English Course Descriptions: Spring 2010

Literature and Writing Studies Courses


English 101 provides students with a foundation in the methods of close reading and analysis essential to an understanding of poetry and, more broadly, to the study of literature. Furthermore, it introduces students to the ways we write and make arguments about poetry. The course addresses the basics of prosody, aspects of poetic language (such as diction, metaphor, image, tone), and major verse forms (such as the sonnet, elegy, ode, ballad, dramatic monologue, free verse). In addition to the formal qualities of poetry, students will also study poems from a range of literary periods and movements in order to learn how these formal qualities change and develop over time as well as how poems are both shaped by and, in some cases, even manage to shape their (and perhaps our) world.

Students will write twelve to fifteen pages of interpretation or criticism, spread out over two or more essays, and also take a midterm and a final examination.


Covering the history of dramatic form, the major genres, the dramatic traditions of various cultures, and key terms used in the analysis of dramatic works, this course serves as a general introduction to the drama. Reading plays from the ancient Greeks to the contemporary theatre, students will be taught skills in close reading and literary interpretation. But, because drama is written to be performed, students will also be asked to consider how textual meanings might be represented through visual and aural means. Course work usually includes several papers (12-15 pages total), a group performance/ presentation, and either several hour exams or a mid-term exam and a final exam.


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 then focuses on the study of different genres and styles of films, including documentaries, feminist films, westerns, musicals, and melodramas, in terms of how they present ideological points of view and/or fulfill certain wishes of the spectator. English 104 is an appropriate prerequisite for English /CINE 273 (an intermediate course in film analysis) and other advanced film classes. The course presents one film program including a feature film per week, shown in a required screening lab on Monday afternoon or evening. Each section meets for two 75-minute lecture-discussion sessions per week. All sections use Bordwell and Thompson’s Film Art as an introductory textbook and give additional reading assignments (essays and book chapters) available in a photocopied reader or on library reserve. Sections are designed so that each student contributes extensively in the discussions; attendance and participation are crucial in this course.

The minimum formal assignments are about 12 pages of expository writing (usually in 3 short essays, although some instructors may assign more writing), a midterm, and a three hour final exam; most instructors also give quizzes. On the exams, most instructors give a factual section (identification, brief answer) and a section of essay questions. This course earns 3 credit hours and qualifies as a General Education course in Humanities and the Arts. (Multiple sections)


TOPIC: The Literature of the Immigrant Experience in the United States

“We are a nation of immigrants” is perhaps one of the most widely used sentences to define American identity. Most of us can trace our ancestry through different parts of the world, through one or several generations of immigrants, and this cultural and/or ethnic affiliation often strengthens our sense of belonging. Although this popular phrase suggests a seemingly unproblematic relation of immigrants to America’s “golden door,” this door has not always been open to all immigrants. Racism, nativism, and economic depression closed it from time to time, thus determining the country’s racial make-up and gradually altering the meaning of the “American Dream.”

This course will focus on the emergence and development of the immigrant literary tradition in the US, from the eighteenth century to the present, in a variety of genres, from the autobiography to the novel, the short story, and the poem. No course of this kind could “cover” the wealth and diversity of immigrant literature in the US—often subsumed to “ethnic” American literature—but we’ll do our best to read representative works by writers who transposed old and new experiences into a new language and culture. The theme of our course, the immigrant experience, also guides some of the questions we’ll be asking throughout the semester: How do immigrant writers construct or imagine the immigrant self in these works? What role does physical geography play in the writers’ recreation of imagined geography? How does the immigrant imagine America in a new language? How does the immigrant writer in the US imagine or re-imagine the “Old World”? Ultimately, how does this literature of immigrant experience contribute to our understanding of American multi-ethnic literature and American literature at large?

TEXTS: Abraham Cahan, Yekl and the Imported Bridegroom; Leonard Q. Ross/Leo Rosten, The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, The Classic Triumph of Good Will over Grammar; Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine; Junot Diatz, Drown; Major Problems in American Immigration and Ethnic History, Jon Gjerde, ed.; FILMS: Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island; An American in the Making; The Immigrant; West Side Story; Hester Street; The Joy Luck Club; The Kite Runner


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.


same as RLST 101, CWL 111

Themes and literary genres in the Bible, emphasizing content important in Western culture. Check with Religious Studies for further information.


This course is designed to acquaint students with examples of the rich diversity of British prose, poetry, and drama. Works selected will vary from section to section, but instructors usually rely upon the Norton Anthology of English Literature, Major Authors Ed., along with a few supplementary paperbacks, for the assigned readings. As a basic introduction to English literature, this course does not offer a complete chronological survey of all or even most major writers. 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. Texts for reading and discussion will include literature representing a variety of gender and 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.


TOPIC: Reading for Writers

Think of Reading for Writers as the course a group of short story writers and poets might take when they want to talk and write about the mechanics of short stories and poems, the decisions that face writers as they build or shape the things they write, the formal elements that time and again surface as the basic tools at hand. This course seeks also to help writers understand the necessity for a shared reading list that encourages conversations among writers about what we do and how it gets done well. Such a reading list should help writers as they move through one of our Creative Writing sequences, poetry or fiction. Expect to do a series of very short response papers and one medium-length analysis. This class satisfies a literature requirement in the Creative Writing major.

199 RM UNDERGRADUATE OPEN SEMINAR, Mehta. Lect: TUTH 2; Screening: TU 7-9:50 pm

meets with CWL 151

TOPIC: Love and Death in Indian Cinema

This course will explore the themes of 'love' and 'death' in Indian mainstream (mainly Bollywood) Cinema. How does the world's most prolific film industry handle these themes? What is the relation between the literary and cinematic representations of love and death? Is Bollywood cinema a form of social history? Has this cinema ever resisted dominant nationalist and patriarchal ideologies? In what ways have the forces of globalization changed this industry? These are some of the issues we will explore. Films will include Shree 420, Sholay, Madhumati, DDLJ, Devdas, Guru etc. All films will be screened with subtitles. No knowledge of Hindi or any other Indian language is required. This course is open to non-majors. Films: to be screened every Wednesday, 6-9 p.m. All films will have English subtitles. Secondary texts: Critical writings by a variety of scholars, approximately 1-2 essays per film, to be posted on Compass (www.compass.uiuc.edu) or on Electronic Text (e-reserve).

199 U1 UNDERGRADUATE OPEN SEMINAR, Griswold. TH 2:30-3:20

TOPIC: Getting the Book Together

In this special topics course students will find, select, edit, and organize texts and photos from various sources, arrange permissions for their use, and compile a book-length manuscript for archiving or possible publication.

This course is restricted to Unit One students or with the permission of the instructor. 1 hour credit.


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, novels, 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 and other assignments.

TEXTS: Vary according to section.


same as CWL 253, MDVL 201

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


same as CWL 255

This course offers an introduction to some of the main themes and concerns of the Renaissance (focusing on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in particular England under Elizabeth I and James I). We’ll read a representative sampling of genres (poetry, prose, drama, court masques) from the selected works of such major writers as Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, John Donne, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Mary Wroth, George Herbert, and John Milton, in addition to reading less canonical authors. We’ll focus on such issues as early modern notions of authorship and “self-fashioning”; privacy, gender, love, sex, and marriage; religious identity; science and early modern psychology, including conceptions of the body and the passions; and the literary construction of ethnic others.

TEXTS: Course packet; Norton Anthology of English Literature Vol B, The Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century


same as CWL 257

Readings in English and continental literature of the eighteenth century, with attention to significant cultural influences.


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

208 Q VICTORIAN LIT AND CULTURE, Garrett. TUTH 12:30-1:45

Group II

The length of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) and the accelerating rate of social and cultural change throughout it make the period named for her remarkably diverse. Its range extends from the troubled 1830s and ‘40s, whose political conflicts led writers like Carlyle to question “the condition of England,” through the increasingly prosperous 1850s and ’60s, whose complacency was challenged by writers as different as Dickens and Arnold, to the later decades of the century, whose anxieties and growing sophistication found fullest expression in the brilliant decadence of Wilde. It was the great age of the novel, whose broad social representation and probing psychological investigations were echoed by the poetry and non-fiction prose that will be the main concern of this course. We will explore such social issues as industrialism and “the Woman question,” but we will be equally concerned with aesthetic issues such as the development of the dramatic monologue and the novel in verse.

Readings will be mostly drawn from a Victorian anthology (either the Norton or Longman) with the addition of one or two novels, such as Dickens’s Hard Times.

209 BRITISH LITERATURE TO 1798, Trilling. Lect: MW 1; Disc: F 1 & 2

This course is intended to survey more than a thousand years of British literature from the early Middle Ages through the eighteenth century. But what does "British literature" really mean? The range of languages, genres, peoples, characters, and contexts that fall under this heading is downright staggering, and part of our goal in this course will be simply to appreciate the sheer volume and breadth of written work created in the British archipelago between the eighth and eighteenth centuries. We will do this through a necessarily selective sampling of historical periods, languages, and genres. Some of the texts we read will be attached to famous names like Chaucer, Milton, and Shakespeare; others are composed by lesser-known, and even unknown, authors. In each case, however, we will work to understand how the categories of genre, language, form, and historical period have been used to construct the discipline of English literary studies

210 BRITISH LIT 1798 TO PRESENT, Hart. Lect: MW 10; Disc: F 9 & 10

There’s something impossible about a syllabus covering two centuries of British literary history. This is partly because of the huge number of authors and texts a survey necessarily omits, partly because the very category “British” is problematic. Should we include writing by Irish authors, who have often resisted the colonial influence of their neighbors? And what about the subjects of the British Empire, which was at its height in the early Twentieth Century but rapidly dismantled after 1945? Finally, how can we account for the sheer pace and quality of social change since 1798? For when Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote their Lyrical Ballads, life expectancy in Britain was around 30 years; in 2008, it was estimated at 79. In 1800, only a fifth of Britons lived in towns and cities; nowadays, almost 90% of the population is urban. And in 1798, parliamentary freedoms were the province of a few thousand white, protestant men; today, the enfranchised citizenry of postcolonial Great Britain includes both genders and people of all creeds, races, and ethnicities.

Within the limits of the survey format, this class will try to do justice to these historical themes: the expanding literary canon, with particular emphasis on writing by women; the problem of national identity in an age of Empire and decolonization; and the often-bewildering experience of modernity and modernization. Texts will include an anthology of British Literature since the Romantic Period (Norton or Broadview) as well as Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus (1831); Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four (1890); and Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (1989). Assessment will be based on attendance and participation at discussion section, two papers, a midterm, quizzes, and a final exam.


Shakespeare Requirement

English 218 is intended for non-English majors who wish to become more familiar with Shakespeare’s plays and culture. The selection of plays varies from section to section, but each instructor covers about seven or eight plays reflecting Shakespeare’s changing interests, themes and developing dramatic skills. The course illuminates Shakespeare’s engagement with the genres of comedy, history, tragedy, and romance, and the engagement of his plays with the culture of Renaissance England. Required writing includes several short papers, a mid-semester exam (or one or two hour exams) and a final. Any critical edition of Shakespeare’s plays may be assigned.


In the early twentieth century, a revolution occurred in modern verse. Poetry shed the formal strictures of an outdated tradition as poets throughout the globe realized that their rapidly changing world demanded a radically new style of writing. This literary and historical period, known as “modernism,” was a time of constant and continual experimentation, which forever changed the face of modern poetry. Throughout the semester, we will chart the gradual course of aesthetic innovation that was begun by the Decadents and Symbolists in the 1890s and intensified by the poetic avant-garde of the World War I era. Moreover, we will track the links between the search for new poetic freedoms and the concurrent—and often deeply intertwined—search for new social and political liberties on behalf of women, people of color, subjects of empire, and the industrial working classes. By the end of the semester, you will have a greater historical and conceptual understanding of the modernist period’s enduring legacy of poetic innovation.

Because modernism was a global phenomenon, we will supplement our primary focus on English-language writing with translations of poetry by the likes of Aimé Césaire and Constantine Cavafy. In addition to extensive selections from an anthology (Poems for the Millennium,Vol. 1: From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude, ed. Pierre Joris and Jerome Rothenberg) we will regularly pause to spend time with complete collections of poems by figures such as Gwendolyn Brooks, T. S. Eliot, and Wilfred Owen. Requirements include regular attendance, class participation, short papers, a research presentation, and a final exam.


same as CWL 266

Pirandello to the present.


same as CWL 267

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

247 C THE BRITISH NOVEL, I. Baron. MWF 10 Group II or V

The novel made its debut in Britain over a hundred years after it first appeared on the continent. But this little nation of Great Britain on the outskirts of Europe produced some of the most noteworthy and influential writers of the last two hundred and fifty years. In this course, we’ll trace the development of the novel as a genre that both celebrated and critiqued British nationalism. From Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling, we’ll examine how the novel served as a vehicle to record and redefine the boundaries of a social order predicated on preserving primogeniture and noblesse oblige into a culture that produced The Beatles and the Welfare State.

We’ll start out with a look at the estate house as the defining icon of British patriarchy and class hierarchy in the Regency period. We’ll discuss how the rise of the middle class was fomented through the spirit of British nationalism that evolved during the Napoleonic Wars and how British naval dominance catapulted this island-nation into creating a vast colonialist empire that expanded across the entire globe. Then we’ll explore the rise of industrialization in the midlands, focusing on how the paradigm of factory labor and ownership reconfigured British social and economic policies for decades to come. Next we’ll examine how fiction functioned as a crucible for mandating such radical reform movements in the UK as feminism, socialism and environmentalism when we approach the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And finally, as we move into the modern and postmodern periods, we’ll see how the two global wars served as the catalysts to dismantle the conservative values inherent in British society and to transform Britain from an Imperialist Anglo superpower into the diverse pop cultural Mecca of the Western world.

Requirements for the class include two 6-8 page papers, a midterm and a final exam. Regular class attendance and participation are expected. We’ll read the following novels: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Howard’s End, Brideshead Revisited, Lucky Jim and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

247 P THE BRITISH NOVEL. TUTH 11-12:15 Group II or V

Critical study of representative British novels from different literary periods.


same as CWL 269

Examination of important thematic and structural relationships - influences, parallels, and variations - among selected major works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; readings chosen from works of Bronte, Hardy, Lawrence, Woolf, James, Faulkner, Bellow, Oates, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Stendhal, Flaubert, Camus, Kafka, Mann, Hesse, Moravia, and Pavese. All works read in English.

250 Q & S THE AMERICAN NOVEL TO 1914, Wilcox. Q: TUTH 12:30-145; S: TUTH 2-3:15 Group III or V

In this course we will work our way backward from the fiction immediately predating World War I, through some key works of the nineteenth century (Twain, Stowe, Melville, Poe), and end with the eighteenth-century origins of the book-length prose narrative. By beginning with the familiar fictional idioms and conventions of more recent American literature and concluding with the murky and indeterminate birth of fiction in the early United States, we will explore both the formal structures of novels and the evolution of the genre in response to broader political and social developments. The selection of novels is designed to bring canonical novelists into dialogue with less familiar voices and to raise the question of just what we mean by "American novel." At the end of this course, you will have interpretive insight into a wide array of pre-1914 American fiction, a critical vocabulary for talking about novels, and an understanding of the history of this important genre in the United States. Course requirements will include regular participation on the course blog, three papers, a final, and active participation in class discussion.


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

251 M THE AMERICAN NOVEL SINCE 1914, Ivy. TUTH 9:30-10:45 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 may include Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Patricia Highsmith, Rudolfo Anaya, Don DeLillo and Gish Jen. Requirements include regular participation in class discussions, regular short reading responses, two formal essays, a midterm, and a final.

255 SURVEY OF AMERICAN LIT I, Murison. Lect: MW 11; Disc: F 11 & 12

In this course, we will consider how the homonyms “roots” and “routes” can guide our investigation of literature in the Americas from the sixteenth century through the end of the Civil War. Beginning with early exploration narratives by Europeans, this course will track the effects of travel, displacement, contact, and conversion on expressions of identity and community, and how, in turn, constructions of identities across these centuries (like “Indian,” “creole,” “slave,” or “citizen”) reimagined boundaries, both geographic and personal. Our concerns will therefore center on how writers struggled with the paradoxical issues that defined early America: freedom and slavery; individualism and federation; comity and conflict; region and nation; wilderness and settlement. To do so, we will canvass a variety of genres and forms, including poetry, sermons, travel narratives, fiction, and speeches, and we will explore the connections—and, as crucially, the disconnections—between different eras and regions in light of this literary archive.

TEXT: The Norton Anthology of American Literature (volumes A & B)


American literature and its cultural backgrounds after 1870.

259 M AFRO-AMERICAN LITERATURE I, Freeburg. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group III or V

same as AFRO 259, CWL 259

This course surveys African American literature from the neoclassical poetry of Phyllis Wheatley to the sociological essays of W.E.B. DuBois. From the American Revolution to the Abolitionist movement to the Civil War and beyond, African American writers have used their voices to protest against and imaginatively envision their conditions. In this course, we look at individual writers in their historical and political contexts, but also, we focus on the spiritual and affective power of African American prose. More importantly, the literary and sociopolitical appeal of African American literature from these early periods has been continuously drawn upon by social movements of the last fifty years. Thus, through close readings of writers like Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Frances Harper in context, students in this course will come away with a solid background in early African American literature and culture as well as its myriad of influences on current discussions of social inequality in the U.S.

267 GRIMMS’ FAIRY TALES IN CONTEXT. Lect: MW 1; Disc. various times

same as GER 250, CWL 250

The Grimms’ tales, the largest and most famous collection of literary folktales, are discussed along with other European tales; these are related to past and present storytelling forms from fable to film. Examination of some of the more common motifs in fairy tales as they relate to political, economic, social, cultural life in early modern and Enlightenment Europe. Focus on several different interpretive approaches to the tales and to literary/cultural products in general. All readings, discussion, and written work in English. Papers and final examination. Prerequisite: None. Satisfies the following requirements: LAS: Literature and the Arts, Western Culture; Campus: Literature and the Arts, Western Culture, Comp II. 3 hours.

268 THE HOLOCAUST IN CONTEXT, Pinkert. Lect: MW 2; Disc: various times

same as GER 267, CWL 271

TOPIC: Postwar Representations in Literature and Film

This course examines cultural representations of the Holocaust in German-speaking literature, film, and essays since 1945. We will read these texts in English translations. Starting out with a discussion of contemporary memory culture in the US and Germany, the course introduces students to the historical context of the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the Second Word War. We then turn to a variety of postwar texts, including memoirs, poems, essays, memorials, documentary and feature film, to explore how Jewish and non-Jewish writers have dealt with issues of perpetration, survival, trauma, remembrance, and postmemory in postwar German culture and beyond. The course has a substantial writing component and fulfills the Advanced Composition requirement.

272 M MINORITY IMAGES IN AMER FILM, Curry. Lect: TUTH 9:30-11:20; Screening: W 7:30-9:50 p.m. Group III or V

same as AFRO 272

This writing- (and discussion)-intensive course explores how cinema in the U.S. has represented diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout the 20th century and into the 21s, in relation to each other and to dominant American media conventions and social ideals. The course considers a range of “Hollywood” movies and independently-produced works, with a selected feature film showing each week in the required lab screening. The course earns four hours credit and counts for General Education for Advanced Composition as well as in designated arts and cultural studies categories.

Taking a comparative approach, we will examine how American films have variously employed racial and gender stereotyping through narrative, genre and cinematic means; what historical and economic circumstances may have yielded particular films; and what reception the films have found over time among different audiences [e.g., some possible case studies include Birth of a Nation (1915); Salt of the Earth (1953); Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971); The Joyluck Club (1993); and Smoke Signals (1998)]. While addressing materials related to a wide range of U.S. ethnic groups, the course is not a survey, but rather aims through carefully studying (extensively reading, viewing, writing about, and discussing) selected cases to teach critical, historical thinking about representational practices and media institutions.

Two 2-hour class meetings a week, as well as REQUIRED Wednesday evening lab (screening of the week’s case study feature film). Other requirements include absolutely regular attendance and active class participation; several short essays (some written in-class as “micro-themes”) that focus on readings (a textbook and course packet of selected articles), films, and issues under study (including at least one “supplemental film” watched outside class); a research paper on a selected film or television program; and a final exam.

273 AMERICAN CINEMA SINCE 1950, Curry. Lect: TUTH 2-3:15; Screening: W 3:30-6 Group III or V

same as CINE 273

This cinema studies course analyzes selected films made in the last sixty years in the U.S. from key critical approaches including perspectives on authorship, genre, narrative, gender and racial representation, and the impact of spectacle. While it does not offer a film historical survey, the course addresses a range of latter 20th /early 21st century cinematic developments in the context of major concomitant transitions in American film industry and culture. Among the trends we will examine are the shift away from the dominant stylistic and ideological models of “classical Hollywood” during the 1960s; the emergence of the “New Hollywood” in the 1970s with its stylistic eclecticism and emphasis on formulaic blockbusters; and the increasingly globalized contemporary American cinema, in which non-U.S.-born/resident filmmakers are molding some of the most significant Hollywood productions of the new century. Requirements: scrupulously regular attendance of the twice-weekly class meetings and the required weekly film lab from 3-5:20 p.m. Wednesday (screening of the week’s feature film); systematic, thorough reading of the substantial course packet of essays and book excerpts; frequent quizzes; three short analytic essays; and a timetable-scheduled final exam.


TOPIC: The Harlem Renaissance 1919-1929

This course will examine the most famous decade in African American literary history when a large number of writers published essays, fiction, and plays centering on the African American experience. In addition to studying the major work of Countee Cullen, W. E. B. DuBois, Jessie Redmond Fauset, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay and Jean Toomer we will consider Modernism as a Post WW I cultural and social force in the larger American society that enabled the growth and development of this literature. Requirements include weekly reading responses, a mid-term, two essays and a final exam.

Tentative titles: The Souls of Black Folk, Cane, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Quicksand, Passing, Plum Bun, The Conjure Man Dies, and selected poetry and short fiction by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston

280 M WOMEN WRITERS, Koshy. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group III or V

same as GWS 280; meets with AAS 299

TOPIC: Asian American Women Writers

This course examines the ways in which the perspectives of race, gender, and sexuality and their interrelations structure the writing of Asian American women. The popularity of writings by Asian American women and the content of the narratives themselves have often been at the center of fierce controversies about cultural nationalism, assimilation, and the boundaries of Asian American identity. While many of these texts attempt to redefine the very meaning of politics by representing women’s lives and subjectivities, the reception of these texts and the debates within they have been framed often circumscribe their meanings in narrower notions of politics. In examining these debates and texts we will think through how texts are read and the burden of representation that shapes the fictions of minority writers. We will also examine several other key issues that emerge in the writings of Asian American women: How is Asian American feminist critique different from mainstream feminism? What practices, subjectivities, and visions of community does it depict that fall outside conventional narratives of sexuality and gender in Asian American and mainstream accounts? How are the meanings and spaces of domesticity reimagined in these texts?

280 Q WOMEN WRITERS, Deck. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group III or V

same as GWS 280

TOPIC: American Women’s Autobiography

Culture and literary critics have suggested that in the United States autobiography, more than the novel or poetry, is the most democratic genre because anyone, regardless of age, level of education, gender, race or social class can and has published one. Readers in the United States, furthermore, gravitate towards the personal narratives of the famous, the infamous, and the “undistinguished” Americans from history and contemporary society. In this class we will survey the personal narratives of American women from a variety of historical periods, geographic regions, socio-economic classes, ethnic and racial groups. Our goal is to understand what distinguishes the personal narrative from history and the novel. What is particularly “American” about the various women’s personal narratives that we study?

In addition to the required texts, we will read critical essays on autobiography. Students will write weekly response papers, two essays, and take two exams: a mid-term and a final.

Tentative titles: Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Ginsberg, Waiting: the true confessions of a waitress, Golden, Migrations of the Heart, Kingston, The Woman Warrior, Norris, Dakota, Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican, Walker, Black, White and Jewish


same as GWS 281

TOPIC: 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.

285 M POSTCOLONIAL LIT IN ENGLISH, M. Basu. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group II or V

As one critic has recently put it, “Although there is considerable debate about the exact parameters of the field and even the definition of the term ‘postcolonial,’ in a very general sense, it refers to the interactions between European nations and the societies they colonized in the modern period.” These interactions were violent, sometimes grotesquely funny, always shifting, and above all, transformative for both sides – colonizer and colonized. This is why we begin our course with a text that despite having been authored by perhaps the most representative literary figure of the Western world expresses a distinctly uneasy relationship with the colonial encounter. This text will function as our entry point into a host of other writings composed in the wake of mid-twentieth century liberation struggles across the globe. At this time, many writers from what used to be called ‘the third-world’ began to give expression to their cultural experiences in the language of the former colonial power. Given that it is called Postcolonial Literature in English, it is the language of the former colonial power that will be significant for our readings in this course. We will strive to understand what forms such a language takes as it attempts to carry the weight of diverse realities, as it negotiates the taut relations between class, gender, racial and religious identities, and as it shapes and reshapes itself in the midst of changing social institutions, lifestyles, and habits.

286 Q ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE, Koshy. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group III or V

same as AAS 286

This course offers an understanding of the historical emergence of Asian American literature in the twentieth century. It examines the ways in which U. S. relations with Asia over the last century in the contexts of colonialism, semi-colonialism, immigration, and war have shaped representations of Asia and Asians in the United States. This course examines 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? While the course offers a historical context for reading literature, the focus will be on literary representation—what genres and forms have defined the emergence of Asian American writing; what narrative strategies do Asian American writers adopt in translating their stories to audiences of “insiders” and “outsiders;” what is the relationship between art and politics in minority writing? Some of the recurring themes that appear in Asian American writing are the contradictions of patriotism, intergenerational conflict or transgenerational haunting, the paradoxes of visibility and invisibility; the impossibility of assimilation; the recovery of lost histories; and the intersection of racial and sexual stereotypes.

300 E1 WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE, Michelson. MWF 1 Group III or V

TOPIC: American Literature and the Sciences of the Mind

This advanced composition course explores the cultural impact of science and pseudoscience related to the subject of thinking itself: how the mind works, the structure of consciousness, the relationship of brain and body to identity. From about 1800 onward to about 1960, we will look at moments when an infusion of radical philosophical or scientific discourse reverberated in literary and cultural practice. We will review the origins and deep transformations that became the Romantic rebellion; the influence of the new science of psychology on fiction around the turn of the twentieth century; and the heyday of Freud in the decades after World War I. In each of those eras, what was the impact on literature? Most of our attention, however, will center on the revolution underway right now. Recent action in neuroscience, cognitive science, AI; radical descriptions of thought and consciousness — how are these upheavals affecting literary and popular culture in the 21st century?

Readings will include a packet of extracts from Fichte, Hegel, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Marx, William James, Max Nordau, Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung, to establish philosophical and scientific contexts to which American writers responded; literary texts will include a collection of short fiction by Henry James; stories by Stephen Crane and fiction and essays by F. Scott Fitzgerald; William Gibson’s Neuromancer; Antonio Damasio’s Looking for Spinoza, Paul Broks’s Into the Silent Land, Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2, Dan Lloyd’s Radiant Cool, Laurence Shainberg’s Memories of Amnesia, and possibly the pilot and available episodes of Caprica, created by Remi Aubuchon and Ronald T. Moore. Writing requirements will be substantial, centering on an extended paper developed in stages with required revisions. There will also be one mid-term and a final examination.

300 M WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE, Wilcox. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group I or V

TOPIC: Defining Women: Gender and the Enlightenment

This course on literature by and about women in the 1700s will focus on the different meanings of “defining women.” We will look closely at the work of a few women writers who are often taken to be representative (“defining”) women of their time. We will read these texts alongside the work of writers who extended Enlightenment-era intellectual inquiry and exploration into the realm of gender and sought to “define” women as a human category independent of class and race. We will also look at a few writers who complicate this very project of definition, as a critique both of Enlightenment and of gender mores. Prepare to be surprised: Enlightenment-era inquiry explored all dimensions of human life, including the intimate and lewd. It was also a period when conceptions of the family, marriage, and desire changed dramatically, changes you will see reflected in the texts we read. As we examine these issues, you will build your critical writing skills in a steady progression of methodological approaches, from careful close readings, to primary research in archival materials, to critical engagement with existing debates about changing historical conceptions of gender. Requirements will include participation on the course blog, three papers (with extensive revisions), and a class presentation. Writers we read may include Behn, Burney, Cleland, Millar, Montagu Sterne, Swift, and Wollstonecraft.

300 P1 WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE, Saville. TUTH 11-12:15 Group II or V

TOPIC: Strange Victorian Love Poems

Strangeness can take innumerable forms from the mild strangeness produced by the past that we might find acceptable with study, to the more radical strangeness of difference so shocking that no matter how hard we try, we cannot accept. The first layers of strangeness in this course concern love within marriage of the British Victorian period (1837-1901)—a time of intense debate over the injustice of many laws especially those affecting women. Not surprisingly, with the reform of marriage laws, love and marriage became prime topics of public conversation with many myths and narratives circulating about ideal male and female lovers. These will lead us into ever stranger textures of love: some voices like those of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet singers may be only mildly strange for they prefigure models we recognize today, but others may be profoundly troubling even to those of us who think of ourselves as “progressive.”

By virtue of the imaginative and challenging ethical questions they pose, strange Victorian love poems make inviting material for exercises in writing about literature. Examining such instances as the deadly obsessives in Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” or “The Last Duchess,” the alienating passion in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Maud, or the necrophiliacs and sado-masochists in Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “The Leper” and other ballads, we will undertake a variety of such writing exercises: for instance, writing the poetic synopsis, shaping a précis of a critical argument, integrating secondary material into literary discussions, as well as researching and documenting a critical paper. We will aim to produce approximately 25 pages of graded writing in the course of the semester.

300 P2 WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE, Courtemanche. TUTH 11-12:15 Group II or V

TOPIC: Tales of Economic Disaster

Though the global financial collapse of recent years was especially dramatic, experiences of boom and bust, of euphoric growth followed by inglorious ruin, have been part of the capitalist experience since the Tulip Bubble of 17th century Holland. This class will sketch some of the economic history of these crises, including Marx’s Communist Manifesto. We will then focus on novels depicting the lived experience of workers and employers (and their families) who suffered through these events and tried to explain them using different moral or political frameworks. Readings will include Gaskell’s North and South, Dickens’s Hard Times, Gissing’s New Grub Street, Norris’s The Pit, and Lodge’s Nice Work. Since this is a writing class, there will be two close reading papers, one research paper, and a variety of in-class and homework writing assignments.


TOPIC: A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble

This course will explore the careers of two contemporary British women writers, A. S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble, placing individual works by both in the contexts of modern feminism, aesthetics, literary criticism, and the culture of literary celebrity. Both of these prize-winning authors have ties to the academy; the characters they create are often scholars, artists, journalists—cultural commentators from a variety of disciplines—and their works contain within themselves evaluations of the interpretive tools that we bring to a consideration of art, including the art of fiction. Both are also concerned with what it means to write a life—one’s own or someone else’s—within a context of political, social, and/or historical change. We will not simply compare and contrast, but we will look for ways to read these books alongside and against each other, to consider how two writers born and raised in much the same environment (they are, as it happens, sisters) have represented themselves and the worlds they know in related but clearly distinct and continuously evolving ways. We will also consider questions of biography and the often dubious constructions of female authorship and familial drama to be found in the popular and literary press surrounding these two.

Expect to read primary texts carefully and critically, to encounter supporting materials in the form of essays, articles, reviews, and images, and to follow writing assignments through the stages of drafting, peer review, and revision. There will be a final exam.

TEXTS: A. S. Byatt, The Virgin in the Garden (1978), Possession: A Romance (1990), The Matisse Stories (1993), and A Whistling Woman (2002); Margaret Drabble, The Millstone (1965), The Middle Ground (1980), The Radiant Way (1987), The Peppered Moth (2001), and The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws (2009).

300 S WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE, S. Camargo. Lect: TUTH 2-3:15; Screening: W 2-4:30 Group V

TOPIC: Films of Oz: Australian Cinema 1970-Present

Welcome to Australia: a place of diverse cultures, landscapes, and imaginations. It’s a great place to visit, and this course costs a good deal less than a round-trip air ticket. While Australians are like us in many ways, their history and culture have led to some unusual developments. For example, consider these words: Ockers, Larrikans, and Bushrangers. Aborigines. The Outback. Uluru. Walkabout. Billabongs and digeridoos. Speaking “Strine.” All perfectly understandable to them, and, after this course, to you, too.

As a country and as a film industry, Australia has had to carve out a national identity, first in relation to England, and then in relation to the 800-pound gorilla of the film world: Hollywood. Through our examination of a selection of Australian films, some that you will have heard of and perhaps even seen, and others that are likely to be new to you, we will try to discover what Australians themselves see as essential about Australian identity; how they represent race, gender, and class; how they define themselves in relation to the geography of their country; how they try to integrate diverse cultures into the fabric of their nation; and how they have tried to express all this through the medium of cinema. While previous coursework in cinema studies is a plus, it is not a prerequisite for enrollment in this course.

300 S2 WRITING ABOUT LITERAUTRE, Rodriguez. TUTH 2-3:15 Group III or V

TOPIC: Race and Sexuality in American Culture

This course will examine interlocking discourses of race and sexuality in American literature and culture. Looking specifically at the intersections of class, race, gender, and sexuality in proximity to and within African American and Latino/a communities, we will read a selection of novels, short stories, and essays emphasizing the social and historical dynamics that both regulate and enable articulations of racialized sexualities. Writers whose work we will engage include William Faulkner, Nella Larsen, James Baldwin, Piri Thomas, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Junot Díaz, and Manuel Muñoz.


Introduction to influential critical methods and to the multiple frameworks for interpretation as illustrated by the intensive analysis of selected texts.


In more ways than we’re aware of, interpretation plays a key role in our daily lives. You go to a museum where you see a contemporary collage of miscellaneous objects, and you realize you need some way to figure out what it’s all about. Or you see something happen on Wright St., and you try to get more information and context in order to understand it. But to interpret texts, or events, or people, we need some sort of framework. Interpretive frameworks, however, didn’t just come into existence yesterday. In fact, most of these have a long history. So we’ll begin with three 19th century thinkers whose work has been extremely fruitful for everything that comes after: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. From there we’ll move on to early 20th century formalism and its effort to concentrate on the surface rather than any ground or base. Then we’ll jump ahead to the 1960s, which mark a watershed moment for all the recent developments in critical theory. Here we’ll look at structuralism and some of its most influential spin-offs: Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida. The failure of some of the most ambitious structuralist work sets the stage in turn for later Foucault and for New Historicism. From these we’ll pass to other contemporary developments: gender studies (Judith Butler) and post-colonial theory (Homi Bhabha). Finally, we’ll look at a few critical essays that offer a synthesis of different perspectives (e.g., Walter Benjamin, “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire”). Reading will be kept to a manageable amount: only what can be discussed in class, in detail.

Emphasis will be on understanding, not coverage. To that end, we’ll trace key concepts to their original sources. Most importantly, we’ll explore intent or motive: what all these forms of theory have as their objectives.


How do we adjudicate between different interpretations of a poem? What is the difference between reading a novel and reading a newspaper? Does literature have any relevance outside the academy? These and related questions underwrite what we call “theory” in literature departments and in this course we will consider some of the most powerful responses they have received in the last half century. The course will introduce you to critical schools including the New Criticism, feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, and the New Historicism, and aims to encourage reflection on the use and abuse of theory.

373 N SPECIAL TOPICS IN FILM STUDIES, T. Newcomb. TUTH 10-11:50 Group III or V

same as CINE 373

TOPIC: Frontiers and Fortresses: Social Space in Postwar Hollywood Film

Popular films construct powerful accounts of the ways societies are arranged, regulated, and contested through the allocation and control of space. In this course we'll examine how Hollywood films of the past fifty years create spatial models and metaphors for the relationships that define American society, including class consciousness, racial identity, the dynamics of gender, and the regulation of sexuality. We’ll focus on three major Hollywood genres—westerns, science-fiction films, and paranoid thrillers—that each use the space of the screen to examine dominant arrangements of American social space and to imagine alternatives.

The list of films is likely to include all or most of these films: Rear Window, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, JFK, Gattaca, The Right Stuff, All the President’s Men, Lone Star, Boyz n the Hood, Taxi Driver, Chinatown, and L. A. Confidential. The class meets twice a week for two hours, including film screenings (some of which will last longer than 120 minutes). The workload will involve several brief film analyses; two formal papers; extensive participation in class discussion; and a final exam. The principal text will be a photocopy reader.

380 P TOPICS IN WRITING STUDIES, Kirsch. TUTH 11-12:15 Group V

TOPIC: Contemporary and Historical Literacy Narratives

This course introduces students to advanced-level work in the field of writing studies. We will study contemporary and historical literacy narratives; that is, we will examine how literacy functions in various settings, during different historical periods, and among different populations. We will investigate the nature of literacy narratives—the stories people tell about literacy and the values they attach to literate activities. We will also discuss ways of conducting literacy research, such as using the archives, examining family artifacts, conducting oral histories, and visiting historical societies—all of which can lead to the discovery of fascinating literacy narratives.

Students will have the opportunity to design a study in which they collect literacy narratives and to reflect on their own literate practices (broadly defined). Students will be encouraged to record and submit their literacy narratives to the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN). Students will be invited to contribute to ongoing conversations in writing studies by developing and submitting an abstract for a conference presentation and crafting and submitting an essay to the journal of Young Scholars in Writing: Undergraduate Research in Writing and Rhetoric.

396 M HONORS SEMINAR I, Capino. TH 9-10:50 Group III or V

TOPIC: U.S. Imperialism and Popular Culture

This course examines popular literary and cinematic narratives of the so-called American empire. Objects of study include early 20th century dime novels, sensational melodramas and one-reel films about the “splendid little war” between the USA and Spain in 1898, cold war tales of the “ugly American” in a famous mid-20th century novel and Marlon Brando movie, and contemporary allegories and non-fiction accounts of the Iraq conflict. Students will get to know the scholarship on popular culture’s imaginative, pervasive and often ambivalent engagement with the issue of America’s past colonial adventures and its continuing “informal” empire. This seminar is especially useful to students interested in postcolonial criticism and American studies.

397 T HONORS SEMINAR II, Loughran. TH 3:30-5:20 Group III or V

TOPIC: The Reader in the Museum: Early American Art and Literature

How is reading a book like walking through a museum and when is a poem like a painting? What is the historical relationship between American artists and authors, and how have they tended to think about the relationship between text and image? And given the pervasive connections between text and image, how might we, as literary critics, practice a form of cultural analysis that is capacious enough to include poems, statues, novels, essays, paintings, and photographs? In answering these questions, we will read familiar American literature by the likes of Emerson, Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, Crane, and DuBois alongside major genres of nineteenth-century American visual art (from portrait, landscape, genre, and realist painting to more mass-produced items like engravings and photographs). As the semester progresses, we will read about these kinds of artworks both in literary texts and in criticism, look at them together in class, write about them, and visit a number of virtual museum collections online at places like the National Portrait Gallery and the Philadelphia Art Museum in order to explore how they have been collected and displayed. We will also take our bodies on several road trips: at least one local (to the Krannert Art Museum on campus) and another more far afield (to Chicago’s Art Institute), sites we will explore both as a group and as individuals. Course requirements will include a combination of writing, verbal presentations, and a creative final project that will give students the option to curate their own virtual online or real-space exhibitions. And if you are wondering how specialized your knowledge needs to be to take this course, fear not: you do not need to have a background in art history to do well. The course is intended less for seasoned art buffs than for those who would like an exploratory introduction to interdisciplinary methods of cultural analysis

398 P HONORS SEMINAR III, Neely. TU 11-12:50

Shakespeare Requirement

TOPIC: Rewriting Shakespeare in the 21st Century

In this seminar we will read 6 or 7 of Shakespeare’s best known plays in relation to twentieth century adaptations of them in multiple genres: drama, poetry, fiction, film. We will ask how and why the plays are rewritten and what this can tell us about the plays and about our own culture? How do we use Shakespeare to address our own debates? Solve our own aesthetic needs? Texts may include: Joe Calarco’s Shakespeare’s R&J, Taming of the Shrew and Gil Junger’s “10 Things I Hate About You,” Hamlet and John Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius, Othello and Djanet Sears’s Harlem Duet, King Lear and Women’s Theater Group’s Lear’s Daughters, The Tempest and ?. Assignments will include brief weekly written responses to texts and/or criticism, occasional film viewings, a long final paper on an adaptation of your own choosing which you will present on. Tentative Texts: any reliable recent edition of Shakespeare or individual paperbacks; Daniel Fischlin and Mark Fortier, ed. Adaptations of Shakespeare; readings packet


same as BTW 402

In this course we will study the English language: how we use it; how it uses us. We will learn and practice techniques for describing English, both its words and sentences and larger elements of discourse in context. We will look at the social, historical, and political forces that shape language and its use. And we will suggest ways to use what we learn about language both in the classroom and in the professional world.

Attendance: This is a discussion course. Your presence is essential, as is your participation: without both of these elements, as Capt. Renault says to Rick in Casablanca, you will find the conversation a trifle one-sided. Worse than that, excessive absence and poor preparation will affect your final grade.

Assignments: there will be a midterm quiz, a final paper, and a final exam. In addition, each student will sign up for a turn to be part of a “class expert” team. The class expert team will give a brief (ten minute) introduction to the topic of the day (expert days are marked with an asterisk in the syllabus) and ask both factual and open-ended questions to start off the discussion.

The course syllabus, all handouts, and study guides will be posted on the class website: www.illinois.edu/goto/debaron/402/402.htm

TEXT: Curzan, Anne, and Michael Adams. 2008. 2nd. ed. How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. New York: Pearson.


Language variation and change from the earliest forms of English to the present day, with emphasis on the rise of Standard English and the social, geographic, and cultural aspects of linguistic change in English.

404 U3/G4 ENGL GRAMMAR FOR ESL TEACHERS, Ionin. TUTH 10:30-11:20

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 for 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.

416 1U/1G DRAMA OF SHAKESPEARE’S CONTEMP, Kay. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group I or V

We will sample some of the most interesting and important plays written by Shakespeare’s contemporaries, ranging from the romantic fantasies of Greene and Dekker and Marlowe’s tragedies of ambitious over-reaching through the satiric City comedies of Middleton and Jonson and the dark tragedies of Tourneur and Webster. Class sessions will provide background information about the physical conditions of the theater and about contemporary social contexts which explain the popularity of these dramatic sub-genres, but our primary emphasis will be on the plays' dramatic energy and poetic power. Class members will be expected to take part in a dramatic reading or presentation of a scene, but acting skills are not required. Coursework will include a 5 page essay, a 10-12 page essay, a mid-term and a final exam.

TEXTS: English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology, ed. David Bevington and others, and a course packet.

419 1U/1G SHAKESPEARE II, Gray. TUTH 11-12:15

Shakespeare Requirement

This course aims to introduce you to Shakespeare’s later plays, from Hamlet to The Winter’s Tale. We will explore Shakespeare’s versatility in a range of dramatic genres—tragedy, comedy, and romance—focusing on language and theme alongside plot and character. We will think about his plays both as historical artifacts produced within a specific context and as living texts that continue to be performed today. We will therefore intertwine multiple methods in our analysis of these texts, engaging in close reading of his dramatic verse (which is, after all, often poetry), analyzing historical background and contemporary critical articles (to situate Shakespeare both within his historical time period and within present day critical debates), and performing key scenes. Throughout, we will focus on the way Shakespeare’s plays explore issues of identity and disguise, gender hierarchy and social order, political power and tyranny, and war and nation-formation.

419 2U/2G SHAKESPEARE II, Perry. TUTH 9:30-10:45

Shakespeare Requirement

This class will introduce students to plays in various genres written and performed during the second half of Shakespeare’s career. These include several of the best-known tragedies in the western literary tradition (Othello, King Lear, Macbeth), but we will also consider less well-known plays like Measure for Measure, Coriolanus and Cymbeline.

419 3U/3G SHAKESPEARE II, Cole. TUTH 9:30-10:45

Shakespeare Requirement

The second and richer half of Shakespeare’s career is examined through very careful readings of nine plays, each selected for the new things it says about his changing interests and developing dramatic skills. The first nine weeks deal with five of the mature tragedies; discussion centers on the plays themselves, but it will also attempt to relate the plays to one another and to the time in which they were written. This section is followed by several weeks on at least two of the dark comedies (where romance turns sour) and several more on the last two romances (where romance turns philosophical). A sixth-week exam covers the first three plays, a 10-12 page paper on one of the dark comedies is due the tenth week, and the final exam includes only the last six plays.

TEXT: The Riverside Shakespeare, Evans, ed.


Shakespeare Requirement

Mature tragedies, dark comedies, and late romances.

423 1U/1G MILTON, Gray. TUTH 9:30-10:45 Group IV

This course introduces you to one of the greatest British writers—John Milton. Milton was a blind seer, a regicidal prose-writer, and an inspired poet. He also wrote arguably the most ambitious English epic, one that aimed to explain the origins of life itself: Paradise Lost. This class will explore Milton’s prodigious and ostentatiously learned output in the context of his own life and the historical turmoil of the mid-seventeenth century that transformed it. We will focus on the complex issues of religion, gender, and politics he engages, looking at his often contradictory responses to the ideas, literature, and men and women of his time. We will also trace his carefully crafted public image, thinking about Milton’s view of the role of poetry and polemic within a revolutionary historical context.

431 1U/1G BRITISH ROMANTIC LITERATURE, Underwood. TUTH 11-12:15 Group II

The early decades of the nineteenth century were marked by what Lee Erickson has called a “poetry boom.” Publishers paid surprising sums for books of poetry, and poets became some of the most famous (or notorious) celebrities of the age. This course will pay some attention to the history of fiction (the readings will include a novel by Jane Austen). But we will focus on poetry, striving both to appreciate the poetry of the British Romantic period (1789-1832), and to understand the circumstances that gave poets a new kind of cultural authority. Authors will include Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, S. T. Coleridge, John Keats, P. B. Shelley, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Felicia Hemans, and J. S. Mill. Weekly reading responses, two papers, and two exams.

435 1U/1G 19TH C FICTION, Courtemanche. TUTH 2-3:15 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.

442 1U/1G BRITISH LIT SINCE 1930, Innes. MWF 2 Group II

In “Cultural Criticism and Society,” Theodor Adorno declares that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”; in The Postmodern Condition, J-F Lyotard correlates postmodernity with the “decline of narrative.” Together, these two axioms seem to imply that in the twentieth century, the weight of history has crushed altogether the possibility inherent in poetry, fiction, and aesthetics generally. Yet twentieth century British literature repeatedly deploys formal experiments in poetry and fiction in ways that seem calibrated to deflect the determining force of history—an impulse exemplified best by the avant-garde experiments of high postmodernism.

This course will survey late modernist and postmodernist British literature in order to assess how and why literary texts of the period refract history through experimental aesthetics. Our working hypothesis will be that such texts seek to enable new conceptions of history and community: novel ways of thinking about human relations to events and to others.

Assignments will include two papers, two exams, frequent written responses, and a class presentation.

Our reading list likely will include some of the following texts: Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show; George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia; Iris Murdoch, Under the Net; Lawrence Durrell, Justine; Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means; B.S. Johnson, The Unfortunates; Brigid Brophy, In Transit; J.M. Coetzee, Dusklands; Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry; Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow; W.G. Sebald, Vertigo; selections from theorists Seymour Chatman, Linda Hutcheon, Frederic Jameson, J-F Lyotard, Lee Edelman, Astradur Eysteinsson, Ihab Hassan, Mark Currie, Amy Elias.

450 1U/1G AMERICAN LIT 1865-1914, Freeburg. TUTH 11-12:15 Group III

The literary history of the postbellum United States contains both the vibrant persistence of romance novels as well as the emergence of realism and naturalism. This course tracks the conflict between these genres of fiction by examining novels, short stories, and essays that also reflect debates by artists and intellectuals over the new task of American literature. American literature after the Civil War, in various guises, reflected the nation’s rapid technological development and industrialization as well as the social and cultural shifts that correlate with these developments. To bring out the significance of these shifts this course will examine how imperial expansion, immigrant labor disputes, and struggles for racial and gender equality unfold within romantic and realistic modes of expression. Authors may include: Henry James, W.D. Howells, Edith Wharton, Pauline Hopkins, Theodore Dreiser, Helen Hunt Jackson, Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, and Frances Harper. There will be three formal essays and unannounced essays during class that will be graded. Regular attendance and full class participation is also expected to pass the course.

452 1U/1G AMERICAN LIT 1945-PRESENT, Hutner. MWF 10 Group III

This semester’s version of English 452 will concentrate on fiction published in the last ten years. Rather than contemporary novel courses that emphasize experimental or postmodern or graphic fiction, we will concentrate on American realism, the literature of the way we live now. While you will encounter writers you may already know something about, you will certainly be reading some writers for the first time. Some of our authors will be at the peak of their powers; others have begun their careers decades ago and are in their final phases, while still others are only just beginning. Most of the novels we will read have won some prize or been a finalist for another, but, combined they will present a broad and various representation of contemporary realism. Some will be interested in racial or ethnic experience in the US; some will be more concerned with general issues of livelihood and intimacy. Still others will turn to historical settings or exotic locales to make the case about the character of twenty-first century life in the US.

455 1U/1G MAJOR AUTHORS, Loughran. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group IV

TOPIC: Melville and Whitman

In an era when the U.S. union sprawled from the Atlantic to the Pacific without connecting telegraph wires or railroad lines, at least two great writers—Melville and Whitman—responded by writing VERY LARGE and often disconnected works meant to represent the great size and potential of an emerging U.S. empire. We will scale the sometimes intimidating canons produced by each of these authors step by step, starting with issues of local style and syntax, moving towards close analysis of a single text, and finally placing both writers in cultural context, trying to make sense of their grandness and grandiosity by situating their authors in the expansive and politically divisive historical moment in which they lived. Reading will include autobiographical memoirs, criticism, and, of course, the very good stuff both men wrote: for Whitman, multiple editions of Leaves of Grass, Drum Taps, and Specimen Days; for Melville, Typee, Moby Dick and The Piazza Tales.

455 2U/2G MAJOR AUTHORS, Hansen. TUTH 2-3:50 Group IV

TOPIC: Hitchcock’s Libidinal Fear

By focusing on the films that Alfred Hitchcock directed between 1935 and 1960, this course will explore the psychoanalytic and ideological fears that animate some of the most talked about texts in cinema history. Framed by the historical horrors of World War II and the subsequent expansion of American economic and military power, the films of Hitchcock’s most fertile period helped to develop—and simultaneously to conceal—psychological concerns about modern masculinity, sadism, masochism, and consumer culture. By interrogating films ranging from “The Lady Vanishes” and “Rebecca” to “Psycho,” we will attempt to engage not only with the manifest messages of Hitchcock’s cinema, but also with the latent and troubling fears about our society and ourselves that his cinema seems to embody.

The course will meet twice a week in a lab format. Course requirements include two 8 page research papers, 1 in-class presentation, a daily reading journal, and two exams.

455 3U/3G MAJOR AUTHORS, Chai. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group IV

TOPIC: DeLillo and Pynchon

A detailed look at two of the premier postmodern authors. We’ll begin with Don DeLillo, specifically his most famous novel: White Noise. From Jack Gladney, professor of Hitler studies, to the Airborne Toxic Event, to Dylar pills that make you happy, to shopping in the mall, to city heat and the most photographed barn in America, we’ll explore the vast array of topics in this novel that make up the chaos of contemporary life, and the strategies by which characters try to navigate it. From there we’ll turn to Libra, DeLillo’s fictional reprise of the Kennedy assassination. Here our focus will be on the endless possibilities for interpretation engendered by any historical event, and how these are complicated by our awareness of the medium through which we get our version of the story—in other words, metafiction. Finally, we’ll explore one of the most ambitious novels to emerge from the second half of the 20th century: Gravity’s Rainbow. Although set in Europe in the last days of World War II, we’ll see how Pynchon ranges freely over space and time to create an intricate weave of people, events, and patterns into which they might or might not coalesce. Some recurrent themes we’ll encounter in the process: an obsession with codes and occult symbolism, the elasticity and even reversibility of time and other numerical sequences, stream of consciousness and the depth of individual subjectivity, imaginative ways to discern connections and/or relationships, and throughout, the effort to preserve and even retrieve forms of human communion despite all the ravages caused by war.

455 4U/4G MAJOR AUTHORS, Mahaffey. MWF 12 Group IV

TOPIC: Angela Carter and the Contemporary Women

Angela Carter: even the name suggests opposite extremes. An angel and a cart-horse, perhaps; the incorporeal and the beast (of burden). We will read Angela Carter’s novels, short stories, essays, and her polemical work, The Sadeian Woman (perhaps supplemented with a selection by the Marquis de Sade himself). We will also look at the film adaptation of one of her stories that she did with Neil Jordan, now a cult horror classic: The Company of Wolves. The questions we will be concentrating on throughout will include the following: how can we best understand Carter’s critique of contemporary womanhood? To what extent does she, in her fiction, try to shape a new kind of woman, one that is more comfortable with her physical, sexual, and even bestial power? How does comedy operate in her late novels? How can we best understand her creation of a large, farting female protagonist who is half bird, an aerial artist in a circus? What is her vision for “new” women of the future?

Requirements include two short essays and a final exam.

455 G/GG MAJOR AUTHORS, Stenport. TUTH 2-3:20 Group IV

meets with SCAN 464, CWL 464, THEA 484

TOPIC: The International Playwright: Stringberg in Translation

The international legacy of Swedish playwright August Strindberg (1849-1912) ranges from the derisive, as in “demented woman-hater,” to the laudatory, “the father of modern drama.” Strindberg’s impact on Western literature and art is indisputable. This course will both introduce Strindberg to a non-Scandinavian audience and explore the scope of his contributions in a comparative, international perspective. The course emphasizes the wide range of Strindberg’s fascinating production, evident in his unique contributions to naturalist and psychological drama, his work as an artist and photographer, and his forays into expressionism and surrealism. Strindberg’s influence on English-language drama will be emphasized. All reading in English.

Course reading includes texts by Strindberg and plays by George Beckett, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, and Sarah Kane, as well as films by Woody Allen


same as AIS 459

TOPIC: American Indians, Popular Culture, and Genre Fiction

Representations of American Indians have played a significant role in the formation of popular culture and popular genres. From the imagination of Stephen King that grounds horror within “Indian burial grounds” to X-Men comic books, references to American Indian history and characters continue to function as a cultural touchstone within U.S. popular texts. This course examines the intersections between literary and cultural representations of American Indians and the ways in which American Indian authors have reimagined some of the core genres of popular fiction—ranging from historical romance, science fiction/fantasy, horror, and mystery—to not only transform those representations, but challenge the expectations that American Indian literature is a sub-genre within American literature. Texts may include Daniel Heath Justice’s Kynship, Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize, Drew Hayden Taylor’s The Night Wanderer and Stephen Graham Jones’ Demon Theory.

461 1U/1G TOPICS IN LITERATURE, Mahaffey. MWF 2 Group V

meets with GWS 495

TOPIC: Fairy Tales and Gender Formation

What does it mean to be female in contemporary culture, and how is that meaning related to definitions of femininity in other cultures, and at other times? Children are taught the difference between male and female roles, and one of the main ways this instruction takes place is through the pleasurable media of books, tales, and, more recently, films. Yet relatively few children reared on “Sleeping Beauty” know that once upon a time it was a tale about rape (Jane Yolen, in sharp contrast, turns it into a story about the Holocaust); similarly, one set of “Cinderella” stories (the “Donkeyskin” variant) concerns father-daughter incest. The stories currently found in nurseries are often sanitized versions of older, more complex and varied narratives that take many different forms. Reading other cultural versions of a familiar tale throws into high relief the values of one’s own culture. For example, the “Cinderella” of Charles Perrault, designed for the French court, is very different from the much earlier Chinese version: the elegant and fragile glass slipper contrasts sharply with a celebration of small feet in a culture in which it is customary for women to bind their feet. Disney versions of fairy tales, peopled with slim, colorful, singing cartoon characters, differ markedly from the sexually explicit Inuit tales, since the warmth offered by sexuality was necessary for survival. Our overall aim, then, is to understand how sexual identity is constructed differently in different cultures, and to explore the ways that fairy tales work to express psychological reactions to maturation while conditioning both characters and readers to adopt specific social roles in adulthood. We will look at different versions of such fairy tales as “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Bluebeard,” “Snow White,” and “Hansel and Gretel.” We will also sample Inuit tales, contemporary film versions of fairy tales, and feminist rewritings of these stories by Anne Sexton, Jeanette Winterson, and Angela Carter.Assignments consist of an oral report, two essays (which may involve a rewriting of a fairy tale accompanied by a comparative analysis), and a final exam

461 2U/2G TOPICS IN LITERATURE, Nazar. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group I or V

TOPIC: Jane Austen and the Culture of Sentiment

One of the most striking features of the dynamic critical industry that has developed around Jane Austen’s fiction in the last few decades is a book title that reads “Jane Austen and [something].” We have Jane Austen and Food, Jane Austen and Leisure, Jane Austen and Sigmund Freud but, curiously, no book-length study situating Austen’s fiction in relation to the dominant intellectual culture of her day, “the culture of sentiment” or sensibility that flourished in Britain in the last few decades of the eighteenth century. This omission appears to be the product of the widespread perception that Austen was fundamentally an “anti-sentimental” novelist, who valued the head over the heart, decorum over spontaneity, communal norms over personal preferences. This course seeks to complicate these commonplaces by putting Austen’s fiction into dialogue with key works of literary and philosophical sentimentalism, including Adam Smith’s A Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Henry Mackenzie’s The Man of Feeling (1771), and William Godwin’s Fleetwood or The New Man of Feeling (1805). You might think of us as collaboratively writing that book, Jane Austen and Sentimentalism, which still hasn’t seen the light of day. Readings from Austen will include the juvenilia as well as Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Persuasion (1818).

461 3U/3G TOPICS IN LITERATURE, Somerville. TUTH 11-12:15 Group III or V

TOPIC: American Narratives of Passing

Recent critical and theoretical work on identity has drawn attention to the phenomenon of passing, that is, the movement from one identity to another, across lines of race, gender, or sexual orientation. We will study a range of texts—including fiction, autobiography, and film—that have portrayed or enacted various kinds of passing in the United States. Along the way, we will become acquainted with contemporary theories of identity. Our guiding questions will include: To what extent does the act of passing reinforce or unhinge seemingly natural categories of race, gender, or sexual orientation? What are the connections or disjunctions between closeting and crossing the color line? How might literary texts themselves pass? How do different historical and political contexts shape passing narratives and their reception? To what extent does passing across one axis of difference unsettle other categories of identity? The course format will be primarily discussion, with frequent opportunities for you to shape these and other questions.

465 1U/1G TOPICS IN DRAMA, Barrett. MWF 11 Group I or V

same as CWL 465

meets with THEA 199/591

TOPIC: Watching Their Flocks by Night: The Chester Shepherds’ Play in Context and Performance

In this course, we will explore broader sixteenth-century British culture through the paradoxical lens of a single biblical drama, the Chester Shepherds’ Play. Staged by the Painters’ Company as part of Chester’s summertime Whitsun plays, this play depicts the shepherds of Luke 2:8-20 as comic Welshmen feasting, fighting, and singing en route to their encounter with the child in the manger. We will start by looking at the play itself, considering its manuscript variants and textual cruces. Then we will begin a process of constantly widening our frame of reference, situating the Shepherds’ Play in a variety of contexts: Catholic, ethnic, gendered, iconographic, liturgical, national, Protestant, regional, and so on. We will examine how the play fits in with the rest of the Chester cycle, and we will look at other treatments of the shepherds in biblical drama as well as other genres.

However, the Shepherds’ Play is more than a cultural text; it is also a script for performance. We will therefore devote regular class time to consideration of theatrical questions: acting style, blocking, costuming, properties, performance space, etc. The goal of these dramatic investigations is the staging of our own performance of the play here at UIUC. This performance will be a dress rehearsal for a second performance to be given in late May 2010 at the Toronto revival of the complete Chester cycle. I am currently looking into ways to fund the trip to Canada; for now, it’s enough to note that this second performance is wholly extracurricular. No one will be required to take part (although I hope that much of the class will be interested in an encore and that we will have money to support those who make the trip).

Class assignments are currently up in the air: the public performance at semester’s end is obviously the key class project, but there will also be a number of written assignments as well as an exam. Our primary textbooks will be the EETS edition of the Chester cycle and Janette Dillon’s Cambridge Introduction to Early English Theatre; expect a number of supplemental readings in handout form as well.

470 1U/1G MODERN AFRICAN FICTION, M. Basu. TUTH 12:30-1:45 Group V

same as AFST 410, CWL 410, FR 410

“Modern African Fiction” endeavors to highlight the connections and links (as well as the disparities) between representative writings from different regions of the African continent. Indeed, the term modern calls for precisely such an inter-textual understanding. After all, the regions we somewhat loosely territorialize as ‘modern Africa’ are also congruous in so far as they were almost all irredeemably transformed by the experience of colonialism. The term ‘modern’ has in fact since then come to be inextricably tied to the distinct twists and turns of the colonial encounter in various parts of Africa. What Simon Gikandi calls “the colonial factor” will therefore be an important entry point into our comprehension of the isomorphisms between the required texts for the course. We will also take the term ‘modern’ seriously in so far as it emerges from a manner of periodization that has had a great deal to do with the novel as a generic form. As we read for the course, we will thus attempt to understand how African writers have kneaded this particular genre to the specificities of their colonial and postcolonial conditions. Given that this course reads modern African fiction in relation to theorizations of colonial and postcolonial conditions in the continent, we will not only concentrate on developing abilities such as close-reading, comparative analysis, and argumentative logic, but will also attempt to broaden the horizons of our interpretation by allowing the close reading of an individual text to be informed by readings of social structures and political-cultural events.


History and theory of written composition; basic rhetorical principles; and guidance and criticism of student writing.


History and theory of written composition; basic rhetorical principles; and guidance and criticism of student writing.


same as LIS 482

Examines the relationship of computer technology to the larger field of writing studies. Topics include a historical overview of computers and other writing technologies; current instructional practices and their relation to various writing theories; research on word processing, computer-mediated communication, and hypermedia; and the computer as a research tool.

504 A THEORIES OF CINEMA, Kaganovsky. TU 3-6

same as CINE 504

Seminar on influential theories and accompanying debates about the textual/extra-textual mechanisms and cultural/political impact of cinema and related screen media. Contact CINE for a more detailed description.

506 T WRITING STUDIES II, Prior. TH 3-4:50

same as CI 564

TOPIC: Writing in Multimodal Genre Systems

This seminar (for which Writing Studies 1 English 505/C&I 563 is not a prerequisite) aims to foster an in-depth experience of theory, research, and pedagogy in Writing Studies. It begins with an overview of some central issues that have shaped the field. It then turns to an in-depth examination of a theme—writing in multimodal genre systems—that integrates work on writing processes, genre, and multimodality in different contexts (school, workplace, home, community) and at different levels of development (from pre-school children to adults). Course readings and discussion will explore the theoretical grounds for genre theories, trace empirical studies of multimodal writing processes, sketch the bases for a semiotic approach to literate activity, and consider implications for instruction. In addition to active participation in class activities and regular informal writing, each student will be expected to explore and write on an issue of particular interest in greater depth.

Texts: Mikhail Bakhtin, Speech Genres and Other Late Essays and readings by scholars such as Charles Bazerman, Carol Berkenkotter, Jay Bolter, Bill Hart-Davidson, Sharon Crowley, Amy Devitt, Judith Irvine, George Kamberelis, David Kirkland, Gunter Kress, Bruno Latour, Kevin Leander, Theresa Lillis, Carolyn Miller, Anthony Pare, Kristen Perry, Louise Phelps, Paul Prior, Kevin Roozen, Jody Shipka, John Swales, Valentin Voloshinov, Stephen Witte, and Anne Wyoscki.

511 R CHAUCER, M. Camargo. TH 1-2:50

same as MDVL 511

TOPIC: Chaucer the Metapoet

More than any other English poet of the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer foregrounds the nature of poetry and the status of the poet in his work. Through explicit statement, ironic implication, and dramatic juxtaposition, he confronts his audience with competing standards for assessing poetic accomplishment. Some of the terms his metapoetics put in play are traditional, such as the association of successful poetry with formal brilliance (rhetoric) or moral instruction (ethics). Others, such as the accurate representation of lived experience (mimesis) and the aspiration to create poetry in English that matches the prestige (auctoritee) of literature in Latin and French, are more particular to Chaucer’s personality and orientation toward the historical environment in which he lived and wrote. This seminar will explore these and other related issues through selective study of the copious scholarship on Chaucerian (meta)poetics and close examination of Chaucer’s poetry, in particular the prologues and epilogues where such issues are most directly and complexly engaged. Course requirements include participation in class discussion, one or two oral presentations, and an article-length research paper.

524 E SEMINAR IN 17TH C LITERATURE, Stevens. W 1-2:50

TOPIC: The Drama of Shakespeare’s Contemporaries

When the bad bleeds, then is the tragedy good: this course takes a close look at some more lurid and violent tragedies written between 1585 and1638/9 (none of which happen to be written by Shakespeare). Notable highlights from these plays include the severing of a tongue, the presentation of a heart on a dagger’s point, a dance of madmen, and the “much searing” of a woman’s breasts. Our focus on early modern tragedy will allow us to consider a range of important questions about genre, gender, and the performance of violence. My approach to the teaching of drama also emphasizes theater history, questions of staging and performance, and questions related to the publication and circulation of early playscripts. Plays include The Spanish Tragedy; Edward II; The Revenger’s Tragedy; The Duchess of Malfi; The Changeling; Tis Pity She’s a Whore; and The Fatal Contract.

The class is a seminar, so expect each meeting to involve informal and formal student presentations. Other requirements include one long paper written in two stages and conceived of as a journal article, and one more open-ended project using a non-canonical early modern play of your choice not covered in the class and not available in any scholarly edition. Also expect to make frequent use of EEBO.

TEXTS: Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology (eds Bevington, Engle, Maus, Rasmussen); a course packet TBA and/or critical readings available on reserve.


TOPIC: The English in Italy/Italy in England: 1840-1875

Between the 1840s and the 1870s, the Italian Risorgimento—Italy’s determination to unite and free itself from French and Austrian domination prevalent since the Napoleonic wars—became a focus of profound interest to British poets and aesthetes. The efforts of the latter to define their own contribution to the public sphere at a time when the realist novel had caught the popular imagination were coupled with their sense of England’s longstanding indebtedness to Italy as an imaginative resource. Poets such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Arthur Hugh Clough, and Algernon Charles Swinburne who considered themselves members of an international aesthetic community saw Italy’s struggles for national freedom as an opportunity for reshaping British views of civic responsibility at home and abroad. At the same time, Italian exiles and immigrants such as Giuseppe Mazzini and the Rossetti family (supported by British citizens who had experienced protracted residences in Italy like Robert Browning) became a force for stimulating and diversifying a moribund and conformist English aesthetics from within.

In studying the poetic and aesthetic exchanges between England and Italy our primary texts may include Romantic precedents such as de Stael and Byron, prose and poetry selections from writers mentioned above, and possibly their successors (like Henry James). Critical readings will include the work of current theorists on rooted cosmopolitanism and internationalism such as Amanda Anderson and Kwame Anthony Appiah, on Victorian poetry, such as Yopie Prins, on Italian history, as well as a range of critical essays.


TOPIC: Formalism, Modernism, and the Ends of Politics

The aim of the seminar will be to assess the links between formalism and the problem of politics in the contemporary academy. Along the way, we will look at the resurgence of “new formalism” and the subsequent debates about close reading between such critics as Marjorie Levinson, Jonathon Loesberg and Isobel Armstrong. Primarily, the course will engage with the revival of formalist theory by providing a genealogy of different literary-critical approaches that have deployed the central concept of formal stylistics. Beginning with Kant, Hegel, and the division between form and content, we will explore the writings of the Russian Formalists (Skhlovsky, Tynjanov, Jakobson, Propp, some Bakhtin), and the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Benjamin), but we will also look to the modernist conceptions of form offered by the English critics Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf, and Wyndham Lewis before observing how politically ambiguous writers such as Beckett, Nabokov, and Conrad challenge the very idea of a literary politics.

Students will be required to participate in class discussion, write a 20 page paper, and deliver 2 presentations during the course of the Semester.


TOPIC: U.S. Women Modernists

This course will be focused on three major movements in women’s writing: high modernism, middle-class modernism, and working-class writing. We will spend roughly five weeks on each topic, and your assignments will include a book review on recent modernist writing, as well as a historical paper on one of the authors we are reading.

Tentative Reading List: Gertrude Atherton’s Black Oxen; Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life; Lummox;Willa Cather’s A Lost Lady;Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Anzia Yeziereska’s Salome of the Tenements; Meridel Le Sueur’s The Girl; Edith Wharton’s A Mother’s Recompense; Age of Innocence; Jessie Fauset’s Plum Bun; Gertrude Stein’s writings; Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood; Nella Larsen’s Passing; Edna Ferber’s Emma McChesney series


TOPIC: Modern Literature and the Industrial-Age Metropolis

This course will examine how the growth of the industrial metropolis, as both physical space and social environment, shaped the successive emergence of two dominant paradigms of modern literature, realism and modernism. We’ll use work by such theorists of urbanization as Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, Marshall Berman, and David Harvey to frame some key questions for a literary-cultural history of metropolitan modernity, such as: how did material alterations in urban space create new categories of experience, and new forms of interaction among genders, races, classes, nationalities? What were the consequences of changing relationships between public space and private space, work-time and leisure-time? How did the 19th-century emergence of metropolitan consumer culture (commodity fetishism, advertising, collecting, market research, conspicuous consumption) affect modern literature? How did transformative metropolitan technologies, and the unpredictable sociopolitical changes they brought, produce new styles of behavior, compulsion, and creation? Where, if anywhere, is God to be found in such a world? We’ll test these questions and others against a variety of literary responses to America’s headlong urbanization between the Civil War and 1940, including works by Poe, Whitman, Melville, Crane, Alcott, Chopin, Sandburg, Eliot, Dos Passos, Williams, Hughes, Millay, among many others.


meets with CAS 587

TOPIC: Interpreting Technoscience: Exploration in Identity, Culture, and Democracy

This seminar will examine the ways technoscience (the confluence of scientific practices and technological artifacts) influences and affects human identity, cultural knowledge, and democratic action. This focus will explore historical, contemporary, and emerging interpretations of technoscience as a means to understanding connections between science, technology, and human existence.

581 G SEMINAR IN LITERARY THEORY, Rothberg. W 3-5:20

TOPIC: Trauma, Memory, Justice

This course will consider three linked keywords of recent literary and cultural theory: trauma, memory, and justice. In the first section of the course, we will explore the emergence of trauma theory, an approach meant to shed light on the event and aftermath of extreme violence. Working from both classic texts such as Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle and post-Freudian interventions by Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok, Cathy Caruth, Shoshana Felman, Dominick LaCapra, and others, we will address the contributions a theory of trauma can make to understanding modern histories of violence. Because such a theory seeks to describe a form of violence that persists beyond an initial event—a “structure of experience” characterized by belatedness—memory becomes a central category in approaches to trauma and will constitute the second focus of our course. Trauma both troubles ordinary memory and seems to call for new forms of remembrance, testimony, and witness as part of strategies of working through and confronting violence. In taking up the paradoxical category of “traumatic memory,” we will draw on influential work on individual and collective memory by theorists such as Freud, Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nora, Andreas Huyssen, Marianne Hirsch, and Saidiya Hartman. Yet, as crucial as memory is in responding to trauma, remembrance alone cannot constitute an adequate response to histories of extreme violence. Such histories also raise questions about justice, that is, about what forms of social practice and organization can address and transform the conditions that have produced trauma in the past and continue to do so in the present. In this third section of the course, we will read theorists of justice such as Jean-François Lyotard, Nancy Fraser, and Adi Ophir and confront questions about commensurability, recognition, redistribution, and representation. Throughout the course, we will also take up feminist, Marxist, queer, postcolonial, and other critiques of the concepts of trauma and memory by scholars such as Alain Badiou, Lauren Berlant, Laura Brown, Wendy Brown, Frantz Fanon, Kerwin Lee Klein, Ruth Leys, David Lloyd, Peter Novick, and Walter Benn Michaels. Such critics raise questions such as the following: What are the political and conceptual limits of trauma as a category? How well does it translate beyond a Eurocentric horizon? Do discourses of trauma and memory always serve the interests of justice or can they turn into catalysts for revenge and further cycles of violence? What categories beyond trauma and memory might contribute to alternative conceptions of justice? In seeking answers to these theoretical conundrums, we will also weave in readings of specific literary and cinematic examples that explore what Paul Gilroy has called the “underside” of modernity: colonialism, slavery, and genocide. These texts may be chosen from the following list: Jean Améry, At the Mind’s Limits; Octavia Butler, Kindred; J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Achmat Dangor, Bitter Fruit; Charlotte Delbo, Days and Memory; Michael Haneke, Caché; Ghassan Kanafani, “Returning to Haifa”; Claude Lanzmann, Shoah; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Caryl Phillips, The Atlantic Sound or Higher Ground; W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz; and Art Spiegelman, Maus.

Supplementary recommended texts that students might want to familiarize themselves with ahead of time include: Roger Luckhurst, The Trauma Question and Anne Whitehead, Memory. This course will count toward the Certificate in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.


same as CI 565

TOPIC: Technologies and Words

Words may be abstractions, but they are communicated through real-world technologies of writing and reading. The tools we use to write with impact who gets to write and affect the manner and kinds of writing that gets done. Technology also shapes how we read. In turn, our reading and writing practices affect technology. We will examine reading, writing, literacy and technology from a historical point of view, from the dawn of writing to the age of the computer, exploring the different theories of orality and literacy, and looking at the spread of the written word through various communities. We will examine earlier communication technologies (the manuscript, clay tablet, print, typing, and the telephone). We will look as well at the ways in which present-day reading and writing practices are affected by the computer revolution, exploring such topics as responses, both positive and negative, to new technologies; the perennial information glut; class, gender and literacy; the development of virtual genres; changing notions of authorship, text, audience, and publication; changing notions of public and private; the dark side of the web; and the emergence of a transnational web culture.

Online readings will draw from history, anthropology, psychology, education, law, engineering, and computer science. Seminar students will produce a semester project and be responsible for a presentation.


same as CI 569

TOPIC: Alternative Sites of Rhetorical Education

In the last few decades, scholars in rhetoric and writing studies have begun to study rhetorical education in a range of new settings, during different historical periods, and among often marginalized groups. The most interesting and unusual research has included studies of rhetorical activities among small town rural women (e.g., Charlotte Hogg); women’s political organizations after suffrage (e.g., Wendy Sharer); literacy and social change among African American women (e.g., Jacqueline Jones Royster); resistant pedagogies developed by nineteenth-century women teachers of African American, Native American, and Chicano/a students (e.g., Jessica Enoch); rhetorical activities of Japanese Americans imprisoned in Internment camps during WWII (e.g., Gail Okawa); activist rhetorics created by educators teaching working-class students (e.g., Susan Kates); and sites of rhetorical educational in 19th century Black America, such as places of worship and military camps; African American literary societies; sewing circles, and the black press (e.g., Shirley Wilson Logan). In this seminar, we will examine these and other alternative sites of rhetorical education. We will also discuss the nature of archival research, paying close attention to how identity, place, and cultural memory can intersect with our own lives; how serendipity and creativity can inspire our work; and how archives can resist or re-inscribe existing power structures (Kirsch and Rohan). Students will have the opportunity to engage in their own archival research and study alternative sites of rhetorical education. Students will be encouraged to contribute to ongoing conversations in the rhetoric and writing studies by developing and submitting an abstract for a conference presentation; crafting and submitting a proposal for a book chapter or article; and writing a review of a recently published book. Several colleagues from the Midwestern region will visit our seminar and discuss their scholarship.


TOPIC: The Teaching of Literature

This seminar is designed to help graduate students develop and theorize courses in literary study, focusing on the related practices of lesson-planning, discussion-leading, outcome-assessment, and pedagogical self-reflection. Framed occasionally by readings in educational theory, our discussions will be organized around the following three projects: 1) we will analyze the comparative strengths of different pedagogical strategies in achieving a wide range of curricular goals in the literature classroom; 2) we will develop persuasive powerful ways of describing precisely what we do as teachers of literary and cultural studies, as well as why and how we do it; and 3) we will articulate flexible criteria for designing effective syllabi and assignments for different kinds of courses and texts.

By the end of the seminar, each participant will have designed lesson plans teaching in at least two of the major genres covered in English 200 (and beyond), in addition to producing polished drafts of several documents—including sample syllabi, assignment sequences, statements of teaching philosophy, and the initial elements of teaching portfolios—materials that will be of significant practical use both in the teaching of literature and in preparing for the academic job market. Grades will be based on participants’ final completion of these key documents, and on their consistent, engaged, and thoughtful participation in seminar discussions and workshops.

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