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

Winter 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 Creative Writing

English 20 / Prof. D’Aguiar / Prof. Simpson

Designed to introduce fundamentals of creative writing. Emphasis either on poetry, fiction, or drama, depending on wishes of instructor(s) during any given term. Readings from assigned texts and weekly writing assignments required.
Not open for credit to students with credit for course 20W.

American Novel

English 85 / Prof. Dimuro

This course covers the rise of literary realism and naturalism in the American novel between the end of the Civil War and the opening of the twentieth century. It is designed for the general student who seeks a deeper comprehension of this period, as well as a more proficient set of analytical skills in reading and writing about literary texts. Novels include Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs, Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition, Stephen Crane’s Maggie, and Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie. We will study how each novel demonstrates its own unique technical achievements in narrative form, character development, and prose style.The course focuses on issues of freedom and slavery, women’s rights, social class differences, and urban life among other distinctively American themes. Assignments, discussions, and lectures are designed to improve students’ close reading and interpretive skills.

U.S. Protest Literature

Lower-Division Seminars: Special Topics in English
English 88I / Prof. Hyde

The word “protest” literally means to publicly testify. We often associate protest with images of collective demonstrations in the street, but the history of protest also is closely linked to another form of public testimony: the written word. This seminar introduces students to the traditions of protest literature that developed out of one of the most tumultuous eras of U.S. history, the period between the American Revolution and the Civil War. From heated philosophical debates about the nature and limits of political rights to the rise of new literary traditions centered on social justice—the century that followed the American Revolution was a hotbed of political transformation as well as artistic innovation. Assigned readings will include legal documents and political philosophy, as well as literary works by Apess, Walker, Child, Thoreau, Douglass, Jacobs, Melville, Stowe, Whitman, and Rankine. This course is a lower division seminar; it will give students a chance to develop their own writing and research skills in a small, interactive format.

Health: Cultural Narratives and Community Practices

Lower-Division Seminars: Special Topics in English
English 88SL / Prof. Gottlieb

This course explores connections between the study of literature and health care practices. Our literary readings will provide diverse representations of medical treatment, illness, caregiving, disability, and aging. We’ll analyze literature and film alongside critical texts by health humanities and disability studies scholars. The service-learning component of the course will allow you to gain first-hand knowledge of community health organizations.

Shakespeare

English 90 / Prof. Watson

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

Introduction to Drama

English 91B / Prof. Gottlieb

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

Introduction to Visual Culture

English M50 / Prof. Moorman

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


Writing Intensive Courses

Writing in the English Major: Adjunct

“Writing about Nineteenth Century Literature”
English 110B.1 / Prof. Wilhelm

Enrollment is open only to students concurrently enrolled in English 162B, 164D, 167B, or lecture 1 or 3 of English 179 (Jane Eyre for Writers or The Novel 1850 to 1900).

Two-unit class designed to help English majors improve their writing in a supportive, small-group setting. English 110B serves as a workshop for honing analytical, argumentative, and rhetorical skills that will continue to benefit students throughout their college career. Curriculum emphasizes the organic nature of the writing process, from annotation and free-writing to drafting and revision. Requirements include weekly writing assignments, engaged participation in class discussion, and a short culminating paper and writing portfolio.

Note that while English 110B is linked to several lecture courses, this course is supervised separately: university regulations prohibit students from submitting the same work for credit in different classes.

 Writing in the English Major: Transfer Students

English 110T/ Prof. Stephan

This course provides instruction in critical writing about literature and culture specifically for English major transfer students at UCLA. Its goal is to help students improve their skills and abilities at literary and cultural analysis. It’s a workshop for discovering richer literary questions, developing more nuanced analyses of complex texts, sustaining arguments, and developing your own authoritative voice. The course assumes writing is a process, so students write, rewrite, and workshop all writing assignments. Requirements include short writing tasks (1-3 pages) and a final paper (6-8 pages). Grades are based 50% on the final paper (including prewriting and drafts), and 50% on other written assignments and participation.
English 110T qualifies as an elective for the English major and cannot be taken for credit if you have taken English 110A. Enrollment is limited to transfer students.

Practicum Courses

Westwind Literary Magazine

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

Section 1 of English 192 is a course for the editorial staff of Westwind, UCLA’s literary magazine. If you are interested in joining the staff of Westwind, visit www.westwind.ucla.edu for more information.

Poetry in Public Places

Undergraduate Practicum in English
English M192.2/ Prof. D’Aguiar/ Prof. Wolpé

Poetry in Public Places, co-taught with Visiting Writer, Sholeh Wolpé, examines how poems work on monuments, in mass media, (for example, as advertising) and for public pleasure or consumption. Students devise ways to compose poetry with this public remit as a guide. One task for the class will be to organize a poetry competition to attract the best poems for public display and enjoyment at UCLA.


Literatures in English Before 1500

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Later Medieval Literature

“Filthy lucre: the Fraudster, Trader and Usurer in the Age of Chaucer and Beyond”
English 142 / Prof. Thomas

In this course, we will examine the intersection of commerce and literature in a number of pre-modern texts ranging from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, excerpts from Piers Plowman and Robin Hood narratives to a few post-medieval texts such as Gerard Malynes’s Saint George for England. We will close-read tales such as “The General Prologue,” “The Shipman’s Tale,” “The Merchant’s Tale,” “The Pardoner’s Tale,” and “The Summoner’s Tale,” in light of thinking about “filthy lucre” (“turpe lucrum”) found in treatises on avarice, usury, and simony as well as on money and financial speculation. In approaching these tales contextually, we will explore the extent to which the fraudster, trader and usurer frequently merge and become indistinguishable from each other. By reading fictional texts through the lens of “filthy lucre,” we will also understand how theories and practices of medieval commerce shaped them as well as other post-medieval writings.

Later Medieval Literature: Research Component

“Rebels and Heretics: The History of Late Medieval English Literature”
English 142R/ Prof. Fisher

Late medieval England was a time of rebellion, revolution, and (a small number of) heretics burned at the stake. Reading the springtime world of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, however, one would be hard pressed to know that the medieval England was riven with divisions, and struggling with crises of class, gender, and religious identities. What, then, are the histories that Medieval English literature creates and obscures? We will learn how to develop historical research questions, how to conduct research, and how to begin to answer those questions in literary critical papers. Expect to spend significant time reading primary and secondary sources online and in the YRL. Regular presentations of research-in-progress and a final research paper will be mandatory.

Romance Intersections

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

Gender and race are obsessive concerns in medieval romance, sparking the invention of new literary forms to explore the dynamics of subjectivity while raising their social and national stakes. How do romances treat women in a culture of knightly careerism – as inspiration, obstacle, fellow, or alien? What intersections of race, ethnicity, upbringing, and religion beset the interplay between the familiar and the strange, the homeland and the dizzy possibilities of larger worlds? How do such romance intersections inform and challenge literary and political world-building today? Texts may include Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History, The Mabinogi, Marie de France’s Lais, Silence; crusading romances such as Richard Coeur de Lion, The Sultan of Babylon, Parzival, and The Book of Saladin, and 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.

