CoursesUndergraduate Courses

The Department of English offers a wide variety of courses at the general and advanced levels. Courses are divided into the following sections:

0-99 Lower Division Courses (Freshman, Sophomore)
100-199
Upper Division Courses (Junior, Senior)
200 & above
Graduate Courses

Fall 2018

Lower Division Courses in English (Freshman, Sophomore)

Please note that these courses do NOT fulfill any requirements for the major in English or American Literature & Culture or the English minor.

Introduction to American Cultures

English 11 / Prof. Goyal

This course serves as a gateway to the American Literature and Culture major, examining the contested meaning of “America” itself as a national ideal, a diverse society, and a locus of cultural production.  We will place a special emphasis on questions of identity, belonging, borders, and movement, exploring the significance of national boundaries, regional alliances, and transnational flows of people, capital, and culture. By situating the study of U.S. culture in a transnational and interdisciplinary context, the course encourages students to think broadly and rigorously about the varied meanings of nationhood and citizenship.  Readings will focus on origins (the making of the nation and the Americas, including indigeneity, settler colonialism, property, war, religion, suffrage, slavery and abolition), identities (narratives about places, communities, and environments, including cities, suburbs, borders, oceans, ecosystems, prisons,), and media (the creative process as it manifests itself in aesthetic forms, artistic movements and information systems).

Being There: History and Gossip in Jean Froissart’s Chronicles

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminar
English 19.1 / Prof. Jager

Jean Froissart (circa 1337-1410), contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer and one of best-known chroniclers of European Middle Ages, left vivid accounts of many great events: great plague, Siege of Calais, Battle of Poitiers, Peasants’ Revolt, royal courtship, trial by combat, madness of King Charles VI, and fall and deposition of King Richard II. Froissart, widely traveled cleric familiar with noble courts throughout Europe, was one of best storytellers of his age and great gossip. If he were alive today, he would almost certainly be writing for Vanity Fair magazine. While not always precise about facts, he offers fascinating glimpses into lives, loves, and attitudes of his contemporaries, telling us perhaps more than any other writer of his time what it was like to be there.

Rethinking the Refugee

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminar
English 19.2 / Prof. Goyal

Refugee is iconic figure of contemporary era; posing questions about human rights, meaning of citizenship, and role of borders and walls today. U.N. Refugee Agency estimates that 65 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Focus on cultural representations of refugee in range of media (including short stories, poetry, documentary film, graffiti, comics, cartoons, music videos, and protest signs) to understand meaning of nation and migration. Reading across range of locations, examination of forms of refugee resistance today. Questions include how contemporary discussions of migration crisis can be reframed through longer histories of asylum and sanctuary; and how focus on art and culture rethinks language of conflict and war. Considering people displaced by violence, political persecution, climate change, and natural disasters, exploration of new ways of imagining freedom of movement.

Introduction to Visual Culture

English M50 / Prof. Firunts

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

American Novel

English 85 / 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.

Latinidades

Topics in American Cultures
English 87 / Prof. López

Latino or Latinx? Chicano or Mexican American? Hispanic? What’s the difference?  Which word is the right word, and why should you care anyway? We’ll tackle all those questions and more in this seminar as we explore the literature and cultural production of latinidad. We’ll read Chilean memoirs of the California gold rush, diaries of 19th century Mexican soldiers patrolling the US-Mexico border, and more contemporary works like The Tattooed Soldier, Hector Tobar’s novel about refugees from the Guatemalan civil war set during the 1992 LA riots. We’ll also consider non-literary texts like music, photography, archives, and political protests. By the end of the quarter you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the historic and constitutive role latinidad has played in the founding and evolution of the United States. Plus, you’ll have smart, interesting things to say about the racial ambiguities of someone like Cardi B. Why should we care if she’s Dominican? Figure it all out in “English 87: Latinidades”!

 

English 11 prerequisite will be waived for this course (fall 2018 quarter only). Please contact the English Undergraduate Advising Offices at (310) 825-1389 for more information.

Literature and Society: The Novel and Public Humanities

Special Topics in English
English 88M / Prof. Johnsen

Broadly conceived, the public humanities is the work of a not-for-profit or other community-based cultural organization that engages the general public in conversations and facilitates events (public) on topics such as philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, and language (the humanities). In this course, we will gain hands-on experience with the public humanities through projects in support of the Marathon Reading, an annual literary event put on by the English department. You will read one significant English-language novel, of your own choosing and subject to instructor approval. Class discussions and assignments will engage with questions of how your chosen novel might capture the public imagination and generate conversations within a community through successful literary programming. Instead of a final essay, you will undertake a practical project directed by your own personal and professional interests. Practical projects might include (but are not limited to): generating press releases and other professional writing aimed at securing media coverage and celebrity involvement; social media and website management; text and visual design for promotional materials across various media (e.g. promotional videos, flyers); and fundraising initiatives.

Shakespeare

English 90 / Prof. Little

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

Introduction to Fiction

English 91C / Prof. Wilhelm

Analysis of short and long narratives and of critical issues such as plot, characterization, setting, narrative voice, realistic and nonrealistic forms

Upper Division Courses in English

Writing Intensive Courses

 

Writing in the English Major: Analytical

English 110A / Prof. Stephan

What makes an undergraduate English paper good? In this course, designed specifically for English majors, you will learn to build on your skills and abilities as a writer of literary and cultural analyses. You’ll find ways to ask richer literary questions, develop more nuanced analyses of complex texts, and shape your own voice as a writer. We’ll focus on literary arguments and begin with this basic question: what constitutes a good, rich, complex question in literary analysis? What makes a substantial topic that might lead to a top-notch persuasive argument? Because good writing (and thus good argumentation) is also a process, we will practice creation, revision, contemplation, and editing, as well as seeking and giving feedback. Throughout the course, we will workshop writing exercises with the goal of making ourselves and others more comfortable and more successful as writers of good academic prose that fits the specific requirements of the English major.

Practicum Courses

Please note that these are 2-unit courses. English and American Literature & Culture majors may satisfy 1 English Elective if they take multiple 2-unit upper division English courses (for a total of at least 4 units).

Westwind Journal

Undergraduate Practicum in English
English M192.1 / Prof. Wilson

This course is for the staff of Westwind, UCLA’s Journal for the Arts. If you are interested in joining the Westwind staff, please familiarize yourself with the journal at www.westwind.ucla.edu, and come to the first meeting.

Literatures in English Before 1500

 

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

English 140A / Prof. Jager

We will read selections from Chaucer’s famous anthology of romances, comic stories, saints’ lives and cautionary tales as told by a motley crew — pilgrims on the road to Canterbury in the tumultuous 1380s amid threats of war, corrupt government, popular revolt, and plague. We will read the tales in the original Middle English, with regular quizzes and exams, a 2000-word research paper, and a required recitation of Chaucer’s 18-line proem to the General Prologue.

The School of Love: Medieval Education and Amatory Poetry

Late Medieval Literature
English 142 / Prof. Gerber

Medieval courtiers, clergymen, and schoolboys alike composed amatory poetry, spreading instructions on how best to woo throughout Western Europe. The instructions, however, derived primarily from a Roman satirist named Ovid and the celibate clergymen who created a schoolroom curriculum around him. The result was a contradictory perception of courtship that spread clerical propaganda to medieval audiences and has even trickled into modern notions of courtship. This course will retrace these routes of transmission by focusing on both the medieval classroom practices that have since been lost and the medieval cultural values that still persist. The first of these emphases will allow us to explore how medieval schoolmasters, unlike modern ones, treated historical literature as a vital repository of both titillating tales and practical instructions that provided lively prompts for their pupils’ personal compositions, ethical reflections, history lessons, and much more. The second of these emphases will unpack the tensions that resulted from an amatory curriculum produced by celibate clergymen who were additionally charged with dissuading young men from marrying. Together we will explore the transmission of this clerical curriculum from Roman to medieval poetry and even into modern media. In the end, this course seeks to answer the following questions: How did modern schoolrooms lose their practical applications of historical literature? And how did medieval writers perpetuate clerical propaganda that continues to shape modern notions of how to pursue love?

