English Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
BIO 263 Representations of HIV/AIDS (= ENG 285)
Prerequisites & Notes

Successful completion of BIO 111/113 is required.

Instructor
Wessner

What happens when literary critics and scientists converse?  In this team-taught course, we examine texts related to HIV/AIDS through the lens of the artist and the lens of the biologist.

Satisfies Liberal Studies distribution requirement. 

CLA 121 Greek Literature in Translation
Prerequisites & Notes

Students at all levels welcome. (Spring)

May be applied toward a major in English.

Instructor
Cheshire

Selected works from a variety of ancient Greek literary genres. 

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

CLA 122 Roman Literature in Translation
Prerequisites & Notes

Students at all levels welcome. (Offered in alternate years.)

May be applied toward a major in English.

Instructor
Totten

Selected works of Roman literature from the early Republic through the Empire.

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 110 Course list for Introduction to Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

English 110 satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Check schedule to determine which course is being offered.

FALL 2016

ENG 110 A Shakespeare & Sports
Instructor
Lewis

Contemporary sports and Elizabethan theater have much in common. Both present spectacles, before a rowdy audience, in an arena. Both involve rehersal and scripted performance. Both require guides, whether a director or a coach. Both create rivalry, whether between teams or acting companies. Most important, both center on stories that thrive on the essential, exhilarating, and painful human experience. Like Shakespeare's plays, sports history yields instances of extraordinary heroism and of heart-breaking mistakes. Real athletes find reflection in many of Shakespeare's best known characters. Take, for instance, Dale Earrnhardt, Jr., whose larger-than-life father haunts him as King Hamlet's ghost haunts his son. Andre Agassi's second chance at tennis recalls The Tempest's Prospero, who is exiled from and returns to dominate another court. This class explores how such moments and people in sports find reflection in Shakespeare's works.

ENG 110 B  Literature & Medicine
Instructor
Vaz

Science and medicine have indelibly influenced how we understand and respond to the physical and mental state of being human.  We will consider how an appreciation of literary texts and the questions they broach give us a different insight into the human condition and affect our awareness of health, addiction, illness, disease, suffering, recovery, and death.  In doing so, we will also pay close attention to the cultural coding of these issues, as we examine how gender, class, race, sexual orientation, or other cultural biases color our perceptions of health, disease, suffering and death.

Counts for the Health and Human Values Interdisciplinary Minor

ENG 110 C Introduction to Environmental Literature (=ENV 210)
Instructor

Mangrum

(Cross-listed as Environmental 210.)  An introduction to global environmental literature.  We'll focus primarily on short fiction, novels, and non-fiction prose.  The course will introduce students to environmental justice issues as well as contemporary trends in global literature.  Literary and environmental topics include toxicity, waste, food, inequality, the idea of "wilderness," and activism.  No prior experience studying literature is required.

Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
 

Future section topics:

ENG110 - Graphic Medicine:  Drawing Disability
Instructor

Fox

Why is the graphic novel literary? And why has it become an immensely popular site for the representation of illness, disability, and medicine?  In this Introduction to Literature class, we'll start with the premise that the unique intersection of word, color, image, text, and juxtaposition offered by the graphic novel offers authors singular opportunities for storytelling. We will further ask: what do comics, zines, and graphic novels have to teach us about our varied kinds of embodiment, particularly about disabled bodies? We will consider how these visual texts teach us about how bodies engage with the social and medical contexts surrounding them. Encompassing everything from bipolar disorder to cancer, depression to HIV/AIDS, epilepsy to deafness, and end-of-life issues to amputation, possible course works may include Epileptic, Cancer Vixen, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, and Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo, and Me. 

Counts as an innovation course for the major.

Counts for the Health and Human Values Interdisciplinary Minor

ENG110 - Introduction to Comedy
Instructor

Ingram

This course offers an overview of the comic tradition in English, from the Middle Ages to the present, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to Arrested Development.  Although humor will be a recurring feature of some texts and of most class meetings, this course traces how comedies respond to inescapable challenges of human life:  social and political structures as apparent obstacles to the desires of individuals; the body and its failings, to the point of death; art, particularly comedy, as a reassuring (or maybe deceptive) refuge of happy endings that can seem elusive in life.  Different eras respond differently to those challenges, so the course offers a broad survey of literary and cultural history.  Over the semester, students and professor alike will look for comedy in surprising places, including in the form of the course itself, certain to end happily, before it has even begun.

ENG 110 - Introduction to Environmental Literature: Food Literature (= ENV 210)
Instructor
Merrill

(Cross-listed as Environmental 210).

This course is for Foodies, Ag Activists, Farm Fans, and anyone who is interested in literature about food from a variety of perspectives.  We'll read fiction, poetry, and nonfiction about the pleasures of eating, the cultural and aesthetic significance of food, rural and urban agriculture, and food justice.  Field trips will include farm visits, and students will participate in hands-on, community-based assignments connected to the college's Food and Sustainability project. 

Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

ENG 110 - Introduction to Shakespeare
Instructor
Ingram

This course is designed for students who have encountered at least a little Shakespeare-in a book or on a stage or on a screen-and who have enjoyed those encounters. It surveys a selection of Shakespeare's plays, including comedies (Much Ado about Nothing), histories (Henry V), tragedies (Othello), and hybrids of several genres (The Tempest). We will approach the plays primarily through close-reading and spirited conversation, but also through in-class performances, film adaptations, and occasional critical texts. At the end of the semester, students enrolled in the course will choose our final play, as a step out of the classroom and toward a lifetime relationship with the writer who most shaped our words and still shapes our world.

ENG 110 - Literature of Celebrity
Instructor
StaffAn introduction to literary thought, including attention to the tasks of close reading and of building sustained arguments in written form about texts. Focuses on writing about the idea of fame, both in the contemporary world and throughout the past. Includes attention to a variety of literary forms, including novels, short stories, poetry, drama, film, and creative nonfiction. Major credit.
Grading: 25% papers, 25% tests and quizzes, 25% final exam, 25% consistency and thoughtfulness of class participation and discussion.

ENG 110 - Literature & Social Change
Instructor

Parker

An exploration of the ethics of art-making amid current social issues, in conversation with the authors studied-all of whom will either visit class or video-conference with the class.

ENG 110 - Media & Community
Instructor
Churchill
 
From Walt Whitman's broad embrace of American readers in the 1860s to the digital social networks of today, this course examines how various media form communities of readers and writers. We will investigate how lyric poetry creates one kind of intimacy between author and reader, how blogs establish another, and how the NBC television comedy Community builds its own cult following. Davidson College meets Greendale Community College in a course that teaches you how to read, analyze, and respond critically and creatively to various forms of media. 

ENG 115 The Art, Science, and Fascination of Fragrance
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

Description: This is a new kind of course, built bottom-up from the kinds of curiosity about the sense of smell expressed by students and professors in a liberal arts college. Not all of these questions have answers, but this course strives to give you  the feeling that you are looking in the right direction as you consider the  fascination of fragrance, the science of scent, and the passion and profit of perfume.  You and professors from Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, and Psychology will think together and think out loud about what would be the best  next step  in formalizing your own curiosity about olfaction.  So the course is really a series of investigations into the art, biology, chemistry economics, history, and psychology of fragrances.

Organizing Questions: How exactly does the sense of smell work?  Why do we have considerable numbers of olfactory receptors yet a rather small vocabulary for describing smells?  Did the sense of smell shape the human face? Are perfumes aphrodisiacs? Why are aphrodisiacs named after Aphrodite? What are nectar and ambrosia in Homer's epics? Do fragrances alter moods?   What makes  tangerine fragrance as effective as Valium in lowering stress? Can fragrances really bring back memories?  What role do fragrances play in religious rituals? Why do skins react differently to the same perfume? How did the ancients make/use/store perfumes? Why myrrh and frankincense?  Are there always smells in the air?  Beyond inviting pollinators, of what use are fragrances to fragrant plants? How come mirror image molecules smell so different? How come some fragrances last long on me and some don't? What is the link between fragrance and flavor? What is the Spice Road and how did it come about?  If I like perfume  X, what other perfumes might I like? Why?   How do people lose their sense of smell? Is losing one's sense of smell predictive of certain diseases? How do dogs smell cancer? Why do men seem to pay less attention to smells than women do? Are women really 1000 times more sensitive to musk than men are?  Is there a relation between odor and morality? Can human behavior be subliminally manipulated by odors? Does aromatherapy work? Why do I love some fragrances and hate others?  How come old people's perfumes smell so strong? Is it true that animal urine is used in perfumery? Is there really a smell of fear? Are organic perfumes better than synthetic ones? Why is there the persistent belief in human pheromones? What exactly are notes in a fragrance? How many different smells can a human nose distinguish? How big is the fragrance industry?  What does it take to succeed in it?  What's up with celebrity perfumes? What perfumes did Cleopatra use? In what organs do human have odor receptors?  

Texts:  Rachel Herz,  The Scent of Desire;   Mandy Aftel, Essence and Alchemy:  A Natural History of Perfume;   Patrick Susskind, Perfume;  Scent of a Woman; Essays on the art, history, chemistry, biology, psychology, and economics of fragrance; Poems and stories on fragrance  themes.

Satisfies a Liberal Studies requirement.

