Announcement of Classes: Fall 2019


Reading and Composition: Human Resources: Problems in the American Workplace

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Ramm, Gerard
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Book List

Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men

Description

Fiction has provided a means for workers to re-imagine or even escape their everyday issues from the dawn of the labor movement to the heyday of the tech startup. Across a long history of media about work—including the muckraking of Upton Sinclair, the 1980 Dolly Parton star vehicle 9-to-5, and select episodes of the American sitcom The Office—this course will train us not only to read and write reflectively about labor, but hopefully to look differently at the daily torments and rewards of our own work. In all, by going beyond the purview of the average HR office, we will be thinking together about what essential human resources we access to survive in the workplace.

This course will teach analytical writing through a range of different assignments. We will be engaging one another in critical conversations on literature, film, and media to distill our arguments on different works, themes, and issues. Through short writing reflections as well as two paper-length analyses, students will hone their rhetorical skills and learn to express new insights on art, entertainment, and the working world around them.


Reading and Composition: The Making of Americans

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: de Stefano, Jason
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume B; Du Bois, W. E. B.: The Souls of Black Folk

Description

Americans are not born but made, and who they become is bound up with what they make. This course explores the long and varied history of these linked assumptions, with a particular focus on the nineteenth century. It was in this period that a broad fascination with making became associated with the national character: from the constitution of the Early Republic and the rise of the nation as a world economic and political power; through the effort to reconstruct, in the wake of civil war, the nation's political community as a multiracial democracy; to the advent of the factory and assembly line, the automation of labor, and a national obsession with productivity and work. We will study how nineteenth-century writers sought to create a national literature adequate to make sense of these developments and to make sensible the diverse experiences of those who lived them. What did it mean to make a uniquely American work of art, and how did such works inform what it meant to be American? In what ways did Americans find in materials of their work a set of conceptual resources for imagining their role as citizens? We will also investigate problems posed by these preoccupations. What kinds of making were possible or proscribed for African Americans under and after slavery? How was labor, particularly creative labor, wielded both for and against segregation and exploitation? Finally, we will reflect on our own making, finding in the nineteenth century the historical roots of our own "maker culture" and of how we came to believe, in the words of the poet Frank Bidart, that "we are creatures who need to make."

R1A is designed to engage students in their own making through extensive writing. In this course you will develop your writing practice and hone your skills in critical thinking, rhetoric, and interpretive analysis by writing essays. To that end, we will ask: what is an essay, how do essays work, and what does it mean to create them? An essay is not only an exercise in composition but also "a trial, testing, proof"—an "experiment" (OED, "essay," n. 1a.). Assignments in this course will allow students to experiment with different kinds of writing, from informal reflections on course readings and concise prospectuses to longer argumentative essays. We will also test our work, as it were, through continuous and thoughtful peer review. The goal is to create an open and engaged conversation about writing well and how to make our writing better.Note the changes in the instructor, topic, course description, and texts for this section of English R1A (as of August 7).

Please note the changes in instructor, topic, course description, and book list for this section of English R1A (as of August 7).


Reading and Composition: Inscribing Fear: Written Horror, Living Flesh, and the Cultures that Produce Both

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: Tomasula y Garcia, Alba
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 122 Wheeler


Book List

Ito, Junji: Junji Ito's Cat Diary; Lavelle, Victor: The Ballad of Black Tom; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Vandermeer, Jeff: Annihilation; Wells, H.G.: The Island of Dr. Moreau

Description

The horror genre—whose very purpose is to let us experience that which frightens, startles, or disgusts through a fictional lens—is capable of inciting a wide range of visceral responses. What will be the particular focus of this class, however, is the sub-genre of body horror, which puts emphasis on violations to the human form, and in doing so often delineates what sorts of terrors have defined social production; that in concerning themselves with bodies and what horrors may befall them, in other words, works falling under this sub-genre often effectively portray an encounter between the all-too-real symbolic order that underlies our material reality, and that which threatens this order's stability. This course will critically examine but a few of literature's fleshy terrors—in pieces from Victorian science fiction to Japanese graphic novels, and starring every being from suffering human-animal hybrids to beleaguered scientists to runaway antebellum slaves—to not only provide a few prime examples of how terror has been utilized in literature, but to also analyze how body horror has had an important hand in making clear—and even in influencing—what we find frightening, monstrous, and unacceptable within the living world. As we read, we will consider multiple aspects of how body horror has been utilized in fiction: what literary and rhetorical devices are used to represent that which is obscene, atrocious, or unspeakable; how the social/material constructions of class, race, and gender get embedded into the flesh of horror's protagonists, antagonists, and secondary characters; what sorts of social pressures may be at work when it comes to determining what even counts as "horrific."

With the goal of developing your critical reading, research, and writing skills, we wil primarily devote class time to discussing the course reading through a combination of lecture material, question and answer, and group discussion. We will also dedicate time to preparing for graded essays by building writing, editing, and research skills in weekly writing workshops.


Reading and Composition: (Un)Belonging Bodies & Citizenship

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Cho, Jennifer
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 237 Cory


Book List

Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye; Okada, John: No-No Boy; Vuong, Ocean: On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous

Other Readings and Media

Film: Jordan Peele's Get Out

Course reader (working list): Benito Cereno, by Herman Melville, select poems by Walt Whitman, excerpts from Walden Pond, by Henry Thoreau, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Gloria Anzaldua's La Mestiza/The Borderlands, Theresa Hak Kyun Cha's Dicteé, Claudia Rankine's Citizen, select stories from Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties

Description

Our bodies—even if we might claim them as our own—are far from neutral, as they carry embedded signals, texts, and even silences that reflect our multiple social positionings. This course explores narratives of embodiment, considering how bodies can reflect certain ideals of the nation, whether through self-desire, discipline, or forced submission. In particular, we will untangle the normative paradigms of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion that feed into the American imagination, while finding openings for resistance, alternate expressons of identity, and community.

Students will compose regular short responses to readings in addition to a series of formal writing assignments (essays that practice close reading, critical analysis, argumentation supported by evidence, and rhetorical appeals).

(Note the changes in the instructor and content of this section as of June 7.)


Reading and Composition: Theorizing Race and Space in Asian American Studies

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Su, Amanda Jennifer
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 78 Barrows


Book List

Chiang, Ted: Stories of Your Life and Others; Goh, Teow Lim: Islanders; Lai, Him Mark: Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940; Ng, Fae: Bone

Other Readings and Media

Please obtain the texts on your own, as they will not be ordered through the campus bookstore. A course reader will also be assigned.

Description

How does an understanding of space and the built environment inflect our understanding of ethnicized forms of belonging? My course charts the development of Asian American identity and literature through four sites in the Bay Area: Angel Island, the San Francisco Chinatown, UC Berkeley, and Silicon Valley. Beginning in the early 20th century with classical Chinese poems carved into the walls of the detention center on Angel Island by unknown immigrants, we will explore the impact of exclusion on Asian Amerian literature and the implications of writing from a liminal space. We will juxtapose the creation of Chinatown through public health and sanitary regulations in the mid-20th century against the contemporary threat of gentrification facing the neighborhood. Turning to the sixties, we will dive into the radical political activism of the Third World Liberation Front at UC Berkeley and the subsequent creation of Asian American Studies. Finally, we will conclude the course by speculating about how the recent spate of foreign Chinese investment in technology and real estate in the Bay Area might reshape our understanding of racialized geography and capital.

