A complete up to date listing of English Department course descriptions can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/.
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 (764-6330).
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. Students interested in independent study should obtain an application from the English Department office on the third floor of Angell Hall. Independent study proposals must be approved by a supervising professor and by the Undergraduate Chair of the department. The deadline for Independent Study in the Winter Term 1997 is January 17, 1997.
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 from the English Department (3rd floor of Angell Hall) as well as the department's website (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/courses/courses.htm). Any course description changes will be posted on the website.
Section 003 – Introduction to American Fiction. (This section is restricted to students from the 21st Century Program.) As a literature class, this section of 124 will introduce you to the study of fiction in terms of critical (and joyful) reading and perceptive analyses. I will introduce you to representative samples of American fiction that will provide ample space for addressing literary concerns and practicing relevant terminologies of literary discourse. As a writing class, this course will serve as an experimental ground of your development as college writers. You will write a number of papers pertaining to our readings and discussions and receive peer feedback during workshops and written responses. These extensive readings of your own texts will allow us to find your talents and use them as a point of departure for becoming strong and elegant writers. (Carter)
Section 004 – Odd Women. The focus of this class will be on helping you to learn to improve your writing skills through the discussion and interpretation of literature. Our class discussions will concentrate mainly on the idea of "odd women" - women who stand out by not fitting in. We will be reading Victorian, modern, and postmodern novels (and defining and discussing the differences between these three genres), but our historical focus will be the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. We will be reading five novels in which the authors focus on odd women in some form: Olive Schreiner's The Story of an African Farm (1883), Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), Willa Cather's My Antonia (1918), Virginia Woolf's Orlando (1928), and John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969). In addition, we will read some critical essays which explore issues raised by these novels. Time permitting, we also may view the film version of a couple of the novels. We will depend upon Diana Hacker's Rules for Writers throughout the term as a guide to the finer points of grammar and documentation. In addition, for those of you who do not already own a "good" dictionary (a non-paperback edition with at least 100,000 entries), I will order The American Heritage Dictionary as an optional text. (Erickson)
Section 011 – Families in Crisis. In this section we will read novels, short stories and one play, all of which deal with families facing one or another kind of crisis. This focus will allow us to investigate various ways in which some imaginative American literature of the three decades following World War II addressed perceived changes in the psychology and composition of the family. Among the questions we will consider: What is a family? Is there such a thing as a "normal" family? Are substitute or "alternative" families legitimate and effective family units? Our critical reading of these texts will serve as a starting point for expanding your ability to develop your own ideas in writing. We will examine writing as a process whose components – including pre-writing, primary composition, and revision – build upon one another to allow us to produce clear, convincing arguments. The literary works will include Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (Plume); John Updike, Rabbit, Run (Fawcett Crest); and John Cheever, The Stories of John Cheever (Ballantine). The play is Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (Bantam), and the main text is The Bedford Guide for College Writers, by Kennedy, Kennedy and Holladay, 3rd edition, w/handbook (St. Martins). There will also be a brief course pack. (C. Taylor)
Section 017. Those who would have good manners, in writing as in life, need to maintain a sense of audience. (If you win the lottery, do you tell your rich friend the same way you tell your newly bankrupt friend?) This course aims to develop our sense of college-level audience: first we discuss a modified version of classical rhetoric, where logos (logic), pathos (feeling), ethos (ethic or attitude) and style are components of any communication; and then we deliver our drafts to the class in a friendly open forum, gathering praise, queries, cautions, and advice on final revisions. Our texts, literary and expository, are meant to excite discussion and maintain a measure of variety. Literary authors will probably include Apuleius, Montaigne, Behn, Goethe, Melville, Forster, Garci· M·rquez, Morrison; we read some modern critics and literary essayists as well. Books at Shaman Drum; course pack at Dollar Bill. (Thomas)
Section 018 – Film and Society. This is a first-year seminar. In this 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. Frequent writing with opportunities for revision. 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 020. "The function of literature as a generated prize-worthy force is precisely that it does incite humanity to continue living." So says Ezra Pound. We'll explore a wide range of literary genres this term, including "children's literature" (Lewis Carroll), poetry, plays, short stories, and novels by Toni Morrison and George Orwell – and we'll think about why they interest us, and how they might incite us to live. As the focus of this course is writing, you'll be asked to compose a short- to medium-length essay on each genre we investigate; several of these essays will then be revised. We'll also spend time looking at some multi-media literary texts by William Blake, Emily Dickinson, and Berkeley Breathed (and possibly others), and you'll produce a final project that may or may not be multi-media oriented. Significant amounts of class time will be devoted to group workshops in which students will advise each other on their writing, in order to improve your powers of investigation and expression. Be aware that at least half of the works we'll be studying have fantastic, nonsensical, and/or downright strange elements. Imagination, sense of humor, and enthusiasm for thinking hard and asking questions are absolutely essential. (Beal)
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.
Descriptions for individual sections not listed below are available from the English Department (3rd floor of Angell Hall) as well as the department's website (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/courses/courses.htm). Any course description changes will be posted on the website.
Section 008. (This section is restricted to students from the 21st Century Program.) We will look at your writing skills, find the talents that every one you possesses (whether you are aware of them or not at this point), and start from there to help you become strong, challenging, convincing, fun-to-read, intriguing, and overall excellent writers. Each and every one of you will receive a generous amount of ideas and input from not just me as a teacher, but also from your peers as competent readers of your writings and from the student facilitator as a bridge between us. Also, this class is designed to provide you with a space in this university where a great amount of attention is being paid to who you (really) are and who you want to be from now on. The jump from high school to college is a tremendous one, and often this shift involves an upheaval of your sense of being. You are now given a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon yourself and find out how to situate yourself in this multicultural environment. Only when you know who you are and feel strongly about yourself and your talents will you be able to become accomplished students and secure human beings. This class will occasion ample opportunities to raise issues of importance to you in today's society in a non-threatening classroom environment. (Carter)
Section 023. The habits of thinking and asking questions (arguably the same thing) are indispensable to good writing, just as they are to everyday living. So we'll be thinking and asking questions about a variety of topics this semester, including ways we're affected by various popular culture figures from Ice-T to the Energizer Bunny, issues of freedom of expression, and how we see and hear the world around us. We'll also be looking at an unusual range of "texts," including the written, the visual (from paintings to comics), and the aural (including music from my collection and yours, and spoken word performances by Jello Biafra). The emphasis of the course, obviously, is writing - so you'll be completing a large number of formal and informal written projects (including two drafts each of four 4-5 page essays), and working regularly with your fellow students to improve your powers of investigation and expression. In addition to the assigned texts for the course, you will need a sense of humor and/or adventure, a love of thinking and asking questions, enthusiasm for exploring and/or producing unusual texts, and access to a CD or cassette player for at least a couple of weeks. (Beal)
Sections 027 and 042 – Writing Our Own Lives. Our class will grapple with the psychological questions that reveal underlying conflicts and value systems which affect our critical judgments in the decisions we make. Our work will entail uncovering individual issues of discord and attempting to see how those personal issues might speak to a public forum. In the process of that work, we will examine what is called the 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. We will always be concerned with how we think and how we translate that thinking into writing. The class format will be discussion and more discussion, and we will be working through our own essay writing in class. The conception of the class is one that celebrates the process of challenging and revising former ideas, one that works toward recognizing a synthesis of more complex possibilities. We will most likely analyze works by Isabelle Allende, Margaret Atwood, Maxine Hong Kingston, John Irving, and Toni Morrison. (Back)
Section 028. 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 which 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)
Section 029. (This section is restricted to 21st Century Program students.) Writing is often described as a process – something like "first contemplation, then writing, and maybe revising" - but that description of predictability is deceptively simplistic. Such a cookie-cutter approach to writing will produce a cookie-cutter product: neither interesting nor useful. To be effective, to produce "good writing," the process must center not on the goal of the finished essay, but on the act of reconsideration. In this course, you will practice considering, writing often on concepts and conflicts raised in our text, Common Ground. We will use a workshop approach to provide you with both a variety of audiences to test your writing on and a group of fellow writers and readers to help you explore the issues more fully in a non-confrontational atmosphere. Along the way, we will use your own writing to experiment with some aspects of grammar, punctuation, syntax, and diction. An awareness of these structural elements will help you develop a confident writing voice. We will consider the effects of different rhetorical strategies and the need for a well-defined audience. While we will use the essays from our text to spark discussions, ultimately the process of writing, thinking, evaluating, and deciding must begin with you. Requirements: Expect to self-select readings for the class, maintain an informal reading journal, write five medium length essays (4-6 pages) with workshopped first drafts and substantially revised final drafts of each, evaluate each other's work with informal peer letters, discuss your progress with me at least twice, and select your best work for presentation in an end-of-term portfolio supported with a self-reflexive essay. Texts: Kirszner and Mandell's Common Ground and Carter and Skates' The Rhinehart Guide to Grammar and Style with Writing. (Cook)
Section 030. The main purpose of this course is to help you become more confident writers. At college and in the working world you will have to be able to put down your ideas on paper in a clear and convincing way that is still fun to read. The two most important things in order to achieve this are to get as much practice as possible in writing as well as in reading. You can only become better writers if you also become better and more observant readers both of your own and of other people's texts. Therefore we will not only spend a lot of time on writing, but also on developing your skills as an editor. In our workshops we will discuss one paper by each student with the entire class, and the author will receive a response to the paper from everyone. You will find out that the responses from your peers are the best way for you to find out where your strengths as a writer are and where you can still improve. Come and find out how you can write about YOUR ideas more effectively and with more fun. (Goettges)
Section 031 – Heroes and Happy Endings. Dividing the world into heroes and heavies, enjoying the comforts of happy endings: these represent some of the seductive pleasures of reading fiction and seeing films. Once enjoyed, we often carry them over to imagining the stories of our own lives. We may even construct our own identity through our identification with heroes in our literature. In fact, our choice of heroes tells us something about who we are and the ways we have translated the messages of our culture. What do these observations have to do with writing? One of the unsung rewards of learning to write well is that writing also helps us understand ourselves and our culture. In this composition course, we will use our relationship to the texts we read and view to help us with the texts we write. We will discuss how good writing begins with careful reading and thoughtful analysis. Our texts will include fiction by Morrison, O'Brien, Hemingway, and King, and movies by Allen and Sayles – and your own writing about personal heroes and happily-ever-afters. (Wolk)
Section 032 – Daydreams and Nightmares. In this section we will explore writing as a means of discovering ourselves and others. We will explore our fanciful visions, daydreams, fantasies, aspirations – as well as our nightmares. What hopeful visions guide our decision-making processes? What do we know of our worst fears? A selection of readings will stimulate our thinking about these questions. Students electing this course will be encouraged to reach out and explore how individual dreams relate to social worlds. The course is designed to appeal to those who enjoy creative thinking as much as they enjoy analytical thinking. Required texts include Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Reader for Writers. (Carlton)
Sections 034 and 035. Big Fun here. This course will be a good dose of reading, writing and talking about both. The readings are guaranteed not to bore and should bring about lively in-class discussions. Paper topics will also be generated from the readings. Each paper will be submitted to a workshop and returned for revision. Our goal will be to generate, through careful revision and re-write, a final portfolio which will consist of your best writing. Texts: Best American Essays and a course pack. (Reid)
