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Spring English Course Offerings

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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.

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SPRING 2021

 

ENG 100-01: Topics: Gothic Literature
Will Pritchard 
MWF 10:30-11:30

Gothic literature is the literature of the dark side. It is preoccupied, in the words of one scholar, with “supernatural and natural forces, imaginative excesses and delusions, religious and human evil, social transgression, mental disintegration and spiritual corruption.” The features (or cliches) of Gothic literature are familiar to us, but they remain surprisingly effective: haunted castles, graveyards, ruins, enclosed spaces, ghosts, vampires, doppelgangers, corpses, skeletons, etc. The author of the first gothic novel effectively summarized the genre when he described his narrative as one in which terror was the story’s “principal engine, prevent[ing] the story from ever languishing.” This course will provide a selective introduction to Gothic literature, presenting a range of terror-driven works (novels, stories and films) from the eighteenth century to the present.

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.

 

ENG 105-01: Art of the Novel
Lyell Asher
MWF 11:45-12:45

Major works in English, American, and European fiction, from the 17th century to the present. Goals include increasing awareness of the particular kinds of knowledge and perception that the novel makes available; considering the variety of ways in which novels braid moral and aesthetic concerns; understanding how novels respond both to everyday human experience and to previous literary history; and heightening appreciation for the range of pleasures that the novel can afford. Writers may include Cervantes, Sterne, Austen, Flaubert, Kafka, Woolf, Nabokov, Kundera, Pynchon.

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.

 

ENG 201-F1: Introduction to Poetry and Poetry Writing
Mary Szybist
T/TH 3:25-4:55

Elements of poetry such as imagery, rhythm, tone. Practice in the craft. Frequent references to earlier poets. This semester, we’ll take particular inspiration from the work of Nikky Finney, who is schedueld to visit LC in person this April. Learn more about Nikky Finney here: NIKKY FINNEY.

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalogs 2016-19) general education requirement.

 

ENG 203-01: Nonfiction Writing 1
Don Waters
MWF 1:00-2:00

This course is dedicated to reading and writing creative nonfiction. In the first few classes we review the craft components of personal essays and memoir while reading Vivian Gornick’s masterful work The Situation and the Story. Following our review, we read examples of personal and creative immersion essays and memoir, which include stories about finding one’s parents, the realities of life as a writer, dysfunctional relationships, being a medical actor, working as a border patrol agent, dismantling the fantasy life aboard a holiday cruise ship, and our relationship to “truth” and the use of facts in creative nonfiction. Throughout the semester students generate two essays for workshop and several intensive weeks are dedicated to reading, and critiquing, student essays. Students are expected to think critically about assigned readings and the work of their peers.

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

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalogs 2016-19) general education requirement.

 

ENG 205-F1: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
Lyell Asher
MWF 9:15-10:15

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

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.

 

ENG 206-F1: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
Kurt Fosso
T/TH 9:50-11:20

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

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.

 

ENG 206-F2: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
Andrea Hibbard
MWF 11:45-12:45

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

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.                                     

 

ENG 209-F1: Introduction to American Literature
Kristin Fujie
MWF 10:30-11:30

Selective survey of American literature in English from the colonial period through the present. We will discuss the development of peculiarly American ideas, questions, genres, and styles, as well as the ways they have changed through time. We will also consider what it means to categorize literary works by nation in the first place; i.e., what is at stake in the concept of a national literary tradition.

Prerequisite: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) and Historical Perspectives general education requirements.

 

ENG 235-F1: Radical Film
Michael Mirabile
MWF 1:00-2:00

What distinguishes a “radical” or “experimental” film from a more
“commercial” or “conventional” film? In attempting to respond to that question, this course
examines the use of innovative techniques in the cinema and the implications they hold for
determining the meanings of particular films. Starting by viewing ground-breaking short works,
we will then consider both full-length independent films and films made within Hollywood
studios that break from narrative, generic, and stylistic conventions. Critical readings and
methods will inform our discussions, giving us a basis for approaching films from historical and
cultural perspectives. We will also review some of the major influences on the experimental
cinema, including the global New Wave, Realism, Surrealism, and Expressionism. The films we
will subject to close analysis will be chosen from the work of some of the following directors:
Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Mary Harron, Orson Welles, Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Maya Deren,
Barry Jenkins, Akira Kurosawa, Todd Haynes, Jean-Luc Godard, and John Cassevetes.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) and the BRW general education requirements.

