Literature, Film, and Writing Studies Courses: Spring 2015

Overview of Topical Streams


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.

101 P INTRO TO POETRY, Saville. TUTH 11-12:15

The English Department Course Catalogue provides you with a check list of what in theory you will be offered in this course (see below). But it does not mention the pleasures that lie in store for us as we commit to fifteen weeks of poetry-reading. Among these I hope you will experience the pleasure of listening (because poetry is the art of structuring sound), the luxury of postponing hasty arrival at meaning (because the best poetry has so much to say and such special ways of saying it), and the great rewards of patience (because poetry teaches the complexity of somatic, emotional truth, and the enormous difficulty of establishing it).

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.


An introduction to the study of literature and literary history at the university level. Explores such topics as: the historical role and place of fictional narratives, the idea of genre, relationships between context and meaning in fictional works. Student will develop a critical vocabulary for interpreting and analyzing narrative strategies. Credit is not given for both ENGL 103 and ENGL 109.


same as MACS 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/MACS 104 is an appropriate prerequisite for English /MACS 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 an introductory textbook (most of them assigning Film Experience by Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White, but carefully check the bookstore’s listing of the section letter assigning the text or go to class first). All sections also make 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 12-15 pages of expository writing (usually in 2 or 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)


English 109 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.


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.


same as CWL 119

Introduction to the rich traditions of fantasy writing in world literature. While the commercial category of fantasy post-Tolkien will often be the focal point, individual instructors may choose to focus on alternate definitions of the genre: literatures of the fantastic, the uncanny, and the weird; fantasy before the Enlightenment and the advent of realism; fantasy for young adult or child readers; and so on.


Introduction to graphic narratives—comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, and so on—from a diverse panoply of cultural, formal, and historical traditions.


same as AFRO 105

major requirements (old) – n/a

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

Black Literature in America: The Afterlife of Property - Literary critic Saidiya Hartman writes in her 2008 essay “Venus in Two Acts” that “Wrestling with the [enslaved] girl’s claim on the present is a way of naming our time, thinking our present, and envisioning the past which has created it.” In this survey of African American literature from 1746 to the present, structured by Hartman’s conception of the relationship between the past and the present as “the afterlife of property,” we will read a collection of texts that speak to what it has meant to be a black subject in the United States over the past three centuries. How does history inform the way that African American experiences are transformed into literary expression? What links can we as contemporary readers draw between literature that emerges from past sociocultural and political contexts and our present-day understandings of racial (and gender, sexuality, and class) identity? Beginning with slave narratives and considering fiction, drama, poetry, essay, and contemporary film, we will attempt in this class to understand African American literature as a tradition haunted and informed by the fraught history of black bodies in the Americas, continually speaking to and reaching beyond “property” as legacy and inheritance.


TOPIC: Publishing and Editing

This course is designed for students who anticipate working with or in the trade or academic publishing industry. Topics covered include developmental editing and line editing; proofreading; language usage; intellectual property and permissions; developing a marketing plan; submitting queries; electronic publishing; tables, graphs, images, and page layout. Abundant writing and editing practice will be required.

Required texts will include the Chicago Manual of Style

199 UNDERGRAD OPEN SEMINAR On-Line 2nd 8 week sections

TOPIC: Writing To Get That Job

(March 16 – May 6, 2015)

Through conceptual development and context-sensitive lessons/assignments, students will: [1] develop/improve writing skills particularly germane to successfully applying for an internship, a post-baccalaureate job, or an advanced-degree program and [2] apply those skills to create a polished set of recruiter-ready texts relevant to their career plans and a career-relevant, currently-advertised job/internship/program.

Attending regularly-scheduled, online class meetings is expected of all students because: learning how to successfully apply writing concepts is a skill, and such skills are acquired through ‘enactive’ experiences.


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.

202 Q MEDIEVAL LIT AND CULTURE, C. Wright. TUTH 12:30-1:45

same as MDVL 201, CWL 253

major requirements (old) – Group I

major requirements (new) – pre-1800 (Medieval)

In this class we’ll traverse the medieval globe, with layovers in Ireland, England, and Germany; China and Japan; and Persia and Africa, sampling as we go great literary works (all in English translation) from each civilization during the period corresponding to the European “Middle Ages.” Starting out in Ireland we’ll read the outrageous epic The Táin, about a cattle-raid led by the warrior-queen Medb of Connacht against the Ulstermen and their boy-hero Cuchulainn (whose weirdest super-power is his grotesque “warp-spasm”). We’ll then cross the Irish Sea to read the Lais of Marie de France (who lived in England, actually), in which desperate housewives and courtly lovers inhabit a medieval fantasy world at once naïve and sophisticated. On our tour of East Asia we’ll take up Chinese Tang Dynasty poems, exquisitely concise observations of nature, culture, and human emotion; the Tale of Genji, a leisurely narrative about the affairs (and marriages) of the “shining prince” of the Japanese imperial court; and The Confessions of Lady Nijo, a scandalous memoir of the affairs (and travels) of an imperial concubine who became a Buddhist nun and whose favorite book was—the Tale of Genji! Passing through medieval Iran on our way back to Europe, we’ll read Vis and Ramin, a Persian romance about a queen’s romance with her husband’s brother. Then we’ll make for Germany to compare Vis and Ramin with Tristan and Isolde, a European variation on the same basic story, but in a very different setting and with a very different ending. And finally we’ll venture south into medieval and modern Africa to attend a recitation of The Epic of Sunjata (preserved in twentieth-century oral versions but with roots reaching back to the thirteenth century), whose hero overcomes a physical disability as well as the enmity of the queen stepmother and her own son. Our fifteen-week mission: to explore strange old worlds—to seek out medieval life and medieval civilizations!


same as CWL 255

major requirements (old) – Group I

major requirements (new) – pre-1800 (Renaissance)

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


same as CWL 257

major requirements (old) – Group I

major requirements (new) – pre-1800 (Long 18th Century)

Study in Anglophone and global texts from the period 1600 to 1800, with attention to cultural and historical contexts.


major requirements (old) – Group II

major requirements (new) – 1800-1900

Celebrated for their emotional intensity and risk-taking styles, British writers of the Romantic period (1770-1830) loom as the original spokespersons of modernity. They witnessed earth-shattering revolutions in America and France, the birth of industrialization and the modern city, global war and colonial expansion, and the first fierce public debates over the role of women in society and the arts. This course will treat these major themes in the work of Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Austen and others through close study of the literary coteries within which they operated. The Lake Poets, the Godwin-Shelley Circle, and the Cockney School each made distinctive contributions to the extraordinary corpus of British Romanticism, but had in common a stylistic originality and radical politics that set them in bitter opposition to the cultural establishment.


major requirements (old) – Group II

major requirements (new) – 1800-1900

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

209 AL1 BRITISH LITERATURE TO 1800, Markley. Lect: MW 10; Disc: F multiple times

This course covers British literature from its origins to 1800. Rather than aiming for coverage, we will read closely a limited set of representative works from different genres from the eighth to the late eighteenth century, including lyric poetry, drama, satire, polemical prose, and amatory fiction. In so doing, we’ll consider how politics, religion, and landscape shaped Britain’s national literature. We’ll pay attention to the evolution of the English language.” We will furthermore analyze our emotional engagement with the works we read. What formal qualities, themes, and conventions draw us in—or indeed, estrange us? What’s familiar about the distant past, and what’s alien, unexpected, and surprising?

