- Why Colby?
- Request Information
- College Profile
- Student Perspectives
- Alumni Success
- For Counselors
- Contact Admissions
Browse the Course Catalogue by
English Course Descriptions
COURSE OFFERINGSKey to Course Descriptions »
EN111f Expository Writing Workshop For first-year students who are non-native speakers of English to advance their skills in academic writing in English, especially their fluency in grammar, syntax, idiom, and the conventions of the American college-level essay. Prepares students for English 115 and other writing-intensive courses through immersion in forms of expository writing and rhetorical modes, with intensive practice in composing essays and revising prose. Nongraded. Three credit hours. HARRINGTON
EN112fs Writers' Workshop For any student who wants extra work in writing. Taken in conjunction with English 115 or with a writing-emphasis course in another department in any level. Meets as an individual tutorial in the Writers' Center. Each student must meet with the tutor for at least 10 sessions during the semester. The goal is for the students to improve their writing, and the expected outcome is that they will complete the course with improved skills in grammar and essay writing. Nongraded. One credit hour. CHAMPOUX, HARRINGTON, SHERIFF
EN115fs English Composition Frequent practice in expository writing to foster clarity of organization and expression in the development of ideas. The assigned reading will vary from section to section, but all sections will discuss student writing. Descriptions of the individual sections can be found on the registrar's website. Students should enter their first-choice section as a course selection and submit alternate preferences via the Web page provided. Four credit hours. W1. FACULTY
EN115Jj English Composition Frequent practice in expository writing to foster clarity of organization and expression in the development of ideas. Assigned reading will vary from section to section, but all sections will discuss student writing. Required for first-year students. Descriptions of the individual sections can be found on the registrar's website. Three credit hours. W1. MILLS, OSBORNE
EN120fs Language, Thought, and Writing A small seminar teaching writing through instruction in critical reading of literature and writing of critical essays. Multi-genre and writing-intensive, it focuses on different ways of conceptualizing the connections between thought and linguistic expression. Topics include developing skills for reading metaphorically and symbolically, using poetic and narrative models; investigating literature as a form of persuasion; and engaging different historical and critical approaches that enlarge ways of writing about literature and representation. Students will be introduced to some of the primary critical modes of thought in literary and cultural studies. Four credit hours. W1. KELLER, KUGLER, ROY, SUCHOFF
EN126f Literature of Environmental Ethics An introduction to the literature of the environmental debate and the emergence and evolution of varying land ethics in America. The Puritan sense of the wild as evil needing to be tamed and the traditional values of indigenous peoples are two of the opposing forces driving the conversation. Students will read both foundational material and recent contributions to the field, as these authors articulate fundamental principles of human behavior toward the land. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 126, "The Green Cluster." Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Biology 131 (lab section B) and Environmental Studies 126. (Elect IS126.) Four credit hours. L,W1. STOKES
[EN129] Islands in the Sun Considers the ways in which islands function in literature and popular culture as microcosms and reductions of society, as rich metaphors and settings, and as self-contained entities. Students will study imaginative texts and popular culture products that focus on or are set on islands, including Robinson Crusoe, Lord of the Flies, and Lost. Prerequisite: First-year standing. Four credit hours. W1.
EN135f Literary New York Writing-intensive, using the literature produced in different eras and locations of New York City as content and as a means of reflecting the economic and cultural dynamism of the city. Sample periods include the Gilded Age, Jewish immigration, the Beats, black arts, and the rise of Wall Street. Involves both close reading of imaginative texts in several genres and mimicry of some of those texts, as well as traditional expository essays. Intensive writing in various modes and active discussion will be emphasized. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 135, "New York: Global City." Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 135A and 135B. Four credit hours. L,W1. BURKE
[EN137] 1930s Narratives What are the stories people needed to tell in America during the 1930s, and how did they tell them? The 1930s bear witness to multiple kinds of narration: economic depression and social upheaval, yet the promise of renewal through social incentives at the zenith of the modern age. This writing-intensive course explores several genres and media through which the 1930s channeled its narratives. Students will analyze the relationship between this context and the stories that emerge from within it. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 137 cluster, "American Stories: Understanding the Great Depression." Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 137 and History 137. (Elect IS137.) Four credit hours. L,W1.
[EN141] Beginning Playwriting Listed as Theater and Dance 141. Four credit hours. A.
