|UNIVERSITY CORE LITERATURE COURSES|
UCCS Learning Objectives for Literature and Performing Arts (LPA)
Upon completing these courses, students will be able to:
(1) Produce oral and written assessments of literary and cultural texts and/or performances using the language and concepts of the discipline of literary studies.
ENGL 2310—Introduction to Global Literature
• Professor Colleen Willenbring
Thematic Title: Global Relationships, Global Identities
Course description: Globalism is not a new phenomenon—as early as 1900 Rudyard Kipling created the adventurous boy at the center of his novel Kim as a “Little Friend of all the World.” Even as he did so, however, he recognized the possible challenges of consciously inhabiting such a position, and depicts the young Kim musing, “I am Kim. I am Kim. And what is Kim?” In this class we will undertake close readings of English language texts from around the globe to discover how the formal and aesthetic features of literature pose questions and construct arguments about relationships (political and personal) and identities in a global context. Throughout, we will generate direction and support for our investigation by studying the cultural and historical contexts of the texts (listed below) as well as the critical approaches offered to us as models by the field of literary study. Particular topics will include the history and effects of imperialism, the strengths and limitations of western literary forms and of the English language for representing global diversity, the roles of education, religion, and gender identity in global consciousness, and minority and immigrant experience.
Required reading: Salman Rushdie, East, West; J.M. Synge, Riders to the Sea; Rudyard Kipling, Kim; J.M. Coetzee, Foe; Peter Carey, Jack Maggs; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Lan Samantha Chang, Hunger. Edwidge Danticat, Krik? Krak! Secondary readings demonstrating critical approaches and situating works in their historical and cultural contexts.
Assignments: 4 Short Response Papers, 2 Formal Essays, 1 Group Presentation, Midterm and Final Exams.
ENGL 2420 —Introduction to British Literature 2
General Description: Continuation of ENGL 2410, following the development of British literature from the late 18th century to the present. Approaches vary with instructor; authors studied are likely to include Austen, the Brontës, G. Eliot, Joyce, Shaw, the Shelleys, Tennyson, Woolf, and Wordsworth.
• Professor John Malloy
Thematic title: The Long, Withdrawing Roar: Faith and Doubt in English Literature Since 1800
Course description: In Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” the speaker notes that Christian faith, which once securely enfolded England like the sea at high tide, has declined to a “long, withdrawing roar.” Published in 1867, Arnold’s poem draws out the strain of skepticism hinted at by disillusioned Romantics and looks forward to the more dramatic doubt of Modernists such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. But the “long, withdrawing roar” also suggests that religious faith will not pass quickly or quietly away, despite radical scrutiny in the fields of literature, philosophy, and science. We will monitor both the decline and persistence of faith and pay close attention to other discourses often associated with it, such as those of patriarchy and empire. As we work to improve our interpretive skills and close reading ability, we will investigate the following questions: Can art replace religion? How does literature mourn the passing of faith and tradition? How does it negotiate the thorny realities of colonialism, gender inequality, class conflict, and sectarian violence? What kind of future does it project for us?
Readings: Selections from the Longman Anthology of British Literature Vols. 2A, 2B, and 2C (4th Edition); Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Bernard MacLaverty, Grace Notes; Some additional materials on ARES by authors such as Eavan Boland and John McGahern
Course requirements: Daily participation in class discussion, weekly posts to D2L, two essays, two tests, final exam
• Professor Erik Ankerberg
102 MW 2:00-3:15
Fulfills UCCS LPA requirement
Thematic Title: British Literature and the Quest for Beauty
• Professor Dan Bergen
103 MW 3:30-4:45
Fulfills UCCS LPA requirement
Thematic Title: Mediating Minds: Emotion and Memory in English Literature since 1800
Course Description:Whether opposing the rising industrial revolution, staunchly positioning itself against rationalism, or defying the tenets of realism, literature has historically persisted in its adherence to the value of the imagination or metempirical. In The Statesman’s Manual (1816), Coleridge argues that only the imagination can reconcile oppositions. Keeping this in mind, we will trace the power of the literary “mind’s eye” and its invocation of emotion and memory, as a means to mediating class, gender, and racial tensions through four major periods of English literature (Romanticism, Victorianism, Modernism, and Contemporary). We will consider the following questions: How does literature serve as a blueprint for the cultivation of constructive imagination? How do various forms of literary art (poetry, drama, the novel) inform mimetic experience? Can imagination push beyond the confines of an oppressive patriarchy to generate new perspectives, or is it restricted by the culture within which it exists? Can literature mediate conflict?
Required Reading: Coleridge, Wordsworth, Baillie, Mary Shelley, Austen, Brontë, Tennyson, Stevenson, Conrad, Wilde, Woolf, and Tóibín.
Assignments: Two essays, two exams, two position papers, D2L posts, and class participation.
• Professor Marques Redd
104 TUTH 11:00-12:15
105 TUTH 12:30-1:45
Fulfills UCCS LPA requirement
Thematic title: Ancient Egypt and the British Literary Imagination
Course description: In his Histories, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus decides to “speak at great length” about Egypt because “there is no country that possesses so many wonders, nor any that has such a number of works which defy description.” He guides the reader through a world of strange animal cults, magical rites, wondrous temples, and gigantic monuments, and he gives detailed accounts of Egyptians’ vast knowledge of medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. Herodotus’ engagement with and curiosity about ancient Egypt has become a central part of the Western tradition from antiquity to the present. This course will examine how the cultural legacy of ancient Egypt influenced British literature written since 1800. Egypt was mediated to British writers through classical figures like Herodotus, but also through the Bible and travel narratives. Furthermore, several historical events made Egypt vitally important: Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, the deciphering of the hieroglyphics in 1822, the political force of freemasonry and “secret societies,” and revived interest in mystical traditions such as alchemy and gnosticism. Moving through four different periods (Romanticism, Victorianism, Modernism, and Contemporary), we will explore a wide range of issues – constructions of race/gender/sexuality, life after death and immortality, the origin of language, sacred science and magical knowledge, Orientalism and imperial expansion, cultural memory and cultural stasis, theories of psychology, and ritual form.
Readings: Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden & The Temple of Nature; Thomas Beddoes, Death’s Jest-Book; H. Rider Haggard, She; Richard Marsh, The Beetle; D.H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died; James Joyce, Dubliners; Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts; Iain Sinclair, Lud Heat
Assignments: Midterm exam, final exam, reading journal, quizzes, research paper
ENGL 2520 —Introduction to American Literature 2
General Description: Continuation of ENGL 2510, following the development of American literature from the Civil War to the present. Approaches vary with instructor; authors studied are likely to include Bishop, Cather, Chopin, T.S. Eliot, Ellison, Erdrich, Faulkner, Freeman, Frost, Gilman, Hemingway, Hughes, Hurston, James, Jewett, Morrison, O’Connor, Pound, Stein, Twain, Wharton, and Wright.
