Fall Courses

Fall 2014

 


English 1000: Exposition and Argumentation

Various Instructors
All Sections

Various times

English 1000 is a college writing course that focuses on the choices that informed writers make when discovering, developing, and revising academic papers appropriate for the given topic. We offer about 115 sections of English 1000 each semester. 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 2111H)

Section 4: MWF 9-9:50

Section 5: TR 9:30-10:45

 

English 1000H: Honors Exposition English: Mizzou's One Read

Martha Townsend
Section 2

TR 9:30-10:45

English 1060: Human Language

Matt Gordon
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

Language is a uniquely human achievement, a development that sets us apart from other animals. It is a powerful tool that we use during our every waking hour (and during much of our sleep). Still, we rarely stop to appreciate the complex role it plays in our everyday life. This course explores language from a variety of perspectives. We will consider the structure of language, looking at how sounds combine to form words and how words combine to form sentences. To gain a sense of the diversity of linguistic structures, we will consider examples from a variety of the world’s languages. We will also investigate the social functioning of language. We will learn about American dialects and about differences in the speech of men and women. Along the way, we will take on a number of popular myths about “primitive” languages, grammar rules, the language of the media, etc. In sum, the course will teach you how to make nouns plural in Swahili, how to recognize St. Louisans by their dialect and, most importantly, how to think critically about language. Cross listed with Anthropology 1060/02 and Linguistics 1060/02.

English 1210: Introduction to British Literature

Various Instructors
Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 9-9:50

Section 3: MWF 12-12:50

Section 4: MWF 12-12:50

Section 5: MWF 2-2:50

Section 6: MWF 11-11:50

Section 7: MWF 11-11:50


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 1210H: Introduction to British Literature, Honors

Anne Myers
Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

This course will introduce you to some of the greatest hits of British literature written between the tenth century and the present day. These are works you will never forget; they are by turns funny, sad, strange, bawdy, intellectual, beautiful and complex. They represent multiple genres, including poetry, novel, short story, essay and drama. Assignments will give you the opportunity to consider the possible relationships between literature and history, as well as between printed text and other media, including performance and the visual arts. In addition, study of literary terms and movements will help you to write, speak, and think about literature with greater precision and confidence. Works are likely to include Anglo-Saxon riddles, selections from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, a play by William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese, John Milton's Paradise Lost, Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and Zadie Smith's "The Waiter's Wife."

English 1310: Introduction to American Literature

Various Instructors
Section 1: MWF 9-9:50

Section 2: MWF 9-9:50

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


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

English 1510: Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction

Various Instructors
Section 1: MWF 10-10:50

Section 2: MWF 11-11:50

Section 3: MWF 12-12:50

Section 4: T 6:30-9pm

Section 5: MWF 2-2:50

Section 6: TR 12:30-1:45


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

English 1520: Creative Writing: Introduction to Nonfiction Prose

Various Instructors

Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 2-2:50

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 4: MW 6-7:15pm


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

English 1530: Creative Writing: Introduction to Poetry

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 2-2:50

Section 2: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45


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

English 1700: Introduction to Folklore Genres

Instructor
Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

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

English 1800: Introduction to Film Studies

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

Section 01A: MWF 10-10:50

Section 01B: MWF 11-11:50

Section 01C: MWF 9-9:50

Section 01D: MWF 12-12:50 


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 2000H: Literature and the Family

Julie Melnyk
Section 1 

MWF 11-11:50

 

In this course we read literature from different periods and cultures that examines family relationships in all their complexity.  Starting with foundational myths drawn from Judaic, Christian, classical, European, Native American and Chinese sources, we discuss relationships between parents and children, sisters and brothers, and wives and husbands, analyzing similarities and differences across time and culture.  Through close, contextualized readings of essays, short stories, novels, poetry, and drama, we broaden and deepen our understanding of the family and of our own family relationships.  Requirements include active class participation, two midterms and final, class presentation, and term paper/project.  Honors eligibility required.

English 2006: Studies in English, Beginning to 1603: Journey of the Hero

Raymond Ronci
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

English 2010: Intermediate Composition

Various Instructors
Section 1: TR 11-12:15

Section 2: MWF 12-12:50

Section 3: MWF 10-10:50

Section 4: TR 8-9:15am

 

Provides intensive guided practice in expository and persuasive writing. Prerequisite: English [ENGLSH] 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:  Engl 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 [ENGLSH] 1000.

 

English 2100: Writing About Literature

Various Instructors
Section 1: MWF 11-11:50 (English majors only)

Section 2: TR 2-3:15

Section 3: MWF 12-12:50

Section 4: MWF 9-9:50 (English majors only)

Section 6: MWF 1-1:50

 

This course introduces the student to reading in three or four genres (fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction) and to literary concepts and terms and their application in literary analysis. Prerequisite: English [ENGLSH] 1000.

English 2100H: Writing about Literature, Honors

Instructor
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

English 2159: Introduction to World Literature, 1890 to Present

Various Instructors

Section 1: MWF 11-11:50

Section 3: TR 12:30-1:45

 

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

English 2169: Major Authors, 1890 to Present: Jay-Z and Kanye West

Andrew Hoberek
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

This course looks at the career and work of Jay-Z and Kanye West from three perspectives: (1) Where do they fit within, and how do they transform, the history of hip-hop music? (2) How is what they do similar to and different from what poets do?, and (3) How does their rise to both celebrity and corporate power alter what we understand as the American dream?  In addition to listening to music and watching videos, we will also read Jay-Z's Decoded; histories of and critical works on rap music by Jeff Chang, Adam Bradley, and others; and one or two good studies of how poetry works.

English 2300: Studies in American Literature: American Short Stories

Charles Marvin
Section 1

TR 2-3:15

This is a course in the American short story beginning with the works of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe and continuing through the most recent decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The course presents the opportunity to sample the works of fiction writers in a substantial survey of the genre, as well as study the craft of some of America's most inventive authors.  The course format will largely be class discussion, with regularly scheduled response assignments and three exams required.

English 2400: Introduction to African Diaspora Literature

Clenora Hudson-Weems
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

Cross listed with Black Studies 2400.

English 2510: Creative Writing: Intermediate Fiction Writing

Various Instructors
Section 2: TR 11-12:15

Section 3: TR 8-9:15am 

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

English 2520: Creative Writing: Intermediate Nonfiction Prose

Instructor

Section 1: MWF 1-1:50

Section 2: TR 11-12:15

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 with lab T 7-10pm

Cross listed with Theatre 2920.

