Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2018

AAS 230/ENG 231 Topics in African American Studies: The Fire This Time - Reading James Baldwin This course examines the selected non-fiction writings of one of America's most influential essayists and public intellectuals: James Baldwin. Attention will be given to his views on ethics, art, and politics - with particular consideration given to his critical reflections on race and democracy. Instructor(s): Eddie Steven Glaude Jr.
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
AAS 353/ENG 352 African American Literature: Origins to 1910 This introductory course focuses on black literature and literary culture from the mid-18th century to the early 20th; it will cover the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Paul L. Dunbar; the political oratory of Sojourner Truth and David Walker; slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs; non-fiction prose by W. E. B. Du Bois and Anna Julia Cooper; and Frances Harper's and James Weldon Johnson's novels. In readings, assignments, and discussions, we will explore the unique cultural contexts, aesthetic debates, and socio-political forces that surround the production of an early African American literary tradition. Instructor(s): Autumn M. Womack
Section(s):
L01 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM M W
P01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
AAS 363/ENG 439/AMS 362 Blackness and Media Working across a range of sites (film, photography, literature, newsprint, music) this course thinks critically about media, blackness, and social life. In the service of expanding our conceptions of media we will draw together unlikely titles and works from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. How, we will ask, has media been the site where blackness gets communicated, created, negotiated, and re-imagined? How does blackness operate as both a media and medium? And, how do black writers, thinkers, and artists negotiate the formal limits of media, and what might this reveal about black aesthetics? Instructor(s): Autumn M. Womack
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
AAS 499/ENG 499/AMS 499 Theoretical Approaches in Black Studies This course stages a critical survey of key theoretical approaches and debates that have shaped the contemporary discourse of black studies. We will read recent works by scholars who take up what is casually referred to as "the study of blackness" from different vantage points such as black feminist theory, postcolonial criticism, afro-pessimism, queer-of-color critique, and black radicalism. The course particularly focuses on the question of criticism as it emerges within this discursive field and demonstrates how topics like the archive, citationality, and style provide alternate ways of thinking theory and the project of black studies. Instructor(s): Nijah Cunningham
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
AMS 335/JDS 320/GSS 323/ENG 441 American Jews and Sexual Freedom For more than a century before #metoo, the histories of sexual repression and liberation in America were already strangely and persistently intertwined with the history of American Jews. This course surveys crucial texts and moments in U.S. literature, law, and culture, exploring the interventions of Jewish writers, lawyers, theorists, and activists in transforming the ways all Americans think about and express their sexuality. Topics addressed will include the roles played by Jews in literary censorship and debates about obscenity, the defense of reproductive rights, the Sexual Revolution, pornography, and the rights of sexual minorities. Instructor(s): Josh Lambert
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ASA 347/AMS 347/ENG 426/GSS 358 The Asian American Family This seminar examines the emergence and transformation of the Asian American family as a social form. We will investigate how US labor demands and legal restrictions on immigration and citizenship militated against the formation of Asian American families, and how paper sons, military wives, refugees, adoptees, and LGBT family experiences eluded norms of kinship. We will also study the significance of the intergenerational trope in Asian American literature, and how writers responded to neoliberalism's remaking of the "Asian" family according to the model minority myth. Instructor(s): Paul Nadal
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ASA 351/ENG 451 Asian American Affect This course uses major studies of affect as a lens through which to view Asian American literary texts. At the same time, it reads Asian American literary texts as interventions in affect theory. Are there distinctively Asian American modes of affect? Asian American structures of feeling? If so, what ethical and representational dilemmas do they present? What political and aesthetic possibilities do they open up? How have they been shaped by histories of traumatic dislocation, exile, incarceration, and racialization? How do they condition the experience of temporality? What futures might they enable? Instructor(s): James Young Kim
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
COM 397/ENG 427/ECS 396 Sex, Violence, Sacrilege in Enlightenment Fiction This seminar will explore the dark side of the Enlightenment, or Age of Reason. The fiction and philosophy we will read shock and challenge all our pieties and inhibitions. How did the age that brought us liberty, equality, and fraternity also bring us such gleefully conspicuous cruelty, terror, and vice? How do our texts both expose and indulge these? We will approach them with a view to better understanding the ethical thought and moral values of the Enlightenment. Reading them requires reflection on human conduct and character, as understood in the period that brought us the ethical values and democratic political system we still inhabit. Instructor(s): April Alliston, Claudia L. Johnson
