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English Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
AFR 282 African American Literature: 18th - 19th Century (=ENG 282)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

African American Literature from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: North America).
Satisfies the diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

AFR 286 African American Literature: 1900- (=ENG 286)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

This course will introduce students to twentieth- and twenty-first century African American literature and literary criticism. It will bring together a wide range of readings from across genres and disciplines, attempting to sketch out the major aesthetic and political features of the black literary project. Authors will include Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Fred Moten, and Colson Whitehead to name a few.

Satisfies the diversity requirement of the English major.
Counts as a humanities elective in the Africana Studies major.
Counts as an elective in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies a cultural diversity requirement.

AFR 292 "Fake News," Journalism and Ethics
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bailey

Students will be taught how to use journalistic skills and ethics to better harness the power empathy adds to storytelling on extremely sensitive subjects such as race, politics, gender, etc. as well as learn how to navigate the world of political punditry and the growing fake news phenomenon.  The course will focus on how the media discourse marginalizes people of color, and African Americans in particular and how rhetorical shifts can lead to non-factual news reporting.

Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: North America).
Satisfies a requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community Requirement.

AFR 297 Caribbean Literature (=ENG 297)
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 diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: Latin America/Caribbean).
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

AFR 298 Race and American Journalism
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bailey

We know the names Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice. But we should also know the name Damon Kearns, a young black man born in Davidson who killed the only officer to die while on duty in the town - while being killed by the officer. This class will include an exhaustive look into the 20th anniversary of Kearns' death as a way of exploring larger issues of race in American journalism.  This local case study will help to illumine a myriad of lessons for young journalists and social justice warriors on the intersection of race, media, crime and inequality in the 21st century, including many that are often misunderstood or overlooked.

Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: North America).
Satisfies the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

AFR 303 Major Thinkers in Africana Studies: W.E.B. Du Bois (=ENG 382)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

This course will introduce students to the major works of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. Readings will include (in chronological order): The Philadelphia Negro (1899); The Souls of Black Folk (1903); Dark Princess (1928); Black Reconstruction in America (1935); Color and Democracy (1945); and The World and Africa (1947) to name a few. They will be supplemented with secondary readings by: Booker T. Washington, Michael Rudolph West, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Hazel Carby, Paul Gilroy, Adolph Reed, Lewis Gordon, Marina Bilbija, C. L. R. James and others.

Satisfies a requirement in Africana Studies.
Satisfies a major requirement in English.
Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Global Literary Theory.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement

AFR 383 Black Literary Theory (=ENG 483)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

(Cross-listed with ENG 483)

This course will bring together readings both literary and critical/theoretical, beginning with Frantz Fanon's seminal Black Skin, White Masks (1952). Taking Fanon as its point of departure, then, this course will necessarily turn to a discussion of the recent discourse on Afro-pessimism and black optimism, attempting to introduce students to important issues and questions of race, race relations, anti-black racism, black sociality, the universality of whiteness, the fungibility of the black body, and of the vulnerability and precarity of black life; and together we will think more closely about how the complex and "unthinkable" histories of slavery, colonialism, and the Middle Passage, for examples, continue to challenge the representational limits and potentialities of traditional literary genres and modes of emplotment. In addition to Fanon, authors will include Orlando Patterson, Toni Morrison, Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Frank Wilderson, Jarred Sexton, and Fred Moten.

Counts as a humanities elective for the Africana Studies major.
Counts as a senior seminar and fulfills the diversity requirement for the English major.
Counts as a literature elective for the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.

CLA 121 Greek Literature in Translation
Prerequisites & Notes

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

Instructor
Cheshire

Selected works from a variety of ancient Greek literary genres. 

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
May be applied toward a major in English.

CLA 122 Roman Literature in Translation
Prerequisites & Notes

Students at all levels welcome. (Spring 2018)

Instructor
Neumann

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

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the history requirement in the English major.

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 2017

ENG 110 Growing Up in America
Instructor

S. Campbell

In this course, we will consider young adult fiction both from various critical perspectives and within various readerly contexts.  Over the semester, we will:

  • Review a brief history of the genre from 1860 to 2000;
  • Explore shifting perceptions of gender, sexuality, and coming of age in the United States;
  • Discuss in what ways ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status impact expectations about maturation;
  • Consider how reviews of and responses to young adult texts reflect contemporaneous assumptions about the purposes of literature.

Satisfies an elective requirement in the English major.
Provides elective credit in the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor.
Satisfies a Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

 

SPRING 2018

ENG 110  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

 

OTHER TOPICS (not offered in current academic year):

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

Staff

(Cross-listed as Environmental Studies 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

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 - 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 environments 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.

