Course Catalog for ENGLISH
ENGL 101
The Practice of Literature
This course looks at the most fundamental, but also the most difficult, questions about literature: what is literature, exactly? How does literature help us understand the wider world, and what life-long skills does the reading of literature help us develop? Although these questions animate every English course, we all -- professors, students -- answer those questions differently. In this course multiple members of the English Department faculty will visit class and discuss how they approach questions about literature and interpretation. Expect disagreements, and be prepared, in a highly collaborative environment, to express your own strong views. Each year, our readings will be organized around a common theme, which each faculty participant will address. This spring's theme: "Telling Stories." For English majors, this course satisfies the critical reflection requirement. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 104
Introduction to American Literature I
This course introduces students to American literature before 1865 by surveying a wide range of texts-some very famous, some little-known-written by and about people living in the present-day United States, from the earliest Europeans' arrival in the Americas until the time of the U.S. Civil War. The course will trace political, intellectual, and social developments as they interacted with literary culture. Students will both acquire knowledge of American cultural history and develop skills of literary analysis. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 105
Introduction to American Literature II
This course surveys major works of American literature after 1865, from literary reckonings with the Civil War and its tragic residues, to works of "realism" and "naturalism" that contended with the late 19th century’s rapid pace of social change, to the innovative works of the modern and postmodern eras. As we read works by authors such as Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison, we will inquire: how have literary texts defined and redefined "America" and Americans? What are the means by which some groups have been excluded from the American community, and what are their experiences of that exclusion? And how do these texts shape our understanding of the unresolved problems of post-Civil War American democracy? For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 110
Inventing English Literature
Fifteen hundred years ago, there was no such thing as English literature. The few examples of writing we have from that period are in a language that hardly anyone understands today. And yet, by the time of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, England had developed one of the great world literatures. How did this happen? Starting with early masterpieces like Beowulf (in translation), we will trace the emergence of "English literature," as we now know it. In addition to major figures like Chaucer, Milton, and Shakespeare, we'll consider authors who fill out the historical picture. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 111
Literature in the Age of Revolutions
Over the last three hundred years, the modern world has undergone a series of cataclysmic transformations: the rise of empires, the French revolution, the industrial revolution, the struggles of colonized peoples, and of women, for equality and dignity, the disaster of two World Wars. English literature has been centrally involved in these earth-shattering events: literature is a chronicle of change, and can itself be revolutionary, instigating major change all on its own. In this course, which begins with the rise of modern England, and then looks at major authors of the Romantic, Victorian, Modern and contemporary periods, we will consider what makes English a central world literature. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 116
Introduction to African American Literature, Part I
This course surveys African American literature in a variety of genres from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Through the study of texts by Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown, Julia Collins, William and Ellen Craft, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Dunbar, Ida Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, and others, we will explore how these writers represented and influenced the history of people of African descent in the U.S., from slavery and abolition to early struggles for civil rights; how their work has intervened in racial formation and imagined the black diaspora; how literary innovations have engaged with continuing political questions of nation, gender, sexuality, and class. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 117
Introduction to African American Literature Part II
This course surveys African American literature in multiple genres from the 20th-century to the present. We will examine texts by both canonical and emergent writers, such as James Weldon Johnson, Angelina Weld Grimke, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Zora Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, Rita Dove, August Wilson, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and others. Our discussions/strategies for reading will be informed by relevant social, historical, and political contexts. In addition to discussing issues of race, nation formation, diasporic identities, class, gender, and sexuality, we will identify/trace recurring ideas/themes, as well as develop a theoretical language to facilitate thoughtful engagement with these works. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a survey. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 120
Your Table is Ready: Writing the Restaurant
To write about food is to write about life. Representations of the restaurant experience, in particular, can convey with great economy key social ideals and problems: definitions of identity, community, and “taste,” issues of consumerism, and concepts of both physical and spiritual hunger. This course focuses on the restaurant as a significant social site and literary setting, and on texts that reflect and help to create that significance. Readings will include plays, films, poems and short stories, as well as classics of culinary nonfiction (restaurant reviews, essays, memoirs, and investigative journalism). The course will help students develop writing and research skills, with focus on the techniques of critical and literary analysis. The course has a community learning component focused upon the restaurant culture(s) of Hartford.
0.50 units, Seminar
ENGL 206
Walden
Henry David Thoreau recently turned 200, and he seems almost still alive. Climate scientists use data from his journals to document global warming. Legal scholars debate his relevance. There's even a video game based on his time at Walden Pond. So what's all the fuss? This course revolves around careful study of Thoreau's most famous work, WALDEN, and its place in American culture. At a time when serious thinkers question whether "nature" even still exists apart from human activity, students in this course (whether firsttime readers of Thoreau or more experienced ones) will have the opportunity to consider WALDEN's significance for how we understand the natural world--as well as its limitations, including centuries-old forms of indigenous knowledge Thoreau couldn't fully grasp.
0.50 units, Seminar
ENGL 206
Sensory Stages: Embodiment in Drama, Medieval to Contemporary
Theater is a multi-sensory art form: spectators watch; audiences listen; actors touch. Drama asks us to attend, in a heightened way, to our senses, the basic interface between self and other, mind and body, player and playgoer. As we’ll see, this focus on sensory experience allows dramatists to ask important questions about embodied experience. In this course, we’ll draw on theater history and theories of performance to explore how drama in English – from medieval street theater to modernism, Shakespeare’s Globe to contemporary America – make use of different sensory techniques in leading audiences to reflect on their cultures’ assumptions about topics such as gender, sexuality, disability, and race. Authors and texts may include medieval mystery plays, Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, Samuel Beckett, Suzan Lori-Parks, and Wole Soyinka. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 209
Prison Literature
This course examines texts, both fictional and non-fictional, written about and often in prison. While the course covers a variety of genres and historical periods, the common thread linking all the texts is that their authors were or are incarcerated. Through the works of canonical and non-canonical writers such as Thoreau, Wilde, King, Mandela, Davis, Horton, and currently incarcerated women and men, we will explore how the experience of imprisonment influences the individual, and his or her family, community, and society and raises questions about freedom, transgression, and human rights. This course will have a community learning component and will introduce students to some of the writers whose works we will be studying. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 218
Hungry Games: Dystopian Visions
In reflecting upon the secrets of life and death that allowed him to generate his creature, Victor Frankenstein famously insists upon the dangers of "the acquirement of knowledge." Indeed, the hunger for and danger of ever greater knowledge about and control over life and death marks a tradition of dystopian literature in Western modernity. In this course, we will explore the representation of this hunger and danger in British prose satire, fiction, and poetry written between 1726 and the present. Assigned texts will include Gulliver's Travels, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, "The Waste Land," Brave New World, film adaptations of Children of Men and Never Let Me Go, and episodes of the television series Black Mirror. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 222
Victorian Short Fiction
The Victorian period is known for its three-decker novels, but the later 19th century was a golden age for short fiction. We will examine the evolution of the short story and the novella, assessing the impact of technological advances in the printing industry, the rise of the cheap periodical, and burgeoning literacy levels. We will also look at the rapid growth of new popular genres, such as science fiction, detective fiction, adventure stories, ghost & horror stories, and feminist “New Woman” fiction. Writers to be studied include Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Eliza Riddell, Sheridan Le Fanu, Thomas Hardy, Mona Caird, “George Egerton,” and H.G. Wells. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 231
The Rom Com
This course examines how the genre of the romantic comedy reflects, responds to, and challenges conventions and structures of the society in which it's created. We will begin by considering some of the questions raised by the genre and reviewing theories we can use to discuss these texts. We will then track the genre on stage and screen as it self-consciously responds to the cultural and historical moment of England at the turn of the 17th-century and 20th-century America, both periods of profound economic and social change, focusing on issues of convention, plotting, taste, gender, ethnicity, and class that the genre illuminates. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 239
Words Between Wars: Americans in Paris 1920-1939
Our focus in this class is on the explosion of form and content that marked literature by Americans living or sojourning in Paris during the Jazz Age and into the Depression. Influenced by Modernism and by Paris-centered explorations in other arts, the writers who came to Paris produced works that set the course of American literature for the remainder of the 20th century. Our reading list includes Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Janet Flanner, Langston Hughes, Henry Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Anais Nin, Ezra Pound, and EE Cummings. Films, music, and visual arts will connect these texts to other important cultural figures of the time and place. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 252
Young Adult Literature
According to Philip Pullman, “There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.” What themes and subjects might these be? What are the implications of this argument? We will read children’s and young adult literature from the 19th-century to the present day, discussing, as we go, its origins, evolutions, and continuities. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 260
Introduction to Literary Studies
Why study literature? A practical reason: we live in a world of words and this course helps you master that world. But more importantly, literature immerses you in vast new worlds that become more meaningful as you become a better reader. Literature grapples with the fundamental problems of humanity; good, evil, pain, pleasure, love, death. We will read across centuries of English literature, in all genres, to see how great authors have addressed these problems. Through a sustained and rigorous attention to your own writing and interpretive skills, the course will leave you better prepared to explore and contribute to the written world. This course offers skills required for the English major, but welcomes anyone who wishes to become a better writer, reader, and thinker. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 265