• Professor Amara Graf
Course Description: This class is designed to introduce you to some of the main literary themes and strategies which characterize American writing between the Civil War and the present. We will examine how various authors have attempted to define what it means to be American through their fiction, drama, and poetry. Moving chronologically, we will study literature of different social groups, historical periods, and styles in an effort to gain a sense of the breadth of what constitutes American literature. Central questions guiding our investigation will be: How is national identity reflected in/through different literary forms/genres? What criteria do we use to define American literature? What distinguishes it from other national literatures? By paying proper attention to close textual readings, as well as the historical moments in which these works are occurring, we will develop a sense of the aesthetic and political stakes of American literary production over the past 150 years.
Readings: Anthology of American LiteratureAssignments: Two short papers (4-5pgs.), several reading responses, oral presentation and final essay exam.
• Professor Corinna Lee
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to American literature between the Civil War and the contemporary period. Rather than accept “American literature” as a fixed literary canon comprising a body of representative American works, we will inquire after the concept of American literature through critical engagement with particular texts. Among the questions we will ask: How should we define America? What does America signify at the political, geographic, national, cultural, and metaphorical level, and how have those meanings changed over time? What is literature? What distinguishes literature from other modes of writing, texts, and expression? How might we define literature to be more inclusive or exclusive, and what is at stake in doing so? How might we understand the relation between the terms “American” and “literature”? What is produced by their conjunction? Proceeding chronologically through history and literary history, the course surveys a broad range of genres (essays, poetry, narrative (fiction and non-fiction), drama) and issues (industrialization, race relations, gender inequality, protest, democracy, economic depression, suburbia). We will tend to the themes and formal qualities of select works of “American literature” as well as their social functions and historical contexts.
Readings: Mark Twain, Charles Chesnutt, Emily Dickinson, H.D., Wallace Stevens, W.E.B. DuBois, Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, Henry James, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, James Baldwin, Tillie Olsen, Tony Kushner, Jessica Hagedorn, Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, Lan Samantha Chang
Assignments: 2 short close-reading essays (4-5 pages); a few reading quizzes; a reading journal; a final exam
• Professor Bernadette Prochaska
Course Description: American Literature engages major writers beginning with Whitman, and progresses through the 20th/21st Century. The Prose, Poetry and Drama, together with the authors are studied carefully, with special attention to meanings of their interpretive frameworks. This survey incorporates historical, philosophical, psychological and mythical dimensions of the literature which fundamentally is set in the Age of Realism.
Book: The ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, II, 9th edition, McMichael, will be used.
• Professor Joshua Steffey
Course Description: In “American Journal,” poet Robert Hayden adopted the ambivalent rhetorical position of an “alien” trying to understand “theamericans this baffling / multi people.” Both astounded that “no other beings / in the universe make more extravagant claims / for their importance and identity,” and repelled by “the imprecise andstrangering / distinctions by which they live” and “justify their cruelties to one another,” Hayden’s alien persona offers a compelling portrait of a people that will not submit to any coherent definition even as they induce our continuous regard. In this course, we will examine the development of American literature from the Civil War to the contemporary period through sustained formal and contextual readings of representative works by a number of American authors. Specifically, we will consider how the protean and fragmentary nature of American literary history encourages us to ask questions about “alienation” no less than “nation.” Furthermore, we will interrogate how American literature encourages us to think critically and creatively about “place.”We willread several works that revolve around negotiations of place, especially as they highlight the various cultural, political, and existential “displacements” and “emplacements” of American experience. We will consider how the “atopic” (“out of place/extraordinary”: as distinct from utopic/dystopic) attitudes expressed by a number of the works we will read might just serve as one of American literature’s critical strength.
Readings:We will readquite a bit of poetry, shorter fiction, and nonfiction, as well as one or two novels and plays. Representative authors whose works we will likely read include Baraka, Bishop, Bulosan, Chopin, Crane, Dickinson, Eliot, Ellison, Faulkner, Frost, Ginsberg, Hughes, Hurston, James, Lowell, Plath, Rich, Silko, Stevens, Toomer, Twain, Whitman, Williams, and Wilson.
Assignments: Students will write weeklyD2L posts, brief position papers, and two short essays (4-5pp.); lead group presentations and discussions; and take a final exam.
• Professor Tom Jeffers
Course Description:American Literature II. A survey of major writers from the Gilded Age to the postwar period in the twentieth century. Which means fiction by Twain, James, Crane, Fitzgerald, Cather, Hemingway, and Roth; poetry by Eliot, Stevens, Frost, and Lowell; plays by O'Neill, Williams, Miller; nonfiction prose by Baldwin and Mailer. Every student will get to write essays and offer an oral report.
ENGL 2710: Introduction to Literature; Fiction
General Description: An introduction to various types of fiction (e.g., fable, short story, novel) representing a range of cultural perspectives with emphasis on techniques for analyzing the conventions, structure and style of fiction.
Offered every term.
Prereq: English 1 or equiv. and English 2 or equiv.
• Professor Amara Graf
Thematic Title: Fiction; Ethnic-American Writers
Course Description: This course introduces students to the broad range of contemporary Ethnic-American fiction. We will explore different types of fiction (short stories and novels) from a variety of cultural (African-American, Latina/o, Asian-American, American Indian) and critical (feminist, gender, post-colonial) perspectives. We will look at how different cultural and historical forces have both constrained and enabled the creative expression of Ethnic American authors. The texts will ask us to consider carefully several themes and narrative strategies; we will examine how authors address issues of nationality, migration, Diaspora, violence, loss, assimilation, language, religion, and desire. We will also discuss how ethnicity and race intersect with other categories of difference, including class, gender, and sexual orientation. By paying proper attention to close textual readings, as well as the historical moments in which these works are occurring, we will develop a sense of the aesthetic and political stakes of Ethnic American literary production.
Readings: Short stories and novels by various contemporary American authors including but not limited to Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Díaz, Gish Jen, Ana Castillo, and Sherman Alexie.
Assignments: Several short position papers, quizzes, two medium length papers, an oral presentation and final essay exam.
• Professor Ryan Jerving
Thematic Title: The Work of Fiction
Course Description: Our introduction to the work of fiction considers what purposes - cultural, economic, biological - are served by the social acts of oral storytelling and the print publication of stories and novels. And it asks how those purposes might be shifting under the tectonic pressures of our online age.
