Announcement of Classes: Spring 2021


Medieval Literature: Love in the Middle Ages

English 110

Section: 1
Instructor: Strub, Spencer
Time: MWF 10-11
Location:


Book List

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise; Capellanus, Andreas: The Art of Courtly Love; Chaucer, Geoffrey: Troilus and Criseyde; de France, Marie: Lais; de Troyes, Chrétien: Arthurian Romances

Other Readings and Media

Further readings to be posted on bCourses.

Description

Set aside the stereotypes: there’s more to medieval love than gallant knights and fair maidens. In this course, we'll traverse the many ways one could write about love before 1400. Some medieval authors cultivated divine love, while others told dirty jokes; some celebrated marriage, while others derided it; some regulated gender expression, while others subverted its norms. And sometimes the same author did all these things at once. 

Our focus will fall on works written in France and England during the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. In twelfth-century Paris, a particular idea of romantic love came into being alongside new modes of philosophy and literature. By the fourteenth century, this idea––what we now call “courtly love”––had become the subject of satire and debate across Europe, a shift in temperament that we will explore in the second half of the semester. Because these two moments in the history of love emerge from broader cross-cultural exchange in the Middle Ages, we will attend to their antecedents in medieval Arabic and Hebrew love literature, as well as the classical and scriptural sources all three traditions shared.

As we explore these texts, we will uncover medieval ideas about love, sexual ethics, and gender, but we will also pose transhistorical questions about consent, agency, and desire. In order to do so, we must ask how literary forms from the lyric to the epic condition our understanding of love and its consequences. To that end, you will produce a number of short analytical writing exercises in addition to two longer essays. The class will end with a sustained engagement with Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde––one of the great works of love-literature of any era.

Readings in Middle English will be read in the original; all other readings will be in modern English translation. No previous experience with medieval literature is necessary.

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


Middle English Literature

English 112

Section: 1
Instructor: Miller, Jennifer
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location:


Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

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

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


Shakespeare

English 117S

Section: 1
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: Lectures TTh 1-2 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 11-12; sec. 102: F 12-1; sec. 103: F 1-2; sec. 104: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

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

Recommended: Greenblatt, Stephen: Will in the World

Description

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

This course satisfies the Shakespeare requirement for the English major.


Literature of the Restoration and the Early 18th Century

English 119

Section: 1
Instructor: Turner, James Grantham
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location:


Description

The period from the “Restoration” of Charles II (1660) to the death of Alexander Pope (1744) produced the last poems of Milton, the first English pornography and feminist polemic, the most devastating satires ever written, influential novels like Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver’s Travels, the most amusing comedies, and the most outrageous obscenity. London (already the largest city in the world) was shut down by a deadly plague, then burned to the ground – does this sound familiar? We will begin by reading and analyzing contemporary accounts of this catastrophe. Yet within a few generations London bounced back, for better or worse: this period invented great literature, architecture and music, the scientific revolution, insurance and paper money, but also the stock market and the colonial empire based on slavery. We will explore the contrasts and contradictions as well as the abundance and brilliance. Canonical figures like Hobbes, Dryden, Congreve, Pope and Swift will be juxtaposed to scandalous and/or marginal authors: women writers like Aphra Behn, Mary Astell and Mary Wortley Montagu, Puritan outlaws like John Bunyan, and renegade aristocrats like the Earl of Rochester. Dominant themes, always treated with devastating wit and skeptical realism, include sexuality and identity, the politics of gender as well as nation, and the representation of “other” cultures (Surinam, West Africa, Ireland, Ottoman Turkey, cannibals, giants, talking horses).

All our readings will be available to download.

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


Literature of the Later 18th Century

English 120

Section: 1
Instructor: Picciotto, Joanna M
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location:


Description

We’ll investigate the relationship of literature to other arts in the period, particularly painting and landscape design. Our focus will be on engagements with “nature,” understood as the non-human world and the ground of culture. In this period, nature also served as the foundation for the “rights of man,” yet those imagined as living “closest” to nature—animals, the laboring poor, slaves, and women—could not find a secure place in this discourse. We will explore why.

Readings will be available on bcourses.

Depending on student interest, we may experiment with some nonsynchronous work. Please contact the instructor to discuss any particular needs.

James Thomson, The Seasons; William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty; Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno; Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village; George Crabbe, The Village; Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery; Mary Woolstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women; Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Thomas Paine, Rights of Man; as well as poems by William Collins, Thomas Gray, Anna Letitia Barbauld, and Charlotte Smith.

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


The Romantic Period: Romantic Voices

English 121

Section: 1
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: MWF 11-12
Location:


Description

"Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal/ Large codes of fraud and woe..." --P.B. Shelley, "Mont Blanc"

Romanticism has long been identified with democratic revolutions of the late 18th century, with the social demand that every citizen have a “voice” in the constitution of community and law.  In this survey of literature of the Romantic period, we’ll consider how “voice” gets represented, and to what ends.  Whose voices get heard, and who is spoken about?  What does it mean to speak before the law? How do human voices get heard or silenced in the context of the “voices” of nature (particularly birds and cataracts), of the state, and of conscience? How do verbal forms of repetition (rhyme, refrain, parody, quotation) work to disrupt or reinforce authority? Against the background of the treason trials and Gagging Acts of the 1790s and the Peterloo massacre of 1819,  we will read novels, poems, and dramas in which voice emerges to contest formal and informal laws--from vagrancy, slavery and other forms of “property” law to genre, grammar, and other conventions regulating “voice."


The English Novel (Dickens through Conrad)

English 125B

Section: 1
Instructor: Banerjee, Sukanya
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Book List

Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre; Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra: Rajmohan's Wife; Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Dickens, Charles: A Tale of Two Cities; Gaskell, Elizabeth: Mary Barton; Steel, Flora Annie: On the Face of the Waters; Stoker, Bram: Dracula

Other Readings and Media

Further readings will be posted on bCourses.

Description

In this course we will read novels that were written from the 1840s through the end of the nineteenth century, a period that is marked by Britain’s growth as the first modern industrialized society and as an expansive colonial power. This was a period that was also marked by a widespread demand for political and social reform as well as a recalibration of notions of gender, class, sexuality, and national/imperial identity. Placing the novel form at the heart of these debates, we will consider how (and if) the formal and aesthetic features of the novel as they evolved over the course of the nineteenth century shape and are shaped by these debates. We will pay close attention to the emergence of certain novelistic genres, such as the “industrial novel,” the “Mutiny novel,” or novels of the fin de siècle gothic. And even as our focus remains on the “English” novel, we will take the imperial backdrop of nineteenth-century Britain into account to expand the contours of our literary understanding of the British nineteenth century. Therefore, a few of the novels that we read will not be set in Britain or written by authors who conventionally fall under the purview of “nineteenth-century British.”


The European Novel: Desire and Form

English 125C

Section: 1
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Book List

Boccaccio: The Decameron; Calvino, Italo: Invisible Cities; Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment; Huysmans, Joris-Karl: A Rebours ; Mann, Thomas: Death in Venice ; Voltaire: Candide

Description

The genre of the novel is named for its capacity for novelty or imaginative invention. This course will examine spectacularly creative instances of fictional prose in the European novel from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. We will examine how these works are inventive both in their construction and in their content. We’ll think about how narrative form is used, often at historical moments of constraint and danger, to create new worlds and ways of being. We’ll examine the conventional understanding that the novel takes its energy from conflict or unsatisfied desire, and consider how appetites of various kinds feature in these novels as organizing forces. How do hunger, lust, material greed, and the desire for order, beauty, and freedom structure these novels? What types of individuals are created through these desires? What kinds of collectives result?

All readings are in English. Reading: 120 pages per week. Written work: short written assignments and quizzes, midterm paper, final paper.


