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.


Freshman Seminar: Shakespeare's Sonnets

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Nelson, Alan H.
Nelson, Alan
Time: M 12-1
Location: 205 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Shakespeare, W.:  Shakespeare's Sonnets and a Lover's Complaint

Description

Shakespeare's sonnets were first published in 1609. Although little is known about how they were first received by the reading public, they are known to have caused delight and puzzlement since their second edition in 1640. Over the course of the semester, we will read all 154 sonnets, at the rate of approximately ten per week. All students will be expected to participate actively in seminar discussions, and present both informal and formal oral reports.

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


Freshman Seminar: Hamlet

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Paley, Morton D.
Paley, Morton D.
Time: W 2-4 (Aug 26 to Oct. 14 only)
Location: Rm L45, Res Hall Unit III on Durant between Telegraph & Dana


Other Readings and Media

Shakespeare, W.: Hamlet

Description

Hamlet is perhaps the greatest, the most challenging, and at times the most frustrating play in the English language. In this course we will concentrate intensively on the text (which will be the only assigned reading). We’ll consider questions of interpretation, motivation, staging, and poetics, among others. Some questions we’ll address are:

Does Hamlet think the flesh is “sullied” or “solid”?

Did Gertrude know about Claudius’ murder of old Hamlet?

When Hamlet tells Ophelia “get thee to a nunnery,” does he mean a brothel?

Is Polonius’ advice to Laertes sage or silly?

Does Hamlet delay? Does he have an Oedipus complex? How old is he?

How do we go about answering questions like these?

The only requisite for enrollment is that you be a freshman. No previous knowledge of Shakespeare is expected.

During the course of our half-semester, each of you will do a short (10-15 minute) seminar presentation. (Or, if you wish, a 20-30 minute presentation in collaboration with another student).  There’ll be a list of possible subjects for you to choose from, and we’ll have a conference beforehand. Then you’ll do a 1-page write-up of what you presented, and I’ll return it to you with written comments. By meeting 6 you’ll write a short (1500 word essay). It may grow out of your initial presentation, or be on an entirely different subject. There will be ample time for you to confer with me on this. I’ll return your essay with my comments at meeting seven.

Please bring the text with you every time.

This seminar will meet the first eight weeks of the semester, beginning August 26, 2009 and ending October 14, 2009.

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


Freshman Seminar: Animal Rights and Disability Studies

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Schweik, Susan
Schweik, Susan and Taylor, Sunaura
Time: M 5-6
Location: 202 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Required texts: See below.

Description

This seminar will examine the intersections between two concepts and two movements: animal rights and disability rights. Exploring work done in gender and women's studies, critical race studies, disability studies, and thinking on animal rights, we will trace some philosophical and historical connections between two seemingly separate fields. From protesting the views held by controversial philosopher (and major animal rights advocate) Peter Singer to making uncomfortable parallels between human and pet "euthanasia," disability advocates have had a tenuous relationship with the animal rights movement. But is this tension inevitable, or is there more common ground to be had? On what basis, and with what consequences, do notions of disability rights and/or human rights found themselves in a moral and ethical philosophy that justifies excluding other species? Can that exclusion be upheld? This seminar will provide a survey of some key points in both disability studies and work on animal rights. We will explore definitions of and questions and controversies regarding some basic terms: "disability," "animality," "rights," "human." Readings will include excerpts of work by Peter Singer, Harriet McBryde Johnson, Simi Linton, Gary Francione, Carol Adams, Bob and Jenna Torres, and Ruth O'Brien. We will also follow two podcasts and watch some films together. Writing: journal entries due in each class with questions and comments on the day's reading, gathered together and expanded into a portfolio at the end of term. Grading will largely be based on participation in class discussions. Debate welcome and expected! No background in these issues is needed or expected. This seminar is part of the Food for Thought Seminar Series. Food for Thought Dining arrangements will be discussed in class.

Susan Schweik is a Professor of English and Co-Director of the Disability Studies Minor at UC Berkeley. She has a strong interest in disability and accessibility issues. Sunaura Taylor (MFA, Berkeley 2008) currently writes for various blogs on the subject of animal rights and is co-editing a book on the relationship between disability studies and animal rights.

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


Freshman Seminar: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

English 24

Section: 4
Instructor: Tracy, Robert
Tracy, Robert
Time: M 3-5 (Sept 14 to Nov. 2 only)
Location: Room L20 of Unit II (2650 Haste St.)


Other Readings and Media

Dickens, C.: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Description

Dickens's last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, is the most successful mystery story ever written. Dickens died before finishing it or solving the mystery. Unlike other mystery stories, it fails to reassure us that justice is done, and forces us to accept the absence of closure. We must move beyond reassurance into the larger mysteries of motivation and behavior that lie behind any crime. Dickens is writing a new kind of novel, in which the imaginative process and its translation into writing become the central subject. At the peak of his powers, Dickens is exploring his own motivations as a writer, and the geography of his own imagination. Please read chapters 1-4 for the first class meeting.

This course will meet from September 14 through November 2 only.

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


Freshman Seminar: California and Ethnicity -- Fiction and Film

English 24

Section: 5
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Padilla, Genaro
Time: Wed. 4-6 (Aug. 26 to Oct. 14 only)
Location: 189 Dwinelle


Description

We will read and view a group of narratives (in fiction and film) that delineates the California experience across ethnicity, race, gender, and class. This seminar is part of the Food for Thought Seminar Series.

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


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Nelson, Alan H.
Nelson, Alan H.
Time: MW 9-10 + Discussion F 9-10
Location: 213 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I; Chaucer, G.: The Canterbury Tales; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost

Description

This course will concentrate on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Spenser’s Faery Queene (Book I), and Milton’s Paradise Lost; additional works in the Norton Anthology will be read for the sake of historical context. If this course has a thesis, it is that English authors, far from being content with native traditions, tended to look to ancient Greece and Rome, and to modern Italy and France for inspiration and approval. Written work for the semester will consist of several quizzes, one midterm exam, several short papers, and a final exam. Students must be prepared to attend lectures and discussion sections faithfully, as accumulated absences without a viable excuse, especially for section, will result in a severe reduction in the final grade.


Literature in English through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Landreth, David
Landreth, David
Time: MW 12-1 + Discussion F 12-1
Location: 60 Evans


Other Readings and Media

Chaucer, G.: Canterbury Tales ; Spenser, E.: Edmund Spenser’s Poetry; Marlowe, C.: Doctor Faustus; Donne, J.: John Donne's Poetry; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost

Description

This class introduces students to the production of poetic narrative in English through the close study of major works in that tradition: the Canterbury Tales, The Faerie Queene, Doctor Faustus, Donne's lyrics, and Paradise Lost. Each of these texts reflects differently on the ambition of poetry to encompass the range of a culture’s experience. We will focus particularly on the relationships of different genres to different kinds of knowledge, to see how different ways of expressing things make possible new things to express, as English culture and English poetry transform each other from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries.


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Altieri, Charles F.
Altieri, Charles
Time: MW 11-12 + Discussion F 11-12
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Norton Anthology : The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century; Norton Anthology: The Romantic Period; Norton Anthology: American Literature 1820-1865; George Eliot: Middlemarch; William Wycherly: The Country Wife.  All are paperbacks and there will be a reader.

Description

This course will provide a survey of many of the most important imaginative writings in Britain and the U.S. from about 1680 to 1860. My primary interest is in providing the critical and social frameworks that will help you not only enjoy what you are reading but see why it has claims to greatness. In general this period can be characterized as the time when secular empiricism comes to dominate cultural life, and to produce a great deal of imaginative searching for ways of life less like what will come to be our own. But it is also important for the range of styles and sensibilities which it fostered.


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

English 45B

Section: 2
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Puckett, Kent
Time: MW 2-3 + Discussion F 2-3
Location: 101 Morgan


Other Readings and Media

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

Description

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


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Serpell, C. Namwali
Serpell, C. Namwali
Time: MW 1-2 + Discussion F 1-2
Location: 277 Cory


Other Readings and Media

Tentative book list: Conrad, J.: Heart of Darkness; Eliot, T. S.: The Waste Land ; Woolf, V.: To the Lighthouse ; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury; Nabokov, V.: Lolita ; Beckett, S.: Endgame ; Morrison, T.: Beloved ; McEwan, I.: Atonement; a course pack with a few poems and short stories

Description

Some works of literature this professor believes you absolutely must read before you graduate, also known as a survey of British and American literature in the last century. We will investigate forms, techniques, ideas, cultural context, and intertextuality. Special attention will be paid to questions of aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics—what is beautiful? how do we know? what ought we do?—as they develop in the West during the course of the twentieth century.


Mid 19th Through the 20th Century

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Hejinian, Lyn
Hejinian, Lyn
Time: MW 3-4 + Discussion F 3-4
Location: 160 Kroeber


Other Readings and Media

Ramazani, J, et al: The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (2 volumes); Stein, G.: Three Lives and Q.E.D.; James, H.: Turn of the Screw; Williams, W. C: Imaginations; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway; Mullen, H: Sleeping with the Dictionary; Ngugi Wa Thiong’o: The River Between; Locke, A., ed.: The New Negro. In addition to these texts, a required reader will be available.

Description

Intended as a general survey of imaginative responses to the not always positive progress of modernity, this course will examine works produced by an array of prominent figures and representatives of some of the principal Modernist and Postmodern movements, and / or events. We will begin with the rise of Realism in the mid 19th century and finish the course with works in experimental modes of the almost immediate present. The Armory Show, Imagism, Surrealism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Movement, the Black Arts Movement, and Language Writing are among the cultural moments we will experience along the way.


Introduction to Environmental Studies

English C77

Section: 1
Instructor: Hass, Robert L.
Hass, Robert and Sposito, Garrison
Time: TTh 12:30-2 + 1-1/2 hours of discussion per week
Location: 100 GPB


Other Readings and Media

The required books for the course will be available exclusively at Analog Books, located just one block up Euclid Avenue from the North Gate entrance to the Berkeley campus. The Course Reader, Introduction to Environmental Studies, will be available exclusively from Copy Central, 2483 Hearst Avenue, right across the street from the North Gate entrance. There will also be a required environmental science textbook (possibly provided as an eBook).

Description

This integrative course, taught by a humanities professor and a science professor, surveys current global environmental issues; introduces the basic intellectual tools of environmental science; investigates ways the human relationship to nature has been imagined in literary and philosophical traditions; and examines how tools of scientific and literary analysis, scientific method, and imaginative thinking can clarify what is at stake in environmental issues and ecological citizenship.

This course is cross-listed with E.S.P.M. C12 and U.G.I.S. C12.


Children's Literature

English 80K

Section: 1
Instructor: Wright, Katharine E.
Wright, Katharine
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 126 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

The book list has not yet been finalized, but the texts will be in the bookstore by the time classes begin.

Description

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


Sophomore Seminar: Food and Film

English 84

Section: 1
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Bader, Julia
Time: W 6-9 PM
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Turner, Graeme, FILM as Social Practice

Description

We will examine the representation of food and meals in the setting and narrative structure of films in contemporary cinema in various genres from comedy to horror, looking at Woody Allen, Bunuel, Ang Lee, Hitchcock and others. Connections to ethnic identity, eroticism, aggression and communal regulation will be explored with a range of critical approaches from close analysis to psychoanalytic and reception studies.

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


Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Native American Short Fiction

English 84

Section: 2
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Sweet Wong, Hertha
Time: Tues. 3:30-5:30 (Sept. 1 to Oct. 20 only)
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Wong, H., et. al, Reckonings: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women;  Reader (available at Copy Central, 2560 Bancroft Way)

Description

Contemporary Native American stories are survival stories, reckonings with the brutal history of colonization and its ongoing consequences: they calculate indigenous positions, settle overdue accounts, note old debts, and demand an accounting. These are the stories, says Joy Harjo, that “keep us from giving up in this land of nightmares, which is also the land of miracles.” Focusing on the short fiction of a select number of contemporary Native North American writers from within the U.S., we will examine how these Native writers convey: cultural survival in the wake of colonization; struggles for sovereignty; rejuvenations of ceremonial healing; retellings of myth and history; experiments with orality and literacy; and articulations of a geocentric epistemology and land-based narrative. In addition, we will examine the literary, cultural and regional influences on these writers and place their work in the context of Native American literatures specifically and U.S. literatures and global indigenous literatures, generally.

NOTE: This class meets 2 hours per week for the first 8 weeks of the semester.

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


Sophomore Seminar: Socrates as a Cultural Icon

English 84

Section: 3
Instructor: Coolidge, John S.
Coolidge, John
Time: F 12-2
Location: 101 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito and Aristophanes' Clouds

Description

Socrates has often been compared to Jesus, an enigmatic yet somehow unmistakable figure who left nothing in writing yet decisively influenced the mind of his own and later ages. We read Aristophanes' comic send-up of Socrates in Clouds and the Platonic dialogues purporting to tell the story of Socrates' trial and death (Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, Crito, and selections from Phaedo) attempting to trace the construction of the Socratic icon and assess its relevance to contemporary issues. Weekly meetings are devoted to class discussion of one or another such issue, led by a team of two or more students who are to prepare for it in office-hour consultation with the instructor. The object is to provoke lively debate. The course is intended to appeal especially to students who are desirous of getting in on the intellectual conversation of our time and curious about its cultural antecedents.

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