New English Courses

Jan. 19, 2018

A message from Professor Sophie Gee, Director of Undergraduate Studies:

I would like to draw your attention to some classes being offered by the Department this spring, that we think are very exciting, and which may have gone under your radar. Strongly encouraging you to check these out. Do read through these descriptions below -- you'll see how exciting these classes will be. Two classes are taught by faculty in collaboration with advanced graduate students.  If you haven't taken one of these seminars, it's an amazing format for intense, memorable learning experiences.

ENG 363: Virtual Victorians
Professor Meredith Martin, co-teaching with Ph.D. student Miranda Marraccini
Read poems like the Victorians. This course uses Rare Books and Special Collections and new digital archives to imagine how 19th-century readers thought about literature. What was a viral meme in Victorian poetry? How does that compare to the way we navigate our media climate now? In the 19th-C, short poems, like tweets, were copied, circulated, and re-circulated. This course is about how we decide what to read in a world of information overload.

ENG 374: Fighting Words, or Cultures of Protest
Professor Zahid Chaudhary

Just five years ago Time magazine dubbed the figure of the protestor as Person of the Year, in light of Occupy movement and also the uprisings of the Arab Spring. In this course we aim to analyze the history and the inheritance of forms of protest, from the late 18th C to the present. From the Declaration of Independence to Women's Suffrage, from Gandhi's salt march to the Black Arts Movement, and from the Bolshevik to the Algerian Revolution, the course will assume a historical and transnational perspective in order to acquaint students with the specific limits and possibilities of varying protest movements.
ENG 412: Major Authors: Dickens, Brontë, Eliot
Professor Deborah Nord, co-teaching with Ph.D. student Rosalind Parry
Reading novels by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and George Eliot, we'll pay special attention to fictional autobiography—think of Jane Eyre and Great Expectations—and to the creation of vast social panoramas—think of Bleak House and Daniel Deronda.  Each of the texts we read combines an intimate focus on an individual consciousness with a broadly conceived account of Victorian society.  What formal innovations do these novelists employ to represent the sensibility and psyche of the individual on the one hand and the massive network of classes and types in an industrializing society on the other?   What are the challenges and extraordinary opportunities inherent in combining the coming-of-age story with the social novel?  How do class and migration figure in the lives of our protagonists and in the novelists’ imagining of society?

We will consider visual materials—illustration, painting, and film—in conjunction with our texts.  This seminar is open to interested students at all levels and from all majors.
ENG 414: The World Wallace Stevens Made
Professor Susan Stewart
"Wallace Stevens is the modern American poet who has had the greatest and most lasting influence on the generations of poets that have followed."  --David Lehman, editor, The Oxford Book of American Poetry and series editor, The Best American Poetry

Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955, left nine books of poems, uncollected poems, essays, and letters of extraordinary originality and inventiveness. This is a seminar for those who want to get to know that work well and to understand the development of abstraction and the role of the imagination in Modernist poetry.

In addition to using the 20th century resources of the Princeton Art Museum, we will be taking a field trip to the Philadelphia Museum to see the Arensberg Collection, a group of art works that were important to Stevens himself.