Spring 2024 Course Descriptions: Storrs Campus

Spring 2024

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:

2701-03 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Forbes, Sean

1000-Level Courses

1101W: Classical and Medieval Western Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1101W-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Hasenfratz, Bob
1101W-02 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Biggs, Frederick

Because it’s often so different from contemporary fiction in its many forms, the Classical and Medieval literature of Europe, aside from being fun to read, raises significant questions about how and why we write. The first half of this course will focus on two texts: Marie de France’s revision of a Celtic folktale, The Pangs of the Men of Ulster, into a lai, Lanval, relevant to Anglo-Norman aristocrats; and the Beowulf-poet’s response a political change in the rules governing royal succession in Anglo-Saxon England. The lessons from these sections should be obvious: revision is fundamental to successful writing and even literary texts often construct arguments of importance to their authors. The second half will develop these points by considering the role writing plays in investigating ideas. Here the primary texts will be selected poems by Sappho and the first four books of the Iliad. You will be graded on class participation including writing workshops, ten discussion-board posts (replies are optional), and drafts and revisions of three essays. Ample extra credit will be awarded for individual and group class-presentations.

1101W-03 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Winter, Sarah

This course introduces students to ancient Greek and Roman mythology and foundational literary genres arising in antiquity, including epic, tragedy, comedy, and lyric poetry. Greek and Roman authors whose works will be read in translation include: Homer, Sappho, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides,
Aristophanes, Ovid, and Virgil. The second part of the course will focus on the equally influential genre of romance. We will read medieval courtly romances by Marie de France, the Arthurian tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and conclude the semester with Dante’s medieval epic, The Inferno, which tells the story of the poet’s descent into hell. Through multiple opportunities to receive feedback from the instructor and their peers, students will revise and improve their written work by focusing on analytical and conceptual precision of language and effective organization of key claims in their argument. Students will also gain greater proficiency in interpreting the complex and ambiguous meanings of mythic and narrative forms, genres, character types, and figurative language in literary texts, while uncovering changes in recurring themes and ideas across cultural and political history. Course requirements include: three 4–5-page papers and two revised papers of 7-8 pages; completing all reading; class discussion participation; a group presentation; a writing workshop including peer-review; and a final exam.

1103W: Renaissance and Modern Western Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1103W-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Gallucci, Mary

ENGL 1103W.01:  Renaissance and Modern Western Literature

Theme:  Witches, Primitives, and Savages:  Defining the Other.

We will explore witchcraft and savagery from the Renaissance to modern times.  We will begin by examining how Renaissance and early modern Europeans conceptualized “civilization” and “primitivism.”  From witches who threatened an orderly Christian world to savages and cannibals who menaced society, Europeans and their descendants were fascinated by ideas of the uncivilized other. 

Authors and works will include William Shakespeare, The Tempest; Thomas Middleton, The Witch; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Aphra Behn, Ooronoko; Voltaire, Candide; Diderot, Supplement to Bougainville’s Voyage; Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly, Or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker; Lydia Marie Child, Hobomok, A Tale of Early Times by an American; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Jean Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea; Arthur Miller, The Crucible; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarian.

1103W-02 | W 5:00-7:30 | Pelizzon, V. Penelope

In this course, we’ll spend time with some of the most fabulous poetry and prose of the last 500 years. We’ll read works by Greek, Turkish, Russian, 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, Marina Tsvetaeva, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Celan, Charles Baudelaire, Anton Chekhov, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and William Shakespeare. Projects include weekly response writings as well as three revised papers of 5-6 pages each. This is a discussion-centered class, and students will be expected to participate actively and in-person at each meeting.

1201: Introduction to American Studies

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

1201-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Franklin, Wayne

This course carries general education CA4 credit


As a basic introduction to the key issues of the field of American Studies, this course will explore such topics as: the role of space in American history; the role of immigration across history; the interplay of the arts with social and political ideas; the place of race, gender, class, and ethnicity now and in the past; patterns of everyday life; and architecture and material culture generally. Students will write brief reaction papers to their readings; midterm and final will be given. Course readings will include such books as these:


James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten. Anchor 0385483995

William Cronon, Changes in the Land. Hill and Wang 0809016341

John M. Baker, American House Styles. W. W. Norton 0393323250

Frederick Douglass, Narrative. Penguin 0143107305

Sarah Orne Jewett, Country of the Pointed Firs. Signet 0451531442

  1. Scott Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby.  Scribner 0743273567

Walker Evans and James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Mariner Books 0618127496

Leslie M. Silko, Ceremony. Penguin 0143104918



1301: Major Works of Eastern Literature

Prerequisites: None.