Introduction to Film Studies
This course provides a general introduction to the study of film and focuses on the key terms and concepts used to describe and analyze the film experience. As we put this set of tools and methods in place, we will also explore different modes of film production (fictional narrative, documentary, experimental) and some of the critical issues and debates that have shaped the discipline of film studies (genre, auteurism, film aesthetics, ideology). Note: Evening meetings of this class are for film screenings only. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. It is also the gateway course for the literature and film concentration. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for the film studies minor. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 270
Introduction to Creative Writing
An introduction to imaginative writing, concentrating on the mastery of language and creative expression in more than one genre. Discussion of work by students and established writers. This is a required course for creative writing concentrators. Beginning in the spring 2014 semester, ENGL 270 must be taken before senior year with enrollment of juniors restricted to five students per section. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers. (ART)
This course is not open to seniors.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 272
Hollywood Film Directors
This course explores and celebrates the work of classic American film directors and constitutes an introduction to the critical methodology of the auteur theory. The directors to be examined are Samuel Fuller, Howard Hawks, and Alfred Hitchcock. After an introduction to various approaches to the auteur, we will use the work of Fuller, Hawks and Hitchcock to explore the history and creative potential of these approaches. Emphasis will be given to contemporary developments that integrate a focus on auteurs with the practices of experimental cinephilia and philosophy. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200 level elective. Evening meeting time is for film viewing only. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 282
Contemporary Native American Literature
Indigenous writers have used fiction, autobiography, and poetry to explore what it means to be a Native person today, whether that is in an urban context or on a reservation. From poetry to historical fiction to dystopian futurist science fiction, Native writers celebrate the resistance and survival that has shaped their lives and communities despite a history of colonization. In this course we will examine a selection of works by Native American writers from across the United States and Canada, using these works to gain insight into the ongoing cultural experience of Native people. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 288
World Cinema
This course provides an introduction to the study of world cinema, with a focus on cinematic cultures other than those of the USA or Europe. We will begin by considering some of the theoretical questions involved in intercultural spectatorship and introducing/reviewing critical categories we can use to discuss the films. We will then proceed through a series of units based around specific cinematic cultures, focusing on movement, genres and auteurs and on the historical, cultural, and geopolitical issues that the films illuminate. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of requirements for the film studies minor. (GLB2)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 292
Tolkien and His Times
J.R.R. Tolkien is rarely considered in the same breath as the great modernist writers with whom he shared the middle decades of the twentieth-century. And yet, with its explorations of war, totalitarian politics, ecology, religion, and other big issues, his work holds a fascinating mirror to its times. In this course, we will take Tolkien seriously both as a literary author and as an interpreter of twentieth-century Britain. Readings will include most of Tolkien’s published output, a handful of modernist texts, and selected readings in contemporary culture and politics. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 200-level elective. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 300
Shaping the World: Considering the Writer's Craft
How do you get from that first scribbled note to the final draft of a story or poem? How do you use the work of other writers as a source of inspiration, a jumping off point? In this course we’ll analyze the craft of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We’ll read and discuss important recent works in all three genres as well as a mixture of essays, interviews, and articles on craft issues and the writing life. Each week we’ll turn over a different topic, looking at how one aspect of craft operates across these genres. Students will respond to the readings and discussions via papers, creative work, and group work. We’ll also engage established writers in our conversations through class visits and Skype sessions. For English majors, this course is open to students wishing to fulfill their 200-level elective requirements under petition. (ART)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 270.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 301
Literature and Meaning: from Aristotle to Queer Theory
This course explores the different ways in which literature has been—and can be—interpreted and justified. Students will read critical theories from Platonism to feminism and queer theory, and will apply these theories to selected texts by Shakespeare, Keats, Austen, Conrad, and others in order to define their own literary theory. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing critical reflection. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 305
Evolution of the Western Film
The course examines how the Western genre emerged from global popular culture at the end of the 19th century to become one of the most powerful and complex forms for expressing the experience of Modernity. After careful consideration of the political and philosophical implications of the Western, we will track the development of the genre as it responds to the ideological contradictions and cultural tensions of 20th-century American history, focusing on broad trends within the mainstream, the contributions of individual directors, and the global dissemination of generic elements. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. Evening meeting time is for screenings only. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 307
Early American Women's Literature
Although early American literature often revolves around "Founding Fathers," in this course we will examine the writing of women. Writing poetry, journals, novels, travel diaries and letters, colonial women had a lot to say about their world and were extraordinarily creative in finding ways to say it-even when the society they lived in suggested it was "improper" for them to write. Along with elite white women, Native Americans, free African Americans, slaves, and indentured servants all wrote as well. As we explore this writing, we will think about what the texts these women produced tell us about the early American experience-how people thought of their place in the world, and what role women imagined for themselves in this newly developing society. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 310
Postcolonial Literature and Theory
This course provides an introduction to Anglophone literatures produced after decolonization. We will read postcolonial theory alongside novels, short stories, poetry, graphic novels, film, and drama in order to consider how these literatures represent issues of identity, nationalism, globalization, and race. The seminar will address the effects of literary form on these fraught representations, as well as the implications of approaching literature through the lens of “postcolonialism,” as opposed to globalization studies, World Literature, transnationalism, or the study of the Global South. Readings may include theory by Homi Bhabha, Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak; and literature from Anglophone Africa, South Asia, Pacific Oceania, the Caribbean and the British Isles. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 314
William Faulkner and American Modernism
In this course, we will read some of William Faulkner's major works (taking his 1936 novel "Absalom, Absalom!" as a centerpiece) in conjunction with literary texts by other modernist writers such as Nella Larsen, Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer, and William Carlos Williams. We will study how modernism's intellectual and aesthetic currents—its iconoclasm, experimentation, and reckoning with the contingencies of knowledge and representation—melded with the historical context of the early 20th-century U.S. How did these writers depict the dark legacies of civil war and slavery? How did their literary innovations recast the enduring problem of segregation and make sense of a rapidly changing society? Beneath these particular inquiries will run an abiding consideration of the value of literary art in turbulent times. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature after 1900. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 318
Literacy and Literature
Literature is produced and consumed by literate people. Nothing could be more obvious. But how do the different ways writers and readers become literate influence the ways they write and read? How have writers depicted the process of acquiring literacy and imagined its importance? In this course, we will examine the nature of literacy and the roles texts play in the development of literacy. With a focus on the United States from the 18th century to the 20th, we will study schoolbooks, texts for young readers, and representations of literacy in literary works ranging from slave narratives to novels to films. We also will study theories of literacy from philosophical, cognitive, and educational perspectives. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 320
Contemporary Americans
This course will focus on important individual collections of contemporary or near-contemporary American poetry. Rather than scanning a selected or collected volume for highlights, we'll look at poems in their original context, considering the single volume as a unified project (a concept increasingly important to contemporary poets) rather than simply a gathering of miscellaneous pieces. Working at a rate of roughly one poet/collection per week, we'll consider classics such as Louise Glück's The Wild Iris, C.K. Williams's Tar, Philip Levine's What Work Is, Yusef Komunyakaa's Magic City, and Jorie Graham's Erosion. We will also consider at least one very recently published collection and one first or near-to-first book. These readings will be supplemented by some theory on the state of contemporary poetry from both poets and critics. For English majors, this course would fulfill the requirement of a course emphasizing poetry and/or a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 321
Curiosity and Literature
This course will examine the way curiosity transformed literature and culture in the age of inquiry, when Peeping Tom was invented, modern science was institutionalized, and the detective novel was born. We will read texts that explore both approved and unapproved kinds, such as witchcraft, voyeurism, and the exhibition of monsters. Texts will include drama, journalism, poetry, satire, and novels by Aphra Behn, Defoe, Johnson, and others. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written from 1700-1900. It is a "research-intensive seminar." Not open to first-year students. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 328
Contemporary Fiction: Not Realism
Two competing aesthetics have dominated American and English fiction during the past century—realism, and everything that is not realism, from the rigorously avant-garde or "post-modern" to pop sci-fi and fantasy and "high-low" hybrids. In much of the rest of the world, realism is regarded as an outdated or minor form. In class we will examine some of the reasons for this split, though our readings will be almost entirely of non-realist works that explore and interrogate the imaginative, verbal and formal possibilities of fictional narrative. We will begin with some writings by still influential precursors and writers of the past century (selections from among Kafka, Beckett, Borges, Bernhard, Nabokov, Calvino, Dick) to contemporary writers such as Coetzee, Murakami, Rushdie, Bolaño Aira, Foster Wallace, Markson, and younger writers such as Junot Díaz, Tom McCarthy, Marisha Pessl, and Rivka Galchen. There will be a selection of critical readings as well. Recommended for creative writing students and enthusiastic readers of fiction from other disciplines. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of an elective.
