Announcement of Classes: Spring 2020


Introduction to Old English

English 104

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 2032 VLSB


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

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

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

 


English Drama from 1603 to 1700

English 114B

Section: 1
Instructor: Landreth, David
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Congreve, William: Love for Love; Fletcher, John: The Island Princess; Ford, John: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Jonson, Ben: Bartholmew Fair; Jonson, Ben: Masques; Jonson et al.: Eastward Ho!; Marston, John: The Malcontent; Middleton and Dekker: The Roaring Girl; Middleton and Rowley: The Changeling; Milton, John: Samson Agonistes; Shakespeare, William: The Tempest; Webster, John: The Duchess of Malfi; Wycherley, William: The Country Wife

Description

Reaching across the upheavals of the seventeenth century, this class studies the triumphant age of drama after Shakespeare, the Jacobean period; the reactions against the drama that led to the closing of London's theaters during the English Civil War and the Commonwealth; and the renewal of drama in the Restoration of the monarchy. We'll consider the relations between staged action and the chaotic urban environment of London; the growth of consumer culture, international trade, and global consciousness; the defiant frivolity of wit; and the darker delights of... revenge.

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


The English Renaissance (17th Century)

English 115B

Section: 1
Instructor: Kahn, Victoria
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 206 Dwinelle


Book List

Rudrum, Alan: Broadview Anthology of Seventtent-Century Verse and Prose: VOL 1 only: VERSE

Description

An introduction to one of the great ages of English literature, focusing on works by John Donne, Ben Jonson, George Herbert, Thomas Hobbes, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Robert Herrick, Margaret Cavendish, Katharine Phillips. We will discuss the relationship between literature and the court of James I, the explosion of pamphlet literature during the English civil war, the controversy over gender roles, the texts surrounding the regicide of Charles I, and the political, religious, and sexual radicalism of dissenting literary culture.

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


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 1
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: Lectures TTh 4-5 in 141 McCone + one hour of discussion section per week in 300 Wheeler (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 11-12; sec. 103: F 12-1; sec. 104: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

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

Recommended: Greenblatt, Stephen: Will in the World

Description

What makes Shakespeare Shakespeare?  We’ll search for answers to that question through the astonishing variety of Shakespeare’s plays.  We’ll explore the ways that Shakespeare develops plot and character in his drama, as well as the literary, social, sexual, religious, political, and philosophical issues that he conceptualizes through plot and character.  Finally, we’ll trace how Shakespeare’s dramaturgy is shaped by his evolving sense of pride and shame in his work as a mass entertainer.


Milton

English 118

Section: 1
Instructor: Picciotto, Joanna M
Time: Lectures MW 2-3 in 56 Barrows + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec.101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3)
Location:


Description

We'll explore John Milton's career, a lifelong effort to unite intellectual, political, and artistic experimentation.

Required Text: John Milton, The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, ed. William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen Fallon (Modern Library). NOT THE KINDLE VERSION.

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


The English Novel (Defoe through Scott)

English 125A

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 229 Dwinelle


Description

The period from which our reading draws has been credited with the “rise of the novel”—the emergence of the then new genre, the “novel,” so familiar to us today. While critics have qualified and revised that claim, the texts we’ll read do experiment with new forms of prose fiction and new ideas about what is worth representing. As we read these works and track their innovations, we shall be especially interested in considering what it was that some found dangerous about them. Like surfing the internet, novel reading wasn’t something you wanted the “impressionable”—from teenagers to women—to do alone, or maybe at all. Might the perceived threat have had something to do with early novels’ connection to romance and the erotic? Might it have to do with what one critic calls the “narrative transvestitism” of the early novel—in which men write books featuring female heroines who will describe, in an innovative, frank prose style, how a woman really feels? Highly conscious of these debates, eighteenth-century writers responded to them in their generic experiments, deploying rhetorical and thematic means to legitimate their writing, appealing to (and sometimes transforming) moral discourse, and creating hybrids of new and classical writing, all offering complex new forms of writing and, some would argue, consciousness.

Course Requirements will include quizzes, participation, including a group presentation, two papers, a mid-term exam, and a final. 

Course texts will likely include: Eliza Haywood: Love in Excess; Daniel Defoe: Roxana; Samuel Richardson: Pamela; Henry Fielding: Shamela and Joseph Andrews, Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto; Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey.

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


The European Novel

English 125C

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 2038 VLSB


Book List

Balzac, Honore de: Pere Goriot; Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary; Goethe, Johann Wolfgang: Wilhelm Meister's Years of Apprenticeship; Grimmelhausen, Hans Jakob: The Adventures of Simplicious Simplicissimus; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

In The Theory of the Novel, Georg Lukacs writes, “The novel form is, like no other, an expression of transcendental homelessness.”  This course will survey the history of the European novel in the context of “rootlessness” and “estrangement”—“rootlessness” vis-a-vis class, nation and gender, and “estrangement” vis-a-vis the self.


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

English 125C

Section: 2
Instructor: Golburt, Lyubov
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Description

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

All novels considered in this course are markedly experimental. Each showcases a different dimension of the novel genre: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) is a sentimental epistolary novel; Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), an epistolary Gothic horror novel that also lays the groundwork for the emergence of science fiction; Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (1823-1831), an ironic and fragmentary novel in verse; Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1856), a novel that establishes the model of modern realist narration; and finally, Leo Tolstoy's magisterial War and Peace (1865-1869), a text that can be loosely termed a historical novel while raising crucial questions about the very premises of what it means to be historical and novelistic.

Book List (specified editions are highly recommended; print versions preferred to digital):  Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, trans. David Constantine, Oxford World Classics, 978-0199583027; Shelley, Frankenstein, ed. J. Paul Hunter, Norton Critical Editions, 978-0393927931; Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. James Falen, Oxford University Press, 978-0199538645; Flaubert, Madame Bovary, ed. Margaret Cohen, Norton Critical Editions, 978-0393979176; Tolstoy, War and Peace, trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude, Norton Critical Editions, 978-0393966473

This section of English 125C is cross-listed with Slavic 133.


The Contemporary Novel

English 125E

Section: 1
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: Lectures MW 9-10 in 141 McCone + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 9-10; sec. 103: F 10-11; sec. 104: F 10-11)
Location:


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: Oryx and Crake; Egan, Jennifer: A Visit from the Goon Squad; Hamid, Mohsin: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Lerner, Ben: 10:04; McCarthy, Cormac: The Road; Watkins, Claire Vay: Gold Fame Citrus; Whitehead, Colson: The Underground Railroad

Description

While the novel has a rich and storied past, its newness—its NOVEL-ty—is built into its very name. In this course, we will consider the innovations, formal and otherwise, through which the novel continues to surprise and engage us in the 21st century. How does this literary form represent our contemporary world? What does the novel have to say about our very recent past, about our present moment . . . and about our future? Let's find out.

The readings for the course will include some but not all of the listed novels, so don’t buy any of them until you get the syllabus on the first day of class. We will also read some book reviews as well as some popular and scholarly essays. Written assignments for the course will include frequent bCourses posts, several short essays, and a final exam.


