Courses: Current and Upcoming

Next Semester Courses

Fall 2014

ENGL 104000-01 Introduction to Contemporary World Literatures HU LA 3a g DV

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes

ENROLLMENT: 20 

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The german poet J.W. von Goethe predicted in 1827 that by now we would have ceased discussing literature according to national affiliations: "National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach." This course aims to take up Goethe's claim seriously, not as a failed literary history, but as a way of considering the points of contact and departure among texts drawn from largely non-Western traditions. If national literature is an unmeaning, or perhaps, weakly meaning term, what do literary texts have to say about affiliations beyond or besides the nation. Using a late 19th century novel, The Heart of Darkness, as our prototype for novels that think the world into existence, we will move onto novels that take the postcolonial moment as their imprimatur for using literature to forge new modes of relationality with other texts, cultures, and eras. Texts will likely include: JM Coetzee Disgrace; Lauren Beukes Moxyland (South Africa); Mohsin Hamid Reluctant Fundamentalist (Pakistan); Jessica Hagedorn The Dogeaters (Philippines); Joseph Conrad The Heart of Darkness (UK/Poland); Dambudzo Marechera The House of Hunger (Zimbabwe); Tash Aw Five-Star Billionaire (Malaysia/China); Karl Knausgaard My Strugglepart 1 (Norway).

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two short papers and a longer paper, a midterm examination, and occasional informal assignments. Grading is based on attendance, participation in class discussion, examinations, and papers. Strict attendance policy enforced.

ENGL 11300-01, 02   Introduction to Poetry       HU LA 3a

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Kevin Murphy, Muller 332, Ext. 4-3551
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: One objective of this course is to familiarize the student with both traditional and contemporary forms of poetry. To do so, we will study poetry chronologically (from Shakespeare to the present) and formally (the sonnet, the ode, the villanelle, etc.) The chronological survey from the 16th century through the 19th century will take place during the first half of the semester, and during the second half we will focus on American poetry written in the 20th century, especially poetry written since 1950. A second, and perhaps more important, objective of this course is to instill in the student the desire and the confidence to read poetry and the ability to write about it critically and persuasively, and therefore participation in class discussion is crucial.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: One five-page and one eight-page critical essay, homework assignments in preparation for discussion, a mid-term, and a final examination. Grading is based on attendance, participation in class discussion, examinations, and papers.

ENGL 11300-03     INTRODUCTION TO POETRY       HU LA 3a

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller, ext. 4-1253

ENROLLMENT: 20 Students

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This section of English 113 will take a fairly traditional approach to the subject by focusing on ways to help students develop skills in reading, analyzing, and writing about poetry.  To those ends we’ll read a wide variety of English and American poetry written in different historical eras and in different poetic forms.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Almost entirely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: A number of short (1-2 page) writing assignments, 2-3 short (2-3 page) essays, a final essay in the 4-5 page range, and steady attendance and class participation.

ENGL 11300-03   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY     HU LA 3a 

3.0 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Themes: (1) Identities, or (2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Jim Swafford, 330 Muller, ext. 4-3540

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: None.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to help the student develop skills in reading, analyzing, and writing about poetry.  We will analyze a wide range of poems from different historical periods, written in a range of forms and styles. The first part of the course will emphasize the various elements of poetry – imagery, figurative language, tone, sound and rhythm, and set forms (such as sestinas and sonnets). In the second part, we’ll spend more time considering what we can learn from studying a poem in the context of other poems by the same author – our case study will be Elizabeth Bishop – or poems on a similar subject. Note: this is not a course in poetry writing.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three critical essays, assorted quizzes and response pieces during the course of the term, a midterm, and a final examination. Grading is A-F, based on the above as well as on attendance and participation in class discussion. 

ENGL 19401-01, 02    Novel Identities, Fictional Selves    

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 320, Ext. 4-1935, jsutherl@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

OBJECTIVES: Our identities are shaped by stories. The stories we read or hear color the way we view the world. The stories we tell reveal the way we view ourselves, or the way we want to be seen. All of these novels focus on characters attempting to forge new identities, to “edit” their lives into different stories. Their successes and failures tell us much about the forces that shape identity and the limitations placed on our ability to change by age, class, gender, race, religion, education, politics, and history. These works also focus on the complex relationship between literature and life, between “stories” and “the real world,” on the differences between the way we see ourselves and the way we are seen. The course will develop students’ skills as analytical readers, critical thinkers, and persuasive writers.  We will focus on close readings of the texts, augmented by some background material on their cultural, historical, and artistic contexts. We will look at excerpts from film adaptations of selected works in order to consider how literary texts differ from film.

