Class Schedules

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Fall 2015 Class Schedule - updated February 9, 2016 at 06:00 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
ENGL 101-01  College Writing
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 409 Rebecca Graham
 
ENGL 105-01  American Voices
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm MAIN 001 Rodolfo Aguilar
*Cross-listed with AMST 194-02; first day attendance required* Is there an official American literature? Or do we have multiple American literary traditions? How does the cannon of American literature look if we were to add diverse voices? In this introductory English course, students will read an array of American voices. Rather than view the United States of America as bearing one culture and language, this course will assign multi-ethnic literature encompassing, but not limited to, Native American writers, Harlem Renaissance artists, feminist activists, World War II memoirs, hip-hop songs, Chicano border corridos (ballads), stand-up comedy routines, and political manifestos of the 60s-70s. Students will study multi-cultural America with the help of literary works covering novels, poetry, songs, spoken words, theater plays, comedy, and oral traditions. The course will complicate issues of nationality, race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Complementary cultural studies scholarship will also be assigned to better conceptualize the social positions highlighted in the literary works. Thus, students will produce three essays ranging from 5-7 pages with literary analysis and close reading of the assigned texts. Students will have the opportunity to revise one essay throughout the semester. Students should prepare for in-depth class discussion and to deliver one required oral presentation during the 15-week course.

ENGL 105-02  American Voices
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 009 Rodolfo Aguilar
*Cross-listed with AMST 194-03; first day attendance required* Is there an official American literature? Or do we have multiple American literary traditions? How does the cannon of American literature look if we were to add diverse voices? In this introductory English course, students will read an array of American voices. Rather than view the United States of America as bearing one culture and language, this course will assign multi-ethnic literature encompassing, but not limited to, Native American writers, Harlem Renaissance artists, feminist activists, World War II memoirs, hip-hop songs, Chicano border corridos (ballads), stand-up comedy routines, and political manifestos of the 60s-70s. Students will study multi-cultural America with the help of literary works covering novels, poetry, songs, spoken words, theater plays, comedy, and oral traditions. The course will complicate issues of nationality, race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Complementary cultural studies scholarship will also be assigned to better conceptualize the social positions highlighted in the literary works. Thus, students will produce three essays ranging from 5-7 pages with literary analysis and close reading of the assigned texts. Students will have the opportunity to revise one essay throughout the semester. Students should prepare for in-depth class discussion and to deliver one required oral presentation during the 15-week course.

ENGL 115-01  Shakespeare
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am OLRI 301 Penelope Geng
Shakespeare has been called the “star of poets” and “wonder of the stage.” How do his plays delight, puzzle, and instill “wonder”? How did he transform Renaissance poetry? To answer these questions, we will analyze Shakespeare’s formal and stylistic techniques in some of his most celebrated works, including the Sonnets, the comedies (Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, The Tempest), the history plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1), and the tragedies (Macbeth, Hamlet, and Othello). Our study will deepen through class discussions, essays, and performances: watching professional productions and performing scenes from the plays. For centuries, Shakespeare has inspired and challenged writers to imagine and feel in new ways, to perfect their craft and pursue their creative ambitions. You are invited to participate in this exciting and evolving literary tradition. This course fulfills the foundation course requirement for the English major. No prerequisites.

ENGL 125-01  Studies in Literature: Ecstasy and Apocalypse: Literature of the Extreme
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am MAIN 001 Daylanne English
*First Year Course only; first day attendance required* In this first-year course, we will study how literature represents extreme human experiences and feelings. As we read a wide range of texts, we will ask ourselves aesthetic, and even political and ethical, questions: Must literary form stretch itself to represent an individual's or a family's joy or misery? How can an author show us and help us to understand the end of a world or of a people? Must writers invent new forms when faced with unprecedented traumas? Can apparently opposed extremes, such as joy and misery, have common sources? How might utopia become dsytopia? We will read primarily fiction, but also poetry and nonfiction to investigate whether other genres and literary modes work differently at, and with, the extreme. We will also view some films and videos and listen to some music to discover if other media may offer alternative, or possibly better, ways to represent ecstasy and apocalypse, joy and misery. Texts, among others, that we will study: Blue Highways, The Road, Herland, Never Let Me Go, Silent Spring, the Bible, the Koran, MAUS, and Fun Home.

ENGL 135-01  Poetry
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 111 Taylor Schey
*First day attendance required* It is entirely possible to study the meanings of most texts—their themes, morals, historical significances, and so on—without paying much attention to the formal and linguistic elements that actually produce such meanings. Fortunately, poems make this difficult and ask us to attend more closely to how language does the things that it does. How, for example, can a single word generate multiple, even conflicting, interpretations concerning its significance? How do the rhetorical devices foregrounded in poetry—such as metaphor, metonymy, simile, apostrophe, and personification—structure the modes of relation through which we organize our lives? How do various arrangements of words move us to tears, open new worlds, instigate actions, and even “make nothing happen” (as W. H. Auden famously poeticizes the power of poetry)? This introductory course will take up these and other questions as we develop our abilities to read, write, and think as students of literature. Our readings will draw mainly from British lyric poetry in its different forms and modes—e.g. sonnet, elegy, ode, dramatic monologue, lyrical ballad—but we will also make a few forays into longer works and poems from different geographical contexts. While our primary focus will be on learning how to engage with the subtleties of poetic language, this engagement will lead us to consider the broader philosophical, political, and cultural issues that our readings raise, concerning, for example, the place of poetry in modern life, the use and uselessness of poetry, the type of knowledge (and ignorance) that poetry may or may not offer, and the very question of what poetry is. This course counts as a foundation course toward the English major, but all students are welcome and no prior knowledge or experience is expected.