Expect to encounter such writers as Unknown, Marie de France, and Geoffrey Chaucer; Shakespeare, John Donne, and Andrew Marvell; and William Wycherley, Jonathan Swift, and Eliza Haywood. We will visit, in a manner of speaking, the preaching cross near Solway firth, in what once was Northumbria; medieval towns in the middle of festivals; the perilous court of King Henry VIII; the Globe theater of Shakespeare and his Chamberlain’s Men; and the dressing room of an eighteenth-century lady. We will see performances of several plays, live and digitally, and we will focus on the ways that text can be translated into action.

The method of instruction is lecture, with smaller groups meeting in discussion sections once a week under the guidance of a teaching assistant. Your evaluation will be based upon two papers, a midterm, a final, and additional assignments and reading quizzes designed to encourage your participation in section. Diligent attendance at lecture and in section is necessary to pass this course.

210 C BRITISH LIT 1800 TO PRESENT, Courtemanche. MWF 10

In the last 200 years British history has avoided major political upheaval, either of the French revolutionary or the Continental fascist variety, and has come to seem a refuge of tolerance and stability. And yet over this same period Britain gave birth to the world’s first industrial revolution, grew dominant in both naval power and manufacturing capacity, managed to win two world wars, and transformed its vigorous commercial ties into a far-flung empire that still exists today in the form of the Commonwealth. British culture looks nostalgically backward, to local ties and rural values, at the same time as it embraces the modernity of post-imperial ethnic cosmopolitanism, international capitalism, and a vibrant pop culture.

Our readings for this class will explore these competing tensions in British literature over the time of its rise to world power: the lyric and expansive poems of the Romantic movement (1798-1837); the high moral seriousness of the Victorians (1837-1901); the disillusioned mood of Modernism (1901-1945); and the political ferment of Postmodernism (1945 to the present). Authors will include Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Dickens, Wilde, Hardy, Yeats, T. S. Eliot, and Rushdie. Books will include the Norton Anthology of English Literature two-volume set (Romantic Period through the Twentieth Century and after), Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and Nasty by Simon Doonan. Grades will be based on attendance, written homeworks, two papers, a midterm, and a final exam.


major requirements (old) – Shakespeare requirement for secondary education majors only

major requirements (new) – pre-1800 (Shakespeare)

Representative readings of Shakespeare’s drama and poetry in the context of his age, with emphasis on major plays; selections vary from section to section.


same as YDSH 220, RLST 220, CWL 221

major requirements (old) – n/a

major requirements (new) - REPCIS

Course will introduce the great Jewish storytellers such as Nachman of Bratslav, Scholem-Aleichem, and I.B. Singer through readings of Yiddish tales, short stories, poetry, drama and excerpts from novels and autobiographies from the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, Yiddish films and folklore will be used to exemplify the variety of Jewish cultural expression in Eastern Europe, Russia, and America. Course will also present a sample of critical approaches to Yiddish literature. Taught in English translation.


major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

“Make it new!” was the cry of Imagist Ezra Pound. “We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness” said the Futurist F.T. Marinetti. Modernist poetry offers an exhilarating, challenging, and deeply rewarding reading experience. The poetry can be difficult; artists were grappling with difficult times: war, death on an unprecedented scale, gender role upheaval, a technology explosion, and the birth of the split subject within psychoanalysis. Everything was changing and modernist poetics reflected that. The poetry is deep, thrilling, and engaging but rarely simple. Students will read canonical authors such as W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound but also Mina Loy, War Poets, Sylvia Townsend Warner and other forgotten gems.

Sign up for the Beginnings of Modern Poetry to see if the Sirens will sing for you dare to eat this peach?


same as CWL 267

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

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

245 M THE SHORT STORY. TUTH 9:30-10:45

same as CWL 267

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

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

247 S THE BRITISH NOVEL, Saville. TUTH 2-3:15

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

The novel’s great strength has always been its responsiveness to modernity. In Britain, this included a rapidly developing, diversifying world of new inventions and technologies like the printing-press, power-loom, railroad system, and steam-ship; ongoing reform of political arrangements; and urbanization with all its challenging social problems.

Through its experiments in narrative voice and time, plot and characterization, the novel could help its readers create new meaning from a fragmenting old order, an unstable present, and daunting future. Our study of this genre will open with the early nineteenth-century “Romantic” novel (Jane Austen’s Persuasion [1818]), continuing to emergent Victorian realism in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist (1837-38) and George Eliot’s Silas Marner (1861). We will then compare Modernist experiments like Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier (1915) and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927), and we’ll end with a memorable example of contemporary fiction, Ian McEwan’s award-winning novel Saturday (2005). If you’re intellectually curious, ready to exploit long winter evenings reading and enjoy lively literary conversations, this is the course for you.


same as CWL 269

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

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 S THE AMERICAN NOVEL TO 1914, Wilcox. TUTH 2-3:15

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – 1800 - 1900

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.

251 P THE AMERICAN NOVEL SINCE 1914, Hunt. TUTH 11-12:15

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this course we will read seven American novels published after 1914 at critical points in US history. You will gain an understanding not only of individual works but also of literary modernism and postmodernism. Instead of treating these generic categories as universal and fixed, we will track the way they change in various historical contexts. How do certain social issues shape the defining conventions of a modernist and postmodernist novel? How does modernist and postmodernist novelistic practice lay bare the false and true promises of the “American dream,” the rise and fall of the welfare state, the formation of the working and middle-class family, and the connection of national identity to the evolution US capitalism? As you answer these questions, you will become skilled at examining the shifting intersections of race, class, and gender. You should expect to close-read each novel and engage supplementary materials, like films and/or critical essays. Requirements include active participation in class discussions, group presentations, regular brief reading responses, two formal essays, a midterm, and a final. Authors include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, John Steinbeck, Ralph Ellison, Don DeLillo, and Toni Morrison.

