English Major Courses

Spring 2017

ENGL 20000-01

Introduction to Creative Writing

Thomas Guster

TR 5:05-6:20

“If writing cannot and writing must change things,” said writer Kathy Acker, “logically, of course, writing will change things magically.” And we’re going to do just that! This is your invitation to consider writing as the art that, in secret and in plain sight, works to compose the reality that in which we live, love, and languish. In this class we'll use a mixture of constraint­-based writing challenges to unlock the magic potential of your own writing. Together we’ll explore different unorthodox methods of producing work, write and share pieces of our own, learn how to revise and re­vision pieces already written, read fun and troublesome work in a variety of forms, and maybe—just maybe—figure out how all of this mucking about with words is meant to leave its mark on ourselves, each other, and our world.

 

ENGL 20000-02

Introduction to Creative Writing

Edith Cho

MW 3:30-4:45

How do we begin to write fiction? What do we write about and how do we write it? Through this course, you will learn how to articulate your writing goals and artist statement, engage in critical feedback, and improve your creative writing skills. This course will also introduce you to the variety of fiction work that exists today—from flash fiction, graphic novels, and hybrid work. We will engage in the hot issues in the world of writers, including the topics of artivism, cultural appropriation, and conscientious writing. Over the course of the semester, you will build a portfolio of your creative work that will become the base for more writing in the future. 

 

ENGL 20001-01

Introduction to Fiction Writing

Tania Sarfraz

MW 5:05-6:20

What is fiction? Many things, and nothing. In this course, we will explore the various guises and masks that fiction can adopt, and, through our own writing, will adopt some of these masks ourselves. We will read from across the fictional spectrum. We will write profusely, and we will write playfully.  

 

ENGL 20002-01

Intro to Poetry Writing

Kelsey Castaneda

TR 2:00-3:15

What is poetry? Is it Beyoncé? Homer? Shakespeare? All of the above? In this intro to poetry writing course, we will embrace the many-headed monster that is poetry and poetry writing. We will read and discuss poetry produced using varied forms, from ancient epics, through traditional forms, to more contemporary and avant-garde writing methods like erasure and found poetry. We will study poetry that is in between genres, like prose poetry, and poetry in different media, such as film and music. We will also cover poetry from many different time periods in order to explore how poetry is evolving. As poetry is in a constant state of metamorphosis, one of the goals of this course is to teach you how to think critically about poetry in its many forms so that you can produce your own unique work. Our class format will include readings and discussions, in-class writing exercises, writing workshop days, as well as a few creative projects. By the end of the semester, you will have created a poetry portfolio of your work.

 

ENGL 20002-02

Introduction to Poetry Writing

Chris Muravez

MW 5:05-6:20

In this class students will learn to find and express their poetic voice. An overview of the history of poetry in multiple literary traditions will give each student a broad range of influence and inspiration. We will draw from various sources including the oral-poetic tradition of telling stories before the written word, the Romantic poets of the Enlightenment, the role of poetry in ancient Eastern cultures, and contemporary works from the emergence of post WW2 literary traditions. We will also explore the relationship between the poet and society, the poet and the poem, as well as the poet and Self. By the end of this course each student will have written an extensive body of work, and will have the opportunity to share their poetry with the Notre Dame community.

 

ENGL 20002

Introduction to Poetry Writing

Johannes Göransson

Section 03:  MW 9:30-10:45

Section 04:  MW 11:00-12:15

This course will introduce you to contemporary poetry in a variety of media and formats and from an array of lively, diverse voices. Through in- and out-of-class assignments you'll learn how poets draft and revise; you'll practice techniques, genres and forms; and you'll generate a poetry portfolio of your own. Class format will include discussion, in-class activities, and opportunities for feedback on student work. Please see the English Department website for an individualized description for each section of this course.

 

ENGL 20005

Introduction to Fiction Writing: The American Short Story

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Section 01: TR 2:00-3:15

Section 02: TR 3:30-4:45

In this introductory course we will focus on 1) reading traditional and innovative 20th-and 21st-century American short stories and 2) on workshopping original student writing. In order to examine the range of narrative strategies available to us as writers, we will read speculative, meta-fictional, hyper-real and surreal fictions, as well as essays on the art of writing. Throughout the course of the semester students will develop as story-tellers, and will learn to read as writers and critique work-in-progress.

 

ENGL 20024-01

Creative Writing and Multiculturalism

Sarah Snider

MW 9:30-10:45

What does multicultural writing look like in America? Who is writing it, how are they doing so, and why? During this semester, we will engage with these questions both as readers and writers through the study of a variety of texts, as well as create our own creative texts to add to this tradition. We will analyze fiction (novel and short story length), poetry, graphic novel, memoir, personal essay, play, film, television and oral storytelling and mine them for both understanding and methodology. Through the study and practice of these media, we will begin to formulate our own writing projects and figure out how we fit into the multicultural literary tradition. This class will require students to turn in academic responses and creative writing.

 

ENGL 20106-01

Point of View in the Novel

Noreen Deane-Moran

Section 01: TR 2:00-3:15

Section 02: TR 5:05-6:20

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 20120-01

Life Finds a Way: Science Fiction and Reproduction

Katherine Osborn

MW 5:05-6:20

This course will explore the ways in which narratives that push boundaries - reality and fantasy, space and outer space, science and make-believe, past and present - contribute to our wider understanding of the world and humanity¿s place in it. Questions of reproduction surface across almost every aspect of our daily lives, including sexuality and gender, economics, information, and play. Our texts include such classics as Gulliver¿s Travels, Frankenstein, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century works by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood. We will also be engaging with many forms of new media, from ¿Jurassic Park¿ to Pokemon Go. Thus we will seek to understand how media which have seemingly little to do with the ¿real world¿ as we know it can help us learn something about ourselves and engage with friends and strangers in innovative and meaningful ways. Students will leave this course with an appreciation for the nuances of the term ¿science fiction¿ as well as tools for discussing literature, film and media from different time periods.