Grail Quest and Holy War in Medieval Romance

Medieval Romance and Literatures of Court
English 144 / Prof. Chism

This class explores the intersections of two romance forms, Grail quest and crusading romance. What intersections of race, ethnicity, geography, and religion beset the interplay between the familiar and the strange as warriors from both Christianity and Islam pursue chivalric ideals? What happens to medieval chivalry when you link it to ideas of holy war — and then accept black and Muslim knights as chivalric peers?  How do medieval romance intersections inform and challenge literary and political world-building today?  Texts may include crusading romances such as Richard Coeur de Lion, and The Sultan of Babylon; grail quests such as Perslesvaus and the Estoire del Sant Graal, and contemporary responses such as Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon.  Requirements: 2 short papers (50%), weekly 1-p response papers (30%), class participation (20%), and an optional class presentation.

Distractions and Noonday Demons

Medieval Literatures of Devotion and Dissent
English 145 / Prof. Weaver

It is a common assumption that we live in an increasingly—and uniquely—distracted world. As this course demonstrates, however, medieval readers, writers, and thinkers faced similar concerns. Indeed, distraction posed one of the most significant spiritual dangers of the Middle Ages. But was it an affect, a pathology, a demonic temptation, or, worse, possession? And how does distraction relate to curiosity, incredulity, and wonder—or to heresy, conversion, and dissent? Moving from The Psychomachia or “Battle within the Soul” to Titivillus, the “patron demon” of medieval scribes, we will read widely in medieval theories about cognition and concentration; demonological treatises; restorative charms; scribal curses on inattentive readers; and poems and plays about the dangers of digression, boredom, and daydreaming as we work to understand the perils (and pleasures!) of getting distracted in the Middle Ages.

 

Literatures in English 1500-1700

 

Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays

English 150A / Prof. Hedlin

In this course on Shakespeare’s early works, we will examine how actors, directors, editors, and audiences have interacted with Shakespearean texts in different times and places. Assignments and discussions will emphasize how drama differs from other genres and how Shakespearean theater has been adapted to address diverse cultural concerns. Students’ participation in performance exercises will supplement instruction and rigorous practice in written analysis of Shakespearean poetry and drama.

Shakespeare: Later Plays

English 150B / Prof. Dickey

A study of selected plays from the latter half of Shakespeare’s career, including Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

Milton

English 151 / Prof. McEachern

A study of Milton’s literary and political careers from his earliest efforts through the composition of the first (and last) great English language epic, Paradise Lost. We will investigate his relation to both classical and Christian humanism, and his experiments with literary forms. Milton is the rare writer who also played a direct part in British political history. In addition to his early poetry collected in the 1645 volume of Poems, we also will read his prose defenses of free speech, of divorce, of religious freedom, and of the popular basis of political sovereignty, before turning to a six week intensive reading of the epic. In addition to fulfilling the historical requirement, this course can also fulfill the GICT requirement, due to the necessary prominence of genre in Milton’s poetic oeuvre.

Elizabeth Literature: Poetry, Politics, and Print

Literatures of English Renaissance and Early Modern Period
English 152 / Prof. McEachern

Intensive study of the explosion of non-dramatic English literature composed during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Concerns will include how literary production was impacted by political, religious and gender concerns, and how authors experimented with a variety of literary forms as they undertook to create “a kingdom of our own language” (in Edmund Spenser’s words) in the new marketplace of print.

Colonial Beginnings of American Literature

English 166A / Prof. Colacurcio

Historical survey of American literatures of discovery and exploration, contact, and settlement, with emphasis on genres that express distinctive colonial identities, myths, and religious visions.

Literatures in English 1700-1850

 

Charlotte Brontë

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Stephan

If you know Jane Eyre, you may think you know Charlotte Brontë, and this course will indeed give you the chance to read (or re-read) her most famous novel and consider it through a variety of historical contexts and critical lenses. In our pursuit of Brontë expertise, we will also immerse ourselves in her three other published novels, The Professor, Shirley, and Villette, exploring her broad and eclectic range of themes and subjects, including the oppression of women and their need for greater personal, educational, and professional freedom; the problematic notion of Englishness confronted by industrial and social upheaval at home and abroad; the developing role of the woman artist; the reimagining of the fictional heroine beyond conventional ideals; and more. Looking at her juvenilia and letters, biographical material including excerpts from Elizabeth Gaskell’s groundbreaking, mythmaking Life of Charlotte Brontë, and critical responses from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, we will piece together a portrait of an enduring author who defies easy categorization.

Earlier Romantic Literature

English 162A / Prof. Sanchez

Despite traditional assessments of British Romanticism as a literary period predominantly concerned with transcendence, solitary genius, and the love of Nature, historicist scholarship has long taught us that British Romantic literature was first and foremost a literature about global conflict, social, cultural, and political strife, empire, and, most importantly, international revolution. This course provides a survey of the writings of early Romantic writers including Blake, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Austen, with collateral readings from such authors as Burke, Paine, and Southey. Through close textual analysis of these canonical as well as non-canonical works of the romantic period, this course not only situates early 19th century British literature within its social, historical, and political context, but also seeks to understand how these literary texts through their formal, stylistic, and rhetorical character shape and are shaped by revolutionary developments at large.

The Art of the Novel from Austen to Hardy

19th-Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Dimuro

In this course we read the work of four pre-eminent English novelists, all of whom expanded, in unique ways, the artistic and thematic range of narrative fiction between the years 1800 and 1900. Readings include Jane Austen’s Emma, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Lectures incorporate contemporary narratological theory; historical and cultural contexts; philosophical influences on the development of the novel in Western Europe; the changing roles of women and education; modes of publication in the Victorian Era; the novel’s relationship to the rise of the middle class and industrial capitalism; British imperialism; and political reform in England. We will consider themes of identity formation, interiority, gender, marriage, money, the rise of professionalization, and other topics that speak to the evolution of the novel in the nineteenth century. Requirements include two papers, a midterm exam, and a comprehensive final exam.

 

Not open to students who completed course 164C in 16F or 179 in 17W with title “The Novel 1850-1900.”

American Poetry to 1900

English 167A / Prof. Cohen

This course will survey the history of American poetry from the Puritan era to the turn of the twentieth century. We will read the poetry of major authors like Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe and others, and we will study the poetry of major events and movements, like the poetry of antislavery and the poetry of the Civil War. Students will have the opportunity to create final projects based on original library research, as well as creative writing.

American Fiction to 1900

English 167B / Prof. Salway

Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Enforced requisites: courses 10A, 10B. Study of American fiction (both novels and short stories) from its beginning to end of 19th century. P/NP or letter grading.

Blake and Whitman, London and New York

Topics in Literature, circa 1700 to 1850
English 169 / Prof. Cohen & Prof. Makdisi

This course is an introduction to two of the nineteenth century’s most innovative and visionary poets, William Blake and Walt Whitman, whose work we will locate in their respective urban backgrounds in London and New York. Working comparatively, the course will situate each author in the volatile social and political contexts from which he emerged, the 1790s (Blake) and 1850s (Whitman), as well as the literary, cultural and political histories within and against which they wrote. We will also spend time exploring the urban milieus, London and New York City, that were crucial to each author’s artistry. Students will read through some of the major works of Blake and Whitman and consider their relationship against the background of the complex transatlantic histories and networks tying London to New York.