• Professor Ron Bieganowski, SJ
Course Description: Flannery O’Connor wrote that “the main concern of the fiction
writer is with mystery as it is incarnated in human life.” (Mystery and Manners) This section of Introduction to Literature: Fiction will engage the breadth
Writing assignments: will include several brief papers, two medium length papers, and a final essay exam.
Readings: Class will be primarily discussion format because “it takes a whole class to
get at what stories are about.” The readings, reflection, and discussion of stories of
human mystery will lend an individual tone to what James Baldwin describes as the
artist’s task: “...while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we
may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell....
• Professor Amy Blair
Thematic Title: Mystery and Deception
Course Description: In this course, which will offer a foundational introduction to theories of narrative and critical writing about literature, we will read a variety of texts that deal with the creation of, and the solutions to, mystery. If the reader and critic are literary detectives, how do elements like voice, point of view, chronology, and rhetoric impact our ability to “detect” the truth in fiction? How do genres work, and what happens when authors frustrate their readers’ expectations? Why are we attracted to stories about the uncanny, the supernatural, and the odd, and what do the popularity of particular versions of these stories tell us about the times in which they prosper?
Readings: We will read both short fiction and novels, and will read a number of works of narrative theory. Fictional works may include the detective tales of Edgar Allen Poe, the historical mysteries of Nathaniel Hawthorne, ghost stories by Edith Wharton and Henry James, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and a smattering of vampire stories from many literary eras.
Assignments: multiple brief writing assignments, 2 or 3 longer essays, in-class presentation, midterm and final exams.
• Professor Barbara Glore
Thematic Title: Reimagining the Self: The Importance of Memory and Place
Course Description: In this class, we will engage in a shared inquiry of literary works that are focused on characters caught in memories from the past while trying to construct a self in the present. Sometimes, these characters struggle with a sense of not belonging in new and unfamiliar settings, but oftentimes they struggle in a place called home. In all of these works, we will be attentive to how cultural differences of race, gender, and ethnicity can add to the ways characters work to make sense of their lives, frequently made difficult by the burdens of memory and place. Importantly, we will focus on the basic elements of fiction: plot, character, setting, point of view, style, theme, and more. And, as a way of shining a light on our readings, we will explore basic literary theories in order to approach these works through a variety of lenses. To paraphrase John Gardner, a true work of fiction is more than a simple thing; it is a "shining performance" that is both elegant and efficient. With this in mind, then, we will read a variety of authors' works, paying critical attention to the ways that authors consciously provoke our sensibilities and stretch our imaginations, because oftentimes the very struggles and conflicts of fictional characters on the page are the same experienced by readers like us when dealing with everyday life off the page. In this way, as we explore the "shining performance" of each author, we will strive to find meaning in the text so that we can learn more about ourselves, about others, and about the intersection of the two in the world.
Readings: Kafka, Hemingway, Carver, Watson, Petterson, Satrapi, and others.
Assignments: Class participation; ten short critical responses; two five-page papers; one panel presentation; final essay exam.
ENGL 2720: Introduction to Literature; Drama
General Description: An introduction to the forms and principles of drama, often surveying its development from its origins in ancient Greece to the contemporary theater, with emphasis on techniques for analyzing the conventions, structures and styles of dramatic literature. Class will typically read works from a number of centuries and study authors from continental, British and American traditions. Classes usually include at least one play by Shakespeare.
Offered every term.
Prereq: English 1 or equiv. and English 2 or equiv.
• Professor Donna Foran
Course Description: We will survey drama from the Greeks to the present with stops along the way to sample Shakespeare and other major dramatists to see how this writing form has grown, evolved, and induced audiences to laugh and cry in possibly the hardest form to write, yet the most flexible to interpret. We will put them into historical context for a clearer understanding and to determine just how differently or similarly those who have come before us have interpreted the world.
We will also try to get inside the words of playwrights in the most basic way: by writing student-versions of the plays we read. Students will choose from script writing, directing, and/or acting in these short, self-produced plays to be performed after we read each play, and before a quiz on the play is given. This will guarantee a successful "class participation." Students not actively involved in a given play will serve as on-the-spot critics.
Assignments: In addition, two five-page formal papers and one short (one page) reaction paper to each play will be expected. A final exam will incorporate questions chosen from previous quizzes, some submitted by students, and some of a comparative nature based on the major plays. Some selections from plays will be shown if available and if time allows.
• Professor Eric Dunnum
Thematic Title: Difference and Repetition in the Dramatic Tradition
Course Description:This course will investigate the continuities and changes of western drama. We will trace the tradition of drama as it develops, (de)evolves, and stays the same throughout its history, from antiquity to the contemporary period. We will pay special attention to historical differences as they appear in our readings. The purpose of these ambitious goals is twofold: 1) to gain a sense of the western dramatic tradition and 2) to strengthen our sense of history by tracing the narratives, characters, institutions and forms that make up the dramatic tradition.
Readings: We will read one or two plays from each literary time periods, Possible playwrights include: Sophocles, Seneca, Shakespeare, Webster, Behn, Ibsen, Brecht, Shaw, Pinter, Wilson and Albee.
Assignments: A Midterm and Final paper, weekly online responses to readings, one group presentation and reading quizzes
• Professor Tyler Farrell
Thematic Title: The British and Irish Stage
Course Description:This class will investigate the renowned world of British and Irish Drama from its infancy to the present day. We will examine some of the finest dramas from both sides of the Irish Sea beginning with the late 15th century morality play Everyman, and concluding with a relatively new (and oft challenging) Irish playwright. This class will involve readings and discussions of what are generally considered to be the finest plays (perhaps masterpieces) of major English and Irish dramatists from the last five centuries. Along with Everyman we will read and discuss the following authors and plays: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, G.B. Shaw’s Saint Joan, Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Brian Friel’s Translations, Marian Carr’s Portia Coughlan, and Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman.
Assignments: three critical papers, group presentation, weekly reading and writing assignments, quizzes, midterm and final exam.
ENGL 2730: Introduction to Literature; Poetry
General Description: An introduction to poetry from variety of traditions. Emphasis on close reading of poems to learn how formal techniques of verse (e.g., symbolism, metaphor, simile, imagery, persona, meter, rhythm) combine for poetic effect.
Offered every term.
Prereq: English 1 or equiv. and English 2 or equiv.