British Literature, 1900-1945

English 126

Section: 1
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Time: Lectures TTh 2-3 in 20 Barrows + one hour of discussion section per week in 305 Wheeler (sec. 101: F 2-3; sec. 102: F 3-4)
Location:


Book List

Conrad, Joseph: Lord Jim; Joyce, James: Ulysses; Rhys, Jean: Good Morning, Midnight; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Description

In this course, we will examine British and Irish literature from the turn of the twentieth century through the aftermath of World War II. This was a period of tremendous turmoil and thoroughgoing change in Britain, Ireland, and the world. Looking at a handful of the most significant texts from this period, we will investigate how they register and refract those massive political and cultural shifts, how we might characterize British and Irish literature within the larger rubrics of literary and artistic modernism, and how writers reckoned with such large-scale changes by locating new ways to pressurize, reroute, scramble, and evade inherited forms, modes, and genres. Along with the novels by Conrad, Joyce, Rhys, and Woolf listed above, we will also read poems and essays by Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, Mina Loy, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, W.H. Auden, Stevie Smith, Derek Walcott, and Philip Larkin. These shorter texts will be available electronically and in a reader.


Modern Poetry

English 127

Section: 1
Instructor: Altieri, Charles F.
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 223 Dwinelle


Book List

Rahmazani et al, Jahan: Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry

Description

This course will be a general survey studying the major writers and stylistic experiments that have shaped contemporary poets' understanding of their heritage.  We will go into depth on particular poems but will not be very attentive to the shape of overall careers.  Poets will include Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Loy, Moore, Williams, Stevens, Crane, then the most important post-WW II poets, Lowell, Plath, Ashbery, O'Hara, and probably Creeley.  There will be a decent amount of writing early in the semester, then a mid-term, term paper of about 10 pages, and final. The emphasis will be on how poetry can generate considerable imaginative force because of the authorial choices it exhibits.


American Literature: Before 1800

English 130A

Section: 1
Instructor: Donegan, Kathleen
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

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

Description

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

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

This course also satisfies the university's Historical Studies breadth requirement.


American Novel

English 132

Section: 1
Instructor: McWilliams, Ryan
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 54 Barrows


Book List

Brown, Charles Brockden: Edgar Huntly; Chopin, Kate: The Awakening; Cole, Teju: Open City; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior; Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick; or, The Whale; Morrison, Toni: Beloved

Description

This survey of the American novel begins with a somnambulist whose surprisingly violent rambles in the summer of 1787 raise questions about responsibility for the land theft that undergirded the emergent nation. It ends with a twenty-first-century Nigerian-American flaneur whose urban peregrinations call into question the coherence of borders in a globalized world. In response to these de-territorializing, non-linear journeys, this course begins by interrogating the deceptively simple terms “novel” and “American,” asking how they have shaped one another over time.               

As we saunter through the centuries separating somnambulist and flaneur, we will pay special attention to the peculiarly haunted dimensions of American psychic life. We will consider how the uncanny centrality of phantoms, ghosts, reveries, and nightmarish apparitions has allowed authors to complicate matters of inclusion and exclusion, of representation (both political and artistic) and the unrepresentable. In turn, how have thematic entanglements of historical memory and the return of the repressed inflected authors' uses of voice and perspective, narration and description, fragmentation and organicism? By treating the novel as a form emerging from a particular social and ideological history, we will consider how its development has alternately enabled and resisted broader national narratives about where the nation came from, where it is going, and what it means.


African American Literature and Culture Before 1917

English 133A

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: MW 5-6:30 PM
Location: 179 Dwinelle


Book List

Brown, William Wells: Clotel; Chesnutt, Charles: The Marrow of Tradition; Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life; Du Bois, W. E. B.: The Souls of Black Folk; Equiano, Olaudah: Interesting Narrative; Harper, Frances: Iola Leroy; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Wells-Barnett, Ida B.: Lynch Law in Georgia; Wheatley, Phillis: Complete Writings

Other Readings and Media

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

Description

This course explores African American literary history from its beginning in the eighteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, interpreting major works in the context of slavery and its aftermath. We will reflect on the complex relationship between literature and political activism by examining the genres and formal devices through which African Americans responded to the demand for individual and collective self-representation. Course themes include authorship and authenticity, captivity and deliverance, law and violence, memory and imagination, kinship and miscegenation, passing and racial impersonation, dialect and double consciousness. Works by authors such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, and W. E. B. Du Bois are supplemented by readings in history, theory, and criticism. Two essays, two exams, and weekly writing.

This course satisfies the university's Historical Studies breadth requirement.


Literature of American Cultures: American Hustle

English 135AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: Lectures TTh 4-5 in 140 Barrows + one hour of discussion section per week in 305 Wheeler (sec. 101: F 12-1; sec. 102: F 1-2)
Location:


Description

This course, which constitutes a survey of ethnic American literature, asks about the desires, imagination, and labor that go into the American dream. What is the relationship between immigration and dreams of upward mobility in America? This course will examine films, novels, and short stories in which the American dream comes apart at the seams to think about the fantasies of belonging and prosperity that fuel immigration and its effect on how we think about race, ethnicity, class, and citizenship.

We will examine the ways in which people negotiate relationships to the state and to a sense of Americanness through fantasies of economic prosperity and increased possibility—how do some communities come to be figured as “model minorities” and others burdens on the state? In this class, we are going to do and to talk about work: getting work, making it work, working the system. We will study narratives of struggle, belonging, becoming, and coming undone across a variety of immigrant and ethnic American communities. There is no singular America that we will seek to depict in this class: its fractures, failures, and violences are of as much interest to us as its bounty, promise, and welcome. For this reason, we will engage a range of historical, sociological, and theoretical material to understand how ethnic and racial categories have been formed and produced in America. Students will develop a critical vocabulary for race, gender, and class in contemporary America and an understanding of their historical antecedents.

Texts may include: W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk; Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart; and Jish Gen, Mona in the Promise Land.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Topics in American Studies: American Culture in the Age of Obama

English C136

Section: 1
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 20 Wheeler


Book List

Lim, Eugene: Dear Cyborgs; Obama, Barack: Dreams from My Father; Ward, Jessmyn: Salvage the Bones; Whitehead, Colson: The Underground Railroad

Other Readings and Media

Janelle Monáe, “Many Moons” (2008); The ArchAndroid, Suites II & III (2010); Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton: An American Musical (2015); George Saunders, “Escape from Spiderhead” (2010); Key & Peele (2012-2015), selected sketches; Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins, 2016); Kendrick Lamar, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” (2012); To Pimp a Butterfly (2015); Flying Lotus with Kendrick Lamar, “Never Catch Me”; Beyoncé, Lemonade (album and film) (2016); John Keene, “Rivers” and “Cold” from Counternarratives (2015); Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele, 2017)

Description

This course traces, across many forms of American culture, what might be called “the Obama effect.” Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has suggested that the election of Obama prompted a renaissance of black writing, in part by stimulating “curiosity about the community he had so consciously made his home and all the old, fitfully slumbering questions he’d awakened about American identity.”

In this course, we’ll examine how a wide range of imaginative writers, in a wide spectrum of genres, took on those questions, often offering “counternarratives” to conventional myths of American innocence, achievement, and glory. We’ll also explore works of music, film, and theater that, like Obama’s autobiography, rewrote the romance of America—whether, say, by adding hip-hop accents to the story of the country’s founding (Hamilton), turning a story of interracial romance into a horror tale (Get Out), or creating an Afro-futurist, queer-inflected story of slave revolt (Janelle Monáe’s Metropolis saga).

