Announcement of Classes: Summer 2020

There are no special instructions for Summer 2020 English Department courses, other than to note in which session each course is offered.

The following courses are offered in Session A (May 26 - July 2):  English R1B section 1, R1B section 3, 117S, and 133T.

The following courses are offered in Session C (June 22 - August 13):  English R1B section 2, R1B section 4, 125E, 143A section 1, 143A section 2, 166 section 1, 166 section 2, and 166 section 3.

The following courses are offered in Session D (July 7 - August 13):  English R1A section 1, R1A section 2, 166AC, 180Z, and 198BC.


Reading & Composition: The Making of Americans

English R1A

Section: 1
Session: D
Instructor: de Stefano, Jason
Time: TWTh 12-2:30
Location:


Description

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

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

Book List: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume B (9th edition)


Reading & Composition: Psychedelic Experience in the Literature and Culture of the 1960s and '70s

English R1A

Section: 2
Session: D
Instructor: D'Silva, Eliot
Time: TWTh 2:30-5
Location:


Description

This course surveys the experimental literature of the late 1960s and early 1970s, situating it in relation to both the psychedelic discourses of the period and the wave of countercultural demands for a new kind of society. We’ll read texts that engage directly with weird visions, hallucinations, messages from aliens and telepathy, considering these experiences not merely as esoteric subcultural practices or escapist gestures but as exuberant attempts to tell stories in a culture where there is no longer a shared rational narrative. If psychedelics have enabled writers to analyze their mental conditions and express them in writing, the course also encourages students to reflect on these writers’ social and political responsibilities for the worlds they construct in both real and visionary realms. 

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

Book List:  Philip K. Dick, VALIS; Allen Ginsberg, Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems; William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience; Terrence McKenna, Food of the Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution; Ann Taves, Religious Experience Reconsidered


Reading and Composition: Girls, Misunderstood?: "Deviant" Women in Literature

English R1B

Section: 1
Session: A
Instructor: Ghosh, Srijani
Time: TWTh 10-12:30
Location:


Description

Recent psychological thrillers such as The Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train have made the figure of the unreliable female narrator-cum-protagonist very popular, and the plots of these stories are driven by the seeming mental instability of the narrator. This trope of female instability has a long literary history and has its roots in deeming women "mad" or "hysterical" when they deviate from the established sociocultural norms of a given time period or community. What drives women to madness? Is a woman mentally sound only when she exhibits "proper" feminine behavior? How does society punish a woman when it considers her an Other? This will be a reading- and writing-intensive course where we will examine short stories and novels, focusing on the way gender, class, and race contribute to the definition and treatment of mental illness.

We will focus on developing the writing, reading, research, and critical thinking skills that you will need throughout your college career. The class will build on the reading, analytical, and composition skills that you already have, and prepare you for writing longer and more complex papers, improve your research skills, and teach you to incorporate source material effectively.

Possible readings: Kate Chopin, The Awakening; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Susanna Kaysen, Girl Interrupted; Charlotte Perkins Gilman: "The Yellow Wallpaper"; chapters from: Chesler, Women and Madness; Elaine Showalter, The Female Malady

Note the change in instructor and modifications of the course content of this section of English R1B (as of February 13).


Reading and Composition: The Literature of Aotearoa/New Zealand

English R1B

Section: 2
Session: C
Instructor: Sutton, Emily
Time: TWTh 4-6
Location:


Description

This course will focus first and foremost on the practice of academic writing and the skills needed to research, plan, draft and revise writing at a college level. More specifically, it stages the problem of scholarly research through an encounter with the culture and literature of New Zealand. We will work our way from the canonical modernism of Katherine Mansfield to the contemporary comedy of Flight of the Conchords while exploring questions of national identity and what it means to read New Zealand writing in an American context.  

The primary writing assignments for this course will be a shorter analytic essay that will build on your existing skills and a longer research essay that will focus on integrating secondary sources into your own writing. Both of these papers will be developed through a series of shorter exercises and revisions. You will be encouraged to think carefully not only about your own writing and the texts on our syllabus, but also the work of your classmates.


Reading and Composition: The Marriage Plot and Its Afterlife

English R1B

Section: 3
Session: A
Instructor: Mittnacht, Veronica Vizuet
Time: TWTh 10-12:30
Location:


Description

The marriage plot novel is seen as a thing of the past, but its influence very much lives on today in our movies, our music, and our notions of romance. This course will examine a series of genre-defining marriage plot novels from the 19th century, as well as contemporary films and other media, with an eye to identifying the conventions and the emotional logic which govern them, and learning to assess these narratives critically going forward.

Students will also learn to write persuasive reserch papers and craft original arguments.

Texts:  Austen, Jane: Emma; Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice; Gissing, George: The Odd Women; and Sayers, Dorothy: Gaudy Night

Films:  Clueless; Bridget Jones' Diary; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; and The Thin Man


Reading and Composition: Love and Race in American Film

English R1B

Section: 4
Session: C
Instructor: Hu, Jane
Time: TWTh 4-6
Location:


Description

This class examines the history of popular American cinema through its representations of love and race. We will consider the often entangled—and frequently troubling—portrayals of race and romantic love as it appears across a range of popular film genres (romantic comedy, musical, melodrama, thriller, and horror). In exploring how love and race have been linked throughout the history of Hollywood film, we will also study how these cinematic representations reflect and respond to broader shifts in American politics.     

The purpose of R1B is to advance the critical reading and essay writing skills learned in R1A, as well as to develop students’ research capacities in order to analyze and incorporate secondary sources. In addition to mandatory film screenings online and weekly viewing journals, students will also rigorously draft, peer-edit, and revise toward writing a final research paper.    

Possible films will include: The Cheat (1915); Broken Blossoms (1919); Gone With the Wind (1939); Imitation of Life (1959); The Crimson Kimono (1959); West Side Story (1961); Flower Drum Song (1961); Moonlight (2016); Get Out (2017); The Big Sick (2017).    

A selection of readings will be made available to students over bCourses.    


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 1
Session: A
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: TWTh 5-7:30
Location:


Description

This course focuses on a selection of Shakespeare’s works that includes some of the best-known plays (Midsummer, Lear) as well as some of the less known but fascinating works (Troilus and Cressida, Cymbeline). We’ll consider various performances of the plays, and devote at least one meeting to the sonnets.

This course satisfies the Shakespeare requirement for UC Berkeley English majors.


The Contemporary Novel: Character and Collectivity

English 125E

Section: 1
Session: C
Instructor: Bernes, Jasper
Time: TWTh 12-2
Location:


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: Oryx and Crake; Beatty, Paul: The Sellout; Jemisin, N. K.: The Fifth Season; Lim, Eugene: Dear Cyborg

Description

What options are there for novelists who want to tell the story of the many rather than the story of the one? If history represents the actions of millions of people, how does literature represent these collective histories?  Contemporary society forces these kinds of questions on its chroniclers, inasmuch as it offers extremes of isolation and social atomization alongside new forms of collectivity (in protest movements, on the internet, and elsewhere). In this course, we will look at 21st-century novelists who have risen to the challenges of representation posed by recent history, resuscitating old forms, inventing new ones, or blowing up the novel altogether.


Topics in African American Literature and Culture: Humor and the Neo-Slave Narrative

English 133T

Section: 1
Session: A
Instructor: Catchings, Alex
Time: TWTh 1-3:30
Location:


Description

A course exploring how the 19th-century slave narrative was reworked in the 20th century by novelists Ishmael Reed, Charles Johnson, and Paul Beatty into a humorous (or at least tragicomic) critique of American race relations after the 1960s.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Session: C
Instructor: Walter, David
Time: TTh 2-5
Location:


Description

This course is a laboratory for student writers to work on short stories or, if appropriate, chapters from longer fictional projects. Over the eight weeks, we will help you discover your own methods for building worlds, developing characters, structuring plots, and crafting scenes. In the process, we will probe the divisions between genres, discuss strategies for publishing or selling your work, and invite guest authors to share their insights on craft.

Note that while for the fall and spring semesters admission to 143A requires an application process, no application is needed to register for the summer version of the course.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Session:
Instructor: Walter, David
Time: TTh 9-12
Location:


Description

This course is a laboratory for student writers to work on short stories or, if appropriate, chapters from longer fictional projects. Over the eight weeks, we will help you discover your own methods for building worlds, developing characters, structuring plots, and crafting scenes. In the process, we will probe the divisions between genres, discuss strategies for publishing or selling your work, and invite guest authors to share their insights on craft.

Note that while for the fall and spring semesters admission to 143A requires an application process, no application is needed to register for the summer version of the course.


