Announcement of Classes: Fall 2020


Reading and Composition: Screens, Pages, and Visual Rhetoric in Contemporary Fiction

English R1A

Section: 1
Instructor: Catchings, Alex
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 134 Dwinelle


Book List

Browning, Barbara: I Am Trying to Reach You; Carillo, Ellen: MLA Guide to Digital Literacy; Lin, Tao: Shoplifting from American Apparel; Ullman, Ellen: The Bug: A Novel

Description

A study from the Global Web Index reveals that internet users aged sixteen to sixty-four averaged 6 hours and 43 minutes online per day in 2019. This amounts to 102 full days of screentime per person. If people are spending nearly a third of their lives engaging screens now, what has changed about the way we engage things that have always existed off of screens? Like, for instance, a physical page from a codex book?

This course will cover three contemporary novels and examine how they represent text that is normally rendered on computer or smartphone screens. From Gmail chat to Java compilers and plaintext that has been copied and pasted, these novels work to replicate visual facets of screen-interfaces that make us use the books differently. In addition, these novels try to represent through language lives that are lived both digitally and "in reality." During this course, we will explore theories of human-computer interaction alongside the history of the book to understand precisely how the power of typography changes as it appears in different mediums. We will begin devising responses to questions that define this century: how do interfaces manipulate our sense of agency? Which holds the most revolutionary potential—smartphones, desktop computers, or books? How ethical is the "open source" mentality that underscores coding languages, Wikipedia, and YouTube?

This course will develop students’ abilities to read texts in close, granular ways, paying attention to form and taking time to understand how texts generate meaning. Likewise, students will sharpen analytical skills and express increasingly complex ideas in writing. There will be two analytical essays, a variety of assignments practicing revision, and creative exercises for brainstorming and rhetorical expression. These elements will help bridge observation to ideation to writing and revision, ultimately aiming to help students become more powerful, structured writers and thinkers. 


Reading and Composition: Genres of Plague: 1347, 1981, 2020

English R1A

Section: 2
Instructor: Hinojosa, Bernardo S.
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 31 Evans


Book List

Julian of Norwich (trans. Windeatt): Revelations of Divine Love; Kushner, Tony: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes; Mandel, Emily St John: Station Eleven: A Novel; Sontag, Susan: Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, anonymous medieval chroniclers, Melvin Dixon, Reginald Shepherd, Susan Sontag, and Virginia Woolf will be made available on bCourses, alongside various texts on Covid-19 and resources on the craft of writing. We will also screen David France’s documentary How to Survive a Plague and an episode from FX’s Pose.

Description

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) a pandemic. Since this announcement, the pandemic has wreaked havoc in practically every country around the world: millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths have been confirmed, roughly one third of the world’s population is living in some sort of lockdown. The virus, as well as public health measures to contain it, are guaranteed to transform the global economy and society as we know it. This account of the pandemic most likely provides no new information. Covid-19 has shaped every facet of our lived experience and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In this course, we will look to the past in order to understand our present. We will explore how writers working in different genres (prose, poetry, drama, television, documentary film, theory, and journalism, among others) have sought to capture the experience of a health crisis, an experience that is simultaneously intimate and collective. A novel (Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven) and an essay (Virginia Woolf’s “On Being Ill”), which theorize the relationship between literature and disease, will frame our engagement with texts concerning two historical moments: the recurring onslaught of the plague in fourteenth-century Europe and the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US in the late twentieth century. We will read and discuss these texts both historically and transhistorically, that is, both as cultural products of a particular moment in time and as texts that speak to our experience of pandemic in 2020. How and why did medieval poets use allegory in order to render comprehensible the social upheavals catalyzed by the plague? How have queer writers and writers of color captured the sense of loss brought about by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their communities? Do pandemics change how we understand the shape of history? We will conclude by analyzing texts on Covid-19, many of which will be published over the course of the semester. We will read, for instance, journalistic essays, political speeches, and internet memes in relation both to the aforementioned historical crises and to our own lived experience of a pandemic.

In addition to exploring how writers have recorded pandemic, we will also cultivate the craft of writing. Indeed, the issues we read about and discuss will serve as topics, prompts, and starting points for you to plan, write, and edit your own work. Throughout the semester, you will develop your critical writing skills by producing a number of written assignments which will include both traditional academic essays, as well as other genres such as personal essays, tweets, and reviews.


Reading and Composition: Re-Visioning the "Sixties"

English R1A

Section: 3
Instructor: Koerner, Michelle
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 80 Barrows


Description

This Reading and Composition course will focus on selected speeches, fiction, music, and visual art produced during the 1960s. In addition to providing a set of broad critical, aesthetic and historical issues to engage over the course of the semester, selected readings and films place considerable emphasis on the student movements of the decade, including the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, the Third World Liberation Front, and the Free Speech and Anti-War Movements.

Over the course of the semester, students will strengthen their capacities to make historically informed arguments, formulate compelling questions to guide their own research, and explore creative approaches to academic writing. Writing assignments emphasize critical engagement with historical documents and literary texts. In addition to several in-class writing exercises, students should expect to write two formal essays focused on rhetorical and literary analysis (3-5 pages), post frequently to the discussion board, and complete a final research project.

Texts: Bloom, Arthur, ed.: Takin' It to the Streets; Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49


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

English R1A

Section: 4
Instructor: Scott, Mark JR
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 54 Barrows


Description

Book List: Ford, John: ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore; Marlowe, Christopher: Edward II; Shakespeare, William: As You Like It.

Other Readings and Media: Edward II (film), dir. Derek Jarman (1991).

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

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

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


Reading and Composition: Four Nobelists: Great Writers of the Last One Hundred Years

English R1A

Section: 5
Instructor: Nathan, Jesse
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 279 Dwinelle


Description

One survived World War II in Poland. Another hailed from a small island in the eastern Caribbean, an outpost on the verge of breaking free of Europe's colonial grip. One was born to a people burdened and ravaged by centuries of enslavement. Another grew up in war-torn Ireland. They came, generally, from small towns and provinces, but their lives were both rural and urban, local and worldly, and they each went on to achieve great acclaim as poets and storytellers. Each was awarded the highest literary honor there is, the Nobel Prize. In this course, we'll explore the lives and works of Czeslaw Milosz, Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, and Seamus Heaney, considering each writer's context, how they spoke to their times, and how they spoke against them. We'll consider, too, the question of greatness—What is a "great writer," and who gets to decide? Are there timeless literary qualities? How does "great work" in one time and place resonate—or not—in another? What, in 2020, can a concept of universality possibly mean? What makes a poem so sure, so sweet, or so powerful that it lodges in our lives, never leaving us?

The broader purpose of this course is to develop your critical reading and writing siklls, whatever your major might be. Over the semester, you'll write a series of short papers and revise three of them. We'll study the summary and synthesis of materials we read, the construction of logical and persuasive arguments, the conveying of attitudes and information. You'll learn by practicing these skills, by thinking about and talking about your own efforts and those of your fellow students, and by analyzing the work of other writers.

Books: Heaney, Seamus: Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996; MIlosz, Czeslaw: New and Collected Poems (1931-2001); Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Walcott, Derek: The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013


Reading and Composition: Octavia Butler: Writing the Body

English R1A

Section: 6
Instructor: Homans-Turnbull, Marian
Time: Note new time: MW 3-4:30
Location: Note new location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Butler, Octavia: Kindred; Butler, Octavia: Lilith's Brood; Butler, Octavia: Seed to Harvest

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be made available on bCourses.

Description

How do fictional identities relate to lived ones? How does a body relate to a mind, a self, or a person? And how do these relationships change as cataclysmic events change the societies in which our identities develop?    

In this course we will read four novels engaging with these questions by pioneering science fiction writer Octavia Butler: DawnWild SeedClay’s Ark, and Kindred. We will consider each text through the lenses of disability, race, and gender. We will discuss the relation of Butler’s novels—set in variously post-apocalyptic worlds both like and unlike our own—to the worlds in which she lived and we live. With the central goal of developing students' critical reading and analytical skills, we will consider what arguments Butler’s stories make about embodiment, identity, and society, and the roles of world-building and other literary techniques in making them. 

In addition to reading and thinking, we will be guided by the goal of developing your expository and argumentative writing skills. We will talk not only about how course readings make arguments, but also about how to identify compelling questions, communicate clearly in writing, and make persuasive arguments of your own. You will develop, draft, peer-review, and revise several short essays over the course of the term.


Reading and Composition: Performances of Identity

English R1A

Section: 7
Instructor: Ghosh, Srijani
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 263 Dwinelle


Description

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

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

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

Course texts (Students will have to buy the course reader and not individual plays, but I have provided the names of the plays that we'll read although I might replace a couple of them): A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen; A Doll's House, Part 2, by Lucan Hnath; The God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza; DIsgraced, by Ayad Akhtar 


Reading and Composition: Borderline Crooks

English R1A

Section: 8
Instructor: Walter, David
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 262 Dwinelle


Description

A plague-ridden Thebes, an Indian reservation, a Rio slum, a U.S.-Mexico border town, the LA hood, a California women's prison. These are the settings for our examination of characters who run up against obstacles—from within themselves, their families and tribes, the economic and legal systems they live in—that lead them to make criminal choices. These choices, and the risks they provoke, taint the characters even as they dare us to care for them.

How do fiction writers, dramatists, journalists and filmmakers get us to invest our feelings in morally compromised characters? To answer this question, we will pull out the guts of their stories to examine their wiring—then try to put them back together again on our own. In the process we will examine classic attempts to say what makes an effective tale, and put to the test the idea that every type of story has "rules" that make it successful. A major segment of the course will be devoted to examining the structure of the feature film in relation to drama and the novel.

In order to prepare students for the writing typically required in college-level courses and in civic discourse, this class teaches the composition of thesis-driven argumentative essays. Students will gain practice in composing brief to medium-length arguments that are focused, clearly organized, well supported and based on accurate critical reading of assigned materials. Students will turn in one short essay of three pages followed by two larger ones of 16 pages total, all of which they will develop out of informal written reflections and drafts. In addition, they will make class presentations, and collaborate on final group projects designed to creatively tie together the themes of the class.

Book List: Oedipus Tyrannus, Sophocles (tr. Fagles); Wolf Boys, Dan Slater; The Round House, Louise Erdrich; The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner

Films: Boys N the Hood, (dir./wr. John Singleton,1991); Sin Nombre (dir./wr. Cary Jôji Fukunaga, 2009); Cidade de Deus (dir. Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund/wr. Paulo Lins, Braulio Mántovani, 2002)

Selected materials: Aristotle, Robert McKee, Judith Weston, Anabel Hernández, Quentin Tarantino, Charles Bowden


Reading and Composition: Reading and Rereading

English R1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Yniguez, Rudi
Time: MWF 9-10
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Doyle, Arthur Conan: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Nabokov, Vladimir: Pale Fire; Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Other Readings and Media

Other readings by Roland Barthes, Jorge Luis Borges, Emma Court, Vladimir Nabokov, and Patricia Meyer Stacks will be made available on bCourses.  We will also screen various film adaptations of texts read.  

Description

According to Vladimir Nabokov, “one cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader.”  In this course, we will provide ourselves with the space to engage more deeply with texts through reading and rereading. We will do so to observe, analyze, and record what changes, what expands, and what might be lost in between the acts.  A variety of texts will lead to a variety of rationales and rewards for rereading: pleasure texts that continually heighten our investment, texts that withhold information to their ends (and beyond), texts that seem to spurn a first reader, and texts we may have read as children and approach now from a different vantage point.  To deepen our appreciation and understanding of this process, we will read a number of theoretical and critical works alongside our primary texts. These will present arguments for rereading as a political act, as a space of personal growth and reflection, and as an academic necessity. 

This course will allow for—and bring to the forefront of our learning experience—the space to focus on the rereading process necessary for critical written work.  Throughout and in between our acts of reading, we will continually work on our own acts of writing and rewriting.  


