Fall 2013 Courses

Please Note:

The English Department is instituting a new course numbering system beginning Summer 2013. The new numbers are listed below with the old numbers in parentheses.

English 1 (formerly Eng. 09)

Literary History I: Literature up to the Mid-17th Century

At the 10 hour with Professors Halasz and Otter

These courses in literary history will study British, American and Anglophone literature during the periods of the English Department's Course Groups.
English 1 surveys the first centuries of English Literature: from its origins in the Anglo-Saxon period through its invention in the Middle Ages to its consolidation in the seventeenth century.  Course Group I. Dist: LIT; WCult: W.


English 11 (formerly Eng. 20)

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

At the 11 hour with Professor Travis

An introduction to Chaucer, concentrating on ten of the Canterbury Tales, and studying him as a social critic and literary artist. Special attention will be paid to Chaucer's language, the sounds of Middle English, and the implications of verse written for the ear. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group I, CA tags Genre-poetry, Genders and Sexualities.

English 15 (formerly Eng. 24)


At the 12 hour with Professor Gamboa

A study of about ten plays spanning Shakespeare's career, including comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances. Attention will be paid to Shakespeare's language; to his dramatic practices and theatrical milieu; and to the social, political, and philosophical issues raised by the action of the plays. Videotapes will supplement the reading. Exercises in close reading and interpretative papers. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group I, CA tag Genre-drama.

English 23 (formerly Eng. 34)

Romantic Literature: Writing and English Society, 1780-1832

At the 10 hour with Professor McCann

This course offers a critical introduction to the literature produced in Britain at the time of the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic wars.There will be a strong emphasis throughout the course on the specific ways in which historical forces and social changes shape and are at times shaped by the formal features of literary texts. The question of whether romantic writing represents an active engagement with or an escapist idealization of the important historical developments in this period will be a continuous focus. Readings include works by Blake, Wordsworth, Helen Maria Williams, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Robert Southey, Coleridge, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Keats, and Clare. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group II. CA tag National Traditions and Countertraditions.

English 30 (formerly Eng. 43)

Early Black American Literature

At the 10 hour with Professor Favor (crosslisted with AAAS 34)

A study of the foundations of Black American literature and thought, from the colonial period through the era of Booker T. Washington. The course will concentrate on the way in which developing Afro-American literature met the challenges posed successively by slavery, abolition, emancipation, and the struggle to determine directions for the twentieth century. Selections will include: Wheatley, Life and Works; Brown, Clotel; Douglass, Narrative; Washington, Up from Slavery; DuBois, Souls of Black Folk; Dunbar, Sport of the Gods; Chestnut, House Behind the Cedars; Harriet Wilson, Our Nig; Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; and poems by F. W. Harper, Paul L. Dunbar and Ann Spencer. Dist: LIT. WCult: W. Course Group II. CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, Genre-narrative.

English 31 (formerly Eng. 44)

Asian American Literature and Culture

At the 2A hour with Professor Bahng

This course examines narratives of migration to, from, and between the Americas by groups from East, South, and Southeast Asia. We will analyze novels, short fiction, poetry, and films by twentieth-century artists (i.e. Joy Kogawa, Theresa Cha, Shani Mootoo, Jhumpa Lahiri, Bienvenido Santos, Wayne Wang) against the historical backdrop of imperialism in Asia and the Americas; periods of exclusion and internment; and social movements that coalesce around intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Course Group III. CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Multicultural and Colonial Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.

English 45 (formerly Eng. 15)

Introduction to Literary Theory

At the 12 hour with Professor Travis

The course will introduce students to some of the leading texts, concepts, and practices of what has come to be known as theoretical criticism. Topics to be considered may include some of the following: structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, new historicism, post-colonialism, post-modernism, queer theory, and cultural studies. Attention will also be given to historical and institutional contexts of this criticism. Intended to provide a basic, historically informed, knowledge of theoretical terms and practices, this course should enable students to read contemporary criticism with understanding and attempt theoretically informed criticism themselves. Dist: LIT.

English 47 (formerly Eng. 18)

History of the English Language

At the 11 hour with Professor Pulju (crosslisted with LING 18)

The development of English as a spoken and written language as a member of the Indo-European language-family, from Old English (Beowulf), Middle English (Chaucer), and Early Modern English (Shakespeare), to contemporary American English. Emphasis will be given to the linguistic and cultural reasons for 'language change,' to the literary possibilities of the language, and to the political significance of class and race. Open to all classes. Dist:QDS;,WCult: W. Course Group IV. CA tags: Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, National Traditions and Countertraditions, Literary Theory and Criticism.

English 52.10 (formerly Eng. 66.10)

Vox Clamantis: Wilderness in 19th Century American Literature

At the 11 hour with Professor Chaney

Inspired by the motto of Dartmouth College, this course examines the trope of wilderness in nineteenth-century American literature and the types of voices that cry out within them. While helping to establish a national literary tradition, the American 'deserto' or wilderness has also functioned as a kind of rhetorical staging area, in which various (often competing) notions of individualism, community, and political philosophy emerge. As a result, the novels, poems, slave narratives, and short stories of nineteenth-century American literature abound with landscapes as social and psychological as they are physical. Authors will include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Chesnutt, Mark Twain, and Willa Cather. Dist: LIT; WCult:no designation. Course Group II. CA tags Period study-II, National Traditions and Countertraditions.

English 53.10 (formerly Eng. 62.10)

Immigrant Women Writing in America

At the 11 hour with Professor Zeiger (cross listed with WGST 47.1)

In responding to the obstacles facing America's immigrants -- problems of dislocation, split identity, family disunity and claustrophobia, culture shock, language barriers, xenophobia, economic marginality, and racial and national oppression -- women often assume special burdens and find themselves having to invent new roles. They often bring powerful bicultural perspectives to their tasks of survival and opportunity seeking, however, and are increasingly active in struggles for cultural expression and social and economic justice. We will examine the different conditions for women in a variety of immigrant groups in America, reading in several histories, anthologies of feminist criticism, interdisciplinary surveys, and relevant texts in critical theory, but ultimately focusing on the words, in autobiography and fiction, of women writers. We will read such works as Akemi Kikimura's Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman; Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior; Bharati Mukerjee's Darkness; Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street; Jamaica Kincaid's Lucy; and Kim Chernin's In My Mother's House. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Course Group III, CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Genders and Sexualities.

English 53.11 (formerly Eng. 62.11)

War and Gender

At the 10A hour with Professor Boose (crosslisted with WGST 42)

Of all the cultural enterprises and big ticket myths in western history, probably none has been as strictly gendered as war. Traditionally, war has been constructed as powerfully gendered binary in which battle is posed as a nearly sacred and exclusively male domain through which young men are initiated into the masculine gender and the male bond. From the west's great classical war narrative of The Iliad onward, the feminine has, by contrast, been defined as that which instigates male-male conflict and that which wars are fought either to save or protect, be it a war to rescue Helen of Troy, to avenge the raped women of Kuwait whose plight was invoked as a cause for the l991 Gulf War, one to protect the faithful (or faithless and betraying) wife at home, or a war to defend the ultimate national repository of the feminine ideal to be protected from the rapacious invasions of the enemy: America the Beautiful, mother land and virgin land. As a counterpart to the protection of the feminine imagined as belonging to one's own males, the narrative either tacitly or overtly allows a soldier to view the all "enemy" women as objects to be raped; and in the most recent wars of ethnic genocide of the 1990s onward, women in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan have become no longer just incidental victims or "collateral damage," but the primary objects of enemy destruction. Starting with the Gulf War, however, the strict spatialization of the American war myth was at least challenged by the new presence of women on the war front, women as POWs, and in the present war in Iraq, women coming home maimed and in body bags; and women have now been integrated—whether successfully or not-- into all of the U. S. military accredited academies. With a special although not exclusive concentration on U.S. culture of the past century, this course will take a look at film, fiction, non fiction and biography, news media and online material, in tracing the strongly gendered myths and narratives that are wrapped up in the cultural understanding of War. Dist: LIT: WCult: W. Course Group III. CA tags Genders and Sexualities, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, National Traditions and Countertraditions.

English 53.20 (formerly Eng. 67.20)

Indian Killers: Murder and Mystery in Native Literature and Film

At the 2A hour with Professor Benson Taylor (crosslisted with NAS 32)

This course explores the abundance of crime fiction and murder mysteries created by Native American artists in recent decades. For some, the genre provides an imaginative space for avenging the offenses of colonization. For others, it offers a democratized landscape where all are equal, where American law is malleable, and where intelligence and subversion triumph. While most critics applaud these decolonizing efforts, we will examine their darker implications as well: do these narratives do real cultural work, or do they simply cash in on a thrill-seeking, stereotype-infested, pop-cultural industry? Do such works reveal that colonial violence will beget only more-and bloodier-violence? And in the end, who are its true victims? Dist: LIT; WCult: Cl. Course Group III, CA tags National Traditions and Countertraditions, Multicultural and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture.

English 72.12 (formerly Eng. 71.12)

Gothic Fiction

At the 12 hour with Professor McCann  (crosslisted with COLT 40.01)

The so-called Gothic revival at the end of the eighteenth century dramatically changed the ways in which Europeans read and wrote fiction. While the supernatural orientation of the Gothic has often been read as a resistance to the culture of the Enlightenment, it is just as clear that Gothic writing from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries became an important forum for innovative thinking about sexuality, psychology and the nature of political power. This course will examine some of the radical political and aesthetic possibilities inherent in the Gothic genre as it was conceived in this period. Readings may include work by Horace Walpole, William Godwin, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, Charles Maturin, and Mary Shelley. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Course Group II. CA tags Genre-Narrative, National Traditions and Countertraditions.

English 80

Writing and Reading Fiction

At the 2A hour with Catherine Tudish

A beginning workshop and reading course in fiction. Open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and first-year students who have completed Writing 5 (or its equivalents WRIT 2-3 or HUM 1). Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion and include individual conferences. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. English 80 is the prerequisite to English 83, Intermediate Workshop in Fiction. Dist: ART.

English 86 (formerly Eng. 85)

Advanced Workshop in Creative Writing

At the 10A hour with Professor Tudish

An advanced workshop for seniors who wish to undertake a manuscript of fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry. Students must submit an 8-12 page writing sample to the instructor by the LAST DAY OF CLASSES of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll. Please include your name, class year, and major. Prerequisite: English 83, 84 or 85 depending on the genre of the workshop offered. Dist: ART.CA tag Creative Writing.