English 190

Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Spring 2010 Shoptaw, John
Shoptaw, John
TTh 12:30-2 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Dickinson, E: Poems: Readers’ Edition; Dickinson, E: Selected Letters

Recommended: Habegger, A: My wars are laid away in books; Pollack, V: A historical guide to Emily Dickinson

Description

This is an intensive seminar in the poetry of Emily Dickinson. We will learn how to read (to describe and interpret) Dickinson’s poems, with pleasure and confidence, deeply and also broadly throughout her career. Topics will include early poetry & biography; rhythms and rhymes; figuration; women writers & women’s poetry; letters & biography; love & (non)marriage; definition and riddle; death & dying; religion & the afterlife; science (e.g., evolution); nature as topic and as figure; emotion (for instance, despair & fear); gender & sexuality; the Civil War & Abolition; self-definition & self-reliance; manuscript poem packets; contemporary poetry (e.g., Emerson, Longfellow, the Brownings, Lydia Sigourney); late poetry & letters. We will learn to research in Dickinson by first considering how to present her unpublished poems, how to use variorum editions, concordances & indices, how to locate and incorporate relevant criticism, both of individual poems and of larger issues. There will be an exercise in scansion, a shorter paper on a single poem, and a longer paper on a group of poems.

English 190 replaced English 100 and 150 as of Fall '09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or English 150 before Fall '09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

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

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