Special Topics: Medieval Fantasy from Tolkien to Game of Thrones

English 166

Section: 1
Session: C
Instructor: Stevenson, Max
Time: MW 2-5
Location:


Description

Writers in the 20th and 21st centuries have continually looked to the Middle Ages — or, more to the point, to their idea of the Middle Ages — when constructing epic narratives in fantastic worlds. In this course we’ll ask what it is about the medieval that writers of fantasy find so useful, as well as consider what aspects of the medieval — especially race, gender, and sexuality — their accounts ignore. We’ll read both the medieval literature that modern fantasy draws on and works by (this is a likely list, but subject to change) J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and Kazuo Ishiguro, as well as view film and television adaptations.


Special Topics: Global Catastrophe and Modern Literature

English 166

Section: 2
Session: C
Instructor: Nathan, Jesse
Time: TTh 2-5
Location:


Description

Global crisis defined the first part of the twentieth century. Pandemic illness and catastrophic economic collapse, along with World War after World War, meant it was a time rife with ethnic, racial, imperial, and political tensions, and a time also of mass displacement and personal upheaval. All of which this class takes as its starting point and backdrop for a focus upon some of the great works of literature produced in the English-speaking world during that tumultuous time.

In this course, students will encounter major works of British and U.S. prose and poetry (from James Joyce and Gertrude Stein to Langston Hughes, Virginia Woolf, Jean Toomer, T.S. Eliot, and others) of the so-called modern era. Taking a transatlantic look at innovative writing in the early 20th century meant to challenge readers in both form and theme, we will unpack what makes a modernist text modernist, what some of the intellectual roots of the movement may be, and what kinds of meanings have been ascribed to it – both in its moment and in our time.

We'll read key works—fiction and poetry—by James Joyce, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Mansfield, Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Jean Toomer, Sterling Brown, Gertrude Stein, Charles Reznikoff, W.H. Auden, and others.


Special Topics: The Broadway Musical

English 166

Section: 3
Session: C
Instructor: Drawdy, Miles
Time: MW 2-5
Location:


Description

A survey of the Broadway musical from Ira Gershwin to Lin Manuel-Miranda, this course will investigate the musical's claim to being the quintessential American art form. Organized around texts and institutions which are explicitly engaged with questions of politics and history, this course will ask how a genre so notoriously infuriating and geographically isolated has come to have such an impressive cultural footprint. We will read and watch selected musicals of the 20th century before examining how recent offerings (e.g. The Drowsy ChaperoneHamilton) explicitly reflect upon Broadway's role in constructing an idea of America in the public imagination.


Special Topics in American Cultures: Race and Ethnicity in Classical Hollywood Cinema

English 166AC

Section: 1
Session: D
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: TWTh 3-5:30
Location:


Description

An introduction to critical thinking about race and ethnicity, focused on films produced in Hollywood between the 1920s and 1960s. Themes include law and violence, kinship and miscegenation, captivity and rescue, passing and racial impersonation. Weekly writing, one essay, one group presentation, and one exam.

Films: Broken Blossoms; Within Our Gates; Body and Soul; The Sheik; The Jazz Singer; Bordertown; Salt of the Earth; The Searchers; The Exiles; Touch of Evil; Imitation of Life; Shadows; West Side Story; El Norte; Chan Is Missing; Do the Right Thing

All texts are available as PDFs.

This course satisfies the American Cultures requirement for UC Berkeley students.


Science Fiction: A Survey of Science Fiction from E.T.A. Hoffman to N.K. Jemisin

English 180Z

Section: 1
Session: D
Instructor: Jones, Donna V.
Time: TWTh 9:30-12
Location:


Description

This course will examine in depth the history of speculative fiction and its engagement with the themes and topics 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 do literary encounters with the projected realities of the new biology revise our conceptions of the subject? There is much in the science fiction canon that addresses the pressing issues of our current turbulent moment of pandemic and resurgent racism. Pertinent works have been added to the syllabus.

Novels: Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed; Victor La Valle, The Ballad of Black Tom; N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season; Ahmed Saadawi, Frankenstein in Baghdad

Films: The Andromeda Strain28 Days Later; Get Out 


Berkeley Connect: Transfer Connect

English 198BC

Section: 1
Session: D
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: Wed. 5-7:30 PM
Location:


Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. During the summer, Berkeley Connect focuses on familiarizing newly-arrived students with the research university environment, and helping them begin to imagine their path to a discovery experience during their time at Berkeley. Over the course of the session, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor, following a faculty-directed curriculum; meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising; attend special events featuring faculty and/or alumni; and go on field trips to campus resources. Berkeley Connect helps students meet peers with common interests and experiences, feel better prepared to approach professors, increase their sense of belonging, and increase their confidence that they can succeed at UC Berkeley.

In the summer, 198BC is known as "Transfer Connect" and is open only to new, incoming junior transfer students participating in the Transfer Edge program. Transfer Connect is open to all Transfer Edge participants regardless of major; the graduate student mentors are drawn from a variety of departments.


Berkeley Connect: Transfer Connect

English 198BC

Section: 2
Session: D
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: Wed. 5-7:30 PM
Location:


Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. During the summer, Berkeley Connect focuses on familiarizing newly-arrived students with the research university environment, and helping them begin to imagine their path to a discovery experience during their time at Berkeley. Over the course of the session, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor, following a faculty-directed curriculum; meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising; attend special events featuring faculty and/or alumni; and go on field trips to campus resources. Berkeley Connect helps students meet peers with common interests and experiences, feel better prepared to approach professors, increase their sense of belonging, and increase their confidence that they can succeed at UC Berkeley.

In the summer, 198BC is known as "Transfer Connect" and is open only to new, incoming junior transfer students participating in the Transfer Edge program. Transfer Connect is open to all Transfer Edge participants regardless of major; the graduate student mentors are drawn from a variety of departments.


Berkeley Connect: Transfer Connect

English 198BC

Section: 3
Session: D
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: Wed. 5-7:30 PM
Location:


Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. During the summer, Berkeley Connect focuses on familiarizing newly-arrived students with the research university environment, and helping them begin to imagine their path to a discovery experience during their time at Berkeley. Over the course of the session, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor, following a faculty-directed curriculum; meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising; attend special events featuring faculty and/or alumni; and go on field trips to campus resources. Berkeley Connect helps students meet peers with common interests and experiences, feel better prepared to approach professors, increase their sense of belonging, and increase their confidence that they can succeed at UC Berkeley.

In the summer, 198BC is known as "Transfer Connect" and is open only to new, incoming junior transfer students participating in the Transfer Edge program. Transfer Connect is open to all Transfer Edge participants regardless of major; the graduate student mentors are drawn from a variety of departments.


Berkeley Connect: Transfer Connect

English 198BC

Section: 4
Session: D
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: Wed. 6-8:30 PM
Location:


Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. During the summer, Berkeley Connect focuses on familiarizing newly-arrived students with the research university environment, and helping them begin to imagine their path to a discovery experience during their time at Berkeley. Over the course of the session, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor, following a faculty-directed curriculum; meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising; attend special events featuring faculty and/or alumni; and go on field trips to campus resources. Berkeley Connect helps students meet peers with common interests and experiences, feel better prepared to approach professors, increase their sense of belonging, and increase their confidence that they can succeed at UC Berkeley.

In the summer, 198BC is known as "Transfer Connect" and is open only to new, incoming junior transfer students participating in the Transfer Edge program. Transfer Connect is open to all Transfer Edge participants regardless of major; the graduate student mentors are drawn from a variety of departments.


Berkeley Connect: Transfer Connect

English 198BC

Section: 5
Session: D
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: Wed. 6-8:30 PM
Location:


Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. During the summer, Berkeley Connect focuses on familiarizing newly-arrived students with the research university environment, and helping them begin to imagine their path to a discovery experience during their time at Berkeley. Over the course of the session, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor, following a faculty-directed curriculum; meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising; attend special events featuring faculty and/or alumni; and go on field trips to campus resources. Berkeley Connect helps students meet peers with common interests and experiences, feel better prepared to approach professors, increase their sense of belonging, and increase their confidence that they can succeed at UC Berkeley.

In the summer, 198BC is known as "Transfer Connect" and is open only to new, incoming junior transfer students participating in the Transfer Edge program. Transfer Connect is open to all Transfer Edge participants regardless of major; the graduate student mentors are drawn from a variety of departments.


Berkeley Connect: Transfer Connect

English 198BC

Section: 6
Session: D
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: Wed. 6-8:30 PM
Location:


Description

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. During the summer, Berkeley Connect focuses on familiarizing newly-arrived students with the research university environment, and helping them begin to imagine their path to a discovery experience during their time at Berkeley. Over the course of the session, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor, following a faculty-directed curriculum; meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising; attend special events featuring faculty and/or alumni; and go on field trips to campus resources. Berkeley Connect helps students meet peers with common interests and experiences, feel better prepared to approach professors, increase their sense of belonging, and increase their confidence that they can succeed at UC Berkeley.

In the summer, 198BC is known as "Transfer Connect" and is open only to new, incoming junior transfer students participating in the Transfer Edge program. Transfer Connect is open to all Transfer Edge participants regardless of major; the graduate student mentors are drawn from a variety of departments.