FALL 2017

LOWER DIVISION COURSES IN ENGLISH
PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE LOWER DIVISION COURSES DO NOT FULFILL ANY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IN ENGLISH OR AMERICAN LITERATURE & CULTURE OR THE ENGLISH MINOR.

English M50 Introduction to Visual Culture
Prof. Firunts

Study of how visual media, including advertising, still and moving images, and narrative films, influence contemporary aesthetics, politics, and knowledge.

English 85 American Novel
Prof. Mott

Development, with emphasis on form, of American novel from its beginning to present day. Includes works of such novelists as Hawthorne, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Ellison, and Morrison

English 90 Shakespeare Prof. Dickey

Survey of Shakespeare's plays, including comedies, tragedies, and histories, selected to represent Shakespeare's breadth, artistic progress, and total dramatic achievement.

UPPER DIVISION COURSES IN ENGLISH

WRITING INTENSIVE COURSES

English 110E Writing in the English Major: Advanced Essay
Prof. Stephan

“The Art of Advanced Essay Writing”

This course is designed for English majors who love to write and want to take their skills as literary and cultural critics to the next level. Essays are enjoying a renaissance: in recent years, there has been an explosion of new writing in the form both on- and offline, ranging from the personal to the cultural to the political. Students will work specifically on developing their abilities as writers of literary and cultural criticism. We will read sample essays, hear from English Department faculty about their writing, and, most importantly, write (and then write some more): shorter and longer exercises and critiques, culminating in a substantial final essay. Expect to brainstorm, draft, discard, reread, and revise; expect also to workshop/peer review all assignments. Please note that although we’ll be reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, this is not a literature course. Our reading is in service of the goal of achieving excellence in critical writing.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH BEFORE 1500

English 140B Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde and Selected Minor Works
Prof. Fisher

Intensive study of Troilus and Criseyde and selected minor works of Chaucer, such as Book of the Duchess, House of Fame, Parliament of Fowls, etc.

English 141 Early Medieval Literature Prof. Jager

Major poetry and prose of early medieval Britain, including epic, romance, history, saints’ lives, and travel literature. Texts and topics include Beowulf, Vikings, poems on women, Bede, and King Alfred.

English 143 Drama to 1576 Prof. Chism

“Medieval Drama: Playing God in the Middle Ages”

This class explores the beginnings of English drama with attention to recent developments in performance theory, gender, theories of state violence and ritual, and cultural studies. Beginning with liturgical and twelfth-century church drama, centering on the English Corpus Christi cycles, the saint’s and morality plays, and pursuing its line through the Reformation and the beginnings of the English professional theater, this course explores the way medieval society performed itself at some of its most contested cultural intersections.

2 6-7 pp. papers (50%); Weekly 1-2 page response papers (30%); Active class participation (20%); optional presentation, performance, group project (replaces one of the papers).

English 145 The Virgin, the Wife, and the Widow:
Dissent and Dominance in the Lives of Holy Women
Medieval Literatures of Devotion and Dissent
Prof. Thomas

The category of the holy life offers a space for thinking through the relationship between the Church and holy women, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, between rebellion and conformity. Ranging from the lives of virgin-martyrs to those of runaway brides, chaste wives, and widows, we will focus on the ways in which the figure of the holy woman as virgin, wife, or widow engaged the norms of the medieval Church by rebelling against and at same time conforming to them. We will close read the lives (Vitae) of such women (and a few holy men) alongside legal documents, itineraries, property records, statutes, and other ecclesiastical documents on issues from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure. Questions for discussion include: What constitutes femaleness or masculinity? When do medieval notions of gender become consequential for saint-making? When is gender merely incidental? How do the figures of the rebel and reactionary enable female hagiography in a world otherwise known to be hostile to women?

NOT OPEN FOR CREDIT TO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ENGLISH 184.5 FALL 2017.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1500-1700

English 150A Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays
Prof. Dickey

An exploration of representative comedies, history plays, and tragedies from the first half of Shakespeare's career.

English 150B Shakespeare: Later Plays Prof. McEachern

This course covers plays from the second “half” of Shakespeare’s career, performed between the turn to the seventeenth century and his death in 1617, including one of the “problem comedies”, three of the “Big 4” tragedies, and two of the  ‘late’ plays (“romances”). Our concerns will include generic experiment (particularly forms of tragedy); linguistic technologies; cultural pressures (esp. politics, religion, gender formations); and theatrical possibilities. 

