Academics

Courses


Each course is the equivalent of a 300-level class

English Department requirements changed in Spring 2013. Some majors are under old requirements, some under new. Check with the English Department for your own status.


Jane Austen and her Age

Tom MacFaul

Jane Austen produced her great novels in an age of revolution: she wrote in the shadow of the French Revolution and the subsequent European wars, in the aftermath of the American Revolution, when Britain’s role in the world was rapidly changing, and in the wake of the literary revolution subsequently labelled as Romanticism. She herself revolutionized the form of the novel, and her characters are often in revolt against patriarchal and economic constraints. We will read all of Austen’s major novels, and we will read them as being of her age, as well as being for all time: her work, and the ongoing controversies as to its import, will be illuminated by study of other novelists of her period, such as Mary Shelley and Frances Burney, and of poets such as Byron and Wordsworth.

Satisfies an Upper Division Elective requirement for the English major.
Satisfies the 300+ elective requirement for English majors (new requirements), OR satisfies the British literature 1700-1900 or upper-level elective requirement for English majors (old requirements).
This course does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


Introduction to International Law

Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne

The end of the Cold War brought new challenges for, and new expectations of, international law. Recent terrorist attacks have raised, in stark form, questions about the potential and limitations of law in establishing and maintaining world order. The law surrounding the uses of force is, of course, one of the most significant areas of international law, but recent years have also seen important developments in other key areas, particularly the preservation of the environment and the protection of human rights. This course will introduce the foundations of public international law. In light of these key areas, we will question whether international law can truly be termed law and whether it can hope to provide a realistic solution to the problems facing the world today. The course will interest not only those contemplating a career in law and who would like an introduction to legal reasoning via a fascinating and accessible area of the law; but also those who are considering careers in foreign affairs, politics or the media. No prior legal knowledge will be assumed.

Satisfies an upper-level course requirement for Political Science majors. Can satisfy a Legal Studies Liberal Law Related class requirement for Legal Studies majors, but please confirm with a department advisor.
This class does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


The Politics of Imperial Decline in Britain since 1939

Richard Coggins

This course is an examination of the politics of the British empire in its decline from the moment of its greatest crisis in the Second World War, to decolonisation in the 1950s and 1960s, to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and in ‘post-imperial’ Britain. It will consider the interaction of domestic politics, military weakness, relative economic decline, imperial crises and colonial nationalism in weakening both the practicality and ideology of empire in the post-war era. It will also consider the legacies of Empire for Britain in terms of its world role, post-war immigration from the ‘New Commonwealth’ and the rebirth of ‘informal empire’ and ‘financialisation’ in the form of the City of London.

Satisfies an upper-level course requirement (level 200-400) for History majors.
Satisfies an upper-level course requirement for Political Science majors.
This course does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


Principles of Marketing

Rodrigo Perez-Vega

This course gives an introduction to marketing. It surveys topics relevant to the comprehensive study of marketing, with an emphasis on describing the marketing process, and on stressing the implications of these activities for society.

The course will be considered Marketing 301 for students in the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management.
This course does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


British Detective Fiction

Freya Johnston

This course will include a representative sampling of texts from the classical age of British detective fiction to present-day offerings. Students will conduct trans-historical comparisons of novels and be encouraged to make connections between the texts and events and attitudes in the world at large. Authors whose works will be read include: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, A. A. Milne, Michael Innes, Julian Symons, P. D. James, Anne Perry, A. S. Byatt, Iain Pears, and Ian Rankin. A selection of recommended secondary texts and commentaries will also be provided.

Satisfies 300+ elective requirements for English majors (new requirements) or British literature 1700-1900 or upper-level elective requirement for English majors (old requirements).
This course does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


British Perspectives on the American Revolution

Andrew Beaumont

The American War for Independence is often viewed as a war against tyranny. Certainly at the time many Americans viewed Britain as a nation governed by a tyrannical king advised by evil counselors. This course examines the validity of that view by looking at British government policy, the opposition's response, and public reaction to the colonies' struggle for independence. This course will examine the relationships among the Crown, Parliament, and the public sphere, as well as the historical debate over the importance of public opinion in the 1770s. Students will examine and discuss pamphlets, prints, newspapers, and parliamentary debates of the day. By the end of the course, students will be able to analyze how documents have been interpreted by historians, thus putting the subject into an historical context. Students should be able to gain a fresh perspective on the debates concerning the Anglo-American relationship at the time.

Satisfies an upper-level course requirement (level 200-400) for History majors.
This course does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


Oxford, The City as a Work of Art

Beverley Lyle

This course will examine the University of Oxford’s role as patron of British art, architecture, and design from the thirteenth century to the present day. Using the wealth of resources available in Oxford – university and college buildings, museums, galleries, and private collections, students will be introduced through lectures and guided tours to key themes in the history of art, architecture, and design – medieval and gothic, renaissance, classical and modern. Within these broader themes, a variety of topics will be covered, including the role of architecture in shaping the University’s identity, the art and craft of stained glass and sculpture and the University’s collections of paintings including those by Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. Teaching will be through lectures and discussions, as students will be required to participate actively in analyses of the artifacts studied. Students will be encouraged to choose their own subjects for written work from the topics studied, under the direction of the tutor. No previous experience with art and architectural studies is expected or required but the course will also suit those with prior knowledge, as they will be introduced to new perspectives.

May count as an elective for Art History majors--please contact that department.
This class does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


Writing Workshop: Prose Fiction

Clare Morgan

This course will focus on writing prose fiction, particularly shorter pieces like short stories or chapters in larger fictional works; it may also include some scriptwriting for television, radio or theatre. Working with the guidance of a published author, students may be asked to propose specific topics, plots or media formats they plan to write about and may be asked to submit a writing sample before the course begins.

Satisfies an upper-level elective requirement for English majors (old and new requirements).
This course does NOT satisfy a UMass Gen Ed requirement.


Global Origins of Capitalism and Modernity

Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji

Our understanding of modern society is heavily dependent on our view of the history of its origins. The origins of capitalism are often traced to the enclosure movements, the creation of "free" labourers, the rise of a bourgeoisie and industrialization in Britain between the 12th Century and the 19th Century. Capitalism did not however come into being fully formed. It adopted and adapted technologies, institutions and instruments of commerce from previously existing global systems. The wealth needed to create capital was also stolen, looted and borrowed from other regions of the world. This course will critically examine the rise of capitalism with a particular focus on the contributions made to capitalism by its precursors and other regions of the world.


Film Studies (Title TBD)


Psychology of Illusion


Shakespeare's Worlds

Adam Zucker

This course offers an intensive exploration of Shakespeare's many imagined worlds, from the fantasy landscapes of the Tempest and the Winter's Tale, to the English battlegrounds of the history plays; from cosmopolitan (and contentious) Venice, to forested green worlds away from it all. Together, we will examine how Shakespeare's invocations of place, his global visions, help locate his stunning invocations of emotional and social friction, political debates, and cultural transactions that still resonate today. In addition to reading the plays and some of today's most exciting scholars who study them, we will do hands-on work with rare books and visit the theatrical spaces that shaped Shakespeare's own strategies for world-building. This course will help you practice independent research as we work with familiar (and not-so-familiar) plays. College-level experience with Shakespeare is suggested, but not required.