British Literature, 1900-1945

English 126

Section: 1
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
Time: Lectures TTh 2-3:30 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness; Joyce, James: Ulysses; Spark, Muriel: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; West, Rebecca: Return of the Soldier; Woolf, Virginia: The Waves

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings will be provided as PDFs through bCourses. 

Description

How did British and Irish literature change over the first half of the twentieth century? Was “modernism” a historical moment, an aesthetic movement, or a critical attitude—or some combination of the three? How did writers contend with upheavals such as Irish nationalism, World Wars I and II, suffrage, Windrush, fascism, and the fluctuations of empire? And how did conventional literary forms respond to the advents of film, radio, and television? These are some of the questions this course will try to answer. Evaluation will be based on a combination of papers, exams, and course participation.

Readings will likely include those by Rupert Brooke, Joseph Conrad, TS Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound, Mina Loy, Filippo Marinetti, Wilfred Owen, Sigfried Sassoon, Sam Selvon, Muriel Spark, John Millington Synge, Rebecca West, Virginia Woolf, William Butler Yeats.


American Literature: Before 1800

English 130A

Section: 1
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: Lectures TTh 1-2 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3)
Location:


Book List

Brown, Charles Brockden: Edgar Huntly; Levine, Robert: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. A: Beginnings to 1820 (9th Ed.); Miller, Perry: The American Puritans: Their Prose and Poetry; Rowson, Susanna: Charlotte Temple

Other Readings and Media

Photocopied Course Reader

Description

This course will offer a survey of the literature in English produced in North America before 1800: competing British versions of settlement; Puritan history, sermons, and poetry; conversion, captivity, and slave narratives; diaries, journals, essays, and oratory; and eighteenth-century political debate, poetry, and novels. Authors will include William Bradford, John Winthrop, John Smith, Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, Susanna Rowson, and Charles Brockden Brown. Two midterms and one final examination will be required.

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


American Literature: 1865-1900

English 130C

Section: 1
Instructor: Tamarkin, Elisa
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location:


Description

A survey of major works of U.S. literature after the Civil War, with special attention to artistic experimentation in these years and to the rise of "realism" in literature.  These decades put unprecedented faith in ideals of progress and individualism, in economic expansion and big business.  They also were marked by all the problems of Reconstruction, by racial injustice and the rise of Jim Crow laws, by deep poverty, and by unresolved debates about the role of the federal government in social welfare.  Writers engaged with this moment in a variety of surprising ways that also reflected on literature’s uncertain status as a medium of social protest or as a separate realm outside of the new social realities that were made visible to readers like never before.  Our authors will include Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Crane, William Dean Howells, Charles Chesnutt, Mark Twain, Jacob Riis, Henry James, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Edith Wharton.


Topics in African American Literature and Culture: The African American Essay

English 133T

Section: 1
Instructor: Best, Stephen M.
Time: MWF 11-12
Location:


Book List

Als, Hilton: The Women; Baldwin, James: No Name in the Street; Baldwin, James: Notes of a Native Son; Baldwin, James: The Fire Next Time; Coates, Ta-Nehisi : Between the World and Me; Rankine, Claudia: Citizen; Wright, Richard: 12 Million Black Voices

Description

Readers of James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, and other writers, often turn to their essays with a mind to better understanding their novels and other literary writing.  In this course we will consider the African-American essay as a form in its own right, one that rewards close formal analysis. The essay (from Old French essai, “attempt”) is a sort of rhetorical trial balloon, implying firstness, a want of finish, and a rigorous nonsystematicity. We will consider the matter of incompletion in two respects -- the essay as it engages the topic of the incomplete project of black freedom, and the essay as ongoing experiment in form – with a goal of puzzling out how the two are related.


Topics in African American Literature and Culture: The Art of the Black Diaspora

English 133T

Section: 2
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Book List

Brodber, Erna: Louisiana; Gyasi, Yaa: Homegoing; Hartman, Saidiya: Lose Your Mother; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Other Readings and Media

Films will include Daughters of the Dust (dir. Julie Dash); Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins); and Atlantique (dir. Mati Diop).

Music will include works by Nina Simone, Burning Spear, and Beyoncé.

Shorter readings and excerpts will include works by W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Marcus Garvey, Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Dunham, James Baldwin, Saidiya Hartman, and Christina Sharpe.

*Please consult the instructor before purchasing course texts.

Description

The black diaspora is, amongst other things, a literary tradition: a complex, cross-generic set of texts produced by black writers located in almost every nation across the globe, equal in complexity and variation to the modern concept of race that is inextricably tied to its formation. But how can one conceptual framework possibly contain such a dazzlingly various canon? In this class we’ll read novels, watch films, listen to music, and look at art to begin to answer that question. We'll read critics and thinkers to understand the history of black diaspora, the political implications of its formations, and the theories underwriting its vibrant and varied aesthetics. Adapting to pandemic conditions, the course will favor shorter texts this semester though we will, as usual, move through a broad sweep of the twentieth century and into the contemporary moment, and we'll cover a wide variety of contexts and genres. This variety and breadth is crucial to laying a foundation in the field and to opening up the issue of identity-across-difference that is fundamental in black diasporic culture.


Contemporary Literature: Contemporary British Fiction (and a few films)

English 134

Section: 1
Instructor: Gang, Joshua
Time: Lectures TTh 11-12 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 103: F 11-12; sec. 104: F 12-1)
Location:


Book List

Burns, Anna: Milkman; Cusk, Rachel: Kudos; Evaristo, Bernadine: Girl, Woman, Other; Hollinghurst, Alan: The Line of Beauty; Ishiguro, Kazuo: The Remains of the Day; Rushdie, Salman: Haroun and the Sea of Stories; Sebald, WG: Rings of Saturn; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth

Other Readings and Media

 

Dung Kai-Cheung's Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City is available electronically through the University Library. 

 

Description

This course will examine British novels and films from the past thirty years--from roughly 1990 through the present. Topics of discussion will include: the legacies of empire, World War II, Thatcherism, and New Labor; the erosion of the welfare state; British nationalism, multiculturalism, and immigration; feminism and LGBTQIA+ politics and aesthetics; Northern Ireland and Troubles; the Handover/Return of Hong Kong; the decline of British manufacturing; psychogeography; the literary marketplace; the EU, Euroscepticism, and Brexit. Evaluation will be based on a combination of papers, exams, and course participation.

Novels will include: Anna Burns, Milkman; Rachel Cusk, Kudos; Bernadine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other; Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty; Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day; Dung Kai-Cheung, Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City; Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories; WG Sebald, Rings of Saturn; and Zadie Smith, White Teeth.

Films will likely include: Stephen Frears, My Beautiful Laundrette; Richard Loncraine, Richard III; Wong Kar-Wai, In the Mood for Love; Derek Jarman, Edward II and Blue; Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot; Patrick Keiller, Robinson in Space; Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men. Additional films TBA.


Studies in World Literature in English: (Post)Colonial Fiction

English 138

Section: 1
Instructor: JanMohamed, Abdul R.
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location:


Description

 

This course will examine some British colonial novels within the socio-political-economic context of late British colonialism and some (post-)colonial novels written after the devolution of formal British colonialism.  Texts will be chosen from the following: 

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Rudyard Kipling, Kim; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; Joseph Conrad, Nostromo; J. M. Coetzee, Waiting For the Barbarians; Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; George Lemming, In the Castle of My Skin; TsiTsi Dangarembga: Nervous Conditions; Nadine Gordimer, Burger’s Daughter; Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children.

 


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

English 141

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


Description

This course will introduce students to the study of creative writing—fiction and poetry. 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. In weekly discussion sections, students will participate in class workshops where their work will be edited and critiqued by other students in the class.

