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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Undergraduate Studies in English

 

 

 




Spring 2015 English Undergraduate Course Descriptions


 


 

English 115 American Experience (ALU)
Lecture 1 MWF 12:20-1:10 Instructor: Gina Ocasion
Primarily for nonmajors. Topic: Minor Subjects and the American Experience. This course will interrogate the “American Experience” through the lens of childhood studies. Texts will include the United Nation’s “Declaration of the Rights of the Child” (1990), Lucy Larcom’s A New England Girlhood (1889), and Sandra Cisneros’ Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991) as entry points to an intersectional study of “childhood” as a critical category dependent on race, class, gender, ability, geographic location, and historical moment. This methodology will bring to the surface ways in which childhood is at once protected, private, and, at the same time, constantly visibly for public and state oversight.

 

English 115 American Experience (ALU)
Lecture 2 MWF 10:10-11:00 Instructor: Lauren Silber
America is a nation of immigrants. This ideological epithet has come to define the American experience as one of opportunity, advancement, and national incorporation. This course will interrogate the popularity of this story: How did the American experience become defined through an immigrant experience? What experiences does this narrative absorb and what experiences does it erase? To answer these questions, we will practice close reading and critical thinking to exhume narratives embedded in a variety of texts such as legal documents, political speeches, short stories, and music videos in order to explore how this particular American experience is constructed, de-constructed, and re-constructed in the social and cultural imaginary. Literary authors will likely include Toni Morrison, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Sherman Alexie, Junot Díaz, and Edwidge Danticat.(Gen.Ed. AL, U)

 

English 116 Native American Literature (ALU) (new requirements: Anglophone/ethnic American literature)
Lecture 1 MW 4:00-5:15 Instructor: Ron Welburn
The focus of this course will be selected writings and oral tradition narratives by Indigenous North Americans which emphasize cultural resilience despite the devastating colonialism brought on my European settlement. Tentative texts will include The People Who Stayed: Southeastern Indian Writing after Removal, edited by Hobson, McAdams and Walkiewicz; novels by Joseph Boyden, Robert J. Conley, and LeAnne Howe, essays and poetry by N. Scott Momaday, and selected writings by other Native authors. Expect to write a series of short essays and a final.

 

English 117 Ethnic American Literature (ALU) (new requirements: Anglophone/ethnic American literature)
Lecture 1 MWF 11:15-12:05 Instructor: Carly Overfelt
This course examines texts from diverse ethnic groups in the United States that require us to ask: Who is American? What is ethnicity and race? What is the difference between “ethnic” literature and “American” literature? Our discussions will consider how race and ethnicity are constructions that intersect with gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, ability, region, religion and other categories. In terms of the date of publication, our texts move from post-bellum America to the current century. In terms of fictional imagination, we span a much greater era, as the texts create and re-create the past in order to make sense of the present and look forward to the future.
This course satisfies the General Education requirements in literature (AL) and U.S. diversity (U). This course teaches analytical reading and writing skills, as we “close read” the specific narrative and rhetorical choices made by each author to understand what the text is saying about American ethnicity. By studying literature from multiple communities, we learn how to interrogate our own experiences of U.S. identity.

 

English 117 Ethnic American Literature (ALU) ( new requirements: Anglophone/ethnic American literature)
Lecture 2 MWF 12:20-1:10 Instructor: Faune Albert
Topic: Sweet Home, Strange Fruit: Ethnic Literature of the U.S. South.  The U.S. South is a region of fraught historical resonance, one whose existence can never be wholly separated from the oppressive system of slavery on which it was built. At the same time, the unique culture of the South is predicated precisely upon this racial mixing; it is a culture of contradictions, a place where pleasures and pains, dangers and desires exist in irreconcilable tension with one another. This course explores the ways in which constructions of race and ethnicity intersect with gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, ability, region, religion, and other categories within the context of the Southern United States. Through readings of short stories, novels, poetry, and creative nonfiction writing, we will examine how the mythology of the South has developed within the U.S. imaginary over the course of the last century, and interrogate the ways in which this mythology both intersects with and diverges from lived experiences of ethnic and racial identity. Our examination of Southern literature from multiple communities and perspectives will provide us with the tools to critically question our own experiences of identity. Possible authors include Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy Allison, Alice Walker, Kiese Laymon, Sandra Cisneros, Linda Hogan, Junot Diaz, Natasha Trethewey, Eli Evans, and Susan Choi.

 

English 131 Literature and Society (ALG)
Lecture 1 MWF 11:15-12:05 Instructor: Heather Wayne
Literature that deals with our relationship to society. Topics may include: the utopian vision; the notion of the self, politics and literature.

 

English 131 Literature and Society (ALG)
Lecture 2 MWF 10:10-11:00 Instructor: Thomas Hopper
This class will examine representationsof otherness, in all its forms (such as race, gender, sexuality, and class), through the lens of twentieth-century science fiction by authors from around the world. We will read short fiction across several genres ranging from utopia to dystopia, the pre- to post-apocalyptic, first contact stories, and romance. Selected authors will include W.E.B. DuBois, Derrick Bell, Joanna Russ, Ursula K. LeGuin, Arcady and Boris Strugatsky, and Alberto Vanasco. Coursework consists of weekly written responses, in-class discussion, a midterm, a final paper, and a final exam.

 

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (ALG)
Lecture 1 MW 1:25-2:15 + discussion Instructor: Asha Nadkarni
This course examines issues of gender and sexuality in twentieth- and twenty-first-century short stories and films from South Asia and its diasporas. In it, we will explore how literature at once reflects and challenges ideologies of gender and sexuality; in other words, how does literature reinforce our assumptions about the workings of gender and sexuality, and how does it make us question those assumptions? In order to understand how commonplaces about gender and sexuality change over time and place, we will focus on the specific historical contexts of the literary and filmic texts we take up. We will also concentrate on how particular texts give representational shape to the experiences they depict, exploring how they formally and thematically grapple with questions of labor, love, family, community, ethnicity, and national belonging.