 

ENG 241-F1: Text & Image: Sister Arts
Karen Gross
MW 3:30-5:00

Ut pictura poesis: Horace’s dictum suggests that poetry and the visual arts have a sororal kinship and share common features. This course will question this precept by examining how at different historical moments artists, poets, and philosophers have understood the relationship between poetry and paintings, words and pictures. At times there is fierce rivalry and suspicion between poetry and painting, and at times there are fruitful confluences. In examining this question of how texts and images work together (or not), we will be addressing larger issues such as what is beautiful, what is the difference between the natural and the artificial, and what place ought the arts have within society. Readings include (but not limited to) Plato, Horace, Gotthold Lessing, Edmund Burke, Ernst Gombrich, Michael Camille, Edmund Tufte, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robin Coste Lewis, Claudia Rankine, and a selection of ekphrastic and emblem poems. Paintings, sculptures, and other artworks shall also be studied, including through assignments involving Watzek’s Special Collections and the Portland Art Museum.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) and the BRW general education requirements.

 

ENG 243-F1: Women Writers
Andrea Hibbard
MWF 9:10-10:10

This course is organized around homes and heroines. Home is the great theme of the realist novel. It is also the space most often associated with women and their history. How have women authors navigated these related literary and architectural structures? What stories do women tell about the domestic sphere? How do their characters come to inhabit, inherit, consecrate, be confined to, escape, haunt, or incinerate homes? How have women authors imagined hometowns, exile, and homelessness? What do we learn about women writers from the range of linguistic edifices they create? Authors include Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Charrlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Paula Fox, Marilynne Robinson, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Alison Bechdel, Eve Ewing, and Kai Cheng Thom.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement. May also be approved to count as an elective to Gender Studies.

 

ENG 301-01: Nonfiction Writing 2
Pauls Toutonghi
MWF 1:00-2:00

Conducted in a round-table form, with students producing about half of the work to be studied, this peer-review-centered course features sections of writing workshop and craft in which students will produce two short, original nonfiction pieces in memoir, or personal-essay form. Some familiarity with major nonfiction writers is assumed and these writers form the core of the touchstone texts as students move forward in the
creative nonfiction writing sequence.

Prerequisites: ENG 203; 4 semester credits

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalogs 2016-19) general education requirement.

 

ENG 310-01: Medieval Literature: Dante
Karen Gross
MWF 11:45-12:45

On June 4, 1290, Beatrice Portinari died. Dante Alighieri (d. 1321) channeled his grief for his beloved, whom he knew mostly by sight alone, into his poetic collection La vita nuova. After a miraculous vision, however, Dante realized that his chronicle described himself more than her, and he abruptly broke off the project, vowing not to mention Beatrice again until he could “write of her what no man has written about a woman.” It took a decade for Dante to speak again of Beatrice. When he did, he wrote the Commedia, recounting a journey from the depths of Hell, up the slopes of Mount Purgatory, and through the spheres of Paradise—all made possible by love. And yet, despite this intensely personal and particular history, the poem is also an epic claiming universal significance, beginning with the inclusive line, “In the middle of the road of our life….” The Commedia is as vast as the geography it surveys: it is simultaneously a learned compendium of medieval knowledge and a lively depiction of everyday urban life; a self-consciously literary work acknowledging classical tradition and a boldly independent poem using spoken vernacular at a time when Latin was the accepted language of Church and governance; a cry for political revolution on this earth to correct factional corruption and a serene vision of celestial union.

This semester we will read the entire Commedia, examining the poem in a variety of contexts, including literary, historical, and theological. We will also occasionally discuss the Commedia’s influence upon later authors and artists. Our readings will be in English, although we will at times look at the Italian, available in our bi-lingual editions.

Prerequisites: None; 4 semester credits 
Restrictions: Junior standing required or instructor permission

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020), Historical Perspectives, and BRW general education requirements.

 

ENG 323-01: American Modernism
Kristin Fujie
TTH 11:45-1:15

Study of American literature between 1900 and World War II, especially the interwar years. Readings consist of short stories, novels, and poetry, supplemented by essays and manifestos. Broad topics include literary “modernism” (is it a historical period? an attitude? a style?); American modernism’s relationship to European modernism and 19th-century realism; “stay-at-home” modernism vs. “expat” modernism; and the place of African American literature and the Harlem Renaissance within American modernism at large.
Emphasis on formal experimentation as a response to global transformations (World War I, the first sexual revolution, technological advancement, innovations in the visual arts) and its expression of various feelings and attitudes inspired by the perceived complexity, multiplicity, and newness of the modern world. Readings may include longer works by Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Hemingway, Djuna Barnes, Fitzgerald, Nella Larsen, Faulkner, Hurston, and Wright. Poetry by Eliot, H.D., Mina Loy, Williams, Hughes, Toomer, Stevens, and Marianne Moore.

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

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) and Historical Perspectives general education requirements.

 

ENG 332-01: Shakespeare: Later Works
Lyell Asher
MWF 2:15-3:15

Critical reading of plays representative of the development of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, romances. Usually covers six or seven plays and selected poetry from 1604 to 1611, typically including Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest.

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

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.

 

ENG 333-01: Major Figures: William Blake
Kurt Fosso
TTH 11:40-1:10

Radical, visionary, poet, painter, engraver—William Blake (1757-1827) was all of these. Believing liberation could only be achieved by unlocking the “mind-forg’d manacles” of perception (‘yer reason’), Blake composed art to challenge the central ideas and values of the Romantic era—and of our own troubled times. This course will chiefly focus on Blake’s “illuminated,” composite works (texts and designs) composed between 1789 and 1804, including the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Book of Thel, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, The Book of Urizen, and his epic Milton a Poem. We’ll utilize the digital multi-copy reproductions of Blake’s illuminated works, paintings, and engravings provided by the amazing, online William Blake Archive, along with the introductions, notes, and critical materials from the Norton Critical edition. Prepare to have your “doors of perception” opened wide to a Blakean “World of imagination and Vision.”

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

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) and BRW general education requirements.

 

ENG 333-01: Major Figures: James Joyce
Rishona Zimring
TTH 2:10-3:40

In “Major Figures: James Joyce,” we will spend a semester immersing ourselves in three works by this legendary 20th-century author: Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and—most of all—Ulysses. We will also sample works about Ulysses such as Kevin Birmingham’s recent history of its censorship and publication, The Most Dangerous Book, and the Irish writer Edna O’Brien’s inspired and textually experimental biography of Joyce. We will explore how Joyce re-invented the epic and the novel, injected the interaction of reading and writing with new life, and re-imagined the self as a work of textual art, both playfully and profoundly.

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

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) and BRW general education requirements.

  

ENG 334-01: Whitman & Dickinson
Rachel Cole
MWF 3:30-5:00

The works of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, the two most famous poets of the American nineteenth century, could not be more different. Dickinson’s verses are acute and abstract, Whitman’s effusive and full of references to the body and the material world. In this course we will read extensively in each poet’s challenging corpus to grasp the logics as well as the mechanics of their linguistic experiments. We will discuss their engagements with genre (the lyric, the letter, the fascicle, the catalog, the book), with the political issues of their time (nationalism and expansion; civil war; abolition; the role of women), and with more general topics (nature, sex, death). Finally, we will trace their legacies in the work of poets who followed them and consider their relevance to our own thinking about a variety of topics, from gender and sexuality to mortality, pain, exuberance, and joy.

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

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.

 

ENG 400-01: Fiction Writing 3
Pauls Toutonghi
TTH 9:50-11:20

Third in a series, this class is primarily a writing workshop. It emphasizes secondary readings that consider life as a writer after graduation, including the world of publishing, MFA programs, agents, and internships. Students complete a long project (a suite of short stories; a novella; and, potentially, the beginning of a novel). Small class size emphasizes individualized instruction.

Prerequisites: ENG 200 and 300; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Junior standing required or instructor permission.

 

ENG 401-01: Advanced Poetry Writing
Mary Szybist
MWF 2:15-3:15

An opportunity for experienced student writers to develop their skills as poets and to work on a sustained project. A workshop in which at least half of class time will be spent discussing student writing, with an emphasis on revision. Work will include the examination of literary models.


Prerequisites: ENG 301; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Senior standing required or instructor permission. 

 

Also eligible to count as an elective for English majors:

GEND 300-01: Gender & Aesthetic Expression
Rishona Zimring
TTH 9:55-11:25

This core course in the Gender Studies program provides diverse case studies through which to analyze and appreciate how art inspires the understanding and transformation of gender and sexuality in the self and society. We will develop a toolkit for these topics by studying and putting into practice the methodologies worked out in foundational and influential texts of critical theory on aesthetics, gender, and sexuality. We will also create a practice by encountering works of art and performances in diverse media and genre; poetry, memoir, fictional narrative, visual art, theater, architecture, and film. Students will have a range of opportunities to develop their interests and expertise, formulate their discoveries, and practice their own forms of aesthetic expression in a variety of assignments designed to build a portfolio of new work over the course of the semester.

Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or arts ; 4 semester credits
Restrictions: Junior standing required or instructor permission.

Satisfies the Creative Arts (Catalog 2020) general education requirement.