Previous Years' Courses

ENGL 10000-01           Exploring the Major   HU LA 3A h                             

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:      N/A 

INSTRUCTOR:           Derek Adams, Muller 304 

ENROLLMENT:                    25 students per section 

PREREQUISITES:                 None 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:        This course intends to assist scholars interested and/or majoring in Literatures in English (primarily those in their first or second year) with understanding and exploring opportunities available to them during their time at Ithaca College and after graduation. As part of this, you will learn about the mission of a liberal arts education and contemplate the purpose of college. You will also work to define your own purpose in coming to Ithaca College and choosing your major. Though the course is primarily discussion-based, current faculty members and students in the major will deliver guest presentations to introduce you to important information and connect you to useful resources. You will actively pursue knowledge of yourself, your educational options, extra-curricular and professional interests, and you will learn research, writing and decision-making strategies that will benefit you while in college and beyond. We will also dedicate time in class for your own questions to be discussed. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional context-setting lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: One 500-word personal reflection, and active participation in class discussions. 

ENGL 10500-01, 02 Introduction to American Literature HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom
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 11200-01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO SHORT STORY: THIS AMERICAN LIFE (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU/CA; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will read a wide range of American short fiction, gathered loosely around the themes of childhood, adolescence, adult relationships, aging and death. In the course of our reading and discussion, we will traverse issues related to American identity, especially as they are inflected by race, ethnicity, and gender. We will also become familiar with formal elements of the short story, including point of view, plot, tone, and dialogue. Over the course of the term, we will read a combination of classic and contemporary American stories. We will end the term by reading Alexander Weinstein’s collection, Children of the New World.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two short essays (2 pages), two longer essays (5-6 pages), a mid-term, a 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 11300, Introduction to Poetry 3 Credits

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation ICC PERSPECTIVES: Humanities and Creative Arts

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: How does a poem produce meaning? What does poetry do with language? This course is an introduction to a) the constituent elements of poems and the vocabulary with which we can analyze them and b) the extraordinary variety and capaciousness of texts we call “poems.” The aim of this course is to arrive at a sense, both ample and precise, of what a poem is, what it does, how it does what it does, and, perhaps, why we should care.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion (online, mostly synchronous)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short writing assignments, recitations, poetic compositions, annotated poetry anthology, lively participation.

ENGL 18200-01, 02   The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power                                         HU LA 3A h 

TOPIC:                         Life at the Margins in American Literature 

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:        Diversity, Humanities Perspective, Power & Justice and Identities Themes 

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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, and Tommy Orange.   

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, actively engage in class discussions, write short textual analysis essays and a

ENGL 20100-01   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY      

3.0 CREDITS 

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive 

INSTRUCTOR: Kasia Bartoszynska

ENROLLMENT:  15  

What does it mean to be good at reading? What do we do when we “study” literature? In this class, we examine different ways to analyze and interpret texts, and think about what kind of knowledge those interpretations produce—what, and who, they’re for. Why do we read? What is literature? How do we go about understanding it better? And how does it help us understand the world better (does it, really?)? In order to answer these questions, we’ll look at some of the ways people have tried to answer them in the past — at what is called literary theory.  

But as we’re examining these different theories, we’ll also be putting them into practice by reading various works of literature: Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”, Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem, James Joyce’s The Dead, and othersThe real goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to develop their own critical perspective, to refine the tools they use to argue for the kinds of interpretations they care about, whether that’s the gender politics of the Marvel universe or the character structure of the Twilight books.  

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 REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, regular short writing assignments, one in-class presentation, two formal essays.

narrative analysis reflection, and regularly post to our Sakai Forum.

ENGL 21900, SHAKESPEARE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why study Shakespeare now? The question has never been more pressing for those who would situate the playwright and his works at the heart of English studies and other Humanities disciplines. Shakespeare was an immensely talented poet, but he died over 400 years ago. Of what use can he be in grappling with the problems currently confronting us?—rising tides of political authoritarianism and war; economic inequality, systemic racism, xenophobia, misogynistic violence; and, critically, ideological polarization that prevents us from arriving at a consensus on ‘reality’ itself? If Shakespeare is to be viewed as relevant in 2023, his work arguably must help bring the challenges we now face into better focus and inspire us to respond in meaningful ways. Whether indeed they have this capacity will be the question that guides us throughout the semester. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary to succeed in this course—only enthusiasm, curiosity, and a readiness to study three rich texts—The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale—both in the contexts of Shakespeare’s time and our own.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active participation; close-reading exercises; a reader-response journal; a take-home final exam.

ENGL 21900  03, 04  Shakespeare

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.

CRN:  40406/40407

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.

Shakespeare set more of his plays in Italy than any of his contemporaries, and we will explore his use of Italian settings and plots through our readings of Two Gentlemen of VeronaTaming of the ShrewRomeo and JulietMuch Ado about NothingMerchant of VeniceOthello, and Winter’s Tale, works which span his career from earliest to latest.

STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lectures.

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; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; essay mid-term and final exam.

ENGL 22000-01 BLACK WOMEN WRITERS
3 CREDITS
ICC ATTRIBUTE: Diversity
INSTRUCTOR:  Derek Adams, 304 Muller
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Study of black women writers such as Hurston, Angelou, Morrison, and Walker.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

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

ENGL 23100 Ancient Literature      

3.0 CREDITS 

INSTRUCTOR: Robert Sullivan

ENROLLMENT:  20 

Literatures (and cultures) have roots that nurture and, to some extent at least, determine their subjects, attitudes, and forms. This course will take us to the Greco-Roman roots that have nourished Western textual traditions for over 2500 years. Together we will encounter lyric poetry, tragic and comedic theatre, and epic, as one might expect, as well as other genres such as panegyric, mythology, biography, epistles, oratory, or varieties of philosophical literature with which one might well be less familiar. Particular emphasis will be placed on bodies of work that have had powerful influences on later literatures, including those of Homer, Vergil, Ovid, Seneca, Plautus, Isocrates, Cicero, Euripides, Sophocles, Lucretius, and Sappho. We’ll also read some of the critical texts by which the scholars of antiquity, such as Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, and the pseudo-Longinus, sought to make sense of what they were reading. All our readings will be in English translations.

ATTRIBUTES: 3A, CSA, G, H, HU

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, short writing assignments, one term paper.

ENGL 23200 MEDIEVAL LITERATURE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Alexis Kellner Becker

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:   One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing; WRTG10600 or equivalent.

OBJECTIVES: This course provides a partial introduction to the huge range of literature written between c. 800 and c. 1500 CE, primarily in the British Isles. Who produced medieval literature? Who read it or listened to it? How did medieval writers wrestle with the social, economic, political, economic, and ecological problems of their time? How did they think about history? How did they tackle the question of what it means to be a person, a citizen, and/or a fictional character? This course will explore how imaginative literature in the Middle Ages created different kinds of human, nonhuman, and superhuman subjects, real and imaginary. How, we will ask, can this literature help us think through our own ideas about how to read and how to live?  Readings may include Old English elegies and riddles, Icelandic saga, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Mabinogion, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Langland’s Piers Plowman, Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Love, and Middle English lyric.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 28500 Queer Lit

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Spitzer, Muller 305

ENROLLMENT: 25 per section

PREREQUISITES: Sophomore Standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will survey key works of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature, and it will introduce you to some key debates in queer literary studies. We will familiarize ourselves with the social, political, and legal, contexts of our readings as we explore their representations of sexuality, gender, intimacy, sociability, and desire. We will also explore the affective and political potential of these works, how they develop a historical awareness of violence, oppression, and homo/ bi/ and transphobia; how they envision alternative forms of attachment, belonging, and intimacy; and how they imagine survival, resilience and transcendence. Authors include Carson McCullers, James Baldwin, Justin Torres, Maggie Nelson, and Carmen Maria Machado. We will read these authors in conjunction with short critical readings on queer theory by Sara Ahmed, Judith Butler, and José Esteban Muñoz.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some short lectures, but the class is primarily discussion based.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Short response papers, 2 formal essays, midterm exam.

ENGL 29400 01 Slow Read: The Odyssey       

1.0 CREDITS 

INSTRUCTOR: Robert Sullivan

ENROLLMENT:  12 

Odysseus’ return to Ithaca from Troy has become one of the paradigmatic ‘hero’s journeys’ in world literature. The Odyssey has had a profound influence on an astonishing array of literatures and cultures from the time of its composition in the late 8th century BCE to our present day, and the poem continues to echo in virtually every medium. It’s also a rattling good tale of love, adventure, yearning, cruelty, and folly. The characters and set-piece stories have become common to even those who have never read the original. The blinding of the Cyclops Polyphemus. The amazing sorceress Circe. The massacre of Penelope’s suitors. The Sirens, the Lotus Eaters, Scylla and Charybdus – all crowd the imagination.

The poem’s 12,091 lines of dactylic hexameter have been brilliantly translated by Emily Wilson, the first woman to have published a complete rendition in English. We will read The Odyssey at a rate that is appropriate to the poem’s expanse, working through one or two “books” (much more akin to chapters) per week over the term. All are welcome to join us on this encounter with the world of the epic.

PREREQUISITE: No prerequisites. All are welcome.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, short writing assignments, one in-class presentation.

ENGL 29400, 02 SLOW READ: TRISTRAM SHANDY

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. 

OBJECTIVES:  Tristram Shandy, written between 1759 and 1767, startled, delighted, perplexed, and appalled its original audience; it has proved one of the most influential novels ever written.  Most English majors have heard of it (especially if they’ve taken any course with me).  But what is it?  What makes it so addictive, pleasurable, perplexing?    Joyce, Woolf, Fuentes, Kundera, Rushdie, Grass, and many other modernist and post-modernist writers have responded to its methods and themes; to read Tristram Shandy is to approach post-modernity from its pre-modern side. 

As the course title suggests, we’ll read it slowly—the only worthwhile way.   There will be perplexity (I’ll help you with that), bawdry (you’re mostly on your own), delight (we’ll all share).

REQUIREMENTS:  Attendance, weekly short written responses, one extended analytical essay.

ENGL 29700 (02) Professional Development Practicum (Graphic Novels)

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

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: none

OBJECTIVES: The "Graphic Novel Advisory Board" is a group of IC students who get together to review children's and teen's graphic novels. They share their findings with rural librarians and discuss ways for them to enhance their collections of graphic novels. The group puts out a monthly newsletter reviewing a wide range of graphic novels. This 1.5 credit experimental course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in education, promoting reading, or marketing/publishing graphic novels. If the pandemic allows, we also host community events promoting reading and collaborate with ITHACON to provide a whimsical reading room.

FORMAT/STYLE: Small group collaborative activities, regular writing assignments, weekend site visits.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, participation in site visits, regular writing assignments, end-of-semester assessment based on personal goals (may involve event planning, reviewing, editing, or doing website enhancement), reflection on event and personal achievement.

ENGL 33100-01, DRAMATIC LITERATURE I: Early English Comedy and Tragedy

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course traces the evolution of English stage comedy and tragedy from the medieval period to the seventeenth-century. Comedy, with its emphasis on laughter, emotional fulfilment, and social harmony is sometimes viewed as less serious in its aims than its ancient counterpart, tragedy. But rarely in the English tradition are

comic and tragic impulses merely antithetical. English comedy depends upon an awareness of the precariousness of human happiness—life’s ripe potential, at every turn, for disaster and despair—while tragedy, no less conscientiously, weighs the values of joy, order, and rationality against their obliteration to achieve its fullest effects. As dramatic categories, then, comedy and tragedy are mutually constitutive and complementary in the way they artistically organize and evaluate human experience; both at once affirm and subject to painful disintegration our prized ideas about the world and our positions in it. To better grasp the formal, political, and philosophical dimensions of English comedy and tragedy before 1800, this course will first survey some foundational examples of each from ancient Greece and Rome, including Aristophanes’ Lysistrata; Seneca’s Thyestes; and Plautus’s The Haunted House. We will then study a selection of medieval and early modern English plays that adapt or appropriate past works in innovative ways, such as Noah and his Wife (and other civic Biblical pageants); Thomas Middleton’s The Bloody Banquet; Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist; Elizabeth Carey’s The Tragedy of Mariam; John Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed (a sequel to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew); and Aphra Behn’s The Feigned Courtesans.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active participation; close-reading exercises; an essay; a take-home final exam.

ENGL 31900-01 GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS BEFORE 1890
Topic: Declarations of independence; revelations of confinement
3 CREDITS
ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller
ENROLLMENT: 20 students
PREREQUISITES: 9 credits in the humanities.

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 Kate Chopin.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three 5 page essays, and a substantial end-of-term research project.

ENGL 40000-01 CAPSTONE IN ENGLISH

1 CREDIT

ICC DESIGNATION: Capstone course

INSTRUCTOR: Robert Sullivan

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: Senior standing in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their four years of study as English majors and within the ICC. The goal of the course is to complete all necessary material for the ICC e-portfolio, and for students to consider their own experiences within the context of College academic programming as well as the framework of the liberal arts more generally.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One 1000-word reflective essay, one shorter reflective assignment, and class participation. Grading will be P/F.

ENGL 46000 – 01 Seminar in 20th/21st Century Literature: Virginia Woolf

3.0 CREDITS 

ICC ATTRIBUTE:

INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Spitzer

ENROLLMENT:  12

In this author-focused seminar we will indulge the pleasures (and challenges) of reading Virginia Woolf, moving from the formally adventurous postwar novel Mrs. Dalloway, to the impressionistic elegy, To the Lighthouse, to the fluid, gender-bending fantasy novel Orlando. We will think about Woolf as the experimental writer blazing new trails for fiction, and as a radical feminist demanding income and a room of one’s own for women creators. We will explore Woolf as a queer artist experimenting with trans embodiment and speculative futures in Orlando, and as a pandemic author writing about illness, the body, and the joys/terrors of post-pandemic parties. We will not only discuss Woolf’s genre-bending work, but we will write about Woolf in genre-bending ways that are creative, personal, scholarly, and political. Some questions we might ask: How did Woolf go from being an Edwardian good girl to a modernist, feminist badass? How did she make emotions the coolest part of the novel? Why did she write a biography from the point of view of a dog? We will also enjoy some adaptations of Woolf, including the 1992 film Orlando, starring Tilda Swinton and the 2002 film, The Hours, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham.

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.

ENGL 48300 – 01 Advanced Studies in Feminist Science Fiction

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

ENROLLMENT:  10

PREREQUISITES: two classes in the humanities

OBJECTIVES: Students in this class will be instrumental in running the academic conference to be held at IC in April: Pippi to Ripley 4: Sex and Gender in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Comics.  Students will either present an academic paper at the conference or design a community-based project which they will discuss at the conference. Additional time will be spent looking at the abstracts submitted, creating the panels, mentoring newer presenters and designing promotional materials for the event. Some reading and viewing of texts chosen by the students will be mandatory for the class, but the exact nature of these texts will be determined by the class members.

FORMAT/STYLE:  Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities

GRADING:  Performance of conference-supporting activities, abstract creation, presentation of project or paper, reflection on event and personal achievement.

ENGL 48400– 01 Seminar in Podcasting the Humanities

3.0 CREDITS 

ICC ATTRIBUTE:

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, Muller 318

ENROLLMENT:  12

PREREQUISITE: some familiarity with podcasts, a two courses in the humanities

Since the dawn of the internet age, new media has offered a vast array of ways to engage with the humanities. Access to an internet connection makes you a published author, philosopher, religious leader, art critic, and on, and on. One of the most remarkable elements of new media is the return to audio-based medium after decades of dominance by the visual (tv, film, youtube, etc.). The podcast has become a major form of interaction with the humanities. It has evolved into a popular genre of storytelling, interview, investigation, discovery, and criticism. Millions of people world-wide digest the news of the world via podcast. It remains a fairly new mode of inquiry, and this class will be asking you to engage, create, and critique this evolving form.

Through a mix of theory and practice, you will be asked to become an expert in the forms and genres of the podcast, looking at how disciplines of the humanities--literature, history, philosophy, journalism, religion, etc.--are represented, critiqued, expanded, and debunked using the podcast as the means of inquiry. This will involve listening to many types of podcasts and learning how to "read" an audio form, as you might a novel or newspaper. There will be writing assignments in which you analyze the content and form of particular podcasts.

This is also very much a practice seminar. This means that each member of the class will produce a podcast season or longform episode as the final project for the course. We will dedicate a portion of each class session to technical aspects of podcasting, including: recording audio, mixing and editing, including guests, publishing and marketing, etc. Student assistants will be in the class to help with technical and practical skills. You will finish the class with a published podcast that engages with a particular field in the humanities.

FORMAT/STYLE:  Seminar discussion, small group, collaborative activities

GRADING:  Participation, writing assignments critiquing and analyzing podcasts, and a final published podcast will all be assessed with A-F grading.

Course Listing Spring 2022-23

ENGL 10000-01           Exploring the Major   HU LA 3A h                             

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:      N/A 

INSTRUCTOR:           Derek Adams, Muller 304 

ENROLLMENT:                    25 students per section 

PREREQUISITES:                 None 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:        This course intends to assist scholars interested and/or majoring in Literatures in English (primarily those in their first or second year) with understanding and exploring opportunities available to them during their time at Ithaca College and after graduation. As part of this, you will learn about the mission of a liberal arts education and contemplate the purpose of college. You will also work to define your own purpose in coming to Ithaca College and choosing your major. Though the course is primarily discussion-based, current faculty members and students in the major will deliver guest presentations to introduce you to important information and connect you to useful resources. You will actively pursue knowledge of yourself, your educational options, extra-curricular and professional interests, and you will learn research, writing and decision-making strategies that will benefit you while in college and beyond. We will also dedicate time in class for your own questions to be discussed. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional context-setting lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: One 500-word personal reflection, and active participation in class discussions. 

ENGL 10500-01, 02 Introduction to American Literature HU LA 3a
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom
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 11300, 01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives: Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom. Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITE: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What is poetry? What happens when you read it? To answer these questions, we’ll read a thematically, and formally broad range of poems and exercise an equally broad set of approaches to reading, thinking, and writing critically about poetry. We’ll begin by studying the formal elements of a poem thereby familiarizing ourselves with poetic terminology. Then, we will read poems from a modern and contemporary American context, examining a variety of themes with attention to the contextual forces of class politics, race, gender, and ecological concern.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion, limited lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two essays, two response papers, presentation questions and blogs. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300, 03, 04 Introduction to Poetry 3 Credits

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation ICC PERSPECTIVES: Humanities and Creative Arts

INSTRUCTOR: Dan Breeen

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: How does a poem produce meaning? What does poetry do with language? This course is an introduction to a) the constituent elements of poems and the vocabulary with which we can analyze them and b) the extraordinary variety and capaciousness of texts we call “poems.” The aim of this course is to arrive at a sense, both ample and precise, of what a poem is, what it does, how it does what it does, and, perhaps, why we should care.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion (online, mostly synchronous)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short writing assignments, recitations, poetic compositions, annotated poetry anthology, lively participation.

ENGL 18200-01           The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power                             HU LA 3A h 

TOPIC:                         Life at the Margins in American Literature 

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:        Diversity, Humanities Perspective, Power & Justice and Identities Themes 

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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, and Tommy Orange.   

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, actively engage in class discussions, write short textual analysis essays and a narrative analysis reflection, and regularly post to our Sakai Forum.

English 19419-01,02  Story Power: Fairy Tales

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, 434 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children?  How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures?  What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood, reading English translations of the tales collected by German and Italian folklorists.  While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways.  Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen.  Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short (2 pages) response papers, one 3-4 page essay and one 4-5 page essay, a take-home final exam, a presentation, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Due to the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 20100-01   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY      

3.0 CREDITS 

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive 

INSTRUCTOR: Kasia Bartoszynska

ENROLLMENT:  15  

What does it mean to be good at reading? What do we do when we “study” literature? In this class, we examine different ways to analyze and interpret texts, and think about what kind of knowledge those interpretations produce—what, and who, they’re for. Why do we read? What is literature? How do we go about understanding it better? And how does it help us understand the world better (does it, really?)? In order to answer these questions, we’ll look at some of the ways people have tried to answer them in the past — at what is called literary theory.  

But as we’re examining these different theories, we’ll also be putting them into practice by reading various works of literature: Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”, Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem, James Joyce’s The Dead, and othersThe real goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to develop their own critical perspective, to refine the tools they use to argue for the kinds of interpretations they care about, whether that’s the gender politics of the Marvel universe or the character structure of the Twilight books.  

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 REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, regular short writing assignments, one in-class presentation, two formal essays.

ENGL 21900-01, -02, SHAKESPEARE: Why Shakespeare Now?

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why study Shakespeare now? The question has never been more pressing for those who would situate the playwright and his works at the heart of English studies and other Humanities disciplines. Shakespeare was an immensely talented poet, but he died over 400 years ago. Of what use can he be in grappling with the problems that currently confront us?—rising tides of political authoritarianism and institutional corruption; economic inequality, systemic racism, xenophobia, misogynistic violence; and, critically, the ideological and epistemological polarization that prevents us from arriving at a consensus on ‘reality’ itself? If Shakespeare’s works are to have relevance in 2021, they arguably must help bring the socio-political challenges we face into clearer focus and inspire us to respond to those challenges. Whether indeed they have this capacity will be the question that guides us throughout the semester. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary to succeed in this course—only enthusiasm, curiosity, and a readiness to study three artistic masterpieces—The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest—in the contexts of Shakespeare’s time and our own.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active participation; a reading journal; final reflective essay. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 21900  03, 04  Shakespeare

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.

CRN:  40406/40407

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.

Shakespeare set more of his plays in Italy than any of his contemporaries, and we will explore his use of Italian settings and plots through our readings of Two Gentlemen of VeronaTaming of the ShrewRomeo and JulietMuch Ado about NothingMerchant of VeniceOthello, and Winter’s Tale, works which span his career from earlies to latest.

STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lectures.

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; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; essay mid-term and final exam.

ENGL 22200-01 CONTEMPORARY POETRY: REVOLUTIONARY FEMINIST POETRY AND POETICS IN                                    20th CENTURY AMERICA 

3 CREDITS 

ICC DESIGNATION: Liberal Arts (LA) 

INSTRUCTOR: Christine Kitano, Smiddy 411 

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section 

PREREQUISITE: One LA course in H&S. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will provide an overview of the writings of Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, June Jordan, and Janice Mirikitani, poets who have often been marginalized or otherwise excluded from the academic canon. These poets were trailblazers who, through their poetry and activism, work to embody the personal as political, to forge new paths for women and BIPOC women writers. Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Gloria Anzaldua will provide the theoretical groundwork for this course. We will ask: what is the relationship between the personal and the political? How does poetry resist the structures of capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism, and white supremacy? What is the function of poetry in social justice? And ultimately, can poetry change the world? 

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Brief response papers, two 5-7 page essays, 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 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 23200 MEDIEVAL LITERATURE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Alexis Kellner Becker

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:   One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing; WRTG10600 or equivalent.

OBJECTIVES: This course provides a partial introduction to the huge range of literature written between c. 800 and c. 1500 CE, primarily in the British Isles. Who produced medieval literature? Who read it or listened to it? How did medieval writers wrestle with the social, economic, political, economic, and ecological problems of their time? How did they think about history? How did they tackle the question of what it means to be a person, a citizen, and/or a fictional character? This course will explore how imaginative literature in the Middle Ages created different kinds of human, nonhuman, and superhuman subjects, real and imaginary. How, we will ask, can this literature help us think through our own ideas about how to read and how to live?  Readings may include Old English elegies and riddles, Icelandic saga, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Mabinogion, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Langland’s Piers Plowman, Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Love, and Middle English lyric.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 27400 Golden Age of Children’s Literature CRN: 40879 

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

ENROLLMENT:  10 

PREREQUISITES: none 

NOTE: This course counts for the English Department’s pre-20th century requirement; Its approval for the ICC theme “Identities” is pending 

OBJECTIVES: This course supplies an overview of pre-20th century children's literature with particular focus on the ’Golden Age of Children's Literature’ in the Victorian era. The class will look at the precursors to the golden age texts: chap books, didactic literature, fables and fairytales, and will then go on to look at some of the major texts of the era in both fiction and verse.  Novels will include: Alice in Wonderland; Little Women; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Treasure Island; Tom Sawyer; The Wind in the Willows, and The Secret Garden. 

