The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu

Undergraduate English Courses

Fall 2019 Courses

English 115 American Experience (AL, DU)
Lecture 1: MWF 9:05-9:55  Instructor: Anna Piecuch
Primarily for nonmajors. Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture, with a wide historical scope and attention to diverse cultural experiences in the U.S. Readings in fiction, prose, and poetry, supplemented by painting, photography, film, and material culture.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)

English 115 American Experience (AL, DU)
Lecture 2: MWF 10:10-11:00          Instructor: Leslie Leonard
Primarily for nonmajors. This introductory and interdisciplinary study of American culture encourages students to think critically about the American experience. What is it that defines a cultural object as being particularly American? What characteristics do we attribute to America as a concept rather than merely a nation-state? What do we make of American experiences that contradict popular ideas of what it means to exist in America? With cultural artifacts that span from the poems of Walt Whitman and the work of Richard Wright to more contemporary authors like Cormac McCarthy and even new media like American Horror Story, this class uses fiction, poetry, and prose (with supplemental materials such as art, film, television, and material culture) to think about the way that America and the American experience has been constructed, marketed, reimagined, and experienced by various peoples across time with particular emphasis on issues of race and gender. (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)

English 115H American Experience (AL, DU) honors
TuTh 10:00-11:15                Instructor: Asha Nadkarni

Using the thematic of immigration to and migration within the United States, this course will explore "American experiences" from the early 20th century to the present. Course materials will 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 satisfies the DU and AL General Education Requirements.

English 117 Ethnic American Literature (AL, DU)
MWF 1:25-2:15         Instructor: Melissa Hudasko
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 and Literature (AL, DG)
Lecture 1: TuTh 10:00-11:15          Instructor: Kate Perillo

Border/Crossings. How do borders operate on scales of self, city, nation, empire, and globe? Where do these dividing lines come from, how do they change over time, and what happens when we cross them? What kinds of stories do borders facilitate or obscure? How might literature help us make sense of the ways borders constitute identities and make meaning on the one hand while also fracturing communities and enforcing exclusion on the other?

This course explores the social and narrative spaces in which differences meet up and/or come into being. To this end, we will examine how writers navigate and reimagine borders—whether they be physical or ideological, hard or porous, sites of coexistence or sites of violence (or both). We will ask what it means to read and tell such stories in a world where the rise, fall, expansion, and transformation of political and
economic systems have meant that both people and borders are often on the move. Readings may address conditions of (post)coloniality, segregation, migration, displacement, statelessness, and more. Since many writers on our syllabus also push the boundaries of genre by experimenting with science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism, we will consider how narrative forms influence the kinds of stories we tell about our societies—and vice versa. Course materials may include fiction, non-fiction, film, and comics by James Baldwin, Zadie Smith, Dionne Brand, Mohsin Hamid, China Miéville, Akwaeke Emezi, Evie Shockley, Alex Rivera, and Brian Vaughn and Marcos Martín.  
(Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 131 Society and Literature (AL, DG)
Lecture 2: MWF 11:15-12:15          Instructor: Bukem Reitmayer
Literature that deals with our relationship to society. Topics may include: the utopian vision; the notion of the self, politics and literature.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 131 Society and Literature (AL, DG)
Lecture 3: MWF 1:25-2:15          Instructor: Sharanya Sridhar

"A Voice of Her Own": Women Writers from Medieval Literature to Contemporary Science Fiction.  What can we learn about feminism from women writers of medieval and early modern literature? How can we trace the history of female empowerment through poems, short stories, and graphic novels, and other forms of literature written by women? Is there anything uniquely feminine about these texts or is the femininity attached to these texts a product history and culture?  In looking at a wide range literary, visual, and filmic texts that span across different historical periods, geographical and cultural contexts, this course examines some of the coordinates along which femininity (and masculinity), notions of sexuality, and desire can be traced. Such coordinates include: gender stereotypes (in films and literature), the body, religion, race, class, crossdressing and transgenderism. 

Some of the broader questions that we will engage with in this course include: What does it mean to be a writer and a woman in a patriarchal world? How does this meaning(s) change with each author and their historical situation? How do our interactions with these texts mediate our own experiences with gender equality, sexuality and sexual relations? How do storytellers use their characters and different modes of storytelling to express their ideas about gender, race, the body, and desire in general? (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 131 Society and Literature (AL, DG)
Lecture 4: MWF 10:10-11:00    Instructor: Hayley Cotter

The Italian Humanists and English Lyric Poetry.  This course will examine how the basic tenets of the Italian humanists were reflected in English Renaissance poetry.  How did the Italian humanists, represented by writers such as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Giannozzo Manetti, and Pier Paolo Vergerio, envision education, art, literature, civic duty, politics, antiquity, and religion?  And how were these burgeoning ideas echoed in English lyric poetry of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries? Poets we will consider include Thomas Wyatt, Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Donne. Close reading and attention to poetic form will constitute the majority of the course's content: we will not only discuss the humanist elements of these poems, but we will also consider the specific ways language constructs larger cultural and societal themes.  A brief background on the Italian Renaissance, as well as its influence on English cultural and literary imagination, will be provided, as will the tools to undertake the technical understanding of English Renaissance poetry.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture (AL, DG)
Lecture 1: MWF 11:15-12:05          Instructor: Catherine Elliott
Literature treating the relationship between man and woman. Topics may include: the nature of love, the image of the hero and heroine, and definitions, past and present, of the masculine and feminine.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture (AL, DG)
Lecture 2: MWF 12:20-1:10            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.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 140 Reading Fiction (AL)
MWF 1:25-2:15         Instructor:  Mark Mangelsdorf

How do we, as writers, address our influences? How do we respond to them, challenge them, use them in our own work? All work, whether student-written or highly acclaimed, participates in a conversation with the form. Converses with all other works within it. All writers channel the voices of their influences in their own stories, novels, poems, essays, borrowing from the narrative skeletons of the past in order to crystalize their present. From Dante to Alice Notley, William Faulkner to Jesmyn Ward, in this class we will examine the ways in which writers have responded directly to previous works, how they have participated in a long tradition of literary thievery and the cannibalization of the cannon. How in stealing Faulkner’s Mississippi, Ward reveals another state; how in lingering in Cosway’s attic, Rhys unpacks the colonial components of Jane Eyre. In this class, we will trace lines of response through literary traditions: the satire, the pastiche. We will examine short stories, novels, essays, and more. Students can expect a heavy reading load, some writing, and a class presentation on one of the assigned works (and from what it steals).

