Announcement of Classes: Spring 2015


Freshman Seminar: The Arts In and Around Berkeley

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: W 11-1 (January 21 to March 4 only)
Location: 346 Kroeber


Other Readings and Media

A Reader

Description

In this seminar (that will meet the first seven Wednesdays of the semester from 11:00 to 1:00) we will explore the diverse practices of art in and around Berkeley. We will visit local galleries and artists’ studios as well as arts programs and departments across campus, attend exhibit openings, see a performance, and listen to artists’ talks. Be prepared to experience a variety of venues, to write briefly about those encounters, and to engage in discussion about the contemporary practice of the arts.

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


Freshman Seminar: Reading Madame Bovary

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Miller, D.A.
Time: Tues. 4-5
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary

Description

Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is widely regarded as one of the world’s classic novels, but that acclaim does not get at what’s uniquely weird about it.  Read the novel fast and you’ll find a compelling story that is a pleasure to follow.  Read it slow and you’ll find a strange, disturbing, and even more compelling style that is always interfering with the narrative flow.  Do both—and that is what we’ll be doing in this seminar—and you’ll discover that “off” relation between story and style which inaugurates modernism in fiction.

For consistency’s sake, students are asked to read the novel only in Lydia Davis’ excellent new translation (Penguin, 2011).

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


Freshman Seminar: The Arts and Culture at Berkeley and Beyond

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Time: W 4-5
Location: 189 Dwinelle


Description

In this seminar we will read the work of Berkeley poets; study the paintings, sculpture, and video installations in our own Berkeley Art Museum; attend musical and theatrical performances at Zellerbach Hall; see and discuss films at the Pacific Film Archive (PFA) on campus; and, hopefully, we will plan a visit to the Oakland Art Museum and perhaps one of the art museums in San Francisco. My aim is quite simply to introduce first-year students to the astonishing range of cultural production on the campus and in the Bay Area.

Many, if not most, of the musical, film, and theater events take place in the evening; so, I will ask that you keep many of your Wednesday and Thursday, and some weekend, evenings open for attending performances. I can't schedule our events until I see what is offered for the spring, and probably won't be until later in the fall semester.

We will engage in discussion based on short response papers by the students in the seminar. Admission to the on-campus art events included in this course will be provided at no cost to students. I expect students who enroll in the course to commit themselves to evening performances that will be the basis of discussion at the Wednesday afternoon seminar.

There are no texts for this class.

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


Freshman Seminar: California Detectives in Fiction and Film

English 24

Section: 4
Instructor: Hutson, Richard
Time: W 10-11
Location: 201 Wheeler


Book List

Corpi, Lucha: Black Widow's Wardrobe; Hammett, Dashiell: The Maltese Falcon; MacDonald, Ross: The Zebra-Striped Hearse

Other Readings and Media

Films:  Devil in a Blue Dress, Chinatown, and Chan is Missing

Description

For a variety of reasons, both San Francisco and Los Angeles have been great places for the work of crime and detection. Certain theorists of detective fiction have noted that such works of art are especially committed to the invocation and experience of places. Crimes and their detection/solution take place in concrete places. And California demography also allows for a variety of ethnic detectives. I plan to read three novels, Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, Ross MacDonald’s The Zebra-Striped Hearse, and Lucha Corpi’s Black Widow’s Wardrobe, and screen three films: Devil in a Blue Dress, Chinatown, and Chan is Missing. I have Anglo, Chicana, African American and Chinese detectives—whose ethnicity allows them to enter different populations and areas to solve crimes or mysteries.

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


Freshman Seminar: Campus Onomastics

English 24

Section: 5
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Time: F 2-3
Location: 201 Wheeler


Book List

University of California, Berkeley: A Campus Guide. An Architectural Tour and Photographs by Harvey Helfand; Pelfrey, Patricia: A Brief History of the University of California

Description

"Onomastics," from the Greek onoma, 'name,'  is a minor branch of linguistics that studies proper names. In this course we will study the names of the buildings, spaces, institutions, scholarship funds and so forth that shape our daily lives here at UC Berkeley, as a window into the history of these resources. In the early part of the semester we will read together a book about that history, and then as the days brighten, students will prepare presentations on names of places of their own choosing, and we will stroll around to hear them at those places. We'll begin with Wheeler Hall, named for Benjamin Ide Wheeler, a linguist.

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


Introduction to the Study of Poetry

English 26

Section: 1
Instructor: Bernes, Jasper
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: note new location: 219 Dwinelle


Book List

Wordsworth, William and Coleridge, Samuel Taylor: Lyrical Ballads; Ramazani, Jahan ed.: Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume 1

Description

This course aims to do two things: 1) serve as an introduction to the variety of forms, modes and styles of poetry written in English; 2) provide a survey of the historical transformation of poetry in English over the last 200 years. We will begin with a reading of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s defining collection of poems, Lyrical Ballads (1798), whose examples of poetic form and thinking remain influential today. We will then analyze a few key works from the 19th century before dedicating the bulk of the course to an examination of 20th-century experiments with poetic form and the new ideas about poetry that accompanied them. Along the way, there will be focused attention to the essential elements of poetic technique (meter, rhyme, the line, metaphor, allegory, irony) as well as the various modes, genres, and styles in which poetry is written.

This will be a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to understand poetry and learn how to write about it critically. Students should leave the course able to produce a cogent analysis and interpretation of nearly any poem put before them.


Introduction to the Study of Fiction

English 27

Section: 1
Instructor: Knox, Marisa Palacios
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 206 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

A course reader including secondary criticism and short stories by Poe, Hemingway, O'Connor and others. 

Description

A 2013 study at the New School for Social Research corroborates the truism that reading literary fiction enhances our ability to understand the emotional states of other people. Even without the blessing of the sciences, it is undeniable that fiction and the “real world” have a mutually influential relationship. This course will approach the question of how to define and analyze fiction and its unique appeal through the field of literary criticism. We will read short stories and novels in a variety of genres and explore the structure of fiction through plot, story, narrative point of view and focalization, setting, character, and discourse. In addition to writing two 5-8 page interpretative papers on the assigned reading, students will participate in an ongoing project of recording their own responses while reading fiction, and experiment with “re-writing” particular fictional passages by altering one of the author’s stylistic choices. 

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


Introduction to the Study of Fiction

English 27

Section: 2
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 206 Wheeler


Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Brontë, Emily: Wuthering Heights; Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby; Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Welsh, Irvine: Trainspotting; Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

Description

The title of the course is “Introduction to the Study of Fiction,” but, more specifically, the course will be an introduction to analytic critical writing about fiction. We will work on close reading, on learning how to read with a mind open to and curious about the writer’s choices, about the motives for and consequences of those choices. Our discussions will loosely divide into two areas of emphasis, narrative—what is it about the plot that is designed to draw our interest, and how is it arranged or structured?—and narration—the tone and character of the telling of the story. I will be particularly interested in the question of how narrative and narration are related to one another in each of the works we read. The goal of the discussions will be to help you decide upon and formulate theses for essays, and then to develop plausible and well-evidenced explorations of those theses, so several class sessions will be devoted to essay-writing rather than to discussion of the literary works. Two five-page and one seven-page essays will be required, along with regular attendance and participation in discussion, with occasional brief (less than a page) writing assignments to facilitate discussion.

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


Introduction to the Writing of Verse

English 43B

Section: 1
Instructor: Stancek, Claire Marie
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Adams, Stephen: Poetic Designs: An Introduction to Meters, Verse Forms, and Figures of Speech; Gregory, Jane: My Enemies; Hejinian, Lyn: My Life; Notley, Alice: The Descent of Alette; Philip, M. NourbeSe: Zong!

Other Readings and Media

A course reader including selections from Shakespeare, Milton, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Robinson, Charlotte Smith, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron, R. Kelly.

Description

By attending to the triangulation of politics, prosody, and history within poetry of the last four hundred years, we will build a rigorous foundation for our own poetic experiments. Together, we will ask: What practical skills does one need in order to speak in poetry’s enchanted chants? What historical background must one understand in order to engage in the subversive conversations of poetry now? This course attends to such fundamental prerequisites by combining an intense training in meter and rhythm, schemes and tropes, stanzaic forms and free verse, with a broad survey of poetry written in English, with ongoing workshops in which we will share and discuss our own writing—all the while, exploring the ways in which politics imbues our words and works. We will immerse ourselves in the rich Bay Area poetry scene by attending poetry readings, and by hosting our own end-of-the-semester poetry festival. Over the semester, students will write and revise a chapbook, due in three progressively longer stages.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 pages of your poems, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 4 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30.

Also be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for further infomration regarding enrollment in such courses.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Turner, James Grantham
Time: MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1
Location: 213 Wheeler


Book List

Greenblatt, S., gen. ed.: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 ; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet

Description

We will study the changing nature of creative writing “through” Milton, Spenser and Chaucer, but the point is to introduce many voices rather than studying just three authors. 45 is a lower-division course, a pre-required gateway to the English major; you can return to explore the texts that interest you more thoroughly, at a higher level. This will not be a strict chronological survey but more a sampling of key themes, as they are constructed in different genres and in different periods across a thousand years of turbulent history. What makes a hero or heroine that we can take seriously (epic and tragedy)? what makes us fall in love (desire and the lyric, including desire for God)? what makes us smile or nod in recognition (satire and comedy)? Larger, overarching questions will concern us throughout: what is the status of literature, and how does fiction relate to emotion? Along the way we will gain a sense of the evolving conception of art and the deep roots of English as a world language, a resource for every modern writer.

Our readings are all contained in just two books: the ninth edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, and Shakespeare's Hamlet. No formal preparation is required, but I would strongly recommend brushing up on Hamlet before term begins, as we will start and finish the course with this play, probably the most famous ever written.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
110 Barrows
Time: MW 3-4 + discussion sections F 3-4
Location:


Book List

Dickson, D., ed.: The Poetry of John Donne; Howe, N., ed.: Beowulf: A Prose Translation; Mann, J., ed.: Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, C.: Dr. Faustus; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost; Niles, J., ed.: Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition

Description

What is the English literary tradition?  Where did it come from? What are its distinctive habits, questions, styles, obsessions? This course will answer these and other questions by focusing on five key writers from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance:  the anonymous Beowulf poet; Geoffrey Chaucer; Christopher Marlowe; John Donne; and John Milton. We will start with the idea that the English literary tradition is a set of interrelated texts and problems that recur over the course of several centuries.  Some of these relationships are formal; we will pay special attention to the genres, techniques, and styles that poets use to create their works.  Some of these relationships are linguistic; students will learn to read Middle English (out loud, too!) and explore the significance of linguistic change as the Middle Ages becomes the Renaissance.  Other relationships are historical; we will explore not only the pressure of contemporary events on literature, but also literature's role in creating both historical continuity and change over time. And some of these relationships are cultural, as poets reflect upon, seek to change, furiously criticize, or happily embrace a variety of human behaviors, from religious practices to love relationships to debates about gender to death and dying.   

Throughout the semester, students will work on developing their skill at close reading.  We will work on close reading during lectures and in your discussion sections.  You will do close readings at home.  You are welcome to come to office hours to practice close reading!  No one can be a literary critic who cannot perform a close reading of a literary text.  We will work on learning the tools of the trade, the literary terms and generic distinctions necessary for close reading.  Expect to write three papers and to take a final exam.


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Time: MW 2-3 + discussion sections F 2-3
Location: 60 Evans


Book List

Austen, J.: Persuasion; Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Equiano, O.: The Interesting Narrative; Franklin, B.: Autobiography; Melville, H.: Billly Budd and Other Tales; Sterne, L.: A Sentimental Journey

Other Readings and Media

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 Swift, Pope, Sterne, Franklin, Equiano, Wordsworth, Austen, 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: Late-17th Through Mid-19th Centuries

English 45B

Section: 2
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
213 Wheeler
Time: MW 3-4 + discussion sections F 3-4
Location:


Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life; Franklin, Benjamin: The Autobiography; Melville, Herman: Benito Cereno; Pope, Alexander: Essay on Man and Other Poems; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Wordsworth, William: Selected Poems

Description

A survey of British and American literature from 1688 through the mid-nineteenth century.  We will look at how literary genres evolve alongside new kinds of knowledge and understanding, with particular attention to the changing place of literature in the private, social, and political lives of its readers.  We especially will consider literary responses to an age of revolution on both sides of the Atlantic.  Authors include Defoe, Pope, Franklin, Equiano, Jefferson, Austen, M. Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Poe, Melville, and Whitman.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Time: MW 11-12 + discussion sections F 11-12
Location: 50 Birge


Book List

Eliot, T.S.: Selected Poems; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Joyce, James: Dubliners; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

This course will survey British, Irish, and American literature from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth. We will try to evoke some of the key aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political trends that characterized the movements of modernity as we closely investigate a selection of the major texts from this sprawling period. At times the lectures will zoom in on particular features of texts, and at other times they will zoom out to cultural conditions and aesthetic tendencies. In addition to the books listed, there will be a small reader with texts by Whitman, Dickinson, Hardy, Hopkins, Yeats, Stein, Stevens, Moore, Hughes, Auden, and Beckett. There will be two essays, and a final exam.

 


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

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: MW 1-2 + discussion sections F 1-2
Location: 213 Wheeler


Book List

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart; Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Hamid, Mohsin: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Larson, Nella: Passing; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

Please note that the readings for the course have not yet been finalized. Please do not purchase books before attending the first class.

A selection of short fiction, poetry, and critical essays will also be available online in PDF form and for purchase as a photocopied packet. 

Description

In this course, we will read and discuss a broad range of British and American literary writing spanning well over a century, with a primary focus on early twentieth-century modernist fiction and poetry. Topics for discussion will include the role of high art in an era of mass culture; the influence of literary tradition and the meanings of formal innovation; the implications of expatriatism and multiculturalism for national identity; and the politics of canon formation, that is, which authors and literary texts are regularly read, how they are read, and by whom.

Written work for the course will consist of three 5- to 6- page essays; frequent informal written responses in lecture; and a final exam. Regular attendance at lecture and vigorous participation in section are also required.


Children's Literature

English 80K

Section: 1
Instructor: Lavery, Grace
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 105 North Gate


Book List

Barrie, J. M. : Peter and Wendy; Gaiman, Neil: Sandman: The Doll's House; Kingsley, Charles: The Water Babies; Kipling, Rudyard: Kim; Morrison, Grant: All-Star Superman; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Nesbit, E.: Five Children and It; Seuss, Dr.: Green Eggs and Ham; Thompson, Kay: Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown-Ups; Winnicott, Donald: The Piggle: An Account of the Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Little Girl

Description

This course has two principal aims: (1) to provide an overview of the history of children's literature in English from the eighteenth century to the present; (2) to introduce students to the major generic, political, and aesthetic questions such literature has posed – of, for example: the purpose of education; infantile sexuality; the mechanisms of language acquisition; the ethical nature of innocence; the family romance; violence and violent desire; child labor; didactic and fantastical modes of address; the infant-animal relationship; embodied differences of gender, race, sexuality, and (dis)ability; peer pressure. We will treat as axiomatic the notion that the "child" is a contingent and constructed object, always reinvented to suit the needs of its historical moment. From Rudyard Kipling's idealized cosmopolitan boychild to the morally compromised extra-judicial violence of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, children's literature and culture relays to its charges the best ways of serving the interests of the powerful. We will not, then, make generalizations about what children are, what children like, or what children know. But we will wonder together whether the inverse is true too, and that something in the infantile attachments we feel towards children's literature might also resist conscription into the normative mechanisms of maturity. 


Sophomore Seminar: Woody Allen

English 84

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


Book List

Allen, Woody: The Insanity Defense

Description

We will examine the films and writings of Woody Allen in terms of themes, narration, comic and visual inventiveness, and ideology. The course will also include consideration of cultural contexts and events at Cal Performances and the Pacific Film Archive.

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