• Professor Brian Williams
Description: Poetry of the past uses forms and terms that may seem foreign to novice readers, while much contemporary poetry appears to go out of its way to befuddle us. This course will do its best to introduce you to a wide range of poetry, both past and present, in order to give you the tools you need as a reader to get at the meaning of poems. We will learn basic terminology, ways to read and understand poetic meter, and some common poetic forms. Our goal is not to exhaustively study all of English and American poetry—a lifetime’s project, not a semester’s—but rather to introduce students to some canonical authors and their present day counterparts, so that you may then feel confident in your own analytic abilities.
But we will not move through history in a straightforward manner, reading the great poets as they arrive. Instead, we will work to understand poetic forms and poetic subjects as they develop across time. How, for instance, does a sonnet written by an English Renaissance playwright resonate with one by a modern-day New York lesbian poet? How does poetry of 19th century warfare converse with poetry of American soldiers in Iraq? In this course, we will strive to learn about poetic technique, and put that technique to use in discussing the reasons behind the form.
Readings: The Norton Anthology of Poetry (Shorter 5th Ed.); A Glossary of Literary Terms (Abrams and Harpham, 10th ed.),
Assignments: Two analytic papers, a midterm, a final, a group presentation, and class participation.
• Professor John Boly
Thematic Title: Intro to Lit: Poetry
• Professor Grace Urbanski
ENGL 2740: Reading Film as Narrative
• Professor Stephanie Quade
Course Description: Is film “truth 24 times per second” as Godard suggests or is Herzog right when he asserts that “Film is not the art of scholars, but illiterates”? Using a variety of thematic lenses, this survey covers a wide array of works, with special attention to how film editing, music and other techniques inform narrative. Films studied include American classics, lesser-known works, plus several international films, including an introduction to the French New Wave. Readings and in-class discussion will focus on critical approaches to film studies, in part through a comparative study of how works of fiction are translated into movies. Students will be challenged to consider the particular contributions film makes to our understanding of human nature.
Readings: essays from Cartmell & WhelehanThe Cambridge Guide to Literature on Screen andJeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides.
Assignments: 4 quizzes, two 5 - 7 page essays, 2 short writes, mid-term, final.
|Upper Division Courses|
ENGL 3210: Advanced Composition
• Professor Jenn Fishman
Thematic Title: Writing and Writing Education for a Digital Age
Course Description:In this section of English 3210 we will spend the semester investigating writing and writing education for a digital age. As a class, it will be our shared goal to discover and communicate informed answers to the following overarching questions:
To begin, in Unit 1 (weeks 1-4) we will consider whether and how current definitions and uses of writing are shaped by available digital resources and related cultural expectations. Similarly, in Unit 2 (weeks 5-8) we will study whether and how current college-level writing instruction reflects available digital resources and related cultural expectations. Last, in Unit 3 (weeks 9-16) we will focus on writing and writing education at Marquette, examining where and how our university is helping students prepare to "be the difference" digitally.
Materials: Assigned readings, videos, and audio recordings will be available through D2L or Ares. To use these resources effectively,everyone must have regular access to the Internet, and everyone who has a laptop, iPad, or tablet should plan to bring it daily to class.In addition, everyone must have a print copy of Stuart Selber's book Multiliteracies for a Digital Age (2004) and 12GB (minimum) of memory (e.g., free gigs on a laptop hard drive, space on an external hard drive or flash drive, cloud storage).
Assignments: Each course unit features three main activities: taking things in, making sense of things, and producing things. These activities correlate with specific assignments, which also recur in each unit. Taking things in entails out-of-class reading, viewing, and/or listening to assigned texts; it also entails conducting research or systematically gathering information in the library and/or elsewhere on campus. Making sense of things includes in- and out-of-class discussions as well as written and multimedia reflections. Producing things involves proposing, drafting, revising, and presenting multimedia compositions to different audiences. Throughout the semester, everyone will have opportunities to produce things both individually and in pairs or small groups; everyone will also have opportunities to present their work (online and off) not only to classmates but also to broader audiences.
• Professor Beth Godbee
Thematic Title: Ethnography of the University: Developing an Inquiry State of Mind
Description: This course asks you to become an author of our campus community—through writing about your own experiences, researching university life, and submitting proposals for change that could enhance the university in some important way. This structure—what we’ll call “ethnography of the university”—is designed to give you practice in written, oral, visual, and multi-modal communication; in applying theory and research on writing and methodology; and in experimenting with different genres of writing for different audiences.
Specifically, you’ll design and implement an in-depth research project motivated by a driving question or problem you identify through previous projects, including a narrative essay and qualitative sketch, and you’ll do a range of field research—e.g., making observations and conducting interviews—which involves writing and rhetorical awareness. The class will culminate in a research showcase in which we’ll invite other members of the campus community to see the original research you’ve conducted and to take notice of the proposals you develop.
As you engage in this range of writing and research, you’ll create a portfolio and compose a carefully crafted cover letter (twice during the semester, at midterms and finals), reflecting on your agency and growth within the process. These reflective moments provide opportunities to assess your work and to set new goals for future writing and research, this semester and beyond.
Readings: Although much of your work will be writing, researching, and responding to your colleagues’ texts, we’ll also read the book-length ethnography My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan (Penguin, 2005). This book will be supplemented by either a course reader with a range of articles we’ll read together OR the methods textbook Becoming a Writing Researcher by Ann Blakeslee and Cathy Fleischer (Routledge, 2010).
Assignments: The course is centered around your original research project, culminating in a substantial and revised paper, oral-visual presentation, and research poster, which build on related assignments, including a formal proposal, annotated bibliography, narrative essay, and qualitative sketch. Additional assignments include portfolio cover letters, peer review notes, informal reading responses, and self-assessments.
ENGL 3220: Writing for the Professions
• Professor Ryan Jerving
Thematic Title: Our Technologies, Ourselves
ENGL 4130/5130: History of the English Language
• Professor Tim Machan
Description: This course examines the history and diversity of the English language. After an introduction to the methods of historical and comparative linguistics, the development of English will be chronologically considered. Much of the course will concentrate on specific historical topics, such as the introduction of writing, the influence of writing and printing on the standardization of English, the spread of English outside England itself, the diversity of English, and the status of English as a world language today.
