These listings are subject to change.
English 6: Essay Writing, Professor Grantham, at the 10A hour
English 6, Essay Writing, explores various forms of academic and personal essay-writing. Students write one original essay each per week. Every student essay is critiqued by the whole class and also discussed by the student and instructor in a private conference. Model essays and essays on the craft of writing are read and discussed to guide students in honing their writing for verbal logic, communicative power, and visceral appeal. Taught credit/no credit; not for major credit. Limited to 12 students. Dist: LIT.
English 8: Readings in American and British Literature
Section 3: Professor Jetter at the 11 hour Journalism: Literature and Practice
This course will explore the role of print journalism in shaping the modern American literary, cultural and political landscape--from Nellie Bly’s late 19th century undercover exposure to Seymour Hersh’s coverage of the Iraq War. Students will also participate in an intensive weekly workshop on reporting and writing, with a short unit on radio commentary. This course does not carry English major credit.
English 11: King James Version of the Bible II, Professor Wykes at the 10 hour
A study of the preeminent English translation of the Christian scriptures (New Testament), with special emphasis on their revision of the Hebrew Bible, on their relationship to English literature, and on the history of their interpretation.
English 15: Introduction to Literary Theory, Professor Edmondson at the 2 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. Course Group IV
English 16: Old and New Media, Professor Halasz at the 10A hour
A survey of the historical, formal, and theoretical issues that arise from the materiality and technology of communication, representation, and textuality. The course will address topics in and between different media, which may include oral, scribal, print, and digital media. Readings and materials will be drawn from appropriate theorists, historians, and practitioners, and students may be asked not only to analyze old and new media, but also create with them. Course Group IV, CA tag Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
English 34: Romantic Literature: Writing and English Society, 1780-1832, Professor McCann, at the 10 hour
This course offers a critical introduction to the literature produced in Britain at the time of the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic wars. There will be a strong emphasis throughout the course on the specific ways in which historical forces and social changes shape and are at times shaped by the formal features of literary texts. The question of whether romantic writing represents an active engagement with or an escapist idealization of the important historical developments in this period will be a continuous focus. Readings include works by Blake, Wordsworth, Helen Maria Williams, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Robert Southey, Coleridge, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Keats, and Clare. Course Group II, CA tag National Traditions and Countertraditions
English 38: The 19th Century English Novel, Professor Gerzina, at the 10A 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 Shelley’s Frankenstein, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Dickens’ Bleak House, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Mrs. Henry Wood’s East Lynne and Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native. Course Group II, CA tag Genre-narrative
English 39: Early American Literature, Professor Schweitzer at the 2A hour
This course surveys the literature of the first settlers in the New World up to the American Revolution, focusing on writers in English and highlighting the major controversies that erupted during this period. We will focus on European attitudes towards and fantasies about the New World, how the settlers imagined masculinity and femininity, and represented indigenous and enslaved peoples. We will examine the frontier as a zone of inter-cultural contact, and look at the idea of “nationhood” that emerges from it. Some of the writers we will study are John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, Mary Rowlandson, Jonathan Edwards, Mercy Otis Warren, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail and John Adams, Judith Sargent Murray. This provides a foundation for English 40, 41, 42, 43. There are no prerequisites, but courses in early US history, or English 15 are highly recommended. Course Group I, CA tags Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies, National Traditions and Counter-Traditions
English 43: Early Black American Literature, Professor Cook at the 10A hour
(crosslisted with AAAS 34)
A study of the foundations of Black American literature and thought, from the colonial period through the era of Booker T. Washington. The course will concentrate on the way in which developing Afro-American literature met the challenges posed successively by slavery, abolition, emancipation, and the struggle to determine directions for the twentieth century. Selections will include: Wheatley, Life and Works; Brown, Clotel; Douglass, Narrative; Washington, Up from Slavery; DuBois, Souls of Black Folk; Dunbar, Sport of the Gods; Chestnut, House Behind the Cedars; Harriet Wilson, Our Nig; Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; and poems by F. W. Harper, Paul L. Dunbar and Ann Spencer. Course Group II, CA tags National Traditions and Counter-Traditions, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
English 45: Native American Literature, Professor Goeman at the 11 hour
(crosslisted with NAS 35)
Published Native American writing has always incorporated a cross-cultural perspective that mediates among traditions. The novels, short stories, and essays that constitute the Native American contribution to the American literary tradition reveal the literary potential of diverse aesthetic traditions. This course will study representative authors with particular emphasis on contemporary writers. Course Group III, National Traditions and Counter-Traditions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies
English 47: American Drama, Professor Pease at the 10 hour
A study of major American playwrights of the 19th and 20th centuries including S. Glaspell, O’Neill, Hellman, Wilder, Hansberry, Guare, Williams, Wilson, Mamet, Miller, Albee, Shepard, Wasserstein. Course Group III, CA tags Genre-drama, National Traditions and Counter-Traditions
English 59: Critical Issues in Postcolonial Studies, Professor Giri at the 2A hour
Intended for students who have some familiarity with postcolonial literary texts, this course will combine the reading of postcolonial literature with the study and discussion of the major questions confronting the developing field of postcolonial studies. Issues may include: questions of language and definition; the culture and politics of nationalism and transnationalism, race and representation, ethnicity and identity; the local and the global; tradition and modernity; hybridity and authenticity; colonial history, decolonization and neocolonialism; the role and status of postcolonial studies in the academy. Authors may include: Achebe, Appiah, Bhabha, Chatterjee, Coetzee, Fanon, Gilroy, Gordimer, James, JanMohamed, Minh-ha, Mohanty, Ngugi, Radhakrishnan, Rushdie, Said, Spivak, Sunder Rajan. Prerequisite: English 58, Trinidad FSP, or permission of the instructor. Course Group IV, CA tags National Traditions and Counter-Traditions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies
English 62.2: Immigrant Women Writing in America, Professor Zeiger at the 2A hour
In responding to the obstacles facing America's immigrants -- problems of dislocation, split identity, family disunity and claustrophobia, culture shock, language barriers, xenophobia, economic marginality, and racial and national oppression -- women often assume special burdens and find themselves having to invent new roles. They often bring powerful bicultural perspectives to their tasks of survival and opportunity seeking, however, and are increasingly active in struggles for cultural expression and social and economic justice. We will examine the different conditions for women in a variety of immigrant groups in America, reading in several histories, anthologies of feminist criticism, interdisciplinary surveys, and relevant texts in critical theory, but ultimately focusing on the words, in autobiography and fiction, of women writers. We will read such works as Akemi Kikimura's Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman; Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior; Bharati Mukerjee's Darkness; Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street; Jamaica Kincaid's Lucy; and Kim Chernin's In My Mother's House. Course Group III, CA tags Genders and Sexualities, National Traditions and Counter-Traditions
English 62.3: War and Gender, Professor Boose at the 2A hour
Of all the cultural enterprises and big ticket myths in western history, probably none has been as strictly gendered as war. Traditionally, war has been constructed as powerfully gendered binary in which battle is posed as a nearly sacred and exclusively male domain through which young men are initiated into the masculine gender and the male bond. From the west’s great classical war narrative of The Iliad onward, the feminine has, by contrast, been defined as that which instigates male-male conflict and that which wars are fought either to save or protect, be it a war to rescue Helen of Troy, to avenge the raped women of Kuwait whose plight was invoked as a cause for the l991 Gulf War, one to protect the faithful (or faithless and betraying) wife at home, or a war to defend the ultimate national repository of the feminine ideal to be protected from the rapacious invasions of the enemy: America the Beautiful, mother land and virgin land. As a counterpart to the protection of the feminine imagined as belonging to one’s own males, the narrative either tacitly or overtly allows a soldier to view the all “enemy” women as objects to be raped; and in the most recent wars of ethnic genocide of the 1990s onward, women in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan have become no longer just incidental victims or “collateral damage,” but the primary objects of enemy destruction. Starting with the Gulf War, however, the strict spatialization of the American war myth was at least challenged by the new presence of women on the war front, women as POWs, and in the present war in Iraq, women coming home maimed and in body bags; and women have now been integrated—whether successfully or not-- into all of the U. S. military accredited academies. 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. Course Group III, CA tags Genders and Sexualities, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
English 62.4: Women, "Race," and Writing: American Drama and Performance, Professor Schweitzer at the 10A hour
Women have played an important though often ignored role in the development of American drama. This course surveys performance history involving women and issues of identity. Beginning with Aphra Behn writing about colonial Virginia and Sor Juana Inez in colonial Mexico, we will read drama through the Revolutionary and Republican periods, the "tragic mulatta" trope of the 19th century, dramas of working class life, and recent contemporary dramas of identity politics and interracial encounter. Course Group II, CA tags Genre-drama, National Traditions and Countertraditions, Genders and Sexualities
English 63.1: National Allegory, Professor Giri at the 11 hour
Since Frederic Jameson published a controversial essay asserting the centrality of the nation in third world literature, the national question has become a focal point of debate in postcolonial literary and cultural studies. Some of the questions that have been raised include: does postcolonial/third world literature represent the nation in ways that render it distinct from other varieties of writing? Is allegory still a viable mode of literary representation? What are the implications of national allegory to the putatively universal category of class and class-based analysis of culture? How does the idea of national allegory relate to those works that seem to privilege mobility, diaspora, and transnationalism? And finally, if third world literature is concerned primarily, if not exclusively, with representing the nation, why is there so much public disenchantment with the actually existing nation-states that came into existence in the wake of decolonization? This course seeks to explore some of these questions in relation to a wide range of texts and authors from South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and their Western metropolitan diasporas. In doing so, it also follows a historical trajectory that began with anti-colonial resistance movements leading to the achievement of freedom, and subsequent recognition that the historically realized entity we call nation-state has fallen far short of the nation as an imagined community and a utopian project, a site where he the desire for individual freedom has yet to reconciled with collective well-being. Course Group III, CA tags Literary Theory and Criticism, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies, National Traditions and Counter-Traditions
English 65.1: Inescapable Romance: From Late Antiquity to Early Modernity, Professor Crewe at the 10 hour
(crosslisted with COLT 23)
Although often regarded with disdain, romances have been written by some of the most gifted and important writers from late antiquity through the present. In this course, we will begin with two brilliant books wrttien in Greek, namely Heliodorus's *Aethiopika* and Longus's *Daphnis and Chloe*. These prototypical "romances" were actively revived during the 16th and 17th centuries, notably in works by Tasso, Cervantes, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Shakespeare. Early romances continued exert an impact on English and American prose fiction through the 19th century and beyond. Romance as a genre has also attracted some of the most brilliant critics of recent times. If romance is "inescapable," that is partly because of its enduring popularity and its prominence among the European and American literary genres. In this course, we will focus mainly on works by the authors mentioned above, but we may also read some later "romances," possibly including Harlequin. We will also read some of the most perceptive critics of romance. All works in the course not written in English will be read in translation. Course Group I, CA tag Genre-narrative
English 67.7: Celtic Myths and Mudbloods, Professor Cosgrove at the 10 hour
Irish literature in the twentieth century set out to redefine its identity during a period of political upheaval and civil war. Intense struggles arose over the roles of the urban community as in Joyce's Dubliners and mythic and rural values as in Synge and Yeats. Simultaneously women writers like Edna O'Brien and Eavan Boland questioned the place of women in the myth of national heroism. We will delve into this cultural ferment using the works of these writers as well as contemporary novelists and poets such as Roddy Doyle and Seamus Heaney. The course will have a visual dimension with the movies, Michael Collins, The Crying Game, and Bloody Sunday. Course Group III, CA tags National Traditions and Counter-Traditions
English 67.8: The Graphic Novel, Professor Chaney at the 2A hour
Although once associated with juvenile literature, narratives of sequential art—or graphic novels—have recently been hailed as a compelling new form of literature, one that offers fresh possibilities of reading which combine visual and literary experiences. With an emphasis on the careful analysis of a wide range of contemporary texts, this course examines the types of “stories” and “readings” that are made possible when normally separate symbol systems like pictures and words converge. Discussion will center on the narrative mechanics as well as the cultural work of graphic novels, as we consider the genre’s theoretical and formal preoccupations with autobiography, counterculture, parody, science-fiction, and fantasy. Secondary readings will introduce students to the critical responses that graphic novels have provoked. Some of the authors we’ll look at include Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore, Chris Ware, Roberta Gregory, Marjane Satrapi, and Debbie Drechsler. In addition to giving a presentation, students will be required to write two formal essays and several short responses. Course Group III, CA tags Genre-narrative, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
English 67.9: Jewish American Literature: From its Inception to the Present, Prof. Milich at the 12 hour
(cross-listed with JWST 15)
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. Course Group III, CA tags National Traditions and Countertradtions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 67.10: Native Land, Literatures, and Identity, Professor Goeman at the 10A hour
(cross-listed with NAS 44)
In the course of ten weeks, the class will address various issues of geography and sovereignty of particular importance to indigenous communities as it is reflected in twentieth-century creative works. In class we will focus our examination on Native conceptions of space and settler-colonialism's organizing of space by learning to read Native Cultural Production. The relationship between race, gender, and nation will be explicated through an examination of films, visual work, short stories, poems, and novels. We will begin with Native literature at the turn of the century, which addresses the trope of the frontier and the push westward, and end with current indigenous work that comments on global restructuring and the indigenous hemispheric movement in the Americas. Though our trajectory is linear, the class will address how early concepts of space appear and are rewritten into current narratives. By using literary analytical tools in exploring metaphor, poetic structures, and genres, we will engage with the methods Native writers employ in their work to map out spaces of their own making. The links between different periods of spatial restructuring and spatial othering will be explored in these textual moments. Course Goup III, CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies.
English 71.3: Alexander Pope, Professor Cosgrove at the 12 hour
Pope was the greatest social and political satirist of his time, attacking loose morals and the corruption of the administration of sir Robert Walpole --the longest serving British prime minister before Margaret Thatcher. Pope lived in an age of satire and many of his targets responded to him with as much venom as he dished out. In this course you will have the opportunity to study the satirist’s techniques, the vicious political infighting and the people whom Pope attacked. We will ask how contemporary media has changed satire—is Jon Stewart as mean as Pope?—and we will have the opportunity to create our own satires. Course Group II, CA tag Genre-poetry
English 71.4: The Brontes, Professor Gerzina at the 2A hour
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are perhaps the most mythologized and analyzed writers who ever lived. Their childhood in Haworth, the intensity of their novels, the relationship with their father and brother—all have been fodder for literary and biographical analysis, and spawned an entire industry of memorabilia, imitation and criticism. In the seminar we will do close readings of four Brontë novels (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Villette, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), and critical articles, look at some of their juvenilia, and read Lucasta Miller’s The Brontë Myth. We’ll end with Jasper Fforde’s imaginative novel The Eyre Affair. We will also view 2-3 film adaptations of their novels.
English 72.6: Asian American Poetry, Professor Chin at the 10A hour
How do Asian Americans articulate the world? This course traces the development of their poetry from early anonymous efforts to contemporary experiments. Among the issues covered are: dominant modes, forms and thematics; evolving traditions and intertextualities; activist and post-activist aesthetics; cultural nationalisms; global and diasporic perspectives. Poets studied may include: Meena Alexander, Agha Shahid Ali, Linh Dinh, Jessica Hagedorn, Garrett Hongo, Lawson Inada, Li-Young Lee, Janice Mirikitani, Yone Noguchi and Cathy Song. Course Group III, CA tags Genre-poetry, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies
English 72.7: Black British Literature, Professor Gerzina, at the 2A hour CANCELLED
Black people have been present in Britain since the Roman occupation, and have been published authors there since the eighteenth century. The course begins with early narratives and letters and moves into the burgeoning canon of modern fiction and poetry. In all of these works, the emphasis is on crafting a literary voice, formation of political power, immigration, and realities of multicultural Britain as depicted in literature, criticism andfilm. Authors may include Bernadine Evaristo, S.I. Martin, Paul Gilroy, Sam Selvon, Ifeona Fulani, Andrea Levy, Caryl Phillips and Alex Wheatle.
English 72.8: Virginia Woolf: Theory and Practice, Professor Silver, at the 10A hour
In this course we will read a number of works by Virginia Woolf, including experimental short stories, essays about language and literature, polemical writings, and novels. We will also read essays written in the early 20th century that are associated with the Modernist movement, as well as critical and theoretical essays about Woolf's work. Prerequisites include at least one course on 20th century fiction and, preferably, a course on literary theory. Course Group III, CA tag Genre-narrative
English 80.1 Creative Writing, Professor Hebert, arrange
English 80.2 Creative Writing, Professor Finch, 10A
This course offers a workshop in fiction and poetry. Seminar-sized classes meet twice a week and include individual conferences. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and to first-year students who have completed Writing 5 (or have exemption status).Students who wish to enroll in 80 must submit their applications to the administrative assistant in the English Office by the last day of the term preceding the term for which they wish to enroll. A brief application form is available in the English Office. Students do not submit work for entry into the course.English 80 is the prerequisite to all other Creative Writing courses. English 80 does not carry major or minor credit. Dist: ART. Hebert, Huntington, Mathis, Dimmick, Lenhart.
English 81, Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry, Professor Finch, 3A
Continued work in the writing of poetry, focusing on the development of craft, image, and voice, as well as the process of revision. The class proceeds by means of group workshops on student writing, individual conferences with the instructor, and analysis of poems by contemporary writers.
English 82, Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction, Professor Hebert, arrange
Continued work in the writing of fiction, focusing on short stories, although students may experiment with the novel. The class proceeds by means of group workshops on student writing, individual conferences with the instructor, and analysis of short stories by contemporary writers. Constant revision is required
Last Updated: 10/8/08