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Spring 2017

ENGL 105-01

American Voices

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: MAIN 002
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes: In this introductory English course, we will listen to a wide range of American voices in a number of genres, including short stories, novels, poetry, and a play. The course will focus on U.S. identities in relation to age, race, gender, sexuality, and class in contexts of experimentation and speculation, including speculative fiction and futurism. The texts in this course, although all are “American,” explore what it means to give voice to many differences within a national identity, particularly for young people and for girls and women of color. What literary forms best suit an exploration and representation of such identities? How do our authors stretch received forms so as to accommodate the content of their characters’ lives? We will study works by Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Tim O’Brien, and Octavia Butler, among others. Course requirements include: an in-class oral presentation, a brief written response to each primary reading, and three essays of about 5-7 pages each (one of which must be revised). This course will fulfill either the foundation course in literature requirement or the literature by U.S. writers of color requirement for the English major.

ENGL 115-01

Shakespeare

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 301
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: Shakespeare has been called the “star of poets” and “wonder of the stage.” How do his plays delight, puzzle, and instil “wonder”? How did he transform Renaissance poetry? In this course, we will focus on some of Shakespeare’s most enduring works, including the Sonnets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and The Tempest. Our study comprises class discussion, essays, presentations, and performances (watching professional productions and performing scenes from the plays). We will analyze Shakespeare’s formal and stylistic technique. 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

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 409
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: It is entirely possible for one to discuss 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. 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, even the question of what poetry is. Readings will draw from British and American lyric poetry in its different sub-genres (e.g. sonnet, elegy, ode, dramatic monologue, lyrical ballad). 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 136-01

Drama

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Andrea Kaston Tange

Notes: What relationships exist between theater, current events, and the public? You may have heard that less than two weeks ago, the cast of the hit musical Hamilton, on Broadway, delivered an address directly to VP-elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience that night. Suddenly, every news outlet was talking about whether this was "appropriate" or not. People throughout the history of theater will tell you: theater has always been political. It has been a means of offering public commentary, challenging or upholding norms, voicing a protest, or offering an alternative view that presents a world the writers would prefer to live in. In ENGL 136, we will read plays--both classic and modern--as literary texts and talk about the craft that went into their writing. But we will also take field trips to see several plays at different theaters in Minneapolis and St. Paul; we will study theater reviews and write some of our own; we will meet people who work on technical aspects of productions (like lighting and costumes) and learn about the craft of building productions; and we will think, talk, and write about the relationship between the dramatic arts and current events. As part of our larger goal of putting theater in context, the "current" events we study will include Renaissance debates about kingship and property when we read William Shakespeare, and nineteenth-century debates about the proper place of women when we read Susan Glaspell.

ENGL 137-01

Novel

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: In this course we will read some of the most popular novels ever written in the United States. They will be heart-wrenchingly beautiful, tear-jerkingly sad, gut-bustingly funny, and seriously weird. We will discuss love, death, the meaning of life, beauty, cruelty, freaks, war, and comedy.

ENGL 150-01

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: This course is an introduction to the writing of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We will use a variety of exercises, assignments, and readings to help students become comfortable as writers of short stories, personal essays, poetry, memoir, and literary journalism. We will read and discuss works by established authors to uncover some of the techniques they have used to make their writing effective, and we will workshop each other’s writing in a supportive, constructively critical manner.


ENGL 150-02

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 205
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-03

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: THEATR 205
  • Instructor: Talia Mailman

Notes: “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric,” Yeats tells us. “Out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” And fiction. And nonfiction. From January to May, we’ll find places for the written word in an increasingly chaotic world, developing the skills and habits of mind that will help you become a more discerning and thoughtful reader, as well as a more articulate and compassionate writer. In order to do this, we’ll focus on the places where poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction converge and diverge, reading works by folks like Anne Carson and Ocean Vuong, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Claudia Rankine, Isaac Babel and Clarice Lispector. Inspired by these forms, you’ll pick up some tools and tricks to use in your own work by way of frequent writing exercises, revisions, and in-class writing workshops. The emphasis, above all, will be on craft and process, giving you the tools to write the kind of work you want to write.

ENGL 150-04

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: MAIN 009
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-05

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-06

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 217
  • Instructor: Benjamin Voigt

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-07

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Talia Mailman

Notes: “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric,” Yeats tells us. “Out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” And fiction. And nonfiction. From January to May, we’ll find places for the written word in an increasingly chaotic world, developing the skills and habits of mind that will help you become a more discerning and thoughtful reader, as well as a more articulate and compassionate writer. In order to do this, we’ll focus on the places where poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction converge and diverge, reading works by folks like Anne Carson and Ocean Vuong, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Claudia Rankine, Isaac Babel and Clarice Lispector. Inspired by these forms, you’ll pick up some tools and tricks to use in your own work by way of frequent writing exercises, revisions, and in-class writing workshops. The emphasis, above all, will be on craft and process, giving you the tools to write the kind of work you want to write.

ENGL 194-01

Rhyming Worlds: Hebrew and Arabic Poetry through the Middle Ages

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: MAIN 010
  • Instructor: El Meligi, Goldman

Notes: *Cross-listed with CLAS 194-01* This course, taught in translation, examines the rich tradition of religious and secular poetry from the earliest examples of the Hebrew and Arabic languages through to the sophisticated literary expression of the medieval Andalusian era. Using a variety of literary theory and critical approaches we will read both standard biblical and Islamic poetry as well as lesser known erotic, pre-Islamic, and women poets. We will investigate the close linguistic and aesthetic relationship between Arabic and Hebrew literature, learn about the historical and socio-cultural contexts and literary environment of these Hebrew and Arabic poets, and become acquainted with other forms of art and modern literature related to and inspired by this poetry. Knowledge of Hebrew or Arabic not required, but certainly welcome. This course has been approved as a context course for all Classics major and minor tracks.

