Announcement of Classes: Spring 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.

Graduate Courses

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

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

Research Seminars: Visuality, Textuality, and Cultural Memory

English 203

Section: 1
Instructor: Abel, Elizabeth
Abel, Elizabeth
Time: W 3-6
Location: 108 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Theorists will include: Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Jonathan Crary, Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, W.J.T. Mitchell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Susan Sontag. Primary texts will include: T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, selected World War I poets, Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room, and Mrs. Dalloway; and collections of Holocaust photographs.


Probing what has been called the “visual turn” in literary studies, this course will scrutinize the interplay between verbal and visual modes of representation in a range of philosophical, literary, and visual texts. We will ask how and why visual perspectives and materials have been incorporated into literary study. Through readings in semiotics, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and Marxism, we will map some key tensions of twentieth-century cultural theory and production: the relations between subjects and objects of observation, mechanical reproduction and imaginative creation, the legibility of images and the visibility of words. Literary and photographic theories and practices will be our primary subjects, but we will also glance at film from time to time. The course will be divided into three basic units: a broad theoretical inquiry into questions of epistemology, subject formation, and vision; a more targeted exploration of topics that cross different media (the codes of realism, the composition of the image, the construction of perspective); and an inquiry into the uses of verbal and visual media in the construction of cultural memory. This final unit will dwell primarily on two defining crises of the twentieth century: World War I, a famously literary war, and World War II, specifically the Holocaust, as a vexed crux of iconic images.

Two papers will be assigned: depending in part on your choice of topics, the course could satisfy either the twentieth-century or the non-historical requirement.

Graduate Readings: Poetic Meter

English 203

Section: 2
Instructor: Hanson, Kristin
Hanson, Kristin
Time: MW 1:30-3
Location: 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

The principal text for the course will be a draft of a book I am writing as an introduction to the subject; we will use it and the poetry on which its claims are based to establish a common foundation from which each student will explore the metrical practice of a poet or poets of his or her own choosing.


This course will provide a basic introduction to the major meters of the modern English poetic tradition from the perspective of a theory of meter rooted in generative linguistics. Taking the strict iambic pentameter of Shakespeare's Sonnets, the looser iambic pentameter of Shakespeare's plays, and Hopkins' Sprung Rhythm pentameter as representatives of three distinct but overlapping meters, we will explore the structural properties of stress, syllable count and caesura placement in these forms, the ranges of variation they allow, their different manifestations in closely related forms and in the practice of other poets, their aesthetic effects in particular poems, their formal relationships to their Romance, Old English and Classical Latin and Greek influences, and most fundamentally, their relationships to the rhythmic structure of language itself. No prior background in either metrics or linguistics is required.

Graduate Readings: Poetry, Theater, and Visual Culture in the Renaissance

English 203

Section: 3
Instructor: Altman, Joel B.
Altman, Joel
Time: TTh 2-3:30
Location: 223 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Jonson, B.: Five Plays by Ben Jonson, ed. Wilkes; Nashe, T.: The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works, ed. Steane; Shakespeare, W.: The Winter’s Tale, ed. Orgel; Shakespeare, W.: Sonnets and Poems, ed. Mowat and Werstein; Spenser, E.: Edmund Spenser’s Poetry, ed. Maclean and Prescott; Webster, J.: The Duchess of Malfi, ed. Gibbons; Course Reader


This course will be structured as a scholarly detective story, driven by a question that has never been satisfactorily answered: how did “that rare Italian master, Julio Romano”—prized pupil of Raphael; designer of sexually explicit engravings for the scandalous sonetti l ussuriosi of Pietro Aretino; supervisor of artistic works at the court of Federico Gonzaga, first Duke of Mantua--enter the Shakespeare canon as the alleged creator of a simulated statue in The Winter’s Tale, the only Renaissance artist Shakespeare mentions by name? Lines of approach will be biographical, religious, intertextual, and aesthetic. In pursuit of an acceptable answer we’ll map a multi-media, trans-national cultural movement, studying the relationships among written, aural, and visual arts in the Renaissance—poetry, prose fiction, drama, masque, erotica, engraving, painting, scenic design, sculpture, and architecture—focusing on the English-Italian connection. We’ll consult primary sources by Aretino, Greene, Jonson, Marston, Nashe, Shakespeare, Spenser, and Webster, as well as 16th and early 17th century writers on the visual arts; and secondary sources by recent literary, theater, and art historians. One short paper (8-10 pages) and one long paper (about 20 pages) will be required.

Graduate Readings: Queer/Of Color

English 203

Section: 4
Instructor: Ellis, Nadia
Ellis, Nadia
Time: Thurs. 3:30-6:30
Location: 55 Evans

Other Readings and Media

Wekker, G: The Politics of Passion ; Powell, P: The Pagoda ; Selvadurai, Shyam: Funny Boy ; Gopinath, G: Impossible Desires ; Johnson and Henderson: Black Queer Studies ; Munoz, J: Disidentifications ; Eng and Hom: Q & A 

Recommended: Glave, T: Our Caribbean 

Films: Fire  (1996); Black Is, Black Ain't (1995); Brother to Brother (2004)


This seminar is dedicated to the intersection between queer theory and “minority” literatures and cultures. We will take as our starting point the critique of queer theory’s ethnocentrism most potently embodied in Cathy Cohen’s famous essay “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens.” Having considered Cohen’s invocation towards a queerer queer theory (and some of the critical debate surrounding it), we will examine works by artists and scholars of various ethnic backgrounds that engage, critique, and supplement queer theory as it emerged in the US academy. Our field is necessarily disparate—generically, racially, and nationally. We will look at fiction, film, criticism, performance, photography, and anthropology; at artists from the United States, Asia, Africa, and their diasporas. 

Course Reader will include work by Audre Lorde; Gloria Anzaldúa; Rinaldo Walcott, Justin Chen; Cherríe Moraga; Jasbir Puar; David Eng; M. Jacqui Alexander; Omi’seke Natasha Tinsley; Zanele Muholi; Michael Hames Garcia, amongst others.

Poetry Writing Workshop

English 243B

Section: 1
Instructor: O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
O'Brien, Geoffrey
Time: W 3-6
Location: 205 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader


Topics in poetics raised by theorists (Barthes, Bourdieu, Deleuze, Glissant, Riffaterre) and practitioners (Alcalay, Joron, Mackey, Palmer, Spahr et al.) will focus our discussion of each other’s poetry.

To be considered for admission in this course, please submit 5-10 photocopied pages of your poetry, along with an application form, to Professor O'Brien's mailbox in 322 Wheeler BY 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, AT THE LATEST.

Be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses!

Prose Nonfiction Writing Workshop: Rooms and Lives

English 243N

Section: 1
Instructor: Farber, Thomas
Farber, Thomas
Time: Thurs. 3:30-6:30
Location: 305 Wheeler


Rooms and lives: a creative or literary nonfiction graduate workshop open to students from any department. Drawing on narrative strategies found in memoir, the diary, travel writing, and fiction, students will have workshopped in class three 10-20 page pieces. Each will take as point of departure detailed description of a real room, the piece then expanding out to its occupants, past or present, including the authorial self. Each week, students will also turn in one-page critiques of the two or three student pieces being workshopped as well as a 3-page journal entry (these entries may comprise part of the longer pieces). Probable semester total of written pages, including critiques: 70-80. Class attendance mandatory.

To be considered for admission in this course, please submit 5-10 photocopied pages of your nonfiction, along with an application form, to Professor Farber's mailbox in 322 Wheeler BY 4:00 P.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, AT THE LATEST.

Be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses!

American Literature to 1855

English 246I

Section: 1
Instructor: Beam, Dorri
Beam, Dorri
Time: TTh 11-12:30
Location: 224 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Authors to include Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Lippard, Ralph Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Wilson, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Stoddard, Harriet Prescott Spofford, David Walker, Maria Stewart, Edgar Allen Poe, Frances Osgood, Lydia Sigourney, Walt Whitman, William Cullen Bryant, Emily Dickinson, and others.