FORMAT/STYLE:  Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities 

GRADING:  Weekly response pieces; individual presentation; mid-term; final project.  

ENGL 29700 (02) Professional Development Practicum (Graphic Novels)

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

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: none

OBJECTIVES: The "Graphic Novel Advisory Board" is a group of IC students who get together to review children's and teen's graphic novels. They share their findings with rural librarians and discuss ways for them to enhance their collections of graphic novels. The group puts out a monthly newsletter reviewing a wide range of graphic novels. This 1.5 credit experimental course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in education, promoting reading, or marketing/publishing graphic novels. If the pandemic allows, we also host community events promoting reading and collaborate with ITHACON to provide a whimsical reading room.

FORMAT/STYLE: Small group collaborative activities, regular writing assignments, weekend site visits.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, participation in site visits, regular writing assignments, end-of-semester assessment based on personal goals (may involve event planning, reviewing, editing, or doing website enhancement), reflection on event and personal achievement.

ENGL 31100-01 DRAMATIC LITERATURE I

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 DRAMATIC LITERATURE II

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What is the nature of the relationship of contemporary theater to the past? This question has acquired a particular urgency in the present for both formal and substantive reasons. Formally, theater is in some ways a generic anachronism: an aesthetic relic from before the time of broadcast media. Substantively, theater can both reflect and challenge aesthetic, social, and political traditions while at the same time highlighting its capacity to serve as a historical and ethical laboratory. We will read a selection of plays from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that confront, reframe, or otherwise engage with certain aspects of the past, including theater’s own past. Authors to be studied include Baraka, Beckett, Brecht, Cobb, Friel, Ionescu, MacDonald, Nottage, O’Casey, Schreck, Soyinka, and Stoppard.

ENGL 32500 Medieval Mysticisms

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker, Muller 330

PREREQUISITE: Any three courses in English or permission of instructor. 

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

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.

The Middle Ages saw religious thinkers looking to become one with the divine – and then trying to figure out how to mediate that immediate and ineffable experience through writing. As a result, these texts are often magnificently strange. This course will look at writing from the mystical traditions of the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, with a particular focus on how mysticism could sometimes subvert traditional (classed, gendered) categories of knowledge. Topics discussed will include visions, the political stakes of mystical experience, questions of expertise and authority, affective piety, the category of “experience,” religious eros, and vernacular theology. Texts include passages from the Zohar; the poetry of Rumi and of Mechthild of Magdeburg, among others; Aishah al-Bauniyyah’s Principles of Sufism; Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls; The Cloud of Unknowing; and Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Divine Love.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Grading will be based on presentations, written assignments, and an interpretative or research paper or project. In addition, because of the discussion-oriented format of the course, class participation will form a major part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 38200—01 Modern Literature 1: Feminist Fictions CRN: 40887 

INSTRUCTOR:  Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, kkittredge@ithaca.edu 

ENROLLMENT:  20 

PREREQUISITES: Three English courses  

OBJECTIVES:  Feminist Fictions looks at twentieth and twentieth century novels, essays, and other forms of media which have shocked the nation and shaped the feminist movement.  Texts will include The Bell JarRubyfruit JungleFear of Flying, and Stone Butch Blues, and essays from Audre Lorde, Roxanne Gay and Lindy West.  Films and TV shows will be added according to popular demand. WARNING: course material includes explicit sexual descriptions including queer sexual activity and non-normative play. 

FORMAT/STYLE: Full and small group discussion; collaborative activities, presentation on favorite example of female/queer representation. 

GRADING:  Performance of assigned tasks, weekly blog posts, one pop culture presentation, some mid-term activity; final project.  

ENGL 39000 DARK ACADEMIA

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The gleaming hilltop institutions where wise professors dispense enlightenment to eager youth often fall short of their professed ideals; as we know, the business of education can go seriously wrong. Novelists, ever keen to examine human nature at its most twisted, have explored the dark corners of education’s failures in works that subject our worst personal and institutional lapses to the harsh and harrowing—but often comical--light of fictive imagination.

We’ll read novels of racial discrimination and passing (Roth’s The Human Stain); anxious imposters who profess knowledge they don’t possess (DeLillo’s White Noise); treatments of cultish madness and magic (Donna Tartt’s The Secret History & Mona Awad’s Bunny); novels of predatory teacher-student relationships (Nabokov’s Lolita and Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa), and finally a serio-comic epistolary novel following the travails of a grouchy over-the-hill English prof no longer in sync with his department, Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members.

These novels shed a dark light on the enterprise we are engaged in; by turns dreadful and hilarious, these works will help us better understand the work we do, the lives we live, and the power of story to instruct, horrify, and delight.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Class is highly conversational.

REQUIREMENTS: Class attendance and participation; two six-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; take-home mid-term and final.

Grading: Based on attendance, participation, and completion of the above requirements.

ENGL 40000-01 CAPSTONE IN ENGLISH

1 CREDIT

ICC DESIGNATION: Capstone course

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: Senior standing in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their four years of study as English majors and within the ICC. The goal of the course is to complete all necessary material for the ICC e-portfolio, and for students to consider their own experiences within the context of College academic programming as well as the framework of the liberal arts more generally.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One 1000-word reflective essay, one shorter reflective assignment, and class participation. Grading will be P/F.

ENGL 46000-01 Seminar in 20th Century Fiction: The Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro

3 credit
INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes
ENROLLMENT: 12
PREREQUISITE: 9 credits in English. Junior or Senior Status

Course Description: This junior/senior seminar will focus entirely on the novels and writings of the Japanese-British writer, Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the most important contemporary novelists writing in English. By the time Ishiguro had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, he was already one of the most popular novelists in Britain, and one of the most translated writers in the world. His two most acclaimed novels, The Remains of the Day, the story of a butler living in a Nazi-sympathizer's manor house in England, and Never Let Me Go, a science fiction hybrid novel about school children who are raised for their organs, were both adapted into successful films. We will read most of his published work, including a collection of short stories, while becoming familiar with the tradition of academic writing that has sprung up around his career. Enrolled students will become experts on the work of one of world literature's biggest stars. Assignments will be modeled on a graduate school seminar.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar Discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One five-page literature review and precis paper, and one 10-12 page research essay. Regular presentations and short writing exercises. A great deal of emphasis placed on regular discussion and preparation of the class materials.

ENGL 11200-01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO SHORT STORY: THIS AMERICAN LIFE (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU/CA; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will read a wide range of American short fiction, gathered loosely around the themes of childhood, adolescence, adult relationships, aging and death. In the course of our reading and discussion, we will traverse issues related to American identity, especially as they are inflected by race, ethnicity, and gender. We will also become familiar with formal elements of the short story, including point of view, plot, tone, and dialogue. Over the course of the term, we will read a combination of classic and contemporary American stories. We will end the term by reading Alexander Weinstein’s collection, Children of the New World.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two short essays (2 pages), two longer essays (5-6 pages), a mid-term, a 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 11300, 01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives: Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom. Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITE: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What is poetry? What happens when you read it? To answer these questions, we’ll read a thematically, and formally broad range of poems and exercise an equally broad set of approaches to reading, thinking, and writing critically about poetry. We’ll begin by studying the formal elements of a poem thereby familiarizing ourselves with poetic terminology. Then, we will read poems from a modern and contemporary American context, examining a variety of themes with attention to the contextual forces of class politics, race, gender, and ecological concern.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion, limited lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two essays, two response papers, presentation questions and blogs. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300, 03, 04 Introduction to Poetry 3 Credits

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation ICC PERSPECTIVES: Humanities and Creative Arts

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: How does a poem produce meaning? What does poetry do with language? This course is an introduction to a) the constituent elements of poems and the vocabulary with which we can analyze them and b) the extraordinary variety and capaciousness of texts we call “poems.” The aim of this course is to arrive at a sense, both ample and precise, of what a poem is, what it does, how it does what it does, and, perhaps, why we should care.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion (online, mostly synchronous)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short writing assignments, recitations, poetic compositions, annotated poetry anthology, lively participation.

ENGL 19409-01, -02 MYSTERIOUS MUDDLES AND COMMONPLACE CRIMES:  GOTHIC NOVELS AND DETECTIVE FICTION
3 credits
ICC THEME: Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Kasia Bartoszynska

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Mystery fiction is often seen as the most cliché and predictable of genres. Someone gets killed, the detective follows the clues and solves the case: there are basic formulas for how to tell these stories, whether or the page or the screen. Where did those formulas come from, and how did they develop?  

In this class, we’ll chart the changing nature of mystery fiction during the 19th century, from Castle of Otranto and the Gothic novels of the late 1700s to Sherlock Holmes and the detective stories of the Victorian period. We’ll see how the inexplicable occurrence at the heart of these stories shifts from supernatural incidents to murder, and observe authors exploring different ways of producing suspense and drama, and pondering the criminal mind. We’ll watch as female characters mutate from being a beautiful and innocent victim to the femme fatale that drives men to violence, and notice the way these novels channel anxieties about the changing nature of society and city life.  

Examining how early Gothic fiction tested and developed techniques that later became prominent in mystery novels, we will consider the nature of the detective and the kinds of puzzles he (or she!) solves, the construction of the clue, and different ways of plotting a story, to see how (or whether) the mystery novel came to shed its supernatural underpinnings. We will also consider the social implications of these works and the crimes they describe, studying what they perceive as the source of evil and criminality, and how emerging concepts of policing are connected to ideas about race, gender, and sexuality.  

ENGL 18500-01,02: EARTHWORKS: LITERATURE, NATURE, AND THE

ENVIRONMENT. LA 3a HU

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What is the nature of nature? This class offers an exciting literary, cultural, and historical exploration into the idea of “nature” and the “natural.” While it may seem self-evident to us that nature is all of that stuff “out there” – trees, rocks, oceans, animals, you know what I mean – this class will explore how natural environments in literature are not simple, common-sense places, but are in fact dynamic cultural constructions that change over time. What do we actually mean by nature? How do we understand it as a place, as an object, or as a literary form? Might nature be nothing more than a unique human experience? As you can see, this class will raise many intriguing questions, and by examining the “eco-literature” embodied in novels, stories, poems, biographies, and non-fictions, our sense of the natural will be challenged, and hopefully, expanded. We will be helped on our journey by Thoreau, Wordsworth, Cather, Dillard, Krakauer, Snyder – among many others.

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

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

ENGL 18200-01           The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power                             HU LA 3A h 

TOPIC:                         Life at the Margins in American Literature 

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:        Diversity, Humanities Perspective, Power & Justice and Identities Themes 

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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, and Tommy Orange.   

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, actively engage in class discussions, write short textual analysis essays and a narrative analysis reflection, and regularly post to our Sakai Forum.

ENGL 19423-01 LITERATURE OF MODERN WARFARE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes: Identities and Power and Justice; Perspective: Humanities (ICC designations pending)

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course studies novels, plays, and poems from the last 100 years engaging with the subject of warfare and its effects on combatants and non-combatants alike. It will focus on the political and ethical urgency of literature and its relationship to - and role in - the most brutal and destructive behavior in which human beings engage. The syllabus begins with World War I, and ranges all over the world, from Belgium and France to Argentina to Liberia to Japan to Iraq to Pakistan. Authors to be studied include Owen, Sassoon, Heller, Guevara, Ishiguro, Bigelow, Hamid, Moore, and others.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One short (2-3 pages) essay; two 5-7-page essays; a midterm and 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 20100-01   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY      

3.0 CREDITS 

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive 

INSTRUCTOR: Kasia Bartoszynska

ENROLLMENT:  15  

What does it mean to be good at reading? What do we do when we “study” literature? In this class, we examine different ways to analyze and interpret texts, and think about what kind of knowledge those interpretations produce—what, and who, they’re for. Why do we read? What is literature? How do we go about understanding it better? And how does it help us understand the world better (does it, really?)? In order to answer these questions, we’ll look at some of the ways people have tried to answer them in the past — at what is called literary theory.  

But as we’re examining these different theories, we’ll also be putting them into practice by reading various works of literature: Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”, Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem, James Joyce’s The Dead, and othersThe real goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to develop their own critical perspective, to refine the tools they use to argue for the kinds of interpretations they care about, whether that’s the gender politics of the Marvel universe or the character structure of the Twilight books.  

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 REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, regular short writing assignments, one in-class presentation, two formal essays

ENGL 21900-01, -02, SHAKESPEARE: Why Shakespeare Now?

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why study Shakespeare now? The question has never been more pressing for those who would situate the playwright and his works at the heart of English studies and other Humanities disciplines. Shakespeare was an immensely talented poet, but he died over 400 years ago. Of what use can he be in grappling with the problems that currently confront us?—rising tides of political authoritarianism and institutional corruption; economic inequality, systemic racism, xenophobia, misogynistic violence; and, critically, the ideological and epistemological polarization that prevents us from arriving at a consensus on ‘reality’ itself? If Shakespeare’s works are to have relevance in 2021, they arguably must help bring the socio-political challenges we face into clearer focus and inspire us to respond to those challenges. Whether indeed they have this capacity will be the question that guides us throughout the semester. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary to succeed in this course—only enthusiasm, curiosity, and a readiness to study three artistic masterpieces—The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest—in the contexts of Shakespeare’s time and our own.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active participation; a reading journal; final reflective essay. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 21900  03, 04  Shakespeare

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.

CRN:  40406/40407

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.

Shakespeare set more of his plays in Italy than any of his contemporaries, and we will explore his use of Italian settings and plots through our readings of Two Gentlemen of VeronaTaming of the ShrewRomeo and JulietMuch Ado about NothingMerchant of VeniceOthello, and Winter’s Tale, works which span his career from earlies to latest.

STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lectures.

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; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; essay mid-term and final exam.

ENGL 23600 Children’s and Young Adult Graphic Novels: History and Emerging Texts 

3 CREDITS  

INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, 317 Muller  

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section  

PREREQUISITES: none. 

Description:  This course looks at a wide range of texts, from the earliest comic images of children, to contemporary graphic novels.  We begin by looking at the late nineteenth-century Yellow Kid comics, and then spend time on the “realistic/surreal” comics of the twentieth century, including Nancy, Little LuluPeanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.  Although we will spend some time on super-hero titles like Power Pack Kids and the Runaways, our focus will primarily be on realistic titles such as American Born ChineseEl Deafo, and New Kid.  We will be considering the role that current graphic novels can play in increasing representation, promoting literacy, and encouraging empathy among children and young adults. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.  

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Daily reading quizzes or weekly blog posts, mid-term paper or exam, an in-class presentation, and a longer final project that may include a creative element. 

 

ENGL 27100-01 RENAISSANCE LITERATURE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: One course in a humanities or social sciences discipline, or sophomore standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION: England did not experience a Renaissance in the same way that Italy did. The revival of interest in Classical history, architecture, and rhetoric, and in the ancient Greek language, that historians have come to identify with Italy and France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries reached England comparatively late, and at first found a fairly limited audience at court and in the universities; in other words, solely at relatively small, elite institutions. The influence of this Continental scholarship—later defined as “humanism”—did, however, help to set the stage for the period we refer to as the English Renaissance (c.1500-c.1650) by offering a new set of intellectual resources with which to address existing questions and challenges. Indeed, this principle of reexamination rather than the advent of humanism might be considered the hallmark of the English Renaissance as English readers and writers found new ways to address old problems: how to define the experience of religious faith; how to write literature in the vernacular without the formal rigidity of Classical prescriptions; how the expressly patriarchal institution of monarchy can be adapted and mastered by women rulers; how to articulate a national identity. Continental humanism was one important element in this enterprise but there were many others, among them medieval theology, political and social philosophy, patterns of economic theory and practice, and English legal tradition. This course aims to present a broad-based chronological survey of many different literary genres that we’ll use as a guide for an investigation of the social and intellectual status of writing in England in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. How do authors use literature to address conflicts, provide instruction, or produce entertainment, and what expectations do audiences bring to different kinds of writing? In addition, we’ll read work by Continental authors in order to place England within the context of the broad intellectual and artistic movement that we’ve come to know as the European Renaissance.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One short (2-3 pages) essay; two 5-7-page essays; a midterm and 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 29700 (02) Professional Development Practicum (Graphic Novels)

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

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: none

OBJECTIVES: The "Graphic Novel Advisory Board" is a group of IC students who get together to review children's and teen's graphic novels. They share their findings with rural librarians and discuss ways for them to enhance their collections of graphic novels. The group puts out a monthly newsletter reviewing a wide range of graphic novels. This 1.5 credit experimental course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in education, promoting reading, or marketing/publishing graphic novels. If the pandemic allows, we also host community events promoting reading and collaborate with ITHACON to provide a whimsical reading room.

FORMAT/STYLE: Small group collaborative activities, regular writing assignments, weekend site visits.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, participation in site visits, regular writing assignments, end-of-semester assessment based on personal goals (may involve event planning, reviewing, editing, or doing website enhancement), reflection on event and personal achievement.

ENGL 31100-01 DRAMATIC LITERATURE I

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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.

English 35100: Race, Gender and Otherness (Girlhoods in Literature) 

3 CREDITS  

INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, 317 Muller  

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section  

PREREQUISITES: sophomore standing or permission of instructor.  

Description: This course offers a focused consideration of the role that children’s media has played in fostering systemic racism in our culture, and the hope it offers for dismantling racism and promoting empathy and understanding. The course will begin by looking at images from the late nineteenth century, and then consider progressive texts from the late twentieth century and twenty-first century. The texts include books for young children (5-7 years old), books for middle grade readers, texts for Young Adults, three films and two graphic novels. Throughout the semester we will also be looking at the critical response to children’s literature both in the academic community and in the popular press.   Since all texts have female or non-male identifying protagonists, gender is also a major topic of discussion; this course is part of the Women’s and Gender Studies curriculum.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.  

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Daily reading quizzes or weekly blog posts, mid-term paper or exam, an in-class presentation, and a longer final research project. 

ENGL 37100      Studies in African-American Literature                                                     HU LA 3A h 

TOPIC:                Blackness, Gender, Sexuality: Contemporary             Intersections 

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:        Diversity, WGST-cross-listing 

INSTRUCTOR:             Derek Adams, Muller 304 

ENROLLMENT:           20 per section 

PREREQUISITES:        9 credits of English 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The richness of an exploration of blackness is deepened when examining the various ways it can intersect with expressions of gender identity and articulations of the orientation of desire. Yet, as lawyer and scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw reminds us, intersectionality is much more than a declaration of personal identity. It is a framework for understanding how personal identity gets shaped by mechanisms of power that govern categories of identity. Treating Crenshaw as foundational, this course will engage a collection of 21st-century texts that examine how these mechanisms of power function in contemporary circumstances. We will, for instance, contemplate how “postracial” wish fulfillment transforms how we choose to see blackness, and how this, in turn, shapes our willingness to see black desire outside of heteronormativity.   

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, actively engage in class discussions, maintain a reading journal, put together an in-class presentation, and contribute to a digital archive.

ENGL 39500 The End of Privacy: Surveillance and Modern Culture

3 CREDITS

Fulfills 20/21st Century Lit or Multicultural/World Lit

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, Muller 318

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: 3 courses in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Since the turn of the millennium, the topic of privacy has become a social, political, and cultural battleground. Debates over government surveillance, corporate data mining, reality television, the rise of social media, and related issues have helped highlight a deep anxiety and ambivalence about whether privacy is something we want—and indeed, whether privacy exists in the first place. Scholars working in the fields of philosophy, the law, political science, history, literary studies, and visual culture have long wrestled with the slipperiness of the concept of privacy. Is privacy a basic human right or a merely escapist illusion? Is privacy worth clinging to or is it something we must and should relinquish? After the revelations of the National Security Agency’s domestic wiretapping and broad-ranging surveillance of citizens without a warrant, our attention to matters of privacy has taken on renewed urgency. In the face of both willed and unwilled ruptures of privacy, how do we maintain our sense of ourselves as free individuals, with ownership over our bodies, ideas, and properties?

Our course will examine these questions by focusing on how writers, photographers, and filmmakers have attempted to represent both the maintenance and erosion of privacy. We will begin by examining some foundational privacy theory in philosophy and the law. Placing these philosophical inquiries alongside three foundational literary texts—George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener”—we will look at iconic characters who attempt to retreat and withdraw from social responsibility in ways that have had profound consequences for notions of individualism and the private sphere. We will then turn to the effects that the development of photography, cinema, and surveillance technologies have had on contemporary citizens’ experiences with and understanding of privacy. Throughout the course, we will take up the important question of whether privacy is a privilege enjoyed only by those with access to wealth and power, and we will conclude with an investigation into the future of privacy.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: seminar

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active participation; discussion leadership; two short papers and a longer, research paper.

ENGL 42000 SEMINAR IN SHAKESPEARE: Shakespeare and Ancient Rome (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 10 PREREQUISITES: ENGL 21900; permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Shakespeare’s capacity to speak to present political concerns has much to do with his enduring cultural relevance. His plays on medieval English history and the violent game of thrones they dramatize, for instance, have long afforded British audiences the opportunity to reflect upon the nature and consequences of monarchical power, rebellion, and revolution. In America, his depictions of classical Rome have tended to grip us more forcefully, not surprisingly given our nation’s indebtedness to the ideals and institutions of that ancient republic and empire. This seminar invites students to closely examine four of Shakespeare’s so-called Roman plays: ‘Titus Andronicus,’ ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Antony and Cleopatra,’ and ‘Coriolanus.’ To better appreciate the scope of the playwright’s interest in antiquity, we will also look at his narrative poem ‘Lucrece,’ two additional Elizabethan and Jacobean plays (George Chapman’s ‘Caesar and Pompey’ and Ben Jonson’s ‘Sejanus’), and selected texts by the Roman authors who most inspired Shakespeare (Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, and Plutarch). Topics for exploration will include the Tudor educational curriculum that introduced Shakespeare to ancient Rome; Elizabethan and Jacobean fears of civil war and absolutism; and the threats that economic

inequality, demagoguery, collective violence, and authoritarianism pose to political systems and civic institutions.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Intensive discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active participation; discussion leadership; a research paper.

ENGL 42000-01/ ENGL 52000-01 HISTORY AND STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker, Muller 330

ENROLLMENT: 10 students (seminar)

PREREQUISITE: Undergrads: Four English courses, one of which must be at level 3, or permission of instructor; required of English with Teaching Option majors. Grads: required of students in the M.A.T. program in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The main purpose of this course is to give you a broad and deep knowledge of the linguistic concepts, histories, and social forms that inform our speech and writing. As English speakers, writers, and/or teachers, understanding how the English language works and why helps us make sense of why we read, write, speak, and think the way we do. Among other things, we will explore what distinguishes “correct” from “incorrect” usage, why we spell and pronounce words the way we do, how social and political histories inhere in our language, and why the English language is so very strange. Topics include: phonology (sounds), morphology (word-formation), and lexicon (vocabulary); grammar, syntax, and punctuation; history and development of English; variation in and varieties of English. Textbooks are This Language, A River, by K. Aaron Smith and Susan M. Kim and From Old English to Standard English: A Course Book in Language Variation Across Time by Dennis Freeborn, with other texts and media drawn from literature, popular culture, linguistics, and other sources.

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion, in-class exercises and presentations by students, topical lectures by the instructor.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short response pieces and other kinds of homework; presentations; quizzes and exams; research and creative projects; lively and rigorous class participation.