ENGL 230-01

Nineteenth-Century British Literature

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 216
  • Instructor: Andrea Kaston Tange

Notes: A study of literature's dynamic interaction with historical change in the period that has been called the "Pax Britannica" ("British Peace"), but also "The Age of Revolution," "The Age of Capital," "The Age of Democracy," and "The Age of Empire." Emphais on the diversity of forms emerging alongside the novel; poetry, drama, policital writing, and print journalism. Authors may include Wordsworth, Coleridge, the Shelleys (P.B. and Mary), Godwin, Keats, Bryon, Tennyson, Arnold, Rossetti, the Brontes (Charlotte and Emily), Swinburne, Hopkins, Pater, Carlyle, Mill, and Marx. Novelists may include those listed under English 331. Articles and manifestos from Blackwood's, The Westminster Review, The Saturday Review, and Household Words. Particular themes vary. (4 credits)

ENGL 240-01

20th Century British Literature: The Politics of Place

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: CARN 208
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes: This semester, we will study the literature of Great Britain and Ireland from 1900 to the present. During this period, the British Isles underwent exciting and radical changes, from the fading of the empire to the emergence of new and contestatory perspectives on race, class, and gender. In this course, we will pay particular attention to how literary texts can illuminate relationships between place and the political. We will ask, for instance, how twentieth-century British and Irish texts suggest interactions between built environments (e.g. museums, estate houses, or operating rooms) and processes of social and political change (e.g. world wars, revolution, mass protest, or the rise of the welfare state). We will also ask, in a related manner, how texts illuminate natural spaces (e.g. bogs, rivers, or islands) as politicized, from providing sites of nostalgia and romance to offering metaphors for civilization and the primitive. In addition to writing several essays, students will collaborate on a PlaceMaking final project.

ENGL 260-01

Science Fiction: From Matrix Baby Cannibals to Brave New World

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 402
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: In the past fifty years science fiction has emerged as the primary cultural form in the Anglophone literary tradition for thinking about the eco-apocalypse: overpopulation, plague, resource depletion, natural and man-made disasters. It has also emerged as the primary cultural form for imagining a sustainable human future, through technological innovation, a balanced human ecosystem, and human flourishing through utopian principles of social justice. In this course we will examine works of science fiction as complex aesthetic achievements, as philosophical inquiries into the nature of being and time, and as theoretical examinations of the challenge of human sustainability. We will engage in intensive readings of contemporary texts, including works by Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, P. D. James, Octavia Bulter, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Charles Stross, Walter Miller, Stanislaw Lem, China Miéville, Cormac McCarthy, and Kazuo Ishiguro. A companion film series will include the Matrix trilogy and other films in the genre. Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 260. (4 credits)

ENGL 275-01

African American Literature to 1900

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: MAIN 009
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes: In this survey course, we will trace the development of an African American literary tradition from the end of the 18th century to the turn of the 20th century, from Phillis Wheatley to Charles Chesnutt. We will explore the longstanding project of writing an African American self as both a literary and a political subject. We will read closely, critically, and appreciatively from multiple genres, including poetry, slave narratives, short stories, essays, novels, and a memoir. We will supplement our exploration of those texts with critical and theoretical readings. Among the themes that will organize the course are: writing as a political act; generic innovation and subversion; representations of gendered and classed experiences of blackness in the United States; aesthetic innovation in relation to political and social change; an ongoing vernacular and/or oral tradition within African American arts and letters; the politics of audience; and the limits of literary representation itself. Requirements include: two papers of about 10 pages each, brief response papers to each new reading, an in-class presentation, class participation, and a final exam. This course fulfills either the literature by U.S. writers of color or the pre-1900 American literature requirement for the English major.

ENGL 281-01

Crafts of Writing: Fiction

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: THEATR 204
  • Instructor: Talia Mailman

Notes: This class works to consider the complexities and possibilities involved in the writing of short fiction. Together we’ll work to understand the foundational elements of the form – voice, character, point of view, plot (shape), setting (atmosphere), exposition, scene, and style. We’ll sharpen our abilities to talk about writing critically, constructively, and frequently. We’ll collectively define and challenge the conventions and principles of fiction, story, and art. In order to do this, we’ll embark on exercises, short assignments, and discussions of published fiction, combined with workshops of student stories and individual conferences with the instructor. If Flannery O’Connor is right when she tells us, “Writing is the action of grace in territory held by the devil,” we’ll carve ourselves a place and learn how to wield the tools necessary to create that act.

ENGL 282-01

The Crafts of Writing: Creative Nonfiction

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 370
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: In this creative writing workshop, we will immerse ourselves in two different approaches to nonfiction storytelling: one that foregrounds the "I" (as seen in the personal memoir) and one that places that "I" in the background (as in the typical New Yorker profile). Students will be asked to write multiple drafts of two original works of short nonfiction, to critique each other’s work, and to read and discuss work by major writers such as James Baldwin, Joan Didion, E.B. White, Maxine Hong Kingston, Michel de Montaigne, and Junot Diaz.

ENGL 284-01

Crafts of Writing: Screenwriting

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: *First day attendance required*

This course will focus in a variety of ways on the development of skills for writing screenplays, building on the work done in English 120. The emphasis will be on narrative films, with the objective of writing a feature-length screenplay during the semester. There will be extensive readings and discussion of published and unpublished screenplays in addition to regular writing assignments. The course may be conducted to some extent in workshop format; the emphasis will be on continuing to develop writing skills. (4 credits)

ENGL 286-01

Narrative Journalism

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: MAIN 002
  • Instructor: Stephen Smith

Notes: *First day attendance required* 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 294-02

Crafts of Writing:Prose Poems

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: NEILL 212
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: This workshop will study and experiment with the contents and forms of prose poems. We’ll read poems from the East to the West, from 300 BC Zhuangzi’s great lyrical prose to Gertrude Stein, and the contemporary masters such as John Olson, Lyn Hejinian and others. Our experiment will focus on the play and risk of language, mind, consciousness, sub-consciousness, mind and body through the form of prose poetry.