A survey of U.S. literature in the decades before the Civil War with special attention to narratives of race and nation, the development of American romanticism, and cultures of poetry in the U.S.

Literature in English, 1900-1945

English 246K

Section: 1
Instructor: Goble, Mark
Goble, Mark
Time: TTh 9:30-11
Location: 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

James, H.: "In the Cage"; Dos Passos, J.: Manhattan Transfer; Crane, H.: The Complete Poems of Hart Crane; Fitzgerald, F. S.: Tender is the Night; Stein, G.: Everybody's Autobiography; Cendrars, B.: Hollywood; West, N.: Novels and Other Writings; Adorno, T.: The Stars Down to Earth; Williams, W. C.: Complete Collected Poems 1906-1938; Agee, J.: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Kittler, F.: Discourse Networks 1800/1900; Loos, A.: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Gibson, W.: Pattern Recognition


This course surveys a range of Anglo-American texts from the first half of the twentieth-century—with a strong emphasis on US figures—that explore different versions of a modernist fascination with media aesthetics.  Working with an expanded sense of what counts as modernism, our readings and screenings will revisit period debates about the values, limits, and possibilities of particular aesthetic mediums (poetry, painting, music), and contextualize these debates within a history of media from the turn-of-the-twentieth-century to the present.  Film will be a major focus in the course, which will include examples of both experimental cinema (Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s Manhatta, Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, Borderline, starring H. D. and Paul Robeson) and Hollywood features (Sherlock, Jr., A Star is Born, The Women, His Girl Friday).  Our discussions with consider such topics as urban form and the scene of early cinema, montage and the poetics of assembly, screwball comedy and “classical Hollywood” sexuality, celebrity, publicity, and modern “personality,” literary constructions of “spatial form,” and the idea of communications in the network culture made possible by the telegraph and telephone.

Research Seminars: Mass Entertainment

English 250

Section: 1
Instructor: Knapp, Jeffrey
Knapp, Jeffrey
Time: M 3-6
Location: 108 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media



We will examine the theory and practice of mass entertainment during two comparable moments of major innovation in mass entertainment: the construction of permanent theaters in sixteenth-century London, and the invention of talking pictures in twentieth-century Hollywood.  The course will have several aims: to explore the distinctiveness of the art that each innovation generated; to compare these arts; and to consider whether any themes or problems of mass entertainment persist from one period and art-form to the next.

Research Seminars: Theories of the World and World Literature from Goethe to the Present

English 250

Section: 2
Instructor: Cheah, Pheng
Time: T 3:30 - 6:30
Location: 7415 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Hegel,  G.W.F.: Lectures on the Philosophy of World History: Introduction ; Marx, K., and Engels, F.: Manifesto of the Communist Party ; Marx, K., and Engels, F.: The German Ideology; Arendt, H.: The Human Condition ; Farah, N.: Gifts ; Cliff, M.: No Telephone to Heaven ; Cliff, M.: Abeng; Mo,  T.: Brownout on Breadfruit Boulevard; Mo,  T.: Renegade or Halo Halo; Ghosh,  A.: The Hungry Tide; Naipaul,  V.S.: A Way in the World


The intensification of globalization in the past decade has led to a renewed interest in reinventing Goethe’s project of world literature. Recent discussions of the topic, however, have taken the normative significance of ‘the world’ for granted. This course explores the vocation of world literature in contemporary globalization. The first part of the course examines various ideas of the world and its link to literature and culture in Goethe, Hegel, Marx and Arendt. In the second part of the course, we will turn to consider novels from and about postcolonial space that attempt to transform the world created by Northern political and economic hegemony. We will study novels from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean that explore the consequences of commercial and financial flows such as international tourism, humanitarian aid, foreign investment etc. for humane social development. Issues to be discussed include: the normative status and transformative power of world literature in the wake of Marxist critique; the autonomy of literary and cultural flows in relation to economic flows; non-Eurocentric accounts of world literature; the connections between the formal features of committed literature and its thematic concerns in the crafting of new figurations and stories of belonging of postcolonial peoples and migrants; narrative experimentation, the revival of the story form and the use of 'magic' and its relation to realism; and the political use of the Bildungsroman. Readings will also include theoretical work and criticism by David Harvey, Salman Rusdhie, Walter Benjamin, Benedict Anderson, David Damrosch, Pascale Casanova, Franco Moretti, and Giovanni Arrighi. Students should submit a 20-page paper on a topic of their choice (to be determined in consultation with the instructor.

