Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Undergraduate Courses -- Summer 2013 & Fall 2013


Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about what classes you want to take next semester!

English Majors — Before you register, please make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger to review your outstanding requirements. Then register as early as possible to keep courses from being canceled. Non-Majors — The writing and analytical skills gained in English courses are useful in a variety of professions. Any student may take these courses as general electives. A minor in English (four courses 100 or above) will satisfy the Distribution Requirement for any major. For more information, see Wayne Berninger. Also note —Honors electives taught by English Department faculty may be applied toward the English major in a variety of ways. Please see Wayne Berninger in the English Department before you register in order to confirm which requirement the course may satisfy. These courses may also be applied toward the English minor. 
To schedule an appointment, go to w
ayneberninger.setster.com.

Summer Session One 2013
May 20 — July 1

English 150 Studies in Ethnic Literatures
Contemporary African American Literature
Professor Carol Allen
Mondays & Wednesdays 2-4:50 PM

This course will satisfy the Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. Any student may take ENG 140, 150, 170 or 180 a second time for credit.

This course looks at fictional and nonfictional texts written by African American writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will examine a sampling of works across genres from poetry to drama, the novel, short story, memoir and essay. Possible writers might be drawn from Colson Whitehead, Toni Morrison, Lucille Clifton, August Wilson, Suzanne Lori-Parks, James Baldwin, Patricia Williams, John Edgar Wideman, Adrienne Kennedy, Octavia Butler, Tracy K. Smith and/or others. Background and historical information will be provided in a short lecture given at the start of the course; thereafter, the class will be student-centered and will include a variety of assignments. Our focus will be on what happens to black language and culture as we transition to a “post-racial” society (of course this term will be scrutinized). Along the way, we will also encounter such concerns as what are the gendered differences, if any, in African American literature; what are the messages that contemporary artists wish to convey; how is vernacular expression relevant to products crafted by contemporary black artists; and what are the politics of writing for an audience that may be unfamiliar with the cultural currency in the text. Assignments will consist of in-class essays, position papers (or other informal writing), leading class discussion, and a final exam.

Fall 2013

English 126 News Writing (taught by Journalism faculty)
Section 1 / Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30-2:55 PM / Professor Jennifer Rauch
Section 2 / Tuesdays 6-8:50 PM / Professor Jennifer Rauch

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. Please note that this course is cross-listed with JOU 119. Students who wish this course to count toward the English major (or minor) should be sure to register for ENG 126 — not JOU 119. Contact the Journalism Department for information about the content of this course.

English 128 Early British LiteraturesMonsters, Hybrids, and Shape-shifters in Early British LiteraturesProfessor Sealy Gilles
Mondays & Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 PM

This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

In 1000 C.E. England was Europe’s western frontier, an unsettled island of competing fiefdoms and migratory peoples. By 1600 London was the western world’s largest city and Queen Elizabeth I ruled over a colonial power soon to become the British Empire. The early literature of this island nation reflects the multiple identities of the English people, but it is also troubled by an often violent history and by the specter of strange beings, both benign and monstrous. This semester our cast of aliens includes Beowulf, the swamp dwelling humanoid, an old hag who traps a young gallant, a giant Green Knight, and a trio of prophetic witches. As the supernatural intrudes into the lives of the characters and their communities, it challenges our notion of the human and impels us to interrogate the dynamics of class and ethnicity. As we explore these issues in works ranging from Beowulf to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, you will be asked to write frequently, participate actively, and read closely. You may expect that I will respect your ideas and respond quickly and fairly to your work.

English 158 Early Literatures of the United States
American Landscapes
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Wednesdays 6:00-8:30 PM

This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

A reverence for nature is at the heart of American culture, as in these famous lyrics from the song “America the Beautiful,” written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies, / For amber waves of grain, / For purple mountain majesties / Above the fruited plain! / America!  America! / God shed his grace on thee / And crown thy good with brotherhood / From sea to shining sea!

