Literature Requirement

Spring 2022

ENGL 20106-01-02
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 20106-03-04
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 20188-01-02
Writer as Physician; Physician as Writer
David Griffith
TR 12:30-1:45
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

This writing-intensive course will immerse students in the rich literary tradition of physician-writers by inviting them to engage in the practice of life writing (personal essay, memoir, diary, journal keeping, and oral history) in response to their experiences as patients, as caregivers, and as aspiring medical professionals pursuing a variety of majors (in the Sciences and Humanities) at the University. In addition to regular creative prompts, students will write analytically and critically in response to work by a diverse list of medical professionals, patients, and caregivers from the last 100 years. Special focus will be placed on the ways writing aids in the development of a sense of personal ethics, and how the practice of writing can be used as a therapeutic tool. The course will cover a wide range of genres and texts from the late 19th century to the present, with an emphasis on writings where the author is engaged in self-analysis, reflection on class, privilege, difference, and advocacy.

 

ENGL 20205-01-02
Premodern Texts, Modern Problems: Literature and Public Life
Emily Donahoe
TR 2:00-3:15
Section 01 - Unallocated
Section 02 - Freshmen

Why do white supremacists care about Beowulf? What does Chaucer have to do with #MeToo? Why do we turn to William Shakespeare to understand Donald Trump? This course will attempt to answer these and other questions as we undertake an examination of how premodern literature informs and interacts with modern concerns. We’ll accomplish this by looking closely at four canonical texts across early British literature - Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Julius Caesar, and Paradise Lost - and considering how they’ve been used in recent contemporary debates about race, sexual assault, and politics. We’ll not only wrestle with the complexities of these texts and their reception histories but also think deeply about the function of literature, and literary scholarship, in public life. Our discussions will culminate in a class website on which you’ll showcase your own pieces of public scholarship on premodern texts. Assignments include reading responses, blog posts, think pieces, and a podcast project.

 

ENGL 20271-01-02
Keeping it Real-ism: Constructing Reality in U.S. Fiction
Kristen Carlson
MW 5:05-6:20
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

What does it mean when we label something - an experience, a story, a work of art - as “real” or “realistic”? How do we evaluate the correspondence between reality and fiction? Literary realism has often been associated with a steadfast and often unimaginative faithfulness to reality. In this course, we will read realism differently. Studying the evolution of literary realism, we will consider how writers and their narratives struggle to reflect their fidelity to the real-world and art-world. What happens when narrative worlds cannot be reduced to or “pin down” reality? We will focus on the creative and imaginative, often experimental, capacity of literary realism that works to defamiliarize, multiply, or challenge constructed realities. Humans, as Gertrude Stein wrote, “are interested in two things. They are interested in reality and interested in telling about it.” This course will take up the study of American literary realism to trace how these two interests intersect in how we construct representations of reality. We will consider different forms of realism, from social realism, naturalism, and magical realism to realism in philosophy, pop-culture, film and television, and videogames.

 

ENGL 20275-01-03
Shakespeare in Performance: Page to Stage
Jennifer Thorup
TR 9:30-10:45
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

Shakespeare’s plays were written for the stage, and yet most students only grapple with them on the page. This course gives you the chance to investigate and interpret six of Shakespeare’s plays through the dual lenses of text and performance. Particular emphasis will be paid to the relationship between the page and stage in regards to performance history, print culture, editorial / directorial emendation, appropriation and adaptation. We will watch professionally pre-recorded performances and enjoy at least one live performance. In addition to reading, writing, and viewing, you will take “the stage” yourself to perform a scene(s) from the plays, considering staging, props, and other avenues of interpretation. All along the way, we will consider the historical evolution and reinvention of Shakespeare himself from actor/playwright to sage/author, investigating what role (if any) the Bard should play today in grappling topics such as: Gender, Sexuality, Race, Religion, Truth, and Justice.

 

ENGL 20396-01-03
Children’s Literature
Ian Newman
MW 12:30-1:45 

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 20491-01-02
Monsters on the Margins: Gothic Literature Through the Ages
Kyriana Lynch
MW 9:30-10:45
Sec 01 - Unallocated
Sec 02 - Freshmen

What do monsters tell us about our deepest desires? Why are fairytales both disturbing and enchanting? What do these stories reveal about the expanses of human experience? The Gothicis a genre of contradictions: entertaining and horrific, deathly and life-giving, sacred and profane. This is your chance to dive into the history of Gothic literature, from oral fairy tales through the contemporary Gothic. Within this tradition, we’ll be considering how these stories use monsters to talk about marginalized identities, sexuality, and race. We’ll take a look at works from the Grimms through Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu to Carmen Maria Machado. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to connect Gothic themes of the past with the complexities of Gothic entertainment and media today. As a writing-intensive course, we’ll pair our discussion of these texts with creative and analytical engagement through several short essays and a longer writing assignment.

 

ENGL 20740-01-02
Novels of New York
Noreen Deane-Moran
TR 5:05-6:20
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 20836-01-02
American Modernisms
Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
MW 2:00-3:15
Sec. 01 - Unallocated
Sec. 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.

 

ENGL 20890-01-02
Multiethnic Literatures of Chicago
Oliver Ortega
TR 11:00-12:15
Section 01: Unallocated
Section 02: Freshmen

Lifelong Chicagoan Gwendolyn Brooks once said of her Bronzeville home, “If you wanted a poem, you had only to look out of a window.” This “life in the raw” that inspired the Pulitzer-winning poet also spoke to generations of writers and poets. What can the writing of Chicago, a place proud of its diversity but dogged by inequities, tell us about race and citizenship? And what does it mean to talk about the literature(s) of a city? We’ll tackle these big questions as we learn about the 1893 World Fair; the Chicago Renaissance; the Black Arts Movement; the Latino Arts Movement; and Chicago’s contemporary literary scene. Through discussion, several short writing assignments, and a longer, research essay, we’ll sharpen our analytical and writing skills and seek to become lucid readers of Chicago's literary landscape.

 


ENGL 30009
Writing the Anthropocene
Roy Scranton
MW 2:00-3:15

We face worldwide ecological catastrophe, accelerating global warming, and political upheaval: this is the Anthropocene. What problems does the Anthropocene pose to narrative? What storytelling skills and rhetorical strategies do journalists, scientists, memoirists, bloggers, and philosophers need in order to adequately address and communicate about the epochal crisis we all face? Through journalism, essays, and other media, this course will explore the question - in practice - of what it means to write the Anthropocene.


 

ENGL 30101-01-02
Intro to Literary Studies
Susan Harris
MW 11:00-12:15
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 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 30101-03-04
Intro to Literary Studies
Nan Da
TR 2:00-3:15
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 30111-01-02
British Literary Traditions II
David Thomas
TR 3:30-4:45
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated 

Here we explore a very broad variety of British literary and cultural productions from the 1660s to our own times, covering important periods and terms (e.g., Restoration, Gothic, Modernism) and developments in the literary genres (romantic poetics, the "rise of the novel").  Such a course prepares one for studies in the Humanities, careers in writing and research, and--more immediately--choosing future courses in the English Major and discovering potential Honors-thesis ideas. Beyond supporting these concrete or practical goals, the course should also show how exploring literature and its cultural contexts can be a pathway to developing critical interpretive skills and an appreciation of aesthetic and cultural variety over several centuries. It’s a buffet of cultural histories. Our principal texts will be from the Norton Anthology of English Literature or delivered electronically. Most of the graded work will consist of short papers, along with some other class exercises.

 

ENGL 30116-01-02
American Literary Traditions II
Matthew Kilbane
TR 12:30-1:45
Sec 01 - Majors
Sec 02 - Unallocated

In this course, we will study landmark literary works published in the United States from 1865 to the present. You can think of this class as a survey in “American literature,” but as we explore the different movements and diverse traditions sometimes collected under that name, we’ll discover writers probing themes of identity and social belonging in ways that challenge and reimagine the idea of “Americanness" itself. As a community of close readers, we’ll consider how the habits of thought and feeling enacted in novels, short stories, poems, and essays can lead us to remake our sense of the past, and stake claims for collective futures. Throughout the course, we’ll also keep front and center the historical contexts that give rise to literary achievements, from the massive population shifts that stirred up literary renaissances in Harlem and Chicago, to the liberation movements of the 1960s that set the tempo for contemporaneous revolutions in literary style. We'll conclude the semester by making some expert judgments about what's happening today in U.S. literature, and some informed predictions about its future. Our authors may include Edith Wharton, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, Claude McKay, William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Rudolfo Anaya, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Toni Morrison.