Spring 2010

ENGL 20001 – 01
Intro to Fiction Writing
Courtney McDermott
MWF 10:40-11:30

This is a beginning course in the writing short prose fiction. No experience in the form will be necessary. Students will be writing every week, primarily brief 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 – 01
Intro to Poetry Writing
Clinton J. Waterman
MWF 11:45-12:35

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 – 01
Fiction Writing
Matthew Benedict
MW 1:30-2:45

Have you ever finished reading a novel and thought:  “I wish I could do that”?  Or:  “I think I can do that”?  Or: “I want to do that”?  Well, this course is for you.

In this workshop-style course, we’ll explore the craft as well as the artistic aspects of writing fiction.  We’ll read a sample of contemporary short fiction as “writers,” meaning we’ll dissect the various techniques writers employ in the writing of their stories.  We’ll also work on several in-class and out-of-class writing assignments (1-4 pages) designed to practice those techniques. Students will then write two original short stories that will be read and discussed by other members of the class.  At the end of the semester, students will complete a portfolio of revised work. And, in order to assist us in our explorations, we will be attending campus literary events, to hear “up close and personal” from actively publishing writers. Writing is a journey.  Ours begins now.

ENGL 20003 – 02
Fiction Writing
Johannes Goransson
MW 11:45-1:00

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 – 01
Poetry Writing
Orlando Menes
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 20107
Satire: Henry VIII to Obama
Rachel Jurado
MWF 3:00-3:50

Is satire necessary to the health of society or a sign of its decline? In considering the role of the satire in society, students will read key texts from the Renaissance, eighteenth-century, and the present day. We will assess the literary and social significance of the formal and thematic continuities between the current satirical outpouring on television in South Park, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report and earlier texts by Thomas More, Erasmus, the Earl of Rochester, Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Mozart/DaPonte, and others. We will discuss the strategies and limitations of satire in a wide variety of texts including novels, poetry, drama, blogs, and opera.

ENGL 20142
Autobiography and Subjectivity
Barbara Green
TR 2:00-3:15

Life-writing is a capacious term that can be used to describe a variety of private and public statements about the self.  Some of these are easily recognizable as artistic representations of subjectivity (for example, memoirs, diaries, letters, self-portraits) and some less so (for example, legal testimony, graphic novels, blogs, even medical forms have been read as part of the complex project of articulating subjectivity). This course will attend to a wide variety of forms of life-writing in order to trace shifting notions of what counts as a self and track the complex project of defining and representing subjectivity. A broad range of critical approaches to subjectivity and definitions of the autobiographical project will assist us as we attempt to map changing notions of the self. Many, but not all, of our primary materials will be drawn from the twentieth century, some from the current decade: texts may include selections of writings by Wordsworth and Rousseau, Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Virginia Woolf’s Sketch of the Past, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, selections from Samuel Delany’s The Motion of Light in Water, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, photography by Cindy Sherman, Jo Spence and others, self-portraits by Frieda Kahlo, considerations of Web projects, My Space sites, political and legal testimony or “witnessing”, and other examples of autobiography “at work” will also be considered. Requirements: participation, short commentaries, and three essays: two around 5 pages, and one of eight to ten pages.

ENGL 20219
Heroic Quests
Joel Dodson
MWF 4:05-4:55

Stories of questing knights and unending, heroic landscapes have enjoyed popularity in recent film versions of The Lord of the RingsThe Chornicles of Narnia, and even Beowulf.  This course will explore the foundations of the heroic quest narrative in early British literature, focusing in particular on the transformations of the epic and romance genres in Medieval and Renaissance literature.  What ties heroic tales to a given nation or culture?  How do stories of knights, ladies, monsters, and faeries become vehicles for other ideas, such as religion, sex, and politics?  And what happens when these stories become reimagined in early “modern” genres of drama, satire, and the novel?  We will approach these questions by considering the epic ideal of the English warrior hero, and then follow it through the wanderings of the poetry, prose, and drama of Chaucer, Malory, Spenser, Shakespeare, and others.  While we will spend the majority of our time on earlier British literature, we will consider, in class discussions and student presentations, contemporary versions and film representations of English epic and romance.

ENGL 20223
The Book of Monsters: Monstrosity and Metamorphosis in Medieval Literature
Hilary Fox
MW 4:30-5:45

Cyclopes, blemmyae, giants, women with the tails of lions, fairies, Chthulu-like beings from the chaotic abyss: these creatures and many more occupied the margins of human geography for centuries. In ancient thought, monsters were not merely fantastical creations, but existed as important ways of talking about humans and their society: despite their distance—living as they did India, Africa, the depths of the sea or the burial mound, sometimes even on the moon—monsters and marvelous beings have been intimately involved with Western understandings of what it means to be a human being. While we will consider a few major works such as Beowulf and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, we will also look at stories of werewolves in Norse saga and French romance, madmen, Biblical and apocryphal tales of monsters and fallen angels, classical and medieval “travelogues” (including voyages to outer space), and other sources to acquire an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that make medieval texts different—and yet similar to—our own. Secondary critical readings will help students toward a sense of the many different issues at play in the primary works, from historical context to more in-depth considerations of gender, geography, and race.

ENGL 20513
Introduction to Irish Writers
Christopher Fox
MW 10:40-11:30

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 (5-6 pages typed) and a final.

ENGL 20613
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”. 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 mid-term and final exams and a seven page study of one story chosen by each student.

ENGL 20709
God & Evil in Modern Literature
Thomas Werge
01: MWF 10:40-11:30
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 20715
Modern American Poetry
Heather Treseler
TR 3:30-4:45

This course considers a range of major postwar and postmodern poets whose influence is still felt in American poetics today. Students will learn how to read and interpret poetry, building a vocabulary for literary analysis and honing the skills of close reading. In studying an era noted for the dynamism and diversity of its literary styles, schools, and iconoclasts, we will evaluate each poet in his or her biographic (and geographic) particularity, while tracking the trends in form and innovation that also mark this genre.

ENGL 20721
Modernist Poetry & Fiction
Craig Woelfel
TR 11:00-12:15

“We had the experience, but missed the meaning.”  So wrote T. S. Eliot, reflecting on a 30-year period that saw virtually the entire Western world experience a simultaneous and monumental spiritual, emotional, and intellectual crisis.  Eliot’s is just one of a tremendous variety of literary responses to a radically changing world that makes up the period called “modernism,” in which both the world and how it was written about changed dramatically.  This involves engagement with questions that are central to everyone’s life – from the nature of God, love, friendship, race, sex, gender, and war, to drinking, laughing, shopping, cows, crabs, and puppy dogs (seriously).  We’ll be reading a variety of texts - both British and American, poetry and fiction, bridging the period between the two Great Wars (Yeats, Pound, Williams, Loy, Eliot; Ford, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Forster, Woolf, Rhys) - that, for various reasons and in myriad ways, experiment with preexisting conventional notions of genre, narrative, point of view, and language.  By engaging these texts alongside short readings by the authors about their own writing, the goal of the course is to gain confidence working through texts that might otherwise be too intimidating to read in other contexts by tending to basic questions first: what did these writers and poets say themselves that they were doing, and why did they do it?  Such basic questions will provide the necessary background against which the innovation and astonishing beauty of these works can take shape. As importantly, you will be introduced to an interpretive framework through which to understand literature and to think about why it matters in terms of larger social, cultural, and even personal contexts.  No prior knowledge is assumed.  We will cover in class methodological instruction devoted to the skills such as poetic scansion, close reading, note taking, etc. that are necessary to read, interpret, and discuss literary texts in terms of their formal elements as well as their connections to larger social, cultural, and literary contexts.  The broader goal is to develop new ways of thinking about human experience and especially language that will remain long after the surface data of names, dates, and terms has faded, and to gain the confidence and skills necessary to make you feel like you can read, and think through, anything.

ENGL 20759
The Democratic Muse: Whitman and the shaping of the American Voice (Contemporary American Poetry)
Cornelius Eady
MW 3:00-4:15

How do poetry and the concept of American Democracy blend? Using Emerson and Whitman as a starting point, this course will attempt to connect the dots. Poets we will be reading will include Emerson, Whitman, Neruda, June Jordan, Ginsberg, and others. We will land somewhere at the start of the present era, with the poets who have their beginnings with the slam: Paul Beatty, Patricia Smith, among others. Students will be responsible for writing reports of the books read and the era they represent (some of this may be in the form of a team video report), and for a long paper tracing either the influences that shaped one of the poets studied or on one aspect presented by our readings.