Reading and Composition: Literature’s Social Life

English R1B

Section: 2
Instructor: Wang, Jacob
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Addison & Steele: The Spectator; Dr. Seuss: The Cat in the Hat; Hurston, Zora: Mules and Men; Miller, Arthur: Death of a Salesman; Starlin, Jim: Batman: A Death in the Family; Woolf, Virginia: A Room of One's Own

Other Readings and Media

Films: Stranger than Fiction (dir. Marc Forster); The Salesman (dir. Asghar Farhadi) 

Poetry by Thomas Wyatt, Surrey, George Moses Horton, Phyllis Wheatley, Jonathan Swift, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Criticism by Raymond Williams, Jonathan Culler, Walter Ong, Louis Menand, Leah Price, Robert Darnton, Pascale Casanova, Michael C. Cohen, Gerald Graff, John Guillory, J. L. Austin 

Description

Literature doesn’t exist in a vacuum, nor does it exist only in classrooms—it has a history, a context, a wider social life that affects how it is produced as well as how it is read, interpreted, circulated, and put to use. In this course, we will examine a broad range of literature— prose fiction, drama, poetry, comic books, non-fiction, periodicals—from various socio-historical contexts in order to get a sense of how to study literature’s social life. We’ll be interested in how literature imagines and relates to its social context, and in how literature itself becomes social through its conditions of production and reception.

The primary aim of this course is to develop your skills as a writer and researcher—someone who engages with other people’s work and investigates the conditions of the world around them in order to shape their own thinking and writing. Accordingly, the reading and writing you do for this class will have its own social life.

Topics include: literature and education, canon formation, literature and identity, literary economy, literary reception history, literary production history, literary anthropology, literary prizes/institutions, literary periodical/reviews, genre, media studies, history of print, history of books, Oprah’s Book Club.


Reading and Composition: Placing “No Place”: Fact and Fiction in Early Modern Utopia

English R1B

Section: 3
Instructor: Lesser, Madeline
Time: MWF 10-11
Location: 35 Evans


Book List

Bacon, Francis: The New Atlantis; Cavendish, Margaret: The Blazing World; More, Thomas: Utopia; Sword, Helen: The Writer's Diet; Winstanley, Gerrard: The Law of Freedom

Description

In 1519, Thomas More coins the word utopia, literally translating to “no place,” an ideal society which does not exist. And yet, the imaginative vision that animates his Utopia hardly emerges from “no place”: More explicitly bases the voyages of his fictional protagonist on Amerigo Vespucci’s voyages to Brazil and the West Indies. In this course, we’ll travel—from Mexico to revolutionary England to the Barbados—mapping fictional journeys of the mind onto the actual trade routes of the early modern world. Among our central questions will be: Why did utopian fiction emerge when and where it did? How did fictional utopias subvert or reify hierarchies of race, ethnicity, and gender? Can imagining a different world change the world we live in?

Our primary objective in this course will be for your writing to improve in hitherto unimaginable ways! Expect to spend more time writing in this class that ever before. I aim to teach you the critical thinking skills necessary for college-level reading and writing, but also to teach you how to write uninhibited, joyful, crystalline prose. **Please note: in order to aspire toward this utopian ideal of writing, we will be using a labor-based grading assessment method (see https://imageandtext.weebly.com/grading-labor-contract.html for a full explanation). Only enroll in this course if you are open to this unconventional method of assessment.


Reading and Composition: Imagining the Collapse of Society

English R1B

Section: 4
Instructor: Gable, Nickolas
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 279 Dwinelle


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid's Tale; Butler, Octavia: Parable of the Sower; Kirkman and Moore: The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye; Wells, H.G.: The Time Machine

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be made available online via bCourses, including various short poems, selections from longer works, newspaper articles, and short stories. Examples include “The Comet” by W.E.B. DuBois, selections from Virgil’s Aeneid, articles on the Ghost Dance religion, and works of religious prophecy.

I will also screen films in class, including Children of Men and Night of the Living Dead.

Description

When a civilization falls, what becomes of those remaining? When society collapses, what is left? Is the end of the world just another beginning?

Fiction, particularly speculative fiction, has attempted to understand what might come if life as we know it were to suddenly and irrevocably change. In this class, we will examine works that contemplate life after unparalleled catastrophe. In examining works that consider the end of the world in one way or another, we will find that hope and despair are useful tools both to criticize and to reinforce ideologies. Along the way, we will encounter prophets, monsters, heroes, and the downtrodden, whose differing perspectives will help us to contemplate how identity, situation, and ability affect a person’s capacity (or even willingness) to survive and thrive when the world changes.

This class tasks us with becoming better readers and writers. Though our “texts” will take various forms—novels, poems, and films among them—we will develop and practice the skill of “close reading” to better understand and analyze our subject matter. In all cases, we will closely examine the details of the work in order to improve our own writing by producing clear, concise, and evidence-driven arguments.


Reading and Composition: Robert Frost: Education by Poetry

English R1B

Section: 5
Instructor: Laser, Jessica
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 51 Evans


Description

"The closeness—everything depends on the closeness with which you come, and you ought to be marked for the closeness, for nothing else."

This course will study the works and thinking of Robert Frost, a poet of deceptive fame who, by seeming to need no introduction, needs an introduction at least a semester long. We will look at Frost in the context of other poets and writers on both sides of the Atlantic: his contemporaries, his influences, and contemporary poets influenced by him. Our focus will be on reading poems and understanding how they work. Our guiding question will be: how can research and critical writing be put in service of closer, deeper reading?

Our work for this course will be directed primarily at accruing materials (research, writing and insights) surrounding a particular poem or set of poems such that a final research paper will tie together the disparate materials and methods of inquiry practiced across the semester and offer a reading of that poem (or set).


Reading and Composition: Epic Romance, Novel Histories: Chronicling Fiction

English R1B

Section: 6
Instructor: Vinyard Boyle, Elizabeth
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Boccaccio, Giovanni: The Decameron; Camus, Albert: The Plague; Defoe, Daniel: A Journal of the Plague Year; García Márquez, Gabriel: Love in the Time of Cholera; Shakespeare, William: Richard II

Other Readings and Media

Shorter readings will include Thucydides, Homer, Virgil, Malory, Marguerite de Navarre, Nashe, Spenser, Cervantes, Scott, Austen, Twain, and Mantel, as well as secondary criticism and theory, and will be made available as a course reader or by pdf.

Description

What does it mean to tell a history of history-telling?  What are the stakes for narrating, recording, or imagining events and eras through inherited (epic, romance) or novel genres—what is gained or lost, and what relation to past and future selves does each conceive or make possible?  How does a created sense of past inform our capacity for knowing, reimagining, or even changing our present world—and what would it mean to speak of secret or alternate histories?  This course will move through interlocking genealogies of signature (and literary) modes of history-telling, as we meditate upon and develop answers to the related questions of fiction in history, fictional histories, and a history of fiction.  We will read renaissance and contemporary translations of classical history and epic, Shakespeare’s history plays against modern renderings of nation myth, Arthurian romance and the historical novel, and novels of existential and magical realisms.  Our readings will culminate in a historical case study of real, imagined, and fictional accounts of living through plague, from the annals of ancient Greece to the modern and postmodern novel.

As we articulate a shared vocabulary and begin to explore what each of our central terms might mean—for history, for our present, for posterity—we will also think about what it means to read and write from different genres and moments in history, working through a series of short responses and assignments that build toward a final research paper.  In the process we will become more flexible and critical readers by developing our capacity to write about the facts of fiction, through the reflective lens of our own historical selves.


Reading and Composition: The New American Poetry

English R1B

Section: 7
Instructor: Dunsker, Leo
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 235 Dwinelle


Book List

Allen, Donald (ed.): The New American Poetry 1945–1960

Other Readings and Media

A course reader containing the work of poets such as Bob Kaufman, Alice Notley, Joanne Kyger, and Stephen Jonas, along with secondary and critical work, will be available for purchase. 

Description

When accepting the National Book Award in 1960 for his poetry collection Life Studies, the poet Robert Lowell characterized U.S. poetry as a house divided between two camps: “the raw” and “the cooked.” This course will focus on what Lowell in 1960 called “the raw,” as represented by Donald Allen’s anthology The New American Poetry, 1945-1960, published that same year. This anthology introduced the work of a generation of young poets like Frank O'Hara, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, and others, poets who would later be associated with such movements as the New York School, the Beat Generation, the San Francisco Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and more. It was intended as an angry response to the homogeneity of poetry's writers and readers, and abandons the old familiar forms (e.g. the sonnet) for new and often explosive ones. Evidence of this work's continued prescience is inscribed everywhere in Berkeley itself, from the Berkeley Poetry Walk on Addison Street to the collections of manuscripts and entire libraries of small press materials housed in the Bancroft Library. The Berkeley Poetry Conference of 1965 was even hosted in Cal Hall, and a number of the poets included in the anthology were graduates of Berkeley themselves. The cultural afterlife of the work, though, is much more far-ranging, and we will also be thinking in this vein about what makes certain poetry, or certain poets, "iconic." In short, we'll be considering not only what makes a poem, but also what makes poetry as a social activity and a way of coming together, and about all the poetry that never makes it to the page.

This writing-intensive course is designed to improve students’ skills in both writing and thinking. Over the course of the semeser, students will write and revise two papers, the first analytic and the second based on individual research. Accordingly, students will be instructed in how to locate and engage with primary and secondary sources as well as in how to properly employ them so as to advance their own original claims.


Reading and Composition: Cannibals, Collectors, Chroniclers: Fictions of Empire

English R1B

Section: 8
Instructor: Struhl, Abigail
Time: MWF 12-1
Location: 206 Dwinelle


Book List

Behn, Aphra: Oroonoko; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano; Melville, Herman: Benito Cereno; Poe, Edgar Allen: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket; Rhys, Jean: Wide Sargasso Sea

Other Readings and Media

Secondary sources will be made available via bCourses, and there will also be a screening of a film, TBD. 

Description

This class will focus on Anglo-American representations of colonial encounter from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a period of dramatic imperial expansion. What are the conventions of fictions of empire? How are figures like cannibals and collectors repeatedly deployed to express anxieties about cultural, racial, and sexual difference, and how do cannibalism and collecting serve as narrative methods as well as tropes? Why do British and American fictions represent going elsewhere to cast new light on the social problems they face at home? And how do contemporary fiction-makers find inspiration in returning to and rewriting the colonial archive?

The goal of this course is to provide instruction in the art of the research essay. Our imperial fictions will provide both material for a longer piece of writing and the opportunity to think about how writers establish their authority using (sometimes manipulating or innovating upon) historical evidence and literary convention.


Reading and Composition: Western War Literature

English R1B

Section: 9
Instructor: Furcall, Dylan
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 31 Evans


Book List

Aristophanes : Lysistrata; Chesnutt , Charles: The Colonel's Dream; Orwell, George : Homage to Catalonia; Rankine, Claudia: Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric

Other Readings and Media

"The Wall," Jean-Paul Sartre; The Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo; Red Cavalry, Isaac Babel (selections); The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein (selections); "Donelson," Herman Melville; The Disasters of War, Francisco Goya; "Looking at War," "Regarding the Pain of Others," Susan Sontag; "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime," Charles Tilly; Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes (selections); "Manifesto of Futurism," F.T. Marinetti; Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf (selections); selected Vietnam War journalism

Description

Western literature has, since its inception, been preoccupied with war: war as historical and as personal event, as political and ethical crisis, as quotidian reality. Insofar as war has been a master-narrative in our conception of human society, it’s also been a master-genre of writing—and yet the means and manner by which writers have depicted and reflected upon war have varied as much from author to author as they have from epoch to epoch. “War writing” has manifested as a set of sub-genres—war reporting, war novels, war poetry, etc.—each with its own unique traditions and sets of concerns. Some authors have employed writing to document the “facts” of war; others have been concerned with how war throws into relief the relationship of the individual to the nationstate; some, such as F.T. Marinetti, have sought to simulate the violence of war in their compositional techniques; and still others reflect less on the realities of battle than on the cultural memory of war. This course will survey some of the ways that Western literature has engaged with war, in the effort of expanding and revising our notions of what war writing is, where its responsibilities lie, and what social and aesthetic aims it can achieve. 

As a composition class, the point of this course is not to “master” content. Rather, it is to hone our analytic, argumentative, and research skills, and to practice those skills in academic writing. To that end, in addition to covering poetry, fiction, criticism, memoir, and film, we will spend a significant portion of class time practicing and reviewing rhetorical strategies, logical argumentation, and research methods. 