ENGL 294-03

Introduction to Literary Theory

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: 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, 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, Lauren Berlant, 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 294-04

Bloomsbury to Brexit: British Literature and Visual Culture

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 304
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes: Virginia Woolf famously claimed that “On or about December 1910 human character changed.” While many changes were underway as the world drifted towards WWI, a revolution was underway in the world of art. It was in 1910 that London hosted the first Post-Impressionist Exhibition, launching the stars of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse, and Picasso onto the international stage. Literary and popular visual culture would be—and remain—intertwined across the 20th century, connections that are taking new and exciting shape in the current century. This course traces British visual culture and art from the seminal exhibit of 1910 to the present, starting with Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group and concluding with a study of British multiculturalism in novels, poetry, and popular images of resistance (including works by graffiti artist Banksy, Brexit activism, and the Irish Troubles murals). Students will participate in a painting workshop and read visual/media theory by John Berger, Laura Mulvey, and C.L.R. James. In addition to studying artists’ books in the special collections library and reading a graphic novel, students will read works of fiction and poetry by writers such as Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Hanif Kureishi, Salman Rushdie, Ali Smith, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Jeanette Winterson.

ENGL 294-06

Green Language: Transatlantic Romanticism and Nature Poetry

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 294-02* The concept of nature that informs most environmentalist discourses would seem to designate that which is independent of human meaning and value: the wilderness, the great outdoors, that thing over there which sustains and surrounds us. And yet, like all concepts, “Nature” has a history and is tied to specific ideas about what it means to be a human. This course studies a central chapter in this history, examining the place and function of the natural world in the Romantic and post-Romantic poetic tradition. In particular, we’ll explore how writers in this tradition interrogate the relation between human beings and the natural world, and we’ll ask how such poetry might open up an understanding of ecology that complicates some of the assumptions underwriting current environmental practices. While we’ll spend the most time with British Romanticism, our readings in poetry will take us across the pond and will span from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. We’ll also examine visual artworks as well as theoretical texts that range from Enlightenment aesthetics and epistemology to current ecocriticism and speculative realist philosophy. Poets include William Blake, Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Clare, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Jean Toomer, Elizabeth Bishop, Mary Oliver, and Louise Glück; prose writers include Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant, Raymond Williams, Geoffrey Hartman, Paul de Man, Leo Marx, Timothy Morton, Donna Haraway, Jonathan Bate, Lawrence Buell, and Quentin Meillassoux.

ENGL 294-08

Musical Fictions

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: MUSIC 228
  • Instructor: Mark Mazullo

Notes: *Cross-listed with MUSI 294-01; counts as fine arts general distribution* What can music teach us about literature, and, conversely, how can literature lend meaning to music? In this course, we will read novels (and short stories, novellas, and/or plays) that deal explicitly with musical themes. Perspectives we will consider in our discussions include: the history of musical aesthetics; the question of musical value/s; musical empathy; music and semiotics; the history of subjectivity; music’s function in formations of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Our reading will include: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled (1995); James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” (1957); Rose Tremain, Music & Silence (1999); Peter Shaffer, Amadeus (1979); E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910); Marguerite Duras, “Moderato Cantabile” (1958); Jonathan Lethem, You Don’t Love Me Yet (2007); Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue (2012); and Richard Powers, Orfeo (2014). In a semester-long independent project, students will write a critical essay on a musical-fictional topic of their own devising.

ENGL 294-09

Muslim Women Writers

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: Jenna Rice Rahaim

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 294-01 and WGSS 294-02* Against the swirling backdrop of political discourses about women in the Islamic world, this course will engage with feminist and postcolonial debates through literary works by Muslim women writers. The course will begin with an exploration of key debates about women’s agency and freedom, the Islamic headscarf, and Qur’anic hermeneutics. With this in mind, we will turn to the fine details of literature and poetry by Muslim women. How do these authors constitute their worlds? How are gendered subjectivities constructed? And how do the gender politics of literary texts relate to the broader political and historical contexts from which they emerge? Themes will include an introduction to Muslim poetesses and Arabic poetic genres, the rise of the novel in the Arabic speaking world, and Muslim women’s literary production outside of the Middle East: from Senegal to South Asia, and beyond.

ENGL 294-10

Comparative Feminisms: Then and Today

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 009
  • Instructor: Sonita Sarker

Notes: *First day attendance required; cross-listed with AMST 294-03 and WGSS 240-01* Feminisms today show new ways of being and also carry the legacies of feminisms past. This course will explore the similarities and differences in feminist concepts and practices in the 20th and 21st centuries, through writings from North and South America, Western Europe, and South Asia. We will compare and contrast inside and also across generations. We will address issues such as racial/ethnic difference, political and sexual autonomy, nationalism, violence, and consumerism, through literature, film, music and other performative arts, and internet publishing. Some writers included are Gwendolyn Bennett, Victoria Ocampo, Grazia Deledda (from past generations) and shani jamila, Sonia Shah, and Adriana Lopez (from recent generations).

ENGL 394-01

1859

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: MAIN 010
  • Instructor: Andrea Kaston Tange

Notes: *First day attendance required* What might you learn about a culture and its history if you focused on a narrow moment of time and then read widely what was published within it? That is the question this course seeks to answer by focusing on the year 1859 in Britain. Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species came out in 1859, igniting enormous controversies in the scientific world. That was also the year that the first sensation novel was published, launching a craze for crime and harrowing fiction. It saw the publication of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, cementing his reputation and confirming that he had been the right choice for poet laureate in 1850. And it was the year that John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty rubbed shoulders with Samuel Smiles’s Self Help. New periodicals were launched that year, including Dickens’s wildly popular All the Year Round. This course draws its entire reading list from 1859 (including portions of everything mentioned above, and much more), inviting you to delve deeply into the literature, popular culture, science, social commentary, and controversies of the day. It seeks to examine the relationship between politics, novels, innovation, empire, and more, offering a mid-century vision of Victorian culture through multiple media, archival projects, and a reading experience that is designed to help you think about what it would have been like to be alive then, entering into some of these multiple conversations.

