Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2020

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 365/ENG 365/GSS 365/MTD 365 Isn't It Romantic? The Broadway Musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim Song. Dance. Man. Woman. These are the basic components of the Broadway musical theatre. How have musical theatre artists, composers, lyricists, librettists, directors, choreographers, and designers worked with these building blocks to create this quintessentially American form of art and entertainment? This course will explore conventional and resistant performances of gender and sexuality in the Broadway musical since the 1940s. Why are musicals structured by love and romance? Instructor(s): Stacy E. Wolf
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ASA 224/ENG 224/GSS 226 Asian American Literature and Culture This course is an introductory survey of the major works and debates in Asian American literature and culture. We will study a variety of genres--novels, short stories, comics, memoirs, films, and science fiction--to examine how writers treat issues of racial and ethnic identity, gender, queerness, history, memory, colonialism, immigration, technology, and war. By placing Asian American subject formation in relationship to social, economic, and intellectual developments, we will explore the potential of Asian American literary texts to deepen our global and historical understanding of Asians in the U.S. and the U.S. in Asia. Instructor(s): Paul Nadal
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
ASA 360/AAS 360/ENG 285 Black and Asian in America Debates over policing, immigration, and affirmative action routinely position Black and Asian communities on opposing sides, while the model minority myth has been redeployed in the twenty-first century in the form of the Tiger Mom. How did we get here, and what do these trends mean for our daily lives? We respond to these questions by looking at fiction, film, and foodways from the last 30 years of Black-Asian relations in America. Using a comparative race and ethnic studies approach, we identify ways of thinking and talking about interracial difference that forge new paths for social, cultural, and political engagement. Instructor(s): Kinohi Nishikawa
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
CLA 208/ENG 240/LIN 208/TRA 208 Origins and Nature of English Vocabulary The origins and nature of English vocabulary, from Proto-Indo-European prehistory to current slang via Beowulf. Emphasis on linguistic tools and methodology. Topics include the Greek and Latin elements of English, the Roman alphabet and spelling, social and regional variation, the matter of "proper" language, and the "National Language" debate. Instructor(s): Joshua Timothy Katz
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T Th
P01 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM W
P02 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
P03 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P04 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
P05 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
COM 345/JDS 345/ENG 246 One Text, Many Angles: Merchant of Venice This course will place Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at the center of a many-sided scrutiny. It is a play about love, about the law (and the Law), about commerce, about Europe's discovery of the farther world, about the everlasting lure of Venice, about same-sex desire, about what it means to be a Jew, and about what Christians imagined it meant to be a Jew. The play also inserts itself in a nexus that includes many other texts, ranging from the Bible to Boccaccio to Marlowe to Philip Roth. Instructor(s): Leonard Barkan
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
COM 445/ENG 268/FRE 445 Realism and Representation: Forms of Fiction This seminar investigates pathbreaking "realist" fictions that, spurned in their own eras, are now considered "classics" indispensable to our understanding of literature. Looking closely at their heterodox use of descriptive and narrative modes incl. verbal tense, figural patterns (e.g. repetition, extended analogy, metonymy), non-"descript" speculative vocabulary, irony, embedding, and parataxis, alongside key theoretical works, we examine how these works apprehend "the real" in its relation to temporality, causality, historicity and historical reflection in general. Works ranging from Balzac and Flaubert to Dickens, Fitzgerald and Proust. Instructor(s): Claudia Joan Brodsky
Section(s):
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM W
ENG 200 Literary History A survey of great books, vivid language and unforgettable characters from the medieval period to the eighteenth century. Through the eyes of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Jane Austen and others we see our world becoming modern. We discuss early modern art, beauty, romance, desire, the will, the mind, God, sex, and death and ask whether these are fundamentally different today. We ask what some of the people, places and problems pushed to the margins during these centuries of Western European transformation can reveal about our most urgent challenges today. Instructor(s): Sophie Graham Gee
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
P02A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P03 09:00 AM - 09:50 AM Th
P04 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
ENG 204 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. Instructor(s): Sarah A. Chihaya, Monica Huerta
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 transition 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 301 Word Love: A History of English For Readers This course traces the history of the English language: from its Indo-European roots, through its earliest written records in the British Isles, and into its expanding global present. We will emphasize the unit of the word, considering how and why words change - in form, meaning, and pronunciation. What causes these changes, and what consequences result for speech and literature? Our purpose is to deepen our awareness of the powers of our morphable lexicon and syntax in its immediate context: literature. Readings will include some of the most redoubtable word-smiths in English. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson, Claudia L. Johnson
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 306 History of Criticism Space is the place. What does it mean to think about space in philosophy and literature? What does it mean to "belong" to a particular place or "feel" out of place? This course explores the dialectical tension between space and place in philosophy and critical theory, as well as in some literary works, seeking to understand the various forms of spatial imagination that either help us and hurt us, locally and globally. Instructor(s): Andrew Cole
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
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 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P02 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
P02A 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM 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): Russ Leo
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM 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 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 M
P03 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM W
P03A 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM W
P04 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 356/AMS 359/JDS 377 Topics in American Literature: American Jewish Writers: Citizens, Immigrants, and Iconoclasts American Jewish Writers adopt a variety of personae: rabbis and rascals; native-born citizens and immigrants; traditionalists and iconoclasts. Why these strategies--and how they shaped the body of fiction, poetry and nonfiction prose that we know as "American Jewish Literature"? We'll consider the historic sweep of American Jewish writing, from the 18th to the 21st century, focusing on four waves of Jewish immigration: from Austro-Hungary and Prussia, Eastern Europe, Nazi Germany, and the USSR. Students will pursue original research using the holdings of the Firestone's superb Milberg Collection of Jewish American Writers. Instructor(s): Esther Helen Schor
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 357 Topics in American Literature: Henry James and William Faulkner This course examines the careers of two of America's most accomplished novelists. Manifest differences aside, both authors were obsessed with the ensnaring effects of plot, prompting both to imagine fictional realms that are as much "designs" on the reader as on characters. Instructor(s): Lee Clark Mitchell
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
P01 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
P02 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM Th
ENG 384/ENV 383 Environmental Justice Through Literature and Film How can literature and film bring to life ideals of environmental justice and the lived experience of environmental injustice? This seminar will explore how diverse communities across the globe are unequally exposed to risks like climate change and toxicity and how communities have unequal access to the resources vital to sustaining life. Issues we will address include: climate justice, the Anthropocene, water security, deforestation, the commons, indigenous movements, the environmentalism of the poor, the gendered and racial dimensions of environmental justice, and the imaginative role of film makers and writer-activists. Instructor(s): Robert Nixon
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 385 Children's Literature A survey of classic texts written for children from the past 200 years in (primarily) England and America. We will examine the development and range of the genre from early alphabet books to recent young adult fiction. We'll try to put ourselves in the position of young readers while also studying the works as adult interpreters, asking such questions as: How do stories written for children reflect and shape the lives of their readers? What can children's literature tell us about the history of reading, or of growing up, or of the imagination itself? In the process we will consider psychological and social questions as well as literary ones. Instructor(s): William Albert Gleason
Section(s):
L01 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P01A 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P01B 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P01C 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P01D 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P01E 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P02 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM M
P02A 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM M
P03 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
P04 07:30 PM - 08:20 PM M
P05 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T
P05A 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM T
P06 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P06A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T
P07 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T
P07A 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T
P08 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM T
P08A 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM T
P09 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
P10 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
P10A 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM W
P11 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P11A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P11B 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P12 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P12A 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P12B 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM W
P13 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM W
P14 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Th
P15 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P15A 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Th
P16 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM Th
ENG 397/COM 348/AAS 397 New Diasporas: Black British Literature This is a course on the dynamic body of works produced by migrants and descendants of migrants from Africa and the Caribbean in Britain since the 1950s. How has the migrant experience transformed the British cultural landscape after the end of an empire? What does it mean to be British and Black? How have migrant writers created new aesthetic forms to respond to the meaning of postcolonial Britishness? How does writing function as a mode of imagining alternative spaces of belonging? Readings will range from the novels of migrant arrival in the 1950s and the works of Zadie Smith to "post-racial" novels by Helen Oyeyemi and Aminatta Forna. Instructor(s): Simon Eliud Gikandi
Section(s):
S01 03:00 PM - 04:20 PM M W
ENG 401 Forms of Literature: Literature and Science, from Frankenstein to the 21st C Alongside fiction and poetry that reflect on science, this course will examine some landmark papers from science itself, as well as selections from the philosophy of science. Along the way we will think through the definition of the literary, as it is thrown into relief by empiricism, objectivity, and the imagination. Likely readings will include work by Mary Shelley, T. H. Huxley, Alfred Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Tom Stoppard, Ada Lovelace, Karl Popper, Marianne Moore, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf, Werner Heisenberg, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Teju Cole. Instructor(s): Jocelyn A. Rodal
Section(s):
S01 03:00 PM - 04:20 PM T Th
ENG 409/THR 409 Topics in Drama: Theatre and Philosophy: From Plato to Hegel and Beyond Philosophy has consistently used theater throughout history as a privileged metaphor for its own, theoretical procedures. Plato regarded the artistic form of theater as morally dangerous and epistemologically counter-productive. Yet at the same time, Plato explains the seamless functioning of the ideal republic as the perfect form of theater. On the other end of the historical arc-from Hegel to Deleuze and beyond-the development of philosophical concepts was understood precisely as a dramatization or performance of some sort. Which is it, then? Is theater a competitor, a detractor, or a companion of theory in its pursuit of the truth?
