Announcement of Classes: Spring 2020


Freshman Seminar: Emily Dickinson

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: W 4-5
Location: 189 Dwinelle


Book List

Dickinson, Emily : The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Johnson, ed.)

Description

We will be reading and discussing extraordinary poems by Emily Dickinson.

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


Literature In English: Introduction to Poetry

English 26

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 106 Dwinelle


Book List

Recommended: Ferguson, Margaret : The Norton Anthology of Poetry; Greene, Roland: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics

Description

What is poetry and why should we care? This course offers an introduction into poetry by discussing a wide range of poems written or translated into English as well as definitions and theories of poetry from Aristotle to the present. We will attend to verse forms from the sonnet to the ghazal; to poetic devices from the line to simile and metaphor; and to poetic functions such as voice and speaker. We will be reading works of poets from John Donne to Elizabeth Bishop and John Ashbery, from William Shakespeare to Mina Loy and Gwendolyn Brooks, as well as a range of poems in translation, including psalms and troubadour lyrics. No familiarity with poetry is necessary, only the will to think about particular poems and poetry in general.

Recommended books are the Norton Anthology of Poetry (ed. Margaret Ferguson) and the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (eds. Roland Greene and Stephen Cushman). However, I will also provide links for the poems we read in the course.

This is a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to understand poetry and to write about it critically.


Introduction to the Study of Fiction

English 27

Section: 1
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 2038 VLSB


Book List

Hayes, Kevin J.: The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe; Lovecraft, H. P.: At the Mountains of Madness; Poe, Edgar Allan.: Poe, Edgar Allan: The Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe; Poe, Edgar Allan.: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Other Readings and Media

Photocopied Reader

Description

We will immerse ourselves in the extraordinary and influential literary career of Edgar Allan Poe: poetry, tales, satires, and essays. We will examine Poe’s work in relation to mid-nineteenth-century short fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Harriet Prescott Spofford and to the circle of women poets with whom Poe associated (Frances Sargent Osgood, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and Sarah Helen Whitman). And we will examine Poe’s impact on the genres of detective fiction (Arthur Conan Doyle, Jorge Luis Borges) and supernatural horror (H. P. Lovecraft). We also will examine responses to Poe’s fiction and poetry by 20th- and 21st-century artists and filmmakers. Across the course we will consider issues of narrative technique, genre, aesthetics, verbal style, politics, humor, gender, sexuality, and race. Requirements include two five-page essays and one seven-page essay and regular attendance and participation in discussion. Time will be reserved in class for discussing how to formulate theses and develop arguments in the required essays.


Introduction to the Study of Drama

English 28

Section: 1
Instructor: Landreth, David
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 106 Wheeler


Book List

Norton Anthology of Drama, Shorter Third Edition; Brook, Peter: The Empty Space; Frisch, Max: The Arsonists; Jacobs-Jenkins, Branden: Gloria; Kirkwood, Lucy: The Children; Orton, Joe: Loot

Description

The work of this class will be to understand the drama as literature in company. Lots of other literary forms make claims about what social life is like, and strive to act upon the social life of their readers beyond the reading experience. But the drama is itself sociable. It assembles a company of actors and stage hands to make itself happen, and enfolds with them a whole new company, the audience, as it happens. Even if we read a playscript in solitude, even if it's the script of a play that has never been acted, the form of the text reminds us that it is written against solitude—it calls us to invest the speeches we read in human bodies, charting with their words and movements a space in which the play is happening.

We'll move back and forth between active reading of playtexts and play-going at local theaters as the semester progresses. Our reading will focus on a few crucial concepts for the analysis of drama—the tragic choice, the workings of space and illusion, spectacle, character, prop—using both primary dramatic texts and some classic literary studies. About half of the primary texts will be important prototypes from earlier periods—ancient Greece and Renaissance England—and the rest will come from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We'll do a bit of tragedy as a point of reference, but most of the plays will be comedies, in keeping with the coming of spring.


Introduction to the Writing of Verse

English 43B

Section: 1
Instructor: Ritland, Laura
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 180 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

A course reader will be issued with a selection of poems written in English, ranging from Renaissance sonneteers (John Donne, William Shakespeare), to 20th- and 21st-century poetry from Elizabeth Bishop, Lisa Robertson, Ross Gay, Lyn Hejinian, Matthew Zapruder, Solmaz Sharif, Dionne Brand, Don McKay and others. This reader will also include short critical essays on poetics.

