Courses of Study
[EN115] English Composition Frequent practice in expository writing to foster clarity of organization and expression in the development of ideas. The assigned reading varies, but all English 115 courses discuss student writing. Students should select their first-choice course and submit alternate preferences via the Web page provided. Four credit hours. W1.
[EN115A] English Composition: Models of Voice "A writer must be in command of a variety of styles, in order to draw on the style that is most appropriate to the situation" (Corbett and Connors, 3). What rhetorical strategies have worked well for writers in the past? How can you refine your own critical voice by examining these models? Through study of grammar and the principles of effective writing, and through close readings, analyses, and imitations of a range of rhetorical strategies, students build a repertoire of skills upon which to draw for academic writing in their college careers. Four credit hours. W1.
EN115Cfs English Composition: Critical Inquiries into 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
[EN115F] English Composition: Voices in Medical Ethics By studying the writing of ethics scholars, medical doctors, scientists, journalists, creative authors and other thinkers, students will learn about a range of current bioethical issues and effective ways to represent and discuss them. In their own papers, students will enter several bioethical conversations, emulating techniques for engaging and guiding readers, organizing information, summarizing controversies, clarifying concepts, elucidating nuance, arguing positions, and using secondary sources responsibly and effectively. Also introduces some foundational tools of research and gives regular practice and guidance in oral discussion. Four credit hours. W1.
EN115Gf First-Year Writing: Rich and Poor in American Novels Listed as Writing Program 115G. Four credit hours. W1. Harrington
[EN115H] English Composition: 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. Environmental humanities lab. Four credit hours. W1.
EN115Jj English Composition: 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. Osborne
EN115Kf English Composition: Writers on Writing Encourages students to think of writing as an indispensable, improvable, and pleasurable aptitude worthy of a lifetime's dedication, hard work, and practice. Will help students take greater possession of the multitude of voices they can effectively generate and maintain by using writing to examine the aims of writing in human culture generally. Assignments will move from first-person accounts of students' experience with writing to a more formal research project in which students will link their own attitudes and beliefs to the insights of our most well-respected writers and scholars so they might practice the more collective thinking common to the public sphere. Four credit hours. W1. Blevins
[EN115L] English Composition: Literature of Adolescent Sexuality Fiction shows us the rules of life: how rules confine us, free us, make us who we are, with one set for children, another for adults. But whose rules do adolescents play by? And what do these rules say about the experience/expression of sexuality? An examination of artistic representations of adolescent sexual life during and after the great shift in norms of the 1960s. Topics include LGBTQ identities, violence, virginity, pleasure, health education, and the politics of empowerment. Creative work—novels, short stories, and film—will be our primary focus. Assignments include a research paper, a personal essay, and a work of imaginative prose. Four credit hours. W1.
[EN115M] English Composition: Border Formations, Narratives of Nation Building Analyzes discourses of border formations and immigration by engaging with a wide array of writing genres: news articles, blogs, investigative journalism, scholarly articles, and works of fiction. The goal is to understand how border formations shape national identity and how each genre is shaped by different writing conventions, multiple discourse communities, and varying ideological investments. By focusing on each piece of writing's purpose, audience, and context, students will be able to evaluate, assess, and produce different kinds of writing. Four credit hours. W1.
EN115Nf English Composition: Art of the Personal Essay Focuses on how prose style shapes the articulation of personal voice and persona in writing essays. Students will learn to shape personal voice more actively in their writing through the analysis and imitation of essays written by a range of essayists. Class exercise and assignments will include the study of rhetoric and implied argument; exercises in prose analysis, expository writing, and imitation; an intensive review of grammar and syntax in standard American English; and strategies of successful academic writing across the College. Assessment is based on daily quizzes, an examination, the completion of several short essays, and the completion of a final and more substantial "personal essay." Four credit hours. W1. Mazzeo
[EN120] Language, Thought, and Writing Four credit hours. W1.
[EN120A] 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.