English 150C Shakespeare and the Legal Scene
Topics in Shakespeare
Prof. Cunningham

It is no news that Shakespeare’s plays include legal issues and trial scenes of all kinds: from The Merchant of Venice to The Winter’s Tale, from The Comedy of Errors to Measure for Measure, and (in imaginary form) in King Lear, the thematic and dramatic possibilities of legal processes and equitable justice captured the playwright’s imagination. In this course, we’ll read selected plays in which various kinds of legal themes and scenes, including but not limited to trials, inform the stories Shakespeare is telling. In order to understand the relationship between Shakespearean law and the contemporary culture, we may also read selectively among sixteenth-century texts dealing with legal theories, processes, and procedures. A midterm and a final paper are among the course requirements.

English 176 Writing the American Hemisphere, 1492-1804
Hemispheric American Literature
Prof. Fuchs

This course engages a range of texts from across the Americas to see how they enrich and complicate the idea of the U.S., and of “American” literature. We will first examine lasting tropes of encounter, established in texts from Columbus onwards, and a range of indigenous responses to European representations (Mexica codices, Waman Puma, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega). We then turn to adjacent and overlapping experiences of New Spain (Mexico), “Florida” (encompassing much of the southern United States), and the Caribbean that unsettle the narrative of an Anglo US (Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Behn, Equiano). Texts cover a range of different actors and writers—European, African, indigenous American—to analyze the contingency of national histories and national canons.

This course also satisfies the College Diversity Requirement.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1700-1850

English 162A
Earlier Romantic Literature
Prof. Sanchez

Intensive study of writings by Blake, Wollstonecraft, W. Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Austen, with collateral readings from such authors as Godwin, Burke, Paine, Radcliffe, Edgeworth, Baillie, C. Smith, Burns, Southey, D. Wordsworth, Lamb, DeQuincey, and Scott.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1850-PRESENT

English 116B Introduction to Electronic Literature Prof. Snelson

What is not electronic literature today? Rather than interrogate “electronic literature” as a subgenre of literature in general, we might turn the question around to ask: are there any works of literature functioning outside of the electronic circuits that characterize the networked present? More boldly, we might contend that even the most traditional literary works are only accessed via digital circuitry. The study of literature today—from Shakespeare’s folios to genre novels to last week’s poetic publication—is facilitated by a range of digital formats and networked consoles. Indeed, it would be quite difficult to find literary modes outside of “electronic literature” in the present moment. This course seeks to understand literature through the everyday experience of computers and electronic devices.

This course begins in 1945, examining the development of post-war computational systems alongside contemporaneous political movements and literary genres. From the history of digital poetics to recent internet poetry, we’ll track the development of literature under the influence of computation up to works published in the present, as they emerge throughout the quarter. In lockstep, the course considers the category of “electronic literature” as a way to think about historical works remediated to the internet, in a range of digital formats. Selected critical texts will include writing by Charles Bernstein, Simone Browne, Wendy Chun, Lori Emerson, Lisa Gitelman, N. Katherine Hayles, Friedrich Kittler, Alan Liu, Jerome McGann, Shaka McGlotten, Rita Raley, and Hito Steyerl, among others. Creative works will also be available online, including works by Alejandro Crawford, Craig Dworkin, Tan Lin, Holly Melgard, Nick Montfort, Tracie Morris, Mendi+Keith Obadike, Allison Parrish, Claudia Rankine, Brian Kim Stefans, and Wilmer Wilson IV, among others.

The course requires short weekly responses in an open format, as well as a mid-term and final assignment, which may be critical or creative in form, developed in conversation with the instructor. No previous experience in programming, poetry, or literature is required.

English 130 Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures
Prof. Behdad

Introduction to major themes and issues in postcolonial literature, with focus on contemporary literature and writings produced after decolonization, often engaging history of British or other empires with emphasis on Anglophone writers from Africa, Caribbean, South Asia, and indigenous Pacific.

English 170A American Literature, 1865 to 1900
Prof. Dimuro

Historical survey of American literature from end of Civil War to beginning of 20th century, including writers such as Howells, James, Twain, Norris, Dickinson, Crane, Chesnutt, Gilman, and others working in modes of realist and naturalist novel, regional and vernacular prose, and poetry.

English 173C Title TBA
Contemporary American Poetry
Prof. Mullen

Description TBA.

English 174C What's Happening Now? U.S. Fiction Since 1990s
Contemporary American Fiction
Prof. Huehls

This course examines recent trends in contemporary American fiction, focusing in particular on the past twenty-five years of literary output from U.S. novelists. As this literary period is nascent and in constant flux, we'll be particularly interested in establishing its thematic and formal departures from postmodernism. The class will examine the period’s critique of its postmodern predecessors and will then investigate various themes and techniques that contemporary authors engage to distinguish themselves and their literary moment. Readings include work by Jeffrey Eugenides, Percival Everett, Junot Diaz, and Jennifer Egan.

English 179R Funny as Shite: Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present: Research Component
Prof. Jaurretche

Some of the most notoriously challenging—and funny--writing of the twentieth-century emerges from the imagination of Samuel Beckett.  The hallmark of his presentation of the human condition is his preoccupation with states of being (or non-being) and decay—including sexual and scatological—and his concomitant desire to invite empathy as well as laughter. This class examines the span of Beckett’s corpus, beginning with his early essays and stories, progressing through major novels such as Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, and culminating with his principal plays, including Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and shorter drama.  Our focus will be on understanding Beckett in the context of the main intellectual and aesthetic traditions from which his work is drawn. Topics of inquiry will range from ancient philosophy to modern linguistics as we pursue the mind-body questions at the heart of Beckett’s nothingness. To this end, our course will introduce research strategies necessary for successful writing about modern and post-modern works by teaching students to navigate field-specific databases, identify major critical traditions, and engage one or more methods of research.  Accomplished student work will be archived with an eye toward eventual web-based publication. Our course will conclude with a reading of Flann O’Brien’s comic novel The Third Policeman.  A masterpiece in its own right, the novel not only spans the greater part of Beckett’s career with its dates of composition and publication (1939 and 1968), but also recapitulates some of his themes while satirizing academic research and methodologies.


GENDER, RACE, ETHNICITY, DISABILITY, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES

English M105A Early Chicana/Chicano Literature, 1400 to 1920
Prof. López

What is early Chicana/o literature? Does it look like later Chicana/o literature? What does “Chicana/o” mean anyway? We will tackle these questions and others this quarter, beginning with why it’s so difficult to recognize writers like Lorenzo de Zavala - a white, wealthy Mexican politician in exile in the United States during the 1830s – as part of Chicana/o literary history. We will explore how Mexican and U.S. history inform each other during the 19th century, asking why their conflicts form the basis of contemporary Chicana/o identity. We end with the Mexican Revolution, which brings increased migration north, as well as the full-scale proletarianization and racialization of Mexicans in the United States. By the end of the quarter you will have a basic understanding of the historical forces shaping Chicana/o culture, the literary ways in which Chicanas/os have responded to these forces, and a solid grounding for further courses in Chicana/o Studies.

English M107A Women's Words: Gender, Ethnicity, and History
Studies in Women's Writing
Prof. Rowe

Gender and ethnicity construct women's lives in the Americas and, we might argue, the choices women face in their lives are often bounded by cultural preconceptions determined by one's gender, race, and class. But women's lives are shaped by history too, whether that history traces back to the legacies of slavery, miscegenation, and the civil rights movements, back to the Japanese immigration and World War II internment, back to nineteenth-century immigration, or more deeply into a continental history of European displacement of Indian tribes, Spanish colonization of indigenous Aztec and native populations in the southwest, and the continuing struggle to live in the borderlands between the United States, Mexico, and Latin America. How do women authors writing today create texts that capture this postcolonial and transnational complexity of women's lives, determined by their gender, ethnicity, and history? How do women negotiate the complexity of identities seemingly fractured, often ruptured irreparably by the triple claims? Where do women find in the reservoirs of ancient lineage, female networks, commitments to children, cultural traditions, spiritual beliefs, the sources of identity and connection that enable survival and creativity? How does history link to land and landscapes, nature and nations? What is my space, my nation, my region? How do women learn to live in "the father's house" yet to perpetuate and transmit the "mother" tongue, lineage and history?

In all of this quarter's readings, the heroines seek within the self and in history for answers to the question, "Who Am I," yet they also seek through memory and recollection to answer the question, "Where Have I Come From?" Whether in immigrant histories, border sagas, the narratives of slavery, the legends of Indian storytellers, the iconic figures (Afrekete, Llorona, Malinche, Coatlicue, Fa Mu Lan, Warrior Women), women seek linkages with the past in order to transmit legacies of female wisdom, cultural knowledge, sexuality, and spirituality to their descendants. We are, in this sense, Walker's "mother's daughters" or "crazy saints," Silko's "storytellers," Kingston's "warrior women," Viramontes' curanderas--the women that Audre Lorde calls sisters/outsiders. Readings will be selected from various genres (poetry, autobiography, non-fictional essay, short story, and novels) and from among the following authors/texts (we can't do them all!):  Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera; Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; Cisneros, The House on Mango Street and/or stories from Woman Hollering Creek; Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper; Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God; Kingston, The Woman Warrior; Lorde, "Poetry is Not a Luxury" from Sister/Outsider; Morrison's Beloved; Silko, Storyteller; Viramontes, "Cariboo Café" from The Moths or Under the Feet of Jesus; Yamamoto's "The Legend of Miss Sasagawara" from Seventeen Syllables.

English 108 Interracial Encounters in Asian American Fiction
Interracial Encounters
Prof. Cheung

This course focuses on the depiction of national and transnational interracial encounters: coalition and antagonism, gay and straight liaison, loyalty and espionage. Besides seeing literature as mirroring society, we will think critically about how literature can depict racial relations in a much more nuanced way than in history and social sciences, how it can offer a unique access to sociological questions and unsettle nationalist chauvinism, binary notions of race, and heteronormativity.

Evaluation: 6 one-page journal entries (30%), group presentation (20%), attendance and participation (15%), an 8-page paper (35%). There will be no mid-term or final exam.

Texts:
Peter Bacho, Leaving Yessler
Marilyn Chin, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen NY: Norton, 2009
Chitra Divakaruni, One Amazing Thing (2009) 9781401341589
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
Moshin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Russell Leong, “Phoenix Eyes” and Other Stories 9780295979458
David Wong Louie, “Pangs of Love” (Reader)
Ty Pak, “The Court Interpreter” (Reader)
Hisaye Yamamoto, “Wilshire Bus” and “A Fire in Fontana” (Reader)

Optional:
Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist Gate
Ha Jin, A Map of Betrayal
Andrew Lam, Birds of Paradise Lost

English 118C Adaptation, Inspiration, and Reinvention: Queer Lit and Film
Studies in Visual Culture
Prof. Torres

This course will ask what are the costs, and what are the compensations, of adaptation both in art and in life? We will look at a wide range of literary works with queer themes and their cinematic adaptations: Billy Budd / Beau Travail, The Color Purple, The Haunting of Hill House, and Kiss of the Spider Woman are just some examples. How have filmmakers like Almodovar, Campion, Jarman, and Fassbinder, approached literary adaptation? What, if anything, is queer about adaptation?

English 145 The Virgin, the Wife, and the Widow:
Dissent and Dominance in the Lives of Holy Women
Medieval Literatures of Devotion and Dissent
Prof. Thomas

The category of the holy life offers a space for thinking through the relationship between the Church and holy women, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, between rebellion and conformity. Ranging from the lives of virgin-martyrs to those of runaway brides, chaste wives, and widows, we will focus on the ways in which the figure of the holy woman as virgin, wife, or widow engaged the norms of the medieval Church by rebelling against and at same time conforming to them. We will close read the lives (Vitae) of such women (and a few holy men) alongside legal documents, itineraries, property records, statutes, and other ecclesiastical documents on issues from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure. Questions for discussion include: What constitutes femaleness or masculinity? When do medieval notions of gender become consequential for saint-making? When is gender merely incidental? How do the figures of the rebel and reactionary enable female hagiography in a world otherwise known to be hostile to women?

English 176 Writing the American Hemisphere, 1492-1804
Hemispheric American Literature
Prof. Fuchs

This course engages a range of texts from across the Americas to see how they enrich and complicate the idea of the U.S., and of “American” literature. We will first examine lasting tropes of encounter, established in texts from Columbus onwards, and a range of indigenous responses to European representations (Mexica codices, Waman Puma, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega). We then turn to adjacent and overlapping experiences of New Spain (Mexico), “Florida” (encompassing much of the southern United States), and the Caribbean that unsettle the narrative of an Anglo US (Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Behn, Equiano). Texts cover a range of different actors and writers—European, African, indigenous American—to analyze the contingency of national histories and national canons.

This course also satisfies the College Diversity Requirement.

IMPERIAL, TRANSNATIONAL, AND POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES

English M105A Early Chicana/Chicano Literature, 1400 to 1920
Prof. López

What is early Chicana/o literature? Does it look like later Chicana/o literature? What does “Chicana/o” mean anyway? We will tackle these questions and others this quarter, beginning with why it’s so difficult to recognize writers like Lorenzo de Zavala - a white, wealthy Mexican politician in exile in the United States during the 1830s – as part of Chicana/o literary history. We will explore how Mexican and U.S. history inform each other during the 19th century, asking why their conflicts form the basis of contemporary Chicana/o identity. We end with the Mexican Revolution, which brings increased migration north, as well as the full-scale proletarianization and racialization of Mexicans in the United States. By the end of the quarter you will have a basic understanding of the historical forces shaping Chicana/o culture, the literary ways in which Chicanas/os have responded to these forces, and a solid grounding for further courses in Chicana/o Studies.

English 130 Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures
Prof. Behdad

Introduction to major themes and issues in postcolonial literature, with focus on contemporary literature and writings produced after decolonization, often engaging history of British or other empires with emphasis on Anglophone writers from Africa, Caribbean, South Asia, and indigenous Pacific.

English 176 Writing the American Hemisphere, 1492-1804
Hemispheric American Literature
Prof. Fuchs

This course engages a range of texts from across the Americas to see how they enrich and complicate the idea of the U.S., and of “American” literature. We will first examine lasting tropes of encounter, established in texts from Columbus onwards, and a range of indigenous responses to European representations (Mexica codices, Waman Puma, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega). We then turn to adjacent and overlapping experiences of New Spain (Mexico), “Florida” (encompassing much of the southern United States), and the Caribbean that unsettle the narrative of an Anglo US (Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Behn, Equiano). Texts cover a range of different actors and writers—European, African, indigenous American—to analyze the contingency of national histories and national canons.

This course also satisfies the College Diversity Requirement.

GENRE STUDIES, INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, CRITICAL THEORY

English 115D Detective Fiction
Prof. Allmendinger

“The Mystery Genre”

In this course, we will study the evolution of the mystery genre, beginning with the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.  Next, we will investigate the classic British tradition, exemplified by writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.  We will also consider the American reaction to this tradition, witnessed in the works of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and the African American novelist Chester Himes.  In addition to mysteries, detective fiction, and noir, we will also examine the suspense and horror sub-genres in The Talented Mr. Ripley, In Cold Blood, and the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs.  Assignments include an in-class midterm and final, and a 7-10 page expository paper.


English 116B Introduction to Electronic Literature
Prof. Snelson

What is not electronic literature today? Rather than interrogate “electronic literature” as a subgenre of literature in general, we might turn the question around to ask: are there any works of literature functioning outside of the electronic circuits that characterize the networked present? More boldly, we might contend that even the most traditional literary works are only accessed via digital circuitry. The study of literature today—from Shakespeare’s folios to genre novels to last week’s poetic publication—is facilitated by a range of digital formats and networked consoles. Indeed, it would be quite difficult to find literary modes outside of “electronic literature” in the present moment. This course seeks to understand literature through the everyday experience of computers and electronic devices.

This course begins in 1945, examining the development of post-war computational systems alongside contemporaneous political movements and literary genres. From the history of digital poetics to recent internet poetry, we’ll track the development of literature under the influence of computation up to works published in the present, as they emerge throughout the quarter. In lockstep, the course considers the category of “electronic literature” as a way to think about historical works remediated to the internet, in a range of digital formats. Selected critical texts will include writing by Charles Bernstein, Simone Browne, Wendy Chun, Lori Emerson, Lisa Gitelman, N. Katherine Hayles, Friedrich Kittler, Alan Liu, Jerome McGann, Shaka McGlotten, Rita Raley, and Hito Steyerl, among others. Creative works will also be available online, including works by Alejandro Crawford, Craig Dworkin, Tan Lin, Holly Melgard, Nick Montfort, Tracie Morris, Mendi+Keith Obadike, Allison Parrish, Claudia Rankine, Brian Kim Stefans, and Wilmer Wilson IV, among others.

The course requires short weekly responses in an open format, as well as a mid-term and final assignment, which may be critical or creative in form, developed in conversation with the instructor. No previous experience in programming, poetry, or literature is required.

English 117 Literature of California and the American West
Prof. Allmendinger

“California Literature”

In this course, we will survey the history of California literature, focusing on the Mission period, the Gold Rush era, the rise of Hollywood in the early twentieth century, the role of California during World War II, its turbulent passage through the 1960s, and its development through the early twenty-first century.  Because California has always been a place of contestation, we will consider the Spanish and Mexican colonization of Native Americans, the influx of whites after the Mexican-American War, and the rising discontent of African Americans during the Watts Riot and the 1992 Uprising.  Assignments include an in-class midterm and final, and a 7-10 page expository papers.

English 118A Comedy
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature
Prof. North

A study of the many different forms of comedy from slapstick to Waiting for Godot. The course will consider a number of basic questions. What sorts of things are funny? Why are they funny? Are they all funny in the same way? Are there differences between verbal and visual humor? Is there a comic mode that extends beyond humor? Examples will be taken from silent films, comic verse, jokes, cartoons, comic novels, and plays.

English 118C Adaptation, Inspiration, and Reinvention: Queer Lit and Film
Studies in Visual Culture
Prof. Torres

This course will ask what are the costs, and what are the compensations, of adaptation both in art and in life? We will look at a wide range of literary works with queer themes and their cinematic adaptations: Billy Budd / Beau Travail, The Color Purple, The Haunting of Hill House, and Kiss of the Spider Woman are just some examples. How have filmmakers like Almodovar, Campion, Jarman, and Fassbinder, approached literary adaptation? What, if anything, is queer about adaptation?

English 120 History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory
Prof. Huehls

Investigation of texts and ideas in history of aesthetics, critical theory, and interpretation from Greeks through 18th century. Readings may include Gorgias, Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Biblical hermeneutics, Hume, Descartes, Kant, Schiller, and Hegel.

English 122 Boredom and Anxiety
Keywords in Theory
Prof. Hornby

This course explores how literature, film, and philosophy have offered models for thinking about the interplay between boredom and anxiety. What kind of aesthetic category is boredom? What are the temporalities produced by boredom and anxiety? How does technology address questions of attention and distraction? How does boredom generate anxiety (or vice-verse)? What does it mean to create a work of art that is supposed to be boring? How can anxiety be provoked? What are the causes and cures for boredom and anxiety? Are boredom and anxiety symptomatic of a particular historical moment? We will consider work by Charles Baudelaire, Gustav Flaubert, Søren Kierkegaard, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Chantal Akerman, among others.

English 127 Title TBA
Performance, Media, and Cultural Theory
Prof. McMillan

Description TBA.

English 129
Crime, Mystery, Suspense
Topics in Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Critical Theory
Prof. Seltzer

This course will look at a series of novels, and some visual media (film, anime), in examining the strange attraction between everyday reports of violence and a modern world. Crime, mystery, and suspense are popular genres of a modern self-reporting world. The forms of art (literature, anime, and movies) that show this lurid popularity can tell us a good deal about how we experience private and public life today. The focus will be primarily on the intersecting genres of mystery, crime, and suspense fiction. The challenge will be to read, or to look at, these fast-paced stories slowly and attentively. Readings may include novels by Agatha Christie, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, Chester Himes, Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, Natsuo Kirino, or Tom McCarthy, among others--and related films/video. The course will require two 5-7 papers, and the papers will require close reading and sustained interpretation. There may be a final exam. Attendance, participation, and on-time papers are required; no exceptions.

English 174C What's Happening Now? U.S. Fiction Since 1990s
Contemporary American Fiction
Prof. Huehls

This course examines recent trends in contemporary American fiction, focusing in particular on the past twenty-five years of literary output from U.S. novelists. As this literary period is nascent and in constant flux, we'll be particularly interested in establishing its thematic and formal departures from postmodernism. The class will examine the period’s critique of its postmodern predecessors and will then investigate various themes and techniques that contemporary authors engage to distinguish themselves and their literary moment. Readings include work by Jeffrey Eugenides, Percival Everett, Junot Diaz, and Jennifer Egan.

