Fall 2021

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
ENGL 101-01 Monsters & Madness: Secret Lives in Victorian Literature
Instructor: Sarah Kersh
Course Description:
Evil alter-egos, soul-sucking vampires, and detective thrillersall have their roots in the literature of the nineteenth-century. From Dorian Grey to Dracula and the Hound of the Baskervilles, the sensational literature of the Victorian era sought to stimulate the mind and awaken emotion. This course will examine how monsters, mad scientists, and secret identities rose in the public imagination alongside of a rapidly-changing nation. The nineteenth century saw unprecedented growth of industry and leaps in scientific discovery; new and rapid global communication as well as transport; tenuous relationship of commodities, consumers, and economic stability; as well as changing conceptions of class, gender, and what it meant to be an individual. This course is intended to be an introduction to Victorian literature in a variety of genres, including poetry, the novel, and non-fiction prose by authors such as Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
1030:TR   DENNY 203
ENGL 101-02 World Literature: Race, Nation, and Colonization
Instructor: Sheela Jane Menon
Course Description:
What does it mean to imagine yourself as a member of a nation? What happens when nations are fractured and reconstituted? Where do you belong if you move between nations or are forcibly displaced? This course considers how contemporary works of literature from Polynesia, Asia Pacific, South Asia, and the Middle East respond to these questions. We will focus on 20th and 21st century literature by authors including Haunani-Kay Trask, Albert Wendt, Tash Aw, Rohinton Mistry, Leila Ahmed, and Rasha Abbas. Through close and contextualized readings, we will analyze how these authors imagine individuals and families within and across nations, and how their worlds are shaped by intersecting identities. In so doing, we will focus on the specific political and literary histories from which each text emerges, particularly experiences of Western colonization in each of the designated regions. By bringing these texts and contexts together, we will engage histories of both colonization and resistance, while also examining how new conceptions of nation and identity emerge from this selection of World Literature.
1330:TF   DENNY 304
ENGL 101-04 Women Write War
Instructor: Claire Seiler
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-01. This course studies American womens war writing from the US Civil War through the war on terror. We will ask: what literary forms have women writers adapted or developed to represent war, as well as the social, political, bodily, and emotional effects of armed conflict? How has womens war writing participated in debates about feminism, gender identity, citizenship, civil and human rights, and the American project? How have womens lived experiences and changing social roles impacted the diverse genre of war writingand vice versa? Primary texts include works of poetry, fiction, and autobiography by writers including Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson, Elyse Fenton, Frances E.W. Harper, Toni Morrison, Toyo Suyemoto, and Natasha Trethewey.
1500:MR   EASTC 411
ENGL 101-06 American Postmodernism from Hiroshima to 9/11
Instructor: Stacey Suver
Course Description:
From fake news and alternate facts to social media and Stop the Steal, the foundations of our current post-truth era are firmly anchored in the postmodernism movement of the late twentieth century. At its best, postmodernism forced a reevaluation of the American narrative; at its worst, it descended into meaninglessness and nonsense. This class uses post-war American literature to better understand the postmodernism movement, and to gauge its lingering influence today. Some of the concepts we will juggle this semester include the relationship between the real and the unreal; the constructedness of meaning, truth, and history; the complexities of identity; and skepticism of the structures of knowledge. Readings may include work from Kurt Vonnegut, Ishmael Reed, Tom Robbins, Octavia Butler, Don DeLillo, Gloria Naylor, Rabih Alameddine, Thomas Pynchon, and William Gibson.
1330:MR   EASTC 411
ENGL 101-07 Celebrity Culture
Instructor: Todd Nordgren
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-02.How long has America been obsessed with celebrity culture? How has our fascination with celebrities shaped our national culture? This course explores the vast range of representations of celebrity culture in 20th and 21st century literature, film, and other media. We will read novels, stories, and plays about the pursuit of fame and watch films about Hollywood and stardom, exploring how the American Dream of self-reliance, financial success, and physical beauty relates to representations of celebrity culture in general. This course will also prompt students to investigate how celebrity is entangled with the shifting politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality in American culture.