255 AL1 SURVEY OF AMERICAN LIT I, Loughran. Lect: MW 11; Disc: F various times

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to “early” American literature and to give you some basic cultural literacy about terms, ideas, and events from this period. We will do this by thinking broadly about “American culture” from some of its earliest iterations up until the crackup called the Civil War. By looking at a variety of visual and verbal texts—from paintings, engravings, and maps to slave narratives, novels, poems, autobiographies, essays, and pamphlets—we will try to get to know American culture both through its parts (its poems, essays, and stories) and through our own cohesive reconstruction of these parts into an integrated whole—a story, which we will call, in our class, “American Literature, Part I.” This will thus be a course that will not just introduce you to the basic facts of American cultural history but challenge you to theorize the practice of “literary history”— a particularly powerful form of storytelling that we practice in English departments. To what end, you ask? Take English 255 and find out.


major requirements (old) – Group III

major requirements (new) – n/a

American literature and its cultural backgrounds after 1870.

260 M AFRO-AMERICAN LITERATURE I, Freeburg. TUTH 9:30-10:45

same as AFRO 260, CWL 260

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) - REPCIS

This course surveys the vibrant and provocative creation of African American literature after the first world war. From the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance to postmodern black novelists, this course engages the trials and triumphs of black literature in the modern U.S. In addition to close readings of literary art, this course will also take advantage of visual media (documentaries, movies, television) and visual art (paintings and performance art) in order to give a full picture of the complexities that went into black writing over the past hundred years.

261 M TOPICS IN LITERATURE & CULTURE, Underwood. TUTH 9:30-10:45

TOPIC: Hacking the Library: Computational Methods in the Humanities

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

By making it possible to analyze language and culture on a larger scale, information technology is adding a new dimension to the humanities. Instead of reading texts one at a time, we can ask how literary language changed across the course of a century—or test assumptions about audience and genre by asking, say, which movies tend to be enjoyed by the same viewers. These are interesting questions, but also admittedly challenging ones, because they require a mixture of methods drawn from different disciplines. This course will introduce basic techniques of data analysis using Rstudio, and enough programming to allow you to get the data you need. We’ll also discuss the historical and linguistic premises needed to guide this kind of exploration, so we’re not just counting things at random but posing meaningful interpretive questions. Our primary textbook will be Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature. Evaluation will be based on problem sets, short papers, and group projects that try to shed new light on real-world questions.


same as GER 250, CWL 250

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


same as GER 260, CWL 271

Jewish contributions to German Literature from 1200 to the present day. Includes trips to the University Library’s Rare Book Room.

270 P AMERICAN FILM GENRES, S. Camargo. TUTH 11-12:50

TOPIC: Crime Films

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

Crime has figured in our laws and in our literary texts from the earliest days, both as an element in our moral education and as a social problem. It was only in the 1840s, however, that crime became bracketed to mass entertainment. In this course we will look at crime from two perspectives. The first group of films focuses on professional agents of law and order; the second group on agents of disorder, professional and nonprofessional criminals alike. Through these opposing lenses, we will analyze fictional representations of crime from a range of perspectives: character studies, motivations, victims, detection methods, representations of the police, social impact of crime, class, gender, race, censorship, and spectator address.

Evaluated work will include three medium-length papers and several shorter ones. While experience in film studies is a plus, it is not required for enrollment in this course.

273 R AMERICAN CINEMA SINCE 1950, Capino. TUTH 1-2:50

same as MACS 273

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

English 273 Explores key issues in American cinema from the postwar period to the present, contextualizing them within moments of major transition in U.S. history and the film industry. Viewing and discussion of a major film each week.


meets with AFRO 298

TOPIC: Slavery and Identity

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this course, we will explore the experience of slavery in the U.S. through its representation in literature and film. The course will focus on the enslaved, the enslavers, and the middle merchants who participated in the slave trade. We will also examine the economic, political, religious, and scientific justifications used to maintain slavery.

Students will travel to Benin, formerly known as “The Slave Coast,” for two weeks in May. Partnering with Beninese students, we will visit historical sites throughout the country to explore West African cultural traditions. We will pay particular attention to the aspects of these traditions that the enslaved Africans retained to create a new African-American (and, later, U.S.) cultural identity. Enrollment in this course is restricted to students who have been accepted for the May 17-31 study abroad program. Application deadline for Study Abroad is 12/1/14 (

274 M LITERATURE AND SOCIETY, Jones. TUTH 9:30-10:45

TOPIC: Energy Literature

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

For over two hundred years, energy has been big business. The pursuit of energy has inalterably changed our relationship with the natural environment, our understanding of land (and sea) ownership, global politics, and the course of economic history. But how do we make meaning out of it? In this course, we will examine texts that reflect on the politics, aesthetics, economics, and historical significance of energy. From Syriana to The Wind-Up Girl, American culture has turned to art to make meaning out of energy: to praise and lament the energy industries. We will encounter a variety of texts in this course: novels, poems, short stories, newspaper articles, political polemics, historical narratives, and narrative and documentary films.

Students will write two critical essays and a large volume of informal writing. Students will also be assessed based on periodic quizzes, exams, and on active, engaged participation in class discussion.

TEXTS: Upton Sinclair, Oil!; Paolo Bacigalupi, The Wind-Up Girl

274 S2 LITERATURE AND SOCIETY, Mahaffey. TUTH 2-3:15

TOPIC: Sex and Violence in Modern Irish Literature

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

When we think of Ireland as a Catholic colony of England, simmering with revolutionary impulses from 1798 until 1921, it becomes easier to see why revolutionary violence is so often intertwined with rebellious expressions of forbidden sexuality, conveyed through revolutionary language. In this course, we will concentrate on Ireland as an example of a specific kind of social formation, one that was (and remained) at war with the status quo. We will concentrate on specific, compressed, almost “nuclear” examples of writing that exemplifies that war: short fiction, plays, the lyric poem. Much of this writing seems enigmatic at first, and one of the questions we will examine is its relation to the riddle, the parable, the fairy tale, and the puzzle. We will try to define the unusual ways in which Irish literature attempts to engage the reader to rethink the party line on sex and politics. We will read works by Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, William Butler Yeats, John Millington Synge, James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Elizabeth Bowen, Mary Lavin, Patrick MacCabe.

Written requirements include an oral presentation, two 6-8 page essays, and a final exam.