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, Vikram
Time: MW 10:30-12
Location:


Book List

Sittenfeld, Curtis: The Best American Short Stories 2020

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, OCTOBER 29.

Applicants will be informed, by email, of the results of their applications by Tuesday, November 24.


Short Fiction

English 143A

Section: 2
Instructor: Abrams, Melanie
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location:


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, OCTOBER 29.

Applicants will be informed, by email, of the results of their application by Tuesday, November 24.


Verse

English 143B

Section: 1
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location:


Other Readings and Media

A course reader will be available from Krishna Copy (University Ave. at Milvia St.) shortly before our first meeting.

Description

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

Only continuing, upper-division UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 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, OCTOBER 29.

Applicants will be informed, by email, of the results of their applications by Tuesday, November 24.


Verse: The Migratory Ear: Listening as a Generative Strategy

English 143B

Section: 2
Instructor: Hofer, Jen Eleana
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location:


Description

“…listen/to the sound/of the grass/as we speak/the sound/of the grass/is the poem/we are writing/together/as we speak” (Cecilia Vicuña, ed. and trans. Rosa Alcalá)

What becomes possible when we listen differently, beyond the bounds of familiar voices and communication modes, and hence express ourselves differently, beyond the bounds of familiar constructs? We tend to think of writing as a form of speech, of self-expression, an exteriorization of ideas, thoughts and imaginings that are inside us. What if we were to invert that paradigm completely, constructing a writing practice based on listening, receiving, channeling, translating, transmigrating, and otherwise being a medium for what is already present in the world, or for what we might make present by our conjurings? Writing and art-making are material and thinking practices through which we can instigate ourselves to perceive the world differently, and to configure a different world. Radical shifts in perception and configuration are urgently necessary—right here and right now. Writers we are likely to consider in this class include: F. Douglas Brown, Don Mee Choi, CA Conrad, Heid E. Erdrich, Ashaki Jackson, Douglas Kearney, Sawako Nakayasu, Urayoán Noel, M. NourbeSe Philip, Cecilia Vicuña, and Joshua Whitehead.

This class is an intensive reading, conversing, and writing experience. As part of the class, we will experiment with a range of approaches and strategies for generating and/or revising text, all based on listening as a creative, social and political act. We will define and redefine “listening” in the broadest sense(s) possible, including auditory and sonic practice, but extending beyond those to investigate translation theory and practice, multilingualism, writing-through-music, the dérive, (soma)tics and other perceptual adventures. The Migratory Ear is open to anyone with a creative practice, whether or not you consider yourself a writer, and is especially designed to welcome students whose use of English inhabits many different "Englishes," whose first language was not English, and/or who are bilingual or multilingual.

Students will do some covid-safe "field work" in the form of listening tours on walks, hikes, bike rides, or just in their own spaces if they need to quarantine. They will also attend (via zoom) a reading or concert as part of a writing exercise. Most of these projects will be done as homework (i.e. inherently asynchronous, regardless of whether the class is meeting virtually or in-person) but once or twice they may replace classtime -- this will depend on what the group decides together.

The class will meet synchronously probably 98% of the time. 

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, OCTOBER 29.

Applicants will be informed, by email, of the results of their application by Tuesday, November 24.


Prose Nonfiction: Travel and Place

English 143N

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


Description

“Traveling, Thinking, Writing.”

Much of American literature has had to do with a sense of motion. Note the journeys, e.g., in the best known texts of Melville and Twain. But note also that Harlemite Langston Hughes’ autobiography, The Big Sea, begins on a boat and details his adventures in Europe and Africa; Canadian writer Gladys Hindmarch takes on Melville with her Watery Part of the World and Zora Neale Hurston travels to Haiti in Tell My Horse and through the American south in Mules and Men.  The point of this course is multiple and full of inquiry. 

The 
familiar question, “Is this trip necessary?”, is joined to “What makes this trip important enough to 
celebrate?” Another field is the role of Americans and/ or Westerners as travelers in the world.  What things are we heir to?  What gifts do we bring?  And what kinds of ignorance?  What’s the relation between the imperial West and our current situation? The point in this—and any writing—is to write consciously and to be mindful of the political import of our writing.  A third field is the defining of the relation between travel and place (and imagination). Place is still “hot,” as a topic.  What are the elements of the sentimental here and what assumptions?

Workshop.  Discussions.  Reading.  Writing assignments.  The writing vehicle will be, for the greatest part, the personal essay (with some forays outward into hybrid prose/ poetry forms).

Texts: Best American Travel Writing 2020, edited by Robert Macfarlane; Eddy Harris’s Mississippi Solo; excerpts from Linda Niemann’s Boomer; excerpts from Basho’s Back Roads to Far Towns (translated by Cid Corman).

Only continuing, upper-division UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-7 pages of your nonfiction prose, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadine for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29.

Applicants will be informed, by email, of the results of their applications by Tuesday, November 24


Topics in Asian American Literature and Culture: World, Nation, City

English 153T

Section: 1
Instructor: Leong, Andrew Way
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Book List

Bulosan, Carlos: America is in the Heart; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior: Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts; Ma, Ling: Severance; Mukerji, Dhan Gopal: Caste and Outcast; Okada, John: No No Boy

Other Readings and Media

Additional short readings will be posted and made available on bCourses.

Description

This class (previously listed under "English 166/5" in Spring 2019) provides a foundation for reading Asian American literature at three levels of scale: world, nation, and locality. At the world scale, we will discuss the political origins of the phrase “Asian American” in the late 1960s and how associations with radical forms of political activism such as the Third World Liberation Front informed the invention of the concept of "Asian American literature." We will also look back to short texts from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries to see how a larger, world historical perspective of Asian American literature from the Manila galleon trade through the Spanish American War can illustrate the limitations of historical and literary narratives that focus too heavily on the North Atlantic. At the national scale, we will examine how Asian American writers confronted the anti-Asiatic creation of national borders through immigration exclusions and origin quotas from the 1880s to 1920s. We will trace how the legacies of these exclusions informed later works written during and after ghettoization, internment, and refugee resettlement. Finally, at the scale of "city," we will focus on ways of reading texts situated in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York.


Methods and Materials of Literary Criticism

English 160

Section: 1
Instructor: Leong, Andrew Way
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location:


Other Readings and Media

All readings will be posted and made available via bCourses.

Description

If you're reading this, and you've done coursework in English or other languages and literatures, then you're probably a literary critic. You've written who knows how many critical, interpretive, or comparative essays with more close readings than you might care to count. But, why? What does literary criticism do? Who gets to be a professional, certified, or published critic? When and why has "critical" writing been seen as separate from "creative" writing? What roles -- important, or irrelevant -- have critics played in shaping the reception, distribution, and appreciation of literary texts?

In this course, we'll work through these questions by reading key works of literary criticism in English, dating from periods in which literacy was restricted to the aristocracy and clergy, through periods of increasing print publication, to our present moment. Beginning with Sir Philip Sidney's "Apology for Poetry," and moving through writings by William Wordsworth, Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, W.E.B. DuBois, Cleanth Brooks, Mike Gold, Raymond Williams, C.L.R. James, Harold Bloom, Frank Chin, Eve Sedgwick, and others, we'll read English-language literary criticism to address two inter-related categories of question. First, what are the objects of criticism? What makes a literary text "literary"? What are the practical, political, or aesthetic aims of writing criticism? Second, who are the subjects of criticism? Who gets to criticize a text? Who are the intended readers of criticism? How can critics help to shape the sensibilities and subjectivities of formerly colonized or emergent nations, or of minoritized and marginalized communities?