Readings: Barber, The English Language: A Historical Introduction; Schneider, English around the World; reserve readings
Assignments: 3 tests; research paper
ENGL 4170/5170: Studies in Language, Gender, Power
• Professor MC Bodden
This course is an introduction to the study of language, gender, and the ways that differences in women's and men’s speech reflect and promote dissimilar access to power in their shared culture. The range of linguistic issues taps into this fact: gender as a construct is related to our various identities (ethnic, age-related, sexual, etc.), to our social stances (competition, friendship) and to our emotions (politeness, aggression, etc.). Some grounding in linguistic principles will be our first concern. Chiefly, however, we will examine certain theoretical perspectives on the issues of language and gender and power, e.g., manufacturing identity through language in the media; language and corporate advertising; linguistic constructs of masculinity; “policing male heterosexuality through language”; gender strategies in story-telling, etc.
Coursework includes four fieldwork exercises which involve taping, analyzing and interpreting naturally-occurring conversational data gathered from conversations between peers, between friends, and professionals.
Assignments: Quizzes, a mid-term and a final exam.
This course meets the linguistics course requirement
ENGL 4220: Art of Rhetoric
• Professor Kris Ratcliffe
Thematic Title: Literary, Cultural, Political,Visual, & Pedagogical Rhetorics
Course Description: This semester we will explore the Greek goddess of persuasion, Peitho (translated, “I believe”). Two questions will drive our discussions: (1) What is rhetoric? and (2) How does knowledge of rhetorical theory enhance our abilities both to analyze/interpret texts, people, and culture as well as to compose texts? We will begin by reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own to identify and define rhetorical concepts and tactics. The remainder of the class will be divided into 5 units: Political Rhetorics, Cultural Rhetorics, Literary Rhetorics, Visual Rhetorics, and Pedagogical Rhetorics. In these units, we will read and discuss classical rhetorical theories (the Sophists, Plato, Aristotle, & Quintilian) and contemporary rhetorical theories (Kenneth Burke, James Berlin, Jackie Royster, Gloria Anzaldùa) in terms of their usefulness (1) for analyzing authors as diverse as William Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, and Louise Erdrich as well as contemporary cultural artifacts/events (we’ll see what’s in the news) and (2) for composing our own texts.
Readings: Rhetorical theories (on D2L or library reserve); Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own; Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis.
Assignments: 3 informal position papers; 2 formal essays, 1 collaborative oral presentation with visuals, and 1 final exam.
ENGL 4250/5250: Creative Writing: FICTION
• Professor Larry Watson
Course Description: A course in writing fiction, organized as a discussion/workshop. In addition to writing exercises covering the basics of the craft, students will produce 30-40 pages of fiction by the end of the semester. They will also discuss each other’s works and write critical responses to a number of short stories.
Readings: Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway and student short stories.
Exercises in fictional techniques, at least one complete short story, and critical responses to workshop fiction.
ENGL 4260/5260: Creative Writing: POETRY
• Professor Angela Sorby
ENGL 4310/5310: Studies in Global Literature
• Professor Brian Williams
Thematic title: Global Traumas
Description: In this course we will read 20th and 21st century narratives of trauma and loss from around the globe, looking at how authors from different cultures and nations attempt to deal with catastrophic and horrific events—such as war, terrorism, and genocide. The traumatic is often theorized as unnarratable, so we will begin by asking what methods authors have used to communicate loss, and how effective or appropriate those methods are. What are the constraints of writing about trauma? How might it threaten to oversimplify suffering, and what potentials are there for manipulation (by larger social and political forces invested in forgetting the wounds of the past)? Do methods of coping and healing translate globally, or are there culturally distinct responses? Finally, how can recognizing parallel traumas work to redefine a communal, national, or transnational identity?
Readings: Contemporary novels, likely including W.G. Sebald (either The Emigrants or Austerlitz), Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Ricardo Piglia’s Artificial Respiration, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker, as well as several short stories. We will also look at theories of trauma and representation alongside our weekly readings.
Assignments: Substantial weekly reading, multiple brief reflection papers, two shorter analytic papers, one long (10-12pp.) research paper, a group presentation, weekly discussion on D2L, and active classroom participation.
ENGL 4420/5420/: Renaissance Literature: The 16th Century
• Professor Scott R. Pilarz, SJ
Thematic title: Renaissance of the 16th Century
Overview of this course: We will read, discuss, and write about canonical and non-canonical texts produced during the so-called “Renaissance.” Representative texts from a variety of genres will be read for what they reveal about the various political, economic, religious, philosophical, and aesthetic movements vying for allegiance and adherence at that time. An overarching theme of the course will be different understandings of the nature and purpose of literature during an era of considerable change and attendant confusion. Why, for example, did people produce poetry and plays when all coherence seemed to be gone? We’ll consult theoretical perspectives and historical sources to answer such questions. The relationships between the English reformations and literature will receive special attention.
Writers we will study: Thomas More, Thomas Wyatt, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Mary I, Elizabeth I, Philip and Mary Sidney, Francis Drake, William Shakespeare, Robert Southwell, Edmund Campion.
Requirements: We will study texts together and discuss them; this is not a lecture course. Students will submit a weekly brief of no more than one page, single-spaced reacting to the readings of the day. Students will also write a final paper of 7-10 pages.
ENGL 4470/5470: Victorian Literature
• Professor Christine Krueger
Course Description: This course will investigate how key features of modernity emerged in Britain during the Victorian period (1832-1901). Students will learn to identify the narratives through which Victorians constructed three major features of modernity: liberal democracy, finance capitalism, and global interdependence. These narratives appear in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, as well as other arts, statistics, and technological developments. Through cumulative research projects, students will achieve a critical understanding of the dynamic between human innovation and material conditions in the Victorian period that continue to influence us today.
Assignments: Approximately 100 pgs reading/week. Three 5-page research assignments; 1 10-12-page research paper; 8 online reading analysis responses.
ENGL 4490: Contemporary British Literature
• Professor Ann Mattis
Thematic title: Class & Domesticity
Description: In this course, we will read contemporary British and Anglophone fiction in which domestic themes and conflicts play a prominent role. Conventional wisdom encourages us to think of the home as a relatively contained space wherein families, who generally identify as middle class, either thrive or struggle by virtue of their own collective merits or flaws. The fiction in this class, however, beckons us to question that prevailing notion of domesticity. Teeming with class and racial antagonisms, postcolonial oppressions, domestic violence, poverty, and loneliness, these fictive homes are virtually underworlds. As a class, we will analyze the texts for the various ways they challenge the binary between the private and public spheres, explore gendered and racialized divisions of labor, and interrogate domestic institutions that are supposed to make everyone feel tranquil, but often do not.
Readings: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca; Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea; Kasuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day; Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber; Jamaica Kincaid’s Autobiography of My Mother; Carolyn Steedman’s Landscape for a Good Woman; Ian McEwan’s In Between the Sheets. Possible clips from two versions of the television series Upstairs, Downstairs (1975; 2010).
Assignments: 4 Short Writings and Classroom Leads; 1 Midterm Essay (Analytical); 1 Final Essay (Research); 1 Final Exam (Cumulative).
Will count for both AM & BRIT Lit
ENGL 4530/5530: American Literature from 1865-1914
• Professor Sarah Wadsworth
Course Description: Dubbed the “Gilded Age” by Mark Twain, the period immediately following the Civil War is often associated with conspicuous consumption, rampant corruption in business and politics, and extreme disparities in wealth between the “fortunate few” and the “huddled masses.” Yet the decades between the close of the Civil War and the first World War also witnessed the “closing” of the frontier and continued expansion of the West; industrialization; increasing immigration; the rapid growth of cities; and pressing challenges for women, immigrants, the laboring classes, and Americans of diverse ethnicities. This course will explore the literature and culture of the Gilded Age and beyond through a generous selection of novels, poems, and short stories. We will examine competing theories of fiction, including realism and naturalism, as well as a range of approaches to literary regionalism.
Readings: Readings will include texts by Henry James, Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, and many other well known writers (through a broad range of short stories), along with several noncanonical authors.Assignments: In addition to substantial readings, students should expect to complete two formal essays of approximately 6 pages each, a final exam, and several brief reflection papers
ENGL 4550: American Modernism
• Professor Corinna Lee
Thematic Title: Moving America (1893-1945)
The period that will be covered in this course is bookended by two events—the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and the end of World War II. From a world of global spectacle to a world at global war, these events mark the polar extremes of novelty and destruction (symbolized respectively by the skyscraper and the atom bomb) that define “modern” America. Modernity, here, refers specifically to the break with traditional institutions, modes, and paradigms of cultural meaning and organization. This course will examine the conventional definition of “American modernism”—a transnational movement comprising experiments in aesthetic form whose chief US (and often expatriate) literary practitioners include Ezra Pound, H.D., T.S. Eliot, and Gertrude Stein—alongside other cultural responses to the problem of modernity. These “other” responses include feminist discourses of the “New Woman,” African-American intellectual discourses of the “New Negro,” and political ideologies such as communism, socialism, and anarchism. Our primary texts will be literary, but there will be a strong multi-media through-line running through the class. Examining a variety of literary texts, we will explore the dialectical relation between “traditional” literary genres (fiction, poetry, and drama), other artistic and non-artistic modes (cinema, journalism, photography, architecture, music, plastic arts, etc), and key scientific and theoretical discourses of the modern era (Darwin’s theory of evolution, Freud’s theory of the unconscious, Marx’s critique of capitalism). Rather than produce a synthetic definition of “modernism,” this course will examine a broad range of texts that engage the conditions of modernity (industrialization, mass culture, immigration, racism, technology). Our guiding goal is not to turn the literary, aesthetic, or cultural into the handmaid of history and sociology but to examine the variegated ways literature and other cultural forms provide a space in which and from which artists and intellectuals contemplate, critique, and re-imagine the modern world.
Readings: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Ernest Hemingway, select stories, Michael Gold, Jews Without Money, Gertrude Stein: Tender Buttons, Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio, W.E.B. DuBois, select essays, William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, Modern American Poetry, ed. Cary Nelson, Nella Larsen, Passing, James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (selections)
Assignments: 2 short critical essays (4-5 pages); midterm; 1 oral presentation; 1 final group project
• Professor Leah Flack
Thematic title: James Joyce
Description: This course will study the development of James Joyce's writing from the 1906 collection Dubliners, which he argued was meant to hold a "looking-glass" up to his native Ireland, through what he called his "world-disturbing sailor," the 1922 censored modernist masterpieceUlysses. We will trace the major formal and thematic movements in Joyce's evolution toward an aesthetic that foregrounded the everyday experiences of ordinary citizens. In tracing the development of Joyce's style, we will strive to understand how his radical stylistic innovations responded to the turbulence of his era, an era that witnessed the Irish struggle for independence, the Great War, the Irish Civil War, and the creation of the Irish Free State. Central to our study will be Joyce's difficult but crucial relationship to Ireland as well as to the literary censors, social critics, and religious and imperial authorities who shaped his life and his writing. We will approach the rewarding difficulty of Joyce's later writing with a sense of open inquiry, scholarly seriousness of purpose, and play. Active, informed participation will be required.
Readings: Dubliners,A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,Ulyssesplus weekly secondary readings.
• Professor Amy Blair
Thematic title: Edith Wharton
Course Description: Edith Wharton was a prolific author who is now primarily known as the chronicler of the disappearing Gilded Age high society in New York—and as the inspiration for the Gossip Girl books and TV series. But Wharton was also an astute critic of art and architecture, a travel writer, and a gritty naturalist observer of a variety of social “tribes.” In this class, we will get a taste of all the genres in which Wharton wrote; we will survey her war writings from WWI, and we will reflect on the dominant and emergent literary contexts of her long career, which spanned from the 1890s through the 1930s. By situating Wharton alongside contemporaries like Henry James, Frank Norris, Willa Cather, Sinclair Lewis, Gertrude Stein, and lesser-known popular authors, we will work on a reading of Wharton as a liminal author in the contentious transatlantic passage into the twentieth-century period of industrial modernity. And of course, we will take note of her latter-day influences, including Gossip Girl!
Readings: Because of the course’s layered, cultural history approach, we will be doing considerable contextual reading in addition to the primary reading of the course. Expect to read 8 novels, several short stories and novellas, and briefer nonfiction pieces.
ENGL 4620 Chaucer
• Professor MC Bodden
Course Description: The Canterbury Tales’s fictional pilgrimage begins on a sweet April day in the late decades of 14th-c. England when political upheavals and revolts against feudal hierarchy were abroad in both country and court: agricultural workers rising up against tax burdens, friars being viewed as figures of excess, women increasing pressure to compete in the marketplace and to travel, prompting thereby hundreds of treatises censuring them as unruly and dangerous to society. Chaucer, however, seems to have thrived on such havoc. His are nervy questions in his Tales as he explores corruption within the Church, the dangerous and comical effects of courtly love, women challenging clerical interpretation of Scripture, men who try to hold their wives “narwe in cage,” and the clergy’s misuse of knowledge. The explorations are both comic and dead-serious. Included will also be Troilus and Criseyde. Quizzes and two papers.
ENGL 4630 Shakespeare
• Professor Mary Beth Tallon
Course Description: In our semester together, we will study Shakespeare’s “cosmically challenged” characters in search of larger perspectives and deeper insights into ourselves. We will get to know eight of his plays by studying the texts as well as watching interpretations of them in both film and theatre.