ENGL 394-02

Autobiographical and Speculative Fiction

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 270
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: 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 the two can’t ever fully be separated. Students will be asked to write multiple drafts of two original works of short fiction, to critique each other’s work, and to read and discuss work by major writers such as James Baldwin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Alison Bechdel, Haruki Murakami, the Brothers Grimm, and Raymond Carver.

ENGL 400-01

Capstone: Shakespeare and Literary Methods

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: This capstone course for the Literature Path will focus on individual literary research projects. Students, in consultation with the professor, will develop the topic and form of the final project. All projects are to include a written research component. The course will provide instruction in the practice of advanced research (e.g. how to find sources using traditional and non-traditional databases) and in general literary methods (e.g. how to interpret a text using feminist criticism, historicism, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, performance studies, etc.). Our common text for the course will be Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which knocks at the gate of our collective consciousness, haunting us with its incomparable blend of the fair and the foul.

ENGL 494-01

Advanced Writing Workshop: Novella

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: 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 creative 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.

Fall 2017

ENGL 101-01

College Writing

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 100
  • Instructor: Rebecca Graham

Notes: Instruction and practice for writing in college. This course does not satisfy the requirements for the English major or minor. (4 credits)

ENGL 105-01

American Voices

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 304
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes: *First day attendance required* In this introductory English course, we will listen to a wide range of American voices in a number of genres, including short stories, novels, poetry, and a play. The course will focus on U.S. identities in relation to age, race, gender, sexuality, and class in a context of literary experimentation. The texts in this course, although all are “American,” explore many differences within a national identity by conducting literary “experiments”: blending genres, creating new literary forms, combining print and image, or writing speculative fiction. How do our authors stretch received forms, or invent new ones, so as to accommodate the content of their characters’ lives? How might speculative fiction and futurism be especially suited to represent experiences of people of color, and particularly of girls and women of color? We will study works by Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz, Octavia Butler, Claudia Rankine, and Janelle Monáe, among others. Course requirements include: an in-class oral presentation, a brief written response to each primary reading, and three essays of about 5-7 pages each (one of which must be revised). This course will fulfill either the foundation course in literature requirement or the literature by U.S. writers of color requirement for the English major.

ENGL 115-01

Shakespeare

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: 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 enduring works, including the Sonnets, Twelfth Night, Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and The Tempest. Our study comprises class discussion, essays, presentations, and performances (watching professional productions and performing scenes from the plays). We will analyze Shakespeare’s formal and stylistic technique. 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

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: 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 such questions as we develop our abilities to read, write, and think as students of literature. 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, 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 136-01

Drama: Theater and Politics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: MAIN 111
  • Instructor: Andrea Kaston Tange

Notes: What relationships exist between theater, current events, and the public? People throughout the history of theater will say theater has always been political. It has been a means of offering public commentary, challenging or upholding norms, voicing a protest, or offering an alternative view that presents a world the writers would prefer to live in. In ENGL 136, we will read plays--both classic and modern--as literary texts and talk about the craft that went into their writing. But we will also take field trips to see several plays at different theaters in Minneapolis and St. Paul; we will study theater reviews and write some of our own; we will meet people who work on technical aspects of productions (like lighting and costumes) and learn about the craft of building productions; and we will think, talk, and write about the relationship between the dramatic arts and current events. As part of our larger goal of putting theater in context, the "current" events we study will cover topics as diverse as science vs religion, processes of nation building, personal identities put on trial, class politics and accents, and historical notions of property, and the work we read will range from Shakespeare to the present.

ENGL 137-01

Novel: Literature

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: *First Year Course only* In this course we will read some of the most popular novels ever written in the United States. They will be heart-wrenchingly beautiful, tear-jerkingly sad, gut-bustingly funny, and seriously weird. We will discuss love, death, the meaning of life, beauty, cruelty, freaks, war, and comedy.

ENGL 137-02

Novel: On Beauty

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes: This course explores the concept of beauty in its many forms, from feelings associated with beautiful places and people to the history of visual attraction and attention. Reading novels from the nineteenth century to the present, we will learn to see beauty from different perspectives and to ask how the visible world intersects with larger social issues. For example, can the beautiful be political? What happens to nature's beauty in an era of environmental crisis? And how are shifting gender norms redefining beauty in today's world? The novels we will study critique and analyze these issues even as they revel in the complexity of beauty across time, space, artistic forms, media, and cultures. Students will read works by Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Elaine Scarry, E.M. Forster, Amitav Ghosh, and Zadie Smith, among others.


ENGL 150-01

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-02

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-03

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Benjamin Voigt

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-04

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Benjamin Voigt

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-05

Intro to Creative Writing:Poetics for Free Thinkers and Paradigm Shakers

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 217
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: *First Year Course only* A poet is a prophet, a maker, a revolutionist who, with feet in the past, foresees future and makes history. Such belief in the power of poetry stems from Zhuangzi, Confucius, Aristotle, Hegel, Marx, Blake, Nietzche, all the way to Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin and other contemporary poets and thinkers. This writing workshop will study selected masterpieces by the international and American visionary writers and examine the nature of poetry and story telling, how it takes us through the landscape of our inner space and time in order to explore and connect with the external world. As we all know, the longest and most difficult journey is to know ourselves, and the most difficult and joyful way to get there is through poetry. We’ll study modes of expression in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction writing, learn how to create imagery, figurative language, sound, rhythmic structures, voice, plot, character, point of view…as carriers to reach the other shore. Techniques are not their own ends, but tools to find our voices for expression and communication. Where there is content (story), there is form, just as where there is water, there’s river. Meditation, reading, critiquing and writing exercises will help us find the right forms for the contents. We will learn how to read 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. It also teaches both the reader and listeners the art of criticism.

