Fall Courses

Fall 2016

 


English 1000: Exposition and Argumentation

Various Instructors
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. For more information see our Introduction to 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 2113H. Obtain consent from Honors College)

Section 4: MWF 9-9:50

Section 5: TR 9:30-10:45



English 1060: Human Language

Instructor
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

This course cross-listed with Anthropology 1060/02 and Linguistics 1060/02

 

This course introduces the scientific study of human language by surveying topics in the structure of sentences, words, and sounds. Students will learn to analyze linguistic data from a broad range of languages and to think critically about what human language is, how it is learned, and how it communicates meaning.

English 1100: Reading Literature

Nancy West
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

                                                 English 1100: Reading Literature

 

 

 

Why do we read literature? Here’s how some authors answer this question:

 

 “She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.”

Annie Dillard, The Living

“Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality.”

C.S. Lewis

 “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

In this course we will come up with our own answers to this question as we read six of the most celebrated books of 2015 (I’ve chosen six; you, as a class, will choose our seventh and final book).

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates. 2015. Memoir. “In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis.” Amazon.

Girl at War by Sara Novic. 2015. Novel. “Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual. Sara Nović fearlessly shows the impact of war on one young girl—and its legacy on all of us. It’s a debut by a writer who has stared into recent history to find a story that continues to resonate today.” Amazon.

 

Did You Ever Have a Family? by Bill Clegg. 2015. Novel. “Elegant and heartrending, and one of the most accomplished fiction debuts of the year, Did You Ever Have a Family is an absorbing, unforgettable tale that reveals humanity at its best through forgiveness and hope. At its core is a celebration of family—the ones we are born with and the ones we create.” Amazon.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. 2015. Novel. “In post-Arthurian Britain, the wars that once raged between the Saxons and the Britons have finally ceased. Axl and Beatrice, an elderly British couple, set off to visit their son, whom they haven’t seen in years. And, because a strange mist has caused mass amnesia throughout the land, they can scarcely remember anything about him. As they are joined on their journey by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge, and an illustrious knight, Axl and Beatrice slowly begin to remember the dark and troubled past they all share. By turns savage, suspenseful, and intensely moving, The Buried Giant is a luminous meditation on the act of forgetting and the power of memory, an extraordinary tale of love, vengeance, and war.” Amazon.

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. 2015. “Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.” Amazon.

 

Thirteen Ways of Looking by Column McCann. Short Stories. “In such acclaimed novels as Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic, National Book Award–winning author Colum McCann has transfixed readers with his precision, tenderness, and authority. Now, in his first collection of short fiction in more than a decade, McCann charts the territory of chance, and the profound and intimate consequences of even our smallest moments.” Amazon.

 

English 1160: Themes in Literature: Writing Early Black Women's Spiritual History

April Langley
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

This course introduces students to the political, cultural, and historical aspects of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century black women's spiritual identity, and they ways in which they defined "spirituality" and "religion." It does so by exploring the origins of black women's religious and other worldly voices and experiences, through readings in various genres of literature and orature from history, literary criticism and theory to spiritual autobiography, political treatise, speeches, sermons, memoirs, letters and journals. Thus, we read their works to consider the significant role that spirituality played in the development of their intersecting social, political, and religious worlds, and most importantly in early black women's literature.  We read autobiographical writing, sermons, history, and literary criticism and theory to reflect on the extent to which black women articulated their progress and empowerment and simultaneously challenged class conflicts, as well as patriarchal and racial limitations and oppression in terms of their faith. Course Requirements include three section quizzes, daily discussion worksheets, and a final group presentation.

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 6: MWF 11-11:15

Section 7: MWF 11-12:15

 

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 6:30-9:00 pm

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: Introduction to Nonfiction prose

Various Instructors
Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 10-10:50

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45

 

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: Introduction to Poetry

Various Instructors
Section 1: MWF 2-2:50

Section 2: 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 on words 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.

English 1800: Introduction to Film Studies

Various Instructors
Section 1

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


Discussion Section 1A: MWF 10-10:50

Discussion Section 1B: MWF 11-11:50

Discussion Section 1C: MWF 1-1:50

Discussion Section 1D: MWF 2-2:50

Discussion Section 1E: 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 1880: Introduction to Digital Storytelling: Storytelling Across Time and Media

Katina Bitsicas
Section 1

MW 10:30-11:45, F 1-3:30

Wednesday computer lab required

 

This course provides an introduction to media literacy and to basic concepts in digital storytelling, manifested historically and currently across a range of media.  We focus on theories and concepts that support the critical analysis and creation of contemporary narrative in digital form with particular attention to audio, visual and written communication.  We also create digital productions in audio, video, and photography using industry standard software and equipment.

English 1880: Introduction to Digital Storytelling

Joseph Erb

Section 2

TR 9:30-10:45, F 9-11:30 Friday morning lab required

 

This course provides an introduction to media literacy and to basic concepts in digital storytelling, manifested historically and currently across a range of media.  We focus on theories and concepts that support the critical analysis and creation of contemporary narrative in digital form with particular attention to audio, visual and written communication.  We also create digital productions in audio, video, and photography using industry standard software and equipment.

English 2005: Animal Companions

Elizabeth Chang
Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

What happens when humans and animals live together? What kind of stories can be told about this relationship? In this course we will read novels, short stories and essays that explore what it means to represent the human-animal companion relationship in fiction. In addition, this course will have a required 20 hours service component at a local agency working with animals. (Sites may include Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center, Central Missouri Humane Society, Second Chance, and others). Students may increase the service component to 35 hours to receive the Service Learning Designation. 

 

The texts we read will include Anna Sewell, Black Beauty, Virginia Woolf, Flush, Yann Martel, The Life of Pi, Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and others, as well as critical articles investigating this topic. The kinds of writing you will do will include both analysis of the literary texts, personal memoir, and descriptive narrative, including a personal journal chronicling your service work.  There will be short writing assignments and several informal presentations.

English 2006: Studies in English Beginning to 1603: Wisdom Literature of the Silk Road

Ray Ronci
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

 

In the ancient world, what we refer to as The Silk Road was the road -- (there were actually several) -- that joined the West and the East from Greece to China. This was not just an ancient superhighway for exchanging goods like silks and spices, etc. This was also where ideas were exchanged, stories told, legends made. Just about everything we know today had its origins somewhere on the Silk Road – math, science, poetry, philosophy and the world’s religions.

 

The books often covered in this course include but are not limited to the following: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Bhagavad Gita, The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma, The Tao Te Ching, The Analects of Confucius, The Poetry of Kabir, The Essential Rumi, The Odyssey of Homer, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, The Theban Plays.

 

What this literature teaches us is that human beings ultimately have more in common than we often imagine. There are some universal truths that all people share and these texts are about those truths.

 

 

English 2009: Studies in English 1890-present

Katina Bitsicas
Section 1

MW 1-3:50

This course introduces students to digital storytelling production, with an emphasis on gaining agility with audio, animation, and digital video technologies through applied experiences. Assignments will build student confidence in multimedia production and explore how images and audio enhance the structure, mood, and theme of narrative. Instruction will also cover planning, production and developing the tools and practices in lighting, sound recording, image capturing, and editing.

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 8-8:50

 

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 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 2100: Writing About Literature: Love

John Evelev
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

 

This course will cover a range of literary genres (poetry, drama, fiction) drawn from a range of historical periods that touch upon the theme of love.  The course is not intended to mark some historical trajectories of attitudes toward love, but to provide you with skills, skills you can use not only to analyze and write about literary texts, but interpretative and argumentative skills that can be used in a wide variety of contexts and philosophical lens through which one can read literature, but also re-examine a wide range of human experience.  In addition to reading literature, we will study literary critical approaches, reading examples of different kinds of literary criticism and modeling the critical methods in writing assignments, whether doing a “close reading” of a Metaphysical poem, putting a Shakespeare play into its New Historical cultural context or exploring reader-response to a contemporary YA romance novel.

Readings to include:

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Dover)

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead)

 

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin)

English 2100: Writing About Literature: Banned, Challenged and Censored Texts

Emilee Howland-Davis
Section 2

TR 2-3:!5

This course will focus on banned, censored, and challenged texts. Why are texts banned? What rhetoric is used to support book banning? What can we learn about our world by looking at banned texts? This class will take a broad approach to text to include books, poetry, drama, movies, music, and comic books. In this class we will read, view, and listen to a variety of texts which have been banned, censored, or challenged. We will discuss who challenged the books and for what reasons. We will explore what it means to ban, censor or challenge a book. This class will help you develop critical thinking and close reading skills. These skills are important not only for reading and analyzing texts, but they are also important in helping you look critically at the world around you. We will read a variety of banned/censored/challenged texts. Additionally we will read a variety of approaches to literary criticism. This class will challenge you to write critically about the texts we read and model the various literary approaches in small and larger writing assignments. Likely texts will include 1984, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fun Home, and others.

 

 

On a broader level, English 2100 provides instruction in the fundamentals of writing about literature.  Designed with the needs of declared or prospective English majors and minors in mind, it introduces students to the basics of literary research, interpretation, and criticism. A central goal of the course is to familiarize students with a variety of critical and theoretical approaches that are used in the study of literature. Prerequisite:  ENGL 1000 or equivalent.

English 2100: Writing About Literature: Literature and Evil

Brian Rodriguez
Section 3

MWF 12-12:50

This course proposes to teach the fundamentals of writing about literature through an exploration of the concept of evil. Working from this proposition, we will consider the role of evil across a variety of literary texts in multiple genres.  Along these lines, we will consider evil in both socio-political and moral contexts.  Some of the questions we will ask are: What is the relationship between evil and concepts such as wrongdoing and badness? How does an individual or action come to be defined as evil? Why do human beings remain fascinated by evil despite the concept itself defining the essence of something contrary to well-being? Finally, working from the notion that “literature which remains good quickly becomes boring,” we will consider whether or not evil can be thought of as fundamental to the enjoyment of literature. Literary works will most likely include The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire, The Italian by Anne Radcliffe, Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey, and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford.

 

 

At a skills level, this course will provide an introduction to the fundamentals of writing about literature, including elements of literary research, criticism, and theory.  Significant attention will be paid to the development of interpretive skills that promote an increasingly nuanced approach to the understanding of literary texts.  Prerequisite: ENGL 1000 or equivalent.  

English 2100: Writing About Literature:Utopias and Dystopias

Carli Sinclair
Section 4

MWF 9-9:50

Before Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games, before Tris Prior and Divergent, authors created utopian and dystopian communities as ways to explore societal boundaries. Where could these contemporary YA texts have found their influences? What kinds of utopias and dystopias were imagined and written about long before these best-selling novels?

 

This course will focus on utopian and dystopian texts from a variety of historical time periods. Readings will likely include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, John Cheever’s “The Swimmer,” John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl,” and selections from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Throughout the semester, we’ll consider such question as: What makes a text utopian or dystopian? Why write utopian or dystopian literature? And what behaviors and ideas do these spaces allow or condemn?

 

 

These texts and questions we’ll use to address the goal of ENGL 2100: learning to write about literature. Students will study literary criticism and discuss various theoretical approaches to studying texts, developing a set of skills that will aid them in writing critically about literature. 

English 2100: Writing About Literature: Money in Literature

Devin Day
Section 6

MWF 1-1:50

In this course, we will be reading works throughout a range of historical periods that focus on money, the market, and the economy. As we progress through each text, we will ask ourselves how have representations of the market and the economy changed over time. What is the relationship between money, class, and “morals”? Overall, we will develop skills throughout the course that will be used to analyze and write about literature. As we read about the ways in which literature represents the market and class, we will also learn about literary critical approaches ranging from psychoanalytic criticism to reader response. The course will further our ability to close read portions of texts as well as develop arguments about entire texts. Our texts will include poetry by Jonathan Swift, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Lowell, as well as novels including The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells, Typical American by Gish Jen, The Privileges by Jonathan Dee, and The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West.

English 2159: Introduction to World Literature 1890-present

Instructor
Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

Presents and puts into context works by writers from different nations or ethnic backgrounds, includes works in two or more literary genres. No more than six hours may be taken in the Introduction to World Literature series.

 

English 2300: Studies in American Lit: How to Read a Poem

Alexandra Socarides and Gabriel Fried
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

 

In this introductory course we will read, study, learn, experience, research, write about, and take deep pleasure in 25 great American poems. Along the way, students will develop the skills necessary to know a poem from the inside out. They will learn about the various elements that constitute a poem – sound, metaphor, rhythm, voice, symbol, syntax, lines, etc. – as well as how to take a poem’s historical and cultural context into account. As this is a WI course, students will write regularly about poems. There will also be an in-class midterm and a final group project. This course is as much for poetry lovers as it is for those who are either bored by or terrified of poems. In other words, no previous experience with poetry is necessary.

English 2309: The Art of Protest

Samuel Cohen
Section 2

MWF 11-11:50

The word “protest” is derived through Old French from a Latin word meaning to publicly assert. One of the threads in modern American history is protest—the expression by individuals and groups of dissatisfaction with a situation, policy, or law with the hopes of effecting change. Protest is also a thread running through artistic expression in the modern U.S., from its literature to its music to its visual art. In this course we will look at the art of protest—art that takes protest as its subject and art that could itself be considered protest, acts of witness and argument against public wrongs. In exploring the art of protest in 20th and 21st century America, we will learn about both art and protest as well as about the U.S. history and culture from which they emerge. We will explore questions about artistic representation—What are the ways in which art can represent protest? How can it be itself an act of protest? Should it do either?—and questions about the efficacy, ethics, and evolution of protest in modern America.  

 

We will read, view, and listen to a range of artistic works. Fiction may include Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man, Chris Bachelder’s U.S.!, Dana Spiotta’s Eat the Document, and Lydia Millet’s Sweet Lamb of Heaven; poetry may include works by Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Sherman Alexie, Audre Lorde, Philip Levine, Howard Nemerov, Jack Spicer, Carolyn Forché, and Joshua Clover; nonfiction may include essays by James Baldwin, Jane Addams, W. E. B. DuBois, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; drama may include works by Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks; music may include songs about workers rights, civil rights, war protests; visual art may include works from those shown in galleries to those created on billboards. To accompany our reading, we will examine times of American protest from the turn of the century to last fall.

English 2400: Introduction to African Diaspora Literature

Clenora Hudson-Weems
Section 2

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.

English 2510: Creative Writing: Intermediate Fiction

Various Instructors
Section 1: MWF 11-11:150

Section 2: TR 11-11:50

Section 3: TR 8-9:15

 

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 StoriesBest 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

David Crespy
Section 2

TR 2-3:15, Required Lab T 7-10

 

Study and practice of playwriting fundamentals; emphasizes the one-act play.

English 2830: American Film History I, 1895-1950

Abigail Manzella
Section 1

TR 11-12:15, Required Lab 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 Katherine Hepburn.  Our analysis will consider these films, and outside readings will elucidate our understanding of them in relationship to narrative and history. 

