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), which is available by permission of instructor and completion of the prerequisite, English 223. More experienced writers may apply for admission to specialized sections of English 227 (Playwriting), English 423 (Fiction), English 427 (Playwriting), and English 429 (Poetry). Admission to these advanced courses is by permission of the instructor, who will require writing samples.
Independent study 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 (or an equivalent such as English 308 or 309) 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.
English 490. Reading, Writing and Criticism in the Teaching of English (7 credits). (This is the equivalent of English 325 plus English 417. Election of English 490/Education D491 and English 305 [or equivalent] is required.)
Education D491. Teaching English-Methods and Practicum. (5 credits). (This is the equivalent of English D440 and Education 307. Election of English 490/Education D491 and English 305 [or equivalent] is required.)
The Professional Semester meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 to 12 and 2 to 4, and Thursdays from 10 to 12 and 2 to 4. During part of the semester, participants in the program tutor secondary students and observe classes ranging from 7th to 12th grade in nearby schools. Within the scheduled times there are flexible arrangements and opportunities for large and small group projects and discussions, for guest consultants, and for field trips. Students and faculty do much of the planning for the program together, including choice of texts and determination of topics for discussion.
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, the class might read a novel and discuss it from different critical perspectives, consider ways to teach it in different classroom contexts, and write about it in a number of different ways ranging from a critical essay to an imitation or a parody, to an exploration of one of its thematic ideas, to a class plan or a unit plan for teaching, to a discussion of related teaching issues. Past students have found the term an opportunity "to form a close community," to "immerse" themselves "in a total learning situation," and to achieve "a camaraderie and a supportive environment in which to share problems, solutions, and advice." Discussion and observation of different local secondary schools will be arranged under Education D491 on a concentrated basis for a portion of the term.
The Professional Semester can accommodate up to 20 students, 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 Dr. Jackie Livesay in her office, K-406 West Quad, 764-9505. She 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 five 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. Some section descriptions follow.
Descriptions for individual sections not listed below are available in the First and Second Year Studies Office (formerly the Composition Office), 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 004. How does technological change affect a culture? And how does culture shape the way we understand technology? These questions and more will be up for debate in this class, which will combine writing about literature and writing about (and in) the new electronic media of the Internet age. Although this class will require that you learn some very basic computing skills, no previous knowledge is assumed or necessary - technophobes and technophiles alike are welcome! The authors considered will include some or all of the following: Mary Shelley, Aldous Huxley, William Gibson, Richard Powers, Joanna Russ, and the essayists Richard Lanham, Amy Brinckman, and Clay Shirky. There will be four 4-6 page papers and shorter weekly writing assignments. (Tepper)
Section 012 – Writing as Revision. Revision is a basic principle of successful writing. This first-year seminar course will provide lots of opportunity for rewriting! But we will also look at how authors read and revise each other and themselves, as well as how certain themes – especially love and hate – reoccur. The course will begin with an in-depth consideration of one of the great novels of the nineteenth century, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. We will then read Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, a re-writing of the novel from the perspective of the Creole villain. We will also look at the movie of Jane Eyre, to see what Hollywood can do with a romantic love story. We'll then move on to examine some famous examples of works that started as prose fiction and were re-written as plays and films, in order to discuss why and how certain plots, characters and situations reoccur, are reworked and rethought by writers. We will do some writing every week, but this will vary, so as to give you practice in writing for different situations. This will include note-taking for texts and lectures, preparing outlines and drafts, as well as learning how to critique each other's work as well as our own. In all, we will write 4-6 argumentative essays. (Vicinus)
Section 013 – Writing Our Own Lives. In this writing class, we will be grappling with questions that reveal underlying conflicts and value systems which affect our judgments in the decisions we make. Our work will entail uncovering individual issues of discord and attempting to see how those personal issues speak to a public forum. Although the reading list is still to be determined, we will select from texts that reveal a lawyer struggling to convince a jury to convict a sixteen year old to first degree murder, an analyst trying to come to grips with the "Challenger Disaster," a minority writer trying to understand how his ethnic background can survive in his mind as he attempts to integrate himself into a "majority" profession, a novelist exploring how personal relationships develop and are sustained, a holocaust survivor wondering about the process of decision making for survival, and a civil rights leader asking the essential question of how we can enact our lives to produce the best of all societies. We will most likely analyze John Irving's The Cider House Rules, Watson's Montana 1948, Butler's Kindred, Oates' Foxfire as well as works by Margaret Atwood, Maxine Hong Kingston, Isabelle Allende, and Julia Alvarez. Our work will encompass examining what is called "five arenas of the mind" – those basic areas that expose diverse conflicts – using texts of both professional and non-professional writers that illuminate those struggles. Some of what we read will be critical analysis and some will be fiction, but we will always be concerned with how we think and how we write. The class format will be discussion and more discussion, and we will be working through our own essay writing consistently in class. The conception of the class is one that celebrates the process of challenging and revising former ideas, one that works towards recognizing a synthesis of more complex possibilities. Each student will write a minimum of four essays, with an option for two major revisions. (Back)
Section 014 – A Nation of Immigrants. Central to the myth of the American Dream is the construct of the immigrant, those "tired" and "poor," welcomed to our shores, expecting to find "streets paved with gold," and "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" limited only by their own desire and energy and capacity to dream. Not surprisingly, some of our most compelling and beautiful literature is written by new Americans or their descendants as they contemplate both the promise and the disappointment of that dream. This literature will provide a frame for the seminar and subject matter for your writing. Our texts will be primarily novels, and our discussion of these texts will focus on the way that the myths of our culture are reproduced and rebutted in these novels. How, we will ask, do the authors imagine the immigrant's relationship to the mainstream culture? How do they express in their writing the experience of marginalization? Where do they see in their circumstances access to personal power? And how, in our culture, are insider and outsider defined, and who defines them? We will consider the essential conflicts of these novels conflicts between old world ethics and new, between parents and children, between so-called "Yankees" and "greenhorns" – and the ways these conflicts, despite the diversity of ethnic backgrounds, take on a particularly American flavor. The literary texts will include fiction by some of the following writers: Richard Rodriguez, Henry Roth, O.E. Rolvaag, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mario Puzo, Abraham Cahan, Anzia Yezierska, Toni Morrison, and Monica Sone. The writing texts will be the essays by the student writers in our class. Course requirements will include four 5-7 page papers, short weekly writings on the readings, written responses to your classmates' essays, active participation in class discussion, and regular attendance. (Wolk)
Section 016. See English 124.013. (Back)
Section 017 – Homelands. There's no place like a homeland. But why is that? What makes a desert or frozen tundra so appealing to those who consider them home? Why does a barren little rock in a Norwegian fjord become a homeland that an exile will write of longingly, remembering both the pains and the pleasures of living there? What do we consider to be our own homelands, and why are they important to us? This course will investigate representations of homelands in Scandinavia, the Near East, the Americas, and Africa. After engaging various writers' concepts of homeland, students will, as a final project, describe their own homeland (real or imagined) in exquisite detail. This course will offer extensive individualized writing instruction, and we will try to become a community of readers and writers in which each student can develop his or her own unique potential. (Tinkle)
Section 018 – Film and Society. In this first-year seminar course we will view eight films by major directors, all of which deal with political or social issues, as the basis for discussion and writing. The earliest film is D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916), the latest, Akira Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August (1991). Other directors and films include: Charles Chaplin, Monsieur Verdoux; John Ford, The Grapes of Wrath; Orson Welles, Citizen Kane; Stanley Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove; Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now; and David Lean, A Passage to India. We will also read some of the sources for these films. Paper topics will be drawn both from the films themselves (e.g., the styles of different directors), and from some of the issues they deal with. (Howes)
Section 019 – Voices From Other Neighborhoods. Our work in this first-year seminar will be to try to understand, as well as we can, the lives and circumstances of those Americans who are sometimes said to be living on the borders or on the margins of our society: the poor, the homeless, the un- or underemployed; those who are often labeled in others ways, as members of ethnic or linguistic minorities, for example. Most people who fall into these groups are named not by themselves but by others who do not belong to such groups; and very often, the lives such people lead are described only as problems. We are told, for example, that one child in four in America lives in poverty, but we don't learn much about what it feels like to be a poor child or to live like one in a society that takes pride in its affluence. In this seminar, we'll read short stories and novels because imaginative works can provide special insights into the lives others lead. We'll also read autobiographies and other personal accounts as well as books like Alex Kotlowitz's There Are No Children Here, a journalist's narrative about two boys growing up in a Chicago housing project. Our aim in the course will be to learn to listen and attend to voices we don't often hear or hear often enough. In this seminar, you will be asked to write frequently, in short responses to what we read and in extended essays. Your writing will receive careful attention in small group workshops and in individual conferences. (J.Robinson)
Section 021 – Introduction to Literary Forms. In this first-year seminar section of Writing and Literature, we shall study the three most commonly-taught literary genres – prose fiction, lyric poetry, and drama. Considering how and why authors choose to express themselves in each of these quite different modes should make us more sensitive to how we express ourselves in expository prose. In the first unit, on prose fiction, we shall begin with several modern short stories, developing analytical skills that we may apply to three novels: Fanny Burney's Evelina, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. In the second unit, after some introductory classes on poetic meter and form, we shall concentrate on three poets: John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and W.H. Auden. In the third unit, we shall consider dramas from three different eras – Elizabethan (Shakespeare), Carolean (Wycherley, Etherege, Behn), and modern (Ionesco, Beckett, Albee). Each student will write two papers in each unit, for a total of six papers. There will also be an hour-long test at the conclusion of each unit, which will give you experience in impromptu writing. Choose this section if you are interested in language and literature, and committed to improving your prose. Do not choose this section if you are only interested in writing about yourself. (Winn)
125. College Writing. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).
Since no one ever finishes learning to write, this course focuses on helping students further develop their unique potentials as writers, readers, and thinkers. Although sections of 125 vary in theme and emphasis, every instructor makes peer collaboration central to the course: each student will advance in learning to read his or her peers' work, and in offering informed critiques and practical suggestions for revision. As they engage in writing workshops throughout the term, students become active learners, seeking to discover what works and what doesn't in their own and their peers' writing. While the instructor serves as authoritative guide and resource person, students also begin to act as authorities and guides for each other. The extensive collaboration among teacher and students enriches each writer's sense of how an audience responds to his or her work; at the same time, receiving multiple responses helps students adjust their expression of ideas in accordance with their readers' queries, reservations, praise, and confusion. Much of the reading for the course is therefore student-generated, though most sections also include professional writing from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, which allows students to explore how various audiences might affect a writer's choices. As students make the transition from high school to college writing, they enhance their ability to employ rhetorical patterns of organization, to develop and nuance increasingly complex ideas, and to invent a personal style of expression that can be adapted to different audiences and purposes. Course requirements include about 40 pages of writing, including at least 20 pages of revised, polished prose. Some sections include computer literacies.
Some section descriptions follow and others are available in the LS&A Academic Advising Office and in the First and Second Year Studies Office (formerly the Composition Office), 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 002. This writing seminar is all about taking seriously the ideas of others, both peers and authors, and about being able to discuss those ideas in writing. The seminar helps students join the academic community by introducing them to the principles of scholarly writing: listening empathetically to other perspectives, summarizing and paraphrasing these perspectives fairly, quoting sources appropriately, recognizing claims, and critically evaluating the evidence for such claims. Students learn to question assumptions, and to think about implications. As students learn to analyze and synthesize, they derive their own informed opinions and convey them persuasively to an academic audience. Because writing depends upon its context, we shall pay attention to such issues as the writer's authority, and the reader's subjectivity. What makes one writer persuasive, and another unconvincing? What biases do we, as readers, bring to our interpretations? To what extent does personal experience affect the way we read and write? How do rhetorical strategies like style, voice, and vocabulary, give the writer an identity? Course requirements will consist of five papers (including drafts and revisions), written critiques of peers' papers, constant attendance, and active participation. (Swabey)
Sections 003, 004, and 005. This class is designed as an introduction to writing and critical thinking for the university. In it, we will examine the way we presented arguments and write, exploring conflicts, questions, and problems in our own thinking and in our communities. We will look at conflicts in families in stories about mothers and sons and fathers and daughters, essays about our choices in friendships, stories and essays by old and new writers about the choices we make in our thinking and in our lives. We will learn ways to compose dialectical arguments that find an empathetic understanding of the opposing viewpoints and explore the conflicts in our own thinking, and which are expressed in a civil and persuasive manner. This section 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. I have designed the class for active participation in groups, reading groups, peer feedback groups, and whole class workshops. You will write approximately five pages a week in informal assignments, plus four formal essays by the end of the term of 4-6 pages each. (Povolo)
Section 006. See English 125.002. (Swabey)
Section 029. This is a course in writing, writing, writing! It is also a course with a strong emphasis on reading, thinking, and discussing. Be prepared to write five relatively long essays of at least five pages and to hand in rough drafts of them as well. You will also write ten formal critiques and twenty or so less formal ones. You are expected to participate in a class computer conference and to contribute to in-class conversations. A good part of class time will be spent discussing student texts: each student will have one of her or his papers workshopped by the entire class once during the term and all other papers discussed by small peer group members. Readings cover important but wide-ranging topics that should appeal to most students and should enable every student to develop topics for essays. Come ready to work hard but to enjoy yourself, too! (Kowalski)
140(126). First-Year Literary Seminar. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – English: How It Works, and Why. Our seminar will explore the origins and present use of English, starting with a linguistic autobiography (how we came to speak and write English the way we do) and working outward to the English of persuasion (the media and advertising), of passion (how we express our intense feelings), and of purpose (how we persuade other people through English). Regular writing assignments will accompany readings and class discussion. (Bailey)
Section 003 – A Nation of Immigrants. See English 124.014. This is a first-year seminar. (Wolk)
Section 004 – Twentieth-Century Gothic. This course will start by contradicting its title, when we read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Taking this as our starting-point for discussion, we'll then look at seven or eight more modern texts, to see what happens to the 'Gothic' genre in the twentieth century and the contemporary moment. We will consider the function of Gothic and horror in twentieth-century culture: what are the aesthetics and pleasures of fear, for example? How has the Gothic as a genre been used to express or work through anxieties about sexuality, race, and class? In what ways might Gothic texts be said to be 'political'? It is a requirement for this course that you not be easily scared, but capable of getting just frightened enough that you want to know more about it. Texts may include Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden; Daphne du Maruier, Rebecca; Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby; Beryl Gilroy, The Frangipani House; Bessie Head, A Question of Power; Stephen King, It; Barbara Vine, A Fatal Inversion; and, in recognition of the enormous role played by cinema in twentieth-century Gothic, at least one of Hitchcock's films. Course requirements will probably include: vigorous class participation, several short papers, a midterm, and a final. (Raitt)
217. Literature Seminar. Completion of the Introductory Composition
requirement. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Literature and the Law. Literature's fascination with the law as an institution and justice as an ethical concept dates back to antiquity. Modern fiction and drama seem irresistibly drawn to the law, particularly criminal law, as a theme. We will read works that treat the legal process as an object of analytical interest in and of itself, as an example of a procedurally and ethically complex social phenomenon, as a metaphor for truth-finding and truth-telling, and even as a testing ground for propositions of morality. A common body of intensive and representative reading will form the basis for class discussion in this seminar of limited size. We learn together and from each other. Class size should allow each student a chance to lead discussion and present a brief report. Each student will write a short paper and a longer critical (i.e., analytical) essay (which may well require reading beyond the common list). Reading is to be chosen from works by most [not all] of the following: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, the Bible, the Apocrypha, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Melville, Schnitzler, Kafka, Koestler, Camus, Dürrenmatt, R. Shaw, Bolt, P. Roth. We might include a film or two. The seminar's objective is to study the forms literature can take to come to terms with a theme of ethical content within a social context, and to do so in its own time and place as well as outside those confines. Cost:2 (Bauland)
Section 002 – Some Ways of Looking at Ourselves. Literature Seminars are intended primarily for first and second year students; enrollment is limited to twenty, a number small enough to make informed conversation not only possible but necessary. In this section we will read a half dozen or so contemporary novels (that is, novels written more or less within your lifetime). We will talk about the kinds of assumptions involved whenever we read anything at all, and then we will approach these novels from a variety of directions and try to make sense (or senses) of them. We will also write about them, or our experience of them, and we will share our writing with one another. Students should not enroll in this section unless they are prepared to have an exemplary attendance record, and prepared also to read, to think, to talk, and to write, and to do all four regularly and with energy. That's what seminars are all about. (Ingram)
Section 003 – Nature and American Literature. This course explores "nature" both as an important philosophical or religious idea in a variety of cultures and as a persistent subject in the literature of the United States. We will study how Puritan settlers in New England developed a religious idea of the wilderness; how the United States learned to consider itself as "Nature's Nation," and the American landscape as both an expression of God's grandeur and a place of refuge for aspiring artists; how the theme of nature has persisted in United States poetry, fiction, and discursive writing, despite the industrialization of social life in more recent times; how Native American perspectives have influenced the literature of nature; and how the idea of nature has been central to American painting and visual arts. I expect to assign texts by such writers as Bradford, Jefferson, Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, Jewett, Rolvaag, Hemingway, Frost, Williams, Snyder, Momaday, and Erdrich. Requirements: written weekly responses to the reading and discussion, frequent class participation, and three papers. Cost:3 (McIntosh)
Section 004 – Poetry and Biography. How does our "take" on literature change when we know something about authors' lives? Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, two of the most exciting and accomplished of modern American poets, have recently been the subjects of several biographical treatments, including one by the instructor in this course. Bishop and Lowell were friends; the books written about them have a lot to say about both their literary and their personal relationships. In addition they moved in circles of other writers and friends whom we will come to know through reading about them: Bishop's mentor, the poet Marianne Moore; the bearded Wunderkind Randall Jarrell; Lowell's three wives; Bishop's Brazilian lover, Lota de Macedo Soares. The class will be informal and gossipy, and we will come to know Bishop and Lowell as they and their friends knew them: not only as poets but also as human beings. (Tillinghast)
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. Class work involves the discussion of the process of writing and the work of a few published authors. Students will do exercises meant to develop a sensitivity to language and a facility with evocative detail, voice, form, and so forth. Most classroom time, however, is devoted to reading and 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 the First and Second Year Studies Office (formerly the Composition Office), 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 001. The primary focus of this course will be to introduce you to the craft of writing both poetry and fiction through exercises and reading emphasizing elements such as metaphor, rhythm, voice, and narration. You will be expected to complete several poems and short stories as well as keep a journal and participate in class. The majority of class time will be concentrated on oral critique of writing generated by the class. Varying in style and time period, assigned reading will focus loosely around the theme of the urban voice. We will read work ranging from the poetry of William Carlos Williams to the short stories of Meridel LeSueur. We may, for example, explore how a writer chose to develop the voice of a struggling immigrant, or discuss how multiple rhythms in a particular poem are used to convey the pulse of mass transportation. Although the substructure of the course will focus on these urban themes, I emphasize the importance of students working to develop their own voice and technique. Any subject matter and style you wish to pursue in your writing is welcome and will serve to make our experience all that more enriching. Diversity is, after all, what makes city life stimulating. (Prafke)
Section 002. This is an introductory course in the writing of poetry and fiction. There will be considerable reading of selected published work within each genre to provide models of, and exposure to, different voices and visions – because I think it's essential for all writers to know what's out there and what's possible. The majority of our time, though, will be spent on your writing. I'll try to provide you with basic techniques as well as some exploratory exercises and assignments, and we'll take it from there. A large portion of the class time will be devoted to the workshopping of your writing. Each of you will be asked to submit work to the class at several points during the term for close, thoughtful reading and courteous, constructive response. (Berglund)
Section 003. In this course we will examine prominent and pioneering examples of modern and contemporary American short fiction and poetry. Students will consider the topics, voices, points-of-view, narrative stances, shapes and techniques which they feel are most successful in the readings with an eye to adapting, experimenting with personalizing such devices to their own unique ends. Emphasis will be on developing and becoming comfortable in a robust voice, one which is capable of conveying the story to its purpose in the most effective and authentic manner. Creative work will consist of "stretching exercises," not imitations, with weight given more to process than to product. In addition to the original short fiction and poetry required, students will keep a journal consisting of responses to the reading assignments, workshopped stories and poetry, and required Rackham and/or Visiting Author readings. (Kingsley)
Section 004. The aim of this course is to introduce you to the myriad and mysterious pleasures of creative writing. Your own work will be of central importance, with each student producing both original and revised drafts of poems and stories for class discussion and for your final portfolio. In conjunction with workshops, we'll discuss the craft of writing fiction and poetry, addressing issues such as plot, setting, point of view, line, metaphor, dialogue, formalism, and how to end a story or poem without killing off your main character. We'll use writing exercises and collaborative projects to get the juices flowing, and will read published writers for example, inspiration, and enjoyment. Class time will be divided equally between fiction and poetry. Requirements include 20 pages of revised fiction and 10 pages of revised poetry. No experience necessary. (M.Price)
Section 005. This course is an introduction to writing fiction and poetry, with emphasis more or less equally divided between the two genres. The majority of our class time will revolve around the workshop experience - that is, students will be required to give constructive written and oral critiques of each other's work. Several specific writing assignments and a significant amount of assigned reading will also be used to explore various forms and styles within each genre. In addition, attendance at at least one local reading of both fiction and poetry will be mandatory. This class is geared towards providing a supportive environment for beginning writers; as such, it aims to provide students with a practical first exposure to producing and assessing their creative work in both genres. (O'Hara)
Section 006. Personally, I write because I deeply enjoy it. I'm hoping that your presence in this course indicates that you do, too; there's really no other reason to get involved. But given a common enthusiasm for expressing our complicated selves in print, I expect this class to be a lot of fun (though a lot of hard work as well). We'll spend the first half of the term on poetry, and the second half on short stories. Our emphasis will be on your careful writing – around seven revised poems and three revised stories by term's end – which will be critiqued for your benefit by me and, typically, by your fellow students. To facilitate "the writing process," we'll read and discuss work by a wide variety of published writers (and some selections on the craft of writing), and we'll do several writing experiments in class. The object of all this is to introduce you to the joys – and the trials – of creative writing, and to give you some tools to help you translate your imagination onto the page as effectively as possible. (Beal)
Section 007. The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the forms and techniques of writing short fiction and poetry, with a slightly greater emphasis on fiction. Part of the aim is to give you a language for talking about fiction and poetry, your own as well as others'. You will learn how to discuss tone, form, diction, plot, and characters as well as gut-level reactions like "I loved this" or "I hated this." Discussion will be divided between student work and published work, focusing on the structural aspects of writing as much as on the content. We will read primarily the work of living writers; more than half will be women and/or minorities. Part of the aim of the readings is to show you the wide variety of possibilities for your own writing. (Stewart)
Section 008. The goal of this class will be to introduce students to the writing of fiction and poetry. I believe that good writing matters, both to the writer and to the reader. The process of uncovering what we want to say is hard work, but it can also be a lot of fun. Our main emphasis, therefore, will be on finding our voices, setting out to explore the world and ourselves by trusting that what we have to say does make a difference. From there, we'll learn some of the tricks of the writer's trade, things like creating characters and plots, using imagery for emotional impact, and how to handle the all-important revision. Assignments will include writing exercises, and completing a short story and several poems. A good deal of our time will be spent discussing one another's work. We'll also read and discuss pieces by accomplished writers, both to learn technique and to get our own creative juices flowing. Texts might include Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones or another writing textbook, and a course pack of short stories and poems. (Lofy)
Section 009. This course is designed to let you explore the joys and hardships of writing poetry and fiction. Part of this exploration will involve reading and discussing work by published writers. But the larger part will involve writing – your writing. Various exercises aimed at introducing you to basic techniques from each genre along with completed, revised poems and short stories will be the emphasis of your writing. You will also read, write critiques, and discuss the work of other students in the class; your work will be part of this discussion. Because this class will depend on your participation and insights it is essential that you be there. By writing and reading both poetry and fiction you will discover their similarities and differences; you will begin finding these similarities and differences as they unfold in your own work and the work of your classmates. Together we will watch the progression of a sunflower as it lifts its lowered head to the midday sky. Together we will watch your poems and short stories do the same. (Twitchell)
Section 010. This course is for those who want to tell a simple story, capture a moment in verse, or change the world with fiction or poetry. There are no guarantees that either of these extremes will be accomplished, but we will use stabs in the dark, considered revisions, tested techniques, warm up exercises, the established examples of accomplished writers and the gentle but increasingly aware critical voice of your fellow writing students to conjure the imagination or let it loose. This means that we will read published contemporaries; focus on elements like dialogue, voice, rhythm, imagery, and narrative structure; "workshop" each other's poems and stories; and write with some passion and purpose (for goodness sake). Roughly half the class will be dedicated to fiction and half to poetry, all will be dedicated (unofficially and without obsession) to the sometimes unanswerable questions: Why write? What makes something literature? Where do I go from here? (Allen)
Section 011. This section of creative writing is for those who are interested in the foundations of writing: reading and thinking. We will challenge your notions about what writing and especially "good" writing is. We will be reading and discussing works from a variety of venues: film, music, genre fiction, as well as some of the finest in contemporary literary-grade poetry and prose. If you're interested in popular culture, this is the class for you. You will have a chance to create a piece of pop writing (advertisement, raps, historical romance, science fiction, etc.) that will be discussed as legitimate art. Of course, you will be encouraged to produce more traditional work. Be prepared to discuss what's good, what's not, and why. We will be examining and recording our own ecstatic experiences in ways that will delight and interest audiences. We will disregard all previous assumptions about the business of writing and create a brave new world. Expect to perform both as a scholar and a maenad (regardless of your gender). Bring a pen and pack your brain, it's gonna be a long trip. (Goldsmith)
Section 012. This introductory creative writing course is a chance for you to pay attention to your life in a unique way: to engage it as an artist in order to see what kinds of interesting and surprising material you can draw from it. This course is equally a chance for you to read and respond to the work of your classmates in such a way as to help push them to greater excellence, and to engender an increasing sense of connection between the individual lives from which each of us is writing. Our primary interest in this class will be to generate, critique, and revise our own original writing. By semester's end, you will have produced 10-12 pages of new, original, revised poetry and 20-25 pages of new, original, revised fiction. A developing writer will also want to explore a variety of published poetry and fiction in order to continue expanding his or her "stock of available reality" (Donald Revell). In this course, we will engage the world of the working writer through broad reading in fiction and poetry, as well as intense, productive, and supportive "workshopping" of our own attempts at writing original fiction and poetry. (Petkus)
Section 013. Big fun here. The course will aim to encourage creative work through an exploration of contemporary fiction and play writing. The first half of the course will focus on play writing with an emphasis on dialogue and dramatic tension. Reading will cover one act plays as well as some full length works. The second half of the course will look at the short story and adapt many of the concerns of play writing into the production of short stories. There will be a fair amount of reading. Class time will be devoted to the discussion of the assigned readings, which are guaranteed not to bore. The goal of our reading will be to discover how voice informs story and vice versa. Students will be expected to complete and revise both a one act play and a short story. Both items will be workshopped and discussed by the class. In addition there will be various in-class writing assignments. Texts: Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son, and Daniel Halpern, One Acts, as well as a course pack of collected stories. (Reid)
Section 014. "Remember the world of ghosts and small gestures." (Jon Anderson). The goal of this course is to introduce you to the craft of writing poetry and fiction. While we will spend the term studying both genres, there will be a slightly higher emphasis placed on poetry. Also, please note that we will not do any genre fiction such as mystery, romance, or science fiction. We will divide class time between workshop and reading/discussing the poetry and short fiction of published authors. The readings will include work by a variety of writers with an emphasis on poems and short stories by contemporary women and minority writers. Reading and discussing other authors' works will help to improve your own writing as well as give you a sense of what is happening in contemporary poetry and fiction. But the focus on this course will be on your work. You will be assigned short exercises which will familiarize you to the basic techniques of each genre; you will be asked to turn in 6-8 poems and two short stories for discussion during the workshop; and you will critique the work of other students in the class. Class attendance and participation are integral to the success of this course and are required. Other than that, keep in mind that class should be fun - this is your chance to be creative! (C.Kim)
224. The Uses of Language. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
The aim of this second-year writing course is to help students improve the critical thinking and writing skills introduced in English 124 and 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 analytic process.
Section 001 – Authority in Law and Language. This course will focus on how individuals relate to social authority. When should individuals obey or disobey the laws and conventions that govern them? In American society, what constitutional rights are guaranteed and how do courts and citizens interpret and understand these rights? We will examine how individuals are constrained by laws, and also how they can rebel against or transform law. We will explore how laws are constituted by language and the interpretation of language. The importance of revision, both to the legal process and to the process of writing a student essay, will be stressed throughout the term. Texts will include Plato's Crito, King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," William's The Alchemy of Race and Rights, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and the Supreme Court's ruling in "Planned Parenthood vs. Casey." Students will write four papers, reading responses, and critiques of peer essays. Come prepared to discuss the readings and to workshop peer essays. (Carlton)
225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
This course furthers the aims of English 124 and 125 in helping to analyze the various claims of a given issue and to develop ways of exploring and defending positions, ideas and beliefs in writing. Careful attention will be paid to the process of reasoning, the testing of assumptions and claims, the questioning of beliefs, and the discovery of ideas and evidence through analysis and rigorous articulation in written discourse. The course will also focus on considerations of style, formal strategy techniques, and revision as integral to precision in making points and developing argumentative ideas both for purposes of individual reflection as well as for the purpose of persuading an audience.
Course descriptions for individual sections can be found in the First and Second-Year Studies Office (formerly Composition Program), 5207 Angell Hall.
Sections 002, 015, and 016. The course, using the workshop approach to the teaching of writing, is designed to help you improve your writing - read rewriting – by writing argumentative essays. When I use the word "argumentative" I use it to refer to your taking a stance on a controversial or ambiguous issue and then defending your position by supporting it with specific details and/or logical reasons. Truth to tell, I should much prefer this course be English 225 – Persuasive Writing. What I'm most concerned with is that you learn to write – through a series of drafts and revisions – interesting persuasive essays by considering your purpose, your audience, the information you need to convey and the way you order that information, and your style. The aim of the course is, finally, to teach you to think logically and then to express your thoughts in clear, readable prose. This should be a fun and an interesting class; indeed, I love teaching this course. I view my role as that of a devil's advocate – a gadfly – and your role as that of an intelligent person responding in writing and in class workshops to my observations and comments. I, for one, intend to have a good time. You can also enjoy the class and learn something too. Utile dulci, as they say ("they" being, in this case, Horace in Ars Poetica ). (Rubadeau)
227. Introductory Playwriting. (3). (HU).
Section 001. Students will learn the fundamentals of constructing a play through numerous writing exercises, reading and discussing dramatic literature, and writing a one act play of 40-60 pages. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and see locally produced plays that are assigned. Cost:1 (Roth)
230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Constructing Chaos in the House of Fiction. Like any old building, the house of fiction has been remodeled, added on to, half destroyed by wind, fire and flood, but it still stands in all its ramshackle glory. New tenants move in and out almost daily, it's been duplexed, four-plexed, and put back together again, but something of its original beauty peers at us as we stand out front. What is it that makes humans turn to story, what inherent wisdom lives there that makes us long for, listen to, and create story? This course will explore the nature of fictional narrative, the tools the writer uses (such as voice, tone, plot, point of view, language, suspense, character) to build a house that brings form out of chaos and returns chaos to form. Our goal for this course is to develop greater critical understanding and love of reading short stories and novels. Novels will likely include: Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country, Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Short stories selected from the work of the following: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sherman Alexie, Grace Paley, Alice Munro, Eudora Welty, and others. No exams. This course requires weekly one-page reading responses for discussion purposes (ungraded), three short papers (3-5 pages), and a final paper (8-10 pages). (Agee)
Section 002 – The Fiction of Desire. In a diary entry from June 16, 1911, E.M. Forster listed as one of the main reasons for an especially bad attack of writer's block, "Weariness of the only subject that I both can and may treat – the love of men for women and vice versa." This class will focus upon the subject that Forster found so stifling as a way to separate the analysis of story (what appears to happen) from narrative (what it may mean) in order to examine how the same basic "love story" can perpetuate so many different narrative portrayals of desire. The focus of this class will be to provide you with the tools you may need to convincingly describe your interpretation of a text (conventionally this includes a working knowledge of plot, character, setting, point-of-view, etc., along with an understanding of voice, theme, style and narrative construction); the sub-text will be to explore how fictional narratives negotiate the often confusing realm of human desire. This class will focus upon the relationship between the love story and narrative in novels that complicate the negotiation of desire, gender, and sexuality. We may ask such questions as: How can narrative capture the human experience of desire? Is desire always sexual? What is the relationship between desire and gender? Between desire and sexuality? Between desire and identity? And finally, how might the portrayal of specific desires affect narrative structure? We will be reading short stories by Forster himself, Isak Dinesen, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Nathanael West, J.D. Salinger, and Tillie Olsen, among others. The novels we will be reading include: Willa Cather's My Antonia (1918), E.M. Forster's A Passage to India (1924), Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier (1927), Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), Djuna Barnes' Nightwood (1936), Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), and John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman (1968). In addition, we will be reading critical essays that explore some of the issues raised by these novels. Requirements for this class include regular class participation, weekly response papers, two longer papers (one 5-6 page paper and a final 8-10 page paper), and a final. (Erickson)
Section 003 – Selected Women's Writers. This seminar asks you to think about "women and fiction." The words are Virginia Woolf's and I use them, as she did, because they are ambiguous. The phrase might refer to women and the fictions they write, or to women as fictional characters, or to women and the "fictions" – a.k.a. lies – that are written about them. In this course, we will read novels by women from the early 19th century to the present; we will investigate the relationship between women and fiction in all of the permutations mentioned above – and some more besides. Our investigations will be guided by essays in feminist and critical theory. Authors we will read may include Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys, Gwendolyn Brooks, Angela Carter, Keri Hulme, Toni Morrison, Fae Myenne Ng, Marilyn Robinson, and Jeanette Winterson. You will be responsible for three papers – two short (5-7 pages) and one long (10 pages) – and one joint presentation. (Fluhr)
Section 004 – Writing America, Reinventing America. The idea of America has been continually created and recreated over time. In fiction, this reinvention can be either explicit or implicit, but it must always be understood as part of an unending process that challenges us to scrutinize the terms that we commonly and uncritically use to define our identities: history, culture, nation, experience, and home. We'll be reading American narratives which question what words like "American" really mean, concentrating on developing the analytical skills needed to think critically and self-consciously about literary texts and our relationship to them. What images of America do these narratives present? What conventional American mythologies do these stories rely upon or challenge? What identities do these stories produce, and how are we to read and interpret them? As we explore these questions, we will attempt to understand the ways in which these narratives construct or deconstruct the idea of America. Readings may include: Cather's My Antonia, Kingston's China Men, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Morrison's Beloved, Roth's Call It Sleep, Chu's Eat a Bowl of Tea, Rivera's Family Installments, and Bryant's Ella Price's Journal. Requirements: regular attendance and participation, two short essays (5-7 pages), one longer essay (8-10 pages), and a comprehensive final. (Pang)
239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators in the
Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Reading Inside Out. We will begin by paying attention to ourselves reading. As some people have learned to notice their own breathing, we will try to observe our responses to the most seemingly routine aspects of absorbing texts, and we will attempt to discern what the texts call out of us, what we bring to them, and what is collaboration. We'll ask whether there is a distinct reading self that encounters texts first and filters them for our individual consciousness. As we become more skilled readers, we may ask where our particular seat of judgment lies. We'll discuss whether we can ever read without being influenced by our own biases or whether we should. The texts will include fiction, criticism, and multi-media items. Three papers, midterm, final. (Artis)
Section 002. How do we know what counts as literature? What distinguishes it from other kinds of narratives (like movies and television or journalism)? What assumptions inform our ways of reading these different kinds of texts? This course will focus on these questions about what and how we read, and why it matters. We'll work with a range of texts – fiction, poetry, drama, film, critical essays – that foreground the act of reading and its consequences. The goal will be to increase awareness of our common assumptions about literature, culture, and language; and to explore the role of narrative in shaping individual and cultural ideals. Cost:2 (Blair)
Section 003 – Reading African-American Narratives. How do we construct a literal tradition out of works that were for a long time marginalized by the dominant culture? This course is about tracing the development of the African-American novel and through our readings we will explain how and why this literary category has come about. How is this literary tradition different from other North American literatures? How has the African-American novel changed from its late nineteenth-century form? What do contemporary African-American novels look like, what forms do they assume? What is the relationship between African-American novels and the context in which they are produced? These are some of the issues we will take up in our readings. We will explore African-American writing from the realist work of Frances E. Harper to the Harlem Renaissance concerns of Zola Neale Hurston and Wallace Thurman; we will account for the ways in which female writers such as Hurston, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison have altered the field of African-American literature; and, we will analyze the political urgency of Richard Wright and the postmodernist creations of Ishmael Reed and Charles Johnson. (Farred)
Section 004. This course is designed to introduce students to critical issues concerning the nature of literary studies. It is really more about what one does with literature rather than what literature is (though both of these issues are inextricably related). By examining literary, critical and theoretical works, students in the class will discuss, among other issues, how we define literature and the study of it; what constitutes a genre; how readers relate to texts; and what characteristically determines the selection of works for inclusion in literary studies. In the beginning of the course we will scrutinize these issues in relation to the idea of revising the canon, examining a series of shorter and longer prose fiction works, beginning with Alice in Wonderland (arguably, a descent into the chaos of symbolic interpretation). We will also study critical and theoretical considerations of literary analysis. Other works might include Roland Barthes' Mythologies, Oliver Sachs' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Toni Morrison's Sula. Students will be required to complete several response papers, at least three essays and an exam and must participate actively in class discussion. Cost:2 (Flint)
Section 005 – Literature and the Politics of (Re)Reading. This course will examine the making of "literature" as a complex transaction between a writer and an audience. In other words, while the author might express an idea within a literary text, the full consequence of that idea (and therefore its value) will only be realized when other people buy the text, read it, teach it, talk about it, and decide whether or not they like it. As one way into these issues, this course will consider three "classic" texts, the contexts in which their audiences might have experienced them aesthetically and ideologically, as well as the ways these works have been digested and re-written/re-scripted by modern reader-writers. Pairings will include William Shakespeare's The Tempest and Caryl Phillips' Cambridge; Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Octavia Butler's Kindred; Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez. Grades will be based on regular attendance, one class presentation, two papers, a midterm, and a final exam. (Gunning)
Section 007 – Reading the World. People read all the time; that is, they attempt to make meaning of all that they see or hear or, well, read! When you see a person dressed in dirty clothes, with rips and patches at elbows and knees, you read her differently than you do a fellow with CLEAN clothes (also with rips and patches). When you drive through an unfamiliar neighborhood, you make note of the buildings and natural landscape, if any, and formulate some idea of the sociological and economic status of the inhabitants. When you hear someone speak, you make similar assumptions. When you read - whether it be "literature" or the other stuff which is "not literature" – you are also trying to come to some understanding of the text. This class will try to answer the question "What IS literature?" and will also try to help explain the ways in which we read literature and talk about it. We will watch a few films (The Postman and Pulp Fiction if they are available), read some short stories (as yet to be determined) and several novels (probably including Emma, Anna Karenina, A Hundred Years of Solitude, A Thousand Acres ). These pieces will provide us with some visual and written representations of the world and opportunities for reading them in various ways. (Kowalski)
Section 009 (Honors). This class is designed to stimulate your thought about issues that should prove central to all your subsequent engagements with literature, inside and outside the classroom. It is my hope that nothing will go unquestioned in this course, including the nature of literary study and the changing meanings of "literature" itself. We will study character and plot in novels, short stories and poetry, for example, but we will also work to uncover what we mean when we use terms like "character" and "plot" and to understand the criteria by which we place texts into different categories. We will spend some time talking about the social and historical forces that shape a culture's ideas of what constitutes literature; we will also examine how these forces affect a culture's estimation of a text's value. Our discussions, often theoretical in nature, will always revolve around particular texts. We will read essays and selected fiction from a course pack; we will likely read texts by Woolf, Joyce, Stein, Douglass, Hawthorne, and Hurston, among others. Course requirements will include a class presentation, two short papers (2 pages), two slightly longer papers (5 pages) and a final essay (8 pages). Participation in discussions is required; attendance is mandatory. Cost:3 (Whittier-Ferguson)
Section 010. In this section of English 239, we will read and talk about stories and their telling, using fiction to explore some of the factors that prompt the question "what is literature." From their inception, novels were imagined as imitating life as we know it. Throughout the history of fiction, from the efforts to capture "ordinary life" in George Eliot's fiction, the comic eccentricities of Charles Dickens, the impressionistic style of Virginia Woolf, to the contemporary novels of John Fowles and Tim O'Brien whose renderings of "reality" include writing about themselves writing, novelists have used shifting philosophical definitions of what we think of as real as their focus. We too will keep those shifts in focus as we examine the literary and cultural conventions that encourage perceptions that characters and events are in some sense "realistic." Our exploration of these narrative strategies and their significance for literary study will include the reading of various kinds of novels, some theoretic essays, and texts offering cultural background. Requirements include two essays, 5-7 pages, a take-home final, weekly written responses to the texts, class participation, and regular attendance. (Wolk)
Section 011. Since Shakespeare's plays have come to be literary classics, it is easy to overlook the fact that they were written to be played, to be acted. This course starts from the simple idea that they are written for the stage and will seek to encourage an awareness of dramatic potential, and of dramatic problems, in the plays we read. Of course, in order to decide how you want to produce a play, you have to decide what it is about, why the characters do what they do, and why all this should matter to an audience. That kind of a decision is made by a more or less literary reading, and our discussion will go back and forth between literary and dramatic readings. The specific plays we read will be determined to some degree by class interests and opportunities, if any, to see local productions, but we will start with Henry IV (Part One), Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet. The written work will be a mix of short papers and exams, a final paper, and perhaps a final exam. The grade will be calculated as an average of this work. I will want you to do some reading of scenes in class, and you will have to devote some time out of class to seeing productions. (Lenaghan)
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite for concentrators in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001 (Honors). This course is intended for any Honors student wishing to increase his or her enjoyment and understanding of poetry. Through a wide range of poems we will explore both the ways in which poems work and the ways in which we can understand and improve our responses to them. After an introduction to poetic analysis we will progress chronologically from Shakespeare to the present, emphasizing particularly the diversity of the last two centuries and ending with in-depth study of a major modern poet (probably W.B. Yeats). Class discussion and occasional informal lectures will focus primarily on close reading of individual texts, but students should also emerge from the course with some grasp of the historical development of poetry in English. Frequent short papers, the last of which will serve as a final exam; no prerequisites. The text will be The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Third Edition. Cost:2 (Bornstein)
Section 002. English 240 is a prerequisite for English concentrators, and it is a good course to help you decide whether you wish to concentrate in English. Poetry is a game and a source of pleasure, and to understand a poem fully, just as to understand any complex game, we need to acquire knowledge and skill: fluency. We will read aloud, memorize, analyze, discuss. There will be frequent short writings, and a few longer papers, a computer conference, and, probably, a midterm and a final. Regular attendance and active participation in class meetings are required. (Cloyd)
Section 003. 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 (Cureton)
Section 004. An introduction to poetry: its traditional forms, themes, techniques, and uses of language; its historical and geographical range; and its twentieth-century diversity. The course will include discussion of oral and written traditions and the place of performance in contemporary poetry; the kinds of power (from the magical to the political) which have often been associated with poetry; the relationships between secular and sacred traditions in poetry; and the varying roles of audiences and readers in the traditions of poetry. There will be discussion of the function of historical and national categories, as well as those of race and gender and class. (Goodison)
Section 005 – Poetry, Loss, and Mourning. Conceived as part of the 1996 Theme Semester – Death, Extinction, and the Future of Humanity: Approaching the Millennium – sponsored by the Program on Studies in Religion, this special section of English 240 will examine the lyric poem as an instrument for negotiating human mortality. We will begin with the epitaph, the most succinct of commemorative forms, and will read widely in the elegy, including the contemporary AIDS elegy. But we will also examine poems that do not easily fit into these traditional categories: poems that contemplate ecological extinction and the savage, money-driven differentials of human suffering, poems of rage, of posthumous revenge, of celebration in the face of transience, of hope, both religious and secular. While students participating in the Theme Semester are particularly welcomed in this course and will no doubt enlarge our conversation, the section is open to all who are interested in learning to read the lyric poem; no previous knowledge of the form is expected or required. (Gregerson)
Section 006. In this course we read and study poems rather carefully so that we can read poetry with more enjoyment and knowledge. This activity is prerequisite to concentrating in English. The course can also be a good one for students not intending an English concentration but who want to know more about poetry. We go by as much reading of poems in class and as much discussion as we can. We invite familiarity with the main manifestations of English and American verse through the rapid reading of a great many poems and through the close reading of a given few. That way we can hope to get some sense of the range of lyric poetry as well as some skill at seeing how different kinds of poems are put together and how they work; and this not for the mere sake of analysis but so that we can know the poem more clearly, enjoy more deeply. Toward the close of the course we will study the work of one major poet, Emily Dickinson. There will be a number of written exercises, two relatively short papers, one hour exam, and a final exam. Cost:3 (McNamara)
Section 007. A course in how to – and ways to – understand, feel, enjoy, evaluate, and interpret poems. Poetry typically differs form ordinary language and from prose in certain fairly conventional and (for poetry) advantageous ways, and we shall try to understand how and why it does so. As we look at – and hear – poems, we shall consider such things as sound, diction, rhythm, figures of speech, the line, form, and genre, authorship, audience, and context. Our readings will come from various cultures, old and new; most readings will be British and American, most of these recent or contemporary. We'll pay some attention to the histories of poetry. We'll try to get a feel for the contemporary poetry scene. By end of term, everyone should be able to read almost any poem in English with confidence, knowing what kind of poem it is, how it works, when it might have been composed, what it might mean, and whether it's any good. Main text: a computer-generated Introduction to Poetry book, including an anthology. Students may also be asked to buy one book by a contemporary poet. Everyone will write three essays on increasingly challenging topics. There will be a test on "technical terms," another test on the course readings, and a final exam asking for the interpretation and evaluation of some new poetry. (Smith)
Section 008. As an introduction to reading poetry, this course will draw from a wide range of poets writing in English over the last four centuries, with special emphasis on the relationship between gender and genre and the question of a "female" poetic tradition. We will consider a variety of traditional poetic forms (such as sonnets, dramatic monologues, odes, elegies, and epistles) and explore differences between men and women poets in the manipulation of such forms. Our primary objectives throughout the term will be to read poems carefully, to reflect more generally on the reading process (its assumptions and implications), and to develop skills in writing critically about poetry. Requirements: regular attendance and lively participation in class discussion, an oral presentation, memorization of a poem, a reading journal, two papers (with revisions), and a final exam. (Prins)
Section 009. The aim of this course is to learn to read poetry by doing it together. We shall give close attention to a series of poems drawn from different periods. Our focus will be on what makes each poem work as a poem: its formal and metric structure, its imagery, the tensions between its rhythms and those of ordinary speech, its tones of voice and imagined speakers, its ironies, ambiguities, allusions, and surprises. Our central questions will be what kind of meaning each poem has and how that meaning is made. During the course you will be exposed to many different forms of poetry and many different authors. At the end we shall spend a few weeks on the work of a single poet. This is a discussion class and your attendance and participation are strictly required. There will be two or three long papers, a midterm, a final, and a series of short written exercises. The texts required are a course pack and a copy of the poetry of Robert Frost (paperback). (White)
Section 010. This class will practice the skills of reading, listening to and voicing poetry (broadly defined) for purposes of appreciation and understanding, including: description, interpretation, explanation, and evaluation. We will also deal with procedures of communication, role-taking, memorization, performance, and short essay writing. Requirements: a journal; write-ups and small group interpretation projects; and three or four 3-5 page essays. Cost:2 (Wright)
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.
Section 002. See Theatre and Drama 211.002. (Cardullo)
267(326). Introduction to Shakespeare. Completion
of Introductory Composition. (4). (HU).
Section 001 – Death: The Sea Change. There is no situation which Shakespeare's characters confront with so complex urgency or consider with such subtle curiosity as death. "That we shall die, we know." But what death is and how we should view it – as the last horror or as transfiguring sea-change into something rich and strange is the subject of infinite speculation in Shakespeare's work. The moods which his characters display in the face of death range from rage and defiance to resignation to longing to ironic play. As we explore Shakespeare's plays this term, we will note especially the ways in which our "quietus" is depicted variously as a sable presence haunting all of life and (alternatively) as a dark ground against which the bright play of life now or in some transfigured future form appears more bright and vibrant. A special feature of this term's course will be a reading of Shakespeare's incomparably subtle and (often) poignant sonnets. Among the plays which we shall read are Richard III, Henry V, Hamlet, Lear, Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, Timon of Athens, Winter's Tale, and Tempest. This class is part of the College Theme Semester on Death, Extinction, and the Future of Humanity. Requirements: three essays of moderate length (4-6 pages), a midterm and a final examination. Cost:3 (Williams)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – On the Road: The Endless Journey in American Literature. Many people have described their experience of living in America in terms of a journey, a quest which seeks happiness, freedom, individual fulfillment, and success and which seeks to escape from tyranny, slavery, and frustration. That is as true for nineteenth century classic American novels like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn as it is for classic films of our period like Thelma and Louise. In this course we will examine the journey in American literature by reading novels and stories and viewing films that span many different subcultures, from American expatriots to the Beat Generation to the American suburbs. Works include: Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. Written work consists of three essays, a midterm, a final, and two quizzes. Cost:4 (Harrison)
280. Thematic Approaches to Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. This is not a course in feminist theory or in the polemics of gender discourse. It's simply a survey of some important texts and notions produced by the ongoing cultural assumption that men and women are different, and that the difference has consequences. We'll start with the ancients, with Mars and Venus themselves, and work our way up to the modern world, reading works from a variety of periods along the way. There will be some lecturing, and as much discussion as the final size of the class will allow. We will talk about the range and persistence of opinions on the topic, the evidence for those opinions, and the persuasiveness of that evidence. There will be brief in-class reports, a final essay, and a final examination. (Ingram)
Section 002 – Gender and Sexuality. The Oxford English Dictionary listed the first reference to both "heterosexual" and "homosexual" in 1892. Does this mean that there were neither heterosexuals nor homosexuals before the twentieth century? This course is for those who are interested in analyzing representations of gender and sexuality from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Beginning in the Renaissance with the work of William Shakespeare, John Donne, and Katherine Philips, we will familiarize ourselves with an erotic system that functioned without regard to oppositional identities. We will trace the emergence of erotic categories through several modernist texts (perhaps Oscar Wilde, Radclyffe Hall, E.M. Forster). We will then focus on those discourses that contribute to our understanding of contemporary sexualities, including notions of sexual preferences (straight, bi, gay, lesbian, queer), sado-masochism, sexual violence, erotic technologies (video and phone sex), STDs and HIV. We will read sonnets, plays and novels, and view several films. Throughout, we will entertain these questions: What does gender have to do with eroticism? How are gender and eroticism implicated in identity? Is it possible – or desirable – to move beyond erotic identity? Requirements: engagement with the issues, ability to read attentively, class participation, a willingness to listen to others – and several short writing assignments. (Traub)
285. Introduction to Twentieth-Century Literature. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – The Twentieth-Century Novel. What is the purpose of a novel? To draw us into a compelling story, so that we forget we are even reading? To introduce us to plausible characters with whom we can identify? To provide us with useful, enduring observations that enlarge and clarify our understanding of the world? Though fiction writers have long been preoccupied with such questions, novelists of the twentieth century have offered some especially surprising and significant answers. In this course, we will explore the evolution of the novel over the course of this century. Looking closely at such formal issues as character, voice, narrative, and audience, we will investigate the ways in which twentieth-century writers have played with these conventions, and try to identify and evaluate the political, ideological, and aesthetic purposes behind their literary experimentation. Confining our study to English and American texts, we will likely consider such novels as Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier, Gertrude Stein's Three Lives, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Don DeLillo's White Noise, and Toni Morrison's Beloved. Requirements: a midterm, a final, and two 5-7 page papers. Cost:3 (Egger)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
308. History of the English Language. (3). (HU).
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 (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 – Science Fiction. This is an elective course for upper-division students. There are no prerequisites. We will examine both the history and the diversity of science fiction prose by 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 a 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). The written work for the course will revolve around weekly, short papers, an optional longer paper, two preliminary quizzes, and a final exam. 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 & The War of the Worlds, Fawcett (1895 & 1898); Eugene Zamiatin, We, Avon (1920); Karel Capek, War with the Newts, Northwestern U Press (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); Philip K. Dick, Ubik, Vintage/Random House (1969); Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, Ace (1969); Stanislaw Lem, The Futurological Congress, Harcourt Brace (1971); William Gibson, Neuromancer, Ace (1984). Cost:4 (Rabkin)
Section 008 – The Beat Generation. The boldness of the Beat writers of the 1950s is paralleled by the innovations of the Action Painters, jazz musicians of the Bebop school, and politically aware standup comics. In this class we will explore these outsider art worlds. This means listening to jazz, spoken poetry and some comedy, looking at photographs of the major players, and viewing slides of Abstract Expressionist paintings, as well as reading On the Road, Howl, Naked Lunch, and other seminal works of the Beat era. Students are required to attend the Beat Generation film series at the Michigan Theater as well as a live jazz performance. This 4-credit lecture course incorporates discussion sections, as well as multimedia video and audio presentations. It is designed to appeal both to non-concentrators and to students who think they might dig being English concentrators. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Tillinghast)
315/WS 315. Women and Literature. (3).
(HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – English Literature by Women, 1660-1800. This is a survey course, designed to cover a wide chronological span and a wide range of work, to provide an overview of what women wrote when, for the first time, some were able to earn their livings as writers. We will read plays, novels, and poems, journals, letters, and commonplace books. We will also read a few of the most important works by male authors that indicate the literary and social conditions in which women worked. Among other questions we will ask, though not necessarily be able to answer, are these: Who wrote? From which social classes and professions did they come? What did they write, and why? How dependent were they on male role-models and male-identified generic models? Do we (and did they) think there was an identifiably "female" subject matter in this literature? Satisfies English Department requirements for New Traditions and pre-1830 courses. Two papers, two exams; books at Shaman Drum, small course pack at Dollar Bill. Cost:4 (Krook)
Section 003 – Twentieth-Century American Women Writers. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Pynchon, these twentieth-century American men have already become part of a Great Tradition of American literature that traces its origins back to Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. What about twentieth-century American women writers? Do Nella Larsen and Djuna Barnes explode our vision of a canonical male tradition? How did these women help shape modernity? How was their writing influenced by the Great Depression and the World Wars? By the shopping sprees of the '50s and '80s? By Vietnam? What did Gertrude Stein say to Edith Wharton? When Toni Morrison and Sharon Olds write about children and sexuality, do they speak the same language? When we look at the differences between women writers who are themselves divided by ethnicity, race and class, can we define a Great Female Tradition? Do we want to? This course fulfills both the New Traditions and American Literature Requirement for English concentrators. (Yaeger)
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 lyric 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, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, The Fat Girl, Nabokov, Lolita, Alice McDermott, That Night. We shall make use of a course pack of discursive readings, and in honor of the election year we shall conclude with some readings in the area of Romantic Politics. Three papers, a midterm, and a final examination. Cost:3 (Goldstein)
Section 002 – The Psychology of Literary Experience. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. For Winter Term, 1996, 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:4 (Fader)
Section 002 – Literature and Homicide. This course is interested in the ways in which narrative prose deals with provoking social facts. Homicide is certainly such a fact, and this course examines some of the very different ways in which imaginative writers have treated it. We will be reading Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Faulkner's Light in August, Wright's Native Son, several murder mysteries, and, to conclude the course, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Mailer's The Executioner's Song. The course will proceed mostly by lecture, but strenuous efforts will be made to allow for some discussion. The course is designed to accommodate students from other departments who, though they have no extensive background in literature, have a lively interest in the way that our real and imaginary experiences of socially important phenomena are organized, and to what effect. Cost:3 (Faller)
Section 003 – The Hollywood Film Industry and American National Identities. In this course, we will study how an idealized model of American national identity got established, embellished, and questioned by the Hollywood film industry between (roughly) 1930 and 1980. The Hollywood studio film was distinguished by its ability both to project images of normative Americanness and to undercut those notions; in Hollywood films, too, threats and alternatives to that ideal identity were constructed, undermined, and remade – sometimes in the very same film. We'll witness how such films of the 1930s and '40s as Stagecoach, Scarface, It's a Wonderful Life, Shadow of a Doubt – to name several examples, drawn from various genres we'll be sampling – postulate highly contested models of Americanness and/or the threat to it; and we'll be further interested in how more recent films like The Godfather, Chinatown, and Unforgiven extend this process by challenging the rules by which these genres work. We'll also witness Hollywood's treatment of such issues as race, immigration, sexuality, and the family – and test the Hollywood representation of such issues against acts of literary imagination, historical analysis, sociological inquiry. In addition to those named above, films may include Little Caesar, Imitation of Life, It Happened One Night, Something Wild, Chan Is Missing; readings will include Hammett, Red Harvest; Kingston, The Woman Warrior; Slotkin, The Fatal Environment, Lary May, Screening Out the Past. Requirements: journals; one paper; midterm and final. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Freedman)
Section 004 – Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Cultural Resistance. Sea and sun, rum and fun, easygoing, laid back natives, promiscuous lifestyles: these are some of the dominant assumptions about the Caribbean and its people. Since Christopher Columbus' journals, and with increasing intensity to the present day, writing on the Caribbean has emphasized the marginalization of its people based on moral, physical and sexual traits. This particular construction of the region shapes political, cultural, religious, academic and literary writing. Our readings will include historical, anthropological, eyewitness and literary texts. We will also analyze the work of some contemporary Caribbean writers who rewrite, satirize, undermine, or argue with the premises upon which this discourse rests. Writers and texts will include Paul Gauguins' letters to his wife about lascivious West Indian women, Jamaica Kincaid's Lucy which mocks this portrayal; James Anthony Froude's The English in the West Indies, and Jean Rhys' Voyage in the Dark; as well as a course pack containing excerpts from travelogues, popular magazines and advertisements. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Gregg)
Section 005 – Perspectives on Death in Literature and Film. This course will examine mainly British and American ideas and attitudes about death from the Medieval period up to the present day by examining selected literary and film texts, ranging from poems to short stories to longer works and representing diverse perspectives. A few works from other countries will also provide an opportunity for comparisons with attitudes toward death in other cultures. Texts are tentative, but materials may range from Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale to Hemingway's Snows of Kilimanjaro to Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's film version Apocalpyse Now; from Shakespeare's King Lear to Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony; from a sonnet by Shakespeare to a poem by Emily Dickinson to a poem by Dylan Thomas to a poem by Mary Oliver; from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal to Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru. The focus will be on comparisons of the different perspectives on death and assessment of their relevance to us today. The class will be conducted mainly by discussion. There will be several short papers and a final examination. (Howes)
318. Literary Types. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with
Section 001 – Tragedy and the Tragic Evocation: Form, Theory, Theater, and Ethical Content. We will study the forms, thematic content, theories, theater history, and changing roles of tragedy in Western drama from Periclean Athens to the present day by reading representative tragedies from the genre's major eras: Classical, Renaissance, and Modern. We will also read theory and criticism of tragedy, mostly modern commentary but also critical masterworks of the past. Most importantly, we will be studying the plays themselves as we try to determine how each age has made tragedy meaningful for itself and how the tragic evocation has managed to remain a viable literary and theatrical pursuit for 2,500 years. A common body of intensive reading will be the basis of the informal lectures and class discussions, the balance to be determined by class size. Two essays, about 5-7 pages each, and a final examination. Cost:2 (Bauland)
319. Literature and Social Change. (3). (HU). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Theater and Social Change. This version of English 319 teaches students how to use their creative skills and social commitments to facilitate the powerful expressiveness of high school youth and of incarcerated youth and adults. In-class exercises, improvisations, and discussion of theater and pedagogical texts by such practitioners and theorists as Boal, Freire, Kidd, Kozol, and Horton prepare us to assist workshop participants in imagining and shaping their own plays. The small number of students admitted to this course will work an average of two to three hours a week in one of a number of state correctional facilities located in Adrian, Detroit, Jackson, and Plymouth, or at Henry Ford High School in Detroit, the Phoenix School in Howell, the Adrian Training School in Adrian, or Maxey Boys Training School in Whitmore Lake. An additional two hours is spent in class meetings, and a further hour is devoted to meetings between each site team and the instructor. No exams; the nature of written work will be determined by members of the class. Admission to the class is by permission of instructor. Check 1631 Haven for specially posted hours for interviews for this course. Cost:2 (Alexander)
320/CAAS 338. Literature in Afro-American Culture. (3). (HU).
See CAAS 338. This course fulfills the English Department's New Traditions and American Literature requirements. (Chrisman)
323. Creative Writing. English 223, junior standing, and written
permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6
Section 001 – Fiction. This workshop will concentrate on the reading and writing of a variety of fictional forms, including short shorts, traditional and broken narratives. In an atmosphere of mutual respect, light heartedness and intensity, we will produce daily writing and weekly stories, develop critical understanding, and create a portfolio of polished fiction. What is required is openness to experience, effort (the best writer who doesn't, isn't), attendance and participation (no dead clingers regardless of seasonal attitudes; we're all in this together), reading and responding to all assigned materials, attendance at four public fiction readings by published writers, and desire. Evaluation on individual progress and quality of final portfolio. (Agee)
Section 002 – Poetry. This is an advanced undergraduate workshop in the writing of poetry. Students will be asked to read widely in modern and contemporary poetry as well as poetry from earlier periods; to keep an ongoing journal of free and assigned writings, exercises, class critiques, book reviews and other forms of practical criticism; to join fully and intelligently in the primary workshop discussions; to evolve a personal theory of poetry and poetics; and finally to compile a finished chapbook manuscript of original poetry. We will be interested in the development, not just the discovery, of subject matter, and will especially focus on each participant's enlarging capability with formal varieties – from the most open and impure techniques to the most restrained and plain. We will do what poets do: write and rewrite, read and reread, shuffle paper, perform our poems out loud, and hope for Randall Jarrell's lightning to strike. Cost:2 (Baker)
Section 003 – Poetry. This course is designed to help aspiring poets to develop their own voices. It will introduce them to new ways of seeing and shaping into poetry the everyday wonders which influence our lives. It will also suggest new ways of using literary and local language as part of the poetic craft. Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison who has taught and read widely in the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean brings with her over 25 years of writing and teaching poetry. Permission of Instructor or English 223. Please submit a sample of your poetry writing in advance to the Professor's mailbox, 7th floor, Haven Hall. (Goodison)
Section 004 – Intermediate Fiction Writing. This course is designed for students who have had some experience writing fiction and who express enthusiasm to learn more. While the prerequisite for the course is English 223, we will still spend the early part of the term reaquainting ourselves with the elements of craft by writing in class, completing take-home assignments, and doing close readings of stories taken from a good anthology of American short fiction. Students will also be asked to attend readings by visiting writers. The bulk of the term, however, will consist of a lively, thoughtful, constructive workshop which will provide students with a thorough response to their own fiction. Prospective students are asked to leave writing samples (up to ten pages) in Alyson Hagy's department mailbox before the beginning of the term if at all possible since inclusion in the workshop will be by permission of instructor. All interested students should attend the first scheduled class meeting for more information and the possible distribution of overrides. (Hagy)
Sections 005 and 006. Fiction. 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)
Section 007 – 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 (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).
Descriptions for individual sections not listed below are available in the First and Second Year Studies Office (formerly the Composition Office), 5207 Angell Hall.