132 Disc 1 Fri. 9:05-9:55 Instructor: N. Qadir

132 Disc 6 Fri 1:25-2:15 Instructor: E. Bromberg

132 Disc 2 Fri 1:25-2:15  Instructor: S. Gordon

132 Disc 7 Fri 9:05-9:55 Instructor: E. Bromberg

132 Disc 3 Fri. 9:05-9:55  Instructor: J. Jansen

132 Disc 8 Fri 11:15-12:05 Instructor: R. Maillet

132 Disc 4 Fri 11:15-12:05 Instructor: A. Simpson

132 Disc 9 Fri 1:25-2:15 Instructor: A. Simpson

132 Disc 5 Fri 1:25-2:15 Instructor: R. Maillet

132 Disc 10 Fri 11:15-12:05 Instructor: S. Gordon

 

132 Disc 11 Fri 1:25-2:15 Instructor: J. Jansen

 

English 141 Reading Poetry (AL)
Lecture 1 MWF 9:05-9:55 Instructor: Colleen Barry
Although the title of this course refers to the reading of poetry, we will be concerned more broadly with experiencing it. We will focus less on what poetry "means" than what it does: what needs and desires does poetry fulfill in its writers and readers? When does it leave the static page?

The course will be organized through the readings; beginning with an overview of the ?canon? of poetry, taking seriously the need to understand traditional verse forms and some well-known works and authors. We will then move broader, discussing and reading contemporary world poetry, translated into English. Finally, we will read a few books from contemporary American poets, focusing on small press editions. Discussions and readings will be grouped around different categories/skills/poetic considerations: conceptions of the role of the poet, poetic forms and styles, and individual authors, for example.

At the end of this course, you should feel proficient in the language of poetry criticism to read and write and discuss poems and poets with confidence and aplomb. More importantly, I hope you will be surprised into seeing language and poetry in a revitalized and personally meaningful way.

 

English 144 World Literature in English (ALG) (new requirements: Anglophone/ethnic American literature)
Lecture 1 MWF 9:05-9:55 Instructor: Amanda Lagji
This course is a survey of world literature with a focus on representations of Africa and Africans peoples across both time and space in the Atlantic World, ranging from England to Africa, America and the Caribbean. This unifying focus on images of Africa will allow us to explore the major events that have shaped the world in literature, as well as literatures of the world: trade, slavery, colonialism, revolution, and Independence. The historical time span--from Shakespeare's Othello to contemporary African writing--will allow us to see how terms like race, progress, civilization, democracy, freedom, and rights have been used and developed, mobilized and critiqued. This class will encourage making connections across texts, but we will also emphasize the specific geopolitical contexts each of the literary texts engage.

 

English 200 Seminar in Literary Studies
Lecture 1 TuTh 10:00-11:15 Instructor: Hoang Phan
English majors only. Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing. This course will introduce students to a range of contemporary literary theory and critical reading practices, and provide a survey of the various turns and debates in the recent history of literary studies. Its study of literary texts will be guided by several questions organized around the relationship between history, theory, and literary form: What historical and/or theoretical assumptions do we bring to our readings of literary texts? What histories and prior readings do literary texts carry embedded within them? In what broader social-historical contexts are literary texts produced? How do literary texts address thematic or historical concerns through their formal conventions and innovations? What are the historical functions of literature, literary criticism, and literary theory? The goal of this introductory course is to equip students with the critical and theoretical tools necessary for advanced study in both the interpretation of literary-cultural texts and the writing of literary-cultural criticism. Accordingly, students will write short close reading papers and longer interpretive papers on select literary works, as well as brief exegeses of articles on criticism and theory.

 

English 200 Seminar in Literary Studies
Lecture 2 MW 4:00-5:15 Instructor: Kirby Farrell
English majors only. Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing. We live in narratives, from cultural histories to personal life stories. In practice we understand and navigate through the world using enabling fictions, accounts that help us make sense of life. We’ll be taking a ground-up approach to literary study, examining what goes on in texts by bringing together perspectives from psychology, anthropology, and history. Instead of starting with pre-defined literary categories and applying them to texts, we’ll be looking first at texts as behavior and analyzing their structures and the kinds of work they do, working toward literary concepts and terms. Readings range from Shakespeare to recent writers. Requirements: a series of short problem-solving papers, one every week or two.

 

English 200 Seminar in Literary Studies
Lecture 3 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Jim Freeman
English majors only. Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing. We will begin by studying poetry and then move on to short fiction. Much discussion, close reading of works, and papers. Possible reading list: a booklet of love poetry; lives of medieval saints; Boccaccio, Decameron; Poe tales; Sherlock Holmes adventures; Hemingway short stories.  Students must receive a grade of ‘B-’ or higher in ENGL 200 to fulfill requirement.

 

English 200 Seminar in Literary Studies
Lecture 6 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Caroline Yang
English majors only. Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing. 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 "Asian American" writers 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 three short close reading papers and two longer analysis papers that incorporate critical concepts and literary terms.

If that's too long, please feel free to cut out the second paragraph of the description.

 

English 201 Early British Literature & Culture (old requirements: Brit-Lit pre 1700 distribution)(new requirements early British survey (201 or 221))
Lecture 1 TuTh 10:00-11:15 Instructor: Jen Adams
Writing a Nation: Language, Englishness, and the Formation of England. In this course, we will explore the rich and early English literary tradition with an eye to the ways the stories imagine the human condition. In short, driving our course will be the basic question: what does it mean to be human? Our readings will include monsters, magic, lust, greed, war, peace, and the eternal struggle of characters to figure out their own place in the universe. Our five authors will include: the Beowulf poet, Marie de France, Chaucer, Ben Jonson, and Milton. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only.

 

English 201 Early British Literature & Culture (old requirements: Brit-Lit pre 1700 distribution)(new requirements early British survey (201 or 221))
Lecture 2 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Adam Zucker
An introduction to English literature written between the Anglo-Saxon period and the middle of the 17th century. We will chart out our own literary history by examining the shared elements and innovations of a wide range of texts and authors. Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales, Elizabethan love sonnets, Milton's great Paradise Lost, and the drama of Shakespeare and his predecessors will be a few of our touchstones. Special emphasis on the social and historical resonance of different forms: epic, lyric, drama, and others. Two papers, occasional informal written responses, and a midterm exam. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only.