English 3080: Sexuality and Gender Theory

Elisa Glick
Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

 

Debates about the politics of sexuality have been at the forefront of contemporary efforts to rethink concepts of identity, desire, and embodiment. This course seeks to provide a theoretical and cultural context for such debates by investigating the complex and often contradictory relationship between sexuality and society. After tracing the historical emergence of the modern sexual self, we will survey contemporary theories of sexuality and sexual representations, particularly as they intersect with systems of race, class, and gender. Topics include sexuality and desire under capitalism; feminist theories of sexuality; queer theory; medicalization of sex; reproductive technology; racism and reproductive rights; same-sex marriage; AIDS and queer politics; global politics of sex work; gender performance; sexual politics of postfeminism; the social construction of the body. Readings and other course materials range from theoretical and historical essays to literary texts, documentary films, and popular culture.  Cross-listed as WGST 3080.

English 3110: Special Themes in Literature: Arthurian Legends

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 the parodic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the epic film King Arthur.

 

Pre-reqs: ENGL 1000 and sophomore standing.

 

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature 1890-present: Young Adult Literature

Dana Kinnison
Section 1

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 (such as domestic fiction, the school story, and the recent explosion of dystopian fiction). We will read modern classics like A Separate Peace and Catcher in the Rye, as well as more recent acclaimed and popular works like John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Assignments include reading quizzes, at least one paper, two exams, and a creative portfolio.

 

 

 

 

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature 1890-Present: Elena Ferrante Fever)

Roberta Tabanelli
Section 2

TR 11-12:15

Cross-listed with ITAL 3005 and WGST 3005

 

In this course, we will analyze the tetralogy of the “Neapolitan novels” by Italian writer Elena Ferrante. Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet offers an insightful, clamorous exploration of female friendship that spans over fifty years set against a backdrop of poverty, ambition, violence, and political struggle. With powerful writing and captivating storytelling, Ferrante’s narrations pose fundamental questions around the concept of subject identity, gender formation, and representation of gender. These books have gained such an enormous readership and critical success in Italy and abroad that it has become common to refer to the Ferrante phenomenon as “Ferrante Fever,” even more significantly given that the author’s identity remains unknown (Elena Ferrante is a penname). The New York Times has included the last book of the series among the ten best books of 2015 (3 Dec. 2015). The Guardian has called her a “global literary sensation” (31 Oct. 2014). In The New Yorker Molly Fischer admits that she can’t stop reading those stories: “I am propelled by a ravenous will to keep going” (4 Sept. 2014). According to The Economist, “Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you have never heard of” (29 Aug. 2015).

 

 

This class will offer a unique perspective onto the “Ferrante fever” by providing historical, geographical, cultural, linguistic, and gendered context to Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. We will consider the influence that other women writers and Italian feminism had on Ferrante’s formation and will situate Ferrante’s fiction within the cityscape and culture of Naples. Students we’ll also be made aware of Italian cultural and linguistic peculiarities that may have been ‘lost in translation’ and will investigate issues of authorship and reception. 

English 3170: Staging Collapse: Greek and African-American Tragic Drama

William Kerwin
Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

Staging Collapse: Greek and African-American Tragic Drama

 

One of the most ambitious literary genres, tragic drama expresses the broadest imaginings of social breakdown and personal pain.  Those breakdowns are at a number of levels: in the cosmos, in the state, in the community, in the family, and in the individual psyche.  This course will look at tragedies from two cultures: ancient Greece, and modern America.  With the American tragedy we will look at plays by African-American playwrights, with an eye towards connections with the classical tradition.  Greek and African-American tragic dramatists give us starkly different worlds, but they share many things, most centrally an exploration of suffering in all of its connections to forms of order. 

 

For the Greek parts of the course we will read plays from Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripedes.  For the African-American parts we will read from authors such as Suzan Lori-Parks,  August Wilson, Lorainne Hansbury, Amiri Baraka, Anna Deveare Smith, and Dael Orlandersmith. 

 

And don’t worry: amidst these tragic tales are deep moments of human beauty and solace. 

English 3200: Survey of British Literature: Beginnings to 1734

David Read

Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

 

This course is a chronological introduction to the important movements in British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the eighteenth century. Because we have such a limited time to cover such a broad period, we will not be studying drama in this course, but will concentrate on poetry and short- to medium-length prose texts. We will try to combine close readings of the works on the syllabus with attention to historical and cultural developments during a millennium of literary activity in England. Our textbook will be Volume 1 of The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Written assignments will include two 5-7 page papers and three unit tests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

English 3210: Survey of British Literature: Romanticism to present

Julie Melnyk
Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

 

In this course we will read and discuss some of the greatest works of British literature written in the last 130 years.  Authors studied include Mary Wollstonecraft, Blake, Mary Prince, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Felicia Hemans, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Christina Rossetti, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, A.E. Housman, Yeats, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Auden, Dylan Thomas, Phillip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Carol Ann Duffy -- and more!  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 – poetry, sermons, autobiography, essays, songs, letters, journalism, and political tracts – paying close attention to how writers used the conventions of these genres to meet their particular personal, aesthetic, and political goals.  Writers will include but not be limited to: Smith, Bradford, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, Edwards, Franklin, Occum, Equiano, Jefferson, Wheatley, Irving, Schoolcraft, Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson. Along the way, we will focus on issues such as colonization, slavery, women’s rights, nature, magic, and individualism. This is a discussion-based course that includes a combination of individual writing, group projects, and research.

 

English 3310: Survey of American Literature: 1865-present

Frances Dickey
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

 

 

 

This course covers major authors and issues in American literature from the Civil War to the end of the twentieth century. Readings will mainly consist in poems and short stories by authors ranging from Walt Whitman to Junot Diaz, along with two novels:  Henry James's Daisy Miller, and William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. The course will emphasize class discussion and frequent short writing assignments; assessments include reading checks and tests.

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

April Langley
Section 1

TR 8-9:15

Cross-listed as Black Studies 3400/01

 

This writing intensive course introduces students to the major developments, themes, and works of African American literature-from its eighteenth-century beginnings to 1900, the post-Civil War and Reconstruction Era.  The course has three objectives: a) to explore African American literature's continuing response to the call of African, American, and Afro-British American oral and written traditions-in the form of folktales, songs, sermons, prose, and poetry; b) to examine the social, political, and cultural influences of early African-American literature; and, c) to analyze the implications of this literature through class discussions and the following assignments: meaningful reading responses, one short essay, one oral presentation, one group presentation, and one final essay.  (Writing Intensive) (Same as Black Studies 3400, 1)

English 3560: Intermediate Playwriting

Instructor
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

English 3570: Performance of Literature

Instructor
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

Cross-listed as Communications 3570 and Theatre 3200

English 3700: American Folklore: Food and Culture

LuAnne Roth
Section 1

TR 2-3:15, Required Screening T 6-8:30

 

“You are what you eat” is more than a light-hearted proverb.  This course focuses on an aspect of folklore studies called “foodways”—the traditional practices, customs, and meanings involving food.  While deceivingly mundane, food (and eating) is imbued with a great deal of significance beyond physical survival.  Cultural factors – involving what, where, why, how, and with whom we eat  – are encoded with unwritten rules and significance through which we communicate and are put into categories.  As such, food is used to define self, familial, and communal identity.  By examining the social, psychological, and historical dimensions of food – and drawing heavily upon film to illustrate these concepts – this course provides the necessary historic information to think more critically and analytically about contemporary American foodways.  

