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Undergraduate English Courses

Spring 2019 Courses

English 115 American Experience (ALDU)

Lecture 1         TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Hazel Gedikli
This course is an exploration of American experiences since the mid twentieth century. We will be thinking about the US, historically and presently, as a transnational space and interrogate its claim to be a united (and an exceptional) nation and to a singular national identity. We will examine a variety of works in literature, history, cultural criticism, music, the visual arts, and other genres with an eye to understanding how Americans of diverse backgrounds have understood and argued about the meaning of their American experiences. The course invites you to consider new ways of interpreting a multifaceted culture and to participate in an inquiry into the meaning of experiences that you do and do not share with peoples of the Americas.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)

English 115 American Experience (ALDU)

Lecture 2         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: Bukem Reitmayer
This introductory course in the American experience is largely constructed around the voices and language used by immigrant writers, poets, filmmakers, musicians, and artists. Through a combination of lecture and discussion, students will be offered the tools with which to focus on interrelating themes: assimilation and resistance; diaspora and homeland; memory and myth; cultural nostalgia; borders and border-crossings; exile, isolation, and otherness; bilingualism; multiplicity of identities; language and silence; gender and sexuality; traditions; trauma and memory; intercultural and generational conflict; and race and ethnicity.

English 117 Ethnic American Literature (ALDU)

Lecture 1         MWF 11:15-12:05       Instructor: Korka Sall
This course examines Ethnic American Experience  from literature produced by African American writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance. It also expands to the African Diaspora context as the Harlem Renaissance reached to the Caribbean and France in the 1920s. The "black issue" became a global interests. We will look at the relationship between society and literature produced by people of African descent and how they interact by tracing the social constructions of oppression and racism.  Examining and discussing Ethnic American Experience will help us develop a better understanding of social norms and how they impact the black culture in the US and beyond.

Through novels, books, film, music, poetry, essay and articles by artists and writers from America and the African Diaspora, we will focus on the different writing devices that the authors use to convey their message; a message that is related to the reality of "being black". We will discuss how literature of the Harlem Renaissance transcends boundaries to portray the society through fiction. Some of the questions this course discusses include: How do writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance challenge or question the society through literature? How do colonial and post-colonial thoughts, literature and discussions are shaped during the 1920s? To what extent does the literary devices of the writers and artists reflect the experiences of black people?

You will write a short response paper (1 page), a final project (5-7 pages) and a bi-weekly quiz (4) on the assigned reading. Authors may include Nella Larsen, Jessie Fauset, Josephine Baker, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Aime Cesaire, Paulette Nardal, Jane Nardal, among others. (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)

English 117 Ethnic American Literature (ALDU)

Lecture 2         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: Jae Young Ahn
American literature written by and about ethnic minorities, from the earliest immigrants through the cultural representations in modern American writing. (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)

English 131 Society & Literature (ALDG)

Lecture 1         MWF 11:15-12:05       Instructor: Patricia Matthews
Literature Now. What does it mean to read literature now? In this section of English 131 we will approach the question of what it means to read fiction in the twenty-first century by studying and discussing a variety of texts published within the last five years. In this course we will explore the contexts, political commitments, and formal dynamics of literary texts, as well as your own responses to and interpretations of literature today. Our readings will include an eclectic range of writers from around the world working across a variety of genres, styles, and forms. What brings these writers together is that they all are writing now; they are the writers of your lifetime. Understanding what this means—to be writing and reading now—will be the project of this course.

English 131 Society & Literature (ALDG)

Lecture 2         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: Anna Klebanowska Piecuch
The phrase “Americans in Paris” brings Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald to mind, but there were many more American artists who traveled to Paris in the first half of the twentieth century and found inspiration in the City of Light. In this course, we will focus our attention on the ways in which African American artists grappled with the ideas of race and sexuality while living in France. What did those artists think about the vast differences between American and French societies and how did they express their thoughts in the literature and art they produced?

We will begin by looking at how Josephine Baker, a black dancer, expressed her sexuality under the white colonial gaze and the ways in which she negotiated her position as a black woman both in France and in America. We will also study the famous African American entrepreneur, Ada “Bricktop” Smith, and the club scene she dominated in Paris. Next, we will examine the male African American experience in France while reading Claude McKay's Banjo, where he explores the possibilities of a (predominantly male) African diasporic community, as well as James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, and Another Country, with his depiction of homosexuality and interracial relationships haunted by racism. Studying these and other artists will give us an understanding of the ways in which African Americans negotiated the many layers of their identity both in America and in France.

Some of the questions that we will attempt to answer in this class include: How were the perceptions of race different in France, as opposed to the United States? How did those perceptions influence the ideas about sexuality and sexual relations? How did the African American artists use African culture to express their notions of both race and sexuality? How were they seen by white artists? We will also think about the ways in which literature can be used to express one’s identity at home and abroad.

While literature is the focus of this course, it also includes a range of visual materials which will enrich our knowledge and understanding of the topic at hand. (Gen.Ed. AL, G)

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (ALDG)

Lecture 1         TuTh 10:00-11:15       Instructor: Subhalakshmi Gooptu
Meanings change over time as we grapple with differences, distances and limited points of view. This course explores various configurations and representations of gender and sexuality in our world today. We will be reading texts from all over the world to question the multiplicity of definitions. Ideas, people and literature move across the world. In this course will be tracking the changes and disruptions that define representations of gender and sexuality across genres, geographies and voices.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (ALDG)

Lecture 2         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: David Pritchard
In this class, we will study a wide array of literary registrations of the dynamics of gender and sexuality. Our basic aim will be to parse the four keywords in the course title. We will examine how each of these terms raises questions about representation and figuration, and bring these questions to bear on how we understand different historical configurations of gender and sexuality across the 20th and 21st centuries.he   (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (ALDG)

Lecture 3         MWF 11:15-12:05       Instructor: Sharanya Sridhar
What can we learn about gender from reading Shakespeare plays? What did people in the early modern period think about notions of masculinity and femininity? How did Shakespeare’s drama interact with, complicate, and sometimes challenge these notions? These are some of the questions we will engage with in the first half of our course. 
In the second half of our course, we will interrogate the politics of reading Shakespeare in our times. We will watch and read contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare plays to think about gender from a non-Western and non-Eurocentric perspective. In analyzing these texts, we will think about how gender intersects with race and class.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (ALDG)

Lecture 4         TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Thakshala Tissera
Children begin to be socialized into their gender roles at home. Nevertheless, the impact of gender and sexuality is neither limited to the private sphere, nor are these identity markers free from larger socio-political influences.  One’s biological sex, performance of gender and sexuality have wider implications in terms of the larger social roles that one is expected to enact and even the ways in which one is expected to inhabit the role of a citizen as seen by the long struggle for women’s franchise in the past and the ongoing struggles of transgender persons who wish to serve in the military. While one’s gender and sexuality are crucial aspects of one’s identity, they are also intersectional; affected by other socio-economic identity markers. This course will examine the engagement with gender and sexuality in a selection of literary and cinematic texts from different parts of the Anglophone world in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will commence by considering the gendered socializing process of children: a process which appears to be a particularly private affair but is in fact influenced and shaped by larger political moments and movements. The course will then consider the impact of one’s gender and sexuality on community membership and citizenship including identities which actively threaten the existing nation-state such as the militant and the terrorist.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 141 Reading Poetry (AL)

Lecture 1         MWF 11:15-12:05       Instructor: Gion Davis
The Political Poet.  "All of that art-for-art's-sake stuff is BS. All good art is political. There is none that isn't. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying 'We love the status quo.'" - Toni Morrison.

