Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2019

AAS 359/ENG 366 African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present A survey of twentieth- and twenty-first century African American literature, including the tradition's key aesthetic manifestos. Special attention to how modern African American literature is periodized and why certain innovations in genre and style emerged when they did. Poetry, essays, novels, popular fiction, a stage production or two, and related visual texts. Instructor(s): Cassandra Jackson
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T
P01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T
AMS 301/ENG 432/GSS 338/ASA 301 Science Fiction and Fact How does science fiction challenge "facts" about the biology of race, gender, sexuality and other categories of difference? This seminar explores the ways in which contemporary sci-fi that centers the experiences of marginalized communities reconceptualizes the techniques and technologies of social differentiation. The readings couple a sci-fi text with work by scholars across disciplines who have drawn attention to the reemergence of race as a biological rather than social category in genetics and genomics research. Instructor(s): Tala Khanmalek
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
CHV 401/COM 437/ENG 443/HUM 402 Hope: A History This interdisciplinary course combines literary, philosophical and theological analysis to investigate hope and how its formulations in the West have evolved over time, from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present. When is hope a virtue or positive aspect of agency, and when is it an illusion or vice? What are the relations of personal to national, political, and religious hopes? Readings will cover poetry and prose fiction, philosophical essays and drama, drawn from the Bible and authors including Hesiod, Lucretius, Cicero, Dante, William Wordsworth, the Shelleys, Emily Dickinson, Kafka, Camus, Holocaust witnesses, and M. L. King. Instructor(s): Adam Stanley Potkay
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M W F
ECS 342/COM 342/ENG 349 Literature and Photography Since its advent in the 19th century, photography has been a privileged figure in literature's efforts to reflect upon its own modes of representation. This seminar will trace the history of the rapport between literature and photography by looking closely at a number of literary and theoretical texts that differently address questions central to both literature and photography: questions about the nature of representation, reproduction, memory and forgetting, history, images, perception, and knowledge. Instructor(s): Eduardo Lujan Cadava
Section(s):
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM W
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
Section(s):
L01 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM M W
P01 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P02 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T
P03 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P04 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 206 Reading Literature: Fiction The making and interpretation of fictions are among our everyday activities, whether or not we realize it; however, we don't always consider what "fiction" is, or what it means. This course will introduce students to the diverse and specific forms fiction takes in literature, with emphasis on the novel and film. We will interrogate the act of creating fictions, and the impact a fictional world can make on a reader. Along the way, we will continually consider two deceptively simple questions: what does fiction do to us? What can fiction do for us? Instructor(s): Sarah A. Chihaya
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T Th
P01 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
P01A 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
P02 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T
P03 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
P04 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 228/THR 228 Introduction to Irish Studies This interdisciplinary 200-level course offers a broad introduction to the study of Irish literature, history and culture. Students will gain a grounding in: Irish storytelling since the early Christian period, including through music and song; the history of the conquest of Ireland and Irish independence movements; the role of the Irish language in culture; the famine and its social and political aftermath; the history of religious difference; the relationship between Britain and Ireland; the work of major literary figures such as Swift, Joyce, Yeats, Beckett and Heaney; contemporary Ireland and the Irish economy. Instructor(s): Fintan O'Toole
Section(s):
L01 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM T Th
P01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T
P02 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
P03 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 305 Contemporary Literary Theory What is Marxist literary criticism? What is dialectical interpretation? These are the central questions of this course, in which we read works by Fredric Jameson, whose writings span decades and comprehend virtually every subject in the humanities. Instructor(s): Andrew Cole
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 311/MED 309 The Medieval Period Who am I? Or, rather, "Who is 'I'?" The invention of the "meta" text, the untrustworthy narrator, the intimate or embarrassing confession, even the invention of the self: these have all been used to describe what makes the modern different from the medieval. This course will read some of the most important medieval texts to explore the question of whether there was a self, an "I," a subject, a person, or an author in the Middle Ages, and how it differs, or doesn't, from what I am, or you are, now. Instructor(s): Donald Vance Smith
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