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
COM 422/ENG 423/GER 422/FRE 422 'Modern' Poetry and Poetics: Baudelaire to the 'Present' Designed for both undergraduates and graduate students, this course will focus on reading major "modern" poets and writings on poetics, in French, German, English and Spanish, with additional readings in theory of modernity, poetry, and the arts written by several of the poets we read. These include: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rilke, Celan, Garcia Lorca, Pax, Borges, Stevens, Bishop and Ashbery. Secondary readings will include essays by major theorists and critics who consider the larger questions of representation, temporality, visuality, and language underlying poetic practice. Instructor(s): Claudia Joan Brodsky
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
COM 435/ENG 438/GSS 404 What is Passing? Cultural Encounters in Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality What is "passing" and why is it such a persistent obsession of great literature and film? Why does the act of changing one's identity fascinate, excite, and repel us? At once a universal phenomenon and the most intensely personal of experiences, passing is a site where history, culture, law and society collide with individual identity and desire. This course examines narratives from the African-American, Jewish-American, and LGBTQ contexts in order to explore the idea of passing through the lenses of race, ethnicity, and gender. We will consider both the promise and the limits of comparison in working in and between these multiple frames. Instructor(s): Lital Levy
Section(s):
C01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 200 Introduction to English Literature: 14th to 18th Century An introduction to the leading figures of earlier English Literature, including Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, and Swift; to literary history as a mode of inquiry; and to some of the questions that preoccupy English poetry, prose, and drama across four centuries: art, beauty, romance, desire, the will, the mind, God, sex, and death. Instructor(s): Russell Joseph Leo III, Donald Vance Smith
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T Th
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T
P02 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P04 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
P06 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 201 American Literary History This course surveys American literature from the colonial period to the Civil War. We will discuss accounts of early contact, narratives of captivity and slavery, sermons, revolutionary tracts, autobiographies, novels, and poems. We will also discuss how early American literature responded to and shaped American history, and how it informs our lives today -- from popular culture to political debates about inclusivity and diversity, and memory and memorialization. Instructor(s): Joshua Isaac Kotin, Sarah Rivett
Section(s):
S01 03:00 PM - 04:20 PM M W
ENG 207 Reading Literature: Drama This course is designed to teach students how to read plays as literature written for performance. Key assumptions are that every act of reading is an act of interpretation, that a good reader of dramatic literature engages in an activity nearly identical to that of a good director or actor or designer, and that a reader might learn from theater practitioners how to make critical choices based on close reading and a knowledge of theatre history. Instructor(s): Michael William Cadden
Section(s):
L01 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P02 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
P03 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
ENG 230 Public Speaking ENG 230 aims to develop effective public speaking skills, along with a complex understanding of what it means to speak. At the same time as we look at some of the key ways in which voice and speech making have been imagined and theorized, we will draw on a variety of vocal and acting exercises to improve confidence and expression in oral presentation. The culmination of the course will be a public talk. Instructor(s): Tamsen Olivia Wolff
Section(s):
C01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 300 Junior Seminar in Critical Writing Students learn to write clear and persuasive criticism in a workshop setting while becoming familiar with a variety of critical practices and research methods. The course culminates in the writing of a junior paper. Each section will pursue its own topic: students are assigned according to choices made during sophomore sign-ins. Required of all English majors. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson, Zahid Rafiq Chaudhary, Russell Joseph Leo III, Christina A. Leon, Nigel Smith
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
S02 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM F
S03 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
S04 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
S05 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 309 Graphic Novels and Comics An exploration of comics and the graphic novel with particular attention to the ways specific works combine visual imagery and language to enlarge the possibilities of narrative form. Through our analysis of highly acclaimed graphic memoirs as well as popular comics, we will develop strategies for interpreting and evaluating the cultural significance and aesthetic quality of narratives based on sequential art from multiple traditions. Instructor(s): Alfred Bendixen, Rosalind Aimee Parry
