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

Spring 2022

Lower Division Courses in English (Freshman, Sophomore)

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 specifically marked sections may be 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. McEachern

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, 1850 to present

English 10C / Prof. Grossman

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

English 20W / Elliott-Newton; Stanford; Iszak

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 February 27. 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 February 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.

Environmental Literature and Culture

English M30 / Prof. Heise

Introduction to core themes, questions, and methods within interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. Examination of how different culture forms (e.g., fiction, journalism, poetry, visual art) represent environmental issues. Topics may include biodiversity, wilderness, food, urban ecologies, postcolonial ecologies, environmental justice, and climate change.

This course is a required preparatory course for the minor in Literature and the Environment.

Embrowning Literature: Latina/o Philosophy and Culture

Topics in American Culture
English 87 / Prof. Aviles Rodriguez

Beyond stories, poems and essays this course will explore lowrider and food truck culture on its way to problematizing traditional views of Latina/o contributions to North American literature. This class will interrogate selected texts and artifacts produced both by and about people of Latin American extraction from the pre-colonial period to the 1960s. In this class we will treat history as a dynamic and evolving narrative, which both illuminates and occludes, helping us to study Latina/o cultural production not simply for its history, but for the ways in which the telling of that history operates to sustain hierarchies of power. More specifically, this course focuses on works of thinkers, poets, and philosophers from across North and South America, and concentrates on 20th-century Latina/o letters. We will also examine other cultural artifacts such as murals, myths and songs. Class readings include works by Gloria Anzaldúa, Gabriela Mistral, Cherríe Moraga, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, and Diana Taylor.

 

This course is a required preparation course for the American Literature and Culture major. Students in other majors may enroll, space permitting, for Foundations or Diversity credit.

Shakespeare

English 90 / Prof. Watson

Not open for credit to English majors or students with credit for course 150A or 150B. Survey of Shakespeare’s plays, including comedies, tragedies, and histories, selected to represent Shakespeare’s breadth, artistic progress, and total dramatic achievement.

Introduction to Fiction

English 91C / Prof. North

Introduction to prose narrative, its techniques and forms. Analysis of short and long narratives and of critical issues such as plot, characterization, setting, narrative voice, realistic and nonrealistic forms.

Introduction to Graphic Fiction

English 91D / Prof. Snelson

Introduction to popularity and important cultural work of comic books and graphic novels. Emphasis on how text and image combine to create meaning, including problem of appropriateness of comics for serious cultural topics.

Crip Theory: Diagnosis and Disability in American Literature

English 98TW / TA Delchamps
ONLINE CLASS

Crip Theory is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and vocabulary to question the similarities between diagnosis and literary interpretation. As we explore disability as a facet of human diversity, we will discuss crip theory—a critical approach that challenges the notion that one must receive a diagnosis to be included in disability communities—and ask questions about diagnosis: How does diagnosis save lives—and destroy them, when misused for social control? How does literature speak to the necessity and desirability of diagnosis? Are we tempted to diagnose authors and characters who seem to diverge from the “normal,” and what might the consequences be if we yield to that temptation? How do texts formally challenge a diagnostic gaze? To respond to these questions, students will close read, discuss, and write about American literary works while together we define and unravel terms including disability, crip, and intersectionality.

 

This course confers Writing II credit. Dept. of English majors who wish to take this course in lieu of English 4W should speak with a departmental advisor.

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 Spring meeting (time and day posted in the Schedule of Classes.)

UCLAPoem

Undergraduate Practicum in English
English M192.2 / Prof. Wilson

This course is for students in UCLAPoem (https://www.instagram.com/uclapoem/).  If you’re interested in reading and discussing published poetry, and in helping to plan and organize public poetry events and activities throughout the year, come to the first Spring meeting (time and day posted in the Schedule of Classes.)

 

Analytical Writing Courses

English major Electives may be selected from 5-unit upper-division English courses numbered 100 to M191E, including the analytical writing courses in the English 110 series.

Public Readers, Public Writers: Writing about Books for a 21st-Century Audience

English 110C / Prof. Stephan

Students will learn the art and craft of the book review with a focus on the what, why, and how of literary criticism for a general (rather than for a specifically academic) 21st-century audience, looking at reviews of literary texts from the 18th century to the present. We’ll examine the recent developments in literary and cultural criticism that have led to the emergence of internet publications dedicated to those forms, including sites like Public Books and the Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as the ways in which national and global periodicals have successfully adapted their book review sections to reach a wider internet-based audience. Finally, we’ll look at the ways in which contemporary book reviews encompass other forms of culture, especially visual and digital culture. Students will compile a portfolio of criticism and other writing, as well as a critical analysis of the role of cultural criticism in historical and current contexts.

