English 15, Introduction to Literary Theory, Professor McKee at the 10 hour
The course will introduce students to some of the leading texts, concepts, and practices of what has come to be known as theoretical criticism. Topics to be considered may include some of the following: structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, new historicism, post-colonialism, post-modernism, queer theory, and cultural studies. Attention will also be given to historical and institutional contexts of this criticism. Intended to provide a basic, historically informed, knowledge of theoretical terms and practices, this course should enable students to read contemporary criticism with understanding and attempt theoretically informed criticism themselves. Dist: LIT. Course Group IV.
English 17, Introduction to New Media, Professor Evens at the 2A hour
This course introduces the basic ideas, questions, and objects of new media studies, offering accounts of the history, philosophy, and aesthetics of new media, the operation of digital technologies, and the cultural repercussions of new media. A primary emphasis on academic texts will be supplemented by fiction, films, music, journalism, computer games, and digital artworks. Class proceeds by group discussion, debate, student presentations, and peer critique. Typical readings include Alan Turing, Friedrich Kittler, Ray Kurzweil, and Henry Jenkins, plus films such as Blade Runner and eXistenZ.. Dist: ART. Course Group III. CA tags Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, Literary Theory and Criticism.
English 21, Chaucer: Troilus and Other Poems, Professor Travis at the 2A hour
A study of Chaucer’s works other than the Canterbury Tales, focusing on some of the early dream visions (Book of the Duchess, House of Fame) and the courtly love romance Troilus and Criseyde, which many consider Chaucer’s most accomplished work. Some attention will be given to the French and Italian context of these works (in translation). Prior acquaintance with Middle English (English 20, 22, or 18) is helpful but not absolutely required. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group I, CA tags Genre-poetry, Genre-narrative.
English 38, The 19th Century English Novel, Professor McKee at the 12 hour
A study of the nineteenth-century novel focusing on the Victorian novel’s representation of public and private categories of experience. Readings may include Austen’s Mansfield Park, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Shelley’s Frankenstein, Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Dickens’s Bleak House, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. Dist: LIT; WCult: EU for the class of 2007 and earlier. WCult: W for the class of 2008 and later. Course Group II. CA tag Genre-narrative.
English 40, American Poetry, Professor Schweitzer at the 10 hour
A survey of American poetry from the colonial period to the early decades of the twentieth century. Readings may include works by Bradstreet, Taylor, Wheatley, Emerson, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Melville and Dunbar. We may also study Native American poetry and schools like the Fireside Poets, 19th-century women poets, and precursors of early Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. We will look at lyric, meditative, religious, comic and political poetry, the long poem and the epic. Some themes we might trace include the transatlantic character of American poetry, its “newness,” its engagement with religion and self-definition, with nature, and with gender and race. Emphasizing close readings as well as historical and cultural contexts, this course examines the complexities of an American poetic vision and serves as an introduction to reading poetry and to American literature. Dist: LIT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Course Group II. CA tags Genre-poetry, National Traditions and Countertraditions.
English 42, American Fiction to 1900, Professor Pease at the 12 hour
A survey of the first century of U.S. fiction, this course focuses on historical contexts as well as social and material conditions of the production of narrative as cultural myth. The course is designed to provide an overview of the literary history of the United States novel from the National Period to the threshold of the Modern (1845-1900). To do justice to the range of works under discussion, the lectures will call attention to the heterogeneous cultural contexts out of which these works have emerged as well as the formal and structural components of the different works under discussion. In keeping with this intention, the lecturers include the so-called classic texts in American literature, The Last of the Mohicans, Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, but also the newly canonized Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Life in the Iron Mills, Hope Leslie in the hope that the configuration of these works will result in an understanding of the remarkable complexity of United States literary culture. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group II. CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.
English 50, American and British Poetry Since 1914, Professor Zeiger at the 11 hour
A survey of modern American and British poetry since the First World War, with particular emphasis on the aesthetics, philosophy and politics of modernism. The course covers such canonical and non-canonical poets as Yeats, Pound, HD, Lawrence, Eliot, Stevens, Frost, Williams, Crane, Moore, Millay, Auden, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Beats. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group III, CA tags Genre-poetry, National Traditions and Countertraditions.
English 53, 20th Century British Fiction: 1900 to World War I, at the 12 hour with Professor Silver
A study of major authors, texts, and literary movements, with an emphasis on literary modernism and its cultural contexts. We will read works by Conrad, Forster, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Rhys, and Beckett, as well as writers such as Kipling, Ford, West, Waugh, Bowen, and Lowry. Dist: LIT; WCult:W. Course Group III. Concentration area tags: Genre-narrative, National Traditions and Countertraditions, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.
English 58, Introduction to Postcolonial Literature, Professor Giri at the 11 hour (xlist AAAS 65)
An introduction to the themes and foundational texts of postcolonial literature in English. We will read and discuss novels by writers from former British colonies in Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean, and the postcolonial diaspora, with attention to the particularities of their diverse cultures and colonial histories. Our study of the literary texts will incorporate critical and theoretical essays, oral presentations, and brief background lectures. Authors may include Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, V.S. Naipaul, Merle Hodge, Anita Desai, Bessie Head, Nadine Gordimer, Paule Marshall, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Salman Rushdie, Earl Lovelace, Arundhati Roy. Serves as prerequisite for FSP in Trinidad. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: NW. Course Group III. CA tags Genre-narrative, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 60.3, Native American Oral Tradition Literatures, Professor Palmer at the 10 hour (xlist NAS 34)
Native American oral literatures constitute a little-known but rich and complex dimension of the American literary heritage. This course will examine the range of oral genres in several tribes. Since scholars from around the world are studying oral literatures as sources of information about the nature of human creativity, the course will involve examining major theoretical approaches to oral texts. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. No Course Group designation. CA tag Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 62.1, War and Gender, Professor Boose at the 2A hour (xlist WGST 42)
Of all the cultural enterprises in western history, probably none has been as strictly gendered nor as mythologized within a spatialized binary as has war. With a special although not exclusive concentration on U.S. culture of the past century, this course will take a look at film, fiction, non fiction and biography, news media and online material, in tracing the strongly gendered myths and narratives that are wrapped up in the cultural understanding of War. DIST: LIT, WCult: W. Course Group III, CA tags Genders and Sexualities, National Traditions and Countertraditions.
English 62.2, Middle Eastern Memoirs/Autobiographies and the Construction of Collective Memory, Professor Bardenstein, at the 10A hour (xlist JWST 81/COLT 54)
This course will examine memoirs and autobiographies from the Middle East, with emphasis on Palestinian and Israeli memoirs. We will examine the different modalities of autobiographical writing while analyzing the relationships and tensions between "the individual and the collective." We will look at the ways that particular experiences and positionalities are viewed as delineating a collective and how they shape narration and representation in autobiographical forms. Authors include Oz, Said, Appelfeld, Be'er, Matalaon, Shehedeh, Aciman, Kashua and Sakakini. Dist: INT and LIT; WCult: CI. Course Group III. CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditons, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 63.2, Cosmopolitanism, Professor Will at the 2 hour
Cosmopolitanism has been described as a way of thinking and working outside the boundaries of the local and the national, a way of living ethically "in a world of strangers." In recent years, in the work of writers as diverse as Jacques Derrida and Anthony Appiah, "cosmopolitanism" has emerged as a way of pushing forward, or even transcending, some of the theoretical impasses of postmodernism and some of the political impasses of multiculturalism. This course will focus on the idea of cosmopolitanism as it has been used (and perhaps abused) in contemporary theory, philosophy, politics, and aesthetics. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI, pending faculty approval. Course Group IV, CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 65.1, Play, Playing, Playhouses, Professor Crewe at the 10 hour
Works to be read will be plays by Shakespeare and some of his contemporaries, possibly including Kyd, Marlowe, Anonymous, Marston, Jonson, Cary, Middleton, Webster, and Ford. For once, Shakespeare will not be singled out and treated separately, but read alongside some of his Elizabethan and Jacobean contemporaries. The course will investigate the conditions of performance in the public outdoor and indoor theaters, as well as in informal venues, for which these works were written. More broadly, the course will consider what has been called the theatrical culture of early modern England. Some attention will be given to the acting companies, to the printing and subsequent editing of play scripts, and to the dramatic models and conventions exploited by early modern playwrights. Dist: LIT; WCult: W, pending faculty approval. Course group I, CA tags Genre-drama, National Traditions and Countertraditions, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.
English 67.5, Contemporary Playwrights of Color, Professor Colbert at the 3B hour (xlist AAAS 82 and THEA 10)
This course will explore the perspectives of contemporary playwrights of color by focusing on their texts' social and political contexts. We will also examine how the playwrights comment on the formation of identity and subjectivity, paying particular attention to the categories of race, gender, sexuality, and class. We will consider how the playwrights utilize these demarcations to construct and explode identity, realizing how race, gender, sexuality, and class have always been fluid, enigmatic, constructed, and historically informed categories. Moreover, we will consider how the specular quality of theater comments on these categories. We will read plays by Chin, Hwang, Moraga, Parks, and Wilson. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI, pending faculty approval. Course Group III, CA tags Genre-drama, National Traditions and Countertraditions, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.
English 67.6, Jewish American Literature, Professor Milich at the 10A hour (xlist JWST 21)
The history of Jewish American literature is a history of many literatures. It reflects the broad variety of historical, political, social and cultural experiences that Jews from very different places and backgrounds brought to the United States. The course introduces students to the central topics, motives and literary strategies from the beginnings of a tangible Jewish American literature in the late nineteenth century to the present. The course is divided into four parts: The Great Tide (1880-1920) discerns the literary repercussions of Jewish immigration such as language (Yiddish, Hebrew, English), religion (Judaism, secularism), and politics (Zionism, democracy) in the writings of authors such as Antin, Cahan, Kallen, Lazarus, Leeser, Mayer Wise, and Yezierska. From Margin to Mainstream (1920-1945), covers the cataclysmic interwar years, which evoked an intensive production of the literary and literal children of immigrants coming of age and becoming an aesthetic and political force in debates about American modernism, among them Gertrude Stein and Henry Roth. In the Years of Achievement and Ambivalence (1945-1970), the defining line of Jewish American writing altered dramatically. Jewish American literature’s “ethnic stamp” marks and complicates the characters and perspectives created by Bellow, Ginsberg, Mailer, Malamud, Olsen, Paley, Singer and others with respect to debates about the Holocaust, the counterculture, or the civil rights, women’s, and student movement. Wandering and Return (1970 to the Present) will focus on the broad variety of modern and postmodern Jewish American writing. Questions of contemporary ethnic identity in a multicultural society as well as attempts to reconfigure historical perspectives on the Holocaust, the Rosenberg Case, or McCarthyism inform the writings of Doctorow, Lelchuk, Ozick, Philip Roth and others. Dist: LIT. WCult: CI. Course Group III. CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 67.7, Caribbean Literature, Professor Vasquez at the 10A hour
This course will examine the work of a variety of Caribbean writers from former British colonies. We will look at several issues that reappear throughout the work of these authors. These concerns include (but are not limited to) notions of exile, the importance of language and music, the articulation of identity in varying post-colonial states, and representations of gender, race and ethnicity. The class will also analyze the socio-political events in particular nations and the ways in which these events influence writing in the archipelago. Furthermore, the course will explore shared cultural practices. For example, we will examine the ways in which a strong tradition of music as protest influences the production of particular poetic forms in Trinidad and Jamaica. The class will move from early twentieth century writers like Claude McKay to the important contributions of later writers such as Kamau Brathwaite, Jamaica Kincaid, George Lamming, V.S. Naipaul, Sam Selvon, Olive Senior and Derek Walcott. We will examine the more recent innovations in form, as musical elements are introduced by writers such as Mikey Smith and Kwame Dawes. Each week's readings will be supplemented with seminal critical writings including excerpts from the text The Empire Writes Back.
English 71.2 Charles Dickens: Allegory, Capitalism and the Grotesque, Professor McCann at the 12 hour
The novels of Charles Dickens embody a complex formal response to the pressures of industrial capitalism and their apparently corrosive effects on Victorian social life. By foregrounding the concepts of allegory and the grotesque, this course will explore Dickens’s development of a critical idiom that tried to reveal the distortions of both laissez-faire economics and state bureaucracy, while also preserving Victorian society from the revolutionary potential of popular political mobilization. We will discuss Dickens in relationship to his radical imitators and rivals (such as George Reynolds), to a developing literature of labor (embodied in the work of Carlyle and Marx), and to anxieties about colonial expansion and dislocation. We will also draw on the work of critical theorists such as Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno to develop a sense of how Dickens’s work embodies the tense relationship between print-culture, populism and a developing culture industry increasingly oriented to visual technologies. Reading will include The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, Dombey and Son and Our Mutual Friend. Dist: Lit. WCult: W. Course Group II, CA tags Genre-narrative, National Traditions and Countertraditions.
English 80.1, Creative Writing, Professor Huntington, 10A
English 80.2, Creative Writing, Professor Hebert, M/W, 7 - 9pm
English 80.3, Creative Writing, Professor Finch, 2A
English 81.1, Creative Writing-Poetry, Professor Huntington, 2A
English 82.1, Creative Writing-Fiction, Professor Tudish, 2A
English 83, Creative Writing-Literary Non-fiction, Professor Kennedy, 2A
Last Updated: 10/31/08