 

English 202 Later British Literature & Culture (old requirements: Brit-Lit 1700-1900 distribution)(new requirements take two of three surveys: 202, 268, 269))
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Jordana Rosenberg
This course is a survey of major British writers from 1700 to the present. We will focus on the rise of the novel and theories of the novel. Authors will include: Daniel Defoe, Aphra Behn, Laurence Sterne, Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, James Joyce, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, H.G. Wells, V.S. Naipaul, Zadie Smith, and China Mieville.

Theorists of the novel form will include Michael McKeon, Georg Lukacs, Ian Watt, and Fredric Jameson. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only.

 

English 202 Later British Literature & Culture (old requirements: Brit-Lit 1700-1900 distribution)(new requirements take two of three surveys: 202, 268, 269))
Lecture 2 MW 4:00-5:15 Instructor: Jordana Rosenberg
See course description above. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only.

 

English 203 Bible/Myth/Literature/Society (new requirements: 200+ elective)
Lecture 1 MWF 10:10-11:00 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, Ruth, Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Isaiah and (from the New Testament) the gospels Luke and John. Most class meetings 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.

Final course grade will be derived from periodic quizzes (20% of final grade), class participation (20% of final grade) a formal presentation (20% of final grade), a 900-word mid term response essay (20% of final grade) and a 900-word final response essay: (20% of final grade).

 

English 205 Introduction to Post-Colonial Studies (new requirements: Anglophone or 200+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Mazen Naous
More than three-quarters of the people living in the world today have had their lives altered by the experience of colonization. How then do we negotiate postcolonialism as a term, a body of literature and theory from diverse geopolitical areas, and a dynamic, expansive, and contested field of study? To consider this question we will take up major issues and debates within postcolonial studies, including nationalism and nativism, subalternity, feminism, development, and globalization. Throughout, we will be concerned with questions of identity formation, representation, and literary form. This course surveys literatures written in English from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and will probably include novels by J. M. Coetzee, Chinua Achebe, Arundhati Roy, Tayeb Salih, and Michelle Cliff. We will also watch a couple of movies that deal with postcolonial themes. Critical essays and postcolonial theory will guide our readings and film viewings.

 

English 221 Shakespeare (AL) (old requirements: English 221/222)(new requirements: early British survey distribution (201 or 221))
Lecture 1 MW 1:25-2:15 + discussion Instructor: Joseph 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 1 F 9:05-9:55 am Instructor: A. Fox

221 Disc 4 F 2:30-3:20 pm Instructor: W. Steffen

221 Disc 2 F 10:10-11:00 am Instructor: L. Rollins

221 Disc 5 F 10:10-11:00 am Instructor: A. Fox

221 Disc 3 F 11:15-12:05 pm Instructor: W. Steffen

221 Disc 6 F 11:15-12:05 Instructor: L. Rollins

 

English 254 Writing & Reading Imaginative Literature (AL) (new requirements: 200+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 1 MWF 11:15-12:05 Instructor: Jane Dykema
Analysis of issues of form, elements of genre, style, and development of themes of stories and poems, written by class members and in class texts.

 

English 254 Writing & Reading Imaginative Literature (AL) (new requirements: 200+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 2 TuTh 4:00-5:15 Instructor: Andrew McAlpine
This course will focus on the production and analysis of student work, with an emphasis on exploration and experimentation in the genres of poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms. We will supplement student writing by reading, discussing, and responding to a variety of contemporary texts.

 

English 254 Writing & Reading Imaginative Literature (AL) (new requirements: 200+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 3 MWF 9:05-9:55 Instructor: Christopher Lott
This class will focus on the production of new creative work, in poems and stories. We will be unraveling (and enjoying!) the mysterious material of contemporary writers, and seeing how their work can apply to our own. We will fill up pages, generate, experiment, explore, thrive.

 

English 254 Writing & Reading Imaginative Literature (AL) (new requirements: 200+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 4 MWF 12:20-1:10 Instructor: Mary Taylor
In many ways, successful comedy hinges on surprise and subverting reader expectation. In this course we will examine how the female voice cultivates and distinguishes itself as a comedic temperament in contemporary short fiction and poetry. We will also seek to cultivate our own comedic voices in the creative writing we workshop throughout the semester. Through this process of reading and writing, we will consider and question how writers achieve humor by applying traditional modes (satire, burlesque, parody, farce) and crafting new, innovative forms. Specific critical attention will be given to the strategies authors employ to achieve their comedic ends, specifically as they relate to character, dialogue, point of view, and narrative pacing.

 

English 268 American Literature and Culture before 1865 (old requirements: 270 substitute or 2nd American)(new requirements: take two of three surveys: 202, 268, 269)
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Mason Lowance
Course requirements include: short analytical essay, approximately 5 pages; longer term paper, approximately 12 pages; take-home final examination. The format of the course will be a seminar in American literature from 1820-1865. The content will be organized chronologically but will also be examined thematically. In addition to the "canonized" authors of this period (Hawthorne and Melville, Emerson and Thoreau, Whitman and Dickinson), we will also consider some of the writers who exerted tremendous social and political impact on antebellum American culture, including the slave narrators Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, the feminist critics Margaret Fuller and Angelica Grimke Weld, the reformers and abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, and the most widely read author of the entire period, Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose Uncle Tom’s Cabin galvanized sentiment against slavery through sales of 5 million copies in a reading population of 15 million by 1860. Aesthetic, literary, biographical, cultural, social, and political approaches to these authors will all be considered. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only.

 

English 268 American Literature and Culture before 1865 (old requirements: 270 substitute or 2nd American)(new requirements: take two of three surveys: 202, 268, 269)
Lecture 2 TuTh 11:30-12:45 Instructor: Hoang Phan
Beginning in the Age of Revolution and ending in the Age of Emancipation, this course will focus on the relationship between American literature and the broader social transformations of this period. Studying the formal and thematic innovations of a range of American writers, the course will explore the various ways these writers responded to the radical upheavals of their times. What are the differing narratives posed by literary works of these periods, on the issues of territorial expansion, slavery, and national union; citizenship and democracy; social order and revolution? Reading widely and deeply, we’ll study the writings of Brown, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Douglass; Melville; Stowe; and Whitman, among others. Throughout our readings we’ll examine the ways in which the literature of this period contributed to the imagined community of the nation, as well as raised problems for the dominant narratives of the nation. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only

 

English 269 American Literature and Culture After 1865 ((old requirements: 270 substitute or 2nd American)(new requirements: take two of three surveys: 202, 268, 269)
Lecture 1 TuTh 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Randall Knoper
An introduction to U.S. literature of the past century and a half. We will consider a variety of writers and literary movements while paying close attention to radical changes in U.S. culture and society over this long period. What transformations in literary theme and form occurred in the passage through realism, naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism? How do U.S. literatures reflect or respond to urbanization, the development of consumerism and mass culture, the social displacements of migration and class mobility, the devastation of war, the rise of the U.S. as a world power, and the astonishing changes in technology and media? How did these literatures engage in the conflicts over national identity, ideals of democracy and equality, race and civil rights, and transformations in gender and sexuality? Readings ranging from Emily Dickinson to Toni Morrison. Regular informal writing, two papers, 5-7 pages each. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English majors only

 

English 269H American Literature and Culture After 1865 Honors (old requirements: 270 substitute or 2nd American)(new requirements: take two of three surveys: 202, 268, 269)
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Emily Lordi
This course explores the definition and evolution of a national literary tradition in the United States from the Civil War to the present. We will examine a variety of issues arising from the historical and cultural contexts of the 19th and 20th centuries, the formal study of literature, and the competing constructions of American identity. Students will consider canonical texts, as well as those less frequently recognized as central to the American literary tradition, in an effort to foster original insights into the definition, content, and the shape of “literature” in the United States. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent. This course is open to English Commonwealth College majors only

 

English 298C World Cinema
Lecture 1 Mon 6:30-9:00 Instructor: Kirby Farrell
A 1-credit film series featuring films from around the world that explore ecstatic and sometimes tragic love, dramatizing the play of intimacy, sexual pressure, and cultural forces in a series of especially moving films.

 

English 298H Practicum Teaching Writing Center (old requirements: 300+ elective elective)(new requirements: Anglophone/Rhetoric or 300+ elective
Lecture 1 Th 4:00-5:15 Instructor: TBA
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 Honors Tutoring Writing: Theory & Practice are eligible to enroll in this course.

 

English 300 Junior-Year Seminar in English Studies – Junior Year Writing  
Lecture 1 TuTh 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Joselyn Almeida-Beveridge
(spring 2011) Topic: Pirates & Mutineers : Treasure, Slavery, Rebellion, and MP3s As the swashbuckling Jack Sparrow in Gore Virbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003; Dead Man‘s Chest, 2006; At World‘s End, 2007), Johnny Depp revives a long tradition of tantalizing pirate lore. Yet the incredible success of Pirates comes at a time when transnational entertainment giants like Universal, BMG, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music have spent millions of dollars to prosecute and convict college students and individuals who ―pirate MP3s. The explosion in pirated goods—from films to fake Prada purses and pharmaceuticals—have ignited heated global debates over intellectual rights and copyright law, with cases appearing before the Supreme Court. As technologies and global markets expand, so too grows the concern over cyber-piracy and knock-offs. Moreover, since 2007, the repeated heists of Somali pirates have moved the piracy debate from the virtual to the real world once again.

How have the representations of piracy and rebellion evolved alongside the laws that regulate global markets? In this course, we will examine artistic, literary, and cinematic representations of pirates and mutineers in light of the legal and economic ramifications of their activities. This interdisciplinary approach will help us understand why battles against piracy are waged with as much intensity now as in the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, when ships from the British Navy, which emerged as the most powerful in the world, scoured the Caribbean and the South Pacific Seas in search of infamous pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, women pirates like Anne Bonny, and the Chinese woman pirate Cheng I Sao. Navy ships also pursued mutineers who rebelled against the corporate discipline of the navy or merchant marine. Often considered ―pirates‖ by the captains against whom they revolted, mutineers risked death by hanging to accomplish their vision of freedom as in the case of Fletcher Christian, who led the mutiny against Captain William Bligh in the Bounty, and Cinque, who led the mutiny in the Amistad to liberate himself and other Africans who were destined for slavery. We will look at the lives, deeds, and legal trials of these legendary pirates as well as 20th and 21st century representations of piracy and mutiny like Mutiny in the Bounty (1935) and Stephen Spielberg‘s Amistad (1997). Our course will end with a brief exploration of contemporary debates on cyber and maritime piracy. Senior and Junior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of C or better.

English 300 Junior-Year Seminar in English Studies – Junior Year Writing  
Lecture 2 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Jen Adams
Topic: The Once and Future King.
“But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seest – if indeed I go
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) –
To the island-valley of Avilion;  
(Tennyson, “The Passing of Arthur,” ll. 424-7)

After his final battle with Mordred, the wounded King Arthur goes to Avalon. Still reeling from the loss of his lord, Bediveremoans that Arthur has gone but then consoles himself with a single hope: “He passes to be King among the dead, and after healing of his grievous wound, he comes again.”

And indeed, Arthur did come again…and again…and again. Years after Tennyson wrote these lines, Twain brought Arthur back in his novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Donald Barthleme resurrected him in The King, and countless other poets, novelists, and movie makers have retold Arthur’s story. Why does the legend of Arthur hold such a powerful grip on us? And how do our retellings of it reflect our own desires and fears? These are the questions that will motivate us during our course. Senior and Junior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of C or better.

 

English 300 Junior-Year Seminar in English Studies – Junior Year Writing  
Lecture 4 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Janis Greve

Topic: (Dis)ability & Literature. Impairment and diminished bodily conditions have always characterized humankind, yet disability studies as a field of investigation and form of activism has emerged only in the last fifteen years. This course will delve into that still relatively new field as it engages with literary texts and continues to define the issues most vital to it. Reading from a range of genres and watching a few films, we will explore how texts portray people with disabilities of many kinds--physical, emotional, social, and mental. Our main goal will be to investigate how disabled and non-disabled writers alike articulate bodies that depart from the idealized human form of Western culture, which interprets those bodies as “problems”—as deviant, deficient, weak. Just as important, we’ll seek out literary voices that empower disability and revise definitions of “normal.” Along the way, we’ll aim to bring to light issues of perception, mobility, accessibility, and physical space, each bearing upon the qualified body’s self and material experience in the world.

Assignments likely to include 5 short essays relating critical pieces to primary texts; an oral presentation (10 minutes); a progress report; and a 10-page research essay. Senior and Junior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of C or better.

 

English 300 Junior-Year Seminar in English Studies – Junior Year Writing  
Lecture 5 TuTh 10:00-11:15 Instructor: Rachel Mordecai
Topic: Caribbean Women Writers. In this course we will study women writers whose work spans the English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking literatures of the Caribbean (all texts will be read in English), as well as addressing immigrant experiences in North America. The core group of texts, and related critical/theoretical essays, will ground our explorations of race, gender, culture and immigration; we will also discuss the writers' differing evocations of home, family, belonging, love, and work. While some better-known authors (such as Jamaica Kincaid) may appear on the reading list, this course also gives students the chance to discover such lesser-known writers as Dionne Brand, Patricia Powell, and Gisèle Pineau. Senior and Junior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of C or better.

 

English 300 Junior-Year Seminar in English Studies – Junior Year Writing  
Lecture 6 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Ron Welburn
Topic: Américas Fictions. This course is designed for students to read, engage, discuss, and ponder selected examples of fiction in English and translation by authors from the Americas outside the United States in order to perceive, appreciate, and assess their ideas and portrayals of national identity in a world dominated by a country that has appropriated the name “America” for its own national identity. Perhaps only some of the works for the course may provide clear answers to such questions and conditions, but it is important that we be exposed to these topics and issues. Authors will include Mario Delgado Aparain (Uruguay), Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), George Lamming (Barbados), Clarice Lispector (Brazil), and two others. Expect to write one-page essays weekly responding to the readings and two research essays. Senior and Junior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of C or better.

 

English 300 Junior-Year Seminar in English Studies – Junior Year Writing  
Lecture 7 TuTh 11:30-12:45 Instructor: Daniel Sack
Topic: Beckett Across the Arts. Samuel Beckett’s written oeuvre traverses the novel, the short story, the essay, poetry, dramatic and non-dramatic performance. He directed productions of his own texts for theatre, television, and radio, and even created work for the cinema. This seminar will look across Beckett's output not only to understand his tendency to reduce a medium to its bare sufficiency, but to explore the ways in which the artist overstepped the written word, into music, dance, and visual art--into a peculiarly minimalistic total work of art. Readings and viewings of Beckett's work will comprise the focus of the course, with a special emphasis on the dramatic texts. Occasional secondary readings will frame our conversation. Senior and Junior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 200 with a grade of C or better.

 

English 302 Studies in Textuality & New Media (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 4:00-5:15 Instructor: TreaAndrea Russworm
This class will have a special topic focus on race, gender, and new media. We will study a variety of new media forms, including video games, online web series, blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos. All of our case studies and weekly lesson plans will either feature content produced and created by women artists and fans or deal explicitly with questions about gender representation---both masculinity and femininity. Throughout the term, some questions we will explore include: Does misogyny persist in new media and digital cultures? While art games may tend to convey more complex messages about gender and sexuality, what can we say about the industry, mainstream video games, and the dominant image of gamers as young and male? Is there anything productive or interesting about the dominance of normative masculinity in digital spaces? Can the web series format compete with television in any significant way? By the end of the semester, all students in the class will conduct interviews of new media producers and help archive this work on a course website.

 

English 307 Modernism and Its Others ALG (old and new requirements: elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 11:30-12:45 Instructor: Tanya Fernando
The early twentieth century was marked by destruction and war, and it was a commonplace idea that the human being became insignificant, alienated, lost. European and American artists at the time looked for ways to challenge reality and change it. One of the problems was that many artists believed that western art was at an impasse and that they needed new tools to be able to express their changing reality. They turned to forms from other cultures to begin to reconceptualize their own art. It was also a period of intense collaboration between artists coming from diverse art forms. This class is interdisciplinary in terms of texts and collaborative in terms of assignments. We will look at literature, but also manifestoes and works of art from other disciplines, e.g., dance, film, and the visual arts. Some of the texts we focus on are those by Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, the Surrealists, Vaslav Nijinsky, Igor Stravinsky, and Richard Wright.

 

English 314 Middle English Literature (Old requirements: British literature pre 1700 or 300+ elective)(new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MWF 11:15-12:05 Instructor: Stephen Harris
This course introduces you to some of the popular literature of the Middle Ages. Our focus will be on the related themes of love and war--princesses in towers and knights in tournaments. We will read lyric poems, romances, plays, and manuals. Our guiding texts will be Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy (which suggests how we can reconcile ourselves to an indifferent and ever-changing world) and Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love (which teaches knights and ladies the delicate and decorous manners of romantic relationships). Some of the literary works we will read are Sir Gawain and the Green KnightPearlThe Owl & the Nightingale, Sir OrfeoTristan & Yseult (versions by Thomas of Britain and Gottfried von Strassburg), Piers Plowman, the Song of Roland, Dante's La Vita Nuova, and the Nibelungenlied. Possible additions to this list include some of the York mystery plays, EverymanGuy of Warwick, and Bevis of Hampton. Assignments include one-page responses to each work, a midterm paper (5 to 7 pages), and a final paper or project, which can be creative.
Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

 

English 326 Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MWF 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Arthur Kinney
Shakespeare's playwriting rivals tackled some of the same social, political, theatrical, and literary issues he did but often arrived at very different conclusions. Some of them--like Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson- -wrote plays as popular and as frequently staged as Shakespeare did and sometimes for the same company of actors. We'll study the social and political scenes they shared--and its theatrical presentations of them--by looking at a dozen plays and some much shorter public entertainments that help us to understand their culture. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269

 

English 349 Nineteenth-Century British Fiction (old requirements: Brit-Lit 1700-1900 or 300+ elective)(new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 2:30-3:45 pm Instructor: S. 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: 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. Texts (available at Amherst Books) may include Charlotte Brontë, Villette; Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton; Rudyard Kipling, Kim. Assignments will include response papers, reading quizzes, and two researched critical essays. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

English 350 Expository Writing (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing specialization)
Lecture 1 TuTh 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Janine Solberg
This course will be a hands-on introduction to digital publishing, using programs such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and possibly Illustrator. The objectives of this course are to introduce students to issues in digital publishing, give them practical skills in writing and information design, and increase their awareness of issues that affect writers and publishers in the 21st century. This course counts toward the Study and Practice of Writing (SPoW) letter of specialization. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 354 Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 1 MWF 9:05-9:55 Instructor: Caroline Stewart
This is an introductory workshop for the daring and adventurous writer of short fiction. With an emphasis on the unconventional, the underrepresented, and the unsung, this class will ask the question: how many ways are there for a story to be told? What’s the best way for my particular story to be told? We’ll discuss the usual—character, plot, voice, setting—subvert the rules, test some narrative extremes, and construct our prose as carefully as poets. We will read and critique short fiction written by each other, published work by contemporary writers, and a bit of theory. Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200.