Description

This course serves an introductory creative writing workshop where participants will write, revise, and discuss their original works of poetry in a collaborative group setting. Through a series of writing prompts, technical exercises in form and meter, and a wide-ranging survey of poetry from this and past centuries, we will reflect on, explore, and experiment with our own poetic work and creative acts, as they exist in our contemporary moment. What is poetry—and how should a poet be? How does our poetic practice orient us toward our lived realities, political lives, natural and cultural environments, and our sense of who we are, here and now?

Each student will submit one poem per week for feedback and class discussion, respond to other students’ work, give a class presentation on a contemporary book of poetry, attend a poetry reading, and complete short reflection assignments on poetic craft. The final project will be the creation of a poetry chapbook.

Since this is an introduction to the writing of verse, 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: Marno, David
Time: Lectures MW 2-3 in 3 LeConte + one hour of discussion section per week in 301 Wheeler (sec. 101: F 2-3; sec. 102: F 3-4; sec. 103: Thurs. 10-11; sec. 104: Thurs. 11-12)
Location:


Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey : The Canterbury Tales (original spelling edition, ed. Jill Mann) ; Greenblatt, Stephen: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume B

Description

This is a story of discovering, then forgetting, then discovering again the fact that a particular language can be used not only for communication but also for creation. At the beginning of our story Caedmon, a shepherd, is called upon in his dream to praise God in poetry. A thousand years later, John Milton calls upon the “Heav’nly Muse” to sing “Of Man’s First Disobedience.” In between them, English turns from its humble beginnings into a medium of literature. In this course, we trace this transformation by reading works of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.

(If you already own an original-spelling edition of The Canterbury Tales, you may use it for this course.) 


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
Time: Lectures MW 12-1 in 60 Evans + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 12-1; sec. 102: F 1-2; sec. 103: Thurs. 9-10; sec. 104: Thurs. 10-11)
Location:


Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Franklin, Benjamin: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Melville, Herman: Benito Cereno; Olaudah, Equiano: The Interesting Narrative of the Life; Pope, Alexander: Essay on Man and Other Poems; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Wordsworth, William: Selected Poems

Description

This course is a survey of British and American literature from the late-seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth century.  We will look at how literary genres evolve alongside new forms of knowledge, understanding, and experience, with particular attention to the changing place of literature in the social lives of its readers.  We especially will consider the literary responses to an "age of revolution" on both sides of the Atlantic.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Lavery, Grace
Time: Lectures MW 10-11 in 159 Mulford + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: W 12-1; sec. 102: W 1-2; sec. 103: Thurs. 1-2; sec. 104: Thurs. 2-3; sec. 105: F 10-11; sec. 106: F 11-12);
Location:


Book List

Brooks, Gwendolyn: Annie Allen; Eliot, George: Middlemarch; Gaiman, Neil: The Sandman: A Game of You; Loy, Mina: Lunar Baedeker; Miller, Frank: The Dark Knight Returns; Moore, Alan: Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?; Moore, Marianne: The Pangolin and Other Poems; Morrison, Grant: New X-Men: Riot at Xaviers; Stein, Gertrude: Tender Buttons

Description

This class aims to introduce students to a wide range of literary writing composed in English since 1850, providing introductory-level access to the historical and formal problems that literature has raised. Rather than aim for anything like coverage, however, this survey will focus on one realist novel, and then multiple works in a further two genres, modernist poetry by women, and superhero comics. This will hopefully allow us to experience a wide range of types of literature in English, without requiring each individual text to stand in for an entire genre. It will also help us to understand the value of literary analysis of texts across time, medium, register, and readership.


Children's Literature: The Bad Seed: Monstrosity, Horror, and the Inhuman in Children’s Literature

English 80K

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 50 Birge


Description

From cannibalistic witches in the tales of the Grimm Brothers to sadistic parents in Roald Dahl, children's literature is riff with terrifying and troubling figures. This class will look at the forms of monstrosity, deviance, and horror that appear in a variety of texts and films oriented towards children to ask why it is that there is such pleasure in the perversion. We will think about the psychological, political, and cultural work of representations of violence, inhumanity, and the grotesque in a genre so often figured as cute, sweet, or safe. Authors may include Roald Dahl, Edward Gorey, V.C. Andrews, and Hans Christian Andersen.


Sophomore Seminar: Film Noir and Neo-Noir

English 84

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


Description

An analysis of some classic American crime films and some recent examples of the genre.

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