Course Offerings - Fall 2016

Undergraduate Course Offerings - Fall 2016

 

1000.10

Coming of Age in Fantasy

TR 3:45-5:00 p.m.

Chu

This course explores the connections between fantasy genres in the academic literary canon, and coming of age themes in young adult fantasy fiction (such as those used by writers such as Cashore, Lewis, Paolini, Pierce, Pullman, Riordan, Rothfuss, Rowling, and Turner.)  It draws upon Western fairy tales and Greek myths, medieval and Shakespearean romance, the gothic novel, and contemporary fiction.

 

We will focus on coming of age stories in a range of fantasy texts. In addition to a king  in training, we'll consider the coming-of-age of misfits, monsters, and magicians, and we'll ask how modern writers adapt classic fantasy tropes to address questions of identity, class,  gender, species, social dissent, and desire.  We'll read such books as Gawain and the Green Knight,  The Tempest, The King Must Die, Serafina, Frankenstein, The Golem and the Jinni, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and discuss the Japanese animated film Spirited Away.

 


 

1000.11

Around the World in 80 Days

W 12:45-3:15 p.m.

Daiya

 


 

1000.12

What’s New About New Plays

TR 11:10 a.m-12:25 p.m.

Schreiber

This Dean’s seminar takes advantage of the theater offerings in Washington and asks the question:  What is new about new plays?  Are contemporary playwrights reworking classical themes or are their works entirely new entities?  What themes reappear and how are they presented?  The course also considers how classical plays are re-imagined for modern audiences.  For example, is a Shakespearean work staged in a different political or social milieu than the original production?  Why would directors make these types of artistic decisions?  What does it mean for plays to be culturally relevant?  Students will consider who attends the theater and who will be in the audience in the future.  These questions form a large part of decisions about what plays are selected to be produced each year and the nature of those productions.  We will read at least three classical plays and three new plays as well as attend one or more new plays.

 


 

1000.13

Violence and Trauma

MW 4:45-6:00 p.m.

Alcorn

 


 

1000.14

Shakespeare and Others

MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Huang

 


 

1050.10

Introduction to Literary Studies

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

López

 

Introduction to practices of college-level literary analysis, opening the way to more advanced work in the English major and beyond.  Work will involve writing, revising, and re-submitting every assigned paper, giving students maximum benefit of instructor feedback.

 


 

1210.10

Introduction to Creative Writing

W 11:10 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

F 12:45-2:00 p.m.

TBA

 


 

1210.11

Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

TBA

 


 

1210.12

Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 4:45-6:00 p.m.

TBA

 


 

1210.13

Introduction to Creative Writing

MW 9:35-10:50 a.m.

TBA

 


 

1210.14

Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Chang

In this writing-intensive and discussion-intensive course, we will approach the classroom as a laboratory space. You will study examples in three literary genres (poetry, fiction, and non-fiction), and then you will practice what you learn from what you read, experimenting individually and collectively with as much diligence and daring as possible. Writing assignments will grow out of our work as critical, imaginative readers, close reading and discussing texts and sharing critiques on those assignments.. You must be prepared to write inside and outside of class and to participate regularly and constructively in workshop settings and in discussion. Assignments will include weekly writing exercises, a midterm exam, written feedback on student work, short close-reading essays, collaborative editorial work, and a final revision portfolio.

 


 

1210.15

Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 11:10 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

TBA

 


 

1210.16

Introduction to Creative Writing

MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Griffith

 

This course will explore the structure and narrative tools for the short story, poetry and dramatic writing.  We will read outstanding examples of each genre.  From there we will find inspiration for your own creative work.  The class will be a workshop with class presentations of your own work with supportive comments from your classmates and professor.

 


 

1210.17

Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 11:10 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Shore

 


 

1210.18

Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

Moskowitz

An introduction to several genres of creative writing: poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. A small portfolio of poems, a short story and a creative non-fiction essay.  We’ll use literary models and our own work  to critique as a class.  How to begin, how to end and how to put an end to writer’s block, all in a comfortable and supportive environment.

 


 

1320W.10

Literature of the Americas

TR 2:20-3:35 p.m.

