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Course Descriptions 2017-2018

Course Categories:

Courses Primarily for Undergraduates

ENG 202 – Introduction to Creative Reading & Writing

Course Description: This course will introduce students to the major elements and tools of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction writing. Through exercises and projects, you’ll practice using these tools to produce original, exciting works of literary art. Along the way, you’ll sharpen your ability to track these elements both in published texts and in the work of your classmates, and further develop how you measure aesthetic value. You’ll be encouraged to see yourself as an active member of a community of artists, and to establish a regular discipline as a working writer. Writing and reading will be due in nearly every class, and peer workshop will play an important role in learning to see your work more objectively.

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Evaluation of a final portfolio.

Texts include: A course reader.

Note: This course is open to first-year students admitted in Fall 2017.

ENG 206 – Reading & Writing Poetry

[Prerequisite to English Major in Writing]

Course Description: An introduction to the major forms of poetry in English from the dual perspective of the poet-critic. Creative work will be assigned in the form of poems and revisions; analytic writing will be assigned in the form of critiques of other class members’ poems. A scansion exercise will be given early on. All of these exercises, creative and expository, as well as the required readings from the anthology, are designed to help students increase their understanding of poetry rapidly and profoundly; the more wholehearted students’ participation, the more they will learn from the course. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. No P/N registration. Attendance of first class is mandatory. Freshmen are NOT permitted to enroll until winter quarter. Seniors require department permission. Prerequisite for the writing major and sequence-based minor. Literature Majors are also welcome. Teaching Method: Discussion; one-half to two-thirds of the classes will be devoted to discussion of readings and principles, the other classes to discussion of student poems.

Evaluation Method: Evidence given in written work and class participation of students’ understanding of poetry; improvement will count for a great deal in estimating achievement.

Texts include: An anthology, a critical guide, a 206 Reader prepared by the instructor, and the work of other students.

Note: This course may also be counted toward the English Literature major.

ENG 207 – Reading & Writing Fiction

[Prerequisite to English Major in Writing]

Course Description: A reading and writing course in short fiction. Students will read widely in traditional as well as experimental short stories, seeing how writers of different culture and temperament use conventions such as plot, character, and techniques of voice and distance to shape their art. Students will also receive intensive practice in the craft of the short story, writing at least one story, along with revisions, short exercises, and a critical study of at least one work of fiction, concentrating on technique.

Prerequisites: English 206. No P/N registration. Attendance of first class is mandatory. Course especially recommended for prospective Writing Majors. Literature Majors also welcome. Teaching Method: Discussion of readings and principles; workshop of student drafts. Evaluation Method: Evidence given in written work and class participation of students’ growing understanding of fiction; improvement will count for a great deal in estimating achievement.

Texts include: Selected short stories, essays on craft, and the work of the other students.

ENG 208 – Reading & Writing Creative Non Fiction

[Prerequisite to English Major in Writing]

Course Description: An introduction to some of the many possible voices, styles, and structures of the creative essay. Students will read from the full aesthetic breadth of the essay, including memoir, meditation, lyric essay, and literary journalism. Discussions will address how the essay creates an artistic space distinct from the worlds of poetry and fiction, and how truth and fact function within creative nonfiction. Students will be asked to analyze the readings closely, and to write six short essays based on imitations of the style, structure, syntax, and narrative devices found in the readings. Students can also expect to do some brief writing exercises and at least one revision.

Prerequisites: English 206. No P/N registration. Attendance of first class is mandatory. Course especially recommended for prospective Writing Majors. Literature Majors also welcome.

Teaching Method: Discussion; one-half to two-thirds of the classes will be devoted to discussion of readings and principles, the other classes to discussion of student work.

ENG 210-1 – British Literary Traditions

Course Description: This course offers an introduction to the early English literary canon, extending from the late medieval period through the eighteenth century. In addition to gaining a general familiarity with some of the most influential texts of English literature, we will be especially interested in discovering how literary texts construct, engage in, and transform political discourse. What kinds of political interventions are literary texts capable of making? What are the political implications of particular rhetorical strategies and generic choices? How do literary texts encode or allegorize particular political questions? How, at a particular historical moment, does it become possible to ignore or overlook the political projects embedded in these texts? In readings of Chaucer, More, Sidney, Shakespeare, Milton, Behn, and Swift, among others, we will consider how important it is to understand these texts from a political perspective, and wonder why this perspective is so often ignored in favor of psychologizing and subjectivizing readings.

Teaching Method: Two lectures per week, plus a required discussion section.

Evaluation Method: Regular reading quizzes (15%); class participation (25%); midterm exam (20%); final exam (20%); final paper (20%).

Texts include: Beowulf; Mystery Plays; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; More, Utopia; Sidney, Defense of Poesy; Shakespeare, Tempest and selected sonnets; Milton, Paradise Lost; Behn, Oroonoko; Swift, Gulliver’s Travels.

Note: English 210-1 is an English Literature major and minor requirement; it is also designed for nonmajors and counts as an Area VI WCAS distribution requirement.

ENG 210-2 – British Literary Traditions

In this course we will survey some of the most representative, influential, and beloved works of English literature from Romantic Poetry to the modernist novel, with a special emphasis on the Gothic. We will consider these literary texts in relation to major historical developments such as the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of imperialism, new print and transportation technologies, rapidly increasing literacy rates, and the emergence of mass culture. Special attention will be paid to the role of metaphor in thought, in the constitution of human nature, and in the relationship of self to society. An overview of a turbulent, transformative century, English 210-2 provides excellent training in the discussion and analysis of literary texts.

Teaching Methods: Lecture with discussion sections.

Evaluation Methods: 2 short analyses, final paper, periodic quizzes, and participation.

Texts include: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors (9th ed., Vol. 2: ISBN 9780393919653) and Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Penguin, 2002), ISBN 9780141439518. Copies will be available at the Norris Center Bookstore; please acquire new or used copies of the editions listed here.

Note: English 210-2 is an English Literature major and minor requirement; it is also designed for nonmajors and counts as an Area VI WCAS distribution requirement.

ENG 213 – Introduction to Fiction: Post-1830

In this course we will look at five classic works of fiction, all of which explore in one way or another the problem of the divided self. Whether in the guise of monster, rival, uncanny double, or repressed desire, the fantasy of an "other" self lies at the heart of some of our most archetypal narratives, and some of our deepest ethical, psychological and political dilemmas.

Teaching Methods: 2 lectures, 1 required discussion-section per week.

Evaluation Methods: Midterm paper (15%); midterm exam (15%); final paper (25 or 30%); final exam (25 or 30%); quizzes and class participation (15%).

Texts include:

Please note that it is ESSENTIAL to acquire the specific editions listed OR to have a digital version of the texts, so we can all “be on the same page.”

ENG 220 – The Bible as Literature: Pre-1830

This course is intended to familiarize literature students with the most influential text in Western culture. No previous acquaintance with the Bible is presupposed. We will consider such questions as the variety of literary genres and strategies in the Bible; the historical situation of its writers; the representation of God as a literary character; recurrent images and themes; the Bible as a Hebrew national epic; the New Testament as a radical reinterpretation of the "Old Testament" (or Hebrew Bible); and the overall narrative as a plot with beginning, middle, and end. Since time will not permit a complete reading, we will concentrate on those books that display the greatest literary interest or influence. From the Torah we will read Genesis, Exodus, and parts of Deuteronomy; from the Prophets, Amos, Jonah, Second Isaiah, and Daniel; and from the Writings, the books of Judges, Ruth, Psalms, and the Song of Songs, along with the saga of King David and portions of the Wisdom literature. In the New Testament, we will read the Gospels according to Matthew, Luke, and John and the book of Revelation. We'll look more briefly at issues of translation; traditional strategies of interpretation, such as midrash and allegory; and the historical processes involved in constructing the Biblical canon.

Teaching Methods: Three interactive lectures, one discussion section per week.

Evaluation Methods: Class participation, two lecture outlines, four in-class quizzes, eight outline posts, one five-page paper. No midterm or final exam.

Texts includeBible (must be either New Revised Standard Version or New International Version).

Note: The above course is combined with COMP_LIT 210-0-20.

ENG 234 – Introduction to Shakespeare Pre-1830

Course Description: This course will introduce students to a range of Shakespeare’s comedies,
tragedies, histories and romances. During the quarter, we will be considering these plays in their
Early Modern context—cultural, political, literary and theatrical. We will focus centrally on matters of
performance and text. How is our interpretation of a play shaped by Shakespeare’s various “texts”—
his stories and their histories, the works of his contemporaries, the latest literary fashions, and the
various versions of his plays that circulated among his audience? Similarly, how do the details of
a given performance, or the presence of a particular audience, alter the experience of the play? To
answer these questions, we will consider not only the theaters of Early Modern England, but also
recent cinematic versions of the plays, and we will not only read our modern edition of Shakespeare
but also examine some pages from the plays as they originally circulated. Our readings may include
Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Henry V, and the Tempest.

Teaching Methods: Lectures with Q&A; required weekly discussion section.

Evaluation Methods: Attendance and section participation, two papers, midterm, final exam.

Texts include: The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. Available at Beck’s Bookstore.

ENG 270-1 – American Literary Traditions

Course Description: What spooks America? From the Puritan “city upon a Hill” to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense to Emerson’s American Adam, America was imagined as a New World paradise, a place to begin the world anew. And yet, from the story of Pocahontas and John Smith to the origins of the American Gothic in the Age of Reason to Melville’s Moby Dick American literature has been haunted by fantasies of terror, sin, violence, and apocalypse. Why? This course will seek to answer this question. Focusing on a selection of imaginative writings, including origin stories, poems, novels, and a slave narrative, we shall seek to identify and understand the significance of the terrors—of the dark other, the body, nature, sex, mixture, blood violence, totalitarian power, and apocalypse—that haunt and spook the origins and development of American literature. Students will be encouraged to draw connections between past American fantasies and fears and contemporary popular culture and politics, from classic American films like Hitchcock’s Psycho to the television series Game of Thrones, from American blues and jazz to the rap lyrics of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” from the Red Scare and the Cold War to the war on terror.

Teaching Methods: Lecture and discussion; weekly discussion sections.

Evaluation Methods: 2 papers; quizzes; final examination.

Texts include: The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Beginnings to 1820 (Volume A; 8th edition); Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly; or Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selected Writings; Edgar Allan Poe, Great Short Works; Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Herman Melville, Moby Dick.

Note: English 270-1 is an English Literature major and minor requirement; it is also designed for nonmajors and counts as an Area VI WCAS distribution requirement.

ENG 270-2 – American Literary Traditions

Course Description: This course is a survey of American literature from the aftermath of the Civil War
to first decade of the twentieth century. The course will take as a cue how writers experimented with various styles and genres of literature to explore the idea, if not always the realities, of “America.” Our
exploration of these writers and their texts will fold into the contexts of social histories about the U.S.
and reunification, the rise of capital and the Gilded Age, imperialism, and immigration.

Teaching Methods: Two lectures per week, plus a required discussion section.

Evaluation Methods: Evaluation will be based on two short (3-page) essays, in which students will
perform a close reading of a literary passage from one of the texts on the syllabus; a final examination,
involving short answers and essays; and active participation in section and lecture. Attendance at all
sections is required; anyone who misses more than one section meeting will fail the course unless
both the T.A. and the professor give permission to continue.

Texts include: Rebecca Harding Davis, “Life in the Iron Mills”; Mark Twain, The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn; Henry James, “Daisy Miller”; Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the
Frontier in American History”; José Martí, “Our America”; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie; W.E.B. Du
Bois, The Souls of Black Folk; Selected poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Paul Laurence
Dunbar, among others.

Note: English 270-2 is an English Literature major and minor requirement; it is also designed for nonmajors and counts as an Area VI WCAS distribution requirement.

ENG 273 – Intro to 20th Century American Literature Post-1830

Course Description: When Henry Luce, the publisher of Time magazine, declared in 1941 that it was time to create “the first great American Century,” he meant to advocate for the spread of quintessential American values—freedom, democracy—throughout the globe. But the idea of the American Century has also been invoked to call attention to the United States’ perceived harmful influence in world affairs. This course surveys some of the most important works of modern American literature by examining the intense ambivalence of American writers—including Ernest Hemingway, Nella Larsen, Margaret Atwood, and Junot Díaz—about their place in the world. How have some writers sought to escape the perceived provincialism of their American identities? How have writers grappled with the legacy of American military interventions abroad? What are the United States’ ethical obligations to the world?

Teaching Method: Two lectures per week and a discussion section.

Evaluation Method: Quizzes, one short essay, one group project, and a final exam.

Texts include:

ENG 275 – Intro to Asian American Literature: Post-1830/ICSP

Course Description: Asian North Americans are a diverse people with a strange relationship to land: they have been denied citizenship and have been chased from their homes, they have been called “aliens” and thought of as “perpetual foreigners”, they have experienced and maybe perpetrated multiple colonizations of the lands they inhabit, and they are seen as technologically inclined and even robotic. These racialized experiences of place and displacement have been theorized in Asian North American literature and other forms of storytelling. This course will focus on these stories to ask: How have Asian North Americans inhabited the earth through their difference? With topics ranging from citizenship, solidarity, food and resource use, globalization, environmental justice, and the future, these stories will challenge us to think globally as our planet may very well be moving closer to extinction.

Teaching Method: Lecture, Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Weekly reading responses, midterm exam, final paper (5-7 pages).

Texts (subject to change; please confirm final text list on Canvas before purchasing): Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Caste and Outcast,  9780804744348; John Okada, No No Boy,  978-0295955254; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior,  978-0679721888; Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer, 978- 0802124944.

Note: The above course is combined with Asian American Studies 275-0.

ENG 277 – Studies in Latina/o Literature: Post-1830/ICSP

Course Description: When did the myriad people of Latin American descent in the United States— Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominican Americans, Central and South Americans—become Latinx? How has the literature produced by Latinxs in the United States reflected and even produced the historical and political consciousness we associate with being Latinx? Prompted by questions such as these, this course will explore the consolidation of Latin-ness as a political, bureaucratic, and marketing phenomenon. Along the way, students will become familiar with the major genres, writers, and historical contexts of Latinx literature.

Teaching Methods: A mixture of lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Quizzes, two short essays, final exam.

Required Texts: Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States (978-0195138252); Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus (978-0452273870).

Note: The above course is combined with Latina/o Studies 277.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: Coming to Terms

Course Description: This seminar will introduce you to some of terms--and through these terms, to some of the materials, methods, theories, and arguments--that have become central to literary study today. By coming to know these terms, we will begin to come to terms with literary study in other, broader ways--to think about what the study of texts might have to do with reading, writing, and thinking in twenty-first century American culture.

The seminar is organized around the following terms: writing, author, culture, canon, gender, performance. Some of these terms are of course familiar. Initially, some will seem impossibly broad, but our approach will be particular, through particular literary texts and critical essays. Throughout the course we will also return to two important terms that aren’t a part of this list: literature (what is it? who or what controls its meaning? why study it?) and readers (who are we? what is our relation to the text and its meaning[s]? what does “reading” entail? what is the purpose of reading? what gets read and who decides?).

Teaching method: Mostly discussion.

Evaluation method: Mandatory attendance and active participation. Shorter papers, some of them revised, and one longer final paper. No exams.

Texts Include: Mostly fiction and poetry, including some of the following: Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Emily Dickinson’s poetry; Elizabeth Bishop, Geography III; Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Henry Blake Fuller, Bertram Cope’s Year; Critical Terms for Literary Study (eds. Lentricchia and McLaughlin; second edition).

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: The Imaginary History of Nature

Course Description: One of the main projects of modern Western culture has been the attempt to conceptualize the realm called Nature and, in particular, to define the relation of the “natural” world to the human one. In the course of the past several centuries, often sharply incompatible versions of Nature have been produced by the sciences, philosophy, religion, and the various imaginative arts. We will trace a series of these competing visions of Nature and the natural, focusing on the arrays of rhetorical and artistic methods that have been employed to promote each one at the expense of its rivals. The guiding idea of the course is that Nature is not so much a definite area of reality as a malleable imaginary construct invented and forever re-invented for historically variable reasons. The focus in this seminar falls on the nineteenth century, where ideologies of Nature took particularly distinct forms, but we will cover earlier and later materials as well, including an experimental video (wild hogs in a supermarket) and at least one film.

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Class participation, several short papers.

Texts include: William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; sermons of John Wesley; poems by William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats; Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man (excerpts from each); John Stuart Mill, “Nature”; Edmund Gosse, Father and Son; Jack London, The Call of the Wild; Werner Herzog, Grizzly Man (film); Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild.

Texts will be available at: Norris Bookstore.

