Spring 2012

ENGL 13186:01
Mystery Fiction
Margaret Doody
TR 11:00-12:15

This course will deal with detection and mystery in fiction from Sophocles to Agatha Christie and Dashiell Hammett.  We will follow the detective and the criminal (often strangely connected) in various works; our study encourages us to define and understand various genres, including classic tragedy, revenge tragedy, and Gothic novel, “thriller,” and film noir. Entering the dark Paris of Poe, the foggy  London  of Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple’s village garden party and Sam Spade’s back streets of San Francisco we will discover and consider what kinds of literary pleasure the “mystery story” offers us. Why should such an ugly thing as murder become such a strong entertainment?  The study of mystery fiction turns us towards philosophical mysteries, questions regarding good and evil, revenge and justice, the appeal of the ugly and the sublime.
Films (classic and contemporary) and TV shows will be included in our discussion.
 

ENGL 13186:02
Seducing God and Other Lovers: Faith, Love, and Devotion in Renaissance Poetry
Joseph Teller
TR 3:30-4:45

This course will explore the lyric and epic poetry of Renaissance England, the period that brought us Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne, Herbert, and Milton--some of the greatest writers in the English tradition. The Renaissance witnessed a number of significant philosophical and religious upheavals, from the Reformation to the emergence of modern nation states, from the "rediscovery" of Greek and Roman literature to the rethinking of Christian theology, all of which deeply affected the development of literature. We will examine how poets in this turbulent time thought about erotic love as well as the love of God in their work, and how they used poetry to represent sexual and spiritual relationships with the human and the divine--something they often did within the same poems. In addition to reading poetry through the lenses of Renaissance  intellectual traditions, we will also learn about major poetic and generic forms and how they work, including the sonnet, the epic, and the devotional lyric. We will investigate questions such as, how does the erotic influence religious poetry? What are the conflicts between sacred and profane love? How do faith and religion shape literature? How do shifting or conflicting religious beliefs affect literary expression? What aspects of Renaissance thought seem most important to poets of the period? And why are such concerns significant to us? We will begin to answer such questions through close reading of poetry, engaged seminar discussion, regular analytical and argumentative writing, and the writing of poetry."

ENGL 13186:03
Mary A. Smyth
TR 3:30-4:45
Memory and Narrative

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 13186:04
Thomas Hall
TR 12:30-1:45

Medieval and Renaissance Lyric Poetry

this is a course on lyric poetry of the twelfth century through the early seventeenth century, with a particular emphasis on the lyrical tradition in Occitan, Italian, and English leading up to Shakespeare and which can be traced in some of Shakespeare’s immediate heirs, especially John Donne.  To see how this tradition develops, we will read select poems of the twelfth-century Troubadours, a large number of poems by Petrarch, a handful of Middle English lyrics, the entirety of Sir Philip Sidney’s sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella, all of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and a healthy sampling of poems by Donne.  Once we get past the Middle English lyrics, we will shift gears and spend two weeks working through Timothy Steele’s All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter and Versification to equip ourselves with the necessary skills and terminology to analyze the formal qualities of Shakespeare’s verse.  For three weeks we will then luxuriate in a meditative close reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, followed by an excursion into Donne.  The course is thus meant to provide you with a solid grounding in an important tradition of European literature, one that arguably reached its pinnacle in Shakespeare, and one that has exercised a powerful influence on Western notions of romantic love all the way up to the present.

ENGL 13186:05
Coming of Age Literature
Sara Maurer
TR 5:00-6:15

 
Beginning in the eighteenth century, European literature developed a fascination with stories of how individuals found their way in the world. At that point, the literary world began to be dominated by both fictional and non-fictional narratives that follow characters from an impressionable young age to the point where they have reached psychological and moral maturity. This class will survey 300 years of such stories, starting out in the eighteenth-century with Daniel Defoe’s Roxana and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, proceeding through the nineteenth century with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Frederick Douglas’s Narrative of the Life, and ending with two twentieth-century texts that mimic comic books to tell the stories of their protagonists’ development: Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home.  We’ll also look into the writings of two influential theorists of human development, John Locke and Sigmund Freud. Along the way we’ll ask questions such as: what counts as moral or emotional development in a given era in history? Why does the definition change over time? How can one find one’s calling in life if society defines you as a person without a calling? How do we understand that delicate balance between the forces that determine our lives, and the extent to which we decide our own outcomes?

