Spring 2022 Course Descriptions: Storrs Campus

Spring 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.

Honors Courses

Honors courses are limited to fifteen to twenty students in each section. They are open only to Honors students or with the consent of the instructor. This semester, we are offering:


2301W-03 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Hogan, Patrick
2701-03 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Forbes, Sean
3640-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Semenza, Gregory

 

 

1000-Level Courses

1101W: Classical and Medieval Western Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1101W-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Smedberg, Casey 

This course aims to investigate the global spread of ancient classical literature during the Middle Ages. By reading selections from classical texts in the context of those medieval texts that draw from them, students will examine the role that classical narrative played in the formation and development of the medieval world. Students will also consider the physical transmission of classical texts, with the goal of understanding how these texts linked social and political entities that have traditionally been perceived as separate and even opposed. Assignments will include discussion, short reading-response papers, and a final paper that will be completed over the course of several drafts and revisions.

1101W-02 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Smedberg, Casey

See description above.

1103W: Renaissance and Modern Western Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1103W-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Proudfoot, Aaron

In the wake of the invention of the printing press, authors of the English Renaissance participated in a national project of literary language development—translating and adapting continental literary traditions, creating new forms, and establishing the foundation for centuries worth of Western literature in the English language. This course will situate the English Renaissance within its European context, explore several of its major literary figures, texts, and themes, and then pursue those key questions and themes through the several centuries of English and American literature that followed them. We will read and watch texts across various genres and mediums including drama, epic poetry, short stories, novels, films, etc.

Requirements include: in-class reading/viewing responses and quizzes; two or three short essays; and a longer final essay. At least 15 pages of revised prose in total, per the requirements for W courses.

Works to be read may include: Prose and poetry selections from the early English Renaissance, a play by William Shakespeare, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, modern film/television adaptations of Renaissance texts and/or themes.

1103W-02 | MWF 9:05-9:55 | Gallucci, Mary
1103W-03 | W 5:00-7:30 | Pelizzon, V. Penelope

In this course we’ll spend time with some of the most fabulous poems, stories, and novels of the last 500 years. We’ll read works by Polish, Russian, Turkish, Greek, French, German, Italian, Mexican, American, and English authors. We’ll work chronologically backwards, beginning with recent writers whose historical context is more familiar, moving in reverse to periods where we’ll call on secondary materials to help ground our understanding of the issues at stake for each writer. Authors likely to appear on the syllabus include Constantine Cavafy, Nazim Hikmet, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Celan, Wisława Szymborska, Marina Tsvetaeva, Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Anton Chekhov, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Louise Labé, and William Shakespeare. Projects include weekly response writings as well as three revised papers of 5-6 pages each. 

1201: Introduction to American Studies

Also offered as: AMST 1201, HIST 1503
Prerequisites: None.

1201-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Vials, Christopher

This course serves as an introduction to American Studies, a method of studying U.S. culture that brings together techniques and materials from across a wide range of disciplines and interdisciplines such as history, literature, political science, political economy, ethnic studies, art history, gender studies, and media studies.

In this particular section, we will apply this method to the study of social movements in the 20th century and 21st century United States, and how these movements, often beginning on the fringes, have transformed beliefs, policies, and institutions in the American mainstream.  We will look at movements on the left and the right in order to understand our contemporary political environment.  On the left, we will study the Popular Front of the 1930s, civil rights, the various movements of the late 1960s, AIDS activism in the 1980s, and finally, Black Lives Matter (later, the Movement for Black Lives).  On the right, we will study the Ku Klux Klan, Father Coughlin’s “Christian Front” in the 1930s, George Wallace’s third party presidential campaign in 1968, and neoliberalism.  As we do so, we will be mindful of how these U.S.-based political movements were shaped by global political currents, including fascism in Europe, anticolonial struggles in the global south, and communism in Asia and the USSR.  We will also study how economic structures frame the lived experiences out of which social movements emerge.

Some of your assignments will ask you to examine the pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, and (later) websites that these movements produced in order to get an overall sense of their programs, their appeals to their memberships, and their places in history.

1503: Introduction to Shakespeare

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1503-01| MWF 10:10-11:00 | Gallucci, Mary 

 

1601W: Race, Gender, and the Culture Industry

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1601W-01 | MWF 11:15-12:05 | Williams, Erika
1601W-02 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Kervick, Mollie

This course is designed around what’s funny and why we think so. Students will study comedic cultural productions such as novels, essays, and other media, through the lens of race, gender, and class. Some of the questions students will consider include: Who is allowed to laugh? Who do we laugh at? How does form affect the reception of comedic productions? How does comedy construct cultural assumptions? What does comedy tell us about culture? As a writing-intensive course, students should be prepared to think critically about the texts in question and the writing and revision process.

1616: Major Works of English & American Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1616-01| TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Fairbanks, Ruth 

2000-Level Courses

2013W: Introduction to Writing Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2013W-01 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Distance Learning | Booten, Kyle

Is it true that the texts we find on social mediafrom memes to poetry to political argumentationare somehow shallower than ones we might find in print? Do experienced writers differ from novices in the ways that they approach the cognitively-demanding task of composition?  How is writing itself a "tool for thought," helping the writer to clarify their ideas?  How has writing been taught, and how should it be taught?  This course will introduce a variety of theoretical approaches and research methods that can be used to address these and other questions in the study of literacy.  Assignments will include reading responses, short written assignments to practice research methods, and a final paper that will be workshopped and revised.  This is a core course for the Writing minor.

2100: British Literature I

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2100-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Hasenfratz, Bob

We’ll be careening downhill (on an ox-cart running almost out of control) through more than a millennium’s worth of British literature, all in one semester. As we dash from century to century, we’ll sample a fascinating and complex range of poetry, drama, and fiction. Along the way, I want to hear about your genuine reactions to these early texts which have much to reveal about the early construction of gender, race, class, and power as well as burning and vital questions surrounding colonialism and empire, ideas about the environment and resources, technology, literacy, etc. Though I will act as your guide, plan to participate actively in reading and digging into these quite old, quirky, entertaining, and sometimes disturbing texts. The focus of this class will be on literatures of Britain from approximately 600 CE through to 1800 CE and will take us through the Medieval (or, pre-modern), Renaissance (or, early modern), Restoration, and Eighteenth Century periods. The texts and authors we will read and explore may include Old English riddles and lyrics, Beowulf, the romances of Marie de France, the Goddodin, Chaucer, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Malory, Spenser’s the Fairie Queene, Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus or Shakespeare’s Tempest, the poetry of Amelia Lanyer, Robert Herrick, John Donne, Anne Finch, John Milton, etc., fiction by Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift, Aphra Behn’s Oronooko, and the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. Writing for this course will include online responses, two short essays, and a final exam.

2101: British Literature II

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2101-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Cordon, Joanne

Romantics, Victorians, and Moderns; Oh My!

This survey of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature will encourage you to read across two centuries of literary work in a variety of genres: The Romantics, especially the poets, garner acclaim like rock stars; the Victorians champion Duty all the way to an Empire, and the Moderns creatively resist chaos even as “Things fall apart / The center cannot hold / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” as W. B. Yeats puts it in “The Second Coming”. Requirements include a lot of reading, engaged class participation, one class presentation and a longer project.

2101-02 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Madden, Greg

 

2107: The British Empire, Slavery, and Resistance

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2107-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Codr, Dwight

The British Empire, Slavery, and Resistance focuses upon literature that encouraged and/or criticized the rise of the British empire and the institution of slavery for which it was largely responsible (roughly 1550-1833). Texts to be studied include a variety of genres, including travel writings, novels, essays, poems, and plays. We will pay particular attention to the writings of formerly enslaved persons, such as Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince, John Henry Naimbanna, Jupiter Hammon, Ottobah Cuguano, and Phillis Wheatley. Other writers to be covered may include Francis Bacon, Daniel Defoe, William Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, and Alexander Pope.  Modern, supplemental readings for the course may include lyrics to Lupe Fiasco’s Drogas Wave, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Hard History” report on the state of education about race and slavery in the contemporary US, poems by Amanda Gorman, and scholarly perspectives on these writers and the histories in which they wrote. Assignments consist of short writing exercises and reflections as well as responses to the writings of other students in the course. This course satisfies the General Education CA-1 requirement.