 

ENGL 20122-01

Imagining America, Past and Present: Religion, Race, and Reality

Tyler Gardner

TR 5:05-6:20

This course will be a survey of how American culture, values, and identities have been imagined in a variety of literary works spanning from the period before encounter and colonization through nation founding, civil war, modernity, postmodernity, and whatever we might call our current post-9/11 period. As we sample a variety of genres and forms¿including travel narrative, historical fiction, magical realism, autobiography, cosmic realism, and others¿our study will focus on tracing the assumptions and anxieties that haunt American literature. Together we will specifically explore how literary writers define, reveal, construct, and deconstruct American perceptions of religion, race, and reality. These three themes will orient our survey of the American literary imagination and frame our approach to the works we will read together.

 

ENGL 20124-01

The Drama of Doubt

Jillian Snyder

MW 3:30-4:45

This course begins with a big question: how do we show people that we either believe in or doubt something? We often divide people into two categories: believers and skeptics. But the things we choose to believe or doubt - that true love exists, that our friends and family will support us, that people are innately good (or evil) - are convictions we hold inside ourselves, convictions that are not visible to others. Our task is thus to trace the performance of belief and doubt in a wide range of dramatic literature from Sophocles¿ Oedipus Rex to John Patrick Shanley¿s Doubt. Throughout, we will investigate the crises that force a character to perform belief or doubt as well as examine how forces like family, tradition, politics, and religion play their own roles. Alongside our literary investigations, we will explore how the presence of others compels us to perform our own beliefs and doubts, tracing how the performance on stage and the performance of the everyday intersect.

 

ENGL 20150-01

Literature and the Moral Imagination

Sandra Gustafson

MW 12:30-1:20

Literature opens a window to other worlds.  It helps us to understand the experiences of people whose lives are very different from our own and situations that are unlike any we have encountered.   Perhaps more than any other art form, literature cultivates the moral imagination, which has been defined as “the capacity to imagine something rooted in the challenges of the real world yet capable of giving birth to that which does not yet exist.”  Inspired by these words of John Paul Lederach, a longtime member of the Notre Dame faculty and a leading expert on peacebuilding and reconciliation, this course will focus on novels, poetry, and nonfiction prose that expand the moral imagination.  We will read major works of literature that powerfully illuminate the nature of war and colonialism, climate change, human rights, and economic inequality, including selections from the poetry anthology Against Forgetting:  Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness and some of the following prose works:  James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Pat Barker, Regeneration; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide; Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony.  The written work for the course will include two papers (approx. 5 pages/each) and a take home final.

 

ENGL 20154-01

The Gothic Novel

Noreen Deane-Moran

MW 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 20174-01 / ESS 33624-01 Crosslist

Shakespeare & Tolkien: Literature in the Classroom

John Staud

MW 9:30-10:45

Central to this course is the study of Shakespeare and Tolkien, both of whom, while separated by over 300 years, nevertheless "stay in the mind." We will examine in-depth Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, and Lord of the Rings, aiming to hone your ability to read closely and carefully and to write strong literary analyses. We will also examine these works in the context of contemporary education (where, for example, students complain about reading in part because they lack the skills and patience to read long or difficult texts), aiming to address questions about the purpose of literature and issues of literacy in our schools today. 

 

ENGL 20179-01 / IRLL 20116-01 Crosslist

Modern Literature in Irish – Survey II

Brian O’Conchubhair

TR 12:30-1:45

This survey course introduces students to a wide range of classic 20th- and 21st century-Irish texts; novels, short stories, plays, poetry and films. We will analyze each text from a cultural, historical and theoretical perceptive and the overall course will familiarize students with the broad strokes of Irish culture and allow them to explore Irish literature in its broader context.

 

ENGL 20182-01 / ESS 33629-01 Crosslist

Issues of Diversity in Young Adult Literature

Michael Macaluso

MW 12:30-1:45

In this course, we will challenge the single story/ies U.S. schools and curricula have told about books, characters, and cultural groups by focusing on literature by and about people from various populations that have been traditionally underrepresented in the United States. We will discuss young adult literature from parallel cultures (including possible works by and about African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, and other ethnic groups), as well as literature by and about populations traditionally defined by class, religion, ability, gender and sexuality. Course participants will investigate theoretical perspectives, issues, controversies, and educational implications for these texts, including race and racism, whiteness and privilege (in society and in the educational system), and critical literacy. As an extension of the course, we will also examine the young adult literature market and how contemporary media may reinforce or resist the stereotypes, labels, and single stories associated with these cultures. Possible texts include All American Boys, American Born Chinese (graphic novel), a Jacqueline Woodson novel, Openly Straight, a canonical text like To Kill a Mockingbird, Every Day, and several choice options, including a Classic/Newberry text, one text representing a non-abled bodied protagonist, and one contemporary text.