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 330
Sex, Violence and Substance Abuse: Mexico by Non-Mexicans
Some of the greatest and most lasting depictions of México in fiction, non-fiction, cinema and photography have been produced by non-Mexicans. Rather than exposing any lack of significant Mexican creators in all these genres, such works reflect the strong pull, the attraction and at times repulsion, exerted by this complicated country and culture on outsiders. We will choose readings from such twentieth and twenty-first century works such as John Reed's Insurgent México, Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, DH Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent, Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory, the short-stories of Katherine Anne Porter and Paul Bowles, the novels of B. Traven, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, the poetic meditations on Pre-Colombian México by recent French Nobel Prize winner Le Clézio, the contemporary México novels of the Chilean Roberto Bolaño, and, in Ana Castillo’s fiction, a U.S. Chicana's return to México, as well as other contemporary writings. Movies will be chosen from among A Touch of Evil, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Wild Bunch, Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Night of the Iguana, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and Sín Nombre. The emphasis will be on the prose, novels especially, with three or four movies, and a class devoted to photography. We study the works themselves, their relation to their own literary-cultural traditions, their depiction of México, and the multiple issues raised by their status as works created by "foreigners." Supplemental readings, some by Mexicans. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 331
Literature of Native New England
Before it was New England, this was Native space. From the Wampanoags to the Mohegans, Narragansetts and Pequots, diverse Algonquian communities imbued their physical space with their own histories, traditions, and literatures. With the arrival of English settlers, Native Americans became active participants in a world deeply invested in writing and written traditions, and they marked their presence through English colonial written forms while maintaining a longstanding commitment to their own communities and lifeways. In this course we will explore the great variety of writing by and about Native Americans in this region: we will look at the long tradition of Native American literary presence in New England, from English language texts to other forms of cultural expression. The course is research intensive. Note: For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 334
Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
Students will write and rewrite fiction. The class is run as a workshop, and discussions are devoted to analysis of student work and that of professional writers. For English creative writing concentrators, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers. (ART)
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 335
Literary Nonfiction Narrative
This workshop explores the form of writing that combines the craft of fiction writing with the skills and practices of the journalist. We will read some of the foremost 20th-century and contemporary practitioners of this form of writing (V.S. Naipaul, Joseph Mitchell, Joan Didion, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Rory Stewart, Alma Guillermoprieto, Susan Orlean, Jon Lee Anderson, etc., and selections from some of their important precursors: Stephen Crane, Jose Marti) and discuss, often, the form's complex relation to literary fiction, the tensions and difference between journalism and imaginative works, and so on. The workshop will begin with practical writing assignments: first paragraphs, setting, character, how to develop meaning, short pieces, etc., with the final goal being to produce a New Yorker magazine-like (in length and craft) piece using some aspect of the city of Hartford. NOTE: For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers. (ART)
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 336
Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
Students will do in-class exercises, and write and revise their own poems. The class is run as a workshop, and discussions are devoted to analysis of student work and that of professional writers. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers. This course satisfies the requirement of a 300-level workshop for creative writing concentrators. (ART)
Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 270 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 338
Beyond Nature Worship: New Theories of Environmentalism
This course contextualizes the environmental movement in post-World War II America. Together we will consider how gender, race, sexuality, class, and disability affect human relationships to natural and built environments, and how those relationships are represented. The course centers on a small roster of environmental thinkers, including Ursula Heise, Rob Nixon, Stacy Alaimo, and Elizabeth DeLoughrey, whom we will read closely, repeatedly, and in conjunction with several contemporary novels. In the spirit of Lawrence Buell's assertion that "environmental crisis involves a crisis of the imagination," the course is invested in discourses of both science and the humanities, and students with no previous college-level experience in English are welcome. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 339
The Sublime Ocean: An Introduction to Indian Film and Literature
This course offers an introduction to the rich culture and society of the Indian subcontinent through some of its most celebrated films and works of literature. We will explore work in different genres (Bollywood films, Bengali art cinema, documentaries, short stories, novels, poetry and non-fiction writing) and several distinctive linguistic cultures (English and Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and other regional languages in translation) as a means to feel at home within the oceanic complexity, the sublime diversity, "the Wonder that is India". This course is research intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 requirement. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 341
American Literary Modernism and the Great War
This course will consider the impact of the Great War on American literary modernism. Grappling with apocalyptic devastation in Europe, massive shifts in global politics, and dramatic changes in technology, the Lost Generation responded with enduring and enigmatic works, haunted by wounds both psychic and spiritual. We will consider canonical writings by Ernest Hemingway and e.e. cummings, lesser-known works by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Edith Wharton, and first person accounts by combatants such as Thomas Boyd. As our focus will be on introducing the aesthetics of modernism through the context of the war itself, we will study maps, songs, photographs, newspapers, and other historical materials alongside traditional literary objects. Assignments will include a creative research project, weekly responses, and short essays. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. It is research intensive. This course fulfills archival approaches. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 343
Women and Empire
This course examines women’s involvement in British imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. What part did ideologies of femininity play in pro-imperialist discourse? In what ways did women writers attempt to "feminize" the imperialist project? What was the relationship between the emerging feminist movement and imperialism at the turn of the 20th century? How have women writers in both centuries resisted imperialist axiomatics? How do women authors from once-colonized countries write about the past? How are post-colonial women represented by contemporary writers? Authors to be studied include Charlotte Brontë, Flora Annie Steel, Rudyard Kipling, Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Alexander McCall Smith. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 345
Chaucer
A study of The Canterbury Tales and related writings in the context of late medieval conceptions of society, God, love, and marriage. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 346
Dream Vision and Romance
A study of two major medieval genres as they are developed in the works of Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain-poet, and Malory. The course will explore the structural and stylistic as well as the political, social, and psychological issues raised by these genres and the individual authors' treatments of them. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 348
Women Writers of the Middle Ages
This course will study works in a variety of genres, from the lyric and the romance to the autobiography and the moral treatise, written by medieval women in England, Europe, and Asia. In addition to analyzing the texts themselves, we will be examining them within their social, historical, and political contexts as we discuss such issues as medieval women's literacy, education, and relationships to the male-authored literary traditions of their cultures. Through the term, we will be trying to determine the degree to which we can construct a recognizable woman's literary tradition for this period. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 349
Elizabethan Literature
This course focuses on literature produced in England between 1558 and 1603, with a focus on works of poetry, prose, and drama that reflect (and helped to shape) an “Elizabethan Age.” The reading list will include the epistolary and religious writings of women (including those of Elizabeth I herself), examples of sixteenth-century lyric and narrative poetry, the plays of Kyd, Marlowe, and Shakespeare, the satires of “University Wits” like Greene and Nashe, and the travel writings of Hariot and Raleigh. This seminar is research intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260 or permission of instructor. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 352
Shakespeare
Through close study of a variety of Shakespeare’s works and analysis of selected performances on video, this course addresses definitions of the Shakespearean and examines the constitution of Shakespearean theater. The course pays particular attention to the coherence of Shakespearean dramas around vivid patterns of imagery, to the psychology and arts of Elizabethan and Jacobean characterization, to representations of Elizabethan social and political hierarchies, and to British Renaissance poetic will synthesizing Classical, Medieval, and Celtic source materials. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700 This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 355
Narratives of Disability in U.S. Literature and Culture