ENGL 137-01  Novel: Domestic Adventures: Imperialism and the Comforts of Home
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am OLRI 170 Andrea Tange
Colonialism, at its most basic, implies taking the comforts of home and transplanting them to a new place—and in the process, supplanting native peoples and cultures with one’s own (presumed superior) ways of doing things. But what exactly were those comforts that people hoped to transplant? What does it mean to have a comfortable home? What does it mean to think of colonization as a great adventure? And how were those ideas of comfort and adventure—concepts that are often seen as opposites—consumed by eager reading publics whose most direct contact with imperialism might come in the pages of novels? Drawing on works that span the 18th-20th centuries, this course considers how novels have help create and perpetuate cultural assumptions about empire and the domesticity on which it depends. We will examine works that support, critique, and are underpinned by colonial authority, and in the process will discuss the role of literature in shaping the larger narratives cultures tell themselves about power and obligation. The reading list may include (among other things): Robinson Crusoe, The Moonstone, A Passage to India, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, and The Man Who Would Be King. Prerequisites: none. This course counts as a foundation course for the English major.

ENGL 150-01  Introduction to Creative Writing
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am ARTCOM 202 Ping Wang
This workshop explores the artistic modes of expression in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction writing. Students will learn how other writers create their imagery, figurative language, sound, rhythmic structures, voice, plot, character, point of view, etc., and how they use these techniques as carriers to reach their artistic goals. In other words, techniques, no matter how basic and important, are not their own ends in writing, but should be cultivated and used as tools to find our voices, and to best express our original ideas. Written exercises are designed to help students get familiar with such necessary writing skills and explore the art of finding the right forms for the contents. Students will also learn how to read their work aloud in class. Reading aloud is not only to complete the writing process, but also to train the ear for sound, rhythm, image, and the flow of a poem or story. It also teaches both the reader and listeners the art of criticism, helps them overcome their weaknesses and cultivate their strengths in writing. There are about 6-9 hours of reading and writing assignments outside of class per week. Students are expected to enter this course with skills in close reading of literature and familiarity with literary terms and concepts, and most importantly, with a passion and devotion for reading and writing.



ENGL 150-02  Introduction to Creative Writing
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am MAIN 011 Peter Bognanni
*First Year Course only; first day attendance required* In this first year course we will dive right into the study of creative writing by reading and writing poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and personal essays. We will study how published authors craft their pieces, how they convey sensation and emotion, and how they artfully tell a story. Along the way, you’ll try your hand at each literary form we study. This is the basic template you can expect on a day-to-day basis. But, beyond this relatively simple pattern, what I hope will happen this semester is that you’ll lose yourself entirely to the daring act of creating literature. I hope you’ll disappear into what John Gardener calls the “vivid and continuous dream.” I hope you’ll use your growing knowledge of writing technique and literary history to say something fearless and artful about the world around you. And I hope you will see that what you write matters. Great creative writing aspires to more than just a pleasant diversion from life. At its best, it directly engages with life and even tries to change it. I hope this class will be a doorway into that experience for you.

ENGL 150-03  Introduction to Creative Writing
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 011 Matthew Burgess
 
ENGL 150-04  Introduction to Creative Writing
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 010 Benjamin Voigt
What makes a story move, a poem sing, an essay say? How do writers get from blank pages to thinking, feeling readers? In this first foray in creative writing, we’ll begin to explore the huge range of things language can do, and try a few of them out ourselves. Together we’ll read like writers, write like readers, and work the muscles of our imaginations. Our concentrated study of a range of texts will introduce you to the mechanics of fiction, poetry and nonfiction—things like image, voice, character, plot and genre. Frequent writing exercises will help develop your technique, and prepare you to compose a handful of longer, more finished pieces. Discussing your classmates’ writing, you’ll also train to be good literary citizens, capable of giving valuable feedback. The course will consist, in other words, of serious play and playful work. Come prepared, and by the end, you’ll know much more about the practice of literature, your own process as a writer, and possibly yourself.

ENGL 150-05  Introduction to Creative Writing
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am MAIN 002 Benjamin Voigt
What makes a story move, a poem sing, an essay say? How do writers get from blank pages to thinking, feeling readers? In this first foray in creative writing, we’ll begin to explore the huge range of things language can do, and try a few of them out ourselves. Together we’ll read like writers, write like readers, and work the muscles of our imaginations. Our concentrated study of a range of texts will introduce you to the mechanics of fiction, poetry and nonfiction—things like image, voice, character, plot and genre. Frequent writing exercises will help develop your technique, and prepare you to compose a handful of longer, more finished pieces. Discussing your classmates’ writing, you’ll also train to be good literary citizens, capable of giving valuable feedback. The course will consist, in other words, of serious play and playful work. Come prepared, and by the end, you’ll know much more about the practice of literature, your own process as a writer, and possibly yourself.

ENGL 150-06  Introduction to Creative Writing
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 010 Benjamin Voigt
What makes a story move, a poem sing, an essay say? How do writers get from blank pages to thinking, feeling readers? In this first foray in creative writing, we’ll begin to explore the huge range of things language can do, and try a few of them out ourselves. Together we’ll read like writers, write like readers, and work the muscles of our imaginations. Our concentrated study of a range of texts will introduce you to the mechanics of fiction, poetry and nonfiction—things like image, voice, character, plot and genre. Frequent writing exercises will help develop your technique, and prepare you to compose a handful of longer, more finished pieces. Discussing your classmates’ writing, you’ll also train to be good literary citizens, capable of giving valuable feedback. The course will consist, in other words, of serious play and playful work. Come prepared, and by the end, you’ll know much more about the practice of literature, your own process as a writer, and possibly yourself.

ENGL 150-07  Introduction to Creative Writing
M 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 002 Sun Yung Shin
In this introductory creative course, we will, first of all, enjoy the myriad pleasures of reading and writing.The world in the word. We will read and write with curiosity and wonder in the spirit of play and experimentation. As creative writing apprentices, students will ask of each piece: How did this writer effectively use the resources of language? To what end? What

artistic decisions were made and what are the effects of those decisions on the reader? We will engage in frequent writing exercises related to literary/craft elements such as image, symbol, detail, figurative language, rhythm, sound, syntax, structure, setting, character, point of view, conflict, and scene. Students will read outside of class, annotate readings and prepare for discussion, employ literary terms, draft new creative pieces, share and read aloud in class, learn how to provide feedback respectfully, and deepen their passion for the gorgeous dangers of language. Join this class and begin to develop a personal language

in order to connect in new ways to yourself and to our world.