Along the way, we’ll consider two of the social movements that coalesced and gathered force during Obama’s presidency: Occupy and Black Lives Matter. We’ll investigate how these movements challenged the limits—political, economic, moral—of the “age of Obama” through art and political action, and looked to create new forms of radical community while protesting inequality and state violence.

This course is cross-listed with American Studies C111E.


Topics in Chicanx Literature and Culture: Chicanx Novels

English 137T

Section: 1
Instructor: Gonzalez, Marcial
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 140 Barrows


Book List

Castillo, Ana: Sapogonia; Gonzalez, Rigoberto: Crossing Vines; Islas, Arturo: The Rain God; Pineda, Cecile: Face; Rechy, John: City of Night; Rivera-Garza, Cristina: No One Will See Me Cry; Ruiz, Ronald: Happy Birthday Jesus; Vea, Alfredo: Gods Go Begging; Viramontes, Helena Maria: Their Dogs Came with Them

Description

This course will focus exclusively on the study of Chicanx novels. The themes and formal features in these novels have been influenced to a large degree by a broad range of social experiences: living in the borderlands of nationality, language, politics, and culture; growing up female in a male-centered environment; standing up against racism; engaging in class struggles; encountering various forms of organized state repression; migrating and immigrating; getting involved in political movements; sometimes becoming complicit with the forces of domination; and expressing these experiences in art and literature. Because this is a reading-intensive course, we will spend considerable time in class discussing the novels and conducting collective close readings of selected passages. Class participation is required and will be factored into the course grade. We'll be attentive to the manner in which the act of storytelling in Chicanx novels contributes to the formation of complex and sometimes contradictory cultural identities. We'll also read and discuss works of literary criticism and history to facilitate our analysis of the social issues and aesthetic qualities that inform the writing of these novels and to understand how Chicanx novels expand and enrich the American literary tradition generally.


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

English 141

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Description

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

Discussion, workshopping, writing prompts.

Texts TBA.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Melanie Abrams
Time: MW 9-10:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Burroway, Janet: Writing Fiction

Other Readings and Media

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

Description

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

Only continuing, upper-division 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, OCTOBER 31.

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


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: Rowland, Amy
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 180 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

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

Description

This course is a workshop that focuses on writing and revising short fiction. We will also read published short stories and other literary work to see how writers craft effective stories. We will examine the essentials of voice, character, setting, structure, point of view, conflict, and the use of language. Students will present their own fiction, and will also be careful and empathetic readers of the work of others.

During the course, students will be responsible for constructively critiquing their classmates' work, sharing their own work, and reading closely for class discussion. Each student will write two short stories over the course of the semester.

Only continuing, upper-division 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, OCTOBER 31.

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


Verse

English 143B

Section: 1
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

In this course you will conduct a progressive series of explorations in which you will try some of the fundamental options for writing poetry today (or any day)--aperture and closure; rhythmic sound patterning; sentence and line; short and long-lined poems; image & figure; stanza; poetic forms; the first, second, and third person (persona, address, drama, narrative, description); prose poetry, and revision. Our emphasis will be on recent possibilities, both ethnically and poetically diverse, with an eye and ear to renovating traditions. We will also read a number of poems by graduates of my 143B sections who have gone on to publish books and win prizes. I have no “house style” and only one precept:  you can do anything, if you can do it. You will write a poem a week, and we’ll discuss four or five in rotation (I’ll also respond each week to every poem you write). On alternate days, we’ll discuss illustrative poems in our course reader. If the past is any guarantee, the course will be fun and will make you a better poet.

Only continuing, upper-division 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, OCTOBER 31.

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


Verse

English 143B

Section: 2
Instructor: Matuk, Farid
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 104 Dwinelle


Book List

Cha, Teresa Hak Kyung: Dictee; Duncan, Robert: Selected Poems; Holiday, Harmony: Hollywood Forever

Description

As some would have it, the field of verse can be organized into poems and non-poems, poets and non-poets. In this schema poets are individuals who bear responsibility for the asethetic choices that produce poems, and poems are things that instruct and delight, while non-poets are artists who train themselves to receive energies, and the texts they offer as a record of that contact care, primarily, to reveal what a person is.

To test that theory, and to see if we might develop alternative orders, this course will follow the work of three Berkeley-identified writers—Robert Duncan, Teresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Harmony Holiday. Beyond having studied at or graduated from Cal (Holiday took more than one section of English 143B), all three writers share a practice of grounding their work in relation to continually evolving archives.

With their examples in mind, this course asks you to amass and share a personal archive that includes traces of where you come from and that, perhaps, points to where you're headed. This archive can include print and digital images, video and audio recordings, personal or public texts. You can think of your archive as personal and cultural, bound to your lifetime or inclusive of ancestors. We'll explore commonly accessible digital platforms such as Google Drive and Tumblr to house and share these burgeoning archives.

Duncan, Cha, and Holiday used strategies that included fixed verse forms, performance, video art, and real-time improvisation to write with and through their archives. You'll choose from anong these approaches and hopefully devise a few of your own as you create original works that emerge from and extend your archives. Our class meetings will include reading, discussion, writing in response to prompts and critiques of work in progress. Your work will culminate in a portfolio in a form determined by your curiosities and concerns.

Only continuing, upper-division 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 deadine for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31.

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


Prose Nonfiction: Personal Essay

English 143N

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 186 Barrows


Book List

Als, Hilton: Best American Essays 2018

Description

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

Only continuing, upper-division 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, OCTOBER 31.

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


Writing Technology: Science Fiction

English 145

Section: 1
Instructor: Serpell, C. Namwali
Time: Lectures MW 11-12 in 3 Leconte + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 11-12; sec. 102: F 11-12; sec. 103: F 12-1; sec. 104: F 12-1)
Location:


Book List

Anderson: Feed ; Anthropy: Rise of the Videogame Zinesters ; Asimov: I, Robot ; Chandra: Geek Sublime ; Delany: Babel-17 ; Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ; Forster: The Machine Stops; Gibson: Neuromancer ; Hu: A Prehistory of the Cloud.

Other Readings and Media

A course reader of essays and stories.

Film/TV: Lang, Metropolis; Scott, Blade Runner; The Wachowskis, The Matrix; Villaneuve, Blade Runner 2049; Brooker, Black Mirror.

Description

This introductory course considers an overlap among the disciplines of English, Computer Science, and Data Science—British and American narratives that revolve around technology. We'll look at visual and verbal texts from the early twentieth century to now, including essays, stories, novels, films, and TV episodes. These forms of "techno-lit" speculate about current and future technologies, including machines, codes, games, and networks. We’ll explore questions about time and space, language and data, the politics of virtual and material embodiment, and the ethics of our historical and current relationship to technology. This writing-intensive course also offers exposure to and practice in different ways to "write technology," including history of science, tech journalism, and science fiction.


Methods and Materials of Literary Criticism

English 160

Section: 1
Instructor: Puckett, Kent
Time: Thurs. 2-5
Location: 83 Dwinelle


Description

In this course, we will look at some major moments in and read some major works of literary criticism written in English.  Beginning with Sir Philip Sidney’s “The Defence of Poesy” and moving through writing by William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, J. S. Mill, Matthew Arnold, George Eliot, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, A. C. Bradley, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, William Empson, Cleanth Brooks, James Baldwin, Kenneth Burke, Raymond Williams, Northrop Frye, C.L.R. James, Harold Bloom, Paul de Man, Edward Said, Toni Morrison, Eve Sedgwick, and others, we’ll read British and American literary criticism in order to do a few related things.  First, we’ll look to these writers in order to consider some questions essential to thinking about literature and literary language: What is literature?  What is it for?  Is literature literary because it entertains, because it instructs, because it is ordered, beautiful, dangerous, or strange?  What, if anything, makes literary language different from other kinds of language?  And what analytic, descriptive, or interpretive methods are appropriate to what might be specific about literary language?  Second, we’ll look to these writers at work, looking closely at how different critics engage with their different chosen objects, how they understand the practical and maybe impractical ends of criticism, and how they write about writing.  We’ll see how Arnold reads and writes about Wordsworth, how Woolf reads and writes about Austen, how Coleridge, Bradley, and Wilde read and write about Shakespeare, how Morrison reads and writes about Melville, and how Henry James reads and writes about Henry James.  Third, we’ll look at some ways in which the more or less continuous modern history of literary criticism in Britain and America responds to other histories—to revolution, reaction, political upheaval, world wars, cold wars, empire, decolonization, social movements, social networks, as well as the economic, political, and cultural vicissitudes of the modern university.


Special Topics: Traditions of Mourning and the Representation of the Holocaust

English 165

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Time: MW 3-4:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Levi, Primo: The Drowned and the Saved; Sebald, W. G.: The Emigrants; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet; Teichman and Leder, eds.: Truth and Lamentation: Stories and Poems on the Holocaust

Other Readings and Media

A Course Reader (possibly in two volumes)

Description

After World War II, the German writer Theodor Adorno famously commented that it is “barbaric” to continue to write poetry after Auschwitz, because any attempt to convert extreme suffering into aesthetic image or form commits an injustice against the victims. Yet, as Adorno also acknowledged almost in the same breath, art forms are also necessary, because silence, or at least the failure to render or to transmit the event and its implications in some way, can constitute an injustice of another sort. As that statement can suggest, the Holocaust has posed an acute challenge to the long history of literary mourning and to the elegiac mode in particular, because the elegy, traditionally a poem that performs the work of mourning, looks for—though it does not necessarily find—consolation in language and literary form.

This seminar has two main parts. We will first establish a background and a vocabulary by reading selected elegiac texts (largely but not exclusively poetry) from different historical moments and in different traditions, from classical pastoral to the present. These will be collected in an important Course Reader.  Later in the semester, we will turn to problems in Holocaust representation, trauma, and memory. Throughout this course, we will combine attention to primary texts with consideration of relevant criticism and theory, as we ask questions about the relationships between elegy and anti-elegy, loss and language, mourning and historiography (the writing of history), personal grief and collective expression.


Special Topics: Enlightenment & Romance: Scotland in the 18th Century

English 165

Section: 2
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 124 Wheeler


Book List

Burns, Robert: Selected Poems; Hogg, James: Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Hume, David: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; Johnson, Samuel: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland; Scott, Walter: Redgauntlet: A Tale of the Eighteenth Century; Smollett, Tobias: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

Other Readings and Media

Selections from Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, Hugh Blair, Robert Fergusson, James Macpherson, Dorothy Wordsworth (etc.) to be made available in a course reader.

Description

Eighteenth-century Scotland was home both to the so-called Scottish Enlightenment, one of the advanced civil societies in the Atlantic world, and to the beginnings of the global movement of taste and feeling later to be called Romanticism. Here were invented signature discourses of the modern human sciences (sociological history, anthropology, political economy) as well as literary forms of ancient indigenous epic, the poetry of popular life, and the historical novel. If Scotland, on the one hand, “invented the modern world,” it also became, on the other, a haunted landscape in the symbolic geography of Romanticism—a site of lost worlds of tradition and allegiance: an imaginary role it still holds today (although debates around the 2014 referendum on Scottish Independence opted for an enlightened, civic conception of the modern nation rather than appealing to Romantic nostalgia). Our course will consider the production of Scotland and its world horizons by Scottish writers and institutions as well as its consumption in tourist itineraries and media fantasies, and its problematical legacies in neoliberal economics and nationalist ideology. We will read selections from some key works of Enlightenment moral philosophy and history alongside Scottish innovations in poetry and fiction (Macpherson's "Poems of Ossian"; Burns and the vernacular poetry revival; Romantic historical fiction).

Readings will include: David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding; Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments; Adam Ferguson, Essay on the History of Civil Society; James Macpherson, Fragments of Ancient Poetry and Fingal; Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns, selected poems; Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker; Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides; Dorothy Wordsworth, Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland; Walter Scott, Redgauntlet; James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. [NB: Coursebooks will be ordered from University Press Books, on Bancroft Ave.)

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


Special Topics: On Lies, Lying, and Post-Truths--A Reading- and Writing-Intensive Investigation

English 165

Section: 3
Instructor: Nadaff, Ramona
Time: W 3-6
Location: 230 Mulford


Book List

Carrere: Adversary; Davis: The Return of Martin Guerre; Samuels: The Runner

Description

Read a newspaper, listen to the news or a podcast, scan social media—lies are everywhere. The subject of much intellectual debate, social and political anxiety, and ethical and psychological consternation, lies are hard to grasp and capture, contain and constrain, slippery speech acts that they are. Many are the voices that identify the present epoch as that of the lie, of the death of the fact, and of the advent of the reign of post-truths. Whether this be true or false, propaganda or ideology, normal or catastrophic, contemporary writing on the regime of lies forgets that lies—like truth—have a history, and a long one at that. The history of lying is at the very center of the rhetorical, political, philosophical, and literary tradition.

This course will examine the histories of lies from Plato, Augustine, Machiavelli, Nietzsche to Derrida and beyond. In-depth readings from canonical philosophical, literary, political and historical works will be interwoven with case-studies on particular (and often peculiar) liars—be they con artists, plaguerers, financiers, or artists. We will concentrate especially on how lies are distinguished—or not—from truth, error, falsehood and deception. While most writings on lies and lying tend to take seriously only the moral dimensions of lying—"Is it good or bad to lie?" "Under what conditions is a lie morally permissible?"—we will attempt to understand what is at stake for individuals when and if they choose mendacity. Guest lecturers, experts on lying from the arts, sciences, politics, and literary world, will also enlighten us about liars' rhetorical strategies and performances.

This course is not only a reading-intensive course. It is also writing-intensive, designed to teach students how to write clear, critical, and persuasive prose across a broad range of genres. While we will concentrate on the art of writing an essay, we will also experiment with other modes of writing, such as the book review, the memoir, the op-ed, the blog post, and the email. Each week, we will study readings on the essential elements of composition, analyzing the art of the sentence and the paragraph.

Students enrolling in this class should expect to write at least 2-4 pages per week. Writing exercises will be attentively reviewed and copy-edited.

This section of English 165 is cross-listed with Rhetoric 189 section 1.


Special Topics: Family Histories from the Margins

English 165

Section: 4
Instructor: Wilson, Evan
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 54 Barrows


Book List

Ball, Edward: Slaves in the Family; Bronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights; Butler, Octavia: Kindred; Faulkner, William: Absalom, Absalom!; Hartman, Saidiya V.: Lose Your Mother; Morrison, Toni: Beloved

Other Readings and Media

A selection of articles and excerpts introducing the history and anthropology of the family, along with a smattering of genealogical articles

Description

This seminar will explore the fraught status of families in literature and what it means to write about one’s own family. The family has generated a diverse range of literary and textual forms, from the list of “begats” in the book of Genesis to the family drama or epic that arcs across multiple generations. We’ll consider how families and their distinctive structures and problems call forth and shape narratives. As we’ll see, the discursive construction of a family depends on the social structures of class, wealth, race, and political power in which that family operates.

Each of our texts works in or from marginal spaces, including geographical margins (the Yorkshire moors), narrative margins, and the margins of the archive. A recurring theme of our readings is the problem of writing about families shaped, torn apart, or made archivally invisible by chattel slavery, which dictated that its subjects could be separated and exchanged at will—that they had no history and no public identity as members of families. Our novels and nonfiction texts may ultimately show how building a narrative can have an intimate connection to the act of finding, or claiming, a family of one’s own.

One of our goals will be to explore how our own senses of family shape the way we read and write. Accordingly, you will do some personal writing in addition to writing about our texts.


Special Topics in American Cultures: Ethnicity, Religion and Literature

English 165AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Fehrenbacher, Dena
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Anzaldua, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera; Baldwin, James: The Fire Next Time; Hurston, Zora Neale: Moses, Man of the Mountain; Ozeki, Ruth: A Tale for the Time Being; Silko, Leslie Marmon: Ceremony; Yang, Gene Luen: Boxers/Saints

Other Readings and Media

In addition to the novels listed above, students will read excerpts and selected texts, a few of which will include:  Malcolm X and Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Mary Antin, The Promised Land; Vine Deloria Jr., God is RedCuster Died for Your Sins; Richard Wright, Black Boy/American Hunger

Description

This class will explore how 20th- and 21st-century American prose fictions have imagined the relationship between religion and ethnicity. Our first questions will be formal: How do different formal choices allow these writers to render different forms of ethnic and religious belonging, and their relation? How might traditional narrative strategies be (in)compatible with representing the religious belonging, practices, beliefs and experiences of ethnic minorities in the 20th-c. U.S.?

This class will ask social, cultural and historical questions too. American ethnic experiences have long been articulated through religious concepts, and Puritan and Anglo-Protestant traditions have particularly influenced discursive articulation of religious and ethnic experience, identity and belonging in the U.S. Bearing this in mind, we will interrogate what “religion,” “race,” “ethnicity,” and “culture” are as conceptual categories; how do the texts in this class relate, conflate, challenge or put these categories at odds? We will also examine how literary form has been used to confront the religious legacies of social oppression (including slavery, missionary imperialism, and colonialism). And, as importantly, we will discuss how religion and its literary articulation has also been a source of creativity and a means of “opting out” of American society, cultural assimilation, compulsory sexualities and romantic racialization.

This course satisfies U.C. Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Special Topics: The Literature & Art of Incarceration

English 166

Section: 2
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 140 Barrows


Description

This is a course on the literature of incarceration variously defined and experienced across a range of control systems that attempt to stunt the entire human being. I want to think about the forms of suppression, confinement, and the humiliations of control systems imposed not only on the body but on the mind and heart by the "new" prison system. We will want to concentrate on the ways human beings find the strength to survive conditions of subjection to voice their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual presence.

We will open with theorizations of incarceration: chapters from Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison; perhaps chapters from Reiman and Leighton's The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison; letters from George Jackson's Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters. We will study documentary film on the steep, orchestrated rise in incarceration and the politics of prison as a racial, ethnic, gendered, class control system (13th; Babies Behind Bars; Broken on All Sides). We will read prison narrative/poetry—Jimmy Santiago Baca's memoir/poetry (A Place to Stand), Kenneth Hartman's autobiography (Mother California)—and women's prison poetry and memoir (Wall Tappings), but we will also consider other forms of incarceration: Latinas incarcerated in the "domestic sphere" in Cisneros' House on Mango Street or the tale of an affluent white woman driven to insanity, or perhaps an alternate sanity, in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper. We will consider the forms of incarceration entire communities have been subjected to en masse: Native Americans dispossessed of their tribal homes, imprisoned for resisting or writing about their confinement in U.S. society; tens of thousands of Japanese Americans (loyal Americans) sent to detention centers during WWII (Wakatsuki's Farewell to Manzanar); thousands of Chinese immigrants who, often detained for long periods at Angel Island (in San Francisco Bay), carved poems of rage, loneliness, imagined retribution on the wood barrack walls of their "prison" in the early 20th century. In addition to textual forms of expression, I  hope also to survey some of the films, art, and photography of/on incarceration.

Course assignments: You will write two papers of 6-8 pages, and you will also work in discussion groups offering in-class presentations. There will be brief, unannounced quizzes on the material of the day. These cannot be made up. When class meets, I will provide more specific instructions for course assignments, essay grading rubrics, small group project work, and presentations.


Special Topics: Moby-Dick

English 166

Section: 3
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 2070 VLSB


Book List

Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick

Description

Baroque, intense, and demanding, Moby-Dick richly rewards all the attention a reader can muster. We will delve in as slowly as we can in order to cultivate the intellectual receptivity that Melville hoped for in his readers, becoming attuned to the subtle implications that he used to build his fictional universe. We will emphasize how the book's form is caught up in the philosophical, political, and spiritual issues that moved Melville to write, but class discussion will be open to any pertinent issue.

Students should purchase the Penguin Classics edition of the novel, not the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition.


Special Topics: Pomo: Exploring the Landscape of Postmodernism

English 166

Section: 4
Instructor: Danner, Mark
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 240 Mulford


Description

Postmodernism is one of those peculiar words, like "nonfiction," that struggles to define something by what it is not. Or rather, in this case, by what it comes after: Postmodernism was what came after modernism. In this seminar we'll attempt to go beyond that rather empty surmise to the self-regarding, fragmented, multiform, satyric, parodic, pastichey works themselves. That means readings from Borges to Burroughs to Barth and Barthelme, from Nabokov to DeLillo to Acker and Carter and Zadie Smith. Probably others besides, all in the service of answering the nagging questions: What did come after Modernism? How exactly should we think about it? And where oh where did it go?


Special Topics: American Humor: Books & Movies

English 166

Section: 5
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: Tues. 5-8:30 PM
Location: 300 Wheeler


Description

In this course short 19th- and 20th-century writings available electronically, by such authors as G. W. Harris, J. J. Hooper, Mark Twain, F. P. Dunne, G. Ade, R. Lardner, J. Thurber and the like, will be read and discussed, with the aim not of constructing a history but of exploring the roles of psychology, society, politics and language in American humor. Much of the course will follow the shift from live stage and printed word to radio and movie as the chief vehicles of American humor by focusing first on Chaplin, Keaton and other masters of the silent era, then on the range of comic styles and genres of the 30’s and 40’s. Developments since W. W. II, including the advent of television and new generations of humorists, will also be considered.

Writing will consist of one  essay of 10-12 pages. There will be no quizzes or exams, but the course will be conducted as a seminar: attendance and participation will be expected, and will affect grades.


