Spring 2024 Course Descriptions: Avery Point Campus

2000-Level Courses

2214W: African American Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2214W |TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Rebecca Troeger

This course is an introduction to African American literature from the 17th century through the present. We will cover a broad array of writers, paying attention to the systems, institutions, ideologies, traditions, and genres that shape this vibrant and diverse history. Special attention will be given to the intertwined histories of oral and written traditions and issues of gender and sexuality. Along with the written genres of autobiography, essays, fiction, drama, and poetry, we will also consider oratory, folklore, film, music, and visual art, and important scholarship and theory in Black literature, culture, and history. Authors covered may include Phillis Wheatley, Venture Smith, Frederick Douglass, Harriett Jacobs, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Ann Petry, Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Amiri Baraka, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Gayl Jones, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Angela Davis, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Requirements will include a midterm and a final exam; short written responses, annotations, and discussion board posts; class participation; and a creative project engaging with critical approaches to the course materials.

CA 4 Div and W gen ed/ENGL elective

2635E: Literature and the Environment

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2635E | MW 11:15-12:30 |Sarkar, Debapriya

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

CA One B Lit and E gen ed for non-majors and ENGL elective

3000-Level Courses

3265W: American Studies Methods

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

Also offered as AMST 3265W & MAST 4994W: The AMST section can apply toward the major, the MAST section cannot

3265W | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Edwards, Mary Bercaw

This writing-intensive seminar introduces students to the field of Public History through studying the process by which decisions are made as to whether or not an artifact, particularly a vessel, should be preserved. The final projects for the course will benefit from the skills and knowledge base from those discipline tracks that comprise the Maritime Studies major (Anthropology; Economics; English; Geography; History; Political Science) and the American Studies major (Space, Place, Land, and Landscape; the United States and the World; Popular Culture and the Cultural Imagination; Intersectionalities; Politics, Social Movements, and Everyday Life; the Americas). Students will gain an overview of public history plus in-depth experience in museum studies. This course was originally created out of the cooperative relationship between the University of Connecticut and Mystic Seaport Museum and is made possible through support from both institutions.

AMST/MAST Capstone/Course combo with AMST 3265W & MAST 4994W

3507: Milton

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

3507 | MW 9:05-10:20 | Sarkar, Debapriya

This course studies the major works of the seventeenth-century poet John Milton. We will read a range of works, including Milton’s early lyrics and pastoral poetry, the masque Comus, and several of his prose works; we will situate these works alongside the social, political, religious, and intellectual movements of the mid-century, including Milton’s involvement in the English civil war. We will devote a significant portion of the class to Milton’s later poetry: his
epic Paradise Lost, as well as Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. Through our readings, we will grapple with the questions of class, gender, disability, and race that pervade seventeenth-century literature and discuss what qualities make Milton’s poetry salient for twenty-first century readers.

Old ENGL majors, Major Author and New ENGL Majors B

3611: Women’s Literature 1990 to the Present

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3611| TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Bedore, Pamela

What is women’s literature? What are the challenges and affordances of looking at women’s literature as a distinct category? What are the challenges and affordances of looking at “women” as a distinct category?


In this course, we will examine those questions by reading eight major works by women from different times and places. We’ll start with three class twentieth-century texts: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist separatist utopia Herland (1915), Virginia Woolf’s feminist essay A Room of One’s Own (1929), Shirley Jackson’s gothic horror novel The Haunting of Hill House (1959). We’ll then move to five recent brilliant, provocative, complex novels representing living women writers from around the world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck (2009, Nigeria), Monica Ojeda’s Jawbone (2019, Ecuador), Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other (2019, Britain), Ryka Aoki’s Light from Uncommon Stars (2021, US), and Megha Majumbar’s A Burning (2022, India). We’ll also work through two “Best Of” lists–short stories by women and poems by women—through class presentations.


Students will write weekly response papers, do two presentations, and prepare four class projects that may be presented in multimodal fashion. Class discussion will be lively and engaging, so please plan to join this in-person class every day.