Announcement of Classes: Summer 2012


Reading & Composition: Unreliable Narrators

English N1A

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Xiang, Sunny
Time: MW 10-12
Location: 2038 Valley LSB


Book List

Hamid, Mohsin: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Ishiguro, Kazuo: An Artist of the Floating World; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

What happens when the teller of a story misleads us? What qualities make for a palatable narrator who we as readers are willing to follow to the end of the book? In this course, we will examine through select twentieth-century novels the conditions that influence our capacity to trust a storyteller. In speculating on the broader effects and implications of a narrator's reliability (or lack thereof!), we will also attempt to complicate our own position as readers.

This course requires you to complete two essays of increasing length. For these papers, you will go through a process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising to build a repertoire of critical reading and writing skills. You will also be expected to complete short writing assignments and responses.  


Reading & Composition: Racial Metaphors of Global Capitalism

English N1A

Section: 2
Session:
Instructor: Lee, Amy
Time: MW 2-4
Location: 221 Wheeler


Book List

Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers; Hagedorn, Jessica: Dogeaters; Ng, Fae: Bone; Truong, Monique: The Book of Salt; Yamashita, Karen: Tropic of Orange

Other Readings and Media

Wong Kar-Wai, Chungking Express (1994)

Course Reader

Description

From myths of the Yellow Peril to contemporary discourses on the model minority, representations of Asian American subjects have long been intertwined with metaphors of economic exchange and capitalist excess.  More than simply agents of capitalism, Asian Americans often function as proxies of American capitalist expansion and globalization.  This course will examine the ways in which Asian American literature has traced and challenged this economically-inflected emergence of the Asian American subject.  We will consider the relationship between literary representation and economic representation by paying attention to the use of postmodern aesthetics (characterized by fragmentation, surface aesthetics, commodification, etc.) within Asian American novels to portray the effects of capitalist globalization and racialization on the construction of Asian American subjectivities and spaces.  Topics we will explore may include the transpacific, transatlantic, and hemispheric contexts of Asian American literature, the influences of American military and economic presence in the Asia-Pacific, the relationship between the circulation of commodities and social and linguistic exchange, literary navigations across “spaces of capital,” and the role of race, gender, and sexuality in mediating capitalist and revolutionary desires. 

Students will develop their critical thinking, close-reading, and expository skills through in-class discussions and exercises.  There will be a series of in-class workshops on thesis development, effective argumentation, and the mechanics of essay writing. Students will be expected to write and revise a series of short papers.


Reading & Composition: Destroying Modernity--Ruin and Apocalypse, 1750-2012

English N1A

Section: 3
Session:
Instructor: Cannon, Benjamin Zenas
Time: MW 6-8
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Stoker, Bram: Dracula; Walpole, Horace: The Castle of Otranto

Other Readings and Media

A class reader will contain poems and short fiction by Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Poe, Lovecraft, T.S. Eliot, and others.

Film: Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Description

"i know this wont happen...bt i cant wait fr something like this to happen...it sure is thrilling and i'm bored of life!!"                   (Comment  on youtube string for 2012 trailer, 5/8/2012)    

This class will explore the perverse pleasures of ruination in the modern era, from the aesthetics of the ruin in Romantic literature to the pop apocalypses of George Miller and Roland Emmerich. We will consider the multiple potential meanings of ruins--from memento mori to free aesthetic forms, from threatening reminders of our most primitive selves to nostalgic indicators of a better time. Above all, it will ask the question: why do we take such profound pleasure in images that remind us not only of the dead past but also of our own inevitable destruction? 

 


Reading & Composition: Techno-Orientalism

English N1B

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Fan, Christopher Tzechung
Time: TTh 10-12
Location: 81 Evans


Book List

Gibson, William: Neuromancer; McHugh, Maureen F.: China Mountain Zhang; Sterling, Bruce: Mirrorshades

Other Readings and Media

A reader will be provided on the class bSpace site in PDF format. We will also be watching a number of films, including the Wachowski brothers' first Matrix film (1999), the pilot episodes for Ronald D. Moore's 2003 Battlestar Galactica reboot, and Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005).

Description

Course Objectives
This course will focus on developing students’ practical fluency with exposition and argumentation, with an emphasis on research skills. A short diagnostic essay will be assigned at the beginning of the semester followed by two progressively longer essays (totaling at least 16 typewritten pages). These will be substantially revised and accompanied by various research activities and exercises.

Course Description

Since the ‘70s, American perceptions of Asia—especially of Japan and China—have typically been wrapped in anxieties over technology. These anxieties become most obvious in ‘80s science fiction (sf) film and literature: in particular, the genre called “cyberpunk.” While the techno-Orientalism of the ‘80s was weighted more by fears of Japanese technology and takeover of American businesses, in the ‘90s, that weight shifted to a rapidly modernizing China. The argument this course will consider is how this shift has revealed the limitations of cyberpunk as a genre, and how it has produced a new set of aesthetics—what I call “naturalism with Chinese characteristics.” We will explore this question, and techno-Orientalism more broadly, in some really awesome films and books from the ‘70s onward.