If you love reading, thinking, writing, come to this class. If you believe you’re a misfit, a free thinker and trouble maker, come to this workshop. If you’ve never written a poem or story but are curious and a little afraid, even better. Poetry and story telling is our birthright, our signature as human. If you are full of questions about the era we are living in, dying to change things and make history, then come on board.


ENGL 150-06

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: LIBR 250
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 200-01

Major Medieval and Renaissance British Writers

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: This survey provides an introduction to the masterpieces of Medieval and early modern literature, from Beowulf to Paradise Lost. What is old, middle, and early modern English? How does lyric formally (and thematically) differ from epic and romance? When did drama acquire its characteristic structure? What dangers did female writers face in a patriarchal culture? How did they claim poetic or spiritual authority and articulate their right to speak? And more broadly, how did literary writers respond to the invention of the printing press, Luther’s Reformation, the union of Scotland and England under James I, and the English Civil War? We’ll address these questions and many more.

Rich in soil but poor in military defense, early England presented an attractive target for foreign invaders. By the tenth century, England had been conquered by the Romans (Julius Caesar: “I came, I saw, I conquered”), the Celts, the Angles, the Saxons, and the Danes. In 1066, William of Normandy emerged as the victor of the Battle of Hastings, inaugurating an era of Norman (French) rule in England. While violent and destructive, each invasion fertilized English culture with new ideas, practices, and languages. For example, the cosmopolitanism of medieval English culture is evident in Chaucer’s poems, which combined French, Italian, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon languages and poetic forms. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, writers including Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert (Philip’s sister), Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Shakespeare, John Donne, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Carey, Mary Wroth, and Milton boldly experimented with English poetry, drama, and prose, publishing their works in both manuscript and print. The ascension of King James in 1603 was a watershed moment in the unification of the British Isles. An idea of a British empire, one to rival the Spanish and French, began to take shape. Growing in economic and military power, Britain expanded its boundaries during the seventeenth century. Nationalism in turn inspired fresh debate about what it meant to write, think, act, and live as a “British” subject.


ENGL 208-01

Literary Publishing

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Anitra Budd

Notes: 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 230-01

Nineteenth-Century British Literature

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: This course will survey a wide variety of nineteenth-century British literature, from the poetic experiments of Charlotte Smith and William Wordsworth to the novels of the Brontës to the dramas of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. Traditionally, the nineteenth century has been divided into two distinct literary-historical eras, the Romantic (~1798 – 1837) and the Victorian (~1837 – 1901), and you’ll become familiar with the major authors and developments of each, as well as with some of the lasting stories we tell to explain the differences between them. Yet we’ll also be interested in questioning some of the commonplaces that uphold this literary-historical division, for example the idea that the Victorian era, as compared to the Romantic, is “deeply unpoetical” (as Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold has it), or the notion that Romantic-era novels were “transitional” in the development of Victorian literary realism. We’ll focus our attention on questions of form, genre, and poetics, and we’ll do so in the broader context of a discussion concerning the thematic concerns of the writers we study, the historical and cultural changes to which they responded, and the relevance of their works today. Possible authors include Matthew Arnold, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, George Bernard Shaw, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Charlotte Smith, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Lord Tennyson, Oscar Wilde, and William Wordsworth.

ENGL 272-01

Love and Madness in 19th Century American Literature

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: MAIN 010
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: Our common vocabulary of love presents it as a force that strikes and knocks down its victims. It comes like a fever and it disables cognition. Lovers "fall," they are "smitten," "head over heels," "crazy" for each other. Love is both mania and obsession, both a euphoria that alters one's view of the world as a whole and an exclusion of the whole world, a radical narrowing of our normally capacious imaginative and perceptual faculties down to the simplest and smallest of human frames: a face, or the sound of a voice. For American authors of the 18th and 19th century, love and madness were twinned sites of altered consciousness that represented the radical "others" of Enlightenment reason, psychic parallels to and extensions of the wilds of the New World and the uncontrollable crowds and freedoms of the new democracy. This course will examine love and madness from multiple perspectives, including the Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment, gender and sexuality, the American Gothic, violence, and sin. Authors will range from Benjamin Franklin and the Marquis de Sade to Edgar Allan Poe and Kate Chopin. (4 credits)

ENGL 280-01

Crafts of Writing: Poetry: Poetics for Misfits, Free Thinkers and Paradigm Movers

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 217
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: A poet is a prophet, a maker, a revolutionist who, with feet in the past, foresees future and makes history. Such belief in the power of poetry stems from Zhuangzi, Confucius, Aristotle, Hegel, Marx, Blake, Nietzche, all the way to Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Audre Lorde, Layli Long Soldier and other contemporary poets and thinkers. This writing workshop will study selected masterpieces by the international and American visionary writers and examine the nature of poetry and story telling, how it takes us through the landscape of our inner space and time in order to explore and connect with the external world. As we all know, the longest and most difficult journey is to know ourselves, and the most difficult and joyful way to get there is through poetry. We’ll study modes of expression in poetry, learn how to create imagery, figurative language, sound, rhythmic structures, voice, narrative, point of view…as carriers to reach the other shore. Techniques are not their own ends, but tools to find our voices for expression and communication. Where there is content (story), there is form, just as where there is water, there’s river. Meditation, reading, critiquing and writing exercises will help us find the right forms for the contents. We will learn how to read 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. It also teaches both the reader and listeners the art of criticism. If you love reading, thinking, writing, come to this class. If you believe you’re a misfit, a free-thinker and “trouble-maker,” come to this workshop. If you’ve never written a poem or story but are curious and a little afraid, even better. Poetry and story telling is our birthright, our signature as human. If you are full of questions about the era we are living in, dying to change things and make history, then come on board.


