English Course Descriptions: Fall 2008

Literature and Writing Studies Courses


English 101 provides students with a foundation in methods of reading and writing essential to an understanding of poetry and, more broadly, to the study of literature. The course addresses the basics of prosody, poetic devices (such as diction, metaphor, image, tone), and major verse forms (such as the sonnet, elegy, ode, ballad, dramatic monologue, free verse). Poems will be selected from a range of literary periods and movements (from the sixteenth to the twentieth century) to reflect both continuity and variation in the history of British and American poetry. Students are required to write twelve to fifteen pages in two or more essays and to take a midterm and a final examination.


This course examines roughly a dozen plays chosen from major periods of dramatic history from the ancient Greeks to contemporary theatre. Plays are selected to exemplify the nature of comedy, tragedy, and tragicomedy as dramatic modes and to show how the changing conditions of the physical theater affect the nature of theatrical representation. Where possible, lecture and discussion is supplemented by videotaped or filmed excerpts from the plays. Course work usually includes several papers (12-15 pages total) to develop competence in dramatic analysis and either several hour exams or a mid-term exam and a final exam.

TEXTS: A basic anthology containing a selection of plays by such playwrights as Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Molière, Ibsen, Shaw, Miller, Becket, Brecht—supplemented by individual volumes of the instructor’s choice.


Foote. TUTH 9:30–10:45

This class is designed to introduce you to the study of literature and literary history at the university level. It will provide you with a basis for understanding the historical role and place of fictional narratives; give you an understanding of the idea of genre; establish ways to think about how publication venue, reading practices, and popularity contribute to the meaning of fictional works; and help you develop a rich, portable vocabulary to interpret and analyze narrative strategies. We will consider the role of social forces on the construction of textual meaning, looking at such issues as differing definitions of authorship, the rise of copyright, scandals over reading and literacy, and the circuits of production, distribution, and marketing of books. Course requirements include a midterm, a cumulative final exam, and four writing assignments. Readings will include novels drawn from a range of historical periods and genres.


Same as CINE 104

The goal of this course is to develop students’ abilities to view films critically and to deepen their understanding of the cinema experience. The course first teaches analysis of narrative strategies, shot properties, mise-en-scène, acting, editing, and the use of sound in films, especially classical Hollywood movies. The course also focuses on the study of different genres and styles of films, including documentaries, feminist films, musicals, comedies, and “film noir,” in terms of how they present ideological points of view and/or evoke spectator responses. English 104 is an appropriate prerequisite for English 273(the second half of the English film sequence) and other advanced film courses.

The course presents one ca. 2 hour film program including a feature film per week, shown in a required screening lab on Mondays. Each section meets for two 75-minute lecture-discussion sessions per week. All sections use a substantial introductory textbook and additional reading assignments (essays and book chapters) available on library reserve or in a photocopied reader. Sections are kept small to facilitate the course focus on honing skills in analysis and writing and to enable each student to contribute extensively to the discussions. Regular attendance and participation are crucial in this course.

The minimum formal assignments are 12-15 pages of expository writing (often 3 short papers, but some instructors prefer 1 short and 1 long one, and some may assign more writing); a midterm; and a three-hour scheduled final exam; some instructors also give quizzes. On the exams, most instructors give a factual section (identification, brief answer) plus a section of essay questions. This course earns 3 credit hours and counts as a General Education course in Humanities and the Arts. (Multiple sections)


English 109 (formerly English 103+) is designed to introduce students to the critical analysis of prose fiction. By reading a wide range of short and long fiction across several historical periods, we will examine how such narrative strategies as plot, character, point of view and language construct meaning. Individual instructors will bring a variety of texts and interpretive methods to their courses, but special emphasis will be placed on concepts and skills central to good literary critical writing.

Course requirements include papers and paper revisions totaling 25-30 pages. Papers are assigned according to the judgment of individual instructors, but will include assignments of various lengths and several opportunities for review and revision.

TEXTS: Readings vary from section to section but always include an anthology of short fiction and three or four novels.


Sullivan. M 3-4:50; W 3-3:50 Global Studies Initiative Section

Same as CWL 112

Although we take instant communication, the internet, tourism, multinational media, and transnational trade for granted, such forms of globalization come chained to long histories. In this course, we will read books and see films that compel us to see and rethink the history of interconnectedness, confrontation, or interaction in the world. Our writers from England, America, Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean tell stories that journey away from home towards new encounters, new ways of seeing, and new ways of thinking about our connections with others and with the past. They ask questions about identity, power, nation building, and development in an interdependent global economy. Although all seven courses in the Global Studies program investigate problems of cultural identity, history, politics, and economics, this class focuses on the artistic representation of such concerns. How does the artist teach us to read the world? The thematic problems that inform our novels, poems, and films center on the impact of globalization on cultural and national identity, and on the political interaction between peoples in various stages of development, migration, and diaspora.

Required texts include novels, stories, poems, articles, and films. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Rudyard Kipling, “The Man Who Would be King;” Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Caryl Philips, Crossing the River; Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine; Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose; Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place. Films: The Battle of Algiers, Gandhi, Mississippi Masala, The Man who Would be King, and Life and Debt.

A course packet with essays, poems, and short stories ( Notes & Quotes Johnstown Center on John Street).


Selective introduction to the theory and practice of comedy; examines a number of influential theories of comedy and a variety of comic forms including poetry, novels, essays, plays, and short stories.


Same as RLST 101, CWL 111

Contact Department of Religious Studies for description.


This course is designed to acquaint students with examples of the rich diversity of prose, poetry, and drama written in Great Britain from the medieval through contemporary eras. Works selected will vary from section to section, but instructors usually rely upon a major anthology of British literature, along with a few supplementary paperbacks, for the assigned readings. As a basic introduction to English literature, this course cannot offer a complete chronological survey. It offers instead a series of literary texts, often thematically related, which appeal to modern readers and at the same time provide interesting insights into the cultural attitudes and values of the periods which produced them.


This course will cover a small sampling of literature written by American authors; the sampling may include essays, narratives, drama, and poems from various periods in American literary history. Assigned works will include literature written by men and women and will represent a variety of ethnic perspectives.


Literary and historical study of science fiction from Mary Shelley to Ursula K. LeGuin with particular emphasis on the achievement of science fiction as a literary form in the romance tradition.


Frayne. MW 10-11:50 Campus Honors Section

TOPIC: Opera and Literature

This course will offer an introduction to the delights of opera as a dramatic and musical form. Our approach will be through the literary sources of the opera, from novel or play or story, then into the written libretto, and finally into the wedding of words and music in the final fusion of music and drama. Given this approach, we will study operas based on major works of literature such as Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (both based on Beaumarchais’s plays), and an adaptation of a Shakespeare play (Verdi’s early masterpiece Macbeth). This semester we will look at operatic adaptations of Goethe’s famous play Faust. We will study at least five operas, and more if time allows. The class will attend a performance of the opera Carmen by Bizet which is being offered by the University of Illinois Opera Program during the Fall semester, 2008.

Aside from reading and discussing the original works of literature, we will use recordings of the opera as well as video/film versions of performances of these works. When multiple video versions of these works are available, we can compare the different ways these works are realized on the stage. On the assumption that many students will be new to opera, we will begin with an overview of basic concepts about arias, ensembles, types of voices, kinds of recitative, the basic genres: opera seria, comic opera, grand opera, and the major periods of this now 400 years old art form. The classes will be mainly discussion. There will be reports by seminar members as well as short written papers leading up to a longer end-of-semester project. There will be quizzes and longer exams, and a take-home final.

TEXTS: Plotkin, Fred, Opera 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera, Hyperion paper; Beaumarchais, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Penguin paper; Shakespeare, Macbeth, Dover paper; Merrime, Carmen, Penguin Edition; Goethe, Faust, paperback; Murger, The Bohemian Life; selections, in handouts


Prendergast. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Campus Honors Section

TOPIC: Introduction to Disability Studies in the Humanaties

Disability Studies has emerged as a field of study across several disciplines of the humanities with the common orientation of challenging the notion that disability is primarily a medical fact. Instead, scholars of disability consider how notions of disability emerge and are sustained through cultural and social processes. The study of disability, in departing from the exclusively medical model, has forced new understandings of human diversity, dependency, ability, and inclusion. In this course we will read key texts from several humanistic disciplines that approach disability as a social designation of identity and an embodied experience. Through these key texts we will examine the history, culture, poetic representations, and civic work of people with disabilities.

This course will coordinate with the Ethnography of the University Initiative (www.eui.uiuc.edu). The EUI focus will allow students to use the course readings in conjunction with the university archives to explore U of I’s history as an early site of disability activism—we have the oldest post-secondary disability support program in the world, the first wheelchair accessible residence halls and accessible fixed bus route—and the current culture of disability on campus. Students will have the opportunity to present their work at EUI’s cross-campus conference, and can publish their work (either under their own name or a pseudonym) in EUI’s digital repository of student work (housed within IDEALS www.ideals.uiuc.edu/handle/2142/755). The work produced in this course will thus contribute to the history of the U of Illinois, and the history of disability in the United States.

Readings will include: Kenny Fries, The History of my Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory; Erving Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity; Robert Murphy, The Body Silent; Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor: Aids and its Metaphors; Berube, Michael. Life as We Know it; Petra Kuppers, Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge


Trilling. MWF 12 Discovery Section

TOPIC: Modern Medievalisms: Approaching and Appropriating the Middle Ages

The purpose of this course is twofold: to introduce students to a range of medieval literature and to examine its legacy in the modern era. Since the 19th century, literature tends to use a fetishized notion of “the medieval” as a foil for “the modern”, invoking it either as a Golden Age which critiques the problems of the present, or a pre-Enlightenment epoch of superstition and ignorance. The discourse of medievalism is a booming subfield within medieval studies, and it offers students the opportunity to look critically not only at a range of literature from distant historical periods, but also at the ways in which the present represents, misrepresents, and appropriates those images, empties them of their contextual meanings, and redeploys them within distinctly modern agendas. Students will study both medieval literature itself and modern representations of the Middle Ages in an attempt to understand the complex means by which the present approaches the past. They will engage critically with theories of subjectivity, nationhood, translation, gender, historicism, temporality, and aesthetics. In the process, they will discover how modern notions of empire, progress, belief, revolution, pacifism, and novelty inform modern attempts to represent—or appropriate—the medieval.