1301-01 | TR 5:00-6:15 | Moores, Donald

Because there are no longer any anthologies that offer a broad selection of Eastern literary texts, this course will be an in-depth study of one important strain of Eastern thought—Sufism—the mystical branch of Islam. Enormously influential, the Sufis impacted spirituality and poetry profoundly throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the U.S. (To this day, the best-selling poet in the West is Rumi, a Persian Sufi poet whose creative output rivals that of Shakespeare, Homer, or Dante). In an engagement with the ghazals (lyrics) of several major poets, including not only Rumi but Rabia, Attar, Hafiz, and others, we will explore the subtle contours of Sufi verse and its rich imagery. We also will engage the profound writing of two influential Sufi philosophers, Indris Shah and Hazrat Inayat Khan, whose work was responsible for introducing Sufism to many Westerners in the twentieth century. Because the Sufis foreground love, our focal point will be on the recurring image of wine-drinking, a complex metaphor suggesting the intoxications of divine love and the ecstasy (self-transcendence) that it causes. Through student presentations we will learn about various Sufi orders and their techniques of ecstasy, such as circle-dancing or whirling, smoking hash, chanting, fasting, sleep deprivation, and others. Course measures include journal writing, short critical reaction papers, a presentation, and a final research paper. Students will be required to purchase four books totaling about $85. Who wouldn’t want to take such a course? So, join me, Dr. Evil, and together, we'll learn about the love and ecstasies of the Sufis!

1301-02 | TThu 3:30-4:45 | Moores, Donald


1401: Horror

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1401-01 | TuTh 11:00-11:50 | Friday discussions: 9:05-9:55, 10:10-11, 1:25-2:15; 2:30-3:20 | Semenza, Gregory

The Horror Film

This course focuses on the history, politics, and theory of the international horror film, from the silent era through the present day; it also surveys the important sub-genres of horror, including the monster films, paranormal films, slasher films, gialli, and folk horror films, just to mention a few.  Often criticized—sometimes even dismissed—as the lowliest of all forms, horror has in fact always been one of the most capacious, formally innovative, and ideologically complex film genres.  The passionate responses it inspires in audiences, from cult-like devotion to outright disgust, raise fascinating questions about why we love (or hate) to be frightened.  How do the things that most terrify us change over time or within different locales?  How do we draw ethical lines (personal, institutional, or national) about what we are willing to depict or watch on film?  What do our individual and collective responses to horror say about us and the world in which we live?


Over the course of the semester, we’ll watch about 20 films and read a healthy number of essays about them.  We’ll watch Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), Tourneur’s Cat People (1942), and Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) before turning to the great horror films of the 1960s and early 70s; these include, but are not limited to, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960), Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), and Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).  Featured filmmakers of the mid 70s and beyond will include Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Ridley Scott, Julia Ducournau, and Jordan Peele.  Assignments will include participation, regular quizzes, a group project, and midterm and final examinations.


Please note that this course is not for the squeamish.  Many of the films contain graphic violence and gore, strong sexual content, and generally disturbing themes.

1503: Introduction to Shakespeare

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1503-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Semenza, Gregory 

“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.”  -- Robert Graves


After more than 25+ years of teaching and studying Shakespeare, I still marvel at how good he really is.  In this introductory class, we will study about 7 plays—including Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, King Lear, and Macbeth—as well as several film adaptations of them.  My general goal is to share some of the things I've learned about his plays over the years, and to explore with you the reasons why his artistry continues to influence and move us 400 years after his death.  My technical goal is to instill appreciation and understanding of the following: the historical context in which Shakespeare lived and created his art; the major dramatic genres of comedy and tragedy; the chief characteristics of Shakespeare's dramatic style: systematic indeterminacy, pervasive metatheatricality, and dialectical structuring (we will define these in class!); the basic terms and devices of Shakespearean drama, including soliloquy, aside, play-within-the-play, and exposition; the major characters such as Hamlet, Lear, and Juliet; and the major dramatic themes, including nature versus nurture, fate and freewill, and sacred and profane love.


This is a discussion-based class that values presence and participation.  Assignments include some short papers, a midterm, a group project, and a final.

1616: Major Works of English and American Literature

1616-001 | MWF 11:15-12:05 | Gehling, Madison
1616-002 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Merola, Jonathan

This course considers important works from the major genres and historical periods of English and American literature since Beowulf (around the 11th century). We will pay particular attention to what distinguishes English and American literature from each other: other than geography, what makes a text “British” or “American”? We will read excerpts from essays by writers who attempt to answer this specific question, while also reflecting on changing evaluations of works which were unpopular in the past yet are very influential now.

Some important writers whose selections might appear in the course

are: Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Brontë, Henry James, T.S.

Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and more.



1616W: Major Works of English and American Literature

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011

1616W-001 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Geer, Gretchen

Monsters have been fascinating and horrifying us for a very long time. In this course, we will examine a variety of texts in order to gain an understanding of how monsters have been (and continue to be) depicted in literature over time. We will begin with a sampling of medieval texts, move on to some early modern and nineteenth century literature, and end with a selection of recent science fiction and fantasy literature. Texts and authors will include, for example: Beowulf, Dracula, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Octavia E. Butler. Assignments will include quizzes and three five-page essays. This is a discussion-based class, and substantial class participation is expected.

2000-Level Courses

2013W: Introduction to Writing Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2013W-01 | MWF 12:20-1:10 | Ready, Psyche

2020W: Technical Writing and Design

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2020W | Th 11:00-12:15 | Deans, Tom

This course will cover the fundamentals of writing, design, and editing in professional settings. We’ll also take uptake the ethics of workplace writing and the uses of various technologies (for example, AI) in all this work. There will be lectures, readings, conferences, case studies, and lots of drafting and revising. This will be an interactive seminar where you’ll need to participate in discussions and collaborate with fellow students. Assignments include weekly writing activities; a series of quizzes on style and design strategies; a collaborative oral mid-term exam; analysis of a technical, scientific, or workplace or genre of your choice; an annotated bibliography; and a final project.

