Announcement of Classes: Fall 2010

The Announcement of Classes is available one week before Tele-Bears begins every semester. Creative Writing and (for fall) Honors Course applications are available at the same time in the racks outside of 322 Wheeler Hall.


Freshman Seminar: Shakespeare's Hamlet

English 24

Section: 1
Instructor: Paley, Morton D.
Paley, Morton
Time: W 2-4 (9/1-10/20 only)
Location: L45 Unit III, on Durant betw. Telegraph & Dana


Other Readings and Media

Shakespeare: Hamlet

Description

Hamlet is perhaps the greatest, the most challenging, and at times the most frustrating play in the English language. In this course we will concentrate intensively on the text (which will be the only assigned reading). We’ll consider questions of interpretation, motivation, staging, and poetics, among others. Some questions we’ll address are:

Does Hamlet think the flesh is “sullied” or “solid”?

Did Gertrude know about Claudius’ murder of old Hamlet?

When Hamlet tells Ophelia “get thee to a nunnery,” does he mean a brothel?

Is Polonius’ advice to Laertes sage or silly?

Does Hamlet delay? Does he have an Oedipus complex? How old is he?

How do we go about answering questions like these?

The only requisite for enrollment is that you be a freshman. No previous knowledge of Shakespeare is expected.

During the course of our half-semester, each of you will do a short (10-15 minute) seminar presentation (or, if you wish, a 20-30 minute presentation in collaboration with another student). There’ll be a list of possible subjects for you to choose from, and we’ll have a conference beforehand. Then you’ll do a 1-page write-up of what you presented, and I’ll return it to you with written comments. By meeting six you’ll write a short (1500-word) essay. It may grow out of your initial presentation, or be on an entirely different subject. There will be ample time for you to confer with me on this. I’ll return your essay with my comments at meeting seven.

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


Freshman Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully

English 24

Section: 2
Instructor: Breitwieser, Mitchell
Breitwieser, Mitchell
Time: Thurs. 4-5
Location: 201 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Thoreau, H.D.: Walden

Description

We will read Thoreau's Walden in small chunks, probably about thirty pages per week. This will allow us time to dwell upon the complexities of a book that is much more mysterious than those who have read the book casually, or those who have only heard about it, realize. We will also try to work some with online versions of the books, using the wordsearch command to identify words such as "woodchuck" or "dimple" that reappear frequently, in order to speculate on patterns Thoreau is trying to establish. Regular attendance and participation, along with a loose five-page essay at the end, are required.

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


Freshman Seminar: This section has been cancelled

English 24

Section: 3
Instructor: Tracy, Robert
Tracy, Robert
Time:
Location:


Other Readings and Media


Description

This section has been canceled. 


Literature of American Cultures: Immigration, Ethnicity, and the Popular Imagination

English 31AC

Section: 1
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Ellis, Nadia
Time: MWF 1-2
Location: 213 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Diaz, J.:  The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Everett, P.:  Erasure; Lee, C. R:  Native Speaker; Lethem, Jonathan:  The Fortress of Solitude

 Films:  Do the Right Thing (1989); In America (2002); The Wire (episodes from Season 3)(2004); Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

Description

Why, in United States culture, are the varieties of blackness understood differently from the varieties of whiteness? Why are categories of Asian identities parsed differently from either? And how do the histories of immigration to the US produce these conflictual and confounding categorical modes? Contemporary fiction, film, and music allow us to think about immigration and its production of modern racial ideas in the United States, and to explore how these ideas become a part of the popular imagination. We will read literary fiction that deals in genres (comic books, detective novels), watch films and television shows that stage racial encounter (in moods of greater or lesser seriousness), and study musicians and comedians whose astute readings of race often reflect those most commonly, if unconsciously, held.  If all goes well, we will eventually alight upon the question of what the hero of Chang-Rae Lee’s quietly magisterial novel Native Speaker has in common with KRS-1.

Reader and B-Space page will include work by Jhumpa Lahiri, Amy Tan, Paule Marshall, Colson Whitehead, Malcolm Gladwell, David Simon, Mae Ngai, Noel Ignatiev, Nell Irvin Painter, Blackstar, KRS-1, and Dave Chapelle.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 1
Instructor: Nolan, Maura
Nolan, Maura
Time: MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1
Location: 2 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Donaldson, E., ed.: Beowulf; Heaney, S., ed.: Beowulf; Mann, J., ed.: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, C.: Dr. Faustus; Dickson, D., ed.: Poetry of John Donne; Milton, J.: Paradise Lost

Description

This course will focus on the central works of the early English literary tradition, beginning with Beowulf and ending with Paradise Lost. We will examine the texts in light of the cultures in which they were produced, asking ourselves why these works were written when they were written, and what the unfamiliar cultures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance have to say to us now. We will also focus on developing reading skills and on understanding the literary tradition as a set of interrelated texts and problems that recur over the course of centuries. We will examine these works as formal artifacts as well as historical documents. Students will work on close readings, on literary language, and on understanding generic distinctions as they functioned in the past and function now.

