For all English classes, registered students must be present at each of the first two meetings to claim their places. Any student who does not meet this requirement may be dropped from the course. NOTE: If you must miss a class due to religious observances, contact the instructor or leave a message for the instructor with the department (763-3130).
After taking or placing out of Introductory Composition, students may elect either English 224 or 225 for further practice in the fundamentals of expository and argumentative prose. English 325 offers the opportunity for work in argumentative and expository prose at a more advanced level.
Several sections of English 223, the beginning course in creative writing, are available each term; the work is multi-generic, and two of the following will be covered in each section: fiction, poetry, and drama. A more advanced course for creative writers is English 323 (Fiction or Poetry). Students who have taken English 223 may be admitted to this course with the permission of the instructor. Students wishing to take 323 without completing the prerequisite must obtain the permission of the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program. Experienced writers may also apply for admission to English 227 (Playwriting), English 423 (Fiction), English 427 (Advanced Playwriting), or English 429 (Poetry) by submitting writing samples to the instructor. Please see individual descriptions for application procedures.
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.
The English Department's Professional Semester is an experimental, integrated, team-taught program, designed for students who are committed to teaching
English in the secondary schools or who wish to explore that possibility.
This program, which will carry 12 hours of credit, along with English 305
to be taken concurrently for 3 hours of credit, will normally constitute the student's entire course load for one term, and will meet the following
requirements in the Teaching Certificate Program (students who have already
accumulated some of these credits are welcome to negotiate):
English 490-001. Reading, Writing and Criticism in the Teaching of English (7 credits). (This is the equivalent of English 325 plus English 417. Concurrent election of English 491/Education D491 and English 305 is required.)
English 491/Education D491. Teaching English-Methods and Practicum. (5 credits). (This is the equivalent of Education D440 and Education 307. Concurrent election of English 490 and English 305 is required.)
The Professional Semester is not taught as a collection of separate courses, but rather as a coherent program with flexible scheduling arrangements and opportunities for large and small group projects and discussions, guest consultants and lecturers, and student planning of many segments or aspects of the program. As a hypothetical example, one might focus on the question of audience, taking up criticism on how literature reaches its audience and including poetry, a Shakespeare play, a modern novel, a film, to explore how the different genres affect an audience. In the same unit students might also examine the communications potential of language in a number of contexts and write brief papers addressed to various audiences. Discussion and observation of different local secondary schools will be arranged under Education D491 on a concentrated basis for a portion of the semester.
The Professional Semester can accommodate up to 25 students and with the practicum to be arranged. Students should keep MW 4-5 open for tutoring under Ed D491.
Students interested in participating in the program should contact Professor Alan Howes in his office, G624 Haven Hall, 763-2269. He can provide more information about the program, and can put interested students in touch with former participants. An information brochure is available in the English Department office.
124. College Writing: Writing and Literature. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
By connecting the two terms of its title, Writing and Literature aims to help prepare the student to produce the range and quality of expository prose expected in college courses. Works of literature will be considered for their effective use of language and argument. They will serve as reference points for thinking and writing strategies. Characteristically, sections of English 124 will involve the writing of a minimum of six essays, with considerable attention given to the preparation of drafts and to revision. The literary works which will serve as points of reference will vary from section to section and from term to term.
Course descriptions for individual sections will be available in 2210 Angell Hall.
Section 012 – Life Stories. This section is a First Year Seminar. In this seminar in literature and writing, we will indulge ourselves in the pleasures of reading about other people's lives. Whether our texts are fictions disguised as biographies or biographies which pass for fictions, the assigned readings will illustrate the wonderfully diverse ways that writers choose to tell stories of their lives or the lives of others. It will be less important to our study to figure out where the boundaries between truth and fiction lie in the texts we read – or if such boundaries exist - than to examine how writers use the circumstances of a life to express ideas. Whether biography, autobiography, memoir, or fiction, such writing inevitably considers issues of identity as a product of a particular family or a particular culture. We will think about identity and family and culture when we read some of the following writers: Maxine Hong Kingston, who fashions her autobiography out of the stories her mother has told her about her own past; or Mike Rose, who writes about literacy by telling the story of his own education, saying almost apologetically "I didn't know how else to get it right"; or Thomas Keneally, who presents the real life story of Oskar Schindler – the German who saved the lives of over 1100 Jews in Nazi Germany – in the form of "a novel"; or Rosellen Brown, who sets up both a logical impossibility and a truth about the interconnectedness of family lives in the title of her novel "Autobiography of My Mother." Our texts may also include the writings of Richard Rodriguez, Toni Morrison, E. L. Doctorow, James Baldwin, and others. As we explore the connections between personal stories and public ideas in the writing of professional writers, I hope you will discover the relationship between your life stories and the ideas you express in your writing. For this class, that writing will include short responses to the readings that will take several different forms and will serve as preparation and preliminary drafts for the seminar paper you will produce by the end of the term. Active participation in class discussion and regular attendance are also required. (Wolk)
Section 024. This course, a First Year Seminar, will focus on one of the most interesting and popular genres of Western European medieval literature bequeathed to us – Arthurian literature. We will study works from England, France, and Germany, including (but not limited to): The Lais of Marie de France, romances of Chretien de Troyes such as Iwein and Lancelot, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gottfried von Strasbourg's Tristan, and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. Attention will be paid throughout the term to the problems of academic writing and strategies to solve them. Course requirements include five or six papers, a midterm, and a final examination. (Tanke)
Section 025. This section is a First Year Seminar. Throughout this course in writing about literature, we will read in various genres (short stories, poetry, essays, a novel). Course requirements will include keeping a journal, writing arguments about how to interpret literature, imitating various writers' styles, and revising paragraphs and essays to improve their effectiveness. Active engagement in discussions, small group exercises, and workshops are also required. This is a course for students eager to improve their writing and reading skills. (Tinkle)
125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
Like English 124 (Writing and Literature), English 125 (College Writing) prepares students for the various kinds of academic writing required of them as undergraduates at the University of Michigan. In addition to informal exercises or impromptu essays, students can expect to write about five formal papers exemplifying the various modes of discourse which comprise our academic community. Course descriptions for individual sections are available in 2210 Angell Hall.
217. Literature Seminar. Completion of the Introductory Composition
requirement. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Rhetoric of Discovery. This section is a First Year Seminar. The notion of discovery with which we are most familiar consists of more than the historical facts of someone's planting a flag on a distant shore and returning safely home. The process of discovering is not really complete until the impact of the voyage is felt in the traveller's home land. Accounts written of the "new world" or "uncharted territory" greatly expanded that impact and gave rise to further exploration, scientific and religious pilgrimages, and colonization. In this class we will examine how the images of previously unknown places helped to shape the relations of England with Africa, Australia, and North America. For example, how did the presentation of the natives of these lands influence the attitudes of later travellers and founders of colonies? We will begin with extensive discussion of the idea of discovering lands that are already populated. Readings will include some first-hand travel accounts, some travel-inspired literature, some historical analysis, and some of the natives talking back. Three papers (short), midterm, final. (Artis)
Section 002 – Why Do We Read? This section is a First Year Seminar. In this class we will examine some of the assumptions and conventions that shape our reading practice and analyze the ways in which we think and write about literature. We will raise and discuss questions related to the acts of reading and interpretation by analyzing theoretical, critical and literary works. In addition, we will look at some of the frameworks which structure the discipline of English Literature within the academy. The class format will include lectures and discussion. Some of the texts which we will be examining include David Richter, Falling Into Theory, Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory, Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, as well as critical essays. (Gregg)
Section 003 – Classic British and American Detective Fiction. This section is a First Year Seminar. In this course, we will read British and American detective fiction from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, tracing its history in eighteenth-century criminal biographies through nineteenth-century Gothic tales through late twentieth-century mysteries. Along the way, we will ask such questions as why the genre has consistently concerned itself with questions of identity and the relation of the hunter to the hunted; why women have frequently written in this genre; how British and American detective novels differ, and why; how the depiction of violence has changed over the past two centuries. Authors will include Poe, Collins, Conan Doyle, Sayers, Christie, Hammet, Tey, Barnes, and Cornwell. Primarily for non-concentrators. Three papers, one exam. Textbooks at Shaman Drum, small course pack at Accu-Copy. Cost:2 (Krook)
Section 004 – Child Worlds: The Literature of Invented Realities. This course will study the escapist base of literature about and/or for children. It will consider how the alternative worlds that provide the settings of this literature are structured and will compare the rules by which those worlds operate with reality which is judged unsuitable for children although children undeniably are part of it. Further, the course will ask you to consider how effective these worlds are in providing something (to be determined by the class) useful to the experience of childhood. We will also compare the truths of these worlds with the truths, as we are able to identify them, of our own childhoods and the childhoods depicted in literature intended for mature readers. Frequent short papers, one project, and a midterm - no final. WL:1 (Moss)
Section 005 – Inventing the New World. The European encounter with the Americas is not a simple story of discovery, conquest, and colonization. Once discovered or "invented" in the original sense of the word, the New World had to be invented in the modern sense as well, made over and cast into terms that rendered it accessible to and capable of European imagination. Sometimes accurately, oftentimes not, blending rigorous and fairly objective observation with their own myths, fears, and anxieties, sixteenth-century accounts of New World voyages played an integral role in this complex process of cultural accommodation, refashioning the New World in pictorial representation and narrative form to produce a diverse, rich, and ambivalent body of colonial discourse. This seminar will explore selected Spanish, French and English New World accounts, ranging from Columbus to Walter Raleigh, Cortez to Martin Frobisher, Jean de Lery in Brazil to John Smith in Virginia. Throughout, we will be interested not only in the ethnographic details of native lives and customs conveyed to us – in sorting out accurate renditions from distortions, misperceptions, and fabrications - but also in what motivates, explains, or is explained by the dynamics of European perception and misperception. All materials will be read in translation. Short papers will be due at regular intervals throughout the term, and a longer paper due at the end of the term. (Mullaney)
220. Intensive Writing. ECB Writing Assessment; open to junior and senior transfer students only. (2). (Introductory Composition). May be repeated for a total of four credits.
Intensive Composition is a course designed especially to meet the needs of entering transfer students. Enrollment in English 220 is limited to senior, junior, and sophomore transfer students. It is a two-credit course, meeting three hours each week for an EIGHT-WEEK (half-term) PERIOD. English 220 will be offered only during the first half of the Winter 1995 Term. The work in English 220 is intensive and the classes are small. This course meets the Introductory Composition requirement and students move from this course to the ECB-required junior-senior writing courses throughout the University. The course is repeatable once, for a total of four hours' credit.
