Graduate Courses, Summer & Fall 2004

Summer 2004

English 624
From Fiction to Film
Professor Howard Silverstein
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 to 6:15 pm

From the birth of film, producers, screenwriters, and directors have turned to fiction as a source for their inspiration. For the director and the screenwriter, the essential problem has always been the same: how does one adapt a novel into a film? By what chemistry does a five hundred-page novel transform itself into a two-hour film? In class we will discuss the fidelity of the moving image to its written source. Can a change of setting, incident, or character still maintain the integrity of the work of fiction? This course will focus on four novels that develop the theme of the individual sensibility in conflict with the demands of a restrictive society. The novels to be discussed are Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Henry James's Washington Square, Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, and Philip Roth's The Human Stain. Students will be required to write four short critical papers comparing the novel to the film. Most of the screenings will take place in class, but one or two may require outside viewing.

English 636: Seminar on Postcoloniality and Desire
Professor Huma Ibrahim
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:00 to 3:15 pm

This course is going to traverse the connections between postcolonial discourse and issues of the other's desire. One of the segments for excavation into postcolonial discourse is the idea of the native identity. Identity is related to human desire and is an under-explored aspect of postcolonial studies.

We will read secondary material as well as primary texts in order to explore issues connected to agency within desire for both men and women in the "other" world. Often this seems to suggest interracial desire, but that is not the concern of this course. What we will be looking at is where desire intersects with identity in the postcolonial context.
Some texts we will be reading are The Gender Sexuality Reader, Tayeb Saleh'sSeason of Migration to the North, Bessie Head's A Question of Power, Alifa Riffat's Distant View of a Minaret, and some others.

FALL 2004

English 522: Academic Writing Workshop 
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course is an intensive, advanced writing workshop for graduate students (across the disciplines) who wish to develop their academic writing skills. The main emphases will be on critical analysis, argumentation, and research. Students will write several short essays in response to common course readings and one longer research paper. There will also be discussion of effective rhetorical strategies for analytic, persuasive prose. Assignments will be derived from readings by intellectual figures with broad interdisciplinary relevance-for example, Plato, Aristotle, Freud, Darwin, Baldwin, Machiavelli, Marx, Lao-Tzu, Arendt, Rousseau, Douglass, Rachel Carson, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

English 523: Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Lewis Warsh
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This workshop explores both the art and the craft of fiction writing. Frequent writing assignments and exercises will concentrate on the conventions of fiction-description, dialogue, characterization-as well as more experimental possibilities such as fragmentation and shifting point of view. Focus will be on the ways autobiography overlaps with fiction and how the past is fictionalized as a way of keeping it alive. Among the models we will look at are stories and novels by Marguerite Duras, Don DeLillo, Lydia Davis, and James Ellroy. Much of the workshop time will be spent reading and discussing student work.

English 524: Poetry Workshop
Professor Barbara Henning
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This graduate poetry workshop will have an emphasis on innovative and experimental poetry. I will provide you with a list of experiments and handouts, but the workshop for the most part will be open. One of the requirements will be that you explore at least three different approaches to writing during the semester. Some of the approaches/forms we will study will include blues & jazz poems, sonnets, prose poetry, Oulipo constraints, projective verse, cubism, and personism. Besides writing and workshopping a group of poems, we will examine the structure, history and ways the form/approach has been accepted and/or transgressed. There will be a required handbook and an anthology.

English 526: Writing Media I--Story
Professor Claire Goodman (Media Arts Department)
6:00 pm to 8:50 pm

This cross-listed course is an introduction to the methods and principles of great storytellin in the media. It is the cornerstone course for all forms of story: commercials, sitcoms, movies, experimental shorts, even documentaries and photographic essays. In the first half of the semester, by means of screenings and discussion, students will learn to recognize and analyze basic story elements such as narrative structure, character, setting, plot, design, irony, and comedy. In the second half, in workshop-style classes, students will work on creating their own stories using these elements. Each student will develop a movie--short screenplay and treatment--as a final project. A professional screenwriter will be a guest speaker at one of the classes.

Requirements: access to a computer, purchase of Final Draft writing software, permission of instructor to take the course.

English 625: Nineteenth Century American Literature
Professor Carol Allen
6:10 pm to 8:00 pm

This course will focus on representation and masking and will assume minstrelsy to be a dominant nineteenth century trope that bridges the gap between sentimentality and "realism." Connections will be made between this aesthetic mode and the writing of such artists as Melville, Chesnutt, Poe, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Hopkins, Cooper, Stowe, Douglass, and Jewett. Supplemental, critical and theoretical material will be introduced as well. The requirements include close reading and research assignments.

English 643: Seminar in Shakespeare
Professor Seymour Kleinberg
6:10 pm to 8:00 pm

Seminar in Shakespeare emphasizes close reading of selected comedies and tragedies, as well as the sonnets, to explore character and theme in the works of one of our greatest writers.

English 646: Individual and Small Group Writing Instruction
Professor Patricia Stephens
6:10 pm to 8:00 pm

In this course, students will examine the theory and practice of individual and small group writing instruction. We will examine a range of strategies for working with students one-on-one as we locate that work within its various theoretical and historical contexts. Our work will focus on the following: structuring sessions and establishing priorities; assessing, diagnosing, and responding to student writing; strategies for intervention, planning, drafting, revising, proofreading, and editing; helping students with grammatical and mechanical concerns; helping students improve reading comprehension; working with ESL students; attending to interpersonal dynamics and cultural and ethnic differences; and tutoring online.

Students who enroll in the course will be required to tutor for one hour per week during the semester at the Writing Center and to audio- and/or videotape one session with a student. The taped session will be transcribed and analyzed by the student for use in a self-study. Classes will be conducted as seminars/workshops so that all students have the opportunity to participate in class presentations, mock tutorials, etc. Each student will generate her/his own idea/s for a final written (and/or action) project, based on topics of interest that arise during the semester.

Possible Texts: Lindemann, A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers; Meyer and Smith, The Practical Tutor; Bouquet, Noise from the Writing Center; Kolln, Rhetorical Grammar; and, Murphy and Law, Landmark Essays on Writing Centers.

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