Slideshow CK

SPRING 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 19.1 More is Up: Metaphors, Categories, and Politics of Language
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminar
Prof. Fisher

Consideration of some current cognitive science approaches to language and meaning, and exploration of what they do (and don't) offer to critical study of legal, political, and literary language.

English 20W.1 Introduction to Creative Writing Prof. Cassarino

Please provide a one-page statement of a reason or reasons for wanting to take this course no later than Friday, February 17. Send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and the course number in the subject heading.

Designed to introduce fundamentals of creative writing and writing workshop experience. Emphasis on poetry, fiction, drama, or creative nonfiction depending on wishes of instructor(s) during any given term. Readings from assigned texts, weekly writing assignments (multiple drafts and revisions), and final portfolio required.

English 20W.2 Introduction to Creative Writing Prof. Cassarino

Please provide a one-page statement of a reason or reasons for wanting to take this course no later than Friday, February 17. Send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and the course number in the subject heading.

Designed to introduce fundamentals of creative writing and writing workshop experience. Emphasis on poetry, fiction, drama, or creative nonfiction depending on wishes of instructor(s) during any given term. Readings from assigned texts, weekly writing assignments (multiple drafts and revisions), and final portfolio required.

 
English M50 Introduction to Visual Culture
Prof. Hornby

This course is an introduction to the field of visual culture, looking at the politics, culture, and aesthetics of images, representation, and visuality. Taking up a range of visual objects, we will examine the modern dynamics and power relations of looking, being seen, visibility, and invisibility. How do images saturate our lives and engage with history? How do visual technologies produce meaning? How does visual culture engage with questions of personhood, race, gender, and sexuality? How are visual objects circulated, displayed, used, and discarded? The course will also draw on the visual environments of Los Angeles for discussions and assignments, allowing us to engage directly with the visual culture we produce and consume daily.

English 70 Medievalisms: Medieval Literature and Contemporary Culture Prof. Chism

Middle Earth meets the Middle Ages

This course explores Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings beside medieval texts and sources to weigh the literary cultures of the medieval past -- and the desires and needs of a 20th-century scholarly imagination. How did Tolkien’s fantasy worlds respond to the use of medieval Germanic sources for Nazi state propaganda? How and why does the medieval past continue to matter for authors and readers interested in changing, rebelling against, or providing consolation for the present? Texts may include: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s shorter fiction and translations of Beowulf, the Volsunga Saga, Wagner’s opera Siegfried, Sir Orfeo, The Song of Roland, Malory’s Morte Darthur, and The Poetic and Prose Eddas. Requirements: 2 short papers, weekly response paragraphs and discussion questions, an optional class presentation, and a final essay. 

Not open for credit to English majors or students with credit for any course in the 140 series.

English 88L Folklore and Mythology
Lower Division Seminars: Special Topics in English
Prof. Burdorff

Myth, Metamorphosis, and Meaning

Beginning with an overview of several key figures from classical mythology in their original contexts (ancient epic and tragedy—especially involving the Trojan War and its immediate aftermath), we will examine the transmission and translation of these figures through the historical-literary tradition of Western Europe, including the Christian moralizations of “pagan” inheritances, and the visual culture of the continental Renaissance. Our investigations will culminate with the close-reading of several selections from medieval and early modern English poetry and drama (including Spenser and Shakespeare), with the goal of understanding how these later cultures (re)used and (re)imagined figures of classical mythology to reflect their own contemporary experience and concerns. Methods of evaluation for this course will include in-class quizzes, a midterm examination, and a final paper.

English 90 Shakespeare Prof. Chism

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

Not open for credit to English majors or students with credit for course 150A or 150B.

English 91B Introduction to Drama Prof. Dickey

Examination of representative plays; readings may range from Greek to modern drama. Emphasis on critical approaches to dramatic text; study of issues such as plot construction, characterization, special uses of language in drama, methods of evaluation.

 English 97H Literary Pursuits
Honors Seminar for Freshmen and Sophomores
Prof. Kareem

This seminar introduces students to the practice and theoretical stakes of literary research by focusing on the topic of pursuit. We will consider pursuit as a theme and plot structure in literary works, and we will also think about literary criticism as itself a form of pursuit: is literary interpretation a form of detection in pursuit of a smoking gun or missing piece of the puzzle? Or is interpretation much more open-ended than these metaphors would imply? What kinds of questions can literary critics answer and what sorts of questions are worth asking? In the course of our investigation we will read a range of literary texts including works by Laurence Sterne, Henry James, and George Eliot. The course will also include theoretical readings and practical assignments that will equip students with the skills they need to successfully pursue their own research. 

English 98TB Women's Utopian Writing, Past and Present
CUTF Lower Division Seminar
Prof. Verini

This course examines women's utopian writing from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the twentieth century. As we track how women adapted the genre of utopia (a word that means “a good place that is nowhere”) for different purposes, we will open up a dialogue between the past and the present. We will discuss how writers of utopias like Christine de Pizan in the Middle Ages and our contemporary Ursula Le Guin produced works that both reflect particular historical moments and act as transhistorical critiques. We will also visit the Getty Museum to view medieval manuscripts from its upcoming exhibit on women in the Middle Ages. In our writing and class assignments, we will focus on how to make arguments about literary and historical texts, and how to think critically about gender and literature.

UPPER DIVISION COURSES IN ENGLISH

WRITING INTENSIVE COURSES

English 110A Writing in the English Major: Analytical
Prof. Stephan

Improvement and refinement of writing about literature. Focus on writing as process, rewriting, and argument; minimum 15 to 20 pages of writing required.

Not open for credit to students with credit for course 110T.

English 110B Writing in the English Major: Adjunct Prof. Lorhan

Does the prospect of writing an essay evoke an involuntary shudder and conjure visions of hours spent in front of a blank computer screen? Writing doesn't have to be difficult, if you have the right tool kit. That's where English 110B comes in handy. With a curriculum specially designed to help English majors hone their writing skills, English 110B can make the task of writing less daunting. We will address all stages of the writing process, including pre-writing, crafting a thesis statement, evidence selection, optimizing the flow of ideas, and revision. Whether you're a struggling writer or confident in your abilities, there's always more to learn. Come join us. Note: while this course is linked with English 166C and shares its objectives, all assignments for English 110B will be independent from it (per university policy).

THIS 2-UNIT ADJUNCT COURSE IS ONLY OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO ARE ALSO ENROLLED IN ENGLISH 166C FOR SPRING 2017.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH BEFORE 1500

English 140A Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
Prof. McNamara

Introductory study of Chaucer's language, versification, and historical and literary background, including analysis and discussion of his major long poem, "Canterbury Tales."

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

Intensive study of Chaucer's "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.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1500-1700

English M101A Queer Early Modern Literature
Premodern Queer Literatures and Cultures
Prof. Gottlieb

This course will survey queer early modern literature, including works by Shakespeare and Marlowe. In addition to reading early modern texts, we will analyze contemporary film adaptations and recent critical debates in queer early modern studies.

English M103 Shakespearean Disability Studies
Studies in Disability Literatures
Prof. Gottlieb

What happens when we look at Shakespeare’s plays through the lenses provided by disability studies? Shakespeare’s plays are full of characters with disabilities, but these representations have only recently begun to receive critical attention. This course will introduce you to disability studies and Shakespeare studies by exploring the dynamic points of contact between the two. We will consider how physical and mental differences are marked in texts and performed on stage and in film. We will examine the construction of dis/ability in relation to constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Through analyzing representations of disability in Shakespeare’s time and in our own, you will be introduced to the history of disability and will become familiar with major concepts in disability studies.

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

Intensive study of selected poems and representative comedies, histories, and tragedies through Hamlet.

English 150C Resourceful Shakespeare: Origins, Analogues, and Offshoots
Topics in Shakespeare
Prof. Dickey

This course will explore selected plays by William Shakespeare from the general perspective of source study, considering both Shakespeare’s use of sources and the use of Shakespeare as a source.  We will first read some narrative and dramatic works that Shakespeare used in crafting his own plays so that we may better understand the playwright’s transformational strategies. In so doing, we will hope to recover a fresh awareness of the plays’ particular idiosyncrasies as well as a more complex sense of Shakespearean imitation and originality. We will then consider those plays as sources, in turn, as they are ripped off/riffed on by modern theatrical, cinematic, and musical derivatives. Although our main focus will be, throughout, on Shakespeare’s plays, we will also acquire a sense of their durable importance as cultural properties, resources, and totemic objects of veneration, homage, allusion, and parody.

