Announcement of Classes: Fall 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.


English Bible as Literature

English C107

Section: 1
Instructor: Goldsmith, Steven
Goldsmith, Steven
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 4 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

New Oxford Annotated Bible, College Edition ; Oxford Dictionary of the Bible; Alter, R.:  Genesis

Description

In this class, we will read a selection of biblical texts as literature; that is, we will read them through many interpretive lenses, but not as divine revelation. We will take up traditional literary questions of form, style, and structure, but we will also learn how to ask historical, political, and theoretical questions of a text that is multi-authored, thoroughly fissured, and deeply sedimented. Among other topics, we will pay special attention to how authority is established and contested in biblical texts; how biblical authors negotiate the ancient Hebrew prohibition against representing God in images; and how the gospels are socially and historically poised between the original Jesus movement that is their source and the institutionalization of the church that follows. Assignments will include two take-home midterms and a final exam.

This course is cross-listed with Religious Studies C119.


Medieval Literature: The Alliterative Line, Tradition and Innovation

English 110

Section: 1
Instructor: Ecke, Jeremy S
Ecke, Jeremy
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

J. R. Tolkien trans.: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo; Seamus Heaney trans.: Beowulf: A New Verse Translation; Andrew and Waldron eds.: The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript; Michael Alexander trans.: The Earliest English Poems

Description

This course will explore the poetic, political, and cultural significance of writing in, adapting, or alluding to the alliterative tradition. We will trace the ancestry of the alliterative line through Old, Middle, and Modern English, challenging the nostalgic and often nationalistic narrative that imagines the alliterative line as a native and rural tradition embattled by the invasion of foreign and courtly French forms. Focusing on the development and “loosening” of the alliterative constraints and the “freedom” of the natural rhythms of alliterative verse, we will compare the Elizabethan, Victorian, and Modern adaptations and continuations of the alliterative line with the innovations of the rhymed, alliterative verse in the Harley and Pearl manuscripts. The majority of our reading will be in Middle English, with excerpts and translations of Old English, Latin, and French alliterative composition. In examining the modern adaptations, continuations, and translations of Shakespeare, Spenser, Hopkins, Swinburne, Tennyson, Pound, Tolkien, and Heaney, we will consider the degree to which the literary and linguistic style of the alliterative tradition fosters a conscious use of archaic diction and formulaic collocations that uphold the myth of an authentic alliterative line.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 1
Instructor: Adelman, Janet
Adelman, J.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 120 Latimer


Other Readings and Media

Greenblatt, S., et al, eds.:  The Norton Shakespeare

Description

In this course we will analyze a selection of Shakespeare's plays, arranged both by genre and chronologically, in order to explore not only what is peculiar to each play but also what links the plays to each other and to the culture and the psyche that produced them. In addition, we will think about the uses to which "Shakespeare" is put by our own culture/s. My lectures will tend to emphasize Shakespeare’s reworkings of race, gender, sexuality, and the family in these plays, but I hope that the classroom will be a place of lively exchange, in which you feel free to challenge my ideas and to develop your own interests. In addition to a final exam and several required papers of varying lengths (probably two or three very short papers, followed by an extended revision/amplification for a final paper), you will be asked to complete two or three ungraded acting exercises in small groups to help you understand some aspects of Shakespeare’s verse and his theatrical medium.


Milton

English 118

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Goodman, Kevis
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 213 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Milton, J.: Complete Poems and Major Prose (ed. Merritt Y. Hughes), Hackett Publishing Company

A note on texts: I am very concerned about the rising prices of textbooks and the serious burden these can place on student budgets; however, each member of the class must have his or her own copy of the (actual, not virtual) book required for this class. The good news: there is only one required text, and I have looked for the least expensive available collection. Keep in mind, too, that heavily discounted copies of this edition are available for purchase at Amazon.com, and other sites. The ASUC bookstore and Ned’s will be ordering and offering used copies as well.

Description

John Milton has too often been represented as the mainstay of an entrenched canon, a “required” author. However, as we follow Milton’s carefully orchestrated career, from the shorter and earlier work, through some of the controversial prose of the English civil war era (Areopagitica, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, and a few others), to the astounding work that emerged in the wake of political defeat (Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes), we will discover a very different poet and political thinker, more an iconoclast than an icon. We will come to understand Milton’s writing in relation to the two revolutions that he witnessed and took part in—one political; the other scientific—and we will also think about his experiments in literary form, his ambivalent incorporations, revisions, or expansions of both classical literature and biblical texts, the function of his often unorthodox theology, his writings on marriage and divorce, his long preoccupation with vocation, and more.

Course requirements will probably include two short essays, a midterm, and a final, as well as quick reading quizzes to assess your preparation of the readings by (not after) their assigned dates. Attendance of all lectures is a necessity for each member of the class.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


The Victorian Period

English 122

Section: 1
Instructor: Blanton, C. D.
Blanton, C.D.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 20 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Arnold, Matthew, Culture and Anarchy; Brontë, Emily, Wuthering Heights; Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, Aurora Leigh; Browning, Robert, Robert Browning’s Poetry; Carlyle, Thomas, Sartor Resartus; Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Pater, Walter, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry; Tennyson, Alfred, Selected Poems; a course reader

Description

A survey of and introduction to the writing produced in the years between 1837 and 1901, when Victoria presided over the apparent apogee of British cultural power and (formally at least) over a very large portion of the planet. We will explore this long and occasionally strange era by paying particular attention both to some of its deepest contradictions (between turbulence and apparent stability, headlong progress and intense nostalgia, doubt and faith, political freedom and social constraint, license and propriety) and to the variety of literary forms and critical arguments with which the Victorians met them. To that end, we will devote most of our time to the period’s voluminous efforts in poetry and non-fiction prose, though we will also read couple of texts that might (or might not) be novels.

Other likely figures include: Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Babington Macaulay, John Stuart Mill, John Henry Newman, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin.