ENGL 150-08  Introduction to Creative Writing
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 011 Sun Yung Shin
In this introductory creative course, we will, first of all, enjoy the myriad pleasures of reading and writing.The world in the word. We will read and write with curiosity and wonder in the spirit of play and experimentation. As creative writing apprentices, students will ask of each piece: How did this writer effectively use the resources of language? To what end? What

artistic decisions were made and what are the effects of those decisions on the reader? We will engage in frequent writing exercises related to literary/craft elements such as image, symbol, detail, figurative language, rhythm, sound, syntax, structure, setting, character, point of view, conflict, and scene. Students will read outside of class, annotate readings and prepare for discussion, employ literary terms, draft new creative pieces, share and read aloud in class, learn how to provide feedback respectfully, and deepen their passion for the gorgeous dangers of language. Join this class and begin to develop a personal language

in order to connect in new ways to yourself and to our world.

ENGL 194-01  Media, Terror, and Modernist Literature
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am OLRI 100 Andrew Ferguson
*No prerequisites*In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a number of commentators reached into the literary past to help them make sense of the devastating scenes on view. The most often cited works—Conrad’s The Secret Agent, and the Auden poems “Musée des Beaux Arts” and “September 1, 1939,” bookend an era that began with fears of anarchist bombings and ended in a second all-out war. This introductory course will study works of British and European modernist literature, focusing on print novels, but dipping also into other formats and genres: short stories and novellas, poetry and drama, aesthetic manifestos, and the occasional film, all connected in various ways to modernist anxieties about violent political acts—whether by states or revolutionary actors—and the technologies, whether media or military, that enabled them. We will read authors including H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot while moving through through subgenres from science fiction to suspense, from horror to thriller, all while confronting the very real possibility of these fantastical narratives erupting into everyday life. We’ll also consider media devices of a bygone era, from telegraphs to gramophones and kinetoscopes to wireless: all crucial in shaping modernist responses to terror; all persisting in some form still, shaping our own responses today.



ENGL 208-01  Literary Publishing
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 010 Anitra Budd
To the average person, the field of literary publishing can seem somewhat opaque. How does a novel go from scribbled notes to finished paperback? What goes into editing, printing, and marketing a poetry collection? This course will aim to shed light on this exciting field through a combination of readings, talks with local publishing professionals, in-class discussion, and hands-on work. The centerpiece of the course will involve working with a local writer to produce finished, bound copies of their work. In collaboration with each other and the author, students will edit the work, create publicity and marketing plans, design potential covers, and develop a sales and distribution strategy. We will also explore the history of literary and small press publishing, as well as recent technology trends in the field. This course will be helpful to students considering literary publishing as a profession, writers interested in someday having their own work published, and readers who are curious about

what goes into the production of their favorite books.

ENGL 240-01  20th Century British Literature: Living and Dying in the City
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 111 Andrew Ferguson
This course will survey the sweep of British literature over the course of a century that saw the idea of “Britain” shatter into hundreds of pieces, and yet also expand beyond any previously imaginable bounds—a paradox seen especially acutely in the urban spaces of that “green and pleasant land.” While technological innovations and cultural shifts rippled throughout the newly queenless Empire at the turn of the 20th century, it was in the metropolis that these changes piled up one upon another to a point some found exhilarating. Many more, though, found it exhausting, even unbearable, especially those on the wrong side of class or cultural divides. As all the certainties of Victorian society seemed suddenly in flux, women, homosexuals, immigrants, and the working class sensed new possibilities, then as often saw them foreclosed upon by institutions intent on preserving their own elevated statuses. Two world wars, various rebellions and disasters, multiple financial collapses, and questionable architecture all left marks—many literal—on London, Dublin, Glasgow, Belfast, and other British cities, but urban life was in no way limited to or defined by these macro-level calamities. We will attempt, though readings of novels, stories, poems, dramas, and selected criticism by authors ranging from Oscar Wilde to Caryl Churchill, W.B. Yeats to Zadie Smith, and Virginia Woolf to Kevin Barry, to track this life as seen by the individuals and groups trying to make their way through interesting times.



ENGL 280-01  Crafts of Writing: Poetry
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 217 Ping Wang
We are what we eat, feel, and create. The process of making poetry is quite similar to that of cooking. Both transform things into something different: the pain and trivial into beautiful art, or the raw into something delicious. Both need imaginations, patience, and persistence to achieve something great. Both require our five senses for creativity and enjoyment. This workshop aims to enhance our understanding, appreciating and creating the arts of poetry, and hopefully, the arts of living through sustainable cooking and eating. This is a hands on workshop with weekly reading and writing, field trips to the farmers’ market (St. Paul), Café Mac (kitchen), and hopefully, 4-5 cooking sessions at different facilities (Ping’s house, Vegie Co-op, language houses, pending to the funding). You’ll read and write poetry about food and culture and a sustainable way of living, along with your delicious recipes and cooking.

ENGL 281-01  Crafts of Writing: Fiction
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am OLRI 170 Matthew Burgess
In this creative writing workshop, we will immerse ourselves in two different approaches to storytelling: the autobiographical and the purely imaginative, with an understanding of course that two can’t ever be fully separated. Writers will include Tim O’Brien, Junot Diaz, Sandra Cisneros, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, and Octavia Butler, amongst others. Students will be expected to write two different stories then combine them into a new story for their final project.

ENGL 294-01  Creative Writing Through New Media
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 010 Matthew Burgess
In “Creative Writing through New Media,” we will read (with read occasionally in quotation marks), discuss, analyze, and interrogate works across a wide range of digital platforms, with a special emphasis on the ways in which form affects content and vice-versa. Students will also produce and share their own stories—fiction and nonfiction—in the form of text, infographics, Web comics, photo narratives, and podcasts. At the end of the semester students will work together in small groups to produce a final project: an interactive multimedia narrative published online.

ENGL 294-02  Feasts and Famines: Food, Hunger, and Consumption in 19th Century Britain
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 010 Andrea Tange
This course examines works from the Victorian period in England—fiction, poetry, non-fiction prose, and works for children—that rely on images of food or ideas of consumption to convey their ideas. The thrust of the course will be a critical examination of how food and other consumable products create shared experiences through which culture is produced/understood. Throughout the semester, we will look at literature that focuses on food and eating in many different ways. These include social problem novels of the “hungry forties,” famous literary feasts that display the excesses of the booming 1860s, images of food that become metaphors for sexuality, and scenes of eating designed to teach the younger generation how to occupy their cultural places properly. In addition we’ll read non-fictional works from the period that provide background and inter-textual references to notions of consumption—including short pieces on everything from working conditions in factories that produce consumable goods to arguments about regulating prostitutes by redefining what is appropriate in consuming women’s bodies. Considering consumption in a wide range of ways—from dinner-party etiquette to commercial efforts to create desires for conspicuous consumption—we will discuss ideas of taste and explore the cultural meanings of food in the nineteenth century. This course fulfills the English major requirement in 19th century British literature.

ENGL 294-03  Sex and Citizenship: 19th Century U.S. Women's Writing
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 009 Jean Franzino
*Cross-listed with WGSS 294-02; no prerequisites* This course will trace an arc of writing by women across the nineteenth-century, from Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette (1797) to Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899). We will pay particular attention to the ways our chosen texts engage--or have been called upon to engage--questions of women’s relationship to the national body politic and to various communities or “publics.” Long before they gained the franchise, women writers gained a foothold in the U.S. literary public sphere, as reflected in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s infamous 1855 remark about competing with the “damned mob of scribbling women.” We will consider what the work of these “scribbling women” can tell us about such issues as women’s roles in the reform movements of temperance, abolition, labor activism, and women’s suffrage. We will explore how women writers have taken up such topics as marriage and reproduction; the world of work; and war. And we will encounter ideologies such as republican motherhood, domestic individualism, and the “equality” and “difference” claims of first-wave feminism. While our primary focus will be on fiction, we will also explore the genres of poetry, manifesto, lecture, short story, and the essay, and will read secondary sources that situate us in the exciting body of academic work on U.S. literature and citizenship. Likely authors include Lydia Maria Child, Sarah Willis Parton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Loreta Janeta Velasquez, and Louisa May Alcott.

ENGL 294-04  Disability in 19th Century American Literature
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm MAIN 010 Jean Franzino
*No prerequisites* Disability has played a central role in American literary and cultural production, from the one-legged Ahab of Melville’s Moby Dick to the “deformed” villains of modern-day horror flicks. At the same time, it is only in recent decades that disability has emerged as a social category worthy of academic analysis a la race, gender, and sexuality. A field that owes such to critical race and gender studies, and yet which also points out that disability is “the one identity category that anyone can join,” disability studies has much to teach us about the way we conceive of ourselves as subjects. This course introduces students to the rich field of disability studies and its tools for analyzing embodiment in American literary culture. We will focus on texts from the nineteenth century, the era that paved the way for our modern notions of embodied subjectivity with the rise of industrialization and urbanization, the reform movements of feminism and abolitionism, and the professionalization of medicine and science. Beginning from the premise that disability is a social and cultural phenomenon rather than simply a biological or medical fact, we will explore such questions as: What has “counted” as disability for our various authors, and how have they incorporated it in their plots? What are the specific meanings that attach to disability in a U.S. culture invested in individualism, social mobility, and American exceptionalism? How does disability impact American literary conceptions of “the human”? Where does it intersect with other identity categories such as gender, race, sexual orientation, and class? How have canonical and popular authors made use of disability, and how have disabled scholars and artists written back? Likely writers include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, William and Ellen Craft, Rebecca Harding Davis, Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Alexander Graham Bell, and Stephen Crane.

ENGL 294-05  Feminist Re-Constructions: Indian
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with WGSS 220-01; no prerequisites*

ENGL 294-06  African American Theatre
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am THEATR 205 Sarah Bellamy
*Cross-listed with AMST 263-01 and THDA 263-01; first day attendance required*

ENGL 310-01  Shakespeare Studies
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 002 Penelope Geng
In Shakespeare’s England, whipping, branding, mutilation (of the hand, nose, ears, or face), pillorying, hanging, burning, and beheading were common forms of legal punishment. The rigors of early modern law may seem strange or “barbaric” to us, yet we can recognize the intentions behind the laws: to restore order, to keep the peace, and to stabilize social relations. To grasp what justice meant to the early moderns and, in turn, what it means to us today, we will examine some of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays through the lens of legal and political philosophy. Plays such as Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Othello stage a spectrum of responses to insult, injury, and violence. At the same time, the texts trouble the division between good and evil, justice and revenge. Our agenda is two-fold: to deepen our reading of Shakespearean drama and to use our knowledge to investigate difficult and still unresolved questions about the problem of evil, the dialectic between law and justice, and the meaning of the “good life.” This course fulfills the Medieval/Renaissance requirement for the English major. Prerequisite: a foundation course in English.



ENGL 350-01  20th Century Poetry
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 001 Jennifer Dobbs
*First day attendance required for students taking the course as an advanced poetry workshop* U.S poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is noted for constant innovation in free-verse forms. We will read an expanse of poets and forms, and create a timeline for the rise of major schools of aesthetics, such as: Imagism, Confessionalism, Black Mountain School, New York school, LANGUAGE poetry, Black Arts Movement and late Multicultural collections, American Surrealism, etc. We’ll examine, too, how innovations move the orthodox lines of U.S. narrative and lyric verse forms (if at all). We’ll read various ideologies and philosophies of poetry writing, including manifestos. Students will imitate and experiment with the conventions we study each week. Texts include: William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Frank O’Hara, Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, Gertrude Stein, John Ashberry, John Yau, James Wright, Yusef Komunyakaa,Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, mei mei berssenbrugge, Adreinne Rich. This course will count as an advanced course in Crafts of Writing for the English Major. Prerequisite: Introduction to Creative Writing. Crafts of Poetry is also strongly suggested.