ENGL 281-01

Crafts of Writing: Fiction: Reaction/Fiction

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: ARTCOM 202
  • Instructor: Marlon James

Notes: “Books come out of books,” Cormac McCarthy once said. He’s right of course; fiction has always come out fiction. Sometimes to uncover a marginalized voice, or to humanize a demon (Jane Eyre/Wide Sargasso Sea). Sometimes to make troublingly round, the reassuringly flat (Great Expectations/Jack Maggs). And sometimes to view a story from back then in a point of view that reflects us now (Huckleberry Finn/Huck Way Out West). All these stories came out of stories that compelled the author to respond.

This is what you will be doing next semester: writing Fiction as a response to Fiction. The dismissed voice, the monster with a soul, the character without agency, the character everybody but you forgot. The villain. The punch line. The caricature. The racist joke. Who can you uncover? What can you take (or reject) and make your own? Which story demands another view? What was merely hinted at, that you could bring to the fore? Reaction/Fiction will be conducted for the most part in workshop format with the emphasis on continuing to develop writing skills, but it will also involve extensive readings and discussion of several examples of short and long fiction. Reaction/Fiction is where you will twist, turn and violate, but it will also uncover, re-humanize and dignify. In this class, the “ending” is just the beginning of where your imagination will take you. Prerequisite: English 150 (Introduction to Creative Writing) taken at Macalester.


ENGL 284-01

Crafts of Writing: Screenwriting

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: This course will focus in a variety of ways on the development of skills for writing screenplays, building on the work done in English 120. The emphasis will be on narrative films, with the objective of writing a feature-length screenplay during the semester. There will be extensive readings and discussion of published and unpublished screenplays in addition to regular writing assignments. The course may be conducted to some extent in workshop format; the emphasis will be on continuing to develop writing skills. (4 credits)

ENGL 294-01

How to Be a Person in the World

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: MAIN 003
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: This course will test the theory that reading and writing can make one a more engaged citizen. Over the course of the summer, each registered student will send a question to the instructor, who will then develop the syllabus, with a week of class time devoted to each particular question. So, for instance, if a student asks, "How can I be a better eco-citizen?", we will spend a week reading, discussing, and writing about Henry David Thoreau and Elizabeth Kolbert's essays, Robert Frost and Mary Oliver's poems, and Louise Erdrich and Anthony Doerr's short fiction. Students will be expected to produce both creative and analytical work throughout the semester.

ENGL 294-02

Writing Resistance

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 011
  • Instructor: Benjamin Voigt

Notes: When is writing an act of resistance? As creative writers, in what ways can we participate in protest, in change, in social movements? And, once committed, how do we craft work that is both polemical and poetical, artful and activist? In this class, we will consider how a wide range of readings--poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, film--engage with political struggle, and use their insights to guide our own writing. Assignments will include both analytic and imaginative writing and culminate in a final project. Non-majors welcome. Potential authors include Solmaz Sharif, C. D. Wright, Tony Kushner, Valeria Luiselli, Han Kang, Audre Lorde and James Baldwin.

ENGL 310-01

Shakespeare Studies

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: 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 may 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, 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.”

ENGL 341-01

20th Century British Novel: The British Multicultural Novel

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes: In Britain, multiculturalism has a long and dynamic history. Recent social and political developments (most notably, Brexit) have thrust narratives of nationhood, belonging, hybridity, and multiculturalism back into the limelight. These stories reveal the striking complexity of cultural hybridity in Britain, and they revel in the interconnected experiences of language, nationhood, sexuality, gender, class, and family that form modern British experience. Beginning with the mid-twentieth century, we will trace literary incarnations of British multiculturalism in the literary texts of authors such as Andrea Levy, Julian Barnes, Caryl Phillips, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith and Kazuo Ishiguro. Through engagement with cultural theorists such as Stuart Hall, Eve Sedgwick, and Mikhal Bakhtin, we will also work to understand how each text is involved in reshaping the form of the novel itself.

ENGL 380-01

Topics in African American Lit: The Long Harlem Renaissance

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: CARN 06A
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes: In this course, we will ask a wide variety of literary, aesthetic, political, and historical questions about the 1920s flourishing of African American arts and letters known as The Harlem Renaissance. We will explore its roots in earlier text and ideas, such as W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk, and its “afterlife” in contemporary works such as Toni Morrison’s Jazz. Our texts will include: ragtime, the blues, film, photography, poetry, novels, short stories, plays, autobiographies, fictional autobiographies and autobiographical fictions, and literary and cultural criticism. We will study a wide range of figures, including James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Countée Cullen, Bessie Smith, Oscar Micheaux, and James Van der Zee. As we closely read, view, and listen, we will investigate: the movement’s chronological, geographic, and cultural boundaries; class, gender, and color conflict within the movement; the power and presence of queer sensibilities in what one critic has termed “the gayest Renaissance in history”; and the ongoing impact of the movement, among other matters. We will, finally, explore the current status of the Harlem Renaissance as a field of study and interest. Requirements for the course include: weekly 1-page responses to the reading, one essay of about 5 pages, one term paper of about 15 pages, and one 20-minute presentation.

ENGL 384-01

Langston Hughes: Global Writer

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-09:30 am
  • Room: CARN 404
  • Instructor: David Moore

Notes: *Cross-listed with AMST 384-01 and INTL 384-01*

The great African American writer Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is best known as the poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance. But his career was vaster still. He was a Soviet screenwriter, Spanish Civil War journalist, African literary anthologist, humorist, playwright, translator, social critic, writer of over 10,000 letters, and much more. This course engages Hughes's full career, bridging race and global issues, politics and art, and makes use of little-known archival materials. Cross-listed with American Studies 384 and International Studies 384. (4 credits)

ENGL 400-01

Seminar: Virginia Woolf: Film, Theory, Media

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: MAIN 001
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes: *First day attendance required* The capstone course for the Literature Path is the culminating academic experience of the major. The course consists of three interlocking objectives. The first goal is to provide students with the opportunity to develop an original research project that reflects their deepest aesthetic interests and ethical commitments. Working closely with a faculty member and a small group of peers, students will develop projects that display rigorous literary scholarship and methodological inventiveness. The second goal is to provide instruction in advanced methods of research by studying influential critical approaches from the early twentieth century to the present. Specific theories and methods will be determined in consultation with the instructor. Past courses have emphasized psychoanalysis, post-Marxist criticism, gender, queer, and feminist theory, phenomenology, critical race theory, post-colonial criticism, poetics, law and human rights, and aesthetics. The final goal is to train students to become advocates of their research agenda. Students will learn to lecture and lead discussion on relevant readings and to share their research with the wider intellectual community in a form that reflects the spirit of the project.

This seminar, Virginia Woolf: Film, Theory, Media, will explore the work of British novelist Virginia Woolf across a range of media. Woolf's legacy overflows the bounds of the page. In the words of critic Brenda Silver, "she is a phenomenon—icon, celebrity, star." In looking at the way Woolf circulates in film, multimedia artworks, and cultural theory, students will develop a greater understanding of how literary modernism persists across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Students will develop their own unique, long research project and learn advanced research methods while also thinking deeply about the "uses of literature" in our world.


ENGL 406-01

Projects in Creative Writing - Capstone

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: ARTCOM 202
  • Instructor: Marlon James

Notes: *Permission of instructor required* You bring the genre (or total disregard for it), and we’ll bring the workshop. In fact, one of the great benefits of Projects In Creative Writing will be its LACK of focus. Working on Poetry? Fiction? Nonfiction? A one-act play? It’s all good. Because at this stage, not only would you have had extensive experience in most genres, but your are already aware just how much one can teach you about the other. There are aspects of rigor of polish that the novelist can learn from the poet. Aspects of focus and scope that the poet can learn from the novelist. Aspects of narrative, scene and voice that the novel can pick up from the play, and aspects of depth and nuance, that the screenplay can pick up from narrative nonfiction.

In other words learning alongside someone doing something completely different is the POINT.

Projects will be done seminar style, meaning in a workshop environment for advanced students with clearly defined projects in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama or a combination/invention of your own choice (!) The seminar will center initially on a group of shared readings about the creative process and then turn to the work produced by class members. Through the presentation of new and revised work, and the critiquing of work-in-progress, each student will develop a significant body of writing as well as the critical skills necessary to analyze the work of others.


Spring 2018

ENGL 115-01

Shakespeare

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: This course will offer an introduction to his work through a wide-ranging survey of his major plays in all categories (history, comedy, tragedy, and romance) plus maybe some poetry. Texts and topics will vary. (4 credits)

ENGL 135-01

Poetry

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: An introduction to the study of poetry. Topics and methods vary, but all sections emphasize techniques of close reading, critical inquiry, and engaged communication fundamental to the discipline of literary studies. Consult the detailed course description in the English department or in its web page for the content of individual courses and sections. (4 credits)

ENGL 136-01

Drama: Theater and Politics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Andrea Kaston Tange

Notes: An introduction to the study of drama. Topics and methods vary, but all sections emphasize techniques of close reading, critical inquiry, and engaged communication fundamental to the discipline of literary studies. Consult the detailed course description in the English department or on its web page for the content of individual courses and sections. (4 credits)

ENGL 137-01

Novel: On Beauty

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes: An introduction to the study of the novel. Topics and methods vary, but all sections emphasize techniques of close reading, critical inquiry, and engaged communication fundamental to the discipline of literary studies. Consult the detailed course description in the English department or on its web page for the content of individual courses and sections. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-01

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-02

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-03

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-04

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 150-05

Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: The focus of this course is on the development of skills for writing poetry and short fiction through a close study of the techniques involved in these forms, analysis of model literary works, and frequent writing exercises. This course must be completed at Macalester as a PREREQUISITE for the further study of creative writing at Macalester. (4 credits)

ENGL 212-01

Introduction to Literary Theory

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: An introduction to the key movements in literary theory, such as structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, new historicism, feminism, gender studies, queer theory, Black and diaspora studies, critical race theory, Black feminist theory, postcolonial studies, posthumanism, and ecocriticism. The course will cover primary texts by thinkers such as Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Gayatri Spivak, Michel Foucault, Audre Lorde, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Barbara Smith, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Katherine Hayles, and Judith Butler, and will emphasize their common engagement with questions of language, textuality, and power.

ENGL 260-01

Science Fiction: From Matrix Baby Cannibals to Brave New Worlds

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: In the past fifty years, science fiction has emerged as the primary cultural form for thinking about human extinction: climate catastrophe and natural disasters, plagues that empty continents, and species suicide through war. But science fiction has also emerged as the primary cultural form for imagining a near boundless future through technological progress: artificial superintelligence, cybernetic enhancement of the human, and the possibility of utopian political order. Facing such disorienting and unfathomable changes, science fiction seeks with frantic energy to understand what it means to be a human and to live a meaningful life. Why are we here? What are we to become? How will the promises of technology, or the lethal threats of scarcity, change what it means to be a thinking, feeling human?