ENGL 13186:06
Literary Visions and Revisons
Yasmin Solomonescu
TR 2:00-3:15


And indeed there will be time
………………………………………..
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
                        T. S. Eliot, from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
 This course is about the many “visions and revisions” that make up literature, as well as those involved in thinking and writing about it. Through the study of four major genres – poetry, plays, short fiction, and the novel – you will learn the terms and methods of literary analysis (murdering and creating?) while focusing on the ways that writers have adapted, imitated, echoed, and responded to one another across the ages.


ENGL 13186:07
Literature University Seminar: Biography/Autobiography: One’s Life Story
Edward Malloy
U 7:00-9:00 pm


In the course of the semester, we will seek to understand the uniqueness of particular historical persons through an analysis of their stories as created either by themselves or others.  We will also be interested in what can be learned about that person’s cultural and historical context.

Attendance is expected at each class.

The students in the course are expected to contribute to the seminar discussions and to write papers on each assignment.  All regular papers are to be two to three pages.  The final paper is to be five to seven pages.  It will provide an opportunity to tell one is own story in light of the work of the semester.

ENGL 20000
Intro to Creative Writing
Thade Correa
MW 3:00-4:15


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.

ENGL 20001
Intro to Fiction Writing
Mary Lattari
MW 3:00-4:15


This is a beginning course in writing short prose fiction. No experience in the form will be necessary. Students will be writing every week, primarily short fiction and other prose forms, guided by assignments. There will be in-class student discussion of each other's work. There will be readings in both traditional and contemporary fiction.

ENGL 20002
Intro to Poetry Writing
Drew Kalbach
TR 3:30-4:45


This course introduces students to the basic elements of poetry writing: language as matter and its creative organization through rhythm, form and different kinds of patterning. The course emphasizes the preeminence of sound as the distinguishing feature of poetry, with listening and speaking poetry as a necessary basis for writing it. Technical exercises, language games, writing exercises both collective and individual, and encounters with poetry in print and through attending readings are required. Original poetry by participants is discussed both online and in workshop sessions.

ENGL 20003
Fiction Writing
01: Edward Trefts – MW 1:30-2:45
02 : Katherine Cornwell – TR 3:30-4:45
03: Jennifer Penkethman – TR 9:30-10:45


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.

ENGL 20004
Poetry Writing
John Higgins
MW 1:30-2:45


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.

ENGL 20106
Point of View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
01: MW 11:45-1:00
02: MW 3:00-4:15


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 20146
Heroes and the Heroic in Literature
Laura Betz

TR 3:30-4:45

This course focuses on depictions of heroes and heroines in British literary works from the 18th to the 20th century, and on the various ways literature of this period engages the theme of the heroic.  Given the wide range of meanings associated with the figure of the hero/heroine, from the mere protagonist to the cultural revolutionary, we will investigate how this figure functions and changes over time, often in ways that reflect the values and developments of a particular period and culture. In particular, we will look at the preoccupation in key texts of this period with specific heroic figures, such as Prometheus or Ulysses, and ask what notions of heroism they are intended to portray. Additional specific topics will include:  this period’s new emphasis on previously “unsung heroes,” such as the rural and industrial poor; the growing importance of women as authors and as literary subjects; the portrayal of the poet as a kind of hero; and, at the same time, the ironization of the figure or concept of the hero during this period.  The poets and novelists to be read in this course will likely include: Henry Mackenzie, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Felicia Hemans, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Louis Stevenson, Wilfred Owen, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and Simon Armitage.

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 (Shelly’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 20156
Intro to the First Amendment: Freedom of Speed in Law & Culture
Elliott Visconsi
TR 11:00-12:15

 

This introductory lecture course surveys the cultural controversies, doctrines, and principles expressed in the First Amendment protections for free expression and religious liberty. We will be especially interested in some large interpretive questions: what is a speech act?  What counts are protected speech? What is the relationship between free expression and democratic-self government? Is there a difference between individual, group, and government speech? Where are the limits of permissible speech, and how have those limits evolved over time? Under what conditions is censorship permissible? Do literary texts enjoy privileged status as forms of expression? Should they? What does the future of free expression look like in light of the rise of digital media? We will consider a selection of exemplary cases, controversies, and literary texts: among out topics will include the following: censorship, hate speech, obscenity and pornography; student expression; cyberspeech; individual religious expression; libel; legislative prayer and government-authored religious speech; establishment of religion; blasphemy.

Disclaimer: many of our materials describe potentially offensive topics, while some are themselves examples of offensive speech.