Reading and Composition: Romantic Satanism: "Paradise Lost" and Its Radical Legacies

English R1B

Section: 10
Instructor: Sulpizio, Catherine Marcia
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 235 Dwinelle


Book List

Blake, William: A Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Blake, William: Milton: A Poem in Two Books; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; Melville, Herman: Moby Dick; Milton, John: Paradise Lost; Vivien, Renée: La Genèse profane;

Recommended: Baudelaire, Charles: Les Litanies de Satan; Hugo, Victor: La Fin de Satan; Shelley, Percy: Prometheus Unbound; X, Malcolm: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Other Readings and Media

Secondaries may include excerpts from Per Faxneld, Stanley Fish, Carolivia Herron, Jared Hickman, Christopher Hill, Islam Issa, and Reginald A. Wilburn (among others). 

Description

What does it mean to be a romantic reader of Paradise Lost? In this course, we will closely read the canonical epic poem by John Milton, before exploring its reception in a few key Romantic texts. By reading Milton alongside William Blake and Olaudah Equiano, Percy Shelley, Herman Melville, and Renée Vivien we will consider these Romantic/post-Romantic figures as readers and rewriters of Paradise Lost. In the first half of the class, we will treat the source text as a critical site where themes of absolutism, liberation, theodicy, and free will converge, while unpacking its English Revolutionary context. Yet, if as Blake suggested, Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it,” in the second half of the class, we will ask how later writers seek to simultaneously claim and contest the legacy of Milton’s hierarchical Christian vision, often by recapturing its Satanic energies. By transforming Satan into a revolutionary or political rebel or decadent, these writers demonstrate how a 17th-century text can be reactivated for abolitionist, republican, and feminist purposes that far exceed Milton’s context. Towards this end, we will work towards a literary reception theory that is organized along "lines of adaptation," rather than static inheritance—allowing us to understand the author as a literary critic who renegotiates tradition.

The course will be comprised of reading the majority of Milton’s epic poem, with strategic excerpts from Blake, Equiano, Shelley, Melville, and Vivien, alongside relevant secondaries. As this course counts towards the Reading and Composition requirement, beyond developing an analytic framework for understanding Paradise Lost's literary and critical legacies, students should expect to learn the craft of research writing, primarily by composing (and revising) two research papers. 


Reading and Composition: Jewish and Black-ish: Race Relations in American Literature

English R1B

Section: 11
Instructor: Ullman, Alexander
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 54 Barrows


Description

Judaism may be the only religion that takes an “-ish” in its adjectival form, but it’s certainly not the only identity in American culture to consider its partiality through language. As the 2014 sit-com Black-ish showed through its very title, African diasporic identity is fraught in the contemporary cultural imagination. But how does “Jew-ish-ness” differ from “Black-ish-ness”? Certainly all “ishs” aren’t the same. 

We will engage with texts and films from across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, from The Jazz Singer to Black-ish, to ask how literature and cultural production reflect but also complicate narratives of affiliation between Blacks and Jews. How are Jewish and Black relations depicted? How is historical trauma, specifically the Holocaust and the African slave trade, made sense of in artistic representation? What happens to Jewish and Black relations as identities become more mixed, more “-ish”? And how do the relations between these two identities speak to other notions of race relations in US culture and abroad?

The goal of this course will be for students to have a deeper understanding of the historical relationship between these two identity groups and that relationship's importance to narratives about American identity at large. Students will demonstrate their understanding of this relationship's past, present, and future by writing and engaging with discussion posts on bCourses, taking weekly in-class reading quizzes, and drafting two research papers.

Texts: Bernard Malamud, The Tenants (1971); Fran Ross, Oreo (1974); Anna Deavere Smith, Fires in the Mirror (1992); Philip Roth, The Human Stain (2000); Kiese Laymon, Long Division (2013)


Reading and Composition: Sources

English R1B

Section: 12
Instructor: Bernes, Jasper
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Description

While we all may be famiiar with the idea that we can learn about literature from doing research, in this course we will also see what we can learn about doing research from reading literature. How does a poet work with a medical report, a novelist with a court transcript, and what can we say about the kinds of choices they make in doing so?

In seeking answers, students in this writing-intensive course will do their own research, locating their own sources and generating their own documents. Classroom discussion and lectures will focus at least half of the time on the ins and outs of the thesis-driven argumentative essay. Students will write two short essays, followed by a longer research paper.

Texts: Gerard Graff and Cathy Birkstein: They Say, I Say; Robin Coste Lewis: Voyage of the Sable Venus; Valeria Luiselli: Lost Children Archive; Muriel Rukeyser: The Book of the Dead


Reading and Composition: Quarantine/Pandemic, Alienation/Globalization, Alone/Together

English R1B

Section: 13
Instructor: McWilliams, Ryan
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 89 Dwinelle


Description

Does Covid-19 have you feeling isolated and alone? Unusually connected to far-flung strangers, friends, and family members who are going through the same thing at the same time? Perhaps both? In this course, readings and essay topics will consider the peculiar mixture of solitude and collective experience that characterizes quarantine. Before discussing a selection of pandemic texts from the fourteenth century to the 2010s, we will investigate the features of this historical moment that feel all-too-familiar from more ubiquitous systems of interconnection and vulnerability. In particular, we will query ways that the virus-induced social distancing compares to feelings of alienation produced by global capitalism within texts ranging from Thoreau's Walden to zombie films to Ling Ma's recent apocalyptic novel Severance.

Research and writing will also be a major focus of our course. Over the course of the semester you will learn how to propose a research topic, respond to scholarly criticism, and produce a well-researched ten-page final paper. We will also experiment with other, briefer genres ranging from literature reviews to public-facing forms such as personal essays or op-eds.

Required readings: Henry David Thoreau: Walden; or Life in the Woods (Norton Critical Edition). ISBN 13: 978-0393930900; and Ling, Ma: Severance ISBN 13: 978-0374261597

A note on the readings: We will definitely begin with Walden— a rich criticism of consumer society and experiment in deliberate isolation—and end with Severance, so please feel free to order these texts. To keep our readings timely, other required books will be announced on the first day of class. Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (where isolation is enforced by slavery rather than chosen as a mode of protest), Colson Whitehead's Zone One (a postapocalyptic novel), and Tony Kushner's play Angels in America (about the HIV/AIDS epidemic) are potential inclusions. We will also discuss films and television episodes—such as Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, or episodes of Black Mirror—where brain-dead commuters and brain-eating zombies are portrayed as virtually indistinguishable forms of mass consumers. Finally, bCourses readings will include excerpts from writers including Boccaccio, Daniel Defoe, Herbert Marcuse, Karl Marx, as well as assorted secondary criticism.

 


Reading and Composition: Wronged Women: Violence and Gender in Early English Literature

English R1B

Section: 14
Instructor: Ripplinger, Michelle
Time: TTh 8-9:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Description

(Note new instructor, topic, and course description as of May 11.)

The brutal representations of sexual violence on the HBO series Game of Thrones have provoked heated debate in recent years. Under what circumstances, if any, is it ethical to represent violence against women? Can appeals to fictionality or historical realism excuse or justify these representations? Such questions may seem modern—but writing over six centuries ago, Christine de Pizan expressed a similar worry about the Romance of the Rose, a popular medieval poem which concludes with an allegorical representation of sexual assault. "What atrocity! What dishonor! [...] What good model or example could this be?" she wondered. Taking up these questions, this course examines how early English authors grappled with the ethics of representing violence against women, as well as the rich tradition of survivors expressing their anger. Together we will place medieval and early modern works in conversation with the classical myths which precede them, while also considering their relation to a line of philosophical thought as old as Plato and as recent as Columbia University undergrads' objections to Ovid's inclusion in the curriculum in 2015. Along the way we'll engage such questions as: What is the relationship between representations of women as objects of violence and the emergence of literary female subjectivity? How have women readers and writers responded to and appropriated language of sexual violence, and to what effect? Finally, what potential does medieval and early modern discourse about rape and and women's rage, coercion and consent hold for us now in the wake of the Me Too movement?

These questions will guide our thinking about works ranging from Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to Christine de Pizan's City of Ladies and Game of Thrones, but these works will be our primary subject rather than its object. As we consider how representations of violence against women became a nodal point for thinking about the ethics of literary representation, our engagement with these works will be guided by an underlying goal, which is to strengthen your skills as critical readers and writers. This course will teach you how to pose analytical questions, develop complex arguments supported by evidence, and build research skills that will be applicable for other college writing and your future career. A peer-review process will provide added support as we approach writing a college-level analytical paper as a cumulative series of individually manageable steps. By the end of the semester, you will have produced at least thirty-two pages of writing, including both drafts and revisions. 

Booklist: Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue; Ovid: Metamorphoses: The New, Annotated Edition; Shakespeare: The Poems: Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, The Passionate Pilgrim, A Lover's Complaint; Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus


Reading and Composition: Against the Theater

English R1B

Section: 15
Instructor: Ogunniyi, Kevin
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 80 Barrows


Book List

Aeschylus: The Eumenides; Beaumont, Francis: Knight of the Burning Pestle; Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot; Euripides: Medea; Milton, John: Samson Agonistes; Racine, Jean: Phedre; Shakespeare, William: Coriolanus; Sidney, Philip: Defence of Poetry; Sophocles: Antigone

Other Readings and Media

(Potential) shorter readings (via PDF or course reader) from the Presocratics, Plato (Ion and The Republic), Virgil (Aeneid), Boethius (Consolation of Philosophy), Zhuangzi, Langland (Piers Plowman), Michel de Montaigne (Essays), Thomas Beccon (Displaying of the Popish Mass), The Marprelate Tracts, William Prynne (Histriomastix), Henry Fielding (Shamela), John Dryden (Mac Flecknoe), Jonathan Swift, Jeremy Collier (Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage), Lord Byron (Manfred), Lawrence Langer (Holocaust Testimonies).

Critical and theoretical readings from Kant, Jonas Barish (The Antitheatrical Prejudice), Friedrich Nietzsche (Birth of Tragedy), Martin Puchner (Stage Fright), and others.

Description

What’s in a theatre? A stage, props, audiences, actors, devices— all sustained by a general acceptance that what happens on stage is not “real.” While the theatre’s composition has remained largely stable over time, the last few centuries have seen the emergence of a category called the “theatrical,” which both informs and derives from dramatic stagecraft. Not only plays but all human actions share in this quality. Alongside theatricality, a psychological resistance to the theatre and all that it represents has emerged—what Jonas Barish calls an innate “antitheatrical prejudice.” How has this so-called prejudice manifested? Does it drive toward the abolishment of all imposture, all theatre, all literature? Why have so many plays, alongside other “theatrical” works, seemingly sought to undermine the premises of the very illusion that sustains them? Can a work be antitheatrical without also being theatrical (and the reverse)? And is antitheatricalism really just a prejudice to be dismissed?

This class will survey the genealogy of “antitheatricality,” from antiquity to the twentieth century—considering both the historical trend of opposition to the theatre as an institution, largely on religious grounds, and the more general and pervasive suspicions of ‘inauthentic’ representational practices (e.g. dandyish dress, wearing make-up, writing garishly). Hostility to and suspicion of the theatre often arise at the margins of a given text—its paratext—and so might stand for the text’s internal tension or drive to contradict itself. Using the techniques of close reading and literary analysis, we will read plays that seem to reject different aspects of the stagecraft that sustains them, writings explicitly composed to attack the stage, and works that embrace and criticize different forms and practices of “inauthenticity.” Ultimately, we will consider whether the antitheatrical can be a positive (i.e. productive) aspect of a work of literature, or even of life. 

As an R1B, this course is aimed to give students experience in reading and in writing substantial research papers informed by secondary sources. The theme reflects the purpose. While works of invective against the theatre tend to have different evidentiary standards from academic research papers, the 'antitheatricalist's' literary methods and techniques for producing rhetorical copia—e.g. the use of commonplaces, subtle “They say/I say” gestures, the mutual (and theatrical!) substantiations of the argument and the one arguing—overlap with the scholar’s and might well spur good critical writing.


Reading and Composition: Religion in the First Person

English R1B

Section: 16
Instructor: Delehanty, Patrick
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 50 Barrows


Book List

Augustine, St.: Confessions; Bunyan, John: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Eliot, T.S.: Four Quartets; Kempe, Margery: The Book of Margery Kempe; Robinson, Marilynne: Gilead

Other Readings and Media

Selected PDF's with poems by John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Richard Crashaw, William Wordsworth

Films: Diary of a Country Priest (dir. Robert Bresson); First Reformed (dir. Paul Schrader). 