English 151 Milton Prof. McEachern

Milton, the works. This course will study the poetry of John Milton, England’s first — and last — genuinely epic poet, revolutionary, polemicist, civil servant, schoolteacher, father and (would be ex-)husband. We will read chronologically, beginning with the early lyric and dramatic poetry of the 1642 publication, before moving on to a six-week intensive study of Paradise Lost. Our primary focus will be on Milton’s reception and transformation of classical and native generic models in their historical and cultural contexts, but we will also be reading with an eye to gender, religion, and political concerns.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1700-1850

English 162B
Later Romantic Literature
Prof. Sanchez
 
Intensive study of writings by Byron, Keats, Percy Shelly, and Mary Shelley, with collateral readings from such authors as Hazlitt, Hunt, Landor, Clare, Moore, Peacock, Landon, Aikin, Hemans, and Prince.

 
English 163C
Jane Austen and Her Peers
Prof. Charles
 
Coverage of six novels of Jane Austen, as well as literary works that most influenced her: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of Rights of Woman, Gothic novel, and Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda.

 
English 164C Unreliable Narrators
19th-Century Novel
Prof. Stephan

The 19th-century British novel is associated with the voice of an authoritative, even omniscient narrator, a voice that seems to impose order and control on the text. What happens, though, when 19th-century novelists employ a narrator whose reliability seems to shift during the course of the novel, or when they use a distinctly unreliable narrative voice or voices? Students read three novels narrated in a variety of modes--Emma by Jane Austen, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins--and consider the effects of these different voices on the stories they tell about 19th-century British culture: social class and money, education and work, national identity and race, gender and sexuality, and crime and punishment.

English 165A Imperial Culture, 1700 to 1850
Prof. Hollander

With readings including Arabian Nights Entertainments, A Modest Proposal, and the Turkish Embassy Letters, this course will examine imperialism and transnationalism throughout the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth. Topics will include slavery and commodity culture, emerging technologies, intersections of gender and race, otherness, Orientalism, and nationalist projects. Other readings are Alexander Pope's Windsor-Forest, the epistolary exchanges between Ignatius Sancho and Samuel Johnson, as well as pertinent historical documents and print media.


English 166C American Literature, 1832 to 1865
Prof. Colacurcio

Historical survey of American literatures from Jacksonian era to end of Civil War, including emergent tradition of American Romanticism, augmented and challenged by genres of popular protest urging application of democratic ideals to questions of race, gender, and social equality.

English 167B American Fiction to 1900 Prof. Reed

Advanced survey with emphasis on historico-philosophical concerns of narrative fiction in the nineteenth century. Epistolary novel, sketches, tales, genre fiction, romance, and ghost story considered. Classic, new-canon, and unrecovered authors; literary schools and movements; genres, subgenres, and pseudo-subgenres.

English 168 Major American Writers
Prof. Lorhan

In this broad survey of American literature from colonial beginnings through 1900, we will analyze poetry, short fiction, essays, and novels written by well-known writers whose texts reflect major developments in the nation's history and contribute to its emerging literary canon. We will ask what it means to be American and pay close attention to shifting conceptualizations of American identity throughout the period. We will also consider how American literature differs from other literatures in English. Writers examined include Anne Bradstreet, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Kate Chopin, and Mark Twain.


LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1850-PRESENT

English M102A Historical Survey of Asian American Literature Prof. Ling

This course examines selected Asian American literary works—autobiography, memoir, novel, non-fiction, short story, and drama—that represent diverse Asian American experiences in the pre-1980 period. Issues to be explored include immigration, cross-cultural or interethnic encounters, generational conflict, racialization, identity politics, and Asian American cultural innovations. Lectures and discussions will focus on making sense of texts in contexts, with an emphasis on how the narrative voices, thematic concerns, and formal properties of the works examined are shaped by the interplay between authorial aspiration, circumstantial constraint, and readerly expectations.

English M104C African American Literature of the 1960s and 1970s
Prof. Mullen

Topics include rise of Black Arts Movement of 1960s and emergence of black women’s writing in early 1970s, with focus on authors such as Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, and Ernest Gaines.Introductory survey of African American literary expression from late 1950s through 1970s.

English M105C Chicana/Chicano Literature
since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present
Prof. Pérez-Torres

This class surveys recent Chicana/o novel, short story, and poetry that examine the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx (a term that complicates the gendered impact of "Chicano" and "Chicana"). The class will examine literary texts as sites where the process of becoming Chicanx is configured and critiqued as part of a broader trajectory in which identity gets generated out of a decolonial postcolonial and transnational history of imperial control. The emphasis will fall less on a historical survey of Chicana/o literature and more on the thematic and formal concerns the literature makes manifest: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis and logical argumentation. The goal is to generate clear, effective analytical thought.

English 131        
Globalization and Postcolonial Literatures:
Writing the Environment
Studies in Postcolonial Literatures
Prof. DeLoughrey

How does the study of postcolonial literatures and texts help us to understand the globalization process? Globalization is often associated with recent social and economic shifts, but many scholars argue that its structures derive from the history of colonialism. Turning to the natural world seems to provide a model to dismantle colonial and national boundaries and to speak in terms of shared planetary concerns such as climate change. Or does it? To examine these relations between globalization, empire, and ecology, we will turn to postcolonial writers in English from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands and examine how they inscribe threats to the world environment. We will draw from diverse genres such as short stories, film, poetry, and the novel. Topics to be considered include indigenous and diasporic relationships to the land, plantation agriculture, nuclear militarization, oil drilling, and human and environmental sustainability.

English 139.1 Herman Melville
Individual Authors
Prof. Reed

Study of a literary career with an eccentric shape. Melville began as a popular writer of loosely autobiographical adventure stories set on South Pacific islands, came to hanker for profundity and feel the frustration of that hankering, wrote and then dynamically rewrote his masterpiece, balked at its modest critical success, too-publically imploded, produced a handful of gems in the short story form, unfolded gnarly new styles in mostly private poetry, and finally composed a novel that he left in his desk at his death. A radical formal innovator in virtually every mode he touched, Melville also knew how to spin a good yarn, as the shipmates of his youth had said. We may come to know that too by reading a selection of Melville’s major and minor works in a number of his different moods and styles. Our prevailing concerns will be philosophical and narratological, but not to the exclusion of biographical, erotohistoriographic, political, theological, and zoological dimensions of Melville’s work. Peeps at his varied historical placement in the literary canon--popularity (1840s), low opinion (1850s), revival (1920s), modulation (1990s)--will not be missed.


English 139.2 Oscar Wilde's Decadent Aestheticism
Individual Authors
Prof. Williford

Exploration of the poetry, prose, and drama of a writer whose work sought to challenge late Victorian social mores, but whose life ended in tragedy. Imprisoned for “gross indecency” when he was found guilty of sodomy, Oscar Wilde is understood now as a figure who represents the start of the modern gay rights movement. We will look at both his life and his work, the latter covering nearly every genre including children's fairy tales, poetry, short stories, plays, a novel, art criticism, and political theory. We will read works by and about Wilde, who was known as a promoter of Aestheticism, and we will explore his legacy in the twentieth century as a precursor to "camp" humor. Key works will include the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray; plays including The Importance of Being Earnest and A Woman of No Importance; fairy tales including "The Selfish Giant"; poetry including "The Ballad of Reading Goal"; and numerous critical essays. 

English 139.3 James Joyce
Individual Authors
Prof. Hornby

The main object of study in this course will be Joyce’s notoriously difficult novel, Ulysses (1922), which takes place in Dublin over the course of a single day, June 16, 1904. Joyce himself wrote about Ulysses, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.” Following Joyce’s prediction, our task will be both to argue about the meaning of this text and to place it within his other literary contributions, casting backward to Portrait of the Artist and gesturing forward to Finnegan’s Wake. Emphasis will be placed on Joyce’s experiments with literary form, literary and historical contexts, time, gender and sexuality.

English 164C
Unreliable Narrators
19th-Century Novel
Prof. Stephan

The 19th-century British novel is associated with the voice of an authoritative, even omniscient narrator, a voice that seems to impose order and control on the text. What happens, though, when 19th-century novelists employ a narrator whose reliability seems to shift during the course of the novel, or when they use a distinctly unreliable narrative voice or voices? Students read three novels narrated in a variety of modes--Emma by Jane Austen, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins--and consider the effects of these different voices on the stories they tell about 19th-century British culture: social class and money, education and work, national identity and race, gender and sexuality, and crime and punishment.

English 167B
American Fiction to 1900
Prof. Reed

Advanced survey with emphasis on historico-philosophical concerns of narrative fiction in the nineteenth century. Epistolary novel, sketches, tales, genre fiction, romance, and ghost story considered. Classic, new-canon, and unrecovered authors; literary schools and movements; genres, subgenres, and pseudo-subgenres.

English 168 Major American Writers
Prof. Lorhan

In this broad survey of American literature from colonial beginnings through 1900, we will analyze poetry, short fiction, essays, and novels written by well-known writers whose texts reflect major developments in the nation's history and contribute to its emerging literary canon. We will ask what it means to be American and pay close attention to shifting conceptualizations of American identity throughout the period. We will also consider how American literature differs from other literatures in English. Writers examined include Anne Bradstreet, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Kate Chopin, and Mark Twain.

English 172C American Drama 1919-1969: Allegories of the Possible
American Drama
Prof. Stefans

American theater in the period starting after the end of World War I through the McCarthy Era and the turmoil of the 60s, was one of extraordinary experimentation in the content of the plays, the formal elements in their structure, and the manner in which they were presented.

On the formal front, writers experimented with absurdism, non-linear narratives, expressionism, the “alienation” effect and — this period marking the rise of the American musical — collapsing the distance between “high” musical art (such as operas) and popular song.

In terms of content, writers such as Langston Hughes explored the interpersonal politics of race, Susan Glaspell the problematics of free speech, Lillian Hellman the ostracization of same-sex couples, Elmer Rice and Clifford Odets the despair of the worker in a time of rapid industrialization and Sinclair Lewis the possibility — in 1936 after the rises of Mussolini and Hitler — whether or not Fascism can happen in the United States.

Major figures of this period included Eugene O’Neil, whose plays Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape combined expressionist and realist tendencies with a singular intensity, the highly experimental Thornton Wilder, most responsible for what has come to be known as the “theater of images,” Armenian American novelist and playwright William Saroyan, whose The Time of Your Life dwelled among the lives of the marginal, and Tennessee Williams, whose first major play The Glass Menageries explored the intersection of poetic creativity and extreme psychological states in an intimate, tragic manner.

In the period following the end of World War II, writers such as Arthur Miller, Edward Albee and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) explored the intense level of suspicion, hypocrisy, oppression and conformity in the years during and immediately following the trials conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) under the stewardship of Senator Eugene McCarthy and before whom several of the playwrights of this period — especially after they started to write for Hollywood — were brought.

Musicals covered in this class include Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s Show Boat (1927), a play that set the template for the musical genre, Mark Blitztein’s The Cradle Will Rock (1937), a Brechtian allegory of politics and corruption, and the collaboration between Elmer Rice, Langston Hughes and Jewish composer-in-exile Kurt Weill (best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht) called Street Scene (1946).

While this is technically a lecture course, some of the assignments will stress an actor-centered approach to the texts, meaning that we will not merely read them as literature (as one might a novel or play) but also strive to discover ways to perform the dialogue, to animate the scene between two or more actors, and even to stage a few scenes in class. Naturally, students are not expected to be actors or to act, merely to explore the sonic possibilities of the text as spoken. Students are also expected to write a short mid-term paper, a longer final paper, short feedback paragraphs.

English 173C The Raw and the Cooked
Contemporary American Poetry
Prof. Stefans

Many critics and readers in the 60s and 70s believed that there was a yawning gap between “traditional” poets such as the Southern Agrarians who sought a formal perfection (and were associated with the university) and counter-cultural poets like the Beats and the New York School who favored an open improvisational form, privileged non-literary spoken language, eschewed institutional associations and exploded social norms with respect to sexuality, race, drug use and politics.

The rise of MFA programs in the 1990s brought about a sea change: several poets who continue to be formally experimental in the manner of the New American poets are now prominent creative writing professors while poetic practices that, for most other 20th century, were considered old-fashioned — such as writing in form (sonnets, sestinas, etc.) or with regular meter (the ballad, blank verse) — are being utilized by poets with no ties to the "tradition" or the academy and who, like the Beats, favor non-literary language.

This course covers several contemporary poets, most under 40, who could be said to actively trouble the gap between what Robert Lowell once called the “raw” — poems that were “jerry-built… often like an unscored libretto by some bearded but vegetarian Castro” — and the “cooked,” those poems “marvelously expert and remote... constructed as a sort of mechanical or cat-nip mouse for graduate seminars.”

Students are expected to write a short mid-term paper, a longer final paper, several short online journal entries, some creative assignments and other exercises. Some of the assigned poetics will visit the class to read and discuss their work.

English 174A American Fiction, 1900 to 1945
Prof. Dimuro

This course samples important developments such as regionalism, literary realism, and international modernism in classic American fiction written between the end of the Great War (1918) and the beginning of the Great Depression (1929). The course combines rigorous training in close, analytical reading of individual texts with a consideration of larger thematic, contextual, narratological, and other formal aspects of this fascinating literary period. Books to be studied include Sherwood Anderson’s short-story cycle, Winesburg, Ohio; Ernest Hemingway’s first major work of fiction, In Our Time; Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, The Age of Innocence; Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House; and William Faulkner’s modern masterpiece, The Sound and the Fury. Topics include literary genre, primitivism, the role of culture, family dynamics, industrialization, historical change, psychological trauma, gender and sexuality, the visual arts, race relations, and identity formation. Two 6-8-page papers and a comprehensive final exam are required. Mandadory attendance and bi-weekly, on-line quizzes are also required to pass the course. 

English 174B American Fiction since 1945
Prof. Pérez-Torres

This course will survey some of the works that help articulate a new sense of nation and place in the United States following WWII. We will examine novels, poetry, and short stories that articulate a sense of new histories, traditions, and heritages influencing the composition of U.S. society. These texts suggest that the experiences of colonization and alienation within and without the U.S. influence personal and social identities. Our main focus therefore will be the examination of these texts as parts of a counter-strategy that both critique dominant American social orders and give voice to marginal forms of knowledge and histories as part of a new U.S. socio-cultural order. We will also seek to understand how these texts reveal and/or critique the complex condition of their own marginality. The works we study seek to assess realistically and honestly the sources of and challenges to strengths in heritages and communities often devalued, ignored or in some manner made marginal. In this way, these texts form a picture of a post-war America that wrestles with itself as increasingly diverse and complex.

English 177 American Sex
Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
Prof. Looby

This course will explore the emergence of American sexualities through a series of literary, historical, and artistic case studies seen from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will read some novels and observe how they registered inflection points in the historical emergence of modern American sexualities—among them Charles Brockden Brown, Memoirs of Stephen Calvert (1799-1800); Julia Ward Howe, The Hermaphrodite (c. 1846-47); Margaret J. M. Sweat, Ethel's Love-Life (1859); Theodore Winthrop, Cecil Dreeme (1861); Herman Melville, Billy Budd (1888-91). We will also look at several historical cases: Rev. Jonathan Edwards and the "bad book" affair (1744), in which some of his young congregants were alleged to have been looking at a midwifery manual for lascivious purposes, and Alexander Hamilton's adultery scandal (1797), when he defended himself against charges of financial malfeasance by publicizing his sexual misbehavior. We will ask whether visual and plastic art works might contribute something essential to the history of sexuality, considering Hiram Powers' sensational statue of the Greek Slave (1843) and other marble sculptures whose erotic power was ambivalently recognized, as well as the scandalous (and beautiful) Thomas Eakins painting usually known as "The Swimming Hole" (1884-85).

English 179 One Hundred Years of Short-Form Fiction
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
Prof. Dimuro

In this course we will study the many varieties of modern short-form fiction written in English over the last hundred years or so. These include classic short-stories published individually in magazines; published collections of a single author’s short fiction that read as a unified work; novellas and tales that are somewhat longer than typical short stories; and some contemporary micro-fiction. Readings include full collections such as James Joyce’s Dubliners, Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Raymond Carver’s Cathedral; longer tales by Henry James and Herman Melville; selections from the work of Charles W. Chesnutt, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Alice Munro, Ann Beattie, John Cheever, Laurie Moore, and Joy Williams among others. Two or three papers are required, one of which may be a creative project approved by the instructor. Attendance is mandatory.

English 179R The Perverse Victorians:
Nineteenth-Century Sexual Outlaws
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present: Research Component
Prof. Williford

Study of medical and literary depictions of people who were considered to be moral outlaws and social threats: the prostitute, the homosexual, the masculine new woman, the masturbating child, the fetishist, and the transvestite. One of the first ways that sexual identities were named and described in the nineteenth century was through pseudo-scientific and criminological texts that sought to classify various sexual perversions. Medico-legal texts and the work of Freud will be the basis for understanding discourses around human sexuality. Literary works may include those by Oscar Wilde, A.C. Swinburne, George Gissing, Virginia Woolf, and Vernon Lee. Students will be expected to read intensely in various fields, and to conduct their own research towards literary analyses of perversion, which factor in the social contexts of Victorian England and Ireland. We will also read dense theoretical texts from the twentieth century that seek to put contemporary queer identities into the historical context of modern discourses of sexuality and identity.


GENDER, RACE, ETHNICITY, DISABILITY, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES

English M101A Queer Early Modern Literature
Premodern Queer Literatures and Cultures
Prof. Gottlieb

This course will survey queer early modern literature, including works by Shakespeare and Marlowe. In addition to reading early modern texts, we will analyze contemporary film adaptations and recent critical debates in queer early modern studies.

English M102A Historical Survey of Asian American Literature
Prof. Ling

This course examines selected Asian American literary works—autobiography, memoir, novel, non-fiction, short story, and drama—that represent diverse Asian American experiences in the pre-1980 period. Issues to be explored include immigration, cross-cultural or interethnic encounters, generational conflict, racialization, identity politics, and Asian American cultural innovations. Lectures and discussions will focus on making sense of texts in contexts, with an emphasis on how the narrative voices, thematic concerns, and formal properties of the works examined are shaped by the interplay between authorial aspiration, circumstantial constraint, and readerly expectations.

English M103 Shakespearean Disability Studies
Studies in Disability Literatures
Prof. Gottlieb

What happens when we look at Shakespeare’s plays through the lenses provided by disability studies? Shakespeare’s plays are full of characters with disabilities, but these representations have only recently begun to receive critical attention. This course will introduce you to disability studies and Shakespeare studies by exploring the dynamic points of contact between the two. We will consider how physical and mental differences are marked in texts and performed on stage and in film. We will examine the construction of dis/ability in relation to constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Through analyzing representations of disability in Shakespeare’s time and in our own, you will be introduced to the history of disability and will become familiar with major concepts in disability studies.

English M104C
African American Literature of the 1960s and 1970s
Prof. Mullen

Topics include rise of Black Arts Movement of 1960s and emergence of black women’s writing in early 1970s, with focus on authors such as Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, and Ernest Gaines.Introductory survey of African American literary expression from late 1950s through 1970s.

English M105C Chicana/Chicano Literature
since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present
Prof. Pérez-Torres

This class surveys recent Chicana/o novel, short story, and poetry that examine the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx (a term that complicates the gendered impact of "Chicano" and "Chicana"). The class will examine literary texts as sites where the process of becoming Chicanx is configured and critiqued as part of a broader trajectory in which identity gets generated out of a decolonial postcolonial and transnational history of imperial control. The emphasis will fall less on a historical survey of Chicana/o literature and more on the thematic and formal concerns the literature makes manifest: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis and logical argumentation. The goal is to generate clear, effective analytical thought.

English M107B Shakespearean Drama and the Classical "Bride of Death"
Studies in Gender and Sexuality
Prof. Burdorff

O son, the night before thy wedding-day
Hath death lain with thy wife. There she lies,
Flower as she was, deflowered by him.
Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir,
My daughter he hath wedded. –Romeo and Juliet, IV.v.35-39

As Lord Capulet’s outcry over Juliet’s body suggests, Shakespeare’s dramatic works engage directly with the classical “Bride of Death” trope, in which a woman who dies immediately before or after her marriage is imagined as being married, not to a mortal husband, but to Death itself. This course will examine the multivalent recurrences of this trope (for which Persephone is the mythological archetype) in Shakespeare's dramatic works, including identification and consideration of several related sub-types of Bride (e.g. sacrificial virgins, living women abandoned to death, and women for whom rape constitutes a kind of death).

We will first establish this trope and its variants in classical contexts, with focus on those sources to which Shakespeare would most likely have had some access—including especially Arthur Golding's English translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses (1567), and early modern vernacular translations of Seneca and Euripides. In addition, we will explore the reasons the trope might have resonated so strongly with Shakespeare's dramatic work, and, in particular, what its presence might suggest about the complex relationships between gender, victimization, and power, suffering, strength, and the shaping of narrative selfhood.

Methods of evaluation for this course will include in-class quizzes, a midterm examination, and a final paper.

English 139.2 Oscar Wilde's Decadent Aestheticism
Individual Authors
Prof. Williford

Exploration of the poetry, prose, and drama of a writer whose work sought to challenge late Victorian social mores, but whose life ended in tragedy. Imprisoned for “gross indecency” when he was found guilty of sodomy, Oscar Wilde is understood now as a figure who represents the start of the modern gay rights movement. We will look at both his life and his work, the latter covering nearly every genre including children's fairy tales, poetry, short stories, plays, a novel, art criticism, and political theory. We will read works by and about Wilde, who was known as a promoter of Aestheticism, and we will explore his legacy in the twentieth century as a precursor to "camp" humor. Key works will include the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray; plays including The Importance of Being Earnest and A Woman of No Importance; fairy tales including "The Selfish Giant"; poetry including "The Ballad of Reading Goal"; and numerous critical essays.


English 163C Jane Austen and Her Peers
Prof. Charles

Coverage of six novels of Jane Austen, as well as literary works that most influenced her: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of Rights of Woman, Gothic novel, and Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda.

English 166C American Literature, 1832 to 1865 Prof. Colacurcio

Historical survey of American literatures from Jacksonian era to end of Civil War, including emergent tradition of American Romanticism, augmented and challenged by genres of popular protest urging application of democratic ideals to questions of race, gender, and social equality.

English 177 American Sex
Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
Prof. Looby

This course will explore the emergence of American sexualities through a series of literary, historical, and artistic case studies seen from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will read some novels and observe how they registered inflection points in the historical emergence of modern American sexualities—among them Charles Brockden Brown, Memoirs of Stephen Calvert (1799-1800); Julia Ward Howe, The Hermaphrodite (c. 1846-47); Margaret J. M. Sweat, Ethel's Love-Life (1859); Theodore Winthrop, Cecil Dreeme (1861); Herman Melville, Billy Budd (1888-91). We will also look at several historical cases: Rev. Jonathan Edwards and the "bad book" affair (1744), in which some of his young congregants were alleged to have been looking at a midwifery manual for lascivious purposes, and Alexander Hamilton's adultery scandal (1797), when he defended himself against charges of financial malfeasance by publicizing his sexual misbehavior. We will ask whether visual and plastic art works might contribute something essential to the history of sexuality, considering Hiram Powers' sensational statue of the Greek Slave (1843) and other marble sculptures whose erotic power was ambivalently recognized, as well as the scandalous (and beautiful) Thomas Eakins painting usually known as "The Swimming Hole" (1884-85).

English 179R The Perverse Victorians:
Nineteenth-Century Sexual Outlaws
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present: Research Component
Prof. Williford

Study of medical and literary depictions of people who were considered to be moral outlaws and social threats: the prostitute, the homosexual, the masculine new woman, the masturbating child, the fetishist, and the transvestite. One of the first ways that sexual identities were named and described in the nineteenth century was through pseudo-scientific and criminological texts that sought to classify various sexual perversions. Medico-legal texts and the work of Freud will be the basis for understanding discourses around human sexuality. Literary works may include those by Oscar Wilde, A.C. Swinburne, George Gissing, Virginia Woolf, and Vernon Lee. Students will be expected to read intensely in various fields, and to conduct their own research towards literary analyses of perversion, which factor in the social contexts of Victorian England and Ireland. We will also read dense theoretical texts from the twentieth century that seek to put contemporary queer identities into the historical context of modern discourses of sexuality and identity.