Mitchell

Discussion sections:

F 9:35 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

F 12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

This class examines the history of developments in the representation of indigenous peoples and other minorities in Central and North America.  We will begin with the Spanish invasion of Mexico (New Spain) and move to stories of encounters with Americans Indians during the European colonization of the eastern seaboard (New England).  Our investigations will bring us in contact with key narrative modes specific to the formation of American literature including: creation myths, stories of first contact, captivity narratives, witch trial testimonies, noble savage romances, slave narratives, anthropologies of the Harlem Renaissance, as well as Chicano/a and Native American resistance literatures.  Theories of racial subjugation will form the framework for our deliberations including: Robert Berkhoffer’s The White Man’s Indian, Barbara Harlow’s Resistance Literature, Houston Baker’s Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.  Our goal will be to recognize the significant counter-histories that challenge the dominant narrative of American nation states as forming in a “waste and howling wilderness.”

 


 

1411.10

Introduction to English Literature II

TR 11:10 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Carter

 


 

1411.10

Introduction to English Literature II

MW 4:45 - 6:00 p.m.

DeWispelare

 


 

1510.10

Introduction to American Literature I

MW 2:20-3:35 p.m.

Seavey

 


 

1610.10

Introduction to Black American Literature I

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

James

 


 

1611.10

Introduction to Black American Literature II

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

Wald

 


 

2240.80

Play Analysis

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Stokes

This course uses traditional and nontraditional (Aristotelian and non-Aristotelian) approaches to the analysis of dramatic literature, the literary and theatrical techniques used by playwrights. What is the relationship between text and theatrical performance? How do we move words on a page to a fully-realized expression of that text through our approach to character, plot, movement and design?  (Same as TRDA 2240.

 


 

2250.80

Dramatic Writing

M 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Griffith

This course is a preparation for all types of dramatic writing.  We study the basics of creating characters and plots.  You will learn to realize that your daily lives are full of drama you can use in your writing.  It is an exciting experience to create your own characters, have them come alive and to tell their stories. The class will involve some early exercises and then you will learn how to structure the stories of your characters. Your work will be presented in class and you will receive feedback from both your colleagues in the class and the professor.  We will read a series of one act plays to examine, as well as a down-to-earth text. This is a practical entry to creative writing, an entertaining study of yourself and your life experience.  

 


 

2460.10

Fiction Writing

MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

TBA

 


 

2460.11

Fiction Writing

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

TBA

 


 

2460.12

Fiction Writing

WF 2:20-3:35 p.m.

TBA

 


 

2470.10

Poetry Writing

MW 2:20-3:35 p.m.

TBA

 


 

2560.10

Intermediate Fiction Writing

MW 2:20-3:35 p.m.

TBA

 


 

2800W.10

Introduction to Critical Theory

TR 4:45-6:00 p.m.

DeWispelare

This survey course introduces students to argumentative writings that are commonly grouped under the hybrid heading “literary theory and cultural criticism.”  On one level, this is a course in the history of ideas.  One can even say that it is a course in the history of one very persistent and knotty philosophical problem: what, if any, is the nature of the relationship between “representation” and “reality?”  Put another way, what if any amount of “truth” can be located in the artistic, linguistic, and especially literary representations that we make of objects, individuals, communities, or the world?  Some more specific versions of this question include: does language bear any relationship to the reality it purports to describe? Is there some “engine” or “spirit” (cf. Marx and Hegel) at the heart of culture that generates art independent of any one artist’s intentions? Do cultural representations of specific groups of people have any mooring in reality, and if not, what autonomous cultural work do these representations do?  We will discuss these and other questions in this class, and students will gain familiarity with trenchant answers as proposed by thinkers from Plato to the Postmodernists.

On another level, this is a course in specific methods that are often deployed in advanced literary and cultural criticism.  Students will gain fluency in the terminology and conceptual frameworks associated with idealism, materialism, Marxist criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, structuralism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, new historicism as well as critical race, sex, gender, and disability studies.  By mastering the basic contours of these diverse ways of interpreting artistic and cultural phenomena, students will be equipped to pursue more advanced courses in literature, philosophy, history, cultural studies, and even political theory.  In terms of literature in particular, we will also talk at length about advanced conceptions of form, genre, language, and aesthetics.

