English Courses

Course Descriptions, Fall 2012

Class Numbers are included in parentheses following the course number and are followed, when applicable, by the previous course catalogue number.

ENGL 1330-001+ (3585).  THE WORLD OF SHAKESPEARE.  10 MWF.  100 Hyer Hall.  Neel.

Introductory study of nine major plays, including comedy, history, tragedy, and romance, with background material on biographical, cultural, historical, and literary topics.  Ten unannounced quizzes, written mid-term and final exams, and one short, out-of-class paper.
Texts: Royal Shakespeare Company’s William Shakespeare: Complete Works, 2007 & Arp’s Synopses of the Plays.

ENGL 1362-001+ (5589).  CRAFTY WORLDS.  11 MWF.  116 Dallas Hall.  Holahan.

An introductory study of selected twentieth-century novels emphasizing both ideas of modernity and the historical or cultural contexts of catastrophe that generated these ideas. Topics include traditions of family and wealth, representations of world war, new effects of capital and society, war and sensibility, race and the novel, Big D. Writing assignments: quizzes, one short essay, mid-term, final examination.
Texts: James, The Spoils of Poynton; Hemingway, In Our Time; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Faulkner, As I Lay Dying; Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider; Ellison, Invisible Man; Heller, Catch 22; DeLillo, Libra; McEwan,Saturday.

ENGL 1365-001#+ (3331).  LITERATURE OF MINORITIES.  3:30 TTh.  107 Hyer Hall.  Levy.

The course interrogates from historical and literary perspectives the category of "minority" as a cultural paradox, one that  simultaneously asserts and marginalizes identity.  Particular attention will be paid to the issue of identity as both self-selected and imposed, as both fixed and flexible, as both local and global.  Writing assignments: two essays, mid-term, final examination.

Enrollment limited to Hilltop Scholars.
Texts:  ; Bechdel, Fun Home; Larson, Passing, Tomine, Shortcomings, Roth, Goodbye, Columbus; Hegedorn,Charlie Chan is Dead; and selected short stories distributed throughout the term.

ENGL 2302-001 (2937).  BUSINESS WRITING.  12:30 TTh.  351 Dallas Hall.  Tongate.

This course introduces students to business and professional communication, including a variety of writing and speaking tasks, and the observation and practice of rhetorical strategies, discourse conventions, and ethical standards associated with workplace culture.  The course includes much active learning, which means students will attend events on campus and off and will conduct a detailed field research project at a worksite.  The course meets in a computer lab, and may not be counted toward requirements for the English major.  Writing assignments: summaries, analyses, evaluations, letters, reports, memoranda, and individual and collaborative research reports, both oral and written.

Texts: Kolin, Successful Writing at Work, 10th ed.; additional readings posted on Blackboard or distributed in class.

ENGL 2302-002 (2938).  BUSINESS WRITING.  2 TTh.  351 Dallas Hall.  Tongate.

This course introduces students to business and professional communication, including a variety of writing and speaking tasks, and the observation and practice of rhetorical strategies, discourse conventions, and ethical standards associated with workplace culture.  The course includes much active learning, which means students will attend events on campus and off and will conduct a detailed field research project at a worksite.  The course meets in a computer lab, and may not be counted toward requirements for the English major.  Writing assignments: summaries, analyses, evaluations, letters, reports, memoranda, and individual and collaborative research reports, both oral and written.

Texts: Kolin, Successful Writing at Work, 10th ed.; additional readings posted on Blackboard or distributed in class.

ENGL 2310-001 (3060).  IMAGINATION & INTERPRETATION.  2 TTh.  101 Dallas Hall.  Anderson.

The legend of King Arthur has fascinated and engaged readers for nearly a thousand years. This class will examine the major texts of Arthurian literature, concentrating heavily on its medieval roots. We will also consider later iterations of the legend, including 19th and 20th century representations. Along the way, we will ask (and perhaps begin to answer) who writes about King Arthur? Why do they do so, and what do we gain from exploring this material? Why does the legend continue to have such a grasp on our collective imagination? Weekly responses to the reading, quizzes, two short papers, a midterm and a final exam will be required.
Possible Texts: Geoffrey of Monmouth – The History of the Kings of Britain; Anon. – Culhwch and Olwen; Chrétien de Troyes – Yvain; Anon. - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Sir Thomas Malory – Morte Darthur; Mark Twain – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; William Morris – The Defense of Guenevere; T.H. White –The Sword in the Stone excerpts from Gildas, Nennius, Chaucer, and a selection of medieval romances.

ENGL 2311-001+ (2721).  POETRY.  10 MWF.  102 Dallas Hall.  Holahan.

