Literature Requirement

Spring 2021

ENGL 20106
Point-of-View in the Novel
Noreen Deane-Moran
MW 12:45-2:00
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 3:55-5:10
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 20378
The Historical Novel
Claudia Carroll
MW 2:20-3:35    
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 - Freshmen

James Cameron’s Titanic, Netflix’s The Crown, even Game of Thrones - our popular culture is saturated with stories based on the real events of the past, be they attempting ‘historical accuracy’ or blending history with fiction and even fantasy. The tradition of creating compelling stories using the raw material of the past is an established one in human history. This course will explore this tradition in the context of the modern novel. We will begin with Walter Scott’s Waverly, often cited as the first historical novel, and progress through a selection of major historical novels of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first centuries, spanning three continents and six countries.

As we read we will consider key questions respecting the relationship between history and historical fiction: What is the difference between historical narrative and fictional narrative? How can novels offer a different kind of perspective on history that ‘objective’ history writing cannot? Why has historical fiction in many cases proven more impactful in shaping perceptions of the past than academic historical research? What is meant by ‘historical accuracy’ and why do people care so much about it in fictional works? In the course of exploring these questions we will also consider broader issues of historical representation, such as the depiction of war, colonialism and national identity. At the heart of our course will be the matter of how we as individuals and as a society perceive our own and other’s pasts, and what impact that perception has on our present.

 

ENGL 20380
The Victorian Marriage Plot
Sara Maurer
TR 3:35-5:10
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

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 20392
British War Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century
Joshua Wright
MW 12:45-2:00
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

From the beginning of the French Revolution to the end of the First World War, Britain was often a nation at war. In this course, we will explore British literature’s engagements with this condition of warfare during the Long Nineteenth Century. In doing so, we will consider the ethical ramifications of representing violent conflict through literature—for instance, the tension between the desire to bear witness to suffering and the danger of aestheticizing it in the process. Significant attention will be given to analyzing how genres and forms—whether poetry, fiction, or memoir—differ in their approaches to representing warfare. These readings will range widely across time and place, taking us from the field of Waterloo, to the Siege of Lucknow, and into the trenches of the Western Front. Along the way, students will interrogate how literature shapes our understanding of these histories, experiences, and identities.

 

ENGL 20396
Children’s Literature
Ian Newman
MW 2:20-3:35
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

In this course we will examine a range of works that have been read by children. These include works like fables, folk and fairy tales, which are meant for both adults and children, and works written primarily with a child audience in mind (though almost always with a "dual address" which simultaneously acknowledges the adult as a potential reader and purchaser of the work). Though often assumed to be simple, works written for children often demonstrate considerable complexity, both in terms of their plots, and in terms of the moral and ethical questions they raise. In addition to dealing with complex issues, children's literature is a key site for transmitting cultural and social values. By reading children's literature critically, we can learn much about ourselves, our society and our culture; but by reading children's literature from other places and other times we can also understand the cultural values, attitudes and behaviors of other cultures, which can in turn expose the limitations and benefits of our own structures of thinking.

 

ENGL 20543 
Haunted Ireland: Ghosts, Specters, and Spirits in Irish Literature from the Early Modern to the Postmodern
Julian Dean
TR 9:35-10:50  
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Ghosts, vampires, and things that go bump in the night have been a mainstay of popular cinema since the dawn of the moving picture, but this popularity has relegated the discussion of the otherworldly to the arena of pop-culture--draining it of any perceived political power. Still, major works of literature have always been haunted by the horrific, terrifying, and grotesque. Through online posts, short presentations, a research paper, and regular class discussions, this course will reconsider what we can learn about the material world of history and politics from the immaterial world of ghosts and spirits as depicted in literature. By progressing from early Victorian to post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, we will consider the influence of history on genre and form and how authors use the ghostly to grapple with the very material problems faced by themselves and their nation. We will be reading short stories, plays, and novels from both major and minor Irish authors (in English) while supplementing the literature with short critical works to help illuminate the context of the author and the theories needed to unpack the primary texts.

 

ENGL 20702
Literature and Environment: The End of Nature?
Jake McGinnis
TR 5:30-6:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

For the last five centuries, American literatures have consistently drawn from and reacted to the continent’s diverse, dynamic environments. Today, however, “nature” and all that we associate with it seem fundamentally different.  This course examines the tradition of United States nonfiction nature writing in light of what Bill McKibben calls the "end of nature,” or the end of nature as we know it.  We’ll begin with an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities, and then students will encounter some of the most significant literary voices associated with nineteenth- and twentieth-century environmentalism.  After the midterm, we’ll turn to more contemporary literary nonfiction and the wicked problems of the late twentieth- and twenty-first centuries.  For example, what does “nature” look like today, especially from the lens of a university with a national and global reach?  What does environmentalism look like in the face of widespread human migration, globalization, and climatic instability, and how do ideas of race, class, ethnicity, and gender become entangled in environmental thinking?  What can nature writing offer us in the Anthropocene?  Students will consider such questions throughout the term, both in class discussions and in written assignments. 

 

ENGL 20710
Labor, Narrative, and Catholic Social Traditions
Valerie Sayers
TR 11:10-12:25
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

This team-taught course explores twentieth and twenty-first century labor in the U.S. from historical, literary, and theological perspectives. We'll probe the representation of labor, laborers, and class differences in literary works—short stories, novels, and plays—by writers whose own class and ethnic backgrounds vary widely. Our reading list will highlight Catholic writers such as J. F. Powers, Pietro di Donato, Hisaye Yamamoto, Edward P. Jones, Toni Morrison, and Lolita Hernandez, but for comparison will also include works by well-known figures such as Frederick Douglass, Jack London, Tillie Olsen, and John Steinbeck. As we analyze literary works, we'll pose questions about aesthetics: What narratives most provocatively explore work? Why are some labor activists attracted to experimental forms while others insist on social realism? Can a worker's speech or diary or song "count" as literature? Our historical study of labor questions and movements will pay particular attention to the evolution of labor unions and their political challenges and impact, but we will also look at laborers outside the sphere of organized labor (domestic workers and other non-union workers), as well as the persistence of and challenges to racialized and gendered identities that long segmented labor markets and restricted some from unions. Throughout these historical explorations, we will spend significant time visiting the life stories of select individuals (often in their own words), including Walter Reuther, Mgsr. George Higgins, Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta, foregrounding the tangible intersectional nature of work and the politics of work, and showcasing the importance of family, community, solidarity, and faith in many labor activists' own careers. All our historical and literary readings will intersect with our readings in Catholic Social Teaching, ranging from Pope Leo XIII's papal encyclical on labor, Rerum Novarum, to Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness. We'll also explore the Higgins Labor Program's new Just Wage Framework and Online Tool, considering ways that historical and literary approaches to "just wage" questions might inform this multistakeholder tool rooted in CST. The two instructors will be present at each class, with at least one present in the classroom.



ENGL 20740
Novels of New York
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 5:30-6:45
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 20748
Cast Out! Identity, Belonging, and Religious Difference in American Literature
Sara Judy
MW 9:35-10:50
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Many places of worship hang a sign of invitation: All Are Welcome! But what happens when an aspect of an individual’s identity or beliefs comes into conflict with their religious community? Which differences are tolerated, and which are shunned? Who belongs, and who is cast out? From Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories to Kendrick Lamar’s hip hop albums, the American literary imagination has long been interested in examining the conflicts between identity—race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability—and religion. Together we will read a variety of American literature, including poetry, science-fiction, drama, and literary essays, paying attention to religious outcasts, misfits, and minoritized peoples as they search for belonging within established communities, or attempt to forge new spaces for themselves. Readings will include James Baldwin, N. Scott Momaday, Tony Kushner, Octavia Butler, more contemporary writing by Molly McCully Brown and R.O. Kwon, as well as music, film, and podcasts.

 

ENGL 20752
World on Fire: Introduction to Environmental Humanities
Roy Scranton
TR 12:45-2:00
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Nature isn't what it used to be: the Arctic is melting, seas are rising, forests are burning, and the planet is heating up. How do we understand the human relation to nature in a time of ecological catastrophe? This writing-intensive course introduces students to key ideas in the environmental humanities, including nature writing, deep ecology, social ecology, ecofeminism, sustainability, and deep adaptation. 

 

ENGL 20836
American Modernisms
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
MW 12:45-2:00
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.
 

30xxx Level Courses
 

ENGL 30101
Intro to Literary Studies
Chris Abram
MW 2:20-3:35
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: 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
Yasmin Solomonescu
TR 9:35-10:50
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: 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 30111
British Literary Traditions II
Greg Kucich
TR 3:55-5:10
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

This course examines the development of British literary culture from the late seventeenth century through the early twenty-first century.  Instead of simply offering a survey of major authors, our class engages in a  broader investigation of cultural production by situating literary activity within its material historical contexts.  We combine close reading of specific texts and their aesthetic richness, including detailed structural analysis of poetry, with ongoing discussion of major political, social, philosophical, and scientific developments, such as the civil wars of the seventeenth century, the rise of Enlightenment philosophy and science, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the development of the British Slave Trade and Abolition Movement, and the emergence of Britain as a major colonial empire and global power.  Our course also focuses self-consciously on its own critical methods, thus engaging English majors with important questions about the theory and practice of literary studies today, especially regarding such issues as periodicity, canon formation, theoretical schools of criticism and our overall criterion for evaluating the significance of literary texts. Those matters will also be taken up in our attention to the process of writing critical papers.  

 

ENGL 30116
American Literary Traditions II
Sara Marcus
MW 11:10-12:25
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

In this survey course, we will familiarize ourselves with the major American literary movements and texts from 1865 through the present. Proceeding from an understanding of US literature as ineluctably multiracial and polyvocal, our historically grounded units will bring us through Reconstruction, realism, naturalism, modernism, midcentury social movements (including the Black freedom movement and mobilizations for women’s and LGBTQ liberation), postmodern crises of narrative, and contemporary engagements with the past that never really goes away. We will read novels, short stories, poems, and essays, and we’ll also listen closely to the reverberations of spirituals, blues, rock, jazz, and other popular musics that suffuse US literature since 1865. Texts may include works by Charles Chesnutt, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry James, Jack London, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Thomas Pynchon, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, and Maggie Nelson.