Announcement of Classes: Spring 2009

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: Ang Lee Films and James Schamus' screenplays

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Hutson, Richard
Hutson, Richard
Time: M 12-1
Location: 108 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Austen, J.:  Sense and Sensibility; Moody, R.:  The Ice Storm

Description

For this seminar, we will look at four of Ang Lee’s films and at two of the novels that are the sources of two of the films. Two of the screenplays were written by Lee’s producer and friend, James Schamus: The Wedding Banquet and Ride with the Devil. Students will be expected to screen the films on their own, outside of class, and are expected to participate in class discussions. Students are also required to read two (of three) of the novels that are the source of the screenplays. (Students may choose to read Daniel Worrell’s Woe to Live On, also entitled Ride with the Devil, instead of one of the in-print books.  It is available as a used book from on-line bookstores.) There will be a short paper (4-6 double space pages) due at the end of the class.

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


Introduction to the Writing of Verse: Translation, Echo, and Originality

English 43B

Section: 1
Instructor: Johnson, Eleanor
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

(all readings will be available in a course reader or on bspace): Anon., Beowulf, trans. Seamus Heaney: Introduction; Anon., Wycliffite Bible: Selections; Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy: Selections; Basil Bunting, "Variations on a Theme by Milton"; Anne Carson, Decreation; Geoffrey Chaucer, Boece: Selections; Homer, The Odyssey, ed. trans. Fagles: Introduction; Andrew Joron, The Cry at Zero; John Milton, "Sonnet XXIII"; Alice Notley, The Descent of Alette; William Packard, The Art of Writing Poetry: Selections; Lisa Robertson, Debbie, an epic; Sappho, Poems, ed. and trans. Mary Barnard; Juliana Spahr, Spider Wasp; Tzvetan Todorov, Introduction to Poetics.  

Description

This poetry course is themed on the idea of “translation,” but conceived very largely, to include not just translations between languages, but also between different periods within a single language (such as between Old and Middle or Middle and Modern English), between lexica, between forms, between metaphoric systems, between genres.  By selecting a series of poems and working on different kinds of “translations” of these poems over the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to play with and explore horizons of “gettability,” the limit of cultural recognition and archival echo.  

The governing thought experiment for the class will be the notion that all poetry is, on some level, a translation—literally, a “carrying over”—of ideas and forms, of ethical and aesthetic commitments.  By the end of the semester, each student will have produced a series of “translations,” as well as a brief ars poetica, either in prose or verse, reflecting upon and analyzing her own creative process.  

As we pursue our own acts of creative translation, we will read essays on poetic translations, treatments of how poetry differs from prose, and poetic works that are, in some way, wrestling with issues of translation and originality.

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5 photocopied pages of your poems, along with an application form, to Eleanor Johnson's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, BY 4:00 p.m., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, AT THE LATEST.

Be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses!


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: MW 10-11 + Discussion F 10-11
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales; Donne, John, The Complete English Poems; Milton, John, Paradise Lost; Spenser, Edmund, Edmund Spenser's Poetry;  Class Reader (at Copy Central)

Description

Discussion will focus on three main works -- Chaucer's *Canterbury Tales*, Spenser's *Faerie Queene*, and Milton's *Paradise Lost* -- though we will also read shorter poems by Wyatt, Donne, Wroth, Herbert, Suckling, and Lovelace.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
Time: MW 1-2 + Discussion F 1-2
Location: 3 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Heaney S., trans., Beowulf; Donaldson, E., trans., Beowulf; Chaucer, G., The Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, C., Dr. Faustus; Spenser, E., The Faerie Queene; Milton, J., Paradise Lost.

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, to take a midterm, and a final exam.


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Puckett, Kent
Time: MW 11-12 + Discussion F 11-12
Location: 2 Le Conte


Other Readings and Media

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2 (8th edition); Austen, J.: Emma; Equiano, O., The Interesting Narrative; Franklin, B.: Autobiography; Melville, H.: Billy Budd and Other Tales; Shelley, M., Frankenstein; Sterne, L.: A Sentimental Journey.

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: Hutson, Richard
Hutson, Richard
Time: MW 3-4 + Discussion F 3-4
Location: 60 Evans


Other Readings and Media

Austen, J: Pride and Prejudice; Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Douglass, F: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Franklin, B: The Autobiography and Other Writings; Irving W: The Sketch-Book; Pope, A: Selected Poetry and Prose; Rowlandson, M: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Swift, J: Gulliver’s Travels; Walpole, H: The Castle of Otranto; Wordsworth, W: The Five-Book Prelude.

Description

This is a course in a few major works of English and American literature from the end of the 17th-century through the first half of the 19th-century. We will work our way from Puritanism through the Enlightenment and into Romanticism. There are major intellectual and literary transformations taking place in the course of this century and a half, and we will follow a few of them.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Blanton, C. D.
Blanton, Dan
Time: MW 12-1 + Discussion F 12-1
Location: 2 Le Conte


Other Readings and Media

Possible texts include:  Achebe, C., Things Fall Apart; Coetzee, J. M., Waiting for the Barbarians; Ellmann, R., O’Clair, R., and Ramazani, J.,The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry; Faulkner, W., As I Lay Dying; Ford, F. M., The Good Soldier; James, H., The Turn of the Screw; The Jolly Corner; Pynchon, T., The Crying of Lot 49; Wilde, O., The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, V., 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.


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

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Goble, Mark
Time: MW 3-4 + Discussion F 3-4
Location: 2 Le Conte


Other Readings and Media

Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady; Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 and Ramazani, Ellmann, and O’Clair (eds.), The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, vol. 1.

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 also help us see how literature operates as a means of cultural response. We will also consider modernism alongside other literary modes and styles (realism, naturalism, postmodernism) that look to 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 such larger issues as the relationship between reading and entertainment, the changing status of art in respect to new technologies of information and representation, and the challenges to traditional conceptions of the self that are posed by new languages of psychological, national, and racial identity.


Freshman and Sophomore Studies: Social Reform in Literature

English R50

Section: 1
Instructor: Black, Kelvin C.
Black, Kelvin
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House; Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward; Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil; Richard Wright, Native Son.

Supplementary Texts:  Frederick Crews, The Random House Handbook, 6th ed; Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed.; William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell, The Elements of Style.

Description

What is social reform? What are the thought processes involved in defining a social problem?  And how does this definition affect the manner and methods used to solve it?  This course seeks to better understand the impulse to want to solve a problem perceived in society.  Before they can be solved, problems are things that first must be imagined as solvable.  The literature of social reform affords us the distinct opportunity to observe such imaginings. This course is reading and writing intensive, and aims to develop in students fluency with the method and discourse of the analytical essay.  Special emphasis shall be placed on the refinement of sentence construction, thesis development, and research methods.  Additionally, systematic reasoning through close reading will be stressed both in class discussion and in the course’s various writing opportunities. 

English R50 is intended for students who are planning to be English majors and who have already taken R1A. It satisfies the College’s R1B requirement.

This course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required for the English major.


Freshman and Sophomore Studies: Slavery in British and American Literature

English R50

Section: 2
Instructor: Infante-Abbatantuono, Jhoanna
Infante, Jhoanna
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Behn, A.: Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave. Equiano, O.: An Interesting Narrative in the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Jacobs, H.: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Course Reader.

Description

The representation of slavery in Anglo-American literature between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries raises a number of interesting questions.  Is it possible to represent the trauma of slavery in the form of literature? What literary and rhetorical techniques did authors use on both sides of the abolition debate?  How did an author’s class, race, religion, or politics influence his or her arguments for or against slavery?  Did the collaboration of English and American abolitionists challenge national boundaries?  We will begin by reading Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave (1688). Moving from Behn’s narrative, which appeared during the period of Britain ’s domination of the Atlantic slave trade, we will turn to late eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century abolitionist writers who sought to end the trade or slavery itself. Our readings from this period will include Olaudah Equiano’s An Interesting Narrative in the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1794), Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and poetry and prose by anti-slavery and pro-slavery writers.  The writing requirement includes composing and writing three essays of increasing length, including one research paper. 

English R50 is intended for students who are planning to be English majors and who have already taken R1A. It satisfies the College’s R1B requirement.

This course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required for the English major.


Children's Literature

English 80K

Section: 1
Instructor: Wright, Katharine E.
Wright, Katharine
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 3108 Etcheverry


Other Readings and Media

Book list still T.B.A., but the texts will be in the bookstore by the time classes begin.

Description

This introductory course looks at children's literature in several genres, historically and culturally. Readings will include fairy tales, The Princess and the Goblin, Charlotte's Web, and other novels, as well as picture books and poetry. There will also be critical readings, exams and papers.


Sophomore Seminar: High Culture/Low Culture: Film Genres and the Cinema of Ang Lee

English 84

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


Other Readings and Media

Yueh-yu Yeh, Davis, D., eds.:  Taiwan Film Directors; Berry & Farquhar:  China on Screen; Davis, D.:  Picturing Japneseness; Chow, R.:  Primitive Passions

Description

This course will examine the formal techniques, expectations, experiences, and thematic concerns of some of Ang Lee's films, in the context of Hollywood and foreign films. We will also take advantage of the resources of Cal Performances and the Pacific Film Archive.

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


Sophomore Seminar: Human Relationships in Literature, Art, and Culture

English 84

Section: 2
Instructor: Buckwald, Craig
Time: W 4-5
Location: 202 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Berger, J.:  Ways of Seeing; Freud, S.:  Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis; a course reader.

Description

What do literature, art, and other cultural productions have to say about personal and social relationships - arrangements that are often central to our debates, with ourselves and others, about who we are and what we should do?

This course will allow students to begin answering this question with respect to a diverse group of influential and provocative "texts" from the ancient world to the present. Specifically, we will ask: What is really going on in a given relationship? What is the relationship's place in the big scheme of things? And what cultural ideas and values underlie, or are challenged by, the way the text presents the relationship?

Emphasizing "close reading" and "close discussion" rather than a lot of reading, this course is meant equally for those with a particular interest in the above-mentioned subject, and for those simply wishing to gain more experience analyzing how a poem, painting, popular film, or other creative or non-creative piece "works."

Our reading/viewing/listening list will be subject to some modification depending on the interests of seminar members. But it will include two short books - John Berger's Ways of Seeing and Freud's Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis - plus a course reader with manageable excerpts or pieces from Homer, Marie de France, Chaucer, Milton, Keats, Marx, Christina Rossetti, and perhaps a few others. To end the semester, we will all watch a Hollywood film, listen to some contemporary music, or experience some other high-profile production of popular culture.

Requirements: Regular attendance and participation, a paragraph offering observations and/or engaged questions brought to each meeting, and shared responsibility with a few others to lead a portion of one class.

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


Reading Walden Carefully

English 84

Section: 3
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: M 3-4
Location: 109 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 books, 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 course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.