ENG 313/MED 315/COM 358 Worlds Made with Words: Select Old English Literature This course concentrates on a constitutive problem in OE literature: the theme of "making" and "makers". What powers does a text assume when it makes an inanimate object speak? What temporal and spatial fantasies about English origins and ambitions do OE texts build? What ideas of identity? We'll scrutinize authorship, too, asking how one learned and shaped the poet's role, and how OE texts represented literary composition and understood the tools of singing and writing. Each dramatic, dynamic text we'll encounter asks us to think about how words shape and fabricate the worlds of the OE period. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 317 Historical Fiction / Fictional History Authors and theorists of contemporary fiction have turned to various modes of fictionality, speculation, and the counterfactual to address and encounter gaps in the historical record, even if not to fully recover experiences lost to time. "Historical Fiction / Fictional History" will introduce students to literary and critical methods by toggling between "historical" and "fictional" texts, and ask them to experiment creatively with their own narrative voices. This course includes a mandatory field trip on 2/26 to see "Hamilton" in New York. Instructor(s): Sarah A. Chihaya, Monica Huerta
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 321 Shakespeare II Shakespeare's greatest plays from the middle and late phases of his career, concentrating on tragedies and the romances; studies in literature, history, and theatrical performance. Instructor(s): Leonard Barkan
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P02 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
ENG 325 Milton John Milton's writings reflect a lifelong effort to unite the aims of political, intellectual and literary experimentation. In doing so he became the most influential non-dramatic poet in the English language. This class will explore Milton's major works, especially Paradise Lost, and his ambition to produce a radically new conception of love that would transform lived experience. We'll encounter Milton's startling poetic innovations, and his highly controversial ideas about sovereignty, marriage and God. Studying his work alongside other Renaissance and contemporary theorists of sexuality, we will consider the politics of love. Instructor(s): Nigel Smith
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
ENG 341 The Later Romantics The flamboyant second generation of British Romantics: Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Byron, Hemans, Jewsbury. 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): Susan Jean Wolfson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
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
P03 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P04 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM Th
ENG 360 Modern Fiction The modern movement in English fiction from Conrad, Joyce and Woolf to Nabokov and Rushdie, writers who changed our sense of what a novel is, what it can say and how it can say it. Instructor(s): Maria A. DiBattista
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T Th
P01 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM W
P02 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P03 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P04 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM Th
ENG 362 Modern Poetry This seminar will introduce students to modern Anglophone poetry, with special emphasis on modern American and British poetry. It 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 free verse, aesthetic difficulty, elitism, fascism and communism, gender, race, and the role of poetry in public discourse. Instructor(s): Joshua Isaac Kotin
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 382/THR 382 International Theatre: Plays and Politics This course addresses when and why producing political theatre matters. We will look specifically at contemporary and canonical plays from around the globe that take on various political crises (e.g., the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Chile under Pinochet, the Liberian Civil War, the Arab Spring). In order to consider the challenges of producing highly charged political theatre, students will also attend professional productions and hear directly from artists who are engaged in making this kind of theatre around the world. Instructor(s): Mara L. Isaacs, Tamsen Olivia Wolff
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM 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 388/GSS 399 The Female Literary Tradition In this seminar we will read a range of novels by women writers from the early 19th century to the present. What do we mean by the "female literary tradition"? And when/why did we begin to study works by women writers as a separate group and through the lens of gender? How is the "tradition" informed and even challenged by differences in nationality, region, race, class, religion, and sexuality? By 20th and 21st century ideas and realities of globalism? Do we still find the category of woman writer valid and compelling? Instructor(s): Maria A. DiBattista, Deborah Epstein Nord
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 395/AMS 384/GSS 301 Literature, Food, and the American Racial Diet Food, like books, is the site of our greatest consumption of and most vulnerable encounter with "otherness". This course explores how "taste" informs the ways in which we ingest or dispel racial otherness. Through novels and cinema in American and American multi-ethnic cultural production, we will study how the meeting of food and word inform categories such as race, nationhood, gender, ecology, and family, and class. Topics include: "Transcendental Primitivism," "Modernist Orientalism," "Chocolate Women on the Edge," "Parenting/Consuming," "Ecology and the Humanimal," and more. Instructor(s): Anne Cheng
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T Th
P01 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM M
P02 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P02A 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P03 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
