101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Ron Bieganowski, S.J.
Course Title: Story of American Literature 2
Course Description: “What does it mean to be American?” This course will trace the outlines of the continuing story of what it means to be American as told in fiction, drama, and poetry by Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Amy Tan, and Bernard Malamud, along with others such as Denise Levertov, T. S. Eliot, and August Wilson. The diverse range of action, characters, setting, narrative perspective, irony, and imagery — all help tell the story.
Readings: Readings will include, among others, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, “Daisy Miller,” The Hairy Ape, “Neighbour Rosicky,” “Roman Fever,” “The Bear,” “Big Two-Hearted River,”Fences," and “Sonny’s Blues.”
Assignments: Two papers (4-5 pp.), several “Reflections” (1 p. each), a few quizzes, and final exam (essay) will be required. Class will be primarily discussion format because “it takes a whole class to get at what stories are about.”
102 TuTh 12:30-1:45
103 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Jessie Wirkus Haynes
Course Title: From Page to Screen
Course Description: What happens to texts as we continuously rediscover them through adaptation and reinterpretation? Beginning with the classic fairytale and ending with the New York Times' bestselling novel The Magicians, this course will trace the evolution of a variety of texts as they journey from page to screen. We will start each exploration with the original work before watching the screen adaptations. Throughout, we will reflect on what it means to be "original," considering both intertextuality and the ways that society repackages familiar stories to more closely exemplify its current ideas and values.
Readings: We will read the originals and watch screen adaptations for a variety of texts, including (but not limited to) several versions of the Snow White fairytale, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, excerpts from Dracula by Bram Stoker, and select parts of The Magician's Trilogy by Lev Grossman. We will also view episodes from ABC's Once Upon a Time and Showtime's Penny Dreadful.
Assignments: Assignments will include weekly readings, class discussions and discussion posts, one presentation, and a final course paper.
104 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Tyler Farrell
Course Title: 20th Century Poetry as Witness
Course Description: Through the lens of five twentieth century poets we will look at how poetry relates to, and is possibly defined by, influence and place. A poet’s muse can appear in a variety of forms – family, religion, background, upbringing, environs, famous or historic people, other poets, writers, publishers, artists, and friends. This class will look at how poets are formed, what part of the world they are from, who was included in their immediate circle of friends, and which influences were allowed entrance far enough to inform a particular poetic voice.
The five poets we will be concerned with most are: W.B. Yeats (1865-1939), Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), Frank O’Hara (1926-1966), Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) and James Liddy (1934-2008). However, we will also look at poems by Walt Whitman, Hart Crance, Blake, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Philip Levine, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, John Berryman, Charles Baudelaire, Jack Spicer, George Oppen, Alice Notley, James Wright, Jim Chapson, and many others.
This class will focus on analysis, active discussion in small and large groups, and writing informed by deep consideration of primarily 20th century poetry and the surroundings in which poets wrote.
Assignments: Weekly reading assignments and short (1-2 page) reflections, group presentation, class discussions, two formal critical papers, midterm and final exam.
105 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Tyler Farrell
Course 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 The Tempest, 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: Two critical papers, group presentation, weekly reading and writing assignments, quizzes, midterm and final exam.
701 TuTh 5:00-6:15 Professor Kathryn Hendrickson
Course Title: Vigilantes, Crime, and Justice
Course Description: “A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely, Mr. Wayne.” In this quote, Ra's al Ghul distinguishes between the kind of justice he pursues, and what he defines as the motivations of a vigilante. Is there any real difference? This course examines the figure of the vigilante in literary history. We will consider that figure not just as a transgressor — a breaker of the law — but also as an enforcer whose actions work to uphold a different form of law, or morality. What does that figure, in its different iterations over the years, reveal about different social conceptions of justice and law? Who makes the laws? What does it mean to break the law? When do societies forgive law-breaking?
This class will examine traditional vigilante figures such as Batman and Robin Hood, as well as less canonical characters, focusing primarily on 20th and 21st century texts. Because of the widespread appeal of the vigilante, we will read that figure through a number of mediums — books, film, graphic novels, and other assorted genres. Potential texts include Mad Max: Fury Road, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and assorted hard-boiled short stories.
Assignments: Active class participation, short presentations/discussion leading, regular reading assignments, reflections, and two papers.