 

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

Women Writers at Work: Professionalization and Gender

Writing in the English Major: Variable Topics
English 110V / Prof. Stephan

In this course, students will explore the ramifications of gender for the careers of professional women writers from the 18th century to the present day. Since women began pushing for inclusion in the ranks of those who claim writing as their career, additional challenges have been placed in their way, meaning that to be a woman writing professionally has always been complicated by gendered ideas about what women can and cannot do outside the domestic sphere. We will consider the works of women writers who wrote directly and indirectly about their professional lives, as well as historical and critical texts that will establish the contexts in which they wrote. Students will write in a variety of modes about the effect of gender on writers’ professional identity; workshops, peer review, and revision will play a large part in our work. Their final portfolio will include a combination research project and personal essay on professionalization, writing, and gender.

 

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

 

Literatures in English Before 1500

**Please note that for Spring 2022, all pre-1500 courses will be restricted to SENIOR English majors on first pass. Enrollment will open up to other class standings on second pass.

Early Medieval Literature

English 141A / Prof. Jager
ONLINE CLASS

We will read and discuss a selection of English poetry and prose from before the Norman Conquest of 1066, including the complete Beowulf and other heroic poetry, works featuring women, saints, scops (bards) and Vikings, and an early romance.  All texts are in translation, but we will practice reading Old English aloud.  We will also discuss the origins of the English language and its literature in a Roman Britain conquered by Germanic tribes and shaped by political, religious and aesthetic factors. Requirements: regular reading quizzes, a short imaginative essay and a longer research paper.

 

This class will be reserved for senior English majors on first pass, and will open up to non-seniors on second pass.

Demonizing Others: Identify and Alterity in Later Medieval Literature

Later Medieval Literature–Research Component
English 142R / Prof. Kelner

Demons, angels, monsters, and giants: these were some of the figures that late-medieval authors imagined as they sought to understand the intersecting categories of identity recognized in modernity as race, gender, and religion. Students consider how writers in the late Middle Ages drew on the language of good and evil, virtue and vice, sin and salvation in representing notions of alterity and belonging, in works ranging from the romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, to William Langland’s dream vision Piers Plowman, to works of medieval drama, to mystical writing by early women authors like Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. How did medieval writers understand what we now consider categories of identity? How do works of medieval literature formulate visions of inclusion and exclusion?

 

This class will be reserved for senior English majors on first pass, and will open up to non-seniors on second pass.

Fantasies of the Past

Medievalisms
English 149 / Prof. Kelner

What did J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis have in common? The simple answer is that both were British writers centered at the University of Oxford during the 1930s and ‘40s who wrote acclaimed works of fantasy and science fiction. It is less often observed that Tolkien and Lewis were also scholars fascinated by the literature, religion, and culture of the Middle Ages. This course takes this apparently unlikely juncture between fantasy writing and medieval literature as its starting point. Students explore works of fantasy fiction and literary criticism by Tolkien and Lewis alongside the works from the Middle Ages that inspired them, as well as writing by some of their near-contemporaries who likewise reimagined the medieval past. How did writers during the World Wars and interwar period in England engage with the Middle Ages? Why did fantasy writing become such a powerful vehicle for reinventing the past?

 

This class will be reserved for senior English majors on first pass, and will open up to non-seniors on second pass.

Literatures in English 1500-1700

Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays

English 150A / Prof. Dickey

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

Shakespeare: Later Plays

English 150B / Prof. McEachern

A study of selected later plays of William Shakespeare.

Staging Race in Early Modern England

Theatrical Renaissance: Early Modern Texts and Performances
English 153 / Prof. Wagner

In this course, we will explore how early modern dramatists staged race. Readings will include masques and plays by Richard Brome, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, George Peele, William Shakespeare, and John Webster. We will also read excerpts from early modern ethnographies, mythologies, and travel narratives in order to understand the theater’s central role in constructing racial hierarchies in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Our examinations of race in the early modern period will pay close attention to representations of gender, disability, class, and empire.

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 153 with Dr. Wagner in 21F or English 182B.1 with Prof. Little in 16F.

The English Erotic Lyric: 1560 – 1640

Renaissance Subjects
English 155 / Prof. Shuger

The class will begin with the foundational discourses of early modern eroticism: Plato’s Symposium; Ovid’s Amores and/or Ars amatoria; and Petrarch’s Rime sparse. We will then turn to the erotic lyrics of the English Renaissance (Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Donne’s Songs and Sonnets, plus poems by Lodge, Herrick, Strode, or at least some of the above). Each student will write  weekly short (1-2 pp.) papers. Attendance and participation are normally required, but I will try to made a Bruincast recording available to those who find themselves in quarantine or otherwise prevented from coming to campus.

Note: none of this poetry is remotely pornographic, although some of it deals with subjects one might not wish to explain to young children. But, in general, the only body parts to which reference is made are the heart and eyes. This is a course about eros, not libido.

Colonial Beginnings of American Literature [PRE-1848 COURSE]

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.

 

**This course fulfills the pre-1848 requirement for the American Literature & Culture major. Enrollment will be limited to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass; English majors may enroll during second pass.

Literatures in English 1700-1850

American Literature, 1776 to 1832 [PRE-1848 COURSE]

English 166B / Prof. Silva

This course is a survey of American literature from the period broadly known as the Age of Revolutions. We will read a range of texts (including novels, poetry, autobiographies, essays, manifestos, and speeches) that respond to the major political, social, and aesthetic movements of the era. We will consider, for example, how colonies reimagined themselves as nations, how theorists reimagined the functions of liberalism and citizenship, and how writers reimagined the work of history and literature. At each stage, we will be attentive to the diverse voices that shaped the modern world as well as to the many acts of resistance to dispossession and enslavement that defined the ethical boundaries of our work.

 

**This course fulfills the pre-1848 requirement for the American Literature & Culture major. Enrollment will be limited to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass; English majors may enroll during second pass.

American Literature, 1832 to 1865

English 166C / Prof. M. Gallagher

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

Major American Writers

English 168 / Prof. M. Gallagher

Broad survey of representative American writers across several centuries, designed to give concise account of broad narrative of American literary development, from origins through 19th century. Includes mainly works that have traditionally been identified as American classics and asks both what makes American literature distinctive and what its relations are to other literatures in English.

 

Literatures in English 1850 – Present

Queer American Autobiography

Studies in Queer Literatures and Cultures
English M101D / Prof. Looby

Autobiography has been essential to the emergence of queer identities in the modern world. Autobiographies, memoirs, and other genres of self-writing have to do with selfhood and subjectivity; gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and other queer forms of selfhood and subjectivity have often been articulated in such forms and even, it can be argued, were substantially created by autobiographical forms. This course will explore various self-authoring forms (including several diaries, a travel narrative, several memoirs, a medical case study, a graphic novel, and a film). Some of them are queer in ways anyone would recognize, such as Mary MacLane’s remarkable I Await the Devil’s Coming (first published in 1902 under a more innocuous title, The Story of Mary MacLane), Ralph Werther’s Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918), Jonathan Caouette’s film Tarnation (2003), and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006). Others will test the boundaries of what we mean by “queer,” for example the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth (1653-1657) and Margaret J. M. Sweat’s autobiographical novel, Ethel’s Love-Life (1859). Careful attention will be given to the ways in which queer gender and sexuality intersect with experiences of race, ethnicity, class, and nationality.

 

Texts:

 

Wigglesworth, Michael. The Diary of Michael Wigglesworth, 1653-1657.

Sweat, Margaret J. M. Ethel’s Love-Life. 1859.

Whitman, Walt. Memoranda During the War. 1875-76.

MacLane, Mary. The Story of Mary MacLane. 1902.

Werther, Ralph. Autobiography of an Androgyne. 1922.

Arenas, Reinaldo. Before Night Falls: A Memoir. 1992.

Caouette, Jonathan. Tarnation. 2004.

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home. 2006.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English M101D with Professor Looby in 21S.

Historical Survey of Asian American Literature

English M102A / Prof. Ling

This course examines a range of Asian American literary writings—autobiography, the historical novel, modernist narrative, short fiction, critical essays, and drama, among others—which depicts Asians’ experiences in the United States from the early twentieth century to the 1990s, with a majority of the course material focused on what happened in the pre-1980 period. Issues to look at include colonialism; trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic Asian migration; war memory; exile; interethnic and generational dynamics; social activism, and race, gender, and class formations. Lectures will focus on making sense of texts in contexts, with an emphasis on how the narrative voices, thematic concerns, and formal properties of the works examined are shaped by the interplay between authorial aspiration, readerly expectation, and circumstantial constraints.

Racial Fantasies and Futures

Contemporary Asian American Literary Issues and Criticism
English M102B / Prof. Toy

Asian Americans have been represented in popular culture as both model minority and yellow peril—objects of desire and anxiety—across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  This course considers how Asian American artists, filmmakers, and writers have negotiated these fantasies and fears of Asia—its cultural influence, its economic might, and its military ascendance—in imagining revisionist histories, alternative timelines, and possible futures.  Topics may include: cultural and ethnic fetishization, atmo- and techno-orientalism, as well as biopolitics and public health.

Hip Hop Poetics

Topics in African American Literature and Culture
English M104E / Prof. Bradley

Watch the wordplay in Morgan Parker’s poem “Now More Than Ever.” Listen for anaphora on the second verse of Kendrick Lamar’s “FEAR.” A new generation of Black artists—both poets and rappers—are consciously forging closer kinship between the genres on the level of poetics. They draw from a common toolbox of language, use the same social platforms to reach their audiences, and respond to common political and social provocations to create public art. In doing so, rappers and the poets who claim affinity with them are resuscitating a body of literary practices stretching back centuries.

 

In this course we will explore hip hop’s poetics as it manifests itself from the top of the Billboard charts to the pages of pathbreaking poets. Along the way, we’ll be asking a number of questions, including: How does rap extend the Western poetic tradition and how does it complicate it? How has rap changed over the past decade? How has poetry changed because of rap? Among the performers and poets we’ll consider are: J. Cole, Megan thee Stallion, Juice WRLD, Rapsody, Nipsey Hussle, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Erica Dawson, Danez Smith, Eve Ewing, and Kyle Dargan.

Chicana/o Literature from Mexican Revolution to el Movimiento, 1920s to 1970s

English M105B / Prof. Aviles Rodriguez

Chicana/Chicano literature from 1920s through Great Depression and World War II, ending with Chicana/Chicano civil rights movement. Oral and written narratives by writers including Conrado Espinoza, Jovita González, Cleofas Jaramillo, Angelico Chávez, Mario Suárez, Oscar Acosta, and Evangelina Vigil.

Crossing Racial Boundaries in Post-Civil Rights Fiction and Film

Interracial Encounters
English 108 / Prof. Streeter

In this lecture we examine fiction, film and popular cultural materials depicting interracial relationships and mixed-race identities in the United States. We pay particular attention to how writers engage intersecting categories of social identity, including gender, ethnicity, sexuality and economic class in plots and characters. The class also looks at how imaginative literature intersects with historical conditions, contemporary society and personal experience in its representation of racial crossing and mixing. Novels include Caucasia (Danzy Senna) and A Feather on the Breath of God (Sigrid Nunez). Films include Banana Split (Kip Fulbeck) and Multifacial (Vin Diesel).

Literary Creoles, Invented Tongues: Novels in Non-standard Englishes

Experimental Fiction
English 116A / Prof. Stefans

What are the differences between a spoken language and a “literary” language? What constitutes the “standard” or “official” language of a nation when most nations have a wealth of dialects and street idioms spoken within them? What happens when geopolitical forces such as war, colonization and forced immigration cause languages to mix such that new “languages” emerge? And how can we imagine, given the history of linguistic miscegenation and transformation, “English” in the near and far future? These are among the many questions we will consider through works that, on the one hand, mine the rich store of “non-standard” Englishes employed by people today, and, on the other, speculate on how “English” will be transformed years from now after (imaginary, but not impossible) political events — the ascendance of a new global international power, for example, or a nuclear apocalypse — have created situations where languages are either forgotten or merge and transform each other. The first two weeks will focus on basic linguistic theory and the history of English, providing the student with some tools with which to investigate the syntactic, lexical, semantic and phonetic bases of a “language.” We will also review some early 20th-century experiments with non-standard Englishes in short excerpts from works by authors such as Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, James Joyce, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston and others. The next two weeks focus on science fiction: Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (which, trigger warning, depicts scenes of extreme violence) and Russell Holban’s Riddley Walker. We then move on to acclaimed works written in actual, if not conventionally literary, Englishes: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Jamaican author Nicole Dennis-Benn’s recent, widely acclaimed, novel Patsy. After a session on “the poetics of the Americas” about poetry from North America, the course closes with two works not from the Americas: Nigerian author Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English and Scottish author Irving Welsh’s Trainspotting. Students in this course should be prepared to read around 300 pages of fiction a week. However, all of the novels assigned are very entertaining and accessible (and will be often accompanied by lexicons). Assignments include short weekly response papers and a final paper which can develop an idea from one of the response papers.

Infrastructure and the Built Environment

Literature and Environment
English 118E / Prof. Toy

The emerging field of critical infrastructure studies offers an alternative way of imagining the relationship between people and the built environment, taking into consideration the human and nonhuman entanglements that structure everyday life.  This course considers how artists, filmmakers, and writers from low-income communities and communities of color have positioned infrastructure as the locus for narratives of cultural, political, and social conflict.  As we navigate an array of literary, ethnographic, and multimedia texts, we will address the following questions: how can attention to the materiality, politics, and temporality of infrastructure reframe conventional understandings of space, place, and the environment?  How do core literary methodologies, including the practice of close reading, enrich and supplement the study of infrastructure, which has largely emerged in cultural anthropology?  And, perhaps most importantly, how does infrastructure impact the way we approach and engage with the world at large?