2100: British Literature I

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2100-01 | MWF 11:15-12:05 | O'Hara, Alyse
2100-02 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Biggs, Frederick

This course, a survey English literature from the Middle Ages (Beowulf ) to the Eighteenth Century (Fantomina, by Eliza Haywood), will prepare students for more advanced courses in the field and so is strongly recommended for English majors; others are of course welcome. Readings selected from the Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 1 will be covered by lectures and through discussion. There will be group reports, presentations, two papers, a mid-term, and a final exam.

2101: British Literature II

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2101-01 | TuTh 11-12:15 | Burke, Mary

In this survey course, we will explore British literature from the early nineteenth century to the present day across genres, authors, movements, styles, and themes. We will read canonical texts to ask how they explored the social, cultural, and political issues of their times but also trace a tradition of marginalized voices emanating from the United Kingdom’s geographical and ideological peripheries. Our readings will emphasize how such works successively reinforced and challenged mainstream British identity and values. Intended to provide preparation for more advanced courses in British literature, ENGL2101 is strongly recommended for English majors. Requirements: engaged class participation, one short draft essay, one long paper, and one class presentation.  

2107: The British Empire, Slavery, and Resistance

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2107-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Marsden, Jean

Our modern ideas of race and privilege have deep roots, stretching back to European and especially English colonization of the New World.  These colonies became the source of much of Britain’s wealth and power, established through trade in sugar, spices, exotic goods – and people. This course focuses on one specific aspect of the British empire: the West Indies, where the suppression of indigenous peoples and seizure of their lands and the establishment of plantation slavery became the engine of England’s economy. The course begins with readings designed to provide students with a historical context for the British empire’s growth in the West Indies and for the realities of slavery and the slave trade followed by works in which enslaved Africans tell their own stories of slavery and resistance. Other readings include Robinson Crusoe, Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave, Inkle and Yarico, The Benevolent Planters and Obi; or Three-Fingered Jack. Assignments include one paper, midterm exam, final exam, class presentation, and numerous short writing assignments.


2201: American Literature to 1880

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2201-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Salvant, Shawn

2201W: American Literature to 1880

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2201W-01 | MW 11:15-12:05 | Hybrid | 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.? Assignments include regular in-class writings and three papers, which we will write in drafts
and spend time in class revising.

2203: American Literature Since 1880

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2203-01 | MWF 12:20-1:10| Hunnicutt, Lindsay

2214W: African American Literature

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

2214W-02 | TuTh 2:00 - 3:15 | Cutter, Martha

2274W: Disability in American Literature and Culture

Also offered as: AMST 2274W
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2274W-02 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Brueggemann, Brenda

An interdisciplinary examination of the symbolic roles of disability and the social implications of those roles.


How has disability/embodied difference been understood, imagined, represented, engaged in American literature, history, and culture?  This will be the central question for our course exploration. We will engage many kinds of “texts” to approach this question and cover a significant time span in American history.  The course work is not lecture based but relies on multiple means of action, expression, engagement (based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning).

Course Objectives

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:


  1. Recognize how various learning styles and “intelligences” shape our own learning experiences while they also construct and contribute to the collaborative, community work we do in a classroom.
  2. Understand common narrative structures and themes that have commanded, compelled, and even inspired texts about people with disabilities in American culture.
  3. Compare generic (genre-based) approaches to representing characters with embodied differences.
  4. Evaluate and Apply different conceptual frameworks and key terms that circulate in the interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies in the 21st century.
  5. Critically and creatively compose responses, and pose further questions, about the systems, structures, attitudes, inequalities, successes, and stories surrounding “disability” and disabled people in American culture.

Course Requirements and Grading

Individual conferences (twice):  10%.  Collaborative notetaking (twice):  10%.  Short compositions/responses (6 required.):  30%.  In-Class writing/activities: 25%.  Final project presentation (5-10 mins):  25%


2276W: American Utopias and Dystopias

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

2276W-01 | Tu 9:30-10:45 | Hybrid | Knapp, Kathy
2276W-02 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Grossman, Leigh

It’s a bit terrifying but accurate to say that we are living in a golden age of dystopian fiction. Both dystopias and utopias (often two ways of looking at the same thing) have become pervasive across American media, including books, stories, and graphic novels, tabletop and video games, long- and short-form video, and more. In particular the audience has been getting younger—dystopian worlds that used to be geared toward adults are increasingly focused on teenagers and middle-grade readers. This class will look at some of the roots of the current golden age, but the main focus is on what topics lend themselves to utopias and dystopias, and why authors use particular tropes of the field. We will look both at what authors are trying to accomplish, and what readers expect in a satisfying work (and how those things differ for adult and younger audiences). The class will include many key older works, but with a significant focus on current authors who are changing the field (Sarah Pinsker, Rivers Solomon, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Rebecca Roanhorse, etc.). We will also look at some critical writing, and some of the authors you are reading will be guests in the class.