This course owes a special thanks to the UConn Anti-Black Racism course for faculty and the faculty, staff, and administrators who worked to assemble this course and to the UConn Provost’s Office General Education Course Enhancement Grant program for support in developing this course.  

2200: Literature and Culture of North America Before 1800

Also offered as: AMST 2200
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2200-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Franklin, Wayne 

This course examines the early written and oral record of the area that eventually became the United States. It does so within the context of various non-textual analogues (e.g., architecture, art, landscape, material culture, and social, economic, and political institutions). The goal is to achieve a holistic understanding of the ways in which peoples of many varied backgrounds, from the Asian-derived indigenous inhabitants of North America to the various immigrant populations from continental Europe and the British Isles and the enslaved Africans they introduced to the Western hemisphere, came to express their views of the land and their experiences on it and with each other. Primary readings are drawn from recorded Indigenous mythic and historic texts, travel accounts originally written in various European languages (e.g., French, Spanish, Dutch, German, and English), works centered on indigenous-Euro-American contact and conflict, social history documents of literary value, key political documents, and poetry, early fiction and autobiography. Reaction papers on major texts plus a midterm and a reading journal on the final two texts will be required.

2201W: American Literature to 1880

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2201W-01| TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Dolan Gierer, Emily

This course will explore the development of American literature from the earliest Native American creation accounts to the social reform work of late-nineteenth-century writers. We will examine issues of class, race, gender, and religion to better understand the factors that make American literature uniquely “American.” By reading a variety of primary and secondary texts, we will examine how the interactions between different people groups have shaped American history, American identity, and American literature. 

2203W: American Literature Since 1880

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2203W-01| MWF 10:10-11:00 | Weinman, Paula

“…come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.” - Lucille Clifton 

In this course, we’ll interrogate evolving American ideas about what it means to guarantee, believe in, or fight for the pursuit of happiness, examining American literature spanning from the 19th to the 21st century. We’ll look at how we define happiness, and the ways that sociopolitical norms limit or shape the stories we tell about what it means to “make it”—does it mean finding true love? Striking it rich? Getting revenge? Finding yourself? We’ll look at how American writers and artists have examined how these sociopolitical norms have placed limits around who deserves to be happy: how have they rewritten, reclaimed, or rejected dominant notions of happiness? We’ll examine how writers and artists have interrogated American exceptionalism, capitalism, imperialism, settler colonialism, systemic racism, economic inequality, and heteronormativity.  We’ll read widely across genres and mediums, including young adult literature, theatre, literary fiction, genre fiction, poetry, graphic novels, television, and films. Authors might include Nella Larsen, Lucille Clifton, Louise Erdrich, Jenny Han, Tayari Jones, Sui Sin Far, Celeste Ng, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Valeria Luiselli, and Anita Loos. Throughout the semester, students will be asked to research and create their own academic and (if desired) creative work, including (but not limited to) original conference papers. They will also have an opportunity to choose some of their own readings. At the end of the semester, we’ll design and host our own literary mini-conference, where students will have the opportunity to share their work with their peers.

2203W-02| MWF 12:20-1:10 | Weinman, Paula

See description above.

2214: African American Literature

Also offered as: AFRA 2214
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2214-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Salvant, Shawn

This discussion-based course provides a selected survey of key works and authors in African American literature from the era of the transatlantic slave trade to the present.  With so much ground to cover, the readings will be highly selective, often featuring representative texts and authors from each major period.  Students will learn about the literary development of African American literature and the historical and political forces shaping this development.  Primary texts will be supplemented by scholarly secondary readings and current articles.  Lectures are minimal; class discussion will be our main method.  Final grade based on quizzes, discussion question assignments, midterm exam, participation, 1-2 short essays, final exam, and final essay.

2214W: African American Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2214W-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Cutter, Martha

This course will be an investigation of African American literature written from 1845-2020. We will consider several genres of African American writing: early narratives by enslaved people; early fiction by African American writers; poetry written during the Harlem Renaissance; and contemporary novels and memoirs by authors such as Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Brit Bennett.

Readings will likely include Frederick Douglass, Narrative of Life of Frederick Douglass; Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slavery Girl; short stories by Charles W. Chesnutt, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison; novels and memoirs such as Nella Larsen’s Passing, Toni Morrison’s Home, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, Patrisse Khan-Cullors When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, and Brit Bennett’s best-selling novel The Vanishing Half. We will also study poetry by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amanda Gorman, and others, and will end the class with Ava DuVernay’s film 13th.

Requirements will include: a short paper; a longer paper; Husky CT postings and journal entries; and a final project or paper. Your final paper/project can be creative or expository: you can make a video, write poetry, fiction, memoir, or an academic paper; create a survey, a research project, a graphic novel, a blog or vlog, a composition of music, an interview, etc. Class participation is also a required part of your final grade, as class will be centered on discussion of texts by students.

This class is open to students in a variety of majors who have an interest in African American people’s literature, history, and struggles for social justice. The final project is an opportunity for students to bring in expertise from their majors as well as their own interests, skills, learning styles, and creativities. Throughout the semester, their also will be opportunities to respond creatively and informally in writing to the works we study, as well as through traditional academic papers.

2276: American Utopias and Dystopias

Also offered as: AMST 2276
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2276-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Eby, Clare

This course focuses mostly on recent dystopian novels but also includes short selections from The Utopia Reader (second edition, edited by Claeys and Sargeant) to provide some understanding of the long history of the utopian tradition from which modern writers draw.  The 20th and (mostly) 21st-century novels include stories about a young Native American woman’s pregnancy during a time of escalating efforts to control reproduction (Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God); a sole human survivor tormented by memories while surrounded by posthumans (Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake); zombie containment in an America 2.0 where capitalism has run amuck (Colson Whitehead’s Zone One); immersion in social media and pressures to conform after landing the perfect job in Silicon Valley (Dave Eggers’s The Circle); and an “ambiguous utopia” contrasting capitalist and anarchist societies (Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed). The reading runs around 200 pages per week, and additional requirements are based on its timely completion: four one-page position paper, midterm, final, regular quizzes at the start of class, and discussion, both in-person and via online discussion boards.

2301W: Anglophone Literatures

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2301W-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Coundouriotis, Eleni

Anglophone literatures are English language works from Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia. The course will focus on the theme of crossing boundaries whether they are physical boundaries, boundaries of identity, religion, or national affiliation. Although sometimes liberating, the crossing of boundaries often also leads to crisis and added precarity. We will explore the experiences represented in these works but also the literary questions that crossing boundaries provoke. Most of our reading will draw from contemporary works (since 2000) and include fiction as well as drama and poetry. Because this is a W (writing intensive course), you are expected to write regular response papers. In addition, there are two paper assignments that will require revision based on instructor and peer feedback. A key focus of the writing assignments will be an examination of point of view. We will analyze how point of view is handled in our reading and also be self-critical about how we handle point of view in our own writing.

2301W-02 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Hogan, Patrick

The obvious feature that connects Anglophone literatures is the colonial history (partially) shared by their countries of origin. Why would we otherwise link such different nations as Nigeria, India, Canada, and Australia? This course will, therefore, stress colonialism and the ways in which these diverse literatures emerged from colonial conditions. Of course, the diversity of these literatures is as consequential as the similarity. In connection with this, it is important to distinguish various kinds of colonialism. Colonialism in Nigeria is not the same as colonialism in Canada, for example. As this is a literature course, we also need to be aware of the various literary approaches to “emplotting” colonialism, which is to say, creating stories that address the colonial condition. We will begin the semester by considering just what constitutes colonialism (e.g., how we might define “colonialism”). From there we will turn to the chief varieties of colonialism and some of the recurring structures—particularly story genres—taken up by authors in examining colonialism.