ENGL 20157
The Bible in English Literature
Karen Clausen

TR 3:30-4:45

It’s safe to say that no other text has had as great an influence on English literature as the Bible. In this course, we will examine some of the Bible’s most inspiring, intriguing, and troubling passages alongside some of the literary texts that have borrowed from, rewritten, critiqued, and parodied them. We will think about how English authors take up the Bible’s language, genres, characters, and stories; how they use the Bible to make arguments about politics, class, race, gender, and religion; and how literary responses to the Bible reflect upon the historical, political, social, and religious situations from which they emerge.  We will read the Genesis creation story alongside excerpts from Paradise Lost and Frankenstein, the Exodus story alongside selected African-American slave narratives and Huckleberry Finn, the gospel narratives of Jesus’ life and death alongside selected medieval plays and Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, the book of Galatians alongside The Merchant of Venice, and Revelation’s descriptions of the last judgment alongside selected apocalyptic poetry and Waiting for Godot.

ENGL 20158
Introduction to British Children’s Literature

Jacqui Weeks
TR 12:30-1:45


This course will take a whirlwind tour of British Children’s Literature from the early educational pamphlets published for children in the 18th century to the global phenomenon of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. It is easy to dismiss children’s literature as simple, innocent material calculated to appeal to simple, innocent minds—but in this class will consider the possibility that these texts are highly responsive to the political and social environments in which they were created. As we tease out different developments in children’s literature historically, we will be taking into consideration the fundamental underlying importance of race and colonialism (how do famously racist texts like Little Black Sambo and ABCs for Baby Patriots give way to texts that much more racially diverse sense of “British” identity), gender (why are little boys and little girls encouraged to read different stories? is there such a thing as a gender-neutral text?), and economics (who can afford to buy children’s books? and who gets paid to write them?). Some of our most powerful memories are associated with children’s literature; it clearly has a lasting impact on adult consciousness. What will we see when we return to familiar texts with more careful, adult consideration?

ENGL 20159 (1-credit course)
Harry Potter and the Artemis Fowl: Trends in British and Irish Young Adult Literature
Jacquilyn Weeks
TR 3:30-4:45
1/17-2/16


This is a brief survey of male heroism in five key British and Irish novels that have made a huge impact on global Young Adult literature: JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Anthonoy Horowitz’s Stormbreaker, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, Diana Wynne Jones’ The Pinhoe Egg, and Kate Thompson’s The Last Policeman.  We will be talking about how these novels do (and do not) represent trends in current YA literature, how they have impacted a broader cultural representation and understanding of masculinity. And we will be asking about whether or not the Irishness and Britishness of the authors alters the depiction (and our interpretation) of masculinity.  Please note that some of these novels are later novels in a series; they can be read independently, but if you needed an excuse to read all the Harry Potter novels over the winter break, this is it.

ENGL 20222
Sarah Baechle
Medieval Heroes and Villains

MW 3:00-4:45

We identify ourselves in so many different ways: we like a particular band or movie.  We support a certain sports team.  We identify ourselves through our friends, our family, our place of birth, the subject we study, the car we drive, the clothes we wear.  Medieval people were no less dependent on a number of different ways of understanding who they were, both as individuals and within larger society, but the terms in which they did so could differ dramatically from ours.   In this class, we will explore these medieval ways of thinking about identity as it was presented in the literature of the time.  We will look at the way medieval authors defined and developed both their own identities and those of their characters, and the ways that they were expressed. What made a knight heroic, defined a saint, or marked a villain as truly monstrous were all problems of identity, and differed from our modern conceptions of the terms.  These questions of identity were dependent on ways of thinking about oneself that were particular to medieval culture, from issues of class, gender and religion to codes of expected behavior, “scientific” explorations of the self through the disciplines of astrology, medieval theories of the mind and its relation to physical appearance, and even explorations of individual human identity in comparison with the inhumanity of medieval monsters. 

ENGL 20225
Seducing God and Other Lovers: Introduction to Renaissance Poetry
TR 3:30-4:45
Joseph Teller


The English Renaissance gave birth to some of the most beautiful poetry in the language. It was also a period of immense theological and religious tension, as early modern Catholics and Protestants rethought and disputed questions fundamental to humanity such as grace, politics, and religious authority. This course will survey the rich and conflicted poetry of this period within its theological and literary contexts. In privileging close reading and attention to poetic form, this course will also serve as an introduction to poetry more generally.

ENGL 20226
Dreaming in the Middle Ages
Dolores Frese
TR 12:30-1:45

In this class we will read, analyze, discuss & write about an array of texts from the Middle Ages--all in Modern English translation-- that feature the experience of human dreaming.  To ground our analyses, we will begin with some readings from 20th C. Freud and 5th C. Macrobius on dream types and techniques for interpreting dreams. Religious and secular subjects--and their 'dreamers'--including Boethius, King Arthur, St. Perpetua, and Chaucer's magnificent rooster, Chaunticleer, will occupy us for the semester as we work to understand the universal and historically conditioned experience of dreams, as  imagined by medieval poets & writers from the 5th to the 15th century. 

ENGL 20470
Miscommunication in Modern Literature
Michael Cowan
MWF 1:55-2:45

The Twentieth Century witnessed widespread breakdowns in communication, and its literature reflects that fact. Some works depict miscommunication as a tragedy almost inevitable in modern times. One topic of fascination, in this regard, was the relationship between the sexes. T.S. Eliot’s poetry, for example, exposed a masculinity either too paralyzingly self-conscious (Prufrock) or unthinkingly brutal (Sweeney) to ever effectively communicate with the opposite sex. The modern urban city, too, served as a site of tragic alienation and fragmentation, effectively undercutting the possibility of authentic connection. Other works, however, seem to embrace the chaotic overflow of experience in the city, the inevitable differences between the sexes, and miscommunication in general. In these works, writers sought actively to confuse, amuse, annoy, and bewilder the reader through the use of nonsense, or the intentionally non-communicative functions of language. While reading these works, we will also explore the philosophical underpinnings of the problem of miscommunication, and in turn deal with such larger concepts as language, community, gender, experience, and art. Authors may include: Samuel Beckett, Lewis Carroll, T.S Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Robert Frost, James Joyce, Friederich Nietzsche, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and Rebecca West.

ENGL 20709
God and Evil in Modern Literature
Thomas Werge
01: MWF 11:45-12:35
02: MWF 12:50-1:40


A study of selected modern writers whose concern with God and evil, faith and despair, and the reality and significance of suffering animates their writings. In considering the relationships between the religious imagination and experience and its expression in literature, we will discuss the ways in which writers envision the nature and purpose of narrative and of language itself --as efficacious and even sacred or as ineffectual. Before dealing with particular modern writers, we will reflect on the presuppositions of the Bible and medieval thought and literature in relation to truth, faith, and narrative. Readings will be selected from the following: St Francis, Little Flowers; Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov; DeVries, The Blood of the Lamb; Melville, Billy Budd; Greene, The Power and the Glory or The End of the Affair; Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge or The Violent Bear It Away; Hammarskjold, Markings; Roth, Job; Hawthorne, Selected Tales; Wiesel, Night; and narratives by Primo Levi, Dinesen, and Updike.

ENGL 20723
Latinos, Leadership and Literature
José Limon

MW 11:45-1:00

Recently a media news outlet raised the questions: “Who are the Latino leaders of today? Do Latinos need leaders?” Such questions are raised, of course, in the context of a continuing social marginalization of Latino communities in the United States. This class turns primarily to literary sources of varying genres to explore the issue of Latino leadership asking these same questions but others as well. What might be the characteristics of a successful Latino leadership?  What constitutes failure? Are writers “cultural leaders”? Are Latinas the leadership of the future? What kind of an education best produces leadership for Latinos?  Is there a special role for Notre Dame in such an endeavor?  Among others we will read Franz Fanon, Ernesto Galarza, Américo Paredes, John Phillip Santos, Richard Rodriguez, Mario T. García and Esmeralda Santiago as well as having guest speakers on this question.

ENGL 20728
Popular Culture and Literature
Lindsay Haney

TR 9:30-10:45

This class will look at literary works that use popular culture — particularly popular music, spectator sports, and television — to tell stories about moments of deeper cultural upheaval and crisis. Using novels, plays, poems, short stories, essays, and films by recognized writers like Tom Stoppard, David Foster Wallace, Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, Don DeLillo, Sherman Alexie, Paul Muldoon, James Joyce, and Neil Jordan, we will investigate political and social unrest from Prague to Chicago, on college campuses and in city streets, from the very first
years of the twentieth century to September 11th and beyond. Literary scholarship in recent years has come to recognize that “high” and “popular” culture are tremendously interdependent. As we explore that connection, we will try to develop an understanding of the ways in which literary culture and popular culture work together to document — and even to change — our world.

ENGL 30101
Introduction to Literary Studies
01: Romana Huk
TR 11:00-12:15
02: Matthew Wilkens MW 11:45-1:00

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 30111
British Literary Traditions II
John Sitter

TR 12:30-1:45

This course follows the main tradition of British literature by studying major writers from the end of 17th century to the beginning of the 21st. We will read selected poems, fictions, and essays intensively and in light of social contexts, the history of ideas, and connections with other arts. Informal lectures will engage texts, contexts, and illustrative parallels in the visual arts; half of each class period will be devoted to discussion.  Particular attention to the ways knowledge of a literary tradition can contribute to one's life-long reading, thinking, and writing.  Requirements include frequent short response papers, class participation, midterm and final examinations.

ENGL 30116
American Literary Traditions II
José Limon

MW 3:00-4:45

This course is premised on the contested concepts of “American” and “literature.” It posits and departs from the idea that a certain cultural stances were generated in the American colonial period and the earlier nineteenth century prior to the Civil War, subject always to transnational influence. Among these are Puritanism, the “Other,” nature, commerce, and the category of literature itself.  Such positions continued to exert a powerful - if always conflicted and contested - hold on subsequent major writers in the United States after the Civil War into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will closely examine writers such as Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James,  Kate Chopin, T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, William Faulkner, Américo Paredes and James Baldwin on through J.D. Salinger, Sylvia Plath, Thomas Pynchon and Oscar Casares to see how they they practice their craft in response to and revision of this inherited American tradition. 

ENGL 30156
Intro to the First Amendment: Freedom of Speech in Law & Culture
Elliott Visconsi
TR 11:00-12:15

 

This introductory lecture course surveys the cultural controversies, doctrines, and principles expressed in the First Amendment protections for free expression and religious liberty. We will be especially interested in some large interpretive questions: what is a speech act?  What counts are protected speech? What is the relationship between free expression and democratic-self government? Is there a difference between individual, group, and government speech? Where are the limits of permissible speech, and how have those limits evolved over time? Under what conditions is censorship permissible? Do literary texts enjoy privileged status as forms of expression? Should they? What does the future of free expression look like in light of the rise of digital media? We will consider a selection of exemplary cases, controversies, and literary texts: among out topics will include the following: censorship, hate speech, obscenity and pornography; student expression; cyberspeech; individual religious expression; libel; legislative prayer and government-authored religious speech; establishment of religion; blasphemy.

Disclaimer: many of our materials describe potentially offensive topics, while some are themselves examples of offensive speech.


ENGL 30850
Fiction Writing for English Majors
EddieJoe Cherbony
MW 3:00-4:15


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.

ENGL 30851
Poetry Writing for Majors
Johannes Goransson
MW 3:00-4:15


This course invites students to learn about the practice of poetry writing with reference to both contemporary and traditional forms, media and genres. Though assignments and readings will vary from section to section, typically, students will build up the range and depth of their writing through impromptu exercises, homework poems, and the assembling of a final portfolio of revised, polished works. Students receive feedback on their poetry from class members as well as from the instructor and will be expected to give consistent, constructive feedback on peers' poems. Other topics under consideration might include translation, performance, hybrid genres or multimedia, depending on the section.

ENGL 30853
Fiction Writing
EddieJoe Cherbony
MW 11:45-1:00


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.

ENGL 40107 
Religion and Literature 

Thomas Werge 

MWF 9:35-10:25

A consideration of the forms, ideas, and preoccupations of the religious imagination in literature and of the historical relationships between religious faith and traditions and particular literary works. The conflicts and tensions between modern gnosticism, in literature and ideology, and the sacramental imagination will constitute a recurring point of focus. We will also lend special attention to the vision and imagery of the journey and wayfarer and the conflicts and affinities between private and communal expressions of faith. 
Readings will be selected from the following: Criticism by Tolstoy, T.S. Eliot, John Gardner, Flannery O'Connor, Hillis Miller, Elie Wiesel, Martha Nussbaum, Wayne Booth, George Steiner and others on the relations among ethics, religion and literature; selections from the Bible, Dante, and saints' lives; Emily Dickinson, Final Harvest; Roth, Job; Kazantzakis, Saint Francis; Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor; DeVries, The Blood of the Lamb; Greene, The Power and the Glory and The End of the Affair; Wiesel, Night; Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment; Emerson, Sermon on the Lord's Supper; selected O'Connor short stories or The Violent Bear It Away; selected Updike short stories and criticism; Weil, Waiting for God; Singer, Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories; Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest; Bergman (director), The Seventh Seal; Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.


