Fall Courses

Fall 2015

 


English 1000: Exposition and Argumentation

Various Instructors

All Sections

Various times

 

English 1000 is a college writing course that focuses on the choices that informed writers make when discovering, developing, and revising academic papers appropriate for the given topic. We offer about 115 sections of English 1000 each semester. Read more about English 1000.

English 1000H: Honors Exposition English

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 11-11:50

Section 3: MWF 10-10:50 (students must be concurrently enrolled in Humanities 2111H)

Section 4: MWF 9-9:50

Section 5: TR 9:30-10:45

English 1060: Human Language

Matthew Gordon

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

Language is a uniquely human achievement, a development that sets us apart from other animals. It is a powerful tool that we use during our every waking hour (and during much of our sleep). Still, we rarely stop to appreciate the complex role it plays in our everyday life. This course explores language from a variety of perspectives. We will consider the structure of language, looking at how sounds combine to form words and how words combine to form sentences. To gain a sense of the diversity of linguistic structures, we will consider examples from a variety of the world’s languages. We will also investigate the social functioning of language. We will learn about American dialects and about differences in the speech of men and women. Along the way, we will take on a number of popular myths about “primitive” languages, grammar rules, the language of the media, etc. In sum, the course will teach you how to make nouns plural in Swahili, how to recognize St. Louisans by their dialect and, most importantly, how to think critically about language. Cross listed with Anthropology 1060 and Linguistics 1060.

English 1100: Reading Literature

Sheri-Marie Harrison

Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

 

Why should we study literature? The Atlantic says it makes us more human; Lifehacker.com says it teaches us how to see the bigger picture; Time Magazine says it makes us smarter and nicer. This course works toward all these things and more, by teaching students how reading and studying literature is not only pleasurable, but can also expand their cultural literacy, and improve their reading and critical thinking skills. This course emphasizes strategies for reading and the development of critical thinking skills through the study of different kinds of literary works, from various historical periods, and from different parts of the world. Its goal is to improve students' reading and communication skills as well as their ability to understand complex ideas and texts by introducing them to some of the most important works of English literature in world history. 
 
Tentative Texts
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness 
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Selected poems

 

 

 

English 1160: Themes in Literature

April Langley

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

Cross listed with Black Studies 1705.

English 1169: Storytelling across Time and Media

Joanna Hearne

Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

 

Digital Storytelling combines ancient practices of narrative with computer-based technologies (including images, text, audio and video, animation and networked communication) in a variety of media. This course provides an introduction to concepts in digital storytelling and multimedia literacy. We will discuss the study of storytelling historically and in different forms, explore theories of media, practice critical analysis of multimedia, and experiment with digital tools to create our own narratives.

 

 

Students will have opportunities to attend and participate in campus-wide and community events such as the international Digital Storytelling in Health conference and the Citizen Jane Film Festival.

English 1210: Introduction to British Literature

Various Instructors

Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 9-9:50

Section 3: MWF 12-12:50

Section 4: MWF 12-12:50

Section 5: MWF 2-2:50

Section 6: MWF 11-11:50

Section 7: MWF 11-11:50

Section 8: MWF 2-2:50

 

All sections of ENGLISH 1210 offer students an introduction to the concepts, terms, and practices commonly encountered in literary study, presented by way of texts from the history of British literature that appropriately demonstrate such concepts, terms, and practices. The goals of this course are: 1) to provide broad exposure to a national literary tradition across its history 2) to introduce the major forms of literary expression: drama, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction 3) to introduce tools for interpretation, including beginning critical and interpretive vocabulary and 4) to develop skills in literary interpretation and argumentation.

English 1310: Introduction to American Literature

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 9-9:50

Section 2: MWF 11-11:50

Section 3: MWF 2-2:50

Section 4: MWF 12-12:50

Section 5: MWF 2-2:50

Section 6: TR 11-12:15

Section 7: TR 11-12:15

Section 8: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 9: MWF 2-2:50

Section 11: MWF 10-10:50

 

All sections of ENGLISH 1310 offer students an introduction to the concepts, terms, and practices commonly encountered in literary study, presented by way of texts from the history of American literature that appropriately demonstrate such concepts, terms, and practices. The goals of this course are: 1) to provide broad exposure to a national literary tradition across its history 2) to introduce the major forms of literary expression: drama, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction 3) to introduce tools for interpretation, including beginning critical and interpretive vocabulary and 4) to develop skills in literary interpretation and argumentation.

English 1510: Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 10-10:50

Section 2: MWF 11-11:50

Section 3: MWF 12-12:50

Section 4: T 6:30-9pm

Section 5: MWF 2-2:50

Section 6: TR 12:30-1:45

 

In the Introductory Fiction class, students will learn to recognize and implement the basic elements of storytelling, such as plot, character, exposition, dialogue, setting, and point-of-view. The course will include a number of writing exercises and move toward a peer workshop, in which students deliver constructive criticism of one another’s work with the instructor as facilitator and guide. The class will generally follow a standard fiction textbook supplemented by other examples of contemporary fiction and a short story collection and/or novel.

English 1520: Creative Writing: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

Various Instructors

Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 2-2:50

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 4: TR 11-12:15

 

In this course, we will engage with a variety of nonfiction prose forms, including the essay, memoir, and autobiography. Students will gain an understanding of the craft of nonfiction through reading, discussion, and practice. The course will include a number of writing exercises and move toward peer workshop, where students read and productively critique each other’s work. Projected outcomes include: the development of clear and precise writing skills, an understanding of the genre(s), development of critical thinking skills and self-reflection, and the ability to generate meaning through writing.

English 1530: Creative Writing: Introduction to Poetry

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 2-2:50

Section 2: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45

 

In this introduction to poetry writing, students will first be introduced to current works in contemporary American poetry, studying these works as models and provocations for their own literary production. Students will also be introduced to the formal aspects of poetry—its cadences, its sounds, its focus onwords as such. Ideally, students will begin to understand that poetry is specifically a genre that depends upon the poet's attention to and command of the connotative reach of language. Ideally, students will begin to recognize that poetry is not an expression of what one already knows, but is a way of knowing.

English 1700: Introduction to Folklore Genres

Instructor

Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

 

Cross listed with Anthropology 1150. This course offers an introduction to the study of folklore, focusing on the many different genres of what folklorists call "verbal art" (folk and fairy tales, legends, jokes, personal experience stories, etc.) and material culture (foodways, rituals, vernacular housing, etc.). Students will learn to appreciate differences in cultures in the worlds in which they reside--including the university, their families, home communities, group activities, religion, ethnicity. In addition, the course will alert students to similarities among cultures providing ways for them to understand how cultures are both similar and different. Different instructors will emphasize different aspects of this course and develop their own syllabus. A good first folklore course for undergraduates to take.

English 1800: Introduction to Film Studies

Various Instructors

Screening (required for all sections): M 7-9:30pm

Section 01A: MWF 10-10:50

Section 01B: MWF 11-11:50

Section 01C: MWF 9-9:50

Section 01D: MWF 12-12:50 

Section 01E: MWF 10-10:50

 

Cross listed with Film Studies 1800. This course introduces students to the basics of film aesthetics, including mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, narrative, sound, and genre. Balancing a focus on technical elements with broader frameworks, the course also considers various critical, theoretical, ideological, and historical approaches to film studies.

English 2000: Studies in English: Literature of Faith and Doubt

Julie Melnyk

Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

  •   What does it mean to have faith? 
  •     What are the challenges of living a life of faith? 
  •   Is doubt invariably the opposite of faith?   
  •    How do people of faith deal with doubt, with suffering, with evil?
  •    How do people deal with loss of faith? with changes of faith?

 

In this course, we will read and discuss literature by believers and nonbelievers about issues of faith, doubt, and spirituality.  The focus will be on Western faith traditions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – though other traditions will be considered, and the course will include essays, fictions, and poetry.  Authors discussed will include Langston Hughes, Flannery O'Connor, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Chaim Potok, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Horton Foote, Li-Young Lee, Annie Dillard, Emily Dickinson, and Scott Cairns. 

 

English 2009-1: Studies in English, 1890 to Present: Digital Storytelling Production I

Staff

Section 1

Date and Time

 

 

English 2009-2: Studies in English, 1890 to Present: Digital Storytelling Production I

Staff

Section 2

Date and Time

 

 

English 2009-3: Studies in English, 1890 to Present: Digital Storytelling Production I

Staff

Section 3

Date and Time

 

 

English 2010: Intermediate Composition

Various Instructors

Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 12-12:50

Section 3: MWF 10-10:50

Section 4: TR 8-9:15am

 

Provides intensive guided practice in expository and persuasive writing. Prerequisite: English 1000 or equivalent.

English 2015H: Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing Seminar - Honors

Rachel Harper and Aaron Harms

Section 1

MW 2-2:50

 

2015H, “Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing,” is an English/Honors College Writing Intensive (WI) class which addresses both the theory and practice of tutoring and the foundations of good writing. Therefore, in addition to theoretical frames for what writing tutors do, it focuses on hands-on craft and practical experience working with other writers. At its heart is a shared set of assumptions about tutoring writing:

  • In order to help someone else competently, a tutor needs to have an expert command of the craft of writing herself.
  • A tutor needs to know something not only about the practical application of rhetoric and composition theory, but also about the subtleties of verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Hands-on experience from both sides of the desk is a crucial part of the process of learning to work with other writers.
  • Online tutoring is a valuable part of the skill set with both advantages and disadvantages over traditional face-to-face scenarios, and it makes considerable demands on the tutor's craft as a writer and as a reader of both prose and people.

This course also prepares students to work as writing tutors, and, in fact, doing well in it qualifies them for a part-time job in the Writing Center in future semesters. Prerequisite: English 1000. A/F.

 

Students interested in the course should contact Dr. Rachel Harper: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

This course fulfills a lower division Writing Intensive requirement and General Education Humanities credit.

English 2100-01: Writing about Literature: Transnational Literature

Chun Ye

Section 1

MWF 11-11:50 

 

This course provides instruction in the fundamentals of writing about literature and emphasizes literary research, interpretation, and criticism.  The course covers fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We’ll be reading texts that examine the transnational phenomena of migration, mobility, diaspora, and globalization. Primary texts include Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior (1975), Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee (1982), Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats (1998), Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway: A True Story (2005), Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), Tarfia Faizullah's Seam (2014), and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (2014). Prerequisite:  ENGL 1000.