STUDENTS: Open to all

FORMAT AND STYLE: Mostly discussion.

REQUIREMENTS: Short weekly in-class writings, 2-3 essays, a midterm, and a final examination.

GRADING: Based on class attendance, participation, and the above requirements.

ENGL 19406-01, The Search for the Self in Short Stories  HU LA 3a h

3 credits

ICC Theme: Identities

INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 119

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What creates our sense of who we are? How does a work of fiction reveal the complex web of influences that shape one’s identity and how one views the world? What roles do family, peers, age, class, education, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation play in influencing the way one thinks and acts, and how can an author suggest all of that in the space of a short story?  What can a literary work reveal about our understanding of ourselves and of our world? In studying these works of short fiction, we will also consider some secondary material such as the authors’ comments about their work and scholarly commentary about them in order to enrich our understanding of why these stories are short but not slight. 

The goal of the course is to make you a more active and critical reader. This is NOT a class in fiction writing

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: This class relies largely on discussion.  You will be expected to do much of the talking.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two essays; daily quizzes or writing exercises; essay mid-term and final exam. Grading is based on the requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation. 

ENGL 19408-01 THE POWER OF INJUSTICE & THE INJUSTICE OF POWER HU LA 3a

TOPIC: IDENTITY FORMATIONS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE

3 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Power and Justice; Identities; Diversity

INSTRUCTOR:         Derek Adams, Muller 304, 3xt. 4-5767

ENROLLMENT:       20

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION:    Many individuals continue to feel as though they live at the margins of society, despite the “melting pot” rhetoric of inclusivity and acceptance that dominates narratives of American identity. While we commonly consider purposeful exclusion an act of injustice on the part of the powerful, we are often unaware of the way that subtle, hidden forms of power render particular groups and individuals powerless. American literature is one of the most widely utilized platforms for articulating the specific issues that arise in response to these forms of power. This course will use an array of American literary texts to explore the complexities of the life experiences of those who are forced by the powerful to live at the margins. We will examine texts from both white and black, and male and female authors that deal with traditionally marginalized groups. At the same time, we will consider the possible powerlessness of individual members of traditionally privileged groups. Our reading list includes Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills, Larsen’s Passing, Shange’s For Colored Girls…, Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues, Lorde’s Sister Outsider, Diaz’s Drown, Mansbach’s Angry Black White Boy, and Everett’s I Am Not Sidney Poitier.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional brief lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, put together an in-class presentation, actively engage in class discussions, take twelve quizzes, craft three short textual analysis essays, and complete a final exam.

ENGL 19412 Banned Books and Censorship Trials: Obscenity in the 20th Century

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer

IC designation: Inquiry, Imagination, Innovation

In this course we will read a range of literary texts that have been censored, banned, suppressed, or made infamous through high profile trials and legal battles. Our purpose is twofold: 1) to indulge the pleasurable act of reading “subversive” texts, and 2) to interrogate the forms and meanings of literary censorship in the twentieth century. While our key term will be obscenity, we will probe obscenity’s relationship to other categories of disapproval, including blasphemy, indecency, and pornography. We will also think about the unexpected effects of censorship, how the suppression of a text can become a sign of its merit, how censorship can both promote and hinder a text’s circulation and reception, and how censorship can turn authors into literary celebrities. A guiding question for our explorations will be when and under what conditions (if any) is it appropriate to censor literature? Texts for the course will include Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and George Orwell’s 1984.

Enrollment: 20 students

Format: Discussion-oriented seminar with student presentations and some brief opening lectures.

Course Requirements and Grading: Active class participation, one in-class presentation, short response papers, and formal essay.

ENGL 20100-01   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY     HU LA 3a 

3.0 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Jim Swafford, 330 Muller, ext. 4-3540

ENROLLMENT:  15

PREREQUISITE: One course in English. This course is designed primarily for first-years and sophomores who are working towards an English major, though others are welcome. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to encourage English majors and minors early in their careers to become more reflective, self-conscious readers, writers, and thinkers, and thus better prepared for the upper-level English curriculum.  We will also take a behind-the-scenes look at the field of literary studies and the controversies that have transformed the ways literature is studied.  A few of the many questions to be considered: How did the academy come to have such a thing as an English Department in the first place?  What is the “canon” and who decides what it includes?  What are the virtues and limitations of “close reading”?  What distinguishes a “New Historicist” from a “postcolonial” critical approach?  Readings will include both works of literature and scholarly/critical commentary.  Main texts: Barry, Beginning Theory; Aidoo, The Dilemma of a Ghost; Joyce, “The Dead”; Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly guided discussion, with informal presentation activities.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short essays, several more informal (also short) writing assignments, and a final research project.  Grading A – F, based on attendance, written work, and the quality of class participation.

