Literature Requirement

FALL 2020

ENGL 20076
Bloody Conflict America and Ireland: 1968-69
Chante Mouton-Kinyon
MW 12:30-1:45
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Globally, the late 1960s were volatile and deadly. A decade that began with young idealism and revolutionary possibilities, ended with raised fists and the beginnings of violent terror. 1968 was particularly transformative. It was the year that Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated; the year that the Chicago Eight were arrested for conspiracy and inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention; the year that students across France brought the French economy to a halt; and the year that demonstrations in Northern Ireland demanding equal representation for Unionists and Nationalist escalated.

In this course we will examine the political, religious, and cultural events of 1968-69 by exploring texts that were created during that period, and texts that have been created since to reflect the era. We will focus our attention on theatre, literature, music, and art created in the United States and Ireland that captures how class, generational, gender, religious, and racial conflicts led to bloody violence. 

 

ENGL 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
MW 12:30-1:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 03 - 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
MW 3:30-4:45
Section 02 - 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 20185
The Mind of the Traveler: Homer to Shakespeare
Chris Fox
MW 2:00-3:15    
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 - Freshmen

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 20186
#Wanderlust: Medieval Pilgrims, Instagram Influencers, and Self-Love
Logan Quigley
MW 5:05-6:20
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

If a trip abroad doesn’t end with a #wanderlust Instagram post, did it actually happen? From the medieval invention of travel writing to Kylie Jenner’s most recent Instagram post, humans have always used art to capture their journeys. This course asks you to read narratives of travel produced by writers from the Middle Ages alongside examples from our own contemporary moment. A broad interpretation of the term “literatures” will allow us to recognize and read into deep veins of similarity that run between medieval manuscripts and today’s Internet. You will have the opportunity to compare the earliest examples of travel writing, left to us by medieval pilgrims, with some of the most innovative kinds of travel writing being produced today. As we will see, the ways these pilgrims wrote about their travels and thought about the written word bear some striking similarities to (and some major differences from!) the ways we depict and narrativize our adventures today. At its core, the class asks you to explore whether engagements with places abroad are complete without representation, and so as we read and discuss the course literatures, you will be asked to produce both analytical work about the texts we explore as well as your own creative travel accounts on the Michiana area.


 

ENGL 20195
The Great Remembering:  The Work of Women's Writing
Anila Shree
TR 11:00-12:15
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

When I say woman writer, do you think Jane Austen? The story of women’s writing is a history of forgetting. A monumental tragedy that should remind us that the historical marginalization of women still shapes our social, literary, and political landscape. This course will begin a process of remembering by focusing on the figure of the woman who writes. Hers is a history of desiring change – in herself, her community, and her place in the world. But what happens when women write back to power? How did women writers conceive of the power of writing? In what ways was women’s writing an act of self-assertion and political resistance? What role did women writers and characters play in the expansion of our idea of the social, literary, political possibilities of the work of writing? Writing oneself into existence is a multi-faceted process – it’s energizing as well as traumatic, liberating as well as dangerous. The course will focus on literary representations of these experiences. Readings will include literary texts by Margaret Cavendish, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Audre Lorde, and other multimedia texts such as films, podcasts, and songs. 

 

ENGL 20550
The Metropolis and Modern Life
John Conlan
MW 11:00-12:15
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 - Freshmen

City-life can be a dizzying experience. From Aristotle to Bladerunner, art and philosophy have tried to engage with the city as a space in which physical, mental and political life takes unpredictable forms. While Aristotle placed the Greek polis at the centre of his philosophy, the twentieth century has seen the ‘metropolis’ become one of the central 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 aesthetics of nineteenth century Paris, to contemporary treatments of the postmodern delirium of city-life in films like High-Rise and Cosmopolis. As we analyze graphic novels, poetry and film, we will conduct a survey of urban culture that explores different ways of navigating the city.

 

ENGL 20609
The Stage Where It Happens: Dramatizing the American Revolution from Propaganda Plays to Hamilton
Kaden Ivy
MW 9:30-10:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Historian Joanne Freeman calls Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton a piece of “revolutionary theater.” Freeman’s characterization suggests two ideas: (1) that Hamilton represents a milestone and turning point in theater as a form and (2) that Hamilton is part of an identifiable body of drama dealing with the American Revolution. While these two ideas may seem contradictory, this course works with the hypothesis that both are true. Beginning with the pamphlet plays of the 1770s and ending with Hamilton, this course explores plays and musicals that dramatize the figures and events of the American Revolution. What histories do these pieces stage, and what do they omit? What are some commonalities in the plays’ content, structure, and characterization, and how has this tradition of theater evolved from the tragedies of Mercy Otis Warren to the postmodern comedy of Will Eno, or from the traditional “Broadway” sound of 1776 to the hip-hop of Hamilton?  
 

ENGL 20722/40722
The Revolt of Nature: Literature and the Anthropocene
Laura Walls
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Coronavirus in China, wildfires in Australia, locusts in East Africa, melting poles, rising seas, the insect armageddon, the sixth extinction, droughts and floods of Biblical proportion . . . Welcome to the “End of Nature” and the beginning of the Anthropocene! For just when we’re being told that “Nature” is at an end, nature seems to be everywhere, invading our headlines and intruding into our lives in sudden and unexpected ways. Not long ago, we could still think of nature as a peaceful retreat from the stress and din of society, a resource for healing, and a refuge from the traumas of history—whether it be an afternoon’s gardening, a day hike nearby, a weekend fishing trip, or a summer’s outing to a faraway National Park. But that was the nature of the Holocene, the geological epoch that, according to the latest science, ended as recently as the 1950s. Today, in the Anthropocene, nature is roaring back into our lives and shaking the very pillars of our society—as if The End of Nature, in Bill McKibben’s 1987 book title, were more truly the end of the world. But perhaps what this panic tells us is that our world has always been intertwined with nature, both actually and conceptually, in ways we have forgotten to remember, ways that the current revolt of nature is forcing us to confront.

This course will inquire into the strange ways that modernity has, over the last 200 years, modified and transformed our notions of Nature, even as our technological explosion has leveraged the power of humanity from regional to planetary scales. This course, therefore, travels from the Holocene of our recent literary heritage to the Anthropocene within which we are all living today—although only some of our literature explicitly takes up this fact. Altogether we are now left with one great question, as we look toward our future: Since we can’t survive without nature, how can we learn to survive with it? Readings will be drawn from poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, from Emerson and Thoreau, through American “Naturalism” and such “nature writers” as Aldo Leopold and Annie Dillard, to the recent writings of Jeff Vandermeer, Linda Hogan, Barry Lopez and Richard Powers. Along the way we will be guided and provoked by such philosophers and theorists as Michel Serres, Peter Sloterdijk, Donna Haraway, and Amitav Ghosh. Students will write two short papers and one longer paper involving research as well as personal observation and reflection.

 

ENGL 20740
Novels of New York
TR 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 20820
Race and Science Fiction
Chamara Moore
TR 9:30-10:45
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

How has science fiction blurred the boundaries of human existence and identity? Prominent Sci-fi author Octavia Butler once stated, “I was attracted to Science Fiction because it was so wide open I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.” What about the genre makes it free of these “walls” Butler speaks of? This course will seek to answer this question through exploration of 20th and 21st century speculative works like Tracy Smith’s Life on Mars, Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, famous essays like Sam Delany’s “Racism and Science Fiction”, and Marvel’s 2018 Black Panther film. Students will develop an understanding of how various writers have redefined Science Fiction by way of aesthetic movements like Afrofuturism, to urge readers to develop nuanced understandings of identity and futures of endless possibility.

 

ENGL 30101
Intro to Literary Studies
Yasmin Solomonescu
TR 9:30-10:45
Sec 02 - Majors
Sec 03 - Freshmen

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 significant attention to poetry, as well as treatment of 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
Laura Betz
TR 12:30-1:45
Sec 03 - Majors
Sec 04 - Freshmen

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
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
MW 3:30-4:45
Sec 03 - Majors
Sec 04 - Freshmen

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
Michelle Karnes
TR 12:30-1:45
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated 

This course will introduce students to the beginnings of English literature. We will start with arguably the first piece of literature written in English, Caedmon's hymn, and revel in the beauties of Old English, Middle English, and early modern literature. We will read texts from different genres, including riddles, lyric, epic poetry, drama, allegory, and romance. Texts we might read include Beowulf, The Owl and the Nightingale, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Julian of Norwich's Revelation, Spenser's Faerie Queene, Shakespeare's The Tempest and King Lear, Lady Mary Wroth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, and Milton's Paradise Lost, among others. No prior knowledge of early English or early English literature is expected. Students will write several short papers and at least one long (7-10 page) paper. There will be a mid-term and a final exam.


 

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.