Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2021

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 a 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 T
AAS 359/ENG 366 African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present A survey of 20th- and 21st-century African American literature, including the tradition's key aesthetic manifestos. Special attention to how modern African American literature fits into certain periods and why certain innovations in genre and style emerged when they did. Poetry, essays, novels, popular fiction, stage production or two, and related visual texts. Instructor(s): Kinohi Nishikawa
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
AMS 334/ENG 234 American Genres: Western, Screwball Comedy, Film Noir Why did three American genres become classics in the same twenty-year period, 1936-1956? Part of the answer lies in global disruptions that unsettled codes of behavior. Part lies in film innovations that altered cinema itself. But more than this intersection of social and formal transformations, the decisive answer lies in a handful of directors who reconfigured gendered relations in three generic forms. The surprising correspondences that emerge among these classic films, if also the obvious divergences even within single genres, that will focus our discussion. Instructor(s): Lee Clark Mitchell
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
AMS 404/ENG 434 Advanced Seminar in American Studies: Multiethnic American Short Stories: Tales We Tell Ourselves Short stories have been used by writers to make concise, insightful comments about American national identity and individuality. Taken up by African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and many others, the genre has been used to convey experiences with immigration and assimilation, discrimination and oppression, generational divides, and interactions across difference. Examination of such stories deepens our understanding of America's multiethnic landscape. In this seminar, we will explore stories written by a diverse group of writers to consider the ties that both link and divide multiethnic America. Instructor(s): Tessa Lowinske Desmond
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ASA 224/ENG 224/GSS 226 Asian American Literature and Culture What is the relationship between race and genre? Through a survey of major works and debates in Asian American literature, this course examines how writers employ a variety of generic forms--novels, comics, memoirs, film, science fiction--to address issues of racial and ethnic identity, gender, queerness, memory, immigration, and war. By placing racial formation in relation to social, economic, and intellectual developments, we will explore the potential of literary texts to deepen our historical understanding of Asians in the U.S. and beyond, and probe into what labeling a work of literature as "Asian American" allows us to know and do. Instructor(s): Paul Nadal
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ASA 329/ENG 292 Asian American Autobiography This class attempts to square the circle by using Asian American autobiographies as a lens through which to understand immigration and colonial history, and connect them to contemporary projects of Asian American political mobilization. While Asian American autobiography can serve as a way to translate one's assimilation into American nationhood, this course seeks to destabilize all three terms in its title. We will read texts not intended as literary, transnational works that challenge what it means to be "American" literature; and others texts by authors at the boundaries of a Pan-Asian identity, such as Arab and Indo Caribbean writers.
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
COM 207/ENG 207/GER 203 What is Socialism? Literature and Politics While there is no single definition of socialism, the class introduces the historic diversity of socialist thinking. We ask: What is the "social" in socialism? How does socialism relate to communism and capitalism? How does it define democracy, equality, freedom, individuality, and collectivity? Are socialist ethics connected to religious traditions such as Christianity and Islam that teach human equality? How may we understand injustices committed in socialism's name alongside its striving for social justice? We read classic texts of socialist theory and practice to reveal its roots in literature and philosophy as well as social movements. Instructor(s): Benjamin Conisbee Baer
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
COM 335/ENG 236/ECS 336/HUM 338 Poetries of Resistance Poetry can be seen as a mode of reflection on history and, very often, as an act of resistance to it. This course will examine works written in Europe, Latin America and the US during the 20th and 21st centuries in different languages and historical contexts. We will explore their oppositional and also their liberatory effects: their ability to evoke their times, to disrupt our usual understandings while offering new political, artistic and ethical perspectives. The course will pay special attention to the work of René Char and Paul Celan, as ideal points of focus for questions of language and resistance. Instructor(s): Sandra Lekas Bermann, Michael George Wood
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 200 Literary History A survey of extraordinary writing, ideas, characters, and voices from the medieval period through the 18th century. We read diversely from Chaucer to Shakespeare, Milton, Austen and others, to trace the origins of our own modernity. What did reading and writing mean in the early modern world? Are they different today? We examine England in relation to the globe, and we ask who gets included and excluded from "great books." What do people, places and situations that existed on the margins of early English society and literature teach us about the problems we currently face? Does seeing things their way help us view our own world differently? Instructor(s): Sophie Graham Gee, Rhodri Lewis
Section(s):
L01 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T Th
P01 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM T
P02 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P03 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P04 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