Readings/Films/Theatrical Productions: Othello (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Comedy of Errors (Marquette’s Helfaer Theatre); Hamlet (Branagh film); King Lear (Brook film); Richard III (Loncraine film); Henry V (Branagh and Olivier films); Much Ado About Nothing (Branagh film); and The Tempest (Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books). And, in a nod to Shakespeare’s highly developed sense of fun, we will participate in a production of The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr. Abridged. at the Milwaukee Rep (no rehearsals necessary).
Assignments: several five minute quizzes; two papers (text/production comparative analysis and essay thematic comparison; two exams (mid and final); class participation!!!!, and class presentation (extra credit)
ENGL 4640 Milton
• Professor John Curran
Course Description:An examination of Milton’s life, times, art and thought, this course concentrates heavily on Paradise Lost. While we will work with specimens of the minor poetry and prose and with Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, our primary task is to wrestle with the problems and questions emanating from Milton’sgreat epic
Readings:Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes
Assignments: three papers and a final exam
ENGL 4710 Studies in Genre: Children's Literature
• Professor Sarah Wadsworth
ENGL 4800: Studies in Lit and Culture
• Professor Ron Bieganowski, SJ
Thematic Title: Recent Midwest Writing
With Willa Cather’s My Antonia as a classic Midwest story, this course will read
and discuss a number of recent Midwest writings: A. Mannette Ansay’s River
Angel, Garrison Keillor’s Life Among the Lutherans, Ron Hansen’s Nebraska, Jon
Relying on close readings, class discussion will look to identify and explicate
• Professor John Boly
Thematic Title: Studies in Literature and Culture: Dystopia /Fiction
ENGL 4820/5820: Studies in Race and/or Ethnic Literature
• Professor Tol Foster
Thematic Title: Introduction to Native American Literature: Native America Coming of Age
Course Description: American Indian literatures draw from cultures that have resided on this continent for many millennia, and that constitute over 562 distinct federally recognized tribal groups in the United States alone. Despite the many various histories, languages, cultures, religions, and relations amongst all of these groups, this introductory class will focus on the strikingly similar visions in Native literature as distinct from other world literatures, and on the continuing relevance of Native traditional literatures to contemporary Native people.
A primary tension in this year’s version of this class will be the theme of relationships both within and outside of American Indian communities. As colonized peoples, American Indians must often consider to what degree self-representations are manifestations of that brutal and continuing process of colonization, and they must seek – in that nexus of history and struggle, resistance and resilience – an authentic voice for themselves and their communities.
American Indians are often represented as belonging to the past, or somehow without a future. In choosing narratives that largely describe “coming of age” narratives, we wish to explore the idea of a past not completed or interrupted, and a future not yet realized, not just for individual characters and historical actors, but also for American Indian communities more broadly.
This course grounds literary study in the context of American Indian peoples and their languages, cultures, art, history, and social struggles. We are interested in the “non-literary” contexts that deepen and enliven our literary texts. The conceptual vocabulary and introduction of both ancient motifs and contemporary issues introduced here should serve as a broad survey for the great variety and value of Native issues across the disciplines – from new western American history to contemporary literature to international law to postmodern philosophy to rural economic development to ethnopharmacology.
Additionally American Indian materials can be considered always to be written against a colonizing presence, so we will address significant ideas and texts from the non-Native western world that will enrich and complicate our notion of American Indian literature.
Readings: In addition to short pieces and films of traditional and contemporary Native artists and storytellers, major authors to be read will include Thomas King (Truth about Stories), Louise Erdrich (Tracks), Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), Charles Eastman (Indian Boyhood), Wilma Mankiller (Mankiller: A Chief and Her People), and Silko (Storyteller or Garden in the Dunes).
Assignments: Grades will be assessed via short papers (about 10 pages total), two longer papers (8-12 pages), and two take-home exams.
ENGL 4830: African American Literature
• Professor Heather Hathaway
Thematic Title: The Great Migration
Description: Between roughly 1900 and 1930 the Great Migration took place in the United States. Large numbers of African Americans from the US South (as well as Caribbean immigrants from the islands) migrated north to find employment and prosperity in rapidly industrializing northern cities. Harlem, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., among other urban centers, experienced vast changes ranging from radically shifting demographics to artistic renaissances.
In this course, we will examine literature that emerged from and attempted to represent this migration. We’ll first examine the various ways the South was imaginatively depicted and critiqued by the writers seeking to leave it (e.g. Wells-Barnett, Red Record; Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road, Toomer, Cane; Wright, Black Boy; Ellison, Invisible Man). We’ll then move on to works written by authors attempting to capture and comment on the North that greeted the newcomers (e.g. Harlem Renaissance writing; Wright, American Hunger; Ellison; Larsen, Quicksand; Petry, The Street; Morrison, Jazz.) Both documentary and fine arts materials will inform our analyses (Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns; painting by Jacob Lawrence and Aaron Douglass). Through our interdisciplinary inquiry, we will seek to determine how the literature framing this monumental migration contributed to reimagining and/or reconceptualizing key concepts in African American letters such as the city, identity, and freedom.
Possible texts (TBD): Wells-Barnett, Red Record; Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road, Toomer, Cane; Wright, Black Boy; Ellison, Invisible Man; Harlem Renaissance writing; Wright, American Hunger; Larsen, Quicksand; Petry, The Street; Morrison, Jazz.
Requirements: active class participation, midterm, final, numerous short papers.
ENGL 4931: Topics in Literature
• Professor Tim Machan
Thematic Title: The Vikings (cross-listed with History)
Description: This course will be devoted to the history, culture and literature of Scandinavia during the age of the Vikings. Our concerns will be both with the social and political events of the period and with the ways in which medieval Scandinavians used fiction, history, and mythology in order to present and interpret the world in which they lived. The issues that we will consider include Viking religion and mythology, the unification of the individual Scandinavian kingdoms, the Christianization of a heroic warrior culture, the Vikings’ own concerns with history and self-representation, and the raids and colonizing missions that they effected in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the North Atlantic.