275 A AM INDIAN & INDIGENOUS FILM, Diaz. Lect: MW 11; Screening: TU 1-3:20

same as AIS 275, MACS 275

TOPIC: Sex on the Beach

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

This course will focus on films the Pacific Islands. Have you ever noticed that films set in the Pacific are always about romance or tragedy? This course samples the body of films set in the Pacific Islands to develop our critical visual literacy skills through which we can understand a broader, ongoing, history of Euro American fears and desires as projected through exotic and erotic films of romance and tragedy set in the islands

281 P WOMEN WRITERS, I. Baron. TUTH 11-12:15

same as GWS 281

TOPIC: Marriage and Maternity in the British Feminist Novel

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In 1796 Jane Austen finished an early version of Pride and Prejudice, entitled First Impressions. Two hundred years later, author Helen Fielding published Bridget Jones’s Diary, a modern adaptation of Austen’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 motherhood no matter how they felt about their sexual orientation, their husbands, their job prospects or married life. 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 rise of the mercantile class began to restructure 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 vulnerable and depressed or curiously satisfied with their constrained lives. Next we’ll explore 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 altered skirt lengths 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 an oral report, three short papers and a final project or exam. Texts and films may include: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Oswald Wynd, The Ginger Tree, Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr. McKenzie, Barbara Pym, Excellent Women, Made in Debenham (film), Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary.


same as AAS 286

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


TOPIC: Contemporary Fantasy Novels

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this section of ENGL 300, we’ll develop our composition and research skills by journeying to the worlds of contemporary Anglophone fantasy novelists. Some of our destinations are realities independent of our own: China Miéville’s Bas-Lag, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Western Shore, and N.K. Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Others operate at the intersection of the fantastic and the quotidian: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Junot Díaz’s diasporic New Jersey, Jo Walton’s Anglo-Welsh borderlands, and G. Willow Wilson’s anonymous security state in the Persian Gulf. But the novels set in these disparate worlds all share a common interest in the ambiguous power of language and magic (or, rather, language as magic). Is fantasy liberatory or retrograde? Enlightening or obfuscating? What does the literature of the impossible have to offer our so-called “real world”?

Writing assignments will be broken down into multiple stages of draft and revision so as to emphasize the importance of process as well as product. We’ll also develop strategies for researching books with minimal critical profiles—a problem for most contemporary novels, but one that is especially acute for the low-status “genre” of fantasy. Finally, expect a pair of exams focusing on critical terms and key passages from class discussion. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.

300 M WRITING ABOUT LIT TEXT & CULTURE, Quintana Wulf. TUTH 9:30-10:45

TOPIC: The Making of Americans: Literature, Law, and that Old Melting Pot

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this course we will read US literature from the 20th and 21st centuries in conversation with the law and ideological discourses about national identity. Do you ever wonder what forces shaped the multicultural society we have inherited? Are you curious about how we craft a public discourse about national identity? Does the metaphor of the melting pot still echo in your head after all these years? In this class we will take a careful look at how legislation and discourses of national identity work to both create and smooth the wrinkles of social inclusion and exclusion in the name of the American Dream. Legal landmarks such as the immigration restrictions of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), the Japanese internment through Executive Order 9066 (1942), the relocation and termination of Indian tribes through the House Concurrent Resolution 108 (1953), the outlaw of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin of the Civil Rights Act (1964), the nativist drive fueling California Proposition 187 (1994), or the anti-immigrant provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 (21012), speak to moments of crisis in the US that call for a revision of the idea of “American-ness.” We will look at how those moments are reflected in literary works as a way to tease out and understand the social rifts they create.

Since this course focuses on writing about literature and fulfills an advance composition requirement, we will practice close reading in our class discussions, we will pay careful attention to the development of patterns and ideas, and we will fine-tune our critical skills to develop a common language that will help us interpret and engage with the texts both in conversation and in writing. You will develop your skills in literary analysis while writing three short responses to the weekly readings; after that, you will try your hand at a longer paper for the course. Class presentations along with midterm and final exams will serve as further opportunities for you to apply what you have learned in class and gauge your progress throughout the semester. Overall, this class will ask you to read, think, talk, and write about these texts, so come to class prepared to share your thoughts and to think through the thoughts of your peers. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.


TOPIC: Romantic Narrative

major requirements (old) – Group I or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

This course will serve two primary curricular goals: 1) to immerse ourselves in (mostly British) prose fiction of the Romantic period—meaning, for the purposes of this course, roughly the three decades between 1790 and 1820—in order to understand how Romantic narrative forms engage with widespread cultural anxieties brought about by discourses of “revolution,” focusing on the inter-related arenas of political critique, gender construction, and scientific inquiry; and 2) to spend a lot of time thinking and writing (and revising our writing) about literary and cultural texts: how can you most effectively construct persuasive arguments about the kinds of texts you will routinely encounter in upper-division English courses? To achieve the first of these goals, we’ll read very closely through five major novels from the period—texts by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Mary Shelley—and we’ll study some of the most influential critical arguments that have been made about them. Our work toward the second goal—writing—will be comprehensive: we will develop precise close readings of particular textual passages; we will discuss strategies for building complex arguments from these detailed readings; and we will come to understand writing as a necessarily recursive process through assignments focused on both stylistic and analytical revision. Finally, we will work on research methods: how do you figure out where the current scholarly conversation stands on different topics in the field, and what does it mean to engage productively in your own written arguments with materials from the historical context, the work of other critics, and key concepts from critical theory?

Requirements: regular participation, short responses and presentations, two shorter essays, and a longer project that will involve individualized historical research and readings in criticism and theory. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.


TOPIC: Memory and Nationalism in Contemporary Britain

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In The Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore introduces Harry Potter to the Pensieve, a magical font which serves as the repository of memories that can be easily stored, retrieved and reexamined at will. But as Harry quickly learns, memory is not a static and discrete entity that paves the way to a clear understanding of the past. Instead, memory can be elusive, it can be mutiplistic and it can be tweaked or completely altered. What attributes then constitute a unified national memory and how is it informed by social class, by race and by gender?

In this course, we’ll examine the rise of contemporary fiction in Britain as a lens through which social progress can either be seen as a flourishing or flagging political standard. We’ll determine whether British citizens have prospered from modern socialist policies or if welfare reform forced Britain to lose its edge in the world market, which it is now trying to recapture by a renewal of political platforms based on educational elitism, neoconservatism, capitalist enterprise and racial purity.

Our thematic anchor will be the importance of individual and collective memory to define social progress or to incite class war. Through the medium of memory, we’ll focus our attentions on the history of class politics in Britain over the last twenty years. We’ll explore whether the future lies with traditional parties such as the Tories, New Labour and the Liberal Democrats, or with right-winged groups such as the British National Party and the English Defense League. Finally, we’ll ponder whether Britain has become an enlightened utopia where social mobility is universal or whether it is transforming into a dark distopian zone, in which only those powered by money, status and ancient family ties have any rights.

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to actively participate in class discussions. In addition, students will be required to give oral reports and to write four papers. Novels and films may include: The Remains of the Day, Atonement, Trainspotting, Once Upon a Time in England, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Half Blood Prince, The Golden Compass, About a Boy and Shaun of the Dead. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.


This course will introduce you to the basic terrains of literary criticism. Like all academic disciplines, literary criticism comes with systems of thought and their technical vocabularies. This is because like all modes of organized thinking, it relies on precision and nuance. Top level literary criticism involves a world of variables and concerns, like society, production, history, psychology, gender and class identities, ideologies, sexualities, cultures, and ideas. In exploring this terrain, we will understand how languages and intellectual environments shape us; it will also tell us how we historically came into being as individuals and communities.

Apart from a textbook that will introduce us to the basics of literary theory, we will also read and work with a few essays, poems, and short stories. You will be required to turn in 3 papers, answer quizzes, and write a final examination. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.


This course will introduce you to some of the most significant contemporary interpretive methods in the study of literary texts. However, it will do so always keeping in mind the primacy of the literary text itself. At the center of the class then, we will have at least two representative literary texts which generated excitement, criticism, and debate in their own times as well as later. With these texts and their times as the ‘stuff’ of our business, we will study such critical movements as new criticism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminist and gender studies, Marxism, new historicism, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and reader response theory.

As it prepares students for future literature classes, this course helps us understand and question the relations between reading literary texts and thinking critically, and more profoundly perhaps, between reading, criticism, and the practices involved in putting ourselves irrevocably amidst others. This course is required for English literature majors. Most English majors should take English 301 in the second semester of their sophomore year or the first semester of their junior year, but only if they have already taken several literature courses. The most common complaint about this class comes from seniors who regret not taking it sooner. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.


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

Texts will include Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals and a Course Packet with essays by critics in the Gender, psychoanalytic, Marxist, and Post-Structuralist traditions. It is strongly recommended that all English and Teaching of English majors take ENGL 300 and ENGL 301 BEFORE taking any other 300- or 400-level courses.

325 A TOPICS IN LGBT LIT & FILM, Nadeau. MW 11-12:20

meets with GWS 325

TOPIC: Lesbian/Queer Media Cultures

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

Discusses how various LGBT/Q communities were consolidated or drawn together by print and invented in the very acts of writing, distributing, purchasing, and reading print artifacts. Students examine early homophile publications, the rise of presses dedicated to LGBT/Q literature, independent bookstores and distribution networks, as well as the contemporary world of zines, blogs, chatrooms, fanfiction, and online journals, to see the intersection of sexuality, community, identity, and the print sphere. Students will learn how to historicize the rise of various LGBT/Q subcultures through a long history of print and how to navigate and understand the gregarious contemporary world of online publishing and social networking. Contact Gender and Women’s Studies for additional information.

359 R LIT RESPONSES TO THE HOLOCAUST, Anderson Bliss. TUTH 12:30-1:50

same as YDSH 320, CWL 320, RLST 320

Course introduces a variety of Jewish literary responses to the Holocaust written during and after the Second World War (from 1939). The discussion of Holocaust memoirs, diaries, novels, short stories, poems, and other texts will focus on the unique contribution of literary works to our understanding of the Holocaust. In addition, the works and their authors will be situated in their Jewish cultural historical context. Taught in English translation.


same as MACS 373

TOPIC: Haunted Cinema

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this section of ENGL/MACS 373 we will examine narrative films about haunting—featuring ghosts, vampires, demons, and other weird creatures—to explore the many ways in which cinema is itself a “haunted” cultural form with complex, fascinating, sometimes troubling psychic, emotional, religious, and political meanings. Our examination will range from some of the earliest cinematic haunting narratives to some very recent Hollywood films

We’ll consider these far-reaching questions, among others:

How can cinema, that quintessentially 20th-century art form, reveal to us what forces and fears haunt the modern world? In what ways is cinema a “haunted” form, and the viewer of films both haunter and haunted? How can cinematic narratives of haunting provide us with powerful metaphors of hidden interconnection, even some degree of religious or spiritual experience, in the fragmented, skeptical environment of modernity? How do these narratives allow us to explore anxieties and fantasies involving identity, gender, and sexuality that often seem taboo in our everyday lives? Attendance at weekly screenings, multiple analytical essays, a final exam, and consistent class participation will be required.


same as MACS 373

TOPIC: Film Style and Politics

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

While the narrative aspects of fiction films (character, plot, setting in time and space; narration, focalization, etc.) remain important sources of pleasure for audiences, films are not novels with pictures. Film is by definition an audiovisual medium and, even if we may not be aware of it, decisions about cinematography, editing, mise-en-scène, and sound affect us. Simply put: How we look at films is determined by how films look.

One primary goal of this course, therefore, is to deepen your understanding of the various cinematic tools used in film storytelling and of how film scholars categorize and analyze them. We will discuss the choices that filmmakers have made and how those choices reflect three primary influences: institutional goals, political aims, and conceptions of the relationship between a film and its spectators. A second important goal of this course is to help you to be more aware of ways in which filmmakers invite us to participate in the experience that they have created for us and of what happens to us when we accept or reject that invitation.

Evaluated work will include four medium-length papers and a few microthemes. While previous experience in film studies is a plus, it is not a requirement for enrollment in this course.


same as GWS 378

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

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 “Donkey skin” 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.

380 F TOPICS IN WRITING STUDIES, Pritchard. MW 2-3:15

TOPIC: Hip Hop Rhetorics

You say one for the treble two for the time come on – Speech is my hammer bang the world into shape/Now Let it fall-Huuh!/ My restlessness is my nemesis/It’s hard to really chill and sit still/Committed to page/I write a rhyme, sometimes won’t finish for days/Scrutinize my literature from the large to the miniature. . .’ – Mos Def “Hip Hop”

This course examines the hip-hop rhetorics of writers, performers, and activists of the hip-hop generation. These rhetors draw on hip-hop cultural tools, including rap, fashion, dance, graffiti, and deejayin’, to construct their identities and make and disseminate meaning within and about their social worlds, particularly around issues of racism, sexism and misogyny, poverty, and heterosexism. The primary goal of the course will be to strengthen skills in writing and rhetorical analysis through a study of hip hop and its links to controversies of cultural, social, political, economic, educational, and global consequence. Reading some foundational and more recent scholarship in Hip-Hop Studies, as well as popular articles about hip-hop, we will examine the ways hip-hop operates with historical, cultural, economic, and political consequence within the U.S. and all over the world. Through these readings students will engage the following questions: What is Hip Hop Rhetoric? How is this rhetoric constructed and deployed? What is the relationship between hip hop rhetorics and a diversity of other language and literacy practices in everyday life? Topics the course may cover include: rap and social consciousness; hip hop feminism; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) hip-hop performers; youth culture and activism; spoken word and hip-hop theater; and commercialism and commodification of hip hop culture. Engaging these topics through a variety of written and oral communication projects, students will learn the usefulness of employing hip-hop cultural tools as a tool of argument, analysis, and other forms of expression within the everyday. In addition to reading and participation in discussion, students will complete informal short writing assignments, regular reading quizzes, three essays, a group presentation, and a final project.

