Announcement of Classes: Spring 2012

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: Bullets Across the Bay--Detective Narratives Set in San Francisco

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Hutson, Richard
Time: W 9-10
Location: 203 Wheeler


Book List

Hammett, Dashiell: The Maltese Falcon; Mersereau, John: Murder Loves Company; Muller, Marcia: Dead Midnight

Other Readings and Media

There will be films as required texts.

Description

Why are detective novels set in a place?  San Francisco has provided a favorite setting for the detective story since the work of Dashiell Hammett, especially with the publication of The Maltese Falcon (1930).  Of course, San Francisco is a city, but it is also a city that has been branded in certain ways.  Detective writers take into account this fairly abstract sense of the meaning of San Francisco.  And so we will look at some major detective stories set in San Francisco with its distinctive history and geography.  Novels for the course are The Maltese Falcon, Murder Loves Company, and Dead Midnight.  We will also screen some major films of detective narratives set in San Francisco, like Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Siegel’s Dirty Harry, Wang’s Chan is Missing.  A short paper will be due at the end of the semester: students should pick a narrative and discuss the meaning of San Francisco for that novel or film.

This course coincides with the Bancroft’s display of their collection of detective stories set in San Francisco, “Bullets Across the Bay.”  See the display in the main gallery (the Brown gallery) of Doe Library.

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


Freshman Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: M 2-3
Location: 14 Haviland


Book List

Thoreau, Henry: Walden

Description

As close and careful a reading of Thoreau's dense and enigmatic work as we can manage in the time that we have. Regular attendance and participation and five pages of writing will be required.

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


Introduction to the Writing of Short Fiction

English 43A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Chandra, Vikram
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Pitlor, Heidi: The Best American Short Stories 2011

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, to be purchased from Zee Zee Copy.

Description

A short fiction workshop.  Over the course of the semester, each student will write and revise two stories.  Each participant in the workshop will edit student-written stories, and will write a formal critique of each manuscript.  Students are required to attend two literary readings over the course of the semester, and write a short report about each reading they attend.  Students will also take part in online discussions about fiction.  Attendance is mandatory.

Throughout the semester, we will read published stories from various sources, and also essays by working writers about fiction and the writing life.  The intent of the course is to have the students confront the problems faced by writers of fiction, and to discover the techniques that enable writers to construct a convincing and engaging representation of reality on the page.

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5 photocopied pages of your fiction, along with an application form, to Vikram Chandra's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, BY 4:00 p.m., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, AT THE LATEST.

Be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses!


Introduction to the Writing of Verse: Received Forms and Invented Forms

English 43B

Section: 1
Instructor: Pugh, Megan
Pugh, Megan
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

A course reader, available at Copy Central, including poems by Ted Berrigan, Elizabeth Bishop, Heather Christle, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Kenneth Koch, Bernadette Mayer, Claude McKay, Harryette Mullen, Claudia Rankine, William Shakespeare, and others.

Description

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, a number of British poets adapted the Italian sonnet to craft a form that would become central to English literature: fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, with three rhymed quatrains and a closing couplet. Nearly four hundred years later, Bernadette Mayer suggested the following writing experiment: “Take a fourteen-block walk, writing one line per block to create a sonnet.” Mayer defined her sonnet by means of a new formal constraint: geography.

This introduction to the writing of verse takes form as its theme. We’ll read work by a wide variety of poets who approach form in different ways, whether accepting traditional rules, breaking those rules, or inventing new ones. We’ll do some improvisatory writing in class, both alone and in groups, and you will also be expected to devote considerable time to crafting and revising your own work.

To be considered for admission to this course, please submit 5 photocopied pages of your poetry, along with an application form, to Megan Pugh's mailbox in 322 Wheeler BY 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, AT THE LATEST.

Be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses!


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Arnold, Oliver
Arnold, Oliver
Time: MW 11-12, + discussion sections F 11-12
Location: 141 McCone


Description

This course will introduce students to Chaucer, Spenser, Donne, and Milton; to literary history as a mode of inquiry; and to the analysis of the way literature makes meaning, produces emotional experience, and shapes the way human beings think about desire, commerce, liberty, God, power, the environment, subjectivity, empire, justice, death, and science. We will study how a literary text emerges out of the author's reading of his predecessors and in relation to contemporary political, religious, social, and scientific discourses and events.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Thornbury, Emily
Time: MW 1-2, + discussion sections F 1-2
Location: 110 Barrows


Book List

Chaucer, G.: The Canterbury Tales, ed. Jill Mann (Penguin); Dickson, D.: John Donne's Poetry (Norton edition); Heaney, S.: Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition); Marlowe, C.: Doctor Faustus, ed. David Scott Kastan (Norton ed.); Milton, J.: Paradise Lost, ed. Gordon Teskey (Norton ed.)

Other Readings and Media

Readings on bSpace.

Description

In this course you will explore some of the great foundational works of English literature, ranging from the very earliest period up to Milton's Paradise Lost. In the process, you will learn to understand--and even speak!--the forms of early English, and to appreciate genres ranging from epic to lyric verse. You will practice the close analysis of language, and will also consider how literature engages with--and shapes--the historical circumstances in which it was produced. Our goal is to understand how and why the texts we will read created the landscape of English literature.


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Time: MW 10-11, + discussion sections F 10-11
Location: 101 Barker


Book List

Austen, J.: Persuasion; Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Equiano, O.: The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings; Franklin, B.: Autobiography; Melville, H.: Billy Budd and Other Tales; Shelley, M.: Frankenstein; Sterne, L.: A Sentimental Journey; Wordsworth, J.: The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, available at Metro Publishing, 2440 Bancroft Way (510-644-1999).

 

Description

This course is an introduction to British and American literature from the eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth century. We'll read works from that period (by Pope, Sterne, Franklin, Equiano, Wordsworth, Austen, Shelley, Melville, Dickinson, Whitman, and others) and think about how politics, aesthetics, the everyday, race, gender, and identity all find expression in a number of different literary forms. We'll especially consider the material and symbolic roles played by the idea and practice of revolution in the period.


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

English 45B

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


Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Behn, Aphra: Oroonoko and Other Writings; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Gates, Henry Louis: Classic Slave Narratives; Melville, Herman: Bartleby and Benito Cereno; Poe, Edgar Allan: The Gold-Bug and Other Tales; Rowlandson, Mary: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver's Travels

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will include: poems by Alexander Pope, William Collins, Thomas Grey, Robert Burns, William Blake, William Wordsworth, and S.T. Coleridge;  short fiction by Walter Scott and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Description

Readings in English, Scottish, Irish and North American prose narrative and poetry from 1688 through 1848: a century and a half that sees the formation of a new, multinational British state with the political incorporation of Scotland and then Ireland, the global expansion of an overseas empire, and the revolt of the North American colonies.

Our readings will explore the relations between home and the world in writings preoccupied with journeys outward and back, real and imaginary -- not all of which are undertaken voluntarily.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Snyder, Katherine
Time: MW 10-11, + discussion sections F 10-11
Location: 2 LeConte


Book List

Tentative Book List (please attend the first lecture before purchasing) : ;

Recommended: Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Larsen, Nella: Passing; McEwan, Ian: Saturday; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

A substantial (required) photocopied reader containing short stories, poetry, and critical essays.

Description

This course examines a broad range of British and American texts spanning well over a century, with a primary focus on the emergence and development of early twentieth-century modernism. Topics for discussion will include the role of high art and artists in an era of mass communications and mass culture; the interplay between formal innovation and ideological stance; the rejection of and/or engagement with tradition and history; the implications of expatriatism and multiculturalism for identity; and the politics of canon formation: which authors and literary texts are regularly read, how they are read, and by whom.

Written work for the course will consist of three 5-7 page essays; a midterm and/or quizzes given in lecture; and a final exam. Regular attendance at lecture and vigorous participation in section are also required. Individual sections may also require short assignments.


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

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Blanton, C. D.
Blanton, Dan
Time: MW 3-4, + discussion sections F 3-4
Location: 60 Evans


Book List

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart; Ellmann, O'Clair, and Ramazani, eds.: The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume I: Modern Poetry; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw and Other Tales; Joyce, James: Dubliners; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

A broad survey of the period that witnessed the arrival of English as a fully global literary language, with Anglophone empires (both political and cultural) centered on both sides of the Atlantic and spread around the world.  We will concentrate on the era’s efforts in poetry and fiction, attending to the ways in which texts both incorporate and shape the formal effects of modernity at large.


Sophomore Seminar: Woody Allen

English 84

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


Book List

Allen, W.: The Insanity Defense: The Complete Prose

Description

We will examine the films and writings of Woody Allen in terms of themes, narration, comic and visual inventiveness and ideology.  The course will also include a consideration of cultural contexts and events at Cal Performances and the Pacific Film Archive.

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