English Department

Courses of Study

[EN120]    Language, Thought, and Writing Four credit hours. W1.
EN120Af    Language, Thought, and Writing: Styles of Persuasion

This writing-intensive course focuses on the strategies writers of both fiction and nonfiction use to persuade an audience. To evaluate such strategies, and to discover what they can teach us about our own writing projects for college course work and beyond, we will read a range of political and personal essays, short fiction, and poetry. We will focus on the relationship between attentive reading and persuasive writing, with the central goals of developing skill sets and critical vocabularies for both, and of sharpening the analytical acumen that persuasion demands.

Four credit hours. W1. Hanlon

EN120Bf    Language, Thought, and Writing: Writing as a Reader In this writing-intensive seminar, we devote particular attention to the ways that form, voice, and style shape textual meaning, both in literary works and in college-level academic writing. We read poetry, prose, and drama from a variety of historical periods; develop a critical vocabulary for literary and rhetorical analysis; and work to situate our own interpretations of texts in relation to those of other readers and scholars. Throughout, we explore how writing about literature can make us better, more attentive readers, and how reading can make us more effective and thoughtful writers. Four credit hours. W1. Cook
EN120Df    Language, Thought, and Writing: Thinking about Language How is a language different from a dialect? How are proper grammar rules formed, and what do they have to do with the way people actually talk? How do the rules change? How is our language different from foreign languages? Why is language mixture necessary (as in restaurant, the English word) and why is it despised (a "bad accent")? We will develop analytical, argumentative (college) writing, while we read about the history of language (e.g., John McWhorter's The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language) and style, and stories and essays by writers who open up questions of high and low language, assimilation to linguistic norms, and the ways speech and writing reflect larger social divisions and opportunities. Four credit hours. W1. Suchoff
[EN120E]    Language, Thought, and Writing: Playing in the Dark: Writing Race Before the insistent shouts that "Black Lives Matter," philosopher Cornel West wrote Race Matters, the title of his 1994 book. And earlier still, in 1986, an intellectually diverse group of contributors banded together to produce the essay collection, "Race," Writing, and Difference, that contended race was a sign, a metaphor and not an irreducible, absolute "reality." Notwithstanding, race as ideology, custom, asethetic, and law has shaped virtually every dimension of American experience and preoccupied many of our most persuasive and provocative writers, including James Baldwin, John Edgar Wideman, Toni Morrison, Stephen Jay Gould, Barack Obama, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. We will close read these and other commanding voices as exemplary models of the persuasive essay and write about race as it shapes both a national debate and our own multi-dimensional lives. Four credit hours. W1.
[EN120I]    Inventing Nature in New England Combines field trips around Maine with work in the Colby Museum and the rare book room. We'll read some of the classics of New England nature writing, make our own "field journals" on Mayflower Hill, and think about how our ideas of and relationships to the natural world are shaped by our knowledge, our technology, and our historical situation. We'll read prose and poetry, from Emerson to Maine writer Sarah Orne Jewett's short stories, to modern poetry broadsides in our library's collection. When spring finally comes we'll make a field trip to the Maine coast to see for ourselves the world described in Celia Thaxter's The Isle of Shoals. We will keep journals and write and revise both research essays and journalistic essays. Four credit hours. W1.
[EN120K]    Language, Thought, and Writing: On Beauty What is beauty? What have you learned from your family and culture about beauty? How has society further shaped your understanding of it? What is your own sense of beauty? Students will explore responses to these questions, in writing reflections, annotations, and in three analytical essays: personal essay, position paper, and photo essay. Students will engage reading materials from across the humanities, ranging from poetry to philosophy. The course employs a multi-stage writing process and peer-review to develop critical thinking and writing skills. Four credit hours. W1.
EN120Lf    Language, Thought, and Writing: Coloniality of Language Instruction Teaches you how to write in complex, intersectional rhetorical contexts by first and foremost addressing how our use of language is always racialized within our shared context of western settler colonialism-manifesting paradigmatically in the institutionalization of Standard Written English (SWE) and the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Our class investigates the relationship between language, race, and rhetoric in first year college writing instruction so as to study what is at stake in how you learn writing, as well as the effects of normalizing the language and perspective of the colonizer. Four credit hours. W1. Plasencia
[EN120M]    Language, Thought, and Writing: Environmental Imagination Considers the environment and understanding the ways in which it is represented, imagined, constructed, and manipulated by humans. We will start with a historical foundation in literature, and add examples from the visual arts, music, philosophy, religion, and the built environment, asking the question, what do our imaginative products reveal to us about our relationship to the non-human? Students will engage with the Maine environment on several occasions, including two field trips to the Maine mountains and seacoast. Four credit hours. W1.
EN120Nf    Language, Thought, and Writing: Critical Inquiries in Medical Ethics We engage with debates in medical ethics as a basis for analyzing, then developing, ideas and arguments about real-life situations and hypothetical scenarios. Philosophical, legal, and scientific readings are paired with works of literature and film that imaginatively explore topics including genetic testing, organ trafficking, sex selection, and cloning. Through frequent exercises and essay assignments, students cultivate a sophisticated writing process that fosters intellectual growth as well as precision of analysis, persuasive argumentation, coherent organization, effective use of secondary sources, and clarity of style Four credit hours. W1. Sibara
[EN120P]    Language, Thought, and Writing: Critical Writing We use Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as a starting point for analyzing and developing student writing. We write in several different modes as we take on critical writing in several forms: writing about literature, analyzing and using primary and secondary sources, approaching the problems associated with different kinds of writing projects (argumentative essays, comparison/contrast essays, summary essays, etc.), identifying and conquering usage and grammar problems that impair clarity, using research and close reading to develop ideas and arguments. We work with an array of materials in addition to our work with the primary text. Three credit hours. W1.
EN120Qs    Language, Thought, and Writing: Scenes of Displacement, Migration, and Exile This writing intensive course emphasizes the fundamentals of academic writing and evidence-based argumentation skills. Pursuant to that goal, we will look at various ways that selected texts including novels, essays, film, poetry and photography respond to the subject of displacement, migration and exile in the 20th and 21st Centuries. From voluntary migration in search of more habitable spaces, to politically exiled intellectuals and writers, from narratives of asylum seekers to undocumented migrant labours in the North Atlantic, we will examine and analyze different forms of exile as represented in selected fiction and non-fiction work. We will train to read critically and write compellingly, in relation to the aesthetic responses to forms of dispossession and exploitation. Four credit hours. W1. Shabangu
EN120Rs    Language, Thought, and Writing: How to Read a Beautiful Book In this writing intensive seminar we focus on writing to read and reading to write. How can reading be a pleasure? What happens to your brain when you read on screens? How can writing analytically and persuasively add to the pleasures of reading? We'll concentrate on three or four big books from Shakespeare to the twenty-first century, dive deep, and emerge with new ideas and new reading and writing strategies. Four credit hours. W1. Gibson
EN138f    Fantasies of Modernity: American Literature between the Wars How did American literature respond to the dramatic social and cultural transformations that shook the United States after the devastating Great War? Moving from the roaring twenties through the Depression, we will study texts that emerged from the Lost Generation and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as the work of immigrant and working-class writers. Students will engage in a series of writing-intensive exercises and workshops, producing and revising four essays over the course of the semester. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Cinema Studies 138 and History 138. Elect Integrated Studies 138. Four credit hours. L, W1. Stubbs
EN141fs    Beginning Playwriting Listed as Theater and Dance 141. Four credit hours. A. Weinblatt
EN142f    Introduction to Cinema Studies Listed as Cinema Studies 142. Four credit hours. A. Kim
[EN174J]    Public Speaking A foundation in public speaking, with an emphasis on oral presentation, rhetorical and expository persuasion, argument and counter-argument. Students will write and orally present speeches to audiences, as well as read and watch examples of effective public speaking. Especially appropriate for those considering careers involving public speaking, including teaching, government, politics, law, etc., but all are welcome. In case of over-enrollment, confirmation of admission is by email application. Prerequisite: W1 course. Two credit hours.
EN178fs    Language, Thought, and Writing: Introduction to Creative Writing Process-centered exploration of the fundamentals of writing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, and hybrid forms. Students bring questions about self to a rigorous writing practice. Through reading and writing — in both creative and critical modes — we interrogate the many ways self is understood and expressed in the literary arts. Students write in a variety of forms, with peer review and revision guiding their choices. Readings reflect a wide range of backgrounds, traditions, and voices. Four credit hours. W1. Arthurs, Giannelli, White
EN200fs    Foundations of Literary Studies How and why do we read? How do we decide what counts as literature? What counts as knowledge for readers of imaginative texts? We begin to answer these questions in this broad ranging course. Required for the English major, the introduction to college-level literary studies incorporates poetry, drama, and fiction, explores canon formation with a historical range of literary works, and emphasizes close reading, interpretive vocabulary, and critical writing skills. Also introduces students to critical perspectives and scholarly research. Prerequisite: W1 course or equivalent (can be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L. Cook, Sagaser, Stubbs
[EN213]    Introduction to Shakespeare: Stage, Page, and Screen Introduces students to Shakespeare's works and their rich material history and explores not just the texts themselves but how their changing material forms affect their meaning and influence. We will address plays that explicitly engage staging, like Henry V, that have particularly rich textual histories, like King Lear, and that have recent film versions, including Macbeth and Much Ado about Nothing. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L.
EN214s    Tutoring Writing in Theory and Practice A pedagogy and training course for writing tutors and writing fellows that focuses on peer review and collaborative learning in both theory and practice. Readings include essays and articles on peer review, learning styles and differences, multilingual student writing, strategies of revision, and writing center pedagogy. Assignments include writing, readings, grammar review and practice, a reflective blog, mock tutorials, and supervised tutorials to prepare enrolled students to help their peers improve as writers and to work with faculty as writing fellows. Students completing the course may apply for work-study positions in the Writers' Center. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. Gherwash
[EN224]    Performance History I Listed as Theater and Dance 224. Four credit hours. L.
[EN226]    Contemporary Art and Performance Listed as Theater and Dance 226. Four credit hours. A.
EN227j    Visual Poetics Explores the various ways that poetry and the visual arts intersect, examining how visual elements have shaped poems. We will trace the history of this intersection, including ekphrasis, illuminated books, erasures, Øopen fieldã poetry, and hypertext poetry. How do white space, typography, and other graphic elements contribute to the effect of a poem? WeŤll read work by a range of writers that includes George Herbert, E. E. Cummings, Larry Eigner, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Jen Bervin, Matthea Harvey, and Tyehimba Jess. In response, students will compose close readings of poems, and produce their own creative hybrid texts. Fulfills English C and P requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Three credit hours. L. Giannelli
EN232f    Early African American Literature Introduces early African American literature as an inscription of fugitive existence—or as Fred Moten calls it, stolen life. Our goal is to sketch this story of unruly writing from 1773 to 1900 by considering how black citizens usurped and (re)-formed dominant literary genres and political institutions in order to carve out a space of freedom within a hostile nation. We will read sermons, political tracts, spiritual autobiographies, testimonials of enslavement, and newspapers to ascertain how people of African descent theorized anti-blackness as a way of life and, in response, fashioned other forms of being-in-the-world. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L, U. Plasencia
[EN233]    Data and Literature in the Scientific Revolution Examines the origins and history of data in its epistemological context, focusing on the ways that literary texts contributed to Enlightenment notions of data and on how literary texts provide data. Combines histories, imaginative literature, philosophy of science, and theories of data and data science to critically assess the relationship between data and meaning. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN233Jj    Enlightenment Data and Literature Examines the origins and history of data in its epistemological context, focusing on the ways that literary texts contributed to Enlightenment notions of data and on how literary texts provide data. Combines histories, imaginative literature, philosophy of science, and theories of data and data science to critically assess the relationship between data and meaning. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Three credit hours. L. Hanlon
[EN234]    Introduction to Journalism An introduction to features of journalism, including news gathering, interviewing, feature writing, rewriting and editing. Previously offered as English 298 (Spring 2020). Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Two credit hours.
[EN235]    Satire We will cover satire, in prose and in poetry, from its roots in antiquity (Horace, Juvenal) to contemporary novels, punditry, and television, with significant coverage of the formative years of satire in English in the 17th and 18th centuries. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[EN237]    Postcolonial Pastoral: Ecology, Travel, and Writing A critical examination of the pastoral as a literary genre from a global postcolonial perspective. Conducted in Kalimpong, India, enables students to work with Shiva's outreach center on biodiversity, ecology, and wilderness. 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. Fulfills English D requirement. Cost is $4,000. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Three credit hours. L, I.
[EN238]    Art of Fly-Fishing: Maine and Bishop, California Fly-fishing classics and instruction in casting, knot and fly-tying. Week three is spent fishing the Lower Owens River near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Reading of literary classics (including Thoreau, Hemingway, Izaak Walton), critical essays, and blog required. Includes analysis of online nature writing; acquisition of fly-fishing techniques: gear choice, knot and fly-tying, casting, fly selection and nymphing; and writing a fishing blog that promotes awareness of and respect for the natural environment. Beginners and experienced fly-fishers welcome: students must apply to instructor for admission. Course cost: $2,050 to $2,500 depending on gear owned. Prerequisite: Application, permission of instructor, and non-refundable deposit. For more information, see web.colby.edu/fishing-professor. Three credit hours. L.
[EN239]    Literature Against Distortion Takes literary and archival research as a foundation for combating misinformation, specious claims, faulty arguments, "alternative facts," "fake news," and other violations of intellectual rigor and integrity. Humanities lab. Four credit hours. L.
[EN245]    Poems, Paintings, and Printing: Text Versus Image in the Lyric An exploration of the relationship between poetry and the visual arts from creative, analytical, historical, and experiential perspectives. In the Colby College Museum of Art we will write poems about paintings and photographs. In Special Collections we will examine a broad range of printed texts. At the Pickwick Press in Portland, we will handset type for our own poetry broadside. Students will analyze and use appropriate technical terms for understanding poetry, identify several poetic traditions in which poets encounter other arts, articulate ideas and insights in visual and written media, and reflect upon their own work. Fulfills English C and P requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L.
[EN247]    Science Fictions Introduces students to the diverse genre of science fiction, a genre that imagines the possibilities and limitations of human experience, thought, and worlds. Topics will include alien encounters, time travel, artificial intelligence and post-human life-forms, and environmental apocalypse. We will read short stories and novels by Wells, Asimov, Dick, LeGuin, Butler, Gibson, Ishiguro, Chiang, Whitehead, Mandel, as well as explore science fiction in film (Blade Runner, Arrival) and television (The Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black). Fulfills English C requirement. Previously offered as English 297B (Fall 2017). Four credit hours. L.
[EN248]    History of the Book An introduction to the study of the book as an object and as technology, from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Focuses on the manuscript cultures of the European Middle Ages and the development and rise of print culture during the hand-press period. Also explores related histories of authorship, readership, and publishing. Students will work with primary source materials in Colby Special Collections and a range of digital tools. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN251]    History of International Cinema I Listed as Cinema Studies 251. Four credit hours. A.
EN252s    History of International Cinema II Listed as Cinema Studies 252. Four credit hours. A. Wurtzler
EN255f    Studies in American Literary History: Pre-1860 Introduces 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. Fulfills English D and E requirements. Prerequisite: W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L. Stubbs
EN256s    Studies in American Literary History: Civil War to the Present In this introductory survey focusing on the theme of justice, we will examine key movements, genres, and traditions in U.S. literature from the Civil War to the present, investigating their relationship to the historical, political, and social contexts they both reflect and shaped. Through readings representing a diversity of racial, ethnic, class, religious, gender, and sexual identities, and communities in and around the United States, we will explore how literature has been used as a tool for social protest and has contributed to shaping and revising conceptions of "American" selfhood and national identity. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L, U. Sibara
[EN258]    Adventurous Writers of Maine: A Creative Writing Lab For students who wish to awaken their work to the fortifying sights and sounds of the real world in real time. With our notebooks in hand, we will visit a variety of places, and then return to the classroom to share our work with one another. We will also explore the work of contemporary writers as we consider the ethics of curiosity and the role of witness. Students will produce a portfolio of original work by the end of the term and give a reading to the community. Open to writers of all genres. Beginners welcome. Three credit hours. A.
[EN264]    Comparative Studies: Emily Dickinson and English Poetry This course compares poems by 19th c. American poet Emily Dickinson with poems by writers she admired and read intensely, from Shakespeare and Milton to Keats, the Brontës and E. B. Browning. Students will gain analytical skills and creative strategies for engaging with poetry as they discover poetry's power to bring thoughts and voices from faraway centuries and continents into the minds and memories of newly present readers and thinkers. They will explore some additional contexts for Dickinson's reading and writing, including her education, material conditions, and the Civil War. Fulfills English C, E, and P requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
[EN265]    Early British Literary History: from Beowulf to Blake We will encounter and enjoy great writing from an 800-year period of literary invention, reading tales of love and lust, of severed arms and near-severed heads, of tragic heroes, saucy wives, and valiant maids. We will trace the history of gender and consent, the invention of the 'self,' and the construction of the category of race. Introduces a variety of literary works in multiple forms and genres, including epic battles, dirty jokes, and lyric poetry. We will think about canon formation, and become attentive to the processes of literary inheritance, borrowing, stealing, and invention. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Prerequisite: W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L.
[EN266]    British Literary History II from Wordsworth to Rushdie We will encounter and enjoy great British poems and novels from the Romantic period to the present. Along the way we will discover how modern understandings of gender and class developed, how the processes of empire building and industrialization shaped the literary world, how ideas about nature and the environment were created in response to industrialization, and why modernist experimentation took shape in the aftermath of World War I. A final unit will focus on contemporary and postcolonial literature. Fulfills English C and P requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L.
EN267s    Introduction to Contemporary World Literature In Black Skin, White Masks, the French writer Frantz Fanon observes: "To speak ... means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization." The course on colonial and postcolonial studies examines the different ways in which literature bears witness to the truth of Fanon's assertion. Our study will help identify the effects of colonialism by raising questions about what constitutes "speaking"; about how, and by whom, "culture" is defined; and about how the "weight" of a civilization, experienced by people belonging to different sides of the colonial divide, is legitimized or resisted. Fulfills English C, and D requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L, I. Shabangu
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 120, 172, or 200 (may be taken concurrently.) Four credit hours. L. Hanlon, Shabangu, Suchoff
EN278fs    Fiction Writing I 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: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. A. Arthurs, Spark
EN279fs    Poetry Writing I What distinguishes a poem from a story from an advertisement from a phone call home? How do poems get written? And does it need to rhyme? In this workshop, students investigate these and many other questions about poetic process and craft by reading and critically analyzing contemporary poetry, writing their own poems, and offering feedback on the work of their peers. By semester's end, students will produce a portfolio of revised poems and a statement of what they have learned about their creative process, aesthetic preferences, and their growing mastery of craft. No prior experience with poetry presumed. Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. A. Giannelli, White
EN280f    Creative Nonfiction Writing I A creative writing workshop that introduces students to the forms and possibilities of creative nonfiction, including essays of time and place, memoirs, profiles, and literary journalism. Progresses through a review of models, writing exercises, drafts, and finished pieces, with an emphasis on the workshop process, in which students share work and comment on each others' efforts. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. A. Burke
EN280As    Creative Nonfiction Writing I: Coming-of-Age in the Anthropocene An introduction to the forms and possibilities of creative nonfiction, with a particular emphasis on the theme of coming-of-age in the climate change era. Reading assignments will come from the literature of the Anthropocene, as well as from classic creative nonfiction essays. Essays of time and place, memoirs, profiles, and literary journalism will be discussed. The course progresses through a review of models, writing exercises, drafts, and finished pieces, using the workshop process, in which students share work and comment on each other's efforts. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. Burke
EN283f    Environmental Humanities: Stories of Crisis and Resilience What can literature teach us about nature and environmental justice? Do the humanities and environmental studies share a vision of a sustainable future? Is it possible to understand climate change without telling stories about its uneven global impacts? To address these and other questions, we will examine how the environmental humanities implicitly respond to the "two cultures" debate. We will then investigate the relationship between environmental justice and western societies' extractive logics, economies, and management of nature. From within this theoretical framework we will analyze novels, poetry, and environmental films. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L. Walker
EN297Aj    Black Liberation Theology in Kendrick Lamars Studio Albums Posits contemporary Hip Hop artist Kendrick Lamar as a Black Liberation Theologian whose albums are sermons in verse form. As such, he follows an exegetic tradition that began with Jupiter Hammon and Phillis Wheatley in the late 18th century, but which coalesced in the 20th century with Martin Luther King and Malcom X. Black Liberation Theology understands God as principally concerned with the dignity and lives of oppressed multitudes, and interprets the Bible as a liberatory text. These strands of thought and interpretative practices come together in Lamarȳs four studio albums. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Three credit hours. L, U. Plasencia
EN297Bj    Style and Substance: Writing Fiction by Imitation Plagiarism is stealing, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In this class we will read collections of short fiction from contemporary writers, as well as classic writers, analyzing the style and substance of their stories. These discussions will be followed by writing assignments which focus on specific elements of those stories, using them for inspiration and guidance. Students will write and revise four short stories, after feedback from the class and professor. Hybrid course, taught in a mix of live and remote sessions. Prerequisite: W1 course. Three credit hours. A. O'Donnell
EN297Cj    Lunch Never Lies: Telling the Truth by Writing About Food By reading essays and excerpts by some of the greatest literary food writers, we will discover the ways in which they get at complicated and difficult truths by evoking food memories. Students will then respond to these with their own essays of varying lengths and approaches. Critiques of others work and revision of ones own are also essential features of the course. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Three credit hours. A. Christensen
EN297Dj    Beyond Kryptonite: Graphic Novels and Social Change We will explore how graphic novels have been used to address issues such as war, genocide, and U.S. empire. We will begin by examining ‡picture novels– and discussing the era of Marvel and DC comics. We will then look at early graphic novels, considering the shift in formal elements their publications marked. The remainder of our time will be dedicated to reading graphic novels about the Holocaust, the Civil Rights Movement, the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina, among other timely topics. Our analyses will be informed by postcolonial theory, queer theory, and critical race studies. Fulfills English C requirement. Three credit hours. L. Sibara
EN297Ej    Especially Heinous:: Sexual Violence in Contemporary Media We will focus on how contemporary culture represents sexual violence, interrogating the ethics and cultural uses of such representations. Does representation of violence help survivors or further violate them? Do such representations subdue the desire to testify or show survivors how to do so effectively? Do they ask the victimized to trust authority or question it? We will encounter textual objects including memoirs, crime procedurals, and television and film. The class will be led by an experienced, sensitive facilitator, but students should be prepared to talk about, read, and watch depictions of sexual violence. Fulfills English C requirement. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Three credit hours. L. Spampinato
EN298s    Black Speculative Fiction Introduces students to Black speculative fiction (BSF): a generically diverse form of writing by people and cultures of the African diaspora that calls on readers to imagine (or speculate about) different cosmologies, governing systems, social structures and interpersonal relationships—in short, different worlds. While speculative arts include a range of forms, this course focuses predominantly on narrative fiction. Together, we'll learn about the different genres and subgenres that fall within the scope of BSF and consider how these genres draw on—and transform—traditional speculative writing. Fulfills English D requirement. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U. Plasencia
EN310s    Professional Writing Listed as Writing Program 310. Four credit hours. W2, U. Schlachte
[EN311]    Global Middle Ages What did it mean to imagine a global world in the Middle Ages? We will answer this question by reading accounts of travelers from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions; meeting the fictional English knight John Mandeville, who claimed to have ventured as far from home as China and Indonesia, and the very real 10th-century Muslim traveler Ibn Fadlan, who trekked through what is now Russia and Scandinavia. We will study the history of map-making, compare fictional and historical accounts of crusade, and consider how a multi-cultural medieval world is represented in medieval fantasy like Game of Thrones. The only prerequisite is curiosity about the Middle Ages. Fulfills English C, D, and E requirements. Four credit hours. L, I.
EN312s    Death and Dying in the Middle Ages Medieval writers approached death in a variety of ways: as heroic sacrifice, tragic loss, and inevitable transition. We will trace themes of death and dying through late medieval literature and explore topics including heaven, hell, and the Last Judgment; grief and mourning; death by violence and accident; the Black Plague; and the idea of a good death. Genres we will read include elegy, dream vision, and lyric, and study; authors include Chaucer and the Pearl Poet, as well as anonymous works. Some readings will be in Middle English; no previous experience with medieval literature is required. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Prerequisite: A W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Cook
EN313s    Poetry and Power in the English Renaissance In 16th-17th-century England, poetry and other rhetorical arts played increasingly powerful roles in public and private life. Poetic language (in oratory, drama, lyric, epic) was integral to politics, intellectual exchange, entertainment, and for many, personal reflection. Informed by both cognitive linguistic insights and inquiries into history, we will study and experiment with a wide range of poetic texts by women and men. We will also consider the afterlives and influence of Renaissance texts in ensuing centuries through the present day. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Sagaser
[EN315]    Medieval Women's Mysticism Explores the spiritual writings of medieval women writers including Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and Hildegard von Bingen. Considers how their writings navigate gendered religious and social systems, endeavoring to craft a cultural place for womenüs lived experience and spiritual authority. Also includes related works of spiritual, didactic, and medical writing. No previous experience with Middle English is required. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
EN316f    Sex, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages Examines literary and cultural representations of romantic love and sexual desire in late medieval England. Topics will include courtly love and courtship, the possibilities of same-sex desire, prostitution and sex work, and sexual encounters both in and out of marriage. We will read widely in a variety of medieval genres including lyric, dream vision, epic, and short narratives. Readings may include works by Chaucer, Gower, and Marie de France, as well as anonymous writings. Some readings will be in Middle English but no previous experience with medieval literature is required. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L, W2. Cook
[EN318]    Dating and Relationships in 18th-Century British Literature How 'modern' is the modern romantic relationship? Explores how dating and courtship, marriage and divorce, and affairs and flings have long complicated politics and social relations in Britain and early America. Focuses on relationships represented in the literature and cultural history of Britain from roughly 1740 to 1815, including narratives of 'British' relationships tested by the French and American revolutions. Topics include long-distance relationships, gender roles and expectations in courtship, the impact of matrimonial law on social relations, and the implications of inter-class and interracial relationships. Fulfills English D and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN320]    Advanced Rhetoric and Writing Listed as Writing Program 320. Four credit hours.
[EN322]    British Romanticism: Green Romanticism The Romantics were known as the poets of nature—but what was at stake in their relationship to the environment? How did the ecological crises of late 18th-century Europe influence their works? How did Romantic poetry help to shape the history of Western environmentalism? We will study Romantic literature from the perspective of "eco-criticism." This means that we will be asking how the relationship between people and the landscape is imagined and how it is structured by institutions of class, economics, politics, gender, science, and law. Fulfills English P, E, C requirements. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing; English 271 recommended. Four credit hours. L.
[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. Fulfills English D requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[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.
EN329f    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. Fulfills English C requirement. Prerequisite: English 271 recommended, but not required. Four credit hours. L. Suchoff
[EN331]    Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville We will explore many of the most famous literary texts by these two writers central to the American literary canon while seeking to answer a number of fascinating questions. How did the brief but very intense personal relationship between Hawthorne and Melville shape their work? Why did Hawthorne enjoy both popular and critical success during his lifetime, while Melville died in obscurity after initial popular acclaim? What cultural factors conditioned the Melville revival of the 1920s? How have recent critics — particularly scholars of gender and sexuality — understood the work of Hawthorne and Melville? Fulfills English E requirement. Four credit hours. L.
EN333s    Environmental Revolutions in American Literature and Culture Explores the role that literature and the arts have played in representing environmental justice issues and envisioning possibilities for social transformation. Readings will include theoretical works from critical race and ethnic studies and postcolonial studies; these works will inform our engagement with contemporary works of multiethnic American literature and film that integrate environmental concerns with questions of social and political justice. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Sibara
[EN336]    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. Fulfills English C, D, and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN337s    Climate Fiction Investigates contemporary literature, film, and media in the developing genre known as "climate fiction." We will situate these texts within the environmental humanities, an interdisciplinary field that combines scientific-cultural discourses about the environment with humanistic concerns for justice. We will ask how cli-fi narrates disaster on a global scale, but also strives to imagine more just futures that combine environmentalism and social equality. These texts will be paired with philosophical and eco-critical writings that will aid our development of the humanistic methodologies needed to analyze this new genre. Fulfills English C requirement. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Walker
[EN338]    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. Fulfills English C, D, and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN340s    U.S. Protest Writing: Revolutionary War to the Black Panthers Engages students in a transhistorical study of protest traditions in the United States and the conditions that produced them. Through this 200-year jaunt, we'll discuss the disagreements that led to a civil war between Britain and its American colonies, anti-slavery movements, factory labor and proletariat resistance, the reconsolidation of white power through Jim Crow laws, and the womens movements. At each turn, well historically situate and transhistoricize the rhetorics of protest, their movements organizational practices, and the apparatuses of dominance and power they resist. Fulfills English D and E requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Plasencia
[EN341]    American Realism and Naturalism: Then and Now Investigates different forms and philosophies through which writers, artists, and performers have sought to portray "real life." Begins with an in-depth examination of three literary movements that dominated U.S. literature from the late 19th- through the early 20th centuries: realism, regionalism, and naturalism. Investigates how these cultural categories developed in relation and in response to specific social and economic conditions, and to similar movements in visual arts and music. Then looks at examples of Italian neo-realist cinema and contemporary U.S. reality TV to discover how visual media makers in the mid-20th and early 21st centuries have redefined the relationship between representation and the "real." Fulfills English C requirement. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
[EN343]    African-American Literature: Speaking in Tongues Beginning with Lucy Terry's poem, "Bars Fight," the earliest known work of literature by an African American, Black Art in the United States has been inherently political and aesthetically complex. This course is, diachronically, a survey of multiple, intertextual genres and periods including poetry, short and long fiction, and creative nonfiction. Synchronically, it is a close reading of seminal writers—for example Rita Dove, Ralph Ellison, Sherley Anne Williams, and John Edgar Wideman—whose thematic foci include (existential) identity, migration, race and racialism, art and propaganda, power and privilege. A critical understanding and articulate sense of these interlocking issues are the specific learning goals. Fulfills English D requirement. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[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: Any W1 course. 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.
[EN347]    Modern American Poetry An introduction to modern American poetry guided by questions including: What makes a poem "modern"? What is the relationship between modern poetry and its literary forebears? What is free verse, and are our poets writing it? How are social realities (gender, race, class) figured by modern poetry? What kind of (American) self do these poets imagine? Organized into four units: "natural" language, forms and reforms, experiments, and imagination and reality. We will read poetry and prose by Pound, H.D., Williams, Toomer, Frost, Eliot, Moore, Millay, cummings, Stein, Hughes, Stevens, Loy, and Brooks. Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
[EN351]    Contemporary American Poetry: Politics, Experiments, Selves Covers American poetry from World War II to the digital age. We will be concerned with individual authors and styles and also with the social and formal concerns that unite them. Asking questions such as: How do poets reimagine form and its relationship to the self after the innovations of modernism? What happens to the lyric "I" in this period? We will read work by Ginsberg, Plath, O'Hara, Bishop, Creeley, Rich, Clifton, Hejinian, Cha, Mullen, Goldsmith, and Rankine, and study clusters of poems that take on political issues (including abortion, racism, and September 11th) by other poets. Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: English 120, 172, or 200. Four credit hours. L.
[EN352]    Hang and Rattle: The West in the American Imaginary How did the American West as a geography of the imagination and of reality, as a "middle ground" located somewhere between the "actual and the apocryphal," engage the 19th- and 20th-century national debate about American identity? Moreover, how did the cowboy, the signal figure of the "open range;" science and technology's "machine[s] in the garden;" and transformative ideas about time, place, gender, race, and morality all contribute to the making and unmaking of an American imaginary in literature, film, politics, and popular music? Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[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: W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
[EN354]    Slavery and the American Literary Imagination Devoted to sounding the implications of slavery in shaping the American literary imagination and an analysis of the larger iconography of color that has haunted (and in some instances horrified) our national writers and literature since Jamestown, 1619 when the first small band of negras arrived in North America. Collectively, we will construct an inherently polemical dialogue between 19th- and 20th-century racial ideologies, myths, and customs; read authors like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs who write about slavery as a "lived experience"; and explore 20th-century writers, including Toni Morrison, Lucille Clifton, and Gayle Jones, engaged in "reconstructing slavery through the literary imagination." Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[EN357]    Literature and Environment Introduces students to the history and diverse traditions of global environmental writing. By analyzing this tradition, students will gain mastery over a range of methods for interpreting representations of nature, human-environment relations, and nonhuman animals, with a focus on how these representations intersect with the history of environmental racism and environmental justice movements. Topics may include the history of ecocriticism, ecopoetics, queer ecologies, animal studies, posthumanism, and postcolonial ecocriticism. Prerequisite: English 200 or 283. Four credit hours. L.
EN359s    Global Abolition Debates before 1833 A study of literary debates around enslavement and abolition in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We will read novels, plays, poems, memoirs and political tracts in addition to working with archives. The course treats slavery as a global network within the British empire, rather than as a product of individual nations. Contemporary texts (by thinkers and novelists like Saidiya Hartman and David Dabydeen) will challenge the narrative that abolition is a completed historical project, asking students to grapple with the legacies of historical violence in our present day. Fulfills English D and E requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, I. Spampinato
[EN362]    Energy and Utopia From the appearance of slavery in Thomas More's Utopia (1516) to the centrality of the alien energy source "vibranium" in Nnedi Okorafor's Afro-futurist The Black Panther (2018), utopian narratives have been underwritten by the myth of endless, free energy, and the elision of exhausted, disenfranchised labor. Considering this historical problem, we will ask what type of political work is performed by the utopian genre today? To do so, this humanities lab will investigate literary, cinematic, and theoretical examinations of our current climate, energy, and political crises. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN363]    The Enlightenment and the Anthropocene This seminar is guided by the question: Is the Anthropocene a product of the Enlightenment? We will explore questions of what exactly "the Enlightenment" and "the Anthropocene" are, and when and where slippages in our usage or understanding of these concepts cause confusion and error that can ripple across disciplines. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN366f    Writing the Crisis: Post-Apartheid Literature in Focus Ever wondered how the logic of racism operates in South Africa? This course investigates postcolonial writing and aesthetic practices of South Africa after the legislative end of apartheid (1994 —). We examine the traumas of postcoloniality, paying attention to the aesthetic and ethical implications of these works. We'll also explore the ethics and politics of witnessing; the impossibility and yet the absolute necessity of certain ethical gestures such as hospitality, forgiveness , shame, and responsibility, all of which are at the core of the post-apartheid nation's self-image. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L, I. Shabangu
[EN369]    Reading Race Now in Theory and Contemporary Multiethnic AmericanLiterature An introduction to 21st-century fiction, poetry, and drama by writers of color, providing opportunities to examine the innovative literary forms and styles through which these writers represent racial and ethnic identity. Building an understanding of contemporary theories of racial formation, we will also examine the ways in which literary representations of race and ethnicity intersect with gender and sexuality, class, ability, and nation in the wake of major events, including the attack on the World Trade Center, the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
EN370f    Literature and Medicine: Voices from the Margins Explores what we can learn about the field of medicine from works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction that prioritize the perspectives of those most vulnerable and marginalized in mainstream medicine. Thus, patient-centered narratives by people of color, people with disabilities, poor people, women, and queer and genderqueer folks will be our focus, alongside theoretical readings from the fields of women of color feminism, critical disability studies, and biopolitics. Our explorations in this Humanities Lab course will also include visits to the Art Museum and Special Collections. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U. Sibara
[EN373]    Life in Times of Extinction We are living through an event known as the Sixth Extinction. Human impacts on the environment are causing the largest extinction in the last 65 million years. At the same time, humans are discovering and celebrating life in all its biodiversity. Photographs, films, ethological narratives, and biological databases attesting to human interest in newly discovered, and newly endangered, species proliferate. To address this incongruity, this humanities lab will explore a recent strain of scholarship in the environmental humanities that asks how extinction comes to matter to us culturally, ethically, and evolutionarily. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN378]    Fiction Writing II: Special Topics An upper-level course in fiction writing with a different focus each semester, affording students the opportunity for further study in the art of fiction with an emphasis on increasingly sophisticated elements of craft. Class sessions will include mini-lectures, close analysis of contemporary fiction, author visits, in-class writing exercises, and workshops. Each semester will highlight an element of craft, a literary form, or a literary movement, asking students to experiment with form or genre and to read deeply in a single subject. Prerequisite: English 275 or 278. Four credit hours.
EN378As    Fiction Writing II: Mermaids, Zombies, Vampires In this speculative writing course, we will deepen our understanding of the craft elements of writing fiction, and worldbuilding, which is to create imaginary, otherworldly fictional places, persons, and creatures. We will read widely and closely, prioritizing speculative writers who are thinking through race, gender, sexuality, and other oppressive structures. Prerequisite: English 278. Four credit hours. Arthurs
[EN378B]    Fiction Writing II: Experiments in Perspective Focuses on narrative perspective and point of view. It asks: Why write in the first-person versus the third? Why does one story call for an epic omniscient narration and another an immediate present tense? Which comes first, the content or the form? We'll think/talk about POV in terms of craft and technique; we'll also discuss the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of our narrative devices. And we will find ourselves contending with critical corollary questions: How do I write the not-me? The Other? Will I be believed? Am I allowed? Prerequisite: English 278. Four credit hours.
EN378Cf    Fiction Writing II: Constrained Writing Course in constrained writing that looks at how work by the French Oulipo, Dr. Seuss, present day New Yorker writers, and others play with and grow from restrictions. We'll read and write stories written around a single phrase or assigned image, stories written with technological or linguistic constraints, borrowed form stories, and more. Boundaries and Margins humanities theme course. Prerequisite: English 278. Four credit hours. Spark
EN379fs    Poetry Writing II: Studies in Voice We will complicate the traditional workshop in this course with questions about what we mean by "voice" in verse and by weekly interrogations of the voice(s) of a range of contemporary American poets working out of a range of aesthetic sensibilities, aims, and ambitions. Who or what speaks in or through a poem? How do we know who or what that "speaker" is? What makes the sound the speaker makes audible (or not)? Which speakers do we most want to listen to? Why? Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: English 279. Four credit hours. Giannelli, White
[EN380]    Creative Nonfiction Writing Advanced course in creative nonfiction. Students will refine their knowledge of the types and tropes of creative nonfiction, and will advance their ability to produce quality nonfiction, through the use of the workshop method. Students will be urged to focus on memoir; personal, reflective, or juxtaposition essays; literary journalism; or adventure narratives. Familiarity with particular examples of nonfiction, exercises, and intensive drafting and review of student work are required. Prerequisite: English 280, other nonfiction or prose writing course. Four credit hours. A.
EN380As    Creative Nonfiction Writing: I to Other in Creative Nonfiction Introduces students to the range of subjects in Creative Nonfiction, from the first person I to the 3rd person Other. Students will encounter memoir, literary journalism, flash nonfiction, cultural critique, and autofiction, in addition to the canonical personal essay. However, central to the course is the self-designed project that each student will create, in consultation with the professor, which will define an individual ambition and goal for the semester, allowing for considerable flexibility in the kinds of work students will produce. The semester begins with examples, exercises, and discussion; students build towards a portfolio of polished nonfiction by the end of the semester. Prerequisite: English 280, other nonfiction or prose writing course. Four credit hours. A. Burke
[EN382]    Environmental Writing: Writing on Place: Special Topics 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.
[EN386C]    Special Topics: Documentary Radio Do you like This American Life, Hidden Brain, Two Dope Queens, or any of the classic or new podcasts out there? This is your chance to learn how to tell stories in sound. In this class, you 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. You will produce radio essays, "Storycorp"-type narratives, vox pops (person-on-the-street-type interviews), soundscapes, profiles, and/or Reddit-inspired stories. You should expect to go off campus for assignments, and we'll have a spring field trip to Boston to go to WBUR and, hopefully, a podcasting collective in Allston. Includes readings about sound reporting and the making of This American Life, as well as guests from on and off campus. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours.
EN398s    Staging Hawthorne and Melville How did the intense personal relationship between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville shape their fiction and lives? How does revisiting social and erotic relations between men in the past enable us to better understand our present moment? After analyzing central literary texts, letters and journal entries, students will translate their insights into works of the imagination. At the end of the semester, students will present their interpretations in a series of performances. Fulfills English C requirement. Humanities lab course. Four credit hours. L. Stubbs
EN398Bs    Reading for Writers: A Journey Through the New Yorker In this cruise through the pages of The New Yorker magazine, we will discuss works that have one way or another changed history, or left it unchanged but made it seem new, hilarious, worthwhile. We will survey the singularities of John Hersey, Rachel Carson, Jamaica Kincaid, Vladimir Nabokov, and Emily Hahn. E.B. White will be a presiding genius, and we won't end without reading Rachel Aviv on homeless teenagers in New York, or John Cheever on swimming in other peoples swimming pools. Will involve experiments in style and genre, and in-class table readings of excerpts from stories in the magazine. Prerequisite: English 278, 279, 280, 378, 379, or 380 or permission of instructor. Two credit hours. Baker
[EN411]    Shakespeare on Screen An examination of Shakespeare's plays in the context of their lengthy film performance history from the silent film era to postmodern adaptations. Testing Michael Andregg's assumption "that their relationship to language and to what we characterize as 'the literary' may be the most notable characteristic of films derived from Shakespeare's plays," we will work with several film adaptations and other screened versions. No prior knowledge of film necessary, but we will work with and analyze film in the terminology of the field. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN413A]    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 positioned her work at the crossroads of 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. Fulfills English D requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[EN413C]    Author Course: Samuel Beckett: Comedy of the Abyss Beckett faces the emptiness of modernity, and finds humor and critical meaning in it: in the holes between "words without things, things without words." 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: discovering the meaning of the expelled. As the "comedian of the impasse," Beckett makes meaningless language speak, in a world that cannot go on, but must. The central texts of one of the hardest and most rewarding modern writers: including The Trilogy (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable), Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and other short prose. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[EN413F]    Author Course: William Faulkner Close reading of William Faulkner's major short fiction and novels in the context of the modernist struggle for authority and authenticity. The provocative, cross-racial literary discourse between black and white writers during the modernist period will be theoretically situated into a larger cultural context. The "burden of Southern history," the vanishing wilderness, and the politics of race and gender will help thematize the fiction that transformed Faulkner from an almost-out-of-print regionalist writer in 1945 into the Nobel Prize recipient just five years later. Fulfills English D requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[EN413G]    Author Course: Cormac McCarthy: Novels and Film Adaptations What Flannery O'Connor famously said in 1960 about the influence of William Faulkner's novels and stories on American writers may be said with equal force about the early 21st-century impact of Cormac McCarthy's fiction: "No one wants his mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down." O'Connor's paradoxically intimidating and inspiring caution is put to the test by close reading McCarthy's major novels and their film adaptations, including All The Pretty Horses, The Road, and No Country For Old Men, that contribute to the ongoing regional and national dialogue concerning violence and divinity, "being and nothingness," art and entropy. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L, U.
[EN413H]    Author Course: Henry James and Edith Wharton Examines major works by two of the most famous writers of the American literary tradition. The writers will be considered individually, in terms of how biographical information and critical responses (both at the time of each text's publication and today) help us to understand key themes and literary projects, paying special attention to gender and sexuality. We will also consider the fascinating close friendship between these two writers, and how this relationship shaped their work. Fulfills English D requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[EN413R]    Author Course: Edith Wharton How biographical information and critical responses aid in understanding the key themes, literary projects, and central problems of works by one of the most famous writers of the American literary tradition, Edith Wharton. Fulfills English D requirement. Three credit hours. L.
[EN413S]    Author Course: Two Early 19th-Century Novelists: Scott and Austen The origins of the Victorian novel, exploring themes of race, class, and the narrative structure that would shape the social and literary structures of classic narratives. The preconditions of the female-centered plot, ideological uses of raced identities, the Austen heroine, and the origins of feminism and commodity culture will be considered through literary and film versions. Fulfills English Crequirement. Three credit hours. L.
[EN417]    Literary Criticism: Postmodern Identity in Contemporary Novels Explores the interplay of commodity culture and new expressions of difference in gendered, racial, queer, and transnational terms, using theoretical texts from Appiah, Derrida, Butler, Deleuze, and Guattari. Other texts include DeLillo's White Noise on media saturation; trans-national quests to re-conceptualize official history, race, and queerness in Murakami's Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, and Ozeki's Tale for the Time Being; and the contemporary comedy of Silicon Valley, Eggers' The Circle. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L.
EN422f    Queer Theory and U.S. Literatures and Cultures Students will develop an advanced understanding of key concepts and movements in queer theory, an interdisciplinary field of critical theory that has had wide-ranging effects. As we move through major works, we will review their theoretical underpinnings: women of color feminism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and historical materialism. We will explore queer theory's relationship to and influence on American literary and cultural studies and will develop sophisticated skills for engaging in original theoretical analyses of creative texts, influenced by new developments including queer of color critique, queer ecology, crip theory, and trans studies. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: A course focusing on critical theory or theories of gender/sexuality such as English 271, WGSS 201 or 232, or another with instructor approval. Four credit hours. L, U. Sibara
[EN442]    U.S. Orientalisms and Arab American Literature What assumptions do Americans make about the Middle East and Arabs, and how have these beliefs been shaped by literary representations? What topics do 20th- and 21st-century Arab American writers explore and how are these writers in dialogue with the history of Orientalist expression? Reading texts by writers such as Tyler, Irving, Poe, Melville, and Twain depicting the Middle East and the Islamic regions of North Africa, we will be attentive to "the Arab" and "the Arabesque" as unstable terms in relation to racial constructs of darkness and whiteness, and normative categories of gender and sexuality. After examining paintings and films, we will turn to texts produced by Arab Americans themselves. Interested non-majors are welcome. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L, U.
[EN457]    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. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[EN478]    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 380. Two to four credit hours.
[EN482]    Honors Proseminar Practicum for students undertaking senior honors theses in English. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in English 483 or 484. Two credit hours.
EN483f, 484s    Honors Thesis An independent, substantial project approved by the English Department or the Creative Writing Program. 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
[EN483J]    Honors Thesis Noncredit.
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
[EN493A]    Seminar: Literature and Film Adaptation From Beowulf to Fight Club, literary texts become films in ways that expand our understanding of the relationship between literature and adaptation. This seminar will explore adaptation studies, moving beyond fidelity studies, through an array of films and literary texts, including some chosen by seminar participants. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN493B]    Seminar: Beyond Borders in American Literature and Culture We will explore the perils and possibilities of border crossings, the dreams of those who traverse and thereby stretch the limits, and the rewards and repercussions of their journeys as represented in American literature and film. Theoretical readings from border studies, comparative race and ethnic studies, environmental humanities, and gender and queer studies will animate and inform our close analyses of literary works including Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men, Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, and Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange, and films including Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera), Maquilapolis (Vicky Funari and Sergio de la Torre), and The Aggressives (Daniel Peddle). Fulfills English C and D requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN493Cs    Seminar: James Joyce's Ulysses and Early Writings An examination of Joyce's idea of otherness as both an English that limited Irish writing and a foreignness that inhabits language and gives a nation different voices. We will study Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to see how Joyce developed his idea of linguistic identity and difference; then we will go on to study the chapters of Ulysses, each with a different narrator, learning how to read the Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, and the allusions that allowed Joyce to remake the realist novel in a comic, self-conscious vein. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L. Suchoff
[EN493D]    Seminar: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Learn Middle English as we read and analyze a selection of the stories drawn on Chaucer's great literary road trip, The Canterbury Tales. Attention will be given to issues of Chaucer's sources, narrative personae, and generic variety, as well as to key themes in recent Chaucer criticism. Through secondary sources, we will develop a context for our readings that includes consideration of the political, social, and literary contexts of late medieval England. No previous experience with Middle English is required. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
[EN493G]    Seminar: Poetry and Cognition Long before psychology and neuroscience were fields of study, poets experimented with language and the brain, discovering ways to engage attention and amplify memory. It makes sense therefore to ask what insights poetry and cognitive science might offer each other now. We'll invite to our table poetry from the Renaissance to the present along with readings from cognitive psychology, neuroscience, linguistics and and philosophy of mind. We will focus in particular on poetry as a non-electronic yet mighty (because cognition-savvy) technology for bringing together minds and voices not living in the same shares of spacetime. Fulfills English C and P requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN493J]    Seminar: Gender and Genre in Victorian Literature We will read Victorian novels and poems that will disrupt our common sense of what Victorian culture is all about. Were the Victorians really prudish? How did they understand race and sexuality? How and when were they wildly experimental as writers? As we think about these questions we will also learn to practice immersive reading. We will begin with Tennyson's In Memoriam and engage with significant novels and long poems by Eliot, Gaskell or Dickens, the Brownings, and George Meredith, ending with the poetry and prose of Oscar Wilde. We will also consider remakes in the form of film and contemporary fiction. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L.
[EN493K]    Seminar: The Complications of Jonathan Swift Best known for his acerbic satires, "A Modest Proposal" and Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift was a prolific writer across genres. In the 18th century he was well known for his wry and at times profane poetry, his political pamphlets, and his dynamic prose fiction. He was also the subject of much gossip surrounding his romantic affairs and much speculation about his complicated political and national allegiances. We'll examine the life and writings of Swift—satire, poetry, pamphleteering, novelistic writing, science fiction—with emphasis on what reading the multifaceted Swift today teaches us about contingency, identity, and the in/stability of meaning. Accordingly, we will ask and answer: to what extent are Swift's complications also our own? Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN493Lf    Seminar: Women Writers in Britain and the Empire Focusing on women writers in the long nineteenth century, this seminar address multiple borders and margins: the porous borders between Britain and the empire, the borders created by internal colonialism within Britain, the shifting definitions and power of the provincial and the metropolitan. Case studies ranging from the ex-slave Mary Prince to the South Asian poet Toru Dutt, from the 'provincial' Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte) to Michael Field (Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper). How were women writers marginalized—and how did they overcome this marginalization? How did they cross geographical borders, genres, and gendered boundaries? Fulfills English C and P requirements. Boundaries and Margins humanities lab. Four credit hours. L. Gibson
EN493Ns    Seminar: 17th-century Literature and the Natural World Explores English literature written during the scientific revolution, including Shakespeare's King Lear, poems and prose by 17th-c. women, and Milton's Paradise Lost. How do these texts imagine the natural world and the human within it? How do they propose or challenge boundaries between human and non-human animals? How do attitudes toward the environment emerge, change and persist in literary history and more broadly in the history of ideas? We seek answers through lively reading strategies, creative exercises, and research both online and in Special Collections archives. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Environmental Humanities lab and Boundaries/Margins theme course. Four credit hours. L. Sagaser