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


Literatures in English 1500-1700

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Hamlet’s Lyric Histories

Lyric Histories
English 114 / Prof. Morphew

In this class we will explore the lyric histories of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, taking our cue from the Dane’s letter-poem to Ophelia in II.ii. This will send us to ancient Greek and Roman literature, to Petrarch’s Canzoniere, to English Renaissance sonnet sequences, and beyond. You will write two papers and take midterm and final exams.

Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays

English 150A / Prof. Watson

A study of Shakespeare’s works up through 1603, including the Sonnets, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Merchant of Venice, Henry IV Part I, Henry V, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare: Later Plays

English 150B / Prof. Dickey

Intensive study of representative problem plays, major tragedies, Roman plays, and romances.

Shakespearean Tragicomedy

Topics in Shakespeare
English 150C / Prof. Braunmuller

From the start of his career, Shakespeare’s plays displayed a blending of tone and mixture of emotions that make them very attractive but also puzzling and difficult to categorize (and hence difficult to evaluate). Consideration of some of his most generically puzzling plays, from Comedy of Errors to Winter’s Tale and The Tempest, with stops at Measure for Measure, Pericles, Romeo and Juliet, and others. Some exploration of generic theory, but emphasis on plays as theater. One prospectus and 12- to 15-page research paper, and significant classroom contributions, required. Previous experience with Shakespeare’s works, or those of his contemporaries, on page or stage strongly advised.

Milton

English 151/ Prof. McEachern

Study of major works of Milton, with emphasis on Paradise Lost.

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

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Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, London was a city with a split identity: broad fashionable boulevards and well-lit squares on the one hand, dark and teeming slums on the other; gentlemen and ladies claiming to be of the highest moral order on the one hand, and, on the other, an underworld of rogues, vagabonds, costermongers, prostitutes, pornographers, revolutionaries, conspirators, petty scribblers, ballad singers and outright criminals. This course will explore literary accounts of London’s dual identity in this period and on into the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the literary expressions of the gradual attempt to discover, map out, bring to order and settle the turbulent world of London: to tame and civilize the many resorts of vagabonds, thieves, and outcasts and to turn London into the fast-paced global metropolis that it is today. Readings will draw on a wide variety of sources, from canonical fiction, poetry and the visual arts to first-hand portraits of London streetlife, thieves’ memoirs, detective stories, and on to contemporary fiction, graphic novels such as “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta,” and zines including Laura Oldfield Ford’s “Savage Messiah.”

Later Romantic Literature

Literary Cities
English 162B / Prof. Sanchez

Intensive study of writings by Byron, Keats, Percy Shelly, and Mary Shelley, with collateral readings from such authors as Hazlitt, Hunt, Landor, Clare, Moore, Peacock, Landon, Aikin, Hemans, and Prince.

Global 19th Century

Literary Cities
English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Fiction to 1900

English 167B/ Prof. Salway

Study of American fiction (both novels and short stories) from its beginning to end of 19th century.

Reading Citizenship

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1/ Prof. Hyde

Immigration policy fuels debates about access to citizenship today. How and when can non-citizens become citizens? However, “citizenship” itself names a relatively well-defined set of legal rights and obligations. This was not the case in the early U.S. There was no statutory definition of citizenship until the Civil Rights Act of 1866—almost a century after the Declaration of Independence. The word “citizen” appears eleven times in the Constitution as originally ratified, but this key term was not defined in the Constitution until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. How was citizenship understood in these early years? This class traces the early history of citizenship in fiction, law, and political philosophy. The course also encourages students to consider how the early history of citizenship can help us to better understand ongoing political debates today. Readings will include selections by Jefferson, Paine, Burke, Irving, Apess, Douglass, Thoreau, Stowe, Melville, and Susan B. Anthony.
NOT OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO COMPLETED AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS CLASS IN FALL OF 2014: ENGLISH 118A.

Literatures in English 1850-PRESENT

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Early African American Literature

“Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies”
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, poetry, essays). Authors covered include Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The class will focus both on the historical and cultural contexts for the literary works and also on strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.

African American Literature from Harlem Renaissance to 1960s

English M104B/ Prof. Streeter

Introductory survey of 20th-century African American literature from New Negro Movement of post-World War I period to 1960s, including oral materials (ballads, blues, speeches) and fiction, poetry, and essays by authors such as Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Ralph Ellison.

Queering Latinx Literature: From Machismo to Feminism and Beyond

Studies in Chicana/Chicano and/or Latina/Latino Literature
English M105E / Prof. Torres

This course is meant primarily as an introduction to US Latinx literary excellence. While many of our readings might not be explicitly queer, as we read across Latinx narrative forms–including stories, novels, memoir, and even some poetry–we will keep a particular focus on representations of gender, identity, sex and sexuality. Along the way we will look at other issues common to Latinx narratives as well, such as family, assimilation, authenticity, language, race, class, citizenship, and borderlands; all the fascinations and frustrations of the Latinx experience.

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, London was a city with a split identity: broad fashionable boulevards and well-lit squares on the one hand, dark and teeming slums on the other; gentlemen and ladies claiming to be of the highest moral order on the one hand, and, on the other, an underworld of rogues, vagabonds, costermongers, prostitutes, pornographers, revolutionaries, conspirators, petty scribblers, ballad singers and outright criminals. This course will explore literary accounts of London’s dual identity in this period and on into the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the literary expressions of the gradual attempt to discover, map out, bring to order and settle the turbulent world of London: to tame and civilize the many resorts of vagabonds, thieves, and outcasts and to turn London into the fast-paced global metropolis that it is today. Readings will draw on a wide variety of sources, from canonical fiction, poetry and the visual arts to first-hand portraits of London streetlife, thieves’ memoirs, detective stories, and on to contemporary fiction, graphic novels such as “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta,” and zines including Laura Oldfield Ford’s “Savage Messiah.”

Herman Melville

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Goodwin

For ten weeks we immerse ourselves in Herman Melville’s major fiction: Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, Moby-Dick, The Confidence-Man, “Bartleby,” “Benito Cereno,” and Billy Budd.
Melville’s prose is tirelessly referential and profoundly metaphoric; the required Norton editions are essential to readers for their explanatory notes and background materials. Letters, biography, commentary, and criticism are also assigned from these editions.
Requirements are mid-term and final bluebook examinations in essay form; take-home paper, due at final exam; consistent attendance and participation.

Global 19th Century

Literary Cities
English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Fiction to 1900

English 167B/ Prof. Salway

Study of American fiction (both novels and short stories) from its beginning to end of 19th century.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Looby

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.

American Poetry, 1900-1945

English 173A / Prof. Phillips

This course will study poetry in the United States from 1900 to 1945. We will focus on how writers used novel and modernist forms to address some new, or newly pressing, questions—about idealism, religion, violence, identity, race, gender, and history. Authors will include Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others.

Surveying Poetry Online Today

Contemporary American Poetry
English 173C / Prof. Snelson

Surveying Poetry Online Today (SPOT) is a collective research workshop committed to exploring poetry unfolding in the present. What does poetry on the internet look like? Where can it be found? In what forms and on which platforms? Who writes it and how is it read, or played, or displayed? How do we understand poetry appearing on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Steam? Over the quarter, we will explore these questions as we develop a collective public resource that surveys poetry online today. Developing our speculative resource, we will experiment with modes of visualizing, mapping, organizing, analyzing, remixing, and destroying contemporary poetry online. Working from a creative digital humanities perspective, this course seeks to construct new ways of knowing what contemporary poetry is—and will only arrive at a series of answers through our mutual experiment. We will examine platforms for experimental poetry like Jacket2 and PennSound alongside popular resources like Poets.org and Poems Daily. Taking inspiration from initiatives like the VIDA Count, which examines race, gender, sexual identity, and ability in popular poetry publications; we will interrogate the politics and ethics of this landscape as we gather its data. In lockstep with these large-scale questions, we will conduct close readings of selected works of contemporary poetry that emerge throughout the quarter. No previous technical experience is necessary.

American Fiction since 1945

English 174B/ Prof. Phillips

This course will study prose fiction in the United States from 1945 to the present. Moving chronologically, we will focus on how writers used different narrative strategies within the genres of novel and short story to respond to changing historical conditions in the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Authors may include Grace Paley, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, and others.

Conspiracy Theories and Paranoid Plots: Narratives of Information Overload

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C / Prof. Winningham

These days we are bombarded by news, both momentous and trivial, in a never-ending stream of information. Daily life feels fractured, and yet there are often deep and unseen connections between the remote institutions that exert indirect and shadowy influence on us. This course will focus on contemporary narrative responses to the glut of information and this suspicion that there just might be conspirators controlling our world. In other words, what happens when paranoia is no longer a disorder, but instead the correct understanding of our situation? We will consider recent novels ranging from the intricately plotted to the plotless, and current literary trends as they supersede postmodernism. Works will include novels by writers such as Thomas Pynchon, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jennifer Egan.

Ethnic Comedy, Family Drama: Interdisciplinary Studies in American Literature and Television

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Decker

This course examines the intersection of family and ethnicity as staged in TV comedy and literary memoir and melodrama. We survey the changing composition of the family––idealized and dysfunctional, from extended to nuclear to single-parent––as represented in fictional and nonfictional memoirs about racial segregation and immigrant life (Autobiography of Malcolm X, Portnoy’s Complaint, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen) and primetime sitcoms over the past sixty-five years (Father Knows Best, Amos n Andy, Goldbergs, Addams Family, All In the Family, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times, Cosby Show, Simpsons, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat). We conclude by studying the recent appropriation and transformation of the popular Latin American telenovela in U.S.-made melodramatic TV comedies (Ugly Betty, Devious Maids, Jane the Virgin) and Chicana literature (Woman Hollering Creek and So Far From God). Theoretical essays will contribute to our understanding of novels and TV as distinct mediums as well as novel-reading and TV-watching as personal experience and social practice.

Jane Eyre for Writers

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.1 / Prof. Huneven

Jane Eyre was published in 1847 and has never lost its deep allure and enormous popularity. Often read in a fever in adolescence, Bronte’s second novel profoundly rewards subsequent readings and close, critical study. With a writer’s curiosity we will look at how the novel came to be written in the creative hot house of the Bronte household, and the personal and political reasons for its initial, pseudonymous publication. Reading Jane Eyre slowly and carefully, we will relish and explore its many aspects, including the influence of folk songs, ghost and fairy stories, the gothic novel, Bronte’s use of ekphrasis and dreams, and her extraordinary dialogue. Close attention will be paid as well to the book’s geography, architecture, social norms, sexual politics, psychological complexity, its economic and historical perspectives, and theological underpinnings. We will also consider salient critical responses, historical and contemporary. Students are expected to do deep research in a chosen area, make class presentations on their subject, and complete a final project. Midterm and final.

Networks, Systems, Media

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.2 / Prof. Seltzer

No doubt we live in a world of networks, systems, and media. But what that means and what it looks like and feels like may be another story–or a number of different, and rival, stories. This course will look at some modern and contemporary novels, and visual culture, that will make it possible to reconsider how we live in and with this situation today. Readings will include novels by, for example, Raymond Chandler, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Highsmith, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Tom McCarthy, accompanied by film and anime. 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.

The Novel 1850-1900

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.3 / Prof. Dimuro

In this course we read the work of three preeminent English novelists, all of whom expanded, in unique ways, the artistic and thematic range of narrative fiction between the years 1850 and 1899. Readings include Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, and George Eliot’s Middlemarch. 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 FOR CREDIT TO ANY STUDENT WHO COMPLETED ENGLISH 164C WITH SAME TITLE FALL 2016.

Modern Drama

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present: Research Component
English 179R / Prof. Jaurretche

This course will focus on understanding modern drama in its intellectual, aesthetic, and social contexts, from ancient ritual to modern questions of consciousness and language. We’ll begin with major works from the late nineteenth-century British and continental tradition as we prepare ourselves for the innovations of the twentieth-century. The latter portion of our course will include more recent plays that emphasize intersections of colonial and post-colonial worlds. Readings will be drawn from playwrights such as Ibsen, Wilde, Chekhov, Shaw, Synge, O’Casey, Beckett, Pinter, Shaffer, Orton, Churchill, Stoppard, Fugard, Soyinka, Friel, and McDonagh. By teaching students to navigate field-specific databases, identify major critical traditions, and engage one or more methods of research, our course will introduce strategies necessary for successfully understanding and writing about drama. Accomplished student work will be archived with an eye toward eventual web-based publication.

 Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

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Early African American Literature

“Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies”
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, poetry, essays). Authors covered include Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The class will focus both on the historical and cultural contexts for the literary works and also on strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.

African American Literature from Harlem Renaissance to 1960s

English M104B/ Prof. Streeter

Introductory survey of 20th-century African American literature from New Negro Movement of post-World War I period to 1960s, including oral materials (ballads, blues, speeches) and fiction, poetry, and essays by authors such as Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Ralph Ellison.

Queering Latinx Literature: From Machismo to Feminism and Beyond

Studies in Chicana/Chicano and/or Latina/Latino Literature
English M105E / Prof. Torres

This course is meant primarily as an introduction to US Latinx literary excellence. While many of our readings might not be explicitly queer, as we read across Latinx narrative forms–including stories, novels, memoir, and even some poetry–we will keep a particular focus on representations of gender, identity, sex and sexuality. Along the way we will look at other issues common to Latinx narratives as well, such as family, assimilation, authenticity, language, race, class, citizenship, and borderlands; all the fascinations and frustrations of the Latinx experience.