After a couple of weeks on these theoretical topics, we will turn to literary works. In the course of the semester, we will consider narratives from different types of colony. For example, we will examine a work from Canada (Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing) and one from Australia (Nugi Garimara’s Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence), works from India (including some poetry and visual art about Kashmir), and works from the very different African colonies of Kenya (Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat) and South Africa (J. M. Coezee’s Waiting for the Barbarians and Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act), as well as a selection of stories from across the continent--Ama Ata Aidoo’s African Love Stories. As the title of Aidoo’s collection suggests, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which authors take up the love story genre to address colonialism, though we will touch on other recurring genres as well.

Coursework will include short responses to readings, one or two group presentations, and general class participation, one 6-page essay explicating part of one of the literary works or rewriting it creatively (in line with themes explored in the course), and one 10-page essay involving cultural or historical research integrated with explication of part of one of the literary works, as well as outlines and drafts of the two essays. (Though the course is primarily in person, a limited number of lectures will be recorded and made available on HuskyCT instead.)

2301W-03 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Hogan, Patrick

Honors

The obvious feature that connects Anglophone literatures is the colonial history (partially) shared by their countries of origin. Why would we otherwise link such different nations as Nigeria, India, Canada, and Australia? This course will, therefore, stress colonialism and the ways in which these diverse literatures emerged from colonial conditions. Of course, the diversity of these literatures is as consequential as the similarity. In connection with this, it is important to distinguish various kinds of colonialism. Colonialism in Nigeria is not the same as colonialism in Canada, for example. As this is a literature course, we also need to be aware of the various literary approaches to “emplotting” colonialism, which is to say, creating stories that address the colonial condition. We will begin the semester by considering just what constitutes colonialism (e.g., how we might define “colonialism”). From there we will turn to the chief varieties of colonialism and some of the recurring structures—particularly story genres—taken up by authors in examining colonialism. In connection with these theoretical topics, we will read and discuss some theoretical work—Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity and perhaps Dane Kennedy’s Decolonization. (This further engagement with theoretical writing is the main difference between the Honors and non-Honors versions of the course.)

After a few weeks on these theoretical topics, we will turn to literary works. In the course of the semester, we will consider narratives from different types of colony. For example, we will examine a work from Canada (Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing) and one from Australia (Nugi Garimara’s Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence), works from India (including some poetry and visual art from Kashmir), and works from the very different African colonies of Kenya (Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat) and South Africa (J. M. Coezee’s Waiting for the Barbarians and Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act), as well as a selection of stories from across the continent--Ama Ata Aidoo’s African Love Stories. As the title of Aidoo’s collection suggests, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which authors take up the love story genre to address colonialism, though we will touch on other recurring genres as well.

Coursework will include short responses to readings, one or two group presentations, and general class participation, one 6-page essay explicating part of one of the literary works or rewriting it creatively (in line with themes explored in the course), and one 10-page essay involving cultural or historical research integrated with explication of part of one of the literary works, as well as outlines and drafts of the two essays. (Though the course is primarily in person, a limited number of lectures will be recorded and made available on HuskyCT instead.)

2401: Poetry

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2401-01 | TuTh 8:00-9:15 | Forbes, Sean

This course is an introduction to poetry in English, designed to familiarize you with a range of poetic forms and modes from the 16th through the 21st centuries. We’ll read, discuss, and write about many different kinds of poems as ways of enjoying their wealth of rhythms, figures, and rhetorical effects. We’ll pay attention to the way poems sound, you’ll hear poems aloud in class, and at visiting writer events. You’ll also memorize and recite poems yourself, since memorization allows you inside a poem in a rather magical way. By the end of the course, you’ll have a good understanding of how content and sound work together in poetry, and you’ll know a selection of important poems and poetic forms.

2401-02 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Cohen, Bruce

This course will focus on the close reading and analysis of verse to expand your appreciation of the traditions of poetry. We will explore poetic techniques, forms and strategies and learn to critically analyze poetry. In essence, we will delve into what makes a poem a “poem.” We will discuss some of the various “schools” of poetry to provide you with some historical context for the sensibilities and conventions of poetry. The goal of the course is to expand your interest in poetry to the point that you will read it outside of class, well after the course has concluded and be able to discuss poetry in an intelligent manner. Course requirements include class participation, written essays and a final exam.

2401-03 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Choffel, Julie

This course will offer a survey of poetry in English across traditions. We will study conventions of poetic forms and genres, and how poets have taken up, altered, or abandoned them. We will find out, from the poems themselves, how to read them and what on earth they are for. Classes will consist of close readings, discussion, and class presentations. Students should expect to keep up with regular reading responses and a longer essay, participate in collaborative research, and lead conversations about poems. 

2401-04 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Cohen, Bruce

See description above.

2405: Drama

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2405-01 | MWF 11:15-12:05 | Cordon, Joanne

Theatrical Critics and their Discontents

When Jeremy Collier started a war of rhetoric at the very end of the seventeenth century, he joined a long line of pundits, critics, philosophers, aficionados, and trash talkers who react passionately to drama. His title, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage; sounds more fun than it is. Despite a woo-hoo to the immoral and the profane, his argument comes down hard on the side of poetic justice, noting that the business of plays is to recommend virtue and discountenance vice.” With a diverse theatrical tool kit, we will sample a broad variety of plays from the ancient Greeks to the present. Requirements include engaged class participation, in-class scenic readings/performance/critiques, and a longer project. 

2407: The Short Story

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2407-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Mathews, Rebecca

This course introduces the ever-popular genre of the short story through a critical reading and a detailed analysis of an extensive selection of short stories from different parts of the globe and from various periods in literary history. This study encourages an exploration of a set of wide-ranging themes and techniques employed by numerous writers. It also attempts to promote an in-depth examination, interpretation and understanding of human nature. This study also evaluates the stories through the lenses of literary theory and critical interpretations.

2407-02 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Sanchez, Lisa

This course surveys and analyzes the short story as art and artifact. Students will study the history and elements of the short story genre; master the keywords involved in literary analysis of the genre; and learn how to write analytically about the short story.

TEXTS

The Art of the Short Story, eds. Gioia and Gwynn (Pearson/Longman: 2006) and The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, ed. González Echevarría (Oxford: 1997)

2407-03 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Grossman, Leigh

The years from the 1930s through the 1970s were sort of a golden age for commercial short story writers. With a wide range of popular magazines and less competition from television, long-form novels, and the nonexistent internet (though more from movies), you could make a living as a commercial short story writer, and many did. Much of that writing was done, not in glossy literary magazines, but in popular genre magazines ranging from “pulps” to rack-sized digest magazines.  

This class will look at some of the best short story writing in genre magazines from the 1930s to today, with a focus on the relationship between the writer and the audience, and the technical side of short story writing. We’ll look less at larger themes than on specific writing techniques and the ways stories achieve particular literary effects, evoke particular emotional responses, and solve particular narrative problems. Each class we will look at one or two stories in context, focusing on what the writer intended to achieve with the story and how they would be read by contemporary audiences.

2409: The Modern Novel

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2409-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Breen, Margaret

This is an exciting reading-intensive course. We will be reading a selection of significant novels of the last 125 years from a range of cultural contexts—novels important for both the stories they tell (stories regarding alienation, resilience, resistance, violence, memory, and forgetting) and the ways in which those stories are told (ways regarding narrative technique, point of view, plot construction, metaphor, and so on). In short, this is a course on the modern novel, where “modern” refers to both the new kinds of stories these texts recount and the innovative formal means that facilitate and create that recounting.  

Texts: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) (978-155111360), Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925) either Harcourt Broadview ISBN: 9781551117232 / 1551117231, Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury 2011), Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone (New Directions 2017 [2015]), Jordy Rosenberg’s Confessions of the Fox (Random House 2018), and Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Random House 2019) 

Likely assignments: a short, 75-minute essay exam; a 5-6 essay or creative project; a final 6-8 page essay or creative project. 

2411: Popular Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2411-01 | Online | Cormier, Emily

Popular Literature has always included books that attract a young audience, and often books written about the teenage years are popular with adult audiences, too. In this class we will read award-winning Popular Literature that is focused on adolescence, concentrating our discussion on the convergence of ideas found in dystopian fiction, graphic novels, and realistic novels. By reading different sub-genres, we aim to see whether these divergent forms address similar anxieties about coming-of-age in America or if the form is more directly related to content. This course begins with a close look at three adolescent dystopian novels: The Giver, Feed, and The Marrow Thieves. In these novels our protagonists are trapped in worlds where they are constantly surveilled by forces that exert control, eliminate choice, and seem insurmountable. After reading these novels we will discuss how to use them as foundational texts for our analysis of other types of popular literature that center the adolescent experience: Fun Home, American Born Chinese, This One Summer (all word and image books), then Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and The Hate U Give, two novels in traditional form. Currently this is an asynchronous, online-only course. Assessment include quizzes, exams, discussion boards, papers, and a multimodal final project.

2411-02 | Online | Cormier, Emily

See description above.

2411-03 | Online | Cormier, Emily

See description above.

2413: The Graphic Novel

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. Not open to students who have passed ENGL 3621 when taught as "The Graphic Novel."

2413-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Litman, Ellen

This course explores graphic narratives – novels, memoirs, works of journalism, and more. We will consider the genre’s history and its incredible rise in popularity. We will analyze the ways images and text can work together to convey meaning and tell stories. We will learn the vocabulary of the graphic storytelling and acquire critical skills necessary to read and understand this medium. Together we will study several classic texts of the graphic novel genre as well as some emerging classics and discuss how these works address historical and contemporary social issues. We will engage with the genre and the specific works, by trying our own hand at graphic storytelling through a variety of exercises. (Some of you might even attempt to create your own graphic novella.) Our readings will include works by writers and artists such as Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel, Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore, Chris Ware, and Noelle Stevenson. We will also read selections from graphic narrative theory and comics history, beginning with Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Why Comics? By Hillary Chute. The assignments will likely include weekly discussions, creative exercises, 2 or 3 short papers, and the final long paper or creative project.

2600: Introduction to Literary Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800; open to English majors, others with instructor consent.

2600-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Knapp, Kathy

This course introduces you to the field of literary studies and its central questions and methodologies. That’s a tall order: no single course can provide an overview of literary history, a guide to prosody and  poetics, and a full sense of the spectrum of literary theory. This course will, however, give you a sense not only of how literary scholars approach texts, but why. We will engage a variety of different theoretical and analytical approaches and apply these to recent essays, novels, and films, focusing on what is involved in composing a literary critique and engaging with other literary scholars, and, it must be said, the larger world. This course is meant to launch you on your way by providing key terms and a skeletal framework to help you commence doing the things that English majors do: we will read critically, write critically, and think critically about the texts before us, recognizing that the more we practice these interrelated skills and develop an ever deeper contextual pool, the more difficult and gratifying the work becomes. Further, I’ve organized our reading and writing around a single keyword: value. I won’t presume to know why you’ve chosen to major in English, but I will assert that the discipline invites us to discern what, and who, we value as individuals and as a culture. My hope is that our classroom community emerges from our time together over the semester with a provisional sense of narrative’s power not merely to reflect and critique our world, but to shape it.

2600-02 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Knapp, Kathy

See description above.

2603: Literary Approaches to the Bible

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2603-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Dolan Gierer, Emily

The goal of this course is to understand the Bible as literary narrative chronicling the history, hopes, and heartaches of the people of Israel in their relationship to God. We will explore the various literary genres of the Bible, examine the complex characterizations of both God and humans, wrestle with thematic ambiguities around gender, national identity, violence, suffering, and sacrifice, while also developing a better understanding of the narrative conventions of ancient Hebrew writers.

2605W: Capitalism, Literature, and Culture

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2605W-01 | TuTh 8:00-9:15 | Phillips, Jerry

2607: Literature and Science

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2607-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Madden, Greg

2609: Fascism and its Opponents

Also offered as: CLCS 2609
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. Not open for credit to students who have passed AMST/ENGL 3265W when offered as "Fascism and Antifascism in the US."

2609-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Vials, Christopher

2635E: Literature and the Environment

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2635E-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Menrisky, Alexander

This course provides an introduction to human relationships with environment through the lens of literature. “Environment” in this course will mean both nonhuman nature and environments built by humans, and we will read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, and other media (mostly from the United States) to consider how concepts like “nature” and “environment” have meant different things at different times. We will do so specifically by studying how ideas about “nature,” race, and gender have influenced each other in an American context, from the early nineteenth century to the present. Accordingly, we will have two major objectives throughout the semester: (1) to understand the diversity of ways writers conceive of "environment," and (2) to think through the relationship between literary form/genre and environment—in other words, why a writer might favor a certain form/genre to communicate about environment and environmental problems and how those forms/genres shape readers’ perceptions of environment. Even though we can’t possibly touch on all of them, we’ll survey a wide range of genres, including nature writing, ecopoetry, and “cli-fi." Texts will include works by such authors as Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Simon Ortiz, bell hooks, Tommy Pico, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Margaret Atwood, as well as films such as Princes Mononoke and even video games.

2701: Creative Writing I

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. May not be taken out of sequence after passing ENGL 3701, 3703, or 3713.

2701-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Choffel, Julie

This course provides an introduction to the writer’s workshop in poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. We will approach creative writing as an experimental and often collaborative process. In this class you will be required to read and write daily through new styles and forms; to take unexpected turns and risks in your own writing, to destroy and reconstruct through creative revision, and above all, to contribute to conversations about the results. We will talk and write about what we read and what we write and what happens next. Immersed in this practice, you will create your own works of short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and revise your strongest works for a final portfolio. Additional class requirements include regular attendance, timely completion of assignments, and keeping a writer’s journal.

2701-02 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Cohen, Bruce

This introductory class to creative writing will provide instruction to the craft, techniques and esthetics of writing poetry and creative nonfiction. Students will also focus on critical analysis of other students’ work and develop a “community” language for discussing literature; therefore, class participation will be essential. Students will be required to compose polished poems and creative nonfiction essays. Students will learn to become acquainted with the “workshop” format and be required to read contemporary poetry and non-fiction with the end result being to better understand and deepen their appreciation of the practice of creative writing.

2701-03 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Forbes, Sean

Honors

Finding Your Artistic Voice Through Creative Writing Prompts

In this introduction to creative writing class we will examine the different approaches that a writer can take when trying to establish a speaker in a poem or short story. We will look at exemplary works of poetry and fiction from writers like David Dominguez, Allison Joseph, Richard Blanco, and Justin Torres . Students will produce a final portfolio of their original work. Class participation is an essential component to this largely workshop-based course along with weekly writing prompts such as writing in iambic pentameter and challenging prose sketches.

2701-04 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Brush, Julia
In this introductory course we will delve into poetry and performance pieces through experimentation and practice in new and familiar forms. Our tasks include creating a vibrant writing community and valuing critique as a reflective mode for our writing. Our workshop will take on a studio approach where class time will be devoted to reading, writing, and engaging with creative texts and one another. With this approach, we will focus on critique as a meaningful interpersonal engagement rather than a corrective exercise. Our weekly work centers on composing, revising, critiquing, and cultivating a personal writing practice that culminates in the creation of a final project. Through this studio-workshop, writers are encouraged to seek out the kind of forms that will best serve their personal projects and their writing goals. The final project might be a collection of writing experiments, a performance, an adaptation, or creation of a hybrid project.

 
In addition to weekly writing workshops, we will read the work of contemporary writers and artists whose work celebrates experimentation and performance. Possible poets include Diana Khoi Nguyen, Joshua Whitehead, Franny Choi, Claudia Rankine, Jericho Brown, Tyehemba Jess and others. Potential performance writers and artists include David Henry Hwang, Barry Jenkins, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, and more. Our work will take a multimedia approach as we look at stage plays, video-poems, screenplays and film texts, visual art, and other kinds of work to inspire our creative processes. We will also explore our latent inspirations around campus, including trips to the Benton, Dodd Center, Babbidge Library, the Contemporary Art Museum as well as screenings and live performances.
 
This course is open to anyone looking for an opportunity to embrace their creativity and experiment with their craft in a supportive environment.

2701-05 | Tu 5:00-7:30 | Pelizzon, V. Penelope

This class, an intensive workshop in poetry and narrative prose, is a playful, challenging, and supportive space for you to experiment with writing techniques that may be new to you. Over the semester you’ll be writing every week, composing poems and prose for which you’ll receive ample feedback from your fellow writers and from me. You’ll also be reading voraciously, delving into works by a variety of authors. We’ll talk about these works via discussion board and in class, figuring out what makes them effective and thinking about how we can use some of the same literary techniques to expand our own writing. In our workshops, you’ll gain confidence in sharing your work for critique. You’ll also develop your skills in giving considerate yet rigorous feedback to classmates on their writing. The six individual projects you’ll write will culminate in a final portfolio of revised work.  By the end of the semester, you’ll have gained a strong foundation in poetic and narrative prose techniques. You’ll also, I hope, have an intensified pleasure in reading many types of poetry and prose, and a sense of how crafting your own writing can be a life-changing way of exploring the deepest human experiences. 

3000-Level Courses

3003W: Topics in Writing Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3003W-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Menrisky, Alexander

Writing about Climate

Climate change is a notoriously difficult thing to communicate. It’s a system, not an object: a complex web of causes and effects spread out over space and time. How can one even begin to represent something so massive—and that often requires technical scientific understanding—to a non-specialist audience in a way that is accurate, persuasive, and ethical? Questions like this one have recently become a major topic of debate among writers, environmentalists, and scientists as the ability to communicate climate change clearly and effectively becomes increasingly important in the face of ever-more-frequent weather anomalies, yet also continued skepticism toward climate data (which has stemmed in large part from the challenges of representing climate to begin with). In this course we will familiarize ourselves with debates surrounding climate writing, understand the challenges inherent to representing global systems, read across literary and nonliterary genres for examples of rhetorical strategies designed to overcome these challenges, and put into practice what we learn about communicating climate change effectively in both traditional and multimodal writing formats. Given that this is a writing-intensive course, we will practice rhetorical strategies for writing about climate in a variety of modes: personal narrative, ethnography, “translation” of scientific documents for a non-specialist audience, visual composition, and more. You might even learn a few new technologies to compose with (Tiki-Toki, Google Maps, Wix, etc.). Our texts will comprise both short- and long-form examples of climate writing, such as Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction, as well as scholarship on the difficult relationship among writing, rhetoric, and climate. Class meetings will proceed in a discussion- and workshop-based seminar format, rather than lectures. All written work in the course connects and builds to three major projects and a final portfolio cover letter.

3010W: Advanced Composition for Prospective Teachers

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3010W-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Courtmanche, Jason

Advanced Composition for Prospective Teachers is a course designed primarily for Secondary English Education majors, dual degree students in English and Education, and English majors considering teaching as a career. We will study current theories of composition with a comprehensive approach to literacy that includes reading.

Students will be required to translate theory into practice. You will inspect and write about your own literacy, respond to current research (and to one another’s ideas about current research), and work with local high school students to truly get a sense of whether or not your ideas (and those of the theorists) hold water.

Expect a lot of class participation, a lot of reading, and a lot of writing and revision. You each will each compose four essays of 1200-1500 words and weekly response papers (1 page/300 words) to the assigned readings, as well as a final reflection. We will read four major texts, excerpts from three others, as well as several articles, and two novels along with sophomores from EO Smith.

You will receive one final, holistic course grade based on your growth as a writer, the quality of your essays, and your effort, participation, and attendance in all course activities.

Course texts are likely Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher's 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents, Maja Wilson's Reimagining Writing Assessment, Felica Rose Chavez's The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop, and Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Sarigiandes' Letting Go of Literary Whiteness.

3012: Books and Book Publishing

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800; open to juniors or higher. Cannot be taken for credit after passing ENGL 3011.

3012-01 | TuTh 5:00-6:15 | Grossman, Leigh

Where do books come from? This advanced publishing course delves into how book publishing works, and all of the steps a manuscript goes through in becoming a book or ebook—and why some books sell to mainstream publishers while others don't. The course also touches on the skills necessary to break into and to be successful in the publishing field, whether as a line editor, production editor, writer, agent, publicist, or other creative position. A number of publishing professionals will be on hand as guest lecturers on specific topics, and to answer questions. 

3091: Writing Internship

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3091-01 | Arr. | Fairbanks, Ruth 

3122: Irish Literature in English since 1939

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3122-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Kervick, Mollie

This course aims to introduce students to a broad contemporary range of what is termed Anglo-Irish literature--that is, Irish literature written in English since 1939. Our survey this semester will run from mid-twentieth-century to the present day, with a strong emphasis on recent writing. With particular focus on coming-of-age narratives, students will explore themes and subjects such as colonialism, religion, violence, martyrdom, and exile. Readings will be situated in the context of Irish history, geography, politics, and culture. Writers to be studied include: Edna O’Brien, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Patrick McCabe, Sally Rooney, among others.

3210: Native American Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3210-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Mootz, Kaylee

Shari Huhndorf (Yupik) argues in Going Native (2001) that while non Native students are likely to be completely clueless about Native American history they feel a strong attachment to particular “historical” images of Indians. Huhndorf’s study draws attention to the ways that representations of Native Americans in popular culture (through images, books, film, and television) shapes mainstream understandings of US/Native history, which is then reinforced through public school education and national mythologies (e.g. Columbus, Thanksgiving, Lewis and Clark). The most significant effect of these popular narratives is that in addition to Native histories being ignored and erased, Native peoples are always understood as past and gone.

In this course we will be thinking about the ways that contemporary Native authors, artists, and filmmakers work against these degrading narratives through depictions of their pasts and presents, and we will pay particular attention to the ways that these authors play with and imagine alternate pasts, presents, and futures. We will read 21st century texts in a variety of forms (graphic novels, poetry, short story, fiction, and film) and from several tribal regions (Eastern Woodlands, Southern, Plains, and California) to create a diverse and dynamic picture of contemporary Native literature. 

3212: Asian American Literature

Also offered as: AAAS 3212
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3212-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Kim, Na-Rae

By exploring various artistic productions by Asian Americans, this course seeks to grasp central issues and themes for understanding contemporary Asian America, and furthermore, multicultural America. Asian American literary productions exhibit vibrant re-imagination of American history, nation-state, nationalism, citizenship, identity, and difference. 

This course is not a survey of these works, as Asian Americans are a diverse group of people whose literature reflect multiple backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Instead, our readings and assignments focus on key themes including: racism, stereotypes, gender expectations, migration, representation, and redefining America. Through this course, we consider how even the seemingly most personal relationships expressed in cultural production are rooted in and shaped by historical and social circumstances. 

3215W: Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century African American Literature

Also offered as: AFRA 3215W
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3215W-01 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Williams, Erika

3217: Studies in African American Literature and Culture

Also offered as: AFRA 3217
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3217-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Salvant, Shawn

James Baldwin Now

Why should you read James Baldwin now?  His voice continues to influence political commentary and artistic production today.  In addition to recent studies of Baldwin by Eddie Glaude (Begin Again) and others, Baldwin's work has inspired the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me), Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow), and Jesmyn Ward (The Fire This Time) just to name a few.  Black Lives Matter once designed a syllabus around his work (alongside speeches of Malcolm X).  The recent Baldwin documentary I am Not Your Negro was nominated for an Academy Award, and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins produced an adaptation of Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk.  Why are so many scholars, artists, intellectuals and activists turning to Baldwin now?  This discussion-based course examines the continuing relevance of the thought and work of James Baldwin, one of the most important writers and thinkers of the twentieth century.  Best known for his work produced during the Civil Rights era, Baldwin was a novelist and playwright, literary and cultural critic, and one of the greatest essayists of all time.  Many of the topics that drew Baldwin’s attention remain critical topics of our public discussions: race and racism, economic and social equality, gender and sexual orientation, the social role of the artist, the political role of literary art, as well as alienation, love, and faith.  We will read selected major works by Baldwin and delve into his incredible insights into American race relations in the 1950s and 1960s, but we will also discuss the relevance of his thinking and writing for our own time.  The class features a visit from individuals who knew Baldwin and helped to shape his legacy Students should expect frequent assignments and opportunities for discussion.  Lectures are minimal; discussion will be our main method.  The final grade will be based on assignments, a midterm exam, essays, and class participation. 

3220: Jewish American Literature and Culture

Also offered as: HEJS 3401
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3220-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00| Patt, Avinoam

What makes American Jewish literature American and Jewish? This class will explore the development of a critical genre in American literature through a selection of Jewish American authors whose works have come to shape the fields of Jewish American fiction and of world literature in general.  We will examine several 19th century Jewish American writers, before turning to the great wave of migration from Eastern Europe in the 20th century, the Americanization of Jewish literature following World War II, American Jewish responses to the Holocaust and Israel, and conclude the course with a focus on current trends in American Jewish fiction.

3240E: American Nature Writing

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3240E-01 | Online | Plum, Sydney

Study of writings, from the colonial era to the 21st century, reflecting diverse ways of imagining humanity's relation to the natural environment. We read and respond to essays and poems, supported by study of critical and contextual materials, as well as lectures. Readings traverse American history and landscape, offering several perspectives on human response to nature. Students will create journals to develop an individual sense of landscape and history of their known places. Discussions, reading journal assignments, and examinations are intended to widen the range of understanding and response. Contemporary nature writing engages with environmental issues that may be challenging to encounter, which is one reason to encounter them in a community. This course is presented entirely online, and there are no synchronous meetings. Individual, online meetings may be arranged. Grades are based upon thoughtful participation in discussions, journal submissions, essays, a midterm examination, and a final project.

3265W: American Studies Methods

Also offered as: AMST 3265W
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3265W-01 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Franklin, Wayne

The Revolution Remembered

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the process by which, as the American Revolution (1776-1783) receded in memory in the early nineteenth century (1815-1860), Americans began a complex process of recalling and reimagining it. Surviving veterans, playwrights, novelists, essayists, historians, painters, orators, sculptors, political figures, and others poured forth a large body of work. Although “patriotic” in purpose, such materials were shot through with bitter political disagreements about who had fought the war (militia or continental soldiers? ordinary players or the elite?); who had opposed it and why (many Quakers, some Native Americans, some African Americans, most Loyalists); what the actual conduct of the war had been like; and what the war meant for a nation confronting issues, such as slavery and Indian removal, on which the colonists’ “fight for freedom” conceivably might offer guidance. In this course, we shall consider such issues by examining a great variety of verbal, visual, and other materials, including: pension application narratives by veterans and their widows; memoirs by prominent and ordinary warriors; plays (William Dunlap’s André); fiction (Cooper’s The Spy and Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” and “Sleepy Hollow”); political speeches and commemorative addresses; public celebrations like the newly invigorated “Fourth of July” or the triumphal return of Lafayette in 1824-25; paintings (by John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale, among others); and monuments (such as that erected at Bunker Hill beginning in 1825). Selected secondary readings will also be included. Students will write a major research paper based on online archival research (guided by the instructor). They will also present two in-class reports on their research, one preliminary and one when it is nearing completion.

3301: Celtic and Norse Myth and Legend

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800; open to sophomores or higher.

3301-01 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Biggs, Frederick

Everyone knows Beowulf, but what about the equally great or greater medieval literatures from the societies that surrounded England, the Celts in Ireland and Wales, and the Norse in Scandinavia? The Irish gave us the Táin, the epic account of Cúchulainn’s defense of Ulster. The Welsh, the Mabinogi, with some of the first accounts of Arthur. The Norse, a series of poems about the Germanic gods as well as sagas about Viking heroes. We will also consider the Lais of Marie de France and the History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Papers and Exams. Lectures and discussion.

3420: Children’s Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3420-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Smith, Victoria

In this course, we will explore a range of children’s literature in English, including fairy tales, picture books, realism, historical fiction, poetry, and graphic narrative. Our task will be to think critically about what these texts tell us about children’s literature as a genre; what literature for young readers reveals about how we understand childhood, including questions of representation and diversity; and how these books participate in larger movements in history, culture, and art. Our course material will include important texts in the history of the genre but will focus on more recent examples that help us explore the changing landscape of literature for young readers in relation to matters of diversity of representation, such as Front Desk by Kelly Yang, Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender, and Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. Please note that this is not a course on pedagogical strategy. We may touch on the role of children’s literature in education, but we will not be discussing teaching practices. In addition to engaged and thoughtful class participation, students will complete a series of three research and writing assignments across the semester.

3422: Young Adult Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800; open to juniors or higher.

3422-01 | M 4:40-7:10 | Cormier, Emily

In Young Adult Literature we study both the origins of this genre and the most recent contributions, as well as multiple scholarly articles that offer windows into overarching genre questions (What is YA Lit?) and current scholarly trends (How do contemporary scholars write about YA Lit?). Students also conduct their own research into the scholarship of the book of their choice, create their own arguments, and test out their own voices and perspectives. Together, we read a book from each decade, starting in the 1950s, trying to piece together how audiences, power dynamics, publishing trends, and popular ideologies of adolescence shift over time. We pay special attention to how race, sex, gender, class, and sexuality influence the hierarchies, anxieties, problems, and even the joys of YA texts. Early books include The Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar; later books include The Poet X and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me. In between we will read a selection of books from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early aughts that range from a “forbidden” sex-talk book by Judy Blume to formal poetry by Marilyn Nelson. Along the way, we will ask ourselves serious questions about how and why such divergent books can be all be considered Young Adult Literature. Forms of assessment include midterm exam, final exam, annotated bibliography, online discussion boards, research paper, and class participation.

3503: Shakespeare I

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. May not be taken out of sequence after passing ENGL 3505.

3503-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Proudfoot, Aaron

This course will explore Shakespeare’s principal tragedies, romantic comedies, and other dramatic output through text, performance, and adaptation. Working through 6-7 of Shakespeare’s plays, we will explore the relationship between what is written on the page and what occurs on the stage and screen as those plays are performed and adapted in various historical and cultural contexts. At stake in this inquiry will be questions of popular culture and entertainment, the relationship between the early modern and the modern, and the fluidity of genre across time. An additional focus of this course will be on Shakespeare’s cultural legacy, which we will explore not only through film adaptations of his plays, but also through biofiction and other forms of cultural, corporate, and academic appropriation of the playwright’s authorial and cultural mythos.

Requirements include: in-class reading/viewing responses and quizzes; two short papers (one textual analysis and one film analysis); a midterm exam, and a final project which can take various forms including a final paper, presentation, or creative option to be negotiated with the instructor.

Plays to be read may include: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, King Lear, Richard III, Henry V, and Macbeth.

3507: Milton

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3507-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Semenza, Gregory

Paradise Lost is arguably the most influential, and perhaps the most controversial, poem in the English language. Its author, John Milton, is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented figures in popular culture. Often labeled a “puritan” (a term whose Renaissance meaning is extraordinarily complex) by modern readers who mean to highlight what they perceive as the man’s conservatism, Milton was by seventeenth-century standards a heretical thinker and writer. In fact, we might accurately call him the most radical pre-twentieth-century author in the English literary canon, a man whose radicalism was especially well understood by his contemporaries. Milton was also a great writer, of course. His famous epic poem is a treasure trove of beautiful poetry, mind-bending theological twists and turns, sublime imagery, and one of the most mesmerizing anti-heroes in world literature in the character of Satan. Paradise Lost is a poem that warrants reading and re-reading, and it never ceases to yield new wonders. In this class, we will read Paradise Lost of course, but also enough of Milton’s other poetry and prose to keep the poem in proper perspective. Other primary readings include a selection of the early poetry, ComusAreopagiticaParadise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, as well as a number of modern adaptations and/or analogues of Milton’s work.

3509: Studies in Individual Writers

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3509-01 | Tu 5:00-7:30 | Barreca, Regina

Scholars, Seducers, and Murderesses: The Novels and Poems of Thomas Hardy and Margaret Atwood. 

In this demanding course, we’ll be reading enduring works of fiction and poetry by two of the most powerful and provocative authors writing in English. Trouble-makers both, Victorian Hardy and contemporary Atwood engage their readers with the most fractious and fierce of issues—including but not limited to sex, money, class, education, and sedition. The novels are long-- we’ll be reading them in their entirety--and the class requires serious intellectual commitment. Central works include TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, JUDE THE OBSCURE, CAT’S EYE, THE ROBBER BRIDE, and ALIAS GRACE. Frequent in-class quizzes; take-home midterm and final exams.

3613: Introduction to LGBT Literature

Also offered as: WGSS 3613
Prerequisites: None.

3613-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Breen, Margaret

This course offers an opportunity to discover, read and discuss unknown and landmark LGBTQ+ works of fiction—from long ago and from our own time.  

Likely texts include the following:  

  • Alan Dale: A Marriage Below Zero (1889) (978-1-55111-983-0) Broadview 
  • Aimée Duc’s Are They Women? (1901), which has just become available in English translation and is one of the earliest lesbian novels and one of the very few that published before 1969 offer a happy ending Broadview ISBN: 9781554814800 / 1554814804 
  • Clare Morgan’s [Patricia Highsmith’s] The Price of Salt, whose film adaptation, Carol, was released a few years ago  
  • James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, a beautifully written if heartbreaking novel by a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement  
  • Jeanette Winterson’s 1993 queer novel Written on the Body 
  • Casey Plett’s 2014 short story collection A Safe Girl to Love or her latest, A Dream of a Woman (2021) 
  • Chinelo Okparanta’s award-winning coming-of-age/coming-out novel Under the Udala Trees (2015), set in Nigeria 
  • Kristen Arnett’s Mostly Dead Things (2019) Tin House Books 9781947793835 
  • Brontez Purnell’s Since I Laid My Burden Down (2017), which describes the complexities, complications, and comedy arising from a life lived at the intersections of blackness, maleness, queerness, and Christianity 

    Likely Assignments:

    • A midterm essay or creative project, 5-6 pages 
    • One 75-minute writing assignment  
    • A final essay or creative project, 7-8 pages 

    3633W: The Rhetoric of Political Discourse

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to sophomores or higher. May not be taken for credit after passing ENGL 3623 offered as Rhetoric of Political Discourse.

    3633W-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Phillips, Jerry

    3640: British Film

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

    3640-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Semenza, Gregory

    Honors

    In this course, we will trace the long and colorful history of British film since the invention of the cinema around 1895 until the present day.  One of the original powers of the global film industry—along with the US, Germany, France, and Italy—the British cinema experienced serious decline in the early years of World War I.  Although, according to some (especially British) film historians, it has never fully recovered, the British filmmaking industry has been at the forefront of numerous historical innovations and developments, serving important roles in the rise of documentary film, wartime propaganda film, cinematic realism, and the evolution of the horror film, heritage film, franchise film, and especially film adaptations of literature—to mention only a few key examples.  Through all these changes, the British film industry has always been linked closely to Hollywood, serving not only a training ground for directorial and acting talent (from Charlie Chaplin to Alfred Hitchcock to Ridley Scott to Emma Thompson), but also as an important site and collaborator in an increasingly multinational film industry (from The Bridge on the River Kwai to Star Wars to Harry Potter).

    The course will consider all of these contributions within the context of questions about Britishness itself.  Given the violent forces that forged the British union since the Middle Ages, ideas of Britishness have always had an intensely constructed, political quality which certain powerful interests wished to portray as permanent and consensual.  But from the vantage point of 2021, the artificial nature of this project is much more apparent and seems on the verge of flying apart. The recent Scottish vote for independence was the logical extension of the politics of devolution dating back at least to 1920, when Home Rule in Northern Ireland was implemented and a parliament was established there a year later.  The politics of devolution are at this moment putting “English” identity under extreme pressure—as are changes ushered in by the ongoing reconfiguration of traditional geographical, racial, ethnic, class, and sexual hierarchies.  In this course, we will need to think, therefore, much about ever-changing definitions of what constitutes “British” in order to truly understand the history and culture of British film. 

    Required films will include, but not be limited to, the following: David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945); Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (1947); Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949); Tony Richardson’s A Taste of Honey (1961); Peter Watkins’ The War Game (1966); Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973); Franco Rosso’s Babylon (1980);  Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero (1983); James Ivory’s A Room with a View (1985); Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette (1985); Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting (1996); Steve McQueen’s Hunger (2008); Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (2009); Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block (2011); Sam Mendes’ Skyfall (2012); and Steve McQueen’s Small Axe (2020).

    3695: Special Topics

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

    3695-01 | MW 4:40-5:55 | Distance Learning | Booten, Kyle

    Writing with Algorithms

    How do you program a computer to write a poem? Literary-minded programmers have been providing answers to this question almost as long as there have been computers. This course is an introduction to programming with the popular and versatile computer language Python; it is also a kind of creative writing workshop. The first part of the course will take the form of a series of technical labs introducing Python and exploring ways that it can be used to generate (literary) language. In the second part of the course, participants will share and discuss their own works of computer-generated literature.

    This course is designed for those who have no prior programming experience. For many, programming "poetry bots" can be an engaging way to learn to code. However, this course is also an opportunity to think critically about the relationship between computation and creativity.

    In addition to frequent coding labs and two workshop submissions, there will be a midterm.

    3701: Creative Writing II

    Prerequisites: ENGL 2701; instructor consent required. May be repeated once for credit.

    3701-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Forbes, Sean

    Poetry and Fiction

    This class is an intensive seminar/workshop/tutorial in writing narrative poems and fiction. Our work will focus around questions of voice. What do we mean when we say a poet has a distinctive voice? How does voice relate to the form, subject matter or characters of a story? What can we as writers do to find and develop our own distinctive voices? We’ll read and discuss poems and fiction pieces that use voice in striking ways. A few authors we will read are Alexander Chee, Justin Torres, Anne Carson, and Allison Joseph. You’ll write regularly, producing new poems and works of nonfiction of your own, which we’ll we critique. Be prepared to write and read daily, to offer your work for frequent feedback, and to give your full energy and attention to your peers during the critique process. Graded requirements for the class will include weekly readings and writings, written feedback for your peers, reviews of on-campus author events, and a substantially revised final portfolio of your work.

    3703: Writing Workshop

    Prerequisites: ENGL 2701; instructor consent required. May be repeated once for credit.

    3703-01 | M 5:00-7:30 | Barreca, Regina

    Creative Nonfiction

    This seminar, designed for undergraduate students with an interest in writing their own short creative non-fiction with any eye towards publication, assumes a serious commitment both to reading and writing throughout the semester. 

    Writing: Students will produce seven pieces of writing (between 750-2,000+ words each) and email these to all the other members of the seminar at least three days before the class meets. As a final project, each student will submit to me a portfolio of revised, carefully edited essays. 

    Reading and commentary: Students are responsible for reading and commenting in detail their colleague’s essays (I’ll provide a list of suggested questions) EVERY WEEK; they will email their comments to one another at least one day before the class meets. Deadlines are non-negotiable. 

    This course requires instructor consent. Please email the professor to request a permission number.

    https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-nonfiction/6-essentials-for-writing-flash-fiction-and-nonfiction

    3713: Literary Magazine Editing

    Prerequisites: ENGL 2701; open to sophomores or higher; instructor consent required. Recommended preparation: one 3000-level creative writing workshop. May be repeated once for credit.

    3713-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Litman, Ellen

    Do you want to work on The Long River Review, UConn’s award-winning literary magazine? Each year the Long River Review seeks editors and staff for the following positions: Editor-in-Chief / Managing Editor / Fiction Editor / Nonfiction Editor / Poetry Editor / Translation Editor / Interviews Editor / Blog Editor / Editorial Reading Panels. Students editors all register for English 3713, a practicum in literary journal editing, offered every spring. Class members read widely in contemporary literary magazines, familiarizing themselves with older and newer print and online publications. Readings are combined with research presentations, writings, and hands-on editing work. The class culminates with the public release of its major project, that year’s issue of the Long River Review. English 3713 is by permission only. Students who wish to apply should e-mail a one-page application letter detailing class standing, past English classes, and any other writing or editorial experience to Professor Litman at ellen.litman@uconn.edu in October. Interviews will be arranged in the advising period.

    3715E: Nature Writing Workshop

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to sophomores or higher; instructor consent required. Recommended preparation: ENGL 2701.

    3715E-01 | M 5:00-7:30 | Carnahan, Kerry

    In this workshop we will explore relationships amongst living things and the elements, drawing inspiration from writer, editor, and civil engineer Sangamithra Iyer's essay about water, family, and elephants titled "Governing Bodies," available online at Kenyon Review. Participants eager to explore in their own writing how we can "find truth and compassion to reimagine other ways of being," as Iyer writes, will benefit most. Course goals are adaptable to individual desires. All genres welcome and encouraged in this class. Please email the instructor with a short note about why you want to join.

    4000-Level Courses

    4201W: Advanced Study: American 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.

    4201W-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Eby, Clare

    The Human Costs of Capitalism

    In the United States, business interests reign supreme and largely unquestioned. That's partly because capitalism has been marketed as "free enterprise" (and no one wants to stand against freedom), partly because competition is understood to be a fair and impartial system for delivering consumers the best goods at the cheapest price. But when freedom itself is defined in terms of profit and loss, what happens to less quantifiable, and perhaps more fundamental, types of freedom? Most important, what are the human costs of letting capitalism define American identity? This capstone seminar looks at contemporary literature that engages disturbing economic trends such as income inequality, the expansion of corporate personhood (which extends to corporations many of the rights of citizens), racial capitalism, and the challenges to privacy and democracy itself in the face of what has been called surveillance capitalism.

    Literary readings will probably include the following:  Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake; Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Richard Powers’s Gain; Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies:  A Novel; and Dave Eggers’s The Circle.  To develop a vocabulary for discussing the timely issues raised by these books, we will also read Keywords for American Cultural Studies and other secondary sources. We will also spend time on Citizens United (2010), a much-publicized Supreme Court decision extending the free speech rights of corporate persons, and dive into some readings about racial capitalism.

    Course requirements: one 5-6 page paper, one 10 page research paper, one presentation, and lots of class discussion (both in-class as well as on-line discussion boards).

    4203W: Advanced Study: Ethnic 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.

    4203W-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Sanchez, Lisa

    Apocalyptic Ethnic American Literature

    For some cultural and historical reason, there has been a proliferation of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, film, plastic arts, and music in the past five decades, and in the current moment it is a hugely popular genre. Writers around the world, from Laguna Pueblo lands to Shanxi, have appropriated this genre to explore alternate futures for the planet. Some of it is dismal (dystopian). Some of it is hopeful (utopian). All of it is a prophetic offering to our most creative impulses to change the world for the better before it’s too late or to embrace the “revelation” (which is what an apocalypse is) because the new world order (or galactic in some cases) will be better than the old one.

    This course explores all manner of “apocalyptica”—mainly fiction—by Black, indigenous, and other North American writers of color. Students will read some of the most compelling and popular titles in this genre and develop a research agenda revolving around their unique interests.

    TEXTS

    Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

    Octavia’s Brood Eds. Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha

    The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

    The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

    Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

    4613W: Advanced Study: LGBT 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.

    4613W-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Jones, Briona

    Advanced Study: LGBT Literature will be taught as an interdisciplinary course that centers the intellectual production by Indigenous and Two-Spirit scholars, Black Feminists, Women of Color Feminists, LGBTQIA+ activists, scholars, and artists. This course will provide an examination of the historical, social, cultural, political, and personal developments shaping established and recent discourses about sexuality and gender. The course will also survey literary, disciplinary, and theoretical approaches to the study of LGBTQIA+ literature to develop working descriptions of the multifarious ways different bodies of people understand the practices and politics of sexuality and gender. The course engages various approaches and themes within LGBTQIA+ literature by a range of academic disciplines including: Black queer studies, literary studies, history, critical race theory, feminist theory, trans* studies, and disability studies, to name a few. Our readings, films, and discussions will take us to various global sites such as North America and the Caribbean, and the African Continent. We will engage the work of Audre Lorde, Dionne Brand, Chyrstos, Pat Parker, Alexis De Veaux, James Baldwin, Zanele Muholi, June Jordan, and E. Patrick Johnson, to name a
    few.

    We will also focus on modern paradigms of sexuality and gender as we learn how these categories and orientations are entangled with race, and remain organizing principles of personal, political, cultural, and social life. Our study of LGTQ literature will traverse topics of class, poetics, art, and revolutionary movements. The course requires students to participate in a critical examination of a wide selection of materials ranging from essays, speeches, poetry, history, and films. These comparative approaches will prepare students with an understanding of concepts such as
    colonialism, decolonization, and intersectionality, through meditations on topics of pleasure, eroticism, and protest, as reflected in the literatures and cultural production of Indigenous, African American, Afro-diasporic, Asian, and Latino/a peoples. Thank you for taking my course, I look forward to sharing space and learning from you.

    Requirements include regular class discussion; close reading assignments; presentations; writing workshops; creative projects based on research; an optional 10–12-page research paper.

    4965W: Advanced Studies in Early Literature in English

    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-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Hasenfratz, Bob

    Women Writers of the Middle Ages

    In this advanced study course we will engage deeply with literary and religious texts written by medieval women, with a focus on those writing in English and Anglo-Norman French: Clemence of Barking (active 1163-1200), Marie de France (active 1160-1215), Julian of Norwich (1343-after 1416), Margery Kempe (1373-after 1438), and Margaret Paston (1423-after 1482). We will also read texts by prominent medieval women writers in Latin and other languages: Hrosvitha of Gandersheim, Hildegard of Bingen, Heloise of Paris, Christine de Pizan, and Joan of Arc.  In our first meeting we will select specific texts to focus on, ones which speak to your interests and goals. Writing for the class includes a presentation on an individual writer, a survey of research on a writer that you want to pursue in depth, and a final project. This will not be a lecture course, but one in which we will all contribute to exploring our chosen writers as a lively reading community. Your active participation and contribution is very much encouraged.  In general, 4000- level courses like this one are intended for advanced English majors, but if you’d like to take the course and don’t fit that description, please contact me (hasenfratz@uconn.edu).