A list of regularly offered courses follows. The indication of when a course will be offered is based on the best projection of the department and can be subject to change.
Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.
What are some of the ways that works of literature engage us, and in turn how can we learn to engage in various ways with literary texts: their words on the page, their imagined communities, their invented characters? How can learning about and practicing different interpretive approaches incite our readerly pleasures as well as our understanding and excitement about a work of literature’s complexity of language and form, its aesthetics, and its power both to represent and transform lives and times and places. Jaros, Mueller
These courses examine selected issues and ideas in the traditions of British and American literature in the historical periods before 1800. ENG 201 covers British Literature from the Medieval Period; ENG 202 examines British Literature from the Renaissance; ENG 203 treats British Literature from the Restoration and the 18th century; ENG 206 treats American Literature from its beginnings through the 1830s; ENG 256 examines African American Literature from the colonial period through the 19th century. Staff
These courses examine selected issues and ideas in the traditions of British and American literature in the historical periods after 1800. ENG 204 covers British literature in the 19th century; ENG 207 covers American Literature from the founding of the Republic to the Civil War; ENG 208 extends from the Civil War through World War II. ENG 210 treats 20th-century literature written in English; ENG 257 examines African American Literature of the 20th century. Staff
A transplanted face? Kidneys for sale? Tongue studs? The human body and its modification are big business these days and the subject of much contemporary writing. Cultural developments and scientific research have opened up new scenarios for thinking of the human body along political, social, gender, racial, sexual, even fantastic, lines. Though our focus will be literary, our inquiry will extend to texts drawn from various disciplines that discuss the phenomenon of body modification and to the many and varied practices that modify bodies: tattooing, piercing, scarification, branding, body sculpting, dieting, body-building, cosmetic surgery, transexualism, and anorexia, to name a few. Bernard
This course explores 20th-century drama and performance from around the world. We will read works written in English from Nigeria, South Africa, Ireland, England, and America. We’ll also watch several performances as videos. Along the way, we will persistently pose the questions of how performance can address important social issues and how it can offer insight for change. Abravanel
Myth and fairytale inform our lives in deep, often unexamined ways. In this course we’ll look at a number of these tales, which shape our attitudes, our expectations, and our culture in often- unexamined ways. We’ll also compare a number of myths and fairytales with versions from other times and cultures. We’ll examine various theories and approaches as well as some literary interpretations — films, poetry, fiction — and discuss ways in which the meaning and even utility of these tales shift over time. These perspectives will be explored in various papers and shared through class presentations. Throughout the whole semester we’ll question the relevance of these Hall stories, and how knowledge of them can add dimension to our own lives.
A study of the experiences of women as presented in selected British and American literature from the Middle Ages through the 19th century, as presented from a variety of cultural perspectives. We will consider various readings of the texts, including those that emphasize feminist theory and historical context. Among others, we will be reading Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, Anne Bradstreet, the Brontës, George Eliot and Mary Wollstonecraft. Same as WGS 231. Hartman
A study of the changing world of American and British women in the 20th century as portrayed by women writers. The critical emphasis will be on feminist theory and the political, social and cultural background of the times. Among others, we will read works by Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf. Same as WGS 233. Hartman
How do the history of baseball, writings about baseball and the playing of the “national pastime” reflect and shape American values, social conflicts and identity? An exploration through readings in baseball literature and history. Topics include: American idealism and the American Dream democracy and free enterprise; race and class conflicts; hero worship; patriotism; ethics (including corruption and disillusionment); and masculine identity. Same as AMS 245. O’Hara
Readings from a variety of traditions, periods, disciplines and genres to discover diverse assumptions about nature and humanity’s relation to it. Readings from both Western and non-Western cultures, though with emphasis on the British and Euro-American traditions. Such broad exploration across vast divides of time and culture should not only teach us about varied understandings of nature but also encourage self-consciousness as we form our own conceptions of what nature is and how we ought best to interact with and in it. Same as ENV 260. Mueller
In this course, we will develop an historical, aesthetic and formal understanding of contemporary graphic fiction. We will study the genre’s precedents in early comics, the interplay of the comics and their historical and cultural contexts, graphic fiction’s engagement with high art, and the formal elements of graphic texts. Readings will include comic strips and comic books from 1900 to the present, Maus I and II, Watchmen, Fun Home, Jimmy Corrigan, It’s a Bird, Black Hole, and other Sherin Wright comics. Same as ART 265.
As Jonathan Culler states, “Theory offers not a set of solutions but the prospect of further thought. It calls for commitment to the work of reading, of challenging presuppositions, of questioning the assumptions on which you proceed.” Students in this course will be introduced to theoretical schools and concepts that shape the study of literature and the practice of literary analysis. Students enrolling in this course should have taken at least one college-level literature course. Recommended for students considering graduate studies in English. Staff
Writing courses, to which admission is only by permission of the instructor, are limited to enrollments of no more than 15 students.
Readings in selected topics. Writing assignments closely linked to the readings will explore rhetorical strategies and the writing process: planning, drafting, revising and editing essays. Use and documentation of outside sources. Recent topics include: American Road Trip, Monsters, In and Out of Africa. Staff
A general introduction to the modes and means of writing poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction with an emphasis on writing exercises and revision. Students will be introduced to the workshop method of critiquing student writing. Ford, Hall, Montemarano, O’Hara, Anderson
A workshop for students who have found fiction writing a satisfying means of self-expression and who now are ready to raise their work to a higher level. Students will write and significantly revise two or more short stories. What we read in this class — student work as well as contemporary published fiction — we will read as writers, meaning: with extreme attention to craft. We shall concern ourselves with the many choices writers make and the effects of these choices. We will practice writing dazzling sentences. Permission of the instructor required. Montemarano
A workshop focused on generating and criticizing student poetry. Weekly poetry assignments will be according to subject matter (the elegy, the political poem, the love poem, etc.), lyricism and experiments in form. A rich selection of weekly readings of American and world poetry will be our guide as we work towards further mastery of poetic craft. The semester will culminate in a portfolio of student work. Students of all majors are encouraged to take the course. Permission of the instructor required. Ford
For confident writers ready to find their voices in a genre that claims to tell the truth without making it up. Assignments center on pieces suited for today’s magazines, newspapers and online publications: opinion pieces, memoir, restaurant and movie reviews, editorials, travel sketches, investigative reports. Readings from contemporary nonfiction writers, some chosen by the class. Emphasis on reading and responding to each other’s work. Good writers, including non-majors, welcome. Permission of instructor required. Anderson
This is an advanced workshop for writers of fiction, poetry, nonfiction or drama. Each student will use the semester to finish writing, revising and organizing a creative writing thesis — a body of the student’s best work. Participants will read and discuss their own and each other’s theses-in-progress. Students will be expected to revise and tighten individual poems or stories, to shape their theses and to understand the aesthetic choices they are making. Each student must write an introduction to his or her thesis. Permission of the instructor required. Ford, Montemarano
Seminars, to which students are admitted only by permission of the instructor, are limited to enrollments of no more than 15 students. Seminars examine various topics, issues and authors.
This seminar will focus on Toni Morrison as a major African American and American writer. We will examine Morrison’s oeuvre in both fiction and criticism, and explore how her aesthetics and vision, and her analyses of them, are informed by historical contexts and their racial, sexual, gendered, class, etc. impulses. Permission of the instructor required. Same as AFS/WGS 462. Bernard
The life and times of Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain, with emphasis on his early career and new attention to his letters, now available in a vast, easily accessible electronic archive. The letters allow a reader special, private, privileged access to the thoughts and feelings, to the everyday circumstances, of a gifted, complex, iconic American personality. The course focuses on the emergence and astounding celebrity of Mark Twain by treating such works as “The Innocents Abroad,” “Roughing It,” “Tom Sawyer,” “Life on the Mississippi,” “Huck Finn,” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” Permission of the instructor required. Steinbrink
Independent study directed by the English staff. See chairperson for guidelines and permission.
Popular Indian Cinema and Literature.