Section 042 – Writing Our Own Lives. See 125.027. (Back)
Sections 044 and 048 – Writing About Art. Art, whether we are aware of it or not, is everywhere in our lives. We see it, react to it, talk about it, disdain it, pay money for it: fine art, television, crafts, film, music, and literature. Quality is beside the point. But should it be? How do we know good from bad? By what we 'like'? What if we make art ourselves, especially the non-verbal forms? How do we translate our aims so that we can promote, describe, critique, review, raise funds for or extol our endeavors and those of our peers? This course will focus on art criticism, aesthetic theory, visual psychology, art/theatre/film review and, of course, literary works created by visual artists themselves. We will develop writing and thinking skills through close readings of the above and will practice at developing our own critical and descriptive voices. Emphasis will be on the familiarization with and sage use of the critical vocabulary, as well as on technical/conceptual and abstract terminology with which we describe primarily visual forms of expression. The basic forms of college writing will be covered: analysis, criticism, argument and personal essay. The aim for the course is to provide students with a firm grasp of expository basics necessary for ALL academic writing, while utilizing our common interest in art as a catalyst for argument and thought. (Kingsley)
140(126). First-Year Literary Seminar. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Race and Ethnicity in America. Race and Ethnicity continue to be central themes in the U.S., even though they function differently depending on who and where you are. This course will focus on what W.E.B. DuBois famously called the "color line," not as something fixed or immutable, but dependent upon "culture" in the broadest possible sense, for example, having to do with economics, national identity, and gender issues. Our goal, then, will be to examine specific processes of racial and ethnic marking (and unmarking, as with "whiteness") evident in literary and popular culture from around the time of the civil rights movements to the present. Reading will include novels, short stories, and essays (Dorothy Allison, James Baldwin, Bharati Mukherjee, Richard Rodriguez, Ice-T, Studs Turkel, Cornel West and others). We will also look at a few contemporary Hollywood films about race, such as Falling Down and White Man's Burden. There will be a series of short writing assignments, two 5-7 page analytical papers, and lots of discussion. (Hill)
217. Literature Seminar. Completion of the Introductory
Composition requirement. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – The Eyes/"I's" of Society. The ways in which the authors we read create sharper images of the individual's relationship to a community will lead members of this class to speculate on the following questions: What factors determine our sense of "self," both our social and psychological selves? How do we distinguish between the many communities to which we belong (our genders, our families, our races, our religions, our ethnic backgrounds, our nationalities, for example)? And, what effects do these various "memberships" have on our lives? Which are emotionally close to us? Which are emotionally distant? In discussing the works we will read – mostly 20th Century fiction - we will find authors working with a form that often blurs the distinction between imagination and reality. We will want to explore the dynamics of how that blurring takes place and what it all could possibly mean. (Back)
Section 002. As a literary philosophomoretc. myself, I propose to explore with the other members of this seminar key aspects of a primary code of knowing, writing, and communicating in "western culture" through reading, discussion, and writing about three famous examples of philosophicaliterature: Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and William Blake's Marriage(s) of Heaven and Hell, et al. We will explore these works in terms of their own, acknowledged (and other) contexts of literary and philosophic problems and traditions, by practicing a sequence of annotation, commentary, and interpretation leading to and from discussion – and with the further aim of identifying other areas and means for study of such traditions as may bear on questions of selecting a concentration and opening interests for life-long learning. (Wright)
|i Section 002. As a literary philosophomoretc. myself, I propose to explore with the other members of this seminar key aspects of a primary code of knowing, writing, and communicating in "western culture" through reading, discussion, and writing about three famous examples of philosophicaliterature: Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and William Blake's Marriage(s) of Heaven and Hell et al. in tandem with works by Toni Morrison, Emily Dickinson, and Mary Wollstonecraft. We will explore these works in terms of their own, acknowledged (and other) contexts of literary and philosophic problems and traditions, by practicing a sequence of annotation, commentary, and interpretation leading to and from discussion. (J. Wright)
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.
Descriptions for individual sections not listed below are available from the English Department (3rd floor of Angell Hall) as well as the department's website (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/courses/courses.htm). Any course description changes will be posted on the website.
|i Section 001. This is an introductory workshop in creative writing. Though we will spend one-third of the term on fiction, we will focus primarily on poetry. Initially, students will be asked to practice writing images and metaphors and complete several exercises in "automatic writing." Then students will be asked to write poems employing techniques designed to force the author to release control of fixed ideas about the world, to surprise him or herself. The goal of this course is discovery. I believe discovery is brought about by experimental activity, rather than by making preconceived ideas sound "poetic." While we will focus primarily on student work, we will look at Susan Sontag's essay "Against Interpretation" and read poems, stories and essays by such authors as James Tate, Laura Jensen, Pablo Neruda, Amiri Baraka, Denis Johnson, Flannery O'Connor and Franz Kafka. A final portfolio of revised finished work of 35-50 pages can be expected. (Murray)
Section 002. This course is designed to provide a structure through which you will discover your unique voice as a writer. Conventional and innovative assignments will introduce you to the language of poetry and fiction. You will study the compelling techniques of successful writers from several genres as you achieve clarity and direction in your own work, striving to refine your own style. A large part of class time will be devoted to workshopping. I expect you to engage in lively, critical discussion of classmates' work and provide critique sheets for both the student and myself. The remainder of class time will involve discussion of assigned readings and exercises, but for the most part, you will study the readings independently. Several exercises use controlled manipulation of language. Others seek to experiment with syntactic structure, meter, and dialogue, providing ample frameworks through which to explore possibilities for tone and voice. Requirements: one short story, one short-short story, and seven poems. (Stroud)
Section 003. "The role of the writer is not to
say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say."
- Anais Nin
Join us for this introductory writing class in which we'll learn to unlock our creative voices through the mediums of poetry and fiction. Because successful writing is a lifelong process (much like mastering a musical instrument), we'll spend this term discussing and developing some of the more effective habits associated with writing. Requirements include keeping a journal and an open mind. Although a passion for reading is not a must, by the end of the term, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. Also, because this class will be run as a writing workshop, students should look forward to sharing and commenting on each others' stories and poems. So, if, as Robert Frost contends, "All the fun's in how you say a thing," get your pencils ready and screw your courage to the sticking point – it's sure to be liberating. Required texts: to be announced. (Barry)
Section 004. This introductory class will have you writing poetry, prose poems, and short stories. Workshopping your work will be our priority. We'll also be reading and talking about an extremely varied selection of work by everyone from Alice Walker to Shakespeare to William S. Burroughs. The emphasis of the term will be on experimenting, unlearning the traditional ways to read and write, and discovering that the art of writing has no boundaries. At the same time, we'll be studying, inventing and borrowing techniques (from established writers and each other) in order to make our own writing powerful. Although this will not be a conventionally academic class, we will take our work seriously. Required work: 7-10 revised poems, at least 25 pages of revised fiction, attendance, and participation in-class, and at-home writing experiments. (Libaire)
Section 006. In this course we will focus on the resources of the imagination and their development into autobiographical, fictional, and dramatic forms. Beginning with writing exercises and related readings, students will explore the techniques and requirements of each form, and the ways in which the practice of each could strengthen and sharpen work in the others. By means of exercises that draw on personal history, family anecdotes, and life experience in general, students will spend part of each class in the process of writing. Emphasis will be on stretching and deepening one's own resources as a writer. Based on the idea that good readers make good writers, there will be readings from a variety of sources including the work of poets, writers, visual artists, and performing artists. We will "workshop" each other's writing and offer gentle, considered criticism for the work of our peers. Students will be asked to write a ten-page autobiography, a short story, and a scene or monologue from a play. (Hamilton)
Section 007. This course is for beginning writers (and readers) of poetry and fiction, with an emphasis on poetry. Students will read work by a range of published authors to gain perspective on the art and craft of writing. The class will be structured primarily as a workshop. Besides completing reading assignments on time, students will be expected to revise their work based on in-class discussions, other students' comments, and the required reading assignments. There will be no exams. Required work: 20 pages of fiction, 10-12 pages of poetry, keeping a writer's journal, at least one student-teacher conference, one written response to a book of poetry of the student's choice, class participation, attendance. Required texts: to be announced. (Norton)
Section 008. This course is an introductory exploration into the art of creative writing. You will be asked to read and to discuss collaboratively the various and competing voices of contemporary writing. Students will also be asked to pursue their own artistic efforts in both fiction and poetry, though a slightly greater emphasis will be placed on poetry. Both in-class and out-of-class assignments will be designed to help facilitate your own understanding of the basic techniques structuring each genre. Because the focus of this course will be on your own work, students will be expected to participate constructively in the workshopping of their own and other students' material. The workshop setting will allow you to both give and receive supportive criticism, and to further your own understanding of why a particular piece does or does not work. At the end of the term, each student will submit a final portfolio consisting of 4-6 revised poems and at least two revised short-stories. The first rule of any beginning writer is to begin writing. To this end, I will encourage each and every one of you to think as writers, developing through the written word a clearer understanding of your own unique vision of the world. Course requirements: A final portfolio consisting of 4-6 revised poems and at least two revised short-stores, assigned readings, attendance and active participation during class-room discussions, two scheduled conferences with instructor, a brief 1-2 page review of a book of poetry or fiction to be agreed upon in consultation with instructor. Attendance at two outside readings (one in poetry, one in fiction). (Colson)
Section 009. This is an introductory workshop in fiction and poetry, with an emphasis on fiction. Readings in both genres will be required, but our primary task will be writing our own original material. I will ask you to keep a journal – more for your use than for class purposes – and by the end of the term you will have a final portfolio of 20 pieces of fiction and eight revised poems. This is clearly a writing-intensive course and class attendance and participation are key to its success. We will encourage each other to write often and well, and we will do so in a setting of mutual respect and tolerance. Written and oral critiques will be provided by participants. You will give and be given serious personal attention. (Johnson)
Section 010. In this introductory writer's workshop, we will explore creative language in both fiction and poetry, with class time divided more or less equally between the two disciplines. The students' own writing will be our primary tool for examining the roles that inspiration, craft and revision play in the writing process, with the bulk of our time spent discussing these original works. We will also read selections from the work of recent authors and attend local readings. Towards the end of the term, we will discuss the basics of submitting work to contests and publications. Required work: Written and oral comments on peers' poetry and fiction, 25-30 pages of revised fiction, 8-10 pages of revised poetry, in-class exercises, a writer's journal, two short reaction essays to public readings, two conferences. Required texts: a course pack. (Bowe)
Section 011. In this section of introductory creative writing we'll be dealing with both poetry and fiction, without seeing them as entirely separate. I am most interested in getting what YOU want to say out in the way YOU want to say it, instead of teaching you to write like everyone else who's come before you. We'll look at both poetic techniques and prose techniques in hopes of gaining a better understanding of writing as the whole that it is so we all improve. Required work: 7-10 revised poems, 25-30 pages of fiction, class participation, two outside readings in Ann Arbor. Required texts: a course pack and two books the student chooses from three options – collection of short stories, collection of poetry, or a literary journal. (Nesbitt)
Section 012. Join the fast-paced, fun-filled world of creative writing with an introductory term that will include excellent reading, constructive discussion of your work, and a chance for both creative and personal growth. Ann Arbor is a wonderful town to be in, and we will make use of the multitude of readings and activities that go on here. Course requirements include a 30-40 page manuscript of poetry and prose fiction to be completed over the term, selected readings each week, and a short review of a book of prose or poetry. It'll be my job to teach you the little tricks and techniques through which you will see instant improvement in your writing. The reading will be extensive but not, I hope, laborious or boring. The focus of the course will be on you. (Short)
Section 013. cre/a'tive (-at'iv) adj. 1. stimulating the imagination writing (rit'in) n. 1. the act of one who writes.