English 2830: American Film History I, 1895-1950

Abigail Manzella
Section 1

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

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

English 2601: Languages of Africa

Michael Marlo

Section 1
TR 11-12:15

 

This course provides an introduction to the field of linguistics through the languages of Africa. Students are introduced to the considerable diversity of the more than 2000 African languages, while gaining first-hand experience in the study of select African languages. We will investigate the sound systems and the structure of words and sentences in a few African languages, in part by eliciting original data from native speakers. The core linguistic features of African languages will be compared and contrasted with those of English and other languages of the world. The final segment of the course will consider interactions of language and society in Africa. 

English 2860: Film Themes and Genres: Postcolonial Europe

Karen Piper
Section 2

TR 12:30-1:45 with required screening R 7-9:30

Cross-listed with Film Studies 2860-01.

 

 

This class will focus on the portrayal of multicultural Europe after World War II, following the demise of European Empires.  We will watch movies primarily from England and France, including “Black Girl,” “The Class,” “This is England,” “Code Unknown,” “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul,” "Terraforma," “In This World,” “La Petite Jerusalem,” “My Son the Fanatic,” “La Promesse,” “Paradise: Love,” "Shun Li and the Poet," and “Welcome.”  Our readings will include articles on film and cultural history.  Discussion will focus on decolonization and immigration issues, European racism, the rise of the far right, cross-cultural miscommunication, postcolonial frustration and anger, and the impact of multiculturalism on European cinema.  We will also discuss directorial aesthetic choices and the shifting perspectives of contemporary European cinema.    

 

English 2860: Film Themes and Genres: Zombies 'R' Us

LuAnne Roth
Section 3

TR 2-3:15 with screening W 6-8:30

Cross-listed with Film Studies 2860.

English 3100: Introduction to Literary Theory

Raymond Ronci
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

Description

English 3110: Special Themes in Literature: Stories and Storytelling

Maureen Konkle
Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

This course concerns the broad social function of stories and storytelling, mainly in the contemporary context:  that is, what stories do as much as what they mean.  It asks how stories work for both teller and audience, how stories signify socially, culturally, and politically as well as artistically; how stories are essential to identity; and how stories are powerful, for good and ill.  We will be examining such topics as storytelling in everyday life, the persistence of fairy tales in popular and literary writing, the significance of storytelling in indigenous cultures, the attractions of horror and fantasy, and the representation of storytelling in literary fiction.  Works will include those by writers such as Margaret Atwood, Chris Ware, Thomas King, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King and a range of written genres, including, besides those already mentioned, memoir and graphic novels.  Your own knowledge about newer, digital forms of storytelling like video games will be a useful addition to the course.  Mid-term and final take-home essays, class presentation, periodic quizzes.

English 3110: Special Themes in Literature: Digital Indigenous Studies

Joanna Hearne and Mark Palmer
Section 2

MWF 11-11:50 with screening F 1-3:30

Writing Intensive, cross-listed with Geography 3496/3496H, Peace Studies 3496/3496H, Film Studies 3005. 

 

This course introduces students to Indigenous studies in a digital world. The course begins with the study of Indigenous sovereignty and representation, and moves quickly to critical and theoretical readings in new media, tracing both the historical impact of digital technologies (such as GIS) on Native communities, and the ways that both urban and rural Native communities have engaged in innovative digital projects that expand the way we understand information and storytelling in digital environments. The course materials will cover a wide range o platforms and audio-visual genres, from documentary, community video, and animation productions, to GIS, video games, and social media sites. Students will engage with both scholars and artists working with new media through a program of public lectures, classroom visits, and Skype interviews. All interviews will be archived as podcasts from the course website. Students will write weekly short response papers, a long paper, and independent audio-visual projects over the course of the semester, with opportunities to revise their work leading up to substantial final projects. The course will also integrate community outreach into the curriculum through online participation of students from the Kiowa Kids, an Indigenous language immersion and storytelling program.

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature, 1890 to Present: Bad Girls

Elisa Glick
Section 1

MW 4-5:15

 

Femme fatales.  Vamps.  Gender outlaws.  Diabolical divas.  Gold diggers.  Feminists.  Bohemian artists.  Killer lesbians.  Bitches.  Fierce Rappers.  Mean Girls.  This course investigates American culture’s obsessive, love-hate relationship with one of the most enigmatic and controversial images of modern womanhood:  the “bad girl.”  Why have bad girls provoked such ambivalent feelings in the modern imagination, remaining objects of fascination and repulsion throughout the 20th century and into the 21st?  Why does the image of the bad girl—sometimes beguiling, sometimes sinister—captivate and shock us today?  How have women appropriated stereotypes of female deviance to rebel against gender constraints?   Examining changing representations of bad girls and the social contexts they variously reflect and illuminate, this course investigates how differences of race, class, and sexuality have shaped cultural norms of femininity since the 1940s. Throughout the course, our aim will be to examine the ways in which the bad girl is indispensable to modern constructions of gender and desire in American culture.   Readings and other course materials will include literary texts, films, theoretical and historical essays, and popular culture. Cross-listed as WGST 3480.

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature, 1890 to Present: Contemporary Literature and Catastrophe

Sheri-Marie Harrison
Section 2

TR 9:30-10:45

The term "ground zero" refers to the part of the ground situated immediately under an exploding bomb. In 1946 it was used in reference to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, the term has become more familiar in reference to the 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center. In his 2008 novel, The Brief and Wondrous Life Wao, Junot Diaz describes the Dominican Republic as the “Ground Zero” of the New World. This shift in meaning away from literal bomb blasts to the explosive repercussions of dictatorial postcolonial governance exemplifies this course’s examination of the relationship between literature and catastrophe. In this course, we will read novels by Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Joe Sacco among others, that address the historical loss and injustices that have given shape to modern realities in spaces like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nigeria, and Bosnia. Our goal in examining these texts’ representation of various catastrophes is to craft thoughtful and well researched observations about how various writers reframe our understanding of history, contemporary geopolitics, and social justice. The following are some of the questions we will ask of the things we will read: In what ways does ground zero function as a concept in contemporary writing? How have writers responded to ruptures, wounds, silences, and gaps that constitute their past and in some cases their present? What is literature’s role in a present that is increasingly defined by large-scale catastrophe?

