Orange Alert

Fall 2020 English Dept. Courses

Linked course titles have extended descriptions. Syllabi provided where available.
Course Title Day Time Instructor Room Syllabus Description
ENG 105 Introduction to Creative Writing Lecture MW 3:30-4:40 PM Spiotta,Dana This course will introduce students to three types of creative writing: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including mixed genres). The course will focus on inspiration (why write a poem or a story or an essay?) as well as the techniques of evocative, compelling writing across all literary genres (e.g., point of view, concrete detail, lyricism, image, voice, tone, structure, dialogue, and characterization). Students will examine work by authors from various traditions and produce creative work in each genre. ENG 105 prepares students for upper-level creative writing courses in fiction and poetry.
ENG 105 Discussion W 9:30-10:25 AM Ocean Noah Discussion
ENG 105 Discussion W 9:30-10:25 AM Kevin Jiang Discussion
ENG 105 Discussion W 10:35-11:30 AM Ocean Noah Discussion
ENG 105 Discussion W 10:35-11:30 AM Kevin Jiang Discussion
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35PM Sarah Harwell This class gives students the rare opportunity to hear visiting writers read and discuss their work. The class is centered on six readings and question-and-answer sessions. Students will be responsible for careful readings of the writers’ work. Critical writing and detailed class discussions are required to prepare for the question-and-answer sessions with the visiting writers. The first class meets in Gifford Auditorium.
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35PM Mosab Toha TA Section
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35PM Si Yon Kim TA Section
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35PM Angelo Hernandez-Sias TA Section
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35 PM Joseph Phipps TA Section
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35 PM Hugh Wilhelm TA Section
ENG 107 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35 PM Hayley Bowen TA Section
ENG 114 British Literature, 1789-Present T/TH 2:00-320 PM Goode,Michael Few nations in the world have changed more dramatically over the past 250 years than Great Britain, and these changes are evident throughout its literature. This course moves briskly through just over two centuries of Britain’s literary history, covering the art and culture of four distinct periods: Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Post-War/Postmodern/Postcolonial. Historical topics will include: slavery; political revolution; the industrial revolution; the Enlightenment; urbanization; evolution; religion; social reform movements; the politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality; nationalism; imperialism; colonialism and its aftermath; the World Wars; postmodernism; the politics of choosing to write in English; and the history of literary forms. Readings will include novels, poems, plays, and song lyrics by writers such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Olaudah Equiano, Charlotte Smith, Jane Austen, Robert Browning, Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Wilfred Owen, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Sam Selvon, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Johnny Rotten, Bob Marley, Ian McEwan, and Zadie Smith. Assignments will include three five-page papers and a final examination.
ENG 117 Survey of American Literature, Beginnings to 1865 MW 3:45-5:05PM Roylance,Patricia J This is a course about the making of America. “America” (the idea—the concept of this particular place and what it symbolized) was produced in and through representations of the Western Hemisphere written both by people who lived and traveled here and by people who had never been here at all. This course will investigate how these representations did the work of “making” “America,” in ways that still influence our conceptions of this place. We will treat early American writing as an historical artifact, in which writers responded to and attempted to shape major events and issues in their historical context. We will cover over three hundred years, during which span of time various literary genres waxed and waned in their importance, moving especially from nonfictional poetry and prose in the early periods to the rise of the novel and other fictional forms in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This course will be discussion-based and will help you to develop and sharpen your skills of reading, analyzing, and writing about literature, as well as encouraging you to question and investigate the meaning of “America.”
ENG 119 US Fiction after 1945 T/TH 9:30-10:50 AM Edmunds,Susan L This course offers a survey of U.S. fiction from the 1940s to 2015. We will read a selection of short stories and novels alongside a range of other literary and nonliterary genres, including the autobiographical essay, the memoir, New Journalism, poetry, the political manifesto and the literary preface. We will interpret the fiction through a sociohistorical lens, and place particular emphasis on investigating the interconnections between literary form and social change. After an initial survey of fiction written in direct response to World War II and its aftermath, we will read texts associated with or influenced by the counterculture, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Arts Movements, Second Wave Feminism, and the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Course texts include: Allen Ginsberg, Howl and other poems; Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five; Toni Morrison, Tar Baby; Lê Thi Diem Thúy, The Gangster We Are All Looking For.
ENG 119 Graphic Novels T/TH 5:00-6:20PM Curtis, Rhyse Why are sequential graphic print narratives about serious topics, like racism, fascism, sexism, and war, called “comics?” How has the comic book form, and the stories and characters that it produces, become such an essential part of storytelling in America? What sort of socio-historical concerns do comics consider, and how does the unique medium of sequential print art tell these stories? This course traces the U.S history of the comic book medium from its emergence as newspaper strips in the late 19th century, through the silver and golden age of superhero comics, and forward to the comics and graphic novels of our contemporary moment. Throughout the semester, we will read both comic books and the scholarship surrounding them, we will also learn the close reading skills necessary to study and interpret the comic medium, and produce argumentative essays based on interpretive analysis. Specific case-study texts include Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and Rachel Smythe's Lore Olympus. Students are encouraged to bring their own knowledge and interests into class assignments and discussion. Participation in class discussions, completion of weekly discussion board entries, two close-reading essays, a summary writing assignment, and a scaffolded final research paper assignment will all be essential components of the class.
ENG 121 Introduction to Shakespeare MW 2:15-3:35 PM Callaghan,Dympna Carmel Do you love Shakespeare, or do you hate him, or have you never read him at all? No matter which of these is true for you, this course will help you understand his plays and poems. We will read some of his most famous works, including Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet and watch performances of them, but we will also cover some of his other works, such as Coriolanus and the Sonnets. We will also read Who Was William Shakespeare? and we will try to answer that question for ourselves as we learn about his life and about the society in which he lived. We will also ask about Shakespeare’s continued relevance to some of the most challenging issues of our own time, and we will pay particular attention to his language because it is this that most distinguishes him from his contemporaries.
ENG 121 Discussion F 10:35-11:30AM Staff Discussion
ENG 121 Discussion F 11:40-12:35PM Staff Discussion
ENG 121 Discussion F 10:40-11:35AM Staff Discussion
ENG 121 Discussion F 11:40-12:35PM Staff Discussion
ENG 122 Introduction to the Novel T/TH 3:30-4:50 PM William Marple
ENG 122 Introduction to the Novel T/TH 5:00-6:20PM Haejoo Kim The novel as a literary form has been largely understood as the form primed for the representation of the individual. From its rise in the eighteenth century and throughout its development in the nineteenth century, the novel has been a major cultural form in which notions about the individual—its interior and psychological depth, its autonomy, as well as its permeability and vulnerability—were tested, challenged, and negotiated. In this class, we trace how this idea of the autonomous individual has been questioned and renegotiated by examining a number of novels that deal with the idea of individual agency in relation to the collective. Some of the themes these novels are invested in, such as sympathy and contagion, will allow us to investigate the ways in which the individual identity is particularly informed by the conceptual frames of race, nation, and species. Readings may include: Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, H. Rider Haggard’s Doctor Therne, H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, and Octavia Butler’s Dawn.
ENG 145 Reading Popular Culture MW 2:15-3:30 PM Tiongson,Antonio T This course considers a range of theoretical approaches to popular culture, including mass culture theory, cultural studies and feminist theory as well as key concepts and key debates in the study of popular culture. It explores the ways popular culture is implicated in the formation of social determinants such as race, gender, class, and sexuality and conversely, how these social determinants are implicated in the formation of popular culture. The course also considers the ways in which popular culture serves as a site of ongoing political struggle. The aim of the course is to provide students with a critical vocabulary to make sense of the broader significance and relevance of popular culture—how and why popular culture matters. To accomplish this, we will investigate a number of popular expressive forms including teen magazines, fandom, boy bands, remix culture, high school proms, quinceaneras, the comedy of Dave Chappelle, branding, EDM, the East LA music scene, hip hop, and Indigenous performance.
ENG 151 Introduction to Poetry MW 2:15-3:35PM Staff The course will consist of discussions of poems from the various traditions of poetry: from anonymous ballads to spoken word poetry. I’m interested in what makes the poem memorable and moving, how it is a vehicle for the intellect and the emotions, how it’s “the act of establishing communication between the mind and the heart”. I’m interested too in what ways the poem provokes and challenges us, what gives the poem its power to seduce and trouble and soothe, what gives it its music and voice as distinct from speech. Students will be asked to write 6 two-page papers in which they examine closely a single poem by a poet from the text. Students may opt to write more papers (up to 8) and receive extra consideration for them. In addition, students will be asked to choose a poet and present the work of the poet in a 4 to 5-page paper. Emphasis in discussions is on style and substance, music and image. Multiple ways of reading poems will help the students expand the range of poetic possibilities.
ENG 153 Interpretation of Fiction MW 3:45-5:05PM Conrey,Sean M This course introduces students to techniques and approaches to interpreting and analyzing fiction. We will develop close reading skills while learning to recognize the formal aspects of literary fiction, namely plot, character, setting, point of view, imagery and intertextuality. Across a range of texts from short stories, comics, novels, digital media and video games, we will work at developing critical reading habits in conjunction with the skills necessary to convey our interpretations in writing. Readings will be loosely organized around ways that authors and artists can interrupt, reify, interrogate and disturb privileged ways of living by exploring the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction. Texts in this course may include stories by Colum McCann, Toni Cade Bambara, and Mohja Kahf, novels (graphic and otherwise) such as There There by Tommy Orange and The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin, films such as Children of Men and Lost in Translation, and the video game Never Alone.
ENG 153 Interpretation of Fiction T/TH 3:30-4:50 PM El-Eid,Natalie Ghassan
ENG 154 Interpretation of Film Lecture MW 9:30-10:25 AM Scheibel Jr.,Leonard Film was the dominant medium of the last century and yet we have only begun to understand it, especially in the post-celluloid period of digital and convergent screen cultures. What is the “language” of cinema? What are the elements of style through which films communicate? What are the audiovisual literacy skills necessary to “read” those elements within an aesthetic system? In this course, you will learn how to approach such broad but fundamental questions to the interpretation of films as texts. Based in close analysis, the course begins with the formal compositions of cinema, introducing you to techniques of mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound, and then moves to contexts that organize cinematic meaning, such as narrative, genre, stardom, and marketing. Further, we will consider film authorship through issues of identity, difference, representation, globalization, and cinema’s relationship to other media. The course covers films from Classical Hollywood studios, independent and international art-house auteurs, documentary and avant-garde practices, and the contemporary blockbuster. Screenings will include films such as Bonnie and Clyde, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Cronos, Black Panther, Do the Right Thing, In the Mood for Love, Jaws, Meshes of the Afternoon, Monsoon Wedding, Persepolis, Primary, and Rear Window.
ENG 154 Screening M 7:00-9:45PM Scheibel Jr.,Leonard Screening
ENG 154 Discussion TH 3:30-4:25 PM Staff Discussion
ENG 154 Discussion TH 5:00-5:55 PM Staff Discussion
ENG 154 Discussion F 9:30-10:25AM Staff Discussion
ENG 154 Discussion F 10:35-11:30 AM Staff Discussion
ENG 155 Interpretation of Non-Fiction T/TH 3:30-4:50 PM Simon Staples-Vangel
ENG 155 Interpretation of Non-Fiction T/TH 5:00-6:20 PM Elizabeth Gleesing This course will introduce you to ways of interpreting nonfiction as we discuss some of the most pressing cultural concerns of the day. To do this, we will study how nonfiction texts are constructed for certain audiences and specific purposes as we analyze and discuss a wide variety of nonfiction forms, including the essay, the graphic novel, memoir, documentary film, reality television, podcasts, video essays, listicles, and even memes. Familiarizing ourselves with how nonfiction conveys meaning and creates claims to truth, positions us to take on such varied topics as the ethics of documentary and reality TV in the series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, how podcasting can function as an extension of cultural commentary and investigative journalism, and the ways in which we use social media for self-presentation and community building. We will also be able to discuss various modes of identity construction through the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, looking at graphic novels like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and written and audio essays by the likes of Kiese Laymon, Susan Sontag, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, and Joan Didion. This course fulfills writing intensive guidelines. In addition to a final paper, we will have weekly online discussion of course texts, and smaller assignments where you can flex your creative muscles and try on writing in the essay form, drawing comic panels, and constructing your own mini podcast episode
ENG 156 Interpretation of Games Lecture MW 9:30-10:25AM Hanson,Christopher What are the roles of games and play in contemporary culture and how are these roles shifting? How do we “read” and interpret a game such as Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar, 2018) or Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985)? How do we understand augmented reality games like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Niantic, 2019) or virtual and mixed reality experiences made possible by technologies such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens? How do games shape and change our interactions with the world and vice versa? This course will explore the evolving form of digital games, tracing their historical roots in traditional board games and other associated cultural modes of play to current and possible future iterations of video games such as esports. As we examine the development of games and their associated genres, we will investigate the historical, social, political, cultural, and economic contexts of individual games, and consider the relationship of games to other media forms and texts. We will explore the means by which we “read” and interpret games, linking these to the methods of reading and interpretation of other texts. This course serves as introduction to game studies and we will explore key critical frameworks and concepts for analyzing and understanding games and gameplay. In addition to games, we will also study screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the concepts of game studies. Attendance at a weekly discussion sections and evening screenings is required.