TEXTS: Chang, Jeff, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (2005); Forman, Murray and Mark Anthony Neal, That’s The Joint!: The Hip Hop Studies Reader, 2nd ed. (2011); (select chapters) Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters, Everything’s an Argument with Readings, 6th ed. (2012); Pough, Gwendolyn, Elaine Richardson, Rachel Raimist, and Aisha Durham, Home Girls Make Some Noise!: Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology (2007); Rose, Tricia, The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip-Hop (2008).

Courses numbered 396, 397, and 398 are honors seminars. English majors with an overall GPA of 3.33 or greater are eligible to enroll in the honors program. See Angela Smith in EB200 for more information about the program, or to register for a seminar.

396 C1 HONORS SEMINAR I, Goodlad. W 10-11:50

TOPIC: Genre and Seriality

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In this seminar we will explore the evolution of detective, crime, “hard-boiled,” and police procedural genres in short fiction, novels, novellas, film, and television series from the nineteenth century to the present day. Since most of these works appeared serially—appearing either in parts or as works in a series—our discussions will partly concern the effects of serial temporality (both within individual narratives and in the lived experience of readers and viewers). Crime genres also tend to generate a strong sense of region or place, whether nineteenth-century Paris or London, mid-century LA, Yorkshire in the 1970s, New York’s Korean immigrant communities, or contemporary Chicago, Denmark, or Bombay. Working at the intersection of genre, time, and place, we will consult a range of scholarly writing on these topics and keep a regular blog. Assignments will also include oral reports and a final paper.

396 C2 HONORS SEMINAR I, Byrd. M 10-11:50

TOPIC: Video Games, Digital Texts, and Networked Visions

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

Despite the fact that video games have been coded, shared, and played for at least 40 years, such games continue to be dismissed as mindless entertainment at best and violent time-wasters at worst. In fact, Roger Ebert went so far as to assert that video games can never be art. And yet, in 2011, the Supreme Court determined that, “like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas—and even social messages—through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world).” This class will consider the relationship between literature in its emerging new media formats by looking specifically at the shared and divergent narrative strategies that old and new mediums use to construct worlds and tell stories. Over the course of the semester, we will consider the history of material formats, read novels that inspired video games, look at how video game play transforms novels, in addition to considering some of the larger questions emerging from video game studies. What are games and where do they fit within cultural, literary, racial, social, and gender studies? How do technologies and mediums affect access to and experience of story, aesthetics, and design? What are the cultural and social ideas communicated through games and how do the means of their production function within global economies? Some of the texts for the course may include novels such as Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, Marisha Pessl’s Night Film, Austin Grossman’s You and video games such as BioShock Infinite, The Walking Dead, and Assassin’s Creed along with other digital texts.

396 R HONORS SEMINAR I, Jenkins. TH 1-2:50

TOPIC: Skin Theory: African American Literature and the Politics of Color

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

In 1903, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that “[t]he problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” Much of the scholarly commentary on DuBois’ statement has focused on the line that exists between races, a marker of the sociocultural opposition of whites and blacks in the United States. In this course, we will consider DuBois’s statement from a different and perhaps more literal angle, examining the question of color intraracially—within the confines of African American culture. Specifically, we will examine the politics of skin color and racial identity in selected African American literary texts of the twentieth century. How do these texts address differences in color among blacks? How is skin color linked to or informed by gender, class, and sexuality in these texts? We will spend significant time addressing how the phenomenon of “passing” for white is imagined by black writers, but we will also consider the ways in which a spectrum of skin colors are politicized, neutralized, challenged and/or eroticized in twentieth-century African American literary expression. While we will focus most closely on fictional narratives, we will also incorporate works from other genres, including critical essay, memoir, and film.


same as BTW 402

This is a course in English linguistics. 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.

Text: Curzan, Anne, and Michael Adams, How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. Latest edition.


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.

418 1U/1G SHAKESPEARE, L. Newcomb. MWF 12

major requirements (old) – Shakespeare

major requirements (new) – pre-1800 (Shakespeare)

This course explores seven Shakespearean plays from a cross-section of dramatic genres. We’ll look especially at the features that made these plays popular in their day: their open staging, their playful language, their laying bare of the period’s familial, national, gender, and racial tensions. But we’ll also find consider how the meanings of ‘Shakespeare’ have proliferated thanks to the constant, sometimes subversive, reinvention of the plays by literary critics, performers, and adapters world-wide. That diversity compels us to use multiple interpretive frames to look at the plays: close reading; informal staging; film analysis; feminist, historicist, postcolonial, and queer studies critical approaches. Be ready for proactive discussion, performance experiments, and a visit to the rare book library. Written assignments include informal journals, a response to at least one on-campus Shakespeare production, two focused short papers, a longer paper based on guided research (7-9 pp.), and a final exam.

TEXTS: (Required) Greenblatt et al, eds., The Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays (2nd edition, ISBN 978-0-393-93313-0); McDonald, ed., Bedford Companion to Shakespeare (2nd edition, ISBN 978-0312248802); at least one individual play edition, probably tied to the What You Will spring season.

426 1U/1G EARLIER 18TH C LITERATURE, Pollock. TUTH 2-3:15

major requirements (old) – Group I

major requirements (new) – pre-1800 (Long 18th C)

In this course we will read a wide range of texts written in England between 1660 and the 1740s, and we will study some key frameworks and debates in eighteenth-century studies. Our investigation throughout will be focused on the issue of “genre” in at least three senses. First, we will ask what cultural functions were served by differentiating between various genres of literature. How did authors use generic distinctions to police or to critique boundaries—those between elite and mass culture, virtue and vice, geniuses and hacks—in an era whose “free” press enabled an explosion of printed matter and public debate? We will also ask how these texts construct, enforce or destabilize differences of sex and gender, increasingly contested categories during a period which saw the development of both the “domestic woman” ideal and the professional woman writer. Finally, we will consider how these texts imagine kinship and affiliation (“genre” in the sense of “kind”) along cultural lines; what models of national identity do these texts promote during the advent of imperial Great Britain? Readings will likely include poems by Dryden, Rochester, Pope, Swift, and Montagu; plays by Wycherley, Behn, Etherege, and Congreve; prose fiction by Behn, Defoe and Haywood; as well as other contextual materials by Hobbes, Astell, Locke, Addison, Steele and Mandeville.