This course is cross-listed with Rhetoric 240D.

Research Seminars: Agents [and Others] in Anglo-Saxon England

English 250

Section: 3
Instructor: O'Brien O'Keeffe, Katherine
O'Brien O'Keeffe, Katherine
Time: Tues. 3:30-6:30
Location: 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Texts for “Agents (and Others) in Anglo-Saxon England":
Ælfric’s Lives of Saints, ed. W. W. Skeat, EETS o.s. 76, 82 (London, 1881-85), no. XVII.

Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies, the First Series, ed. Peter Clemoes, EETS s.s. 17 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), no. VII.

Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies, the Second Series, ed. Malcolm Godden, EETS s.s. 5 (London: Oxford University Press, 1979), no. X.

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, ed. H. F. Stewart, et al., Loeb Classical Library 74 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918), books IV and V.

The Old English Boethius, ed. Malcolm Godden and Susan Irvine, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), B-text, cap. 39-42.

“Carmen de libero arbitrio,” ed. Michael Lapidge, “Three Latin Poems from Æthelwold’s School,” in his Anglo-Latin Literature 900-1066 (London: Hambledon Press, 1993), 225-78 and 484-86.

Wulfstan of Winchester, Life of St. Æthelwold, ed. and trans. Michael Lapidge and Michael Winterbottom (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) (selected chapters)

Memorials of St. Dunstan, ed. William Stubbs, Rolls Series 63 (London, 1874), selections from “B,” Vita S. Dunstani; Osbern, Vita S. Dunstani.

King Alfred’s West-Saxon Version of Gregory’s Pastoral Care, 2 vols., EETS, o.s. 45, 50 (London, 1871), selections

Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), V.6.

The Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. Thomas Miller, 4 vols., EETS o.s. 95, 96, 110, 111 (London, 1890-1898), V.6.

Bertram Colgrave, ed., Two Lives of Saint Cuthbert (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940), selected chapters.

Bischofs Wærferth von Worcester Übersetzung der Dialoge Gregors des Grossen, ed. Hans Hecht, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa 5 (Leipzig, 1900), II.xxiii-xxv
George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie, eds., “Soul and Body II,” ASPR 3 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936).

The Vercelli Homilies and Related Texts, ed. D. G. Scragg, EETS o.s. 300 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), no. XXII.

Isidore, Synonyma (PL 83), selections.

Die angelsäschsischen Prosabearbeitungen der Benedictinerregel, ed. Arnold Schröer, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa 2 (Kassel, 1885), selected chapters.

G. N. Garmonsway, ed., Ælfric’s Colloquy, rev. ed. (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1978).

Florence E. Harmer, ed., Anglo-Saxon Writs (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1952),
no. 108.

Judith, ed. Mark Griffith, Exeter Medieval English Texts and Studies (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1997).


This course will investigate questions of agency and identity (particularly religious identity) in the textual world of Anglo-Saxon England. As part of our investigations, we will begin with some early medieval engagements of predestination and free will, focusing on Anglo-Saxon negotiations of these issues in a range of philosophical, theological, and pastoral texts. We will first ask how Anglo-Saxon writers conceptualized agency and who they thought could be agents. Such questions will require some wide-ranging reading in the laws, liturgy, hagiography, monastic rules and commentary, as well as in practices of education. In probing this material we will be seeking the cultural logic at work in these texts and working toward a further set of questions: What models of agency do we wish to bring to the study of texts from a highly traditional society? What can practices regarding people who are legally incompetent (children, women, and slaves) tell us about agency in Anglo-Saxon England? What light does the abbatial relation (of abbot or abbess to subject), carefully theorized in commentaries on the Rule, shed on questions of agency? The ultimate research goal of the course will be the writing of a publishable paper.