English 3119: Special Themes in Literature, 1890 to Present: History and Contemporary Literature

Maureen Konkle
Section 3

TR 11-12:15

This course will consider the tension between writing history and writing fiction, mostly in works published from the last quarter of the twentieth century to the present, and in a variety of types of historical fiction, including historical fantasy, historical mysteries, alternate history, and historical literary fiction.  The time periods may include Tudor England, Civil War-era U.S., ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, the 16th-century Ottoman Empire, and 19th-century New Zealand; the books will include both translated works and those written in English.  Writers may include Hilary Mantel, Stephen King, Orhan Pamuk, Margaret Atwood, Umberto Eco, James Welch, Elizabeth Catton, and James McBride.  We will give consideration to what makes popular historical fiction popular and why writers of literary fiction are attracted to stories about historical events, with invented or real historical characters.  We will also pay attention to how each writer approaches the problem of writing historically about things he or she cannot really know and why historical fiction in general appears to be popular now.  Midterm and final take-home essays, class presentation, periodic quizzes.

English 3180: Survey of Women Writers

Aliki Barnstone
Section 1

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

English 3180H: Survey of Women Writers, Honors

Elaine Lawless
Section 2

MW 2-3:15

This HONORS section of English 3180 will feature a wide range of women writers in the English language. We will read a diverse cross-section of women writers, focusing on several writers students have perhaps not read before in their previous classes. Although some formal research on the writers we read for the course will be assigned, the course will be primarily discussion of and written responses to students’ engagement with the works and to how women’s writings have changed over time, circumstances, and social/cultural contexts. Writers may include St. Perpetua, Mary Shelley, Gilman, Hurston, Atwood, Kate Chopin, Plath, and Terry Tempest Williams.  Most short readings will be made available on Blackboard, but novels will need to be purchased. 

English 3200: Survey of British Literature, Beginnings to 1784

Lee Manion
Section 2

MWF 11-11:50

This course introduces roughly the first ten centuries of literature in English (Old, Middle, Early Modern) via a look at how English was born out of contact with a native British (Irish, Welsh, Latin) tradition. Ever wonder what those Anglo-Saxons were up to when they spoke the first words of the English language? If the “Dark Ages” were really dark or just oddly lit? Where the legends of kings, knights, and damsels originated? How "brilliant" the Enlightenment was? Or from where our modern conceptions of self, love, nature, and imagination derive? By reading different literary forms in their historical context we will explore the rich uses of literature and how it reflects and affects cultural realities. 

 

This course will train you in medieval and early modern ways of reading, writing, and thinking. Texts range from native folktales to Anglo-Saxon elegies and riddles, from medieval romances to sonnets, from a Shakespearean play to satires. Prerequisite: English 1000 or equivalent.

 

English 3210: Survey of British Literature, Romanticism to Present

Staff
Section 1

MWF 9-9:50

English 3210: Survey of British Literature, Romanticism to Present

Julie Melnyk
Section 2

MWF 2-2:50

Description

English 3300: Survey of American Literature, Beginnings to 1865

Alexandra Socarides
Section 1

MWF 2-2:50

This course will provide a survey of American literature between the colonial period and the Civil War. We will read in a wide variety of genres including poetry, sermons, autobiography, essays, songs, letters, journalism, and political tracts. Writers will include: Smith, Bradford, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, Franklin, Equiano, Occum, Paine, Jefferson, Jones, Tecumseh, Wheatley, Irving, Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Walker, Garrison, Smith, Truth, Apess, Fern, Jacobs, Douglass, Melville, Davis, Whitman, Dickinson, Harper, and Lincoln. We will turn our attention to the variety of issues with which these writers were concerned (including slavery, women's rights, nationalism, empire, nature, the role of the outsider, and the various reform movements of the time) and focus on the ways in which they navigated these problems through their choice of literary genre. Course assignments will include regular reading quizzes, weekly discussion board posts, a group project, and several short papers.

 

English 3300: Survey of American Literature, Beginnings to 1865

Charles Marvin
Section 2

TR 12:30-1:45

Description

English 3310: Survey of American Literature, 1865 to Present

John Evelev
Section 1

TR 11-12:15

"They Read/We Read"

This course takes as its project to consider American literary history by contrasting some of the most popular works of literature with works that have been canonized as literary classics at different times in the span from 1865 to Present.  American literary history has a tendency to read certain literary works as emblematic or representative of American society of the moment, but reading popular works might offer a very different vision of what was going on in American life. "They Read/We Read" pairings include: Bellamy's Looking Backward & Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" & Anita Loos' "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Collins' "The Hunger Games" and Whitehead's "Zone One," along with selected short fiction and poetry.

Required work: short papers, class presentations and online projects.

English 3310: Survey of American Literature, 1865 to Present

Abigail Manzella
Section 3

MWF 2-2:50

 

In this survey of American literature from the end of the Civil War to the present moment, students will engage with vibrant texts in the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama. This literature, some of which will have just been published, will teach students not only about how authors responded to the historical moment in the past but also how they continue to do so today. Authors across the time period and various genres may include Sarah Winnemucca, Charles Chesnutt, Ernest Hemingway, Lillian Hellmann, Langston Hughes, and Sandra Cisneros. The terminology for different writing styles, such as naturalism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism, will help to frame our discussions. The course will also ask questions about the shifting notions of subjectivity. Who is given an interiority in the stories we read, particularly in relationship to the categories of gender, race, and national origin? Who are the authors telling such tales? How do perceptions of American-ness change?

English 3410: Survey of African American Literature, 1900 to Present

Christopher Okonkwo
Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

 

Cross listed as Black Studies 3410.

 

African American literature offers a fascinating body of works, unique in their history, diverse in their concerns, and engaging in their sometimes "call-and-response" conversation.  Since the literature’s inception centuries ago, African American writers and artists have through their works—folk/oral tradition, poetry, autobiographies, pamphlets, fiction, drama, non-fiction prose, speeches, paintings, songs and other cultural productions—contemplated the various issues integral to the complex experience of people of African descent in the United States.  This course surveys important twentieth- through twenty-first century historical moments, writers, and works, as well as some of the intellectual debates and theories that have helped define the African American literary tradition. We will examine the tradition mainly from a historical, theoretical and critical standpoint and also supplement our readings and discussions with photographs, documentaries and audio recordings of significant, African American historical and literary figures and sociopolitical events. 