English 2100-02: Writing about Literature: Love Laws in Literature

Kavita Pillai

Section 2

TR 2-3:15

Love Laws: "The law that lays down who should be loved, and how. And how much" (Roy 229). In this course, we will look at romantic relationships in novels such as The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy), White Teeth (Zadie Smith), and Maurice (E.M. Forster), and analyze what determines whose love gets society's approval, and who are disparaged and admonished for going against what is socially acceptable. Factors such as race, gender, class, caste, etc. will be some of the topics discussed using Queer Theory, Marxist Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Postcolonial Theory.

 

English 2100-03: Writing about Literature: Apocalypse Now: Technology and the Limits of the Human

Janessa Toro

Section 3

MWF 12-12:50 (English majors only)

 

How much do we rely on technology? As technologies increase, how do the definitions of what counts as a "technology," a "tool," a "technique," and even a "skill" expand? Where does the human end and the technological begin? These are the core questions that will guide our reading and writing for this course that explores the intersections of technology and humanity. In a time when various forms of technology are a part of our everyday lives, we look to literature to examine the fraught relationship between our bodies and the technologies that organize our lives, influence our actions, and perform a tremendous amount of daily work for us. Anthropologists tell us that the Western concept of "technology" is based upon a strong divide between nature and culture (the organic and the "man-made"), and for decades scholars have been searching for ways to re-imagine this boundary and collapse the divide. This course will lead us into the fictional apocalypse of some of those solutions from the cyborg to the post-human. Texts for the course may include non-fiction essays as a base for our literary analysis as well as fictional works such as the following: E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops," Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, William Gibson's  Pattern Recognition, Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis, and even films such as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.  This class will require a series of essays. Prerequisite: English 1000.

English 2100-04: Writing about Literature: Nature, Harmony, and Violence

Eric Russell

Section 4

MWF 9-9:50 

 

By employing various critical and theoretical approaches that help us understand and question the human relationship with nature, we will confront two paradoxes that characterize the literature of American Romanticism: one paradox in which nature is celebrated as it is destroyed; and another paradox in which nature is viewed as both morally regenerative and savagely violent.  We will explore, among other issues, John James Audubon’s science, in which his gun is his primary instrument; Poe’s Gothic take on natural history exploration; Susan Fenimore Cooper’s class-based nature ethic; Melville’s unsettling examination of human hubris in the face of nature’s power; Thoreau’s Transcendental search for holism in dynamic nature; and Dickinson’s turbulent lyrics of human emotion and natural beauty.  Prerequisite: English 1000.    

English 2100-06, Writing about Literature: Celebrities, Literature, and Fame

James Hayden

Section 6

MWF 1-1:50

 

Celebrities. They seem to be everywhere, don't they?  We find them on the news, in reality television, in magazines, on the radio, and smattered throughout our Twitter feeds.  Yet one of the last places we tend to look for stardom is also one of the oldest institutions of celebrification: literature.  From Mark Twain to Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison to Stephen King, or Tina Fey to Colson Whitehead, the literary field is a crucial space for interrogating the methods, meanings, uses, and contradictions of celebrity.  Drawing on literary, contextual, and media sources, as well as literary, cultural, and celebrity theory, we will consider the implications literature brings to the ways we think about stardom socially and textually.  More generally, the contemplation of literary celebrity will act as a case study that introduces students to a range of methods pertinent to interpreting, analyzing, researching, and writing about literature. 

 

Prerequisite: English 1000.

English 2030: Professional Writing

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 10-10:50

Section 2: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 3: TR 11-12:15

 

Introduction to the communication required in any professional field, including basic letters and resumes, reviews, reports, and electronic networking, culminating in an extensive report and a related oral presentation. Prerequisite: English 1000.

English 2150: Popular Literature: Literature of Baseball

Gabriel Fried

Section 3

MWF 2-2:50

 

Baseball is commonly hailed as the most literary, the most poetic of sports. Over the past century, it has been represented in countless novels, stories, poems, and plays, and has spawned its own brand of essay and memoir. This course is a survey of literature about baseball. Through reading assorted literary works (as opposed to sports writing) in a variety of genres, we will consider why baseball has been such a prevalent muse for such a variety of American writers and how it has been represented, all while honing our skills as readers of and writers about literature. As we do so, we will discuss the ways in which these writers use baseball as a context to portray other aspects of American life and culture. Authors may include Roger Angell, Jim Bouton, Don Delillo, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bernard Malamud, Marianne Moore, & August Wilson. This course is Writing Intensive.

English 2159: Introduction to World Literature, 1890 to Present

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 11-11:50

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45

 

This is an introductory course in world literature, focusing mainly on texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is designed to expose you to the literature of culturally and geographically diverse peoples, with attention to the way texts and authors relate to their different social and historical contexts. The course aims to help you understand and enjoy literature representing multiple genres and cultural perspectives, as well as to improve skills in critical thinking and reading. Assignments may include short papers, presentations, quizzes and exams.

English 2200H: Studies in British Literature - Honors: 19th Century Women Writers

Julie Melnyk

Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

 

 In this course we will study works by six important British women writers of the nineteenth century: three poets (Felicia Hemans, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Christina Rossetti) and three novelists (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and George Eliot).  The work of these women spans almost the whole of this century of dramatic change in culture, politics, religion, and women's lives, contexts crucial to our reading.  We will examine the development of women's writing across the century and the contribution of women writers to literature and to larger debates about religion, ethics, social change, and women's roles

 

English 2300: Studies in American Literature: American Fiction and the Idea of Government

Andrew Hoberek

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

What is the purpose of government?  Does it help or hinder people in achieving their goals?  Who benefits from government, and why?  While these are timely questions--especially with a presidential election year coming up--they have been around, in one form or another, since before the United States' founding.  Beginning with the influential discussion of government in Benjamin Franklin's The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, we will consider a range of fictional representations of government from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, asking how Americans' conception of government has changed, how it has remained the same, and what it can teach us about our role as citizens today.

English 2309: Studies in American Literature, 1890 to Present: The Graphic Novel

Andrew Hoberek

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

This class serves as a survey of the graphic novel from the period in the mid-1980s when it broke off from its cousin the comic book and begin to achieve literary and artistic respectability. We'll look at graphic narratives from a range of genres, including non-fiction memoirs, journalism, and the superhero story. Examples of works we might read include Art Spiegelman's Maus, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, and Chris Ware's Building Stories.  This will also be a writing intensive class, so come prepared to write and revise as well as read!

English 2400: Introduction to African Diaspora Literature

Clenora Hudson-Weems

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

(Cross listed with Black Studies 2400.) Theorizing Africana Literature is an undergraduate course designed to introduce students to 20th and 21st Centuries Africana Literature & Theory.  The turn of the 20th century in the Africana literary world is marked by the WEB DuBois & Booker T Washington Controversy, along with Marcus Garvey, which ushered us into the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.  Major poets of that era to be discussed include James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes & Countee Cullen.  Next was the WEB DuBois-Alain Locke Debate of the 30s, a precursor to the cultural & literary debates of the searing 60s, which followed the inception of the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s, ignited by the 1955 brutal lynching of 14-year-old Black Chicago Youth, Emmett Till.  This incident was followed by Rosa Parks’ demonstration & Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership in the CRM.  The searing 60s highlights the Black Arts/Black Aesthetics Movement, with Amiri Baraka & Larry Neale, the prime movers.  The 70s continued the Movement of the 60s, with Black Aesthetician Richard Barksdale, theorizing on it beyond that period, while the 80s ushered in Molefi Asante’s Afrocenticity.  The latter part of the 20th & early 21st centuries highlight the Africana literary and theoretical works of several Africana theorists in general, including Robert L.Williams--Ebonics & Maulana Karenga--7 Principles & Kwanzaa.  Moreover, there are several Africana women theorists, including chief black feminists Barbara Smith & bell hooks & Africana Womanist Clenora Hudson-Weems, who set forth literary theories as tools of analysis for Black women writers.  To validate the relevancy/applicability to our lives in the world place, we will also consider the political climate surrounding the 1st Africana American President, via studying Africana Womanism & Race & Gender in the Presidential Candidacy of Barack Obama.

 

The focus on the mid and latter part of the 20th century and the early 21st century will highlight the Africana literary and theoretical works of several known Africana theorists listed above, as well as James Baldwin and Addison Gayle, early chief proponent of Black Aesthetics. Literary works augmenting theoretical concepts include Toni Morrison’s Home.

 

The main objective of the course is to introduce students to Africana literature and Africana theoretical constructs as an authentic way of interpreting Africana texts. 

English 2510: Creative Writing: Intermediate Fiction

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 11-11:50

Section 2: TR 11-12:15

Section 3: TR 8-9:15am 

 

 

Intermediate Fiction challenges students to identify, analyze, and imitate diverse narrative strategies. Instructors may choose to concentrate on a theme, a genre, or some other organizing principle. In any case, the focus will shift from basic story elements to a more nuanced discussion of narrative moves, genre conventions, character types and archetypes, modes of representation, and stylistic variations. Instructors may also choose to address cultural difference as a factor in storytelling. Students will learn to evaluate the rhetorical choices of published authors and their own peers. Instructors of Intermediate Fiction assume some familiarity with the workshop method, though students will certainly continue to master this technique as they progress through the emphasis area. This course will likely include a variety of texts from anthologies such as Best American Short Stories, Best American Non- Required Reading, or O Henry Prize Stories, to classic and contemporary novels and short story collections.

English 2520: Creative Writing: Intermediate Nonfiction Prose

Instructor

Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

 

Intermediate Nonfiction Prose challenges students to identify, analyze, and employ diverse narrative strategies. The course seeks to sharpen critical reading skills, to foster a generous and productive peer-critique environment, and cultivate increased autonomy in writing. Students will deepen their understanding of the craft of nonfiction through reading, discussion, and practice. Forms studied will include personal essay, lyric essay, and memoir. Projected outcomes include: the development of self-directed writing, the honing of editing skills, and a further development of critical thinking and interpretation skills.

English 2530: Creative Writing: Intermediate Poetry

Instructor

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

In this intermediate course in poetry writing, students will continue to read current works in contemporary American poetry, studying these works as models and provocations for their own literary production. Students will also be introduced to traditional prosody and to traditional forms, adapting these forms to their own poetry-in-progress.

