Literature Requirement

Fall 2019

ENGL 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 12:30-1:45
Section 01 -  Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

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; 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 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 3:30-4:45
Section 03 - Unallocated
Section 04 - Freshmen

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; 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 20107
Ian Newman
MWF 12:30-1:20
Satire: Swift to Oliver

A course considering the techniques of satire with attention to their continuing presence in contemporary popular culture.  Our primary interest in will be in literary satire, although we will also consider satire in other media, including the theater, graphic arts, song, film, and television. Authors to be discussed include Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, Mary Wortley Montague, Mark Twain, Aldous Huxley. Films may include Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, and Jordan Peele's Get Out. Visual artists to be discussed include William Hogarth and James Gillray. Television shows may include Saturday Night Live, John Oliver's Last Week Tonight and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Some large questions will concern satire’s balancing of qualities often considered irreconcilable, such as social engagement and aesthetic distance, indignation and humor, pacifism and violence, irony and idealism.

 

ENGL 20130
Crazy Diamonds: The Madwoman in Literature

Shinjini Chattopadhyay
MW 5:05-6:20
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 - Freshmen

This course will consider literary representations of the madwoman—from classical drama to contemporary graphic narratives—and examine whether literary discourses anticipate and accord with the efforts of the medical establishments to keep the madwoman under surveillance or whether they critique normative behaviour. Why is madness often located in the woman? Why are emotional responses from women often devalued and illegitimated as vagaries of insanity? Why does society find peace in locking the madwoman away in the asylum? The course will begin with such inquiries and investigate why both womanhood and madness are considered peripheral to conventional society. Readings will include a variety of texts, such as, Euripides’s Bacchae, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, and excerpts from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Through close readings, class discussions, and written reflections we will explore why and how the madwoman is silenced in canonical texts and how she uses her insanity to fight against oppression. Ultimately, we will reflect on how literature, over time, has reassessed modes of social discrimination with relation to the madwoman.

 

ENGL 20185
The Mind of the Traveler: Homer to Shakespeare
Chris Fox
MW 2:00-3:15

We will explore literature of travel over a roughly two thousand year period in the west, focusing on the nature of the journey and the ways in which the mind of the traveler is transformed by what it encounters. Montaigne said it is the journey and not the arrival that matters. In the ancient western world, years of wandering were thought an appropriate -- even necessary -- choice for philosophers, those looking for the meaning of life. The works we will read will explore the experience of travel as a search leading to self-knowledge, and as pilgrimage. quest, adventure and discovery. Literary genres will include epic, romance, essay and drama.


ENGL 20187
Reading the Refugee
Marjorie Housley
TR 3:30-4:45
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Over the past five years, over four million refugees have fled or been displaced by the civil war in Syria, and narratives of their experiences have been written and rewritten as the war continues and its victims continue to disperse. However, this is not the first refugee crisis, nor is war the only reason refugees and exiles exist. In this course, we will examine the refugee in literature, thinking throughout the course about a range of questions: What does it mean to be a refugee? How do writers imagine refugees and their lives? Why are we interested in reading about the accounts, fictional or nonfictional, of refugees and exiles? How do refugee stories change based on how they are written (in terms of genre and medium), by whom they are written (by a refugee or someone who is “outside looking in”), and for whom they are written (i.e. children’s literature vs. literature for adults)? In what ways has literature by and about refugees changed over time, and why? What role can and do literary works play in the social justice concerns of their and our time?

We will read texts from a wide variety of genres (including poetry, plays, novels, and nonfiction materials), media (including news articles, documentaries, and films), geographic locations, and historical periods. Particular attention will be paid to the ways that earlier texts are adapted and changed, and the ways that discourse about refugees and exiles changed across genre and historical period.

 

ENGL 20245
Talking Back to Shakespeare
Emily Donahoe
MWF 8:00-9:15
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 -  Freshmen

It would be difficult to name any writer whose place in the canon of English literature is more firmly fixed than William Shakespeare’s. From this authoritative position, Shakespeare has been endlessly adapted. He has been admired, revered, and imitated; he has also been corrected, challenged, and subverted. In this course, we will focus on adaptations of Shakespeare that seek to accomplish the latter of these goals. Through reading texts that “talk back” to Shakespeare in some way—from early rewritings of his plays that attempted to amend their flaws to twenty-first century works that dispute or undermine their premises—we will consider Shakespeare’s prominence in the literary canon, and how it came about, and reflect on the various ways in which authors have sought to criticize Shakespeare and/or his prominence. At the end of the course, you will have the opportunity to talk back to Shakespeare by creating your very own adaptations of his work.

 

ENGL 20321
Decadent Modernity
David Thomas
MW 11:00-12:15
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

As a term in European cultural history, decadence most often indicates a late-nineteenth-century movement in which writers and artists provoked the respectable middle class with racy, sordid, overblown and/or absurdist subject matter and methods. This course explores that environment but also takes a broader view, examining alternative visions of decadence over the last two centuries and more, where decadence becomes one way of viewing secular modernity more generally. Our materials include fiction, poetry, drama, philosophy, visual arts, cinema and criticism. Early on, we lay conceptual groundwork with texts by Freud and Nietzsche. Well-known authors (in addition to Freud and Nietzsche) include Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Walter Pater, Virginia Woolf, and Patrick Süskind. We also read several lesser-known authors and study films by Ken Russell, Peter Greenaway and Sally Potter. Please note that our discussion matter is not for the prudish or faint-hearted. Bring a tolerance for the grotesque and a readiness to think carefully about authors who deliberately challenge deeply held Western attitudes concerning morality and values. Assignments include two written exams (one or more in take-home format), an interpretive paper, and bi-weekly reflective writings.

 

ENGL 20520
The Metropolis and Mental Life
John Conlan
MW 5:05-6:20
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

City-life can be a dizzying experience. From Aristotle to Bladerunner, art and philosophy have tried to define the city as a space in which physical, mental and political life takes unique forms. While Aristotle placed the Greek polis at the centre of his philosophy, the twentieth century has seen the ‘metropolis’ inform the ways in which we imagine the modern human condition. This course will chart the progress of thinking about the modern city, from its roots in the aesthetic reflections of nineteenth century Parisians like Baudelaire to contemporary treatments of the postmodern delirium of city-life in films like High-Rise and Cosmopolis. Through a thematic and stylistic analysis of modernist novels, poetry and film, we will conduct an urbanist survey of things that will question what it means to ‘survey’ a city itself and we will also explore the spectacular nature of postmodernity as an urban cultural formation.

 

ENGL 20740
Novels of New York
Noreen Deane-Moran
MW 3:30-4:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Knowledge presents itself in many forms.  And it is the very shape of this form which perhaps gives us the greater part of the information.  It has long been said that form and content must mesh for there to be beauty and inspiration. The books here are housed in the area called Literature, and thus it is the written word which is the chosen outer form.  But, within that box are many varied elements which each give their own spirit to the work. They do that by squeezing the essence of their meaning into a certain shape or form which in itself creates much of the meaning of the artistic work.  

 

Potential books: Washington Square - Henry James (1880); Maggie: A Girl of the Streets - Stephen Crane (1893); The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton (1820); The Great Gatsby  - F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925); A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith (1943); A Walker in the City - Alfred Kazin (1951); A Fairytale of New York - J.P. Donleavy (1973); Billy Bathgate - E. L. Doctorow (1990).

 

ENGL 20790
“Go West, Young Man?” Cultures of Mobility in American Literature
Dominique Vargas
TR 2:00-3:15
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

In this course we will explore narratives of movement in 20th century US multi-ethnic literature and film. Expansion, travel, and tourism in US American literature often symbolize self-exploration and freedom. We will complicate this notion by asking if migration, pilgrimage, and asylum can be equally constitutive of that freedom. To understand the American subject as one produced through negotiated space, we will ask how race, ethnicity, class, ability, gender, and sexuality affect individual mobility. This inquiry will allow for an informed investigation of the changing representations and legacies of US borders and the “frontier.” We will read and analyze a variety of literary and cinematic texts—by Willa Cather, Ana Castillo, and Julie Dash among others—in combination with literary and cultural scholarship to foster dialogue between academic and aesthetic expressions. As we compose critical and creative arguments, we will return to the guiding question: Is an alternative American culture of mobility possible?

 

ENGL 20836
American Modernisms
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
MW 2:00-3:15
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

When discussions of modernism and modernity focus on the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries, they also 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 emphasized 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 specifically 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 American modernists, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway; we will also consider the role of authors such as Henry James and Edith Wharton, whose work bridges the late 19th-century and the modernism of the early 20th-century,  and Theodore Dreiser , of the early Chicago Renaissance (1910-1925), as well as a number of authors from the Harlem Renaissance—all authors the consideration of whose work enlarges and expands traditional conceptions of American modernism.  Along the way, we will examine pertinent issues such as social class, social mobility, gender relations, progressivism, primitivism, race and ethnicity, immigration, cosmopolitanism vs. regionalism, and the importance of the vernacular, especially as these inform the question of “Americanness” and its role in our understanding of American literature during this time.   The overarching goal of our exploration will be the effort to arrive at a much more comprehensive, more nuanced perspective on the meaning and significance of the modern in American culture. In exploring these different vantage points in American literary modernity, we will seek to reimagine the contours of the modern in the American context from the perspective of “American modernisms,” while drawing important conclusions about their significance within the larger modernist context.

        Course texts will be the following: Henry James, The Golden Bowl; Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; Edith Wharton, Age of Innocence; Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Jean Toomer, Cane; Nella Larsen, Quicksand & Passing; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!.
 

ENGL 20911
Novel Boundaries: Navigating and Marketing Postcolonial Fiction
Eric Lewis
TR 5:05-6:20
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Like the geopolitical world, novels are divided by boundaries—blank pages and headings marking off front and back matter, breaks dividing chapters, and punctuation marks separating clauses, sentences, and discourses—not to mention the covers that enclose them. This course introduces students to a theoretical apparatus for naming and examining such novel boundaries. Students will learn to discuss how such boundary markers, often crossed thoughtlessly, impact a novel’s significance. The course focuses on postcolonial novels, so that the study of novel boundaries may come into conversation with the drawing and redrawing of political boundaries in the context of colonization. Furthermore, we will examine publishers’ contribution to such materials and how covers, titles, and front and back matter impact novels’ relationships with those who read them. How do signs on novel’s boundaries impact a novel’s meaning? How do they impact its ability to cross geopolitical borders and become a piece of world literature?

 

ENGL 20916
Black Noir
Chanté Mouton-Kinyon
MW 3:30-4:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

In the summer of 1946 French cinemas were flooded with the likes of The Maltese Falcon, Laura, and The Woman in the Window, films that had been delayed for international distribution because of the war. When Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton saw these American films made during the war, the critics decided that the films and their characters were “black” or “dark,” thus defining the genre as film noir. In this genre, the mostly white characters occupy an indeterminate space, commit moral transgressions, and border on nihilism. In discussions of the noir genre, films and novels by and/or about black people are marginalized. Novels such as Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go or Donald Goines’s Never Die Alone complicate the genre because the works are black in ideology and essence. These characters do not need to fall from grace to be black, they are black and, consequently, the pursuit of duplicitous lifestyles in black noir works tends to highlight the social injustices black Americans suffer in America making many black noir titles protests against mainstream white America as well.

In this course, we will study black American literature that focuses the noir genre on black people themselves. Gritty, urban crime novels that attempt to expose inequities in black American lives and dispel the notion that a descent from whiteness results in blackness. Rather, the black people in these texts exist in darkness because they are living in alienated communities. We shall investigate how the noir genre is altered when “noirs” are the subjects and the authors. In addition to primary texts, the course will also engage critical responses to these works.

 

ENGL 30101
Intro to Literary Studies
Laura Betz​​​​​​​
TR 9:30-10:45
Sec 01 - Freshmen
Sec 03 - Unallocated

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 30101
Intro to Literary Studies
Nan Da
MW 11:00-12:15
Sec 02 - Freshmen

Sec 04 - Unallocated

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 30101
Intro to Literary Studies

Romana Huk ​​​​​​​
TR 12:30-1:45
Sec 02 - Freshmen
Sec 04 - Unallocated

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

 

ENGL 30110
British Literary Traditions I
Tim Machan​​​​​​​
MW 11:00-12:15
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated

This course will survey a selection of literature written in Britain prior to the end of the seventeenth century. We will concentrate on a variety of authors who have come to be considered significant for a variety of reasons, whether for their artistic achievements, their commentary on society, or their contribution to notions of literary history. Although attention will be given to historical perspectives, the course will emphasize close reading and classroom discussion. Readings include Beowulf, selections from the Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selected lyrics, Book 1 of the Faerie Queene, Twelfth Night, and selections from Paradise Lost. Regular attendance and participation; two papers; two exams

 

ENGL 30115
American Literary Traditions I
Laura Walls
MW 2:00-3:15
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated

"Nations are narratives" - so our historians tell us. That means the voices of a nation's artists and writers help to tell us who we are, even to create our very identity as a nation. So what are the narratives of our nation, the United States? This course traces the emergence of what we now know as "America" from the small and struggling British colonies of Virginia and New England, founded early in the 1600s on lands cultivated for millennia by Native Americans. We will consider the early "contact zones" in which settler societies from Europe met and mingled with indigenous Native American cultures, languages, and literatures; the institution of slavery as the foundation of American economies, and the growing contributions of free and enslaved African-Americans to the development of a distinctive American voice and literary tradition; and the literature of the American Revolution that established the United States as an independent nation. Finally, we will conclude with several works from the American Renaissance that characterize an emerging modern American literary tradition.