Announcement of Classes: Fall 2019


Chaucer

English 111

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 229 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 class 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 12-1
Location: note new location: 120 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

A course reader.

Description

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

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


Shakespeare

English 117B

Section: 1
Instructor: Turner, James Grantham
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: note new location: 60 Barrows


Book List

Shakespeare, William: The Norton Shakespeare

Description

A survey of the second half of Shakespeare's working life, including the later "problem" comedies, the major tragedies and the magical romances, his final works. Lectures will touch upon the complete writings and present sample scenes (with a selection of sonnets), so that you will know at least something about every work. Discussions will focus on a smaller group of six plays, to be explored in depth: Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, King Lear, the Winter's Tale, The Tempest. If schedules permit I will also plan class visits to live performances and/or cinema presentations of relevant Shakespeare plays.

Quizzes with passages from the sample texts (ID and brief critical commentary); two papers on the in-depth plays; final exam.

The Norton Shakespeare (3rd edition ordered, but if you have earlier editions that's OK—the titles of plays may be different but the texts are the same)

 


Literature of the Later 18th Century

English 120

Section: 1
Instructor: Picciotto, Joanna M
Time: W 3-6
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Book List

Godwin, William: Caleb Williams: or, Things As They Are (Broadview edition)

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, available from Metro Publishing on Bancroft.

Description

We’ll investigate the relationship of literature to other arts in the period, particularly painting and landscape design. Our focus will be on engagements with “nature,” understood as the non-human world and the ground of culture. In this period, nature also served as the foundation for the “rights of man,” yet those imagined as living “closest” to nature—animals, the laboring poor, slaves, and women—could not find a secure place in this discourse. We will explore why.

Readings will be made available on the course website and as a reader (available from Metro Publishing on Bancroft), with the exception of Caleb Williams, copies of which will be available from University Press Books and me. Texts will include the following:

James Thomson, The Seasons; William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty; Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno; Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village; George Crabbe, The Village; Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery; Mary Woolstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women; William Godwin, Caleb Williams; Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Thomas Paine, Rights of Man; as well as poems by William Collins, Thomas Gray, Anna Letitia Barbauld, and Charlotte Smith. 

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


The Victorian Period

English 122

Section: 1
Instructor: Lavery, Grace
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: B5 Hearst Annex


Book List

Browning, Robert: Poetry; Darwin, Charles: The Descent of Man; Dickens, Charles: A Tale of Two Cities; Eliot, George: The Mill on the Floss; Hopkins, Gerard Manley: Poems and Prose

Description

The Victorian period (1837 - 1901) is a notoriously arbitrary periodic designation, tied to the reign of one particular woman, Victoria Alexandrina Hanover, otherwise known as Queen Victoria I. The period is not self-evidently defined by any generic or intellectual movement (like “modernism” or “romanticism”) nor around an explicit or implicit claim about its historical significance (like “medieval” or “early modern”). That relative underdetermination, however, attests to the extraordinary power, diversity, and complexity of the period’s cultural and political production. Produced in a period in which the democratic franchise, basic literacy in English, and the power and range of the British Empire increased exponentially, and the cost of printing books plummeted, Victorian literature formulated definitive accounts of the central problematics of modernity. This lecture course comprises readings of a small set of canonical Victorian texts through which we will explore and contest some of those accounts, and through which we will explore some of the generic developments of the period (the collapse of the marriage plot; the supersession of romanticism by realism; the experimental tensions between subjective lyricism and the objective demands of meter); as well as exploring through literature the themes of democracy and its limitations; the inter-relations of race, empire, ethnicity, and colony; sexuality and desire; character, determinism, and ethics; historicity and the question of the “post-historical”; evolutionary system-building and the question of instinct; the relationship between sex and gender; secularity and mysticism; globalization and the virtual intimacies of a networked world. 


The 20th-Century Novel

English 125D

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 209 Dwinelle


Book List

Carpentier, Alejo: The Lost Steps; Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie; Gibson, William: Neuromancer; Hardy, Thomas: Jude the Obscure; Mann, Thomas: Doctor Faustus; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

This course is a 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. 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 phonomenon of imperialism, the asymmetrical relations of power between center and periphery, widened the scope and influence of fictive milieu? We will conclude at the cusp of the 21st century with a work of speculative fiction.


Modern Drama

English 128

Section: 1
Instructor: Blanton, C. D.
Time: MW 3-4:30
Location: 300 Wheeler


Description

This course will trace the theater's itinerary as form and idea across the twentieth century, attending to the stage as both a writerly medium and a space that contests received literary ideas. We will begin in the Europe of the fin-de-siècle, with landmark experiments by Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Alfred Jarry, before turning to modernism's most influential theorizations of the form, in Antonin Artaud's Theater of Cruelty and Bertolt Brecht's Epic Theater. After lingering in a few of Samuel Beckett's plays, from Waiting for Godot and Endgame to Krapp's Last Tape and Not I, we will conclude with the work of some of a few playwrights working in more recent decades, from Harold Pinter and Mac Wellman to Sarah Kane and Suzan-Lori Parks.


American Literature: 1800-1865

English 130B

Section: 1
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: note new location: 200 Wheeler


Book List

Fern, Fanny: Ruth Hall; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Levine, Robert: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. B (9th ed.); Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick; Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass (1855 ed.)

Other Readings and Media

Photocopied reader (available at Copy Central, 2411 Telegraph Ave.)

Description

We will read the extraordinary fiction, poetry, essays, and speeches of this period, including works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Fanny Fern, Herman Melville, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. We will pay particular attention to literary form and technique, to social and political context, and to the ideological formations and transformations of these decades, especially the urgent debates about democracy, slavery, race, gender, sexuality, individuality, theology, economic system, social reform, the role of writers, and the power and limits of words. Two midterms and one final examination will be required. 


American Literature: 1900-1945: Class, Race, Critique, Rewound

English 130D

Section: 1
Instructor: Leong, Andrew Way
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Book List

DuBois, W.E.B.: The Souls of Black Folk; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Smedley, Agnes: Daughter of Earth; Warren, Robert Penn: All the King's Men; Wharton, Edith: The House of Mirth

Description

This course is a retrospective or "rewound" survey of American literature and criticism from 1945 to 1900. We'll begin in the 1940s, working our way back in time, not only through key works in prose and poetry, but also through contemporaneous works of literary and cultural criticism. Although "theory" and "literature" are often presented in isolation from each other, the early 20th century provides excellent opportunities for understanding how critical practices and ideas we might take for granted today (e.g., close reading, critique, or sociological analyses of race and class) emerged in dialogue with the production of American literature. For the 1940s, we'll look at how the "close reading" techniques developed by the New Critics centered in the American South might be read in tandem with the political anxieties in a work like Robert Penn Warren's novel All the King's Men (1946). We'll also look at selections from Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), a work produced by two Frankfurt School scholars in exile in the United States, and consider how their insights into the technological transformations of mass culture might inform our readings of American jazz and stories like John Cheever's "The Enormous Radio" (1947). For the 1930s, we'll review how the precursors for the New Criticism among the "Southern Agrarian" or "Fugitives" movement in poetry might be read in contrast to the critical anthropological work of Zora Neale Hurston, both as a novelist in her Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), but also as an essayist in "Characteristics of Negro Expression" (1934). As we move into the 1920s and 1910s, we'll shift to an analysis of poetic, novelistic, and critical works of the Harlem Renaissance before turning to conflicts over the "bourgeois" character of expatriate modernist writers (e.g., Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound) with the proletarian and socialist writings of figures such as Mike Gold and Agnes Smedley. We'll conclude in the 1910s and 1900s through readings of suffragist Charlotte Perkins Gilman and suffrage opponent Edith Wharton, followed by readings of the sociological and journalistic writings of W.E.B. Dubois and Ida B. Wells.

One final exam and two take-home midterms will be required.

*The required books list is still in flux, so please do not purchase until you confirm the final selection of the texts with the instructor.


Contemporary Literature

English 134

Section: 1
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Hejinian, Lyn
Time: Lectures MW 12-1 in 141 McCone + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 10-11; sec. 102: F 12-1; sec. 103: Th 11-12; sec. 104: Th 1-2)
Location:


Book List

Clevidence, Cody-Rose: Beast Feast; Coates, Ta-Nehisi: Between the World and Me; Gladman, Renee: Calamaties; Hayes, Terrance: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin; Lerner, Ben: 10:04; Tei Yamashita, Karen: I Hotel

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

In this course we will look at examples of very recently published literary works across a range of genres. We’ll explore some of the many ways that writerly innovation is challenging aesthetic norms (including those of “the novel,” “the poem,” and “the essay”), psychosocial norms (who is “I”? where are “we”? what should we do?), and cultural expectations (what does literature do? what is reading for?). A central question will focus attention on the ways in which some key contemporary writers are experimenting with literary forms in the context of difficult issues. Some of the works are about difficulty, some of the works themselves constitute a kind of difficulty. The texts that we’ll be reading are dynamic, often vertiginous, sometimes quite weird, and always intriguing. In addition to the required books, readings will be available in a course reader and/or on bCourses.


Special Topics: Harlem Renaissance

English C136

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 310 Hearst Mining


Book List

Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Johnson, James Weldon: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Locke, Alain: The New Negro; McKay, Claude: Harlem Shadows; Toomer, Jean: Cane; Wright, Richard: Black Boy

Other Readings and Media

All other materials will be available in PDF format on the course website.

Description

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement of black artists and writers in the 1920s. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan, the movement extended outward through international collaboration. We will be reading works by writers including Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston as well as manifestos about the nature and function of black art. Themes include migration and metropolitan life, primitivism and the avant garde, diaspora and exile, passing and identity, sexuality and secrecy, and the relationship between modern art and folk tradition. Weekly writing, two exams, and two essays.

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


Chicana/o Literature and Culture Since 1910: Riding Chicanx Literature's First Wave and Beyond, c/s

English 137B

Section: 1
Instructor: Reyes, Robert L
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Book List

Acosta, Oscar Zeta: The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Anzaldua, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera; Castillo, Ana: Loverboys; Cisneros, Sandra: Caramelo; Hernandez, Jaime: The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.: A Love and Rockets Book; Munoz, Manuel: What You See in the Dark; Rivera, Tomas: Y no se lo trago la tierra (And the earth did not devour him)

Description

"The student of Chicano literature will look back at this group and this first period as the foundation of whatever is to come, even if only as the generation against whom those to come rebel. The best of the best will survive—but then survival is an old Chicano tradition."—Juan Bruce-Novoa, Chicano Authors: Inquiry by Interview

Nearly forty years have passed since Juan Bruce-Novoa published Chicano Authors. An early Chicano literary critic, Bruce-Novoa documents this boom of creative writers in his book of interviews, naming them the "first wave." This first wave—which he and others have come to regard as a consequence of the Chicano Movement—will serve as a reference point. In this course, we will encounter some of the most influential practitioners of Chicanx letters. This will include a variety of genres and media: novels, short stories, poetry, essays, film, comics, and music. Among the many themes in our exploration, we will observe how these writers imagine place, history, citizenship, race, class, gender, nation, the body, art, community, and the cosmos. We will begin with the idea of the first wave as a "guidepost" to study this literature, to question where and when it began, and to consider how it became Chicanx Literature.

Please note the change in instructor and the revised course description (as of August 7).  The book list has also changed recently.


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

English 141

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Melanie Abrams
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 310 Hearst Mining


Description

This course will introduce students to the study of creative writing—fiction and poetry (with a brief dip into playwriting). 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 exercises 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.

Course packet available at Instant Copying and Laser Printing, 2138 University Ave (between Shattuck Ave. & Walnut St.), (510) 704-9700


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Instructor: McFarlane, Fiona
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 104 GPB


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 with a focus on the craft of writing. In this course, we will be readers, writers, and editors of short fiction. We'll read a range of published short stories in order to discover the technical ways in which a short story is crafted. We'll discuss topics like voice, structure, suspense, beauty, humor, point of view, conflict, detail, and dialogue; and we'll spend time looking carefully at sentences and how they're made. Short writing exercises will provide opportunities to explore new voices, techniques, and ideas while practicing elements of craft.

Each student will write two short stories over the course of the semester. Students will read and edit each other's stories, write formal responses, and workshop the stories in class. Alongside these workshops, we'll discuss revision, publication, process, and practice. Attendance is mandatory.

To read about when and where the results of the applications will be posted, click here.

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 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 25.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time:
Location:


Description

This section of English 143A has been canceled (June 4, 2019).


Verse

English 143B

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

The question is whether or not poetry can be more than a series of successful gestures, as F. Scott Fitzgerald put it rather long ago, or arrive at something other than the statement or restatement of an emotional truth or idea. Can poetry intervene? What’s the relationship of poetry to public iconography, to issues of the public representation of race and class and ability and gender?

Can poetry challenge the way we look at culture and language? The argument of this course is that it can and must. (And who is this “we”?)

Workshop  Discussions.Field trips. Weekly writing assignments. All students will participate in a public, out-of-class poetry-as-intervention project; the nature and scope of this project will depend on individual interests.

Texts will include Best American Poetry 2019 (edited by David Lehman and Major Jackson) and books by the fall Holloway series visitors—Time Slips Right Before Your Eyes (Erica Hunt), Wobble (Rae Armantrout), and The Ants (Sawako Nakayasu)— plus supplemental materials TBA.

To read about when and where the results of the applications will be posted, click here.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 pages of your poems (any combination of long or short poems or fragments of poems, the total length not exceeding five pages), 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 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 25.


Prose Nonfiction: Creative Nonfiction: Our Culture, Our Lives

English 143N

Section: 1
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 107 Mulford


Description

This course is a creative nonfiction workshop in which you'll learn to write about many different types of art and culture, from TV and film to music and the built environment, while developing your own voice as a writer and reflecting on what has shaped your own sensibility. For examples of the wide variety of student writing produced in earlier versions of the course—from memoir to cultural criticism—visit "the Annex" at www.medium.com/the-annex.

Our semester will be guided by a few basic questions: What can we demand from culture, and how are we transformed by it? What does it mean to love or hate a song, TV show, work of art, or film genre? How do our arguments about a particular piece of "culture" connect to broader dreams about politics, freedom, community, and our sense of the possible? How are we shaped by our encounters with specific works of art? And more generally, how do we understand how we've become who we've become?

On several occasions, we will be honored to host a vist with an esteemed writer, whose work will be featured in the class. Previous visitors have included the New Yorker's Hua Hsu, Slate's Lili Loofbourow, journalist Rachel Syme, novelist Amitava Kumar, and Macarthur 'genius grant' winner Josh Kun.

To read about when and where the results of the applications will be posted, click here.

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 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 25.


Prose Nonfiction: Food Writing

English 143N

Section: 2
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 51 Evans


Book List

Gilbert, Sandra M.: Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing

Description

This is a creative nonfiction writing workshop focused on the topic of food.  Food writing encompasses more than snooty restaurant reviews or poetic descriptions of the taste of wine, coffee, and chocolate.  Food writing can include memoir, cultural critique, and scientific explication.  Topics writers might pursue include but are not limited to: food traditions, food taboos, food trends, fast food, slow food, junk food, fad diets, eating disorders, food as medicine, food production, agribusiness, organic and sustainable farming and  fishery, migrant farm labor, restaurant work, food science, bioengineering of food, food deserts, hunger, etc.

Students will read examples of food writing from the assigned anthology and other sources.  They will also read and discuss their classmates’ work.  Written assignments will include 3 short exercises (approximately 2 pages each) and 2 full-length essays (approximately 8-20 pages), plus formal critiques of classmates’ work.

To read about when and where the results of the applications will be posted, click here.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course.  To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-8 pages of your writing (which need not be food-related but should not be academic writing, fiction, or poetry), 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 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 25.


Introduction to Literary Theory

English 161

Section: 1
Instructor: Hale, Dorothy J.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: note new location: 219 Dwinelle


Book List

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Third Edition

Other Readings and Media

A Course Reader produced by Copy Central is also required.

Description

In this course we will study how literary theory developed as a field in the twentieth century, even as it regularly drew its principles, methods, and inspiration from other academic disciplines and social discourses.  Our focus will be on the major theoretical schools: formalism, structuralism and post-structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, New Historicism, identity politics, and post-colonialism.  We will examine the differences in value and method that define these approaches and also consider the ways critical traditions retool themselves in response to internal or external debate and critique.  Our abiding concern will be to ask what counts as “the literary” for each theorist and what is the role and function of literature in each argument.  Sometimes the literary will be defined explicitly; other times it will be represented by the exemplary literary texts each school enlists in its theoretical enterprise. 

To develop skills as close readers of theory, students will write two short papers (7-8 pages each).  Students will also complete a take-home final, which will give the opportunity for synthetic thinking.


Special Topics: Utopian and (mostly) Dystopian Movies

English 165

Section: 1
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Time: W 5-8 PM (note slight change in time; ends at 8:00 rather than 8:30)
Location: note new location: 24 Wheeler


Book List

Recommended: 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; Zamiatin, E.: We

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 MetropolisTriumph of the Will, Modern Times, 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, Brazil, THX1138, Gattaca, 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 note the new instructor of this course (as of August 23).


Special Topics: The Pleasures of Allegory

English 165

Section: 2
Instructor: Wilson, Evan
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: note new location: 126 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Course reader containing: The Dream of the Rood; Old English and Anglo-Latin riddles; medieval saints' lives; excerpts from the New Testament and The Romance of the Rose; ancient, medieval, and modern critical and theoretical texts

Description

If you want to understand both how stories are put together and how we experience stories, allegory is not a bad place to start. Broadly speaking, an allegory is a story that demands to be read on more than one level. One version of this—maybe the most classic or typical—features personified abstractions such as "Peace," "Justice," or "Wrath" acting out their identities or explaining who they are. But the boundary between allegory and related phenomena like symbolism and metaphor is anything but clear, and allegory may be more like a tendency than a discreet category. Oh, and just to complicate things more, it's also a method of reading.

How do we know when we're reading a text with symbolic meaning? When are we justified in reading texts symbolically, and when not? What role does allegory play in shaping narratives and our experience of reading those narratives? These are some of the questions we'll pursue as we read ancient, medieval, and modern allegories and theories of allegory and symbolism. Our texts may sometimes use allegory to make a point, but they also create unique and unforgettable literary experiences. We'll consider what role allegory plays in that process—what sparks may fly from the tension between symbolic and narrative logic.

Note: All texts not in Modern or Middle English will be read in translation.

Course readings: The Song of Roland; Chaucer, Dream Visions and Other Poems; Dante, Inferno; Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

This section of English 165 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


Special Topics: Getting Global: Literature & Film of an Expanding & Unequal World

English 166

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 103 GPB


Book List

Aidoo, Ama Ata: Our Sister Killjoy; Ghosh, Amitav: The Shadow Lines; Greene, Graham: The Quiet American; Kincaid, Jamaica: A Small Place; Ozeki, Ruth: My Year of Meats

Other Readings and Media

Films may include: Apocalypse Now, The Constant Gardener, The Host, Dirty Pretty Things, and In this World

Description

This is a course about literature and cinema in our increasingly global world. We will look at some of the most exciting pieces of fiction and film, most of them centered on the theme of travel and human relationships forged across continents.  What do they tell us about globalization, its histories, and the forms it is now taking? Do they celebrate global connections, or do they tell a tale of a world increasingly unequal and divided? How do the local and the global intersect in the imagination of artists from different parts of the world? And how do they intersect in our own imaginations?


Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

English 166

Section: 2
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: note new location: 107 GPB


Description

This course examines various intersections between literature and visual media in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on texts concerned with film and its cultural influence. We will read novels, 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. The class will consider such topics as the status of reading in a culture of viewing, the politics of mass entertainment, celebrity and the performance of indviduality, and the commercial origins of the modern work of art. Of particular interest will be texts that directly address the mythology of Hollywood--produced by writers who themselves borrow liberally from film technique as an aesthetic resource.

Readings will include Bram Stoker, Dracula; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon; Nathanel West, The Day of the Locust; William Gibson, Pattern Recognition; Dana Spiotta, Innocents and Others. Books for the course will be available at University Press Books before the semester begins. 

We will also screen several films, including The Jazz SingerSunset BoulevardSingin’ in the Rain; and Peeping Tom.


Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

English 166

Section: 3
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: MW 3-4:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

One of the ideas behind this course offering is that poetry and essays (life-writing, creative nonfiction, "essaying," etc.) have similar aims or field-marks—both are literary vehicles of exploration and documentation; both value experimental approaches; and both traffic with versions of the incomplete.

Another idea is that various wide particulars make up each of us—social class, race, ability, gender, place of birth, etc. These particulars endow us with privileges, deficits, blindnesses, insights, and the like. Prompts in this course will encourage students to document these and explore how they qualify us (and how or if they obligate us) to "speak" from various positions. The purpose of writing in this course is to engage public language on one hand and personal (meaning specific) observations and experiences on the other. The purpose here is to pursue consciousness. The experiment is to attempt to do so in the forms of poetry and the personal essay.

A third idea is that hybrid forms—works that defy a single categorization or order, works that join rather than exclude—are of great interest.

Texts (tentative list): Borderlands/ La Frontera, by Gloria Anzaldua; Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Marvelous Bones of Time, by Brenda Coultas; The Art of the Personal Essay, by Philip Lopate; American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang. 

Supplemental readings by Dorothy Allison, James Baldwin, CAConrad, Richard Ford, Gish Jen, X.J. Kennedy, Maxine Hong Kingston, Claudia Rankine, Adrienne Rich, Tess Slesinger, others.

Some points of departure:

How Scared Should People on the Border Be? (New York Times headline, 31 March 2017)

The situation is aggravated by the tremor that breaks into discourse on race. It is further complicated by the fact that the habit of ignoring race is understood to be a graceful, even generous, liberal gesture. To notice is to recognize an already discredited difference. (Toni Morrison)

The sea cannot be fenced./ el Mar does not stop at borders. (Gloria Anzaldua)


Special Topics: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

English 166

Section: 4
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 200 Wheeler


Book List

Hamid, M.: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Kingston, M.H.: China Men; Ma, L.: Severance; Murayama, M.: All I asking for is my body; Okada, J.: No-No Boy; Shteyngart, G.: Super Sad True Love Story; Tsiang, H.T.: And China Has Hands; 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 global 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 alongside notions of post-race, post-nation, as well as post-apocalpyse.

Note: Since the reading list may change over the summer, please don't purchase books until after the first class.


Special Topics: Charles Dickens

English 166

Section: 7
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Dickens, Charles: Bleak House (Penguin; ISBN 978-0141439723; 1036 pages); Dickens, Charles: Great Expectations (Penguin; ISBN 978-0141439563; 544 pages); Dickens, Charles: Hard Times (Penguin; ISBN 978-0141439679; 368 pages); Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist (Penguin; ISBN 978-0141439747; 608 pages); Dickens, Charles: Our Mutual Friend (Penguin; ISBN 978-0140434972; 928 pages)

Description

Close readings of several of Charles Dickens's major works.

Grading will be based on two eight-page essays, on-time completion of all assigned reading, and attendance and participation in discussion.

Please purchase the indicated specific editions of the assigned texts. There will be frequent references to individual passages, so having one pagination in common is essential.


Special Topics: Green Thought in a Green Shade

English 166

Section: 8
Instructor: Turner, James Grantham
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 220 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

ALL MATERIALS DOWNLOADABLE, to be printed out by individual students as needed 

Description

The natural world and the non-urban environment have inspired writers and artists, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, but they have also provoked intense critical debate, from the “politics of landscape” in the 1970s to ecological readings of literature now. Interpreters are torn between worshipful appreciation of the beauty and deep suspicion of the “ideology of Nature” – what makes it natural? Whose interests does it serve? What does it leave out? The main focus of this course will be the dream worlds created by poets: the Garden of Eden, the pastoral Golden Age, the ideal Classical landscape, the formal garden, the country estate, the “natural” wilderness. But we will also look behind the scenes, at the economic realities of farming and country life, and the early history of problems that are still with us (pollution, destructive technology). Most of our readings will come from English literature of the period – from Marvell*, Milton and Margaret Cavendish to Pope and some early Romantics – but I will bring in comparisons from painting, sculpture and landscape architecture. We will also sample critical writings on “the Country and the City” and the ecological approach to literature. All materials will be curated by me and available for downloading from bCourses.

In the last weeks, after we have finished the readings on the syllabus, students will select a work of environmental art or literature (from any period) and present their own interpretation to the class, showing how the readings encountered in this Special Topics course have enhanced their understanding of it. These individual presentations may be submitted instead of a final exam.

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

*Title of the course comes from Andrew Marvell, “The Garden”


Special Topics: New Orleans

English 166

Section: 9
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 229 Dwinelle


Book List

Armstrong, Louis: Satchmo; Berry, Jason: City of a Million Dreams; Evans, Freddi: Congo Square; Faulkner, William: Absalom, Absalom!; Hurston, Zora Neale: Mules and Men; Wagner, Bryan: The Life and Legend of Bras Coupé

Other Readings and Media

All other readings and related media will be available on the course website.

Description

We will be thinking about the culture and history of New Orleans as represented in fiction, folklore, and documentary cinema. We will also engage with the current controversy over monuments and memorialization in the city. Two comprehensive exams, one longer essay, and one collaborative creative project.


Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov

English 166

Section: 11
Instructor: Naiman, Eric
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 166 Barrows


Book List

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

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 10 pages) on topics to be chosen in consultation with the professor. Penalites 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.


Special Topics in American Cultures: Race and Revision in Early America

English 166AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Donegan, Kathleen
Time: Lectures MW 1-2 in 50 Birge + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3; sec. 104: Th 10-11; sec. 105: Th 2-3; sec. 106: Th 4-5)
Location:


Book List

Brown, W. W. : Clotel, or the President's Daughter; Cesaire, A.: A Tempest; Conde, M.: I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Jefferson, T.: Notes on the State of Virginia; Morrison, T. : A Mercy; Sa, Z.: Impressions of an Indian Childhood; Shakespeare, W. : The Tempest

Description

In this course, we will read both historical and literary texts to explore how racial categories came into being in New World cultures, and how these categories were tested, inhabited, and re-imagined by the people they sought to define. Our study will be organized around four early American sites:  Landfall in the North Atlantic, Pocahontas at Jamestown, Witchcraft at Salem, and Jefferson’s Virginia. In each of these places Native, European, and African ways of making meaning collided, and concepts of racial difference were formed. These four sites will function as interpretive nodes.  For each, we will read a selection of primary documents, and then explore how racial constructions forged at each site have been re-imagined and revised throughout American cultural history.

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

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Literature and Disability

English 175

Section: 1
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 289 Cory


Book List

Coetzee, J.M.: Slow Man; Crosby, Christina: A Body, Undone; Haddon, Mark: The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Kleege, Georgina: Blind Rage; Melville, Herman: Short Works; Oe, Kenzaburo: A Quiet Life; Rankine, Claudia: Don't Let Me Be Lonely; Shakespeare, William: Richard III; Shell, Marc: Stutter

Other Readings and Media

Richard Loncraine, Richard III (1995 film); Susan Schweik, The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public, "Kicked to the Curb"; Douglas C. Baynton, Defectives in the Land:  Immigration in the Age of Eugenics; Temple Grandin, Thinking in Pictures; Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep; Lauren Berlant, "Slow Death (Sovereignty, Obesity, Lateral Agency)"

Description

This course will allow students to explore theories and representations of disability.  We’ll wonder whether it’s possible to develop an inclusive, common “theory” adequate to various disability categories (sensory, cognitive, motor; illness/injury; ugliness/fatness/queerness; legal disabilities of race/gender/class/religion/citizenship). We will then shift to an examination of the role of literature in the "humanization" of disability, and read a series of texts that work at once to represent disability and to "crip" norms of representation. In addition to studying literary representations of disability, we will also try to think about how literature, as a practice markedly “different” from ordinary communication, in its “extra-ordinariness,” can be understood through the lens of disability. Finally, we'll consider the extent to which print literature is "disabled" by the advent of new media —which will give us a chance to consider ways media and other designed objects, including designed environments, produce as well as neutralize disabilities.

Assignments will include two short (5-8 page) critical essays, a group or individual presentation project, and regular discussion posts.  There will be no final exam, but regular attendance is required.


Literature and Philosophy

English 177

Section: 1
Instructor: Zhang, Dora
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: note new location: 102 Moffitt


Description

This class will be organized around two questions that have been of perennial concern to literary writers and philosophers: who are we? How should we live? We’ll read a wide range of texts that respond to these questions in different ways, addressing issues such as: the nature of the self, social constructions of identity, good and evil, faith and uncertainty, individualism and collectivity, power and knowledge, and our responsibility towards others (including non-human ones). Along the way we will also think about the intersections between philosophy and literature, the unique constraints and possibilities of each genre, and what it means to read them together.

Authors may include: Descartes, Locke, Hume, Mill, Nietzsche, Du Bois, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Foucault, Kafka, Woolf, Proust, LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Coetzee, Ishiguro.


Comedy

English 180C

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 102 Wheeler


Description

Tragedy has been deemed dead almost for almost as long as it has existed; for some, it gave up its soul when philosophy appeared in ancient Greece, for others, it's capitalism and action movies that killed it in the twentieth century. But while tragedy has been dying or dead, comedy has been alive and well: from Aristophanes to Always Sunny in Philadelphia and from Plautus to Crazy Rich Asians, the past two and a half millennia could easily be described as an age in which comedy has been ever more successful. It has been so successful and pervasive, in fact, that today when many are calling for comedy's reformation and some are declaring its end, it appears hard for us to imagine a world without it. What makes comedy such an exceptionally successful genre, and are we seeing the end of its success today?

In this class, we talk about these and related questions by looking at one specific device of comedy: the comedic anagnorisis, aka happy ending. For most modern conceptions of comedy, the key feature of the genre is that it generates laughter. The classical defniition of comedy, in turn, emphasizes that comedy is about people "worse than us" in a social or ethical sense, and often both. How does the third most conspicuous and widespread feature of comedy, that fact that it ought to end well, relate to these two? What is this device supposed to do, and how have writers and artists used it from ancient Greece to 21st-century America? We'll ponder these questions by looking at the works of comedians from Aristophanes and Plautus to Kleist and Wilde, as well as twentieth- and twenty-first-century comedies from Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night to Hannah Gadsby's Nanette.

Readings include a selection of both “old” and “new” comedies (from Aristophanes’s Lysistrata to Spike Lee’s Chiraq, and from Plautus’s Menaechmi to Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro), as well as a case study of how a classical Roman comedy, Plautus’s Amphitryon, was reimagined throughout the ages from the English Renaissance to German Romanticism by authors such as Heywood, Dryden, Molière, and Kleist. We’ll look at what standup has inherited from comedy and what it has added to the genre, and also read a small selection of theoretical texts from Aristotle to Sianne Ngai. Assignments include three short papers and a final-take home exam.


The Short Story

English 180H

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time:
Location:


Description

This course has been canceled (June 4, 2019).


Research Seminar: Creative Sentences

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Hejinian, Lyn
Falci, Eric
Time: MW 9-10:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Burns Florey, Kitty: Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once praised a sentence of his own, noting that it was 241 words long and that the main verb didn’t appear until the 216th word. Is that wait for a verb too long? Gertrude Stein wrote this sentence: “Very little daisies and very little bluettes and an artificial bird and a very whited anemone which is allowed and then after it is very well placed by an unexpected invitation to carry a basket by an unexpected invitation to carry a basket back and forth back and forth and a river there is this difference between a river here and a river there.” Can anyone make sense of such a sentence? Do sentences express sense or create it? And what about us—what are we doing when we create sentences, and what are sentences doing as they are created?  In this seminar, we will read a lot of sentences, one by one—from novels, poems, plays, essays, and letters. We’ll read essays about sentences, old and new. We will also create sentences. And we will create with sentences—though what we’ll end up with remains to be, well, created. Only one required book will be assigned. The rest of the materials will be provided in a course reader and/or on bCourses.

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

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


Research Seminar: Shakespeare and Company

English 190

Section: 2
Instructor: Landreth, David
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Bevington, David: English Renaissance Drama: a Norton Anthology; Gurr, Andrew: Playgoing in Shakespeare's London; Shakespeare, William: The Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays and Sonnets (3rd ed.)

Description

In this research seminar, we'll be considering Shakespeare, his playwriting rivals, his actorly partners, and their audiences as participants in the burgeoning entertainment industry of early modern London. We'll attend to the conditions and possibilities of performance on different stages; we'll trace the development of theatrical genres across the work of our playwrights; we'll situate the theater in the fabric of urban experience; and we'll consider what makes each of our plays extraordinary as well as what they seem to have in common. We will learn to work with early modern evidence for the theater's context as well as with modern secondary sources, and to marshal research into a complex and wide-ranging critical argument.

This section of English 190 can fulfill the pre-1800 requirement of the English major; it does NOT fulfill the Shakespeare requirement. Students should have fulfilled the Shakespeare requirement before enrolling in the class.

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

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


Research Seminar: American Transcendentalism

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 206 Dwinelle


Book List

Fuller, Margaret: The Essential Margaret Fuller; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Blithedale Romance; Myerson, Joel: Transcendentalism: A Reader; Thoreau, Henry David: A Year in Thoreau's Journal; Thoreau, Henry David: Walden

Other Readings and Media

Photocopied reader (available at Copy Central, 2411 Telegraph Ave.)

Description

We will immerse ourselves in the literary, political, philosophical, and aesthetic thought of the influential mid-nineteenth-century movement in the United States known as Transcendentalism. We will read fiction, essays, autobiographies, and poems by a range of writers inside and outside the shifting group, including major figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau; contributions by other Transcendentalist writers such as Bronson Alcott, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Theodore Parker, and Jones Very; and responses (often critical) by Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville. Over the course of the semester, we will trace the development of thought and the debate among these writers about knowledge, intuition, contradiction, spirituality, individualism, economic critique, the natural environment, slavery, women’s rights, and the effort to imagine and enact alternative communities (especially the social experiment at Brook Farm in Massachusetts and Thoreau’s individualistic experiment at Walden Pond). We also will look closely at the contents of the Transcendentalist periodical The Dial (1840-1844). Course requirements include oral presentations and a substantial research paper (20 pages) written in stages across the semester.

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

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


Research Seminar: Cli Fi (Climate Change Fiction)

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Year of the Flood; Bacigalupi, Paolo: The Windup Girl; Hamid, Mohsin: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia; Jemision, N.K.: The Fifth Season; Lerner, Ben: 10:04; Watkins, Claire Vaye: Gold Fame Citrus

Description

How do we imagine the unimaginable? When it comes to global climate change, we have for the most part avoided imagining it altogether. But contemporary fiction writers are increasingly turning their gaze, and ours, toward the impact and meanings of this accelerating environmental crisis of our own making. In this class, we will consider the rise of the genre known since 2008 as “cli fi,” exploring the generic and narrative forms that are currently being used to figure forth the eco-cataclysm we now face. We will address topics including speculative/science fiction and literary realism; scales of geological time and planetary place; sudden catastrophe and slow violence; environmental injustice in the Global South and North; capitalism, imperialism, and infrastructure; melancholy, guilt, and the potential for political agency; and non-human actors and a world without us.  

In additional to the required reading and viewing, assignments for the course will include in-class presentations, online responses, short essays and reviews, and a longer analytical essay using secondary sources.

Novels will likely include some of those listed, but the list hasn't yet been finalized, so don’t buy the books until after our first class meeting. We will also read some non-fiction essays and short stories, and watch at least one movie.

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

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


Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

English 190

Section: 5
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: Americanah; Kincaid, Jamaica: Lucy; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Lovelace, Earl: The Dragon Can't Dance; Miller, Kei: Augustown; Selvon, Sam: The Lonely Londoners; Smith, Zadie: NW

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader with historical, theoretical, and fictional texts by writers including: Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Paul Gilroy, Hazel Carby, Saidiya Hartman. 

Films will include Lagos/Koolhaas and Black Panther.

Description

An intensive research seminar exploring the relationship between urban landscapes and postcolonial literary cultures. Readings in theories of postcoloniality and diaspora as well as studies in city planning and architecture will accompany close examination of novels, films, and music. Weekly written responses and in-class workshopping will build incrementally to a final independent research paper on a city of your choice.

Please contact instructor before purchasing texts, which will be available at University Press Books (Bancroft Avenue) at the start of the semester.

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

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


Research Seminar: Literature on Trial: Romanticism, Law, Justice

English 190

Section: 6
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Book List

Brooks, Peter: Troubling Confessions; Coetzee, J. M.: Life and Times of Michael K.; Godwin, William: Caleb Williams; Godwin, William: Enquiry Concerning Political Justice; Kafka, Franz: The Trial; Kleist, H. von: Selected Writings; Shelley, Mary : Frankenstein; Shelley, P.B.: Poetry and Prose; Wordsworrth & Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads

Other Readings and Media

W. Benjamin, "Critique of Violence"; J. Derrida, "Before the Law"; Carl Dreyer, Joan of Arc; E. Scarry, from On Beauty and Being Just

Description

This course will introduce students to “law and literature” studies, focusing on the way literature imagines the relation between law and justice.  We’ll concentrate on literature of the Romantic period, which often foregrounds the injustice of laws, and represents persons (from beggars, trespassers, and refugees to gods and sovereigns), actions (from shooting a bird to killing a father), and events (from revolution to war) outside the law.  How and to what end does literary representation encourage the exercise of aesthetic judgment, and does aesthetic judgment correct or corrupt legal judgment?

We’ll focus in particular on the intersections of language and the law.  Many Romantic dramas, novels, and poems are structured around some sort of trial scene and/or confession.  What does it mean to speak “before the law”?  How is the concept of “testimony” transformed when it takes the form of fictional or poetic utterance?  How do so-called “sovereign” speech acts like commands and promises relate to law and justice? What effects does censorship have on literary expression?  (We'll consider actual trials for sedition and blasphemy.) If poetry is "pleading before unjust tribunals" (Wordsworth), in what sense are poets, as Shelley declared, “unacknowledged legislators of the world”?

The seminar will conclude by considering a larger historical arc, tracing the figure of injustice from Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas to Kafka’s The Trial to Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K.

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

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


Research Seminar: Ideology

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

Course Readers and Course Website

Description

This research seminar will focus on how the concept of ideology historically has been employed by literary and cultural critics. During the first half of the semester, the reading material will include major theoretical statements on the meaning and significance of ideology. In the second half of the semester, we’ll ground our theoretical explorations by reading several short stories that will likely include works by James Baldwin, John Berger, Raymond Carver, Sandra Cisneros, Mahasweta Devi, Isak Dinesen, Andre Dubus, Marguerite Duras, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Gabriel García Márquez, Flannery O’Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, David Quammen, Manuel Rojas, Dylan Thomas, and Richard Wright. In reading these works, we’ll aim to identify the ideology of characters, subjects, systems, and texts. Students will be required to write a research paper and give an oral presentation. All reading materials will be available in two course readers and on bCourses.

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

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


Research Seminar: Inventing Nature and Constructing Race

English 190

Section: 10
Instructor: McWilliams, Ryan
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 31 Evans


Description

Scholars have recently argued that race and nature were "invented" around the turn of the nineteenth century. We'll begin by unpacking their counterintuitive arguments: what does it mean to argue that fundamental conceptual categories exist only because of a particular ideological history? Additionally, we'll ask whether the so-called "invention of nature" and "construction of race" merely temporally overlapped, or if they share a genealogical history.

To address these questions, we'll explore ways that natural scientists, political thinkers, and creative writers have looked to the nonhuman world in their efforts to codify human difference. In the first half of the course, we'll transition from enlightenment scientists, who believed that environmental factors such as climate determined racial identity, to their successors who argued that race was biological and immutable. In the second half of the course, we'll consider African American and Native American writers who ground their characters' senses of self in natural spaces, yet articulate dynamic (and often subversive) relationships between identity and environment.

Required Texts: Charles Chesnutt, Conjure Tales and Stories of the Color LIne; James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers; William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony

Readings posted online will include excerpts from some of the following: William Apess, Comte de Buffon, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, William Cronon, Frederick Douglass, Camille Dungy, Hosea Easton, Michel Foucault, Alexander von Humboldt, Jennifer James, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jamaica Kincaid, Carolus Linnaeus, Mary Louise Pratt, Britt Rusert, Ezra Tawil, Laura Dassow Walls, Phyllis Wheatley, Andrea Wulf.

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

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


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 1
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MW 3:30-5
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

English H195A is the first part of a two-semester sequence for those English majors writing honors theses. We will read and discuss a range of texts that will provide grounding in contemporary critical methodologies, as well as various genres of literary and cultural analysis that inform the style(s) of academic prose in the humanities. We will also consider a few shared primary works (including at least one film) to guide our critical discussions.

 

In addition to critical readings and case studies, the course will offer practical help for students embarking on their thesis projects—long (40-60pp) essays on topics of your own choice that you will be writing in the spring semester. We will talk about how to conceptualize a research topic; how to sustain arguments and analyses that draw on original research and critical debate; and how to structure longer essays that are both ambitious and focused. You do not need to have your thesis topic formed before the course begins, but it will help to at least start thinking over the summer about the kinds of works and critical issues you will want to examine.

 

Readings will include: Carl Wilson, Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste; essays by Clifford Geertz, Naomi Schor, Laura Mulvey, and Toni Morrison; screening of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.

 

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., may be found here.)

 

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 Academic Summary (go into Cal Central, click your "My Academics" tab, then click "View Academic Summary" and "Print as PDF"), 

 

• a PDF of your non-UC Berkeley transcript(s), if any,

 

• 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 11 PM, FRIDAY, MAY 10.


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 2
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 41 Evans


Book List

Booth, Wayne.: The Craft of Research; Shakespeare, William.: The Tempest; Woolf, Virginia.: Mrs. Dalloway;

Recommended: The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition); Eagleton, Terry.: Literary Theory: An Introduction

Other Readings and Media

A course reader of critical essays, poetry, and short fiction will be available on bCourses.

Description

H195A/B is a two-semester seminar that lays the groundwork for and guides you through the completion a 40-60 page Honors thesis on a subject of your choice. The first semester offers an inquiry into critical approaches, research methods, and theoretical frameworks. We will engage with some of the key theoretical movements and debates of the twentieth century (e.g., New Criticism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, materialism[s], feminism, postcolonial and critical race theory, affect theory). We will ground our collective inquiry in readings of a few primary texts that highlight the questions posed by specific genres (fiction, poetry, drama). The goal is to help you to define a compelling research project that will sustain your interest over several months, to conceptualize and contextualize the critical questions that enlist your keenest curiosity, to engage with secondary materials productively, to articulate the stakes of your inquiry, and to develop a persuasive critical voice and argument.

I encourage you to think about potential thesis projects over the summer. Ideally, you will have narrowed the field to a couple of options by the start of fall semester. In addition to the assigned readings, the work for that semester will entail some preliminary research, thinking, and writing that will culminate in a thesis proposal and annotated bibliography by the semester’s end.

During the spring semester students will meet with me in individual conferences and share preliminary drafts in working groups. Portions of the thesis will be submitted for feedback at regular intervals. A draft of the entire thesis will be due in early April; the final version will be due in early May.

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., may be found here.)

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 Academic Summary (go into Cal Central, click your "My Academics" tab, then click "View Academic Summary" and "Print as PDF"),

• a PDF of your non-UC Berkeley transcript(s), if any,

• 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 11 PM, FRIDAY, MAY 10.


Wheeler Connect: A Mentoring Program for Visiting Students

English 198

Section: 9
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
Time: Wednesday 6-7 p.m.
Location: 301 Wheeler Hall


Description

Wheeler Connect is designed to integrate visiting students into the life of Wheeler Hall, home of the English Department. Wheeler Connect is led by an advanced Ph.D. student, who will hold weekly office hours reserved exclusively for program participants and meet with students for six group discussions on a wide variety of topics ("Why study literature?"; "Essay-writing, American Style,"; "Graduate Studies in the United States"). The Wheeler Connect group will go on two field trips, which might include a visit to the The Pacific Film Archive, the Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Berkeley Botanical Garden, or the Lawrence Hall of Science. The Wheeler Connect group will also attend one event hosted by one of the English Department's undergraduate student associations.

There are no reading or writing assignments for Wheeler Connect. Students in Wheeler Connect receive 1 unit of credit.

The six group meetings will be held on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in 301 Wheeler Hall. The first meeting will be on August 28. Wheeler Connect is open to students taking at least one other course in the English Department. To participate in Wheeler Connect, please submit a concurrent enrollment application for English 198 Section 9 (class number 21701); please select 1 unit. If you have questions about Wheeler Connect, please contact professor Elisa Tamarkin (tamarkin@berkeley.edu), the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of English.