Through the process of exploring and writing in the genres of both fiction and poetry, we hope to not only stimulate the imagination, but become better writers from it. As a workshop, focus will be on the progress and journey of the students' own writing and the critique of each other's work. To become enthusiasts of the art of writing, we will also dive into the works of a diverse array of contemporary authors and discuss issues of craft (language, imagery, voice, etc.) as regards what makes a piece of writing good or not so good! Curiosity and motivation are integral in making this class exciting and rewarding. Required texts: to be announced. Required work: 25 pages of revised fiction, 10 revised poems, writer's notepad, assigned readings, attendance, and participation in class. (Seto)
Section 014. This class is a workshop, which means you'll be writing, and talking about writing, every time we're in class. The focus in this section will be 2/3 poetry, 1/3 fiction. We will be reading lots of great poems, stories, and essays by writers, but everything we do will be designed to help you discover and develop your own imaginative writing skills. In this particular workshop we will also be taking advantage of what computers have to offer to creative writers these days. We'll be looking at some of the ways we can work between different media (art, music, and film) as means of discovering new ways to write. Expect to work intensively in groups as well as individually. Required: c. 30-35 pp. writing (c. 10 poems, three stories). (Lundin)
225. Argumentative Writing. Completion of the Introductory Composition requirement. (4). (HU).
Like English 224, English 225 is centered upon practice in argumentative writing, but with topics drawn from a wide range of issues and problems. As in 224, students in 225 will work at structuring their written language to probe various aspects of the problem at hand. They will also explore the way language can be used as a vehicle for urging particular value systems, in order to learn to uncover the rhetorical strategies at the heart of such modes of discourse. Classes will be conducted in workshop format, and revision will form an integral part of the analytic process.
Sections 003 and 004 (Cardenas) and Sections 020 and 021 (Campbell) are restricted to students of the Comprehensive Studies Program. Contact CSP for the course description.
Section 001. This course is designed to improve your writing skills through the writing of argumentative essays. In this class the stress is less on argumentation, however, and more on developing your skills as a persuasive writer. Our focus will be writing in which you take a stance on a controversial or ambiguous issue and then defend your position by supporting it with specific details, relevant information, and logical reasoning. Our text mainly will be student writing, although we will be reading some outside essays that exemplify specific aspects of argumentative writing. Our goal will be to help each other to think logically and express written thoughts in clear, readable prose. Ultimately I am less interested in your knowing the fancy Latin term for logical fallacies than I am in your learning to write (and revise) interesting argumentative essays in which you consider your purpose, your audience, the information you need to convey, the way you organize that information, and your style. The class requirements include the following: Four 5-7 page revised and polished papers, a one-page critique on each student workshop paper discussed in class, three vocabulary words a week, service as the official "devil's advocate" during one of your peer's workshop, service as a workshop facilitator, and engaged class participation throughout the term. (Erickson)
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. (For a more detailed description of this course, see my Policy Statement.) When I use the word "argumentative," I don't employ it in the normal sense to refer to fighting or bickering; rather, I use it to refer to your taking a stance on a controversial or ambiguous issue and then defending, in readable English, 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. The stress is heavily upon "writing" rather than on "argumentative." 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 my observations and comments – a few of which might strike you as somewhat bizarre. I, for one, intend to have a good time. (If you think I jest, ask any of my former students.) 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)
Section 006. A prominent feature of the Information Age is the formation, manipulation and consumption of public personas. The image adjusters we have labeled "spin doctors" are as important to prominent celebrities, politicians, or institutions as the abilities they employ in their individual professions. Is it true, as one popular current advertisement proclaims, that "Image is Everything"? What are the essential components of public image, and what are some of the more compelling recent examples of the construction and maintenance of such an image? One aspect of image management that we will explore will be the notion of the created image as a kind of persuasive argument, with the public as specialized audience. We will examine some of the features and dilemmas of this phenomenon, reading and discussing pertinent public relations campaigns, essays, articles, and one short work of fiction. Ideas generated by our exploration of these materials will be the impetus for your own written arguments, which we will work to develop with an emphasis on critical re-reading and revision. Course requirements will include two essays of six to eight pages, three shorter writing assignments, and one brief oral presentation. The longer pieces must be submitted in at least two drafts. Each course member will also be expected to bring two to three questions to stimulate discussion following each reading assignment. (C. Taylor)
Sections 009 and 011. This is a reading- and writing-intensive course designed to make you more comfortable with and adept at both analyzing and producing argumentative texts. We'll be working with a variety of provocative essays from a combination reader-rhetoric textbook, and engaging in community discussion focused on encouraging you to be more sophisticated readers and thinkers. During the course of the term, you will be asked to generate several extended, formal essays within a variety of rhetorical contexts, demonstrating your ability to define and address specific audiences, sustain productive explorations of your ideas, understand and refute opposing positions, and communicate using effective and error-free standard English. (Mclain)
Sections 014 and 017 – Authority in Law and Language. This course will focus on how individuals relate to social authority. When should individuals obey or disobey the laws that govern them? How can individuals change laws? We will explore how laws are constituted by language and the interpretation of language. Topics for discussion will include civil disobedience, freedom of speech, and fairness in punishment. Since I, as course instructor, am an English language expert, not a legal expert, the topics will serve as stimulus for the study of writing while at the same time providing an opportunity for those interested in law to ask some fundamental questions regarding its function. The importance of revision, both to the legal process and to the process of writing a student essay, will be stressed. Texts about the law will include essays written by lawyers as well as some fictional stories. Also included will be recent Supreme Court rulings on what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Class members will write 4-5 essays, critiques of peer essays, and reading responses. (Carlton)
Sections 015 and 016. See 225.002. (Rubadeau)
227. Introductory Playwriting. (3). (HU).
Section 001. A crash course immersion into the world of dramatic writing. Principles common to the forms of playwriting, screenwriting, and teleplay writing will be studied and practiced. Original student work will be read aloud each week, then critiqued in workshop fashion by the class. Modeled after the Playwrights Units at such Off-Broadway Theaters as Circle Repertory Company and Ensemble Studio Theater, student playwrights are expected to write two revised one-act plays over the course of the term, see one play a week, read at least one play a week, meet weekly with an assigned partner, have weekly conferences with the instructor, and keep a journal. Midterm and end-of-the-year performances are open to the public. (Roth)
230. Introduction to Short Story and Novel. (3). (HU).
Rather than a comprehensive survey of the short story and novel, this course offers an introduction to the basic techniques of analyzing prose fiction. Beginning with short stories, students learn to define questions of narrative construction, voice, characterization, theme, and style. As critical facility increases, the course will consider more challenging and in some cases experimental fiction. At least three novels will be read in addition to numerous short stories. Students should expect to read substantial amounts of fiction, to participate in class discussions, and to write several short literary analyses.