My course will entail an element of urban exploration—students will visit each of the sites and write about what they see and observe. We will learn to read buildings, streets, intersections and monuments as palimpsests of history and forms of institutional memory. Engaging the theories of Foucault, Bachelard, LeFebvre, among others, we will critically analyze our own relation to and movement within these structures. The goal of the course is to build a material account of the ways in which a certain space gives rise to a particular form of literature, as well as a dialectical understanding of how the reading of literature changes our relation to that space. Students will also learn to navigate a rich medley of personal, archival, literary and analytical data (field research, newspapers, manifestos, poems, public policies, financial reports) towards the construction of a final critical or creative project.

In accordance with the curricular requirements of the R1A, which focus on developing a strong expository and argumentative style over more research-based claims, students will write and revise a set of shorter-length essays over the course of the semester.

Note the new instructor and content of this section as of June 7.


Reading and Composition: (Un)Belonging Bodies & Citizenship

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Cho, Jennifer
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 7 Evans


Book List

Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye; Okada, John: No-No Boy; Vuong, Ocean: On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous

Other Readings and Media

Film: Jordan Peele's Get Out

Course reader (working list): Benito Cereno, by Herman Melville, select poems by Walt Whitman, excerpts from Walden Pond, by Henry Thoreau, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Gloria Anzaldua's La Mestiza/The Borderlands, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dicteé, Claudia Rankine's Citizen, select stories from Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties 

Description

Our bodies—even if we might claim them as our own—are far from neutral, as they carry embedded signals, texts, and even silences that reflect our multiple social positionings. This course explores narratives of embodiment, considering how bodies can reflect certain ideals of the nation, whether through self-desire, discipline, or forced submission. In particular, we will untangle the normative paradigms of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion that feed into the American imagination, while finding openings for resistance, alternate expressions of identity, and community.

Students will compose regular short responses to readings in addition to a series of formal writing assignments (essays that practice close reading, critical analysis, argumentation supported by evidence, and rhetorical appeals).

(Note the changes in the instructor and content of this section as of June 7.)


Reading and Composition: Energy Fictions

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: Barbour, Andrew John
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 204 Dwinelle


Book List

Bacigalupi, Paolo: The Water Knife; Pinkus, Karen: Fuel: A Speculative Dictionary; Sinclair, Upton: Oil!; Wise, A.C., Phoebe Wagner, et al, eds.: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation; Zola, Emile: Germinal

Description

This course explores literary and scientific perspectives on energy and its fictions from the early 19th century to the present, from the origins of carbon modernity and petroculture in the age of steam to contemporary 21st-century attempts to reckon with our carbon ideologies and transition to post-carbon energy regimes. From fossil fuels to electricity, oil to solar power, energy regimes and infrastructures fuel not only our politics and economics but also our everyday life. Energy forms from gasoline to wind move between science and literature, at once the domain of technological and scientific inquiry and of literary representation and energy narratives. We'll chart a trajectory from early 19th-century scientific and literary perspectives on coal and fossil capitalism at the outset of energetic modernity, from Émile Zola's Germinal and William Stanley Jevon's The Coal Question, to contemporary 21st-century science and literature narrativizing the fictions of fossil fuels and figuring post-carbon futures of alternative energy..

Over the course of the semester, we will mine both scientific and figurative elements of particular energy forms, from coal to renewable energy, and consider the extent to which scientific and aesthetic aspects of energy come into contact. Along the way, we'll investigate how particular energy forms from gasoline to solar power afford distinctive perspectives on questions of climate, ecology, and politics, and excavate our everyday experience of energy regimes and infrastructures. Readings include Émile Zola, William Stanley Jevons, Upton Sinclair, H.G. Wells, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Karen Pinkus. Over the course of the semester, you'll compose several essays of increasing length designed to empower your writing and fuel your composition skills.


Reading and Composition: Identity as Performance

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: Ghosh, Srijani
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: note new location: 2032 Valley LSB


Other Readings and Media

There will be a course reader, available at Copy Central on Telegraph Ave.

Description

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players."—As You Like It, Act II sc. VII

We often hear people say that actions speak louder than words. We express our identities, who we are, through our actions, our performances, our lived experiences amidst the context and structures within which we operate. We connect with our immediate socio-political circumstances, and these relations, in turn, determine our performances of our identities. Personal identity is thus not a concrete unchangeable idea, but its performance is constantly in flux depending on the context. This will be a reading- and writing-intensive course where we will examine five plays focusing on the construction of identity through performance.

Together with our critical inquiry into modes of reading, we will practice our writing skills. We will devote plenty of time to critical thinking and essay-writing skills, paying particular attention to argumentation, analysis, and the fundamentals of writing at the college level.

(Note the new instructor and content of this section as of June 7.) 


Reading and Composition: Reading and Writing in the Digital Age

English R1A

Section: 9
Instructor: Zeavin, Hannah
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 189 Dwinelle


Description

In this course, we will survey the production, consumption, and study of literary texts in the digital age. Starting with a unit on writers' relationships to their writing technologies across time, we will engage experiments in making tdigital literature from the 1980s to the present. We will explore digital culture in social and networked practices of writing and reading, new theories of reading in the digital moment (distance reading, surface reading), popular moral and media panics, and debates within the digital humanities, media and literary studies. Moving from Internet 1.0 to Internet 2.0, we will engage many "born-digital" and online texts, such as Michael Joyce's afternoon, William Gibson's Agrippa, and Claudio Pinhanez's "Open Diary," as well as digital literary platforms and websites. We will conclude the semester by looking at digital writing and its reception now, including viral literature, the Instagram poetry of Rupi Kau, and Warsan Shire's poetics in Beyonce's Lemonade.

The semester will feature a reoccurring peer-to-peer writing workshop as well as individual meetings with the instructor to work on writing and reserach skills, including digital research. In keeping with the aims of R1A, students will write and revise short essays in three dominant internet genres: the personal essay, "the hot take," and the think piece.


Reading and Composition: Gothic Trash

English R1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Hobbs, Katherine
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 41 Evans


Book List

Braddon, Mary Elizabeth: Lady Audley's Secret; Mack, Robert L., editor: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be available in pdf form on bCourses.

Description

Gothic horror has never gone out of style. From the ominous castles of Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe in the eighteenth century to contemporary TV hits such as American Horror Story or The Haunting of Hill House (itself vaguely inspired by Shirley Jackson's classic novel), the Gothic is ever-adaptable and enduringly popular. But this popularity comes at a price. Gothic horror, despite—and sometimes because of—its wide appeal, is always at risk of being branded as "trash" or dismissed as aesthetically worthless. How can we account for this disparity between the Gothic's continuous hold on the popular imagination and its frequent exclusion from the realm of high literary art? In this course, we will explore the relationship of the Gothic to cheap popular forms, taking the rich periodical culture of the Victorian era as our archive. Nineteenth-century magazines and newspapers were home to a diverse range of literary genres—penny dreadfuls, sensation novels, ghost stories, detective fiction—that drew from the Gothic tradition. In the process of accommodating Gothic literary techniques to modern Britain, many of these works engaged with difficult questions of class and gender. But they did so in the dubious context of a print market associated with hack writing and mindless reading. We will consider these issues of genre, medium, political engagement, and reception as we practice our critical research and writing skills.