ENGL 21400-01, 02  SURVEY OF SCIENCE FICTION  HU LA 3a h

3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The single, defining reality of the world today is change, and that change is exactly what Sci-Fi is all about. Sci-Fi is the new realism of a technological society, it is a literature of transformations, of visions, of terrors, and possibilities. J.G. Ballard described Sci-Fi as the main literary tradition of the Twentieth Century, perhaps the most vital and responsive form to date. He’s not far wrong. This class digs into the historical roots of Sci-Fi, whisking us back to H.G. Wells, up through the golden age of American pulp writing (roughly 1930-60), into the New Wave, the postmodern, and beyond. From steam-heroes to cyberpunks, this class will explore key Sci-Fi icons (cities, spaceships, wastelands, robots, monsters, etc), in a landscape dominated by environmental, technological, humanistic, and futuristic questions. We’ll be reading awesome stories, staggering novels, and astonishing ourselves with cinematic imagery. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/limited lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, response papers, analytical essays, final exam.

ENGL 21900 Shakespeare (2 sections) LA 3a h

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The sign of the original Globe theatre in 1599 is said to have included the Latin inscription Totus mundus agit histrionem—‘the whole world acts a play.’  The idea that every woman and man performs a part in the theatrum mundi (‘theatre of the world’) has long been central to the history of ideas, and is most famously expressed by Jaques in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players.”  Central to all of Shakespeare’s plays is the question of whether the roles we occupy are primarily determined by forces larger than ourselves—scripted in advance, as it were, by Fate, biology, or ideology—or whether we become what we are largely by crafting our own performances, thereby determining our own trajectories.  This course invites students to explore the relationship between theatricality and human identity, both as dramatized on Shakespeare’s stage and as a dimension of everyday life.  Readings will include five major plays (The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Othello, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra) alongside theoretical works on social performance by Baldassare Castiglione, Niccolo Machiavelli, J.L. Austin, Erving Goffman, and Judith Butler.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises, essay.

ENGL 23100-01    ANCIENT LITERATURE     HU LA 3a g h

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller, ext. 4-1253

ENROLLMENT: 20 Students

PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on the two major genres of the ancient Greeks and Romans: epic poetry and tragedy.  We’ll begin by reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, proceed to tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and conclude the semester with the Aeneid.  Along the way we’ll look at a few lyric poems by Sappho and Pindar and selections from several of Plato’s dialogues.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mainly discussion, with the occasional (and brief) background lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three or four short (2-3 page) essays, one major essay (5-6 pages), quizzes, a mid-term exam, and class participation.  Grading on a standard A-F scale.  Because the success of the class will depend on steady and informed participation from all students, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.  Steady attendance will be mandatory.

ENGL 23200-01     Medieval Literature     HU LA 3a, h

3 credits

ICC ATTRIBUTE: None

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Twomey, Muller 329, Ext. 4-3564

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

STUDENTS: Fulfills the historical-period requirement for English majors; all interested students who meet the prerequisite are welcome. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The modern world was made in the Middle Ages.  Systems of law, nation-states, international trade, monetary exchange, and university education; the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions as we know them today; the mass-production technology of printing, and even the eyeglasses that people need in order to read the fine print—all are medieval creations.  This course examines medieval literature both as a reflection of the culture that made the modern world, and as the originator of modern literary forms.   We will (re)discover genres and subjects that first became popular in the Middle Ages, and with which English and American writers have been working ever since: lyric poetry, romance, tragedy, epic, saga, and tales.  The major units focus on medieval literary theory, love, sex, and antifeminism in the Middle Ages, the Celtic other world, the legend of King Arthur, and literary satire.   Each unit features one major text: The Tain Bo Cualinge; Grettir’s Saga; The Death of Arthur; Dante’s Inferno; selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio’s Decameron.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Regular attendance and participation, two essays, several short response pieces, midterm and final exams.  A-F, based on requirements previously listed.

ENGL 28100-01   ROMANTIC AND VICTORIAN LITERATURE     HU LA 3a 

TOPIC: INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE

3.0 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Jim Swafford, 330 Muller, ext. 4-3540

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This survey of 19th-century British literature – poems, novels, and a play – will study variations on the grand topic of Innocence and Experience, terms that I’m borrowing from poet William Blake.  Several of the writers, as you would probably guess, explore the differences between childhood and adulthood, but we should note that Blake called Innocence and Experience “the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul” – so Blake at least did not see these as chronological stages in human development, but as two ways of understanding.  Besides Blake, other writers to be considered in the course include William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre), Alfred Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), and Oscar Wilde (Salome).  Romantic and Victorian Literature being a “writing intensive” course, throughout the semester we will be attentive to and engaged with the process of writing, including drafting and revision.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some brief lectures, but mostly discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two medium-length essays, assorted response pieces and pop quizzes, and a final exam.  Grading A – F, based on attendance, written work, and the quality of class participation.

ENGL 31100-01, 02   DRAMATIC LITERATURE 1     HU LA 3a h

3 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.

TOPIC: TEARS AND LAUGHTER: THE COMIC AND THE TRAGIC

PREREQUISITE: Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This class is a broad exploration of the complex developments of the comic and tragic form, from the ancient Greeks up to the Restoration. While comedy and tragedy seem to be radically different expressions, this class will examine how “laughter” and “seriousness” are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but do, in fact, coexist and reflect each other. If tragedy offers an audience refuge and relief from the catastrophic or unknowable (through good old catharsis), then what does comedy do? Comedy often provides the same kind of release, but differently, and this difference of effect and intention will be the locus of our investigations.  

Food for thought: What is a tragedy or a comedy? Can we see tragedy as comical? Is comedy deadly serious? Who gets to be a comic figure? A tragic one? Who, or what, is excluded, or included by each genre? While comedy and tragedy have important things to say about “suffering,” and the social and human uses of it, these genres also examine, and confound, the relations between the individual and society, between authority and social order, between ritual inclusion and sacrifice.  

We’ll be looking at Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Euripides, Plautus, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Johnson, Behn, Moliere, Sheridan, among others. Probably.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/limited lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, response papers, analytical essays, final exam.

ENGL 31900-01    GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS BEFORE 1890         HU LA 3a

Topic: Declarations of independence; revelations of confinement

3 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES: 9 credits of literature.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Throughout its relatively short recorded history, America has trumpeted itself as an exceptional experiment in nationhood—a democratic, self-reliant citizenry that serves as a model to the world. In this class we will interrogate some of the assumptions behind the idea of "American exceptionalism" and the myth of the "American dream." Beginning with accounts of European contact, we will follow the “new world” theme through the Puritan, Colonial, and Transcendental eras, through the Civil War to the brink of the 20th century. In one sense, the cultural trajectory of this course traces a familiar path—from a sense of early expectation and unlimited potential to the sobering realities of human pain and historical contingency. Throughout the term, we will examine how America's declarations of independence often reveal or conceal painful episodes of confinement— literal enslavement and also psychological imprisonment. To trace this theme, we will read a variety of American documents, including religious sermons, political treatises, philosophical essays, autobiographies, poems, short stories and, at the end of the term, a novel by Henry James.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three 5 page essays, and a substantial take-home examination.   

ENGL 34100-01    STUDIES IN THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE NOVELS OF JANE AUSTEN HU LA

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller, ext. 4-1253

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Nine credits of literature

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Our goal in this course will be simple: to learn as much about Jane Austen’s life and work as possible in a single semester.  To that end we will read all six of her novels, the early novella Lady Susan, a reasonable number of her letters, and a wide variety of critical/scholarly materials.

(When and if we have time, we’ll also view some of the better film and television versions of her novels.)

Our approach will be eclectic: we’ll certainly do plenty of “close reading,” but we’ll also work to develop significant social and historical contexts within which to read her works, and of course since Austen wrote at a time when the terms “woman” and “writer” were seen by most as mutually exclusive, we’ll always be alert to issues involving sex and gender.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mainly discussion, with the occasional “background” lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: A number (9-10) of short (1-2 page) “response” pieces, a major end-of-term essay (using critical/scholarly sources) in the 10-page range, and several group presentations.  Grading will be standard A-F.  Steady, active, and informed class participation will be mandatory.  There will also be a rather strict attendance policy.

ENGL 35100-01     GIRLHOODS IN LITERATURE HU, Liberal arts

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4-1575

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the humanities; sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will look at the emerging and changing image of girlhoods from the 18th to the 21st century as it is reflected primarily in the texts written for an audience of young girls—in children’s books, young adult literature, and some canonical literature with strong female characters.  We will be looking at the texts to gain an understanding of the evolution of children’s literature and to consider the extent to which these iconic images of girlhood reflect the ways in which the roles of women changed over the three centuries.  Possible texts might include: Goody Two Shoes, Little Women, Eloise, Pippi Longstocking, Ramona, Harriet the Spy,  Speak, and Terrier (by Tamora Pierce).

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Papers, journals, and projects.  Grading based on written work, attendance, and the quality of class participation.

ENGL 36300-01   Modern Irish Literature Hu La 3a

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Kevin Murphy, Muller 332, Ext. 4-3551

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: 3 courses of literature, or permission of the instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Irish literature has experienced several extraordinary flowerings in the twentieth century, each intimately connected to political upheaval in that island nation.  Starting with the examples of James Joyce in fiction and William Butler Yeats in poetry and drama, we will explore the range and development of Irish literature in the current century, paying close attention to the political and historical contexts within which and against which much of this literature was written.  We will study, among others, Frank O=Connor, Michael McLaverty, Edna O=Brien, Sean O=Faolain, and Bernard MacLaverty in fiction; Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Derek Mahon in poetry; and Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel in drama. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:There will be, from time to time, required films and background material on reserve, as well as classroom lectures to provide the historical and political background necessary to understand the material.  For the most part, however, this course will be a discussion class focused on the texts at hand.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: There will be two short papers (3-5 pages) and one longer paper (8-10 pages).  In addition, there will be a midterm examination and a take-home final examination which will be distributed the last day of class and administered during finals week. Grading is based on attendance, participation in class discussion, examinations, and papers.

ENGL 36500 – 01 Selected Topics: Studies in the Novel: Woolf, Forster, Lawrence - 22260 - 

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer

E.M Forster, Virginia Woolf, and D.H. Lawrence offer distinct visions of the modern British novel and its formal, conceptual, and thematic possibilities. In this author-focused seminar we will have the chance to read deeply, moving from the mannered yet seismically shifting worlds of E.M. Forster, including what might be called Forster’s “imperial gothic,” to the subjective impressionism and cosmopolitanism of Woolf, with her gender-bending fantasy novel Orlando, to the erotic sublimity of Lawrence, with his investments in primitivism and the romance. The course will be anchored in ongoing historical and theoretical reflections on the novel and its generic and literary properties. Why in a time of radical experimentation do these authors cling to the familiar form of the novel, and how do they endeavor to make it new? We will investigate what has been said about the modern novel, attending in particular to the authors’ own reflections on the novel and its relationship to modernism. Finally, we will think about the way these novels cut across the conventional high-low divide of modernism, by adapting popular fictional modes like the gothic and the romance. Novels for the course will include Forster’s Howard’s End and A Passage to India, Woolf’s Orlando and To the Lighthouse, and Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and Women in Love.

Enrollment: 20 students

Format: Discussion-oriented seminar

Course Requirements and Grading: Active class participation, weekly secondary readings to complement the novels, short reading responses, formal essays.

ENGL 38000-01 World Literature: The South African Novel After Apartheid HU LA 3a 

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: 3 courses of literature, or permission of the instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Apartheid,” the system by which the minority colonial government in South Africa ghettoized the population by racial/ethnic classification into separate homelands, was the dominant system of governance for half a century. With the end of Apartheid and the rise of democratic, Black African rule came great uncertainties about the future of the nation’s history, culture, and language. Literature has played a particularly important role in imagining what that future might hold, and our seminar will be considering some of the major literary works responsible for forging that vision. We will be reading novels and historical accounts written since 1994 that attempt with broad and narrow foci to encapsulate the struggle for a reconstituted nation and the potential for historical healing. Our goal will be to explore the broader theme of human rights in the age of decolonization by taking up issues of land ownership, interracial relationships, new kinship communities, and revolution vs reconciliation. In considering the social context of the novels, we will engage the formal choices and experiments with which the writers seek to reframe the dialogue of how to speak the post-Apartheid nation into existence.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Intense discussion punctuated by occasional lectures on the socio-historical background of apartheid South Africa.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: There will be two short papers and one longer research paper. There will be signifiant writing on a class blog, as well as small, informal assignments. Strict attendance policy.

ENGL 39000-01 SELECTED TOPICS IN LITERATURE: CONTEMPORARY BLACK LITERATURE HU LA 3a

3 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: None                 

INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams, Muller 304, ext. 4-5767

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: 9 credits in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The breadth of our reading list makes this course tricky to categorize. In light of the increasingly global nature of human interactions and recent arguments concerning the racial politics of non-canonical literature, we will examine the various ways that writers of color respond to the debate concerning the meaning of Black and Blackness in the 21st century. The course will supply an opportunity for us to “relocate” ourselves within a broadly defined tradition of black literature authored across the diaspora to grapple with questions of identity, context, authorship and agency, and representation. More specifically, we will utilize the employment of language, style, trope, characterization, etc. to develop unique interpretations that supply more comprehensive understandings of this unique body of literature. Our reading list includes Diaz’s The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Everett’s Erasure, Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, Cole’s Open City, Smith’s On Beauty, Danticat’s Krik? Krak!, and Sabbatini-Sloan’s The Fluency of Light, along with some select essays and poems to be made available in a course packet.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional brief lecture.          

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: All students will be responsible for a 20-minute in-class presentation, a reading journal, two textual analysis essays, and active participation in class discussions. 

ENGL 41000-01 Seminar in Medieval Literature: Dante’s Divine Comedy HU, LA

3 Credits

ICC Attribute: None

Instructor: Michael Twomey, 329 Muller, ext. 4-3564

Enrollment: 10

PREREQUISITE: Minimum grade of D- in ENGL 23200 Medieval Literature; OR permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will read the entire Divine Comedy in English translation, and we will investigate the influence of Dante in English and American literature.  What this means: (1) We will study Dante in historical, social, and literary contexts; reading the Comedy for its various themes and emphases; considering the hermeneutical (interpretive) issues that Dante raises regarding language and culture. (2) We will study Dante’s influence on English and American literature via readings in texts based on Dante—for example, Tennyson’s “Ulysses” (Inferno, Canto 26) and Seamus Heaney’s Station Island (Purgatorio)—and via studies such as Dennis Looney’s Freedom Readers: The African-American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy.

COURSE FORMAT: Discussion framed by regular mini-lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Short response pieces on the reading—to be presented as part of class discussion; two short papers (3-5 pages) on two of the three sections of the Divine Comedy; one oral presentation on Dante’s influence on English or American literature; research paper as final project.  Grading: A-F.

ENGL 42500-01 History and Structure of the English Language   HU, LA

3 Credits

ICC Attribute: None

Instructor: Michael Twomey, 329 Muller, ext. 4-3564

Enrollment: 20

PREREQUISITE: For undergraduate students in the English Teacher Education program; other undergraduates may take the course if there is room.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course complements EDUC 41110 / EDUC  51100 (Pedagogy and Practice for the English Teacher) by preparing pre-service teachers for teaching language and writing in secondary school English courses.  Whether we are English teachers, writers, or simply literate citizens, we must know how the English language works.  Without that, we cannot understand what distinguishes correct from incorrect usage, why we spell the way we do, where to go for information about the English language, how to make sense of literature, how to communicate effectively in speech and writing, how to correct papers, and, above all, how to appreciate the magnificence of the English language.  Emphasis on speaking and writing skills; required research project.  Units: “The Language Instinct”; phonology and morphology; lexicon; grammar, syntax, and punctuation; history and development of English; varieties of English.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion, with some lectures to introduce new material.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Regular homework about the reading; several oral presentations; three prelims; research paper; class participation.  Grading: A-F. 

ENGL 52000-01 History and Structure of the English Language   

3 Credits

ICC Attribute: None

Instructor: Michael Twomey, 329 Muller, ext. 4-3564

Enrollment: 20

PREREQUISITE: For graduate students in the M.A.T. English program; undergraduates may take the course as a graduate course with the approval of the coordinator of teacher education; or they may register for the undergraduate section of the course, ENGL 42500, which meets concurrently.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course complements EDUC 51100 / EDUC 41110 (Pedagogy and Practice for the English Teacher) by preparing pre-service teachers for teaching language and writing in secondary school English courses.  Whether we are English teachers, writers, or simply literate citizens, we must know how the English language works.  Without that, we cannot understand what distinguishes correct from incorrect usage, why we spell the way we do, where to go for information about the English language, how to make sense of literature, how to communicate effectively in speech and writing, how to correct papers, and, above all, how to appreciate the magnificence of the English language.  Emphasis on speaking and writing skills; required research project.  Units: “The Language Instinct”; phonology and morphology; lexicon; grammar, syntax, and punctuation; history and development of English; varieties of English.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion, with some lectures to introduce new material.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Regular homework about the reading; several oral presentations; three prelims; research paper; class participation.  Grading: A-F. 

 

 

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