Friday, October 4, 2013

Undergraduate Courses -- Spring 2014

Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about crossing over the bridge to 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 wayneberninger.setster.com.

THE CLASSES

ENG 104 Introduction to Creative Writing (Course ID# 6068)
Professor Felice Belle
Mondays 6-8:30 PM


This course will satisfy a Creative Writing elective requirement in the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can count as one of the four required Creative Writing workshops in the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

Are you a poet, MC, aspiring novelist? Do you keep a secret journal, waiting for the right time to share your brilliance with the world? Whether you're an expert wordsmith or a reluctant writer, this course will help you develop your voice and take risks in your work. Students will experiment with several genres of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and playwriting. We will read and respond to the work of great writers, including Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Frank O’Hara, Anna Deavere Smith, and Adrienne Rich, in hopes of learning what makes them masters of their craft. Through weekly writing assignments and in-class workshops, students will receive constructive feedback and develop the critical language necessary for discussing each other's writing. Students will also create a final portfolio of their creative writing and participate in an end-of-semester class reading. The course will feature visits from contemporary writers and opportunities to attend readings and open mics in and around New York City.

ENG 126 News Writing (Course ID# 4661)
Professor Donald Bird (Journalism Department)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30-2:55 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. 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.

ENG 129 Later British Literatures / DERANGED! Figures & Figurations of Madness in Modern British Literature (Course ID# 4310)
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Tuesdays 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.

Literature often explores the limits of human endurance, the extremes of passion, the borderlands of scientific and spiritual obsessions, or the after-effects of trauma. Any of these situations tends to produce eccentric characters, and it is no surprise, therefore, to find extreme mental states—call them madness or any of the politically more correct appellations—at the center of many stories and poems. This course will study some memorableliterary treatments of mental illness, involving unhinged characters and constellations of madness ranging from the pathological to the existential. Some of the questions that will preoccupy us are: what is the connection between madness and love? What is the link between madness and spirituality? What is the relationship between madness and gender? In other words, we will explore how mental illness is presented in a literary format and what ideological, medical, and figurative significances are attached to it.

ENG 137 Shakespeare (Course ID# 6067)
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Mondays 3-5:30 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.

It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . . it’s . . . SHAKESPEARE!! Shakespeare is the most widely recognized figure in English literary studies, but why do we still study his plays? The diversity and timelessness of his narratives are a testament to the dynamic world of Elizabethan and Jacobin theater. However, to get the true experience of the Bard, you have to read AND see his work. This course will introduce students to the London stage and the theatrical world that shaped Shakespeare’s plays. Students will unpack the meaning of these comedies, romances, tragedies, and histories by reading the text, discussing its significance, and viewing the text on stage or on film. Class assignments will include a formal, written essay; short reaction papers to the plays; a staged reading of a passage; a group project involving a bit of creative rewriting and some acting. Theater is not solely a reading experience; it is a lived experience.

ENG 159 Literature of the United States Since 1865 / The Country and the City (Course ID# 4010)
Professor Leah Dilworth
Wednesdays 3-5:30 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 explore American literature from the Civil War to the present through the theme “The Country and the City.” We will examine the historical circumstances of migrations and urban expansion from the Civil War to the present and the ways writers have responded to and informed the nation’s constantly changing cultural landscape. We’ll also look at paintings and photographs that show often conflicting notions of how nature and culture interact. Readings will be drawn from the literatures of the “local color” movement, the Great Migration, Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and Southern gothic literature.

Selected reading:

  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
  • Jean Toomer, Cane
  • Short fiction by Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Alice Walker
  • Poetry by Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein

ENG 163 Explorations in Non-Fiction Writing / Hybrid Discourse (Course ID# 5458)Professor Donald McCrary
Tuesdays 3-5:30 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. Any student may take this course a second time for credit.

This is a nonfiction workshop in which students explore topics that include the essay, experimental nonfiction, zine writing, and digital storytelling. Emphasis on discussion of student manuscripts and individual conferences with instructor.

From viral video and audio mashups to the many print sources in which writers demonstrate their knowledge and facility with different languages and culture, hybrid discourse continues to gain popularity and agency in our society. The composition scholar Patricia Bizzell describes hybrid discourse as a “contact zone” where identity, culture, and voice intersect to create new expressive forms. Hybrid discourse is particularly suitable for expressing multilingual knowledge and skill, for expressing the multiple self. In this course, we will explore hybrid discourse both inside and outside the academy. We will read academic writers such as Keith Gilyard, Victor Villanueva, and Gloria Andalzua. We will read non-academic hybrid discourse found in magazines, novels, and the internet, analyzing how hybrid discourse is constructed and what it tells us about texts and ourselves. In addition to reading hybrid discourse, each student will facilitate a course reading to the class, complete journal entries, and write a research paper that can include different types of media and languages.

ENG 166 Fiction Writing / Flash Fiction & Oral Storytelling: Finding Our Own Secret Stories (Course ID# 4068)
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-4:15 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.

We all have our stories. We live and tell them every day, sometimes even the most secret ones. But how do we develop the concentration and confidence to get them down on the page? This workshop will focus on the ways autobiography and oral storytelling overlap and how the past can be fictionalized as a way of giving it a new voice, a strong voice—to give the writer both distance from and freedom to enter his/her own life stories.

In class we will tell stories—our own and those from writers around the world. Some may initially seem mundane, some may initially seem fantastic, it doesn’t matter. They change as we master them. We will practice getting our language down, from the heart to the street, in very short, flash fictions—some as short as a paragraph but none longer than a few pages. The premise is that the source of much fiction is based on memories and dreams and talking them through and writing them down.

We’ll look at writers ranging from Jean Toomer, Marguerite Duras, Toure, Jorge Luis Borges, Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Jamaica Kincaid, Yasunari Kawabata, Michael Ondaatje, Lydia Davis, Edwidge Danticat, Karen Russell, Junot Diaz, and Sherman Alexie (among others), who often blur the borders between oral storytelling, the dream, and the true-life story. We will watch videos/listen to oral stories from The Moth and performers from the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ©. We will do writing games to build up our confidence as we develop our style and skill at telling our stories in our own, original voice. We'll concentrate on the various traditions of narrative, including plot, character, and conflict—with an eye towards expanding on what's already been done by the masters of the past and present.

There will be weekly creative writing improvisations, workshops, and discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. We’ll read as well as listen to and help one another with our stories and how we can revise them. This will be the equivalent of a writers studio and will include playing out dreams, secrets, journals, memories, observations, overheard conversations, magazine cut-ups, post-card stories, family tales, and random fragments of language, as well as episodes from our childhoods up through the present—from the heart to the street to the page. We’ll give presentations or performances of the work as we go along. You will also have the opportunity to explore and write about the larger community of NYC with fieldwork for your stories in your neighborhoods and with the attendance of a literary reading. Your final project will be the creation and compilation of your developed and revised collected stories in the form of a short book (chapbook)/video/or performance, accompanied by a meta-text and artist statement.

ENG 190 Senior Seminar in Literature (Course ID# 3906)
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Wednesdays 6-8:30 PM

This course is required in the Literature concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

ENG 191 Senior Seminar in Creative Writing (Course ID# 4238)
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45 PM

This course is required in the Creative Writing concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

ENG 192 Senior Seminar in Writing & Rhetoric (Course ID# 4014)
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays 3-5:30 PM

This course is required in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

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