Section 001 – The 60s, the Counterculture, and American Literature. Why do the 60s continue to fascinate Americans? Why does Newt Gingrich characterize himself as the "Che Guevara of American Politics," on the one hand, and a sworn enemy of the "weirdness" of the counterculture, on the other? Why is our President so embarrassed by the drug-use and anti-war protest of his youth? Why are hip-hop artists quoting the Black Panthers? Why do people hate Yuppies so much? And, in heaven's name, why was there a Woodstock II? Even a casual examination of the cultural trends of the last few years – music, fashion, art, movies, comics – reveals to us that the 60s haunt the 90s like the ghost in Hamlet. We will explore the causes and effects, the dreams and the stories, the ideals and images that have come to us from this immensely complicated era. As a group, we will take a variety of approaches to this subject, reading novels, essays, and plays, as well as considering the fashion, music, movies, and art of the era. The readings are diverse (the reading list for this course is heavy) as well as our conversations, considering issues of youth culture, technological shifts, gender politics, Black nationalism, drug use, and campus radicalism. In addition, your specific interests will be addressed by way of in-class presentations on topics of your choice. I expect my students to be passionate and energetic scholars, willing to work hard at cracking difficult issues and historical paradoxes. Assignments: Midterm and final exam (essay and multiple choice), in-class presentations, and regular quizzes. (Sell)
Section 002 – Sex, Fantasy, and the Psychology of Short Fiction. Believe it or not, thinking about sex and fantasy can help us when we attempt to analyze literature. This is particularly the case when the literature we're considering takes the complexity of the human mind as its subject matter. In this course, we'll be reading some of the 19th- and 20th-century's most psychologically intriguing short stories and novels. We'll begin, of course, by considering the basic components of prose analysis: tone, imagery, point of view, theme, irony, etc. Eventually, however, we'll want to integrate the basic reading strategies that we discuss into a more sophisticated type of analysis that can enable us to account for the sexual, fantastic, and even "perverse" components of short fiction's psychological structure. This course will serve as an introduction to the literary analysis of short stores and novels; it will also provide students with an excellent opportunity to consider what the relationships between literature and psychology might be. Students will be required to write four 5-7 page papers and several short response papers for the class; they will also be responsible for actively participating in classroom discussion. Readings will include: James' Turn of the Screw and "The Beast In The Jungle"; Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray; Mann's Death in Venice, "Blood of the Walsungs," and "Mario and the Magician"; Mansfield's "Miss Brill," "The Garden Party," and "Bliss"; Dinesen's "Supper at Elsinore," "The Roads Round Pisa," and "The Monkey"; Porter's "The Grave," "Flowering Judas," and "Hacienda"; Baldwin's Giovanni's Room; Nabokov's "Signs and Symbols"; Cortazar's "Axolotl" and "Blow Up"; and, finally, Duras' The Lover. (Whitworth)
Section 003 – Gothic Literature and the Internet. Images of sex and death, subterranean structures, anarchy and censorship, strange knowledge, hidden power, endless labyrinths – it seems that the Gothic and the Internet have more in common than it appears. In this class we will study both classic Gothic novels and stories as well as new media and Internet strategies, while developing critical thinking and argumentation skills to compare them. This course is open to students with any level of Internet knowledge; beginners are especially welcome. Readings include Poe, Gilder, Godwin, Negroponte, Shelley, Wired magazine, Wollstonecraft's How to Make Your Own Homepage, Dracula and Neuromancer. Requirements: many fun readings; two short and two long essays; one class presentation; a medium-length final project; no exams. (Alexander)
Section 004 – Images of Violence: An Investigation. We are all aware of overt acts of violence that bombard us daily in newspapers and on television. This course acknowledges such acts but seeks to expand the conventional definition of violence by exploring subtle acts of violence that often go unnoticed, and therefore, unresolved. We will generate a working definition of violence through our reading of a variety of authors that may include: Bell, Gilchrist, Grealy, King, McCullers, McNickle, O'Connor, Paton, Proulx, Rodriguez, Welty, and others. Further, we will investigate the strategies that authors employ to diffuse explosive violence in their stories. What serves as a foil or counterpoint to violence in fiction? What attempts do authors make to make the violence in their fiction bearable? Other questions will, no doubt, arise as we investigate both overt and subtle acts of violence in fiction this term. Finally, the course focuses on a study of teaching as well as an analysis of literature. What subtle – but arguably violent – actions in the classroom cause students to lose self-esteem, or to become disenchanted with schooling in general? We will discuss the way in which schooling forms (and informs) identity and the impact of a classroom community. Course requirements include regular attendance, active participation, several short response papers, two short papers, and one final paper. (Verderame)
239. What is Literature? Prerequisite for concentrators
in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001. This course will introduce students to literature's formal aspects – how it is put together, to what end, with what effect – with attention to different literary works' relationship to the culture from which they arose and which they in turn helped produce. We will be focusing on American literature in particular, from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and we will examine both canonical and non-canonical works (i.e., "classics" and "popular fiction"), by both women and men. We will also discuss the present state of literary studies, a field itself now attempting to answer the question of what is "literature." There will be three papers, a midterm and a final. Attendance is mandatory. (Barnes)
Section 002. We will approach the potentially overwhelming question "what is literature?" by (1) exploring a selection of novels, short stories, and plays that offer frequently groundbreaking visions of what a piece of imaginative writing can accomplish; (2) examining the methods and approaches by which contemporary critics have addressed this question; and (3) discussing, practicing, and refining the ways in which we, as students of literature, can offer our own compelling responses. We will focus on texts by such authors as William Shakespeare, Charlotte Brnte, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison. Cost:2 (Egger)
Section 003. (Honors). This course will serve as an introduction to a broad range of approaches to the study of literature. The course will focus on three texts that represent three important moments in literary history: Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Shelley's novel Frankenstein, and Pater's art-historical treatise The Renaissance. In each case we will begin with a close structural analysis of the text followed by an examination of the way the text itself represents the act of artistic production. We will then bring to bear on the text a variety of critical approaches, discussing the piece's relation to its historical context, the allusive connections it establishes with other pieces of literature, and its representation of economic, political, familial, and gender relations. As we follow these various lines of inquiry, we will read a selection of relevant literary, philosophical, historical, and critical writings, in addition to studying related dramatic and pictorial material. (Henderson)
Section 004. If literature is always historical, in that it arises from and speaks to a particular culture in time and space, how do we respond to works of literature that weren't written with us in mind? What does it mean to study an ancient text? To read it for pleasure? Can we appreciate an ancient work on its own terms, without judging it from a contemporary perspective? In this section of English 239 we will be reading works from the past (selections from The Iliad, Le Morte D'Arthur, and King Lear beside contemporary novels that either recreate past worlds (Christa Wolf's Cassandra, Bradley's Mists of Avalon ) or enable us to interpret present conditions in terms of the literary past (Smiley's A Thousand Acres ). There will be a reader containing various essays in literary theory. Plan on two short papers and one longer term paper. (Tanke)
Section 005. In this course we will read a number of 20th century works of literature that deal, in one way or another, with relations between the "First" and "Third" worlds. The authors to be read include (with possible changes or additions) Joseph Conrad, Tayeb Saleh, Paul Bowles, Anita Desai, C.L.R. James, Ngugi wa Thiongo, and Derek Walcott. We will be interested in questions like the following: How do these works of literature portray race and gender relations? What, according to these authors, does it mean to be human? What values do these works give expression to? Are there "universal" values or "local" ones? Is there a contradiction between "national" culture and general "human" aspirations? Is it possible to write about a culture other than your own? Aside from the written works, we will also be watching video screenings from time to time throughout the term. Requirements include regular attendance and class participation, two 5-7 page papers, a midterm and a final, plus several short 1-page assignments. (Mufti)
Section 006. The situation of "literature" in the United States has been vexed from the earliest days of the nation. Could an ex-colonial republic without the links of aristocratic patronage create a national literature to speak of? How did mass or popular culture influence the direction of literary aesthetics produced by professionalized writers working in a capitalist economy? How did social movements inform, make, or challenge concepts of "literature" in the United States? Authors will include Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jack London, Richard Wright, Owen Wister, Chester Himes, Toni Morrison, and Louise Erdrich. Other media such as film, video, audio recordings, and hypertext may be considered. Active class participation, an oral presentation, two papers and one exam will be required. (Gonzalez)
Sections 007 and 009. The classics and trash is the title under which somebody recently examined "tradition" and "taboo" in "high" and "popular" literatures. What do all these categories mean? How fixed are they? Why does it seem, or become, important to make the kinds of distinction that they imply? And what roles do such places as university departments of English, airport concession stands, and book publishers play in the making of "classics" and of "trash"? Indeed, what roles do such things as essays and final exams written by students – and the grades and college degrees that they then receive – contribute to the picture? There is, too, the matter of how all of this relates to why writers write; to what such people as Shakespeare or Octavio Paz or Arthur Miller and Kate Chopin may think their intentions are. What does it mean that sometimes some folks get quite opposite "messages" from reading the same texts; that sometimes the reactions simply defy what a writer openly says her intention was? So, how much control can a writer or a text exercise over its meaning, when once it has been published and put "out there," at a university bookstore; at a newsstand; in a public library; in a movie adaptation? Or else as an item of debate at a school board meeting in which, say, religious preference, race and gender are among other items that are up for consideration? We'll make use of publications (why "publications"?) from a variety of cultures and times (the United States as well as Europe and Latin America, for example) to tackle some of these issues. (Johnson)
Section 008. This course explores the relationship between the written and the spoken word in African-American and Anglophone Caribbean literature. Fiction, poetry, and drama from Black America and the Caribbean often draw upon the strong oral traditions in these cultures; they also draw upon and extend the larger British and American literary traditions. Our close readings will reveal the complex interactions between Standard English and other Englishes, and between high and low cultural influences, in literary works as diverse as Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon and Derek Walcott's The Schooner Flight. We will discuss the ways in which language itself appears as a theme in these works, and analyze their uses of figurative language, form, and style. We will also examine traditional definitions of genres and the literary in relation to African-American and Anglophone Caribbean writing. Critical essays will supplement our readings of primary texts. Cost:2 (Keizer)
240. Introduction to Poetry. Prerequisite for concentrators
in the Regular Program and in Honors. (3). (HU).
Section 001. In this course, we'll be studying poetry in the broadest sense of the word – from the love lyrics of the Renaissance to the rap lyrics of today, dipping into different poetic forms and manifestations along the way. We'll be preoccupied less with defining "poetry" than with sampling the various pleasures and treasures of poetic expression in English from its origins to the present day. Authors to be studied include Caedmon, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Marvell, Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Adrienne Rich, Snoop Doggy Dogg. We will also spend much of our time thinking about poetry's re-organization of language and the relation between poetic form and meaning. And I hope we'll also spend some time thinking about the place of poetry in contemporary America: where there are more self-described poets than subscribers to poetry magazines; where participants in poetry slams advertise "Gap" jeans: where, in short, poetry proliferates but morphs throughout cultures "high" and "low." Texts: The Shorter Norton Anthology of Poetry. Requirements: three short papers (2-3 pages); one longer paper. (Freedman)
Section 002. This prerequisite to the English concentration is open to anyone interested in developing a richer understanding and enjoyment of poetry. We will consider matters of poetic form (such as stanza structure, rhythm, and meter), diction (such as word choice, etymology, and sound), content (such as poems of love or war, the uses of allusion, and philosophic issues), and rhetoric (such as metaphor, irony, and symbolism). While studying X.J. Kennedy's An Introduction to Poetry, which contains mainly English-language works from the Renaissance to the present, we will work cooperatively toward developing widely applicable analytic, evaluative, and writing skills. Written work includes a daily reading journal, a 2-3 page paper on a single poem, a 3-4 page paper on at least two poems, and a 4-5 page paper on a single author or a single type of poem. There are no exams. Cost:1 (Rabkin)
Sections 003 (Honors) and 004. A course in ways to understand, feel, enjoy, evaluate, and interpret poems. Poetry typically differs form ordinary language and from prose in certain conventional and (for poetry) advantageous ways, and we shall try to understand how and why. We shall consider such things as sound, diction, rhythm, figures of speech, the line, form, genre, authorship, audience, and context. Our readings will come from various cultures, old and now; mostly British and American, recent or contemporary. We'll pay some attention to the histories of poetry and the contemporary poetry scene. By end of term, everyone should be able to read almost any poem with confidence, knowing what kind of poem it is, how it works, what it might mean, and whether it's any good. Main text: a computer-generated Introduction to Poetry book, including an anthology. Three essays on increasingly challenging topics. A test on "technical terms," and a final exam asking for the interpretation and evaluation of some new poetry. (M. Smith)
Section 005. An introduction to lyric poetry, with reading drawn from a wide range of English and American examples, from the 16th century to the present. We will begin by considering some basic elements of poetry (including prosody, diction, tone, metaphor) and various verse forms, with attention to the evolution of some of these (the sonnet, for example). The class will typically proceed by intensive discussion of a few poems each day. We will conclude by studying complete books of poetry by at least two contemporary poets. The work of the course will include exercises, three or four short papers, and a final examination. (Knott)
Sections 006 and 007. 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 008. This is a beginners-level course that asks what poetry is and how it works – what kinds of language, rhythm, and ideas tend to drive poetry, how it is formed socially and intellectually, and what effects it has upon people and upon culture. The course will allow you to sample a range of poets and styles and will provide you with tools and vocabulary with which to express your thoughts about poetry. This is a section for students who would like to work a little harder in exchange for greater freedom: at least half of the reading list will be set by students, and you will be asked to undertake a term-long writing project of your own devising in which you investigate a particular poet, theme, or poetic question of special interest to yourself. There will also be midterms that test your grasp of factual and practical information, and an emphasis on discussion. Texts: The Norton Anthology of Poetry and a course pack of our own materials. (Terada)
Section 009. 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. Cost:1 (Cloyd)
Section 010. In this course we read a broad range of poetry, but our main focus is on William Wordsworth and Elizabeth Bishop, each central to the poetic and more broadly aesthetic movements with which they are associated: British Romanticism and American Modernism. Both are lyric poets although both redefined the genre in ways that others then imitated. An important aim of the course, then, is to teach two different but overlapping poetic languages, languages that can only be learned by immersion in each poet's corpus. The value of these particular languages is that they mark off respectively the beginning and the end of the long period referred to as "modernity," and thus allow us to generate terms and problems that prove to be central for all the works produced between 1798 and 1976. (Levinson)
Section 011. The first third of this course will concentrate on prosody – the techniques of verse, how poems are put together and how they work. The second third will be devoted to the study of a few major poems as they represent various periods/styles in English and American literature (e.g., baroque, romanticism, modernism). Finally, the last third of the course will be determined by class consensus – whatever you (plural) would like to read. The text will be The Norton Anthology ofPoetry. I will probably assign you a short paper (2-3 pages) each week and most likely will give a final exam, although if everyone does a super job all term long, I might forget it. (Beauchamp)
245/RC Hums. 280/Theatre 211. Introduction to Drama and Theatre. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in RC Hums. 281. (4). (HU).