Reading List
Dante’s Inferno
à Alice Notley’s The Descent of Alette
Isaac Babel’s Red Calvary
à Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son
James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time
à Ta Nahesi Coats’ Between the World and Me
William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
à Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
à Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea
Roland Barthes’ Roland Barthes
à Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts

English 144 World Literature in English (RAP) (AL, DG)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                Instructor: Patricia Matthews
Study of major literary texts in English from different parts of a postcolonial "third world" -- African countries, the Caribbean, and India.  Commonalities and differences in literary development in postcolonial nations.  (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)

English 146 Living Writers (AL)(creative writing specialization)
TuTh 4:00-5:15                     Instructor: Kritika Pandey
Living Writers is a course in contemporary writing and contemporary writers. You will read the work of contemporary writers including those selected for the term's Visiting Writers Series and write critical and creative responses. A unique feature of Living Writers is the opportunity to ask writers questions about their work and about their experiences as artists during lectures—each author will visit class for an extended Q&A with students. In addition to the course goals described below, one of the key issues to consider throughout the class is how the authors and their works both respond to and are products of contemporary culture, how these creations relate to contemporary music, film, politics, and/or other aspects of the time in which we live. (Gen.Ed. AL)

English 150 Writing and Society (SB, DU)
MWF 12:20 – 1:10  Instructor: Joshua Barsczewski
This course aims to introduce students to the field of "Writing Studies," an interdisciplinary area of study at the intersection of literacy studies, communication, digital studies, education, rhetoric, and linguistics that is interested in how written texts—everything from activist manifestos to Instagram captions, scientific articles to Supreme Court opinions, student writing to parents' grocery lists—reflect and impact social organization and change. The course invites students to explore Writing in society through a problem-posing approach, focusing attention on how Writing is understood, used, and learned. As a class, we will critically examine the following questions: How does a diversifying society redefine Writing as effective, creative, illegal, or failing? What are scholarly and popular understandings about what Writing is or can do in the world? What stories or myths about literacy circulate? How does Writing create problems in the world? And, how can Writing engage people to take social action in ways they might not have before? (Gen.Ed. SB, DU)

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)
Lecture 1: TuTh 10:00-11:15                      Instructor: Nicholas Bromell
Cultivating Awareness: The Study of Literature as a Contemplative Practice. This course invites you to experience the study of literature as a contemplative practice, which means cultivating awareness through reading, thinking, and writing. As we shall see: all literature is a call to awareness: of what we are, and of how we interact with others.

English 200 is the department’s introduction to advanced literary studies, so we will be studying the basic terms and concepts used in literary analysis today (genre, form, prosody, narrative, and the like). But we will also be asking ourselves: how might we make use of literature – of our engagement with literature -- to become more aware and compassionate persons? In other words, as we work with the fundamental techniques of reading and writing about works of literature (and art), how might we integrate these new skills with the cultivation of awareness in our everyday lives?

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, The Silent Partner
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Short stories by Ernest Hemingway, Sandra Cisneros
Non-fiction prose by Henry David Thoreau, Rebecca Solnit, Claudia Rankine
A collection of poems by William Blake, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Martin Espada, Peter Gizzi, Ocean Vuong, and others.

Films: Pan’s Labyrinth, Moonlight

Active and mindful class participation. At least six short (1-2 page) “building block” papers in which you develop basic skills in literary interpretation and writing.  A final essay (7-10 pages)

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)
Lecture 2: MW 4:00-5:15                        Instructor: Malcolm Sen
Literature and Resistance. This class will introduce students to the practice of critical reading of literary texts. We will examine the ways in which literature plays a crucial role in the construction and critique of ideologies associated with race, gender and the environment. We will read a range of exciting texts from around the world to concentrate on the importance of literary forms and genres: such as the novel, the short story, drama and poetry. The ultimate aim of this course is to introduce methodologies of close reading and foster critical writing skills. Writing assignments will include 2 short papers, which focus on close reading techniques, and 2 longer essay-style analyses, which incorporate critical essays and literary terms.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)
Lecture 3: MW 2:30-3:45                 Instructor: Caroline Yang
This class will introduce students to the practice of critical and active reading by examining how social concepts get constructed and revised in and through literature. In particular, we will study the relationship between race and literature in the United States, investigating how racial identities and differences have been historically in flux. Even more specifically, we will analyze how writers who identify as Asian American challenge the commonplace understanding of race as a natural difference along a black-white binary through their employment of various literary genres such as the novel, drama, short story, and poetry. The ultimate aim of the course is for students to learn how to read, as well as write about, literature in an informed and critical way. Writing assignments will include one short close reading paper and three longer analysis papers that incorporate critical concepts and literary terms. The longer papers will be submitted at the end of the semester in a final portfolio.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)
Lecture 4: MWF 10:10-11:00                      Instructor: Katherine O’Callaghan
The Ghosts of Literature.  
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. In this course we will explore short stories, novels, poetry and drama from various theoretical perspectives. Each text will be examined on its own terms, but some general themes will emerge as the course progresses. In particular, students of "The Ghosts of Literature" are asked to consider the myriad ways in which the idea of haunting might be applied to a literary text. Literary heritage, intertextual influence, remnants of lost languages, ghost stories, and themes of absence, loss, and returns will all recur throughout the semester. Reading will include works by James Joyce, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Bharati Mukherjee, Conor McPherson and Henry James. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for the Major (English 200)
Lecture 5: MWF 11:15-12:05                      Instructor: Katherine O’Callaghan
The Ghosts of Literature.  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. In this course we will explore short stories, novels, poetry and drama from various theoretical perspectives. Each text will be examined on its own terms, but some general themes will emerge as the course progresses. In particular, students of "The Ghosts of Literature" are asked to consider the myriad ways in which the idea of haunting might be applied to a literary text. Literary heritage, intertextual influence, remnants of lost languages, ghost stories, and themes of absence, loss, and returns will all recur throughout the semester. Reading will include works by James Joyce, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Bharati Mukherjee, Conor McPherson and Henry James. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 201 Early British literature and culture (course in British literature before 1700 or 200+ English elective)
MW 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Marjorie Rubright
Topic: The Word, the World & the Wanderer. Exploring imaginative works by both male and female authors, this survey of literature from 900 C.E. to 1700 C.E. explores literary art as a world-making enterprise. Significant changes in the English language occurred throughout this period, expanding the horizon of what we mean by 'English' literature. The course will situate the word, the world, and the wander as touchstones along our path as we travel from the epic poetry of Beowulf to Milton's Paradise Lost, from the medieval lyrical romance of Marie de France to the erotic romances conveyed in Arthur Golding's early modern English translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. A host of different wanderers will serve as guides: from pilgrims, exiles, seafarers, and translators, to unruly women, queer shape-shifters, werewolves, fallen angels and devils. By the end of the course, you will: have a historicized appreciation of broad changes to the English language, be familiar with a range of genres produced in the medieval and earlier modern periods, have strategies for close reading to carry with you into future coursework, and experience an increased confidence in your ability to puzzle through literature of the distant past.

English 203 Bible/Myth/Literature (200+ English elective)
TuTh 1:00-2:15                     Instructor: David Toomey
The class will explore several of the most studied and influential books of the Old and New Testaments.

As a whole, the class will read (from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) the books Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth and Isaiah and (from the New Testament) the gospels Luke and John.  Most class meetings, following Luther’s doctrine of sola scriptura (scripture alone) will involve collective efforts to derive coherent close readings of particularly provocative or problematic passages.  Where necessary, following the historical-critical type of exegesis called Higher Criticism, we will appeal to secondary sources.

required text:
Coogan, Michael D. (Editor) and Marc Zvi Brettler (Editor). The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha, Fifth Edition. Oxford University Press, 2018.  ISBN-13:  / ISBN-10: ¬¬¬¬.  Available at Amherst Books, 3 Main St. Amherst MA..

English 217 (Dis)ability and Literature (200+ English elective)
TuTh 1:00-2:15                     Instructor: Janis Greve
This course will delve into the thriving field of disability studies as it engages with literary texts and the arts. 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 physical experiences that depart from the idealized human form of Western culture.  Paradoxically, an equally important goal will be to become less sure of what disability is, questioning our received notions. We will hope to develop insight into suffering, personhood, and our accountability to one another, while fostering the empathy and self-reflection that make for a humane society—as potential caregivers and responsive, informed human beings.  This is a service-learning course, where students will meet on-campus with teens/adults with cognitive differences and work with them on a writing project for a total of 20 hours for the semester. 

English 221 Shakespeare (course in early British literature or 200+ English elective)
MW 12:20-1:10 + discussion         Instructor: Marjorie Rubright
Do we still live in Shakespeare's world? In the language, poetry, and drama of Shakespeare, what continues to inform, inspire, haunt or hurt us? Throughout this introductory course, we will consider how Shakespeare's works shaped ideas about the early modern world and how, in turn, that legacy continues to shape notions of our world today. We will also use Shakespeare to look beyond ourselves: to ask how early modern ideas of gender, race, sexuality, nation, even distinctions between human and inhuman differ in surprising ways from our own. Along the way, we will read tragedies, comedies, a history play and some sonnets. You will become well practiced in close reading as we consider how individual words and phrases open onto urgent questions about the changing social, political, and theatrical worlds of Shakespeare's time. Major requirements will include one creative project, short critical reflections, and a final exam. Books are available through Amherst Books.

221 Disc 01AA F 10:10-11:00 am Instructor: Suzanne Winberly

221 Disc 01AD  F  1:25-2:15 pm  Instructor: John Yargo

221 Disc 01AB  F 11:15-12:05 pm  Instructor: John Yargo

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

221 Disc 01AC  F  1:25-2:15 pm  Instructor: Suzanne Wimberly

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


English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(Creative Writing)
Lecture 1: MWF 10:10-11:00          Instructor: Olena Tsykynovska
Literary Communities.  In this class we’ll study literary communities, and write poems, stories, and essays inspired by their practices. We’ll read Russian OBERIU-ites, French Dadaists, New York School poets, writers of the Black Arts Movement, New Narrative writers from San Francisco, present-day poets of the occult, and others. These collectives were grounds for collaboration, literary experimentation, and political action, places where the line between life and literature began to fade away. As we look into their worlds, we’ll talk about what it means to be part of a literary community in America today, to make work that aims itself out at people directly, like a telephone call. We’ll look closely at poems and stories to see how exactly they create this kind of immediacy, how they make us feel spoken to. And we’ll practice using those devices in our own work. There will be lots to read, lectures, conversations, writing prompts, and workshop days. You’ll leave class with a portfolio of poetry, fiction, and short essays.

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(Creative Writing)
Lecture 2: MWF 11:15-12:05          Instructor: Olena Tsykynovska
Literary Communities.  In this class we’ll study literary communities, and write poems, stories, and essays inspired by their practices. We’ll read Russian OBERIU-ites, French Dadaists, New York School poets, writers of the Black Arts Movement, New Narrative writers from San Francisco, present-day poets of the occult, and others. These collectives were grounds for collaboration, literary experimentation, and political action, places where the line between life and literature began to fade away. As we look into their worlds, we’ll talk about what it means to be part of a literary community in America today, to make work that aims itself out at people directly, like a telephone call. We’ll look closely at poems and stories to see how exactly they create this kind of immediacy, how they make us feel spoken to. And we’ll practice using those devices in our own work. There will be lots to read, lectures, conversations, writing prompts, and workshop days. You’ll leave class with a portfolio of poetry, fiction, and short essays.

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (200+ English elective)(Creative Writing)
Lecture 3: MWF 12:20-1:10            Instructor: Astha Gupta
World Literature introduces students to a broad spectrum of fiction and poetry, through the study of literary works from different countries. The course encourages exploration of diverse writing styles, authorial devices, global themes and of the diversity of human experience itself. The course includes, but is not limited to, texts like If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino, Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia, The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy, Leaving Fingerprints by Imtiaz Dharker and Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh. Through close reading and discussion, the students will gain an understanding and appreciation of works of fiction and

poetry in general, and of our writers' countries and culture in particular. In-class activities will include Free Writing on ‘Spark words’, Character Sketching to create memorable fictional people, Found Poetry to explore writing as creative collage making, Map-making or cartography to learn how to construct fictional worlds and Reading Aloud to understand rhythms and sound.

English 254H Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature honors (200+ English elective)(Creative Writing)
Lecture 3: TuTh 10:00-11:15          Instructor: Daniel Sack
This honors seminar focuses on the analysis of poetry, short fiction, drama, and creative non-fiction, and fosters an environment in which to explore different forms of response. Our focus will be on the fragment across written genres. Students will read and discuss texts by exemplary authors and by their classmates. Assignments include both analytical and creative writing. (Gen.Ed. AL). (Gen.Ed. AL).

English 268 American Culture and Literature before 1865 (course in American literature before 1865 or 200+ English elective)
TuTh 2:30-3:45                     Instructor: Nicholas Bromell
Personhood and Politics in 19th Century America.  This course will introduce you to several of the great American writers of the 19th century. It will also inform you about the cultural milieu in which they produced their work and the historical events to which their work responded.  We might say, in a nutshell, that this course is about the relation between individual self-discovery and political awareness and activism.