Course Listing Spring 2021

ENGL 11200-01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO SHORT STORY: THIS AMERICAN LIFE (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU/CA; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will read a wide range of American short fiction, gathered loosely around the themes of childhood, adolescence, adult relationships, aging and death. In the course of our reading and discussion, we will traverse issues related to American identity, especially as they are inflected by race, ethnicity, and gender. We will also become familiar with formal elements of the short story, including point of view, plot, tone, and dialogue. Over the course of the term, we will read a combination of classic and contemporary American stories. We will end the term by reading Alexander Weinstein’s collection, Children of the New World.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two short essays (2 pages), two longer essays (5-6 pages), a mid-term, a 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 11300, 01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives: Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom. Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITE: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What is poetry? What happens when you read it? To answer these questions, we’ll read a thematically, and formally broad range of poems and exercise an equally broad set of approaches to reading, thinking, and writing critically about poetry. We’ll begin by studying the formal elements of a poem thereby familiarizing ourselves with poetic terminology. Then, we will read poems from a modern and contemporary American context, examining a variety of themes with attention to the contextual forces of class politics, race, gender, and ecological concern.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion, limited lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two essays, two response papers, presentation questions and blogs. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300, 03, 04 Introduction to Poetry 3 Credits

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation ICC PERSPECTIVES: Humanities and Creative Arts

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: How does a poem produce meaning? What does poetry do with language? This course is an introduction to a) the constituent elements of poems and the vocabulary with which we can analyze them and b) the extraordinary variety and capaciousness of texts we call “poems.” The aim of this course is to arrive at a sense, both ample and precise, of what a poem is, what it does, how it does what it does, and, perhaps, why we should care.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion (online, mostly synchronous)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short writing assignments, recitations, poetic compositions, annotated poetry anthology, lively participation.

ENGL 18500-01,02: EARTHWORKS: LITERATURE, NATURE, AND THE

ENVIRONMENT. LA 3a HU

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What is the nature of nature? This class offers an exciting literary, cultural, and historical exploration into the idea of “nature” and the “natural.” While it may seem self-evident to us that nature is all of that stuff “out there” – trees, rocks, oceans, animals, you know what I mean – this class will explore how natural environments in literature are not simple, common-sense places, but are in fact dynamic cultural constructions that change over time. What do we actually mean by nature? How do we understand it as a place, as an object, or as a literary form? Might nature be nothing more than a unique human experience? As you can see, this class will raise many intriguing questions, and by examining the “eco-literature” embodied in novels, stories, poems, biographies, and non-fictions, our sense of the natural will be challenged, and hopefully, expanded. We will be helped on our journey by Thoreau, Wordsworth, Cather, Dillard, Krakauer, Snyder – among many others.

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

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

Engl 19410 Engendering Modernity: Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Women Writers 

3 Credits 

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer, 305 Muller 

Prerequisites: None 

Enrollment: 20 Students per section 

ICC Attribute: Themes and Perspectives: Identities, Diversity attribute 

Course Description: This course will focus on a representative body of twentieth-and twenty-first century Anglophone women writers, writers who adapted earlier literary forms, and in some cases produced major stylistic innovations. We will examine how these authors negotiated a predominantly male literary tradition and marketplace, and how they drew upon and constructed their own literary communities, audiences, and ancestries. We will read works that self-consciously reflect on issues of identity, gender, feminism, and authorship, as well as works that explore the complex intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality. We will also consider the relationship between gender and genre by reading a wide range of literary forms, from novels, short stories, and poetry, to theoretical essays and political manifestos. Our authors include Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Nella Larsen, Virginia Woolf, Jamaica Kincaid, and Carmen Maria Machado. 

Course Format: Discussion, with some brief lectures. 

Course Requirements and Grading: One 4-page essay, one 5-6 page final paper, and midterm exam.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation and attendance will be an essential part of students’ final grades.   

ENGL 19414-01, INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS: Diversity, Humanities Perspective (Identities)  
INSTRUCTOR: Christine Kitano
ENROLLMENT: 20 students  

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will examine a range of contemporary Asian American texts with particular attention to how they work with or against the “traditional” Asian American literary themes of immigration, generational conflict, and identity formation. We will also work toward identifying what new themes and issues we see forming in contemporary Asian American literature. For example, how might we account for the growing popularity of Asian American literary texts, demonstrated by the success of the adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and the announced adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko? Or, given renewed attacks on Asian Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what can Asian American literature reveal about the trials of the current moment? How does Asian American literature help us identify and critique the dominant ideologies that structure all of our lives? Readings will include fiction, poetry, nonfiction, films, and television shows.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.
REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three brief (1-2 pages) response papers, two essays (4-5 pages), in-class quizzes, midterm and 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 20100-01   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY      

3.0 CREDITS 

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive 

INSTRUCTOR: Jen Spitzer, Muller 305, Ext 4-7056 

ENROLLMENT:  15  

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do we read, what do we read, how can we read it—and why would anyone ever write about reading?  Organized around those huge questions, this course will grapple with the issues and concerns that occupy critics when they think about literature.  In the process, it will attempt to make us more self-conscious about our own ways of reading and interpreting, as well as the biases and assumptions that guide them.  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 literary “canon” and who decides what it includes?  What are the virtues and limitations of “close reading”?  What “critical approaches” can one employ, and what distinguishes them?  What is literary theory? 

On what is perhaps a more practical level, we’ll practice reading, understanding, using, and citing critical/scholarly work. This course is intended for students interested in the English major or minor, or related fields.  

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three 4-5 page essays, several more informal (also short) writing assignments. Final grade will be based on attendance, written work, and class participation. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some brief lectures.

ENGL 21900-01, SHAKESPEARE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why study Shakespeare now? This question has never been more pressing for those who would situate the playwright and his works at the heart of English studies and other Humanities disciplines. Shakespeare was an immensely talented poet, but he died over 400 years ago. Of what use can he be in grappling with the problems that confront us now?—our rising tide of political authoritarianism and institutional corruption; systemic racism, xenophobia, and misogynistic violence; and, critically, the ideological polarization and epistemological disarray that prevents our even arriving at a consensus on the ‘reality’ of such problems themselves? Arguably, if Shakespeare’s works are to have relevance in 2021 they must facilitate our understanding of, and responses to, the serious socio-political challenges we now face. Whether indeed they have this capacity—or do not—will be the question that guides us this semester. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary for success in the course—only enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and a readiness to study three artistic masterpieces—The Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Tempest—in the contexts of their time and our own.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active participation; a reading journal; a take-home final exam.

ENGL 21900  03, 04  Shakespeare:

MASTER-MISTRESS OF MY PASSION:  SHAKESPEARE AND LOVE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.

CRN:  40406/40407

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.

            We’ll be focusing on some of Shakespeare’s many treatments of love (straight, gay, and indeterminate), both in the drama and in the sonnets and longer poems.

STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lectures.

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; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; essay mid-term and final exam.

ENGL 22101-01  Survey of African American Literature 

3 credits

ICC THEMES:  Culture and History, Diversity, Humanities, Women and Gender Studies

INSTRUCTOR:  Lenora Warren, Office Location 307 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  

This class explores African American literary production between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries by looking at both canonical and non-canonical texts and the ways in which they problematize traditional readings of the history of African American literature. Specifically, we will think about the ways in which the eras of slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, and post-Civil Rights moment created their own micro categories of African American literature.

In addition to tracing the history and politics of African American Literature this class will discuss the ways in which the literature by black authors raises compelling questions about the role of representation in art-making, the intersection between race, gender, and class, and the ongoing problem of labeling such a varied field under a single category. From Phillis Wheatley to Octavia Butler we will look at how that variation both reflects and rejects prevailing views on race and racism. 

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Weekly journal entries,  one 4-6 page essay, a midterm exam. a final 5-7 page essay, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.   Since this is a discussion-based course, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 28100, Romantic-Victorian Literature: Consumption and Identity 

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  Julie Fromer, 316A Muller

ENROLLMENT:  20 students per section

PREREQUISITES:  None

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Through novels, poetry, and housekeeping manuals, we’ll explore the literature, history, and culture of nineteenth-century England.  The nineteenth century was a time of rapid change for English men and women.  The preceding decades brought new sources of wealth, exotic new products from the East and West, and changes in Britain’s relationship with the rest of the world.  The nineteenth century can, in many ways, be seen as a period of adjusting one’s identity within the context of consumption.  Authors, poets, and cultural critics explored ways of defining oneself in relation to what, where, when, and how much one consumed.

Consumption includes the literal ingestion of food and drink, and we’ll be thinking both about the domestically produced goods of the British Isles, as well as the exotic luxuries, such as tea, tobacco, chocolate, sugar, and opium, imported from the British empire.  But consumption also includes the concept of cultural consumption—taking in and internalizing cultural products, such as books, poems, essays in periodicals, and advertisements—and so we’ll also be addressing more metaphorical ways of understanding the benefits and potential problems of consuming throughout nineteenth century England.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Three 2-page response papers, one 4-page essay, one 5-page essay, a short presentation, a take-home final exam, and class participation.  Grading will be A–F based on the above requirements.  Since this is a discussion-based course, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

English 29400 01  Slow Read:  They Kill us for Their Sport: King Lear

1 Credit

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

CRN: 42320

INSTRUCTOR:  David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

“Like flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport,” says poor Gloucester, and indeed the world of Lear can seem blasted from above.  But Shakespeare gives us a truly human world; the play’s events occur in a universe of betrayal, terror, and moral revelation, dealing with the relation of human to beast, connections between sight, blindness, and understanding, examining states of madness and lucidity, legitimacy and bastardy, parent-child relations, and questions of causation (do the gods really kill us for their sport?).  We will read slowly, examining carefully, working our way into every scene, as we consider background, textual problems (notorious), structure, character, interweaving themes, and, finally, the larger-than-life characters of Lear, his daughters, and the monstrous and thrilling characters who surround them. 

Students: Open to all students.

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements:  Attendance; class participation; reading response every class; five-page essay.Grading: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

English 29400 02 Slow Read:  Shakespeare’s Sonnets

1 Credit

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

CRN:  43363

INSTRUCTOR:  David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

Shakespeare’s 154 Sonnets recount several years’ worth of love affairs, principally with a gorgeous aristocratic man and, secondarily, with a “dark lady” who has many lovers besides Shakespeare. The poet grows giddy with new love, despondent when he’s betrayed; he’s by turns lustful, despairing, meditative, self-loathing, comical, self-mocking, and, what is perhaps most notable, fully human.  He doesn’t know that he is our Immortal Shakespeare, but thinks himself only a highly mortal poet, struggling with the vicissitudes of life and love.  The sonnets reveal an incredible range of imaginative beauty and poetic ingenuity, and it will be our task and pleasure to explore them slowly and carefully as we get to know Shakespeare the man and poet.

Students: Open to all students.

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements:  Attendance; class participation; reading response every class; five-page essay.

Grading: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation

ENGL 29700 (02) Professional Development Practicum (Graphic Novels)

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

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: none

OBJECTIVES: The "Graphic Novel Advisory Board" is a group of IC students who get together to review children's and teen's graphic novels. They share their findings with rural librarians and discuss ways for them to enhance their collections of graphic novels. The group puts out a monthly newsletter reviewing a wide range of graphic novels. This 1.5 credit experimental course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in education, promoting reading, or marketing/publishing graphic novels. If the pandemic allows, we also host community events promoting reading and collaborate with ITHACON to provide a whimsical reading room.

FORMAT/STYLE: Small group collaborative activities, regular writing assignments, weekend site visits.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, participation in site visits, regular writing assignments, end-of-semester assessment based on personal goals (may involve event planning, reviewing, editing, or doing website enhancement), reflection on event and personal achievement.

ENGL 31100-01 DRAMATIC LITERATURE I

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 33100-01, DRAMATIC LITERATURE I

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The theatre was predominantly a male institution until the seventeenth century, but women and their experience have always been central concerns of dramatic writing. This course explores the representation of women in early drama and traces the beginnings

of their active participation in the art as playwrights, actors, and patrons. Areas of focus will include the cultural construction of women in Greek and Roman drama; saintly mothers and transgressive wives in medieval biblical plays; the semiotics of female impersonation by ‘boys’ during the English Renaissance; and the challenges posed to patriarchal tradition by Elizabeth Carey, Margaret Cavendish, and Aphra Behn—the first women to write plays of their own in English. We will read Aristophanes’ Lysistrata; Seneca’s Medea, medieval mystery plays from the York cycle; John Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed (a sequel to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew); Carey’s The Tragedy of Mariam (the first original play by a female author in English), The Rover by Behn (the first woman to support herself writing for the professional stage), and Mary Pix’s The False Friend (a late seventeenth-century re-working of Othello). For context, we will examine the political and economic positions women have historically occupied in Western societies, consider theories of gender and its encoding in linguistic and behavioral discourse, and survey changes in the material conditions of performance from the ancient world to the early modern period.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active participation; two short essays; a take-home final exam.

ENGL 31200-01, -02 DRAMATIC LITERATURE II: Performing Gender in Modern Drama

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

“I do not want to be thought of as a woman. I will not dress as a woman. I do not care for the things women care for.” So says George Bernard Shaw’s title character in his play Saint Joan, written in 1923. Implicitly, Joan suggests that gender is something we perform in part through the clothes that we wear, which prompt other people to make determinations about who we are and what we “care for.” In this course, we will consider a range of plays written in the modern period, with a focus upon how characters in these plays perform, or refuse to perform, what they understand to be expected assumptions about gender in their time periods. Playwrights will include Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Wole Soyinka, Arthur Miller, Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, Anna Deavere Smith, and a still-to-be-determined contemporary playwright in partnership with the New Voices Literary Festival.

Note: This course fulfills WGST requirements, Theatre requirements, and either the 20/21st century or an upper-level elective requirement in English.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three 5-8 pp. essays, regular informal response pieces, 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 31900-01 GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS BEFORE 1890

Topic: Declarations of independence; revelations of confinement

3 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES: 9 credits in the humanities.

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 Kate Chopin.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three 5 page essays, and a substantial end-of-term research project. Grading will be A-F.

English 37900. The Matter of Black Lives in the Long 18th Century

ICC Designation: LA

English Designations: Pre-1800, World/Multi-Cultural Lit

Instructor: Kasia Bartoszyńska, Muller 

Enrollment: 20 per section

Prerequisites:  two courses in English

Course Description: This course examines representations of Black life and experience in British literature of the Long 18th Century, the age of the British slave trade and abolition. We will read letters, poetry, and fiction written by formerly enslaved Black authors as well as white British ones, and consider the range of attitudes and beliefs about Blackness that they represent. How did Black authors perceive their relationship to Britain, and to central aspects of English life—Christianity, polite culture, urban sophistication, global trade? How did Black and white writers argue for abolition; on what grounds, and with what rhetorical tools? What are the politics of white sympathy in the era of the slave trade? What do these texts show us about what Black life in eighteenth-century Britain was like, and what can these texts from the past teach us about race and racism in our present?

Course Format: Discussion

Requirements: Lively and engaged participation, regular reading reflections, presentation, two short essays, final project

ENGL 38200 (01) Modern Literature 1: Feminist Fictions

INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, kkittredge@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Three English courses

OBJECTIVES: Feminist Fictions looks at twentieth and twentieth century novels, essays, and other forms of media which have shocked the nation and shaped the feminist movement. Texts will include The Bell Jar, Rubyfruit Jungle, Fear of Flying, and Stone Butch Blues, and essays from Audre Lorde, Roxanne Gay and Lindy West. Films and TV shows will be added according to popular demand. WARNING: course material includes explicit sexual descriptions including queer sexual activity and non-normative play.

FORMAT/STYLE: Full and small group discussion; collaborative activities, presentation on favorite example of female/queer representation.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, weekly blog posts, one pop culture presentation, some mid-term activity; final project.

ENGL 39000  WRITING THE PLAGUE:  SOPHOCLES TO KUSHNER

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

INSTRUCTOR:  David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

CRN:  43218

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

"A plague on both your houses," cries Mercutio as he dies.  And every few years or centuries plague rips through the human world, destroying families, cities, nations, cultures.  The Black Plague, Bubonic Plague, Diptheria, Polio, Spanish Flu, AIDS, Ebola, and now Covid-19… all sweep upon and through us like avenging angels.  Plague has always been a part of human life—we are consumed by pestilence, we recover, we forget.

            But writers do not forget, and some of the great historians, poets, story-tellers, playwrights, novelists have recorded for us what life is like in the midst of these outbreaks of terror and death, and have explored plague’s existential, theological, and human implications.  This course will study works of the great Greek historian Thucydides; the story-tellers Boccaccio, Hawthorne, Poe; playwrights Ben Jonson and Tony Kushner; novelists Daniel DeFoe, Albert Camus, Jose Saramago, Philip Roth… and more, always more.   There will be tragedy, but also some of the best comic stories ever told.

            We’ll study history, epidemiology, culture, and, most especially, wonderful works of literature that will yield, even in the midst of sorrow and terror, the pleasure of a hard job memorably done. 

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements: Two eight-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; take-home mid-term and final.

Grading: Based on attendance, participation, and completion of the above requirements. 

ENGL 41000-01 Seminar in Medieval Literature: Race and Racism in/and the Middle Ages

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: Four courses in English, including ENGL 23200: Medieval Literature, or permission of instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

In this seminar, we’ll think through projects of racialization and race-making in the literature of the Middle Ages as well as the investments in whiteness that are often embedded in the study of medieval literature (as well as in the very idea of the “medieval”). Topics include ahistorical white supremacist co-optations of the Middle Ages; the medieval origins of modern conceptions of “race”; Arab perspectives on the Crusades; medieval English coloniality; relationships between medievalism and Orientalism; and the Indigenous turn in medieval studies. Readings include a range of scholarship, particularly by medievalists of color, and medieval texts including Usama ibn Munqidh’s Book of Contemplation, chansons de geste, romance, and travel narratives.

FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion (online, mostly synchronous)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Regular reading reflections, presentations, research paper or project, lively participation.

ENGL 48000-01 SEMINAR IN LITERARY CRITICISM: THE LIFE, DEATH (AND REBIRTH?) OF THE AUTHOR

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 10 students per section

PREREQUISITE: Four courses in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Despite the claims of poststructuralist criticism about the fragmented nature of discourse, the figure of the author continues to exert a powerful influence over popular and academic understandings of the status both of literary production and literary interpretation. Our task in this course will be to historicize the modern author and to use this figure to survey the landscape primarily of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary culture. We will begin with a brief study of the Romantics, and spend the balance of the course studying literary criticism, novels, plays, and poems from the last hundred years. We will consider works by Keats, Coleridge, Woolf, Barthes, Foucault, Gilbert and Gubar, Burke, and others.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One 12-15-page research-oriented term paper, 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 10700-01 INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE
3 credits
ICC THEMES:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern and contemporary American literature draws its subjects and creative materials from the enormous and bewildering changes that have taken place since the end of World War Two. While the obliteration of Germany and Japan certainly placed America in an unprecedented position, this was by no means a coherent or a comfortable one. Rather, these historic realignments, economic dislocations, constant wars, rapid technological and demographic shifts, worked together to produce an experienced reality that was astonishing, terrifying, and almost beyond belief. Modern and contemporary American literatures embody a tremendous creative energy and force in response to these social and historical dynamics. The sheer range of their forms and the power of their visions, images and metaphors have not only shaped writing, reading, and thinking on an international scale, but have changed the very idea of culture, history, fact, and fiction.

This class will examine some of the ways in which American writers and artists have both contributed and responded to these seismic shifts, exploring the relationships between multi-cultural perspectives, post-industrial realities, and the increasingly complex connections between mass media and national identity. As the American landscape morphs into the post-modern and the post-post-modern, so does the American literary form, radically re-mapping our conceptions of family, politics, history, gender, race, and even the sacred self.

To help us with our investigations, we will focus on a range of American literatures (including novels, stories, poems and plays) by the likes of Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Leslie Silko, and Paul Auster. To name just a few.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, short presentations, final exam.

ENGL 10900-01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA
3 credits
ICC THEMES:  Identities; Mind, Body, Spirit
ICC PERSPECTIVES:  Humanities and Creative Arts
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
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, Shaw, Pirandello, O’Neill, Brecht, Shepard, and Parks, 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 11200-01, 02: INTRODUCTION TO THE SHORT STORY
3 credits
ICC THEMES: Identities and Imagination, Inquiry, and Innovation
ICC PERSPECTIVES:  Humanities and Creative Arts
INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 316A, jsutherl@ithaca.edu
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 on discussion. You will be expected to do much of the talking.

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

ENGL 11300-02 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY
3 CREDITS
ICC THEMES:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation
ICC PERSPECTIVES:  Humanities and Creative Arts
INSTRUCTOR: Danielle Ruether-Wu, 108 Rothschild
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why read poetry? A poem often seems to be the most difficult way to share or understand a message. In this class we will explore what poetry can do (what cannot be said another way—what is meaningful in how it is said). We will explore poetry’s connection to the senses, to the body and self, to our relationship with time and perception. As an introduction to how we write and think about poetry, this class will help you hone the skills of close reading. We will address key poetic elements from the stanza and poetic line to rhyme, rhythm and figurative language as well as popular verse forms like the ballad, sonnet, and free verse. We will read a range of British and American poetry from the medieval to the modern, often juxtaposing works from different periods in order to explore their structural and thematic resonances and the revealing ways they diverge. Through in-depth class discussion and frequent writing assignments, this class will seek to provide practical ways to encounter the moving power of poetry—to soothe, to unsettle, and to provoke change sometimes beyond expectation.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two 5-page essays, two 60-minute exams, reading response for every class, and class participation. Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300-04, -05 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY
3 CREDITS
ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation
ICC PERSPECTIVES:  Humanities and Creative Arts
INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker, 330 Muller
ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section
PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What is a poem? How do we read it? How does poetic form produce meaning? What does poetry do with language? This course is an introduction to a) the constituent elements of poems and the vocabulary with which we can analyze them and b) the extraordinary variety and capaciousness of texts we call “poems.” The course focuses on lyric poetry written in English from the Middle Ages through the present, although we will also discuss the oldest form of poetry, the epic. Poems are grouped either by form or by theme (with a great deal of overlap), and we will see how they can speak to one another over the course of centuries. The aim of this course is to arrive at a sense, both ample and precise, of what a poem is, what it does, and how it does what it does.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two short essays; midterm and final exams; two recitations of poems of your choice; periodic scansions; poetic compositions in specific forms; attendance and engaged participation. Grading will be A-F.
 

ENGL 18200-01,-02 THE POWER OF INJUSTICE & THE INJUSTICE OF POWER 
TOPIC: Life at the Margins in American Literature
3 Credits
ICC THEMES:  Identities; Power and Justice
ICC ATTRIBUTE:  Diversity
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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, and Sherman Alexie.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

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

ENGL 18300-01, -02 ENGENDERING MODERNITY:  TWENTIETH-CENTURY WOMEN WRITERS
3 Credits
ICC THEME:  Identities
ICC ATTRIBUTE:  Diversity
INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Spitzer, 305 Muller
PREREQUISITES: None
ENROLLMENT: 20 Students per section

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on a representative body of twentieth-and twenty-first century Anglophone women writers, writers who adapted earlier literary forms, and in some cases produced major stylistic innovations. We will examine how these authors negotiated a predominantly male literary tradition and marketplace, and how they drew upon and constructed their own literary communities, audiences, and ancestries. We will read works that self-consciously reflect on issues of identity, gender, sexuality, feminism, and authorship, as well as works that explore the complex intersections of race, class, ethnicity, nationality, gender and sexuality. We will also consider the relationship between gender and genre by reading a wide range of literary forms, from novels, short stories, and poetry, to memoirs, essays, and political manifestos. Authors include Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Claudia Rankine, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

COURSE FORMAT: Discussion, with brief lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One 4-5 page essay, one 5-7 page final paper, midterm exam, and short informal writing.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation and attendance will be an essential part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL 19409-01, -02 MYSTERIOUS MUDDLES AND COMMONPLACE CRIMES:  GOTHIC NOVELS AND DETECTIVE FICTION
3 credits
ICC THEME: Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation
INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, Muller 316A, ext. 4-5142
ENROLLMENT:  20 students per section
PREREQUISITES:  none

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Reading, like detecting, involves locating and interpreting clues, putting pieces together in order to recognize the larger issues at stake, and looking carefully at both the minute details and the overall picture.  The authors we’ll be reading in this course emphasize the parallel between reading fiction and detecting the “truth” by gradually revealing plot and character through clues, hints, and symbols.  But, as these authors attest, the interpretation of those clues can be affected by perspective, emotions, biases, and by the possibility that there is no clear, undeniable “truth” at all—only narratives and fictions. We’ll read Frankenstein, The Beetle, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we’ll explore the transition to detective fiction with Edgar Allan Poe, and we’ll investigate with Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two 4-5 page essays, three 2-page response papers, apresentation, reading quizzes, a take-home final exam, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Due to the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 20100-01 APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY
3 CREDITS
ICC ATTRIBUTES: Writing Intensive
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: Three 5 page essays, an in-class presentation, and a longer final research project.