See Theatre and Drama 211. (Cardullo)
267(326). Introduction to Shakespeare. Completion
of Introductory Composition. (4). (HU).
Section 001. This course will concentrate on the movement and development of Shakespearean tragedy by studying "the grand style" of Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear. But in doing so we will also consider the origins of this tragic mode in the earlier tragedies and its later manifestations in Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus. There will be a midterm, a final, and a series of short written assignments. Cost:3 (Brater)
270. Introduction to American Literature. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – American Dreams, American Nightmares. Although people frequently use the phrase "the American Dream," few of us can explicitly define what we mean by it. We will suggest in this course that there is not one American Dream, but in fact a variety of them. Conversely, when something goes wrong with these dreams, they become American nightmares. In this course we will examine these dreams and nightmares by studying a number of works of 19th and 20th century American literature. The course will center on three central novels – F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and Richard Wright's Native Son – and examine how these dreams and nightmares play out in a number of other novels, stories and films by Toni Morrison, Flannery O'Connor, Mark Harris, Dashiell Hammett and others. Cost:4 (Harrison)
280. Thematic Approaches to Literature. (3). (HU).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Identity and Cultural Assumptions. We begin to internalize and identify with cultural assumptions from the moment of our birth. We couldn't function in society without them, we sometimes go to war over them, we often mistake them for immutable truths; for good or bad, they are the glue that holds us together and the identity kit that tells us who we are. In this course we'll read a variety of texts, mostly fiction, by writers who invite us to explore not only our own assumptions about self and group but also the very notion of "culture" and its entailments. We'll talk about terms like truth and meaning and value, and if we get really confused we'll call in some professional help. This will be an activist class; you'll read a lot, participate regularly in class discussion, and do your share of in-class reports and brief writing assignments. There will be a final exam. Cost:1 (Ingram)
Primarily for Juniors and Seniors
308. History of the English Language. (3). (HU).
Section 001. How did English, which began as a dialect of German, become the distinct and very different language now spoken around the world among an unprecedently multicultural diversity of people? You might be surprised to learn that girl could once refer to a boy or that a nice person was just plain picky and maybe not very nice at all. English is full of such surprises. Far from a stable and unchanging language, English has altered drastically since the fifth century when we can first discern its beginnings. Our course will explore the history of English from those beginnings to the present, including changes in sounds, vocabulary, grammar, and meaning. We will use C.M. Millward's Biography of the English Language with an exercise book and a course pack. Requirements include: participation in class, weekly exercises, two short papers, and a midterm and final. Cost:2 (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 upperclasspersons. There are no prerequisites. We will examine both the history and the diversity of science fiction prose by reading a representative international sampling of 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. Authors studied include Mary Shelley, Poe, Hawthorne, Wells, Zamiatin, Capek, Stapledon, Bradbury, Clarke, Miller, Dick, LeGuin, Lem, and Gibson. Cost:3 (Rabkin)
Section 008 – The Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance. What images are conjured up by that phrase: the blues trailing out of smoky after-hours clubs; Renaissance men like Rudolph Fisher, medical doctor and mystery writer; brash Southern migrants like Zora Neale Hurston; The Dark Tower and Nigger Heaven; hair straightening magnate A'Lelia Walker, and "voluntary" Negro Walter White. In this course, we'll aim for a "thick description" of a bygone, possibly magic age, drawing on historical accounts, music, art, and, of course, a wealth of literary expression. We will read the works of writers such as Wallace Thurman, Jessie Fauset, Langston Hughes, and Marita Bonner, as well as historians Nathan Huggins and David Levering Lewis. Course requirements: consistent attendance and class participation, two papers, and two examinations. This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Zafar)
315/WS 315. Women and Literature.
(3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – African-American Women Writers in the Twentieth Century. The explosion of African-American women's literature that began in the early 1970s came as a surprise to many. Yet the ground for this contemporary work had been prepared by a tradition of Black women's literary productions extending back into the eighteenth century. This course will examine fiction, poetry, and drama by twentieth century Black women writers, with particular attention to the influence of nineteenth century writers upon more recent works. Through our close readings, we will trace thematic and stylistic continuities and discontinuities between the texts under study, and we will consider the socio-economic and political factors that established the parameters of African-American women's creative expression, including the legacies of slavery, stereotypes of Black women, sexual violence, and the civil-rights and feminist movements. Critical essays will accompany our readings of primary texts. We will also view two contemporary films written and directed by African-American women. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Keizer)
Section 002 – Southern Women Writers. Katherine Anne Porter, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Ellen Gilchrist, Alice Walker: the modern South has produced an abundance of superb woman writers. How do we explain the recurring themes of violence and the grotesque in their fiction - especially in stories by writers like Welty and O'Connor, Southern ladies who are well known for their gentility? Why are there so many "old" children in Southern fiction – that is, children who do not fit our stereotypes of youth and innocence? Why is there such a preoccupation with dirt and soiling in Southern fiction - and why is this emphasis on the earth and its spoils linked to themes of revolution, protest, and emancipation? Finally, how did the excruciating systems of racial dominance, gender hierarchy and class prejudice lend themselves to such gorgeous and strange Southern fiction? This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. (Yaeger)
316. Intellectual Problems in Literature. (3). (HU).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Psychology of Literary Experience. For Winter Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with Psychology 501.001. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Rosenwald)
317. Literature and Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated
for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Gothic Myth in Literature and Film. Each age has its own myths, reflecting its aspirations and its fears. We will examine some of the Gothic myths, mainly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which are embodied in horror literature and films and which represent our changing cultural attitudes. Readings will include, but not be limited to these key texts: Dante's Inferno, as well as Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Heart of Darkness. In addition to film versions of these books, we will view some of these other films: Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, The Wolf Man, An American Werewolf in London, King Kong, She, Freaks, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Apocalypse Now, and 2001. The format of the class will combine mini-lectures with class discussion. There will be several short papers and a final examination. (Howes)
Section 002 – Augustan and Romantic Culture. The aim of this course is twofold: to sharpen students' interpretive skills in a variety of media and to introduce them to eighteenth and early nineteenth century British literature, visual arts, and history. We will begin by exploring the arts of the early eighteenth century. We will, for instance, discuss prosody and notions of social order in Pope's Essay on Man, read Defoe's Robinson Crusoe along with some of his economic writings, and read Reynolds' aesthetic theory alongside his paintings. As the course proceeds we will trace the development of Romantic aesthetics, reading Wordsworth's "Preface" to Lyrical Ballads and Shelley's Frankenstein while studying Romantic poetry and painting. Requirements include papers, a group presentation, and a final. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Henderson)
Section 003 – Primitivism in Literature. This course will concentrate on the ways in which representations of culturally "primitive" peoples and places – both real and imaginary - have been used to comment on, evaluate, and otherwise place the "civilized" societies out of which the authors wrote. Our reading will take us all over the map, from Tacitus' Germania to Melville's Marquesas, and will leap whole centuries in great bounds. The readings may look like a hodgepodge, but we will resolutely fuse them into a meaningful shape during the term: works of Montaigne, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Diderot, William Morris, Melville, Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Zora Hurston, and Faulkner will be included. Grades will depend on two exams and frequent, short, in-class writing assignments. (Beauchamp)
Section 004 – Global English. Contemporary literature in English is a global enterprise, shaped by the language itself (and language policies that support it) and by historical and literary traditions. Fiction, poetry, and drama now being written deal with the culture (and counter-culture) of English. Colonial and Post-Colonial literatures illuminate the international enterprise. Just as nineteenth century America was a "post-colonial" society, attempting to wrest control of literature from its British origins, so today, in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, modern writers are attempting to find a distinctive voice for their own experience. Reading in English 317 includes examples from the major forms of literary expression over the past century, selected to highlight the theme of the course. Engaging in themselves, these works invite us to challenge our ideas about "ownership" of our language and literature. Requirements: attendance at lectures, three essays, a midterm, and final. A course pack and three novels provide the readings. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Bailey)
Section 005 – The Hollywood Film Industry and American National Identities. For Winter Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with American Culture 301.001. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Freedman)
319. Literature and Social Change. (3). (HU). May
be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Theatre and Social Change. This course 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 prepare us to assist workshop participants in imagining and shaping their own plays. Students 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, Saginaw, and Plymouth, or at Henry Ford High School in Detroit, the Phoenix School in Howell, or a training school in Adrian or 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. Admission to the class is by permission of instructor. Check 3275 Angell Hall for specially posted hours for interviews for this course. Cost:2 (Alexander)
320/CAAS 338. Literature in Afro-American Culture. (3). (HU).
See Afroamerican and African Studies 338. This course satisfies 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 credits.