EN142fs Introduction to Cinema Studies Listed as Cinema Studies 142. Four credit hours. A. KELLER, WURTZLER
EN151Af Reading and Writing About Literature Writing intensive. Students will have the opportunity to develop expository writing skills through frequent writing and revision and through conferences with the professor. Because close reading is such a crucial component of clear thinking and cogent writing, class discussions will model how reading carefully, thinking clearly, and writing convincingly are all key elements in the study of literary texts. Particular topics and readings will vary from section to section. Four credit hours. L,W1. ADAMS
EN151Jj Reading and Writing About Literature Writing intensive. Students will have the opportunity to develop expository writing skills through frequent writing and revision and through conferences with the professor. Because close reading is such a crucial component of clear thinking and cogent writing, class discussions will model how reading carefully, thinking clearly, and writing convincingly are all key elements in the study of literary texts. Particular topics and readings will vary from section to section. Three credit hours. L,W1. N. HARRIS
EN172fs The English Seminar The initial gateway to the study of literature for English majors, introducing students to the genres of poetry, drama, and fiction; emphasizing close reading; raising issues of genre, form, and an interpretive vocabulary; and providing practice in writing critical essays and in conducting scholarly research. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent. Four credit hours. ADAMS, ORCHARD, OSBORNE
[EN172J] The English Seminar The initial gateway to the study of literature for English majors, introducing students to the genres of poetry, drama, and fiction; emphasizing close reading; raising issues of genre and form, and an interpretive vocabulary; and providing practice in writing critical essays and in conducting scholarly research. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent. Three credit hours.
[EN174] Introduction to Public Speaking The fundamentals of effective presentation for an audience, integrating vocal production, strategies for physical relaxation and poise, research, writing, memorization, argument building, rehearsal, debate and persuasion, supported by critical-thinking skills. Individual and collaborative exercises in each student's major or area of interest, as well as practices from other disciplines. Culminates in a written portfolio and oral performances open to the larger community. Formerly offered as English 197A. Two credit hours.
EN197j Creating Fiction from Life Stories This writing workshop will mine your own life experiences through innovative prompts and guide you away from the land of autobiography into fiction, where your own voice is subverted and your past only serves to enhance the stories you've invented on the page. Along the way we will explore the relationship between the structure of your story and its content. We will write during every class and discuss other published pieces of fiction. We will also work hard to arrive at moments in your writing when you really know your characters and can allow them autonomy on the page, signaling your trust in these new voices you've created. Three credit hours. A. CONLEY
EN214f Tutoring Writing A training course for writing tutors. Assignments include writing, readings, grammar lessons, mock tutorials, and actual supervised tutorials to prepare enrolled students to help their peers improve as writers. Combines theories of writing center pedagogy with tutoring practice. Students completing the course may apply for work-study positions in the Writers' Center. Two credit hours. CHAMPOUX, HARRINGTON
EN224f Performance History I Listed as Theater and Dance 224. Four credit hours. L. ZAZZALI
EN226s Performance History II Listed as Theater and Dance 226. Four credit hours. L. CONNER
EN231j Tolkien's Sources An examination of some of the mythologies, sagas, romances, tales, and other writings that are echoed in the stories of Middle-earth. Not an introduction to Tolkien's fantasy literature; a knowledge of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings is assumed. Topics include the role of myth and fantasy in society and the events of Tolkien's life as they relate to the world he created. Three credit hours. L. PUKKILA
EN237j Postcolonial Pastoral: Ecology, Travel, and Writing A critical examination of the pastoral as a literary genre from a global postcolonial perspective. Conducted at the Bija Vidyapeeth, an institute on sustainable agriculture based in Dehradun, India. Students combine their interest in civic engagement with a critical study of traditions relating to land, food, ecology, sustainability, and community, emerging in the global south. Students reflect on and write about their experiences of land and community from the perspective of informed observers, participants, and travelers. Prerequisite: English 115. Three credit hours. L, I. ROY
EN251f International History of Cinema I Listed as Cinema Studies 251. Four credit hours. A. KELLER
EN252s International History of Cinema II Listed as Cinema Studies 252. Four credit hours. A. WURTZLER
EN255f Studies in American Literary History: Puritans to the Civil War Introduces English majors to key movements in American literature and works written by American writers of different cultural backgrounds. Attends to themes that run throughout American literature prior to 1865 and considers how and why they are adapted and transformed. Explores the role of literature in shaping conceptions of the American self and how it has been used as a form of social protest. Traces the development of the American literary tradition, with particular attention to relationships between generic traditions, contexts surrounding the birth of certain genres, and how genre relates to a work's cultural and historical context. Four credit hours. L. STUBBS
EN256s Studies in American Literary History: Civil War to the Present American literature from the Civil War to the present. Examines literary works in all genres in their relationship to the times they both reflect and shaped and explores their significance for readers in later and different worlds. Four credit hours. L. ORCHARD
[EN265] Studies in British Literary History: 1500 to 1900 As we study literature from the 16th through early 19th centuries, students will not only gain skill and confidence in reading poems but will also gain a sense of literary history: a complex, open-ended sense, guided by the following questions. In what ways do the poets of one cultural moment respond to the poetry of preceding cultural moments? How is poetry shaped by the political, economic, religious, and social dynamics of its time? What are the uses and limits of dividing literary history into standard time periods or movements (Renaissance, Restoration, 18th-Century, Romantic, Victorian, etc). We'll also explore a variety of secondary sources. Four credit hours. L.
