Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2005

English 104 section 1: Creative Writing
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

This class is designed for anyone who has ever wanted to write creatively, yet who is not sure how to begin or how to move beyond where they are presently in their own writing. Topics include getting started, establishing a passionate discipline, making time, focusing on ideas and feelings and giving them shape through the language of fiction, poetry, and drama. The course will also zero in on backbone issues of style and technique ranging from those of characterization and plot, continuity, and vividness of imagery, clarity of diction, and use of phrasing and structure in the writing of our worlds--the various ways that elements of craft inherently dovetail with content. There will be weekly creative writing exercises and group discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. The course offers relaxed, though thorough and individualized investigation of the participants' work in relation to craft, theme and content writing. What do we mean when we talk about issues of style, form, and voice(s)? What is fiction, what is metaphor, what is the magic of language, the ghost of echoes, which reflect your own vision of the world, your experience or part, your dreams or visions? What do we mean when we talk about the lyric, about experimentations, about taking chances in writing? We'll look at the work of Modern and contemporary writers ranging from Baldwin to Akhmatova to Borges to that of younger writers publishing today. Students will also read and respond to one another's exercises in an environment that offers encouragement and direction. Critiques will focus on motivating the student to tap the undefined territory of his or her own imagination in order to more fully cultivate and mature her or his own voice/s and styles. Writing which moves beyond the so-called boundaries between genres in a spirit of exploration will also be encouraged. The goal of the course includes completing a portfolio of your work, and a revised text for a class anthology, group reading, and party.

English 104 section 2: Creative Writing
Professor Barbara Henning
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

In this writing workshop, students will read, study, and write poetry and short stories. During the first half of each workshop, we will discuss examples of poems and stories. Then I will provide a specific assignment for the following workshop. The main text for the remaining class time will be student writing; we will workshop each poem and story, helping each other improve each others' drafts. The emphasis will be on form and structure, especially learning to be particular with writing, rather than general, including images and detail in both stories and poems. A midterm and final portfolio will include revised poems and stories, as well as a review of learning and a self-evaluation. There will be a packet of assignments and Xeroxed fiction. Recommended text: The Handbook of Poetic Forms.

English 129: British Literature II
(Re-) Writing Religion in Modern British Literature
Professor Bernard Schweizer
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course explores the ways in which works of modern British literature engage issues of religious belief, worship, and church doctrine. Each of the assigned texts, drawn from poetry, novel, drama, and essay, variously celebrates, questions, or subverts fundamental aspects of religion. For instance, Frankenstein dramatizes man's desire to create life, like God; Graham Greene puzzles over the meaning of divine grace, as it appears to be lavished on a corrupt Mexican priest; Murder in the Cathedral thematizes the justifications for (deliberate) martyrdom; Kingsley Amis presents a dystopian world in which the reformation never took place; and Philip Pullman's fiction turns all major tenets of Christianity, including divine providence, redemption, and original sin, upside down. This course does not endorse any particular religious or anti-religious outlook, nor does it require students to practice any religion at all. It merely presumes that while religion is of immense importance to many people and societies, the specific manifestations and meanings of spirituality, faith, and doctrine are complex, manifold, and often contested.

English 137: Shakespeare
Professor Joan Templeton
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course will examine Shakespeare's plays both as texts and as theatrical performances. If possible, we will attend a Shakespeare production. Plays to be studied include Romeo and Juliet,The Merchant of VeniceHamletMacbethOthello, and King Lear. Students must have completed English 61, 62, or 63, 64 and the core seminar (or English 17) to register for the course.

English 150: Introduction to Caribbean Literature
Professor Rosamond King
Mondays & Wednesdays
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

This course will survey the diverse tradition of Caribbean literature through texts from English, French, and Spanish-speaking countries (including Haiti, Cuba, and Trinidad & Tobago). We will examine major themes such as slavery, colonialism, racial diversity, and immigration, and we will discuss what, other than geographic location, unities Caribbean countries and the Caribbean literature.

English 159: Literature of the U.S. II
Professor Carol Allen
Mondays & Wednesdays
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

This is a survey that covers American literature from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. The course will provide general information about the major writers and texts that have contributed to the great, diverse tradition of American letters. We will chart our discoveries by peering through the lens of representation, asking such questions as who names and describes the newly unified, post-civil war America, how do turn-of-the-century and early twentieth-century creative artists revision America during an age of Western imperialism/expansion/colonialism, how does literature compete with the new technologies that produce representation as well (photography, film, television), what is meant by and what are the politics of "American" modernism and post-modernism, and finally, how does literature both document and "undocument" American experience? We will concentrate on three vital prolific periods: nineteenth-century regional writing, Modernism (1912-1936), and contemporary, post-war production.

English 166: Fiction Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays & Thursdays
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

This workshop will focus on the way autobiography overlaps with fiction and how the past is fictionalized as a way of keeping it alive. The premise is that the source of most fiction is fading memories, whether we're aware of it or not. Though Jack Kerouac is the most obvious exponent of this method, we'll look at other writers of the last century (Marguerite Duras, Peter Handke, Lydia Davis, John Edgar Wideman, Georges Perec, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Laura Riding, Raymond Queneau, Jamaica Kincaid, James Ellroy, Maurice Blanchot) who struggle to cross the borders between fiction and life story. We'll concentrate on the conventions of fiction--plot, character, conflict--with an eye towards expanding on what's already been done. Our writing project will include working with secrets, memories, observations, opinions, overheard conversations--fragments of everything.

English 169: Nonwestern/Postcolonial Literature
Professor Maria McGarrity
Tuesdays & Thursdays
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

This class was cancelled and did not run.

Post-colonialism as a critical impulse has had a profound impact on literary and cultural studies in recent years. This course will examine the theories and fictions that characterize post-colonialism by focusing on the encounter between the centralized colonial metropolis and its global peripheries in the twentieth century. The creative works in this course from the Caribbean include writers from African, Asian, and European traditions. This diversity of perspective allows for the examination of the post-colonial imagination from both the centers and margins of the empire. These works will allow us to frame our global theoretical inquiries by using the specificities of particular cultural experiences. We will attempt to determine what unites the islands of the Caribbean archipelago and what may connect or separate them from Latin America. We will explore foundational texts in the field and complicate the following topics: globalism and local culture; the psychology of colonialism; resistance/accommodation/complicity; indigeneity and constructions of the Other; and imagining nationalisms.

English 190: Senior Seminar
Professor Leah Dilworth
Mondays & Wednesdays
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

This course will guide students through the process of writing a long research paper (20-25 pages) on topics of their own choosing. Students will use a range of research resources and write an informal proposal, a formal proposal, a first draft, and a final draft of the paper. Students will also read and critique each other's work. Required reading will include essays on research methods and writing as well as "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with selected critical essays.

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