CoursesCourses for the English Major

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 2022

Lower Division Courses in English (Freshman, Sophomore)

Please note that this list includes both English major preparatory courses and GE courses. 

Critical Reading and Writing

English 4HW; English 4W

Introduction to literary analysis, with close reading and carefully written exposition of selections from principal modes of literature: poetry, prose fiction, and drama. Minimum of 15 to 20 pages of revised writing. Satisfies Writing II requirement.

This course fulfills a preparatory requirement for the English major. Please note that English 4W, section 3 is reserved for Dept. of English majors and minors. All other sections are open to students of all majors.

English 4HW confers College Honors credit. Students participating in the College Honors program may contact a Dept. of English advisor to request a seat in the class.

Literatures in English to 1700

English 10A / Prof. Shuger

Survey of major writers and genres, with emphasis on tools for literary analysis such as close reading, argumentation, historical and social context, and critical writing. Minimum of three papers (three to five pages each) or equivalent required.

 

This course fulfills a preparatory requirement for the English major.

Literatures in English, 1700 to 1850

English 10B / Prof. Makdisi

Survey of major writers and genres, with emphasis on tools for literary analysis such as close reading, argumentation, historical and social context, and critical writing. Minimum of three papers (three to five pages each) or equivalent required.

 

This course fulfills a preparatory requirement for the English major.

Introduction to Creative Writing [READ DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY – APPLICATION REQUIRED]

English 20W

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

Enrollment by instructor consent and NOT by enrollment pass time: Interested students should apply by 8 pm on September 9. Applications received after this date will be considered only if additional space should become available and may not receive a full review or response. Enrollment preference for English 20W will be given to first and second-year students. Approved applicants will receive a PTE directly from the instructor.

To apply, please prepare a brief (no more than 250 words) note explaining why you wish to take this course, and what previous experience you have with creative writing courses (if any—none required!).

Applications may be submitted through our approved web form, which you can access HERE. Students applying to English 20W should enroll in an alternate course during their enrollment passes, and should not assume that they will be admitted.

Please note that due to the volume of submissions, only students selected for the class will receive notification. Please do not email the instructors requesting status updates, as this will only delay the selection process. Questions should be directed to the English Undergraduate Advising Offices via MyUCLA MessageCenter.

Introduction to American Cultures

English 11 / Prof. Silva

This course is a gateway to the American Literature and Culture major. In a time when ideas of American exceptionalism, supremacy, and justice are as contested as they have ever been, our goal will be to examine what “America” and what the “United States” mean in national, hemispheric, and global contexts. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we will consider the literary and cultural currents that shaped how those terms were used over five centuries of colonial history and how they continue to shape literary and cultural studies. The key terms that will shape our discussions are origins (the making of a colony; the making of a nation; the making of culture), identities (the relation between individual, community, and culture), and media (how we access the past and how we narrate for the future).

 

This course fulfills a preparatory requirement for the American Literature and Culture major.

Introduction to Visual Culture

English M50 / Prof. Hornby

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

Not open for credit to English majors or students with credit for any courses in 170 series. 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.

 

Please note: 20 students who have enrolled in English 85 will also have the opportunity to enroll in English 89. This adjunct, honors seminar will be comprised of two major projects. One will be a research project through which you will develop some skills with basic research tools, and learn how to incorporate your findings to enrich the argument of one of your essays for English 85. The other will be a creative project that will allow you to indulge your talents in media and genres other than print and critical analysis. In the creative project, I encourage you to express your interpretations of the novel(s) by way of music (including original compositions or performances), visual arts (including photos, films, sketches, paintings, etc.), or plastic arts (sculpture, knitting, sewing, quilting, etc.), or another medium of your choice.

Topics in American Culture: Fever!

English 87 / Prof. Looby

In light of our COVID-19 pandemic we will focus on a famous earlier public health emergency, the Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. Over the summer and fall of that year, roughly a tenth of the population of the city—then the nation’s capital—perished from what we now know to be a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes, but which was then thought to be caused either by putrid vapors or physical contact. The epidemic produced journalism, medical treatises, poems, novels (Charles Brockden Brown’s Arthur Mervyn notably), and one of the most important early Black political publications, a defense of the African American community after it had been publicly slandered. The epidemic has recently been revisited by contemporary writers including John Edgar Wideman (“Fever”) and Laurie Halse Anderson (the young adult novel Fever 1793). We will examine this event and its textual archive from the perspectives of literary study and cultural history, and also using methods from the medical humanities, urban humanities, and critical race theory.

 

This course will be reserved for American Literature and Culture majors on first pass and during summer orientation. Non-majors hoping to take the course for GE or Diversity credit may enroll after September 13.

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.

 

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

Introduction to Poetry

English 91A / Prof. Stefans

Study of critical issues (metrics, diction, figurative language, symbolism, irony and ambiguity, form and structure) and aesthetic issues, including evaluative criteria, followed by close critical analysis of selection of representative poems.

Upper Division Courses in English

Practicum Courses

Please note that these are 2-unit courses. English majors may satisfy 1 English Elective if they take multiple 2-unit upper division English courses (courses must add up to a total of at least 4 units and must be taken for a letter grade). 

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 Fall meeting (time and day posted in the Schedule of Classes)!

Elective-Only Courses

Please note that these courses satisfy English major requirements as Electives only, and may not be applied to Historical, Breadth, or Seminar requirements.

English major Electives may be selected from 5-unit upper-division English courses numbered 100 to M191P.

 

Writing in the English Major: Analytical Writing

English 110A / Prof. Stephan

In this course, designed specifically for English majors but now open to students from all majors for the first time, 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.

 

Not open for credit for students with credit for English 110T.

This course counts as an elective for the Professional Writing Minor. 

Literatures in English Before 1500

 

The Virgin, the Wife, and the Widow: Dissent and Dominance in the Lives of Holy Women

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

The category of the holy life offers a space for thinking through the relationship between the Church and holy women, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, between rebellion and conformity. Ranging from the lives of virgin-martyrs to those of runaway brides, chaste wives, and widows, we will focus on the ways in which the holy woman as virgin, wife, or widow engaged the norms of the medieval Church by rebelling against and at same time conforming to them. We will close read the lives (Vitae) of such women (and a few holy men) alongside legal documents, itineraries, property records, statutes, and other ecclesiastical documents on issues from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure. Questions for discussion include: Why did holy women come to play increasingly dominant roles in the Middle Ages? What were ways in which they used their virginity or chastity to find agency within ecclesiastical structures designed to control their lives?

 

Literatures in English 1500-1700

Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays

English 150A / Prof. Dickey

A study of selected plays from the first half of Shakespeare’s career.

Shakespeare: Major Plays

Topics in Shakespeare
English 150C / Prof. Little

This course provides an upper-division introduction to Shakespeare’s plays by surveying a few of the plays we historically and contemporarily recognize as some of his most consequential plays.  Drawing on dramatic works from the entirety of his career, this course emphasizes the formal and historical properties of Shakespeare’s plays (and stage) and the ways Shakespeare’s plays continue to engage questions of race, gender, sexuality, and class, as well as questions of religion, philosophy, and politics. How all these questions are embodied, put into bodies, signals for our course the way Shakespeare’s dynamic poetry has become essential hallmarks for defining both the modern and the global.   Some of the possible texts for our course are A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and The Tempest.  Requirements for the course include class participation, a term paper, and a midterm and final exam.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 150C with Prof. Little in Winter 2022.

Literature of the English Reformations

Devotion and Dissent
English 156 / Prof. Shuger

The class will begin with an overview of major texts of the English Reformations—Catholic as well as Protestant, Elizabethan as well as Henrician and Edwardian–but then turn to the literature of spiritual inwardness, a literature that includes the great religious lyrics of the early 17th century. There will be a weekly paper on the assigned readings, but no midterm or final.

CLASS CANCELLED
Colonial Beginnings of American Literature

English 166A / Prof. Colacurcio

Class cancelled for Fall 2022.

Literatures in English 1700-1850

 

The Novel as Social Realism from Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy

19th Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Dimuro

Reading four literary masterpieces of the novel genre, students in this course will gain both a comprehensive overview of the novel as it developed in England over selected periods of the nineteenth century, as well as a solid understanding of the foundations of modern fiction. Each of the novels we read in the class demonstrates an evolving array of technical achievements in the creation of narrative perspective, elaboration of theme, and the development of literary character: Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1864), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872), and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure (1895). Lectures and discussions will consider historical and social background of each book, conditions of authorship and publication, economics, narrative theory, issues around sexuality and social class, as well as how to write about novels. Requirements include short weekly commentaries, two papers, and a comprehensive final examination.

 

Not open to students who completed course 164C in 16F, 18F, 19F or 21S or 179 in 17W titled The Novel 1850-1900 or 179 in 22S titled Austen to Wharton.

Major American Authors

English 168 / Prof. Mazzaferro

This course offers a survey of works by major American writers, from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. Reading across a variety of genres—including settlement narratives, poetry, sermons, autobiographies, short stories, and novels—we’ll track how an American literary tradition emerged in response to new intellectual developments and major political crises. We’ll explore the formal strategies writers used to craft a distinctive “American” identity amidst religious turmoil, scientific enlightenment, and the violent confrontations of colonization, revolution, and the civil war that would eventually end slavery in the United States. Readings will include seventeenth-century texts by John Smith, John Winthrop, and Anne Bradstreet; eighteenth-century texts by Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Samson Occom, and Hannah Webster Foster; and nineteenth-century texts by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville.

 

Qualifies as a pre-1848 course for American Literature and Culture majors.

 

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.

 

Not open to students who took English M101B, LGBTS M101B, or Gender Studies M105B in Fall 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021.

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, Charles Chesnutt, and W. E. B. Du Bois.  The class will focus on the historical and cultural contexts of the works as well as on diverse strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.  Requirements include attendance and participation in section, a term paper, and a final exam.

 

Qualifies as a pre-1848 course for American Literature and Culture majors.

Chicana/o/x Literature since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward to examine the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx. We’ll use this term because it complicates a simple binary gender identification. The class analyzes literary texts as cultural expressions of lived Chicanx experiences. These experiences are one legacy of global European expansion beginning in the 15th century. Our focus will be the thematic and formal ways that Chicanx literature engages this legacy: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The goals of the class will be: 1) to express oneself in a clear and organized way; 2) to analyze literary material critically; 3) to generate original ideas by synthesizing different critical thoughts and analyses; 4) to learn about Chicanx life and culture.

Forms of the Gothic in British Popular Literature

British Popular Literature
English 115B / Prof. Stephan

Gothic conventions—crumbling castles, supernatural villains, damsels in distress, dark doubles—have survived, thrived, and evolved in British popular fiction over the course of three centuries. In this course, we will explore examples of Gothic fiction from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. We will consider its historical and cultural contexts as well as its enduring mass appeal. Texts will include Ann Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance, Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as well as shorter works by Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Elizabeth Gaskell, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Angela Carter, and others.

Exiles, Migrants, and Refugees

Studies in Postcolonial Literature
English 131 / Prof. Goyal

This course focuses on twenty-first century representations of race and migration in a range of media (including short stories, novels, poetry, documentary film, music videos, and journalism). We live in an era where challenges to mobility are starker than ever, part of growing global inequality and state violence. How do contemporary writers from the US and the postcolony generate new forms of cultural memory, re-imagine the language of crisis, and generate new ideas of human rights? What does it mean to say that the border is everywhere? How do notions of identity, belonging, and citizenship change in an era of conflict and war? The course explores connections across camp and colony, prison and plantation, checkpoint and cage to analyze artistic visions of justice and redress. Works by Octavia Butler, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Valeria Luiselli, Mohsin Hamid, and Ling Ma encourage us to think broadly and rigorously about the varied meanings of individual and collective identity, self-making, nationhood, and citizenship.

Tongues of Settlement: Where the World Becomes Basque

Transatlantic Literatures and Cultures
English 133.1 / Prof. Allmendinger

The Basques were the first people to settle central Europe.  Euskara is also the world’s most difficult language, unrelated to any other language on earth.  In addition, Basques have the world’s rarest blood type.  This course offers a history of the Basques and their immigration to the American West.  It considers numerous aspects of Basque culture (music, cuisine, architecture, sports, dancing, and music) and representations of the Basques intended for non-Basque or Basque American readers (travel guides, language acquisition materials, and transnational scholarship).  Finally, this course presents examples of both Basque American and Basque literature in English translation; highlights differences between native and diasporic settlements; and acknowledges the problems involved in translating literature from one language to another; in portraying women and members of the LGBTQ communities; and in debating issues pertaining to nationalism, Basque terrorism, and post-nationalism.  Requirements include regular attendance and participation in class discussion (25%) and a final paper due on the last day of class (75%).

James Joyce

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Jaurretche

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

Tennessee Williams: On Stage and Film

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Stefans

This course examines the career of one of America’s great dramatists, Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), starting from his earliest work in the 1930s through the most celebrated period of his writing — The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and others — and ending with a look at his last period in which he failed to achieve much critical or commercial success. We will also look at some of the great films that were based on his plays starring such actors as Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift and directed by a string of luminaries including Elia Kazan, Richard Brooks and John Huston.

The Novel as Social Realism from Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy

19th Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Dimuro

Reading four literary masterpieces of the novel genre, students in this course will gain both a comprehensive overview of the novel as it developed in England over selected periods of the nineteenth century, as well as a solid understanding of the foundations of modern fiction. Each of the novels we read in the class demonstrates an evolving array of technical achievements in the creation of narrative perspective, elaboration of theme, and the development of literary character: Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1864), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872), and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure (1895). Lectures and discussions will consider historical and social background of each book, conditions of authorship and publication, economics, narrative theory, issues around sexuality and social class, as well as how to write about novels. Requirements include short weekly commentaries, two papers, and a comprehensive final examination.

 

Not open to students who completed course 164C in 16F, 18F, 19F or 21S or 179 in 17W titled The Novel 1850-1900 or 179 in 22S titled Austen to Wharton.

Major American Authors

English 168 / Prof. Mazzaferro

This course offers a survey of works by major American writers, from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. Reading across a variety of genres—including settlement narratives, poetry, sermons, autobiographies, short stories, and novels—we’ll track how an American literary tradition emerged in response to new intellectual developments and major political crises. We’ll explore the formal strategies writers used to craft a distinctive “American” identity amidst religious turmoil, scientific enlightenment, and the violent confrontations of colonization, revolution, and the civil war that would eventually end slavery in the United States. Readings will include seventeenth-century texts by John Smith, John Winthrop, and Anne Bradstreet; eighteenth-century texts by Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Samson Occom, and Hannah Webster Foster; and nineteenth-century texts by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville.

 

Qualifies as a pre-1848 course for American Literature and Culture majors.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Looby

After the Civil War American literature entered a period of ferment. In this course we will study American literary expression after the war and up to the beginning of the twentieth century, tracing lines of development as it underwent radical changes. We’ll begin by reading De Forest’s Civil War novel, Miss Ravenel’s Conversion. At the center of the course will be a sustained reading of a cluster of writers who, in the mid-1880s, participated in a collective literary undertaking sponsored by the popular Century Magazine, an effort to review the war itself and unify the nation in its aftermath. James serialized The Bostonians there; Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham too; excerpts from Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well. African American writer Charles Chesnutt tried to contribute to the Century at this time but was rebuffed: we will read him, too. Women writers of various stripes—sentimental and conventional, caustic and rebellious—came to the fore in this period: we will read Chopin’s The Awakening and Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs.

Contemporary American Poetry

English 173C / Prof. Mullen

Full description coming soon.

American Fiction since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Perez-Torres

Study of American novels and short stories since end of World War II.

US Fiction after the Cold War

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C.1 / Prof. Huehls

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

Contemporary American Short Fiction

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C.2/ Prof. Torres

An examination of the diversity and evolution of American short fiction over the last forty years. We’ll read stories about work, death, sex, tech, race, place, love, gender, class, climate, catastrophe, religion, justice, and more. Narratives will vary in length from flash fiction to novellas, with a primary focus on the short story form. By examining short stories historically, critically, and aesthetically, students will learn how to interpret and critique short fiction as a reflection of our contemporary society and collective humanity. Assignments will be both creative and analytical. Students will deepen their critical skills through essay writing, as well as craft their own short stories.

Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Interdisciplinary Studies in American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Grossman

This course will explore in depth Mark Twain’s extraordinary 1889 satirical historical novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. As the novel’s title announces, we will be reading a tale about the transmigration of a nineteenth-century Yankee industrial leader back to mythic medieval times. Twain’s novel mixes up a host of genres of interest to us: romances, including queer ones; slave narratives; knightly adventure stories; political and economic satire; dystopian science-fiction; and the historical novel, including that genre’s relation to the indigenous peoples of America. Meanwhile, as we will also investigate, through it all Twain is laughing: how can readers of a book possibly grasp the era before the printing press? Please understand in advance that there is a heavy reading and writing load in this class. Lively class participation is expected.

Ethnic Comedy, Family Drama

Interdisciplinary Studies in American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Decker

We examine the intersection of family and ethnicity as staged in comedy and drama in order to consider how literary and TV expressions of laughter, love, and emotional conflict have both reinforced the nuclear family ideal and challenged it by reimagining the American family variously (as single-parent and female-headed; as multi-generational and ethnic). We ask if there’s more to comedy than how many times it makes you laugh, or if accounting for changing times and mores can somehow compensate for jokes that age badly. Situation comedies include Father Knows Best, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Fresh Off the Boat, and Black-ish; TV dramedies include Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, and Louie. Dramatic fiction and autobiography (The Godfather, The Woman Warrior, Autobiography of Malcolm X) will be paired with comic novels (Portnoy’s Complaint, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, The Sellout). Telenovela-inspired Chicana literature (Caramelo and So Far from God) will be read alongside TV dramedies adapted from Latin American telenovelas (Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin).

Funny as Shite: Samuel Beckett and Flan O’Brien

Topics in literature, circa 1850 – present; research component
English 179R / Prof. Jaurretche

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

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

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.

 

Not open to students who took English M101B, LGBTS M101B, or Gender Studies M105B in Fall 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021.

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, Charles Chesnutt, and W. E. B. Du Bois.  The class will focus on the historical and cultural contexts of the works as well as on diverse strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.  Requirements include attendance and participation in section, a term paper, and a final exam.

 

Qualifies as a pre-1848 course for American Literature and Culture majors.

Chicana/o/x Literature since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward to examine the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx. We’ll use this term because it complicates a simple binary gender identification. The class analyzes literary texts as cultural expressions of lived Chicanx experiences. These experiences are one legacy of global European expansion beginning in the 15th century. Our focus will be the thematic and formal ways that Chicanx literature engages this legacy: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The goals of the class will be: 1) to express oneself in a clear and organized way; 2) to analyze literary material critically; 3) to generate original ideas by synthesizing different critical thoughts and analyses; 4) to learn about Chicanx life and culture.

Indigenous Literatures of North America

Studies in North American and Indigenous Literature
English 106 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

In this course, we will be introduced to the Indigenous literatures of North America by reading fiction and poetry. We will consider how authors imagine Indigenous lifeworlds, affective and embodied experiences, and genders and sexualities in ways that index and transcend historic and ongoing settler-imperial violence. We will examine the ways that authors craft decolonial forms of memory, affect, intergenerational connection, and relationships with more-than-human life. We will ask, how do Indigenous literatures represent significant spaces of cultural, ecological, feminist, and queer theorizing with the power to enact a decolonial present and future?

Exiles, Migrants, and Refugees

Studies in Postcolonial Literature
English 131 / Prof. Goyal

This course focuses on twenty-first century representations of race and migration in a range of media (including short stories, novels, poetry, documentary film, music videos, and journalism). We live in an era where challenges to mobility are starker than ever, part of growing global inequality and state violence. How do contemporary writers from the US and the postcolony generate new forms of cultural memory, re-imagine the language of crisis, and generate new ideas of human rights? What does it mean to say that the border is everywhere? How do notions of identity, belonging, and citizenship change in an era of conflict and war? The course explores connections across camp and colony, prison and plantation, checkpoint and cage to analyze artistic visions of justice and redress. Works by Octavia Butler, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Valeria Luiselli, Mohsin Hamid, and Ling Ma encourage us to think broadly and rigorously about the varied meanings of individual and collective identity, self-making, nationhood, and citizenship.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Looby

After the Civil War American literature entered a period of ferment. In this course we will study American literary expression after the war and up to the beginning of the twentieth century, tracing lines of development as it underwent radical changes. We’ll begin by reading De Forest’s Civil War novel, Miss Ravenel’s Conversion. At the center of the course will be a sustained reading of a cluster of writers who, in the mid-1880s, participated in a collective literary undertaking sponsored by the popular Century Magazine, an effort to review the war itself and unify the nation in its aftermath. James serialized The Bostonians there; Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham too; excerpts from Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well. African American writer Charles Chesnutt tried to contribute to the Century at this time but was rebuffed: we will read him, too. Women writers of various stripes—sentimental and conventional, caustic and rebellious—came to the fore in this period: we will read Chopin’s The Awakening and Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs.

American Fiction since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Perez-Torres

Study of American novels and short stories since end of World War II.

US Fiction after the Cold War

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C.1 / Prof. Huehls

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

Contemporary American Short Fiction

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C.2/ Prof. Torres

An examination of the diversity and evolution of American short fiction over the last forty years. We’ll read stories about work, death, sex, tech, race, place, love, gender, class, climate, catastrophe, religion, justice, and more. Narratives will vary in length from flash fiction to novellas, with a primary focus on the short story form. By examining short stories historically, critically, and aesthetically, students will learn how to interpret and critique short fiction as a reflection of our contemporary society and collective humanity. Assignments will be both creative and analytical. Students will deepen their critical skills through essay writing, as well as craft their own short stories.

Ethnic Comedy, Family Drama

Interdisciplinary Studies in American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Decker

We examine the intersection of family and ethnicity as staged in comedy and drama in order to consider how literary and TV expressions of laughter, love, and emotional conflict have both reinforced the nuclear family ideal and challenged it by reimagining the American family variously (as single-parent and female-headed; as multi-generational and ethnic). We ask if there’s more to comedy than how many times it makes you laugh, or if accounting for changing times and mores can somehow compensate for jokes that age badly. Situation comedies include Father Knows Best, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Fresh Off the Boat, and Black-ish; TV dramedies include Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, and Louie. Dramatic fiction and autobiography (The Godfather, The Woman Warrior, Autobiography of Malcolm X) will be paired with comic novels (Portnoy’s Complaint, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, The Sellout). Telenovela-inspired Chicana literature (Caramelo and So Far from God) will be read alongside TV dramedies adapted from Latin American telenovelas (Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin).

 

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

Chicana/o/x Literature since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward to examine the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx. We’ll use this term because it complicates a simple binary gender identification. The class analyzes literary texts as cultural expressions of lived Chicanx experiences. These experiences are one legacy of global European expansion beginning in the 15th century. Our focus will be the thematic and formal ways that Chicanx literature engages this legacy: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The goals of the class will be: 1) to express oneself in a clear and organized way; 2) to analyze literary material critically; 3) to generate original ideas by synthesizing different critical thoughts and analyses; 4) to learn about Chicanx life and culture.

Indigenous Literatures of North America

Studies in North American and Indigenous Literature
English 106 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

In this course, we will be introduced to the Indigenous literatures of North America by reading fiction and poetry. We will consider how authors imagine Indigenous lifeworlds, affective and embodied experiences, and genders and sexualities in ways that index and transcend historic and ongoing settler-imperial violence. We will examine the ways that authors craft decolonial forms of memory, affect, intergenerational connection, and relationships with more-than-human life. We will ask, how do Indigenous literatures represent significant spaces of cultural, ecological, feminist, and queer theorizing with the power to enact a decolonial present and future?

Exiles, Migrants, and Refugees

Studies in Postcolonial Literature
English 131 / Prof. Goyal

This course focuses on twenty-first century representations of race and migration in a range of media (including short stories, novels, poetry, documentary film, music videos, and journalism). We live in an era where challenges to mobility are starker than ever, part of growing global inequality and state violence. How do contemporary writers from the US and the postcolony generate new forms of cultural memory, re-imagine the language of crisis, and generate new ideas of human rights? What does it mean to say that the border is everywhere? How do notions of identity, belonging, and citizenship change in an era of conflict and war? The course explores connections across camp and colony, prison and plantation, checkpoint and cage to analyze artistic visions of justice and redress. Works by Octavia Butler, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Valeria Luiselli, Mohsin Hamid, and Ling Ma encourage us to think broadly and rigorously about the varied meanings of individual and collective identity, self-making, nationhood, and citizenship.

Tongues of Settlement: Where the World Becomes Basque

Transatlantic Literatures and Cultures
English 133.1 / Prof. Allmendinger

The Basques were the first people to settle central Europe.  Euskara is also the world’s most difficult language, unrelated to any other language on earth.  In addition, Basques have the world’s rarest blood type.  This course offers a history of the Basques and their immigration to the American West.  It considers numerous aspects of Basque culture (music, cuisine, architecture, sports, dancing, and music) and representations of the Basques intended for non-Basque or Basque American readers (travel guides, language acquisition materials, and transnational scholarship).  Finally, this course presents examples of both Basque American and Basque literature in English translation; highlights differences between native and diasporic settlements; and acknowledges the problems involved in translating literature from one language to another; in portraying women and members of the LGBTQ communities; and in debating issues pertaining to nationalism, Basque terrorism, and post-nationalism.  Requirements include regular attendance and participation in class discussion (25%) and a final paper due on the last day of class (75%).

Technology and Racial Difference in the Age of Colonialism

Transatlantic Literatures and Cultures
English 133.2 / Prof. Mazzaferro

This course uses a series of colonial contact scenes centered on technology to investigate early ideas about racial difference. We’ll survey the many early American reenactments of Francis Bacon’s 1620 claim that the invention of printing, gunpowder, and the compass gave Europeans the right to rule the world like “Gods.” Reading works by Thomas Hariot, José de Acosta, John Smith, Richard Ligon, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Banneker, Phillis Wheatley, and Olaudah Equiano, we’ll explore how Europeans used their apparently superior technology—“talking” books, otherworldly bullets, and mystifying scientific instruments—to subjugate Native Americans and enslaved Africans. How could an acquired cultural trait like technological proficiency authorize claims about innate racial superiority? How was the political hierarchy built atop these technological disparities informed by religious ideas about which groups God had cursed or blessed? And how did Indigenous and African knowledges undermine the colonizer fantasy of scientific, spiritual, and political dominance?

 

Qualifies as a pre-1848 course for American Literature and Culture majors. This course will be restricted to American Literature & Culture majors on first pass, and will open up to English majors on second pass.

CLASS CANCELLED
Colonial Beginnings of American Literature

English 166A / Prof. Colacurcio

Class cancelled for Fall 2022.

Major American Authors

English 168 / Prof. Mazzaferro

This course offers a survey of works by major American writers, from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. Reading across a variety of genres—including settlement narratives, poetry, sermons, autobiographies, short stories, and novels—we’ll track how an American literary tradition emerged in response to new intellectual developments and major political crises. We’ll explore the formal strategies writers used to craft a distinctive “American” identity amidst religious turmoil, scientific enlightenment, and the violent confrontations of colonization, revolution, and the civil war that would eventually end slavery in the United States. Readings will include seventeenth-century texts by John Smith, John Winthrop, and Anne Bradstreet; eighteenth-century texts by Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Samson Occom, and Hannah Webster Foster; and nineteenth-century texts by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville.

 

Qualifies for pre-1848 credit for American Literature and Culture majors.

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

Forms of the Gothic in British Popular Literature

British Popular Literature
English 115B / Prof. Stephan

Gothic conventions—crumbling castles, supernatural villains, damsels in distress, dark doubles—have survived, thrived, and evolved in British popular fiction over the course of three centuries. In this course, we will explore examples of Gothic fiction from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. We will consider its historical and cultural contexts as well as its enduring mass appeal. Texts will include Ann Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance, Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as well as shorter works by Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Elizabeth Gaskell, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Angela Carter, and others.

The Mystery Genre

Detective Fiction
English 115D / Prof. Allmendinger

In this course we will study one of the most popular genres in literature, beginning with the British murder mystery.  We will then trace the genre as it mutates over time to include American noir, the courtroom thriller, suspense and horror, and the spy novel.  In addition, we will be visited by a local mystery writer who will talk about the process of writing and how to break into the publishing industry.  Course requirements include regular attendance and participation in class discussion (25%) and a final paper due on the last day of class (75%).

History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory

English 120 / Prof. Huehls

A historical survey of literary theory and aesthetic philosophy stretching from antiquity to the nineteenth century. This course covers influential theorizations of literary and aesthetic value. Authors include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Sidney, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.

 

This course qualifies as a critical theory course for students pursuing the departmental honors program.

Experimental Games

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

For example, consider Dungeons & Dragons. This once-fringe role-playing game has remained a pervasive force in tabletop gaming since its publication in 1974. However, in recent years, its popularity has skyrocketed across a range of media through edited podcasts (like The Adventure Zone), streaming actual plays (like Critical Role), video games (like Baldur’s Gate), and TV series (like Stranger Things), among other genres from fan fiction and xerox zines to social media art and webcomics. In this lineage of transmedia storytelling, this course will consider ten experimental games “exempli gratia” (e.g., or, for example) in emergent genres. Potential examples include: AI Dungeon, What Remains of Edith Finch, The Quiet Year, the historical avant-gardes, Beat SaberGetting Over It with Bennett Foddy, the Oulipo, Alan Wake, Queers in Love at the End of the World, Katamari Damacy, Elden Ring, Surrealism, Dialect, Doki Doki Literature Club, and unexpected works that may emerge over the quarter and in collaborative conversations. Each example will spur a range of critical and scholarly experiments into the form, format, genre, and framework of each game. No previous experience with games or expanded media necessary. 

James Joyce

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Jaurretche

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

Tennessee Williams: On Stage and Film

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Stefans

This course examines the career of one of America’s great dramatists, Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), starting from his earliest work in the 1930s through the most celebrated period of his writing — The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and others — and ending with a look at his last period in which he failed to achieve much critical or commercial success. We will also look at some of the great films that were based on his plays starring such actors as Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift and directed by a string of luminaries including Elia Kazan, Richard Brooks and John Huston.

The Novel as Social Realism from Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy

19th Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Dimuro

Reading four literary masterpieces of the novel genre, students in this course will gain both a comprehensive overview of the novel as it developed in England over selected periods of the nineteenth century, as well as a solid understanding of the foundations of modern fiction. Each of the novels we read in the class demonstrates an evolving array of technical achievements in the creation of narrative perspective, elaboration of theme, and the development of literary character: Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1864), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872), and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure (1895). Lectures and discussions will consider historical and social background of each book, conditions of authorship and publication, economics, narrative theory, issues around sexuality and social class, as well as how to write about novels. Requirements include short weekly commentaries, two papers, and a comprehensive final examination.

 

Not open to students who completed course 164C in 16F, 18F, 19F or 21S or 179 in 17W titled The Novel 1850-1900 or 179 in 22S titled Austen to Wharton.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Looby

After the Civil War American literature entered a period of ferment. In this course we will study American literary expression after the war and up to the beginning of the twentieth century, tracing lines of development as it underwent radical changes. We’ll begin by reading De Forest’s Civil War novel, Miss Ravenel’s Conversion. At the center of the course will be a sustained reading of a cluster of writers who, in the mid-1880s, participated in a collective literary undertaking sponsored by the popular Century Magazine, an effort to review the war itself and unify the nation in its aftermath. James serialized The Bostonians there; Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham too; excerpts from Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well. African American writer Charles Chesnutt tried to contribute to the Century at this time but was rebuffed: we will read him, too. Women writers of various stripes—sentimental and conventional, caustic and rebellious—came to the fore in this period: we will read Chopin’s The Awakening and Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs.

Contemporary American Poetry

English 173C / Prof. Mullen

Full description coming soon.

American Fiction since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Perez-Torres

Study of American novels and short stories since end of World War II.

US Fiction after the Cold War

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C.1 / Prof. Huehls

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

Contemporary American Short Fiction

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C.2/ Prof. Torres

An examination of the diversity and evolution of American short fiction over the last forty years. We’ll read stories about work, death, sex, tech, race, place, love, gender, class, climate, catastrophe, religion, justice, and more. Narratives will vary in length from flash fiction to novellas, with a primary focus on the short story form. By examining short stories historically, critically, and aesthetically, students will learn how to interpret and critique short fiction as a reflection of our contemporary society and collective humanity. Assignments will be both creative and analytical. Students will deepen their critical skills through essay writing, as well as craft their own short stories.

Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Interdisciplinary Studies in American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Grossman

This course will explore in depth Mark Twain’s extraordinary 1889 satirical historical novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. As the novel’s title announces, we will be reading a tale about the transmigration of a nineteenth-century Yankee industrial leader back to mythic medieval times. Twain’s novel mixes up a host of genres of interest to us: romances, including queer ones; slave narratives; knightly adventure stories; political and economic satire; dystopian science-fiction; and the historical novel, including that genre’s relation to the indigenous peoples of America. Meanwhile, as we will also investigate, through it all Twain is laughing: how can readers of a book possibly grasp the era before the printing press? Please understand in advance that there is a heavy reading and writing load in this class. Lively class participation is expected.

Ethnic Comedy, Family Drama

Interdisciplinary Studies in American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Decker

We examine the intersection of family and ethnicity as staged in comedy and drama in order to consider how literary and TV expressions of laughter, love, and emotional conflict have both reinforced the nuclear family ideal and challenged it by reimagining the American family variously (as single-parent and female-headed; as multi-generational and ethnic). We ask if there’s more to comedy than how many times it makes you laugh, or if accounting for changing times and mores can somehow compensate for jokes that age badly. Situation comedies include Father Knows Best, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Fresh Off the Boat, and Black-ish; TV dramedies include Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, and Louie. Dramatic fiction and autobiography (The Godfather, The Woman Warrior, Autobiography of Malcolm X) will be paired with comic novels (Portnoy’s Complaint, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, The Sellout). Telenovela-inspired Chicana literature (Caramelo and So Far from God) will be read alongside TV dramedies adapted from Latin American telenovelas (Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin).

Reading Like a Writer: A Short Story Intensive

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 – present
English 179 / Prof. Huneven

In this class, we will learn to read short stories with a writer’s eye to enlarge our understanding of that difficult, capacious form and thus enrich our own fiction writing. Students will read 10 assigned stories, each at least three times: once for pleasure, once critically, and once more, to approach the deep familiarity in which we begin to glimpse the writer at work, making decisions and solving problems.

 

At the end of each reading, students will write a short paragraph about elements they noticed/admired. These 3-part “reading sheets” are due by class time each week. In class, teams of students will present the assigned story.

 

Student fiction writers will be provided with weekly prompts.

 

We will also turn to contemporary practitioners and critics of the form to see how they read and analyze stories. Students are graded on their reading sheets (30%), class participation and presentations (40%), and final project, an essay on a story chosen by the student (30%).

 

Creative Writing Workshops

Admission to all upper-division English Creative Writing workshops is by application ONLY. Please read and follow the posted application instructions carefully.

Creative Writing: Poetry

English 136.1 / Prof. Wilson

Course Description

English 136 is an intensive poetry workshop, and you’ll write a new poem each week. In class, we’ll discuss your work, the work of fellow students, and other assigned readings. Expect many of the same experiences you’d have in any other writing course: group work, peer critique, revision, and discussion of published work. You’ll also be expected to 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 (PTE). If admitted, you must attend the first class.

How to Apply

To apply for the course, submit by e-mail attachment three to five of your best poems. In the body of the e-mail, provide your name, UID number, major, class level, 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!). If you are applying to more than one workshop and have a preference, please indicate that preference so we can try to accommodate it.

The subject line of your message should be your last name followed by the course number (example: Frost 136.1) and it should be sent to rwilson@english.ucla.edu AND creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN YOUR LAST NAME AND “136.1” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

Acceptance Notifications

Accepted students will be notified by e-mail.

Due to the volume of submissions, the professor is unable to provide feedback or suggestions regarding the students’ submitted work.

 

Creative Writing: Poetry

English 136.2 / Prof. Mullen

Course Description:

In this creative writing workshop, students write original poems, a new poem each week, and post weekly drafts for class discussion. Each student also contributes constructive feedback to fellow writers, and makes 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.

How to Apply:

To apply for enrollment, please submit five poems you have written, along with a brief statement about your interest in reading and writing poetry and your previous experience in literature and creative writing courses. Please include your 9-digit UID number and e-mail address. If you are applying to more than one workshop and have a preference, please indicate that preference so we can try to accommodate it.

The subject line of your message should be your last name followed by the course number (example: Gorman 136.2) and it should be sent to mullen@humnet.ucla.edu AND creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN YOUR LAST NAME AND “136.2” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

Acceptance notifications:

Accepted applicants will be notified by email before the first class meeting.

Due to the volume of submissions, the professor is unable to provide feedback or suggestions regarding the students’ submitted work.

 

Creative Writing: Short Story

English 137.1 / Prof. Torres

Course Description:

 

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 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 to recognize what’s best in their work. We’ll also discuss revision and the development of a sound critical faculty.

Enrollment is by instructor consent (PTE).

 

How to Apply:

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 multiple workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference.

 

When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Garcia 137.1). Submissions must be e-mailed to jtorres7@ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

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 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022.

Acceptance Notifications:

 

Accepted applicants will be notified by email before the start of classes.

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 Story

English 137.2 / Prof. Huneven

Course Description:

This class is an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short literary fiction. We will consider the short story form, studying one or more great short stories weekly, which the students will take turns presenting to the class. All students will be expected to read these stories multiple times and annotate them to identify the mechanics and the magic.

Students will write one short story every week for the first five weeks. After that, they will write two slightly longer stories and work on revisions. The goals of the class are 1) to help the students develop a regular practice of writing, 2) to foster and train technical skills, and 3) to develop a sound critical faculty. Emphasis will be on developing the student writer’s individual voice and writing ability.

How to Apply:

Please submit no more than 5 (double-spaced) pages of your fiction and list any 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.) and include your email address. If you are applying to both workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference so we can try to accommodate it.

Submissions must be e-mailed to huneven@me.com and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Dahl 137.2)

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

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022.

You will be notified if you are accepted before classes begin in September.

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

 

 

Senior/Capstone Seminars

Theory of the Novel

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A / Prof. Dimuro

In this seminar we try to answer two basic questions that should interest all students of literature: what is a novel, and why does it matter? We will approach these questions from two related areas of study. These include (1) the novel’s historical emergence as a cultural phenomenon over hundreds of years of development, and (2) the novel as a distinct literary genre with its own narrative conventions, techniques, and conceptions of human character. Both areas have been the subject of intense literary criticism and theoretical speculation for the last hundred years or so. Students will read the most provocative and engaging statements about the novel from these important secondary sources, and will use their insights from them to read three classic novels: Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1864), and Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (1920). Requirements include weekly reports, class discussion, two short papers, and a final longer paper.

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 II1 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.

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 American immigrant experience over the last century. To live between cultures, to experience the confounding processes of racialization and assimilation, to labor to translate one’s deepest interiority into a foreign language––all these aspects of migration make a new imaginative relationship with the world a necessity for the migrant and, as such, are fertile ground for literary exploration and cinematic expression. In this class, we study novels and movies as distinct mediums even as we attend to their affinities, such as an impulse toward narrative storytelling. Among our films, one is from the silent era (Chaplin’s The Immigrant); among our novels, one is a wordless story of sequenced, illustrated panels (Tan’s The Arrival). Other novels include Eugenides’ Middlesex, Ozeki’s A Tale for a Time Being, Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World. Other movies: Coppola’s The Godfather, Nair’s The Namesake, Fukunaga’s Sin Nombre.

 

Enrollment will be restricted to American Literature & Culture seniors on first pass. English seniors may enroll during second pass, space permitting.

Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge

Capstone Seminar
English 184.1 / Prof. Grossman

This seminar will explore Thomas Hardy’s novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy wrote in the late nineteenth-century about the dying rural, farming life of England. He captured the tragedy of how modern global capitalism began eviscerating local ways of life and how old ways of making meaning were transformed. (Not surprisingly, others have adapted and imagined his story elsewhere—as the colonization of California, as a story set in Mexico.) We will discuss this novel’s serialization; its intense rendering of sexual and gender relations; its stark account of poverty and work; and the complexities of its narrative structure. The standardization of industrial production will be of special interest to the instructor. Also, however, your own interests will direct this seminar, and the class is specially designed around one novel so as to allow you to engage with critical and theoretical secondary discussions and to write 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.

Dreams, Visions, and Nightmares in Medieval Literature

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Thomas

Dreams, visions and nightmares are constitutive of medieval literature writ large. They are ubiquitous in hagiographical writings, academic commentaries, theological treatises and poetic compositions. They often inaugurate treatises and tales, raise expectations, fulfill or even frustrate audience expectations. Wherever they occur, they offer a space for thinking through the relations between the real and the visionary, between the historical and the fantastic, between the empirically verifiable and the spiritually valuable, between medieval discourses or disciplines including rhetoric, history, law, and theology. In this research-centered course, we will explore dreams, visions and nightmares in texts ranging from the “lives” of premodern holy women and men. Our focus will be on the ways in which writers handle dream experiences not just for their content but also their form. Central to this research-heavy seminar are the resources at the Grace M. Hunt Memorial English Reading Room and the library-related services of Lynda Tolly and Hillary Gordon.

Queer Indigenous Literatures

Topics in Gender and Sexuality
English M191E / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

This course considers the intersections of queerness and Indigeneity in the Indigenous literatures of North America. Reading fiction, poetry, performance, and critical theory, we will trace the ways that queer Indigenous literatures craft decolonial conceptions of gender, sexuality, the erotic, kinship, and futurity. We will ask, what roles have queer Indigenous literatures played in histories of Indigenous art and critical thought in North America? We will consider how queer Indigenous literatures represent vital spaces for enacting anticolonial politics, ethics, and relationships with the more-than-human world.

Enrollment will be restricted to American Literature & Culture seniors on first pass. English seniors may enroll during second pass, space permitting.