Learning Objectives:  The assignments and in-class activities are designed to provide the content knowledge and skills necessary to:

·         Understand how food practices accompany, communicate, and reflect structural elements of social systems;

·         Understand how foodways intersect with ethnocentricity (the tendency to view one’s own food as normal and the food of outsiders as strange and inferior);

·         Critically analyze different foods in their social and historical contexts;

·         Engage in discussion about food behavior, metaphor, and symbol;

·         Hone the skills of analysis, critical thinking, and communication;

·         Ask questions and articulate nuanced arguments about food in American culture.

 

Required Texts include: Food: The Key Concepts (Belasco 2008), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (Smith 2013), and articles on Blackboard.

English 3850: Studies in Film History: Women in US Film

Abigail Manzella
Section 1

TR 2-3:25, Required Screening Arranged 3:30-6

Although women have been involved in U.S. film since its inception both in front of and behind the camera, why is it that only 7% of directors are women, and that 2010 was the first time that a female director, Kathryn Bigelow, ever received an Oscar?  This course pursues this contradiction by introducing students to a gender studies approach to film.  We will watch many well-known films from early film until today such as Dorothy Arzner’s Dance, Girl, Dance, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, James Cameron’s Aliens, and Mira Nair’s The Namesake, analyzing both women as aesthetic object in film as well as their role as creators.  Students will read criticism and other articles in order to better discuss the representation of women and their bodies as well as the history of women in production.  We will link the issues within the film industry to larger concerns of gender, race, sexuality, and national identity at stake in the United States. 

English 4000: Advanced Studies in English: Careers and English

Julie Melnyk
Section 1

M 2-2:50

A song from the musical Avenue Q asks, plaintively, “What do you do with a BA in English?”  This one-hour course has the answers!  Come explore your career options, devise a strategy for your job search, and craft a resume and cover letter that reflect the skills you’ve gained as an English major.  Text: Katharine Brooks, You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career. 

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: The Creative Writing Classroom

Cornelius Eady
Section 1

MW 1-3:30

Class meets only during the first 8-week semester

 

This is a class that will show the student the various strategies used to teach the craft of creative writing (Poetry, Fiction & Non-Fiction) at the high-school level. The first four weeks will concentrate on pedagogy, the last three weeks on Practice. 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. The student MAY also have the opportunity to try out their outline in a high school classroom.

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: Mindful Writing

Donna Strickland
Section 2

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 4060: Studies in Critical Theory: Rethinking Literacy in the Digital Age

Ray 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 William Deresciewitz’s book Excellent Sheep followed by Sherry Turkle’s book Reclaiming Conversation in the Digital Age 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 Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and The Triumph of Spectacle and finishing up with Sven Birkerts’ book: Changing the Subject: Art And Attention In The Internet Age

 

 

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 4109/7109: Genres 1890-Present: Science Fiction

Andrew Hoberek
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50
This class will pursue two agendas: 1) a survey of science fiction as a literary genre since the late nineteenth century and 2) an exploration of debates over diversity in the genre that erupted around the 2015 Hugo Awards.  In the lead-up to those awards, given annually in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, groups known as the "Sad Puppies" and the "Rabid Puppies" objected, unsuccessfully, to what they saw as a tendency to reward diversity above other qualities.  With this controversy in mind, we will look at the history of science fiction and consider whether it is, as the Puppies suggested, an entertainment genre that is best when it avoids political issues, or a fictional mode that has in fact served as a platform for imagining (and rethinking) things like race, gender, and sexuality.

English 4140/7140: Modern Literature: The Modernist Novel

Frances Dickey
Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

Have you ever wanted to read novels by Joyce, Faulkner, or Woolf but felt they were too hard to tackle on your own?  Here's your chance for a guided tour of some great novels of the modernist era (1900-1930), including Ford Maddox Ford's The Good Soldier, Joseph Conrad's  Lord Jim, James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and parts of Ulysses, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and possibly others. The focus of the course will be on reading, discussion (some oral presentations), and written analysis (at least three papers). Class limit: 30 students.

English 4159/7159: World Literature 1890-Present: Postcolonial Literature

Karen Piper
Section 1

TR 2-3:15

European colonization—in India, Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere—was a brutal, ugly thing.  Lives were irreparably altered by the presence of a colonial force, histories were destroyed in the name of racial superiority, and ethnic genocide occurred.  Postcolonial literature is a twentieth-century genre dealing with the trauma caused by colonization, and its ongoing impact.  The themes that postcolonial authors address often have to do with reclaiming history, shaping a new identity, or charting a future after Independence.  In this course, you will learn about the history of British imperialism and its legacy, discussing the way in which postcolonial authors attempt to both reimagine their past and build a new future after gaining Independence.  We will discuss the process of decolonization, as well as the on-going struggles of dealing with neocolonialism.  Finally, we will look at the new “global citizen” of diaspora cultures, and the way in which writing is often used to construct a new “imaginary homeland” for those who are displaced or in exile.

English 4168/7168: Major Authors 1799-1890: Frederick Douglass and William Apess

Maureen Konkle
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

This course looks at the lives and writings of two nineteenth-century activist-intellectuals, Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895) and William Apess (1798-1839).  Apess, a Pequot minister, was the first Native writer to publish an autobiography and to describe how misrepresenting indigenous people was essential to US power; Douglass wrote the most famous antebellum slave narrative and went on to become a pre-eminent intellectual in the years that followed its initial publication in 1845. Though there’s no clear evidence for their having met, Apess and Douglass shared both supporters and an intellectual tradition in Boston and New England.  We’ll follow how first Apess and then Douglass skillfully used the media of the day—including popular narrative, public lectures, newspapers, pictorial art, and in Douglass’s case, photography—to further their arguments.  We’ll look at how they interacted with government and other centers of power at a time when African American and Native people were held to be utterly powerless.  We’ll situate their writing in the cities in which they worked—Rochester, NY; Boston; New Bedford, MA; New York City; and Washington, DC—and in the African American, Native, and Afro-Native communities that supported them.  Their lives and works show how the struggles of Native people for sovereignty and of African Americans for recognition were intertwined if not always congruent in the nineteenth century and beyond.  Finally, we’ll look at how their analyses and arguments continue to be important, informing the works of writers like Vine Deloria, Jr., James Baldwin, and others.  Writing Intensive pending approval.

English 4169/7169: Major Authors 1890-Present: Toni Morrison

Christopher Okonkwo
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

This course focuses on Toni Morrison (1931-). A recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and also the first African American writer, indeed the first black woman, to win the Nobel Prize for literature, among her other honors, Morrison is a luminary that needs little or no introduction to readers worldwide.  In this class, we will address her first six novels—The Bluest EyeSulaSong of SolomonTar BabyBeloved, and Jazz. We will also examine these works: “Recitatif,” her only published short story to date; her Nobel Lecture; The Dancing Mind, her speech on receiving the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; and her groundbreaking piece Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. Students will have an opportunity each semester to explore the Toni Morrison Society website for a wealth of historic, programmatic and visual information in preparation for their oral presentations and researched papers for the class. To help deepen our understanding of Morrison, however, we will appreciate her biography, the African diaspora cultures, and the American/Western experiences and art that have helped shape her world, politics, and aesthetics.

