Fall 2013

ENGL 20000
Introduction to Creative Writing
Christine Texeira (Section 01: MW 2:00-3:15)
Alice Ladrick (Section 02: TR 3:30-4:45)


This course will introduce you to the craft of writing poetry and fiction. Thus, you will study the language, forms, techniques, and conventions of poetry and fiction with the purpose of putting that knowledge into practice. The hope is that by the end of the semester you will have also discovered ways of reading creative works that are stimulating and enriching for you. A large part of the semester will be devoted to the writing and sharing of exercises and original creative works in a workshop setting.

This is a general description of the course. For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 20003
Fiction Writing
Lynda Letona (Section 01: TR 3:30-4:45)
Melanie Page (Section 02: MW 2:00-3:15)


Students will begin with narrative exercises in style and form and ultimately write complete drafts and revisions of literary short stories. Readings in modern and contemporary literature will provide critical perspective and vocabulary, as well as narrative possibilities.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 20004
Poetry Writing
Megan Komorowski
TR 5:05-6:20


This course invites you to build on the basics, develop your technical abilities, and broaden your approaches to the form, genres, media, language, and performance of contemporary poetry. Students should expect to read and view works from a variety of periods and cultures, and will generate their own poems in response to course readings and prompts as well as their own impromptu in-class writing. Students will also sharpen their critical vocabulary as they analyze assigned readings, critique peer work, and receive critiques of their poems from both peers and instructor. Specific readings, activities and assignments will differ from section to section.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 20041
Public Speaking
John Duffy
TR 2:00-3:15


What makes a good public speaker? Why do some speeches feel electrifying, and others deadly boring? Why are some speakers remembered for centuries, while others quickly forgotten? 

In this course, we will study the theory and practice of public speaking. We will examine the speeches and performances of great speakers throughout history — Pericles, Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others —  and the ways in which their orations worked to teach, delight, and move their audiences.

Students in the course will prepare their own speeches, considering how to research a topic, write the first draft, organize the speech, and finally deliver it to an audience. Assignments will include analyzing texts and performances, evaluating audiences and occasions, and making extemporaneous and formal speeches. The final exam for the course will be to deliver an original speech in the Great Hall of O'Shaughnessy.

The goals of the class are to help you become an informed, effective, and ethical public speaker.

There are no prerequisites. Enrollment is limited.

ENGL 20104
Introduction to Poetry
Laura Betz
TR 3:30-4:45


This course will provide an introduction to poetry as a literary art form and develop students' skills of critical analysis and interpretation. The course will address the major poetic genres and a range of literary concepts and devices. We will read a variety of material both past and contemporary, with a special emphasis on poetry from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and particularly the Romantic period.

ENGL 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
Section 01: MW 11:00-12:15
Section 02: MW 2:00-3:15


This course will focus on the introduction to the novel as a form, a means to view the world of the author/artist and the reader. Literature is an art whereby one consciousness seeks to communicate with another consciousness. One of the artist's techniques for controlling this flow is the concept of point of view. We will explore various approaches and uses of this "framing" in some nineteenth and twentieth century novels. The goal is to use an understanding of point of view to more fully comprehend, enjoy, and sensitively read this popular genre.  Texts: Henry James, Turn of the Screw; Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome; James Joyce, Dubliners; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime; Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke, Ha, Ha; and Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America.  Requirements: regular class participation; two short papers, a mid-term; and a final.

ENGL 20154
The Gothic Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 2:00-3:15


"From ghoulies and ghosties/ And long-leggedy beasties/ And things that go bump in the night,/ Good Lord, deliver us!" Why do we enjoy being scared out of our wits? Since its inception in the late eighteenth century, generations have loved the Gothic Novel with its grotesque murders and bizarre terror. The course will study a number of the most celebrated Gothic tales from horrors in castles and monasteries (Lewis's The Monk) to mysterious love stories (Brontë's Wuthering Heights) to the eerie stories of the paranormal (Shelley's Frankenstein) to contemporary horror stories. The purpose will be to study the ways in which the Gothic Novel entertains us and what it is about us that loves to be entertained by the Gothic.

ENGL 20160
Literature and Ecology
John Sitter
TR 9:30-10:45


The course will study works of ecological imagination, primarily in contemporary literature but with some attention to classic earlier works. Reading non-fiction, fiction, and poetry, we will explore how ecological awareness figures in various kinds of literature, with a particular emphasis on late 20th- and 21st-century understandings of challenges to sustainability, such as diminishing resources, extinction of species, and climate change. We will attend to the heightened importance of voice, narrative, and metaphor in literary renderings of how to best understand our creative possibilities at what is arguably the "beginning of the most crucial decades in the history of the human species on earth." Other topics concern how the relation of literature to science and the meanings of "nature" are changing, how to understand current environmental controversies more critically, and how to enter those discussions thoughtfully and effectively. Readings will include novels by T.C. Boyle, Margaret Atwood, and Ruth Ozeki; non-fiction by Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and Bill McKibben; and poems by Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, Denise Levertov, A.R. Ammons, Wendell Berry, and Pattiann Rogers. Requirements include several one-page response papers, a more ambitious essay, a midterm examination, and a final examination.This course is primarily for non-majors; it can also satisfy one of the requirements of the minor in Sustainability Studies.

ENGL 20168/ IIPS 30604 – Crosslist
Introduction to Literature and Peace Studies

Sandra Gustafson
MW 3:30-4:45


In this class we will read novels, poems, essays, and autobiographies to illustrate foundational concepts and introduce core practices of peace studies.  One aim of the course will be to deepen our understanding of both the intimate (psychological, interpersonal) and broader dimensions of conflict, violence, and war, as well as to develop a textured understanding as only literature can give to the varied meanings of peace.  Another aim will be to move from appreciating literature as a tool for understanding the reasons for conflict, and the need to transform it, to an understanding of the tools that literature offers to achieve conflict transformation. Readings will include Pat Barker's Regeneration, J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarian, and Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony; poetry, including works by Daniel Berrigan and Yusef Komunyakaa; and nonfiction works by Karl Marlantes and Thomas Merton. We will also draw on the works of the Kroc Institute’s John Paul Lederach, including The Little Book of Conflict Transformation and selections from The Moral Imagination:  The Art and Soul of Building Peace.  Students will be asked to subscribe to and read the weekday New York Times and to keep a journal. Assignments will include one or more essays (specifics tbd) totaling around twenty pages.  Active class participation will be essential to success.
ENGL 20169
Rebels and Outlaws in British and American Literature
Megan Hall
MW 3:30-4:45


This course takes as its thematic framework the rebel type in literature, addressing three of its incarnations in turn: the noble outlaw, the tragic rebel, and the rebellious woman. This framework provides a lens through which to examine major genres of literature (drama, fiction, poetry) and types of literary criticism. In examining and writing about these texts, students will also gain experience in literary analysis. Major texts to be read include Beowulf; Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale”; Twelfth Night, or What You Will; Frankenstein or, the Modern Prometheus; Laurie R. King’s A Monstrous Regiment of Women; “Bartleby the Scrivener”; and medieval and modern versions of the Robin Hood legend. Films also make up part of the course “texts” and include both the Kevin Reynolds and Ridley Scott Robin Hood films, Thelma and Louise, and Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night. Course requirements include regular attendance and participation, weekly informal writing, a short oral presentation, two 3-4 page essays, and a final exam.

ENGL 20170
Narrative and Memory
Mary Smyth
MW 3:30-4:45


This course will, in part, focus on honing your own critical reading and writing skills and approaches. We will be reading a series of texts — memoirs and novels — which have in common a concern with the nature of memory (often of traumatic memory) and the ways in which language can retrieve, accommodate, memorialize, and respond to the past. One of the themes that will emerge repeatedly is the instability of memory, as well as an emphasis on the uneasy connections and differences between fiction and memoir. The following are the texts to be covered in depth: Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved; Bernard Schlink, The Reader; Neil Jordan, Shade; Pat McCabe, The Butcher Boy; Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark; Toni Morrison, Beloved. These main texts will be accompanied by a number of related articles, available in a course pack. I may add additional readings if I think it necessary. You will see that most of these articles concern the first two and the last of our texts. This is in part because there is not a lot of good secondary material on the Irish books we will be studying. You will also find, as you read the essays, that there is much in them that resonates with all of our texts. Please take the time to read carefully all of this material, as we progress; I will be discussing the articles with you in class. There will also be screenings of four films: extracts from Claude Lanzmann’s masterpiece Shoah; The Gray Zone; The Butcher Boy; and After ‘68.