 

English 354 Creative Writing: Introduction to Poetry (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 2 MWF 11:15-12:05 Instructor: Edward Powers
Introduction to Poetry. Intense investigation of poetry and the imagination. Course prerequisite: English majors only who have completed English 200.

 

English 355 Creative Writing: Fiction (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: John Hennessy
Students should submit one complete story and a brief personal statement (list and briefly discuss your reading preferences, your favorite writers and books), along with your contact information, to John Hennessy at jjhennes@english.umass.edu. Application deadline is November 20th. Students will be notified by December 15th of their status. Registration after this date is possible, but priority will be given to students who meet the November 20th deadline. Registration by instructor permission only.

 

English 356 Creative Writing: Poetry (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Martín Espada
Students should submit one complete story and a brief personal statement (list and briefly discuss your reading preferences, your favorite writers and books), along with your contact information, to Professor Espada at mespada@english.umass.edu. Application deadline is November 20th. Students will be notified by December 15th of their status. Registration after this date is possible, but priority will be given to students who meet the November 20th deadline. Registration by instructor permission only.

This is an advanced undergraduate poetry workshop. Students produce poems independently for review in class, review work submitted by others, and engage in writing exercises. There are two major objectives: 1) finding a voice, i.e. a distinct identity in terms of language and subject; and 2) reinforcing the fundamentals of writing poetry, with a particular emphasis on the image. The various strengths of student poems receive as much attention as those areas requiring improvement. The course text is Poetry Like Bread, an anthology providing models for class discussion and writing.

 

English 356 Creative Writing: Poetry (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 2 TuTh 2:30-3:45 Instructor: John Hennessy
Interested students should send a portfolio of 3 poems to John Hennessy at jjhennes@english.umass.edu by November 20th . Please include a brief personal statement discussing your reading preferences. 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.

 

English 365 20th Century Literature of Ireland AL (old requirements: 300+ elective) (new requirements: Anglophone/ethnic American literature or 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 10:00-11:15 Instructor: Peggy O’Brien
The purpose of this course is, first of all, to read closely and carefully books by established Irish writers of this century including Joyce, Yeats, Synge and Heaney. Having no pretensions of being exhaustive, we will look at representative texts that provide an initial understanding of each writer. Beyond appreciating each work in its own right as literature, we will attempt to use these texts as springboards to explore key questions about Irish society, history and culture, especially literary activity. We will, for example, ask whether there really are separate native Irish and Anglo-Irish literary traditions. How do urban and rural motifs and attitudes figure? What are the differences between the experience of men and women in Ireland? What is the attitude toward history and geography in these writers? Towards the Catholic Church? What social mores are revealed, particularly with regard to family, tribe and nation? Class? The Irish language? How are Irish mythology and legend used? How has an oral tradition influenced a written one? How are idiom and dialect deployed, a unique Hiberno-English? Is there an identifiable Irish voice?

 

English 366 Modern Poetry (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Ruth Jennison
This course surveys the multiple traditions of modern American poetry. Our guiding question: What is the relationship between modern poetry and modernity? Focusing on the period between 1900 and 1950 and working from a comparativist perspective, we will explore how various poets interpreted their shared historical context through different poetic forms. In addition to a broad overview of modernism's canonical authors (e.g. Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, W.C. Williams, Ezra Pound), we will spend significant time on the parallel, and often overlapping, trajectories of African-American poetry (e.g. Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes), and feminist poetics (e.g. H.D., Gertrude Stein). We will also look closely at poets who negotiate the intersection of these various poetic trajectories, such as African American high modernist Melvin Tolson and the self-described "mongrel," Mina Loy. The second-generation modernists "Objectivist" poets Louis Zukofsky and Lorine Niedecker will further expand our understanding of modern poetry as a series of revolutions in both politics and poetic form. Throughout our readings, we will continue to look at the ways in which our poets are a part of the new, rapidly transforming cultures and histories of modernity, including world wars, rapid industrialization, Jim Crow race relations, working class resistance, and the transformation of gender regimes. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269

 

English 369 Studies in Modern Fiction AL (old requirements: 300+ elective)(new requirements: Anglophone or 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 10:10-11:00 + discussion 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 be comprised of lectures and section discussions, and will require two essays, quizzes, a presentation, and a final exam. Discussion section is required.

369 Disc 1 F 9:05-9:55 Instructor: K.Marantz

369 Disc 3 F 10:10-11:00 Instructor: K. Marantz

369 Disc 2 F 10:10-11:00 Instructor: A. Nadeau

369 Disc 4 F 11:15-12:05 Instructor: A. Nadeau

 

English 373 American Indian Literature (old requirements: 2nd American or 300+ elective)(new requirements: Anglophone/ethnic American literature or 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Laura Furlan
This course will survey contemporary American Indian literature, from the “Native American Renaissance” in the late 1960s to the present. We will consider a number of pertinent inquiries in the field, including what makes a text “"Indian,”" why this literature might require different critical tools, and how geographic place and tribal affiliation influence the work. Some of the conventions and themes we will trace include the incorporation of oral tradition, representations of history, use of Native languages, preservation of culture, issues of sovereignty, the persistence of identity politics, and the importance of Indian humor. We will also discuss the historical and cultural contexts from which the texts emerge. Authors may include N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Susan Power, Craig Womack, and Allison Hedge Coke. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 376 American Fiction (old requirements: 2nd American or 300+ elective)(new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 4:00-5:15 Instructor: Emily Lordi
This course will examine major works of twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. fiction that foreground travel within, departure from, and immigration to the United States. How does travel inspire or require new visions of self, community, and nation? How do writers' different relationships to America and the U.S. literary tradition inform the language and structure of their fictional works? Authors include Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, Leslie Marmon Silko, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chimamanda Adichie, Junot Diaz. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 381 Professional Writing & Technical Communication III (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(PWTC spec.)
Lecture 1 TuTh 11:30-12:45 Instructor: Janine Solberg
Senior and Junior students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.  Prerequisite: ENGL 380.  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' writing, organizational, and graphical sophistication and to enable them to produce portfolio-quality documentation that introduces an audience to industry-standard software (typically, Adobe InDesign, RoboHelp, and FrameMaker).