S. Camargo. Lect: TUTH 11; Screening M 2-4:30 Discovery Section

TOPIC: Lynch and Cronenberg: Two Davids versus the Hollywood Goliath

A fish in a coffeepot, a naked woman on a suburban lawn, an old man riding a lawn tractor: welcome to the world of David Lynch, where the line between dreams and reality is not always easy to find. Mutant children, a killer videotape, a human fly, twin gynecologists, virtual realities, madness, hidden identities, and Russian gangsters are found in the work of David Cronenberg. These two Davids do their unconventional work on the margins of the mainstream American film industry we call simply “Hollywood.” The films these men make, and how they make them, will be the focus of our work in this course. Since these directors are so skilled at training us to see, previous experience in film analysis is not required as a prerequisite for enrollment.


This course might be called “How to Be an English Major.” It offers tips on how to make the transition from the high-school study of literature to college-level study. The class will read a relatively small number of poems, short stories, and plays, exploring a number of critical approaches to each. Emphasis will be placed on close reading of short passages, the historical contexts of literature, the way genre affects our reading practices, and the criteria for persuasive interpretations. Students will practice their critical skills in a number of short papers.

TEXTS: Vary according to section.


Barrett. MWF 1 Group I

Same as CWL 253, MDVL 201

Central to the literature of the Western European Middle Ages is the motif of the journey. In this class we’ll read a series of medieval texts built around diverse ideas of travel. Some of these journeys are martial in nature: we’ll follow Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar into exile as he seeks to clear his name and win a kingdom (The Poem of the Cid), and we’ll compare Parzival’s spiritual quest for the Graal with Gawan’s more secular entanglement in love affairs and political vendettas (Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival). We’ll also take part in a pair of pilgrimages, one factual, the other fictional: we’ll join Geoffrey Chaucer’s band of pilgrims as they tell stories en route to Canterbury (Canterbury Tales), and we’ll travel alongside English laywoman Margery Kempe as she walks in the footsteps of Christ and the saints, hoping for salvation (The Book of Margery Kempe). Finally, we’ll leave the European landscape for more spectacular locales: we’ll join a dreaming lover as he searches an allegorical love garden for his beautiful Rose (Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s Romance of the Rose), and we’ll accompany Dante Alighieri on the cosmic path that first leads down into the pit of Hell and then climbs up the mountain of Purgatory (Inferno and Purgatorio). Our Dante readings will tie into the Fall 2008 Translating the Middle Ages conference to be held here at the University of Illinois: Dante translators Robert Pinsky and W. S. Merwin will appear on campus to discuss their versions of Inferno and Purgatorio, a conversation we’ll attend as a class.

Course assignments will include regular reading responses, a pair of medium-length essays, and two exams (a mid-term and a final). All works will be read in Modern English translations.


MWF 12 Group I

Same as CWL 255

Readings in English and continental literary masterpieces with attention to significant cultural influences.


Wilcox. MW 2-3:15 Group I

Same as CWL 257

The term “enlightenment,” with its chilly connotations of reason, morals, and decorum, tends to be construed in opposition to the messy business of human life: sex, religion, and death. In this course, we will look at how, in the eighteenth century, enlightenment involved new conceptions of the mind and self that illuminated these dark corners of human subjectivity in unexpected, complicated, and contentious ways. By reading across a variety of canonical and noncanonical genres and by closely analyzing the rhetorical forms of eighteenth-century thought, we will achieve an understanding of how various literary forms evolved in response to the period’s arguments and uncertainty. By the end of this course, you will be able to read a wide variety of eighteenth-century texts with comprehension and enjoyment and you will understand how those texts depict innovative forms of thought that continue to shape the way we interpret the world. Requirements will include contributions to the course blog, active participation in class discussion (including leading discussion on one of the course readings), two papers, and a final.


MWF 11 Group II

Study of literature, philosophy, visual arts, and social criticism of the British Romantic period, with attention to broader cultural issues.


TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group II

Study of literature, philosophy, visual arts, and social criticism of the British Victorian period, with attention to broader cultural issues.


Perry. Lect. MW 12; Disc. F 12 & 1

This course is supposed to survey a millennium of literature—from Beowulf to the debut of Wordsworth!—in one semester. That is not really possible. So instead of trying to cover some representative sample of everything, we will read carefully a more limited selection of major works in a variety of genres paying close attention to how questions of historical difference can illuminate literary analysis.

This will mean thinking about the emergence and decline of genres (such as epic, tragedy, lyric poetry, or the novel) in relation to changing material conditions and assumptions about the purpose of literature, and it will also mean focusing upon how comparing and contrasting texts from different historical moments can illuminate both the texts themselves and the cultures which produced them. Among the authors we will read will likely be Anonymous (the most prolific of all early British authors), Marie de France, Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, Aphra Behn, and Daniel Defoe.


Saville. Lect. MW 11; Disc. F 11 & 12

Our purpose in this course will be to construct a reader's map designed to negotiate three principle periods of British literature: Romantic (1785-1830); Victorian (1830-1901); and Twentieth Century, and within these, various literary movements, such as Early Romanticism, Realism, Aestheticism, Modernism, and Post-Colonialism. We will consider ways in which specific literary forms and genres (for instance, the serialized novel, the dramatic monologue, the treatise, the critical essay) function to reflect as well as produce or alter cultural perceptions within a specific period. We will devise some initial paths through this vast expanse of literature on the understanding that we can return to make more thorough inroads into each period in more advanced literary courses and at a later date.

TEXTS: Norton Anthology of English Literature, (recommended in three separate volumes for back-pack convenience); Jane Austen, Persuasion; Charles Dickens, Hard Times.


TUTH 11-12:15

Study of literature, philosophy, visual and performing arts, social criticism, and popular sciences of the Anglo-American Modern period (1880- 1920), with attention to broad cultural issues.


English 218 is intended for non-English majors who wish to become more familiar with representative Shakespearean drama. The selection of plays varies from section to section, but each instructor covers eight to ten plays reflecting Shakespeare’s changing interests, themes and developing dramatic skills within the subgenres of comedy, history, tragedy and romance. Required writing includes several short papers, a midsemester exam (or one or two hour exams) and a final. Any critical edition of Shakespeare’s plays may be assigned.


TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group V

American and British poets including Frost, Robinson, Sandburg, Lindsay, Hardy, Hopkins, Housman, Yeats, Lawrence, the Imagists, and the early Pound and Eliot.


MW 3:30-4:45

Same as CWL 265

Ibsen to O’Neill.


B: MWF 9; X: MWF 12

Same as CWL 267

Historical and critical study of the short story (American and European) from the early nineteenth century to the present.


Courtemanche. MWF 11 Group II or V

Is a truly free action possible, in a world structured by money, established power, and the inconvenient desires of others? If we could act with complete freedom, would we like the results, or end up isolated and self-centered? Since the Magna Carta, Britain has considered itself to be more free than most other countries of the world, and yet—perhaps because Britain is only a medium-sized island—its society is a network of dense social obligations. The British novel of the last three centuries forcefully addresses the resulting tensions between individual desire and community responsibility, using wit and satire to create a limited space of social freedom, and the marriage plot to fetishize a single moment of free choice in a materially determined world. This class will also examine what happens when British society interacts with the rest of the world through imperialism and trade, unsettling hierarchies and complicating personal moral choice. We will be reading such texts as Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, E. M. Forster’s Howards End, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia. There will be two papers, a midterm and final, and weekly written assignments; be prepared to read up to 200 pages a week.


Ivy. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group III or V

Looking at a series of American novels from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century, we will track changes in American attitudes, politics, cultures, and styles, but most importantly we will explore changes in the way American writers (and readers) have understood the form of the novel itself: its strengths and weaknesses, its artistic and political possibilities, its commercial viability, and its usefulness for exploring issues of local and national concern. To this end, we will rely heavily on close, careful readings of the novels themselves, combined with more expansive discussion of how novels work, the conventions that shape our reading and interpretation of them, and the ways in which they speak of—and to—the world around them. Authors include Hannah Foster, Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, and James Weldon Johnson. Requirements include regular participation in class discussions, regular short reading responses, two formal essays, a midterm, and a final.


MWF 11 Group III or V

Critical study of selected American novels from 1914 to the present.


Ivy. TUTH 930-1045 Group III or V

This course will be devoted to exploring American novels of the last century and coming to grips with the concept of “novelistic discourse.” We will work on building up a vocabulary for talking about content and form in order to understand something of the history of the American novel as a literary, cultural, and commercial phenomenon. Our novels are tied together thematically by a variety of shared interests: nature and culture; transport, travel, and migration; geographical and social space; national identity; history and memory; structures of family and community; intergenerational dynamics; and of course narrative and storytelling. We will approach these novels on their own terms, but we will also place them in dialogue with each other and with the cultural artifacts that surround them. Thus, you should expect to read each novel carefully and critically, and to encounter supplementary materials in the form of reviews, interviews, and critical essays. Authors include Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, J.D. Salinger, Don DeLillo, Cynthia Ozick, and Gish Jen. Requirements include regular participation in class discussions, regular short reading responses, two formal essays, a midterm, and a final.


Chai. Lect: MW 1; Disc: F 1 & 2

A survey of American literature from its origins to the Civil War. Relatively light emphasis on the colonial era and early republic, more on what comes after. Some attention to history as a framework for the literature. The main focus of the course will be on national development, and on the way that development has been shaped by literary texts: in other words, how we became what we are.

Requirements: 2 papers, midterm, final, attendance at discussion sections.

TEXT: Norton Anthology of American Literature, vols. A & B


Doherty Mohr. M: TUTH 9:30-10:45; Q: TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group III

In this course, we will read American literature from a historical perspective, focusing on a selection of works published between 1865 and the present. With The Norton Anthology of American Literature as our guide, we will explore the impact of social and cultural transformations on our national literature. As we work through literary movements, we will pay close attention to the development of ideas about nation, race, gender, and region, as expressed in fiction, poetry, and drama. Some questions we will consider include: How does this work inform our understanding of American identity? Does this text reflect or challenge contemporary social norms, and in what ways? How does each example of literary expression represent its cultural moment? How have recovered works influenced our thinking about canonical literature? Close reading, active participation, and consistent attendance are important to your success in the course. Requirements include active participation in class and on-line discussions, two critical essays, several response papers, a midterm, and a final exam.

TEXT: Nina Baym, gen. ed., The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 7th edition, Volumes C, D, E (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007).


Lect: MW 2; Disc F 12, 2

Same as GER 250, CWL 250

Special attention is paid to the Grimms’ tales in terms of traditional narrative genres, elements of life in early modern Europe, and versions from Italy and France as well as Germany. Course is conducted in English.


S. Camargo. Lect: TUTH 2-3:15; Film Showing: W 3:30-5:50 Group V

Same as CINE 273

English 273 Explores key issues in American cinema from 1950 to the present, structured around central problems of film studies (such as authorship, genre, narratology, film style, gender analysis, and the spectacle of violence), contextualizing them within moments of major transition in the American film industry. Viewing and discussion of a major film each week.


Garner. MWF 12 Group V

TOPIC: Folklore and the Modern Novel

This course will explore connections between oral traditions and written literature, specifically in the genre of the novel. The following questions will help guide our reading and discussion: : How do we define terms such as “folklore” and “folklife,” and how can we understand these concepts in relation to more explicitly “literary” genres? How do well-known twentieth- and twenty-first century authors use folklore in their writing and thus participate in folk traditions? In what ways do our own traditions inform our interpretations of the fiction that we read? How are ethical and social issues of fieldwork and folklore collection addressed in recent novels? How can an awareness of oral traditions enhance our understanding and appreciation of written works of fiction? Readings will include works by authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, Chinua Achebe, Mario Vargas Llosa, Lisa See, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee Smith, and Louise Erdrich. Requirements will include active class participation, a total of 15 pages of formal writing, weekly informal response papers, two examinations, and a final.


Sullivan. MW 12:30-1:45 Chancellor’s Scholars Section Group V

TOPIC: Globalization and Empire

This seminar will discuss the history and literature of cultures in mutually enriching contact and catastrophic collision. “Globalization” refers to the process of forging or integrating individuals and local communities into larger systems of free trade, global capital, and cultural contact. Globalization, therefore, refers not only to economics but also to human experience, to a range of historical and political events from “discoveries” of new lands to the “conquest” of new lands, from colonialism to neocolonialism, from Disney’s world theme-parks to international world politics. Our use of the term suggests attention to its impact on culture and literature. The long process of globalization has led to waves of diasporas (the movement of people from their original home) which is among the most important global events of our time. We will study some of the new cultural configurations emerging out of the crucible of globalization and migration. These forces have profoundly shaped the modern world, as population, languages, power, and wealth have been redistributed in long and painful processes of conquest, exile, war, and revolution. We will consider literature and film from and about Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Middle East. We will ask who has the power to represent, shape and tell the story of others and how others, stories, in turn, shape our own images of the world. (Students have to be prepared for evening showings of three films).

TEXTS: Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Rudyard Kipling, “The Man who Would be King”; Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy; Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River; Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose; Ghassan Kanafani and other short story writers and poets. Course packet with essays on globalization and diaspora. Films: Richard Attenborough, Gandhi; Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers; Mira Nair, Mississippi Masala; Stephanie Black, Life & Debt; John Huston, The Man who Would be King


Bauer. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group III or V

Same as GWS 280

TOPIC: US Women Writers

This survey of American women’s writing will consider on the following themes: women and identity, sexuality, and work. Our primary focus will be twentieth- and twenty-first century women’s writing, starting in the 1920s and moving, decade by decade, into the present. This class will take a historical and cultural approach to US women’s writing, as well as illuminating various literary methodologies. The reading list will include canonical and noncanonical readings from various genres—poetry, memoir, novel, drama—in order to demonstrate both formal and thematic concerns in representative women’s texts.

Students will write 2-3 page response papers every week. For their final research project, they will focus on one decade and collaborate on producing a portfolio of writing about the range of women’s writing for that decade. This final project—a seminar-length paper—will ask for a multi- layered approach to the literary and social history of their time period. In order to make the final projects cohere as a group, I will encourage (as much as possible) students to undertake the research on different decades in order that the class as a whole—for a collective project—assemble their collection of essays in order to produce a class document chronicling women’s writing over the century.

Tentative reading list: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Crux (1911); Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat” (1926) and Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937); Lillian Smith’s Strange Fruit (1944); Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (1948) and Life Among the Savages (1953) Confessional poetry—Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich 1980s feminist film and drama (TBA) Marya Hornbacher’s Wasted (1998) Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed (2001) or Bait and Switch (2005).


Koshy. TUTH 12:30-1:45

Same as GWS 280

TOPIC: Asian American Women Writers

This course examines the ways in which the perspectives of race and gender and their interrelationships structure the writing of Asian American women. This course will emphasize the historical context within which the meanings of Asian American gendered subjectivity emerge by considering the connection between gender and work, sexuality, intellectual and artistic activity, and family and community life. Through looking at a range of critical writings, we will also examine the development of Asian American feminist thought and its relation to cultural nationalist and transnational communities.


Castro. TUTH 2-3:15 Group III or V

Same as GWS 280

TOPIC: Latina Writers

A March 2002 Current Population Survey performed by the Census Bureau (report issued June 2003) clocked the U.S. “Hispanic” (replaced by “Latino” in January 2003) population as 13.3 % of the U.S. total, identifying it (just barely!) as the largest minority ethnic group in the nation. Demographic data also suggest that Latinos constitute the fastest growing and youngest population in the United States. These findings have prompted much reflection on the future “Hispanicity” of the United States, and the “Latino vote” is discussed routinely in election coverage. This course offers an opportunity to engage writerly voices from within the diverse group of U.S. residents with ties to Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and other points south that we might nominate more broadly as “Latin America.” As the above lines themselves attest, the problem of nomenclature, of classification, and the attendant questions of identification and solidarity are key issues, and they will be among our themes. So, too, will be the “spaces” of Latinidad: Texas, California, the Southwest, the “Borderlands,” Chicago, Miami, New York, L.A., Albuquerque, and perhaps even Puerto Rico (even though the Census Bureau doesn’t include it in its “Latino” numbers). Important, too, will be the question of language (an issue already apparent in the abiding statistical category “Hispanic”), as we interpret the tongues our readings speak in. Questions of migration, exile, diaspora, imperialism, transnationality, and actual and conceptual borderlands will recur in our reading and thinking. Throughout, we will devote keen attention to how Latina writers foreground gender politics and sexuality in navigating various class, racial, national, and cultural allegiances. A certain amount of historical and theoretical contextualization will also inform our readings. Student responsibilities include careful, thorough reading and vigorous class participation, including group presentations; in-class writing and online responses; two papers; a midterm; and a final.

Readings will likely be drawn from works by the following writers: Ana Castillo, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Nicholasa Mohr, Esmeralda Santiago, Cristina Garcia, Achy Objejas, Julia Alvarez, Nelly Rosario, and Angie Cruz.


Baron. MWF 10 Group V

Same as GWS 281

TOPIC: The Archetype of the Fallen Woman in British and American Fiction

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, America was seen as a new Eden—a land of endless social vistas and unlimited economic possibilities, open to any free white male British citizen who made the arduous transatlantic crossing safely and who settled successfully in the New World. Yet for unmarried women, the New World also became synonymous with the darker side of Eden—a place where the story of the fall was reenacted countless times through the greed of artful madams and the unbridled desire of male entrepreneurs, looking to corrupt innocent young girls into a life of sin and prostitution.

In 1791, Susanna Rowson published Charlotte Temple, the first transatlantic novel that deals with this festering social issue. Extremely popular on both sides of the Atlantic, the novel tells the story of the iconic fallen woman and her woeful tale of sexual intrigue and betrayal. For the next hundred and fifty years, American and British audiences, riveted by this moralistic narrative, encouraged writers to engage in a highly nuanced literary dialogue on the subject of the archetypal fallen woman, producing some of the best known literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In this course, we’ll trace the novel as a vehicle for the social theory of British and American gender politics through the tale of the archetypal fallen woman. We’ll begin with an examination of the theme of the ruined woman as a bi-cultural warning to any young girl who strays from the straight and narrow heteronormative sexual imperatives set in place by rigid 19th and 20th century British and American patriarchal mores. As we move through the canon of literature focusing on this gendered narrative, we’ll examine the evolution of the fallen woman through its multiple iterations in England and the US and see how Anglo societies collectively viewed the sexually compromised female from the late Georgian period through the early modernist period as a marginalized other who must be punished through banishment or death to avoid polluting the rarified air of untarnished women. As we unfurl the interlocking social discourse of these transatlantic novels, we’ll explore how the body and the mind of the archetypal fallen woman is presented through the cultural dictates of each national identity, each literary period and the gender and sexual orientation of the authors. Ultimately we’ll see whether class differences, racial differences or the enfranchisement of women, liberated females from this stigma or whether women today are still marginalized by sexually unsanctioned behaviors.

Requirements include: an oral report, two 6-8 page papers and a final exam.

TEXTS: Charlotte Temple, Sense and Sensibility, The Scarlet Letter, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Awakening, Howards End and Passing.


Baron. MWF 12 Group II or V

Same as GWS 281

TOPIC: Icons of Marriage and Maternity in the British Feminist Novel

In 1796 Jane Austen finished her initial draft of Pride and Prejudice entitled First Impressions. Two hundred years later, author Helen Fielding published Bridget Jones’s Diary, a postfeminist version of Austens’s classic novel about a young woman who refuses to be forced into marrying the wrong man despite the prospect of future penury. But for much of British history, women of all classes were expected to maintain the social hierarchy through marriage and to fulfill their personal destiny through pregnancy and motherhood no matter how they felt about their bodies, their husbands or their married lives. In this course, we’ll explore the evolution of women’s marital choices, sexual practices and economic rights in the UK over a two hundred year period from Austen to Fielding, viewing the changes that came along the way.

We’ll begin during the Regency period by examining the nuances of 18th century marriages, zeroing in on how women regarded courtship and how the advent of the novel and the rise of the mercantile class began to restructure the rules about marriage and property in England. Then we’ll see why in spite of their many accomplishments and a powerful female figurehead to lead the nation, Victorian women were barred from owning property, barred from voting, and forced into submissive marriages that could leave them either vulnerable and depressed or curiously satisfied with their constrained lives. Moving into the late 19th century, we’ll take a look at how working class women dealt with the changes that technology had on their vocations, marital choices and sexual practices including premarital relations. Next we’ll zoom into the pre and post WWI and WWII periods to see how women fared in the UK after war had permanently altered the gender lines and their figures with the normalization of reconfiguring undergarments and modern make-up lines. We’ll end the semester on a lighter note with Bridget Jones’s Diary, focusing on the liberated late 20th century woman as she struggles to find just the right guy, battles bad hair days, unwanted cellulite, poor career choices and non-committal boyfriends. Course requirements include 2 moderate length papers (6-8 pages) and a final (8-10 page) paper.

TEXTS: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles; E.M. Forster, Howard’s End; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Barbara Pym, Excellent Women, Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary and for historical background, Marilyn Yalom, A History of the Wife. Films will supplement course readings.


MWF 1 Group II or V

Examination of selected postcolonial literature, theory, and film as texts that “write back” to dominant European representations of power, identity, gender and the Other. Postcolonial writers, critics and filmmakers studied may include Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Aime Cesaire, Ousmane Sembene, Chinua Achebe, Michelle Cliff, Mahesweta Devi, Buchi Emecheta, Derek Walcott and Marlene Nourbese-Philip.


MWF 9 Group III or V

Same as AAS 286

Introduction to Asian American literary studies and culture through the reading of major works of literature selected from but not limited to the following American ethnic subgroups: Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Pakistani, and Vietnamese.


D. Baron. MW 2-3:15 Group V

TOPIC: Blogging Language Policy

Learn about English while you blog. Everybody has an idea of what's right and wrong with language, and what needs to be done about it. This class represents an opportunity to study some of the pressing language policy issues of the day, those surrounding language legislation and linguistic rights, by means of a blog that class members will create and maintain.

We will begin both by learning how to blog and by examining the blog as a new communication genre. We’ll then start looking at some of issues of language that routinely make the news, including:

Official English: from the White House to the school house, arguments swirl about whether English needs to be given special status by making it official. Should the national anthem and pledge of allegiace be translated into other languages? Can employers require workers to speak English on the job? Can foreign languages be banned at city hall, in the local school, even on the schoolbus? What rights and protections should non-English speakers enjoy in an English-dominant country? What about the rights and protections for those who speak a non-standard variety of English? How should schools respond to the presence of large numbers of non-anglophone students, or those with limited English proficiency?

The linguistic impact of the Internet and other new technologies: We commonly read that email, IM, and textmessaging are “ruining the language.” To what extent does technology change how we use language, and to what extent do we need to control that change? English as a global language: English is the new Latin, the language of wider communication around the globe in fields as diverse as business, science, and popular culture. What is the impact of global English on the health of local languages? What should we do to ensure that endangered languages don’t go the way of the dinosaur—or would it be best not to interfere with normal evolutionary processes and just let these languages die out? Is dominance of English in the marketplace, the academy, and on the Web evidence of a new sort of Western imperialism, or simply a matter of convenience, or necessity, created by the demands of contemporary life where we’re all inextricably connected with everyone else on the planet? Are we returning to an ideal, pre-Babel state where we can all understand one another, or is there a backlash against the latest world language? Or is English destined to go the way of French, of Latin, of Greek, or Swahili, or the other languages that once enjoyed “language of wider communication” status?

(Note: a number of seats will be reserved for students who have officially declared an Informatics minor.)


Pollock. TUTH 11-12:15 Group I or V

TOPIC: Masculinity and the Discourses of Enlightenment

In this course, we will hone our writing skills by analyzing the complicated and often contradictory conceptions of masculinity in European literary culture in what has been called the “long” eighteenth century, roughly 1660-1830. How do contrasting notions of “manliness” in the Enlightenment and its aftermath either articulate or respond to historically specific social and ideological crises? We will begin by examining the figure of the libertine as a peculiar English (and French) index of both secularization and the waning of traditional structures of authority in European culture. We will then read eighteenth-century texts which attempt to contain the disruptive force of libertinism by offering “reformed” versions of masculinity—the conscientious merchant, the well-mannered spectator, the sentimental father, and the penitent rake—as different ways of consolidating an increasingly bourgeois, mercantile social order. Finally, we will focus on two texts that reflect in different ways on the legacy of Enlightenment masculinity: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Throughout the semester, we will ask how these ideas about masculinity get constructed in relation to specific notions of femininity, sexuality, and national identity. Our work on the related tasks of thinking and writing will be comprehensive—we will focus on developing precise close readings of particular textual passages; we will discuss strategies for building complex argumentative structures on the foundation of these detailed readings; and we will come to understand writing as a necessarily recursive process through exercises in stylistic and analytical revision. In addition to the texts by Shelley and Wallace, possible works include plays by Behn, Wycherley, and Lillo; prose fiction by Addison, Steele, Haywood, Diderot, Mackenzie, and Laclos; philosophical narratives by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Sade, and Sacher-Masoch; and poems by Rochester, Baudelaire, and others.


Kay. TUTH 11-12:15 Group I or V

TOPIC: Gender and Power in Seventeenth Century Drama

Women in 17th-century England were at a disadvantage in relation to men because of a lack of educational and vocational opportunities, a marriage system in which dowries and arranged marriage limited freedom of choice and masculine ideology proclaimed husbands the head of the household, and a double standard of sexual morality that allowed men license but demanded chastity from women. Nevertheless, gender roles were the subject of lively negotiation in the period immediately before and after the English civil war, and the new commercial theater of the late 16th and early 17th century capitalized on the interest in the balance of power between men and women by staging examples of assertive and independent women. Moreover, in the Restoration, the innovation of women actresses expanded the role of women in drama and made their parts more equal. We will examine power relations between men and women in seventeenth-century drama, exploring how attempts at male dominance or sexual conquest are challenged by female assertiveness and wit and considering whether the scope allowed to female characters is genuine or subtly qualified. Writing requirements will be fulfilled by a series of short essays leading to a longer term paper that will be written and revised.

TEXTS: (tentative) Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew; Dekker & Middleton, The Roaring Girl; Marston, The Dutch Courtesan; Webster, The Duchess of Malfi; Fletcher, The Woman’s Prize, or The Tamer Tamed; Wycherley, The Country Wife; Etheredge, The Man of Mode; Behn, The Rover; Farquhar, The Beaux’ Stratagem.


Neely. TUTH 11-12:15 Shakespeare Requirement

TOPIC: Twenty-First Century Shakespeare

In this course we will explore Shakespeare plays as they are performed, adapted, written and thought about in the twenty-first century. We will read two adaptations of Shakespeare, Joe Calarco’s Shakespeare’s R&J (with an all male cast), and a feminist prequel to Shakespeare’s King Lear, Lear’s Daughters, along with the tragedy. We will likely read Henry IV Part I, Othello, and Measure for Measure, as well as other Shakespeare plays which have been much debated and performed in this century as well as contemporary critical essays. We’ll also see one or more plays, view film clips, and perform scenes in class. But the main purpose of course will be to enable you to become a more resourceful and creative reader and writer with a repertory of writing strategies at your command. There will be at least 4 short papers, each peer and/or instructor edited and revised, culminating in a longer final paper and final in-class writing. Previous experience of Shakespeare or drama is not required but welcomed and course fulfills Shakespeare requirement.

TEXTS: Calarco’s Shakespeare’s R&J; paperback editions of plays; reading packets


Bauer. TUTH 12:30-1:45

TOPIC: Edith Wharton and Her Times

This class will focus on the major author Edith Wharton (1862-1937), whose 19 novels and novellas and 11 short story collections created a career devoted to what one of her biographers calls “the social chronicler of her age” (Benstock vii). We will start with one of her most famous novels, The House of Mirth (1905), and read fictions and poetry throughout her illustrious career. Given the many films based on her works, we will also watch Wharton on film in order to measure the range of her concerns for each period her work is filmed.

Our readings will include Ethan Frome (1911), The Reef (1912), Custom of the Country (1913), Summer (1917), Age of Innocence (1920), and The Mother’s Recompense (1925), along with some of her major short stories: “Bunner Sisters,” “The Other Two,” “Xingu,” “Roman Fever,” “The Pelican,” and the Beatrice Palmatto fragment.


Koshy. TUTH 2-3:15

TOPIC: Asian American Literature

This course will focus on developing your writing skills by exploring Asian American literary texts. We will consider the liminal position of Asians in a national imaginary defined by binary black-white relations, the ways in which Asians have been positioned as invisible minorities, model minorities, and perpetual aliens. How has this paradoxical position as model minority and yellow peril impacted representations of gender, race, and sexuality in Asian American literature? How does Asian American literature offer new perspectives and understandings of race and Americanness in the twentieth century? The main objective of the course is to develop your skills as a resourceful reader and writer so that you can write persuasive and well-organized essays. We will work on developing close readings of the texts, ways of building arguments and honing thesis statements, and revising and editing essays. You will write a series of short papers, which will be edited and revised and will culminate in a longer term paper.


Trilling. MWF 10

This course is designed as an introduction to the kinds of interpretive methods that you will encounter in your study of literature. The class will help you to recognize critical theory from a range of schools, including Marxism, formalism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, feminism, queer theory, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Along with theoretical texts, we will also read primary materials, helping you to develop your own sense of the history of literature and its interpretation, and to participate in discussions about the various ways that people find meaning in literary texts.

Requirements for the course include regular attendance and preparedness, class participation, three short essays, and a final exam.


Hart. TUTH 9:30-10:45

This course will introduce you to several crucial theoretical concepts and interpretive methods in the critical study of literature. It won’t make you an expert in literary theory, but it will teach you about how writers from the classical period to the present have approached such seminal questions as: What is literature? What is an author? What is a “close reading”? Should writers and critics be guided by moral or political duties? Is literary creation a conscious or unconscious activity? And do certain people—that is, people like us, with our various races, nationalities, genders, and sexual identities—produce certain kinds of writing?

In addition to our readings in critical theory, we will also read selected poems by modernist writers like W. H. Auden and Mina Loy, a short play by the German writer Bertolt Brecht, and Thomas Pynchon’s postmodern novel, The Crying of Lot 49. We will read these creative works so as to help you develop your own ideas about the best method of literary-critical interpretation and allow you discuss the different ways that people find meaning in literary texts. Requirements involve 3 short essays, a take-home midterm, and a final exam. You should also be willing to work through difficult philosophical writing. Most English majors should take English 301 in the second semester of their sophomore year or the first semester of their junior year, but only if they have already taken several literature courses. The most common complaint about this class comes from seniors who regret not taking it sooner.


Parker. TUTH 9:30-10:45

“How to Interpret Literature: An Introduction to Contemporary Critical Theory.” This course is required for English literature majors. (Most English majors should take English 301 in the second semester of their sophomore year or the first semester of their junior year, but only if they have already taken several literature courses. The most common complaint about this class comes from seniors who regret not taking it sooner.) Literature students write, think, and speak literary criticism, and this course sets out to make that process more interesting and—eventually—more fun. In the last half century, critics have repeatedly reinvented literary and cultural criticism in ways that can deeply influence how we interpret what we read and how we understand our daily lives. We will study such critical movements as new criticism, structuralism and narratology, deconstruction or poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer studies, Marxism, new historicism, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and reader response. This course prepares students for future literature classes, and more to the point, it helps us understand and question the entire project of critical thinking and reading. Requirements: attendance (which is crucial), probably two papers and several tests. Class time will focus on discussion and more discussion and more discussion, not on lecture. Readings: a modest selection of literary texts and individual works of criticism and theory as well as R. D. Parker, How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies (2008).


Hansen. TUTH 11-12:15

This course will introduce students to the various issues and debates central to contemporary literary studies. If you have ever wondered why people interpret certain texts, and even certain events and actions, as they do, then this is the course for you. The class will begin by exploring the ways in which three profoundly different thinkers, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, introduced a peculiarly suspicious form of reading, a way of interrogating texts and the world that looks beneath the surface and doubts that what you see is what you get. We will go on to explore how literary critics in the 20th century worked to map this Modern “hermeneutic of suspicion” onto political, psychological, and philosophical issues that still have an effect on us today. Finally, the course will engage with literature’s relationship to questions of sexual and racial difference, of power, and of technology. Requirements will include active class-participation, weekly journal entries, two short papers, and two exams.

Texts will include Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals and a Course Packet with essays by critics in the Gender, psychoanalytic, Marxist, and Post-Structuralist traditions.


Garner. MWF 11 Group V (*requires advisor approval)

Same as CLCV 363, CWL 363

This course serves as an introduction to the study of oral traditions from around the world. We will be interested in living oral traditions, in literary texts that derive from oral traditions, and in performances and texts at all points along the spectrum between these extremes. Among other topics, we will explore performance and manuscript contexts, aspects of gender, and the complex issues involved in collecting and transcribing folklore texts. Readings will address a variety of verbal arts (such as epics, lyrics, folktales, and charms) drawn from a wide range of cultural traditions, such as Ancient Greek, Old English, South Slavic, Native American, West African, Finnish, and Appalachian. In addition, we will view and listen to video and audio recordings of oral performances whenever possible. Reference will be made to several different methodologies for interpreting oral and oral-derived works, but the focus throughout will be on the primary texts themselves. Course requirements include a series of microthemes and quizzes, a research paper (which may develop from an earlier microtheme), two examinations, and class participation. (This course will be co-taught with Prof. Scott Garner, Classics Dept.)


T. Newcomb. TUTH 3-4:50 Group V

Same as CINE 373

TOPIC: Haunted Cinema

This course is a Hollywood genre study with a couple of twists. It is structured not around a classic genre like the western or horror film, but around a narrative motif, the experience of haunting, which bridges many of the key genres of film history. Haunting scenarios have been combined with almost every Hollywood genre—horror (both supernatural and psychological), sci-fi, teenpic, romance, western, religious allegory, family drama, even comedy. Some narratives of haunting provide us with powerful metaphors of interconnection in a fragmented modern world; others allow us to imagine the idea of religious belief in a skeptical age. At their best they create generic hybrids that link our psychic fantasies to sociopolitical realities in vivid and powerful ways.

Examining this “genre that is not one” will allow us to pursue main three avenues of inquiry:

To ask what’s problematic and what’s productive about the entire notion of cinematic genre To consider how cinema allows us to explore issues of identity, gender, and sexuality which are crucial to our psychic lives, yet often taboo in most aspects of our lives To consider what haunts cinema itself: what forces and fears, normally repressed by the moneymaking machinery of Hollywood, return to speak to the viewer in haunting narratives? In other words, what does cinema tell us about itself through these narratives that it can’t or won’t speak of in any other way? We’ll focus primarily on recent Hollywood productions, but will pay some attention to earlier films that establish key conventions for the haunting film. Among the films we are likely to screen are Nosferatu, The Mothman Prophecies, The Ring, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Turn of the Screw, The Sixth Sense, The Others.

The class meets twice a week for two hours. Tuesdays are weekly mandatory film screenings; Thursdays are discussion sessions. You must be available for both sessions each week.

The workload will include several brief film analyses; two or three formal papers; extensive participation in class discussion; and a final exam. The principal text will be a photocopy reader. The prerequisite for this course is at least 3 semester hours of college level work in literature and/or film. One film course is recommended.


Garrett. TH 1-2:50 Group II or V

TOPIC: Gothic Fiction

Gothic fiction has been persistently popular since it first emerged over two centuries ago, and many of the tales of terror that continue to appear on best-seller lists and multiplex or TV screens draw on devices and themes that go back to the earliest examples of the genre. This seminar will trace the development of Gothic from its beginnings in the later eighteenth century through the Romantic and Victorian periods, examining its cultural role as a counter-narrative to more optimistic stories of civilized progress, idealized spirituality, and domestic moderation. With its evocations of a dark past and fearful superstitions, its tales of violent passions, monstrosity, and death, Gothic continually produces disturbing effects of excess and transgression. It also continues to give pleasure, and we will need to ask why. Does the thrill of Gothic terror come from subverting the authority of reason and social norms, or do we enjoy it only because we know that in the end those norms will prevail and the disturbance be safely brought under control? From the haunted castles of Walpole and Radcliffe to the fog-shrouded streets of late-Victorian London, we will pursue these mysteries, and more.

TEXTS: Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; Lewis, The Monk; Radcliffe, The Italian; Austen, Northanger Abbey; Shelley, Frankenstein; Hogg, Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Poe, Tales; Collins, The Woman in White; Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Stoker, Dracula; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; James, The Turn of the Screw


Garrett. M 2-3:50 Group I or V

TOPIC: Festivity in Early English Literature

This is a class about time—specifically the time scheme of the liturgical year, the sacred calendar that gave shape to the lives of men and women in medieval and early modern England. The Church’s cyclical sequence of feast days generated opportunities for devout reflection, but it also authorized more playful forms of celebration: football games, church ales, morris dances, and so on. Early English literature was an equal participant in this culture of festivity, translating its ludic concerns into textual and dramatic forms. We’ll spend the semester considering this process; our investigation will concentrate on plays and poems connected to the three major Church holidays of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The first half of the class will focus on medieval texts. We’ll treat the Arthurian romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as a Christmas game, relive Christ’s Passion in William Langland’s Piers Plowman, and watch urban communities take shape in the summertime Bible plays of York and Chester. The second half of the course will concentrate on Renaissance texts, paying particular attention to the changes to English festivity generated by Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church. We’ll chart Edmund Spenser’s reformation of Catholic time in The Shepheardes Calendar even as we acknowledge the survival of Catholic ritual in dramatic texts like William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and the masques of Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson. We’ll also consider the festive poetry of Robert Herrick and George Hebert, two country parsons directly involved in the performance of time-sensitive Anglican liturgy.

Course assignments will include regular reading responses and a substantial term paper (to be written in stages). Whenever possible, medieval texts will be read in Modern English versions.


Nelson. W 1-2:50 Group IV

TOPIC: The Poetry of Langston Hughes and Claude McKay

It would be difficult to imagine two writers with such similar beliefs and values who chose to write in such different styles. Claude McKay revolutionized the sonnet with his fierce, eloquent poems about race relations in America. Langston Hughes often wrote about race and poverty as well, but in more open forms that emulated blues and jazz rhythms. Though both were capable of uncompromising poems of protest, unlike McKay, Hughes often used humor to get his points across.

Not only two of our premier African-American poets, they rank among our greatest poets of any group. We will review their entire careers, compare them with their contemporaries, and examine their influence on recent poets. Class discussion will focus on collaborative analysis and performance of their poetry. A major web site (MAPS—Modern American Poetry Site) gives you online access to commentary on the poems.

The main texts are Anthology of Modern American Poetry (Oxford paperback) and The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. Two papers will be required. Email me with questions at crnelson@illinois.edu.


D. Baron. MW 12:30-1:45

Everything you always wanted to know about the English language but were afraid to ask, this course is an introduction to English linguistics. Topics include the nature of language; how we acquire our first language; the sounds, structures, and meanings of English; the nature of conversation and other forms of scripted and unscripted speech; the relationship of speech to writing; language change; linguistic variety and the development of language standards; the language scene in the US today; English and Englishes around the globe; the nature of literary language; and linguistic stylistics.

Note: no previous study of grammar or linguistics is required for this course (but students with such experience are welcome!)


Garner. MWF 9

Same as BTW 402

This course provides an introduction to the variety and structure of the English language. In this class we will study the structures of the English language—words, sentences, and meanings—in various social and historical contexts, discuss the basic concepts and terminology of English grammar and usage, and explore the applications of grammar in real-world use, including writing, education, and literature. Requirements include a midterm exam, a final exam, and a research paper, as well as a series of graded exercises and short writing assignments. Our textbook (Kolln and Funk’s Understanding English Grammar) will be supplemented with readings available through electronic reserve.


Ionin. TUTH 11:30-12:50

Same as EIL 422

This course is designed to help prospective teachers of English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) enhance their understanding of English grammar and develop pedagogical approaches to teaching English grammar. This course has two main components: (1) instruction in English grammar, with particular emphasis on those areas that present difficulties for ESL students; and (2) development of pedagogical approaches to teaching English grammar. In order to provide practical teaching experience, the course also offers a tutoring practicum where participants tutor ESL students on topics of English grammar that have been covered in the course, using pedagogical materials that are sound in light of current second language acquisition (SLA) theories, research findings, and teaching methodologies.


C. Wright. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group I (*requires advisor approval)

Same as MDVL 407

"this pure contemplation / of a language of the dawn" —Jorge Luis Borges, “On Embarking on the Study of the Anglo-Saxon Language”

In this course you will learn to read Old English prose and poetry in the original language, which was spoken by the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of England from the sixth through eleventh centuries. This was the native language of Caedmon, who wrote the earliest surviving English poem (“Caedmon’s Hymn”); of King Alfred, who prevented the Vikings from conquering England, and who then undertook a revival of learning by translating into English “those books which it is most necessary for all to know”; of the anonymous author of Beowulf, who memorialized a Germanic hero’s battles with a man-eating monster, his vengeful mother (the monster’s, that is), and a dragon; and of abbot Ælfric and archbishop Wulfstan, who preached in English for those who could not understand Latin, the official language of the medieval church.

We will begin with some easy prose readings (the story of Adam and Eve from Genesis, and a school dialogue about Anglo-Saxon “career choices”), and as you gradually master the basics of Old English grammar we will work our way up to more challenging narrative prose such as Bede’s story of Caedmon’s miraculous transformation from cowherd to poet; King Alfred’s government “white paper” on education reform; and Wulfstan’s apocalyptic sermon to the English written at the height of the Viking raids. Then in the second half of the semester we will read some of the finest shorter Old English poems, including The Wanderer and The Seafarer, two elegiac poems of exile; The Battle of Maldon, recounting the heroic defeat of an English army by the Vikings; The Dream of the Rood, a mystical vision of the Crucifixion, as told by the Cross; and The Wife’s Lament, about a woman abandoned by her former lover.

For graduate students the course is 4 hours credit and will involve an additional hourly meeting per week (time and place to be arranged).


Newcomb. TUTH 2-3:15 Shakespeare Requirement

This course samples works from the first half of Shakespeare’s career, represented here by selected sonnets, a history play; two comedies, and three tragedies. We’ll especially notice how the plays construct identities for male and female characters, stage Elizabethan social tensions, and celebrate theater’s address to its audience. Throughout, we’ll test those features that have kept Shakespeare culturally productive: the openness of staging that invites new interpretations; the flexible language that insists on polyvalence; and the confronting of familial, class, gender, and racial tensions in terms both prescient and ambivalent.

Since the value of studying Shakespeare lies not in the texts alone, but also in their continuous, creative reinvention by performers and critics, this course samples several kinds of interpretive practice systematically, from performance and film analysis to feminist, historicist, and cultural-studies and queer studies approaches. Be ready for proactive discussion, performance experiments, and rigorous written work including skill-developing journals, a response to an on-campus Shakespeare production, two focused short papers, a longer paper using guided research (7-9 pp.), and a final exam.

TEXTS: Greenblatt et al, eds., The Norton Shakespeare (first or second edition); McDonald, ed., Bedford Companion to Shakespeare (2nd edition).


Perry. MWF 10 Shakespeare Requirement

Earlier tragedies, comedies, and history plays. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One year of college literature or consent of instructor.


Stevens. TUTH 9:30-10:45; TUTH 12:30-1:45 Shakespeare Requirement

This course studies a range of plays from the first half of Shakespeare’s career (comedies, tragedies, and one “problem play”): Titus Andronicus; Romeo and Juliet; The Taming of the Shrew; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Merchant of Venice; As You Like It; and Measure for Measure. While we’ll certainly consider Shakespeare in his immediate political and cultural context, our emphasis will be on the plays in performance. I would have us try to set aside, for a moment, Shakespeare’s formidable reputation as the “greatest writer in the history of English literature” and instead concentrate on Shakespeare the actor and playwright who made his considerable living writing for the London professional theater.

Evaluation: Participation; one mid-term; one short paper substantially expanded into a final paper; short written assignments or email postings; attendance at one Krannert performance, should their Fall 2008 program reflect class interests; and one in-class performance assignment.

TEXTS: Specific editions of the plays (Bedford Texts and Contexts series); possibly a course reader; Tiffany Stern, Making Shakespeare.


Cole. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Shakespeare Requirement

The first half of Shakespeare’s career is examined through careful readings of ten plays, each selected for the new things it tells us concerning his changing interests and developing dramatic skills. Discussion centers on the plays themselves, of course, but it also attempts to relate the plays to one another and to the time in which they were written. The first five weeks, for example, deal with three early plays—the tragedy of Romeo And Juliet, the comedy of Love’s Labor’s Lost, and the history of Richard III—as promises of greater things to come. The next twelve sessions are devoted to tracing the greater historical things—Richard II, I and 2 Henry IV, and Henry V—and during the closing weeks we shall watch LLL turning into the brilliant high comedies of Much Ado, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night. A sixth-week exam covers the first three plays, a paper on Henry V is due the eleventh or twelfth week, and the final exam covers only the last seven plays.

TEXT: The Riverside Shakespeare, G.B. Evans, ed.

428 ENGLISH DRAMA 1660-1800

Markley. TUTH 11-12:15 Group I or V

This course will cover some of the major works in British drama written between 1660 and 1777. We will pay particular attention to the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts of theatrical performance, and we will discuss the major issues that find on their way onto the London stage: sexual morality, the role of women in a patrilineal society, and the problems of empire, trade, and colonialism. Because the Restoration period (1660-1700) featured the popular and critical success of a number of women dramatists—Aphra Behn, Susan Centlivre, Mary Pix, and Catherine Trotter—we will devote a good deal of attention to the ways in which these playwrights appropriated the conventions of the seemingly antifeminist genres of wit comedy. In addition to these women dramatists, we will read and discuss plays by George Etherege, John Dryden, William Wycherley, Thomas Otway, Thomas Shadwell, William Congreve, John Gay, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.


Pollock. TUTH 2-3:15 Group I or V

This course will examine the link between European colonialism and the development of recognizably “modern” fiction during the course of the long eighteenth century—a period commonly referred to as the Enlightenment—in England, France, and the Americas. One of the central tasks in our project this semester will be to understand the significance of travel both as a literal means of disseminating “enlightenment” between cultures, and as a metaphor for describing the developmental trajectory of the self-cultivating individual. Each of the fictions we will read presents us with characters who undertake a movement out of their own cultures—even “out” of themselves—into trans-cultural or inter-cultural spaces where complicated ethical and political dilemmas must be negotiated. Perhaps the most influential legacy of these Enlightenment fictions (or fictions of Enlightenment) has been their implicit formulation of “cosmopolitanism” as a solution to the often violent clash between cultures. The popular narratives we’ll study in this course test the Enlightenment’s cosmopolitan ethos by putting European observers in places as diverse as Africa, Brazil, Persia, Tahiti, and the Caribbean. We will finish by reading some recent philosophical work on the question “What is Enlightenment?” and we will attempt to answer that question ourselves. Texts by Montaigne, Behn, Defoe, Montesquieu, Swift, Montagu, Diderot, Johnson, Voltaire, Equiano, and Kant. Course requirements: regular attendance and participation, three essays, and a final exam.


Courtemanche. MWF 2 Group II or V

In the 19th century, British writers took the newly-popular form of the novel and vastly expanded its ambitions, adding cliffhangers, complex moral dilemmas, subtle wit, metaphysical reflections on history, and biting social critique. Many of the novels we’ll be reading are based on a combination of the romance plot (in which a happy marriage solves other problems) and the Bildungsroman plot (in which a young person achieves his or her desires by struggling against a cruel world), but they also deftly undermine and chop up these generic expectations, leading to sudden new perspectives and surprising twists. Readings will include Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, and several critical essays. These novels are tremendously fun to read, but also very long, so be prepared for a great deal of reading. The course will require one close-reading paper, one research paper, a midterm and final, weekly written assignments, and active class participation.

441 BRITISH LIT 1900-1930

TUTH 2-3:15


Hart. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group II

This class asks whether contemporary British fiction is still legible as a national literature—that is, as the product of a specifically “national” experience or identity. We will approach this question in two ways. First, we will read a selection of novels from the 1950s to the present that showcase the changing face of Britain as it recovers from the Second World War and slowly emerges as a multi-ethnic and multi-national state wired into new transnational networks of economic and political power. Authors we are likely to read include Doris Lessing, Sam Selvon, B. S. Johnson, Salman Rushdie, Janice Galloway, Caryl Churchill, and Zadie Smith. This incomplete survey of the ethnocultural landscape of British fiction will be made more rigorous by our concurrent enquiry into the question of “transnational method.” How should literary critics respond to cultural and economic globalization? Is there a world literature? Is literary nationalism reconcilable with cosmopolitanism, creoloization, and a global media? Through critical analysis and theoretical discussion we will ask whether (or how) our small corner of the Anglophone literary field can survive the current challenge to the nation as an explanatory category.

451 AMERICAN LIT 1914-1945

Parker. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group III

This course will sample American poetry and fiction from between the world wars, closely studying a set of individual texts and their roles in literary and cultural tradition. Along the way, we will ponder literary responses to changing gender and race relations, to World War I, the roaring twenties, and the Great Depression. We will also consider the growth of modernism and its revolutions in literary form and the relation between experiments in literary form and the era’s social and political conservatisms and radicalisms. We will read work by some of the most famous familiar figures of modern American literature—T. S. Eliot (a selection of poems), Ernest Hemingway (probably short stories), and William Faulkner (probably Light in August)—as well as work by less canonized or more recently canonized writers, including poetry by Langston Hughes and a selection of Imagist poets, Nella Larsen’s Passing, Dorothy Parker’s short stories, Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing. (None of these writers or titles is finally decided on, and the list is not complete, but it gives a picture of the course-plan in progress.) Take this course only if you plan to attend class regularly and join actively in class discussion. If you don’t want to speak in class, then take another course. Writing requirements will probably include several papers and a final exam.


Chai. TUTH 11-12:15 Group IV

TOPIC: Melville and Hawthorne

In this course, we’ll look at Melville and Hawthorne in terms of what they have to say about a common theme: the extent of individual autonomy. For both authors, the crucial question is how that autonomy might be restricted by either internal or external forces. In The House of the Seven Gables, individual autonomy gets co-opted by psychological possession, which works equally against both the possessed and the possessor. Meanwhile, The Blithedale Romance surveys the relation between the sexes as a whole. Here, by means of a careful analysis of the psychology of the voyeur, Hawthorne tries to show why that relation is often more about power than about love. Unlike Hawthorne, Melville wants to worry the issue of autonomy at the level of the involuntary. So in Moby-Dick we get a sense of how individual autonomy might be restricted by the very circumstances that make us what we are. “Bartleby” takes the issue one step further: not just our individual circumstances but our collective circumstances (how we interact) might hinder autonomy. “Benito Cereno” considers a special, unique hindrance to individual autonomy: slavery. Yet here the real hindrance doesn’t come from slavery as a condition but from the tendency of every master/slave relationship to create its own perpetual cycle. Finally, Billy Budd offers a radically different, naturalistic perspective. Instead of motive and/or will, the text asks us to think about autonomy in terms of vital energy or forces.

TEXTS: Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance; Melville, Moby-Dick, Bartleby & Benito Cereno, Billy Budd, Sailor


Saville. MWF 1 Group IV

TOPIC: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) Poet of Private and Public Freedom

If you’ve heard of the Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, chances are you’re most familiar with the romantic, but hackneyed story of her life: the invalid poet, rescued from an overprotective, domineering British father and swept off to a new life in Italy by her poet-lover, Robert Browning, to whom she wrote such sonnets as “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” You may not know that she was also an outspoken defender of civil liberties both in England and abroad, and you might not have considered how freedom to love the person of your choice might tally with civil rights such as freedom of speech, freedom to vote, and other freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the United States in the twenty-first century. In this course, we will study such freedoms and the constraints imagined in Barrett Browning’s poems about child labor in British factories, slavery in 1840s’ America, and the rebellions of Italian patriots against Austrian, Spanish, and French occupation in the 1850s. We’ll consider the similarities that arise between Victorian debates about individual, national, and cosmopolitan freedom, and contemporary debates about our often conflicting patriotic loyalties and global responsibilities. Among the many works we read will be “Stanzas on the Death of Lord Byron,” “The Cry of the Children,” “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point,” “Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave,” the long poems Casa Guidi Windows and Aurora Leigh, and a selection from Poems Before Congress.