[EN268] Survey of International Women Writers Through lectures, discussion, and critical writing, students will explore different aspects of creativity that have inspired international women writers in their struggle for civil and political rights. Designed to attract, in addition to English majors, students from global studies, anthropology, women's studies, and sociology who are not specifically trained in literary analysis. Students will be trained to read fiction with a critical eye and will be encouraged to respond to specific historical and cultural contexts and to write from varying perspectives—as ordinary readers, as historians, and as cultural critics. Prerequisite: English 115. Four credit hours. L, I.
EN271fs Critical Theory Introduction to major ideas in critical theory that influence the study of language, literature, and culture. Students gain mastery over an array of theoretical discourses and develop awareness of how underlying assumptions about representation shape reading practices. Possible approaches include classical theory, cultural materialism, structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminist theory, or postcolonial theory. Students learn to read complex arguments, recognize assumptions about interpretation and language, and use theoretical approaches and tools for interpreting the systems of representation that constitute culture. Prerequisite: English 172 (may be taken concurrently.) Four credit hours. L. MAZZEO, OSBORNE, SUCHOFF
EN278fs Fiction Writing I A course in writing short literary fiction. No prior experience with fiction writing presumed, only interest. Class sessions will be devoted to talking about fiction basics, analyzing short stories, and critiquing fellow students' fiction in workshops. Outside of class, students will be writing fiction exercises and complete stories, as well as reading professional stories. By the end of the semester, students should have insight into the creative process. They should have learned the basics of the craft of writing, and they should have practiced what they have learned through writing and rewriting. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent. Four credit hours. A. BOYLAN, BRAUNSTEIN
EN279fs Poetry Writing I Students will learn to identify and internalize the fundamental techniques and strategies of poetry. Each week students will read the work of published poets, write their own poems, read poems aloud, and critique the work of their peers. To help hone writing abilities and aesthetic judgment, there will be practice in revision and in analytic craft annotation. By semester's end, students will produce a portfolio of revised poems and a statement of what they have learned about their creative process, their aesthetic preferences, and their growing mastery of craft. No prior experience with poetry presumed. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent. Four credit hours. A. BLEVINS, P. HARRIS
EN297f Limits of Laughter Writing intensive. Examines tensions between extreme impulses in the formation of comedy within a range of narrative genres (fiction, drama, and film). Takes up texts across a range of historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts and uses theories of comedy across disciplines in order to grapple with the course's thematic questions. A wide range of writing assignments and a final project will allow students to hone their writing, researching, and presentation skills. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent writing-intensive (W1) course. Four credit hours. KELLER
EN297Jj Art of Fly Fishing: Maine and Bishop, California Fly fishing classics and instruction in casting, knot and fly tying. Week three will be spent fishing the Lower Owens River near Mammoth Lakes, California; critical essays and blog required. Critical analysis of on-line nature-writing, acquisition of fly fishing techniques: gear choice and preparation, knot tying and fly tying, casting, fly selection, nymphing, and writing a blog that promotes awareness of and respect for the natural environment. Beginners and experienced fly fishers welcome. Course cost: $1,600-$2,200 depending on gear owned. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Three credit hours. L. SUCHOFF
[EN311] Middle Ages: Medieval Narratives and Cultural Authority A survey of selected late medieval narratives and the ways in which they resist various forms of cultural and institutional authority in 14th-century England and 15th-century France. Reading canonical authors and others who have only recently been included in the body of work commonly studied and taught. Investigation of the literary, historical, theological, and social contexts in which these works were written and transmitted. While remaining open to the multiple meanings and values of these works, focusing specifically on the transgressive (if sometimes subtle) dissent that informs many different genres of later Middle English writing. Four credit hours. L.
[EN313] Renaissance Poetry The nature, power, and history of poetry; the forms and uses—social, political, religious, personal—of lyric and narrative poetry written in English during the 16th and early 17th centuries. Analysis of the poems' constructions of voice and their representations of thought, selfhood, national identity, love, desire, faith, and mortality. The period's poetic theory, including important defenses of poetry, and the debate about rhyme. Readings in Wyatt, Pembroke, Spenser, Sidney, Marlowe, Raleigh, Daniel, Campion, Shakespeare, Donne, and others. Four credit hours. L.
[EN314] 17th-Century Poetry Close reading of canonical poems (mostly by men) and less canonical poems (mostly by women) written during England's volatile, fascinating 17th century. A comparison of these texts, charting representations of gender, developments in poetic style, the interrelations of secular and sacred poetic traditions, and the intersections of personal and political concerns. Readings include works by Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Lanyer, Speght, Herbert, Wroth, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, Philips, Behn, and others. One weekend day and night will be spent in a marathon reading of Milton's Paradise Lost. Four credit hours. L.
[EN317] Drama and Lyric Poetry of the Restoration and Early 18th Century The Restoration and early 18th century changed the way we watch, participate in, and think about plays and poetry. For the first time, women performed on the English stage, occasionally in works by the first female professional playwrights, such as Aphra Behn. As the century progressed, English theater and poetry continued to evolve, drawing on the past to create the sense of a national tradition and solidifying Shakespeare's place as a cultural icon. At the same time, they challenged and debated issues of the present, such as class conflict, the role of religion in government and society, empire, the role of women, and slavery. Four credit hours. L.
[EN318] 18th-Century British Literature II Selected works by writers of the second half of the 18th century. Four credit hours. L.
[EN319] Fictions of Empire Using Edward Said's Orientalism as a starting point, an exploration of the rich literature of the long colonial era beginning with the 17th century and leading up to the 20th. The complex ways in which the historical, social, and political forces accompanying colonization produced the sense of the "other," one that served to define and limit, but also test, the often fluid borders of Western identity and culture. Authors include Shakespeare, Jonson, Aphra Behn, Conrad, and Kipling. Four credit hours. L, I.
[EN323] Victorian Literature I The idea of "culture" in the mid-Victorian period and the social pressures of class, religion, gender, and race that formed and transformed it. Readings include Victorian predecessors such as Walter Scott, novels by Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, and George Eliot, prose by Thomas Carlyle, J.S. Mill, and Matthew Arnold, and poems by Alfred Tennyson and the Rossettis. Novels, essays, and poems considered as participants in Victorian debates that created "culture" as a political category and helped shape modern literary and cultural criticism. Four credit hours. L.
EN324f Victorian Literature II Examination of the transformations that questions of empire, race, sexuality, and popular social discontent registered in late-19th-century British culture through early modernism. Study of this fin-de-siècle period by concentrating primarily on the growing split between a "high" culture, which fears an increasingly democratized society, and the popular voices of the period. Authors include Browning, Hardy, Wilde, Yeats, Synge, Joyce, and others. Overall course objective: critical thinking. Discussion and close attention to the text in class and in writing are considered. Four credit hours. L. SUCHOFF
[EN325] Modern British Fiction A historically informed critical study of modern British writers between 1898 and 1945, namely Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells, E. M. Forster, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Aldous Huxley. Focus is on the competing visions of modernity and the ways in which these writers simultaneously challenged and upheld the dominant social, cultural, political order and the sexual codes operating within urban British society. Special attention to questions about literary representation and history and to issues of language and form that emerge within the context of an emerging modernist tradition in Britain. Four credit hours. L.
EN335j American Independents: Their Art and Production Listed as American Studies 335. Three credit hours. A. MANNOCCHI
EN336s Early American Women Writers Is there a female literary tradition in America? Moving from the Colonial era to the early 20th century, an exploration of many of the themes central to women's lives and an investigation of the literary genres traditionally associated with women's writing, exploring the insights of feminist historians, and assessing the recent critical reclamations of "female" genres such as domestic fiction and the sentimental. Prerequisite: English 172. Four credit hours. L, U. STUBBS
[EN341] American Realism and Naturalism Three literary genres that dominated late 19th-century American literature: realism, regionalism, and naturalism. How these cultural categories developed in relation to specific social and economic conditions. Four credit hours. L.
[EN344J] 19th-Century American Poetry Concentrates on the poetries of Dickinson and Whitman, but also examines Emerson, Dunbar, and a few of the so-called Sentimental poets. These poets all wrote during a period of growing American expansionism and liberalism, and they had a concomitant faith in the transformative powers of art, thereby altering the texture and dynamic of poetry itself. Dickinson and Whitman both explore the boundaries of gender and sexuality, selfhood and identity, spirituality and death, as well as their place in their cultural moment. Prerequisite: English 172, 271, and sophomore or higher standing; one of 255, 256, or 266 strongly recommended. Three credit hours. L.
[EN345] Modern American Fiction Major works of American fiction since 1920—by Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bellow, O'Connor, Alice Walker, and others—will be analyzed, emphasizing the pattern of experience of the protagonist in conflict with the modern world. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent. Four credit hours. L.
[EN346] Culture and Literature of the American South In a cold, New England dormitory, a northern student asks his southern roommate to "tell about the South." The effort to do so engenders not just one narrative about what it means to grow up amid the palpable shadows of the Civil War and institutional slavery, but a whole tradition of imaginative fiction demarcated by elusive terms like "regionalism," "grotesque," "realism," and "modernism." Because so many of our writers are Southerners by birth, experience, and disposition, the South, as myth and reality, has become a trope for what is essentially and problematically "American"—and what isn't—in our literature and cultural history. Four credit hours. L.
EN347f Modern American Poetry An examination of the Modernist movement in American poetry: the aesthetics, manifestos, and historicity of high and low Modernism. Analysis of work by various figures from the period, including Pound, Stein, Eliot, Moore, Stevens, Williams, H.D., and Hughes. Prerequisite: English 172 or 271 recommended, but not required. Four credit hours. L. KELLER
[EN348] Postcolonial Literatures An introduction to modern global literature through the intensive exploration of postcolonial literature from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. Specifically addresses the ways in which postcolonial literature challenges, modifies, or radically alters the inherited legacy of colonialism; re-imagines the dominant narratives of both Empire and nationhood; interrogates gender and class politics; and questions the cultural politics of modern neo-imperialism. Writers include Achebe, Soyenka, Ngugi, Coetzee, Habila, and Adichie (from Africa); Rushdie, Ghosh, Desai, Selvadurai, and Aslam (from South Asia); Cesaire, Lamming, Walcott, Kincaid (from the Caribbean); and Kureishi, Okri, and Emecheta (from postcolonial Britain). Four credit hours. L, I.
EN351s Contemporary American Poetry A study of three important contemporary poets: Frank O'Hara, C.K. Williams, and Haryette Mullen. These poets reflect different aesthetic, social, moral and metaphysical stances both toward their art and toward the age in which we live. Close, analytical readings of the poetry are supplemented by historical and aesthetic documents that contextualize the ramifications of their artistry. Prerequisite: English 172. Four credit hours. L. P. HARRIS
[EN353] The American Short Story A historical, cultural, and analytic look at the American short story from its origins to the current day, including works by Hawthorne, Melville, Freeman, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hughes, O'Connor, Updike, Cheever, Baldwin, O'Brien, Robert Olen Butler, Carver, Grace Paley, Jamaica Kincaid, Louise Erdrich, and John Barth. Students will write two papers and a take-home exam synthesizing class concerns and will respond to a structured question on weekly forums. The forums serve as triggering devices for class discussions. Prerequisite: English 172 and 271. Four credit hours. L.
[EN360] The Car in Modern American Literature and Pop Culture Examines the signal intersections between mass culture, literary production, and the American car—the "machine in the garden" that as symbol and substance, myth and reality, metaphorizes modernism and postmodernism in the 20th century. An eclectic combination of "texts," including fiction by Flannery O'Connor, Stephen King, and F. Scott Fitzgerald; music by the Eagles, Bob Seger, Tracy Chapman, and Patti Griffin; films by Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme; and deconstruction theory, are among required readings. Prerequisite: English 115. Four credit hours. L, U.
[EN364] Buddhism in American Poetry Non-Western religions have affected American poets as far back as Emerson and Whitman. By the beginning of the 20th century, East Asian poetry's emphasis upon unelaborated image had sparked the revolutionary poetics of Pound and William Carlos Williams. Since World War II, the rise of Zen practice in North America has prompted many poets to explore the kinship between poetry and Buddhism's non-dualistic world view. Emphasis will be on readings in Zen and in contemporary American poetry. Four credit hours. L.
EN365f The Sublime, Supernatural, and Subversive The intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in popular culture of late 18th-century Britain. Drawing on genres of gothic and horror, we will discuss the ideologies that produced them as well as how these works continue to influence literature, film, and other texts. On the surface these texts may seem escapist, but underneath the warm Mediterranean landscapes, haunted castles, isolated abbeys, demons, despotism, and secret family histories of betrayal, murder, and incest, the genre also reflects the time of social and political revolutions. We will probe the ways constructions of 'otherness' act as projections about an unstable construction of British selfhood. Prerequisite: Some background in critical theory (such as English 271 or Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 201) strongly encouraged. Four credit hours. KUGLER
EN368s Great Books by American Women of Color: from Hurston to Danticat Listed as American Studies 368. Four credit hours. L, U. MANNOCCHI
EN378fs Fiction Writing II An advanced workshop in writing fiction. Focuses on the writing and revision of the literary short story, with particular attention to the structure of dramatic action, character, texture and tone, inspiration, and the process of revision. Prerequisite: English 278. Admission may require submission of a manuscript. Four credit hours. BOYLAN
EN379fs Poetry Writing II Presupposes basic familiarity with the poetic uses of metaphors, images, lines, and fresh and rhythmic diction. Requires students to read more extensively and analytically in contemporary poetry and continue their practice working with the kind of divergent thinking that makes poetry possible. Students will also undertake a more sophisticated investigation of the interplay of syntax with lineation, the nuances of pacing and structure, the resources of associative thinking, the gambits of rhetoric, and the complexities of tone. Final portfolio, emphasis on revision. Prerequisite: English 279. Four credit hours. BLEVINS, P. HARRIS
EN380fs Creative Nonfiction Run as a writing workshop that helps student find their own voices as well as their most distinctive and authentic material. A sequence of writing assignments and revisions provides practice in various aspects of creative nonfiction, including essays of time and place, memoirs, profiles, and opinion pieces. These lead up to a longer personal essay on a topic of the student's choice. Prerequisite: English 115 or equivalent. Four credit hours. A. BURKE, N. HARRIS
EN382f Environmental Writing: Writing on Place Creative writing using the workshop method to teach students about the principles, strategies, and achievements of writing about the relationship of human to nonhuman. Focus on the role that place plays in that relationship. Students study professional models, draft exercises, workshop their peers' writings, and produce finished essays and narratives for a final portfolio. Four credit hours. A. BURKE
[EN386] Special Topics: Documentary Radio Students will listen to and make a variety of short documentary pieces, learning how to use recording equipment, interview, write radio scripts, and edit and mix sound. They will produce radio essays, public service announcements, vox pops (person-on-the-street-type interviews), soundscapes, and profiles. They should expect to go off campus for assignments, as well as to spend time in the Theater and Dance Department's sound studio. Readings about sound reporting and the making of "This American Life," as well as guests from on and off campus. Four credit hours.
EN386As Special Topics: Writing the Personal Essay We will examine and experiment with the moves our best personal essayists use to articulate, celebrate, and affirm individual emotional experience, which the great James Baldwin says is "the only real concern of the artist." Class time will be divided between a workshop and conversations circling the personal essay's formal habits and proclivities—its belief in accident and discovery, its willingness to digress, and its disarming candor, among many others. Readings will begin with essays by Montaigne and Seneca, move to examples by some of our greatest practitioners—Orwell, Didion, Epstein, Dillard—and end with a look at work by such contemporary innovators as John D'gata, Eula Biss, and others. Prerequisite: Any W1 course or equivalent. Four credit hours. A. BLEVINS
[EN386B] Special Topics: Great Writers, Sentence by Sentence Investigates the relationship between syntax and emotional and intellectual energy and drama in our most masterful English sentence writers. Separates grammar from dogma with a close analysis of the inventive syntactical practices of works by Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, William Gass, John Berryman, C.K. Williams, and Vladimir Nabokov. Class time will be divided between investigative discussions of exemplary strategies and practices and workshops of student imitations, culminating in an original work of prose or series of poems. Four credit hours.
[EN386C] Special Topics: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Students who have had some experience with Creative Nonfiction or with imaginative prose will further hone the skills already acquired, and produce a body of work (personal or reflective essays, segmented essays, extended narratives) of their choosing during the semester. Begins with a review of definitions, conventions, and examples of the genre, then moves into the preparation and review of student work. A final portfolio of work will be submitted at the close of the semester. Prerequisite: English 278, 378, 380, 382, or 386. Four credit hours.
[EN386J] Special Topics: Gendered Memoir An examination of the role gender plays in the stories we tell of our own lives. Students will read contemporary memoirs in which gender plays a defining role—Augusten Burroughs's Running With Scissors, Mary Karr's Cherry, Alice Sebold's Lucky, and the professor's She's Not There—and will react to these texts by writing their own autobiographical piece. That work in progress will be examined in workshop. Three credit hours.
EN387s Graphic Novel Surveys the history and theory of the comic book and graphic novel. Readings focus on the alternative tradition (1980 to the present). Attends to developing a critical vocabulary for analyzing text-image combinations. Likely texts include: Art Spiegelman's Maus, Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, David Mazzuchelli's Asterios Polyp, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby, Lynda Barry's One Hundred Demons, Phoebe Gloeckner's A Child's Life and Other Stories, and Jaime Hernandez's The Death of Speedy. Four credit hours. L. ORCHARD
EN397Af Sappho's Sisters: Early Modern Women Poets and the Poetry of Love Examines the cultural legacy of love poetry by the Classical Greek woman poet Sappho (c. 630-570 B.C.) on early modern English women poets. For women poets who dare to write of love, Sappho provides a discourse to give voice to private feelings and erotic desire, ideas considered by many in the early modern period as unspeakable for women. We will read Sappho in translation, contextualize Sappho's influence on masculine amatory poetry, and read women's love poetry from the 16th through 18th centuries. We will consider the impact of Sappho's amatory discourse on their writing and explore how their poetry revises the social and cultural grammar of amatory lyric poetry. Four credit hours. KETNER
EN397Cf 21st-Century Comparative Literature A consideration of contemporary literature of the first decade of the 21st century, with an international focus. We will read some of the most innovative novels of the current moment in an effort to think more broadly about issues of genre, narrative, modernity and postmodernity, the aesthetics of postindustrial capitalism, globalism, and the resonance between current events and literary representation. Writers featured range from American authors such as Don Delillo to Polish author Magdalena Tulli and Norwegian writer Per Petterson. Non-majors are welcome. All works are read in English. Prerequisite: English 271. Four credit hours. L. MAZZEO
EN397Df Arthurian Literature Arthurian literature is among the most influential cultural forces of all time. Playing a major role in the development of 'courtly love,' it gave rise in turn to modern romance. It was essential to Gothic, Victorianism, and Modernism, and remains so for young-adult and contemporary fiction. Students are introduced to the historical and cultural origins of modern love through close reading of medieval literature, history, and later adaptations. Readings include Malory's Morte Darthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Tristan and Isolde, and Celtic and French romances. Topics include Merlin, the Grail, Guinevere, chivalry, and sacrifice. Previously offered as English 398E (Spring 2012). Four credit hours. ADAMS
EN398As Converting the Dead: Early Modern Historical Poetry and a Protestant, Civic Poetics Early modern historical poetry tells its nation's history to its people, providing the ideological foundation of a mighty empire. Writing the past, however, requires poets to make Britain's Catholic heritage Protestant by symbolically raising their Catholic ancestors from their graves and forcing a conversion. Many surprisingly discover in religious history the possibility to write a civic identity for poets and poetry. This course examines early modern historical poetry's communion with the dead to analyze how these writers justify disturbing their ancestors' graves and to investigate the ways these poets use poetry's forms and language to re-envision the national past. Genres covered include epic, complaint, sonnet cycles, historical exempla, and religious narrative poetry. Four credit hours. KETNER
EN398Cs Affecting Metaphysics: Reading 17th-Century Metaphysical Poetry Examines 17th-century metaphysical poetry and how we are conditioned to receive literary works based on the judgments of literary critics. We will consider literary historians' influence on the way we interpret this poetry, since the "metaphysical poetic movement" is a label given by literary critics who lump this work together. While some of these poets were influenced by each other, they were not a group with a shared artistic vision. We will analyze the effect of labeling this poetry as a movement and the biases—political, aesthetic, and historic—imposed by such judgments. We will also read John Dryden, Samuel Johnson, T.S. Eliot, and other critics' responses to their work. Four credit hours. KETNER
EN411f Queer Shakespeare Explores representations of same-sex desire, in several Shakespearean works and the intersections between Shakespeare studies and queer theory though work on male friendship and amity in the plays, historical assessments of the Early Modern representations of lesbian desire and sodomy, and recent criticism on queering Shakespeare. Significant writing required. Fulfills pre-1800 requirement. Four credit hours. L. OSBORNE
EN412s Global Shakespeares Examines international appropriations of Shakespeare's plays, principally through film but also through exploration of translation practices and adaptations. Explores Shakespeare's plays within the context of intercultural dialogs, theories about cultural imperialism, and filming practices in global markets. Significant research required. Required film screenings. Fulfills pre-1800 requirement. Four credit hours. L. OSBORNE
EN413Af Author Course: Toni Morrison An intensive exploration of Toni Morrison's life, fiction, and nonfiction—eight novels, collected essays/lectures, and short fiction—and their aesthetic and political location within the national discussion about race, class, and gender, canonicity, and literary production. As a writer, teacher, and critic, Morrison has positioned her work at the crossroads of current cultural criticism, insisting that we, her readers, look unflinchingly at issues that, in the African-American vernacular, "worry" all of her writing—brutality, wholeness, love, community, cultural and political marginalization, and history. Like so many of her characters who struggle to find a voice to speak the unspeakable, this course is predicated upon dialogue and critical inquiry. Four credit hours. L. BRYANT
EN413Bs Author Course: Jane Austen An examination of how Jane Austen's novels responded to the changing social positions of women and the rising classes in the late 18th and early 19th century and created new forms of social and literary expression. How could women record and express desires for cultural enfranchisement without appearing like a gothic or revolutionary threat? Did women novelists like Austen, and predecessors like Fanny Burney, help create gender stereotypes or challenge them while struggling to make middle-class desires acceptable? Austen responded to these and other political issues while raising questions about the social position of women that are still a contemporary concern and will be our subject. Four credit hours. L. KUGLER
EN413Cs Author Course: Samuel Beckett: Comedy of the Abyss Beckett faces the emptiness of modernity, and finds humor in it. His absurd plays, in which nothing happens, parody the absurd ideals of a Western culture where "everything waits to be called off to the dump" but life goes on as normal. As the "comedian of the impasse," Beckett makes meaningless language speak, in a world that can't go on, but must. The central texts of one of the hardest and most rewarding modern writers. Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and the major prose. Four credit hours. SUCHOFF
EN413Ds Author Course: Geoffrey Chaucer An introduction to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, reading closely in the poetry and investigating the historical, social, and material contexts in which Chaucer's work was written and transmitted. The poetry will be read as performed verse in its original Middle English form and will be approached through a variety of topical and critical issues grounded in the history of late medieval literary life and practice. Four credit hours. L. ADAMS
[EN413E] Author Course: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville An examination of significant works by each author, considered through multiple lenses: their life histories; relationship with each other; and the larger historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts conditioning their representations. We will pay special attention to how critics in the new millennium have understood these texts, focusing on the new interpretations made possible by the insights of recent scholars of gender and sexuality. Four credit hours. L.
[EN417] Literary Criticism: Derrida, Levinas, and Alterity Readings in deconstructive theory and its relation to ethics and the question of the "other." With Emmanuel Levinas and biblical texts as background, a reading of Jacques Derrida's late texts on the gift, hospitality, the question of the nation, and his rethinking of the idea of tradition in a transnational context, examining sources for postmodern thought in religious texts and philosophy. Prerequisite: English 271 or a philosophy course. Four credit hours. L.
EN418s Cross-Dressing in Literature and Film Examines a wide range of texts and films from Early Modern texts by Jonson, Shakespeare, and others which use cross-dressing to 18th century novellas like Henry Fielding's The Female Husband and autobiographies to 19th-century novels to 20th-century plays like M. Butterfly to films including Tootsie, Victor/Victoria, and The Crying Game. We will explore the way cross-dressing and disguise function within culture and literature to challenge and possibly reinforce gender boundaries. Significant research required. Required film screenings. Fulfills pre-1800 requirement. Four credit hours. L. OSBORNE
[EN426] African-American Women Writers A focus on the unique and still largely marginalized literary contributions of African-American women novelists, poets, essayists, and playwrights during the 19th and 20th centuries. Writers will be discussed in context of the issues central to their work, including magical realism, race, (re)membering the female body, (black) feminism and literary production, and reconstructing black womanhood. Four credit hours. L, U.
EN435s Narratives of Contact and Captivity We will explore the vexed, often violent encounters, interactions, and inter-penetrations of Europeans, Africans, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. By examining a wide range of representations—both narrative and visual—of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries depicting contact and captivity, we will investigate critically the construction of gender, race, and nation. Prerequisite: English 172. Four credit hours. STUBBS
EN457f American Gothic Literature Horror, especially gothic horror of the American variety, always masquerades as something else; it can usually be found "playing in the dark," in Toni Morrison's phrase, or beneath a monster-other mask. Surveying horror's effects—the narrative strategies that make horror fiction so horrifying—is a focus, but emphasis is on learning to use various critical tools, Jungian myth, psychoanalytical, feminist, and race criticism to explore the deeper, semiotic relation of signs and signifying that codify the cultural meaning behind the monster masks—werewolves, shape-shifters, vampires, succubi, demons, and (extra)terrestrial aliens—that conceal a humanity too terrifying to confront consciously. Four credit hours. L, U. BRYANT
EN474fs Public Speaking An intensive course in the practice of public speaking, with special attention to current political and social issues and the development of an effective and persuasive platform personality. Attendance at campus debates and speech contests required. Four credit hours. MILLS
EN478s Advanced Studies in Prose An advanced "group independent" workshop, providing a capstone experience to creative writing concentrators and minors working in fiction, drama, or creative nonfiction. Students will execute a semester-long writing project. This may be a series of short stories, a novella, novel chapters, a script, a screenplay, or some other project to be approved by the instructor. Prerequisite: English 378 or 379. Two to four credit hours. BOYLAN
EN479s Advanced Studies in Poetry An advanced "group independent" workshop, providing a capstone experience to creative writing concentrators and minors working in poetry. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Two to four credit hours. BLEVINS
EN480s Teaching Poetry in the Schools A service learning class in which Colby students teach the writing of poetry at community elementary schools. Four credit hours. P. HARRIS
EN483f, 484s Honors Thesis An independent, substantial project approved by the department. The student will work in close consultation with a faculty member. Students are responsible for selecting their faculty tutor and submitting their proposal by May of their junior year. Prerequisite: A 3.25 grade point average in the major and approval from a faculty tutor. Two to four credit hours. FACULTY
EN491f, 492s Independent Study Individual projects exploring topics for which the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of a project advisor and the chair of the department. One to four credit hours. FACULTY
EN493Af Representing and Rethinking Women in the Public Sphere How did women of the 18th century negotiate having public identities—as actresses, activists, authors, and even occasionally, soldiers—at a time when they lacked many of the political and legal statuses we now see as basic human rights? Their goals differed: some sought individual freedom, many wanted political change (e.g., animal rights, abolition, educational reform, political revolution), and a few just seemed to want to entertain others. We will focus in particular on the use of comedy in their self-representations as well as to what extent their work fits into current definitions of feminist activism and theory. Four credit hours. L. KUGLER
EN493Bf Restorying People: World Englishes and the Politics of Representation Examines the interface between the "local" and the "global" in "World Englishes" through the study of narrative, thinking with and beyond the "nation" and its structuring logic of identity and difference. We will also attend to the new temporal and spatial configurations narratives of nation and of the diaspora by exploring border crossings and tracing the interrelationship between narrative form, ideological space, hegemonic formation, and identity politics within the contemporary global imaginary. Authors include writers from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, and postcolonial Britain. Four credit hours. ROY
EN493Cs Seminar: Keats and Coleridge: Romanticism and Theories of the Lyric Self An intensive study into the poetic lyric during the Romantic Period. Reading across a range of theories about the development of the lyric, with particular emphasis on the ways in which writers craft those forms of voiced subjectivity that are considered distinctively Romantic. Considerable attention to formal issues of voice, the historically constructed nature of both aesthetic judgment and selfhood, and the oral ballad tradition and its intersections with print and material culture. Reading large selections of the major poetic works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and John Keats. Significant memorization required. Four credit hours. MAZZEO
EN493Ds Seminar: The 21st-Century Latino Novel and the Transnational Imaginary In the last decade we have seen an explosion in the publication and quality of Latino novels. We will examine the institutional and historical conditions that contribute to this and consider the ways in which these writers negotiate the contradictions between national and transnational forces in the Americas in an era of globalization. We will examine how these texts chronicle the migration of peoples through the hemisphere, hybridize genres from multiple national traditions, recuperate lost histories, and imagine forms of citizenship and belonging that extend beyond the nation-state. Novels will likely include works by Alvarez, Carrillo, Obejas, Plascencia, Tobar, Urrea, and Santiago. Four credit hours. ORCHARD