English 4200/7200: Introduction to Old English

Johanna Kramer
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

 

 Ic þohte, þæt ðeos boc mihte fremian iungum cildum to anginne þæs cræftes, oððæt hi to maran andgyte becumon. Say what?! I'm saying, Take this course! It is an intensive introduction to Old English, the earliest form of English recorded in writing and the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England from about the 5th to the later 11th century (see small sample above). While the focus of this class is the acquisition and practice of the Old English language, the course also introduces students to the fascinating literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England (including its art, archaeology, manuscript culture, and religious practices). As we gain knowledge of the language, we will first read prose texts and then move on to more complex verse texts, among them such famous and brilliant poems like “The Wanderer” and “The Dream of the Rood.” This course is intended to give students a solid grounding in Old English grammar, enabling them to read a wide range of Old English texts in the original with the help of a dictionary and to proceed to more advanced studies in early English language and literature. Another purpose of this course is to become acquainted with the rich culture of Anglo-Saxon England, which combines oral and written, Germanic and Christian-Latin traditions. Assignments include (but are probably not limited to) daily translations, regular quizzes, a brief oral presentation, a poetry recitation, and exams. No prior knowledge of Old English or other languages is required to take this course, although previous language experience will prove helpful. Cross-listed as Linguistics 4200/7200 

English 4210/7210: Medieval Literature: Chaucer

Lee Manion
Section 1

TR 2-3:15

How is a community formed? What is consent? A contract? How do people come together to cause change, and what happens to the individual in that process? This course explores these ethical, legal, and political questions, which are as relevant now as they were in the Middle Ages, through a study of the medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer, specifically his Canterbury Tales, where people negotiate the challenges of cooperative action and individual desire through consensus and conflict. In addition to highlighting the issue of consent in its sexual and political valences, this class will address gender, sexuality, and religion via questions about who is included or excluded in a community. We will study the variety of genres and styles—humorous, satirical, tragic— in Chaucer's tale collection that continues to delight and inspire readers, as well as practice our Middle English reading skills along the way.We will also contextualize Chaucer's writing with that of his English, French, and Italian contemporaries. Our goal is to develop and refine our own thinking about what makes a society, or, in Chaucer's term, a "fellowship," function. No previous knowledge of Middle English is required.

 

 

Pre-reqs: junior standing

English 4250/7250: 19th-Century English Literature: The Victorians

Julie Melnyk
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

In this course we will explore the rich variety in British literature and culture during Queen Victoria's long reign, 1837-1901. This was the brilliant age of Charles Dickens, the Brontës, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Hardy, Christina Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson – and many others. It was also an age dealing with many of the central issues of modern life: urbanization, industrialization, women’s place in society, class conflict, religious crisis, conflict between science and religion, and imperial expansion.  We will study the fascinating literature – fiction, poetry, and non-fiction prose – produced during this tumultuous and influential period.

 

English 4320: 20th-Century American Literature: Postmodern American 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 4400/7400: Studies in African Diaspora Literature: Mythic Black Fiction

Christopher Okonkwo
Section 1

TR 11-12:15

 

Leasing its caption “Mythic Black Fiction” from Jane Campbell’s book of the same title, this course will contemplate John B. Vickery’s observation that “The history of literature everywhere attests to the closeness and complexity of the relation between literature and myth,” an affinity evident in “their shared traits of narrative, character, image and theme.” Following an overview of contextual myth scholarship, we will engage with the mythopoesis, the mythmaking imperative, in African American literature and culture. Antebellum and postbellum African American literature discloses earlier black writers’ mythic consciousness, an awareness subsisted partly on the conventions of romance. It is twentieth- through twenty-first-century African American authors, however, that have taken their inventions and reinventions of the (im)probable to new heights. They have inverted history, disintegrated time, re-lived an aborted slave insurrection, supplicated a trickster god of the crosssroad, pitted an infernal, Eugenicist spirit against an ageless shape-shifter/Earth mother, hyperbolized their hero, borrowed the schematic of Dante’s hell, and featured flying Africans and a woman born without a navel (can you believe that?), and a child born with a caul, among other stupendous figurations. But are there really other reasons black writers are so strongly drawn to myth, besides its thematic, aesthetic, and affective possibilities? This course addresses that question. 

 

English 4420/7420: Africana Womanism

Clenora Hudson-Weems
Section 1

TR 2-3:15

(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 4490/7490: Native Studies: North America, Alaska, Hawaii

Maureen Konkle
Section 1

MWF 2-3:15

This course looks at indigenous writing and art in North America in the wake of British, Canadian, and US colonization and settlement, showing how North American indigenous art and writing connects to the concerns and practices of other indigenous peoples around the world.   We’ll look at works from oral traditions to contemporary literature and art, paying special attention to indigenous artistic responses to the important issues of climate change, sovereignty, and linguistic and cultural recovery in fiction, life-writing, poetry, film, radio, painting, sculpture, music, and other arts.  As it was common in the historical record for indigenous people to maintain that colonizers could and should learn from indigenous people about how to live, we will also seek out how that advice might apply to non-indigenous people in the present day.  Writing Intensive, pending approval.

English 4510: Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

Instructor
Section 1

R 3-5:30

Section 2

T 1-3:30

 

English 4510/7510: Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction: Story/Time

Trudy Lewis
Section 2

W 2-4:30

This semester, we will investigate time, one of the key features of narrative prose, in historical, modernist, contemporary, and science fiction. Students will produce three stories, one in each time period, and engage in several other exercises, improvisations, and collaborations.  At the end of the semester, students will choose one of their fictions to expand into a full-length story (12-25 pages).  This piece will then be workshopped and revised as a final project. Texts will include: A Taste of Honey by Jabari Asim,  The Adventures of Joe Harper by Phong Nguyen, My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Fools by Joan Silber, and Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein.

 

English 4520/7520: Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction Prose: Crafting the Personal Essay

Julija Sukys
Section 2

R 1-3:30

“Every man has within himself the entire human condition.” – Montaigne

(And every woman too.)

 

A wandering, open form, the personal essay is most successful when it takes its reader on a journey of discovery. Personal essays explore everyday life, revealing larger truths in the process. As such, the best essays appear to be about one thing but are really about something entirely different. They put the writer’s “I” at center-stage, are conversational, candid, and revelatory. In a tone that ranges from comic to self-deprecating to melancholic, the personal essayist asks: What is it that I don’t know and why? What have I learned and how?

 

In this workshop we will read the works who elevate the personal voice to an art form, and taking inspiration from them, we will craft and workshop our own.

English 4530/7530: Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

Aliki Barnstone
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45


 

I require the two volume Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, edited by Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman, and Robert O’Clair because it is the most comprehensive anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry in English; even if we disagree about the selections (a discussion worth having), it is essential reading for every student of poetry. The poetics section at the back of each volume is very useful. I also require Robert Pinsky’s The Sounds of Poetry because I think it is the best, most accessible, and most delightful guide to sound.

 

This is a workshop, and we will limit the time we spend on discussing reading, yet I find we have the most productive sessions workshopping when we develop a vocabulary together based on our readings of poetry and poetics and when we describe how our own poetics and artistic process are transformed by our reading. The premise here is that we write poetry in dialogue with the poets of the past, present, and future. Each of us will bring a lexicon to the table enriched both by what we read in common and on our own.

 

I also like to have a generative component to the workshop. So I’ll introduce you to some of my writing games, and we can come up with some together, as well.

 

Requirements include 1) active participation in the workshop, 2) a reading journal and notebook, 3) turn in

a poem a week, and 4) a chapbook of between 12-22 pages that includes a preface and table of contents.

English 4570: Adaptation of Literature for Stage

Instructor
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

English 4600/7600: Structure of American English

Michael Marlo
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

Cross-Listed as Linguistics 4600

 

This course is an upper-level introduction to linguistics that 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. 