ENG 205 Making Poems Your Own To know a poem well is to make it your own and to learn something about how poems are made. In this class you will learn many great poems well. You will learn about the techniques and history of this art form as we consider significant changes in the history of lyric, dramatic, and narrative poems and think about poets' uses of voice, diction, image, trope, form, occasion, sequence, and closure. We will be reading poems together and writing about them, making poems and imitations of our own, and learning poems by heart. Instructor(s): Susan A. Stewart
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 214 Coming-of-Age Literature Why are we fascinated with the change from youth to adulthood? What features do stories about this period share, and how is this time in life imagined across time periods and genres? Together we will read novels, short stories, and contemporary memoirs that explore what it means to grow up, leave home, find adventure, encounter disappointment, return to one's origins, and reflect on what it means to change. Instructor(s): Rebecca E. Rainof
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 215 Introduction to Science Fiction In this course we will read diverse approaches to science fiction that emerged across global postwar milieux, looking carefully at how science fiction poses fundamental ethical problems: What makes a world habitable? How do human beings live together? Does science fiction offer new parameters for thinking human morality or moralities beyond "humanity"? A key term throughout the course will be utopia, which has markedly different meanings in different political situations and which draws attention to competing visions of the good. Instructor(s): Russ Leo
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M W
P01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM M
P02 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
P02A 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
P03 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P03A 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P04 07:30 PM - 08:20 PM W
P05 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
P06 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM Th
P06A 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM Th
P07 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P08 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM Th
P08A 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM Th
P09 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 216/AMS 216/GSS 214 Wounded Beauty This course studies the entanglement between ideas of personhood and the history of ideas about beauty. How does beauty make and unmake persons -socially, legally and culturally- at the intersection of race, gender and aesthetics? Let us move beyond the good versus bad binary that dominates discussions of beauty to focus instead on how beauty in literature and culture have contributed to the conceptualization of modern, western personhood and its inverse (the inhuman, the inanimate, the object). We will trace beauty and its disruptions in the arenas of literature, visual culture, global capitalism, politics, law, science and technology. Instructor(s): Anne Cheng
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M 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):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 311/MED 309 The Medieval Period: Arthurian Literature and the Critique of Empire King Arthur: the most dazzling and problematic figure of the Middle Ages. There is the strange mix of mysticism and a fascination with power, the idealism and betrayal, the narcissism and spectacle. Arthur is a problematic figure already in his own stories. But he is problematic in ways that are less obvious. Writers found in him an anticipation of later critiques of empire--the sexism, racism, and economic oppression that modern works place in the foreground ("I didn't vote for you," says a peasant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail) We will read the important works of the Arthurian canon as well as watch a film and TV version or two. Instructor(s): D. Vance Smith
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T Th
P01 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
P01A 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
P02 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM Th
P02A 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM Th
P03 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P03A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
ENG 318/LAO 318/LAS 306/AMS 318 Topics in Latinx Literature and Culture: Latinx Literary Worlds This course will look to the many narratives and histories that comprise the multiple worlds of Latinx Literatures. How does the term Latinx respond to questions of gender and language? What does the history of naming this pan-ethnic group tell us about U.S. racial-ethnic categories? How do borders become an occasion to rethink space and psyche, as well as entangled crisis? Taking a hemispheric approach, this course will examine how Latinx texts lend imagination and poetic vision to the experience of migration, the movements of diaspora, and the lasting effects of colonization. Instructor(s): Christina León
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
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 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM M W
P01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P02 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P03 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
P03A 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM 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 explores 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 consider Milton's highly original characters, especially Satan, with whom we are invited to sympathize, but also Adam, Eve and the Son. We'll encounter Milton's startling poetic innovations, and his highly controversial ideas about sovereignty, marriage and God. Instructor(s): Nigel Smith
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
ENG 326 The 17th Century: Early Modern Amsterdam: Tolerant Eminence & the Arts Early modern Amsterdam (1550-1720) was at the center of the global economy and a leading cultural center; inhabited by many British people and much discussed in English literature; home of Rembrandt and Spinoza (Descartes was nearby) and original figures like playwrights Bredero and Vondel, the ethicist engraver Coornhert, the political economist de la Court brothers and English traveling theater. We go from art to poetry, drama, philosophy and medicine. Instructor(s): Nigel Smith