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M W
P01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P02 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM W
P03 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P04 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
P05 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM Th
P06 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
P07 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
ENG 310/MED 310 The Old English Period An intensive introduction to the English language as it was spoken and written in the British Isles from about 450-1100 CE. We will learn the grammar of Old English by closely analyzing excerpts from prose and poetry that demonstrate the range and variety of the literature of this period. The selections will open up the complexities and strange beauties of Old English works and will situate the texts in the cultures that produced them. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 312/MED 312 Chaucer You study Geoffrey Chaucer not because he's "olde" or "hilaaarious," nor because he taught Spenser and Shakespeare a thing or two about poetry. You study Chaucer because almost every challenge we face today--so, too, every morsel of our species-being we either loathe or love--was expressed in his works but in forms different enough to help us get out of our heads to think honestly about what beleaguers human societies. Chaucer will teach us about violence, religion, law, class, identity, sex, love, laughter, and language in the fourteenth century, and we will reflect on what his brilliantly crafted works tell us about life. Instructor(s): Andrew Cole
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 320 Shakespeare I The first half of Shakespeare's career, with a focus on the great comedies and histories of the 1590's, culminating in a study of Hamlet. Instructor(s): Leonard Barkan, Brian Paul Gingrich
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P02 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM Th
P03 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P04 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM Th
ENG 321 Shakespeare II This class covers the second half of Shakespeare's career, with a focus on the major tragedies and late comedies. Instructor(s): Bradin T. Cormack
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P02 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 325 Milton We will explore John Milton's entire career, largely as poet, but also as dramatist, prose writer and thinker: a lifelong effort to unite the aims of intellectual, political and literary experimentation. In doing so Milton made himself the most influential non-dramatic poet in the English language. We will spend much time with Paradise Lost, regarded by many as the greatest non-dramatic poem in English or any modern language, and which has extensive debt to drama. We will encounter Milton's profound, extensive learning and his startling innovations with words, songs and in ideas of personal, domestic and communal liberty. Instructor(s): Russell Joseph Leo III
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T Th
P01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
P02 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 333 Mostly Middlemarch Middlemarch is as complex and culturally informed as any work in the history of literature. Most of our time together will be devoted to this great novel. Instructor(s): Jeff Nunokawa
Section(s):
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM T
ENG 340 Romanticism and the Age of Revolution Romanticism was a revolution in literary styles and subjects, and its writers lived in an age of revolutions...American, French, and roiling debates about the rights of men, of women, and the atrocity of the slave trade, and amid, within, and across this, the vital power of imagination. Our study will concern literary aesthetics and practices in this revolutionary age. Instructor(s): Susan Jean Wolfson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 341 The Later Romantics The flamboyant second generation of British Romantics: Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Byron, Hemans, Austen. Careful attention to texts--ranging from novels, to odes, to romances, and modern epics--in historical and cultural contexts, with primary focus on literary imagination. Instructor(s): Rebecca E. Rainof, Susan Jean Wolfson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 345 19th-Century Fiction This course will acquaint students with the distinctive features of the nineteenth century novel, from Austen to Hardy. Lectures will seek to illuminate relations between social and aesthetic dimensions of the texts we read. We will consider how these fictional imaginings of things like love, sex, money, class, and race help shape the ways we live now. Instructor(s): Jeff Nunokawa
Section(s):
L01 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM M W
P01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M
P02 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
P03 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM W
P04 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P05 07:30 PM - 08:20 PM W
ENG 351 American Literature: 1865-1930 The development of American literature from the end of the Civil War to the start of the Great Depression: the rise of realism, naturalism, and modernism. Emphasis on the artistic achievement of such writers as James, Twain, Chopin, Wharton, Cather, Eliot, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. Instructor(s): Alfred Bendixen
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M W
P01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P02 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM W