ENGL 40143
Queer Plots: Narrative and Sexuality in 20th and 21st Century Fiction
Susan Harris
TR 2:00-3:15

How do you tell a story that is supposed to be unspeakable? In this course, we will investigate the ways in which gay, bisexual, and lesbian writers have transformed narrative conventions as they explore their experiences and their identities through fiction. Beginning with the short fiction of Oscar Wilde at the end of the 19th century and continuing through the modern and postwar eras into the contemporary period, we will look at gay, bisexual and lesbian British, Irish and American writers whose work engaged with or dramatically departed from the dominant conventions that typically shaped fictions of identity formation, of love and marriage, of sexual experience, of political protest, and of death and loss. We will also investigate the public responses to some of these fictions, and the changing discourses about gender identity, homosexuality, and sexual orientation that have shaped both the realities and the fictions of gay, bisexual, and lesbian writers over the past century. Students will write three papers and be responsible for one in-class presentation.

ENGL 40151
Writing India
Mary Burgess Smyth
TR 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 40215
John Milton: Religious Literature and the Self
Joseph Teller

TR 12:30-1:45

John Milton is one of the most compelling, perplexing, and contradictory figures in English literary history. A zealous religious reformer and vociferous opponent of monarchy, as well as a life-long proponent of the classical intellectual tradition, Milton embodies many of the tensions of early modern English culture. In this course we will read Milton’s major works, from his earliest lyrics to his political treatises to his great epics Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain’d, examining how Milton invigorated English letters through a synthesis of classical form and early modern theology, polemic, and politics. We will also attend to the ways in which Milton, in a tendency often associated with early modernism, regularly turned to himself as a favorite literary subject in his art.

ENGL 40222
Medieval Drama
Katherine Zieman

TR 11:00-12:15

This course will examine the performance of drama in England in the era before the establishment of professional theaters.  Our starting point will be the actual play texts and records that survive from the Middle Ages.  With our primary focus on biblical plays (plays that reenact stories from the bible) and morality plays (allegorical plays that explore the moral framework of humanity), we will pursue a number of questions: who wrote these plays? who performed them, how, and for whom? what was their purpose?  We will investigate these issues through research and textual analysis, but also through our own experimentation in staging and performing parts of the plays in class.
We will then put our knowledge to use in a class project: the mounting of a medieval play for the Notre Dame community.  Together we will select the play, edit the text, design costumes, props and sets, all while we consider how and what it means to “translate” these pre-modern plays for a modern audience.
Major writing requirements will include a short paper involving textual analysis, a slightly longer research paper on some aspect of medieval dramatic performance, and in-class essays.  As mentioned above, the course will involve in-class performances, but this is not a class in performance itself: you will not be graded on your acting ability.  All students will be required to contribute in some capacity to our class performance and to reflect on the this project in a short final essay.

ENGL 40240
Chaucer's Early Poetry
Dolores Frese
TR 9:30-10:45

If Chaucer had never written the Canterbury Tales he would still be counted as a major medieval poet whose fictions rank among the most supreme examples of poetic complexity and enduring fascination.  In this class we will read some of Chaucer's short lyrics--amorous, ironic, satiric and politically engaged--and his three major 'dream vision' texts:  Book of the Duchess,an elegy composed to commemorate the death-by-plague of Blanche of Lancaster, the young wife of Chaucer's patron, John of Gaunt; House of Fame, a fabulous fable of poetic, personal, philosophical and political satire and reflection; and Parliament of Fowls,  a joyous combination of erotic, ethical, political & poetic strands that begin in anxiety & conclude in lyrical delight.  We will conclude by reading Troilus & Criseyde, Chaucer's incomparable retelling of the 'tragedy' of 'star-crossed lovers, set against the mythopoetic backdrop of the Trojan War.

ENGL 40304
Jane Austen and Her World

Margaret Doody
TR 2:00-3:15

Jane Austen’s life spans the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.  Her novels have often been treated as idyllic romantic stories set in a gentle past, elegant tales of refined courtship. Yet she lived in times of turbulence and change, which her multi-faceted novels reflect. Her earliest works show a comic sense and a taste for absurdity and violence which led Chesterton to compare her to Dickens and Rabelais. She is a comic artist whose novels present us with a world 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  or a class or ethnic background, or 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 works  and unfinished   novels, including her last work “Sanditon.”. A selection of Austen’s letters will also be on our reading list. We can ask if there is 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  in TV dramatizations and films, including deliberate analogues like Clueless, demand our investigation, as we inquire into the significance of this Austen “boom” and what it may tell us of our own times and tastes.
TEXTS: Austen: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, “Catharine” and Other Writings; Letters, ed. Deirdre le Faye.  Frances Burney: Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World  (novel) . Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal. (play).  Charlotte Smith, Emmeline, or the Orphan of the Castle ; Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (non-fiction treatise, selections); Maria Edgeworth  ( selected children’s stories).

