Courses: Current and Upcoming

Previous Years' 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. 

 

Spring 2014

ENGL 10900-01, 02 Introduction to Drama HU LA 3a

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class cleverly avoids all Classical Greek and Shakespearean drama, and instead boldly leaps into the modern age. Having said this, however, don’t make the mistake of somehow equating modern drama with an “easy” or “simplified” form. It is anything but. Instead, think of this class as a general introduction to the milestones and masterpieces of European, British and American drama, that provides an exploration of key themes and stylistic developments of the form. Throughout the semester we will examine dramatic works by playwright’s such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, O’Neill, Williams, Brecht, Beckett, Weiss, and Mamet, among others.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Limited lecture. The class is designed around focused discussions of the primary works.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, response papers, formal essays, presentations, final exam.

ENGL 19410 - 01 Engendering Modernity: Twentieth-Century Women Writers

3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Spitzer, 305 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 Students per section

Themes and Perspectives: Identities

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on a representative body of twentieth-century Anglo-American women writers, writers who adapted earlier literary forms, and in some cases produced major stylistic innovations, as they struggled to find their own voices. We will examine how these authors negotiated a predominantly male literary tradition and how they drew upon, or constructed, a female literary ancestry. We will read works that self-consciously reflect on issues of gender, sexuality, feminism, identity and authorship, as well as works that explore the complex intersections of gender and sexuality with race, class, and ethnic and national belonging. We will also consider the relationship between gender and genre by reading a wide range of literary forms, from novels, plays, and poetry, to memoirs, essays and political manifestos. Authors will include Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Jean Rhys, Caryl Churchill, Gloria Anzaldua, and Zadie Smith.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some brief lectures

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two 4-5-page essays, one 7-8 page final paper, in-class presentations, weekly discussion questions.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL 19406-01, 02  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 STUDENTS: Open to all students.

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 19411-01,02 Faking It: Reality Hunger in an Age of Artifice HU LA 3a

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, Muller 318

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why, in the age of “reality” television, biological cloning, virtual universities, cosmetic surgery, and computer games that promise a Second Life, do we continue to be obsessed with rooting out society’s hoaxes, fakes, and forgeries? We are, after all, increasingly a global culture of simulation, as much the willing perpetrators of hoaxes on ourselves, as the victims of others’ hoaxing. But still we hold fast to the promise of authenticity, the genuine at the root of our families, our communities, and our institutions. We ask our philosophers, historians, and politicians to rigidly define particular social realities even as we race down the rabbit hole towards further and more pervasive cultures of illusion. What are the consequences of being a society ever-obsessed by better and better fakes when clearly what we hunger for is a firm sense of the material real? Over the course of the writing-intensive semester we will read accounts of our contemporary world’s relationship to the fake, the hoax, and the simulation, and compose arguments as to the form and nature of this fakery. We will examine: ersatz Da Vinci paintings, Wilkomirski’s faked memoir of the Holocaust, a recent faux documentary film, the infamous fake students at Princeton and Harvard, alongside the primary subject of our class: contemporary novels that dramatize the desperate search for something real. Authors will include: Amis, Everett, Ishiguro, McCarthy, Tart, etc.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar style with an emphasis on short lectures and student discussions.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, response papers, formal essays, and a midterm exam.

ENGL 11300-01, 02   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY    HU LA 3a

3 CREDITS
ICC THEME: Identities; or, Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: James Swafford, 330 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITES: None.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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 John Keats – or poems on a similar subject. Note: this is not a course in poetry writing.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.

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

ENGL 11300-03     INTRODUCTION TO POETRY       HU LA 3a

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller

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 19402-01,02: Oh Cruel World! The Literary Character in Crisis LA 3a HU
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: What is a crisis? We can trace the word itself back to the Greeks (Krisis), where it was directly connected to a medical condition, when it was used to describe that specific, definable moment where a turning point was reached in a disease. The patient may become sicker, or that same patient might actually tilt toward recovery. Thus, to examine the very idea of crisis is to focus directly on that experience of turning, that border/boundary between wellness and disease, the threshold of change that marks stability and/or instability. 

This class will broadly focus on the concept of literary crisis, where a character is plunged into that peculiar moment of change and potential disaster. As part of our inquiry, we will examine specific crisis conditions and circumstances (moments of transition, epiphany, insight, horror, breakdown, action, death, ageing, temptation, etc), and the ways in which literary characters face these challenges in terms of their own identity, spirituality, sexuality, politics, and morality. To help deepen our investigation, we will be exploring a wide selection of literary forms, ranging from the Classical Greek drama to the modern play, the Anglo-American short story, the novella, and the contemporary novel itself. 

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

ENGL 19408-01, 02 The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power LA 3a HU

3 Credits        

INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams, Muller 304

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: 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 read the work of Rebecca Harding Davis, Nella Larsen, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, and ZZ Packer.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, keep a reading journal, put together an in-class presentation, actively engage in class discussions, craft two textual analysis essays, and complete a final exam.