Women Writing Dangerous Women

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

This course will examine how British women writers develop and construct complex – even transgressive – female characters throughout the long nineteenth century. In the various literatures of the period, concerns about women’s changing roles in culture and society gave rise to a wide range of representations of evil and destructive women. While both male and female authors employed the figure of the dangerous woman, our study of novels, short stories, and poetry by women writers will reveal their experimentation with (and challenges to) this trope. Authors considered will include Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Vernon Lee.

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, London was a city with a split identity: broad fashionable boulevards and well-lit squares on the one hand, dark and teeming slums on the other; gentlemen and ladies claiming to be of the highest moral order on the one hand, and, on the other, an underworld of rogues, vagabonds, costermongers, prostitutes, pornographers, revolutionaries, conspirators, petty scribblers, ballad singers and outright criminals. This course will explore literary accounts of London’s dual identity in this period and on into the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the literary expressions of the gradual attempt to discover, map out, bring to order and settle the turbulent world of London: to tame and civilize the many resorts of vagabonds, thieves, and outcasts and to turn London into the fast-paced global metropolis that it is today. Readings will draw on a wide variety of sources, from canonical fiction, poetry and the visual arts to first-hand portraits of London streetlife, thieves’ memoirs, detective stories, and on to contemporary fiction, graphic novels such as “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta,” and zines including Laura Oldfield Ford’s “Savage Messiah.”

“Unhappy Queers” and “Feminist Killjoys”

Feminist and Queer Theory
English M126 / Prof. Brickley

Investigating questions of “identity” that formations like gender and sexuality seem to beg, this class will employ feminist and queer theories not as lenses but rather critical tools focused on bodies and their desires, performances, and politics. Moving beyond the canonical texts of the field, we will use an intersectional approach that highlights queer of color critique, Third World feminism, and queer diaspora critique to examine topics from affect and the production of “unhappy queer” subjects and “feminist killjoys,” to homonormativity and state violence. Readings will include texts by Judith Butler, Gayl Salamon, Eve Sedgwick, José Muńoz, Jack Halberstam, Roderick Ferguson, Chandan Reddy, Lauren Berlant, Gayatri Gopinath, and Sarah Ahmed. In addition, works of literature and film may be interspersed throughout the quarter. Requirements include a midterm paper, final essay, weekly responses, and a presentation.

Romance Intersections

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

Gender and race are obsessive concerns in medieval romance, sparking the invention of new literary forms to explore the dynamics of subjectivity while raising their social and national stakes. How do romances treat women in a culture of knightly careerism – as inspiration, obstacle, fellow, or alien? What intersections of race, ethnicity, upbringing, and religion beset the interplay between the familiar and the strange, the homeland and the dizzy possibilities of larger worlds? How do such romance intersections inform and challenge literary and political world-building today? Texts may include Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History, The Mabinogi, Marie de France’s Lais, Silence; crusading romances such as Richard Coeur de Lion, The Sultan of Babylon, Parzival, and The Book of Saladin, and 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.

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

Reading Citizenship

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1/ Prof. Hyde

Immigration policy fuels debates about access to citizenship today. How and when can non-citizens become citizens? However, “citizenship” itself names a relatively well-defined set of legal rights and obligations. This was not the case in the early U.S. There was no statutory definition of citizenship until the Civil Rights Act of 1866—almost a century after the Declaration of Independence. The word “citizen” appears eleven times in the Constitution as originally ratified, but this key term was not defined in the Constitution until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. How was citizenship understood in these early years? This class traces the early history of citizenship in fiction, law, and political philosophy. The course also encourages students to consider how the early history of citizenship can help us to better understand ongoing political debates today. Readings will include selections by Jefferson, Paine, Burke, Irving, Apess, Douglass, Thoreau, Stowe, Melville, and Susan B. Anthony.
NOT OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO COMPLETED AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS CLASS IN FALL OF 2014: ENGLISH 118A.

Ethnic Comedy, Family Drama: Interdisciplinary Studies in American Literature and Television

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Decker

This course examines the intersection of family and ethnicity as staged in TV comedy and literary memoir and melodrama. We survey the changing composition of the family––idealized and dysfunctional, from extended to nuclear to single-parent––as represented in fictional and nonfictional memoirs about racial segregation and immigrant life (Autobiography of Malcolm X, Portnoy’s Complaint, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen) and primetime sitcoms over the past sixty-five years (Father Knows Best, Amos n Andy, Goldbergs, Addams Family, All In the Family, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times, Cosby Show, Simpsons, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat). We conclude by studying the recent appropriation and transformation of the popular Latin American telenovela in U.S.-made melodramatic TV comedies (Ugly Betty, Devious Maids, Jane the Virgin) and Chicana literature (Woman Hollering Creek and So Far From God). Theoretical essays will contribute to our understanding of novels and TV as distinct mediums as well as novel-reading and TV-watching as personal experience and social practice.

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

Learn more about this Interest Area

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, London was a city with a split identity: broad fashionable boulevards and well-lit squares on the one hand, dark and teeming slums on the other; gentlemen and ladies claiming to be of the highest moral order on the one hand, and, on the other, an underworld of rogues, vagabonds, costermongers, prostitutes, pornographers, revolutionaries, conspirators, petty scribblers, ballad singers and outright criminals. This course will explore literary accounts of London’s dual identity in this period and on into the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the literary expressions of the gradual attempt to discover, map out, bring to order and settle the turbulent world of London: to tame and civilize the many resorts of vagabonds, thieves, and outcasts and to turn London into the fast-paced global metropolis that it is today. Readings will draw on a wide variety of sources, from canonical fiction, poetry and the visual arts to first-hand portraits of London streetlife, thieves’ memoirs, detective stories, and on to contemporary fiction, graphic novels such as “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta,” and zines including Laura Oldfield Ford’s “Savage Messiah.”

Orientalism

Postcolonial and Transnational Theory
English 128 / Prof. Soni

Since the publication of Edward W. Said’s Orientalism in 1978, academics have modified how we conceptualize representations of the “West” and the “East” in English literature. In this course, we will trace these modifications alongside changing attitudes among British Orientalists in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. This course will feature postcolonial English literature and professional literary criticism. Requirements: 3 essays, regular discussion board posts, and frequent participation.

Introduction to Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Literature

Postcolonial and Transnational Theory
English 132 / Prof. Cohen

This course offers an introduction to the literatures, concepts, and theories of imperialism, transnationalism, and postcolonialism (ITP). It presumes no prior experience studying these topics.
Imperial literature combines a number of histories and periods, stretching from the medieval to the present; it is not localized to specific geographies; and it encompasses a vast field of literatures in English, from writings by authors of the commonwealth nations that emerged from the breakup of the British empire, to creole literatures that arose historically from contact between colonizing and indigenous languages and peoples, to canonical British and American writing that addresses those nations’ respective empires in one form or another.
This course organizes this diverse set of topics by introducing the major concepts that structure its theoretical and literary histories. The course will answer the basic question—what is ITP?—by defining a series of critical keywords, including “empire,” “transnationalism,” “postcolonialism,” “oceanic,” “hemispheric,” “diaspora,” and “migration.”
Readings will include critical essays on the week’s keyword, and works of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first-century literature. Authors will include Herman Melville, Rudyard Kipling, Maxine Hong Kingston, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Junot Diaz.