Noisy Books: Reading and Listening to Postcolonial African Literature

Studies in Postcolonial Literature
English 131 / Prof. Newman

This course introduces students to 20th- and 21st-century African literature with a focus on the representation of sound in Anglophone writing. There is no regional or national limitation to African literature in this course: students will explore African literary traditions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the diaspora. Sound is also broadly conceived in this course to allow examination of a range of sonic phenomena such as orality, voice, noise, music, audio technology, and soundscapes of the natural world. Students will investigate – among other questions – how indigenous oral traditions have influenced the novel in Africa, how Black voices are constructed, how disabled speech is written on the page, how African fiction has developed alongside trends in music, and how sound gives shape to social relations like nationalism or pan-Africanism. Assigned reading and listening will include novels, short stories, poems, films, podcasts, and audiobooks, alongside theory and criticism.

Tongues of Settlement: Where the World Becomes Basque

Transatlantic Literatures and Cultures
English 133 / Prof. Allmendinger

The Basques were the first people to settle in central Europe.  They speak the world’s most difficult language, which is unrelated to any other language known to humankind.  They also have the rarest blood type on earth.  This course will include a history of the Basques, their immigration to the American West, and their contributions to literature, sports, dancing, and music.  We will also study travel guides, language acquisition materials, and transnational scholarship that examines similarities and differences between Basque Americans and their European ancestors.

 

Requirements:  One 10-15 page research paper (75% of your grade), attendance and regular participation in class discussions (25%).

Ralph Ellison

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Bradley

Invisible Man, the book with which Ralph Ellison is synonymous and the only novel that he published during his lifetime, turns 70 this spring. A novel of race and identity, Invisible Man has surging relevance for our time. However, Ellison’s impact cannot be subsumed in a single novel—even one as powerful as Invisible Man. He was a supremely gifted essayist; a writer of short fiction; an accomplished photographer; and the author of a sprawling second novel left unfinished at his death in 1994, published posthumously years later in two editions.

 

This course provides a chance to study Ralph Ellison in full, through close engagement with his defining novel as well as attention to his rich contributions as one of the preeminent Black artists and intellectuals of the 20thcentury. We’ll read broadly across Ellison’s major works and consider the relationships among his fiction, essays, interviews, letters, and photographs. At the same time, we’ll engage the numerous strains of critical and theoretical discourse that surround his work. Finally, the course will provide unparalleled access to Ellison’s literary archive: the unpublished notes, drafts, and other personal materials housed at the Library of Congress.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Mullen

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), a quintessentially American poet of widespread and indelible influence, was the first black person to win a Pulitzer Prize, for Annie Allen, in 1950. After Robert Hayden, of Detroit, Brooks was the second African American to serve as U.S. Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, the equivalent of today’s U.S. Poet Laureate. Born in Topeka, Kansas (landmark of a transformational 1954 Supreme Court case), at age six Brooks moved with her family to Chicago, home of the poet Carl Sandburg, where she would spend the rest of her life. As a resident of the racially red-lined neighborhood of Bronzeville, Brooks observed and experienced the indignities as well as the triumphs of 20th-century African Americans, turning their everyday struggles and celebrations into vital literary expressions of the human spirit.

 

Spanning from the end of World War I to the beginning of the 21st century, the poet’s life and work encompass significant developments of modernity, from the struggle for civil rights and black empowerment to feminism and other liberation movements. The poet’s family was part of the great migration of African Americans from the rural South, where her grandparents had been enslaved in Kentucky and Tennessee, to the urban North where her father worked as a janitor, never realizing his dream of becoming a physician. Planting seeds of hope in their offspring, her parents were keen to support their daughter’s literary aspirations.

 

As a poet, Brooks participated in important literary movements that signaled her transition from traditional metered verse to alternative forms such as the sonnet-ballad, to modernist free verse and poems crafted with urgent messages for black readers. Having been encouraged in her youth by Langston Hughes, Brooks was known throughout her life for mentoring and encouraging younger poets. Our reading for this course will include a substantial selection of her poetry as well as her distinctive novel, Maud Martha.

 

Major American Writers

English 168 / Prof. M. Gallagher

Broad survey of representative American writers across several centuries, designed to give concise account of broad narrative of American literary development, from origins through 19th century. Includes mainly works that have traditionally been identified as American classics and asks both what makes American literature distinctive and what its relations are to other literatures in English.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Dimuro

This course is about emergence of literary realism in the United States from the beginning of Reconstruction to the dawn of the twentieth century. During this period, American writers developed a broad range of prose styles. Mark Twain, Kate Chopin, Charles W. Chesnutt, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, and others we will study explored provocative social issues that remain relevant to understanding American culture then and now. Against the historical background of racial conflict, political fragmentation, the growth of cities, advances in technology, gender inequalities, and the rise of consumerism, the books we will read explore the relationship between art and society, representation and reality, and the place of literature in the rapidly expanding nation. Our reading will take us to the deep South, to a coastal community in Maine, to a violent race riot in North Carolina, to the crowded and bustling cities of Chicago and New York, and to a resort island off the coast of New Orleans. We will study the formal innovations of narrative art in each text, discuss the ethical dimensions of each work, and explore the question of canonicity and cultural values that have attached to each of the authors on our reading list.