English 2560: Beginning Playwriting

Staff

Section 1

TR 2-3:15 with lab T 7-10pm

 

Cross listed with Theatre 2920. Study and practice of playwriting fundamentals; emphasizes the one-act play. Students will read and analyze several one-act plays as part of the coursework, and will also produce a ten-minute play for competition in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

English 2601: Languages of Africa

Kristopher Ebarb

Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

 

This course introduces the linguistic study of African languages. With an emphasis on sound patterns and word and sentence structure, the course focuses on linguistic properties that are typical in Africa’s major language families and those that are rare outside of Africa. The course also touches on issues in sociolinguistics, language contact, typology, and language classification.

English 2830: American Film History I, 1895 to 1950

Abigail Manzella

Section 1

TR 11-12:15 with screening M 6-8:30

 

This course examines American film history from the earliest inventions in the field to the start of the Cold War.  Some films we may watch include foundational silent films such as The Great Train Robbery and Within Our Gates, early talkies like The Jazz Singer, and later films like Shadow of a Doubt.  We will also cover various genres like screwball comedies, film noir, and thrillers while getting to know the people in front of and behind the cameras like Thomas Edison, D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Katharine Hepburn.  Our analysis will consider these films, and outside readings will elucidate our understanding of them in relationship to narrative and history. 

 

 

 

English 2860: Film Themes and Genres: Zombies R Us

LuAnne Roth

Section 1

TBA

 

(Cross listed with Film Studies 2860)

 

Increasingly, the living dead are shuffling across the landscape of America in films, video games, comic books, and “zombified” literary classics.  Few monsters have captured the national imagination as pervasively as these curious and contagious creatures.  Starting with the assumption that zombie films are rich cultural texts, this class seeks to understand this immensely popular – albeit often maligned – cultural phenomenon.  We will apply a variety of theories to examine the paradox of how zombies can be alternately horrifying and hilarious and how zombies embody societal anxiety about almost everything – from slavery, communism, and capitalism to disease, bio-terrorism, and scientific experimentation gone amok.  If Annalee Newitz’s claim is true – that “nothing is more dangerous than a monster whose story is ignored” – then this course offers valuable intellectual weaponry.  Learning Objectives:Understand how film genres develop and evolve; Learn the history of the zombie genre; Critically analyze the significance of zombies in different cultural contexts; Collaborate effectively with others to create an original contribution to the genre.  Warning: this class is not for the faint of heart.

  

Required Texts: American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Living Dead in Popular Culture (Bishop 2010); I Am Legend (Matheson 1954); Race, Oppression & the Zombie: Essays on Cross-Cultural Appropriations of the Caribbean Tradition (Moreman/Rushton 2011); and Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead (Moreman/Rushton 2011).

English 3100: Introduction to Literary Theory

Raymond Ronci

Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

 

The term Literary Theory is nowadays synonymous with what we call Critical Theory. The theories and practices that once applied only to the study of literature are now used to critically examine all aspects of life. In a sense, the whole world is a text to be read, studied and analyzed.

 

Proceeding from the premise that what we know is always rooted in how we know we will examine the different ways in which our media act as metaphors. We will study how thinking and perception have changed as we evolved from an oral culture to a print-based culture to a television culture and now to a digital culture.

 

For the first part of the semester we will address the question: Why do I think what I think? by reading Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves To Death followed by Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains and concluding with a collection of essays edited by Mark Bauerlein called The Digital Divide: Arguments For and Against Facebook, Google, Texting and The Age of Social Networking.

 

For the second part of the semester we will address the question: What exactly do I think and how have our media metaphors shaped our sense of reality? We'll begin this part of the course by reading Benjamin Barber's Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole followed by Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and The Triumph of Spectacle.

 

The sum of the semester's reading raises some very compelling and important questions: Are you really free and do you really think for yourself? Is true democracy possible in a Capitalist economy? How do we develop the critical thinking skills required to negotiate the complex terrain of a mass media world? How do we sustain our role as citizens in a culture predicated on consumerism? The goal of the course is to provide students with the necessary knowledge required to read the world as a text and to think critically and independently about it. 

English 3110: Special Themes in Literature: Arthurian Legends, Past and Present

Lee Manion

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

Why is the story of King Arthur one that is frequently alluded to or retold today? What relation do a pseudo-historical king, his Round Table of knights, and aristocratic damsels have to modern society? This course traces the myth of King Arthur from its origin in the Middle Ages to its later retellings in Victorian and modern literature as well as in contemporary comic books, television, and film. We will study the representation of Arthurian characters, such as Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and Gawain; how this legend of chivalry and romantic love has been employed to debate politics and ethics in its own time; and how Arthurian stories have been used creatively to produce a "medievalism" in today's popular culture that responds to our own fantasies and fears. Readings will range from Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain to Thomas Malory's encyclopedic Le Morte Darthur, from Alfred Tennyson's Idylls of the King to Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave, from the parodic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail to the epic film King Arthur

English 3110: Special Themes in Literature: History of Science Fiction

Noah Heringman

Section 3

MWF 11-11:50

 

We will trace the history of science fiction from its widely acknowledged starting point, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), to some of the most recent fictions of global catastrophe by Margaret Atwood and China Mieville.  Along the way, we'll pay particular attention to the importance of women writers in this tradition as both critics and apologists of the scientific enterprise.  We'll try to assess how much science writers and readers ought to know about science to open up some broader questions about science and public culture.  To that end, students will be asked to write essays on popular science and the history of science as well as more typical literary analyses.  Throughout the course, we will attend to the overarching themes of exploration and discovery, empire and colonization, and environmental decline, and we will engage with the rich afterlives in film and other media of many of these fictions, beginning with Frankenstein.  Other authors on the syllabus include Edgar Allan Poe, H. G. Wells, Ursula Le Guin, Samuel Delany, and Kim Stanley Robinson.

 

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature, 1890 to Present: Buddhism and Contemporary American Poetry

Raymond Ronci

Section 2

MWF 12-12:50

 

The years immediately following WW II left, for many people, both an artistic and a spiritual void in American culture. Many artists, musicians and writers looked to the East for some kind of spiritual and aesthetic inspiration and discovered that Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, provided them with both.

 

We'll begin the semester with the study of some core Buddhist texts: The Heart Sutra: Seng-ts'-an's Trust in Mind; Hui Neng's Platform Sutra; Huang Po's Transmission of Mind; Excerpts from Ta Hui's Swampland Flowers; Excerpts from The Lin Chi Lu -- teachings of Master Rinzai; Chinul's On Cultivating Mind; So Sahn's The Mirror of Zen; Bankei's Ryumon-ji Sermons.

 

 

Following the core teachings of Zen, we'll examine the poetry of Layman Pang, Muso Soseki, Ikkyu Sojun, Daigu Ryokan, Hakuin Ekaku and others. The basic teachings of Zen coupled with the poetry of Zen practitioners will provide us with the foundation of knowledge necessary to consider Buddhism's impact on Contemporary American Poetry. Among the American poets to be studied are: Diane Di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Norman Fischer, Sam Hamill, Jane Hirschfield, Robert Kelly, Joanne Kyger, Michael McClure, Harryette Mullen, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Chase Twichell, Anne Waldman, Tess Gallagher, Andrew Schelling, and so on.

 

Strictly speaking, Buddhism is not a religion because the historical Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha, also known as Shakyamuni Buddha, was neither a god nor a prophet. The teachings of the Buddha amount to this: Sit in meditation and see for yourself. From this perspective an aesthetic evolved: Right here, right now, what is this very moment? What does it mean when people employ the phrase, Zen and The Art Of... What makes something Zen? What is Zen poetry? These are questions we will examine during the semester.

 

Note: the instructor for this class is an ordained Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk. It is recommended, but not required, that students attend a Zen meditation session with the MU Buddhist Association on campus, and/or at Hokoku-An Zendo in Columbia. Details will be given in class.

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature, 1890 to Present: Young Adult Literature

Dana Kinnison

Section 3

MWF 11-11:50

 

The genre of young adult literature is a relatively recent phenomenon because the recognition of a separate and distinct developmental space between childhood and adulthood only came about in the early 20th century. Currently, however, we are in what some critics are calling a golden age of YA literature. In this course, we will look at the evolution of YA literature, the difficulty of defining its boundaries, and the subgenres that have found success with readers (not only realism and the problem novel, but also fantasy and the recent explosion of dystopian fiction). We will read modern classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Catcher in the Rye, as well as more recent acclaimed and popular works like The Hunger Games, Walter Dean Myers’ Monster, John Green’s Looking for Alaska, and so on. (Exact reading list not yet determined.) Students will also have the opportunity to share a title of their own choosing, perhaps a work that remains a personal favorite or was powerfully influential in their maturation.

 

 

English 3180: Survey of Women Writers

Aliki Barnstone

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45 with screening T 7-9:30pm

 

Cross listed with Women and Gender Studies 3180.

 

This writing intensive historical survey of women writers will explore poetry, fiction, non-fiction prose, theory, and film by or about women, whose theme is "Women Finding their Voices: Gender, Diversity, and Influence." We will consider the prohibitions against women’s self-expression and artistic expression. As we read and view films, we will collectively develop a vocabulary for discussing the ways in which women deal with gender in their art, as well as the ways that women writers, visual artists, and filmmakers are influenced, emboldened, and empowered by their foremothers. 

 

This is an exploratory course whose main objectives are to read extensively, write often and expansively, experiment, to make discoveries, and to enthusiastically reveal them to the class. We'll also consider the ways in which the new media interacts with past media, as well as the possibilities that the new media provides now and in the future. To this end, I invite you to experiment with text, visual art, video, and music in your notebooks and on your blogs.In addition to reading texts and images, this course focuses on process, so I will provide you with writing games and prompts. We will apply my formula, play + practice = work, to the whole course, which I believe will lead to even more informed critical thinking.  

 

Required writing: You will keep a physical notebook and a blog. You compose a minimum of seven blog posts. I encourage you to accompany your written blog posts with images, videos, and sounds. Of these seven blog posts, you will revise four (one for each genre – poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and film) into more formal, critical readings of the texts.

 

Attending film screenings is required. A sampling of some of the films we may view includes Miss Representation, Selma, Gentleman’s Agreement, The Children’s Hour, The Namesake, Orlando, Bright Star, My Brilliant Career, Mansfield Park, and Across the Universe.

 

Required Texts:

 

1.      Sandra M. Gilbert & Susan Gubar, The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, Third Edition, Two-Volume Set. W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-93015-3.

 

2.      Nella Larson (author), Carla Kaplan (editor). Passing, A Norton Critical Edition. W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-97916-9.

 

3.      Jhumpa Lahiri. The Namesake. Mariner Press. 13-ISBN: 978-0618485222     

 

4.      Min Jin Lee. Free Food for Millionaires. Grand Central Press. ISBN-10: 8991684467 ISBN-13: 978-8991684461 ASIN: B0029LHX2G.

English 3200: Survey of British Literature, Beginnings to 1784

Anne Myers

Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

 

This course will introduce you to some of the greatest hits of British literature written between the tenth and eighteenth centuries. These are works you will never forget; they are by turns funny, sad, bawdy, strange, intellectual, beautiful and complex. They are drawn from multiple genres, including, poetry, novel, essay and drama. The course will give you the opportunity to consider relationships between literature and history, as well as between literature and other media, including performance and and the visual arts. Discussions and paper assignments will help you think, speak and write about literature with greater precision and confidence. Texts are likely to include Anglo-Saxon Riddles, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's King Lear, selections from John Milton's Paradise Lost and Frances Burney's comic novel, Evelina

 

Students will complete two 5-6 page critical papers or projects, quizzes, a midterm and a final exam. 

 

 

English 3200: Survey of British Literature, Beginnings to 1784

Stephen Karian

Section 2

TR 9:30-10:45

 

This course will examine major works of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period through the eighteenth century. We will study these works in relation to three major topics: heroism, love, and travel. The structure for this course will therefore permit a comparative approach that allows us to understand the changes and continuities evident in early British literature, and specifically how British writers and readers grappled with ideals of heroism, patterns of romantic attachment, and the fictional uses of travel narratives. We will also examine the problematic aspects of each of these topics.

 

Textbook information:

The required textbook for this course is The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, ed. Stephen Greenblatt. But there are different versions of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, even for the 8th edition, so you need to be careful about which version you purchase.

 

For this class, you want the first half of the Norton Anthology, either Volume 1 or what is known as Package 1. I prefer Package 1 so that I don't have to carry one big book around with me all semester. Instead Package 1 splits the original book into 3 manageable volumes, labeled A (The Middle Ages), B (The Sixteenth Century/The Early Seventeenth Century), and C (The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century).

 

The ISBN for the 3-volume set of Package 1 is: 978-0-393-92833-4  OR  0-393-92833-0

 

Each of the three volumes has its own ISBN:

 

Volume A: 978-0-393-92717-7  OR  0-393-92717-2

 

Volume B: 978-0-393-92718-4  OR  0-393-92718-0

 

Volume C: 978-0-393-92719-1  OR  0-393-92719-9

 

 

 

But if you like carrying one big book, then you can order Volume 1:

 

In hardback (for those of you who want to burn more calories):

 

978-0-393-92713-9  OR  0-393-92713-X

 

 

 

Or in paperback:

 

978-0-393-92531-9  OR  0-393-92531-5

 

English 3210: Survey of British Literature, Romanticism to the Present

Elizabeth Chang

Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

 

This course is designed to introduce you to some major authors and works in the literature of the British Isles written during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, otherwise known as the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Contemporary eras. We will look at some of the major literary, cultural, and historical developments of each time period, and try to balance our time between big-picture considerations of large themes and close readings of individual poems and prose passages. Our main interest will be tracing the influence of the literature of the British Empire around the globe in colonial and postcolonial fiction. To do so, we will read some long novels as well as some short poems and discuss these works both separately and in dialogue with each other.The class will be a mix of lecture, discussion, and student presentation; much of our discussion time will be spent looking closely at poems or short prose passages. There will be quizzes, multiple short writing assignments, and three essay exams. 

English 3210: Survey of British Literature, Romanticism to the Present

Julie Melnyk

Section 2

MWF 2-2:50


Historical survey of British literature from the Romantic period to the present, emphasizing important writers and significant intellectual and cultural movements.  Texts: The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, Volume B; George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss.  Prerequisite: EN1000.

English 3300: Survey of American Literature, Beginnings to 1865

Alexandra Socarides

Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

 

This course will provide a survey of American literature between the colonial period and the Civil War. We will read in a wide variety of genres including poetry, sermons, autobiography, essays, songs, letters, journalism, and political tracts. Writers will include those most well known from the period (for example: Anne Bradstreet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Herman Melville) and those whose work has been long forgotten but helped shape history in crucial ways (for example: David Walker, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, and Lydia Sigourney). We will turn our attention to the variety of issues with which all of these writers were concerned (including slavery, women’s rights, nature, the role of the imagination, nation building) and focus on the ways in which they navigated these problems through their choice of literary genre. This is a discussion-based course in which students are asked to do a combination of individual writing assignments and group projects.

English 3300: Survey of American Literature, Beginnings to 1865

John Evelev

Section 2

MWF 11-11:50

 

 The first part of the survey of American literature begins by asking first how we define the start of American experience (does it begin with Native American oral traditions, the contact literature of European 'discovery' or Puritan settlement) and moves through the varieties of literary forms that shaped written attempts to convey the experience of living on this continent, ranging from the sermons, captivity narratives and tales of witchery of the Puritans, to the political treatises of the Revolutionary era, short stories and novels of the early 19th century, culminating in the flowering of literature during the Romantic era.

Required work: multiple short papers, occasional group projects, short answer tests.

English 3310: Survey of American Literature, 1865 to present

Frances Dickey

Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

 

This course covers major authors and issues in American literature from the end of the Civil War to the present time.  Syllabus will include representative works from the American Renaissance (Whitman and Dickinson), Regionalism (Twain, Chesnutt, Chopin), Realism and Naturalism (James, Wharton, Crane, and Dreiser), the Harlem Renaissance (Cullen, Toomer, Hughes), modernism (Frost, Eliot, Pound, Stevens, Stein, Faulkner), and the postwar era (O’Connor, Welty, Lowell, Plath, Bishop, Ginsberg, etc).  The course will emphasize class discussion and frequent short writing assignments; assessments include reading checks and exams.

English 3310: Survey of American Literature, 1865 to present

Maureen Konkle

Section 3

TR 8-9:15am

 

This course covers the major intellectual movements from the close of the Civil War to the present day and particularly tracks the emergence of multicultural, multiethnic, even multinational US writing over the course of the twentieth century.  We will read works that range from reassuringly cozy post-Civil War regionalism to modernist psychological complexity to postmodern experimentation and beyond in poetry, short stories, novels, and at least one comic.  Our reading will be supplemented by film and other visual media.  Course work will include reading quizzes, midterm and final, a presentation, and a research paper.

 

English 3400: Survey of African American Literature, Beginnings to 1900

 

April Langley

Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

 

Cross listed with Black Studies 3400. This writing intensive course is a survey of major authors and movements in African American literature from its beginnings to 1900. This course focuses on African American oral traditions—in the form of folktales, songs, sermons, prose, and poetry, and explores the implications of social, political, and cultural influences of early American literature and the implications of such influences for the twenty-first century. 

English 3560: Intermediate Playwriting

Staff

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

Same as THEATR 3920. Intermediate study of the writing process as applied to theatre, leading to the creation of a full-length play to be considered for production. Prerequisites: ENGLSH 2560. Students will read and analyze several full-length plays as part of the coursework, and will also produce a ten-minute play for competition in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. 

English 3570: Performance of Literature

Faculty

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

 

English 3700: American Folklore: Legends, Rumors, and Conspiracy in Film

LuAnne Roth

Section 1

TBA

 

This course examines three major folklore genres (legend, rumor, and conspiracy theory), focusing especially on those that manifest in different forms of digital media (film, television, Internet, social media, news, etc.). From AIDS aggression and cannibalism to aliens, ghosts, and zombies, this class explores a broad range of anxiety-producing “belief complexes.” In doing so, the class poses and seeks to answer such key questions as: How are legends related to rumor and conspiracy theory?  How and why are legends transmitted and performed?  How do these belief complexes shape human behavior?  The films, assignments, and in-class activities are designed to provide students with the content knowledge and skills necessary to:  Identify and document variants of legend, rumor, and conspiracy theory in context; Critically analyze the performance of different variants in context; Understand how these folklore genres are transmitted and disseminated; Engage in discussion and debate about the significance of these belief complexes.  

 

Required texts include: Aliens, Ghosts & Cults: Legends We Live (2001), Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease & Death in Contemporary Legend (2005); Film, Folklore & Urban Legends (2008); Conspiracy Theory in Film, Television, & Politics (2008); and Conspiracy Cinema: Propaganda, Politics, & Paranoia (2012).

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: Mindful Writing

Donna Strickland

Section 3

MWF 1-1:50

 

As important as writing is to most of us who study English or any academic discipline, it is also often one of the hardest things we do. If you're like me, you may find that you procrastinate when given a writing assignment, and you may find it hard to complete longer writing projects (like research-based papers and essays, book-length projects, theses, and dissertations). This course is intended to address these difficulties by working with issues of motivation and control of writing. We'll work with “mindfulness” practices, including non-sectarian meditation and breathing awareness, in order to help facilitate greater focus. All students will also need to be able to commit to writing for at least 15 minutes every day and reporting on their writing process. In short, this course is meant to address the whole process of writing rather than the final product.

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: The Creative Writing Classroom: Practice and Pedagogy

Cornelius Eady

Section 4

MW 1-3:30

 

Class meets only during the first 8-week session. This is a class that will show the student the various strategies used to teach the craft of creative writing (Poetry, Fiction & Non-Fiction). The first four weeks will concentrate on pedagogy, the last four weeks on Practice, in the field, at a local high school. By the end of this course, the student will design and produce a working syllabus with outline to show how they would approach teaching an 8-week creative writing course.

English 4060/7060: Studies in Critical Theory: Blues and Jazz Aesthetic

Christopher Okonkwo

Section 2

TR 9:30-10:45

 

In their significations as music, experience and condition of existence, and a vernacular way of conceiving and contemplating beauty in works of imagination, blues and jazz have deep and complex roots in African American experience, history, and culture, although their content and form track back (indirectly) to Africa and Europe, and their influences are now global. For decades, especially since the New Negro Movement or Harlem Renaissance, African American artists, thinkers, activists, and literary theorists, in this case, have recognized and tapped into the stupendous expressivity of the two entwined cultural forms, employing them in astonishing and multilayered fashions in their political, creative and philosophical projects. In this course, then, we will explore blues and jazz, purposely conjoined here, as a polysemous idiom in twentieth- through twenty-first-century African American literature and culture. In addition to charting the histories of both genres, sampling blues and jazz music proper, and engaging with blues and jazz theories, our main goal is to consider the depth to which this aesthetic can help us illuminate the contexts, themes, and styles of select African American polemics, poetry, short stories, novels, and plays from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. Of particular interest to us will be interconnected ideas of “blue note,” “democracy” and especially “improvisation” which are seen as key elements of both forms.

 

 

English 4100/7100: Genres: Fairytales

Maureen Konkle

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

This course surveys the fairy tale genre from its emergence during the Renaissance to its proliferation in popular culture today.  We'll look at its use as a vehicle for criticism of the aristocracy in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, its seeming confinement to children in the nineteenth century, and its reclamation as a genre fit for adults in the twentieth century and beyond.  Our reading will be organized around three overarching questions:  What kind of subversive potential has the genre had and does it retain?  In relation to the present moment, is it true as one scholar argues that fairy tales have become our myths--that is, a collection of stories that tells us who we are and how we ought to behave? Whether or not they are our myths, what are we supposed to be getting from fairy tales today?  Representative texts include stories by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson; The Arabian NightsAlice in Wonderland; fiction by Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, C.S. Lewis, and Neil Gaiman; Disney films, television shows such as Fractured Fairy Tales and Grimm; and comics, including the series Fables.  Course work will include reading quizzes, midterm and final, and a multi-part semester-long project.

English 4159/7159: World Literatures, 1890 to Present: Postcolonial Literature

Sheri-Marie Harrison

Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

 

Postcolonial literature is literature produced by formerly colonized nations, including India, Pakistan, the West Indies, various countries in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and others. This literature and theory is primarily is concerned with how colonial subjects are produced in and by Empire. This course will explore the how postcolonial literature “writes back” to Empire, by engaging with themes like identity, belonging, exile, place, language, sovereignty, and hybridity. To this end we read a number of the most influential theorists of postcolonialism as well as some of the novels that have been of particular importance to debates and discussions in the field. Our goal will include: learning how to discuss, and analyze postcolonial texts; learning how race, class, gender, history, and identity are presented and problematized in the literary texts; improving our understanding of the relationship between colonial powers and nations that once were colonized; and learning how to critically evaluate and appropriate key concepts and theories in postcolonial studies when analyzing a range of colonial and postcolonial literary texts.

English 4166/7166: Major Authors, Beginning to 1603: Shakespeare: Comedies and Histories

Lee Manion

Section 1

TR 2-3:15

 

Shakespeare was praised by his contemporary Ben Jonson as being both the "Soul of the age" and "not of an age, but for all time." This course approaches the comedic and historical plays that Shakespeare wrote through Jonson's paradoxical view, examining how such drama could be said to capture the soul or spirit of the English Renaissance while also appearing timeless. Our reading will pair humorous elements of cross-dressing, mistaken identity, marriage, and witty banter in the comedies with weighty political problems of authority and power stemming from the troubled history and scheming of the English monarchy in the histories. Plays will likely include the histories Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, and Henry V and the comedies Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, and Twelfth Night. By pairing film versions with the plays themselves (such as the BBC's The Hollow Crown and Joss Whedon's jazzy Much Ado About Nothing) we also will explore the relationship of performance and adaptation to interpretation.

English 4168/7168: Major Authors, 1789 to 1890: Jane Austen

Lily Gurton-Wachter

Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

 In this class we will develop our close reading skills as we move slowly and carefully through the novels of Jane Austen. Our discussions will investigate a wide range of topics, from how Austen delineates the nuances of feeling, sympathy, and attachment, to her formal innovations in realism, irony, and the representation of interiority. We will consider how Austen used the novel form to comment on the major social and political issues of her time, to explore issues of gender, politics, history, and class, and to develop new ways of thinking about the experience of reading and the work of literature. Supplementary materials will include poetry by Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, and Wordsworth, political texts by Burke, Godwin, and Wollstonecraft, visual art from the period, a selection of Austen’s letters, and a range of literary criticism devoted to understanding Austen’s style. Students will write regular close reading papers, a longer research essay on a topic of their choice, and give at least one oral presentation on their research.

 

English 4169/7169: Major Authors, 1890 to present: Don DeLillo and Susan Choi

Abigail Manzella

Section 1

TR 2-3:15

 

Don DeLillo has long been considered one of the most esteemed living U.S. writers, and Susan Choi has gained attention as an important writer of the 21st century, but why read their work next to each other when their births are separated by over thirty years? Beyond the fact that both are living authors in New York City, they ask similar questions about what it means to live within the U.S. during the last hundred years.  Both engage with and avoid their own ethnic backgrounds of Italian-ness and Korean/Russian Jewishness respectively, both write about political history and its mediated presentation such as in the cases of the JFK assassination and the Patty Hearst kidnapping, and both critique academia.  At the same time, their aesthetics show us the power of seemingly simple presentation choices such as point of view and organizing time. We will investigate DeLillo and Choi’s observations on the page as well as read others’ commentaries on them in the form of academic criticism and reviews. Possible texts include Choi’s The Foreign Student, American Woman, Person of Interest as well as DeLillo’s Americana, Libra, and Falling Man. Short stories, essays, and films by the authors will also be considered.

 

 

 

English 4179/7179: Comparative Approaches to Literature, 1890 to present: Artificial Paradises

Elisa Glick

Section 1

TR 2-3:15

 

In this course, we will investigate the decadent sensibility—a style of art and life (or life as art) that unapologetically privileges the artificial over the natural, excess over restraint, and the marginal over the normal. Was the scandalous decadent of the late nineteenth century an absinthe-drinking bohemian who celebrated debauchery and decline while retreating from the modern world?  Or do decadent artists and writers offer new ways of seeing and being that seek to challenge the sexual conformity and materialism of bourgeois society? Can the creation of hallucinatory dream worlds or artificial paradises change reality itself? Can art and beauty be political weapons against mainstream society?  These are some of the questions we will ponder as we investigate the aesthetics and politics of the decadent movement and its legacy in literature, art, fashion, and popular culture.  Topics will include the femme fatale, Sapphic decadence, queer eroticism and communities, the “New Woman,” Orientalism, commodity culture and consumerism, technology, drugs, dandyism, prostitution, sadomasochism, gender performance, degeneration, and monstrosity.  Readings and other course materials are likely to include theoretical/historical essays, decadent art, fashion, and design (Aubrey Beardsley; Alexander McQueen), and texts such as J.K. Huysmans’s Against Nature, Oscar Wilde’s Salome and The Picture of Dorian Gray, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil, Rachilde’s Monsieur Venus, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  

English 4210/7210: Medieval Literature: Age of Chaucer

Emma Lipton

Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

Late medieval England was a time of tremendous upheaval: with major economic changes generated by devastating plagues, abrupt regime changes and religious conflict. In this period Geoffrey Chaucer wrote what is traditionally seen as the first serious poetry written in English.  This course will explore the question of how literature engages with and plays a role in cultural change. We will read a variety of literary genres, including chivalric romance, fabliau, spiritual autobiography, dream vision and drama. We will explore such themes as the relationship between history and literature, national identity, the construction of race, chivalric identity, courtly love, gender and sexuality, religious politics and forms of spirituality. We will read texts with body humor offensive to polite norms, tales violent enough to make Stephen King blanch, challenges to contemporary definitions of marriage and some of the most beautiful, funny and distinctive writing in the English language. In addition to parts of Chaucer’s Canturbury Tales, readings may also include Chretien's Lancelot, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, The Book of Margery Kempe, Langland’s Piers Plowman (excerpts) and selected plays.

English 4220/7220: Renaissance and Seventeenth Century Literature: Renaissance Poetry

William Kerwin

Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

 

Description: While Renaissance poetry may not be as famous as the drama, it offers a wonderful window onto both the period and the genre of poetry.  Something radically different from the long-established traditions of the medieval world emerged in the writing of the period. Lyric—poetry of intense emotion—became a suddenly valuable kind of verbal currency, spent to express individual feeling and to make social comments. The lyric and the satire flourished both as languages of love or personal self-definition and as languages of social involvement. Private and public worlds—Renaissance poets considered both, often at the same time, in forms that are deeply moving, and poets ever since have looked back at this work for models and inspiration.  

Urbanization, humanism, the printing press, the reformation, debates over women's roles, colonialism, the replacement of monarchy with a parliament—all of these historical movements and controversies created enormous tension and debate, and poetry was one way intellectuals tried to make sense of the world. We will read poetry with attention to these changes and how they felt to the poets who wrote about them. The authors we will read include John Skelton, Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, George Gascoigne, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Isabella Whitney, Amelia Lanyer, Philip Sidney, Mary Wroth, John Donne, George Herbert, Ben Jonson, Katherine Philips, Robert Herrick, and Andrew Marvell. The more specific poetic forms this class will read include the sonnet, the satire, the Ovidian narrative poem, the poem of place, the epigram, the libel, the ballad, and the metaphysical lyric. And as we read and try to make sense of the poems, we will try to answer a series of connected questions:

  • What forms of poetry appeared?
  • What gives them power?
  • How do they relate to the changing world around them?

Your main job is to try and make connections: within the poems, and between the poems and the worlds outside of them. Students will write two short papers, perform a short speech, and produce, as part of a group, a web-based research presentation. There will be both a midterm and a final exam. 

TEXTS: The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1B—The Early Modern Period. Note: 4th edition only!

English 4260/7260: 20th Century British Literature: Contemporary British Fiction

Karen Piper

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

English 4260/7260, Section 2

 

20th Century British Literature:  Black and Asian British Fiction

 

 

 

Today, Britain’s best new fiction is about India or Africa.  Why are Britain’s Booker Prize-winning authors writing about such far-flung places?  When did London become such a multicultural place?  In 1948, the arrival of the Empire Windrush brought the first of many Afro-Caribbean immigrants to England, enticed to the country by the offer of work in rebuilding a war-torn country.  Since then, Britain has become a truly diverse country as more people have moved there from both the ex-colonies and Eastern Europe.  But there has also been a racist backlash in the UK, making life difficult for some.  We will look at the experiences of new and second-generation immigrants to England, both positive and negative, while reading some of the hot new authors coming out of England, where literature has become as diverse as life in London.  We will read Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Vikram Seth’s An Equal Music, Abdulrazak Gurnah’s The Last Gift, Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.  Overall, this course should give you a sense of London as a richly diverse and cosmopolitan city, as well as the struggles and pleasures of displaced peoples.

 

 

 

 

English 4310/7310: 19th Century American Literature: City and Country in American Romanticism

John Evelev

Section 1

MW 2-3:13

 

The antebellum era (roughly 1830-60) was a period of staggering population growth and developmental expansion in the United States.  As a result, the dominant movement of the arts in the period, romanticism, was particularly involved in understanding the nature of American spaces or environments, most notably the city and the country (itself a divide that was particularly formalized during this period). The urban population of the United States grew over 90% during this period.  Perhaps as a result, American literature and painting began to pay increased attention to the now seemingly threatened landscape, producing paintings, poetry and travelogues that paid homage to the beauty and symbolic importance of the country landscape.  Romantic writers also explored the promise and threat of the expanding city, a place of crowds and vice, trade and freedom. This course will read a range of works from this period, from classic texts such as Thoreau's Walden and Whitman's "Song of Myself," to Poe's sensational stories and popular melodramas of of urban life, stories about utopian communes where people sought to recreate an idealized agrarian lifestyle, and the debates around the creation and design of New York City's Central Park, one of the seminal city-country hybrid spaces of the period.

Required work: multiple short papers and one longer revised research paper.

English 4320/7320: 20th Century American Literature: Postmodern Poetry

Ray Ronci

Section 1

MWF 2-2:50

 

The term Postmodern American poetry usually refers to only the experimental, avant-garde poetry written since about 1945 through 2000. I have broadened this perspective to include all poetry since 1945 to the present. I have done this so that we can discuss the dramatic differences in the various poetic (and political) movements that have occurred in the last several decades and see what seems conventional and what seems experimental or avant-garde in the poetry.

 

 

Among the movements or "schools" to be discussed: Late Modernists: Objectivists & Projectivists; Confessional Poetry; The New York School; The San Francisco Renaissance; Beat Poetics; The Black Arts Movement; Feminist Poetries; Eco-poetics; Language Writing; The Contemporary Mainstream Lyric.

 

The major poets to be studied are too many to list, but a sample includes the following: Charles Olson, Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, James Wright, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, Michael Palmer, Jorie Graham, etc.

 

In addition to studying the theories of poetics that informed the different schools of poetry, students will be asked to consider the political and cultural climate that informed the different poetic movements. Art is always in dialogue with the changing times. We will be looking at the poems themselves as a response to the transition from High Modernism to Postmodernism.

English 4420/7420: Africana Womanism

Clenora Hudson-Weems

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

(Cross listed with Black Studies 4420.) Africana Womanism is an undergraduate and graduate course specifically designed to broaden one's scope from a family-centered perspective in the area of issues, recurring themes and/or trends in modern Africana women fiction, highlighting its applicability to our everyday lives worldwide.  An in depth study of the lives and selected works by five (5) leading Africana women writers—Noted Pre-Africana Womanist, Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God); Senegalese novelist, Mariama Ba (So Long a Letter—currently out of print) or African American/Caribbean Novelist, Paule Marshall (Praisesong for the Widow); Nobel Prize Winning author, Toni Morrison (Beloved); Popular Cultural Novelist, Terry McMillan (Disappearing Acts); and Former Rap Star Artist, Sister Souljah (No Disrespect)--will be enhanced by critical readings of two (2) books from the Africana Womanism Trilogy, as well as scholarly articles by and about the various authors.  Methodologically,  we will be highlighting the prioritization of Race, Class & Gender, a key feature in this powerful paradigm, committed to the empowerment and equality of all, rather than a gender exclusive agenda (female-centered, female-empowerment) so characteristic of other female based constructs.   Students will be introduced to an authentic theoretical concept and methodology, Africana Womanism, and will be applying Africana Womanist theory to these Africana womanist novels, which clearly reflect our daily lives throughout the world.

 

Meshed together, the primary and secondary reading materials, as well as other media materials, will aid students in refining their own individual concepts about not only the writings of the individual authors, but about critical current issues, particularly as they relate to Africana women and their families and communities. The ultimate objective of the course, then, is to enhance one's knowledge and appreciation of Africana women and their interconnection with their families (men and children) in particular and Africana life and culture (historically and currently) in general.

 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to yet another theoretical construct, in addition to the widely known female-based theory—Feminism,” which is referenced in the Africana Womanism books.   Africana Womanism is an authentic paradigm designed specifically for all women of African descent, and by extension for all men and women in general. 

English 4510: Creative Writing: Advanced Fiction

Michael Nye

Section 1

Th 1-3:30

English 4520/7520: Creative Writing: Advanced Nonfiction Prose

Faculty

Section 1

W 1-3:30

 

 

English 4530/7530: Creative Writing: Advanced Poetry

Scott Cairns

Section 1

M 1-3:30

 

We’ll start with a number of premises, which you may or may not share, but which you will be expected to adopt (if only to try on for size) for the duration of the course.  Then, we’ll proceed to shape what we’ll think of as poems that matter, poems that have a chance of mattering even to strangers, even, perhaps, to strangers who have read a good deal of poetry before they happen upon yours.  We will commence the course with an examination and discussion of various works by three accomplished poets.  Thereafter, we will meet each week prepared to discuss your poems.  Ideally, you will have read your classmates’ works-in-progress well ahead of time, and will have prepared written comments from which we will generate the class discussion of those works.  All of our efforts should be understood as enabling the poem’s development into a richer, more complex, more interesting text than it was when we first came across it.

 

 

 

The Premises:

 

1) Poems are not documents of prior events; they are events in and of themselves.

 

2) Poems are not written to express previously held ideas, but are written to discover and to perform what might be characterized as ideational matter.

 

3) The poet is not necessarily (and is never exactly) the speaker of the poem.

 

4) To the extent that poems occasion multiple, suggestive meanings, they are poetic.  To the extent that they occasion a singular, denotative meaning, they are less poetic.

 

5) Poetry is the art of language itself; therefore, poems that draw the reader’s attention to the linguistic fabric of an utterance are more interesting than poems that do not.

 

 

 

 

 

English 4570/7570: Adaptation of Literature for the Stage

Faculty

Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

 

English 4600/7600: Structure of American English

Michael Marlo

Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

 

This course is an upper-level introduction to linguistics that orients students to the ‘generative’ approach to language study and investigates the core areas of the structure of American English: phonology (sound structure), morphology (word structure), and syntax (sentence structure). The main aims of the course are to develop students’ analytical and reasoning skills and to provide training on how to construct a linguistic argument, with English grammar constituting the primary object of study.

 

Cross listed with Linguistics 4600/7600.

English 4610/7610: History of the English Language

Matthew Gordon

Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

Cross listed with Linguistics 4610.

This course examines the history of English from the prehistoric roots that bind it to other languages of Europe and Asia, through the period of its earliest attestation, and into the modern era. We will see that English has undergone dramatic alterations throughout its life, and we will look at changes in sounds, grammar, meaning, and vocabulary. To understand these changes and why they occur, we will look for explanations in both the structure of the language and in the social history of its speakers. We will approach the subject from the perspective of modern linguistics and will, therefore, also develop familiarity with the theory and analytical methods of this field.

English 4640/7640: Syntax

Michael Marlo

Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

 

This course introduces some of the essential topics in morphology and syntax through problem-solving and analysis. Students will learn to construct linguistic arguments by analyzing morpho-syntactic patterns of languages from around the world. This course satisfies one of the core pre-requisites for the capstone course of the Linguistics major, English 4670 / Linguistics 4870, Field Methods in Linguistics.

 

Cross listed with Linguistics 4640/7640.

English 4700/7700: Special Themes in Folklore: Folklore and Disability

Anand Prahlad

Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

Across time and cultures, attitudes toward and the treatment of people with disabilities have been firmly rooted in folklore. A range of physical, neurological, and mental disabilities have been represented in characters and narrative motifs found in legends, myths, folktales, and proverbs--for example, changelings, solitary fairies, the blind witch, etc. Through rituals based on folk beliefs, religious prescriptions, and superstitions, societies have historically reinforced the margins between the disabled and non-disabled. At the same time, folklore also exists within communities of people with disabilities, often serving as a buffer and source of empowerment. This class will explore folklore from, and about, people with disabilities in cultures around the globe, examining the relationships between representations in folklore and attitudes and social practices. Texts will include Ann Schmiesing’s Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales; Holzer, Vreede, and Weight’s Disability in Different Cultures; and additional articles and films.

English 4950/7950: Internship in Publishing: Literary Publishing and Editing with Persea Books

Gabriel Fried

Section 1

F 11-1:30

 

This course is a practicum in small press publishing, with an emphasis on poetry publishing. Students will be exposed to (and do real-world work on behalf of) many aspects of the poetry series of Persea Books, a small, venerable publishing house. These aspects may include reading submissions, writing reader reports and press releases, doing photo research for book covers, proofing book galleys, interviewing authors, assisting with author tours and promotion, and co-administering poetry contests. Interested students will also have the opportunity to gain a familiarity with some practical (and resume-building) facets of book publishing (e.g. book contracts, copyright application, subsidiary rights). (3 credit hours)

To apply for the Persea class, please submit a one-page cover letter (describing your interest in the position and relevant experience, if any) and a resume by March 9, 2015 to Dr. Dana Kinnison, English Projects Coordinator. Hand deliver to 114K Tate Hall (or to Dr. Kinnison's mailbox), or you may submit these materials electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Late applications will be considered if space remains available.

English 4950/7950: Internship in Publishing: The Missouri Review

Speer Morgan

Section 2

T 3-5:30

The Missouri Review is a leader in teaching students about literary publishing through our unique internship. Our goal is to train young literary editors in an intense, systematic program. The course is offered to undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines, but the core group consists of students majoring in English who want to pursue careers in the publishing industry. Interns who take the course credit for their degree must be enrolled for at least two semesters.

An internship at The Missouri Review provides opportunities for students to gain valuable hands-on experience in publishing. From their first day, interns are an integral part of the general operations of the magazine. The editors encourage individual initiative and teamwork, while offering interns the resources of their 34 years of publishing experience. Students learn practical editing skills and generate publishing credit by writing reviews or conducting author interviews. Interested students write blogs and are otherwise involved in web content development, as well as assisting in producing digital audio versions of the print magazine. Students also learn the basics, such as manuscript acquisition, magazine distribution and other business practices. They may help run an audio/video contest, and learn grant writing. As they learn industry skills, interns are encouraged to consider careers in publishing.