Research Seminars: Wordsworth and Coleridge in Collaboration: Poetry, Human Science, & Romantic Aesthetics

English 250

Section: 5
Instructor: Goodman, Kevis
Goodman, Kevis
Time: F 10:30-1:30
Location: 301 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Coleridge, S. T.: The Major Works; Wordsworth, W.: The Prelude, 1799, 1805, 1850; Wordsworth., W: The Major Works; Brett and Jones, ed.: Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads 1798, 1800; Burke, E.: A Philosophical Enquiry; Course Reader

Recommended: Hume, D.: A Treatise of Human Nature; Smith, A.: The Theory of Moral Sentiments; Williams, R.: Keywords


This course will offer an intensive reading of the major poetry and prose written by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose remarkable literary collaboration, friendship, and conflict (should) dispel old truisms about the solitary Romantic genius or lonely creative imagination. We will devote some of our time to questions raised by the complexity of collaborative authorship itself: matters of property and possession, influence, conversation and aversion, ventriloquism and plagiarism. At the same time, we will use this pair to consider and contextualize what it meant to say (as Wordsworth did in 1800) that “Poetry is … the history or science of feelings.” How are we to understand this ambition in relation to the Scottish “science of man,” i.e., the powerful systems of human nature charted during the eighteenth century by David Hume, Adam Smith, Lord Kames, and others? Where does it stand in relation to the “science of sensate cognition,” (then) only recently dubbed “aesthetic” on the continent? The other keyword in Wordsworth’s phrase, “history,” merits equal attention in a number of manifest or residual forms: the history of ideas about feeling, the feelings’ own history, and the historical events (the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars) that gathered and galvanized the subject and exercise of emotion in Britain during the decade before and after 1800.

In addition to reading the primary texts assigned—Wordsworth and Coleridge, plus selections from Hume, Smith, Kames, Kant, Burke, Erasmus Darwin, Dorothy Wordsworth and others—you should come out of this class with an overview of major contributions to the massive amount of superb scholarship, recent and not-so-recent, on these two poets.

Field Studies in Tutoring Writing

English 310

Section: 1
Instructor: Staff
Time: T.B.A.
Location: T.B.A.

Other Readings and Media

Meyer, E. and L. Smith: The Practical Tutor

Recommended Text: Leki, I. : Understanding ESL Writers


Through seminars, discussions, and reading assignments, students are introduced to the language/writing/literacy needs of diverse college-age writers such as the developing, bi-dialectal, and non-native English-speaking (NNS) writer. The course will provide a theoretical and practical framework for tutoring and composition instruction.

The seminar will focus on various tutoring methodologies and the theories which underlie them. Students will become familiar with relevant terminology, approaches, and strategies in the fields of composition teaching and learning. New tutors will learn how to respond constructively to student writing, as well as develop and hone effective tutoring skills. By guiding others towards clarity and precision in prose, tutors will sharpen their own writing abilities. New tutors will tutor fellow Cal students in writing and/or literature courses. Tutoring occurs in the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center under the supervision of experienced writing program staff.

In order to enroll for the seminar, students must have at least sophomore standing and have completed their Reading and Composition R1A and R1B requirements.

Some requirements include: participating in a weekly training seminar and occasional workshops; reading assigned articles, videotaping a tutoring session, and becoming familiar with the resources available at the Student Learning Center; tutoring 4-6 hours per week; keeping a tutoring journal and writing a final paper; meeting periodically with both the tutor supervisor(s) and tutees' instructors.

This course meets the field study requirements for the Education minor, but it cannot be used toward fulfillment of the requirements for the English major. It must be taken P/NP.

Pick up an application for a pre–enrollment interview at the Student Learning Center, Atrium, Cesar Chavez Student Center (Lower Sproul Plaza), beginning October 13. No one will be admitted after the first week of spring classes.

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