ENG 116 Gesture
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fackler

From our non-verbal cues in daily conversation to our postures, gaits, facial expressions, and movements, gesture plays a significant role in our daily communications with one another. Whether we are using sign language or watching the unfolding of a graceful développé in ballet, we are tuned in to the ways in which our gestures communicate meaning. The study of gesture is a multidisciplinary effort, as scholars draw on fields as diverse as psychoanalysis, performance studies, dance, neuroscience, anthropology, linguistics, behavioral science, and literary analysis. This course will examine the interpenetrations of gesture with both speech and thought in a series of cultural artifacts, ranging from the silent film comedy of Buster Keaton in The General (1926) and the fiction of Nathanael West and Zadie Smith, to the YouTube videos of Chris Crocker ("Leave Britney Alone!") and the documentaries Paris is Burning (1990) and Rize (2005). What does it mean to study gesture in an interdisciplinary way? What questions do theorists of gesture ask of the literary and cultural artifacts they study?  How do gestures amplify our understanding of each other and of literary characters and documentary subjects? Rooted in close reading and analysis, this class will ask students to consider how our movements create meaning and what those meanings suggest about our culture(s) and the other cultures under consideration in the course.


Satisfies a Liberal Studies requirement.

ENG 201 Professional Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Campbell

This course explores techniques and types of professional writing, including developing a professional web presence and writing resumes, informational publications, and proposals common to for-profit, non-profit, and technical communities.  This course will emphasize the skills and concepts necessary to engage in professional writing contexts, including how to construct and manifest ethos (the writer's character) through careful document design, research strategies, and professional representation of self in print and digital enviornments and how to collaborate with others in subdividing and sequencing tasks with considerable research and writing components.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 202 Introduction to Creative Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan

English 202 introduces students to the art and craft of writing short fiction and poetry of all varieites including "slam".  Creativity is essential, as is dedication to writing, reading, and engaging in productive discussions of each other's work.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 203 Introduction to Writing Poetry
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Parker

Practice in the writing of poetry, with attention paid to various techniques, approaches (free verse and formal verse), and the reading of contemporary poets. The course is workshop-based: peer critiques constitute the basis for each class.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 204 Introduction to Writing Fiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor 
Flanagan, Parker, Nelson

Practice in the writing of short fiction with some reading of contemporary fiction writers in English.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 205 Introduction to Screenwriting
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This course is a workshop, where virtually everything will be based upon, work from, and be inspired by, the writing that you and others in your class accomplish.  The course is based on learning the discipline and rigors of writing daily, creating and listening to dialogue, and making individual scenes work. 

Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

 

ENG 211 Filmmaking
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This course is a workshop, where virtually everything will be based upon, work from, and be inspired by, the films you and others in your class accomplish.  The course is based on learning the discipline and rigors of thinking visually, daily.

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Film and Media Studies and Digital Studies.
Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

 

ENG 220 Literary Analysis
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor 
Campbell, Churchill, Fackler, Lewis, Miller, Nelson, Vaz

Designed for majors. Emphasizes theoretical approaches and critical strategies for the written analysis of poetry, fiction, and drama and/or film. Writing intensive. Required for the major.  Students who major in English should complete 220 by the end of the sophomore year. Those who do not meet this deadline must make special arrangements with the Chair.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 231 Young Adult Fiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Campbell

Ever wonder what would move people to forbid, burn, even stab books? Come explore this question in Young Adult Literature. In this course, we will consider YA fiction from both various critical perspectives and within various educational contexts. Over the semester, we will review a brief history of the genre; examine a range of contemporary young adult fiction; discuss the purposes of and controversies about teaching such works in middle and high school contexts; and do research on case studies in which specific texts have been contested. By semester's end, students will know much about how literature works-and is presumed to work-in and on contemporary American society. 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 240 British Literature to 1800
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Designed for majors and prospective majors.  Introductory survey of the British literary tradition in poetry, drama, and narrative during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Eighteenth Century, with special emphasis on Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton. 


Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
 

 

ENG 241 Magic, Monsters and Medievalism
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ford

This course will explore fantasy literature that draws on medieval images, motifs, narrative traditions, and social configurations--texts that operate in the fictional mode known as "medievalism." We will be especially interested in the possibilities opened up by the use of magic and monstrosity in these fictional worlds and will examine the ways that writers in various non-medieval contexts use monstrosity, magic, and medievalism for their own purposes. The readings will range from early modern fantasy narratives that draw on a medieval past to contemporary literary fantasy novels. These readings will be supported with selected texts from the literature of Middle Ages. By the end of the course, we will have not only read some wonderful fantasies but also outlined a literary history of medievalism. Students will be encouraged to develop projects that use the course framework to interpret the medievalisms of contemporary popular culture, including comics, genre fiction, film, television, and video games.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 244 Arthurian Masculinities: Queerness in the Age of Chivalry
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ford

Exploration of the Arthurian tradition with special emphasis on the construction and function of masculinity and gender in the world of King Arthur's court. Readings will be drawn from medieval English and continental Arthurian narratives as well as medieval intellectual culture and contemporary gender theory and queer theory. The course will present medieval writers as dynamically engaged in the interrogation and reshaping of concepts gender in their own times and places. It will likewise investigate our present-day inheritance from the Arthurian tradition, with particular reference to the notions of "courtesy" and "chivalry."

Satisfies a major and minor requirement in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

 

ENG 260 British Literature since 1800
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

English 260 will provide you with a solid historical introduction to the poetry and prose texts of a little more than two centuries of British literature, spanning Romanticism, the Victorian era, modernism, and post-1945 literature. We will focus on specific authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, and Eavan Boland in order to study how they exemplify or complicate our understanding of literary history. 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 261 Modern Drama (= THE 261)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fox

European, American, and British drama from Ibsen to Pinter with emphasis on the major movements within Western theater: realism, naturalism, expressionism, Epic Theater, and Theater of the Absurd. 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 271 Disability in Literature and Art
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fox

In this course, we will explore disability as it is depicted in literary and cultural texts, from the canon to disability culture.  These representations are sometimes used metaphorically, as representations of extreme innocence or evil.  Likewise, they might reduce the experience of the disability to a conquerable challenge, or to a fate worse than death.  We will reconsider disability history, question socially defined categories of normalcy and ability, and learn about the presence of disability culture.  Rather than trying to catalogue all the examples of disability in literature, this course seeks to use disability studies as a genesis point and theoretical framework through which to examine several core questions about disability, literature, and the problems and opportunities arising from the intersection of the two.  We will reconsider representations of disability in literature; examine how disability is a culturally constructed category like race, gender, class, and sexuality (and how it intersects with those); study contemporary writing, performance, and art from disability culture; and consider how disability aesthetics can meaningfully contribute to the processes and products of artistic creation.  This course presumes no prior coursework in English and welcomes those from across the disciplines interested in studying the social and cultural experience of disability as a way to inform their own work in the arts and sciences.

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirements

 

ENG 280 American Literature to 2000
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Designed for majors and prospective majors.  Historical survey treating the development of American letters from the beginnings through the twentieth century.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 281 Contemporary Southern Literature - (= ENV 281)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Mangrum

A survey of literature from the Contemporary South, with particular attention to the ecological challenges and tumultuous environmental history of the region.  Familiarity with Southern literature is not a requirement.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
During 2016-2017, satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
 

ENG 282 African American Literature: From Colonialism to Renaissance
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan


This introductory course takes students on a literary journey that begins with Sundiata's An Epic of Old Mali-- which allows for discussions of what might be African in African American Literature-- through Harlem, and ends at the start of the Black Aesthetic Movement. Through close readings, lectures and discussions, students will learn how to analyze and comprehend literature. Students will write short responses to selected works, offer oral presentations, and end the course with a production of a major essay.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 283 Short Prose Fiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Nelson

Examines the history and development of the modern short story and its various subgenres through a close reading of texts from many authors and cultures.  The course also gives some attention to writing for publication and allows the option of submitting creative work.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
 

ENG 284 African American Drama
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fox, Flanagan, Wilson

This course will focus on African-American drama since the 1960s.  We will consider how playwrights worked to create a black aesthetic, question and rewrite history, explore intersectional identities, counter stereotypes, and build community.  These plays do not simply exist in opposition to some "mainstream" American tradition; rather, they are deeply, profoundly American, inviting all of us to engage discussions around race, history, privilege, and inequity that are deeply embedded in our artistic and social heritage as a country. At the same time, we will also ask: how to they reflect conversations within the community they represent?

We will read work by playwrights including (but not limited to): August Wilson, Katori Hall, Lynn Nottage, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Robert O'Hara, Suzan-Lori Parks, Anna Deavere Smith, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka, and Lynn Manning.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 285 Representations of HIV/AIDS (= BIO 263)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructors
Fox, Wessner

(Cross-listed as Biology 263). What happens when literary critics and scientists converse? In this team-taught course, we will examine texts related to HIV/AIDS through the lens of the artist and the lens of the biologist.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement.
 

ENG 287 Indian Literature in English
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Merrill

An overview of literature written in English by authors from India. Genres include fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, from the 19th century to the present. Includes writers from the Indian diaspora as well as those not widely-known outside India. 

Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Counts toward the South Asian Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Counts toward the Africana Studies major.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 288 Contemporary Amer Multicultural American Drama
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fox

  • What does it mean to use the stage to give voice to being part of a multicultural community?
  • How does theater help fight stereotypes and oppression?
  • In what ways do plays rewrite history and create pride?
  • What does it mean to stage the multicultural experience in a globalized world?
  • How does theater show us the intersections of different kinds of identity?

This course will answer these questions and more through our study of twentieth- and twenty-first century drama from several rich traditions of multicultural playwriting in America. Communities represented will include African-Americans, Asian Americans, disabled Americans, Latino/a Americans and LGBTQ Americans. We will explore issues raised in their plays including identity, the American Dream, stereotypes, history, and hope. No prior experience reading drama is necessary.

Satisfies the Cultural diversity requirement.

ENG 289 Environmental Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Mangrum

Overview of environmental literature from Thoreau to the present day.  Generally focuses on the enviornmental literature of the United States, but may include other English-language literature.  Designed for both majors and non-majors.


Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Enviornmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 290 World Literatures - South Africa & C. Europe
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan

Designed for majors and prospective majors.  A historical survey of selected texts outside the British and American literary traditions.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the Literature diversity distribution requirement.

ENG 292 Documentary Film - History, Theory, and Production of Documentary
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Miller

The course will first examine the modes of the documentary genre, often described as expository, observational, interactive, and reflexive. For each mode we will read relevant history and theory, and watch representative documentaries. Students will then make a series of short documentaries as a means of understanding how these modes affect both the production and reception of a documentary. We also consider more specific sub-genres of documentary such as science/nature, politics/protest, biography, and mockumentary.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

ENG 293 Film as Narrative Art
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor 
Kuzmanovich, Miller

This course explores the relationship of film video to other narrative media, with emphasis on authorship, genre, and the relationship of verbal and visual languages. Students will make a short video, but the course does not assume any production experience.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

ENG 294 Harlem Renaissance
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Churchill

Topics vary.  

Read major texts of the Harlem Renaissance and explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, migration, & diaspora that shaped this formative moment in twentieth century literature. We will read poetry, fiction, essays, and plays by W. E. B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, and others, situating their work in the context of developments in modern art, music, sociology, psychology, and print culture.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement. Counts toward the Africana Studies Major.
 

ENG 295 Women Writers
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fackler, Staff

This course prowls the house of fiction's dangerous and often forbidden spaces employing the visions and voices of transgressive agents, who go places they should not, wrestle monsters literal and figurative, and rescue bodies (of information and imagination) essential to us all. Readings: selected 19th, 20th, and 21st century fiction by women, from A Room of One's Own, to In the Cut, to Swamplandia, and lots of great works in between.   

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 297 Caribbean Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan

The Caribbean is key to any understanding of the New World. Caribbean Literature takes students beyond the islands' popular music, food, and landscapes to an understanding of the formation of cultures from Europe, Africa, and India that have produced two Nobel Laureates. In novels such as Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, we see how love leads to the death of a young woman in the attic in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. We'll understand, too, why and how Aime Cesaire rewrites Shakespeare's The Tempest to allow for the resurrection of the spirit of Caliban's mother, Sycorax. Students do not need to know theory to take this course.  

Students may retake this course for credit when the topic/readings change with instructor's permission.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the Literature and the Cultural diversity distribution requirement.
Counts toward the English Major and the Africana Studies Major

ENG 301 Writing Nonfiction Prose A: Advanced Nonfiction or B: Creative Nonfiction
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Course may be repeated for credit if taught by two different professors.

Writing Nonfiction Prose

Instructor

Varies

Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.
Both A and B satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

301A Advanced Nonfiction

Instructor 
Miller

This workshop-driven course pursues the advanced study of nonfiction in a variety of genres in the arts and sciences (e.g. science/nature writing, the review, food writing, travel writing). In each genre studied, students read professional model essays, write an essay in the genre, and respond to one another's work. For the final independent project, students submit an article for publication.
 

301B Creative Nonfiction
Lewis

The core of this class is the writing workshop, in which students review of one another's work develops objectivity on their own writing and essential editorial skills. In preparation for drafting each writing assignment, students read and discuss model essays representing such approaches as description, scene-setting, interviewing, analysis, argumentation, story-telling, personal narrative, and art reviewing. At the end of the semester, students craft longer essays on topics of their choice. The course also features attention to style, voice, and key choices that constantly face a working writer.

Offered Fall 2016


301B Creative Nonfiction
Campbell

In "Why I Write," Joan Didion argues that "In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind" (n.p.).  Writing creative nonfiction, to expand on Didion's description, means discovering, creating, and "saying I" through writing and revising.  Thus, English 301is substantially individualized:  you will set and work toward specific goals.  To complement these individual efforts, the class will explore connections between critical reading, careful observation, and effective writing.  Overall, English 302 emphasizes the entire composing process and relies heavily on your contributions and collaborations. My course goal is to demonstrate that understanding and addressing expectations and responses--both as writers and as readers--to writing helps us create nonfiction that entertains, informs, moves, and provokes.
 

ENG 303 Advanced Poetry Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

Course may be repeated for credit if taught by two different professors.

ENG 303 Advanced Poetry Writing
Instructor

Parker

A "laboratory" course focusing upon advanced work in writing poetry, with various experimental techniques explored,
to consider what a poem is and/or does. The course is workshop-based: peer critiques constitute the basis for each
class. A collection of poems is required as a final project.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 304 Advanced Fiction Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

Course may be repeated for credit if taught by two different professors. 

Instructor 
Flanagan, Miller, Parker

Advanced work in writing fiction.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.  

ENG 306 Filmmaking
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required. Course may be repeated for credit. 

Instructor
Staff

Offered in years when a professor in residence or a visiting professor of writing or theater focuses on filmmaking.  

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

ENG 307 Forms of Fiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Parker

"Forms of Fiction" investigates a literary genre via both theory and practice, operating like a laboratory, emphasizing experimentation, and embracing making as a way of learning. No creative writing background is required; there are no prerequisites.

Satisfies a major requirement in English

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Global Literary Theory

Satisfies the Literary Thought, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement

ENG 310 The English Language
Prerequisites & Notes

 

 

Instructor 
Ford

Introduction to theories of modern linguistics as they illuminate the historical development of English phonology, morphology, and syntax from Old and Middle English to Modern English. Attends to both written and spoken English; examines definitions and theories of grammar, as well as attitudes toward language change in England and the U.S.  

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 340 Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor 
Ingram

Special topics in a selection of Medieval and Renaissance texts (to 1660) with attention to critical approaches.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 342 Medieval Literature A: Medieval Women or B: Crusade, Violence, and Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

 

Medieval Literature

Instructor

Varies

Both A and BSatisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 342A Medieval Women
Instructor

Ford

An interdisciplinary study of medieval English literature, visual art, and spirituality from the 8th through the 15th century.  Most texts in translation.  

ENG 342B - Crusade, Violence, and Literature
Instructor

Ford

This course examines the medieval literary representations of religious violence. We will focus primarily on narrative texts depicting the complex, multi-stage military encounters in the Levant and Asia Minor from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, known collectively as the Crusades. The famous, infamous, and fictionalized figures at the center of these conflicts-Godfrey of Bouillon, Richard the Lion-Hearted, Saladin, and Bevis of Hampton-will occupy much of our attention. We will also encounter several texts that read Crusades patterns of religious violence into other contexts: the "Matter of Britain" material (Arthurian narratives) and the "Matter of France" material (Carolingian narratives) primarily but also a provocative medieval retelling of the life of Buddha in which Buddha becomes a Christian Crusader king. We will also read Jewish and Islamic accounts of Crusades violence and attempt to make sense of the vast range of perspectives on this international conflict. Throughout the course, we will pursue such questions as: How do medieval Christians (or medieval Muslims or Jews) depict their ideological and military opponents? What justifications-assumed or articulated-are offered in support of violent actions? What condemnations are leveled against violent enemies? Where are the boundaries between the Christian and the (Jewish or Muslim) other? Between heretic and infidel? Between fellow citizen and enemy? Are these boundaries permeable? If so, to what extent? The Crusades raise questions like these in medieval readers and writers. Consequently, the Crusades narratives become fascinating windows into the culture and worldview of the Middle Ages as well as useful tools with which to think about the rhetoric, ideology, and iconography of geopolitical tensions in our own time.

 

ENG 343 Chaucer
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor. (Not offered Fall 2015.)

Instructor 
Ford

Critical study of The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde in Middle English with attention to their historical and cultural context.  

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 345 Creating Book Culture
Prerequisites & Notes

Ford

The book is an utterly transformative technology. Its structure shapes ideas, people, and whole societies. In "Creating Book Culture, we will investigate phases of the book's impact on the circulation of information and of its material development. We will examine the handwritten "manuscript" books of the Middle Ages, the early printed "incunabula" of the Renaissance, and modern relief-printed books. In this "Innovation" course, we will also practice the production methods of early book culture. The most significant component of this practice will involve the designing, composing, printing, and binding our own books using traditional letterpress and bindery technology. In other words, we will get some ink on our hands in this class. In so doing, we not only shed light on the long history of book culture. We will participate in it as creators, learning through experience about the processes that shape our literary and intellectual worlds and crafting from our inquiry fascinating and (almost certainly) beautiful material objects.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing and Rhetoric distribution requirements.

Counts as an innovation course for the major.

ENG 352 Shakespeare's Playscripts
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Lewis

This course begins with the premise that Shakespeare's dramas, while composing an impressive body of literature, are first and foremost play scripts for actors who performed 400 years ago. As such, they require their own set of reading skills. Through regular writing assignments, class discussions, and acting workshops, students acquire the skills required to understand the words on the page as clues to their embodiment on the early modern stage. The course surveys plays across Shakespeare's theatrical career--comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances. Critical reading includes both literary criticism and theatrical history.  This course doesn't require a background in acting and isn't aimed at actors per se.  Rather, the course, which is aimed at both readers and actors, situates the plays in the theater for which they were written.


Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

 

 

ENG 353 Studies in English Renaissance Literature A: Shakespeare and His Contemporaries C: Donne
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Studies in Renaissance Literature

Instructor 
Ingram or Lewis

Topics in Renaissance literature such as Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, Renaissance schools of poetry, and Northern humanist culture.

Both A and B satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.

353A  Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Instructor
Lewis

Although Shakespeare tends to overshadow all other writers of his age, he was actually but one of many working, accomplished dramatists of the period who influenced and competed with one another.  By exploring a series of pairings between a Shakespeare play and a play by one of his contemporaries (for example, The Merchant of Venice and Marlowe's Jew of Malta), this course surveys not just Shakespearean drama, but, more broadly, early modern drama.  A discussion-based class that explores Shakespeare in his network, the course also attends to original staging conditions of the plays and to some of the most pressing questions about performance.  A guiding principle of the class is that all of the plays, now neatly presented by editors and publishers for study in the classroom, were originally conceived of as living, malleable scripts for actors.
 

 

 

ENG 355 Milton
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ingram

This course follows John Milton's carefully shaped career, starting with early poems, such as Lycidas, before considering prose, such as Areopagitica, and the late masterpieces, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes.  Milton's texts ask some of the most important questions of the Western tradition:  what is the relation between an artist and predecessors?  how much should governments constrain individuals' choices?  are there "natural" elements of gender and sexuality?  if God is both all-good and all-powerful (a huge "if"), why is there so much suffering?  As befits these big questions, ENG 355 emphasizes class discussion and individual discovery through formal and informal writing.  In the Miltonic tradition, this course also emphasizes choice:  students may choose to take a comprehensive final examination or participate in an all-day reading of Paradise Lost, a rare opportunity for students to learn about themselves and about one of the most influential poems in literary history, all in one unforgettable day.

ENG 360 Studies in Brit Lit: 1660-1900 A: Desire or B: British Literature Since 1945 or C: Trad/Originality
Prerequisites & Notes

Studies in Brit Lit: 1660-1900

Instructor

Varies

Courses A,  B and C satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.

Course list for British Literature

360A - Desire

Instructor
Fackler

Examines representations of sexuality, desires, and passion in British literature. This trans-historical course proceeds both from the observation that we may see sexuality as a set of scripted performances and from the theory that sexual desire has a history, even a literary one.

Prerequisites & Notes
First-year students require permission of the instructor.


360B -  British Literature Since 1945

Instructor
Fackler

An analysis of the novels, short fiction, drama, and poetry of the postwar years in Britain, up to the present moment, with special attention to both historical context and the stylistic innovations of the period.

Prerequisites & Notes
First-year students require permission of the instructor.
 

360C - Tradition and Originality
Instructor

Ingram

This course charts the shifting definitions of both "tradition" and "originality" in British literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.  The course will consider these shifting definitions in three overlapping contexts:  literary (how can a text so obviously and deeply indebted to other texts as Milton's Paradise Lost claim to accomplish "things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme"?  how do literary artists respond as the list of "things unattempted yet" shrinks?); historical (how did changing concepts of authorship and of intellectual property both shape and reflect British literature of the period?); theoretical (who or what defines "tradition"?  to what extent is "originality" possible-or desirable?).  In a series of case studies, the course examines some origin stories, such as where the novel came from and how some writers became celebrities.  It follows those stories to the present day, with the awareness that issues of tradition and originality extend beyond any course.

ENG 361 Eighteenth Century Pop Culture
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor  
Vaz

In this course, we will interrogate the nebulous issue of taste -- political, literary, and moral of otherwise -- through a variety of texts, such as mock epics, trenchant satires, riveting periodicals, feisty novels, caustic engravings, flippant opera, and bawdy comedies, to consider ways in which Restoration and eighteenth century England negotiated the intersection and divide between high and low art.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 362 A: British Romanticism or B: Reimagining Blake
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

 

Both A and B satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Check schedule for course offerings.

362A British Romanticism

Instructor 
Vaz

Topical study of the poetry and prose of the period ranging from the examination of Romantic gender ideology to studies of individual authors

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.


362B Reimagining Blake

Instructor
Vaz

William Blake was a risk-taker and a rule-breaker.  In his creative output, he sought to unshackle the ideological "mind-forg'd manacles" that stunted human thought.  We will study Blake's seminal works and apply some risk-taking and rule-breaking of our own by digitally recreating a few of his illustrated plates.  Just as Blake used text and image in his original plates, so will we, as we creatively and critically reimagine Blake's work and his message.

ENG 363 History of the Novel
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Fackler

The origins of the novel in Britain and the circumstances, both historical and sociological, surrounding its emergence. 

 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the Literature distribution requirement.

ENG 370 Davidson Summer Program at Cambridge University
Prerequisites & Notes

Limited to thirty students, the Davidson Summer Program at Cambridge focuses on the history and literature of late 18th- and 19th-century Britain. Students may receive credit for either English 370 or History 390.

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing and Rhetoric distribution requirements.
 

ENG 371 Victorian Obsessions
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor 
Vaz

The Victorians were obsessed with a whole lot of things. Understandably, since they were living in a world of intense change when long-held beliefs were being questioned and sometimes crushed. In this course, we will explore how the Victorians challenged gender roles, authorized female desire as much as they vilified it, dealt with the empire on which the sun had not yet set, reeled from the mind-boggling theory of evolution, grappled with urbanization and the widening gap between the classes, and journeyed into altered states of consciousness.

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 372 British Fiction: 19th and 20th Centuries
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor  
Churchill, Fackler, Kuzmanovich

Selected British and Commonwealth fiction from 1800 to 2000. 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 373 "Terrible Beauty": Yeats and Modern Poetry
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Churchill


This course in modern poetry explores the ways in which a genre celebrates for communicating truth and beauty also conveys a great deal of terror and ugliness--often in striking, disturbing combinations. In honor of the centennial of the Easter Rising of 1916, which aimed to end British rule in Ireland, the course will begin with an in-depth study of W.B. Yeats, followed by readings of British, Irish, and transnational poets Mina Loy, W. H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Stevie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Carol Ann Duffy.

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 374 Picturing Disability
Prerequisites & Notes

374 Picturing Disability

Instructor
Fox

What does it mean to consider the visual representation of disability as a kind of text? Why does it matter? This course will consider the ways in which picturing disability helps us do several things: expose and challenge stereotype, understand how disabled or ill bodies have been used to create cultural meanings, better understand the social experience of disability, reconsider disability in the medical context, and appreciate the amazing human variation of all bodies that disability underscores.  Representation also presents us with some of the thorny issues with which we will grapple: what are the ethics of picturing disability, and how can we avoid spectacle or voyeurism even as we take advantage of the "visual activism" staring allows? How do we make typically invisible impairments like anxiety or depression visible? How do we show the reality of pain without reinforcing the sense that disability is only a tragic or isolating existence? How do we create visual representations that retort against tropes so familiar that we may not even realize we are using them to shape our personal definitions of disability? How can we create representations that suggest "disability gain"-that disability begets creativity and innovation in the arts and sciences? In this course, we'll look at a wide-ranging assortment of ways disability has been pictured in society. We'll explore everything from public health posters to medical textbook photographs; painting and sculpture to zines and graphic novels; charity campaigns to material objects (including medical or adaptive devices). You will create your own representation of disability, do some disability hacking of material objects, and work together to curate an online exhibition of disability representations.

This course presumes no prior coursework in English and welcomes those from all majors interested in studying the representation of disability as a way to inform their own work in the arts and sciences.

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
 

ENG 380 Studies in American Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor  
Kuzmanovich, Nelson

Special topics in American literature with attention to critical approaches. 

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 381 American Fiction: 19th Century
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor 
Staff 

Historical and theoretical understanding of romanticism, realism, and naturalism, with attention to Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, James, Crane, and others. 

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 382 African American Literature 1955 & Beyond
Prerequisites & Notes

African American Literature: 1955 & Beyond
Instructor

Flanagan
 

Designed by Davidson College students, this course is an exploration of the vibrant literature that African Americans produced during the years in which they struggled for Civil Rights, and in years leading up to Barack Obama's Presidency. Students will study works by writers such as Sonia Sanchez, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Haki Madhubuti, Ishmael Reed, Al Young, and Randal Kenan as they, and others, relate to a new aesthetic in American Literature.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

Counts toward the Africana Studies major.

Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

 

ENG 383 Ethnic American Literature A: Black Poetics and "the Queer" or B: Black Literature Since 1953-- The Poetics of Black Beauty
Prerequisites & Notes

Ethnic American Literature

Instructor

Varies

Both A and B satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Counts toward the Africana Studies major.


383A Ethnic American Literature-Black Poetics and "the Queer"
Instructor

Staff

Predating the nation's founding, African American literature has been marked since its inception by its writers 1) affirming their equal humanity under the auspices of divine forces while being treated as subhuman property; 2) staking claim upon and expanding the ideals of what constitutes American identity and culture; and 3) reflecting on their state of being as those living with what preeminent scholar W.E.B. Du Bois terms a "double consciousness," a keen, spiritual awareness of a dual citizenship and ancestry in these United States and in a continent that has always been at once reviled for its link to dark skin and religious and cultural difference and revered for its wealth of natural resources. This course will explore that journey of discovery, mourning and protest-subtle in its nuanced critique in the eighteenth century and at times scathing in its nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first century manifestations-in the poetics of African American writers. Primarily, we will be studying lineated poetry, but we will also ponder the ways these writers blur and expand genre boundaries in poetic fiction, nonfiction prose, spoken word, and song and in the ways that gender and sexuality further complicate what it means to be non-white and American. This course will close by mining the poetics of writers of color of other ethnicities who have arrived on these shores experiencing similar ostracism and oppression and have adapted African Americans' creative, rhetorical modes to serve their own poetic (re)visions and expansions of American, non-white identities. In this course, we'll explore the possibilities of the word "queer,"  as it is used by the writers themselves, both in the classical sense of odd and striking deviation from a norm and for its contemporary theoretical utility in exploring representations of non-heteronormative sexuality and gender performance.​


383B Ethnic American Literatures:  Black Literature Since 1953 -- The Poetics of Black Beauty
Instructor

Staff

Starting with Gwendolyn Brooks' Maud Martha and "The Mother" from her 1963 Collected Poems and culminating with the "rachet/bootylicious" poetics of Beyoncé, this course will trace the ways that black female artists have continued to cast off expectations of respectability, invoking the sinful, the risqué, the forbidden, as they complicate the mantra "Black Is Beautiful" that was central to the "black aesthetic" Amiri Baraka, Addison Gayle, Larry Neal, and others posited as essential to liberate the race from the tyranny of the white imagination. Along the way, the poems of Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, Ai, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Rita Dove, and others will be used to reflect on their invocation of and tribute to the performance of singer-activists Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, and others who have informed the hypersexual diva ethos Beyoncé has used to dominate contemporary pop culture.

ENG 386 American Fiction: 20th Century
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Kuzmanovich, Nelson

A study of realist, modernist, and postmodernist American fiction that is not only set in the past, but actively questions the ability of fiction writers to adequately capture and depict the spirit of another time. Major authors: Wharton, Faulkner, Vonnegut, Doctorow, Ishmael Reed, Morrison, Roth. Readings include fiction, criticism on major texts, and theory that deals with the relationship between historiography and fiction. An upper-division elective intended for majors but open to non-majors.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 387 Modern American Poetry
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Churchill

This course examines the driving urge to "make it new" in modern American poetry and explores both its nineteenth-century roots and its twenty-first century offshoots.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
 

ENG 388 Contemporary Theatre
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

388 Contemporary Theatre

Instructor
Fox

Despite our highly visual and multimedia age, we don't often think of the stage as being a site of significant cultural conversation.   Yet there is simply no substitute for the vitality and importance of live theater.  To paraphrase Edward Albee, theater puts the mirror up in front of an audience and asks them: "This is who you are. Now what are you going to do about it?"

This course will examine the origins and development of contemporary theatre in the Western tradition, post-1960, with an emphasis on American and British drama. We will particularly place a heavy emphasis on text-based drama of the last two decades, examining the ways in which recent theater has asked its audiences to contemplate issues of concern to contemporary life including (though not limited to) race in America; global violence against women; class division; and the commodification of human relations, both personal and international.  We will also discuss how theater challenges us to find creative solutions through connection, community, and claiming identity. No prior experience reading drama is necessary.

In the past, this course has included works by (but is not limited to): August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Robert O'Hara, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka​, Jez Butterworth, Tony Kushner, and Ayad Akhtar. 

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 389 Posthumanism
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor 
Mangrum

This course will reexamine the idea of "the human." Readings will be drawn from graphic novels, post-apocalyptic narratives, classical and contemporary theory, science fiction, and recent work in cultural and environmental criticism. Through our reading, we will reconsider the distinctions between humans, nonhumans, and the idea of the natural. The often-porous borders between species, technologies, and environments will also allow us to ask questions about the future of the humanities. If we unsettle prevailing assumptions about the meaning of "the human," what will the humanities look like in the coming decades? What is the future of humanistic study in an age when digital technologies have become a common feature of everyday life and environmental crises pose existential threats to the planet and our species?

In order to reconsider what we mean when we talk about "the human," we will need to trek across diverse intellectual terrain. We'll consider narratives that imagine a future continuum of human-cyborgs, reflect on vast spatial-temporal scales that call into question the significance of our species, probe the assumptions about race and gender underlying popular American ideas about nature, and evaluate scenarios in which the natural becomes "uncanny" even as the technological becomes "organic."

The course will require three seminar-style projects, regular engagement in discussion, and a final class assignment in which students imagine the future shape, practices, and concerns of the humanities. 


Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

ENG 391 Literary Criticism
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

 

Instructor 
Kuzmanovich

Analytic and comparative reading of major critical texts.

Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Perspectives distribution requirement.

ENG 392 Literature of the American South
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor  
Staff

In this course students explore works by eleven southern women writers including Dorothy Allison, Harriet Arnow, Kate Chopin, Zora Neale Hurston, Harper Lee, Toni Morrison, Flannery O'Connor, Sheri Reynolds, Alice Walker, Jesmyn Ward, and Eudora Welty. Together we will encounter narratives that challenge our understanding of public and private histories and impel us to consider both theoretically and personally the effects of gender, race, class, and region on creative expression and the stories that unfold.  We will question the texts, their contexts, and ourselves, always acknowledging Welty's assertion that "there is absolutely everything in fiction but a clear answer."  The course will include both lecture and discussion. 

"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." Muriel Rukeyser
 

Counts toward the Gender & Sexuality Studies major, and the Africana Studies major.
Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

 

ENG 393 Studies in Literature and the Visual Arts: A: Film Genres or B: Love and Art or C: Film Theory or D: Word Art
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Studies in Literature and the Visual Arts

Instructor

Varies

 

393A-C Satisfy the Visual and Performing Arts distribution.
Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.
 

393A Film Genres

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

Originally a means of market differentiation, film genres now are sets of conventions with emotional payoffs, that is, formal devices that promise "repetitive reaffirmation of certain ritualistic experiences" (Gehring).  In other words, film genres are about business, art, and technology.  But they seem to me also about ways of creating or recreating emotions.  In this course we'll look at the formal and psychological markers as well as cultural consequences of a number of film genres that create, recreate, and thus keep certain emotions in circulation. 


393B Love and Art

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

This is not a course in which we parade our pain or give advice to the lovelorn. But it is an immodest and wholly foolish undertaking.  And an ambitious one, too:  though it's mostly literary analysis it is also part philosophy, part psychology, part history, part film theory, part creative writing and filmmaking.  For to begin to speak of love is to speak of desire, beauty, goodness, creation, immortality (Plato), psychic anatomy and anatomical memory, prophetic dreams, conscious irrationality, obsession, transgression, suffering, repression, sublimation (Freud), selfhood, otherness, will to power, slavery, mastery, surrender (Hegel, Sartre, De Beauvoir), prostitution (Marx and Engels), male conspiracy (Firestone),   Lines between  eros, philia, nomos, agape, and theoria grow faint and not only because they happen to be Greek words and thus equally strange. Appetites sometimes merge and sometimes squabble with reason and spirit.  Loving oneself, loving others, loving God, loving God in others, passion, intimacy, commitment, these states bring up only the first questions: Who/what should be loved? How does a lover choose a/the beloved? What causes love? What does love cause? Egotism? Idealism? Self-knowledge? Marriage? Companionate marriage? Partnership? The sense that the lovers are heroes/heroines of their own stories which they can finally tell? If one's love is a story, or becomes a story, what is the genre of that story? Does love become a story only in love's absence? Is love good? Is love a good? Is there a hierarchy of loves and lovers? What connects love to sexual desire? Do causes and connections differ among cultures and historical periods? What differentiates falling in love from being or staying in love? All of these are good philosophical questions and psychological categories, but talking about love philosophically or treating it as something amenable to psychologizing invariably causes us, as the philosopher Arthur Danto said in the Chambers Gallery, "to lose touch with the reality everyone cherishes."


393C Film Theory

Instructor
Miller

This course explores theoretical approaches to fiction and nonfiction film, television, video and other media. Though no production experience is required, we will make short storyboards  and videos, and students have the option to make a video as a final project. We then consider "ists" and "isms," including realism and reality TV; modernism; postmodernism; materialism; evolutionary criticism, and Freudianism and gender theory. Movies we may consider: Modern Times, Pervert's Guide to Cinema, Bicycle Thieves, Star Wars, Shane, Out of the Past, Waking Life,No Country for Old Men, Man with the Movie Camera, Un Chien Andalou, and a variety of shorter videos.


393D Word Art

Instructor
Churchill

You live in a highly visual culture.  To be literate, you need to read and interpret words, images & the interplay between them, both in print and online. This course examines print & digital texts that combine words & images, but it is not a course in mass communications. Instead, we'll study some of the most complex and subtle word/image interactions, including ekphrasis (poems about pictures), illuminated books, graphic memoir, and digital poetry. ENG 393: Word-Art is a double hybrid: a study of words & images via critical & creative writing. The course inhabits both print and digital realms: meet in a classroom & blog on this website; draw in notebooks & write for web publication; hack print books & design a Davidson Domain.

ENG 394 Studies in Modern Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

ENG 394 Contemporary Drama and Disability Literature topic counts for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major.

Studies in Modern Literature

Instructor 
Varies

Special topics in modern literature such as The City Novel, Modern International Fiction, Contemporary Poetry, Literature and Medicine, Contemporary Drama and Disability Literature.

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.


Topic: Fictions of Empire
Instructor
Vaz

British imperialism permeated the literary tradition much as it did the globe.  In this course, we will examine the fictions and critiques of empire constructed in and through literary texts from the eighteenth century through the present.  We will read these texts through the lens of postcolonial theory, so we can better grasp the ideology of British colonialism and its after-effects.


 

ENG 395 Independent Study in Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study under the direction of a faculty member who approves the topic and determines the means of evaluation. 

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 396 Independent Study in Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study under the direction of a faculty member who approves the topic and determines the means of evaluation.

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 397 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study under the direction of a faculty member who approves the topic and determines the means of evaluation.

Satisfies the Literary, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 400 Seminars
Prerequisites & Notes

The following topics count for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major:

ENG 454 Cleopatra

ENG 465 Contemporary American Feminism & Theatre

ENG 472 Virginial Woolf

ENG 472 Fallen Women

ENG 472 Gossip

ENG 488 Modernism, Space, Place, Gender

ENG 488 Modern Poetry: Queer America

 

Instructor
Staff

Seminars, numbered 400 through 494, are limited to twelve juniors and seniors with preference to English majors.  Topics vary by section and year and are posted on the English Department website.

ENG 401 Seminar: Reported Creative Nonfiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Lewis

This creative writing seminar combines the essential elements of creative nonfiction with the fruits of academic research and reportage -- in both the library and the field (as through intervieiwing).  Students will define appropriate projects almost immediately and set about researching them under the guidance of the instructor and other professionals.  The research will culminate in a piece of reported creative nonfiction, prepared for publication, ranging from 6000 to 7000 words.  Weekly meetings will be devoted to discussing a wide array of reading in the genre, presenting research to the class, and revisiting drafts in a workshop setting.  Readings will include works by such writers as John McPhee, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Orlean, Thomas Mallon, Atul Gawande, Francine Prose, and many others.  Ideally, students who enroll will have taken a creative writing course at the 200 level or higher.

ENG 402 Seminar
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Seminars, numbered 400 through 494, are limited to twelve juniors and seniors with preference to English majors.  Topics vary by section and year and are posted on the English Department website.

ENG 403 Seminar
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

Seminars, numbered 400 through 494, are limited to twelve juniors and seniors with preference to English majors.  Topics vary by section and year and are posted on the English Department website.

ENG 404 Seminar: Writing the "Sexy"* Novella
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan

This course offers students in any major at Davidson College an opportunity to realize their dream of writing the first strong draft of a novella that has the potential to be developed into a novel.  Before the writing begins, students will read and dissect two novellas, each selected from a list of prize-winning books.  These selections are intended to inspire the student-writer's creativity.  By the fourth week, writing begins in earnest with short exercises produced in and out of class.  By the end of the term, each writer would have produced at least 60 pages of a compelling story.  Writers should be prepared to write often, discuss their work in the seminar, and be open to critiques that are intended to help them create "sexy" fiction.

*"Sexy" means provocative, intriguing, inspiring, and/or compelling. It does not refer to pornographic butit can encompass the erotic.

This course satisfies the Creative Writing distribution.

ENG 415 Seminar: A: Poetics of Relation or B: Style
Prerequisites & Notes

415 A Poetics of Relation
Instructor

Flanagan 

Poetics of Relation is the rubric for a seminar in which students will analyze the ways in which the discursive forms-novels, plays, essays, and poetry-of two writers relate to specific cultures, landscapes, and historical moments. In its two previous iterations, students have examined such relationships in writings by Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott, Vidia Naipaul, and Wole Soyinka. In Spring 2016, the focus will be, for the first time, on two African American female writers, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.

In addition to close readings, substantive discussions, oral presentations and one major essay, seminar participants will add to an existing Poetics of Relation digital website available through the Davidson College library.

Counts for Africana Studies Department Minor credit.

415 B Style
Instructor

Fackler

From Samuel Richardson's titular heroine Pamela obsessing about her wardrobe (1740), to the conspicuous consumption of Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie (1900), and from the discussion of Hero's sartorial choices in Much Ado About Nothing (1598) to the iconic Holly Golightly of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), there is a clear literary history of fashion. This course will consider both fictional and theoretical engagements with fashion alongside the works of authors such as Vladimir Nabokov and Henry James, whose prose reveals the fingerprint specificity of their writing styles. Working from Roland Barthes's theory in The Fashion System to Cecil Beaton's diaries and Joseph Roach's study of the "It" factor ("the easily perceived but hard-to-define quality possessed by abnormally interesting people"), this transcultural and transhistorical course will investigate style as both form and content. Whether we are looking at the fashion and literary styles of the roaring twenties in Fitzgerald's works or the punk subcultures of the UK in the 1980s, we will question how literary innovation and fashion interpenetrate.

Counts as an innovation course for the major.

ENG 420 Seminar: Narrative Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Miller

This course will consider theories of narrative by focusing on the ways in which the media of orality, print, film and electronic text affect techniques and theories of narration.  Subjects will range from Plato to postmodernism.  We won't simply read theory, but also apply theory to a wide range of narratives in different material media: print works by authors such as Mansfield, Wharton, Coetzee, Dostoevsky, D. F. Wallace, and Dr. Seuss; oral tales and jokes; video games; hypertext novels; television shows; advertisements; and films.

ENG 443 Seminar: The Canterbury Tales
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff 

Geoffrey Chaucer, an English civil servant and diplomat who was the son of a wine merchant, lived in the fourteenth century;  at his death in 1400, he was still working on an audacious experiment called The Canterbury Tales.  Chaucer, the Father of English Literature, was a creation of that unfinished  narrative experiment in testing the boundaries of fiction making-an experiment which began to be avidly read in the fifteenth century, which created anxiety of influence for sixteenth-century writers (such as Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare), which helped define by its perceived otherness both nostalgic Romantic  medievalism and unflinching modernity, and which, in the twenty- first century, has seemed, in its deliberate evasions and cancellations, the most postmodern of texts.  This seminar on The Canterbury Tales will read closely  what is arguably the most seminal of all English literary texts-while also exploring The Canterbury Tales in afterlife by considering the dialogue between Chaucer's Middle English tales and their appropriations and transformations in later works ranging from the play Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare to films such as Pier Paolo Pasolini's Marxist adaptation of 1972 and Brian Helgeland's  A Knight's Tale (2001) with its odd, naked, medieval author, who wanders into the scene to claim that "Geoffrey Chaucer's the name...writing's the game."

ENG 452 Seminar: Performing Shakespeare/Radio Shakespeare
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Lewis

In Shakespeare's London, audience members referred not to "watching" or "seeing" a play, but to "hearing" it.

"Radio Shakespeare" is a new incarnation of English 452, "Performing Shakespeare."  The course will culminate in three full-length radio performances of The Merchant of Venice before live audiences.  A fourth performance, a Sunday matinee on the order of a staged reading, may occur at the Zimmermanns' Renaissance villa, Pian del Pino.  One of the audio performances will be broadcast live on WDAV.  Post-production, engineers will assemble an immortal podcast combining the strongest elements of the three recorded performances into one whole.

 

ENG 455 Seminar: A: Renaissance Revenge or B: Reading Endings
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Renaissance Revenge
Instructor
 
Ingram 

The words "Renaissance" and "revenge" are usually followed by a third:  "tragedy."  This seminar will indeed survey selected Renaissance revenge tragedies, those bloody, perverse, ironic plays written by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  But this seminar will also consider other Renaissance works driven by revenge, including comedies and poems.  It will trace the roots of Renaissance revenge in works such as Seneca's Thyestes and Machiavelli's The Prince and the legacy of Renaissance revenge in works such as Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Tarantino's Kill Bill.  We will study revenge as a means of balancing a plot (one injury initiates the action; another ends it), as economic exchange (the inexact calculations of payback), as an aesthetic form (heads baked in pies, corpses arranged in tableaux), as political resistance (the state's revenge is called "justice"), and as grounds for theological questioning (when is an avenger an instrument of divine will?).  We will ask, finally, about revenge as a component of modernity, inherited from the Renaissance and canonized in the most conspicuously modern of early modern plays, that masterpiece of Renaissance revenge called Hamlet.


Reading Endings
Instructor

Ingram

This course focuses on endings.  It includes unfinished texts that authors or their executors decided to publish incomplete.  It also includes texts with notoriously controversial endings.  Students will reflect on what they want from endings and will reflect on the implications of those desires.  Most expansively, students will consider and perhaps fashion a fitting end to their majors in English.

As befits its focus on endings, ENG 455 satisfies the requirement for a "capstone experience" within the English major.  This course is a tutorial; students will meet with the professor in very small groups and will set topics for discussion through their writing.

Texts may include the following:  Anglo-Saxon poem "The Ruin"; Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde; Shakespeare's sonnets and Measure for Measure; poetic fragments by Donne, Milton and Coleridge; unfinished, posthumously published novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald and David Foster Wallace; Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler; Frank Kermode's The Sense of an Ending and Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending; films directed by Stephen Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan.

  

 

ENG 462 Seminar: A: Romantic Radicalism or B: The Long Eighteenth Century Gothic
Prerequisites & Notes

Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.


462A Romantic Radicalism

Instructor
Vaz

For William Godwin, truth, if it exists, comes about in the "collision of mind with mind."  In this seminar, we will investigate and interrogate how Romantic literature manifests this "collision" by creating and participating in the aesthetic, economic, and socio-political tectonic shifts of the period.  By doing so, we will examine how Romantic literature intersects with the richness and complexity of the period's radical and revolutionary thought.

462B The Long Eighteeth Century Gothic

lnstructor

Vaz

There's nothing like reading books we've been told we ought not read.  That's essentially the story of the Gothic during its inception.  Lambasted by contemporary critics as literature's illegitimate and sinful child, gothic novels nonetheless sold like hotcakes, and the infection easily spread to poetry and drama.  In our seminar, we will trace this phenomenon in England from the 1760's through the Romantic period to study its evolution from bastard child in the eighteenth century to literature worth of scholarship only in the last 30 years of the twentieth century

 

ENG 472 Seminar A: Gossip or B: Twenty-First-Century British Literature or C: Joyce/Nabokov
Prerequisites & Notes

Juniors and Seniors only. 

Check the schedule to determine which section is being offered.
 

472A Gossip

Instructor
Fackler

Drawing on cultural studies and performance studies, this trans-historical and transnational course investigates the role gossip plays in literature, psychoanalysis, journalism, politics, television, film, and new media. The seminar foregrounds the imbrication of gossip and scandal with constructions of gender and sexuality.

This topic counts for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major.
 

472B 21st Century British Literature

Instructor
Fackler

This course considers the transformation of the book as artifact and idea since the turn of the century. We will investigate the new, often experimental, narrative forms authors have developed as a response to such twenty-first-century pressures as globalization, terrorism, and genetic engineering. Questions for the seminar include: What are the overarching concerns for fiction in the wake of the postmodern and postcolonial moment? What kind of relationship can we expect between science and literature in the 21st-century novel? Does contemporary science contribute to newly emergent structures of feeling that the novel might register? And if such structures call up concepts of the posthuman, how might they sit with the traditionally humanistic orientation of the novel as a broadly popular genre?  How does post-9/11 fiction respond to current fears of technological and/or natural annihilation? What are the factors determining pre-canonical status for the texts on this syllabus, and how can we understand the new circulation of global capital and cultural value? Students will consider the following concepts: virtual fiction; cloning, the post-human, and dystopian responses to the possibility of a genetically engineered future; alternative modes of narration; the figure of the artist manqué; ghostwriting as a narrative technique (and as a 21st-century replacement for the omniscient narrator); detective fiction; fictions of terrorism and the politics of post-9/11 vulnerability; the new Bildungsroman; the author business, and the influence of book clubs and literary prizes such as the Man Booker. 
 

472C Joyce/Nabokov

Instructor

Kuzmanovich

Why a seminar on Joyce/Nabokov?   Like most seminars, this one requires intensive attention to the themes and techniques of  major writers.  These two long dead writers consists of their still having in print almost all the books they've written,  with those books provoking over 10,000 critical pieces just since 1963.  Joyce's influence is acknowledged by Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Anthony Burgess, Philip K. Dick, Umberto Eco, William Faulkner, Arthur Miller, Raymond Queneau, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard, and Derek Walcott while Martin Amis,  John Barth, Paul Bowles, Italo Calvino, Bobby Ann Mason, James Merrill, Thomas Pynchon, W.G. Sebald, Zadie Smith, Mark Strand,  Amy Tan, and Richard Wilbur mention Nabokov's, and probably Joyce's by way of Nabokov.

Method:  We will concentrate on (1) their styles (Joyce's "High Modernist" and Nabokov's supposed "post-modernist"/"metafictional"/"intertextual" one) since the grit in these men's words has gotten under the skin of many a reader with an innovative critical approach; (2) their tendencies to generate their respective narrative authority from events in their own lives, especially their respective experiences of exile; (3) their depictions of Love in its various forms (including the loss of it); (4) the absenting presence of the big bogey, Death; and (5) the last member of that robust triumvirate, Art. 

Goals:   A foretaste of mature and thoughtful reading; confidence that you can do independent, original,  and careful scholarship on even the most challenging writing.

But is this class really for you?  If you believe that certain words or subjects should be off-limits to writers or readers, this is not the class for you.  Ulysses and Lolita each continue to sell well over 100,000 copies per year, yet they not only contain but also provoke language and situations which some students may find objectionable.  This is a class for those students who not only possess the already uncommon share of discipline, imagination, memory, and attention to details vouchsafed to most who choose Davidson, but who are also blessed with an ability to heft another's words and deliver and withstand therapeutic non-rancorous badgering especially on the topics of  suspending disbelief in the transfigurative power of art and the (ir)relevance of contemporary critical theory. 

Texts: 0-14-024774-2 Joyce,  Dubliners; 670-0 180301; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as Young Man; 0-19-511029-3 Fargnoli: James Joyce A-Z 0-394-74312-1; Joyce: Ulysses, Gabler Edition;  0-679-72725-6 Nabokov, Gift; 1-883011-18-3 Novels and Memoirs; 1-883011-19-1 Novels 1955-1962 0-679-72997-6; Nabokov,  Stories  of Vladimir Nabokov; 052153643X; Connolly, The Cambridge Companion to Nabokov (Recommended Only); 0-679-72609-8 Nabokov: Strong Opinions (Recommended Only); 978-0-3-0-7-27189-1Nabokov, The Original of Laura (Recommended Only)

ENG 473 Seminar: Picturing Texts, Making Media
Prerequisites & Notes

(Not offered Fall 2015.)

Instructor
Churchill
 

This seminar explores various ways that words and images combine to make meanings. You will study a range of word-image texts, from illuminated books and graphic narratives, to digital poetry and blogs. You will write critical papers about these image-texts, and you'll create your own. The seminar is a double hybrid--word/image texts and critical/creative writing--designed to stimulate your intellectual and imaginative faculties, and to help you develop literacies for the digital age, including mastery of WordPress. No previous technological training required.

ENG 482 Seminar: Poetics of Relation - Toni Morrison and Alice Walker
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan 

Poetics of Relation is the rubric for a seminar in which students will analyze the ways in which the discursive forms-novels, plays, essays, and poetry-of two writers relate to specific cultures, landscapes, and historical moments. In its two previous iterations, students have examined such relationships in writings by Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott, Vidia Naipaul, and Wole Soyinka. In Spring 2016, the focus will be, for the first time, on two African American female writers, Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston. In addition to close readings, substantive discussions, oral presentations and one major essay, seminar participants will add to an existing Poetics of Relation digital website available through the Davidson College library.

Counts for Africana Studies Department Minor credit.  Counts for Cultural Diversity requirement.

ENG 485 Seminar: Picturing Texts, Making Media
Prerequisites & Notes

This course counts as an innovative course for the major.

Instructor
Churchill

This seminar explores various ways that words and images combine to make meanings.  You will study a range of word-image texts, from illuminated books and graphic narratives, to digital poetry and blogs.  You will write critical papers about these image-texts, and you'll create your own.  The seminar is a double hybrid-word/image texts and critical/creative writing-designed to stimulate your intellectual and imaginative faculties, and to help you develop literacies for the digital age, including mastery of WordPress.  No previous technological training is required.

ENG 486 Seminar A: Emily Dickinson - The Art of Poetry or B: Faulkner or C: Modernism, Magazines & Media
Prerequisites & Notes

Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.


486A Emily Dickinson - The Art of Poetry

Instructor

Staff

"Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?" Emily Dickinson asks her reader. Our goal this semester will be to respond to that challenge by investigating Dickinson's vast collection of poems, placing them in the context of her life and time, and connecting them to contemporary poetic and critical responses to her work. Student participlation and leadership are essential.

This topic only counts for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major.

486B Faulkner

Instructor
Kuzmanovich
 

"[S]ublimating the actual into apocryphal" is what Faulkner called his acts of storytelling about his families and his loners traumatized by war, race, poverty, sexual frustration, and greed; his psychologically fragile but tireless talkers,  incestuous brothers and sons, fiercely proud and resentful old ladies,  skeletal bridegrooms, and children who grow up honorable by keeping  the promises they make both to themselves and to others.  Our seminar will try to give equal due to the actual and the apocryphal which means we'll pay attention to:

  • history, especially of the Civil War and Reconstruction; 
  • geography, especially of Lafayette County and the Mississippi River;
  • biography, not just Faulkner's but his grandfather's, known in the family as the Old Colonel); and
  • other writing that finds its way into Faulkner's own (Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Conrad, Fitzgerald, even Charlotte Bronte and Dickens).

