Fall 2017 Advanced Literature Courses

Upper-level Undergraduate Courses in Language and Literature
Academic Year 2017-2018, Semester I

All courses carry 4 credits, unless otherwise indicated.

Core Sequence

Major Authors I

Introduction to the major works of ancient and medieval literatures that influenced later Continental, English, and American literature: the Bible, Homeric epic, Greek tragedy, Vergil’s Aeneid, and Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Required of concentrators in English. (Cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course by the same title that was formerly numbered CAS HU 221.)

CAS EN 221 A1 Breiner
Mon, Wed, Fri 9:05-9:55
CAS EN 221 B1 Fogel
Mon, Wed, Fri 10:10-11:00
CAS EN 221 C1 Levine
Mon, Wed, Fri 1:25-2:15

British Literature I

British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period (including Beowulf) to the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660. Authors may include Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Aemilia Lanyer, John Donne, and John Milton, and topics may include medieval romance, the development of the sonnet and other poetic genres, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, devotional forms, political poetry responding to the English Civil War, and the persistence of the epic. Prerequisite: EN 220 and EN 221.

CAS EN 322 A1 Burnett
Tues. Thurs 3:30-4:45
CAS EN 322 B1 Levine
Mon, Wed, Fri 10:10-11:00

British Literature II

British literature from the Restoration in 1660 to the end of the nineteenth century. Authors may include Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, Alfred Tennyson, and Oscar Wilde. Major topics include London as a developing urban center, the emergence of modern prose fiction, the growing emphasis on “sensibility,” the rise of Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution, tensions between religion and science, and fin de siècle aestheticism. Prerequisite: EN 322.

CAS EN 323 A1 Rezek
Mon, Wed 4:30-5:45
CAS EN 323 B1 Rzepka
Tues, Thu 12:30-1:45


Fall 2017 Courses that Fulfill English Major Requirements

Concepts and Methods of Literary Study: EN 404, EN 465, EN 466, EN 495
Pre-1900 American Literature: EN 333, EN 466, EN 574
Pre-1800 Literature: EN 325, EN 363, EN465
Diverse Literatures in English (required for students who declared the major after September 1, 2011): EN 3326, EN 347, EN 371, EN 377, EN 466, EN 584

Literature Courses

Topics in Early Modern British Literature: The Social Media of the English Revolution: From the Pamphlet Wars to Paradise Lost

This class culminates with our shared reading of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, a story of rebellion that is often considered to transcend time but is very much in conversation with the revolution of its own moment. Or more accurately the revolutions of its own movement–in addition to the overthrow and execution of the king, seventeenth-century England also saw challenges to structures of gender, national debates about who got to vote, major shifts in scientific paradigms, and new ideas about race and the world beyond its borders. Through it all, there was a fascinating interplay between the quick and dirty debates in pamphlets (they were literally dirty because sold in the street!) and what we might think of as “high literature,” including not only Milton’s epic poem but also amazing poetry, plays, prose romances and proto-novels. We’ll be reading across these genres to see how the events of the English civil wars/Revolution crossed from non-fiction to fiction forms, as writers reimagined poetry and prose in ways that can still take our breath away. We’ll analyze how people, including women and lower-status men, used the explosion of print to navigate this exciting and sometimes terrifying landscape. Print was functioning as a kind of “new media,” and scholars have argued that this is the period that saw “the invention of the newspaper.” We will start with Milton’s essay Areopagitica, which argues against censorship and for the open exchange of ideas in print, to think about how the challenges of the seventeenth-century media revolution resonate with the challenges of our own time. The collapse of censorship during the wars and the greater availability of print meant that new voices were heard for the first time as disenfranchised writers became empowered and new forms of writing were created, but the connections between writing and the violence of the wars also led to serious debates about the power of this expanded media world.

Authors will include Milton, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Phillips, Lucy Hutchinson, Andrew Marvell, as well as prophets, petitioners, and political propagandists.
Fulfills the Pre-1800 Literature Requirement.

CAS EN 325 A1 Murphy
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45

Arts of Gender: Gender and Life Writing

Examines representations of gender and sexuality in diverse art forms, including drama, dance, film, and literature, and how art reflects historical constructions of gender. Topic for Fall 2017: Gender and Life Writing. This course explores gender, sexuality, and “life writing,” a term used by Virginia Woolf, in diverse forms including lyric essay, memoir and graphic memoir, poetry, fiction, biography, and visual portraits. What are strategies for crafting a “life” in words and images? Readings include Virginia Woolf’s fictional Orlando (and the film adaptation by Sally Potter), Lyn Hejinian’s My Life, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, Sally Mann’s Hold Still, and assorted essays and paintings, including portraits at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Also offered as CAS WS 326 A1. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement

CAS EN 326 A1 Bernstein
Mon, Wed, Fri  10:10-11:00

Topics in Nineteenth-Century British Literature: Jane Austen’s Romantic Realism

If realism proposes to describe social conditions as they actually, are and romance speaks to the reader’s idealism and belief in transcendent love, how do we understand Jane Austen’s seemingly paradoxical blending of romance and reality? All of the novels we’ll be reading—Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, and others–end in happy marriages, yet each contains marriages of a very different stripe before this resolution takes place. What function do all those less inspiring marriages serve? Do they stack the deck against the heroine and hero, or do they pave the way for them? What is Austen’s idea of love in each novel and does it evolve? Does the vision of social reality in her first novel remain fixed, like a stage backdrop, or does it change along with the types of romance she portrays? We’ll read the six completed novels very closely, and consider a broad range of approaches to these questions: the historical and cultural context conditioning ideas of love, marriage, and morality; the novel form as it developed side by side with bourgeois capitalism and democratic individualism; Austen’s philosophical grasp of human relations in history; her psychology of character; her literary antecedents in comedy and satire.

CAS EN 331 A1 Brown
Tues, Thu  3:30-4:45

American Literature: Beginnings to 1860

An introduction to the multiple literary traditions of North America (especially that area that would come to be the United States) from the close of the fifteenth century through the civil war. Authors include John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, William Apess, Washington Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman. Fulfills the Pre-1900 American Literature Requirement.

CAS EN 333 A1 Otten
Mon, Wed, Fri  2:30-3:20

History of the Novel in English

This course traces the history of the Anglophone novel, from its origins as an upstart new genre in early modern England to its eventual status as the dominant literary form of modernity. Through close attention to seminal texts and theories of the novel, we will investigate the distinguishing features of the genre and trace its evolution through history. What kind of world does the novel describe? Who is the novel built for, and what are its aesthetic and ideological investments? How do the answers to these questions change over time and vary with individual cases and across national boundaries? What we can learn about modern history through close reading its most successful literary form? We will consider a number of historical processes and literary phenomena related to the study of the novel: the emergence of capitalism, individualism, industrialization, secularism, and the middle class; the rise of nationalism; the changing history of gender roles and race relations; and the importance of realism, sentimentality, historicism, modernism, and post-modernism. Likely authors include Daniel Defoe, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and Toni Morrison.

CAS EN 341 A1 Prince
Tue, Thu  12:30-1:45

Topics in Contemporary Fiction: Post-1990 Anglophone Literature

In this class we will read recently published works of fiction from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world. We will pay close attention to the ways in which these works depict social change and its effects on the outlook and values of individuals and their communities. Authors discussed may include Adichie, Adiga, Muenuddin, Coetzee, Hamid, Dangarembga. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement

CAS EN 347 A1 Krishnan
Mon, Wed, Fri 1:25-2:15

Topics in Modern Literature: Modern Irish Writers

Poetry, plays, fiction, and non-narrative prose by Irish authors from 1880s to present. Writers may include Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Eavan Boland. Topics include the character of Irish literary modernism, with its anti-realistic, anti-Romantic, and post-colonial tendencies; the overlap between art and politics, aesthetics and history.

CAS EN 348 A1 Riquelme
Tues, Thurs 11:00-12:15

Drama and Performance, 1840–1945

Theatre and performance history from 1840 to 1945: melodrama to modern drama, including dramatic realism, expressionism, symbolism, minstrelsy, suffrage, folk theater. Plays by Dion Boucicault, Henrik Ibsen, Elizabeth Robins, August Strindberg, Anton Chekhov, Zora Neale Hurston, Oscar Wilde, Sophie Treadwell, Eugene O’Neill. Birth of modern techniques of acting, design, directing.

CAS EN 355 A1 Walsh
Tues, Thu  12:30-1:45

Shakespeare I

Six plays chosen from the following: Richard II, Henry IV, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Winter’s Tale. Some attention to the sonnets. Fulfills the Pre-1800 Literature requirement.