ENGL 20171 / PS 33400 – Crosslist
Rhetorics of Gender and Poverty
Connie Mick
MW 12:30-1:45


This course explores the rhetorical history and dynamics of what has been called the “feminization of poverty,” comparing statistics and stories in scholarly and popular media that often tell conflicting narratives of who is poor and why.  We will ask how the picture of poverty has evolved over time from Dorothea Lange’s 1936 documentary photograph of the “Migrant Mother” to Ronald Regan’s 1976 reference to the “Welfare Queen” to the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire.  What does poverty look like in modern media (news, books, films, theatre, etc.)?  Who gets to tell that story?  How can we contribute to that conversation?  These questions will be grounded in theories and research on the intersection of gender, poverty, and rhetoric.  They will also be framed by students’ original community-based research supported by local community partners whose social service addresses gender and poverty.  Final projects can be composed as traditional research or creative works.


ENGL 20215
Introduction to Shakespeare
Elliott Visconsi
TR 12:30-1:45


An examination of selected plays of Shakespeare, with an emphasis on Shakespeare's development as a dramatist and his techniques of character development.

ENGL 20221/ MI 20182 - Crosslist
From Rome to Romance
Nicole Eddy
MW 11:00-12:15


Geoffrey Chaucer may not have looked good in a toga, but that doesn't mean he didn't know his Roman myths.  In the Middle Ages, authors looked to the classical period for poetic models, as well as for a fund of stories and myths ripe for their reuse through translation, adaptation and interpretation.  In this class, we will explore some of the debt that the Middle Ages owes to the classical period, and how medieval authors used texts from classical Greece and Rome.  Students will read a variety of classical texts, including selections from the Aeneid and Metamorphoses, and will then read medieval texts that reuse the same stories, framed in a new context, and sotrace their influence up through the fourteenth century.  The class is an introduction to some of the most important authors of classical Rome (Ovid, Virgil) and the Middle Ages(Chaucer, Gower, Guillaume de Lorris).  Even more, though, students will come to understand the dependence of medieval authors on the classical tradition, as well as how adaptation and variation contributed to artistic creativity.  The vast majority of assigned readings will be modern English translations of texts originally written in Latin, Old French, Middle English and even a little Old English.  But students will be aware of the language of the originals, and in the case of the Middle English texts, will do work both inside and outside of class reading and translating this medieval language into modern English.
This course meets the University Literature Requirement.
ENGL 20227
Andrew Klein

King Arthur through the Ages: The Arthurian Legend from the 7th century to the present
TR 5:05-6:20

Since its very beginnings in the seventh century, the legend of King Arthur and his knights has managed to enchant readers the world over. Today, we see King Arthur on our television and computer screens, at theatres, in fantasy and historical novels, in video games, and on bags of flour. Many of us are familiar with Arthurian legend without knowing it—like knowing that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father without ever seeing Star Wars. What about the Arthurian legend has given it such longevity and cultural significance? What has compelled us generation after generation, across cultures, to adapt  those ancient legends, to breath new life into an old story. 

The purpose of this course is to allow you the opportunity to engage with literature and its historic moments while simultaneously demonstrating how great literature, and great literary traditions, transcend and cross over time. All of this will be done through a study of one of our most enduring stories, those tales typically contained in the Arthurian tradition. We will spend time understanding the origins of King Arthur, and trace the Round Table’s development over the centuries, looking at histories, poems, novels, and films. Through it all, you will learn to appreciate a text’s literariness and to identify the features of great works through close reading.


ENGL 20228
Beowulf
: Old and New
Jacob Riyeff
MW 5:05-6:20

Beowulf is a poem of monsters, kings, and feuds, with a gold-hoarding dragon thrown in for good measure.  But it is also a poem of nostalgia, death, endurance in the face of insurmountable forces, and loss.  From J. R. R. Tolkien’s use of the poem and its world in his tales of Middle Earth, to a range of movies, comic books, and modern translations, it is the only Old English poem to bleed out of academia and into popular culture.  But why does this poem written so long ago continue to resonate with modern audiences?  This class will take a hard (and entertaining) look at Beowulf, the original context of the tale, and how modern versions reimagine it.  We will read the poem together with contemporary literature (the Old Norse Saga of King Hrolf Kraki), and modern versions (Seamus Heaney’s translation, John Gardner’s novel Grendel, etc.), comparing these written works with movie versions as well.  We will also survey some of the foundational scholarship on Beowulf by scholars such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Roberta Frank, Fred C. Robinson, and others.  Our goal will be to explore many different approaches to the poem’s hero and his monstrous companions through over a thousand years of artistic production.

ENGL 20436/ IRLL 20115- Crosslist
Irish Literature and Culture I
Amy Mulligan
TR 9:30-10:45


Ireland can lay claim to one of the most extensive, unique, and oldest literatures in Europe. By engaging with a wide range of literary texts from the medieval and early modern periods (ca. 800-1800), participants will consider how changing social, cultural, literary and intellectual contexts, in terms of both authors and audiences, have dramatically transformed Ireland’s literature over the centuries. By looking at authors ranging from heroic bards and literary monks to lamenting wives and satirizing schoolmasters, we will examine the dynamics of production and the voices that speak to us from Ireland’s past. Additionally, by thinking about the identities of those who have more recently translated and edited the versions of the texts we will read, by questioning the different topics that scholars have chosen to explore, and by articulating our own responses to often arresting works from the Irish literary tradition, we will begin to understand the complexities and rich possibilities inherent in experiencing these literary masterpieces in a time and place very different from medieval or early modern Ireland.

ENGL 20544
Contemporary British Fiction
Elizabeth Evans
TR 3:30-4:45


How does winning a war and losing an empire impact a nation and its literary culture? How does the contemporary British novel revisit key historical events, grapple with the colonial legacy, and posit globalized and “post-national” identities? How do gender, class, and ethnicity operate in these texts? What, in sum, is the state and role of British fiction today? We’ll explore these broad questions through close attention to a selection of British fiction of recent decades. We’ll consider novels not only in the context of British literary traditions (which they variously extend, revise, or overturn) but also in the framework of contemporary culture. We’ll pay additional attention to how a range of avant-garde, postcolonial, and popular novels find another life in film. Our texts are likely to include the very recent NW by Zadie Smith (2012) and such novels and their film adaptations as: David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), Andrea Levy’s Small Island  (2004), Ian McEwan’s Atonement (2001), Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (1988) or Never Let Them Go (2005), and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997).


ENGL 20607
Religious Imagination in American Literature
Thomas Werge
MWF 11:35-12:25


A critical study of the religious and philosophical dimensions of selected American literary texts with a focus on literary forms, the history of ideas, and cultural and interpretive currents both traditional and modern. Students will be expected to write a series of brief, incisive critical papers.

ENGL 20701
Introduction to African American Literature
Kinohi Nishikawa
MW 2:00-3:15


This course conducts a broad survey of African American literature from the colonial era to the present. In our survey we will be especially concerned to delineate the pathways by which vernacular culture (folklore, slang, the dozens, etc.) has influenced the production of texts across a range of genres. To that end, students can expect to engage with regular reading, writing, and oral communication assignments that bring the language of African American literature to the fore of their analysis. Texts may include poetry by Wheatley, Hughes, and Brooks; fiction by Chesnutt, Hurston, and Baldwin; and the key nonfiction narratives of the tradition (Douglass, Jacobs, Du Bois).

ENGL 20720 /ILS 20303 Crosslist
U.S. Latino/a  Poetry
Francisco Aragon
MW 9:30-10:45

In October of 2013, the University of Notre Dame is hosting the fifth and final installment of “Latino/a Poetry Now”—a national initiative that kicked off in November of 2011 at Harvard University. This course, then, offers a timely opportunity to read, discuss, and write about a generous sampling of contemporary American poetry by Latino/as. Among those we will read are the four poets who will be visiting our campus (and this class) in the fall. We will focus on a younger generation of writers and how their work navigates the “Latino poet” label. We will examine some of the traits that characterize this work, but we’ll also encounter poems that challenge and undermine what one might expect when one hears the term, “Latino poetry.” In addition to a multi-author anthology and single-author collections, the course will also make use of online roundtable discussions and video interviews by many of the poets we’ll be reading.

