instruction." We will read each novel closely and carefully, exploring such themes as alienation and orphanage, education, the function of knowing and the role of the imagination, the meaning of work, and the philosophical significance of happiness. We will be concerned with Dickens the social critic and with Dickens the artist, with his realistic representation of this world and with the imaginative understanding which transforms this world into meaning. Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood : that's about 4,000 pages of text, in the Penguin editions please. (Cliff's Notes are guaranteed to be utterly useless, so give your dollars to a worthwhile charity instead of wasting them on such junk.) Six short papers, plus daily "scribbles." Optional evening discussions at my home on Wednesday evenings. (Hornback)
Section 003 – Frost and Robinson. We will spend about three fourths of our time on the poetry of Robert Frost and one fourth on the poetry of Edwin Arlington Robinson. Instruction will be by discussion as far as possible, with some brief lectures thrown in. We will read almost all of Frost's poems and a considerable number of Robinson's shorter poems. There will be a midterm and one other hour examination; three short papers, at least one of which may be a parody or imitation; weekly memorizations, some chosen by you, most by me, which will count between one third and one half of the grade. (Clark)
483. Great Works of Literature. (1). (HU).
Section 001 – Shakespeare's King Lear. We will read Shakespeare's King Lear from various perspectives, including its relationship to its own time, its reception in subsequent times, and its relevance to us today. Supplementary reading will include a limited amount of criticism and background material. Writing in a journal or two short papers. Class will meet Monday, 2:00-4:00, on February 4, 11, 18; March 4, 11, 18, with final exam on March 25 and final meeting on April 8 to discuss results of exam. (Howes)
Section 002 – Great Expectations. "What larks!" - "Ever the best of friends, Pip." – "Life is made of ever so many partings welded together." Those are three of the important things said in Dickens' Great Expectations. In this short course we will look carefully at a number of such things, and try to figure out what they mean, and why they are important. We will read the novel closely, and discuss in class such themes as guilt, alienation, love, knowledge, and work. We will talk about the idea of a class society, as it appears in the novel, and about Pip's – and Dickens' – idea of a gentleman. We will analyze the function of the first person narrative, and try to figure out the purpose of Pip's writing his autobiography. The class will meet once a week for the full term. Requirements: weekly in-class scribbles, and a term paper – not a research paper - of 8-12 pages to be turned in on or before April 16. Students enrolled in the Great Expectations course may not simultaneously be enrolled in the Dickens course (English 482). (Hornback)
495. Honors Survey: The Twentieth Century. Admission to the English Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
This course is required for and restricted to seniors in the English Department's Honors Program. Covering English literature in the 20th Century, the course concentrates on the poetry of Yeats, Eliot, and Auden, the fiction of James, Conrad, Ford, Woolf, Lawrence, and Joyce, and selections from drama and critical prose. The method of teaching involves both discussion and the interruptible lecture. A midterm examination and, probably, two papers. (Gindin)
496. Honors Survey: Thesis and Comprehensive Examination. Admission to the English Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
This course is restricted to students in the English Department's Honors Program and Alternate Honors Program. English 496 is used for the combination of thesis and comprehensive exam in Honors and for the thesis in Alternate Honors. (Gindin)
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