4310 Studies in Global Lit (UCCS Diverse Requirement)
Thematic Title: “Religion and Globalization”
Description (including outcomes):The cultural and material exchanges that characterize globalization are often accused of disrupting local traditions and ways of life. In no sphere are these disruptions more fiercely debated and resisted than in religion. Writers have long considered the religious traditions of distant lands to be exotic fare for storytelling. Poets and novelists under the influence of empire caricatured the beliefs and practices of those they oppressed. With the advent of postcolonial literature, marginalized voices began to speak on behalf of the faith traditions their homelands embraced, representing them in their full complexity and potential. In recent decades, as globalization has upended the relationship between location and tradition, writers with religious concerns have had to deal with previously distinct communities meeting one another, challenging each other’s beliefs, and learning to live together. The literature we’ll discuss in this course documents the many complicated, oftentimes tense, sometimes violent ways people of different faiths deal with globalization.
Readings: Deep River by Shusaku Endo, The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid and various short stories by authors including Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Flannery O’Connor, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Uwem Akpan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sandra Cisneros, and others.
Assignments: Two critical papers, two shorter formal analyses, an annotated bibliography, and a class presentation.
4430 Ren Lit: 17th 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 likely study:John Donne, Amelia Lanyer, Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Thomas Carew, Henry Vaughan, Richard Crashaw, Katherine Philips, Andrew Marvell, Margaret Cavendish, John Milton, John Dryden, Mary Wroth, and John Bunyan.
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 8-10 pages.
4470 Victorian Lit
Description: A study of major English writers, 1830-1900, in verse and prose.That meanspoets such as Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, the Rossettis, Thomas Hardy; critics such as Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, J. S. Mill, Walter Pater; and two novelists--Charles Dickens (Great Expectations) and George Eliot (Middlemarch). Goals: understanding, enjoying, and esteeming these writers. Tasks: short paper, long paper, oral report, final exam.
4490 Postmodernist Period in Brit Lit
Theme:Contemporary British Literature.
Description: This course takes up where Modern British leaves off, so it covers the major literary ground between T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and the angry political lyrics of Eavan Boland or the bemused postmodernist experiments of Paul Muldoon.
Readings: Prose, fiction, and poetry all go into the hopper as we take up works by Stevie Smith, George Orwell, W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Henry Reed, Brian Friel, Tony Harrison, Ngugi WaThiongi’O, Salman Rushdie, Doris Lessing, Philip Larkin, Nadine Gordiner, Thom Gunn, Derek Walcott, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, V. S. Naipaul, Seamus Heaney, and Salman Rushdie. Think of that all-you-can-eat buffet your dad’s likes so much. You don’t need extensive familiarity with the renaissance, romantic, Victorian, and high modernist periods for this course, but given the compulsively intertextual orientation of most twentieth century authors, this is definitely the answer to the question of where all your earlier courses were headed. By the end of the semester you will have a good sense of the contours of the postmodernist landscape, a heightened receptiveness to how literary texts generate and contest meanings, greater confidence in your public speaking, and a gratifyingly newfound ability to assemble an argument that can’t be demolished by two or three well-aimed questions.
Assignments: homework, quizzes, two inclass exams, and three essays.
4530 Am Lit 1865-1914
Course Description: The period between the end of the Civil War and the beginnings of WWI in Europe was one of profound social, technological, and political changes in the United States. This course will look at a variety of ways American writers reflected and responded to the world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in fiction that was published in popular periodicals and newspapers. We will address the waxing and waning popularity of sentimental literature, the elite enthusiasm for realist literature and the related growth of regional literature, the connection between fiction and the muckraking school of journalism, the explosion of literatures by and about immigrants, African American literary production in the eras of Reconstruction and Jim Crow, all through an ongoing historical consideration of the growth of popular periodicals and the importance of fiction in newspapers. By reading works of American literary “realism” in their original contexts, and by reconsidering the boundaries between realism and romance, we will complicate the standard notion of this slice of American literary history, and come to a better understanding of the whole culture of the Gilded Age.
Readings:We will be reading short fiction, novels, and nonfiction pieces by authors such as William Dean Howells, Henry James, W. E. B. DuBois, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Charles Chesnutt, Stephen Crane, Thorstein Veblen, and Mary Wilkins Freeman…as well as a lot of popular authors no one has heard of anymore, like Laura Jean Libbey and Charles Monroe Sheldon.
