Note on the University and College Literature Requirement: Students seeking to fulfill the literature requirement may also take courses offered by other language and literature departments (Romance languages, Asian languages, Classics, etc.). To obtain a complete list of all of these courses go to the class search page, then select the "literature" attribute and press control (on a Mac command) shift and select all departments.
Point of View in the Novel
Section-01 TR 2:00-3:15
Section-02 TR 5:05-6:20
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; Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; 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.
Life Finds a Way: Science Fiction and Reproduction
This course will explore the ways in which narratives that push boundaries - reality and fantasy, space and outer space, science and make-believe, past and present - contribute to our wider understanding of the world and humanity¿s place in it. Questions of reproduction surface across almost every aspect of our daily lives, including sexuality and gender, economics, information, and play. Our texts include such classics as Gulliver¿s Travels, Frankenstein, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century works by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood. We will also be engaging with many forms of new media, from ¿Jurassic Park¿ to Pokemon Go. Thus we will seek to understand how media which have seemingly little to do with the ¿real world¿ as we know it can help us learn something about ourselves and engage with friends and strangers in innovative and meaningful ways. Students will leave this course with an appreciation for the nuances of the term ¿science fiction¿ as well as tools for discussing literature, film and media from different time periods.
Imagining America, Past and Present: Religion, Race, and Reality
This course will be a survey of how American culture, values, and identities have been imagined in a variety of literary works spanning from the period before encounter and colonization through nation founding, civil war, modernity, postmodernity, and whatever we might call our current post-9/11 period. As we sample a variety of genres and forms¿including travel narrative, historical fiction, magical realism, autobiography, cosmic realism, and others¿our study will focus on tracing the assumptions and anxieties that haunt American literature. Together we will specifically explore how literary writers define, reveal, construct, and deconstruct American perceptions of religion, race, and reality. These three themes will orient our survey of the American literary imagination and frame our approach to the works we will read together.
The Drama of Doubt
This course begins with a big question: how do we show people that we either believe in or doubt something? We often divide people into two categories: believers and skeptics. But the things we choose to believe or doubt - that true love exists, that our friends and family will support us, that people are innately good (or evil) - are convictions we hold inside ourselves, convictions that are not visible to others. Our task is thus to trace the performance of belief and doubt in a wide range of dramatic literature from Sophocles¿ Oedipus Rex to John Patrick Shanley¿s Doubt. Throughout, we will investigate the crises that force a character to perform belief or doubt as well as examine how forces like family, tradition, politics, and religion play their own roles. Alongside our literary investigations, we will explore how the presence of others compels us to perform our own beliefs and doubts, tracing how the performance on stage and the performance of the everyday intersect.
Literature and the Moral Imagination
Literature opens a window to other worlds. It helps us to understand the experiences of people whose lives are very different from our own and situations that are unlike any we have encountered. Perhaps more than any other art form, literature cultivates the moral imagination, which has been defined as “the capacity to imagine something rooted in the challenges of the real world yet capable of giving birth to that which does not yet exist.” Inspired by these words of John Paul Lederach, a longtime member of the Notre Dame faculty and a leading expert on peacebuilding and reconciliation, this course will focus on novels, poetry, and nonfiction prose that expand the moral imagination. We will read major works of literature that powerfully illuminate the nature of war and colonialism, climate change, human rights, and economic inequality, including selections from the poetry anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness and some of the following prose works: James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Pat Barker, Regeneration; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide; Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony. The written work for the course will include two papers (approx. 5 pages/each) and a take home final.
Literature and the Moral Imagination Discussion
Section-01 TBA F 11:30-12:20
Section-02 TBA F 11:30-12:20
Course discussion for Course ENGL 20150, Literature and the Moral Imagination
The Gothic Novel
"From ghoulies and ghosties/ And long-leggedy beasties/ And things that go bump in the night,/ Good Lord, deliver us!" Why do we enjoy being scared out of our wits? Since its inception in the late eighteenth century, generations have loved the Gothic Novel with its grotesque murders and bizarre terror. The course will study a number of the most celebrated Gothic tales from horrors in castles and monasteries (Lewis's The Monk) to mysterious love stories (Brontë's Wuthering Heights) to the eerie stories of the paranormal (Shelley's Frankenstein) to contemporary horror stories. The purpose will be to study the ways in which the Gothic Novel entertains us and what it is about us that loves to be entertained by the Gothic.
Medieval Literature: From Arthur to Zelda
What can texts from the medieval period tell us about the modern world? In this course, we will examine the “modern medieval” by starting at its source. This course will cover a variety of literary texts from medieval Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia (c. 700–1300). We will examine the ways that these cultures identified themselves, as well as the ways they thought about one another. At the end of the semester, we will turn to modern conceptions of the medieval to investigate how modern writers and artists create and re-create the medieval. Modern texts will include YA literature like the Lioness Quartet, modern classics like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, video games like The Legend of Zelda, and major television and film franchises like Game of Thrones.
Booked: Prison Literature, from Boethius to Orange is the New Black
With more than 2 million men and women behind bars in the United States, prison affects countless Americans (both incarcerated and not) on a daily basis. In this course, we will explore the experience of imprisonment through a close, critical analysis of literary works written in and about prison. In analyzing this enduring and diverse body of literature, we will also think critically about our own positions as outsiders looking into a space to which we have limited and privileged access. We will read texts and authors across time (from Boethius and Chaucer to Oscar Wilde and Orange is the New Black) and across genre, and we will explore the manifold ways authors use the space of the prison in their work. A series of broad questions will carry us through the semester: How do writers imagine prison spaces and to what purpose? Why are we interested in reading literature about prison? How does the genre of the text affect our understanding of it? In what ways has literature from and about prison changed over time and why? How do metaphorical and literal interpretations of the prison space interact? What role do literary works play in the social justice issues of their and our time?
Global Drama: Tradition and Modernity
This course will examine the relationship between tradition and modernity in drama and film from places as diverse as Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and the Caribbean. The upheavals of the modern world in the twentieth century brought about a multitude of encounters which have left their mark on peoples across the globe: effects stemming from the varied experiences of settling a foreign country or being colonized by a foreign power, of gaining independence or living as a cultural minority within one's ancestral home, or of leaving one's home to seek a new and better life, continue to reverberate throughout contemporary global cultures. By exploring these experiences as they are represented in contemporary drama we will grapple with questions about the role that tradition has to play within the changing world of postcolonial modernity: how is "tradition" established and who decides what practices and beliefs are included or excluded in its name? What is the relationship between literary, cultural, and national forms of tradition? Are modernizing and traditionalizing forces antithetical to each other? Does tradition tie us to a static past, or can it open up new and productive possibilities for the future?
Course Attributes: LIT – University Literature Requirement
Introduction to Irish Writers
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 (5-6pagestyped) and a final.
Introduction to Irish Writers Discussion
Section-01 Christopher Fox F 10:30-11:20
Section-02 TBD F 10:30-11:20
Section-03 TBD F 10:30-11:20
Co-requisite course discussion for course ENGL 20513-01, Introduction to Irish Writers