Later Victorian Poetry: Aesthetes, Decadents, Imperialists

Late 19th-Century Poetry
English 171A / Prof. Bristow

This course explores the development of English, Irish, and Indian poetry in relation to several late nineteenth-century cultural and political movements: aestheticism, decadence, and imperialism. The syllabus begins with the controversial poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne and Dante Gabriel Rossetti before moving to the writings of significant women poets, including Amy Levy and Michael Field (the professional name of the coauthors Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper). Special attention will be paid to the emergence of decadent poetics in the 1890s, particularly in relation to the writings of Arthur Symons and Ernest Dowson. We will also look closely at Oscar Wilde’s poetry, which addresses such topics as homoeroticism and prison reform. Different aspects of anti-colonial and imperial politics will be examined in the writings of Sarojini Naidu and Rudyard Kipling.

20th Century British Poetry

English 171B / Prof. Jaurretche

In this class we will read major British poets from 1900 to the present.  We’ll begin with study of Thomas Hardy and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and incorporate the poets of World War I. The greater part of the course will be given over to detailed study of the writings of William Butler Yeats and T.S. Eliot. Our term will conclude with introduction to contemporary British poets such as Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Eavan Boland, and others. The class will have a mid-term and final examination, and require one paper.

The Love Story

American Fiction since 1945
English 174B / Prof. Simpson

We will consider the evolution of narratives inventing, defining and interrogating romantic love.

US Fiction since the Cold War

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C / 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 Jeffrey Eugenides, Percival Everett, Junot Diaz, and Jennifer Egan.

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 174C with Prof. Huehls in 16S, 17F, or 21S.

Recent Black and Asian Fiction, Poetry, and Drama in Britain

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.1 / Prof. D’Aguiar

The idea of a changed Britain has much to do with its colonial legacy. The arts of descendants of the former colonies living in the UK have altered how the country sees its past, present and future. We read ficton, poetry, plays and essays, and view films, videos and web materials generated by British Black and Asian Writers.

 

Requirements

Student read weekly assignments and write three essays during the quarter as well as contribute short responses from small group discussions. The final class grade is a mix of student attendance, participation in class discussion, and completion of three assigned essays (each of which is graded).

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 179 on the same topic with Prof. D’Aguiar in previous quarters.

The Art of the Novel from Austen to Wharton

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

This course considers the generic development of the English novel throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. We will track the novel’s artistic transformation from a popular choice of entertainment to a prestigious literary form with wide cultural implications. We will read five different masterpieces, each of which highlights a number of important achievements in narrative form and theme: Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1864), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872), Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1882), and Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (1920). Discussions will include historical and social background, economics, narrative theory, issues around sexuality and social class, as well as style and structure. There are two papers and a comprehensive final examination, in addition to a weekly discussion board. (1850-present), (GICT).

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 164C with Prof. Dimuro in Fall 2018 or 2019 or Spring 2021.

Illness and Narratives in Literature and Philosophy

ONLINE CLASS
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.3 / Prof. Kaufman

This course traces the theme of illness in American and European literary and philosophical texts from the late 19th century through the late 20th century.  It will consider depictions of physical and mental illness and the way factors such as cultural and intellectual background, and gender and sexual orientation, affect the perception of both patients and caretakers.  It will also consider Continental philosophical writings about illness and their pronounced tendency to de-pathologize the experience of illness, compared to other narrative and philosophical approaches.  We will read fictional and creative non-fictional selections by authors such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Helen Keller, David Wojnarowicz, Hervé Guibert, Diana Fuss, and Anne Fadiman; and critical and philosophical works by thinkers such as Nietzsche, Foucault, Fanon, Weil, and Sontag.

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

Ways of Reading Race

English 100 / Prof. Cheung

Introduction to interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity, with primary focus on literature. Through examination of institutions that form understanding of race—citizenship, nationalism, class, gender, and labor—interrogation of how we come to think of ourselves and others as having race, and effects of such racialized thinking. Course is not about any particular racial or ethnic group, but highlights creation of ethnic categories and their effects on cultural production.

Queer American Autobiography

Studies in Queer Literatures and Cultures
English M101D / Prof. Looby

Autobiography has been essential to the emergence of queer identities in the modern world. Autobiographies, memoirs, and other genres of self-writing have to do with selfhood and subjectivity; gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and other queer forms of selfhood and subjectivity have often been articulated in such forms and even, it can be argued, were substantially created by autobiographical forms. This course will explore various self-authoring forms (including several diaries, a travel narrative, several memoirs, a medical case study, a graphic novel, and a film). Some of them are queer in ways anyone would recognize, such as Mary MacLane’s remarkable I Await the Devil’s Coming (first published in 1902 under a more innocuous title, The Story of Mary MacLane), Ralph Werther’s Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918), Jonathan Caouette’s film Tarnation (2003), and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006). Others will test the boundaries of what we mean by “queer,” for example the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth (1653-1657) and Margaret J. M. Sweat’s autobiographical novel, Ethel’s Love-Life (1859). Careful attention will be given to the ways in which queer gender and sexuality intersect with experiences of race, ethnicity, class, and nationality.

 

Texts:

 

Wigglesworth, Michael. The Diary of Michael Wigglesworth, 1653-1657.

Sweat, Margaret J. M. Ethel’s Love-Life. 1859.

Whitman, Walt. Memoranda During the War. 1875-76.

MacLane, Mary. The Story of Mary MacLane. 1902.

Werther, Ralph. Autobiography of an Androgyne. 1922.

Arenas, Reinaldo. Before Night Falls: A Memoir. 1992.

Caouette, Jonathan. Tarnation. 2004.

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home. 2006.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English M101D with Professor Looby in 21S.

Historical Survey of Asian American Literature

English M102A / Prof. Ling

This course examines a range of Asian American literary writings—autobiography, the historical novel, modernist narrative, short fiction, critical essays, and drama, among others—which depicts Asians’ experiences in the United States from the early twentieth century to the 1990s, with a majority of the course material focused on what happened in the pre-1980 period. Issues to look at include colonialism; trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic Asian migration; war memory; exile; interethnic and generational dynamics; social activism, and race, gender, and class formations. Lectures will focus on making sense of texts in contexts, with an emphasis on how the narrative voices, thematic concerns, and formal properties of the works examined are shaped by the interplay between authorial aspiration, readerly expectation, and circumstantial constraints.

Racial Fantasies and Futures

Contemporary Asian American Literary Issues and Criticism
English M102B / Prof. Toy

Asian Americans have been represented in popular culture as both model minority and yellow peril—objects of desire and anxiety—across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  This course considers how Asian American artists, filmmakers, and writers have negotiated these fantasies and fears of Asia—its cultural influence, its economic might, and its military ascendance—in imagining revisionist histories, alternative timelines, and possible futures.  Topics may include: cultural and ethnic fetishization, atmo- and techno-orientalism, as well as biopolitics and public health.

Hip Hop Poetics

Topics in African American Literature and Culture
English M104E / Prof. Bradley

Watch the wordplay in Morgan Parker’s poem “Now More Than Ever.” Listen for anaphora on the second verse of Kendrick Lamar’s “FEAR.” A new generation of Black artists—both poets and rappers—are consciously forging closer kinship between the genres on the level of poetics. They draw from a common toolbox of language, use the same social platforms to reach their audiences, and respond to common political and social provocations to create public art. In doing so, rappers and the poets who claim affinity with them are resuscitating a body of literary practices stretching back centuries.

 

In this course we will explore hip hop’s poetics as it manifests itself from the top of the Billboard charts to the pages of pathbreaking poets. Along the way, we’ll be asking a number of questions, including: How does rap extend the Western poetic tradition and how does it complicate it? How has rap changed over the past decade? How has poetry changed because of rap? Among the performers and poets we’ll consider are: J. Cole, Megan thee Stallion, Juice WRLD, Rapsody, Nipsey Hussle, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Erica Dawson, Danez Smith, Eve Ewing, and Kyle Dargan.

Chicana/o Literature from Mexican Revolution to el Movimiento, 1920s to 1970s

English M105B / Prof. Aviles Rodriguez

Chicana/Chicano literature from 1920s through Great Depression and World War II, ending with Chicana/Chicano civil rights movement. Oral and written narratives by writers including Conrado Espinoza, Jovita González, Cleofas Jaramillo, Angelico Chávez, Mario Suárez, Oscar Acosta, and Evangelina Vigil.

Indigenous Literatures of North America

Studies in Native American and Indigenous Literatures
English 106 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

In this course, we will be introduced to the Indigenous literatures of North America by reading Indigenous fiction and poetry from Canada and the United States. We will analyze how authors imagine decolonial forms of memory, kinship, gender, and sexuality. Our readings will trace the ways that Indigenous literatures enact healing connections to homelands, waters, and more-than-human life through Indigenous cosmologies. We will examine how writers imagine Indigenous futures beyond colonialism while critiquing settler-imperial violences of the past and present. We will also consider the ways that Indigenous literatures represent significant sites of ecological, feminist, queer and political theorizing and thought.