 

English 3560: Intermediate Playwriting

David Crespy
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

(Same as Theatre 3920)

English 3570: Performance of Literature

Instructor
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

Description

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: Life Writing

Richard Schwartz
Section 1

TR 11:00-12:15

 

Lifewriting includes such forms as biography, autobiography, the memoir, diary and journal.  Normally done in prose, it can also be done in verse, on film and in other forms.  While prominent examples exist in antiquity, the middle ages and the renaissance, lifewriting accelerates in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and theoretical issues concerning the practice begin to be elucidated and debated.  In the first half of the course we will examine a series of examples of lifewriting from the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  In the second half, students will prepare three pieces of work: a report on a specific biography of their choosing, a biographical document of their own creation and an autobiographical document of their own creation.  The students' work will be discussed and workshopped by their classmates.

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: Writing the Spiritual Journey

Scott Cairns
Section 2

TR 11-12:15

 

Texts:

  • Bewildered Travel by Frederick J. Ruf
  • The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life by Jim Forest
  • Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  • The Way of a Pilgrim (more or less anonymous)
  • Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard
  • Excerpts from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

 

This is an intensive writing course, so students should be prepared to write and to discuss one another's works-in-progress. That said, we will work to understand the act of writing itself to be spiritual journey and not simply to be about spiritual journey. That is, we will work to acquire a relationship to our reading and writing that enables our making progress, a sense that we write to discover, and not simply to express what we think we have discovered already.

 

This is also a strenuous reading course, requiring that we engage the literary tradition of the spiritual journey prior to our attempting to add to that tradition. We will be reading excerpts from key works spanning many centuries, attending both to the conventions that continue and to ways that subsequent writers have modified those conventions. We may also find that our appropriation of one or another of these model texts may be useful in our own literary production, our own engagement with the road.

English 4040/7040: Studies in Writing: Mindful Writing

Donna Strickland
Section 3

MWF 1-1:50

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

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

Cornelius Eady
Section 4

MW 1-3:30 (Class meets only during the first 8 week semester)

Description

English 4100/7100: Genres: Essay and Experiment

Lily Gurton-Wachter
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

“I cannot keep my subject still. It goes along befuddled and staggering, with a natural drunkenness. I take it in this condition, just as it is the moment I give my attention to it. I do not portray being; I portray passing… If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial.”

 

- Michel de Montaigne, “Of Repentance”

 

Montaigne’s description above may differ from how you tend to think of the experience of writing essays: the essay-writing mind, he writes, is always in apprenticeship and on trial, continually thinking, experimenting, and changing, just as his subject is always changing, passing, never still. The essay form, he writes, allows his mind to remain indecisive, to think through or around ideas rather than make decisions, to learn as it writes rather than writing what it has already learned. This course will consider the experimental possibilities of the essay form; we will read essays at the genre’s limits – essays that border formally on narrative, poetry, or prose poetry, essays that play with the distinction between fiction and non-fictionand, above all, essays that court unconventional, experimental, and exciting ways to organize thinking and thereby invite new forms of knowing. This course will also give you the opportunity to experiment with your own essay writing, to blur the boundary between critical and creative writing, and take inspiration from a variety of experimental essay writers. We will read essays by Theodor Adorno, James Baldwin, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Jorge Luis Borges, Jenny Bouilly, Anne Carson, J.M. Coetzee, Samuel Delany, R.W. Emerson, Jamaica Kincaid, Charles Lamb, Michael de Montaigne, Eileen Myles, Kristin Prevallet, J.J. Rousseau, Susan Sontag, Gertrude Stein, Catherine Taylor, David Foster Wallace, Rosemarie Waldrop, and Virginia Woolf. We will also look at film essays by Harun Faroki, Chris Marker, and Agnes Varda, and consider how blogging has changed the experimental essay. Course requirements include difficult readings, weekly reading questions/responses, film screenings, in class writing, a number of short essays in both draft and final revision form, and one long final essay.

English 4100H: The Letter as Genre

Martha Townsend
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

 

Cross listed with Gen Hon 3210H Honors Humanities Colloquia: The Letter as Genre.

 

Laments appear frequently in the popular press decrying the demise of letter writing (e.g., ”The Death of Letter-Writing,” New York Times, 11/10/13), and informal queries do suggest that contemporary students’ knowledge about letters is slim.  They rarely write or receive letters, nor have they had an opportunity to study the impact of letters and letter writing in our culture or over time.  This course seeks to fill that gap for students from across the curriculum by taking a rhetorical genre approach to answer such questions as: What makes letters different from other forms of communication?  Who writes letters and why?  Who reads them, and for what purpose?  What is the impact of digital technology on letter writing?  Is letter writing dead, as many journalists and critics suggest, or has the practice taken another form?  And finally, why should we care?  

 

In this discussion-based writing-intensive course, students will write short, informal papers; a longer, formal research paper; and be invited to propose alternative assignments within the spirit of the material we are studying.  There are no quizzes or traditional exams.

English 4129/7129: Ethnic Literature, 1890 to Present: U.S. Ethnic Literature and Theory

Abigail Manzella
Section 1

TR 2-3:15

What does it mean to be ethnic in America? For example, how does being African American, Jewish American, Asian American and/or Arab American affect how someone perceives the world and is perceived? Is this question even valid now that the U.S. claims to be multicultural and even occasionally post-racial? From the 1970s until now, how are race and ethnicity presented in the stories we tell about ourselves? In this course students will analyze literature from the latter quarter of the 20th century into the new millennium to trace how representations of race and ethnicity are treated in the United States. Students will look at the fiction of acclaimed contemporary authors such as Toni Morrison, Sherman Alexie, Gish Jen, Helena María Viramontes, and Jonathan Safran Foer. Graphic art by Art Spiegelman, drama by Anna Deavere Smith, as well as film and music from the period will expand our exploration into other forms of art. Examining critical race theory alongside these texts, students will discover how the structure and content of these texts respond to the cultural changes from the Civil Rights Movement to the post-9/11, post-Katrina era.

English 4166/7166: Major Authors, Beginning to 1603: Shakespeare's Histories, War and Peace

William Kerwin
Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

Description

English 4166/7166; Peace Studies 4005

Shakespeare’s History Plays 

 

            War, politics, the soldier’s life, nationalism, ethnic feuding, heroism, war crimes, propaganda, masculinity, marriages, family life, and the gender-components of all of those things: in this course, we will read and discuss nine history plays by William Shakespeare.  We will read the first tetralogy—the three parts of Henry VI,and Richard III; the second tetralogy—Richard II, the two parts of Henry IV, and Henry V; and King John.  These plays use the frame of English dynastic politics from centuries before the playwright’s own time to examine almost every conceivable aspect of public life in late medieval and early modern Europe.  And then, as now, where the public life is defined, the private life becomes transformed as well.  Our main classroom method will be reading and discussion, and students will write two short papers, give two presentations, and take a mid-term and a final exam.

