Department of English

Fall 2013 Course Schedule

 

Undergraduate Courses

 

 

ENGL 220.01: Understanding Composition & Rhetoric                   M. Barnes

CRN 5636     TR       11:30 AM-12:45 PM

 

This course introduces students to one of the most historically and intellectually important topics in academia— the study of rhetoric.  Beginning with the classical period, we will define key issues related to the nature of rhetoric, most conspicuously, the historical conflict between Platonic dialectic and sophistic persuasion. Carrying this theme of “conflict” forward, through the Renaissance, the Age of Reason, and finally, focusing on contemporary rhetorical theorists (Burke, Weaver, Derrida, Foucault, Toulmin), we will explore how modern interpretations of dialectic and rhetoric cast the classical debate in a new light.  Additionally, the pedagogical associations between rhetoric and Composition Studies will be considered, particularly in reference to Corbett’s reintroduction of the classical system in the 20th century.

 

 

ENGL 242A.01: Reading Lyric                                                                 J. Davis  

CRN 4512     TR       4:00-5:15PM

 

Introduces students to questions, concepts, and perspectives that inform the study of the lyric, including but not limited to poetry.  It also introduces students to a variety of lyric genres, and to lyrics produced within many different eras and cultures.  The course emphasizes attentive critical reading, as well as thought about individual readers’ interpretative choices.

 

 

ENGL 243A.01: Understanding Drama                                     S. Campbell

CRN 4513     TR       1:00-2:15 PM

 

Introduces students to questions, concepts, and perspectives that inform the study of drama. The course emphasizes close, attentive, critical reading as well as

a grasp of performance contexts and choices. It introduces students to plays of many different eras, cultures, and subgenres; it also introduces critical terms, conventions, and discourses appropriate to the study of drama. Writing-intensive course.

 

 

 

 

 

ENGL 246A.01: Popular Literature: Detective Fiction                     T. Farrell

CRN 5637     MWF              11:00-11:50 AM

 

We will read a wide range of mysteries, beginning with nineteenth-century pioneers like Sherlock Holmes and Collins's The Moonstone, followed by an exploration of the major kinds of detective stories—the Classic British school, the American Hard-Boiled school, and the Police Procedural—from their origins in the 1920s and 30s, and capped with contemporary recombinations of those traditions.  Readings will be chosen from such authors as Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell, Edmund Crispin, Peter Dickinson, James Ellroy, Nicholas Freeling, Chester Grimes, Dashiell Hammett, Tony Hillerman, P. D. James, H. R. F. Keating, Elmore Leonard, Jonathan Lethem, Ross Macdonald, Sara Paretsky, James Patterson, Ian Rankin, Dorothy L. Sayers, Për Sjöwall and Georges Simenon.

 

 

ENGL 341E1.JS: Dante’s Commedia                                                      T. Farrell

CRN 5638     TR       10:00-11:15 AM

 

700 years after its completion, everyone from Doonesbury to The Onion assumes that its readers will know Dante's Commedía.  It is the backbone of honors programs all over the United States, the masterpiece of "the chief imagination of Christendom" (W. B. Yeats' phrase), a summa or encyclopedia medieval philosophy, politics, linguistics, poetics, science, and theology; it is by turns profound, exultant, grim, funny, startling, a poem that everyone should know, one that rewards as much study as one wants to give it.  After reading relevenat parts of Vergil's Æneid and Dante's earlier lyrical work Vita Nuova, we will spend about two-thirds of the semester reading Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, delineating the poem's major themes and especially its distinctive takes on ethics, politics, history, gender, psychology, poetry, and theology.  Students will then choose which of their favorite moments to revisit for seminar presentations.  Regular writing exercises, one short essay, the seminar essay, and a final exam.

 

 

 

 

ENGL 344J3.JS: Vengeance and Paranoia                                            J. Davis

CRN 5138     MW    2:30-3:45 PM

 

This Junior Seminar explores the complicated tension between vengeance and justice by integrating perspectives from literature, philosophy, theology, and psychology.  Specifically, we will investigate the extent of the relationship between the logic of revenge and the logic of paranoid thought.  We will begin with a structuralist approach to revenge as a social phenomenon of the literary imagination, and we will examine its function at three historical moments: the Ancient period, the Renaissance, and the (Post)Modern period.  Primarily we will use literary texts, including films, for our inquiry; secondarily, we will read some brief theoretical formulations of vengeance and paranoia.  

 

ENGL 346.01: Survey of British Literature                                          L. Snook

CRN 5639     TR       4:00-5:15 PM

 

Travel through a thousand years of English literature in fifteen weeks! Well…mostly.

