Literature Requirement


Fall 2022

ENGL 20153-01-02
Making the Monster: Magic, Medicine, and Murder
Emily McLemore
MW 3:30-4:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Monsters manifest in the earliest manuscripts containing English literature and continue to capture our collective imagination. Cultural conceptions of monsters may change over time, but monstrous entities never cease to appear in the writings of any given era. These creatures shapeshift from magical beasts to medical inventions to ravenous murderers across the centuries, and their depictions resonate differently depending on the historical context. This course explores monsters and monstrosity in British literature from the medieval period to the modern age. It not only investigates how monsters are represented but also interrogates the underlying anxieties that define their textual presence. What constitutes monstrosity? By what means are monsters created? In what ways do monsters reflect and reveal our deepest fears? What do we fear and why do we fear it? 
 

ENGL 20379-01-02
Narratives of Nation in Irish Literature in English
Claudia Carroll
TR 3:30-4:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Symbols of Ireland proliferate here at Notre Dame, where we are surrounded by images of leprechauns and shamrocks, teach packed classes in the Irish language and stick Salmon of Knowledge decals on our laptops. Yet Notre Dame’s narrative of Ireland is just one of a multitude of competing versions, which have emerged, been contested and synthesized, and debated continually over the centuries, both within Ireland and abroad. This class is designed as an introduction to the major figures in Irish literature in English from the eighteenth century to the present, but central to our class will be the question of the ‘story of Ireland’ and how it has changed over the years: What gets included in the story of Ireland and what gets left out? What does that story mean (and for who)? Who counts as being Irish and where do those definitions come from? Finally, we will consider how debates around these questions are influenced by the political, cultural and social context in which they occur. Questions will include why Catholicism is considered synonymous with Irishness, how the Famine has become such a key moment in narratives of Irish history, and why Irish people are so obsessed with land. We will work through writers including Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, Bram Stoker, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Seamus Heaney and Joseph O’Connor.

 

ENGL 20382
Victorian Short Story
Essaka Joshua
MW 2:00-3:15  
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 - Freshmen

This course introduces students to the Victorian short story (1830-1901). Areas of focus will include the history and development of the short story as prose fiction form, the print and publication market, and the many subgenres, such as the gothic tale, children’s literature, the detective story, folklore, and science fiction. The short story is a distinctive lens through which to view the Victorian era’s preoccupation with social, political, scientific, and moral issues. Through class discussions and written assignments, students will examine the formal and thematic qualities of the genre and develop their knowledge of the key debates of the Victorian period. Readings will include a variety of authors.


ENGL 20470-01-02
Contemporary Literature and the Persistent Past
Heidi Arndt
MW 9:30-10:45
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

How do we think about the past? As a golden age we long to return to? Or a painful memory better off forgotten? Is it set in stone or open to revision? Together we’ll read the novels, plays, and poetry of contemporary British and American authors who demonstrate just how crucial these questions can be. When, for example, books about slavery or the Holocaust are periodically banned from schools, it becomes clear that a) the past doesn’t stay neatly behind us and b) people can find it difficult to cope with that. By studying literature, we can understand the stakes and implications of the various ways we currently cope with the persistent past, and develop a vision of how we might do better. In this writing intensive course you will produce a series of short analytical essays and a final creative project.

 

ENGL 20623-01-02
“Remember the Ladies”: Literatures of Reform and Revolution in Early America
Abigail Scott-Rawleigh
MW 12:30-1:45
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 02 - Freshmen

“…and by the way, in the new Code of Laws … I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.” – Abigail Adams, Letter to her husband, John, March 31, 1776
 
In this course we will consider the ways in which women writers shaped social, political, and religious dialogue from the British colonial period to the 21st century in North America. Taking up Abigail Adams’ charge to “Remember the Ladies,” we will ask how American women writers took up the mantle for social change, adapting and inventing literary tools to fit their reforming interests. We will explore a variety of genres from personal poetry to political declarations, considering how women writers over the course of three centuries both unsettled and reenforced systems of social hierarchy and inequality, applying the questions these reformers asked to our own present-day experiences. Throughout our reading, writing, and class discussions, we will continually return to the guiding questions of the course: In what ways do women writers complicate, dismantle, or otherwise reinscribe systems of inequality in early America? And what can we, in our twenty-first-century context, learn from them? 

 

ENGL 20651-01-02
Sense of Place in American Literature
Jake McGinnis
MW 11:00-12:15
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

For the last five centuries, American literatures have reflected diverse and changing relationships between people and their environment. Scholars in human geography and other fields call this a sense of place, our “sixth sense.” In some instances, sense of place is so strong, so deeply imbued with meaning, that it becomes a part of individual or cultural identity, such as one’s childhood home, famous historical landmarks, fictional landscapes, and even Notre Dame’s campus. This course explores the many ways American writers have represented senses of place - and senses of being displaced, or of placelessness - in literary prose. What does it mean to belong to a place? How does connection to place impact specific literary traditions? What is our responsibility to place, and how might notions of place help us understand diverse people and cultures? We’ll consider these questions throughout the term in class discussions and in formal papers, and students will explore their own sense of place in regular informal writing assignments.

 

ENGL 20721-01-02
American Prophets: U.S. Poetry and Social Protest
Sara Judy
TR 12:30-1:45
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

American poets have long used their poetry to speak truth to power, writing against war, racialized injustice, gender and income inequality, and the climate crisis. Figuring themselves as spokespoets for the nation, many see this kind of writing as prophetic work. But what is the nature of prophecy in American poetry? What do prophetic poets sound like, and what kind of poems do they write? How do we know a prophet when we hear one? In this course, students will explore the various traditions of prophetic poetry in the U.S., applying theories from the Black prophetic tradition, Jewish and feminist criticism, and others. Readings include American poets from the nineteenth century through the present day, including: Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Kaveh Akbar, and others. At the end of the semester, students will research social protest poetry relating to a cause of their choice, and propose an addition to the syllabus, arguing for their own definition of what makes an American poet a prophet.



ENGL 20760-01-02
Witnessing Climate Change
MWF 10:30-11:20
Roy Scranton 

The Earth’s climate is changing faster than expected. Industrialization, fossil fuel use, consumption, and exploitation are radically transforming the planet we live on. In “Witnessing Climate Change,” we work to make sense of the science behind this planetary crisis and practice writing about it for the public. This is a large, writing-intensive, public-facing course that engages key contemporary issues and core ways of knowing from a values-oriented perspective, through large lectures and small group workshops. Readings include Jeff VanderMeer, Nukariik, Barry Lopez, Aldo Leopold, Wanda Coleman, J.M. Coetzee, and St. Francis, among others. 

This course fulfills the Catholicism and the Disciplines core curriculum requirement.

 

30xxx Level Courses

ENGL 30101-02-03
Intro to Literary Studies
Romana Huk
MW 11:00-12:15
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 30101-04-05
Intro to Literary Studies
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
MW 2:00-3:15
Sec 04 - Majors
Sec 05 - 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 30101-06-07
Intro to Literary Studies
Laura Betz
TR 9:30-10:45
Sec 06 - Majors
Sec 07 - 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 30110-01-02
British Literary Traditions I
Tim Machan
MW 9:30-10:45
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated 

This course surveys a selection of literature written 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 contributions to notions of literary history. Although attention will be given to historical perspective, the course will emphasize close reading and classroom discussion. 
 

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

What can American literature before the 20th century teach us about the nation and the world? In this class we will explore American literature from the founding of the nation to the eve of the Civil War and its intellectual pleasures and difficulties. How did early American literature teach us to pay attention and think critically? What are the stakes of “mis-reading” for the average citizen? To answer these questions, we will move from text (close-reading) to context (broader geopolitical history) and in so doing uncover the relationship between the private crises of reading and the public crises of nationhood that has been so crucial to American literature since its inception. The writers and works we will study include: Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Primary texts will be supplemented with appropriate secondary readings that help students become better writers and thinkers.


ENGL 30120-01-02
Poetry Unfettered
Laura Betz
TR 11:00-12:15
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated

The English Romantic poet William Blake declared that “Poetry Fetter’d, Fetters the Human Race.” This course explores this idea by providing an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the power of poetic language. The course seeks to strengthen the ability to read poetry carefully and critically, form strong interpretations, and argue for those interpretations persuasively in both classroom discussion and writing.  We will address the major poetic genres, a variety of poetic forms, and a range of literary concepts and devices, reading poems both individually and in groupings.  The kinds of groupings we will study include poems that have been deliberately paired, including parodies; poems that are part of a particular volume; and poems clustered by poet. We will spend time thinking about the oral performance of poetry through different activities, including listening to recordings of poems, and thinking about the relationship between poetry and the image through works that engage with both media. We will read a variety of material both past and contemporary, with a special emphasis on poetry from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  All the while we will try to understand why the poetry on our syllabus has spoken to readers over time, and how it might speak to us and about us.