Possible Secondary Readings by William James, Simone Weil, Barbara Lewalski, Max Weber, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Caroline Walker Bynum. Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mercia Eliade, Hans Blumenberg, Charles Taylor, Ernst Kantorowicz

Description

O Lord, I truly toil at this task and labor in myself. I have become a troublesome field that requires hard labor and heavy sweat. We are not trying to explore the regions of the sky, or measuring the distances of the stars, or inquiring about the weight of the earth. It is I who remember, I the mind. It is no cause for wonder that what I am not is far distant from me; but what is closer to me than I myself?” -Augustine of Hippo

In a founding document of religious studies, William James proposed that instead of investigating theology, doctrine, or ecclesiastical organizations, a study of religion would benefit more from a study of, “the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.” This course intends to do just that. We will accomplish this difficult task through an investigation of numerous literary texts drawn from the history of Christianity that seek to represent an individual’s relationship to the divine. Our goal is not merely to better understand the psychology of the religious believer, however. Along the way we will also see how the genre of spiritual autobiography made a decisive impact on the course of English and World literature, how spiritual autobiography emerged as a dominant genre in the wake of the Protestant reformation, and how any theory or history of religion is incomplete without having recourse to the experience of the individual believer.

We will begin with brief excepts from the Hebrew Bible, primarily the Psalms, considering them both as poetry and as statements of belief or comfort in the face of adversity. We will then turn to the 4th century A.D. with Augustine’s Confessions, an extraordinary document that had dramatic influences on literature, western philosophy, and the development of Christianity. These forays into the ancient world will set up many of the questions that we will be attempting to answer throughout the semester, and they will continue to guide us as we move into the middle ages, the Reformation period, and beyond. We will consider several different genres, such as prose non-fiction, prose fiction, lyric poetry, and film, tracking how each genre presents a different relationship to our chosen subject. We will also spend a good deal of time on historical context, and we will see how the texts we read not only deal with the eternal or divine, but how they are also deeply resonant with socio-economic problems contemporaneous with their authors. To that end, we will look at the writings of recent historians and literary critics in order to get a better grasp of the issues our texts are responding to.

In addition to cultivating your critical thinking and literary analysis skills, this course will help to strengthen your academic and analytic writing. Becoming a better writer requires practice; as such, you will be required to write several essays of increasing length as the semester progresses, as well as revising your writing heavily. We will also work on improving your writing through shorter assignments such as reflections, responses, and revisions.


Modern British and American Literature: Pandemic Fiction

English 20

Section: 1
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: Oryx and Crake; Atwood, Margaret: The Year of the Flood; Mandel, Emily St. John: Station Eleven; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One

Description

Through the centuries, pandemics have supplied storytellers with fodder for reflections on community and isolation, humanity and inhumanity, hope and despair, and how the future might be imagined in the face of widespread disease and death. In 2020, the world of pandemic is too much with us, but reading pandemic narratives may allow us to reconnect, not blindly but with care and thought, to the world of the living. 

We will briefly survey excerpts from classics of the pandemic fiction genre ranging from the 14th to the 20th century, by such authors as Boccacio, Defoe, M. Shelley, Poe, London, and Camus. Next, we will consider several iconic representations of the AIDS crisis, especially Tony Kushner’s two-part play “Angels in America” and its HBO mini-series adaptation. We will devote the lion’s share of our time to recent post-apocalyptic pandemic novels and stories, well-wrought genre fiction by Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood, Colson Whitehead, Junot Diaz, and Emily St. John Mandel. Along the way, we may view a couple of pandemic movies, possibly “12 Monkeys,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and/or “Shaun of the Dead.”

The readings for the course are subject to change, so don’t buy any of the listed books until you get the syllabus on the first day of class. Requirements include active participation in class discussions; frequent bCourses posts; two short essays; a brief personal narrative or work of fiction; and a final exam.


Freshman Seminar: Modernist Cinema: Bergman, Pasolini, Godard

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, D.A.
Time: W 3-5 (through 10/7)
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

Description:  We will watch and discuss three masterworks of European Modernist Cinema: Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Pier-Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema, and Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt.  Though high-water marks of the 1960s European art film, these films are not just famous or important; they remain greatly compelling works of art.  But for a couple of reasons, they are unapologetically difficult to watch.  For one thing, each advances an unfamiliar thesis about very familiar things (love, sex, the couple), so we need to think harder than usual about what these films are saying.  And for another thing, each elaborates its thesis in an innovative cinematic form that even now hasn't been assimilated by mainstream cinema. We also, then, need to look harder than usual at what we are seeing.  To engage these films, you may have to give up your ordinary expectation of cinematic pleasure, but in doing so, the instructor predicts, you are pretty sure to find pleasure of another kind.

D.A. Miller is the author of several books on film including Hidden Hitchcock, 8½, and the forthcoming “Second Time Around: The New Cinematheque” in which he reflects on rewatching the art films of his youth on DVD.  For many years he was John F. Hotchkis Professor in English at Berkeley, and most recently served as Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan.
 
This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.
 


Freshman Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: W 4-5
Location: 204 Dwinelle


Book List

Thoreau, Henry: Walden

Description

As close and careful a reading of Thoreau's dense and enigmatic work as we can manage in the time we have. Regular atttendance and participation and five pages of writing will be required.

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


Freshman Seminar: Emily Dickinson

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: Thurs. 2-3
Location: 225 Dwinelle


Book List

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

Description

We will read and discuss 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.


Freshman Seminar: English Sonneteers: Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne

English 24

Section: 4
Instructor: Nelson, Alan H.
Time: M 12-1
Location: 104 Dwinelle


Description

The finest practioners of the English sonnet tradition were, in death-date order, Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Donne. After brief biographical surveys, this seminar will consider sonnet types (Italian, English), metrics (meters, rhyme schemes), conventions (Petrarchan, anti-Petrarchan), sonnet "cycles," and varieties of subject matter (love, sex, religion . . . ???). Technical analysis will serve as a portal into worlds of desire, hope, jealousy, resignation, sorrow, bitterness, disgust, and love, both human and devine. As all materials required for this course will be available online, no textbook is required. Each student will write one short essay (doubtless with several drafts). An equally important goal will be mastery of the seminar format.

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


Freshman Seminar: Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets: Voice, Argument ,Character, and Plot

English 24

Section: 5
Instructor: Altman, Joel B.
Time: W 10-11
Location: 186 Barrows


Description

Shakespeares' sonnets are arguments—addressed to himself, a male friend, and a mysteriously alluring woman—and most of them concern love. We're going to read them all in the course of the semester, and at each meeting read several aloud, then talk about those we find especially interesting. We'll get to know the characters, the plot, and the poet's style and way of thinking—and learn to speak his words "trippingly on the tongue," as Hamet tells the players. Class participation, based on the week's reading assignment, two short papers, and regular attendance will be required.

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


Freshman Seminar: Frankenstein and Its Rewritings

English 24

Section: 6
Instructor: Christ, Carol T.
Time: M 2-3
Location: 104 Dwinelle


Description

Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein has so much cultural resonance that Frankenstein itself has become a word. Reflecting a slippage between the scientist and the being he creates, Frankenstein has come to mean a monstrous creation that destroys its maker. No less an economist than Milton Friedman writes, "How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?" With Hurricane Sandy, we even had Frankenstorm. We have Frankenfood. As cultural historian and collector of Frankensteiniana, Susan Tyler Hitchcock observes, Frankenstein is both a joke and a symbol for a profound ethical dilemma. Frankenstein is instantly recognizable as a cultural icon and has an enormous richness of referential context. In this seminar we will study Mary Shelley's novel, and several contemporary novels and films that re-imagine its central idea in the context of robotics, artificial intelligence, and genetic engineering.

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


Major Writers: John Donne

English 29

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 202 Wheeler


Book List

Donne, John : The Complete Poetry

Description

Much of John Donne’s poetry speaks from the bedroom (“And now good-morrow to our waking souls”); much of the rest, from the grave (“When my grave is broke up again”). The voice, however, is always the same: morbid yet lively, tender but tyrannical, intimate and gregarious, funny and moving in equal measures. It is a voice often relegated to the margins of English survey courses, overshadowed by those of Shakespeare and Milton, two authors who bookend Donne’s life. In this course, we’ll see that Donne’s poetry and prose yield handsome returns if we pay them the attention they demand. Their author was a character of extremes and contradictions: a “great visitor of Ladies” in his youth, he later became the foremost preacher in London and poured his considerable intellectual and rhetorical talents into writing some of the most arresting sermons in the English language. It is precisely in articulating and exploring extremes and contradictions that his writings offer not only an insight into life’s possibilities in early modern England, but a perspective on literature’s role in negotiating individuality and society.


Readings include Donne’s erotic and love poetry, his satires on early modern social life, and his religious verse; in addition, we will also read brief selections from his sermons and letters. Assignments will include a brief assignment focusing on a poetic device, two short essays, and a final exam. A. J. Smith's Penguin edition is the most affordable option including all of Donne's English poetry, but if you already own another major edition (Carey's Oxford, Robbins's Longman, etc.) you may use it for this course. Additional readings will be posted in bCourses. 
 


Literature of American Cultures: American Hustle: Race, Ethnicity, and Dreams of Getting Ahead

English 31AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 101 Life Sciences Addition


Other Readings and Media

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 Promised Land.

 

Description

In this class, we are going to do and to talk about work: getting work, making it work, working the system.

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? 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.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Freshman and Sophomore Seminar: Reading Marx Now

English 39A

Section: 1
Instructor: Lye, Colleen
Salzinger, Leslie
Time: W 2-5
Location: 2032 VLSB


Book List

Alvar, Mia: In the Country; Marx, Karl: Capital Vol. 1

Other Readings and Media

All other readings made available on bCourses.

Description

Marx is being seriously and widely read again since the financial crisis of 2008, and Capital Vol. 1 in particular is considered his work most appropriate to our times. Reading Capital today, we’ll see why 20th- and 21st- century radical thinkers on questions of gender, race, colonialism and environmental destruction have sought to build on its concepts and methods or, even in moving past them, feel that they must first be confronted and critiqued anew. Co-taught by a professor from the social sciences and one from the humanities, this freshman and sophomore seminar illuminates what interdisciplinary conversations can offer in developing integrative critiques of capitalism. How does the history of capitalism inform our theory of capitalism, and how does our theory of capitalism affect how we write its history? How does grasping the dialectical relation between theory and history allow us to imagine a solidarity politics that can transcend the limitations of intersectional politics? The semester’s theoretical reading will be capped by a sociological case study and a literary case study in which we will compare two kinds of approaches to documenting the traffic in global domestic labor. What aspects of the phenomena are captured by these two kinds of analysis and documentation? This course will be equal parts theoretically oriented and equal parts empirical or historically oriented. Please be sure to buy the Penguin edition of Capital.

This class is cross-listed with GWS 39A.

This course fulfills the Social Behavioral Sciences breadth requirement.

 


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Time: Lectures MW 9-10 in 159 Mulford + 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; sec. 105: Thurs. 11-12; sec. 106: Thurs. 1-2)
Location:


Book List

Chaucer, Geoffrey (ed. Kolve and Olson): The Canterbury Tales: Seventeen Tales and the General Prologue; Milton, John (ed. Teskey): Paradise Lost; Spenser, Edmund (ed. Kaske): The Faerie Queene, Book 1

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader: includes Renaissance and early 17th Century lyrics, selected essays, and reading guides. There will also be an active bCourses site, with handouts and materials.

Description

This course offers an introduction to English literary history from the late fourteenth to the late seventeenth centuries. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, and John Milton’s Paradise Lost will be our main texts, but we will also look at selected shorter poems from the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In addition to the historical and formal issues specific to each text, topics for discussion will include: changes within the English language; tensions between received authority (literary, religious, or political) and experience; poets’ readings of their predecessors; challenges to didacticism posed by playful literary form; competing ideas about gender; shifting definitions of place and personhood; and quests of various kinds. Along the way, we will probe the uses and implications of a range of literary genres, modes, and forms (epic, romance, lyric, allegory, irony, and others).


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: Lectures MW 1-2 in 159 Mulford + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 1-2; sec. 103: F 2-3; sec. 104: F 2-3; sec. 105: Thurs. 9-10; sec. 106: Thurs. 10-11
Location:


Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Behn, Aphra: Oroonoko; Defoe, Daniel: Moll Flanders; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself; Pope, Alexander: The Rape of the Lock and Other Major Writings; Wordsworth, William: Lyrical Ballads

Description

As we read works produced in a period of tumultuous change, we shall consider those works as zones of contact, reflecting and sometimes negotiating conflict. In a world of expanding global commerce (imports like tea suddenly becoming commonplace in England), political revolution (English, American, French), and changing conceptions of what it means to be a man or woman (a new medical discourse viewing them as categorically distinct), increasingly available printed texts become sites of contestation—including debates about what constitutes "proper" language and Literature itself. We shall think about the ways in which separate groups—British and African, masters and slaves, slave owners and abolitionists, arch capitalists and devout religious thinkers, Republicans and Conservatives, men and women—use writing to devise ongoing relationships with each other, often under conditions of inequality. Throughout we shall be especially attuned to formal choices—from linguistic register to generic conventions and innovations—and how writers deploy these to incorporate opposition, resist authority or authorize themselves. Requirements will include two papers, a mid-term exam, a final exam, and reading quizzes.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
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; sec. 105: Thurs. 2-3; sec. 106: Thurs. 4-5)
Location:


Book List

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

Other Readings and Media

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

Description

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

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


Asian American Literature and Culture: Voice, Text, Image

English 53

Section: 1
Instructor: Leong, Andrew Way
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: note new location: 140 Barrows


Book List

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

Other Readings and Media

Other media and readings will be distributed via bCourses.

Description

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

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


Sophomore Seminar: The Coen Brothers

English 84

Section: 1
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Time: M 10-12
Location: 134 Dwinelle


Book List

Lahiri, J.: Interpreter of Maladies

Description

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

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


Introduction to Old English

English 104

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 140 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

This course is aimed at beginners, whether graduate* or undergraduate, familiarizing them with the principles and practice of linguistic decoding and the grammar and vocabulary of, primarily, Old English prose: historiographical (histories), hagiographical (saints' lives) and homiletic (sermons). By the end of the semester, you will be competent, if not virtuosic, readers/interpreters of Old English prose, and know a decent amount about the culture that produced the books in which it survives.

*graduates, please contact me for enrollment information and a review of the requirements

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


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: Lectures TTh 2-3 in 2060 VLSB + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 10-11; sec. 103: F 1-2; sec. 104: F 12-1)
Location:


Book List

Greenblatt, Stephen: The Norton Shakespeare

Description

This class focuses on a selection of works from Shakespeare’s entire career. We'll be reading a limited number of plays and some of the poetry. One of the main issues I'd like to focus on is the oscillation between "regular" and "irregular." What is the rule, and what is the exception in Shakespeare's works? How is a comedy supposed to end? How does it end? What makes a tragic hero? Is Hamlet a tragic hero? What are the rules of theater? What are the rules of literature? Who creates them and why? When do they get transgressed, and why? A tentative list of the plays includes Titus Andronicus, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, King Lear, and The Tempest. We'll also read some of the sonnets. Assignments include two essays and a final exam.  

Book list: The Norton Shakespeare (ed. S. Greenblatt). Additional materials will be distributed through bCourses. 
 


Milton

English 118

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 141 McCone


Book List

Milton, John (ed. Kerrigan, Rumrich, Fallon): The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton

Description

Probably the most influential and famous (and, in his own time, infamous) literary figure of the seventeenth century, John Milton has too often been misrepresented as a mainstay of a traditional canon rather than the rebel he was. People who do not know his work frequently assume that he was a remote or traditional religious poet. They are wrong: in fact, he was an independent and unconventional thinker, who distrusted any passively held faith and was relentlessly self-questioning. As we follow Milton’s carefully shaped career from the shorter early poems, through some of the controversial prose of the English Civil War era, and into the astounding work that emerged in the wake of political defeat (Paradise LostParadise RegainedSamson Agonistes), we will discover a very different literary and political figure—one known in his time as a statesman as well as a poet, and in both pursuits considered more an iconoclast than an icon. We will come to understand Milton’s writing in relation to the political and scientific revolutions that he witnessed and in which he took part, and we will also think about his experiments in poetic form, his ambivalent incorporations, revisions, and expansions of classical literature and biblical texts alike, the literary dimension of his often unorthodox theology, his writings on love, gender, marriage, and divorce, his life-long preoccupation with vocation, and more.
 
Note: This single textbook for the course is an absolute necessity: John Milton, The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, ed. William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen Fallon (Modern Library edition; the ISBN-13 is 978-0679642534). Avoid Kindle versions, which are problematic. Cheaper, used copies of this edition should be readily available online.
 
This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.


American Literature: 1800-1865

English 130B

Section: 1
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: Lectures MW 12-1 in 240 Mulford + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 11-12; sec. 102: F 12-1)
Location:


Book List

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

Other Readings and Media

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

Description

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

This course satisfies L & S's Historical Studies breadth requirement. 


American Poetry

English 131

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 108 Wheeler


Description

This survey of U.S. poetries will begin with 17th- and 18th-century poems by two women, Anne Bradstreet and Phyllis Wheatley, move to another (19th-century) pairing in Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, and then touch down in expatriate and stateside modernisms, the Harlem Renaissance, the New York School, and Language Poetry, on our way to the contemporary. Rather than cover all major figures briefly, we'll spend extended time with the work of a few: poets considered will include Paul Dunbar, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Lyn Hejinian, Claudia Rankine, and Layli Longsoldier. Along the way we'll consider renovations and dissipations of conventional form and meter, the task and materials of the long poem, seriality, citationality, who and what counts as a poetic subject, and how U.S. poetries have imagined community over and against their actual Americas.

All readings will be drawn from a Course Reader.


American Novel

English 132

Section: 1
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Time: Lectures MW 2-3 in 204 Wheeler + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

Cahan, A.: Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury; Hawthorne, N.: The Scarlet Letter; James, H.: Daisy Miller; Kingston, M.H.: China Men; Morrison, T.: A Mercy; Nabokov, V.: Pnin; Twain, M.: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; West, N.: The Day of the Locust; Whitehead, C.: Zone One

Description

Rather than define a canon, this survey will trace how the novel form has contributed to the project of nation-formation in the United States.  How has the novel helped to define what it means to be American, starting from the country’s fledgling days as an outpost of Europe?  To what extent has the novel been able to incorporate the diversity of American experiences, and to what extent has it promoted racial, gender, and class inequality?  What are the limits of both novel and nation, and how does literary experimentation push against these limits?


African American Literature and Culture Since 1917

English 133B

Section: 1
Instructor: JanMohamed, Abdul R.
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 151 Barrows


Book List

Butler, Octavia: Kindred; Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes were Watching God; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl ; Morrison, Toni: Beloved; Walker, Alice: The Third Life of Grange Copeland; Wright, Richard: Native Son

Other Readings and Media

Octavia Butler, "Bloodchild" (short story)

Description

This course will examine some major 20th-century African American novels; however, given the nature of the terrain, the course will also dip back into the period of slavery in the U.S. (the works of Douglass and Jacobs).  Beloved will take us back into a fictionalized version of the notorious Margaret Garner trial for infanticide (1850s); the texts by Wright, Hurston, Ellison, and Walker will allow us to explore the socio-political forces that prevailed during the Jim Crow society in the “Deep South” in the mid-20th century; and Butler’s novel will take us to the intersection of science fiction and slavery.  This is a vast terrain to cover and so the chosen texts do not adequately represent the diversity and richness of the novels and autobiographies written during these periods.  Rather, they are chosen because they significantly address paradigmatic issues regarding race, gender, class, and “subject formation” in modern African American culture.


Topics in American Studies: The Wall: Art, Literature, Performance on and about the U.S.-Mexican Border

English C136

Section: 1
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: 108 Wheeler


Description

This will be a course in which we will think about the emergence of a distinct border aesthetic, one in which form is often torqued by dispiriting content but which, simultaneously, also finds beauty in the cultural and natural ecologies that trace the border.

We will read The Devil's Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea, view documentaries like Rebecca Cammisa's Which Way Home? and Daffodil Altan's Kids Caught in the Crackdown, and read the poetry of Javier Zamorra, Emmy Perez, Michelle Otero, and Juan Felipe Herrera, among other poets/essayists, and we will consider art as border performance in the work of Ana Teresa Fernandez, Alberto Caro, and Guillermo Gomez Pena.

This class is cross-listed with American Studies C111E.


Studies in World Literature in English: Multi-Culty: Cults, Pop Culture, and Globalization

English 138

Section: 2
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: note new location: 101 Barker


Other Readings and Media

Films and readings may include Wild Wild CountryHoly Smokes: My Childhood in Orange, and Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego  

Description

We are fascinated by cults. What is it about communities and groups that promise total belief and total enthrallment that so captures the imagination?

This course will look at a range of representations of cults in popular culture—from the documentary Wild Wild Country to novels, journalistic exposés, and films—to consider what cults might tell us about society, politics, religion, and our sense of self. This class hopes to invite students who are ready to be themselves fascinated, enthralled, and perhaps entranced. One of the tasks before us will be to learn how to think critically in the face of that fascination. Engaging theories of psychology, sociology, and religion, we will examine how cults and their representation in popular culture reveal questions of desire, belonging, and self-effacement.  

Students will also be asked to be ready to work collaboratively with one another over the course of the semester, building their own intentional community of sorts.


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

English 141

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Melanie Abrams
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 140 Barrows


Description

This course will introduce students to the study of creative writing—fiction and poetry (with a brief dip into playwriting). Students will learn to talk critically about these forms and begin to feel comfortable and confident writing within these genres. Students will write a variety of exercises and more formal pieces and partake in class workshops where their work will be edited and critiqued by other students in the class.

This course is open to English majors only.

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


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Melanie Abrams
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Burroway, Janet: Writing Fiction, 10th Edition

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, APRIL 30.

 


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: McFarlane, Fiona
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 180 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

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

Description

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

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

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 aplpication you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 30.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 3
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Doerr, Anthony: The Best American Short Stories 2019

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, which will be available from Instant Copying & Laser Printing ([510] 704-9700; 2138 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704).

Description

A short fiction workshop. Over the course of the semester, each student will write and revise two stories. Each participant in the workshop will edit student-written stories and will write a formal critique of each manuscript. Students are required to attend two literary readings over the course of the semester and write a short report about each reading they attend. Students will also take part in online discussions about fiction. Attendance is mandatory.

Throughout the semester, we will read published stories from various sources and also essays by working writers about fiction and the writing life. The intent of the course is to have the students confront the problems faced by writers of fiction and to discover the techniques that enable writers to construct  a convincing and engaging representation of reality on the page.

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, APRIL 30.


Verse

English 143B

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

The purpose of this class will be to produce a collective language in which to treat poetry. Writing your own poems will be a part of this task, but it will also require readings in contemporary poetry and essays in poetics, as well as some writing assignments done under extreme formal constraints. In addition, there'll be regular commentary on other students' work.

All readings will be drawn from a course reader.

Only continuing, upper-division UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 of your poems, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 30.

 


Long Narrative

English 143C

Section: 1
Instructor: Rowland, Amy
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 186 Barrows


Other Readings and Media

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

Description

This course is for students interested in or already working on a novel or novella. Questions of structure, plot, setting, character, time, and voice will be addressed in our readings and throughout the course, particularly during our workshops, where everyone will present the first chapter or two of work-in-progress. Much of the semester will be spent writing and revising your work. The goal is to begin your novel and to develop a blueprint to guide you through your story.

Only continuing, upper-division UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit no more than 5 double-spaced pages of your fiction, as well as (at the end of the same document, please) a rough outline/plot summary of your idea for a novel, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 30.


Prose Nonfiction: Our Culture, Our Lives

English 143N

Section: 1
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

This course is a nonfiction workshop in which you’ll learn to write about many different types of art and culture, from TV to music and film, while also developing your own voice and sensibility on the page as you learn to write about your own life. By the end of the class, you should come away with a working knowledge of how to write reviews, profiles, “think pieces,” and autobiographically-shaded essays that engage with a cultural figure, flashpoint, or landscape.

Our semester will be guided by a few basic questions: What can we demand from culture? What does it mean to love or hate a song, TV show, actor, director, performer, artist, athlete, celebrity? How are we changed by our encounters with specific works of art? And how do our arguments about a particular work of art, particular artist, particular place, or particular cultural phenomenon connect to broader dreams about politics, freedom, community, and our sense of the possible?

Three special features of the course bear specific mention.

First, on several occasions, we will be honored to host a visit (digital or in-person) with an esteemed writer whose work will be featured in the class. Previous guests to the workshop have included the poet-critic Hanif Abdurraqib, Ann Powers (NPRi), Hua Hsu (New Yorker), Vinson Cunningham (New Yorker), and Lili Loofbourow (Slate). 

Second, we will be guided by the understanding that the art of writing is, in large part, the art of re-writing. The workshopping of your pieces is designed to help you get some fresh perspective on how your earlier drafts play in the minds of your readers—and what might be improved. 

Third, there’s a digital publication attached to this course: “The Annex”. The goal is for every student to build their portfolio of published writing through the workshop.

Only continuing, upper-division UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit  5-10 pages of your creative non-fiction (no poetry or academic writing that presumes a limited audience), by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 30.


Writing Technology: Utopian Futures

English 145

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time: Lectures TTh 11-12 in 141 McCone + one hour of discussion section per week in different locations (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 11-12; sec. 103: F 12-1; sec. 104: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

Banks, Iain M.: Surface Detail; Banks, Iain M.: The Player of Games; Ivan, Yefremov: Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale; Le Guin, Ursula : The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia; Lowry, Lois: The Giver; Piercy, Marge: Woman on the Edge of Time: A Novel; St. John Mandel, Emily: Station Eleven; Wells, H. G.: Men Like Gods

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, which will be available from Instant Copying & Laser Printing ([510] 704-9700; 2138 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704).

Description

Recent science fiction narratives tend toward the dystopian, perhaps in reaction to the grim realities of our time.  But science fiction writers have always imagined better futures made possible by technological advances.

In this interdisciplinary course, we will use methods and insights from literary theory, computer science, scenario planning, and historical studies to examine various utopian science fiction narratives written over the centuries.  The narrative forms we'll address will include short stories, novels, essays, computer games, the notion of idealistic "disruption" of current industries and political systems, and writing about programming techniques and systems.

Through our readings of science fiction, we will explore our relationships with the ethics and politics of technology, and what it means to have a "good life."

This writing-intensive course will allows students to engage in writing about technology, history, and the human imagination.  Students will write in the forms practiced by journalists, historians, literary critics, and scenario planners.


Introduction to Literary Theory: Free Speech, in Theory

English 161

Section: 1
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 24 Wheeler


Description

This course will interrogate the way in which "free" speech informs and complicates our understanding of literature and the literary. We will trace the conceptual intersection of freedom and speech both historically and across several disciplines, beginning with Plato and Aristotle, then proceeding to to consider the effect of general literacy on the conception and regulation of free "speech," reading Milton's Areopagitica and Marx's "On the Freedom of the Press." Turning from "public" to "private" speech, we will also examine psycholoanalytic and linguistic accounts of psychic and physiological disfluency. Throughout, we will consider the "freedom" of speech in relation to questions of both form and content. Are genre, meter, and grammar mere forms of constraint? Or are we free only when released by formal constraint from instrumental communication? Do political and psychic repression merely inhibit free speech, or is our idea(l) of free speech an effect of these repressions? And what do physical constraints on speech, from aphasia to stuttering, have to tell us of the relation of lterary form to speech freedom? Does the global hegemony of English threaten a speech freedom that ought to be understood as dependent upon a polyglot diversity? Finally, to what extent is free speech a diminished form of freedom itself? We will end by considering the current situation of free speech in the U.S., reading materials related to the "Citizens United" decision, current discussions of "campus climate," and earlier Supreme Court cases related to free speech.

Students will have the opportunity to write three progressively longer essays (ranging from 3 to 10 pages) on different theoretical questions of free speech: on a specific philosophical, political, or aesthetic theory of literature; on a legal or psychoanalytic "case"; on literary form.

Texts will include: Norton Anthology of Literary Theory; Butler, J.: Excitable Speech; Foucault, M.: Fearless Speech; Freud, S.: Dora; Melville, H.: Shorter Works; Plato: The Republic; Sophocles: Antigone; Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads.


Special Topics: Law and Literature in the United States

English 165

Section: 1
Instructor: de Stefano, Jason
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Arendt, Hannah: On Revolution; Douglass, Frederick: Selected Speeches and Writings; Fuller, Margaret: Woman in the Nineteenth Century; Hamilton, Alexander et al.: The Debate on the Constitution, parts 1 and 2 (Library of America)

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be provided in a course reader and on bCourses.

Description

This course will introduce students to law and literature studies by exploring the legal and literary culture of the United States from the Declaration of Independence (1776) to Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010). We will focus on issues pertaining to the aesthetics and politics of representation, personhood, private property, and, above all, interpretation. We will examine in particular how discussions and disputes about the right or best way to interpret texts has become central to American jurisprudence and politics as well as to literary study. Our approach will be both historical and theoretical and so our readings will range from transcripts of court hearings and congressional committees to contemporary literary theory and legal philosophy. The goal is to provide a combination of specific methodologies and broad historical sources that will allow students to pursue original research into problems and periods of their choosing. Central topics of discussion will be the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, the rise of corporate capitalism, and conflicts between notions of individual right and social justice. We will discuss texts by James Madison, Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, literary theorists Walter Benn Michaels and Barbara Johnson, philosophers Giorgio Agamben and Hannah Arendt, and others.


Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

English 166

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 179 Dwinelle


Description

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

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

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

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

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

Some points of departure: 

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

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

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


Special Topics: The Age of Crisis

English 166

Section: 3
Instructor: Strub, Spencer
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 229 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

A course reader including medieval primary sources, modern theory, and contemporary criticism and history

Description

There was a recurring plague, a changing climate, a never-ending war, a failed revolution and a cruel reaction, paranoia and persecution, political strife and inept leadership and a widespread sense that everything had gone wrong and could never be fixed again: fourteenth-century Engand might have been a mess, but it's our kind of mess. The silver lining? During this period of crisis, a public eager to read Engish literature emerged. The literary corpus that spoke to this public—poems dedicated to protest, mourning, and joyous invention—is as inventive and resilient as any in the language.

This class will explore how late medieval poets engaged with the tumultuous world around them. We will study the forms that represented contemporary events openly or in code, from antifraternal satire to dream visions and personification allegories, while examining the assumptions about gender, race, nature, and religious belief that distinguished their age of crisis from our own. Our goal is to understand the fourteenth century on its own terms. But the class will not shy away from anachronism: we might learn some lessons in surviving tough times.

Texts include: Middle English Political Writings, ed. Dean (TEAMS); William Langland, Piers Plowman B, ed. Robertson and Shepherd (Norton); Geoffrey Chaucer, Dream Visions and Other Poems, ed. Lynch (Norton) 

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


Literature and the Arts: Opera and Literary Form

English 170

Section: 1
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 229 Dwinelle


Description

Opera and Literary Form

"An exotic and irrational entertainment" (Samuel Johnson). Invented in Renaissance Italy as a revival of classical Greek drama, opera became a major European art form, interacting dynamically with literary and philosophical genres. Attending to opera’s hybrid, multimedia status – as a dramatic as well as a musical form – the course will consider a series of major works produced between 1787 and 1935 in relation to the literary genres they invoke (lyric, epic, comedy, tragedy, novel, film); to philosophical debates they generated; and/or to major models, sources, and subsequent adaptations. We will attend to questions of translation not only across languages (especially vexed in the case of Eugene Onegin) but also across genres and media (Pushkin's Onegin is a “novel in verse,” Tchaikovsky's, “lyric scenes in three acts”).  If there's an overarching theme or topic across our readings, it is opera's staging of the relations between eros and empire – contending fantasies of desire, freedom, power and bondage – in an era of bourgeois ascendancy and imperial decline. Opera’s tutelary erotic demons, masculine and feminine, are Don Giovanni (at one end of our chronology) and Lulu (at the other); and if Verdi’s Falstaff stages a comic redemption of Mozart’s hell-bound libertine, our other works exalt the operatic heroine in her struggle with the bonds of family and marriage (Lucia, Tatiana, Sieglinde, Brünnhilde, Isolde…)

We’ll study Don Giovanni (Da Ponte/Mozart) in relation to its Romantic reception and literary and philosophical revisions (E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kierkegaard, T.W. Adorno); Donizett's Lucia di Lammermoor and its source, Walter Scott’s romantic historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor; Pushkin’s versus Tchaikovsky’s versions of Eugene Onegin; national myth, epic, tragedy and the "total artwork" in Wagner's The Valkyrie /OR/ Tristan and Isolde and "the music of the future" (readings from Schopenhauer and Nietzsche); Verdi’s Falstaff and other remediations of Shakespeare’s great comic character; Berg’s Lulu and the contemporaneous forms of cabaret-opera (Brecht/Weil, The Threepenny Opera) and silent film (G.W. Pabst, Pandora’s Box).  We will also attend and discuss at least one of the San Francisco Opera’s fall season productions (Mozart’s Così fan tutte; maybe also Beethoven’s Fidelio). Technical musical knowledge, or even prior acquaintance with opera, is not expected (let alone required); however one of our collective tasks will be figuring out how to talk seriously about the music in the absence of musicological expertise. You will be required to watch/listen to each of the operas (audio files and video streaming to be provided on b-Courses) as well as keep up with the literary, philosophical and critical readings.

Our operatic case studies: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Giovanni; Giuseppe Verdi, Falstaff; Gaetano Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor; Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Yevgeni Onegin; Richard Wagner, Die Walküre OR Tristan und Isolde; Alban Berg, Lulu. Opera texts (libretti and musical scores) will be made available on b-Courses, along with most of our literary, critical and philosophical readings, except for Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor and an English version of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, which will be available from University Press Books.


Literature and the Arts: The Writing on the Wall -- African-American Literature and Visual Art

English 170

Section: 2
Instructor: Best, Stephen M.
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 310 Hearst Mining


Book List

Ellison, R.: Invisible Man; Hughes, L.: The Sweet Flypaper of Life; Hughes, L.: The Weary Blues; Locke, A.: The New Negro; Morrison, T.: Jazz; Wright, R.: 12 Million Black Voices

Description

We tend to separate art forms for the convenience of study and instruction, and to talk about writers in terms primarily of their influence upon other writers, but this is hardly how most artists work. In this course we will explore a tendency in African American art toward what the novelist Toni Morrison called liquidity: the ways in which artists of disparate disciplines “fold into, energize, and transfer the aesthetics of one another.” Another novelist, Ralph Ellison, saw what he described as “the planned dislocation of the senses” as the essential condition of fiction: “Here is where sound becomes sight and sight becomes sound, and where sign becomes symbol and symbol becomes sign.” While it is common to celebrate this liquidity in the traffic between literature and musical forms such as the blues and jazz, in this course we will consider a century-long conversation between literature and the visual arts, from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the present. We will read Ellison and Morrison, Alain Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Claudia Rankine—considering their work alongside that of artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, Beauford Delaney, Kerry James Marshall, Glenn Ligon, Isaac Julian, J.M.W. Turner, Pablo Picasso, Jeff Wall, and Kara Walker.

We will consider these text-image exchanges in the context of political debates about “representing the race,” the rivalry between words and pictures, as well as the long tradition of ekphrasis (the use of a work in one artistic medium to represent or respond to the work in another artistic medium). The course aims to inspire students in the belief that close reading and close looking are skills ideally developed in tandem.


Literature and Disability

English 175

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 240 Mulford


Book List

Black, Bartlett & Northen, S., J. & M.: Beauty is a Verb; Finger, Anne: Call Me Ahab; Lewis, V.A. : Beyond Victims and Villains

Description

We will read drama, poetry  and short fiction by contemporary authors with disabilities. Requirements will include two analytical essays, a group presentation project and a take-home final exam. 

This is a core course for the disability studies minor.   


Literature and Linguistics

English 179

Section: 1
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 126 Wheeler


Book List

Booth, Stephen: Shakespeare's Sonnets; Heaney, Seamus: Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, Bilingual Edition; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway;

Recommended: Pinker, Steven: The Language Instinct

Other Readings and Media

A photocopied course reader containing most required readings and literary texts.

Description

The medium of literature is language. This course aims to deepen understanding of what this means through consideration of how certain literary forms cn be defined as grammatical forms. These literary forms include meter; rhyme and alliteration; syntactic parallelism; formulas of oral composition; and special narrative uses of pronouns, tenses and other subjective features of language to express point of view and represent speech and thought. The emphasis will be on literature in English, but comparisons with literature in other languages will also be drawn. No knowledge of linguistics will be presupposed, but linguistic concepts will be introduced, explained and used.


Autobiography: American Autobiography: Race, Gender, Culture

English 180A

Section: 1
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Time: MWF 11-12
Location: 182 Dwinelle


Book List

Acosta, Oscar: Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo; Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; DuBois, W. E. B.: The Souls of Black Folk; Dumas, Firoozeh: Funny in Farsi; Franklin, Benjamin: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior; Momaday, N. Scott: The Way to Rainy Mountain; Thoreau, Henry David: Walden; Whitman, Walt: Song of Myself; Yetman, Norman: When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collecction

Description

We will take a group of texts—conventional memoir, poetry, painting, photography, and I-focused new media—to explore what American auto/bio/graphy really means. We will start in the 18th century with Benjamin Franklin and close with a group of late-20th-century narratives by writers such as Maxine Hong Kingston and Jimmy Santiago Baca, as well as artists like Jacob Lawrence, Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Yolanda Lopez, and Cindy Sherman. In between, we'll study works by Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Mary Cassatt, and Mary Antin.

We will trace what these and other "autobiographers" have to say about being American, about their sense of identity in the U.S. at different historical moments, about racial and cultural relations, about gender expectations/performance, and about the formation of an individual identity within/against the social structures that often determine the contours of identity formation.


The Short Story

English 180H

Section: 1
Instructor: McFarlane, Fiona
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location: 88 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 write two analytic papers.


Research Seminar: Utopia and Anti-Utopia

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Anzaldúa, G.: Borderlands/La Frontera; Bellamy, E.: Looking Backward; Hawthorne, N.: The Blithesdale Romance; Le Guin, U.K.: The Dispossessed; More, T.: Utopia; Platonov, A.: Soul; Stoppard, T.: Arcadia; Whitehead, C.: Zone One; Zamyatin, Ye.: We

Description

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.  And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.”                      

-Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man” (1891)

Utopia brings to mind the elusive dream of heaven on earth, and a better place in the form of “no place.”  It captures the desire not only to reimagine and remake the world, but to use literature to achieve these ends.  However, this literary genre is inextricably bound to an anti-utopian tradition that has portrayed utopian thought as naïve, dogmatic, even murderous.

Over the semester we will encounter a wide range of utopias and anti-utopias—from imagined islands and planets, to communal societies and communist states, to theme parks, gardens, and borderlands.  Our goal will be to understand the variety of political projects and literary techniques associated with utopia and anti-utopia, which we will also consider in relation to science fiction and post-apocalypse.  We will see how the romantic socialist utopias of the nineteenth century gave way to the mass industrial utopias of the early twentieth century, and then the ecological, ethnic, and neoliberal utopias of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.  Throughout the semester, we will consider the viability of utopian thought  and vision for our current, anti-utopian times.

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

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


Research Seminar: Eco-crisis and Climate Refugueeism

English 190

Section: 2
Instructor: Cruz, Frank Eugene
Time: MW 9-10:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

Note:  Newly added section of English 190 (as of 4/20):

In this seminar, we will analyze historical, contemporary, and speculative narratives that explore social locations of eco-crisis and climate refugeeism. We will consider John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath and Pare Lorentz' documentary film The Plough That Broke the Plains, which both grapple with the Dust Bowl. This man-made environmental catastrophe produced one of the largest internal migrations in the nation's history—250,000 people fleeing the American south and southwest to escape devastating drought and deadly dust storms during the Depression decade. Next, we will analyze Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones and Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke. These two stories of "superstorm" Hurricane Katrina lay bare the racialized and classed contradictions of contemporary ecological entropy in the United States. Our survey of the U.S. cultural imagination of eco-crisis and climate refugeeism will end with two cinematic visions of eco-crisis dystopias set in the near future: Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. 

Book List: Adamson, Joni: Keywords for Environmental Studies; Davis, Mike: Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of DisasterMLA Handbook, 8th edition; Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath; Ward, Jesmyn: Salvage the Bones

Films: Lee, Spike: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts; Lorentz, Pare: The Plough That Broke the Plains; Nolan, Christopher: Interstellar; Rivera, Alex: Sleep Dealer

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


Research Seminar: The Spy Novel

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: JanMohamed, Abdul R.
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Buchan, John: The Thirty-Nine Steps; Fleming, Ian: From Russia With Love; Greene, Graham: The Quiet American; Ignatius, David: The Quantum Spy; Le Carre, John: Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy; Ludlum, Robert: The Bourne Identity ; Nguyen, Viet: The Sympathizer; Quinn, Kate: The Alice Network; Silva, Daniel: The Kill Artist; Wein, Elizabeth: Code Name Verity; Wilkinson, Lauren: American Spy

Description

This course will survey a variety of spy novels, comparing their diverse modalities.  We will explore the genre’s origins that lie in values dictated by a traditional white masculinity, from the machismo of a James Bond to the quiet, deliberate sleuthing of a George Smiley.  These characters and the values they embody will be contrasted with the very different values and sensibilities that characterize feminist spy novels.  The course will also contrast the invariably “white” protagonist with some rare non-white spies.  If time permits we will occasionally also contrast the literary texts with their cinematic avatars.  In addition to exploring the nature and structures of the deep unconscious paranoia that drives all spy novels, the course will also compare aesthetic characteristics of these novels: plot structures, narrative devices, point of view, prose styles, etc. 

Texts will be selected from the above list.  The final list will be posted prior to the beginning of classes.

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


Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Movies

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: W 5-8
Location: 206 Dwinelle


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.


Research Seminar: Is It Useless to Revolt?

English 190

Section: 5
Instructor: Goldsmith, Steven
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Book List

Alderman, N.: The Power; Blake, W.: Blake's Poetry and Designs; Butler , J.: Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly; Kushner, R.: The Flame Throwers; Melville, H.: Billy Budd and Other Stories; Milton, J.: Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and the Complete Shorter Poems; Shelley, P.: Shelley's Poetry and Prose; Sphar, J.: That Winter the Wolf Came

Description

“Is it useless to revolt?”  Our course borrows its title from an essay by Michel Foucault on the Iranian Revolution of 1979.  Foucault urges us to suspend judgment and listen to the voices of revolt, even as they seem entangled in a history of inescapable, recurrent violence.  Attracted and repulsed by revolutionary violence, the authors in this course test Foucault’s proposition that, “While revolts take place in history, they also escape it in a certain manner.” The intersection of religion, art, and politics will loom large in our discussions.  Starting with Milton’s Samson Agonistes, we will consider how religious convictions inform both political aspiration and a willingness to justify acts of violence.  Such questions will lead us back to foundational representations of revolt in the Bible (Exodus and Revelation), and they will lead us forward to contemporary questions about “terrorism.”  (After 9/11, a much publicized debate on Samson Agonistes asked whether its central character might best be described as a terrorist.)  Other readings will range widely across historical periods and national cultures, including works by Blake, Nat Turner, Shelley, and Melville, as well as by contemporary authors such as Kenzaburo Oe, Rachel Kushner, Naomi Alderman, and Juliana Spahr.  On occasion, we will take up theoretical writings on the subject of revolt, liberation, and violence by Kant, Benjamin, Arendt, Zizek, Butler, and—of course—Foucault.  Students will write a short initial essay on Samson Agonistes and a research paper on a topic of their choice.

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


Research Seminar: What Is Literary Criticism?

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 301 Wheeler


Book List

Frye, N.: Anatomy of Criticism; Frye, N.: The Educated Imagination; Frye, N.: Words with Power; Shakespeare, W.: Antony and Cleopatra; Shakespeare, W.: As You Like It; Shakespeare, W.: The Tempest

Other Readings and Media

Shakespeare, “Venus and Adonis”

Excerpts from Faulkner, R. and Goelet, O. (trans.), The Egyptian Book of the Dead; R. Graves, The Greek Myths; The Bible (authorized King James Version); and Brinton, D. (ed.), Rig Veda Americanus (on Aztec mythology)

Excerpts from Aristotle, Poetics; Jung, C., Man and His Symbols; Frazer, J., The Golden Bough;  Hogan, P., The Mind and Its Stories

Description

What is literary criticism?  All English majors and their professors do it, or try to do it; but articulating what it is, or should be, is not easy.  In this course we will consider this question with Canadian literary critic and theorist Northrop Frye as our guide.  Frye’s monumental Anatomy of Criticism (1957) argued that literary criticism ought to contribute to the development of an organized body of knowledge about literature, analogous to the organized body of knowledge about nature called physics.  Developing a strikingly contemporary argument through cross-cultural comparisons of literature with myth, religion, magic and ritual, Frye takes mankind’s relationships with nature on the one hand, and with language on the other, as fundamental to literature.  In this course, we will consider these ideas alongside some of their influences from philosophy and psychology, current ideas about literary universals, and examples from Shakespeare that we are likely to have encountered already at least passingly in other courses. Then, reflecting Frye’s deep commitment to every work of literature being relevant to understanding literature as a phenomenon, students will research and write a long (20 pp.) valedictory paper of literary criticism on any work of English literature they choose.

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


Research Seminar: James / Baldwin

English 190

Section: 9
Instructor: Best, Stephen M.
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 279 Dwinelle


Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Baldwin, James: Go Tell It on the Mountain; Baldwin , James: Another Country; James, Henry: The Ambassadors; James, Henry: The Beast in the Jungle; James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady

Description

James Baldwin made little secret of the importance of Henry James to his creative life, paying debt in complex, archly poetic sentences that drew snide dismissals from friends and rivals alike (Mailer: “even the best of his paragraphs are sprayed with perfume”). Baldwin and James certainly shared a great deal in life and art, having chosen European exile and then turned that exile into a major theme within their art.  Our contemporary bias for self-disclosure might predispose us to the view that Baldwin felt he found a fellow queer writer in James; however, James’s reticence on such matters means that “queer” (if it should signify anything) names the moment when the relationship gets awkward. This class will thus explore aesthetic and political concerns these writers shared as well as queer “sensibilities” that, always deniable if not always denied, may or may not be there—the many effects, both dramatic and formal, that keep us at a loss for knowledge of our subject, i.e., reticence, renunciation, opacity, bewilderment, and belated recognition.

We will read three novels by each author.  By James: The Portrait of a Lady, The Beast in the Jungle, The Ambassadors. By Baldwin: Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, Another Country.  Both writers also produced a vast number of essays and short stories; we will read selections from their wider oeuvre.

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


Research Seminar: Medieval Sexuality

English 190

Section: 10
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location: 233 Dwinelle


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

For more information about this section of English 190, please contact Professor Miller at j_miller@berkeley.edu.

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

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


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: MW 9-10:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

In the first semester of this two-semester-long course, we will familiarize ourselves with a number of critical approaches to literary study and reflect a bit on the institution of criticism itself. These discussions will provide a background from which to identify the critical methods and stakes of our own individual projects, culminating in a 40+ page paper due at the end of the two semesters. We will read selections from a collection of critical essays, and we will read one work together—like Jane Austen's Emma—and review a variety of critical approaches to it. Students will prepare a précis or two of critical works, collectively identify and prepare presentations on additional critics they would like to read, develop a thesis for their own writing project on a work (or works) of their choice, and produce an annotated bibliography on relevant materials for their project.

Please click here to read details about H195A prerequisites, how to apply, and how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications.

To be considered for admission to this course, you will need to electronically apply by clicking on the link below and filling out the application you will find there (and bearing in mind the indicated attachments you will need to include).

The deadline for completing this application process has been extended to 11 PM, MONDAY, JUNE 15.

Click here to apply for this class or to edit an existing application.


Honors Course

English H195A

Section: 2
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location: 305 Wheeler


Book List

Barthes, R.: S/Z; Culler, J.: Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction; Muller, J. P.: The Purloined Poe;

Recommended: Leitch, V., et al.: Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Description

In the fall semester we will consider what makes a research question, problem, or project a significant one. Does it merely involve choosing to study a "significant" writer or text? (And what makes some writers/texts more significant than others?) Or do new issues and objects emerge as significant in response to different historical conjunctures and intellectual agendas? Together we will read and discuss essays that raise key issues about representation, imagination, communication, interpretation, and critique, undertaking what might be called (after "The Purloined Letter") "a thorough research of the premises" of literary study. Individually, students will consult with me to construct bibliographies on specific texts or issues relevant to their own interests, and use these bibliographies to define a compelling, workable thesis topic. Each student will participate in a "working group" responsible for designing a week's syllabus, choosing the texts and leading discussion of them.

Prospective students should read Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction over the summer. They should also begin to consider a writer or text or issue for research. A useful strategy in this selection might be: what writer or text or subject matter has most challenged or cemented my ideas about what literature is and what happens when it is read? 

Please click here to read details about H195A prerequisites, how to apply, and how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications.

To be considered for admission to this course, you will need to electronically apply by clicking on the link below and filling out the application you will find there (and bearing in mind the indicated attachments you will need to include).

The deadline for completing this application process has been extended to 11 PM, MONDAY, JUNE 15. 

Click here to apply for this class or to edit an existing application.


Graduate Courses

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

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


Problems in the Study of Literature

English 200

Section: 1
Instructor: Lye, Colleen
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location: 305 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Materials to be provided via the course website.

Description

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

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


History of Literary Criticism: History of Literary Theory

English 202

Section: 1
Instructor: Kahn, Victoria
Time: Tues. 3:30-6:30
Location: 180 Barrows


Book List

Aristotle: Poetics; Kant, Immanuel: Critique of Judgment; Plato: Republic

Other Readings and Media

Other readings will be posted on B-courses.

Description

An introduction to Western literary theory from antiquity to the present, focusing on the historical shift from the disciplines of poetics and rhetoric to that of aesthetics, with special attention to the concept of aesthetics and the discourse of the sublime. Readings in Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Augustine, Sidney, Erasmus, Kant, Adorno, Lyotard, Scarry, and Ngai.  The syllabus is designed to be particularly helpful to students in English, but students from other departments are welcome and may write their final paper on a primary text or texts in other languages.


Graduate Readings: Literature and Analytic Philosophy

English 203

Section: 1
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

It’s hard to overstate literary study’s indebtedness to continental philosophy. For much of the past century, figures such as Hegel, Nietzsche, Derrida, and Rancière have informed some of our most important conversations about what literature is, what it does, and what it tells us about ourselves and/or the external world. In contrast, we appear considerably less indebted to analytic philosophy—even as we grant the importance of someone like Bertrand Russell for modernist literature and criticism. Whether because of its styles of argumentation, its naturalistic assumptions, or its perceived antipathies to politics and aesthetics, the consensus among literary critics is that analytic philosophy has less to offer us than its continental counterpart. 

This seminar puts that conclusion to the test. Our aim will be to determine what aspects of analytic philosophy might be valuable for literary study today—and the ways we might incorporate those aspects meaningfully and judiciously. After a brief overview of analytic philosophy’s foundations, each week of the seminar will pair key texts from analytic philosophy with key texts of literary criticism or critical theory on a related topic. Topics of consideration might include: linguistic reference, meaning, and performance; logic and rationality; empiricism and the external world; reductionism; intention; the natures of moral and aesthetic value; feminism and sexuality; personal identity; justice; human and animal rights; the concept of mind; mind-body dualism; and the problem of other minds. Philosophical readings will potentially include those by: Anscombe, Appiah, Austin, Carnap, Chalmers, Danto, Davidson, Goodman, Foot, Frege, Kripke, Manne, Murdoch, Nagel, Parfit, Quine, Rawls, Russell, Ryle, Singer, Strawson, Thomson, Williams, and Wittgenstein. Critical readings will include those by: Albright, Apter, Bartlett, Best and Marcus, Butler, de Man, Miller, Ngai, Richards, Scarry, Sedgwick, and Spivak, and many more.

All course readings will be made available online through bCourses. Evaluation will be based on several short papers and presentations as well as a longer essay at the end of the course.


Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

English 203

Section: 2
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Time: W 3-6
Location: 107 Mulford


Book List

Recommended: Hayot, Eric.: The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities

Description

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

Writing assignments are designed to structure points of entry into the prospectus: although some of the early assignments may be more immediately relevant to certain projects than to others, they all have the benefit of facilitating the passage from concepts to writing according to a series of deadlines. Beginning with exercises to galvanize your thinking, the assignments will map increasingly onto the specific components of the prospectus as the semester proceeds. The goal is to insure that by the end of the semester, every member of the workshop will have submitted a prospectus to his or her committee.


Graduate Readings: Harlem Renaissance

English 203

Section: 3
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: Thurs 3:30-6:30
Location: 180 Barrows


Book List

Cullen, Countee: Color; Cunard , Nancy (ed.): Negro: An Anthology; Hughes, Langston: Fine Clothes to the Jew; Hughes, Langston: The Big Sea; Hurston, Zora Neale: Mules and Men; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Johnson, James Weldon: The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Locke , Alain (ed.): The New Negro: An Interpretation; McKay, Claude: Harlem Shadows; Thurman, Wallace (ed.): Fire!! A Quarterly Dedicated to the Younger Negro Artists; Toomer, Jean: Cane

Description

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement of black artists and writers in the 1920s and 1930s. Centered in New York, its activities extended outward through international collaboration. We will be reading works by writers including Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston as well as manifestos about the nature and function of black art. Course themes include migration and metropolitan life, primitivism and the avant garde, diaspora and exile, passing and identity, sexuality and secrecy, and the relationship between modern art and folk tradition.

Link to syllabus


Poetry Writing Workshop

English 243B

Section: 1
Instructor: Giscombe, Cecil S.
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

In this semester's 243B we'll be actively fielding questions around environmentally conscious/location-oriented writing.

Some beginnings:

From Jonathan Skinner's introduction to the Ecopoetics section of the Cambridge anthology American Literature in Transition, 2000-2010: "Ultimately, 'Ecopoetics' may be more productively approached as a discursive site, to which many different kinds of poetry can contribute, than as the precinct of a particular kind of 'eco' poetry." And then he asks the important question—"How, then, does an individual's sense of the larger Earth enter into an endeavor made small in the face of overbearing world-ecological forces?"

And Camile Dungy, in her introduction to the Black Nature poetry anthology, wrote, "I have to remember what has been said: I am black and female; no place is for my pleasure... How do I write a poem about the land and my place in it without remembering, without shaping my words around, the history I belong to, the history that belongs to me?"

And Brian Teare, in "Poetry as Fieldwork," wrote, "One of the commitments I make to any site I walk through while writing is to learn as much as I can about it: its natural history, its flora and fauna, its geology, its hydrology, all the layers of empirical knowledge that get laid down by Western culture on top of the land."

Text: Geopoetics in Practice, edited by by Eric Magrane, Linda Russo, Sarah de Leeuw, and Craig Santos Perez.  Published 2020 by Routledge.  

A course reader will include work by A. R. Ammons, Gloria Anzaldua, Basho, Ed Roberson, and others.

Field trips, class visitors, writing workshops, weekly prompts, journal work, public performance.

Only continuing, graduate-level UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 of your poems, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 30.


Prose Nonfiction Writing Workshop

English 243N

Section: 1
Instructor: Kleege, Georgina
Time: Thurs. 9:30-12:30
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

This is a writing workshop for Ph.D students interested in writing nonacademic literary prose. This might mean creative nonfiction, personal essay, memoir, food writing,, sports writing, nonacademic reviewing of books, film, performance, and art, and so forth. Reading will be determined according to the interests of the group. Students should expect to produce 30-50 pages of new work over the course of the semester, including critiques of classmates' work. Undergraduates should not apply unless they have completed two sections of the undergraduate workshop (English 143N). 

Only continuing, graduate-level UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course (with the exception listed above). To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-10 pages of your creative non-fiction (this can be an excerpt of a longer work-in-progress, but please include a brief summary of the project as a whole), by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 30.   


Graduate Pro-seminar: The Literature of Civil War and Reconstruction

English 246J

Section: 1
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: W 3-6
Location: 106 Mulford


Book List

Alcott, Louisa May: Hospital Sketches; Barrett, Faith: Words for the Hour”: A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry; Chesnut, Mary: Mary Chesnut’s Diary; Chesnutt, Charles: Conjure Stories; Crane, Stephen: The Red Badge of Courage; De Forest, John W.: Miss Ravenel’s Conversion from Secession to Loyalty; Foster, Frances Smith: “A Brighter Coming Day”: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader; Griggs, Sutton: Imperium in Imperio; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth: Army Life in a Black Regiment; Hopkins, Pauline: Contending Forces; Melville, Herman: Battle-Pieces; Tourgée, Albion W.: A Fool’s Errand; Twain, Mark: Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins; Whitman, Walt: Democratic Vistas; Whitman, Walt: Drum-Taps

Other Readings and Media

Course reader containing works by W. E. B. Du Bois, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Abraham Lincoln

Description

We will read literature produced in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century that engages issues having to do with the Civil War and Reconstruction and its aftermath—issues that reverberate in the present. Taking up matters of literature, politics, race, aesthetics, and temporality, we will consider works produced by a range of writers in various genres, including fiction, autobiography, essays, and poetry. We will attend to recent critical developments, especially the effort to come to terms with the voluminous literature about a War that for many years had been construed as “unwritten” and the recent interest in the cultures of Reconstruction. Articulating the relationships between “canonical” and “recovered” texts and between literature and war, social change, and retrenchment inevitably will lead us to questions about literary value, periodization, and literary history. Course requirements include two 8-10 page essays (linked or separate) and one or two oral presentations.  


Research Seminar: Symposia in Trans Method

English 250

Section: 1
Instructor: Lavery, Grace
Time: F 9-12
Location: 301 Wheeler


Description

Is there a trans method? Should there be? These two questions will guide our study of work by trans writers, artists, and activists, both within the historical institution of "trans studies" (conceived of as distinct from and even oppositional to queer theory) and in the far larger archive of critial and creative writing by trans people working in spaces outside (and often oppositional to) the University. The course will proceed in two-week chunks; on the first week of the pair, we will read work by trans writers, and on the second, we will host a symposium with the authors of the work we will have read, with class participants offering short conference-style responses to the class reading. Confirmed symposium participants include Jules Gill-Peterson, Torrey Peters, Marquis Bey, Morgan Page, Emma Heaney, Cáel Keegan, Eva Hayward, Jeanne Vaccaro, Maxe Crandall, and Jordy Rosenberg, with more participants still to be confirmed. Additionally, we will read work by Riley Snorton, Che Gossett, Tourmaline, Susan Stryker, Dean Spade, Judith Butler, Kay Gabriel, Sheila Jeffreys, Sara Ahmed, Gayle Solomon, and Sandy Stone.


Research Seminar: Studies in Pastoral: The Itinerant/Iterative Commons

English 250

Section: 2
Instructor: Francois, Anne-Lise
Time: W 3-6
Location: 186 Barrows


Description

The ambition of this class will be twofold—to address some of the formal possibilities specific to calendric forms such as the natural history or travel journal (Matsuo Bashõ, Gilbert White, Dorothy Wordsworth, John Clare, Henry David Thoreau, Derek Jarman) and to ask about literature's role in shadowing the commons as a persistent alternative to the expropriative and enclosing logics of capitalism and settler colonialism. With respect to the first, we will ask about the different relations to past and future time housed within a form not defined by narrative development, plot or argument but by iteration and incremental redundancy—a form in which one entry does not build on another even as it relies on there being a next or another time.

What features does the journal form share with other circulatory forms such as poetic sequences and song cycles associated with pastoral?

What is the relation between seasonal time, rhythmic time and common time or everyday time? What are the temporal commons?

What weight do literary examples have as counter-practices of the transient, provisional, fugitive and itinerant, in contesting the logic of scarcity and insecurity that drives over-production and accumulation in storage- and surplus-economies? We will also ask about the fate of the material commons in a time defined by mandated online instruction and by the artificial division between a class of precariat workers deemed "essential" and a class of people who are also if differently cut off from the means of production by the order to stay at home. Where is the "open" or "common ground"?

Other keywords we will seek to define in relation to one another: subsistence; maintenance; precarity; the undercommons (Moten/Harney), the indigenous commons; idlers-vagrants-commoners; beating the bounds; non-work/anti-work/inoperative time; phenology and the Anthropocene; ephemera, detritus, accumulation

One inspiration for this seminar is the 2020 ACLA seminar co-led by Joseph Albernaz and Lenora Hanson, "Attritional Catastrophe: Accumulation, Enclosure, Commons

https://www.acla.org/%E2%80%9Cattritional-catastrophe%E2%80%9D-accumulation-enclosure-and-commons


The Teaching of Composition and Literature

English 375

Section: 1
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: Tues. 10:30-12:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Description

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