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
ENG 411/AAS 413/AMS 411/THR 412 Major Author(s): August Wilson: African American Life in the 20th Century August Wilson completed what many consider the most ambitious project of any American playwright. His cycle of ten plays, one for each decade, chronicles African American life in the 20th century. We will explore all ten plays as individual drama and depictions of history. We will read standard histories to gain background and context. Instructor(s): R. N. Sandberg
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 416 Topics in Literature and Ethics: Legal and Literary Interpretation This course examines two of the many ways in which law and literature overlap with and inform each other. The first half of the course, which centers on the U.S. Constitution, examines methods of interpretation in both legal and literary texts. What are the stakes of reading texts according to their "original meaning"? Do texts mean different things at different times? What kinds of context inform our readings? The second half of the course, which uses Anthony Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds (1871) as a case study, allows us to think about how the novel engages with the law. We will focus on issues of property and gender. Instructor(s): Camey VanSant
Section(s):
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM M
ENG 448/THR 448/HUM 448/COM 440 Early Modern Amsterdam: Tolerant Eminence and the Arts Inter-disciplinary class on early modern Amsterdam (1550-1720) when the city was at the center of the global economy and leading cultural center; 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. Spring Break is in Amsterdam with museum visits, guest talks and participation in recreation of traveling theater from the period. Instructor(s): Nigel Smith
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
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 M W
GSS 373/AMS 383/ENG 332 Graphic Memoir An exploration of the graphic memoir focusing on the ways specific works combine visual imagery and language to expand the possibilities of autobiographical narrative. Through our analysis of highly acclaimed graphic memoirs from the American, Franco-Belgian, and Japanese traditions, we analyze the visual and verbal constructions of identity with an emphasis on the representation of gender dynamics and cultural conflict. Instructor(s): Alfred Bendixen
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
HUM 320/HIS 346/MED 322/ENG 233 Making Medieval Worlds: Methods and Materials This course engages the core disciplines of history, literary analysis, and archaeology to examine how people in medieval Britain and northwest Europe understood and created the physical, imaginative, and sociocultural landscapes in which they lived. Through texts, structures, and objects, we will recover what individuals in these cultures believed, how they ate, and what they longed for. We're interested in arcs of trade and political contacts, as well as in creative exchanges worked out in brilliant metalwork and unforgettable poetry. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson, Janet Elizabeth Kay
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
LAS 328/JRN 328/LAO 326/ENG 245 Immigration Debates in the United States This seminar is a course in policy analysis and journalism writing, focusing on immigration from Latin America to the United States. We will explore the historical and social factors that have made immigration a bitterly divisive issue, as context to examine current policies of the Trump administration. Reporting and writing assignments will allow students to explore immigration realities in and around Princeton, and to practice different voices of journalism, from neutral news prose to opinion editorials to tweet blasts. We will consider the role of journalists in contributing to fact-finding in the polarized national debate. Instructor(s): Julia Drury Preston
Section(s):
S01 07:30 PM - 10:20 PM T
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
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 entwined with the sibling genres of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and magical realism, this paradoxical art form presents us with conundrums. In this course, we will examine the horror genre through works of literature and film, with a focus on Russian-language works in dialogue with key works of the English-language tradition. Instructor(s): Lev A. Nikulin
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM T Th
THR 219/ENG 248 Drama and Performance Most playwrights never intended to have readers. Their work was meant to be experienced in the theater. This course uses both live theatrical productions and online resources to discuss interpretive issues raised by the acting, directing, and design choices made in specific productions of classic plays as well as the larger question of what the proper object of critical inquiry is for those interested in drama. The word "drama" derives from the Greek word for "action". Do we "deactivate" drama with a phrase like "dramatic literature"? Does our usual conception of "performance" falsely rely on the pre-existence of a thing to "act"? Instructor(s): Michael William Cadden
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
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 W
THR 406/CWR 406/ENG 250/MTD 406 Theatrical Writing Studio A workshop course designed to support advanced student theater and music theater writers in exploring possible performance of their writing. Students will investigate their writing with a focus on collaboration, performance and production. Individualized creative assignments will be suggested for each student. Students will be introduced to methodologies for producing new works and for theatrical collaboration, and will discuss the writer's point of view in the rehearsal room, physical staging, working with performers and character development, and exploring visual storytelling. Instructor(s): R. N. Sandberg, Tamsen Olivia Wolff
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM F