Announcement of Classes: Spring 2017


Anglo-Saxon England

English 105

Section: 1
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: B5 Hearst Field Annex


Book List

Campbell, James: The Anglo-Saxons; Keynes, Simon, and Michael Lapidge.: Alfred the Great; Liuzza, R.M.: Beowulf, 2nd ed. Facing Page Translation; McClure, Judith, and Roger Collins, trans.: Bede: The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; Webb, J.F., and D.H. Farmer: The Age of Bede

Other Readings and Media

A course reader.

Description

“Britain, once called Albion, is an island of the ocean...” When the priest Bede set out in the early 700s to write the history of the place we now call England, he portrayed it as a new nation with a deep past, a remote corner of the world that was nevertheless closely connected to Rome, Gaul, and Ireland. Although the “English people” that Bede wrote about did not exactly exist yet, his vision of their past helped map a new future for them as a coherent nation. As we will see in this course, literature was central to the very idea of Anglo-Saxon England: it was in some ways written into being.

By reading a very wide range of texts—histories, biographies, epic and lyric poems, riddles and letters—we will find a multitude of ways to understand these developing versions of English nationhood, as well as the Anglo-Saxons’ cultural preoccupations, values, and ideas. In our readings we will discover what people in the early middle ages found exciting, instructive, beautiful, or exotic. We will also think about think about the physical presence of the past in landscape and artifacts, as we study maps, manuscripts, runes, and artworks of various kinds—painted images, stone sculpture, and metalwork.

By the end of the course, you will have gained new insight into a culture and literature that is both very different from the present and an organic part of the modern world. No knowledge of medieval languages is required, and all texts will be available in translation.

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


Chaucer

English 111

Section: 1
Instructor: Justice, Steven
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey: Canterbury Tales (ed. Mann); Chaucer, Geoffrey: Troilus and Criseyde (ed. Barney)

Description

The course will read Chaucer's two greatest works--the Canterbury Tales (easily one of the most entertaining works and one of the most compelling works in English) and the Troilus and Criseyde (perhaps less entertaining, but no less compelling)--along with some small samples from the rest of his works and from his literary tradition. The readings will be in Middle English; we will take care to see that students develop the capacity to read it comfortably.

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


English Drama to 1603

English 114A

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: B56 Hildebrand


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

English 117S

Section: 1
Instructor: Altieri, Charles F.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 3 Le Conte


Book List

Shakespeare, William: [all of the above listed plays from Signet Classics]

Description

This course will be an exercise in unabashed celebration of genius.  I will be continually asking what work these plays are doing in order to render dynamically certain basic features of human experience and to raise significant questions about why we perform certain actions and risk various outcomes.  I am interested in history and politics only insofar as they affect our understanding of why the plays offer relatively timeless grasps of what goes into human actions, and what can result from disturbances in our psyches.  We will probably read twelve plays--and reading here will entail re-reading because I think that is a commitment English majors should make to any text that deserves to be taken seriously.  I know there will be a final and at least one paper.  Other assignments will depend on enrollment. 

Any Shakespeare text will do.  I think every English major should have the collected plays but I will order individual paperbacks for the convenience of carrying around.  Plays will include Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Richard II, Hamlet, Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Winter's Tale, and The Tempest.


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 2
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 102 Moffitt


Book List

Shakespeare, William: Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays (3rd ed.); Shakespeare, William: The Comedy of Errors (Signet ed.);

Recommended: Greenblatt, Stephen: Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Description

Shakespeare wrote a massive number of plays.  Focusing on a selection of them, we’ll consider the range of Shakespeare's dramaturgy and why this range was important to him.  We’ll also explore how the variety of dramatic genres in which he wrote affected Shakespeare’s representation of plot and character, as well as the literary, social, sexual, religious, political, and philosophical issues he conceptualized through plot and character.  Finally, we’ll think about Shakespeare’s plays in relation to the range of social types and classes in his mass audience. 


Milton

English 118

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Time: MW 10-11 + discussion sections F 10-11
Location: note new location: 126 Barrows


Book List

Milton, John: The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton (Modern Library, ed. Kerrigan, Rumrich, and Fallon, 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0679642534)

Description

Probably the most influential and famous (and, in his own time, infamous) literary figure of the seventeenth century, John Milton has been misrepresented too often as a mainstay of a traditional canon rather than as the rebel he was. He is also sometimes assumed to be a remote or traditional religious poet rather than the independent thinker he also was—someone who distrusted any passively held faith that was not self-questioning. As we follow Milton’s carefully shaped career from the shorter early poems, through some of the controversial prose of the English Civil War era, and into the astounding work that emerged in the wake of political defeat (Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes), we will discover a very different literary and political figure, known in his time as a statesman as well as a poet, and in both pursuits considered more an iconoclast than an icon. We will come to understand Milton’s writing in relation to the revolutions that he witnessed and in which he took part, and we will also think about his experiments in poetic form, his ambivalent incorporations, revisions, and expansions of classical literature and biblical texts alike, the literary dimension of his unorthodox theology, his writings on love, marriage, and divorce, his engagement with contemporary scientific debates, his life-long preoccupation with vocation – and more.

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


Literature of the Restoration and the Early 18th Century

English 119

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 2011 VLSB


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

In an age of commercial print expansion, men and women writers negotiated the possibilities, limits, and perceived dangers of publishing. In this class, we will explore the forms and strategies writers deployed in those negotiations, whether women poets, romance writers, and playwrights navigating the scandalous publicity of publishing their work; philosophers, periodical writers, and fiction writers aiming to popularize new scientific discoveries, political theories, and approaches to life in a globalizing market society; or satirists skeptical of a new commercial regime and its proliferation of print. As we interpret late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century depictions of coffee house conversationalists, hack writers, masquerading women, naïve travellers, criminal gangs, among others, we shall be especially interested in the development of new techniques of realist writing and the complexities of the satire of this period.   

Provisional Reading: Poetry of John Dryden, Anne Finch, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Alexander Pope, John Gay, Jonathan Swift; Prose of John Locke, Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Henry Fielding; Plays of William Wycherley and John Gay.

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


The European Novel: The Many Faces of the 19th-Century European Novel

English 125C

Section: 1
Instructor: Golburt, Luba Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 170 Barrows


Book List

Austen, Jane: Northanger Abbey; Flaubert, Gustave : Madame Bovary; Goethe, Johann Wolfgang: The Sorrow of Young Werther; Pushkin, Alexander: Eugene Onegin; Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace

Description

The novel emerged as the principal literary genre in 19th-century Europe and has continued to dominate the literary market in Europe and North America ever since.  What were the constitutive formal elements as well as social and psychological concerns of novelistic narrative in the period of its greatest ascendancy? Focusing on a selection of novels from the German, English, French, and Russian traditions, this course examines the many guises the novel assumed in the process of its becoming, over the course of the 19th century, the central genre within which key social, political, and aesthetic issues of its time could be deliberated.

All novels considered in this course are markedly experimental. Each showcases a different dimension of the novel genre: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) is a sentimental epistolary novel; Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1817), a mock-Gothic novel of manners; Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin (1823-1831), an ironic and fragmentary novel in verse; Gustave Flaubert’s, Madame Bovary (1856) establishes the model of modern realist narration; and finally Leo Tolstoy’s magisterial historical novel War and Peace (1865-1869) raises crucial questions about the very premises of what it means to be historical and novelistic.

Workload/Requirements.  Close reading of assigned texts (up to 200 pages per week), regular attendance, short assignments, midterm, one paper, final exam.

This course is cross-listed with Slavic 133.


The Contemporary Novel

English 125E

Section: 1
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: MW 1-2 + discussion sections F 1-2
Location: 141 McCone


Book List

Adiche, Chimamanda: Americanah; Cole, Teju: Open City; Díaz, Junot: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Egan, Jennifer: A Visit From the Goon Squad; Hamid, Mohsin: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Lerner, Ben: 10:04: A Novel; McCarthy, Cormac: The Road; McCarthy, Tom: Remainder; McEwan, Ian: Saturday; Mieville, China: The City & The City; O'Neill, Joseph: Netherland; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One

Other Readings and Media

A course reader of selected book reviews, interviews, and critical essays. 

Description

In this class, we will read a selection of 21st-century novels written in English, as well as some book reviews, interviews, and critical essays. We will consider the formal and thematic elements of these contemporary fictions, as well as a variety of contextual concerns including questions of scale (long form, short form, and super-short forms such as Twitter and flash fiction) and genre (especially the burgeoning of literary genre fiction such as post-apocalyptic and noir); digital publishing in various formats; competing popular media; book prizes and the circulation of cultural value; world literature and the global market; and the rise of the Creative Writing program in the university. Throughout the course, we will think about whether the contemporary can best be understood as a discrete historical moment, an ever-receding temporal horizon, or as a cultural worldview, condition, or style. You will write analytical essays of the sort usually required in English courses, while also producing responses to our readings in alternative genres such as book reviews, creative nonfiction, and visual, aural, and/or digital media. 
 
While the reading for this course will be considerable (200-300 pages per week), it will NOT include all twelve of the novels listed above! Please attend the day of class before purchasing books for the course. 
 


American Literature: Before 1800

English 130A

Section: 1
Instructor: Donegan, Kathleen
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Bradford, W.: Of Plymouth Plantation; Brown, C. B.: Weiland, or The Transformation; Crevecoeur, H.: Letters from an American Farmer; Equiano, O.: An Interesting Narrative; Foster, H.: The Coquette; Franklin, B.: The Autobiography and Other Writings; Jefferson, T.: Notes on the State of Virginia; Rowlandson, M.: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Williams, R.: A Key into the Language of America

Description

This course surveys the literatures of early America, from the tracts that envisioned the impact of British colonization to the novels that measured the after-shock of the American Revolution.  Throughout, we will consider colonial America as a place of encounter – a place where diversity was a given, negotiation was a necessity, and transformation was inescapable. We will read broadly in the many genres of writing produced in the colonial and early national era, keeping our eyes trained both to literary form and to the world beyond the page.  Our topics will include contact and settlement, “translations” of Native American culture, religious and social formations, captivity narratives, natural history, print culture, the Atlantic slave trade, the writing of revolution, and the contested ideals of the new republic.  Throughout, we will pay special attention to how writing operated to forge new models of the self that could withstand and absorb the tumult of colonial life.

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


The American Novel

English 132

Section: 1
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MW 2-3 + discussion sections F 2-3
Location: 2 Le Conte


Book List

Egan, Jennifer: A Visit from the Goon Squad; Faulkner, William: As I Lay Dying; Howells, William Dean: The Rise of Silas Lapham; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; O'Connor, Flannery: Wise Blood; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping; Wharton, Edith: The House of Mirth; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One

Description

This course is a survey of major American novels from the late-nineteenth century to the present, with a focus on realism, naturalism, and modernism. Rather than trace a single history of the novel in this period, we will explore a range of genres that highlight some of the most significant developments in novel form, as well as the cultural and historical contexts they illuminate. 


Topics in American Studies: The Fields: California Farmworker Literature

English C136

Section: 1
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 240 Bechtel


Book List

Castillo-Guilbault, Rose: Farmworker's Daughter; Garcia, Diana: When Living Was a Labor Camp; Gonzalez, Rigoberto: Crossing Vines; Neuburger, Bruce: Lettuce Wars; Plascencia, Salvador: The People of Paper; Soto, Gary: Jesse; Soto, Gary: The Elements of San Joaquin; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Under the Feet of Jesus

Other Readings and Media

Films: Alambrista; and Fighting for Our Lives

Description

This course will focus on the lives and struggles of Mexican farm workers in California as represented in Chicano/a literature from the 1970s to the early twentieth-first century—or roughly the period that coincides with the rise of neoliberalism as a dominant politico-economic system in Western capitalism.  We’ll consider the ways that the daily struggles and political movements of Mexican farmworkers link Chicano/a history and culture to immigration law, state repression, racialization, gender discrimination, class exploitation, and the expansive power of transnational agricultural corporations—in short, to the building of empire and global capitalism.  All of the literary works that we’ll study in this course document or dramatize these links either thematically or formally.  We’ll also read several essays on history and literary criticism to contextualize the literature, and we’ll view two or three films.  Required assignments will include a midterm, a class presentation, and two papers.

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


Chicana/o Literature and Culture Since 1910: Chicanx/Latinx Novels

English 137B

Section: 1
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 103 GPB


Book List

Alvarez, Julia: In the Time of the Butterflies; Cantu, Norma: Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la frontera; Castillo, Ana: Give It To Me; Cruz, Angie: Let it Rain Coffee; Gilb, Dagoberto: The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna; Gonzalez, Rigoberto: Crossing Vines; Hijuelos, Oscar: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love; Islas, Arturo: The Rain God

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

In this course, we’ll read a cluster of post-1970 Chicanx/Latinx novels.  We’ll explore a variety of issues and experiences—race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political activism, revolution, philosophy, art, storytelling, and writing—represented in these works; all of these experiences have influenced the form and content of Chicanx/Latinx novels.  We'll discuss the manner in which the literature contributes to the formation of complex and sometimes contradictory identities, but we’ll also pay close attention to the literary features of these novels, including form, style, point of view, characterization, dialogue, and figurative language.  We’ll read several works of history and literary criticism to contextualize the literature and to help us understand how Chicanx/Latinx literature enriches the American literary tradition generally.


The Cultures of English: (Post)colonial Fiction

English 139

Section: 1
Instructor: JanMohamed, Abdul R.
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 102 Latimer


Book List

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart; Coetzee, J. M.: Waiting For the Barbarians; Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Conrad, Joseph: Nostromo; Dangarembga, TsiTsi: Nervous Conditions; Forster, E.M.: A Passage to India; Gordimer, Nadine: Burger's Daughter; Kipling, Rudyard: Kim; Lemming, George: In the Castle of My Skin; Rushdie, Salman: Midnight's Children

Description

This course will examine some British colonial novels within the socio-political-economic context of late British colonialism and some (post-)colonial novels written after the devolution of formal British colonialism.


Modes of Writing (Exposition, Fiction, Verse, etc.)

English 141

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 140 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

T.B.A.

Description

We'll study some of the ways that fiction writers, essayists, story-tellers, and poets have responded to the worlds that their cultures have built.  We'll look at "high" forms and "low" forms and write in both and consider the distinctions.  We'll read and think about and write urban legends and short fictions, family histories and haibuns, hybrid texts and ghost stories and ballads.  Students will work on individual projects and will also be asked to collaborate on group performances of creative work.  Projects incorporating material from non-written sources (graphic art, for example) will be encouraged; projects incorporating material from unpublished sources (folklore, family stories, etc.) will be strongly encouraged.

This course is open to English majors only.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Melanie Abrams
Time: MW 3:30-5
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Other Readings and Media

Reader available at Instant Copying and Laser Printing, 2138 University Avenue

Description

The aim of this course to explore the genre of short fiction –  to discuss the elements that make up the short story, to talk critically about short stories, and to become comfortable and confident with the writing of them.  Students will write two short stories, a number of shorter exercises, weekly critiques of their peers’ stories and published short stories, and be required to attend and review a fiction reading.  The course will be organized as a workshop and attendance is mandatory. All student stories will be edited and critiqued by the instructor and by other students in the class.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course.  To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 10-15 double-spaced 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 11 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: Serpell, C. Namwali
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 107 Mulford


Other Readings and Media

An online course reader with short stories and craft essays.

Description

This workshop is designed to hone basic elements of the short story: style, voice, perspective, structure, plot, character, and so on. We will read some exceptional short stories in a variety of genres. We will compose and revise 1-3 short stories (30 pages total) over the course of the semester. We will comment on each other’s writing in progress; learn to perform a reading; and complete short assignments involving the practical matters of a writing career.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 10 double-spaced pages of your prose fiction (no poetry, drama, screenplays, or academic work), 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 11 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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: 3
Instructor: Oates, Joyce Carol Time: Thurs. 3:30-6:30
Location: 106 Mulford


Book List

Oates, J. C., ed.: Oxford Book of American Short Stories, 2012 (2nd edition)

Description

A fiction workshop in which students will be expected to turn in material approximately every third week, to be edited and discussed in class.

Emphasis will be upon editing and revising. Quality rather than quantity is the ideal, but each student should be prepared to write about fifty pages through the term, to be gathered into a small “book” and turned in on the last class day. Appropriate assignments will be made in the (2nd) 2012 edition of THE OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN SHORT STORIES edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 10-15 double-spaced 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 11 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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: 1
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: note new location: B40 Hearst Field Annex


Other Readings and Media

Our readings will come from a course reader available, after the first class meeting, at Krishna Copy (Milvia and University).

Description

In this course you will conduct a progressive series of explorations in which you will try some of the fundamental options for writing 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 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 11 P.M, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

The purpose of this class will be to produce a collective language in which to treat poetry.  Writing your own poems will be a part of this task, but it will also require readings in contemporary poetry and essays in poetics, as well as some writing assignments done under extreme formal constraints.  In addition, there’ll be regular commentary on other students’ work and two instances of recitation. All readings will be drawn from a course reader.

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 11 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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.


Long Narrative: The Novel

English 143C

Section: 1
Instructor: Serpell, C. Namwali
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 107 Mulford


Book List

Forster, E.M.: Aspects of the Novel; Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas

Description

The purpose of this workshop is to begin to write a novel. It is unlikely that you will finish writing a novel in the three months we spend together. Novels take time. There are some reported exceptions to this—Jack Kerouac wrote the first draft of On the Road in three weeks, Jonathan Safron Foer drafted his first novel in two months—but we will restrict our goal this semester to: “a start.” Much of the semester will be devoted to drafting, revising, and helping each other improve our nascent work. We’ll read one sprawling, multifarious, genre-bending work, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), in order to explore the various shapes a novel can take. We’ll also read E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel (1927). We may as well have some inkling as to what we’re trying to make.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit no more than 5 double-spaced pages of your fiction, as well as (at the end of the same document, please) a rough outline/plot summary of your idea for a novel, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'l find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadine for completing this application process in 11 P.M, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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: The Personal Essay

English 143N

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 180 Barrows


Book List

Levy, Ariel: The Best American Essays 2015

Description

This class will be conducted as a writing workshop to explore the art and craft of the personal essay.  We will closely examine the essays in the assigned anthology, as well as students’ exercises and essays.  Writing assignments will include three short writing exercises (2 pages each) and two new essays (10-20 pages each). 

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, fiction 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 11 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.

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.


Special Topics: The Graphic Memoir

English 165

Section: 1
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 4 Evans


Book List

Barry, Lynda: One! Hundred! Demons!; Bechdel, Alison: Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama; Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic; Chast, Roz: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? A Memoir; McCloud, Scott: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art; Sacco, Joe: Palestine; Satrapi, Marjane: Persepolis; Spiegelman, Art: Maus, Volumes I and II; Yang, Gene Luen: American Born Chinese

Other Readings and Media

Reader (scholarly essays on comics and memoir).

Description

A graphic novel is often defined as “a single-author, book-length work, meant for a grown-up reader, with a memoirist or novelistic nature, usually devoid of superheroes.”  Many comic artists, however, ridicule the term as a pretentious and disingenuous attempt to rebrand comics in order to elevate their cultural status.  We will examine the definitions, history, and diverse forms of graphic narratives in the U.S., focusing on graphic memoirs.

This class is open to English majors only.


Special Topics: Incarcerations: The Literatures of Physical Confinement and Spiritual Liberation

English 165

Section: 2
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: note new location: 370 Dwinelle


Book List

Wall Tappings: Women's Prison Writings, 200 A.D. to the Present; Cisneros, Sandra: The House on Mango Street; Coates, Ta-Nehisi: Between the World and Me; Jackson, George: Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson; Perkins Gilman, Charlotte: The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories; Santiago Baca, Jimmy: A Place to Stand; Wakatsuki Houston, Jeanne: Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment

Description

This is a course primarily on the literature of incarceration variously defined and experienced across a range of control systems that attempt to stunt the entire human being. We will read prison narrative/poetry (George Jackson's prison letters, Jimmy Santiago Baca's poetry composed while in prison), but we will also consider other forms of incarceration: Latinas incarcerated in the "domestic sphere" (as in Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper and Cisneros' House on Mango Street), or in detention centers (Wakatsuki's Farewell to Manzanar and the Angel Island poems carved into the walls by Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century). In addition to literary forms of expression, we will also survey some of the art and photography of incarceration. And we will also read some essays/chapters that theorize the control systems of incarceration: Gramsci, Foucault, et al.

I want to think about the forms of suppression, confinement and the humiliations of control imposed not only on the body but on the mind and heart. We want to concentrate on the ways in which human beings find the strength to survive conditions of subjection to voice their intellectual, emotional and spiritual presence.

I will certainly be asking students to recommend material you believe crucial to our work in the course.

Course assignments: You will write two papers of 6-8 pages and you will also work in discussion groups that will offer in-class presentations. There will be brief, unannounced quizzes on the material of the day. These cannot be made up since they will be composed in class.

This class is open to English majors only.


Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

English 166

Section: 1
Instructor: Lye, Colleen
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 225 Dwinelle


Book List

Adiga, Arvind: White Tiger; Lanchester, John: Whoops!; Martin, Randy: The Financialization of Daily Life; Ong, Han: Fixer Chao; Ozeki, Ruth: All Over Creation; Park, Ed: Personal Days; Tucker, Robert: The Marx-Engels Reader; Volosinov, Valentin : Marxism and the Philosophy of Language; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One; Williams, Raymond: Marxism and Literature

Description

For the past thirty years, it’s become a cliché that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Yet, ever since the 2008 financial crash, there’s been rising popular consciousness of capitalism’s crisis-bound character and, therefore, its historicity and potential transformability. What part has contemporary literature played in the promotion of this consciousness? It is customary to think of literature as uniquely suited to building empathy, helping us imagine the lives of others. But literature also aspires to representing the abstract social forces that set determinate limits and conditions upon individuals’ exercise of freedom. How does literature’s peculiar means of connecting experience and structure, part and whole, individual and totality offer an actionable theory of capitalism’s lived experience? We’ll read contemporary theories of ecological crisis, financialization, debt, gendered precarity, and structural racism that are some of the central features of 21st century capitalist life (Randy Martin, John Lanchester, Kathy Weeks, Jason Moore, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, etc.). We’ll turn to novels that center on various kinds of precarious characters to consider what a difference fiction makes to the treatment and solution of large economic and political problems (Arvind Adiga, Han Ong, Ruth Ozeki, Ed Park, Colson Whitehead). Along the way, we’ll get acquainted with some classical and more recent Marxist works of literary and aesthetic theory (e.g. Bakhtin, Volosinov, Raymond Williams, Lukacs, Jameson) so as to acquire the necessary analytical tools for making links between literature and political economy. This is a theory-heavy course and best suited to students who are really interested in working with some difficult theory, though no previous background is required. In addition to the books listed above, there will also be a course packet of additional readings. (Do not, however, purchase any books until after the first class meeting when the syllabus will have been finalized).


Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather)

English 166

Section: 2
Instructor: Francois, Anne-Lise
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 255 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

What makes environmental violence hard to represent and how can literature bear witness to the silence, slowness, and invisibility of ecological relations? Of what use is the problematic concept of “nature” in ordering our relations to other living beings?  What kinds of literacy are required to have “a sense of place” or a knowledge of the seasons? Is such literacy comparable to the kind of attention that reading poetry often demands? This course will address these questions by examining the role of language and literature in making possible different kinds of interaction between people and environments.  Other topics will include; relations between rural workers and landscape tourists; the role of memory and imagination in writing about place and the loss of place; weather-reporting and other ways of counting time; fantasies about ecological disaster and science’s ability to save or destroy humankind; figures of shelter and exposure.   

Books (available at University Press Books, not the Cal Student Store): Mary Austin, Land of Little Rain; Matsuo Bashō, Narrow Road to the Deep North; Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Ann Fisher-Worth and Laura-Gray Street, The Ecopoetry Anthology; Greg Sarris, Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Henry Thoreau, Walden; Dorothy Wordsworth, Grasmereand Alfoxden Journals

A reader with critical readings by Berger, Davis, Heidegger, Nixon, Solnit, Thompson, Vivieros de Castro, Galeano, Williams, & others

Films: Baichwal/Burtynsky, Manufactured Landscapes; Haynes, Safe; Herzog, Grizzly Man; Scott, Bladerunner; Varda, The Gleaners and I; ZhangKe Jia, Still Life


Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy

English 166

Section: 3
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 258 Dwinelle


Book List

Delany, M.: Blake; or, The Huts of America (Ed. J. McGann); Grandin, G.: Empire of Necessity; Gray, T.: Confessions of Nat Turner; Jordan, W.: Tumult and Silence at Second Creek; Lepore, J.: New York Burning; Melville, H.: Benito Cereno; Walker, D.: Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

Other Readings and Media

Lemuel Paker Conner, Testimony of Fourteen Slaves Relative to a Proposed Slave Uprising in Adams County, Mississippi.

Amasa Delano, Narrative of Voyages and Travels in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, Comprising Three Voyages around the World.

Daniel Horsmanden, The Journal of the Proceedings in the Detection of the Conspiracy . . . . for Burning the City of NEW-YORK

James Hamilton, Negro Plot: An Account of the Late Intended Insurrection Among a Portion of the Blacks of the City of Charleston.

Lionel Kennedy, An Official Report of the Trials of Sundry Negroes, Charged with an Attempt to Raise an Insurrection in the State of South Carolina.

"Proces contre les Esclaves du Poste”, from Original Acts of Pointe Coupee (available in manuscript, French transcription, and English translation).

Description

This is a multidisciplinary seminar on the law and literature of slave conspiracy. We will be reading novels and stories by authors such as Martin Delany and Herman Melville alongside contemporary newspapers, confessions, warrants, witness depositions, and trial transcripts. We will also be reading history and theory by Peter Brooks, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Jill Lepore, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, and Gordon Wood. Students will choose between writing a research paper (20-25 pages) and working on a collaborative digital project related to one of the conspiracies covered in the course.


Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

English 166

Section: 4
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MW 5-6:30 PM
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Book List

Didion, Joan: Play It As It Lays; Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie; Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Love of the Last Tycoon; Gibson, William: Pattern Recognition; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Lambert, Gavin: Inside Daisy Clover; Stoker, Bram: Dracula; West, Nathaniel: Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust

Description

In this course, we will examine intersections between literature and visual media in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on texts concerned with film and its cultural effects. We will read novels, short stories, poetry, and essays which not only help us better understand the social implications of media technologies, but also show how literature itself tries to understand its new place as one medium among many in the period. The class will consider such topics as the status of reading in a culture of looking, the politics of the extremely popular, celebrity as a way of life, and the commercial origins of the modern work of art. Of particular interest will be texts that address directly the mythology of Hollywood, as well as writers who borrow liberally from film technique as an aesthetic resource. In addition to our readings, we will screen: The Jazz Singer (1926), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Singin' in the Rain (1951), and Peeping Tom (1960). 


Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature

English 166

Section: 5
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: note new location: 150 GSPP (Goldman School of Public Policy)


Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Waiting For Godot; Beckett, Samuel: Watt; Bowen, Elizabeth: The Last September; Joyce, James: Ulysses; O'Brien, Edna: The Country Girls; O'Brien, Flann: At Swim-Two-Birds; Yeats, W.B.: The Collected Poems

Description

In this course we will focus on one of the major canons in modern literature, one that includes, some would argue, the most significant English-language poet, the most important novelist, and the most remarkable playwright of the 20th century.  Indeed, we’ll spend a good portion of the class on the work of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett.  We’ll also read novels by Elizabeth Bowen, Flann O’Brien, Edna O’Brien, and Máirtín Ó Cadhain; and plays by Lady Gregory, John Millington Synge, and Sean O’Casey.  
 
The history of Ireland in the period that this course covers (roughly the 1880s through the 1960s) was of immense consequence and the cultural and social matters that these writers frame and transform are knotty.  We’ll examine the various formal and generic experiments that these writers undertake, and we’ll consider a range of issues—colonialism, religion, politics, gender and sexuality—as we dive into some of the most fascinating texts of the twentieth century. 
 
One note: while we will focus our Joycean efforts on Ulysses, I will assume some knowledge of his previous works, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  It isn’t essential that you read these texts before the semester begins, but it could help.
 
In addition to a final exam, there will be two written assignments, each in the 5-7 page range.  
 


Special Topics in American Cultures: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

English 166AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Hamid, M.: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Kingston, M.H.: China Men; Murayama, M.: All I asking for is my body; Okada, J.: No-No Boy ; Shteyngart, G.: Super Sad True Love Story; Yamashita, K.T.: I Hotel; lê, t.: The Gangster We Are All Looking For

Description

This aim of this survey is two-fold: First, to interrogate the concept of nationhood and, particularly, what it means to be American.  Focusing on writings by and about peoples of Asian descent across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, we will examine various strategies for making America more inclusive—from appeals to the country’s founding ideals, to experiments with literary form, to calls for leftist revolt.  The second aim will be to interrogate concepts of race and ethnicity by questioning singular notions of “Asian America” and “Asian American literature.”  In order to do this, we will adopt a transnational and cross-racial perspective in order to connect these literatures to a broad history of global wars, empires, and revolutions.  This perspective will also enable us to compare these writings with those from other branches of the Asian diaspora, as well as with other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.  In short, the survey will provide us with a critical grasp of race and nation, as well as of literature’s ability to re-imagine these in an increasingly “post-national”, “post-racial” world.

Note: Since the reading list may change, please don’t buy books until after the first class.
 
This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Autobiography: Disability Memoir

English 180A

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Bauby, J-D.: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Danquah, M. : Willow Weep for Me; Forney, E. : Marbles; Galloway, T.: Mean Little Deaf Queer; Guest, P. : One More Theory about Happiness; Keller, H. : The World I Live In; Kingsley & Levitz, J. & M.: Count Us In; Laborit, E.: The Cry of the Gull; Simon, R.: Riding the Bus with My Sister

Description

Autobiographies written by people with disabilities offer readers a glimpse into lives at the margins of mainstream culture, and thus can make disability seem less alien and frightening.  Disability rights activists, however, often criticize these texts because they tend to reinforce the notion that disability is a personal tragedy that must be overcome through superhuman effort, rather than a set of cultural conditions that could be changed to accommodate a wide range of individuals with similar impairments.  Are these texts agents for social change or merely another form of freak show?  In this course, we will examine a diverse selection of disability memoirs and consider both what they reveal about cultural attitudes toward disability and what they have in common with other forms of autobiography. 


Lyric Verse

English 180L

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

This course will examine the historical trajectory of a very fuzzy category, “lyric,” from its identified origins and early practice in antiquity (Sappho, Catullus, et al.) to its 20th and 21st century rejections and rehabilitations (all the way up to last year’s Citizen by Claudia Rankine, whose subtitle is “An American Lyric”). Rather than define the term decisively, we will attempt to amass data about what kinds of contents and formal features have been associated with lyric over time and how poets have responded to that growing archive when contributing new instances of such verse. Along the way, we will also consider several theorizations and histories of lyric practice, including the idea that the very category has become a useless or even misrepresentative synonym for “poetry” that collapses multiple verse genres.

All poems and essays will be drawn from a course reader available at Metro Publishing on Bancroft by the 2nd class meeting.


Science Fiction

English 180Z

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: note new location: 370 Dwinelle


Book List

Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Hoffman, E. T. A.: The Sandman; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Strugatsky, Arkady and Boris: Roadside Picnic; Wells, H. G.: The Island of Doctor Moreau; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One

Description

This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the thematics and topoi of the new life sciences—representation of cloning, ecological dystopias, hybrid life-forms, genetic engineering dystopias. While science is the thematic point of departure of speculative fiction, the concerns of this course will be the literary. How does literature's encounter with the projected realities of the new biology revise our conceptions of the subject? Could there be a Leopold Bloom of the genetically engineered, a subject whose interior voice is the free-flowing expression of experience? Behind the endless removes of social, material, and technological mediation lies the construction of a flesh and blood body, separated from itself through the workings of consciousness. If indeed the post/modern subject requires a psychic space shaped by the authenticity of "being," a consciousness deeply rooted in the human experience, then how do we represent that being whose point of origin is the artificial, the inauthentic? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this course. You may of course bring others.


Digital Humanities, Visual Cultures: Digital Travels

English C181

Section: 1
Instructor: Honig, Elizabeth Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 110 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Online readings.

Description

This course introduces tools and methods of the Digital Humanities as they can be used in studying the art and literature of the early modern period. Our focus is on how, around 1600, things were in motion: people, but also objects and ideas. By 1600, more than a century had gone by since the invention of printing, the 'discovery' of the Americas, and the adoption of near-mass-production methods in artists' workshops. Technologies of navigation and mapping made travel more possible, and both texts and images were being widely distributed for both economic and ideological reasons. Digital tools offer us ways to track, visualize, and interpret some of these mobilities.

The class will be broken into three loosely interrelated projects across disciplines (history, art history, literature), each of which will involve both individual and group work. In each project you will gather and interpret data, will learn a digital tool or set of tools, and will develop a sense of how working digitally in this field changes the scope and potential of the questions that we, as humanists, ask of our cultural materials.

There are no prerequisites for this course. We certainly do not expect that you know any coding, but we welcome anybody who does!

This course is cross-listed with History of Art C109.

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

PLEASE NOTE:  This class has (as of Oct. 25) been approved as a new course.  You can now go ahead and enroll in it (or, if you cannot enroll directly, put yourself on the wait list).


Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: MW 9:30-11
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Book List

Adichie, C: Americanah; Cole, T: Open City; Rhodes-Pitts, S.: Harlem is Nowhere; Smith, Z: N.W.

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader with required essays will be available for purchase. Films and television shows, available for screening in Moffit Library, will include projects by Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay), David Simon (Treme), Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), and Raoul Peck (Lumumba: Death of a Prophet). 

Description

This is a course that weds postcolonial literary theory to cultural studies to critical geography to art. We'll read novels and watch films from several cities--London, Kingston, Johannesburg, New York, New Orleans, Lagos, Bombay/Mumbai--and think about how artists render urban space when they are also attending to questions of power, desire, memory, and performance. Weekly written responses will help to track our reactions to these course texts, whilst forming the foundation of the course's heart: an independent research project on a Bay Area City of your choice.

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.


Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance

English 190

Section: 2
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: MW 11-12:30
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Book List

Cullen, C.: Color; Hughes, L.: Fine Clothes to the Jew; Hurston, Z. N.: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Larsen, N.: Passing; McKay, C.: Harlem Shadows; Toomer, J.: Cane

Other Readings and Media

Other course materials will be made available in PDF format.

Description

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and intellectual movement of black artists and writers in the 1920s. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan, the movement extended outward through international collaboration that reached all the way to Marseilles, Dakar, and Moscow. We will be reading works by writers including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, and Claude McKay as well as contemporary manifestos about the function of black art. Students will complete a long essay (20-25 pages) anticipated by several shorter assignments geared to stages in the writing process.

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.


Research Seminar: Literature and the Linguistic Turn

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: Blevins, Jeffrey
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 39 Evans


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

In the early twentieth century, philosophers began to suspect that all their ancient problems—from the riddle of selfhood to the mystery of other minds to the imprecision of sensation—were actually problems with language. We could fix everything, they thought, if only we could speak more clearly. And so, they concluded, philosophy had better become devoted to the study of language. This “linguistic turn” occurred simultaneously with the advent of literary modernism, which itself emphasized the fact of language by experimenting with grammar and syntax. However, unlike philosophers of the linguistic turn, modernists immediately recognized that this swerve into language created more (and richer) problems than it solved, because language is inherently ambiguous and paradoxical. Thus, we will see that modernist literature predicts the linguistic turn’s eventual demise at the hands of poststructural theorists decades later.

We will read works of modernist literature alongside philosophical sources in order to understand how philosophers and authors simultaneously worked through (often while in close personal and professional intimacy) issues with language like: vagueness/exactitude, denotation/connotation, figuration, metaphor, reference, description, naming, and sense/nonsense. Our focus throughout the course will be less on how modernists received philosophical ideas about language and more on how they manipulated and extended these ideas into new aesthetic and stylistic protocols.

We will read authors such as: Amiri Baraka, Samuel Beckett, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, E.M. Forster, Robert Frost, Henry James, James Joyce, Marianne Moore, Charles Olson, Ezra Pound, Thomas Pynchon, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Virginia Woolf, and W.B. Yeats.

We will read philosophers and theorists such as: Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gottlob Frege, Edmund Husserl, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, J.S. Mill, C.S. Peirce, Richard Rorty, Bertrand Russell, Ferdinand Saussure, Wilfred Sellars, A.N. Whitehead, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Additionally, we will screen a number of films and plays that foreground language as a philosophical issue.

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.


Research Seminar: Jane Austen and the Theory of the Novel

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Miller, D.A.
Time: MW 12:30-2
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Book List

Austen, Jane: Selected Letters; Austen, Jane: The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen; Miller, D.A.: Jane Austen, or the Secret of Style; Shields, Carol: Jane Austen: A Life

Other Readings and Media

Films: Sleepless in Seattle; Clueless.

Also to be made available to students on B courses is a reader including criticism and theory from Mikhail Bakhtin, Ann Banfield, Roland Barthes, Frances Ferguson, Franco Moretti, and Alex Woloch.

Description

While there is hardly a dearth of criticism on Jane Austen, it is rare to find her used, as Balzac, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, or Proust is used, as the basis for theorizing the Novel as a form.  The gender bias of classic continental novel theory ignores her, and recent feminist historicism tends to do away with her originality as a creator of forms the better to claim her as a congenial sister.  Precisely this formal originality (to which we owe our very norms of impersonal narration, to say nothing of the virtual invention of free indirect style) will be the main object of our consideration in the seminar.  We will also pursue some pertinent minor topics: the curiously popular genre of the Austen biography (so little life, so many lives!) and, on a broader scale, the late-twentieth-century transformation of Austen into that most unwriterly of things: an icon.

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.


Research Seminar: Writing a World in Crisis: Medieval and Modern

English 190

Section: 5
Instructor: Perry, R. D.
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 51 Evans


Book List

Adorno, Theodor: Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life; Adorno, Theodor and Max Horkheimer: Dialectic of Enlightenment; Arendt, Hannah: The Origins of Totalitarianism; Langland, William: Piers Plowman: A New Annotated Edition of the C-text

Description

Please note the changes in the topic, book list, and courses description of this class (as of November 22).

This course looks at two distinct moments in which individual authors attempted to create encyclopedic visions in an attempt to diagnose what they took to be the historical crises of their time. The first moment is medieval: William Langland's England in the 14th century. After the cataclysm of a pandemic (the Black Death), Langland's England was embroiled in a war (the Hundred Years War), witness to a major social upheaval (the Peasant's Revolt), the scene of conflict surrounding an authoritarian ruler (or so Richard II enemies thought of him), riven by religious dissent and controversy (with the early stages of the Wycliffite heresy), and subject to a host of other traumatic social changes due to economic transition (as part of the transition from feudalism to mercantile capitalism). These paroxysms—disease, war, authoritarian rule, religious upheaval, and economic change and uncertainty—likewise characterize the modern moment that will be our secondary focus: the mid-20th century and the horrific events surrounding World War II, which we will discuss through the writings of German émigrés in America (namely, Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, and Max Horkheimer).

All of these writers tried to comprehend their historical moments in a way that remained true to the complexity of their situations, and the works they produced as a result were therefore as complex. They are conceptually expansive and encyclopedic in their concerns. Because the material Langland covers is so temporally distant from us, we will work through that more slowly; it will take us the entire semester to work through one version of Langland's poem. As we begin with Langland's poem, and as you become accustomed to Middle English, we will also read some secondary criticism that will teach you how to read Langland's work. Some of the shorter daily readings of Langland will also be supplemented with critical explication of his work. In addition, the slow reading of Langland's work will be punctuated along the way by the work of Adorno, Arendt, and Horkheimer. We will use these modern writers to help us think through the medieval one. Their attempts to understand historical trauma in all of its complexity will help us understand how Langland does the same thing, and how we might do so ourselves.

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

Please note that some seats in this section of English 190 are open to senior and junior non-majors.


Research Seminar: Shakespeare: From the Globe to the Global

English 190

Section: 6
Instructor: Bahr, Stephanie M
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 47 Evans


Book List

Césaire, Aimé: A Tempest; Msomi, Welcome: uMabatha; Sears, Djanet: Harlem Duet; Shakespeare, William: Macbeth; Shakespeare, William: Othello; Shakespeare, William: The Merchant of Venice; Shakespeare, William: The Tempest; Shakespeare, William: Titus Andronicus

Other Readings and Media

Films:Throne of Blood, dir. Akira Kurosawa; Omkara, dir. Vishal Bhardwaj; The MāoriMerchant of Venice, dir. Don Selwin.

A course reader including: Thomas Hariot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia; “Of cannibals,” Michel de Montaigne; The Merchants Advizo; “Hamlet in the Bush,” Laura Bonnanan; “Claudius’s Diary,” Shiga Naoya; “The Robben Island Bible”; selections from Race in Early Modern England: a Documentary Companion, ed. Ania Loomba; selections from A Theory of Adaptation, Linda Hutcheon.

Digital Resource: MIT’s Global Shakespeares Archive (http://globalshakespeares.org/) ed. Alexander Huang and Peter Donaldson.

Description

William Shakespeare's works have been staged all over the world, adapted as films, operas, musicals, ballets, and novels.  They have been transposed into diverse settings, from fascist Italy to the Wild West, medieval Japan to the fictional planet of Altair IV. Writers and artists have blended the works of Shakespeare with an array of global traditions, ranging from Japanese Noh Theater to Korean Opera. Why has Shakespeare captured imaginations so vividly around the world?  Harold Bloom even goes so far as to credit Shakespeare with the very “invention of the human.” Can it be that, as Shakespeare lovers and scholars have often claimed, there’s a universality to The Bard’s genius addressing “the human condition”? Or does the global dissemination and adaptation of Shakespeare engage political and cultural forces that go far beyond the individual brilliance of one Renaissance playwright?  And, if so, what do these cultural intersections mean?

To engage these questions, we will begin with an examination of five Shakespeare plays in their original historical context on the page and on the stage. We will lay the groundwork for interrogating assumptions about the “universality of the human” by paying particular attention to issues of identity, race, and gender in Shakespeare’s works in the early modern context.  We will then expand our view to these plays’ production histories around the world using the video clips, interviews, and reviews on MIT’s Global Shakespeares Archive. And finally we will examine an array of 20th and 21st century works from around the globe that are variously described as “adaptations,” “appropriations,” or “translations” of the plays we’ve studied. If, as some have argued, Shakespeare and the Western canon have been tools of cultural oppression, then how might these adaptations be read as acts of rebellion or liberation? What value have these writers found in Shakespeare’s material?  How do they transform, correct, or reimagine Shakespeare’s works and even the figure of Shakespeare himself?

This section of English 190 satisfies the Shakespeare 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.


Research Seminar: Place-Love: Fiction and the Melancholy of Form

English 190

Section: 7
Instructor: Xin, Wendy Veronica
Time: MWF 3-4
Location: 41 Evans


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

Philosophy as a form has been governed by a sense of “homesickness.” Literary discourse has similarly grappled with a longing for remembered places. Thornfield Hall, Satis House, Brideshead Castle, the Isle of Skye, Manderley—from pristine estates and tattered ruins to English moors and Scottish islands, spaces memorialized in novels and films summon a deep-seated nostalgia for bygone eras, familiar characters, a certain way of life, scenes of reading recalled. This course will examine the spaces in and of fiction by interrogating exactly how our affective immersion within a narrative feels like a longing for the solidity of a physical or geographical site. When does a fictional structure take on the contours of “the real”? What do we mean when we talk about “space” in books that appear materially as nothing more than flat, solid, bounded things? How is the diegetic content of a novel or film enhanced by its formal and aesthetic representations of an entire invented cosmos with its own rules, characters, topography, texture? Why are narrative resolutions often premised on a return to a specific place, and what is it about this kind of “place-love”—always laced with a sense of repetitive yearning—that begins to resemble a kind of melancholy? While we will spend a good deal of class time puzzling over the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the selected texts, we will also read broadly across theories of narrative form, contemporary critical work on affect, nostalgia, and longing, and more recent investigations into the relationship between urban design, lived space, and human behavior.

Primary texts will include: Jane Eyre (1847) – Charlotte Brontë; Great Expectations (1861) – Charles Dickens; To the Lighthouse (1927) – Virginia Woolf; Brideshead Revisited (1945) Evelyn Waugh, as well as several films to be selected from the following list: Rebecca (1940) – dir. Alfred Hitchcock; Last Year at Marienbad (1961) – dir. Alain Resnais; Playtime (1967) dir. Jacques Tati; Summer Hours (L’Heure d’été) (2008) – dir. Olivier Assayas. Secondary readings will include: The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard; The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin; “Prefaces to the New York Edition,” Henry James; Place for Us, D. A. Miller; On Longing, Susan Stewart; “The Decoration of Houses,” Edith Wharton

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.


Research Seminar: Literatures of the Ocean

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

In this seminar we’ll explore literary (and some non-literary) representations of life at sea and of sailors, both offshore and on, primarily but not exclusively during the expansion of Britain’s first empire during the eighteenth century. We’ll explore formal techniques that attempted to bring the faraway spaces of the sea and the distant figure of the sea traveller home to British readers. We’ll read theories of sentiment and sympathy to think about how remote figures become compatriots with whom readers might feel. We’ll consider how print representations of an alien wooden world—the ship at sea—and of globe-travelling sailors constituted them, nonetheless, as British, particularly through depictions of nautical language. Pirates posed a challenge to this image of sailors, and we’ll think too about the significance of the popularity of pirate narratives. Exploring the imaginative possibilities the sea presented, we’ll read aesthetic theory to think about how the sea and sailors’ experiences at sea might function as aesthetic objects and perceptions. Our readings might take us in several alternative but clearly adjacent directions—imperial discourse, slavery, trans-Atlantic studies, literature and science—and other interests students might bring to the table, and students’ interests will shape some of our class discussions and certainly the research writing. We will move between seminar discussions on the readings and, increasingly as the semester moves forward, conversations about research and writing practices in the preparation of a 20-page research paper.  

Provisional Book List:  Daniel Defoe, Captain Singleton; A General History of Pirates; Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative; Tobias Smollett, Roderick Random; Frances Burney, Evelina; Poetry of John Dryden, James Thomson, William Falconer, William Cowper, Samuel Taylor Coleridge; accounts of the voyages of William Dampier, George Anson, and James Cook. Archival research materials might include naval songs, logs and journals of voyages. Philosophical writings of Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and recent scholarship on writing and the sea, including James Bunn, Margaret Cohen and Ian Baucom.

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 this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.


Research Seminar: Beowulf

English 190

Section: 9
Instructor: Thornbury, Emily V.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 50 Barrows


Book List

Bjork, Robert E., and John D. Niles: A Beowulf Handbook; Jack, George: Beowulf: A Student Edition; Orchard, Andy: A Critical Companion to Beowulf

Other Readings and Media

Students should also have one or more modern English translations for consultation.

Description

Beowulf is the longest, subtlest, and in many ways the strangest and most difficult Old English poem that has survived from Anglo-Saxon England. Since its rediscovery in the 18th century, we have learned much about its language and literary background, but many fundamental aspects of Beowulf remain unknown—including the time and place of its origin, and the identity and purpose of its author. In this seminar, we will read the whole of Beowulf closely in the original, alongside important critical and literary parallels that will help us understand the poem’s background, as well as the controversies surrounding its interpretation. Students will then conduct their own investigations into Beowulf and its many lingering mysteries.

While command of Old English is not a prerequisite, this seminar is ideal for students who have completed English 104 (Introduction to Old English) and would like to continue their study of Old English literature through its greatest surviving text.

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 this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or waiit-listing for this course.


Research Seminar: Hollywood in the 1930s

English 190

Section: 10
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 50 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

Our subject will be the theory and practice of mass entertainment in Hollywood from the birth of talking pictures to the start of W.W. II.  We'll sample the extraordinary range of films that Golden-Age Hollywood offered its consumers: from screwball comedies and gangster pictures to melodramas, westerns, feature-length animation, musicals, and horror.    

Most of the movies we'll discuss are available for rent or purchase from iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.  You may view all of them for free through the streaming service of our own Media Resources Center.  The only required text will be a Course Reader, which will gather relevant theory and criticism on the films as well as contemporaneous reviews and cultural commentaries.

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.


Research Seminar: The Literature of Immortality

English 190

Section: 11
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: C57 Hearst Field Annex


Book List

Gilgamesh; Borges, J. L.: The Immortal; Capek, K.: The Markropulos Case; Gray, John: The Immortalization Commission; Lucretius: On the Nature of Things; Shelley, Mary: The Mortal Immortal; Theroux, Marcel: Strange Bodies

Other Readings and Media

There is an amusing and successful internet meme in circulation somewhat apropos to the contemporary debate around the question of immortality: The meme comically declares "Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. The humanities can tell you why that isn't such a good idea." Of course, when offered the prospect of a radically extended lifespan in place of dinosaur clones running amok, one might assume the humanities would gather to the side of science: no to dinosaurs; yes to immortality! Who would not want more life, a longer life, a life that is not marked by the slow, yet inevitable effects of senescence and degeneration? The assumption that immortality would be not only universally desired, but a universal good, undergirds much of the popular, futurist writing. In February 2011 the cover of Time Magazine announced that the year 2045 would mark a time when humanity would achieve virtual immortality; again in 2013 Time presented the tech giant Google's exploration into anti-aging therapies, declaring the venture "Google vs. Death." In sharp contrast, however, if we were to tally the literary and cinematic depictions of immortality—from Gilgamesh to Zardoz—and include even philosophical responses to the possibility of a radically extended life, it appears humanists are as averse to eternal life as they are to dinosaurs in our midst. Why the discrepancy? Is life worth living without the knowledge of our own finitude?

In this seminar we will explore the literary depictions of life without death. We will begin with Greeks (Lucretius and Plato), and Gilgamesh, move through several works of speculative fiction, and conclude with theoretical works on life, death, and biopolitics.

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.


Research Seminar: California Literature & Film Since WWI

English 190

Section: 13
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: Tues. 5-8:30 PM (see the course description)
Location: D1 Hearst Field Annex


Other Readings and Media

See below.

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.

NOTE:  Although the time listed for this class on Cal Central is 5-8 P.M., this class will actually run till 8:30, but with a half-hour break from 6:30 to 7:00.

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.


Honors Course

English H195B

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 87 Dwinelle


Description

This course is a continuation of section 1 of H195A, taught by David Marno in Fall 2016. No new students will be admitted, and no new application needs to be submitted. Professor Marno will give out permission codes in class in November.

There will be no additional texts ordered for the spring semester of this course.


Honors Course

English H195B

Section: 2
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 115 Kroeber


Book List

Barthes, Roland: S/Z

Description

This is a continuation of section 2 of H195A, taught by Celeste Langan in Fall 2016. No new students will be admitted, and no new application form needs to be filled out. Professor Langan will give out permission codes in class in November.