Inheriting a Protestant tradition of introspective self-analysis, and enlivened by a Romantic sensibility that prioritized imagination over tradition, these writers wrote masterpieces of self-discovery (or of self-invention, some might say).

At the same time, these writers lived in one of the most turbulent and exciting periods of American history. Social life and livelihoods were being transformed and destroyed by the rapid expanse of market capitalism and the burgeoning of industrial technology. The founders’ cautious experiment in self-government was quickly becoming an unruly democracy that entitled all white males to vote (not just wealthy ones), yet at the same time sharply cut back on the right of black men to vote, waged genocide on Native Americans, and persisted in excluding women from suffrage altogether. Meanwhile, the slavery system had deeply entrenched itself and sought to expand its reach, while growing numbers of black and white activists sought to abolish or at least limit it. Inspired by and including some of these anti-slavery activists, a movement for woman’s suffrage came into being and challenged all Americans to rethink the relation between human rights and women’s rights.

Many of the writers of the mid-19th century pursued their projects of self-discovery and self-invention while simultaneously engaging with these social and political issues. The result is a body of work that brilliantly explores the relation between personhood and politics in a democracy.

The major texts we will read are:
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, The Silent Partner
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Emily Dickinson, Poems
Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom
Walt Whitman, Whitman, Song of Myself

Active class participation
Three short (1-3 page) papers
A mid-term and a final exam

English 269 American Culture and Literature after 1865 (course in American literature after 1865 or 200+ English elective)
Section 1: MW 4:00-5:15                       Instructor: Sarah Patterson
No course description at this time.

English 269 American Culture and Literature after 1865 (course in American literature after 1865 or 200+ English elective)
Section 2: TuTh 10:00-11:15                       Instructor: Gina Ocasion

The Art of Protest: American Literature and Culture After 1865This course looks at relationships between protest, history, and popular culture in America through the narrative spaces of literature. In our contemporary moment, the visibility of protest and counter-protest, free speech and hate speech, and the mediums of Twitter and literature, are contentious spaces that invite us to interrogate how we as individuals create, align, and/or break with national narratives. This class will respond to the invitation this divisive political climate has constructed by turning to stories – tracing representations of resistance, protest, and resilience from the antebellum period to Trump's presidency. 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. This project will, hopefully, lead us through a diverse and complex archive of American literature where we will reckon with the stories we have told about ourselves, each other, and the nation at stake.

As a survey course, our aim will be to read widely, think critically, and write ethically. We will develop an understanding and a language for how texts work on the level of form as we consider theme and content. We will also use writing, both informal and formal, to develop and deliver our critical responses to these texts as we think critically about race, gender, class and sexuality, not as fixed or stable entities, but instead as historically, socially, culturally, and individually imbued constructs. Authors include Sarah Winnemucca, Claudia Rankine, W.E.B. Du Bois, Thomas King, and Carlos Bulosan. Assignments will include three reading responses and a final project.

English 279 Intro to American Studies (course in American literature after 1865 or Anglophone/ethnic American or 200+ English elective)
TuTh 1:00-2:15                     Instructor: Laura Furlan
In this version of English 279, we will be thinking about the history of resistance and protest in the United States, looking specifically at two recent moments as case studies: Ferguson and Standing Rock. We will investigate what led to these two particular protest movements (Black Lives Matter and #NoDAPL), what was at stake in each, how they were portrayed in the news media, the role social media played, and the related and relevant cultural productions (books, films, art, music) that have appeared in their wake. As we take an American Studies approach to these moments of protest, we will also be thinking critically about larger issues of American identity and citizenship. This course is required for the Letter of Specialization in American Studies and satisfies the AL and DU General Education Requirements. (Gen. Ed. AL, DU)

English 300 Junior Year Writing (English 300 or Anglophone or 300+ English elective)
Section 1: TuTh 1:00-2:15              Instructor: Laura Doyle
Topic: Literary Resistance in the U.S. and Beyond: Ethics, Art, and Global Practice  Ever wonder what the study of literature has to do with "real" problems or contemporary politics?  Through study of the longstanding intimacies between art and geopolitics, this course will offer you some answers and some ways of thinking about the question.  In order to sharpen your sense of the ways our world has emerged from the co-forming interactions of states, economies, and artmakers, we'll read literature in tandem with political studies of its historical contexts (regarding issues of war, colonialism, racism, sexism, and labor exploitation). COURSEWORK: In essays, you will be asked to combine conceptual, historical, and literary analysis.  As in all Junior Writing courses, essay drafts and revisions will be required.  In addition to historical reading, the course focuses on twentieth-century fiction, though it may also cover a couple of nineteenth-century texts.  Likely authors include Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Virginia Woolf, Mulk Raj Anand, Arundhati Roy, and Patricia Powell.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (English 300 or Angophone or a course in literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)(SPOW)
Section 2: TuTh 10:00-11:15 AM              Instructor: Haivan Hoang
Topic: Race, Literacy, & the American Dream. RACE & RHETORIC
How are understandings of race and racism shaped by ways of writing and speaking? How do we revise prevalent understandings through our rhetorical choices? Critical race scholars have argued that, at times, writing conventions may obscure race, hinder our ability to write against racism, and even foster racial injury. Drawing on critical race studies as well as the concept of performativity, our course begins with this critical argument and considers what play with genre and rhetorical strategies might do for ongoing conversations about race. We will analyze genre play among critical race scholars who hail from legal studies--scholars who interestingly play with the kinds of narrative and storytelling that we embrace in English studies. We'll then explore texts from English studies in order to explore how particular discursive strategies revise pervasive talk about race. In particular, we'll consider rhetorical analyses of news and social media texts, personal testimony and narrative, one novel (Chang Rae Lee's Native Speaker), and creative nonfiction essays.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (English 300 or Anglophone or 300+ English elective)
Section 4: MW 2:30-3:45    Instructor: Rachel Mordecai
Topic: Caribbean Family Sagas.  This seminar will read Caribbean family-saga novels in relation to questions of belonging among contemporary Caribbean people, and the formation of Caribbean nation-states. Students will work hard on developing the skills and strategies that support strong academic writing in English-lit classrooms. They will also think carefully about how families are constituted; what it means to represent a nation through the story of a family; how “private” decisions about reproduction become tied to national futures; how multi-generational stories map time onto space; and the power of naming, mis-naming, nick-naming, and refusing to name. Authors we may read include: Erna Brodber, Patrick Chamoiseau, Dionne Brand, Julia Alvarez, Rosario Ferré, Maryse Condé, and others. Assignments will include formal and informal papers, some of which will go through the draft-and-revision process; other possible assignments include in-class presentations and online reader-response postings. This course is primarily intended for majors; other interested students should contact the professor for permission to enroll.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (English 300 or 300+ English elective)
Section 5:      MWF 1:25-2:15         Instructor: Katherine O’Callaghan