Primary readings for this course will include short stories and novels by Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Sheridan LeFanu, and others. In addition, we will read non-fiction articles and book reviews published alongside these fictional works in the Victorian press. Over the course of the semester, students will submit a series of writing assignments culminating in a final research paper.


Reading and Composition: Some Hard-Boiled Detectives

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: O'Brien, Garreth
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 214 Haviland


Book List

Chandler, Raymond: The Big Sleep; Hammett, Dashiell: Red Harvest; Himes, Chester: The Real Cool Killers; Macdonald, Ross: The Chill;

Recommended: Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein: "They Say/I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

Description

"It is not a very fragrant world, but it is the world you live in. . . ." So Raymond Chandler characterizes the world out of joint painted by "the realist in murder." The tradition of hard-boiled detective fiction offers (arguably) some of the most significant attempts to grapple with the nature of violence (criminal, institutional, and everything in between) in American society, whether we agree with it or not. This is a course on a few key novels from its most celebrated practitioners.

In this course we will consider five hard-boiled detectives—Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op, Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, Chester Himes's Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, and Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer—and the compelling, sometimes hilarious, frequently disturbing novels in which they appear. These are novels to enjoy; but we will also use this "lowbrow" genre to ask questions about the "literary": What is the relationship between literary style and popular language? What do we do when we read for the plot; and what are the values and dangers of this kind of reading? How do specific forms of narrative (like the mystery novel) model social structures?

There will be a number of shorter written assignments and revisions of those assignments, culminating in a longer research paper.


Reading and Composition: Novel Spaces: Contemporary Fiction and the Internet

English R1B

Section: 3
Instructor: D'Silva, Eliot
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 237 Cory


Book List

Lerner, Ben: 10:04; Pynchon, Thomas: Bleeding Edge; Rooney, Sally: Conversations with Friends; Sudjic, Olivia: Sympathy

Other Readings and Media

All other materials—websites, videos, music and short fiction—will be made available on bCourses.

We'll read a few works of cultural theory—Jean Francois Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition and Sianne Ngai's Our Aesthetic Categories— as well as selected excerpts from journalistic pieces and political speeches.

Description

In 1981, Kraftwerk released their landmark album Computer World. Since the time they recorded it, politicians, economists and journalists have suggested that the digitization of society would change everything, producing a world of infinite information, where there are no stable values and the very idea of the self feels outdated. Are they right? And if the technological developments of the last few decades have radically altered how society works, then what are their literary and aesthetic consequences?

This course starts with a survey of social theory that describes the texture of today: the world in which the decision about whether to take an Uber is happening at the same time as the decision to ask someone to marry you, and instant messaging has established itself as the default mode of communication. After surveying the social trends that are driving the production and consumption of contemporary literature, we'll read a few novels in which the internet and social media are actively featured and interrogated. Our encounters with these texts will generate a range of wider questions: What can the novel do in relation to the worldwide publication of tweets and the forms of self-exposure enacted by social media? Has the constant, everyday act of self-presentation through screens become a novelistic subject? How are received ideas about novel reading—as an emotional identification between reader and character—related to the ways that the internet has complicated people's emotions with regard to each other, through the creation of slightly gruesome feelings to do with the overstepping of boundaries or displays of sincerity that turn out to be artificial?

Over the course of the semester, writing, peer-reviewing and revising short papers will ensure that students learn how to patiently develop arguments that reveal the fruits of careful reading, accumulated analysis and scholarly research.


Reading and Composition: Reading and Writing in the Digital Age

English R1B

Section: 4
Instructor: Zeavin, Hannah
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 225 Dwinelle


Description

(Note the changes in the instructor and content of this section of English R1B as of early June.)

In this course, we will survey the production, consumption, and study of literary texts in the digital age. Starting with a unit on writers' relationships to their writing technologies across time, we will engage experiments in making tdigital literature from the 1980s to the present. We will explore digital culture in social and networked practices of writing and reading, new theories of reading in the digital moment (distance reading, surface reading), popular moral and media panics, and debates within the digital humanities, media and literary studies. Moving from Internet 1.0 to Internet 2.0, we will engage many "born-digital" and online texts, such as Michael Joyce's afternoon, William Gibson's Aggripa, and Claudio Pinhanez's "Open Diary," as well as digital literary platforms and websites. We will conclude the semester by looking at digital writing and its reception now, including viral literature, the Instagram poetry of Rupi Kau, and Warsan Shire's poetics in Beyoncé's Lemonade.

The semester will feature a reoccurring peer-to-peer writing workshop as well as individual meetings with the instructor to work on writing and research skills, including digital research. Across the whole of the semester, students will write and revise a research paper on a set of digital and/or online literary texts, cultures, or platforms.


Reading and Composition: The Monstrous Renaissance

English R1B

Section: 5
Instructor: Rice, Sarah Sands
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 214 Haviland


Book List

Shakespeare, William: The Tempest: A Norton Critical Edition

Other Readings and Media

All other course readings will be made available through bCourses.

Description

This class ventures into Renaissance texts in search of the many monsters that dwell there. We will encounter eerily human beasts, snaky-haired Gorgons, monstrous births, and fierce cannibals. We will get to know those monsters through critical analysis, secondary scholarship, and self-directed research. Our journey into the realm of Renaissance monsters will take us through (among other things) a Renaissance bestiary, a medical treatise on monsters and marvels, and Shakespeare's The Tempest.

By applying the tools of literary analysis and scholarly research to those texts, we will investigate what led particular beings to be considered monsters in the cultural context of Renaisssance Europe. We will unpack the ideologies encoded in constructions of monstrousness and in the designation of a given being as a monster. How, for example, do the characteristics attributed to monsters in Renaissance Europe overlap with disability, gender, race, class, and colonialism? How do Renaissance portrayals of monsters relate to and challenge understandings of the human/animal divide? How do empathy and identification interact with exclusion and condemnation in Renaissance depictions of monsters?

This is a writing-intensive course designed to help you hone your literary analysis skills while expanding those skills to include research and thoughtful engagement with secondary sources. Writing assignments will include two relatively short essays and a longer argumentative research paper.


Reading and Composition: Drama and Disability

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: Drawdy, Miles
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 78 Barrows


Book List

Kuppers, Petra: Theatre & Disability; Lewis, Mike: Teenage Dick; Milton, John: Samson Agonistes; Shakespeare, William: Richard III; Williams, Tennessee: The Glass Menagerie; Yorkey, Brian and Tom Kitt: Next to Normal

Other Readings and Media

Additional materials will be made available on bCourses.

Description

It is a critical truism that the disabled body is always already a theatrical body—alternatively passing and masquerading. This course will interrogate the terms of this truism by examining how both disability and theatre have been historically understood. This is fundamentally a question of aesthetics, and yet it is also a question of spectatorship, expression, decorum, rhetoric, community, ethics, etc. Beginning with the contemporary Broadway musical, this class will move backward in time through Victorian melodrama and seventeenth-century closet drama to arrive at Shakespeare's Richard III before returning to the present with Mike Lew's Teenage Dick.

This course will ask questions of the relationship between theatrical forms and forms of disability. How might we leverage analytical models invented to describe and comprehand disability as literary critical tools? How do the ways in which we stare at disabled bodies change when we have been invited—indeed, when we have paid—to stare at them? How do disabled artists stare back? What are some of the ethical obligations for the production of disability theatre—accessibility, casting, marketing, etc.? Is the non-standard body obligated to communicate something—anything at all—about disability? How could it not?