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. Interested students should get on the waitlist through Touch-tone Registration and submit a manuscript and registration form to the English Department Office by noon of the first day of the term (not the first class meeting). Registration forms will be available in the department office. Class lists will be posted in the department office by the first class period. (Agee)
Section 002 – 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. Interested students should get on the waitlist through Touch-tone Registration and submit a manuscript and registration form to the English Department Office by noon of the first day of the term (not the first class meeting). Registration forms will be available in the department office. Class lists will be posted in the department office by the first class period. (Wright)
Sections 003 and 004 – 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 to come up with approximately fifty pages of reasonably polished fiction. Attendance at the readings sponsored by the English Department is also encouraged. Interested students should get on the waitlist through Touch-tone Registration and submit a manuscript and registration form to the English Department Office by noon of the first day of the term (not the first class meeting). Registration forms will be available in the department office. Class lists will be posted in the department office by the first class period. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
Section 005 – 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. Interested students should get on the waitlist through Touch-tone Registration and submit a manuscript and registration form to the English Department Office by noon of the first day of the term (not the first class meeting). Registration forms will be available in the department office. Class lists will be posted in the department office by the first class period. (Goodison)
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).
Sections 001 and 002. The goal of this course is to provide opportunities for students to learn to write with increased insight, power, and assurance. Given that goal, I've tried to create a course (1) that gives students much writing practice (though not always as formal papers), (2) that allows students to work independently on topics of their own choosing, (3) that offers examples and inspiration from some of the finest stylists in essay writing, and (4) that keeps the whole class sharing ideas and helping one another with writing throughout the term. Readings, discussion, in-class writings, and workshopping of one another's papers will be the primary focus in the classroom. (Livesay)
Section 004 – Inventing Truths. It is not uncommon today to hear the word "invention" applied to concepts and categories we might be likely to assume come ready made or are simply "facts" of experience. Despite the frequent use, it can still seem surprising to hear people talk about inventing America, or inventing childhood, or inventing oneself: What can it mean to claim we "make-up" who we are and what our world is like? In this composition course, we will make the relatedness of composing and inventing central. We will see a film by Mamet and read fiction by O'Brien, Spark, Kozinski, and others who explore the mysteries of the imagination, seeing cause for both celebration and fear in the human capacity to invent. Assuming, as Plato did, that "necessity is the mother of invention," we will consider what constitutes cultural and psychic "necessity" and how such necessities can shape ideas into particular forms. And we will talk about inventiveness in our own writing – particularly in revising and framing – which helps us to best represent what we want to express. (Wolk)
Section 005 – Learning about Writing. This section will explore questions of how people learn and how people write by doing a lot of reading and writing on the topics of education and composition. Using materials as diverse as Plato's Phaedrus and Elbow's Writing Without Teachers, we will consider how students and teachers are "constructed" and how they stand in relation to each other. Stories about teaching, such as Tompkin's "Pedagogy of the Distressed" and Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, will help us reflect on our own educational experiences. Stories about learning such as Percy's "The Loss of the Creature" and Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory and films such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dead Poet's Society, and Educating Rita will help us explore additional issues in education. Come prepared to write about your own educational philosophy – or at least your ideas about education – and about your own educational (not just formal school!!) experiences. (Kowalski)
This two-term sequence is designed to give students a principled sense of the range of literary works written in English; the first term will characteristically deal with works produced before the later seventeenth century – to the time of Milton, that is; the second term will begin at that point and proceed to the present. These courses will be open to English concentrators and to non-concentrators alike.
351. Literature in English after 1660. (4). (Excl).
Section 001. This course constitutes one itinerary through literature in English from Jonathan Swift to Toni Morrison. We shall focus recurringly on the questions of "voice" and especially irony: Whose voices are [allowed to be] heard as authoritative in society, and on what basis? Is there such a thing as a national "voice," a national epic? What styles are thought appropriate to a man's voice, a woman's, an English voice, an American? How do these works resituate earlier ones in the tradition? We shall read works by, for example, Swift, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Austen, Whitman, Douglas, Tennyson, Browning, Eliot, Pound, Morrison, and Woolf. Requirements: regular attendance, engaged discussion, three essays, about six pages each, a midterm, and a final examination. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. (Williams)
367. Shakespeare's Principal Plays. (4). (HU).
Section 001. A study of Shakespeare's dramatic works, selected to represent his exploration of major genres over the course of his career. Although we will be reading the plays intensively as literary works, we will also be considering social and political issues in Elizabethan and Jacobean England in order to clarify the complex engagement of Shakespeare's stage with cultural controversies of his period. Our goal will not, in other words, be merely to appreciate Shakespeare but to examine the impact of his drama in its own day and to explore its ramification for ours. The plays likely to be studied: A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Merchant of Venice; Measure for Measure; Hamlet; Othello; King Lear; The Tempest. The text used will be The Riverside Shakespeare, available at the Shaman Drum Bookshop. There will be a midterm and a final exam, as well as three relatively short essays. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Mullaney)
Each of these courses will range over the materials of the periods indicated below in one or more of a variety of ways. Some may be multi-generic surveys; some may focus on the development during the period of specific genres; some may be topical, others formal in their principle of organization. All sections will emphasize the development of student skill in writing essays analyzing the materials and evaluating the approaches in question.
370. Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. (4).
(Excl). May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – History of Early English Style and Poetics. A course on meaning and style. We shall read a number of canonical poets (Chaucer, Langland, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton), as well as some arguably lesser and even dreadful poets. Their themes are the usual ones – politics, religion, love, antipathy, sex, death, the meaning of life, the nature of beauty – and many of their works, although historically remote, remain profound. A lot of our time will be spent on what used to be called close reading, but this will not be done in an aestheticist vacuum. We shall try to connect questions of style and form with questions of cultural history. Everyone will need to learn to read Middle English as well as to refer to rhythm, meter, and sound. Everyone will be asked to engage in detailed, sustained poetic analysis as well as to write on broader issues. Required text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I. For English concentrators willing to do focused research in the earlier texts, this course can fulfill the pre-1600 requirement. (M. Smith)
Section 002 – Renaissance Inwardness. The Renaissance is frequently announced as the period in which modern notions of the self emerged. In this course we will examine this generalization by reading a range of works by writers of the period that focus in some way on the project of discovering or comprehending an interior self. We will read love poetry, religious poetry, poetry of friendship, epic, drama, as well as works of medicine and philosophy, in order to explore the various discourses, from the ethereal to the visceral, for delineating inwardness. Authors to be studied include Thomas Wyatt, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney, Mary Wroth, John Donne, George Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, John Milton, Katherine Phillips, and Margaret Cavendish. Requirements include attendance, participation, and two 5-7 page papers. (Schoenfeldt)
371. Studies in Literature, 1600-1830. (4). (Excl).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001. This course offers a wide view of English life and literature of the period 1660-1800: an Age of Reason in which many major authors were mad, an Age of Enlightenment when the upper classes feared servants learning to read, a period in which England was turning from agriculture to industry and which was also still heavily involved in colonization and exploration. 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 apply the concepts of equality, freedom, and human rights developing in Europe. In any time or place the arts are intimately connected: in this period the relationships are so close that each illuminates 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. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Cloyd)
Section 002. This course explores writing about revolution and social reform from the 1770s to the 1850s in England and the United States, focusing on several moments of political upheaval: the American fight for independence, the British response to the French Revolution, and the fight against peonage in England and slavery in the Americas. This was a period when revolutionary ideas and movements challenged a variety of ancient social and political forms; it was also a time of radically new literary experimentation when writers attempted to burst old forms of social behavior by forging new forms of literature, but the new forms themselves remained dependent on the old ones. We'll explore how this volatile time projects and gives way to some of the dominant trends of the twentieth century as we sample a wide range of genres. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Ross)
Section 003 – Eighteenth-Century Travel Literature. Ideas of the foreign, both real and imaginary, exerted a profound influence on eighteenth century letters in both England and France. In this course we will examine the development of this fascination with travel and cultural difference through readings of fictional and journalistic accounts by some of the major writers of the period, including Defoe, Swift, Johnson, Montagu, and Voltaire. We will consider topics including the use of travel narrative as a form of social commentary, the role of travel accounts in the development of Enlightenment thought, the aesthetics of the exotic, and relations of power and mastery in encounters with the cultural "other." The class will be conducted as a seminar with an emphasis on discussion and the development of individual research projects. No previous background in the period is required. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Porter)
372. Studies in Literature, 1830-Present. (4). (Excl).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 002 – Madness, Deviance, and Sexuality. Although "madness" has been defined in wildly different medical, legal, poetic, and social terms, one idea seems to remain constant: whether literally or metaphorically, dysfunctions of the mind are linked inextricably with dysfunctions of the sexual body and the body politic. We will explore how representations of the interrelationships between madness, deviance and sexuality respond to widespread cultural anxieties about difference. Our reading and discussion will focus on: how definitions of "madness" have been harnessed to definitions of "deviance" in order to police the sexual and social body; the criminalization of madness; the gendering of madness; the institutionalization of "normal" and "deviant" sexualities; madness as resistance to social norms and repressions. Tentative reading/viewing list: Lady Audely's Secret; Dracula; Freud's case study of Dora; The Turn of the Screw; Yellow Wallpaper; Eva's Man; The Edible Woman; Dead Ringers; Vertigo; The Hunger. Requirements: attendance, participation, one group presentation, three papers, final exam. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (S. Robinson)
Section 003 – Visions of Artistic Decadence. Even if one understands decadence narrowly, as a fin-de-siËcle fashion-craze of debauched poets, the term nonetheless stymies definition. But like some other problematic literary-critical notions – romanticism, for example – it just doesn't go away. So rather than set out to define such a protean phenomenon, we allow it unusually free reign here, examining variations on decadent artistry over the last two centuries. In asking questions about decadence as a matter of style, content, ethical attitude, and even setting, our primary exertions go to literary texts, but we look to visual arts and modern cinema as well. And even though our readings are predominately British, we will also look to contexts in French, German and perhaps American authors. Beware: bring a tolerance, even an appetite, for the grotesque. Three papers and a final exam or paper. Books at Shaman Drum; course pack at Dollar Bill. (Thomas)
381/Amer. Cult. 324. Asian American
Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six
credits with department permission.
Section 001 – Mainstreaming? Current Works and Theories in Asian American Literature. We shall study works published since the mid-1980s and discuss them in contexts of their literary, historical, popular, and aesthetic environments and receptions: a rise of Asian American literary output and their authors as "hot properties" and a coming of age of writers and readers on a wave of immigration from Asia that began in 1965. Texts and a course pack will include recent works by, for instance: Maxine Hong Kingston, Meena Alexander, Philip Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, Amy Tan, R. Zamora Linmark, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Walter Lew, Chitra Divakaruni, Shawn Wong, and Chang-Rae Lee. Two papers of five pages each and one at 7-10 pages are required, as are very brief occasional writings. This is unlike an earlier version of English 381/American Culture 324; those who have taken the earlier course can enroll for another 3 credits. No prior experience in the field, however, is required. Literary histories will be introduced as needed. (Sumida)
383. Topics in Jewish Literature. (3). (HU). May
be repeated for a total of six credits with department permission.