 

ENGL 20213-01 / MI 20001-01 Crosslist

The World of the Middle Ages

Daniel Hobbins, Daniel Matias Contreras Rios, and Xiaoyi Zhang

MW 12:50-1:40

The Middle Ages have been praised and reviled, romanticized and fantasized. The spectacular popularity of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Narnia have brought a revival of interest in and curiosity about the Middle Ages. But what were they like, these ten centuries between Rome and the Renaissance? In this course, we will explore major themes and issues in medieval civilization in an attempt to offer some basic answers to that question. We will have in view three kinds of people: rulers, lovers, and believers. But we will also study carefully those who wrote about those kinds of people. We will constantly ask how can we know about the Middle Ages, and what kinds of things can we know? We will consider major literary texts as both works of art and historical documents. We will explore various kinds of religious literature. We will try to understand the limits, boundaries, and achievements of philosophy and theology. Some lectures will incorporate medieval art so as to add a visual dimension to our explorations. This course will constitute an extended introduction to the dynamic and fascinating world of the Middle Ages.

 

ENGL 20220-01

Medieval Literature: From Arthur to Zelda

Marjorie Housley

TR 11:00-12:15

What can texts from the medieval period tell us about the modern world? In this course, we will examine the “modern medieval” by starting at its source. This course will cover a variety of literary texts from medieval Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia (c. 700–1300). We will examine the ways that these cultures identified themselves, as well as the ways they thought about one another. At the end of the semester, we will turn to modern conceptions of the medieval to investigate how modern writers and artists create and re-create the medieval. Modern texts will include YA literature like theLioness Quartet, modern classics like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, video games like The Legend of Zelda, and major television and film franchises like Game of Thrones.

 

ENGL 20240-01

Booked: Prison Literature, from Boethius to Orange is the New Black

Mimi Ensley

MW 2:00-3:15

With more than 2 million men and women behind bars in the United States, prison affects countless Americans (both incarcerated and not) on a daily basis. In this course, we will explore the experience of imprisonment through a close, critical analysis of literary works written in and about prison. In analyzing this enduring and diverse body of literature, we will also think critically about our own positions as outsiders looking into a space to which we have limited and privileged access. We will read texts and authors across time (from Boethius and Chaucer to Oscar Wilde and Orange is the New Black) and across genre, and we will explore the manifold ways authors use the space of the prison in their work. A series of broad questions will carry us through the semester: How do writers imagine prison spaces and to what purpose? Why are we interested in reading literature about prison? How does the genre of the text affect our understanding of it? In what ways has literature from and about prison changed over time and why? How do metaphorical and literal interpretations of the prison space interact? What role do literary works play in the social justice issues of their and our time?

 

ENGL 20249-01

Global Drama: Tradition and Modernity

Nicole Winsor

TR 9:30-10:45

This course will examine the relationship between tradition and modernity in drama and film from places as diverse as Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and the Caribbean. The upheavals of the modern world in the twentieth century brought about a multitude of encounters which have left their mark on peoples across the globe: effects stemming from the varied experiences of settling a foreign country or being colonized by a foreign power, of gaining independence or living as a cultural minority within one's ancestral home, or of leaving one's home to seek a new and better life, continue to reverberate throughout contemporary global cultures. By exploring these experiences as they are represented in contemporary drama we will

grapple with questions about the role that tradition has to play within the changing world of postcolonial modernity: how is "tradition" established and who decides what practices and beliefs are included or excluded in its name? What is the relationship between literary, cultural, and national forms of tradition? Are modernizing and traditionalizing forces antithetical to each other? Does tradition tie us to a static past, or can it open up new and productive possibilities for the future?

 

ENGL 20251-01

“Death Songs”

Christopher Scheirer

MW 12:30-1:45

Death, it is said, is the great equalizer. All things, from great to small, fade and pass away under the ravages of time. How we make sense of this reality, how we narrate and memorialize the lost, constitutes a central aspect of the human experience as well as reveals critical insights into the values, beliefs, and identities of those who survive to mourn and remember. It is also the special province of elegy, a genre of writing shared by many cultures throughout history that gives voice to this universal experience of mortality, decay, and ruin. In this course we will explore the development of elegy from its roots in Classical Antiquity to the Late-Middle Ages and the Early-Modern Period, paying special attention to how the desires and anxieties of the living are often inextricably woven into laments for the dead. In the process we will also take up the broader question of elegy as a distinct genre, examining its forms and themes, as well as its evolving character over time and among different cultures.

 

ENGL 20513-01

Introduction to Irish Writers

Christopher Fox 

MW 10:30-11:20

As the visit to campus of the most recent Irish winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature suggests, this small island has produced a disproportionate number of great writers.  Designed as a general literature course, the class will introduce the student to a broad range of Irish writers in English from the eighteenth century to the present.  Writers will include Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Brian Friel, and John McGahern.  We will also look at recent film versions of several of these writers’ works, including Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest.  Themes to be explored include representations of national character and the relationships between religion and national identity, gender and nationalism, Ireland and England, and “Irishness” and “Englishness.”  Students can expect a midterm, a paper (5-6pagestyped) and a final.

 

ENGL 20718-01 / AFST 23175-01 Crosslist

The Black Eye “I”: Africana First Person Non-Fiction Writing

Jacquetta Page

TR 2:00-3:15

Africana peoples have long been studied by and subjected to the critical lenses of others. This course will explore what happens when Africana people place themselves at the center of their own narratives. Through the exploration of memoir, cultural criticism, and various forms of creative and research based creative non-fiction about the Africana lives experience written by members of the Africana Diaspora themselves, students will be able to better understand the political and social agency engendered in narrative self-expression. Ultimately, they will witness the power behind telling one's own story. 

 

 

ENGL 22512

Literature and the Moral Imagination Discussion

Section 01-TBA: F 11:30-12:20

Section 02-TBA: F 11:30-12:20

Course discussion for Course ENGL 20150, Literature and the Moral Imagination

 

ENGL 22514

Introduction to Irish Writers Discussion

Section 01-Christopher Fox: F 10:30-11:20

Section 02-TBD: F 10:30-11:20

Section 03-TBD: F 10:30-11:20

Co-requisite course discussion for course ENGL 20513-01, Introduction to Irish Writers

 

ENGL 30008-01

Non-Fiction Writing: Style and Fact

Roy Scranton

MW 3:30-4:45

The quality that separates creative nonfiction from workaday prose is style. The quality that separates nonfiction from fiction is fact. In this course, we dive right into the complicated relationship between style and fact through Gonzo journalism, made-up memoir, ambiguous essays, and second-hand dream gossip, rigorously attending to well-wrought examples while also practicing our own exercises in style. Texts will include work by John D’Agata, Walter Benjamin, Vladimir Nabokov, Susan Sontag, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Beyoncé, Omer Fast, Samuel Delaney, and others.

 

ENGL 30101

Introduction to Literary Studies

Section 01- Yasmin Solomonescu: TR 12:30-1:45

Section 02- Cyraina E. Johnson-Roullier: MW 2:00-3:15

Section 03- Laura Betz: MW 11:00-12:15

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 30111-01

British Literary Traditions II

Susan Harris

MWF 11:30-12:20

Intensive survey of British writers and literary forms of the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

ENGL 30116-01

American Literary Traditions II

Jacqueline Brogan

MW 12:30-1:45

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 extert 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, Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Ralph Ellison, and John Updike to see how they they practice their craft in response to and revision of this inherited American tradition

 

ENGL 30851-01

Poetry Writing

Orlando Menes 

TR 9:30-10:45

In this poetry-writing course, students will read and model their poems upon writers who, by virtue of their talent and craft, have left their mark in the English and American poetic traditions.  We will also experience the performative aspects of poetry by attending a variety of reading either on or off campus.  Students will circulate their own poems among all the participants, who will then discuss and critique them in a workshop setting.  Throughout the semester attention will be given to those proven strategies for composing and revision one’s poetry.  More theoretical issues could also be investigated.  Assignments will be fashioned so as to simulate poems inspired in art, myth, the natural world, dreams, childhood, and other rich sources for the imagination.

Students will write poems on a regular basis throughout the semester, keep a reading journal, attend poetry readings, give a group report on a major poet, and submit midterm and final portfolios.  Regular attendance is crucial to the ongoing success of the course, and is thus mandatory.

 

 

ENGL 30853-01

Fiction Writing

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

TR 11:00-12:15

This course will encourage you to make all kinds of stories and to think about what kinds of stories are most crucial to you and to our culture. We'll read everything from flash fiction to graphic fiction to long stories to a novel, and we'll think about the possibilities available in all kinds of forms, from surrealism to satire, from apparently conventional realism to full-bore experimentalism. We'll begin with short exercises designed to loosen up your narrative voice, and we'll build to complete stories or novel chapters. By mid-semester you'll be reading your peers' drafts for ideas and perspective - and also to offer them serious feedback. The final project will be a revision of one of the drafts you've already submitted, alongside a brief contemplation of why you've chosen the form you have for the story you tell. At our last class, we'll celebrate with a final reading highlighting our diverse aesthetic choices and voices.

 

40144-01 / CLAS 40450-01 Crosslist

Classical Literature and its English Reception

Catherine Schlegel

TR 11:00-12:15

Ancient Greek and Latin literature - history, epic, tragedy, novels, oratory - has a second life in English literature as it is reproduced, echoed, or recalled. Pairing important works in Greek and Roman literature (in translation) with works of English literature, this course will look at some of the ways that writers in English have used the traditions of western antiquity. Shakespeare uses Julius Caesar and Ovid, Milton reanimates Hesiod and Vergil, Alexander Pope and James Joyce share a Homeric inspiration but little else, and Victorian novelists plunder their classical educations to raise up and to tear down the social pretentions of their time. Students will study the ancient texts in their own right and will develop skills in interpreting the remarkable range of uses to which they are put by their modern translations, borrowings, and adaptations.

 

ENGL 40145-01

Literary Theory

David Thomas

TR 11:00-12:15

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.  To be sure, 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 40209-01

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

Sarah Baechle

TR 9:30-10:45

The Canterbury Tales contain a complete library of the major genres of British Literature before the rise of the novel. This course will introduce students to each of them, including saint's lives, beast fables, romances, moral tales (exempla), bawdy stories (fabliau), epic, mock epic, satire, dream vision and allegory. We will read Chaucer's texts in the original language, and examine his brilliant ability to create enduring characters. Reading the Tales in their historical and cultural contexts, we will explore themes like chivalry, pilgrimage, anticlericalism, courtly love, sex, marriage, magic, heresy, social unrest and rebellion.

 

ENGL 40226-01

Essential Shakespeare

Jesse Lander

MW 2:00-3:15

Essential Shakespeare is an intensive introduction to some of Shakespeare's most enduring dramatic works. Throughout we will explore the implications of the course title: What constitutes the essence of Shakespeare? Can the essential Shakespeare be located in a particular set of plays? In specific dramatic or literary achievements? In peculiar habits of mind or patterns of thought? What set of characteristics are designated by the adjective Shakespearean? These broad questions will frame our reading of ten of Shakespeare's most popular plays: Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Richard II, 1 Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Lear, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. Assignments will include two papers, a midterm, a final, and several smaller assignments designed to help students engage with Shakespeare's language.