IMPERIAL, TRANSNATIONAL, AND POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES

English M105C Chicana/Chicano Literature
since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present
Prof. Pérez-Torres

This class surveys recent Chicana/o novel, short story, and poetry that examine the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx (a term that complicates the gendered impact of "Chicano" and "Chicana"). The class will examine literary texts as sites where the process of becoming Chicanx is configured and critiqued as part of a broader trajectory in which identity gets generated out of a decolonial postcolonial and transnational history of imperial control. The emphasis will fall less on a historical survey of Chicana/o literature and more on the thematic and formal concerns the literature makes manifest: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis and logical argumentation. The goal is to generate clear, effective analytical thought.

English 131
Globalization and Postcolonial Literatures:
Writing the Environment
Studies in Postcolonial Literatures
Prof. DeLoughrey

How does the study of postcolonial literatures and texts help us to understand the globalization process? Globalization is often associated with recent social and economic shifts, but many scholars argue that its structures derive from the history of colonialism. Turning to the natural world seems to provide a model to dismantle colonial and national boundaries and to speak in terms of shared planetary concerns such as climate change. Or does it? To examine these relations between globalization, empire, and ecology, we will turn to postcolonial writers in English from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands and examine how they inscribe threats to the world environment. We will draw from diverse genres such as short stories, film, poetry, and the novel. Topics to be considered include indigenous and diasporic relationships to the land, plantation agriculture, nuclear militarization, oil drilling, and human and environmental sustainability.

English 134 Oriental Tales
Nationalism and Transnationalism
Prof. Charles

Aladdin. Ali Babi. Djinns and genies. Scheherazade and the sultan. These characters and their spellbinding narratives all originate in the Arabian Nights, a transcultural text whose embedded stories remain arguably unparalleled in their world-making and whose popular circulation has been world changing. This course will focus on readings from the long eighteenth century, known as an “Age of Enlightenment” when philosophers and scientists emphasized reason, but also the period when Arabian Nights was translated into English and became a cultural phenomenon. Oriental tales often provide alternative ways of knowing that value magic, orality, and folk practices, and they will provide us with a lens for interrogating the hegemonic relation between the British Empire and its others. Harry Potter and its modern-day magic will serve as a coda.


English 165A Imperial Culture, 1700 to 1850
Prof. Hollander

With readings including Arabian Nights Entertainments, A Modest Proposal, and the Turkish Embassy Letters, this course will examine imperialism and transnationalism throughout the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth. Topics will include slavery and commodity culture, emerging technologies, intersections of gender and race, otherness, Orientalism, and nationalist projects. Other readings are Alexander Pope's Windsor-Forest, the epistolary exchanges between Ignatius Sancho and Samuel Johnson, as well as pertinent historical documents and print media.


GENRE STUDIES, INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, CRITICAL THEORY

English 111B Christian Biblical Texts in Translation
Prof. Maniquis

CANCELLED

Literary study of canonical New Testament and other Christian texts (deuterocanonical, apocryphal, gnostic, etc.), with emphasis on literary devices and narrative structures in relation to Judeo-Christian historical, political, psychological, philosophical, and theological themes.


English 115E Science Fiction Prof. Heise

Science Fiction and the Reinvention of Nature

Science fiction is the cultural medium modern societies use to think about their relation to science, technology, and nature. Over the last fifty years, it has also become a major genre for expressing environmental visions: sometimes visions of crisis, sometimes visions of worlds and societies that relate differently to nature than we currently do, and sometimes visions of more environmentally friendly communities. This course will explore such visions from H.G. Wells's Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) to Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 (2012), with the emphasis on materials created after the emergence of the modern environmentalist movement in the 1960s and ‘70s. We will focus on three clusters: visions of landscapes (local, global, pastoral, toxic, wild, domesticated), explorations of our real and imagined relationships with animals, and dystopian and utopian visions of the future of our and other planets. Throughout all three clusters, we'll ask questions about technological transformations of the human body and mind, about the relation between ecological and social change, and about power, gender, and race. We'll explore texts across different media – novel, short story, comics/graphic novel, film, and animation – so as to explore the different narrative forms and styles science fiction has adopted in its portrayals of nature over the last half-century.

English M115SL Children's Literature and Childhood Literacy
Community-Based Studies of Popular Literature
Prof. Goodhue

Literature for children and young adults may look simple at first glance, but the goals, forms, and even definitions of this genre have been contested for centuries. Our entry point for examining the many modes of literature for young readers this quarter will be one overarching question: What does literature for children and young adults do? We’ll track that question over the course of history, from several different theoretical and educational perspectives, from your own knowledge of what literature has meant to you growing up, and most importantly through practice, as you work with a local community organization bringing literature to children and teens. Since this course also satisfies the College Diversity Requirement, we will pay particular attention to issues of gender, race, language acquisition, and other aspects of identity as they inform children’s literature. Simultaneously, we’ll work to cultivate strategies that will help you foster inclusivity while you read with youth in the diverse communities of Los Angeles.

In this service learning course, you can expect to study primary texts in a range of genres and formats (from picturebooks to middle grade/YA novels), as well as scholarly articles about the literary forms we study and about past and present efforts to foster literacy among children and teens in Los Angeles and around the world. Service learning integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Therefore, as part of your homework for this course, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience collaborating with a community organization that works to promote youth literacy (approximately 3 hours per week). Organizations will be selected in advance by the instructor and will be accessible via bus from campus.

English 118C From "Howl" to Hunger Games:
Imagining Dystopia in Literature and Film
Studies in Visual Culture
Prof. Lewak

How do we imagine dystopian worlds? Why are we so fascinated with them? And how has the development of special and visual effects changed our conversation about them? We will begin to explore these questions through an examination of a few post-1945 works of 20th and 21st literature and their cinematic counterparts. The class will begin with Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” (and the 2010 James Franco film of the same name). Next we will read Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (and watch Ridley Scott’s 1982/2007 cinematic adaptation, Blade Runner), Arthur C. Clarke’s 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey (adapted into the 1968 film of the same name co-constructed by Clarke and Stanley Kubrick), and Yann Martel’s 2001 novel, Life of Pi (as well as the 2012 film by Ang Lee, Life of Pi). The course will end with the 2008 novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (juxtaposed to Gary Ross’s 2012 cinematic version, The Hunger Games).

English 118E Environment and Narrative
Literature and Environment
Prof. Heise

This course focuses on the stories and metaphors we use to discuss current ecological problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, pollution, and environmental injustice. How do environmental stories differ or even conflict between different regions, countries, cultures, and social groups? What differences are there between environmental stories told in print, in film, on television, through photography, and online? How do these stories relate to wild, rural, and urban settings? What role does humor play in environmentalism? How does science figure in these stories? Which stories are old, which new, and how effective are they for environmental communication? The class will combine readings from narrative theory ranging from structuralism to cognitive science, as well as stories in a variety of genres and media from novels to disaster movies, and from pastoral to apocalyptic and utopian visions.

English 123 Writing for Change
Theories of History and Historicism
Prof. Chism

This course use theories of historicism to investigate how fiction can intervene in social imaginaries by proposing alternative histories and different futurities. Theoretical texts may include Michel-Rolph Troillot’s Silencing the Past, Hayden White’s work on troping, and Foucault’s idea of history as genealogy. The heart of the course examines Marxist engagements with history and literary texts: Raymond William’s Marxism and History, and Walter Benjamin’s “Theses on a Philosophy of History.” The last part of the course explores vs. counter-histories that decenter dominant historical teleologies, through surrealist techniques, fantasy, and speculative fiction.  Fictional readings may include Jorge Luis Borges, George Orwell, Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Attwood, Octavia Butler, and China Mieville. Requirements: Weekly 2-3 pp. response papers to the theoretical reading: 60%; 1 short 10-15 minute class presentation: 20%; Attendance and lively class participation: 20%.

English 139.1 Herman Melville
Individual Authors
Prof. Reed

Study of a literary career with an eccentric shape. Melville began as a popular writer of loosely autobiographical adventure stories set on South Pacific islands, came to hanker for profundity and feel the frustration of that hankering, wrote and then dynamically rewrote his masterpiece, balked at its modest critical success, too-publically imploded, produced a handful of gems in the short story form, unfolded gnarly new styles in mostly private poetry, and finally composed a novel that he left in his desk at his death. A radical formal innovator in virtually every mode he touched, Melville also knew how to spin a good yarn, as the shipmates of his youth had said. We may come to know that too by reading a selection of Melville’s major and minor works in a number of his different moods and styles. Our prevailing concerns will be philosophical and narratological, but not to the exclusion of biographical, erotohistoriographic, political, theological, and zoological dimensions of Melville’s work. Peeps at his varied historical placement in the literary canon--popularity (1840s), low opinion (1850s), revival (1920s), modulation (1990s)--will not be missed.


English 139.3 James Joyce
Individual Authors
Prof. Hornby

The main object of study in this course will be Joyce’s notoriously difficult novel, Ulysses (1922), which takes place in Dublin over the course of a single day, June 16, 1904. Joyce himself wrote about Ulysses, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.” Following Joyce’s prediction, our task will be both to argue about the meaning of this text and to place it within his other literary contributions, casting backward to Portrait of the Artist and gesturing forward to Finnegan’s Wake. Emphasis will be placed on Joyce’s experiments with literary form, literary and historical contexts, time, gender and sexuality.

English 151
Milton
Prof. McEachern
 
Milton, the works.  This course will study the poetry of John Milton, England’s first — and last — genuinely epic poet, revolutionary, polemicist, civil servant, schoolteacher, father and (would be ex-)husband. We will read chronologically, beginning with the early lyric and dramatic poetry of the 1642 publication, before moving on to a six-week intensive study of Paradise Lost.  Our primary focus will be on Milton’s reception and transformation of classical and native generic models in their historical and cultural contexts, but we will also be reading with an eye to gender, religion, and political concerns.  


English 163C
Jane Austen and Her Peers
Prof. Charles
 
Coverage of six novels of Jane Austen, as well as literary works that most influenced her: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of Rights of Woman, Gothic novel, and Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda.

 
English 164C Unreliable Narrators
19th-Century Novel
Prof. Stephan

The 19th-century British novel is associated with the voice of an authoritative, even omniscient narrator, a voice that seems to impose order and control on the text. What happens, though, when 19th-century novelists employ a narrator whose reliability seems to shift during the course of the novel, or when they use a distinctly unreliable narrative voice or voices? Students read three novels narrated in a variety of modes--Emma by Jane Austen, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins--and consider the effects of these different voices on the stories they tell about 19th-century British culture: social class and money, education and work, national identity and race, gender and sexuality, and crime and punishment.

English 167B
American Fiction to 1900
Prof. Reed

Advanced survey with emphasis on historico-philosophical concerns of narrative fiction in the nineteenth century. Epistolary novel, sketches, tales, genre fiction, romance, and ghost story considered. Classic, new-canon, and unrecovered authors; literary schools and movements; genres, subgenres, and pseudo-subgenres.

English 172C American Drama 1919-1969: Allegories of the Possible
American Drama
Prof. Stefans

American theater in the period starting after the end of World War I through the McCarthy Era and the turmoil of the 60s, was one of extraordinary experimentation in the content of the plays, the formal elements in their structure, and the manner in which they were presented.

On the formal front, writers experimented with absurdism, non-linear narratives, expressionism, the “alienation” effect and — this period marking the rise of the American musical — collapsing the distance between “high” musical art (such as operas) and popular song.

In terms of content, writers such as Langston Hughes explored the interpersonal politics of race, Susan Glaspell the problematics of free speech, Lillian Hellman the ostracization of same-sex couples, Elmer Rice and Clifford Odets the despair of the worker in a time of rapid industrialization and Sinclair Lewis the possibility — in 1936 after the rises of Mussolini and Hitler — whether or not Fascism can happen in the United States.

Major figures of this period included Eugene O’Neil, whose plays Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape combined expressionist and realist tendencies with a singular intensity, the highly experimental Thornton Wilder, most responsible for what has come to be known as the “theater of images,” Armenian American novelist and playwright William Saroyan, whose The Time of Your Life dwelled among the lives of the marginal, and Tennessee Williams, whose first major play The Glass Menageries explored the intersection of poetic creativity and extreme psychological states in an intimate, tragic manner.

In the period following the end of World War II, writers such as Arthur Miller, Edward Albee and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) explored the intense level of suspicion, hypocrisy, oppression and conformity in the years during and immediately following the trials conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) under the stewardship of Senator Eugene McCarthy and before whom several of the playwrights of this period — especially after they started to write for Hollywood — were brought.

Musicals covered in this class include Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s Show Boat (1927), a play that set the template for the musical genre, Mark Blitztein’s The Cradle Will Rock (1937), a Brechtian allegory of politics and corruption, and the collaboration between Elmer Rice, Langston Hughes and Jewish composer-in-exile Kurt Weill (best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht) called Street Scene (1946).

While this is technically a lecture course, some of the assignments will stress an actor-centered approach to the texts, meaning that we will not merely read them as literature (as one might a novel or play) but also strive to discover ways to perform the dialogue, to animate the scene between two or more actors, and even to stage a few scenes in class. Naturally, students are not expected to be actors or to act, merely to explore the sonic possibilities of the text as spoken. Students are also expected to write a short mid-term paper, a longer final paper, short feedback paragraphs.

English 173C The Raw and the Cooked
Contemporary American Poetry
Prof. Stefans

Many critics and readers in the 60s and 70s believed that there was a yawning gap between “traditional” poets such as the Southern Agrarians who sought a formal perfection (and were associated with the university) and counter-cultural poets like the Beats and the New York School who favored an open improvisational form, privileged non-literary spoken language, eschewed institutional associations and exploded social norms with respect to sexuality, race, drug use and politics.

The rise of MFA programs in the 1990s brought about a sea change: several poets who continue to be formally experimental in the manner of the New American poets are now prominent creative writing professors while poetic practices that, for most other 20th century, were considered old-fashioned — such as writing in form (sonnets, sestinas, etc.) or with regular meter (the ballad, blank verse) — are being utilized by poets with no ties to the "tradition" or the academy and who, like the Beats, favor non-literary language.

This course covers several contemporary poets, most under 40, who could be said to actively trouble the gap between what Robert Lowell once called the “raw” — poems that were “jerry-built… often like an unscored libretto by some bearded but vegetarian Castro” — and the “cooked,” those poems “marvelously expert and remote... constructed as a sort of mechanical or cat-nip mouse for graduate seminars.”

Students are expected to write a short mid-term paper, a longer final paper, several short online journal entries, some creative assignments and other exercises. Some of the assigned poetics will visit the class to read and discuss their work.

English 174A American Fiction, 1900 to 1945
Prof. Dimuro

This course samples important developments such as regionalism, literary realism, and international modernism in classic American fiction written between the end of the Great War (1918) and the beginning of the Great Depression (1929). The course combines rigorous training in close, analytical reading of individual texts with a consideration of larger thematic, contextual, narratological, and other formal aspects of this fascinating literary period. Books to be studied include Sherwood Anderson’s short-story cycle, Winesburg, Ohio; Ernest Hemingway’s first major work of fiction, In Our Time; Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, The Age of Innocence; Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House; and William Faulkner’s modern masterpiece, The Sound and the Fury. Topics include literary genre, primitivism, the role of culture, family dynamics, industrialization, historical change, psychological trauma, gender and sexuality, the visual arts, race relations, and identity formation. Two 6-8-page papers and a comprehensive final exam are required. Mandadory attendance and bi-weekly, on-line quizzes are also required to pass the course.

English 174B American Fiction since 1945
Prof. Pérez-Torres

This course will survey some of the works that help articulate a new sense of nation and place in the United States following WWII. We will examine novels, poetry, and short stories that articulate a sense of new histories, traditions, and heritages influencing the composition of U.S. society. These texts suggest that the experiences of colonization and alienation within and without the U.S. influence personal and social identities. Our main focus therefore will be the examination of these texts as parts of a counter-strategy that both critique dominant American social orders and give voice to marginal forms of knowledge and histories as part of a new U.S. socio-cultural order. We will also seek to understand how these texts reveal and/or critique the complex condition of their own marginality. The works we study seek to assess realistically and honestly the sources of and challenges to strengths in heritages and communities often devalued, ignored or in some manner made marginal. In this way, these texts form a picture of a post-war America that wrestles with itself as increasingly diverse and complex.

English 177 American Sex
Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
Prof. Looby

This course will explore the emergence of American sexualities through a series of literary, historical, and artistic case studies seen from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will read some novels and observe how they registered inflection points in the historical emergence of modern American sexualities—among them Charles Brockden Brown, Memoirs of Stephen Calvert (1799-1800); Julia Ward Howe, The Hermaphrodite (c. 1846-47); Margaret J. M. Sweat, Ethel's Love-Life (1859); Theodore Winthrop, Cecil Dreeme (1861); Herman Melville, Billy Budd (1888-91). We will also look at several historical cases: Rev. Jonathan Edwards and the "bad book" affair (1744), in which some of his young congregants were alleged to have been looking at a midwifery manual for lascivious purposes, and Alexander Hamilton's adultery scandal (1797), when he defended himself against charges of financial malfeasance by publicizing his sexual misbehavior. We will ask whether visual and plastic art works might contribute something essential to the history of sexuality, considering Hiram Powers' sensational statue of the Greek Slave (1843) and other marble sculptures whose erotic power was ambivalently recognized, as well as the scandalous (and beautiful) Thomas Eakins painting usually known as "The Swimming Hole" (1884-85).

English 179R The Perverse Victorians:
Nineteenth-Century Sexual Outlaws
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present: Research Component
Prof. Williford

Study of medical and literary depictions of people who were considered to be moral outlaws and social threats: the prostitute, the homosexual, the masculine new woman, the masturbating child, the fetishist, and the transvestite. One of the first ways that sexual identities were named and described in the nineteenth century was through pseudo-scientific and criminological texts that sought to classify various sexual perversions. Medico-legal texts and the work of Freud will be the basis for understanding discourses around human sexuality. Literary works may include those by Oscar Wilde, A.C. Swinburne, George Gissing, Virginia Woolf, and Vernon Lee. Students will be expected to read intensely in various fields, and to conduct their own research towards literary analyses of perversion, which factor in the social contexts of Victorian England and Ireland. We will also read dense theoretical texts from the twentieth century that seek to put contemporary queer identities into the historical context of modern discourses of sexuality and identity.


CREATIVE WRITING

Admission to all Creative Writing Workshops by application only.

English 136.1 Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Kevorkian

This is a free verse poem writing workshop, exploring the lyric in contemporary practice. Each class member writes and turns in one new poem each week for discussion. A portfolio of original poems made and revised during the quarter is due finals week. Also assigned are readings and craft exercises. Active participation is expected. Attendance at nighttime poetry readings may be required.

Admission to this class is only by instructor permission. To apply, please submit 5 poems by email no later than March 27, 2017, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also deliver hard copies of the same poems to Jeanette Gilkinson in the English department office in 149 Humanities. Include on both versions your email address, class year, other workshops taken, and any information you think pertinent. You will be notified by email by April 3 if there is a place for you in the class. A class list also will be displayed in 149 Humanities. Attendance at the first class is required to be admitted to the course.

English 137.1 Creative Writing: Short Story
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Huneven

This class will be an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short literary fiction. We will consider the short story form by studying one or more great short stories weekly, which the students will be expected to read two to three times and respond to in writing. Students will write one short story every week at home. The professor's primary goals in the class are 1) to help the students develop a regular practice of writing and 2) to foster and train technical skill. We'll also work on revision, the development of a sound critical faculty, and our ability to engage in that great pleasure, literary conversation. Emphasis will be on developing the student writer’s unique voice and writing ability.


TO APPLY: Please…

  • Submit 5 double-spaced pages of your fiction
  • Tell me what workshops you've taken in the past
  • List your three favorite short stories and their authors
  • Mention the book you're reading right now
  • Tell me your class standing (sophomore, junior, etc.)

If you are applying to both workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference.

Submissions must be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Smith 137.1)

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN “137.1” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY March 13th.

NOTE: A class list will be posted in the English Department Office.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions, the professor will be unable to provide feedback or suggestions on the students' submitted work.

English 137.2 Creative Writing: Short Story
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Poddar

Multiethnic Short Fiction

This is an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short fiction that is sensitive to issues of race, migration, and diaspora, in addition to universal aesthetic concerns. We’ll read *very closely* 2-3 short stories weekly. Students will write and peer-review very short fiction of their fellow-students, weekly, AND write 3 longer stories. Course goals: cultivate a daily writing practice, recognize strengths & weaknesses in a raw draft, think revision strategies, develop sound meta/critical skills toward reading a story.

To enroll, submit 5 pages (12-font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, page-numbered) of your fiction and list the following: Reason/s toward taking the class; Creative writing workshops you've taken in the past; Favorite short stories with authors; Fiction book/s you're reading right now; and Preference, if applying to both workshops. *Hardcopy Submission* (with your name, course AND section number), due in my mailbox (Humanities 149) by March 13th. List of students accepted will be posted in the English Dept Office.

English M138.1 Letters and Letter Writing
Topics in Creative Writing
Prof. Hollander

Emily Dickinson famously compared letters to immortality. John Donne wrote that "more than kisses, letters mingle souls." This workshop is a hybrid of analysis and creative work because we both consider the epistolary genre and delve into it through the practice of letter writing. The letter itself has been historically fraught with anxieties about intrusion, imitation, deception, lost mail, and interception. Through reading epistolary fiction and your own writing, we will explore the past, present, and future of epistolary exchange. We will examine how modern forms of social media exchanges may be read (or not) as epistolary and the enduring interest in the form itself as a crucial mode of first-person narration. To truly understand the letter, you will put letter writing into regular practice. Some you will write independently and for other assignments you will partner with a classmate for an epistolary exchange. At the end of the quarter, you will assemble your letters in a single packet and submit them to the instructor for final evaluation. Submission: Please send (in PDF) a letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by February 17 that includes a 5-page sample of your prose writing and a statement about why you wish to participate in the workshop.

English M138.2 Writing Military Experience
Topics in Creative Writing
Prof. Wilson

This section of M138 will be restricted to students who have some kind of military experience—veterans and others with direct experience of war or military life. In this workshop course, you will have the opportunity to take ownership of and communicate your experience through any and all literary forms—creative nonfiction (memoir, fact-based narrative), poetry, prose fiction, and hybrid genres. We will read published examples of military and war-based poetry and prose, and will work on developing disciplined practice, effective process, and satisfying product. You can expect to engage in many of the same classroom activities that you would in any other writing course, including large and small group work and peer critique.

PTEs will be issued in the order in which applications are received (until the course is full). To apply, please write a brief (no more than 250 words) e-mail note explaining why you wish to take this course, and what sort of military or war experience you have had. Include your name, major, and class level; put your last name and the course number in the subject line (example: “Smith M138”); and send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

JUNIOR SEMINARS

Junior seminars may not fulfill the "Senior/Capstone Seminar" requirement for English and American Literature & Culture majors. They may, however, count toward the "2 English Electives" requirement.

English 180R The Letter of the Law
Junior Research Seminar
Prof. Hyde

The skills developed in literary study—textual interpretation and rhetorical persuasion—are among the most valued in legal practice. In the US, these skills play an especially important role in legal practice, for a simple reason: the US Constitution is written. As such, it is textually bound, subject to interpretation, and fairly difficult to revise. This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of “law and literature” by examining the formative role that rhetoric played in the political development of the United States in the long 18th century. Students will read key founding political documents, and the revolutionary literary traditions that developed alongside and against them (the slave narrative, abolitionist fiction, protest literature, transcendentalism, etc.). Since this is a “junior seminar,” the course will give students a chance to develop their own writing and research skills in a small, interactive format. Assigned readings will include works by Jefferson, Madison, Walker, Douglass, Child, Thoreau, Stowe, Melville, and Wilson.

SENIOR ENGLISH CAPSTONES/SEMINARS

English 180.2 From Dream to Nightmare:
Hollywood Novels and their Filmic Adaptations

Topics in Literature and Language
Prof. Lorhan

In this seminar, we will examine novels written about Hollywood's Golden Age and how the film industry reappropriates them as treatments for the silver screen. Beginning with Anita Loos's fun and frothy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925), which inspired Twentieth Century Fox's musical extravaganza featuring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell (1953), we turn to Horace McCoy's darker vision of making it in Hollywood, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1935). Next up is Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep (1939), the novel that introduced hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe, and William Faulkner adapted into the noir classic starring Bogey and Bacall (1946). Nathanael West's bleak novel of isolation and despair, The Day of the Locust (1939), made its unlikely transition to the screen in Paramount's film by blacklisted writer Waldo Salt (1975). We conclude with F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel The Love of the Last Tycoon (1941), inspired by the tragic life of legendary producer Irving Thalberg, and Billy Ray's television adaptation starring Nick Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, and Lily Collins in The Last Tycoon (2016).


English 181A Crime Stories
Topics in Genre Studies
Prof. Seltzer

This seminar will look at crime fiction—primarily novels, some films—over the past century or so. Mystery, crime, and suspense stories have a long history but a special place in a modern world. What can such stories tell us about how we experience our personal lives and our public life? What form do these stories take? Why do we like them? How can they help us understand the ways in which we work and play today? Readings may include writers such as Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, Patricia Highsmith, James M. Cain, Cormac McCarthy, Tom McCarthy, and Natsuo Kirino.

Focused literary analysis will center the course and the required work: the primary course requirement is two interpretive papers (5-7 pages each). Consistent attendance, and active participation in seminar discussions, are required too.

English 181C Religion and Critical Theory
Topics in Critical Theory
Prof. Kaufman

This course will examine the longstanding connection between religion and critical theory, providing a rough survey of the history of criticism through the lens of its profound engagement with monotheistic theology.  We will pay particular attention to some of the more extreme moments in the theological tradition, those dealing with heresy, apostasy, and asceticism, and their connection to modern literature and philosophy.

English 181D Empire, Border-Crossings, and the Multiethnic Essay
Topics in Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies
Prof. Poddar

This seminar will explore a history of postcolonial studies through contemporary, multiethnic, creative non-fiction, and the literary essay in particular, in order to answer the following questions: How do our primary texts question or subvert the aesthetic assumptions of a “mainstream,” white, Euro-American essay? What manifestations of empire, diasporic mobility, and generic mutability unite and/or separate our primary texts? What aesthetic or critical possibilities do our primary texts open up for the future of postcolonial & multiethnic literary studies? We’ll read closely works by Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Roxane Gay, Zadie Smith, Teju Cole, Amitav Ghosh, Gish Jen, along with secondary critical and creative texts to unpack concepts like genre, identity (as understood through the lens of race, class, gender, sexuality, culture, and/or nationality), hybridity, transnationalism, vernacular, place, ecology, and more.

English 183B  Nathaniel Hawthorne
Topics in 19th-Century American Literature
Prof. Colacurcio

With some interest in the biography, we will attempt to trace Hawthorne's developing career: from the obscurity of Salem in the 1820's and early 30's, when he wrote, anonymously, some the most brilliant historical tales in the language; through the more sociable "Concord Period" (1842-45), when his attention turned to the liberal and transcendental reforms of his own agitated age; to that so-called "Major Phase" in which he wrote his three American Romances in just under three years. Emphasis at first on response to historical (Puritan) sources, then on the attempt to tell the history of his own time.

No final exam. Course assumes perfect, punctual attendance, careful preparation, two in-class presentations on an assigned topic, and a critical/analytical paper of 12-15 pages--which must enter into significant conversation with published criticism.

English 184.1 Camp: From Oscar Wilde to RuPaul
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Allmendinger

Capstone Seminar

In this seminar, we will study the sensibility and form of art known as “camp.”  Questions to be considered include:  How has camp evolved from the late nineteenth century to the present?  To what extent is camp a kind of humor, a mode of performance, and a subversive tool used to critique society?  What is the relationship between camp and drag?  What is the difference between camp and kitsch?  Students will analyze and discuss the following works:  The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, films by John Waters and Ed Wood, at least one season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and classic kitsch memorabilia.  Requirements include weekly attendance and active participation in seminar, one oral report, and a final research paper.

English 184.2 London Theatre and the New King
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Braunmuller

Capstone Seminar

In this seminar we will read a mixture of plays by Shakespeare and his principal rival Thomas Middleton all first written and performed in the years immediately after Queen Elizabeth's death and the accession of James I. Some familiarity with Shakespeare would be a big advantage, as would familiarity with drama as a genre.

English 184.3 Shakespeare and Gender
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Cunningham

Capstone Seminar

Wherever we look in Shakespeare, men are pondering how to deal with each other and with women, women are pondering what it means to be female, and characters who differ from these binary norms struggle (sometimes comically, sometimes tragically) to find their space in the dramatic worlds.  Put differently, throughout his works Shakespeare stages complex notions of masculinity, femininity, and difference.  This seminar looks at several plays and poems to understand the playwright’s investment in constructing gender according to particular aesthetic, dramatic, social, and ideological goals. What does the association of domesticity, business, or violence with femininity or masculinity in The Taming of The Shrew tell us about the author’s notions of selfhood and sexuality?  What are we to make of the implications of the fluidity of desire in Twelfth Night?  How do the anonymous pamphlets “Hic Mulier; or the Man-woman” and “Haec Vir; or the Womanish man” contribute to our understanding?  You’ll be expected to attend and to participate regularly in seminar discussions, deliver a brief oral presentation, and produce a final paper/project.

English 184.4 The Road
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Goodwin

Capstone Seminar

The seminar explores cultural themes associated with imagined and lived experience on the road. The roads involved are mainly American, a few are foreign. Our material includes poetry and song (Whitman, the blues, Bob Dylan), narrative (Jack London, Cormac McCarthy, Jack Kerouac, Robert Pirsig), photography (Robert Frank), drama (Samuel Beckett, August Wilson), and movies (Fellini’s La Strada, Thelma & Louise).

English 184.5 Queer American Fictions
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Looby

Capstone Seminar

Focusing on the short story (a nineteenth-century American literary invention), and on queer (non-normative) sexualities, this seminar will ask what their historical relationship has been. Is there something queer, as such, about the short story? It seems to be the case that the genre of the short story offered something like a literary laboratory in which queer sexualities—queer identities, but also queer places, genders, attachments, and things—could be explored, perhaps more freely than in the novel. For example, the anonymous 1857 tale, “The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman,” depicted a man we would now call a transsexual, but at the time this fact was, perhaps surprisingly, treated utterly without alarm or negative judgment. Other writers we will encounter include some famous, and some not: Walt Whitman, Ambrose Bierce, Constance Fenimore Wilson, Octave Thanet, Herman Melville, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Bret Harte, Sarah Orne Jewett, Sui Sin Far, Charles W. Chesnutt, Louisa May Alcott, Sadakichi Hartmann, and Kate Chopin. Students will do original research in digital archives to discover—and share with the rest of the class—additional American short stories that may, under a broad definition, be claimed as “queer.”

English 184.7 Apocalypse, Again: Touchstones, Forms, Mutations
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Gallagher

Capstone Seminar

This course presents an overview of the deep history of the apocalyptic imagination, from biblical antiquity to twentieth-century expressions in literature, philosophical inquiry, film, and musical soundscapes. Assigned readings address the following questions: How does the current popularity of apocalyptic expression reshape or deform cultural concerns commonly associated with the apocalyptic mode in premodern and early modern cultures? How does the apocalyptic “toolkit” promote altered notions of futurity, pastness, and what it means to inhabit the present? Texts include biblical touchstones (Revelation, Daniel), together with modern and late modern philosophical interventions (from Walter Benjamin to Giorgio Agamben), and literary appropriations: medieval dream visions, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, early modern proto-science fiction (Cavendish’s The Blazing World), and recent dystopian fiction (Sebald’s Rings of Saturn).

English 184.8 Metaphysical and Cavalier Poetry
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Watson

Capstone Seminar

This seminar will focus primarily on the canonical figures of earlier seventeenth-century English lyric poetry (Donne, Herbert, Jonson, and Marvell) alongside less famous contemporaries such as Carew and Traherne, and on some crucial themes of the period (such as economic inequality, science vs. magic, radicals vs. conservatives, gender and sexuality, the Protestant Reformation, the appeal of nature, and the fear of death). Through careful reading and open discussion, we will attempt to understand not only what these poems say -- often no small task -- but also their place in the configurations of Jacobean and Caroline society.  What tensions and changes in that culture, as well as in the lives of the poets, might these works have helped to negotiate?  How and why did the Metaphysical and Cavalier modes emerge in a period of intense theological and political struggle, and what is the interplay of form, content, and meaning?  What kind of work were they doing, and how well were they doing it? What kinds of work should we do on them now?

 

Courses