ENGL 21900-01, -02 SHAKESPEARE
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  What does it mean to say a play is ‘Shakespearean’?  How many ways may Shakespeare’s dramatic texts be read, watched, or performed?  Why have their affective power and relevance endured over the course of four centuries?  These and other questions arise naturally when we study Shakespeare intensively—and that is the purpose of this course.  We will closely read four plays during the semester: students will collectively choose two titles to add to the syllabus at the outset; a third and fourth, Measure for Measure and King Lear, will be written in stone.  A selection of secondary readings will serve to guide our exploration, but the path forward will ultimately depend on the intellectual and creative interests of student participants.  No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary for success—only enthusiasm, an inquisitive mind, and a readiness to be surprised and challenged by four English language masterpieces.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active class participation, a reading journal, a take-home final exam.

ENGL 21900-03, -04 SHAKESPEARE
3 CREDITS
ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.
INSTRUCTOR: Dyani Johns Taff, Muller 307, ext. 4-7976
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will study five plays that show William Shakespeare working in different genres and at different times in his career: an early comedy, The Taming of the Shrew; a history, Richard III; a tragedy from what some call the “middle period,” Othello; a late romance, The Winter’s Tale; and one more play that we’ll select as a group. We will explore the textual and performance histories of these plays and scholarly debates about them. We’ll also study the many and various adaptations of the plays and then create and perform our own. All of our work will involve close textual study coupled with investigations of the political, social, and historical pressures with which these plays grapple, including: debates about marriage, race, gender and sexuality, about authority and authorship, and about colonial expansion and the human relationship to the surrounding world.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One short (3-4 pg) and one longer (6-8 pg) essay; an individual presentation; discussion leadership project; several quizzes, forum posts, and other small assignments. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 22000-01 BLACK WOMEN WRITERS
3 CREDITS
ICC ATTRIBUTE: Diversity
INSTRUCTOR:  Derek Adams, 304 Muller
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Study of black women writers such as Hurston, Angelou, Morrison, and Walker.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

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

ENGL 24500-01, -02 MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN LITERATURES
3 credits
ICC THEMES: Identities; Mind, Body, Spirit
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: 1 crs ARTH, ENGL, HIST, etc.
STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern and contemporary American literature draws its subjects and creative materials from the enormous and bewildering changes that have taken place since the end of World War Two. While the obliteration of Germany and Japan certainly placed America in an unprecedented position, this was by no means a coherent or a comfortable one. Rather, these historic realignments, economic dislocations, constant wars, rapid technological and demographic shifts, worked together to produce an experienced reality that was astonishing, terrifying, and almost beyond belief. Modern and contemporary American literatures embody a tremendous creative energy and force in response to these social and historical dynamics. The sheer range of their forms and the power of their visions, images and metaphors have not only shaped writing, reading, and thinking on an international scale, but have changed the very idea of culture, history, fact, and fiction.

This class will examine some of the ways in which American writers and artists have both contributed and responded to these seismic shifts, exploring the relationships between multi-cultural perspectives, post-industrial realities, and the increasingly complex connections between mass media and national identity. As the American landscape morphs into the post-modern and the post-post-modern, so does the American literary form, radically re-mapping our conceptions of family, politics, history, gender, race, and even the sacred self.

To help us with our investigations, we will focus on a range of American literatures (including novels, stories, poems and plays) by the likes of Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Leslie Silko, and Paul Auster. To name just a few.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, short presentations, final exam.

ENGL 27100-01 RENAISSANCE LITERATURE
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive (pending)
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course explores the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—a period known as the English Renaissance.  We will read major works of poetry, prose, and drama by writers such as Sir Thomas Wyatt, Christopher Marlowe, Lady Mary Wroth, John Donne, Margaret Cavendish, and John Milton, with attention to their social, religious, and political contexts.  How did the ground-breaking developments of Humanism, the Reformation, and the English Civil Wars impact the imagination of these writers? Why did Renaissance adopt and redefine genres such as the erotic lyric, tragedy, pastoral, and epic?  How did their writing circulate materially in print and manuscript? In formulating answers to these questions, students will come to understand the radical nature of England’s transformation into an early modern state in the context of a wider European Renaissance inspired by continental authors such as Petrarch, Machiavelli, Castiglione, and Montaigne.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, one informal commonplace book, one formal essay.

ENGL 28100-01 ROMANTIC AND VICTORIAN LITERATURE
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION: Writing intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Bleicher, 313 Muller
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

OBJECTIVES:  Romanticism in Europe and England; English romantic and Victorian poetry. The movement toward realism, especially in the novel.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.

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

ENGL 29700-01 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRACTICUM (ITHACON)
INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4- 1575
ENROLLMENT: 10
PREREQUISITES: none

OBJECTIVES: The course will use the creation, implementation, and assessment of the annual pop culture event called ITHACON to help Humanities majors utilize the skills they have acquired in their studies in a real-world setting. Humanities students will reflect on their experiences as children and the instruction they have received to craft their own section of the event (workshop, panel, on-going instructional activity). They will coordinate this aspect of ITHACON, and then reflect on the experience. The second part of the course will focus on the study of convention culture through readings, guest speakers, and focused panels. Students will do their own study of some aspect of pop/convention culture and present their findings in a final paper.

FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities

GRADING: Performance of convention-supporting activities, reflection on event and personal achievement, weekly assignments, presentation of final project or paper.

ENGL 29700-02 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRACTICUM (GRAPHIC NOVELS)
INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4- 1575
ENROLLMENT: 10
PREREQUISITES: none

OBJECTIVES: The "Graphic Novel Advisory Board" is a group of IC students who get together to review children's and teen's graphic novels. They share their findings with rural librarians and discuss ways for them to enhance their collections of graphic novels. This 1.5 credit experimental course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in education, promoting reading, or marketing/publishing graphic novels.

FORMAT/STYLE: Small group collaborative activities, regular writing assignments, weekend site visits.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, participation in site visits, regular writing assignments, end-of-semester assessment, convention-supporting activities, reflection on event and personal achievement, weekly assignments, presentation of final project or paper.

ENGL 31100-01  DRAMATIC LITERATURE I
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Dan Breen, 302 Muller, ext. 4-1014
ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section
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 OR Modern Drama and the Captivating Past
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893
ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section
PREREQUISITE: Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: An old man sits listening to tapes recorded by his younger self—a self that, now, he barely recognizes as his own. With the bravado of youth, the taped voice declares that his “best years” are gone but he “wouldn’t want them back.” His older self listens silently, and we do not imagine for a second that he agrees. This same tension reverberates through the modern drama: that is, the impulse to move forward, which is often at odds with a longing to go back. In this course, we will read modern and contemporary European, American, and Nigerian plays, examining each one’s exploration of this tension between what used to be and what is. Some of our authors focus on the ways in which the past can hold us captive, ensnaring us in stagnant regret, while others enact the difficulties we confront when we attempt to look backwards and examine the past with accuracy. Still others offer portraits of the past in the hope that the present will take heed of its lessons. In almost every case, our authors ask the question: How can we unburden ourselves of the dead weight of the past and inhabit the present without becoming soulless in the process, traitors to our most cherished values and to other human beings? Through the prism of this overarching theme, students will develop an understanding of how different playwrights have used dramatic form throughout the modern period, inheriting and altering one another’s thematic and formal interests over time. Students will learn to think critically about dramatic texts and to express their ideas about those texts in clear prose. They will also have the opportunity to think about dramatic texts as theatrical events, by seeing and analyzing some of our plays in performance. Playwrights will include Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Bertolt Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Samuel Beckett, Wole Soyinka, Anna Deavere Smith, Paula Vogel, Tom Stoppard, Clare Barron, and Jez Butterworth.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three 6-8-page essays, frequent informal response pieces, occasional quizzes, 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 31900-01 GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS BEFORE 1890
Topic: Declarations of independence; revelations of confinement
3 CREDITS
ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller
ENROLLMENT: 20 students
PREREQUISITES: 9 credits in the humanities.

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 Kate Chopin.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three 5 page essays, and a substantial end-of-term research project.

ENGL 37800 TWENTIETH-CENTURY BRITISH NOVEL
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jen Spitzer, Muller 305, Ext. 4-7056
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: Any three courses in the humanities, and at least one of those in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course offers an introduction to the twentieth-century British novel. We will examine the ways in which the social, political, and cultural events of British history have shaped the production and reception of modern and contemporary British novels. Part of our task will be to put pressure on the concept of Englishness as a shifting category of identity, and to explore its relationship to race, ethnicity, class, colonialism, nationalism, migration and diaspora, and gender. Some of our guiding questions will be: How do two world wars, the expansion and contraction of empire, decolonization, and the rise of social conservatism and neoliberalism figure in the twentieth-century British novel? How do our authors work within, and also reconfigure, the languages of realism, modernism, and postmodernism? And finally, how do contemporary British novels respond to the promises and disappointments of decolonization, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, and neoliberalism? Novels include E.M. Forster’s Howards End; Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, weekly secondary readings to complement the novels, class presentations, two formal essays.

ENGL 45000-SEMINAR IN 19TH-CENTURY LITERATURE
Title: Queer Ecologies and the (Un)Natural World: Studies in Romanticism
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Katie Gemmill, 327 Muller, ext.
ENROLLMENT: 10
PREREQUISITE: Permission of Instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What exactly do we mean when we say that something is “natural”? When it comes to the environment, this word might refer broadly to all the processes, organisms and landscapes that make up our planet’s ecosystems. But when it comes to human behavior, it has a history of restrictively denoting that which is morally “right,” particularly in the political discourse around desire and sex. In this course we will attempt to bring these definitions of “the natural” together by reading theories of queer ecology alongside literature from the Romantic period, a historical moment at the turn of the 19the century which helped launch environmental consciousness in modern Western culture. The English Romantics advocated a radical return to nature as a spiritual antidote to the rapid industrialization of the early nineteenth century, and much of their poetry praises natural beauty with almost religious reverence. At the same time, their ecstatic encounters with vast seas and sublime mountain peaks also suggest that nature was an imaginative landscape, allowing them to represent non-normative desires and experiment with queer, chaotic energies. Aided by key concepts from texts in queer theory, ecocriticism and queer ecology, we will examine Romantic representations of landscape, asking how they express ideas and assumptions about what’s “natural” and “unnatural.” We will also consider how the Romantic model of nature might be useful in our current moment of environmental crisis. We will read mostly poetry and some prose by clusters of writers including Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge; William Blake; Ann Radcliffe; and Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and John Polidori.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: A portfolio of 6 short papers due throughout the semester, for which you will receive a cumulative grade at the end of the term; a take-home 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 48300-01 ADVANCED STUDIES IN FEMINIST SCIENCE FICTION
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4- 1575
ENROLLMENT: 10
PREREQUISITES: Junior standing and either ENGL 214 (Survey of Science Fiction) or ENGL 21500 (DIY SciFi).

OBJECTIVES: Students in this class will be instrumental in running the academic conference to be held at IC in April: Pippi to Ripley 5: Sex and Gender in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Comics. Students will either present an academic paper at the conference or design a community-based project that they will discuss at the conference. Additional time will be spent looking at the abstracts submitted, creating the panels, mentoring newer presenters and designing promotional materials for the event. Some reading and viewing of texts chosen by the students will be mandatory for the class, but the exact nature of these texts will be determined by the class members.

FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities

GRADING: Performance of conference-supporting activities, abstract creation, presentation of project or paper, reflection on event and personal achievement.

Course Listing Fall 2018

ENGL 10700-01, Introduction to Literature. HU LA 3a

3 credits.

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern and contemporary American literature draws its subjects and creative materials from the enormous and bewildering changes that have taken place since the end of World War Two. While the obliteration of Germany and Japan certainly placed America in an unprecedented position, this was by no means a coherent or a comfortable one. Rather, these historic realignments, economic dislocations, constant wars, rapid technological and demographic shifts, worked together to produce an experienced reality that was astonishing, terrifying, and almost beyond belief. Modern and contemporary American literatures embody a tremendous creative energy and force in response to these social and historical dynamics. The sheer range of their forms and the power of their visions, images and metaphors have not only shaped writing, reading, and thinking on an international scale, but have changed the very idea of culture, history, fact, and fiction. 

This class will examine some of the ways in which American writers and artists have both contributed and responded to these seismic shifts, exploring the relationships between multi-cultural perspectives, post-industrial realities, and the increasingly complex connections between mass media and national identity. As the American landscape morphs into the post-modern and the post-post-modern, so does the American literary form, radically re-mapping our conceptions of family, politics, history, gender, race, and even the sacred self.   

To help us with our investigations, we will focus on a range of American literatures (including novels, stories, poems and plays) by the likes of Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Leslie Silko, and Paul Auster. To name just a few.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, short presentations, final exam.

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 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, Shaw, Pirandello, O’Neill, Brecht, Shepard, and Parks, 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 11200-01 Introduction to the Short Story   Hu 3a credits 3

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: THIS AMERICAN LIFE  (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU/CA; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  None

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this course we will read a wide range of American short stories, proceeding loosely through the life phases of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age and death. In the course of our reading and discussion, we will become familiar with formal elements of the short story form (including point of view, plot, tone, and dialogue), as well with certain recurrent themes in our nation’s literature. We will read a combination of classic and contemporary stories. Authors will include James Baldwin, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Munro, Edward P. Jones and others.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two short essays (2 pages), two longer essays (5-6 pages), a mid-term, a 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 11300-01, -02   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Themes:  1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation;  

Perspective:  Humanities
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, -04  INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Perspectives:  HU or CA; Themes: Identities or Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR:  Katie Gemmill

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITES:  None

OBJECTIVES: One of the most important lessons poetry teaches us is that language can do more than just explain things. Language can cast spells, perform ceremonies, make music; it can establish lines of communication with the dead, the divine and the nonhuman. In this course, we will make it our job to tune into the many registers in which lyrical language can mean. To do so, we will need to cultivate two different reading faculties: first, the intuitive skill of responding to poetic language, and feeling with it; and second, the critical skill of identifying and analyzing poetic devices and forms. Our goal is not to become perfect readers of poetry: after all, the best poems pull you in but also withhold, inviting you to pursue ambiguities and let their richness proliferate. We will push back against the tired idea that poetry is “inaccessible,” re-training ourselves to see all the ways in which obscurity can be productive. Over the course of the semester, we will read a great deal of poetry in English, from the Early Modern period up until our current moment; we will contextualize a range of poetic forms within literary history, from the sonnet sequence to contemporary free verse poetics;  and we will write thoughtfully and often. 

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS                                      

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

Enrollment: 20 per section

Prerequisite: None.

OBJECTIVES: The course will be a formal, thematic, and generally historical introduction to poems, poetry, poets, and the worlds created and found in highly organized language.  We will also consider reception: how and why we read poetry, and what kinds of pleasures are to be found therein.                    

Students: Open to all students.

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements:  Two five-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; assorted memorizations and recitations; essay mid-term and final exams.

Grading: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

ENGL 11300-07 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives:  Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Dyani Johns Taff, Muller 307, ext. 4-7976

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What is poetry? What happens when you read it? To answer these questions, we will read a temporally, thematically, and formally broad range of poems and implement an equally broad set of approaches to reading, thinking, and writing about poetry. (Note: this is not a poetry writing course, though we will occasionally write creatively in order to develop our critical and analytical skills.) We will begin the semester by studying syntax and versification, familiarizing ourselves with poetic terminology and exploring the contents of The Norton Anthology of Poetry in search of poems that exemplify (or challenge!) the forms, sonic features, concepts, and themes we are learning. Then, we will read poems on four topics: love, death, poems about (writing) poems, and water, tracing iterations of these topics across historical periods and contextualizing our study with attention to notions of race, class, gender, and environment that shape and are shaped by our poems.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two essays and two individual presentations; several quizzes, forum posts, daily note cards, and other small assignments. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 18100-01, 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.

TEXTS: Austen, Northanger Abbey: Bronte, Jane Eyre; Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Forster, A Room with a View; McEwan, Atonement; Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

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 Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home.

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 19413-01 and 02         Embodying the Perverse:  Vampires in Literature

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Mind, Body, Spirit and Identities

Cross Listed with Women and Gender Studies

INSTRUCTOR:  Julie Fromer, 434 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:  None

OBJECTIVES:  The center of this course focuses on Dracula, a foundational text for vampire literature.  Dracula presents the heternormative vampires that we have become accustomed to in 21st century renditions of bloodsucking relationships.  But surrounding this depiction of powerful heterosexual vampires we will explore portrayals that stray widely from the expectations set up by Stoker’s novel.

Vampires in literature can be seen as representations of what is literally “perverse” in culture and society—social and sexual identities that “twist” or “turn” away from wider social norms.  Some of the earliest depictions of vampires in English literature, including Coleridge’s “Christabel” and LeFanu’s “Carmilla,” explore the dynamics of homosexual desire.  Looking at vampires as metaphors for “other” selves and identities, we will continue to trace gendered reflections of power and desire in Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire.

In this course, we will explore sexual politics through vampire literature, asking questions about power, gender, class, and social and sexual identities.  At the end of the course, we will train these questions on Twilight, considering how our own ideas about vampires and gender have been shaped by Meyer’s novel.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 2-page response papers, one 3-page essay, one 5-page essay, a take-home final exam, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.   Since this is a discussion-based course, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 19414-01, INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATION: Diversity, Identities
INSTRUCTOR: Christine Kitano
ENROLLMENT: 20 students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on contemporary Asian American literature. We will examine a range of contemporary texts with particular attention to how they work with or against the “traditional” Asian American literary themes of immigration, generational conflict, and identity formation. We will also work toward identifying what new themes and issues we see forming in contemporary Asian American literature. Readings will include novels, short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.
REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Four brief (1-2 pages) response papers, two essays (4-5 pages), in-class quizzes, midterm and 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 20100-01        APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Dan Breen, 302 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 12 students

PREREQUISITES:  One course in English; WRTG 10600 or equivalent

OBJECTIVES:  How does a reader engage critically with a literary text?  And what is the purpose of criticism?  This course will provide a survey of the discipline of literary studies, with the aim of helping students develop critical skills in reading primary and secondary literature, as well as analytical writing.  We will consider poems, plays, and novels from a variety of critical perspectives, discuss the institutional history of literary criticism, and become acquainted with multiple schools of literary theory.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 21900-01 and -02 SHAKESPEARE (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities / Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, 326 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  What makes a work ‘Shakespearean’?  How many ways may we read, watch, or perform the texts of this celebrated English dramatist?  Why does his writing remain powerful and relevant four hundred years after his death?  Questions such as these arise naturally when studying Shakespeare intensively, and that is the purpose of this course.  We will closely read four plays during the semester: at the outset, students will select three titles to add to the syllabus; a fourth, King Lear, is written in stone.  Secondary readings will provide maps to help guide our exploration, but the path forward will ultimately depend on the group’s collective intellectual and creative interests.  No prior knowledge of Shakespeare will be necessary for success—only enthusiasm, an inquisitive mind, and a readiness to be surprised and challenged by four English language masterpieces.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  active participation in discussion—be it in class or during the instructor’s office hours; short written assignments; a reading journal; final exam.

ENGL 21900  SHAKESPEARE

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

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 lectures.

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; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; essay mid-term and final exam.

ENGL 23200 MEDIEVAL LITERATURE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Alexis Kellner Becker

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:   One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing; WRTG10600 or equivalent.

OBJECTIVES: This course provides a partial introduction to the huge range of literature written between c. 800 and c. 1500 CE, primarily in the British Isles. Who produced medieval literature? Who read it or listened to it? How did medieval writers wrestle with the social, economic, political, economic, and ecological problems of their time? How did they think about history? How did they tackle the question of what it means to be a person, a citizen, and/or a fictional character? This course will explore how imaginative literature in the Middle Ages created different kinds of human, nonhuman, and superhuman subjects, real and imaginary. How, we will ask, can this literature help us think through our own ideas about how to read and how to live?  Readings may include Old English elegies and riddles, Icelandic saga, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Mabinogion, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Langland’s Piers Plowman, Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Love, and Middle English lyric.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 24500-01        Modern and Contemporary American Literatures HU LA 3a

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: 1 crs ARTH, ENGL, HIST, etc.

STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern and contemporary American literature draws its subjects and creative materials from the enormous and bewildering changes that have taken place since the end of World War Two. While the obliteration of Germany and Japan certainly placed America in an unprecedented position, this was by no means a coherent or a comfortable one. Rather, these historic realignments, economic dislocations, constant wars, rapid technological and demographic shifts, worked together to produce an experienced reality that was astonishing, terrifying, and almost beyond belief. Modern and contemporary American literatures embody a tremendous creative energy and force in response to these social and historical dynamics. The sheer range of their forms and the power of their visions, images and metaphors have not only shaped writing, reading, and thinking on an international scale, but have changed the very idea of culture, history, fact, and fiction. 

This class will examine some of the ways in which American writers and artists have both contributed and responded to these seismic shifts, exploring the relationships between multi-cultural perspectives, post-industrial realities, and the increasingly complex connections between mass media and national identity. As the American landscape morphs into the post-modern and the post-post-modern, so does the American literary form, radically re-mapping our conceptions of family, politics, history, gender, race, and even the sacred self.   

To help us with our investigations, we will focus on a range of American literatures (including novels, stories, poems and plays) by the likes of Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Leslie Silko, and Paul Auster. To name just a few.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, short presentations, final exam.

ENGL 309001           SPIES AND SPYING

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  We have few if any secrets; our whereabouts, communications, news interests, curiosities, connections, affiliations, even tastes in porn, are all recorded and available to governmental interest.  World-wide armies of spies investigate all areas of cultures, economies, politics, militaries—and personal lives.

Though the pace of scrutiny has quickened with the electronic era, writers have long been interested in this aspect of human life, and in the corollaries between writerly observations of the human world, and Big Brother’s Total Information Awareness (an actual government program).  We’ll be considering some of these larger questions—the morality and utility of spycraft; what it means that others possess total knowledge of our lives; the multiple identities assumed by spies as they travel among us; writers’ understanding of themselves as spies upon humanity—while we read fictions by Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent), George Orwell (1984), Dave Eggers (The Circle), and novels by John LeCarré, Ian Fleming, and Graham Greene. 

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements: Two eight-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; take-home mid-term and final.

Grading: Based on attendance, participation, and completion of the above requirements.      

ENGL 31100-01  DRAMATIC LITERATURE I

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 36600-01        Four Moderns: Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, and Seamus Heaney

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  Kevin Murphy, 332 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:  Three courses in the Humanities, one of which is preferably Introduction to Poetry

OBJECTIVES:  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.  In many ways this course is a continuation and concentration of Introduction to Poetry, and thus it is recommended (though not required) that   students have completed that course.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  There will be three short papers (4-5 pages) due on individual works of Frost, Bishop, and Lowell as we consider each of them in the semester, and one longer paper (8-10 pages) at the end of the term which will link at least two of the figures in the course.  In addition, there will be a take-home exam due at the midterm and a takehome final examination due Wednesday of finals week. Grading: A-F, based on papers, exams, and class participation.

ENGL 36800-01, 02  Dangerous Women in Dramatic Literature, or: Over Her Dead Body

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students 

PREREQUISITES:  one course in ENGL or WRTG; and WRTG 10600 or ICSM 10800 or ICSM 11800; sophomore standing.

OBJECTIVES:  In this course, we will read a range of plays, beginning in the ancient Greek period and extending to the present day, that feature female characters who challenge status quo assumptions about femininity and a woman’s role in her society. In each case, we will consider what constitutes female danger in the play and the culture we are addressing: what norms are being challenged so that the female elicits male fear and violence and often also, and simultaneously, desire? What is it about her that is so threatening to males that they wish to control, contain, and at times kill her? If she survives, upon what does her survival depend? Is the playwright using the dangerous female to question the norms that she challenges or to endorse them? Is the female dangerous because she resists the status quo or because she perpetuates it? To what degree is her danger represented as associated with and intrinsic to her gender?  As we read each of our plays, we will situate them within their cultural contexts and we will read secondary material in order to better understand how notions regarding female danger change (or do not change) over time.

READINGS: Playwrights may include Aeschylus, Euripides, William Shakespeare, John Webster, John Ford, Henrik Ibsen, Arthur Miller, Caryl Churchill, Djanet Sears, Tarell McCraney.  

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 6-8 page essays, frequent informal “think” pieces, take-home final exam, class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 38200: Modern Literature, Making it New: British and American Modernism

3 Credits

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer, 305 Muller

Prerequisites: Any three courses in the humanities, and at least one of those in English.

Enrollment: 20 Students per section

If Ezra Pound’s “make it new” is the signature slogan of modernism (that period of cultural production from roughly 1890-1950), what do we make of the fact, brought to light by the scholar Michael North, that the slogan was not itself new but a recycled phrase from Chinese history?  Why was literary modernism so invested in the concept of newness, and what about modernism was new? In this course, we will think about modernism as a “crisis of representation” and a “revolution of the word,” but we will also consider the aspects of literary modernism that were anti-modern and nostalgic.

We will begin the course by surveying some of the earliest statements of literary modernism, Charles Baudelaire’s “The Painter of Modern Life” and Georg Simmel’s “The Metropolis and Mental Life.”  We will go on to consider how various modernisms announced themselves through the manifesto, and we will look at several examples of the genre, including Wyndham Lewis’ Blast and Mina Loy’s “Feminist Manifesto.” For the remainder of the course, we will range across modernist genres—the short story, the free-verse poem, the stream-of-consciousness novel—to assess how and why modernists renovated earlier forms. We will consider the relationship between so called “high-brow” literature and more popular forms, such as jazz. Finally, we will consider the sociological developments that helped pave the way for literary modernism, among them urbanization, immigration, imperialism, the rise of advertising and mass communication, and upheavals in relations of race, class, sexuality and gender. As we think about newness in art, we will consider the proliferation of “new” social types during this era, including the New Negro and the New Woman.

We will read poetry, long and short fiction, and essays by Charles Baudelaire, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Rebecca West, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad and Nella Larsen.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some lecture.

Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussion. Students will participate in group presentations, and will hand in a short 5-6 page paper, and a longer 8-10 page final paper.

ENGL 39100-01 Literature and the Environment: Vital Rivers, Rivers in Crisis

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive; Environmental Science/Studies Humanities Elective

INSTRUCTOR: Dyani Johns Taff, Muller 307, ext. 4-7976

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: WRTG 10600 or equivalent and three courses in the humanities or social sciences, or permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Heraclitus famously remarked that one cannot step into the same river twice. We use the constant renewal of rivers as transportation and to generate energy; rivers flow through wilderness and through rural and urban spaces, and they form a fluctuating, porous boundary between the land and the ocean. In this course, students will explore representations of rivers in myths, legends, poems, novels, nature writing, and texts that challenge genre categories, using core environmental humanities theories and questions to guide our study. We will ask: How have humans, historically, represented their relationships to “nature,” and to waterways in particular? How have shifting cultural ideas about race, gender, and class shaped those representations? What language and concepts for describing environments, especially aquatic ecosystems and riparian zones, have we inherited from the past, and how might that vocabulary enable new approaches to current environmental and social justice challenges?

We will begin the semester by discussing key concepts such as “environmental humanities,” “literature,” “nature,” “intersectionality,” “environmental justice,” “aquatic ecosystems,” and “riparian zones,” building vocabulary that we will use to examine our temporally and generically broad set of texts. Then, we will explore European, Indian, Mexican, and Alaskan myths and legends about rivers, and examine colonial encounters on rivers in Walter Ralegh’s Discoverie of Guiana, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Our final units will focus primarily on the Mississippi and Colorado rivers, tracing riverine journeys of self-discovery, dam building projects, and literary activism in the face of ecological crises in a diverse set of texts, including Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms, and Douglas Kearney’s floodtide poems from The Black Automaton.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Students will write two analytical essays and one research-based op-ed (aimed at an Ithaca or home-town news outlet); students will also complete discussion leadership and group projects, brief reading responses, and an individual research presentation. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 42000 HAMLET AND ITS MYSTERIES (LA)

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, 326 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITE: ENGL-21900 or permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  On the surface, Hamlet is a play of action—a kinetic story of murder, violent retaliation, psychological breakdown, suicide, and a country’s descent into bloody ruin.  But it is equally obsessed with cerebral stillness, with quiet moments of deliberation, contemplation, and interrogation—indeed, it is the play whose eponymous character poses the most famous question in English literature.  It befits us then to avoid “most wicked speed” when studying Shakespeare’s seemingly most familiar play, and doing so reveals a singularly mysterious work of art.  Textual questions, for instance, have long perplexed scholars. The earliest printed text of Hamlet—the first quarto of 1603 (Q1)—appeared in Shakespeare’s lifetime, yet contains radical variations on the language to which we are accustomed; in his most famous soliloquy, for example, Q1’s Hamlet insists, unexpectedly, “To be or not to be; ay, there’s the point. / To die, to sleep; is that all? Ay, all.”  Meanwhile, the text that Shakespeare’s fellow actors published in the First Folio of 1623 (F) seven years after the playwright’s death contains some 12,000 additional lines not in Q1, including the entire “O, what a rogue and peasant slave and am I” soliloquy.  May we speak, then, of an ‘authentic’ Hamlet when the words Shakespeare initially wrote are not easily differentiated from what he (or his colleagues) may have added or revised as the play was acted over a period of two decades at the Globe?  Like wormholes, similar indeterminacies riddle the play’s subject matter.  What exactly is the ghost of Hamlet’s father, for instance?  What it claims to be?—an informative spirit returned from the fires of Purgatory?  Or, given that Shakespeare’s largely Protestant culture no longer believed in that Catholic zone of the afterlife, should we understand it to be a deceptive devil intent on corrupting a traumatized and vulnerable young man?  Intentionally or not, cruxes of this sort—moments in which we must squarely face Hamlet’s inherent strangeness and actively construct its meaning—bring into focus Shakespeare’s deep epistemological fascination with the ways in which our profoundest affective states, desires, and anxieties shape our perception, and consequently our knowledge of the world.  As we explore the texts of Hamlet over the course of the semester, we will aim to contextualize our discussion with early modern sources (e.g. Saxo Grammaticus’ Historica Danica, Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy), as well as a major modern work indebted to Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1967).

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  active participation in discussion; a commonplace book; a formal essay.

ENGL 42500-01 / ENGL 52000-01  HISTORY AND STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (HU, LA)

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Kellner Becker

ENROLLMENT: 10 students (seminar)

PREREQUISITE: Undergrads: Four English courses, one of which must be at level 3, or permission of instructor; required of English with Teaching Option majors.  Grads: required of students in the M.A.T. program in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The main purpose of this course is to give you a broad and deep knowledge of the linguistic concepts, histories, and social forms that inform our speech and writing.  As English speakers, writers, and/or teachers, understanding how the English language works and why helps us make sense of why we read, write, speak, and think the way we do. Among other things, we will explore what distinguishes correct from incorrect usage, why we spell and pronounce words the way we do, how to make sense of difficult sentences, where to go for information about the English language, and why the English language is so very strange. Topics: “The Language Instinct”; phonology (sounds), morphology (word-formation), and lexicon (vocabulary); grammar, syntax, and punctuation; history and development of English; variation in and varieties of English. Textbook is This Language, A River, by K. Aaron Smith and Susan M. Kim, with other texts and media drawn from literature, popular culture, and linguistics.

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion, in-class exercises and presentations by students, topical lectures by the instructor.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short response pieces and other kinds of homework, prelims on the major units; research project.

Course Listing
Spring 2018


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 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, Shaw, Pirandello, O’Neill, Brecht, Shepard, and Parks, 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 11200-01, 02: Introduction to Short Stories  HU LA 3a h

3 credits

ICC Theme: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 434, jsutherl@ithaca.edu

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 (A to F) is based on the requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation. 

ENGL 11300-01, -02   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Themes:  1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation;  

Perspective:  Humanities
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, 04   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION: Themes: (1) Identities, or (2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation
INSTRUCTOR: James Swafford, 330 Muller, ext. 4-3540
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITE: None.
OBJECTIVES: 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 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 short 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-11300-05 INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Danielle Ruether-Wu, 108 Rothschild

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None.

OBJECTIVES: Why read poetry? A poem often seems to be the most difficult way to share or understand a message. In this class we will explore what poetry can do (what cannot be said another way—what is meaningful in how it is said). We will explore poetry’s connection to the senses, to the body and self, to our relationship with time and perception. As an introduction to how we write and think about poetry, this class will help you hone the skills of close reading. We will address key poetic elements from the stanza and poetic line to rhyme, rhythm and figurative language as well as popular verse forms like the ballad, sonnet, and free verse. We will read a range of British and American poetry from the medieval to the modern, often juxtaposing works from different periods in order to explore their structural and thematic resonances and the revealing ways they diverge. Through in-depth class discussion and frequent writing assignments, this class will seek to provide practical ways to encounter the moving power of poetry—to soothe, to unsettle, and to provoke change sometimes beyond expectation.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two 5-page essays, reading response for every class, and class participation. Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 18200-01,02           The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power  HU LA 3A h

TOPIC: Life at the Margins in American Literature

3 Credits          

ICC ATTRIBUTE:       Diversity, Humanities Perspective, Power & Justice and Identities Themes

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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, and Sherman Alexie.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

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

ENGL 19405 - Eyes on the Prize: Race, Gender, and the Politics of the Booker Prize

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: World of Systems 

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, 318 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Man Booker Prize is England’s most prestigious and most anticipated literary award (the awards presentation is watched live by millions). The past winners of the Booker prize constitute a collection of the some of the most widely read and studied books in the field of contemporary British literature. If there is such a thing as a new canon of British literature, the Booker is assuredly its kingmaker. Inseparable from its glitzy relationship to the publishing industries in London and New York is the Booker’s complicated association with the category of Commonwealth Literatures (former colonies, now members of a “commonwealth of nations”). As more than half of the prizes awarded since 1969 have gone to novels from former British colonies, the Booker Prize is also very much a postcolonial prize, with all the political weight that such a designation carries. Our class will read selected winners from outside the United Kingdom, using the Booker as a barometer for some of the most pressing questions for the contemporary novel in English. Writers may include: V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Arundhati Roy, J.M. Coetzee, Aravind Adiga, and Paul Beatty.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two longer essays (5-8 pgs.), one midterm exam, short informal writing assignments. Final grade will be based on attendance, written work, performance on the exam, and class participation.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion. 

ENGL 19416 Coming-of-Age Fiction

3.0 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Identities

INSTRUCTOR: Jen Spitzer, Muller 305, Ext 4-7056

ENROLLMENT:  20

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do some characters grow up while others refuse to adjust to maturity and socialization?  Why do some narratives progress and resolve while others seem to resist closure altogether? This course will focus on twentieth-century coming-of-age narratives that undermine realist principles of development and progress. We will examine literary narratives in which youth is extended and maturity is delayed. We will consider how these narratives of delay are informed by their sociohistorical and geopolitical contexts and by the specific conditions of modernity. We will consider how the refusal to grow up may be a form of protest against normative values as well as a longing to remain enclosed within the supposed magic and innocence of childhood. We will think about how modern and contemporary coming-of-age fictions challenge the nineteenth-century bildungsroman, or novel of development.

Expanding the frame, we will examine the resistance to heteronormative development in LGTBQ writing, and the critique of social norms of adjustment and assimilation in fictions by and about women and people of color.  We will read short and long fictions from the turn of the century to the present, and we will view films that reflect this theme. Texts will include J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, James Joyce’s “Araby” and “Eveline,” Carson McCullers’ The Member of the Wedding, Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior.

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two longer essays (5-6 pgs.), one midterm exam, short informal writing assignments. Final grade will be based on attendance, written work, performance on the exam, and class participation.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion. 

ENGL 19419-01, 02  Daunted Daughters and Fraught Fathers: Gender, Power, and Class in Fairy Tales

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit

Cross-listed with Women’s and Gender Studies

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, 434 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children?  How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures?  What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast, reading English translations of the tales collected by German, French, and Italian folklorists.  While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways.  Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen.  Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short (2 pages) response papers, one 3-4 page essay and one 4-5 page essay, a take-home final exam, a presentation, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Due to the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 20100-01 APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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:  Three 3-5 page essays, an in-class presentation, and a longer final research project.    

21900-01          SHAKESPEARE

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.

Course Description:   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 six plays; completion of all assigned readings (quizzes will be given at each class); one written response each class; participation in classroom discussion; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; 

ENGL 21900-02 Shakespeare

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives:  Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Dyani Johns Taff, Muller 307, ext. 4-7976

ENROLLMENT: 20

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

In this course, we will study six plays that show William Shakespeare working in different genres and at different times in his career: two early comedies, The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; two tragedies, Othello and Macbeth; and two late romances, The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, the second of which is sometimes classed as a “problem play.” We will explore the textual and performance histories of these plays and scholarly debates about them. We’ll also study the many and various adaptations of the plays and then create and perform our own. All of our work will involve close textual study coupled with investigations of the political, social, and historical pressures with which these plays grapple, including: debates about marriage, race, gender and sexuality, about authority and authorship, and about colonial expansion and the human relationship to the surrounding world.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One short (3-4 pg) and one longer (6-8 pg) essay; an individual presentation; a midterm and a final exam; several quizzes, forum posts, and other small assignments. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL 24500-01,02 Modern and Contemporary American Literatures HU LA 3a

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: 1 crs ARTH, ENGL, HIST, etc.

STUDENTS: Open to all students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern and contemporary American literature draws its subjects and creative materials from the enormous and bewildering changes that have taken place since the end of World War Two. While the obliteration of Germany and Japan certainly placed America in an unprecedented position, this was by no means a coherent or a comfortable one. Rather, these historic realignments, economic dislocations, constant wars, rapid technological and demographic shifts, worked together to produce an experienced reality that was astonishing, terrifying, and almost beyond belief. Modern and contemporary American literatures embody a tremendous creative energy and force in response to these social and historical dynamics. The sheer range of their forms and the power of their visions, images and metaphors have not only shaped writing, reading, and thinking on an international scale, but have changed the very idea of culture, history, fact, and fiction. 

This literature explores ambiguity and disorientation, it blurs boundaries, it breaks inhibition, it  frees up concepts of identity, and shatters comforting national images into sharp, often ironic, fragments. This is a powerful literature that reflects, creates, and mediates a radically diversified cultural landscape, giving us an America that is elusive, enigmatic, plural and polyglot.   

This class will examine some of the ways in which American writers and artists have both contributed and responded to these seismic shifts, exploring the relationships between multi-cultural perspectives, post-industrial realities, and the increasingly complex connections between mass media and national identity. As the American landscape morphs into the post-modern and the post-post-modern, so does the American literary form, radically re-mapping our conceptions of family, politics, history, gender, race, and even the sacred self.   

To help us with our investigations, we will focus on a range of American literatures (including novels, stories, poems and plays) by the likes of Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Leslie Silko, and Paul Auster. To name just a few.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Response papers, formal essays, short presentations, final exam.

ENGL 27200: The Dark Side of the Enlightenment

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

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

Course Description:  The Enlightenment is often thought of as an era of… enlightenment, wherein the shackles of religious bigotry, aristocratic rule, even male privilege first begin to be interrogated, and alternative social and artistic structures formulated (i.e., representative democracy, free-market economics, the symphony, the novel).  Mozart, Jefferson, Newton, Locke, Goethe, Adam Smith, Voltaire all seem representative of this new era.

            But this course will explore the dark side of this “enlightened” time, for slavery is rampant, women are still second class or even non-citizens, there is prostitution, depravity, cruelty even as the intelligentsia forges ahead into their blazing light.  If the Declaration of Independence is a product of the Enlightenment, so is the guillotine.

            We’ll read slave narratives, the experimental work of early women writers, such explorers of the dark side of human nature as the Marquis de Sade and some of the early gothic novelists.  There will be sex, violence, degradation, revolution… and there is much great and entertaining writing about it.  The course should be an engaging traversal of the shadow world behind the great Enlightenment from which we, as Americans, claim descent.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Class is highly conversational.

REQUIREMENTS: Two five-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; take-home essay mid-term and final.

Grading: Based on attendance, participation, and completion of the above requirements.    

ENGL 28100-01   ROMANTIC AND VICTORIAN LITERATURE:  TRANSGRESSORS

3.0 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION: Writing intensive
INSTRUCTOR: James Swafford, 330 Muller, ext. 4-3540
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.
OBJECTIVES:  William Blake publishes proverbs in the voice of the Devil; S. T. Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner murders an albatross and consequently is held responsible for the loss of 200 shipmates; William Morris’s Queen Guenevere defends her adulterous love for Sir Lancelot.  This course will focus on 19th-century writers’ fascination with transgressors, whose violations of the bounds of law or custom allow an exploration of the values and dangers of radical individualism and the benefits and evils of an ordered social world.  Among the other writers we’ll study are Mary Wollstonecraft, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Charles Dickens (Great Expectations), Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, and Oscar Wilde. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two critical essays, assorted quizzes and response pieces during the course of the term, and a final examination. Grading is A-F, based on the above as well as on attendance and participation in class discussion. 

ENGL 31100-01   DRAMATIC LITERATURE I  (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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: Modern and Contemporary Dram

Topic: Race, Class and Gender in the Modern Drama.

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

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

OBJECTIVES:  In this course, we will read a range of modern and contemporary dramatists with an eye to how these authors stage the influence of race, class and gender on identity and human interactions. Beginning with Ibsen’s groundbreaking play, A Doll House (1879), and concluding with Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves (2016)each of our plays will concern the attempt by marginalized characters to survive within or assert themselves against an oppressive (usually white and patriarchal) power system. Yet each play’s representation of this conflict is complex, in part because of our authors’ implicit understanding of the complex and intersectional nature of identity. Does Nora’s status in A Doll House as not just female but middle-class have an impact on her fate in the play? Is A Streetcar Named Desire’s Blanche to be pitied because Stanley brutalizes her as a female, or is she to be critiqued for her class-bound assumptions about white genteel superiority? What bearing does it have on our evaluation of the African American and Japanese American characters in Smart People that they are all associated with Harvard? How does it influence their construction as characters that Prior and Belize, in Angels in America, are both marginalized as gay men, yet one descends from a long line of Protestant white Americans whereas the other is Caribbean American? In short, our focus will be upon the modern drama’s rich exploration of the entangled and interwoven effect that race, class and gender have upon who we are, how we are perceived, and our status in any given society. Authors will include Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Bertolt Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Samuel Beckett, Wole Soyinka, Anna Deavere Smith, Caryl Churchill, Tony Kushner, Lydia Diamond, and

Sarah DeLappe.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Two 5-7 page essays, midterm, one 10-12 page final essay, class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

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 in the humanities.

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 Kate Chopin.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 5 page essays, and a substantial end-of-term research project.    

ENGL 33100-01 Milton: Unconventional

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Dyani Johns Taff, Muller 307, ext. 4-7976

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: Three courses in the humanities or social sciences and sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Milton’s poetry—including his most famous poem, Paradise Lost—is difficult, opaque, sometimes esoteric. It is also damn good poetry. In this course, we will study not only Paradise Lost but also samples of Milton’s early poetry, his idiosyncratic dramas A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle and Samson Agonistes, and selections from his controversial prose on the subjects of marriage, divorce, freedom from press censorship, and monarchical government. We will focus on Milton’s deep and textured knowledge of conventions—religious, social, political, poetic—and on his deeply unconventional attitudes toward sexuality and love, Biblical interpretation, his classical and Renaissance precursors (particularly Shakespeare), and political authority. As a participant in the English Revolution in the 1640s, he supported the execution of King Charles I, whom he saw as a tyrannical king; Milton used his poetry and prose to reflect on and to shape the chaotic political landscape that he inhabited. In his textual landscapes—cosmic chaos, the Garden of Eden, heaven and hell, oceans, caves, forests, deserts, and mountains—he imagines utopias but also prisons and territories ripe for colonial conquest. Studying his writings can spur us to examine how easily an idyllic place might conceal a hell, or a terrifying expanse inspire self-reflection, love, or good citizenship.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One short essay (3-5 pg) and one substantial research essay (10-15 pg); an individual research presentation; a midterm and a final exam; several forum posts and other small assignments. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL 34100      Studies in the Enlightenment: Early Women Novelists

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR:  David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:  Nine credits in English, or permission of the instructor.

Course Description:  Women writers, for so long marginalized in the world of drama and poetry, take to the new form of longer prose fiction with great energy and daring, creating in-depth explorations of aspects of life that had never received attention from their better-known male counterparts.  The works of this new wave of women novelists treats such subjects as slave rebellion, women gone mad from isolation and reading, women so intimidated they couldn’t speak, women immured in imagined worlds of fearsome villains, haunted castles, and all the gothic machinery the age could conceive.  Our reading will conclude in the early work of Jane Austen, which will appear as a natural outgrowth of these new subjects, new voices, new forms.  We will read our way through these great explorers of the new medium, and the new age in which women could frame the unwritten truths of their world in new forms that could contain them.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Class is highly conversational.

REQUIREMENTS:  two 8-10 page essays; reading quiz and reading response each class; essay mid-term and final; emphasis placed upon class participation.

ENGL 35200-01     STUDIES IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY NOVEL    HU LA

FALLEN WOMEN AND RUINED MEN

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Bleicher, Muller 313, ext. 4-1531

ENROLLMENTS: 20

PREREQUISITES: Nine credits of literature courses

OBJECTIVES:  Few characters in nineteenth-century British literature provided more ample fodder for direct, didactic moralizing than the sexually-fallen woman and the financially-ruined man, whose proliferation contributed significantly to the image many contemporary readers still hold of the Victorians as prudes and penny-pinchers.  In this course we will be reading novels in two ways.  We will consider them first as the negative examples they were presumed to offer.  Reading through the lenses of social campaigns to control investment “manias” and sexually transmitted diseases permits an exploration of how the concepts of contagion and taint were made to function outside the medical model.  However, we will also be reading against the grain to consider the less-obvious educational and social purposes served by the discourse of downward mobility in a culture that was obsessed with personal improvement, self-determination and “raising oneself up.”  To that end, we will read with an eye for what these novels could teach a reader about how to present oneself, control one’s public image, and assess the character of others both for self-protection and for profit.  The goal is to construct our own understanding of how the Victorians defined character and deployed reputation.

Authors include: William Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ellen Wood, Thomas Hardy, George Gissing, and Oscar Wilde.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion

REQUIREMENTS: Extensive reading, curiosity, full and prepared participation, regular attendance, short essays, written responses, occasional quizzes, a brief presentation and a final paper.

ENGL 46000-01,       SEMINAR IN JAMES JOYCE’S ULYSSES     HU LA 3a h

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 10 students

PREREQUISITE:  Any four courses in English, or permission of the instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION.  James Joyce’s Ulysses is arguably the most important novel written in the past century.  The work is a radical departure from traditional forms and assumptions in literature, and, along with T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” which was also published in 1922, the novel establishes the foundation of literary modernism.  As such, the novel’s experimental structure and stream-of-consciousness narration has had a profound impact on the fiction written throughout the twentieth century.  Given the special difficulty attendant reading such a dense and experimental work, the primary purpose of this seminar is to provide and structure a close reading of the novel, one which will emphasize the integrity of the work and the multiple contexts (social, psychological, stylistical, and textual) within which and against which the novel was written.  Given its experimental nature, the novel has also lent itself to a number of innovative theoretical approaches to the nature of literature itself which will also be considered in the course of the semester.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  There will be occasional background lectures, films, and audiotapes, but the seminar will proceed on the basis of student reports and presentations focused on the eighteen different episodes of the novel.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Each student will be expected to give two oral presentations on aspects of the novel, one before and one after the midterm.  In addition, there will be two papers due, a five-page essay at the midterm and a 10-12 page research essay due at the end of the semester.

ENGL 4800-01          SEMINAR IN LITERARY CRITICISM: THEORY NOW!

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, 318 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 10 students

PREREQUISITE:  Any four courses in English, or permission of the instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will read six works of literary theory/criticism that have changed the landscape of literary studies over the past decade. Each book will be drawn from a different influential subfield: affect studies, world literature, Marxism/Neoliberalism, formalism/genre, cultural studies, and queer theory. Scholars from these fields will visit our class in person and via skype. This course will be specially designed to prepare students for graduate study in English, Comparative Literature, and related fields that employ theory in their explorations. As such, preparation, discussion, and written work of the highest level will be expected for each class session.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  There will be occasional lectures, but the course will function largely as a graduate seminar with regular student presentations, response papers, and student-led discussions.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Each student will be expected to give two presentations on texts of their choosing. In addition, there will be two papers due, a five-page conference paper, which will be delivered as part of an informal conference, and a 10-15 page research essay due at the end of the semester.

Fall 2017

ENGL 11200-01        Introduction to Short Story, The Search for the Self in Short Stories  HU LA 3a h

3 credits

ICC Themes: Identities/ Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 434, jsutherl@ithaca.edu

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 (A to F) is based on the requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation. 

ENGL 10700-02, -03 Introduction to Literature

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives:  Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Dyani Johns Taff, Muller 307, ext. 4-7976

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: How did pirates go from being the violent perpetrators of maritime theft and murder in the 16th and 17th centuries to being the romanticized heroes of children’s literature, popular novels, and films? In this course, we will explore English and Spanish accounts and dramatic representations of pirates and their exploits in the Mediterranean region, dating from about 1580 to 1630. We will read plays by Thomas Heywood, Robert Daborne, and Miguel de Cervantes (in translation), as well as ballads, poems, and pamphlets that describe pirates’ lives and livelihoods. In the latter half of the course, we will move to texts from the 20th and 21st century, exploring echoes, appropriations, and adaptations of early modern piracy narratives in children’s literature—such as J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy and Jane Yolen’s The Pirate Queens—as well as in news reporting and other texts about the lawlessness, violence, slavery, and environmental degradation happening today on our oceans. We will trace how the alluring, heroic adventures of literary pirates often obscure or enable us to forget the violence and human and environmental costs of ventures at sea. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One short (3-5 pg) and one longer (5-7 pg) essay; an individual presentation; a final exam; several quizzes, forum posts, and other small assignments; and participation in discussion. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL-11300-05  INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

Enrollment: 20 per section

Prerequisite: None.

OBJECTIVES: The course will be a formal, thematic, and generally historical introduction to poems, poetry, poets, and the worlds created and found in highly organized language.  We will also consider reception: how and why we read poetry, and what kinds of pleasures are to be found therein.                       

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Class is highly conversational.

REQUIREMENTS:  Two five-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; assorted memorizations and recitations; essay mid-term and final exams.

GRADING: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

ENGL 18100-01, 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, 02 The Search for the Self in Short Stories  HU LA 3a h

3 credits

ICC Theme: Identities

INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 434, jsutherl@ithaca.edu

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 (A to F) 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 h

TOPIC:           Life at the Margins in American Literature

3 Credits         

ICC ATTRIBUTE:     Diversity, Humanities Perspective, Power & Justice and Identities Themes

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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, Benjamin Alire Saenz, and Sherman Alexie.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

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

Engl 19410-01,02       Engendering Modernity: Twentieth-Century Women Writers

3 Credits

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer, 305 Muller

Prerequisites: None

Enrollment: 20 Students per section

Themes and Perspectives: Identities, Diversity

Tu/Th 2:35-3:50 and 4-5:15.

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. We will examine how these authors negotiated a predominantly male literary tradition and marketplace, and how they drew upon and constructed their own literary communities, audiences, and ancestries. We will read works that self-consciously reflect on issues of identity, gender, sexuality, feminism, and authorship, as well as works that explore the complex intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality. We will also consider the relationship between gender and genre by reading a wide range of literary forms, from novels, short stories, and poetry, to memoirs, essays and political manifestos. Authors will include Virginia Woolf, Kate Chopin, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Maxine Hong Kingston, Bell Hooks, and Jumpa Lahiri.

Course Format: Discussion, with some brief lectures.

Course Requirements and Grading: One 4-5 page essay, one 5-7 page final paper, midterm exam, and short informal writing assignments.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation and attendance will be an essential part of students’ final grades. 

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

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, Muller 318

ICC DESIGNATION: World of Systems, Identities

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 19417-01,02: Earth Works: Literature, Nature, and the Environment. LA 3a HU
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What is the nature of nature? This class offers an exciting literary, cultural, and historical exploration into the idea of “nature” and the “natural.” While it may seem self-evident to us that nature is all of that stuff “out there” – trees, rocks, oceans, animals, you know what I mean – this class will explore how natural environments in literature are not simple, common-sense places, but are in fact dynamic cultural constructions that change over time. What do we actually mean by nature? How do we understand it as a place, as an object, or as a literary form? Might nature be nothing more than a unique human experience? As you can see, this class will raise many intriguing questions, and by examining the “eco-literature” embodied in novels, stories, poems, biographies, and non-fictions, our sense of the natural will be challenged, and hopefully, expanded. We will be helped on our journey by Thoreau, Wordsworth, Cather, Wolfe, Krakauer, Snyder – among many others.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/ limited lecture. The class is designed around focused discussions of primary works.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, response papers, analytical essays, presentations, final exam.

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ENGL 19419-01, 02  Daunted Daughters and Fraught Fathers: Gender, Power, and Class in Fairy Tales

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit

Cross-listed with Women’s and Gender Studies

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, 434 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children?  How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures?  What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast, reading English translations of the tales collected by German, French, and Italian folklorists.  While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways.  Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen.  Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short (2 pages) response papers, one 3-4 page essay and one 4-5 page essay, a take-home final exam, a presentation, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Due to the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 20100-01        APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Dan Breen, 302 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 12 students

PREREQUISITES:  One course in English; WRTG 10600 or equivalent

OBJECTIVES:  How does a reader engage critically with a literary text?  And what is the purpose of criticism?  This course will provide a survey of the discipline of literary studies, with the aim of helping students develop critical skills in reading primary and secondary literature, as well as analytical writing.  We will consider poems, plays, and novels from a variety of critical perspectives, discuss the institutional history of literary criticism, and become acquainted with multiple schools of literary theory.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 21800-01        Modern and Contemporary American Drama   Writing Intensive, HU, LA       

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITE:  Sophomore standing and WRTG10600 or ICSM108XX or ICSM118XX.

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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 almost exactly at the midpoint of the last century, with Tennessee Williams’ first Broadway success, The Glass Menagerie¸ written in 1944. From there, we will cover roughly a half century of American playwriting, concluding with Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size. All of the plays that we will read together focus on familial relationships. In most though not all of them, these families are suffering from a corrosive misery that seems to pass like a contagion from generation to generation as the sadness, self-loathing and (sometimes) alcoholism or drug addiction 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? Our plays will include some or all of the following: The Glass Menagerie, Death of a SalesmanLong Day’s Journey into NightWho’s Afraid of Virginia WoolfAngels in AmericaHow I Learned to DriveTopdog/UnderdogThe Brothers Size.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two 4-6 page analytical essays, frequent short response pieces, in-class midterm and a take-home final exam, and active 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 21900-01 and -02    SHAKESPEARE (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities / Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, 326 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  What is a Shakespearean tragedy? The twelve plays listed as corresponding with this genre in the playwright’s First Folio of 1623 are remarkably diverse in substance and tone, and despite many scholarly enumerations of their features the essence of Shakespeare’s tragic vision remains elusive and controversial. This course invites students to move past misapplied Aristotelian clichés and to arrive at fresh conclusions about Shakespeare’s tragic drama by closely studying five plays (Titus AndronicusMacbethKing LearAntony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline).  Key areas of focus will include: the classical and medieval models of tragedy that Shakespeare inherited and transformed; the psychological, political, and metaphysical dimensions of the genre; the linguistic discourses of tragedy; the radical distinctiveness of Shakespeare’s characters; and the enduring affective power of Shakespearean tragedy in modern performance.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active involvement in class discussion; formal essay; final exam.

ENGL-21900-03  INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE:  THE ENGLISH HISTORIES CREDITS:  3

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:   This course will introduce Shakespeare’s theatre to both initiates and novices; we will read the English Histories through the lens of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, considering in Shakespeare’s work what we take for granted with Hamilton:  that an author can re-fashion history to address the contemporary world’s most pressing concerns—and in doing so can make history popular, even sensationally so.   The English histories are Shakespeare at his most wonderful—they contain great poetry; tragic events; complex characters; gripping drama; and some of the best comedy in all of Shakespeare (Falstaff, after all, originates in Henry IV Part I).

As we read the plays themselves we will study the political, religious, cultural, and scientific beliefs of Shakespeare’s time; 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 background of context and the foreground of the texts, we will approach larger questions of meaning, both for Shakespeare’s time and for our own.  Substantial emphasis will also 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, memorization of fifty lines of student’s choice.

ENGL 23200-01           MEDIEVAL LITERATURE

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Dan Breen, 302 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:  One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing; WRTG 10600 or equivalent

OBJECTIVES:  The Middle Ages in Europe and the Mediterranean witnessed some of the most expansive and far-reaching political, social, and cultural transformations in western history.  Among other developments, the fall of the Roman Empire, the emergence of Christianity and Islam as major world religions, the development of the university, and the importation of the printing press combined to reshape understandings of culture in Europe and the Middle East in ways that still influence our present-day assumptions about such fundamental cultural categories as identity, sexuality, faith, and philosophy.  We will observe these transformations in microcosm in the literature of England.  Owing to the fact that much of the writing in England was influenced heavily by Continental models—especially in the twelfth century and afterward—we will devote some time to considering especially relevant Continental texts, such as Andreas Capellanus’ The Art of Courtly Love and romances by Chretien de Troyes.  English texts we will read include Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Langland’s Piers Plowman; the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Kempe’s The Book of Margery Kempe; More’s Utopia; and selected lyric poems from both before and after the Conquest.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Two 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a midterm and a final, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 24500-01,02. Realism Under Strain: Modern and Contemporary American Literatures. LA 3a HU

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: None.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern and contemporary American literature draws its subjects and creative materials from the enormous and bewildering changes that have taken place since the end of World War Two. While the obliteration of Germany and Japan certainly placed America in an unprecedented position, this was by no means a coherent or a comfortable one. Rather, these historic realignments, economic dislocations, constant wars, rapid technological and demographic shifts, worked together to produce an experienced reality that was astonishing, terrifying, and almost beyond belief. Modern and contemporary American literatures embody a tremendous creative energy and force in response to these social and historical dynamics. The sheer range of their forms and the power of their visions, images and metaphors have not only shaped writing, reading, and thinking on an international scale, but have changed the very idea of culture, history, fact, and fiction. 

This literature explores ambiguity and disorientation, it blurs boundaries, it breaks inhibition, it  frees up concepts of identity, and shatters comforting national images into sharp, often ironic, fragments. This is a powerful literature that reflects, creates, and mediates a radically diversified cultural landscape, giving us an America that is elusive, enigmatic, plural and polyglot.   

This class will examine some of the ways in which American writers and artists have both contributed and responded to these seismic shifts, exploring the relationships between multi-cultural perspectives, post-industrial realities, and the increasingly complex connections between mass media and national identity. As the American landscape morphs into the post-modern and the post-post-modern, so does the American literary form, radically re-mapping our conceptions of family, politics, history, gender, race, and even the sacred self.   

To help us with our investigations, we will focus on a range of American literatures (including novels, stories, poems and plays) by the likes of Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Leslie Silko, and Paul Auster. To name just a few.

ENGL 31100-01   DRAMATIC LITERATURE I : Women in Early Drama (LA)
3 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater; WRTG10600 or ICSM108XX or ICSM118XX

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The theatre was predominantly a male institution until the seventeenth century, but women and their experience have always been central concerns of dramatic writing. This course explores the representation of women in early drama and traces the beginnings of their active participation in the art form as playwrights, actors, and patrons. Areas of focus will include the cultural construction of women in ancient Greek and Roman plays; the fascination with saintly mothers and transgressive wives in medieval biblical drama; the semiotics of female impersonation by ‘boys’ in the English Renaissance; and the radical challenges posed to patriarchal tradition by Elizabeth Carey, Margaret Cavendish, and Aphra Behn—the first women to write plays of their own in English. We will read versions of Medea by Euripides and Seneca; Aristophanes’ Lysistrata; medieval mystery plays from the York cycle; John Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed (a sequel to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew); Carey’s The Tragedy of Mariam (the first original play by a female author in English), and The Rover by Behn (the first woman to support herself by writing for the professional stage).  For context, we will survey theories of gender and social performance, consider whether there are linguistic discourses unique to women, and analyze the political and economic positions that women have historically occupied in Western societies. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active involvement in class discussion; close-reading exercises, formal essay; final exam.

ENGL 31900-01        GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS BEFORE 1890 HU LA

3 credits

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing

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 shorter essays, a final research essay, and class participation. Grading will be A-F.

ENGL 35100-01     GIRLHOODS IN LITERATURE HU, LA

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 36800-01 and 02        Dangerous Women in Dramatic Literature    HU, LA

TOPIC: Dangerous Women in Dramatic Literature: Over Her Dead Body

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Sophomore standing and 3 credits in English or Writing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this course we will read a range of plays, beginning in the ancient Greek period and extending to the present day, which feature female characters who might be described as “dangerous”—often because they challenge status quo assumptions about femininity and a woman’s role in her society. In each case, we will consider what constitutes female danger in the play and the culture that we are addressing. What norms are being challenged so that the female elicits male fear and violence (and often, also and simultaneously, desire)?  What is it about her that is so threatening that she needs to be controlled, contained, and sometimes killed? Is the playwright using her to question the norms that she challenges or to reinscribe them? As we read these plays, we will situate them within their cultural contexts and we will read secondary material (historical and theoretical) to better understand how notions regarding female danger change over time. Our plays will include some or all of the following: MedeaThe Oresteia, Othello, The Duchess of Malfi, Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Hedda Gabler, All My Sons, Top Girls, Oleanna, Harlem Duet, By the Bog of Cats.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two 6-8 page analytical essays, frequent short response pieces, a take-home final exam, and active 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 38900-01        Poetry Mash-Up: Contemporary Lyric and Poetic Tradition

T/R 4:00-5:15pm Friends 304

CRN: 23713

Attributes: Writing Intensive & Diversity

In this course, we will read “classics” of 20th century American poetry alongside contemporary poets to examine the various ways of reading and understanding “tradition” in American poetry. In “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” T.S. Eliot criticizes the tendency to praise a poet “upon those aspects of his work in which he least resembles anyone else,” and instead offers that the “best” and most “individual” aspects of a poet’s work will often be those that are most rooted in tradition. So, what makes contemporary poets “original”? How are poets today revising and widening the tradition? Discussion will include issues of canon and power—who decides which poets constitute the tradition? And for poets seen as “outside” the tradition, what aesthetic choices are available to them? How can they assert their voices while working within a tradition that may not hear them? Sample readings include selected poems by Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, H.D., and Langston Hughes, and contemporary collections by Aracelis Girmay, Solmaz Sharif, Gergory Pardlo, Ross Gay, Ada Limon, Tarfia Faizullah, and Victoria Chang.

ENGL 39000-01   ReImagining the Self:  Montaigne, Cervantes, Shakespeare   

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Any three courses in English, or permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  New ideas require new forms, and evolving Renaissance conceptions of personhood brought forth the new modes of autobiographical essay, novel, and public representation of the private self.

Michel de Montaigne, who had wealth, leisure, and a great library, asked himself what he really knew--and traced the motions of his agile mind as he worked towards provisional answers.  He called these delightful pieces “attempts,” or in French, essais—and thus invented modern autobiography, and, simultaneously, the essay, in which he treats such subjects as love, excretion, friendship, the wisdom of animals, cannibalism, and sneezing.

Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote depicts an avid reader’s struggle to unshackle the self from centuries of inspiring but constraining fictions in order to view his world with unclouded vision.  Quixote’s faith that fiction is true brings to birth the first modern (and post-modern) novel; his ultimate achievement of sanity is, paradoxically, unimaginably sad.  The reader rejects both Quixote’s mad belief in fiction, and his sane denunciation of it; Cervantes insists we fashion our own way.

Shakespeare read and absorbed both Montaigne and Cervantes; in Hamlet, using the familiar formula of the revenge play, he devised new ways to represent interiority, in which a tortured persona struggles between inner life and self-presentation, between anguished reflection and tragic action.  And in The Tempest, Shakespeare uses Montaigne to postulate a world free of ownership, war, envy, strife, and ends his career with a final luminous vision of concord—copied straight from Montaigne.

 Our authors are novel in the best sense, and in reading them we sense their delight in their own invention.  Montaigne’s essays, Don Quixote, Hamlet, and The Tempest have given pleasure to centuries of readers, even as they newly pose the questions we all ask about ourselves and our world.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two 5-7-page essays, 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 46900-01        Seminar in Contemporary African American Literature HU LA 3A h

TOPIC:                       Toni Morrison through the Decades

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR:          Derek Adams, Muller 304

ENROLLMENT:        10

PREREQUISITES:     Four English courses; junior standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION:    To be clear, I love Toni Morrison! She is, quite simply, one of the greatest authors of the 20th and 21st centuries. Although Morrison’s inclusion in the American literary canon now goes unquestioned, rarely is her work examined in a single author course. As a result, much of what we learn about her and her fiction are fragments of a whole. This class will attempt to cultivate a more comprehensive understanding of Morrison and her entire body of work through an examination of her literature spanning five decades. We will focus on one text from each decade – Song of Solomon (1977), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), A Mercy (2008), God Help the Child (2015) – devoting three full weeks to each. We will consider how issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class shape a reader’s understanding of the material and how the material influences our understanding of those same identity categories. Too, we will pay particular attention to motifs such as home/homelessness, memory, family, trauma, violence, love, and history.     

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:            Seminar

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:           Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions, along with an open mind. Students will complete one midterm essay, one final research essay (based on the midterm), a reading journal, an annotated bibliography, and a group discussion facilitation.

ENGL 48200-01,       SEMINAR IN MODERN IRISH POETRY.  SEAMUS HEANEY: OUT OF THE MARVELOUS   HU LA 3a h

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 10 students

PREREQUISITE:  Any four courses in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: When Seamus Heaney’s death was announced in August 2013 at Croke Park Dublin during the half-time of the All-Ireland semifinal Gaelic football match, the more than 80,000 spectators rose and gave him a two-minute standing ovation.  While such a response is unheard of in England and America, Heaney, who started his career as a member of the Catholic minority community in Northern Ireland, went on to be acknowledged not only as the national poet of Ireland but also, after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, as the most celebrated poet across the English-speaking world.  Part of Heaney’s fame is due to the variety of ways his personal biography crossed with the political violence or “troubles” which marked Northern Ireland during the last third of the 20th century. His early volumes, especially North (1975), recorded what Heaney called “symbols adequate to our predicament,” and his poetry has embodied the deep tensions of his divided society and a humane and complex response to those tensions.  In his later work, Heaney introduced a more transcendent element into his poetry, waiting until he was 50 to “credit marvels,” even as he continued to address more global issues of political violence in both poetry and translations of Greek drama. While this course fulfills the English major requirement for a 400-level elective course, other students with specific interest in Irish poetry in general or Seamus Heaney in particular are welcome to apply for enrollment.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Each student will give two presentations to the seminar, with a short summary of the material.  In addition, there will be an essay due at the midterm and a research seminar essay due at the end of the term.  Grading will be A-F.  Because of the discussion-oriented format of the seminar, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 49000-01                   Seminar in Advanced Literature: Graphic Memoir

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 10 students

PREREQUISITE:  Prerequisites: four courses in ENGL, or permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  A look at the evolution of the graphic memoir, with a focus on texts published in the last five years.   We will begin by discussing critical approaches to memoir and looking at some of the foundational texts in the field: MausPersepolis and Fun Home. The reading list for the rest of the class will be determined through collaborative discussions between the professor and the pre-registered students prior to the start of the class.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Weekly response pieces; in-class presentation on text or artist/author.  Large project due at end of class in form of research/analytic paper, professional-level presentation, or creative project + analytic essay. Grading will be A-F.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

Spring 2017

ENGL 11200   INTRODUCTION TO SHORT STORY: THIS AMERICAN LIFE  (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  None

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this course we will read a wide range of American short stories, proceeding loosely through the life phases of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age and death. In the course of our reading and discussion, we will become familiar with formal elements of the short story form (including point of view, plot, tone, and dialogue), as well with certain recurrent themes in our nation’s literature. We will read a combination of classic and contemporary stories. Authors will include James Baldwin, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Munro, Edward P. Jones and others.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two short essays (2 pages), two longer essays (5-6 pages), a mid-term, a 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 11300-01, -02   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY       3a HU LA

3 credits

ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Themes:  1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation;  

Perspective:  Humanities
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

ICC Designation: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

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, -04   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY (HU, LA) 

3.0 CREDITS

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

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 John Keats – 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 short 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 19406-01, 02: The Search for the Self in Short Stories  HU LA 3a h

3 credits

ICC Theme: Identities

INSTRUCTOR: Jean Sutherland, Muller 434, jsutherl@ithaca.edu

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 (A to F) is based on the requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation. 

English 19419-01,02  Story Power: Fairy Tales

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, 434 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children?  How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures?  What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood, reading English translations of the tales collected by German and Italian folklorists.  While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways.  Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen.  Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short (2 pages) response papers, one 3-4 page essay and one 4-5 page essay, a take-home final exam, a presentation, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Due to the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 19420 Literature and Cultural Studies:  An Introduction (LA).

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes:  Identities and Power and Justice (designation pending)

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Bishop, 119 Muller, ext. 4-3713

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  None

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course will introduce you to important texts, traditions and intellectual concepts associated with literary and cultural studies in the 20th and 21st century.  We will read key texts in criticism and theory including but not limited to critical race theory, Marxist, feminist, queer, structuralist, post-structuralist and post-colonial (anti)traditions. Throughout this course, we will study scholarship surrounding the nature of language and the question of how language shapes and is shaped by social, cultural and political contexts toward moral and ethical conclusions. In particular, we will focus on the relationship between language and culture by asking, in what ways does language influence and constitute social change? How is social change reflected by changes in the way we use language? Over the course of the semester, you will work on applying the knowledge and theoretical tools to gain analytic, critical and creative skills in writing and multimodal documentation. 

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two short response papers, a midterm essay, a final essay 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 20100-01   APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY    

3.0 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Jen Spitzer, Muller 305, Ext 4-7056

ENROLLMENT:  15

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. Students will grapple with the issues and concerns that occupy literary critics when they think about literature, including the expectations and assumptions that guide us as readers. Focusing on a handful of texts—including James Joyce’s, The Dead; Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, and Nella Larsen’s Passing and poetry by T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Li-Young Lee, and Gwendolyn Brooks--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.

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 REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short essays, several more informal (also short) writing assignments, and a final research essay. Final grade will be based on attendance, written work, and class participation.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion. 

ENGL 21500 – 01 Contemporary Topics in Science Fiction and Comics - 43262 - 

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Prerequisite: one course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION OBJECTIVES:  This is an interactive, student-generated class which is ideal for enthusiastic fans of any form of fantasy, science fiction, or comics. Its hands-on peer-to-peer approach also makes it a good fit for anyone interested in teaching or doing creative community work. The first 6 weeks are an overview of the History of Science Fiction and Comics taught through interactive personal responses and group discussion.  In the second part of the course, the class fractures into small groups which spend four weeks working intensely on a topic that interests them.  Possible topics could be:  Alien life forms, Anime, Apocalypse, Gender Bending, Queer Futures, Feminist Science Fiction, The Novels of Phillip K. Dick and their film versions, Utopias, Dystopias, Strange British Humor, and Futuristic Sport.  The group as a whole devises a way of teaching the rest of the class about their area of interest.  The last four weeks will consist of student-led classes.  Individuals write a paper, complete a creative project or design a community-based project on their topic of study.   Students will help run ITHACON, the community-based comic book convention held at IC in March.

FORMAT/STYLE:  Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities

GRADING:  daily short exercises in first weeks, one longer paper or project, participation in class activities

ENGL 21900-01 and -02 SHAKESPEARE (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Identities / Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, 326 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  What is Shakespearean tragedy?  The twelve plays listed as corresponding with this genre in the playwright’s First Folio of 1623 are remarkably diverse in content and tone, and despite many scholarly enumerations of their features the essence of Shakespeare’s tragic vision remains elusive and controversial.  This course encourages students to move past outworn and misapplied Aristotelian clichés and to draw fresh conclusions about the substance and function of Shakespeare’s tragic drama based on a study of six plays (Titus AndronicusMacbethKing LearCoriolanusAntony and Cleopatra, and Cymbeline).  Areas of focus will include: the models of Roman and medieval tragedy that Shakespeare inherited and transformed; the psychological, political, and metaphysical dimensions of the genre; the radical distinctiveness of Shakespearean character; the linguistic discourses of tragedy; and the enduring affective power of the plays in modern performance.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Close-reading exercises; formal essay; final exam; active involvement in class discussion will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 23200-01  Medieval Literature (HU, LA, 3b, WI)

3 credits.

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

ENROLLMENT:  20.

PREREQUISITE:  Three courses in the humanities.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Although the Middle Ages occurred long enough ago to feed clichéd fantasies of knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, and savage Viking warriors, 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—all are medieval creations.  Presentist distortion encourages the false belief that the literature of the Middle Ages is primitive and unsophisticated, when in fact medieval literature is every bit as sophisticated, and every bit as relevant to us, as modern and post-modern literatures.  Accordingly, this course examines medieval literature both as a reflection of its original culture, which 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, sagas, and tales.  Along with several short readings, each unit features one major text: The Saga of the People of Laxardal; The Romance of SilenceThe Death of King Arthur; Dante’s Inferno; and selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE:  Discussion and lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Regular attendance and participation in class discussions, two 5-page essays, short response pieces, a final exam.  Keeping up with reading and writing assignments is essential.

ENGL  27200-01   LITERATURE OF THE  ENLIGHTENMENT  LA 3a

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR:  Michael Stuprich,  Muller 316A,  Ext.  41253

ENROLLMENT:  20

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

STUDENTS:  Open to anyone who can handle the heavy reading and writing requirements.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  We’ll read, study, and write about many of the greatest works produced in England between 1660 and 1815.  These works will include Dryden’s “Mac Flecknoe,” Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock,” Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Open discussion. With occasional background lectures.

Participation in class discussion expected.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  6-8 short writing assignments; a mid-term and final exam; a final essay (8-10 pages, with outside sources).  Class participation 10%.  Steady attendance mandatory.  Zero tolerance for tardiness.

ENGL 31200-01, -02   DRAMATIC LITERATURE II: The Captivating Past in Modern and Contemporary Drama (LA)

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater; WRTG10600 or ICSM108XX or ICSM118XX. Note: Dramatic Literature I (ENGL 311) is not a prerequisite for this course.

TOPIC: The Captivating Past in Modern and Contemporary Drama.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  An old man sits listening to tapes recorded by his younger self—a self that, now, he barely recognizes as his own. With the bravado of youth, the taped voice declares that his “best years” are gone but that he “wouldn’t want them back.” His older self listens in silence, and we do not imagine for a second that he agrees. This brief moment in a brief play captures a tension that reverberates through the modern drama: the impulse to move forward, which is often at odds with a longing to go back.  In this course, we will read a variety of modern European, American, and Nigerian dramatists, examining each one’s exploration of this tension between what used to be and what is. Some of our authors focus upon the ways in which the past can hold us captive, ensnaring us in stagnant longing and regret, while others enact the difficulties we confront when we attempt to look backwards at the past and examine it with accuracy. Still others offer portraits of the past 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, Tennessee Williams, Samuel Beckett, Wole Soyinka, Brian Friel, Anna Deavere Smith, Tom Stoppard, Sarah Ruhl, Nick Gandiello.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two 6-8 page essays, frequent informal “think” pieces, 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 31900-01 GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS BEFORE 1890 HU LA 

3 credits

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

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 shorter essays, a final research essay, and class participation. Grading will be A-F.

ENGL 32400-01  LITERATURE OF THE BIBLE  (HU LA)

CRN 42227

3 credits

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

ENROLLMENT:  20.

PREREQUISITE:  Three courses in the Humanities.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  The Bible is the best-known book that most of us have never read.  This course considers biblical narratives and poetry as literary and cultural documents.  Although reading the Bible will necessarily invoke religious concepts, 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 prose and verse 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 the poetic writings in Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and Job.

            Texts:   (1) HarperCollins Study Bible, with Apocrypha (Student Edition). 

                        (2) Other texts and critical readings will be posted on Sakai and/or handed out.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Regular attendance and participation in class discussions, two 5-page essays, short response pieces, possibly an in-class presentation, definitely a final exam.

ENGL 34100-01  STUDIES IN THE ENLIGHTENMENT            HU LA  

TOPIC: THE NOVELS OF JANE AUSTEN 

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Stuprich, Muller 316A, Ext. 41253.

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Nine hours of literature courses.

STUDENTS: Open to all who meet the prerequisites, but of special appeal to anyone interested in reading wonderful novels and discussing issues involving women, gender, and human sexuality.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  We’ll read virtually everything that Austen wrote: the six novels, the novella “Lady Susan,” and her letters.  We'll try to read each of the novels within the fullest possible set of contexts, discussing social and biographical as well as artistic issues, and trying always to imagine what it was like to be a woman writer at a time when the words "woman" and "writer" were regarded by many people as representing mutually exclusive categories.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Open discussion, with occasional background lectures; there will be an emphasis on "collaborative" learning: students will be assigned a number of class projects, ranging from "outside" readings to the particularly intense scrutiny of certain passages or characters in the novels.

GRADING: The semester grade will be based on numerous (as in many) writing assignments, a class project or two, a final, and the quality of class participation.

ENGL 35200-01 WILDE TIMES:  STUDIES IN 19th-CENTURY ENGLISH LITERATURE (HU, LA)
3.0 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: James Swafford, Muller 330, ext. 4-3540
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITE: 9 credits of literature
COURSE DESCRIPTION:  At the center of this course is Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), who famously said that he put only his talent into his works and his genius into his life, as if that life itself were his greatest work of art.  (His life, of course, crashed spectacularly in 1895 when he was convicted of “acts of gross indecency with another male person” and was sentenced to two years in prison.)  So it will be necessary for us to examine not only Wilde’s literary achievement in a surprising number of genres – poems, plays (like The Importance of Being Earnest), fiction (The Picture of Dorian Gray), essays, autobiography (De Profundis, his remarkable letter from prison) – but also Wilde as a person and as a cultural figure.  We will study the Oscar produced by photographers, news reporters, cartoonists, courts of law, playwrights, novelists, sculptors, and scholars, as well as the Oscar that Wilde himself served up for public consumption.  And we will also consider his place in the broader “aesthetic movement” of the 19th century.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two short critical essays, a few written exercises and response pieces during the course of the term, an oral report, and one longer research essay. Grading is based on the above as well as on attendance and active participation in class discussion.  Our main texts are The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (HarperCollins) and Moises Kaufman’s Gross Indecency (Vintage).

ENGL 36300-01   Modern Irish Literature: Pastoral Myths, Poltical Realities  (LA)

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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

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, Bernard MacLaverty, and Colm Toibin in fiction; Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Derek Mahon in poetry; and Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel in drama.  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 FORMAT/STYLE:  Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: There will two short essays (2-3 pages) and one longer paper (8-10 pages).  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. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 37300-01, RENAISSANCE DRAMA: “ALL IS NOT SWEET”—JONSON, MIDDLETON, WEBSTER (HU LA)
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: ENGL-21900 or ENGL-27100

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Ben Jonson (1572-1637) was by all accounts self-aggrandizing, judgmental, petulant, and violent—he was also the most admired dramatic craftsman of his age.  His great theme was the cruel selfishness of criminal imposters who prey upon the credulous, a topic obsessively explored in acidic comedies such as Volpone (1605), Epicene (1609), and The Alchemist (1610).  No less fascinated by cunning acts of impersonation was the prolific Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)—and not surprisingly given that Middleton’s mother and sister had been victims of a notorious con-man during the playwright’s youth.  But where Jonson condemns without mercy, Middleton tends to show sympathy, particularly towards female characters compelled to navigate the treacherous cities and courts of men: Moll Frith, the cross-dressing, tobacco-smoking, duelist of The Roaring Girl (1611) and Livia, the widowed, Iago-like intriguer of Women Beware Women (c. 1623) are among the seventeenth-century’s richest roles. For his part, John Webster (c. 1580-c.1634), was capable of both Jonsonian venom and Middletonian empathy; what is uniquely Websterian however is the macabre atmosphere of plays such as The White Devil (1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (1614), tragic masterpieces shot through with casual atrocity, corrosive skepticism, and grim humor.  In our fixation on Shakespeare’s singular achievement, we tend today to overlook these three dramatists.  But the brilliant, caustic accomplishments of Jonson, Middleton, and Webster are in many respects more representative of English Renaissance drama—and like Shakespeare’s plays, they continue to speak to us in surprising ways.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises, research essay.
FULFILLS: Periods of Literature Requirement in English

ENGL 38000 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: Tash Aw, Mohsin Hamid, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Junot Diaz, Karen Te Yamashita, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two formal essays, mid-term, frequent short response papers, and class participation.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion and lecture.

ENGL 46500-01  SEMINAR IN DRAMA: Anxious Masculinity on the American Stage (LA)

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893  

ENROLLMENT: 10 students

PREREQUISITE: 12 credits in English or Theatre, or permission of instructor.

TOPIC: Anxious Masculinity on the American Stage

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “This game is seven card stud.” A Streetcar Named Desire

“I get so lonely….I get the feeling that…I won’t be making a living for you, or a business, a business for the boys.” Death of a Salesman

These two lines, taken from two of the most famous American dramas ever written, encapsulate the conflicting definitions of masculinity that bedevil male characters in a host of 20th and 21st century American plays. Expected to be rugged and “studly,”ideally by using their muscles and conquering the untamed wilderness, 20th century males are also expected to put a roof over their family’s heads, which often requires that they labor behind desks in confining office spaces. In this advanced seminar, we will examine the swirling anxiety that results from these and other contradictory requirements for the successful performance of masculinity in America. The course will begin in the mid-20th century with an extended look at the plays of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, whose most celebrated work was produced at a time when male and female roles in American society were strictly polarized, and in a Cold War context that simmered with anxieties about communism and homosexuality.  From there we will move forward to examine later playwrights, asking how movements for civil rights, LGBT rights and women’s rights reshaped conceptions of masculinity in America. Throughout the semester, we will keep our eye on the figure of the anxious male breadwinner, considering both his iconic origins in plays by Miller and Williams, and his dramatic legacy in the drama of later American playwrights.

Readings will include All My Sons, Death of a SalesmanA View from the Bridge (Arthur Miller); A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Tennessee Williams); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Edward Albee); American Buffalo (David Mamet); Fences (August Wilson); Angels in America (Tony Kushner); How I Learned to Drive (Paula Vogel); Topdog/Underdog (Suzan Lori-Parks); Fun Home (Lisa Kron and Jeanini Tesori); and selected critical essays.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Participation will be required of all students in this seminar. In addition, students will produce one 6-8 page essay and one 12-15 page essay; they will also give a presentation and turn in a 2-4 page presentation write-up. Grading will be A-F.

ENGL 48300 – 01 Advanced Studies in Feminist Science Fiction - 43060 - 

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

ENROLLMENT:  10

PREREQUISITES: Junior standing and either ENGL 214 (Survey of Science Fiction) or ENGL 21500 (DIY SciFi).

OBJECTIVES: Students in this class will be instrumental in running the academic conference to be held at IC in April: Pippi to Ripley 4: Sex and Gender in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Comics.  Students will either present an academic paper at the conference or design a community-based project which they will discuss at the conference. Additional time will be spent looking at the abstracts submitted, creating the panels, mentoring newer presenters and designing promotional materials for the event. Some reading and viewing of texts chosen by the students will be mandatory for the class, but the exact nature of these texts will be determined by the class members.

FORMAT/STYLE:  Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities

GRADING:  Performance of conference-supporting activities, abstract creation, presentation of project or paper, reflection on event and personal achievement.

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, Rhys, Maddox Ford, McCarthy, Coetzee, Zadie Smith, Desani, etc. 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 2016

ENGL 11200 INTRODUCTION TO THE SHORT STORY:  MAGICAL REALISM

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

Enrollment: 20 per section

Prerequisite: None.

OBJECTIVES: We will read a broad range of magically realist short stories, seeking to discover what kinds and degrees of truth and pleasure, if any, are particular to such experimental work.   Reading Borges, Cortázar, Garcia Marquez, Angela Carter, Isabelle Allende, and various other artificers, we will strive to understand how each of them represents us to ourselves in all our—and their—strange and wonderful diversity. 

Students: Open to all students.

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements:  Two five-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; essay mid-term and finals.

Grading: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

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

3 credits

ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Themes:  1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation;  

Perspective:  Humanities
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, -04   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY  (LA)

3 CREDITS

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

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 Emily Dickinson – 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 11300-06, INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

Enrollment: 20 per section

Prerequisite: None.

OBJECTIVES: The course will be a formal, thematic, and generally historical introduction to poems, poetry, poets, and the worlds created and found in highly organized language.  We will also consider reception: how and why we read poetry, and what kinds of pleasures are to be found therein.                       

Students: Open to all students.

Format and Style: Class is highly conversational.

Requirements:  Two five-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; assorted memorizations and recitations; essay mid-term and final exams.

Grading: Based on the above requirements, with emphasis placed upon class participation.

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 434, jsutherl@ithaca.edu

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 19408-01         The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power                         HU LA 3A h

TOPIC:           Life at the Margins in American Literature

3 Credits        

ICC ATTRIBUTE:    Diversity, Humanities, Power & Justice and Identities Themes

INSTRUCTOR:         Derek Adams, Muller 304

ENROLLMENT:       20 students 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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, Sherman Alexie, and Sandra Cisneros.  

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 three textual analysis essays, and complete a final exam.

ENGL 19412-01, -02 Banned Books and Censorship Trials: Obscenity in the 20th Century

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer

IC designation: Inquiry, Imagination, Innovation

Course Description: 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 Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home.

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 19413-01, -02  "The Blood is the Life": Vampires in Literature

3 credits

ICC THEME:  Mind, Body, Spirit

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, Muller 434

ENROLLMENT: 

20 per section

PREREQUISITES:  none

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Buffy Summers, Bella Swan, and Sookie Stackhouse share an affinity for vampires, and in this class we’ll explore some of their desires and fears.  Why do vampires hold such sway in American culture today, and where did these blood-sucking characters come from?  Why are vampires portrayed with such mesmeric charisma, such powers of seduction, such ability to tempt the most chaste?  What’s at stake in giving into the temptation?  Vampires first appeared in English literature in the early nineteenth century, but the themes of seduction, temptation, and the risk of succumbing help to define the codes of chivalry in much earlier texts from the Medieval period.  We'll explore some of the earliest characterizations of vampirism in Romantic poems, as well as lurid Victorian vampire tales, including “Carmilla” and Dracula.  Grounded in this vampire literary history, we’ll then turn to more recent renditions of the vampire, including Interview with the Vampire and Twilight.

ENGL 19414-01, INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATION: Diversity, Identities
INSTRUCTOR: Christine Kitano, Smiddy 417
ENROLLMENT: 20 students

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on contemporary Asian American literature. We will examine a range of contemporary texts with particular attention to how they work with the “traditional” Asian American literary themes of immigration, generational conflict, and identity formation. We will also work toward identifying what new themes and issues we see forming in contemporary Asian American literature. Readings will include novels, short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.
REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three brief (1-2 pages) response papers, two essays (4-5 pages), in-class quizzes, midterm and 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 19417-01,02: Earth Works: Literature, Nature, and the Environment. (LA)
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom, Muller 321
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
STUDENTS: Open to all students.

Course Description: What is the nature of nature? At first glance this is one of those annoying questions specifically designed to irritate you. But it is also the central premise of this class. Since we spend our entire lives surrounded by the non-human realm (casually, often dismissively, labeled “nature”), it might be a good idea to do some thinking about the environment we’re actually a part of. This class offers a literary, cultural, and historical exploration into the idea of “nature” and the “natural.”

While it may seem self-evident to us that nature is all that stuff “out there” – trees, rocks, oceans, animals, etc  -- this class will attempt to explore how the nonhuman world in literature is not so much a simple, common-sense thing, but a dynamic set of ideas and relationships that change with time and location. These literary representations – earth-works, if you like – have the power to re-direct our attention, asking us to respond, interact, and perhaps even develop a new perspective or consciousness. By examining the natural world present in novels, poems and non-fictions, we are potentially released to see the world as it is. We will be helped on our journey by Thoreau, Emerson, Wells, Cather, Dillard, Lopez, Krakauer, and Snyder – among many others.  

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/ limited lecture. The class is designed around focused discussions of primary works.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, response papers, analytical essays, presentations, final exam.

ENGL 19418-01, -02 What is the Contemporary? A Study of Literatures of the Present. (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC Designation: Identities & III

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, 318 Muller, ext. 4-3190

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: None. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: If Modernism and Postmodernism are both now commonly understood to be modes of thinking about the past, what is the theory via which we describe our experiences with the present? Is the contemporary more than just a temporal placeholder? When we call something contemporary literature, could that indeed be a way of announcing the attempts to imagine the present into being? By way of beginning this definitional experiment, we will look to the literary arts for new ways of testing what this term "contemporary" can hold. This class will approach literature’s present moment by looking at the following recent and recently-returned genres of writing: the novel-poem (Ann Carson’s Red); fictive memoirs (Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle and Jenny Offil’s The Department of Speculation); graphic “novels" (Fun Home and The Unflattening); low brow goes high browZone One (zombie plague); Never Let Me Go (clones); The Dog Star (dystopia); Cesar Aira's Dinner (more zombies); the self-help book, the atlas, and the encyclopedia (Atlas by Dung Kai-cheung, Roberto Bolano’s Encyclopedia of Nazi Literature in the Americas, and Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Rich in Rising Asia).

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three essays of varying lengths, regular response papers, a presentation, 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.

HNRS 20027 STAGING HISTORY (LA)

TOPIC: Versions of the Past in Modern Drama

3 CREDITS

ICC Designation: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: Open to all students in the Ithaca College Honors Program; other students admitted by permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this class, we will study various 20th and 21st century plays (as well as one film, entitled "Stories We Tell"), all of which explore the vexed problem of how human beings seek to make sense of and represent their pasts. Some of our plays will focus upon reconstructing the historical past and others will focus on reconstructing one’s personal past. All of them, however, will invite us to ask: What constitutes "history"? How does one go about representing the past accurately? From whose vantage point is the story of the past most authentically told? These are the questions that lie at the heart of the dramas we will study together this semester. Authors will include George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, Sean O’Casey, Brian Friel, Michael Frayn, Caryl Churchill, Tom Stoppard, Anna Deavere Smith, and Sarah Polley.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two 4-5 page essays, 1 8-10 page essay, one presentation, frequent informal “think” pieces, and class participation. One out-of-class viewing of a film will also be required. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

HNRS 20039 Literatures of the Security State: Privacy, Surveillance, and Modern Culture

3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, 318 Muller, ext. 4-3190

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITE: Open to all students in the Ithaca College Honors Program; other students admitted by permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Since the turn of the millennium, the topic of privacy has become a social, political, and cultural battleground. Debates over government surveillance, corporate data mining, reality television, the rise of social media, and related issues have helped highlight a deep anxiety and ambivalence about whether privacy is something we want—and indeed, whether privacy exists in the first place. Scholars working in the fields of philosophy, the law, political science, history, literary studies, and visual culture have long wrestled with the slipperiness of the concept of privacy. Is privacy a basic human right or a merely escapist illusion? Is privacy worth clinging to or is it something we must and should relinquish? After the revelations of the National Security Agency’s domestic wiretapping and broad-ranging surveillance of citizens without a warrant, our attention to matters of privacy has taken on renewed urgency. In the face of both willed and unwilled ruptures of privacy, how do we maintain our sense of ourselves as free individuals, with ownership over our bodies, ideas, and properties?

This course will examine these questions by focusing on how writers, photographers, and filmmakers have attempted to represent both the maintenance and erosion of privacy. We will begin by examining some foundational privacy theory in philosophy and the law. Placing these philosophical inquiries alongside three foundational literary texts—Franz Kafka’s The Trial, George Orwell’s 1984, and Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener”—we will look at iconic characters who attempt to retreat and withdraw from social responsibility in ways that have had profound consequences for notions of individualism and the private sphere. We will then turn to the effects that the development of photography, cinema, and surveillance technologies have had on contemporary citizens’ experiences with and understanding of privacy. Throughout the course, we will take up the important question of whether privacy is a privilege enjoyed only by those with access to wealth and power, and we will conclude with an investigation into the future of privacy.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three essays of increasing length. Weekly response papers, and occasional informal writing. Grading will be A-F.

ENGL 20100-01 APPROACHES TO LITERARY STUDY (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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:  Three 3-5 page essays, an in-class presentations, and a longer final research project.

ENGL 21400-01, 02  Survey of Science Fiction. (LA)
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. The class is designed around focused discussion of primary works.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, response papers, analytical essays, final exam.

ENGL 21900-01, -02 SHAKESPEARE HU LA

3 CREDITS 

ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities / Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

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 Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is said to have featured the Latin inscription “Totus mundus agit histrionem”:  the whole world acts a play.  The notion that we are all actors in a ‘theatrum mundi’—or theatre of the world—has long been central to the history of ideas. “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players,” as Jaques famously says in As You Like It.  That Shakespeare should express this concept so enduringly is not surprising; a major preoccupation of the plays is the question of whether the parts we play on domestic, social, and political stages are determined by forces larger than ourselves—scripted in advance, as it were, by destiny, biology, or ideology—or whether we in fact possess the agency to imaginatively craft our own performances and determine our own trajectories in life.  This course invites students to explore the relationship between performance, identity, and imagination—both as dramatized by Shakespeare and as experienced in everyday life.  Readings will include five major plays (The Taming of the ShrewAs You Like ItTwelfth NightKing Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra) and selected theoretical works on social performance by Baldassare Castiglione, Erving Goffman, Judith Butler, and Richard Schechner.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises, formal essay, final exam.

ENGL 21900-03, -04  SHAKESPEARE: THE TRAGEDIES

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 a range of tragedies, 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 genre of tragedy.  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.

ENGL 23200-01  Medieval Literature (HU, LA, 3b, WI)

3 credits.

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

ENROLLMENT:  20.

PREREQUISITE:  Three courses in the humanities.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Although they occurred long enough ago for us to fantasize about the Middle Ages in clichéd images of knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, or savage Viking warriors, the Middle Ages are what made the modern world.  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—all are medieval creations.  The literature of the Middle Ages is sometimes wrongly presumed to be primitive and unsophisticated, but in fact medieval literature is every bit as sophisticated, and every bit as relevant to us, as modern literature.  Accordingly, this course examines medieval literature both as a reflection of its culture, which made the modern world, and as the creator 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, sagas, tales, and fables.  Each unit features one major text: Norse myths from The Saga of the Volsungs and the two EddasLaxdaela Saga; Lais of Marie de France, The Romance of SilenceThe Death of King Arthur; Dante’s Inferno; selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio’s Decameron.  Additional short readings will be available on Sakai and as handouts.

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE:  Discussion and lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Regular attendance and participation in class discussions, two 5-page essays, short response pieces, a final exam.  Keeping up with reading and writing assignments is essential.

ENGL 28100-01   ROMANTIC AND VICTORIAN LITERATURE  (LA) 

TOPIC:  INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE

3.0 CREDITS

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: James 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 Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre), Alfred Tennyson (In Memoriam), 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:  Three 5-7 page essays, a few 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   DRAMATIC LITERATURE I  (LA)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 36700-01, 02  STUDIES IN DRAMA (LA)                                                                 

TOPIC: Dangerous Women in Dramatic Literature, or: Over Her Dead Body.

3 CREDITS

IINSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  9 credits of English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this course we will read a range of plays, beginning in the ancient Greek period and extending to the present day, which feature female characters who might be described as “dangerous”—often because they challenge status quo assumptions about femininity and a woman’s role in her society. In each case, we will consider what constitutes female danger in the play and the culture that we are addressing. What norms are being challenged so that the female elicits male fear and violence (and often, also and simultaneously, desire)?  What is it about her that is so threatening that she needs to be controlled, contained, and sometimes killed? Is the playwright using her to question the norms that she challenges or to reinscribe them? As we read these plays, we will situate them within their cultural contexts and we will read secondary material (historical and theoretical) to better understand how notions regarding female danger change over time. Our plays will include some or all of the following: MedeaThe Oresteia, Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Duchess of Malfi, Hedda Gabler, Top Girls, Oleanna, Harlem Duet, By the Bog of Cats and Merit.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Two 6-8 page analytical essays, frequent short response pieces, 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 36900-01         Studies in Multicultural American Literature                HU LA 3A h

TOPIC:          

3 Credits

ICC ATTRIBUTE:    Diversity

INSTRUCTOR:         Derek Adams, Muller 304

ENROLLMENT:       20 students per section

PREREQUISITES:     9 credits of English

COURSE DESCRIPTION:    What does it mean to talk about “ethnic experience” or “multicultural literature”?  What is implied for the reader who reads from a position outside (the cultural inside of) a text? In what way is the act of reading “multiculturally” an anthropological activity? How do you see yourself in terms of the tourist/observer paradigm? As we engage these questions we will be examining how a national history of racial, ethnic, and gendered antagonisms has shaped the American imagination and literary discourse. The works of Gish Jen, Adam Mansbach, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Stephen Chbosky, Amy Tan, and Toni Morrison will serve as guides in our exploration.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, actively engage in class discussions, keep a reading journal, put together an in-class presentation, and craft a midterm essay and final essay.

ENGL 37000-01 AMERICAN POETRY (LA)

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Any three courses in English, preferably including Introduction to Poetry (ENG 11300) or Introduction to American Literature (ENG 10500).

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course will survey the main currents of American poetry from the middle of the nineteenth century through to the present.  Beginning with the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, we will establish the dialectic poles of attraction for American writing. The tension established in terms of Whitman’s open-ended, expansive, and democratic verse as opposed to Dickinson’s terse, inward, and metaphysical poetry establishes the poles of a dialectic between which the poets of the twentieth century run their course.  The class will then concentrate on such major twentieth century poets as Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Theodore Roethke, and Robert Lowell, among others.  In the final two weeks of the course we will explore the wide range of contemporary poets who are currently directing American poetry into the twenty-first century.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  There will be a number of short written responses to the poetry across the semester, a take-home midterm examination, a term paper (8-10 pages), and a take-home final examination to be administered during finals week. Since the course will focus on a detailed discussion of the poems under study, there will be a high premium placed on preparation for and participation in class sessions. 

ENGL 37200-01  STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE: THE ALIENATED STORYTELLER  (LA)

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Any three courses in English, or permission of instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this course we will trace the lineage of the outwardly dispassionate, inwardly obsessive, alienated first-person narrator in American fiction. The storytellers we will study share similar character traits: each has trouble shaping his or her imposing intellect to the realities of a common world; their dramas of mind are distanced, frustratingly so, from their dramas of life. Thus they are all outsiders, living and re-living experience exquisitely in their own imaginations. Possible texts include: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, The Aspern Papers by Henry James, My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Endless Love by Scott Spencer, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, Erasure by Percival Everett, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. In one sense, these narrators constitute a counter-movement to the traditional themes of “self-reliance” that dominate much of American literature, but each must confront that legacy in his or her own story. We will locate these figures in the house of literary history as it becomes necessary or interesting to do so, but for the most part we will speak of what sort of American tradition they build rather than fit into.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Largely discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Written requirements: three 5-7-page essays, a take-home final exam. Class participation will constitute a substantial portion of the grade.  Grading will be A-F. 

ENGL 37800 TWENTIETH-CENTURY BRITISH NOVEL

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Jen Spitzer, Muller 305, Ext. 4-7056

ENROLLMENT: 20

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course offers an introduction to the twentieth-century British novel. We will examine the ways in which the social, political, and cultural events of British history have shaped the production and reception of modern and contemporary British novels. Part of our task will be to put pressure on the concept of Englishness as a shifting category of identity, and to explore its relationship to other categories, such as gender, ethnicity, race, and class. Some of our guiding questions will be: How do two world wars, the expansion and contraction of empire, the decolonization of Ireland, and the rise of conservatism figure in the British novel? How do these authors work within larger international movements, such as modernism and postmodernism? And finally, how do contemporary British novels respond to the promises and disappointments of nationalism, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, and neoliberalism? Novels may include E.M. Forster, Howard’s End; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners; Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark; Ian McEwan, Atonement; and Zadie Smith, On Beauty.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, weekly secondary readings to complement the novels, 1-2 short reading responses, 2 formal essays.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Some lecture, mostly discussion.

ENGL 42500-01 / ENGL 52000-01  HISTORY AND STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (HU, LA)

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT:  10 students (seminar)

PREREQUISITE:  Undergrads:  Four English courses, one of which must be at level 3, or permission of instructor; required of English with Teaching Option majors.  Grads:  required of students in the M.A.T. program in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  The main purpose of this course is to give you a broad and deep knowledge of the linguistic concepts that inform our speech and writing.  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, how to make sense of difficult sentences, where to go for information about the English language, and, most of all, why we should enjoy using the English language.  Topics:  “The Language Instinct”; phonology (sounds), morphology (word-formation), and lexicon (vocabulary); grammar, syntax, and punctuation; history and development of English; variation in and varieties of English.  Information about textbooks will be e-mailed to students over the summer.

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE:  Discussion, in-class exercises and oral reports by students, topical lectures by the instructor.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Short response pieces and other kinds of homework, prelims on the major units; research paper.

ENGL 48000-01 SEMINAR IN LITERARY CRITICISM:  THE LIFE, DEATH (AND REBIRTH?) OF THE AUTHOR

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 10 students

PREREQUISITE:  Four English courses

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Despite the claims of poststructuralist criticism about the fragmented nature of discourse, the figure of the author continues to exert a powerful influence over popular and academic understandings of the status both of literary production and literary interpretation.  Our task in this course will be to historicize the modern author and to use this figure to survey the landscape primarily of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary culture.  We will begin with a short discussion of premodern conceptions of authorship, move on to a brief study of the Romantics, and spend the balance of the course studying literary criticism, novels, plays, and poems from the last hundred years.  We will consider works by Chaucer, Blake, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Arnold, Woolf, Ellison, Barthes, Foucault, Gilbert and Gubar, and others.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Seminar

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One midterm essay (5-7 pages); one review piece (2-3 pages); several short Sakai posts; one 12-15-page research essay; and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ grades.

Fall 2015

ENGL 104000-01, 02 Introduction to Contemporary World Literatures 

HU LA 3a g DV

3 credits

ICC THEMES:  Power and Justice; World of Systems

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 may 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 h

3 CREDITS

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: KEVIN MURPHY, 332 Muller, ext. 4-3551

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  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 dramatic monologue, etc.).  The chronological survey from the 16th 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:  Discussion, with some lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING There will be a five-page paper due four weeks into the semester, and an eight-page paper due at the Thanksgiving break.  In addition, there will be a midterm examination at the midterm and a final examination during finals week.  Grading will be A-F.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important element in students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300-03, 04   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY     HU LA 3a

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Themes: (1) Identities, or (2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation; Perspective:  Humanities.

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 variety 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 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 11300-05     INTRODUCTION TO POETRY       HU LA

3 Credits

ICC THEMES:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

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 19401-01, 02    Novel Identities, Fictional Selves    

3 CREDITS

ICC THEME:  Identities

INSTRUCTOR:  Jean Sutherland, Muller 434, 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 writing or quiz, 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 434

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 19408-01, 02 The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power           HU LA 3A h

TOPIC: Life at the Margins in American Literature

3 Credits         

ICC DESIGNATIONS:      Diversity; Power & Justice and Identities Themes

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, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, Benjamin Alire Saenz, and Sherman Alexie.  

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 three textual analysis essays, and complete a final exam.

ENGL 19410 Engendering Modernity: Twentieth-Century Women Writers

3 Credits

ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Theme:  Identities; ICC Attribute:  Diversity

Instructor: Jennifer Spitzer, 305 Muller

Prerequisites: None

Enrollment: 20 Students per section

Themes and Perspectives: Identities

Tu/Th 2:35-3:50 and 4-5:15.

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 identity, gender, sexuality, feminism, and authorship, as well as works that explore the complex intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, 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, Kate Chopin, Toni Morrison, Jean Rhys, Alice Walker, Adrienne Rich, and Gloria Anzaldúa.

Course Format: Discussion, with some brief lectures.

Course Requirements and Grading: One 4-5 page essay, one 5-7 page final paper, midterm and final exams, and short informal writing assignments.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation and attendance will be an essential part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL 19413  "The Blood is the Life": Vampires in Literature

3 credits

ICC THEME:  Mind, Body, Spirit

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, Muller 434

ENROLLMENT:  20 per section

PREREQUISITES:  none

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Buffy Summers, Bella Swan, and Sookie Stackhouse share an affinity for vampires, and in this class we’ll explore some of their desires and fears.  Why do vampires hold such sway in American culture today, and where did these blood-sucking characters come from?  Why are vampires portrayed with such mesmeric charisma, such powers of seduction, such ability to tempt the most chaste?  What’s at stake in giving into the temptation?  Vampires first appeared in English literature in the early nineteenth century, but the themes of seduction, temptation, and the risk of succumbing, help to define the codes of chivalry in much earlier texts from the Medieval period.  We'll explore some of the earliest characterizations of vampirism in Romantic poems, as well as lurid Victorian vampire tales, including “Carmilla” and Dracula.  Grounded in this vampire literary history, we’ll then turn to more recent renditions of the vampire, including Interview with the Vampire and Twilight.

ENGL 19415-01 Ithaca:  The Art of Place

3 CREDITS

ICC THEMES: "Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation" and "World of Systems."

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, 322 Muller, ext. 4-1344

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  none

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Ithaca writers have produced acclaimed novels of tragedy, comedy, mystery, and scandal; prize-winning poems of landscape and meditation; a writing handbook that defined modern style for generations; and an anthology that tells us what qualifies as “literature.”  Ithacans have written and produced legendary television programs that recounted an African-American family’s journey from slavery to freedom; revealed the immensity of the cosmos; and thrown a ray of light into some of its twilit zones. 

            The course will consider Ithaca as a locus of artistic production.  Focusing primarily on literature but branching out in many directions, the course will consider how these artists came to Ithaca, the traces that the city and landscape left upon their works, and, in turn, the way these artistic productions have affected the cultural, built, and “natural” landscape.

            We will read histories of the region and city, but most of our reading will be of fiction, poetry, and some non-fiction written in Ithaca, and reflecting aspects of Ithaca life.  Works will include Deborah Tall,  From Where We Stand  (excerpts); Carol Kammen, Ithaca:  A Brief History; Grace Miller White’s Tess of the Storm Country; William Strunk’s Elements of Style; Nabokov’s Lolita and Pnin; Carl Sagan Contact; Alison Lurie’s War Between the Tates; some screenplays of Rod Serling, and lots more.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lecture.

REQUIREMENTS: Completion of all assigned readings (quizzes will be given at each class); one written response each class; participation in classroom discussion, mid-term and final exam; two essays.

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

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Hugh Egan, 306 Muller, ext. 4-3563

ENROLLMENT: 15 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Open to English majors and minors, and those contemplating the major or minor.

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. 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, 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. The course will thus involve both formal analysis and scholarly commentary. Our texts will include Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Joyce’s “The Dead,” Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Morrison’s Sula, and the poems of Billy Collins.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Guided discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Three 5-page essays, a final research essay on Sula, some in-class writing, 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 21800-01 MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN DRAMA                 HU LA 3a

TOPIC: Family Values

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITE: Sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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 almost exactly at the midpoint of the last century, with Tennessee Williams’ first Broadway success, The Glass Menagerie, which was written in 1944. From there, we will cover nearly 70 years of American playwriting, concluding with Tanya Barfield’s 2013 play, The Call. All of the plays that we will read focus on familial relationships, and efforts to create, salvage or flee from families. In many of our plays, the featured families suffer from a corrosive misery 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? Playwrights will include Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, August Wilson, Paula Vogel, Suzan-Lori Parks, Quiara Alegria Hudes, and Tanya Barfield.

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One 2-3 page paper, two 4-6 papers, an in-class midterm and a take-home final exam, 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 21900-01, -02  Shakespeare   3a h  HU LA

TOPIC:  Shakespeare and the Theatre of the World

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Theme: 1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation; Perspective: Humanities

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, 326 Muller Faculty Center

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  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, expressed most famously by Jaques in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players.” Central to Shakespearean drama is the question of whether the roles we perform are determined primarily by forces larger than ourselves—scripted in advance, as it were, by destiny, biology, or ideology—or whether we become what we are largely by crafting our own performances, thereby determining our own trajectories in life. This course invites students to explore the relationship between performance and human identity, both as Shakespeare dramatizes it and as a dimension of everyday living. Readings will include five major plays (The Taming of the ShrewAs You Like ItKing LearJulius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra) alongside theoretical works on social performance by Baldassare Castiglione, J.L. Austin, Erving Goffman, and Judith Butler.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Lecture / discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  Active class participation, close-reading exercises, formal essay, final exam.

21900-03, 04  SHAKESPEARE:  SHAKESPEARE’S MISFITS

CREDITS:  3

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

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:   This course will introduce Shakespeare’s theatre to both initiates and novices.  As we read the plays themselves we will study the political, religious, cultural, and scientific beliefs of Shakespeare’s time; 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 background of context and the foreground of the texts, we will approach larger questions of meaning, both for Shakespeare’s time and for our own.  Substantial emphasis will also 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. We’ll be considering the characters that are outliers, be they black or Jewish, shrewish or deformed, bastard, half-mad, or half-human.  Plays will include Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Merchant of Venice, Othello, King Lear, and The Tempest.

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, memorization of fifty lines of student’s choice.

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, 02  MEDIEVAL LITERATURE (HU, LA, 3b, h, WI)

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT:  20 students per section.

PREREQUISITE:  One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing; WRTG 10600 or ICSM 10800-10899 or ICSM 11800-11899. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course examines medieval literature both as a reflection of the culture that made the modern world and as the origin of modern lyric poetry, romances, sagas, and tales.  Each unit features one major medieval text:  The Saga of Grettir the Strong, The Romance of SilenceThe Death of King Arthur, Dante’s Inferno, and selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  If there is time, we will also read one or both of the following modern novels set in the Middle Ages, because they are relevant to the medieval literature in the course:  Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose, and Sharon Kay Penman, Time and Chance.   Additional short “background” readings will be available in a course packet.  The course focuses on learning the cultural backgrounds and the distinctive literary techniques of the Middle Ages.  The pace will be unhurried, with an emphasis on understanding the literature.  Major social themes include medieval antifeminism, gender and sex in the Middle Ages, the “body culture” of the post-bubonic plague years, and the roles of men and women.

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE:  Discussion and lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Two 5-page essays, short response pieces and other kinds of homework, final exam.

ENGL 31100-01, 02   DRAMATIC LITERATURE I    

HU LA 3a h

3 CREDITS

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

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 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 36500 Studies in the Novel HU LA

TOPIC: Two Contemporary Writers—Kazuo Ishiguro and J.M. Coetzee

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes, 318 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITE:  Any three courses in English or a driving passion for these two authors

COURSE DESCRIPTION: No other contemporary writers dominate the world Anglophone literature conversation more than Kazuo Ishiguro and J.M. Coetzee. A Japanese Brit writing the nostalgic English novel, and a South African with an Australian passport writing novels about Jesus and Dostoevsky, Ishiguro and Coetzee are claimed as native sons by many nations, many audiences, in spite of their placelessness. Both are publishing phenomenons, translated into many languages and read all over the world, despite writing difficult, sometimes disturbing, experimental novels. Our goal for this class will be to treat Ishiguro’s and Coetzee’s novels and non-fiction writings as two divergent artistic attempts to understand the political, linguistic, historical, and affective life of the present. While we cannot be comprehensive in our reading, every effort will be made to introduce you to the diversity of styles and concerns in these writers’ works, and to the critical apparatus that has been constructed to attempt to come to terms with the most enduring questions in and about their work. Course texts are likely to include: Coetzee’s DisgraceWaiting for the BarbariansElizabeth Costello, and Diary of a Bad Year. Ishiguro’s Pale View of HillsThe Remains of the DayNever Let Me Go, and The Buried Giant. All books will be available online through the Buffalo Street Books “First Class” program.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Intense Seminar Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Daily short writing, a shorter argumentative paper, and a longer, research-based paper. Rigorous class participation and regular attendance will be factored into the grade.

ENGL 36600-01   STUDIES IN POETRY     HU LA 3a h

TOPIC: FOUR MODERNS: FROST, BISHOP, LOWELL, AND HEANEY

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE:  Any three courses in English

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  Frost famously said writing free verse was like playing tennis with the net down, each of these poets both embrace and resist traditional lyric forms even as they interact with each other throughout their overlapping poetic careers.
In addition, even though each poet has a distinctive style and vision, one of the objectives of the course is to examine the extent to which they share stylistic traits and thus collectively form an alternative to the "modernism" advocated and practiced by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and their followers earlier in the century.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Discussion, with some lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:  There will be three short papers (4-5 pages) due on individual works of Frost, Bishop, and Lowell as we consider each of them in the semester, and one longer paper (8-10 pages) at the end of the term which will link at least two of the figures in the course.  In addition, there will be a take-home midterm due in class at the midterm and a takehome final examination which due Wednesday of finals week at my office.  Grading will be A-F.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important element of students’ final grades.

ENGL 36700-01 STUDIES IN DRAMA                                                                                       HU LA

TOPIC: Over Her Dead Body: Dangerous Women in Dramatic Literature

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, 303 Muller, ext. 4-3893

PREREQUISITE: 9 credits of English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will read a range of plays, beginning in the ancient Greek period and extending to the present day, all of which feature female characters who challenge status quo assumptions about femininity and a woman’s role in her society. In each case, we will consider what constitutes female danger in the play and the culture that we are addressing: what norms are being challenged so that the female elicits male fear and violence (and often, also and simultaneously, desire)?  What is it about her that is so threatening that she needs to be controlled, contained, and sometimes killed? Is the playwright using her to question the norms that she challenges, or to reinscribe them? As we read these plays, we will situate them within their cultural contexts and we will read secondary material (historical and theoretical) in order to better understand how notions regarding female danger change over time. Our plays will include some or all of the following: MedeaLysistrataDulcitius, The Duchess of Malfi, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Hedda GablerMachinal, A Streetcar Named DesireAll My Sons, Top GirlsOleannaVenus.  

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

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two 6-8 page formal papers, final 10-12 page paper, 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 38000-01     Magical Realism:  Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322, Ext 4-1344

ENROLLMENT: 20

PREREQUISITES: Any three courses in the humanities or social sciences, preferably one of which is in English literature.

OBJECTIVES: Magical Realism takes root in Latin American political discontent, then flowers into a world movement as its liberating practices are adopted across the globe.  These fictions of world creation and invented history, by turns delightful, disorienting, inspiring, grotesque, will ground our work and discussion as we attempt to come to terms with a literary movement as fantastic, extensive, and various as imagination itself. 

TEXTS: Authors will include some or all of the following: Kafka, Bulgakov, Borges, Carpentier, Fuentes, Garcia-Marquez, Allende, Calvino, Grass, Rushdie, Chabon.

STUDENTS: Open to all interested students who fulfill prerequisites.
FORMAT AND STYLE: Lecture and active student participation.

REQUIREMENTS:  Regular attendance, active participation, reading responses, two papers, mid-term, final.

ENGL 46900-01 Seminar in Contemporary African American Literature HU LA 3A h

TOPIC:            Toni Morrison through the Decades

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams, Muller 304

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: Four English courses; junior standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION: To be clear, I love Toni Morrison! She is, quite simply, one of the greatest authors of the 20th and 21st centuries. Although Morrison’s inclusion in the American literary canon now goes unquestioned, rarely is her work examined in a single author course. As a result, much of what we learn about her and her fiction are fragments of a whole. This class will attempt to cultivate a more comprehensive understanding of Morrison and her entire body of work through an examination of her literature spanning five decades. We will focus on one text from each decade – Sula (1973), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), A Mercy (2008), God Help the Child (2015) – devoting three full weeks to each. We will consider how issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class shape a reader’s understanding of the material and how the material influences our understanding of those same identity categories. Too, we will pay particular attention to motifs such as home/homelessness, memory, family, trauma, violence, love, and history.    

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:    Seminar

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:   Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions, along with an open mind. Students will complete one midterm essay, one final research essay (based on the midterm), a reading journal, an annotated bibliography, and a group discussion facilitation.

ENGL 42500-01 / ENGL 52000-01  HISTORY AND STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (HU, LA)

3 CREDITS

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

ENROLLMENT:  10 students (seminar)

PREREQUISITE:  Undergrads:  Four English courses, one of which must be at level 3, or permission of instructor; required of English with Teaching Option majors.  Grads:  required of students in the M.A.T. program in English.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  The main purpose of this course is to give you a broad and deep knowledge of the linguistic concepts that inform our speech and writing.  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, how to make sense of difficult sentences, where to go for information about the English language, and, most of all, why we should enjoy using the English language.  Topics:  “The Language Instinct”; phonology (sounds), morphology (word-formation), and lexicon (vocabulary); grammar, syntax, and punctuation; history and development of English; variation in and varieties of English. 

COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE:  Discussion, in-class exercises and oral reports by students, topical lectures by the instructor.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Short response pieces and other kinds of homework, prelims on the major units; research paper.

Spring 2015

ENGL 10900-01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA  3A HU LA
TOPIC:  The Impossible Heap: Hilarity and Hysteria in Modern Drama 
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Themes:  1) Identities and 2) Mind, Body, Spirit; Perspective:  Humanities
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 playwrights 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 11300-01, -02   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY       3a HU LA
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS:  Themes:  1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation;  Perspective:  Humanities
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, -04   INTRODUCTION TO POETRY     3a HU LA 
3.0 CREDITS
ICC DESIGNATIONS: Themes: (1) Identities, or (2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation; Perspective:  Humanities
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 Emily Dickinson – 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 11300-05  INTRODUCTIO