Writing is itself a political act, whether you intend it to be or not. Writing is activism, it's empowerment, it's your voice. In this class, we will explore what it means to be actively political in poetry through reading a variety of poets from the 1980s through to today. We will explore the necessity of using your voice through whatever means necessary to be heard, to advocate for yourself and for others, and to thoroughly examine your place within the status quo and how to begin to break out of it. We will read selections or short collections by a different poet every week. You will be asked to write responses, short essays and poetry in conversation with the poets we bring into class. You will be asked to think deeply about art as action, to think about yourself as an artist in the context of your background, and how you can use your individual voice to make a difference.

English 144 World Literature in English RAP (ALDG)

Lecture 1         TUTH 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Saumya Lal
Introduction to Postcolonial African Literature.   How have histories and narratives of colonization shaped the ways in which Africa is positioned in the world today? What are the economic, political, socio-cultural, and psychological effects that colonization has had on African peoples and their colonizers? How have writers and artists challenged colonial narratives to offer fresh ways of understanding various African cultures?

In this course, we will explore these questions through “postcolonial literatures” (literatures produced in the wake of colonization) by African writers. We will read various kinds of literary texts – short stories, poems, essays, and novels – to think about how they complicate our understanding of key concepts such as race, identity, nation, resistance, freedom, progress, language, and gender. Writers we will read include: Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nuruddin Farah, JM Coetzee, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (AL, DG)

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)

Lecture 1         TuTh 1:00-2:15           Instructor: Laura Doyle
An intensive seminar for students planning to major in English. While honing skills in close reading and critical writing, we will explore philosophies of language, the dynamics of the artist/audience exchange, and the relationship between social structures and literary forms. We will focus on poetry (mainly sonnets) and fiction. To handle this course, students' basic skills in writing and argumentation should be solid. Beyond that, a love of reading and an eagerness to analyze the power of literature, in discussion and in writing, will be most valuable. The course is writing-intensive with drafts and revisions.  Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. Open to English majors only.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)

Lecture 2         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: Emily Lordi
Introduction to literary study, concentrating on close reading and analysis of texts, writing and revising critical essays, and discussion of the issues that underlie the study of literature. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)

Lecture 3         TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Mazen Naous
This course is designed to prepare students to pursue the English major. Our three central tasks will be: reading a limited number of works of poetry, drama, and prose fiction from a range of historical periods; studying different methods of literary analysis; and honing students' writing and research skills. This course is both reading and writing intensive. The assignments include shorter close-reading and response papers, and a longer research paper. English majors only. Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)

Lecture 4         TuTh 1:00-2:15           Instructor: Elise Morse-Gagne
Welcome, new English major! This intensive seminar in the study of literature is for you. We'll be practicing close reading of a range of works from different periods, continents, and genres. Our emphasis will be on developing a sound relationship with each text, informed by discussion of context, techniques, and theoretical frameworks. Students will write several five-page papers. Selected papers will be peer-reviewed. We will also explore your options and interests within the major, and relate the study of literature to broad societal themes. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 201 Early British Literature (early British literature or 200+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 10:00-11:15       Instructor: David Toomey
English majors only. This course will survey the work of influential British writers from the medieval period to the eighteenth century.  We will explore these works for their particular contribution to literature and literary culture; we will also work to understand how they were shaped by their historical, social and political contexts. Coursework will include in-class quizzes, a brief presentation to the class on a subject related to the contexts of the literature the course treats, a mid term response essay, and a final response essay.

English 205 Intro to Post-Colonial Studies (Anglophone or 200+ English elective)

Lecture 1         MW 2:30-3:45             Instructor: Stephen Clingman
The term 'postcolonial' appears everywhere nowadays, yet what does it mean and where does it come from? This course will serve as an introduction to the range of postcolonial literature, as well as its history, chief concerns, and theoretical underpinnings. In the aftermath of the age of empire and colonial expansion, large swathes of the world face key questions involving identity, belonging, nationalism, culture, language, gender and race, where the future must be formed both within and against the legacies of the past, and the present is a complex reality. In this context we'll be reading some of the most exciting and significant contemporary fiction from different parts of the world, including India, Africa and the Caribbean. Writers will be selected from the likes of Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Hisham Matar, NoViolet Bulawayo, J. M. Coetzee, Michelle Cliff and Shani Mootoo. Theory from Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak will round out the picture. Overall, through literature, you should emerge with a clearer and deeper grasp of some of the major concerns of our time.

English 217 (Dis)ability and Literature (200+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 1:00-2:15           Instructor: Janis Greve
Non-normative physical conditions have always characterized humankind, yet disability studies as a field of investigation and form of activism has gained traction only in the last few decades.  This course will delve into that still growing field as it engages with literary texts and continues to define the issues most vital to it.  Reading from a range of genres and looking at film and images, we will explore how texts portray disabilities across the human spectrum. A primary goal will be to investigate how disabled and non-disabled writers alike communicate embodied experiences that depart from the idealized human form of Western culture, which interprets those bodies as “problems.”  Paradoxically, an equally important goal will be to become less sure of what disability is, questioning our received notions. We will also hope to develop insight into suffering, personhood, and our accountability to one another, while fostering the empathy and self-reflection that make for a more humane society—as potential caregivers and responsive, informed human beings.

English 221 Shakespeare (early  British or 200+ English elective)

Lecture 1         MW 12:20-1:10           + discussion    Instructor: Joe Black
Why are Shakespeare's plays still so widely performed, read, filmed, revised and appropriated four centuries after they first appeared on stage? What makes them continue to speak so powerfully to audiences, writers, directors, and actors? This course provides an overview of Shakespeare's work, focusing on careful readings of eight plays, including examples of comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories. We will pay some attention to genre (what is a comedy?); cultural and social contexts (how did the Renaissance approach issues of politics, gender, social hierarchy, marriage, cosmology, and personal identity, and how do these ideas inform these plays?); and to questions of production, staging, and Renaissance theater practice. Assignments include three short papers, exam, attendance of both lecture and discussion section, and lively participation. Discussion section required.

