Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2018

AAS 242/ENG 242/GSS 242/LAS 242 Other Futures: An Introduction to Modern Caribbean Literature This course introduces students to major theories and debates within the study of Caribbean literature and culture with a particular focus on the idea of catastrophe. Reading novels and poetry that address the historical loss and injustices that have given shape to the modern Caribbean, we will explore questions of race, gender, and sexuality and pay considerable attention to the figure of the black body caught in the crosscurrents of a catastrophic history. We will analyze how writers and artists attempted to construct alternative images of the future from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the Caribbean and its diasporas. Instructor(s): Nijah Cunningham
Section(s):
S01 03:00 PM - 04:20 PM M W
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): Kinohi Nishikawa
Section(s):
L01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
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 T
AMS 310/ENG 434/ASA 310 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 Th
COM 212/THR 212/ENG 425 Learning Shakespeare by Doing A course on works of dramatic literature whose comparative dimension is theatrical performance. We will consider four Shakespeare plays covering a range of theatrical genres; the emphasis will be on the ways in which Shakespearean meaning can be elucidated when the reader becomes a performer. Students will move from the reading/performing of individual speeches to the staging of scenes to the question of how an overall theatrical conception for a play might be a key to the fullest understanding of the text. Students will write papers about their readings and performances; grades will be based on both the writing and the performing. Instructor(s): Leonard Barkan
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
COM 335/ECS 336/ENG 435/GER 336 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
COM 416/ECS 416/ENG 430/GSS 416 Class, Desire, and the Novel Literary plots involving social and erotic ambition, examined in novels from the seventeenth century to the present, as well as in films and other genres. Topics include: social climbing and descent; the marriage plot and queer alternatives to it; ambition and longing as narrative engines; the family and social order; criminals, outlaws, and rivals to the family; social class and selfhood; the relationship between gender, sexuality, and narrative structure. Instructor(s): Barry J. McCrea
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
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 208 Reading Literature: The Essay This course will introduce students to the range of the essay form as it has developed from the early modern period to our own. The class will be organized, for the most part, chronologically, beginning with the likes of Bacon and ending with some lustrous contemporary examples of, and luminous reflections on, the form. We will consider how writers as various as Bacon, Hume, Johnson, Hazlitt, Emerson, Woolf, Baldwin, and Elizabeth Hardwick define and revise the shape and scope of those disparate aspirations in prose that have come to be called collectively The Essay. Instructor(s): Jeff Nunokawa
Section(s):
L01 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM M W
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM M
P02 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
P04 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P07 12:30 PM - 01:20 PM T
P08 12:30 PM - 01:20 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 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 327/GSS 410 The English Drama to 1700 A study of English drama from its medieval origins to Restoration comedy, with special attention to major playwrights of the Renaissance (Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, John Ford) and the Restoration (William Wycherley, Aphra Behn, Mary Pix). We'll study the theatrical and political conditions that gave rise to this body of dramatic literature and its characteristic thematic obsessions (gender, sexuality, money, power, revenge, magic, wit and theatricality itself), as well as the ways in which the plays are performed today. Instructor(s): Michael William Cadden
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM 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): Susan Jean Wolfson
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM T Th
ENG 343 Word and Image: 19th Century Literature and Art This seminar explores the relationship between narrative representation and visual art in the Victorian period.Why do writers give detailed descriptions of paintings in novels? How does a painting tell a story? In addressing these questions, this course covers a variety of forms including novels, poetry, essays, paintings, sculpture, illustrations, and photography. Subjects include: portraiture and character description, literary realism and painting, depictions of work and poverty, illustrated novels, Pre-Raphaelite art and Victorian poetry, and fin de siècle aesthetics. Multiple course sessions will take place at the Princeton Art Museum. Instructor(s): Rebecca E. Rainof
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
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 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 363 Virtual Victorians Are you reading this on a screen? Technology changes how we read, but that has always been the case. In the 19th century, print technology changed the way readers experienced texts; today, technology lets us access 19th-century texts in new ways. How do digital projects reimagine literature as data and metadata? How do we decide what to preserve? We'll explore the print culture of the 19th century, learn techniques of close and distant reading, and think about how people and computers are taught to read poems. No prior experience with digital humanities tools or poetry required. Instructor(s): Meredith Anne Martin
Section(s):
S01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 372/THR 372 Contemporary Drama This course will look at a range of British and American drama from the second half of the twentieth century to the twenty-first, with an emphasis on the developments of the last twenty years. Questions will include the relevance of drama in a culture of mass entertainment, and drama as a response to history, place, and social trauma. Instructor(s): Tamsen Olivia Wolff
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM M W
ENG 374 Fighting Words, or Cultures of Protest Just five years ago Time magazine dubbed the figure of the protestor as Person of the Year, in light of Occupy movement and also the uprisings of the Arab Spring. In this course we aim to analyze the history and the inheritance of forms of protest, from the late 18th C to the present. From the Declaration of Independence to Women's Suffrage, from Gandhi's salt march to the Black Arts Movement, and from the Bolshevik to the Algerian Revolution, the course will assume a historical and transnational perspective in order to acquaint students with the specific limits and possibilities of varying protest movements. Instructor(s): Zahid Rafiq Chaudhary
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 376/THR 376 Curious Aesthetics: Twentieth-Century American Musical Theatre The musical possesses unique conventions of form and narrative. Focusing primarily on the American musical post-WWII, this course will look at the phenomenon of musical theatre, analyzing musicals both as texts and as performances. We will use a variety of critical methods to address a number of related questions, including: how do musicals work on audiences? What kinds of cultural work do musicals do? What about the experiences and form of musical theatre, the friction or fusion of song, dance, and script, makes it enduringly popular and perhaps particularly American? Instructor(s): Tamsen Olivia Wolff
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, Rebecca Mirkinson Rosen
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
P01F 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
P11 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM W
P11A 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 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 391A/AAS 391 Experimenting in Dark Times: 19th C African American Literature and Culture This interdisciplinary course explores the intersecting worlds of late 19th century African American literature, technology, aesthetics, and politics. Although this period is commonly theorized as the "Nadir," or "dark point," of Black life, it was in fact a moment of artistic and social experimentation, as black artists and intellectuals traversed a range of media to imagine new futures. We will investigate this overlooked cultural moment and develop an understanding of black experimental writing's roots. In design studio, students will design historically experimental urban projects around the text's investigated in the weekly seminar. Instructor(s): V. Mitch McEwen, Autumn M. Womack
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 391B/URB 391/ARC 200 Experimenting in Dark Times: 19th C African American Literature and Culture This interdisciplinary course explores the intersecting worlds of late 19th century African American literature, technology, aesthetics, and politics. Although this period is commonly theorized as the "Nadir," or "dark point," of Black life, it was in fact a moment of artistic and social experimentation, as black artists and intellectuals traversed a range of media to imagine new futures. We will investigate this overlooked cultural moment and develop an understanding of black experimental writing's roots. In design studio, students will design historically experimental urban projects around the text's investigated in the weekly seminar. Instructor(s): V. Mitch McEwen, Autumn M. Womack
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
U01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 394/GSS 398 Ghosts, Zombies and Liminal Creatures in Film, Literature and Photography This course explores the persistent hauntings of U.S. culture by ghosts, zombies, vampires and liminal creatures. Why did the ancient cult of the paranormal rise up with intensity after 9/11 and haunt our popular cultural forms as well as the continuing "War on Terror"? Exploring films, photographs, literature and popular culture, we engage the ritualistic presence, psychodynamics, social history, and racial and gendered underpinnings of these fascinating hauntings. Themes include: zombies, vampires, the walking dead; the shadows of slavery; return to "Indian Country"; queer sexualities and racial crossings; and environmental ghostscapes. Instructor(s): Anne McClintock
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
ENG 398/GSS 403 The Disabled Body Whose bodies count as able? Whose lives are seen as livable? Whether stigmatized as an object of pity or hypervalorized as a symbol of heroic overcoming, the disabled body is everywhere in literature and culture. Nearly all of us will experience disability if we live for long enough, yet the presumption of able-bodiedness organizes our lives as subjects and citizens. We will read disability as it is represented in literature, memoir, theory, and law to consider disability as an embodied experience and a social category, paying special attention to how disability emerges from the intersection of natural and built environments. Instructor(s): Gayle Salamon
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM T
ENG 400/MED 400 Touching Books -- An Introduction to the History of the Book This course introduces the student to some glorious examples of manuscripts and early printed books made between the 4th - 16th centuries CE in the West. We will study the aesthetic and textual programs the books reveal, the production and functions of the book, and the ethnography of reading. We will consider simulacra of books, including facsimiles, critical editions, and digitized texts. Questions include how such textual products should be used; the space of the page; and how that space is shaped by audience and editorial practices. Instructor(s): Sarah M. Anderson