ENGL 394-01  Slavery and the Body in U.S. Literature and Culture
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am NEILL 112 Jean Franzino
*Cross-listed with AMST 394-01* Depictions of the enslaved African-American body played a crucial role in literary and cultural responses to slavery, supporting arguments by both black abolitionists and by the most virulent pro-slavery apologists. Slave narratives and works of abolitionist literature represented the suffering slave body in an attempt to procure sympathy from white readers, while much pro-slavery propaganda forwarded theories of black Americans’ innate physical capacity for labor. At the same time, the sentimental literature of slavery drew attention to white Northerners’ own bodily responses, asking them to weep for the plight of the slave. This class will explore the central and complex position of the physical body in imaginative engagements with U.S. slavery, asking how the literature and culture spawned by the “peculiar” institution both reinforced and transformed existing conceptions of embodiment. We will pair literary texts by writers such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William and Ellen Craft, and Mark Twain with elements from material and social history such as photography, statuary, medical treatises, and law. We will look, as well, at the political discourses that discussed the nation in bodily terms: as freakishly conjoined (“half slave and half free”), miscegenated, wounded, and imperfectly reconstructed or sutured. From the slave mother in the poetry of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, with her “hands so sadly clasped” and her “bowed and feeble head,” to the analogies between slavery and modern sports culture posed by photographer Frank Willis Thomas, the cultural archives of U.S. slavery and its aftermath are replete with images that cause us to consider the issue of slavery in all of its embodied materiality.

ENGL 400-01  Special Topics in Literary Studies: Afrofuturism
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 003 Daylanne English
In this senior capstone course, we will study the explosion of Afrofuturistic literature, theory, music, and art that has been taking place for the last decade plus. We will begin with a definition of Afrofuturism as contemporary cultural production and scholarly thought that imagine greater justice and a freer expression of Black or African Diasporic subjectivity in the future or in alternative realities. As the semester progresses, we will likely expand that definition as we trace the origins of Afrofuturism in 19th century African American novels and follow the movement's development over the course of the 20th century and on into the present. We will study a wide range of figures, genres, and works, including, but not limited to: novels by Sutton Griggs, Pauline Hopkins, Ralph Ellison and Octavia Butler; short fiction and essays by W. E. B. Du Bois, Samuel Delany, and Walter Mosley; poetry by Sun Ra, A. Van Jordan, and Tracy K. Smith; music and videos by Sun Ra, George Clinton/Parliament-Funkadelic, Drexciya, and Janelle Monáe; and visual art by Wangechi Mutu, Rammellzee, and Sanford Biggers. Requirements for the course include: presenting extensively on one of our texts, writing a brief response paper weekly, and producing a substantial final project.



ENGL 494-01  Novella - Capstone
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm CARN 105 Peter Bognanni
*First day attendance required* How do you go about creating something that has no official definition? Even your dictionary can’t decide if a novella is a “long short story” or a “short novel.” The novella might be the most uncertain of fictional forms, but it is also one of the most agile. It can span the length of an afternoon in one hundred and forty pages or tackle an entire lifetime in a scant sixty. It requires the restraint of a short story and the density and substance of a novel. Over the course of this semester, we will read a selection of novellas, both classic and contemporary, in an attempt to arrive at our own definitions of the form. More importantly, perhaps, you will also be writing your own novella and putting it up for workshop as it progresses. This senior capstone class is for writers ready for an ambitious project, an extended prose piece that defies easy categorization. Through discussion, peer review, and lectures about the craft of writing longer work, you will wrestle with this form in an attempt at understanding, maybe even mastery.

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Spring 2016 Class Schedule - updated February 9, 2016 at 06:00 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
ENGL 101-01  College Writing
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am Jake Mohan
*Course meets in Kagin 003*

ENGL 105-01  American Voices
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 409 Jean Franzino
Under what conditions, and with what aims, have women written their own lives? What expectations have readers brought to these texts, and what can those expectations reveal about norms of gender, of nationhood, and of reading itself? This section of "American Voices" will be themed around the topic of "American Women's Life Writing," taking up narratives from the colonial moment to the present day. We will cover a range of sub-genres, including the captivity narrative, the slave narrative, memoir, autobiography, personal essay, cultural criticism, and graphic memoir--many of which have been wildly popular genres in their time. Our focus will be on the diversity among women’s voices based on identities such race, ethnicity, class, region, sexuality, and disability; as such, we will put pressure on each term in our title, asking how the categories "American," "Women," and "Life Writing" mean differently across various historical and cultural locations. Along the way, we will consider such questions as the relationship between "fiction" and "nonfiction," the subjective nature of memory, the ethics and use-value of truth claims, and the status of life writing as a political tool. Likely authors include Mary Rowlandson, Harriet Jacobs, Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Zitkala-Sa, Maxine Hong Kingston, Audre Lorde, Susanna Kaysen, and Alison Bechdel.

ENGL 115-01  Shakespeare
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm CARN 208 Penelope Geng
Shakespeare has been called the “star of poets” and “wonder of the stage.” How do his plays delight, puzzle, and instill “wonder”? How did he transform Renaissance poetry? In this course, we will focus on some of Shakespeare’s most celebrated works, including the Sonnets, the comedies (Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure), the history plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1), and the tragedies (Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth). Our study comprises class discussion, essays, and performances: watching professional productions and performing scenes from the plays. We will analyze Shakespeare’s formal and stylistic techniques. We will examine issues of character, action, and plot. For centuries, Shakespeare has inspired writers to perfect their craft and pursue their creative ambitions. You are invited to participate in this exciting and evolving literary tradition.

ENGL 135-01  Poetry
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 213 Taylor Schey
*First day attendance required*It is entirely possible for one to analyze the meanings of most texts—their themes, morals, historical significances, and so on—without paying much attention to the formal and linguistic elements that produce such meanings. Fortunately, poems make this difficult and ask us to attend more closely to how language does the things that it does. How, for example, can a single word generate multiple, even conflicting, interpretations concerning its significance? How do the rhetorical devices foregrounded in poetry—such as metaphor, metonymy, apostrophe, and personification—structure the modes of relation through which we organize our lives? How do various arrangements of words move us to tears, open new worlds, instigate actions, and even make nothing happen (as W. H. Auden famously poeticizes the power of poetry)? This introductory course will take up these and other questions as we develop our abilities to read, write, and think as students of literature. Our readings will draw mainly from British lyric poetry in its different sub-genres—e.g. sonnet, elegy, ode, dramatic monologue, lyrical ballad—but we will also make forays into works from different geographical contexts. While our primary focus will be on learning how to engage with the subtleties of poetic language, this engagement will lead us to consider the broader philosophical, political, and cultural issues that our readings raise, concerning, for example, the place of poetry in modern life, the use and uselessness of poetry, the type of knowledge (and ignorance) that poetry may or may not offer, and the very question of what poetry is. This course counts as a foundation course toward the English major, but all students are welcome and no prior knowledge or experience is expected.

ENGL 150-01  Introduction to Creative Writing
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am NEILL 217 Ping Wang
 
ENGL 150-02  Introduction to Creative Writing
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am NEILL 217 Ping Wang
 
ENGL 150-03  Introduction to Creative Writing
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am OLRI 170 Matthew Burgess
This course will focus on basic elements of creative writing. Students will be asked to read and discuss work by major writers, to critique each other’s work, and to write multiple drafts of original works of short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

ENGL 150-04  Introduction to Creative Writing
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 011 Matthew Burgess
This course will focus on basic elements of creative writing. Students will be asked to read and discuss work by major writers, to critique each other’s work, and to write multiple drafts of original works of short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

ENGL 150-05  Introduction to Creative Writing
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am MAIN 001 Benjamin Voigt
What makes a story move, a poem sing, an essay say? How do writers get from blank pages to thinking, feeling readers? In this first foray in creative writing, we’ll begin to explore the huge range of things language can do, and try a few of them out ourselves. Together we’ll read like writers, write like readers, and work the muscles of our imaginations. Our concentrated study of a range of texts will introduce you to the mechanics of fiction, poetry and nonfiction—things like image, voice, character, plot and genre. Frequent writing exercises will help develop your technique, and prepare you to compose a handful of longer, more finished pieces. Discussing your classmates’ writing, you’ll also train to be good literary citizens, capable of giving valuable feedback. The course will consist, in other words, of serious play and playful work. Come prepared, and by the end, you’ll know much more about the practice of literature, your own process as a writer, and possibly yourself.

ENGL 230-01  19th C British Lit: Writing the Self: 19th-Century Authorship, Identity, and Pushing the Boundaries
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am MAIN 001 Andrea Tange
This course uses the theme of “writing the self” to explore different nineteenth-century genres—poetry, fiction, letters, scientific writing, non-fiction prose, autobiography, literary essays, and periodical articles—particularly in terms of big issues and conflicts of the day. From the place of women as authors, to the science of evolution, to the scandals surrounding Oscar Wilde’s trial for “gross indecency,” the readings and discussions for the course will focus on how mainstream British culture defined what was “proper” or “normal” and how authors deployed concepts of the self to push back against those boundaries. Authors include: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Carlyle, Thomas DeQuincey, Charles Dickens, Caroline Norton, and Oscar Wilde, among others. This course fulfills the 19th-century British literature requirement for majors.

ENGL 240-01  Twentieth Century British Literature
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 010 Andrew Ferguson
This course will survey the sweep of British literature over the course of a century that saw the idea of “Britain” shatter into hundreds of pieces, and yet also expand beyond any previously imaginable bounds—a paradox seen especially acutely in the urban spaces of that “green and pleasant land.” At the turn of the 20th century, the city was the place to be. While technological innovations and cultural shifts rippled throughout the newly queenless Empire, it was in the metropolis that these changes piled up one upon another to a point some found exhilarating. Many more, though, found it exhausting, even unbearable, especially those on the wrong side of class or cultural divides. As all the certainties of Victorian society seemed suddenly in flux, women, homosexuals, immigrants, and the working class sensed new possibilities, then as often saw them foreclosed upon by institutions intent on preserving their own elevated statuses. Two world wars, various rebellions and disasters, multiple financial collapses, and questionable architecture all left marks—many literal—on London, Dublin, Glasgow, Belfast, and other British cities, but urban life was in no way limited to or defined by these macro-level calamities.

We will attempt, though readings of novels, stories, poems, dramas, and selected criticism, to track this life as seen by the individuals and groups trying to make their way through interesting times. Our inquiry will focus in particular on ways of moving through and existing within the urban environment: flânerie, disguise, spectacle, psychogeography, parkour—plus whatever comes next. Authors read will include W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, Jean Rhys, W.H. Auden, Benjamin Zephaniah, Caryl Churchill, Zadie Smith, and Kevin Barry, among others.

Requirements: participation in class discussion and online on course forum; in-class presentation; and three papers (one exploration, one comparison or contrast, and one research paper or creative project).



ENGL 280-01  Crafts of Writing: Poetry
M 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 002 Edward Lee
*First day attendance required for students taking the course as an advanced poetry workshop* This course will focus in a variety of ways on the development of skills for writing poetry, building on the work done in ENGL 150. Depending on the instructor, it may approach the creative process through, for example, writing from models (traditional and contemporary), formal exercises (using both traditional and contemporary forms), or working with the poetry sequence (or other methodology selected by the instructor: see department postings for details). It will involve extensive readings and discussion of poetry in addition to regular poetry writing assignments. The course may be conducted to some extent in workshop format; the emphasis will be on continuing to develop writing skills. Course may be taken twice for credit, so long as it is with a different instructor.

ENGL 281-01  Crafts of Writing: Fiction
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am MAIN 011 Peter Bognanni
*First day attendance required* In this course we will study fiction writing through the process of reading and writing flash fiction, fables, a diverse array of short stories, and novel openings. We will study a range of published work, discussing elements of craft like: voice, point of view, narrative time, plot, description as emotion, and the unreliable narrator. Everyone will write a series of stories and exercises to put up for workshop. I will lecture each week on an element of craft, but there are no hard and fast rules here. The principles of writing are, at best, valuable hints accrued from centuries of literature, and, at worst, limits to a writer’s developing sensibility. Ideally, by the end of the semester, you will have a firm understanding of the basic tenets of fiction writing and an equally strong understanding of how you might completely dismantle them to seek new ground.

ENGL 284-01  Crafts of Writing: Screenwriting
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 009 Peter Bognanni
*First day attendance required* When we go to the movies today—or, let’s face it, stream one on our computer—sometimes it’s hard to remember how a film is actually born. Before the actors say a word, or the post-production team adds that perfect shade of pink to the sunset, a film lives solely on the page. It lives as a piece of writing created in the mind of a storyteller. No matter what happens later, a film always begins as a reading experience. In this course, we will concentrate on every aspect of that initial and vital stage of filmmaking. We will study how some of the greatest scripts were written, how they mastered visual storytelling, pitch perfect dialogue, and flawless structure. While there is no paint-by-numbers formula for a perfect screenplay, there is a constantly evolving form full of principles the greatest writers have relied on since the birth of the medium. Throughout the semester we will study this form by reading and writing scripts, analyzing films, and studying the finer points of the craft. Then we will workshop your developing scripts with an eye toward making them ideal stories for this dynamic form.

ENGL 285-01  Playwriting and Textual Analysis
M 07:00 pm-10:00 pm THEATR 205 Carson Kreitzer
*Cross-listed with THDA 242-01* Visiting playwright Carson Kreitzer (McKnight Fellow in Playwriting at The Playwrights’ Center, and author of this fall’s Theater and Dance Production green, as well as previous Macalester productions The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Freakshow) will lead students through a semester focused on writing, and on reading contemporary plays. In-class exercises and prompts, and small-group workshopping and reading will challenge writers' development. Assignments will include reading plays, seeing and discussing local productions, and both at-home and in-class writing. We will begin by writing scenes, and move towards the completion of a one-act play.

ENGL 294-01  Demonology: Witches and Devils in Early Modern Literature
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 05 Penelope Geng
The story goes like this. While performing Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus—a play featuring spell-casting, necromancy, and other devilish arts—the actors noticed that “there was one devil too many amongst them.” They stopped the play; the audience panicked. Whether a true story or not (the anecdote comes down to us through a seventeenth-century source), it captures one of the “certainties” of the period: that demons, devils, witches, and other things of darkness are a part of the here and now. In this course, we explore sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries tales of the demonic. At the same time, we examine how authors used the public’s fascination with the supernatural to explore urgent issues of the day: laws governing service, controversies regarding freewill and election, customs informing rites of hospitality and charity. Hence, just as characters strive to see beyond appearances and outward show, so we shall investigate the religious, political, and legal debates out of which the texts arise. Central to our study are the major works of early modern English literature: Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, Webster’s The White Devil, Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest, and Milton’s Paradise Lost, and lesser known texts such asThe Witch of Edmonton, The Discovery of Witchcraft, and King James’s Demonology.

ENGL 294-02  Literature and the Environment: Between Eden and the Apocalypse
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 001 Benjamin Voigt
*Cross-listed with ENVI 294-02* Since colonization, American literature has often imagined nature as either a pristine Eden, dangerous wilderness, or some combination thereof. From Walden to The Walking Dead, our literary landscapes tend toward the primeval and the post-apocalyptic, the threatened and the threatening. In this course, we will consider the place of place in an eclectic array of American texts. We’ll begin with a few foundational readings, but quickly depart for stranger shores: westerns, sci-fi, postmodern poetry. As we travel, we'll ask a wide range of questions about identity, genre, and form, but we’ll pay particular attention to the way each artwork mediates competing impulses towards the environment. Coursework will include reading responses, two short analytical essays, and a final project. Creative writers (or those so inclined) will have the opportunity to write creatively for certain assignments. Non-majors are enthusiastically invited. Possible texts include: fiction by Colson Whitehead, Joe Wenderoth and William Faulkner; creative nonfiction by John D’Agata, Eula Biss and Sherman Alexie; poetry by Cathy Park Hong, Harryette Mullen, and Lorine Niedecker; films by Steven Spielberg, Jim Jarmusch, and Shane Carruth; and music by Joanna Newsom.

ENGL 294-03  Narrative Journalism
M 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 001 Stephen Smith
Taught by writer and journalist Stephen Smith (Executive Editor and Host of American RadioWorks, the national documentary series from American Public Media). This course will focus on creating vivid, economical prose as a foundation for many types of expository writing. The fundamental elements of narrative journalism will be explored. Students will do research and interviews for print journalism pieces. Students will write frequently, will edit each other, and will receive detailed suggestions on their writing from the instructor.

ENGL 294-04  Digital Literatures
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 001 Andrew Ferguson
While “digital” is often used today as shorthand for “having something to do with computers,” the term itself is trickier and more expansive. In this course we will sample an array of digital literatures, many of them computer-based, but many also having to do with numbers or fingers—and especially in the interplay and mutual influence between computer-based storytelling, and incorporations or intimations of those computer stories in print-based works (which are never quite as “analog” as they might at first seem).

A particular emphasis of the class will be on what videogame scholar Ian Bogost calls “carpentry”: building objects that can perform philosophical or critical work. In practice, this means not only reading, discussing, and writing about the works of the class—though we will do plenty of all three—but also engaging with the texts in a variety of different ways as well. Many of these will be collaborative, reflecting the corporate creativity often seen online; others will allow for individual creative endeavor. One of these builds will be further expanded into the centerpiece for a portfolio of the semester’s work; the schedule below is subject to change, to make room as necessary for project skills.

No prior technical knowledge is assumed or required. Access to a Mac or PC computer is recommended; however, all digital texts will be made available through either a library or lab computer. Works read will include: Jorge Luis Borges, selected stories; Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire; Shirley Jackson, Patchwork Girl; Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves; Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage; and other works to be posted on Moodle or accessed online. Requirements: First day attendance required. Participation in class discussion and online on course blog; in-class presentation; two papers (one exploration, one response); and a portfolio of digital engagement, including one major project which will expand on one of the class builds.



ENGL 294-05  Disability in 19th-Century American Literature
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 409 Jean Franzino
Disability has played a central role in American literary and cultural production, from the one-legged Ahab of Melville’s Moby Dick to the “deformed” villains of modern-day horror flicks. At the same time, it is only in recent decades that disability has emerged as a social category worthy of academic analysis a la race, gender, and sexuality. A field that owes much to critical race and gender studies, and yet which also points out that disability is “the one identity category that anyone can join,” disability studies has much to teach us about the way we conceive of ourselves as subjects. This course introduces students to the rich field of disability studies and its tools for analyzing embodiment in American literary culture. We will focus on texts from the nineteenth century, the era that paved the way for our modern notions of embodied subjectivity with the rise of industrialization and urbanization, the reform movements of feminism and abolitionism, and the professionalization of medicine and science. Beginning from the premise that disability is a social and cultural phenomenon rather than simply a biological or medical fact, we will explore such questions as: What has “counted” as disability for our various authors, and how have they incorporated it in their plots? What are the specific meanings that attach to disability in a U.S. culture invested in individualism, social mobility, and American exceptionalism? How does disability impact American literary conceptions of “the human”? Where does it intersect with other identity categories such as gender, race, sexual orientation, and class? How have canonical and popular authors made use of disability, and how have disabled scholars and artists written back? Likely writers include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, William and Ellen Craft, Rebecca Harding Davis, Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Alexander Graham Bell, and Stephen Crane.

ENGL 294-06  Introduction to Literary Theory
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 010 Taylor Schey
If you’ve taken courses in the humanities, then you’re probably aware of a field that goes by the nickname of “theory.” You may have heard of thinkers such as Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, though chances are you haven’t yet studied how their writings grew out of a common engagement with questions of language and textuality. This course offers you the opportunity to do so. Beginning with Ferdinand de Saussure’s groundbreaking Course in General Linguistics, we’ll trace the development of literary theory through structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, postcolonial theory, posthumanism, and ecocriticism. Our approach will be to treat literary theory as a field of study in itself (rather than as an assortment of methodologies to apply to works of literature and other cultural texts), and, to that end, we’ll be reading exclusively primary texts from this field—though, if you engage these texts seriously, they will most likely change the way you read just about everything, from poems to images to television shows to text messages. This course will be of interest to all students who wish to learn about literary theory as well as to those who plan to pursue Ph.D. programs in literary studies. Authors include J. L. Austin, Roland Barthes, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Lee Edelman, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Donna Haraway, Luce Irigaray, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Lacan, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paul de Man, Timothy Morton, Ferdinand de Saussure, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

ENGL 294-08  Avant Garde and the Difficult
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 001 Andrew Ferguson
Every year, multiple blogs and lit-review sites put out clickbait about however many books “you must read before you die,” as well as lists of “the most difficult books in the English language.” And between those two types of lists, there’s a lot of overlap, with authors like James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison featuring prominently. These books are not only aesthetically rich and culturally resonant, they’re also badges of pride for readers and indispensable resources for creative writers. In this course we will read several of these highly regarded, canonically established books, along with poems, plays, and a few short stories. We’ll consider what makes them so “difficult”: is it because of the language, or the grueling emotional content? Is it because the books break conventions of plotting or characterization? Or perhaps because they look without flinching at human evil and hatred of various Others? More to the point, why do we find “difficulty” so often linked to literary quality? As the reading will be intense (though manageable!), the writing requirements will focus on short reflections and responses, with a final project flexible in form. Students from any discipline are welcome; no prerequisites.

ENGL 367-01  Postcolonial Theory
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 404 David Moore
*Cross-listed with INTL 367-01*

ENGL 380-01  Post-Modern African American Literature
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am MAIN 001 Daylanne English
In this topics course, we will closely read a wide range of innovative, possibly “postmodern” texts written by African American authors in the last twenty-five years. We will attend to literary form and to the politics of form, considering how our authors resist realism and the content of racial protest, even as they frequently engage questions of race, identity, and power. Texts will include novels, plays, graphic narrative, and poetry. Authors will include Samuel Delany, Colson Whitehead, Harryette Mullen, Suzan-Lori Parks, Toni Morrison, and John Edgar Wideman, among others. We will ask a number of questions as we read: What is postmodernism and how are our texts postmodern? What does it mean to be writing and studying African American literature in an era often termed “post-racial”? What happens when African American literature becomes “unnationed” or unmoored from time? How does traumatic content shape literary form? How might radical interdisciplinarity affect meaning and aesthetic form in our texts? These and many other questions, generated by the class itself, will guide our semester’s exploration, as will our reading of much relevant literary criticism and theory. Requirements for the course include: presenting extensively on one of our texts, writing a brief response paper for most of our primary readings, and writing one brief 5-page paper as well as a longer, 12-15 page paper. This course fulfills the literature by U.S. writers of color/diasporic/postcolonial literature requirement for English majors.

ENGL 384-01  Langston Hughes: Global Writer
TR 08:00 am-09:30 am CARN 404 David Moore
*Cross-listed with AMST 384-01 and INTL 384-01*

ENGL 400-01  Seminar: Globetrotters and Armchair Travelers: Victorian Subjects See the World
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 011 Andrea Tange
The nineteenth century saw an exponential increase in the number of people who were able to travel the world, through the confluence of better technologies of transportation and the entrepreneurial spirit of the fledgling travel agent industry. But not every British Victorian traveler was a pleasure tourist. People traveled for their health or their careers, to escape hardship at home or to settle in colonial outposts. And those who could not travel in person did so vicariously: armchair travelers were voracious consumers of the letters and narratives that actual travelers sent back to Britain. This course will study some history and theories of travel—everything from the rise of the railroad to the post-colonial critiques of Orientalism—in order to frame examination of a range of Victorian texts written by travelers themselves. The large researched project will contain a substantial digital mapping component, using the StoryMaps platform, to provide students with some experience in digital humanities concepts and opportunities. The final unit of the course will consider, as appropriate to a capstone experience, the role of the humanities in broader cultural contexts, by taking a meta approach to evaluating the nineteenth-century studies work that has formed the bulk of the course.

ENGL 406-01  Projects in Creative Writing
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm ARTCOM 202 Ping Wang
 

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