221 Disc 01AA F 9:05-9:55 am Instructor: Mitia Nath

221 Disc 01AD  F  12:20-1:10 pm  Instructor: Mitia Nath

221 Disc 01AB  F 10:10-11:00 am  Instructor: Shwetha Chandrashekhar

221 Disc 01AE F 10:10-11:00 pm Instructor: Dina Al Qassar

221 Disc 01AC  F  11:15-12:05 pm  Instructor: Dina Al Qassar

221 Disc 01AF F 11:15-12:05  Instructor: Shwetha Chandrashekhar

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 1         MWF 11:15-12:05       Instructor: Miles Collins-Sibley
English 254-01 (13983)We hide what we don't understand in the dark — the unknown, what bumps at the edge of a shadowed room, what rattles our windows on dark and stormy nights, what waits for us around the bend of a unfamiliar road — and then, when what we've hidden emerges, we scream in the face of what we didn't want to see. Are we really afraid of shambling hordes of zombies, or do we fear mass immigration? Do witches with long, hooked noses haunt our dreams, or do we fear women with power and still invest in anti-semitic stereotypes? Throughout human history, we have created spooky stories to comfort ourselves. Horror writing is a social impulse and it so often demonizes the marginalized groups society fears.

But what if monsters can set us free?

This course will examine monsters, the monstrous, and the grotesque in classic and contemporary fiction and poetry. We'll read classic works such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula and discuss the socio-political anxieties represented within them. We'll read contemporary works such as Bhanu Kapil's Humanimal and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and consider how they build upon the horror genre and where they depart from it. We'll ask ourselves: how does horror writing serve us in the glittering 21st century where so little lies unknown in the shadows but is still plagued by rampant discrimination and demonization of marginalized bodies? Students will learn to identify hallmarks of horror writing style, analyze them, reproduce them, and reinvent them in short story, poetry, and essay writing assignments. We'll reclaim the monsters, writing spooky stories and poems and read them out loud with dimmed lights.   (Gen. Ed. AL)


English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 2         TuTh 4:00-5:15           Instructor: Emilie Menzel
To Love Language Generously with Precision.  When the wirewalker Philippe Petit balanced his way to the middle of a thin line strung across the tops of the Twin Towers in 1974, he called it dancing; he called it falling in love; he said he wanted to "feel like a bird all [his] life." And so we are with writing: how to balance the giddy love of language and story with craft, the creative impulse with analytical control, the line between prose and poetry. In this creative writing and reading workshop, we will practice our line walking—producing poems, stories, essays of our own—and draw inspiration from reading  from writing engaged with the balance that written arts require between creative and analytical thinking. We will consider how creative and analytical strategies are both required for all stages of writing: sitting down and finding a courage to face the page and fill, editing, deciding how to present information in a way that gives movement and lift. We will consider preconceptions we have accrued about divisions between creative and analytical thinking. Readings may include the lively exchange between Victorian era writers and scientists, James Tate's use of humor when deadly serious, Robin Coste Lewis' poetry reassembled from art history descriptions, and Gabriel García Márquez's fabling of history, to name a few. (Gen. Ed. AL)

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 3         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: Kritika Pandey
"I'm the gap between what I'd like to be and what others have made me." - Fernando Pessoa Readers and writers inhabit the universe with a certain critique. As warriors of the written word, we are in constant dialogue with everything and everyone around us. With violence, sexism, racism, xenophobia, crony capitalism, misogyny, hatred, poverty, fascism and war. This course will aim to employ writing and reading as tools for exploring the question of identity, as bridges between The Self and The Other. How does language grapple with the permeable socio-political boundaries of our beings? How do stories and poems allow for empathy that's free from moral self-righteousness? What is the efficacy of the narrative arc, voice, dialogue, characters, rhythm, form and lineation as tools for discovering the Other within the Self? To that end, we would read texts by contemporary fiction writers and poets that attempt to humanize The Other while simultaneously producing works of our own as we defamiliarize The Self. The idea is to know that both literature and otherization are processes that leave no one out. Hence, if reading and writing are exercises in empathy, then we would be givers as well as takers of that elusive force.

Work will be produced as response to prompts and readings, before being shared with the class for workshops. Before coming to class, students will also respond to Moodle prompts (in 100-150 words) based on the readings assigned for the day. (Gen. Ed. AL)

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 4         MWF 12:20-1:10         Instructor: Ben Parson
"You are a writer. But what is it that you write, and why? Maybe you’re a novelist, or a poet, or an essayist, or maybe you claim any number of titles that describe you and your work. But why? What do we exclude or deny by drawing such boundaries around ourselves? As Campbell tells us, the hero’s journey begins in a place of comfortable discontent—meaning a world in which growth is necessary but unsought. In order to begin our journey towards growth, we will discuss our identities as writers, the awareness and responsibilities which our work demands, and the uncomfortable necessity of rule breaking.

Our goal will be to question the dividing lines of genre and to investigate the symbiotic relationship of reading and writing. You are a writer, but you are also a reader—capable of navigating any genre or form, and returning with insights which can be forged into new and exciting work. We will read fiction, poetry, mythology, creative non-fiction/ personal essay; we will listen to music and meditate on movies—and through critical reflection we will attempt to arrive at an understanding of both the shared visions and the shared burdens of writers. Along with our study of established authors, students will be responsible for generating their own creative work (any genre) which will be shared and discussed in class." (Gen. Ed. AL)

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 5         MW 2:30-3:45             Instructor: Rabia Saeed
In this course we will write before, after and during class while exercising open and fearless experimentation. What are our possibilities? How can we bend our narratives? What is our unique, most authentic voice? These are some of the most important questions we will ask in this class. We will be reading stories, poems and essays from all over the world, especially those that come from geographical and cultural spaces that are rarely represented in literature. While writing, we will focus on reading work by writers who lead genuinely bilingual lives, who construct worlds in English when, often, they live their lives in other languages. Our purpose will be to let the styles, histories and inflections of other literary traditions seep into ours so that we are made all the more aware of what is possible. How can we re-claim the language of our writing - English - and use it differently, more originally, to reflect the unique vantage points from which we see the world? This class is then, an exercise in continuous writing along our boundaries, around and beyond our boundaries, to discover ourselves as writers. (Gen. Ed. AL)

English 268 American Literature and Culture before 1865 (course in American literature before 1865 or 200+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 10:00-11:15       Instructor: Melba Jensen
In this course we will read narratives of individual and collective cultural transformations from the colonial and early republican periods in American literature. We will trace throughout these narratives various figurations of "American" subjectivity, such as the captive and the redeemed; the slave, the servant, and the freeman; the alien and the citizen; the foreign and the native. Through such textual figures, we will explore as well the cultural production of a broader narrative of the “imagined community” of the nation. While reading a selective survey of literary works, travel narrative, and poetry from the 1670s through the antebellum era, we will address as well critical and theoretical reconsiderations of the literature and culture of the early republic.