Garrett. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group IV

TOPIC: Dickens

Dickens is one of the few major authors in English literature who was also highly popular. From his first rambling comic novel The Pickwick Papers (1837) to his last, uncompleted The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870), he held the devotion of a wide and enthusiastic audience. The humor, pathos, satire, and melodrama, the multitude of vivid, eccentric characters and the intricate plots connecting them that enthralled his original readers still entertain readers (and viewers) today. We will have many opportunities to enjoy the performances of “the Intimitable,” but we will also study his fiction from several critical perspectives: biographical, including not only his successful public career but also his private secrets; cultural, including his role not only as social critic and advocate but also as enforcer of middle-class values; and especially artistic, including his growing compositional control over his fertile inventions and his darkening vision of the world in which he played such a prominent role. Caution: Though the reading in this course is highly enjoyable, there’s also a lot of it—about 300 pages a week—and there will be quizzes on each week’s assignment. Don’t enroll unless you’re prepared to keep up.

TEXTS: Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend


Kaplan-Hartnett. TUTH 2-3:20 Group IV

Meets with CWL 461

TOPIC: J.M. Coetzee

The Nobel Prize winning South African writer J.M. Coetzee’s work is formally diverse, playing with the epistolary, the aphoristic, and other disjunctive forms. His work is characterized by a bleak aesthetic wherein there is no room for the sentimental, the romantic, or the hopeful. His central characters, whether men or, as is often the case, women, tend to be solitary types who have a great deal of trouble connecting in meaningful ways to other people. Paternity and maternity are equally characterized as highly problematic ventures (either in their presence or in their lack). There is a consistent fascination with the status of the storyteller and the always troubled relationship between the event and the story. A host of recurring themes and metaphors reappear with intense regularity; these include complicity, culpability, witnessing, isolation, iron, dust, ghosts, ashes, angels, shame, disgrace, memory, love, reconciliation, forgetting, and history. The turmoil of apartheid and then postapartheid South Africa is often intensely interwoven with the inner turmoil suffered by Coetzee’s characters, but the range of historical traumas explored includes colonialism, slavery, the Vietnam War, totalitarianism, the early stirrings of communism in Russia, contemporary terrorism, and the Holocaust.

The aim of this course is to introduce Coetzee to students and to engage his work on a variety of levels including the literary, political, historical, and emotional terrains covered in his complex texts.


Castro. TUTH 11-12:15 Group III or V

TOPIC: Mixed Metaphors: Literature and Miscegenation

W.E. B. Du Bois famously deemed “the problem of the color line” to be the “problem of the twentieth century.” From our vantage point in the twenty-first, we will consider the metaphorical uses and abuses of blurring that line. This course samples a variety of texts—literary, legal, scientific and theoretical—to investigate the symbolic weight assigned racial and cultural mixture in an American context. We will focus on literary texts that overtly mobilize motifs of racial mixture to evaluate what ends such representations may serve. We will consider those literary cases in dialogue with various theorizations of New World cultural formations that metaphorize mixtures (the “melting pot,” mestizaje, creolité, hybridity), and in so doing we will consider the historical bodies on which such metaphors are predicated. We will draw on some texts from other parts of the Americas for reference and comparison, but our primary emphasis will be on U.S. texts, particularly from Emancipation forward. In addition to careful preparation of the reading and vigorous class participation, students will be expected to give a group presentation and to write various short responses, three essays, a midterm, and a final.

TEXTS: Readings will likely be drawn from among works by Mark Twain, María Ruiz de Burton, Kate Chopin, Thomas Dixon, Pauline Hopkins, José Martí, Charles Chesnutt, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Jessie Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Gayl Jones, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, and James McBride.


Goodlad. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group V

TOPIC: Goth/ic Genres

In this course we will approach the topic of “goth” as a characteristically modern and postmodern phenomenon from two perspectives: 1) its historical precursors in the Gothic aesthetics of nineteenth-century literature and 2) its dimensions as a subculture, inside and outside literary works, since the late twentieth century. Our nineteenth-century readings will include James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, A. C. Swinburne’s poetry, Henry James’s The Aspern Papers, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé and selections from Vernon Lee’s Hauntings. Twentieth-century focal points will include James O’Barr’s graphic novel, The Crow, the music and album art of Joy Division, William Gibson’s Neuromancer and selections from Poppy Z. Brite’s Wormwood. We will read Dick Hebdige’s classic analysis of punk, Subculture: The Meaning of Style, as well as more recent writers on gothic subculture. Students will be encouraged to introduce present-day examples of goth aesthetics in genres such as film, fashion, dance, music, music video, ’zines and club rituals as well as literature.


C. Wright. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group I or V

TOPIC: Irish Myth and Legend in the Middle Ages

This course examines the “Celtic” myths and legends of medieval Ireland. We will read (in modern English translation) medieval Irish tales of gods and goddesses, druids and druidesses, heroes and heroines: tales of voyages to the Celtic Otherworld, of feasts where warriors contend for the “champion’s portion,” of strange births and tragic deaths, of magical transformations, of courtships and cattle-raids. Texts include the Ulster Cycle stories about the boy-hero Cú Chulainn, king Conchobar, Fergus and queen Medb, culminating in the great Irish epic, The Táin Bó Cuailnge (“The Cattle Raid of Cooley”). In addition to the primary focus on the mythological literature, we will also read some texts representative of the “Celtic” spirituality of early Christian Ireland, such as the Lives of Saints Patrick and Brigid and the Voyage of Saint Brendan. As we read the literature we will also study aspects of the history, art, and culture of early medieval Ireland from the pagan Celtic period through the early Christian era and down to the Viking invasions and the Anglo-Norman conquest.


Valente. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group II or V

TOPIC: Damaged Goods

This course will examine how characters made marginal by historically conditioned forms of ebility—physical, emotional, psychic—are represented during the Modernist period as repositories or battlegrounds of moral authority. The course will focus on three crises of the modern period that produced or exacerbated the damage the characters suffer and render that damage socially emblematic: the fracturing of the Victorian social contract, World War I as the supreme expression of that breakdown, and the period of anomie following the war, the so-called lost generation, who testified not just to the damage incurred but to its eclipse of all prospective standards of value. Murphy, and Into Torment.


Mehta. MW 1-2:20 Group V

Meets with CWL 441

TOPIC: Deceit, Desire, and the Novel

The subject of this course is the genre of the novel and its concordance with the political and cultural worlds of the bourgeoisie in the 19th and the early 20th century. How did the novel in different stages and ages of capitalist development interact with the reading public? How was sexuality in its normative or deviant forms explored in this genre? What was the relation between public and private spheres? How did the shadow of the lands/colonies//empires far away figure in the narratives? What new elements or rules, if any, were introduced into the scene by the bourgeoisie of colonized societies? These are some of the issues that will be explored in this course.

TEXTS: (All texts read in English translation) Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; Stendhal, Le Rouge et Le Noir; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Die Leiden des jungen Werthers; André Gide, L’Immoraliste; Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karennina; Jane Austen, Emma; Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre; Rabindranath Tagore, Home and the World; Sharatchandra Chatterjee, Devdas

Secondary Texts: Critical writings by a variety of scholars, including Georg Lukacs, Raymond Williams, Eric Auerbach, Roland Barthes, Frederic Jameson, Nancy Armstrong, Gilbert and Gubar, Jonathan Culler etc.


Hawisher. MW 2-3:15

English 481 will examine theory, research, and pedagogy that have emerged over the past 30 years in the field of writing studies. In particular, we'll look at social theories of writing with an eye toward understanding theoretical issues and practical possibilities. A primary goal for the course is to help you become a better teacher by thinking critically about the instruction you plan and carry out. To this end, we will discuss readings and digital media productions related to writing pedagogies; the development of writing abilities; writing as social action; literacy theories; computers and composition; writing research; and response and evaluation. Extensive writing—both online and off-line––will also be required.

Texts include Bruce, Bertram C. (2003) Literacy in the Information Age: Inquiries into Meaning Making with New Technologies; Dornan, Reade W., Lois Matz Rosen, Marilyn Wilson. (2003). Within and Beyond the Writing Process in the Secondary English Classroom; Dean, Deborah (2008). Genre Theory; Alverman, Donna, ed. (2002). Adolescents and Literacies in a Digital World, among others.


Hansen. TH 1-2:50

TOPIC: Modern Critical Theory: An Advanced Introduction

This course will provide a historical survey of the foundational thinkers, texts, and schools that orient contemporary work in the humanities, from Kant and Hegel to Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Theory. As an “advanced introduction,” the course is intended primarily for first-year graduate students and for those who feel they have not covered the development of critical theory in a systematic way. The course will include significant discussion of figures such as: Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Adorno, Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray, Williams, Hall, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Zizek, and Butler. Among the topics we will certainly address are: history, the subject, value, power, language, ideology, materiality, gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism. The purpose of this course is to ensure that graduate students receive a rigorous introduction to critical theories and methodologies central to a variety of fields in the humanities and to provide the basis for interdisciplinary conversation and intellectual community among graduate students and faculty members from across the university.

Modern Critical Theory will have an unusual format. The course will meet twice a week, once a week in a public session that will include graduate students from Robert Rushing’s Comparative Literature 501 course and once a week in a closed session limited to registered students. Drawing on the resources of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, we will invite to class “guest experts” from around campus (and occasionally from off campus); these guests will visit the public sessions of the seminar and lecture on particular topics throughout the semester. Those Tuesday night sessions will meet from 7-9 p.m.

Requirements: Attendance at all public and closed sessions; active participation; 10-pages of analytical writing during the semester; a timed, 72 hour take-home essay exam of approximately 10 pages at the end of the semester.

More information about the course will be available by late summer on the Unit for Criticism website: http://criticism.english.illinois.edu.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the course: jhansen1@illinois.edu


M 3-5:50

Same as CINE 503, CWL 503

Seminar on historical perspectives on cinema as an institution, a body of signifying practices, a product to be consumed, a phenomenon of modernity, and a cultural artifact and on cinema in relation to other screen media. A detailed description may be posted on English Department web page once it’s available—http://www.english.illinois.edu.


Mortensen. TU 1-2:50

Same as CI 563

This course introduces you to Writing Studies and allied fields, with the aim of enabling scholarly inquiry that advances your graduate career. Throughout the semester, you will evaluate claims to disciplinarity that draw variously on ancient traditions (e.g., rhetoric, reaching back some 2,500 years), established institutional practices (e.g., U.S. college composition instruction, dating from the nineteenth century), and contemporary academic activity (e.g., scholarly exchange emergent in twentieth-century studies of rhetoric, composition, communication, information, literacy, language, reading, and writing). You will learn to navigate the print and electronic resources that document knowledge in Writing Studies and allied fields; in doing so, you will gain a sense of the fields’ most pressing questions and the best methods for pursuing answers to them. Seminar discussions, grounded in careful reading of relevant texts, will survey the breadth and depth of scholarship in Writing Studies and allied fields. Your final portfolio will include writing that demonstrates your familiarity with scholarship in Writing Studies and allied fields, and that positions you to make significant contributions to that scholarship.