Introduction to the study of poetry and how it works, examining a wide range of poems by English and American writers. Special attention to writing about literature.

Texts: TBA.

ENGL 2311-002+ (2939).  POETRY.  12 MWF.  138 Dallas Hall.  Swann.

What, exactly, is “poetry”?  Why, over the centuries, have the most brilliant and creative writers in the English language turned to poetry to express themselves?  What skills and knowledge does a contemporary reader need to understand and enjoy the extraordinary richness of English poetry written over the past five hundred years?  And how can we use these skills and knowledge to appreciate the place of poetry in our own lives in twenty-first-century America?  This course requires students to analyze a wide variety of poems written in English.  Each student will develop an understanding of poetry and specific poems, learn about the principal conventions and techniques of poetry, and gain an appreciation of the cultural importance of poetry from the sixteenth century through to the present day.  Course requirements include daily quizzes, four short essays, an oral presentation, and a comprehensive final exam.  

Required TextsThe Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th ed.; additional readings posted on Blackboard.

Recommended Text: Jane E. Aaron, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook, 7th ed.

ENGL 2311-003+ (3362).  POETRY.  2 MWF.  106 Dallas Hall.  Neel.

Introduces students to poetry as an art form.  Though not strictly historical in organization, the course emphasizes the long tradition of poetry written in English.  Although most aspects of English poetry receive consideration, the course pays particular attention to verse form, poetic technique, thematic implication, and, to a limited degree, prosody.  Three short papers (1,000 words); one medium paper (1,500 words); ten quizzes; one oral recitation; a written final examination; and regular class attendance are required.   Texts: Norton Anthology of Poetry, fifth edition; Yale University Press edition of Troilus and Cressida; Rita Dove’s Mother Love and Sonata Mulattica (both Norton).

ENGL 2312-001H (2346).  FICTION.  12 MWF.  102 Hyer Hall.  Sudan.

An introduction to the genre of fiction with an emphasis on the Gothic novel. The course will combine primary texts with short secondary texts. Writers include Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Wilkie Collins, and Bram Stoker. Writing assignments: weekly quizzes, two short essays, one longer essay.

Texts: TBA.

ENGL 2312-002+ (2940).  FICTION.  1 MWF.  102 Hyer Hall.  Sae-Saue.

This course is an introduction to fiction with an emphasis on U.S. ethnic novels. The primary goals of the class are for students to learn to recognize a range of narrative elements and to understand how they function in key U.S. fictions.  Each text we will read represents a specific set of historical and social relationships while also imagining particular U.S. identities and cultural geographies. How does a text construct a cultural and social landscape? How does fiction organize ways human consciousness makes sense of determinate historical events? How does fiction articulate political, social, and cultural dilemmas? And how does it structure our understandings of social interaction?  As these questions imply, this course will explore how fiction creates and then navigates a gap between art and history in order to remark on U.S. social relations. We will investigate how literary mechanisms situate a narrative within a determinate social context and how the narrative apparatuses of the selected texts work to organize our perceptions of the complex worlds that they imagine. As such, we will conclude the class having learned how fiction works ideologically and having understood how the form, structure, and narrative elements of the selected texts negotiate history, politics, human psychology, and even the limitations of textual representation.

ENGL 2312-003+ (6266).  FICTION.  9:30 TTh.  102 Dallas Hall.  Booker.

An introduction to the genre of fiction with an emphasis on the Gothic novel. The course will combine primary texts with short secondary texts. Writers include Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Wilkie Collins, and Bram Stoker. Writing assignments: weekly quizzes, two short essays, one longer essay.

Texts: TBA.

ENGL 2314-001H (3030).  DOING THINGS WITH POEMS.  3 MW.  149 Dallas Hall.  Spiegelman.

Introduction to the study of poems, poets, and how poetry works, focusing on a wide range of English and American writers. Some attention to matters of literary history. Writing assignments: approximately five short essays, daily paragraphs, final examination if necessary. Students will memorize 100 lines of poetry.

Texts: Vendler, Poems, Poets, Poetry; Hollander, Rhyme’s Reason.

ENGL 2315-001+ (2874).  INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY.  10 MWF.  120 Dallas Hall.  Cassedy.

Introduction to the discipline of literary study, covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of genres and historical periods.  Assignments: four essays; midterm; final exam.

Texts may include: selected tales by Poe and Hawthorne; the poetry of Alexander Pope and Emily Dickinson; Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides; Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Freud, Dora.

ENGL 2315-002+ (3656).  INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY.  11 MWF.  138 Dallas Hall.  Ards.