ENG 156 Screening W 7:00-9:45PM Hanson,Christopher Screening
ENG 156 Discussion F 9:30-10:25 AM Staff Discussion
ENG 156 Discussion F 10:35-11:30AM Staff Discussion
ENG 156 Discussion F 9:30-10:25AM Staff Discussion
ENG 156 Discussion F 10:35-11:30AM Staff Discussion
ENG 174 World Literature: Beginnings to 1000 C.E. T/TH 11:00-12:20PM Teres,Harvey Michael Interested in becoming a more informed global citizen? This course will introduce you to global cultures as you read and discuss some of the greatest hits of literature from African, Asian, and western traditions. You will also strengthen your awareness of contexts for understanding English and American literature and culture. We will begin with some of the oldest literature in the world (Gilgamesh and Egyptian love poems), and go on to read sections from the Hebrew Bible (the “Old” Testament), Sanskrit and Greek epics (The Ramayana and The Iliad), classical Chinese philosophy (Confucius and Zhuangzi), Greek and Roman lyric poetry (Sappho, Catullus, Horace, and others), The New Testament, Saint Augustine’s Confessions, Chinese Tang and Song dynasty poetry (Li Bai, Du Fu, Wang Wei, and others), excerpts from the Qur’an, stories from 1001 Nights, and excerpts from The Tale of Genji by the Japanese woman writer Murasaki Shikibu, arguably the first novel ever written. Classes will alternate between lectures and discussions. You will have the option of either producing shorter response papers or traditional midterm and final interpretive essays.
ENG 181 Class and literary Texts T/TH 8:00-9:20AM Florencia Lauria
ENG 182 Race and Literary Texts T/TH 3:30-4:50PM Fadda-Conrey,Carol The late African-American writer Toni Morrison once said that “the very serious function of racism … is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” With race and racism structuring historical and contemporary social justice struggles in the US and globally, this course examines their foundational logics within and beyond the black/white binary through which they have been primarily understood. This analysis starts with colonization and the racial underpinnings of the logics of Native elimination, moving to the period of enslavement, through the civil rights movement, up till the current moment of anti-racist struggles. In centering an analysis of race and racism that explores how they are defined and lived, this course takes up a critical study of race politics through an intersectional, feminist, decolonial, and anti-imperial lens.
ENG 192 Gender and Literary Texts T/TH 5:00-6:20PM Lauren Cooper Drawing on a broad range of literary, artistic, and historical texts, we will study the effects of racial formations, “color-blindness,” post-racial claims, cross-racial solidarities, and violence against Native, Black, and brown bodies, interrogating the constructions of racial minorities in the US, and their global and transnational implications, at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, and nationality.
ENG 192 Gender and Literary Texts T/TH 5:00-6:20PM Elizabeth Gleesing What is gender? What does it mean to say that gender is a social construction? How does gender intersect with other social formations like race, class, sexuality, and (dis)ability? How do gender and texts work to represent and create bodies? This course will explore textual representations of gender and sexuality and their cultural, historical, and social implications. Through an examination of novels, short stories, films, and other media forms, we will address these questions and think about the ways that literary texts construct, rewrite, and interrogate gender as a social category. We will think about how literary texts represent and challenge ideological and social structures like heteronormativity, marriage, feminism, racism, citizenship, and patriarchy. Potential authors and theorists include Audre Lorde, Zitkala-Ša, Justin Torres, bell hooks, and lê thị diễm thúy.
ENG 200 Science Fiction MW 5:15-6:35 PM Kidd,Katherine A The origins and definition of Science Fiction or speculative fiction are debated by fans and scholars all over the world. Likewise, scholars continue to debate the value of the genre as Literature with a capital L. In this course, we will take the genre and its capacities for profound social commentary seriously as we explore possible beginnings, movements, subgenres and shifts within Science Fiction short stories and novels, as well as some television and film. We will look primarily at U.S. American and British texts, but we will expand beyond the West somewhat. This course features time in our library’s Special Collections and opportunities for creative work, as well as critical reading and writing.
ENG 200 Science Fiction T/TH 5:00-6:20PM Kidd,Katherine A The origins and definition of Science Fiction or speculative fiction are debated by fans and scholars all over the world. Likewise, scholars continue to debate the value of the genre as Literature with a capital L. In this course, we will take the genre and its capacities for profound social commentary seriously as we explore possible beginnings, movements, subgenres and shifts within Science Fiction short stories and novels, as well as some television and film. We will look primarily at U.S. American and British texts, but we will expand beyond the West somewhat. This course features time in our library’s Special Collections and opportunities for creative work, as well as critical reading and writing.
ENG 215 Introductory Poetry Workshop TU 3:30-6:15PM Harwell,Sarah Coleman Thomas Hardy wrote “Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.” In this introductory workshop you will acquire the craft in order to write original poems in the pursuit of such art. You will be required to write both creatively and critically as you compose your own poems, work on imitations, revise, and analyze and critique the poems of others. There will be a variety of creative prompts, critical exercises, and assigned readings to deepen your knowledge of poetry, as well as contribute to your growth as a creative writer. All poetic souls welcome. Participation and attendance are necessary.
ENG 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop M 12:45-3:45 PM Grzecki,Matthew Kwan This course will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Students will learn how to write a story, how to read closely, and how to critique and revise stories. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. There will be in-class writing exercises and prompts, which will lead students to create stories of their own. Attendance and participation are mandatory.
ENG 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop TU 3:30-6:20PM Grzecki,Matthew Kwan This course will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Students will learn how to write a story, how to read closely, and how to critique and revise stories. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. There will be in-class writing exercises and prompts, which will lead students to create stories of their own. Attendance and participation are mandatory.
