Undergraduate Courses, Summer & Fall 2002


English 103
Workshop in Advanced Writing/Special Focus on the Personal Essay  
Professor Harriet Malinowitz

This course will focus on writing the personal essay.  The first few class meetings will be devoted to reading personal essays by established authors and analyzing their form, their style, the rhetorical strategies they employ, and their use of language.  This examination should help us understand the ways personal essays present and interrogate the self and subjective experience.  Our reading of published essays will continue, though less intensively, as we move on to a workshop format in which students' essays are read and discussed in detail.  The goal of the workshop critique is to help the writer move effectively toward revision; each student will be expected to produce two developed 10-15 page personal essays (or one longer piece) by the end of the course.  Students are encouraged to make as many appointments for individual conferences as they wish.


English 101
Introduction to English Studies
Professor Patricia Stephens

What does one need to know to be an English major or minor?  What do English majors and minors study and learn?  What kinds of career opportunities await those who graduate with a degree in English?  This course is designed to  familiarize students with the diversity and scope of English studies and to introduce students to contemporary debates concerning such issues as the connection between reading and writing, the relationship among different interpretive/critical strategies, and the nature and politics of the literary canon.  In this course, we will 1) learn about the rise of English as a profession in the university (within the United States) and how the profession has changed over time; 2) focus on shifting notions of literacy and the function of English in American society; 3) analyze the formation and politics of the literary canon; 4) examine and experiment with numerous methods of literary criticism and analysis; and 5) investigate the many possible career opportunities awaiting students who graduate with a degree in English.   This course will be conducted as a seminar, and students will be expected to participate in and take responsibility for class discussions.

English 104
Creative Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh

The goal of the workshop is to expand our ideas of “what is a poem” and what is “a work of fiction.” Are poetry and fiction exclusive or related genres? Weekly assignments will question the preconceived notions of form, content and gender, with emphasis on the best ways of transcribing thought processes and experiences into writing. Work by Marguerite Duras, Frank O’Hara, William Carlos Williams, Lydia Davis, Andre Breton and others will be discussed in class, and used as models, but much of the workshop time will be spent reading and discussing our own writing. A final portfolio of work will be required.

English 128
British Literature I
The Monstrous and the Fantastic in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Professor Sealy Gilles

This course focuses on representations of the grotesque, the semi-human, and the fairy in the first six hundred years of literature written in the British Isles – from the monster tale of Beowulf to Shakespeare’s fantasy, The Tempest.  Early ideas of the supernatural and the subhuman reveal much about the construction of the natural and the human.  As these texts chart the outer darknesses, the margins of civilization and humanity, they inevitably shed light on the societies from which they have emerged – and on the inner darknesses which haunt those cultures.  The monstrous “kin of Cain” in Beowulf, the hag turned fairy in Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and Caliban and Ariel of Shakespeare’s island romance – all these define the limits of humanity and the price to be exacted for exceeding or transgressing those limits. 

This is a discussion class, with some brief time-outs for background mini-lectures.  I expect you to come prepared and ready to contribute, to spend time and effort on readings and written assignments, and to respect the views of your classmates.  You have a right to expect that I will read and listen to your work carefully and respond quickly, respectfully, and in detail.

English 137
Major Texts of Shakespeare
Professor Joan Templeton

This course examines Shakespeare’s sonnets and some of the major comedies and tragedies. Focusing on the texts as scripts in theatres as well as literary texts, we see videos of live performances and major film adaptations of the plays, and attend one live performance together. The Shakespeare texts are The Sonnets, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. Some of the films we will see are Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, Kenneth Branagh’sOthello, and Laurence Olivier’s King Lear. Requirements are three essays, written outside of class, on texts we have studied together.  

English 158
Literature of the U.S. I
Professor Patrick Horrigan

The course will survey the literature of the early republic, from the founding of the American colonies in the seventeenth century, through the American Revolution in the late eighteenth century, and up to the period of industrialization and the Civil War in the mid-nineteenth century. We will examine a variety of texts, both “classic” and less well known, including poetry, sermons, captivity narratives, fiction, political philosophy, feminist manifestos, and slave narratives. We will also read selections of modern and contemporary literary criticism that shed light on the primary, literary texts. Students will give in-class presentations and write formal and informal essays.

English 170
West Indians in the Harlem Renaissance
Professor Louis Parascandola

Anglophone (English-speaking) Caribbean immigrants played a vital, if often neglected, role during the Harlem Renaissance, an important literary and cultural movement of the 1920s and early 1930s. There were, in fact, over 36,000 foreign born Blacks, mostly West Indians, in Harlem in l920. These immigrants, despite often facing severe discrimination, had a significant effect on American culture and politics. We will discuss Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association, particularly paying attention to the “Back to Africa” movement and Garvey’s role as a facilitator of the Harlem Renaissance. In addition to Garvey, we will examine the radical political writings of W.A. Domingo, and poetry by Claude McKay, one of the seminal figures in the Harlem Renaissance, and short stories by Eric Walrond, poetry by George Margetson, fiction/essays by J.A. Rogers and Amy Jacques Garvey, and drama by Eulalie Spence. Finally, we will consider the views of leading African Americans such as W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes on Garvey and the West Indian Community.

English 228
Women’s Studies, American Culture, & the Literary Imagination
Professor Kimberly Lamm

This women’s studies course examines literary texts by and about women in late nineteenth and twentieth-century American Culture. By attending to a wide variety of texts, we will highlight the ideas and ideologies that form both a feminist and an American conception of literature. What can literary representations of women tell us about the shifting and turbulent cultural landscape of late nineteenth and twentieth century America? Why has literature been such an important place for women to communicate ideas and make arguments about gender inequity? How have American myths and ideologies merged into literary ideals, and how have American feminist writers subverted and worked within those literary ideals? As we pursue these questions, we will also become familiar with the basic tenets of feminist literary criticism and feminist cultural studies. Work by the following writers included: Kate Chopin, Angela Grimke, Harriet Jacobs, Georgia Douglass Johnson, Henry James, Zora Neale Hurston, Djuna Barnes, Sui Sin Far, Zitkla Sa, Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Teresa Hak Kyung Cha. Course Requirements: Class presentation, mid-term take-home exam, and a final term paper. 

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