This course introduces students to the ways in which disability has been used to represent both "normalcy" and extraordinariness in literature. We will consider how "tales told by idiots," as framed in Shakespeare's Hamlet, often supply the unique and insightful perspective that mainstream characters cannot see, hear, or experience because of their own limitations. We will look at how the notion of disability has been aligned with other aspects of identity, such as Charles Chesnutt's representation of race as a disability in his turn of the century literature or of slaves using performances of disability to escape from the horrid institution during the 19th-century. We will read a variety of genres, fiction, memoir, and some literary criticism to come to a clearer understanding of the ways in which the meaning of disability and its representation in a variety of texts echoes a broader set of beliefs and practices in the U.S. For English majors this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. This course is research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 357
17th Century Poetry
Our focus will be upon the shorter poems of several English writers – Donne, Jonson, Lanyer, Wroth, Herbert, Pulter, Marvell, and Milton, to name a few. Close formal analysis of selected poems and their literary models will be coupled with careful study of the cultural and historical contexts in which these poets wrote. We will consider, among other things, how in the seventeenth century civil war displaced some priorities and sharpened others; how both prayer and poetry led to powerful introspection and writing of the self; how women poets made an English literary tradition their own. We will also consider the critical reception of these poets and how that history illuminates key facets of an English literary tradition. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 361
George Eliot's Middlemarch
This course is a deep dive into what Virginia Woolf called "one of the few English novels written for grown-ups." We'll read George Eliot's Middlemarch (1871) in the context of Eliot's own literary criticism, her biography, realism as a literary genre, and nineteenth-century history and culture more broadly. Weekly sections of the novel will be assigned in conversation with a rich tradition of criticism on Eliot and her masterpiece. These critics will include, for example, Woolf, Jerome Beaty, Gordon Haight, and Rebecca Mead. This course is research intensive. Note: For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 364
Literary Transformations in the 18th Century
How do writers transform traditional literary forms to express new perceptions of identity, sexuality, society, and nature? In this course, we will examine the way the poets, playwrights, journalists, and fiction writers of Restoration and 18th-century England imitated, reworked, and finally rejected old genres to forge new kinds of literary expression. Readings include works by Aphra Behn, Dryden, Swift, Pope, Johnson, and Goldsmith. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. It is a research-intensive seminar. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 373
Irish Poetry Since Yeats
We’ll consider the blossoming of Irish poetry in English since the foundation of the Irish Free State. Given his centrality to both the state and the art form, we’ll begin by considering the work of W.B. Yeats. From Yeats, we’ll move up through the 20th century, looking at work by Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Paul Durcan, Eamon Grennan, Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson, Vona Groarke, and Sinéad Morrissey. We’ll consider the poems through the lens of Irish independence and cultural identity, the Troubles, tensions over religion and class, the urban/rural divide, and the place of women within the tradition. We will also consider the poems as aesthetic objects, governed by different schools and traditions within the art form, Irish or otherwise. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature after 1900 and a class that emphasizes poetry. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 377
The Revolutionary Generations: American Literature from 1740 to 1820
Hannah Arendt suggested that the United States failed to remember its revolutionary tradition because it failed to talk about it. This course will recover those memories by reading the texts that founded the American rebellion, the writings produced in the aftermath of independence, and the creative works crafted in the wake of revolution. Our focus will be on the literature from 1740 until 1820 that struggled to define ways of being in the world that seemed specifically American; therefore, we will look beyond the context of New England to consider the roles played by Africa and the Caribbean in the cultural imagination, and we will trace how social class, race, and gender inflected the output of American writers in a post-1776 world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 379
Melville
Though a superstar during his early career, Herman Melville watched his reputation decline as his literary ambitions escalated. One review of his seventh novel bore the headline, "Herman Melville Crazy." Not until the 20th century did even his best-known work, Moby Dick, attract considerable attention, but it now stands at the center of the American literary pantheon. Melville's work merits intensive, semester-long study not only because he is a canonical author of diverse narratives—from maritime adventures to tortured romances to philosophical allegories—but also because his career and legacy themselves constitute a narrative of central concern to literary studies and American culture. Through reading and discussion of several of his major works, we will explore Melville's imagination, discover his work's historical context, and think critically about literary form. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is also research-intensive.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 383
Modern British Fiction
This is a course in British fiction between 1890 and 1945. The prose (novels and stories) of this period is characterized by tremendous ambition, radical experimentation, the questioning of old conventions and the creation of new ones. Authors will include Wilde, Conrad, Ford, Forster, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. It is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 387
Ben Jonson and His World
This course will focus on the life and works of Ben Jonson (1572-1637). Rivaling his fellow-playwright William Shakespeare in his comic artistry (and far surpassing Shakespeare in his explicit representation of life in early modern London), Jonson worked in court, playhouse, and printing house to make a name for himself as England's first poet laureate. The study of his plays, poems, and masques provides insight into the dynamics of social and political change that were shaping early modern English society; study of Jonson's critical reception in turn illuminates key facets of an English literary tradition. We will be reading a range of works by Jonson, poems by the self-identified "Sons of Ben," and contemporary critical commentaries by scholars, poets, and directors. For English majors, this course fulfills the requirement for a pre-1700 course. This seminar is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 399
Independent Study
A limited number of individual tutorials in topics not currently offered by the department. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ENGL 401
Introduction to Literary Theory
This seminar is designed to provide a perspective on varied critical vocabularies, and to explore the development of literary theories and methods from classical to contemporary times. Emphasis will be placed on a broad examination of the history and traditions of literary theory, the ongoing questions and conflicts among theorists, and practical applications to the study of works in literature. Students will compose a substantial critical essay based on research and the development of their own perspective on understanding and evaluating a literary text. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 409
Food Writing in the English Renaissance
This course, through the study of English works written between 1500 and 1700, explores the relationship between literature and culinary practice. What role did food and food writing play in the shaping of early modern English culture? We will consider a range of topics: the impact of global trade and exploration upon Renaissance cuisine; literature's role in disseminating global knowledge and emergent conceptions of good taste; the ways in which older conceptions of communal consumption were revived or nostalgically recreated during a time of rapid social and political change. This course explores not only early modern literature's connection to larger cultural and culinary trends but also the way in which literary practices themselves were often figured as acts of digestion, distillation, gathering, or cultivation. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 412
Modern Poetry
“It appears that poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult.” When T. S. Eliot wrote these lines in 1921, “difficulty” was self-evidently a term of praise: it signaled a willingness to grapple with the intellectual, esthetic, moral, and erotic complexities of modernity. Today, however, that same difficulty gives poetry of the early 20th century its somewhat scary reputation. Why read tough texts when so much else goes down easily? A premise of this course is that the excitement, the beauty, and the sheer greatness of modern poetry are inseparable from the challenges it poses to the reader. Between 1885 and World War II, Eliot, Yeats, Pound, Crane, Moore, Bishop, Williams, Stevens, Frost, and Auden made poetry possible for modern life. We read their work. (Note: English 412 and English 812 are the same course.) For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of an advanced class in literature written after 1900. It also satisfies the requirement of a poetry course. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 413
Native American Literature and Theory
We are currently in an extraordinary intellectual and artistic moment for Native American communities. In this course, we will turn our attention to forms of Native textual production from the colonial period to today. We will not only educate ourselves in the richness and variety of Native expression, we will also grapple with our assumptions about what constitutes Native American literature, using recent Native American scholarship to guide us. Along the way we will sample various forms of expression from origin stories to ledger drawings, poems, novels, autobiographies, and critical nonfiction. Our efforts in this class will be collaborative; while we will share core readings, you should expect to do several outside readings and class reports. This seminar is research-intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 requirement, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 418
17th-Century Poetry
The poets of the early modern period made their contribution to an English literary tradition against a dynamic context of religious, political, and social change. Poets studied in this course will include Lanyer, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Marvell, Philips, Bradstreet, and Milton. English 418 and English 818 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This is a research-intensive seminar.