 

            PLEASE NOTE: Although the official listing for this course number is “Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories,” this version of the course will be all history plays. 

 

 

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

David Read
Section 2

TR 9:30-10:45

 

This course is the first part of a year-long survey of Shakespeare's plays, and covers the comedies and historical dramas written mainly during the first half of his career. Plays will include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Richard III, Richard II, 1 Henry IV, and Henry V. We will read and discuss the plays in close detail but also consider their relation to the society and culture in which they were written and presented. Using short film and video clips throughout the semester, we will also discuss the ways that Shakespeare's work is interpreted in performance. Course assignments will include three exams and two prompt-based papers. Course text: The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Orgel and A. L. Braunmuller (New York: Penguin, 2002).

English 4166/7166: Major Authors, Beginning to 1603: Chaucer and Spenser

Lee Manion
Section 3

TR 2-3:15

 

Edmund Spenser, the Renaissance poet, claimed to have been “infused” with the “spirit” of a medieval poet, Geoffrey Chaucer; Spenser thought that Chaucer was the “pure well head of Poesie.” How could these two poets, separated by 200 years of turbulent history (and a sea-change in the English language and religion), be related? What does it mean to claim that the medieval Chaucer was the origin of poetry and that he was reborn in a Renaissance setting and poet?

 

In this course we will explore various topics that concerned both poets, such as chivalry, romance, and fantasy, for how they relate to each author’s concept of what poetry is and what it can do. At the same time, we will reflect upon larger questions of what is at stake in the making of a literary tradition and in the "origins" of a language. Readings from Chaucer will include The Wife of Bath’s Tale, The Squire’s Tale, The Book of the Duchess, and The Parliament of Fowls; those from Spenser will include Book I of The Faerie Queene, selections from Books III and IV, and the Mutabilitie Cantos. A mix of written essays and response papers will help us tease out the relationship between the two poets and think in general about the use and meaning of the past. Prerequisite: junior standing.

English 4169/7169: Major Authors, 1890-Present: Neil Gaiman's Sandman

Gabriel Fried
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

 

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was instrumental in the popular acceptance of comic books as literary, rather than merely genre-, fiction. (Norman Mailer described it as “a comic strip for intellectuals.") Its erudition and nuance were unparalleled in mainstream comics, and elevated its creator to celebrity-author status, a world-maker on the level of J. R. R. Tolkien. Gaiman has gone on to write acclaimed novels (e.g. American Gods), but Sandman remains his seminal work. In this new course, we will explore Sandman, immersing ourselves both in the series and in many of the stories, myths, legends, treatises, artworks, and songs to which it explicitly and implicitly refers, including those by Tori Amos, G. K. Chesterton, Samuel T. Coleridge, the Brothers Grimm, Carl Jung, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and many others.  In addition to several papers, students will be responsible for researching and tracking Gaimain's obvious and less obvious sources, and for helping to map the many exhilarating characters and threads that Gaiman weaves throughout the series.

English 4169/7169: Major Authors, 1890-Present: Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz

Sheri-Marie Harrison
Section 2

TR 11-12:15

Edwidge Danticat and Junot Díaz are two of the most celebrated authors of the twenty-first century. Among many prestigious accolades, including National Book Awards, both are also recipients of McArthur Genius grants, reflecting a shared commitment to “building a more just…and peaceful world.” Another commonality between them is their relationship to the Caribbean island Hispaniola, which is divided into two nations: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Danticat was born in Haiti and Díaz in the Dominican Republic, and the historically fraught relationship between both nations feature prominently in their writing. Another occasion for looking at these two writers together, as major authors, can be found in a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic revoking the citizenship of Dominicans born after 1929 to parents who are not of Dominican ancestry. The ruling affects an estimated 250,000 Dominican people of Haitian descent, including many who have had no personal connection with Haiti for several generations. With this decision as a backdrop, this course will examine both authors’ exploration of the fractious history between Haiti and The Dominican Republic in their novels, non-fiction, and literary journalism. Our goal in examining Danticat’s and Díaz’s work is to craft thoughtful and well researched observations about how their writing can shape our understanding of history, contemporary geopolitics, and social justice.

English 4200/7200: Introduction to Old English

Johanna Kramer
Section 1

MWF 12-12:50

   This course 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. 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, pre-Christian and Christian-Latin traditions.
    For those students not typically too intrigued by things medieval, this course may hold some interest nonetheless in that studying Old English can teach us much about modern English, the etymology and semantic range of English words, the history of poetry and prose, and about the influences of Old English literature on subsequent literary periods and writers (Milton, Auden, Pound, Borges, etc.).
    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 4240/7240: Love and Sex in Restoration and 18th Century English Literature

Stephen Karian
Section 1

MWF 10-10:50

The Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1800) witnessed major changes and conflicts in the relationships between men and women and in the understanding of love and sexuality. Marrying for love was increasingly becoming an ideal, though in practice property and wealth often dictated who married whom. Sexual desire was widely acknowledged, sometimes in explicit terms in pornographic literature; yet there was a growing effort to police that desire on the part of both men and women. This was a period that saw the rise of feminism, an intellectual and political movement that transformed Western culture. Such concerns reverberate throughout this period's literature, which ranges in tone from the polite to the obscene. We will accordingly examine literary works that explore topics such as: the power struggles between men and women, the quest for an ideal marriage, and the sexual drive that can work both with and against sentiments of love. 

 

Readings will be chosen from: the plays of Wycherley, Congreve, and Farquhar; the poems of Rochester, Pope, and Swift; the fiction of Haywood, Richardson, and Burney; non-fictional writings of Pepys, Boswell, and Wollstonecraft; and the works of other contemporaries.

 

Update from July:

The required readings for this course will consist of a course packet (available in the fall at the bookstore) and the three books listed below. Note that you need to purchase the specific editions listed here, so if you shop on your own, be sure to verify the ISBN numbers. Also, to encourage active participation in our discussions, I have decided not to allow the use in class of laptops, electronic tablets, smartphones, etc. unless you have a legitimate need for such technology (i.e., a need requiring an accommodation related to a disability).