Introduction to Literary Theory

English 161

Section: 1
Instructor: Hale, Dorothy J.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location:


Book List

Leitch, Vincent, et al: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, THIRD EDITION

Other Readings and Media

Additional required course readings will be posted on our b-courses site.

Description

This course explores the distinctive nature of “theory” as a twentieth-century approach to the study of literature.  Our inquiry is organized around the major movements in the field: formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, psychoanalysis, identity politics, and post-colonialism.  We will examine the different conceptions of literary value and critical method that define these approaches, as well as the family of ideas that “doing theory” comes to signify.  We will also consider the way recent critical trends (such as ecopoetics, global studies, affect theory, and the new ethics) build upon, revise, or attempt to work outside of the intellectual traditions consolidated in the twentieth century.

Our study of literary theory will be anchored in a particular question: why does prose fiction command sustained theoretical attention, across schools and throughout the twentieth century--often serving as the privileged example of literary value?  As we focus on the categories of importance attributed to prose fiction, we will develop an understanding of key theoretical concepts.  These include the story/discourse distinction, textuality, signification, ideology, master narratives, the unconscious, the split subject, binary opposition, dialectical logic, border crossing, voice, heteroglossia, mimicry, technologies of power, gender performativity, and ethical singularity.

To develop skills as close readers of theory, students will write two short papers (7-8 pages each).  A take-home final provides the opportunity for synthetic thinking.  Required b-course posts encourage students to work out their questions and responses to the course materials on a weekly basis.


Special Topics: Utopian and (mostly) Dystopian Movies

English 165

Section: 2
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Time: W 5-8
Location:


Description

Most utopian and dystopian authors and film-makers are more concerned with persuading readers and viewers of the merits of their ideas than with the "merely" literary or artistic qualities of their work. Although utopias have sometimes made converts, inspiring readers to try to realize the ideal society, most have had limited practical impact, yet have managed to provoke readers in various ways--for instance, as a kind of imaginative fiction that comments on "things as they are" indirectly yet effectively, with fantasy and satire in varying doses. Among the critical questions posed by such material are the problematic status of work that is not primarily mimetic, but has “an axe to grind”—i.e. is produced in the service of some ulterior purpose; the shifting relationships between what is and what some think might be or ought to be; how to create the new and strange other than by recombining the old and familiar; and so on. Most of the films included in the syllabus will be dystopian rather than utopian; all will be streamed, and discussed (but not shown) in class.


Special Topics: Popular Music and Social Critique

English 165

Section: 3
Instructor: Cruz, Frank Eugene
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Book List

Dyson, Michael Eric: Jay-Z: Made in America; Guthrie, Woody: Bound for Glory; Guthrie, Woody: House of Earth; Himes, Geoffrey: Born in the U.S.A.; Jay-Z: Decoded; Springsteen, Bruce: Born to Run

Other Readings and Media

Music List:

Guthrie, Woody, Dust Bowl Ballads

Springsteen, Bruce, Born in the U.S.A.

Jay-Z, Selected songs

Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine

A digital course reader including other media, music videos, concert footage, and essays by Horkheimer and Adorno, Roland Barthes, Joan Didion, Greil Marcus, Mike Davis, Jeff Chang and others will be available on bCourses.

Description

At the onset of the Second World War, a Communist country music singer armed with an acoustic guitar demands the nation examine the consequences of a man-made climate crisis and pledges to destroy fascism both at home and abroad…  A generation later, a bar band from the Jersey shore, heroes to the white working class, dare to challenge Ronald Reagan’s promise to “[Make] America Great Again,” and his vision of “Morning in America” at the dawn of the neoliberal era, in the shadow of the Vietnam War…  Meanwhile, a once lowly soldier in New York City’s drug wars of the 1980s finds salvation in hip hop, interpellates himself as the God of Rap, and ascends to the throne of pop poetics as America’s poet laureate of the late-capitalist hard-knock life…  And on Election Day 1992, just months after the Rodney King verdict and the Los Angeles uprising, a multi-racial, Marxist metal band challenge the white supremacist roots of the LAPD and call for nothing less than full scale revolution on their genre-bending debut LP…

In this course, we will analyze the music of Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, and Rage Against the Machine. We will consider the aesthetic and ideological tensions their work exposed for popular culture audiences in their own historical moment and think about the meaning of these tensions and texts for our current moment of climate crisis, resurgent fascist politics in the US, historic class inequality, and mass movements for racial justice.

A mixtape will be required. 


Special Topics: 21st-Century U.S. Poetry

English 165

Section: 4
Instructor: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location:


Description

In this course we’ll review the U.S. poetry of the present, reading representative poems from the last 15 years or so in relation to a number of formal concerns, poetic subjects, and debates within the social field (and its media), including: the advent of the Internet and its ongoing effect on writing and reading practice, dissemination, and national conversations about race, gender, class, and community; the emergence of “ecopoetics”; the waning and reinvention of traditional forms; prose poetry; Conceptual poetry; movement poetry (Occupy-era and antiracist work). All readings will be drawn from a digital Course Reader and will include Kevin Davies, Juliana Spahr, Claudia Rankine, Ben Lerner, Jennifer Moxley, Graham Foust, Ariana Reines, Douglas Kearney, Fred Moten, Lisa Robertson, Cathy Park Hong, Brenda Hillman, Javier Huerta, and many others.


Special Topics: Alrish

English 165

Section: 5
Instructor: Flynn, Catherine
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location:


Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot; Boucicault, Dion: The Colleen Bawn ; Carr, Marina: The Bog of Cats; Congreve, William: The Way of the World ; Friel, Brian: Translations; Shaw, George Bernard: Pygmalion; Sheridan, Richard Brinsley : The School for Scandal; Synge, John Millington: The Playboy of the Western World ; Wilde, Oscar: The Importance of Being Earnest ; Yeats, William Butler: Cathleen ni Houlihan

Description

This course will use both traditional and digital humanities methods to explore Irish drama from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Working through a series of historical periods, we will consider individual plays in their own right and against their contemporaries by referring to computational analyses of formal, lexical, and stylistic features (such as sentence length, speech length, scene length, number of characters, frequency of words and groups of words in individual plays). We will also consider individual plays in relation to scenes generated by artificial intelligence using the results of analyses of their periods. Throughout the course, we will consider how drama explores the relation between individual and collective identity; towards the close of the course, we will think about how to understand the dramatic medium at a moment in which individual subjectivity and collective life are increasingly routed through and constituted by digital space and subject to surveillance and data collection.

Knowledge of coding is not a prerequisite for the course. Assignments: two short essays, some quantitative analysis, and participation in a performance at the end of the semester. All texts will be available through bCourses.


Special Topics: “Moments of Truth”: Narrating the Endings of Lies, Disinformation, and Deceit

English 165

Section: 6
Instructor: Ramona Naddaff
Time: W 3-6
Location:


Description

As a new year and new semester begins, we begin an investigation of the dawning of the age of post- “post-truth” or, to state it differently, of the various attempts (sometimes successful) to end the lies, lying, and liars of the 2016-2020 US Administration. What are the cultural forms that have sprouted up to describe life in this “post post-truth” age? How can we narrate the “truth” without rigid recourse to the dictates of objectivity? We locate instances and movements in the recent past and present when lies, dissimulation, disinformation, and deceit have lost their privileged place as the primary epistemological, political, cultural and social regime. This course’s occupation involves exploration of theories and movements that seek to end lying’s reign of terror and to create new representations of the world, opposing and resisting the oppressive and fatal universe of untruths. “Moments of Truth” is structured around a series of case studies, some of which have historical precedence. Among those case studies are included Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the pandemic, climate change, work, the memoir, and the dangers posed by Internet-based disinformation.

This course does not aim to return to a notion of either objective, universal, or factual truth as a remedy for the destructive force of lies. It seeks, rather, to explore whether diverging from the requirements of “factual truth” might have the capacity to counter the force of telling and talking in lies. This course is both a reading intensive and writing intensive course, designed to teach students how to write clear, critical, and persuasive prose across a broad range of genres. While we will concentrate on the art of writing an essay, we will also experiment with other modes of writing, such as the book review, the memoir, and of the letter. Canadian designer and author Bruce Mau will run a workshop for us on internet book design. The course will culminate with the production of our own book, under his direction and design.

This course is cross-listed with Rhetoric 189.


Special Topics in American Cultures: American Humor and Fictions of Race

English 165AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Fehrenbacher, Dena
Time: MWF 1-2
Location:


Description

American humor practices have long been a means for bolstering fictions about race, ethnicity and identity, but they also have been a means for understanding, navigating, and challenging those fictions. This course will explore how a range of literary and artistic mediums—from novels to comic books, movies to standup specials—have used humor to interrogate the fictions of race. In doing so, this course will consider some of the practices and histories that distinguish American humor: the role of oral performance, the centrality of topics like race and ethnicity, and the influence of an African American humor tradition on practices of American humor broadly. 

While this course will begin with histories of humor in the 19th century, the course will focus on the 20th and 21st centuries and will be organized by genres and mediums: texts may range from novels by Philip Roth to Paul Beatty, essays by Ishmael Reed and Cathy Park Hong, standup performances from Richard Pryor to Ali Wong, short stories from Charles Chesnutt to Junot Diaz, television shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fresh Off the Boat, as well as comics, movies, sketch comedy, and visual art. The end of this course will focus on art of the present, and students will be encouraged to identify and engage sites of American humor in their contemporary moment.

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


Special Topics: The Graphic Memoir

English 166

Section: 1
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location:


Book List

Barry, Lynda: One! Hundred! Demons!; Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic; Ledesma, Alberto: Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer: Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life; Lewis, John: March (Trilogy Slipcase Set); McCloud, Scott: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art; Sacco, Joe: Palestine; Satrapi, Marjane: The Complete Persepolis; Spiegelman, Art: The Complete Maus; Yang, Gene Luen: American Born Chinese

Description

A graphic novel is often defined as "a single-author, book-length work, meant for a grown-up reader, with a memoirist or novelistic nature, usually devoid of superheroes." Many comic artists, however, ridicule the term as a pretentious and disingenuous attempt to rebrand comics in order to elevate their cultural status. We will examine the definitions, history, and diverse forms of graphic narratives in the U.S., focusing on graphic memoirs. We'll also discuss the multiplicity of contested American identities as these are represented in image and text.


Special Topics: Hemingway and Masculinity

English 166

Section: 3
Instructor: Danner, Mark
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location:


Description

DIfficult to point to a more foundational American writer than Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway embodied a kind of balls-to-the-wall masculine energy that dominated American modernist fiction for decades of war and conflict. For more than fifty years the ideal of manhood in American media and culture was as Hemingway described it: taciturn, bellicose, neurotic and given to the heroic killing of people and animals. In this class we will explore the major works of this essential American writer and seek to understand, with unflinching candor, what makes his work go on living, as dream or as nightmare, for readers and writers. For answers, we will look to the work of Hemingway's epigones (whether or not they would welcome the title), from James Salter to Ken Kesey, from Robert Stone to Raymond Carver, from Ann Beattie to Joan Didion to Joyce Carol Oates.


Special Topics: The Social Media of Literature

English 166

Section: 4
Instructor: Zeavin, Hannah
Time: MWF 12-1
Location:


Other Readings and Media

All of our readings will be available in a digital course reader. 

Description

We tend to think of literary composition as a solitary act, but this obscures all the labors of friends, peers, and other readers before a work ever makes it to print. What do social networks and social media do to literary composition, dissemination, and reception? Considering the practice of manuscript-sharing between peers and the details and strategies of longstanding literary correspondences, this course traces the impacts of coterie, schools, and networks in their mediated contexts across the last four hundred or so years, with an emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries. From passing pamphlets back and forth to @ing on Twitter, we will examine what it means to relate and make literary works across distance.

Authors include: Kathy Acker, John Ashbery, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Roland Barthes, Lauren Berlant, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Frantz Fanon, William Gibson, Ishmael Reed, & Mackenzie Wark. Artists include: Chloe Bass, Sophie Calle, Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz.


Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

English 166

Section: 5
Instructor: Muza, Anna
Time: MWF 2-3
Location:


Description

Anton Chekhov's (1860-1904) prominence in the English-speaking world is comparable only to Shakespeare's place in Russian culture. This course is devoted to Chekhov's fictional and dramatic writing, and to the lasting influence of his art and persona on modern imagination.

We will read closely Chekhov's short stories and plays and situate his literary idiom in its historical context. We will discuss the inherent connections between his narrative and dramatic texts; examine his thematic and formal innovations; and consider his understated, elusive vision of human experience. We will compare different translations of his work and think about translation in broad cultural terms. We will also watch a few theater productions and film adaptations of Chekhov's drama and follow the idea of "Chekhovian' as it evolves in the course of the twentieth century, in Russia and beyond

Readings for every class are short (typically, 15-20 pages) but need to be thorough.

Random reading quizzes will check your textual knowledge. There will be three short essays (from one to three pages) and/or short written home assignments and a course paper or a final exam.

This class is cross-listed with Slavic 134E.


Special Topics in American Cultures: Literature in the Age of Extremes, 1900-1945

English 166AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Lee, Steven S.
Time: Lectures TTh 10-11 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 10-11; sec. 103: F 11-12; sec. 104: F 12-1)
Location:


Book List

Cahan, A.: Yekl; Dreiser, T.: Sister Carrie; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury; Tsiang, H.T.: And China Has Hands; West, N.: The Day of the Locust; Wright, R.: Native Son

Description

The aim of this course will be to capture the aesthetic and political extremes of the twentieth century’s first half. We will examine conflicting efforts to bridge the boundary between art and life against the backdrop of two world wars and economic depression, as well as ongoing struggles for race, gender, and class-based equality. The first part of the course will focus on two competing strands of thinking about racial and ethnic difference—one prescribing assimilation, the other emphasizing cultural pluralism. We will see how literary realism engaged the assimilationist strand, while the estranging aesthetics of modernism articulated difference in radical new ways. The course’s second part will then turn to the political extremes of communism and fascism, specifically how these re-inflected the assimilation-versus-pluralism, realism-versus-modernism oppositions established in the first part of the course. The at-times violent political and aesthetic impasses resulting from this overlay were ultimately overshadowed by triumphant notions of the twentieth century as an “American Century” touting civil rights and cultural freedom. However, the “American Century” was only first articulated in 1941, and today seems ever more eclipsed by a renewed age of extremes. Ultimately, this course seeks to provide cultural and historical perspectives from which to think across the many divides now confronting the United States.

