Announcement of Classes: Fall 2014


Freshman Seminar: Reading Art Spiegelman's MAUS

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: Tues. 2-4 (Sept. 2-Oct. 14 only)
Location: 346 Kroeber Hall


Book List

McCloud, Scott: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art; Spiegelman, Art: Maus: Vols. I and II

Description

Art Spiegelman has been called “one of our era’s foremost comics artists” and “perhaps the single most important comic creator working within the field.” In this seminar we will devote ourselves to a close reading of his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic memoir, Maus, informed by a small dose of comics criticism. The required texts for this seminar are 1) Maus. Volume I:  A Survivor’s Tale, My Father Bleeds History; 2) Maus. Volume II: A Survivor’s Tale, And Here My Troubles Began; and 3) Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Students should be prepared for active involvement and at least six pages of informal writing. 

Please note: This class will meet September 2 through October 14 only.

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


Freshman Seminar: Crime and Punishment

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Tracy, Robert
Tracy, Robert
Time: Mon. 3-5 (Sept. 8-Oct. 27 only)
Location: Room L20 of Unit I (2650 Durant Ave.)


Book List

Recommended: Dostoevsky, Fyodor (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky): Crime and Punishment

Description

In Crime and Punishment (1866), the main characters are two intelligent young men (temporarily college drop-outs because they cannot afford the tuition) and two remarkable young women, in St. Petersburg, Russia, about the time of the American Civil War. There are two murders, an astute detective, a “holy fool,” a young prostitute, and a villain. Dostoevsky’s characters are as fully developed as those of Dickens, but at the same time they are walking/talking ideas; the conflict between murderer and detective is also a conflict between “Western” ideas and “Russianness.” This seminar will examine the conflict of ideas, but will equally focus on how to read a serious and complex psychological novel. We will be looking at WHAT Dostoevsky does with his characters, actions, and ideas, but also HOW he does it—how he sets scenes, manipulates characters and plot. I am hoping for close readers, and while I expect we will all reach the last page (551), I am primarily interested in your response to the book’s ideas, and your understanding of how Dostoevsky used the devices of a novelist to dramatize those ideas.

This is an interactive seminar, not a lecture course. Reading assignments are intended to provoke discussion among seminar participants. I expect you to come to class prepared to talk about what you have read, and urge you to start reading. Please read Crime and Punishment Part 1, chapters 1 and 2, before our first meeting.

Please note: This class will meet Sept. 8 through Oct. 27 only.

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


Freshman Seminar: FSM

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Paley, Morton D.
Time: Fridays 10-12 (Sept. 19 to Nov. 7 only; no meeting Oct. 24)
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Cohen, Robert: Mario Savio

Description

Every fall semester, The College of Letters and Science “On the Same Page” program introduces a subject for discussion that, it is hoped, will involve many of us. The subject for 2014 is the Free Speech Movement, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary.

There will be seven 2-hr meetings, starting on Sept 19. There will be no meeting on October 24. The last meeting will be on November 7.

Text: Mario Savio, by Robert Cohen. (You have, or should have, received this book as a gift from L & S.)

In this course we’ll study the aims, history, rhetoric, and degree of success of FSM, along with the ways in which it was presented by the media and perceived by the public. For this purpose we have at our disposal the Free Speech Archive at the Bancroft Library and recordings and videos in our Media Resources Center. Using these and other collections, we will try to reconstruct the main events that took place from September 29, 1964 to January 4, 1965.

For our first meeting, please read two speeches by Mario Savio in the Cohen book: Bodies Upon the Gears” (pp. 326-328) and “An End to History” (pp. 329-332), and bring the text to class (or photocopies if you don’t want to carry the book). In addition, please look at the Free Speech timeline at http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/FSM/chron.html

Seminar requirements are: regular attendance and participation, a limited archival project resulting in a 15-minute seminar presentation,
and a written 500-word summary of your presentation, and at the end of the course a one thousand word essay on a related subject of your choice.