CREATIVE WRITING

Admission to all Creative Writing Workshops by application only.

English 136.1 Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. D'Aguiar
Description and instructions TBA.

English 137.1 Creative Writing: Short Story
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Torres
Description and instructions TBA.

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS COURSES

The following course is restricted to students who are enrolled in the English Departmental Honors Program.
English 190H Honors Thesis Colloquium
Prof. Cunningham

Looking forward to delving more deeply into your thesis? Thinking that having some regular guidance and writing deadlines might help? The Honors Thesis Colloquium is a one-unit, P/NP course specifically designed to support students while they are writing the honors thesis. The course is concerned with helping students develop their strategies for avoiding, grappling with, and overcoming obstacles to achieving a top-notch thesis. We’ll adopt a workshop format to discuss work-in-progress, circulate sections of drafts for peer review, and share problems and solutions. The goal is to support each student in developing his or her own project; regular writing assignments are directly related to individual theses; there are no required texts (except, of course, the one you’ll be writing). To enroll see Danielle Maris or Janel Munguia in the English Department Undergraduate Counseling offices; they’ll verify that you’re a thesis student and enroll you in the class.

SENIOR ENGLISH CAPSTONES/SEMINARS

English 181A Theory of the Novel
Topics in Genre Studies
Prof. Dimuro

The theory of the novel falls into two categories: the development of its generic and material form over time, and its affinities with narratology. In the first case, the novel is studied in its relations with social reality, the rise of the middle class, capitalism, print reproduction, consumer markets and distribution practices, rates of literacy, and discursive origins to name a few. In the second case, scholars tend to collapse the novel’s distinctive rhetorical, narrative, and structural features into the broader technical elements it shares with other forms of narrative. These include plot, character, point of view, and other common features of prose fiction. We will study the differences between the novel as a genre and the novel as a sub-category of narrative. Most of the readings are theoretical, but we also read three novels from the nineteenth century that lend themselves to theoretical analysis: Jane Austen’s Emma, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, and Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady.

English 181B The Holocaust: Literature, History, Theory
Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
Prof. Rothberg

At a moment when far-right political movements are on the rise around the globe, this seminar will take an interdisciplinary approach to the Nazi genocide of European Jews. We will set the events in their historical context, consider various kinds of literary responses, and assess the theoretical implications of the events. We will consider the rise of fascism, everyday life in Nazi Germany, and the trials of the ghettos and camps. Particular emphasis will be placed on the genre of testimony as well as on the question of writing trauma and representing historical extremity. We will also look at questions of gender, race, and generation in Holocaust literature and ask whether and how the Holocaust remains relevant today. Students will be expected to engage closely with all readings and participate actively in class discussions.

English 183C Immigrant Stories: Literary and Cinematic
Topics in 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature
Prof. Decker

This course examines literary and cinematic representations of the immigrant experience in order to explore the relationship between artistic expression and national belonging. We survey changing contexts for life in the old country, reasons for emigration, immigrants’ reactions to the U.S. and America’s reaction to its immigrants. Changing attitudes toward the individual, family, class mobility, gender roles, sexuality, and racial difference will be considered in the relation to the lure of melting pot assimilation and the persistence of ethnic identity. We analyze novels and films as distinct mediums even as we study their affinities, such as an impulse toward narrative storytelling. Among our movies, one is from the silent era (Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant) and others include English subtitles for foreign language scenes (America AmericaThe Godfather, Sin Nombre); among our novels, one is a wordless story of sequenced, illustrated panels (The Arrival) while others might be characterized as loquacious (Call It Sleep, The Woman Warrior, Middlesex).

English 184.1 Chinese American Migrant Literature
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Cheung

Capstone Seminar

This course connects American studies and comparative literature, China and Chinese America by examining fiction and poetry set in different locations. We will explore alternative gender models that counter the stereotypes of martial heroes, nerds, dragon ladies, and China dolls; link an interdependent self-construal to polyphonic life-writing; generate theories from transpacific narratives; and study how Chinese American poets retool classical allusions to generate reciprocal critique of China and the United States.

Evaluation: One personal paper (15%), one capstone paper proposal (15%), attendance and oral presentation (20%), capstone term paper (50%)

Required Texts:

  1. Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  2. Marilyn Chin, The Mooncake Vixen and Other Stories
  3. Peter Ho Davies, The Fortunes
  4. Gish Jen, The Girl at the Baggage Claim
  5. Ha Jin, A Map of Betrayal
  6. Russell Leong, Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories
  7. Yiyun Li, Dear Friend, From My Life I write to You in Your Life
  8. Reader

English 184.2 Narrating the 1960s: Creative Nonfiction
In an Age of Electronic Media
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Decker

Capstone Seminar

This course examines the 1960’s literary movement called New Journalism and the culture that gave rise to it. We read the most celebrated New Journalists of the period––Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, and Hunter Thompson––to consider how they use their talents as non-fiction novelists to respond to unsettling changes in mass media and society at large. We address the following kinds of questions. How can an older (print) form like the novel compete for the attention of consumers within a new mediascape brought about by the proliferation of film and TV? Is the New Journalist’s non-fiction narrative mode up to the task of representing a reality––political assassinations, civil rights protests, sexual revolution, psychedelic drugs, Vietnam War, Watergate––that threatens to outstrip the writer’s imagination? Reading includes: In Cold Blood, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, White Album, Dispatches, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Documentary films: Rush to Judgment, Medium Cool, Hearts and Minds. TV news coverage from the Watts riots to the moon walk.

English 184.3 Women Who Rock: life writing, music, and gender
Capstone Seminar
Prof. López

Capstone Seminar

In this seminar we’ll consider the narrative strategies woman-identified performers use to tell their stories, stories about breaking all the rules and being everything that everybody always told you not to be. What does it mean to write your life in the 21st century? From that formal question we’ll journey through the last 30 years of rock, punk, and experimental music in the United States, surveying several scenes through the eyes of some seriously badass ladies. From their narratives we will glean an overview of autobiography theory and develop some ideas about what it can tell us about the intersections of race, gender, performance, and text. Learn more about the ladies and their books at www.pinterest.com/professorlopez/women-who-rock/.

English 184.4 Title TBA
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Sanchez

Capstone Seminar

Description TBA.

English 184.5 Virgins and Viragos:
Female Mystics and the Late Medieval Church

Capstone Seminar
Prof. Thomas

Capstone Seminar

Stories of holy women – hagiographical narratives – offer a space for thinking through the shifting relationship between the church and the holy woman, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, as well as between animals and saints. The course extends from the travails of the runaway bride Christina of Markyate to the miraculous conversions of wolves, and the travels of Margery Kempe. Our focus will be on the narrative characteristics of late medieval hagiography and the cultural work they do. We will read writings about and by holy women (and a couple by holy men) alongside relevant trial records, itineraries, maps, illustrations and other institutional documents on issues ranging from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure, from writing to preaching. Questions for discussion include: What make these narratives compelling? To what extent do formal conventions of storytelling help establish female agency in a male-dominated world?

NOT OPEN FOR CREDIT TO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ENGLISH 145 FALL 2017.

English 184.6 The Brontës in Context
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Stephan

Capstone Seminar

The unlikely story of the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, has fascinated scholars and general readers alike—how could it be that not one or two but three authors whose works would live on after their untimely deaths could emerge from a single family in an isolated Yorkshire village? Indeed, the legend of the Brontës is always in danger of eclipsing the works themselves. In this capstone seminar, we will read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848). We will consider these novels in their social, historical, and artistic contexts, examining each through a variety of critical lenses, and will discuss how the mystique of the Brontë family story and its r/Romantic backdrop has shaped our expectations as 21st-century readers of these novels.

 

English 184.7 Aestheticism and Decadence
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Bristow

Capstone Seminar

This course focuses on the development of two controversial literary movements that developed during the latter part of the nineteenth century in Britain, America, and other parts of the world. Among the writers whose works we will study are A.C. Swinburne, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, “Michael Field” (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), “George Egerton” (Mary Chavelita Dunne Bright), Sarojini Naidu, Ronald Firbank, and Lafcadio Hearn. The syllabus also includes materials on men’s and women’s fashions, home decoration, periodical publications, and book illustration, featuring works by Aubrey Beardsley and Charles Ricketts. The readings will be of interest to students who wish to know more about the transformations that literature, art, and design underwent between the later Victorian period and early modernism.