ENG 242 Reading and Interpretation T/TH 12:30-1:50PM Torres-Saillant,Silvio A Introduces students to the study of English as an academic field focusing on reading practices, axes of analysis, and schools of thought in criticism and theory of literature. Students learn that the outcome of the act of reading varies in accordance with the perspective from which a reader approaches a given text. They become aware of their own a priori critical or theoretical stance and acquire the conceptual tools with which to examine their mode of reading in relation to those of others. Students enhance their skills as interpreters of texts able to grasp the elements contained in literary works as well as in the socio-historical contexts in which texts and readers exist. The course offers a reasonable sampling of criticism and theory from antiquity to the present, while inviting students to read works such as Antigone, Othello, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through a critical lens that may differ from their reading practice when they first encountered the stories told in those texts. The course will survey various ways of reading critically and several theoretical approaches, while exploring the questions of authorship, literariness, representation, artistic communication, and historical reality, inter alia. We examine the claim that literature deepens our understanding of our place in the world, sharpens our ability to contend with uncertainty, and trains us to empathize with others, precisely the resources we need in times of collective affliction.
ENG 242 Reading and Interpretation MW 12:45-2:05PM Roylance,Patricia J ENG 242 introduces students to the discipline of English and Textual Studies, stressing not what is read but how we read it—and the difference that makes. Its goal, in other words, is not only to show how meanings are created through acts of critical reading but also to demonstrate the consequences of pursuing one mode or method of reading over another. This course is designed to enhance your ability to read and interpret contextually as well as closely, to help you to articulate your understanding effectively and to draw connections through reading and writing. Through close, deep and thoughtful reading of literary and non-literary texts as well as essays by critics and theorists, we will explore the ways texts mean and the ways readers produce meaning. Each section of ENG 242 takes up issues of central concern within contemporary literary and cultural studies. These include representation; author/ity, textuality, and reading; subjectivity; and culture and history.
ENG 301 Reading and Writing Prose T/TH 5:00-6:20PM Staff Students will discuss, analyze and eventually reproduce the various techniques of published prose writers in various nonfiction genres, including the personal essay, the polemical essay, literary journalism, and the lyric essay. Authors to be studied as models could include: John McPhee, Cheryl Strayed, Joy Williams, Terry Tempest Williams, Martin Espada, Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, Jamaica Kincaid, James Baldwin, and Mary Gaitskill. Students will be required to produce both creative and analytical responses to the texts studied.
ENG 303 Practicum in Reading and Writing Fiction T/TH 9:30-10:50AM Grzecki,Matthew Kwan All creative disciplines depend on the study and imitation of the particular art form for mastery of its elements. In this course, students will read and analyze a number of short stories in order to deepen their understanding of a variety of concerns in storytelling, including voice, style, description, story, and character. We will attempt to answer the question: how have authors generated emotions, interest, and power in creative texts? Students will be required to display an understanding of these issues by producing creative and analytical responses to the texts studied. Possible authors include Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, TC Boyle, Italo Calvino, Anton Chekhov, Percival Everett, Matthew Klam, Flannery O’Connor, Mary Robison.
ENG 310 US Modernist Fiction T/TH 11:00-12:20PM Edmunds,Susan L This course focuses on fiction by U.S. writers who participated in the early-twentieth- century international Modernist movement, which rejected earlier norms of literary and aesthetic representation. Some modernists created narratives that resemble dreams, fantasies and memories. Some purposely rejected the rules of grammar and syntax, while others cut up and re-arranged linear narrative timelines. Class discussion will focus on how U.S. modernist writers responded to changing models of individual and mass consciousness as both sites and agents of social change. During the semester, we will read texts associated with high modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, the proletarian literature movement, and mass cultural modernism. Major areas of social change and social struggle to which these texts respond include: veteran disillusionment following World War I; debates surrounding immigration and the fight for racial justice; the 1920s sexual revolution and early 20th century feminism; capitalist expansion, labor radicalism, and the Great Depression; and the relationship between high art and mass culture. Course texts include: Hammett, Red Harvest; Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Toomer, Cane; Larsen, Quicksand; Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Olsen, Yonnondio; and Hughes, The Ways of White Folks.
ENG 310 Reading Green T/TH 9:30-10:50AM Bartolovich,Crystal L Everyone has heard about the threat of climate change at this point, but what to do about it often feels overwhelming. Earth scientists have been claiming for some time now that immediate, drastic action is required to correct our current disastrous ecological trajectory, and yet concrete interventions remain slow and inadequate. This course will consider if storytelling might help to encourage the lifestyle and policy changes that scientific facts, on their own, have not yet managed to produce. We will examine contemporary eco-fictions in various media—including Avatar, Annihilation and Animal’s People-- to evaluate the potential usefulness (or deficits) of their techniques and appeals. Assignments will likely include 2 5-paged critical papers and a collaborative final project integrating literature, film or other creative forms into a proposal for a concrete eco-justice initiative on campus. The class will engage throughout with serious practical considerations of how to change ourselves and the planet to encourage mutual thriving for all.
ENG 315 Ethnic Literatures and Cultures- The Holocast in American Literature T/TH 2:00-3:20 PM Teres,Harvey Michael If you believe awareness of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide should be a vital part of your education, this course is for you. We will explore the moral, religious, and artistic challenges faced by American writers who have represented the Holocaust and its aftermath in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Students will begin by reading a historical account of the Holocaust, followed by efforts to link the Holocaust to trauma studies, slavery, and other examples of genocide. We will spend the rest of the semester reading literary representations of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Texts will include Philip Roth’s “Eli, the Fanatic” and The Ghost Writer; Bernard Malamud’s “The Last Mohican” and “Lady of the Lake”; Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird, Cynthia Ozick’s “The Pagan Rabbi,” “The Shawl,” and “Rosa”; Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated; Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem; Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and Maus II; Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution; Nathan Englander’s “The Tumblers”; and selected poetry by Jacob Glatstein, Charles Reznikoff, W.D. Snodgrass, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Anthony Hecht, Elie Wiesel, and others.
ENG 321 Shakespeare’s medieval world T/TH 2:00-3:20PM Moody,Patricia A Shakespeare belongs unquestionably to the early modern period, yet his world was largely medieval. Almost half of Shakespeare’s plays have direct or indirect medieval sources, and these provide a presence in many more. Not only the theater itself, but what he read and wrote about show direct inheritance from the Middle Ages: Macbeth, Hamlet, and Lear; the blend of comedy and tragedy, the very presence of kings and clowns on the same stage. We can recognize what Shakespeare achieved only by recognizing how much the Middle Ages gave this greatest of playwrights to work with. We will examine the legacy of the medieval world, from the mystery and morality plays, to medieval story tellers, and compare some works side by side (for example, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida).