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: Knotted, Not Plotted

Course Description: …beginning with an introduction to today’s unconventional narratives in openworld videogames, hypertext internet novels, and even films like Inception, this course will trace the long history of structural weirdness in literature. While the colloquial understanding of a narrative is “a story with a beginning, middle, and an end,” there have always been narratives attempting to disrupt, upend, or discard that formula. By analyzing structurally unconventional texts by historical authors like Laurence Sterne, George Eliot, and Jorge Luis Borges, students will discover the radical political and cultural meanings behind forms that are flipped, chopped, spliced, or tangled. Additionally, by reading more recent pop-cultural texts alongside historical literary works, this course will perform its own kind of structural experimentation. Instead of studying narrative history in a linear way from its beginnings to an endpoint today, we will mix things up just like the texts we study. Like one story by John Barth, for instance, our classroom discussion may continually loop back to its...

Teaching Method: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Two shorter papers and one longer one.

Texts Include: John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse (Anchor Literary Library, ISBN: 978-0385240871); Jorge Luis Borges’s The Aleph and Other Stories (Penguin Classics, ISBN: 978-0142437889); Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves (Pantheon, ISBN: 978-0375703768); George Eliot’s The Lifted Veil and Brother Jacob (Oxford World’s Classics, ISBN: 978-0199555055); Laurence Stern’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (Penguin, ISBN: 978-0141439778); Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire (Vintage, ISBN: 978-0679723424).

Texts will be available at: Norris Campus Bookstore.

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: Literary Imagination and the Bible

Course Description: This class will approach its central question—how literary traditions are created and developed over time—by way of the Bible, the single most important source of themes and stories in Western culture. We will concentrate on a few books of great literary interest: Genesis, Exodus, the Song of Solomon, the short stories of Ruth and Jonah, and the Gospels. Other readings will include a selection of poems inspired by these books, two novels, and a distinguished critical study that reads the Bible itself as if it were a novel.

Teaching method: Discussion.

Evaluation methods: Active participation; four short papers to develop a range of literary skills. Six will be assigned and you can choose the four you want to write, but everyone must write the first paper. Texts: Bible (NRSV recommended; the original RSV and NIV are also acceptable); Chapters into Verse: A Selection of Poetry in English Inspired by the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, ed. Robert Atwan and Lawrence Wieder; Jack Miles, God: A Biography; Anita Diamant, The Red Tent; Fyodor Dostoevsky, “The Grand Inquisitor”; Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ; Marguerite Yourcenar, “Mary Magdalene,” from Fires.

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation Our Monsters, Our Selves

Course Description: Spell-casting witches, blood-sucking vampires, mindless zombies, evil robots, and invading aliens. What do our obsessions with specific supernatural, technological, or extraterrestrial threats to humanity tell us about cultural investments at a specific time and place? In this course, we will examine popular culture’s preoccupation with supernatural or extra-worldly “villains” in literature, nonfiction, films, and other media. This course will contextualize those trends in the historical, cultural, and political anxieties or interests of the time, including contemporaneous ideas of national identity, gender and sexuality, and developments in science and technology. For instance, the recent popularity of zombies has been linked to fears about increasing globalization, and alien invasion was a particularly popular theme in movies and literature at the intersection of the Cold War and humans’ exploration of space. Course material will also include satires of these crazes, which often expose the fears or desires underlying our fascination with particular literary figures or genres. We will investigate existing academic and nonfiction theses about why certain threats to humanity are popular in certain cultural moments; we will also develop our own hypotheses about why particular “monsters” or narratives captivate the popular imagination.

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Two papers, Canvas posts, participation; final group presentation.

Texts include: Bram Stoker, Dracula; H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds; Orson Welles, War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast; Isaac Asimov, I, Robot; Max Brooks, World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide; George Romero, Night of the Living Dead.

Texts will be available at: Beck’s, Quartet Copies.

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit. Students completing this section of English 300 may not take the section of English 368 offered in the spring with the same topic.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: Possession

Course Description: What does it mean to be possessed by a divine or demonic spirit, another person, or the past?  In this course, we will explore possession as a nexus for studying crucial questions literature stages regarding autonomy and ownership, gender and sexuality, and national and personal identity.  Beginning with the divine frenzy that Plato writes possesses good poets, we will then investigate more threatening spectacles of possession in the Renaissance, including William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a famous case of reported demonic possession in early modern France.  We will go on to study the possessions and hauntings staged in gothic fiction, including short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca (1938). The course concludes by studying being denied self-possession by another person, society, or the legacy of a haunting past in Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987), James Baldwin’s “Stranger in the Village,” and selections from Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard (2008) and Thrall (2012).  These texts invite analysis of the complicated dynamics of possession between the individual and society, lover and beloved, and past and present; each also invites inquiry into how possession informs what it means to read, write, or claim ownership of narrative.  Throughout the course, students will develop analysis and argumentation skills through writing and revising essays on different literary genres.

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Papers, Canvas posts and participation.

Texts may include: Shakespeare, Macbeth; Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudon; Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard; and selections from Edgar Allen Poe, James Baldwin, John Donne, and Renaissance cases of possession and exorcism. Texts will be available at: Books at Beck’s; Course Reader at Quartet Copies

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: Reading and Interpreting Poe

Course Description: Edgar Allan Poe invented the short story, the detective story, the science fiction story, and modern poetic theory. His stories and essays anticipate the Freudian unconscious and various forms of psychoanalytic, poststructuralist, and modern critical theory. Poe wrote a spooky novel called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and several volumes of poetry and short stories. As editor or contributor to many popular nineteenth-century American magazines, he wrote sketches, reviews, essays, angelic dialogues, polemics, and hoaxes. This course will focus on Poe’s writings as a means of learning how to read and analyze a variety of literary genres, including lyric and narrative poems, the novel, the short story, detective fiction, science fiction, the essay, the literary review, and critical theory. We will study poetic language, image, meter, and form as well as various storytelling techniques such as narrative point of view, plot, structure, language, character, repetition and recurrence, and implied audience. We will also study a variety of critical approaches to reading and interpreting Poe’s writings, including formalist, psychoanalytic, historicist, Marxist, feminist, queer, critical race, poststructuralist, and postcolonial theory and criticism. We will conclude by looking at the ways Poe’s works have been translated and adapted in a selection of contemporary films and other pop cultural forms.

Teaching Method: Some lecture; mostly close-reading and discussion.

Evaluation Method:  2 short essays (3-4 pages); and one longer essay (8-10 pages); in-class participation.

Texts include: Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays (Library of America); M. H. Abrams and Geoffrey Galt Harpham: A Glossary of Literary Terms (Thomson, 8thEdition); Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, eds.: Literary Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell, rev. ed.).

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 300 – Seminar in Reading & Interpretation: Reading Reading

Course Description: As preparation for future courses in literary studies, the English major, and a future life engaging with texts of various kinds, this course zeroes in on our central activity, reading.  What is the relation of “reading” to interpretation?  Is there a difference between reading a text and “reading into” a text?  What’s the relationship between reading and writing?  Where does meaning come from or reside?  What is “close reading” and what are the alternatives?  What can reading and interpretation do for us?  We will read and discuss a number of texts that are themselves centrally concerned with reading, in order to think about our own methods of reading, and the place of reading in current and past Anglo-American literature and culture.  Our literary and critical texts in the course will also help us ask other related questions: what’s a feminist or a queer reading?  What aspects of culture can be read besides (or beside) literature?  Through active seminar discussion, the course will prepare students for the conceptual and theoretical questions that are central to literary study — and reading and writing in the larger world.

Teaching Methods: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: TBA.

Texts may include: TBA.

Notes: English 300 is an English Literature major and minor requirement. First class mandatory. No P/N registration. This course does NOT fulfill the WCAS Area VI distribution requirement. This course may not be repeated for major or minor credit.

ENG 306 – Advanced Poetry Writing: Form and Theory

Course Description: An advanced workshop in writing poetry. Focusing on both free verse and fixed forms, we will continue to investigate the various devices that poets use to create successful poems— metaphor, image, musicality, voice, etc. This will involve reading several essays on poetry, writing and revising several poems, and critical discussion of student poems in workshop.

Teaching Methods: A mixture of workshop and discussion of assigned reading.

Evaluation Methods: Process Essay drafts/weekly poem assignments (30%); Ability to Critique/Class Participation (20%); Final Portfolio: journal, 6-8 poems, final essay (50%); Reading Journal (20%); Poems and final craft/process essay (30%).

Texts may include: Introspections: American Poets on One of Their Own Poems, eds. Robert Pack and Jay Parini.

Recommended texts: Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry, Stephen Dobyns, The Practice of Poetry, eds. Chase Twichell and Robin Behn, and The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.

Note: In an advanced class I expect that you will also be doing a good deal of reading beyond the assigned text. Without reading—as a source of inspiration, instruction, example or opposition— there can be no writing of consequence.

Prerequisites: Prerequisite English 206. No P/N registration. Attendance at first class is mandatory.

ENG 307 – Advanced Creative Writing: Fabulous Fictions

Course Description: Fabulous Fictions focuses on writing that departs from realism. Often the subject matter of such writing explores states of mind that are referred to as non-ordinary reality. A wide variety of genres and subgenres fall under this heading: fabulism, myth, fairy tales, fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, horror, the grotesque, the supernatural, surrealism, etc. Obviously, in a mere quarter we could not hope to study each of these categories in the kind of detail that might be found in a literature class. The aim in 307 is to discern and employ writing techniques that overarch these various genres, to study the subject through doing—by writing your own fabulist stories. We will read examples of fabulism as writers read: to understand how these fictions are made—studying them from the inside out, so to speak. Many of these genres overlap. For instance, they are all rooted in the tale, a kind of story that goes back to primitive sources. They all speculate: they ask the question, What If? They all are stories that demand invention, which, along with the word transformation, will be a key term in the course. The invention might be a monster, a method of time travel, an alien world, etc., but with rare exceptions the story will demand an invention and that invention will often also be the central image of the story. So, in discussing how these stories work we will also be learning some of the most basic, primitive moves in storytelling. To get you going I will be bringing in exercises that employ fabulist techniques and hopefully will promote stories. These time-tested techniques will be your entrances—your rabbit holes and magic doorways—into the figurative. You will be asked to keep a dream journal, which will serve as basis for one of the exercises. Besides the exercises, two full-length stories will be required, as well as written critiques of one another’s work. Because we all serve to make up an audience for the writer, attendance is mandatory.

Prerequisites: Prerequisite English 206. No P/N registration. Attendance at first class is mandatory.

ENG 307 – Advanced Creative Writing: Travel Writing

Course Description: Paul Fussel, author of Abroad: British Literary Travel Between the Wars, wrote, “A travel book is like a poem in giving universal significance to a local texture.” Of all the forms of literature identified by its subject matter rather than its forms, travel writing is the most flexible in its ability to use any of the methods of mode--the ironic, the discursive, the narrative, the comic, the pastoral, the didactic. Using examples historic and contemporary, foreign and domestic, and across the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, we will look at the long tradition of travel writing and its practitioners.

Not designed students merely wishing to workshop their “Study Ablog”, this course will offer a balanced approach to the growth and change in literature devoted to the subject of travel, touching briefly on ancient and medieval foundations and moving quickly to the explosion of what may be a genre of literature unto its own. We will also consider the travel writing as a way into the humanities, and we will consider science and philosophy, art and religion, history and politics, all in the way they are encountered by the writer of travel. Students will read and discuss all of these genres, give short presentations, and discuss both the aesthetic and intellectual thrust of the required readings. Teaching Method: Lecture, discussion, workshop.

Evaluation Method: Weekly quizzes, one oral presentation (teams of 2-3), three short creative works on topics to be announced (3-5 pages); One long final project, topic to be announced (8-10 pages). Texts include: Readings may include Sir John Mandeville, Homer, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Joan Didion, Paul Bowles, Colm Toibin, Mary Morris, Witold Gombrowicz, Bill Bryson, Grace Dane Mazur, Elizabeth Bishop, Mary Kinzie, Marianne Moore, Pico Iyer, W.S. Merwin, Anne Carson, Robert Byron, and others.

ENG 307 – Advanced Creative Writing: Writing the Unspeakable: MIXED-GENRE


Course Description: As writers of fiction, we try to delve deep into uncomfortable emotions: desire, loss, belonging, madness, personal and historical trauma. We start with our own raw experiences, but all too often find them hard to formulate, and end up self-censoring or resorting to clichés and conventional narrative strategies. How then do we create works of insight, clarity, and narrative power? In this class, we will learn from contemporary writers who have successfully engaged this difficult terrain. Since writing the unspeakable depends on creating innovative forms--and reinventing existing ones--we will focus intensively on the narrative structure of these published pieces. Reading like writers, we will also take them apart to examine craft issues like point-of-view, time management, characterization, and dialogue. Five short, craft-based writing assignments will approach the unspeakable in different ways, and spark ideas/forms for your final project, a full-length short story. A draft of this will be workshopped in class, and you will also provide critical feedback for one other student’s story. The final grade will be based on a writing portfolio consisting of the short assignments and a second draft of your full-length story. This is an intensive class aimed at creating a community of engaged, thoughtful writers, and class participation is essential.

Teaching Methods: Class discussion, workshop.

Evaluation Methods: TBA.

Texts include: Short stories, novellas and novel excerpts by Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Paul Harding, Ian McEwen, Junot Diaz, Michael Cunningham, Haruki Murakami, Rohinton Mistry, Doris Lessing, Sam Shepard, David Means, Dinaw Mengestu.

ENG 308 – Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing: The Radio Essay

Course Description: Writers today can write as they always have, but they needn’t stop there. They can also produce. They can make. In the past ten years we have seen the maturation of the radiophonic arts in the form of podcasting—a profusion of voices and aesthetics that has broken out into the mainstream. Podcasting has filled the void left by the deadening of broadcast radio that began in the 1970s, and will likely soon surpass it (if it already hasn’t) in variety, accessibility and beauty. Students will be invited to write and produce multiple radio essays, mini-docs, stories and poems, layering the spoken word with evocative sonic textures and music. We will place equal emphasis on literary quality,vocal performance and production techniques. We’ll will take cues from the best of contemporary radio practice by listening deeply into the rich and varied soundscapes of podcasts like S-Town, Love + Radio and Antique Shanghai Pop Music, as well as broadcast mainstays such as This American Life, and we’ll move backward in time as we sample the beautifully layered soundscapes of Laurie Anderson, Glenn Gould, Joe Frank, Delia Derbyshire and many others.

ENG 311 – Studies in Poetry: Blake’s Afterlives: Poetics Beyond the Page -- Post-1830


Course Description: How did the Romantic poetry and visual art of William Blake come to inspire later artistic misfits and countercultures? How has his example pushed poetics beyond the page? This course explores the unique poetry of Blake alongside its experimental, politically committed, sometimes hallucinogenic afterlives. Obscure and barely read during his own life, the eccentric Blake might be seen as the prototype of the artistic genius ahead of his or her time, but today we can safely say that his star has risen many times over: in poetry, from the Victorian Pre-Raphaelites, to Walt Whitman, William Butler Yeats, and Allen Ginsburg; and across the arts, from Diane Arbus (in photography) to Jackson Pollack (in painting), Patti Smith (in music), and Kenzaburo Oe (in fiction), Blake’s afterlives have proliferated in the 20th century, spanning aesthetic ideologies from the Beat poets to surrealism, abstract expressionism, anti-war art, and punk. Emphasis will be placed on the poetic inventiveness of Blake’s mixed-media forms, and his attempts to reinvent the literary object, as we compare his own illuminated poetry and innovative printing techniques with successors, across artistic media. The course is run in parallel with the Block Museum of Art’s exhibit, “William Blake and the Age of Aquarius”; a number of our classes and assignments will focus on works displayed and events held in conjunction with this exhibit.

Teaching Method: Brief lectures, seminar-style discussion, group exercises, field trips.

Evaluation Method: Attendance and participation, weekly writing/creative assignments, short presentation, midterm paper, final project.

Texts may include: William Blake, The Complete Illuminated Books (Thames & Hudson) (must be ordered online); OR William Blake, Songs of Innocence & Experience (Dover Fine Art) and The Marriageof Heaven and Hell (Dover Fine Art).

Note: The above course is combined with COMP_LIT 312-0.

ENG 312 – Studies in Drama: Caryl Churchill: Techniques and Provocations -- Post-1830


Course Description: The New Yorker proclaims that Caryl Churchill “is the greatest playwright alive and one of the most elusive.” Since she came to international prominence in 1979 each new work has rocked expectations: her subjects and theatrical treatments are unorthodox and ever-changing. Many of her scenarios teeter on the brink between farce and catastrophe, utilizing a mixture of realistic and starkly non-realist techniques to pose challenging questions about the timeliest questions of the day (gender identity, rapacious capitalism, environmental degradation, migrancy and refuge, and totalitarianism). This course will provide a systematic introduction to understanding a selection of Churchill’s full-length works and shorter plays in the light of her activism and experimentation, touching also on her major influences from the theatre and philosophy (Bertolt Brecht, Samuel
Beckett, Rosi Braidotti, and Judith Butler).

Teaching Methods: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Critical writing, short essays, discussion.