This course asks that students engage with readings that are short but frequently quite difficult, both linguistically and conceptually.  In addition to the texts on criticism, we will also be reading two works of fiction on which students will demo their new critical knowledge.  This is a WID course, and so students will also do a fair amount of argumentative writing and revision.  Take heart, by supporting each other and working as a group, you will find that the reading and writing are manageable and that there are great intellectual payoffs.

 


 

3360.10

Advanced Fiction Writing

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Mos

kowitz

Building on previous courses in creative writing, we will read literary models, write two short stories and use class critique as guides to revision. Attendance at three literary readings is required. All this in a comfortable and supportive environment.

 


 

3370.10

Advanced Poetry Writing

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

Shore

 


 

3380.10

Fiction Workshop

TR 2:20-3:35

TBA

 


 

3390.10

American Memoir

MW 11:10 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Page

The course is both a literature course and a creative writing course.  You will examine the structural elements of contemporary American memoir,  and learn the history of the genre. You will also write excerpts of your own memoir, learning the tenets of creative nonfiction as you move forward.   You will focus on structure, persona, voice, characterization, theme, setting and textuality.   You should be prepared to share your own work, both in written form and in oral presentations.

 


 

3390.11

Public Poetries: Yeats, Auden, Sexton, Tretheway

TR 9:35 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Chang

This readings in creative writing course on “Public Poetries” focuses on the work of poets who’ve cultivated a public life for their poems for political, cultural, and/or artistic ends. We will immerse ourselves in the oeuvres of four major poets – W. B. Yeats, W. H. Auden, Anne Sexton, and Natasha Trethewey – to mark aesthetic and theoretical signposts of what constitutes “public poetry” and how poems inaugurate a public, and then make meaningful forays into contemporaneous poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Claude McKay, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Adrienne Rich, Janice Mirikitani, Audre Lorde,, Ross Gay, Juan Felipe Herrera, Timothy Yu, and Claudia Rankine. Additionally, we will read Oliver Bendorf’s The Spectral Wilderness and Jennifer Kronovet’s The Wug Test and meet with these local authors to discuss the interplay of private life and public engagement in their particular poetics. Close readings of poems will be supplemented by frequent writing experiments and by occasional readings on art in the public sphere, performance, protest literature, and political aesthetics. Students will be expected to complete four short papers, a collective reading journal, and a final portfolio of creative work.  

This course fulfills the Creative Writing and English major requirement for ENGL 2210 (Readings). While the course is intended for creative writing majors and minors, anyone interested in literary and cultural studies is welcome.  

 


 

3440W.10

Shakespeare I

MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Carter

 


 

3445.10

Shakespeare on Film

MW 2:20-3:35 p.m.

TBA

 


 

3450.10

Shakespearean Race and Gender

MW 2:20-3:35 p.m.

Huang

 


 

3470.10

English Drama I

WF 9:35-10:50 a.m.

Zapantis

 


 

3380.10

Fiction Workshop

TR 2:20-3:35 p.m.

TBA

 


 

3490.10

Early American Literature and Culture

MW 4:45-6:00 p.m.

Seavey

 


 

3510.10

Children’s Literature: Imagining the Self and the World

MW 3:45-5:00 p.m.

Chu

What do children's books teach about curiosity, initiative, rebellion, competition, kindness, and compassion?  What do they teach about language, schooling, and national belonging?  How do gods, wizards, and animals contribute to the reader's psychic world?  What do we learn from travel and from traveler's tales?  What determines whether a children's book by, for, or about minorities is worthy of attention?  Beginning with classic children's texts from the 19th century and rushing forward to the 21st, we'll consider what Bruno Bettelheim has called "the uses of enchantment" in children's literature.

There are no prerequisites, and no prior knowledge of the subject is assumed, but readings will be typical for an upper-level English course and include some literary theory and criticism.  Primary readings may include Tatar, Classic Fairy Tales; Alcott, Little Women; Doyle,The Sign of Four; Kipling, KIm; Burnett, A Little Princess; Lofting, Voyages of Dr. Dolittle; Travers, Mary Poppins; Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe;  Pullman, The Golden Compass; Yep, Dragonwings; Ihimaera, Whale Rider; and Norman, Dillon, and Dillon, The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese.`

Within the English major, this course may be counted as a 19th century or a 20th century course.

Assessments:  2 papers, 2 exams, 1 oral presentation, and classroom and online participation

 


 

3520.10

American Romanticism

MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Sten

This course focuses on the “first flowering” of America’s literary and cultural traditions in the period 1825-1865.  At this time U.S. authors had to compete with English and European authors, while attempting to establish a separate literary tradition, one with “American” roots and expressive of “American” issues and concerns.  We will examine what is distinctive about a representative group of writings—fiction, non-fiction, poetry—from this period, and see what their authors contributed to the literary and cultural controversies of the day.  We will also explore how these writings reflect important historical and cultural developments, from the rise of Jacksonian democracy and efforts at reform--in education, social theory, gender relations, law, spiritual life--to the deeply divisive conflicts over race and slavery and the outbreak of the Civil War.  Writings include works by Poe, Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Jacobs, Whitman, and Dickinson.  

 


 

3540.10

Victorian Literature I

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Carter

 


 

3550.10

The English Novel I

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

Green-Lewis

 


 

3630.10

American Drama I

TR 2:20-3:35 p.m.

Combs

 


 

3640W.10

The American Novel I

MW 3:45-5:00 p.m.

Sten

This course focuses on the evolution of the American novel, from early Romanticism to late Realism, and the accompanying changes in aesthetics; portrayal of cultural values and conflicts over matters of race, class, and gender; and the challenges of writing and producing fiction in a new country.  Throughout we will try to answer the question, What “work” do we expect novels to do for us? Would our answers to this question be different from those of a nineteenth-century audience?  Readings include Poe short stories, Melville’s Moby-Dick, Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, Hawthorne’s Blithedale Romance, Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.  This is a WID course, requiring three papers (5-10 pages in length) and a take-home final exam.

 


 

3650.10

The Short Story

TR 11:10-12:25

Combs

This course surveys the development of short fiction in America from Edgar Allan Poe to Edward P. Jones, placing the stories in historical context alongside European and Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Chekhov, Joyce, Kafka, Garcia Marquez, etc. We read two stories each class and one essay on technique or historical significance.  We approach the works in terms of their developing styles (Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Post-modernism) and in terms of the craft of fiction writing.

 


 

3730W.10

Postcolonial Literature and Film

W 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Daiya

 


 

3810.10

Service Learning: Pen Faulkner

TR 2:20-3:35 p.m.

TBA

 


 

3810.11

Literature and Madness

MW 2:20-3:35 p.m.

Alcorn

 


 

3810.12

Culture and Literature of World War I

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Green-Lewis

 


 

3820W.10

Morrison and Faulkner

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Schreiber

Major Authors: Toni Morrison and William Faulkner: Race, Memory, and Aesthetics

This course links authors Toni Morrison and William Faulkner through the ways in which their fictional and discursive practices reflect on each other.  Specifically, we will examine how the texts of both authors reenact and resist racism and patriarchal structures; how they explore the ways in which memory and the past construct identity; and how they experiment with style.  We will consider the ways in which the texts illuminate a continuum in American literature through discussions of socially constructed identity and issues of race, class, and gender.  In addition, the class utilizes cultural studies, trauma studies, and psychoanalytic critical approaches to the texts of these authors.

Texts include:    Light in August, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Playing in the Dark.

 


 

3820.11

Jane Austen

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Wallace

This course will focus on the six major novels of Jane Austen, reading closely to elicit classroom conversation on form, style, thematic concerns and novelistic agendas.  We will also consider both historical and literary context, in particular Austen’s familiarity with and deployment of contemporary global events.  In addition to the six novels, we will look at some of Austen’s early writings as well as three novels that anticipate in interesting ways some of the social issues and comic techniques evident in Austen’s works:  Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield, Frances Burney’s Evelina, and Robert Bage’s Hermsprong.

 


 

3830.10

Vikings, Mongols and Moors: A Global Middle Ages, Yesterday and Today

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

Hsy

Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Merlin, Vikings, Harry Potter: in popular media, tales of conflict, romance, and magic set in the medieval have an enduring appeal. What are the literary origins that gave rise to such forms of contemporary media? How do fantasies about the medieval past inform contemporary culture and global geopolitics?

This course will examine how medieval storytelling traditions shape popular media (including film and TV, visual art, spoken word poetry, and internet fandom communities). We will read representative works of medieval literature and discover how these texts inform present-day cultural issues as wide-ranging as religious conflict, ethnic identity, and the mysteries of love.

In our readings of medieval texts, we will approach the historical Middle Ages as a time of perpetual change. We will witness warriors, housewives, merchants, nuns, poets, pilgrims, intellectuals, and outcasts adapting to a world in motion and imagining alternate forms of life far from home. Major texts will include BeowulfVinland Sagas, Marco Polo’s Discovery of the World, Chaucer’s Canterbury TalesThe Book of Margery Kempe, Arthurian romances, and Shakespeare’s Othello.

Our examination of modern-day media includes the Game of Thrones and Lord the Rings franchises, and we will consider how the Western medieval past is appropriated across Anglo-American, indigenous, Jewish, Asian American, and African diaspora contexts.

Assignments include a close reading, review of a current form of media (such as a TV series, film, or graphic novel), and a final project that integrates literary analysis and adaptation theory.

No previous experience with medieval literature is required. All medieval texts will be provided in modern English (or bilingual) translation.

This course fulfills the pre-1700 requirement of the English major.

 


 

3860.10

History of the English Language

MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

DeWispelare

This course studies the historical development and geographic expansion of the English language from its earliest written forms to its contemporary position as an instrument of global economic, political, and artistic exchange.  Students will become familiar with terminology for discussing phonological and morphological change while also studying social processes and theoretical models for how certain forms of language interact with or supplant others in diverse cultural spaces.  Major topics include: orality and writing; language and social identity; imperialism and language; multilingualism and language contact; pidgins and creolization; postcolonial linguistic theory; and global Englishes.  

 


 

3910.10

Disability Studies: Composing Disability, or Why Art Matters

TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Hsy

This course offers a gateway into the interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies, a burgeoning field that examines the wide cultural meanings of disability across time and space.

Our main objective will be to interrogate varied and capacious perceptions of disability in art and media. At certain points in Western literary history, disability has been characterized as a problem, sin, malfunction, divine gift, source of social stigma, potent metaphor, cultural advantage, puzzle, or secret. How might art created in the distant past transform how we understand disability today? Can literature transform how we approach disability in political discourse or public policy debates?

Through our readings of key texts from classical antiquity to the present, we will consider how artistic works (including plays, visual art, poetry, prose literature, and film) promote or challenge assumptions about disability and disabled people. We will engage with a surprisingly wide range of meanings historically associated with forms of embodied variance (such as blindness, deafness, left-handedness, immobility, stuttering, and mental illness). Our discussion will balance a historically thick understanding of canonical literary works with perspectives from some of most influential scholars and thinkers in the field.

Major historical authors will include Sophocles, Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Teresa de Cartagena, and William Shakespeare; modern works include Marvel’s Daredevil (graphic novel and Netflix iterations) and the film The King’s Speech. Through artistic works and modern theory, this class will give students some exposure to disability in Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and postcolonial cultural contexts.

Assignments include a critical analysis of a disability keyword, a comparative analysis of two media adaptations, and a final project that integrates disability theory and literary analysis.

All early literary texts will be provided in modern English (or bilingual) translation.

 


 

3920.10

U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture

TR 9:35-10:50 a.m.

López

Introduction to literary works in the Chicana/o, Cuban American, Dominican American, and mainland Puerto Rican traditions.  Texts by U.S. writers of Central American origin to be discussed as well.  Work will involve writing, revising, and re-submitting every assigned paper, giving students maximum benefit of instructor feedback.

 


 

3980W.60H

Transnational Film Studies and LGBTQ Cultures

TR 11:10 a.m.-12.25 p.m.

McRuer

 


 

4040.10

Honors Seminar

M 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Cook

 


 

4220.10

Creative Writing Senior Thesis

Page

 


 

4250.10

Honors Thesis

Cook

 


 

4360.10

Independent Study

 


 

4470.10

Internship

Seavey