 

English 382 Professional Writing & Technical Communication III (old and new requirements: Integrative Experience)(PWTC spec.)
Lecture 1 MWF 11:15-12:05 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 385 Creative Writing: Non-Fiction (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 1 TuTh 10:00-11:15 Instructor: Laura Furlan
Open only to English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and two survey of following courses: 201, 202, 221, 268, or 269. Creative nonfiction is often defined against other genres, particularly, as its name suggests, fiction. Its central form is the essay, which can shift and expand to become critical, lyrical,
meditative, exploratory, and/or whimsical. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the possibilities and paradoxes of creative nonfiction in order to sharpen their skills as creative and critical writers. We will investigate the debated definition of “creative nonfiction,” read and discuss possible forms that this genre may take—the personal essay, flash nonfiction, the environmental essay, the lyrical essay, writing about the arts, and travel narrative—and explore its boundaries through our own work. The center of this course will be a workshop of students’ writing. In workshops, and in supplementary discussions and activities, we’ll study elements of prose craft such as character, setting, dialogue, sound, voice, and image. In addition, we’ll focus on issues of particular importance to creative nonfiction, including voice, veracity, and innovation of form. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269

 

English 391C Advanced Software for Professional Writers (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(PWTC spec.)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Jessica Ouellette
Senior and Junior students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Prerequisite: ENGL 379 or permission of the instructor.

 

English 391J Modern and Contemporary Drama by Women (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Jenny Spencer
This course will focus on women playwrights who have contributed significantly to the development of contemporary feminist and political theatre. Students will read feminist and dramatic theory alongside the work of American dramatists such as Susan Glaspell, Lillian Hellman, Marsha Norman, Ntozake Shange, and Anna Deveare Smith, as well as British playwrights Caryl Churchill, Debby Tucker Green, and Sarah Kane. Students will view and discuss plays online, participate in team projects, write several short papers, and complete a final exam project.

 

English 391LP Latino Poetry in the U.S. (old requirements: 2nd American or 300+ elective)(new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 M 5:30-8:00 Instructor: Martín Espada
The poetry of Latinos and Latinas in the United States illuminates a dynamic community that is still stereotyped and often misunderstood. Through the reading and discussion of Puerto Rican, Mexican-American and Cuban-American poets in this country, we encounter voices speaking on behalf of the unheard, a different perspective on issues of racism and racial identity, bilingualism and biculturalism, the politics of immigration, the exploitation of labor, and the rise of social movements, from farm workers to feminists. The exploration of these issues, however, is inseparable from an analysis of the qualities that make these poems good poetry. There is a special emphasis on the poets whose work has been banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies program outlawed in the state of Arizona. Visits by guest poets complement the readings. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269

 

English 397R Rhetoric, Writing and Society (old requirements: 300+ elective)(new requirements: Anglophone/Rhetoric or 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: David Fleming
This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of rhetoric, 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. The earliest rhetorical arts were focused on public speaking in direct democracies; later rhetorics treated eloquence more broadly, including written discourse and its role not only in political and legal affairs but in the church, in business, in the sciences, in the arts, and in school. More contemporary rhetorical theories have expanded the purview of rhetoric to include visual media and digital culture. Rhetoric is useful as a critical tool for analyzing others’ texts; as a practical art for inventing one’s own texts; and as a theoretical discipline for examining the languages of social and political life. In this course, we’ll learn about the history and theory of rhetoric; practice ancient pedagogical techniques to strengthen our rhetorical skills; and use rhetorical arts to engage more effectively with our own “publics.” 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.”

 

English 437H Milton Honors (old and new requirements, 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 11:30-12:45 Instructor: James Freeman
Today we know John Milton as the author of "Paradise Lost," one of the most influential works ever written. In his own day, he was a traveler, historian, playwright, sonneteer, defender of Protestant England against Catholic Europe, husband of three wives, supporter of divorce, and advocate of a free press. This course will read his major works as well as interesting compositions about personal doubt, the pain of someone's death, and atrocities caused by the wars of religion. REQUIREMENTS: Weekly e-mail responses, class teaching, much discussion, quizzes and an essay will give you a chance to learn about the turbulent 17th century and earn credit in 2011. Many hand-outs and a few short lectures to acquaint you with the basics of biblical and political matters. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 468 James Joyce (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Maria Tymoczko
The course will study roughly half of the fiction of James Joyce from the double perspective that his readers have developed over the years since it was published (1903-1939). Joyce is seen, first, as a key writer of the "high modern" movement, leading a gigantic revolt against the oppressive cultural traditions of 19th-century Europe. From a second perspective, he is the aloof, cultic elitist whose work is often intentionally obscure, fetishistic, and inaccessible to the common reader. These conflicting assessments should lead us to some lively discussions and writing about the perplexing character of modernism. Texts: Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and selections from Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. Short papers and a term essay. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269

 

English 491AC Working Yourself Up: Career Exploration
Lecture 1 W 4:00-5:15 Instructor: Janis Greve
2 credits. This course is your chance to be pro-active in paving the road to employment both during and after the completion of your degree in English. You will practice job search skills 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, two interviews with professionals from fields of interest, a professional presentation, a paper researching vocations, and participation in a mock interview. The course is not an "easy" 2 credits, though the work required can form really stepping stones to a future beyond the major. Course prerequisite: Open only to English majors who completed English 200.