Texts may include: Mad Forest, Serious Money, Cloud Nine, A Number, Love and Information, Escaped Alone, Seven Jewish Children.

Texts will be available at: Norris and Canvas.

ENG 313 – Studies in Fiction: American Horror -- Post-1830

Course Description: Few scholars of American literature would rank popular horror writers like Stephen King among the literary “greats,” but reading horror today can perform significant intellectual work by unmasking America’s boogeymen. Cultural fears like xenophobia, gynophobia, and ecophobia (fear of foreignness, women, and nature) define the experience of American anxiety both today and throughout the country’s history. Recognizing that the best way to conquer such fears is to face them, this course will provide a history of American fear by studying the deep historical roots of today’s horror literature. Going backward from contemporary works by Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, we will trace American horror to early twentieth-century writers like William Faulkner, to the ghostly nineteenth-century stories of Edgar Allan Poe, and even to 1798 with the publication of the first American gothic novel (Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland). With such a broad perspective of the genre’s history, we will examine how fear functions at various anxious moments of American history, including its colonial founding, the Civil War, and even today.

Teaching Method: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Two shorter papers and one longer paper; one student presentation.

Texts Include: Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist (Norton Critical Editions, ISBN: 978-0393932539); American Gothic: An Anthology from Salem Witchcraft to H. P. Lovecraft (Blackwell Anthologies, ISBN: 978-0470659793); Shirley Jackson’s Novels and Stories (Library of America, ISBN: 978-1598530728); Stephen King’s Carrie (Mass Market Paperback, ISBN: 978-0307743664).

Texts will be available at: Norris Campus Bookstore or through the course Canvas site.

ENG 313 – Studies in Fiction: Detective Stories -- Post-1830

Course Description: From London’s fastidious Sherlock Holmes to Los Angeles’s smooth-talking private eyes, detectives have developed into some of the most popular characters in British and American fiction alike. In this course, we will trace the origins and the evolution of detective stories in order to uncover the various roles that these popular figures have played in the representation of crime and its punishment. Turning our attention to a range of examples, including the traditional gentleman (Sherlock), the spunky teenager (Veronica Mars), and the real-life sleuth (the makers of Serial), we will interrogate the ways in which detectives have shaped our understanding of the law, the people who break it, and those who uphold it. What do we learn about society when we see it through detectives’ eyes? How do the stories that detectives tell—about themselves or about the suspects they investigate—impact the way that we view crime? And in what ways do detectives aid or challenge the legal systems in which they operate?

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Participation; three essays.

Texts include: Edgar Allan Poe, “Murders in the Rue Morgue”; Arthur Conan Doyle, selections from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; BBC’s Sherlock; Agatha Christie, selections from Poirot Investigates; John Huston, The Maltese Falcon; The CW’s Veronica Mars; Serial.

Texts will be available at: course packet available at Quarter copies; films and episodes will be available for screening on Canvas site.

ENG 313 – Studies in Fiction: Transnational Perspectives on Uncle Tom’s Cabin -- Post-1830/TTC

Course Description: Uncle Tom’s Cabin provides a stellar example of how, within the liberal and creative arts, we can study “problems” within cultures and how aesthetic, narrative, and generic solutions are applied to express those problems and even intervene in the course of history. When the novel was published in 1852-53 it sparked intense interest in the abolitionist cause, but after the American Civil War it became relegated to juvenile literature then ignominy for stereotypes and racial insensitivity. Yet in stark contrast to this status within the USA, Uncle Tom’s Cabin continues to enjoy a reputation for promoting positively-valenced causes abroad: not only the emancipation of slaves but also temperance, nationalist self-determination, perseverance against inequality. Stowe’s text is Christian yet it has been mobilized to promote Islamist values across North Africa and the Middle East, humanist values in the officially atheist Soviet Union, and Protestantism in the Asian archipelago. Thus transnational history significantly challenges the literary and popular interpretative traditions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This class will examine a range of adapted formats—novels, plays, dance, film, built environments, and fine art—to explore how this varied political reception is equally rich as a history of the book, history of politics, and the transnational circulation of ideas that continues to put glocal struggles in conversation with an American classic.

Teaching Method(s): Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Short writing assignments, final essay, and discussion participation.

Texts include: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Oxford World’s Classics edition); Poor Paddy’s Cabin; Clara: or, Slave Life in Europe; analytical essays.

Texts will be available at: Norris, Canvas, and on-line.

ENG 313 – Studies in Fiction: Unreliable Narrators -- Post-1830


Course Description: How can a rewarding relationship be based on manipulation and suspicion? Many of the swerves, shocking revelations, and anti-heroes in television and film have their precedents in the novelistic techniques of Charles Dickens and Vladimir Nabokov. (For example, consider the ways The Walking Dead or Grey’s Anatomy manipulate viewers by limiting information about who lives and who dies at the end of an episode, or how limited omniscience is essentially the narrative engine for  Memento or Fight Club.) In both visual media and the novel, suspicion can directly fuel aesthetic engagement— after all, a cautious reader is a close reader. In this class, we will examine what conniving, naive, shrewd, or deranged narrative voices ask of readers in texts from Henry James, Charles Wright, Nabokov, Kathy Acker, Jenny Holzer, and Teju Cole. One goal of this class will be to address the historical contexts of marginalization in the social sphere— in terms of gender, race, sexuality, age, and disability—to ask how suspicious reading affects our social life. As a result, we will apply our cautious, careful reading habits to writing online in order to critically examine online writing persona.

Evaluation Method: Essays, Canvas posts, class discussion.

Texts Include: Henry James, The Turn of the Screw; Charles Wright, The Wig; Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire; Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School; Jenny Holzer, Truisms and Inflammatory Essays; Danzy Senna, Caucasia; Sesshu Foster, Atomik Aztex; Teju Cole, Open City.

ENG 323-1 – Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales -- Pre-1830

Course Description: As we follow along the road to Canterbury, we not only hear a compendium of stories-both pious and irreverent-but we also meet a collection of characters whose diversity spans the spectrum of medieval society:  a noble knight and a manly monk, a drunken miller and a virtuous priest, a dainty nun and a domineering wife, who compete with one other, trading insults as well as tales.  Over the course of the quarter, we will explore the ways in which Chaucer experiments with late medieval literary genres, from chivalric romances to bawdy fabliaux, frustrating and playing upon the expectations of his audience.   Against and alongside this literary context, we will consider the dramatic context of the pilgrimage itself, asking questions about how the character of an individual pilgrim, or the interaction between pilgrims, further shapes our perceptions and expectations of the tales:  How is a romance different, for example, when it is told by a knight, by a social climber, or by a renegade wife?   We will be reading Chaucer’s poem in the original Middle English.  At the end of the quarter, we will give an in-class performance of one of the tales.

Teaching Method: Discussion and some lectures.

Evaluation Method: Class attendance and participation required; an oral presentation; several short papers; quizzes and a midterm exam.

Texts will be available at: Beck’s Bookstore. The required textbook is The Canterbury Tales, ed. Jill Mann (Penguin Edition).

ENG 324 – Studies in Medieval Literature: Queering Medieval Romance -- Pre-1830/TTC


Course Description: Medieval romance famously celebrated “courtly love”—the ennobling passion of an aristocratic man for an upper-class woman. But just as deeply ingrained is the ideal of same-sex love between men. And despite—or perhaps because of—the Church’s misogynist bias, the culture shows a surprising openness to transgender phenomena. This class will explore two kinds of texts: those in which women masquerade as men, and those in which heterosexual love disrupts or is disrupted by the bonds of male affection. Texts will include Ovid’s tale of Iphis and Ianthe, in which two girls fall in love and marry; a pair of transgender saints’ lives; and the stunningly postmodern romance of Silence. After our study of ambiguous gender identities, we’ll turn to ambiguous desires, reading The Romance of the Rose, Amis and Amiloun, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We’ll end with Chaucer’s “other masterpiece,” the magnificent Troilus and Criseyde. Set in ancient Troy, this romance features the bisexual Pandarus, who seems to be in love with both the hero and the heroine. Amis and Amiloun and Troilus and Criseyde will be read in Middle English, the other texts in translation.

Teaching method: Mostly discussion with some lectures.

Evaluation methods: Class participation, three 5-7 page papers (one may be creative). Texts include: Ovid, “Iphis and Ianthe” (from Metamorphoses); Andreas Capellanus, The Art of Love (excerpts); two transgender saints’ lives; Heldris of Cornwall, Silence, ed. and trans. Sarah RocheMahdi; “The Debate between Ganymede and Helen,” trans. John Boswell; Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose, trans. Frances Horgan; Amis and Amiloun, ed. Edward Foster; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. Marie Borroff; Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. R. A. Shoaf.

Note: The above course is combined with COMP_LIT 313 and Gender Studies 361.

ENG 331 – Renaissance Poetry: Pre-1830


Course Description: Some of the most compelling poets of early modern England were also religious thinkers. John Donne was an Anglican priest, who preached to thousands as the Dean of St Paul’s in London. George Herbert was a parish priest in a small village who wrote about the duties of his office.  John Milton engaged in high-risk political efforts to transform England into the new Promised Land.  This course will focus on the religious controversies that prevailed in early modern England and the ways these thinkers responded to them in their poetry.  The controversies issued in new definitions of what the Good is, how power should be apportioned, and how signs have meaning. The specific arguments can seem odd in our more secular era: Why was so much blood shed over the meaning of the wafer and the wine in the Mass? Why did anyone care what the priest wore? Why were there fights over where the altar was placed in the church? But our goal will be to understand what was at stake in these and related questions as they are engaged in the very different styles of Donne, Milton and Herbert. 

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: You will be asked to offer a class presentation, write a short paper of 2-3 pages, and a longer one of 8-10 pages. Full class attendance and participation are required.

Texts include: TBA.

Note: This course is co-listed with English 388-0-20, which fulfills the Area V (Ethics and Values) and Area VI (Literature & Fine Arts) distribution requirements, and Religion 349-0-20. To fulfill both distribution requirements with this class, you must enroll in English 388 or Religion 349.

ENG 332 – Renaissance Drama: Racial Impersonation on the Renaissance Stage -- Pre-1830

Course Description: How was racial difference constructed and performed in the early modern
theater? As the critic Dympna Callaghan famously reminds us, “Othello was a white man.” That is,
because Africans were barred from self-representation on Shakespeare’s stage, white English actors
impersonated blackness for seventeenth-century audiences. In this course, we will study the historical
contexts and material conditions of racial cross-dressing in Renaissance drama. How were racial
prostheses, wigs, cosmetic ointments, artificial extremities, and dyed textiles mobilized by white,
male actors to represent Africans, Jews, Muslims, and Native Americans (among other groups) on the
Renaissance stage? What is the political import of racial performativity, and how did the theater help
consolidate taxonomies of human difference in England? Drawing from a selection of non-literary
texts (e.g., travelogues, recipe books, and documents of performance) as well as popular Renaissance
plays, we will explore the complex intersections between racial ideology, cultural agency, and audience
reception. We will also address more contemporary instantiations of blackface impersonation and
racial cross-dressing, such as the recent Rachel Dolezal controversy and Hollywood casting trends.

Teaching Method: Seminar discussions and occasional short lectures.

Evaluation Method: Participation, oral presentation, occasional quizzes, and two essays.

Texts Include: Ben Jonson, Masque of Blackness; William Shakespeare, Othello; Richard Brome, The
English Moor; Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta; Robert Daborne, A Christian Turned Turk; Philip
Massinger, The City Madam; and selections from The Early Modern Documentary Companion, ed. Ania
Loomba and Jonathan Burton.

Texts will be available at: Norris Bookstore.

ENG 332 – Renaissance Drama: Shakespeare’s Contemporaries -- Pre-1830


Course Description: We will survey and analyze in detail English drama between 1580 and 1642– the drama of Shakespeare’s prolific and fascinating contemporary playwrights – in its cultural contexts.  We will approach these plays from literary, textual, and early-performance perspectives; please be prepared to think across these categories.  Topics will include dramatic genres and their social/ political implications; conditions and conventions of writing, performance, and printing; modes of social organization, including gender, social class, sexuality, the state, and the family; questions of canonicity and cultural value (particularly in relation to Shakespeare).

Teaching Method: Lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Method: Based on participation, weekly writing, papers, and a final exam.

Plays: The Spanish Tragedy (Thomas Kyd), Edward II (Christopher Marlowe), Epicoene, or The SilentWoman (Ben Jonson), The Tragedy of Mariam (Elizabeth Cary), A King and No King (Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher), The Duchess of Malfi (John Webster), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (John Ford), The Knight of the Burning Pestle, together with  some Shakespeare plays, and historical and critical essays.  This reading list is not for the faint of heart.

Textbooks:  English Renaissance Drama, ed. David Bevington, et al. (W.W. Norton), ISBN: ISBN 978-0-393-97655-7; additional readings.

Note: Attendance at first class mandatory.

ENG 335 – Milton


Course Description: We will study John Milton’s poetry and prose in context, with sustained attention to the complexities of his art, the crisis of his times, the subtlety of his thought, and the extent of his influence. Milton’s defenses of political, personal, and religious liberty, his self-presentation, and his grappling with key ethical questions involving free will, gender definitions, crime, authority, rebellion and redemption will be among the many concerns that arise as we explore his work in the context of the raging political and theological controversies of his time.

Teaching Method: Class discussion and lecture.

Evaluation Method: Papers, class presentation, class participation.

Texts Include: Paradise Lost by John Milton.

ENG 338 – Studies in Renaissance Literature: Epic in Cross-Cultural Contexts -- Pre-1830/TTC

In our time of Snapchat and Twitter, the term epic has entered the urban dictionary. As the genre of "heroic song," though, one way it defines itself, epic predates even the invention of writing. What has allowed such epic success, so that epic is perhaps the oldest continuing form of poetic production? The persistence of epic through cultural and linguistic change is one of the form's central themes: how can words heroically uttered and deed heroically dared be passed on from one lifetime to those that follow? How are they transformed when they are? What does it mean to take up as one's own something that has been passed down from a culture no longer present? Such questions become even more pressing in moments when one culture encounters another and is asked in its new context what to retain, what to adopt, and what to invent. In this course we will consider how epic narrative projects, recalls, and reworks its history as tradition -- literally as what is handed over -- and follow several examples of epic through their cross-cultural contexts. We will also consider related issues such as the difference between literature and "orature," or orally composed poetry; the places of women in traditional and revisionary epics; the Romantic linking of epic and the nation; and some developments in the epic in the twentieth century. In handling four thousand years of epic poetry, we will at least glance at works like the anonymous Mesopotamian Gilgamesh, the Mahabharata, the Irish Tain, the Hildebrandslied, Dante's Commedia, Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered; "Ossian," the ancient Scots poet whose works were written in the eighteenth century; the Kalevala, gathered and recomposed by Finnish scholars in the nineteenth century, and modernist epics like Pound's Cantos or Joyce's Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. The bulk of our time, though, will go to reading and analyzing Homer's Iliad, Vergil's Aeneid, The Song of Roland, Camoes' Lusiads, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Wolcott's Omeros.

Teaching MethodsTBA

Evaluation Methods: TBA

Note: The above course is combined with COMP_LIT 303-0.

ENG 338 – Studies in Renaissance Literature: The Pen and the Sword: Political Resistance in Early Modern England -- Pre-1830

This literary history of sticking it to the man will explore early modern representations of protest, disobedience, and insurrection. Beginning with Sir Thomas More's resistance to the English break from Catholicism, moving through Macbeth's treatment of the Gunpowder Plot, and ending with John Milton's defense of the English Civil War, this course will track the explosive political events in early modern England that eventually led to the beheading of King Charles I. Students in this course will learn the basics of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century political theory in order to see how some thinkers defended authority, as well as the subtle (and often not-sosubtle) ways in which others challenged it, sometimes at the cost of their freedom or even their lives. Through this course we will see that, although the terms of political resistance have changed, early modern thinkers were dealing with many of the same debates that we are today, including the terms of political representation, the limits of legitimate resistance, the role of religion in governance, and the memorialization of a controversial past.

This course will include a trip to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's performance of MacBeth.

Teaching MethodSeminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Two papers, Canvas posts, and class participation.

Texts includeShakespeare, Richard II and Macbeth; Anne Askew, select poems; Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, A King and No King; John Heywood, The Play of the Weather; Andrew Marvell, “Upon Appleton House"; John Milton, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates; Thomas More, select works; George Wither, excerpts from Britain's Remembrancer.

Texts will be available at: Norris Campus Bookstore or through the Canvas site.