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENG 412 Major Author(s): Dickens, Bronte, Eliot We will read fiction by Dickens, C. Bronte, and Eliot with an eye to the connections between their works. How did these writers influence each other and develop as novelists? Special attention to fictional autobiography and the creation of vast social panoramas. Each text combines a focus on one individual consciousness with a broadly conceived account of Victorian society, its ethos and expectations. What formal innovations do these novelists employ to represent the sensibility and psyche of the individual on the one hand and the massive network of classes and types in an industrializing society on the other? Instructor(s): Deborah Epstein Nord, Rosalind Aimee Parry
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM M
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
ENG 416/AMS 416 Topics in Literature and Ethics: Minority Literatures and Ethical Reading In a world where different peoples and cultures circulate, the task of ethically encountering difference is urgent. Yet, minority literatures across the Americas are often read as a token or symbol of their cultures, which risks reducing communities to one story. This course will consider the ethics of reading literary pieces across the Americas in relation to their cultural context, noting how authors portray the historical legacies of trauma, violence, and marginalization. Moving beyond the multicultural imperative to merely include "other" voices, we will focus instead on how we can responsibly listen to, or witness, these stories. Instructor(s): Christina A. Leon
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
ENV 332/ENG 437 Petrofiction We know that we must cease using fossil fuels with all due haste if the planet is to avert a climate catastrophe, and yet the odds of making this transition seem long. This is due not only to the political clout of Big Oil, but also to the ways in which oil saturates every aspect of life, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. Yet neither the dazzling benefits nor the dramatic damages of this ubiquitous petroculture are evenly distributed. Surveying literature, film, music and the visual arts, this course renders the material and social circuits of petroculture visible that they might be better challenged and transformed. Instructor(s): Ashley James Dawson
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th
GSS 319/AMS 320/ENG 436 U.S. Women Writers An exploration of the literary works of women writers in the United States with an emphasis on the role gender has played and continues to play in the development of literary movements and genres. Our examination of both canonical and non-canonical writings will focus on the formation of feminist literary conventions in the 19th century and their transformations in the 20th and 21st centuries. Our reading will include romantic tales, ghost stories, realistic stories, novels of immigration, thrillers, works for children, autobiographical mythmaking, poetry, and graphic novels. Instructor(s): Alfred Bendixen
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 02:50 PM M W
HUM 470/HIS 230/ENG 428 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Witness: History, Memory, and Culture Witness is a key word for our time, but what does it mean to witness? This course explores how the multiple forms of witness are shaped by--and can in turn shape--history, culture, and policy. We will focus on the holocaust, American slavery, and truth and reconciliation projects in the late 20th century, drawing on the disciplines of religion, history, law, politics, literature, journalism and visual culture. The course includes a trip to the new museum of African-American History and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. to explore how personal and material witness create public conversations about historical events. Instructor(s): Martha A. Sandweiss, Esther Helen Schor
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
SLA 417/COM 406/ENG 424/RES 417 Vladimir Nabokov In 1919, at the age of twenty, Vladimir Nabokov fled "the bloated octopus of state" of his native Russia and embarked on a dazzling bilingual literary career in emigration. This course focuses on Nabokov's masterly writing, which reflects a modernist preoccupation with narrative, temporality, and memory. The Russian and American novels are at the center of our attention, but readings include also a sampling of his shorter fiction, poetry, essays on literature, and the memoir Speak, Memory. Instructor(s): Olga Peters Hasty
Section(s):
L01 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM T Th
P01 01:30 PM - 02:20 PM T
P02 03:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
P03 02:30 PM - 03:20 PM T
THR 348/ENG 448 Bernard Shaw: Theater, Sex and Celebrity In 2016, Bob Dylan became the second person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize. The first was Bernard Shaw, arguably the first private individual in history to create a global personal brand: GBS was instantly recognizable from Shanghai to New York. He did this while using plays, speeches and polemics to attack orthodox ideas about sex, money and power and show gender and social class as performances. In this course, we follow Shaw's career as the creator of Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Major Barbara and St Joan, see and review My Fair Lady on Broadway and explore his use of celebrity to unsettle and challenge his audiences. Instructor(s): Fintan O'Toole
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM W
THR 350/ENG 449 Playing Dead: Corpses in Theater and Cinema What happens when there is a dead body on stage? Why do corpses star in so many movies? Reverence for the dead is one of the markers of humanity, bound up with the development of societies and cultures. But we also play with dead bodies, spinning stories around them that can be austere or grotesque, tragic or farcical, haunting or hilarious. Dramas and films use dead bodies to explore fear, sex, greed, guilt, innocence and grief. In this course, we contemplate corpses from Antigone to Alfred Hitchcock and from Shakespeare¿s tragedies to Stand By Me and Weekend at Bernie's and bring the dead to life. Instructor(s): Fintan O'Toole
Section(s):
S01 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM Th