Requirements: regular participation and brief presentations, informal journals, two shorter essays, and an extended research project.


TOPIC: Green Romanticism

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – 1800-1900

The extraordinary literary outpouring of the Romantic period (1780-1830) co-incided with the beginnings of our modern industrialized system—an economic and infrastructural “new world” of fossil fuels, global trade, urbanization, and rapid growth. Writers such as Wordsworth, the Shelleys, Austen, and Byron also witnessed the emergence of the modern climate and earth sciences, which introduced controversial concepts of environmental change and deep time. The reactions of Romantic writers to this scientific revolution, and to the changing economic world system around 1800, were complex and ambivalent: they embraced elements of our carbon-based modernity, while at the same time eulogizing a lost connection with organic processes and the pre-industrial past. This course re-examines a wide range of Romantic-era authors often mistaken for idealistic celebrants of nature, with a view to understanding their crucial role in the creation of modern ecological discourse, and as eloquent first witnesses to the accelerated human re-engineering of the planet scientists now designate the Anthropocene.

450 1U/1G AMERICAN LIT 1865-1914, Carico. W 1-2:50

major requirements (old) – Group III

major requirements (new) – 1800-1900

Between the end of the Civil War and the outbreak of World War I, the United States thoroughly transformed. The nation’s cities grew, as it became one of the world’s major economies, and American territory expanded, as its empire stretched west and south and overseas. The transcontinental railroad was completed, and the modern corporation developed. The phonograph was invented, and the motion picture was born. At the same time, immigrants were starving in urban tenements, blacks were suffering Jim Crow laws and lynch mobs, and women were struggling to escape the confinements of patriarchy.

This semester, as we read the essays and poems and novels of this period, we will consider how American literature grappled with all these changes—from the social to the cultural, from the economic to the technological. We won’t be reading in a vacuum, though. We’ll view photographs and films beside the novels of realism and naturalism, for example, and we’ll listen to early sound recordings as we discuss the folk stories of the U.S. South. All the while, we’ll be thinking not only about how American literature mirrors and describes these many transformations but also, and more importantly, about how these historical processes transformed literature itself.

455 1U/1G MAJOR AUTHORS, Hansen. TUTH 10-11:50

TOPIC: David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and the Age of Perpetual Crisis

major requirements (old) – Group IV

major requirements (new) – n/a

Over the last decade, we’ve grown quite accustomed to hearing politicians talk about economic crises, military crises, and even religio-historical crises. We live in an age where the crisis, the state of exception, never really seems to end. By focusing on the films that David Fincher and Christopher Nolan directed between 1995 and 2012—the era of New Media and instant news coverage—this course will examine how the psychology of mass-fear has re-mapped the ideological terrain of contemporary society. Framed to some extent by the horrors provoked by 9/11, Nolan and Fincher produced a series of films that both predicted disaster and responded to the failure of Western economic and military power. Along the way, films such as ‘fight Club” and “The Dark Knight” interrogate some of our deepest psychological concerns about modern masculinity, sadism, masochism, and consumer culture. By examining what’s at stake in the Nolan/Fincher films from this period, we will attempt to engage with the often concealed and genuinely troubling concerns about our society and ourselves that these films have come 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.


same as AIS 459

TOPIC: American Indians, Popular Culture and Genre Fiction

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

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.


TOPIC: Filipino American Literature

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

Filipinos form the third largest ethnic group in Illinois, according to the 2010 census by the U.S. government. Until recently, however, their presence largely has been ignored beyond the occasional visibility in the media. This course is designed to trace, in broad strokes, the story of the Filipino diaspora in America. Through fictions, memoirs, poems, and films, ENGL 460 allows the student to analyze the enduring concerns that Filipino Americans share with America as a community.

Some of these texts are humorous, others are heartbreaking. In terms of the periods covered, they span the American colonial regime in the Philippines, the Second World War, the Marcos dictatorship, and the present. They offer reflections on Philippine-American alliances as well as the crises faced by Filipino migrant laborers. They recall Filipino American contributions to the ongoing struggle for civil rights. They consider the challenges faced by minorities caught up in the tensions between the vaunted notion of diversity and the demand for assimilation.

The course is covers the following topics: (1) the joys and travails of migration and cross-cultural encounter, (2) the historical intimacies between the United States and the Philippines, (3) the family relative to larger socio-cultural changes, and (4) the questioning of identity markers as a means for human recognition. The main requirements for the course are: two short papers, a group presentation and, as final requirement, an essay written either a personal reflection or a piece of literary criticism.

460 2U/2G LIT OF AMERICAN MINORITIES, D. Wright. TUTH 12:30-1:45

TOPIC: America at the Nadir: Race and Representation from the Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

In this course, we will use a multi-disciplinary approach to explore the perceived role, or “place,” of blacks and other marginalized groups (including women and the poor) in US society as it was represented in popular forms of expression, such as literature, film, theater and music at the turn of the twentieth century. We will begin with cultural production from the Reconstruction and progress through the Harlem Renaissance and explore such themes as identity and representation; “black face” minstrelsy; “manifest destiny” and modernity; etc.

461 1U/1G TOPICS IN LITERATURE, Saville. TUTH 2-3:15

TOPIC: Soul Talk: Soul-Politic and Body-Politic in Democratizing Britain (1840-1885)

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – 1800-1900

In “Signs of the Times,” his 1829 polemic against utilitarianism, Thomas Carlyle rages against the growing pragmatism of British society: “It is no longer the moral, religious, spiritual condition of the people that is our concern, but their physical, practical, economical condition, as regulated by public laws. Thus is the Body-politic more than ever worshipped and tended; but the Soul-politic less than ever” (“Signs of the Times,” 71). Carlyle was not alone in his concerns. Novelists like George Eliot, essayists like John Ruskin, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde and above all poets like the Brownings, Algernon Charles Swinburne, and Walt Whitman used “soul-talk” to address the spiritual well-being of their own and neighboring European and transatlantic communities as they evolved into modern democracies. As we read the work of these and other writers (for instance, Plato, Aristotle, and Jeremy Bentham), we will interrogate the merit of Carlyle’s complaint, asking ourselves what “the soul” actually meant to them, why it might be considered the special bailiwick of poets, and what prose writers (both fiction and non-fiction) might also contribute. We will consider whether the conceptions of soul in skeptics and atheists like Eliot, Swinburne, and Whitman differ from those of believers. We will also debate the political value of the category today, especially in the light of work by political theorists like William E. Connolly and others.