 

ENGL 40264-01 / IRLL 30224-01 Crosslist

Travels to Medieval Lands

Maj-Britt Frenze & Mary Galluch

MW 2:00-3:15

One of the most popular genres of medieval literature was the travel tale, and Celtic, Norse and British authors created an exciting range of stories about far-flung, fantastical , and holy or heavenly places, and the experiences of quite normal people in these often really abnormal places. While these texts generally stage transformations, meetings, and confrontations with new peoples, landscapes and ideas at geographically remote sites, the narratives typically lead audience members to reflect on issues of identity and belief that are actually very close to home. Analyzing the role of travel and visits to different worlds across several types of texts (legendary histories and origin accounts, hagiographies, adventure and voyage tales, sagas, pilgrimage accounts, etc.) we will identify several of the universal attributes, styles, compositional goals and motifs found in travel literature. We will also explore the differences between, for instance, secular and sacred travel tales, with particular attention to the role of the audience, the reader who undertakes an imaginative, textual journey by turning a book's pages or listening to a tale's oral performance. Participants will read both primary literary texts (all available in English translation), as well as a number of critical essays. Primary texts (some excerpted) may include but are not limited to Lebor Gabála Érenn (Book of Invasions of Ireland), Acallam na Senórach (Colloquy of the Ancients), Navigatio Brendani (Voyage of St. Brendan), Irish immrama (voyage tales), the Prologue to Snorri Sturluson's Gylfaginning (Fooling of Gylfi), the Norse Vínland sagas, Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), the Welsh Mabinogi, the Travels of Sir John Mandeville, and a pilgrimage acco

 

ENGL 40325-01

Romantic Refugees

Greg P. Kucich

TR 12:30-1:45

One of the greatest challenges and potential tragedies of our own time arises from the perilous refugee quests crisscrossing today’s world, particularly from the Middle East and Africa to Europe.  The history of refugee quests, sadly, stretches way back in time.  However, it reaches a similarly intense high point during the Romantic Era when such early types of global formations as colonialism, world war, world trade including the horrific slave trade, and revolutionary social movements unleashed large refugee movements throughout the world.  Our course will explore the many complex, fascinating ways in which Romantic Era texts by such writers as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Smith, Barbauld, PB and Mary Shelley, Byron, Austen, Baillie, and Starke depict and seek to resolve the massive refugee crises of their time, which include the psychological alienation and imaginative refugee status of some, perhaps, unexpected groups of people, such as women.  The relevance of these Romantic Era refugee scenarios for our world crises today will figure centrally throughout the course.

 

ENGL 40337-01

Thinking with the Abbeys

Margaret Doody

MW 12:30-1:45

The startling success of the TV series Downton Abbey in the USA as well as in England demonstrates the enduring appeal in the English speaking world of an abbey as an image connected with change. What do we keep of the past and what do we discard? The Dissolution of the Abbeys in the 1530s under Henry VIII was a monumental change, religious and social, as well as the most sweeping and immediate privatization. Private owners took over land once used for education, medical care and care of the poor. The buildings were often torn down for sale of valuables (such as lead roofing); some were reconditioned as private abodes. Through the following centuries, to own an abbey became a sign of great wealth and status. The treatment of Church lands in France during the early French Revolution revived questions regarding England's own history. In the late 18th and early 19th century abbeys begin to figure in English literature as settings, as social signs, and as bones of contention. They are associated with issues of class, gender and sexuality?not least in the notorious real-life case of Sir Francis Dashwood and the "Hellfire Club" of Medmenham Abbey. Abbeys are signs of change, as well as of economic and political power?and power shifts. They exhibit or stand for personal growth or loss, acquisition and dispossession, and conflicting aesthetic and moral values. To William Gilpin the travel writer they are aesthetic adornments; their ruins are a benefit to the "picturesque" but the institutions were rightly destroyed.Abbeys raise questions of social usefulness?or waste.We will pursue some persistent questions that seem constantly to be raised by literary contemplation of abbeys. What does England want to keep, and what should be changed and modified? Who is disinherited and why? Who is in power?and why? Frustration and anxiety are often associated with contemplating an abbey. Authors use both real and imaginary places; women writers -not least Jane Austen--are particularly skillful in creating imaginary estates with developed social, economic and historical backgrounds. The "Gothic" mode is only one approach to the puzzles and hidden pain associated with the inheritance of an abbey and the endeavor to suppress the past. As we learn how to think with an abbey, students will be invited to explore the use and significance of abbeys in fiction ( both "high" and "low") of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and of our own times." and "low". Texts will includeDownton Abbey (script by Julian Fellowes); William Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey; William Gilpin, Observations (selected travel writings); Charlotte Smith, Ethelinde; Regina Maria Roche, The Children of the Abbey; "Mrs. Carver," The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey: Jane Austen, "History of England,"Northanger Abbey, Emma; Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey; Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, The Monastery; Margaret Powell, Below Stairs.

 

ENGL 40375-01

Victorian Fiction and its Steampunk Offspring

Sara Maurer       

MW 9:30-10:45

Why would contemporary science fiction writers imagine alternate worlds driven by steam engines instead of combustion engines, clockwork machines instead of computers, and hot air balloons instead of space ships? What is it about the stock characters of Victorian novels ¿ the innocent impoverished orphan, the evil tycoon, and the plucky heroine ¿ that make them pop up again in the contemporary speculative fiction we call ¿steampunk¿? Are such novels really thinking about the past or the future? To answer these questions this class will alternate between intensive reading of canonical Victorian novels ¿ Benjamin Disraeli¿s Sybil, Charles Dickens¿ Bleak House, and Bram Stoker¿s Dracula ¿ and exploration of contemporary novels that use Victorian elements to tell stories about twentieth- and twenty-first-century technology, poverty, and globalization, such as Neal Stephenson¿s Diamond Age, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling¿s The Difference Engine, and Philp Reeves¿ Mortal Engines. By the end of the course students can expect to know more about what makes Victorian fiction distinctive in the long history of literature, and to be able to think critically about how we come to use literature from the past for our own purposes.