Students enrolled in this course will write much and often – a minimum of 500 words each week. This course differs from English 125 in the pace of the assigned work, and in the assumed level of transfer students' experience as writers. Students are advised against taking this course as an overload. If you have any questions, please contact the Composition Program, 2210 Angell Hall, 764-0418.
223. Creative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.
All sections of 223 teach the writing of two of the following three genres: fiction (including personal narrative), drama, and poetry. Different sections will emphasize the individual genres to varying degrees. Classwork involves the discussion of the process of writing and the work of a few published authors. Students will do exercises meant to develop a sensitivity to language and a facility with evocative detail, voice, form, and so forth. Most classroom time, however, is devoted to reading and discussion of student writing. A final portfolio of revised finished work of 35-50 manuscript pages may be required. Course descriptions for individual sections are available in 2210 Angell Hall.
224. The Uses of Language. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
The aim of this new second-year writing course is to help students improve the critical thinking and writing skills introduced in English 124 or 125. Each section of 224 will focus on the ways a particular value system affects individuals, and will read, talk, and write about that system. For example, students might consider the values that prompt ethical choices, or shape identity, or promote spirituality. Students will explore the way that language is used as a vehicle for urging specific beliefs in order to uncover rhetorical strategies at the heart of such modes of discourse. Classes will be conducted in workshop format and revision will form an integral part of the analytical process.
Course descriptions are available in 2210 Angell Hall.
Section 002 – Writing Our Own Lives. In effect, in this writing class, we will be asking questions that reveal how we go about "writing our own futures." How did we write the narrative of our pasts, for example? We will grapple with problems of human conflict and value systems which affect the decisions we make both at personal and public levels. Although the reading list is still to be determined, we will select texts from both fiction and non-fiction writers who illuminate these struggles. With that in mind, we will probably analyze John Irving's The Cider House Rules, short stories by Margaret Atwood, Gloria Naylor, William Carlos Williams, Allende, and John Edgar Wideman. The class format will be discussion and more discussion. We will always be concerned with how we think and how we write, consistently looking for the surprises of the unknown emotional sources of our decision-making. Each student will write approximately 50 pages of his or her own texts (essays and responses to texts) during the term. (Back)
Section 004 – Invisible Discourse: The Language of the Unspoken and the Unspeakable. Although the title sounds paradoxical, this writing course will examine the nature of language by concentrating on the way people speak (or write) about the things that they cannot, or will not, say directly - if, indeed, it is even possible to use language "directly." Thinkers have long realized that language does not just reflect or express a reality that is "out there"; rather, by "naming" something, language creates the picture of truth that we see, and our actions then proceed from the version of reality that we perceive. Since we must use language to think and speak and write, we cannot escape language's inevitable shaping of our perceptions, and thus we have no certainty that we can see any truth that is unaffected by this lens of language. We recognize, however, that some ways of naming the world are more accurate and more verifiable than others, and we strive to make these distinctions and to recognize the power that language has – power that we can use and power that can be used against us. "If you want to change the world," Confucius said, "you must first call things by their right names." But people also change our world by calling things by the "wrong" name, and sometimes they are at a loss even to find a name for what they feel. They lie, they propagandize, they create metaphors, they write poetry, they try to get at truth by indirection. Literature abounds with characters who deliberately lie because they want to create a false reality for others (e.g., Iago in Othello); some characters cannot say some truths directly so they convey truth – and are understood – by words apparently unrelated to the real message (e.g., Paul and Norman in A River Runs Through It); other characters try to convey their meanings by indirect means and are tragically misunderstood (e.g., Arnold in "The Stone Boy"). In this course we will examine these or similar works as well as essays, poetry, ads, and films – texts in which words may mean something other than they seem to be saying, texts which give us a new awareness of the way language and reality intertwine. Course requirements: 4-5 papers, written responses to the readings, writing workshops, regular attendance, and lively discussion. (Livesay)
225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
Like English 224, English 225 is centered upon practice in argumentative writing, but with topics drawn from a wide range of issues and problems. As in 224, students in 225 will work at structuring their written language to probe various aspects of the problem at hand. They will also explore the way language can be used as a vehicle for urging particular value systems, in order to learn to uncover the rhetorical strategies at the heart of such modes of discourse. Classes will be conducted in workshop format, and revision will form an integral part of the analytic process.
Course descriptions are available in 2210 Angell Hall.
227. Introductory Playwriting. (3). (HU).
The creation of original and passionate drama is the goal of this class, which will function, for the most part, as a workshop, in which students will respond to staged readings of the work of their colleagues. Concurrently, we will invent, imagine, play God, discover some rules and break a few, read regularly from contemporary published works, embrace useful writing techniques and shun those without merit, develop a reliable ear for dialogue, and feed a journal. Cost:3 (McKinney)
230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (3). (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.
Descriptions of individual sections are available in 7609 Haven Hall and 2210 Angell Hall.
"It is not only the act of writing that is creative, but the act of reading, when patiently and intelligently executed." – Joyce Carol Oates
Section 003. In this course we will immerse ourselves in the pleasures and problems of the novel, novella, and short story. Reading a selection of modern and postmodern texts illustrative of the wide variety of styles within each genre, we will test our textual-critical vocabularies while we test the limits of form, generating our own theoretical strategies for making fiction meaningful. Furthermore, we will analyze our own methods of analysis: what does a psychoanalytical/ structural/ deconstructionist/ historical/ cultural analysis offer us? What does it leave out? How can we do justice to the texts and to what we bring to them? Novels we will consider include Forster's A Passage to India, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Morrison's Tar Baby, and Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman. Short stories and novellas will be chosen from among such authors as Henry James, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, James Baldwin, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Marguerite Duras, Nadine Gordimer, Jorge Luis Borges, Cynthia Ozick, Raymond Carver, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Louise Erdrich. Students will keep a journal of written responses to the readings, write two analytical essays (8-10 pages), and take a final exam. (Crutchfield)
Section 004 – Passionate Fantasies and Fantastic Desires. We all think we know what love is, but is the concept of "desire" as
readily understandable? Why do we desire? How do we desire? Whom do we desire?
Novels have been trying to answer these questions in myriad ways and forms
for hundreds of years, and one manifestation for the complicated workings
has been in the fantastic. This class will concentrate on the relationship
between passion and fantasy in texts which conplicate the negotiation of
desire, gender, and sexuality. We may ask such questions as: How can narrative
capture our experience of passion? What is the relationship between desire
and gender? Between desire and sexuality? When and why is fantasy used by these authors? What is the relationship between desire and fantasy? We will
be reading eight novels in which the authors focus on passion and/or fantasy
in some form: John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1816), Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
(1847), Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847), Oscar Wilde's The
Picture of Dorian Gray (1894), Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899) and Virginia Woolf's Orlando
(1928). In addition, we will read selected short stories and some critical
essays which explore issues raised by these works. Time permitting, we also
may view the film version of a couple of the novels to compare how the two
genres of the novel and film deal with the expression of the human relationship
to passion, fantasy, and fiction. Requirements for this class include regular
class participation, response papers to each of the novels we read, and three longer papers (two 4-5 page papers and a final 8-10 page paper). (Erickson)
Section 005. The objective of this course is to encourage the student to develop and sharpen basic techniques and tools necessary for the interpretation and appreciation of prose fiction. The course will begin with a discussion of what narrative is, and how it can be manipulated. Alongside traditional aspects of fiction creation such as voice, characterization, theme, and style, we will focus our attention on fiction reception, that is, on the ways in which fiction can be read. Our short story reading list will include short stories by numerous authors, including, but not limited to, the following: Achebe, Atwood, Baldwin, Borges, Boyle, Chaucer, Chopin, Ellison, Faulkner, Joyce, Kincaid, Salinger, Tan, Vargas Llosa, Wharton, and Wright. Novels may include Twain's Huck Finn, Morrison's Jazz or Song of Solomon, Ellis' Home Repairs, Vargas Llosa's In Praise of the Stepmother. Also in the slate are Ernest J. Gaines, Virginia Woolf, and Flannery O'Connor. Requirements: Students will write three short essays. We will have a comprehensive final exam. We will also have impromptu written reactions in class. Participation and attendance are, as always, mandatory. I like to conduct classes with lively discussions, and make every effort to get everyone involved. (San Antonio)
Section 006 – Jazz, Blues and the Art of Fiction. While the popular wisdom maintains that jazz and the blues are America's most significant contributions to the world's music, attempts to express their significance in words deal inevitably in half-truths and generalizations. Jazz and blues, we are told, provide on the one hand a direct conduit to the most intensely personal feelings and ideas, and on the other a kind of chronicle of the collective experiences of African America, from the rural, agricultural South to the isolation of the inner city. In short, jazz and blues have made a permanent, manifold impact on the American psyche, and it is not surprising that writers of all backgrounds (including foreign writers) should tap into the imaginative power of these forms in their fiction. In this class, we will sit in on a range of novels and stories, some of them "about" music and musicians, some of them jazzy or bluesy in more allusive, suggestive ways. Issues we will examine include the intersection of popular entertainment and "high art" in both music and fiction; "craft" and "inspiration" as models of literary and musical creativity; and the various possibilities for literary "improvisation." We will read all or most of Dorothy Baker's Young Man with a Horn, John Clellon Holmes' The Horn, Charles Mingus' Beneath the Underdog, and Toni Morrison's Jazz, as well as short stories by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka, J.D. Salinger, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Julio Cortazar, Ishmael Reed, Josef Skvorecky, Donald Barthelme, Ntozake Shange, Xam Wilson Cartier, Terry Southern and Toni Cade Bambara. There will also be short background readings, and selections of jazz and literary criticism. This is not a musicology course, however, and no previous knowledge of jazz, blues or music in general is expected. (G. Wright)