This course is a journey to map some of the landmarks of early British literature: a survey of major works and authors from Beowulf to the early 18th century. I’ll provide the context and guide you through the dangerous parts of the terrain, but you’ll be doing the reading and discussion of what we see as we travel. By the end of this class, you should be able to pick up a work by Chaucer or Marlowe or Donne or Dryden, identify the landmarks, and know where you are. To aid in our explorations, you’ll be asked to keep a reading journal, lead at least one class discussion and read aloud from at least one text, and take two exams and a final.

 

ENGL 367.01: Austen                                                                                K. Kaivola

CRN 5641     TR       10:00-11:15 AM

 

Jane Austen and the Novel of Love

 

This course centers on Austen’s novels, with a focus on ideas the courtship plot enables her to explore.  We will also pay close attention to the subtle, precise, and witty quality of her prose.   Despite their surface charm, lightness of tone, and wit, these novels engage complex moral choices, express deep feeling, and draw subtle distinctions among competing value systems.   They highlight tensions between money and love, style and substance, power and vulnerability, restraint and folly.   They are also, of course, novels of love:  they follow, and arguably perfect, the courtship plot.

 

So we’ll consider what that means and how the courtship plot functions.  We’ll also consider how these novels respond to the emergence of a consumer culture and its relationship to the established class system in England, political debates over the inherent rights (and distribution of property) sparked by the violent revolution in France, changing relationships between men and women, new values attached to marriage, and the relationship between British imperialism and the stately upper-middle class world Austen’s characters inhabit.  Finally, we’ll explore the enduring popularity of Austen (on both page and screen) and her unique status as a writer who bridges the divide between “high” and “low” culture, for she appeals equally to the general public and serious students of English literature:  why have these novels remained so popular and appealing over the past two centuries?  Why are they so appealing today?  What ideas or ideals about the past are constructed in film adaptations of Austen’s work?  What happens when Austen goes to Hollywood—or Hollywood goes to Austen? 

 

Required texts:  Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abby, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion (Broadview Press editions).  Requirements will include two papers, active participation, a midterm and a final exam. 

 

 

ENGL 381.01: Text-Theory-Criticism                                                    M. Barnes    

CRN 5392     TR       2:30-3:45 PM

 

Learning to apply a theoretical lens to texts is an important part of an English major’s intellectual development; it is also an assumed ability in the capstone course. In ENGL 381 (Texts, Criticism, and Theory), the class will rotate through the major critical theories (New Criticism, Reader-Response, Structural/Deconstructive, Historical, Psychological, Political, Rhetorical) in small groups with each articulating a consensually determined interpretation. For the final paper, however, you will choose a preferred theoretical camp and apply it to a work of your choice (novel, film, fiction, non-fiction, and so forth). For the purposes of our class discussions, we will concentrate on notable short stories that have prompted compelling interpretations over the years. Required work consists of short group papers for each theory, one significant individual paper, a mid-term, and final exam.

 

ENGL 474.01: Postcolonial Literature Seminar:

Third World Women Writers                                                                  J. Khader

CRN 5642     TR       1:00-2:15 PM                           

 

This course explores the richness and diversity of literary works by and about Third World women from India, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. We will examine the aesthetics and politics of these literary texts as well as films about Third World women within their social, cultural, and literary contexts. Our aim will be to understand the ways in which the social, economic, and political structures of gender, race, sexuality, class, nationality, colonialism, and globalization shape and inform the main concerns that Third World women’s writings reflect and refract namely, rewriting colonial misrepresentations of Third World women, cultural traditions and gender ideologies, women's place in anti-colonial struggle and national liberation movements, the relationship between women and the nation-state, women’s legal and human rights, including reproductive choice and sexual freedom, the impact of globalization on women, the production of cosmopolitan identities, and the question of revolutionary politics in the era of US empire and the New World (dis)Order. Texts include: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea; Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven; Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions; Mahasweta Devi’s Imaginary Maps; Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran;

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things; and Assia Djebar’s The Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. Requirements: Response papers; two short analytical papers; an oral presentation; and a seminar paper.

 

 

ENGL 475.01: Popular Culture Seminar: Star Trek                            M. O’Neill

CRN 5140     MW    12:00-1:15 PM                           

 

The durable popularity of the Star Trek franchise--now so complex a set of stories that JJ Abrams has had to create an alternate history--is a result of its serious grappling with ethical and moral issues, many of which we’ll explore in this seminar. Because the values of the United Federation of Planets are an idealized form of American values, issues raised in Trek are still relevant to us today: our machines continually get smarter, so we’ll think about the limits of bioethics (after all, when it’s you or the Borg, will you still embrace peaceful coexistence?). What does “family” really consist of?  The Klingon Worf may have something new to teach us about adopting a child from another culture. The values of the United Federation of Planets may be non-interference, tolerance, and respect for life…but is that, perhaps, one of the lies we still tell ourselves to be able to sleep at night? How does the core value of the Prime Directive still apply in the 21st century…or does it?

 

Clips from episodes and films, with extensive cross disciplinary reading, will form our primary texts.. Because this is a discussion-based class, students are expected to participate actively and thoughtfully. Students will write a series of short analytical papers focused on specific texts and issues. In addition, students will write longer essays that develop some of the ideas first presented in the shorter papers. The class requires at least one presentation, midterm and final exam, active and engaged discussion, plenty of reading, and plenty of writing. Students are required to have consistent, reliable access to Star Trek episodes (readily available via Netflix). 

 

NOTE: Familiarity with the Trek franchise is desirable and useful, but not necessary .


 

ENGL 499.01: Senior Project                                                       G. Ballenger

CRN 4524     MW   2:30-3:45 PM

 

This course provides a review of and further grounding in the methods, materials, and critical approaches appropriate for advanced literary research, culminating in a substantial written project.  Students will pursue in-depth study of a literary topic, discuss typical problems in their writing and research, and participate in groups to read and discuss work in progress.  It includes both written and oral presentation of projects.  Seniors with advanced standing are encouraged to take the course in the fall.  (Prerequisite: three units from ENGL 220, ENGL 240A, ENGL 241A, ENGL 242A, and ENGL 243A, plus EH 381, and one course numbered 400 or above.)

 

 

 

Creative Writing Courses for Undergraduates

FALL 2013

 

 

ENCW 215A.01: Multi-Genre Workshop         T. Witek, A. Dehnart & M. Powell

CRN 4931     MW    12:00-1:15 PM

 

Taught by three different practitioners, this workshop course asks you to write in three different literary genres: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, and to develop a composite portfolio of your work. This course is especially  appropriate for those who’d like to test the pleasures and perils of working in literary forms which vary technically, historically, and in the marketplace.

 

 

ENCW 312A.30: Fiction Workshop                                                        M. Powell

CRN 4744     W        6:00-9:00 PM

 

A workshop helping students develop their skills in such fiction techniques as characterization, plot, setting, point of view, and style. Permission of the instructor required.

 

 

ENCW 313A.30: Poetry Workshop                                                        T. Witek

CRN 4527     T          6:00-9:00 PM

 

An intensive workshop in poetic method. Each student will construct a portfolio of eight poems, at least four using techniques other than free verse. We will examine  books of contemporary poetry for strategies and offer each other poetic challenges.  Graduate students will do an extra project.

 

Permission of instructor required.

ENCW 320.01: Writers Read                                                                   M. Powell

CRN 6204     MW    4:00-5:15 PM

 

In this reading-intensive course, students examine analytically and use as models for their own creative work the craft of contemporary fiction writers. Thus our pattern: we will closely examine a particular writer, respond analytically, and write fiction in response, using a writer's style as a point of reference. Representative writers include: Toni Morrison, Denis Johnson, Daniel Woodrell, and Annie Proulx. Permission of the instructor required.

 

 

ENCW 413.30: Advanced Poetry Workshop                                       T. Witek

CRN 4582                 T          6:00-9:00 PM

 

An intensive workshop in poetic method. Each student will construct a portfolio of eight poems, at least four using techniques other than free verse. We will examine  books of contemporary poetry for strategies and offer each other poetic challenges.  Graduate students will do an extra project.

 

Permission of instructor required.

 

 

GRADUATE COURSES

FALL 2013

 

ENGL 546.01: Survey of British Literature                              L. Snook

CRN 5640     TR       4:00-5:15 PM

 

Travel through a thousand years of English literature in fifteen weeks! Well…mostly.

This course is a journey to map some of the landmarks of early British literature: a survey of major works and authors from Beowulf to the early 18th century. I’ll provide the context and guide you through the dangerous parts of the terrain, but you’ll be doing the reading and discussion of what we see as we travel. By the end of this class, you should be able to pick up a work by Chaucer or Marlowe or Donne or Dryden, identify the landmarks, and know where you are. To aid in our explorations, you’ll be asked to keep a reading journal, lead at least one class discussion and read aloud from at least one text, and take two exams and a final.