ENGL 20730
Poetry & Modern Life in Crisis
Joel Duncan
TR 2:00-3:15


This course begins with the assumption that the privileging of personal experience is unique to life in modernity, and especially capitalist society. Only in the modern era, the argument goes, do we experience ourselves as isolate in the ways that life in the metropolis, for example, demands. And only with such isolation does the preoccupation with poetic genius emerge. Personal experience furthermore, just like modern poetry and society, seems to be by its very definition crisis-ridden. This course will begin with Wordsworth, Whitman, and Emerson, and will finish with our contemporary Claudia Rankine. Throughout the course we will consider themes in modern poetry that are themselves part of different kinds of crises in modern life, such as homosexuality, gender roles, race, myth and tradition, madness, death, consumption, work and social revolution. We will primarily read American poets like Carl Sandburg, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Frank O’Hara, Robert Duncan, Gil Scott-Heron, Diane DiPrima, as well as Anglo-Americans like T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, and Denise Levertov, along with Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Bolshevik playboy whose life, like several of the poets considered in this course, met a tragic end.

ENGL 20906
African Women Writers
Z’etoile Imma
MW 12:30-1:45


In this course we will explore some of the most acclaimed expressions which constitute modern and contemporary African women’s writing in English. Traversing various discursive landscapes through African fiction authored by women will allow to us entry into significant yet often overlooked non-Western formulations of history, experience, identity, and power. Undoubtedly, questions regarding the postcolonial, gender, sexuality, race, nation, class, modernity, space, exile, violence, resistance, and language will arise. Informed by various theories, we will grapple with and attempt to define these terms. Specifically, we will examine the postcolonial as a gendered experience, study various postulations on “third world” and African feminisms, and learn to recognize significant themes that appear inter-textually. As we focus on fiction as the primary genre for our study, we will reflect on how African women novelists and short story writers employ form to communicate their aesthetic, political, and cultural concerns. Texts may include: Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy or Reflections of a Blackeyed Squint; Buchi Emecheta, Joys of Motherhood; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Mariama Ba, So Long a Letter; Bessie Head, Maru; Nadine Gordimer, July’s People; Helen Oyeyemi, Iscarus Girl; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah; Yvonne Vera, Butterfly Burning.

ENGL 30101
Intro to Literary Studies
Romana Huk (Section 01 – TR 9:30-10:45)
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier (Section 02 – TR 11:00-12:15)

Sara Maurer (Section 03 – TR 12:30-1:45)
Yasmin Solomonescu (Section 04 – TR 3:30-4:45)


This course provides beginning English majors with experience in the analysis, interpretation, and appreciation of literary works of different kinds and eras. Texts assigned will vary from one section to another, but all sections will include attention to poetry and at least one other genre (fiction, drama, non-fiction prose). Frequent writing about works studied will introduce students to the practice of critical argument and consideration of how to read criticism as well as literature critically.

ENGL 30110
British Literary Traditions I
Susannah Monta
MW 11:00-12:15


This is an introductory survey of English poetic and prose texts written from the eighth to the mid-seventeenth century.  We will study these literary artifacts as imaginative representatives of experience, as cultural maps, and as human messages-in-a-bottle, set afloat in the seas of time.

As we read these selections composed in English from past centuries past, we will be looking for both familiarity and strangeness.  We will also be forming a sense of the variety and differing uses of literary genres: epic and romance (Beowulf and Sir Gawain & the Green Knight); short story (Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and the Lais of Marie de France); religious diary (excerpts from the mystical visions of Julian of Norwich in Revelations of Divine Love) and autobiography (from the first written in English, authored by Marjorie Kempe, a laywoman who records her business ventures, her negotiations of marital sex life, her adventures on pilgrimage, and her religious examination by the archbishop as a potential heretic).

We will also read lyric poems from the Old and Middle English periods, and from the Renaissance and seventeenth centuries, including some of Shakespeare's sonnets; political satire (excerpts from Utopia, a prose fiction authored by Sir/Saint Thomas More); and at least on play - possibly two - from the Medieval and/or Renaissance performing tradition.  The semester's literary pilgrimage will conclude by coming full circle, back to the epic revisited, with selections from Milton's Paradise Lost.

Regular short quizzes.  Midterm & final examinations.  Two short (5-10 pp.) Essays, due at mid-term and end-term.

Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature,  Vol. I, 7th edition.

ENGL 30115
American Literary Traditions I
Thomas Werge
MWF 9:25-10:15


Introduction to American literature from its beginnings through the Civil War, emphasizing important figures, literary forms, and cultural movements.

ENGL 30850
Fiction Writing for English Majors
Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi
MW 12:30-1:45


This is a course in writing short fiction for English majors who come to writing with a broader literary background than non-majors. It is conducted through a discussion format centered on fiction written by students in the class, and in the context of readings drawn from the contemporary, literary landscape. Students will be encouraged to explore how style and language create aesthetic experience and convey ideas. No one type of fiction is advocated over another, and the emphasis in the class will vary from section to section; however, students will be expected to write fiction that demonstrates an awareness of the difference between serious literature and formula entertainment.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 30852
Poetry Writing for Majors
Joyelle McSweeney
MW 2:00-3:15


A intensive poetry workshop exclusively for English majors.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 30853
Fiction Writing
Steve Tomasula
TR 2:00-3:15


This is a course in writing short fiction. It is conducted through a discussion format centered on fiction written by students in the class. Readings drawn from the contemporary, literary landscape will be included. Students will be encouraged to explore how style and language create aesthetic experience and convey ideas. No one type of fiction is advocated over another, and the emphasis in the class will vary from section to section, depending on the instructor.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 40138
Children's Literature: From Lewis Carroll to J.K. Rowling
Declan Kiberd

TR 12:30-1:45

Can there be such a thing as a children's literature or is such a thing inevitably produced by adults to answer adult needs?  Why did the designation of a children's literature emerge so markedly in the late nineteenth and twentieth century? Is the writing so produced subversive of adult codes or a conservative lament for lost traditions and values? Does the experience of childhood vary over time and from one nation to another? This course will attempt to offer some answers to these and other questions by analyzing texts by such authors as Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Louisa M Alcott, Mark Twain, JM Barrie, L Frank Baum, PL Travers, CS Lewis, JD Slinger, Philippa Pearce, Roddy Doyle, JK Rowling and others.

ENGL 40145
Literary Theory
David Thomas
MW 2:00-3:15


In literature and the humanities, we use the term "theory" to demarcate a way of looking at things. For example, a gender theorist insists upon the importance of gender or sexual identities, a Marxist theorist emphasizes how economic conditions affect social and political realities, and a narrative theorist examines the importance of such matters as perspective and plotting in storytelling. Rather than promoting one theoretical perspective, this course surveys numerous styles of literary theory and criticism. Students will come to understand key features and issues in topics such as: Marxist theory; psychoanalysis; French and Anglo-American feminisms; gender theory and masculinity; structuralism and poststructuralism; postmodernism; history of sexuality; race and ethnicity studies; the development of literary canons; and disability theory. There is a great deal of sheer fun and surprise in learning about these various approaches. But such knowledge is also empowering, raising our consciousness concerning our own commitments and interests as readers. This course is therefore of special value to students anticipating subsequent thesis writing or graduate study in the humanities, social sciences, and law. Our main text is The Norton Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism (2nd Ed.). It's a typically huge Norton tome but worth the wrist damage as a superb launching point into all areas of literary and cultural theory. Graded coursework involves a midterm and a final exam, a paper documenting a point of theory controversy that interests you individually, and a paper in which you critique a theorist or apply a theoretical approach to a literary or cultural context of your choosing. Active participation is also important.

ENGL 40151
Writing India
Mary Smyth
MW 12:30-1:45


Salman Rushdie, in a controversial introduction to an anthology of Indian writing, argues that the best writing to emerge from India, or from writers of Indian descent, is now undeniably written in English, the language of British colonization. This course will trace the recent development of Indian writing in English, or Indo-Anglian fiction, as Rushdie and others have called it. We will, however, begin with two old, canonical novels of India written by English writers: Rudyard Kipling's Kim and E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Other texts to be read include: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children; Arundathi Roy, The God of Small Things; Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss; Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake; Vikas Swarup, Slumdog Millionaire; Monica Ali, Brick Lane; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient; David Davidar, The House of Blue Mangoes. We will be learning about the complex cultural and political history of India, as well as studying the literary debates that have fired such an efflorescence of great fiction. Along the way, we will familiarize ourselves with aspects of post-colonial theory, and also of the enormous impact of imperialism on India. There will also be a film element to this class.

ENGL 40157 / LLRO 40107 – Crosslist
Meaning, vulnerability & human identity: the relationship between theological & literary reflections
Vittorio Montemaggi
TR 2:00-3:15


This course explores the contribution that the coming together of theological and literary reflection can make to our understanding of the nature of meaning. Focusing on the work of Augustine, Aquinas, Dante, Primo Levi, Dostoevsky and Shakespeare, students will address questions such as 'What is it we are doing when speaking, reading, using language?', 'How do the intellect and the imagination work in relation to literary texts?', 'How might all this relate to our ways of thinking about God, human nature, and the relationship between them?' Such questions will be addressed, in particular, through reflection on how the texts studied invite us to think about the nature of love, forgiveness, vulnerability and creativity.

ENGL 40161 / IRLL 30310 – Crosslist
The Irish Comic Tradition
Sarah E. McKibben
TR 11:00-12:15


Fantasy. Humor. Ribaldry. The Macabre. The Grotesque. Wit. Word play. Satire. Parody.
This course will read diverse examples of the long and fertile comic tradition in Irish literature (in Irish and in English), from medieval to modern, in order to enjoy a good laugh, get an alternative take on the Irish literary tradition, and think about the politics of humor.
Authors will include unknown acerbic medieval scribes, satiric bardic poets, Swift, Merriman, Sheridan, Wilde, and Flann O'Brien.

No knowledge of Irish is assumed or necessary. Audio recordings accessible for students who need them.

Students must not have taken the University Seminar “Irish Jokes from Medieval Satirists to Bart Simpson.”

ENGL 40203
Introduction to Old Norse
Chris Abram
MW 9:30-10:45


‘A person should be wise enough—but never too wise; life is most pleasant for those who know just enough’. Old Norse proverb, from Hávamál.

In this course, students will come to grips with Old Norse—a term that encompasses the medieval vernacular languages of Scandinavia and the vernacular literatures that flourished in Norway and Iceland between the Viking Age and the Reformation. The Old Norse literary corpus is remarkable for its breadth and variety, its literary quality and its cultural value: Norse manuscripts preserve our fullest record of pre-Christian mythology from northern Europe; traditional Germanic narrative and poetic traditions are uniquely well-represented in Old Norse versions, some of which date back to well before the Conversion; in the Icelandic sagas, one of Europe’s most distinctive medieval genres, we see an unprecedented forerunner of ‘realistic’ prose fiction. Knowledge of Old Norse also gives access to many primary sources relating to the perennially controversial and fascinating Vikings, who took their language as far afield as Russia, Rome, Reykjavik and Rouen. (And Old Norse was probably the first European language spoken in North America.)
Over the course of a semester, we will learn the fundamentals of Old Norse grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Although it has some quirks, Old Norse is not a particularly difficult language to pick up, and students will soon be able to read a saga in the original. We will introduce students to the history and literature of medieval Scandinavia, using translations at first but gradually bringing in original language material as our mastery of Old Norse increases.

This course will be assessed by means of regular grammar quizzes and translation exercises, and a final exam. 

ENGL 40206 / FTT 40600 - Crosslist
Shakespeare and Film
Peter Holland
MW 3:30-4:45


This course explores the phenomenon of Shakespeare and film, concentrating on the ranges of meaning provoked by the conjunction. We shall be looking at examples of films of Shakespeare plays both early and recent, both in English and in other languages, and both ones that stick close to conventionalized and historicized conceptualizations of Shakespeare and adaptations at varying degrees of distance towards the erasure of Shakespeare from the text. The transposition of different forms of Shakespearean textualities (printed, theatrical, filmic) and the confrontation with the specificities of film produce a cultural phenomenon whose cultural meanings--meaning as Shakespeare and meaning as film--will be the subject of our investigations. There will be regular (though not necessarily weekly) screenings of the films to be studied.

ENGL 40233
J. R. R. Tolkien
Tim Machan
TR 9:30-10:45


One of the most prolific authors in the modern period – the author of the twentieth century, according to one admirer – Tolkien is also one of the most influential, controversial, and challenging. He inspired a craze for fantasy literature that persists today and that itself has influenced the movies, games, and images of pop culture. As often as readers praise his novels, however, critics (particularly scholars) vilify them for their plots, style, and characters. Further complicating this reception is the fact that as a writer Tolkien, who by trade was a medievalist and philologist at the University of Oxford, produced far more than his well-known books on Middle Earth. In an effort to get a broad understanding of Tolkien as a writer and of the continuities that run through everything he wrote, we’ll read these blockbusters, but also some of his original poetry, several of his academic articles, and his translations of medieval poems. We’ll consider what it meant to be a writer when Tolkien was, including the way he balanced teaching and writing, the importance of his writers’ group (the Inklings), and the process by which his sometimes illegible handwritten drafts found their way (changing in the process) to the finished products that shook the literary world.

ENGL 40257
Viral Shakespeare
Jesse Lander
MW 12:30-1:45


This course will explore the way in which Shakespeare’s plays emerged out of a culture of commonplacing (the literary practice of collecting choice quotations in a commonplace book for subsequent use in the process of composition) and almost immediately underwent a process of remediation as stage performances were transformed into printed books sold to an eager reading public.  Stage performance and print publication led to an extraordinary proliferation of Shakespearean media, and the course will consider the way in which film and new digital media have in turn reshaped and extended our understanding of Shakespeare.  The course will be organized around seven case studies— A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, 1 Henry IV,  King Lear, Macbeth, The Tempest—in each case we will consider the play’s initial composition, earliest performance and first publication before going on to consider the ways in which the play has perpetuated itself in later times and places.

ENGL 40258
Arthurian Literature
Dolores Frese
MW 2:00-3:15


The large body of history, verse chronicle, heroic narrative, poetic romance, and prose fiction - all gathered under the canopy term "Arthurian Legend" - represents one of the most fascinating and most enduring literary phenomena of western culture. In this class, which will follow a lecture-discussion format, we will read a selection of writings that reflect the textual trace of Arthur from his earliest appearances in mytho-historical chronicles beginning in the sixth century and extending from the earliest medieval poetic and prose fictions featuring Arthur and the members of his court, through the great array of writers, past and present, who have tended these myths and legends with such imaginative care. Our readings, which begin in the Middle Ages, will culminate with the "Arthurian revivals" of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the latter extending to theatrical and film texts ranging from "Camelot" and Eric Rohmer's Perceval to Monty Python and Indiana Jones in their post-modern questing for the Holy Grail. In addition to attending ways in which the sheer pleasures-of-the-text have been constructed by these gifted authors, our own "literary quest" will involve questions of historical and social context, gender and genre, the history of reception, modes of literary representation including techniques of symbolic and allegorical figuration, and ways in which the theoretical and/or ideological positions of both writers and their audiences constrain and inspire the works they produce. While pondering how and why this vast body of myth and legend, clustered around the figure of Arthur, has managed to survive and thrive through such remarkably variant shifts of time, place, and circumstance; and while reflecting thoughtfully on our own investment in - or resistance to - the variety of assigned readings, each student will choose for particular close study an Arthurian hero, heroine, or villain (Lancelot, Gawain, Guinevere, Galahad, Merlin, Modred, etc.), as well as some mytho-historical theme like the Round Table, the Grail Quest, the Sword-in-the-Stone, the Bride Quest, the Giant Combat, the Fatherless Boy, the Childless Queen, etc., as this "character" or "motif" presents some specific problem in interpretation. These "character studies" and thematic clusters will form the basis of two short essays, one due at mid term, one at end term. Specific topics, which will be shaped through individual consultation with the teacher, should, in the course of their critical argument, engage a variety of formal, stylistic, and rhetorical practices that have been employed by writers from the twelfth to the twentieth century as they conform to—and create fresh versions of—the plenitude of literary exemplars that characterize Arthurian Legend. Creative projects—individual or collective—are also welcome and, with the approval of the teacher, may be substituted for one of the essays. These alternative ways of investigating the materials of Arthurian Legend might include original poetic or prose compositions, dramatic presentations, graphic arts, videos, and/or musical performances, vocal or instrumental performances.

ENGL 40304
Jane Austen and Her World
Margaret Doody
TR 11:00-12:15


Jane Austen’s life spans the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.  Her novels are often treated as idyllic romantic stories set in a gentle past, elegant tales of refined courtship. Yet she lived in turbulent times, and her earliest works exhibit a taste for absurdity and violence linking her to Rabelais and Dickens. Her novels present us with the pressures of change and adaptation.

“Jane Austen’s world” encompasses the world Jane Austen knew, a geographical, political, historical and social reality that was England. We shall consider the implications of the counties her heroines live in. How does Elizabeth’s Hertfordshire differ from Darcy’s Derbyshire?  How might England’s first census of 1801 illuminate the world she knew?  First names and surnames often define or reflect a political outlook   a class or an ethnic background, and may relate characters to historical figures—including criminals and “celebrities”.  Why is Fitzwilliam Darcy’s name contradictory?  Marriage is of great importance; we shall examine not only the Anglican Service of Holy Matrimony but also laws and customs affecting dowries, inheritance, and women’s access to income.

We will read all the fiction that Jane Austen wrote, not only the six novels, and the novella Lady Susan but also the youthful stories and the unfinished   novels, including her last work, “Sanditon.” A selection of Austen’s letters will also be on our reading list.  Is there only one “Jane Austen”? Would Fanny Price really approve of Elizabeth Bennet? What kinds of conflict does Austen explore? Looking at works that Jane Austen read, including favorite novels, will help us to get closer to her and her era.

Interpretations of Austen in our own time abound in TV dramatizations and films. These demand our investigation, as we inquire into the significance of the recent Austen “boom” and what it may tell us of our own tastes and times.

TEXTS: Austen: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, “Catharine” and Other Writings; Letters, ed. Deirdre le Faye. James Edward Austen-Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen; Frances Burney: Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (novel); .Maria Edgeworth   (selected children’s stories); Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal (play); Charlotte Smith, Emmeline, or the Orphan of the Castle; Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (non-fiction treatise, selections).

ENGL 40322
Reading Revolution in the Eighteenth Century
Christopher Fox
MW 2:00-3:15


The distinctive feature of the long eighteenth century lay partly in the rediscovery of classical values, but above all in the impetus created by a series of revolutions--scientific, religious, political, social, and economic--in the ways people looked at the world and themselves.  We will explore representations of these revolutions in writers from Dyden to Johnson.

ENGL 40424
Modern Revolutions in Poetry
Romana Huk
TR 2:00-3:15


This course introduces students to twentieth-century “modernist” writing by familiarizing them with several of the period's most infamously groundbreaking texts, such as T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” Edith Sitwell's “Facade,” Hugh MacDiarmid's “A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle,” and David Jones's “In Parenthesis.” Its pace will slow down at times to close read, as a class and as carefully as possible, several of the major, longer works of the era, and speed up at others in order to survey, in brief flights, the full and enormously colorful expanse of experiment that would change the genre irrevocably. Contextual study of revolutions in the other arts—like painting and music—as well as of Britain's “war culture” between 1914 and 1945 will give our growing understanding of the period more depth and help to illuminate the pressures that produced revolutionary art forms from figures as various as D. H. Lawrence, Stevie Smith and W. H. Auden. The ultimate goal of the course is to generate confidence in reading what Eliot would describe as that inevitable product of modernism: “the difficult poem.” Two papers will be required, as well as one presentation and a reading journal.

ENGL 40428/ IRLL 40144 - Crosslist
Locating Women’s Poetry
Briona NicDhirmada
MW 9:30-10:45


This course will look at the work of contemporary women poets through the mediating prisms of gender, national, regional and linguistic identities. It will locate their work in relation to the traditional canon and examine the poetic strategies used by these diverse poets. Poets studied will include Eavan Boland, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Maire Mhac an tSaoi, Maedhbh McGuckian, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Moya Cannon, Vona Groarke, Paula Meehan, Dorothy Molloy, Collette Bryce and Martina Evans.

ENGL 40429/ IRLL 30116 – Crosslist
Queering Early Modern Ireland
Sarah McKibben
TR 2:00-3:15


This class explores the nature of the early modern (sixteenth- to seventeenth-century) colonial encounter between the aggrandizing English state and the adjacent Irish polity through the lens of Irish and English poetry and prose, asking how older Gaelic power relations and sociocultural forms were altered (queered) by English claims, and how Irish literati responded by challenging (queering) English authority in turn. Using feminist, postcolonial and queer theory, we will ask how we can make sense of the forms of relation operative prior to and as transformed by the colonial encounter, particularly in the male homosocial bonds described by Eve Sedgwick, which become queered (troubled, stigmatized, rendered illegitimate), as Alan Bray and Jonathan Goldberg have argued in an English and New World context, when they threaten extant power relations. We will also take up longstanding areas of debate regarding the characteristics of this colonial encounter, the degree to which comparisons are useful or apt, the nature of the so-called bardic mentalité, and, if we're feeling cocky, the modern. My own particular topics of interest include poet-patron relations, the imposition of English law, and native mechanisms of legitimation; others will emerge as we read a variety of texts together. That reading will include bardic professional poetry, state papers, annals, settler-colonial and administrative screeds, English poetry, maps, and works of history and literary criticism. While you need not know any Irish (Gaelic) to take this course, you should be prepared to conjoin history and theory, poetry and politics, through historicized close reading while working across genres to produce original criticism in the form of several papers whose topics you will develop yourself. The course should satisfy the literature requirement and count toward the IRLL minor and major.

ENGL 40601
American Renaissance
Laura Walls
MW 12:30-1:45


In the decades leading up to the Civil War, religious certainty, economic stability, and political authority were everywhere in doubt, and sweeping change seemed not merely possible, but essential. As a result, Utopian dreams jostled against the brutal realities of slavery, injustice, and the emerging industrial revolution, conflicts played out in America's first great literature: The American Renaissance or America Reborn. This was the time of abolitionism, women's rights, and Thoreau at Walden Pond; of Emerson's defiant Self-Reliance, Hawthorne's twisted psychic dramas, Melville's breakthrough fictions, and Poe's grotesque fantasies; of the rise of women's fiction and mass literature; of Walt Whitman's expansive poetry of the body and Emily Dickinson's dense poetry of the mind. As we navigate this period, our questions will be: what connects these writers with their time? With each other? With us?

ENGL 40613
Mexican-American Fiction
TBA
TR 3:30-4:45


In 1542 the Spanish explorer, Cabeza de Vaca, published his Relacíon, an imaginatively  elaborated account of his long trek through what is now the U.S. Southwest after being shipwrecked on the Texas Gulf Coast. With its occasional imaginative elaborations, some critics, in a perhaps overstated fashion, have suggested that the Relacíon, with its themes of adversity, conflict and the ”Other,” may be the first instance of an American literature largely set within what are now the boundaries of the United States. In later centuries and into our own time other literary examples set in the Southwest appeared from writers of Spanish and later Mexican heritage, literature written in Spanish. However, the nineteenth century brought four new inter-related developments: the incorporation of the Southwest officially into the United States; the identification of its resident and immigrant Spanish/Mexican peoples as citizens of the United States; the continuation of literary work from such peoples but now also written in English; and finally, the clear emergence of fiction within this literary discourse. This course will closely examine several examples of such English-language fiction from the nineteenth century to the present. For demographic reasons, the largest and most artistically and culturally significant work has come from the states of Texas and California, and therefore we will restrict our inquiry to those bodies of work, but we will do so in an inter-regional comparative fashion. Among others, our writers will include early authors such as Jovita González, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Américo Paredes and José Antonio Villarreal and later writers such as Tomás Rivera, Helena María Viramontes, Sandra Cisneros and Oscar Casares.

ENGL 40614
The Nineteenth Century American Novel
TBA
TR 3:30-4:45


In this course we will read, discuss, and study selected American novels of significant importance within the 19th century, a time when the questions of what constitutes an authentically 'American' literature preoccupied many authors seeking to fashion and interrogate a specifically 'American' tradition. As we situate these novels within their historical and cultural contexts, we will consider the various reasons for their place within the canon of American literature, with an eye toward understanding better the works themselves and exploring several recurring themes of particular concern for American writers (freedom, democracy, American identity and national destiny, slavery and the problem of race, to name a few). At the same time, we will scrutinize the very nature of the literary canon and reflect on the nature and significance of this, or any, reading list. Even so, we will see that these authors share deep engagement with ideas and themes common to American literature and do so, through their art, in ways that seek both to teach and to delight. Authors we will study include Sedgwick (Hope Leslie), Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave), Melville (Moby-Dick), Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin), Twain (Huckleberry Finn), and Chopin (The Awakening).

ENGL 40702
American Film
William Krier
TR 3:30-4:45


A look at what makes a film American. The course will be structured by pairing films from the classic period with films from the more recent past, in order to highlight essential features, particularly genre characteristics, the work of directors, and the performance of "stars." Possible films: It Happened One Night, French Kiss, The Lady Eve, Double Indemnity, Body Heat, Basic Instinct, Zero Effect, Shane, Unforgiven, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Die Hard, The Godfather, Bound, Silence of the Lambs, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Don Juan de Marco, Moulin Rouge, Crash, The Hours, The Maltese Falcon and others.

ENGL 40748
Engendering  Renaissance:  Chicago, Harlem and Modern America(s)
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
TR 2:00-3:15


In answering the question, "What was American modernism?" most literary critical perspectives might commonly be expected to focus on a modernity represented by the authors of the "lost generation" in the U.S., such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. While a conventional understanding of American modernism might serve to underscore the importance of the stylistic, cultural and artistic contributions of these and other canonical moderns, such a view might also give little consideration to the significance of those modern American voices not ordinarily heard in such a context. This course poses the question, "What was American modernism?" to answer it by exploring its roots in two less conspicuous early 20th-century American modernisms: the Chicago Renaissance of 1912-1925, and the Harlem Renaissance of 1920-1929. In "engendering renaissance," these two moments suggest a literary birth and rebirth of modern American identity that questions its seemingly stable boundaries and borders, reconfiguring the idea of "American" within and opening the door to the larger and more varied cultural fabric that is modern America(s). By locating the rise of American modernism in the relation between these two literary moments, this course will broaden our understanding of the idea of "American" at this time by considering how it is created within a frame determined by the interplay of race, gender, class and nation. In this way, it seeks to deepen our understanding of U.S. American culture and the idea of "American in the early 20th century, while suggesting new ways to engage the global social and cultural challenges facing the idea of "American" in the 21st.Course Requirements: two 5-7 page papers, group presentation, several short in-class writing assignments.  Course Texts: Required texts may include Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"; Jose Martí, "Our America"; Henry Blake Fuller, The Cliff-Dwellers; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark; Waldo Frank, Our America; Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Randolph Bourne, "Trans-National America"; Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery; W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice From the South; Jean Toomer, Cane; Jessie Fauset, Plum Bun; Nella Larsen, Quicksand & Passing.

ENGL 40752
Novels by Aliens
Kate Marshall
TR 3:30-4:45


This course will constitute a study of the strange narrative creatures populating the contemporary novel, persons who are something close to but not quite human. These characters and narrators are sometimes slight genetic modifications of the traditional human, cognitive beings existing after traditional comforts such as history, or victims of technological trauma who think just a little bit differently than what we are accustomed to. By examining these novels and their techniques for rendering the interiority of such characters, we will also begin a survey and discussion of how key texts in narrative theory might be accountable to the perspectives forming each tex's experiment with fictional form. By doing so, we will also consider the alienation that always goes along with reading novels in the twenty-first century. Texts will include Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Tom McCarthy's Remainder, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and others.

ENGL 40761
American Culture as Collage
Stephen Fredman
TR 12:30-1:45


One of the exciting aspects of American culture is that we make it up as we go along, with no historical or traditional or divine template that we all agree to follow. Without such a template, American artists and thinkers have often resorted to collage, or what you might think of as a kitchen-sink approach to representing American culture, creating new forms to contain all our marvelous odds and ends. We will trace this urge to capture American culture through the medium of collage in R. W. Emerson's essays, H. D. Thoreau's Walden, T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, Ezra Pound's poetry and translations, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Charles Reznikoff's Testimony, Langston Hughes' Montage of a Dream Deferred, Assemblage Art of the fifties and sixties, Laurie Anderson's performance film Home of the Brave, and A New Literary History of America.

ENGL 40763
Postwar U.S. Fiction and the Birth of Postmodernism
Matthew Wilkens
TR 12:30-1:45


In-depth study of the literature and culture of the United States in the years after the Second World War. Particular emphasis on the collapse of modernist forms and the rise of postmodernism between 1945 and 1970. Related consideration of post-industrial economic production, domestic liberation movements, and Cold War politics. Authors may include Wright, Ellison, Baldwin, Gaddis, Plath, Beckett, Pynchon, Nabokov, Hansberry, O'Connor, Kerouac, and others. Theoretical readings as appropriate.

English 40817
Black Skin, White Masks
Kinohi Nishikawa
MW 11:00-12:15


This course explores the literary and cultural implications of W. E. B. Du Bois’s famous contention, made in 1903, that African Americans’ life under segregation had given them special insight into the paradox of race and citizenship in American society. Our aim will be to situate Du Bois’s notion of “double-consciousness” in historical context on the way toward surveying texts that alternately reflect and revise this concept from the Jim Crow era to the present. Discussions will touch on key issues in racial (dis)identification, from passing and assimilation to sexual relations and authenticity. Texts may include novels by James Weldon Johnson, Richard Wright, and Paule Marshall; two or three films; and the study by Frantz Fanon after which the seminar is named.

ENGL 40850
Advanced Fiction Writing
Steve Tomasula
TR 3:30-4:45


This course is intended for students who have already taken a Fiction Writing course (or the equivalent) and who are seriously interested in writing fiction, and graduate students who are not in the Creative Writing program. The expectation is that the student is beyond the point of requiring assignments to generate stories. Over the semester, in a workshop setting, student stories will be taken through various stages: due attention will be paid to revision, rewriting, polishing, editing, with a goal that the stories be brought as close as possible to the point of submission as finished work. Practical as well as theoretical issues will be investigated; there will be assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 40851
Advanced Poetry Writing
Joyelle McSweeney
MW 11:00-12:15


This is the most advanced undergraduate course in poetry writing offered by the Department, and while it does not require existing skills in writing poetry, it assumes an existing interest in poetry developed through reading. The course will extend students' knowledge of lyric poetry both as readers and as writers, emphasizing its distinctive, performative qualities. A safe but critical workshop environment is offered for adventures in reading and writing; the course will enrich an understanding of poetic language for those seeking to enhance their enjoyment, as well as opening creative possibilities for those drawn primarily to writing poetry.

This is a general description of the course.  For specific details of this section see the syllabus and/or enhanced course information.

ENGL 40852
Advanced Fiction Writing II
Steve Tomasula
TR 3:30-4:45


This course is intended for students who have already taken a Advanced Fiction Writing and who are seriously interested in writing fiction. The expectation is that the student is beyond the point of requiring assignments to generate stories. Over the semester, in a workshop setting, student stories will be taken through various stages: due attention will be paid to revision, rewriting, polishing, editing, with a goal that the stories be brought as close as possible to the point of submission as finished work. Practical as well as theoretical issues will be investigated; there will be assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.

ENGL 40854
Advanced Poetry Writing II
Joyelle McSweeney
MW 11:00-12:15


This course is intended for students who have already taken a Advanced Poetry Writing and who are seriously interested in writing poetry. The expectation is that the student is beyond the point of requiring assignments to generate stories. Over the semester, in a workshop setting, student stories will be taken through various stages: due attention will be paid to revision, rewriting, polishing, editing, with a goal that the stories be brought as close as possible to the point of submission as finished work. Practical as well as theoretical issues will be investigated; there will be assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.

ENGL 41206 / FTT 41600 - Crosslist
Shakespeare and Film Lab
Peter Holland
M 5:00-7:00


Certain films will be viewed for further discussion in class.

ENGL 43104
Seminar: As If: Metaphor and Irony
John Sitter
TR 12:30-1:45


Metaphor and irony, two things that literature and students of literature are assumed to be especially good at, may be our most important ways of meaning more than we say. They may also be among our most important ways of knowing and navigating the world. This research seminar will explore the role of metaphor and irony in literature and thought. We will read works by authors from the 1700s to today (e.g., Swift, Melville, Keats, Twain, Virginia Woolf, Wallace Stevens, Adrienne Rich, Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace) and we will consider irony in popular culture (e.g., The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, etc.) Readings also in recent literary and cognitive theories of the production and processing of metaphor and irony. Questions will include the relation of traditional uses of metaphor and irony to their functions in parody and self-reflexive works of postmodernism (or "post-postmodernism" or "metamodernism"). In addition to informed discussion and short papers, the seminar will emphasize each student's independent research project (including individual conferences, bibliography, proposal, draft or drafts), culminating in a final paper of about 20 pages.

ENGL 43309
Seminar: Victorian Feelings
Sara Maurer
TR 3:30-4:45


 This course will examine a variety of Victorian texts from the scripts of Victorian melodramas (with pleasingly over-the-top titles such as Save My Baby! and Stolen by Gypsies); to predictably sentimental Victorian tales, such as Charles Dickens’s Christmas stories; to poems of deep mourning (Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam and Christina Rossetti’s short lyrics about death); and finally to a host of Victorian ghost stories and horror stories. We’ll read some theories of literature and emotion, explore why literature became so emotional in the nineteenth century, and discuss how this impacts our reading practices even today. Assignments will be a series of research tasks and short writing exercises that will build into a final seminar–length research paper.

ENGL 43605
Seminar: The New Thoreau
Laura Walls
MW 3:30-4:45


Even though Thoreau is central to the American literary tradition and an iconic figure claimed by a variety of (often conflicting) ideologies, there is a tremendous body of new scholarship on his life and writings that hasn't become widely known: far from being a hermit in the woods, Thoreau is emerging as a socially-engaged intellectual deeply involved in the major reform movements of his time, who after his retreat to Walden Pond turned increasingly toward building community and envisioning a new moral ecology. This seminar will explore that new scholarship and read Thoreau's writings, including those seldom taught, as a lens to study a wide range of topics and problems: the beginnings of the American environmental movement, the philosophy of social justice and political resistance, the pluralization of American religion, Thoreau’s relationship with “the Indian” and indigenous cultures, the rise of a new American poetics. Interdisciplinary work will be encouraged; students will complete a research paper of approximately 20 pages.

ENGL 70203 / ENGL 40203 - Crosslist
Introduction to Old Norse
Chris Abram
MW 9:30-10:45


‘A person should be wise enough—but never too wise; life is most pleasant for those who know just enough’. Old Norse proverb, from Hávamál.

In this course, students will come to grips with Old Norse—a term that encompasses the medieval vernacular languages of Scandinavia and the vernacular literatures that flourished in Norway and Iceland between the Viking Age and the Reformation. The Old Norse literary corpus is remarkable for its breadth and variety, its literary quality and its cultural value: Norse manuscripts preserve our fullest record of pre-Christian mythology from northern Europe; traditional Germanic narrative and poetic traditions are uniquely well-represented in Old Norse versions, some of which date back to well before the Conversion; in the Icelandic sagas, one of Europe’s most distinctive medieval genres, we see an unprecedented forerunner of ‘realistic’ prose fiction. Knowledge of Old Norse also gives access to many primary sources relating to the perennially controversial and fascinating Vikings, who took their language as far afield as Russia, Rome, Reykjavik and Rouen. (And Old Norse was probably the first European language spoken in North America.)

Over the course of a semester, we will learn the fundamentals of Old Norse grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Although it has some quirks, Old Norse is not a particularly difficult language to pick up, and students will soon be able to read a saga in the original. We will introduce students to the history and literature of medieval Scandinavia, using translations at first but gradually bringing in original language material as our mastery of Old Norse increases.

This course will be assessed by means of regular grammar quizzes and translation exercises, and a final exam. 

ENGL 70605/ENGL 43605 – Crosslist
Seminar: The New Thoreau
Laura Walls
MW 12:30-1:45


Even though Thoreau is central to the American literary tradition and an iconic figure claimed by a variety of (often conflicting) ideologies, there is a tremendous body of new scholarship on his life and writings that hasn't become widely known: far from being a hermit in the woods, Thoreau is emerging as a socially-engaged intellectual deeply involved in the major reform movements of his time, who after his retreat to Walden Pond turned increasingly toward building community and envisioning a new moral ecology. This seminar will explore that new scholarship and read Thoreau's writings, including those seldom taught, as a lens to study a wide range of topics and problems: the beginnings of the American environmental movement, the philosophy of social justice and political resistance, the pluralization of American religion, Thoreau’s relationship with “the Indian” and indigenous cultures, the rise of a new American poetics. Interdisciplinary work will be encouraged; students will complete a research paper of approximately 20 pages.

ENGL 90013
Graduate Fiction Workshop
Azareen Vander Vliet Oloomi
M 3:30-6:15


Limited to students in the Creative Writing M.F.A. Program, the workshop's major emphasis is on analysis, criticism, and discussion of participants' fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid manuscripts. Assigned readings in contemporary prose further the discussion of literary movements, critical schools, and publishing realities, as well as the aesthetic and philosophical implications of genre, style, and subject.

ENGL 90038
Graduate Poetry Workshop
Orlando Menes
TR 11-12:15


This seminar, which uses the traditional workshop method, is restricted to graduate students in the MFA program.  The principal aim of the course is for students to generate work of publishable quality by the end of the semester, and for students in the second year of the program to complete the MFA thesis.  Reading assignments will include a variety of first poetry collections that received national acclaim when they were published.  Indeed, a diversity of poetics will be emphasized throughout the semester.  Another important component of the course will be translation and world poetry.  We will also consider the current landscape of literary magazines and the various book-publication possibilities that exist for poets, especially those who have not yet published their first book.  Students should contact me as soon as they have enrolled in the course. 

Permission required; MFA students only. 

ENGL 90051
Death, Suffering, Evil, and Hope: Tragedy from Aeshylus to Arthur Miller Part 1
Terence Eagleton
TR 11:00-12:15


What are the historical roots of tragedy? Why does it emerge, disappeared, and re-emerge? What are the relations between the everyday and the artistic senses of the term? We shall begin by raising some general questions about tragedy as art form, word, vision, and common experience, and examine a few ancient Greek tragedies before moving on next semester to the early modern period. Texts: The Oresteia, Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. This is the first in a sequence of three courses.

ENGL 90092
Practicum: Teaching Creative Writing
Orlando Menes
TBA


For students in the M.F.A. program: a series of seminar meetings on the teaching of creative writing. Discussion will include theoretical approaches and practical teaching situations from introductory to the graduate level.  Students will practice their teaching in a live classroom by either directing an undergraduate workshop or giving a lesson in the craft of writing.  The class will also introduce students to a wide range of teaching opportunities at both the secondary and post-secondary levels.      

ENGL 90122 / MI 60327
Boethius and His Commentators
Stephen Gersh
TR 12:30-1:45


The first part of this course will provide an introduction to Boethius' life and works, and to his relation to the earlier Greek and Latin traditions. Although we will consider De Consolatione Philosophiae to be his most important text, devoting some weeks to the reading of the work sequentially through its five books, some attention will also be paid to Boethius' theological opuscula and to his writings on logic, rhetoric, music, and arithmetic. The second part of the course will be devoted to the tradition of Latin commentary on Boethius during the western Middle Ages between the early Carolingians and the
thirteenth century with special reference to the writings of Eriugena, Remigius of Auxerre, Bovo of Corvey, and William of Conches. Again, the primary emphasis will be placed on the afterlife of De Consolatione, although there will also be some opportunity to consider the commentaries on the theological treatises, and also the numerous Boethian citations and resonances in literary, theological, and philosophical works that are not "commentaries" on this author in the strict sense.

Students may write their required final essays on Boethius himself or on the Latin or vernacular traditions of Boethian reading.

ENGL 90211
Canterbury Tales
Dolores Frese
MW 11:00-12:15


The Canterbury Tales read in the original Middle English, with the twin goals of obtaining a deepened knowledge of the text-world contained within it along with how applications of contemporary critical practices can be used to produce new insights into the work.