The English Novel (Defoe through Scott)

English 125A

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Sorensen, Janet
Time: MW 3-4 + Discussion F 3-4
Location: 141 McCone


Other Readings and Media

Haywood, E: Love in Excess; Defoe, D: Roxana; Richardson, S.: Pamela; Fielding, H. Shamela and Joseph Andrews; Lennox, C.: The Female Quixote; Walpole, H.: The Castle of Otranto; Austen, J.: Northanger Abbey; Scott, W.: The Bride of Lammermoor

Description

As we read a variety of novels from the period credited with the “rise of the novel,” we shall consider what it was that might have been new about this form of writing. We shall be especially interested in tracking what it was that some found quite dangerous about it. Like surfing the internet, novel reading wasn’t something you wanted the ldquo; impressionable”—from teenagers to women—to do alone, or maybe at all. Might the perceived threat have had something to do with early novels’ connection to romance and the erotic and then with what one critic calls the “narrative transvestitism” of the early novel—in which men write books featuring female heroines who will describe, in an innovative, frank prose style, how a woman really feels? Highly conscious of these debates, eighteenth-century writers responded to them in their texts, while an emerging set of women writers also negotiated the tricky new terrain of writing for a public market. Some of these texts suggest rhetorical and thematic means of legitimating novel writing, appealing to (and sometimes transforming) moral discourse, creating hybrids of new and classical writing, deploying authorized genres of writing, such as history. Yet all of them resist easy divisions between legitimate and illegitimate, offering instead complex new forms of writing and, some would argue, consciousness; our work will be to identify and analyze some of these.

Requirements including willingness to engage in discussion, reading quizzes, a mid-term, two long papers.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


The European Novel

English 125C

Section: 1
Instructor: Paperno, Irina
Paperno, Irina
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 166 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Jane Austen, Emma (1816), Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (1856), Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877), Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925)

Description

Focusing on key texts from English, French, and Russian, literatures, this course traces the development of the modern novel in Europe, from the early 19th- to the early 20th century. The texts are chosen to allow us to follow a specific thread: the novel’s engagement with the problems of family and home. As we read Emma, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, and Mrs Dalloway, we will examine the novel’s use of marriage and adultery as models of social order and disorder and consider the representation of consciousness in narrative.

Lectures will emphasize strategies of close reading and concepts from theories of the novel. In comparing novels from different national traditions, we will explore the interplay between genre and culture. (All readings in English.) There will be regular reading quizzes, an in-class midterm, a take-home essay, and a final examination.

This course is cross-listed with Slavic 133.


The 20th Century Novel

English 125D

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Jones, Donna
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 101 Moffitt


Other Readings and Media

Émile Zola:  La Bête Humaine; Theodor Dreiser:  Sister Carrie; Virginia Woolf:  Mrs. Dalloway; Amos Tutuola:  My Life in the Bush of Ghosts; Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart; William Gibson:  Neuromancer; Kazuo Ishiguro:  Never Let Me Go

Description

This course is a general survey of the 20th century novel. The novel is the quintessential form of expression of modernity and modern subjectivity. In this survey of key works of the century, we will explore the novel form as it is framed by these three thematics, history, modernism and empire. Some questions we will address: how have the vicissitudes of modernity lead to a re-direction of historical narration within the novel; how have modernist aesthetic experimentation re-shaped the very form of the novel and lastly how has the phenomenon of imperialism, the asymmetrical relations of power between center and periphery, widened the scope and influence of fictive milieu.


American Literature: 1800-1865

English 130B

Section: 1
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 242 Hearst Gym


Other Readings and Media

James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Civil Disobedience; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition

Description

In the mid-nineteenth century, the U.S., a nation that had barely come together, was splitting apart. The fission helped to produce the remarkably energetic works we will be studying over the course of the semester. I will focus primarily on questions of freedom, cruelty, desire, and loss in my lectures, attempting to understand the relation between these abstract human experiences and the particular historical situation framing them. I will also emphasize the striking, baroque, often bizarre formal innovations attempted in these works.

Two ten-page essays and a final exam will be required, along with regular attendance.


American Poetry

English 131

Section: 1
Instructor: Hass, Robert L.
Hass, Robert
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 277 Cory


Other Readings and Media

Lehmann, David: The Oxford Anthology of American Poetry; Oppen, George: Collected Poems; Brown, Sterling: Collected Poems

Description

A survey course in the history of American poetry, we will look at the beginnings, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, the modernists, two middle generation poets (George Oppen & Sterling Brown), the surge of post WWII poets including the Beat Generation & the New York School, the emergence of a women's poetry in the 1970's and 1980's, and have a glimpse at the contemporary scene.


American Novel

English 132

Section: 1
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Lee, Steven
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 60 Evans


Other Readings and Media

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850); Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884); Henry James, Daisy Miller (1878); Abraham Cahan, Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto (1896); Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900); W.E.B. DuBois, Dark Princess (1928); Nathaniel West, The Day of the Locust (1939); Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin (1957); Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men (1980); Toni Morrison, A Mercy (2008); separate course reader: short works by Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Gertrude Stein, and John Dos Passos

Description

Rather than define a canon, this survey will trace how the novel has contributed to nation-formation in the U.S. How has the novel helped to define what it means to be American, starting from the country’s fledgling days as an outpost of Europe? To what extent has the novel been able to incorporate the diversity of American experiences—and to what extent has it promoted exclusions of race, gender, and class? What are the limitations of both novel and nation—and how has the American novel expressed these limitations?


Topics in American Studies: The Literature and History of Mexican American Farm Workers

English C136

Section: 1
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 160 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

(Literature) Rose Castillo Guilbault, Farmworker’s Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America; Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Girl; Cherríe Moraga, Watsonville: Some Place Not Here; Tomás Rivera, The Complete Works; Simón Silva, Small-Town Browny: Cosecha de la Vida; Gary Soto, Jesse; Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus. (History) Ernesto Galarza, Spiders in the House and Workers in the Field; Gilbert G. González, Mexican Consuls and Labor Organizing: Imperial Politics in the American Southwest; Randy Shaw, Beyond the Fields: the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century; Devra Weber, Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton and the New Deal.

(Note: The reading list for the course may change slightly by the start of the fall semester so please wait until after the first class meeting to purchase your books, or send an email to the instructor in August to request an updated reading list.)

Description

In this course we will study the social movements, political aspirations and cultural expressions of Mexican farm workers in the U.S. during the twentieth century, focusing on the period from 1930-1980. The methodological approach will be interdisciplinary as our reading list will include both history and literature. We will also watch some films and examine photographic essays. The social movements of Mexican farm workers in the U.S. hold a symbolically significant place in Chicano history and literature. We will strive to understand these movements not as romanticized stories of the downtrodden, but as narratives of class conflict and strategic class positioning in both local and global settings. The history of Mexican farm worker struggles in the U.S. links the formation of Chicano and Chicana subjectivity to the profit needs of transnational agricultural corporations, immigration law, state repression, racialization, and class power—in short, to the building of empire and global capitalism. The works studied in this course document or dramatize these links from various perspectives. The amount of reading will be substantial. Required assignments will include a paper, a midterm, a class presentation, and a final.

This course is cross-listed with American Studies C111E, Section 1.


Topics in American Studies: A Gallery of Wonders, Curiosities, Spectacles, Cynics, and Suckers: Consumer Culture in Post-Civil War America

English C136

Section: 2
Instructor: McQuade, Donald
McQuade, Donald
Time: MW 4-5:30
Location: 170 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

This course will focus on the interrelations of the rise of consumerism and the culture industry in post-Civil War America. We will examine a wide range of materials, including advertisements (especially patent medicine ads), trade cards, commercial art and photography, dime novels, other best sellers as well as literary works, popular magazines, amusement parks and large-scale exhibitions. The course will begin with the remarkable and long-lived career of P. T. Barnum, at times a moral reformer, a habitual hoaxer, an insightful critic, a savvy expert at “puffery,” a master of images, and an impresario who transcended local cultural markets to cultivate a powerful and profitable presence on the national and global stage. We will end with The Columbian Exposition, a World's Fair held in Chicago to observe the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World as well as to celebrate America’s belief in its exceptionalism and its industrial and cultural optimism. Along the way, we will read generous selections from The Colossal P. T. Barnum Reader as well as novels by Horatio Alger (Ragged Dick, Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks), Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court), Orison Swett Marden (Pushing to the Front), and Edward Bellamy (Looking Backward), as well as such texts as Russell Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” (one of the most successful “sermons” on the sanctity of wealth), and selections from Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth, Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps, and Elbert Hubbard’s “A Message to Garcia,” among others. Throughout the course, we will consider the ways in which consumerism sponsored major economic, political, social, and cultural changes in the everyday lives of Americans in the late-nineteenth century.

This course is cross-listed with American Studies C111E, Section 2.


Modes of Writing

English 141

Section: 1
Instructor: Abrams, Melanie
Abrams Chandra, Melanie
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 200 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Reader available at Zee Zee Copy

Description

This course will introduce students to the study of creative writing – fiction, poetry, and drama. Students will learn to talk critically about these genres and begin to feel comfortable and confident with their own writing of them. Students will write in each of these genres and will partake in class workshops where their work will be edited and critiqued by other students in the class.

Note: This course is open to English majors only.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Chandra, Vikram
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009, ed. Laura Furman

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 engage with the problems faced by writers of fiction, and discover the techniques that enable writers to construct a convincing representation of reality on the page.

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 10-15 photocopied pages of your fiction, along with an application form, to Professor Chandra's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, BY 4:00 p.m., TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 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!


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: Mukherjee, Bharati
Mukherjee, Bharati (a.k.a. Blaise, Bharati)
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

(eds. Salman Rushdie & Heidi Pitlor):  Best American Stories of 2008

Description

This limited-enrollment workshop course will concentrate on the form, theory and practice of short fiction.

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 12-15 photocopied pages of your fiction, along with an application form, to Professor Mukherjee's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, by 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 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!


Verse

English 143B

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Giscombe, Cecil
Time: M 3-6
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Texts may include Bernadette Mayer’s Sonnets, Michael Ondaatje’s Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Gwendolyn Brooks’ Selected Poems. This list is tentative. Students should come to class before buying books.

Description

I’ll ask students to be interested in form as a site, as a point of disembarkation for talking about that other stuff, for the ongoing work of investigation and experiment. Poems can be formally navigated but the point, in all my classes, is not to get it right but to see how it feels to get involved in it, that and to look at what the poem (or the essay or joke or speech) does and at the ways the world presses on it, and at how it presses back on the world. What’s the relationship of poetry to public iconography, to issues of the public representation of race and class and gender?

       Can poetry challenge the way we look at culture and language? The argument of this course is that it can and must. (And who is this “we”?)

        Workshop. Discussions. Reading. Weekly writing assignments. All students will participate in a public, out-of-class poetry as intervention project; the nature and scope of this project will depend on class interests.

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5 photocopied pages of your poems, along with an application form, to Professor Giscombe's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, by 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 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!


Verse: Poetry in Practice and in Theory

English 143B

Section: 2
Instructor: Bouvier, Geoff
Bouvier, Geoff
Time: W 3-6
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke; The Necessary Angel by Wallace Stevens; A Test of Poetry by Louis Zukovsky; The New Sentence by Ron Silliman; ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

Description

Poets can’t just write their poetry. Ever since the beginnings of Western thought, poets have had to defend themselves and their art form, both explicitly and implicitly – yet almost always evasively. It was Plato, two millennia ago, who charged the poets, asking, “What do you contribute to the Republic, Poet?!” This class is designed for poets who wish to take up that charge and interrogate themselves and their art form, hopefully for the good of both. (Ah, the necessary poison that is “theory.”) What is poetry? And what isn’t it? When and how did it begin (long before Plato and “Western thought”)? And what are its traditions? And now, in the 21st century, where does poetry “need” to go? (In other words, what is the duty of the poet?) Also, what is a poem? (A very different kind of question.) And where did you get your ideas about what a poem is and can be? Class time will be divided between these philosophical discussions and the workshopping of the students’ own poems. Please note: this class will be supplemented by a literary salon (which is open to all) at the Josephine Miles House, one evening per week (dates and times T.B.D.).

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5 photocopied pages of your poems, along with an application form, to Professor Bouvier’s mailbox in 322 Wheeler, BY 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 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!


Verse

English 143B

Section: 3
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Shoptaw, John
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Book List (recommended): Jahan Ramazani, ed.: The Norton Anthology of Modern & Contemporary Poetry, vol 2

Description

In this course you will conduct a progressive series of experiments in which you will explore the fundamental options for writing poetry today – aperture, partition, closure; rhythmic sound patterning; sentence & line; stanza; short & long-lined poems; image & figure; graphics & textual space; cultural translation; poetic forms (haibun, villanelle, sestina, pantoum, ghazal, etc.); the first, second, third, and no person (persona, address, drama, narrative, description); prose poetry. Our emphasis will be placed on recent possibilities, but with an eye & ear always to renovating traditions. I have no "house style" and only one precept: you can do anything, if you can do it. You will write a poem a week, and we'll discuss six or so in rotation (I'll respond to every poem you write). On alternate days, we'll discuss pre-modern and modern exemplary poems drawn from the Norton Anthology and from our course reader. It will be delightful

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5 photocopied pages of your poems, along with an application form, to Professor Shoptaw's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, by 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 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!

 


Prose Nonfiction: Traveling, Thinking, Writing

English 143N

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Giscombe, Cecil
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Students should come to class before buying books. The list below is tentative. But, that said, it will likely include some of the following: Basho’s Back Roads to Far Towns (translated by Cid Corman); Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; Tete- Michel Kpomassie’s An African in Greenland; Joanne Kyger’s Strange Big Moon; Eddy Harris’s Mississippi Solo; Linda Niemann’s Boomer; Robert Michael Pyle’s Where Bigfoot Walks. We’ll also read excerpts from Travel Writing: 1700-1830 (Ian Duncan and Elizabeth Bohls); Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African-American Travel Writing (Farrah Griffin and Cheryl Fish); and items from the popular press.

Description

Much of American literature has had to do with a sense of motion. Note the journeys, e.g., in the best known texts of Melville and Twain. But note also that Harlemite Langston Hughes’ autobiography, The Big Sea, begins on a boat and details his adventures in Europe and Africa; Canadian writer Gladys Hindmarch takes on Melville with her Watery Part of the World and Zora Neale Hurston travels to Haiti in Tell My Horse and through the American south in Mules and Men. 

The point of this course is multiple and full of inquiry.

The 
familiar question, “Is this trip necessary?”, is joined to “What makes this trip important enough to 
celebrate?” 

Another field is the role of Americans and/ or Westerners—“subjectivity” in the vernacular—as travelers in the world. (I’d note that the world is both within and beyond our national boundaries.) What things are we heir to? What are our responsibilities and blindnesses? What’s the relation between the imperial West (of Conrad’s writing) and our current situation? The point in this—and any writing—is to write consciously and to be mindful of the political import of our writing. 

A third field is the defining of the relation between travel and place (and imagination). Place is “hot” 
right now, as a topic. What are the elements of the sentimental here and what assumptions?



Workshop. Discussions. Reading. Writing assignments. Field trips. The writing vehicle will be, for the greatest part, the personal essay (with some forays outward into hybrid prose/ poetry forms).

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 5-10 photocopied pages of your creative nonfiction (no poetry or academic writing), along with an application form, to Professor Giscombe's mailbox in 322 Wheeler, by 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 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!


Special Topics: Scotland and Romanticism

English 165

Section: 1
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Duncan, Ian
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 121 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The Best Laid Schemes: Selected Poetry and Prose of Robert Burns, ed. Crawford and Maclachlan; Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides; Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker; Dorothy Wordsworth, Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland; Walter Scott, Rob Roy and Old Mortality or The Bride of Lammermoor (with Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor); James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped or The Master of Ballantrae or Weir of Hermiston; Margaret Oliphant, “The Library Window”. Readings in other poetry (A. Ramsay, R. Fergusson, Macpherson, the ballad revival, W. Wordsworth) and Scottish Enlightenment philosophy will be made available in a course reader, along with relevant critical and historical selections.

Description

Between 1760 and 1830 Scotland was one of the generative centers of the European-North Atlantic “Republic of Letters.” Here were invented the signature forms and discourses of both the “Enlightenment” and “Romanticism” (terms for cultural movements and historical periods that were invented later): social history, anthropology, political economy, the indigenous epic, the poetry of popular life, the historical novel. Scotland also became a notable place within the symbolic geography of Romanticism – a site of lost worlds of tradition and allegiance, of ghosts and heroes, an imaginary role it continues to hold today. Our course will consider the production of Romanticism by Scottish writers and institutions as well as its consumption in tourist itineraries and literary fantasies. We will discuss the problem that Scotland poses for the definition of Romanticism: on one hand, it is the original Romantic nation, and on the other, according to the critical orthodoxy of the past sixty years, the locus of an untimely or inauthentic Romanticism. Topics to be explored include: the idea of a national literature and its relations to history, religion, language, culture, region, origins, the past, the people; the idea of modernity (civil society, commerce, liberalism, enlightenment) and its ideological and political adversaries (Jacobites, Covenanters; the primitive, the fanatic); the Highlands as a site of historical catastrophe and trauma, of tourism and adventure. We will read works from the key Scottish innovations in poetry and fiction (James Macpherson’s “Poems of Ossian”; Robert Burns and the vernacular poetic revival; Walter Scott, James Hogg, and historical fiction); we will also look at the discourses of history, sentiment, the imagination and primitivism in the Scottish Enlightenment human sciences (Hume, Smith, Ferguson, Blair, Monboddo). We will consider the versions of Scotland discovered (and constructed) by English literary visitors (Samuel Johnson, William and Dorothy Wordsworth); and, if we have time, we’ll look at some late-Victorian revisitations of Scottish Romanticism, by Margaret Oliphant and Robert Louis Stevenson.

This section of English 165 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Special Topics: American Postmodernism--Olson and the Black Mountain School

English 165

Section: 2
Instructor: Campion, John
Campion, John
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 121 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The Maximus Poems of Charles Olson; class handouts

Description

This course will look at the development of American Postmodernism (in poetry, painting, music, dance, etc.), focusing on the artistic and institutional influence of one of its founding figures: the poet, Charles Olson.

In many ways Charles Olson provided the essential elements of a genuine American Postmodernism. His view of the individual and its relationship to the universal offered a unified field of meaning and coherence--profoundly contrasting with the existentially alienated humanity exposed by European schools of thought. Through his leadership at Black Mountain College, he brought together and provided the intellectual context of some of the most influential thinkers and artists of our time, John Cage, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Walter Gropius, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Motherwell, Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley, among many others).

The class will examine Olson’s understanding of a ‘Human Universe’ and the nature of ‘reality’ itself coupled with his attempt to unify the philosophical rupture between theory and praxis and the artistic split between form and content. We’ll see how his technique of projective verse helped register ideas about geography, knowledge, economics, myth, ecology, politics, the hermetica, and the self. Since his thought was informed by so many sources and contexts, it necessarily opens this course up to many diverse areas of consideration and of student orientation.

We’ll try to experience and understand how Charles Olson’s phenomenological work in poetry was made as a living thing and not merely a map showing us how to see and how to do it--although it does.


Special Topics: The Global South: Faulkner, Garcia Marquez, Morrison, and Cisneros 


English 166

Section: 1
Instructor: Saldivar, Jose David
Saldivar, Jose David
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 220 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Agee, T.: Let us Now Praise Famous Men; Cisneros, Sandra: Caramelo or Puro Cuento, The House On Mango Street; Dubois Shaw: Seeing the Unspeakable; Garcia Marquez, G.: Collected Stories, Living to Tell the Tale, One Hundred Years of Solitude; Faulkner, W.: Absalom, Absalom!, Go Down, Moses; Morrison, T.: Beloved, Sula, A Mercy

Description

A detailed trans-American study of William Faulkner, Sandra Cisneros, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Toni Morrison's imaginative writings in the aesthetic and geopolitical contexts of the South and the Global South. Topics include the significance of Faulkner's "The Bear" and Absalom, Absalom! for modern and post-contemporary writers from across the Americas. Readings also include Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo or Puro Cuento, The House On Mango Street; Garcia Marquez's "Big Mama's Funeral," One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Living to Tell the Tale, and Morrison's Beloved, Sula, and A Mercy. Our course will also look at the photographs of the US South by Walker Evans, and the Global South's paintings by Kara Walker and Fernando Botero, among others. Throughout this comparative survey course, we will grapple with the question--do the Americas have a common literature?


Special Topics: Readings for Fiction Writers

English 166

Section: 2
Instructor: Mukherjee, Bharati
Mukherjee, Bharati (a.k.a. Blaise, Bharati)
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 210 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Flaubert, G.: Madame Bovary; Doctorow, E.L.: The March; Fitzgerald, F.S.: The Great Gatsby; Mukherjee, B.: Jasmine; Forster, E.M.: Howards End; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth; Achebe, C.: Things Fall Apart; Rushdie, S.: Midnight’s Children; Hosseini, K.: The Kite Runner

Description

This course will focus on each novelist’s invention of, or critique of, national identity myths in a time of national crisis. Students will explore the intimate connection between narrative strategy and construction of meaning.


Special Topics: British Cinema

English 166

Section: 3
Instructor: Miller, D.A.
Miller, D.A.
Time: MW 4-5:30 + films Tues. 6-9 P.M. in 300 Wheeler
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Critical readings will be available in a course reader.

Description

François Truffaut once observed “a certain incompatibility between the terms ‘Britain’ and ‘cinema.’” Certainly, in its main traditions, this cinema exhibits a defining tendency to resist its status as cinema, whether by downplaying cinematic specificity in the guise of a literary classic, by hiding cinematic artifice beneath the mask of social realism, or by compensating for cinematic mechanicalness with a vitalizing emphasis on character. In exemplifying these strategies of resistance, we will be interrogating what it is about cinema—and about British culture—that seems to call for them. Remembering, however, that Truffaut made the above observation to a Britisher whose work he regarded as virtually definitive of cinema—namely, Alfred Hitchcock—we will also attend largely to the counter-tradition of cinematic self-consciousness established by Hitchcock and Michael Powell.

Films to be studied may include: Brief Encounter, Oliver Twist, Henry V, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lodger, Sabotage. Frenzy, Black Narcissus, Peeping Tom, Room at the Top, This Sporting Life, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Victim, Darling, Hard Day’s Night, If…, Remains of the Day, Trainspotting.


Special Topics in American Cultures: Race and Revision in Early America

English 166AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Donegan, Kathleen
Donegan, Kathleen
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 110 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Toni Morrison, A Mercy; Shakespeare, The Tempest; Anon., The Female American; Maryse Conde, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692; Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia; William Wells Brown, Clotel, or the President’s Daughter; Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger

Description

In this course, we will read both historical and literary texts to explore how racial categories came into being in New World cultures, and how these categories were tested, inhabited, and re-imagined by the human actors they sought to define. Our study will be organized around three early American sites: Jamestown fort, Witchcraft at Salem, and Jefferson’s Virginia. These three sites will function as interpretive nodes, connecting narratives that span from slave resistance on West Indian plantations to Anglo-Indian warfare on the Wabanaki frontier. In each place, African, Native, and European ways of making meaning radically collided and concepts of racial difference were created and concretized. The effect, of course, was never total, and we will study how that slippage and excess de-stabilized these histories, which are still being revised. Readings include Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Marsyse Conde’s I, Tituba, Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, Barry Unsworth’s Sacred Hunger. Expect shipwrecks, deserted islands, revolutions, curses, two midterms and a final.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


The Language and Literature of Films: Meta-Cinema and the Hollywood Novel

English 173

Section: 1
Instructor: Clowes, Erika
Clowes, Erika
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 166 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Didion, J.: Play It as It Lays; Fitzgerald, F.S.: The Love of the Last Tycoon; Mamet, D.: Speed-the-Plow; Waugh, E.: The Loved One; West, N.: The Day of the Locust; and a course reader

Films: Altman, R.: The Player; Coen, E. & J.: Barton Fink; Fellini, F.: 8 ½; Jonze, S.: Adaptation; Powell, M.: Peeping Tom; Richardson, T.: The Loved One; Sedgwick, E.: The Cameraman; Truffaut, F.: Day for Night; Wilder, B.: Sunset Boulevard

Description

Hollywood is traditionally conceived as a “dream factory,” the place where common cultural fantasies are articulated. Books and films about filmmaking, however, tend to associate it with superficiality, immorality, and even violence and death. In this course, we will examine film production as a literary and cinematic subject, in an attempt to define its values and to understand how texts themselves “produce” fantasy and identity. When cinematic illusions are exposed and we see actors’ rehearsals, the construction of sets, and the negotiations between writers and producers – still within the context of fiction – is fantasy destroyed or in some way perpetuated? As part of our study of the relationship between literary and filmic representation, we will consider how the word competes with the image as a narrative medium. How are writers, directors, and cameramen, as “artists,” portrayed? How do verbal symbols signify differently from visual ones? We will also learn about some techniques of film production and film analysis, to better understand how they complement and differ from corresponding literary techniques.

There will be several evening film screenings, so please save Tuesdays 6-9 P.M. in your schedule for them; the location of the screenings is still to be arranged.


Literature and Disability

English 175

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 122 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Barker, P.: Regeneration; Dunn, K.: Geek Love; Haddon, M.: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Lewis, V. A. ed: Beyond Victims and Villains: Contemporary Plays by Disabled Playwrights; McCullers, C.: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; Medoff, M.: Children of a Lesser God; Shakespeare, W.: Richard III; plus a course packet of short fiction

Description

We will examine the ways disability is portrayed in a variety of works of fiction and drama. Assignments will include two short (5-8 page) critical essays, a take-home final examination and a group presentation or rehearsed reading from one of the plays.


The Epic: Imagined Communities and the Classical Epic

English 180E

Section: 1
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Altieri, Charles F.
Altieri, Charles and Nolan, Maura
Time: MW F 1-2
Location: 170 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Homer, The Iliad, (Fitgerald Trans.); Homer, The Odyssey (Fitzgerals Trans.); Vergil, The Aeneid (Feagles, trans); Dante, The Inferno (Ciardi trans); Paradiso (Hollander Trans.); Milton, Paradise Lost, Norton Critical editions; Wordsworth, The Prelude: Parallel texts. All paperbacks.

Description

Our fields of expertise are medieval writing and modernism. But we are convinced that the classical epic is crucial for a literary education whatever field you specialize in—for the profound experiences it offers and for the range of influences and challenges it has created for subsequent writers of all periods in Western Literature. Each of us will lecture on half the texts, but we also want to spend a good deal of time in conversation with one another and with the class on the best ways of characterizing what matters in the text and what theoretical and cultural issues the reading raises. We envision this as an exercise in the possibility of informed and not always unironic critical appreciation.

This is a G.R.O.U.P. Townsend Center course.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Lyric Verse

English 180L

Section: 1
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Falci, Eric
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 3108 Etcheverry


Other Readings and Media

Poems and essays will be available in a course reader or, whenever possible, electronically. No books will be required.

Description

We will spend much of the semester trying to figure out what the title of this course means. We’ll start by thinking about the so-called “roots of lyric,” not only Sappho and Greek lyric, but other forms and shapes that are deeply buried within the matrices of modern poetry—chants, spells, charms, riddles, curses. Along the way, we’ll revisit some favorites from the English-language canon (Donne, Marvell, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Dickinson, Stevens, Hughes, Moore, Bishop, Ashbery, Plath) as well as some more recent experiments. We’ll pair various poems with various media (painting, music, movies, dance, video games) and conceptual frames (psychology, ecology, literary theory, cognitive science) in order to tease out the alternate currents running through the texts. Reading assignments will be small, but dense. In addition to a final exam, there will be one short essay (3-5 pages), and one longer essay (7-9 pages) that may be critical, historical, or a hybrid critical-creative piece.


The Romance

English 180R

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Miller, Jennifer
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 123 Wheeler


Description

For more information on this course, please see professor Miller during her office hours on Fridays from 2-4.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Research Seminar: Close Reading

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, D.A.
Miller, D.A.
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

J. Austen, Emma; R. Barthes, S/Z; A.C. Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity; J. Keats, Keats’s Poetry and Prose

Description

It may be argued that close reading is literary criticism. Certainly, it is its only technique and its most widely shared belief. Although it is central to literary criticism, however, close reading is marginal almost everywhere else in the culture, with exceptions to be duly noted. Like all marginal phenomena, it is selectively lionized and massively stigmatized; it has its mythic heroes such as Sherlock Holmes and, more recently, Robert Langdon, and its regular demons, who are usually us, the literature majors and professors who are considered to read too much in. The aim of this course is not to teach students how to close-read—with English majors, I assume both experience and ability in the practice—but to bring them to a more conscious (and self-conscious) understanding of what may be at stake in both the practice and the resistance to it. Accordingly, even as we “do” close reading, we will also engage in assisted reflection on what it is we are doing

Our objects comprise a poem by Keats, a novel by Austen, and a film by Hitchcock, all of which spectacularly lend themselves to close reading, and some mass culture artifacts that categorically do not, but will receive it nonetheless (for the course harbors a certain desire to take close-reading out of the closet of English Literature and into the streets of cultural studies). Our topics include: the institutionalization of close reading, its past, present, and utopian rationales, historicist and other attacks on it, its rules-of-the-game, the problematic of “getting close” (or, the critic’s “intimacy issues”), and, not least, the pleasures of the text.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Avant-Gardes

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: Blanton, C. D.
Blanton, C.D.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 203 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The book list for this course has not been finalized, but the books will be at the bookstore by the time classes start.

Description

In the early years of the twentieth century, a generation of young artists began organizing itself under the metaphorically (or perhaps not merely metaphorically) militant sign of an avant-garde: an advance guard or vanguard, dedicated variously to refining, redefining, perhaps even destroying, the notion of art as such. By the time of the first world war, the term had come to embrace a wide range of often contradictory movements, in most of the major European languages and in almost every art. This seminar will not make sense of the avant-garde, but it will explore some of its major incarnations: Futurism, Vorticism, Dada, and Surrealism, among others. We will puzzle over manifestoes and some of the works to which they gave rise, tracing the concept’s nineteenth-century bohemian roots and its place within the larger constellation of aesthetic modernism. We will also weigh some of the most important critical attempts to gauge the aesthetic and historical significance of such avant-garde movements, before turning to the occasionally vexed question of their persistence in more recent decades. Can one conceive of a continuing avant-garde tradition? Or is the mere suggestion simply oxymoronic?

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Film Noir.

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 9:30-11 + mandatory attendance at film screenings on Tuesdays, 5-8, 206 Wheeler.
Location: 109 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Graham Greene, The Third Man; James M. Cain, Double Indemnity; Dashiell Hammet, The Maltese Falcon; Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep; Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye; Alain Silver and James Orsini, Film Noir Reader

Description

An introduction to a gloomy set of films from the late 40s (mostly), set in a dark American (mostly) dream world suffused with war hangover, erotic bewilderment, lethal and uninhibited (but intriguing) menaces, and demented fantasies of innocence. We’ll watch a film every Tuesday evening (including the first one), discuss it briefly as soon as it’s finished, then return on Thursday and the next Tuesday in regular class session to discuss it in greater depth. We will also read five novels upon which three of the films we’ll watch are based, and critical essays from The Film Noir Reader. These will also be discussed during Tuesday and Thursday class sessions. Once a week, a panel of students will present several thoughts and queries concerning that week’s film to get discussion going. Two ten-page essays will be required, along with regular attendance and participation.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: The Contemporary Novel

English 190

Section: 6
Instructor: Rubenstein, Michael
Rubenstein, Michael
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 224 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Amis, M.: Time’s Arrow; Chamoiseau, P.: Texaco; Houellebecq, M.: The Elementary Particles; Smith, Z.: White Teeth; Ishiguro, K.: Never Let Me Go; O’Neill, J: At Swim Two Boys; Morrison, T.: A Mercy; Adiga, A: The White Tiger

Description

A selection of novels written in the last 20 years. I’ve chosen novels that tend to think of themselves as hugely socially ambitious, interrogating the big questions of our time: the nature of evil; the urbanization of human life; scientific discovery and its consequences for our definition of what is human; slavery, freedom, and liberation.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Fictions of Los Angeles

English 190

Section: 7
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Saul, Scott
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 203 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles (1994); T. Coraghessen Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain (1996); Nathanael West, Day of the Locust (1939); Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man (1964); Walter Mosley, Little Scarlet (2004); Scott Bukatman, Blade Runner (1997); Karen Tei Yamashita, Tropic of Orange (1997)

Description

Los Angeles has been described, variously, as a "circus without a tent" (Carey McWilliams), "seventy-two suburbs in search of a city" (Dorothy Parker), "the capital of the Third World" (David Rieff), and "the only place for me that never rains in the sun" (Tupac Shakur). This class will investigate these and other ways that Los Angeles has been understood over the last century—as a city-in-a-garden, a dream factory, a noirish labyrinth, a homeowner's paradise, a zone of libidinal liberation, and a powderkeg of ethnic and racial violence, to name but a few. We will trace the rise of Los Angeles from its origins as a small city, built on a late-19th-century real estate boom sponsored by railroad companies, into the sprawling megacity that has often been taken as a prototype of postmodern urban development; and we will do so primarily by looking at the fiction, film, drama, and music that the city has produced.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Ellis, Nadia
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 206 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

C. Abani, Graceland; V. Chandra, Love and Longing in Bombay; H. Kunzru, Transmission; Zakes Mda, Ways of Dying; J. O’Neill, Netherland; Z. Smith, White Teeth; M. Thelwell, The Harder They Come (optional); I. Vladislavic, The Exploded View

Films: D. Boyle, dir., Slumdog Millionaire; P. Henzell, dir., The Harder They Come; S. Frears, dir., Dirty Pretty Things; G. Hood, Tstotsi; M. Nair, dir., Salaam Bombay; Course Reader available on b-Space

Description

In this seminar we will think about recent issues in postcolonial studies by focusing on cities. Moving through a diverse set of texts and very different cities—London and Lagos, Kingston and Mumbai, New York and Cape Town among them—we will wonder: What makes a city postcolonial? (For that matter, what makes a text postcolonial?) Are there postcolonial ways to experience a city? What narrative techniques emerge out of the urban postcolonial? In what sense is the United States postcolonial? The texts, the cities, and readings in recent criticism will help us think about the fate of “the postcolonial” itself, a term we might liken to an elusive discursive urbanite. We shall follow her down streets of globalization, arcades of diaspora, borderlands of one sort and another—including those in two cities close at hand, Oakland and San Francisco.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Flannery O’Connor

English 190

Section: 9
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 12:30-2:00
Location: 222 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

O’Connor, Flannery: The Complete Stories, The Violent Bear It Away, Wise Blood, plus a course reader

Description

Many consider Flannery O’Connor to be one of the foremost writers of short fiction in American literature. Though her work is sometimes dismissively categorized as regional, her favorite themes include religion, race, and disability. In this course, we will read all her published fiction in addition to a selection of her essays, reviews and letters. The major writing project for the course will be a twenty-page research paper. Short writing exercises and class presentations will help students compile a bibliography, create a thesis and hone close-reading skills for the final paper.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Chicana Art, Fiction and Film-making

English 190

Section: 10
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Padilla, Genaro
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 222 Wheeler


Description

This research seminar will primarily focus on women’s narratives –novels, poetry,art, film and theory. I am interested in comparing gendered self-representations with (sometimes without) representations of men (and all we stand for) in the work of a group of Chicana writers, filmmakers and artists. Although I haven’t yet decided on all the texts, we will definitely study Ana Castillo (novelist, poet, essayist), Lourdes Portillo (film director), Denise Chavez (novelist), Lorna Dee Cervantes (poet), Sandra Cisneros (fiction, poetry), Gloria Anzáldua (theorist), Alma Lopez (artist), Isis Rodríguez(artist), Delilah Montoya (photographer) and also Chicana critics Tey Diana Rebolledo, Laura Pérez, Rosa Linda Fregoso.

There will be a 5-6 position paper due within about three weeks, and a final paper of some 15 pages due in the final week of class. I will expect regular attendance and students will regularly lead discussion.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: The Seventies

English 190

Section: 11
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Saul, Scott
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 224 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The book list for this course has not been finalized, but the books will be at the bookstore by the time classes start.

Description

As one historian has quipped, it was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. “The ’70s” routinely come in for mockery: even at the time, it was known as the decade when “it seemed like nothing happened.”

Yet we can see now that the ’70s was a time of cultural renaissance (e.g. the New Hollywood of Scorcese, Coppola et al; the music of funk, disco, punk and New Wave; the postmodern theater of Saturday Night Live, Sam Shepard and Maria Irene Fornes; the "dirty realism" of Raymond Carver; the sci-fi boom represented by Ursula LeGuin, Samuel Delany et al) and a period of intense political realignments (the shock of the oil crisis; the fall of Nixon and the fall of Saigon; the advent of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and environmentalism as mass grassroots movements; the rise of the Sunbelt and the dawning of the conservative revolution). One might even say that the ’70s were the most interesting decade of the post-WWII era -- the period when the dreams of the ‘60s were most intensely, if achingly, fulfilled.

It may also be the decade closest to our own contemporary moment. In this class, we will consider how the roots of our current predicament lie in the earlier decade -- with its uncertainty about the oil supply, its stagnant economy, its alarm at Islamic fundamentalism, its fetish for self-fulfillment, its reality TV and its fascination with the appeal of instant and often empty celebrity. We will, in turn, reflect on how Americans in the ‘70s struggled with many of the dilemmas that we face now.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: The Writings of Daniel Defoe

English 190

Section: 12
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Starr, George
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 225 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe, Journal of the Plague Year, Moll Flanders , Roxana, Captain Singleton, and Colonel Jack (the last two in photocopies).  Selections from Defoe's poetry and nonfictional prose will be distributed in photocopy, as will biographical and critical material.

Description

Reading and discussion of representative works in various genres, treating Defoe’s career and writings as of interest in themselves, and as offering direct (if slanted) access to all the major cultural issues of his day, political, economic, and religious as well as literary. Writings with less obvious claims on our attention than the prose fiction will figure prominently, although proportions can be adjusted as the course unfolds.

This section of English 190 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Visuality, Textuality, and Modernity

English 190

Section: 13
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Abel, Elizabeth
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 109 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Malek Alloula, The Colonial Harem; Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida; John Berger, Ways of Seeing; Theresa Cha, Dictee; Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle; Anthony Lee, Picturing Chinatown; Toni Morrison, Jazz; Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives; W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz; Susan Sontag, On Photography.

Photography books (on bspace): Robert Frank, The Americans; Aaron Siskind, The Harlem Document; Carrie Mae Weems, The Kitchen Table Series; Edward Steichen and Carl Sandburg, The Family of Man

Description

We inhabit image-saturated social and literary worlds. If, as Walter Benjamin predicted in the 1930s, ‘The illiteracy of the future … will be ignorance not of reading or writing, but of photography,” it is a form of illiteracy that urgently solicits remedy. Pursuing what has been called the “visual turn” in literary studies, this course will examine the interplay between verbal and visual modes of representation, with photography (“light writing”) as our central term. Reading a range of literary and visual texts both independently and interdependently, we will examine the deployment of words and images in composite photo-texts, the evocation of imaginary photographs in autobiographical fictions, and the textuality of photographic albums, archives, and narratives. We will analyze photography’s cultural work in composing social categories (race, class, nation, and family) and exposing their contradictions. Informed by readings in semiotics, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and Marxism, we will map some key tensions of twentieth-century cultural theory and production: the relations between subjects and objects of observation, mechanical reproduction and imaginative creation, the legibility of images and the visibility of words, and the codes of verbal and visual meaning. After a few short papers that will hone close reading skills, students will conduct extended research projects on literary or photographic texts of their choice.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Shakespeare's Versification

English 190

Section: 14
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Hanson, Kristin
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 225 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Evans, G.B., ed.: The Riverside Shakespeare

Description

This course will explore Shakespeare's artistic use of the formal resources of verse, especially meter, rhyme, alliteration and syntactic parallelism. We will consider what defines these forms; how they vary across lyric, narrative and dramatic genres; where they come from and how they develop; how they shape performance; and most of all, what they contribute to the emotional power and beauty of his works. The course is a research seminar, so various short papers and oral presentations leading to one long paper will be required.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Research Seminar: Literature of California and the West pre-1920

English 190

Section: 15
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Starr, George
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 183 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

Harte, B.: Stories, Sketches, Poems (photocopy); Browne, J. Ross: “A Peep at Washoe," “Washoe Revisited” (photocopy); Clemens, Samuel L. (“Mark Twain”): "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” “Jim Baker’s Bluejay Yarn,” “How to Tell a Story" (photocopy); Clemens, Samuel L. (“Mark Twain”): Roughing It; Stevenson, Robert L.: The Silverado Squatters; Norris, Frank: McTeague; Austin, Mary: The Land of Little Rain; London, Jack: The Valley of the Moon. (Secondary material to be posted on bSpace or distributed in photocopy)

Description

Besides reading and discussing fiction and poetry with Western settings, and essays attempting to identify or explain distinctive regional characteristics, this course will include consideration of some movies shaped by and shaping conceptions of California. Writing will consist of a term paper of 16-20 pages. Depending on enrollment, each student will be responsible for organizing and leading class discussion (probably teamed with another student) once during the semester. There will be no quizzes or exams, but seminar attendance and participation will be expected, and will affect grades.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Dystopian Fiction and the Fate of the Body

English 190

Section: 17
Instructor: Edwards, Erin E
Edwards, Erin E.
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid’s Tale; Gibson, William: Neuromancer; Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; More, Thomas: Utopia; Orwell, George: 1984; Wells, H. G.: The Time Machine; a course reader

Films: Children of Men, The Matrix

Description

Dystopian fiction often radically redefines the body, both euphorically imagining its future and registering anxieties about the decline of more traditional bodily forms. The body, redefined through forces such as technology, environmental changes, social power, and evolution, is the site through which dystopian fiction enacts many of its central conflicts. Despite the apparent exoticism of its fictional bodies, however, dystopian fiction asks fundamental questions about what a body is, and how it is produced, altered, and controlled by outside forces. Tracing a course from More’s Utopia through the ascendance of the virtual in more recent fiction, the course will ask how dystopian fiction speculates about the future, but also affords a critical distance from which to engage with contemporary political and social contexts.

English 190 replaces English 100 and 150 as of Fall ’09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or 150 before Fall ’09). Please read the paragraph on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course!

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 1
Instructor: Premnath, Gautam
Premnath, Gautam
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 121 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Leitch, V., ed.: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism; supplementary literary and critical texts made available on bSpace.

Recommended: Gibaldi, J.: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.; Macey, D.: The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory

Description

By the end of the two-semester H195 sequence you will have conceived, designed, and executed a substantial piece of original literary scholarship. The fall semester of the course serves as a staging ground for this task. We will read widely in prominent works of contemporary literary theory, chosen largely from the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. The idea here is not simply to offer a tasting menu of different approaches. Rather, our reading list will offer a series of occasions for identifying the premises and analyzing the agendas of particular theoretical movements and schools. We’ll aim to think carefully and critically about how these direct the interpretation of literary texts and transform the categories of literary-critical analysis. In the latter half of the semester several of our class sessions will be devoted to readings chosen from the Norton Anthology by student groups, who will also take responsibility for leading class discussion on those days.

Alongside our collective conversation on the readings, each student will move through a sequence of writing exercises intended to develop and hone their plans for the honors thesis, culminating in a prospectus and annotated bibliography due at the end of the fall term. In the spring students will meet regularly in small groups to provide each other with feedback, advice, and encouragement as they move forward with their individual thesis projects.

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) may choose to waive the seminar requirement.

Enrollment is limited and a written application, a copy of your college transcript(s), a list of your current courses, and a photocopy of a critical paper that you wrote for another class are due BY 4:00 P.M., Tuesday, April 21; be sure to read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes regarding enrollment in the Honors Course!


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 2
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 222 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction, 3rd edition; Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction; selections from Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, eds., Literary Theory: An Anthology, 2nd edition (optional); a course reader

Description

In the fall semester of this year-long course, we will study a broad range of literary and cultural theories. As the semester progresses, however, we will concentrate on theories of subjectivity and otherness, especially as they relate to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and class. One of our main objectives will be to understand and form opinions about some of the key critical concepts that have been debated (sometimes contentiously) among contemporary literary and cultural critics. These concepts include culture, language, form, ideology, power, hegemony, modernity, postmodernity, post-colonial, class, nation, globalization, racialization, patriarchy, consciousness, identity, and history itself. Our main concern will be to understand the manner in which these concepts and categories have been employed in the interpretation of literature. To test our theoretical investigations, we will read several short works of fiction by a culturally diverse group of contemporary authors. Students will be required to write a prospectus of their planned thesis project, produce an annotated bibliography, and give oral presentations in class based on the course readings. In the spring, students will write an honors thesis of about 50 pages drawing on some of the theories studied in the first semester and on their own independent research.

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) may choose to waive the seminar requirement.

Enrollment is limited and a written application, a copy of your college transcript(s), a list of your current courses, and a photocopy of a critical paper that you wrote for another class are due BY 4:00 P.M., Tuesday, April 21; be sure to read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes regarding enrollment in the Honors Course!


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 3
Instructor: Rubenstein, Michael
Rubenstein, Michael
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 24 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Leitch, V., ed..: Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Description

This course is designed to facilitate the writing of a senior honors thesis by deepening students’ engagement with literary theory and critical methodology. To that end we will explore some key critical texts that found and inform various schools of literary criticism: New Criticism, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Marxism, Deconstruction, and so on. At the same time, students will refine their particular research interests into a workable thesis topic, come up with a working bibliography of primary and secondary source material particular to their project, and begin the process of writing, revising, and presenting their work (to be completed in the spring semester).

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) may choose to waive the seminar requirement.

Enrollment is limited and a written application, a copy of your college transcript(s), a list of your current courses, and a photocopy of a critical paper that you wrote for another class are due BY 4:00 P.M., Tuesday, April 21; be sure to read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes regarding enrollment in the Honors Course!