Announcement of Classes: Fall 2011

The Announcement of Classes is available one week before Tele-Bears begins every semester. Creative Writing and (for fall) Honors Course applications are available at the same time in the racks outside of 322 Wheeler Hall.


Freshman Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: Tues. 2-3
Location: 205 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Thoreau, H. D.: Walden

Description

We will read Thoreau's Walden in small chunks, probably about thirty pages per week. This will allow us time to dwell upon the complexities of a book that is much more mysterious than those who have read the book casually, or those who have only heard about it, realize. We will also try to work some with online versions of the book, using the wordsearch command to identify words such as "woodchuck" or "dimple" that reappear frequently, in order to speculate on patterns Thoreau is trying to establish. Regular attendance and participation, along with a loose five-page essay at the end, are required.

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.


Freshman Seminar: Procrastination: Theory and Practice

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Schweik, Susan
Schweik, Susan
Time: Tues. 10-11
Location: 201 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Andreou and White, Chrisoula and Mark: The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination; Fiore, Neil: The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

Description

Why do we procrastinate? What can we do to stop it? This course explores procrastination both as a practical problem and as a springboard for theoretical inquiry into questions of choice, will, agency, rationality and morality. We'll read (slowly and thoughtfully) some serious philosophical work on the subject, and we'll explore some literary, artistic and filmic representations that shed light on the processes of procrastinating. Not least, we'll critically examine, and then try out, various strategies for coping with procrastination. I can be talked into admitting you into this course if you don't procrastinate. Actually, if that's the case I'd very much like to meet you. If you do procrastinate, hey, why not take this course NOW?

Susan Schweik is a Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities. Does she procrastinate? What do you think?

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.


Freshman Seminar: Two Novels by Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility and Emma

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Paley, Morton D.
Paley, Morton
Time: Tues. 2-4 (9/6 - 10/25 only)
Location: L-45 Unit III (on Durant)


Other Readings and Media

Austen, J.: Sense and Sensibility, ed. James Kinsley; Austen, J.: Emma, ed. James Kingsley, Introduction and Notes by Adela Pinch

Description

This seminar is meant to be an interesting and pleasant introduction to the study of a great novelist: Jane Austen. We'll read and discuss two novels: Sense and Sensibility and Emma. We'll approach the novels from a number of different perspectives, including (but not limited to): the roles of class and gender, Austen's language, plot structure, "point of view," the thematization of moral concerns, and the interplay of her fiction and the history of her time. We’ll spend at least one meeting (or two if there is sufficient interest) on film versions of the two novels. We'll also discuss various critical approaches to the two works.

Your responsibilities will be 1) to attend regularly, bringing with you the assigned texts (see Note on the Texts below); 2) to participate in discussion; 3) to make a 15-minute (not longer) presentation, and 4) to write a short essay (about 1500 words, 7-8 double-spaced pages) on a subject of your own choice, due at the last seminar meeting. I’ll be glad to read rough drafts of your essays in advance.

At the first meeting we'll consider a number of possible presentation subjects for you to choose from, and of course you may also suggest your own. Each of you will have a meeting with me during my office hours to help prepare for this. Some of you may wish to collaborate on presentations. In the latter part of the term, conferences on choosing an essay topic will be encouraged.

Please note that our first meeting will be on the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Regarding the book list: Because we'll be examining a number of passages closely each time, going quickly from passage to passage, we'll need to locate these quickly by page number. For that reason it’s important that everyone have the same text of the two novels.

This course will meet September 6 through October 25 only.

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.


Freshman Seminar: David Copperfield

English 24

Section: 4
Instructor: Tracy, Robert
Tracy, Robert
Time: M 3-5 (9/12 - 10/31 only)
Location: Room L20 of Unit II (2650 Haste St.)


Description

In David Copperfield (1849-50), Charles Dickens writes a novel about a novelist named David Copperfield who writes a novel about Charles Dickens--for many of David's adventures and ordeals mirror Dickens's own experiences that prepared him to be a novelist. In the novel he called "his favorite child" Dickens examines his own right--and David's--to be considered "the hero of his own life." The novel explores the role of emotional pain in the development of a novelist, while at the same time surrounding David with some of the comically grotesque characters that peopled Dickens's imagination. We will be examining David Copperfield as a confessional novel, as a success story, as a major English novel, and as popular entertainment.

David Copperfield was originally published as a twenty-part serial and we will read it serially, adjusting the text to fit our eight-week schedule. I ask you to read chapters 1-9 for our first meeting. Please try not to read ahead of assignment for subsequent meetings.

This class will start on September 12 and end on October 31.

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.


Freshman Seminar

English 24

Section: 5
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Padilla, Genaro
Time: W 3-4
Location: 223 Wheeler


Description

T. B. A.


Literature of American Cultures: Race and Ethnicity in Hollywood Cinema

English 31AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Wagner, Bryan
Time: MW 4-5:30 + film screenings Thurs. 7-10 P.M.
Location: 213 Wheeler (lectures); films in 170 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

T. B. A.

Films: Birth of a Nation (D. W. Griffith, 1915); The Shiek (George Melford, 1921); The Jazz Singer (Alan Crosland, 1927); The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Frank Capra, 1933); Bordertown (Archie Mayo, 1935); Bad Day at Black Rock (John Sturges, 1955); The Searchers (John Ford, 1956); Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958); Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959); West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961); In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison, 1967); The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

Description

An introduction to critical thinking about race and ethnicity, focused on a select group of films produced in the United States between the 1910s and 1970s. Major themes include law and violence, kinship and miscegenation, passing and racial impersonation. Each film is paired with a related reading in theory or applied criticism. There will be weekly writing assignments, two essays, a midterm and a final examination.

The weekly films will also be available (on reserve) in the library.

There will be no film screening on Thursday, August 25, inasmuch as the first meeting of the course will take place on Monday, August 29.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien O'Keeffe, Katherine
O'Brien O'Keeffe, Katherine
Time: MW 10-11 + discussion sections F 10-11
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Liuzza, R. M. (trans): Beowulf; Dickson, D., (ed.): Poetry of John Donne; Mann, J., (ed.): Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, C.:  Dr. Faustus; Milton, J.:  Paradise Lost

Description

This course will introduce you to some central works from the earlier centuries of English literary history in order to help you develop strategies within which to read early literatures. Its particular focus on Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Dr. Faustus, the poetry of John Donne, and Paradise Lost will allow us to engage the early literature of England from a variety of perspectives. We will explore various genres (among them, epic, romance, lyric, drama) and the expectations created by these forms. Throughout, we will be thinking about contemporary literary conventions and the cultural contexts of the works on which we focus. And we will attend closely to matters of language, observing how English changes over the centuries.

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
Time: MW 3-4 + discussion sections F 3-4
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Howe, N.: Beowulf: A Prose Translation; Niles, J.: Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition; Mann, J.: Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales, an original spelling edition; Dickson, D.: The Poetry of John Donne; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost; Marlowe, C.: Dr. Faustus

Description

This course will focus on the central works of the early English literary tradition, beginning with Beowulf and ending with Paradise Lost. We will examine the texts in light of the cultures in which they were produced, asking ourselves why these works were written when they were written, and what the unfamiliar cultures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance have to say to us now. We will also focus on developing reading skills and on understanding the literary tradition as a set of interrelated texts and problems that recur over the course of centuries. We will examine these works as formal artifacts as well as historical documents. Students will work on close readings, on literary language, and on understanding generic distinctions as they functioned in the past and function now. Expect to write three papers and to take a final exam.

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.


Literature in English: Late 17th- Through Mid-19th Centuries

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Langan, Celeste
Time: MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Richardson, S.: Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded; The Norton Anthology of American Literature, volumes A and B; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, volume C; Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads; Shelley, M.: Frankenstein; Dickens, C.: Bleak House

Description

On the face of it, English 45B seems like a “neither/nor” course; neither a course in the great English "originals" (Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton) nor a course in “modern(ist)” literature. It represents neither the supposed “origin” nor the putative “end” of literature in English; it’s only the middle, and a peculiarly defined middle at that: from the “Glorious Revolution” that legitimated an extra-national monarch for Great Britain to the end of a Civil War in that former British colony, “America.” But students electing to take this course will discover that the writers in this period defined or redefined—in their practices as well as in their prefaces—virtually every idea that governs our attitudes toward “literature” and literacy. We’ll examine how Alexander Pope makes English into an artificial language that “belongs” to no particular class; we’ll see how letters are the means by which former “nobodies”—women and slaves—exercise a measure of freedom and autonomy. But we’ll also see the supposedly liberatory, democratizing power of letters and of literature challenged—by Dickens, in Bleak House, and Melville, in “Bartleby the Scrivener.” As we consider Wordsworth's and Coleridge’s attempt to redefine poetry and Emerson’s and Thoreau’s attempt to write new kinds of prose, we’ll also ask more general questions: what constitutes the “novelty” of literature; if novelty or “originality” is a value, what is the point of reading literature of the past?

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.


Literature in English: Late 17th- Through Mid-19th Centuries

English 45B

Section: 2
Instructor: Goldsmith, Steven
Goldsmith, Steven
Time: MW 2-3 + discussion sections F 2-3
Location: 159 Mulford


Other Readings and Media

Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol C, Restoration and Eighteenth Century; Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol D, Romantic Period; Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice; Brown, Charles B: Wieland; Franklin, Benjamin: Autobiography; Melville, Herman: Billy Budd and Other Stories; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein

Description

Our course begins at sea, with the “violent storm” and shipwreck of Gulliver’s Travels, and ends at sea in Benito Cereno, with a tragic convergence of Europe, America, and Africa, just off “a small, desert, uninhabited island toward the southern extremity of the long coast of Chili.” These scenes of dislocation correspond to the rise of modernity that forms our topic. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century modernity involves a variety of new or accelerating instabilities: epistemological uncertainty; cultural relativism in newly imagined global contexts; the transformation of economic value from land to (liquid) capital; linguistic self-consciousness in a rapidly expanding print culture; and altered forms of subjectivity navigating the new political rhetoric of republicanism, freedom, and individualism. The subtitle of Wieland sums up our course in a word: “The Transformation.” Throughout, we will ask what literary anxieties and opportunities such “transformation” entails, at a time when everything solid—self, world, and society—turns fluid, as if at sea.

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.


Literature in English: Mid-19th Through the 20th Century

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Premnath, Gautam
Premnath, Gautam
Time: MW 11-12 + discussion sections F 11-12
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Douglass, F.: The Narrative of Frederick Douglass; Stevenson, R.L.: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Conrad, J.: Heart of Darkness; Forster, E. M.: Howards End; West, N.: Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust; Achebe, C.: Things Fall Apart; Ng, F.: Bone

Description

This semester we will cut a selective path through a vast swathe of literature in English, tracing patterns of continuity and change from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. In the process we will encounter some of the key works of the past two centuries, while witnessing the emergence of English as a world-spanning literary language.

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.


Literature in English: Mid-19th Through the 20th Century

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Goble, Mark
Time: MW 1-2 + discussion sections F 1-2
Location: 390 Hearst Mining


Other Readings and Media

James, H.: The Turn of the Screw and In the Cage; Stoker, B.: Dracula; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury; Ellison, R.: Invisible Man; Pynchon, T.: Crying of Lot 49;

Description

This course examines a range of British and American texts from the period with an emphasis on literary history and its social and political contexts.  We will focus on the emergence, development, and legacy of modernism as a set of formal innovations that can help us see how literature works as a style of cultural response over a series of transformative decades whose effects still resonate today.  We will also consider modernism alongside other literary modes (realism, naturalism, postmodernism) that imagine different ways of representing the experience of the modern world—and of finding a place for literature within it.  Particular attention will be paid to close reading and questions of literary form, even as we think about larger issues such as the relationship between reading and entertainment, the changing status of art in respect to new technologies of information and representation, and challenges to traditional conceptions of the self that are posed by new languages of psychological, national, and racial identity.

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.


Introduction to Environmental Studies

English C77

Section: 1
Instructor: Hass, Robert L.
Hass, Robert & Sposito, Gary
Time: TTh 12:30-2 + 1-1/2 hours of discussion section per week
Location: 100 GPB


Other Readings and Media

The required books for the course will be available exclusively at Analog Books, located just one block up Euclid Avenue from the North Gate entrance to the Berkeley campus. The Course Reader, Introduction to Environmental Studies, will be available exclusively from Copy Central, 2483 Hearst Avenue, right across the street from the North Gate entrance. There will also be a required environmental science textbook (possibly provided as an eBook).

Description

This is a team-taught introduction to environmental studies. The team consists of a professor of environmental science, a professor of English, and three graduate student instructors working in the field. The aim of the course is to give students the basic science of the environment, an introduction to environmental literature, philosophy, and policy issues, and analytic tools to evaluate a range of environmental problems. The course requires some time spent outdoors in observation as well as a lot of reading and writing.

This course is cross-listed with E.S.P.M. C12.


Sophomore Seminar: High Culture, Low Culture: Postmodernism and the Films of the Coen Brothers

English 84

Section: 1
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Bader, Julia
Time: Thurs. 2-5
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Books to be determined

Description

We will concentrate on the high and low cultural elements in the noir comedies of the Coen brothers, discussing their use of Hollywood genres, parodies of classic conventions, and representation of arbitrariness. We will also read some fiction and attend events at the Pacific Film Archive and Cal Performances. This seminar may be used to satisfy the Arts and Literature breadth requirement in Letters and Science.

This 2-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.


Sophomore Seminar: Know Thyself

English 84

Section: 2
Instructor: Coolidge, John S.
Coolidge, John
Time: M 2-4
Location: 108 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

On-line reader

Description

This simple, two-word admonition carved over the entrance to the ancient temple at Delphi might be called the founding oracle of western humanism. The phrase itself is alive and well today, as a Google search will amply confirm, but what does it mean? We will read and discuss texts illustrating the remarkable variety of ways in which the oracle has been interpreted in the past, beginning with Socrates’ equally bemusing declaration that “The unexamined life is not livable for a human being,” or words to that effect. I envision a kind of ongoing “focus group” in which we try to ascertain which “takes” on the oracle resonate with us today and why.

This 2-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.