An ongoing challenge in higher education is providing students with real-world experience to complement solid traditional scholarship. Potential employers want to know what students have actually accomplished, as well as what academic courses are taken. Our interns are able to say that they have contributed to one of America's finest literary magazines, helping shape our literature.

One demonstration of the effectiveness of our intensive internship program is that many of our interns enter into commercial publishing fields, editing other magazines or working at presses. Many others are employed as teachers and professors. Previous and current interns have published more than 100 books and contributed to most of the top American literary magazines. They have won major literary prizes including the National Book Award, the Delmore Schwartz Prize, the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, Guggenheim fellowships, and National Endowment for the Arts individual writing fellowships.

English 4970: Capstone Experience: The Future

Sam Cohen

Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

 

In this class we will read novels by contemporary American writers concerned with the future. We will read the with an eye toward the ways in which these writers and their times think and feel about the future. We will also be talking and writing about our own futures as individual humans and as English majors, which are not mutually exclusive things.

 

Reading may or may not include Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, Dave Eggers’ A Hologram for the King, Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens, Ben Marcus’s The Flame Alphabet, Lydia Millet’s How the Dead Dream, Ed Park’s Personal Days, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow, Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia, Jess Walter’s The Financial Lives of Poets, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. Assignments may or may not include papers long and short, presentations of various kinds, and work related retrospectively to your careers as majors and prospectively to your futures as thinking, writing, talking, and working people. 

English 4970: Capstone Experience: London and Literature

Anne Myers

Section 2

MWF 12-12:50

 

In this Capstone Seminar students will explore a wide range of literary and visual works, which, despite their variety, are all attached to London. In what ways, we will ask, does literature constitute perceptions of a place, even as a place shapes the literature that is produced there? Like London itself, readings will offer something for nearly everyone: beginning with Zadie Smith's twenty-first-century novel White Teeth, texts will stretch as far back as the late medieval period. They also respond to an array of critical questions and approaches. In addition to Smith's novel, students will read the essays of the American tourist Washington Irving, George Etherege's comic seventeenth-century play The Man of Mode and Thomas Heywood's sixteenth-century retelling of the legend of Dick Whittington and his marvelous cat. We will also think about literature's influence on visual representations of London, placing Daniel Defoe's gristly pseudo-journalistic Journal of the Plague Year next to Danny Boyle's 2003 horror film, 28 Days Later and selections from Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes beside an episode of the contemporary television series Sherlock

 

Student work will include quizzes and short presentations, along with assignments leading up to the preparation of a well-researched critical essay (10-15 pages) and a poster presentation based on the student's individual research. Seminar members will be given latitude in designing their topics for these final projects and will be encouraged to explore time periods and critical questions that interest them. 

English 4996: Honors Seminar in English: Literary Revisions, Adaptations, and Transformations

Alexandra Socarides

Section 2

MWF 1-1:50

 

This course is the first part of the two-semester Honors sequence in the English Department, and is intended to lead into the second part, the writing of the Honors senior thesis (English 4995, taken in the Spring term). The course will include an inquiry into research and writing techniques within the discipline; an investigation of major critical, theoretical, and practical questions in the field of English studies; a workshop-oriented unit in which students will prepare a longer research paper; and an exploration of the kinds of careers that English majors might pursue. Our readings in this course will focus on the issue of “Literary Revisions, Adaptations, and Transformations,” by which I mean how some contemporary writers have turned to earlier texts in an explicit attempt to make them anew. We will study two paths of such transformation, each across three novels: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Bharati Mukherjee’s The Holder of the World; Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, and Ian McEwan’s Saturday. By reading a wide array of literary criticism, we will ask how this kind of project is undertaken and what it reveals about the process of making literature. Students will write a short paper about each of these two clusters and then will choose from between those for the topic of a longer research paper. Writing this paper will allow students to practice the various stages – proposal, bibliography, various draft lengths, peer review, presentation – that they will need to be familiar with when undertaking their independent thesis in the following semester.

English 4996: Honors Seminar in English: Mobilities

Elizabeth Chang

Section 3

MWF 11-11:50

 

This course is the first part of the two-semester Honors sequence in the English Department, and is intended to lead into the second part, the writing of the Honors senior thesis (English 4995, taken in the Spring term).The theme of this seminar, "Mobilities," will allow us to read broadly from a range of literature that considers movement--of people and texts--throughout geographical space as well as textual space. The reading will likely include Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Sower; Samuel Butler, Erewhon, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior, Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners, and Virginia Woolf, Orlando.

 

 In this seminar, we will aim to do three things: one, read challenging literature; two, hone the skills of independent inquiry necessary to successfully complete an honors thesis, and three, prepare for the post-graduation life of the English major. To achieve these aims, there will be many different kinds of discussion, many chances for writing, both formal and informal, and a great deal of reading—of primary literature and of your own critical writing, and of the critical writing of your peers. There will be several short papers focused on practicing different critical methodologies and a longer final paper integrating multiple research techniques, in addition to an in-class presentation and weekly response papers. 

 

English 8005: Introduction to Graduate Studies

William Kerwin

Section 1

W 7-8:30

 

 

English 8006: Job Market Workshop

Stephen Karian

Section 1

Th 12:30-3


This course will provide intensive preparation and support for graduate students going on the job market. We will workshop job letters, CVs, dissertation abstracts, statements of teaching philosophy, writing samples, and job talks. We will also practice MLA interviews, campus interviews, job talks, and teaching demonstrations. Readings for the course will come primarily from Kathryn Hume, Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities PhDs (revised edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and other sources. Because the job market is fast-paced in the fall (job postings begin to appear in mid-September and initial deadlines are as early as mid-October), students are strongly advised to work over the summer. Specifically, they should: 1) acquire Kathryn Hume's book and read her first chapter; 2) prepare the following items for the first class meeting: drafts of job letters, CVs, statements of teaching philosophy, and (for literature students) dissertation abstracts; and 3) arrange for recommendation letters to be ready for the fall. They are also required to attend the job market meeting in May (time and date to be announced).

English 8006: Professional Writing Workshop

Noah Heringman

Section 2

T 1-2:15 

 

This course is meant to offer advanced graduate students—those emerging from their comprehensive exams--a structured environment in which writing (and a whole lot of talking about writing) will happen on a regular basis.  The goal of this workshop is to expose and immerse you in the genres that you will be required to master as you make your way through the profession: dissertation, article, conference abstract and paper, fellowship/grant application, critical introduction, and job materials. Additionally, this course will aim to address the need for you to begin preparing yourself for the job market by sending out an article and drafting job materials before the fall that you go on the market.

English 8060: Seminar in Criticism and Theory: Postcolonial Theory

Karen Piper

Section 1

T 6:30-9

 

Postcolonial Theory

Postcolonial theory began in literature departments but quickly spread across disciplinary boundaries to eventually impact much of academia.  Today, it is considered an indispensable part of graduate students' theoretical "tool kit" in many departments.  This course will provide an overview of its (often contested) terms and ideas, key thinkers, and recent intersections with transnationalism and eco-criticism. First, we will discuss the history of European colonization and the kinds of rhetoric used to justify colonization, as explained in David Spurr’s The Rhetoric of Empire.  We will then move on to discuss the field of postcolonial studies, becoming familiar with some of its main terms, such as diaspora, decolonization, hybridity, the subaltern, and settler societies.  We will read John McLeod’s, Beginning Postcolonialism and selections from Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism.  Finally will discuss the economic underpinnings of neocolonialism, reading Invested Interests: Capital, Culture, and the World Bank, and look at postcolonial thinkers who are redefining eco-criticism, such as Upamanyu Mukherjee in Postcolonial Environments.  This course is useful for anyone interested inbecoming more fluent about issues of race/ethnicity, globalization andsocial justice, and the history of imperialism and resistance to empire.

 

 

 

English 8110: Forms

Aliki Barnstone

Section 1

Th 3:30-6

 

Contemporary Poet-Critics: the Tradition, the Public Sphere, and the Future

 

What is the role of the poet-critic? How do contemporary poet-critics deal with poetics, politics, activism, identity, canonization, translation and internationalism, civil rights and human rights? We will begin by looking at the tradition in such seminal essays as T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” and Langston Hughes’s “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.” Then we will focus on five contemporary poet critics, Elizabeth Alexander, Eavan Boland, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, and Alicia Ostriker, each of whom is a sensitive and transformative reader, has at least one impassioned agenda that he or she carries forward through critical work, and is (in varying degrees) a public figure and a popularizer of the art. We will read the works of diverse poets through the critical lenses of the poet-critics we are studying (for example, Gwendolyn Brooks through the lenses of Alexander and Boland, Czeslaw Milosz through Hass). We will also consider these poet-critics' own work in the context of their criticism and translations. We’ll talk about works of criticism, poetics, and meditations on craft in such professional journals as Poets & Writers and The Writers’ Chronicle and on various blogs, as well as the ways in which such websites as The Favorite Poem Project, The Poetry Foundation, and The Academy of American Poets popularize and bring poetry and poetics into the public sphere. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we will discuss how you situate yourselves as critics and what vision you have for the future. Written work will consist of a few short response papers and a seminar paper.

 

Readings:

 

·      Elizabeth Alexander, The Black Interior: Essays. Graywolf, 2004.

 

 ---Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010. Graywolf, 2012

 

  ---Power and Possibility: Essays, Reviews, and Interviews [Poets on Poetry]. University of Michigan Press, 2007.

 

·      Eavan Boland, New Collected Poems. W.W. Norton, 2009.

 

 ---Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet. W.W. Norton, 2012

 

·      Robert Hass, Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems. Ecco, 2011.

 

 ---Twentieth Century Pleasures. Ecco, 2000.

 

 ---What the Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World. Ecco, 2013

 

·      Robert Pinsky. Poetry and the World. Ecco, 1992.

 

 ---Selected Poems. FSG, 2011.

 

 ---Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters. W.W. Norton, 2014.

 

·      Alicia Suskin Ostriker, The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems. University of Pittsburgh Press; Pitt Poetry Series, 2012.

 

---Dancing at the Devil’s Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic [Poets on Poetry]. University of Michigan Press, 2000.

 

---For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book. Rutgers University Press, 2007.

 

---The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog. University of Pittsburgh Press; Pitt Poetry Series, 2014.

 

·      The Favorite Poem Project, www.favoritepoem.org.

 

·      The Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org.

 

·      The Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org.

 

·      Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann, and Robert O’Clair, editors, The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, two volumes. W. W. Norton, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English 8210: Medieval Affect

Emma Lipton

Section 1

T 12:30-3

 

 

Late medieval meditations on the Passion instructed readers to imagine themselves present at Christ’s suffering and have compassion for Him, theorizing the act of reading as an affective experience.  This kind of “affective piety,” which was both somatic and emotional, was central to late medieval literature. Although early studies of medieval affect focused on devotional texts, this class will reflect the wider interests of recent scholarship by encompassing a range of topics and texts.  We will consider the meanings of love (such “courtly love,” marital love, and mystical love of God).  We will explore the relationship between gender and emotion, contrasting an association of women with affective piety to constructions of chivalric masculinity based in love and grief. We will read penitential treatises centered on contrition and structured by the seven deadly sins, and theological studies of the role of affect in cognition, imagination and memory.  Our focus will be on the history of affect as collective and social rather than as the expression of the individual romantic subject. Primary readings will cover a range of genres (including mystical texts, meditational guides, lyric poems, dream visions, romances, drama, confessional manuals and theology). Secondary materials will include work by medieval scholars (such as Sarah NcNamer, Barbara Rosenwein, and Michelle Karnes), and by theorists (such as Sara Ahmed, Sianne Ngai, Brian Massumi, and Rei Terada).  Readings may include: Chanson de Roland, Chretien’s Cliges, John Gower’s Confessio Amantis, excerpts from William Langland’s Piers Plowman, Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess, The Book of Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich’s Shewings, Nicholas Love’s Meditations on the Life of Christ and selections from late medieval drama.

English 8220: Seminar in Renaissance British Literature: Literature of Colonization: Encountering the New World

David Read

Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

In this course we will study a number of the key texts written in response to a momentous and deeply problematic phase in Western history: the opening of the New World to European conquest and colonization during the early modern period. The reading will include a range of English and Anglo-American works but also several of the important Spanish- and French-language texts in translation. Our goal will be to understand these texts not only as historical documents but as literary expressions of a massive upheaval in the ways that both Europeans and indigenous Americans made sense of the worlds they inhabited—an upheaval the effects of which are still felt to this day. The authors on the syllabus will include, among others, Columbus, Las Casas, Cabeza de Vaca, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Captain John Smith, William Bradford, Roger Williams, and Mary Rowlandson. 

English 8250: Seminar in 19th Century British Literature: Romanticism and Feeling

Lily Gurton-Wachter

Section 1

M 1-3:30

 

“Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps” – William Blake

 

 

In this graduate seminar we will read a selection of major texts from British Romanticism with particular attention to problems of feeling, emotion, and sensation. From Wordsworth’s famous declaration that poetry is the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” to Keats’s attempt to represent the “feel of not to feel it,” Romantic authors took on the task of representing how feeling - or not feeling - works, of delineating unpredictable and unruly passions, and of engaging with difficult questions that remain with us today: whether we can adequately represent our own feelings or understand the feelings of others, how and why private feelings become a public concern, and how major historical events (revolution, war, shifts in technology and industry, slavery, imperialism, among others) feel to both participants and onlookers. We will put Romantic representations of feeling in a variety of contexts, considering political debates about the right to happiness or the uncertain origin of national alarm; the promises and dangers of revolutionary enthusiasm; the wartime spread of “bad passions”; the contagion of feeling and fellow-feeling (sympathy); the delineation of "self-feeling"; philosophical arguments about how the sublime and other kinds of aesthetic experience should feel; scientific attempts to categorize, define, and distinguish between various passions and their expressions; the challenges of mourning and melancholy; the relation between feeling and sensation; and questions about how to read the feeling - or tone - of literary texts. We will read one or two novels, but most of our primary texts will be in verse, so we will be particularly concerned with how shifts in poetics in the period corresponded to shifts in thinking about the passions. Authors will likely include: Austen, Barbauld, Charles Bell, Blake, Burke, Byron, Coleridge, Alexander Crichton, Erasmus Darwin, Godwin, Keats, Kant, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, Adam Smith, Charlotte Smith, Wollstonecraft, and Wordsworth. In addition to working closely with texts from the Romantic period, we will also engage recent trends in affect theory. Students will do substantial research into primary texts from a variety of Romantic-era disciplines.  No prior knowledge of Romanticism required; in addition to students of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, this class may be of particular interest to those interested in the history of poetics, as well as the history and theory of the emotions.

English 8320: Seminar in 20th Century American Literature: The Future and Contemporary Fiction

Samuel Cohen

Section 1

Th 12:30-3

 

In this seminar we will read novels by contemporary American writers that in one way or another are concerned with the future. We will read these novels alongside a variety of secondary materials (critical, theoretical, historical) that will help us think about how these writers and their times see the future—that is, how it is imagined, represented, worried about, anticipated. The seminar will also devote weekly attention to the particular challenges and opportunities of writing about contemporary literature and culture. Assignments will include weekly questions, a presentation, a book review, and a conference-length paper.

 

Reading may or may not include Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, Dave Eggers’ A Hologram for the King, Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens, Ben Marcus’s The Flame Alphabet, Lydia Millet’s How the Dead Dream, Ed Park’s Personal Days, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow, Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia, Jess Walter’s The Financial Lives of Poets, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One 

English 8320: Dialogue, Intertextuality and 20th through 21st Century African American Letters

Christopher Okonkwo

Section 2

TR 11-12:15

 

This seminar aims to test, particularly, Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s theory that the formal praxis of signifyin(g)—in which he subsumes rhetorical antiphony, repetition and revision, and other discursive modes such as M.M. Bakhtin’s “dialogism” and Julia Kristeva’s “intertextuality”—characterizes African American literary tradition.  In historicizing twentieth- through twenty-first-century African American cultural production, anthologists generally identify these periods: the New Negro Movement or Harlem Renaissance; Realism/Naturalism, Modernism; the Black Arts Movement (BAM); and Contemporary voices, now including writers and thinkers of the so-called New Black Aesthetic (NBA) and Post-Soul Aesthetic. 

 

We will engage with the key conversations, contestations and continuities among these eras and how the exchanges have shaped, as well as reflected, the works representative practitioners of black letters ultimately produced. We will emphasize these intergenerational discourses: The Du Bois-Johnson-Locke-Hughes-Hurston debate on politics vs. formal/thematic license; the Wright-Baldwin-Ellison “quarrel” on influence and literary paternalism; the Black Arts Movement’s disputations with Harlem Renaissance’s white patronage, assimilationism and double consciousness and BAM’s evocations of Richard Wright’s protest tradition; and the  engagement by the contemporary voices—black women novelists, the New Black Art Movement/Post Soul Aesthetic—with the 1960s nationalist project. Among the various discoveries we will make ultimately is that while black women writers generally see literary production in terms of sisterly cooperation, acknowledgment and affirmation, some canonical black male writers position themselves rather competitively. They distance and disavow their male literary forebears in what critic Harold Bloom, in another context, calls the “anxiety of influence.” And now, with Kenneth Warren asking What was African American Literature?, the issues have become much more fascinating.


This course meets the requirements of English 8400.

English 8510: Advanced Writing of Fiction: Out of Character

Trudy Lewis

Section 1

W 4-6:30

 

English 8510

Fall 2015

 

 

This semester our workshop will focus on the fictional construct of character in a post-identity, post-human age.  We will look at character as historical revision in Jami Attenberg’s Saint Mazie, character as geometrical figure in Steve Tomasula’s VAS: An Opera in Flatland. We will read Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, which presents character as a matter of shared female development, alongside Michael Czyzniejewski’s I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories, which locates identity at key moments of heterosexual uncoupling. We will follow the painfully funny narrative logic of Percival Everett’s Erasure as it questions the possibility of racial identity in a racist capitalist culture. And we will examine the ways in which Alissa Nutting’s experimental post-feminist collection Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women sends up the concept of character as function. Critical texts may include works by Aristotle, Virginia Woolf, Saul Bellow, Judith Butler, Katherine Hayles, Patricia Hill Collins, Steve Tomasula and Stephanie Strickland.  Students will workshop two stories or novel chapters and a five-page experiment for a total of 35-50 pages of new fiction. 

 

 

 

 

English 8520: Advanced Writing of Nonfiction Prose

TBA

Section 1

M 4-5

English 8530: Advanced Writing of Poetry

Scott Cairns

Section 1

M 7-9:30

 

 

Course Overview:

The course will begin with an examination of various models of literary influence, privileging a model that is less agonistic than it is collaborative.  Ideally, our productions will reciprocally enhance readings of their initiating texts.

 

Each student will produce 12 or more responsive poems to be presented to workshop along with photo-copies of their initiating texts.  Workshop itself will involve your presenting the initiating poem (or other artifact) and then presenting your responsive production.

       

Each student should take very seriously the development of every other student, giving full critical attention to every poem turned in for workshop, indicating in writing and in classroom conversation how that poem might become a richer, more rewarding text.  You are, presumably, here to develop your skills as a teacher of writing as well as your skills as a writer.

 

In any event, we hope to establish a reliable, ongoing dialogic practice, one that enables ongoing relationships with prior texts and that will assist our own continuing production over a lifetime of writing.  And more than that, we hope to discover—each of us, individually—a vocabulary, a provisional way of articulating what we come to understand as the generative process of being in continuing dialogue with literary precursors.

 

English 8700: Seminar in Folklore: Folklore and the Fetish

Anand Prahlad

Section 1

T 12:30-3

 

This seminar will focus on the fetish as an analytical trope for critiquing Folklore Studies.  We will begin by exploring the diverse disciplinary definitions of the term “fetishism,” teasing out the core elements. We will next consider the potential insights to be gained by applying the concept as a theoretical lens through which multiple aspects of culture and personality can be analyzed, in specific, writings about groups that are culturally “different.” In applying theories of fetishism to folklore, we will focus on three dimensions. First, in what ways does folklore methodology  (including schema, taxonomies, etc.) reflect fetishistic impulses? Second, in what ways do folkloristic representations of particular groups reflect fetishism? How does the very impulse to study others suggest fetishism?  Third, what fetishistic mechanism can be seen operating within the folklore of particular groups that influence their presentations and representations of “others?” In as much as fetishism is linked to colonialism and the invention of “race,” these concerns are inherently connected to discourses such as postcolonial and transnational theory that strive to understand and articulate fundamental political and social dynamics between institutions, ideologies, and people of differing classes and ethnicities.