Special Topics: Art of Writing: Grant Writing, Food Writing, Food Justice

English 166

Section: 6
Instructor: Schweik, Susan
Time: Lectures MW 12-1 in 122 Barrows + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 12-1; sec. 102: F 12-1)
Location:


Other Readings and Media

An online course reader and reading from online UCB library books.

Description

This course will help students develop writing skills through intensive focus on the demands of two very different modes: popular and creative food writing (essay, poetry, travel, memoir, manifesto), and grant-writing. Reading and thinking together about good food, slow food, food memory, food access, sustainability, health, hunger, student food insecurity and food justice, we will alternate between 1) writing creatively, meditatively, politically and playfully about food, and 3) collaborating on drafting an actual grant application in partnership with a local community organization. This last will be at the heart of this service-learning course.

Nadine Cruz has written: “Service is a process of integrating intention with action in a context of movement toward a just relationship…an intentionally designed program, a process of learning through reflection on the experience of doing service.” Writing is necessary for a great deal of action in the world, and it is a critical tool for reflection. Students in this class will hone argumentative and creative writing skills, learn the basics of the grant-writing process, gain valuable real-world writing experience, and explore ways of using writing as a tool for integrating action, intention and reflection. Plus we'll eat well and maybe cook together.

 


Special Topics: Arthurian Romance

English 166

Section: 7
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 310 Hearst Mining


Description

King Arthur and his Round Table together constitute one of the most enduring imaginative inventions in the European literary tradition. In the modern era, writers and artists have created Arthurian plays, films, poems, novels, cartoons, paintings, and more, all rooted in the medieval traditions that we will encounter in this class. Starting with the earliest depictions of Arthur, we will follow the tradition as it emerges in French and English (all texts will be in English translation). 

Texts include: The Arthurian Handbook; Chrétien de Troyes' romances; the Vulgate Quest for the Holy GrailSir Gawain and the Green Knight; the Alliterative Morte Arthure; and Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

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


Literature and Psychology: Literature and Therapy

English 172

Section: 1
Instructor: Lavery, Grace
Time: Lectures MW 1-2 in 2060 Valley LSB + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3; sec. 103: W 3-4; sec. 104: W 4-5)
Location:


Book List

Bechdel, Alison: Are You My Mother?; Kane, Sarah: Plays; Laing, R. D. : Knots; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Stein, Gertrude: Everybody's Autobiography

Description

The originator of the “talking cure,” Sigmund Freud, placed a great deal of faith in the capacities of literature: both to depict and figure psychic problematics for a reader, and to transform an author’s own neurotic condition into art. One credible explanation for such faith in literature is that therapy, as we understand it, is already literary to the core: both take place in and through language, and both seek to transform us and lead us to deeper understandings of ourselves and the world. Yet this view has been challenged, especially by therapists who have sought to downgrade the privileged role that Freud and his followers accorded to language and examined the important role that other aspects of embodied experience play in psychic life, and by writers who in different ways have sought not to eradicate, but to intensify or mobilize the neurotic condition towards other aesthetic, psychic, and political ends. Some of these have, moreover, articulated critiques of the cultural project of therapy as such, portraying shrinks and analysts as closeted serial killers, and therapy patients as mindwiped dittos. This course will examine literature and therapy, then, from a number of different angles: therapy in literature, literature as therapy, therapy as literature, and literary critiques of therapy. The readings include works by Alison Bechdel, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Sarah Kane, R. D. Laing, Toni Morrison, and Gertrude Stein, theoretical works by Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, Irvine Goffman, and Melanie Klein, and a handful of movies: Silence of the LambsMidsommar, and Blade Runner.

This course satisfies the university's Philosophy and Values breadth requirement.


Literature and Philosophy: Reading Capital

English 177

Section: 1
Instructor: Lye, Colleen
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Federici, Silvia: Caliban and the Witch; Heinrich, Michael: An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital; Marx, Karl: Capital, Vol. 1

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be made available on bCourses.

Description

Marx's Capital stands as one of the foundational texts of modern critical theory. Some acknowledge openly the debts owed to Marx's critique of political economy and of the capitalist mode of production; others consider the obligations odious. Between Marxist critics and Marx's critics, Capital casts a lengthy shadow.

Never more relevant than today—in our epoch characterized by ever-intensifying crisis, variously manifesting as the imminent collapse of financial, political, ecological systems, indeed of the very notion of society or the social itself—Capital, Volume 1 (in its entirety) will serve as the primary text for this course. In contrast to the more typical wide-ranging syllabus (my own usual ones included), this course will assume a slower, more meticulous pace with a single work; we will devote the majority of the semester to a careful, critical reading of this difficult but infinitely rewarding text. To supplement our primary reading of Marx we will devote the final quarter of our semester to consider the legacy of Capital on Marxist Feminism, studying both classic texts by authors such as Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James, Lise Vogel, and Silvia Federici, along with more recent writings in Social Reproduction Theory, and Value Form theory.

Note: Please be sure to purchase the Penguin edition of Marx's Capital

This course satisfies the university's Philosophy and Values breadth requirement.


Autobiography: Disability Memoir

English 180A

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: Lectures TTh 3:30-4:30 in 300 Wheeler + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 12-1; sec. 102: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

Connoly, Kevin: Double Take; Danquah, M.: Willow Weep for Me; Forney, Ellen: Marbles; Galloway, Terry: Mean little Deaf Queer; Guest, Paul: One More Theory about Happiness; Keller, Helen: The World I Live In; Kingsley & Levitz, J. & M.: Count Us In; Laborit, E.: The Cry of the Gull; Simon , Rachel: Riding the Bus with my Sister

Description

This course will examine autobiography as a literary genre. We will survey the history of the genre and consider such questions as: How is reading autobiography like/unlike reading fiction? How do the truth claims made by autobiographies shape readers’ expectations? What are the forms and techniques autobiographers use to tell their stories?  The texts we are reading are all written by people with disabilities, so we will also discuss the impact that disability has on life-writing. Autobiographies written by people with disabilities offer readers a glimpse into lives at the margins of mainstream culture, and thus can make disability seem less alien and frightening. Disability rights activists, however, have criticized these texts because they tend to reinforce the notion that disability is a personal tragedy that must be overcome through superhuman effort, rather than a set of cultural conditions that could be changed to accommodate a wide range of individuals with similar impairments. Are these texts agents for social change or merely another form of freak show?


The Short Story

English 180H

Section: 1
Instructor: McFarlane, Fiona
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

A course reader will be made available for purchase, with additional reading accessible on bCourses. 

Description

This course will be a survey of the short story from the 19th century to the present: its historical and cultural contexts, its formal and stylistic properties. We’ll consider the short story’s predecessors, the work of its major practitioners, and the role of the literary magazine and the university in its development. We’ll read stories in a variety of genres and from a variety of cultures as we explore the particularities and pleasures of the form. Our approach will be both creative and critical: students will write and workshop a short story, as well as writing two analytic papers.


Lyric Verse

English 180L

Section: 1
Instructor: Altieri, Charles F.
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 2062 VLSB


Book List

Norton Anthology of Poetry

Description

This course will survey lyric poetry in English from the Renaissance to the present, with an emphasis on pre-modern work. I am mostly interested in two aspects of the work. The first is understanding how lyric can define different complete modes of sensibility that I think we have to enter in order fully to appreciate the poetry. I want you to get a sense of how the rhetorical sensibility of the Renaissance produces a distinctive sense of what matters about the powers of mind in the making and the desired attitudes of responders to that making. I will also stress what is involved in two dimensions of romantic sensibility—its triumphant cult of genius and its ironic dissatisfactions with sensibilities who could trust in lyric genius. This second stage covers most of the later nineteenth century. Then I want the class to see how Modernists have to invent ways of escaping romantic sensibility and trusting in powers of art that do not seem based on the personal presence of the author. We will see that this too has its ironic side. Second, I want to stress recent scholarly arguments about whether there are significant virtually timeless aspects of lyric that persist through these and other historical changes. In order to address this concern we have to find ways to appreciate what makers of art want from their audiences. For me the key to what makers want is their ways of structuring feelings and elaborating relations among sensuous details, which include how poems construct and vary patterns of sound.

There will be several short writing exercises early in the class and then a ten-page term paper as well as mid-term and final exams. Regular attendance will be required.


The Novel: Intimates and Strangers: Henry James, J.M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Otherness

English 180N

Section: 1
Instructor: Hale, Dorothy J.
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Book List

Coetzee, J.M.: Age of Iron; Coetzee, J.M.: Disgrace; Coetzee, J.M.: Waiting for the Barbarians; James, Henry: The Ambassadors; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; James, Henry: What Maisie Knew

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader from Copy Central.

Description

Henry James (1843-1916) and J.M. Coetzee (b.1940), born just about a century apart, share a view of novel writing as an inquiry into the ethics of inter-personal relations.  Both fiction writers favor plots that initiate an ethical crisis by throwing the protagonist into an exceptional social situation.  More particularly, both novelists stage this ethical dilemma as the protagonist’s encounter with a stranger or a foreign social world, whose difference poses a powerful challenge to normative belief.  James and Coetzee (the latter a 2003 Nobel Prize winner) have won critical accolades for the intelligence and complexity each brings to the depiction of ethical decision-making and ethical action.  But interestingly and importantly, their novels also raise ethical problems for some readers.  For example, in independent lines of critical reception, each novelist has been accused of treating his characters with cold-bloodedness and even sadism.  A different line of critical reception faults James for class bias and Coetzee for colonialist complicity. 

Focused on major works of fiction by James and Coetzee, this course will explore the nature of ethical choice as depicted in each novel, the ethical problems that motivate and structure plot, and the way each novel establishes an ethical relation between storyworld events and narrative method.  To help guide our investigation, we will read nonfictional essays by each author as well as key philosophical and literary critical works.  This body of thought will allow us to characterize with complexity and precision the notion of ethical value most relevant to James’s and Coetzee’s respective novelistic practice and critical reception.  These readings will also help locate James and Coetzee in a larger “ethical” novelistic tradition and guide our meta-consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of competing ethical paradigms.

Written work for the course includes two short essays (7-9 pages) and required weekly posts to b-courses.


Tragedy

English 180T

Section: 1
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 106 Wheeler


Book List

Aeschylus / Sophocles / Euripides: The Greek Plays: Sixteen Plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ; Racine, Jean: Phedre / Phaedra; Rameau, Jean-Philippe: Hippolyte et Aricie; Shakespeare, William: Hamlet; Shakespeare, William: King Lear; Wagner, Richard: Die Walkure

Other Readings and Media

Video recordings / DVD of the operas (by Rameau, Wagner) and selected performances of some of our dramas will be available via b-Courses. A course reader will include readings in the theory of tragedy, from Aristotle to the present day.

Description

An ancient (if not foundational) genre in the western literary tradition, tragedy is the one most closely linked with key religious and philosophical questions, due to its concern with catastrophic misfortune, suffering and fatality in human life. The persistence of the tragic has been accompanied by persistent debates about its essence or definition (downfall of a prince, collision of ethical imperatives, clash of anthropological orders, necessity—nature or the gods—versus free agency, etc.) and announcements of its demise (as irreconcilable with Christianity, modernity, bourgeois society, individualism, and so on). We will focus on some of the historical high points of tragic drama: classical Greek tragedy (Aeschylus, The Oresteia; Sophocles, the Theban cycle; Euripides, The Bacchae); Shakespeare (Hamlet and King Lear); French neoclassical and baroque tragedy (Racine’s Phèdre and Rameau’s operatic adaptation Hippolyte et Aricie); Wagnerian music drama (Die Walküre and, if we have time, Die Götterdämmerung). In the last couple of weeks of the course we will consider where tragedy can be found now, preferably outside the classical European tradition, and what forms it has taken: students will be tasked with nominating and selecting our case studies. Alongside tragic drama we will be considering major theories of the tragic (Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, Benjamin, etc.), included in a course reader.


Science Fiction

English 180Z

Section: 1
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: note new location: 141 McCone


Book List

Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Jemison, N.K.: The Fifth Season; LaValle, Victor: Ballad of Black Tom; LeGuin, Ursula: The Dispossessed; Machado, Carmen: Her Bodies and Other Parties; Saadawi, Ahmed: Frankenstein in Baghdad; Wells, H.G.: The Island of Doctor Moreau; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One

Description

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


Research Seminar: Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

Ecopoetry – nature poetry that is environmental and environmentalist – is an international twenty-first century movement.  But in the nature poetry and poetics of the United States it has deep and wide-spread roots.  This seminar will explore this movement in U.S. nature and environmental(ist) poetry from the nineteenth to the contemporary poetry and poetics; romantics and post-romantics (including Bryant, Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson and Thoreau), modernists (including Frost, Stevens, Jeffers, Moore, Eliot, Brown) post-modernists (including Snyder, Merwin, Bishop, Berry) and contemporaries (including Graham, Hass, Baker, Gander, Dungy, Hillman and Hirshfield).  We will also read relevant theories of nature and its representation in poetry; and also ecopoetics, essays about the natures and uses of ecopoetry.  While focusing on U.S. poetry and poetics, we will also consider parallel and influentual poetry and poetics from English and Anglophone poets and essayists, and some ecopoetry in translation (from China, Europe, and elsewhere). (Our seminar readings will come from our course reader and website.) While our exploration will be primarily historical, our focus will also be theoretical, involving a number of recurrent topics, including anthropocentrism (and ecocentrism), anthropomorphism (the pathetic fallacy), animals (plants, forests, oceans), place, disaster and pollution, environmental justice, and global warming.  You will learn how to read a poem ecocritically.  You will be asked to write a 5-page paper on a nature poem, and a 15-page research paper on an ecopoet or a grouping of related ecopoems.  You will also keep a journal of ecological musings in prose and/or verse.  Each of you will read a 5-minute selection in May during our public reading and (zero-waste) Green Party.   

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


Research Seminar: William Faulkner’s Temporalities

English 190

Section: 2
Instructor: Hale, Dorothy J.
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

Jean-Paul Sartre has famously compared Faulkner’s sense of time to “a man sitting in a convertible and looking back.”  From this perspective, Sartre contends, the only view is that of the past, made “hard, clear and immutable” in its isolation. Yet if Faulkner writes with a gaze fixed on the Southern past, his historical consciousness has been shaped by the experience of time in the modern moment—an idea Sartre nicely conveys through the figure of the convertible ride.

This seminar explores the complex registers of time in three Faulkner novels: The Sound and the Fury; Light in August; and Absalom, Absalom! Special attention will be given to the relationship between the social experience of time represented in Faulkner’s storyworlds and the narrative temporality of each novel. To gain a better sense of the literary models that influenced Faulkner, we will situate Faulkner’s work in relation to Jean Toomer’s Cane and the Overture from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Fiction and essays by Toni Morrison will allow us to chart Faulkner’s legacy.

A course reader available at Copy Central includes essays by thinkers who helped to shape the modernist understanding of time as well as literary critical and theoretical works that will help us understand Faulkner’s narrative practice. 

Students will be guided through the planning and execution of a fifteen-page research paper, due at the end of the term.

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


Research Seminar: American Romanticism

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
Time: MW 3-4:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

The course offers a close engagement with major U.S. authors before the Civil War.  We will work across literary genres—poetry, essays, novels, and autobiographies—while asking questions about the conditions in which these genres appeared, their readership, their manner of circulation, and their strange efforts to bring British and European Romanticism to an American context.  These are books that ask readers to think carefully about the meaning and value of literature in democratic practice; we’ll try to understand what seemed new about their forms of expression and to take Thoreau up on his challenge to read them “as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.”   Our authors include Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Alcott, Douglass, and Whitman.

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


Research Seminar: Poetry and the Virtues

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Picciotto, Joanna M
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Description

Arguments for the moral value of literary study often focus on how narrative forms like the novel offer opportunities for the cultivation of empathy. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, literary style itself was treated as an extension of social conduct. The close study of style through the reading and writing of verse was part of a student’s habituation into the virtues. We will experiment with this approach to the study of poetry and test some of its assumptions—for example, the assumption that to become acquainted with a poet’s style is to become conversant with a way of being in the world. We’ll focus on poetry from the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, primarily by Andrew Marvell and John Ashbery. There will also be some brief readings in moral philosophy and aesthetics. 

We will use a course reader.

Writing requirements: Short biweekly writing (200 words) and a final paper (10-15 pages).

If you take this course to meet the pre-1800 requirement, your final paper should focus on seventeenth-century material.

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


Research Seminar: British Fiction Since 1945

English 190

Section: 5
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 89 Dwinelle


Book List

Beckett, Samuel: How It Is; Deane, Seamus: Reading in the Dark; Greene, Graham: The End of the Affair; Hollinghurst, Alan: The Swimming-Pool Library; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Remains of the Day; Johnson, B.S.: Christie Malry's Own Double Entry; Murdoch, Iris: Under the Net; Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; Rushdie, Salman: Midnight's Children; Selvon, Samuel: The Lonely Londoners; Smith, Ali: Autumn; Spark, Muriel: The Driver's Seat

Description

This research seminar will survey the British novel (broadly construed) since 1945. Topics of discussion will likely include: realism and alternatives to realism; formal experimentation and novel psychology; race, immigration, and empire; feminism; Angry Young people; class, Thatcherism, and New Labour; the decriminalization of homosexuality and the legacy of AIDS; the Troubles and Northern Ireland; the legacies of WWI and WWII; nationalism, the EU, and Brexit. Authors will likely include: Graham Greene, Samuel Beckett, Iris Murdoch, Samuel Selvon, Muriel Spark, B.S. Johnson, Salman Rushdie, Seamus Deane, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alan Hollinghurst, Ali Smith, and J.K. Rowling. 

Evaluation will be based on a short critical paper (5pp), a research paper (12-15pp), a presentation, and participation. Readings will be available for purchase through the University bookstore and Metro Publishing (2440 Bancroft).

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


Research Seminar: Hollywood in the Thirties

English 190

Section: 6
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Description

Our subject will be Hollywood cinema from the birth of talking pictures to the start of World War II.  We'll sample the extraordinary range of films that Golden-Age Hollywood offered its consumers: from gangster pictures and screwball comedies to melodramas, westerns, feature-length animation, musicals, and horror.  We’ll analyze these films in the light of contemporary criticism by such major figures as Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, but our primary focus will be the accounts of mass entertainment articulated by the films themselves.

The movies will be made available through the library's streaming service.  The only required text will be a Course Reader, which will gather relevant theory, criticism, reviews, and cultural commentaries.

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


Research Seminar: Jane Austen

English 190

Section: 7
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Description

Close readings of several of Jane Austen's major works.

Two essays (seven pages and thirteen pages) will be required, along with regular attendance and participation in discussion.

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


Research Seminar: James Joyce

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 263 Dwinelle


Book List

Homer: The Odyssey; Joyce, James: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Joyce, James: Ulysses

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be available through bCourses.

Description

This seminar will focus on James Joyce’s landmark modernist novel, Ulysses. In preparing to tackle the text, we will read Homer’s Odyssey, some of Joyce’s early writings, and parts of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The majority of the semester, however, will be spent reading Ulysses at a measured pace. We will consider Joyce’s use of innovative narrative techniques and his invention of new forms. As we work through the novel one episode at a time, we’ll also pay attention to historical and literary contexts and to 20th- and 21st-century literary criticism. Course requirements include oral presentations, reading responses, and two research papers.

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


Research Seminar: Victorian Versification

English 190

Section: 9
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Houghton, Walter E. and G. Robert Stange: Victorian Poetry and Poetics

Description

The Victorian period (1837-1901) is striking for its social, political, economic, technical and scientific developments that seem at once old-fashioned and recognizably modern.  Its formal poetic achievements are no exception to this characterization.  From Tennyson's renowned mastery through Browning's dramatic innovations and the "dangerously sensual" practice of Swinburne to Hopkins' influential invention of "Sprung Rhythm", the period saw tradition and experiment in constant interaction.  It saw interest in dialect poetry, discovery of the early English poetic heritage, reconstruction of Classical meters in English, recognition of women poets, encounters with verse traditions of other languages throughout the world, parodies of verse forms, and a flourishing if eccentric subculture of commentary on versification, most entertainingly in the works of George Saintsbury.  This course will offer an introduction to meter and other formal elements of versification as developed by Victorian poets, and an opportunity to connect these to broader interests of these poets.  As a research seminar, the goal will be to support students in researching and writing a long (20 pp.) paper that explores such a connection in the work of a Victorian (or related) poet of their own choosing.

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


Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Film

English 190

Section: 10
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: Thurs. 5-8:30 PM
Location: 300 Wheeler


Description

Besides reading and discussing fiction and essays that attempt to identify or explain distinctive regional characteristics, this course will include consideration of various movies shaped by and shaping conceptions of California. Writing will consist of a term paper of 16-20 pages. There will be no quizzes or exams, but seminar attendance and participation will be expected, and will affect grades.

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


Honors Course

English H195B

Section: 1
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 263 Dwinelle


Description

This course is a continuation of English H195A, taught by Mark Goble in Fall 2019. No new students will be admitted, and no new application needs to be submitted. Prof. Goble will give out permissions codes in class in November. 

No new texts are required for this class.


Honors Course

English H195B

Section: 2
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Description

This course is a continuation of English H195A, taught by Elizabeth Abel in Fall 2019. No new students will be admitted, and no new application needs to be submitted. Prof. Abel will give out permission codes in class in November.

No new texts are required for this class.