ENG 338 – Studies in Renaissance Literature: Renaissance Bodies -- Pre-1830

What did it mean for a body to feel pain or pleasure, be exposed to a storm, or fall in love in the English Renaissance? In this course, we will study how Renaissance writers conceived of the body -- often very differently than we do -- by reading Renaissance medical texts alongside drama and poetry. We will explore Renaissance models for understanding connections between psychology and physiology, sex and gender, body and soul, and the body and its environment. As we investigate how poets and playwrights figure the human body and how characters express embodied experience, we will also ask whether the Renaissance body offers alternative ways of thinking about our own relationship to our bodies, the environment, and one another? We will read William Shakespeare's King Lear and The Winter's Tale; John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi; Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker's The Roaring Girl; and poetry by Shakespeare, John Donne, Mary Wroth, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, and Richard Crashaw.

Teaching Method(s): Discussion.

Evaluation Method(s): Papers, Canvas posts, participation.

Texts may include: William Shakespeare's King Lear and The Winter's Tale; John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi; Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker's The Roaring Girl; and poetry by Shakespeare, John Donne, Mary Wroth, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, and Richard Crashaw.

Texts will be available at: Books at Beck's; Course Reader at Quartet Copies

ENG 339 – Special Topics in Shakespeare: Adapt or Die, Perchance to Dream -- Pre-1830

Shakespeare's works provide a rich source of material for modern adaptations like Akira Kurosawa's Ran, Disney's The Lion King, and even YouTube's Sassy Gay Friend. While some may dismiss such modern-day adaptations as cheap derivatives of Shakespeare's sacred originality, this course discovers that Shakespeare himself was a savvy purveyor of knockoffs. Very few of Shakespeare's works emerged originally from his lone creativity. Do you like Shakespeare's sonnets? Sir Philip Sidney beat him to it. Are you thrilled by the ghost of Hamlet's father? Thomas Kyd was writing vengeful ghosts before it was cool. Like modern adapters, Shakespeare was revising existing material both to innovate on past conventions and to address present cultural problems. In this class, we will follow the chain of adaptation that links Shakespeare's sources, Shakespeare himself, and his modern adapters. By tracing these strings of historical influence we will better understand the social imperatives that lead adapters to tweak, retain, or redact their source material.

Teaching Method: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Two shorter papers and one longer paper; one student presentation.

Texts Include: Jen Bervin's Nets (Ugly Duckling Presse, ISBN: 978-0972768436); Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (Norton Critical Editions, ISBN: 978-0393934007); William Shakespeare's Hamlet (Arden Shakespeare, ISBN: 978-1472518385), King Lear (Norton Critical Editions, ISBN: 978- 0393926644); Macbeth (Norton Critical Editions, 2nd edition, ISBN: 978-0393923261); Sonnets (Yale University Press, 978-0300085068). Assorted films adaptations.

Texts will be available at: Norris Campus Bookstore, films available for streaming through the course Canvas site.

ENG 339 – Special Topics in Shakespeare: Hamlet: That is the Question -- Pre-1830

We will spend the term delving deeply into the meaning and significance of a play often said to be at the heart of Shakespeare's canon and of modern Western culture more generally. Devoting a full course to one play will allow us to read this enduringly important, exceptionally enigmatic tragedy intensively, scene by scene, sometimes line by line. At the same time, it will allow us to see the many and sometimes conflicting Hamlets that have existed since about 1600, when it was first written and performed. We will read the three early (and different) printed versions of the play from Shakespeare's time. We will also encounter the play through the lenses and tools of several modern critical approaches that have sought to address the mystery of the play and its central character: psychoanalytic Hamlet, post-structuralist Hamlet, Marxist Hamlet, new historicist Hamlet, feminist and queer Hamlets, alongside the critical perspectives of some film versions and Tom Stoppard’s ingenious revision. "To be or not to be," as we will see, is not the only question.

Teaching Method: Seminar with some mini-lectures.

Evaluation Method: Thorough preparation and participation in our discussions; essays.

Texts include: Shakespeare, Hamlet (specific, required edition TBA); Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; critical, theoretical, and historical articles.

ENG 339 – Special Topics in Shakespeare: Shakespeare: The Whole Journey -- Pre-1830

The 20th century British poet and literary critic T. S. Eliot wrote that one "must know all of Shakespeare's work in order to know any of it." This course takes a journey along the whole of Shakespeare's plays that will enable us to ask: what do we learn when we pursue this comprehensive perspective? As Eliot puts it, "The standard set by Shakespeare is that of a continuous development from first to last" that ultimately becomes a display of Shakespeare's "power of development." In various ways we will consider what generates this power and what role different genres at different moments may play in activating this ongoing process. What stories do we see when we imagine the Shakespeare corpus as incremental narratives? How does Shakespeare's use of generic form change over time? How does the overall sequence of these changes create strikingly different endings and outcomes?

Teaching Method: TBA

Evaluation Method: TBA

Texts include: Titus Andronicus; The Merchant of Venice; As You Like It; Henry the Fifth; All's Well That Ends Well; Othello; Antony and Cleopatra; The Winter's Tale.

Note: This course is combined with Humanities 370-6.

ENG 339 – Special Topics in Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Tragedies -- Pre-1830

This course will examine the dynamics of Shakespearean tragedy in four plays: Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and Coriolanus. What specific ideas and questions impelled Shakespeare's exploration of evil in Othello, King Lear and Macbeth? How does Coriolanus differ from these earlier plays? What specific physical, psychological, and intellectual challenges do Shakespeare's tragic characters confront as they negotiate cultures and a cosmos that often militate against the idea of individuality? Finally, why do Shakespeare's plays continue to resonate so powerfully with modern audiences, and how do modern adaptations of Shakespearean tragedy reflect the relationship between literature and culture?

Teaching Method: Seminar with discussion and some lectures.

Evaluation Method: Grades will be based on several critical response papers (10%), one midterm essay (25%), one research assignment (30%), and participation (25%).

Texts include: McEachern, Claire (editor), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). Shakespeare, William, Four Great Tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Ed. Sylvan Barnet (New York: Signet, 1998), and Coriolanus, eds. Sylvan Barnet & Reuben Brower. (New York: Signet, 1998).

ENG 344 – 18th Century Fiction: Jane Austen Judges the 18th Century -- Pre-1830

This course will examine a number of Jane Austen's novels (Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and possibly Sense and Sensibility) in the context of a "crisis of judgment" that plagues the eighteenth-century novel. Working against the seductions of eighteenth-century sentimentality and the romance plot which threaten a reader's capacity for judgment, Austen designs narratives that compel her readers to engage in a sophisticated practice of judgment and evaluation. Some of Austen's most distinctive narrative strategies, such as "free indirect discourse," are in the service of a pedagogy of judgment that is at the heart of her novelistic project. We will begin by exploring the crisis of judgment as it emerges in the eighteenth century, in the writings of Locke, Shaftesbury, Adam Smith and others. Reading examples of eighteenth-century sentimental fiction and romance, where the failures of judgment are clearly on display, will allow us to appreciate in a new light some of Austen's remarkable contributions to the history of the novel. The supple and attentive strategies of judgment she honed in her novels are as relevant today against a reductive scientism and disoriented aestheticism as they were when Austen first penned them.

Teaching Methods: The course will be conducted as a seminar in which all members of the class are expected to participate actively.

Evaluation Methods: Class participation (30%), midterm paper 6-8pp (30%), final paper 7-9pp (40%).

Texts include: Austen, Emma; Austen, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility; Locke, Essay (selections); Shaftesbury, Characteristics (selections); Richardson, Pamela; Fielding, Joseph Andrews.

ENG 344 – 18th Century Fiction: Sex and the Single Girl -- Pre-1830

Petticoats, it turns out, are central to the fiction of the eighteenth century. From Pamela's letters (hidden under her dress in Samuel Richardson's Pamela) to Sophia's thighs (flashed during a fall in Henry Fielding's Tom Jones) to Elizabeth Bennet's long walk (taken through mud in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice), women's undergarments both hide and reveal the scandals that drive the plot, and in doing so they play a surprisingly significant role in the century's characteristic narrative forms and genres. In this course, we will examine the ways in which the fiction of the eighteenth century was entangled with -- and ultimately powered by -- this frank interest in women's interiority, sexuality, and gender performance. As writers like Daniel Defoe, Fanny Burney, and Eliza Haywood, as well as Richardson, Fielding, and Austen, explored the political and generic possibilities of fiction, they were also grappling with questions about the power, identity, agency, value, and destiny of sexually available young women. These questions will set the stage for a quarter-long discussion of the role of these characters and their plots in "the rise of the novel," as we investigate influential scholarly claims that eighteenth-century innovations in fiction established the modern subject -- and identified her with the figure of the unmarried woman.

Teaching Methods: Seminar-style discussion.

Evaluation Methods: TBA

Texts include: Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders; Samuel Richardson, Pamela; Frances Burney, Evelina; Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Please purchase the Oxford World's Classics editions of Defoe, Richardson, Burney, and Austen. Course reader available at Quartet includes short works or excerpts from Henry Fielding (Tom Jones and Shamela) and Eliza Haywood (Fantomina and The Anti-Pamela).

Texts will be available at: Norris and Amazon; Quartet.

ENG 351 – Romantic Poetry: Revolution and Evolution -- Pre-1830

Romantic poets saw themselves and their poetic practice as representing change, a triumphant break from the past -- but they were also eager to situate themselves within an evolving literary tradition. As world-changing revolutions convulsed Europe and Enlightenment science began to theorize the transmutation of species, British poets of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries strove to locate their poetic projects somewhere between the violence of revolution and the slow, responsive progress of evolution. In responding to their political and cultural environment -- war, anarchy, democracy, industry, abolitionism, and feminism -- they also began responding to one another, developing a new and enduring literary tradition of their own over generations. In this course, we will use the rubric of revolution and evolution as models of change to explore the work of poets like Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats in literary and historical context. We will attempt to account not only for the events that inspired them but, in the latter part of the course, also for what and whom they inspired, from Emily Bronte and the American Transcendentalists to Oscar Wilde and the Beat Poets.

Teaching Method: Occasional short lectures; seminar-style discussion.

Evaluation Method: Class participation, class presentation, three short writing assignments, final paper.

Texts include: The Portable Romantic Poets (edited by W.H. Auden and Norman Holmes Pearson); Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (edited by Michael O'Neill and Charles Mahoney).

Texts will be available at: Norris and Amazon; Canvas course site.

ENG 358 – Dickens -- Post-1830

In this course we will consider Dickens, "arguably second only to Shakespeare in the pantheon of English writers," as an analyst of the troubled social, psychological, and spiritual patterns of modern life, trying to see how his innovations in novelistic technique (notably his development of veins of lunatic comedy that can only be called "dickensian") arise from and at the same time give form to his vividly idiosyncratic vision of modernity.

Evaluation Method: Evaluation based on class presentations and participation, quizzes, and a term

Texts Include: David Copperfield (1849-50); Bleak House (1852-53); and Little Dorrit (1855-57).

Note: The instructor disclaims responsibility for any cases of addiction to reading Victorian fiction
traceable to this course.

ENG 359 – Studies in Victorian Literature: George Eliot's Middlemarch -- Post-1830

This course will be an intensive study of one of the most critically acclaimed novels ever written: George Eliot's Middlemarch. This is the classic and complex tale of a young woman of extraordinary talents thrust at the age of nineteen into a suffocating marriage. It is a brilliant portrait of the subtle, agonizing moral dilemmas at the heart of everyday life. In its rich social tapestry of scientific and political visionaries, of bankers and bohemians, farmers and lords, Eliot traces the complex tangle of ambition and frustration, of betrayal and compromise, and of spiritual awakening and deadening. We will read the novel slowly and carefully, probing the richness of its language, its philosophical meditations and its complex human psychology, and we will investigate its literary and historical context by reading scholarly essays on a host of fascinating background topics.

Teaching Method: Seminar.

Evaluation Method: 3 papers (3, 4, 6 pp.), contribution to seminar discussion.

Texts include: George Eliot, Middlemarch (Broadview Press edition edited by Gregory Maertz -- this is essential! ISBN-13: 978-1551112336).

Texts will be available at: Norris Bookstore, though students are encouraged to acquire the book in advance, either at a local bookstore or online.

ENG 361-1 – 20th Century Poetry: Modern Poetry and Poetics -- Post-1830/TTC

"Make It New": Ezra Pound translated this famous modernist slogan from an ancient Chinese inscription: "As the sun makes it new / Day by day make it new." What is "it"? What designs guide this "making"? What makes a poem "new"? These questions open broad reaches on the vast river of poetic traditions, materials, experiences, and techniques that English-language poets navigated during the long, turbulent twentieth-century, articulating poetic aims, theories, principles, and manifestos as they did so. In "Tradition and the Individual Talent," for example, T. S. Eliot asserts that poets must develop a "historical sense," a knowledge of past literature, so as to seize what is new in their own moment; for his American compeer William Carlos Williams, on the other hand, "So much depends / upon / a red wheel / barrow / glazed with rain / water / beside the white / chickens." As readers of modern poetry and poetics, we'll aim to deepen our attunement to the multifarious workings of poetic traditions by studying modern poems and poetics in themselves, in dialogue with other poems/poetics in English and translation, and in light of the cultural contexts and poetic resources that inspired them. As we learn about ways poems speak, talk to each other, and engage the resources of poetic language (rhetoric, figurative language, versification, rhythm, music, visual arrangement, &c.), we'll seek both to hone our skill in analyzing and understanding these works and to deepen our ability to feel and appreciate their beauty.

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Prompt attendance, informed participation, weekly exercises, class presentation, option of two shorter essays or one longer course project.

Texts Include: Key works by Baudelaire, Mallarme, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats, Pound, H. D., Eliot, Williams, Moore, Stevens, Hughes, Brooks, the war poets, and some post-WWII poets.

ENG 366 – Studies in African American Literature: The Metropolis and African American Culture -- Post-1830/ICSP

Throughout the twentieth century, the terms "urban" and "black America" became so intimately connected that they are often used as synonyms. By tracing different representations of urban life, this course examines the signification of the metropolis in African American cultural production. Although our focus will primarily center on cultural texts, we will address a number of the "push and pull" factors that prompted the Great Migration and the social forces that have subsequently kept many African Americans in the city. By focusing on a set of cultural texts, we will consider the ways in which African Americans have imagined both the allure and dangers of life in the city.

Teaching Methods: TBA

Evaluation Methods: TBA

Texts may include: Work by Nella Larsen, Ralph Ellison, and LeRoi Jones; artists may include the 45 Return to Calendar photographers Wayne Miller and Camilo Jose Vergara as well as the painter Jacob Lawrence; film media may include Coolie High and Good Times; music may include hip hop artists from Public Enemy to Common. Critics may include W.E.B. DuBois, St. Clare Drake, Raymond Williams, Mike Davis, and Mary Pattillo.

ENG 368 – Studies in 20th Century Literature: Novel Perspectives on Higher Education -- Post-1830

This course examines the conventions, ideologies, and limitations of the "campus novel," which offers fictional--often satirical--treatments of collegiate cultures, academic discourses, and campus politics. Engaging novels by Kingsley Amis, Philip Roth, J.M. Coetzee, and Zadie Smith, we will chart the changing contours of higher education, considering why the campus setting emerges as a prime site for interrogating broad social issues like institutional racism, cultural alienation, free speech, and the cross-currents of gender and sexuality. We will evaluate the genre's persistent vacillation between constructions of the college campus as an enclosed, privileged 'tower' of edification and elitism, on one hand, and as "a kind of microcosm of society at large," as David Lodge puts it, "in which the principles, drives, and conflicts that govern collective human life are displayed," on the other. We will pair novels written from the 1950s to the present with more theoretical texts on Title IX, the "civility wars," and the future of the humanities to reflect on the history and current state of the university system and imagine its future directions.

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Participation, short response papers, and two longer essays.

Texts Include: Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim; Don DeLillo, White Noise; J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Philip Roth, The Human Stain; Zadie Smith, On Beauty; and Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot.

ENG 368 – Studies in 20th Century Literature: Our Monsters, Our Selves -- Post-1830

Spell-casting witches, blood-sucking vampires, mindless zombies, evil robots, and invading aliens. What do our obsessions with specific supernatural, technological, or extraterrestrial threats to humanity tell us about cultural investments at a specific time and place? In this course, we will examine popular culture's preoccupation with supernatural or extra-worldly "villains" in literature, nonfiction, films, and other media. This course will contextualize those trends in the historical, cultural, and political anxieties or interests of the time, including contemporaneous ideas of national identity, gender and sexuality, and developments in science and technology. For instance, the recent popularity of zombies has been linked to fears about increasing globalization, and alien invasion was a particularly popular theme in movies and literature at the intersection of the Cold War and humans' exploration of space. Course material will also include satires of these crazes, which often expose the fears or desires underlying our fascination with particular literary figures or genres. We will investigate existing academic and nonfiction theses about why certain threats to humanity are popular in certain cultural moments; we will also develop our own hypotheses about why particular "monsters" or narratives captivate the popular imagination.

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Two papers, Canvas posts, participation; final group presentation.

Texts include: Bram Stoker, Dracula; H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds; Orson Welles, War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast; Isaac Asimov, I, Robot; Max Brooks, World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide; George Romero, Night of the Living Dead. Texts will be available at: Beck's, Quartet Copies.

Note: Students who have completed English 300-0-22 offered in Fall 2017 with this topic may not take this course.

ENG 368 – Studies in 20th-Century Literature: Resisting Interpretation -- Post-1830/TTC

Course Description: Literature always resists -- even as it demands -- interpretation.  In certain texts of modern literature, the resistance to interpretation issues into a particularly violent struggle in which points of defiance are difficult to distinguish from moments of defeat.  This class will examine some of the literary texts of modernity and the tendency of these texts toward two interpretive gestures or situations:  incomprehensible self-closure (and the attendant contraction of a space for self-legitimation) and an equally incomprehensible self-expansiveness (and the exhilarating, scary freedom it entails).  We will begin the course with the enigmatic words of resistance repeated by Melville’s odd scrivener, Bartleby (“I prefer not to”), and end with the apocalyptic conclusion to Ellison’s Invisible Man (“Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?”).

Teaching Methods: Brief lectures and discussion.

Evaluation Methods: One in-class presentation, one 3-4 page paper, one 5-6 page paper, one final project/paper.

Texts include: Texts will likely include novels and short stories by Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, John Okada, Ralph Ellison, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, and Philip Roth.

Note: This course is combined with COMP_LIT 301-0-20.

ENG 368 – Studies in 20th-Century Literature: Joyce's Ulysses: Poetics & Politics of the Everyday -- Post-1830/TTC

An encyclopedic epic that tracks three Dubliners' crisscrossing adventures on 16 June 1904, James Joyce's landmark Ulysses captures a day in the life of a semicolonial city in a wealth of analytic--in his word, vivisective--detail. Proposing that Ulysses has much to teach us about how to read our own everyday worlds, we'll study the book's eighteen episodes alongside sources, annotations, and commentaries. In thinking about Ulysses' fictional Dublin, we'll consider such matters as Joyce's transmutation of Homer's Odyssey and his own actual Dublin into a modern epic quest; Ireland's long colonial history and its struggle to throw off British rule; characters' conflicting dreams of a subject or sovereign Ireland; home, exile, and homecoming; psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious and "the psychopathology of everyday life" (Freud); scapegoat dynamics in theory and everyday practice; bodies, food, peristalsis, hunger, sex; desire, the gaze, gender, gesture, dress and social power; performance--studied and unconscious--and theatricality; the pain and mourning of loss; the power of love; the scalpel of wit; the social life and political bite of jokes, comedy, humor; the socio-economic sex/gender system, including marriage and prostitution, as key to political authority in light of Joyce's reported remark that women's emancipation is "the greatest revolution of our time in the most important relationship there is"; intersubjective dynamics, human and animal, dead and alive; history, time, memory, monuments; the powers and pleasures of language; the play of inner and spoken voices amid the chameleonesque narrative styles--interior monologue, dialogue, colloquy, reported speech, telling silences, omniscient authority, poetry, news, advertising, jokes, parody, obfuscation, song, music, play script, letters, catechism, allusion, citation, noises, soundscapes from the cat's mrkgnao to a screeching tram; Joyce's worldly, inventive English; and so on. We'll approach this challenging, maddening, amazing, exhilarating, funny, deeply rewarding book in ways playful and critical, jocoserious and analytic, and engage it with serious purpose and imaginative freedom in search of treasure and revelation.

Teaching Method: Lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Method: Attendance, preparation, participation (20%); Canvas discussions (25%); class presentation (15%); option of course papers and projects or a final exam (40%).

Texts include: 1) Joyce, Ulysses (Modern Library, 1961 text). Please use this edition even if you already own another. 2) Don Gifford with Robert J. Seidman, Ulysses Annotated (California, 1989). 3) Homer, The Odyssey, Fitzgerald translation or another.

Recommended: 4) Joyce, Dubliners. 5) R. Ellmann, James Joyce (rev. ed., 1982). 6) Joyce, Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing, ed. K. Barry (Oxford, 1991). 7) Stuart Gilbert, James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study (NY: Vintage, 1952).

ENG 368 – Studies in 20th-Century Literature: The U.S. through Foreign Eyes -- Post-1830/TTC

Course Description: What does the United States of America signify to the rest of the world? How does it appear to recent immigrants or to travelers passing through? In this seminar, we will use these questions to guide our examination of works that engage with the US from the “outside,” in either the metaphorical or literal sense of the word. Turning our attention to works written by foreign-born authors, and to those that represent the experience of new immigrants, we will explore the image of the United States through the eyes of those who see it for the first time. In what ways does the US appear differently—or similarly—to these authors and characters than to citizens or longtime residents? How do these authors or characters synthesize their respective cultural heritages with their experiences in the US? How do they “explain” the US to audiences from their nations of origin? Throughout the course, we will focus on these issues in order to analyze the transnational connections these authors forge inside the United States as well as the new perspectives on the country that their work can offer us.

Teaching method(s): Discussion.

Evaluation Method(s): Participation; one close reading exercise; two papers.

Texts include: Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah; Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Miral al-Tahawy, Brooklyn Heights; Karl Ove Knausgaard, “My Saga (Travels Through North America)”.

Texts will be available at: Norris bookstore; Canvas site.

ENG 368 – Studies in 20th Century Literature: Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury -- Post-1830/TTC

Centered on the British Museum, the artists and intellectuals known as "Bloomsbury" formed, E. M. Forster said, "the only genuine movement in English civilization." Its associates include Virginia (1882-1941) and Leonard Woolf (founders of the Hogarth Press, which made Woolf "the only woman in England free to write what I like"); T. S. Eliot, Rupert Brooke, Katherine Mansfield, Lytton Strachey, Elizabeth Bowen, Radclyffe Hall, Vita Sackville-West, who inspired Orlando; painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant; art critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell; sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska; philosophers Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore; composer Ethel Smyth; economist John Maynard Keynes; founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud (a Hogarth author). Prewar political and social movements had made it seem that Europe "might really be on the brink of becoming civilised" (L. Woolf); the Great War (1914-1918) shattered millions of lives, marked "the end of a civilization," dismantled an outworn social order, and created hope to rebuild European civilization "on firmer ground and more lastingly" (Freud). The ensuing contest between liberal democracy and rising totalitarianisms led to World War II.

Bloomsbury thinkers and artists debated the century's new challenges across a range of disciplines during this period of rapid technological and social change. We'll study Virginia Woolf's major novels and essays alongside selected contemporaries' writings about the 1910 Post-Impressionist Exhibition; the women's movement and suffrage campaign; pacifism, world war, the Versailles peace conference; British imperialism at home and abroad; the Spanish Civil War; Nazism, fascism, the early years of WWII; the texture of everyday lived experience. An adventurous writer of fiction and essays, Woolf is also a theorist in the sense evoked by the Greek word theoria: "a looking at, viewing, contemplation, speculation, theory, also a sight, a spectacle" (OED). Her innovative novels and essays "look at" the spectacle of life in a fast-changing modern London, England, Europe, empire, world, and cosmos.

Teaching Method: Lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Method: Attendance and participation, weekly posts, class presentation, option of two shorter essays (required for freshmen) or one longer essay preceded by a proposal.

Tentative texts: Texts (at Norris) to be drawn from Woolf's major novels and essays (Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, A Room of One's Own, The Waves, Three Guineas, Between the Acts) and shorter pieces by many Bloomsbury figures.

ENG 369 – Studies in African Literature: Departures/Returns

Whether they land on bestseller lists or are selected for book clubs, some of the most popular works of African literature in the Western world appear to have one thing in common: they depict the experience of characters who travel away from the African continent. What explains the acclaim that these texts have received among Western readerships? And how do they represent the countries that their plots seem so eager to leave behind? In this course, we will call on questions such as these in order to explore the thematic concerns of works written by or about the African diaspora. Throughout the quarter, we will turn our attention to novels that stage the process of departing from African countries, such as NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names and Teju Cole's Open City, as well as texts that envision the process of returning, like Tayeb Salih's Season of Migration to the North and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. Interrogating how these works depict the cultural intersections between "Africa" and the "West," we will also consider how their perspectives diverge from -- or, in some cases, converge with -- the perspective of texts that remain wholly grounded in Africa and the respective local realities of its countries.

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Participation; two essays; Canvas posts.

Texts May Include: Teju Cole, Open City; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah; NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names; Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North; Imraan Coovadia, Tales of the Metric System.

Texts Available At: Beck's; Amazon.

ENG 371 – American Novel: Coming of Age

"Coming of age." "Rites of passage." "Growing up." "Adulting." Whatever you call it, it's a difficult experience, full of inner conflict and societal pressures. While coming of age is often figured as a universal human experience, this class will consider how race, politics, class, gender and sexuality, and ethnicity inflect the experience of growing up in different ways. For instance, how is coming of age figured differently in Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, set in a New York tenement at the turn of the twentieth century, and in Jamaica Kincaid's Lucy, which tells the story 50 Return to Calendar of a young woman who immigrates to the US from the West Indies to work as an au pair? How is it similar? Furthermore, what does American literature look like from diverse perspectives, including from the specific vantage points of young voices, people of color, and immigrants? This class invites us to question and discuss the role of identity in our literary categories, and the significance of the theme of "coming of age" in connecting to the human experience in our capacities as critical readers, writers, and scholars.

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: In-class participation, three formal written assignments.

Novels include: Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945); Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (1984); and Jamaica Kincaid, Lucy (1990).

Texts will be available at: Norris campus bookstore; course reader available at Quartet Copies.

ENG 371 – American Novel: Race and Politics in Major Novels of Faulkner -- Post-1830

This course will involve the close reading of Faulkner's four great tragic novels of race and identity: The Sound and The Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light In August (1932), and Absalom, Absalom! (1936). Until very recently, these works have been considered central to the canon of modernist fiction and read as meditations on the tortured consciousness of the artist (TSATF, AILD, AA!) or the dilemma of the outsider adrift in an alienating world (LIA). Saturating Faulkner's novels are images of the anguished history of race relations in the American South from the 19th century to the Great Migration and Great Depression. Yet the tragic legacy of slavery, Faulkner's abiding subject, has been understood by critics as a figure for more abstract and universal moral predicaments. Our investigation seeks to localize Faulkner's representation of history, particularly his vision of slavery and the effects of the color line, as a specifically American crisis, embodied in the remarkable chorus of narrative voices and visions that constitute his fictive world.

Teaching Method: Lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Method: During the quarter, you will write two take-home close reading examinations of two pages each, as well as a final paper of 8-10 pages on a topic of your choice that you have discussed with me. All written exercises are due over email in the form of Microsoft Word attachments. One quarter of your grade will be based on your participation in class discussion. Anyone who misses a class will require the professor's permission to continue in the course. No late papers will be accepted. Conflicts with deadlines must be discussed with the professor and any extensions must be approved in advance.

ENG 372 – American Party: Walt Whitman and the Democratic Imaginary -- Post-1830

This course will focus on the intersections between democratic revolution and revolutionary poetics in Walt Whitman's writings. We will focus in particular on Whitman's democratic experiments with the language, style, and forms of poetry, and his daring representation of such subjects as the dignity of labor and the working classes, the body, sex, race, technology, comradeship, war, America, the globe, and the cosmos. We will begin by exploring the sources of Whitman's 1855 Leaves of Grass in the social and political struggles of his time. We will consider the fascinating intersections between personal and political crisis, homoeroticism and poetic experimentation in the 1860 Leaves of Grass. We will also look at Whitman's attempts to find new forms to give voice to the simultaneous carnage and intimacy of the Civil War as the first modern war in Drum-Taps and Sequel (1865). And we will conclude by reflecting on Whitman's struggle in his later writings to reconcile the revolutionary dream of democracy with a post-Civil War world increasingly dominated by the unleashed forces of economic expansion, materialism, selfism, and greed. The course will end with readings of poets and writers from Ginsberg to Neruda in the United States and elsewhere who continue to "talk back" to Whitman.

Teaching Method: Some lecture; mostly discussion.

Evaluation Method: Essay (3-4 pages); essay (8-10 pages); final examination.

Texts Include: Walt Whitman: Poetry and Prose.

Textbooks available at: Norris Book Center.

ENG 375 – Topics in Asian American Literature: Techno-Orientalism -- Post-1830/ICSP

Techno-Orientalism names a variant of Orientalism that associates Asians with a technological future. This seminar will explore how Techno-Orientalist tropes are used by, played with, and rewritten by Asian American authors. We will study how twentieth-century and contemporary issues of technology, globalization, and financial speculation collide with a history of yellow peril and Asian Invasion discourse, as well as how these tensions manifest in figures and tropes such as robots, aliens, and cybernetics. Texts are drawn from drama, poetry, novels, short stories, comics, and film.

Teaching Methods: Seminar.

Evaluation Methods: TBA.

Texts include: Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Linda Trinh Vo, K. Scott Wong, Keywords for Asian American Studies (ISBN 978-1479803286); Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang, In Real Life (ISBN 978-1596436589); Larissa Lai, Automaton Biographies (ISBN 978-1551522920); Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats (ISBN 978- 0140280463); Gene Luen Yang, Level Up (ISBN 978-1250108111); Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea 52 Return to Calendar (ISBN 978-1594632891); Cathy Park Hong, Dance Dance Revolution (ISBN 978-0393333114).

Note: This course is combined with Asian American Studies 376-0.

ENG 377 – Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: Frequent Travelers: Latinx Constructs of Anglo-European Characters and Culture

The course explores how Latino/a authors in North and South America negotiate transnational portraits. We'll pay close attention to Latino/a authors whose writings center on particular clusters of European culture and personalities, and we'll see what these writings say about who we are, where we've been, where we're going. If we are investigating matters of cultural memory and issues of hybridity and mestizaje inherent in any exploration of Latino/a culture, and if we can also find resonance in theories of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, we'll be doing so with an eye toward the complications, problems, or faultlines of any single approach. Those are the big questions, which lead to smaller, more interesting questions: Why is a Colombian author so obsessed with an Anglo-Polish novelist who is pretty much a lightly fictionalized Joseph Conrad? What's the deal with Bolano and all his Germans? Why does Ana Menendez uses the voice of an Irish Expatriate to write about made-up Cuban poets?

Teaching Methods: Discussions and lectures.

Evaluation Methods: An essay and a collaborative Wiki.

Texts include: Selections from Bolano's The Savage Detectives, Alvaro Mutis's The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, and Juan Gabriel Vasquez's The Secret History of Costanagua and The Sound of Things Falling, Ana Menendez's Adios, Happy Homeland, Nell Irvin Painter's The History of White People.

Texts will be available at: NU bookstore.

ENG 378 – Studies in American Literature: Art of Revolution -- Pre-1830

This course will focus on the art of politics and the politics of the literary imagination in Revolutionary America as a means of rethinking traditional accounts of both the literature and politics of the American Revolution. Radically utopian in its desire and vision, the American Revolution was also driven by feelings of loss, betrayal, anger, and fear, and haunted by the specter of ghosts, insurrection, and apocalypse. We will explore the affective, sensational, and specifically literary shaping of various founding documents as a means of illuminating some of the more visionary, terroristic, and contradictory aspects of the American Revolution; and we will consider the ways the imaginative writings of the time -- poems, letters, autobiographies, novels of seduction, the gothic, and the terrors of Islam -- reveal aspects of the "real" American Revolution that were repressed, silenced, or written out of the more official writings of the Revolution.

Teaching Methods: Lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Essay (3 pages); essay (5-6 pages); participation; final examination.

Texts include: Thomas Paine, Common Sense; Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence and selections from Notes on the State of Virginia; Letters of Abigail and John Adams; Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography; Phillis Wheatley, Poems; Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer; Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, The Federalist Papers; Hannah Foster, The Coquette; or, the History of Eliza Wharton; Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker; Royal Tyler, The Algerine Captive.

ENG 378 – Studies in American Literature: The Chicago Way: Urban Spaces and American Values -- Post-1830

Urbanologist Yi Fu Tuan writes, "What begins as undifferentiated space becomes place when we get to know it better and endow it with values." In The Untouchables, Sean Connery tells Kevin Costner, "You want to get Capone? Here's how you get Capone. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He puts one of yours in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue. That's the Chicago way." In this class, we will examine "the Chicago way" from many different angles in order to interrogate the values with which various artists have endowed Chicago. We will read in a broad range of media: journalism, poetry, song, fiction, film, and sequential art to see how a sense of Chicago as a place works over time. We will pay close attention to depictions of the construction of American identity, and to the role of the artist and intellectual in the city.

Teaching Method: Discussion, brief lectures, guest speakers, and an optional urban tour.

Evaluation Method: Class participation; brief written responses to each text; several options for papers of various lengths.

Texts Include: Nelson Algren's Chicago: City on the Make and The Neon Wilderness; Richard Wright's Native Son; Stuart Dybek's The Coast of Chicago; journalism by Ben Hecht, Mike Royko and others; short fiction by Sandra Cisneros, James T. Farrell and others; poetry by Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Tony Fitzpatrick and others; the films The Untouchables, The Blues Brothers, Call Northside 777, and Barbershop; the graphic novel 100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call.

Note: Texts will be available at Comix Revolution, 606 Davis Street.

ENG 378 – Studies in American Literature: Emerson & Whitman: Writing and Reception -- Post-1830

This course has three goals: to provide an opportunity for intensive close analysis of a wide sampling of the writings of Emerson and Whitman, including many of the "major" works, as well as some writings that have been under-canonized or under-utilized (including Whitman's early fiction and newspaper writings, and Emerson's journals); to gain perspective on the (literary) relationship between these two "major" figures as it has been variously projected since the nineteenth century; and, finally, to use the occasion of these writings to examine the concept of literary history itself-including, for example, the word "major" in this course description.

Teaching Method: Mostly discussion.

Evaluation Method: Class participation; in-class presentation; probably two papers; probably no exams.

Texts Include: (partial list) Emerson: "The Poet," "Self-Reliance," "American Scholar" Divinity School "Address," Nature, selected poetry; Whitman: First three editions of Leaves of Grass, 1855, 1856, 1860; "The Child and the Profligate," "The Eighteenth Presidency!"

ENG 378 – Studies in American Literature: Environmental Literature -- Post-1830/ICSP

In this course, we will explore what Lawrence Buell terms "the environmental imagination." Through reading, conversation, and written reflection, we will pursue a series of questions: How have American writers imagined and depicted wilderness, toxicity, and interconnection? What are the political and social consequences of their visions? How have their portrayals of the environment influenced how we use and value it? Ranging from canonical American nature writing to the literature of nuclear fallout, from poems about urban gardening to stories of communities weathering a warming world, we will pay particular attention to the way literary forms both encapsulate and reveal environmental change. Throughout this course, we will also consider the relationship between environmental writing and activism, reflecting on literature's unique capacities to expose environmental risks and envision a variety of environmental futures.

Teaching Methods: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Classroom participation, brief writing posts, two papers.

Texts may include: Ana Castillo, So Far From God; Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; Cheryl Strayed, Wild; Selections from Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, Garnette Cadogan, and Bill McKibben.

Note: The above course is combined with Humanities 370-6.

ENG 378 – Studies in American Literature: War's Broken Boundaries -- Post-1830

War, as you might have heard, is good for absolutely nothing. But can it help us see ourselves in a different light? In this course, we will use this guiding question in order to explore how some of the most important events in American military history have given rise to new ways of conceiving of the United States and of the various aspects of life within it. Throughout the quarter, we will turn our attention to a wide range of works, including Kurt Vonnegut's WWII satire SlaughterhouseFive, Vietnam-era protest songs, and Maximilian Uriarte's The White Donkey, a graphic novel about the Iraq War and PTSD. As we work our way through these texts and others, we will focus on content, examining how wars have affected the representation of gender, race, age, and sexuality in the US, as well as to form, exploring how authors have called on experimental styles and new or unusual genres in their attempts to depict the magnitude of wartime. We will ask such questions as: In what ways have wars--or the protests that surrounded them--helped shape youth culture in the US? How are women represented in times of war versus times of peace? And how do we think of WWII differently if we read about it in a graphic novel about mice?

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Participation and three papers.

Texts include: Walt Whitman, “The Wound-Dresser”; Louisa May Alcott, Little Women; Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms; e. e. cummings, “next to of course god america i”; Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five; Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind”; Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Ohio”; Green Day, “American Idiot”; episodes of M.A.S.H; Randa Jarrar, “A Frame for the Sky”; Art Spiegelman, MAUS; Maximilian Uriarte, The White Donkey.

ENG 385 – Topics in Combined Studies: Literature & Law -- Pre-1830

This course will examine ideas of justice in western cultural and literary traditions. The focus will be the classical tradition, the biblical tradition, and Shakespeare who inherited both and reworked them in the early modern period. The trial of Socrates, the trial of Jesus, biblical prophecy, tragedy in Aeschylus and Shakespeare, and a modern work by Melville will be included. Our exploration will be done in the context of theories of justice, and we will read those theories alongside the literature. But we will also heed how literature itself offers elaborations of theories of justice, following their consequences both within legal frameworks and beyond, as they shape the public and intimate lives of people. We will ask how religious ideas of justice inform and depart from secular ideas of justice, how retributive and distributive ideas of justice are imagined and critiqued, and how the relation between justice and law has been conceived.

Teaching Methods: Lecture and discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Discussion and papers.

Texts include: Excerpts from Plato and Aristotle; Aeschylus, The Eumenides; Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet; excerpts from Rawls; Kymlicka, Political Philosophy.

ENG 385 – Topics in Combined Studies: Medical Humanities: Reproduction, Gender, and Medicine -- Post-1830

Debates surrounding reproductive justice endlessly parse the meanings and consequences of abortion. Much less attention has been paid to the rhetoric, politics, and ideologies surrounding the other choice in the pro-choice dyad: participation in acts of reproduction, particularly pregnancy and childbirth. Students will be challenged to consider the gendered rhetoric surrounding ideas such as the biological clock, the pregnancy glow, and drug-free natural childbirth. We will investigate the way reproducing bodies are represented culturally, using media coverage of issues like Serena Williams' 2017 Australian Open win and Beyonce's baby bump "reveals," as well as the homebirth movement, transgender pregnancies, "breast-feeding Nazis," parental leave policies, and the CDC's 2016 recommendation that women of reproductive age refrain from drinking alcohol unless they are using contraception. Such case studies will help us ask how these discourses affect not only feminist ideas and activism, but also medical care and the medical system. Students will be encouraged to apply critical thinking to some of the most fundamental and long-standing assumptions of our public culture. Two central questions will guide the course: What assumptions are made about reproductive bodies? What are the social consequences of these assumptions?

Teaching Method: Seminar-style discussion.

Evaluation Method: Class participation, weekly short responses with one brief class presentation, three analytical and/or research papers of 4-5 pages each.

Texts include: Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts; Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born. Weekly readings include essays, stories, poems, and excerpts from longer works by Julia Kristeva, Hera Cook, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Gayle Rubin, and many others and will be posted on Canvas.

Texts will be available at: Norris and Amazon; Canvas course site.

Note: This course is combined with Gender Studies 332-0-23.

ENG 385 – Topics in Combined Studies: Natural Languages and Green Worlds -- Post-1830/ICSP

Utopia, anarchy, pastoral idyll: how have myths of a "green world" spurred us to think that language can sometimes be natural -- or that it can be precisely what separates us from "Nature"? How do our ideas about language impose distinct worlds, with distinct rules, on humans, animals, and the worlds around them? Learning about theories of culture and language alongside literary forms from the pastoral of Shakespearean comedy to Romantic and recent poetry, from ethnographic fieldwork and nature writing to the outlandish imaginary of science fiction, students in this course unearth the unexamined grounds of "green" thought as it appears in literary environments (and as it finds other forms in film, mass media, and the popular imagination). The course will give students a critical introduction to new ideas in what is now being called the "environmental humanities," while offering a broad background on classic literary themes of wilderness, innocence, knowledge, and freedom.

Texts Include: William Shakespeare, As You Like It (any edition); William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience (Oxford UP, ISBN 0192810898); Ursula Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest (Tor Books, ISBN 0765324644); H. D. Thoreau, Journals (NYRB, ISBN 159017321X).

Other readings to include: Theocritus, A. Marvell, J. G. Herder, J.-J. Rousseau, F. Schiller, John Clare, Emily Dickinson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Harryette Mullen, Alice Oswald, Ed Roberson.

Films to include: Truffaut, The Wild Child; Herzog, Grizzly Man.

Texts will be available at: Beck's.

Note: The above course is combined with Comp Lit 304-0.

ENG 385 – Topics in Combined Studies: Oceanic Studies: Literature, Environment, History -- Post-1830/TTC

This course offers an overview of the interdisciplinary field of "oceanic studies," focusing on the great literary, scientific, and cinematic documents of modern seafaring. Writers may include Columbus, Cook, Darwin, Coleridge, Dana, Melville, Conrad, Woolf, O'Neill, Joji, Traven, Mutis, and/or Goldman. How have seas, sailors, ships and their cargoes helped to shape our imagination and understanding of major events and processes of modernity, such as the discovery of the New World, slavery, industrial capitalism, marine science, the birth of environmental consciousness, and contemporary globalization? What part did seafaring play in the formation of international legal systems, or in epochal events such as the American and Russian Revolutions? How does the rise in contemporary piracy compare to its "golden age" forerunners? How can we discern the history of the "trackless" oceans, and how do we imagine their future now that "90% of everything" crosses an ocean, and the seas are variously described as rising or dying? Our focus in the course will be on writers listed above, but our approach will be radically interdisciplinary, so we will also watch a few films (by Jacques Cousteau, Gillo Pontecorvo and Allen Sekula), and we will read short excerpts from the disciplines of "critical theory" (Heller-Roazen, Foucault, Deleuze, Corbin), labor and economic history (Rediker, Fink, Levinson), and environmental thought (Carson, Alaimo).

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Short writing exercises and midterm essays; experimental in-class presentations; final projects developed in consultation with instructor.

Texts include: See above. Contact instructor nearer to enrollment for final list.

Note: The above course is combined with COMP LIT 390-0.

ENG 385 – Topics in Combined Studies: Oil Slicks, Ailments, and Inkwells: Literatures of Environmental Medicine

Emphysema, lead poisoning, and other pollutant-inflicted diseases demonstrate that our exploitation of the natural world endangers not just polar bears and pollinators but people, as well. This is not, however, a realization as recent as the Paris Accord or the Flint water crisis. For hundreds of years, scientists, physicians, and even poets have described the volatile, sometimes sickening interactions among pollution, the environment, and the human body. And so, in addition to modern pathologies of toxicity, students in this course will explore historical literary depictions of bubonic plague, smallpox, and even spontaneous combustion as they theorize the medical consequences of human pollution. We will see that even historically distant authors like Thomas Dekker, Charles Dickens, and Margaret Atwood all write with an eye toward environmental justice and medical access for society's most ailing members -- human, animal, and botanical alike.

Teaching Method: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Method: Two papers, Canvas posts, and class participation.

Texts include: Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake; Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year; Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton, News from Gravesend; Charles Dickens, Bleak House; Robert Sullivan, The Meadowlands.

Texts available at: Norris Campus Bookstore or through the Canvas site.

ENG 385 – Topics in Combined Studies: Voices of Environmental Justice -- Post-1830/ICSP

This course explores the intersection of the arts and environmental justice movements around the world. We will discuss a broad array of literary texts and other creative projects, considering the relationships between systems of human injustice and environmental issues -- including industrial disasters, ocean acidification, and resource extraction.

We will examine environmental justice writing and artwork with a transnational, interconnected approach. For example, we will ask how the Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa's writing on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta anticipates American Indian statements against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will draw connections between a poem documenting silicosis in the lungs of West Virginian coal miners and a novel portraying the aftermath of the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal. We will compare a nonfiction account of Kenyan women resisting deforestation and an iPhone app reclaiming public access along the Malibu coast. Throughout these works, we will explore questions of voice, genre, and narrative, cataloguing the strategies writers and artists use to make their positions translatable on a global stage.

Teaching Methods: Seminar discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Classroom participation, brief writing posts, one paper, one research presentation.

Texts may include: Indra Sinha, Animal's People; Ken Saro-Wiwa, A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary; and Wangari Maathai, Unbowed. Shorter selections may include work by Muriel Rukeyser, Njabulo Ndebele, Arundhati Roy, and Hazel M. Johnson.

Note: The above course is combined with Humanities 370-6-21 and Environmental Policy 390-0-24.

ENG 386 – Studies in Film and Literature: Cowboys & Samurai -- Post-1830/TTC

The American cowboy and the Japanese samurai are often held up as mythic embodiments of the frontier or warrior spirits that define their respective nations. Yet despite their status as icons of national exceptionalism, the cowboy and samurai are surprisingly interchangeable. In the world of film, the Seven Samurai soon become The Magnificent Seven. This course explores two complementary genres: Westerns and jidaigeki (period drama). In addition to probing the concept of "genre" itself, we will also examine problems of translation and adaptation. How are elements present in one national, cinematic, or literary context transposed or re-coded to fit within another? What can the various cross-adaptations of samurai and cowboy films tell us about the shifting relations between Japan and the United States? How can generic conventions be bent or "queered" through practices of allusion, adaptation, and re-interpretation?

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Participation, Canvas Posts, and Ungraded Writing Assignments (50%), Midterm Writing Portfolio (~6-7 pages) (20%), Final Writing Portfolio (~12-15 pages, including revisions of midterm writing) (30%).

Texts include: Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937, dir. Sadao Yamanaka, 86min); Stagecoach (1939, dir. John Ford, 96 min); Vendetta of a Samurai (1952, dir. Kazuo Hori, 80min); High Noon (1952, dir. Fred Zinnemann, 85min); Rashomon (1950, dir. Akira Kurosawa, 88min); The Outrage (1964, dir. Martin Ritt, 97min); Yojimbo (1961, dir. Akira Kurosawa, 110min); A Fistful of Dollars (1964, dir. Sergio Leone, 99min); Duel in the Sun (1946, dir. King Vidor, 145min) ; Lady Snowblood (1973, dir. Toshiya Fujita, 97min); Red River (1948, dir. Hanks, 133 min); The Tale of Zatoichi (1962, dir. Kenji Misumi, 95 min); Taboo (Gohatto) (1999, dir. Nagisa Oshima, 100min); Brokeback Mountain (2005, dir. Ang Lee, 134min); The Twilight Samurai (2002, dir. Yoji Yamada, 129min); The Last Samurai (2003, dir. Edward Zwick, 131min); Sukiyaki Western Django (2007, dir. Takashi Miike, 121min).

Texts will be available at: An extensive course reader available at Quartet Digital Printing.

Note: The above course is combined with Asian Languages and Cultures 390.

ENG 386 – Studies in Literature & Film: Women on Page and Screen -- Post-1830

In 1985, the cartoonist Alison Bechdel devised a simple test for evaluating the representation of women in works of fiction. In order to pass the so-called "Bechdel Test," a novel or film must 1) feature at least two women or girls who 2) talk to each other 3) about something other than a boy or a man. Nearly thirty years later, the continued popularity of the Bechdel Test highlights ongoing problems with the representation of women in fictional media, but also points to a growing awareness of these issues, in Hollywood and elsewhere. In this course, we will study the representation of women in adaptations from literature to the screen, tracing a through-line of important female characters from the 1940s to the present day. First, we will examine novels and short fiction that feature a female protagonist, in genres ranging from Daphne du Maurier's bestselling romance Rebecca (1938), to Ira Levin's satirical thriller The Stepford Wives (1972). We will then follow these female characters onto the big screen by studying their transformations from published texts to critically acclaimed filmed representations. We will ask: What generic and formal conventions in both literature and film contribute to a Bechdelian reading of gender representation? Which literary and filmic representations "fail" the Bechdel Test? By focusing on gender "in adaptation" in these ways, we will attempt to gain a better grasp of how written and filmed representations shape our understanding not only of the various roles of women in literature and film, but also of gender as a category for critical analysis.

Teaching Method: Discussion, occasional short lectures.

Evaluation Method: In-class participation, three formal written assignments, and in-class presentations that lead class discussion.

Texts include: Novels by Daphne du Maurier, Ira Levin, Patricia Highsmith, and Sarah Waters; film adaptations including Rebecca (1940), The Stepford Wives (1975), Carol (2015), and The Handmaiden (2016); critical essays by Alexis Bechdel, Lauren Berlant, Laura Mulvey, and others.

Texts will be available at: Norris bookstore; course pack available at Quartet copies; films available via Canvas.

ENG 387 – Studies in Literature and Commerce: Boom and Bust: Literature and the Market -- Post-1830

You may well think of 19th-century novels as chronicles of country houses and petticoats and long engagements, but in this class we will examine how 19th-century novelists also investigated banks, investments, and hot technologies. Writers from Anthony Trollope to Charlotte Bronte were acutely aware of how the fluctuations of the market affect not only the financial sector but society itself, chronicling how financial crises and economic booms shape the assumptions, norms, and ethics of social interaction. If the social consequences of the market's ups and down -- such as the 2008 housing crisis or the 2016 election -- can seem urgent, modern, and of the moment, the past can also teach us a lot about the relationship between financial technologies and social technologies. In this class, we will revel in classic Victorian novels as we explore the ways in which Victorian literature consciously participated in and shaped the discourse of free-market capitalism, and trace its lessons to our own time. How are concepts like scarcity, risk, exchange, labor, and wealth figured? How do these concepts map onto and shape social, as well as financial, interactions? What can those of us living in the era theorists refer to as "late capitalism" learn from those who watched its rise and told its unfolding tales?

Teaching Methods: Seminar-style discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Class participation, short summary paper, class presentation, midterm project, final research paper.