In this course we will examine works of science fiction as complex aesthetic achievements, as philosophical inquiries into the nature of being and time, and as theoretical examinations of the nature of human cognition. We will engage in intensive readings of contemporary texts, including works by Ted Chiang, Lidia Yuknavitch, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Bulter, Stanislaw Lem, Kazuo Ishiguro, and others. A companion film series will include the Matrix and other films in the genre

(4 credits)

ENGL 276-01

African American Literature 1900 to Present

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes: *First day attendance required*

This course will trace the development of an African American literary and cultural tradition from the turn of the century to the present, from writers such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Pauline Hopkins to Walter Mosley and Toni Morrison. It will examine the ways that modern and contemporary African American writers and artists have explored political, social, racial, and aesthetic issues in a variety of genres¿including autobiographies, poetry, novels, blues songs, photographs, short stories, plays essays, film, visual art, and literary and cultural criticism. Among the many topics the course will consider are: the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Black Arts Movement, and the current flourishing of African American arts and letters and cinema. (4 credits)

ENGL 277-01

Angels and Demons of the American Renaissance (1835-1880)

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: James Dawes

Notes: As the United states lurched toward murderous civil war, a group of passionate, visionary, and bizarre artists set out to discover the soul of America. From 1850 to 1855, in one of the most astonishing creative convergences in literary history, the artists of what would come to be known as the American Renaissance wrote stories and poems that would enlighten, thrill, and terrify generations of readers. With aesthetic wonder and philosophical insight, they revealed both the angels and demons of human nature, inventing a uniquely American spiritual movement of unprecedented optimism at the same time that they damned it all to hell. Their works were spiritual and blasphemous, elegant and profane, beatific and pornographic, irreverently comic and heartwrenchingly sentimental. Everything that was written in America after this period would, in one way or another, have to come to terms with the brilliant and disturbing achievements of this small cluster of artists. In this course we will read texts by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. (4 credits)

ENGL 280-01

Crafts of Writing: Poetry

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Benjamin Voigt

Notes: This course will focus in a variety of ways on the development of skills for writing poetry, building on the work done in English 120. 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. (4 credits)

ENGL 281-01

Crafts of Writing: Fiction

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: This course will focus in a variety of ways on the development of skills for writing fiction, building on the work done in English 120. Depending on the instructor, it may approach the creative process through, for example, writing from models of the short story (both classic and contemporary), working with the technical components of fiction (e.g., plot, setting, structure, characterization), or developing linked stories or longer fictions (or other methodology selected by the instructor: see department postings for details). It will involve extensive readings and discussion of fiction in addition to regular fiction 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. (4 credits)

ENGL 286-01

Narrative Journalism

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Stephen Smith

Notes: This creative nonfiction course will focus on the basic elements of narrative journalism. Students will conduct interviews and research to create powerful stories that may be print, audio, and/or web-based. Every other year. (4 credits)

ENGL 294-01

Beyond the Pale: Irish Caribbean Connections

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Amy Elkins

Notes:

ENGL 294-02

Literature and the Environment: Between Eden and the Apocalypse

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Benjamin Voigt

Notes:

ENGL 294-03

Young Adult Literature

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Peter Bognanni

Notes: *First day attendance required*


ENGL 310-01

Shakespeare Studies

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Penelope Geng

Notes: Close study of half a dozen plays of Shakespeare, with special attention to his development of resources from performance arts and poetry into a powerful form that would come to engage the likes of Bertolt Brecht and other avant-garde theatre artists. Plays will be selected by critical interests and topics, for example gender and race in Shakespeare; masculinity in the Roman plays; the problem of character; Shakespeare and mythology; Shakespeare and later women writers; intercultural Shakespeare; the tragic and the comic. (4 credits)

ENGL 367-01

Postcolonial Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: David Moore

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 367-01*

Traces the development of theoretical accounts of culture, politics and identity in Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and related lands since the 1947¿1991 decolonizations. Readings include Fanon, Said, Walcott, Ngugi and many others, and extend to gender, literature, the U.S., and the post-Soviet sphere. The course bridges cultural representational, and political theory. Prior internationalist and/or theoretical coursework strongly recommended. (4 credits) Cross-listed with International Studies 367.

ENGL 386-01

From Literature to Film: Jane Austen and Adaptation

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: From its earliest days, film has drawn on literature for subject matter and modes of narration. Adaptations of literary sources have formed a significant part of all movies made in the west. This course will study the problems of adapting literature to film, dealing with the representations of time and space in both forms, as well as the differences in developing character and structuring narratives. The course will consider a novel, short story or play each week along with its cinematic counterpart. (4 credits)

ENGL 394-01

Race and the Victorians

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Andrea Kaston Tange

Notes:

ENGL 394-02

Creative Writing through Louise Erdrich

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Matthew Burgess

Notes:

ENGL 394-03

Ecstasy and Apocalypse: Literature of the Extreme

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes:

ENGL 401-01

Projects in Literary Research: Afrofuturism

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Daylanne English

Notes: *First day attendance required*

This capstone course for the Literature Path is the culminating academic experience of the major. The course consists of three interlocking objectives. The first goal is to provide students with the opportunity to develop an original research project that reflects their deepest aesthetic interests and ethical commitments. Working closely with a faculty member and a small group of peers, students will develop projects that display rigorous literary scholarship and methodological inventiveness. The second goal is to provide instruction in advanced methods of research by studying influential critical approaches from the early twentieth century to the present. Specific theories and methods will be determined in consultation with the instructor. Past courses have emphasized psychoanalysis, post-Marxist criticism, gender, queer, and feminist theory, phenomenology, critical race theory, black feminist theory, post-colonial criticism, poetics, law and human rights, and aesthetics. The final goal is to train students to become advocates of their research agenda. Students will learn to lecture and lead discussion on relevant readings and to share their research with the wider intellectual community in a form that reflects the spirit of the project. (4 credits)

ENGL 406-01

Projects in Creative Writing

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Ping Wang

Notes: This seminar will provide a workshop environment for advanced students with clearly defined projects in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama or a combination of genres. The seminar will center initially on a group of shared readings about the creative process and then turn to the work produced by class members. Through the presentation of new and revised work, and the critiquing of work-in-progress, each student will develop a significant body of writing as well as the critical skills necessary to analyze the work of others. (4 credits)