Literature Requirement

Spring 2020

ENGL 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
MW 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
MW 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 20192
Narrative in Fiction and Film
Barry McCrea
MW 12:30-1:45
Sec. 01 - Freshmen
Sec. 02 - Unallocated

What are stories? Where do they come from, how do they work, what do they do to us? This course will explore the hidden structures of all kinds of narratives, from nineteenth-century novels to Hollywood blockbusters. We will examine the ways in which our understanding of our own lives and their meaning is unconsciously shaped by certain narrative forms and assumptions.

 

ENGL 20199
The Fashioned Self: Clothing, Identity, and Gender in Fiction
Stacy Sivinski
MW 2:00-3:15
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

As Virginia Woolf once wrote, “Vain trifles as they seem, clothes…change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.” Indeed, rather than slipping passively into the background, articles of clothing typically assume complex, active, and extraordinarily visual cultural roles. Especially within a literary context, garments take on a special significance by allowing characters to craft their identities through a process of self-fashioning that grants them a degree of control over how they will be read. Throughout this course, we will explore the social meaning woven into the fabric of clothing in order to better understand how fashion helps uphold or contest dominant understandings of gender, race, and class. Although our discussions will primarily draw from works of fiction such as Emile Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise, Bret Easton Ellis’American Psycho, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, we will also be analyzing films, magazines, and recent texts on fashion sustainability while considering the social implications of clothes. 

 

ENGL 20217
Ethics and Affects in Medieval Heroic Literature
Marjorie Housley
TR 2:00-3:15
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

Medieval heroic literature from the North Atlantic is both foreign and familiar. It is a world of heroes, gods, and monsters; a world of cold vengeance and explosive anger; a world of anarchy and tightly regimented political rules. But why, exactly, do we have such strong emotional attachments to these texts, and how can they vary so widely? Is there something inherently “emotional” about medieval literature? How do medieval texts “feel” about the medieval, or about others? Focusing on heroic literature, we will read a variety of texts in translation from medieval Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia, examining the different ways that we can identify feelings in these literary traditions, including emotion-words, physical responses, and literary criticism.

 

ENGL 20380
The Victorian Marriage Plot
Sara Maurer
TR 11:00-12:15
Section 01: Freshmen
Section 02: Unallocated

While stories of falling in love and getting married have been told and retold throughout history, the mobility, technology, liberal theories, and modernizing economy of Victorian culture make Victorian marriage plots especially rich and strange. This class will explore the remarkable pressure put on stories of courtship and commitment in Victorian fiction, poetry, and prose. We’ll examine how female writers try to reverse literary traditions which allow men to speak of love but require men to remain silent, and how male writers respond to new ideas about a less differentiated, more equal marriage partnership. We’ll look at the literature shaped by the competing demands of Victorian domestic ideals, Victorian notions that companionate marriage was the best avenue to mature self-realization, and a persistent Victorian traditionalism that valued the practices of the past.  We’ll read plots of love, marriage, bigamy, divorce, artistic development, and vampires in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eye, Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We’ll get to know newlyweds, prostitutes, princesses, nuns, madwomen, and the occasional goddess in poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Augusta Webster, Adelaide Procter, William Morris and Michael Field, always focusing on the questions of how literature addresses the problems troubling modern marriage, and how literature imagines new possibilities for human connection. 

 

ENGL 20513 
Introduction to Irish Writers
Chris Fox
MW 10:30-11:20 *With discussion session F 12:30-1:20
Sec. 01 - Freshmen
Sec. 02 -  Unallocated

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 20602
Horrors in Early America
Anton Povzner
MW 9:30-10:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Horror is exciting and fun, easily evidenced by the offerings of the movie industry. Horror is also politically and historically impactful; consider the painful repercussions of 9/11 both within the US and across the globe. This course will address horror as a prominent generic category across literature and broader public discourse with a long history in America, from colonial arrival narratives, Indian captivities, and the Salem witch trials to the landmarks of Revolution, slavery and the Civil War. Anchoring our discussions in three film viewings throughout the semester, we will read literary works and other texts through figures such as Rowlandson, Mather, Hawthorne and Poe up to the mid-19th century—and conclude with a brief leap to Lovecraft as a bridge to present-day issues. The conceptual exploration of horror will be undergirded by the learning and practice of literary and rhetorical analysis in class discussion and multi-stage written assignments.

 

ENGL 20740
Novels of New York
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 12:30-1:45
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 20908
Voracious Reading: Literature and/as Consumerism
Eric Lewis
MW 11:00-12:15
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Literature is often considered priceless, but books themselves are consumer goods. In this course, we will read a selection of novels in English from around the world to investigate how literature is implicated in a consumerist economy in which readers are also consumers. We will examine not only these novels’ representations of consumerism but also their own position as goods to be bought and sold. Whether as cheap entertainment or high art, books are marketed to consumers, and we will contextualize our close readings of texts in this often overlooked exchange. We will interrogate the distinction drawn between art and other cultural products and its implications in terms of class, race, gender, and educational background. We will examine various ways of consuming texts - not just reading. Through exploring such content, we will investigate what literature and consumerism are, how people make use of them, and what value they may possess.
 

30xxx Level Courses
 

ENGL 30101
Intro to Literary Studies
Susan Harris
TR 11:00-12:15
Sec 01 - Freshmen
Sec 02 - 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 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
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier 
MW 12:30-1:45
Sec 03 - 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 30111
British Literary Traditions II
Laura Betz
MW 11:00-12:15
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated

This course focuses on major works of British literature from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 21st. We will examine a variety of poetry and prose genres, addressing key terms related to periodization (e.g., Romanticism, Modernism), genre (e.g., lyrical ballads, dramatic monologue), and various other aspects of literary technique. We will read texts in light of their historical and cultural contexts and work to foster skills of close literary analysis, both through class discussion and written assignments.

 

ENGL 30116
American Literary Traditions II
Francisco Robles
TR 3:30-4:45 
Sec 01 - Freshmen
Sec 02 - Unallocated

In this course, we will take a look at some of the most widely read and discussed authors of U.S. Literature, asking ourselves whether it is possible to understand these texts as a coherent, cogent body of literature. In so doing, we will understand the connections between "canon/tradition" and "innovation/experimentation," "center" and "margin," as well as the various contexts from which literature emerges, such as politics, culture, science, and history. We will focus on three major themes, and discuss a number of related issues and ideas: movement (thematically, formally, and historically) as a major force in U.S. Literature; questions of heritage, inheritance, and memory; and representation as an aesthetic and political feature of literature and life. Authors may include Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O'Connor, Gwendolyn Brooks, Hisaye Yamamoto, Tomás Rivera, Amiri Baraka, Robert Hayden, Toni Morrison, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, and Tommy Orange.