  • Frances Burney, Evelina, ed. Margaret Doody, Penguin, ISBN 9-780140-433470
  • Samuel Richardson, Clarissa: An Abridged Edition, ed. Toni Bowers and John Richetti, Broadview, ISBN 9-781551-114750
  • John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester, Selected Poems, ed. Paul Davis, Oxford World's Classics, ISBN 9-780199-584321

English 4250/7250: Studies in English: Literature of Faith and Doubt

Julie Melnyk
Section 1: Victorian Literature of Faith and Doubt

MWF 10-10:50

In nineteenth century Britain, religious belief remained centrally important, but Christianity faced unprecedented challenges, producing the Victorian “crisis of faith.”  Victorian believers faced challenges arising from scientific discoveries in geology and evolutionary biology; from historical criticism of the Bible; and from increasing religious diversity and the spread of knowledge about world religions.  This period of vital faith and honest doubt produced an extraordinarily rich and moving body of literature, as writers explored the intellectual, spiritual, and psychological dimensions of religious belief, conversion, and doubt.  In this course, we will explore this literature in its cultural context, studying poetry by Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, Arthur Hugh Clough, Christina Rosetti, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, as well as novels and nonfiction prose by John Henry Newman, Charles Darwin, Harriet Martineau, and Mary Arnold Ward. 

English 4260/7260: 20th Century British Literature: Black and Asian British Fiction

Karen Piper
Section 2

TR 11-12:15

Description

 

 

In 1948, the arrival of the Empire Windrush brought the first of many Afro-Caribbean immigrants to London.  Since then, London has become a truly diverse place as more and more people have moved from the ex-colonies to England.  But black people have actually lived in London since at least the seventeenth century, along with people of many other ethnic backgrounds.  In the anthology Extravagant Strangers, we will briefly look at the history of multicultural Britain, and then focus on twentieth-century authors from around the world who have chosen to call England their home.  We will be reading Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Stephen Kelman’s Pigeon English, Tariq Ali’s The Book of Saladin, Abdulrazak Gurnah’s The Last Gift, and Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.  Overall, this course should give you a sense of London as a richly diverse and cosmopolitan city, but also one still dealing with the consequences of the British Empire.

 

 

 

English 4310/7310: 19th Century American Literature: Deep Reading Walden

Alexandra Socarides
Section 1

MWF 1-1:50

This course takes up Henry David Thoreau’s Walden in order to explore a variety of approaches to the field of literary studies. We will, first and foremost, read Walden slowly, deeply, and carefully. Along the way, we will identify three different frameworks for reading by paying close attention to: the particular strategies and approaches used by the author; the things that form part of the text’s historical and cultural context; and the later texts that are influenced by the original. We will also read and discuss selected texts by other nineteenth-century writers, including Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and James Fenimore Cooper, and by twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers, including Jon Krakauer, Barbara Kingsolver, Cheryl Strayed, and Ken Ilgunas. Students will write three papers, at least one of which will include significant research.

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

Raymond Ronci
Section 1

MWF 2-2:50

Description

English 4320/7320: 20th Century American Literature: The Graphic Novel

Andrew Hoberek
Section 2

TR 11-12:15
 

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

English 4420/7420: Africana Womanism

Clenora Hudson-Weems
Section 1

TR 11-12:15

Description

English 4510/7510: Creative Writing: Advanced Fiction: Crime Fiction

Richard Schwartz
Section 1

R 2-4:30

 

This course will focus on crime fiction, as broadly conceived.  We will study particular examples of such fiction and discuss contemporary trends, both in American genre writing and in actual market opportunities.  Students will conceive, plot and write several major sections of a novel as part of the course.  Class discussions will focus on themes within the genre, techniques that both define and transcend the genre and practical aspects of novel writing.

English 4510/7510: Creative Writing: Advanced Fiction

Marly Swick
Section 2, W 2-4:30

Section 3, T 1-3:30

Description

English 4520/7520: Creative Writing: Advanced Nonfiction Prose: The Personal Voice in Creative Nonfiction

Julija Sukys
Section 1

W 1-3:30

 

In telling stories and drawing lessons from their lives, skilled memoirists and personal essayists offer their readers insight, artistry, self-critique, and honesty. Autobiographical texts and personal essays that really work are always about something bigger than their author. Not only do the most successful of such texts reveal something about the person writing them, but also about the one reading them.

 

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: Creative Writing: Advanced Poetry

Scott Cairns
Section 1

TR 8-9:15am

We'll begin with a handful of premises, which you may or may not share, but which you will be expected to adopt (to try on for size) for the duration of the course. We’ll spend a bit of time beginning each class with a discussion of individual poems by a range of modern and contemporary poets. Then, we'll proceed with workshop, seeking to shape what we might think of as poems that matter, poems that have a chance of mattering even to strangers, perhaps, to even strangers who have read a good deal of poetry before they happen upon yours. We will combine the entirety of the course with an examination and discussion of reading assignments and the collaborative discussion of your original poems.Assume that during the first 11 weeks, you’ll be turning in a poem every week; thereafter, you may turn in either revisions or new poems. You must have read your classmates' works-in-progress well ahead of time, and must have prepared written comments from which we will generate the class discussion of those works. All of our efforts should be understood as enabling each poem's development into a richer, more complex, more interesting text than it was when we first came across it.

The Premises:

  • Poems are not documents of prior events; they are to be understood as events in and of themselves.
  • Poems are not coded messages, cryptically left for others to decode; they are to be understood as scenes of collaborative meaning-making.
  • Poems are not written to express a poet’s previously held ideas, but are written so that the poet may—through uncommon attention to language—discover what had not yet occurred to him or her.
  • The poet is not necessarily (and is never exactly) the speaker of the poem. Your success in poetry will depend to a large extent upon the degree to which you are able to construct an engaging (attractive, entertaining, substantive, smart) version of yourself to speak your poems.
  • To the extent that poems occasion multiple, suggestive meanings, they are poetic; to the extent that they prescribe a singular, denotative meaning, they are less so.
  • Poetry is the art of language itself; therefore, poems that draw the reader's attention to the linguistic fabric of an utterance (and are thereby obliged to make meaning with the poem) are more interesting than poems that do not.
  • A lifelong engagement with poetry writing depends upon a lifelong engagement with poetry reading, and with a dialogic process of engagement and response.

English 4570/7570: Adaptation of Literature for the Stage

Instructor
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

Description

English 4600/7600: Structure of American English

Michael Marlo
Section 1

TR 9:30-10:45

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

English 4610/7610: History of the English Language

Matt Gordon
Section 1

TR 11-12:15

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

English 4640/7640: Syntax

Vicki Carstens
Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

The course provides an in-depth study of the universal properties of phrase- and sentence-level grammar, based on comparison of English and other languages.  Prerequisite: English/Ling 4600 or another comparable linguistics course.  The approach is that of Noam Chomsky's Minimalist program.  