ENG 203 Introduction to Writing Poetry
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
K. Ali

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.

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.

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 
Staff

Designed for potential 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 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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
 

 

ENG 242 Women's Work: 21st Century Female Playwrights (=THE 242)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
S. Green

This course provides a close look at work created for the stage by women since 2000.  The analysis of plays written and produced in the 21st century will be set in the context of feminist and queer theory which has offered insights into the cultural function of "tomen's work."

Satisfies a requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Theatre major and minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Literary & Cultural Representations Track of the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement for the English major.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

 

ENG 280 American Literature to 2000
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Nelson

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

ENG 282 African American Literature: 18th - 19th Century (=AFR 282)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

African American Literature from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: North America).
Counts as an elective in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
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

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 Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: North America).
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 285 Politics & Performance: 20th Century Theatre (=THE 285)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
S. Green

The course is a study of plays and theatrical theory from a range of geographic regions.  The course explores ways practitioners experimented with form and content in articulating their reactions to the human condition of the 20th century.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

 

ENG 286 African-American Literature: 1900- (=AFR 286)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

This course will introduce students to twentieth- and twenty-first century African American literature and literary criticism. It will bring together a wide range of readings from across genres and disciplines, attempting to sketch out the major aesthetic and political features of the black literary project. Authors will include Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Fred Moten, and Colson Whitehead to name a few.

Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: North America).
Counts as an elective in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies a cultural diversity requirement.

 

ENG 288 Contemporary American Multicultural 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.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

ENG 289 Environmental Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Merrill

Overview of environmental literature from Thoreau to the present day.  Generally focuses on the environmental 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 Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.
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 Diversity requirement of the English major.
Fulfills a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: Africa).

ENG 291 Literary Mysteries
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan

Literary Mysteries is an exciting Innovation course that offers opportunities for students to explore the lovely literary language that writers such as P.D. James, Umberto Eco, Elizabeth George and Ruth Rendell employ in novels such as An Unsuitable Job for a WomanThe Island of the Day BeforeMissing Joseph, and Dark Corners, respectively. Forget the blood, gore, shoot-em-up of many ordinary crime stories. Literary Mysteries are intellectually and dramatically intriguing, layered, intricate, and deftly plotted. Students will build evidence boards in digital sites as they follow the clues embedded in these plots to try to solve the mysteries before the end of the text, and in doing so, they will enhance their deductive skills.

 

Satisfies the Innovation course requirement in English.
Counts as a literature elective in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric 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 a requirement in the Film & Media Studies interdisciplinary minor.
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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

ENG 294 Harlem Renaissance
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Churchill

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 Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Area: North America).
Satisfies a requirement in the Gender & Sexuality Studies major and minor
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdiscplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

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.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.

ENG 297 Caribbean Literature (=AFR 297)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Flanagan

The Caribbean is key to any understanding of the New World. Caribbean Literature takes students beyond the islands's popular music, food, and landscapes-ah, those sandy beaches!-to an understanding of the formation of cultures from Europe, Africa, and India that have produced three winners of Nobel prizes-two in Literature and for Economics. In novels, poems and plays we'll examine the ways in which this particular part of the "Empire" wrote back to Europe before creating its own distinctive body of literature. The course is open to all students, and knowledge of literary theory is not a prerequisite. The most relevant theories will be taught to the class.

Satisfies the diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: Latin America/Caribbean).
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

 

ENG 301 Writing Nonfiction Prose
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.
Course may be repeated for credit if taught by two different professors.

Instructor
Campbell, Lewis, Miller

In this class students will learn the basics of writing creative nonfiction by reading and discussing excellent examples in the genre and through practical writing exercises.  Students will consider a range of ethical issues, strategies, and various forms of creative nonfiction.  They will pay a great deal of attention to style with the intent of improving clarity and developing their own voice.  They will develop the editor within through participating in writing workshops and discover that the best nonfiction is grounded in fact.

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

ENG 303 Advanced Poetry Writing
Prerequisites & Notes

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

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.

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.

ENG 306 Digital Scholarship
Prerequisites & Notes

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

Instructor
Churchill

Digital Scholarship

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric 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.

Fulfills the Innovation requirement for the English major.
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 
 Merrill

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 333 Literary Satans
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ingram

In the first chapter of Job, God asks Satan, "Whence comest thou?"  And Satan responds, "From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."  This course follows Satan's travels through texts such as Job, the Gospels, Dante's Inferno, Milton's Paradise Lost, Goethe's Faust, short fiction by Hawthorne and Poe, Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, films The Exorcist and The Witch, TV shows Supernatural, Fargo, and Lucifer.  Faculty from several departments will visit ENG 333 to help contextualize these varied Satans and the cultures that produced them.

Before there were humans or texts composed by humans, according to Abrahamic traditions, Satan was the first being to plot his own path, the first to want something new and different.  In that sense, Satan is the driving energy of innovative courses.  ENG 333 accordingly satisfies the Innovation requirement of the English major.  The course is innovative in scope and in its assignments.  It requires not only students' participation but also their leadership in class meetings; five brief projects in response to the course's texts and topics; and an oral presentation on a representation of Satan omitted from the current syllabus.  The course culminates in a collaborative digital mapping project, through which students will document some important appearances of Satan across millennia and across the globe where he has walked up and down.

Fulfills the Innovation requirement of the English major.
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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

ENG 352 Strangeness in Shakespeare
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Lewis

Dramatists must write in a way familiar to their audiences if they hope to keep their audiences.  But the best dramatists, at the same time, also challenge the preconceptions and assumptions of audiences. They estrange audience members, provoking them to explore and reassess what they thought they already knew.  Shakespeare does just that, often through characters who are themselves strangers-foreigners-in their environment or through removing characters from their familiar surroundings and placing them where, feeling alien, they must confront themselves and their beliefs.  In this course, we'll study how Shakespeare's incorporation of aliens and alien territories corresponds with and informs his efforts to alienate his audience and, in so doing, encourage them to grow.  Titles will include Love's Labor's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest, as well as others.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

 

 

ENG 353 Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

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.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement for the English major.

 

 

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.

Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

 

Check schedule for course offerings.
Both A and B satisfy the Literary Studies, Creative Writing,a nd Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Both A and B fulfill the Historical Approaches requirement for the English major.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
 

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

ENG 375 Fan Fiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
S. Campbell

The practice of writing works using the universes and characters of already established authors--Fanfiction--is a recent cultural phenomenon, beginning with Kirk/Spock slash of the 1970s and fueled by 21st century technologies that have enabled fans to appropriate, extend, and transform beloved characters and plots. The output is staggering: as of March 2017, Fanfiction.net alone holds 761,000 Harry Potter stories, and fanfiction writers have  become best-selling authors (Cassandra Clare, E.L. James). Yet centuries of adaptation and appropriate permeate the Western canon, from Homer's stock phrases to Shakespeare's work with sources such as the Decameron and Holinshed's Chronicles. 

ENG 375 will explore the world of fanfiction, from past iterations to the present extensive array of fanfiction. We will consider common tropes in fanfiction, such as fanon/canon, gender swapping, shipping, and transgressive pairings of many kinds, and investigate how social media enables empowered, creative fandom. The author may be "dead," in Barthes' estimation, yet h/she/zer are also very much alive and writing.

Fulfills the Innovation requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing & 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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

ENG 382 W.E.B. Du Bois at Large (=AFR 303)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

(ENG 382 cross-listed with AFR 303 during spring 2018 semester only.)

This course will introduce students to the major works of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois.  Readings will include (in chronological order): ThePhiladelphia Negro (1899); The Souls of Black Folk (1903); Dark Princess (1928); Black Reconstruction in America (1935); Color and Democracy (1945); and The World and Africa (1947) to name a few.  They will be supplemented with secondary readings by: Booker T. Washington, Michael Rudolph West, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Hazel Carby, Paul Gilroy, Adolph Reed, Lewis Gordon, Marina Bilbija, C.L.R. James and others.

Fulfills a 300-level major thinkers requirement of the Africana Studies major (Geographic Area: North America).
Counts as a 300-level elective and fulfills the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Counts as an elective in the Global Literary Theory interdisplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Community, and Equality requirement.

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

ENG 387 Contemporary Poetry
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Parker

A course concerned with schools, movements, and problems in the literary arts, "Contemporary Poetry" will include exploration of poetic geneaologies, and investigate the relationship between poetry and cultural theory, poetry and current affairs, and poetry and technology.

Satisfies the history requirement for the English major.
Counts as a literature course for the Global Literary Studies interdisciplinary minor.
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. Yest there is simply no substitute for the vitality and importance of live theater. To paraphrase Edward Albee, theater puts the mirror up infront 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 theater in the Western tradition, post-1960, with an emphasis on American and British drama. We will particularly place 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 Algería Hudes, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Robert O'Hara, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka, Jez Butterworth, Tony Kushner, and Ayad Akhtar.

Satisfies the Literacy, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

ENG 390 Word Art
Prerequisites & Notes

For Spring 2018, students must register for both ENG 390: Word Art and ART 331: Printmaking in Japan.

Instructor
Churchill

We live in a highly visual culture.  To be literate, we need to read and interpret words, images and the interplay between them, both in print and online.  This course examines print and digital texts that combine words and images.  We will study some of the most complex and subtle word/image texts, focusing on Japanese masters and genres such as haiku, political woodblock prints, manga, and anime.  Word-Art is a hybrid course: a study of words and images, a combination of critical and creative writing, and an investigation into print and digital forms.

The Spring 2018 course will be interlinked with Professor Tyler Starr's ART 331 - Printmaking - Japan. Students must sign up for both courses and will receive 2 course credits. Students will create their own books using paper from Japan and create interactive digital facsimiles.  While ostensibly, ENG 390 will emphasize writing and digital publication, and ART 331 will focus on images and printmaking, the pairing of the two courses will deconstruct word/image, print/digital, and East/West binaries through multimedia investigations that require interdisciplinary approaches and encourage cross-fertilization.

Fulfills the Innovation requirement in the English major.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

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.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement in the English major.

ENG 393 Film Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

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 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 Freudalism 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.

ENG 393 satisfies a Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
ENG 393 fulfills a requirement in the Film & Media Studies interdisciplinary minor.

 

 

ENG 394 Studies in Modern Literature: The Avant-Garde (Fall 2017)
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Churchill

A course concerned with avant-garde schools, movements and strategies, "The Avant-Garde" will include exploration of different genres, media, and cultures, and investigate relationships between avant-garde practice and theory, artistic innovation and social change, and forms, platforms, and politics. Because of its focus on challenging the white, male domination of the avant-garde with attention to women, queer, and minority poets from modernism to the present day, this course meets the diversity requirement for the English major and qualifies for GSS credit.

Fulfills the Diversity requirement of the English major.
Counts towards the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor (Literary and Cultural Representations track).
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
 

 

 

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

Some topics provide credit in the Gender & Sexuality Studies major and minor (as noted in individual seminar descriptions).

Instructor
Staff

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

 

ENG 409 Television: Queer Representations (=GSS 401)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fackler

With its roots in the gendered domestic suburban household, television has a longstanding investment in questions of gender and sexuality.  Pushing back against the assumption that LGBTQ characters did not appear on our screens in a sustained way until the 1980s, this course will investigate how TV representation of queer life have changed with the evolution of the medium since the 1950s.  Recent work in the field of queer TV studies has unearthed queer characters from previously invisible archives, charged changing conceptions of masculinity and femininity in broadcast programming, and documented the organizational strategies  employed by television narrative that disclose and contain expressions of non-normative sexualities.  We will seek to understand the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that structure representations of televised queerness.

Fulfills the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Gender & Sexuality Studies major and minor.

ENG 415 Fall 2017 Seminar Topic- Poetics of Relation: August Wilson
Prerequisites & Notes

ENG 415A (FALL 2017)

Poetics of Relation: August Wilson
Instructor

Flanagan 

Poetics of Relation is the rubric for a seminar in which students analyze the ways in which the discursive forms - novels, plays, essays, and poetry - of one or two major writers relate to specific cultures, landscapes, political and historical moments.  In its three previous iterations students have examined such intersections in the work of two Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka; Vidia Naipaul and Derek Walcott, and in novels and essays by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.  In fall 2017, the focus will be on August Wilson, one of America's foremost playwrights.  In addition to close readings, substantive discussions, oral presentations, and two major essays, seminar participants will contribute to the Poetics of Relation website on the Davidson college website.

Satisfies the Diversity requirement for the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in Africana Studies and Global Literary Theory.

 

ENG 415B (SPRING 2017)

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 English major.
Satisfies the Innovation requirement.

ENG 421 Writing the Self
Prerequisites & Notes

FALL 2017 - Letters, Diaries, and Notebooks as Literary Forms
Instructor: K. Ali

This seminar looks at the ways that writers, often from marginalized communities, used "non-literary" forms such as letters, diaries or notebooks as a form of expression when traditional avenues of publication or literary recognition were not available to them. In addition to looking at texts from various literary traditions we will also examine the ways that contemporary writers have returned to these forms, including a consideration of blogs and social media as part of the contemporary expression of these forms.

