Fall 2018 Advanced Literature Courses

Upper-level Undergraduate Courses in Language and Literature
Academic Year 2018-2019, 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.)

EN 221 A1 Martin      MWF 10:10-11
EN 221 B1 Voekel      MWF 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.

EN 322 A1 Burnett      TR 9:30-10:45
EN 322 B1 Breiner      MWF 9:05-9:55

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.

EN 323 A1 Otten      MWF 10:10-11:00
EN 323 B1 Otten      MWF 2:30-3:20

Requirements

Fall 2018 Courses that Fulfill English Major Requirements

Concepts and Methods of Literary Study
EN 404 A History of Literary Criticism I
EN 471 Transatlantic Revolutions
EN 482 Critical Studies in Modern Literature: Approaches to the Postcolonial Novel

Pre-1900 American Literature
EN 327 Topics in American Literature: Jane Eyre’s Sisters
EN 334 American Literature from Civil War to WWI
EN 471 Transatlantic Revolutions

Pre-1800 Literature
EN 325 Topics in Early Modern British Literature: Literature of the European Renaissance: Controlled Chaos
EN 363 Shakespeare I
EN 516 History of the English Language 2
EN 529 Romantic Age: Around the World in the Long Nineteenth-Century
EN 568 Shakespearean Tragedy and Film

Diverse Literatures in English (required for students who declared the major after September 1, 2011)
EN 326 Arts of Gender: Gender and Life Writing
EN 327 Topics in American Literature: Jane Eyre’s Sisters
EN 370 Introduction to African American Women Writers
EN 377 Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
EN 390 A1 Topics in Comparative Literature: 1001 Nights in the World Literary Imagination
EN 482 Critical Studies in Modern Literature: Approaches to the Postcolonial Novel
EN 537 Black Thought: Literary and Cultural Criticism in the African Diaspora
EN 584 Studies in American Literary Movements: Literature of the Migrant

 

Literature Courses

Topics in Early Modern British Literature: Literature of the European Renaissance: Controlled Chaos

Framed by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s celebrated Oration on the Dignity of Man and Moderata Fonte’s long-neglected but no less authoritative The Worth of Women, “Controlled Chaos” examines how the explosive cultural changes that Europe underwent in the 1500s came to belie the elitist, sexist, racist, colonialist and homophobic orthodoxies often associated with the era. With François Rabelais’s absurdist masterworks Gargantua and Pantagruel as a centerpiece, the course juxtaposes the competing systems of political order found in Thomas More’s Utopia and Niccolò Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy, the contrasting visions of social structure in Baldassare Castiglione’s Courtier and the anonymous popular tales Till Eulenspiegel and Lazarillo de Tormes, the clash over free will between Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther, the multiple constructions of life narrative that emerge across the works of Giorgio Vasari, Teresa of Ávila, and Michel de Montaigne, the outraged protest against New World Spanish imperialism in Bartolomé de las Casas’s Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies with Thomas Hariot’s promotional Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, and the illicit sexualities on display in Veronica Franco’s courtesan poetry and Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy Edward II. Armed with a clearer sense of the tenuous character of “Renaissance” ideals, we will aim to achieve greater understanding of how the dissolving coherences that mark early modernity speak directly to the cultural apprehensions still very much with us in the twenty-first century. Fulfills the requirements of Pre-1800 Literature.

EN 325 Martin
MWF 12:20-1:10

Arts of Gender: 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, language writing, fiction, mock biography. What are written forms for crafting a “life” in words and images? How do intersectionalities of diverse identities (gender and transgender, sexuality, race, disability, class) inflect creative accounts or portraits of lives? In addition to exploring eight literary forms and social forms of identity, we’ll read theory and criticism including disability studies and transfeminism. The learning goals of this course: understanding literary FORMS (how a piece of writing is structured) and the social formations around. Everyone will examine and experiment with forms of life writing. Readings include Woolf’s mock biography Orlando (and the film adaptation by Sally Potter), Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home, Jennifer Finney Boylan’s layered transmemoir I’m Looking Through You, Maggie Nelson’s critical memoir The Argonauts, and Claudia Rankine’s lyric essay Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. In addition to weekly informal writing, there are two essays, a creative project, and a final retrospective essay. Also offered as CAS WS 326 A1. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures in English Requirement.

EN 326 Bernstein
TR 12:30-1:45

Topics in American Literature: Jane Eyre’s Sisters

Charlotte Brontë’s immensely popular novel powerfully influenced nineteenth- and twentieth-century American women writers. Beginning with a close study of Jane Eyre (1847), we will look at writers who engaged, appropriated, challenged and revised aspects of Brontë’s novel in an American context. Nineteenth-century authors will include Harriet Jacobs, whose Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl situates Jane’s adversarial self-creation against a powerful male, and her self-creation as a literary heroine within the slave-master relationship; Elizabeth Stoddard, whose The Morgesons brings the dark female Bildungsroman to New England economic and class issues; Louisa May Alcott, whose pseudonymously published “blood and thunder” stories feature conniving governesses and madwomen in the attic. Twentieth-century texts will include Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine, which explicitly invoke Jane Eyre to engage postcolonial, immigrant, economic, and feminist rewritings. The course will include critical reading. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures in English Requirement; Fulfills the Pre-1900 American Literature Requirement

EN327 Korobkin
MWF 12:20-1:10

American Literature from Civil War to WWI

This course studies the vibrant genres of poetry and fiction in America from the end of the Civil War to the first decade of the 20th century. How did fiction and poetry create, inspire, challenge, and undermine prototypical narratives of American self-creation and success? What kinds of desires, anxieties, assumptions and fears are registered and explored in literature of the period? How did new literary forms and narrative strategies grapple with rapid changes in American economic, social and aesthetic culture? We will focus especially on the genres of realism and naturalism (with a look also at the first real western) and at the ways that literary works responded to rapid industrialization, conspicuous consumption in the Gilded Age, urbanization and poverty, expanded immigration and nativism, the end of slavery and the persistence of racism, the “new” woman, and the idea of the west. We begin with four short novellas: Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick; Henry James’s Daisy Miller; Stephen Crane’s Maggie, a girl of the streets; and Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson. We also read the poetry of Dickinson and Frost, and longer novels by Frank Norris, Owen Wister, Pauline Hopkins and Edith Wharton. Fulfills the Pre-1900 American Literature Requirement.

EN 334 Otten
MWF 12:20-1:10

Topics in Contemporary Fiction: Contemporary US Novels

Overview of American prose fiction from the 1950s to the present, examining works of varying length (short story, novella, novel), from various geographical and cultural backgrounds, and with radically different formal techniques. Authors include Ann Beattie, James Baldwin, Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Cynthia Ozick, and Louise Erdrich. Topics to be discussed include modern “disenchantment,” character, technology, paranoia, the fate of moral agency, the powers and limits of fictions.

EN 347 Chodat
TR 3:30-4:45

Drama and Performance, 1840–1945

This course explores the relationship between modern drama and the construction of Western “modernity” through a combination of plays and critical texts written in or about the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. How do playwrights from this period produce a sense of the modern, in conjunction with or against modernity’s Others? What does the formation of minstrelsy, realism, expressionism, and epic theater have to do with the rise of racial formation, colonialism, or reconfigurations of gender and class?

EN 355 Rivera
TR 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.

EN 363 A1 Carroll  TR 12:30-1:45
EN 363 B1 Siemon  TR 11-12:15

Introduction to African American Women Writers

Examines the African American female literary tradition through selected texts by African American women, written from slavery to the present. Also offered as CAS AA 305. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement.

EN 370 Boelcskevy
MWF 12:20-1:10

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.

EN 373 Rzepka
TR 9:30-10:45

Topics in Literature and Film: The Novel after Film

The novel has never existed in isolation, but never perhaps has its contact with other media felt so inescapable. This course asks what it means, and what it has meant, to write in the shadow of film. How have film’s formal novelty and popular ascendance changed the way in which novels have been conceived? In what sense have the basic elements of storytelling—character, narration, continuity, audience—taken on new meaning in the wake of cinematic representation? For writers, film has served as a figure of jealousy, competition, fascination, nostalgia and (of course) profound revulsion—but all these energies can be made productive. As Mikhail Bakhtin has observed, the novel has always been a genre that swallows other forms of art and that has “no canon of its own,” so it should come as no surprise to us that writers have so frequently turned to film to focus and intensify their own projects. But what are the consequences of this cannibalization of film tropes? And how can it help us think about the novel’s future in a culture of increasingly visual appetites? We will read a mixture of film and media theory, literary criticism—including Walter Benjamin, Andre Bazin, Georg Lukacs and more—alongside novels and films by Chris Marker, John Dos Passos, Buster Keaton, Andrew Breton, Robert Coover, Aldous Huxley, Alfred Hitchcock, Paul Auster, The Marx Brothers, Helen de Witt, and Don Delillo. Also offered as COM CI