Assignments:4 or 5 essays of varying lengths, including analysis of a contemporaneous periodical, analysis of textual variations in different editions of a novel, and some research-based papers. There will additionally be a semester-long small-group project culminating in a group presentation on the publication history and reception of a “bestseller” from the period.
4550 20th C Amer Lit: Modern Period
Description (including outcomes): 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 examines American writers whose works confront the idea and conditions of modernity. Over the course of the semester, we will read poetry, short fiction, novels, essays, and journalism composed during a period of upheaval that witnessed changing race and gender relations, revolutions in literary form, industrialization, technological advances, immigration, world war, economic depression, mass culture, radical political movements, and new scientific theories and discourses. Our guiding goal will be to consider the variegated ways these writers, artists, and intellectuals contemplate, critique, and re-imagine the modern world in their writing.
Readings:Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives and other selected writings, Willa Cather’s My Antonia, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep, Nella Larsen’s Passing, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Gwendolyn Brooks’s A Street in Bronzeville
Assignments:1 essay (8 pages), 2 short response papers, 1 final, 1 oral presentation
4610 Individual Authors: 2 sections, Frost and Austen
For Robert Frost insight appeared in two forms: “It is like the stars coming out in
the early evening. They have flashes of light. It is later in the dark...that you see
forms, constellations.” For many readers, Frost’s poetry includes some of the most
familiar poems of the twentieth century. The number of such popular Frost poems
is quite small despite the fact that he wrote for well over 60 years. In this course,
we will look for constellations among his work by focusing on Frost’s poetry as it
appeared in the separate volumes he published from A Boy’s Will (1913), his first
book, to In the Clearing (1962), his last one. Besides reading the poetry, we will
also look at some of his essays and letters. As a context for Frost’s work, the
course will also include Walt Whitman’s first edition of Leaves of Grass. We will
also read poems of Emily Dickinson, William Cullen Bryant, T.S. Eliot, Wallace
Stevens, and Edward Thomas. Written work for the course will include several
brief reflections, two medium length papers along with a final essay exam.
Course Description: We will read and discuss Jane Austen’s six novels in various historical and critical contexts. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able, among other things, to assert with a certain degree of confidence that Pride and Prejudice is actually a book and Colin Firth is not really Darcy.
Readings: Norton Critical Editions of Northanger Abbey; Sense and Sensibility; Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Emma; and Persuasion.
Assignments: One or two oral presentations, one researched term paper (ca. 10pp.); midterm examination; comprehensive final examination; class participation; and regular attendance.
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.
Readings: The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde.
Assignments: Quizzes and two papers.
4630 Shakespeare Major Plays
Course Description: This course is an introduction to Shakespeare’s art and some of its major themes. The course will include representatives of Shakespeare’ four major dramatic genres, comedy, romance, history, and tragedy.
Readings:A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, The Tempest, Richard II, 1 Henry IV, Macbeth, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, and King Lear.
Assignments: Students will be expected to come prepared to discuss specific problems they discern in the plays, read passages aloud in class, and serve as discussion leaders on at least three occasions. Further assignments will include three analytic papers (5 pages each) and a final exam.
Course Description: We will read such representative plays as Hamlet, The Tempest, and King Lear, drawn from the four major genres: tragedy, history, romance, and comedy. Our class discussions will focus on the plays, their language, themes and dramatic techniques.
Readings: William Shakespeare, The Norton Shakespeare, 2nd edition (Norton)
Assignments: One or two oral presentations, one researched term paper (ca. 10pp.); midterm examination; comprehensive final examination; class participation; and regular attendance.
Description:Students will read a selection of nine plays by Shakespeare (and others), from some of his best known works to the less loved plays that have received little attention from modern readers. The purpose of this course is to gain familiarity with a breadth of Shakespeare's work, while at the same time paying close attention to linguistic and textual detail, in order to place this author accurately within his social and historical context.
Readings: The four genres of comedy, tragedy, history, and romance are represented in the reading, and we will also encounter two plays in which Shakespeare collaborated with other authors.
4710 Studies in Genre: Children’s Lit
Thematic Title: Children’s Literature
Course Description: This course is both a survey of the canon of English and American children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century and an introduction to critical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of children’s literature. Combining selected classic works of fiction with literary-historical and critical texts, our reading will be guided by the following questions: How does children’s literature negotiate the divide between the desire to instruct and entertain juvenile readers? How do the texts respond to controversial social issues in Britain, Canada, and the United States? How do the readings reflect and accommodate changing notions of children and of childhood? How does the relationship between words and images operate in illustrated texts? How do the texts construct gender, race, ethnicity, and class?
Readings: Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, The Westing Game, critical essays on children’s literature
Assignments: Participants in the course should expect to complete two research papers of approximately 8 pages each, a midterm, and a final exam, plus six 1-page reflections.
4800 Studies in Lit/Cult: Irish Lit
Thematic Title: Modern Irish Literature
Description: This course will begin with the premise proposed by Declan Kiberd that the Irish “invented” Ireland (in dialogue with England). In our study of the rich tradition of poems, plays, novels, stories, songs, and films that have emerged in Ireland in the past century of so, we will ask how Irish artists have grappled with changing questions surrounding what it means to be Irish. Our work will be organized around a few key themes and concepts, including: the English-Irish imperial relation; representations of violence; the relationship between literature and history; representations of the family; and gender.
Readings:We will read and analyze poems, stories, novels, and plays by a variety of Irish writers working in the last century or so, including: Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien, Brian Friel, Marina Carr, Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney, John McGahern, Roddy Doyle, Martin McDonagh, and Conor McPherson. Secondary criticism by Declan Kiberd, Mary Trotter, and others.
Assignments: Weekly D2L posts; 2 exams; 2 papers; active, informed participation. Students may be required to attend one film screening out of class.
4820 Studies in Race/Ethnic Lit: Indigenous Film (UCCS Diverse Requirement)
Topic: Indigenous / Film: The Silver Screen in Red
MW 2:00-3:15 and
Mandatory Film Viewing Lab: Mondays 6-8 PM ENGL 4820-671
Description: From the Lone Ranger and Tonto (1949) to Southpark’s Chief Runs With Premise (2003), and even before, American Indians and their stories have been a staple of the film and media industry. But what happens to those familiar constructions of the Indian when American Indians and other indigenous people in settler-societies move behind the lens themselves, creating their own narratives through short and feature-length films, documentaries, and animations? Through a large number of surprising films and locales – from a Cherokee science future (Hero) to Michael Jackson obsessed Maori New Zealand (Boy), from arid Texas (The Searchers) to a frozen river between New York and Canada (Frozen River), this course seeks to move along the contested terrain of film as it shifts from a medium with Indian sidekicks to one by and for indigenous peoples.
Readings: This course features a break-out film viewing lab which students must attend in order to view classroom films. We also will be working from book of film studies in order to develop a vocabulary and understanding on how to discuss film.
Assignments: online film exam, a midterm exam, a final exam and two short papers.
4830 Afr Amer Lit (UCCS Diverse Requirement)
Description: African American literature was forged in the crucible of one of the greatest tragedies of human history – the transatlantic slave trade. This body of work, filled with narratives of terror and triumph, has made its mark by asking important existential questions about the meaning of life and about the meaning of knowledge itself: What kind of spiritual vision is needed to provide unity and healing of the self, nation, and globe? What conceptual systems laid the foundation for slavery, racism, and other forms of social hierarchy, and how can they be replaced with worldviews and knowledges that optimize human potential? This course, therefore, will explore the scientific and spiritual implications of African American literature. To do so, we will take a quick look at a variety of scientific disciplines – quantum physics, archaeology, anthropology, relativity theory, cosmology, and psychology. Furthermore, we will analyze the tenets of a variety of spiritual traditions – ancient Egyptian metaphysics, vodun, freemasonry, and Rosicrucianism. This background will allow us to understand on a deep level how African American writers have struggled to create an inclusive, hopeful vision for the future.
Readings: Edward Bynum. The African Unconscious: Roots of Ancient Mysticism and Modern Psychology; Pauline Hopkins. Of One Blood; or, the Hidden Self; Paschal Randolph. Ravalette: The Rosicrucian’s Story; Sun Ra. The Immeasurable Equation: Collected Poetry and Prose; Ishmael Reed. Mumbo Jumbo
Assignments: Research paper; reading quizzes; participation portfolio; oral presentation; annotated bibliography