Note: Usually when I teach a course, students have the option of seeing my credentials as a scholar in the Oski catalog. This time it’s different. (Something that could have been said about FSM itself). I have not published anything on this subject. My credentials here are experiential. After the mass arrests at Sproul Hall, Mario Savio asked to speak on behalf of FSM. I and two other faculty members did so, sustained by the presence and singing of Joan Baez, before an enormous audience. You can see me in the attached image (I am the man wearing dark glasses behind he REE of “Free”). I went on supporting the movement publicly, and I also was a participant in or a witness to a number of FSM events.

Note:  This class will meet Sept.19 to Nov. 7 only; there will be no meeting on October 24.

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

 


Introduction to the Study of Poetry

English 26

Section: 1
Instructor: Gardezi, Nilofar
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 101 Wheeler


Book List

Ramazani , Jahan (Ed.): The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry: Volumes 1 & 2; 3rd Edition

Description

This course is designed to develop students’ ability and confidence in reading, analyzing, and understanding poetry. Through the course of the semester, we will read a wide range of modern and contemporary poets, beginning with Walt Whitman and ending with Rita Dove. We will work as “curious readers,” letting our interest unencumber us of notions of what the study of poetry is or should be. Instead, we will proceed with questions—e.g., What does the poem’s title tell or promise us? Who is the speaker and what does s/he know or feel? What sounds are active in the poem? Does the poem use any strange words?—and pay particular attention to poetic form, rhythm and sound, figurative language, and imagery. In this way, we will cultivate our own readerly technique and come into close conversation with the poems that we read.

This will be a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to understand poetry and learn how to write about it critically. 


Introduction to the Study of Poetry

English 26

Section: 2
Instructor: Francois, Anne-Lise
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

How can we become more appreciative, alert readers of poetry, and at the same time better writers of prose? This course attends to the rich variety of poems written in English, drawing on the works of poets from William Shakespeare to Elizabeth Bishop, John Keats to Gwendolyn Brooks, Emily Dickinson to Wallace Stevens. We will read songs, sonnets, odes, villanelles, and ballads. By engaging in thorough discussions and varied writing assignments, we will explore some of the major periods, modes, and genres of English poetry, and in the process expand the possibilities of our own writing.

This will be a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to understand poetry and learn how to write about it critically.


Introduction to the Study of Fiction

English 27

Section: 1
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time:
Location:


Description

This class has been canceled.


Introduction to the Study of Drama

English 28

Section: 1
Instructor: Lavery, Grace
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 206 Wheeler


Book List

Brook, Peter: The Empty Space: A Book About the Theatre; Churchill, Caryl: Plays: 1; Kane, Sarah: Complete Plays; Miller, D. A. : Place for Us: Essay on the Broadway Musical; Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Description

The dramatic arts confound most of the certainties we generally hold about literary writing. Although there are playwrights, each performance is necessarily social and collaborative. Although the printed playscript can last indefinitely on the shelf, plays require the physical presence of living bodies – a presence that may be intimate, distancing, banal, violent, exhausting. And unlike a book, which can be picked up and put down at leisure, the play stipulates the time and place at which it is to be consumed. Yet drama is also distinct from other types of live performance: its medium is literary, and its ritual forms are both long established and surprisingly enduring. Recognizing these particularities as stimuli for critical insight – and for our own forms of play – this course offers students tools for answering some of the most fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of drama. How and why do we identify with characters in plays – and with what effect for drama without characters? How does drama challenge us to think beyond the figure of the author, and to imagine new relationships between text and speech? And perhaps most importantly of all: how can an understanding of the forms of dramatic performance enable us to think in new ways about the performances that govern our everyday lives?

In addition to discussion of some major figures from the canon of dramatic writing in English – Shakespeare, Wilde, Beckett, Sarah Kane, among others – we will read excerpts from some of the major theorists of dramatic performance, from Aristotle through Artaud to D. A. Miller. Writing assignments will be many and short: students will be asked to develop their own repertoire of critical responses to the plurality of works studied, to be submitted as a portfolio at the end of the course.  Navigating a broad array of subject matter over time, space, and genre, our guiding principle will be close textual analysis. We will risk the impossible act of reading a playscript – not as a relic of a lost performance, but as a living invitation to act, a spur to performance. Close reading drama, we may well come to suspect, generates unique insights into the politics, the social vitality, of language itself.

This will be a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to study drama and learn how to write about it critically.


Literature of American Cultures: Immigrant Inscriptions

English 31AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 88 Dwinelle


Book List

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: Americanah; Diaz, Junot: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Kincaid, Jamaica: Lucy; Lee, Chang-Rae: Native Speaker

Other Readings and Media

Short works by: Angel Island poets; Jhumpa Lahiri; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha; Jonathan Lethem; Edwidge Danticat.

Movies: The Jazz Singer (1927); Gentlemen's Agreement (1947); West Side Story (1961); and early short films by Steve McQueen (1993-1997).

Description

A few miles from UC Berkeley’s campus, positioned in the San Francisco Bay near Alcatraz, sits Angel Island, site of a California State Park and one-time “processing center” (1910-1940) for migrants crossing the Pacific into the United States. In 1970 a California Parks Ranger discovered a series of stunning inscriptions on the center’s walls. As it transpires Angel Island had housed thousands of immigrants who, due to several race-based immigration laws (the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 chief amongst them), were detained in a dormitory purgatory between citizenship and immigration. During their detention on Angel Island several of these inmates had carved into the walls poems expressing their rage, terror, boredom, and befuddlement at the turn of events in their travel plans.

If Ellis Island figures in the popular imagination as the symbolic portal through which diverse migrants “became American,” Angel Island is something else again. An equally crucial symbol of America’s fraught relationship to immigration and race, the Angel Island poetry inscriptions register migrants’ responses to the arbitrariness of racial discrimination and the underside of the American dream of a migrant melting pot. These inscriptions are potent metaphors: signs that migrants would not remain invisible, even as they were hidden away; testimonies to the powerful relationship between writing and migration.

To live between cultures, to experience confounding processes of racialization, to labor to translate one’s deepest interiority into a foreign language—all these aspects of migration are rich for literary exploration.

This course explores the relationship between literature and racial formation in the 20th- and 21st-century United States. Through close readings of a diverse set of writers—either themselves migrants to the United States or US-born who reflect on the processes and implications of migration—we will think through the meanings and experiences of race in America. One thing that the history of immigration to the United States makes very clear is that race is not a natural, stable, or fixed phenomenon. Instead, as laws changed to include, exclude, or diminish certain populations in the US, so too did ideas of who or what made up a “race.” 

Throughout the semester we will spend time thinking through the implications of the mutability of racial categories by focusing on how race is “inscribed” in narrative fiction, in social discourses, and onto actual human bodies. And we will examine the way literary form provides unique insight into these processes of racialization.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Introduction to the Writing of Short Fiction

English 43A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

.Strout, Elizabeth: The Best American Short Stories 2013

Other Readings and Media

A course reader will be available from Instant Copying & Laser Printing.

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.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course.  To be considered for admission, please electronically submit ten pages or less (double-spaced) of fiction you have written, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file.  The deadline for completing this application process is 4 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 18.

Also be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of the instructions area 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
Time: MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1
Location: 2 Le Conte


Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales; Donne, John: The Complete English Poems; Milton, John: Paradise Lost; Spenser, Edmund: Edmund Spenser's Poetry

Description

This course will focus on three extraordinary works of late medieval and early modern English literature:  Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and Milton's Paradise Lost.  We'll consider the works in themselves and as parts of a developing literary tradition.  We'll also discuss poems by John Donne, Sir Philip Sidney, Lady Mary Wroth, and George Herbert.

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 3; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 5.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Time: MW 2-3 + discussion sections F 2-3
Location: 213 Wheeler


Book List

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

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.

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 3; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 5.


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: MW 1-2 + discussion sections F 1-2
Location: 101 Barker


Book List

Austen, J.: Emma; Behn, A.: Oroonoko; Defoe, D.: Moll Flanders; Equiano, O.: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; Pope, A.: The Rape of the Lock; Wordsworth, W. & Coleridge, S.: Lyrical Ballads

Description

As we read works produced in a period of often tumultuous change, we shall consider those works as zones of contact, reflecting and sometimes negotiating conflict. In a world of expanding global commerce (imports like tea suddenly becoming commonplace in England), political revolution (English, French, American), and changing conceptions of what it means to be a man or woman (a new medical discourse wants to view them as categorically distinct), increasingly available printed texts become sites of contestation--including debates about what constitutes "proper" language itself. We shall think about the ways in which separate groups--British and African, masters and slaves, slave owners and abolitionists, arch capitalists and devout religious thinkers, Republicans and Conservatives, and men and women--use writing to devise ongoing relationships with each other, often under conditions of inequality. Throughout we shall be especially attuned to formal choices--from linguistic register to generic conventions--and how writers deploy these to incorporate opposition, resist authority or authorize themselves. Requirements will include two papers, a mid-term, a final, and occasional quizzes.

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 3; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 5.


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

English 45B

Section: 2
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: MW 3-4 + discussion secctions F 3-4
Location: 213 Wheeler


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 it's also the age of democratic revolutions, and students electing to take this course will discover that the writers in this (middle) 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.  We'll consider the "strange power of speech" that informs revolutionary "declarations," and how that power is theorized in the work of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley. 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 Romantic attempts 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?

Tentative reading list:  Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Richardson, S., Pope, A.: The Rape of the Lock; Swift, J.: Gulliver's Travels (Book IV); Sterne, L.: A Sentimental Journey; 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

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 3; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 5.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Time: MW 11-12 + discussion sections F 11-12
Location: 105 North Gate


Book List

Conrad, J.: Heart of Darkness; Joyce, J.: Dubliners; Morrison, T.: Beloved; Nabokov, V.: Pnin; Pynchon, T.: The Crying of Lot 49; Wilde, O.: The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, V.: To the Lighthouse; le, t.: The Gangster We Are All Looking For

Description

This course provides an overview of the many literary innovations now grouped under the term “modernism,” as well as their relations to the historical and social disruptions associated with the term “modernity.”  After providing a firm grasp of these terms, the course will emphasize both literary form and historical context.  How does literature respond to the pressures of industrialization, revolution, and empire, as well as to an ever-growing awareness of a diverse, interconnected world?

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 3; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 5.


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

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MW 3-4 + discussion sections F 3-4
Location: note new location: 160 Dwinelle


Book List

Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

Poems and other supplementary texts by Walt Whitman, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Frank O'Hara, and Sylvia Plath will be made available on bCourses.

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 show us some of the most provocative ways that literature operated as a means of cultural response in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will also consider modernism alongside other literary modes and styles (realism, naturalism, postmodernism) that look to different strategies for 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 posed by new languages of psychological, national, and racial identity. Assignments will likely include two short papers, a midterm, and a final.

Please note that this class will first meet on Wednesday, September 3; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 5.


Introduction to Environmental Studies

English C77

Section: 1
Instructor: Hass, Robert L.
Time: TTh 12:30-2 + 1-1/2 hours of discusssion section per week
Location: note new location: 2040 Valley LSB


Other Readings and Media

The required books for the course will be available at University Press Books, and the Course Reader, Introduction to Environmental Studies, will be sold exclusively at Metro Publishing; both of these establishments are located on Bancroft Way, a little west of Telegraph Ave. There will also be a required envornmental 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 (Gary Sposito), a professor of English (Robert Hass), 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: The Coen Brothers

English 84

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


Book List

Lahiri, J.: Interpreter of Maladies

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.