2301: Anglophone Literatures

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2301-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Coundouriotis, Eleni

Anglophone literatures are English language works from Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia. These works were shaped by the history of British colonialism and its long aftermath in an ongoing decolonization. To tackle this complex history and the extensive movement of peoples that resulted, the course focuses on the theme of crossing boundaries, whether these are physical boundaries, boundaries of identity, religion, or national affiliation. Although sometimes liberating, the crossing of boundaries often arises from or leads to crisis and added precarity. We will explore the experiences represented in these works and the literary questions that crossing boundaries provoke. Most of our reading will draw from contemporary works and include fiction as well as drama and poetry.

2301W: Anglophone Literatures

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2301W-01 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Hogan, Patrick

2401: Poetry

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2401-01 | TuTh 8:00-9:15 | Cohen, Bruce

This introductory 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.

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

See 2401-01 for description

2401-03 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | 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, images, and rhetorical effects. We’ll pay attention to the way poems sound; you’ll hear poems aloud in class and we will consider how sound affects one’s understanding of a poem. 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.

2405: Drama

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2405-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Marsden, Jean

This course emphasizes the role of drama as theater – works written to be performed –  what Robert D. Hume describes as “producible interpretation.” In contrast to other forms of literature, drama was created as words to be heard and actions to be seen, three-dimensional and experienced in real time. Thus, will read drama with an eye to its performance. We will discuss plays as texts and explore how they were originally staged as well as to consider the possibilities for staging them today. Class assignments such as staging scenes from specific plays will help build toward that goal, and our HuskyCT site includes numerous films and filmed productions that demonstrate some of the possibilities for presenting modern dramas and recreating dramas from the past. After beginning with an exploration of two iconic classical Greek dramas, the class will progress in roughly chronological order, considering evolutions of genre and experimentations with form. The last half of the course will be dedicated to twentieth-century drama, beginning with John Millington Synge’s Riders to the Sea (1904), a work from the Irish Renaissance, and ending with Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1991), a play born out of the AIDS crisis. Assignments include: two papers, final exam, group scene staging, and several short writing assignments. 


2407: The Short Story

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2407-01 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Cordón, Joanne

Narrative Survival Kit

Joan Didion argues in The White Album that stories are fundamental to our survival: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” This survival benefit is not just personal, but also communal and ethical. As Audre Lorde points out in Sister Outsider, the ability to correctly interpret the events of our lives depends upon “the quality of our light by which we scrutinize our lives.” Our narrative survey will allow us a glimpse into diverse persons, places, and time periods. All our stories come from The Story and Its Writer. Assignments will include participation in class discussion, a midterm exam, a group presentation, a class debate of the “best” short story, and a final project.

2407-02 | TuTh 12:30 - 1:45 | 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 key concepts involved in analysis of the genre; learn how to write creatively; and participate in class discussions and group discussions. An in-class midterm and final exam will be scheduled. 

2407-03 | TuTh 3:30 - 4:45 | Sanchez, Lisa

See description for 2407-02

2408: Modern Drama

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2408-01 | MWF 11:15-12:05 | Cordon, Joanne

This course follows the development of drama from Ibsen to the present, which may sound dull, but the hallmark of modern drama is innovative antagonism, whether because of its daring subject matter, avant-garde forms, or challenging theatrical techniques. Or, as Oscar Wilde puts it in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “the books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” Plays may include Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, George Bernard Shaw’s A Doctor’s Dilemma, John Millington Synge’s Riders to the Sea, Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Lynn Nottage’s Ruined. Course requirements: Class participation, short writing assignments, group project, one paper, and a final exam. 

2411: Popular Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2411-01 | M 5:00-7:30 | Barreca, Regina
“Popular” literature doesn’t mean “easy reading.” This class will be terrific, but the reading will be both considerable and complex. Novels by Anita Loos, Stephen King, Tom Perrotta, Shirley Jackson, Elizabeth Jane, and Mohsin Hamid will enthrall you, and keep you turning pages long into the night. You’ll need to buy the paper editions of the books or borrow them from a library to turn those pages literally because no computers, iPads, laptops, or other electronic equipment are permitted in the classroom. You’ll be taking notes in a notebook. No cellphones or Apple watches on during class; no exceptions. Attendance is required and will be taken at every class. I expect every member of the course to participate in ALL discussions. There is one take-home exam in addition to a final exam. There are also nearly daily quizzes given at the start of class; these count heavily towards your grade.

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 | MW 10:10-11:00 | Hybrid | Somerset, Fiona

This course is required of English majors: it is designed to teach you research, critical thinking, and writing skills that will help you do well in upper-division courses and beyond. You will be asked to produce three short papers (3 pages) that build on smaller research and writing assignments completed online and/or in class. Our readings will include poems, short items presented in digital media, and critical essays. You will be asked to learn some key terms and methods, and invited to begin using them to join the conversation among critics in the field. 

2600-02 | MW 11:15-12:05 |Hybrid| Dennigan, Darcie

2603: Literary Approaches to the Bible

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2603-01 | MWF 1:25-2:15 | Dolan Gierer, Emily

The goal of this course is to understand the Bible as one of our earliest ancient texts, one which weaves together poetry, history, and personal narrative. 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.? This course is open to anyone interested in studying the Bible as one of the most popular and enduring literary texts of all times, and helps fulfill the Early Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic History requirement for English majors. Assignments include regular in-class writings, a mid-term exam, and a final paper.