0930:MWF   EASTC 411
ENGL 220-01 Introduction to Literary Studies
Instructor: Claire Seiler
Course Description:
In literary studies, we explore the work texts do in the world. This course examines several texts of different kinds (e.g., novel, poetry, film, comic book, play, etc.) to investigate how literary forms create meanings. It also puts texts in conversation with several of the critical theories and methodologies that shape the discipline of literary study today (e.g., Marxist theory, new historicism, formalism, gender theory, postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, etc.). This course helps students frame interpretive questions and develop their own critical practice. Prerequisite: 101. This course is the prerequisite for 300-level work in English.
1330:MR   EASTC 410
ENGL 220-02 Introduction to Literary Studies
Instructor: Greg Steirer
Course Description:
In literary studies, we explore the work texts do in the world. This course examines several texts of different kinds (e.g., novel, poetry, film, comic book, play, etc.) to investigate how literary forms create meanings. It also puts texts in conversation with several of the critical theories and methodologies that shape the discipline of literary study today (e.g., Marxist theory, new historicism, formalism, gender theory, postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, etc.). This course helps students frame interpretive questions and develop their own critical practice. Prerequisite: 101. This course is the prerequisite for 300-level work in English.
1030:TR   EASTC 303
ENGL 220-03 Introduction to Literary Studies
Instructor: Greg Steirer
Course Description:
In literary studies, we explore the work texts do in the world. This course examines several texts of different kinds (e.g., novel, poetry, film, comic book, play, etc.) to investigate how literary forms create meanings. It also puts texts in conversation with several of the critical theories and methodologies that shape the discipline of literary study today (e.g., Marxist theory, new historicism, formalism, gender theory, postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, etc.). This course helps students frame interpretive questions and develop their own critical practice. Prerequisite: 101. This course is the prerequisite for 300-level work in English.
0900:TR   EASTC 303
ENGL 222-01 Cookbooks: Craft and Culture
Instructor: Siobhan Phillips
Course Description:
This course will consider the cookbook as a literary form and a cultural artifact. We will focus on US texts from the last three centuries, considering how these works inflect questions of temporality, labor, ecology, and identity, among other topics. Readings will include primary texts from Bracken, Child, Chao, Lewis, Smart-Grosvenor, and Toklas along with a range of historical and theoretical secondary texts.
1330:MR   EASTC 301
ENGL 222-02 Tools, Techniques, and Culture of Digital Humanities
Instructor: Chelsea Skalak, Siobhan Phillips
Course Description:
We are all familiar with reading and writing in digital environments. But what can we gain if we use digital tools for analysis that only they can do? What if we could read every newspaper headline from an entire decade, map out a novel in physical space, or visually break down the relationship between two poems? Does reading change if it happens only online? In this class, we will learn various tools and techniques of digital humanities, while familiarizing ourselves with the theory of reading and writing in digital environments. As a final project, everyone will create a digital edition of a short text, complete with analysis using the tools presented in this class.
0900:TR   STERN 11
ENGL 300-01 Literary Studies Research Lab
Instructor: Chris Bombaro
Course Description:
This P/F non-credit research course introduces students to research methodology for advanced literary studies. ENGL 300 is a co-requisite with a student's first 300-level literature course taught by English department faculty.
 
ENGL 321-01 Victorian Sexualities
Instructor: Sarah Kersh
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-01. The Victorian era (18321901), so we are told, fostered rigid attitudes toward morality, gender, and sexuality. Yet an array of dangerous characters inhabit the pages of nineteenth-century literature, among them effeminate men, political women, prostitutes, and hysterics. This course puts Victorian writing about sexuality into conversation with the periods debates about democracy and equality, scrutiny of marriage and property law, and surprising openness to diversity in gender and sexuality. We will concentrate on changing conceptions of the individual, sexuality, and gender, and explore how these conceptions intersect with race, class, nationality, and other identity categories. The syllabus includes a variety of genres (poetry, drama, novel, and non-fiction prose) and authors (including Lord Alfred Tennyson, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Meredith, Charles Dickens, Sigmund Freud, and Michael Field).
1330:TF   EASTC 301
ENGL 321-02 African American Novels
Instructor: Lynn Johnson
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AFST 320-02. This course will examine the roots and subsequent development of the African American novel. Specifically, we will explore the multiple ways that African American authors used the novel to (re)define black identity, to build community, and to enter the realm of social protest. We will also consider the trans-cultural and transnational influences on the evolution of the novel's form.
1330:MR   ALTHSE 110
ENGL 321-03 Natural Disasters and Tropical Paradises: Fictions of the Contemporary Caribbean
Instructor: Mariana Past
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 285-01, AFST 310-01 and SPAN 380-01.This seminar (taught in English) examines recent Caribbean literary responses to ostensibly natural disasters, with Haiti and Puerto Rico being central case studies. How do writers responses to crises like earthquakes and hurricanes reflect specific sites of struggle and larger social, political and cultural concerns affecting the region, such as climate change and migration? To what degree do short stories, novels, poems, and essays shape discourses of national identity related to race, class, and gender? This course, emphasizing critical analysis, research skills, and the writing process, will help students craft an effective literature review and carry out specialized, in-depth research. Students will advance towards a more comprehensive and comparative understanding of the complexities surrounding Caribbean cultural production and will become familiar with current debates surrounding postmodernity, globalization, and diaspora studies as well as Caribbean writers preoccupations with identity, agency, and belonging.
1330:TF   BOSLER 314
ENGL 321-04 Murakami, Manga and More: Contemporary Japanese Literature
Instructor: Alex Bates
Course Description:
Cross-listed with EASN 203-01.Murakami Haruki is one of the worlds most popular literary authors, and is regularly given high odds to win the Nobel Prize in literature. His success, along with the spread of Japanese popular culture in the form of manga and anime, has led to many recent works of Japanese fiction being available in translation. This course critically examines short stories, manga, and novels by many different contemporary authors and creators alongside theories of translation and gender. One author we will be reading deserves special attention: Tawada Yko, a world-famous author, who will be visiting campus in March.
1330:MR   ALTHSE 109
ENGL 331-01 Science Fiction: Past, Present, and Future
Instructor: Sheela Jane Menon
Course Description:
How have writers imagined alternative pasts and futures? More specifically, how have writers from around the world imagined these alternatives through science fiction? This course examines the genre of science fiction, focusing on work by a diverse range of authors including Octavia Butler, Nick Harkaway, Ursula Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Nalo Hopkinson, N. K. Jemison, H. P. Lovecraft, Nnedi Okorafor, Chang-rae Lee, Vandana Singh, and Dan Simmons. We will consider how science fiction has developed as a genre and a writing community, and how these writers have reinforced, challenged, or reframed its evolving norms. Students will engage a range of scholarship on speculative fiction, as well as theories drawn from Genre, Postcolonial, Critical Race, and Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as History of the Book. In using these theories as lenses through which to read science fiction, we will analyze how the genre reimagines systems of power tied to race, gender, class, sexuality, technology, business enterprise, and political organization.
0900:TR   EASTC 411
ENGL 341-01 Jane Austen in Her Time
Instructor: Wendy Moffat
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-02.This course may count as either a pre-1800 300-level literature class, depending on the student's research. Those students who wish to earn pre-1800 credit must inform me before add/drop is over, and I will inform the registrar and supplement and guide research accordingly. Students must satisfactorily complete the final paper as a pre-1800 course to receive pre-1800 credit.Here is a rare opportunity to study the whole of a great writer's oeuvre in a single term. We will read all six of Austen's major novels, biographical material, and selected social history with the aim of understanding the cultural conditions described by the novels, and the novels in their cultural context. Students will lead one class discussion, write one research paper, and present an "accomplishment" befitting Austen's milieu: e. g. performing a musical composition, completing a piece of needlework, learning a card game and teaching it to the class, composing a verbal "charade," and the like. In addition, each week, each student will be expected to write and mail one letter (not e mail) to a correspondent of his/her choosing. (The letters may remain private.)
1030:MWF   EASTC 301
ENGL 341-03 Shakespeare: Politics/Culture
Instructor: Carol Ann Johnston
Course Description:
Shakespeare: Politics and Culture is a course most often guided by class discussion. Lectures on historical, literary, and critical matters will occur when useful. We will read and discuss seven plays representing Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, and romances: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Where appropriate, we will also view and discuss scenes from films of the plays by directors Branagh, Taymor, Radford, Kurzel, Kurosawa, Goold, Olivier, and Reinhardt. The secondarytheoreticalreading for the course will draw upon New Historicist and Cultural Materialist criticism, first practiced in the U.S. by Stephen Greenblatt in his Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980) and in the U.K. in Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism (1985), edited by Alan Sinfield and Jonathan Dollimore. Where helpful, we will further consider colonial, race, and feminist theory. We will also read primary documents from the period that converse with the play texts. Assignments will include an in-class performance of a scene from one of the plays, a word-study essay, a paper based upon the performance, and a final historicist essay.
1500:TF   EASTC 301
ENGL 341-04 Sex in the City of Light: Early 20th-Century Women of Paris
Instructor: Adeline Soldin
Course Description:
Cross-listed with FREN 364-01 and WGSS 301-04. This course in comparative literature and visual culture investigates the city of Paris as a site of sexual and artistic exploration, liberation, and confrontation for women of the early 20th-Century. Students will study a variety of literature, visual art, performance art, and haute couture created and produced by women from diverse backgrounds who came to Paris in search of free self-expression. Most of these writers, journalists, artists, dancers, and designers knew each other; many collaborated professionally and mingled socially; and some became involved romantically. We will discuss the implications of their professional, social, and intimate relationships and consider to what extent these networks may have fostered artistic creation as well as political activism. To facilitate these investigations, students will read feminist and queer theory to deepen and strengthen our analyses.
1330:TF   EASTC 314
ENGL 341-05 Medieval Women Writers
Instructor: Chelsea Skalak, Siobhan Phillips
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-06.This course examines the writing of female mystics, abbesses, poets, and scholars from the time period 1100-1500. In a historical time in which women were alternately represented as innocent virgins or devilish temptresses, these women negotiate for themselves far more complex identities and relationships with the world than their societies often believed them capable. We will consider issues of class, gender, sexuality, and religion, through the writings of Heloise, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Marie de France, and Christine de Pizan.
1030:TR   EASTC 411
ENGL 403-01 Questions and Methods of Literary Scholarship
Instructor: Siobhan Phillips, Chelsea Skalak
Course Description:
Building upon the critical methods and skills learned throughout the English major, this class will explore central questions of literary scholarship in preparation for writing the senior thesis. We will take as our base text Shakespeares King Lear and its afterlives, including the Kurosawa film Ran and Jane Smileys Pulitzer-winning novel A Thousand Acres. We will use the reception of Shakespeares classic tragedy over the last four hundred years to engage with the major theoretical models and writing practices that ground the study of literature.
1330:W   EASTC 303
ENGL 403-02 Forms and Contexts of Literary Studies
Instructor: Sarah Kersh
Course Description:
This class will prepare students for writing a senior thesis. By exploring central questions of literary scholarship and by analyzing the process of framing a scholarly question, we will explore how research has been conceptualized at different periods in history and at different junctures in the evolution of literary studies. Throughout the term, our seminar meetings, workshops, and assignments will be geared toward engaging students with the critical skills, investigative methods, conceptual models, and writing practices that groundand inspireliterary scholarship, including their own.
1330:R   EASTC 303