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


Literature and the Arts: Metamorphoses

English 170

Section: 1
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location:


Book List

Ovid, trans. by Raeburn, D.: Metamorphoses: A New Verse Translation

Other Readings and Media

Literature in English that will be available on bCourses:  W. Shakespeare, “Venus and Adonis”; J. Dryden, “The Transformation of Daphne into a Lawrell”, A. Marvell, “The Garden”, A. Fulton, “Give: A Sequence Reimagining Daphne and Apollo”; W. Morris, “Pygmalion and the Image” from The Earthly Paradise, G.B. Shaw, Pygmalion

Images of paintings and sculptures that will be available via links on bCourses to galleries’ collections:  Titian, “Venus and Adonis”; G. Bernini, “Apollo and Daphne”; P. Pollaiuolo, “Apollo and Daphne”, G. Tiepolo, “Apollo and Daphne”, G. Klimt, “The Kiss”; J.-L. Gérôme, “Pygmalion and Galatea”; E. Burne-Jones, “Pygmalion and the Image”

Operas that should be purchased as CDs unless they are found in alternative formats that include the libretto: J. Blow, Venus and Adonis; G.F. Handel, Apollo e Dafne; E. Sutherland, Daphne and Apollo Remade; G. Donizetti, Il Pigmalione

Description

This course will explore literature through comparisons with other arts. We will focus on a few stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses that have inspired transmutations into English literature and also into paintings, sculptures, and operas across different periods, and ask how the fact that the medium of literature is language seems to affect what is or can be done with the stories, compared with what is or can be done with them in these other arts.  The stories we will consider in class will include those of Venus and Adonis, Apollo and Daphne, and Pygmalion; students’ final papers may address any story from Metamorphoses that affords a comparison between a version in English literature and one in another art.


Literature and History: The 1970s

English 174

Section: 1
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: MWF 10-11
Location:


Book List

Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior; LeGuin, Ursula: The Dispossessed; Morrison, Toni: Song of Solomon

Other Readings and Media

Other works that we will be studying may include the following:

Films

Medium Cool (dir. Haskell Wexler, 1969)

The Godfather (dir. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

Taxi Driver (dir. Martin Scorcese, 1976)

Network (dir. Sidney Lumet, 1976)

Saturday Night Fever (dir. John Badham, 1977)

Fiction and Poetry

Walter Abish, “Ardor/Awe/Atrocity” (1977)

Rosario Ferré, "The Youngest Doll" (1976)

Adrienne Rich, “Trying to Talk with a Man” (1971), “Diving into the Wreck” (1973)

Nonfiction

Selections from Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents, ed. Rick Perlstein (2007)

Adrienne Rich, “Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying” (1976)

James Fallows, “What Did You Do in the Class War, Daddy?” (1975)

Michael Herr, Dispatches (1977), selections

Joan Didion, “The White Album,” from The White Album (1979)

Richard Dyer, “In Defence of Disco” (1979)

Tom Wolfe, “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening” (1976)

Alice Echols, selections from Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture (2010)

Jimmy Carter and the Energy Crisis of the 1970s (2005), ed. Daniel Horowitz, selections

Dear People: Remembering Jonestown (2005), ed. Denice Stephenson, selections

Ronald Reagan, “Time to Recapture Our Destiny” and First Inaugural Address

Description

As one historian has quipped, it was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. “The ’70s” routinely come in for mockery: even at the time, it was known as the decade when “it seemed like nothing happened.”

Yet we can see now that the ’70s was a time of cultural renaissance. It gave us the New Hollywood of Scorcese, Coppola and others; the music of funk, disco, punk and New Wave; the postmodern comedy of Saturday Night Live and the postmodern drama of Off-Off-Broadway; and a great range of literary fiction written by women authors from Ursula LeGuin and Margaret Atwood to Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston. It was also a period of intense political realignments — the moment the United States was roiled by the oil crisis, the fall of Nixon and the fall of Saigon; by the advent of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and environmentalism as mass grassroots movements; and by the rise of the Sunbelt and the dawning of the conservative revolution. One might even say that the ’70s were the most interesting decade of the post-WWII era — the period when the dreams of the ‘60s were most intensely, if achingly, fulfilled.

Lastly, the ’70s may be the decade closest to our own contemporary moment. We will consider how the roots of our current predicament lie in the earlier decade — with its backlash against movements for racial justice, its gun culture, its corruption of the political process, its fetish for self-fulfillment, and its fascination with the appeal of instant and often empty celebrity. We will, in turn, reflect on how Americans in the ’70s struggled with many of the dilemmas that we face now.

The last time this course was taught, the students in the class collaborated to produce "The Godfather: Anatomy of a Film" -- a site that approaches the film from 19 different angles (and that now receives around 300-400 visitors per day). We will aim to produce a similarly collective project about another artistic touchstone of the 1970s.


Literature and Popular Culture: Medieval Futures

English 176

Section: 1
Instructor: Strub, Spencer
Time: MWF 1-2
Location:


Book List

Delany, Samuel: Flight from Nevèrÿon; Du Bois, W. E. B.: Dark Princess; Herbert, Frank: Dune; Ishiguro, Kazuo: The Buried Giant; Miller, Walter: A Canticle for Leibowitz; Russ, Joanna: Extra(ordinary) People; Strugatsky, Arkady and Boris: Hard to be a God; Willis, Connie: Doomsday Book

Other Readings and Media

Further readings -- including Breton lais, excerpts from Chaucer and The Thousand and One Nights, and supplementary texts -- will be provided via bCourses. Films will include Star Wars (A New Hope), among others.

Description

We usually think of speculative fiction as forward-looking. But it’s no accident that the most popular modern sci-fi saga narrates the struggles of knights and monks “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”: even our most futuristic fantasies look backward, too. This course traces the strangely central role of the Middle Ages in modern genre fiction and popular culture. We begin with the ways in which medieval writers themselves pioneered recurrent features of speculative fiction, from time travel to space exploration. From those early experiments in the fantastic and marvelous, we turn to modern novels and film that borrow form, content, and setting from the Middle Ages, whether as a fantasy of twentieth-century liberation movements structured as a medieval romance or a narration of postapocalyptic life imagined from the confines of a monastery. To supplement our understanding of these works, we will read short excerpts from the medieval texts that inspired them. Throughout the class, we will ask what role the past plays in our fantasies about the future, and what that tells us about attitudes toward race, gender, religion, and the literary imagination. In order to help develop your thinking, you will write two papers, as well as a number of short exercises and a creative assignment.


Literature and Philosophy: Reading Capital

English 177

Section: 1
Instructor: Lye, Colleen
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Book List

Marx, Karl: Capital Vol. 1

Other Readings and Media

Please purchase the Penguin edition of Capital Vol. 1. All other readings will be made available on bcourses. 

Description

Why read the first volume of Capital more than 150 years after its initial publication in 1867?  Not only is Marx being seriously and widely read again since the financial crisis of 2008, but 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. The first ten weeks of the course will be devoted to a close reading of Marx. In the last four weeks of the course, we’ll turn to some contemporary thinkers as a way of gaining an introduction to Marx’s continuing critical presence in the radical politics of our time.


Comedy

English 180C

Section: 1
Instructor: Marno, David
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location:


Description

Tragedy has been deemed dead for nearly as long as it has existed. For some, it gave up its soul when philosophy appeared in ancient Greece. For others, it’s capitalism and action movies that killed it in the twentieth century. But while tragedy has been dying or dead, comedy has been alive and well: from Aristophanes to Always Sunny in Philadelphia and from Plautus to Crazy Rich Asians, the past two and a half millennia could easily be described as an age in which comedy has been ever more successful. It has been so successful and pervasive, in fact, that today, when many are calling for comedy’s reformation and some are declaring its end, it appears hard for us to imagine a world without it. What makes comedy such an exceptionally successful genre, and are we seeing the end of its success today? 

In this class, we talk about these and related questions by looking at one specific device of comedy: the comedic anagnorisis, aka happy ending. For most modern conceptions of comedy, the key feature of the genre is that it generates laughter. The classical definition of comedy, in turn, emphasizes that comedy is about people “worse than us” in a social or ethical sense, and often both. How does the third most conspicuous and widespread feature of comedy, that fact that it ought to end well, relate to these two? What is this device supposed to do, and how have writers and artists used it from ancient Greece to 21st-century America? We’ll ponder these questions by looking at the works of playwrights from Aristophanes and Plautus to Kleist and Wilde, as well as twentieth- and twentieth-first century comedies from Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night to Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette.