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 420
Shakespeare
In this course, we will focus on a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, from early comedies to later tragedies and romances. Students will gain a broad familiarity with Shakespearean texts and contexts, from the sixteenth century to the present, deepening their understanding of Shakespeare’s drama and its cultural significance through close examination of both primary and secondary sources, as well as film and stage adaptations. This seminar is research-intensive. For English majors, it fulfills the requirement for an upper-level course in pre-1700 literature. (HUM)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 260
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 421
Twilight Age: British Literature of the 1890s
The 1890s was a time of literary flourishing in the face of deep cultural and social anxiety. The British Empire was hovering on the edge of collapse; the fin de siècle was felt to be the end of an era. Yet even as some saw degeneration at hand, others saw opportunity, experimentation, rebellion, new beginnings. "New Women" posed a vocal threat to gender roles while Oscar Wilde and his fellow “decadents” asked a nation to rethink art and brought conversations about sexuality to the breakfast table. This course examines the literature, art, and culture of a remarkable decade. Students will read fiction, prose, poetry and drama, producing two research papers, several shorter papers, and an in-class research presentation. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written from 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 425
Postmodernism in Film and Literature
“Postmodern” is the term used most often to describe the unique features of global culture (art, architecture, philosophy, cinema, literature) since the 1970s. And yet there is practically no agreement about what those features might be: is postmodernism ironic or serious, flat or deep, real or hyper-real, alive or defunct? In this course we will examine competing and often contradictory views of postmodernism, with the goal of developing a historical perspective on the contemporary world we live in now. Texts will be divided evenly between philosophy/theory (Lyotard, Baudrillard, Jameson, Fukuyama, Hutcheon), cinema (possible films: Bladerunner, Mulholland Drive, Pulp Fiction) and literature (possible authors: Borges, Pynchon, Barthelme, Murakami, Foster Wallace). The seminar will culminate with a field trip to New York City. English 425 and English 825 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 distribution requirement. For literature and film concentrators, this course fulfills the requirement of an advanced course toward the major, and counts as a course in literature and film. This course fulfills the requirements toward the film studies major. NOTE: Monday evenings screenings only. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 427
Sci Fi in the Archives: Post-War American Speculative Fiction
With the aid of the Loftus E. Becker collection in the Watkinson, this course will explore science fiction as an essential map of our post-war American empire. Fueled by dystopian and utopian impulses, artists like Ursula K. Le Guin and Ted Chiang evolved the genre from technological triumphalism into a devastating critique of a culture invested in weapons of mass destruction, alienating digitalization, and environmental collapse. While we read canonical works of post-1945 American science fiction for their aesthetic elements and ideological functions, we'll also map the genre's tangled publishing history and material traces via archival work at the Watkinson. This course meets the Archival method requirement. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 431
The 19th Century-Novel: Reading Practice, Reading Debates
How do literature classes train us to read? Does this training prime us to ask certain kinds of questions to the exclusion of others? Is there anything we would see in, say, the nineteenth-century novel if we read it differently? Is reading differently possible? Over the last 25 years, these types of questions have been asked by literary critics with increasing intensity, particularly among scholars of the nineteenth century. In this class, we will read novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy alongside criticism on reading practices from D.A. Miller, Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, Bruno Latour, Rita Felski, Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best, and Franco Moretti. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 445
Black Women Writers in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Through readings in various genres (fiction, essays, drama, poetry, memoir, etc.), this course examines how black women's literary production is informed by the experiences, conditions, identities, and histories of women of African descent in the U.S., including some who were born or have lived outside of the U.S. Among the recurring themes/issues we will discuss are the impact of class, gender, race, sexuality, ability, and geographical location on black women's writings, artistic visions, the politics and dynamics of black women's roles in families, communities, the nation, and across the globe. Writers vary each semester but may include: Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Roxanne Gay, Lorraine Hansberry, bell hooks, Nella Larsen, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Z.Z. Packer, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ann Petry, Tracy K. Smith, and Alice Walker. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 448
Little Shop of Horrors: Plants in Literature and Film
This course engages with the plant world through novels, poetry, philosophy, comics, and film. We will track major trends in the human understanding of plants, beginning in the late eighteenth century-when poets were eager to consider the line between the plant and animal kingdoms-and ending in the twentieth century-when popular culture was more likely to categorize plants as monstrous and 'other.' In rethinking the being and meaning of plants we will necessarily revisit the idea of 'the human' and 'the animal,' employing these categories while attending to borderline cases where their utility falters. Readings will focus on Romantic-era texts by Erasmus Darwin, William Cowper, Charlotte Smith, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Austen, before turning to horror films like "Little Shop of Horrors," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The Thing From Another World," "The Happening" and "The Ruins." English 448 and English 848 are the same course. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 455
Shakespeare and Film
Shakespeare has long been celebrated for his 'universality': for being "not of an age, but for all time"; for inventing "the human." In this course, we will study selected films adapted from Shakespeare plays as a way to think about this idea of Shakespeare's universality. We will begin by considering what we mean when we say he is universal, and what is at stake in describing Shakespeare as universal. We will then study a handful of Shakespeare plays and their adaptations, some of which translate Shakespeare's plays to different times, places, and sometimes languages. Plays may be selected from Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, 1 Henry IV, Hamlet, King Lear, Cymbeline, and The Tempest. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 459
Orphans and Others: Family Identity in Early American Literature
From cross-dressing sailors and adventurers to castaways and runaways, early American literature is filled with narratives of reinvention—sometimes by choice, often by necessity. In this course we will look at the peril and promise of such reinvention as various figures reimagine their relation to a social order organized by family lineage and paternal descent. For some the Americas (at least theoretically) presented a world of new possibilities while for others this was a dangerous and isolating place. Our readings will include novels, autobiographical narratives, confessions, and other literary accounts. This seminar is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 461
World Cinema Auteurs
This advanced course offers an in-depth exploration of the work of major auteur-directors from the domain of World Cinema, cinema from countries other than the United States or Europe. Three or four auteurs grouped by country, region or culture (e.g. Japan, India, Iran, Brazil, West Africa, or the Three Chinas: PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) will be examined in their aesthetic, cultural and geo-political dimensions using the cutting-edge new methodologies of comparative and experimental cinephilia. Note: This advanced undergraduate/graduate hybrid course - while not required, some prior experience with film analysis, film theory, or World Cinema is strongly recommended. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 466
Teaching Assistantship
Students may assist professors as teaching assistants, performing a variety of duties usually involving assisting students in conceiving or revising papers; reading and helping to evaluate papers, quizzes, and exams; and other duties as determined by the student and instructor. See instructor of specific course for more information. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
ENGL 470
Film Theory: An Introduction
This course introduces the most important theoretical models which have been used to explain how films function as art, ideology, language, history, politics and philosophy. Some theorists are mainly concerned with the aesthetic potentials of the cinema: How do categories such as realism, authorship and genre explain and enhance our experience of films? Other theorists are focused on the relations between films and the societies that produce them, or on general processes of spectatorship: How do Hollywood films address their audiences? How do narrative structures shape our responses to fictional characters? As the variety of these questions suggests, film theory opens onto a wide set of practices and possibilities; though it always begins with what we experience at the movies, it is ultimately concerned with the wider world that we experience through the movies. Theorists to be examined include Munsterberg, Eisenstein, Burch, Kracauer, Balazs, Bazin, Altman, Gunning, Mulvey, Metz, Wollen, Havel, Benjamin, Pasolini, Deleuze and Jameson. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400-level elective, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. This course fulfills requirements toward the film studies minor. Film screenings to be discussed at the first class meeting. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 471
The Romantic Novel
British Romanticism is best known for its poetry. In fact, the era’s preeminent novelist, Jane Austen, is often thought to belong more to the eighteenth century than the Romantic era. But as Keats was writing his Odes, British writers, many of them women, energized the novel, a form that would be seen as low and unwholesome well into the reign of Queen Victoria. This class examines the development of the social novel: a genre whose realism reflects social problems and the condition of the nation. We analyze the genre’s harrowing roots in Mary Wollstonecraft’s proto-feminist Maria; the construction of racial difference in Elizabeth Hamilton’s Translation of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah; and the developing interest in labor and industrialization in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 473
Dickens/Chaplin
This course treats the work of Charles Dickens and Charles Chaplin from a critical perspective that recognizes their striking similarities. Charles Dickens was the most popular artist of the 19th century; the fictional world and characters he created made sense of modern life for millions around the world, and the adjective "Dickensian" testifies to how familiar his blend of comedy and melodrama has become. Charles Chaplin is remarkably analogous to Dickens; as the 20th century's most popular artist, his work addressed fundamental issues of contemporary social life, and also employed a blend of comedy and melodrama that merited its own adjective: "Chaplinesque". The course examines the evolution of these two major figures over the course of their careers. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400 elective. For literature and film concentrators, this course counts as a course in literature and film. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 474
Race and Realism: African American Literature Before the Harlem Renaissance
Coming of age in the ruins of Reconstruction, the encroachment of Jim Crow laws, and waves of great migration, African American writers of the early 20th century shaped American literature in powerful and often-forgotten ways. Their texts, published in the decades before the Harlem Renaissance, offer an opportunity to consider how people produce literature under the pressures of structural racism; how art might respond to the terrorism of state sanctioned violence; how genres might stretch to articulate the psychological complexities of social and self identities; and how writers appeal to audiences, construct communities, forge friendships, and speak truth to power, despite institutional ambivalence and resistance to their voices. Course readings will come from Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, Alice Dunbar Nelson, WEB Du Bois and others. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written post-1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 479
Revolutionary Generations: American Literature 1740-1820
Hannah Arendt suggested that the United States failed to remember its revolutionary tradition because it failed to talk about it. This course will recover those memories by reading the texts that founded the American rebellion, the intense arguments made in the aftermath of independence, and the passionate creative works produced in the wake of revolution. We will look beyond the context of New England to consider the roles played by Africa and the Caribbean in the cultural imagination, and we will trace how social class, race, and gender inflected the constitution of American identities in a post-1776 world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 492
Fiction Workshop
Advanced seminar in the writing of fiction. Class discussions devoted primarily to the analysis of student fiction, with some attention to examples of contemporary short stories. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers, and an advanced creative writing workshop. This course satisfies the requirement of a 400-level workshop for creative writing concentrators, and a senior project. (ART)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 270 and one of the following English 333, 334, 335, 336, 441, Theater and Dance 305, or Theater and Dance 393.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 494
Poetry Workshop
Advanced seminar in the writing of poetry. Class discussions devoted primarily to the analysis of student work, with some attention to examples of contemporary poetry. One requirement of this class is attendance at a minimum of two readings offered on campus by visiting writers, and an advanced creative writing workshop. This course satisfies the requirement of a 400-level workshop for creative writing concentrators, and a senior project. (ART)
Prerequisite: C- or better in English 270 and one of the following English 333, 334, 335, 336, 441, Theater and Dance 305, or Theater and Dance 393.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 495
Senior Seminar: Being Literate
After you graduate with a degree in English, you will head in many directions, pursuing many careers and devoting your lives to diverse passions. But you will be all alike in at least one respect: you will be really well-read, fit for decades of capacious reading and writing. This seminar challenges you to prepare for your future as a highly-educated citizen by exploring what it means to be literate. We will study theories of literacy; patterns in the cultural history of literacy and illiteracy, intellectualism and anti-intellectualism; and literary texts that turn on verbal ability, bookishness, and the life of the mind. Students' final assignment will involve a deeply researched analysis of a literary text they consider pertinent to their own future. (HUM)
This course is open to senior English majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 496
Senior Seminar: What You Should Have Read
This is your final year as an English major. There are books and authors, that, once upon a time, you thought every English major should have read. You still haven't. One of this seminar's purposes is to let you to do so. One of its other purposes is to ask and answer the question: Why? Why did you think that every English major should have read this book? Why hadn't you? Why has or hasn't the text met your great expectations? We will also be discussing related issues such as canonicity and canon changes, the structure of the English major, and the reasons why you chose it. The students will generate (and debate) the reading list and syllabus. The instructor will generate the requirements. (HUM)
This course is open to senior English majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 496
Wordsworth. Rewriting Wordsworth.
How does literature change over time? How do earlier writers exercise an influence, for good or ill, over their successors, and how do those later writers grapple with their most powerful forerunners? In this seminar, you will be invited to think in the abstract, theoretically, about these large questions, which have formed a subtext to your work in the major thus far. To focus our discussion, we will concentrate on Romantic and Modern poetry. In the first half, we will read through the major works of William Wordsworth, the most influential English language poet since (at the very least) Milton. Then, in the second half, we will look at how the greatest Modern poets, both British and American, struggled with Wordsworth's legacy – sometimes going so far as to rewrite specific Wordsworth poems, sometimes denying Wordsworth's importance altogether. Modernists will include Yeats, Frost, Eliot, Pound, Moore, Bishop, Stevens and Auden. In the final project, you will have the opportunity to apply our broader conclusions to your work in the major over the last four years. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a senior project. For non-seniors, the course can be taken to fulfill the "critical reflection" requirement. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 497
One-Semester Senior Thesis
Individual tutorial in writing of a one-semester senior thesis on a special topic in literature or criticism. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and the chairperson are required.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 498
Senior Thesis Part 1/Senior Colloquium
This course is designed to teach senior English majors the techniques of research and analysis needed for writing a year-long essay on a subject of their choice. It is intended to help the students to write such year-long theses, and to encourage them to do so. It will deal with problems such as designing longer papers, focusing topics, developing and limiting bibliographies, working with manuscripts, using both library and Internet resources, and understanding the uses of theoretical paradigms. This course is required of all senior English majors who are planning to write two-semester, year-long theses. Please refer to the department's website for more information. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and the chairperson are required. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
2.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
Individual tutorial in the writing of a year-long thesis on a special topic in literature or criticism. Seniors writing year-long, two-credit theses are required to register for the second half of their thesis for the spring of their senior year. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (2 course credits are considered pending in the first semester; 2 course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)
2.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 800
Introduction to Graduate Study English
English 800 offers an introduction to the methods of graduate-level scholarship in literature. We will build a foundation of how to read, discuss, research, and write about individual works, genres, periods, and critical debates in literary studies. We will acquire advanced skills in interpretive analysis; summarizing and contextualizing critical positions; identifying, locating, evaluating and citing scholarly resources; developing research within a critical conversation; composing persuasive arguments; and designing and implementing research plans for larger projects. Our goal is to provide the groundwork for the M.A. in English at Trinity College.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 801
Introduction to Literary Theory
This seminar is designed to provide a perspective on varied critical vocabularies, and to explore the development of literary theories and methods from classical to contemporary times. Emphasis will be placed on a broad examination of the history and traditions of literary theory, the ongoing questions and conflicts among theorists, and practical applications to the study of works in literature. Students will compose a substantial critical essay based on research and the development of their own perspective on understanding and evaluating a literary text. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 806
Composition Pedagogy
Language and literacy have always served as lightning rods for social and political issues, as well as for conflicts of theory and practice in education. This course will explore the contemporary teaching of writing, with attention to the range of current pedagogies in US colleges. We will examine influences of 20th-century revival of rhetoric, process and post-process writing, cultural and feminist studies, cognitive theory, the digital revolution, and the implications of "the global turn" for 21st-century students and teachers of writing.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 809
Food Writing in the English Renaissance
This course, through the study of English works written between 1500 and 1700, explores the relationship between literature and culinary practice. What role did food and food writing play in the shaping of early modern English culture? We will consider a range of topics: the impact of global trade and exploration upon Renaissance cuisine; literature's role in disseminating global knowledge and emergent conceptions of good taste; the ways in which older conceptions of communal consumption were revived or nostalgically recreated during a time of rapid social and political change. This course explores not only early modern literature's connection to larger cultural and culinary trends but also the way in which literary practices themselves were often figured as acts of digestion, distillation, gathering, or cultivation. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 811