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
ENG 338/HIS 318/AMS 348 Topics in 18th-Century Literature: North American 'Indians' in Transatlantic Contexts Anishinaabe writer Gerald Vizenor notes the word "indian" is a "colonial enactment" that "has no referent in tribal languages or cultures." But as a trope it has long provided Western culture with a vision of romantic primitivism, of savage cruelty, or of the doomed victims of colonial expansion. This course will examine eighteenth-century transatlantic representations of North American Indigenous people and consider the cultural functions of these representations and their role in settler colonialism. In addition to literary texts, we will also examine art and visual culture, collected objects, and philosophical writing from the period. Instructor(s): Robbie John Richardson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
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
P01A 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M
P02 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P02A 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P03 07:30 PM - 08:20 PM W
P04 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P04A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P05 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM Th
P06 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM Th
ENG 355 British Cinema This course will offer a survey of UK popular cinema from the 1920s to the present. We will investigate how this cinema tradition addresses questions of national identity and history: in the aftermath of the British Empire, what is England? How can popular cinema offer critique and reevaluation of social and economic crises? We will also trace the relationship between British cinema and Hollywood, from the origins of both of these national industries, through international obsessions like the Bond films, the unexpected success of Working Title rom coms of the 90s, and the influence of indie classics like Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting". Instructor(s): Sarah A. Chihaya
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
ENG 358/LAS 385/AMS 396 Reading Islands: Caribbean Waters, the Archipelago, and its Narratives The Caribbean is an archipelago made up of islands that both link and separate the Americas - islands that have weathered various waves of colonization, migration, and revolution. How do narratives of the Caribbean represent the collision of political forces and natural environments? Looking to the many abyssal histories of the Caribbean, we will explore questions of indigeneity, colonial contact, iterations of enslavement, and the plantation matrix in literary texts. How do island-writers evoke gender and a poetics of relation that exceeds tourist desire and forceful extraction? Instructor(s): Christina León
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 361/AMS 357 Conspiracy in American Literature and Culture How do we analyze conspiracy narratives and conspiratorial thinking at a moment when the government spies on its citizens and profitable technology companies have turned surveillance itself into an economic necessity? Under what historical, political, and economic conditions do conspiracies proliferate? In this course we analyze conspiracies, paranoia, rumors, and the contemporary economies of dis/information and post-facts. Course material will be drawn from American history, from the 19th century to the present, and will include manifestos, films, novels, online fora, and theoretical texts in psychoanalysis, narrative theory and politics. Instructor(s): Zahid Rafiq Chaudhary
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 380/THR 380/COM 247 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. Instructor(s): R. N. Sandberg
Section(s):
C01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 399 Multicultural London: The Literature of Migrants and Immigrants A course on multicultural London as a literary mecca for migrants and immigrants, especially those who came from former imperial colonies. We'll be reading poetry, fiction, and drama by 19th - 21st century writers such as Wordsworth, Byron, Barrett Browning, Dickens, Woolf, Monica Ali, and Zadie Smith. Students will be trained to use digital tools-mapping, timelines, annotation, etc.- to compile an online archive/portfolio on a research topic of their interest. We'll have frequent visits by guest speakers involved with immigrant writers and populations in London, who will discuss with us their scholarship and practice. Instructor(s): Esther Helen Schor
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 421/MED 421 Beowulf How does Beowulf work as a poem? Who made up Beowulf, and what makes it up? We'll aim to reply to such queries, learning Beowulf through studying its manuscript context and its literary and historical milieux. Topics emphasized include the poem's genre; its sources, analogues, and afterlives; its place in theories of performance; its aesthetics; and its troubled relationship to our times and to "deep time". We'll read Beowulf in our now, as much as in the poem's then. Tune up your harp, sharpen your wits, and get set to explore a startling and crucial text. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson
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):
M99 01:00 AM - 01:00 AM
S01 01:30 PM - 03:20 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
ENV 455/COM 454/ENG 255 Sea Level Rise, Islands and the Environmental Humanities Sea Level Rise, Islands and the Environmental Humanities explores how islanders, predominantly but not exclusively in the Pacific and the Caribbean, are experiencing sea level rise and engaging it in literature, arts and film. Students in the seminar will learn the environmental science and policy related to sea level rise. They will consider solutions being put forward to address the impacts, such as hard engineering (sea walls or artificial islands) or soft engineering (restoring coral or oyster reefs, mangrove marshes or wetlands). Additionally, students will engage literature, art and films by and about islanders and sea level rise.