Reading & Composition: Fictions of the Human

English N1B

Section: 2
Session:
Instructor: Gaydos, Rebecca
Time: TTh 12-2
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Burroughs, William S.: The Ticket That Exploded; Coetzee, J.M.: The Lives of Animals; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Film: Blade Runner

Description

What constitutes our humanness? Are thinking and language-use uniquely human capacities or can intelligence be attributed to animals and machines? Is it possible to conceive of a timeless definition of the human being, or is human identity periodically reconfigured by historical and technological developments? Against the background of these broad questions, this course will pay close attention to the role that literature plays in investigating the significance of humanness in the 20th and 21st centuries. Topics to be considered include: literary representations of human-animal-machine continuums, cyborg subjectivity, and debates around posthumanism, transhumanism, and prosthetic enhancement.  Rather than simply looking at how literary texts represent these topics thematically, we will focus on how authors engage these issues through formal experimentation.

The primary goal of this course is to improve your academic writing. Students will develop their analytic and argumentative skills—both in writing and verbally through intensive class discussion. The course will culminate with each student producing an 8-10 page research paper.


Reading & Composition: Victorian Sensation

English N1B

Section: 3
Session:
Instructor: Knox, Marisa Palacios
Time: TTh 4-6
Location: 109 Wheeler


Book List

Braddon, Mary: Lady Audley's Secret; Eliot, George: Adam Bede; Wilde, Oscar: Picture of Dorian Gray;

Recommended: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research

Description

The literary genre of the Victorian sensation novel of the 1860s-1870s was defined less by its form and content than by the response it was supposed to engender in its readers. This course aims to explore the significance of physical and psychological sensation in the Victorian period, as it was applied to fiction as well as to related concerns and controversies in science, medicine, crime, education, art, and electoral reform. In addition to the required novels above and excerpts from modern literary scholarship, the class will read numerous articles and excerpts from Victorian periodicals that produce and theorize the shifting category of sensation.

As we read sensational texts, the class will continuously work on developing the ability to write with clear exposition and argumentation. In order to expand and integrate these arguments within a larger intellectual context, students will learn and deploy methods of research through periodic assignments. Students will ultimately apply these practices in writing and revising three papers of increasing length, ranging from three to ten pages.


Reading & Composition: Crossing the Color Line

English N1B

Section: 4
Session:
Instructor: Martinez, Rosa Angelica
Time: TTh 6-8
Location: 222 Wheeler


Book List

Craft, William and Ellen: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom: or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery; Griffin, John Howard: Black Like Me; Harris, Joseph: Rewriting: How to Do Things With Texts; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Larsen, Nella: Passing

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, containing short stories, poems, and critical essays. 

Description

Color, for anyone who uses it, or is used by it, is a most complex, calculated and dangerous phenomenon.

–  James Baldwin

This course will explore the act of racial and gender passing in American literature and culture. Narratives of passing problematize notions of self and other, identity and performance, authenticity and deceit, and complicate and confound definitions of the “real” and the methods or system by which identity is invented. We will examine autobiographical and fictional accounts of crossing the color line that also include cross-dressing, class passing, sexual ambiguity, and the feigning of disability. Through a diverse sample of novels and short stories, including traditional narratives of black-to-white passing (historically prevalent in 19th and 20th century African-American literature) and contemporary works that utilize though transform the trope of passing, this course separates the historical experience from its literary representation on the page, but concentrates on the rhetorics and writerly ways of illustrating the masquerade of race, gender, class, and sexuality.

Along with concentrating on mechanics and style, we will also learn how to read closely and demonstrate exploratory thinking, formulate thoughtful questioning, gather evidence, and organize ideas and claims into well-crafted essays. Over the course of the semester and through a gradual process of outlining, drafting, and revising, you will produce two preliminary essays (4-5 pages), and a final research paper (8-9 pages). 


Shakespeare

English N117S

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Nelson, Alan H.
Time: MW 10-12
Location: 110 Barrows


Book List

Shakespeare, William: The Complete Works of Shakespeare

Description

This course is an introductory survey at the upper-division level. We will attempt to read eight Shakespeare plays plus a selection of sonnets. As California Shakespeare Theater (“Cal Shakes”) in near-by Orinda will be performing The Tempest during the first week of classes, we will start with this play. The instructor will reserve tickets for two different performances. If you wish to attend, please set aside approximately $20 for a student ticket, plus BART fare. We will also read A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, Henry IV Part 1, Twelfth Night, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and King Lear. Lectures will emphasize language, scene, gesture, character, verse, and narrative structure, along with the theatrical and publication history of Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Students will submit three short essays. Exams will include short quizzes, and a comprehensive final on the last day of the course.

The instructor maintains a website at the URL below (click on “CLASSES”). Since time will be of the essence for obtaining tickets for The Tempest, please go to this website IMMEDIATELY if you intend to take the class.

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ahnelson/index.html

Note that this class satisfies the Shakespeare requirement for the English major.

This course will be taught in Session C, from June 18 to August 8.


The Romantic Period

English N121

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Time: MTuTh 12-2
Location: 126 Barrows


Book List

Recommended: Coleridge, S.T.: The Major Works; Wordsworth, William: The Major Works; Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads

Description

We'll spend six weeks reading the poetry and prose of the Romantic Period.  Although we'll read a number of different figures, we will focus on the careers of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  

This course will be taught in Session D, from July 2 to August 9.


American Literature: Before 1800

English N130A

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
Time: MTuTh 4-6
Location: 88 Dwinelle


Book List

Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. A: Beginnings to 1820 (seventh edition); Brown, Charles Brockden: Wieland; Rowson, Susanna: Charlotte Temple

Description

This course provides a survey of English-language American literature to 1800.  We will explore a wide range of texts from narratives of discovery and exploration through the literature of the American Revolution and the formations of an early national culture.  Topics to be discussed include: the role of Puritanism in American society, ethnic difference and the experience of the frontier, evangelism and secularism, the social makings of the new republic, the rise of the novel in America, and the literary place of women and slaves.  Readings will also address the language of rights and representation within a revolutionary culture that staged encounters between the will to independence and the respect for history.  Authors will include William Bradford, John Winthop, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, Samuel Sewell, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Olaudah Equiano, Royall Tyler, Susanna Rowson, Hannah Foster, and Charles Brockden Brown.

Note that English N130A satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

This course will be taught in Session D, from July 2 to August 9.

 


American Literature 1900-1945

English N130D

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MTuTh 10-12
Location: 88 Dwinelle


Book List

Cather, Willa: The Professor's House; Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie; Eliot, T. S. : The Waste Land and Other Writings; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby; Hemingway, Ernest: The Sun Also Rises; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; West, Nathanel: Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locusts; Wharton, Edith: Age of Innocence

Description

A survey of American literature tracing the literary response to the emerging shape of modern life in the first decades of the twentieth century.  We will read across a range of genres and styles to assess the particular influence of modernism and other experimental modes on writing of period, while also exploring the significance that realism and naturalism continued to hold for many U. S. authors.  We will be specifically concerned with how writers addressed such topics as national identity and racial difference; new psychologies of consciousness, emotion, and sexuality; high modernism and popular culture; class and cosmopolitanism; and the literary response to new mediums of information and entertainment.

This course will be taught in Session D, from July 2 to August 9.

 


American Novel

English N132

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 2-4
Location: 141 McCone


Book List

Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter; Hurston, Zoara Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Islas, Arturo: The Rain God; Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping; Twain, Mark: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Description

We will concentrate on the central issues deeded to the American novel by democratic ideology -- refusal and autonomy, loyalty, guilt, and atonement, futurity and the burden of the past -- and try to figure out how the formal innovations in the American novel are responses to those issues.

Two six-page essays, a final quiz, and regular attendance will be required.

This course will be taught in Session C, from June 19 to August 9.

 


Literature of American Cultures: Repression and Resistance

English N135

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: MTuTh 12-2
Location: 180 Tan


Book List

Allison, Dorothy: Bastard Out of Carolina; Jones, Gayl : Corregidora; Ozick, Cynthia: The Shawl; Ruiz, Ronald: Happy Birthday Jesus; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Under the Feet of Jesus; Wideman, John Edgar: Philadelphia Fire

Description

In this course we will analyze representations of repression and resistance in the fiction of three cultural groups: Chicanos/Chicanas, African Americans, and European Americans.  We will examine various forms of repression--social, physical, and psychological--represented in these texts, and we will study the various ways these works resist repression.  (Please be forewarned: some of these works include graphic and disturbing representations of violence.)  Several questions inform the course theme:  What are the causes of repression?  What solutions, if any, do these works offer in response to the forms of repression they represent?  What is the relation, if any, between the negative effects of repression and the formation of a positive conception of cultural identity?  From a literary perspective:  What are the formal aspects of a literature of repression and resistance?  The comparative approach in this course will allow us to analyze the similarities and differences in the literatures of these three cultural groups. It will also provide us with a critical appreciation of the social significance and aesthetic quality of the literature. 

Note that this class satisfies UC Berkeley’s American Cultures requirement.

This course will be taught in Session A, from May 21 to June 28.

 

 

 


Modes of Writing

English N141

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Abrams, Melanie
Time: MTuTh 2-4
Location: 219 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

Course Reader available at Zee Zee Copy.

Description

This course will introduce students to the study of writing short fiction. Students will learn to talk critically about short stories and begin to feel comfortable and confident with their own writing of them. Students will write both longer and shorter pieces and will partake in class workshops where their work will be edited and critiqued by other students in the class

This course will be taught in Session D, from July 2 to August 9.


Special Topics: Graphic Novels

English N166

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: MTuTh 10-12
Location: 219 Dwinelle


Book List

Barry, Lynda: One! Hundred! Demons!; Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic; McCloud, Scott: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art; Sacco, Joe: Palestine; Spiegelman, Art: Maus, Volume 1; Spiegelman, Art: Maus, Volume II; Tomine, Adrian: Shortcomings; Yang, Gene: American Born Chinese

Description

Graphic novel is often defined as: “a single-author, book-length work, meant for a grown-up reader, with a memoirist or novelistic nature, usually devoid of superheroes.” Many comic artists, however, ridicule the term as a pretentious and disingenuous attempt to rebrand comics in order to elevate their cultural status. We’ll examine the definitions, history, and various forms of graphic narratives in the U.S.

Students will be expected to attend and participate in class regularly, keep up with the reading, do some in-class writing, write two 6-page papers, and complete a final exam.

This course will be taught in Session A, from May 21 to June 28. 


Special Topics

English N166

Section: 2
Session:
Instructor: Loewinsohn, Ron
Time: TTh 4-6
Location: 220 Wheeler


Book List

Burroughs, William: Junky; Burroughs, William: Naked Lunch; Ginsberg, Allen: Howl; Ginsberg, Allen: Kaddish; Kerouac, Jack: On The Road; Snyder, Gary: No Nature

Description

We will examine mostly the early work of the four central figures of the Beat Geneartion--- William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg,. Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder.  We will look at the hisrtorical and literary-historical context in which they worked to appreciate those features of American literature that they continued, as well as those they reblled against. 

This course will be taught in Session C, from June 19 to August 9.


The Language and Literature of Films: The Film Western

English N173

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: M 2-5 & W 2-4
Location: 166 Barrows


Book List

Cooper, James Fenimore: The Pioneers; Grey, Zane: Riders of the Purple Sage; L'Amour, Louis: Hondo; McCarthy, Cormac: Blood Meridian

Description

An exploration of the durability and the versatility of this literary genre. We will watch a film each week, and read four novels.

Two six-page essays, a final quiz, and regular attendance will be required.

This course will be taught in Session C, from June 18 to August 8.

 


The Short Story

English N180H

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: MTuTh 2-4
Location: 88 Dwinelle


Book List

Bausch, Richard, Ed. et al: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Shorter Edition, Ed. 7; Erdrich, Louise: Love Medicine, Newly Revised Edition (P.S. Series)

Other Readings and Media

Reader

Description

After considering theories about the origin, development, and form(s) of the short story, we will read a wide and diverse selection of short fiction in the United States, paying particular attention to close readings as well as to the functions of story-telling/making and consuming for individual readers and their communities. We’ll begin with indigenous stories in an oral storytelling mode, move to a contemporary short story cycle influenced by Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) oral narratives as well as by Western literary traditions, then read several nineteenth-century short stories as precursors to our focus on twentieth-century and contemporary short fiction.

Students should expect to read, participate in class discussion and activities, take weekly quizzes, write two 5-page critical essays and one short story with analysis.

This course will be taught in Session A, from May 21 to June 28. 


Science Fiction: New Currents in Science Fiction

English N180Z

Section: 1
Session:
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: MTuTh 10-12
Location: 126 Barrows


Book List

Capek, Karol: R.U.R.; Dick, Phillip K. : Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?; Hoffmann , E.T.A : The Tales of Hoffman; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never let Me Go ; Mieville, China: Embassytown; Wells, H.G. : The Island of Doctor Moreau; Whitehead , Colson : Zone One

Other Readings and Media

Gattica; The Matrix; Pumzi

Description

This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the thematics and topoi of the new life sciences—representation of cloning, ecological dystopias, hybrid life-forms, genetic engineering dystopias. While science is the thematic point of departure of speculative fiction, the concerns of this course will be the literary. How does literature’s encounter with the projected realities of the new biology revise our conceptions of the subject? Could there be a Leopold Bloom of the genetically engineered, a subject whose interior voice is the free-flowing expression of experience? Behind the endless removes of social, material and technological mediation stand the construction of a flesh and blood body, separated from itself through the workings of consciousness. If indeed the post/modern subject requires a psychic space shaped by the authenticity of ‘being’, a consciousness deeply rooted in the human experience, then how do we represent that being whose point of origin is the artificial, the inauthentic? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this course. 

This course will be taught in Session A, from May 21 to June 28.