As an R1B, we will be engaging with critical writing alongside the dramatic works on the syllabus. As we engage with both primary and secondary sources, this class will also hone your critical writing skills. Students will be asked to submit various formal responses to the plays as well as a final research paper.


Reading and Composition: The Literature of Aotearoa/New Zealand

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Sutton, Emily
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Book List

Frame, Janet: Faces in the Water; Horrocks, Dylan: Hicksville; Hulme, Keri: The Bone People

Other Readings and Media

All other readings will be available on bCourses.

Description

This course will focus first and foremost on the practice of academic writing and the skills needed to research, plan, draft and revise writing at a college level. More specifically, it stages the problem of scholarly research through an encounter with difference. While Katherine Mansfield is part of the modernist canon, New Zealand literature remains largely unread outside of New Zealand itself. Over the course of the semester we will think carefully about how we can make meaning from unfamiliar cultures and texts. We will read the canonical, and the not so canonical: Katherine Mansfield, Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame, Keri Hulme and Dylan Horrocks, as well as explore a selection of poems and the contemporary comedy of Flight of the Conchords. Through our reading of these texts we will explore the question of postcolonial national identity, with an emphasis on the way that this self-definition is complicated by race, gender and sexuality. How might we think about Maori and Pakeha/European literary traditions in relation to one another? We will also think about the place of New Zealand in the world—whether it be Hulme's winning the Booker Prize or the international success of Flight of the Conchords—and what it means to read New Zealand writing in an American context.


Reading and Composition: On Happiness

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Ritland, Laura
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 106 Dwinelle


Book List

Smith, Danez: Don't Call Us Dead; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

All other readings will be posted on bCourses, and will include: essays, poetry, and short fiction by Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, Adrienne Rich, Rohinton Mistry, Madeleine Thien, Jamaica Kincaid; and (short, excerpted) philosophical and academic texts by Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Arlie Hochschild, Aristotle, Epicurus, J.S. Mill, Jeremey Bentham, and Theodor Adorno. We will also watch films—tentatively, The Hours, directed by Stephen Daldry, and Fire, directed by Deepa Mehta.

Description

In contemporary popular culture, "happiness" is often pictured as an object just beyond our reach. We try to organize our future life-paths to be "happy," tend to collectively agree that happiness is a worthwhile pursuit, and develop whole industries to make us happier—from wedding planning agencies to meditation apps. However, what really is "happiness"? Is it an ongoing process or life ethics, as in the case of the Ancient Greeks' philosophical meditations on the "good life" or eudaimonia? Is it something that can be grasped or gained, like property or other forms of capital? Is it a political condition that every democratic citizen has a "right" to claim, as famously stated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence? Finally, and importantly, as the cultural critic Sara Ahmed has asked in The Promise of Happiness, "Do we consent to happiness?" When might happiness in fact be a dictum to assimilate to modes of life that may not be very happy at all? Can a resistance to happiness—or self-reflexive unhappiness—become a form of social resistance? And is happiness the best technique for living well, here and now?

We will approach these questions especially through literary works and narrative media by women, queer writers, and writers of color, to think about how happiness becomes defined and contested in the twentieth century. This course will also require you to think backwards into history and stretch your reading and interpretational skills through short excerpts from older philosophical texts (Aristotle, Epicurus, Bentham, etc.) and recent scholarly works (Ahmed, Berlant, Hochschild, etc.). Aside from providing a conceptual framework for you to begin to think and write about happiness, the primary goal of this course is to cultivate your skill as a writer and critical thinker. As such, you will be required to compose a series of short writing assignments throughout the course which will utimately lead to a large research paper.


Reading and Composition: The Information Society

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: Hinojosa, Bernardo S.
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 41 Evans


Book List

Cline, Ernest: Ready Player One; Gleick, James: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

Other Readings and Media

All other readings will be posted on bCourses. We will also watch television episodes (Black Mirror, Silicon Valley) and films (Her, The Truman Show).

Description

What is an information society? How do we read and think in a world of information? Numerous publications in recent years, both inside and outside the academy, have identified the late twentieth and twenty-first centures as an age of information, an age in which digital technologies have drastically increased the availability and accessibility of textual and non-textual content. The internet has revolutionized pretty much every aspect of everyday life, from shopping to dating. The ubiquity of mobile technologies has made entire libraries fit inside a user's pocket. These new technologies have deep-rooted cultural, social, and ethical implications, and it is precisely these implications that this class explores. What do internet phenomena such as "Twitch Plays Pokémon" and Reddit's "Mildly Interesting" tell us about the formation of digital communities? What are the ethical implications of data science and machine learning? How can digital technologies both bolster and resist structures of sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia in our society?

In this class, we will discuss what "information" is and what it means to live in an "information society." In order to do so, we will also read and analyze examples of some of the major genres of the information age (the listicle, the meme, the thinkpiece, the tweet, the fake news article, among others) alongside works of fiction that explore these issues. Throughout the class, we will also compare our own digital age to other milestone moments in the history of information: the popularization of the codex in late antiquity, the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, and the development of telecommunications in the nineteenth century.

In addition to engaging in critical reading and thinking, in this class you will also develop your critical writing skills by producing a number of short written assignments culminating in an academic research paper. Indeed, the issues we discuss and read about will serve as topics, prompts, and starting points for you to plan, research, write, and edit your own work.


Reading and Composition: Staging Desire: Sex and Sexuality in Renaissance Drama

English R1B

Section: 10
Instructor: Scott, Mark JR
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 39 Evans


Book List

Ford, John: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Lyly, John: Galatea; Marlowe, Christopher: Edward II; Shakespeare, William: As You Like It

Other Readings and Media

Edward II (film), dir. Derek Jarman (1991).

A course reader will also be produced containing additional primary and secondary texts including works from Renaissance antitheatricalists like Philip Stubbes and Stephen Gosson, as well as modern theorists of gender and sexuality such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler.

Description

The drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries offers a fascinating site for the analysis of gender and sexuality as historical and theoretical constructs, rather than as the timeless and universal 'facts' of human experience which they are often assumed to be. In a 'transvestite theatre' in which all roles, male and female, are played by boys and men, assumptions regarding the absolute and fixed nature of gender difference are called into question, while the fact that scenes of heterosexual desire are played out between men creates a space for the expression of homosexual and other transgressive desires. At the level of both form and content, the early modern theatre above all underlines the status of gender as performance. We will read a set of plays produced between the 1580s and 1630s which pose gender and sexuality as central problems, studying these in conjunction with a variety of both Renaissance and modern-day texts confronting these debates. We will seek to reflect upon the immense shaping power of the societal norms which govern sex and gender, and to locate those instances where non-normative identities and sexualities assert themselves.

The broader academic purpose of this course is to develop your critical reading and writing skills, whatever your major might be. You will write and revise three papers of increasing length over the semester, and work with peers to improve your writing and critical thinking.


Reading and Composition: Re-Visioning the 1960s

English R1B

Section: 11
Instructor: Koerner, Michelle
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 35 Evans


Book List

Baldwin, James: The Fire Next Time; Charters, Ann, ed.: The Portable Sixties Reader; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

Further course materials will be available through bCourses and will likely include: images from Andy Warhol's Death and Disaster series (1964), George Oppen's long poem "Of Being Numerous" (1968), Valerie Solanas's The SCUM Manifesto (1967), Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted (1965), as well as the documentaries The Black Power Mixtape and Berkeley in the Sixties.