English 269 American Literature and Culture after 1865 (course in American literature after 1865 or 200+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 1:00-2:15           Instructor: Caroline Yang
This survey class will introduce students to a wide array of US literature from 1870s to the 1990s.  We will study how writers in the United States navigated the immense changes after the Civil War spurred by the end of slavery, rapid growth of industrial capitalism, and the expansionist practice of US imperialism. What can the texts produced by these writers teach us about the changing relationships between people, particularly in how race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, citizenship, and other socially constructed markers of identity were defined in the late nineteenth and throughout the twentieth century? How might we understand, analyze, and critically interrogate what "American" means through these texts?

English 269 American Literature and Culture after 1865 (course in American literature after 1865 or 200+ English elective)

Lecture 2         TuTh 10:00-11:15       Instructor: Gina Ocasion
This course looks at relationships between land, property, and protest in America through the narrative spaces of literature. We do so to interrogate the intimacies of settler colonialism as it manifests not only in displacement, but also in the elision and erasure of representation, sovereignty, and subjectivity. Our questions will consider the relationships between art and protest, diverse embodiments of protest and resistance, and the cultural and historical contexts that inform these movements. In this line of thought, we will trace back the lines of inquiry that inform our contemporary moment, from the Civil War to present day.

Authors in this survey may include Sarah Winnemucca, Charles Eastman, W.E.B. Du Bois, Harper Lee, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Louise Erdrich. Assignments will include two essays and a presentation.

English 279 Intro to American Studies (course in American literature after 1865 or Anglophone/ethnic American or 200+ English elective)(American Studies specialization)

Lecture 1         TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Asha Nadkarni
What is America? Is it a place, is it a concept, or is it something else entirely? This course will investigate and complicate that question through an interdisciplinary exploration of American culture from the late 19th century to the present. We will use the second edition of Keywords for American Studies to ground our examination of America and of American Studies, focusing on different articulations of American culture over time. Course materials may include literature, films, visual art, and other media forms, with an eye to how each text gives representational shape to the experiences they depict. We will concentrate especially on how they negotiate issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. This course is required for the Letter of Specialization in American Studies and satisfies the AL and DU General Education Requirements.

English 298H Practicum: Teaching in the Writing Center (200+ English elective)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         Thurs 4:00-5:15           Instructor: Florianne Jimenez
Practicum consists of four hours per week tutoring in the Writing Center and one-hour weekly meetings to discuss tutorials and supplementary readings, to write, and to work on committee projects.  Students who have successfully completed English 329H Tutoring Writing: Theory & Practice are eligible to enroll in this course.  This is a two-course series.  Open only to students who registered in 329H Fall 2018.

English 298L Love in Word Cinema (1 credit film series)

Lecture 1         Wed 6:00-9:00 Instructor: Kirby Farrell
As you’d expect from a run of films about love, it’s an emotional roller-coaster.Love has always perplexed philosophers: if you love someone who embodies values you cherish, are you really just in love with yourself?  The films in the series sample visions of love from around the world. They aren’t merely today’s conventional vision of love as peekaboo nude scenes and simulated mating: they’re really about the uncanny quality of relationships and the strangeness of being alive. And not boring (!)  Requirements: attendance earns 1 credit; no exams or papers; every student has one unexcused absence. A 1-credit film series.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (Junior Year Writing)

Lecture 1         TuTh 4:00-5:15           Instructor: Heidi Holder
Topic: The Chost Story: History, Theory, Criticism, and Adaptation. The ghost story has a long and varied history, from Roman comedy through the Islamic Golden Age and the supernatural tale-telling “games” of Edo-period Samurai.  We’ll examine this history before turning to the “golden age” of the ghost story in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and then to its modern and post-modern descendants.  Authors include Charles Dickens, Henry James, Elizabeth Gaskell, Vernon Lee, Edith Wharton, M.R. James, Charles Chesnutt, Shirley Jackson, Randall Kenan, and George Saunders.  We’ll follow certain tropes: hauntings associated with technology or travel; haunted spaces; dangerous knowledge and hidden history.  Readings in theory/criticism and analysis of adaptations will provide a key component.  Multiple short writing assignments and a research paper.

This course is open to English juniors and seniors only. Course prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of "C" or better and 201, 202 or 221 with a qualifying grade of C or better.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (Junior Year or Anglophone)

Lecture 2        MW 2:30-3:45             Instructor: Rachel Mordecai
Topic: Caribbean Revolutions and Their Afterlives.
 Focusing primarily on Cuba and Haiti, this course will encourage thinking about the ways (post)revolutionary Caribbean nations circulate in contemporary imaginaries in the Caribbean and the USA. Cuba and Haiti have long served as both inspirational and cautionary tales in the realm of politics, and sites of/fodder for fears and fantasies in pop-culture constructions of racialized, sexualized Caribbean “others”. These (mis-)representations of the historical and contemporary conditions experienced, and intervened in, by Haitian and Cuban people have had long lives and been broadly consumed. They therefore complicate – even impede – our understandings of Cuban and Haitian literary and cultural texts, and also of contemporary realities such as the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the death of Fidel Castro, the (relative, and perhaps temporary) normalizing of US-Cuban relations, and Haitians currently seeking refugee status in the USA and Canada. This course aims to facilitate students’ engaging anew with what they know, and think they know, about the (post)revolutionary Caribbean; our primary attention will be focused on texts from and about Cuba and Haiti, with additional reference to Grenada.

Students will produce reader-response journals, one short (5pp) paper + in-class presentation thereof, and one long (10-12 pp) critical paper, as well as shorter, informal writing assignments.

Interested students from outside the English major should email Prof. Mordecai for information about registering. 

English 300 Junior Year Writing (Junior Year Writing or Anglophone)

Lecture 3         MWF 12:20-1:10         Instructor: Malcolm Sen
Topic: Culture, Capital and Climate.  In this course we will read exciting novels and short stories from India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Nigeria, the UK, and the USA which provoke us to see how questions of culture and capital are intricately connected to contemporary climate change. The narratives range from speculative to climate fiction, and from realist to apocalyptic narratives. Class discussions will include close textual analysis and specific environmental themes such as rising sea levels, the global trade in oil and carbon, nuclearization, and resource extraction in "developing countries". You will be introduced to major ecocritical, postcolonial, feminist and Marxist methods of enquiry that help us critique the major themes of this seminar.

English 302 Studies in Textuality and New Media (300+ English elective)(New Media and Digital Humanities)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         TuTh  4:00-5:15          Instructor: Matthew Schilleman
This course will explore the ways in which media technologies shape the individual and society. Starting with a few historical examples of media revolution (the alphabet, the printing press, television), we will go on to examine new media such as the internet, videogames, twitter, and virtual reality. In probing these devices and platforms, we will touch on important debates concerning the nature of the mind, the human, society, and information. We will also delve into a number of theoretical perspectives such as posthumanism, aesthetics, and Marxism. Assignments will include critical readings, film viewings, and interactive media experiments.

English 354 Creative Writing: Intro to Fiction (300+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 1         MWF 11:15-12:05       Instructor: David Whelan
Horrific Humorous Clowns. This is a workshop with an experimental bent, focusing on the line between a laugh and a scream. We propose reading and writing from outside a core curriculum to equip writers with the tools to fight back with writing in moments of crisis or upheaval. We are of course interested in ‘work’, but we’re on particularly good terms with its counter, ‘play’.

We will first focus on the foundations of craft, before moving toward a more expansive, ‘playground’ form of writing. We will focus on the core elements of craft with an eye to manipulation: narrative, POV, time and dialogue. Narrative – what it is, how it functions, and when to subvert it; point of view – our options, and their unique limitations and benefits; time – what a clock is, how to make a story tick, how to end. Dialogue – what’s said, what’s not, and how that moves us.

We will ask ourselves: where, and why, do we succumb to fiction? When is a joke funny and when is it horrible? How do we transcend these borderlines? Is it possible to be both horrific and humorous?

Each week we will generate and work on new, original writing, and supplement our practice by reading work from other writers, specifically chosen to challenge, to delight and to, fundamentally, expand. We will write truthfully, read dutifully and respond honestly on a weekly basis.

This is a workshop for the serious writer.

English 354 Creative Writing: Intro to Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 1         MWF 1:25-2:15           Instructor: Allison Ice
Poetry & Navigation. To write is to inquire and explore. As we engage in the process of creation, we place our hands in the very material of our internal and external worlds. An honest and sustained contact with this material—language, sensation, voice, matter, experience—results in expansion and discovery that allows us to navigate those questions central to our own existence: who are we? where are we? what do we come from? what does it mean to be human?

While science works to contribute in its own way to our understanding and navigation, elements of these concerns transcend the material and are accessible only through the creation, experience, and discussion of artwork.

In this course, we will open ourselves to exploration and discovery through poetry. Weekly writing assignments and workshop discussion will be informed by a varied reading list—Maggie Nelson, Nathaniel Mackey, Ocean Vuong, and other writers who use innovative methods of investigation to pursue questions of existence. Ultimately, we will learn to listen to our own poems while writing—and to step carefully out of the way. It is when we abandon our agenda, fears, and ego that a poem begins to create itself and we, by tuning in, are able to craft the piece according to what it is teaching us.

English 355 Creative Writing Fiction (300+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 1                     TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Kirby Farrell
The workshop participants read each other's stories, asking what kinds of work each story does, and what sort of response it invites from readers. During the semester, we're likely to discuss creativity, reader psychology, and markets.

No textbook, no exams.  Prerequisite: ENGL 354 or 354H with a grade of 'B' or better. Registration by department permission only.

English 355 Creative Writing Fiction (300+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 2                     TuTh 1:00-2:15           Instructor: John Hennessy
In this course students will write and workshop short stories. They will also read widely in modern and contemporary fiction and complete a series of assignments intended to address specific aspects of fiction writing. Admission by permission of professor.

Students should submit one complete story and a brief personal statement (list and briefly discuss your favorite writers and books) to Professor Hennessy's email address: Please include Spire ID #. DUE NOV 20. OPEN TO ALL MAJORS

English 356 Creative Writing Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 1                     TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: John Hennessy
English 356 is a poetry workshop. In addition to writing their own poems, students will read widely in contemporary poetry.

Interested students should send a portfolio of up to 3 poems to John Hennessy at by November 20th. Students should (briefly) discuss their favorite poets, writers, books, poems, in a separate statement.  Please include contact information. Submission deadline is November 20th.  Registration after this date is possible, but priority will be given to students who meet the November 20th deadline.  Students will be notified of their status by December 15th.  Registration by instructor  permission only.  OPEN TO ALL MAJORS.

English 356 Creative Writing Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing)

Lecture 2         Tues 4:00-6:30            Instructor: Martín Espada
Students should submit a portfolio of three poems in a Word document to Professor Espada at Students will be notified by the end of the semester of their status. Registration after this date is possible, but priority will be given to students who apply this semester for the fall. Registration by instructor permission only. Prerequisite: English majors only. English 354 or equivalent with a B or better.

English 358 The Romantic Poets (course in British literature after 1700 or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 10:00-11:15       Instructor: Adam Colman
This course explores the work of writers who were especially concerned with connections between imaginative thinking and their material world. These Romantic poets—working in the later eighteenth century and earlier nineteenth century—were interacting with complex historical developments, and this course considers how poetry so often associated with the imagination conversed with its age's science and politics. We will read writers including Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Anna Seward, Percy Shelley, Charlotte Smith, and William Wordsworth.

English 359 Victorian Imagination (course in British literature after 1700 or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         Weds 4:00-6:30           Instructor: Suzanne Daly
Legal definitions and popular conceptions of crime and criminal behavior underwent significant revision in nineteenth-century England, and the literature of the period registers major points of contention. We will read works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction prose that address the following questions: What kind of crimes did the Victorians like to imagine, to read about, and to punish vicariously through imaginative literature? What did criminality mean to them? What is narrative justice, and what formal and/or ideological functions does it serve?

Novels will include Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret; Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White; and Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist. Poets may include Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Swinburne, and Tennyson. Nonfiction prose by Victorian writers including Matthew Arnold, Frances Power Cobbe, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Caroline Norton, and William Thackeray will supplement our primary texts.

English 362 Modern Novel, 1945-Present (Anglophone or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Mazen Naous
Of Immigrants and Migration.   People from countries previously colonized by Great Britain find their way to British shores; people from countries affected by U.S. interventions find their way to the U.S. Some arrive as immigrants and some as migrants (we will consider the implications of these two terms). Both groups, however, endure forms of jingoism, racism, xenophobia, and violence at the social, cultural, economic and political levels. Among other things, immigrants and migrants find that they are perceived as traitors, terrorists, criminals, and job snatchers. In relating the experiences of immigrants and migrants, our selected works employ a range of literary techniques: playing with form, interpolating non-English words into the texts, disrupting time, and complicating narrative point of view. We will engage the relationship between aesthetics and politics in these textual interventions, and consider the effect of this relationship on the representations and receptions of immigrants and migrants. This course examines works dealing with movement from South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Northern Ireland to Britain, and from East Asia, the Arab countries, and Mexico to the U.S. The course includes works by Ana Castillo, Mohja Kahf, John Okada, Caryl Phillips and Zadie Smith. We will also watch and discuss two films. Critical essays and some theory will guide our readings and film viewings.

English 365 The Literature of Ireland (Anglophone or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         MWF 10:10-11:00       Instructor: Malcolm Sen
"If you have the words, there's always a chance that you will find the way", wrote Seamus Heaney. It seems that Irish writers have rarely been at a loss for words. Despite its size, Ireland has produced some of the most influential literary authors of the 20th century. This course gives you an opportunity to read a number of canonical Irish authors (such as W B Yeats and James Joyce) and authors whose works have been crucial to the Irish 20th century but who may not be as well known (such as Eavan Boland). We will pay attention to the social, historical and environmental conditions, which shape these narratives.

This is a General Education course and in it you will also learn to communicate your ideas persuasively and with precision. You will be guided to read literary texts through the lens of contemporary concerns such as environmental degradation and climate change. You will also gain a firm understanding of how literature reflects upon, critiques and sometimes 'predicts' political and environmental realities. (Gen.Ed. AL)

English 369 Studies in Modern Fiction (Anglophone or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         MW 4:00-5:15             Instructor: Stephen Clingman
This course will survey major trends in twentieth century fiction by taking as its theme the idea of 'writing at the frontiers.' We'll understand this in various ways, ranging from the frontiers of form in the work of some of the century's foremost writers, to the literal frontiers that many of them have faced: of geography, culture, race, gender, politics, and--in the broadest sense--history. We will begin with the cultural phenomenon of modernism--that complex of literary, artistic and philosophical developments which defined a specific shift in modern intellectual consciousness between about 1880 and 1930. In exploring works by Conrad, Forster, and the transitional writer, Jean Rhys, we'll see how they came to terms with some of these specific issues and registered them in their fiction. In going on to read writers such as Achebe, Coetzee, Caryl Phillips and Zadie Smith, we'll see how these issues were sustained and transformed in the second half of the century. Our novels will be set in a variety of countries and cultures in Britain, Africa, India, and the Caribbean, and move from the modern to the postmodern, the colonial to the postcolonial. All the way through, traveling in both space and time, fiction will be our guide to some of the twentieth century's most significant developments. The course will involve both lecturing and discussion, as well as a variety of assignments including some combination of essays, presentations, online work, and possibly an exam.

English 371 African American Literature (Anglophone/ethnic American or course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         MWF 12:20-1:10         Instructor: Emily Lordi
In this course we will study works of fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, and music created by African American artists between 1970 and the present. Authors might include Toni Morrison, Percival Everett, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lucille Clifton, Claudia Rankine, Danez Smith, Kiese Laymon, and Audre Lorde. Assignments will include short close-readings, one presentation, and a midterm and final paper.

English 374 20th Century American Literature (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 11:30-12:15       Instructor: Dix McComas
We will be reading, chronologically, six American novels whose publication dates span from 1917 (Willa Cather’s My Antonia) to 1980 (Marilyn Robinson’s Housekeeping).  Each novel involves, to some extent, a “haunting” of the sort defined by British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in Unforbidden Pleasures:

“Something is made possible .  .  . by making many things impossible; or unthinkable, inconceivable.  And yet we are strangely haunted by some of the things and people we are persuaded to exclude.  To forbid something is to make it unforgettable (children must not cross the road; adults must not think too much about sex, or the wrong kind of sex).  At its best and at its worst to forbid is to coerce attention and to guarantee interest.  It is to arrange a haunting [my italics] (p. 2). 

Each of these novels tells a story of wanting and not having, of desires and dreams whose fulfillment is somehow forbidden—or ruled out of bounds by the dictates of social class, race, gender, and/or religion.  We will consider the nature of the walls dreams collide with; and we will see the fate of the dreams and desires that sustain and/or obsess the narrators of these novels.   (The other novels we will read are The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway; Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston; Goodbye, Columbus, Philip Roth; The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison.

English 376 American Fiction (Anglophone/ethnic American or course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Sarah Patterson
In this class, we will explore the short stories and novels that engage popular U.S. literary tropes of heroism, femininity and working-class identities. From Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson to Pauline Hopkins’ Contending Forces, the reading selection will introduce key authors and cultural moments that shaped mystery, romance and sentimental nineteenth-century fiction. The class will focus on the aesthetic representation of core figures of society as well as the intellectual discourse that promoted contemporaneous readers’ social consciousness. This is primarily a discussion-based class that also includes reading quizzes and a series of short essays.

English 381 Professional Writing and Technical Communication II (300+ English)(PWTC)

Lecture 1         TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Janine Solberg
Continues and extends the work of ENGL 380. Students will learn and apply principles of software documentation, information design, and page design. The objectives of this course are to increase students' organizational and graphical sophistication as writers and information designers. Students can expect to produce portfolio-quality content using industry-standard software (such as Adobe InDesign, MadCap Flare). Prerequisite: English 380. Junior or senior status and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

English 382 Professional Writing and Technical Communication III (300+ English)(PWTC)

Lecture 1         TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: David Toomey
ENGL 382 serves as the capstone course for the Professional Writing and Technical Communication Certificate. As such, the course has two aims: professionalization and specialization. Students will participate in mock interviews, workshop their professional portfolios, and learn about careers in technical writing and information technology from working professionals. The course will also provide students with directed opportunities to explore the theory and practice of particular kinds of writing and technology (e.g., report writing, grant proposals, speechwriting, voiceovers, integration with video and film, web site development). Each student will present a significant report on a topic related to technology, communication, and culture. Prereq.: ENGL 381 (which may be taken concurrently), junior or senior status and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. (3 credits).

English 386 Studies in Writing and Culture (Anglophone or 300+ English elective)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Haivan Hoang
What is writing? How does writing inform our understandings of race? How might such understandings affect how we engage in discussions about race? This course is, first, an introduction to foundational questions about "writing" and "culture." Scholarship from writing studies and critical race theory will prompt students to define writing as a social act and explore how writing impacts identity formation and social movements. With this conceptual framework, we will then analyze how texts enact race, including but not limited to discourses about race circulating in universities; course readings will be, for the most part, nonfiction texts that are written for academic as well as more public audiences. In short, our purpose is to examine how everyday written texts reinscribe and/or interrupt understandings of racial identity and racial injustice and to write back to contemporary conversations about race. Course requirements will include writing short academic responses to readings, one discourse analysis of race-focused discussions in universities, and one interview-based case study.

English 391C Advanced Software for Professional Writers (300+ English)(PWTC)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         MW 2:30-3:45             Instructor: Janine Solberg
This course offers a beginner-level introduction to web design. It is aimed at English and humanities majors, though students from any major are welcome in the course. This is a hands-on course that meets in a computer classroom. Students will learn to create a website using HTML (hypertext markup language) and CSS (cascading style sheets). You will come away from the course having created a professional web portfolio that you can use when applying for jobs or internships.

No prior experience with web design or coding is required. Students should be comfortable managing files (naming, uploading, downloading, creating folders) and using a web browser. (Note: This course appears in Spire as "Advanced Software," but that really just means that we're advancing beyond Microsoft Word.)

Prereq: Minimum 3.0 GPA and junior or senior standing. Non-majors or students who have not yet taken Engl 379 should contact the instructor to be added into the course.

This course counts toward the following specializations: PWTC, SPOW, NMDH, as well as the IT Minor.

Prerequisite: English 379. Junior or senior status and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. The Engl 380 pre-req may be waived with instructor permission, space permitting.

English 391C Advanced Software for Professional Writers (300+ English)(PWTC)(SPOW)

Lecture 2         MW 4:00-5:15             Instructor: Thomas Pickering
See above for course description.

English 391MM Melville & Modernity (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         MW 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Hoang Phan
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville's epic adventure story and encyclopedic whale of a philosophical novel, continues recognized as one of the greatest novels in the literary canon. This course will study Moby-Dick in relation to its own historical moment, as well as the novel's many modern and postmodern afterlives: its interpretations, adaptations, and influences on a myriad of genres, theories, and multimedia representations. Thus while we will read the novel historically we will also read select literary criticism and theory to consider the novel's connections to contemporary culture and aesthetics. Lectures, discussions, and writing assignments will focus on the continuing resonance and relevance of this classic, as C.L.R. James observed, to "the world we live in."

English 391NM Narrative Medicine: How Writing Can Heal (300+ English elective)(creative writing)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         Thurs 4:00-6:30           Instructor: Marian MacCurdy
This interdisciplinary writing course investigates the cognitive and emotional benefits of writing for diverse populations including trauma survivors, patients, caregivers, teachers or those who hope to teach—anyone who is interested in the power of personal writing to effect change. Training in reflective writing supports clinical and/or pedagogical effectiveness among medical and educational professionals by enabling them to both listen to and respond to stories of conflict, illness, trauma, and transformation and to express their own histories in writing as well. Students will read, write, and discuss personal essays as well as texts that address the relationship between writing and resilience. We will focus on process—how to produce narratives that are both artistically and therapeutically effective. No prior experience with the medical humanities required.

English 392R Anti-Capitalism & Revolution in 20th and 21st Century US Poetry (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)

Lecture 1         TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Ruth Jennison
How do poets engage in their work with the riot, the swarm, the strike, the boycott, the occupation, the commune, the sit-in, the picket, and the mass demonstration? We will explore (mostly American) poetry written during the three most recent periods of capitalist economic crisis and corresponding social unrest: the 1930s the 1970s, and post-2008.  Our guiding questions will be: How does poetry offer ways for its readers to grasp the contours of capitalism as a system contoured by asymmetrical class struggle, racism and sexism?  What strategies of resistance do American poets embrace and elaborate in their popular and experimental forms? What is the relationship between politics that take place in the streets and politics that take place on the page? What rich tensions arise between the poet as militant and the poet as artist?  Our texts from the 1930s will include poetry by Sol Funaroff, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Muriel Rukeyser. From the 1970s, we'll examine the work of Amiri Baraka, John Wieners, Hannah Weiner, Gwendolyn Brooks, Larry Eigner, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Diane Di Prima. In our study of current poetry we will explore how American poets metabolize the rise of neoliberalism, and popular resistance to the politics of austerity. Contemporary poets will include Keston Sutherland, M. NourbeSe Philip, Rob Halpern, Chris Nealon, Craig Santos Perez, Uyen Hua, Anne Boyer, Fred Moten and Julianna Spahr. We will place these poetic texts in conversation with theories, experiences, and manifestos of resistance and liberation, including works by both individuals and collectives: Marx, Lenin, Mao, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Sylvia Federici, The Black Panther Party, Chicago Gay Liberation, and The Paris Commune, among others. Senior and Junior English majors only.  Prerequisite:  English 200 with a grade of C or better.

English 421 Advanced Shakespeare (course in early British literature or 400+ English elective)

Lecture 1         MW 2:30-3:45             Instructor: Marjorie Rubright
Course Subtitle: One Play One Dozen Ways Dive into the advanced study Shakespeare by exploring a single play over the course of the semester: The Life of King Henry the Fifth. Throughout the term, we will explore twelve different critical and theoretical approaches that have shaped interpretation of Shakespeare. We will ask how various critical investments have changed how students, scholars, theater actors and film directors have interpreted or performed this play. Along the way, we will be guided by two questions: how do different theoretical frameworks change what we see about the play before us? And, how does the play respond to the critical frameworks that attempt to bring out certain aspects of the play?

We will read various versions of the play that were printed in the Renaissance (the early modern quarto and folio editions), as well as modern editions. In so doing, you'll discover a surprising diversity of variation. You will also watch a number of performances on film. As you read and watch different versions of the play, you will evaluate what questions are opened up – or foreclosed – by various critical and theoretical investments. We will explore: new criticism, new historicism, feminism(s), the new book history, critical race theory, queer and gender studies approaches, the new philology, digital humanities approaches, environmental criticism, postcolonial theory, and performance and film studies. Two class meetings will be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies where you will do hands-on work with rare books from the early modern period and learn to set type on a working printing press. Students who have taken English 221 (Introduction to Shakespeare) are well-prepared for this course.   

English 491AC The Major and Beyond: Career Exploration for English Majors (SPOW)

Lecture 1         Wed 11:30-12:45        Instructor: Janis Greve
Why wait any longer?! This course helps you pave the way to a valuable post-graduate experience--be it a program, internship, or job. You will practice important job search skills, learn to articulate the worth of your major, and leave the class with a better sense of your vocational direction. In addition to receiving individualized guidance in creating a cover letter and résumé of immediate use, other assignments are likely to include attendance at career events, interviews with professionals from fields of interest, a professional presentation, a short paper researching professions, and participation in a mock interview. Note: for an additional credit and some extra work, students can opt to have the course count toward an English elective. Please contact Prof. Greve if you are interested. Sophomores and Juniors. Seniors by permission of the instructor only.