P04 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM T
P05 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P05A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P06 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
P06A 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
P07 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM W
P09 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P09A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P10 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
P11 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
ENG 406 Magical Realism What is magical realism, and why has it become one of the defining features of contemporary postcolonial literature? In this course we will explore the diverse contexts in which writers turn to magical realism as a narrative mode. We will assume a global context and texts will be drawn from an interdisciplinary mix: novels, films, plays, poems, artworks, and anthropological studies. Instructor(s): Zahid Rafiq Chaudhary
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 411/AAS 413 Major Author(s): Mourning America: Emerson and Douglass This course focuses on the literary and political writings of these two "representative men" of the 19th century. Suggesting that the promise of America has yet to be realized, they argue that democracy can be furthered through acts of writing. The course stages an encounter that may revise our understanding of both of these writers, especially in relation to issues of slavery, racism, and capital. Demonstrating that Douglass' strategies of writing have relays with Emerson's points to the political and historical character of Emerson's writings but also to the profoundly literary elements of Douglass' political writings. Instructor(s): Eduardo Lujan Cadava
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 414/AAS 455 Major Author(s): Toni Morrison and the Ethics of Reading This course traces the relationship between reading, politics, and aesthetics in the work of Toni Morrison. Working across her published oeuvre and personal archive -- from the "Bluest Eye" to "God Save the Child" -- we will approach Morrison as a critical reader, as a theorist of reading, and her novels as sites that interrogate reading practices. In tackling these goals, we will not only read works Morrison authored, but also works she edited (Gayle Jones' Corregidora), and collaborated on (The Black Book). Instructor(s): Autumn M. Womack
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 428/AMS 428/THR 428 Sex, Violence, Death and Other Entertainments for Kids: Challenging Drama for Youth This course will examine a wide variety of highly imaginative plays for children and teens, focusing on how they work as plays and the challenges they present to youth and family audiences. For much of the 20th century, theater for young audiences was simplistic, safe and shallow. Now, plays for young audiences are tackling subjects like sex and death head on, and playwrights are creating works with sophisticated styles and structures. These are exciting theatrical works of the highest artistic order. Instructor(s): Robert Neil Sandberg
Section(s):
C01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
GSS 303/ENG 466 Feminist Futures: Contemporary S. F. by Women Feminist Futures explores the way in which recent women writers have transformed science fiction into speculative fiction - an innovative literary form capable of introducing and exploring new kinds of feminist and multi-cultural perspectives. These books confront the limitations imposed on women and imagine transformative possibilities for thinking about gender roles and relationships, the body, forms of power, and political and social structures. Instructor(s): Alfred Bendixen
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
HUM 470/ENG 482/MUS 433 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Voice This seminar examines the theory and practice of the human voice across media including literature and music, as well as film, podcasting, social media, and other digital technologies. Taught by a poet (and English professor) and a composer (and musicologist), our work will be both critical, prioritizing close reading of texts, and practical, involving creative assignments, in-class enactments, and group exercises. Our basic question: How do transformations of the voice affect social, political, and aesthetic space? A comfort with, or desire to make friends with, vocal spontaneity is a must. Instructor(s): Majel Amanda Connery, Jeff Dolven
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
THR 343/ENG 304/HUM 343 Some Contemporary Shakespearean Afterlives This course will largely focus on some Shakespeare's "afterlives" of the past twenty years. Although his reputation rests on his work, Shakespeare was invented in the 18th century as something beyond a "mere" playwright. We'll take a brief look at the start of this phenomenon with David Garrick's Stratford Jubilee in 1769, then study some recent recyclings of 'the Shakespearean' in theater, film, fiction, dance, opera, television, actor's autobiographies, and theatrical institutions and festivals. Our key Shakespeare texts will be Othello, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. Instructor(s): Michael William Cadden
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
THR 359/ENG 447 The Plays and Films of Martin McDonagh Since he burst onto the theatre scene with The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1996, Martin McDonagh has produced some of the most vivid, but also some of the most controversial work in contemporary drama and cinema. His plays and films are violent, lurid, transgressive and often grotesque, yet they also lend themselves to performances of great subtlety and sensitivity, like Frances McDormand's in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. We explore McDonagh's extreme imagination, its roots in Irish Gothic, Grand Guignol, the Grimm Brothers, Antonin Artaud and the theatre of the absurd and its uncomfortable use of race and disability. Instructor(s): Fintan O'Toole
Section(s):
C01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W