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th.


Literature in English: Through Milton

English 45A

Section: 2
Instructor: Landreth, David
Landreth, David
Time: MW 4-5 + discussion sections F 4-5
Location: 106 Stanley


Other Readings and Media

Chaucer, G: Canterbury Tales; Donne, J: John Donne's Poetry; Marlowe, C: Doctor Faustus; Milton, J: Paradise Lost; Spenser, E: The Faerie Queene, Book One

Description

This class introduces students to the production of poetic narrative in English through the close study of major works in that tradition: the Canterbury Tales, The Faerie Queene, Doctor Faustus, Donne's lyrics, and Paradise Lost. Each of these texts reflects differently on the ambition of poetry to encompass the range of a culture’s experience. We will focus particularly on the relationships of different genres to different kinds of knowledge, to see how different ways of expressing things make possible new things to express, as English culture and English poetry transform each other from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th. 


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

English 45B

Section: 1
Instructor: Sorensen, Janet
Sorensen, Janet
Time: MW 10-11 + discussion sections F 10-11
Location: 159 Mulford


Other Readings and Media

Behn, A.: Oroonoko; Pope, A.: The Rape of the Lock; Montagu, Elizabeth Mary Wortley: Selected Poems; Defoe, D.: Moll Flanders; Johnson, Samuel: Selected Works; Equiano, O.: The Interesting Narrative of the Live; Wheatley, P.: Selected Poems; Jefferson, T.: Selected Works; Wordsworth, W. and Coleridge, S.: Lyrical Ballads; Austen, J.: Emma

Description

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

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th. 


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

English 45B

Section: 2
Instructor: Duncan, Ian
Duncan, Ian
Time: MW 3-4 + discussion sections F 3-4
Location: 141 McCone


Other Readings and Media

Rowlandson, M.: Narrative of the Captivity; Behn, A.: Oroonoko; Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Swift, J.: Gulliver’s Travels; Wordsworth, J. & J., eds.: The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry; Austen, J.: Persuasion; Melville, H.: Benito Cereno; Equiano, O.: Narrative of the Life; Douglass, F.: Narrative of the Life; Scott, W.: Rob Roy

Description

Readings in English, Scottish, Irish and North American poetry, prose fiction and autobiography from 1688 through 1848: 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, and the revolt of the North American colonies. Our readings will explore the relations between home and the world in writings preoccupied with journeys outward and back, real and imaginary—not all of which are undertaken voluntarily.

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th. 


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

English 45C

Section: 1
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Abel, Elizabeth
Time: MW 1-2 + discussion sections F 1-2
Location: 3 LeConte


Other Readings and Media

Conrad, J.: Heart of Darkness; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury; Hurston, Z.: Their Eyes Were Watching God; James, H.: Turn of the Screw; Joyce, J.: Dubliners; Rhys, J.: Wide Sargasso Sea; Woolf, V.: To the Lighthouse; a course reader of selected poetry and essays

Description

This course will focus on the formal consequences of the social and cultural revolutions of the early twentieth century. We will examine the changes in narrative strategy and voice and the transformations of poetic syntax and diction that have come to be known as "modernism" and will trace their reverberations through the later twentieth century. We will also analyze the pressures brought to bear on formal innovation by different national traditions and histories of colonialism, racism, and feminism.

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th. 


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

English 45C

Section: 2
Instructor: Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
Wong, Hertha Sweet
Time: MW 12-1 + discussion sections F 12-1
Location: 390 Hearst Mining


Other Readings and Media

Achebe, C.: Things Fall Apart; Conrad, J.: Heart of Darkness; Morrison, T.: Beloved; Silko, L.: Ceremony; Spiegelman, A.: Maus (2 volumes); Shammas, A.: Arabesques; and Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway.

Description

This survey course of literature in English from the mid-nineteenth century to the present will consider a variety of literary forms and movements in their historical and cultural contexts. We’ll examine the literature of colonization and imperialism and the counter literature that it inspires. We’ll study literary experimentation and recurrent transcultural themes: the relationship between past and present, surviving historical trauma, translating orality into print, and the influence of notions of race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and gender on subject formation. We’ll read Irish and English texts, Native American and European American texts, African American and African English texts, yet challenge the simplistic binary dualisms these categories suggest. We’ll also practice lots of close reading. There will be two 5-to-7-page essays, a midterm, and a final examination.

NOTE: This class will meet for the first time on Monday, August 30; discussion sections will not be held on Friday the 27th. 