 

Literatures in English 1850-Present

 

The Intimacy of Queer Life in Early Queer Literature

Queer Literatures and Cultures, 1850 to 1970
English M101B / Prof. Little

From the elegiac and tragic to the comic, this course begins with Walt Whitman and ends (most likely) with lesbian pulp fiction. The course surveys not only some of the most groundbreaking queer texts—novels, poems, plays (sometimes in the form of film)—written between 1860 and the late 1960s but also the intriguing personalities/authors behind so many of them. Our course attends to how this literature and these personages resisted systemic efforts to disappear, silence, and erase queer bodies, voices, and subjectivities. Without resorting to autobiography (at least in any straightforward sense), the queer literature produced during this period makes emphatically evident the intimate relationship between life and narrative: importantly, literature in this era was far less a way of reporting on one’s life than a way of laying claim to one. Queer literature was indeed a way to demonstrate and perform the fact that queer folk, like non-queer folk, had intimate lives. This course serves as a literary and cultural introduction to the period under consideration as well as to some of the ideas that have come to shape our own contemporary queer epistemologies and sensibilities.

Historical Survey of Asian American Literature

English M102A / Prof. Ling

This course examines a body of Asian American literary works—autobiography, memoir, the novel, non-fiction, short story, and drama—which represents Asians’ experiences in the U.S. during the pre-1980 period (some of these works were published after 1980). Issues to look at include immigration, exclusion, cross-cultural or interethnic encounters, generational conflict, racialization, and race, gender, and class formations. 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 aspirations, circumstantial constraints, and readerly expectations.

Early African American Literature

English M104A / Prof. Yarborough

Survey of African American literature from the 18th century to World War I, including oral and written forms (folktales, spirituals, sermons; fiction, autobiography, poetry). Authors covered include Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, and W. E. B. Du Bois.  The class will focus on the historical and cultural contexts of the literary works as well as on diverse strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials. Requirements include attendance and participation in section, a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam.

Introduction to Latina/Latino Literature

English M105D / Prof. Medrano

This course will introduce students to some of the major critical trends present in Latina/Latino Studies. Discussion will focus on the construction of identity in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class; bilingualism and code-switching; the experiences of the exile, the immigrant, the refugee and the colonial subject.  Emphasis will be placed on the concept of mestizaje and its impact on cultural production, how the texts offer representations of how mixed-race bodies function as sites of knowledge, and the relationship between race and performance.  Texts will include works from writers such as Maria Cristina Mena, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldúa, Mayra Montero.

U.S. Literature After the Sexual Binary

Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Clark

According to philosopher Michel Foucault, the modern sexual binary emerged in the late-nineteenth century when medical and legal discourses began to identify permitted sexual behavior and its opposite. This course explores the aftermath in U.S. literature from Herman Melville, Willa Cather, James Baldwin, and Chris Krauss, among others. The objective is to trace how fiction conceived of sexual identification and marginalization; it is also to investigate how sex and other categories of marginalization, especially race and gender, intersected. Viewing normative sexuality as a relatively recent conceptual phenomenon, we explore how authors reinforced or critiqued normativity’s domination, as well as how sexuality interacts with other forms of bias, discrimination, and othering that have limited U.S. theories of equality.  Alongside Foucault, the class will incorporate readings about sexuality from the period of each of the texts to historicize how they interacted with contemporaneous discourses around sexual expression and deviance.

Introduction to Electronic Literature

English 116B / Prof. Snelson

What is not electronic literature today? Rather than introduce electronic literature or “e-lit” as a distinct literary category, this course wonders if it’s even possible to consider literature beyond the electronic circuits that characterize the networked present. Alongside this inquiry, we’ll explore a range of new literary genres inhabiting, for example, Twitter bots, image macros, flash movies, social media, Bandcamp mixtapes, video games, and print on demand books. Thinking through the present, this introduction examines the history and future of literature through the everyday experience of computers and electronic devices. The course begins in the 1960s, examining the development of post-war computational systems alongside contemporaneous political movements and emerging literary movements. From the history of digital poetics to recent internet publications, 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 wide range of (post-)digital formats. 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 or literature is required.

20th/21st Century Art and Poetry of Los Angeles

Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature
English 118A / Prof. Stefans

The city of Los Angeles has been a cultural center for over 150 years, first as an outpost of Mexico, then as the south-westernmost edge of the United States. From about 1850-1900, a lively Spanish-language poetry flourished in the newspapers and the first books of Anglophone poetry appeared.

 

Poets and painters in the early part of the 20th century actively sought to keep up with major trends on the east coast and in Europe — Impressionism, cubism, Imagism, surrealism, etc. — while also synthesizing styles of art from Mexico and the East, particularly Japan. The 50s saw a small renaissance of art in poetry in locations like Hollywood and Venice inspired by the Beats and by the concentration of left-leaning writers here despite the oppression of McCarthyism. By the 70s, Los Angeles was recognized as one the major art centers of the world with some globally recognized artists and clearly defined styles inspired by Pop Art, performance art, video art, and other trends.

This course — part art history, part poetry survey — concentrates on the post-war period up to the present. Topics include avant-garde art, multicultural literature, the effects of technology on writing and art-making, punk music and its nexus with poetry, literary and art journals and zines, architecture and urbanism, the presence of bohemian movie actors in the arts and literature scenes, and the rise of the gallery and museum system in Los Angeles. Students are not expected to have any special knowledge of art or poetry, and yet the advanced student of either will discover interesting artists and writers not usually taught in college courses. The course will be supplemented by visits from local artists and poets and, depending on the interest of the class, a museum or gallery visit.

Students will be expected to complete a series of worksheets (some of which are creative assignments), write a mid-term paper and complete either a final research paper or a creative project (upon instructor approval).

Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures

English 130 / Prof. Behdad

This course offers an introduction to postcolonial literature, broadly defined as imaginative writing that has been “affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day” (Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back. New York: Routledge, 1989). Focusing on literary and cultural expressions from Africa and the Caribbean, the aim of this introductory course is twofold. First, we will consider the relation among literature, culture, and history by exploring such thematic concerns as colonialism, de-colonization, travel, displacement, memory, nationalism, race, and gender. Second, the course addressed formalistic issues such as narrative structure, point of view, genre, chronological order, and characterization, considering the ways in which they inform literary representation. Students are expected to actively engaged with thematic and formal issues raised in each text and discussed in the class as they write their essays and weekly reading responses.

Thinking the Global

Studies in Postcolonial Literatures
English 131 / Prof. Goyal

This course focuses on contemporary postcolonial literature, with a special emphasis on twenty-first century fiction that is global in orientation. Examining novels, short stories, new media, and visual culture, we investigate the relationship between nationalism, migration, and literary form, tracking the changing meanings of local and global. How do contemporary writers from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean offer resistance to global consumer culture, or generate new theories of time and space? In a rapidly globalizing world, what place do national and racial identities have, if any? How do we define ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ in a time of fluid identities?  How are these ideas of tradition gendered and why?  Do cultural texts from around the world circulate in the West as exotic commodities or as sites of resistance?  Writers may include Chris Abani, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aravind Adiga, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Caryl Phillips, Salman Rushdie, and Marjane Satrapi.

Bad Readers and Too Good Writers: Vladimir Nabokov’s First-Person Narrators

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Miller

In his lecture, “Good Readers and Good Writers,” Russian-born author and then literature professor Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) cautions that the worst thing a reader can do is to identify with a character in a book. And yet, Nabokov made a habit of populating his own fiction with a gang of dangerously solipsistic but undeniably compelling first-person narrators, using the form to force his readers into a compromising position of unwitting identification and – worse still – complicity. In this course, we will study four of Nabokov’s English-language novels that feature such narrators (The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Pnin, Lolita, and Pale Fire) to explore some of the issues with which the author was most concerned, including the relationship of ethics and aesthetics; the mechanics of narrative construction and the stakes of storytelling; and what, exactly, it means to be a good reader and good writer. Regular attendance and participation is expected. Assignments will include several short close readings, two small creative projects, and a final paper.

The Art of the Novel from Austen to Hardy

19th-Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Dimuro

In this course we read the work of four pre-eminent English novelists, all of whom expanded, in unique ways, the artistic and thematic range of narrative fiction between the years 1800 and 1900. Readings include Jane Austen’s Emma, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Lectures incorporate contemporary narratological theory; historical and cultural contexts; philosophical influences on the development of the novel in Western Europe; the changing roles of women and education; modes of publication in the Victorian Era; the novel’s relationship to the rise of the middle class and industrial capitalism; British imperialism; and political reform in England. We will consider themes of identity formation, interiority, gender, marriage, money, the rise of professionalization, and other topics that speak to the evolution of the novel in the nineteenth century. Requirements include two papers, a midterm exam, and a comprehensive final exam.