EN 375 A1 Foltz
TR 11-12:15

Topics in Literature and Film: Comic geniuses: the films of Preston Sturges and Wes Anderson

Intensive study of films written and directed by Preston Sturges and Wes Anderson. Readings in theories of comedy, literature, and film criticism relevant to their comic styles and subject matter. There will be weekly screenings. Satisfies the CIMS Auteur requirement.

EN 375 B1 Monk
TR 3:30-6:15

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. Also offered as CAS AA 507. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement.

EN 377 Boelcskevy
R 12:30-3:15

Topics in Comparative Literature: 1001 Nights in the World Literary Imagination

May be repeated for credit as topics change each semester. Two topics are offered Fall 2018. Students may take one or both for credit. Section A1: 1001 Nights in the World Literary Imagination. What is The Thousand and One Nights? How has this ever-expanding collection appealed to its diverse audiences? Focus on Nights’ structure and themes, notable translations and offshoots in western literature and art, and later appropriations by Arab and Muslim writers. Also offered as CAS LY 441 A1 and CAS XL 441 A1. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement.

EN 390 A1 Litvin
MWF 11:15-12:05

Topics in Comparative Literature: Murakami and His American Sources

Examines elements of postmodernism and intertextuality in the work of the world’s best-selling Japanese writer. Readings in Murakami and his literary, cultural, and cinematic influences: Poe, Conrad, Fitzgerald, Chandler, Vonnegut, Carver, Irving, and others. Also offered as CAS LJ 451 A1.

EN 390 B1 Zielinska-Elliot
MWF 12:10-1:10

Topics in Comparative Literature: Bob Dylan: Music and Words

This course will examine Bob Dylan’s music and lyrics from 1962 to 1975 in the context of his life, artistic influences, and milieu. We will explore the wealth of criticism and reaction his songs have inspired, paying special attention to questions concerning the nature of his art — for example, his dependence on musical tradition or the relationship between song lyrics and poetry — and past and current critical discussion about his legacy.

EN 390 C1 Yudkin
TR 12:30pm- 1:45pm

History of 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 Study Requirement.

EN 404 Chodat
TR 11:00-12:15

Transatlantic Revolutions

This course provides an introduction to the theories and methodologies of “Atlantic Studies,” a new field of increasing importance in English departments. Atlantic Studies moves away from the nation as a defining unit of analysis and focuses instead on the historical conditions that unite the nations and peoples of the Atlantic world in a single, though internally various, culture. Focusing on British and American texts and contexts, the course considers some of the defining features of Modernity, beginning with the settlement of the New World and continuing up through about 1900. These include the history of conquest, exploration, and travel; the transnational movement of texts, ideas, and cultural practices; the history of slavery and the slave trade; the dissemination of Enlightenment ideology and human rights discourse; and the rise of bourgeois aesthetic theory and the novel. Readings may include critical texts by Paul Gilroy, Bernard Bailyn, Julie Ellison, Joseph Roach, Paul Giles, William Warner, Pascale Casanova, and Amanda Claybaugh, as well as literary texts by Daniel Defoe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Olaudah Equiano, William Wordsworth, Frederick Douglass, Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry James. Fulfills the Concepts and Methods of Literary Study Requirement; Fulfills the Pre-1900 American Literature Requirement.

EN 471 Rezek
TR 11-12:15

Critical Studies in Modern Literature: Approaches to the Postcolonial Novel

The modern world is more confusing and complicated than ever. International fiction provides us with powerful ways of grasping it. This course introduces students to exciting ways of reading stories about love, greed, fidelity, honor, and violence from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. We will learn about the diverse and complex backgrounds of authors and their fictional characters, and we will sharpen our critical approaches to the works of authors such as Chris Abani, Buchi Emecheta, Jean Rhys, Teju Cole, and Daniyal Muenudin. The aim of this class is to enable students to think in sophisticated and informed ways about issues in literature and history today. Fulfills the Concepts and Methods of Literary Study Requirement. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures Requirement.

EN 482 Krishnan
TR 2-3:15

History of the English Language 2

Everyone who uses English has reason to wonder about its idiosyncrasies. How can words with such different spellings as “eight” and “ate” be pronounced alike? Why do we say “a twenty foot” pole, rather than “twenty feet” pole? And why is it “feet” rather than “foots”? Pre-modern English offers further mysteries: What did Shakespeare’s spoken language sound like? What happened to the word “thou”? What is an Old English rune and how do you read it? This course will address everyone’s curiosity about these and other aspects of the English language through analysis of medieval and early modern literary texts, noting especially changes in pronunciation, syntax, spelling, and vocabulary. We will also explore the pre- and early textual culture of England, thinking about these early forms of English in relation to the material forms onto and into which they were written; scrolls, manuscripts and early printed books but also other media including sword belts, stone cross monuments, tombs and king’s coffins. The course will end with a look at fictional languages based on early forms of English, such as those in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. No previous knowledge of medieval literature required.  No previous knowledge of linguistics or history of the language required.   Fulfills the requirements of Pre-1800 Literature.

EN 516 Appleford
T 6:30-9:15

Romantic Age: Around the World in the Long Nineteenth-Century

This class explores new visions of the global emerging in eighteenth and nineteenth century British literature and culture. How did the expanding British empire, and resistance to that empire, shape British cultural imagination and national identity? How did voyages of exploration, new waves of immigration, the expansion of the slave trade, and changing notions of race and gender, transform British fiction and poetry? How did new kinds of institutions and entertainments– like the panorama, the illustrated periodical, the Great Exhibition, and public museums– give Britons new ways of conceiving of the world and its diverse peoples? This class explores these questions through the novels, poems, travel writings, and essays of writers like Daniel Defoe, William Dampier, Oluadah Equiano, Wilkie Collins, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Felicia Hemans, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, and Jules Verne, which we will consider alongside the works of international visitors to Britain. Fulfills the requirements of Pre-1800 Literature.

EN 529 Craciun
TR 9:30-10:45

Black Thought: Literary and Cultural Criticism in the African Diaspora

An introduction to literary and cultural thinking in African-America and the Black Diaspora. The course hones in on specific trends, themes, and characteristics of this work and assesses its relationship to broader political and social contexts. Also offered as CAS AA 591. Fulfills the Diverse Literatures in English Requirement.

EN 537 Chude-Sokei
MW 12:20-1:35

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. Maurice Lee (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.

EN 538 Lee
TR 11:00-12:15

Shakespearean Tragedy and Film

This course explores the adaptation of Shakespearean tragedy into the medium of film. We will take up such questions as: What constitutes “authenticity” when dealing with Shakespeare? How does placing the play in a modern or contemporary setting change or develop the traditional interpretation of the play? When is a rearrangement or rewriting of the playtext permissible, even necessary? While Shakespeare would seem to be the essential “English” writer, international filmmakers such as Kurosawa, Bhardwaj, and Koznitzev have successfully transferred his plays into Japanese, Indian, and Russian cultural settings, and we will consider what elements of each play constitute an essential core subject to appropriation. In addition to the techniques of adaptation, we will also consider the formal properties of each film (lighting, framing, uses of color, point of view etc.): directors such as Orson Welles, Julie Taymor, Akira Kurosawa, Franco Zeffirelli, Roman Polanski, Grigori Kozintzev, and Peter Brook re-imagine the plays in extraordinary and innovative ways. We will view and discuss as a group two or three films each of the four major tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) as well as Ralph Fiennes’s Coriolanus. Student presentations will analyze additional films not viewed by the entire class. Fulfills the requirements of Pre-1800 Literature.

EN 568 Carroll
TR 3:30-4:45

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.

EN 584 Jin
R 12:30-3:15