 

ENGL 40399-01

Coming of age Narratives

Barry McCrea

MW 11:00-12:15

How is a “self” made? When is change internal and when does it come from outside? When is it lasting and when is fleeting? In this course, we will look at how the formation of the individual is staged in fiction, poetry and film. We will be looking at folktales, novels from the 19th century through to the present, and films. Texts may include some of the following: Grimms’ fairytales, Dickens Great Expectations, Balzac Père Goriot, Rulfo Pedro Páramo, Campion An Angel at my Table.

 

ENGL 40452-01

Creature Poetry

Nathaniel Myers

TBA

The world of Harry Potter may have its fantastic beasts, and it may be able to tell you where to find them, but this course contends that British and Irish poetry has been a central place to locate such creatures – animals both fantastic and mundane – for the past hundred years. Throughout the semester, we will encounter many of the most important creatures to come out of this poetry, from W.B. Yeats’s rabbits and swans and D.H. Lawrence’s bats, to Ted Hughes’s “Thought-Fox” and Seamus Heaney’s otters and skunks, to the more otherworldly creatures of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s mermaids and Edwin Morgan’s Loch Ness Monster. Though the course will touch on many cultural and aesthetic concerns through its poetic focus on the “creaturely” – concerns such as those surrounding gender and class, modernism and lyric expression, ecology and ethics – its running interests will include that of anthropomorphism and the depiction of nonhuman experiences and phenomenologies. In addition, we will examine literary features such as genre and form, and we will pair several weeks’ poems with prose texts (some fictional, some theoretical) and film.

 

ENGL 40522-01 / ENGL 90527-01 Crosslist

Ulysses

Barry McCrea

T 3:30-6:15

A close study of James Joyce’s masterpiece

 

ENGL 40529-01

Gender and Irish Drama

Susan Harris

MW 3:30-4:45

In this course, we will examine the relationship between national and sexual politics through our study of gender and twentieth-century Irish drama. Beginning with the first controversies surrounding the representation of women on the Irish stage at the beginning of the twentieth century, we will study representations of gender and sexuality in the major canonical figures of the Irish renaissance--W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Sean O'Casey--while investigating lesser-known female and queer Irish playwrights from that time such as Lady Augusta Gregory, Lennox Robinson, and Teresa Deevy. We will also look at how the treatment of gender and sexuality changes in the work of postwar and contemporary Irish playwrights, including Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Brian Friel, Anne Devlin, Frank McGuinness, and Marina Carr. Along with the plays we will study their historical and cultural context and the sometimes quite vehement responses that these plays evoked in their audiences. Students will write three papers and do one in-class presentation.

 

ENGL 40555-01 / IRLL 30106-01 Crosslist

Women’s Voices? (Im)personations of Gender in the Irish Tradition

Sarah Mckibben

TR 9:30-10:45

This class looks at verbal performance by “women” — that is, compositions by known women poets, storytellers and singers, and works purporting to be by women or adopting the voice or perspective of women. Grasping gender as itself a sort of performance (following the germinal work of Judith Butler), we’ll think about what work women’s voices do in a wide range of compositions from medieval to contemporary, helped along by relevant literary, anthropological and cultural criticism. How do women speak? How do “women” speak? Are these works subversive of our expectations or conservative in their relation to the status quo? How can we acknowledge and deconstruct misogyny not as inevitable but as historically and contextually conditioned and subject to demystifying critique? What vantage can we gain on Irish literary history by asking these historical, theoretical and political questions? How do tradition and the canon look when we view them through a gendered lens? What kind of impersonations might we engage in when we read…and write? Genres considered include courtly love poetry, contemporary feminist verse, oral lament, modern love poetry, bardic verse, storytelling, early modern allegorical poetry, folk song, medieval allegory, and contemporary comic verse. Your own work for the course will include papers of literary/cultural analysis, presentations, and creative writing options. NOTE: no knowledge of Irish (Gaelic) is assumed or necessary; enthusiastic participation is!

 

ENGL 40601-01

American Renaissance

Laura Walls

TR 2:00-3:15

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?

 

ENGL 40753-01

Contemporary U.S. Novel

Matthew Wilkens

MW 2:00-3:15

This course is devoted to the last decade of U.S. fiction. Its aim is to provide an overview of currently developing -- and often competing -- trends in contemporary literature and to offer a preliminary theorization of the literary-cultural present in the United States. To this end, we'll read a bit of theory and six American novels published since 1996. These texts present an array of responses to the changing cultural landscape of what we might call late postmodernism, a period concerning which there is as yet little critical consensus. The books we read will provide us with material for an emerging understanding of what this moment and its aesthetic production look like; the ways in which they embrace, differ from, and reject the cultural dominants of postmodernism proper; the paths they suggest for twenty-fist century fiction; and the ways in which they adapt and redeploy earlier cultural forms. By the end of the semester, you will be in a position to offer your own analysis of contemporary cultural production and to speculate on the future of American literature. Note that the reading load will be fairly heavy, especially during the first half of the semester. Primary readings: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1996, 1104 pp.) Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible (1998, 576 pp.) Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation (2005, 142 pp.) Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005, 368 pp.) Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007, 352 pp.) Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances (2008, 256 pp.)