English 4640/7640: Syntax

Michael Marlo
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

Cross-Listed as Linguistics 4640

 

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 morphosyntactic patterns of languages from around the world. 

 

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

Anand Prahlad
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

Although seldom discussed, racial discourses are often a part of folklore traditions. Examples are abundant in the forms of jokes, “myths,” folk beliefs, tales, religion, and proverbs, among others. Such examples usually function in complex ways within the groups in which they are found, for example, to reinforce cultural boundaries and identity, to negotiate social anxieties, or to provide a psychological buffer against political oppression. This course will first examine the concept and theories of “race.” We will then move on to explore narratives of race found within the folklore of different groups, noting the historical contexts that may have given rise to them, and their functions. We will focus particularly on examples in contemporary culture in which folklore and race intersect, for instance, in the sports and entertainment industries, in advertising, and in conflicts between citizens and law enforcement. Texts will include: Karyn D. McKinney, Being White: Stories of Race and Racism; Patricia A. Turner and Gary Alan Fine, Whispers on the Color Line; Omi and Winant, “Racial Formations in the United States”; Alan Dundes, “Slurs International”; Wolfgang Mieder, “Language and Folklore of the Holocast”; John Gwaltney, Drylongso; and Keith Basso, Portraits of the Whiteman.

English 4770: Oral Tradition: Legend, Rumor, Conspiracy

LuAnne Roth
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45, Required Screening T 3:30-6

 

This course examines three major folklore genres (legend, rumor, and conspiracy theory), focusing especially on those that have migrated from the oral realm to different forms of digital media (film, television, Internet, social media, news, etc.).  These genres touch upon the most sensitive areas of our existence.  This is why stories about supernatural encounters, miracles, evil spirits, and those about the criminally insane, continue to proliferate even in our modern times.  “Industrial advancement has not changed the basic fragility of human life,” writes Linda Dégh, “and the commercialization and consumer orientation of the mass media has actually helped legends travel faster and farther.”  From AIDS aggression and cannibalism to aliens, ghosts, and zombies, this class explores a broad range of anxiety-producing “belief complexes” that live in diverse cultural contexts.  In doing so, the class poses and seeks to answer such key questions as: How are legends related to rumor and conspiracy theory?  What is significant about their transmission and performance? How do these belief complexes reflect and shape human behavior? 

 

Learning Objectives: The films, assignments, and in-class activities are designed to provide the content knowledge and skills necessary to:

·      Identify and document variants of legends, rumors, and conspiracy theories;

·      Critically analyze the performance and patterning of different variants in context;

·      Understand how and why these folklore genres are transmitted and disseminated;

·      Engage in discussion and debate about the meaning and significance of these belief complexes.

 

Required Texts:  Aliens, Ghosts and Cults: Legends We Live (Ellis 2001); Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease and Death in Contemporary Legend (Bennett 2005); Film, Folklore and Urban Legends (Koven 2008); Conspiracy Theory in Film, Television, and Politics (Arnold 2008); and articles on Blackboard.

 

 

English 4840: Culture and Media: Global Indigenous Media

Joanna Hearne
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

Cross-listed with Film Studies 4840 and Digital Storytelling 4840

 

This course offers a historical overview and critical exploration of films and videos by indigenous directors, producers, writers, and actors. Beginning with early silent films and balancing Indigenous film history, regional case studies, and considerations of genres or modes such as animation and experimentalism, we will discuss indigenous filmmaking both as a distinct social practice and in relation to other minority cinemas and Hollywood. Topics for discussion will include (among others) the politics of racial representations in Westerns and ethnographic documentaries; visual sovereignty; indigenous experimentalism; cinema and the idea of tradition; spectatorship and identity; gender, race and masquerade in cinematic performance and casting; cinema and social justice including political reform, land claims and language preservation; the ethics of documentary film production; and community video and television. 

English 4940: Internship in English

Dana Kinnison
Section 1

by arrangement


Students are encouraged to secure their own internships in a range of professional areas beyond the university. Skills developed in English classes (writing, researching, organizing/synthesizing information) have recently led students to internships in government, public relations, event planning, digital production, and more. If you have landed an internship outside of the field of publishing and want English credit, this course number is used for that purpose. Please contact Prof. Dana Kinnison, Internship Coordinator, at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

English 4950/7950: Internship in Publishing: Persea Books

Gabriel Fried
Section 1

F 12-2:30

This course is a practicum in literary publishing, with an emphasis on poetry publishing. Students will be exposed to (and do real work on behalf of) the poetry series of Persea Books, a venerable publishing house based in New York City. (All student work will be done on MU campus.) Student projects may include reading and reporting on submissions, writing press releases, doing web research for book covers and publicity outlets, proofing book galleys, assisting with author tours and promotion, and co-administering contests. Interested students will also have the opportunity to gain familiarity with some practical (and resumé-building) facets of the book publishing business, such as contracts, subsidiary rights, and copyright application.

 

To apply for the Persea internship, please submit a one-page cover letter, describing your interest and any relevant experience or coursework, and a resumé by February 26 to Dr. Dana Kinnison, English Projects Coordinator. Hand deliver materials to 114 Tate Hall or email them 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.

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 many decades 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: Proverbs, Wisdom, Knowledge

Johanna Kramer

Section 1

MW 2-3:15

 

In this class, students will explore the role of proverbs, wisdom, and knowledge in a wide range of medieval and early modern literature. Proverb collections and wisdom literature are ancient, highly valued, and cross-cultural bodies of texts that raise issues related to such diverse aspects as learning, advice, social structures and regulations, moral behavior, gender relations, folklore, and oral tradition. Starting with classical and biblical precursors of medieval wisdom literature, as well as pre-modern theoretical writings on curiosity and knowledge, we will think about how different western traditions value wisdom, advice, and the pursuit of knowledge differently and how these views then find literary expression. Who should give or is qualified to give advice? What advice can be trusted? How much knowledge should a person acquire? Is there such a thing as too much knowledge? Is knowledge harmful to an individual or to a society? How much knowledge is befitting? And what does it all have to do with your post-college life? In thinking about these questions, we will also explore how wisdom and knowledge intersect with and are modulated by such categories as age, gender, and class. Readings include: Old Testament readings, biblical Proverbs and advice literature, Augustine’s Confessions, Old English poetry, selections from theCanterbury Tales, and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. This class is a Writing Intensive Course.

English 4970: Capstone Experience:Maps

Elizabeth Chang
Section 2

MWF 10-10:50

This capstone will draw on your creative and analytical skills as we investigate different kinds of literary mapping in order to ask questions about the role of place and space in the creation of literary worlds. You will use both digital and analog techniques to map the literature we read and the literary space around us as you complete several projects culminating in a significant final research project. We will read fiction from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, both British and American, to explore the ways that authors have written books about maps AND written books that can (or cannot) be mapped. We will also devote time to discussing questions about the life of an English major post-graduation.

English 4996: Honors Seminar in English: Medievalism and Nostalgia

Emma Lipton
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

 

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.

 

The theme of this course, “Medievalism and Nostalgia” will allow us to think critically about our affection for the past and about the role literature plays in producing that past. Some have argued that the popularity of medieval material throughout later eras suggests that Middle Ages plays a special role for us in representing the very idea of the past itself. We will consider such topics as the association of the Middle Ages with childhood, the connections between medievalism and orientalism, the links between medievalism and nationalism and between modern digital media and the medieval past.