The Short Story

English 180H

Section: 1
Instructor: Chandra, Vikram
Time: MWF 2-3
Location:


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

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne…

                                                                  -- Chaucer

This course will investigate how authors craft stories, so that both non-writers and writers may gain a new perspective on reading stories.  In thinking of short stories as artefacts produced by humans, we will consider – without any assertions of certainty – how those people may have experienced themselves and their world, and how history and culture may have participated in the making of these stories.  So, in this course we will explore the making, purposes, and pleasures of the short story form.  We will read – widely, actively and carefully – many published stories from various countries in order to begin to understand the conventions of the form, and how this form may function in diverse cultures.  Students will write a short story and revise it; engaging with a short story as a writer will aid them in their investigations as readers and critics. Students will also write two analytical papers about stories we read in class.

Attendance is mandatory.


Science Fiction

English 180Z

Section: 1
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location:


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: Oryx and Crake; Butler, Octavia: Bloodchild; Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Forster, E.M.: The Machine Stops; Ishiguro, Kazuo: Never Let Me Go; Wells, H.G.: The War of the Worlds; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One

Description

“Not real can tell us about real.” This is one of the fundamental lessons learned by a new race of genetically engineered trans-humans in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. It is also one of the fundamental principles of the popular narrative genre known as science fiction. In this course, we will explore some of the landmarks and lesser known way-stations of this diverse tradition, attending to the cultural and political implications of these brave new worlds and the creatures in them. Themes and topics to include: time travel and space travel; language, codes, and data; embodiment and cognition; science and technology; alternate history and speculative futurism; utopia/dystopia and post/apocalypse; eco-disaster and terraforming. In reading stories about clones, robots, aliens, zombies, and monsters, we will ask ourselves: what does it mean to be human?

Novels will likely include some of those listed here but the readings for the course haven't yet been finalized, so don’t buy the books until after our first class meeting. We will also read a number of short stories and watch several movies and/or TV show episodes.

In additional to the required reading and viewing, assignments for the course will include frequent bCourses posts, two short essays, a midterm, and a final exam.


Research Seminar: Literary Collaboration: Samuel Coleridge and William and Dorothy Wordsworth

English 190

Section: 1
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Time: MW 5-630
Location: Wheeler 102


Book List

Shelley, M.: Frankenstein; Wordsworth, D.: The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals; Wordsworth, W., and S.T. Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads, 1798 and 1800 (Broadview Critical Edition); Wordsworth,, W.: The Prelude, 1799, 1805, 1850 (Norton Critical Edition)

Other Readings and Media

 

A Course Reader, with poems by Coleridge and the two Wordsworths not collected in the books above, as well as selected works of criticism and theory.

 

Description

 

We will study the poetry and prose that emerged from the remarkable collaboration (and competition) between William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in the tumultuous decades around 1800. We will devote some of our time to questions raised by the complexity of collaborative authorship itself: matters of property and possession, conversation and miscommunication, friendship, influence, ventriloquism, and plagiarism. Moreover, since these three writers witnessed a time and a place rapidly changing under the pressures and effects of war, vagrancy, industrialization, and capitalism, we will study their ways of representing and responding to the flux around them – conditions that remain with us, in a later form, more than 200 years later. This class will culminate in a study of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a commentary on the dangers of solitary authorship and the failure to collaborate.

Along with our readings, you will receive guidance from me and from your peers about conducting research, learning how and where to integrate literary criticism and theory into your writing, and the process of constructing and revising a longer paper over time.

This class is planned for synchronous instruction.

 

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


Research Seminar: The Art of Reconstruction

English 190

Section: 2
Instructor: de Stefano, Jason
Time: MW 9-10:30
Location:


Book List

Du Bois, W. E. B.: The Souls of Black Folk; Hurston, Zora Neale: Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”; Tourgée, Albion: A Fool's Errand

Other Readings and Media

Additional readings and other course materials will be provided on bCourses.

Description

This course will explore the role and legacy of art in the most important project of American self-creation since the nation’s founding: the post–Civil War era known as Reconstruction. The diverse group of writers, painters, sculptors, and other artists who collaborated with politicians, activists, and public figures in this project from around 1860 to 1890 sought to reconstitute the nation’s political community as a multiracial democracy that guaranteed representation to all. In the wake of slavery and civil war, they fought for the authority of African Americans as citizens of US government and as co-authors of the national experiment. The operative tropes of this transformation—collaboration, representation, authorship—carried their aesthetic valences alongside their political ones. Consequently, we will treat reconstruction not only as a historical period or phenomenon but also as an aesthetic and activist orientation. We will explore how the concept of reconstruction has persisted as an ideal of social justice and form of artistic praxis. As such, texts will range across genres and history, from the era of Reconstruction to today. We will read and view works by Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Zora Neale Hurston as well as by contemporary writers and artists like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay, and Arthur Jafa.

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


Research Seminar: Fictions of Los Angeles

English 190

Section: 3
Instructor: Saul, Scott
Time: MW 12-1:30
Location:


Book List

Boyle, T. Coraghessen: The Tortilla Curtain; Isherwood, Christopher: A Single Man; West, Nathanael: Day of the Locust; Yamashita, Karen Tei: Tropic of Orange

Other Readings and Media

In addition to the novels listed above, we will be engaging with a wide range of films, music, and other writings. These may include the following:

Films

Meshes of the Afternoon (dir. Maya Deren)

Double Indemnity (dir. Billy Wilder)

In a Lonely Place (dir. Nicholas Ray)

Rebel Without a Cause (dir. Nicholas Ray)

Chinatown (dir. Roman Polanski)

Zoot Suit (dir. Luis Valdez)

The Decline of Western Civilization, Part One (dir. Penelope Spheeris)

Blade Runner (dir. Ridley Scott)

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (performed by Anna Deavere Smith, dir. Marc Levin)

Music

Selection of early LA punk (Germs, Weirdos, X)

NWA, Straight Outta Compton

Kendrick Lamar, good kid, M.A.A.D. City

Visual Arts

Betye Saar, mixed-media collages

David Hockney, paintings

Jaime Hernandez, The Death of Speedy (graphic novel)

Other writings

Raymond Chandler, "Red Wind"

Umberto Eco, "The City of Robots"

Joan Didion, "The White Album"

Description

Los Angeles has been described, variously, as a "circus without a tent" (Carey McWilliams), "seventy-two suburbs in search of a city" (Dorothy Parker), "the capital of the Third World" (David Rieff), and "the only place for me that never rains in the sun" (Tupac Shakur). This class will investigate these and other ways that Los Angeles has been understood over the last century—as a city-in-a-garden, a dream factory, a noirish labyrinth, a homeowner's paradise, a zone of libidinal liberation, and a powderkeg of ethnic and racial violence, to name but a few. We will trace the rise of Los Angeles from its origins as a small city, built on a late-19th-century real estate boom sponsored by railroad companies, into the sprawling megacity that has often been taken as a prototype of postmodern urban development; and we will do so primarily by looking at the fiction, film, drama, and music that the city has produced.

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


Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson

English 190

Section: 4
Instructor: Schweik, Susan
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location:


Other Readings and Media

A course reader.

Description

In this class we’ll concentrate on just one poet, Emily Dickinson, using her work as an occasion to think about how poetry and history get made, revised, codified, brought forward, pushed aside, theorized, contested, remixed and – since this is a research seminar – researched. A series of exercises designed to hone research skills will lead you toward a final project. That could be a paper, or it could take some other form; you might stick close to Dickinson’s work, or you might move far afield. But her poems will anchor our discussions together. I never get tired of them.

I recommend that you get hold of a hard copy of either Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson or R.W. Franklin, ed., The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition. That way, you can hand-write notes in the margins. But Dickinson’s work has been digitalized—a phenomenon we’ll be analyzing. So you will be able to access all of her work online.

Students will have the option to choose either a synchronous or an asynchronous version of the course; students in both "tracks" will have regular opportunities to work together. Contact the instructor for more information.

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


Research Seminar: Climate Change Fiction, or Cli-Fi

English 190

Section: 5
Instructor: Snyder, Katherine
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location:


Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Year of the Flood; Bacigalupi, Paolo: The Wind-up Girl; Butler, Octavia: The Parable of the Sower; Watkins, Claire Vaye: Gold Fame Citrus

Description

Contemporary fiction writers have increasingly been turning their gaze, and ours, toward global climate change, an accelerating environmental crisis of our own making. In this class, we will consider the rise of the literary genre known since 2008 as Cli-Fi, with an eye to the generic and narrative forms that are used to figure forth the eco-cataclysm we now face. We will address topics including science fiction and literary realism; scales of geological time and planetary place; sudden catastrophe and slow violence; environmental injustice; capitalism, imperialism, and infrastructure; melancholy, guilt, and the potential for political agency. Among other questions, we will ask how a burgeoning awareness of the devastating impacts of the Anthropocene has shaped contemporary fiction, and how contemporary fiction might influence our ongoing role in changing the planet.

In additional to the required reading and viewing, assignments for the course will include presentations, online responses, short essays and reviews, and a longer analytical essay using secondary sources.

Novels will likely include some of those listed here but the list hasn't yet been finalized, so don’t buy the books until after our first class meeting. We will also read some non-fiction essays and short stories, and watch at least one movie..

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


Research Seminar: Black Postcolonial Cultures: Real and Imagined Spaces

English 190

Section: 6
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Time: TTh 12:30-2
Location:


Book List

Broom, Sarah: The Yellow House; Butler, Octavia E.: Parable of the Sower; Lovelace, Earl: The Dragon Can't Dance; Smith, Zadie: White Teeth

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader with historical, theoretical, and fictional texts by writers including: Zora Neale Hurston, Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Stuart Hall, Achille Mbembe, Paul Gilroy, Hazel Carby, and Saidiya Hartman.

Films will include Touki Bouki (dir. Djibril Diop Mambety); Atlantique (dir. Mati Diop) and visual albums by the Knowles sisters.

*Please consult the instructor before purchasing course texts.

Description

This research seminar explores black postcolonial cultures with an emphasis on texts that engage creatively with spatial constraint and possibility. Readings in theories of postcoloniality and diaspora as well as studies in questions of space, place, and geography will accompany close examination of novels, films, and music. Adapting to pandemic conditions, we'll focus on fewer cases studies than usual, create research "hubs" around particular concepts and figures, and have a few options for the final project. You'll still write weekly, do in-class workshops, and build incrementally toward a final, independently developed and significant piece of work that will emerge out of your engagement with the theoretical and aesthetic ideas you encounter in class.

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


Research Seminar: Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

English 190

Section: 7
Instructor: Shoptaw, John
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location:


Other Readings and Media

A course reader will be available from Krishna Copy (University Ave. at Milvia St.)

Description

Ecopoetry – nature poetry that is environmental and environmentalist – is an international twenty-first century movement.  But in the nature poetry and poetics of the United States it has deep and wide-spread roots.  This seminar will explore this movement in U.S. nature and environmental(ist) poetry from the nineteenth century to the contemporary poetry and poetics, romantics and post-romantics (including Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson and Thoreau), modernists (including Frost, Stevens, Jeffers, Moore, Eliot, Brown) post-modernists (including Snyder, Merwin, Bishop, Berry) and contemporaries (including Diaz, Graham, Hass, Baker, Gander, Dungy, Hillman and Hirshfield).  We will also read relevant theories of nature and its representation in poetry; and also ecopoetics, essays about the natures and uses of ecopoetry.  While our exploration will be primarily historical, our focus will also be theoretical, involving a number of recurrent topics, including anthropocentrism (and ecocentrism), anthropomorphism (and the pathetic fallacy), animals, place, disaster and pollution, environmental justice, and global warming.  You will learn how to read a poem ecocritically.  You will be asked to write three five-page essays on a poem by a post-romantic, a modern, and a post-modern poet.  This seminar is multi-centered and open-ended.  It benefits from the local experiences and expertise of its students.  I learn as much as I teach. 

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


Research Seminar: The Other Melville

English 190

Section: 8
Instructor: Otter, Samuel
Time: TTh 3:30-5
Location:


Book List

Berthoff, Warner: Great Short Works of Herman Melville; Bryant, John: Herman Melville: Tales, Poems, and Other Writings; Melville, Herman: Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War; Melville, Herman: Billy Budd; Melville, Herman: Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile; Melville, Herman: Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life; Melville , Herman: Redburn: His First Voyage

Description

We will read widely across Herman Melville’s literary career, exclusive of Moby-Dick: South Sea romance (Typee), transatlantic novel (Redburn), short fiction (“Bartleby,” “Benito Cereno,” and more), Revolutionary War narrative (Israel Potter), Civil War poetry (Battle-Pieces), and nautical tragedy (Billy Budd). We also will consider Melville’s journals, letters, manuscripts, and sources, as well as relevant literary criticism, digital resources, and nineteenth-century fiction and poetry. We will look at film versions of Billy Budd by Peter Ustinov and by Claire Denis. Course requirements include oral presentations and a substantial research paper (20 pages), written in stages across the semester on a topic that you will determine and develop.

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


Research Seminar: Chicanx Literature, Art and Performance

English 190

Section: 9
Instructor: Padilla, Genaro M.
Time: TTh 5-6:30
Location:


Description

In this course, we will read the classics of Chicanx literature from the 1960s through the present.  We will open with Jose Antonio Villareall's Pocho (1959), a novel of both immigrant and first generation experience in the U.S. and then we will move to the major works of the Chicanx Movement of the 1960s and 1970s: y no se lo trago la tierra/and the earth did not devour him, Tomas Rivera (1971); Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya (1972); The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo (1971) and Revolt of the Cockroach People (1972), Oscar Zeta Acosta.  We will also read the poetry of Lorna Dee Cervantes, Alma Villanueva, Evangelina Vigil,  Gary Soto, Alurista, raul salinas, and a few others.  We will incorporate the performative influence of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino and survey the art of the period.   

The astonishing narrative and poetry of the 1980s largely turns on a critique of the male-centric Chicano Movement.  We must read Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mexiza  (1987) as well as Sandra Cisneros' House on Mango Street (1983) and some of the stories in Woman Hollering Creek (1991),  We may also read Ana Castillo's So Far from God (1993), which I think of as a rejoinder to Anaya's Bless me, Ultima. 

 In the final section of the course we will read Salvador Plascencia's fantasic The People of Paper (2005), survey the contemporary art, film and performance scene, as well as read the poetry of Javier Zamora, Emmy Perez and other contemporary writers whose work resonates with critique of the xenophobic U.S.-Mexico borderwall.  

You will write two short essays of 5-6 pages and a final essay of 10-12 pages.

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


Honors Course

English H195B

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location:


Description

This course is a continuation of English H195A, taught by Janet Sorensen in Fall 2020. No new students will be admitted, and no new application needs to be submitted. Prof. Sorensen will give out permission codes in class in November.

No new texts are required for this class.


Honors Course

English H195B

Section: 2
Instructor: Langan, Celeste
Time: MWF 2-3
Location:


Description

This course is a continuation of English H195A, taught by Celeste Langan in Fall 2020. No new students will be admitted, and no new application needs to be submitted. Prof. Langan will give out permission codes in class in November.

No new texts are required for this class.