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
EN120Ef 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. Bryant
EN120Ff Language, Thought, and Writing: Literature as Persuasion This writing-intensive course examines the multiple ways in which literature functions as persuasive art. Rooted in human experience, literature makes specific claims about the nature of lived social reality and the way language shapes that reality, and, in turn is shaped by it. We explore metaphor, language, and persuasion in specific essays in order to study the sonnet; we read prose satire to examine how it employs metaphor to make specific claims about social and political reality; and we read fiction and drama to show how narrative functions metaphorically to imaginatively shape the experience of crossing borders. Four credit hours. W1. Roy
EN120Gs Language, Thought, and Writing: Games, Rules, and Play Happy Hunger Games! We will examine the concepts of games, rules, and play across literary history. By focusing on the conventions of poetry, short fiction, the novel, drama, and new genres, we will work through close reading strategies and devote serious attention to the writing process. Topics include poetic forms; linguistic play; the "rules" of race, gender, and sexuality; adaptation; globalization; the concept of "the end." Texts include poems by Shakespeare, Spenser, Millay, Duffy, Mullen; fiction by Díaz, Chiang, Larsen, Doyle; Collins's The Hunger Games and film adaptation; drama by Shaw, Beckett, Ives; conceptual writing by Goldsmith, and Shirinyan. Four credit hours. W1. Ardam
[EN120H] Language, Thought, and Writing: Contemporary Women's Literature Explores how women writers in the 20th and 21st centuries interrogate central mythologies that have long framed cultural perceptions of women in Western society. We will read the original Grimms' Fairy Tales (in their many incarnations) alongside the work of contemporary female fiction writers who work in both realist and fabulist modes, and we will study female poets who rewrite Greek myths to present the female perspective. Builds critical reading and writing skills; assignments will include personal responses to and critical analyses of the assigned texts. The culminating project will introduce the rigors and pleasures of incorporating scholarly research into one's academic work. Four credit hours. W1.
EN120Is Inventing Nature in New England This humanities lab course will combine 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. The Presence of the Past humanities lab. Four credit hours. W1. Gibson
EN120Jf Language, Thought, and Writing: How to Write a Revolution Focuses on what writing can do at a moment of political exigency. We will look at 18th-century revolutionary writing (American, French, and Haitian) to examine strategies of persuasion, advocacy, and resistance. Class readings will include poetry, autobiography, letters, and political pamphlets. We will develop a critical vocabulary for literary and rhetorical analysis and use a variety of forms to reflect on, imitate, and respond to revolutionary writing. We will also digest and evaluate contemporary responses in examples ranging from present-day political rhetoric to Hamilton. Four credit hours. W1. Reed
EN120Ks 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. White
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 History 138. Elect Integrated Studies 138. Four credit hours. L, W1. Stubbs
EN141f Beginning Playwriting Listed as Theater and Dance 141. Four credit hours. A. Oldham
EN142fs Introduction to Cinema Studies Listed as Cinema Studies 142. Four credit hours. A. Wurtzler
EN174s 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. Four credit hours. Mazzeo
EN174Jj 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. Donnelly
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. Previously listed as English 172. Prerequisite: W1 course or equivalent (can be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L. Ardam, Cook, Sagaser, Stubbs
[EN200J] Foundations of Literary Studies Required for the English major, this 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. Previously listed as English 172. Prerequisite: Any W1 course or equivalent. Three credit hours.
EN213s 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. Osborne
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. Harrington
EN224f Performance History I Listed as Theater and Dance 224. Four credit hours. L. Oldham
EN226s Performance History II Listed as Theater and Dance 226. Four credit hours. L. Oldham
[EN231] 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.
[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.
[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.
EN237j 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. Roy
EN238j 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. Suchoff
[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.
[EN243] Plants, Animals, and (Almost) Humans Investigates the relationship between humans and our others: first plants and animals, and then androids, aliens, and clones. From HD's harsh sea roses to the carnivorous Venus fly trap of Little Shop of Horrors, from London's narrating dog to Wallace's sentient Maine lobsters, from Butler's sensuous Oankali to Ishiguro's clueless clones, these "others" confront us with the radically dissimilar and uncannily familiar and ask us to reimagine our rigid categories of plant, animal, self, and other. Incorporates 20th-century texts from various national traditions and includes poetry, drama, fiction, comics, essays, film, and video art. Fulfills English C requirement. Previously listed as EN297J (Jan Plan 2017). Three credit hours. L.
EN245f 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. Previously offered as English 297 (Fall 2016). Prerequisite: Any W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L. Gibson
[EN246] Poetry and Cognition What insights can poetry offer to the study of human cognition, and how might discoveries and ideas from linguistics, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind illuminate our experience of poems and our understanding of poetry's central role in cultures through history? We will begin to answer these questions through interdisciplinary reading and research, discussion, and creative engagement, and we will experiment with poems from the Renaissance to the present. Fulfills English C and P requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN247s 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. Ardam
[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
[EN256] Studies in American Literary History: Civil War to the Present 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, 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. Along the way, we will ask: What is America? Who is America for? Whom should it be for? Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L.
EN258j 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. The Presence of the Past humanities lab. Three credit hours. A. Blevins, Braunstein
[EN262] Poetry of Revolution Poetry has a long history of undermining authority, challenging assumptions, and forging connections between bold and daring minds. We will examine Renaissance and 17th-century texts that are both poetically and politically powerful, from speeches of Elizabeth I to Shakespearean political drama to poems advancing new scientific ideas to the revolutionary oratory of Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost. We will also explore the influence of Shakespeare and Milton on political discourse in the early United States and ask how it illuminates the rhetoric unfolding around us this election year. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN263] Poetry and the Nature of Being Poets and biologists are closer kin than you might know. Many great poems are rooted in unflinching, patient, penetrating observation and fearless inquiry into the nature of things. Poets and natural scientists (called "natural philosophers" in earlier centuries) have also shared alertness to form, pattern, rhythm, complexity, and the constancy of change—"never-resting time" and "interchange of state" in Shakespeare's terms. Reading poems by poet-naturalists from the Renaissance to the present, we will explore ways poetry and myriad biological sciences have inspired each other in the past and might inform each other in new ways in the future. Science majors welcome. Previously listed as EN297 (Jan Plan 2016). Prerequisite: A W1 course is strongly preferred. Three credit hours.
EN264s 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. Aligned with the Annual Humanities Theme, Presence of the Past. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Sagaser Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Sagaser
EN265f 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. Reed
EN268f 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. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: W1 course (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours. L. Roy
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. Mazzeo, Osborne, Suchoff
[EN275] Introduction to Creative Writing Teaches students to write expressively or artistically in three main literary genres. Like many other writing classes, it focuses on process (multiple drafting, revision), but adds to this deeper instruction into qualities that distinguish literary writers in all genres—a willingness to embrace ambiguity, to fail productively, to observe without haste, to be open to multiple solutions and alternative perspectives, and to be able to make aesthetic judgments about texts—especially our own—without regard for commercial value. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. A.
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. Braunstein, 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. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. A. Blevins, 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
[EN282] Environmental Literature: Reading through the Ecocritical Prism Using literature to understand the complicated relationship of humans to the nonhuman is one of the important innovations in literary studies of the last 30 years. Students see the ways by which we perceive and articulate values we hold about the environment, our relationship to other animals and landscapes, and our place in the ecosystem. Works considered will range from the canonical and expected (Thoreau, Muir, et. al.) to modern works from other continents and authors we do not ordinarily think of as environmental writers. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
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
EN297j Race, Gender, and Experimental Women's Writing Explores race and gender in experimental poetry by women writers. We will anchor our understanding of experimental writing in Gertrude Stein's works and then focus on poetry by writers of color in the 21st century. We will pay particular attention to the intersections of otherness and poetic forms and consider the ways that formal experiments challenge normative understandings of gender, race, sexuality, and the body. We will read poetry and prose by Mullen, Sharif, Philip, Lewis, Long Solider, Hong, de la Torre, and Rankine. No previous experience with poetry necessary. Fulfills English P and D requirements. Credit cannot be earned for this course and English 398, "Forms of Otherness" (Spring 2017). Prerequisite: W1 course. Three credit hours. L, U. Ardam
EN298s Genres of the Mystery Novel Introductory study in the genres and conventions of the mystery novel and the attendant genres of the thriller, gothic, the locked box, and whodunnit. We will focus on the development and delineation of literary genre over time and in different cultural and national contexts and on the different configurations of structure and character, but the primary focus is on the golden age of the mystery novel from c. 1850-1940. Authors range from Conan Doyle and Collins to Sayre and Christie, as well as contemporary examples. This is a reading intensive course. Fulfills English C requirement. Four credit hours. L. Mazzeo
EN298As Fake News and the Rise of the Novel Examines the early novel as a site of conjecture and debate about fake news, truth claims, and credibility. We will read four novels spanning almost a century, and let those novels teach us how to distinguish truth from lies, and where such distinctions are most needed. Fulfills English E requirement. Four credit hours. L. Reed
EN310fs Professional Writing Listed as Writing Program 310. Four credit hours. W2, U. Hancock
[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. Previously listed as EN397 (Fall 2015). 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
[EN313] Poetry and Power in the English Renaissance In the 16th and early 17th centuries, a wildly inventive period for the English language itself, poetry played an increasingly powerful role in both private and public life. Poetry could seduce in the realms of ideas and politics as well as love, and was integral to new modes of thought. We will study and experiment with a wide range of lyric, narrative, and dramatic poetry by women and men, bringing to our study cognitive linguistic insights as well inquiries into history. Fulfills English E and P requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN314] 17th-Century Literature and the Natural World A study of English literature in the century of Galileo and Newton, from Shakespeare's King Lear through Milton's Paradise Lost, with emphasis on representations of the natural world and the moral, political, and gendered uses of the concepts of "nature" and "natural." We explore how essays, plays, pastoral poetry, erotic lyrics, political prose, and epics engage in pressing anxieties and questions of late Renaissance culture. How does God control nature, if at all? How does one reconcile natural observations with contradictory scriptural claims? Could "the law of nature" be "the beginning and end of all government," as Milton writes? Fulfills English E and P requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN315f 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. Cook
[EN316] 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 requirement. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L, W2.
[EN317] Literatures of Reform: Censorship, Science, and Satire, 1660-1740 The "long 18th century", including the 1660-1700 era of the monarchy's Restoration and the 18th century proper, is a period during which the tumultuous politics of overthrowing and reinstating kings, identity conflicts between urban and rural lifestyles, and brash "paper wars" between authors competing in a rich literary marketplace combine in a raucous literary scene. We illuminate this scene, and reflect on what the writings of Aphra Behn, William Congreve, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and others tell us about our contemporary approaches to class, gender, religion, national identity, foreign policy, and the wider interplay between literature and politics. Four credit hours. L.
[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.
[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. Fulfills English E requirement. Four credit hours. L.
EN322f 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. Mazzeo
[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.
[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.
[EN333] Environmental Revolutions in American Literature and Culture Explores the role that literature and the arts have played in the ongoing "environmental revolution" waged by people of color and their allies. Case studies will introduce students to a range of environmental justice issues and movements, bringing a humanities-based approach to topics most often treated through the lenses of science, law, and policy. Texts will include multiethnic American literature, film, and music, as well as several artworks in the Colby College Museum of Art. We will analyze how environmental justice activists, scholars, and artists have responded to new challenges while also revising core concepts and priorities of mainstream environmentalism. Fulfills English C and D requirements. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[EN334] The Age of Revolution Examines the literatures and histories associated with three major liberal revolutions of the European Enlightenment (U.S., French, Haitian) while placing these in the context of the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. Considers the influence of the Scientific Revolution on political revolution in the long 18th century. Fulfills English C and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[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.
[EN337] 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. Four credit hours. L.
[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.
EN341s 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. Sibara
[EN342] Literature of the Rural The "rural" in the American imaginary depends on a relation between the city and country that challenges systems of belief and value about the natural world and the possibility of human agency within it. Many of the myths of place writers create are essentially rural and pastoral rather than urban and industrial spaces, including Stephen Crane's Whilomville, William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, and William Carlos Williams's Paterson. Concentrating on novels, stories, essays, and poetry, we will explore the dynamic play of margin and center, national and local identity, and the shifting sense of what it means to be, and not be, "rural" and American in the long 20th century. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[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. 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.
EN352f 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. Bryant
EN353s 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. Bryant
[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.
[EN367] History of the English Language Explores the development of English in both its linguistic and cultural dimensions. The first half examines historical changes in English language and grammar, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present. The second half considers a wide variety of issues in contemporary sociolinguistics. Topics will include the standardization of spelling and grammar, dialect and slang, history of lexicography, the rise of global Englishes, and emerging digital tools for linguistic study. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L.
EN369f Reading Race Now: 21st-Century Multiethnic-American Literature 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. Sibara
EN378fs 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. Braunstein
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. Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: English 279. Four credit hours. Blevins, White
EN380s Creative Nonfiction Writing II 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 or other nonfiction writing course. Four credit hours. A. Burke
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
EN386Cs 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. Spark
EN397f Poetry Remixes Remixing, re-visioning, rewriting, appropriation, quotation, and recycling are key methods and concerns for many 20th- and 21st-century poets. This humanities lab will study 100 years of poetic remixing in units on gender, race and identity, and culture. We will work with Special Collections and the Colby Museum, including a project on the found language poetry of Bern Porter. We will ask questions such as: How and why do poets engage other art and cultural forms? How does remixing shape our understanding of history and politics? What does our poetic engagement with the past tell us about how we view our political moment? Fulfulls English C and P requirements. The Presence of the Past humanities lab. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. L. Ardam
EN398s 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. The Presence of the Past humanities lab. Four credit hours. L. Walker
EN398Bs Sex, Power, and Performance: Restoration Drama We will immerse ourselves in one of the most innovative and experimental periods in English theater, Restoration drama. Our story begins with the restoration of the English monarchy in the person of the hedonistic Charles II and concludes in 1737 when government censorship was enforced on the English stage again. WeĽll read comedies, tragedies, and burlesques. Learning goals: Close read and analyze a range of plays; investigate the role of theater in an age of social and political contradiction; produce clear and critical oral and written analyses of a variety of dramatic texts; investigate performance as interpretation. Fulfills English E requirement. Four credit hours. L. Reed
[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.
[EN412] Global Shakespeares A humanities lab that examines international appropriations of Shakespeare's plays through film, through exploration of translation practices and adaptations, and through development of an exhibition of German Shakespearean prints in conjunction with the Colby Museum of Art. Explores Shakespeare's plays within the context of intercultural dialogues, theories about cultural imperialism, and filming/artistic practices in global markets. Significant research required. Required film screenings. Fulfills English E requirement. 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.
[EN413E] Author Course: Herman Melville An examination of significant works by Herman Melville, considered through his life history and the larger historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts conditioning his 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.
[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 How biographical information and critical responses aid in understanding the key themes, literary projects, and central problems of works by one the most famous writers of the American literary tradition, Henry James. Three credit hours. L.
[EN413M] Author Course: 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? Four credit hours. L.
[EN413Q] Author Course: Stephen King: Mystery, Magic, and Maine "Ourself behind ourself, concealed-/Should startle most," the speaker announces in a gothic poem by Emily Dickinson. Earlier practitioners of the American Gothic like Poe concur with this sentiment, but it is in the works of Stephen King that the tensions between material and immaterial spaces—and the intersections of horror, the uncanny, and terror—reach their full measure in the 20th century. Almost no other American author is as prolific as Stephen King and writes across as many genres, including novels, short stories, novellas, and essays. We will explore the shaping influence of King's writing on American pop culture, Maine, and New England, and nightmare subjects including alienation, dystopia, blackness, and abjection that should startle most. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. L, U.
[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 C and D requirements. 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
EN442s 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. Stubbs
EN457s 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. Bryant
[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.
[EN479] Advanced Studies in Poetry An advanced "group independent" workshop, providing a capstone experience to creative writing concentrators and minors working in poetry. Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: English 379. Two to four credit hours.
[EN479J] Advanced Studies in Poetry An advanced "group independent" workshop, providing a capstone experience to creative writing concentrators and minors working in poetry. Fulfills English P requirement. Prerequisite: English 379. 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
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
EN493As 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. Osborne
[EN493B] Seminar: Beyond Borders: Narratives of Crossing and Return 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, environmental studies, race and ethnic studies, and gender and queer studies will animate and inform our close analyses of literary works including Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men, Nella Larsen's Passing, Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, and Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange, and films including Sankofa (Haile Gerima), Lone Star (John Sayles), and The Aggressives (Daniel Peddle). Four credit hours. L.
[EN493C] 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.
[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.
EN493Gs 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. In connection with this year's Humanities Center theme, 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. Aligned with the Annual Humanities Theme, Presence of the Past. Fulfills English C and P requirements. Four credit hours. L. Sagaser Four credit hours. L. Sagaser
[EN493H] Seminar: Migratory Poetics How are poetic forms and tropes transformed as their creators migrate from one country, place, or language to another? How do writers use poetic forms to confront new places, engage with new languages, and make their ways across cultures? How do lyrics or narratives allow writers to shape the experience of cultural estrangement? We will engage several case studies, from late 18th- and early 19th-century India (William Jones, H. L. V. Derozio, and others), to the Canadian backwoods (Susanna Moody, Anne Knight, and Margaret Atwood), to native American/First Nations poets encountering a dominant Anglo culture (Pauline Johnson and others), to transatlantic expatriates (Pound, H.D., and Eliot). Fulfills English C, D, and P requirements. Four credit hours. L.
[EN493I] Seminar: Imperialism and Literature A critical exploration of the British imperial imagination, the seminar examines the imaginative discourses produced in Britain about its colonies from the 17th century to the modern era. It analyzes ways in which literature was shaped by, and in turn, directed the social, political, and cultural forces that marked imperialism. More specifically, it identifies narratives about "frontiers" (physical, psychological, and moral) across which British identity was defined and consolidated. Using Edward Said's theory of orientalism, the seminar traces the multiple, and sometimes contradictory, worlds evoked in literature through which ideas about alterity or otherness enter the domain of culture. Fulfills English C, D, and E requirements. Four credit hours. L.
EN493Jf 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. Gibson