 

Readings will pair medieval texts with later counterparts.  For example, we will read Chretien de Troyes’ Lancelot and Malory’s Morte D’Arthur in conjunction with later works such as Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, William Morris’s “Defense of Guinevere,” Twain’s  Connecticur Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and T.H. White’s Sword in the Stone.  We will compare Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play (2008) with medieval dramas of the Passion.  We will read the late medieval “Gest of Robin Hood” and then watch “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938).  The course will end with an investigation of Arthuriana in contemporary American film, games and other media.

 

Students will write several short papers and develop one of them into 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. The class will culminate with students presenting individual research projects in collaboration with the other honors seminar.

 

 

English 4996: Honors Seminar in English

Nancy West
Section 2

MWF 9-9:50

                                                 English 4996: The Historical Novel

 

 

Course Description

 

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 subject for this course is the historical novel, a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. It’s a fascinating genre to explore because it opens up all sorts of questions: How “true’ to history do historical novels need to be? What are the strategies a writer uses to blend fiction and history? How do we respond to characters and incidents that we know are based on real-life figures? Can novels shape the way we think and write about history?

 

 

We’ll look at eight novels considered to be among the best of the genre, attending closely to their narrative strategies as well as discussing big-picture subjects like historical accuracy, authenticity, “world-building,” and nostalgia.

 

Novels We’ll Be Reading

 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. 2009. “One of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary literature” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.” Amazon.

 

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. 1997.  “A shimmering novel that offers competing versions of historical truth. Atwood investigates the guilt or innocence of Grace Marks, convicted of double murder in a sensational case that riveted Canada in 1843. A psychiatrist who assesses her, the warden's family with whom she serves a life sentence, newspaper accounts and Grace herself all speak, but the shifting points of view underscore the unknowability.” Publisher’s Weekly

 

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald. 1995. “Set in Germany at the end of the eighteenth century, The Blue Flower tells the story of the brilliant Fritz von Hardenberg, who becomes the great romantic poet and philosopher ‘Novalis’ and falls in love with twelve-year-old Sophie von Kuhn. Several real-life characters, including Goethe and von Schlegel, make appearances.” The Telegraph

 

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. 1999. “Set in 17th century Holland, Chevalier’s novel has sold more than two million copies. It depicts the corruption of innocence as Griet, a maid in the household of the artist Vermeer, oversteps her domestic role and becomes intimately and scandalously involved with the artist. Chevalier was inspired by Vermeer’s famous painting, wondering if there was a story behind the look on the girl’s face.”—The Telegraph

 

Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge. 2012. “Dramatizes the night of April 15, 1912, when 1,500 people lost their lives after the world's greatest luxury liner--the invincible Titanic--sank on her maiden voyage. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.” Amazon.

 

Enigma by Robert Harris. 1995.   "Harris' books are swiftly moving, well-plotted scenarios set into rigorously researched and believable worlds. Enigma tells a ripping story of spycraft in the intense secrecy of the British codebreaking operation during World War II. Set at Bletchley Park, the manor transformed into a number-crunching hive, the novel conveys the period's high anxiety and pressure.” Publishers Weekly

 

Affinity by Sarah Waters. 2002.An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes.” Amazon.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. 1997. Much has been made of how a male writer could so convincingly inhabit the character of a Japanese geisha. But the novel's real strength lies in the lucidity and modesty of its storytelling, a lack of fussiness that mirrors spare Japanese aesthetics. The best writing disappears: here we are at Sayuri's elbow, listening as she shares her life in all its degradations and aspirations, its foreignness and formal elegance. Golden's achievement is to open up a sealed and foreign world in the form of an affecting coming of age tale.” Publishers Weekly

 

Students will write 6 short papers and a longer paper (approx. 20 pages). Writing this research paper will allow students to practice the various stages – proposal, annotated bibliography, rough draft, presentation, and final draft – that they will need to be familiar with when undertaking their independent thesis in the following semester. At the end of the semester, we will engage in some sort of collaborative presentation with Dr. Lipton’s section of 4996. Like us, they will be examining the relationship between history and literature—by studying re-visitings of medieval literature throughout the centuries.

 

 

                                              

English 8005: Introduction to Graduate Study

Bill Kerwin
Section 1

W 7-8:30

English 8006: Job Market Workshop

Samuel Cohen
Section 1

W 1-3:15

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

R 2-3:15

 

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 8050: Contemporary Critical Approaches

Carsten Strathausen
Section 1

R 12:30-3

 

This course focuses on current trends in literary theory. Our overall goal is to explore both the philosophical as well as the socio-political dimension of theoretical paradigms such as structuralism, postmodernism, deconstruction, post-colonialism, psychoanalysis, feminism, Marxism, reader response, etc. Two critical premises will guide our discussion: first, the belief that there is no “meta-theory” able to account for all the insights fashioned by the different approaches to literary and cultural production. The second premise holds that theories do not just emerge out of a socio-historical vacuum, but always carry within themselves traces of the particular context in which they are “born.” Examining that context, then, is an essential part for “understanding” literary and aesthetic theory in general. Rather than dismissing a particular critical approach as “unrealistic” or “outdated,” it is far more productive to assess its strength and weaknesses within and beyond the historical context during which it emerged. This approach should also help students to become more familiar with whatever theory they might find most useful for their own work. The course begins with a brief discussion of the “linguistic turn” in 20th century theory and the fundamental importance of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics from 1916.

English 8060: Seminar in Critical Theory: Postcolonial Theory

Karen Piper

Section 1

M 7-9:30

Postcolonial theory began in literature departments but quickly spread across disciplinary boundaries to 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 feminism. 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, and the subaltern.  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.  This course is useful for anyone interested in becoming more fluent about issues of race/ethnicity, globalization and social justice, and the history of imperialism and resistance to empire.

English 8060: Seminar in Critical Theory: Warhol

Elisa Glick
Section 2

W 4-6:30

 

In the last year of his life, Andy Warhol created a series of self-portraits that use the jigsaw-like pattern of army camouflage to abstract and disguise his own image, offering an ironic and haunting comment on his reputation as an enigmatic disappearing act.  This enduring image of Warhol as an icon of nothingness—his puzzling “blankness” or machine-like impersonality—will serve as our point of departure this semester.  Are Warhol’s strategies of self-effacement an extended meditation on the complexities of self-revelation?  A critique of humanist notions of identity?  We will take up such questions by investigating a wide range of the artist’s multimedia work, including writings, films, photographs, performance art, collections, sculpture, commercial art, and time capsules.  Focusing on his key motifs of profit, sex, death and fame, this seminar will contextualize Warhol’s aesthetic choices and social commitments within the larger preoccupations and problems of (post)modern cultural production.  For example, how can the avant-garde integrate art and everyday life in the standardized world of mass culture?  Is the autonomy of art necessary to guarantee its utopian potential?   Topics will include:  the cultural milieu of the Factory, nostalgia, celebrity, mechanical reproduction, art and commodity culture, dandyism, authenticity, beauty, pleasure, camp and queer aesthetics, temporality, boredom, and repetition.

English 8210: Chaucer and the Critics

Emma Lipton
Section 1

T 12:30-3:00

 

Perhaps because Chaucer’s oeuvre includes the major genres of medieval literature,  Chaucer criticism has historically defined the field of late medieval literary studies, working as both a harbinger of critical trends and a bell weather of the current state of the field. We will read Chaucer’s works along with some of the most influential works of Chaucer criticism. A study of Chaucer criticism provides both a history of the field of Middle English criticism and a vehicle for entering into critical debates of 2016. We will consider established approaches such as manuscript history; source study and translation; medieval poetics; and historicism in addition to newer approaches such as affect studies, ecocriticism, animal studies, globalism, and the new biographical (re)turn in Chaucer studies.