Section 001 – Sound and Sensibility: The Essay Performed. "Essay" is both a verb (to test, try, attempt) and a noun, an action and a thing composed. In this course we will essay to pay close attention to the act, the choice of communicating in writing, as well as the written product, an essay. Taking time to explore the treasured pieces in one's rag basket of language to see how words, sentences, paragraphs become woven together to make text, we will admire authors' works that tell and show and do and persuade and imagine and move. Though the written word and the printed records of it tempt the reader to think of knowledge as solid and unchanging, we will take the word essay at its root – ex "out of" and agere "to do, to act" since essays can also be performed in sound, in action, to convey knowledge as a process, mobile and fluid. The aim is to agitate our ideas about writing: for students this will mean exploring how authors make choices about essay writing while divining and revising the methods the student uses in her or his writing. Also we will explore the essay in sound – think of Bach's fugues, moral tales told in nursery rhymes, Nijinsky's arguments for modernity made in communicative gesture, spoken word performances – and create "performed essays" with words, sounds, gestures in collaboration with essay writing. Requirements include frequent writing; willing – nay – cheerful attendance and participation; a commitment to taking your writing seriously, and in-class performance projects. (Skantz)
Section 002. This class is designed for advanced essay writers, those who want to learn to write the essay as a literary form equivalent to the short story, novel, or poem. Since the essay is by definition the writer's attempt to figure something out, the essays we write will explore our most compelling questions, rather than assert our opinions. We will work together to develop our writing "voices" in style, tone, and pitch; to help in the exploration of compelling questions; to develop our "ears" for hearing others' voices, through reading and discussing essays by each other as well as by professional contemporary essayists. This section 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. I have designed the class for active participation in groups, reading groups, peer feedback groups, and whole class workshops. You will write approximately five pages a week in informal assignments, plus four formal essays by the end of the term of 4-6 pages each. (Povolo)
Section 004 – Language, Style, and Identity. The aim of this course is to help you write with greater awareness and power. In this course we will explore the ways that prose style is shaped by our identities. We will ask how factors such as culture, ethnicity, and gender may or may not shape the expression of our selves. The readings in this course are difficult and will illustrate the ways in which power and culture shape how we think and write. We will ask why some ideas must be said in complex ways and could not be said otherwise. We will also examine the values of "clarity and grace" in English prose style and what may be communicated by clarity and what may be silenced by clarity. Course requirements include reading responses to the readings, critiques of peer papers, and a total of 25-30 pages of prose (you will have some flexibility in determining lengths of papers that comprise this total number of pages). Texts will include Bartholomae and Petrosky's Ways of Reading, William's Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, and Kochman's Black and White Styles in Conflict. (Carlton)
Section 005 – 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, fun, and insightful journey. Each student will be responding to that journey by writing exploratory essays; 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, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang by Joyce Carol Oates. We also will read short works by Margaret Atwood and Isabelle Allende. We will begin the term, however, by setting the stage for our discussion 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 texts (essays and responses) during the term. (Back)
340. Reading and Writing Poetry. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Poetry that Matters. In this course, we will take responsibility for our knowledge, for what we witness,those events, those moments, those situations, those images that demand our notice, that strike us in such a way that we are motivated to respond. To help us feel compelled, we will read a variety of poems that do not shun their responsibility to humanity, that comment fully on all manner of event, all season of endeavor; poems that realize the poet is in the world and is not a world separate from all that has happened, is happening, will happen. We will study these poems to notice the strategies of commitment to the poem's subjects and then attempt similar (and other) strategies in our own poems. We will move towards heightened awareness of the world and ourselves in it so that we will be more receptive to what is there and more likely, therefore, to be struck, to feel the resonance we will attempt to place in our poems. The goals are to deepen our understanding of literary poetry with a conscience, and to learn to distinguish private poetry from public poetry so that we produce more essential, literary poems. We will read a lot; we will write a lot, essays and poems. We will revise a lot. If you don't take poetry seriously now or don't plan to in the near future, don't enroll. There will be a scholarly midterm assessment and a final chapbook (the real thing) of revised, original poems. Those who love poetry will have more cause to love it after this course. Even those who don't love it would change their minds, but as they won't enroll, there will be no proof of this conversion. Enrollment in this class is by permission of instructor. Students should submit a writing sample by the first day of class. (Moss)
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 – Pictures of Modern Identity. Who invented you? Where and when were you conceived? What does it mean to be you, or any one person, apart from others of your kind? The history of modern literature tells the story of the emergence of the self. We will follow that story, paying special attention to the risks and wonders of being one person among many. The poems, novels, and essays we will be studying are the building blocks of our own concepts of identity. They provide an extreme and diverse picture of who we are and what we do: the self as castaway or genius, as solitary thinker or alienated victim, as moral superior or criminal. We will read works both of great artistic innovation and of the popular imagination, our one requirement being that the work or author has had a lasting impact on the way that we imagine ourselves. Works include among others Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, The Lyrical Ballads, Walden, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Wasteland, A Room of One's Own, The Invisible Man, and In Cold Blood. Two lectures and one discussion per week. Requirements are 3 papers (5-7 pages), a midterm, and final exam. This fulfulls the Pre-1830 and American Literature course requirements for English concentrators. (Siebers)
368. Shakespeare's Principal Plays, II. (4). (HU).
In this course we will study closely eight plays by William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Henry IV (Part One), Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. Although our goal will be to attend as intensively as possible to the rich complexity of the plays, we will be particularly concerned with the corollary issues of social identity and sexual power. The format of the class will be two lectures and one discussion section meeting per week. Requirements include attendance, three papers (4-6 pages), a midterm, and a final exam. The text will be ordered through Shaman Drum Bookshop. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Schoenfeldt)
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 – Medieval Heroic Poems and Romances. The earliest medieval secular poetry assumed and celebrated a warrior's culture, an ideal life founded on prowess and honor formed and tested in battle. In the twelfth century the French invented the romance. Fusing stories of adventure and that kind of love we now call romantic, it quickly became popular all over Europe, representing and analyzing a new kind of ideal life. The greatest English examples of the type were written two hundred years later, and our focus will be on three of these works: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and Malory's Morte D'Arthur. We will also read a number of other works, such as Beowulf, the Lancelot of Chrétien de Troyes, Gottfried's Tristan and at least one other heroic poem. This will be a discussion course. There will be a final exam at the scheduled time, one hour exam, and either a paper or a second hour exam. There will also be occasional in-class written exercises. The grade will be an average of the exams and paper. The course satisfies the Pre-1600 Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Lenaghan)
Section 002 – Love, Sex, and Spirituality. Why do many medieval and Renaissance love lyrics use imagery from the Bible's Song of Songs ? Why do certain medieval mystics sound so graphically erotic? This course will examine the culture and language of love in literature through the seventeenth century. After looking at such "background" texts as the Bible, Ovid's Art of Love, and selections from St. Augustine's Confessions, Dante's Commedia, the French sex allegory The Romance of the Rose, and the Art of Courtly Love, we shall consider erotic and spiritual themes in works by Chaucer, Langland, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, and other early English poets, including Anonymous. We shall also examine the prose writings of several English mystics, to include Dame Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. Amor vincit omnia ! Texts will be the Norton Anthology, Vol I, and a course pack. All students must be willing to learn Middle English immediately and to participate earnestly. Assignments will include weekly informal one-pagers, two 3 page papers, a research essay, and a final exam. (Smith)
Section 003 – The Monstrous Other in Medieval English Literature. In this course we will investigate a variety of literary figures that can in one way or another be deemed "monstrous." Discussion will involve categories such as the Self and the Other, masculine and feminine, the individual and God, Christian and pagan, as well as topics in political and religious history. What is a literary monster, and what uses do works of literature, and their readers, have for monsters? What cultural and historical factors change the way monsters are represented? How does the category of the monstrous help to structure ethical systems? Is there such a thing as a virtuous monster or a monstrous virtue? Primary texts to be considered include Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, and The Book of Margery Kempe. Requirements include active participation in class discussion, three short papers (5-7 pages) two of which must be thoroughly revised, and a final exam. This course satisfies the pre-1600 period requirement for English concentrators. (Tanke)
371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (4). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Literature and the Other Arts in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century England. This course, which may be used to meet the pre-1830 requirement, offers a wide general understanding of the period: an Age of Reason in which many major authors were mad, an Age of Enlightenment when the upper classes worried about servants learning to read, a period in which England was turning from an agrarian nation of large estates to an industrial one which was also still heavily involved in colonization and exploration. While emotionally we may be children of the later Romantic period, politically and philosophically we still live much of the time in eighteenth-century England, for ours is the first government to attempt (in a limited way) to put into practical application the concepts of equality, freedom, and human rights developing in England in this period. In any time or place the arts are intimately connected: in this period the relationships are so close that each illumines the other and eases an understanding of what otherwise seems obscure. Music and both still and moving images will be provided with the aid of a computer program of my invention which I am still developing. Frequent short writing, two longer essays, and a final exam. (Cloyd)
Section 002 – Classical British Satire, 1600-1745. In this course, we will read a variety of satires from the greatest age of English satire, 1660-1745, asking what each work satirizes, and why. In addition to reading these works in their historical context, we will try to account for satire more generally: what does satire try to accomplish, and why? who writes it, and in what situations? Classes will combine discussion and lecture. Authors will include Dryden, Behn, Wycherley, Swift, Pope, Gay, and Montagu. Three essays and a final exam, heavy reading load. Textbooks at Shaman Drum, small course pack at Dollar Bill. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Krook)
Section 003 – 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 – Freud and Modernist Fiction. Despite the title, this course will not (repeat, not) be a course in Freudian criticism; I will, in fact, occasionally mock Freudian criticism and encourage you to do the same (although the latter is not a course requirement). Instead, we will consider how Freud came to formulate, in psychoanalysis, the theory of personality that informs the aesthetic movement/worldview that we now call modernism – specifically concepts of the unconscious and the irrational. To lay a foundation, we will read Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents and his late, short summary An Outline of Psycho-Analysis. We will follow these two pre-(but proto-)modernist works, Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. Then we will trace the discovery-of-the-unconscious as a motif in central works of early modernism: Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Chopin's The Awakening, Gide's The Immoralist, Mann's Death in Venice, Zamyatin's We, and (with fear and trembling) Kafka's The Metamorphosis. There will be frequent short in-class writing assignments, probably a couple of papers (4-5 pages) and a midterm and a final exam. (Beauchamp)
Section 002 – California Literature. Is California the unconscious of America? This course will explore California as theme, form, and state of mind in the literature it has produced from the late nineteenth century to the present. We will study novels, nonfiction, and films; we'll discuss such topics as surrealism, technology, cultural assimiliation and segregation, utopia and dystopia, landscape, and adolescence, focusing on the tendency of California literature both to produce illusions and utopias and to demystify them. We'll also pay particlar attention to the various ethnic subcultures that make up Southern California. Class time will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. Major texts include Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust; Chester Himes, If He Hollers, Let Him Go; Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero; and Thomas Pynchon, Vineland. Authors in the course pack will probably include Chandler, Davis, Didion, Fitzgerald, Ginsberg, Okubo, Rickels, Starr, Smythe, Theroux, and Twain; we will not fail to mention the Dead Kennedys. Films include Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" and Jack Nicholson's "The Two Jakes." This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Requirements: midterms, two papers, final, informal writing, participation. (Terada)
386. Irish Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total
of six credits with department permission.
Section 001 – Modern Irish Literature. This course invites the study of three significant achievements in the English literature of the twentieth century by Irish authors. We will read the collected poetry of William Butler Yeats, the fiction of James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses), and the poetry of Seumas Heaney. Lectures will offer literary explication and will seek to place the writings in the context of Irish politics and society. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (McNamara)
401/Rel. 481. The English Bible: Its Literary Aspects and Influences, I. (4). (HU).
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 (Williams)
406/Ling. 406. Modern English Grammar. (3). (Excl).
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:2 (Cureton)
407. Topics in Language and Literature. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Old English Poetry. Our major goal this term will be to read and discuss Beowulf, and to examine the world of the poem, and the cultural context in which it was produced. We will read the poem in Old English, but Beowulf is a big and challenging poem, and we will probably have to omit some portions to enable us to get to its stirring conclusion by the end of the term. Students will learn about significant approaches to the poem, and the scholarship and criticism surrounding it, and will have an opportunity to do independent work in these areas. Only students who have already completed a course in Old English should consider taking this course. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 and the Pre-1830 requirements for English concentrators. Cost:2 (McSparran)
411. Art of the Film. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with
Section 001 – Prison and the Artist. With over a million federal and state prisoners, the United States is the most incarcerating nation in the world. Twelve percent of the U.S. population, African-Americans are 50.8% of our prison population. In 1979 one in 14 Michigan state workers were employed in the state prison system; it is now 1 in 4. Michigan has built 30 prisons in the past 15 years. Prison stripes are back in Mississippi, several states have brought back chain gangs, and Alabama prisoners are breaking rocks. Yet to most of us prisons remain invisible places that we ignore or know only through rumors, myths, and the speeches of politicians. This course intends to give us insight both into prison reality and culture and into the ways in which prisons are represented by various sources, represented to us and to others. The course will provide some opportunities for volunteer work in prisons and juvenile detention centers. Guests, including artists, from both inside and outside of prisons will help us learn. Films will include The Jackal of Nahueltoro, American Me, Murder in the First, films specifically on women's experience of prison, Attica, The Execution Protocol, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Scared Straight – Ten Years Later, Inside Out, and some films like Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and Natural Born Killers. Texts will include Prejean's Dead Man Walking, Washington's Iron House, Baca's prison poems, and Lomax's essay on the Parchman State Penitentiary and the Blues. Discussion, both large and small group, will focus not only on the works, but also on their implications about personal attitudes and behavior and about social institutions. No exams. Journals and a final project, which may be a study of an individual artists, may be a study of a large problem raised in the course, or may be a relevant work of art or other form of direct statement and communication about prison and related issues. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements. Cost:2 (Alexander)
413/Film-Video 413. Film Genres and Types.
(3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Film Noir (Gangsters, Detectives, and the world of Film Noir). This course examines film noir as a visual style, a "sub-genre," a world view, and a social phenomenon. Emphasis will be given to film noir as an American film phenomenon appearing in the period from 1941 to 1958, and to the influence it has exerted on filmmaking into the 1992. The relationship of film noir to their literary and film antecedent will be discussed and attention will be paid to film noir as a distinctive vision of American life as well as a unique approach to cinematic storytelling. (Studlar)
Section 002 – Feminist Film Theory. Feminist film theory grew out of the shared observation that women are frequently the objects of visual fascination – that their physical appearance and presence (more than that of men's) are heavily valued, and are alternately the target of scrutiny, manipulation, repulsion, obsession, and desire. Taking the significance of the female image as their starting point, feminist film theorists have proceeded to examine the centrality of looking and appearing within the gender politics of society at large; most broadly, they have analyzed the mechanisms by which the status of women in culture affects, and is affected by, what happens inside a movie theater. In this course, we will examine the large body of scholarship produced by feminist film theorists over the past twenty years, grounding our study of written texts in the regular viewing of films. We will explore such films and topics of discussion as: Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the cinema's potential as a technology of voyeuristic violence; Thelma and Louise and Hollywood's attempts at a "positive" representation of women; Terminator II and the critique of masculinity; and Sandra Bernhart's Without You I'm Nothing and the strategic use of masquerade to foreground the complexity of gender and racial identity. Other questions to be considered include the role of women directors, the possibilities of lesbian spectatorship, and the construction of an alternative, feminist cinema. Readings will include works by Mary Ann Doane, Molly Haskell, bell hooks, Laura Mulvey, and Kaja Silverman. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Egger)
Section 003 – The Future in Cinema: Other Worlds, Other Visions. Because of its technology and the plasticity of its medium, film has been the art form of the twentieth century that has most shaped our vision of the future. Film recreates the world in which we live while also creating both unseen and new worlds. This class is concerned with the ways in which film has allowed us to shape our imagination and intelligence about the destiny of human life and the future itself. It is concerned with the ways in which film has allowed us to push beyond the limitations of our own lives and times by seeing and experiencing new worlds and new visions. The class will also read a number of fictional and non-fictional texts to place the images that we see in a larger cultural and intellectual context. Films will screen at the Michigan Theater. We shall begin by exploring "Death, Dying, and Transcendence" in Seconds, The Rapture, Jacob's Ladder, and Cries and Whispers. We shall focus on early explorations of "Industrialization, Technology, and the Future" in Metropolis, Modern Times, and Things to Come. "Repercussions" of the present on the future will be the subject of Dr. Strangelove, The Conversation, and Man Facing Southeast. We shall conclude by witnessing "Future Worlds and Other Visions" in 2001, Blade Runner, and Solaris. Students will keep a journal, writing entries of several pages on each film and the appropriate reading, and also take a midterm and final examination. Cost:3 (Konigsberg)
415. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature. (3). (Excl).
May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – Literature and the Arts. Literature and the Arts, might be described as a course in translation. We will be studying the ways in which literature draws from and transforms the other arts (e.g., painting, sculpture, music) and the ways in which the arts (film, opera, dance, the plastic and visual arts) build on literary texts. Texts will include The French Lieutenant's Woman, (novel and film), Othello/Otello (Shakespeare's play and operas derived from it), a musical version of a play or novel and its literary source, song cycles based on well-known poems, and an anthology of poems based on the plastic and visual arts. Students who enroll in this course do not have to bring expert knowledge of the arts, but they should be willing to think seriously about possible connections between the arts and literature. They should also be able to believe that entertainment and serious thought are not mutually exclusive. Class sessions will involve a mix of lecture (brief and interruptable), discussion, and presentation (both student reports and films and videos). Regular class attendance and participation are required. Other formal requirements include two essays, an oral report, and the final examination. Cost:2 (Jensen)
417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator in English. May not be
repeated for credit. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – Designing Modernity: America and the City. This seminar will focus on theories and realities of urban experience, and its importance to thinking about modernity at large. Beginning with classic formulations in the modern tradition, from Dostoevsky, Jefferson, Engels, Baudelaire, Benjamin, and Poe, we'll consider the consequences of urbanization and the rapidly changing life-worlds it creates. Some of our concerns will include: the development of "slums" and the mapping of national and civic identity; the rise of urban spectatorship, and the ways that gender, ethnic, and racial identities are forged in the act of looking; the role of such literary narratives as Wharton's House of Mirth and Dreiser's Sister Carrie in representing and shaping the urban as a cultural idea. In addition to literary and visual materials, we'll also peruse a number of in-depth case studies – early films, like Little Caesar and The Jazz Singer; the contemporary museum; the new post-suburbia (or ex-urbia) - focused on the city as a site and source for the production of American values and ideals. Class requirements will include a good deal of interdisciplinary reading, several short essays and a long final seminar paper, possible field trips, and a final exam. Cost:4 (Blair)
Section 002 – Constructing Ireland: Nationalism and Society in Modern Irish Literature. This class will study the twentieth-century Irish Literary Renaissance within the twin contexts of Irish literature and Irish history rather than the more usual contexts 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, and Sean O'Casey, as well as less well known materials by writers like Douglas Hyde, Patrick Pearse, and Katharine Tynan. We will also read a small amount of history and historical documents, of popular culture (cartoons and songs), and of theoretical material. Bearing in mind that Ireland was England's oldest and longest-held colony, we will study particularly the relations between literature and nationalism, between Irish and English contexts for Irish literature, and between nationality and cosmopolitanism in Irish works of this period. Along the way, we will explore hybridity as a model for thinking about culture, perhaps with other cross-cultural comparisons. As a senior seminar, the class will encourage discussion, and will include both class presentations and more formal writing assignments. This course fulfills the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Bornstein)
Section 003 – Reading Lesbian Writing. This course will consider the reading and writing of texts that have as their focus female same-sex desire by examining differences in literary practices from the early to the late 20th century and by addressing the relationship between autobiographical and fictional writings. Questions to be asked are: what is a lesbian text; how is same-sex desire represented in texts by writers who don't identify as lesbian; what does it mean for a lesbian writer to displace female homoeroticism onto male homosociality; how does the figure of the lesbian change over time; and how does this figure reflect class and racial differences, relationships to the masculine as well as to national identity? Readings will consist of autobiographical texts, experimental fiction, a detective novel, as well as critical and theoretical essays about lesbian writing. Selected texts include Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Nella Larson, Passing, Willa Cather, The Professor's House, Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands, Joan Nestle, Restricted Country, and Monique Wittig, The Lesbian Body. Course requirements include a class presentation and a seminar paper. This course fulfills the New Traditions and American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (Herrmann)
Section 005 – Contemporary Nature Writing. We will use an anthology, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and a series of texts by individual writers to sample the best of contemporary nature writing. The readings will allow us to raise questions about the genre (How do you write about nature? What kinds of narrative structures give shape to such writing? What sorts of explorations of self and the natural world, and the relations between them, does this kind of writing make possible?) and to explore the range of opportunities it offers. Texts will include Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams or Crossing Open Ground, Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge, a book of poems by Mary Oliver, and poetry and prose by Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. Students should be prepared to participate actively in class, to keep an ongoing journal (with weekly entries), and to do a final paper on one of the writers we read. Satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Knott)
Section 006 – Modern International Fantasy and Science Fiction. This senior seminar, an intensive exploration of fantasy and science fiction prose published since 1960, is intended for students with prior knowledge of the field. The aims of the course will include at least enjoying the reading, learning about each work, studying the diverse forms these genres have recently taken, and understanding the reasons fantasy and science fiction are currently so popular. The course readings will begin with a set of works diverse in genre, in subject, and in the demographic characteristics of their authors. Throughout the course, students are to keep and exchange reading journals. Students will be assigned to reading groups that will study works of the students' own choice in order to widen each individual's background and to make that new knowledge available to the seminar as a whole. Each reading group will choose one work to add to our collective syllabus and will prepare a group paper explaining how and why that work was chosen. In the week for which we read those additional works, the choosing group will lead the seminar. Each student in that reading group will write an individual paper dealing with the recommended book. The course grade will come from the reading journal (30%), the group paper (20%), the individual paper (30%), and participation (20%). The following books have already been selected: Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Avon), 1967; Stanislaw Lem, His Master's Voice (Harcourt Brace), 1968; Philip K. Dick, Bladerunner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) (Ballantine), 1968; Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire (Ballantine), 1976; Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (Washington Square Press), 1980; Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Vintage), 1985; Maureen F. McHugh, China Mountain Zhang (Tor), 1992. Cost:4 (Rabkin)
Section 007 – Found in Translation. This course is meant to provide students of literature and writing, through a close reading of a selection of translated and original texts, with a linguistic open-mindedness and a translator's cross-cultural sensibility. One of the preassumptions of the course is that an "ideal" reading of a certain text is always conducted through the eyes of a good translator. By way of introduction, we will browse through some of the theoretical writings on translation, and some of the recent books that deal with "Translation Studies." Then we will read and discuss literary texts of different origins, from the biblical story of Babel to the circular texts of Borges. 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 text through different translations, explore the possibilities of non-textual translations, examine the interaction between fiction and film, and find out how could the French translation of The Book of the Thousand and One Nights have replaced the Arabic "original." The grade will be based on class performance, a presentation, and a substantial midterm paper. (Shammas)
Section 009 – American Masculinities. In this course, we will investigate changing representations of masculinity in contemporary American culture and ask the question: Is masculinity in crisis? Working against the assumption that we all already know what masculinity is, we will read popular fiction written by American men from 1970 to the present, watch videos of Hollywood films from the same period, and critically analyze the competing representations of manhood found there. Our main focus will be on understanding what gets institutionalized as normative masculinity in American culture, what kinds of foundations that norm is built on, and how men and women respond to the constant shaking, and occasional crumbling, of those foundations. To this end, we will ask the following questions of the texts we read: How are representations of masculinity dependent on representations of femininity? To what degree is normative masculinity represented as white masculinity? Is working class masculinity the same thing as middle class masculinity? In what ways is being a "real man" in American culture dependent on a heterosexual identity? What kinds of male bodies are "normal," and what are the things that can and can't be done with male bodies? What kinds of changes in economic and social arrangements have had an impact on norms of masculinity? How are non-normative forms of masculinity celebrated, punished, and/or assimilated in American culture? Tentative reading list: John Updike, Rabbit Redux; Leonard Michaels, The Men's Club; Edmund White, The Beautiful Room Is Empty; Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction; Michael Crichton, Disclosure; a course pack of selected articles engaged in thinking critically about masculinity. Tentative viewing list: Deliverance; Kramer vs. Kramer; Full Metal Jacket; Mississippi Burning; Do the Right Thing; Falling Down. Course requirements: Commitment to watching videos outside of class; vigorous class participation; one group presentation; two short papers; and a longer final paper. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (S.Robinson)
Section 010 – Narratives of Slavery, Fictive and Otherwise. This course begins from the fact that US narratives of slavery make a crucial claim to truth. They signify, that is, because they were presented as accurate and reliable accounts of a life begun in bondage, and those that sold well appealed, in part, because they could be trusted to tell the horrific truth. Even in the nineteenth century, some writers offered up fictionalized versions of this truth-telling genre. But more recently, the fictive narrative of slavery has taken on an intriguing second life, one that has attracted book-readers as well as creative and sometimes combative authors. This class sets out to figure out what is going on with several representatives of both fictive narratives and their testimonial counterparts, their times and places, and of course the meaning of autobiography and the work of fiction. Works to be read include, for instance, the narratives of Frederick Douglass, Briton Hammon, and James Williams; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Dawn, and Ox-herding Tale; and a few titles like "A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It." Grades will be based on two papers, one presentation, and a final exam. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Ryan)
Section 011 – National Identity and Imperialism in 19th Century American Literature. Can the literature of the United States be categorized as postcolonial? In previous centuries large areas of what is now the United States had been occupied by the Spanish, by the French, and even (however briefly and obscurely) by the Russians; as a "nation" the United States came into being when white American colonists fought the British for independence; within the United States Native American/Anglo struggles over land, law, and self-determination have made (and are still making) a major impact on national culture and history. The concept of "empire" in our understanding of the United States is especially important, given the ironic fact that this country has traditionally extended its powers overseas as a democratic, (anti)imperialist republic by dominating other nations in its "backyard." (You might think here of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Philippines, even Africa, where for instance, the state of Liberia was founded originally as a repatriation site for former U.S. slaves.) With these situations in mind, we will be reading American literature within the context of the nation's history of colonialism, specifically in the nineteenth century. We'll be looking at a variety of writers, including William Apess, James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, Martin Delany, Sarah Josepha Hale, Pauline Hopkins, Helen Hunt Jackson, and Henry James. Grades will be based on regular attendance, a class presentation, a reading journal, and a final research paper. This course fulfills the American Literature and the New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Gunning)
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 (Goodison)
Section 002 – Advanced Fiction Writing. This class will be organized as a zesty, thoughtful, constructive writing workshop for students who have had significant experience writing fiction, either in English 223 and 323 at UM or at other venues. A familiarity with the elements of craft will be assumed and a clear desire to labor in a workshop environment will insisted upon. Students will be asked to attend some local readings and to make a brief oral presentation on a writer of their choice, but the focus of this class will be almost exclusively on the stories submitted to the cheerful, even-handed scrutiny of the workshop. Prospective students are asked to leave manuscript samples in Alyson Hagy's department mailbox before the beginning of winter term and to attend the first class meeting for more information. Students who wish to work on novels should also contact Prof. Hagy. (Hagy)
Section 003. 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 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 (Fader)
427. Playwriting. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be
repeated for credit.