Romancing the Globe: Love and Geopolitics in Contemporary Film and Fiction

Nationalism and Transnationalism
English 134 / Prof. Solomon

The most powerful narratives of the modern era take shape beyond the boundaries of any text, within the political fictions that tie nations together, tempt soldiers from their homes to occupy far-flung colonies, and spark insurrections capable of erasing borders and upending world orders.
In this course, we will examine the variety of ways that artists have imagined the world for their readers and viewers over the past century – presenting intensely human stories of romance, adventure, horror, and redemption, unfolding dramatically as old colonial empires fall and new post-colonial nations take shape.
Drawing upon recent developments in postcolonial and cosmopolitan studies for theoretical support, we will examine a number of important works of 20th-21st century film and fiction, uncovering the philosophical and political underpinnings of the old world order and the new, identifying new forms of identity and modes of representation made possible by the emergence of global artistic movements (e.g. modernism, postmodernism, magic realism), and interrogating the lingering significance of geopolitical fictions from a bygone era upon our contemporary reality.

Global 19th Century

Literary Cities
English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

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

Learn more about this Interest Area

Hebrew Bible in Translation

English 111A / Prof. Maniquis

Literary study of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), with emphasis on literary devices and narrative structures in relation to Judaic historical, political, psychological, philosophical, and theological themes.

Hamlet’s Lyric Histories

Lyric Histories
English 114 / Prof. Morphew

In this class we will explore the lyric histories of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, taking our cue from the Dane’s letter-poem to Ophelia in II.ii. This will send us to ancient Greek and Roman literature, to Petrarch’s Canzoniere, to English Renaissance sonnet sequences, and beyond. You will write two papers and take midterm and final exams.

Science Fiction

“Science Fiction and the Futures of Nature”
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.

Documenting America: Literature and Photography of the Great Depression

Literature and Other Arts
English 118B.1/ Prof. Lorhan

Few images define a decade like Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” or Walker Evans’s unflinching portraits of the Burroughs family do. In this course, we will analyze photographs taken by members of the Farm Security Administration and read them in conjunction with works of literature written during the Great Depression. Two collaborative projects between a writer and photographer, You Have Seen Their Faces (1937) by Erskine Caldwell with photographs by Margaret Bourke-White and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941) by James Agee and Walker Evans, anchor the course. Both works document the plight of impoverished sharecroppers and tenant farmers whose personal tragedies become emblematic of a nation down on its luck. We will consider the ethics of documentary photography, the power dynamics between photographer (or writer) and subject, the interplay between text and image in the production of meaning, questions of artistry within a genre that purports to offer an unmediated view of reality, and documentary’s connections to social reform movements. We will also examine how formal techniques employed by documentary photographers make their way into literature of the period as well as literary strategies involved in the framing and presentation of images.

Weird Science: A Speculative Turn in 20th/21st Century Literature and Film

Literature and Other Arts
English 118B.2 / Prof. Stefans

When do works of strange, horrific or “surreal” art and literature transition from being products of heightened, feverish imaginations — mere fancies — to compelling speculations about the nature of being? Can we examine the exceptional occurrence in a work of weird fiction as a window onto the normative behavior of an alternate or parallel universe or of some unexamined corner of our own? Why do philosophers and cognitive scientists care about zombies? This class will build upon philosopher Quentin Meillassoux’s notion worlds “beyond science,” fictions that depict scenarios in which some physical aspect that we are confident exists in the world — causality, the division between animate and inanimate matter, the singularity and unrepeatability of events, or the Pythagorean theorem, for example — has been altered or has disappeared entirely. In novels, short stories, poems, and films, “speculative realist” styles of thinking have been of increased interest to a range of people who are nearly household names, such as the film directors Charlie Kaufman and Christopher Nolan, and many who remain relatively obscure, such as the Canadian poet Christian Bök, science fiction writers Octavia Butler and J.G. Ballard, and philosophers Vilém Flusser and David Chalmers. Consequently, writers and directors who were once considered “genre” or “cult” artists like H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg are being reevaluated for insights into these new styles of thinking. This class aims to create a bridge between speculative philosophy and a range of short stories, novels, films and poetry produced near and since the turn of the century. Class requirements include a midterm paper, a midterm exam, a class presentation (with a group or alone) on a film, and a final paper.

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, London was a city with a split identity: broad fashionable boulevards and well-lit squares on the one hand, dark and teeming slums on the other; gentlemen and ladies claiming to be of the highest moral order on the one hand, and, on the other, an underworld of rogues, vagabonds, costermongers, prostitutes, pornographers, revolutionaries, conspirators, petty scribblers, ballad singers and outright criminals. This course will explore literary accounts of London’s dual identity in this period and on into the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the literary expressions of the gradual attempt to discover, map out, bring to order and settle the turbulent world of London: to tame and civilize the many resorts of vagabonds, thieves, and outcasts and to turn London into the fast-paced global metropolis that it is today. Readings will draw on a wide variety of sources, from canonical fiction, poetry and the visual arts to first-hand portraits of London streetlife, thieves’ memoirs, detective stories, and on to contemporary fiction, graphic novels such as “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta,” and zines including Laura Oldfield Ford’s “Savage Messiah.”

Modern and Contemporary Aesthetics and Critical Theory

English 121 / Prof. Huehls

This class examines literary theory and criticism in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will focus on three dominant theoretical movements–Marxism, structuralism, and psychoanalysis–but will also explore key concerns from more recent decades: feminism, biopolitics, race, and affect. Readings will include selections from Marx, Freud, Derrida, Lacan, Foucault, Judith Butler, Eve Sedgwick, and Bruno Latour.

Violence in Cultural Theory and Literature

“Distant Suffering”
English 125 / Prof. Donig

The radical premise of human rights is that human lives are human lives, anywhere and everywhere. To this end, the idea of universal human rights demands a global response to violations that cause human suffering or endanger these human lives. In a world of universal human rights, what is our obligation to such suffering and such lives? What does it mean for a United body of Nations to maintain a global standard of human rights, and how does this global standard ask us to recognize, and to respond, to suffering that occurs far away, in places and to persons both distant and different from us? How can we imagine the pain of others unlike ourselves, and how far beyond ourselves can we stretch the bonds of empathy? What are our ethical and legal obligations to imagining as we can newly access, visualize, and know suffering that exists elsewhere? In this course, we will look at texts that take up the ethics and the aesthetics of imagining distant suffering. We will read texts that call upon—and perhaps question—the idea of universal human rights as a way of responding to suffering in a global world, in which distant suffering calls for response from across the globe. We will especially think about how ways of imagining and representing suffering—especially in fiction—may enable or perhaps block possibilities of knowing the pain of very remote others. How can we conceive of suffering that exists beyond our scope of vision, beyond our scale of imagining, and beyond our interventional reach? How does literature—and the decisions we make about how to read it—change our understanding of what it means to regard that pain?