 

English 4700/7700: Special Themes in Folklore: Black Folk Narrative in Science Fiction Film

Anand Prahlad
Section 1

TR 11-12:15 with screening T 5-7:30

 

Science fiction film typically borrows motifs from a number of folklore sources, including but not limited to ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology. But one of the richest veins in Sci-fi films flows from Black folklore. On the one hand, there are smaller, easily identified motifs that play roles in characterization and the creation of spectacle, for instance, the black preacher/healer/oracle, the juke joint, the black trickster, and Uncle Tom. On the other hand, there are motifs that are more fundamental to plot and structure and that facilitate the exploration of larger political and ideological issues. For example, what is freedom? What is the nature of oppression? How do societies create separate groups and enforce boundaries between them? Such issues as these are often explored through allusions to elements of the black experience. This second use of black folklore is the main focus of this course. In particular, we will be concerned with a few of these elements and how they are employed in sci-fi films such as Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes, 28 Days Later, Children and Men, District 9, Chronicles of Riddick, The Matrix, and The Book of Eli. Reading will include, Osofsky, Puttin’ On Ole Massa; Butler, Parable of the Sower; and Nama, Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film.

English 4780/7780: Women's Folklore and Feminist Theory

Elaine Lawless
Section 1

MWF 12:-12:50

 

This course focuses on many diverse genres of women's verbal art, craft, and ritual in a variety of cultural settings.  Folklore is the study of traditional practices that are both historic and contemporary--such as the tradition of women keeping a home altar, making quilts, telling family stories, keeping family traditions, testifying in church, singing, etc. The scholarly readings for the course will be made available on Blackboard, where students will also respond to each of the readings.  This course includes a mandatory fieldwork assignment in which each student interviews a woman (or group of women) who maintains a female tradition.The final paper is a scholarly analysis of the tradition and how the women in the group talking about the meaning of this tradition. Intended for Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students. One previous folklore course will be a real asset for the students but is not a requirement.

English 4700/7700: Special Themes in Folklore: Food, Culture, and Film

LuAnne Roth
Section 2: MW 2-3:15 with screening T 6-8:30


Description

English 4940/7940: Internship in English

Dana Kinnison
Section 1

Arranged

Description

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

Gabriel Fried
Section 1

F 1-3:30

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

To apply for the Persea internship, please submit a one-page cover letter (describing your interest in the position and relevant experience, if any) and a resume to Dr. Dana Kinnison in the English department. Either hand deliver this material to 114 Tate Hall or submit it electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Due date is October 17, 2014.

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

Speer Morgan
Section 2

T 3-5:30

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

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

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

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

English 4970: Capstone Course: Literature and War

Lily Gurton-Wachter
Section 1

TR 12:30-1:45

In her essay written at the onset of World War II, “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force,” French philosopher Simone Weil finds in Homer’s The Iliad a rare neutrality toward war that she identifies as “the note of incurable bitterness that continually makes itself heard, though often only a single word marks its presence.” This bitterness, according to Weil, “spreads over the whole human race” with “extraordinary equity” in Homer’s poem, so much so that the reader is “barely aware that the poet is a Greek and not a Trojan”; instead of taking sides, “whatever is destroyed is regretted.” This Capstone course will investigate how literature represents war, taking Weil’s account of Homer as a starting-point for our exploration of a number of questions, such as: How might a text represent war without taking sides? When should a writer take sides? What would an accurate depiction of war really look like? How do literary texts register the subtle ways that war alters everyday life, temporality, and memory? And how, as Weil writes, might just a single word mark war’s effect on a text? We will discuss the mediation of war, considering not only how the media represents war today but also what it means to watch, discuss, and remember war, from various spatial and temporal distances. We will investigate the effect of war on memory and the senses, the politics of mourning, how literature represents trauma, and how violence might demand changes to conventional literary forms. We will read a wide range of genres (poetry, novels, prose poetry, short stories, memoirs, essays, criticism) from a variety of historical periods, including texts by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Cowper, Mahmoud Darwish, Sigmund Freud, Homer, Primo Levi, Tim O’Brien, Kenzaburo Oe, Siegfried Sassoon, Elaine Scarry, W.G. Sebald, Susan Sontag, Art Spiegelman, Simone Weil, and Virginia Woolf. We will also look at some visual art and film about war. Required work will include a presentation, several short papers, and bi-weekly close readings, all of which will build towards a substantial research paper.

English 4970: Capstone Course: Maps

Elizabeth Chang
Section 2

 

This capstone will investigate the intersections of maps and literature by reading literature about maps and making maps about literature. This course will also serve as an introduction to the digital tools for making and analyzing maps available to humanities scholars. Students will read several novels and works of criticism (including works by Stevenson, Haggard, Woolf, and Moretti) and complete a major research project involving maps and map-making in addition to frequent short writing assignments and active participation in discussion. We will also discuss and prepare for post-graduation life as an English major. 

English 4970: Capstone Course: Proverbs, Wisdom, Knowledge

Johanna Kramer
Section 3

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 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? 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. Possible readings include: Aesop’s fables, Psalms, biblical Proverbs, Old English poetry, medieval saints’ lives, selections from the Canterbury Tales, poems by Robert Henryson, and Doctor Faustus. This class is a Writing Intensive Course.

English 4996: Honors Seminar in English, London and Literature

Anne Myers
Section 1

MWF 11-11:50

This course is organized around works of literature that deal with the city of London, past and present. Readings will represent several genres, as well as historical periods ranging from the sixteenth century to the present day. Some attention will also be given to treatments of London in film, visual art, and tourist literature. Central texts are likely to include Ben Jonson's The Alchemist, Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, Washington Irving's Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Zadie Smith's White Teeth

 

Coursework will be designed to introduce research methods and theoretical approaches appropriate to the completion of an Honors Thesis. It will include presentations, a prospectus, an annotated bibliography, and a 10-15 page paper in which students will combine independent research with critical analysis. Students will be given some latitude to pursue their own interests in this final project. 

English 8005: Introduction to Graduate Studies

William Kerwin
Section 1

Arranged


English 8006: Professional Issues in English Studies: Professional Writing Workshop

Instructor
Section 1

W 1:30-2:45

Description

English 8006: Professional Issues in English Studies: Job Market Workshop

Stephen Karian
Section 2

T 12:30-3

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

English 8050: Contemporary Critical Approaches

Carsten Strathausen
Section 1

R 6:30-9

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. Thereafter, we shall read different sections of the central text for this course, which is:Vincent B. Leitch, et al., eds. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 2011).