TOPIC: Old and New Media: Print and Digital Culture from Gutenberg to Google

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

What does it mean to study literature at the start of the 21C? Are print and its major aesthetic forms archaic or simply mutating? What’s at stake in the shift from analog to digital forms of representation? What was “a reader”—and what will reading be in twenty or a hundred years? To get at these questions, we will work with conventional literary forms (like poems and novels) and consider the material formats in which these genres have historically been consumed (the freestanding “codex” book, cheap serial formats like magazines and newspapers, but also—now—the Kindle and the iPad). But we will also look at photographs, watch movies, play one or two video games, use apps, and navigate webpages. The way something is produced—its “mode of production”—will, in this way, become an important part of how we think about what literature is.

Some questions we might ask include: what aesthetic problems seem to have emerged when old media (like print, photography, cinema, and television) were still new? What aesthetic forms and affects did this old media tend to generate and why? How are the debates that were once generated by old media reflected in our contemporary experience of new media? Does “new” media—websites, video games, apps—create the conditions for a new kind of art, and what aesthetic experiments (Twitter novels? Vine movies? YouTube channels?) Are these forms producing? Our “primary” archive will include material drawn from a range of old and new media; secondary readings will include both classic and contemporary theory. Our goal will be threefold: to identify, describe, and theorize a robust array of 15C-21C aesthetic experiences from within the material contexts that produce them.


meets with CWL 471

TOPIC: International Literary Relations:

Migration and Literary Transnationalism


This course will examine the related phenomena of migration and transnationalism in the context of (post)colonialism, cultural translation, and globalization. The literary examples will be drawn mainly from Arabic, Arab American, Arab British, and Arab Brazilian literatures, serving as case studies for the complex network of ethnic, national, and transnational identities, but a wide range of theoretical readings will address multiple sites of transnational negotiation around the world, inviting students to bring other literary traditions into the conversation. The construction of fields such as English, American, Latin American, and Middle Eastern studies will be discussed in relation to newer configurations such as Atlantic, inter-American and transnational studies.


meets with CWL 441

TOPIC: Empires of the Novel

major requirements (old) – Group II or V

major requirements (new) – n/a

The subject of this course is the genre of the novel and its concordance with the political and cultural worlds of the bourgeoisie in the 19th and the early 20th century. The students will read French, German, Dutch and British novels as well as critical writings by a variety of scholars, to explore a wide range of connected issues, such as (a) the novel’s exploration of gender and sexuality in their normative or deviant forms, (b) the overlapping discourses of colonialism, capitalism, and modernity, (c) the interactions of the novel with the reading public in different stages and ages of capitalist development, and (d) the construction of the public and private spheres in fiction and how that coincided with a new configuration of labor and leisure. All texts read in English.


same as AFST 410, CWL 418, FR 410

major requirements (old) – n/a

major requirements (new) – REPCIS

“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.

475 1U/1G LIT & OTHER DISCIPLINES, Trilling. MW 2-3:50

TOPIC: The Middle Ages on Film

major requirements (old) – Group V

major requirements (new) – n/a

Many of us first encounter the Middle Ages through film: from Robin Hood to Tristan and Isolde, The Lion in Winter to Lord of the Rings, movies about the Middle Ages enchant and excite us. In this course, we will survey a wide range of films about the Middle Ages, placing them in conversation with medieval source material, historical contexts, and contemporary political issues. What makes Games of Thrones appeal to such a wide audience? What makes the legends of Robin Hood and King Arthur endure across so many historical periods and narrative formats? How does experiencing these stories through film differ from experiencing them through poems, plays, or novels?

Class meetings will consist of weekly film screenings on Mondays and seminar-style discussion on Wednesdays. Requirements for the course include regular attendance and participation, occasional film reviews, a midterm, a final exam, and an independent research paper.

476 1U/1G TOPICS LIT & ENVIRONMENT, Jones. TUTH 12:30-1:45

TOPIC: Literature and the Sea

major requirements (old) – Group III or V

major requirements (new) – 1800-1900

The sea is a persistent metaphor for ideas as vast as the ocean itself: sexual awakening, freedom, death, fluidity, and escape. At the same time, the sea is a factory and workplace, a place where cultural exchange, trade relationships, and political power are all made material in the bodies of working sailors. This course will explore oceanic texts, answering questions such as:

What does the sea mean for authors of various races, genders, sexual identities, and ethnicities? How has the literature of the sea contributed to environmental (and environmentalist) concerns? How does American literature respond to the decline of maritime industry and the rise of seashore tourism? How does sea literature construct new categories of local, national, and global belonging? We will read American literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring works by Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Kate Chopin, and Sarah Orne Jewett. The course ends with a short unit on contemporary maritime culture: container shipping, leisure cruising, and globalization. Along with literary texts, we will study book illustrations, tattoos, paintings and magazine articles. We will explore a variety of critical approaches, including oceanic studies, critical race theory, ecocriticism, and visual culture.

Students will write two critical essays and a large volume of informal writing. Students will also be assessed based on exams and on active, engaged participation in class discussion.

TEXTS: Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; Sarah Orne Jewett, Country of the Pointed Firs; Kate Chopin, The Awakening

481 1U/1G COMP THEORY AND PRACTICE, Russell. MW 9:30-10:45

The constellation of skills that comprise composition—invention, selection, combination, construction, framing, curation, reasoning, argument, presentation, delivery, and so on—have been taught in Western worlds since classical time. This course will review the long and rich history of composition theory in order to understand what composition has been (e.g., a craft, an art, a civic action, a moral exercise), who composition has served (e.g., citizens, lawyers, preachers, social climbers, students, activists), and what composition has helped people accomplish (e.g., persuasion of others, expression of self, disruption of social order). We will consider how these historical theories of composition inflect the approaches to teaching composition that have emerged in the last fifty years, including pedagogies grounded in process theory, expressivism, social constructivism, feminism, multimodality, and multiculturalism. In light of these historical and contemporary contexts, we will articulate our own goals as writers and teachers of writing, asking what practices will allow us to achieve our goals in the contexts of the communities in which we live and teach.

482 1U/1G WRITING TECHNOLOGIES, D. Baron. TUTH 12:30-1:45

same as LIS 482

TOPIC: Communicating in the Digital Age

We will examine the impact of the new digital technologies on our reading and writing practices and look at ways in which readers and writers impact the direction of communication technology. We’ll look as well at the relationship of today’s digital genres—everything from text to Twitter--to earlier, more traditional genres; how they develop unique conventions and practices; how they self-regulate, moving from freewheeling anarchy toward definable forms and expected behaviors; how they deal with violations of conventional norms; and how new practitioners learn and perfect their art. We’ll consider how the new genres create an aesthetic, and we’ll examine the legal and ethical problems these new technologies pose.

All readings will be available online. Students will write short essays and a term paper or semester project on an appropriate topic.

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