CAS EN 363 A1 Martin
Tues, Thu 11:00-12:15

Detective Fiction

A study of the major writers in the history of literary crime and detection, mainly British and American, with attention to the genre’s cultural contexts and development from the eighteenth century to the present.

CAS EN 373 A1 Rzepka
Tues, Thu 9:30-10:45

Topics in Literature and Film: Hollywood 1939

1939 is considered by many to be the greatest year in the history of Hollywood films, including Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. We will watch and study a selection of these great films and read some of the literary works adapted into film that year, including The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and “Gunga Din.” Topics include: the advent of color and wide-screen, the perfection of sound-film storytelling, the forging of cinematic mythologies. Weekly screenings. Weekly screenings. Meets with CAS CI 390 and COM CI 390.

CAS EN 375 A1 Monk
Tues, Thurs 3:30-6:00

Topics in Literature & Film: On The Road in U.S. Literature and Film

This course “puts the geography of the United States in motion” (Nabokov, Lolita) exploring the various motivations for and consequences of taking to the road. Additional works include, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises; Ford’s Grapes of Wrath, Ellison’s Invisible Man; Robinson’s Housekeeping; Brando Films–The Wild One, The Fugitive Kind—Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Scott’s Thelma and Louise, Dayton and Faris, Little Miss Sunshine.

CAS EN 375 B1 Mizruchi
Tues, Thurs 12:30-1:45

Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

This study of the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1935) focuses on literature with overviews of the stage, the music, and the visual arts. Authors include Du Bois, Locke, Garvey, Schuyler, Hurston, McKay, Larsen, Fisher, Hughes, Cullen. Meets with AA 507. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures requirement.

CAS EN 377 A1 Boelcskevy
Mon 2:30-5:15

Fictional Forms: Myths and Monsters

A Survey of the Gothic as a narrative form (by contrast with the realistic novel, that is, domestic a nd psychological fiction) with attention to history (understood as a Gothic narrative) and modern myths (Frankenstein’s monster, vampire, zombie, cyborg). The readings will be primarily nineteenth-century fiction. There will, however, be some attention to poetry, drama, and film. We’ll have an eye as well on the Gothic’s eighteenth-century origins and on its dissemination into popular culture, including sci-fi and film, from 1900 until today. Readings from such authors as William Gibson, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, R. L. Stevenson, Sheridan Le Fanu, Christina Rossetti, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and Horace Walpole.

CAS EN 389 A1 Riquelme
Tue, Thu 3:30-4:45

A History of Literary Criticism I

Survey of major discussions of literature and aesthetics from ancient Greece to the late nineteenth century. Figures include Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Philip Sidney, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, William Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oscar Wilde, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Themes include art’s relation to truth, ethics, and politics; competing ideas of interpretation; the nature of aesthetic judgment; distinctions between the beautiful and the sublime.  Fulfills the Concepts and Methods of Literary Studies requirement.

CAS EN 404 A1 McDonough
Tue, Thu 3:30-4:45

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Hamlet/Lear/Macbeth: Appropriation and Performance

Historical context, performance histories, and appropriations and transformations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. Films, novels, plays from England, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Japan, and the US. Theoretical analysis of intertextuality, cultural politics, canon formation, globalization of culture. Fulfills the requirements of Pre-1800 Literature and Concepts and Methods of Literary Studies.

CAS EN 465 A1 Carroll
Mon, Wed 4:30-5:45

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Literature of the Early Black Atlantic

This course considers the radical politics and aesthetics of early black Atlantic literature, from 1760 to 1845. Authors such as Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, David Walker, Mary Prince, and Frederick Douglass participated in a transatlantic counter culture that did not conform to national boundaries or nationally defined historical narratives. We will read their texts in relation to the Revolutionary age in which they lived and along with current scholarship that theorizes their work – especially Paul Gilroy, who coined the term “the black Atlantic.” The first century of black Atlantic literature is fascinating for its engagement with the early modern histories of racism, slavery, nationalism, selfhood, religion, capitalism, and the public sphere. In autobiographical writing, spiritual narratives, letters, poetry, abolitionist tracts, public orations, and slave narratives, early black writers imagined and reimagined their place in an Anglophone world defined by slavery and the slave trade. How did they imagine their world? How did such imaginings work to change it? Fulfills the requirements of Concepts and Methods of Literary Studies, Pre-1900 American Literature, and Diverse Literatures in English.