English 8250: 19th-century British Literature: Ballads and Revivals

Noah Heringman
Section 1

W 4-6:30

 

Lyrical Ballads, published by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798, is “generally considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature”—according to Wikipedia. But it could also be considered as the end of two revivals, the Ballad Revival and the “Romantic Revival”—in fact, literary critics typically used the latter expression before the idea of English Romanticism became widespread in the mid-20th century. What did Wordsworth and Coleridge do differently from Thomas Percy, Robert Burns, and the many other poets before them who revived the ballad, a form of verse narrative in quatrains that came down from the European Middle Ages, often by way of oral tradition? Are ballads really literature?  (Samuel Johnson, predictably, said no.)  What is a literary revival, and is it conservative, innovative, or just undead?  Is making poetry speak “the real language of men” a political project?  How did Romantic poets bridge the European literary tradition with the modern nationalist practice of collecting folk songs and folk tales?  We will ask these questions as we read Lyrical Ballads (of course), Burns’s Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786), and selections from Sir Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802), James Francis Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1898), and Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music (1952).  We will also read critical and theoretical essays by Katie Trumpener, Maureen McLane, and others who explore connections between the ballad revival and the “human sciences” of the time, including conjectural history and early forms of ethnography.  The course concludes with a unit on versions of the ballad in American popular music. 

English 8310: 19th-century American Literature: Deep into the American Renaissance

John Evelev
Section 1

Th 3:30-6


This course takes its title a couple of different ways.  We will trace out the way the literature of the American Renaissance, the seminal antebellum period of American romanticism, often explored epistemological divides between surface and depth, worrying over ways of understanding nature/the environment, history/politics and people.  At the same time, often graduate classes move quickly, brushing the surface of major works in the desire for adequate coverage.  We will try to go into greater depth on selected individual texts, assaying really "deep dives" into some of the authors F.O.Matthiessen highlighted in his 1941 study American Renaissance as well as going beyond the limited authors of the initial vision of the American canon.  We will also try to explore "distant reading," some of the spatial mapping of literature that finds meaning more on the surfaces of texts. Critical approaches that will be emphasized include: new formalism, spatial theory/literary mapping, deep time, new materialism and perhaps some forays into mindful writing.

Authors to be studied may include: Melville, Whitman, Thoreau, Fuller, Poe, Crafts and others.

English 8320: 20th-century American Literature: Post-1960s US Literature

Andrew Hoberek
Section 1

M 1-3:30
This seminar will address questions of literary periodization in relation to post-1960 US fiction.  It is increasingly (although not universally) accepted that the dominant literary style that emerged around 1960 (or maybe it was 1945) has been displaced by something new, but what is this new style, and when did it emerge?  What, indeed, was the old style it displaced--postmodernism, or something else?  Is postmodernism (or whatever it was) just one thing, or are there multiple phenomena grouped under the label?  What is the relationship between literary style since 1960 and historical events, such as the Cold War (and its end) or the rise of the creative program (and its transformation)?  These are questions we will seek to answer (or at least make explicit) with the help of fiction and critical studies.  Come for the parenthetical qualifiers, stay for the complicated understanding of literary history they emblematize!

English 8510: Advanced Writing Fiction

Trudy Lewis
Section 1

M 4-6:30

 

English 8510

Fall 2016

 

Metamorphoses

 

In a recent essay, Jhumpa Lahari explains her project of writing in Italian, an unfamiliar language, so that she can experience a linguistic metamorphosis. Citing Ovid, Lahiri compares herself to the nymph Daphne, who becomes a tree in order to escape the unwelcome attentions of the god Apollo. “I realize I’m trying to get away from something, to free myself… But this change, this new opening, is costly; like Daphne, I too, find myself confined. I can’t move as I did before, the way I was used to moving in English. A new language, Italian, covered me like a kind of bark. I remain inside: renewed, trapped, relieved, uncomfortable.” Change has long been a defining feature of fiction; however, in our era of creative disruption the concept itself has undergone a metamorphosis. This semester our workshop will focus on the freedoms and limitations of transformation, including gender fluidity, literary experimentation, the transmutation of fact into fiction, genre-crossing, attempts to re-imagine race and ethnicity, human and post-human evolution. Texts may include: excerpts from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, S/Z  by Roland Barthes, selected Cheever stories, selected Calvino stories, In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri, A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, The Danish Girl by David Ebersoff, A Collapse of Horses  by Brian Everson, Oreo by Fran Ross, and Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein.  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 Nonfiction: Structure in CNF

Julija Sukys
Section 1

F 1-3:30

"The approach to structure in factual writing is like returning from a grocery store with materials you intend to cook for dinner. You set them out on the kitchen counter, and what’s there is what you deal with, and all you deal with." -- John McPhee.

 

Eventually, every writer of creative nonfiction learns a hard truth: structure is both the key to and the hardest aspect of this genre to master.

 

In this seminar, we will tackle the challenge of structuring texts head on. We will analyze masterpieces and map out how they were made. We will take texts apart and put them back together. We will read what the great ones have to say on the subject and apply their words to our own efforts. Above all, we will write from structure, toward structure, around it and through it. We will doubtless fight with it, but through understanding, we will tame it and try to make it our friend. 

English 8530: Advanced Writing Poetry

Aliki Barnstone
Section 1

M 4-6:30I ordered the two volume Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, edited by Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman, and Robert O’Clair because I find that I advise graduate students to own it, especially for exams. The poetics section at the back of each volume is very useful. I also ordered Robert Pinsky’s The Sounds of Poetry because I think it is the best guide to sound.

 

This is a workshop, and we will limit the time we spend on discussing reading, yet I find we have the most productive sessions workshopping when we develop a vocabulary together based on our readings of poetry and poetics, and describe how our own poetics and artistic process are transformed by our reading. The premise here is that we write poetry in dialogue with the poets of the past, present, and future. Each of us will bring a lexicon to the table enriched both by what we read in common and on our own.

 

I also like to have a generative component to the workshop. So I’ll introduce you to some of my writing games, and we can come up with some together, as well. In the first part of the workshop, we'll focus on generating work, and the last weeks (a week for each of you) on manuscripts; so depending on where you are, we’d discuss either a full-length book manuscript (42+ pages) or a chapbook length one (12-22 pages).

English 8700: Folklore and Literature: Exploring Science Fiction

Anand Prahlad
Section 1

R 3:30-6

 

Most genres of literature draw upon materials of folklore, in basic and complex ways. In fiction, for example, plot, character development, structure, and dialogue are often consciously, or unconsciously, infused with elements from narrative genres such as legends and folktales, folk speech, beliefs, customs, religion, and rituals. Similar assertions can also be made about poetry and nonfiction. Although scholarship tends to focus on literature reflecting rural or otherwise marginalized communities, the influence of folklore is no less pervasive in works set in metropolitan, mainstream locales. This seminar will explore ways in which folklore can be integral to literary texts, with a focus on Science Fiction and Afrofuturistic authors and some of their works. We will be especially concerned with how the examination of folklore in these works can illuminate current theoretical issues in science fiction, e.g., the nature of the posthuman, disability, race, and gender identity. Required texts will include works by Octavia Butler, Samuel Delaney, Cormac McCarthy, Walter Mosley, Margaret Atwood, Ursula LeGuin, and Nalo Hopkinson.