ENGL 40326
Romantic Revolutions
Yasmin Solomonescu

TR 11:00-12:15

This course examines Britain literature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in the context of the period’s profound cultural, political, social, and scientific upheavals. Through a diverse range of texts, we will examine how these various “revolutions” affected literature and were in turn affected by it. Our readings and discussions will focus on how writers articulated and engaged with ideas concerning the rights of man and woman, the roles of government and religion, the circumstances of poverty and war, the relations between private and public life, the nature and powers of the imagination, and the social role of the writer. We will read selections from the best-known poets of the age – Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron – alongside works by some of their most innovative and influential contemporaries, including Edmund Burke, Tom Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, John Thelwall, Charlotte Smith, William Hazlitt, and Mary Shelley. Instances of contemporary visual art and propaganda will help broaden our understanding of this tumultuous and intensely creative period in British literature and culture.

ENGL 40423
Gender and Modernism
Barbara Green

TR 3:30-4:45

A study of modern British fiction in terms of the various shifts in the meaning and “doing” of gender during the early 20th c with special attention paid to the ways in which ideas about the modern were themselves gendered.  We’ll look at the sex radicals of modernity and new discourses of gay sexuality circulating in the public sphere, New Women and New Women novels, suffragettes and  militancy, efforts to rethink the meaning of (gendered) labor, the domestic sphere and marriage.  Special attention will be given to women’s experiences of modernity, especially in relation to those aspects of culture typically excluded from definitions of the modern (shopping, the consumption of middlebrow culture, fashion etc.).  Novelists considered may include Lawrence, Lewis, Richardson, Delafield, Forster, Marsden’s journal Freewoman, E.M. Hull’s bestseller The Sheik, Robin’s The Convert.

ENGL 40601
American Renaissance
Laura Walls

MW 1:30-2:45

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 40611
American Short Story
William Krier

TR 12:30-1:45

A carefully detailed look at the history of a particular form of American narrative. Along the way we will construct a methodology for reading stories, a series of critical questions that can serve to open a story to our understanding and appreciation. At times we will give our attention to one or two remarkable stories by a particular writer, stories like Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" and F.Scott Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams" and Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat" and Carson McCuller's "Ballad of the Sad Café." At other times we will work through a collection of stories to highlight the aspects of a writer's particular vision and craft. These collections might include John Updike's Pigeon Feathers and Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse and Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America.  There will be a mid-term and final as well as an independent paper focusing on a particular story selected by the student.

ENGL 40702
American Film
William Krier
TR 3:30-4:45
Through a genre approach to the study of film we will take a careful look at identity in terms of gender and American ideals. At times we will pair films from the "classic" period with films from the more recent past in order to highlight essential issues for our study. In other cases we will give our attention to independent films that can serve to further our discussions.  Probable films include: It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, Double Indemnity, Body Heat, Basic Instinct, Zero Effect, Shane, Unforgiven, Die Hard, The Godfather, Bound, Silence of the Lambs, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Don Juan de Marco, Moulin Rouge, Crash, The Hours, The Maltese Falcon, Lars and the Real Girl, and others.
There will be a mid-term and final exam and a long paper (fifteen pages or so) about a film chosen by each student.

ENGL 40758
Human Beasts, Beastly Things, and Material Texts: the Novels of American Naturalism
Kate Marshall

MW 1:30-2:45

In this course we will undertake a comparative survey of the materialisms of twentieth-century American naturalist novels, tracing a trajectory from turn-of-the-century texts by Frank Norris and Stephen Crane, to the neo-naturalist fiction of a few decades later that operated alongside developments in modernist literary form (Gertrude Stein, Ann Petry, John Steinbeck), and concluding with a look at its postwar resurgence in the novels of authors such as Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy. We will also discuss the return to these novels in recent films including There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. Students will be asked to write one short formal analysis and two mid-length papers, in addition to regular discussion assignments

ENGL 40761
American Culture as Collage
Stephen Fredman

MW 3:00-4:15

One of the exciting aspects of American culture is that we make it up as we go along: there is no historical or traditional or divine template that we all agree to follow. Without a template, American artists and thinkers have often resorted to a “kitchen-sink”; approach to representing American culture, which begs the question of how to create a form to contain all the marvelous odds and ends. We will trace this urge to capture American culture through the form of a 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 Cantos, 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, Charles Olson's Maximus Poems, and A New Literary History of America.

ENGL 40763
Postwar U.S. Fiction and the Birth of Postmodernism
Matthew Wilkens

MW 3:00-4:45

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.

ENGL 40804
Race and Visual Aesthetics in American Literature
Jesse Costantino
MW 11:45-1:00


We often believe that we can see what we read in a novel or a poem. Our ability to extrapolate a complex visual world from a set of simple verbal cues is part of the seeming "magic" of literature. Within the American context, visual assumptions about race have often been a part of making that happen. In this course, we will attempt to understand how visual aesthetics and representations of race have mutually informed one another, and we will attempt to understand what--if anything--is uniquely "American" about this relationship. In addition to written works by Ralph Ellison, Herman Melville, Sui Sin Far, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Acosta, and others, we will also view one or two relevant films and read brief selections from aesthetic philosophy.

ENGL 40850
Advanced Fiction Writing
Joyelle McSweeney
TR 12:30-1:45

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 investigated; there will assigned readings from a variety of fiction authors.


ENGL 43311
Seminar: British Aestheticism and the Fin de Siècle
David Thomas

TR 2:00-3:15

This course explores literature and the arts during the latter half of the nineteenth-century in Britain, looking especially to the 1880s-1890s.  The most famous figure of this period is the writer Oscar Wilde, noted for his brilliant irreverence and for his tragic downfall after prosecution for homosexual offences.  But the period also showcases a kaleidoscopic array of writers and artists who were pursuing artistic and social innovations, hatching radical political philosophies and utopian social schemes, rethinking women’s roles in the public sphere, and fashioning new understandings of human psychology, sexuality and race.  In addition to Oscar Wilde, our authors include figures such as George Bernard Shaw, John Ruskin, Walter Pater, and the Rossettis (Dante Gabriel and Christina).  We also explore Victorian artworks, such as paintings from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  Coursework involves various exercises aimed at supporting student work toward a 20-page, research-based term paper. 

ENGL 43505
Seminar: Gender Troubles: Contemporary Irish Fiction
Susan Harris
TR 11:00-12:15

In this course we will be looking at the relationship between gender politics and national politics as it plays out in the development of Irish fiction after the era of James Joyce. Focusing on Irish novels and short stories which were groundbreaking and/or controversial in terms of their exploration of gender and sexuality, the course will also investigate the historical contexts in which they were produced and the controversies they produced. Our investigation will focus on the question of how the 'trouble' generated around these controversial explorations of gender and sexuality relates to other kinds of trouble that have shaped the history of twentieth century Ireland. We will begin with the reaction against government censorship in the Irish Free State during the 1930s and 1940s, follow the emergence of Irish women writers and Irish feminism from the 1950s to the 1980s, and conclude with the rise of gay and lesbian Irish writers in the 1990s and early twenty-first century.

ENGL 43604
Seminar: The Institution of Henry James
Kate Marshall
MW 4:30-5:45
In this research seminar, we will examine the forms of institutionality that inform literary study in the American academy and beyond by looking at the many lives of Henry James. Objects that will be included in this study include: the novels and essays of James himself; his literary legacy; the influence of James studies on literature departments and scholars; his celebrated biographer Leon Edel; film adaptations of key works; and the figure of “the Jamesian” in recent fiction by Colm Toibin and Alan Hollinghurst. Students will encounter a range of methods -- from new critical readings to the statistical analysis of titles of James criticism -- in their project to develop a broad view of modern institutionality as indexed by this fascinating figure.

ENGL 90011
Graduate Fiction Workshop
Joyelle McSweeney
TR 2:00-3:15


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 90031
Graduate Poetry Workshop
Johannes Goransson
MW 1:30-2:45


This course is for candidates in the MFA program in poetry. The course places its main emphasis on student writing and will be run as a week-to-week workshop of student work. The objective of the course is to provide students with meaningful feedback on their work, as well as to build students' facility in the critical, constructive discussion of peer and published work. All other course activities, including readings, will vary from section to section.

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. The class will also take up the process of the job search,