Music and the Irish Novel.  This seminar examines the role of music in prose fiction, and in particular in the Irish novel. Six novels of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in which music plays a significant role as a thematic, formal, or aesthetic inspiration will be discussed. Traditional music, opera, ballads, jazz, classical, pop, and contemporary music; the musical influences are wide. We will explore how authors depict composers and the act of composition, performers and the act of performance, and the role of the audience and the reader. What do we mean when we say that a language, or a piece of literature, is "musical"? The objectives of this course are to develop skills of literary analysis; to gain an overview of issues pertinent to the Irish novels on the course; to understand the fundamentals of interdisciplinary approaches to literature; to respond in a creative manner to the intersection of music and literature; to articulate arguments in short and longer essay form and in class discussion. No prior musical training necessary for this course. 

Reading will include Kate O'Brien's As Music and Splendour, Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea, Colum McCann's Zoli, Bernard MacLaverty's Grace Notes and Sara Baume's A Line Made by Walking.

English 313 Intro to Old English Poetry (course in British literature before 1865 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 10:00-11:10                Instructor: Stephen Harris
Old English is a language spoken in Britain from the early 400s to the 1100s. In this course, you will learn to read it. It will give you a good grounding in English grammar as well as a solid sense of the origin of English vocabulary. Once you can read Old English, you are only steps away from reading Old Norse, the language of the Vikings, as well as Old Saxon and Old Frisian. As well as learning the Old English language, we will read Old English poetry, including "Caedmon's Hymn," "The Seafarer," "The Wanderer," "Dream of the Rood," "The Battle of Maldon," and the epic Judith, about a warrior maiden who leads her army to heroic conquest ("Sloh tha wundenlocc thone feondsceathan fagum mece ..."). It is like no other poetry in English. Reading it in the original language allows you to practice intense close reading, an essential component of a literary education. You will also be introduced to Norse and Celtic myths. Old English inspired J. R. R. Tolkien's Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It inspired Seamus Heaney's North as well as his Beowulf. And it was a profound influence on Jorge Luis Borges. We will examine runes and learn to make manuscripts. A working knowledge of English grammar is recommended.

English 319 Representing the Holocaust (300+ English elective)
Tues 2:30-3:45 + discussion          Instructor: Jonathan Skolnik
Major themes and critical issues concerning Holocaust representation and memory in a global context.  The course examines literature, film, memoirs, music, visual arts, memorials, museums, and video archives of survivor testimonies to explore narrative responses to racism and the destruction of European Jewry and others during World War II.  There are no prerequisites. 4 Credits. (Gen.Ed. DG AL).

319 Disc 01AA Th 1:00-2:15
Instructor: Korka Sall

319 Disc 01AD  Th 10:00-11:15  Instructor: Ben Latini

319 Disc 01AB Th 10:00-11:15  Instructor: Korka Sall

319 Disc 01AE  Th 11:30-12:45  Instructor: Jonathan Skolnik

319 Disc 01AC  Th 1:00-2:15 
Instructor: Ben Latini


English 329H Tutoring Writing: Theory and Practice (300+ English elective)(SPOW)
TuTh 1:00-2:15         Instructor: Anna Rita Napoleon
(fall 2018) Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing 112 or 113 with a grade of "B" or better.  Students interested in the course should submit an application to by March 25: (1) a formal letter explaining why the student is interested and has potential to become a writing tutor; (2) an academic writing sample (attached as a word or pdf file) and (3) the name and email address of the student’s 112 instructor or another instructor who can speak to the student's qualifications.  While the preferred deadline was set for March 10th, additional applicants may be considered if seats are available.  The strongest applications will be invited to an interview.

English 349 Nineteenth Century British Fiction (course in British literature after 170 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 5:30-6:45 PM              Instructor: Suzanne Daly
When novels circulate through a culture, what exactly is circulating, in, with, or through them? This class is organized around the question of why certain plots, literary styles, genres, themes, ideas, or ways of understanding the world became ubiquitous in novels at different moments in the nineteenth century. Topics: ghosts and the supernatural; gender and the marriage plot; domestic and imperial fiction; capitalism and socialism; realist and sensation novels; labor and social class; family and childhood; travel and worldliness; death and inheritance. Novels (available at Amherst Books) may include Charlotte Brontë, Villette; Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton; Bram Stoker, Dracula, and short stories by Rhoda Broughton, Vernon Lee, Margaret Oliphant, and Walter Scott. Assignments will include response papers, reading quizzes, and two researched critical essays.

English 350H Expository Writing honors (300+ English elective)(creative writing)(SPOW)
MW 2:30-3:45           Instructor: John Hennessy
This course is designed for students who have a special interest in personal narratives, documentary forms, travel writing, and/or innovative approaches to feature writing. Students will read and write a variety of literary non-fiction forms, including memoir, documentary essays, and profiles, and the course will have a workshop component.  Texts will include works by Joan Didion, Jonathan Ames, Helene Cooper, George Orwell, Alice Walker, and others. Students will also be encouraged to try other forms of non-fiction, including travel writing, interviews, editorials, reviews, etc.

English 354 Creative Writing: Intro to Fiction (300+ English elective)(Creative Writing)
Lecture 1: MWF 1:25-2:15              Instructor: Roxanne Ringer
Why do some stories shine and others fall flat? How can one original work be called predictable but the retelling of a classic still manages to surprise? What are the rules of fiction and how does some of the freshest, most challenging work break them all?

In this course we will read a variety of traditional and non-traditional short fiction, memoir, non-fiction, mixed-media and fables as a way of exploring narrative form, dialogue, pacing and more.

Our goal as readers is to understand what makes narrative elements work by examining all the ways they can be disrupted, manipulated and “done wrong” in a way that reads just right.

As writers we’ll play with structure, style, point of view and narrative technique through writing assignments that demand an understanding of what is expected and un-expected within these genres. By the end of the course, each student will have extensive practice as a critical reader who interrogates form and style choices just as much as narrative, be able to discuss both published and peer work with respect and authority and have a portfolio of writing that covers a spectrum of genre. Students must be prepared to produce original work and read assignments regularly, actively engage in discussion and provide written feedback to peers thoughtfully and with absolute respect.

English 354 Creative Writing: Intro to Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing)
Lecture 2: MWF 11:15-12:05          Instructor: James Ritchie
Poetry: The Covers Class.  Like a good song, good poetry gets stuck in your head. This class will look at poems that we can’t forget & use them as inspiration for our own writing. We will learn craft by writing “covers” of famous poems that have gotten stuck in the mind of the collective consciousness—& those that have gotten stuck in your mind, too. By identifying exactly what these poems do on a technical level & rehearsing them in our own unique styles, we will learn in an organic fashion how to make poetry work for our own voices, so that we can hit all the right notes the next time we set out to sing.

Our day-to-day will consist of discussions on the assigned readings, exercises, prompts, & workshop, where we will share our poetry & give written & spoken feedback on the poetry of our classmates. Rather than an exam or final essay, class will culminate in the creation of a portfolio.

English 354 Creative Writing: Mixed Genre (300+ English elective)(creative writing)
Lecture 3: MWF 12:20-1:10            Instructor: Rebecca Valley
Happy Accidents.  Often our most magnificent achievements occur entirely by accident – a dish left on the counter produces penicillin, lightning strikes a key and we discover electricity. In this class, we will use the premise of the happy accident to guide our writing practice. We will think of our writing as both play and investigation, and spend our semester lingering at the outer limits of language, with the aim to surprise each other and ourselves with the stories hidden inside us.

Each week will be organized around a different form or inspiration for our writing, and each class will begin with a generative writing prompt to get our brains ready to reimagine what language can be. We will study sonnets and their reinventions, write from art and make art from writing, imagine what it would be like to write a story backwards. We will explore the strange space between genres, and work with sound, translation, and technology to inspire our creative work. As we conduct various language experiments, students will have the opportunity to meander on paths of interest to them, or remain in the land of pure discovery and produce a number of unrelated short pieces to refine and revise.

Our readings will include works by authors new and old who are experts in playing with language and convention. Students will amass a large quantity of creative work over the course of the semester, and take part in regular workshops to revise that work into a small, polished portfolio of writing in poetry and prose. We will end the semester by compiling a print anthology that will showcase the diverse.

English 354 Creative Writing (300+ English elective)(creative writing)
Lecture 4: MW 2:30-3:45     Instructor: Rabia Seed
In this course we will write before, after and during class while exercising open and fearless experimentation. Structured in workshop style we will explore questions such as: What are our possibilities? How can we bend our narratives? What is our unique, most authentic voice? While bouncing ideas of both form and content, we will listen to each other and our literary ancestors. By 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—we will focus on reading those 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 these 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.

English 356 Creative Writing Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing)
Tues 4:00-6:30                     Instructor: Peter Gizzi
Students should submit a portfolio of three poems in a Word document to Professor Gizzi 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 365 Literature of Ireland (Anglophone or 300+ English elective)
MW 2:30-3:45        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 also contemporary authors such as Sara Baume and Donal Ryan. 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 368 Modern American Drama (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 4:00-5:30         Instructor: Heidi Holder
Surveys of American drama are often weighted with family and social drama, and comedy gets short shrift.  But from its inception the American theater employed comedy to examine specifically “American” types, offering not only a stereotypical gallery of “other” Americans but also a form in which African American, Latino, and queer playwrights, for instance, could revise their own images onstage.  In this course we will chart the path of American comedy from Royall Tyler’s “first American play” The Contrast through vaudeville and works by such playwrights as Anna Cora Mowatt, Philip Barry, Jules Pfeiffer, Christopher Durang, Luis Valdez, George Wolfe, David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Jen Silverman and Young Jean Lee.

Requirements: two essays (6-8 pages), and frequent short writing assignments.  (Gen.Ed. AL)

English 373 American Indian literature (Anglophone/ethnic American or course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 10:00-11:15                Instructor: Laura Furlan
This course will survey contemporary Indigenous literatures in multiple genres, from the “Native American Renaissance” in the late 1960s to the present. We will consider a number of pertinent inquiries in the field, thinking about what makes for ethical scholarship in Indigenous literatures and how geographic place and specific tribal affiliation influence the work. Some of the conventions and themes we will trace include the engagement with oral tradition, representations of history, use of Native languages, cultural preservation, issues of sovereignty, and environmental concerns. Authors will include N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, Susan Power, LeAnne Howe, Deborah Miranda, and Cherie Dimaline, among others.

English 374 20th Century American Literature (course in American literature after 1865 or Anglophone/ethnic American or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 10:00-11:15 Instructor: Gloria Biamonte  
“The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers,” wrote Toni Morrison. “Its force, its felicity” she continued, “is in its reach toward the ineffable.”  What forms does that reach take for the 20th century writers we will be reading this semester?  What are the richly diverse, original, and, at times, radically experimental narratives that evolve– sometimes quietly, other times filled with rage, almost always with longing, and, at moments, with deep love?  Our goal in examining these novels will be double: on the simplest level, we will be interested in how these writers interpreted and responded to the places and times in which they lived – the major social, economic, and political events that shaped their lives; on a deeper level, though, we will consider how each of these works--and all of them together--attempts to create something we might call now an "American consciousness," attempts to invent, or re-invent, America.  And we will, of course, examine the novels, stories and poems as works of art.  How do these authors create a space for the reader to enter— a space where understanding and empathy can grow? Our close textual readings will also help us to examine the subtleties of character interactions, the weaving together of multiple storylines, and the inventive narrative devices that each writer uses in creating their stories.  Authors may include Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Louise Erdrich, Adrienne Rich, John Wideman, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Saunders, and Toni Morrison.  Books will be available at Amherst Books. 

English 378 American Women Writers (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
MW 2:30-3:45           Instructor: Sarah Patterson
Fiction by women exploring the social and sexual arrangements of American culture.

English 379 Intro to Professional Writing (300+ English elective)(PWTC)(SPOW)
Lecture 1: TuTh 1:00-2:15              Instructor: Elena Kalodner-Martin
Lecture 2: M/W 2:30-3:45                Instructor: Thomas Pickering
This course offers an overview of commonly encountered professional genres such as memos, reports, job materials, and grant proposals. Students gain practice writing in these genres, with an emphasis on clarity and concision. They develop more sophisticated research skills and gain experience in communicating specialized information to non-specialist readers. Finally, they are exposed to the range of professional writing careers as they explore writing on both theoretical and practical planes through consideration of audience, as well as wider professional, social, and cultural contexts. Prereq.: ENGLWP 112 or equivalent; junior or senior status with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. (3 credits).

English 380 Professional Writing and Technical Communication I (300+ English Elective)(PWTC)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                Instructor: Janine Solberg
Junior and Senior students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Introduces principles of technical writing, usability, and page design. Simulates writing/editing processes used in the computer industry. Students write a 20-25 page manual documenting a software product, usually Microsoft Word. Prereq.: ENGLWP 112 or equivalent; ENGL 379 (which may be taken concurrently with instructor approval); junior or senior status with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. (3 credits).

English 388 Rhetoric, Writing and Society (300+ English elective)(SPOW)
TuTh 2:30-3:45         Instructor: David Fleming
This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of rhetoric, defined here as the art of persuasion. For nearly 2,500 years, rhetoric has been the central academic discipline for thinking about the adaptation of discourse to purpose, audience, occasion, and subject matter. The earliest rhetorical arts were focused on public speaking in direct democracies; later rhetorics treated eloquence more broadly, including written discourse and its role in religion, science, commerce, art, and education. More contemporary rhetorical theories have expanded the purview of rhetoric to include visual media, digital culture, and nonverbal performance and to see rhetorical motivations lurking even in artifacts produced without conscious persuasive design. Rhetoric is useful as a critical tool for analyzing others' discourse; as a practical art for inventing one's own discourse; and as a theoretical discipline for interrogating the languages of social and political life. In this course, we'll learn about and practice these various rhetorics. The course is also meant to help students meet objective 10 of the English section of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL): "to understand principles of rhetoric as they apply to various forms and purposes of oral and written communication." The spring 2018 syllabus for this course can be seen at .

English 391AP US Latin@ Literature (Anglophone/ethnic American or course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                Instructor: Jacob Dyer Spiegel
The literary boom of writers such as Piri Thomas, Martín Espada, Richard Rodriguez, Julia Álvarez, Cristina García, Rosario Ferré, Oscar Hijuelos, and Junot Díaz dramatizes the dynamic history of Hispanic/Latino experience in the United States. In this interdisciplinary course, we will examine these writers and their literary antecedents to explore the representation of Latino/a life in the U.S. We will focus on the themes that have emerged in this body of American writing: identity, language, cultural hybridity, immigration, exile, class, race, gender and the continuous examination of what it means to be American in the twenty first century. Our discussion will also be informed by scholarship on Hispanicity and Latinidades, and other media, including music, film and television.

English 391NM Narrative Medicine: How Writing Can Heal (300+ English elective)(Creative Writing)(SPOW)
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 391R The Radical Political Imagination of 20th and 21st Century American Poetry (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
Lecture 1       M/W  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, 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, The Paris Commune, Mao, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Sylvia Federici, The Black Panther Party, Chicago Gay Liberation, and, among others. Senior and Junior English majors only.  Prerequisite:  English 200 with a grade of C or better.

English 391S Doing Digital: Critical Skills, Literacies and Methods (300+ English elective)(New Media)
Mon/Wed 2:30-3:45             Instructor: Matthew Schilleman
In this course, we will explore ways in which computer technologies could transform the traditional humanistic study of language, society, and self. Some of the questions we will be exploring are: What is language? And can computer programing be considered a language? Can machines read? Or what happens when we read with "machine eyes"? How can we use data mining to gain insights into massive networks such as Twitter and the ways in which they structure discourse and society? Exploring these questions, we'll learn some basic programing in Python, play some interesting computer games, use text-analysis software, experiment with visualization, and do a little data science. Thus, in addition to gaining a deeper appreciation of questions concerning the human and society, students will acquire important computing skills and knowledge of some of the most important information paradigms today. No prior knowledge of programing is assumed. Everything is taught from the beginner level.

English 397M Shakespeare’s Non-Humans: Creatures, Monsters, Demons, Fairies (early British or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                Instructor: Jane Degenhardt
This course is designed for students who want to explore Shakespeare’s plays as the basis for critical and creative writing inspired by non-human life forms, including “monsters,” “creatures,” demons, mythical figures, and hybrids. What do these figures tell us about the boundaries of what is considered human or non-human? In what ways are these beings sub- or super-human in terms of ability, moral capacity, emotion and empathy, cognition, biology, or spiritual status? For example, we may consider the creaturely status of Caliban, the diabolical nature of Macbeth, the bodily deformity of Richard III, the undead status of Hamlet Sr’s ghost, the personified powers of nature and magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or the material unfixedness of Hermione’s statue. How do Shakespeare’s non-humans provide a basis for devising emerging categories of race, gender, and sexuality? What roles do non-human characters continue to play in the fantasies and nightmares of our own popular culture? Assignments will include critical writing, a creative piece, a visual catalogue, and a final project. Students are expected to spend 6-8 hours per week outside of class on reading, writing, and research.

English 416 Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (early British or 400+ English elective)
TuTh 10:00-11:15                Instructor: Jenny Adams
In this course we will work together to produce an in-depth reading of Geoffrey Chaucer's most famous poem, the "Canterbury Tales."  We will read *slowly* through the poem so that we can work to grasp Chaucer's subtle complexities.  We will also read more broadly in order to place the "Canterbury Tales" in the context of Chaucer's other works and in the context of late fourteenth-century literary culture.  Three response papers, two short essay, a final exam, and the creation of your own Canterbury Tale.

English 491AC The Major and Beyond: Career Exploration for English Majors (SPOW)(New Media)
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 491AS Arabian Nights in World Literature (400+ English elective or Anglophone)
TuTh 1:00-2:15         Instructor: Mazen Naous
Since first being translated into English the 18th century, The Arabian Nights has proved enduringly popular and is responsible for many of the images of the East and the Arab world that persist in present-day literary and cultural discourses. Images of tyrannical and lustful Sultans, harems, genies, magic lamps, and flying carpets have played a significant representational role in the West’s perception of the East as a fantastic, exotic, and dangerous place. By and large, The Arabian Nights is considered to be little more than entertainment; however, many writers have taken up the Nights in their works and have offered complex interpretations and reinventions of it. In addition to reading selections from Richard Burton’s famous translation, we will negotiate the presence of the Nights in English, South Asian, North African, and North American works of fiction. We will also watch scenes from movies that are based on the Nights. Some questions that we will consider: Why are these writers fascinated with the Nights? How do their novels rework dominant perceptions of things Arabic and Eastern? How can we re-read the Nights in light of these transnational works of fiction? Literary and cultural theories will guide our readings and film viewings.

English 491DS Data Science for the Humanities (400+ English elective)(SPOW)
TuTh 11:30-12:45    Instructor: Stephen Harris
This course introduces you to data science. You will learn the python programming language, how to design simple algorithms, and how to apply data science to the humanities. The skill set you learn in this course is portable to business, law, journalism, teaching, and public service. UMass offers a number of introductions to data science, but this course focuses on practical applications in literature, language, history, art, architecture, film, music, dance, society, and politics. We start from scratch, so you don't need to know how to program, and high-school-level math is sufficient. You will design and implement a final project with a faculty member or graduate student in any HFA department. You can work alone or in teams. Grades are based on basic proficiency in python, a good grasp of simple algorithms, and the success of your final project. Please feel free to contact the professor beforehand if you have any questions or concerns about this course.

English 491SA Amandla!  S. African Literature & Politics, Apartheid and Post-apartheid (400+ English elective or Anglophone)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                Instructor: Stephen Clingman
“Amandla!” means “Power”, and it was a prominent political slogan in the anti-apartheid struggle. Over the last hundred years, South Africa has seen transitions of a momentous nature: from a colonial past to a postcolonial present; from the oppressions of apartheid to Nelson Mandela’s first democratically elected government in 1994 and the postapartheid period beyond. In this setting South African literature has kept the pulse of its society, registering its lived experience and telling its inner history. In this context we’ll read works by key writers both black and white, male and female. We’ll draw on fiction, drama and poetry, and dip into music, documentaries and video to widen our sense of cultural and political engagement in and through a tumultuous history. We’ll work to understand the relationship between politics and art, and we’ll also gain a sense of the extraordinary cultural and social range of South African literature—of its voices, views and perspectives, the possibilities, complexities and problems of a new society in the making. Authors will range from the most noted and famous, such as Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee (both Nobel Prizewinners), to lesser-known but nonetheless extraordinary writers, among them Njabulo Ndebele, Zoë Wicomb, K. Sello Duiker, and Phaswane Mpe. By the end of the course you’ll have some insight into a remarkable country and some remarkably powerful literature, relevant and resonant not only for its own world but also our own.

English 494DI Dystopian Games, Comics and New Media (IE)(New Media)
Mon 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 494EI Writing, Identity & English Studies (IE or 400+ English elective)(SPOW)
TuTh 11:30-12:45    Instructor: David Fleming
The Integrative Experience (IE) at UMass Amherst is a required, upper-division course that asks students to reflect on all their learning in college, from their major to their General Education courses to their electives and extracurricular experiences; to further practice key "Gen Ed" objectives, such as oral communication, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary perspective-taking; and to apply what they've learned at UMass to new situations, challenging questions, and real world problems. This course is a writing-intensive version of the IE, designed specifically for senior English majors. Over the course of the semester, you'll use writing to look back on the work you've done so far and to look ahead to your future, thinking about possibilities for yourself as a writer, scholar, employee, citizen, and human being. At the end of the semester, you'll collect your work in an e-portfolio showcasing your knowledge, skills, accomplishments, and aspirations. The spring 2017 syllabus for this course can be seen at .

English 494JI Going to Jail: Incarceration in US literature (Integrative Experience or 400+ English elective)
Wed 4:00-6:30          Instructor: Suzanne Daly
Why do we put people in cages? In what ways does the caging of humans impact those outside as well as inside? Writers have long used the prison as a space from which to ask questions about the nature and meaning of criminality and the rule of law, about human minds, bodies, and behavior, about economics, politics, race, and social class, and about how language makes and unmakes us as human beings. In this class, we will study US fiction, poetry, film, and nonfiction prose (print and digital) by prisoners, journalists, scholars, lawyers, and activists in order to consider these issues for ourselves. We will draw on the knowledge and critical skills you have gained through your gen ed coursework throughout. Assignments will include five short papers and two drafts of a longer final paper. Authors may include: Michelle Alexander, Malcolm Braly, Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Martin Luther King, CeCe McDonald, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, David Oshinsky, Bryan Stevenson, Jerome Washington, and Malcolm X.  Open only to senior English majors.

English 499C Honors Thesis Seminar: Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry, and Literary Non-fiction (400+ English elective)(creative writing)
MW 4:00-5:15                       Instructor: John Hennessy
Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry, and Literary Non-Fiction is 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, Katia Kapovich, 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. SEND TO: by APRIL 15.


Fall 2019 Course Descriptions for UMass Amherst CPE online English courses:

English 254 Writing and Writing Imaginative literature (200+ English elective)(creative writing)
Online UMass Amherst CPE course                    Instructor: Molly Gray
Journey in, Journey out: Reading and Writing through the Self.  We all have a voice. Where do we want to take it? What happens when we approach the blank page? Where do we begin?

To start out, we must first look in. In this course, we will map our likes, dislikes, guilty pleasures, our obsessions, our losses, our loves, and our imaginations. How do they make us us? How can we channel self exploration in order to write what we want to write? We’ll give words to what we need to say, investigate how we can effectively say it, and discuss how to write when it feels like we can’t say anything at all. By accessing our personal, vulnerable selves, we’ll learn ways to get our writing moving; we’ll work from the ground up to better understand what it means to be a creative writer and reader. This work includes: frequent reading and writing assignments in poetry and prose, experimenting with style, tone, voice, and genre, and interrogating what we risk, how we relate, and what we make relevant through our own writing. Writers will leave this class with a revised and edited portfolio of original poems, essays, and short stories.

This course welcomes all writers. Whether you’ve been writing for decades or woke up just this morning with a desire to write, your voice matters. It’s the goal of this course to help you make space in the world for what you want to say.

English 354 Creative Writing (300+ English elective)(Creative Writing)
Online UMass Amherst CPE course        Instructor: Stevie Belchak
Relaying the "Real"  In this class, we will interrogate the edges of reality, reading and writing work that complicates and confounds the borders between real, realistic, and imagined. Reading faux memoirs, creative non-fiction that walks a fictive line, and poetry that reimagines what's possible on earth, we will interrogate those tricky spaces close to our hearts and our memories both true and false, but we will also hone in on craft: i.e. how formal choices impact both what's on the page and how work is perceived in the world. With light weekly reading and writing assignments based on these readings, we will look to apply and extend the personal—that is, that which presses us. We will pry open the parts of us we take incredible care to protect and the spaces we negotiate and, through the experimentation of style, tone, voice, and writerly techniques, ensure they are brought to life whether through fact, fiction, or fairy tale.

This course welcomes all writers and will place an emphasis on the personal, with reading of memoir, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Potential reading includes excerpts and poems from: Lying (Slater), Moonglow (Chabon), Number9Dream (Mitchell), The Empathy Exams (Jamison), One Big Self (Wright), Citizen (Rankine), Ariel (Plath).