ENG 321 Reading the Brontes T/TH 9:30-10:50AM Klaver, Coran The Brontës are inextricably associated with the images of the barren, windswept heaths of the midlands of England, the dark, brooding masculinity of the Byronic hero, and the childhood deprivations and losses represented by Lowood School. This course will situation these images in the broader literary, biographical, ideological, and historical contexts of the lives and novels of Ann, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte. We will examine the “myth of the Brontes” as constructed by Charlotte Bronte herself, her first biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell, and by critics and fans through to the present day. We will read selections from the Bronte juvenilia; Elizabeth Gaskell’s influential Life of Charlotte Bronte; and the novels, Ann Bronte’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Villette. We will end the class by reading two very different “rewritings” of Jane Eyre, Jean Rhys’s postcolonial novel The Wide Sargasso Sea and Daphne Du Maurier’s mid 20th–century romance, Rebecca. Our secondary readings will focus on historical contexts of the Brontes and the emotional worlds of their novels. These emotional worlds are key to understanding the imaginative power of these novels for romance reader and feminists alike.
ENG 325 History and Varieties of English T/TH 11:00-12:20PM Moody,Patricia A Want to know what IPA is and how it is used? What runes really are? Be able to decipher literature written in Anglo-Saxon? Read some Chaucer in Middle English? Better understand Shakespeare? Learn why and how English speakers across the US and globe sound so different from “us”? Or what Disney does with language?This course aims to provide students with as much knowledge as possible, as interactively as possible, of fundamental linguistic concepts, the basic structures of the English language and representations of its history. Equally important, the course aims to develop critical awareness of contemporary language issues and the complex ways in which language and our ideas about language embed attitudes about issues such as gender, race, and class.
ENG 360 Queering Documentary MW 3:45-5:05PM Hallas,Roger Documentary representation has been central to the emergence and development of modern sexual and gender identities. For instance, 19th century science turned to both photographic portraiture and written case studies in order to name and define homosexuality as a specific sexual identity. But forms of documentation have not only been used to discipline and pathologize queer sexual acts and identities. Queer subcultures, social movements and individual artists have also embraced the desire to document — but in the service of cultural expression, sexual liberation and collective memory. This course explores how different documentary genres (such as case studies, ethnographies, oral histories, historical narratives, testimonies, activist videos, portraits and [auto]biographies) in various media (including film, video, photography, graphic art, literature and digital media) have become fundamental tools in the historical struggles over sexual and gender rights across the globe, including gay liberation, trans* liberation, lesbian feminism, AIDS activism, the sex worker rights movement and queer/trans* POC resistance. Weekly screenings for this Film and Screen Studies course are required.
ENG 360 Screening M 7:00-9:45PM Hallas,Roger Screening
ENG 360 Queer Comics MW 2:15-3:35PM Kidd,Katherine A Just like LGBTQ folx in the mainstream, comics as a medium have become increasingly accepted in academic contexts. In fact, the comics medium – a.k.a. graphic novel or sequential art – is particularly apt for telling queer stories, because its accessible and malleable, lending itself uniquely to queer world-building and the representation of identities and bodies in transition. In this class, we will look at LGBTQ+ representation in sequential art from a variety of time periods, but in particular the 20th and 21st centuries, using visual and literary analysis. Some course texts will be Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, AK Summers’ Pregnant Butch, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer: A Memoir, Kelly Sue McConnick and Valentine Delandro’s Bitch Planet, works by Michael DeForge, a number of webcomics, and many others. Students will have an opportunity to do creative work in addition to the critical analytical writing of the course.
ENG 361 19th Century American Literature and the History of Sexuality T/TH 12:30-1:50PM Beam,Dorothy R This class explores the possibility that sex and sexuality have histories and may mean differently across time. The nineteenth-century is arguably the period of the emergence of “sexuality,” and we will examine the use of literature itself for thinking about the history of sexuality. Before the relatively recent invention of heterosexuality and homosexuality in the late nineteenth-century, what was sex? What did it include and exclude? How did people understand their intimate relations? Into what categories did people fit their self-stylizations of gender, affect, and pleasure? How do social structures--for instance, marriage and the family or the nineteenth-century color line and legal segregation--organize sex, feeling, affiliations, and identities? We will use literature of the American nineteenth century to explore these questions while also dipping into other discourses such as health reform, marriage advice, utopian manifestos and sex radicalism; exploring alternative practices such as polygamy and celibacy; and studying texts that feature African American and Native American resistant formations of marriage and kinship. Texts are likely to include short stories, novels, or poetry by Julia Ward Howe, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry James, Bret Harte, Walt Whitman, Kate Chopin, Zitkala Sa, and Charles Chesnutt.
ENG 401 Advanced Writing Workshop Poetry TH 3:30-6:20 PM Haxton,Brooks The advanced poetry workshop (ENG 401) gives writers a chance to develop the skills for making their experience vivid and accessible for readers. We read published poems together to analyze how writers’ key choices have shaped our experience as readers. Then, in discussion and written comments on each other’s work students use what they learn to help each other make their writing more effective as an instrument of discovery. Everyone writes one new poem each week, some in response to assignments, and then revises four of these after analytical discussion into the most effective version they can imagine. Requirements include reading, written analysis of poems, and memorization. The course is open to anyone who has taken the introductory workshop. Juniors and seniors who have not had a workshop may submit a portfolio of ten pages of original poetry to be considered for admission.
ENG 403 Advanced Writing Workshop Fiction M 3:45-6:30 PM Awad,Mona M This workshop will serve to advance your fiction writing and storytelling skills. The goal of the class is to inspire and prompt you toward fearless creative exploration through various modes of fiction writing and help you to further develop the fundamental tools needed for such exploration. We’ll also learn how to critique each other’s writing in workshop. Though the class will largely focus on student-generated creative work, we will also be reading and analyzing texts as fiction writers, i.e. in order to better comprehend the mechanics of story writing, to become inspired, and to develop and differentiate our own voice.
