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Fall Courses

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PLEASE NOTE THAT COURSE AVAILABILITY AND TIMES CHANGE FREQUENTLY. CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR UPDATES.  IN THE CASE OF DISCREPANCIES, WEBADVISOR ALWAYS TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER SCHEDULES POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE.

 


 

FALL 2019 

 

ENG 100-01: Films Adapting Fiction
Michael Mirabile
MWF 12:40-1:40

This course is designed to provide skills useful for the close reading and analysis of films and works of modern literature.  Establishing parallels between literary and cinematic arts, we will reflect on the adaptation by film directors and screenwriters of works of fiction: the movement or transition from page to screen.  We will also examine how models of criticism are shaped by formal features integral to the art of the cinema (cinematography, editing, performance, special effects, etc.).  Among the recurring topics that we will address over the length of the semester are: genre, spectatorship, gender, narrative, identification, intertextuality, and postmodernism.  A central aim of the course is to specify the conventions of a variety of literary and cinematic genres: the thriller, crime fiction and film noir / neo-noir, the Gothic or horror story, science fiction, and meta-cinema or critical cinema (films about other films).

            

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

ENG 100-02:  Modern Masterpiece: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels
Rishona Zimring
TTH 1:50-3:20     

In this course we will read the enthralling novels of Elena Ferrante: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of A New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child, all of which have been translated into English by Ann Goldstein. This will be an immersive reading experience of ambitious, stylistically captivating novels that have captured the imaginations of global audiences. We follow the friendship and rivalry of two girls, Lila and Elena, who over the course of sprawling novels grow into adult relationships and careers. This takes place in an old city, Naples, and a modern European nation recovering from war and evolving in a new era of political turmoil and change. Together we will explore, analyze, and appreciate the literary achievement and publishing sensation of this epic and intimate modern artwork. Comparisons will be made to other contemporary writers as well as to the literary and artistic traditions from which Ferrante’s work draws inspiration and to which it makes powerful contributions. Students will have the opportunity to write interpretive essays and undertake research projects, as well to exchange ideas through seminar-style discussion of the novels themselves and of critical frameworks for thinking about modern art and literature.                                                        

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits


ENG 200-F1: Fiction Writing 1
Pauls Toutonghi
MWF 10:20-11:20

The first in a sequence, this class studies the work of 25 contemporary fiction writers. These stories pair with weekly craft exercises, which consider story writing through the lens of scene structure, subtext in dialogue, and a variety of other viewpoints. By semester’s end, students
write and revise a complete short story.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits


ENG 200-F2: Fiction Writing 1
Don Waters
MWF 11:30-12:30

The first in a sequence, this class studies the work of 25 contemporary fiction writers. These stories pair with weekly craft exercises, which consider story writing through the lens of scene structure, subtext in dialogue, and a variety of other viewpoints. By semester’s end, students write and revise a complete short story.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits


ENG 201-F1: Introduction to Poetry and Poetry Writing
Jerry Harp
TTH 1:50-3:20

Elements of poetry such as imagery, rhythm, tone. Practice in the craft. Frequent references to earlier poets.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

 

ENG 203-01: Nonfiction Writing 1
Pauls Toutonghi
MWF 11:30-12:30

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

 

ENG 205-F1: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
Lyell Asher 
TTh 9:40-11:10
                                                                                               

Introduction to ways of reading and writing about literature; historical development of English literature. Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

 

ENG 205-F2: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
William Pritchard 
MWF 9:10-10:10                                                                                      

Introduction to ways of reading and writing about literature; historical development of English literature. Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

 

ENG 206-F1: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
Rishona Zimring 
MWF 12:40-1:40

Introduction to ways of reading and writing about literature; historical development of literature in English. Romantic period to the present.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

 

 
ENG 300-01: Fiction Writing 2
Pauls Toutonghi
MWF 12:40-1:40

The second in a sequence, this class shifts from the reading of contemporary fiction to the emulation of these models, and students’ creation of their own work. Some exercises and free-writes are assigned, but the bulk of the course is focused on generating short stories to be workshopped by the class. The readings focus on the process of writing itself and its psychology.

Prerequisites: ENG 200; 4 semester credits

Restrictions: Junior standing or consent required.

 

ENG 301-01: Poetry Writing
Jerry Harp
M/TH 3-4:30/3:30-5

Discussion of student work with occasional reference to work by earlier poets. Students develop skills as writers and readers of poetry.



Prerequisites: ENG 201; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Junior standing or consent required.


ENG 315: The Victorians: Heroes, Decadents, and Madwomen
Andrea Hibbard

MWF 10:20-11:20

Study of the literature and culture of the Victorian period (1837-1901). Juxtaposes fictional and nonfictional depictions of urbanization and class conflict; considers how the information explosion, industrial revolution, and resulting commodity culture created new anxieties about the meaning of art; examines tensions between Darwinian scientific theory and religious faith; explores the gender politics of Victorian sensation fiction and children’s fiction; and investigates how imperial expansion informed the literature of the period. Authors may include Charles Dickens, the Bront√ęs, Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Wilkie Collins, Matthew Arnold, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Oscar Wilde.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Junior standing or consent required.

 

ENG 316-01: Modern British and Irish Literature
Rishona Zimring
MWF 10:20-11:20

A survey of literary works that reimagine and expand the scope of the novel and short story, beginning with and emphasizing early-20th century experiments with form and ending with consideration of recent and emerging new voices. Responses to crises and aftermaths of two world wars, major cultural changes, and global geopolitical shifts, producing fiction that gives voice to transition, instability, and possibility. Radical innovations by modernist writers such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf; novels that pose challenging philosophical and social questions; writing that pushes boundaries, reinvents tradition, and envisions new horizons. While emphasis is on fiction, some poetry will be included as well. Authors may include Joyce, Woolf, E.M. Forster, Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Junior standing or consent required. 

 

ENG 331: Shakespeare: Early Works
Lyell Asher

TTH 11:30-1:00

Critical reading of plays representative of the development of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies. Usually covers six or seven plays and selected poetry, typically including The Merchant of Venice, All’s Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Junior standing required.

 

 

ENG 334-01: Ancient Masterpieces and English Literature
Kurt Fosso
MWF 12:40-1:40

Study of stories from antiquity that have influenced countless generations of artists, not least those of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Britain. Along with introducing students to some of the greatest ancient works ever written, this course will trace these works’ influences in English literature, both in early-modern translations (chiefly of Homer) as well as via literary adaptations and allusions, including a few from the Romantic and Victorian eras.  Students will grapple with awesome tales of gods and monsters and gain a better understanding of such foundational literary genres as epic, tragedy, and lyric. Texts will include works by Homer, Sappho, the King James Bible, Horace, Virgil, and Ovid, as well as Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, Marlowe’s Hero and Leander, Milton’s Samson Agonistes, Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale,” and Tennyson’s “Ulysses.”


This course counts towards the pre-1800 major requirement.

Prerequisites: Junior standing or consent required; 4 semester credits

 

ENG 334-02: Postmodernist and Contemporary American Fiction
Michael Mirabile
TTH 9:40-11:10

This course will be focused on late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century (millennial) American fiction (approximately, from 1970 to the present).  An emphasis will be placed on the relation of experimental short stories and novels to mass media (such as film and television) and to key historical contexts (such as the Cold War).  We will also consider works of critical theory and efforts to define “postmodernism” in culture and the arts.  Authors may include some of the following: Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Colson Whitehead, Jennifer Egan, Susan Choi, Kurt Vonnegut, Kathy Acker, Jonathan Safran Foer, Diane Johnson, Ishmael Reed, and Cormac McCarthy. 

  

ENG 450-01: Senior Seminar: Literature of American Slavery
Rachel Cole 

TTH 1:50-3:20

This seminar will focus on American slave narratives, both fictional and non-fictional, from the mid nineteenth century and the late twentieth.

Primary-source texts will include Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave(1845); Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs (1861); Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter, by William Wells Brown (1853); Kindred, by Octavia Butler (1979); Beloved, by Toni Morrison (1987), and The Known World, by Edward P. Jones (2003).

Each student will pursue an independent project of their own design, culminating in a 20-page seminar paper that contributes to the ongoing critical conversation about the literature of American slavery. Preparatory assignments will include an annotated bibliography, topic proposal, abstract, etc. In the final days of the semester we will hold a workshop, in which students present their projects to and receive feedback from the class.

Prerequisites: ENG 205, ENG 206, and two 300-level literature courses; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Senior standing required.

 

ENG 450-02: American Nabokov
Will Pritchard
MWF 11:30-12:30

In Watzek Library, the works of Vladimir Nabokov are shelved in two places: PG 3476 for the works he wrote in Russian, and PS 3527 for those he published after immigrating to the United States in 1940. In this seminar we will focus on the works of the “American” Nabokov. We will read the first four novels he wrote in the U.S. – Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957) and Pale Fire (1962) – along with his memoir of his life before America, Speak, Memory (1951, revised 1967), a selection of his short stories and a few of his essays and lectures.

From this sampling of his works, we will aspire to a preliminary understanding and appreciation of this playful, difficult, literate, lyrical, maddening author. Or, as Nabokov put it in a lecture on “Good Readers and Good Writers,” we will “try to grasp the individual magic of his genius … With a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.”

As a tangible expression of this sensual and intellectual pleasure, each student will produce a seminar paper that is approximately 20-25 pages long and that draws on primary and secondary sources (i.e., the writings of Nabokov and of Nabokov scholars).

Prerequisites: ENG 205, ENG 206, and two 300-level literature courses; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Senior standing required. 

 

ENG 450-03: Senior Seminar: John Keats
Kurt Fosso
MW 3:00-4:30

Nearing the end of his short life, John Keats advises a fellow poet, “‘Load every rift’ of your subject with ore.”  Keats would write little more.  But it is advice he himself had taken in his journeyman’s career, and notably in his annus mirabilis of 1819, when he composed most of the poems that secured his fame and his enduring place among the English poets—as he hoped.  Keats is indeed one of the all-time great crafters of poetry, and to study his work is to engage in his “ore”-filled vein of figurative leaps and puns, odd tropes and allusions, philosophical depths, and, as he said of Wordsworth, the “dark passages” of human life and its discontent.  In fact, for Keats it is only “those to whom the miseries of the world are misery, and will not let them rest,” who fulfill the vital vocation of poet.  

Although we’ll read poems from throughout Keats’s brief career, we shall focus especially on the mature poems of 1819, including the great odes.  We’ll also read many of his letters, in which he provides his literary-poetic theories as well as his observations about life in a time of political, artistic, and other struggles and crises.  We’ll indeed explore how Keats is more than ‘only’ a creator of beauty (“a joy forever,” he wrote); he is, as his words about poetry suggest, a daring pioneer of the creation and discovery of truths and social meanings in a world of discontent—truths and meanings that perhaps art alone can offer.

Along with studying Keats’s poetry and selected letters, students will also read his biography and numerous critical essays.  Each seminar member will write a 20-25 page paper providing a clear, substantiated, and well-researched argument focused upon one or more of the author’s poems.  Near the semester’s end, students will deliver a portion of their findings in a formal, class presentation.

Prerequisites: ENG 205, ENG 206, and two 300-level literature courses; 4 semester credits

Restrictions: Senior standing required. 


Please view the Senior Seminar tab on this website for ENG 450 registration information.