L. Newcomb. W 3-4:50

TOPIC: Romance, Novel and the Work of Fiction in Britain 1550-1750

This course engages pre- and non-novelistic prose fiction while eschewing the remarkably persistent ‘rise of the novel’ model that presupposes realism, masculine authority, and English identity as constitutive of the novel proper. The supposed “Englishness” of the eighteenth-century novel is finally visible as an aberration from fiction as a form generated in cultural hybridity. It’s time now to return to the range of earlier forms—romances, scandal and amatory fiction, novellas, topical ‘key’ novels—with a fuller appreciation of their material, political, transnational, and gender-crossing social interventions. We’ll survey a range of fiction forms produced in English from 1550 to 1750, many recently recovered for study by new critical work on fictional narratives’ ties to expository prose genres, on the history of gender and sexualities, and on reader affects and demographics. Our objective is to sketch a fuller collective picture of the prose fictions written and read in early modern Britain, as they participate in transnational ‘romance’ webs of circulation (historically marked as female) as well as in the more specifically English phenomenon that elevated the middle-class novel (initially marked as male). (For the sake of comparison, we will read a few women-authored French novellas in widely-read English translations of the period.) Luckily, many of the works are short, and on-line texts offer new horizons for analyzing their work, individually and collectively, in staking out fiction’s imaginable national, gender, and socioeconomic affinities.


Underwood. W 1-2:50

TOPIC: The Topic Formerly Known as Secularization, 1750-1850

British Romanticism has long been understood as a consequence of secularization. It stood to reason that, as organized religion declined, supernaturalism would become natural, and secular literature would take on the functions of sacred eschatology.

This basic premise of literary history has turned out to rest on shaky foundations. There was never much evidence of religious decline in the Romantic period itself: on the contrary, the period gave rise to new kinds of evangelical activity. If secularization was taking place in literature, one had to assume that it reflected some wider, slower current of change. But historians of religion have not, in practice, been able to identify a current that bears different nations and periods inexorably in the same direction. The religious histories of different nations (even, say, France, England, and the United States) have unfolded very differently. “Secularization” has begun to look like a word that obscures the real relationship between social and literary history by lumping together unrelated things.

This course will study the problem on two different levels. We’ll start by getting a sense of how the broad debate about secularization has played out among sociologists, philosophers, and historians (Durkheim, Casanova, Taylor, Pecora). Then we’ll focus more specifically on the implications of that debate for literary study, looking in particular at a century when literature is supposed to have begun to displace religion. We’ll read classic accounts of that process (Abrams), as well as a series of recent attempts to sharpen social specificity by replacing secularization with the concept of a “reading nation” (McKelvy), or “toleration” (Canuel), or by describing a transformation of religion itself (Jager, White). We’ll pay particular attention to an enthusiasm for historicity that links Romantic literature to some surprising innovations in Protestant doctrine. Primary texts may include Walter Scott’s Old Mortality, selected works by Robert Lowth, S. T. Coleridge, E. B. Browning, and Jules Michelet, and an occasional pamphlet about the Rapture.


Esty. M 1-2:50

TOPIC: Transatlantic Modernism: Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein

Three case studies in expatriate modernism, with emphasis on the implied purposes, literary effects, and cultural significance of each writer’s trans-Atlantic migration. In addition to the major fiction and poetry, we will consider essays and letters as well as biographical and critical works that shed light on the meaning of New York and London (James), America and England (Eliot), Paris and Not-Paris (Stein). We may also give secondary consideration to Kipling and Auden in America, or to Pound and Hemingway in Europe.


Marsh. M 3-4:50

TOPIC: The Long 1930s

Critics who have been drawn to issues of class and radical politics in U.S. literary history have tended to focus, quite understandably, on the depression decade of the 1930s. In this course, we will spend some time with the literature of the 1930s, but we will do our best to survey the period Alan Wald has called “the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left”—that is, the period from roughly 1911 (the founding of The Masses) to the mid-1960s. We will do so in an effort to understand how some of the themes and issues that preoccupied 1930s writers—labor, poverty, civil rights—had their start before that decade and did not go away with U.S. entry into World War II or the backlash against left-liberal politics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In addition to treating each of the understudied works on their own terms, we will also try to generate responses to a few questions that currently divide the field of working-class and left-literary studies. First, why have questions of class lagged behind inquiries based on other categories of identity (race, gender, sexuality) and what form should the relation between class and these other categories take? Second, and related, how have critics brought other theoretical perspectives to bear on a discipline ruled largely by Marxism? Finally, what do we lose and what do we gain by treating the 1930s as a unique period of literary history and, conversely, what do we lose and what do we gain by seeing a continuity of concerns across a number of decades?

Writing assignments will include a short annotated bibliography of scholarship that addresses the work or works you take up in the articlelength (20-25 pages) essay due at the end of the semester. I will also ask you to turn in an introduction to that essay at least two weeks prior to the final due date.

TEXTS: (all more or less tentative) Upton Sinclair, Oil!; Edith Summers Kelley, Weeds; poems from Genevieve Taggard, ed. May Days: An Anthology of Verse from Masses-Liberator; poems from Claude McKay’s Harlem Shadows and Langston Hughes’s Fine Clothes to the Jew; Tom Kromer, Waiting for Nothing; William Attaway, Blood on the Forge; James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Tillie Olsen, Yonnondio; poems from Granville Hicks, et al, eds. Proletarian Literature in the United States; poems from the United Auto Worker, Justice, Industrial Worker, and The Sharecropper’s Voice; Muriel Rukeyser, The Book of the Dead; Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart; the anti-McCarthy poetry of Edwin Rolfe; Ann Petry, The Street; Allan Ginsberg, Howl; Thomas McGrath, Letter to an Imaginary Friend; for most weeks, we will also read a critical analysis of the work as well as a relevant primary document.


Valente. TH 3-5:15

TOPIC: Psycho/Schizo/Psycho – Lacan Deleuze Zizek

This is the second of a triptych of courses designed to introduce the graduate students to the history of French Post-Structuralism in a rigorously focused manner. In each course, we will study a key figure in the formation of Post-Structuralism as a discourse of interpretation and the signature concepts whereby he gave that discourse its foundational logic. In the second course, that figure will be Jacques Lacan and the concept will be objet a, along with its variously nuanced correlatives (lack, desire, phallus, castration, jouissance, drive, das Ding. As Lacan is the most important psychoanalytical thinker since Freud, roughly half the course will be devoted to his major works, including Ecrits, SeminarVII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Seminar XI: Four Fundamental Concepts, and Seminar XX.

In each course we will proceed to a figure who adapted those signature concepts to some more resolutely sociopolitical form of analysis. In the second course that figure will be Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, whose signature concept, the rhizome, we will examine in such works as A Thousand Plateaus, Dialogues and others.

In each course, finally, we will look at the work of an heir of the post-structuralist tradition who is particularly indebted, for his master concepts, to the earlier figures studied. In this course that figure will be Slavoj Zizek, whose signature concept, the empty signifier, we will trace through sections from a number of his works, including The Sublime Object of Ideology, The Metastases of Enjoyment, and Looking Awry.

Course 1 - Derrida, Lyotard, Agamben Course 3 - Foucault, Jameson. Negri


Prior. W 1-2:50

Same as CI 565

TOPIC: Flat CHAT Studies of Literate Activity

This seminar addresses a central issue in Writing Studies, how to connect individual discourse practices, and the learning of them, to social contexts. One approach that offers a potential to bridge the gap between micro and macro or local and global is a convergence of culturalhistorical activity theories (e.g., Vygotsky, Engestrom, Moll, Rogoff, Cole, Voloshinov) with flat approaches to the social arising from phenomenological, rhizomatic and actor-network theories (e.g., Schutz, Latour, Deleuze & Guattari, Holland, Scollon, Hanks, Irvine, Goodwin, Suchman). This flat CHAT convergence could allow for an open-ended tracing of relationships among functional activity systems, genre systems, and literate activity. In this seminar, we will examine in depth some key examples of theoretical and empirical work in these areas. The examples will be drawn from a variety of research areas, not only Writing Studies. To examine how to implement these approaches in studies of writing and literate activity, we will engage in a number of inquiry activities (practicing in effect how to plan, conduct and analyze research). Finally, students will explore the application of flat CHAT approaches to their current or projected research projects.

READINGS: Voices of the Mind: A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action, James Wertsch; Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, Bruno Latour; Discourse in Action: Introducing Mediated Discourse Analysis, Sigrid Norris & Rodney Jones (Eds.) and individual readings that will include work by many of the scholars cited above as well as writing researchers (e.g., Arnetha Ball, Charles Bazerman, Carol Berkenkotter, Anne Dyson, Cheryl Geisler, Bill Hart-Davidson, George Kamberelis, Kris Gutierrez, Kevin Leander, Theresa Lillis, Paul Prior, David Russell, Jody Shipka, Clay Spinuzzi, and Christine Tardy).


Hawhee. W 3-4:50

Same as CI 565

TOPIC: Spawn of the Dead: Aristotle and Rhetorical Studies

This graduate seminar will devote an entire semester to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, arguably the most resilient and proliferating single work in rhetorical studies. Such a sustained study assumes 1) that The Rhetoric should not be read quickly, and 2) that it cannot be read in isolation, so we will read the treatise chapter by chapter and alongside other texts—Aristotelian and non-Aristotelian, ancient and contemporary. The aim of the course is to investigate the historical, cultural, and disciplinary conditions that have given Aristotle such a prominent place in rhetorical studies; how Aristotle’s notions of rhetoric formed in relation to other theories of rhetoric in play during and prior to the classical period; and how Aristotelian arguments and concepts have served to delimit and produce what scholars of rhetoric study and teach these days.


TU 11-12:50

TOPIC: The Teaching of Rhetoric

The professional seminar is designed to prepare graduate students to teach first year composition and is required of all graduate students teaching rhetoric for the first time.


Frost. TU 11-12:50

TOPIC: The Teaching of Business and Technical Writing

The professional seminar is designed to prepare graduate students to teach business and technical writing effectively and is required of all graduate students teaching business writing for the first time. The seminar introduces students to the theoretical foundations of business and technical writing and provides an overview of pedagogical approaches to teaching the topic.

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