 

ENGL 40761-01

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 40777-01 / AMST 30108-01 Crosslist

American Capitalism

Korey Garibaldi

MW 8:00-9:15

This course offers a broad overview of American capitalism from the early nineteenth century to the late 1980s. It introduces students to the cultural and social phenomena that accompanied the economic transformation of the U.S. from a newly-independent British colony to the most influential economic power in the world. The course will consider a wide range of historical developments related to the expansion and contraction of the American capitalism between this period, including: massive population shifts, territorial expansions, technological changes, legal debates, wars, and economic flux. As a class we will examine a mix of scholarly sources and primary materials (including cultural works such as novels and films) to synthesize both the historical and cultural characteristics of American capitalism. In addition to three short writing assignments connecting two or more course readings, students will develop an 8 - 10 page final paper at the end of the semester.

 

ENGL 40814-01 / AMST 30141-01Crosslist

Native American Literature

Robert Walls

TR 12:30-1:45

Native Americans have long been trapped in a betwixt and between state, caught by the forces of past and present, tradition and assimilation, romanticization and caricature. Yet through it all, Native voices have continued to speak of the Indian experience with great power and eloquence. This course will introduce Native American literature as a distinctive contribution to American and world literature. We will examine a wide range of expressive culture from the last century, including novels, poetry, graphic stories, children's literature, film, digital media, autobiographies, performances of oral literature, and music. Through the passion, creativity, and humor of Indian authors, we will learn something of the historical experience of Native men and women, and how they have reacted to massacres and mascots, racism and reservations, poverty and political oppression. Above all, we will try to understand how indigenous authors have used literature to engage crucial issues of race and culture in the United States that continue to influence their lives: identity, self-discovery, the centrality of place, cultural survival, and the healing power of language and spirituality. Class discussions will incorporate literary, historical, and ethnographic perspectives of Native expressive culture and the agency of authors as artists and activists vis-à-vis the wider American literary tradition. Authors include Sherman Alexie, Nicholas Black Elk, Louise Erdrich, D'Arcy McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, Linda Hogan, Winona LaDuke, and Leonard Peltier.

 

ENGL 40816-01 / AFST 40703-01 Crosslist

Lives Pursued on the Margins: Women in the American Civil Rights Movement 

Stuart Greene

TR 12:30-1:45

This course explores the roles that women played in building capacity, community, and agency in a grassroots movement that advanced civil and human rights. We will focus on Ida B. Wells, Rosa Parks, and Ella Baker, among others, and examine the role that domestic workers played to advance a movement that challenged racial hierarchies. Less visible, but no less important, were women who owned hair salons and used their independent businesses to create change. Examining the grassroots movement will provide a lens through which to understand the extent to which leadership occurred in expected places and offers a more robust model of leadership than the one presented in dominant narratives about the civil rights movement. 

 

ENGL 40819-01 / ILS 30101-01 Crosslist

Caribbean Diasporas

Karen Ellen Richman

TR 3:30-4:45

This course examines the development of Creole societies in the French, Spanish, Dutch, and British Caribbean in response to colonialism, slavery, migration, nationalism and, most recently, transnationalism. The recent exodus of as much as 20 percent of Caribbean populations to North America and Europe has afforded the rise of new transnational modes of existence. This course will explore the consciousness and experience of Caribbean diasporas through ethnography and history, religion, literature, music, and culinary arts.

 

ENGL 40821-01

Conjuring the Americas

Jarvis McInnis

TR 11:00-12:15

Known variously as conjure and hoodoo in the United States, vodou in Haiti, obeah in Jamaica, and Santería in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, African-derived spiritual, magical, and healing practices survived in the Americas despite slavery’s inordinate brutalities and consistent efforts to eradicate them. Bringing together writers from the United States and the Caribbean, this course will explore how enslaved Africans and their descendants retained and remade their knowledge of the supernatural world as strategies of resistance and agency, healing and survival. Reading across a range

of literary genres, including the southern gothic, poetry, magical realism, science and speculative fiction, satire, and mystery, we will mobilize conjure (and its Caribbean variants) to chart a hemispheric conception of African Diaspora literature. Readings may include works by Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Alejo Carpentier, Gloria Naylor, Sylvia Wynter, Maryse Condé, Ishmael Reed, Amiri Baraka, Nalo Hopkinson, Marlon James, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, and Tiphanie Yanique, among others. It may also include representations of conjure in film and video. Some questions we may take up include: What is the sociopolitical function of conjure in African Diaspora literature and culture? How are these practices gendered in the tradition? How does conjure converge with and/or depart from Christian-based religious practices and notions of Western rationality? What alternative epistemologies and ontologies emerge from the space and practice of conjure? Assignments may include: weekly response papers, research abstract, annotated bibliography, and a final research paper

 

ENGL 40850-01

Advance Fiction Writing: Poetics of Prose

Roy Scranton

MW 12:30-1:45

What are the poetics of prose? How do we make voices speak on the page? In this reading-intensive workshop, we will approach these questions through philosophy, literary theory, close reading, and experimental practice. The strange technology of writing easily turns invisible in its everyday familiarity—in order to see fiction-making in all its deep weirdness, we must be willing to take it apart, break it, and remake it. We will perform our experiments with the seriousness of scientists and play with the abandon of the possessed, for as much as writing is a technology, it is also an attunement, a moment shaping collective vibrations as they pass through gatherings of cells. Readings will include work by Gertrude Stein, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Bowles, and others.

 

ENGL 40852-01

Advance Fiction Writing II: Poetics of Prose

Roy Scranton

MW 12:30-1:45

What are the poetics of prose? How do we make voices speak on the page? In this reading-intensive workshop, we will approach these questions through philosophy, literary theory, close reading, and experimental practice. The strange technology of writing easily turns invisible in its everyday familiarity—in order to see fiction-making in all its deep weirdness, we must be willing to take it apart, break it, and remake it. We will perform our experiments with the seriousness of scientists and play with the abandon of the possessed, for as much as writing is a technology, it is also an attunement, a moment shaping collective vibrations as they pass through gatherings of cells. Readings will include work by Gertrude Stein, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Bowles, and others.