Introduction to the discipline for beginning English majors, covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of fields, genres, and historical periods.  Writing assignments: brief weekly exercises, four essays, mid-term, final examination.

Texts: Shakespeare, The Tempest; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre; James Joyce,A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem; selected poetry, stories, and criticism.

ENGL 2315-003+ (5602).  INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY.  12:30 TTh.  149 Dallas Hall.  Moss.

Introduction to the discipline for beginning English majors, covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of genres and historical periods. Writing assignments: brief weekly exercises, two short papers, one longer paper, midterm, final examination.

Texts: Shakespeare, Hamlet; Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience; Eliot, The Waste Land; Montagu, Embassy Letters; Shelley, Frankenstein; Joyce, Dubliners; Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides; Murfin and Ray, The Bedford Glossary of Literary and Critical Terms.

ENGL 2390-001 (5608).  INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING.  3:30 TTh.  106 Dallas Hall.  Haynes.

This course will introduce the techniques of writing fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.  The semester will be divided between the three genres; in each students will study the work of published writers and create a portfolio of their own original writing in each genre. 

Texts: TBA

ENGL 2390-002 (5609).  INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING.  3:30 TTh.  156 Dallas Hall.  Brownderville.

This course will introduce the techniques of writing fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.  The semester will be divided between the three genres; in each students will study the work of published writers and create a portfolio of their own original writing in each genre. 

Texts: TBA

ENGL 2390-003 (5610).  INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING.  3:30 TTh.  106 Hyer Hall.  STAFF.

This course will introduce the techniques of writing fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.  The semester will be divided between the three genres; in each students will study the work of published writers and create a portfolio of their own original writing in each genre. 

Texts: TBA

ENGL 3305-001 (5615).  WRITING AND THE PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL.  11 MWF.  101 Dallas Hall.  Crusius.

Study of the men and women whose essays and books shape our understanding of current events, culture, and society.  Key questions: Why are we persuaded by some writers more than others?  How should we assess what we read?  How can we write more forcefully ourselves?  The course will focus on the future of the United States. Some lecture, but the course will be organized around small-group collaborative research and issue-oriented class discussion.  Writing assignments: three short essays; one longer essay; final examination.

Texts: Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to Be Us; Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World; Jeffrey Sachs, The Price of Civilization.

ENGL 3310-001 (2347).  CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO LITERATURE.  9 MWF.  137 Dallas Hall.  Crusius.

An introduction to contemporary methods of interpreting literature and to the theoretical assumptions--about language, culture, gender, politics, sexuality, and psychology--informing these methods.  Writing assignments: four short essays, final examination.

Texts:  Stephen Lynn, Texts and Contexts; Joyce Carol Oates, The Oxford Book of American Short Stories.

ENGL 3310-002 (3029).  CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO LITERATURE.  11 MWF.  102 Dallas Hall.  Siraganian.

What is literature?  How do we read it, and why? How can students make sense of and use literary criticism?  This course introduces linguistic, cultural, and theoretical issues informing contemporary literary discourse and applies a variety of contemporary critical approaches to a few literary texts. Writing assignments: bi-weekly short essays, final essay, final examination.

Texts: Tyson, Critical Theory Today, Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Joyce, “The Dead”, Shakespeare, The Tempest, plus additional essays and poems.

ENGL 3320-001+ (5620).  TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE.  12:30 TTh.  120 Clements Hall.  Anderson.

Dreaming in the Middle Ages provided a sophisticated means of examining a wide range of social and intellectual practices. From courtly behavior to good kingship to meditations on man’s mortality, literature concerning dreams touches on an expansive variety of subjects important to medieval audiences. We will read the Middle English texts in their original language, and all others in modern English translations. In this course, we will explore a selection of texts and ideas that shape this diverse genre. Students in the course will produce weekly reading responses, and quizzes, three essays, a midterm, and a final exam will also be required.
Possible Texts: Anon. – Pearl; Boethius – Consolation of Philosophy; Chaucer – Book of the DuchessThe House of FameThe Parliament of Fowls, and The Nun’s Priest’s Tale; Gower – Confessio Amantis; Guilluame de Lorris and Jean de Meun – The Romance of the Rose; Langland – Piers Plowman.

ENGL 3332-001+ (5621).  SHAKESPEARE.  2 MW.  156 Dallas Hall.  Swann.

This course will introduce students to a wide range of Shakespeare’s works and the historical contexts in which they were written and experienced.  I also want us to think about the relationship between Shakespeare and ourhistorical context: why, in the twenty-first century, are readers, audiences and writers still so fascinated by this very old, dead, white guy?

Requirements: daily quizzes; daily participation in class discussions; two substantial essays; comprehensive final exam.

Required textsThe Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt; Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres.

ENGL 3346-001+ (5622).  AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY I.  12 MWF.  107 Hyer Hall.  Cassedy.

An introduction to American literature from European contact to the Civil War.  The course will survey well-known texts from the American literary canon as well as less familiar texts.  Major themes and topics will include: the shifting meanings of "American" identity; the conflicting demands of radical individualism and social cohesion, especially as they intersect with gender, race, slavery, and abolition; and the relationship between literacy and citizenship.  Readings will include autobiographical texts by Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, and Henry David Thoreau; sermons by John Winthrop, Jonathan Edwards, and others; fiction by Susanna Rowson, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville; and poetry by Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

ENGL 3363-001#+ (5623).  CHICANO/CHICANA LITERATURE.  10 MWF.  116 Dallas Hall.  Sae-Saue.

This class will examine the aesthetic and thematic attributes of some of the key texts of the Chicana/o literary archive. Our primary goal is to map the literary development of Chicana/o consciousness. That is, we will examine how key Chicana/o texts mobilize literary elements in order to organize perceptions of social interaction, articulate political needs, and to explore cultural values. With particular emphasis on Chicana/o novels, we shall learn to recognize how each narrative engages issues of race, class, gender, and citizenship within a diverse set of social circumstances in order to understand how literature signifies and structures Chicana/o history and culture values. As such, we shall attend to how the selected texts articulate the Chicana/o imagination not as something “essential,” but rather as the means by which to conceive of identity within disparate and complex social-historical situations. Furthermore, this course will explore how works deemed crucial to the formation of a Chicana/o cultural consciousness and to the institutionalization of Chicana/o studies challenge the nationalist origins of the field.  In this regard, our aim is identify how foundational texts of the Chicana/o literary archive imagine this community’s social and cultural dilemmas beyond the coordinates of the U.S. nation state and in-between diverse ethnic communities.

ENGL 3391-001 (3105).  INTERMEDIATE POETRY WRITING.  12:30 TTh.  156 Dallas Hall.  Brownderville.

Building on ENGL 2391, an intermediate workshop in which students will write and revise poems, critique one another’s work orally and in writing, and consider sample texts as models of poetic craft. Prerequisite: ENGL 2391.

Text(s): TBA.

ENGL 3392-001 (3016).  INTERMEDIATE FICTION WRITING.  9:30 TTh.  156 Dallas Hall.  STAFF.

Advanced workshop for students seriously interested in writing the short story or novel. Each student is required to have a new story or chapter ready to workshop at the beginning of the semester. Writing assignments: At least four works of original fiction created during the semester. Prerequisites: ENGL 3392 and permission of the instructor.

Texts: TBA.

ENGL 3392-002 (5632).  INTERMEDIATE FICTION WRITING.  3 MW.  101 Dallas Hall.  Haynes.

Advanced workshop for students seriously interested in writing the short story or novel. Each student is required to have a new story or chapter ready to workshop at the beginning of the semester. Writing assignments: At least four works of original fiction created during the semester. Prerequisites: ENGL 3392 and permission of the instructor.
Texts: TBA.

ENGL 4321-001 (3705).  STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE.  11 TTh.  107  Hyer Hall.  Keene.

This course studies writings by and about medieval holy women – from the historical to the hysterical – of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland from the seventh through the fifteenth centuries including, for example, St Aethelthryth, St Edith, St Margaret of Scotland, St Christina of Markyate, St Modwenna, Julian of Norwich, Chaucer’s Prioress, and Margery Kempe. The unique and relatively untapped perspective in these texts provides insight into changing expressions of female piety, the relationship between the saint and her hagiographer, and political uses of female saints’ cults.  Assignments: class participation, short presentations, midterm, research paper.

Texts: On-line Reader; The Life of Christine of Markyate (trans. C.H. Talbot); Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (trans. Elizabeth Spearing); The Book of Margery Kempe (trans. Lynn Staley); others TBD.

ENGL 4330-001 (3622).  RENAISSANCE WRITERS.  9:30 TTh.  137 Dallas Hall.  Moss.

The Faerie Queene—Edmund Spenser’s endlessly imaginative allegory for the English nation and Queen Elizabeth—and Paradise Lost—John Milton’s epic portrayal of satanic vengeance, human frailty, and promised redemption—remain the most rewarding and influential long poems of the English Renaissance. We will begin by grounding ourselves in their common classical sources—Virgil, Ovid, and the Bible—and will then read both of these monumental poems alongside extensive coverage of the religious, political, and social controversies of the early modern period.  Writing assignments: weekly quizzes, brief creative exercises, two short essays, research paper and presentation, final examination

 Texts: Virgil, Aeneid (selections); Ovid, Metamorphoses (selections); Geneva Bible (selections); Spenser,MuiopotmosThe Faerie Queene, Books I and III; Milton, “Lycidas”; “Comus”; Paradise Lost; selected criticism.