ENGL 20100-01, 02   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY   HU LA 3a

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 15 students per section

PREREQUISITES: One course in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to encourage English majors early in their careers to become more reflective, self-conscious readers, writers, and thinkers, and thus better prepared for the upper-level English curriculum. Students will grapple with the issues and concerns that occupy literary critics when they think about literature, including the biases and assumptions that guide them. Focusing on a handful of well-known texts spanning a variety of literary genres—including Joyce’s “The Dead,” Austen’s Pride and Prejudice,  Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Morrison’s Sula—we will practice the skills of close reading and critical application. That is, we will attempt, first, to inhabit these works as worlds unto themselves, and second, to place them in appropriate critical conversations and align them with relevant critical schools of thought. The course will thus involve both formal analysis and scholarly commentary.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Four 3-5 page essays, two in-class presentations, and a longer final research project.   

ENGL 21000-01    THE LITERATURE OF HORROR            HU LA 3a

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 Students

PREREQUISITES: One course in English

COURSE DESRICIPTION: In this course we will study and discuss works of the imagination that have been consciously designed to shock, horrify, terrify, disturb, or just plain scare us.  The two questions central to horror art that we’ll continually seek answers to are these: 1) Why do we enjoy the “aesthetic” experiences of horror art when similar “real” experiences would repel and disgust us? and 2) Where do the most popular images of horror art come from and, why, after centuries, do they continue to enthrall us?  Our syllabus will include stories by Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker, as well as such classic horror novels as DraculaThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Exorcist.  We’ll also take a look at several classic horror films, including the original Dracula and Frankenstein.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mainly discussion, with the occasional context-setting lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: A number of short (1-2 page) writing assignments, one mid-term writing assignment, a final paper in the 6-7 page range, a class presentation, and active class participation.

ENGL 21400-01 Survey of SCIENCE FICTION  HU LA  3a

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 20

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

OBJECTIVES: This is a course of “traditional” science fiction: spaceships, aliens, rogue computers, and dystopic futures. We will be reading a mixture of classic and contemporary texts and alternating between novels and short stories. We will also be viewing 3 films: Alien, Ghost in the Shell, and one to be chosen by the class.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion.

REQUIREMENTS: Mandatory daily quizzes. Students choose some combination of papers, projects, midterm or final.

GRADING: Based on requirements.

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: When Shakespeare’s fellow actors assembled Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies in 1623 – arguably the most important book in the English language – they divided thirty-six plays into three broad categories.  But is Shakespeare’s complex dramatic art so easily encompassed by this tripartite scheme?  When Polonius in Hamlet separates the drama into “tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral” (2.2.396) one senses Shakespeare held a rather more complex view of the way genres tend to interpenetrate each other.  This course invites students to read a selection of the major plays (including Much Ado About NothingOthelloKing Lear, and The Tempest) while engaging with critical questions about dramatic genre in the time of Shakespeare.  What ancient and medieval theories of comedy and tragedy did Shakespeare inherit—and how did he adapt them to his own purposes?  How did writing for a commercial repertory theater influence his approach to theatrical convention?  What political and philosophical concerns underlie the Elizabethan and Jacobean sub-genres of “revenge tragedy” and “tragicomedy”?  And why ultimately do Shakespeare’s unique comedies, histories, and tragedies remain so compelling to us now, four centuries after they were first staged?

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

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

ENGL 22100-01 African American Literature Survey

3 Credits

ICC Attribute: Diversity        

INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams, Muller 304

ENROLLMENT: 20

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:    This survey course traces the development of African American literature from the colonial era to the present. It is organized through the conventions of genre rather than chronology. Primarily our interest will be in how authors represent what is commonly (and problematically) known as “the black experience.” Our exploration will consider the role of violence, cultural memory, gender and sexuality, trauma, folklore, signifying, humor, and family in shaping this experience. As we proceed, we will also focus on the unique relationship between this body of literature and the American literary canon overshadowing it. **This version of the course is distinctive as it will be closely linked with a sister course at Elmira College (ENGL 230 – African American Literature) , taught by Dr. Tom Nurmi, Assistant Professor of English. The two courses will share common readings, lectures, a field trip, and an assignment which will require students from both colleges to read and respond to a partner’s writing and research.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Active and regular participation is a substantive factor in the grading. There will be three textual analysis essays, an in-class presentation, a reading journal, and a final exam.

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

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: James Swafford, 330 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Greek playwright Aeschylus once said that his tragedies were just “slices from the banquet of Homer”—or at least that was the story told by Athenaeus over 600 years after Aeschylus’ death.  Even if Aeschylus did not say such a thing, he probably should have: classical dramatists, the composers of epics, even lyric poets often found their inspiration in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and interpreted the stories in new ways, then had their own versions re-spun by still later writers.  In this course, we will focus on connections between and reinterpretations of literary works—most of them originally in Greek, one in Latin—composed between about 750 and 20 BCE.  We will also explore the ways that the theme of heroism entangles itself with studies of the varieties of love.  Our readings include the Homeric epics, a lyric or two by Sappho, tragedies by Aeschylus (the Oresteia trilogy) and Euripides (Alcestis and Medea), a philosophical conversation by Plato (Symposium), and the Roman national epic by Virgil (the Aeneid).  NOTE: the course fulfills the world/multicultural literature requirement for English majors.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two essays (6-8 pages each); a few informal response pieces, exercises, and mini-quizzes; and a final exam. Grading (A to F) is based on the above as well as on attendance and participation in class discussion. 

ENGL 23200 Medieval Literature

3 credits

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, romances, ballads, tales, and fables.  The major units focus on medieval literary theory, the quest for love, the other world, the legend of King Arthur, and literary satire.   Each unit features one or more major texts:  The Tain Bo Cualinge; Njal's Saga; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; The Death of KIng 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 31100-01   DRAMATIC LITERATURE I     HU LA 3a h

TOPIC: THE COMIC AND THE TRAGIC

3 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Dan Breen, 302 Muller, ext. 4-1014

ENROLLMENT: 20

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Comedy” and “tragedy” are ancient categories, invoked originally to describe different kinds of dramatic composition.  Though this distinction remains a convenient (and relevant) one for contemporary readers and audiences, it is also the case that these seemingly simple, seemingly antithetical terms convey a range of emotion and experience that is not always easily divisible.  Tragic—or potentially tragic—situations often arise in comedy, and there are moments in most tragedies at which the plays seem as though they might begin to move in more optimistic or affirming directions.  This course will begin with the hypothesis that the terms “comedy” and “tragedy” describe actions taken by dramatic characters in response to crisis, and the specific consequences of those actions.  As such, we will attempt to locate “comedy” and “tragedy” within fundamental elements of human experience, and examine the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of each.  We will read a selection of plays from the Classical, Renaissance English, and Restoration traditions including Sophocles’ Ajax, Plautus’ Pseudolus, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II  and Aphra Behn’s The Feigned Courtesans. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two 5-7-page essays, a short (2-3 pages) response paper, a take-home final exam, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 31200-01, 02  Dramatic Literature II  HU LA 3a G

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITES: Any three courses in English, history of the theatre, or introduction to the theatre. Please note that

ENGL 31100 (Dramatic Literature I) is NOT a prerequisite for this course.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The focus of this course is upon modern and contemporary world drama. More specifically, we will read a variety of modern American, British, European and Nigerian dramatists, examining each author’s exploration of the tension between what used to be and what is. Some of our playwrights will focus upon the ways in which the past can hold us captive, ensnaring us in stagnant longing and regret, while others will enact the difficulties we confront when we attempt to look backwards at the past and examine it with accuracy. Still others offer dramatic portraits of the past in order to appeal to the present to take heed of its messages. In almost every case, we will find our authors asking the question: How can we unburden ourselves of the dead weight of the past and inhabit the present, without becoming soulless—a traitor to our families, our countries, our past selves—in the process? To put the problem another way, it may be a form of madness to live, as A Streetcar Named Desire’s Blanche DuBois does, in hopeless pursuit of what might have been. Yet the alternative stance carries problems of its own, as manifested by her nemesis Stanley Kowalski, whose last lines are: “Now, honey. Now, love. Now, now, love…Now, now, love. Now, love.” Playwrights will include Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Wole Soyinka, Brian Friel, Anna Deavere Smith, Tom Stoppard and Amy Herzog.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some short, context-setting lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two 6-8 page essays; frequent ungraded written responses; a cumulative take-home final exam; consistent, engaged class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements. 

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

3 CREDITS

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, treating them as cultural artifacts, including excerpts from 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 32400 Literature of the Bible

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  Michael Twomey, Muller 329, Ext. 4-3564, twomey@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT:  20

PREREQUISITE:  Three courses in the humanities.

OBJECTIVES:  The Bible is the best-known book that most of us have never read.  This course considers the Bible as a literary and cultural document, and although that will necessarily invoke religious ideas, I teach the course from a scholarly, non-sectarian point of view.  I expect that students in the course will be open-minded about the approaches they learn in the course, and that they will not look to the course for affirmation of preconceived religious ideas.  The course emphasizes the Bible specifically as literature:  how style, characterization, and other literary features of poetic verse and narrative prose enable us to understand Biblical texts.  The two major units are the historical narratives in Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, Esther; and (if there is time) the poetic writings in Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes.

            Texts:   (1) Oxford Study Bible, ed. Suggs, Sakenfeld, and Mueller.

                     (2) Alan F. Segal, Sinning in the Hebrew BIble.    

                             (3) Course booklet containing other texts and critical readings.

STUDENTS:  All who meet the prerequisites are welcome; this course is also part of the Jewish Studies and Religious Studies programs.

FORMAT AND STYLE:  Discussion, in-class reports, lecture.

REQUIREMENTS:  Regular attendance and participation in class discussions, several short papers, short response pieces and in-class reports, midterm and final exams.

GRADING:  A-F.

ENGL 37200-01    STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE: THE AMERICAN DETECTIVE NOVEL   HU LA

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 Students

PREREQUISITES: Nine credits in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will explore the origins and evolution of one of the few literary genres that is distinctly and uniquely American: the classic “hard-boiled” detective novel.  Texts will include Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, Chandler’s The Big Sleep, Macdonald’s The Underground Man, and Burke’s A Morning for Flamingos.  We’ll also look at several films in the classic noir tradition, including The Maltese FalconThe Big Sleep, and Chinatown

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Almost entirely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: A number of short writing assignments, a class presentation or two, a final essay in the 6-7 page range (with outside sources), and steady and active class participation.

ENGL 37300-01, Renaissance Drama: The Age of Marlowe LA HU

3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: ENGL-21900 or ENGL-27100

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Before his violent and mysterious death in an isolated Deptford dining room at the age of twenty-nine, Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) wrote a sequence of shockingly experimental plays that fundamentally changed the way his contemporaries—including Shakespeare—wrote for the London stage.   This course invites students to explore this “Marlovian revolution” through the study of eight English Renaissance plays and their cultural contexts.  After familiarizing ourselves with the intellectual, religious, and political currents of Marlowe’s late sixteenth-century world, we will study four of the playwright’s major tragedies (TamburlaineDoctor FaustusThe Jew of Malta, and Edward II) and explore the way their formal styles and themes explode inherited theatrical conventions.  We will then turn our attention to a selection of contemporary plays bearing the stamp of Marlowe’s profound influence, including works by Shakespeare, Middleton, Rowley, Dekker, and Ford.   Warning: there will be blood.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises

ENGL 46000 – 01 Seminar in 20th/21st Century Literature: Modernism and Its Global Inheritors LA

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes and Jennifer Spitzer
ENROLLMENT: 10 Students

PREREQUISITES: 12 credits LIT incl. 6 credits levels 200-400

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The artistic movement known as Modernism has died and been reborn enough times in the 20th and 21st centuries to qualify as the literary undead. Framed historically by the world wars in the West, Modernism grew from trauma and discontent into one of the most productive periods of literary innovation since the Renaissance. Modernist literature is marked by an aesthetic avant garde that baffled some and bewitched others, spawning imitators and outgrowths all over the world. Since its historical moment of prominence in the first half of the Twentieth-Century, Modernism's exact geographical, temporal, linguistic, and cultural lineage has come into question. New progenitors of the British and American models have been located and brought into the fold, while other "bad modernisms" have been dissected with glee. This course will begin with the understanding that the literary field of Modernism can and should be understood as always already influenced by its global inheritance and inheritors, and that studying the global forms of Modernism will radically impact how we read contemporary literatures. We will start by studying the literature and theory of Anglo-American Modernism and its most recognizable practitioners according to what Virginia Woolf called their "new forms for our new sensations." This will lead us to examine texts that break our geographical and temporal expectations of what Modernism can be or do. Our study will include questions of 1. radical temporality and the problem of space 2. aesthetic self-consciousness 3. formal adventurousness and difficulty/obscurity 4. fascination with authenticity and the futility of that compulsion 5. inter/nationalisms. Authors may include: Woolf, Faulkner, Maddox Ford, McCarthy, Coetzee, Zadie Smith, Ishiguro, etc. This advanced seminar is designed to correspond with a conference on Global Modernism (icglobalmodernism.weebly.com) to be held at IC this April. Students should expect to present a paper as part of the conference, and to attend the panels and speakers over the two-day event (April 3-4). Willingness to engage with difficult theory and literature, to present work publicly, and engage in seminar discussions with uncommon intellect is a must.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar Discussion and Conference Presentation

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Exceptional engagement in all aspects of class discussion; one conference-style paper 6 pages and the development of that paper into a research paper of approx. 15-20 pages.

 

Fall 2012

ENGL 10500-01, 02 Introduction to American Literature HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Kirsten Wasson, Muller 328, ext. 4-1255
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course examines 19th, 20th, and 21st –century literature by writers who explore American identity. Race, class, and gender contribute to the way in which a character’s self is interpreted by others, so these will be frequent topics of discussion. The writers considered here suggest that identity is a “performance,” and that being an American involves the wearing of various masks. Texts will include Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Gish Jen’s Who’s Irish?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with occasional lectures
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Several (1-page) response papers, two (5-page) essays, a mid-term, and a final exam. Participation is 10-15% of your grade, so silence is ill advised. Attendance policy.

ENGL 10700-01, 02 Introduction to Literature HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course intends to provide students with a general introduction to American literature through a sampling of texts from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. We will explore the constitution of American identity within a discourse of community in the work of Mary Rowlandson, Hector St. De Crevecouer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Rebecca Harding Davis, Sherwood Anderson, Richard Wright, and Alice Walker. Our principle objective in this course will be to broaden our own understanding of American literature while cultivating the skills to critically examine and write about literary texts.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: The course will combine lectures, small group work, and class discussions as our primary means of engaging the literature.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Weekly response papers, an analytical essay, close-reading exercises, a final examination and regular attendance and active participation in class discussions

ENGL 10700-03, 04 Introduction to Literature HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: TBA
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Works of English, American, or European literature from early or recent times are considered in relation to one or more recurrent themes. Emphasis is placed on class participation.

ENGL 10900-01, 02 Introduction to Drama HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class provides a general introduction to modern European and American drama, exploring some of the key themes and stylistic developments of the form. We will examine works by playwright’s such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekov, Shaw, O’Neill, Brecht, Weiss, and Mamet, among others.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Limited lecture. The class is designed around focused discussions of the primary works.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, presentations, final exam.

ENGL 1100-01, 02 Introduction to Fiction  HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 119, Ext. 4-1935, jsutherl@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
OBJECTIVES: We will explore two varieties of fiction: romance (which depicts heroic adventures or supernatural experiences) and realism (which attempts to “hold a mirror” to the world).  We’ll investigate works that clearly fit into these traditions and others which deliberately blur the line between “reality” and “fantasy.”  Readings will include fairy tales, Hawthorne’s short stories, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories, O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, and Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
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 11200-01 Introduction to Short Story HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 119, ext. 4-1935, jsutherl@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is intended to give you the opportunity to read a wide variety of short fiction of varied themes and styles, from different cultures and historical periods. Our focus will be on how earlier works have influenced contemporary fiction. 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: Text: The Short Story and Its Writer, compact 8th edition Ann Charters, ed. Two essays; weekly quizzes or writing exercises; essay mid-term and final exam. Grading is based on the requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

ENGL 11200-02, 03 Introduction to Short Story HU LA 3a
3 credits
INTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class provides a general introduction to the short story genre, examining works by a variety of Anglo, European, American and world authors.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Limited lecture. This class is designed around focused discussions of the primary works.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, presentations, final exam.

ENGL 11300-01, 02 Introduction to Poetry HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Kevin Murphy, Muller 332, Ext. 4-3551
ENROLLMENT: 25 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: 3 short critical essays, a mid-term, a final examination. Grading is based on attendance, participation in class discussion, examinations, and papers.

ENGL 11300-03, 04 Introduction to Poetry HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: James Swafford, Muller 330, Ext. 4-3540
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
STUDENTS: Open to all students; required for English majors and minors.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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 tend to 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 John Keats – or poems on a similar subject. Note: this is not a course in poetry writing.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three short critical essays, assorted quizzes and response pieces during the course of the term, and a final examination. Grading is based on the above as well as on attendance and participation in class discussion. 

ENGL 20002-01 Honors Intermediate Seminar: Staging History
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, Muller 303, Ext. 4-3893
ENROLLMENT: 20 students
PREREQUISITES: Restricted to Honors students; other students by permission of instructor.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will examine various 20th and 21st century dramas (mostly English, Irish and American, with one exception) that fit within the general category we will call “the history play.” This category, we should admit from the start, is a slippery one and we will devote a fair bit of energy to defining and redefining its borders. The problem is surely connected to the question of how one defines “history,” a concept that is itself not static. It wasn’t until the 19th century that historians came to regard themselves as specialists engaged in a particular discipline detached from other humanist enterprises, one dedicated to the uncovering of “facts.” And of course, the very instant that modern history was born, philosophers and artists set about rebelling against its presumption of certainty, denying the possibility that the past could be recaptured “as it really happened.” Very much in this spirit, our plays do not simply represent history; they challenge our assumptions about the act of understanding the past, inviting us to ask: What constitutes “history?” How does one go about representing the past accurately? From whose vantage point is it most accurately or authentically told? These are the questions that lie at the heart of the dramas we will read this semester. Plays will include: Saint Joan, The Plough and the Stars, Mother Courage and Her Children, Translations, Top Girls, Angels in America, The America Play, Fires in the Mirror, Copenhagen, Arcadia.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Short reaction papers, three longer essays, class participation.

ENGL 20004-01 Honors Seminar: American Breakdown LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan
ENROLLMENT: 20
STUDENTS: Open to students in the Honors Program
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this honors seminar we will investigate a strain of American literature given over to madness and psychological instability. American literature is often viewed in terms of its self-reliant and “sane” male narrators and characters (including Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and others), but there is another, equally powerful and counterbalancing literary strain that records narratives of breakdown, psychosis, and suicidal descent. These two literary traditions are not mutually exclusive, and indeed might best be seen as weirdly co-dependent. A number of discrete themes will emerge in the course of our reading, including: the importance of the Puritan tradition to America’s volatile self-image; how “madness” in America is inflected in terms of race and gender; how the process of going mad is recorded in language; and how psychological interpretations of literature unearth buried assumptions about self and nation. Authors will include Jonathan Edwards, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Ken Kesey, Louise Erdrich, Toni Morrison, and Susanna Kaysen.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three required essays and a final project.

ENGL 20100-01, 02 Approaches To Literary Study (Critical Theory) HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes
ENROLLMENT: 15 per section
PREREQUISITES: 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. Required for all English majors.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: How and why do we read literature? How do we frame our interpretations of poems, novels, and short stories? Focusing on these foundational questions, this class introduces students to the diverse ways that critics and theorists interpret literary texts. It shows how the discipline of English has developed, and explores influential and emerging methods of literary analysis, from New Criticism to postcolonial theory, with an emphasis on the relationship between literature’s competing discourses of philosophy, history, politics, and science. In the process, it provides students with critical tools for examining literature and the world around them. A central goal of the class is to help students to become confident and sophisticated literary critics, and adept readers of interdisciplinary theoretical work. Readings include literary criticism and theory, and may include works by Hoagland, DeLillo, Eliot, Coetzee, Ishiguro, Faulkner, and others.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.

ENGL 21000-01 The Literature of Horror HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller, Ext. 4-1253
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.
OBJECTIVES: Horror. From the Latin meaning “to bristle” as in a “hair-raising experience. The literature of horror is literature designed to horrify, shock, terrify, disturb, and/or disgust its readers—and that’s exactly the literature we’ll be reading and studying this semester. The question we’ll be pursuing an answer to is simply this: Why do many of us enjoy the “aesthetic” experiences of horror when similar “real” experiences would certainly disturb if not traumatize us? To answer that question we’ll read short stories and novels, and view a number of classic horror films. Our syllabus will include short stories by, among others, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker, and novels such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and The Exorcist. To provide some theoretical underpinnings we’ll also read Freud’s The Uncanny and take a look at works by Kristeva and Foucault.
STUDENTS: Open to all who meet the prerequisites and are willing to work hard.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion
REQUIREMENTS: 6-8 short (2-3 page) writing assignments; a major (7-8 page) essay due at the end of the semester; occasional quizzes; a group project; regular class participation.
GRADING: Based on class participation (5-10% of final grade), regular attendance, and above requirements.

ENGL 21800-01 Modern American Drama
INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, Muller 303, Ext. 4-3893
ENROLLMENT: 20 students
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing
COURSE DESCFRIPTION: If American dramatists are to be trusted, dysfunctionality and the American family go hand in hand. Indeed, the deteriorating family has been a thematic obsession for American playwrights almost since the birth of American drama as a distinct body of writing. In this course, we will begin close to the middle of the last century, with Tennessee Williams’ landmark 1944 play The Glass Menagerie. From there, we will cover roughly 70 years of American playwriting, concluding with two plays currently on Broadway: Clybourne Park and Other Desert Cities. All of the plays that we will read together focus upon familial relationships. In most, though not all of them, these families are suffering from a corrosive misery, one that seems to pass like a contagion from generation to generation as the sadness, self-loathing and (often) alcoholism of the parents is visited upon the children—unless they find a way, however compromised, to escape. Our interest will be to examine these portraits of familial distress in the context of the portraits of America that each one offers. What is the relationship between the family drama and the larger cultural drama that our authors are staging? Plays will include: The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, A Raisin in the Sun, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Curse of the Starving Class, How I Learned to Drive, Topdog/Underdog, Clybourne Park and Other Desert Cities.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Short reaction papers, three longer essays, class participation.

ENGL 21900-01, 02 Shakespeare LA 3a HU
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: When Shakespeare’s fellow actors assembled Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies in 1623 – arguably the most important book in the English language – they divided thirty-six plays into three broad categories. But is Shakespeare’s sophisticated dramatic art so easily encompassed by this tripartite scheme? This course invites students to read a selection of the major plays (Titus Andronicus, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard II, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, King Lear, and The Tempest) while engaging with a series of critical questions about dramatic genre in the time of Shakespeare. What classical and medieval theories of tragedy and comedy did Shakespeare inherit, and how did he adapt them to his specific purposes? How did writing for a commercial repertory theater influence his approach to theatrical convention? What aesthetic, political, and philosophical concerns inform the key early modern sub-genres of “revenge tragedy” and “tragicomedy”? And why, ultimately, do Shakespeare’s unique species of comedy, history, and tragedy remain so compelling to us now, four centuries after they were first staged?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises, mid-term paper, final paper, final exam.

ENGL 21900-03, 04 Shakespeare LA 3a H
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322, ext. 4-1344
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor.  This course may be repeated for credit provided there is no duplication of the plays studied.
OBJECTIVES: By studying comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories, the course will introduce Shakespeare’s theatre to both initiates and novices.  As we read the plays themselves we will study Shakespeare’s time, politics, religious, cultural, and scientific beliefs; what biography we possess and can conjecture; the workings of the Elizabethan theatre; Shakespeare’s poetic craft; his contemporary and subsequent reputation and that of individual plays; the vexed history of the texts themselves; and the forms and procedures of individual works as well as those of the genres of tragedy, comedy, romance, and history.  Using both the foreground of the texts and the background of context we will approach larger questions of meaning, both for Shakespeare’s time and for our own.  Substantial emphasis will be placed on the question of pleasure–why these plays pleased and still do; and on the question of cultural function, both in Shakespeare’s time and in our own.
STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.
FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lecture
REQUIREMENTS: Close reading of seven plays; completion of all assigned readings (quizzes will be given at each class); one written response each class; participation in classroom discussion.

ENGL 23100-01 Ancient Literature 3A G H HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller, Ext. 4-1253
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences or sophomore standing.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will provide an introduction to many of the ancient world’s greatest works. Our syllabus will include Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus’ The Oresteia, Sophocles’ Antigone, Euripides’ Medea, and Virgil’s Aeneid.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.
REQUIREMENTS: 5-6 short (2-3 page) writing assignments; a major (6-8 page) essay due at the end of the semester; quizzes; regular class participation.
GRADING: Based on class participation (5% of final grade), regular attendance, and above requirements.

ENGL 23200-01 Medieval Literature HU LA 3a, h
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Twomey, Muller 329, Ext. 4-3564
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
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, romances, ballads, tales, and fables. The major units focus on medieval literary theory, the quest for love, the other world, the legend of King Arthur, and literary satire. Each unit features one or more major texts: Chrétien de Troyes’ LancelotSir Gawain and the Green Knight; Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur (excerpt); Dante’sInferno; 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: Innocence and Experience LA HU 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR:James Swafford, Muller 330, Ext. 4-3540
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing
COURSE DESCRIPTION: “The child is father of the man,” writes William Wordsworth, but this statement is less a confident assertion than it is a wish for some coherence in his own life, from childhood to adulthood. This survey of English literature during the Romantic (roughly 1790-1840) and Victorian (equally roughly 1840-1900) periods will take its cue from another Romantic poet, William Blake, who in Songs of Innocence and of Experience shows how differently innocent and experienced eyes view the world. What, if anything, holds a life together and gives a person identity? Is the process of living a gain or a loss? Our readings will raise those kinds of questions. Besides Blake and Wordsworth, other authors whose works we will study are Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Charles Dickens (Great Expectations), Alfred Tennyson (In Memoriam A.H.H.), Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), and Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray).
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some brief lectures to establish context, but mostly discussion. 
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two critical essays, assorted quizzes and response pieces during the course of the term, and a midterm and a final examination. Grades are based on attendance, written work, and the quality of class participation.

ENGL-31100-01, 02 Dramatic Literature I 3A H HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322, ext. 4-1344
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.
STUDENTS: Open to all who meet the prerequisites; required of some Theater Arts majors.
OBJECTIVES: The course will survey drama from its origins in ancient Greece through the seventeenth-century dramatic renaissance in Spain, France, and England.  Emphasis will be laid on formal and thematic analysis, theatrical and intellectual history, and the problems inherent in producing the plays.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Class is highly conversational.
COURSE REQUIRMENTS: Texts: Sophocles, Oedipus; Euripides, The Bacchae; Plautus, The Menechmi; Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, Jonson, The Alchemist; Webster, Duchess of Malfi; Corneille, l’Illusion Comique, Calderon, La Vida es Sueno, Moliere, l’École des Femmes; Behn, The Rover; two five-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; essay mid-term and final.
GRADING: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

ENGL 31400-01 Studies in Poetry: Four Moderns: Frost, Bishop, Lowell, and Heaney HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Kevin Murphy, Muller 332, Ext. 4-3551
PREREQUISITES: 9 credits of literature or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills an upper level elective requirement.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will study the style and development of four modern poets: Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, and Seamus Heaney. While each of these poets has a distinctive style and vision, one of the objectives of the course is to examine the extent to which these poets share stylistic traits and thus collectively form an alternative to the "modernism" advocated and practiced by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and W. B. Yeats earlier in the century.

ENGL 31900-01 Great American Writers Before 1890 HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: 9 credits of literature or permission of the instructor
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will survey a wide range of early American authors, from the era of exploration, the Puritan period, the American Renaissance, and the Gilded Age. We will focus on the themes of independence and confinement in American discourse, and will interrogate some of the assumptions behind the idea of "American exceptionalism" and the myth of the "American dream." We will read a variety of American documents, including excerpts from religious sermons, political treatises, philosophical essays, autobiographies, poems, short stories and, at the end of the term, a novel by Henry James. Our authors will include Christopher Columbus, Anne Bradstreet, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Washington Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Charles Chesnutt, Mark Twain, and others.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three required essays and a final take-home examination.

ENGL 32400-01 Literature Of The Bible HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Twomey, Muller 329, Ext. 4-3564, twomey@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the humanities
OBJECTIVES: The Bible is the best-known book that most of us have never read. This course considers the Bible as a literary and cultural document, and although that will necessarily invoke religious ideas, I teach the course from a scholarly, non-sectarian point of view. I expect that students in the course will be open-minded about the approaches they learn in the course, and that they will not look to the course for affirmation of preconceived religious ideas. The course emphasizes the Bible specifically as literature: how imagery, style, characterization, and other distinctive features of literature give us access to Biblical texts. The two major units are the historical narratives in Genesis through 1 Kings; followed by Esther, and (if there is time) the poetic writings in Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes.
Texts:
Oxford Study Bible. Ed. M. Jack Suggs, Katherine Doob Sakenfeld, and James R. Mueller. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195290004.

Bar-Efrat, Shimon. Narrative Art in the Bible. Trans. Dorothea Shefer-Vanson. New ed. 2004, T&T Clark International, 2008. ISBN 9780567084958.

Course pack with other readings, available at the beginning of the semester.

STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisites are welcome; this course is also part of the Jewish Studies and Religious Studies programs.
FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion, in-class reports, lecture
REQUIREMENTS: Regular attendance and participation in class discussions, several short papers, short response pieces and in-class reports, midterm and final exams.
GRADING: A-F.

ENGL 35100-01 Studies in Young Adult Literature: Girlhoods in Literature
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4-1575
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the humanities; junior standing.
OBJECTIVES: 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, The Little Princess, Eloise, Pippi Longstocking, Ramona, Harriet the Spy, Speak and The Hunger Games.
STUDENTS: Open to all who meet prerequisites.
FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion
REQUIREMENTS: Papers, journals, and projects
GRADING: Based on written work, attendance, and the quality of class participation.

ENGL 36900-01 Studies in Multicultural American Literature: Contemporary Historical Fiction HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Kirsten Wasson, Muller 328, Ext 4-1255
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: 9 credits of literature
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will examine fiction written close to the millennium—a few decades before, and a few years after 2000. As one century drew to a close and another began, writers of this period have been particularly conscious of historical time, and the work written after the events of 9/11 (Safron Foer, McMann, Hustevedt) is, of course, concerned with the way that terrorist attack has reverberated within the national consciousness—politically, culturally, personally. Each of the texts addresses an epoch in U.S. history, and presents a literary rendering of its capacity for enlightenment and its necessary frailty and compromises. We will examine the way that narrative highlights the ethos of an era, and discuss the way in which recorded documentation is juxtaposed/connected to personal history. Texts will include A Mercy by Toni Morrison, Middle Passage by Charles Johnson, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer, and White Noise by Don Delillo.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with occasional lectures
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Participation is 10 to 15 percent of your grade (so silence is a not a good choice), and steady attendance is mandatory. There will be 6-8 “response” (1-page) papers, two 6-page essays, and a final exam.

ENGL 37100-01 Studies in African American Literature: Harlem and the New Negro Renaissance
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: 9 credits in English
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Of the Harlem Renaissance, philosophy professor Alain Locke famously proclaims, “So far as he is culturally articulate, we shall let the Negro speak for himself.” Many critics and scholars agree with Locke’s proclamation, treating the Harlem Renaissance as the moment at which the African-American community asserts its own identity through artistic production. The emergence of the terms “New Negro” and “Negro Renaissance” during this era illustrates a shift in the way African-American racial identity gets represented. This course will focus on a variety of literary texts that address how the New Negro is being redefined in the early twentieth century. We will examine the various literary and rhetorical devices authors employ in their fiction to illustrate changes in black racial identity during this cultural and racial revolution. At the same time, we will explore how subcategories of identity (i.e. gender, sexuality, and social class) factor into this redefinition. Authors whose work we will explore include Jean Toomer, W.E.B. DuBois, Nella Larsen, Rudolph Fischer, Claude McKay, Jessie Fauset, Wallace Thurman, Carl VanVechten, and Marita Bonner.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Class discussion with occasional lectures.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short essays, a group presentation, an annotated bibliography, close-reading exercises, and regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are all required.

ENGL 3800-01 Studies in World Literature: In the Age of the Global Novel HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITE: 9 credits of English
COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Globalization” most often refers to the period after the fall of the Berlin Wall and is characterized by intense cross-cultural interaction, facilitated by technology and the mass migration of peoples across national territories. Our seminar will consider how the contemporary novel in English grapples with globalization in its broadest political, economic, and cultural terms, and how an emergent literary genre, the “global novel,” may or may not be the most sensitive form for describing our particular historical moment. We will be reading some of the most influential global stories of the last three decades, looking to India and Pakistan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, Sub-Saharan Africa and the West Indies, and the US and the UK for innovation of form and content. And we will put these narratives into the context of a literary world system, a system of circulation of goods and ideas that is particularly interested in texts that translate linguistically and culturally outside of their place of origin. Through close engagement with novels written since 1988, we will be considering the ways in which developments in globalization are affecting literature—reshaping both the style and form of literary works themselves and the larger system of literary readership. Novelists may include: Damon Galgut, Mohsin Hamid, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Timothy Mo, Teju Cole, and Salman Rushdie.

ENGL 43000-01 Seminar in the English Renaissance: “King’s Men”: Shakespeare, Jonson, and Middleton LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 10
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This seminar will examine a selection of theatrical entertainments written by three major dramatists exclusively for the King’s Men, the royal acting company of King James I (r. 1604-1625). James was a fascinating and polarizing monarch: a renowned intellect, a lavish spender, a notorious victim of witchcraft, a pacifist, a bisexual, and a cunning authoritarian. The great “Jacobean” phase of Shakespeare’s career – in which he wrote such plays as Measure for MeasureMacbethCoriolanus, and Pericles – was deeply intertwined with the cultural and political life of the royal patron, and yet Shakespeare’s attitude towards the institutions of monarchy and court remains profoundly ambivalent. The same is true for Shakespeare’s friend and artistic rival Ben Jonson, whose Jacobean output includes the magnificent SejanusThe Masque of BlacknessThe Alchemist, and The Devil is an Ass, by turns acidly satirical and beautifully encomiastic. And how to account for the grotesque worlds of ineluctable wickedness that Thomas Middleton imagined for the King’s Men in plays such as The Revenger’s TragedyThe Second Maiden’s TragedyThe Witch, and Women Beware Women? As we will see, Middleton may be the most ingenious and underappreciated theatrical artist of the seventeenth century. This seminar invites its participants to explore how these writers conversed with both their royal patron and each other, formally and thematically. We will consider the meaningfulness of original staging techniques in London playhouses like the Globe and the Blackfriars and court venues such as James’s banqueting house at Whitehall. And we will examine the ways in which the Jacobean preoccupations with political tyranny, the friction between women and men, and the social and economic pressures of urban living, inspired the most successful dramatic repertory in early modern England.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar
COURSE REQUIRMENTS & GRADING: Seminar presentations, a midterm paper, a final research paper.

ENGL 47000-01 The Fiction of Ernest Hemingway
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, 316A Muller, Ext. 4-1253
ENROLLMENT: 10
PREREQUISITES: Four courses in English or permission of instructor
OBJECTIVES: Simple. To read as much Hemingway as possible within significant biographical, social, and aesthetic contexts.  Our syllabus will include all of the classic short stories (with an emphasis on the Nick Adams stories) and three novels, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
STUDENTS: Open to all who meet the prerequisites and are willing to embrace fully the concept of a seminar and be a vital, contributing “seminarian.”
FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion
REQUIREMENTS: Weekly short (2-3 page) writing assignments; a major “seminar” paper (12-15 pages); group projects/presentations; regular attendance
GRADING: Based on attendance, participation, and above requirements

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