“Unhappy Queers” and “Feminist Killjoys”

Feminist and Queer Theory
English M126 / Prof. Brickley

Investigating questions of “identity” that formations like gender and sexuality seem to beg, this class will employ feminist and queer theories not as lenses but rather critical tools focused on bodies and their desires, performances, and politics. Moving beyond the canonical texts of the field, we will use an intersectional approach that highlights queer of color critique, Third World feminism, and queer diaspora critique to examine topics from affect and the production of “unhappy queer” subjects and “feminist killjoys,” to homonormativity and state violence. Readings will include texts by Judith Butler, Gayl Salamon, Eve Sedgwick, José Muńoz, Jack Halberstam, Roderick Ferguson, Chandan Reddy, Lauren Berlant, Gayatri Gopinath, and Sarah Ahmed. In addition, works of literature and film may be interspersed throughout the quarter. Requirements include a midterm paper, final essay, weekly responses, and a presentation.

Orientalism

Postcolonial and Transnational Theory
English 128 / Prof. Soni

Since the publication of Edward W. Said’s Orientalism in 1978, academics have modified how we conceptualize representations of the “West” and the “East” in English literature. In this course, we will trace these modifications alongside changing attitudes among British Orientalists in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. This course will feature postcolonial English literature and professional literary criticism. Requirements: 3 essays, regular discussion board posts, and frequent participation.

Herman Melville

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Goodwin

For ten weeks we immerse ourselves in Herman Melville’s major fiction: Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, Moby-Dick, The Confidence-Man, “Bartleby,” “Benito Cereno,” and Billy Budd.
Melville’s prose is tirelessly referential and profoundly metaphoric; the required Norton editions are essential to readers for their explanatory notes and background materials. Letters, biography, commentary, and criticism are also assigned from these editions.
Requirements are mid-term and final bluebook examinations in essay form; take-home paper, due at final exam; consistent attendance and participation.

Romance Intersections

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

Gender and race are obsessive concerns in medieval romance, sparking the invention of new literary forms to explore the dynamics of subjectivity while raising their social and national stakes. How do romances treat women in a culture of knightly careerism – as inspiration, obstacle, fellow, or alien? What intersections of race, ethnicity, upbringing, and religion beset the interplay between the familiar and the strange, the homeland and the dizzy possibilities of larger worlds? How do such romance intersections inform and challenge literary and political world-building today? Texts may include Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History, The Mabinogi, Marie de France’s Lais, Silence; crusading romances such as Richard Coeur de Lion, The Sultan of Babylon, Parzival, and The Book of Saladin, and 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.

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

Milton

English 151/ Prof. McEachern

Study of major works of Milton, with emphasis on Paradise Lost.

Global 19th Century

Literary Cities
English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Poetry, 1900-1945

English 173A / Prof. Phillips

This course will study poetry in the United States from 1900 to 1945. We will focus on how writers used novel and modernist forms to address some new, or newly pressing, questions—about idealism, religion, violence, identity, race, gender, and history. Authors will include Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others.

Surveying Poetry Online Today

Contemporary American Poetry
English 173C / Prof. Snelson

Surveying Poetry Online Today (SPOT) is a collective research workshop committed to exploring poetry unfolding in the present. What does poetry on the internet look like? Where can it be found? In what forms and on which platforms? Who writes it and how is it read, or played, or displayed? How do we understand poetry appearing on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Steam? Over the quarter, we will explore these questions as we develop a collective public resource that surveys poetry online today. Developing our speculative resource, we will experiment with modes of visualizing, mapping, organizing, analyzing, remixing, and destroying contemporary poetry online. Working from a creative digital humanities perspective, this course seeks to construct new ways of knowing what contemporary poetry is—and will only arrive at a series of answers through our mutual experiment. We will examine platforms for experimental poetry like Jacket2 and PennSound alongside popular resources like Poets.org and Poems Daily. Taking inspiration from initiatives like the VIDA Count, which examines race, gender, sexual identity, and ability in popular poetry publications; we will interrogate the politics and ethics of this landscape as we gather its data. In lockstep with these large-scale questions, we will conduct close readings of selected works of contemporary poetry that emerge throughout the quarter. No previous technical experience is necessary.

American Fiction since 1945

English 174B/ Prof. Phillips

This course will study prose fiction in the United States from 1945 to the present. Moving chronologically, we will focus on how writers used different narrative strategies within the genres of novel and short story to respond to changing historical conditions in the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Authors may include Grace Paley, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, and others.

Conspiracy Theories and Paranoid Plots: Narratives of Information Overload

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C / Prof. Winningham

These days we are bombarded by news, both momentous and trivial, in a never-ending stream of information. Daily life feels fractured, and yet there are often deep and unseen connections between the remote institutions that exert indirect and shadowy influence on us. This course will focus on contemporary narrative responses to the glut of information and this suspicion that there just might be conspirators controlling our world. In other words, what happens when paranoia is no longer a disorder, but instead the correct understanding of our situation? We will consider recent novels ranging from the intricately plotted to the plotless, and current literary trends as they supersede postmodernism. Works will include novels by writers such as Thomas Pynchon, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jennifer Egan.

Reading Citizenship

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1/ Prof. Hyde

Immigration policy fuels debates about access to citizenship today. How and when can non-citizens become citizens? However, “citizenship” itself names a relatively well-defined set of legal rights and obligations. This was not the case in the early U.S. There was no statutory definition of citizenship until the Civil Rights Act of 1866—almost a century after the Declaration of Independence. The word “citizen” appears eleven times in the Constitution as originally ratified, but this key term was not defined in the Constitution until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. How was citizenship understood in these early years? This class traces the early history of citizenship in fiction, law, and political philosophy. The course also encourages students to consider how the early history of citizenship can help us to better understand ongoing political debates today. Readings will include selections by Jefferson, Paine, Burke, Irving, Apess, Douglass, Thoreau, Stowe, Melville, and Susan B. Anthony.
NOT OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO COMPLETED AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS CLASS IN FALL OF 2014: ENGLISH 118A.

Ethnic Comedy, Family Drama: Interdisciplinary Studies in American Literature and Television

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Decker

This course examines the intersection of family and ethnicity as staged in TV comedy and literary memoir and melodrama. We survey the changing composition of the family––idealized and dysfunctional, from extended to nuclear to single-parent––as represented in fictional and nonfictional memoirs about racial segregation and immigrant life (Autobiography of Malcolm X, Portnoy’s Complaint, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen) and primetime sitcoms over the past sixty-five years (Father Knows Best, Amos n Andy, Goldbergs, Addams Family, All In the Family, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times, Cosby Show, Simpsons, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat). We conclude by studying the recent appropriation and transformation of the popular Latin American telenovela in U.S.-made melodramatic TV comedies (Ugly Betty, Devious Maids, Jane the Virgin) and Chicana literature (Woman Hollering Creek and So Far From God). Theoretical essays will contribute to our understanding of novels and TV as distinct mediums as well as novel-reading and TV-watching as personal experience and social practice.

The Novel 1850-1900

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.3 / Prof. Dimuro

In this course we read the work of three preeminent English novelists, all of whom expanded, in unique ways, the artistic and thematic range of narrative fiction between the years 1850 and 1899. Readings include Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, and George Eliot’s Middlemarch. 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 FOR CREDIT TO ANY STUDENT WHO COMPLETED ENGLISH 164C WITH SAME TITLE FALL 2016.

Creative Writing
Learn more about this Interest Area

 

Admission to all Creative Writing Workshops by application only.

Creative Writing: Poetry 

Creative Writing Workshop
English 136.1 / Prof. Kevorkian

You turn in a poem each week of original composition. In a workshop setting, your poem and those of your classmates are discussed. You also will be reading the published work of other poets.

As your ideas about contemporary poems take shape, you continue working on all the poems you’ve turned in. For your final assignment, you turn in all of these revised poems. Additionally, you are expected to attend class having read the work of your classmates, ready to make comments and ask questions.

Admission to this class is by instructor permission only. If admitted, you have to attend the first class in order to be allowed to enroll. This is also required of those waitlisted for the class.

To apply, please submit 5 poems with your student identification number, your email address, year of graduation, and a brief statement about other creative writing or literature courses you’ve taken.

The deadline to apply is January 3, 2018.
Please send your poems electronically in a single file attached to an email addressed to kkevorkian@humnet.ucla.edu and cc creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. To avoid error, ALSO bring or mail hard copy of the poems to:
Karen Kevorkian
149 Humanities Bldg
UCLA English Dept
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530.

Creative Writing: Poetry

Creative Writing Workshop
English 136.2 / Prof. Mullen

Applications are due by 4:00 PM on January 3, 2018.

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 cc 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: Short Stories

Creative Writing Workshop
English 137.1 / Prof. Huneven

This class is an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short literary fiction.

We will explore the short story form, studying one or more great short stories weekly, which the students will be expected to read multiple times and annotate in an effort to grasp its mechanics and magic.

Students will write one short story every week, and one longer story. The goals of the class are 1) to help the students develop a regular practice of writing and 2) to foster and train technical skills. We’ll work on revision and the development of a sound critical faculty. Emphasis will be on developing the student writer’s voice, writing ability, and self-editing.

TO APPLY: Please submit no more than 5 (double-spaced) pages of your fiction and list the workshops you’ve taken in the past. Please list your three favorite short stories and their authors. Also, please tell me your class standing (sophomore, junior, etc.)

If you are applying to both workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference.
Submissions must be e-mailed to huneven@me.com and cc’ed to creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Smith 137.1).

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

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY December 18th.
NOTE: A class list will be posted in English Department Office

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

Creative Writing: Short Stories

Creative Writing Workshop
English 137.2 / Prof. Torres

This class is an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short fiction. We will consider the short story form, reading great short stories weekly, which students will be asked to study intensively and to reread. Students will write both shorter weekly stories, and two longer stories. The teacher’s primary goal in the class is to help the students develop a daily practice of writing and to foster and train their ability recognize what’s best in their work. We’ll also discuss revision and the development of a sound critical faculty.

To be considered for the class, please submit five pages (double spaced) of your fiction and tell me what workshops you’ve taken in the past. Also, please list your three favorite short stories and their authors. Mention the book you’re reading right now.

If you are applying to both workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference. Submissions must be e-mailed to jtorres7@ucla.edu and cc’ed to creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Rodriguez 137.2).

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN “137.2” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY DEC 18th.

NOTE: A list of students accepted into the class will be posted in English Department Office on Jan 4th.

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

Senior English Capstones/Seminars

Learn more about the Capstone Program

Introduction to Old English

Topics in Literature and Language
English 180.1 / Prof. Minkova

The course will offer a basic linguistic introduction to Old English with particular emphasis on the structural differences between the older language and Modern English. It is designed for students unfamiliar with the earlier stages of the language and provides a basis for further study of the linguistic, cultural and literary heritage of English. Class time will be split evenly between description of the various features of Old English (instructor’s job) and discussion/translation of Old English texts (students’ job). The last two weeks will be dedicated to Anglo-Saxon verse: its structure, diction, and longevity. Evaluation will be based on two quizzes and a class presentation including a brief original composition in Old English.

Introduction to Old English

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A.1 / Prof. Seltzer

 This seminar will look at crime fiction—primarily novels, some films and visual culture—over the past century or so. Crime stories have a long history but a special place in a modern world. What can such stories tell us about how we experience our personal lives and our public life? How do they imagine forms of violence and its causes? How can they help us understand the ways in which we work and play today? What do these stories tell us about how we live in, and with, what we might call our “wound culture”? Examples of classic and experimental crime stories (American, English, Japanese, among others), from Agatha Christie and to Natsuo Kirino. Focused literary and cultural analysis will center the course and the required work: the primary course requirement is two interpretive papers (5-7 pages each). Consistent attendance, and active participation in seminar discussions, are required too.

Shakespeare’s Second Tetralogy

Topics in Renaissance and Early Modern Literature
English 182B.1 / 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.

Savage Indignation: Satire, Anger, and Misanthropy in the Eighteenth Century

Topics in 18th-Century Literature
English 182C.2/ Prof. Deutsch

The eighteenth century was the first great age of print, the age that invented the professional author, and above all the age of satire. This course focuses on three satirists who were bound by both friendship and enmity: Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. We will pay particular attention to the way that the first two of these authors defined themselves and their authorial personae through their careful manipulation of print, while the third, bound by social convention and liberated by aristocratic privilege, worked largely anonymously to equally fascinating effect. The original forms in which the works of these authors appeared, and the vast catalog of personal pamphlet attacks and caricatures that appeared in response to their writings, will provide the framework with which we read some of the most witty, vicious, and visceral literature in English.

For more information about the seminar, visit www.1718.ucla.edu/research/undergraduate/
This seminar is open to upper-division students from any UCLA department; you must apply to the professor for permission to enroll. Interested students should e-mail Professor Deutsch (hdeutsch@humnet.ucla.edu) with the following information by Monday, November 13, 2017.

* Your name, major and year, and a list of any courses you have taken that prepare you in some way for this seminar, either in subject matter (early modern and/or eighteenth-century history and literature, history of the book) or in research methods (any course with a research paper).

* A clear statement of what interests you about this course, and what you hope to get out of it.
Professor may choose to conduct in-person interviews as well.

London Theater and the New King

Capstone Seminar
English 184.1 / Prof. Braunmuller

Students read a mixture of plays by Shakespeare and his principal rival Thomas Middleton, all first written and performed in the years immediately after Queen Elizabeth’s death and the accession of James I. Some familiarity with Shakespeare is an advantage, as is familiarity with drama as genre.

How to Be a Person in the Twenty-First Century

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Huehls

This class addresses the extremely challenging topic of how one should be in the world in the twenty-first century. Topics will include environmental collapse, racial politics, technology, art, sex, sexual politics, hipsters, and debt. Readings will include work from Sheila Heti, Maggie Nelson, Chris Kraus, Paul Beatty, Ben Lerner and others. Copious amounts of reading, weekly writing assignments, and a final project are all required.

From Ancient Epic to Medieval Romance

Capstone Seminar
English 184.3 / Prof. Jager

This course illuminates how the ancient Mediterranean epic bequeathed to the medieval European romance a wide range of character types, narrative patterns, themes and imagery about central human concerns such as war, eros, justice, spirituality, the community (city, kingdom, etc.) and the personal journey or quest. The assigned books change year by year but are typically drawn from the following list: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Augustine’s Confessions, Beowulf, The Song of Roland, Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot, The Romance of the Rose, The Lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. Assigned work includes substantial reading, weekly in-class reports and a (10-12 pp.) research essay also to be adapted for ten-minute presentation at a concluding mini-conference (week 10).

Students wishing to take this course should submit a résumé of literature courses taken so far, along with a brief (3-5 pp) writing sample from a previous course (hardcopy only), to the instructor’s mailbox in 149 Humanities. Admission by instructor’s permission (PTE) only.

Pornography and the Politics of Sexual Representation

Capstone Seminar
English 184.4 / Prof. Mott

As a capstone seminar, the course proceeds from the assumption that students will pursue an independent research project representing a culmination of their learning at UCLA. We begin with a study of Linda Williams’s Hard Core from the perspective of researchers, reading to discover her process and methods as much as her argument. In the third week, students meet individually with the instructor to plot their research project. For the following five weeks, students post the results of their research to the course website, creating an archive for themselves and their peers. The postings scaffold the final project into “What’s at Stake,” “Critical Approach,” and “Close Reading” entries. At the same time, class functions as a workshop in which students receive suggestions on their works-in-progress. During ninth week, we will conduct a round-robin editing workshop during which students will receive more pointed suggestions on a substantial piece of their project. In the final week, students present their nearly-complete project in a “mini-conference.”

Stories Our Ancestors Tell: History and Memory in Women’s Poetry

Capstone Seminar
English 184.5 / Prof. Rowe

Who we are and may become originates in our history, each uniquely personal by virtue of family of origin, ethnic heritage, gender, sexuality, spirituality, and individual talents and traits. Yet, by coming into the university, each of us expands our vision of the world both by coming to know oneself better and by learning to enter, curiously and respectfully, into the life stream of human beings different than ourselves and by focusing on the literary and artistic productions of diverse cultures. Language (oral and written) enables us to speak and name the self; stories link us in a chain of remembrance to a collective past. Through this cultural link, some writers claim an ethnic community, clan and tribal identity, continuity with the spirits, and a sense of the home (and land) where they learned to grow and flourish. For other writers, exiled from originary home(land)s by migrations, enslavements, internments, death camps, and urban violence, the search for connection to the communal past becomes a struggle to regenerate the self–through linguistic visions of new possibilities and newly forged identities. This seminar asks students to engage these issues of self-definition, history, and memory through the study of poetry and related essays.

In autobiographical writings, interviews, theoretical essays, and poetry by (primarily) American twentieth-century authors, such as Angelou, Anzaldúa, Atwood, Cervantes, De Leon, Harjo, Kalia, Kim, Klepfisz, Lorde, Suhair Majah, McElroy, Mirikitani, Mora, Plath, Rich, Rose, Rukeyser, Silko, Tapahonso, Thúy, Wong, and Walker (Margaret and Alice), women speak of growing up replete with memories, ancestral echoes, and resonant maternal voices. Each woman connects the present with the past, often by hearing stories transmitted by grandmothers and mothers who tell a collective history of family, homeland, and spiritual beliefs. By heeding truths gleaned from the ancestral past, each woman comes to know her “Self” and infuses her poetry with a unique vision and voice that makes lives, both old and new, into poetic memoirs.

Whether reading poetry or creating it, hearing stories or crafting them, drawing forth dreams of ancient lands, objects, and faces, or considering how the present self bears the imprint of earlier history, students are expected to be contributors and collaborators. This seminar engages students in learning to identify and celebrate their personal legacies of being and belonging. Each student will “adopt” a poet/poems as the basis for intensive study. Requirements will be a twenty-minute presentation, a short prospectus, a 15-page final critical paper or creative project (in two installments), and a cumulative poetry portfolio, as well as active participation in seminar discussions. Remember, Audre Lorde proclaims that “poetry is not a luxury” but rather the “skeleton architecture of our lives,” which “lays the foundation for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”

George Eliot’s Middlemarch

Capstone Seminar
English 184.6 / Prof. Simpson

Virginia Woolf called Middlemarch “one of the few English novels written for grown up people.” We will talk about Eliot’s masterpiece Monday evenings, initially in the old fashioned way, considering questions the novel poses, such as the fascinating matter of why the two best people in this Midlands town, who would end up married in an Austen novel, never feel romantic attraction towards each other. We’ll try to understand how Eliot made Middlemarch, to learn from her toolkit, as revealed in biographies and letters, considering the personal, social and economic reasons she published it serially and pseudonymously. We’ll study gender politics, newspapers, fashion, domestic arrangements, sexual lives, property laws and religious underpinnings of two periods — the 1870s, when Eliot wrote and the novel’s time, forty years earlier, while always remembering foundational questions: What are the satisfactions of personal ambition, and how should they be weighed against duties to others? What does a good marriage consist of, and what makes a bad one?

Students will research a chosen area, make class presentations and complete a final project.

We will remain attentive to the ways this 1874 novel can change our lives.

NOT OPEN FOR CREDIT TO ANY STUDENT WHO COMPLETED ENGLISH 139 WITH SAME TOPIC AND INSTRUCTOR.

Seduction and Sentiment: The Rise of the Novel

Capstone Seminar
English 184.7 / Prof. Nussbuam

Adultery, misogyny, seduction, romance, and murder animate the novels selected. Beginning with selections from The Arabian Nights and concluding with Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, we will read and discuss novels as examples of various genres including Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina, Richardson’s epistolary Pamela, Johnson’s oriental tale Rasselas, Walpole’s Gothic tale Castle of Otranto, and the sentimental satires in Frances Burney’s Evelina,and Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. Requirements include one tiny paper (about 250 words), one short presentation on an assigned topic related to the themes of the course, and a final seminar paper developed throughout the term. Students are welcome to consult with me about the course.