English 8250: Seminar in 19th Century British Literature: The Fin-de-Siecle British Novel

Elizabeth Chang
Section 1

M 1-3:30
 

This seminar will survey major British novels produced at the end of the nineteenth century and attend to key themes and forms of the period, including both the evolution of realism and the rise of romance. Authors studied will include Hardy, Gissing, Kipling, Schreiner, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde among others. The seminar will also survey relevant secondary materials concerning topics of degeneration, decadence, imperialism, and the New Woman, among others. Students will gain familiarity with the research tools available for the study of late-nineteenth-century fiction and will also gain more general skills in producing conference papers, book reviews, and larger research projects. 

English 8310: Seminar in 19th Century American Literature: The American Novel to 1900

John Evelev
Section 1

W 1-3:30

This course seeks to cover the literary history of the American novel to 1900 without simply being a straight narrative history. In an attempt to offer both a wide range of texts and the kind of focus that allows students to develop some authority on subject matter, this course approaches the early history of the American novel through two main clusters.  The first half of the course will engage with the prehistory and early history of the American novel through the lens of the Gothic, asking why the concerns of the Gothic were so central to early American attempts to represent self and considering a range of canonical and non-canonical Romantic works that used the gothic in its depiction of American life.

 

Possible texts to be studied in this section of the course include: Mary Rowlandson’s Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682), Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland (1798), Robert Montgomery Bird, Sheppard Lee (1836), Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables (1851), Herman Melville, Pierre; or the Ambiguities (1852), Hannah Crafts, The Bondswoman’s Narrative (approx. 1853-60)

 

The second half of the course will frame the post-Civil War American novel through its concerns with materiality and place, considering how the literature of Realism focused on the importance of geography and material possessions to represent self and nation. 

 

            Possible texts to be studied in this section of the course include: Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), Henry James, The Spoils of Poynton (1897), Charles Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars (1900), and Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900).

 

 

 

Required Work: Presentation, Short Response Papers, Abstracts and a Conference Paper.

 

 

English 8320: Seminar in 20th Century American Literature: TS Eliot and Elizabeth Bishop

Frances Dickey
Section 1

T 12:30-3

 

In this course we will explore the poetry and prose of T. S. Eliot and Elizabeth Bishop, two poets who might be thought of as "American Symbolists." Both came to their vocations by reading Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Laforgue, and other nineteenth-century French poets.  Drawn to religious and philosophical themes yet preternaturally attentive to sensory experience, both perfected the art of the “luminous detail.”  In addition to acquiring knowledge of their oeuvres we will study their influences and major critical approaches to their work.  Coursework includes reading of primary and secondary sources, several short papers, and a research project.

English 8320: Seminar in 20th Century American Literature: Toni Morrison

Christopher Okonkwo
Section 2

TR 11-12:15

 

This graduate seminar focuses on Toni Morrison’s first seven novels, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz and Paradise, and on “Recitatif,” her only published short story to-date. 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 (1931-) has arguably commanded more scholarly attention than any living American writer in the past three decades. In “Aesthetics and the African American Novel,” however, Marc C. Conner notes that many Morrison scholars emphasize her politics over her art. Invoking also her interventions in Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination and What Moves in the Margin: Selected Non-Fiction, among her other writings, lectures, and interviews, we will ease that content-form tension by placing Morrison illustratively at the center of the politics-versus-aesthetics debate that seems to hobble but actually constructively shapes the various epochs in twentieth-century African American literary history. Thus, while we will examine the themes that dominate Morrison’s canon, students will also have the opportunity to explore, in class discussion and their seminar papers, the focal works relative to the numerous conceptual, theoretical and critical registers—Afrocentrism, vernacular, EuroAmerican, mythology, (post)modernism, psychology, historiography, genre, deconstruction, dialogism, intertextuality, feminism/womanism, Biblical studies, folklore, music, etc., etc.—with which Morrison’s works are imbricated. Students will also be welcome to write papers that persuasively situate any of our focal novels in dialogue with any of Morrison’s later novels (Love, A Mercy, or Home), OR essays that convincingly read Morrison in dialogue with other writers, African diasporic or mainstream.

English 8510: Advanced Writing of Fiction: Migrations

Trudy Lewis
Section 1

M 4-6:30

This semester our workshop will focus on fictions of migration--travel, immigration, and boundary crossing. These stories evoke the literary tradition of the picaresque and destabilize concepts of home, identity, nation, status, and property. Students will workshop two stories or novel chapters, write a five-page literary experiment connected to the theme of the course, and give an oral report on a work of pertinent literary criticism. Texts will include excerpts from Don Quixote, Moll Flanders, and The Adventures of Augie March along with a number of contemporary fictions, such as Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche; At Night We Walk Circles by Daniel Alarcon; On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee; The Lies of Locke Lamora (from the Gentleman Bastard Sequence) by Scott Lynch; On the Inland Ice by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne; Fools by Joan Silber; and Six Kinds of Sky by Luis Alberto Urrea.

English 8520: Advanced Writing of Nonfiction Prose: Micro/Macro: The Small and Big in Creative Nonfiction

Julija Sukys
Section 1

M 7-9:30

Adam Gopnik calls the "odd object essay" the kind that “takes a small, specific object, a bit of material minutia…and finds in it a path not just to a large point but also to an entirely different subject.” By contrast, the essayist Chris Arthur insists on the ordinariness of his object-starting-point, and reminds us that writing can be a process of making strange and a way of seeing the ordinary as extraordinary. 

 

In this workshop we will grapple with seeing the big in the small: the universe in the grain of sand, chaos in a raindrop, and human fate in a dying moth's final moments. Although these ideas have marked the tradition of the essay most decisively, we will not limit ourselves to that form. Students are encouraged to experiment with memoir, lyric essay, and hybrid forms as well.   

English 8530: Advanced Writing of Poetry

Aliki Barnstone
Section 1

W 4-6:30

 

I 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: Seminar in Folklore: Research in African Folklore: A Post Colonial Critique

Anand Prahlad
Section 1

Th 3:30-6

 

Using a postcolonial lens, this seminar will critically examine the historical development of African folklore studies from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, focusing on key scholars, theories, and debates. As “postcolonial” suggests, we will concern ourselves with relationships between western imperialism and the field of African folklore studies. A major emphasis will be on identifying seminal works in African folklore and on the examination of explicit and implicit assumptions that have shaped the research in each period of its of evolution. We will consider scholarship on a diverse number of genres, including the proverb, folktale, religion, and music.