CAS EN 466 A1 Rezek
Mon, Wed 12:20-1:35

African American and Asian American Women Writers

Cross-cultural comparison of selected African American and Asian American women writers examines strategies by the “Other” to navigate cultural constructions of race, class, and gender. Attention to literary histories. Also offered as AA 504. Fulfills the Requirement in Concepts and Methods of Literary Studies and Diverse Literatures.

CAS EN 484 A1 Boelcskevy
Tue, Thurs 12:30–1:45

Critical Studies in Literature and Society: Time and Literature 1800-1930

Between 1800 and 1930, momentous changes in technology (the railway, the telegraph, photography, the airplane) and paradigm-shifting scientific theories (geology, Darwin, Einstein) forced the re-conception of time both in the sciences and in popular imagination.  The nineteenth century witnessed the standardization of time; the twentieth saw Newton’s notion of absolute time fundamentally shaken.  These developments had new, strange, and contradictory implications for understanding time, implications that fired the imaginations of many of the writers in this period.  We explore the different models of time Romantic, Victorian and Modernist writers draw on when crafting their literary works.  What happens to the human time scale when you set it next to millions of years?  Why does Virginia Woolf elongate one tiny moment and shrink years into a parenthesis?  How do writers convey simultaneity?  Is time measurable, absolute and objective, or fluid, relative and subjective?  Authors include Lord Byron, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf. Fulfills the Requirement in Concepts and Methods of Literary Studies.

CAS EN 495 A1 Henchman
Tue, Thurs 12:30–1:45

Reading for Writers: Contemporary Literary Nonfiction

Intensive reading seminar for students interested in literary nonfiction, a wide-ranging, sometimes controversial genre in which writers use techniques associated with fiction and poetry to make meaning of facts. Explores the wealth and breadth of contemporary literary nonfiction — memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, travel, science, and medical writing — with an eye toward helping students think about their own nonfiction writing practices.

CAS EN 512 A1 Loizeaux
Tue 3:30-6:00

Modern English Grammar and Style

This course will show how to systematically analyze the grammar and style of sentences and longer units of discourse in English. It will explore academic and popular debates on grammar and grammar instruction and help you become a better speaker and writer.

CAS EN 513 A1 Bizup
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45

Twentieth-Century American Poetry

We will focus in this course on 6 major writers of modern American poetry: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, and John Ashbery. We will also look at a number of contemporary writers who have emerged from this tradition. The themes of the course are the abiding concerns of poetry, bearing the special inflection of modern times: the nature of the self inwardly and with the world, the relationship to cultural and historical past and present, the limits and possibilities of language and poetic form. Twentieth century poetry also puts great emphasis on problems of perception and cognition, on the changing landscape, on relations between the arts, so these will often be our subjects. Throughout the semester we will be asking why these poets matter, what they added to the tradition, and what makes their poetry great.

CAS EN 536 A1 Costello
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45

Teaching American Classics

Focused on teaching American literature at the high school level, the course aims to provide students with a broad knowledge base in American literary history, model deeper learning and teaching of selected texts, address theoretical questions in English Language Arts pedagogy, and introduce practical classroom skills. In addition to studying diverse works of American fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiography from the perspective of literary criticism, the course will address issues of course design, skill development, curricular planning, and assessment. The class will be team-taught by Prof. Christina Dobbs (SED) and Prof. Laura Korobkin (English Dept.). Assignments include short writing exercises, collaborative projects, oral presentations, assessment design, curriculum evaluation, and a literary-critical essay. Also offered as SED 538.

CAS EN 538 A1 Korobkin/Dobbs
Tues, Thurs 2:00-3:15

Studies in American Literary Movements: Literature of the Migrant

A reading of eleven novels that all bear on human migrations. Besides examining major issues, the focus is on how these books were made. Some of the texts are translations, but most of them are written by American authors. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement

CAS EN 584 A1 Jin
Thu 12:30-3:00

Studies in Literature and the Arts: Stanley Kubrick: The Cinema of Dread

Intensive study of Stanley Kubrick’s feature films, from Fear and Desire to Eyes Wide Shut. We will read novels he adapted: Nabokov’s Lolita, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Thackeray’s Barry Lyndon, Stephen King’s The Shining. And other pertinent fiction: Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End (with 2001: A Space Odyssey) and Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule (with his racetrack movie The Killing). Topics include: black comedy, visionary experience, utopic misanthropy. Weekly screenings.

CAS EN 593 A1 Monk
Wed, Fri 2:30-5:00