Description

This Reading and Composition course will explore selected works of literature, music, and visual art produced during the 1960s. Our theme places emphasis on the relationship between artistic experimentation and the emancipatory social movements of the decade (in the United States as well as internationally); we will ask how innovative practices of literary form, cinema, and music engaged with the more directly political questions of the period. How did writers, visual artists, and musicians use their creative work to challenge war, racism, social and economic inequality, sexual violence, and gendered discrimination? What role do poetry, music, and visual art play in composing new collectivities and democratic potentials for social transformation?

In addition to gaining skills in literary and rhetorical analysis, students will strengthen their capacities to make persuasive arguments, formulate compelling questions to guide their own research, and explore creative approaches to academic writing. Writing assignments emphasize drafting, revising, and responding to peer feedback. In addition to several in-class writing exercises, students should expect to write two formal essays (3-5 pages), frequent response posts to discussion board, and complete a final research project. 


Reading and Composition: Re-Visioning the 1960s

English R1B

Section: 12
Instructor: Koerner, Michelle
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 78 Barrows


Book List

Baldwin, James: The Fire Next Time; Charters, Ann, ed.: The Portable Sixties Reader; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49

Other Readings and Media

Further course materials will be available through bCourses and will likely include: images from Andy Warhol's Death and Disaster series (1964), Goerge Oppen's long poem "Of Being Numerous" (1968), Valerie Solanas's The SCUM Manifesto (1967), Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (1965), as well as the documentaries The Black Power Mixtape and Berkeley in the Sixties.

Description

This Reading and Composition course will explore selected works of literature, music, and visual art produced during the 1960s. Our theme places emphasis on the relationship between artistic experimentation and the emancipatory social movements of the decade (in the United States as well as internationally); we will ask how innovative practices of literary form, cinema, and music engaged with the more directly political questions of the period. How did writers, visual artists, and musicians use their creative work to challenge war, racism, social and economic inequality, sexual violence, and gendered discrimination? What role do poetry, music, and visual art play in composing new collectivities and democratic potentials for social transformation?

In addition to gaining skills in literary and rhetorical analysis, students will strengthen their capacities to make persuasive arguments, formulate compelling questions to guide their own research, and explore creative approaches to academic writing. Writing assignments emphasize drafting, revising, and responding to peer feedback. In addition to several in-class writing exercises, students should expect to write two formal essays (3-5 pages), frequent response posts to discussion board, and complete a final research project.


Reading and Composition: (Im)personal Essays

English R1B

Section: 14
Instructor: Khan, Mehak Faisal
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 55 Evans


Book List

Nelson, Maggie: The Argonauts

Other Readings and Media

There will also be a Course Reader.

Description

What does it mean to give your writing "personality"? In this course we will consider varying kinds of nonfiction (travel writing, reportage, Netflix comedy specials, autobiographical games, autotheory, and the classic "personal essay") to think about the relationships that persons and personalities—particularly as they relate to race, class, gender and sexuality, nation, and land—have to their writing/art/games. We will use these forms to think about academic writing, and how personal and impersonal modes of writing function in the work we do.

This is a research-focused course geared towards developing and experimenting with academic writing skills. (Note: please do not buy books until after the first week of class, as the book list may change.)


Reading and Composition: Don't Go There! Fairy Tales

English R1B

Section: 15
Instructor: Baker-Gibbs, Ariel
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 211 Dwinelle


Description

There is almost nothing more familiar than a fairy tale, yet they all address unfamiliarity, danger, and risk. For children, young women and everyone else, the world is full of mysterious knowledge and dreadful ordeals. So how do fairy tales configure this world around us? What are they about? How do they depict growth and learning? How do they expect us to respond to story, text, place? How does our conception of what fairy tales are, and how they work, and what they're for, change over the years? From warnings not to go into the woods to challenges to pass through labyrinths, we will look across folktales, myths, short stories, novels, and films to explore how the fairy tale presents or conceals itself through retelling, adaptation, and interpretation.

In this course, we will focus on reading critically, developing analytical questions, and researching through in-class exercises, and on the gradual construction of an original final research paper on a fairy tale of the student's choosing, or a creative project of devising a fairy tale of your own along with a reflection on your work. We will work together over the semester to engage with critical reading and critical writing on a number of levels, through a process of drafting, revising, editing, researching, and peer-reviewing.

Texts will include selected fairy tales, such as "The Story of Grandmother" (French); "The Myth of Psyche and Eros" (Greek); "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (Scandinavian); "The Myth of the Labyrinth" (Greek); Wendigo stories (Algonquin); short stories including "The Husband Stitch" in Her Body and Other Parties," by Carmen Maria Machado, "Bloodchild" in Bloodchild, by Octavia Butler; films including Pan's Labyrinth and Hunger Games.


Reading and Composition: Queer I

English R1B

Section: 16
Instructor: Stevenson, Max
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 121 Latimer


Book List

Augustine (trans. Sarah Ruden: Confessions; Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic; Nelson, Maggie: The Argonauts; Staley, Lynn, trans. and ed.: The Book of Margery Kempe

Description

This course asks how writers use the stories of individual lives to negotiate what it means to be "queer," in the widest possible sense of the term. Most of what we read will be pieces written by authors describing their own lived experiences, but given R1B's focus on research we'll also engage the unruly body of thought that is queer theory, asking how both it and writing itself can provide tools for living all sorts of lives.

The various Is (and hes and shes and theys) of the course include everything from funeral directors to college students, from artists to crossdressing saints in monastic drag. And much like the retrospective I of the memoirist, this course has a double vantage point: we'll study contemporary life writing side by side with life writing from the long Middle Ages, reading together two thinkers who offer their lives as opportunities for theorizing or theologizing (Augustine's Confessions and Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts) and two attempts at self-definition under the shadow of demons past, present, and familial (the Book of Margery Kempe and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home). Other authors we will study include Alexander Chee, M. F. K. Fisher, Chang-rae Lee, James Baldwin, Richard Rodriguez, and the writers of anonymous Old English elegies and saints' lives.

While those lives are our subject of study, they are not its object. As a course in the University's Reading and Composition program, our objective is your own improvement as a writer. While the requirements of R1B mean that you'll produce academic essays that put forward vigorous arguments supported with copious evidence gathered through careful research, you'll produce a range of writing over the course, in a range of other, less academic genres—including, yes, writing on your own life.


Shakespeare

English 17

Section: 1
Instructor: Landreth, David
Time: Lectures MW 11-12 in 106 Stanley + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 9-10; sec. 103: F 11-12; sec. 104: F 11-12)
Location:


Book List

Shakespeare, William: The Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays and Sonnets (3rd ed.)

Description

English 17 offers an introduction to the study of Shakespeare that is intended for students new to the Berkeley English Department. Incoming transfer students, future majors, and non-majors are especially welcome.

The premise of our class is that Shakespeare's texts are remarkably good to think with—remarkably pleasurable, remarkably productive. The class will give sustained attention to about half a dozen major plays, using them to develop a rich set of themes and ideas as the semester unfolds: ideas about beauty and cruelty, performance and nature, citizenship and individuality, companionship and solitude, future and past.

We'll devote special attention to developing the skills that will allow us to think most productively with Shakespeare: skills of reading, of close analysis, of reasoned and structured argument, and maybe too some elementary skills of performance.