P06 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P07 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM Th
ENG 362 Modern Poetry This seminar will introduce students to English-language poetry from the first half of the twentieth century. The seminar aims to balance the study of major poets with an investigation of key movements and poetry communities. The seminar will also attend to controversies that defined modern poetry and modernism, more generally--controversies concerning aesthetic difficulty, tradition, fascism and communism, gender, race, and the role of poetry in public discourse. Instructor(s): Joshua Isaac Kotin
Section(s):
S01 07:30 PM - 08:50 PM M W
ENG 368 American Literature: 1930-Present A study of eleven modern American writers over eighty years that emphasizes the transition from modernism to postmodernism to retro-realism. Instructor(s): Lee Clark Mitchell
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T Th
P01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P01A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P03 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P04 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
P05 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM Th
ENG 375 Wilderness Tales The wilderness tale is one of North America's most enduring literary genres. Stories of misfortune, hardship, and heroism in the continent's untamed landscapes have long entertained readers with both the romance and the realism of human encounters with the wild. This diverse literary tradition encompasses survival sagas, adventure tales, exploration thrillers, pioneer stories, escape fantasies, and animal yarns. What exactly is wilderness, and how have American and Canadian fiction writers shaped our thinking about the wild? Instructor(s): Diana Jean Fuss
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 380/THR 380 World Drama This course is a survey of classical and modern drama from Africa, China, India, Japan, and Latin America. Topics will include Noh and Kabuki, Beijing Opera, Sanskrit theater, Nigerian masquerades and a variety of selections from the rich modern Indian and Latin American canons. There may be trips to NYC or locally to see new theater works. Instructor(s): Robert Neil Sandberg
Section(s):
C01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 387 Writing about Family Family is where we all begin. It is a world, a language, a home, a cast of characters. People write about family to escape it, return to it, remember it, make sense of it, memorialize it. Writing About Family will explore the different places and cultures writers come from, the ways we define and create our own sense of "family", how ideas about what constitutes family have changed over time, and how methods of representing family differ across genres. We will read a range of family writing, including essays, memoirs, and works of fiction. Instructor(s): Rebecca E. Rainof
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 390/COM 207/HUM 207 The Bible as Literature This course will study what it means to read the Bible in a literary way: what literary devices does it contain, and how has it influenced the way we read literature today? What new patterns and meanings emerge? This course will examine the structures and modes of the Biblical books; the formation of the canon and the history of the apocryphal or deuterocanonical books; questions of authorship; its literary genres; histories of exegesis, interpretation, and commentary; the redaction, division, and ordering of biblical texts; the cultural, political, and intellectual worlds within which these texts were written. Instructor(s): Donald Vance Smith
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M W
P01 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
P02 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM M
P03 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 401/AMS 396 Forms of Literature: American Short Stories This course examines the development of American short fiction over two centuries, revealing the genre's extraordinary variety and complexity. Instructor(s): Lee Clark Mitchell
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 402 Forms of Literature: Love Poems In this seminar, we will explore the composition and reception of poems to and from lovers and poems "about" love from Ancient Greece to the twentieth-century. Our focus will be upon earlier, paradigm-setting, examples of the form. We will be asking who is talking and who is listening in a love poem, how conventions of love poetry develop and are overturned, and whether or not the concept and expression of love have certain continuities across eras. Instructor(s): Susan A. Stewart
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 403 Forms of Literature: Literature and War How do the technologies of war and the technologies of representation mediate our moral experience of modern warfare? From machine guns to UAVs, marching songs to "Homeland," this class examines representations of the war experience, primarily of the First World War and the "War on Terror." We'll discuss the ethics of media formats (memoirs, fiction, poetry, film, journalism, government documents, images, social media, documentaries, and video games) and the psychological filters through which we read them (from "shell-shock" to "moral injury"). What lets us look at war as art? What lets us look away? Instructor(s): Meredith Anne Martin