 

Not open to students who completed course 164C in 16F or 179 in 17W with title “The Novel 1850-1900.”

American Poetry to 1900

English 167A / Prof. Cohen

This course will survey the history of American poetry from the Puritan era to the turn of the twentieth century. We will read the poetry of major authors like Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe and others, and we will study the poetry of major events and movements, like the poetry of antislavery and the poetry of the Civil War. Students will have the opportunity to create final projects based on original library research, as well as creative writing.

American Fiction to 1900

English 167B / Prof. Salway

Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Enforced requisites: courses 10A, 10B. Study of American fiction (both novels and short stories) from its beginning to end of 19th century. P/NP or letter grading.

Blake and Whitman, London and New York

Topics in Literature, circa 1700 to 1850
English 169 / Prof. Cohen & Prof. Makdisi

This course is an introduction to two of the nineteenth century’s most innovative and visionary poets, William Blake and Walt Whitman, whose work we will locate in their respective urban backgrounds in London and New York. Working comparatively, the course will situate each author in the volatile social and political contexts from which he emerged, the 1790s (Blake) and 1850s (Whitman), as well as the literary, cultural and political histories within and against which they wrote. We will also spend time exploring the urban milieus, London and New York City, that were crucial to each author’s artistry. Students will read through some of the major works of Blake and Whitman and consider their relationship against the background of the complex transatlantic histories and networks tying London to New York.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Salway

Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Enforced requisites: courses 10A, 10B, 10C. 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. P/NP or letter grading.

20th Century American Drama: Allegories of the Possible

American Drama
English 172C / 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. Writers experimented with absurdism, non-linear narratives, expressionism, the “alienation” effect and collapsing the distance between “high” art (such as operas) and popular song.

 

Langston Hughes explored the interpersonal politics of race, Lillian Hellman the ostracization of same-sex couples, Elmer Rice and Clifford Odets the despair of the worker in a time of rapid industrialization. Eugene O’Neil’s 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,” and Tennessee Williams, who explored the intersection of creativity and extreme psychological states in an intimate, tragic manner, were major figures of this time.

After the end of World War II, writers such as Arthur Miller, Edward Albee and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) explored the intense level of suspicion in hypocrisy in the years of 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). Writers such as Paula Vogel, David Henry Hwang and the Cuban-born Maria Irene Fornes continued to use to the theater as a way of negotiating social issues while experimenting with the form.

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.

Title TBA

Contemporary American Poetry
English 173C / Prof. Mullen

Description TBA.

Protest, Rebellion and Non-Conformity in Post WWII
American Film and Fiction, 1945-1967

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177 / Prof. Solomon

This course examines the work of rebellious novelists, painters, poets, filmmakers, and all-around troublemakers who questioned authority in post-WWII America. The era of mass deprivation in the U.S. that began with the Great Depression of 1929-39 came to an abrupt end with the conclusion of WWII in 1945, but the almost mythic prosperity enjoyed by the “Baby Boom” generation of the late-1940s through the mid-1960s was distributed unevenly throughout U.S. society, and access to better jobs and housing was all but denied to unmarried women, ethnic minorities, and left-wing political activists; indeed, even for those who were allowed access to this new social mobility in post WWII America, the price was a crushing social conformity that dictated acceptable moral behavior and policed social actions.  The artists we examine in this course question the fundamental assumptions of that social conformity, challenging the restrictions placed upon personal behavior, and asserting the value of authentic human experience in all its diversity — and in so doing, they blazed a trail for subsequent generations of social activists, and they helped lay the foundation for the widespread social protests movements of the 1960s and 1970s that would radically alter the social landscape of 20th century America.

Recent Black and Asian Fiction, Poetry and Drama in Britain

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179 / Prof. D’Aguiar

We examine the emergence of a black aesthetic in Britain among writers born in Britain or brought up there from childhood. The various genres work together to showcase an aesthetic that emerges out of a preoccupation with the politics of belonging in Britain. Each novel, play, film or poetry collection brings a concern with elsewhere in coalition with an idea of Britishness. Race, place, sexuality, gender, identity, and aesthetics are among the enduring subjects of these arts of the imagination.

 

Requirements

Short response papers and one long essay.

 

Novels

The Buddha of Suburbia (Hanif Kureishi 1990)

White Teeth (Zadie Smith 2000)

Brick Lane (Monica Ali 2003)

Small Island (Andrea Levy 2004)

 

Plays

East is East (Ayub Khan Din 1996)

Elmina’s Kitchen (Kwame Kwei-Armah 2003)

 

Film

Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien 1991)

 

Poetry

Dread, Beat and Blood (Linton Kwesi Johnson 1975)

I am Nobody’s Nigger (Dean Atta 2014)

Teaching my Mother How to Give Birth (Warsan Shire, 2011)

 

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

 

 

The Intimacy of Queer Life in Early Queer Literature

Queer Literatures and Cultures, 1850 to 1970
English M101B / Prof. Little

From the elegiac and tragic to the comic, this course begins with Walt Whitman and ends (most likely) with lesbian pulp fiction. The course surveys not only some of the most groundbreaking queer texts—novels, poems, plays (sometimes in the form of film)—written between 1860 and the late 1960s but also the intriguing personalities/authors behind so many of them. Our course attends to how this literature and these personages resisted systemic efforts to disappear, silence, and erase queer bodies, voices, and subjectivities. Without resorting to autobiography (at least in any straightforward sense), the queer literature produced during this period makes emphatically evident the intimate relationship between life and narrative: importantly, literature in this era was far less a way of reporting on one’s life than a way of laying claim to one.  Queer literature was indeed a way to demonstrate and perform the fact that queer folk, like non-queer folk, had intimate lives. This course serves as a literary and cultural introduction to the period under consideration as well as to some of the ideas that have come to shape our own contemporary queer epistemologies and sensibilities.

Historical Survey of Asian American Literature

English M102A / Prof. Ling

This course examines a body of Asian American literary works—autobiography, memoir, the novel, non-fiction, short story, and drama—which represents Asians’ experiences in the U.S. during the pre-1980 period (some of these works were published after 1980). Issues to look at include immigration, exclusion, cross-cultural or interethnic encounters, generational conflict, racialization, and race, gender, and class formations. 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 aspirations, circumstantial constraints, and readerly expectations.

Monster, Freak, Cyborg: Re-imagining Race, Gender, and Disability in Speculative Fiction

Studies in Disability Literatures
English M103 / Prof. Wolf

This course examines the literary production of embodied alterity with particular attention to race, gender, and disability. Over the course of the quarter we will apply feminist and disability studies theories of representation, corporeality, transhumanism, and Afrofuturism to our analysis of twentieth and twenty-first century speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy). Speculative fiction is a literary genre that has the capacity to disrupt raced, gendered, and able-bodied social hierarchies and to reimagine not only these categories, but also envision alternative kinship structures and community ethos. Texts will include Octavia Butler’s Exogenesis trilogy, Rivers Solomon’s An Unkindness of Ghosts (2017) and Alexis Pauline Gumb’s M Archive: After the End of the World (2018).

Early African American Literature

English M104A / Prof. Yarborough

Survey of African American literature from the 18th century to World War I, including oral and written forms (folktales, spirituals, sermons; fiction, autobiography, poetry). Authors covered include Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, and W. E. B. Du Bois.  The class will focus on the historical and cultural contexts of the literary works as well as on diverse strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials. Requirements include attendance and participation in section, a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam.

Early Chicana/Chicano Literature, 1400 to 1920

English M105A / 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 more this quarter, beginning with how we might think about Pre-Columbian and colonial Mexican literature as Chicana/o. 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.

