Announcement of Classes: Summer 2021


Reading and Composition: Choice Cuts: Writing About Food

English R1A

Section: 1
Session: D
Instructor: Stevenson, Max
Time: TWTh 9:30 - 12:00
Location:


Description

This course begins with Terry Eagleton’s assertion that “food looks like an object but is actually a relationship, and the same is true of literary works” and moves to consider that relationship in texts as varied as medieval French fabliaux and twentieth-century Japanese cinema. Authors we will study include Anthony Bourdain, M. F. K. Fisher, Monique Truong, Pu Song Ling, Petronius, and many others; the topics we’ll cover range from the ethics of vegetarianism to the politics of cannibalism, from the particular formal difficulty of representing taste in words to hunger’s connection with other carnal desires. In addition to the traditionally literary modes of prose fiction, poetry, and the personal essay, we will also read restaurant reviews, political manifestos, journalistic reportage, and cultural criticism, and will learn to read meals themselves.


Reading and Composition: Five Ways of Looking at a Poem

English R1A

Section: 2
Session: D
Instructor: Swensen, Dana
Time: TWTh 2:30 - 5
Location:


Description

In this course we will move through and across the history of poetry, focusing on poems and poetry through a set of open categories: Character, Identity, Form, Community and Sound. These open categories will be the lenses through which we interpret a broad swath of poetry in English.  Beginning in the 21st century with the work of poets as distinct as Claudia Rankine, Will Harris and Bhanu Kapil, we will move back and forth in time. From the 21st to the 16th century, we’ll end in the Early Modern period with the sonnets of Thomas Wyatt.  This course will teach analytical writing, doing so through a broad variety of in-class and independent writing assignments. We will write three papers as we train our rhetorical skills and develop our ability to make complex arguments in discussion and on paper. 


Reading and Composition: Caribbean Poetry In and Out of English

English R1B

Section: 1
Session: A
Instructor: Dunsker, Leo
Time: TWTh 10-12:30
Location:


Other Readings and Media

 

 

 

Description

 

What does "standard" English look like? How does it sound? In this course, we will be reading the work of a wide range of Caribbean poets. While some of the poetry we will read in this course is written in "standard" English, most of it is written in some kind of local or regional dialect; and while plenty of the work lives on the page, much of it will also consist of what is chiefly oral or spoken. We will consider the expressive possibilities of non-standard Englishes and oral poetics as we read the work of already-canonical poets (Claude McKay, Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, and Lorna Goodison) alongside less traditional work often rooted in performance and sometimes even in song (Louise Bennett, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jean “Binta” Breeze, Bongo Jerry, and Mighty Sparrow).

 


Reading and Composition: Girls, Misunderstood?: “Deviant” Women in Literature

English R1B

Section: 2
Session: A
Instructor: Ghosh, Srijani
Time: TWTh 12-2:30
Location:


Description

The trope of female instability seen in recent psychological thrillers, such as The Woman in the Window and The Girl on the Train, has a long literary history and has its roots in deeming women “mad” or “hysterical” when they deviate from the established sociocultural norms of a given time period or community. What drives women to madness and how does society punish a woman when it considers her an Other? This will be a reading- and writing-intensive course where we will examine short stories and novels, focusing on the way gender, class, and race contribute to the definition and treatment of mental illness.


Reading and Composition: Art of the “Hot Take”: Voice, Critique, and Resistance

English R1B

Section: 3
Session: C
Instructor: Zeavin, Hannah
Time: TWTh 10-12
Location:


Other Readings and Media

 

 

 

Description

As social media has offered ordinary users a platform for their voice, the concept of the “hot take” in journalism has been increasingly applied to provocative perspectives on current affairs shared by members of the public. This course will consider the popular appropriation of the “hot take” as part of a longer tradition of cultural criticism, especially as a form of resistance. As students examine cultural and, especially, literary criticism by Theodor Adorno, Toni Morrison, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and others, they will engage with these critical perspectives, develop their own responses, and apply the principles of critique to their thinking, argumentation, and writing.