Section 001 – The Art of Dramatic Adaptation. We will "limit" ourselves to the virtually unlimited resources of fictional and non-fictional material which has been (or might soon be) brought to the stage, exploring the various strategies, esthetic ideologies, and practical concerns of the professional adapter. Texts we will consider include Spunk, The Grapes of Wrath, JB, Execution of Justice, The Diary of Anne Frank, I Am a Man, and the instructor's own adaptation of Peter Sichrovsky's Born Guilty, among others. Students will propose and outline a theatrical adaptation and continue to revise their own full-length adaptation. The course is open to any student who has taken English 227 (Introductory Playwriting), or is well versed in the fundamentals of dramatic structure. To enroll, sign up on the waitlist at CRISP and come to the first day of class with a sample of original dramatic writing. Cost:2 (OyamO)
428. Senior Writing Tutorial. English 223, 323, and 423/429 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
This course is a 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 Subconcentration. Working closely with the writing faculty, students will complete a major manuscript of fiction and/or poetry and an essay exploring a specific question about writing or the writer's life that perplexes them. The course will culminate in a reading series in which students present their best work to the public. All students should attend the first class meeting; thereafter, biweekly tutorials will be scheduled according to the convenience of the instructor and students. (Pollack)
429. The Writing of Poetry. Written permission of instructor is required. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
The advanced writing of poetry for those whose poetry is ready to soar. Permission of instructor required. Submit writing sample of 4-6 pages in the instructor's mailbox by the first day of class. (Moss)
430. The Rise of the Novel. (4). (Excl).
As its name implies, the novel as a genre defines itself in terms of its newness. Both Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding confessed that they had invented a "new species" or "new province" of writing. One of the central questions that this course will seek to answer is how and why did writers of prose fiction in the eighteenth century make their work seem new? Since a literary work, even one professing to be new, does not exist in an informational vacuum we will want to establish the context of the novel's novelty. What is unique and what is borrowed in the works of eighteenth-century novelists? Where do influence and inspiration meet? How does tradition or expectation produce innovation? Examining writers from Aphra Behn and Daniel Defoe to Laurence Sterne and Mary Shelley we will, over the course of the term, raise these and other issues in both lecture and discussion format. Requirements will include occasional informal assignments, two formal essays and a final exam. Committed and informed participation in discussion periods will be expected of all students. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 Requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Flint)
432. The American Novel. (4). (Excl).
This term we will be reading through a range of American novels from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which all explore, to some degree, issues of identity and belonging. These issues seem especially prevalent in American fiction, as is the central figure around which identity and belonging revolve: the family. "Home" is a matter of the mind as well as the body, a mental and spiritual as well as physical space. We will explore the American preoccupation with home and the conflicting representations of it as sanctuary, prison, battleground, graveyard, Garden of Eden, etc. How do depictions of the family work simultaneously to embrace and exclude individuals? The reading list will include Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beloved, The Awakening, As I Lay Dying, The House of Mirth, Giovanni's Room, Call It Sleep, among others. There will be two formal papers, a midterm and a final exam. This course combines lecture and discussion sections. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Barnes)
433. The Modern Novel. (4). (Excl).
This class will study some of the major novels written in Europe and America during the past 125 years. We shall begin with Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and try to understand the major breakthrough that the author made in fiction and the impact he was to have on future novels and modern thought. The class will then examine the twentieth-century world of Kafka's The Trial, focusing on his nightmare portrayal of human psychology and society. We shall spend a number of weeks on Joyce's Ulysses, trying to understand the full dimension of the work and its relations both to the history of the novel and the history of the human race. Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse will extend our discussion of such issues as identity, time, and eternity, and Camus' The Stranger will lead us to problems concerning existence and action. The final novel of the term will be Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, which will force us to confront our own American dilemma, while allowing us to make a final assessment of the variability and possibilities of the modern novel. The course will proceed as a series of dialogues between students and the instructor, except when brief lectures are necessary to clarify difficult points. Students will also attend a weekly discussion group. The major writing assignments will be two eight-page papers as well as a midterm and final examination, though students will also take short quizzes on the readings. Cost:2 (Konigsberg)
434. The Contemporary Novel. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – Postmodern Fiction. The term "postmodernism" appears everywhere these days, on TV and in the classroom, in relation to history and to style, as a description of novels and of wars. Some people think that postmodernism is the enemy of everything that Western culture has held dear; others think it's our only hope of salvation. What is this thing called postmodernism? In this course, we won't exactly answer this question, but we will work toward an understanding of the many meanings circulating around the term in contemporary culture. Our primary texts for the class will be fiction published between 1970 and the present, but we will also read a number of theoretical essays attempting to come to terms with postmodernism – as a philosophy, as an era, as an aesthetics, as a politics, as a way of understanding identity. As we read the novels and discuss the essays, we will focus on the ways in which postmodernist representation obsesses about the permeability of the boundaries between history and fiction; between bodies and texts; between high and low culture; between sexuality and politics. We will be particularly interested in how postmodern writers delight in scandalizing reader expectations by orchestrating the most bizarre juxtapositions, jarring transitions, and irreverent appropriations. Texts: A course pack of articles on Postmodernism; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale; Angela Carter, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman; E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel; Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters; Gayl Jones, Corregidora; Manuel Puig, The Kiss of the Spiderwoman; Ishmael Reed, The Terrible Twos; D.M. Thomas, The White Hotel. Course Requirements: Heavy reading; midterm and final exams; frequent short response papers; two 5-page papers. (S.Robinson)
444/Theatre 322. History of Theatre II. (3). (HU).
See Theatre 322. (Woods)
447. Modern Drama. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Twentieth-Century Masters and Recent Innovators. While studying eight to ten modern classics and the theories of theater current in their time, the seminar will also tackle the very latest in theater theory and practice. The older works will be questioned in the light of the newest concerns, and the style and direction of recent work in the light of past achievements. While English-language theater will be given the major emphasis, the context for the study of modern classics will be both European and North American; the context for studying recent work will be world-wide. Students will be encouraged, if they wish, to make a special study of recent theater in one particular European country, in a developing country, or in modern Japan or India. The general subject – Modern Drama – is vast in scope and complicated in operation, but with individually directed study the course should offer both a wide view and a choice of subjects for close and responsible investigation. Each student will be asked to make a choice of two past and two recent innovators on which to make reports to the seminar. These verbal reports will be one basis for assessment, together with contributions to discussion and, most importantly, two extended essays which will, in most cases, be developed from seminar reports. (Brown)
455/MARC 455. Medieval English Literature.
Section 001 – Medieval Women. This course will examine some of the realities of being a woman in the Middle Ages, and the fictional representations of those realities in selected medieval English, French, Italian, and German literary texts. Students will examine primary and secondary materials to get a sense of women's place in secular society and in the religious life, and to find out how authorities taught and legislated sexuality, marriage and property rights with respect to women. We will read lyrics, romances, fabliaux, and other tales which helped to construct women's views of themselves and their social relationships, and writings by devout medieval women in which they try to define a place for themselves in the worlds of learning and religion. Readings will be chosen from the following: Provençal lyrics, the lais of Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Gottfried von Strasburg, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Malory. Besides these works of fiction, we will read writings about and by women mystics of the middle ages. This course fulfills the Pre-1600 and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:2 (McSparran)
462. Victorian Literature. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Victorian Fiction. This course will introduce you to, or develop your knowledge of, a range of nineteenth-century novels. Our main interest will be in the pleasure of reading and discussion, but there will be a heavy emphasis on placing these novels in their cultural context, so that alongside our efforts at textual analysis and interpretation, we'll also be asking questions about the culture(s) which produced these books. How did these novels both endorse and resist dominant versions of 'femininity,' for example? How can we read nineteenth-century novels in relation to nineteenth-century politics and history? How far is the novel implicated in the development of 'realism' as the dominant mode for prose fiction in the nineteenth century? Authors may include Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, William Thackery, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy, Dinah Mulock Craik, and Mrs. Henry Wood. Course requirements will probably include: in-class group presentation, several papers, and a take-home final. (Raitt)
471. Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Key Texts. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Classic American Literature. A course in some of the most engaging and demanding texts in nineteenth-century American literature, including Hawthorne's short stories and The Scarlet Letter, Melville's Moby-Dick, Bartleby and Benito Cereno, Douglass' Narrative of a Slave, Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Thoreau's Walden, major poems by Dickinson and Whitman, Twain's Huckleberry Finn, James' The Jolly Corner, and Wharton's House of Mirth. We will read good books rather than just study a historical period, but at the same time will pay attention to the historical trends and circumstances that inform the texts. Some subjects to be explored are: the willful originality of much American literature; the religious longings and skeptical character of the literature in an age in transition between faith and unbelief; the literary representation of landscape in a country often preening itself as "Nature's Nation"; the political and social strains of this literature in a society racked by slavery and its aftermath. Requirements: class participation and three papers. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:3 (McIntosh)
473. Topics in American Literature. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Twain and James. The critic Philip Rahv once divided American literature into two camps he called "Redskins" and "Palefaces." The Redskins were Westward-facing, frontier-oriented writers who developed a uniquely American colloquial style: the archetypal figure here, in fiction, is Mark Twain. The Palefaces were Eurocentric Easterners, more familiar with London and Paris than Laramie or Peoria: equally obvious, the archetypal Paleface is Henry James. This course will build on a contrast between these two nearly contemporary figures and will explore something of what their works and reputations reveal about American culture. Subject to second thoughts, the selection of Twain works will include The Innocents Abroad, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Pudd'nhead Wilson, and The Mysterious Stranger; James' works to be read include The American, Daisy Miller, Portrait of a Lady and The Ambassadors. There will be a midterm and a final exam; some short in-class writing assignments; and a term paper. This course fulfills the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Beauchamp)
482. Studies in Individual Authors. (3). (Excl). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – James Joyce. This course will challenge and, I hope, reward you with an intensive exploration of Joyce's prose, from Dubliners through Portrait of the Artist to Ulysses. At the end of the term we will make several brief excursions into Finnegans Wake. Ulysses will constitute the central object of our study. We will supplement our investigation of Joyce's novels with readings from a course pack containing essays (by Joyce and his critics) and excerpts from books on Joyce. The course pack should assist you in understanding the novels; it will also comprise a sampling of the enormous diversity of interpretive approaches that Joyce's work has inspired. We will spend some time studying the interpretive history that frames Joyce's prose. Course requirements will include three essays (two five-page papers and a final, a more substantial essay that's about ten pages long); in-class reports; and a number of very brief in-class writing exercises. I strongly encourage class participation: this is not a lecture course. Cost:2 (Whittier-Ferguson)
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 (Williams)
484. Issues in Criticism. (3). (Excl).
What do you do when you read a book? What are your expectations? What do your own subjectivity and opinions have to do with the practice of reading? What assumptions do you make when you read? Where do these assumptions come from? How are your thoughts, feelings, responses to the book shaped? Why all these questions? Attending carefully to the problems which these questions pose will be the business of our class. The broad objectives are: (1) to open up for examination some of the premises upon which we base the practices of reading and writing; (2) to provide students with a critical vocabulary through which to rethink taken-for-granted positions; and (3) to introduce some of the theoretical paradigms which are presently redefining the study of literature in the U.S. academy and in other parts of the world. Texts will include Raymond Williams' Keywords, Terry Eagleton's An Introduction to Literary Theory, David Richter, Teaching the Conflicts, Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier, Jean Rhys' Quartet. (Gregg)
486. History of Criticism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – The History of Literary Criticism. The basic premise of this course is summed up by the editors of the primary text we will be using for this class: "Literary theory has arrived, and no student of literature can afford not to come to terms with it," (Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, Critical Terms for Literary Study ). But what exactly is literary theory? Where has it come from and where is it going? How is it connected to older forms of literary interpretation and criticism? And how does it affect the business of reading texts and interpreting cultural products such as painting, video, music, sports, or even advertising? In this course, we will try to do two things at the same time: First, we will take up the central issues in critical theory – issues about representation, writing, reading, and language; about interpretation, authors and their intentions; about gender, race, ideology, and popular culture. Secondly, we will examine how these questions have developed in the history of literary theory, reading a cross-section of texts all the way from Plato to deconstruction. Class requirements include regular writing assignments, a research paper, and a final examination. (Gikandi)
497. Honors Seminar. Junior or senior standing and permission
of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 – The Cult of Dickinson. Emily Dickinson's image and her poems haunt the contemporary imagination. She has become, in various ways, an icon of feminism, a figure of virginity, an object of morbid desire, and the exemplary romantic and lyric poet. We will ask why this is – what do we want from Emily Dickinson? We will examine her poetry, but will focus equally on contemporary writers' desires to connect themselves to Dickinson and to enlist her in their projects. Possible texts include: Dickinson, Complete Poems; Susan Glaspell, Alison's House; Susan Howe, My Emily Dickinson; William Luce, The Belle of Amherst; Joyce Carol Oates, The Mysteries of Winterthur; essays by Oates, Adrienne Rich, and others; and Jane Langton's murder novel, Emily Dickinson Is Dead. Requirements: midterm, final, oral presentation, participation, and a research paper done in stages over the term. This course fulfills the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Terada)
Section 002 – Introduction to Cultural Studies. "Culture" is a concept that floats between extremes, pitting ideas of civilization against primitiveness, table manners against toolmaking, and high art against popular art. It can be highbrow, middlebrow, or lowbrow. What does it mean to have "culture"? How does the concept arise? And what impact has culture had as an ideal used to distinguish between the good, the bad, and the ugly? between "savages" and "sophisticates"? between men and women? This course will begin by tracing the history of the idea of culture as it is given meaning in the writings of various 19th and 20th century thinkers: Marx, Freud, Edward Tylor, and Émile Durkheim. We will continue by asking how these ideas of culture influence cultural and interpretation theory. Finally, we will look at the influence of feminism on the idea of culture before setting to work on the loose collection of thinkers who currently give their allegiance to Cultural Studies. Our texts will be works of painting, the sculpture of George Segal and Jackie Winsor, films – Aliens and Metropolis, advertising images, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Some topics include ideas of natural versus cultural man, woman and culture, technology and the human, aesthetics and democracy. This course fulfills the Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Siebers)
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