The song expresses a powerful association between the United States and the beauties of the natural world, all peacefully existing under the watchful and approving eyes of God.  In this course we will trace the development of this mythic idea from the first violent struggles between Native Americans and Europeans for occupancy of the New World and ownership of its breathtaking natural resources; through the American Revolution of the late 18th-century and the American Civil War of the mid-19th century, when Americans questioned their identity and their country’s destiny as never before; and onto the early 21st century, when our self-confidence as a nation has been further shaken by terrorism, natural disaster, and economic uncertainty.  Texts will include Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative; poetry by Anne Bradstreet, Phyllis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson; The Declaration of Independence; Frederick Douglass' Narrative; short fiction by Herman Melville; and Henry David Thoreau's Walden, or Life in the Woods.  We will also study mid-19th-century American landscape painting, sample the writings of Central Park's designer Frederick Law Olmsted, and take a tour of the park itself.  The course is writing intensive.

English 164 Explorations in Creative Writing
A Writers Studio: From East to West, Haiku to Hip Hop—Zen, Wabi-Sabi, Habuin, and Real NYC Stories
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-4:15 PM

This course is required in the Creative Writing concentration.  It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Creative Writing requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. Any student may take this course a second time for credit.

•       Do you ever write songs, lyrics, or stories? Are you interested in haiku poetry?
•       Do you remember the fables and poems you wrote as a child?
•       Do you secretly write in a journal or diary?
•       Have you never written a poem but wanted to find a way into your meditative voice?

This course is for anyone who has ever wanted to express themselves creatively or wants to develop their imaginative voice.

In the course we’ll play with writing techniques of the East and study their influence & possibilities for our own writing in NYC. So what is the relationship between traditions, between haiku and hip hop, for instance—between innovation, and a writer’s unique story or poetic, history, background and culture? If our own voices grow out of the past and from traditions firmly rooted in the power of language, in this class our goal will be to open ourselves to an aesthetics ranging from the meditative spirit of Zen and Wabi-sabi to the contemporary tempo of artistic sounds and music emerging from the streets of the city. How is perfection (or beauty) only mastered in the imperfection of form? How does the chaos of a story find structure in the harmony of imbalance? How has the poetry of haiku, and the experimental and communal collaborations of Haikai and Hokku so profoundly impacted the narrative structure of Haibun and the communites of drummers, singers, and poets around the world?

If haibun is often described as narratives of epiphany, wabi-sabi concentrates on daily life. As with hip hop and rap and the street stories of New York, both forms have manifested more as expressions of urban life and travel dialogues in American usage. We’ll play with these condensed forms of syntax and sensory impressions, experiment with writing in the present tense, and focus language on tone and setting in our weekly workshops.

The course will include workshops, film, artwork and informal talks and will conclude with a chapbook and manifesto of your own work for the semester.

English 165 Poetry Workshop
Poetry & Meditation—From Silence to Expression
Professor John High
Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:30 PM

This course will satisfy a Creative Writing elective requirement in the Creative Writing concentration.  It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Creative Writing requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. English majors concentrating in Creative Writing may take this course a second time for credit.

This workshop will function as a Writers Studio in which we meet each other face to face in our poems and stories and meditate on the meaning of our own lives and writing. We will focus on the way autobiography and dreams overlap in writing, for instance, and how the past can be voiced and the present moment realized on the page. We will study our diaries and notebooks as a place to expand and open up the territory of our own imagination, as much of our writing is based on memories and dreams, fears and aspirations. We’ll look at writers who explore the world of wisdom and calm mind, and who often blur the borders between poetry, dream and life story. There will be weekly creative writing exercises, and group discussions, as well as commentary on the writing and meditation process and how to make it come alive not only in our writing but in our daily activities. With one another we’ll read and help each other learn how to revise our poems. We’ll also give presentations and performances of the work as we go along. The course offers relaxed, though thorough and individualized investigation of the participants' poetry in relation to craft, theme and content of writing, and through the lens of a quiet, open and meditative mind. Our writing project will include working with identity, secrets, observations, aspirations, fears, overheard conversations and random fragments of language. The goal of the course includes completing a chapbook (a kind of creative, little book that includes photographs, drawings, etc.) of your new poems. You will also have the opportunity to explore and write about the larger community of NYC with the attendance of a literary reading, a visit to a meditation center, and a field trip to one of our great parks or museums.

English 169 Nonwestern or Postcolonial Literature
The Caribbean
Professor Maria McGarrity
Thursdays 6-8:30 PM

This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

This course will examine the issues of language, identity, and diaspora of the Caribbean. In The Repeating Island, the Cuban theorist, Antonio Benítez-Rojo, called this island chain a “meta-archipelago” because the sea and land borders that might seem initially to separate these isles in fact link them beyond the boundaries of the nation-language-island. This class will focus on the literatures of such nations as Haiti, Cuba, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, and the Dominican Republic. We will study the work of Nobel Prize-winning St. Lucian, Derek Walcott as well as such writers as Danny Laferrière (whose most recent work charts the aftermath of Haiti’s recent earthquake), Jean Rhys, Maryse Condé, Reinaldo Arenas, Alejo Carpentier, Jamaica Kincaid, and Junot Díaz. Our reading of short stories, poetry, longer fiction, and film will take us from the height if European imperialism in the 19th century through the 20th century struggle for decolonization.

Evaluation: Attendance/Participation/Preparation 25%, Paper 25%, Mid-term Exam 25%, Final Exam 25%.

Required Texts: Arenas, Mona and Other Tales; Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World; Condé, Winward Heights; Díaz, This is How You Lose Her; Laferrière, The World Was Shaking All Around Me; Kincaid, A Small Place; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Walcott, “The Schooner Flight” and selections from Omeros.

English 173 Writing in the Community
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays 6-8:30 pm

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. English majors concentrating in Writing & Rhetoric may take this course a second time for credit.

Writing in the Community is a writing workshop in which students study the rhetoric and writing of community-based and other advocacy organizations. Topics vary from semester to semester and may include rhetorical analysis of community-based texts and strategies for the production of writing from flyers and pamphlets to oral histories, grant proposals, and essays.

Through course readings, library research, and fieldwork, students learn about community histories, issues, and channels of communication. Partnerships with local community organizations provide “real world” experience for students to engage in a range of activities that may include tutoring, interviewing, writing, editing, and multimodal composing. The course culminates in the production of a collection of digital essays for and about a specific community.

To see an example of a digital book created by students at Penn State Berks, scan the QR code, or visit http://www.readingnaacp.org/book.html.

Readings tentatively include Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloane’s Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America; Harvey Wang’s New York; Paul Kutsche’s Field Ethnography; and excerpts from Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson’s The Oral History Reader. The emphasis of the class, however, is on your writing, which will be discussed at least twice in workshop during the semester.

English 202 Literature of the Sea
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Mondays & Wednesdays 3-4:15 PM

This course will satisfy the Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

Melville begins Moby Dick with a meditation on the mysterious attraction that draws us to the water. The experience of the sea and seafaring has been essential in the histories of both Britain and the United States, and it is an essential theme in their literatures. Sublime beauty, mystery, terror, and adventure are all associated with the sea, and the decks of ships are like stages (this is another of Melville’s perceptions) where social, psychological, and moral dramas are played out with singular intensity. Melville and Joseph Conrad are at the center of this course, surrounded by a host of other brilliant writers including Olaudah Equiano, Robert Louis Stevenson, Elizabeth Bishop, and Patrick O’Brian. We will learn about the lives of sailors on war ships, pirate ships, slave ships, whalers, and merchantmen, and consider the experience of those who just mess about in boats, listen to crashing waves, or have the urge to throw themselves into salt water.

No comments: