Spring 2023 Course Descriptions: Stamford Campus

Spring 2023

General Information:

For guidance about courses, majors, and minors, contact any English faculty member or Professor Roden, Curriculum Coordinator, at frederick.roden@uconn.edu or Inda Watrous, English Undergraduate Advisor, at inda.watrous@uconn.edu.


Helpful Information for Non-Majors

  • 1000-level courses do not count toward the English major but are terrific introductions to literary study and typically serve GenEd Category 1b or 4.
  • If you think you might be interested in an English major, try out a course; if you know you’re set on the major, plan on taking 2600 as early as possible.
  • Non-majors are welcome in advanced courses (including the 3000- and 4000-level); check your preparedness with an instructor before registering if you have questions.  Following completion of the first-year writing requirement, most upper-level courses are open to all students.  If you encounter difficulty in registering, contact the instructor or Prof. Roden.
  • English courses make great “related field” classes for many other majors.  Check with your major advisor for appropriateness of choices.
  • The English minor is highly recommended and easy to accomplish: see https://advising.english.uconn.edu/minoring-in-english/to determine your requirements.
  • The English major makes a terrific second major.  If you’ve not yet declared, see https://advising.english.uconn.edu/plan-of-study-catalog-year-2021-2-2/for requirements.  If you declared on or before May 9, 2021, see  https://advising.english.uconn.edu/plan-of-study-catalog-year-2017/
  • Remember you can complete the English major at the Stamford Campus; there’s no need to branchfer.  Many students enroll in pre-professional grad programs (for example, in education) immediately following their degree.

Reach out to an English faculty member or advisor to learn about what you can do with an English major or minor.  We and the Center for Career Development can help you brainstorm, point you toward internships, and introduce you to alumni working in a range of different fields

Helpful Information for Stamford English Majors and Minors

  • Engl 2600 (Major Requirement A or “Methods for the Major”) is offered annually in the Fall semester.
  • A single-author course (Major Requirement D, Plan of Study 2017-2020) is offered annually or every third semester.
  • An “Advanced Study” course (Major Requirement E, Plan of Study 2017-2020) is typically offered every third semester.  It will be offered at Stamford in Spring 2023.  
  • We offer at least one pre-1800 course each semester (Engl 2200 in Spring 2023). All plans of study require two classes categorized either as pre-1800 or “Early Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic History.”  Check with your advisor or the coordinator if you have questions.
  • We regularly offer courses in the “Antiracism, Globality, and Embodiment” category (2021-2022 plan of study): this term, Engl 2301W (Group 1).
  • We offer a variety of survey and methods courses each semester for Catalog Years 2017-2020.  This term Major Requirement B2=Engl 2200; B3=Engl 2301W; Major Requirement C= Engl 2401.
  • Catalog years 2017-2020 allow for 9 elective credits; Catalog years 2021/2022 allow for 12.  Courses that meet a requirement you have already satisfied can count for elective credit.


The Stamford Campus offers courses towards a number of different “tracks” within the 2021 English major plan of study.  Term offerings are as noted below.

  • Creative Writing: Engl 2401, Engl 2701, Engl 3013W, Engl 3701,
  • Cultural Studies/Media Studies: Engl 2411, Engl 2413W
  • Literature, Antiracism, and Social Justice: Engl 2301W, Engl 3613
  • Literary Histories and Legacies: Engl 2200
  • Writing and Composition Studies: Engl 3013W
  • English Teaching: Engl 2401, Engl 2411, Engl 2413W, Engl 3701 (by approval of Coordinator of Teaching Concentration)


1000-Level Courses

1103: Renaissance and Modern Western Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1103-01 | M 3:35-6:05 | Roden, Frederick

What is the “modern”?  Do we date that period to the “Renaissance” (literally the re-birth, of ancient “classical” learning), now called the “Early Modern period,” to the “renaissance of the twelfth century,” or to Modernity in art, music, and literature (the dawn of the 20th century)?  In this course on literary history organized chronologically, we will examine representative texts of western literature (European and American, and their diasporas) to pose this question in doing the work of cultural studies.  What constructed the “modern” world, and modern sensibilities/subjectivities of the individual?  We will pay close attention to identities: gender, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, ableness and otherness, to name a few.  Even as we read “canonical” writers at the center of western civilization, we will also interrogate margins.

Class time will focus on group discussion of the material studied for the given day.  Each meeting will begin with a timed quiz that you will submit by the instructor's deadline to “warm up.”  You will develop two formal papers plus a brief response essay to an art, music, or drama field trip (substitution possible as necessary).  You will write an in-class, cumulative final essay exam that will allow open-book and notebook access.  We will read from an anthology of literature as our primary source.  You must obtain a hard copy of the required course text in the given edition and have it available for reference during class time for page consultation, to follow discussion, and to maintain class participation.  Any Center for Students with Disabilities accommodations must be documented and will impact course requirements accordingly.


Engl 1103 counts for General Education requirement 1-B (Literature).  This course is open to students who have completed first-year writing (1007, 1010, or 1011).  It presumes no prior experience in literary history or criticism.

1103-01 | M 3:35-6:05 | Roden, Frederick


The Honors section of this course will meet simultaneously with the standard version, whose description is above.  In addition, Honors students will take part in six seminar meetings (one hour each) with the instructor at a mutually convenient time, to be determined.  Honors students will read additional works of history and criticism and will deliver presentations on them in the seminar.  Essays developed from this material may substitute for regular course papers.   


1616W: Major Works of English and American Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1616W-01 | W 6:20-8:50 | Distance Learning | Cramer, Patricia

As a "W" course, you will write 15 pages of revised prose; writing assignments will include journal/response papers as well as formal essays. Instruction on voice, organization, style and punctuation is integral to the course.

“There is only one course open: escape”

J.M. Coetzee (1940-  )

Then I buckled up my shoes,

And I started.

James Baldwin, “The Threshing Floor”

            Go Tell It on the Mountain

"I who long for marble columns and pools on the other side of the world where the swallow dips her wings. . . . An immense pressure is on me. I cannot move without dislodging the weight of centuries."

Rhoda in Virginia Woolf's The Waves

"The free man never thinks of escape."

Jeanette Winterson, Weight

Our course readings focus on the theme of "escape" or the journey of no return home. In each novel or autobiography, a main character's "quest" for safety, for a fuller life, for truth, requires some form of irrevocable rift from their past.

We will read:

(Unit 1) Jeanette Winterson's contemporary revision of the Hercules-Atlas myth in Weight (2005) as escape from dominant gendered life plots (here, Greek heroic quest narratives); Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) against the backdrop of Romantic Love as literary tradition and lived experience; how to escape a marriage destroyed by alcoholism and domestic violence

(Unit 2) Virginia Woolf's "Sketch of the Past" on memoir as "scripto-therapy" (writing as escape from the grip of past trauma); Woolf's "A Society" and "Slater's Pins Have No Points" on escape into a better future through education and imagination, respectively; and Percy Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" as flights of imagination as escape from present nullities or atrocities; David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" against the backdrop of civil disobedience as non-violent escape from political injustice; Andre Aciman on the theme of forced exile (the immigrant experience)

(Unit 3) Charles Blow's Fire Shut Up in My Bones (2014) and Jung Chang's Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991) against the backdrop of personal and generational trauma; escape from political tyranny/war zones


Jeanette Winterson's Weight (2005)

Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall  (1848)

David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience (1849)

Charles Blow's Fire Shut Up in My Bones (2014)

Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China  (1991)


2000-Level Courses

2200: Literature and Culture of North America before 1800

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

2200-o1 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Pierrot, Gregory

This course will focus on texts produced in and about North America --histories, autobiographies, poems, plays, and novels--in the period between initial European incursions and the first decade of the United States. While much of the course will focus on English-language material related principally to the English colonies of North America, we will also read material from and about Spanish, French and Dutch colonies in the same space, but also in the Caribbean. Matters of colonization; religious and political thought; growing regional and national identities; race and gender, and slavery in the region are simultaneously global and local, national and international. We will develop a sense and a picture of the roots of the cultures and literatures of North America.   

We will be reading a variety of authors and genres (poetry, lyrics, sermons, drama, fiction) from the first two volumes of the Norton Anthology, including full works such as a novel and/or a play, covering a time period between the late 15th century to 1800. Course assignments are a mix of short writing assignments designed to help students practice the parts of the essay, and essays bearing on the readings. Classes will feature a mix of discussion and lecture, with me providing background information on the texts at hand and general lines of analysis, while students are expected to share ideas and study said texts ahead of time. The goal is to introduce and/or improve skills in literary analysis. The course is open to anyone who has taken 1001 or 1007 before, is usually attended by a majority of non-majors.

2301W: Anglophone Literatures

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2301W-01 | Sa 10-12:40 | Moeckel-Rieke, Hannelore 

2401: Poetry

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2401-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Brown, Pamela

This powerful, distinctive force breathes all around us in songs, speeches, plays, prayers, legends, and moments of passion. We use it to mark, celebrate or mourn crucial events in our lives and to argue with and change the world. This course will help you become a better reader and listener of poetry by introducing you to some major forms and writers while paying attention to poetry that falls outside the canon. To catch the sound of poetry and sense the craft of writing, we'll listen to readings and listen to poets on poetry. The trick is to find poetry that works on and in you, because everyone feels and reads poetry differently.  

Weekly tasks: Keep up with readings, audio files, and poetry films I assign, and take good notes. I may read aloud or make copies of your writing for the class, so be ready to share what you write.  

Requirements: You must have the following books in hand and bring them to class.   

       Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: an Anthology of Poetry by African-Americans since 1945, ed. Harper and  Walton 

               Native American Songs and Poems, ed. Brian Swann (Dover Thrift) 

               Blake’s Selected Poems, ed. D. Erdman (Dover Thrift) 

              The Classic Tradition of Haiku, ed. Faubion Bowers (Dover Thrift) 

      Packet with poems by contemporary poets, chosen by students 

Midterm (10%) Final (15%) 

Active Participation (15%).  Includes reading aloud, contributing to discussion, and bringing in poetry by other writers, you’d like to share with the class.   

Written work (50%). Frequent responses and worksheets.  Save everything in a dossier (pocket folder), which you’ll hand in during the last week of class. 

Creative project and presentation (10%): choose from making a short film, a piece of music, or an artwork related to a poem, with requirements to be explained in class.   

2411: Popular Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. 

2411-01 | Th 6:30 - 9:oo pm |Distance Learning | Cramer, Morgne

This course is shaped around the notion of "popular" as "intended for or suited to the understanding or taste of ordinary people"; "liked or admired by many people, or by a particular person or group" (OED). We will read poetry, drama/film, literary manifestos, novels, and short stories that target "common readers," yet have simultaneously achieved prestigious literary awards or acclaim. Many, but not all of our works, likely because of their popular appeal, have been adapted to films, some of which you will be assigned to view as accompaniment to the readings. Literary theory will come from the authors themselves as online interviews and/or in standpoint prose.

Your own writing will be a series of response papers culminating in a final prose piece based on the "familiar" or "informal" essay. A familiar essay is a short prose composition characterized by the personal quality of the writing and the distinctive voice or persona of the essayist. One course unit will, in fact, focus on short "familiar" essays by, e.g., Andre Aciman, Charles Lamb, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Baldwin, Irena Klepfisz, Judy Grahn.

Required texts:

Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

Judy Grahn, The Work of a Common Woman (1964-1977)

Langston Hughes, Not Without Laughter (1930)

Charles Blow, Fire Shut Up in My Bones (2014)

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys (2019)

Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language (1974-1977)


2413W: 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."

2413W-01 | TuTh 8:00-9:15 | Pierrot, Gregory

Memory, History and the Graphic Novel

From its roots in ancestral art, hieroglyphics, friezes and tapestries to modern-day graphic novels, storytelling in images has long been focused on the recording of events, private and collective. This course will look at a variety of comics and graphic novels exploring stories at the confluence of memory and history: looking at first-person, individual trajectories in the turmoil of world events, and how the medium Scott McCloud defines as "juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence" makes for unique and specific approaches to the portrayal and understanding of history. Does history look different in pictures? Does subjectivity? We will try to answer these questions and many more, mastering critical tools of graphic art analysis as we explore the works of Kate Beaton, Art Spiegelmann, Kyle Walker, to name but a few. 

 Here is the list of texts from the last time the course was taught—it will be slightly different this time around:

-Kyle Baker, Nat Turner 0810972271 

-Jonathan Fetter-Volm, Ari Kelman, Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War 9780809094745 

-Art Spiegelman, Maus 0679406417 

-John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, March trilogy 1603093958 

-GB Tran, Vietnamerica 9780345508720 

-Khalil, Pratap Chatterjee, Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare and Mass Surveillance 1627793550

Assignments will include discussion questions about readings to post on HuskyCT; two 4-5pp reading responses; one final essay, and writing exercises, as well as activities bearing on the graphic novel as genre and art (storyboarding, drawing, etc.). In class, we will discuss the particulars of the graphic novel form, discuss and analyze readings with an eye for writing about them. I will also lecture as necessary on the texts themselves and the historical events they refer to. The course is open to, and has previously attracted, a majority of non-majors. It involves writing literary analysis but is accessible to non-majors aware of the expectations of the course.

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 | W 3:35-6:05 | Newell, Mary

            This course will introduce you to the basics of creative expression in poetry and creative nonfiction. Class time will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, free writing, and workshopping your writing in groups. We will read and discuss examples of skilled writing in these genres as inspiration for our own writing. In poetry, we will explore how traditional forms such as the sonnet find a place in contemporary writing alongside newer forms, such as the golden shovel. We will discover how poems take shape through the writer’s choice of prosody elements such as theme, diction (imagery, assonance, alliteration, etc.), meter, rhyme, and tone. The techniques of creative nonfiction will help writers connect with readers while expressing, and probably deepening, their knowledge about their chosen topics. After mid-semester, students may choose a deeper immersion in one or the other of these genres for the final assignments.  

            In addition to learning methods of generating new poems and creative essays, you will learn approaches for evaluating your drafts. The end product will be a portfolio of writing that begins to express your unique voice and interests. The prompts, feedback, and exchanges can stimulate your creativity and inspire you to keep improving as a writer.  


Mark Strand and Eavan Boland The Making of a Poem   ISBN 978-0-393-32178-4  


Other required readings will be from online sources or handouts posted on HuskyCt.

3000-Level Courses

3013W: Media Publishing

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

3013W-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Brown, Pamela

Why are most blogs forgettable? Few are written in a stylish and compelling way full of distinctive personality, relying instead on visuals and flashy media.  In this course you will focus on writing on a variety of topics, not design. You will check out free blogging platforms and use one to create your own free website, and then post your best entries. To discover fresh new ways of connecting with readers, you will respond to prompts asking for fresh angles on politics, media, music, movies, food, books, local events, family histories, and other topics.  By writing frequently, listening to readers' reactions, and learning to revise effectively you will gain a more lively, distinctive style.  

What to expect: 

A workshop-based course that provides a sounding board for your story ideas; you’ll also seek out writers you admire. 

Your blog will be non-commercial. You won't be designing or writing for sales or business.     

Each week you'll write a new post and revise a previous one, developing your creative and journalistic writing skills.  

My grading system and feedback will guide you on generating stories and revising. 

You'll serve as a reader for others; learn how to edit your posts; and help others improve.  

By the end you will have 14 finished posts and pick 10 to publish on your new blog. 



3613: LGBTQ+ Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3613-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Gorkemli, Serkan

In this course, we will read novels about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) experiences. Class discussions and assignments will focus on the elements of fiction and pre-Stonewall and contemporary representations in coming-of-age and coming-out texts. In addition, we will learn about LGBTQ+ history and the theories of gender and sexuality. This knowledge will help us locate literary texts in their cultural and historical contexts. In this manner, we will view literary works as authors’ creative intervention in society and politics concerning LGBTQ+ identities. This approach to texts will also highlight other identity categories, such as race, ethnicity, class, and religious affiliation. Students will write textual analyses about the texts assigned. Any student who has taken English 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011 is welcome to take the course. For any further questions, email serkan.gorkemli@uconn.edu

    3701: Creative Writing II

    Prerequisites: ENGL 2701; instructor consent required.

    3701-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Gorkemli, Serkan

    Short Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

    This writing workshop focuses on prose (short fiction and creative nonfiction). It is designed for students who have taken English 2701: Creative Writing I and have a serious and committed interest in writing and discussing prose.  

    Course activities and assignments: 

    -Read about aspects of craft, analyze sample prose by various writers, and dissect the differences between fiction and nonfiction.  

    -Produce original work, share it with the class, and actively participate in the writing workshop. 

    -Research writers and contemplate what being a writer entails. 

    The enrollment in this course is by instructor permission only. If interested in taking the course, email serkan.gorkemli@uconn.edu with your student ID#. 

    4000-Level Courses

    4600W: Advanced Study: Seminars in 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.

    4600W | Tu 5:30-8:00 | Roden, Frederick 

    Memory, Narrative, Identity

    Wordsworth, arguably the most important modern poet in English, defined the making of literature as “emotion recollected in tranquility.”  Memory has always been associated with composition: from the ancients to medieval writers who constructed palaces in the mind to retrace their cognitive steps.  St. Augustine, in his 5th-century CE Confessions (perhaps the first real “memoir” in the West) devotes an entire chapter to the subject of memory.  Queen Victoria kept two books by her bed: the Bible and Tennyson’s In Memoriam, a collection of over 100 poems commemorating, memorializing, and deploying the death of a friend in the poet’s own intellectual, spiritual, and artistic evolution.  More recently, memory writing has been understood through lenses of trauma, loss, displacement, migration -- and integration.  Memoirs may be narratives of survival from individual or collective “primal scenes,” internal or external.  They may profess some interior truth, as in the literature of public coming-out of a private identity that has been discovered.  Collective memory can be described through deep Jungian, mythological archetypes or exhortatory imperatives to “never forget.”  In many cultures, a sense of belonging is defined by remembering: a commandment to tell the story, to relive the narrative as an individual and thus as a people.  Recent advances in neuroscience and genetics explore the relationship between cognition and memory, but they also query a biological basis for the transmission of some aspect of past-generation experience into the future (epigenetics).

    Memory is therefore central to literature in its making and enactment through reading and living narrative and poetics.  We remember, but we also choose to remember.  This seminar will examine the theme broadly as a capstone course wherein students will bring their own research interests to shape content and direction.  We will read a variety of genres/forms across time and place, thematically rather than chronologically.  There will be a research paper for 15 pages of graded, revised writing drawing on primary and secondary material we will have read together and from sources you develop on your own.  We will pay attention to the relationship between public and private memory and mentor one another the critical scholarly inquiries as well as the creative writing processes of drawing forth some literary product.  Students will actively lead interrogations into course themes through presentations.  We will keep a weekly analytical journal to our readings.  Collectively we will also explore the art of memoir writing.  Class will run as a seminar focusing on interpersonal discussion and community.  Our materials will be multimodal, interdisciplinary, and multimedia.  Guest speakers will inform our conversations.

    Nonmajors are most welcome, as are students intermediate in their English studies.  If you intend to enroll please contact Professor Roden at frederick.roden@uconn.edu to discuss your particular interests in order to help shape the reading list and syllabus.

     The course satisfies the English major “Advanced Study” requirement (Category E), elective credit and counts for the English minor.  It is a GenEd W and as a variable topic this course number may be repeated for credit with a change of subject.  If you are interested in the course but are not yet a junior or have not completed 12 Engl credits at the 2000-level or above, contact the instructor to discuss a possible permission number for enrollment.