To benefit from these overlapping and interlocking contexts, we are going to limit ourselves to the works  Faulkner  wrote primarily between 1929 and 1948.  If there is interest, we'll  visit Faulkner's stomping grounds in Oxford, Mississippi.

We are going to omit the Snopes trilogy unless you think we must do it.  During the first half of the course, under the rubric of the actual (and in the process of unlearning certain ways of reading Faulkner), we'll read some of Faulkner's best known short stories, and then The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), The Unvanquished  (1938), and Intruder in the Dust (1948).  To bury our noses in the grit of the actual, we'll  take a break to visit Faulkner's grave, house, church, courthouse, alley, statue, Taylor's Depot, etc. in Oxford, MS and also look at the architectural and geological features that served or are rumored to have served as models for a number of  Faulkner's settings. When we return, we'll concentrate on Absalom, Absalom!  (in Faulkner's view "the best novel yet written by an American") and on the ways that novel inscribed itself into the realm of great novels while simultaneously appropriating that apocryphal realm for itself.   While the themes that will guide our discussion will no doubt include the South, the Civil War, honor, heroism, guilt, adolescence, masculinity and femininity, sex and death, truth and fact, obsession,  lynching, incest, religious vision, the Bible, Greek mythology, the presence of Shakespeare and other poets in Faulkner's lyrical perversities of plot and style, as well as psychological and philosophical notions of time, memory, history, and storytelling,  there is no reason to stop with any of them.  Please prepare yourself for some heavy lifting when it comes to making this seminar a success or do the right thing and cede your place to one of the people on the wait list.

 

486C Modernism, Magazines & Media

Instructor
Churchill

The rise of modernism in the first decades of the 20th century coincided with an explosion in magazines production: between 1885 and 1905 alone, 7500 new periodicals were established in the U. S., and thousands more in Great Britain. This seminar will explore modernism as it appeared in magazines, ranging from the avant-garde "little magazines" to the "quality" monthlies and mass-market glossies. Langston Hughes debuted in The Crisis in 1921, and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land appeared in The Dial in 1922, the same year James Joyce's Ulysses was serialized in The Little Review (before it was censored by the Comstock commission). Willa Cather edited McCall's, Djuna Barnes wrote for the pulps, and William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald published stories in the Saturday Evening Post. By the 1920s, modernists such as Pablo Picasso and Virginia Woolf had become celebrities, featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair. 

This seminar is unlike any English course you've had at Davidson. It is a collaborative research & methods course, with readings drawn from the emerging field of modern periodical studies. You will find and choose at least half of the readings, "publish" one of your findings in whatever form or format you see fit, collaborate on a major research project, and contribute to the expansion of the web site Index of Modernist Little Magazines. In the process, you will enter the field of new digital media, learning to use WordPress, GoogleDocs, DavidsonDomains, and other digital tools and platforms.

ENG 487 Seminar: Legal Fiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Nelson

The principal claim of English 487 is that a trial is a text that can be read in much the same way that any other text can be read. Indeed, modern trials are in effect storytelling contests, with two competing "narrators" telling two versions of the same story to a captive audience. Understanding how, when, and to whom this story can be told takes some effort, however, because the language of trials is not the same as literary language and the conventions of legal storytelling are not literary conventions. Nevertheless, a great deal of contemporary literary theory offers genuine insight into the kinds of fictions that get constructed in a courtroom. This seminar tests a number of hypotheses about legal fictions, offers direct observation of some real trials in progress, and asks students to undertake research in the interdisciplinary areas where legal studies and literary studies overlap.
 

ENG 493 Seminar: Picturing Texts, Making Media
Prerequisites & Notes

Limited to juniors and seniors.

Instructor
Churchill

This seminar explores various ways that words and images combine to make meanings. You will study a range of word-image texts, from illuminated books and graphic narratives, to digital poetry, memes, and blogs. You will write critical papers about these image-texts, and you'll create your own. The seminar is a double hybrid-word/image texts and critical/creative writing-designed to stimulate your intellectual and imaginative faculties, and to help you develop literacies for the digital age, including mastery of WordPress. In the second half of the semester, you will work in teams to design and create your own hybrid projects. No previous technological training is required.

ENG 494 Seminar: A: Disability in Literature or B: Multicultural Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Juniors and seniors only.

Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.


494A Disability in Literature

Instructor
Fox

The literary tradition in Engish is rife with representation of disability.  These representations are sometimes used metaphorically, as representations of extreme innocence or evil.  Likewise, they might reduce the experience of the disability to a conquerable challenge, or to a fate worse than death.  Disability Studies asks us to reframe our understanding of disability history, question socially defined categories of normalcy and ability, and understand and learn about the presence of "disability culture" and its widely diverse members are also using literature to tell their own stories in a vibrant new artistic tradition.  Literature is and has been obsessed with the disabled body, both as metaphor and actual subject -- an extension of the degree to which disability has loomed in the larger societal imagination in one way or another across centuries.

Rather than trying to catalogue all the examples of disability in literature, this seminar seeks to use disabililty studies as a genesis point and theoretical framework through which to examine several core questions about disability, literature, and the problems and opportunities arising from the intersection of the two.  We will:

  • Recconsider representations of disability in literary, artistic, and cultural texts.  We'll ask how these are used as "narrative prosthesis."  How are such depictions used as literary devices?  What beliefs do these images promote about disability?
  • Examine how "disability" and "normalcy" are culturally constructed categories like race, gender, class, and sexuality.  How does disability intersect with these other identity categories?
  • Study contemporary writing, performance, and art from disability culture. This writing establishes history, explores identity, refutes/reclaims stereotypes, and promotes discourse within the disability community.  We will look at genres ranging from memoir to fiction to performance to film.
  • Consider how a "disability aesthtic" of literature might be conceived.  How can disability contribute to the reconsideration of the processes and products of literary creation?

Therefore, while our course has a loose chronological frame, it's more appropriate to think of it as organized conceptually.  The survey here will be of the questions to which the intersection of disability and literature gives rise.  While this is a senior English seminar, disability studies is a very interdisciplinary field.  Junior and senior students in other majors with an interest in the course topic are very welcome to join; the course does not presuppose a familiarity with disability studies.

Fulfills the Cultural Diversity requirement as well as the Diversity requirement for the English major. 

 

494B Multicultural Literature

Instructor
Campbell

Beyond just teaching children letters, counting, and shames, children's literature teaches individuals how to interact with one another based on their similarities and differences.  This seminar will explore how what is accepted and promoted as "appropriate" multicultural representation in literature for children and adolescent changes over time.  At a moment of intense American debates about immigration, demographic shifts, and marriage equality, we will explore issues of power and representation-who has the right to write, whose stories are worth telling, what version of those stories should one tell through focusing on literature for children, including picture books, stories, comics, and short novels.

Fulfills the Cultural Diversity requirement.

ENG 495 Seminar: Cleopatra
Prerequisites & Notes

Not open to first-year students and sophomores without instructor's permission.  

495G Cleopatra

Instructor
Lewis

Cleopatra has endured as an icon from her own lifetime to the present.  Was she among the first feminists or as poisonous as the asp that took her life?  This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the fascination with and manipulation of Cleopatra's image over the centuries.  Beginning with Stacy Schiff's recent biography of her, we'll explore her appropriation by such authors as Plutarch, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Shaw, as well as by visual artists and in films like Joseph Mankiewicz's Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor. 

Satisfies a major and minor requirement in Gender and Sexuality Studies.

ENG 498 Seminar: Senior Honors Research
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

 

Instructor 
Campbell, Ingram, Kuzmanovich

Reading and research for the honors thesis taught by the student's thesis director and the departmental program coordinator. Ordinarily, taken in the fall of the senior year.

ENG 499 Seminar: Senior Honors Thesis
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor 
Campbell, Ingram, Kuzmanovich

Writing of the honors thesis begun in English 498, supervised by the student's thesis director and supported by instruction of the departmental program coordinator. Ordinarily, taken in the spring of the senior year.

ENV 210 Introduction to Environmental Literature: Food Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Mangrum

This course is for Foodies, Ag Activists, Farm Fans, and anyone who is interested in literature about food from a variety of perspectives.  We'll read fiction, poetry, and nonfiction about the pleasures of eating, the cultural and aesthetic significance of food, rural and urban agriculture, and food justice.  Field trips will include farm visits, and students will participate in hands-on, community-based assignments connected to the college's Food and Sustainability project. 

Students entering 2012 and after: satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

ENV 281 Contemporary Southern Literature (=ENG 281)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Mangrum

A survey of literature from the Contemporary South, with particular attention to the ecological challenges and tumultuous environmental history of the region.  Familiarity with Southern literature is not a requirement.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
During 2016-2017, satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.

THE 261 Modern Drama (= ENG 261)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fox

(Cross-listed as English 261.) European, American, and British drama from Ibsen to Pinter with emphasis on the major movements within Western theater: realism, naturalism, expressionism, Epic Theater, and Theater of the Absurd.