Teaching American Literature
Although designed primarily for people who do now or may someday teach American literature, at any level, this seminar also considers questions all students should find worthwhile. What counts as "American literature," who shapes canons and curricula, and what is at stake in selecting texts for classroom use? How does academic study bring alive—or fail to do justice to—American literary traditions? We will read current scholarship on the U.S. literary canon; survey key issues and approaches through interviews (sometimes by videoconference) with practicing secondary and post-secondary teachers; and undertake a case study in the teaching of a single American novel selected by the class. The final project, a research-based curricular proposal, will be tailored to students' interests and professional goals.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 812
Modern Poetry
“It appears that poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult.” When T. S. Eliot wrote these lines in 1921, “difficulty” was self-evidently a term of praise: it signaled a willingness to grapple with the intellectual, esthetic, moral, and erotic complexities of modernity. Today, however, that same difficulty gives poetry of the early 20th century its somewhat scary reputation. Why read tough texts when so much else goes down easily? A premise of this course is that the excitement, the beauty, and the sheer greatness of modern poetry are inseparable from the challenges it poses to the reader. Between 1885 and World War II, Eliot, Yeats, Pound, Crane, Moore, Bishop, Williams, Stevens, Frost, and Auden made poetry possible for modern life. We read their work. (Note: English 412 and English 812 are the same course.) For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of an advanced class in literature written after 1900. It also satisfies the requirement of a poetry course. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 813
Native American Literature and Theory
We are currently in an extraordinary intellectual and artistic moment for Native American communities. In this course, we will turn our attention to forms of Native textual production from the colonial period to today. We will not only educate ourselves in the richness and variety of Native expression, we will also grapple with our assumptions about what constitutes Native American literature, using recent Native American scholarship to guide us. Along the way we will sample various forms of expression from origin stories to ledger drawings, poems, novels, autobiographies, and critical nonfiction. Our efforts in this class will be collaborative; while we will share core readings, you should expect to do several outside readings and class reports. This seminar is research-intensive. For English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 requirement, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 818
17th-Century Poetry
The poets of the early modern period made their contribution to an English literary tradition against a dynamic context of religious, political, and social change. Poets studied in this course will include Lanyer, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Marvell, Philips, Bradstreet, and Milton. English 418 and English 818 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written before 1700. This is a research-intensive seminar.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 820
Shakespeare
In this course, we will focus on a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, from early comedies to later tragedies and romances. Students will gain a broad familiarity with Shakespearean texts and contexts, from the sixteenth century to the present, deepening their understanding of Shakespeare’s drama and its cultural significance through close examination of both primary and secondary sources, as well as film and stage adaptations. This seminar is research-intensive. For English majors, it fulfills the requirement for an upper-level course in pre-1700 literature. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 821
Twilight Age: British Literature of the 1890s
The 1890s was a time of literary flourishing in the face of deep cultural and social anxiety. The British Empire was hovering on the edge of collapse; the fin de siècle was felt to be the end of an era. Yet even as some saw degeneration at hand, others saw opportunity, experimentation, rebellion, new beginnings. "New Women" posed a vocal threat to gender roles while Oscar Wilde and his fellow “decadents” asked a nation to rethink art and brought conversations about sexuality to the breakfast table. This course examines the literature, art, and culture of a remarkable decade. Students will read fiction, prose, poetry and drama, producing two research papers, several shorter papers, and an in-class research presentation. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written from 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 822
Social Networks of the Romantic Era
Romantic-era writers like Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth were deeply invested in the question of ‘genius,’ of how artistic inspiration chooses and works upon an individual. This investment has affected our conception of Romanticism, most obviously in our continued focus on the “big six” male poets as defining the era’s literary production. This course pivots away from Romantic individuality to approach the era through networks: friendship, collaboration, rivalry. Emphasizing the social nature of Romanticism, this course asks: How do relationships revise our ideas of Romantic authorship and authority? Is Romanticism still ‘Romantic’ when we emphasize connections over the myth of the individual genius? Readings will include works by the Wordsworths, Coleridge, Lamb, Wollstonecraft, Burke, Paine, Austen, the Shelleys, Polidori and Byron. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 825
Postmodernism in Film and Literature
“Postmodern” is the term used most often to describe the unique features of global culture (art, architecture, philosophy, cinema, literature) since the 1970s. And yet there is practically no agreement about what those features might be: is postmodernism ironic or serious, flat or deep, real or hyper-real, alive or defunct? In this course we will examine competing and often contradictory views of postmodernism, with the goal of developing a historical perspective on the contemporary world we live in now. Texts will be divided evenly between philosophy/theory (Lyotard, Baudrillard, Jameson, Fukuyama, Hutcheon), cinema (possible films: Bladerunner, Mulholland Drive, Pulp Fiction) and literature (possible authors: Borges, Pynchon, Barthelme, Murakami, Foster Wallace). The seminar will culminate with a field trip to New York City. English 425 and English 825 are the same course. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the post-1900 distribution requirement. For literature and film concentrators, this course fulfills the requirement of an advanced course toward the major, and counts as a course in literature and film. This course fulfills the requirements toward the film studies major. NOTE: Monday evenings screenings only. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 827
Sci Fi in the Archives: Post-War American Speculative Fiction
With the aid of the Loftus E. Becker collection in the Watkinson, this course will explore science fiction as an essential map of our post-war American empire. Fueled by dystopian and utopian impulses, artists like Ursula K. Le Guin and Ted Chiang evolved the genre from technological triumphalism into a devastating critique of a culture invested in weapons of mass destruction, alienating digitalization, and environmental collapse. While we read canonical works of post-1945 American science fiction for their aesthetic elements and ideological functions, we'll also map the genre's tangled publishing history and material traces via archival work at the Watkinson. This course meets the Archival method requirement. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 831
The 19th Century-Novel: Reading Practice, Reading Debates
How do literature classes train us to read? Does this training prime us to ask certain kinds of questions to the exclusion of others? Is there anything we would see in, say, the nineteenth-century novel if we read it differently? Is reading differently possible? Over the last 25 years, these types of questions have been asked by literary critics with increasing intensity, particularly among scholars of the nineteenth century. In this class, we will read novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy alongside criticism on reading practices from D.A. Miller, Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, Bruno Latour, Rita Felski, Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best, and Franco Moretti. This course is research intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 842
American Literary Modernism and the Great War
This course will consider the impact of the Great War on American literary modernism. Grappling with apocalyptic devastation in Europe, massive shifts in global politics, and dramatic changes in technology, the Lost Generation responded with enduring and enigmatic works, haunted by wounds both psychic and spiritual. We will consider canonical writings by Ernest Hemingway and e.e. cummings, lesser-known works by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Edith Wharton, and first person accounts by combatants such as Thomas Boyd. As our focus will be on introducing the aesthetics of modernism through the context of the war itself, we will study maps, songs, photographs, newspapers, and other historical materials alongside traditional literary objects. Assignments will include a creative research project, weekly responses, and short essays. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. It is research intensive. This course fulfills archival approaches. (HUM)
1.00 units, Lecture
ENGL 845
Black Women Writers in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Through readings in various genres (fiction, essays, drama, poetry, memoir, etc.), this course examines how black women's literary production is informed by the experiences, conditions, identities, and histories of women of African descent in the U.S., including some who were born or have lived outside of the U.S. Among the recurring themes/issues we will discuss are the impact of class, gender, race, sexuality, ability, and geographical location on black women's writings, artistic visions, the politics and dynamics of black women's roles in families, communities, the nation, and across the globe. Writers vary each semester but may include: Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Roxanne Gay, Lorraine Hansberry, bell hooks, Nella Larsen, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Z.Z. Packer, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ann Petry, Tracy K. Smith, and Alice Walker. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 848
Little Shop of Horrors: Plants in Literature and Film