English 492P From Colony To Community: The Puerto Rican Experience Through Literature (400+ English elective or Anglophone/ethnic American literature)

Lecture 1         Mon 1:00-3:30             Instructor: Martín Espada
No course description at this time.

English 494DI Dystopian Games, Comics, Media (Integrative Experience)(New Media and Digital Humanities)(SPOW)

Lecture 1         Wed 4:00-6:30 Instructor: TreaAndrea Russworm
In this class, we will study video games, postmodern cultural theory, and comic books as we ask questions about the persistence of dystopian narratives in print and digital visual culture. For example, what do dystopian narratives in comics, video games, and new media productions have in common? What makes "dark," "moody," and outright apocalyptic narratives like The Walking Dead, Half-Life 2, Fallout 4, and Mass Effect popular in this current historical moment? Can postmodern cultural theory help us better understand some of the social and political ramifications of dystopian culture? Further, can the theory help explain how such stories envision the perils of the future in ways that inadvertently comment on our current times? Is it possible that the cautionary tales of dystopian narratives might, if heeded, make the world a better place? We will compare different game genres (including RPGs, first-person shooters, war games, third person action games) in order to make arguments about the types of anxieties, fears, and dreams that get articulated in each genre. Please note: This class will follow a team-based learning format, meaning all students will be asked to play a leading role in class discussions and will be required to work closely on digital projects and other assignments with members of a team. Gaming experience or access to a gaming system is not required. This is also a "General Education Integrative Experience" class and all students will receive credit as such. In the context of our major the General Education Integrative Experience means certain learning objectives will be emphasized: critical thinking and writing, persuasive communication, creative and analytical thinking, pluralistic perspective and team-building, and developing technological literacies. Open to senior English majors. Non-majors, Five College area students, and other students may contact the professor for permission to enroll.

English 494FI Philosophizing Your Future (IE)

Lecture 1         Thurs 4:00-6:30           Instructor: Laura Doyle
In this class, as we reflect together on your college experience and look ahead to your future, our main theme will be collectivity. We'll approach this shared project philosophically.  Drawing on your past coursework and other experiences, we'll explore the ways each of us becomes who we are with and among others, as part of a collective world--in various, sometimes conflicting communities. Our reflections on personhood and collectivity will be prompted by readings from philosophy, history, and literature; and we will pay special attention to what they reveal about how our histories shape our engagements with each other. We'll give attention to our workplaces as well as our families, neighborhoods, and social and ethnic communities. For written work, there will be three personal memoir essays; an integrative analytical essay, and several ungraded thinking assignments. There will also be an oral presentation based on your interview with someone in a career you are considering.  Open only to senior English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and one course from following period distribution: British literature and culture before 1700, British literature and culture after 1700, American literature and culture before 1865, American literature and culture after 1865.

English 494RI Race and Contemporary Arts (Integrative Experience)

Lecture 1         TuTh 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Caroline Yang
This Integrative Experience class looks at the relationship between art and politics -- specifically, the question of race in contemporary art. It is an interdisciplinary course that draws from a range of different art forms (literature, theater, film, the visual arts, dance, and music), as well as history and social science. In order to understand the complex ways in which race appears in the arts today, we will look at some of the historical origins of race and art in the United States, as well as in a comparative framework.

As an upper-division Integrative Experience course, students will be asked to reflect on and make connections between their undergraduate education and questions that animate the world. We will engage in alternate pedagogical and learning practices, including collaborative projects that use digital learning tools, team teaching, and shared discussion rubrics. This class is open to majors in English and the College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

English 499D Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry, and Literary Non-fiction – 2nd semester (400+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)

Lecture 1         Wed 4:00-6:30 Instructor: John Hennessy
499D is the second semester of Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry, and Literary Non-Fiction, a multi-genre, two-semester course in creative writing designed to help students complete a Capstone project within the genre of their choice. Both a class in contemporary literature and a writing workshop, Foundations and Departures will offer students a wide variety of reading assignments and writing exercises from across all three genres. At the end of the first semester students will submit a portfolio of original work; in the second semester students will finish drafting and revising their Capstone projects. Textbooks will include _The Art of the Story_, a fiction anthology, novels by a variety of writers, including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Virginia Woolf, and Teju Cole, memoir by Helene Cooper, non-fiction by Joan Didion, poetry collections by Major Jackson, Denise Duhamel, and other contemporary poets.

Interested students should submit a personal statement: 1-2 pages, list and briefly discuss your reading preferences: favorite books, writers, poems, poets, etc.; also, tell me if you are a student in Commonwealth College—some priority will be given to ComColl students, but some of the most successful students in 499 in past years have come from outside Commonwealth College. Also include a writing sample—one complete story or essay, or 5-10 poems. Some combination of poetry and prose is also permitted.


Spring 2019 UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education English Courses

English 354 CPE – Creative Writing:  Writing & Friendship  
Instructor: Lena Tsykynovska

Our class will ask: what kinds of reading and writing bring us closest to ourselves? What does it take for the writer you and the everyday you to become one person? In our 15 weeks together, we’ll find different ways of using the stray materials of your everyday life to make poems, stories and any other kind of genre you’d like to work in. As our home base, we’ll study the writings and techniques of a group of poets, writers, painters, and friends who lived in New York in the 1950s, and we’ll read forwards and backwards from them to look at writers who have worked in a similar spirit of collaboration, play, impermanence, and love of the present moment. We’ll record overhead conversations, walks, dreams, jokes and thoughts and use techniques like collage and erasure to transform them into your writings; we’ll also write in collaboration with movies, songs, poems and one another to make works that are both you and not you.

English 354 CPE – Intro to Creative Writing: The Ineffable  
Instructor: Jay Ritchie

It’s a feeling unlike any other. You’re writing, & working, & editing, then finally—something clicks. It’s a rush. It’s impossible to communicate, & it’s all yours. But how did you get there? How can you make it happen again?
This creative writing course will honor the ineffable in writing & take a technical, practice-driven approach to manifesting it.
By expanding our repertoire of technical strategies, we can write more nuanced & moving work than initially thought possible. Voice, multivalence, cadence, conceit, imagery, metaphor—all are at our disposal if only we know to call on them. Poetry & fiction will be our focus. We will be reading from each genre, & you can write in either, or both, or in genre-defying hybridity. What matters is the application of technique. The primary goal of this course is to leave with the skills & habits necessary to independently manifest the ineffable far into the future.
Work will be created as responses to readings & prompts. You will also be giving feedback on the writing of your classmates. Rather than an exam or final essay, class will culminate in the creation of a portfolio.