 

ENGL 40855-01

Advance Fiction Writing III: Poetics of Prose

Roy Scranton

MW 12:30-1:45

What are the poetics of prose? How do we make voices speak on the page? In this reading-intensive workshop, we will approach these questions through philosophy, literary theory, close reading, and experimental practice. The strange technology of writing easily turns invisible in its everyday familiarity—in order to see fiction-making in all its deep weirdness, we must be willing to take it apart, break it, and remake it. We will perform our experiments with the seriousness of scientists and play with the abandon of the possessed, for as much as writing is a technology, it is also an attunement, a moment shaping collective vibrations as they pass through gatherings of cells. Readings will include work by Gertrude Stein, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jorge Luis Borges, Jane Bowles, and others.

 

Research Seminars

ENGL 43308-01

Seminars: Tradition and Experiment in British Romantic Poetry

Yasmin Solomonescu

TR 3:30-4:45

The British Romantic period is often defined in terms of the momentous social and political upheavals that it witnessed, notably the French Revolution, but to what extent was it also characterized by a "revolution" in poetry? This seminar considers the varied ways that poets revived and reinvigorated older traditions and forms - including narrative romance, epic, sonnet, ode, and song - to speak for or about contemporary culture and explore the individual mind as it responds to the world. Spanning a remarkably productive forty years (ca. 1790-1830), our readings will center on works by some the most famous poets of the age - including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron - and some of their most innovative contemporaries. We will examine this poetry in its literary and historical contexts, and pay particular attention to the prose documents and letters in which the poets sought to explain their aims and ideals. We will also become familiar with a range of critical perspectives. The main element of assessment will be the step-by-step composition of a research paper of approximately 20 pages.

 

ENGL 43700

Seminar: Poetry and Religion

Romana Huk

TR 2:00-3:15

This seminar will focus on the last 120 years in literary history, zeroing in on one particular problem - the writing of religious poetry - in order to probe the philosophical collisions that resulted in what we now call our "post-secular" era of thought. Beginning with Gerard Manley Hopkins at the end of the nineteenth-century and major modernists who continued to write powerfully after WWII - T.S. Eliot, David Jones, W. H. Auden - the syllabus will chart a course through the rapidly changing poetic forms of two further generations of poets working devotedly, if differently, out of various religious systems of belief. The many dilemmas of postmodernity include redefining the very notion of "belief" itself after the secular revelations of science and modernity; we will explore the theoretical issues involved in order to better understand what's at stake for each writer we encounter, among them Brian Coffey, Wendy Mulford, Fanny Howe and Hank Lazer. We will ask, among other things, why ancient mystical frameworks seemed newly hospitable, for some, in the face of postmodern suspicions about language and institutions, while for others embracing the sciences renewed faith; we will consider the crucial input of Judaism in Christianity's rethinkings of language and religious experience as well as consider how issues of race and gender inflect changing relationships between poetry and religion. Students will emerge conversant with major debates in contemporary literary theory as well as with developments in poetry since Hopkins; perhaps even more importantly, they will each have had the chance to research some particular aspect of our subject(s) that arouses passionate interest and results in an article-length term paper developed slowly over the course of the semester. In other words, this course offers students the exciting (and measured, not frantic) experience of writing toward publication, just as their professors do. In addition to the term-paper, seminar-level participation is expected, as well as two days of leading class discussion (partnered by a classmate or two). No prior expertise in reading poetry is necessary for this course. (Note: if you have taken my University Seminar, The Death and Return of God in Radical Poetry, you may not take this course; it shares too many of the same materials.)

 

ENGL 43771-01

Seminars: American Modernisms

Cyraina Johnson-Roullier

MW 12:30-1:45

Discussions of the late nineteenth, early twentieth century literary and cultural movement of modernism often center on those qualities of the movement described in the work of early modernist literary critics, such as Harry Levin or Edmund Wilson. Such examinations emphasize the modern movement's experiments in form, structure, linguistic representation, characterization, etc., while paying much less attention to the role of the modernist movement in the larger context of a given culture. In this course, we will explore the significance of the modern movement from the perspective of American culture, as well as the manner and meaning of American literary participation in the movement. To that end, we will consider not only the work of authors generally accepted as modernists, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein; we will also consider the role of authors such as Sherwood Anderson and Waldo Frank, of the early Chicago Renaissance (1910-1925), and a number of authors from the Harlem Renaissance. We will examine the work of these authors not only in the context of modernism, but also as it relates to many issues of the day, including progressivism, primitivism, race and ethnicity, immigration, cosmopolitanism vs. regionalism, and the importance of the vernacular, in addition to the question of "Americanness" and its importance to an understanding of American literature during this time. Considering these different vantage points in American literary modernism, we will try to imagine the contours of "American modernisms," and draw some conclusions about their significance within the larger modernist context. In so doing, we'll seek to arrive at a more comprehensive, more nuanced perspective on the meaning of the modern in American literature and culture. Course Texts: Edith Wharton, Age of Innocence; Willa Cather, O Pioneers!; Sherwood Anderson, Dark Laughter; Waldo Frank, Holiday; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Ernest Hemingway, Torrents of Spring; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Gertrude Stein, Three Lives; Jessie Fauset, Plum Bun; Jean Toomer, Cane; William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom! Course Requirements: One 2-page Annotated Bibliography, One Critical Literature Review, One 2-Page Introduction, One 8-Page Draft, one 15-Page Literary Critical Essay, mini-presentation.