Texts include: Trollope, The Way We Live Now; Herman Melville, "Bartleby the Scrivener"; G.H. Lewes, Game of Speculation; selections from Charlotte Bronte, Shirley; Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South; Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own.

ENG 387 – Studies in Literature and Commerce: Mad Men: The Rhetoric and Literature of Advertising -- Post-1830

In this course, we will investigate literature about and the rhetorical conventions of branding, advertising, and commercialism. Our exploration will include examining the history of marketing literary texts, such as advertisements for Charles Dickens' serialized novels, as well as narratives concerning advertising or consumerism. Moreover, students will learn to analyze marketing campaigns, advertisements, and television commercials. What cultural assumptions -- e.g., about gender, class, or race -- can we discover by analyzing the rhetoric and imagery of specific advertisements or branding strategies? An overarching question in the course will be the relationship between high and low culture: when might advertising count as art, and does the popularity of a literary text detract from its aesthetic or literary value? How does the pervasiveness of advertising influence what a society desires or values? We will read broadly, from stories that are set in or satirize the world of advertising or explore themes of consumerism and marketing, to nonfiction texts that discuss or deconstruct advertising and consumer culture.

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: Participation, two papers, Canvas posts, final group presentation.

Texts include: Walker Percy, The Moviegoer; Dorothy Sayers, Death and Advertising; Jerry Della Femina, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor; short stories by Fritz Leiber, Emile Zola, Flannery O'Connor, and Virginia Woolf; and selections from Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court; David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man; and Roland Barthes, Mythologies. From film and television, we will watch episodes of Mad Men; The Thrill of It All; and Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Image of Women.

Texts will be available at: Books at Beck's; Course Reader at Quartet Copies.

ENG-388 – Studies in Literature and Religion: Christian-Muslim Encounters -- Pre-1830

"My grandmother puts her feet in the sink of the bathroom at Sears," writes the poet Mohja Kahf, "to wash them in the ritual washing for prayer." Kahf's ensuing description of "respectable Sears matrons [who] shake their heads and frown ... a clash of civilizations brewing in the Sears bathroom" offers a productive springboard for considering contemporary zones of AngloIslamic interaction -- a theme that the hit Showtime series, Shameless, develops in a different direction through its depiction of the romantic liaison between a married Muslim business owner and his Irish-Catholic employee. In this course, we will take literary representations of Christian-Muslim encounters as our focus, tracing the long and involved prehistories of interfaith conflict and coalition and considering their abiding relevance today. We will situate complex narratives of warfare, religious 63 Return to Calendar conversion, and amorous desire against the historical backdrops of the Crusades and the sixteenthcentury development of international commerce, investigating how medieval and Renaissance writers incorporate social, political and theological exchanges between Christians and Muslims into popular poems like The Canterbury Tales and canonical plays like Othello. Putting earlier formulations of religious, racial, cultural, sexual, and gender difference in frank conversation with more recent treatments of Christian-Muslim interaction (like Diana Abu-Jaber's "Lamb Two Ways"), we will reflect on the discontinuities as well as powerful through lines between 'then' and 'now.'

Teaching Method: Seminar discussions and occasional short lectures.

Evaluation Method: Participation, occasional reading quizzes, oral presentation, and two essays.

Texts Include: Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Man of Law's Tale"; The Sultan of Babylon; Mandeville's Travels (selections); William Lithgow, The Totall Discourse (selections); William Shakespeare, Othello; Robert Daborne, A Christian Turned Turk; Diana Abu-Jaber, "Lamb Two Ways"; Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran; Mohja Kahf, E-mails from Scheherazad; and excepts from the Showtime series Shameless.

Note: This course fulfills the Area V (Ethics and Values) and Area VI (Literature & Fine Arts) distribution requirements.

ENG 388 – Studies in Literature and Religion: Renaissance Party -- Pre-1830

Some of the most compelling poets of early modern England were also religious thinkers. John Donne was an Anglican priest, who preached to thousands as the Dean of St Paul's in London. George Herbert was a parish priest in a small village who wrote about the duties of his office. John Milton engaged in high-risk political efforts to transform England into the new Promised Land. This course will focus on the religious controversies that prevailed in early modern England and the ways these thinkers responded to them in their poetry. The controversies issued in new definitions of what the Good is, how power should be apportioned, and how signs have meaning. The specific arguments can seem odd in our more secular era: Why was so much blood shed over the meaning of the wafer and the wine in the Mass? Why did anyone care what the priest wore? Why were there fights over where the altar was placed in the church? But our goal will be to understand what was at stake in these and related questions as they are engaged in the very different styles of Donne, Milton and Herbert.

Teaching Methods: Discussion.

Evaluation Methods: You will be asked to offer a class presentation, write a short paper of 2-3 pages, and a longer one of 8-10 pages. Full class attendance and participation are required.

Texts include: TBA.

Notes: This course fulfills the Area V (Ethics and Values) and Area VI (Literature & Fine Arts) distribution requirements. This course is co-listed with English 331-0-20, but in order to receive credit toward the Area V distribution requirement, you must enroll in English 388.

ENG 392 – The Situation of Writing

The present situation of writing requires that we create literature, as well as the contexts in which literature is shared, appreciated and understood. We are the inheritors, perpetuators and innovators of literary culture, and in this class we will position our inquiries on the present and future, even as we acknowledge the enduring humanistic values of writing. We will begin with a discussion of ideas gleaned from readings by Virginia Woolf, Martha Nussbaum, Lewis Hyde, Adrienne Rich, Ta Nehisi Coates and others. Then we will build on these ideas practically with an interview with another writer; a service learning assignment; and a creative work that reaches a new public, coordinates new media or engenders community. Many of our Thursdays will be enhanced by the "Return Engagements" series, featuring visits and readings from alumni of Northwestern's Writing Program who have gone on to forge careers in the literary arts. We will read their writing and open time for you to talk with them about continued education, publishing, agenting and editing. This course is designed especially for students who hope to forge careers as writers, and it will challenge all participants to think creatively about the space of literature in our changing society.

Note: ENGLISH 392 is a requirement for all senior creative writing majors. Other students may enroll with department consent.

ENG 393-1,2,3 – Theory & Practice of Poetry

This selective-enrollment, yearlong "Sequence" is designed to make students 64 Return to Calendar increasingly informed readers and self-sustaining apprentices of poetry. The Fall portion of the course begins with summer reading and intensive study in which poets learn to identify operative modes in poetry -- including description, rhetoric, story and song -- and begin connecting contemporary participants with root systems in the tradition. We support our studies with reading exercises and "imitation" assignments, in which students convert close reading into fodder for original writing. Students will write at least four papers and will write, workshop and revise four poems during the Fall term. They also will lead presentations on one chosen poet and one classmate during workshop. In the Winter term, students will continue to read and complete close reading assignments and will stretch their skills as they complete a week of "Daily Poems," thereby drawing on original energy and stamina to bring their work to the next level of accomplishment. Finally, in the Spring term, students will focus entirely on their own work, drafting, revising, workshopping and completing one long poem of at least 120 lines that combines autobiographical material with writing from research. Throughout the year, our close reading assignments hone skills in sensitive and critical thinking; our imitation poems challenge existing habits as they introduce new strategies; our Daily Poems exercise agility and confidence; and our workshops cultivate the openness and humility necessary to serious writing and lifelong learning. Through this intensive and nurturing Sequence, students become careful readers of each others -- work and complete a polished portfolio of original writing.

Note: No P/N registration. Attendance at first class mandatory. Admission by application only.

ENG 394-1,2,3 – Theory & Practice of Fiction

This course will allow you to explore how fiction works. We’ll be looking at, discussing, writing about, commenting on, and researching the elements of fiction, but mostly what we’ll be doing is writing buckets (you will be turning in a completed piece every other week during the Fall quarter), so we’ll be reading mostly to steal: we’ll figure out what works and we’ll use it for our own material. We’ll be engaged in the reading of a concise, funny book on the craft of fiction, and we’ll also be reading a wide and varied array of short stories. Again, though, this work is geared to do one simple thing: to find out what means and modes of expression you best respond to, and to figure out ways to approach this question: Given all the other potentially more awesome forms of entertainment out there, what is the role of sitting around scribbling things and reading other people’s scribblings? Why do it? Just so you know, what we’re doing in class closely replicates what all successful fiction writers do on a daily basis: reading the work of their peers and those of established and emerging authors with care, attention, and greed, and writing copious amounts to see what sticks. The more you do both of these activities, the better and more confident you’ll get.

Teaching Method: Lectures, discussion, small- and large-peer workshops.

Evaluation Method: This is a portfolio- and participation-based course. Grade based on timely delivery of all assigned work, with equal weight placed on your own stories and revisions and on your peer feedback.

Texts Include: TBA

Note: No P/N registration. Attendance at first class mandatory. Admission by application only

ENG 395-1,2,3 – Theory & Practice of Creative NonFiction

An advanced year-long course in reading for writers, critical analysis of techniques of creative nonfiction, and intensive creative writing. Reading of primary works will concentrate on longer creative nonfiction works, and the creative project for the latter part of the sequence is a work of creative nonfiction of approximately 15,000 words. A guest non-fiction writer will visit in May as writer-in-residence.

Teaching Method: Discussion.

Evaluation Method: Based on creative and critical work; class presentations and participation.

Texts Include: Varies each quarter. Texts will be available at Norris Center Bookstore and Quartet Copies.

Note: No P/N registration. Attendance at first class mandatory. Admission by application only.

ENG 397 – Research Seminar: 19th Century American Poetry -- Post-1830

Nineteenth-century American poetry has frequently been reduced to the study of two poets--Whitman and Dickinson--who stand apart from the rest by virtue of their eccentricity and extraordinary ambition. This selective account of poetic inheritance has produced the unusual circumstance of a canon that needs to be opened not only to culturally marginal but also to culturally dominant poets and poetic forms. This course integrates the study of Whitman and Dickinson with the study of a vastly expanded canon of American poetry. The course also reads theoretical and critical texts that raise questions about canonization and the formation of literary historical narratives. In its attention to the historical and cultural contexts that poetry variously inscribes and defers, the course repeatedly returns to the oscillation that that word always-already enacts in relation to the texts that lie within it.

Teaching Method: Mostly discussion.

Evaluation Method: Mandatory attendance and active, informed participation. No exams, but possible quizzes. The major work of the course, as in all Research Seminars, is the research and writing of a 15-page research paper that takes as its subject a nineteenth-century book of poetry found in the NU Library stacks or in Special Collections.

Texts Include: Poets may include Joel Barlow, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Greenleaf Whittier, Lydia Huntley Sigourney, William Cullen Bryant, William Wordsworth, Edgar Allen Poe, Sarah Helen Whitman, Sarah Margaret Fuller.

Prerequisites: Open to juniors and seniors only. Students must successfully complete 4-6 300-level English courses before taking English 397.

ENG 397 – Research Seminar: Cultures of Play -- Post-1830

From video games and board games to game shows and sports, games saturate our culture and shape who we are. Some scholars have even argued that games are replacing novels and film as the dominant form of cultural expression. Others view games as a frivolous and unproductive activity, not worthy of serious study. In this seminar, we will explore some of the fundamental questions about the relationship between games and human culture. Why do people play games? What kinds of meanings, cultural values and political agendas do games encode? Do games function differently than other cultural objects, such as films, novels or works of art? What might it mean to think of all culture and works of art as arising from a "play impulse"? And if this is the case, why do we trivialize game-playing? Is the ubiquity of games in our lives a specifically modern phenomenon? Is the advent of the digital age producing a gamification of everyday life? To investigate these questions, we will read a wide range of critical writing about the importance of play and games in human culture, by philosophers, novelists, literary critics, social scientists, historians and game designers. The class will give you an opportunity to develop a 12-15 page research paper that studies one particular game or aspect of game culture in-depth. In the process, you will learn how to frame a significant research question; articulate a research proposal; navigate scholarly databases and archives; evaluate sources; and, produce an annotated bibliography.

Teaching Methods: The class will be run as a seminar. In addition to discussing the critical readings on play and texts about research methods, we will workshop student proposals and drafts, and talk about each student's research project in detail.

Evaluation Methods: Attendance; preparation for seminar; discussion; Canvas posts; peer review; research proposal; annotated bibliography; drafts; final research paper (12-15pp.).

Texts include: Craft of Research; Kant, Critique of Judgment; Schiller, Letters on Aesthetic Education; Morris, News from Nowhere; Huizinga, Homo Ludens; Caillois, Man, Play and Games; Turner, From Ritual to Theater: The Human Seriousness of Play; Bellah, Religion in Human Evolution; Sicart, Play Matters; Galloway, Gaming.

Prerequisites: Open to juniors and seniors only. Students must successfully complete 4-6 300-level English courses before taking English 397.

ENG 397 – Research Seminar: Technology and Landscape in 20th Century Literature -- Post-1830

Conrad's Marlow piloting a rattletrap steamship carrying armed "pilgrims" up the Congo; industrial war machines shelling tiny, fragile human bodies in fields of red poppies in France; Hemingway driving an ambulance on the Italian front; Chaplin's Tramp cast opposite a zeppelin in a censored wartime short film; Eliot's London typist coming home at teatime to play her gramophone; the clanking newsroom presses and the printed newspapers, ads, posters, and flyers that beckon, call and cry to Dubliners in Ulysses's river-threaded cityscapes; Forster's train to the Caves and automobile accident on the Marabar Road in A Passage to India; Mrs Dalloway's aeroplane writing on the sky above astonished Londoners; Giles Oliver's vision of Hitler bombing the village church to smithereens on the festival day of the annual pageant in 1939 in Woolf's Between the Acts; Time Magazine bringing the shocking news of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the American prison camp in Pisa, where it reverberates in Pound's Pisan Cantos: twentieth-century literature abounds in depictions of emergent technologies in specific landscapes shaping conditions and events of human life and thought.

In our research seminar, we'll read a selection of such works alongside essays by Benjamin, Kittler, Woolf, Leopold, Hansen, and others. Working closely with the instructor and our Humanities Bibliographer, Charlotte Cubbage, each student will zero in on a topic and design a juicy, imaginative, feasible project that combines scholarly research and literary interpretation. One for all and all for one, we'll learn to frame promising research questions; to navigate scholarly databases and archives; to evaluate sources; to explore readings in context while capturing and testing our own insights and ideas; and to give and take constructive critique. Each student will produce a work notebook, a preliminary proposal, an annotated bibliography, a working proposal and bibliography, and a 12-15 page research paper.

Teaching Methods: Seminar discussions and workshops and individual conferences.

Evaluation Methods: Attendance, preparation, class participation; exercises, such as posts, peer review, and in-class workshops; a preliminary proposal and bibliography, annotated bibliography, working proposal and bibliography, drafts, and the 12-15 page research paper.

Texts may include: Some exemplary selected works, excerpts, essays, and research guides to be read by us all; plus each student's particular bibliography. Everyone will learn from each other's projects while pursuing his or her own.

Prerequisites: Open to juniors and seniors only. Students must successfully complete 4-6 300-level English courses before taking English 397.

ENG 398-1, 2 – Honors Seminar

A two-quarter sequence for seniors pursuing honors in the English Literature major, consisting of a seminar in the fall quarter and an independent study with an honors adviser in the winter quarter.

Prerequisites: Seniors only. Permission of department required. Attendance at first class mandatory. No P/N registration.

ENG 399 – Independent Study

Open to Junior and Senior Majors and Senior Minors by application only; see the English Department website for more information. A 399 project should be focused on a clearly defined subject matter of genuine intellectual and academic substance, and one not normally covered in regular course work. Completed applications must be submitted to the DUS by the end of regular registration week in the preceding quarter.

ENG 410 – Introduction to Graduate Study

No description available.

Courses Primarily for Graduate Students

ENG 422/COMP LIT 413 – Studies in Medieval Literature: Sacred and Profane: Studies in Medieval Crossover

Medievalists are in the habit of distinguishing sacred from secular texts, but some of the most vibrant and interesting cultural production lay on the borderline, in the terrain of "crossover." Courtly love lyrics could be indistinguishable from devotional poems to the Virgin, while motets interwove liturgical phrases with the melodies of popular songs. Bawdy fabliaux might return with tweaking as miracle stories. Bestiaries, originally a genre of moralized natural science, could be put to erotic or political use. The hybrid genre of hagiographic romance represents virgin martyrs as erotic heroines and the sorcerer Merlin as a parodic saint, while the Grail romances turn chivalry on its head to promote ascetic chastity and eucharistic piety. What did medieval audiences make of such ambiguities? What textual markers enable us to distinguish respectful homage from tongue-in-cheek parody, or audacious sacrilege from the sincerest form of flattery? In this seminar we will read medieval texts in a range of genres (lyric, romance, beast allegory, pseudohagiography, and mystical dialogue), exploring as many variants of crossover as our brief quarter permits. Middle English works will be read in the original, French texts in translation, but I am happy to offer tutoring in Old and Middle French for those who are proficient in the modern language.