 

English 492L African American Literature & Democracy (old requirements: 2nd American or 300+ elective)(new requirements: Anglophone/Ethnic American literature or 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 2:30-3:45 Instructor: Nicholas Bromell
“Just what is democracy?” a student asks his teacher in W.E.B. Du Bois’s unpublished novel, A World Search for Democracy. The novel’s main character, Abraham Lincoln Jones, falters in response. He has answered this question confidently many times before, but now he is perplexed. And when his student presses him, asking,“Where is democracy to be found?”Jones reluctantly confesses, “I do not know. I used to know. I was quite certain. But today I am puzzled.”

Many Americans today are just as puzzled as Jones and Du Bois were some seventy years ago. Many of us feel uncertainty, pessimism, and even despair amid the persistent crises, the spirit of acrimony, and the energies of resentment or greed that plague US democracy today.

In this course we explore the insights a broad range of African-American writers have had into the nature of democracy: its purposes, its failures, and its intrinsic problems and paradoxes. Their insights are not abstract and theoretical. They are gained from personal experience and conveyed through powerful works of literature.

The topics we will focus on because they are especially pertinent today include:

  • how can democratic citizens know and communicate with each other while also acknowledging that we are different in significant and valuable ways?
  • how can we tap into our anger, which can be a powerful force for democracy, without allowing our anger to spin out of control and become destructive of democracy?
  • In an increasingly interdependent world, how can we balance our sense of national citizenship with our sense of having global responsibilities?
  • How can we claim that what we believe is “true” while also allowing other citizens to have their own understanding of what is true? Does democracy require agreed upon truths – such as the meaning of “all men are created equal?” – or not?

We will track the ways these and other questions about democracy are raised and addressed in works by James Baldwin, Nella Larsen, Malcolm X, Anna Julia Cooper, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Octavia Butler, and Samuel Delany (among others). Final papers will explore the ways these writers’ works remain relevant to US democracy today. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269, or by permission of the instructor.

 

English 492M Hawthorne & Melville (old requirements: 2nd American or 300+ elective)(new requirements: 300+ elective)
Lecture 1 MW 5:30-6:45 Instructor: Mason Lowance
The Hawthorne-Melville seminar will examine major works by these two, nineteenth-century American writers from a variety of critical perspectives, including biographical, cultural and historical, literary and stylistic. Participants will read some of the major works, and some shorter novels and stories. These writers were contemporaries and friends, but their works are dissimilar. We will consider Hawthorne's "Maypole of Merrymount," "My Kinsman, Major Molineaux," "Young Goodman Brown," "The Birthmark," "Rappaccini's Daughter," The Scarlet Letter,(1850) The Blithedale Romance (1852). Melville's works will include: Moby-Dick (1851), Benito Cereno (1856), "Bartleby" (1856), and Billy Budd (1891). Norton Critical Editions of these texts are recommended but not required. Participants will make in-class presentations on the common reading and will prepare a term paper of twelve to fifteen pages. Participation expected. Open only to English majors who have completed English 200 and one of the following survey courses: English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269

 

English 494DI Dystopian Games, Comics, Media (old and new requirements: Integrative Experience)
Lecture 1 M 5:30-8:00 Instructor: TreaAndrea Russworm
In this class, we will study video games, postmodern cultural theory, and (tangentially) 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, Left 4 Dead, Sweet Tooth and the web series Down Twisted 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 make more clear 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 in order to make arguments about the types of anxieties, fears, and dreams that get articulated in RPG games like Fallout 3, shooters like BioShock, war games like Metal Gear Solid 4, and in third person action games like Grand Theft Auto IV. Important note: This class will follow a team-based discussion 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 select other assignments with members of a team. Access to an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 is not required but it is strongly preferred. This 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, working collaboratively, developing technological literacy, and applying what you are learning at UMass to the world beyond college and your individual experiences. Open only to senior English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and one of the following period survey courses-English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 494JI Going to Jail (old and new requirements: Integrative Experience)
Lecture 1 TuTh 4:00-6:30 Instructor: Suzanne Daly
Why do we put people in cages? And in what ways does the caging of humans impact society? 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 society and politics, 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. Throughout the semester, we will draw on the perspectives you have gained through your gen ed coursework to think about two central questions: first, what contribution does each medium, genre, or disciplinary approach make to the study of prisons and prisoners? Second, what aspects of the US punishment industry do you find most compelling to study, and what methods of exploring these topics seem most useful and appealing to you as a writer? Assignments will include five short response papers and two drafts of a longer final paper. Authors may include: Michelle Alexander, Malcolm Braly, Ted Conover, Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Emma Goldman, Piper Kerman, Martin Luther King, Constance Lytton, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, David Oshinsky, Helen Prejean, and Malcolm X. Open only to senior English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and one of the following period survey courses-English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

English 494RI Race and Contemporary Arts (old and new requirements: Integrative Experience)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15 Instructor: Tanya Fernando
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. Almost all of the artists and thinkers we examine believe that art can transform society. While we focus mostly on representations of blackness, we will also address issues of difference and inequity more generally. In order to understand the complex ways in which race appears in our art today, we will look at some of the historical origins of race and art in America, as well as in a comparative framework. The texts we examine include those by W.E.B. Du Bois, Edward Said, Spike Lee, Toni Morrison, and Ryan Coogler. Throughout the term, we will be having class visits by artists and guest lecturers, who have spent their lives working at this intersection between art and politics.

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. Open only to senior English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and one of the following period survey courses-English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 494 Philosophizing Your Future (old and new requirements: Integrative Experience)
Lecture 1 W 4:00-6:30 Instructor: Laura Doyle
No course description at this time. Open only to senior English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and one of the following period survey courses-English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

 

English 499D Capstone honors Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry and Literary Non-Fiction (old and new requirements: 300+ elective)(creative writing spec.)
Lecture 1 M 4:00-6:30 Instructor: John Hennessy
Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry, 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 two fiction anthologies (Charlie Chan Is Dead 2 and The Art of the Short Story), novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Virginia Woolf, and Milan Kundera, memoir by Helene Cooper, non-fiction by Joan Didion, poetry collections by Major Jackson, Katia Kapovich, Nick Carbo and other contemporary poets. Instructor permission required.