 

ENGL 573.01: Global Literature Seminar:

Third World Women Writers                                                                  J. Khader

CRN 5643     TR       1:00-2:15 PM                           

 

This course explores the richness and diversity of literary works by and about Third World women from India, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. We will examine the aesthetics and politics of these literary texts as well as films about Third World women within their social, cultural, and literary contexts. Our aim will be to understand the ways in which the social, economic, and political structures of gender, race, sexuality, class, nationality, colonialism, and globalization shape and inform the main concerns that Third World women’s writings reflect and refract namely, rewriting colonial misrepresentations of Third World women, cultural traditions and gender ideologies, women's place in anti-colonial struggle and national liberation movements, the relationship between women and the nation-state, women’s legal and human rights, including reproductive choice and sexual freedom, the impact of globalization on women, the production of cosmopolitan identities, and the question of revolutionary politics in the era of US empire and the New World (dis)Order. Texts include: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea; Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven; Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions; Mahasweta Devi’s Imaginary Maps; Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran;

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things; and Assia Djebar’s The Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. Requirements: Response papers; two short analytical papers; an oral presentation; leading class discussion; and a seminar paper.

 

 

ENGL 574.30: Popular Culture Seminar: Star Trek                            M. O’Neill

CRN 5000     MW    12:00-1:15 PM                           

 

The durable popularity of the Star Trek franchise--now so complex a set of stories that JJ Abrams has had to create an alternate history--is a result of its serious grappling with ethical and moral issues, many of which we’ll explore in this seminar. Because the values of the United Federation of Planets are an idealized form of American values, issues raised in Trek are still relevant to us today: our machines continually get smarter, so we’ll think about the limits of bioethics (after all, when it’s you or the Borg, will you still embrace peaceful coexistence?). What does “family” really consist of?  The Klingon Worf may have something new to teach us about adopting a child from another culture. The values of the United Federation of Planets may be non-interference, tolerance, and respect for life…but is that, perhaps, one of the lies we still tell ourselves to be able to sleep at night? How does the core value of the Prime Directive still apply in the 21st century…or does it?

 

Clips from episodes and films, with extensive cross disciplinary reading, will form our primary texts.. Because this is a discussion-based class, students are expected to participate actively and thoughtfully. Students will write a series of short analytical papers focused on specific texts and issues. In addition, students will write longer essays that develop some of the ideas first presented in the shorter papers. The class requires at least one presentation, midterm and final exam, active and engaged discussion, plenty of reading, and plenty of writing. Students are required to have consistent, reliable access to Star Trek episodes (readily available via Netflix). 

 

NOTE: Familiarity with the Trek franchise is desirable and useful, but not necessary .

 

ENGL 581.01: Text-Theory-Criticism                                                    M. Barnes    

CRN 5395     TR       2:30-3:45 PM

 

Learning to apply a theoretical lens to texts is an important part of an English major’s intellectual development; it is also an assumed ability in the capstone course. In ENGL 381 (Texts, Criticism, and Theory), the class will rotate through the major critical theories (New Criticism, Reader-Response, Structural/Deconstructive, Historical, Psychological, Political, Rhetorical) in small groups with each articulating a consensually determined interpretation. For the final paper, however, you will choose a preferred theoretical camp and apply it to a work of your choice (novel, film, fiction, non-fiction, and so forth). For the purposes of our class discussions, we will concentrate on notable short stories that have prompted compelling interpretations over the years. Required work consists of short group papers for each theory, one significant individual paper, a mid-term, and final exam.

 

ENCW 512.30: Fiction Workshop                                                          M. Powell

CRN 5145     W        6:00-9:00 PM

 

A workshop helping students develop their skills in such fiction techniques as characterization, plot, setting, point of view, and style. Permission of the instructor required.

 

 

ENCW 513.30: Poetry Workshop                                                           T. Witek

CRN 4932     T          6:00-9:00 PM

 

An intensive workshop in poetic method. Each student will construct a portfolio of eight poems, at least four using techniques other than free verse. We will examine  books of contemporary poetry for strategies and offer each other poetic challenges.  Graduate students will do an extra project.

 

Permission of instructor required.

 

ENGL 681.30  Topic in Theory:  Green Literary Studies                   M. Pollock

CRN                M        6:00-9:00 PM

 

This course will provide an overview of two relatively new fields, ecocriticism and animal studies. Our study of primary works (including novels, films, poetry, and nonfiction) will support a close reading of criticism and theory. We’ll focus on two controversies: (1) a place-based understanding of environmental issues versus a more global understanding of human life within particular ecologies and (2) the rights of individual animals versus a more scientific concern for animal populations.

If you haven’t already read it, take a look at Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and if you haven’t seen it, watch Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar. We’ll start with these texts.