ENGL 90271
The (Un)Natural World in Medieval Literature
Christopher  Abram
M 12:30-3:15


Can we get ‘back to nature’ by going back in time? Did medieval people perceive and represent their physical environments in ways radically different to ours? When did ‘nature’ divorce from ‘culture’ and why? How do ‘pre-scientific’ communities think the world works? Can we blame René Descartes for our alienation from the world that should nurture us? Or was feudalism at fault? Or Christianity?

In this course, we’ll attempt to answer these questions (and many more) through a cross-cultural investigation of the nature of ‘nature’ in medieval literatures of the North Sea region. Informed by readings of ecocritical theory, we will attempt to navigate worldviews of medieval texts as they react to (and thereby conceive of and produce) space and place, landscape, the non-human, the inexplicable and uncanny, in the most mundane and most exotic surroundings: the worlds that medieval people called home and the worlds they created for themselves.  

This class will be seminar-based and student-led: students will be required to introduce primary texts to the group and will be called upon to lead off discussion when their text comes up in the schedule. The geographical and temporal scope is flexible, but we will potentially be looking at texts in Old English, Old Norse, Anglo-Norman and early Middle English, as well as Latin of different periods and a bit of medieval Welsh and Irish. All texts will be available in translation, although students will be encouraged to bring their linguistic expertise to bear on original texts wherever possible. Medievalists of all backgrounds are welcome—not just literary scholars.

ENGL 90272
Authors, Books, and Readers in Early Modern England
Jesse Lander
M 3:30-6:15


This course will introduce students to a range of exciting and important work on authorship, the history of the book, and the history of reading.  In particular, we will examine current attempts to combine old-fashioned textual and historical scholarship with more recent theoretical paradigms.  The syllabus will include writings by Barthes, Chartier, Darnton, De Certeau, Eisenstein, Febvre & Martin, Fish, Foucault, Iser, and McKenzie.  Our discussions will be structured around three case studies: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Donne’s Anniversaries, and Milton’s Areopagitica.  However, students will be encouraged to develop research agendas that extend beyond the set texts.  Since this class deals with methodological and theoretical issues that have widespread applicability, it is appropriate for students with areas of interest outside early modern England.  An in-class presentation and a paper of 20-25 pages will be required.

ENGL 90273
Imagining Medieval English
Tim Machan
R 12:30-3:15


The linguistic and literary record from the years 500 to 1500, surviving as it does in manuscripts and inscriptions, is shaped by chance, access to literacy, and social practice. While reconstructions and comparative evidence allow us to fill in some gaps in this historical record, for the most part the record is partial. Medieval English, then, is less a found fact than one constructed through interpretation and classification of linguistic data in the light of varying practical and theoretical concerns. And as a label for the first millennium of English’s history, “medieval” represents an argument about the categorization, continuity, and discontinuity of these data. This course will explore this argument and, more generally, what might be called the metaphysics of medieval English: the language’s structural and literary traits but also the sociolinguistic and theoretical expectations that frame them and make them real, whether today or in the past. Topics we’ll consider include the nature of linguistic and material evidence, language dynamics in both the Old and Middle English periods, regional and literary language, and the historical reception of medieval English.

ENGL 90327
Enlightenment Forms and Fictions

Margaret Doody
R 3:30-6:00

Whether considered as a period or as a movement, that strange  and multiplex entity that we call “the Enlightenment” created or  transmuted numerous forms of writing. Authors created the matrix for our  own modes of thinking regarding time, history, self, psyche, nation-state, “human nature,” and the future.

Enlightenment  forms are notably concerned with change, and with a variety of concerns  regarding change and alteration.  The dominant  style of writing tends to be personality- oriented,  demonstrative, chatty, theatrical, self-dramatizing—as can be seen in works as various as Locke’s Essay concerning Humane UnderstandingThe Fable of the Bees, Gulliver’s Travels   or Casanova’s Story of My Escape. Discourses of philosophy or history are emphatically voiced, related through mimicry of personal speech. Biography and memoir are reinvented to serve as vehicles for speculative voices. On looking into the forms and formulations of an era often advertised as specializing in a beige universe of calm  logic  and common sense, we may  find  events, settings and discourses  highly colored and disconcerting.  Enlightenment literature is fond of tropes of exaggeration. Artistic works engage in internal self-parody, turning against apparently simple linear meaning. Social, economic or sexual “realties” are transmogrified. Perspectives constantly alter; what is ‘real” becomes harder to grasp.  Much of what we assert depends on the way the mind works.. Changing perspectives and engaging in surprise. The invention of the “Gothic” is only one of the period’s many engagements with vivid and disconcerting material.

We will look at a variety of new forms freshly drafted for a new age: the “blog” in the Tatler and Spectator;    the “Fairy Tale” and Oriental tale; the epistolary novel; “Science Fiction” and freshly  invented “Others” like the Sylph and the Vampire.  Comprehensive investigation of “ Human Nature”  provides new  possibilities of form and mode  in works as varied as  Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding  to Mandeville’s The Fable of the Bees. The “Encyclopedia” is an invention of order  calling on the random, perpetually advertising its imcompleteness. Memoir and  biography offer fresh modes of doubt, speculation and investigation of the contradictions within  both observer and object., Another new and centrally non-fictional form is the political or intellectual manifesto, from Sprat’s History of the Royal Society   through Fielding’s preface to Tom Thumb, and Jefferson’s  “Declaration of Independence, ” to Wollstonecraft’s Vindication .  Many—perhaps all-- of the new or revised Enlightenment forms engage centrally with the possibility of reversal and self-contradiction. This applies to Locke’s great Essay  as much as to Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau ( Rameau’s Nephew),  Richardson’s Clarissa , Sterne’s Tristram Shandy or Lewis’s The Monk. Enlightenment forms appear to favor friction, and snowball into a gathering of dissent , alternatives and  revisions as they proceed.  Pursuit of political, aesthetic or metaphysical  concerns  includes  considering  some examples of graphic art and of  new musical  and dramatic forms, including the opera. 


ENGL 90414
Modern Poetry and Poetics: From Symbolism to Objectivism

Henry Weinfield
W 3:30-6:15

 
This course will focus on the poetry and thinking about poetry of five major twentieth-century writers: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Ezra Pound (1885-1972), T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), and George Oppen (1908-1984).  In the process, the course will chart a movement from Symbolist to Objectivist modes and styles of poetic discourse.

ENGL 90521
Beckett and After
Declan Kiberd
T 3:30-6:15


The first part of this course will be devoted to close readings of some well-known Beckett texts: Murphy, Molloy: Malone Dies: The Unnamable, Waiting for Godot, Endgame and some shorts. We'll consider such themes as emigration, exile, cultural loss, the death of language, the poetics of the self--all in an attempt to define the unprecedented nature of Beckett's narrative practice and to explore the strange contrast between the bleakness of his themes and the buoyancy of his forms. The second section of the course will investigate ways in which a number of Irish writers have developed some of his themes and techniques---among whom we may include Edna O'Brien, Friel, Heaney, Banville, McGahern, and others. 

ENGL 90608
Peace Studies and the American Novel
Sandra Gustafson
W 12:30-3:15


We will read classics of American fiction, including some or all of the following: The Last of the Mohicans, The Jungle, The Sun Also Rises, Invisible Man, The Adventures of Augie March, The Armies of the Night, and Ceremony.   In addition we will read excerpts from literary and cultural theorists such as Bakhtin, Fanon, Benjamin, and Adorno, and put them in dialogue with scholarship on peace building and the arts, including the work of Kroc Institute faculty John Paul Lederach (The Moral Imagination:  The Art and Soul of Building Peace [Oxford UP, 2005]) and David Cortright (Peace:  A History of Movements and Ideas [Cambridge UP, 2008]).

ENGL 90806
Latino Cultural Studies
José Limón
T 12:30-3:15


This graduate seminar examines the key texts in the in the half century development of Latino cultural studies beginning with Américo Paredes’ foundational, With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and its Hero (1958) and tracing his legacy in figures such as Manuel Peña, José Limón and Richard Flores that also flow out of a Marxist-inflected cultural studies best represented by Antonio Gramsci and Raymond Williams whose writings we will also examine as background texts. However, the course will also track other trajectories such as the post-modern and California turn in cultural studies represented by José Saldívar, Ramón Saldívar and Angie Chabran Dernessian. The works of Juan Flores and George Yúdice in Latino cultural  studies are yet another set of texts that will be central to the course. At the heart of our inquiry will be the questions of what constitutes Latino culture and what are the theoretic.