We will alternate between large-scale lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays, in which I will offer some concepts and arguments as raw material for your thinking; and discussion sections on Fridays, where you, your classmates, and your discussion leader will develop your thinking in conversation and work on techniques for realizing your ideas in writing.

We will start with a number of short assignments focusing on particular skills, which will build up to two medium-sized papers and a final exam.


Modern British and American Literature: The Handmaid's Tale in Adaptation

English 20

Section: 1
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 20 Wheeler


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid's Tale; Atwood, Margaret: The Testaments; Nault, Renee: The Handmaid's Tale (Graphic Novel)

Description

With the advent of the Trump presidency (2016-present), Margaret Atwood’s dystopian, feminist masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, has gained new relevance. And with the popular and critical success of its Hulu TV series adaptation (2017-present), this prophetic novel has reached a new and broader audience.

In this class, we will consider some of the many adaptations of Atwood’s prophetic novel, looking backward at the more than 30-year afterlife of this novel in order to assess its still-evolving vision of our present and our future. Since it was published in 1985, the novel has not only been translated into 35 languages, but it has also been adapted as a stage play, an opera, a ballet, and even a pop album. In addition to reading the novel carefully in various critical contexts, we will consider the (awful) 1990 movie version, the 2000 BBC radio play, the 2012 audio book, the ongoing Hulu series (with a primary focus on Season One), the graphic novel adaptation (just published this March), and Atwood’s sequel, The Testaments (to be released in September 2019). We will also read critical theory on intertextuality, intermediality, and adaptation in order to provide a framework for our explorations.

In additional to the required reading and viewing, assignments for the course will include a number of short analytical essays, book and movie/TV reviews, in-class presentations, and your own  creative adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale in your choice of media.


Freshman Seminar: Walt Whitman

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: Tues. 2-3
Location: 180 Barrows


Description

We will read and discuss extraordinary poems by Walt Whitman.

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


Freshman Seminar: Here Here in Tommy Orange's There There

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: Tues. 12:30-1:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Orange, Tommy: There There

Description

Tommy Orange's story cycle, There There, depicts the lives of contemporary indigenous people in Oakland, California. Shaped by a transgenerational trauma, Orange's characters nonetheless survive. Countering romantic stereotypes of the Noble Red Man, children of Nature, or the ecological Indian, these Oakland natives are the urban indigenous. There There counters Gertrude Stein's famous pronouncement that in Oakland, "there is no there there." A character itself, Oakland is described, mapped, and traversed. In this seminar, we will practice close reading, review indigenous history (particularly, how the Indian Relocation Act of 1956 encouraged native people to move from reservations to urban centers), and place There There in the context of 20th- and 21st-century Native American literature. Finally, we will go on a field trip or two to Oakland to walk in the steps of Orange's characters and navigate their urban interactions. This seminar is part of the On the Same Page initiative.

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


Literature of American Cultures: Growing Up Funny

English 31AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: note new location: 20 Barrows


Book List

Cisneros, Sandra: House on Mango Street; DuBois, W. E. B.: Souls of Black Folk; Truong, Monique: Bitter in the Mouth

Other Readings and Media

"Paris is Burning," Selections from Sherman Alexie, Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, among others.

Description

America, we are told, is a nation of immigrants—of people from other lands who travel here and “become” American. That's a tall order. But what of those who can never quite belong—the misfits, outliers and strangers in this land that claims to welcome them all? What about those who, despite citizenship, resist inclusion? Moreover, what's it like to grow up, navigate the adventures and terrors of adolescence and young adulthood, as someone on the margins? 

In this course, we will look at novels, short stories, music and art from and about those who insistently remain strangers within America. We will examine the ways in which people who are excluded, whether legally or socially, negotiate relationships to the state and to a sense of Americanness. We will look at how they refuse, transgress, embrace and/or problematize their marginality—how they write themselves into or out of the nation. Beginning with slave narratives and moving into contemporary literature and art, we will think about how some outsiders—racial, sexual, and social—are able to move from the margins into the mainstream and how some never do.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Introduction to the Writing of Short Fiction

English 43A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Melanie Abrams
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 186 Barrows


Book List

Burroway, Janet: Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft

Description

(Note: This course was added on April 26.)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the study of short fiction—to explore the elements that make up the genre, and to enable students to talk critically about short stories and begin to feel comfortable and confident with their own writing of them. Students will write two short stories, along with various exercises, and critiques of their peers' work. The course will be organized as a workshop. All student stories will be edited and critiqued by the instructor and by other students in the class.

Since this is an introduction to the writing of short fiction, all space in the class will be saved for sophomores and freshmen (at least initially). Interested students should enroll directly into this course, and no application or writing sample is required.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Time: Lectures MW 12-1 in 159 Mulford + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 11-12; sec. 102: F 11-12; sec. 103: F 12-1; sec. 104: F 12-1; sec. 105: Th 1-2; sec. 107: Th 2-3)
Location:


Book List

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

Description

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

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


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Goldstein, Amanda Jo
Time: Lectures MW 2-3 in 101 Morgan + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 1-2; sec. 103: F 2-3; sec. 104: F 2-3; sec. 105: Th 9-10; sec. 107: Th 10-11)
Location:


Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Behn, Aphra: Oroonoko; Blake, William: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Songs of Innocence and of Experience; Darwin, Charles: The Voyage of the Beagle; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life; Franklin, Benjamin: Autobiography; Frederick, Douglass: Narrative of the Life (and Other Writings); Melville, Herman: Benito Cereno; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Sterne, Laurence: A Sentimental Journey; Wordsworth & Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads.

Other Readings and Media

Readings from Mary Rowlandson, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Eliza Haywood, Phillis Wheatley, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Nat Turner, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning (and more) will be available in a course reader and/or via the course website.

Description

Do written words cause revolutions, and how might literature aid, absorb, or elude transformations of the social world? This course surveys the revolutionary middle of literary history in English, from 1688 to1848: a period driven and riven by political revolutions (England, America, France, Haiti), imperial rivalry and anti-colonial struggle, industrialization and the lure of the wilderness, chattel slavery and sentimental sympathy, and new forms of media connectivity and alienation. Charting many passages between “Old Europe,” the “New World,” and the “Dark Continent,” we will pay special attention to the ways differently fictional and factual kinds of writing – novel, slave narrative, travelogue, autobiography, poem, polemic and proto-science fiction – shape and parry the period’s scientific, industrial and political transformations, helping to invent (but also to resist) the categories of social, psychic, racial and consumer experience that are familiar to us as inheritors of Anglo-American empire. From the heyday of neo-classical imitation to the Romantic destruction of inherited forms and new experiments in democratic writing, we will ask what the British and American literature of the "Age of Revolution" has to teach us about today’s penchant for “innovation” and “disruption.”


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
Time: Lectures MW 10-11 in 159 Mulford + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 9-10; sec. 103: F 10-11; sec. 104: F 10-11; sec. 105: Th 11-12; sec. 107: Th 1-2)
Location:


Book List

Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home; Coetzee, JM: Disgrace; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Johnson, James Weldon: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Luiselli, Valeria: The Story of My Teeth; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

Required course reader available from MetroPublishing (2440 Bancroft Ave).

Description

This course will survey British, American, and global Anglophone literature from the end of the 19th century through the beginning of the 21st. Moving across a number of genres and movements, this course will examine the ways 20th- and 21st-century writers have used literary form to represent, question, and even produce different aspects of modernity. Particular attention will be paid to close reading and key concepts in literary study, as well as literature’s broader engagements with questions of race, gender and sexuality, colonialism, mass media, and economy.  Evaluation will be based on three papers and a final examination.

Readings will likely include: fiction by James Weldon Johnson, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Salman Rushdie, Alison Bechdel, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, JM Coetzee, and Valeria Luiselli; drama by Samuel Beckett, Susan-Lori Parks, and Caryl Churchill; poetry by Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Matthew Arnold, William Butler Yeats, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, TS Eliot, and WH Auden, among others.


Asian American Literature and Culture: Voice, Text, Image

English 53

Section: 1
Instructor: Leong, Andrew Way
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 204 Wheeler


Book List

Bui, Thi: The Best We Could Do; Yamashita, Karen Tei: I Hotel;

Recommended: Birkenstein & Graff: They Say, I Say; Crews, Frederick: The Random House Handbook

Other Readings and Media

Other short readings, films, videos, and digital media will be distributed through bCourses and a course reader.

Description

This is a brand-new lecture and discussion course that provides a survey of early to contemporary Asian American literary and cultural production. We'll study the broad range of forms that have served as vehicles of Asian American political and cultural expression, including: political oratory, oral histories, folksongs, popular music, traditional and avant-garde poetry, short stories, novels, graphic memoirs, films, fashion blogs, and web videos. Our emphasis on “reading for form” is designed to provide a foundation for students who might be interested in taking additional (historical or special topics) courses in Asian American literature and culture. However, the course can also be taken as a stand-alone, as part of a broader program of study in comparative ethnic literatures, or as a gateway towards further studies in English-language literature. This course is especially suitable for students who have never taken a college-level literary or cultural studies course and would like additional time to practice class discussion and essay writing skills.

The course is divided into three parts: Voice, Text, and Image. In Part I, “Voice,” we will study Asian American speeches, oral histories and songs. We will work through a series of short assignments oriented towards oral recitation and preparation for class discussion. In Part II, “Text,” we will study Asian American poetry, short stories, and novels. In this segment of the course, we will practice techniques for close reading of printed texts. In Part III, “Image,” we will turn to the analysis of images of, or images produced by, Asian Americans in comics, film, and digital media. The assignments in Part III will turn to visual outlining and organization strategies for essay writing. The course will culminate in an 5-7 page final paper.


Sophomore Seminar: The Coen Brothers

English 84

Section: 1
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Time: Tues. 9-12
Location: 300 Wheeler


Book List

Lahiri, J.: Interpreter of Maladies

Description

We will concentrate on the high and low cultural elements in the noir comedies of the Coen brothers, discusing their use of Hollywood genres, parodies of classic conventions, and representation of arbitrariness. We will also read some fiction and attend events at the Pacific Film Archive and Cal Performances.

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


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.


Graduate Courses

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

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


Problems in the Study of Literature

English 200

Section: 1
Instructor: Goldstein, Amanda Jo
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Materials to be provided via the course website.

Description

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

Enrollment is limited to entering doctoral students in the English program.

This course satisfies the Group 1 requirement (problems in the study of literature).


Graduate Readings: On Interpretation

English 203

Section: 1
Instructor: Blanton, C. D.
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

The last several decades have heard repeated, even rhythmic, calls to dispense with ‘interpretation’ as the model and indispensable methodological instrument of reading and critical reason, even within intellectual disciplines seemingly constituted by a history of interpretive practice. But the fact that such calls find themselves so regularly renewed again might also suggest the tenacity of the problem of interpretation as such, even a certain difficulty in avoiding interpretation in the name of avoiding interpretation.

This course will seek to approach this apparent contradiction from two directions. From one angle, we will survey a few of the more pitched battles over interpretation and interpretability, scattered across the intellectual history of the postwar period. From another, we will track a much longer history, sampling a series of hermeneutic systems and traditions that insist on reading behind, beyond, before, and beside—from traditional modes of scriptural exegesis to modern practices of dialectical and psychoanalytic encryption and decryption.

To concentrate our reading, each student will be asked to designate one object (textual, aesthetic, philosophical, or otherwise) to which interpretation itself might return over the course of the term.


Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

English 203

Section: 2
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Time: Tues. 2-5
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Recommended: Hayot, Eric.: The Elements of Academic Style

Other Readings and Media

Participants will upload installments of their writing to our bCourses site on a weekly basis. 

Description

This will be a hands-on writing workshop intended to facilitate and accelerate the transition from qualifying exams to prospectus conference, from prospectus conference to first dissertation chapter, and from the status of student to that of scholar. The workshop provides a collaborative critical community in which to try out successive versions of your dissertation project and to learn how your peers are constructing theirs. We will review a range of prospectuses from the past to demystify the genre and to gain a better understanding of its form and function. The goal is to insure that by the end of the semester, every member of the workshop will have submitted a prospectus to his or her committee.

Writing assignments are designed to structure points of entry into the prospectus: although some of the early assignments may be more immediately relevant to certain projects than to others, they all have the benefit of facilitating the passage from ideas to words on paper or screen according to a series of deadlines. Beginning with exercises to galvanize your thinking, the assignments will map increasingly onto the specific components of the prospectus as the semester proceeds. These assignments provide a skeletal structure rather than a comprehensive guide for your work. You should be reading and thinking about your project throughout the semester (ideally in conversation with your advisor) and may find that working on one assignment triggers productive thinking about another; don’t feel you need to wait for the deadline to start work on it. I will be available to discuss any facet of the writing process by email or to schedule individual meetings outside of regular office hours.


Graduate Readings: Aesthetics and Politics: Kant and Beyond

English 203

Section: 3
Instructor: Goldsmith, Steven
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 65 Evans


Book List

Adorno, T.: Aesthetic Theory; Burke, E.: Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; De Man, P.: Ideology of the Aesthetic; Derrida, J.: The Truth in Painting; Kant, I. : Critique of the Power of Judgment; Rancière, J.: Aesthetics and Its Discontents; Schiller, F.: On the Aesthetic Education of Man

Description

As an introduction to the political possibilities, problems, and questions raised by Kantian aesthetics, this class will navigate between two quotations: 1) Schiller: “If man is ever to solve that problem of politics in practice he will have to approach it through the problem of the aesthetic, because it is only through Beauty that man makes his way to Freedom”; 2) Auden: “Poetry makes nothing happen.”  At first we will focus on eighteenth-century models developed by Burke, Kant, and Schiller, perhaps in conjunction with some romantic poetry.  We will then follow a range of twentieth- and twenty-first century elaborations and contestations, including, among others: Adorno, Arendt, Bourdieu, Clark, Derrida, De Man, Jameson, Lyotard, Ngai, Rancière, and Terada.  Toward the end of the semester, we may want to explore what Kantian aesthetics have to say about our current fascination with new formalisms, materialisms, and other post-critical theories. 


Readings in Middle English

English 212

Section: 1
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Time: M 3-6
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Book List

Borroff, M.: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Burrow, J.: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Burrow, J. and T. Turville-Petre: A Book of Middle English; Patience, Pearl: Verse Translations

Description

This course will survey Middle English literature, excluding Chaucer, beginning with the earliest Middle English texts and ending with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We will focus on language, translation, and close reading to start, leading up to a broader consideration of the Middle English literary tradition and its role in the creation of English literature as we now know it. Students will have a variety of options for written work.