ENG 406 Reading Lives T/TH 12:30-1:50PM Klaver, Coran This course will draw on feminist, affect, queer, postcolonial, and poststructuralist theories to help us tease out and explore the dense, tissues of issues that emerge in 20th and 21st century ‘women’s’ life writing, including the ways in which the very categories of ‘women’ and ‘life writing’ have been usefully problematized over the course of the last several decades. Three of our organizing terms will be autobiography, memoir, and testimony, as we explore the overlap and distinction between these quasi-generic terms. We will also explore the growing significant of forms that use both text and image, such as the graphic memoir. In this course we will read examples of each of these genres alongside theoretical texts that will help us to understand the differences between these genres and, more importantly, the stakes of those differences. Given my own interests and knowledge base, we will focus these questions primarily, but not exclusively, around works by British and postcolonial women authors of the twentieth century. Theoretical and critical texts for the course will include work by Sidonie Smith, Leigh Gilmore, Julia Watson, Adriana Caverero, and others.One of the objectives of the course will be to develop an understanding the contours of these narrative forms, as well as the political, psychological, and aesthetic stakes and possibilities embedded in them. As an Advanced Seminar in Critical Writing, the other objectives for this course will be to help student design, develop, and write a fifteen-page research paper based on the questions and materials from this course.Primary texts for the course will include Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth, Carolyn Steedman’s Landscape of a Good Woman, Doris Lessing’s Under My Skin, Meena Alexander, Fault Lines, and Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal. Other texts may include, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts.Requirements for the course will include a series of written scaffolding assignments, in-class writings, an oral presentation, and a fifteen-page literary research paper.
ENG 410 Forms and Genres: Hip Hop MW 3:45-5:05PM Tiongson,Antonio T This course provides a rigorous historical and theoretical understanding of the emergence of hip hop culture. It provides a critical analysis of the social forces which gave rise to and continues to shape the contours of what many consider the most dynamic youth expressive form to have emerged in the latter half of the 20th century. The course looks to hip hop as a critically important lens for examining wider social relations and processes such as race, class, gender, and sexuality. It examines the ways hip hop is implicated in contemporary debates on media effects, commercialization, youth violence, globalization, and youth politics. The aim of the course is to provide a nuanced understanding of hip hop culture, a sense of how hip hop culture both reflects and shapes existing social relations. It explores what it means to take hip hop culture seriously, to consider hip hop as a legitimate area of inquiry.
ENG 410 Reading Lives: Ethnic American Autobiography MW 3:45-5:05 PM Torres-Saillant,Silvio A Covers works about the self (autobiographies, memoirs, testimonials, confessions, conversion stories, etc.) by US authors of various ancestries and national origins. It emphasizes autobiographical writing (often holistically labeled “life writing”) as a literary genre and its intersection with race and ethnicity. We follow the groupings begun by the 1977 US Census, namely White, Black, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and the variations stemming from intermixture among the above or the presence of populations not accounted for by the Census Bureau. We tackle the problem of narrating the self in light of the added complexity that ancestry brings to it. We study ethnic American identity as a historical phenomenon and attend to the difficulty of fairly judging the task of authors fashioning themselves in writing. We assess the tenor of the “autobiographical pact” vis-à-vis the instability of memory. We read texts from the eighteenth century onward, considering the politics and ethics of narrating oneself ethnically, as well as the performativity that posing for a snapshot by one’s own pen may entail. We will also address the cult of one’s own likeness in the era of the selfie and the popularity of life-writing as the best-selling mode for books in the US publishing industry today.
ENG 421 Shakespeare and the Natural World T/TH 3:30-4:50 PM Shirilan,Stephanie Global pandemic, drought, flood, deforestation, toxic water and air, food-insecurity: these are but a few of the effects of climate-change brought on or accelerated by human agents, and Shakespeare has much to say about them. His plays witness and reflect on a period of radical transformation of deep-set ideas and the social and cultural institutions (gender, church, city, state, family, market, etc.) that housed them. Reading a selection of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, we will explore ways that meditations on the natural world shape his reflections on these social and political transformations, and vice versa. Our investigations will be guided by attention to the relationship between form and matter in Shakespeare’s work and in the early modern period. To that end, our reading of the plays will emphasize dramatic technique and foreground aspects of theatrical performance, which we will consider through experiments in staging and performance wherever possible. Together, we will learn to read, observe, and listen for the ways that live, embodied, multisensory theatrical experience shapes our capacity to observe and imagine the dynamism of Shakespeare’s natural worlds. This course will address the interests of students in the sciences and theater/literary studies alike. No prior Shakespeare experience required. Pre-1900 Class.
ENG 440 Game Histories and Cultures MW 3:45-5:05 PM Hanson,Christopher This course will explore the cultural and historical trajectories of games both within the United States and larger global contexts. While our focus will primarily be digital games, we will also explore analog games and trace their shared histories and associated game cultures. As we examine different eras and key moments within the emergence of games as a cultural form, we will look at particular representative games and texts to critically analyze their significance. In our consideration of cultural and historical contexts, we will also map the role of social, economic, and political factors in the creation of particular games, genres, and platforms. The course will study “canonical” games such as Super Mario Bros., Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Grand Theft Auto, as well as influential lesser-known and independent titles such as Rogue and Colossal Cave Adventure. In addition to a variety of games, we will also study relevant screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the key aspects of the histories and cultures of games.
ENG 465 Media of Witnessing MW 12:45-2:05 PM Hallas,Roger The testimonial act of bearing witness to traumatic experience has become a significant and omnipresent form of communication over the last century. While the past hundred years have produced an incredible global proliferation of visual media, the same period also generated historical traumas which have pushed the very limits of representation, from World War I to the Holocaust to climate change. This course will focus on three contexts of historical trauma in the 20th and 21st centuries—the Holocaust, the AIDS pandemic and contemporary state violence—to illuminate how the transformation of visual media technologies and their cultural adoption have shaped our capacities to bear witness in political, social and psychological terms. We will investigate how film and photography have been critical to the emergence of Holocaust memory since 1945, how the accessibility of new video technologies in the 1980s enabled innovative media activism to fight the AIDS crisis, and how the affordances of the internet, particularly social media, have opened up new modes for producing and disseminating witness to state violence in the present (the Black Lives Matter movement and the Arab Spring). Weekly screenings for this Film and Screen Studies course are required.
ENG 465 Screening W 7:00-9:45 PM Hallas,Roger Screening
ENG 494 Research Practicum TH 3:30-6:20 PM Bartolovich,Crystal L This one-credit course introduces students to the scope and demands of an honors and/or distinction project in ETS. Enrollment is by invitation to participate in the distinction program, and/or honors program, only. In five formal meetings, we will cover choosing an adviser, developing a suitable topic with engaging research questions, compiling a bibliography, reading critically, taking notes effectively and situating yourself in a scholarly conversation. Our work should prepare you to write your thesis in the spring semester. The texts covered in class will be your own writing and research for the most part, but some supplemental readings will be posted on Blackboard, so you should budget funds to print these out as well as to make copies of your completed assignments for me, your classmates and your adviser, as directed. The readings, exercises and workshops are designed to prepare you for ETS 495: Thesis Writing Workshop in the Spring.
ENG 630 Introduction to Critical Race and Ethnic Studies TH 9:30-12:15PM Fadda-Conrey,Carol This proseminar offers an introduction to some of the major concepts and texts in critical race and ethnic studies. Examining some of the main issues defining the study of race and ethnicity in US national and transnational frameworks, we will familiarize ourselves with formative debates related to the establishment of ethnic studies programs in the 60s and 70s (as well as the continuance of such struggles in the present moment); ethnic studies during the “culture wars” of the 80s and 90s and beyond; as well as the histories and effects of US racial and ethnic formations, color-blindness, comparative racialization, and violence against Native, Black, and brown bodies. Moreover, with race and racism structuring historical and contemporary social justice struggles in the US and globally, this course examines their foundational logics within and beyond the black/white binary through which they have been primarily understood. This analysis starts with colonization and the racial underpinnings of the logics of Native elimination, moving to the period of enslavement, through the civil rights movement, up till the current moment of anti-racist struggles. Informed by intersectional, relational, comparative, and transnational theoretical frameworks, the course readings will cover Black feminist thought, critical race theory, queer critique, narratives of anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggles, and critiques of settler-colonialism, among others. We will investigate the histories and implications of the turn to the “critical” practice of ethnic studies and race theory with an emphasis on how race and ethnicity are constructed in relation to concepts of gender, sexuality, class, nationality, ability, religion, Indigeneity, citizenship, and immigration.Covering a number of foundational texts in critical race and ethnic studies, as well as the specific fields of African American Studies, Latinx Studies, Asian American Studies, Native American Studies, and Arab American Studies, course readings include works by James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Cherrie Moraga, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Lisa Lowe, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jodi Byrd, David Palumbo-Liu, Claudia Rankine, and others.
ENG 630 The Romantic-Era Novel TU 9:30-12:15PM Goode,Michael This course is a graduate-level survey course focused on Romantic-era British novels, as well as an introduction to current critical and theoretical debates in Romantic Studies. The literary survey will be, in part, a survey of genre: by reading a wide range of English, Scottish, and Irish novels published between 1770 and 1830, you will acquire a better grasp of the formal and generic complexity of “the novel” in this important, transitional literary historical period. But the course also offers a survey of Romantic-era representational media more generally, asking you to consider Romantic novels’ formal and generic experiments with the novel as participating in and commenting on the broader media ecology of which they are a part, a media ecology that included everything from stage-plays to magic lantern shows, telescopes to kaleidoscopes, and panopticons to panoramas. Given the many things happening in the world between 1770-1830—and how these things register explicitly and implicitly in British novels produced in this period—our class conversations and the criticism we read will necessarily touch on topics like: human rights and animal rights discourse, slavery and abolition, empire and union, law and the idea of the state, aesthetic philosophy and sublime experience, environmentalism and landscape design, sympathy and affect, urbanization and industrialism, war and peace, gender and sexuality, geologic time and global pandemics. Though the course’s critical readings privilege scholarship that asks you to consider Romantic novels in relation to their cultural and historical contexts, these readings come from a range of fields and model a variety of modes of inquiry that have a much broader critical purchase: affect studies, eco-criticism, media studies, gender studies, postcolonial critique, critical race studies, ideology critique, reception studies, and so forth. Writers covered will likely include: Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth, William Godwin, James Hogg, Matthew Lewis, Amelia Opie, Sydney Owenson, Thomas Love Peacock, Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe, Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft.
ENG 631 Introduction to Critical Theory TU 9:30-12:15PM Bartolovich,Crystal L ENG 631 is a shared experience for first year MA and PhD students in English, and, as such, is intended to provide an introduction to a range of meta-critical concepts, debates and protocols—that is, the underwriting assumptions-- on which the discipline of English as a whole currently relies. Given this extravagant claim, it is worth noting, then, what this course will not do so that you can adjust your expectations accordingly: it will not answer every question you have about “theory”; it will not tell you everything you need to know to succeed in the profession; indeed, it will not give you any pat solutions at all. What it will do is introduce you to modes of questioning, evaluation, research and theorizing that are necessary to any “critical” (as we will see, even this term is now contested) practice. No matter how much (or little) theory you have already read, you can always hone these skills further. To this end, we will explore ways of reading theoretical and critical texts, examine how questions and problems have been and are now generated in English, and consider why new critical practices emerge (or fail to do so).
ENG 650 M003 Teaching in the Community M 3:45-6:30PM Smith,Bruce This class is for writers of fiction and poetry who are interested in taking their skills into community venues in the Syracuse area. We’ll start by teaching in the elementary, middle, and high schools in the Syracuse Central school district, then venture to social centers, elderly groups, and rehab populations. We’d like to expand to include the Onondaga Reservation and other sites. Proceeding visiting schools we will have a creative writing practicum which will address texts and materials, classroom management, visits from veteran teachers, and further logistic concerns. The outcome of the sessions will be an anthology of work selected and edited by the teachers. Students will work in pairs and have support of the site for approximately 6 to 8 one hour workshop sessions with the venues.
ENG 650 M005 The Art of the Fairy Tale M 9:30-12:15PM Awad,Mona M Ours is a highly individualized culture with a great faith in the work of art as a unique one off, and the artist as an original, a godlike and inspired creator of unique one-offs. But fairy tales are not like that, nor are their makers. Is there a definitive recipe for potato soup? Think of the domestic arts. This is how I make potato soup. Angela Carter, The Virago Book of Fairy Tales. In this course, we will study fairy tales thinking about why these particular narrative forms, developed orally centuries ago, continue to have resonance and power today and how they are so adaptable to such varied expression and reimagining. What do fairy tales say about a particular culture and its ideas about the world? How do they reinforce or challenge our ideas about life and human experience, subvert or affirm the social norm? How do fairy tales enable us as creative writers to tell our own stories? Reading both contemporary and classical variants from around the globe (both novels and short stories) as well as watching films, we will examine the characteristics of the fairy tale—its motifs, storytelling strategies, as well as its deployment of wonder, magic and transformation—in order to explore the fairy tale’s immense storytelling potential for fiction writers.
ENG 650 M002 Directions in 21st Century Fiction TU 12:30-3:15PM Dee,Jonathan R An exploration and critique of contemporary literary practice, as reflected in novels and short stories since the year 2000.
ENG 650 M006 Women's Work 2 TH 9:30-12:15PM Karr,Mary Marlene This class will explore all genres: poetry, nonfiction, diaries, and fiction written by women. The approach is aesthetic (how does this text work to move a reader) rather than theoretical. Subjects will include various forms of relation: mother/daughter, between lovers, with various gods and prophets, with desire itself, the pschological and social strictures of being a complicit ‘good girl’ versus our need for equality and freedom from those strictures. Visitors to class will include Jenny Finney Boylan & Leslie Jamison.
ENG 715 M001 First Graduate Poetry Workshop TU 12:45-3:30PM Haxton,Brooks This workshop is the first of the three workshops required for MFA students in poetry. No one except first year MFA students in poetry will be admitted.
ENG 716 M002 Second Poetry Workshop TH 12:30-3:15PM Kennedy,Christopher G This class is designed to deepen your understanding of how to write a poem and to learn how to critique the poems written by your workshop cohort in a manner that facilitates each poet’s vision for their poem. Students will write a poem each week and produce written critiques of their peers’ poems. The ultimate goal of the class is to foster an environment where we will discuss poems with a sense of how to improve them, regardless of our aesthetic differences, bearing in mind the poets’ objectives.
ENG 717 M001 First Year Fiction Workshop W 12:45-3:30PM Spiotta,Dana This is a required fiction workshop for MFA students in their first year.
ENG 718 M001 Second Year Fiction Workshop TH 12:30-3:15PM Dee,Jonathan R This workshop will focus on fiction writing and the useful critique thereof. Mandatory for second-year MFA fiction students; closed to others.
ENG 719 M001 Third Year Poetry Workshop W 12:45-3:35PM Karr,Mary Marlene
ENG 721 M002 Third Year Fiction Workshop ONLINE Saunders,George W This course is required of, and restricted to, third-year students in the fiction MFA program. We will intensely engage with student and published work in an effort to better understand storytelling, editing, narrative logic, and efficiency.
ENG 730 M001 Early Modern Spiritual Ecologies W 3:45-6:30PM Shirilan,Stephanie This course will take an ecocritical approach to the concepts, representations of, and engagements with ideas of spirit (as physical and psychic substance, animating principle, soul, air, energy, etc.) in early modern thought (with significant emph on literary texts but with a wide cast net that reads scientific and medical literature from literary perspectives) as informed by the study of these concepts and histories in classical tradition and with an eye towards their inheritances through later seventeenth century and longer histories of scientific, medical, ecological, and – of course – theological approaches. The course will emphasize histories of atmosphere and ambience, the airborne transmission of affect, disease, cure, likely with special concentration on ways that premodern understandings of these phenomena might illuminate contemporary questions about plague, contagion, and community.
ENG 730 M002 19th Century Literature and the History of Sexuality TH 3:30-6:20 PM Beam,Dorothy R Before the relatively recent invention of “sexuality” and “sexualities” in the late nineteenth-century, what was sex? What did it include and exclude? Into what categories did people fit their self-stylizations of gender, affect, and pleasure? Did they have an idea of sexuality as an identity? As something stable belonging to them? How did people understand their intimate relations? What worlds spin out from past organizations of gender and sex or are foreclosed by them? How does sexuality, and the host of concerns we might gather under it, function as a lens when we examine the past? Literature itself will be our laboratory for thinking about the history of sexuality and its import. That is, we will take literature seriously as a form that fashions characters, solicits responses, and organizes relationships, as well as exploring its involvement in the discursive production of sexualities. The course will be grounded in queer theory, gender studies, and critical race theory. Readings in queer temporality, kinship studies, new ontological and materialist theories, and debates on reading, form, and aesthetics will help us assemble our approaches to the sheer variety of relational arrangements and attachments to places, things, and people that occupy our texts. Many of our texts will strike us as legibly and productively “queer;” others confront us with questions about the plasticity of the term and its import for another era. Against the emerging institutionalization of marriage and romantic love, we will consider the challenge presented by African- and Native American resistant formations of family and community, and by same-sex love, polygamy, celibacy and pan-marriage. The texts are primarily from the mid- to late- nineteenth century and are likely to include short stories, novels, and poetry by Julia Ward Howe (The Hermaphrodite), Donald Grant Mitchell (The Bachelor’s Reveries), Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass), Charles Chesnutt (Stories of the Color Line), Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Bret Harte, Elizabeth Stoddard, Kate Chopin (A Vocation and a Voice), Pauline Hopkins (Of One Blood), Zitkala Sa (American Indian Stories), and selections from the recent The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman and Other Queer Nineteenth-Century Short Stories.
ENG 730 M003 American Film Melodrama TU 3:30-6:15PM Scheibel Jr.,Leonard Film scholar Linda Williams calls melodrama “the fundamental mode of popular American moving pictures.” Following her argument, this seminar suggests that to study American film melodrama is to deepen our understanding of American cinema’s aesthetic and affective expressions. A cinema of heightened emotionalism based on excess and containment, fantasy and desire, and pathos and identification, melodrama has been theorized as a site of both ideological critique and viewer pleasure. With origins in “blood and thunder” spectacles of European theater in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, melodrama came to fruition on the screen in the action serials and passionate epics of the silent era. The term is perhaps most associated with family and women’s pictures of Classical Hollywood, including sentimental “weepies,” stories of “fallen women” and mother/daughter relationships, and the Gothic romance. We will look at these different examples from Marxist, feminist, and psychoanalytic approaches, as well as in the contexts of genre and American culture. Yet, as melodrama never disappeared, we will consider ways in which it persists in especially apparent cases—art cinema, magical realism, the male action films of Kathryn Bigelow, and the queer films of Todd Haynes—that have further expanded our definition of the term.
ENG 730 M003 Screening TU 7:00-9:45PM Scheibel Jr.,Leonard Screening