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English Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
AFR 282 African American Literature: 18th - 19th Century (=ENG 282)
AFR 286 African American Literature: 1900- (=ENG 286)
AFR 292 "Fake News," Journalism and Ethics
AFR 297 Caribbean Literature (=ENG 297)
AFR 298 Race and American Journalism
AFR 303 Major Thinkers in Africana Studies: W.E.B. Du Bois (=ENG 382)
AFR 383 Black Literary Theory (=ENG 483)
CHI 405 Seminar: Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema
CLA 121 Greek Literature in Translation
CLA 122 Roman Literature in Translation
ENG 110 Course list for Introduction to Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

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

Fall 2018

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

Merrill

(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
 

ENG 110 B World's Greatest Short Stories
Instructor

Kuzmanovich

This course 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 the ways short stories are currently evaluated and allows the option of submitting creative work.

Counts as an Innovation course for the English major.


Spring 2019

ENG 110 A - Literary Monsters
Instructor

Ingram

This course examines monsters in widely varied texts.  Some are influential classics, such as Beowulf, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Some are recent works by prominent writers, such as Octavia Butler's Fledgling, Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and short fiction by Margaret Atwood and Karen Russell.  Some are bestsellers, such as Stephen King's The Outsider; films, such as Nosferatu and Night of the Living Dead; and television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Penny Dreadful.  One is a graphic novel with a topic and a title to suit this course, Emil Ferris's My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.  

Each text will be contextualized, so that students will discuss each monster as a response to distinct fears.  Students will also discuss the unstable place of monsters in cultural history, so essential to ancient and medieval texts at the core of the canon, yet later associated with popular entertainment.  Like all who survive encounters with monsters, the students of this section will come away with new questions and new ways of reading.

 

ENG 110 I - 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.  Students will also make their own comic!

Counts as an Innovation Course for the major.
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.


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. 

Media & Community topic satisfies a requirement of the Digital Studies interdisciplinary minor.

 

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.

 

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

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 History of the Essay
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Perry

As Annie Dillard wrote, "the essay is, and has been, all over the map.  There's nothing you can't do with it; no subject matter is forbidden, no structure is proscribed."  Today essayists as varied as the classical, sedate Phillip Lopate and the lyrical, innovative Eula Bliss draw inspiration from a long line of progenitors.  In this course, we will get to know these literary ancestors, from Japanese courtier Sei Shonagan to be-ruffed, ink-stained Montaigne to the hard-drinking New Journalists of the 1960s.  We will examine the moves these thinkers make and try them out in essays of our own, taking risks and expanding our ideas of the possible.  We will think about the ways the essay has been used to create new knowledge, to assert identify, and to advocate for important causes.  Focusing particularly on the personal essay, we will challenge, revise, and refine our idea of where we each fit within this rich and varied community of writers.

Satifies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric 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

Spring 2019: This course is one of five interlinked Memory Studies Courses*

Instructor 
Parker

A workshop course in fiction writing, offered in conjunction with the Memory Commons (six courses in different disciplines, all focused upon memory and its operations). Two class sessions weekly: one meeting as a fiction workshop, and another with all six courses together, team-taught. 

*Interlinked Memory Studies Courses
Five different courses that engage with phenomena of memory will link up once a week for common readings and discussions. Students will meet one day a week with their course instructor to engage in the discipline-specific study of memory. On the other day each week, students and faculty members in all five courses will meet together to compare and share different disciplinary and personal ideas about the study of memory; the creation and effects of memory; the representation of memory; and the social, cultural, and personal creative processes that make memory.  Participating courses are:

AFR 320 / EDU 320 / SOC 320 (Kelly) Growing Up Jim Crow
CIS 292 / PSY 292 (Multhaup) Collective Memory
ENG 204 (Parker) Introduction to Writing Fiction
GER 433 / HIS 433 (Denham) The Holocaust and Representation
​HIS 287 (Mortensen) Memory and Identity in the People's Republic of China

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 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 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 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 245 Book History, Arts, Culture
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Rippeon

As the book has undergone a rapid century of changes, how have poets, fiction writers, and theorists imagined and come to terms with "the book" and "the library"? How do ideas of "the library" and "the book" vary in theory and practice? In the era of e-readers and nearly infinite digital storage capabilities, why own books at all? This course will examine the contested status of the printed object in the 21st century as a development of events in the 20th. Readings may include Benjamin, Borges, Danielewski, Drucker, Howe, Kittler, McLuhan, Van Vliet, and several film screenings. (Writing-intensive.) (Theory or Theme).

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 requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement for the English major.

ENG 261 Modern Drama
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fox

This course covers a period in time (roughly 1860-1960) that was critical to shaping Western drama as we know it.  As we will see over the course of the semester, cultural conversations about race, gender, labor, justice, war, art, and society that were initiated by dramatists like Boucicault, Ibsen, and Chekhov were carried forward into the twentieth century by artists like Grimké, Treadwell, and Williams.  We'll start our survey reveling a bit in that great 19th century theatrical form, melodrama, as it was used to fight slavery in The Octoroon.  We'll then look at how different playwrights experimented with form and content (why was realism considered so dangerous? How did expressionism try to physically embody the tumult of emotions?)  We'll talk about the aesthetic and cultural contexts in which these plays emerged (and which plays caused riots!), and what they tell us about their societies, their audiences...and us.  Our goal is to complicate our understanding of dramatic history by understanding how these plays were and are not only "great art," but significant sites for challenge to conventional social and artistic norms that will ultimately feel more familiar to you than not.  And...you might even get a chance to act yourself! 

Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major and minor.
Fulfills a requirement in the Theatre major and minor.
Fulfills a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing and Rhetoric 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 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 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 requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity 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 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 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 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 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 requirement.

ENG 290 World Literatures
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Parker

A survey of selected major works outside of the British and American literary traditions, including literature from Europe, Japan, Latin America, Russia, and South Africa. No prerequisites; designed for majors and non-majors.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement of the English major.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

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 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 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 requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies major and interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Film and Media Studies interdisciplinary minor.

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 interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric 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 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 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.

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 requirement.

FALL 2018: Creative Nonfiction
Instructor: 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.

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 Design
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Churchill

The digital revolution has opened up scholarship to broader audiences via new platforms. This course applies user-centered design to humanities scholarship in order to reach new audiences. Students will design their own humanities research projects, from initial conception to online publication and audience outreach. They will learn how to frame a topic, identify experts in the field, prepare an annotated bibliography, compile a literature review, and make an original contribution. Students will select digital tools appropriate to their projects, using WordPress as the primary platform for publishing their work and social media for networking with real audiences. The course will focus on UX-design: making humanities scholarship accessible, interactive, and immersive in order to enhance users' experience. Students will develop digital dexterity and acquire skills in research, design, project management, collaboration, and social media networking that they can apply within and beyond academia.

Satisfies a major requirement in English.
Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Digital Studies.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric 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 requirement

ENG 308 Time & Space in Creative Nonfiction
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Perry

Memoirs and essays can never correspond directly with reality. One real-world element that we can manipulate, like magicians--while remaining firmly in the realm of fact--is time. Compressing, speeding up, slowing down, or otherwise manipulating time can help us convey the meaning and emotional resonance of events. If we accept that linear time itself is a fiction-albeit a useful one-a new universe of possible story structures opens up around us. In this course, we will examine memoirs and personal essays (and a film or two) that flout conventional structures and play with time in innovative, interesting ways, and use these explorations as inspiration for our own writing, with a particular focus on the events of our lived realities.

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 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 requirement.

ENG 340 Early British Literature and Media
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Ingram

Early British Literature and Media

This course proposes that how we encounter literature matters.  It suggests that the same poem can be understood quite differently if it is recited at Freeword or assigned in an anthology or skimmed on a phone.  This course accordingly surveys how the founding texts of British literature were first encountered and how we encounter them now.

ENG 340 examines the ways that texts of early British literature were initially produced and consumed:  oral performances of epic poetry, amateur and professional theatrical productions, the first printed books, handwritten texts circulated as intimate alternatives to print, chapters of novels published in issues of magazines, words embedded in visual art and set to music.  ENG 340 also examines where we find early British literature now, in modern scholarly editions, film adaptations, digitized versions of medieval and early modern artifacts, even greeting cards and t-shirts.

As the course spans diverse scenes of reading, listening, and looking, both now and long ago, it raises broad questions of how culture is produced and consumed and urgent questions of access and privilege.

 

Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory major and interdisciplinary minor.

ENG 352 Shakespeare in Action
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Lewis

This course begins with the premise that Shakespeare's dramas are not only works of dramatic literature that trace an action across five acts, but also 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 enactment 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 pitched to both readers and actors, situates the plays in the theater for which they were written.

Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.
Fulfills the Historical Approaches requirement of the English major.
Counts as a dramatic literature requirement in the Theatre major and minor.
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory interdisciplinary minor.

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

ENG 381 19th Century American Fiction Revisited
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor 
Merrill

This course pairs classic 19th-century American novels with their 21st-century rewritings: Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and Mat Johnson's Pym (2011), Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Hillary Jordan's When She Woke (2012), Melville's Moby-Dick and Jeffrey Ford's Ahab's Return (2018), Alcott's Little Women and Geraldine Brooks's March (2006), and Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Jon Clinch's Finn (2007).  For each pairing, we will investigate the literary, cultural, and political contexts that inspired the texts, exploring enduring issues that vex and captivate American writers: race, class, gender, religion, violence - and the power of stories.

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

ENG 387 Contemporary Poetry
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
\nParker

\n\n

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.

\n\n

Satisfies the history requirement for the English major.
\nCounts as a literature course for the Global Literary Studies interdisciplinary minor.
\nSatisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.

ENG 388 Contemporary Theatre
Prerequisites & Notes

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 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.
Counts towards the East Asian Studies major and interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.
Satisfies the cultural diversity 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 requirement.
Satisfies the Diversity requirement in the English major.

ENG 393 Film Genres
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

Genre is both a theoretical concept useful in film analysis and a function of  film  industry's market forces. For Spring 2019, the genres will include Romantic Comedy, The War Film, Psychological Thriller, and (based on student choice) either Film Noir or Sci-Fi.  In each case we will examine the genre's roots and legacies, common themes, narrative structures, and visual styles.

Students will be invited to satisfy requirements by making short movies, writing papers, participating in a writers' bullpen and/or creating longer individual screenplays.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.
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 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 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 requirement.

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.

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, charted 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. Indeed, in one of the foundational texts on queer TV, Lynne Joyrich argues that "U.S. television does not simply reflect an already closeted sexuality but actually helps organize sexuality as closeted." Extending Joyrich's line of reasoning, we will seek to understand the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that structure representations of televised queerness. How might we understand the contemporary series Transparent alongside or against the representation of a trans character on All in the Family (1975)? Why might The New Normal, a seemingly positive portrayal of new kinship structures, have failed as a series in 2013? Even as we watch the problematic take on villainous lesbian characters in the Angie Dickinson vehicle, Police Woman ("Flowers of Evil," 1974), we will move beyond diagnoses and critiques of "bad" versus "good" queer representations to acknowledge the pleasures that may attend the viewing of even ideologically corrupt programming. Which shows and episodes became lightening rods for desire despite their failure to produce fully realized queer characters? And what genealogy (or genealogies) of queer TV might take us from the groundbreaking episodes of Ellen ("The Puppy Episode") and Roseanne ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell") in the 1990s to the moment at which a Vanity Fair cover declared that with "Gay-per-view TV" shows like Will and Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, prime time had "come out" (2003)? As we historicize such developments, we will consider the contributions of writer-producers and series creators such as Alan Ball and Ryan Murphy, and analyze a variety of programs from "quality television" to animation, from the sit-com to reality TV, and from sci-fi to the game show.

Satisfies a major requirement in English.
Satisfies a minor requirement in English.
Fulfills the Diversity requirement in the English major.
Satisfies a major requirement in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Satisfies a minor requirement in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Film and Media Studies.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality and Community requirement.


 

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.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

 

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 430 Italo Calvino and Invention
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Parker

A hybrid course focusing upon the works of Italo Calvino and Postmodernism, this seminar will offer scholars and writers the opportunity to study "invention" as both an idea and a practice.

Satisfies a major requirement in English.
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory major.
Satisifes a minor requirement in English.
Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Global Literary Theory.

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 453 Literary Alchemy
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Lewis

What happens when a literary genius takes hold of a mere suggestion and transforms it into literary gold?  By what process of imagination does a snippet of news in The New York Times become Truman Capote's In Cold Blood or spawn Susan Orleans's orchid thief, John Laroche, who reemerges as played by Chris Cooper in Spike Jonze's conversion of The Orchid Thief into a film about the very matter of Adaptation?  How does Miss Kay grow from what Muriel Spark calls "the seeds of the future Miss Jean Brodie" into that fully formed character in her prime?  What happens when Shakespeare takes hold of a lackluster little narrative by Giraldi Cinthio, turns it on its ear, and produces Othello out of base metal?  Or when George Saunders spins Lincoln in the Bardo out of a line of history that concerns Abraham Lincoln's visit to his son's tomb?  This seminar will explore the literary imagination by focusing on such transformations into nonfiction, fiction, drama, and film-some from humble origins, others from already established masterpieces.

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

First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Instructor
Ingram
 

TOPIC A: Renaissance Revenge

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.

TOPIC B: Reading Endings

This course is structured as a tutorial.  For most class meetings, three or fewer students will meet with the professor to discuss assigned texts.  Students will direct those conversations, both formally, through essays that they will present, and informally, through their preparation.  The course's broad topic is designed to allow seniors to continue their work as English majors and reflect on that work, at the end of their undergraduate careers.

"Reading Endings" balances the need for shared texts and the recognition of diverse interests.  As much as possible, the course aims to allow space for students to pursue the distinctive passions of their literary studies, within a community of English majors. 

The topic of endings has been essential to literary study since Aristotle began defining comedy and tragedy, and it remains open to the interests that students bring to the course.  Seniors in their final semesters at Davidson might be especially alert to endings.

The shared texts of "Reading Endings" raise questions of aesthetics (what assumptions differentiate satisfying from unsatisfying endings?), questions of creative process (who or what determines when a text is finished?  what endings are supplied when a text-or indeed, a life-seems to need resolving?), and enormous questions of culture (how does the awareness of death color our reading of endings?  what cultural stories seem most authoritative in 2019, and with what endings?).  This vast field of questions extends beyond any single course.  Our thinking, talking, and writing about the topic will accordingly extend beyond the ending of ENG 455.

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, Jared 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.
Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

 

ENG 486 Navigating the Avant-Garde: Mina Loy & Her Nework
Prerequisites & Notes

Desire to study the past, eagerness to equip yourself for the future, willingness to take risks, and team spirit.

Instructor
Churchill

The emergence of the avant-garde in the early 20th century coincided with an explosion in magazines. Between 1885 and 1905 alone, 7500 new periodicals were established in the U. S., and thousands more in Great Britain. This seminar will explore the avant-garde as it circulated through magazines, ranging from experimental "little magazines" to "quality" monthlies and the mass-market glossies and pulps. Mina Loy's "Brancusi's Golden Bird" appeared in The Dial in 1922, the same year that T. S. Eliot published "The Waste Land" in the same journal and James Joyce's Ulysses was serialized in The Little Review. By the 1920s, avant-garde writers had become celebrities, featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair.

The central node the seminar's inquiry will be Mina Loy-an artist, writer, feminist, inventor, and entrepreneur who moved in the circles of Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism, and migrated among metropolitan centers of avant-garde activity, including Paris, Florence, Rome, New York, London, and Berlin, from the 1910s to the 1950s. Since Loy played a role in almost every major avant-garde movement, we will explore and map the avant-garde networks she navigated, using magazines to chart lines of connection and influence.

Just as the avant-garde began with an explosion of new print media, you will enter the field of new digital media, operating your own Davidson Domain and using WordPress, Google Docs and Google Drive, as well as mapping and timeline tools-skills you can market in job, fellowship, and employment applications, along with your experience working on a team. The seminar is a collaborative research & methods course with readings drawn from the field of periodical studies. You will find and select many of primary source readings, collaborate on a major research project, and contribute to the expansion of the web site Index of Modernist Magazines: a select bibliography. In addition, your digital scholarship may be published on the scholarly website, Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde (mina-loy.com).

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 Film Art
Prerequisites & Notes

Limited to juniors and seniors.

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

Film Art is a hands-on study of style and narration in the fiction film. That does not mean that you cannot make a documentary film for your final project.  Study and production are two very different processes.  We'll proceed in this way:  After a reminder of the pre- and post- production processes, we'll focus on individual directorial styles. We'll also make a communal film to  learn that (most of the time) film is a collaborative art and to explore the capabilities and shortcomings of the available equipment (and talent). Then, each student  will be given a chance to write/adapt, direct, film, and edit a short film using digital video cameras and non-linear editing equipment.  The individual film need not be a fiction film.  It should, however, be your best work.   In the past, these were the films students submitted as their portfolio films for graduate school.  We'll look at those films in light of the latest theories of narrative and the knowledge about cinema acquired from the film-maker's end.  The final versions of all films will be burnt to DVDs and posted to VIMEO. If there are musicians among us, they will be given a chance to score a film and/or do sound design.

Satisfies a requirement in the English major and minor.
Satisifes a requirement in the Film & Media Studies interdisciplinary minor.

 

ENG 494 Seminar: A - Disability in Literature and Art; B - Multicultural Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Juniors and seniors only.

Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.

494A Disability in Literature and Art

Instructor
Fox

The literary tradition in English 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 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 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 aesthetic" 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 diversity requirement for the English major. 
Satisfies a cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Community, and Equality Requirement.

 

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.
Fulfills the diversity requirement for the English major. 

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
GSS 401 Television: Queer Representations (=ENG 409)
LIT 432 Theory and Practice of Literary Translation (Seminar)
REL 244 Modern Jewish Literature
THE 242 Women's Work: 21st Century Female Playwrights (=ENG 242)
THE 261 Modern Drama (= ENG 261)