This course engages with the plant world through novels, poetry, philosophy, comics, and film. We will track major trends in the human understanding of plants, beginning in the late eighteenth century-when poets were eager to consider the line between the plant and animal kingdoms-and ending in the twentieth century-when popular culture was more likely to categorize plants as monstrous and 'other.' In rethinking the being and meaning of plants we will necessarily revisit the idea of 'the human' and 'the animal,' employing these categories while attending to borderline cases where their utility falters. Readings will focus on Romantic-era texts by Erasmus Darwin, William Cowper, Charlotte Smith, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Austen, before turning to horror films like "Little Shop of Horrors," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The Thing From Another World," "The Happening" and "The Ruins." English 448 and English 848 are the same course. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 855
Shakespeare and Film
Shakespeare has long been celebrated for his 'universality': for being "not of an age, but for all time"; for inventing "the human." In this course, we will study selected films adapted from Shakespeare plays as a way to think about this idea of Shakespeare's universality. We will begin by considering what we mean when we say he is universal, and what is at stake in describing Shakespeare as universal. We will then study a handful of Shakespeare plays and their adaptations, some of which translate Shakespeare's plays to different times, places, and sometimes languages. Plays may be selected from Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, 1 Henry IV, Hamlet, King Lear, Cymbeline, and The Tempest. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 859
Orphans and Others: Family Identity in Early American Literature
From cross-dressing sailors and adventurers to castaways and runaways, early American literature is filled with narratives of reinvention—sometimes by choice, often by necessity. In this course we will look at the peril and promise of such reinvention as various figures reimagine their relation to a social order organized by family lineage and paternal descent. For some the Americas (at least theoretically) presented a world of new possibilities while for others this was a dangerous and isolating place. Our readings will include novels, autobiographical narratives, confessions, and other literary accounts. This seminar is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 861
World Cinema Auteurs
This advanced course offers an in-depth exploration of the work of major auteur-directors from the domain of World Cinema, cinema from countries other than the United States or Europe. Three or four auteurs grouped by country, region or culture (e.g. Japan, India, Iran, Brazil, West Africa, or the Three Chinas: PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) will be examined in their aesthetic, cultural and geo-political dimensions using the cutting-edge new methodologies of comparative and experimental cinephilia. Note: This advanced undergraduate/graduate hybrid course - while not required, some prior experience with film analysis, film theory, or World Cinema is strongly recommended. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written after 1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 868
Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson
Nothing that precedes them in the American literary tradition quite prepares us for the poems of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. We will steep ourselves in the verse of these two literary iconoclasts. At the same time, we will trace the critical history of both, reading essays from the 19th century to the present which have made the complex works and lives of Whitman and Dickinson more legible. The final class period will be reserved for reading selections from 20th-century poets--not all of them American--who have openly professed a debt to Whitman's and Dickinson's experimental and often exhilarating poems. Note: English 868-16 and English 468-06 are the same course. For the English graduate program, this course satisfies the requirements of a course in American literature, or a course emphasizing cultural contexts for the literary studies track; it counts as an elective for the writing, rhetoric, and media arts track. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 870
Film Theory: An Introduction
This course introduces the most important theoretical models which have been used to explain how films function as art, ideology, language, history, politics and philosophy. Some theorists are mainly concerned with the aesthetic potentials of the cinema: How do categories such as realism, authorship and genre explain and enhance our experience of films? Other theorists are focused on the relations between films and the societies that produce them, or on general processes of spectatorship: How do Hollywood films address their audiences? How do narrative structures shape our responses to fictional characters? As the variety of these questions suggests, film theory opens onto a wide set of practices and possibilities; though it always begins with what we experience at the movies, it is ultimately concerned with the wider world that we experience through the movies. Theorists to be examined include Munsterberg, Eisenstein, Burch, Kracauer, Balazs, Bazin, Altman, Gunning, Mulvey, Metz, Wollen, Havel, Benjamin, Pasolini, Deleuze and Jameson. (Note: English 470 and English 870 are the same course.) For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400-level elective, or a course emphasizing critical reflection. This course fulfills requirements toward the film studies minor.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 871
The Romantic Novel
British Romanticism is best known for its poetry. In fact, the era’s preeminent novelist, Jane Austen, is often thought to belong more to the eighteenth century than the Romantic era. But as Keats was writing his Odes, British writers, many of them women, energized the novel, a form that would be seen as low and unwholesome well into the reign of Queen Victoria. This class examines the development of the social novel: a genre whose realism reflects social problems and the condition of the nation. We analyze the genre’s harrowing roots in Mary Wollstonecraft’s proto-feminist Maria; the construction of racial difference in Elizabeth Hamilton’s Translation of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah; and the developing interest in labor and industrialization in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 873
Dickens/Chaplin
This course treats the work of Charles Dickens and Charles Chaplin from a critical perspective that recognizes their striking similarities. Charles Dickens was the most popular artist of the 19th century; the fictional world and characters he created made sense of modern life for millions around the world, and the adjective "Dickensian" testifies to how familiar his blend of comedy and melodrama has become. Charles Chaplin is remarkably analogous to Dickens; as the 20th century's most popular artist, his work addressed fundamental issues of contemporary social life, and also employed a blend of comedy and melodrama that merited its own adjective: "Chaplinesque". The course examines the evolution of these two major figures over the course of their careers. This is a research-intensive seminar. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a 300/400 elective. For literature and film concentrators, this course counts as a course in literature and film. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 874
Race and Realism: African American Literature Before the Harlem Renaissance
Coming of age in the ruins of Reconstruction, the encroachment of Jim Crow laws, and waves of great migration, African American writers of the early 20th century shaped American literature in powerful and often-forgotten ways. Their texts, published in the decades before the Harlem Renaissance, offer an opportunity to consider how people produce literature under the pressures of structural racism; how art might respond to the terrorism of state sanctioned violence; how genres might stretch to articulate the psychological complexities of social and self identities; and how writers appeal to audiences, construct communities, forge friendships, and speak truth to power, despite institutional ambivalence and resistance to their voices. Course readings will come from Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, Alice Dunbar Nelson, WEB Du Bois and others. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written post-1900. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 876
The U.S. Civil War and Its Afterimage
More than 150 years after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, the United States is plainly still engaged in some of that era’s conflicts. This course examines representations of the historical event known as the Civil War and the enduring controversies its memory provokes. By studying the work of novelists, poets, short-story writers, and filmmakers from the 1860s through the present, students in this course will consider how—and to what ends—the memory of the Civil War has been fashioned, revised, and invoked by Americans of the several generations since. In addition to reading an array of literary texts, students will develop individual research projects and examine other registers of public memory, including war memorials, historic sites, museum exhibits, and popular culture. This course fulfills the public humanities approach.
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 879
Revolutionary Generations: American Literature 1740-1820
Hannah Arendt suggested that the United States failed to remember its revolutionary tradition because it failed to talk about it. This course will recover those memories by reading the texts that founded the American rebellion, the intense arguments made in the aftermath of independence, and the passionate creative works produced in the wake of revolution. We will look beyond the context of New England to consider the roles played by Africa and the Caribbean in the cultural imagination, and we will trace how social class, race, and gender inflected the constitution of American identities in a post-1776 world. For English majors, this course satisfies the requirement of a course emphasizing literature written between 1700-1900. This course is research-intensive. (HUM)
1.00 units, Seminar
ENGL 940
Independent Study
A limited number of tutorials are available for students wishing to pursue special topics not offered in the regular graduate program. Applications should be submitted to the department chairperson prior to registration. Written approval of the graduate adviser and department chairperson is required. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 953
Research Project
The graduate director, the supervisor of the project, and the department chairperson must approve special research project topics. Conference hours are available by appointment. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for the special approval form. One course credit.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 954
Thesis Part I
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 954
Thesis Part I
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 955
Thesis Part II
Continuation of English 954 (described in prior section).
1.00 units, Independent Study
ENGL 956
Thesis
No Course Description Available.
2.00 units, Independent Study