Section 001 – Migration, Exile and Diaspora. What does it mean to label a writer "Jewish"? This course will examine some of the most important Jewish writers in America, Israel and Europe to see if they have anything in common outside of their specific national culture. We will begin with the issues of migration, exile and diaspora in American and European writing. These topics will then be contrasted with Israeli authors who write in the context of a Jewish nation-building. Are Israeli writers "Jewish"? Is there such a thing as "Jewish" writing? What topics make a writer "Jewish"? We will mainly concentrate on short stories or short novels in this course and we will also read Hebrew and Yiddish writers in translation. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Cheyette)
401/Rel. 481. The English Bible:
Its Literary Aspects and Influences, I. (4). (HU).
Section 001. The Bible is a book, a text: it is also a collection of texts of the most astonishing variety and range. Our first task will be to try to understand these works in terms both of form and content and then of the circumstances which occasioned and shaped them. We will also study how the Bible came to have its present form(s), and consider its transmission as text and as cultural influence. Students will be encouraged to study especially the literary influences of the Bible in authors of interest to them. The particular readings will be influenced by class needs: we shall surely include Genesis, Exodus, Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Isiah, Hosea, Mark, The Acts of the Apostles, Romans, and the Apocalypse. Writing Requirements: three essays of moderate length, a midterm and a final. Class attendance and participation essential. Satisfies the pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. (Williams)
406/Ling. 406. Modern English
Grammar. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. This is an advanced survey of descriptive English grammar. The approach will be functional and theoretically eclectic. We will look closely at the formal and semantic motivations for basic grammatical categories and processes in English (word formation, "parts of speech," phrases, clauses and sentences) and we will discuss how these structures contribute to the expressive potential of the system. There will be daily practice in grammatical parsing, weekly quizzes, and a final exam on the factual material. The course should be attractive to those professionally interested in English education, practical criticism, or further work in linguistic theory – as well as those generally interested in becoming more articulate about the structure of our language. Texts: Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum, A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English and John Algeo, Exercises in Contemporary English. Cost:2 (Cureton)
408/Ling. 408. Varieties of English.
Section 001 – Old English Poetry. The only prerequisite for this course is English 407/501 or a prior introduction to the grammar of Old English. After a brief review of the fundamentals, we will begin to translate a number of ancient and, I hope, fascinating Old English poems, such as The Wanderer, The Dream of the Rood, and selections from Beowulf. This will require a collaborative spirit and earnest participation. Join the select few who have read Old English poetry in the original! (Tanke)
411. Art of the Film. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35)
required. May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Prison and the Artist. 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 was employed in the state prison system; it is now 1 in 4. Michigan has built 30 prisons in the past 15 years. Several states have brought back prison stripes, chain gangs, and rock breaking. Yet to most of us, prisons remain invisible places we ignore or know only through rumors, myths, and the speeches of politicians. This course will address prison reality and culture and the ways in which prisons are represented to us and to others. Discussions will focus on the works and their implications about personal attitudes and behavior and about social institutions. Journals and final project, no exams. A longer description listing texts is posted on the door of 3275 Angell Hall, and on the World Wide Web. Cost:2 (Alexander)
412/Film-Video 412. Major Directors.
(3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required. May be repeated
for a total of nine credits with department permission.
Section 001 – Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick. The major films spanning the careers of two maverick American masters, with emphasis on their cinematic "languages," dramatic themes and the relationship between what they say and how they say it. One film per week; three lecture hours; mandatory small discussion groups. The course may be repeated if the content differs from a previous election; no prerequisites, but the course is not "An Introduction to the Movies." Previous film study couldn't hurt. The course's reading, Giannetti's Understanding Movies, will give beginners a solid foundation. Purchase of a pass admits you to all our screenings, mostly at the Michigan Theater. Some reading [if Giannetti is old news to you, there's an alternate text]. Rigorous writing with high standards for analytical/critical prose. Two 2-page papers; two 5-page papers; final exam; no "Incompletes" except under catastrophic circumstances. Those who use "media" with a singular verb flunk. Cost:2 (Bauland)
413/Film-Video 413. Film Genres
and Types. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with department
Section 001 – The Comic Film. This course examines motion-picture comedy as a genre with specific themes and techniques. We shall explore, from a larger perspective, the nature of comedy in respect to other art forms and in the context of our everyday reality. All of these approaches will significantly assist us in a major goal of the course, to understand better our psychological responses to the comic. The class will begin by studying the silent-film masterpieces of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and continue with such sound-film classics as Duck Soup, Trouble in Paradise, Bringing Up Baby, Some Like it Hot, Dr. Strangelove, The Producers, and Annie Hall. Films will screen at the Michigan Theater. The major writing assignments will be two eight-page papers as well as a midterm and final examination. Cost:2 (Konigsberg)
Section 002 – Cinema and the Body. Since the silent era, filmmakers have sought to get the body to "speak" - to generate ideas and insinuations that are crucial to the meanings of their films. In turn, we as viewers spend a lot of time "reading" these bodies and investing them with our own symbolic, emotional, and erotic responses. In this course we will explore some of the major ideological functions of the body as it has been represented and deployed by filmmakers and understood by critics, focusing on such categories as the silent body (The Piano), the technologized body (Terminator 2), the maternal body (Hail, Mary), the mutilated body (Silence of the Lambs), and the heroic body (Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi-era film of the Olympics, Olympia ). In addition to our study of films (several of which will be silent and/or experimental), we will spend one day each week discussing critical articles that theorize central concerns of the course. Cost:2 (Egger)
417. Senior Seminar. Senior concentrator in English.
May not be repeated for credit. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – The Language of Poetry: Telling Time. Much of the achievement of a poem derives from its distinctive language, the way that language looks, sounds, moves, and feels. Poets say memorable things in memorable ways, and in doing so, renew language by stretching its expressive possibilities. In this course, we will explore the source, structure, and effect of this distinctive language. Our major hypothesis will be that poems "tell" time, that poets invest language with coherent complexes of temporal qualities that articulate forms of human inwardness: sensation, emotion, will, and memory. These temporal "complexions," we will argue, are closely connected with the structure of language itself and with the structure of other aspects of cultural formation, including cultural history. The course requirement will be a substantial research paper on the language of a poem, poet, or poetic style. Cost:3 (Cureton)
Section 002 – Holocaust Literature: Writing, Representation, and Silence. T.W. Adorno believed that "to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." Adorno anticipated two decades of post-war silence where literature tried to come to terms with the impossibility of representing the horrors of the past and the unimaginable destruction that nuclear weapons might bring about in the future. In recent years, writers have begun to find sometimes controversial literary forms to both challenge and uphold Adorno's dictum. This course will focus on the response of contemporary writing to the horrors of the Second World War and it will examine a wide range of fiction, the most important Holocaust testimony, and even poetry (in opposition to Adorno) that represents the Holocaust. This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. (Cheyette)
Section 003 – Hollywood and the Visual Culture. In this course we shall discuss texts that consider the consequences of the dominance of visual media like movies and television. Hollywood has sent into the world images, icons, and stories that have shaped twentieth-century culture in profound ways. In order to better understand the dynamics of this cultural transformation, and the varieties of literary responses to it, we shall begin by discussing Susan Sontag's On Photography and Nathaniel West's The Day of the Locust, and proceed to other texts, in whole or in part, by Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Neil Postman, John Updike, Jean Baudrillard, and Manuel Puig, as well as a significant number of poems. We shall also study a couple of films, such as The Purple Rose of Cairo and The King of Comedy, pertinent to our theme. Each student will deliver a brief oral report, keep a reading journal, and write several papers. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Goldstein)
Section 004 – Women Poets and Feminist Critics. Over the past two decades, feminist critics have turned to women poets to explore questions about female subjectivity, to construct alternative literary traditions, and to imagine new feminist poetics. We will read poetry written in English by women from the Renaissance to the present, in order to historicize the emergence of "the woman poet" as a category and to analyze how particular women poets have become significant figures within feminist literary criticism. Rather than tracing a single poetic tradition or defining a common feminist perspective, we will compare different ideas about women poets in their own writing and within the work of influential feminist critics. Our goal throughout the term will be to combine careful readings of poems with an awareness of different interpretive frames, and to develop an appreciation for the complexity of writing in – and on – poetry by women. This seminar satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Prins)
Section 005 – Liberty, Luxury, Commerce: Economic Discourses in 18th-Century Literature. The eighteenth century in England was a period of great social transformation marked by the expansion of commerce and the rise of the modern middle class. Writers throughout the period from Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen, George Lillo to Adam Smith were fascinated by the cultural effects of the increasingly materialist "world of goods" within which they found themselves. In this class we will read a selection of novels, poems, plays, and essays that reflect the contemporary obsession with wealth – or, indeed, the lack of it. We will consider how these writings respond and contribute to new understandings of work, trade, luxury, criminality, marriage, prostitution, and urban geography. The class will be conducted as a seminar with an emphasis on discussion and the development of individual research projects. This course satisfies the pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Porter)
Section 006 – Survival This Way: Contemporary Native American Poetry. For Winter Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with American Culture 498.002. (Niatum)
423. The Writing of Fiction. Open to seniors and graduate students; written permission of the instructor is required.
(3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. In this class we'll be writing, reading, and talking about fiction. Students who sign up for the class should expect to complete fifty pages of fiction; they should be willing to revise what they already have written. Participation in class discussions will be essential to the success of the course. Students interested in applying to the course should get on the waitlist through Touch-tone Registration and bring a manuscript to the first class meeting. Cost:1 (Baxter)
Section 002. 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, 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 through Touch-tone Registration and bring a manuscript to class the first evening. A list of those admitted will be posted shortly thereafter. Cost:1 (O'Dowd)
427. Playwriting. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
This is an advanced playwriting course in which each student is required to complete a one act play of at least 50 pages or to complete 50 pages of writing toward a full-length play. Other course work includes the reading of professional plays in the course pack and of student work in the classroom, dramatic writing exercises, attending local theatre productions, and extensive dramaturgical discussions. Admission is by permission of instructor. Students who have taken 227 will be given preference; however, those who have written a substantial amount of fiction, drama, or poetry, or those who are seriously talented will be favorably considered. Interested students should bring a substantial sample of his/her writing to the first class and speak with the instructor. The writing sample MUST be typed, bound, and signed. Cost:1 (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.
