Announcement of Classes: Spring 2021


Freshman Seminar: Some Essays by Emerson

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: Wednesdays 4-5
Location:


Description

A close reading and open discussion of a few of Ralph Waldo Emerson's most interesting and puzzling essays. The instructor will post PDFs of all reading assignments. The students will post brief comments on the assigned reading in bCourses and attend a synchronous Zoom discussion meeting each week.

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: 2
Instructor: Wagner, Bryan
Time: Tuesdays 1-2
Location:


Book List

Dickinson, Emily: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition (Franklin, 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: Nineteenth Century Fiction and the Boundaries of the Human

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Christ, Carol T.
Time: Mondays 2-3
Location:


Description

Dramatic advances in science in the 19th century transformed English understanding of the nature of man and his place in the universe. Theories of evolution, discoveries in the fossil record, advances in electrochemistry, new theories of the mind all challenged the traditional conception of humankind as special, unique, separate in its very nature from the nature of other living beings. Scientific theories, and the anxieties they occasioned, had a notable effect on popular fiction, visible in works reflecting new ideas of the monstrous.

In this freshman seminar, we will read a number of works of nineteenth-century fiction that explore the boundaries of the human including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Time Machine, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.  

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


Freshman Seminar: Cults in Popular Culture

English 24

Section: 4
Instructor: Saha, Poulomi
Time: Tuesdays 4-5
Location:


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 exposês, and films—to consider what cults might tell us about society, politics, religion, and our sense of self.

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


Introduction to the Study of Poetry

English 26

Section: 1
Instructor: Schweik, Susan
Time: MW 5-6:30
Location:


Book List

Recommended: Rankine, Claudia: Just Us: An American Conversation; Sharif, Solmaz: Look: Poems

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

In this course we’ll read poems together, intensively, across a long historical span, a variety of contexts (cultural, philosophical, political), and a wide range of modes, forms, genres, styles and techniques. We’ll respond to poems, analyze them, listen to them and write about them; there will be opportunities to play with translating, editing, and visually presenting them, as well as with writing and performing them. Requirements: Short analytic and creative written exercises due in every class period; one short (5 pp) and one longer (8-10 pp) paper; a final exam.

This is a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to understand poetry and learn how to write about it critically. It will be taught synchronously; please contact the instructor if you need an asynchronous option.


Introduction to the Writing of Short Fiction

English 43A

Section: 1
Instructor: Rowland, Amy
Time: MW 3-4:30
Location:


Description

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

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

Since this is an introduction to the writing of short fiction, all space in the class will be saved for sophomores and freshmen (at least inititally). Interested students should enroll directly into this course, and no application or writing smple is required.


Introduction to the Writing of Short Fiction

English 43A

Section: 2
Instructor: Wilson, Mary
Time: MW 3:00-4:30
Location:



Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Landreth, David
Time: Lecture MW 9-10 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 9-10; sec. 102: F 10-11; sec. 103: F 12-1; sec. 104: F 1-2)
Location:


Book List

Cavendish, M.: The Blazing World; Chaucer, G.: The Canterbury Tales; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost; Spenser, E.: The Faerie Queene, Book III; Stump and Felch, eds.: Elizabeth I and Her Age; Webster, J.: The Duchess of Malfi

Description

English 45A introduces students to the foundations of literary writing in Britain, from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance and English Civil War. This semester I'd like to focus on how that foundational narrative—the story of how British authors claim authority— is shot through by questions of gender. Is literary activity implicity, or explicitly, masculine? Is authority itself, in a patriarchal society, necessarily masculine? Do women who write count as authors? How do male writers engage the possibility of female authority?

We'll range in chronological sequence across our period, but at the center of our semester's study will be the figure of Elizabeth Tudor, for fifty years the sovereign Queen of the English patriarchy, adored and abhorred by her male subjects in equal measure (and often in the same breath). Spenser professed the representative system of his Elizabethan epic, The Faerie Queene, to offer "mirrors more than one" to contemplate his sovereign, and we will read our syllabus as likewise refracting the image of female authority into different shapes and scales.


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Time: Lectures MW 2-3 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 10-11; sec. 102: F 11-12; sec. 103: F 1-2; sec. 104: F 2-3; sec. 105: Thurs. 10-11; sec. 106: Thurs. 11-12)
Location:


Description

   Readings in prose fiction, poetry and autobiography from the British Isles and the Atlantic world from 1688 through 1850: a century and a half that sees the formation of a new, multinational British state, with the political incorporation of Scotland and then Ireland, the global expansion of an overseas empire, the revolt of the North American settler colonies, and the expansion and abolition of the British slave trade. Our readings will explore the relations between home and the world in writings preoccupoed with journeys outward and inward, real and imaginary, voluntary and forced.

We’ll read works by Mary Rowlandson, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Lady Mary Wortly Montague, Anne Finch, William Collins, Thomas Gray, James Macpherson, Robert Burns, Margaret Chalmers, Phyllis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville.

Books include:

Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Behn, Oroonoko; Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience; The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Austen, Persuasion; Gates, ed., The Classic American Slave Narratives; Melville, Bartleby and Benito Cereno. A course reader, containing selections of poetry and short fiction, will be made available.


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Falci, Eric
Time: Lectures MW 11-12 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 10-11; sec. 102: F 11-12; sec. 103: F 12-1; sec. 104: F 1-2; sec. 105: Thurs. 1-2; sec. 106: Thurs. 2-3)
Location:


Book List

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart; Eliot, T.S.: The Waste Land; Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs Dalloway

Description

This course will survey Anglophone literature from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth. We will evoke some of the key aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political trends that characterized the movements of modernity as we closely investigate a selection of the major texts from this period. At times the lectures will zoom in on particular features of texts, and at other times they will zoom out to consider cultural conditions, political contexts, philosophical matters, and aesthetic tendencies. We'll also consider modern literature in relation to modern music and visual art as well as developments in photography and film. In addition to the books listed above, there will be a small reader with texts by Whitman, Dickinson, Hardy, Hopkins, Du Bois, Yeats, Joyce, Stein, Eliot, McKay, Toomer, Stevens, Williams,Moore, Hughes, Auden, Bennett, Walcott, Beckett, and a few others. All texts will be available online. There will be two essays and a final exam.

Lectures will meet at the scheduled time and also be recorded and available for students to view on their own time. Attendance at scheduled discussion sections is expected, but students are welcome to contact the instructor to discuss any particular needs.


Sophomore Seminar: Hitchcock

English 84

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


Description

This course will focus on the Hitchcock oeuvre from the early British through the American period, with emphasis on analysis of cinematic representation of crime, victimhood, and the investigation of guilt. Our discussions and critical readings will consider socio-cultural backgrounds, gender problems, and psychological and Marxist readings as well as star studies.

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