Section 007 – Critical Reading/Critical Writing. Contemporary news stories such as the Baby Jessica and the Baby M. case repeatedly indicate how complicated the issues of maternity and paternity have become in our society. Parenthood today is influenced by legal and medical concerns which in turn contribute to our understanding of controversial issues such as custody and surrogacy. This course will examine prose fiction in which maternity and/or paternity is developed as a central issue. Our emphasis will be critical reading which requires various kinds of thinking: observation, evaluation, analysis, synthesis, and argument. In our survey of prose fiction we will examine texts by looking at structure, style, content, and imagery. We will begin our reading of nineteenth and twentieth century fiction by asking, "What does it mean to reproduce?" In reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, we will confront the relationship of science to the biological process of giving birth. In Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, we will examine how the author represents the social role of parenting. We will pursue these questions and others in several short novels including Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Short stories will include Ernest Hemingway's "Indian Camp," Frank O'Hara's "My Oedipal Complex," Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby," James Joyce's "Eveline," and Joyce Carol Oates' "The Daughter." Course requirements: two short papers (4-5 pages), midterm, and final long paper (8-10 pages). (Becker)
239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators in the
Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001. As we work at the question what is literature?, we're going to move around a lot. We're going to ask what it means to be an author, to create a story, what that does for/to her/him, and we're going to figure that out and figure out some answers to the main question by being authors ourselves a little. We're going to ask about our own responses as readers, both as we confront the text alone, and as we attempt to discuss it in ways our backgrounds and educational settings have taught us to discuss it, and we may seek new ways of getting at it. We'll read texts closely and attempt to understand their components and structures, the effect of the social and economic context in which they are written and read, their less accessible meanings, and what's at stake for us, if anything, in the content. We'll be interested in the social purposes of literature and in questions of authors' responsibilities. We'll want to understand what official stories are through seeing the Argentine film The Official Story, and we'll be looking at reporters trying to get the story as they interview My Lai veterans or other Vietnam veterans holed up in Washington State mountains. We'll watch a range of humanists and philosophers argue over what Simon Wiesenthal should have done or not done for the dying Nazi in his Holocaust story, The Sunflower. Other texts will include Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, Thomas' The White Hotel, Wiesel's Legends of Our Time, Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow, plays by El Teatro Campesino, Gutierrez Alea's film Memories of Underdevelopment, some stories and poems by the homeless and prisoners, and some theoretical essays that will help us grapple with all this. Class participation will be important, and you'll write 20-25 pages worth of essays, the nature of which we'll determine together. Creative and group projects will be encouraged. No exams. Cost:3 WL:1 (Alexander)
Section 002 – The Real World. Many people believe that literature and literary criticism are increasingly separate from "real life." Even skilled and educated readers often speak of reserving one section of their brain for grappling with theoretical and critical issues and employing another in handling everyday situations. In this class, we will search for some overlap: areas where our analysis of texts, literary and otherwise, can benefit from our application of critical principles and more subjective appraisal. Readings will include literary texts, critical works, and some writings on popular culture. Three papers, midterm, final, heavy-duty class participation. (Artis)
Section 003 – Autobiography/Ideology/Aesthetic Practice. What is literature? Among other things, it is storytelling driven by both ideological and aesthetic concerns. Astute readers of literature generally approach the interpretive act with two essential questions in mind: what does the text say? and how does it say it? Using a variety of twentieth century American autobiographies, we will develop strategies we can apply generally in our attempts to answer these basic questions, and others, including: how do we measure the plausibility of our interpretations? to what extent do race, gender, class, and sexuality impact our interpretations? what is the relevance of literary studies in our contemporary, technocultural age? and how might we structure our arguments so that they will be persuasive for those for whom these questions continue to matter deeply? Student responsibilities: weekly in-class writing; reading journals that outline responses to the course material; serious commentary on the writing of classmates; two 4-5 page essays, revised at least once with the comments of the professor and other students in mind; a final project – the production of a chapter of an autobiography; and engaged and active class discussion. (Awkward)
Section 004 – Ain't I a Woman?: Ethnic Women Writers. This course will study the ways in which ethnic women writers attempt to build and speak to communities of women in their works. Although attention will be given to ethnic communities, the course will emphasize gender in an inter-ethnic conversation between women writers. Some of the texts will include Morrison's Beloved, Zitkala-Sa's American Indian Stories, Kingston's The Woman Warrior, Cisneros' The House on Mango Street, Erdrich's Love Medicine, Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Walker's The Color Purple. Course requirements will include two ten-page papers. (Bell)
Section 005 – Introduction to Critical Methods. This course will serve as an introduction to a broad range of approaches to the study of literature. The course will focus on three texts that represent three important moments in literary history: Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, and poems by D.G. Rossetti. In each case we will begin with a close structural analysis of the text followed by an examination of the way the text itself represents the act of artistic production. We will then look at the forms in which the work has been transmitted and the effects of editorial practices on it. Finally, we will bring to bear on the text a variety of critical approaches, discussing the piece's relation to its historical context, the allusive connections it establishes with other pieces of literature, and its representation of economic, political, familial, and gender relations. As we follow these various lines of inquiry, we will read a selection of relevant literary, philosophical, historical, and critical writings, in addition to studying related dramatic and pictorial material. (Henderson)
Section 006. This course will attempt to address the question of why and how we read literature, not by providing an answer to "what is literature?" but by considering the historical and cultural implications of reading and interpreting fictions. Why do we tell stories? Who decides what stories should be told when and which ones should be told again and again? How do we decide what stories mean? The course will also introduce readers to the function and purpose of literary criticism, to the notion that reading is not "natural" but that every interpretation is based on a set of assumptions that is able to address certain questions but not others. And finally, this course will suggest that becoming more aware about how one reads fiction and non-fiction prose will enable understanding of how we are everywhere interpreting signs that involve a process of "reading," from fashion items to cultural events. Readings will include various literary critical approaches to a classic text, a film adaptation of a novel, a 20th century rewriting of a 19th century text, a story based on a real event. Writing assignments will culminate in a portfolio which will include journal excerpts, response papers, and a literary critical essay. Cost:2 (Herrmann)
Section 007. This course prepares students to become active participants in the on-going conversation about literature that informed readers find so pleasurable and challenging. It will operate on the premise that learning to read texts well includes talking "well" about them. To provide a framework for our conversation, we will focus on the dynamics of literary relationships. We will discuss the relationship between reader and writer, considering how the narrative voice of a text speaks to us, shaping our responses; how we, as readers, push against that narrative voice, composing our own sense of what a text means; and how matters such as gender, culture and belief also shape what we see as we read. Concurrently, we will consider the relationship between a particular text and its context – its historical period, its social environment, its literary tradition, its author's biography - asking how that relationship factors into the text's meaning. To keep us centered as we weave all these perspectives together, I have chosen readings which bear significant relationships to each other and which at the same time open themselves to different kinds of critical questions. Our texts will include essays about literary theory, history, and culture that will help us to frame those questions, and fiction by the following writers: Hemingway, Morrison, Dickens, Doctorow, Kafka, Fowles, Charlotte Brontë, David Lodge, Muriel Spark, and Don DeLillo. Class requirements will include two papers (5-7 pages), brief weekly written responses to the readings, a final exam, regular attendance, and active participation in class discussion. (Wolk)
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001. The aim of this course is to introduce you to the art of poetry so that you can read and discuss any poem with understanding and delight. Our basic strategy in the course will be to explore poetic expression in as many ways as possible: through silent reading and reading aloud, through close analysis and more impressionistic response, through class discussion and individual study, and through various forms of writing (both spontaneously exploratory and more carefully argued). During the term, we will move from a general survey of poetic techniques and forms to a more detailed study of the work of a selection of authors from the Renaissance to the present. For the former, we will use Western Wind by John Frederick Nims. For the latter, we use The Norton Anthology of Poetry. To record your day-to-day interactions with texts, I will ask you to keep a poetic journal. More formal writing will include four (ungraded) exercises in poetic analysis and four (graded) papers (3-5 pages) on individual authors and poems. Cost:2 WL:1 (Cureton)
Section 002. We'll read a wide variety of poems drawn from the last four centuries; our aim will be both understanding and enjoyment. At first we'll develop a battery of questions likely to be fruitful in close reading. Later we'll apply those questions to poems short and long, simple and complex, as we seek to discover in each case the best avenue to interpretation. From time to time we'll try to view matters from the poet's perspective by composing verse in various forms. For the last 2-3 weeks we'll focus on the works of a single major poet. Written work: journals, frequent short papers, one longer paper, a midterm, a final exam. Cost:2 WL:1 (English)
Section 003. 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 004. This course is for Honors students interested in reading poetry with increased pleasure and understanding. Close reading of specific poems will be used to illustrate questions of voice, narrative, diction, rhythm and meter, sound, figures of speech, the line, form, authorship, audience, and context. Students will also learn about the historical development of poetry in English. During the term, we will move from a general survey of poetic techniques and forms to a brief but detailed study of the work of one author, perhaps Elizabeth Bishop. I expect to ask you to write four short papers and a midterm, and keep a journal of your day-to-day interactions with poetry. Other requirements for the course are regular attendance and active participation in class. Final grades will reflect all the requirements. Texts: Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms, and The Norton Anthology of Poetry. (McIntosh)
Section 006. Why read poems? This course will explore answers to that question by sampling poetry from various countries and times and by talking with poets. Through class discussion and frequent writing activities, students will define for themselves the value of poetry and the critical methods best suited to understanding and appreciating it. Readings will be taken from The Norton Anthology of Poetry, a course pack, and some recent publications by members of the English Department. Throughout the course, we will attend poetry readings and invite poets to come in and discuss their work with us. Students should be ready to participate actively. Requirements: daily writing exercises, reports on poetry readings, two critical papers, exams. (Tinkle)
Section 007. 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 WL:1 (Wright)
245/RC Hums. 280/Theatre 211. Introduction to Drama and Theatre. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in RC Hums. 281. (4). (HU).
See RC Hums 280. (Walsh)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – The Idea of the South. More than any other region of the United States, the South is known for its distinctive culture, history, tradition, and world view. Popular literature – from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind to Alex Haley's Roots - has propagated an idea of the South as a place set apart, a region distinct from all others. In this course we will examine these popular depictions of the American South and compare them to more complicated works – novels, stories, plays, and films by a variety of Southern writers: William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Flannery O'Connor, Tennessee Williams, and Kate Chopin, among others. And we will have a chance to listen to Southern voices here at the University of Michigan – men, women, Black, and white – tell us how growing up in the South has defined them as human beings. In doing so we will learn not only what it means to be a Southerner, but what it means and has meant to be an American. (Harrison)
280. Thematic Approaches to Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Comic Responses to Catastrophe. We will study a selection of modern literature which takes thematic material traditionally treated with "high seriousness" and casts it in an essentially comic mode. The readings will be post-World-War-II works which keep us laughing all the way to the grave. We will, by reading these works closely, try to determine how and why they are comic and to discover why, in our time, their mostly grisly subject matter elicits comic responses. We will try to define and describe the nature of comedy, a slippery and possibly hopeless – but useful - endeavor. Our reading will be about 8 books (some fiction; some drama). The exact list will depend on availability of texts. I will post the titles outside my office (2627 Haven Hall) by early December. We may also see and study a film or two; again, availability will determine choice. In addition, students will read a 4-page anthology of comic theory from Plato and Aristotle to Al Capp and Stephen Sondheim. The class will have as much discussion as possible, along with eminently interruptible informal lecture. Requirements are two 5-7 page papers, an essay final, and your actively and intelligently participating presence. The course is suitable for anyone who enjoys reading literature, analyzing it, talking and writing about it – while discovering why we laugh at other people's pain. Cost:2 (Bauland)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
308. History of the English Language. (3). (HU).
Section 001. Our language has changed dramatically in the twelve hundred years of its recorded history. We would not recognize speech (Old English) of the first Germanic peoples who migrated to post-Roman Britain in the fifth century; Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Middle English) might seem to be written in a foreign language; even Shakespeare's (early Modern) English requires special efforts. Our main task will be to understand something of sounds, words and structure of English at each of these earlier periods, but especially we will work to understand why and how a language changes (or doesn't). For example, a large core of modern words (hand, cold, over, good, love as well as other Four Letter Words) have changed little since Old English times. Some very common words have undergone regular changes in pronunciation only (earlier ban, stan, and ham have become bone, stone, and you guessed it, home). Some words have been lost entirely (fathe – father's sister, slaeting – hunting rights, feohfang – bribe taking) even though the things they signify are still very much around us. What are we to make of the facts that very basic terms like husband and sister and the pronouns they, them, their were actually borrowed from Vikings? Why do we have two sets of words relating to barnyard animals – calf, cow, pig (English) vs. veal, beef, pork (French). Are you interested to learn that the words shrew, harlot, witch, and frump once referred both to males and females, and in the first two cases to males alone? Or that tart and hussy are shortenings of sweetheart and housewife? Course work will consist of frequent short assignments, group tasks, in class workshops, a midterm and final. The major prerequisite is that you come prepared to have fun. This course satisfies the requirement for a course in language for English concentrators in the Teaching Certification Program and fulfills the pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:1 WL:1 (Toon)
309. American English. (3). (HU).
Section 001 -Talking the Talk. Where is the language of power spoken in America? Where does it come from and how is it maintained? Who regulates speaking and writing? We will answer these questions by examining closely issues of schooling (including the role of school books), free speech (how is this "freedom" limited?), electronic and print literacy (who gets access and for what purposes?). Some varieties of English in America are marginalized and some voices are silenced. What are these varieties, and how are they connected in stereotype and in fact with women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and other groups? Our course will have a midterm and final, regular in-class paragraph-long essays to stimulate discussion, and a research paper of 8-10 typewritten pages. Regular attendance will be required. (Bailey)
313. Topics in Literary Studies. (4). (HU). May be repeated for
a total of 8 credits.
Section 001 – From Fiction to Film. Many film classics – from "Gone with the Wind" to "Kiss of the Spider Woman" – are based on works of literature. This course investigates the dynamics of cinematic adaptation in order to discover how film develops such literary resources as point of view, plot, symbolism, and interior dialogue. Each week we will read a play, short story or novel and view a film based on that work. We will see a wide range of movies (old, new, foreign, American) including some of the following: "The Shout," "Blow-Up," "The Servant," "The Decameron," "The Fallen Idol," "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," "Black Orpheus," "Macbeth," "Rear Window" and "The Throne of Blood." Students will write short (1 page) essays on most of the films, a longer essay on a single film, and will have the opportunity to write an original filmscript. There are no prerequisites, no exams, and no incompletes. Text: Made Into Movies: From Literature to Film, by Stuart McDougal. Cost:2 WL:1 (McDougal)
Section 008 – Science Fiction. This course will examine both the history and the diversity of science fiction prose by our reading some of the best examples written since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Generally, we will approach each primary text in three ways: through consideration of its backgrounds (scientific, mythic, and so forth), through specific questions the text raises (moral questions, questions of plausibility, and so forth), and through the traditional discipline of criticism (What is science fiction? What is the relationship of character to theme? and so forth). Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Oxford (1818); Edgar Allan Poe (d. 1849), The Portable Poe, Vintage; Nathaniel Hawthorne (d.1864), Selected Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fawcett; H. G. Wells, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, Fawcett (1895 & 1898); Eugene Zamiatin, We, Avon (1920); Karel Capek, War with the Newts, Northwestern U Pr (1937); Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker, Dover (1937); Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles, Bantam (1946-1950); Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End, Ballantine (1953); Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz, Bantam (1959); Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Berkley (1966); Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, Ace (1969); Stanislaw Lem, The Futurological Congress, Harcourt Brace (1971); William Gibson, Neuromancer, Ace (1984). The written work for the course will proceed on a contract-like basis involving weekly short papers, an optional longer paper, and two or three examinations. There are no prerequisites for this course. (Rabkin)
Section 015 – The Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance. What images are conjured up by that phrase: the blues trailing out of smoky after-hours clubs; Renaissance men like Rudolph Fisher, medical doctor and mystery writer; the dicty folk on Striver's Row; brash Southern migrants like Zora Neale Hurston with "the map of Florida" on their tongues; the Dark Tower and Nigger Heaven; hair straightening magnate A'Lelia Walker and "voluntary" Negro Walter White. In this course, we'll aim for what anthropologist Clifford Geertz would call a "thick description" of a bygone, possibly magic age, drawing on historical accounts, music, art, and, of course, a wealth of literary expression. We will read the works of writers such as Wallace Thurman, Jessie Fauset, Langston Hughes, and Marita Bonner, as well as historians Nathan Huggins and David Levering Lewis. Likely course requirements: consistent attendance and class participation, two papers, and two examinations. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Zafar)
Section 022 – The Beat Generation. The boldness of the Beat writers of the 1950s is paralleled by Abstract Expressionism and "action painting", the Bop period in jazz, and by socially and politically aware standup comedy. This will be a lecture course, incorporating discussion sections, video and audio presentations, and computer conferencing and tutorials, designed to appeal both to non-concentrators and to students who think they might go on to become English concentrators. Jazz will be played, and photographs of the major players and slides of Abstract Expressionist paintings will be screened in class. Students will be required to attend a film series on the Beat Generation at the Michigan Theatre. Greater understanding of the Fifties milieu, through viewing movies like "Rebel without a Cause" and "The Wild Ones" will help us appreciate the yearning for personal freedom in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, as well as the anger and violence directed toward the status quo in "Howl," John Rechy's City of Night, and Burroughs' Naked Lunch. Bob Dylan's film "Don't Look Back," in which Allen Ginsberg appears, is relevant to an exploration of how the Beat Generation planted the seeds for the Sixties counterculture, which would force changes in U.S. foreign policy through opposition to the Vietnam War. The Museum of Art will present an exhibition on Abstract Expressionism to coincide with this class. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Tillinghast)
315/WS 315. Women and Literature. (3).
(HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – Subversive Pleasures: Contemporary Female Poets. This course will focus on the work and affinities of six contemporary female poets. In addition to questions of race and gender, we will consider issues of identity; the writer's relation to the notion of literary tradition; and the ways in which she questions such fixed categories as "the natural" or "the universal." By what means does the poem interrupt dichotomies - including the culture-nature, foreground-background, subject-object, spirit-matter, mind-body, and male-female alignments? The poems will guide our investigations of mythology, popular culture, science, feminist theory, autobiography, sexuality, and political issues (such as rape). We'll also discuss aesthetic concepts important to postmodern poetics, such as transparency, surface, imitation, appropriation, and the constructedness of the text. The poets MIGHT include Phyllis Janowitz, Lynn Emmanuel, Gwen Head, C.D. Wright, Toi Deracotte, or Marlene Nourbese Philip. In addition to six required poetry books, there will be a xeroxed anthology of essays and interviews. You'll be asked to write five 4-6 page papers and to complete one creative, interpassional response. By "interpassional," I mean a project that links your particular passions (music, swimming, cooking, etc.) to the work of an assigned poet. For instance, if cooking is your passion, you might create one of the tempestuous, metaphorical meals described in Janowitz's poetry. An oral report may be substituted for the creative response if you wish. Well-informed contributions to all class discussions are essential. This class fulfills New Traditions and American Literature requirements. Cost:5 WL:1 (Fulton)
Section 002 – Nineteenth-Century Women Writers. This course will study the flourishing of women writers in nineteenth-century England and America. Focusing primarily on women's role in the development of the novel, we will consider issues such as the relationship between gender and genre, women's contribution to popular "sensation" fiction, the female bildungsroman, the relationship between class and gender in women's fiction, female friendships, and women's role in the literary marketplace. We will also read excerpts from nineteenth-century conduct literature, political tracts, and diaries, as well as selected works by feminist literary critics and historians. Beginning with Jane Austen's Persuasion, texts will probably include Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss, Mary Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret, Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, and Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. There will be two papers, a midterm and a final exam. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Vrettos)
316. Intellectual Problems in Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Isn't it Romantic? It is a truth universally acknowledged that Romanticism, the international cultural movement beginning in the 1780s, had a profound influence on the way people thought about themselves ever afterward, not only those who embraced Romantic ideas, but those who resisted them. Precisely defining and describing Romanticism and its aftermath have proven to be difficult tasks. In this course we shall consider texts from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries in order to evaluate the persistence of Romantic themes and attitudes in our literature and our lives. The subject is too vast to be treated completely, so we shall focus on three interlocking topics: The Romantic Child, Romantic Love, and Romantic Nature. We shall read a goodly amount of poetry, because lyrical expression is fundamental to the Romantic temperament. Poets will include Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Joanna Baillie, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, D.H. Lawrence, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath, Mary Oliver, and Gary Snyder. Fiction will be drawn from the following list: St. Pierre, Paul and Virginia, Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Hudson, Green Mansions, Graham Greene, Under the Garden, Nabokov, Lolita, Alice McDermott, That Night. We shall make use of a course pack of discursive readings, and conclude with a consideration of Susan Sontag's Illness as Metaphor, a case study of the persistence of Romantic ideas. Three papers, a midterm, and a final examination. Cost:3 (Goldstein)
Section 002 – The Psychology of Literary Experience. For Winter Term, 1995, this section is offered jointly with Psychology 501.001. (Rosenwald)
317. Literature and Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit
with department permission.
Section 001 – Bigotry and Maturity in the Literature of Several Cultures. The purpose of this course is to invite its members to examine some contemporary assumptions of their own culture by comparing them to related American and European ideas after World War II and to similar assumptions in renaissance England. We will read four of Shakespeare's plays, one each at the beginning of units on the bigotries of religion, race and sexuality, and one to open the unit on maturity. We will then read in these four parts of the course plays by Hockhuth and Albee, novels by Ellison, Kogawa, Baldwin, Walker, Maclean, Morrison, and Kennedy, and a remembrance by Levi. Each class except the first and last will begin with fifteen minutes of writing in response to a question intended as preparation for discussion that follows. In addition to these numerous in-class papers, two 2-3 page papers will be required as preliminary versions of two 5-6 page papers that are the chief written work of the course. No midterm or final examination. This course fulfills the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. Cost:5 WL:1 (Fader)
Section 002 – The Invention of the Caribbean. The purpose of this course is to examine some assumptions about Caribbean culture. The course will draw on literary texts, films, posters, travel writing, "eyewitness accounts." It will cover a significant amount of historical and theoretical ground. The work will include an extensive course pack, in-class writing assignments, one short paper and a final paper. Some of the writers will include Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, Jean Rhys and V.S. Naipaul. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Gregg)
Section 003 – American Jewish Drama. The aim of this course is to help students develop an appreciation of the staggering contribution made by Jewish playwrights to the American theater throughout this century. How have so many giants – Miller, Hellman, Mamet, Odets, Rice, Hecht, Chayevsky, Simon – stamped the American theater with a uniquely "Jewish consciousness," all the while wrestling (both personally and artistically) with their own ethnic identification? To what extent have Jewish playwrights fled the ghetto, only to return, reclaiming what, for so long, was conspicuously banished from their work? We will look at the pioneering work of Jewish dramatists on the front-lines of social change, be it during the hey-days of The Group in the '30s or (not coincidentally) in the Gay Theater movement of more recent times. The plays of Kramer, Hoffman, and Baitz will be read against the work of new "traditionalists" like Wasserstein, Mason, Sherman. The American Jewish playwright, child of the Yiddish theater, has perennially been caught between his debt to community, and the desire to embrace new cultural expressions. Writers like Kushner and Margulies, among others, point to a contemporary synthesis of culturally and esthetically innovative work containing explicitly Jewish content. Course requirements include computer journals, several comparative papers, one biographical feature, active participation in discussion, and a final group project. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements. (Roth)
319. Literature and Social Change. (3). (HU). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Theatre and Social Change. Reading will involve some "non-political" modern drama to put issues of social change in perspective; Boal, Brecht, Kidd, and others for a background and ideas; and plays by progressive groups of the last 25 years – guerrilla theater, Chicano theater, Baraka's revolutionary plays, African and Nicaraguan theatre for development, AIDS theatre, women's theatre, and contemporary community-based theatre. Students will join one of several groups: (1) guerrilla theatre; (2) forum theatre, to take a participatory play to local institutions of one kind or another; (3) community-based theater, helping local people in a prison or shelter, etc., create a play. This production will be the main thrust of the course. Students with theatre experience are welcomed, but such experience is not required. Required is an interest in arts and social change, a willingness to try acting in nontraditional contexts, and the desire to shape a performance around a cause. Grading will be based upon three short papers and the production. See instructor for permission to enter course: 1631 Haven Hall, Thursday 9-11, plus posted extra hours during preregistration. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 WL: Enrollment is permission of instructor; no waitlist. (Alexander)
Section 002 – Black Literatures and Cultures in the Americas and Africa. The question has been asked in North America, "What is Africa to me?" (Countee Cullen); so, too, in, say, Cuba: "How do you say Andrés in Congolese?" (Nicolás Guillén). This course will explore the varieties of contexts in which Black literatures and cultures in the Americas have sought to negotiate the meaning of their distance from Africa. We will also read African texts to explore the degree to which there is a recognition there of the circumstances that have shaped a modern African literary consciousness as well as a readiness to affirm or deny Black diaspora relationships with its counterparts in Brazil or Canada; Barbados or Martinique; the USA or Haiti. This class will be a combination of lectures and class reports and discussion. There will be a major and comparative final paper on the Africa/American Diaspora issue. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Johnson)
320/CAAS 338. Literature in Afro-American
Culture. (3). (HU).
Section 001. 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 folktales, sermons, devotional music, blues, worksongs and contemporary forms. In addition, Black literate forms such as the slave narrative, the autobiography, and the novel of confrontation and liberation, as Afro-American authors use them to formulate Black identity and consciousness, will also be considered. Particular attention will be paid to the special problematic that a dual literary tradition – one based upon an oral medium, the other upon the devices of literacy – poses for Black authors in registering the Afro-American experience in literature. Four short papers and a research project. This course fulfills the English Department's New Traditions and American Literature requirements. (Chrisman)
323. Creative Writing. Junior standing and written permission
of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Fiction Writing. This section of English 323 will be devoted almost entirely to the consideration of student work. There will be no textbook, and there will be very little in the way of exercises and assignments. The class will be run as a workshop, meeting for three hours once a week to discuss the work of our classmates. Each student accepted into the class will be required to submit fifty pages for consideration by the class over the course of the term. Learning to write also means learning to read, and each student will be required to provide written critiques of each story to the author. Students will also be expected to actively participate in class discussions. Each student will be responsible for the copying of his or her work. Prerequisite: English 223 and permission of the instructor. Students who have not taken 223 must petition the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program for admission. All students interested in taking this course should get on the waitlist at CRISP and submit a manuscript to the instructor prior to the first class meeting. (Hynes)
Section 003 – Poetry. This class is a writing workshop. Its center and focus is the work submitted by the writers involved in it. Poems are submitted weekly, are read and discussed in the workshop, and all receive extensive written comments. Although some exercises in form, imitation and revision are required, the poets usually follow their own directions. The final evaluation is based on a manuscript of some 30-40 pages. In the belief that writing is energized by some involvement in a larger literary environment, we will read and discuss a fair amount of work by other contemporary poets. The people in the workshop will be required to attend poetry readings and to write about them, to spend some time exploring current literary journals, and to do a short presentation on a contemporary poet. The class will refer to two anthologies – Postmodern American Poetry, edited by Paul Hoover, and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, edited by J.D. McClatchy. Prerequisite: English 223 and permission of the instructor. Students who have not taken 223 must petition the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program for admission. All students interested in taking this course should get on the waitlist at CRISP and submit a manuscript of 5 poems to the instructor prior to the first class meeting. (K.Taylor)
Section 004 – Creative Writing and the Other Arts. A course in mixed media composition, especially combinations of poetry, drama, and fiction with graphic arts, painting, music, dance, and photography. Prerequisite: experience with one or more of these art forms and interest in exploring their relations with other forms of art. Permission of instructor to be obtained before CRISP registration by conference hours (posted on door of 2617 Haven Hall). Requirements are explained in detail during the pre-election interview. They include maintaining a journal of varied writing and other forms of composition and completing a series of weekly composition projects, individual and collaborative. Cost:2 WL:2 (Wright)
325. Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition. (4). (Excl).
This is an upper level composition course for students interested in improving their writing, with particular attention paid to the development of individual style expressed in the details of voice, tone, nuance, and rhythm. 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 in most sections. Writing assignments will vary according to instructor, but the general requirement is 40 pages of prose (300 words to a page). Course descriptions for individual sections not listed below can be found in the Composition Program, 2210 Angell Hall.
Section 003 – The Mask. In this writing class we will be responding to some of the strategies enacted by our favorite, most effective writers. I hope we will come to see "the mask" as less manipulative and negative a feature in our lives and our writing and more as a creative and artful agency of freedom. But whatever the outcome, we want to make the process of analysis of the concept of the mask an educational and fun journey. Each student will be responding to that journey by writing exploratory essays; the nature of the subject of those essays will be determined by the student. Although the reading list is still to be determined, I will select both fiction and non-fiction texts. Selections will probably include A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. There will also be selections of poetry from Yeats and Leslie Marmon Silko and short works by Margaret Atwood and Isabelle Allende. We will begin the term – and set the stage for our discussions of the mask – by reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil." The format of the class will be discussion and more discussion, and we will be working through our own essay writing consistently in class. Each student will write approximately 50 pages of his or her own text (essays and responses) during the term. (Back)
Section 005. This class is designed for advanced essay writers. In this section we will read and talk and write about choices – the ones we make in our lives, in our thinking, and in our writing, particularly our "voices." Together we will work to improve our "ears" for hearing other writers' voices; to examine their choices, both in their styles and in their thinking; to develop our choices as critical thinkers; and to examine how to use our writing voices more effectively. Our goal will be to write exploratory essays, those which examine significant questions to ourselves and our readers. This class is a workshop in which students critically and humanely read and discuss each others' work, enabling students to get a great deal of feedback and help in all stages of their work, and to see for themselves what is – and what is not yet – effective in their writing. We will work in small groups and in whole class workshops. In addition, we will read professional essays and discuss them critically, we will read about writing and the process of writing, and we will write regularly in a writer's notebook. The workshop method of classroom discussion requires each student's wholehearted, active participation. Requirements include four formal papers and the pre-writing, drafts, and revisions that go into writing them; critiques of your classmates' essays in small groups or whole-class workshop; written responses to the readings; in-class free-writing exercises; one-page writing process papers on each of your drafts; assigned professional essays and short stories and essays by your classmates; at night meeting for speakers; active participation and faithful attendance; and two or more conferences. (Povolo)
Section 009. The goal of this course is to provide opportunities for students to learn to write with increased insight, power, and assurance. Given that goal, I've tried to create a course (1) that gives students much writing practice (though not always as formal papers), (2) that allows students to work independently on an ongoing educational project of their own choosing, and (3) that keeps the whole class sharing ideas and helping each other with writing throughout the term. We'll start by reading Kendall Hailey's The Day I Became an Autodidact, a sort of journal, begun at age sixteen and kept over a period of three years, by a young woman who decided that she would educate herself rather than go to college. (Note: "autodidact" means one who is self-taught.) From the springboard of that book, students will decide what kind of education they most want this course to offer, and they will devise their own series of papers to help achieve that goal. Discussion, in-class writings, and workshopping of one another's papers will be the primary focus in the classroom. Attendance and participation are essential, given the collaborative nature of the work. (Livesay)
340. Reading and Writing Poetry. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – The Reading and Writing of Poetry of Witness. This course provides for students who are both serious and passionate about both studying and writing poetry that is both serious and passionate about events and situations that are not to be ignored by any human beings who would perceive of themselves as rational. Matters of violence, environment, politics, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, aging, the Holocaust, ethics, trees, birds, war, nuclear, responsibility and/or irresponsibility, AIDS, poverty, wealth, dying and living with and/or without grace are just some of the themes the course will broach. Those who enroll in this course will come to it already committed to poetry as absolutely essential in adding clarifying perspectives and angles to the sometimes discordant and usually noisy chorus of human voices, some of which are notably conspicuous by their absence. We will read truths and we will write them. There will be a scholarly midterm and a creative final chapbook. (Moss)
English 350 & 351
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.
351. Literature in English after 1660. (4). (Excl).
Section 001. This course constitutes one itinerary through literature in English from Swift to Morrison. It follows on English 350, but 350 is not a prerequisite. We shall focus recurringly on the question of "voice": whose voices are [allowed to be] heard as authoritative in society, and on what basis? Is there such a thing as a national "voice," a national epic? What styles are thought appropriate to a man's voice, a woman's, an English voice, an American? We shall read works by, for example, Swift, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Austen, Whitman, Douglas, Tennyson, Browning, Melville, Eliot, Pound, and Morrison. Requirements: Regular attendance, engaged discussion, three essays, about 6 pages each, a midterm, and a final examination. (Williams)
367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (4). (HU).
Section 001. This course will concentrate on the movement and development of Shakespearean tragedy by studying "the grand style" of Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear. But in doing so we will also consider 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, final, and a series of short written assignments. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 WL:1 (Brater)
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. (4). (Excl).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – English Medieval Romances. The romance was a French invention of the twelfth century. Fusing stories of adventure and that kind of love we now call romantic, it quickly became popular all over Europe, representing and analyzing a new kind of ideal life. The greatest English examples of the type were written some two hundred years later and are (variously ironic) variations on romance themes. In this course our primary focus will be on three of these works: Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and Malory's Morte D'arthur. We will also read a number of other works, such as the Chretien de Troyes' Lancelot, Gottfried's Tristan, the Romance of the Rose, and perhaps some Arthurian texts, both as independent works and as context for the English romances. This will be a discussion course. There will be a final exam at the scheduled time, one hour exam, and either a paper or a second hour exam. There will also be occasional in-class written exercises. The grade will be an average of the exams and paper. This course satisfies the pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 WL:1 (Lenaghan)
Section 002 – Epic and Romance. In this course we will read a selection of some major works composed in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We will begin with Old English poetry, including the great heroic poem Beowulf, continue with Middle English literature, including works by Chaucer and the Gawain poet, and then move on to Shakespeare, completing the course with Milton's Paradise Lost. There will be a midterm and a final exam, and two papers. This course fulfills the pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. (McSparran)
Section 003 – Religious and Political Controversy and Poetry. The English Reformation witnessed events unparalleled in English history: people lost their mass, churches lost their windows, and a king lost his head. The period erupted into controversies that may seem remote at first but which have important consequences for our understanding of language, ritual, interpretation, and politics. Lines were drawn in blood over such issues as hierarchical authority, free will, materiality, representation, and property and what was at stake was not only life and death but the salvation of souls. These controversies fired the imaginations of English poets and we will look at their work in light of them. The focus will be chiefly on the religious poets of the Renaissance/Reformation: Herbert, Donne, and Milton among them, and readings about and from the controversies they engaged. Historical and theological background will be included. This course fulfills the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Schwartz)
371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (4). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 002 – Eighteenth Century Literature and the Other Arts. This is essentially a survey of eighteenth-century English literature in which we will examine some of the principal movements in that literature. In any time, but especially in the eighteenth century, there are close connections between literature and the other arts: we'll see how patterns in gardening, architecture, music, prose and poetry in this period relate to and echo one another. Authors studied will include Dryden, Addison and Steele, Pope, Gay, Swift, and Samuel Johnson. Frequent short writing, two longer essays, and a final exam. This course fulfills the pre-1830 literature requirement for English concentrators. (Cloyd)
Section 003 – "Kind" and "Humankind". As the word "humankind" implies, we are collectively one part of "kind," a totality of being (in an earlier meaning of the term) that exhibits order and purpose and is the basis for our understanding of "natural law." But how do we conceive of "kind"? What is our proper place in it? What obstacles prevent our finding that place? Perennial questions such as these were answered very differently during the period covered by this course (from around 1600 to 1830), and the most complete or most interesting answers frequently took literary form. We'll focus on three of these literary attempts to say what 'kind' and 'humankind' are and what fosters a harmonious relationship between them: Milton's Paradise Lost (1667), Pope's An Essay on Man (1732-34), and Wordsworth's The Prelude (1805). We'll also consider other works, by these three authors and their contemporaries, as they bear on our central themes. We'll have several short papers, one or two longer papers (c. 1500 words), one or two hour exams, and a final exam. I'll also ask you to keep a reading journal and to take part, with others, in occasional oral presentations. This course fulfills pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (English)
Section 004 – Eighteenth-Century Literature in its Cultural Context. The aim of this course is twofold: to sharpen students' interpretive skills in a variety of media and to introduce them to 18th-century British literature, visual arts, and history. We will begin by exploring a variety of issues as they are treated in three different literary genres: poetry, drama, and the novel. We will, for instance, discuss prosody and notions of social order in Pope's Essay on Man, read Defoe's Robinson Crusoe along with some of his economic writings, and explore 18th-century performance techniques while studying Gay's Beggar's Opera. We will then turn to painting and aesthetic theory to examine the visual representation of the themes we've already established, looking particularly at portraits and landscapes. Finally, students will put together what they learned through in-depth studies of a cluster of literary, visual, and historical materials. This course fulfills the pre-1830 requirements for English concentrators. (Henderson)
Section 005 – Squeaking Boy and Roaring Girl: Acting the Self. Like most public theatrical practices, cross-dressing as an act of display and disguise changed in the period 1600-1830 from the public, ribald, outlaw practice adopted by actors and libertines to a more private literary act. While squeaking boys and roaring girls were defined by the sounds they made - enacted necessarily in a theater – in autobiographical essays, novels and poetry, women and men appeared in "costume" on "the stage of the world" in the form of print. The class will consider the period by tracing the intricate idiosyncrasies of "acting the self" as it was represented by cross-dressed players and "multiply dressed " characters in plays that will include: Antony and Cleopatra, Epicoene, The Roaring Girl, The Younger Brother, A Bold Stroke for a Wife, The Way of the World, The Beggar's Opera, The Rivals. Texts in which we will consider the theatrical creation of the "I" taking place in English letters – often "I's in Drag" – include: selections from "The Tatler" and "The Spectator," Moll Flanders, The Female Quixote, selections from Tristram Shandy and Clarissa, Blake's poetry, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Cenci, Mansfield Park. Throughout the course we will consider cultural clues about the creation of the self in the shifts in theatrical acting styles, portraiture, legislation governing the dress and behavior of men and women (sumptuary laws). Requirements include short papers, longer essays, sprightly class participation, and a midterm. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Skantze)
372. Studies in Literature, 1830-Present. (4). (Excl). May be
repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Expansionism in British & American Literatures. By the beginning of the Second World War, the images by which and in which the island of Britain saw itself involved as much Shakespeare and Milton as they do India, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. The USA, likewise, needed to define itself as much by narratives about internal "western frontiers" as by the geopolitics of its extensions into Hawaii; the Philippines; into half of the then-United States of Mexico; into Southeast Asia and into the Caribbean. The processes of these national imagings produced titles that range from Walt Whitman's "Passage to India" to E.M. Forster's A Passage to India; from the Anglo-American France of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises to the African American France, also, of Claude McKay's Banjo. Other texts, as much T.S. Eliot as W.B. Yeats and Willa Cather, will help explore the kinds of "maximalist" pressures that economic interests, military conquests, territorial annexations, and otherwise benign cultural/immigrant exchanges have placed on images of "core" identities in British and American literatures, post 1830. (Johnson)
Section 002 – The Spatial Imagination. This course will address the ways in which literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries envisioned human relationships to space. We will focus as much on psychology and competing models of mental space as we will on the physical spaces that characters shape and inhabit. We will also address the relationship between space and gender, ethnic and national identities. How do domestic interiors or isolated rural landscapes shape the terms of consciousness? To what extent does the protection and transgression of national borders translate into anxieties about the boundaries of the self? Although the bulk of the reading for this course will consist of novels, short stories and selected poetry, the course pack will include some brief readings from nineteenth-century conduct literature, psychology, and crowd theory, as well as selected literary criticism. Texts will probably include Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, Henry James' Portrait of a Lady, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, and Toni Morrison's Sula. There will be two papers, a midterm and a final exam. (Vrettos)
401/GNE 481/Rel. 481. The English Bible: Its
Literary Aspects and Influences, I. (4). (HU).
Section 001. The Bible is a book, a text: it is also a collection of texts of the most astonishing variety and range. Our emphasis this term will be on that second characteristic. We will not try to read all the works there collected, but will select examples from the historical books (Torah), the Prophets, and the writings from the Gospels, Letters, and the Apocalypse. Our first task will be to try to understand these works both in terms of form and content, and then in terms of the circumstances which gave rise to and shaped them. We will also study how the Bible came to have the form as a whole that it does now, and consider its transmission, both as text, and, more widely, as cultural influence. Students will be encouraged to study especially the literary influence of the Bible in authors of interest to them. Exactly which books of the Bible are read will be determined in part by class need: we shall surely touch on Genesis, Exodus, Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastics, Isaiah, Hosea, one gospel, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle to the Romans, and the Apocalypse. There will be, in all likelihood, three essays of moderate length, a midterm, and a final. Class attendance and lively participation in discussion will be essential. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 WL:1 (Williams)
406/Ling. 406. Modern English Grammar. (3).
Section 001. This is an advanced survey of descriptive English grammar. The approach will be functional and theoretically eclectic. We will look closely at the formal and semantic motivations for basic grammatical categories and processes in English (word formation, "parts of speech," phrases, clauses and sentences) and we will discuss how these structures contribute to the expressive potential of the system. There will be daily practice in grammatical parsing, weekly quizzes, and a final exam on the factual material. The course should be attractive to those professionally interested in English education, practical criticism, or further work in linguistic theory – as well as those generally interested in becoming more articulate about the structure of our language. Texts: Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum, A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English and John Algeo, Exercises in Contemporary English. Cost:4 WL:1 (Cureton)
412/Film-Video 412. Major Directors. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits with department permission.
See Film-Video 412.
417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator in English. May not be
repeated for credit. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – Native American Literature. In this seminar our main focus will be on a selection of eight or nine novels written by major, mostly contemporary, Native American writers: James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich among them. We will begin with Black Elk Speaks, to "warm up" our critical skills and to gain some sense of the background against which Native American novelists have had to work. In their efforts to present accurate, appropriate and forceful accounts of Native American life, Native American writers have had to contend with stereotypes promoted by "Indian-lovers" as well as "Indian-haters." Our study of their writing should complicate if not explode these stereotypes; in some ways students electing this course will emerge from it "knowing" a lot less about Native Americans than they did before, the first step, of course, to acquiring some real knowledge about the highly various cultures, histories and current experience of the first inhabitants of this land. Students choosing to enroll should be ready to participate vigorously in class discussion, to make oral reports, and to write reaction papers each week plus one or more short papers and a long research paper. As all texts will have been written in English, no knowledge of Pikuni, Keres, Ojibwa, Lakota or other indigenous languages will be required. Nor will any dancing with wolves. This course satisfies the New Traditions and American Literature requirements for English concentrators. Cost:3 WL:1 (Faller)
Section 002 – Sex and Violence Across Genres and Cultures. This is an experimental, team-taught course that will explore the relationships between the representations of sex and violence. Literary readings will include at least William Faulkner, Sanctuary (1931, Vintage); Pauline Reage, The Story of O (1954, Grove); Nawal El Saadawi, Woman At Point Zero (1975, Zed); and a wide selection of short stories drawn from Stories: An Anthology and an Introduction, ed. by Eric Rabkin (1995, HarperCollins). Anthropological readings will include at least Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo (1913, Norton); Conrad Kottak, Prime Time Society: An Anthropological Analysis of Television and Culture (1990, Wadsworth); Richard Parker, Bodies, Pleasures, and Passions (1991, Beacon). Students will be expected to take on term-long study projects in contemporary culture, keeping daily journals as they explore some aspects of advertising, film, newspaper, magazine, radio, and television in common and other aspects within small task forces. Each task force will be expected to produce a final class presentation, including a substantial paper for distribution to the class. Individuals will also be expected to produce a short paper on a single text and a somewhat lengthier paper on a single topic. There will be no examinations. Prerequisite: senior standing as an English or Anthropology concentrator. (Kottak/Rabkin)
Section 003 – Found in Translation. This course is meant to provide students of literature and writing, through the reading of translated and original texts, with a linguistic open-mindedness of sorts, and a translator's sensibility. One of the pre-assumptions of the course is that a good writer is also a good reader of texts, and that a good reading of a certain text is always conducted through the eyes of an ideal translator. By way of introduction, we will browse through some of the theoretical writings on – and different approaches to – translation, since the Tower of Babel. Then we will address, among others, issues of linguistic prejudice in the post-colonial age, examine what gets translated in the West and why, deal with problems of untranslatability, reconstruct an original through different translations, examine the interaction between fiction and film, and find out how probably The Book of the Thousand and One Nights was originally written in French. Beckett, Benjamin, Berger, Borges, Calvino, and Conrad are among the course pack's many contributors. Cost:2 (Shammas)
Section 004 – "All the World's A(dapted for) the Stage." Whether a circle in the dirt, a platform, an elaborately framed container, the stage is a plane on which the world plots its stories. Many playwrights translate a story already existing in prose, as a novel or in historical memory, into dramatic literature to be performed. How the writer translates prose into dramatic form – what the demands of an oral performance make upon the already written text, and what both of these questions tell us not only about the writer's understanding of drama, but also about the conditions of theater and performance itself – is the subject of this seminar. Some of the works we will consider are adaptations of Greek myth into drama; Western adaptations of Asian stories onto the stage; Shakespeare's translation of sometimes unspeakably turgid sources into a play; the transformation of Aphra Behn's story Oroonoko into Southerne's play of the same name; the lucrative and bizarre translation of Uncle Tom's Cabin into multiple "traveling shows"; Henry James' The American, the book and the play; Gloria Naylor's adaptations of her novels for the stage. The course will cover very different historical moments in the history of theater and of literature with a constant emphasis on the plays in performance. Work will include reading aloud and acting scenes in class, two short papers and an extended project. This course fulfills the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Skantze)
423. The Writing of Fiction. Open to seniors and graduate students;
written permission of the instructor is required. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
Section 001. Students are expected to maintain journals throughout the term, to comment thoughtfully and intelligently on one another's work and on short stories selected from the text, and, finally, to come up with approximately fifty pages of reasonably polished fiction. Attendance at the readings sponsored by the English Department is also encouraged. Students who want to enroll in the course should get on the waitlist at CRISP and bring a manuscript to class the first evening. A list of those admitted will be posted shortly thereafter. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
425. Advanced Essay Writing. Open only to seniors and graduate
students. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Effective Prose. The subject of this class is the prose style of its participants. Its first purpose is to help experienced readers and writers understand why prose works and why it doesn't. Such understanding supports the second purpose of the class, which is to enable its participants to be writers who please themselves by becoming editors who meet their own needs. Cost:1 WL:1 (Fader)
427. Playwriting. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be
repeated for credit.
Section 001 – Advanced Playwriting. The challenge is a simple one: to write a full-length play in twelve weeks. Adaptations are acceptable. Treatments and outlines are encouraged but not required. Enrollment will be limited to those who have successfully completed English 227 or those who have learned the fundamentals of playwriting in other creative writing courses. Please submit a representative one-act play in advance of class as a writing sample. A half dozen published plays will be required reading. Partner meetings and bi-weekly conferences with the instructor are also required. (Roth)
428. Senior Writing Tutorial. English 223, 323, and 423/429 or
equivalent. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. This course is a combination writing workshop/thesis tutorial for undergraduate students who are in their last year at Michigan, have taken the 200-, 300-, and 400-level writing workshops, and have been accepted into the Creative Writing Program. Students will complete a major manuscript of fiction or poetry. Regular tutorial meetings between students and faculty will take place; workshops in fiction and/or poetry might be arranged. Cost:2 WL:1 (Pollack)
429. The Writing of Poetry. Written permission of instructor is
required. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. This poetry-writing workshop will focus primarily on the writing of class members. There will also be a healthy amount of reading in contemporary poetry and written response (informal) to the poems in our texts. Students will be encouraged to experiment with traditional forms and to create one or two of their own. While an important contribution to the class will be spoken and written commentary on student poems to be workshopped each week, discussion of contemporary poets will also be a high priority. Essential for this course is a willingness to take and give criticism in a thoughtful, honest and respectful manner. Permission of the instructor is required. Leave a sample manuscript of from 4-6 typed pages in Professor Rosser's mailbox outside of 7609 Haven Hall during the week preceding the first day of class, or bring a manuscript to the first class. A class list will be posted on the door of 1609 Haven Hall following the first class meeting. Cost:2 (Rosser)
434. The Contemporary Novel. (4). (Excl).
Section 001. Much contemporary (also known as postmodern) fiction involves characters who feel manipulated by vaguely identified conspirators. Their helplessness results from the tyranny of a system, an institution, or another person; they often find themselves automatically adhering to a set of arbitrary rules and traditions. Is this pervading sense of being controlled in every aspect of life a natural condition of the modern world? What does it mean to "be yourself" or to "say something original"? Is it even possible in a commercialized and media-glutted time to be an individual? We will explore the novelists' practical and aesthetic choices in dramatizing these questions. Our readings will begin and end with Samuel Beckett (Molloy and The Unnamable), who raised to perfect pitch the half-strangled cry of the paralyzed self. Other texts will include Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Margaret Atwood's Surfacing, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Don DeLillo's White Noise. This course will combine lectures and discussion sections, and require two essays of 5 pages each, a midterm, and a final take home exam of 6-8 pages. Cost:3 (Rosser)
441. Contemporary Poetry. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. Rather than taking the approach of reading a handful of poems each by a great number of poets, what we will do in this class is to try to become thoroughly acquainted with the work of seven contemporaries of ours – five from the United States, one Asian-Canadian, one Irish. All these poets have been invited to visit the class and to give readings in Ann Arbor, which students will be required to attend. Our poets will be Evelyn Lau, Robert Hass, Gary Snyder, Eavan Boland, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Pinsky, and Chase Twichell. Lau's In the House of Slaves has been described as "a study in Sado-Masochism." Of Hass, Stanley Kunitz has written: "Reading a poem by Robert Hass is like stepping into the ocean when the temperature of the water is not much different from that of the air. You scarcely know, until you feel the undertow tug at you, that you have entered into another element. Suddenly the deep is there, with its teeming life." Snyder was perhaps the first poet to put ecological issues and Eastern philosophies at the center of his life's work, as we will see in his No Nature: Selected Poems and his essay collection, The Practice of the Wild. Boland has been called "an Irish Adrienne Rich," who explores what she has called "the history of silences, the unspoken, the unwritten, the forgotten names." Of Twichell, a critic in the Partisan Review has written "I know of no contemporary writer in any genre who evokes eros so convincingly as Chase Twichell does. . . . Sensuality appears, though, not purely as an end in itself; sex is, in her poems, 'the hook that drags death into the story.'" Workload: frequent short quizzes; two five-page papers; a take-home midterm and final. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Tillinghast)
444/Theatre 322. History of Theatre II. (3). (HU).
See Theatre 322. (Woods)
448. Contemporary Drama. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. The spine of this course is a careful reading of representative plays, mostly post-World-War-II, from anywhere but the U.S. (American Drama is the province of English 449). We will consider plays as texts for the theater and as dramatic literature, and study their relationships to dramatic movements, theatrical backgrounds, social forces, world events, and trends of thought. English 448 complements English 447 (Modern Drama). The earlier course is not a prerequisite, but a familiarity with the work of its central figures (Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Brecht, Pirandello) couldn't hurt. Readings for 448, dependent on the capricious availability of texts, will be chosen from among [not all] these playwrights: Beckett, Osborne, Pinter, Stoppard, Giraudoux, Anouilh, Ionesco, Genet, Duerrenmatt, Hochhuth, Weiss, Fugard, Soyinka, a whole bunch of more recently "arrived" English and Irish dramatists, and maybe even a Czech or Hungarian. What doesn't make the list of common readings for the class will be fair game for your required supplementary/outside reading. Class procedure: informal lecture and discussion, the quantity of the latter dependent on the class' size and the liveliness of the bodies in it. Some secondary readings and those "outside" plays in addition to about 20 basic plays that we will all read. Students will write two essays (the second longer than the first), keep a reading log, and take a final exam. Cost:2 (Bauland)
450. Medieval Drama. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. This course invites study of the origins, development and manifestations of drama in England before the time of Shakespeare. It is a period and kind of drama and theatre rich in literary and performance values and offering opportunity for many sorts of questions and discovery in the art of the play. We begin with the earliest forms of dramatic gesture and message and go on to study the liturgical, mystery, and morality play, and the late medieval interlude. We learn about a body of drama and theatre interesting in its own right; in doing so we will see a lot of what helped shape Shakespeare's sense of the way drama might be made and be made to mean. The course amplifies a student's sense of the richness of Shakespeare; it is a good preparation for later drama. We will proceed by lecture and discussion, the mix depending on class size, and by attempting to work out performance values cooperatively in class, we will attempt to work up a production or scene performances. There will probably be two relatively short papers, one longer one, one hour exam, one final exam. This course fulfills the pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. (McNamara)
462. Victorian Literature. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Victorian Poetry. An introduction to Victorian poetry, with special emphasis on the figure of "The Poetess" in Victorian England, and placed within the context of "The Woman Question" throughout the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). The course will explore the debate around women's education and figurations of the feminine in selected works of Tennyson, Ruskin, Gilbert and Sullivan, Robert Browning, A.C. Swinburne, alongside Victorian women poets such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rosetti, Augusta Webster, and "Michael Field" (Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper). The course will conclude with A.S. Byatt's recent novel Possession, a neo-Victorian romance. Class requirements: two papers, a reading journal, and an oral presentation. (Prins)
469. Milton. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. In this course, we will read widely in Milton's poetry and prose. We will ask many of the same questions Milton did: How could a poet possibly influence politics? What is the relation between interpreting The Bible and understanding present-day history? What is the relation between censorship, creativity, and law? What is the relation between divine will and human authority? What kinds of independent choices can human beings have in the face of divine power? Why would anyone think Genesis needs to be rewritten, and why would anyone do it, even if she or he thought so? Requirements include class participation, two essays, an in-class midterm, and a take-home final. Books will be available at Shaman Drum and a course pack at the Liberty Street Kinko's. This course satisfies the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Krook)
473. Topics in American Literature. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – North and South American Literature. The course will identify common cultural dilemmas and opportunities in the Americas and examine common themes and mutual influences in United States and Spanish-American literature. Topics include: (1) Faulkner and Garcia Marquez as creators of imaginary fictional countries with real family histories; (2) Morrison's Beloved as counter-history to Faulkner's and as a home-grown example of magical realism; (3) Borges and Hawthorne as elaborate provincial artificers, cosmopolitan inventors bred in local American settings; (4) Neruda and Whitman as poets of the vast American landscape and of American sensuality, uncertainty, and fraternity; and (5) Islas and Arguedas as mediators between native and Euro-American cultures. Historical background will be provided when it seems called for. A reading knowledge of Spanish is desirable but not necessary. Students will be asked to contribute to discussions and write a short paper, a long paper, and a take-home exam. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (McIntosh)
477/CAAS 475. Early Afro-American Literature.
Section 001. This course addresses African-American (and some early Afro-Caribbean) literature before 1861. General discussions of African-American history or culture will surface only as they relate to the question of literary production. The course will address a variety of genres: eighteenth-century poetry, spiritual autobiography, the slave narrative, the sentimental novel, the political essay, as well as current work in African-American literary history and literary theory. Some basic questions: How did the early Black writers constitute their authority as "authors," given that their largely white audiences assumed "the Black writer" was an oxymoron? How did legal status, geographical location, class, gender, color, and religion shape a particular writer's point of view? What were the relationships between what early Black authors chose to write about and the literary genres they employed? We will also be devoting some time to the institutional challenges of studying African-American literature: as modern readers can we come to terms with our expectations/preconceived notions about African-American literature? What institutional forces have shaped the canon of African-American literature that students study today? If Blacks in North America have been writing since the 1700s, why would an American English department call this body of work a "New Tradition"? To whom is it new? Requirements: regular attendance and participation, quizzes, a class presentation, two 8-page essays, a take-home final. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Gunning)
479/CAAS 489. Topics in Afro-American Literature.
English 274 and/or 320 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be
repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – African-American Literature and the Politics of Civil Rights, 1954-1974. This course examines ways in which the civil rights and Black Power movements shaped and were shaped by African-American writing from 1954 to 1974. We'll read a wide range of texts that voice conflicting views on the problem of race in America, and that demonstrate the changing attitudes toward strategies and solutions over the two decades. In addition to exploring major controversies like desegregation, interracial relations, nonviolence, patriotism and exile, nationalism, relations between Black men and women, we'll also consider the role of the mass media in creating or disturbing a sense of racial community. Some of the writers to be studied include: Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Paule Marshall, Alice Walker, Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ishmael Reed, and Chester Himes. Several short writing assignments and a comprehensive final exam. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Ross)
482. Studies in Individual Authors. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Ibsen and Strindberg. For Winter Term, 1995, this section is offered jointly with Scandinavian 422.001. (Herold)
483. Great Works of Literature. (1). (HU). May be repeated for
credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Primo Levi and the Memory of Auschwitz. Primo Levi was a Jew from Torino who survived a year in Auschwitz. His books, which deal recurrently with this experience, arguably constitute one of the major moral and stylistic projects of this century. In this course we will discuss four of them: Survival at Auschwitz, The Reawakening, The Periodic Table, and The Drowned and The Saved. We will also read selections from his book of shorter pieces, Another's Profession. We will examine in particular his understanding of the role of memory and remembering in constituting social experience, and observe the ways in which he confronts the problem of writing about the unspeakable. Cost:2 WL:1 (Williams)
Section 002 – Seamus Heaney and the Literature of Northern Ireland. An account of Northern Ireland since 1960 to the present – the time of The Troubles – through the lens of the poetry of Seamus Heaney. A mini course, one extended essay required. (McNamara)
484. Issues in Criticism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Poststructuralist and Cultural Theory This course will offer students an opportunity to explore central works and issues in post-structuralist theory, and will also introduce them to some of the recent turns toward various forms of cultural theory. In the first part of the term we will read substantial portions of Lacan, Althusser, Derrida, and Foucault; we will then turn to related (and unrelated) developments in anthropology, Marxist and feminist theory. No previous experience with theory is required, but a high level of motivation is a prerequisite; some of the reading is difficult and demanding, but ultimately quite rewarding. We will take ample time with such texts in class, and writing assignments will be geared toward letting students experiment with the approaches and ideas we are grappling with. (Mullaney)
486. History of Criticism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. A serious study of literature demands a certain understanding of the history of literary criticism and the institutions, concepts, and systems that have shaped the way we read literary texts. This course is an invitation to reflect on the meaning of criticism and theory and their relationship to the practice of writing. How do we read literary criticism? What is the distinction between literary criticism and theory? What is their importance to the study of literature and culture? How does literary analysis differ from reading and cultural critique? The course will begin by addressing these questions and then move on to interrogate some of the dominant schools of literary theory and criticism in the twentieth century: reader-response, structuralism and semiotics, deconstruction and post-structuralism, psychology and psychoanalysis, materialist criticism, feminism and gender studies, and cultural studies. While most of our attention will be focused on the emergence of these schools in the twentieth century, we will often trace their histories to earlier periods all the way from the classical to the romantic period. Students will be invited to embark on research projects that trace the central problems of contemporary literary theory – the nature of representation, the position of the reader, the question of linguistic structures, and the meaning of culture – to earlier periods. The course requires regular written responses to the readings, a research paper, and a final examination. Our primary texts will be Contemporary Literary Theory: Literary and Cultural Studies, ed. Robert Con Davies and Ronald Schleifer (Longman, 1986) and Literary Theory: An Introduction by Terry Eagleton. (Gikandi)
490. Reading, Writing and Criticism in the Teaching of English. Concurrent
election of English 491/Educ. D491 and English 305. (7). (Excl).
Section 001. Please see notation on the English Professional Semester at the beginning of the English Department course listings. Interested students should contact Professor Alan Howes in G624 Haven Hall (763-2269). (Howes)
495. Honors Survey: The Twentieth Century. Admission to the English
Honors Program. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Modern Irish Literature and Culture. This class will study the twentieth-century Irish Literary Renaissance more within the twin contexts of Irish literature and Irish history than within the more usual ones of British literature and international Modernism. Reading will include poetry by W.B. Yeats, fiction by James Joyce and Elizabeth Bowen, and plays by Lady Gregory, John Synge, George Bernard Shaw, and Sean O'Casey, as well as less well known materials by writers like Douglas Hyde, Katherine Tynan, Patrick Pearse, and Flann O'Brien. We will also read some history and examine both historical documents and items from popular culture. Written work will include a longer and a shorter paper. Cost:2 WL:1 (Bornstein)
497. Honors Seminar. Junior or senior standing and permission
of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 – Gender and Genre in English Poetry. This course is designed for students who have a background in the study of poetry (who have taken, at least, English 240). We will read generically and chronologically wide-ranging groups of texts from English and American poetry, from Renaissance to contemporary writers, focusing on how the genres and forms of poetry intersect with questions of gender. We will explore some of the following questions: How does the study of gender deepen our understanding of the history of poetic forms? Do poetic concerns such as "voice," inscription, and echo, have genders? How have both masculine and feminine poets used gendered figures of speech to get their poems going? Do certain genres of poem – the sonnet, for example, or the romantic lyric – have genders? What happens when both masculine and feminine poets "cross-dress" in their poems? We will strive to take sophisticated approaches to both questions of gender and questions of form, reading critical essays of various kinds along with the poetry. Cost:2 (Pinch)
Section 002. This course will be a study of the concept of transgression
in postmodern culture – theory, fiction, and film. While most definitions
of postmodernism focus on questions of its radical anti-foundationalism
(the death of the master narrative), we will look instead at a different
way of defining the current cultural moment – that is, in terms of its obsession
with the meaning, the value, and the possibility (or impossibility) of transgression.
The course will be divided into sections that focus on competing models
of transgression, and these will be organized around similar yet clashing
postmodern cultural theorists: Foucault, Bakhtin, Baudrillard, Jameson, Harraway, et al. We will extend these particular theories of transgression
into particular texts, including Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus,
Don DeLillo's Mao II, Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle, and Gerald
Vizenor's Columbus, among others. There will also be a selection
of films. Two papers. Cost:3 (Kucich)
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