This poetry-writing workshop will focus primarily on the writing of class members. There will also be a healthy amount of reading in contemporary poetry and written response (informal) to the poems in our texts. While an important contribution to the class will be spoken and written commentary on students poems to be workshopped each week, discussion of contemporary poets will also be given a high priority. Essential for this course is a willingness to take and give criticism in a thoughtful, honest, and respectful manner. Permission of instructor is required. Leave a sample manuscript of from 4-6 typed pages with the English Department undergraduate secretary the week before classes begin. A class list will be posted in the Undergraduate Office by noon on the first day of class. (Matthews)
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 likely include Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beloved, The Awakening, As I Lay Dying, The House of Mirth, 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 satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Barnes)
433. The Modern Novel. (4). (Excl).
Section 001. We shall begin with Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and examine the author's impact on fiction and modern thought. We shall then explore the nightmare portrayal of human psychology and society in Kafka's The Trial. We shall spend a number of weeks on Joyce's Ulysses, trying to understand the full dimension of this monumental work. 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. Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! will force us to confront our own American dilemma, while allowing us to make a final assessment of the accomplishments of the modern novel. The major writing assignments will be two eight-page papers as well as a midterm and final examination. Cost:2 (Konigsberg)
434. The Contemporary Novel. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 – Masculinity in Crisis? In 1990s American culture, social commentators of all ideological stripes are declaring masculinity "in crisis." Where does this crisis come from, and how is it being resolved? To explore these questions, we will look critically at post-sixties fictional and filmic representations of masculinity, manhood, and the male body. Our main focus will be on understanding what gets institutionalized as normative masculinity in American culture and how non-normative forms of masculinity are celebrated, punished, and/or assimilated. We will also have a good deal to say about how representations of masculinity are dependent on representations of femininity; how racial and class differences fragment masculinity; and how being a "real man" is dependent on a heterosexual identity. Tentatively, novels by John Updike, Frederick Exley, Edmund White, Ishmael Reed, John Irving; films: Pumping Iron; Do The Right Thing; Sex, Lies, and Videotape; Paris Is Burning; Terminator 2. Two papers, midterm, final. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (S. Robinson)
444/Theatre 322. History of Theatre II. (3). (HU).
See Theatre and Drama 322. (Woods)
448. Contemporary Drama. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. Representative plays, mostly post-World-War-II, from anywhere but the U.S. [American Drama is its own course]. We consider plays as texts for the theater and as dramatic literature, as well as in their relationships to dramatic movements, theatrical backgrounds, social forces, world events, and trends of thought. This course complements 447 [usually Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Brecht, Pirandello] which is not prerequisite, but some familiarity with its content couldn't hurt. Common body of readings for 448, dependent on the capricious availability of texts, will be posted outside my office before early registration time. What doesn't make that list is fair game for your required supplementary/outside reading. Informal lecture and discussion, quantity of the latter dependent on class size and liveliness. Some secondary readings and those "outside" plays in addition to about 20 plays we all read. Two essays [the second longer]; reading log, final exam. Cost:2 (Bauland)
449/Theatre 423. American Theatre and Drama. (3). (HU).
See Theatre 423. (Cardullo)
461. English Romantic Literature. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – Five Romantic Poets. This course opens with a study of the work of William Wordsworth. From Wordsworth's writing (the poetry and some of the prose) we will develop the technical, philosophical, formal, and political terms through which we'll organize our reading of Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron. Alongside the poetry, we'll read some classic critical studies of Romantic period writing. This course should be considered a genre-study as well as an author study. The aim of the course is not to develop general views of the period, but rather to acquaint ourselves with particular writing practices and their intersections across a 30-year period. (Levinson)
462. Victorian Literature. (3). (Excl).
Victorian literature is famous for its classic novels. Texts such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles continue to shape contemporary British culture. This course will introduce you to, or develop your knowledge of, a range of Victorian novels by, among others, the Brntes, William Thackeray, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot. Our main interest will be in the pleasures of reading and discussion, but there will also 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) that produced these books. We will be particularly concerned with the development of the novel as a narrative form, and its relation to issues such as class, sexuality, politics and the family in the Victorian period. You will be required to keep a reading journal, participate in a class presentation, write two papers, and complete a take-home final. Cost:2 (Raitt)
465/MARC 465. Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. (3). (Excl).
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is an anthology of stories which in their rich variety represent many of the most popular literary genres of his time. The collection artfully mimics the apparent heterogeneity of contents found in many Middle English anthologies of the period and the popularity among an increasingly literate readership of collections of tales that provided instruction and delight. In his creation of a diverse group of storytellers, Chaucer opens up for us a kind of pageant of the social history of his time, and we will consider both tales and tellers in the context of the society in and for which they were created. We will consider also the variety of narrative voices, the evasiveness of the poet himself, and questions arising from the incomplete and provisional nature of the arrangement of the tales. Students will carry out some computer work on manuscripts and editorial issues, and graduate students taking the course will work closely with computer available materials on the Wife of Bath's Prologue. Requirements will include two papers and a final exam. This course satisfies the pre-1600 requirement for English concentrators. (McSparran)
471. Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Key Texts. (3). (Excl).
A survey of nineteenth century American fiction, non-fiction, and poetry up until the Civil War. The course will identify important cultural dilemmas and opportunities facing American writers of this period, most notably the emergence of a national culture, the question of a truly "democratic" literature and what this means, the impact of slavery as well as other explosive issues of the time. Authors to be studied include Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Stowe, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson. Requirements: two papers and final exam. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Larson)
473. Topics in American Literature. (3). (Excl).
May be repeated for credit with department permission.
Section 001 – Three Modern Poets: Pound, Eliot, and Stevens. The course will examine what three major writers – Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and Wallace Stevens – have to teach us about the kinds of relations possible among art, society, and individual experience. We will consider their chief works both in themselves and as responses to personal, political, and literary problems such as the construction of modernism, the impact of two world wars, or the psychological problems of twentieth-century life. The readings are primarily poetry, both lyrics and longer works like Pound's Mauberley sequence, Eliot's Wasteland, and Steven's Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction with some critical prose by the authors themselves. We proceed by a mixture of lecture and discussion. There are two papers (about six pages each) and a final examination. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Bornstein)
Section 002 – North and South American Literature. This course will identify common cultural dilemmas and opportunities in the Americas and examine common themes and mutual influences in United States and Spanish-American literature. Topics include: (1) Garci· M·rquez as creator of an imaginary fictional country with its own American history; (2) Morrison's Beloved as African-American history and as a home-grown example of magical realism; (3) Borges and Hawthorne as elaborate provincial artificers, cosmopolitan inventors bred in local American settings; (4) Neruda and Whitman as poets of the vast American landscape and of American sensuality, uncertainty, and fraternity; and (5) Vargas Llosa and Silko as storytellers and mediators between native and Euro-American cultures. A reading knowledge of Spanish is desirable but not necessary. Students will be asked to contribute to discussions and write a short paper, a long paper, and a take-home exam. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (McIntosh)
477/CAAS 475. Early Afro-American
Literature. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – The Origins of a Tradition. Pre-twentieth century Black writing in America is more various, more enjoyable than many have made it out to be. Recent re-discoveries have revealed a wealth of expressive writing, and many works are now available to us for the first time since their original publications. While Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Jacobs are the better known of these early authors, writers like John Marrant and Elizabeth Keckley are now receiving belated recognition as well. Students eager to have a greater understanding of classic modern authors like Toni Morrison may find these earliest expressions of Black American creativity a fascinating and rewarding first act. To know these forerunners of the twentieth-century African-American canon is to comprehend genuinely the literature. Requirements: probably two papers and two hourly exams. This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:2 (Zafar)
479/CAAS 489. Topics in Afro-American
Literature. English 274 and/or 320 strongly recommended.
(3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 – African-American Literature and the Politics of Civil Rights, 1954-1974. This course examines ways in which the Civil Rights and Black Power movements shaped and were shaped by African-American writing from 1954 to 1974. We'll read a wide range of texts that voice conflicting views on the problem of race in America, and that demonstrate the changing attitudes toward strategies and solutions over the two decades. In addition to exploring major controversies like desegregation, interracial relations, nonviolence, patriotism and exile, nationalism, relations between Black men and women, we'll also consider the role of the mass media in creating or disturbing a sense of racial community. Some of the writers to be studied include: Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Paule Marshall, Alice Walker, Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ishmael Reed, and Chester Himes. Several short writing assignments and a comprehensive final exam. This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators. Cost:4 (Ross)
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 five of them: Survival at Auschwitz, The Reawakening, The Monkey's Wrench, The Periodic Table, and The Drowned and The Saved. We will also read selections from his poems. 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. (Williams)
486. History of Criticism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 – History of Literary Criticism. In this course we will closely read critical works that directly address the major problems involved in studying literature at all. The goal of the course is to make you more conscious of the nature and the history of questions that you have probably often asked yourself in your struggles to gain an understanding of literature: How should we think about the ways in which poems and fictions are and aren't the result of their authors' intentions? How should we think about the value of works? What are the possible relations between works and their historical, cultural, and political contexts? What's the role of emotion in reading? We'll explore different approaches to these issues and more through our reading of 19th and 20th century criticism and literary theory; we will also try to gain a sense of critical style and language, reading criticism itself as imaginative literature. At least half of the reading list will be composed in response to the specific desires of the students in the class. Requirements will emphasize your research into your own interests and participation in class discussion. (Terada)
497. Honors Seminar. Junior or senior standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total
of 9 credits.
Section 001 – Yeats, Joyce, and Ireland. This seminar will study the work of two major modern Irish writers, Yeats and Joyce. We will focus on Yeats' poetry and on Joyce's fiction (Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist, and Ulysses ) in terms of the construction both of international modernism and of Irish cultural and political nationalism. Both aesthetic and cultural strategies will come up for discussion, and students should feel comfortable with poetry as well as with prose. Through both the literature itself and its contested receptions we will also examine notions of cultural hybridity, and will use the extraordinary controversies over recent editions of Joyce's Ulysses and of Yeats' poetry to explore how the often problematic editorial construction of texts shapes interpretation and theory. Besides reading and discussion, course work will include one-paragraph weekly responses, a brief oral report (on Ulysses), a paper, and an exam. Cost:2 (Bornstein)
Section 002 – Local Fictions, National Literature: Regional Writing in America. Why do representations of the local, usually the rural, become intensely interesting to readers in the urbanizing America of the late nineteenth century? Why has this work been rediscovered in the globalizing America of the late twentieth century? This seminar focuses on "local color" writing, a popular and critically admired form in American literature from about 1870 to about 1915, and through that topic explores broad questions about the relation of region and nation, place and meaning. We will spend some time reading widely in this diverse tradition (which consists mostly of short stories, from Bret Harte to Sui Sin Far, but includes some poems and novels); some time closely examining two wonderfully subtle and accomplished authors (Sarah Orne Jewett and Charles Chesnutt); and some time reconsidering the form by working along its borders, reading works that may or may not "belong" (urban stories, non-fiction, science fiction). We will talk about issues in interpretation and literary history, and do some critical readings; the class will also include opportunities for independent research. This course satisfies the American Literature requirement for English concentrators. (Howard)
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