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
HUM 346/ENG 256 Introduction to Digital Humanities This seminar introduces the digital humanities by exploring key debates around the meaning of humanities data. Like "slow food"--a movement where diners, farmers, and chefs rethink what and how we produce and consume--we will explore data as local, embedded, and requiring careful critical reflection. How can computational tools help us to understand art and literature? What do digital archives reveal (or obscure) about the people who make them? We will explore the foundations of this field while also discussing concerns that emerge when accessing and maintaining digital projects in time and across global and local contexts. Instructor(s): Sierra Clare Eckert
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
HUM 352/ENG 252/URB 352/THR 350 Arts in the Invisible City: Race, Policy, Performance A so-called invisible city, Trenton is one of the poorest parts of the state, but intimately connected to Princeton. Examining the historical and contemporary racisms that have shaped Trenton, we will hear from activists, policy makers, artistic directors, politicians, and artists. Readings include texts about urban invisibility, race, community theater, and public arts policy. The course will follow the development of a new play by Trenton's Passage Theater, about a community-organized sculpture that was removed over "concerns" about "gang" culture. Students will conduct field interviews and work alongside dramatists and playwrights. Instructor(s): Nathan Alan Davis, D. Vance Smith
Section(s):
M99 01:00 AM - 01:00 AM
S01 01:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
LAO 218/ENG 258/AMS 218 Latinx Autobiography This course begins from the disjoint and relation between the narrated autobiography and the lived life. In reading works by authors including Myriam Gurba, Wendy C. Ortiz, Carmen Maria Machado, Richard Rodriguez, and Junot Diaz, we will explore not only how writers experiment with the project of narrating a life that contends with the structures and strictures of racial matrices, gender binaries, and traumatic abuse - but also how writers test the boundaries of what autobiographies more generally are and are for. Instructor(s): Monica Huerta
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM 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 Th
SLA 369/RES 369/ENG 247 Horror in Film and Literature Horror has clawed its way into critical recognition, but continues to challenge our understandings of genre, technique, and the purpose of art. Diverse and often intertwined with the sibling phenomena of science fiction and fantasy, this paradoxical and often-reviled genre has persisted and evolved through the centuries. Why do we want to be scared, and how does horror scare us? In this course, students will develop their own approaches to reading, viewing, and understanding horror. The material will cover a variety of strains of horror in literature and film with a focus on originally Russian works. No knowledge of Russian is necessary. Instructor(s): Lev A. Nikulin
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
THR 220/COM 246/ENG 226/GHP 320 Theater and the Plague Theater relies on the physical and emotional vulnerability of live bodies to experience the pity and terror that plague, war, systemic injustice, and more ordinary forms of disease and death inflict. As we face the twin pandemics of our own time, what can "plague drama" (prompted by outbreaks of typhus, bubonic plague, cholera, AIDS, etc.) tell us about how writers use literal and metaphorical diseases to give shape to a given cultural moment? We'll look at a wide variety of mostly theatrical texts to explore how playwrights use the medium of the theater to literally embody and thus make visible physical, social, and metaphysical "dis-ease". Instructor(s): Michael William Cadden
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
THR 302/ENG 222 Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies in Irish Theater and Literature From the spirits and banshees of oral legends to Bram Stoker's Dracula, from the classic works of Yeats, Synge and Beckett to Garth Ennis's Preacher comics and Anne Rice's Vampire novels, Irish culture has been haunted by the Otherworld. Why has the Irish Gothic had such a long ghostly afterlife on page and stage? Can we learn something about modernist works like those of Yeats and Beckett by seeing them through the perspective of popular fictions of the supernatural? Instructor(s): Fintan O'Toole
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
THR 416/AMS 416/COM 453/ENG 456 Decentering/Recentering the Western Canon in the Contemporary American Theater Why do some BIPOC dramatists (from the US and Canada) choose to adapt/revise/re-envision/deconstruct/rewrite/appropriate canonical texts from the Western theatrical tradition. While their choices might be accused of recentering and reinforcing "white" narratives that often marginalize and/or exoticize racial and ethnic others, we might also see this risky venture as a useful strategy to write oneself into a tradition that is itself constantly being revised and reevaluated and to claim that tradition as one's own. What are the artistic, cultural, and economic "rewards" for deploying this method of playmaking? What are risks? Instructor(s): Michael William Cadden
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
VIS 323/CWR 323/ENG 232/JRN 323 Writing Near Art/Art Near Writing What we'll be writing together won't quite be art criticism and it won't quite be traditional historical writing either, what we'll be writing together is something more akin to poetry, fiction, art criticism and theory fused into a multivalent mass. Keeping in mind that language can hold many things inside of itself, we'll use somatic and idiosyncratic techniques as a lens, reading a range of poets, theorists, critics, writers and artists who are all thinking with art while writing about bodies, subjectivity, landscape, and the inimitable forms that emerge from the studio. Instructor(s): Rindon Johnson
Section(s):
C01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM F