Changing the World

Current Undergraduate Literature Courses

Fall 2018 

ENG 121 Literature for ESL Learners

William Orth | MW 2:50pm-4:10pm BAC 138

Designed to introduce second-language speakers to literatures in English and structured around the analysis of three literary forms (drama, poetry, and prose). Readings are accompanied by a discussion of historical and cultural contexts; special attention is given to critical thinking and analysis. Students will learn to recognize and apply various modes of literary criticism through both class discussion and written assignments.

ENG 123: Introduction to Poetry

Dr. Keith Tuma | MW 1:15 – 2:35pm UPH 262

Exploration of the wide range of literature and oral performance called poetry. Study of critical terms used to discuss and write about poetic conventions, forms, and sub-genres. IIB. CAS-B-LIT.

ENG 125: Introduction to Drama

Dr. Katie Johnson | TR 11:40am-1:00pm UPH

Critical analysis of dramatic literature from the ancient Greeks to modern performance art, using dramatic structure and theory to read play texts as productions of their cultural contexts. IIB. CAS-B-LIT.

ENG 129 Books You Need to Read

Dr. Andrew Hebard | TR 10:05an -11:25pm  UPH 255

"The Great American Novel" is an introductory course about how we value literature, how we make distinctions about what constitutes "great" literature, and why those distinctions persist or are even made. In addition to such questions about the literary canon, we will also learn the basics of analyzing novelistic form and analyzing novels within particular historical contexts. The course will feature significant novels in the field from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and will include works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, Don DeLillo, and Toni Morrison among others. Designed for non-majors. IIB. CAS-B.

ENG 134 Introduction to Shakespeare

Sarah Morris | TR 1:15pm-2:35pm  UPH 298

Introduction to Shakespeare's works. Gives students who are new to collegiate-level literary studies an overview of the range of Shakespeare's works and the variety of approaches to those works. Humanities IIB. CAS-B-LIT. MPF.

ENG 171 Humanities & Technology

Dr. Jim Porter | WEB 08/27 - 12/15

Introduction to methods of thinking used in humanities disciplines (literature, history, philosophy, classics, etc.), computer technologies, and their relationship. Practical skills (web page making; research on the Internet) and analytical skills (how to tell good information from bad) combined with theories about the Information Society. IIB. CAS-B. MPF, MPT. Cross-listed with IMS 171.

ENG 220 Literature & Film

Sidne Lyon | TR 11:40am-1:00pm BAC 143

This course explores the complex interplay between film and literature. In particular, we will explore the issues and politics of adapting literary texts for the screen from five literary genres: drama, novels, short fiction, graphic novels, and nonfiction. Readings and films include: Adaptation, The Great Gatsby, Fight Club, Rear Window, and Brokeback Mountain. Cross-listed with FST 220. IIB. CAS-B-LIT. Counts toward FST & ENG majors and ENG 4 Thematic Sequence: Film and Popular Culture. May be repeated once when topic changes.

ENG 231 The Short Story

William Fisher | TR 1:15pm-2:35pm BAC 134 & TR 2:50pm-4:10pm BAC 108 

Study of the short story as a literary genre with its own unique conventions. Examples from both early and present-day masters. CAS-B-LIT. 

ENG 248 Asian American Literature

Dr. Yu-Fang Cho | WF 2:50pm-4:10pm  UPH 163 

Survey of Asian American writing (including the novel, poetry, drama, nonfiction, etc.) from the early 20th century to the present. Addresses immigration experiences, growing up in America, and writing as cultural expression. Course uses an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature, drawing on history, sociology, ethnic studies, and current trends in American literary studies. Hybrid course.  MPF. IC, IIB, IIIB. CAS-B-LIT. Cross-listed with AAA/AMS.

ENG 249 Asian & Asian American Cinema

Dr. Nalin Jayasena | MW 11:40am – 1:00 pm  BAC 250

Explores films in the contexts of Western colonial influences and legacies in Asia and Asian America. Students will learn how mainstream notions of nation, gender, sexuality, family values, social hierarchies and social change are constructed at the intersection of the audience, visual imagery, political, and economic contexts. We will also explore the role alternative cinema plays in challenging mainstream forms of knowledge production with the overall goal of critically evaluating how cinema creates, recreates, perpetuates and reproduces "Asian" cultures for global and local audiences. Global Course (GCRS), IC, IIB, IIIB. CAS-B. MPF Cross-listed with ENG/FST.

ENG 262 Children’s Literature

STAFF | Time TBA

Broad study of children's books, with emphasis on acquiring skill to evaluate children's literature. Practice in the literary analysis of prose and poetry with emphasis on the impact of good literature for children. CAS-B-LIT.

ENG 276: American Literature after 1900

Dr. Stefanie Dunning | MW 10:05am-11:25am UPH 167 08/27 - 12/15

Introduction to American Literature and its cultural contexts written from 1900 to the present. IIB. CAS-B-LIT.

ENG 298 Intro to Literary and Cultural Study

Dr. Michele Navakas | TR 10:05am-11:25am BAC 256

Introductory skill-based course to be taken within one semester after declaring literature major. Covers critical and interpretive terms and basic concepts of literary genre; develops skills of close reading, interpretation, and critical analysis; provides instructions in techniques of research and citation; and introduces various critical methods and approaches. ADVW. CAS-B-LIT.

ENG 335: English Literature of the 18th Century

Staff | TR 2:50pm-4:10pm BAC 346

British prose and poetry of the 18th century. CAS-B-LIT.

ENG 338 African American Writing 1946- present

Dr. Stefanie Dunning | MW 11:40am -1:00pm  UPH 389

African American Writing, 1946-Present (3) MPT Survey of African American writing since World War II, with special attention to literary and cultural contributions of such writers as James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. CAS-B-LIT. Cross-listed with BWS.

ENG 360B Drawing Words with Pictures

Dr. Jody Bates and Dr. Patrick Murphy | TR 11:40am – 1:00pm UPH 361

This course considers comics from a number of angles, including historical, critical, and creative approaches. Students will have the opportunity to explore the development of sequential art—both as medium and genre—in light of its material, cultural, and technological contexts. A range of forms and kinds will be considered, from the earliest days of the newspaper strip to the comic book to the more recent rise of graphic novels and digital comics as a major force in twenty-first century popular culture. At the same time, students will be encouraged to draw on their experiences in the class to produce original critical analyses of comics as well as to generate in collaboration their own works of comics writing and art.

ENG 374 English Renaissance Drama

Dr. James Bromley | MW 10:05 -11:25am  UPH 167

Characters tricking others out of their inheritance, hatching murderous revenge schemes, and using sex to gain power, status, and wealth: are these part of a new Netflix original series?  No, these are plotlines from the plays that you can read in ENG 374, English Renaissance Drama. 

This course introduces you to English plays written between 1580 and 1640. We will sample from several genres--history, domestic tragedy, tragicomedy, city comedy, to name a few--in order to understand and appreciate the variety of the English stage in the Renaissance.  In addition to analyzing the formal literary conventions in these plays, we will also investigate the conditions of their production by investigating authorship practices, such as collaboration, and theatrical practices, such as the cross-dressing of boys to play female roles.  We will also discuss how these plays responded to historical events, such as the death of Queen Elizabeth, and how they shaped cultural attitudes towards monarchy, class hierarchies, religion, marriage, same-sex desire, and many other topics.  Finally, we will view some filmed adaptations of these plays in order to appreciate their ongoing relevance.

Plays we will read include: Christopher Marlowe, Edward II; Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton, The Roaring Girl; Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, The Maid’s Tragedy; Ben Jonson, The Alchemist

ENG 388 Studies in Prose

Dr. Brian Roley | MW 10:05 -11:25am  BAC 256

Examines conventions and traditions in a variety of prose forms, such as the novel, short story, flash fiction, magic realism, creative nonfiction, the lyric essay, and the collage essay, with attention to trends and evolving and contested definitions of the genres. Course topic varies by section. CAS-B.

ENG 435 Queer Theory

Dr. Anita Mannur | W 1:15pm-3:55pm 

Analysis of how gender and sexuality have informed our understandings of cultural texts and contexts. Emphasizes how discourses of gender and sexuality function within a variety of historical, cultural, and/or aesthetic traditions. IC. Cross-listed with WGS.

ENG 437 Black Feminist Theory

Dr. Gwen Etter-Lewis | TR 10:05am-11:25am BAC 154 

This course examines critical and theoretical issues in black feminism from slavery to the present. One of the central goals of the course is to interrogate race, gender, class, and sexuality in the context of black women's thoughts and experiences. The class will read, discuss and analyze a wide variety of texts including critical essays, films, selected fiction, print and visual media. IC. Cross-listed with BWS/WGS. 

ENG 440Y Major Writers: O’Neill

Dr. Katie Johnson | TR 2:50 – 4:10pm BAC 250 

Heralded by scholars as the first American playwright of literary merit, O’Neill remains the only US dramatist to capture the Noble prize for literature (and four Pulitzers). We begin by reading O’Neill’s very earliest writings, the so-called “lost” plays, including the recently discovered one-act, Exorcism.  Next, we’ll consider his early plays (The Emperor Jones, “Anna Christie”, The Hairy Ape) cultivated with the experimental theatre group, the Provincetown Players.  At the same time, we’ll read plays by other Provincetown theatre artists, such as Susan Glaspell’s Trifles.  We’ll move on to look at other later plays by O’Neill such as: The Iceman Cometh, Mourning Becomes Electra, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and Strange Interlude.  Rather than just read a long list of O’Neill’s plays, however, we’ll look at the debates and issues generated by other playwrights of the day. 

ENG 490B Literature, Science, Race

Dr. Michele Navakas | TTH 1:15pm-2:35pm BAC 256

The American nineteenth century is the era of biological racism, the idea that physical features such as skin color determine a person’s character and capacities. The U.S. still struggles with the damaging legacy of this antebellum idea of race, but where did it come from? Why did it hold such power to divide persons from one another and into humans and nonhumans? And were there alternative understandings of human variety?

We will answer such questions by placing key works of antebellum literature—by Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Stowe, Melville, Longfellow, and others—within the vast historical and geographic context from which these writers drew ideas about human difference. Our journey thus begins in earlier centuries—when naturalists such as Linnaeus classified nature—and takes us to South America, Tahiti, the Galapagos, and other places where scientists like Humboldt and Darwin conceived of nature’s variety anew. While learning the intellectual, historical, and literary genealogies of early U.S. writing, we will also learn the roots, routes, and alternatives to deeply harmful forms of racial imagining that persist today.

ENG 490R Truth + Lies: Telling the Truth and Why It Matters

Dr. Theresa Kulbaga & Dr. Emily Zakin | WF 10:05am-11:25am BAC 108

This course invites you to read widely in humanities-based theories of truth and truth-telling, to consider the craft and rhetoric of nonfiction genres such as autobiography, memoir, creative journalism, and documentary film, and to develop a critical conception of the role(s) of truth and lies in contemporary society. Readings will include works of philosophy, cultural studies, and creative nonfiction, from Eula Biss's On Immunity (about the metaphors surrounding immunity and vaccination) to Hannah Arendt's "Truth and Politics" (on the tensions between truth and politics). Projects will include weekly papers, a research presentation, and a final analytical or creative project.  

ENG 495E Capstone in Literature & Cultural Studies— Race, Class and the Ecocritical Imagination

Dr. Anita Mannur | MW 10:05 – 11:25 am  BAC 138

Ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the environment. To address questions related to the relationship between humans and the natural world we will read a variety of ecocritical novels and selections from critical theory that interrogate the layering of class, race and gender.  Along the way, we will note the historical and political contexts in which the writing was produced, attending to the myriad discourses that inform our perceptions of environment—from the philosophical to the political and from scientific to poetic. We begin the course with Rob Nixon's influential text, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor and Amitav Ghosh's recently published Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable to ask how and why fiction and literary memoir become venues to address environmental crises of our time. Some of the authors we may read include Amitav Ghosh, Indra Sinha, Ruth Ozeki,  Abdelraman Munif, Linda Hogan, Mohja Kahf, Sonali Deraniyagala, Kristen Iversen, Rachel Carson, Rob Nixon and Henry David Thoreau. 

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