Evaluation methods: class participation, one oral presentation (accompanied by a 5-page paper), term paper of about 15 pages

Texts: Chretien de Troyes, Lancelot, or The Knight of the Cart; The Quest of the Holy Grail; Amis and Amiloun; Sir Gowther; English bestiary (Oxford, MS. Bodley 764), ed. Richard Barber; Richard de Fournival, Master Richard's Bestiary of Love, with the Lady's response; John C. Hirsh, ed., Medieval Lyric: Middle English Lyrics, Ballads, and Carols; Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose; Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls.

ENG 431 – Studies in 16th-Century Literature: Early Modern Literature of Grief

Focusing on English literature surrounding the Protestant Reformation, this course considers the ways in which literature supplemented and/or displaced some of the work of grief and mourning formerly reserved for religious ritual. Historians have long argued that the Reformation created a more absolute understanding of the finality of death, a more unbreachable division between the dead and the living. And yet literary texts of the period continued to explore human attitudes about death; salutary and deleterious desires for death; ways to prepare for a good death; and various forms, stages, and postures of grief. This course will explore such texts from multiple genres, and consider the kinds of psychic and social work they perform in this period of religious upheaval. Theoretical readings will include foundational works of psychoanalysis, and this course will take as one of its central questions the value and the limits of psychoanalytic reading as applied to pre-modern texts.

Primary texts will include More's Supplication of Souls, Donne's Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Browne's Hydriotaphia, Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear, Thomas Lodge's Prosopopeia, and Milton's Lycidas; theoretical readings will include Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, and Klein.

ENG 434 – Studies in Shakespeare & Early Drama: Renaissance Drama

The seminar will serve as both a survey of English drama between 1580 and 1642 -- to the extent that the immense output of Shakespeare's prolific contemporaries can be surveyed in one course -- and an introduction to research and interpretive methods that have been used to study these plays. At the site of some relatively canonical selections, we will engage with such "traditional" methods as early performance/theatre history, textual bibliography and the history of the book, as well as various and proliferating modes of recent interpretation and criticism (historicism and materialism, psychoanalysis, feminism and early women's writing, and queer history/ theory, among others). Additional key words will include: periodization ("Renaissance"?), canon ("drama"?), (trans) nationalism ("English"?), and "non-Shakespearean."

Texts: The Spanish Tragedy (Thomas Kyd); Edward II (Christopher Marlowe); Epicoene, or The Silent Woman (Ben Jonson); The Tragedy of Mariam (Elizabeth Cary); A King and No King and The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher); The Duchess of Malfi (John Webster), Tis Pity She's a Whore (John Ford); as well as some Shakespeare, and historical, critical, and methodological books and essays.

Requirements: a shorter and longer essay; presentations on performance and textual history

ENG 441 – Studies in 18th-Century Literature: Experiences of Meaning and the Meaning of Experience in the Eighteenth-Century Novel

This course will explore how the concept of experience changes under the conditions of modernity, and particularly the ways in which the uniquely modern form of the novel either radicalizes or resists those changes. The classical concept of experience -- best exemplified by Aristotle's dictum that good judgment requires experience -- construed experience as a form of wisdom, acquired through habituation and narrative embedding. By contrast, empiricism (particularly in Locke) reconfigures experience so that it refers to disaggregated and punctually encountered sense data, shorn of the narrative and fictional structures in which those data acquire meaning. How does the novel respond to these changes? The narration of individual subjective experience has long been understood to be one of the signal contributions of the modern novel. But experience in what sense? Some novels deepen the sense of shock, disorientation and estrangement that comes with the modern conception of experience, while others attempt to reconstitute the sense of meaning and narrative coherence that characterized an older concept of experience. In this class, we will examine the history of the concept of experience and study philosophical accounts of experience, alongside readings of a range of eighteenth century novels, in order to better understand how the novel might come to serve as a privileged vehicle for mediating experience. How does experience become meaningful or purposive for an individual, rather than being encountered as mere data? In what ways are fictional structures, such as narrative and metaphor, essential to constituting that meaningfulness? How are judgments, founded on those fictional structures, integral to the constitution of meaning, rather than merely secondary and dispensable op erations performed on already given data? In addition to examining novels in relation to philosophical accounts of experience, we will also read a broad selection of recent criticism that examines the relation between empiricism and the eighteenth-century novel.

Possible texts include: Novels and other literature: Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Swift, Gulliver's Travels; Richardson, Pamela; Smollett, Roderick Random; Sterne, Tristram Shandy; Rousseau, Emile; Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; Wordsworth, Prelude

Philosophical accounts of experience: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Bk.6) Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thoughts Concerning Education; Vico, New Science; Dilthey, Poetry and Experience; Husserl, Experience and Judgment; Heidegger, Being and Time; Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception; Gadamer, Truth and Method; Polanyi, Personal Knowledge; MacIntyre, After Virtue; Pfau, Minding the Modern ("After Sentimentalism"); Susan Wolf, Meaning in Life and Why it Matters

Eighteenth-Century Criticism: Watt, Rise of the Novel; Kramnick, Actions and Objects (chapter on Locke); Thompson, Fictional Matter; Yahav, Feeling Time; Bender, Ends of Enlightenment; Soni, Mourning Happiness (on the trial narrative and experience).

ENG 461/COMP LIT 486 – Studies in Contemporary Literature: Indian Ocean Epistemologies

With the dominance of the Atlantic as a model for the study of cultural exchanges between continents, the Indian Ocean is often excluded from critical theory discussions despite its centrality in the circulations of various philosophical traditions in Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America. This course will use literary and philosophical texts from and about the Indian Ocean to comparatively examine how intellectuals and artists have viewed the world using scripts and terms different from those developed in the West. It is out of convenience that we use epistemology as an entry point toward a comprehensive engagement with Indian Ocean critical theory; much of the philosophical debates from the region (e.g., work by Mbiti, Nyerere, Tempel, Masolo) are on epistemological issues. However, a transdisciplinary reading of each text will engage with various perceptions of the critical practice the Global South, including the interface of aesthetics and activism. Taking Indian Ocean theories of knowledge as multiple because of their diverse sources and cross-cultural interactions for centuries, the course will be interested in unearthing the splintering differences among the philosophers and the changes over time in what might be considered a single school of thought. We read works by such thinkers as Bonaventura de Sousa Santos, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Valentin Mudimbe, Sugata Bose, Sharifa Ahjum, and Achille Mbembe, especially in relation to their critiques or repurposing of western epistemologies. Indian Ocean philosophical traditions to be compared with western ones (and with one another) include Sufi sm, Negritude, Creolite, Transmodernism, Coolitude, and Ubuntu.

Texts (tentative): Appanah, Nathacha. The Last Brother. Graywolf Press ISBN-10: 1555975755; ISBN-13: 978-1555975753 Ghosh, Amitav. Sea of Poppies: A Novel. Picador. ISBN-10: 0312428596. ISBN-13: 978-0312428594 Gurnah, Abdulrazak. Paradise. New Press, 1995. ISBN-10: 1565841638, ISBN-13: 978-1565841635. Mahjoub, Jamal. The Carrier. Phoenix (Orion). ISBN-10: 0753806673; ISBN-13: 978-0753806678 Owuor, Yvonne. The Dragonfly Sea. In press.

Evaluation method(s): 7000-word essay, annotated bibliographies.

ENG 461 – Studies in Contemporary Literature: The Queer and the Oriental

The queer and the oriental are two figures on the wrong sides of Western philosophies of world history. Imagined as perverted deviations from, or inverted reflections of, a progress from despotic ancestral pasts to free reproductive futures, the queer and oriental are two species of wrong which resist being "raised up" or "sublated" into higher generalities of rightness and whiteness. Too wrong for history, these two wrongs also cannot be rectified or reduced into each other -- but not for lack of trying. Over the course of the long twentieth century, a seemingly endless pile-up of cultural productions has positioned Orientals as queers or featured queers Orientalizing themselves and others. The mind-gagging accumulation of such productions illustrates how thoroughly such maneuvers never really work; or rather, how they work, like desires often do, by never being fulfilled.

The seminar opens with the ongoing tension between two different departures from Hegel's philosophy of world history -- economic materialist approaches exemplified by Marx and genealogical approaches exemplified by Nietzsche. We will explore how constitutive tensions between these approaches -- variously described as "materialist vs. idealist," "total vs. fragmentary," and "restricted vs. general" -- have been a recurrent feature of work in queer theory, postcolonial theory, and critical race studies. In a twist on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's statement that "any understanding of virtually aspect of modern Western culture must be, not merely incomplete, but damaged in its central substance to the degree that it does not incorporate an analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition," the aim of this seminar is to pursue the irresolvable corollaries to the axiomaticity of "modern Western culture." Our mantra will be: any understanding of virtually any aspect of homo/ heterosexual definition must be, not merely incomplete, but damaged in its central substance to the degree that it does not incorporate an analysis of non/modern non/ Western division.

We will combine our theoretical explorations with the pragmatic task of "coverage." Accordingly, we will read texts defined as "canonical" by virtue of having been placed on departmental qualifying exam lists, a series of placements that happily accords with the texts having been touchstones for critics over the last four decades. Such texts include works by Christina Rosetti, Herman Melville, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Ezra Pound, Jean Toomer, and Maxine Hong Kingston. We will also read works by Malinda Lo and Yone Noguchi.

As this is a fall quarter seminar, I will not require the production of a full-length end-of-term research paper; the default final assignment will be a conference paper with annotated bibliography. (The option to write a full-length paper will remain open to those who wish to pursue it). In addition, the seminar will place more emphasis on foundational skills of graduate-level knowledge production: close reading and reading for argumentative structure; construction and analysis of fi eld bibliographies or "lists"; and oral presentation, prepared and extemporaneous.

ENG 471 – Studies in American Literature: Border Literature

The US-Mexico border has been the site of intense cultural conflict since the mid-nineteenth century. It marks both the connection and the division between two nations, and many of our most fraught conversations concern whether the border should be a bridge or a wall. As an entry point into these conversations, this course will survey literature and film centering on the US-Mexico border. Students will become familiar with the history of the border, beginning with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848 and extending through NAFTA and up to the current political climate. Together we will consider how the border has become such a potent site for contemporary mythmaking, a flashpoint for anxieties about race, labor, gender, and sexuality.

Texts will include: Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands / La Frontera (1987); Sandra Cisneros's Woman Hollering Creek (1991); Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing (1994); Carlos Fuentes's La frontera de cristal (1995); Juan Felipe Herrera's 187 Reasons Mexicans Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments (1995); Carmen Boullosa's Tejas (2014). (Texts originally written in Spanish will be taught in English translation.)

ENG 471 – Studies in American Literature: Emerson & Whitman

This course has three goals: to provide an opportunity for intensive close analysis of a wide sampling of the writings of Emerson and Whitman, including many of the "major" works, as well as some writings that have been undercanonized or under-utilized (including Whitman's early fiction and newspaper writings, and Emerson's journals); to gain perspective on the (literary) relationship between these two "major" figures as it has been variously projected since the nineteenth century; and, finally, to use the occasion of these writings to interrogate the concept of literary history itself-including, for example, the word "major" in this course description-along with the theoretical underpinnings and plausibility of historical approaches to literature.

Evaluation method(s): Active participation in the seminar (which may include short presentations); papers

ENG 471 – Studies in American Literature: American Women Auteurs, Novels, and Films: 1900-1945

American Women Auteurs centers around five novelists -- Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and Nella Larsen. That is, we move from the exquisite local color realism of Jewett's spinster-filled Maine to Chopin's "creole Bovary" set in fin de siecle New Orleans to Wharton's anthropological vision of Old New York's tribal mores for women, to Cather's enabling Nebraska prairies and historical ante-bellum Virginia to Larsen's Renaissance Harlem, Tuskegee, and rural black belt South. The seminar pairs both Jane Campion's The Piano and an all-star set of Bette Davis's greatest classical Hollywood films with these novels: The Country of the Pointed Firs and Deephaven with The Piano; Jezebel with The Awakening; Dark Victory and Now, Voyager with The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence; Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with Sapphira and the Slave Girl and My Antonia; In This Our Life with Quicksand and Passing.

Augmenting this relatively heavy reading list will be theoretical essays on authorship by Foucault and Barthes; star theory; essays on spectatorship; and genre criticism on melodramatic, gothic, and sentimental forms.

ENG 481 – Studies in Literary Theory & Criticism: Animal Letters, Human Conditions

This course approaches animal studies from the point of view of "zoography" -- a mode of writing that calls upon species difference or variety and that makes use of crossspecies comparisons to produce meaning. We will not pursue the grounds for a "human/animal divide," but stress instead encounters and engagement across species. We'll explore the modern history of how we have imagined there was an objective standard of humanness, against which the endless variety of all other animated things might be made homogeneous and compressed together as a lesser order of life in the conception of "the animal." One goal will be to think about the central place of animals in the history of what we call "human" knowledge. Another goal will be to understand the capacities of the now-obsolete term, "creature," as a name for all living things -- the term enshrines biological variation as a sign of wonder and plenty and also makes clear how sympathy, collaboration, and identification routinely occur across the differences of species. At the broadest level, the seminar will challenge the notion that all human thought has always been or must inevitably be "human-exceptionalist" thought. To the contrary: animals are not just "good to think with" (as Levi-Strauss famously put it); it might be more accurate to say that has been impossible to "think" without them.

Texts: Readings will include most of the following primary and secondary texts (listed chronologically for now) and possibly some others: The Book of Genesis (selections); William Baldwin, Beware the Cat (1533); Thomas Wyatt, "Lux, My Fair Falcon" (c. 1540); The case of the green weevils of St. Julien (1545-87); Giovanni Battista Gelli, Circe (1549); George Turberville, The Book of Falconry (1575); Michel de Montaigne, "The Apology for Raymond Sebond" (1580-92); William Shakespeare, King Lear (1606); Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method (1637); Francis Coventry, Pompey the Little, Life & Adventures of a Lap-Dog (1752); Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (selections) (1871); Gerard Manly Hopkins, "The Windhover," (1877); Virginia Woolf, Flush: A Biography (1933); J.R. Ackerley, My Dog Tulip (1956); T.H. White, The Goshawk (1951); Thomas Nagel, "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" (The Philosophical Review, 1974); Emmanuel Levinas, "The Name of the Dog" (1975); J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (1999); Julia Reinhard Lupton, "Creature Caliban" (Shakespeare Quarterly, 2000); Giorgio Agamben, "Umwelf" and "Tick" (2002); Jacques Derrida, "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)" (Critical Inquiry, 2002); Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto (2003); Barbara Herrnstein Smith, "Animal Relatives, Difficult Relations" (differences, 2004); Laurie, Shannon, "The Eight Animals in Shakespeare" (PMLA, 2009); Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk (2014).

ENG 481 – Studies in Literary Theory & Criticism: Historicism: Uses and Abuses

This course adapts its title from Friedrich Nietzsche's essay "Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie fur das Leben" ("On the Use and Abuse of History for Life," 1874). Beginning with nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debates about historical materialism and the uses of history and literary history as disciplines (Michelet, Taine, Croce, Nietzsche, Ortega y Gasset, Mariategui, Benjamin and Adorno), we will go on to survey the development and invocations of historicism, new historicism, and post-historicism as approaches to literary study across early modern, romantic, victorian, modern and postcolonial literatures. How does historicism fare in addressing diverse periods? For example, while early modern and victorian studies have recently seen minor insurgencies against dominant tendencies toward "positivist historicism," some of the most energizing recent work in twentieth-century literary studies has been deeply historicist in inclination. Must we continue to follow Jameson's famous injunction to "always historicize!," or do we rather find ourselves in a "weak" theoretical state of affairs by which "we cannot not historicize?" How do we understand Roland Barthes's claim that "a little formalism turns one away from History, but ... a lot brings one back to it"? What is historicism good for? What are its varieties? Where does it fall short?

In addition to above-mentioned names, readings may include selections from Edmundo O'Gorman, Michel Foucault, Hayden White, Fredric Jameson, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Edouard Glissant, Stephen Greenblatt, Reinhardt Koselleck, Peter Sloterdijk, Catherine Gallagher, Michael Denning, Eve Sedgwick, Roberto Fernandez Retamar, Sylvia Federici, and/or Dipesh Chakrabarty. We will test our claims on a novel or two and a few poems, to be selected by students.

THEATRE 503 – Interdisciplinary Studies in Theatre & Performance: Re-performing the Avante Garde

Over the last decade or two, contemporary artists in dance, theatre, and visual art have pursued "reperformance," that is, revisiting earlier icons of the avant-garde and staging self-reflexive commentaries on the process. Yet, however new the term "reperformance," artists throughout the twentieth century have reenacted earlier avant-garde moments. This course asks if and how the contemporary trend of reperformance differs from twentieth-century practices of art making, exhibition, and historiography. In so doing, the course also serves as a survey of avant-garde performance over the last century. Back to top