Fall 2022 Course Descriptions: Avery Point Campus

Fall 2022

Each semester the faculty for the Department of English provide course descriptions that build upon the University's catalog descriptions. These individually crafted descriptions provide information about variable topics, authors, novels, texts, writing assignments, and whether instructor consent is required to enroll. The details, along with reviewing the advising report, will help students select course options that best meet one's interests and academic requirements.

The following list includes Undergraduate courses that are sequenced after the First-Year Writing requirement and will change each semester.

2000-Level Courses

2201W: American Literature to 1880

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2201W | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Bercaw Edwards, Mary K

ENGL 2201W, American Literature to 1800, looks at American literature as a form of storytelling. We investigate early pieces composed long before the United States became a nation up through Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Genres include short stories, narratives, and novels. Mary Rowlandson, Lewis & Clark, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederik Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain are among the authors we will discuss. The material will be organized chronologically. Written papers will allow students to think critically about the literature they have read. Class time will consist of student-driven discussion. The class is both a gen ed and a W course and is open to anyone.

2407: The Short Story

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2407 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Bercaw Edwards, Mary K.

ENGL 2407, Short Story, looks at short stories as a literary form. The course will investigate such questions as what is a short story, how do short stories differ from novels, and why has the commercial interest in short stories diminished over time while at the same time short stories remain immensely appealing to the reading public? The main text for the course will be The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, from which selections will be chosen for each class. The stories will be read in chronological order, as older stories influenced later ones. Tentatively the course will consist of two take-home exams and an in-class final, but that may change. Class time will consist of student-driven discussion. The class is a gen ed and open to anyone.

2411: Popular Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2411 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Bedore, Pamela

Detective fiction has become one of the most popular types of genre fiction today.  It originated in America in the early nineteenth century, with Edgar Allan Poe often considered its founding father.  This course examines a number of detective narratives in an attempt to answer the following questions and others: what is the appeal of popular literature? Is it worth studying in a scholarly manner? Why or why not? What is the appeal of detective fiction?  How has it developed as a genre over the past 150+ years?  What are the limitations and potentials of the detective genre?  What, if anything, can a study of popular fiction in general and detective fiction more particularly reveal about sociocultural anxieties, ethical conundrums, gender relations, epistemology, and interactions of fiction and reality?

This is a general education course (CA1) that counts towards the English major. The only prerequisite is a first-year writing course.

We will read 8-10 detective novels, including classics by Edgar Allan Poe (the C. Auguste Dupin stories) and Arthur Conan Doyle (the Sherlock Holmes stories), as well as several more contemporary texts. We will read several critical essays on these novels.

The assignments will include six short pieces: 2 article reviews, 2 argumentative pieces, and 2 presentations. Students may substitute one creative piece for any of these.

The goal of the class is to introduce students to scholarship on popular literature, to help each student improve their critical reading and analytic writing skills, and to engage students in discussions about how popular literature shapes and is shaped by the world we live in.

This is an in-person class at Avery Point with lots of discussion, informal writing, and mini-lectures. This class should be a decent amount of work, but it should also be fun! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact pam.bedore@uconn.edu.

2635E: Literature and the Environment

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2635E | MW 9:05-10:20 | Sarkar, Debapriya

This course provides a trans-historical introduction to the literary treatment of environmental issues. Focusing on texts from a variety of genres including, novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and films, we will consider how cultural texts can shape relationships between humans and the nonhuman world (including land, plants, animals, etc.). We will delve in particular on the relations of environmental, racial, and social justice. Our governing questions will include: What responsibility does “literature” have to “environment”? How does evolving knowledge about the natural world intersect with ethical, social, and political issues? How does fiction shape ideas about power, policy, and change? How can the fantastic, utopian, and poetic worlds help us grapple with pressing environmental issues, such as climate crisis, access to natural resources, and global environmental inequality? How does literature use abstract notions like “nature” and the “anthropocene” to complicate our ideas of race, gender, disability and class?

4000-Level Courses

4965W: Advanced Studies in Early Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; at least 12 credits of 2000-level or above English courses or consent of instructor; open to juniors or higher.

4965W | M 11:15-12:30 | Distance Learning | Sarkar, Debapriya

The Early Modern Environmental Imagination

This capstone seminar examines how sixteenth and seventeenth century literature both reflects and shapes ideas about the environment. By reading texts from a variety of genres, including drama, poetry, prose fiction, and non-fiction, we will inquire: how do writers envision the relation of humans to their nonhuman environments (land, plants, animals, etc.)? How does evolving knowledge about the natural world intersect with ethical, social, and political issues? What responsibility does “literature" have to the “environment”? And how might imaginative writing bring into conversation discourses of environmental, racial, and social justice? We will draw on recent scholarship in the environmental humanities and over the course of the semester, work towards developing a definition of early modern environmental literature.

We will study different scales of ecologies—from the cosmic to the national to the domestic—in order to highlight how various actors (philosophers, poets, dramatists, artisans, etc.) were engaged in “environmental thinking.” Our primary readings will be drawn from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from Shakespearean drama to Miltonic epic, from lyric poetry to utopian fiction. However we will approach the historically and culturally specific concerns raised by these works through the lens of key theoretical concepts (such as the “anthropocene”) and different strands of eco-criticism (such as ecofeminism and the blue humanities). By juxtaposing Renaissance writing with modern scholarship, the course invites research not only into the pre-modern imagination, but also into the relation of the present to the past we struggle to apprehend.

The seminar will be offered in the Distance Learning modality. We will meet synchronously every Monday, and the rest of the sessions will be held asynchronously. Department consent is required to enroll in this course, please email inda.watrous@uconn.edu for a permission number. Please include your student admin id# and home campus.