Announcement of Classes: Fall 2016


Introduction to Old English

English 104

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien O'Keeffe, Katherine
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 223 Dwinelle


Book List

Marsden, Richard: The Cambridge Old English Reader, 2nd ed.; McGillivray, Murray: A Gentle Introduction to Old English

Description

Canst þu þis gewrit understandan? Want to? “Introduction to Old English” will give you the tools to read a wide variety of writings from among the earliest recorded texts in the English language. What is there to read?  We will look at some of the best kept secrets in (Old) English—short heroic poems, accounts of war, poems of meditation and elegies, history, saints’ lives, and romance—and get a taste of the curious (recipes, charms, prognostications) as well as the humorous (riddles). To complement our work with these Old English texts we’ll be using on-line and library resources to learn about the material culture of Anglo-Saxon England. With these resources we will also experiment with deciphering the texts as they appear in their manuscripts.  While we work on language in the beginning of the course we will also be reading and discussing the texts. Once you are up and running with the language, the rest of the course will provide practical experience in reading and discussing Old English works on a range of topics: the portrayal of monsters, saints, and heroes, cultural identity and the problem of the Vikings, the composition of Old English poetry, and the search for Anglo-Saxon paganism. In-class discussion will cover questions of cultural difference, translation, and otherness.

No prior experience with Old or Middle English is necessary for this course.

Required work: Quizzes, mid-term assessment, final examination, daily class participation, a short paper, one or two in-class reports.

**Graduate students may take this course for graduate credit with additional reading and work. Please see the professor for additional information.

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

 


Medieval Literature: Heaven, Hell, and Fairyland: Visions of Other Worlds in Medieval British Literature

English 110

Section: 1
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: note new location: 219 Dwinelle


Book List

Borroff, Marie: The Gawain Poet: Complete Works; Davies, Sioned: The Mabinogion; Gardiner, Eileen: Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante; Treharne, Elaine: Old and Middle English c. 890–c. 1450: an Anthology. 3rd edition.

Other Readings and Media

Readings on bCourses

Description

This course provides a tour of otherworld visions and journeys in the literature of medieval Britain. After looking at some foundational texts from antiquity that influenced writers up to the present day, we’ll examine the geography of the afterlife (heaven, hell, and purgatory), with a particular eye toward understanding how these transcendent realms reflected the more immediate concerns of medieval authors. We’ll consider the physical connection of these places to the normal world, as well as the moral connection they have to human lives; we’ll also look at texts that depict other, less transcendent worlds existing alongside our own. After taking this course, students will know how to find the airport nearest to Purgatory, and what to do if they end up in the fairies’ country: they’ll also be able to analyze the classic motifs and meanings of otherworldly vision literature.

No prior study of medieval literature is necessary. We will read most Middle English texts in the original, while texts in other languages (Old English, Latin, Old French, Middle Welsh) will be available in translation.

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


The English Renaissance (through the 16th Century)

English 115A

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 215 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

For more information on this course, please contact Professor Miller at j_miller@berkeley.edu

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


Shakespeare: Shakespeare after 1600

English 117B

Section: 1
Instructor: Landreth, David
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 141 McCone


Book List

Shakespeare, W.: The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd Ed., Volume 2: Later Plays

Description

We will read ten or eleven plays from the later half of Shakespeare's career (which covers the late "problem" comedies, the major tragedies, and the tragicomic romances). Taking our cue from the plays' self-consciousness of their medium of theater, we'll consider how the actions and utterances of performing bodies can define and reshape the boundaries between what's present, what's represented, and what is made real.

I've ordered the Norton Shakespeare at the bookstore, but you may use any recent edition of the plays.


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 1
Instructor: Arnold, Oliver
Time: MW 11-12 + discussion sections F 11-12
Location: 3 LeConte


Book List

Recommended: Shakespeare, William: The Norton Shakespeare (ed., Stephen Greenblatt, et al)

Description

Shakespeare’s poems and plays are relentlessly unsettling, extravagantly beautiful, deeply moving, rigorously brilliant, and compulsively meaningful: they complicate everything, they simplify nothing, and for 400 years, they have been a touchstone—indeed, something like an obsession—for literary artists from Milton to Goethe to Emily Dickinson to Joyce to Brecht to Zukofsky to Toni Morrison and for philosophers and theorists from Hegel to Marx to Freud to Derrida to Lacan to Zizeck.  We will be especially concerned with five large issues: compassion; political representation and its discontents; the nature of identity and subjectivity; colonialism; and the relation between the ways Shakespeare’s plays make meaning and the ways they produce emotional experience.  Our readings will include: Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Coriolanus, and The Tempest.

I have ordered the third edition of The Norton Shakespeare (ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al) in a two-volume format (The Early Plays and The Late Plays).  If you already own another complete Shakespeare (e.g., The Riverside, The Pelican, the first or second edition of The Norton Shakespeare, etc.), you are welcome to use it for this course.


Shakespeare in the Theater: Performing Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida

English 117T

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 209 Dwinelle


Book List

Shakespeare, William: Troilus and Cressida, ed. Anthony B. Dawson

Description

Imagine that the play is an exquisite silk dress. In lectures, we look at it from many different angles; we consider the materials it’s made of; we imagine who created it and why; we listen to the sounds it makes as it moves. If you ever wondered what it would feel like to put it on, this is a class for you. During the semester, we will not only close read and interpret one of Shakespeare’s strangest plays, Troilus and Cressida, we will also have an opportunity to perform our own version of it. To be sure, this is a literature class, and our purpose isn't to stage the best-ever version of the play, but to use performance as one more tool that can help us understand Shakespeare’s text. In addition to the play, we will read some of its textual precedents, including excerpts from Homer’s Iliad and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde; critical essays on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, some performance theory, and we will also watch theatrical and film adaptations of various Shakespeare plays. Assignments include two brief analytical papers (5 pages) and active contribution to the class. No previous acting experience required.

Members of the class will participate in a variety of capacities--as actors, extras, musicians, costume designers, prop builders, stage-hands, publicists, etc.

NOTE:  Students should plan to attend, in addition to the lectures, the twice-weekly rehearsals, which will take place TTh 3:30-5 in D1 Hearst Annex. Some additional rehearsals may also be needed as the performance date approaches.

NOTE ALSO:  Because this course concentrates on one play only, it will not satisfy the Shakespeare requirement for English majors.


The Romantic Period

English 121

Section: 1
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: note new location: 229 Dwinelle


Book List

Austen, J.: Persuasion; Blake, W.: Blake's Poetry and Designs ; Byron: Major Works; Keats, J.: Complete Poetry and Selected Letters; Shelley, M.W.G.: Frankenstein; Wordsworth: The Prelude; Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads

Description

This course will look with wild surmise at the event of Romanticism.  What happened to literature between 1789 and 1830?  Is it true, as some critics have claimed, that Romantic-era writers revolutionized the concept of literature?  What is the relation between Romantic writing and the signal historical and social events of the period: the political revolutions of the late eighteenth century, the Napoleonic wars, the rise of finance capitalism, the dominion of “the news”?  With so much happening of the level of world history, why do Romantic writers sometimes turn to the past, to the provinces, to nature, to the everyday? Why, given the increased popularity of the novel, do so many writers turn to poetry-- to evoke nostalgia for the past or to forge an aesthetic avant-garde?  Through extensive reading of major poets (Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, and Keats), novelists (Godwin, Austen, Mary Shelley) and essayists (Hazlitt, Burke, Paine) we will explore the event of Romanticism by examining literary events.  What “happens” in Romantic texts:  how do they understand origins, events, and effects?  


The 20th-Century Novel

English 125D

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: note new location: 145 McCone


Book List

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway; Zola, Emile: La Bete Humaine

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. These are some questions we will address: How have the vicissitudes of modernity led to a re-direction of historical narration within the novel? How has 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 of fictive milieu?


British Literature, 1900-1945

English 126

Section: 1
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: note lew location: 56 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Readings will likely include: Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Lewis, BLAST; West, Return of the Soldier; Joyce, Ulysses (selections); Woolf, Orlando; Spark, The Prime of MIss Jean Brodie; Greene, The Third Man; Brecht, The Good Person of Szechuan; Synge, Playboy of the Western World; manifestos by Marinetti and Loy; and poetry by Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Auden, Smith, Thomas, WWI combatants and others.

Description

How did the form, content, circulation, and ambitions of British literature change over the first half of the twentieth century? How did writers contend with historical upheavals such as Irish nationalism, World War I, suffrage, and the fluctuations of empire? With the advent of electronic media? These are some of the questions this course will try to answer.


American Poetry

English 131

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
Time: WF 5-6:30 P.M
Location: note new location: 106 Moffitt


Book List

Foust, Graham: Time down to Mind; Parker, Morgan: Other People's Comfort Keeps Me up at Night

Other Readings and Media

All readings save the two books will be in a course reader available during the first week of class.

Description

This survey of U.S. poetries will begin with Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson and then touch down in expatriate and stateside modernisms, the Harlem Renaissance, the New York School, and Language Poetry, on our way to the contemporary. Rather than cover all major figures briefly, we’ll spend extended time with the work of a few: poets considered will include Paul Dunbar, Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer,  Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Lyn Hejinian, Morgan Parker, and Graham Foust. Along the way we’ll consider renovations and dissipations of conventional form and meter, the task and materials of the long poem, seriality, citationality, who and what counts as a poetic subject, and how U.S. poetries have imagined community over and against their actual Americas. In addition to the two required books, primary and secondary readings will be drawn from a Course Reader. There will be a take-home midterm, a term paper, and a final exam.


African American Literature and Culture Before 1917

English 133A

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 247 Dwinelle


Book List

Chesnutt, Charles W.: Conjure Tales and Other Stories of the Color Line; Chesnutt, Charles W.: The Marrow of Tradition; Douglass, Frederick: The Portable Frederick Douglass; Du Bois, W. E. B.: The Souls of Black Folk; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings; Harper, Frances E. W.: Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted; Hopkins, Pauline E.: Of One Blood; or, the Hidden Self; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Walker, David: Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World; Wheatley, Phillis: Complete Writings

Description

A survey of major works by African American writers. Themes in the course include law and violence, freedom and deliverance, culture and commerce, passing and racial impersonation.


Contemporary Literature: 21st-Century American Writing

English 134

Section: 1
Instructor: Hejinian, Lyn
Time: MW 2-3 + discussion sections F 2-3
Location: 160 Kroeber


Book List

Brown, Brandon: Top 40; Clevidence, Cody-Rose: Beast Feast; Coates, Ta-Nehisi: Between the World and Me; Cole, Teju: Open City; Dutton, Danielle: Sprawl; Díaz, Junot: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Gladman, Renee: Event Factory; Lerner, Ben: 10:04; Moten, Fred: The Service Porch; Notley, Alice: Certain Magical Acts; Rankine, Claudea: Citizen: An American Lyric; Robertson, Lisa: Nilling; Spahr, Juliana and Buuck, David: The Army of Lovers

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, available from Copy Central on Bancroft Ave.

Description

In this course we will take seriously the notion of “the contemporary” as that which coexists with us and is relevant to our times—or our spaces. All the works on the syllabus have been published in the past ten years, most within the past three. They offer examples of current literature’s attempts to dwell in the present while thinking both about that temporal situation (“the present”) and that activity (“dwelling”). Not all the works are readily categorizable as to genre; the syllabus is weighted toward prose, but some of the prose works are, arguably, poetry. In many, communication, and even humanness, appear to be in question. Or, perhaps, they are evolving into new forms. But, as many of the books on the course reading list suggest, one thing that is not vanishing is the centrality of desire in the experiencing of lived life.

The first two books on the syllabus are Open City, by Teju Cole, and SPRAWL, by Danielle Dutton. It is suggested that at least the first, and preferably both, be purchased in advance, so that the course can proceed without anyone’s falling behind.


Topics in American Studies

English C136

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


Description

This class has been canceled.


Studies in World Literature in English: Global Cities

English 138

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 223 Dwinelle


Book List

Boo, Katherine: Behind the Beautiful Forevers; Buekes, Lauren: Zoo City; Cole, Teju: Open City; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth

Description

Globalization has given rise to a new kind of urban space, a nexus where the networks of capital, labor, and bodies meet: the global city. This course, a survey of contemporary Anglophone literature, considers the narratives—fictional and otherwise—that live in those cities, the stories those cities give birth to. Our itinerary will take us to five global cities: New York, London, Johannesburg, Mumbai, and Hong Kong. At each stop we will consider representations of these cities and their inhabitants from above and from below, from theories of transnational capital to narratives of the dispossessed. Are these cities sites of interconnection and aspiration, or do they indicate a world increasingly unequal and divided? How do the local and the foreign intersect in these global urban spaces? What do they tell us about globalization, its histories, and the literary and cultural forms it now takes?


Modes of Writing (Exposition, Fiction, Verse, etc.): Writing Fiction, Poetry, and Plays

English 141

Section: 1
Instructor: Abrams, Melanie
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 140 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Course reader available at Instant Copying and Laser Printing

Description

This course will introduce students to the study of creative writing--fiction, poetry, and drama.  Students will learn to talk critically about these forms and begin to feel comfortable and confident writing within these genres.  Students will write a variety of exercise and more formal pieces and partake in class workshops where their work will be edited and critiqued by other students in the class.

This course is open to English majors only.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time: MW 2-3:30
Location: C57 Hearst Annex


Book List

Boyle, T. C.: The Best American Short Stories 2015

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, which will be available from Instant Copying & Laser Printing ((510) 704-9700; 2138 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704).

Description

A short fiction workshop.  Over the course of the semester, each student will write and revise two stories.  Each participant in the workshop will edit student-written stories and will write a formal critique of each manuscript.  Students are required to attend two literary readings over the course of the semester and write a short report about each reading they attend.  Students will also take part in online discussions about fiction.  Attendance is mandatory.

Throughout the semester, we will read published stories from various sources and also essays by working writers about fiction and the writing life.  The intent of the course is to have the students confront the problems faced by writers of fiction and to discover the techniques that enable writers to construct a convincing and engaging representation of reality on the page.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course.  To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 10-15 pages of your fiction, 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 midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

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


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: No instructor assigned yet.
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 2066 Hearst Annex


Description

This section (section 2) of English 143A has been canceled.  If you are interested in applying for this course, please see the listing for 143A section 1 instead.


Verse

English 143B

Section: 1
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: MW 11-12:30
Location: C57 Hearst Annex


Other Readings and Media

The only text will be a course reader, available at Krishna Copy (University and Milvia).

Description

In this course you will conduct a progressive series of explorations in which you will try some of the fundamental options for writing lyric poetry today (or any day)--aperture and closure; rhythmic sound patterning; sentence and line; short and long-lined poems; image & figure; stanza; poetic forms; the first, second, and third person (persona, address, drama, narrative, description); prose poetry, and revision. Our emphasis will be on recent possibilities, with an eye and ear to renovating traditions. We will also read a number of poems by graduates of my 143B sections who have gone on to publish books and win prizes.  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 four or five in rotation (I’ll also respond each week to every poem you write). On alternate days, we’ll discuss illustrative poems in our course reader. If the past is any guarantee, the course will be fun and will make you a better poet.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligilbe to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 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 midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

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


Verse

English 143B

Section: 2
Instructor: Szybist, Mary
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: C57 Hearst Annex


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

This workshop will draw inspiration from the counsel of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them." In this spirit, we will experiment with different generative exercises and look to contemporary as well as canonical poems to guide us, to challenge us, and to spur us on. Participants will write one poem each week and will regularly submit reflective reading journals. Our workshop discussions will devote time to carefully considering the possibilities of poems by each workshop participant, and we will look at some examples of revision processes by well-known poets to aid us in developing strategies for our own re-making.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 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 midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

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


Prose Nonfiction: Traveling, Thinking, Writing

English 143N

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 259 Dwinelle


Book List

Harris, Eddy: Mississippi Solo; McCarthy, Andrew: Best American Travel Writing 2015; Niemann, Linda : Boomer; Pyle, Robert Michael: Where Bigfoot Walks

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.

We’ll consider what “travel writing” might be.  We’ll read selections from the Best American Travel Writing series and from the Ian Duncan and Elizabeth Bohls anthology, Travel Writing: 1700-1830; but we’ll also read some unlikely travel narratives—Eddy Harris’s Mississippi Solo (the adventures of an African-American canoeist), Linda Niemann’s Boomer (her account of her life as a railroad brakeman following the work through the west), and Robert Michael Pyle’s Where Bigfoot Walks (a lepidopterist’s inquiry into mythology and the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest).

The writing vehicle will be, for the greatest part, the personal essay.  Philip Lopate (from The Art of the Personal Essay): “The essay form as a whole has long been associated with an experimental method.  The idea goes back to Montaigne and his endlessly suggestive use of the term essai for his writings.  To essay is to attempt, to test, to make a run at something without knowing whether you are going to succeed.”

We’ll write micro-essays, longer essays, and final prose projects.  (Cross-genre projects are welcome.)  We’ll also keep journals and work on one or two collaborative pieces.  We’ll workshop.

There will be one field trip—11-13 November, a long weekend.  (The 11th is Veterans Day, a university holiday.)  We’ll travel, as a gang of writers, to the interior of northern California—into the southern reaches of the Bigfoot country that Robert Michael Pyle has documented, a racially and economically contested and profoundly interesting space—and spend our days seeking visions and meeting the locals.  Class members may need to pay for a couple of nights’ lodging (off-season rates) in the north.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-10 double-spaced pages of your creative nonfiction (no poetry or academic writing) 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 midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

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


Prose Nonfiction: Life Writing

English 143N

Section: 2
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 285 Cory


Other Readings and Media

A Course Reader with selections from writers including Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Frida Kahlo, Hilton Als, Alison Bechdel, Maggie Nelson, Lidia Yuknavich, amongst others, will be required.

Description

A seminar on auto/biography, with a special emphasis on what it means to write lives that are hidden, overlooked, circumscribed. An unconventional seminar/workshop 1) that will be as experimental as the work we’ll be trying to produce; 2) in which we’ll be spending more of our time together analyzing masterful and previously published works than our own works-in-progress (I’ll be providing extensive comments on drafts); 3) in which at certain moments during the semester we’ll connect with an aligned non-fiction seminar, Covering Culture, with Professor Scott Saul; 4) for which writers with little previous experience in creative writing workshops are encouraged to apply.
 

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-10 double-spaced pages of your creative nonfiction (no poetry or academic writing) 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 midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

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


Prose Nonfiction: Covering Culture

English 143N

Section: 3
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: C57 Hearst Annex


Description

This course is a nonfiction workshop in which you’ll learn to write about many different types of art and culture, from theater and visual art to music and TV — in other words, the genres that one finds discussed in the culture-and-arts pages of major newspapers and magazines. By the end of the class, students should come away with a working knowledge of how to write reviews, interviews, profiles, “think pieces,” and essays of cultural criticism. Participants in the class will try their hands at all these forms and analyze classic and contemporary examples of each. Since writing is a craft that requires constant exercise of the appropriate muscles, students can expect to be writing for this class on a weekly basis.

Two special features of the course bear specific mention. First, on four separate occasions, we will be honored to host a visit with an esteemed writer, such as New Yorker music critic Hua Hsu and TV critic Lili Loofbourow, whose work we will discuss in class. Second, the class will take us out of the classroom and have us engage with artists, curators, and the public: you will be connecting with local arts organizations, such as the Berkeley Art Museum and Shotgun Players, and will be publishing some of your work in digital form so as to shape ongoing cultural conversations in the Bay Area and at large.

This course is sponsored by the Art of Writing curriculum initiative.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-10 double-spaced pages of your creative nonfiction (no poetry or academic writing) 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 midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

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


Introduction to Literary Theory

English 161

Section: 1
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 87 Evans


Book List

Fanon, Frantz: The Wretched of the Earth; Gilbert, Sandra and Gubar, Susan: Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism; Williams, Raymond: Marxism and Literature

Description

This course offers an introduction to literary theory with a focus on 20th- and 21st-century social and political approaches, including Marxism, feminism, race and ethnicity, post-colonialism, and ecocriticism. The course will strive to provide students with an understanding of the basic concepts, methods, and vocabulary employed in these various theoretical systems, as well as the differences between them.  We will ground our study of literary theory by reading and discussing several works of short fiction.  The course will require a substantial amount of reading and writing.  You will need to purchase a course reader.


Special Topics: Telling Stories: The Power of Narrative in Academic Writing

English 165

Section: 1
Instructor: Donegan, Kathleen
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: note new location: 242 Dwinelle


Book List

Fish, Stanley: How to Write a Sentence; Hayot, Eric: The Elements of Academic Style; Sword, Helen: Stylish Academic Writing

Description

This seminar is dedicated to the principle that because narrative is at the core of how we come to understand the world, narrative is also an especially powerful method of scholarly practice. We will study the art of storytelling as it is practiced in several academic disciplines – literary criticism, cultural studies, history, anthropology, psychology, medicine – to learn how scholars combine story and argument, imagination and analysis, vivid perspective and broader provocation.  Through discussions and workshops, students will develop individual research projects that experiment with narrative as a stylistic choice, as vehicle for analysis, and as a method for asking deeper questions by sinking into the place where so many questions begin: the story.  We will read works concerning (among others) poets and housewives, kidnapped Africans, 16th century French workers and peasants, early psychiatric patients, and survivors of modern disasters natural and perpetrated.  There will be a rich collection of texts available in a course reader, and a few books to purchase on the craft of writing.

This small seminar will be limited to twelve students.


Special Topics: Aesthetics and the Environment in the Eighteenth Century

English 166

Section: 1
Instructor: Picciotto, Joanna M
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 223 Dwinelle


Book List

Burke: A Philosophic Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful; Gilpin: On Picturesque Beauty; Goldsmith: Poems; Gray: Poems; Hogarth: Analysis of Beauty; Hutcheson: An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (Part 1: concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design); Kame: Elements of Criticism; Shaftesbury: The Moralists, a Philosophical Rhapsody; Walpole: Essay on Modern Gardening

Other Readings and Media

Note:  Students will be given PDFs to access the texts.

Description

Why do we take pleasure in contemplating the natural world? What sort of pleasure is this? The eighteenth century was preoccupied with this question, which abutted on others: What is beauty? Is it something we perceive directly, or do we experience it by more roundabout means? What concepts aside from beauty do we need to explain our pleasure? Is there a correlation between certain kinds of pleasure and certain environmental conditions? We will explore some influential attempts to grapple with these questions and use them as a guide to various forms of aesthetic practice in the period, focusing on poetry, with some excursions into the visual arts and landscape design.

Class requirements: Two short papers (5 pages) or one longer one (10 pages), a final exam, and mandated class participation, including informal presentations.

This section of English 166 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Special Topics: Vladimir Nabokov

English 166

Section: 2
Instructor: Naiman, Eric
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 370 Dwinelle


Book List

Nabokov, Vladimir: Laughter in the Dark; Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita; Nabokov, Vladimir: Pnin; Nabokov, Vladimir: The Gift

Other Readings and Media

Short stories

Description

We will study the work of Nabokov as a novelist on two continents over a period of nearly sixty years. The course will be structured (more or less) chronologically and divided between novels translated from Russian and written in English. After beginning with several short stories, we will examine some of the fiction of his European period, before turning our attention to Lolita and Pnin. Competing interpretations of Nabokov will be considered, but our emphasis will be on metafiction, the theme of perversity and Nabokov's cultivation of a perverse reader.

“Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only reread it.” Students should expect to devote a considerable amount of time to reading and rereading and should come to class prepared to discuss the assigned texts. Participants in the class should anticipate reading (and then, in a perfect world, curiously rereading) 150 pages per week. Written work will consist of two papers (5 to 8 pages) on topics to be chosen in consultation with the professor. Penalties will be assessed for late papers. There will be a midterm and a final examination.

This section of English 166 is cross-listed with Slavic 134F.


Literature and the Arts: The Deaths and Lives of Saints

English 170

Section: 1
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: note new location: 105 Dwinelle


Book List

Bjork, Robert E.: The Old English Poems of Cynewulf; Ferguson, George: Signs and Symbols in Christian Art; Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love; King, John N.: Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Select Narratives; Stace, Christopher: Jacobus de Voragine: The Golden Legend: Selections; White, Carolinne: Early Christian Lives; White, Carolinne: Lives of Roman Christian Women

Other Readings and Media

Further material on bCourses

Description

The paradox of Western sainthood is summed up by a phrase from Latin calendars: dies natalis, “birthday.” Marking a saint’s chief feast, the dies natalis celebrates the day of his or her death: death as birth will form one of the central threads in our examination of the literature and art surrounding holy people. Though our primary focus will be the Western Middle Ages, our study will begin with the early Christian period, and range up to the profound religious transformations that accompanied the discovery of the New World and the Protestant Reformation.

In this course, we will read classic works of hagiography—stories of the lives and deaths of saints—that formed a central part of the Western literary tradition, inspiring thousands of related narratives and creating tropes that remain important to this day; and we will also analyze the visual art, especially painting and sculpture, connected with the cult of saints. Central themes and issues that we will confront include the nature of the historical and the miraculous; imitation in art and life; and the value placed on human suffering. Though we will only be able to cover a small part of this vast tradition, students who complete this course will be well-equipped for further study of the literature and art on saints.

This section of English 170 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Literature and the Arts: Opera and Literary Form

English 170

Section: 2
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 250 Dwinelle


Book List

Nietzsche, Friedrich: The Birth of Tragedy / The Wagner Case; Pushkin, Alexander: Eugene Onegin, trans. Falen; Scott, Walter: The Bride of Lammermoor; Shakespeare, William: Henry IV, Part One; Shakespeare, William: The Merry Wives of Windsor; Virgil: The Aeneid, trans. Fitzgerald; Wedekind , Franz: Earth Spirit + Pandora's Box

Other Readings and Media

Course reader: essays & excerpts from Hoffman, Kierkegaard, B. Williams, S. Zizek, et al.; recommended recordings and DVDs of operas tba.

Description

Together with the novel, opera became one of the characteristic European art forms of the long nineteenth century. Attending to the hybrid status of opera as a dramatic as well as a musical form, the course will focus on a series of major musical-dramatic works produced across the period 1787-1935 in relation to the literary genres they invoke (epic, lyric, comedy, tragedy, novel, film); to philosophical debates they generated; and/or to major models, sources, and subsequent adaptations. We will attend to questions of translation not only across languages (especially vexed in the case of Eugene Onegin) but across genres and media. (Pushkin's Onegin is a "novel in verse"; Tchaikovsky's, "Lyric scenes in three acts" ...) If there's an overarching theme or topic across our readings, it's opera's staging of the relations between eros and empire -- contending fantasies of absolute liberty, jouissance, and power -- in the era of bourgeois ascendancy: from (to cite tutelary demons, masculine / feminine, of imperial decline and fall) Don Giovanni to Lulu ...

We will be paying serious attention to the music; however, prior technical knowledge or musicological training is not a prerequisite -- although it will be very welcome!

Recommended recordings / DVDs of operas to be assigned.

Works include:

W.A. Mozart / L. Da Ponte, Don Giovanni + E.T.A. Hoffmann, “Don Juan”; S. Kierkegaard, Either/Or (“The Immediate Stages of the Erotic”)

G. Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor + W. Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor (ed. Robertson, Oxford World's Classics)

H. Berlioz, Les Troyens + Virgil, The Aeneid (Books I – IV) (trans. R. Fitzgerald)

P.I. Tchaikovsky and A.S. Pushkin (and V. Nabokov), Eugene Onegin (trans. V. Nabokov / J. Falen)

R. Wagner, Tristan und Isolde OR Die Walküre + F. Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (and other philosophical writings)

G. Verdi / A. Boito, Falstaff + W. Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1 Henry IV

A. Berg, Lulu + F. Wedekind, Earth Spirit / Pandora’s Box + G.W. Pabst, Pandora’s Box (1929 film)

In addition the class will attend the San Francisco Opera’s fall production of L. Janáček’s The Makropoulos Case

 


Literature and Sexual Identity: Postcolonial Sex

English 171

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 109 Dwinelle


Book List

Forster, E. M.: A Passage to India; Foucault, Michel: The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1; Keller, Nora Okja: Comfort Woman; Selvadurai, Shyam: Funny Boy: A Novel

Description

This course will explore the intersection of theories of gender and sexuality and the postcolonial world. We will consider how gender and nation are shaped and represented in literature and film. Why are nations routinely imagined as women, and imperial dominion expressed in terms of sexual conquest? Western academic models of gender and sexuality provide one set of frameworks by which to discuss desires, identities, and affects—in this class we will ask how well they travel to a postcolonial context. How do theories, practices, and identity categories translate? What do they elide? What do they take as “natural”? We will suggest alternative frameworks for describing sexuality around the world and for exploring non-Western literary representations of non-normative gender identities and sexualities.

This section of English 171 is cross-listed with LGBT 100 section 1.


Literature and Sexual Identity: Gender, Sexuality, and Modernism

English 171

Section: 2
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 240 Mulford


Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Barnes, Djuna: Nightwood; Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home; Cunningham, Michael: The Hours; James, Henry: Selected Tales; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Truong, Monique: The Book of Salt; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway;

Recommended: Stein, Gertrude: Tender Buttons

Other Readings and Media

An electronic course reader will contain poetry, essays, and short stories. Films will be available for screening at the Media Resource Center.

Description

“Is queer modernism simply another name for modernism?” The question Heather Love poses in her special issue of PMLA will also guide this seminar on the crossovers between formal and sexual “deviance” in modernist literature. We will read back and forth across a century (from Virginia Woolf to Michael Cunningham, from James Joyce to Alison Bechdel, from Gertrude Stein to Monique Truong) to stage a series of encounters between the aesthetic practices and discourses of modernism and those of contemporary queer theory and cultural production.  As we map the shifting contours of some key forms and terms, we will pause to consider (among other things) the mobile dimensions of queer time and space; the historical migration of concepts such as perversion, inversion, masquerade, abjection, and shame; the mutual implication of race, gender, and sexuality; the formal and hisorical components of the closet; the legibility of transsexual/transgender bodies; and the composition of affective histories. To complement (and complicate) the chronological axis of this inquiry, we will also attend to the metropolitan spaces in which sexual boundaries blurred and subcultures thrived, especially the three urban sites central to modernist experimentation: London, New York, and Paris.

This section of English 171 is cross-listed with LGBT 145 section 1.


Literature and History: The Seventies

English 174

Section: 1
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: note new location: 3111 Etcheverry


Other Readings and Media

See below.

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. It gave us the New Hollywood of Scorcese, Coppola and others; the music of funk, disco, punk and New Wave; the postmodern comedy of Saturday Night Live and the postmodern drama of Sam Shepard, Maria Irene Fornes and others; and a great range of literary fiction written by women authors from Ursula LeGuin and Margaret Atwood to Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston. It was also a period of intense political realignments — the moment the United States was roiled by the oil crisis, the fall of Nixon and the fall of Saigon; by the advent of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and environmentalism as mass grassroots movements; and by 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.

Films discussed in the class will include The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Network, and Saturday Night Fever. Authors to be discussed will include, among others, Walter Abish, Raymond Carver, Joan Didion, Michael Herr, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, and others.


Literature and Disability

English 175

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: note new location: 141 Haas Pavilion


Book List

Barker, P.: Regeneration; Finger, A.: Call Me Ahab; Friel, B.: Molly Sweeney; Lewis, V. : Beyond Victims and Villains; Nussbaum, S.: Good Kings, Bad Kings; Shakespeare, W.: Richard III

Description

We will examine the ways disability is represented in a variety of works of fiction and drama.  Assignments will include two short (5-8 page) critical essays, a group performance project and a take-home final examination.  (This is a core course for the Disability Studies Minor).


The Short Story

English 180H

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: note new location: 56 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

A course reader, which will be available from Instant Copying & Laser Printing ((510) 704-9700; 2138 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704).

Description

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne…

                                                                  -- Chaucer

This course will investigate how authors craft stories, so that both non-writers and writers may gain a new perspective on reading stories.  In thinking of short stories as artefacts produced by humans, we will consider – without any assertions of certainty – how those people may have experienced themselves and their world, and how history and culture may have participated in the making of these stories.  So, in this course we will explore the making, purposes, and pleasures of the short story form.  We will read – widely, actively and carefully – many published stories from various countries in order to begin to understand the conventions of the form, and how this form may function in diverse cultures.  Students will write a short story and revise it; engaging with a short story as a writer will aid them in their investigations as readers and critics. Students will also write two analytical papers about stories we read in class. Attendance is mandatory.


Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 50 Barrows


Book List

Dickinson, Emily: Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters; Dickinson, Emily: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition

Other Readings and Media

There will be a course reader, available at Krishna Copy (Milvia and University).

Description

This seminar will provide you with a sustained reading course in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, my favorite poet.  We’ll begin with her early poetry, and trace her evolution into the singular poet we read today, with particular attention to her hymn forms and her figures.  We’ll also consider how her poems might be read in relation to history and her biography.  Since Dickinson wrote most of her poetry in the span of a few years, we’ll group and read her poems largely by topics.  Our topics will include love and gender, definition and riddle, poetics, nature, religion, death and dying, suspense, horror, loneliness, exaltation and despair, self in society and by itself, abolition and war.  We’ll also delve into her manuscripts of individual poems (now available online), packets of poems, and letters. Especially with her later poems, the distinctions between verses, poems, and letters become hazy and controversial.  To better gauge Dickinson’s singularity and commonness, we will also read poems and essays by her contemporaries (e.g., Lydia Sigourney, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ralph Emerson, Henry Longfellow, Helen Hunt Jackson).  Your first paper will be a reading of a single poem.  Your seminar paper will gather a collection poems on a topic of your choosing, in conversation with recent criticism and theories.  By the end of the seminar, you will be reading and writing on Dickinson with pleasure and brilliance.  (No kidding!)  

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Slow Seeing / Slow Reading

English 190

Section: 2
Instructor: Hejinian, Lyn
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 41 Evans


Book List

Altieri, Charles: Reckoning with the Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience; Clark, T.J.: The Sight of Death

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, available from Copy Central on Bancroft Ave.

Description

This is a seminar in the poetics of reading poems and seeing paintings. Over the course of the semester, students will undertake prolonged, exploratory, multi-contextual readings of a selection of recent and contemporary “difficult” poems. Each student will also undertake a similar engagement with a 20th/21st century painting of his or her choice from the permanent collection of the Berkeley Art Museum. Poems by W. B. Yeats, Claude McKay, Rae Armantrout, Elizabeth Bishop, Ed Roberson, Marianne Moore, Juliana Spahr, and Susan Howe are among the poems that will be considered. Paintings by Philip Guston, Hans Hoffman, Willem de Kooning, and Helen Frankenthaler are among the paintings that will be available for repeated viewing. The individual poems and paintings will be read/seen against the backdrop of their historical moment and contextual purport and in conjunction with assigned critical texts, but students will be expected to conduct their own research, using primary and secondary sources in the process of coming to relevant, meaningful readings/seeings of the works. Students will be asked to maintain a reading/seeing journal and to write two critical papers.

“English 190: Slow Seeing / Slow Reading” is an experiment, and is offered as a collaboration between Lyn Hejinian, of the English Department, and Apsara DiQuinzio, of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Among the outcomes of the course will be an exhibition at BAMPFA that will be part of a new exhibition series at the museum titled Cal Conversations; the materials for the “Slow Seeing / Slow Reading” exhibition will be determined by the seminar’s students and include some of their course writings.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Moby-Dick, and More

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: MW 3:30-5
Location: C57 Hearst Annex


Book List

Barthes, Roland: S/Z; Booth, Wayne: Craft of Research; Harris, Joseph: Rewriting; Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick

Other Readings and Media

Photocopied reader

Description

We will read Moby-Dick scrupulously, and we also will consider historical and literary contexts, Melville’s range of sources, 19th-century responses, 20th- and 21st-century literary criticism, and the presence of the book in global culture. Course requirements include oral presentations and a substantial research paper (20-25 pages) written in stages across the semester.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 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: U.S. Modernism

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MW 5-6:30 PM
Location: 50 Barrows


Description

We will survey major American writers from the first half of the twentieth century, with a special focus on texts that challenged both the formal and social conventions of literature in the period. We will examine a range of responses to such events as World War I and the Great Migration, while also reflecting on some of the subtler transformations that made everyday life in these decades feel "modern." Our readings will be accompanied by a look at the period's visual culture, including painting, photography, and film. Texts by William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Nella Larsen, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, and more.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Alfred Hitchcock

English 190

Section: 5
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Time: W 5-8 PM
Location: note new room: D1 Hearst Annex


Book List

Deutelbaum, M.: A Hitchcock Reader; Modleski, T.: The Women Who Knew Too Much

Description

The course will focus on the Hitchcock oeuvre from the early British through the American period, with emphasis on analysis of cinematic representation of crime, victimhood, and the investigation of guilt. Our discussions and critical readings will consider socio-cultural backgrounds, gender problems, and psychological and Marxist readings as well as star studies.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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 Medium Is the Message: Reading Poetry in Manuscript & Print, 1300-1600

English 190

Section: 6
Instructor: Bahr, Stephanie M
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 50 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Primary Works: A course reader including selections from the following: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and 16th-c. Apocrypha; Malory's Morte d' Arthur; Sir Orfeo, the Findern Manuscript; the Devonshire Manuscript; Tottel's Miscellany; lyric poetry of Wyatt and Surrey; Golding's Metamorphoses; Sidney's Defense of Poetry; Spenser's Faerie Queene.

Secondary Works: Selections from: Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History, ed. Brian Cummings & James Simpson; Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan; The Marketplace of Print: Pamphlets and the Public Sphere in Early Modern England, Alexandra Halasz; Fragments & Assemblages: Forming Compilations in Medieval London, A.W. Bahr; English handwriting, 1400-1650: an introductory manual, Jean F. Preston & Laetitia Yeandle; The Medieval Book, Barbara A. Shailor; Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England, William Sherman.

Description

Modern readers almost exclusively encounter medieval and Renaissance literature in highly mediated anthologies and scholarly editions, far removed from the manuscripts and early print books in which they first circulated. In this course, we will peer behind the veil of modern editions for a vibrant look at this literature in its original context. How might our often static understanding of canonical literature change when read in idiosyncratic volumes full of scribblings, where doodles cover up transcription errors? How should we read a love lyric when it rests beside a storeroom inventory, or a misogynist poem whose refrain is rewritten to praise rather than mock women? A broad range of English readers participated in their literary culture in ways that can shape our own reading. We will examine how books were made, read, and circulated—censored and even smuggled—and how these practices changed with the emergence of the printing press. How did medieval and Renaissance poets respond to the materiality of their works and the particularities of their medium? In the words of Marshall McLuhan's famous aphorism, was the medium the message?

To help you engage these questions, you'll learn skills in both codicology (the study of material books) and paleography (the study of historical handwriting), working with digital resources and the Bancroft Library's rare books collection. These new skills will complement your training as close readers of literature and will bring material books into your analysis. This will enable you to interpret not just individual works by Chaucer, Wyatt, Surrey, etc. in isolation, but collections of works—to reconstruct the cultural logic by which multiple works were assembled in particular orders and to analyze the new meanings these compilations generate. We will also consider the implications of page layouts, illustrations, marginalia, and commonplacing, as we study the broader literary culture of the middle ages and Renaissance.

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

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Note new topic: Troy and Tragedy

English 190

Section: 7
Instructor: Perry, R. D.
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 54 Barrows


Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey: Troilus and Criseyde; Lydgate, John: Troy Book: Selections; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet; Shakespeare, William: Richard II; Shakespeare, William: Troilus and Cressida; Virgil: The Aeneid

Other Readings and Media

Additional materials, available online

Description

Note the new topic (and book list and instructor):

From the earliest moments of the western literary tradition, the story of the fall of Troy has been associated with the genre of tragedy. This course charts that association from Ancient Rome to Early Modern England. Along the way we will consider the changing nature of the genre of tragedy and its relationship to another genre, the epic. As we consider the changing notions of tragedy throughout history, we will explore in turn whether or not we understand history as anything other than a variety of tragedy. We will wonder, following Shakespeare's Richard II, whether tragedy is something more than sad stories about the death of kings. And ultimately, we will ask, along with Hamlet, what's Hecuba to us, or we to her, that we should weep for her?

We will begin with what is arguably the most tragic ancient retelling of the Troy story in VIrgil's epic, The Aeneid. From there, we will turn to Shakespeare's blending of tragedy and history in his play, Richard II, about the monarch who ruled while Chaucer wrote. We will then look at Chaucer's version of Troy, Troilus and Criseyde, in addition to the one by John Lydgate, his most prominent medieval successor. Finally, we will look at Shakespeare's version of Chaucer's poem, as well as his reflections on Troy in what may be the paradigmatic work of modern tragedy, Hamlet.

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

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: James / Baldwin

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Best, Stephen M.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 50 Barrows


Book List

Baldwin, James: Another Country; Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Baldwin, James: Go Tell It on the Mountain; James, Henry: The Ambassadors; James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady; James , Henry: The Wings of the Dove

Description

James Baldwin never made a secret of the importance of Henry James to his creative life.  The numerous quotations, echoes, and nods to James sprinkled throughout Baldwin’s writings all but directly invite us to think of James as we read Baldwin’s work.  The two certainly shared a great deal in life and art, having chosen European exile and then turned that exile into a major theme within their art.  But why the affinity of the firebrand black writer for one concerned with the workings (both psychic and social) of American elites?  Our contemporary bias for self-disclosure might predispose us to the view that Baldwin felt he found a fellow queer writer in James; however, James’s reticence on such matters means that “queer” (if it should signify anything) names the moment when the relationship gets awkward.

This class will explore the major themes these writers share as well as queer “sensibilities” that, always deniable if not always denied, may or may not be there -- the many effects, both dramatic and formal, that keep us at a loss for knowledge of our subject, i.e., reticence, renunciation, opacity, bewilderment, and belated recognition.

We will read three novels by each author.  By James: The Portrait of a Lady, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors. By Baldwin: Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, Another Country.  Both writers also produced a vast number of essays and short stories; we will read selections from their wider oeuvre.  

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: On Style

English 190

Section: 9
Instructor: Xin, Wendy Veronica
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Book List

Austen, Jane: Sense and Sensibility; Bronte, Charlotte: Villette; Eliot, George: Middlemarch; Ishiguro, Kazuo: The Remains of the Day; Wilde, Oscar: The Importance of Being Earnest

Other Readings and Media

Selected essays and excerpts from T. W. Adorno's "The Essay as Form" and Aesthetic Theory, Roland Barthes's The Fashion System, Charles Baudelaire's The Painter of Modern Life, Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction, Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, E. M. Forster's A Room with a View, John Ruskin's Modern Painters, D. A. Miller's Jane Austen or, The Secret of Style, Tzvetan Todorov's "The Place of Style in the Structure of the Text," Paul Valéry's "Style," Helen Vendler's The Breaking of Style, and Oscar Wilde's "Aristotle at Afternoon Tea"

Films: Rear Window (1954) - dir. Alfred Hitchcok; Clueless (1995) - dir. Amy Heckerling

Description

NOTE: The topic, course description, book list, and instructor for this section of English 190 changed on May 2.

Good style is easy to spot but tough to imitate, and "style," good or bad, is itself difficult to define: does style constitute a particular method of engagement? Might we say it expresses a mode of intentionality? Or, conversely, is style only style when it produces the effect of effortlessness? Is style everything but substance, or is it nothing but "mere form"? In this course we will investigate these mercurial aspects of style by examining literary depictions of its multifarious manifestations: in the Victorian novel it can act at once as a marker of cultural taste, a form of social engagement, and as expressing a set of moral judgments; in the contemporary British novel style is a trace of a long-lost history that the labor of everyday life and the relentless drive of mass production can no longer spare the time to accommodate; and in theories of fashion, art, and aesthetic form, style can be taken as  a sociology, a self-conscious cultivation of identity or psychic management of shame. We will make the transition from thinking about styles of literary representation and literary representations of style to fashioining writerly personas of our own, interrogating the qualities shared by authors, critics, filmmakers, and fictional characters from Adorno to Wilde. While we will spend a good deal of class time puzzling over the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the selected texts, we will also theorize, through longer writing assignments, the very elements needed to produce that always extraordinary, often volatile, and almost alchemical substance that is style. With this in mind, students will build upon skills gained in upper-division literature courses, honing their writing and research through one shorter 5-page close-reading essay and a final 15-to-20-page research paper due at the end of the semester.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enroling in or wait-listing for this course.

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


Research Seminar: Do I Dare? Indecision and Modernist Literature

English 190

Section: 10
Instructor: Blevins, Jeffrey
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: C57 Hearst Annex


Book List

Barnes, Djuna: Nightwood; Barth, John: The End of the Road; Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man; Ford, Ford Madox: The Good Soldier; James, Henry: The Golden Bowl; Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

Other Readings and Media

A reader that may contain short pieces by Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Cleanth Brooks, Kenneth Burke, E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, James Joyce, Alain Locke, Marianne Moore, John Crowe Ransom, I.A. Richards, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone Weil, Edith Wharton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and others.

Please note that the book list and and the contents of the reader were revised on April 18.

Description

From Prufrock's peach to Frost's two roads, modernism gave us many famous moments of indecision. We will follow along with texts depicting speakers and characters as they hesitate, delay, cavil, evade, hedge, sidestep, prevaricate, tergiversate, equivocate, and otherwise wring their hands over even the most inconsequential choices. Their protracted deliberations foreground states of uncertainty and feelings of doubt, which we will investigate by closely reading the ambiguous and often paradoxical language that constrains and displays them. These uncertainties and doubts will provide openings for discussions of how texts present the situations that elicit indecision in the first place: temerity, alienation, physical peril, disaffection, ethical vagueness, mental exhaustion, circumstantial complexity, and so on. At the same time, we will see how indecision provokes fantasies about other outcomes and speculations on alternative possibilities, which become microcosms for the broader imaginative procedures behind literary world-building.

In tandem we will consider contemporaneous essays on the role of ambiguity and paradox in literature, and we will study how the early history of literary criticism dramatized its own indecisiveness over just how to read and evaluate (modernist) texts. We will also touch on broader philosophies of decision, judgment, choice, will, and selfhood.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Modern California Literature and Film

English 190

Section: 11
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: Tues. 5-8 PM
Location: note new room: D1 Hearst Annex


Book List

Chandler, R: The Big Sleep; Didion, J: Slouching toward Bethlehem; West, N: The Day of the Locust;

Recommended: Dick, P. K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Stegner, W: The Angle of Repose

Description

Besides reading and discussing some fiction and poetry with Western settings, and essays that attempt to identify or explain distinctive regional characteristics, this course will consider various movies shaped by and shaping conceptions of California, such as E. v. Stroheim's Greed, J. Ford's Grapes of Wrath, B. Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, R. Polanski's Chinatown, the Coen brothers' Man Who Wasn't There, T. Haynes's Safe, &c.  Writing will consist of one long essay of 16-20 pages. There will be no quizzes or exams, but seminar attendance and participation will be expected, and will affect grades. Most works on the book list are not required but recommended; all the poetry and some of the secondary material will be posted on bCourses or photocopied.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Modern Utopian and Dystopian Literature and Film

English 190

Section: 12
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: Thurs. 5-8 PM
Location: note new room: D1 Hearst Annex


Book List

Recommended: Zamiatin, E: We; Atwood, M : The Handmaid's Tale; Burgess, A: A Clockwork Orange; Gilman, C. P.: Herland; Huxley, A: Brave New World; Ishiguro, K: Never Let Me Go; Orwell, G: 1984; Wells, H. G.: Three Prophetic Novels

Description

Most utopian and dystopian authors are more concerned with persuading readers of the merits of their ideas than with the "merely" literary qualities of their writing. Although utopian writing has sometimes made converts, inspiring readers to try to realize the ideal society, most of it has had limited practical impact, yet has managed to provoke readers in various ways--for instance, as a kind of imaginative fiction that comments on "things as they are" indirectly yet effectively, with fantasy and satire in varying doses. Among the critical questions posed by such material are the problematic status of fiction that is not primarily mimetic, but written in the service of some ulterior purpose; the shifting relationships between what is and what authors think might be or ought to be; how to create the new and strange other than by recombining the old and familiar; and so on. Various films (such as Metropolis, Modern Times, 1984, Brazil, THX1138, A Clockwork Orange, and  Children of Men) will be included in the syllabus and discussed in class. The works on the book list are not required, but recommended==in some cases, as classics of their genre, in others, for purposes of comparison with film adaptations. Writing will consist of one long essay of 16-20 pages. There will be no quizzes or exams, but seminar attendance and participation will be expected, and will affect grades.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area 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: Marno, David
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

The Honors Thesis is a long research essay. Length, however, is not the only way it differs from every essay you have ever written in the English Department. In most literature classes, the function of essay assignments is to help you deepen your engagement with the readings within the course. In Honors, we reverse this order, and our goal in reading literary and critical texts is to help you write an essay on a subject of your own choosing, using your own archive. Most of the actual research and writing will take place in the Spring, when you will work closely with your peers in the course, with your faculty mentor, and with me. In the Fall, we will be preparing for the Spring semester’s research and writing process by reading a selection of criticism from Aristotle to T. S. Eliot, Roland Barthes, Hayden White, Eve Sedgwick and other critics in a ruthlessly pragmatic way, with the sole purpose of learning what we can and should (and sometimes what we cannot or shouldn’t) imitate from the ways these authors write about texts. In addition to exemplary critical works, we will read a small selection of prose and poetry by John Donne, Heinrich Kleist, Emily Dickinson, and Jorge Luis Borges, and use the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics to understand fundamental categories such as metaphor and metonymy, oral and scribal culture, the sublime and the uncanny.

You do not have to come to this class knowing what you want to write about. That’s what the first semester is for, and the course is designed to have a certain flexibility built into it to accommodate your specific needs. Short assignments throughout the Fall will help you think about your research topic, which you will be asked to describe in a brief proposal by the end of the semester. All readings will be posted on bCourses and also available for purchase as a course reader.

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) will satisfy the Research Seminar requirement for the English major. (More details about H195A prerequisites, how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications, etc., are in the paragraph about the Honors Course on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes.)

To be considered for admission to this course, you will need to electronically apply by:

     • Clicking on the link below and filling out the application you will find there, bearing in mind that you will also need to attach:

     • a PDF of your college transcript(s),

     • a PDF of your spring 2016 course schedule,

     • a PDF (or Word document) of a critical paper that you wrote for another class (the length of this paper not being as important as its quality), and

     • a PDF (or Word document) of a personal statement, including why you are interested in taking this course and indicating your academic interest and, if possible, the topic or area you are thinking of addressing in your honors thesis.

The deadline for completing this application is midnight, FRIDAY, MAY 13.


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 2
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 247 Dwinelle


Book List

Barthes, R: S/Z; Culler, J: Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction; Muller, J. P.: The Purloined Poe;

Recommended: Leitch, V., et al.: Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Description

 In the fall semester, we will consider what makes a research question, problem, or project a significant one. Does it merely involve choosing to study a “significant” writer or text? (And what makes some writers/texts more significant than others?) Or do new issues and objects emerge as significant in response to different historical conjunctures and intellectual agendas?  Together we will read and discuss essays that raise key issues about representation, imagination, communication, interpretation, and critique, undertaking what might be called (after “The Purloined Letter”) “a thorough research of the premises” of literary study.  Individually, students will consult with me to construct bibliographies on specific texts or issues relevant to their own interests, and use these bibliographies to define a compelling, workable thesis topic.  Each student will also participate in a “working group” responsible for designing a week’s syllabus, choosing the texts and leading discussion of them. 

Prospective students should read Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction over the summer. They should also begin to consider a writer or text or issue for research. A useful strategy in this selection might be: what writer or text or subject matter has most challenged or cemented my ideas about what literature is and what happens when it is read?

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) will satisfy the Research Seminar requirement for the English major.  (More details about H195A prerequisites, how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications, etc., are in the paragraph about the Honors Course on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes.)

To be considered for admission to this course, you will need to electronically apply by:

     • Clicking on the link below and filling out the application you will find there, bearing in mind that you will also need to attach:

     • a PDF of your college transcript(s),

     • a PDF of your spring 2016 course schedule,

     • a PDF (or Word document) of a critical paper that you wrote for another class (the length of this paper not being as important as its quality), and

     • a PDF (or Word document) of a personal statement, including why you are interested in taking this course and indicating your academic interest and, if possible, the topic or area you are thinking of addressing in your honors thesis.

The deadline for completing this application is midnight, FRIDAY, MAY 13.