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.


Graduate Courses

Graduate students from other departments and exceptionally well-prepared undergraduates are welcome in English graduate courses (except for English 200 and 375) insofar as limitations of class size allow. Graduate courses are usually limited to 15 students; courses numbered 250 are usually limited to 10.

When demand for a graduate course exceeds the maximum enrollment limit, the instructor will determine priorities for enrollment and inform students of his/her decisions at the second class meeting. Prior enrollment does not guarantee a place in a graduate course that turns out to be oversubscribed on the first day of class; fortunately, this situation does not arise very often.


Problems in the Study of Literature

English 200

Section: 1
Instructor: Goldsmith, Steven
Goldsmith, Steven
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Description

Approaches to literary study, including textual analysis, scholarly methodology and bibliography, critical theory and practice.


Problems in the Study of Literature

English 200

Section: 2
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Puckett, Kent
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

Approaches to literary study, including textual analysis, scholarly methodology and bibliography, critical theory and practice.


The Strange Career of Jim Crow

English 203

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Wagner, Bryan
Time: Tues. 3:30-6:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Frances Harper, Iola Leroy; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Jean Toomer, Cane; William Faulkner, Light in August; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Description

Major novels written in the United States between the end of slavery and the start of the Civil Rights Movement. Weekly reading responses, one project on reception history, and one essay.


Graduate Readings: Modernism, Race and Modernity

English 203

Section: 2
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Jones, Donna
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

David L. Lewis ed., Harlem Renaissance Reader; Jean Toomer, Cane; E.E Cummings, The Enormous Room; Gertrude Stein, Three Lives; Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Mask, Michael North, The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language and Twentieth-Century Literature

Description

In this prose seminar we will focus on recent attempts in cultural criticism to shift the study of modernism beyond Anglo-American works and formalism. We will begin with an examination of questions about race and ‘otherness’ in modernist literature, visual culture and aesthetics—how are non-Western cultures used to mediate metropolitan anxieties towards the limits of language and representation? To approach this question we will trace the development and function of primitivism and fetishism in modernist literature and art. We will also examine the transnational dimensions of modernism and the relationship between modernism and the modernization. This is an ideal course for graduate students preparing for their qualifying exams and for those who expect to write on the topics around race and in early 20th century literature.


Graduate Readings: Edmund Spenser

English 203

Section: 3
Instructor: Landreth, David
Landreth, David
Time: M 3-6
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Spenser, E., The Faerie Queene, ed. Hamilton; Spenser, E., Shorter Poems; Spenser, E., A View of the Present State of Ireland

Description

Sidney wrote that a poet's task was to "grow in effect another nature." No poet in English has fulfilled that charge more luxuriantly than Spenser. The plan of the semester will be to roam around in the leisurely, delight-filled capaciousness of The Faerie Queene, with the aim that each of us find herself at home somewhere in this alienated version of our own world. The tension between delight and didacticism, leisure and urgency, is central to any such accommodation; I'm also interested in questions of materiality and of landscape in the fiction, and I expect our inquiries will be shaped by your preoccupations as well. We'll take some detours into the shorter poems along the way, and we will try too to reckon with the genocidal despair by which Spenser articulates the project of making a home in the alien terrain of Ireland.


Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

English 203

Section: 4
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Abel, Elizabeth
Time: W 3-6
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

This will be a hands-on writing workshop intended to facilitate and accelerate the transition from qualifying exams to prospectus conference, from prospectus conference to first dissertation chapter, and from the status of student to scholar. The workshop will provide a collaborative critical community in which to try out successive versions of the dissertation project and to learn how one's peers are constructing theirs. Weekly writing assignments will structure points of entry into these projects. Beginning with exercises to galvanize your thinking, the assignments will map increasingly onto the specific components of the prospectus. We will also review a range of prospectuses from the past to demystify the genre and to gain a better understanding of its form and function. The goal is to insure that by the end of the semester, every member of the workshop will have submitted a prospectus to his or her committee. For students who complete a draft of the prospectus early in the semester, we will reserve time to consider it fully and to structure assignments relevant to the writing of the first chapter (including the question of which chapter should be written first). We will also discuss the dissertation in relation to the job market, conference papers, scholarly journals, and publishable articles.


Graduate Readings: British Empiricism, the Novel, and the Science of Man

English 203

Section: 5
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Duncan, Ian
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 206 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Austen, J., Emma. Scott, W., Redgauntlet. Hugo, V., Notre-Dame de Paris. Dickens, C., Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities. Eliot, G., Daniel Deronda. Hume, D., A Treatise of Human Nature and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Smith, A., The Theory of Moral Sentiments; Burke, E., A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas on the Sublime and the Beautiful; Malthus, T., An Essay on the Principle of Population; Darwin, C., The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man

Description

The course will examine the conjunction of the novel and the main tradition of philosophical empiricism in Great Britain. In A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) David Hume gave the general project of Enlightenment philosophy the title “the Science of MAN”; in The Descent of Man (1871) Charles Darwin restructured that project under a definitively post-enlightenment science of life. This is also the classical epoch of the English novel, framed at one end by Henry Fielding’s claim that the novel is the modern genre best fitted for the representation of “Human Nature” (Tom Jones, 1749) and at the other by Henry James’s claim that the novel is at once “a direct impression of life” and itself “a living thing, all one and continuous, like every other organism” (“The Art of Fiction,” 1884). We will read a selection of novels written after 1800, as the science of man devolves into a host of competing disciplines, ideologies and theories. Exploring the links between questions of history (the history of man, of the world, of life) and form (aesthetics, taxonomy, “fitness”), we will also consider some major works of the empiricist tradition, in two clusters: around Hume (moral philosophy and aesthetics) and around Darwin (political economy and anthropology).


Graduate Readings: Poetics and Theories of Poetry

English 203

Section: 6
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Falci, Eric
Time: Tues. 3:30-6:30
Location: 224 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

All readings will be contained in a course reader or available electronically, and probably will include writings by Aristotle, Horace, Dante, Sidney, Puttenham, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Mill, Keats, Arnold, Mallarmé, Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Stein, Stevens, Moore, Olson, Mandelstam, Empson, Wimsatt and Beardsley, Brooks, Valéry, Benjamin, Adorno, de Man, Culler, Riffaterre, Lacoue-Labarthe, Celan, Derrida, Freud, Jakobson, Glissant, Susan Stewart, Virginia Jackson, Yopie Prins, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Altieri, Marjorie Perloff, Robert Kaufman, Giorgio Agamben, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Jerome McGann, and N. Katherine Hayles, among others.

Description

This course will attempt to provide a general introduction to poetics, to sketch a more detailed history of the ways in which poetry has been theorized since the nineteenth century, and to think through some of the more recent trends in scholarship on poetry and lyric theory. We will review some of the formative statements on poetry in the western canon, proceed quickly into the poetics of the romantics, and then move into the twentieth century. We will reconsider the projects of the New Critics alongside of other types of formalist scholarship, the place of poetry within structuralism and deconstruction, and the importance of lyric poetry in several varieties of Marxist aesthetics and psychoanalytic theories. As we come to more recent writings, we’ll investigate poetry’s investments in matters of perception, subjectivity, cognition, technology, ecology, and history, and test out analogues with other media. We will pay close attention to the shapes (formal, spatial, metrical, acoustic, generic) and textures (sonic, graphic, etymological, figural, rhythmic) of specific poems, some of which will be dictated by the theoretical readings, but many of which we will determine as a group at the start of the semester. My hope is that the class will be useful to people who “don’t do poetry” but who want to have a grounding in its terms and tenets as they prepare for orals and teaching, as well as for people who “do poetry” in one way or another and want to get a capacious map of a broad field as they prepare for more specialized research. There will be two conference-length papers (8-10 pages) and one oral presentation in the form of a review/critique of a recent book on poetry and/or poetics.


Old English

English 205A

Section: 1
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Thornbury, Emily V.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Baker, Peter S., Introduction to Old English; Liuzza, R. M., ed., Old English Literature: Critical Essays

Description

This class introduces students to the language, literature, and modern critical study of the written vernacular culture of England before the Norman Conquest—an era whose language and aesthetics now seem radically foreign. By the end of the semester, however, students should be capable of reading and translating a variety of Old English prose and verse texts, analyzing these works’ style, and situating them in the context of early medieval culture. Linguistic mastery is emphasized, and much of the in-class work for the course will consist of translation and close reading. However, coursework will also address a range of interpretative and literary-historical issues, as well as the tools and methods essential to scholars in the field of Anglo-Saxon literature. Depending on student interests, we may also consider topics such as palaeography; manuscript context; the interaction of Latin and Old English; and/or modern translations from Old English. 205A is normally a prerequisite for more advanced courses in Old English. No prior knowledge of Old English is assumed, and undergraduates may be admitted with the permission of the instructor.


Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

English 211

Section: 1
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
Time: W 3-6
Location: 202 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Canterbury Tales, edited by Jill Mann; Chaucer: Sources and Backgrounds, edited by Robert Miller

Description

In this course, we will read all of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, along with relevant sources and other contemporary texts. We will also read current scholarship on the Tales, with the goal of attaining a reasonably complete knowledge of the different approaches that have been used to talk about Chaucer's work. Students will learn how to read Middle English aloud and will work on translating Chaucer into idiomatic modern English, a more difficult task than it seems. Indeed, one of the themes of the course will be translation; many of Chaucer's Tales can be called "translations," and Chaucer himself makes several comments about translating and reporting the words of others. To that end, we will also explore how the words in our edited edition of the Tales came to be identified as Chaucer's, given the plethora of manuscript evidence and the many options available to the editor. No prior knowledge of Middle English is required for this course.


Fiction Writing Workshop

English 243A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Chandra, Vikram
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Book List: To be arranged

Description

A graduate-level fiction workshop. Students will write fiction, produce critiques of work submitted to the workshop, and participate in discussions about the theory and practice of writing. We’ll also read published fiction and essays about writing from various sources. Students will produce at least 40 pages of fiction over the course of the semester.

Undergraduates are welcome to apply. Please note that the class will assume prior experience with workshops, and familiarity with the basic elements of fiction and the critical vocabulary used by writers to analyze narrative. Class attendance is mandatory.

To be considered for admission to this class, please submit 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!


Graduate Proseminar: The Later-Eighteenth Century

English 246F

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Sorensen, Janet
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Provisional book list: Richardson, S.: Pamela; Fielding, H.: Shamela, Joseph Andrews; Burney, F., Evelina; Johnson, S.: selections from his literary criticism, his Dictionary, and Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland; Piozzi, H.: from Johnsoniana; Collins, W., Leapor, M., Cowper, W., Gray. T., Goldsmith, O., Crabbe, G.: selections from the poetry; Smith, A. Theory of Moral Sentiments; Hume, D.: Treatise of Human Nature; Sterne, L., A Sentimental Journey; Walpole, H.: Castle of Otranto; Percy, T.: Reliques of Ancient English Poetry; Macpherson, J., Ossian Poems; Talbot, C.: Imitations of Ossian

Description

In this survey of British literature post 1740, we shall consider the ways in which literature responded to and at times facilitated and shaped major transformations in the period’s print culture and market relationships. This broad organizing principle lends itself to a wide range of possible critical topics. Those we might pursue include: changes in fiction writing that we now associate with the emergence of the genre of the novel—a term rejected by the period’s fiction writers precisely because of its associations with a crass literary marketplace; the institutionalization of criticism as a profession, in part as a means of negotiating new terms of value; the perceived crisis regarding the status of the poet in a literary market; women’s negotiation of the scandalous publicity of authorship; the discourse in sentiment and sympathy that might overcome the social atomization threatened by capital relations; the turn toward history, especially national history, as another means of social consolidation; new epistemological possibilities opened up by and challenging the period’s conceptualizations of print, empiricism, and historicism. Along with the primary texts, readings will include related secondary critical material.


Research Seminar: Postwar British Literary Culture at Mid-Century

English 250

Section: 2
Instructor: Premnath, Gautam
Premnath, Gautam
Time: W 3-6
Location: 205 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

The booklist for this course has not been finalized, but is likely to include several of the following texts: Orwell, G.: The Road to Wigan Pier; Warner, R.: The Aerodrome; Greene, G.: The End of the Affair; Waugh, E.: Men at Arms; Wilson, A.: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes; Selvon, S.: The Lonely Londoners; Sillitoe, A.: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner; Berger, J.: A Painter of Our Time; Lessing, D.: The Golden Notebook; Achebe, C.: Things Fall Apart; Dunn, N.: Up the Junction; Delaney, S.: A Taste of Honey; Osborne, J.: The Entertainer; and a course reader

Description

1945 continues to serve as the central periodizing marker of twentieth-century literary history, separating the long arc of high modernism from a sprawling expanse of time loosely understood as “contemporary.” This course will attempt to develop a more fine-grained analysis of British literary culture in the roughly 15 years following the end of the Second World War. The course will commence with a small grouping of works from the 1930s and early 40s that anticipate the postwar future. We’ll then move through a series of significant post-1945 works, aiming to explore a set of linked concerns: literary registrations of the ascendancy of social democracy and the welfare state; the reckoning with the legacies of prewar modernism; the widespread preoccupation during these years with questions of realist representation; and the emergence of the nascent literary formation we now call “postcolonial literature.” Our reading list will center upon the novel, with some attention to work in other genres. The course reader will give extensive play to the vibrant, often volatile critical debates of the time, while also featuring more recent works of theory and criticism by an eclectic range of figures (including Denning, Esty, Gilroy, Hardt and Negri, Hebdige, Offe, Samuel, Sinfield, Steedman, and Williams).


The Teaching of Composition and Literature

English 302

Section: 1
Instructor: Infante-Abbatantuono, Jhoanna
Beam, Dorri
Beam, Dorri and Infante, Jhoanna
Time: Thurs. 3:30-5:30
Location: 224 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

To be arranged

Description

This course will explore the theory and practice of teaching literature and writing. Designed as both a critical seminar and a hands-on practicum for new college teachers, the class will cover topics such as course design; leading discussion; teaching close reading; running a section of a lecture course; responding to student papers; teaching writing (argumentation, organization, grammar, style) in the classroom; time management; grading; and the work of teaching.  The course enrolls English graduate students teaching their first course as of Spring or Fall 2009.


Field Studies in Tutoring Writing (tutoring for credit through the Student Learning Center)

English 310

Section: 1
Instructor: Staff
Time: T.B.A.
Location: T.B.A.


Other Readings and Media

Meyer, E. and L. Smith: The Practical Tutor

Recommended Text: Leki, I.: Understanding ESL Writers

Description

Through seminars, discussions, and reading assignments, students are introduced to the language/writing/literacy needs of diverse college-age writers such as the developing, bi-dialectal, and non-native English-speaking (NNS) writer. The course will provide a theoretical and practical framework for tutoring and composition instruction.

The seminar will focus on various tutoring methodologies and the theories which underlie them. Students will become familiar with relevant terminology, approaches, and strategies in the fields of composition teaching and learning. New tutors will learn how to respond constructively to student writing, as well as develop and hone effective tutoring skills. By guiding others towards clarity and precision in prose, tutors will sharpen their own writing abilities. New tutors will tutor fellow Cal students in writing and/or literature courses. Tutoring occurs in the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center under the supervision of experienced writing program staff.

In order to enroll for the seminar, students must have at least sophomore standing and have completed their Reading and Composition R1A and R1B requirements.

Some requirements include: participating in a weekly training seminar and occasional workshops; reading assigned articles, videotaping a tutoring session, and becoming familiar with the resources available at the Student Learning Center; tutoring 4-6 hours per week; keeping a tutoring journal and writing a final paper; meeting periodically with both the tutor supervisor(s) and tutees' instructors.

This course meets the field study requirements for the Education minor, but it cannot be used toward fulfillment of the requirements for the English major. It must be taken P/NP. Pick up an application for a pre–enrollment interview at the Student Learning Center, Atrium, Cesar Chavez Student Center (Lower Sproul Plaza), beginning April 6. No one will be admitted after the first week of fall classes.