ENGL 30101
Introduction to Literary Studies
Sara Maurer
01 TR 2:00-3:15
02 TR 3:30-4:45

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

ENGL 30850 – 01
Fiction Writing for English Majors
Matthew Benedict
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 30850 – 02
Fiction Writing for English Majors
Steve Tomasula
TR 12:30-1:45

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

ENGL 30851 – 01
Poetry Writing for English Majors
John Wilkinson
TR 3:30-4:45

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 40122
Poetry and Liberal Education
John Sitter
MW 1:30-2:45

With the work of six poets and several theories of poetry from the Renaissance to now as our guides, we will take up the large question of how poetry figures, or might figure, in liberal education. Some of the more specific but abiding questions we will consider are these: Does poetry offer ways of knowing as well as ways of saying? Does learning to understand poetry affect moral as well as intellectual development? Does it deepen our awareness of other kinds of language? Why has poetry often been seen paradoxically as both more sensuous and more abstract than other kinds of expression?  Does the physicality rhythm of poetry illuminate Thoreau’s puzzling claim that we “think as well through our legs and arms as our brain”? Is metaphor the realm in which we find our best meanings?  We will focus on poems by Andrew Marvell, Alexander Pope, John Keats, P.B. Shelley, W.B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, and Adrienne Rich. Essays on poetry will range from Philip Sidney’s “Defence of Poetry” (1595) to reflections by several 20th-century poets and philosophers and some recent work in cognitive psychology on the processing of figurative and rhythmic language.

ENGL 40141
Psychoanalysis and Literatures
Maud Ellmann
TR 3:30-4:45

This course examines psychoanalytic approaches to literature, with a focus on the Freudian tradition. We will begin by reading selections from Freud's writings on dreams, sexuality, creativity, and art, in connection with literary works, such as Poe's "The Purloined Letter," Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw," Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, and Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which have inspired controversial psychoanalytic readings. Drama (e.g. Hamlet), poetry (e.g. T.S. Eliot) will also be explored. In addition we will read selections from later psychoanalysts, such as Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Jacques Lacan, and Adam Phillips, and literary theorists such as Slavoj Zizek, who have brought psychoanalysis and literature together in exciting new ways. At the end of the course we will turn our attention to psychoanalysis and film, focusing on Alfred Hitchcock's movies.

ENGL 40219
Katherine Zieman
MW 3:00-4:15

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in a time of great social, political, and religious upheaval, a time in which the stakes of English writing were uncertain.  This course examines Chaucer’s efforts during that period to create sustained fiction in English through his most ambitious and experimental work, The Canterbury Tales.  Ultimately, we will find out what earned Chaucer the title “Father of English poetry.”

ENGL 40235
Shakespeare’s Major Tragedies
Jesse Lander
MW 11:45-1:00

This course will examine the four tragedies upon which Shakespeare’s reputation most securely rests: HamletOthelloKing Lear, and Macbeth.  Our objectives will be to acquire an in-depth knowledge of Shakespeare’s four major tragedies; to become familiar with early modern English and develop an appreciation of the importance of linguistic history; to examine tragedy as a dramatic genre, as an experience, and as a cultural preoccupation; and to learn about Shakespeare’s age and his afterlife.  Along with our modern editions of Shakespeare, we will read Christopher Haigh’s Elizabeth I and a number of recent scholarly essays.  Work will include several short written assignments, a midterm, a final, and a paper of 7-10 pages.

ENGL 40261
Money in the Eighteenth Century: Wealth, Poverty, Debt Gambling, Bubbles, Consumers
Margaret Doody
TR 9:30-10:45

The instruments of modern capitalism (including the Bank of England and a stock market) were invented at the end of the seventeenth century. The eighteenth century experiences the complexities and shocks of that system.  The South Sea Bubble in England with the remarkable crash of the South Sea Company in 1720 gave the world its first lesson in a stock market crash. The feudal class system is pressed and reshaped to follow the nature of money.  Theories about liberty cannot rightly ignore financial pressure, and personal freedom is deeply affected by relationships to money. Novelists, dramatists and poets of the late 17th and the 18th century examine a variety of forms of wealth and loss, and observe the startling effects of gains and losses of those at the bottom or the top of the social pyramid. Male and female authors observe the price and significance of luxury goods (silk, mohair, diamonds, and coaches) and of new pleasures (coffee and tea-drinking, card parties); they also follow the cost of bare necessities (a loaf of bread). Slavery is part of the economic dynamic, and the new system amplifies slavery in bringing to the fore   such new staples as sugar, tobacco and cotton. Gambling assumes a central role; public projects are funded by lotteries.  Marriage is deeply involved in speculation. (“Speculation” is the name of a real game introduced to her family by Jane Austen.)

We will examine the work of theorists such as Adam Smith and Malthus, as well as a variety of poems plays and novels from Bunyan to Austen dealing with social patterns and individual experiences of prosperity or loss.

ENGL 40336
Seduction and the Novel in the Era of the French Revolution
Essaka Joshua
TR 2:00-3:15

When Lionel reflects, in Charlotte Smith's Desmond (1792), "I found that if I would really satisfy myself with a certain view of Geraldine, I must seek some spot, where, from its elevation, I could, by means of a small pocket telescope, have an uninterrupted view of these windows," and the eponymous heroine of Mary Hays's Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796) observes "I shall, I suspect, be impelled by an irresistible impulse to seek you. Though you have condemned my affection, my friendship will still follow you," they represent an extreme unrequited devotion that is part of the period's preoccupation with passion. The novel of the 1790s teems with rapists, stalkers, abusive employers, weeping men and fighting women who confront prison, madness, murder, jealousy and suicidal melancholy. This course aims to explore the significance of passion for understanding developments in the representation of femininity, masculinity, social virtue and humanitarian reform at the end of the eighteenth century.

ENGL 40350
Dickens and Wilde
David Thomas
TR 9:30-10:45

This double-author course showcases what most readers would see as an "odd couple" among Victorian authors.  Charles Dickens (1812-70) was the Shakespeare of his time, a prolific creator of memorable characters and incidents, at once comic and tragic.  But post-Victorian critics often see him as a prime exponent of Victorian earnestness, sentimentality and even hypocrisy.  And Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was, well, the Wilde of Victorian Britain: he was so dazzling that even those who wished to hate him often had to give up and laugh with him.  But his life took a classically tragic form after his public humiliation and imprisonment for homosexual offences.  Our principal texts by Dickens will probably be Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Our Mutual Friend.  Our readings in Wilde will cover the gamut of his efforts but emphasize his society comedies and his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Graded coursework includes three papers and a final exam, along with reading quizzes and participation.

ENGL 40513
Culture & Politics in Northern Ireland
Mary Burgess
TR 11:00-12:15

This course explores the politics of culture, and the cultures of politics, in the North of Ireland during the twentieth century. Using a multiplicity of genres — drama, fiction, poetry, film, painting, and documentary material — we will unravel the history behind partition, the causes of the Troubles, and the nature of the conflict. Among the key moments or events upon which we will concentrate are the Somme, the sinking of the Titanic, Bloody Sunday, the hunger strikes, Drumcree, the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and the Shankill Butchers. Certain key themes will stretch through our semester’s work. Among these are sectarianism, the relationship between violence and culture, the role of religion in the state, borders, hatred, identity, and issues of social and political justice. Some of the writers whose work we will read are Seamus Heaney, Frank McGuinness, Sam Thompson, John Montague, Seamus Deane, Eoin MacNamee, Robert MacLiam Wilson, Colin McCann, and Thomas Kinsella.

ENGL 40608
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 Norris and Dreiser, to the neo-naturalist fiction of a few decades later that operated alongside developments in modernist literary form (Stein, Petry, 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 40702
American Film
William Krier
TR 3:30-4:45

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

There will be a final exam and a long paper (fifteen pages or so) about a film chosen by each student.

ENGL 40704
Modern American Poetry
Johannes Goransson
MW 3:00-4:15

In his masterpiece, A Season in Hell, French visionary and boy-genius Arthur Rimbaud proclaimed: “One must be absolutely modern.” This remained at the core of the varied, radical artistic explorations that form the category “Modern Poetry.” In the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, to be modern meant to keep up with and try to respond to vertigo-inducing, often brilliant and often shocking changes in technology and politics, including the invention of trains and planes, films and cars, and the horrific violence of two world wars. We will study how the intense and greatly varied impulse of modern poetry took shape in the US, from Walt Whitman through Modernism, to the upheavals of the 1960s. In the process, we will discuss such still pervasive questions as what is the value of "the new"? Must the new always be shocking? Can art be political? Should it be? We will also problematize our own positions as historians of this movement. What thinkers, writers and administrators have determined our views of these poets? Is poetry still “modern”? What does “modern” mean today?

ENGL 40759
First Books/First Looks: Contemporary American Poetry
Cornelius Eady
MW 11:45-1:00

This course will be an exploration of African American Poetry as seen through the lens of the first books of some of the best known and read writers in the African American cannon. Some of the poets we may be reading include Phyllis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and Natasha Trethewey, among others.

Students should expect to read at least 7 books, write a short report on each poet we read and the era they represent, and a long final paper on some aspect of African American poetry touched upon in our reading.

ENGL 40816 – 01
Caribbean Voices
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier/Karen Richman
TR 2:00-3:15

While the domination of capital and the displacement of people have long structured Caribbean life, intensified “development” during recent decades has spurred an unexpected human exodus toward North America and Europe.  Yet, dispersal of up to 20% of some island populations has resulted neither in assimilation into host locations nor severed ties to the home. Caribbean migrants have rather created forms of social relation that link together their societies of origin and settlement.  Their communities span multiple sites across nation-states, linked by constant comings and goings of messages, people, politicians, spirits, gifts, and money.

This course explores the histories, transnationalist orientations and practices of people from Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique and Puerto Rico.  We study the unfolding of domestic, economic, ritual, and political relations across transnational social fields.  Our sources include ethnography, fiction, history, music, art, food, and film.   ILS’ special lecture series, two feature films and a Caribbean dinner will round out our exploration of Caribbean diasporas.  

ENGL 40850
Advanced Fiction Writing
William O’Rourke
TR 2:00-3:15

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

ENGL 40851
Advanced Poetry Writing
Cornelius Eady
MW 4:30-5:45

This workshop hopefully will strengthen and stretch the poetic muscles of the student. My philosophy of writing is to get the student deeply into the writing process as quickly as possible. The texts I’m using these days are chapbooks, which students will read and study over the course of the semester (at least five rounds). There are two writing prompts a week, one usually dealing with some aspect of form. Students will be responsible for the making of a chapbook of what they feel represents their best work over the semester (8-12 pages), keeping a journal, presenting a portfolio containing all of the writing assignments in order (including one poem that has been totally re-written), and making a video poetry magazine with the group they are assigned to. The course is demanding but a good 14-week adventure with your poetic voice.

ENGL 43409
Seminar: Woolf and Bloomsbury
Barbara Green
TR 3:30-4:45

The modernist feminist writer Virginia Woolf lived and worked with a loose collective of writers, painters, and social thinkers that we now call the “Bloomsbury Group” (though many members of the group disliked the phrase).  We will look at the novels, essays, art, interior design, and political writings of some of the members of Bloomsbury–including works by Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell–to explore the complex moments of cross-fertilization, critique, and revision that define their encounters. In addition, we will attend to a few areas that have dominated discussions of Bloomsbury modernism: ideas of nation, “civilization,” and critiques of Empire; the formation of literary modernism’s often tense relation to mass culture; the development of modern discourses of sexuality; the relationship between literature and the modern metropolis; and explorations of women’s “experience” of modernity. Because members of the Bloomsbury Group worked in a number of fields beyond the literary–painting, economics, social thought, publishing, and interior design to name a few–students often find that they can easily develop projects that engage more than one area of interest and that combine skills developed in a second major with those that belong to literary criticism. Requirements include one seminar paper (written in stages in consultation with me) of at least 20 pages, participation in one group presentation.

ENGL 43506
Seminar: Irish Fiction: 1914-1945
Maud Ellmann
TR 12:30-1:45

It was during the years 1914-1945, which encompass the two World Wars, that the twenty-six southern counties of Northern Ireland, which have remained loyal to the British crown. In this course we investigate how Irish fiction of the period responds to these historical events, as well as to the draconian censorship imposed on film and literature in the Irish Free State.  Reading will include novels and short stories by James Joyce, Liam O’Flaherty, Eimar O’Duffy, Sean O’Faolain, Frank O’Connor, Kate O’Brien, Seumus O’Kelly, Kathleen Coyle, Samuel Beckett, and Elizabeth Bowen.  Requirements consist of class presentations, regular postings to Concourse, and a final research paper of 15 pages.

ENGL 43515
Seminar: Contemporary British and Irish Fiction
Mary Burgess Smyth
TR 2:00-3:15

This course will focus on the contemporary fiction of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, as well as some of the best recent Black British fiction. Some of the authors whose work we will read are: John Banville, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Andrea Levi, Irvine Welsh, James Kelman and Pat Barker. These writers will be read in the context of ‘the Break-up of Britain’ and a concomitant sense of the changes in British and Irish identity in the past twenty years or so.

ENGL 43755
Seminar: California Culture at Mid-Century
Stephen Fredman
MW 3:00-4:15

This course explores how poetry took a leading role among the arts in California at mid-century, creating a California culture that through the Beats and the Hippies became a national and international phenomenon. We begin by looking at collage, the dominant form of the arts in California, and then consider how collage meets up with four main elements of the California aesthetic: Surrealism, mysticism, jazz, and anarchism.  The primary poets we read and hear are Robert Duncan, Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Kaufman, and D.J. Waldie.  Alongside these poets, we will look at Jack Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums, artists like Jess, Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, Joan Brown, and Jay DeFeo, and filmmakers like Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage.  Students will gain the ability to do interdisciplinary work in the arts, to read complex contemporary poetry, and to relate art movements to the culture that surrounds them. You will be urged to write your research paper on an interdisciplinary topic.