Introduction to Latina/Latino Literature

English M105D / Prof. Medrano

This course will introduce students to some of the major critical trends present in Latina/Latino Studies. Discussion will focus on the construction of identity in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class; bilingualism and code-switching; the experiences of the exile, the immigrant, the refugee and the colonial subject.  Emphasis will be placed on the concept of mestizaje and its impact on cultural production, how the texts offer representations of how mixed-race bodies function as sites of knowledge, and the relationship between race and performance.  Texts will include works from writers such as Maria Cristina Mena, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldúa, Mayra Montero.

American Women Writers: History, Culture, and Creativity

Studies in Women’s Writing
English M107A / Prof. Rowe

How do women write their bodies, their selves? “American Women Writers: History, Culture, and Creativity” traces the evolution of women’s writing from mid-19th to late 20th-  century America. Texts examine issues of self-identity; matrilineal ancestral heritages; sexual passion; suitors, husbands, wives, lovers; the ideology of domesticity and of feminism; and artistic ways women imagine themselves as historical, political, ethnic, and erotic subjects. Whether it’s a short story, poem, journalistic essay, novel or an autobiography, biomythography, cuentos, or historia, we read Alcott, Jacobs, Chopin, Gilman, Walker, Cisneros, Yamamoto, Viramontes, Marshall, Anzaldúa, and Kingston. How do women’s different ethnic cultures shape their lives and writing? This course offers increasingly sophisticated ways to read texts and to understand the diversity of women’s self-expression. All women need a voice and choice, as we seek in and though literary art to discover and articulate a vibrant sense of new selves, new lives, new muses.

Interracial Encounters in Asian American Fiction

Interracial Encounters
English 108 / 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 chauvinism, binary notions of race, and heteronormativity.

 

Evaluation: a 4-6 page personal essay (30%), group presentation (20%), attendance and participation (15%), an 6-8-page paper (35%). No mid-term or final exam.

 

Texts:

Marilyn Chin, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen 978-0393331455

David Henry Hwang, Chinglish 978-1559364102

Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth 978-0307278258

Min Jin Lee, Pachinko 978-1455563920

Russell Leong, “Phoenix Eyes” and Other Stories 978-0295979458

Sabina Murray, Tales of the New World 978-0802170835

Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You 978-0143127550

Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees 

U.S. Literature After the Sexual Binary

Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Clark

According to philosopher Michel Foucault, the modern sexual binary emerged in the late-nineteenth century when medical and legal discourses began to identify permitted sexual behavior and its opposite. This course explores the aftermath in U.S. literature from Herman Melville, Willa Cather, James Baldwin, and Chris Krauss, among others. The objective is to trace how fiction conceived of sexual identification and marginalization; it is also to investigate how sex and other categories of marginalization, especially race and gender, intersected. Viewing normative sexuality as a relatively recent conceptual phenomenon, we explore how authors reinforced or critiqued normativity’s domination, as well as how sexuality interacts with other forms of bias, discrimination, and othering that have limited U.S. theories of equality.  Alongside Foucault, the class will incorporate readings about sexuality from the period of each of the texts to historicize how they interacted with contemporaneous discourses around sexual expression and deviance.

Thinking the Global

Studies in Postcolonial Literatures
English 131 / Prof. Goyal

This course focuses on contemporary postcolonial literature, with a special emphasis on twenty-first century fiction that is global in orientation. Examining novels, short stories, new media, and visual culture, we investigate the relationship between nationalism, migration, and literary form, tracking the changing meanings of local and global. How do contemporary writers from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean offer resistance to global consumer culture, or generate new theories of time and space? In a rapidly globalizing world, what place do national and racial identities have, if any? How do we define ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ in a time of fluid identities?  How are these ideas of tradition gendered and why?  Do cultural texts from around the world circulate in the West as exotic commodities or as sites of resistance?  Writers may include Chris Abani, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aravind Adiga, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Caryl Phillips, Salman Rushdie, and Marjane Satrapi.

Protest, Rebellion and Non-Conformity in Post WWII
American Film and Fiction, 1945-1967

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177 / Prof. Solomon

This course examines the work of rebellious novelists, painters, poets, filmmakers, and all-around troublemakers who questioned authority in post-WWII America. The era of mass deprivation in the U.S. that began with the Great Depression of 1929-39 came to an abrupt end with the conclusion of WWII in 1945, but the almost mythic prosperity enjoyed by the “Baby Boom” generation of the late-1940s through the mid-1960s was distributed unevenly throughout U.S. society, and access to better jobs and housing was all but denied to unmarried women, ethnic minorities, and left-wing political activists; indeed, even for those who were allowed access to this new social mobility in post WWII America, the price was a crushing social conformity that dictated acceptable moral behavior and policed social actions.  The artists we examine in this course question the fundamental assumptions of that social conformity, challenging the restrictions placed upon personal behavior, and asserting the value of authentic human experience in all its diversity — and in so doing, they blazed a trail for subsequent generations of social activists, and they helped lay the foundation for the widespread social protests movements of the 1960s and 1970s that would radically alter the social landscape of 20th century America.

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

 

Early Chicana/Chicano Literature, 1400 to 1920

English M105A / 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 more this quarter, beginning with how we might think about Pre-Columbian and colonial Mexican literature as Chicana/o. 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.

Introduction to Latina/Latino Literature

English M105D / Prof. Medrano

This course will introduce students to some of the major critical trends present in Latina/Latino Studies. Discussion will focus on the construction of identity in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class; bilingualism and code-switching; the experiences of the exile, the immigrant, the refugee and the colonial subject.  Emphasis will be placed on the concept of mestizaje and its impact on cultural production, how the texts offer representations of how mixed-race bodies function as sites of knowledge, and the relationship between race and performance.  Texts will include works from writers such as Maria Cristina Mena, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldúa, Mayra Montero.

Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures

English 130 / Prof. Behdad

This course offers an introduction to postcolonial literature, broadly defined as imaginative writing that has been “affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day” (Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back. New York: Routledge, 1989). Focusing on literary and cultural expressions from Africa and the Caribbean, the aim of this introductory course is twofold. First, we will consider the relation among literature, culture, and history by exploring such thematic concerns as colonialism, de-colonization, travel, displacement, memory, nationalism, race, and gender. Second, the course addressed formalistic issues such as narrative structure, point of view, genre, chronological order, and characterization, considering the ways in which they inform literary representation. Students are expected to actively engaged with thematic and formal issues raised in each text and discussed in the class as they write their essays and weekly reading responses.

Thinking the Global

Studies in Postcolonial Literatures
English 131 / Prof. Goyal

This course focuses on contemporary postcolonial literature, with a special emphasis on twenty-first century fiction that is global in orientation. Examining novels, short stories, new media, and visual culture, we investigate the relationship between nationalism, migration, and literary form, tracking the changing meanings of local and global. How do contemporary writers from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean offer resistance to global consumer culture, or generate new theories of time and space? In a rapidly globalizing world, what place do national and racial identities have, if any? How do we define ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ in a time of fluid identities?  How are these ideas of tradition gendered and why?  Do cultural texts from around the world circulate in the West as exotic commodities or as sites of resistance?  Writers may include Chris Abani, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aravind Adiga, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Caryl Phillips, Salman Rushdie, and Marjane Satrapi.

Colonial Beginnings of American Literature

English 166A / Prof. Colacurcio

Historical survey of American literatures of discovery and exploration, contact, and settlement, with emphasis on genres that express distinctive colonial identities, myths, and religious visions.

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

 

Detective Fiction

English 115 / Prof. Allmendinger

This course surveys the mystery genre, beginning with its origins in the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle.  Students will read authors who are associated with the British tradition (Agatha Christie) and the later American school of detective fiction writing or noir (Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler). The syllabus also considers offshoots of the genre, such as suspense and horror (Patricia Highsmith, Truman Capote, and Thomas Harris). Requirements include one 7-10 page paper and an in-class midterm and final.

Science Fiction

English 115E / Prof. Heise

Science fiction is a tool for thinking about our relationship to natural and technological environments now and in the future. This course will focus on real and imagined nature in SF from Africa, North America, Latin America, and East Asia. How does SF portray environmental crises, and what solutions does it envision? Are human bodies and societies seen as part of nature or outside of it, and how does that affect what “being human” means? How do the activities of humans, animals, aliens, machines, and natural forces transform environments? How do social inequalities shape visions of nature? What work do genres such as apocalyptic narrative, disaster film, cli-fi and utopia do? Do visions of our environmental future have to be bleak, or are there optimistic possibilities? Readings will include novels, graphic novels/comics, short stories, and films by Bacigalupi, Dick, LeGuin, Miyazaki, Moore, Okorafor, Robinson, Yamashita and critical essays on science fiction.

Introduction to Electronic Literature

English 116B / Prof. Snelson

What is not electronic literature today? Rather than introduce electronic literature or “e-lit” as a distinct literary category, this course wonders if it’s even possible to consider literature beyond the electronic circuits that characterize the networked present. Alongside this inquiry, we’ll explore a range of new literary genres inhabiting, for example, Twitter bots, image macros, flash movies, social media, Bandcamp mixtapes, video games, and print on demand books. Thinking through the present, this introduction examines the history and future of literature through the everyday experience of computers and electronic devices. The course begins in the 1960s, examining the development of post-war computational systems alongside contemporaneous political movements and emerging literary movements. From the history of digital poetics to recent internet publications, 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 wide range of (post-)digital formats. 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 or literature is required.

Literature of California and American West

English 117 / Prof. Allmendinger

This course surveys the history of California literature, beginning in the Mission era, continuing through the Gold Rush and into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on works about Hollywood, California during WW II, the ‘60s, and works related to the Watts Rebellion and the 1992 LA Uprising.  Students will also study other disciplines in addition to literature, including California art and architecture, music, and history. Requirements include one 7-10 page paper and an in-class midterm and final.

20th/21st Century Art and Poetry of Los Angeles

Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature
English 118A / Prof. Stefans

The city of Los Angeles has been a cultural center for over 150 years, first as an outpost of Mexico, then as the south-westernmost edge of the United States. From about 1850-1900, a lively Spanish-language poetry flourished in the newspapers and the first books of Anglophone poetry appeared.

 

Poets and painters in the early part of the 20th century actively sought to keep up with major trends on the east coast and in Europe — Impressionism, cubism, Imagism, surrealism, etc. — while also synthesizing styles of art from Mexico and the East, particularly Japan. The 50s saw a small renaissance of art in poetry in locations like Hollywood and Venice inspired by the Beats and by the concentration of left-leaning writers here despite the oppression of McCarthyism. By the 70s, Los Angeles was recognized as one the major art centers of the world with some globally recognized artists and clearly defined styles inspired by Pop Art, performance art, video art, and other trends.

This course — part art history, part poetry survey — concentrates on the post-war period up to the present. Topics include avant-garde art, multicultural literature, the effects of technology on writing and art-making, punk music and its nexus with poetry, literary and art journals and zines, architecture and urbanism, the presence of bohemian movie actors in the arts and literature scenes, and the rise of the gallery and museum system in Los Angeles. Students are not expected to have any special knowledge of art or poetry, and yet the advanced student of either will discover interesting artists and writers not usually taught in college courses. The course will be supplemented by visits from local artists and poets and, depending on the interest of the class, a museum or gallery visit.

Students will be expected to complete a series of worksheets (some of which are creative assignments), write a mid-term paper and complete either a final research paper or a creative project (upon instructor approval).

History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory

English 120 / Prof. Firunts

This course examines the history of aesthetics and critical theory while theorizing the present. Primary documents in critical theory will be paired with contemporary responses, engagements, and critiques from a wide variety of thinkers and artists. For example, how does Plato’s writing serve as the basis for radical intimacy in the queer theory of Leo Bersani? How is Kant recoded in the decolonial thought of Achille Mbembe? How is Walter Benjamin’s “technological reproducibility” translated into the digital gifs and “poor images” of Hito Steyerl? Particular attention will be accorded to how primary texts address race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, and other coordinates of identity. From the vantage of the present, we will consider critical theory’s contemporary legacies. Coursework will include weekly reading responses, a midterm essay, and a final project.

Totalities in American Literature and Film

Keywords in Theory
English 122 / Prof. Mehlman

How do works of literature and film go about trying to represent the whole of something or include it within themselves—society, history, the world, the galaxy, the beginning and end of time? Is this even possible, given the limitations of narrative form and the difficulties 20th and 21st century writers and critics have had conceptualizing totality? Our journey will take us through galactic rural towns, the feverish mappings of conspiracy theory, zombie apocalypses, and frozen corporate dreamscapes. We will consider the literary work of Sarah Orne Jewett, Willa Cather, Stanislaw Lem, and Max Brooks, among others. Our theoretical interlocutors will include George Lukács, Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson, and Niklas Luhmann, among others. We will also work with a couple of films. Our purpose will be twofold: to explore different theoretical models for thinking about totalities, and to explore the ways in which literary and cinematic works try (and perhaps fail) to include worlds within themselves.

Religious Literature in a Post-Secular Context

Theories of Religion
English 124 / Prof. Hedlin

This course explores the school of literary theory known as post-secularism. Post-secularism challenges the assumption (held by many twentieth-century critics) that contemporary literature is no longer “religious” and that “secularism” is a neutral, enlightened, and thus properly academic position from which to conduct literary analysis. This course will introduce students to post-secularism by asking a number of questions: What is “secularity,” and what assumptions are attached to a term like “secular literature”? How has the field of literary studies defined itself in relation to religion? How has the function of religious literature changed in our “post-secular” world? In addition to reading the work of post-secular theorists, we will put contemporary poetry, drama, and prose in conversation with the religious literature of the English Renaissance, a time when cataclysmic shifts in religious organization arguably jumpstarted the “secularization” of western Christendom.

Crime, Mystery, Suspense

Topics in Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Critical Theory
English 129 / 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.

Charlotte Brontë

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Stephan

If you know Jane Eyre, you may think you know Charlotte Brontë, and this course will indeed give you the chance to read (or re-read) her most famous novel and consider it through a variety of historical contexts and critical lenses. In our pursuit of Brontë expertise, we will also immerse ourselves in her three other published novels, The Professor, Shirley, and Villette, exploring her broad and eclectic range of themes and subjects, including the oppression of women and their need for greater personal, educational, and professional freedom; the problematic notion of Englishness confronted by industrial and social upheaval at home and abroad; the developing role of the woman artist; the reimagining of the fictional heroine beyond conventional ideals; and more. Looking at her juvenilia and letters, biographical material including excerpts from Elizabeth Gaskell’s groundbreaking, mythmaking Life of Charlotte Brontë, and critical responses from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, we will piece together a portrait of an enduring author who defies easy categorization.

Bad Readers and Too Good Writers: Vladimir Nabokov’s First-Person Narrators

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Miller

In his lecture, “Good Readers and Good Writers,” Russian-born author and then literature professor Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) cautions that the worst thing a reader can do is to identify with a character in a book. And yet, Nabokov made a habit of populating his own fiction with a gang of dangerously solipsistic but undeniably compelling first-person narrators, using the form to force his readers into a compromising position of unwitting identification and – worse still – complicity. In this course, we will study four of Nabokov’s English-language novels that feature such narrators (The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Pnin, Lolita, and Pale Fire) to explore some of the issues with which the author was most concerned, including the relationship of ethics and aesthetics; the mechanics of narrative construction and the stakes of storytelling; and what, exactly, it means to be a good reader and good writer. Regular attendance and participation is expected. Assignments will include several short close readings, two small creative projects, and a final paper.

The Art of the Novel from Austen to Hardy

19th-Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Dimuro

In this course we read the work of four pre-eminent English novelists, all of whom expanded, in unique ways, the artistic and thematic range of narrative fiction between the years 1800 and 1900. Readings include Jane Austen’s Emma, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Lectures incorporate contemporary narratological theory; historical and cultural contexts; philosophical influences on the development of the novel in Western Europe; the changing roles of women and education; modes of publication in the Victorian Era; the novel’s relationship to the rise of the middle class and industrial capitalism; British imperialism; and political reform in England. We will consider themes of identity formation, interiority, gender, marriage, money, the rise of professionalization, and other topics that speak to the evolution of the novel in the nineteenth century. Requirements include two papers, a midterm exam, and a comprehensive final exam.

 

Not open to students who completed course 164C in 16F or 179 in 17W with title “The Novel 1850-1900.”

American Poetry to 1900

English 167A / Prof. Cohen

This course will survey the history of American poetry from the Puritan era to the turn of the twentieth century. We will read the poetry of major authors like Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe and others, and we will study the poetry of major events and movements, like the poetry of antislavery and the poetry of the Civil War. Students will have the opportunity to create final projects based on original library research, as well as creative writing.

American Fiction to 1900

English 167B / Prof. Salway

Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Enforced requisites: courses 10A, 10B. Study of American fiction (both novels and short stories) from its beginning to end of 19th century. P/NP or letter grading.

Blake and Whitman, London and New York

Topics in Literature, circa 1700 to 1850
English 169 / Prof. Cohen & Prof. Makdisi

This course is an introduction to two of the nineteenth century’s most innovative and visionary poets, William Blake and Walt Whitman, whose work we will locate in their respective urban backgrounds in London and New York. Working comparatively, the course will situate each author in the volatile social and political contexts from which he emerged, the 1790s (Blake) and 1850s (Whitman), as well as the literary, cultural and political histories within and against which they wrote. We will also spend time exploring the urban milieus, London and New York City, that were crucial to each author’s artistry. Students will read through some of the major works of Blake and Whitman and consider their relationship against the background of the complex transatlantic histories and networks tying London to New York.

20th Century American Drama: Allegories of the Possible

American Drama
English 172C / 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. Writers experimented with absurdism, non-linear narratives, expressionism, the “alienation” effect and collapsing the distance between “high” art (such as operas) and popular song.

 

Langston Hughes explored the interpersonal politics of race, Lillian Hellman the ostracization of same-sex couples, Elmer Rice and Clifford Odets the despair of the worker in a time of rapid industrialization. Eugene O’Neil’s 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,” and Tennessee Williams, who explored the intersection of creativity and extreme psychological states in an intimate, tragic manner, were major figures of this time.

After the end of World War II, writers such as Arthur Miller, Edward Albee and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) explored the intense level of suspicion in hypocrisy in the years of 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). Writers such as Paula Vogel, David Henry Hwang and the Cuban-born Maria Irene Fornes continued to use to the theater as a way of negotiating social issues while experimenting with the form.

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.

Title TBA

Contemporary American Poetry
English 173C / Prof. Mullen

Description TBA.

Protest, Rebellion and Non-Conformity in Post WWII
American Film and Fiction, 1945-1967

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177 / Prof. Solomon

This course examines the work of rebellious novelists, painters, poets, filmmakers, and all-around troublemakers who questioned authority in post-WWII America. The era of mass deprivation in the U.S. that began with the Great Depression of 1929-39 came to an abrupt end with the conclusion of WWII in 1945, but the almost mythic prosperity enjoyed by the “Baby Boom” generation of the late-1940s through the mid-1960s was distributed unevenly throughout U.S. society, and access to better jobs and housing was all but denied to unmarried women, ethnic minorities, and left-wing political activists; indeed, even for those who were allowed access to this new social mobility in post WWII America, the price was a crushing social conformity that dictated acceptable moral behavior and policed social actions.  The artists we examine in this course question the fundamental assumptions of that social conformity, challenging the restrictions placed upon personal behavior, and asserting the value of authentic human experience in all its diversity — and in so doing, they blazed a trail for subsequent generations of social activists, and they helped lay the foundation for the widespread social protests movements of the 1960s and 1970s that would radically alter the social landscape of 20th century America.

Creative Writing Workshops

Admission to all Creative Writing Workshops by application only.

Creative Writing: Poetry

Creative Writing Workshop
English 136.1 / Prof. Mullen

Applications are due by 4:00 PM on September 14.

In this creative writing workshop, students must write original poetry and submit multiple copies of their drafts for class discussion. Each student is also required to contribute constructive written and oral feedback to fellow writers, and to make an oral presentation on the work of a published poet. Criteria for grading include regular and punctual attendance and completion of assignments, participation in discussion with respectful critique of fellow writers, as well as a final portfolio of revised poems. Enrollment is by instructor consent.

To apply for enrollment, please submit five poems, along with your student identification number, and a brief statement about your interest in reading and writing poetry and your previous experience in literature and creative writing courses. Please deliver a print copy to the English Department Office and also send an electronic version to me at mullen@humnet.ucla.edu AND to creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

Professor Mullen
149 Humanities Building
UCLA English Department
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530

Students on the wait list should attend the first class meeting for a chance to claim any spaces that open up.

Creative Writing: Poetry

Creative Writing Workshop
English 136.2 / Prof. Wilson

This course will be an intensive poetry workshop, and you will write a new poem each week.  In class, we will discuss your work, the work of fellow students (which you must read before class), and other assigned readings.  Expect many of the same experiences that you would have in any other writing course: group work, peer critique, revision, and analysis of exemplary texts. You will also be expected to become familiar with and report on one literary magazine, write a review of a recent single-author book of poems, and submit a collection of your revised poems at the end of the quarter.

 

Enrollment is by instructor consent. To apply for the course, please submit by e-mail attachment three to five of your best poems. In the body of the e-mail, please provide your name, major, class level, a list of any other creative writing courses to which you are applying this quarter, and a brief note (no more than 250 words) about your experiences with poetry, your favorite poets, and any other creative writing courses you may have taken (none required!). The subject line of your message should be your last name followed by the course number (example: Smith 136) and it should be sent to rwilson@english.ucla.edu AND creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

 

Application Deadline: Friday, September 14, 2018

Creative Writing: Short Story

Creative Writing Workshop
English 137.1 / Prof. D’Aguiar

Students write three short stories and read examples for class discussion. There is an admission process for this class. Entry to the class is open to students who have taken a previous creative writing class in fiction. Students should email to me a writing sample (8 pages maximum) of their original fiction and a two-paragraph explanation about recent fiction they have read in preparation for this class. A list of admitted students will appear during the first week of class.

 

Email materials to: freddaguiar@ucla.edu AND to creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

Deadline: September 14, 2018

Story to Screenplay

Topics in Creative Writing
English M138.1 / Prof. Corman

Class Description: Students will read and write and view films to help them develop their own ideas in a seminar. We will explore great films looking at the characters, structure, texture, tone and scenes that make them so.

 

To Apply: Please email me (juliecorman@yahoo.com) a sample of your writing (no more than 10 pages) and a cover letter introducing yourself. Please include the names of: a poem, a short story, a book and a film that are meaningful to you and tell me why. Finally, answer the question: did you ever see or read something you would like to put on the screen? What was it?

 

Deadline: September 14, 2018

Literary and Cultural Criticism in the Public Sphere

Topics in Creative Writing
English M138.2 / Prof. Newman

Students will learn how to write creative, compelling literary and cultural criticism for a variety of audiences across newspapers, online magazines, digital journals and websites. Reading essays from a range of contemporary critics, students will learn how to craft strong ledes, identify hooks and channel their academic writing and analytical skills for a mainstream audience. Working from the structures they’ve gleaned from these examples, students will write short critical pieces on literature, film, television and music. For their final project, students will write a long form piece of criticism on an object or issue of their choosing. Across the course, students will learn how to define their unique critical voice, how to identify and connect with audiences, and how to pitch pieces to an editor.

To apply, please send a 3-5 page writing sample to ehnewman@ucla.edu as well as a brief statement of interest in the course not to exceed 250 words.

Deadline: September 14, 2018

Senior/Capstone Seminars

 

Theory of the Novel

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A.1 / 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.

An Introduction to the History of English Versification

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A.2 / Prof. Minkova

This seminar will survey the changing modes and principles of poetic composition in English examined in relation to language history. We will start with a general introduction to scansion using 21st-century (non-free) verse. Then we will compare the pronunciation and stress patterns of Old, (7th-11th century), Middle (11-15th century) and Renaissance English. We will try to understand (1) the metrical structure of Beowulf and other Old English alliterative compositions, possibly including Ælfric’s “rhythmical prose”, (2) the alliterative innovations and constraints in Middle English, (3) the emergence and the evolution of rhyme and syllable-counting in English prior to Chaucer, and (4) the iambic pentameter: metrical rules and violations in Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare. Getting familiar with the general principles of poetic meter, speech rhythm, the semiotics of verse structure, and the differences between prose and verse, should make the class a worthwhile experience.

From Empire to Global World Order:  British Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Topics in Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies
English 181D / Prof. Sanchez

During the nineteenth century, Britain emerged as the world’s most expansive planetary empire with a sphere of influence affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people and discrete communities. Although political historians are now seeking to understand the role of this vast empire in the development of a new global order beginning to take root in the nineteenth century, one of the main challenges for literary critics remains to determine the complex, and often vexed relations of global politics to the production of art, society, and culture at large. In this course we will seek to develop a greater understanding of nineteenth-century literature as a global phenomenon by framing our readings within the theoretical concerns of imperial, transnational, and post-colonial studies. This means not only attending to the relationship of literary works to Britain’s colonial enterprise—paying attention, for example, to the particular ways in which poetry, novels, drama, and other imaginative works helped shape, reinforce, and critique British imperial ideology—but also literature’s role in more broadly shaping nineteenth-century transnational formations, including international law and thought, ideas about political boundaries and state sovereignty, economic liberalism, and the place of war and violence in maintaining peace throughout the globe. As a result, some of the topics to be discussed will include the relationship between nineteenth-century literature and the following: transatlantic and worldwide commercial systems, the slave trade, travel and exploration, foreign wars and political revolutions, and the collision of regional environments, especially with respect to religious and cultural conflicts.

Shakespeare’s Second Tetralogy

Topics in Renaissance and Early Modern Literature
English 182B / Prof. Dickey

This course will undertake a detailed study of the four works that make up Shakespeare’s second tetralogy of English history plays: Richard II, 1 and 2 Henry IV, and Henry V. Along the way, we will acquire some familiarity with Shakespeare’s chronicle sources and dramatic precedents; competing early modern historiographical models and methods; genre theory; performance theory; the political situation and social concerns of England in the late 1590s when the plays are written (i.e., not just the early 1400s, when the plays are set); and the needs of a harried property manager.  We will also sample some of the many filmed treatments of these plays.

Print on Demand Art and Poetry

Topics in 20th- and 21st-Century Literature
English 182F.1 / Prof. Snelson

The alphabet rendered poetry obsolete, once and for all. Since the written word overtook the Homeric epic as a kind of communal Wikipedia, poetry has been less about communicating information and more about lyric expression. Recently, digital technologies have been seen to present this same challenge to the book. Like poetry, we might say that the book isn’t dead, it has simply lost its claim as the primary source of information. Over the last two decades, some of the most interesting works of art and poetry have turned to the book in both form and content, as both inspiration and fallen idol. It has never been easier for writers to publish, not just on Twitter and Facebook, but across a range of Print on Demand (POD) platforms for the printed book. This course examines recent works of art and poetry alongside new developments in print technologies. From Seth Siegelaub’s The Xerox Book (1968) to new works of POD poetry published throughout the quarter (TBA, 2018), we will study the emergence of innovative forms of writing the book under the influence of digital networks. Additionally, we will conduct our own experiments using print on demand in a series of collaborative and independent scholarly projects. No previous experience with art, poetry, or publishing is required. All students will publish many books over the course of the quarter.

James Joyce

Topics in 20th- and 21st-Century Literature
English 182F.2 / Prof. Jaurretche

In this seminar we will read Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and representative sections of Finnegans Wake. As Ulysses is the pivotal novel of the twentieth-century, the greater portion of the class will be given over to its discussion.   Our conversations will range from Joyce’s vision of the role of the artist in society, to considerations of the ways in which his work advances textual, gender, postcolonial, ecological, historical, and philosophical scholarship.  Discussion will be based upon close reading of the works, as well as materials generated by members of the class. At the end of the quarter we will begin to read Finnegans Wake, with an eye to introducing strategies for interpretation of Joyce’s most obscure text.

Immigrant Stories: Literary and Cinematic

Topics in 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature
English 183C / 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 varying 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 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). Of our novels, one is a wordless story of sequenced, illustrated panels (The Arrival) while others can be characterized as loquacious (Call It Sleep, The Woman Warrior, Middlesex).

Narrating the 1960s:  Creative Nonfiction in an Age of Electronic Media

Capstone Seminar
English 184.1 / Prof. Decker

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 BloodElectric Kool-Aid Acid TestWhite AlbumDispatchesFear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Documentary films: Rush to JudgmentMedium CoolHearts and Minds. TV news coverage from the Watts riots to the moon walk.

Cranford

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Grossman

This seminar will explore one of the nineteenth-century’s most extraordinary novels by one of its most extraordinary novelists: the marginalized, understudied tale of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. Gaskell is famous for her industrial novels, and Cranford was long misread as offering a kind of a vacation from the grim realities that Gaskell usually depicted. In fact this stunningly experimental rendering of the lives of a clique of elderly women whose finances are meager and concerns seemingly unimportant actually writes back piercingly from the margins of society to its financial and industrial centers. On the table, for instance, will be the surprising plot role played by the failure of a bank. Also, however, your own interests will direct this seminar; this book is chock-full of fascinating topics well handled: gender, cross-dressing and possibly transgender issues; xenophobia and racism; communication networks and capitalism; and more. Our course is specially designed around one novel so as to introduce you to what is involved in writing a serious research paper. You will be responsible for reading primary sources and scholarly criticism to an extent not typically required in other courses. Please understand in advance that there is a heavy reading and writing load in this class. Lively class participation is expected.

Toni Morrison’s Literary Trilogy

Topics in African American Literature
English M191A / Prof. Streeter

This seminar focuses on Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s novels Beloved (1987) Jazz (1992) and Paradise (1998), works the author has described as a trilogy. Spanning a century, Beloved represents African American life during and immediately after slavery, Jazz is set during the 1920s Jazz Age, and Paradise during the ambiguous, transitional decade of the 1970s. We will also read Morrison’s first novel The Bluest Eye (1970), and her most recent, 2015’s God Help the Child, along with selected critical essays.

Contemporary Asian American Short Fiction

Topics in Asian American Literature
English M191C.1 / Prof. Ling

This course examines selected Asian American short fictions (including novellas) produced from the pre-WWII period to the present. We will close-read these Asian American texts and consider their subject matters, writing techniques, and social implications. The reading assignments are designed with an eye to their readability, artistic sophistication, and coverage of Asian American experiences. Although a common theme is used to organize each week’s reading, such grouping together of diverse literary articulations is tentative. The larger goal is to invite students to unpack and re-articulate the meaning and significance of the material examined beyond given boundaries, categories, or paradigms.

Asian American Poetry

Topics in Asian American Literature
English M191C.2 / Prof. Banerjee

This Asian American Poetry workshop will introduce students to the craft elements of poetry— line break, forms, poetic traditions and ideas—along with critical work about Asian American poetry and literature. The class will read published work and critical essays from Asian American authors, and experiment with their own writing. Students will also critique each other’s work in a community setting, organize a reading, and present on a current Asian American or poet of color. By the end of the class, students will have learned to discuss poetry with a creative and critical eye, have been introduced to issues in Asian American literature, and have developed their voice as writers.