Readings: Ferguson, The Vikings: A History; the Poetic Edda; a selection of sagas including Njal’s Saga, Egil’s Saga, and the Vinland Sagas
Assignments: short paper; research paper; 2 tests
• Professor Rebecca Nowacek
Thematic Title: The Jury Project [Counts as a WINE writing course, as listed under VII. Writing Courses]
Course Description: A vigorous democracy relies on the ability of its citizens to engage in collective deliberation on complex issues. In this class (which fills a writing elective), students will be acting as members of a mock jury and working together with classmates to solve shared problems while negotiating conflict and difference. Through in-class discussion and debate of three cases that have recently appeared before the Supreme Court, you will learn about what it means to argue for a particular audience about what you believe. The oral and written communication you practice in this course will help you develop skills in arguing, critiquing, analyzing, summarizing, visualizing, and listening to difficult conflicts and concepts. This course is not about the law or the jury system in America (though you will no doubt learn a lot about both), nor is it a class dominated by mock trials. This is, ultimately, a writing course—one meant to expand your idea of what it means to be a writer within a community and perhaps too what it means to be an engaged citizen of a democracy.
Texts: will include the petitioner, respondent, and amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court for three cases.
Assignment:will include four written assignments for each of the three cases: summary of brief, synthesis map, dialogue, and final opinion. In addition, each class participant will serve as the “advocate” to represent one brief at some point in the semester, and all participants will be expected to actively participate in class-wide deliberations.
ENGL 4954/5954: Seminar in Writing: FICTION
• Professor CJ Hribal
Course Description: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." So says that great theorist of narrative craft, the filmmaker Mel Brooks. Of course, most of life (and most of the fiction that tries to reflect the complexity of life) falls all along the spectrum between (and including) those two poles. Life is both tragic and comic. Or as the Yiddish proverb has it, "Man plans. God laughs."
To put it another way, according to the Czech writer Milan Kundera, most people would rather believe a simple lie than a complex truth. This is a course in learning how to write complex truths by making stuff up. This workshop course will give students an opportunity to develop their proficiency with the techniques and strategies of crafting fiction first encountered in English 4250 (a requisite course), plus add additional techniques to their repertoire. In addition, we'll examine narratives from technical (as well as critical) viewpoints, develop fluency in discussing fiction writing from the practitioner's viewpoint, and work towards the goal of writing publishable narratives.
Readings: The Story Behind The Story, Barrett and Turchi, eds. + student work
Assignments: By semester's end, students will have written (and revised)
30 pages of prose fiction and written and presented a number of brief craft-oriented responses to the assigned readings and to the work of their peers.
• Professor Larry Watson
Course Description: This workshop course will give students an opportunity to increase their proficiency with the techniques and strategies first encountered in English 4250. In addition, they will examine narratives from a critical and technical point of view, with the goal of writing better narratives. By the end of the semester, they will have written and revised 30-40 pages of prose fiction (along with brief critical responses to the readings).
Assignments: Exercises in fictional techniques, at least one complete short story, and critical responses to readings and workshop fiction.
ENGL 6210: Studies in English Lit; the Beginnings to 1500
• Professor MC Bodden
Thematic title: Crime and Gender
What sort of behavior was considered “criminal” behavior that so large a proportion of people in medieval and early modern England were at some stage in their lives accused of misdemeanors and (less often) felonies? How does literature (including court records, letters and depositions) represent the actions that people took to deal with the inequities of class structure, of the economy, the bias of the law, and domestic violence? How did popular literature represent “the female crime wave,” (mid-late 1600's) whereby more than half of the defendants brought up on charges of theft were women? Topics examined in this course will include taverns and brawling, marital violence, domestic crime, rape, religion and ‘crime,’ treason by imagination, subversive women, cross-dressing, and the “female crime wave” of the late 1600's. Students will undertake palaeographical transcriptions on court depositions of the late 1500’s – early 1600’s. Texts include: Canterbury Tales, General Prologue, Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale, The Reeve’s Tale, The Miller’s Tale, The Merchant’s Tale, Morte Darthur, Book of Margery Kempe, and The Roaring Girl.
ENGL 6215 Studies in Renaissance Literature
• Professor John Curran
Thematic title: Spencer, Milton and Epic History
Course Description: This course will examine some of the ways England’s two most prominent epic poets approached the relationship between epic and history. Traditionally, this relationship was conceived as a very close one. With Virgil’s Aeneid as the model, epic was supposed to be history writ large – the story of a nation’s past explained, expanded, dramatized, theorized, and celebrated. Both poets are working with this standard of epic, but both at the same time problematize and complicate it. Our goal is to observe how this is so, and in the process we will consider three ideas of epic “history”: mimesis, the portrayal of a reality outside the poem; topicality, the referencing of issues, especially political ones, from the poets’ times; and teleology, the conception of a specific, linear, and purposeful time continuum with a beginning and an end. Developing a sense of these three ideas and of the relations between them, we will strive for a better understanding of the “great arguments” of The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost
Reading: The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost
• Professor Tom Jeffers
Thematic Title: Victorian Greats
A survey of work by the major poets, novelists, and social critics of the period. Which means, in this term's iteration, Tennyson, Browning, and a sampling of Pre-Raphaelites; Dickens and Gaskell; Carlyle, Arnold, and Ruskin. Each student will get to do a short paper, a long paper, and an oral report.
ENGL 6500: Studies in 20th Century British Literature:
COUNTS FOR 20th C BRITISH
• Professor John Su
Thematic Title: ‘Cool Britannia’: Contemporary British Literature
Course Description: In this course, we will explore the transformations within British literature since 1950. This era is defined in many ways by the struggles to redefine British identity in the aftermath of Empire, and the literary texts written in these years depict this struggle to envision a more multicultural nation state. Toward this end, we will pay particular attention to three key moments in British history: 1) the aftermath of the Suez Canal crisis; 2) the rise of Thatcherism; 3) the development of literature by immigrant populations. Major authors might include John Osborne, John Fowles, David Hare, Tom Stoppard, A. S. Byatt, Zadie Smith, and Kazuo Ishiguro.
Assignments: Course requirements will include a scholarly research paper (20-25 pages), a formal oral presentation, an annotated bibliography, and active class participation.
ENGL 6600: Studies in American Literature for the Beginnings to 1900:
COUNTS FOR 19th C AMERICAN
• Professor Angela Sorby
Thematic Title: American Romanticism(s)
What's new in the field American Romanticism? In this course, we will move beyond New Critical models to place the romantic movement at the center of contemporary conversations that cross national, generic, and disciplinary boundaries. Using relatively "canonical" texts by Emerson, Thoreau, Stowe, Fuller, Whitman, and Dickinson, we will turn to very recent scholarship to ask how these authors are being reinterpreted by 21st century scholars. Students should be prepared to engage in, and share, independent research, which will culminate in an original seminar paper.
ENGL 6820: Studies in Modern Critical Literature and Theory:
• Professor Jodi Melamed