ENGL 4333-001 (2598).  SHAKESPEARE.  1 MWF.  149 Dallas Hall.  Holahan.

Close reading of the major tragedies along with representative later comedies, problem plays, and romances. Reading will be supplemented by the viewing of videotaped performances. Writing assignments: three essays, quizzes, mid-term, final examination.
Text: Greenblatt, ed., The Norton Shakespeare.

ENGL 4343-001 (3106).  BRITISH LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS: GENDER AT THE FIN DE SIÈCLE.  2 TTh.  357 Dallas Hall.  Newman.

During the final decade of the nineteenth century, writers and ordinary people alike openly questioned, criticized, and rejected the settled gender ideology and conservative sexual mores that had been distinctive features of Victorian life.  The “New Woman,” who desired independence and rejected marriage as her only vocation, arrived on the scene; the male aesthete, who preferred the beautiful to the useful, challenged Victorian ideals of manliness; and public scandals and new discourses, such as the trials of Oscar Wilde and the emergence of psychology and psychoanalysis, called attention to the pervasiveness of desires outside the prescribed norm.  All of these developments helped create new identities, sometimes termed (by critics) “degenerate” or “decadent”; indeed, the term “The Decadence” is often used to signify the whole period, or at least, a significant movement within it.  We will explore these developments through the writing, literary figures, and institutions that shaped and were shaped by them, with the aim of coming to terms with a decade that is currently being re-evaluated by a new generation of literary scholars.  In the process, we will read both canonical and recently recovered “minor” literature, seeking to put the canonical in the context of what has more usually been forgotten.

Texts  Schaffer, ed., Literature and Culture at the Fin de Siècle (anthology)Hardy, Jude the Obscure; Ryder Haggard, SheNelson, ed., A New Woman Reader; anthology readings to include Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; poems and essays by “decadent” writers; short fiction and essays by “New Woman” writers; and Grundy, The New Woman (a play).  Bi-weekly postings to Blackboard site; 1-2 short critical/analytical papers (4-5 pp); bibliographical project with annotations; research project (approx. 10 pages); final exam.

ENGL 4350-001 (5649).  MODERN & CONTEMPORARY BRITISH WRITERS.  12:30 TTh.  138 Dallas Hall.  Bozorth.

“On or about December 1910, human character changed,” declared Virginia Woolf.  We will read some of the most revolutionary literature ever written in English, as poetry, fiction, and drama all took on strange, new forms in response to the radical events of the early 20th century.  We will see how British and Irish writers responded to the rise of modern psychology and anthropology, new developments in music and visual arts, and rapidly evolving views of gender, sex, and class.  We will consider how the cataclysms of “The Great War” of 1914-18 and the economic crisis of the 1930s accelerated changes in poetry and fiction.  We will talk about how literature responded to rising independence movements in Ireland and India, and the prospect of a post-imperial, even post-Christian Britain.   And we will grapple with some of the most weird, wonderful, and powerful literature written in English.  Some lecture; more discussion, much of it student-led.  Short response papers; longer research-based paper.  Regular participation in online discussion board.
Texts:  Selected poetry by W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Wilfred Owen; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Oscar Wilde,Salome.

ENGL 4398-001 (3673).  CRAFT OF FICTION.  12:30 TTh.  101 Dallas Hall.  STAFF.

TBD.

ENGL 5310-001 (2348).  SEMINAR IN LITERARY THEORY.  11 TTh.  137 Dallas Hall.  Schwartz.

An introduction to some of the philosophical and theoretical writings necessary to understand current critical practice.  We shall examine assumptions underlying traditional critical methods and then work toward some of the critical modes that have come into practice in the last half of the 20thC and the first decade of the 21stC, including deconstructive, psychoanalytic, feminist, New Historical, queer, ethnic, and cultural approaches to literature.  The emphasis throughout the course will be on the ways in which a non-foundationalist “semiotic” linguistics has provided ways of understanding literary works and other systems that constitute our culture.  In addition to the texts listed below, we shall read essays by Foucault, Saussure, Derrida, Barthes, Gates, Hall, Sedgwick, Silverman, and Badiou, among others.  Writing assignments: several short papers and one seminar essay.

Enrollment limit: By invitation only.

Texts: Brontë, Jane Eyre; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought; James,Eight Tales from the Major Phase; Plato, Phaedrus. Silverman, The Subject of Semiotics.