2605: Capitalism, Literature, and Culture

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2605-01 | TR 12:30-1:45 | Vials, Christopher

This course is built around the main questions: what is capitalism, what have been its human impacts across different groups, and how has it changed over time?  How did it spread from early modern Europe (particularly England, Holland, and Portugal) to encompass the entire globe, and under what terms?  How it has been experienced differently across lines of class, race, and gender?  What have been the main criticisms of it, and what have its critics meant by terms such as “socialism” or “communism”?  Many of our discussions will take the United States as an example, but we will not limit ourselves to this country.


As an interdisciplinary course, we will use a variety of sources to examine these questions, including the scholarship of historians, works of philosophy, social theory, and writings by economists.  In lectures, the instructor will also cover histories, theories, and empirical data not directly referenced in the readings.  Most of your reading assignments, however, will be cultural works: novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, and manifestoes.

We will begin by sketching out a working definition of capitalism, defining it in relation to the systems that came before its emergence in England in the 16th and 17th centuries.   The first half of the course, up until the mid-term, will focus on the broad global dynamics of capitalism that tend to recur throughout its history, yet on different timelines in the various continents and regions: dispossession from the land, urbanization and industrialization, and the creation of “a labor force.”  On the latter, we will explore how gender and racial hierarchies have been crucial to capitalism since its origins.  Indeed, many scholars have found the origins of racism in the rise of capitalism in the 17th and 18th century.


The second half of the course will shift to a more specific historical focus, as we look at two distinct periods in postwar capitalism: the Keynesian period of ‘reformed capitalism’ from the 1940s to the 1970s, and the neoliberal period that we still inhabit today.

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 3:30-4:45 | Vials, Christopher

In this course, we will explore the questions: what is fascism?  How is it relevant for thinking about the culture and politics of the world today, and the United States in particular?  And how does fascism differ from other forms of authoritarianism?

As a type of state, fascism was largely destroyed in 1945.  But as an ideology and a set of political movements, it has appeared in countries across the globe, before and after World War II.  As Oxford-based historian Roger Griffin wrote in 1993, “…as a political ideology capable of spawning new movements [fascism] should be treated as a permanent feature of modern political culture.”

After surveying the historical fascisms of Germany, Italy, and Japan, we will turn to the United States, where we will devote much of the remainder of the class to exploring U.S. fascist or fascist-like movements.  Much of the class from this point on will be a study of the extreme right in the United States and across the world over the last century, with an eye toward its overlaps with actual fascist movements.


We will also discuss the applicability of the concept of fascism for the United States -- a country with a history of race rooted in settler colonialism, slavery, and immigrant labor.  When does structural racism cross the line into actual fascism?  What’s the relationship between racism and authoritarianism?  Are practices like segregation or voter suppression ‘fascist,’ or do they come from a different kind of anti-democratic history?


Along the way, we will discuss what is has meant to be an antifascist, both in the United States and abroad.  What’s the difference between being “against fascism” and being “an antifascist”?  How does antifascism intersect with other politics and movements?  What kinds of action has it involved, and how has this shifted over time?  How productive or counterproductive has it been?  We will trace “antifascism” in the United States from a mass movement in the 1930s based around lobbying, civil rights, and union building to the punk-inspired “antifa” of 1990s and beyond.

2610: Introduction to Digital Humanities

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2610 | MW 9:05-9:55|Hybrid| Booten, Kyle

This project-based course will explore how computers can help us to understand humanistic topics (such as literary texts, historical events, and philosophical questions) in new and powerful ways. Students will imagine and design digital games and interactive, web-based archives that aim to teach the player or user about a humanistic topic. They will then prototype these designs with beginner-friendly tools.


The course will also use hands-on activities to introduce students to other aspects of the field known as “the Digital Humanities,” including how to use computational tools to analyze vast quantities of historical or literary data.


No prior technical experience of any kind is required or assumed. Especially welcome are students who are interested in games, design, digital media, or education.

2614: Writing with Algorithms

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2614-01 | MW 11:15-12:05 | Hybrid | Booten, Kyle

How do you program a computer to write a poem? 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 poems and other literary texts. 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 and scientifically about the relationship between computation and language.   


2635E: Literature and the Environment

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2635E-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Tonry, Kathleen

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 | MW 9:05-9:55 | HB | Dennigan, Darcie

This is a course for students who want to practice becoming more comfortable with failure, boredom, and confusion. You'll write each week, inside and outside of class, and you'll read a lot too. Your final project will be self-directed and may take the form of a play, performance, poem, essay, or something else. Through writing experiments from or inspired by Gabrielle Civil, Yoko Ono, Sibyl Kempson, Bhanu Kapil, Francis Ponge, and Robert Walser, you will get closer to -- maybe even next to!-- your writing self, and the ineluctable expression that only you can execute. Some questions we will explore as a class: *How much space can you or should you take up on the page? *How boring can you be, and what might be wonderful about boring writing? *How can you give yourself permission to write the things you're most scared to write? This is a studio course, which means our class meetings will be part playground, part laboratory, part dark forest. What's most important is being there, in class, every week-- to experiment, explore, and question together.

2701-03 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Forbes, Sean


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. The first half of the course will be dedicated to writing narrative poetry and for the second half we will focus on short and long form fiction stories. We will look at exemplary works of poetry and fiction from writers like David Dominguez, Allison Joseph, Richard Blanco, and fiction stories from One Story and One Teen Story, print literary journals that publish only one story per month. 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 in class writing prose sketches.

2701-04 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | 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.

2701-05 | 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. You’ll be writing every week, composing poems and prose for which you’ll receive ample feedback. 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 five 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. This is a discussion-centered class, and students will be expected to participate actively and in-person at each meeting.

2730W: Travel Writing

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2730W-01 | MW 11:15-12:05 | Hybrid | Gallucci, Mary

“Tour, Journey, Voyage, Lounge, Ride, Walk,

Skim, Sketch, Excursion, Travel-talk…”  Samuel Taylor Coleridge offers insight into the different modes of movement that encompass travel and the different styles of writing that comprise travel writing.  From the imaginative voyage to explain migration or invasion (as in the ancient world) to the real experience of trekking across a continent or scaling a mountain, we will examine travelers as they move through culture or escape into the wilderness.

We will study travel writing from its beginnings in antiquity.  We will read excerpts from key texts of Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, and Vergil, discussing the features of this type of travel writing.  To orient ourselves, we will read theory about travel, observation, and cross-cultural exchange.  How do travelers discuss the encounter with otherness?  We will view how travel is connected to exploration/exploitation and reflect upon the ethics of famous excursions.  We will return to fiction to understand how an increasingly civilized and “known” world might leave people out.  The desire to gain knowledge has always inspired travel; even in a world of limited opportunities for so many based on race, gender, and language, unlikely travelers might find refuge in studying the beauty of nature in a faraway land.  Some will travel as missionaries, teachers, or students of other cultures.  Travel can be a source of physical and mental challenge, as we see from adventure travel.  Finally, travel can be escape or quest, as the world becomes ever more alienating.

Texts:  D. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin Classics); P. Mattiessen, The Snow Leopard (Penguin Classics); J. Krakauer, Into the Wild (Anchor Books); C. Strayed, Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Vintage).  In addition, readings on HuskyCT by Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Vergil, Julius Caesar, Tacitus, Gerard of Wales, Columbus, Vespucci, M. H. Kingsley, H. D. Thoreau, Claude Levi-Strauss.

3000-Level Courses

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 and respond to current research (and to one another’s ideas about current research).

Expect a lot of reading, writing, and revision. You each will compile an e-portfolio that includes four major essays of about 1000-1500 words each (15 pages=4500 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 several others, as well as several articles.

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

Course texts may include Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher's 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents, Maja Wilson's Reimagining Writing Assessment, Marchetti and O'Dell's Writing with Mentors, Felicia Rose Chavez' The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop, Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Sarigianides' Letting Go of Literary Whiteness, and selections from Cheryl Ball and Drew Loewe's Bad Ideas About Writing.

3012: Books and Book Publishing

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3082-01 | TuTh 5:00-6:15 | Grossman, Leigh

Where do books come from? This advanced publishing course delves into how book publishing works, and all the steps a manuscript goes through in becoming a book or e-book—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.

3091-01 | Arr. | Fairbanks, Ruth

Writing Internships provide unique opportunities to apply writing skills and develop practical critical thinking in non-academic settings supervised by professional writers. Internships are recognized as an important experiential aspect of undergraduate education and many employers give preference to applicants with internship experience. English 3091 is open to juniors and seniors in all majors.  Both on-campus and off-campus placements in a broad variety of professional career areas are available.


  • Excellent writing and communication skills are essential.
  • Applicants must have at least 3.0 cumulative GPA in the major and at least 54 credits.


This is a variable-credit, permission number course with one to six possible credits depending on specific placement projects.  The course may be repeated for credit with no more than eight credits per placement.

Grading Scale:  Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory


  • See the English Department website link to Writing Internship Program pages for further information and application forms: https://english.uconn.edu/undergraduate/writing-internship-program/
  • Interested applicants may at any point email questions about the program, application materials, or application process to Fairbanks@uconn.edu.
  • Because internships are in demand, it’s highly recommended that students discuss the ENGL 3091 opportunity with major advisors before the official spring 2024 advising period.
  • Application Timeframe: after applicants have discussed the internship opportunity with major advisors, they should schedule a meeting in weeks 7-11 with Professor Ruth Fairbanks through nexus.uconn.edu and then submit application materials to Professor Fairbanks.
  • Application materials (internship application, letter of interest, current transcript, and best academic paper) should be electronically submitted prior to the meeting with Professor Ruth Fairbanks. For further information see the link to online internship pages.


Placements have included Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Connecticut Landmarks, Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, Connecticut Writing Project, Globe Pequot Press, The Dodd Research Center and Archive, Mystic Seaport, New Britain Museum of American Art, Striven Software Public Relations Development, UConn Office of Institutional Equity, UConn Women’s Center, UConn Information Technology, World Poetry Books, and Write on Black Girl. Other placements are available.


3118W: Victorian British Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3118W-01 |MW 10:10-11|  HB | Codr, Ariana

The Victorians (1837-1901) lived during a time of unprecedented change. Photography, the telegraph, and the steam engine radically altered experiences of space and time. Great Britain morphed from an important hub of Atlantic trade to a global empire, while those living in its colonies posed increasingly potent challenges to its legitimacy and power. Industrialization enabled the rise of a growing middle class but also spurred the formation of a self-conscious working-class intent upon change. Mushrooming metropolises began to worry about sanitation as contagious diseases swept from impoverished alleyways to gold filigreed mansions. New norms of gender and sexuality inspired by the “Angel in the House” ideology and the rise of psychological sciences emerged only to be resisted in home, street, and courtroom. This course explores Victorian literature (1837-1901) in the context of these and other major historical events, ideologies, movements, and discourses. Texts will include works by Victorian favorites like Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde, as well as modern adaptations and remixes of Victorian aesthetics and culture to better understand and appreciate the complex legacy of the Victorians. A series of short reflective, analytical, and creative writing assignments will fulfill the W-requirement. No previous coursework or background in English literature is required.   

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 - 12:15| Kim, Na-Rae

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.

3212-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Salvant, Shawn

3240E: American Nature Writing

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

3240E-01 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Franklin, Wayne

This course will explore how nature in the U.S. has been addressed in a variety of written texts from the 1840s to the present.  The goal is to understand how Americans have conceived of the natural environment and acted in and on it both symbolically and practically. Students will keep nature journals in which they incorporate their responses to the readings as well as to natural locations of their choice.  There will also be a midterm exam. Writers studied will include Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Mary Austin, Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard.


3265W-01: American Studies Methods

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

3265W-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Anson, April


This course will feature a multi-disciplinary inquiry into the diversity of American societies and cultures, identifying the myths and realities at the heart of what is considered America or American. We will trace the “narrative problem” of America through prominent figures in the field of American studies: foundational scholars like Richard Slotkin, Donald Pease, and Toni Morrison as well as contemporary research from Grace Hong, Josephina Saldana-Portillo, Lucy Maddox, Gerald Horne, and others. Students will write weekly responses, two short research assignments, a midterm, and a final exam. Course time will be used for short lectures, class discussion, group work, and individual presentations. This course is open to anyone. There are no recommended prerequisites.

3320: Literature and Culture of India

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have passed ENGL 3318 with a topic of "India."

3320-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Hogan, Patrick

3420: Children’s Literature

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

3420-01 | Th 9:30-10:45| Online Synchronous | Cormier, Emily

3422: Young Adult Literature

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

3422-01 | TuTh 11-12:15 | Online Synchronous| Cormier, Emily


3501: Chaucer

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

3501-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Hasenfratz, Bob

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 | MWF 10:10-11:00 | Bolster, Christopher

3623: Studies in Literature and Culture

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3623-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Kim, Na-Rae

A Cold Comfort: Aesthetics in the Aftermaths of the Korean War

The Korean War left a lasting impact on modern world history—and its temporary cease-fire status continues to unsettle the two Koreas and the United States. Scorched into the national consciousness of Koreans yet largely forgotten in the American imaginary, the Korean War continues to resurface in different contexts and, at times unexpectedly, in different modalities. In this course we will examine how South Korea and the United States remember, represent, and re- imagine the aftermath of the Korean War. Rather than rehashing the historical specificities of the war itself, this course focuses on how the sociohistorical conditions created by the war affect the present moment, and the politics and ethics of representing the aftermath of the war.

Through an interdisciplinary methodology that draws upon history, films, photographs, memoirs, and fictions, this course studies how the Korean War has not only visibly shaped Korean and Korean diasporic communities, but also how they represent the Korean War. By examining competing and contradictory representations of the war, we will come to understand how the Korean War is central to understanding both historical and contemporary formations of Korean and American citizenship, identity, and values.

This course intentionally engages divergent representations of Korean life, often coupling a North Korean representation with a South Korean account, or juxtaposing a Korean American perspective with a South Korean one. This allows the questioning of different agendas and sociopolitical relations developed in regards to this tragic war. Moreover, we will critically examine the ethical dimensions of writer-narrator-reader relationships and ask: what does it mean to remember, reimagine, and represent a historical incident in which we are all still deeply embedded? How does representation shape the ways in which we think about the historical incident? How are we, then, to think about the Korean War and its aftermath in the present moment, especially when the war is not over and continues to reverberate in the present?

All readings are in English. Original Korean texts are available upon request and we may refer to the texts in Korean, although we will primarily refer to the texts in English in class.

3701: Creative Writing II .

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

3701-01 | TuTh 12:30-1:45 | Forbes, Sean

Narrative Poetry and Fiction

This class is an intensive seminar/workshop/tutorial in writing narrative poems and fiction. Our work will focus on 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 | Tu 6:00-8:30PM | Barreca, Regina

Creative Nonfiction

“Success means  being heard  and don't stand there and tell me you are indifferent to being heard. Everything about you screams to be heard. You may write for the joy of it, but the act of writing is not complete in itself. It has its end in its audience. Writing is a good example of self-abandonment. I never completely forget myself except when I'm writing and I am never more completely myself than when I am writing.”  Flannery O’Conner, Habits of Being

Designed for students with an interest in writing creative non-fiction with any eye towards publication, this course assumes a serious commitment both to reading and writing.  Students will produce seven pieces of  writing throughout the semester (between 750-1250+ words each); four of these are required essays. Each work will focus on that week’s assigned topic. Each student will email their finished piece to all the other members of the seminar, including the instructor, by FRIDAY AT NOON. Students are responsible for reading and commenting in detail on their colleagues’ work; I’ll provide a list of questions. Half your grade for the course will be earned by the thoughtful, judicious and specific commentary you offer your colleagues. Comments on each essay written for that week will then be submitted to the other members of the seminar, including the instructor, by the following SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT. As a final project, each student will submit four carefully edited and revised essays to the instructor for grading, out of which three will be submitted for publication during the final class.  In addition to deadlines being non-negotiable, attendance at every class is assumed. Every member of the class will speak during every session.  Many of the students who have successfully completed this course have seen their work published. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

3713: Literary Magazine Editing

Prerequisites: ENGL 2701; open to sophomores or higher; instructor consent required. Recommended preparation: one 3000-level creative writing workshop.

3713-01 | Th 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. Student 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 by October 15. Interviews will be arranged during and after 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 | MW 12:20-1:10 | Hybrid | Dennigan, Darcie

Imagine a Life That Is Livable

This is a studio-based creative writing course, set on particularly exploring Octavia Butler's novel Parable of the Sower. Published in 1993, it imagined a dystopia set 31 years in the future: 2024. Here we are, and we'll use the Butler novel as a starting point to investigate empathy and its limits when it comes to environmental catastrophe. Expect to write abundantly in and outside of class about and from your position on 2024's Earth. Be prepared for nonlinear, challenging writing assignments.  There will be a range of other readings too, mostly from contemporary writers finding their own words and futures in the Anthropocene, and you'll have the chance to respond to those works in critical posts and in class. Possible list: Kate Schapira, Hiromi Ito, Maryam Parhizkar, Henry David Thoreau, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Antonin Artaud, and more. Expect to discuss your own writing in small and large group workshops, and to have your semester culminate in an extended writing project that imaginatively renders a collage of precise expressions that may fortify you, your friends, and your family for the future. 

4000-Level Courses

4101W: Advanced Study: British 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.

4101W-01 | TuTh 2:00-3:15 | Ford Smith, Victoria

Shocking: Experiments in Art and Literature Around 1900

Ezra Pound, in his modernist clarion call, insisted that artists of all sorts “make it new” by abandoning aesthetic conventions. Appeals such as Pound’s were, in part, a response to the dizzying changes experienced by people living in England and beyond in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The growing disciplines of psychology and anthropology attempted to define what it meant to be human. New forms of travel and communication, such as the telegraph and the telephone, shrank geographical distances and uncannily separated human voices from human bodies. Visual technologies such as photography and cinema uprooted traditional modes of representation, while the rise of modern warfare introduced the sounds of machine guns into a soundscape already clamoring with the buzz of growing cities and the atonal orchestrations of experimental composers. In this course, we’ll explore creative responses to these seismic changes. Our work will be rooted in literature — texts of all genres that responded to this radically changing — but we’ll branch out into an array of cultural forms, including painting, photography, music, and dance, primarily in England, Europe, and the US. While we will explore some of the notorious movements of the period (Cubism, Imagism, Vorticism, Futurism, Surrealism), we’ll also consider how modernist studies has been changing to amplify voices that were similarly challenging the status quo but that have often been excluded from the canon. A selection of creators who may appear on our syllabus: T. S. Eliot, H.D., Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Käsebier, Claude McKay, Pablo Picasso, Siegfried Sassoon, Igor Stravinsky, and Virginia Woolf. In addition to engaged class participation and reading, coursework likely will center around an ongoing research project presented in a variety of oral, written, and digital formats, culminating in a 10- to 12-page revised essay.


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 | Th 2:00-3:15 | Hybrid | Williams, Erika

Harlem Renaissance

This course examines some of the major poetry, fiction, and non-fiction (autobiography and essay) of one of the most celebrated Africana and American arts movements: the Harlem Renaissance. Emerging from post-bellum African-American culture, the Harlem Renaissance marked the intersection of rural and urban, traditional and modern, nationalist and cosmopolitan, and black and white. We will pay particular attention to migration; inter- and intra-racial relations; the interplay of race, gender, class, and sexuality; and the phenomenon of passing. In addition, although our primary focus will be on written texts, we will also consider the influence of music (jazz and blues) and visual art on the literature and culture of the period.


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-01 | TuTh 11:00 - 12:15 | Codr, Dwight 

Politics and Literature in the Age of Revolutions

It is no surprise that during the Age of Revolutions – roughly 1650-1800 – the writers of both imaginative literature and philosophy reflected extensively on politics and the relationship between the individual and abstract codes of conduct (legal, civil, religious, romantic, etc.). How literary and philosophical texts differentially represented these relationships will form the subject of this seminar.

We will read major political documents of the era alongside of literary texts to open up and complicate the abstracted visions we find in political theory. For example, what can a crime novel like Moll Flanders (Defoe) tell us about the rule of law? How might we read the sexual politics of Pride and Prejudice (Austen) alongside of the US Constitution or Thomas Paine’s Common Sense? How do Restoration-era tales of libertines undermine or affirm the ideals of a civil republic? In short, what can literature teach us that philosophical treatises cannot?

Requirements for this seminar include participation and a research paper.