Graduate Proseminar: The Later-Eighteenth Century

English 246F

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Time: W 3-6
Location: 106 Mulford


Book List

Burke, Edmund: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (Oxford); Burke, Edmund: Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford); Burney, Frances: Evelina (Norton); Johnson, Samuel: Selected Poetry and Prose [ed Wimsatt and Brady]; Johnson and Boswell: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland; Tour of the Hebrides; Smith, Adam: Theory of Moral Sentiments (Liberty Fund); Sterne, Laurence: A Sentimental Journey (Penguin); Walpole, Horace: The Castle of Otranto (Oxford); Williams, Helen Maria: Letters, Written in France (Broadview); Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads, 1798 and 1800 (Routledge);

Recommended: Williams, Raymond: Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society

Other Readings and Media

One Course Reader (possibly in two volumes). Location for purchase to be announced.

Description

The later eighteenth century has presented literary historians with more than the usual challenges to periodization and organization by author, movement, or genre. The years between (roughly) 1740-1800 witnessed the proliferation of new genres in verse and prose alike, the transformation of existing ones, and the recovery of archaic forms. Proceeding with more of a chronological drift than in strict chronological order, we will try to do justice to the heterogeneity and eccentricity of the period, investigating its adjacent and overlapping concerns largely by topic and question. These will include: the emerging category of “literature” within letters or written material; aesthetic theory in relation to empiricism and science; the Scottish Enlightenment and theories of sympathy; skirmishes over the “common” tongue and the idea of “the people”; natural history and landscape description; the revival of romance before “Romanticism”; antiquarian impulses and forms (and forgeries); borders and peripheries within the nation; new international spaces and sentiment; experimental and revolutionary cultures. In addition to the primary texts, you will get an introduction to some of the critical discussions within later eighteenth-century and early Romantic studies.

The Course Reader (or Readers) will be the source of many of our readings, including the primary texts by Anna Barbauld, Hugh Blair, William Collins, William Cowper, Oliver Goldsmith, Lord Kames, Thomas Gray, David Hume, James Macpherson, Joseph Priestley, Christopher Smart, Charlotte Smith, Edward Young, as well as all of our secondary materials.


Literature in English, 1900-1945

English 246K

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Conrad, Joseph: Secret Agent; DuBois, W.E.B.: Souls of Black Folk; H. D.: Asphodel; Larsen, Nella: Quicksand; Lawrence, D.H.: Women in Love; Lewis, Wyndham: Tarr; Wells, H.G.: Modern Utopia; Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

Other Readings and Media

Secondary readings by Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Frederic Jameson, and Ewa Ziarek

Description

In this seminar, we will read a wide range of British and American novels from the first half of the twentieth century focusing on the intersections between modernism and theories of modernity. While we will pay considerable attention to modernism's diverse modes of formal experimentation, we will also closely examine various works of social theory—some drawn from the early twentieth century, and others drawn from recent works of criticism. The course readings will address a range of topics such as the aesthetics of internationalism and fascist reaction; empire, nationalism, and colonial resistance; race and theories of diaspora; vitalism, irrationalism, and techno-modernism.


Research Seminar: The English Department

English 250

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: Tues. 3:30-6:30
Location: 180 Barrows


Description

The English Department is one of the most curious developments in the history of human civilization. What do we study? The answer used to be, “literary texts of the English canon.” But then we questioned what belonged to the canon, what constituted a literary text and whether its segregation from non-literary texts was defensible, and eventually whether we should restrain ourselves to the study of texts at all. 

At times, we have claimed that what holds together students of English is not what we study but how we do so. But what exactly are the skills that we teach to our students? Other literature departments require the knowledge of at least one foreign language; most English majors read texts in their first language. There are some “methods” that we supposedly share, such as “close reading” or “critical thinking.” Yet, aside from the difficulty of explaining why we should have exclusive claims to either of these skills, we have called them into doubt by exposing their historical particularities, epistemological biases, and political inefficiencies.

But what if this constant self-questioning of the subjects and methods is not an incidental feature of the study of English but belongs to it in some essential way? What if behind the debates about English there is an ideal of an academic discipline that is completely democratic? If such an ideal were to exist, it would have to wrestle with its own paradoxical nature, especially the fact that it seeks to establish an academic discipline, that is, a branch of knowledge separate from all other branches of knowledge, and yet it wants to leave or actively make this knowledge accessible to all. Why would we want such a discipline, and what are the consequences of wanting it? 

In this course, we will be looking at the Department of English as a social and intellectual experiment with a fascinating past, a challenging present, and a doubtful future. What were the original motivations behind its establishment? What are the driving forces that continue to maintain it today? What are the particular challenges facing the English department and its students in the 21st century? And finally: what do we want its future to look like? 

While the course focuses on the particular case of English Department, it is open to any graduate student interested in the histories, theories, and ethnographies of the university, in the relationship between academia and its publics, and/or in the philosophies and political theories of education in general. Assignments include the preparation of a syllabus for an undergraduate course you see yourself teaching in the future; a full, written-out lecture for the same course; as well as a final paper considering any one of the topics explored in our course. Readings include chapters from the history of literary criticism from Matthew Arnold to Eve Sedgwick, accounts of the modern university from Wilhelm Humboldt to Tomoko Masuzawa and Sara Ahmed, histories and critiques of the English Department from Gerald Graff to Fred Moten and Stefano Harvey, and political theories of education from Thomas More to Ivan Illich and Hannah Arendt. All readings will be posted on bCourses.


Research Seminar: Transcendentalism

English 250

Section: 2
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
Time: Thurs. 3:30-6:30
Location: 180 Barrows


Book List

Cavell, Stanley: Emerson's Transcendental Etudes; Cavell, Stanley: The Senses of Walden; Emerson, Ralph Waldo: The Portable Emerson; Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Blithedale Romance; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth: Army Life in a Black Regiment; James, Henry: The Bostonians; Thoreau, Henry David: The Portable Thoreau; ed. Buell : The American Transcendentalists: Essential Writings

Description

This course considers Transcendentalism and its legacies with particular focus on the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson from the publication of Nature (1836) through Letters and Social Aims (1875).  Following Emerson's career in essays, lectures, and journals, we will examine his relationship across the nineteenth century to the intellectual and social history of the movement he defined.  What began in religious dissent from orthodoxies at Harvard became a program for reform and antislavery, for public intellectualism, for self-culture, and for new experiments in reading, writing, and living.  We’ll read Emerson beside major works by Henry David Thoreau and Margaret Fuller, plus George Ripley on utopianism, Bronson Alcott on education, Orestes Brownson on the “laboring classes,” Theodore Parker on hermeneutics, and Jones Very on Transcendentalism as a poetic practice.  We’ll also read responses to Transcendentalism by Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, and Henry James.  Central to our discussions will be the movement’s engagement with German and British Romanticism (especially Kant, Schleiermacher, Herder, Strauss, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Carlyle) and, finally, the engagement of Nietzsche and others with Transcendentalism as an American answer to philosophical thinking.


The Teaching of Composition and Literature

English 375

Section: 1
Instructor: Serpell, C. Namwali
Sirianni, Lucy
Time: Tues. 10:30-12:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

This course introduces new English Department GSIs to the theory and practice of teaching literature and writing, first for discussion sections of lecture courses, and second, for self-designed reading and composition (R&C) courses. By the end of the semester, we will have developed sets of teaching materials and syllabuses for current and future courses. This course qualifies for the GSI Teaching and Resource Center’s Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.