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 405 Topics in Poetry: Poetry and Belief What does it mean to believe a poem? To believe in a poem? Can a poem itself have, or carry, beliefs--moral, religious, political, scientific? We often take poetry to be a space of ambiguity and play, where certainty is suspended, but it is also a uniquely powerful form of speech, and has long been used for credos, manifestos, prayers. These are the questions of our seminar, questions we will pursue with the help both of poets (Milton, Dickinson, Moten) and philosophers (Popper, Ricoeur, Anscombe). The seminar will move back and forth between poetry of past and present, between the beliefs of others and our own. Instructor(s): Jeff Dolven
Section(s):
S01 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM W
ENG 408/GSS 408/AMS 418 Queer Literatures: Theory, Narrative, and Aesthetics In this course, we will both read from various trajectories of queer literature and engage what it means to read queerly. We will consider the historical etymology of the term queer and think through its affiliate terms and acronyms: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans. We will investigate how discourses of power and institutions of normativity have come up against queer bodies, narratives, and politic--and how such encounters are historically situated. As the class reads through texts that range across both region and time, we will pay close attention to the ways in which desire, gender, and sexuality are queerly told. Instructor(s): Christina A. Leon
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 414 Major Author(s): Wallace Stevens This is a seminar for those who would like to get to know the work of the vital Modernist poet Wallace Stevens well. We will read most of Stevens's Collected Poetry and Prose from the Library of America edition and will draw on other readings from philosophy, the theory of painting, and European modernism and from his American contemporaries, particularly Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams. Instructor(s): Susan A. Stewart
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENV 357/AMS 457/GSS 357/ENG 315 Empire of the Ark: The Animal Question in Film, Photography and Popular Culture This course explores the fascination with animals in film, photography and popular culture, engaging critical issues in animal and environmental studies. In the context of global crises of climate change and mass displacement, course themes include the invention of wilderness, national parks, zoos and the prison system; the cult of the pet; vampires, werewolves and liminal creatures; animal communication, emotions and rights; queering nature; race and strategies for environmental justice. How can rethinking animals help us rethink what it means to be human? How can we transform our relations with other species and the planet itself? Instructor(s): Anne McClintock
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENV 363/ENG 337 Writing the Environment through Creative Nonfiction This workshop will expose participants to some of the most dynamic, adventurous environmental nonfiction writers while also giving students the opportunity to develop their own voices as environmental writers. We'll be looking at the environmental essay, the memoir, opinion writing, and investigative journalism. In the process we'll discuss the imaginative strategies deployed by leading environmental writers and seek to adapt some of those strategies in our own writing. Readings will engage urgent concerns of our time, like climate change, extinction, race, gender and the environment, and relations between humans and other life forms. Instructor(s): Robert Nixon
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
GER 307/COM 329/ENG 285 Topics in German Culture and Society: Denial, Disavowal, and the Problem of Knowing Why is it that we know something but don't act accordingly? This question becomes urgent in the face of issues that require immediate action, like global-warming, meat-production, sexual violence, racism, exploitative working conditions. "Death is a master from Germany," the poet Paul Celan wrote -- given the long denial of the death-camps, we could also say: "Denial is a master from Germany." This class traces a series of catastrophic (quasi-)events in German history and discusses global analogues. Yet we also explore the philosophical problem of knowing: when are we too sure that we know something, too quick to accuse others of denial? Instructor(s): Barbara Natalie Nagel
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
MTD 310/THR 310/ENG 318 The Musical Theatre of Stephen Sondheim: Process to Production This seminar examines the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, from page to stage. Focusing on a different musical each week from Gypsy (1959) to Road Show (2009), we will ask, How do musical theatre's elements of music, lyrics, script, dance, and design cohere in Sondheim's musicals? We will explore influences on his art, both personal and cultural, his collaborators, and the historical and theatrical milieu. We'll study the musicals themselves by reading libretti, listening to music, seeing taped and live performances, researching production histories, and analyzing popular, critical, and scholarly reception. Instructor(s): Stacy E. Wolf
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
REL 350/CLA 352/ENG 442/HIS 353 God, Satan, Goddesses, and Monsters: How Their Stories Play in Art, Culture, and Politics Each week we'll take up a major theme--creation, the problem of evil; what's human/inhuman/ divine; apocalypse--and explore how their stories, embedded in western culture, have been interpreted for thousands of years--so far! Starting with creation stories from Babylon, Israel, Egypt and Greece, we'll consider how some such stories still shape an amazing range of cultural attitudes toward controversial issues that include sexuality, "the nature of nature," politics, and questions of meaning. Instructor(s): Elaine Hiesey Pagels
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T