Introduction to Environmental Studies

English C77

Section: 1
Instructor: Hass, Robert L.
Hass, Robert and Sposito, Gary
Time: TTh 12:30-2 + 1 - 1/2 hours discussion section per week
Location: 100 GPB


Other Readings and Media

The required books for the course will be available exclusively at Analog Books, located just one block up Euclid Avenue from the North Gate entrance to the Berkeley campus. The Course Reader, Introduction to Environmental Studies, will be available exclusively from Copy Central, 2483 Hearst Avenue, right across the street from the North Gate entrance. There will also be a required environmental science textbook (possibly provided as an eBook).

Description

This is a team-taught introduction to environmental studies. The team consists of a professor of environmental science, a professor of English, and three graduate student instructors working in the field. The aim of the course is to give students the basic science of the environment, an introduction to environmental literature, philosophy, and policy issues, and analytic tools to evaluate a range of environmental problems. The course requires some time spent outdoors in observation as well as a lot of reading and writing.

This course is cross-listed with E.S.P.M. C12.


Children’s Literature

English 80K

Section: 1
Instructor: Wright, Katharine E.
Wright, Katharine
Time: MWF 2-3
Location: Note new location: 159 Mulford


Other Readings and Media

Potter, B.: Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit; MacDonald, G.: The Princess & the Goblin; Barrie, J.: Peter Pan; Nesbit, E.: The Railway Children; Curtis, C.: Elijah of Buxton; Cormier, R.: The Chocolate War; Ryan, P. Munoz: Esperanza Rising; Yolen, J.: The Devil's Arithmetic; Farmer, N.: The House of the Scorpion

Description

Children's Literature is a complex subject of intersecting concerns. Ideas about childhood and about what is good or bad for children rub up against commercial interests and the interests of educators and parents, not to mention those of the (supposed) child reader. The study of children's literature is thus an active field of inquiry in academics, drawing on cultural studies, educational theory and literary analysis.

This class will concern itself with:

1. the cultural dynamics around a literature named after its supposed audience

2. an overview of the history of literature for children

3. the literary features of these texts

4. the field itself and the critical work being done within it

We will be reading folktales and fables, novels from the Victorian to the current era, picture books and young adult titles. We will also be examining literary criticism on these subjects. The reading will at times be heavy. Class format will include lectures, small group work, and student presentations. Three short papers will be required and two exams.

The book list at this point is only tentative: do not buy books until the final list is announced on bSpace.


Sophomore Seminar: Utopian & Dystopian Movies

English 84

Section: 1
Instructor: Starr, George A.
Starr, George
Time: Tues. 6-9 P.M.
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

We will mainly be viewing and discussing Utopian and anti-Utopian movies. Depending on the intended majors of those enrolled, we may use other kinds of visual material as well, from architecture, city planning, world's fairs, etc. We will not be dealing with literary Utopias or Dystopias, but some theoretical and sociological background reading will be recommended.

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


Sophomore Seminar: High Culture / Low Culture: Postmodernism and the Films of the Coen Brothers

English 84

Section: 2
Instructor: Bader, Julia
Bader, Julia
Time: W 2-5
Location: 300 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Lahiri, Jhumpa: Interpreter of Maladies; Bould, Mark: Film Noir

Description

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

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


Sophomore Seminar: The Monster in the Mirror: Frankenstein & Dracula

English 84

Section: 3
Instructor: Loewinsohn, Ron
Loewinsohn, Ron
Time: W 2-3
Location: 204 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

Shelley, M.: Frankenstein; Stoker, B.: Dracula

Description

We will read B. Stoker’s Dracula and M. Shelley’s Frankenstein, together with some film versions of these two archetypal horror tales, appreciating them as mirror opposites of each other, and investigating what they have to tell us about human agency, responsibility and denial.

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


Sophomore Seminar: Socrates as a Cultural Icon

English 84

Section: 4
Instructor: Coolidge, John S.
Coolidge, John
Time: F 12-2
Location: 205 Wheeler


Other Readings and Media

See below.

Description

Socrates has often been compared to Jesus, an enigmatic yet somehow unmistakable figure who left nothing in writing yet decisively influenced the mind of his own and later ages. In the first weeks of the course we will read and discuss Aristophanes' comic send-up of Socrates in Clouds and the Platonic dialogues purporting to tell the story of Socrates' trial and death (Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, Crito, and selections from Phaedo), attempting to (a) trace the original construction of the Socratic icon, and (b) briefly note its relevance to present-day “issues” such as generational conflict, science vs. religion, free speech, academic freedom, self and society, etc. After that class sessions will consist of team presentations, prepared in consultation with the instructor, on contemporary controversies involving some of these issues. The object is to provoke lively debate. The course is intended to appeal especially to students who are desirous of getting in on the intellectual conversation of our time and curious about its cultural antecedents.

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