 

SPRING 2018
Instructor: S. Campbell

Looking into the past to make sense of the present pervades non-fiction writing.  This type of reflection emerges in a variety of forms and lengths, including the brief personal memoir, the podcast, and the multi-volume autobiography.  Whereas autobiography explores large pieces of a life in an effort to explain a whole person, the memoir uses a narrow focus, what William Zinsser terms a "window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition" (136).  We will read memoirs that provide windows into the childhoods and adulthoods of people of varied classes, ethnicities, and experiences.  Students will approach the genre both critically and creatively, exploring what it means and can mean to write the self.

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 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.

Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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.

Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

 

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.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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 and minor.
 

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 483 Black Literary Theory (=AFR 383)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Bertholf

(Cross-listed with AFR 383)

This course will bring together readings both literary and critical/theoretical, beginning with Frantz Fanon's seminal Black Skin, White Masks (1952). Taking Fanon as its point of departure, then, this course will necessarily turn to a discussion of the recent discourse on Afro-pessimism and black optimism, attempting to introduce students to issues and questions of race, race relations, anti-black racism, black sociality, the universality of whiteness, the fungibility of the black body, and of the vulnerability and precarity of black life; and together we will think more closely about how the complex and "unthinkable" histories of slavery, colonialism, and the Middle Passage, for examples, continue to challenge the representational limits and potentialities of traditional literary genres and modes of emplotment. In addition to Fanon, authors will include Orlando Patterson, Toni Morrison, Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Frank Wilderson, Jarred Sexton, and Fred Moten.

Satisfies a requirement in the Africana Studies major.
Counts as a senior seminar and fulfills the Diversity requirement for the English major.
Counts as a literature elective for the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.

 

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 495 Seminar: Cleopatra
Prerequisites & Notes

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

Instructor
Lewis

Cleopatra is one of the most iconic women of all time.  Her personal history rivals in interest the history of her appropriation by various Western cultures in various time periods.  This course begins with her biography, which entails her very first public images, both those she herself projected and those that Augustan Romans fashioned.  When Shakespeare created his own image of her in Antony and Cleopatra by adapting and subverting the Roman Plutarch's rendition of her as the toxic seductress of Marc Antony, a second icon entered the historical panorama.  Now the English playwright was subject to adaptation and appropriation by such competitive literary figures as Restoration playwright John Dryden and, later, George Bernard Shaw.  Centuries after Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra herself endures as an icon who attracts icons, none more notable than the glamorous Elizabeth Taylor, whose recently re-released film portrayal of the Egyptian queen is now over fifty years old.  Throughout this course, students will explore how various iconic figures have appropriated Cleopatra- as a woman, an exotic, and a royal- for their audiences: what does a particular version of Cleopatra reveal or suggest about the historical period or social milieu in which she emerges?  What is her relationship to her appropriator?  The course ends with a contemplation of Cleopatra and Taylor as iconic complements.  Are they femmes fatales or feminists? 

Satisfies a major and minor requirement in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.

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.

GSS 401 Television: Queer Representations (=ENG 409)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fackler

With its roots in the gendered domestic suburban household, television has a longstanding investment in questions of gender and sexuality.  Pushing back against the assumption that LGBTQ characters did not appear on our screens in a sustained way until the 1980s, this course will investigate how TV representation of queer life have changed with the evolution of the medium since the 1950s.  Recent work in the field of queer TV studies has unearthed queer characters from previously invisible archives, charged changing conceptions of masculinity and femininity in broadcast programming, and documented the organizational strategies  employed by television narrative that disclose and contain expressions of non-normative sexualities.  We will seek to understand the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that structure representations of televised queerness.

Fulfills the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Gender & Sexuality Studies major and minor.

REL 244 Modern Jewish Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Plank

Modern Jewish fiction, poetry, and literary theory with particular focus on modern Midrash and the significance of writing as a religious act. Selected texts from Yiddish, Euro American, and Israeli literature include writings of I.L. Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, S. An-ski, I.B. Singer, Cynthia Ozick, David Grossman, and Amos Oz.

Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Perspectives distribution requirement.
Fulfills the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement of the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

THE 242 Women's Work: 21st Century Female Playwrights (=ENG 242)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Green

This course provides a close look at work created for the stage by women since 2000. The analysis of plays written and produced in the 21st century will be set in the context of feminist and queer theory which has offered insights into the cultural function of "women's work."

Satisfies a requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Theatre major or minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Literary and Cultural Representations track of the Gender & Sexuality Studies major and minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory 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.

Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.