Crossing Racial Boundaries in Post-Civil Rights Fiction and Film

Interracial Encounters
English 108 / Prof. Streeter

In this lecture we examine fiction, film and popular cultural materials depicting interracial relationships and mixed-race identities in the United States. We pay particular attention to how writers engage intersecting categories of social identity, including gender, ethnicity, sexuality and economic class in plots and characters. The class also looks at how imaginative literature intersects with historical conditions, contemporary society and personal experience in its representation of racial crossing and mixing. Novels include Caucasia (Danzy Senna) and A Feather on the Breath of God (Sigrid Nunez). Films include Banana Split (Kip Fulbeck) and Multifacial (Vin Diesel).

Queer Indigenous Literatures

Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

This course considers the intersections of queerness and Indigeneity in the Indigenous literatures of North America. Reading fiction, poetry, performance, visual culture, and critical theory, we will trace the ways that queer Indigenous literatures craft decolonial conceptions of gender, sexuality, the erotic, and futurity. Listening to and thinking with these artists, we will consider the centrality of dismantling settler-imperial heteropatriarchy to Indigenous practices of decolonization. We also examine how queer Indigenous speculative and ecological writing represent vital spaces for enacting anticolonial politics, ethics, and relationships with the more-than-human world.

 

Not open for credit to any student having completed English M191E/LGBTQS M191E in 19F or 20F.

Women Writers at Work: Professionalization and Gender

Writing in the English Major: Variable Topics
English 110V / Prof. Stephan

In this course, students will explore the ramifications of gender for the careers of professional women writers from the 18th century to the present day. Since women began pushing for inclusion in the ranks of those who claim writing as their career, additional challenges have been placed in their way, meaning that to be a woman writing professionally has always been complicated by gendered ideas about what women can and cannot do outside the domestic sphere. We will consider the works of women writers who wrote directly and indirectly about their professional lives, as well as historical and critical texts that will establish the contexts in which they wrote. Students will write in a variety of modes about the effect of gender on writers’ professional identity; workshops, peer review, and revision will play a large part in our work. Their final portfolio will include a combination research project and personal essay on professionalization, writing, and gender.

 

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

Democracy’s No-Place: The Literature of Greater Britain

Culture and Imperialism
English 132.1 / Prof. Vignola

This class will explore the literature of British settler colonialism in the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on depictions of Indigeneity and the role of speculative fiction in shaping imperial identities. Readings will include novels, poems, and non-fiction from or about South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

What Was America?

Literature of the Americas
English 135 / Prof. Fosbury

America was not discovered. It was invented. America is as much an idea or an art project as it is a place or a polity. In this course, we will investigate the many meanings of America in literary history. We will start with the first contacts between Indigenous peoples and European colonizers in the early modern era, and we will end when the United States begins to monopolize the term in the nineteenth century. Our studies will take us between North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean as we investigate how empire, colonialism, slavery, transnational dynamics, and cross-cultural transformations among indigenous, European, and African civilizations impacted the history of “America.” Together, we will question how America was invented, and often contested, in literary forms and genres that range from colonial records and natural histories to poems and novels. In these ways of writing about America, what did the place and term mean to different people at different times in the past? What was America then, and how does it help us understand what it is today?

Ralph Ellison

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Bradley

Invisible Man, the book with which Ralph Ellison is synonymous and the only novel that he published during his lifetime, turns 70 this spring. A novel of race and identity, Invisible Man has surging relevance for our time. However, Ellison’s impact cannot be subsumed in a single novel—even one as powerful as Invisible Man. He was a supremely gifted essayist; a writer of short fiction; an accomplished photographer; and the author of a sprawling second novel left unfinished at his death in 1994, published posthumously years later in two editions.

 

This course provides a chance to study Ralph Ellison in full, through close engagement with his defining novel as well as attention to his rich contributions as one of the preeminent Black artists and intellectuals of the 20thcentury. We’ll read broadly across Ellison’s major works and consider the relationships among his fiction, essays, interviews, letters, and photographs. At the same time, we’ll engage the numerous strains of critical and theoretical discourse that surround his work. Finally, the course will provide unparalleled access to Ellison’s literary archive: the unpublished notes, drafts, and other personal materials housed at the Library of Congress.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Mullen

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), a quintessentially American poet of widespread and indelible influence, was the first black person to win a Pulitzer Prize, for Annie Allen, in 1950. After Robert Hayden, of Detroit, Brooks was the second African American to serve as U.S. Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, the equivalent of today’s U.S. Poet Laureate. Born in Topeka, Kansas (landmark of a transformational 1954 Supreme Court case), at age six Brooks moved with her family to Chicago, home of the poet Carl Sandburg, where she would spend the rest of her life. As a resident of the racially red-lined neighborhood of Bronzeville, Brooks observed and experienced the indignities as well as the triumphs of 20th-century African Americans, turning their everyday struggles and celebrations into vital literary expressions of the human spirit.

 

Spanning from the end of World War I to the beginning of the 21st century, the poet’s life and work encompass significant developments of modernity, from the struggle for civil rights and black empowerment to feminism and other liberation movements. The poet’s family was part of the great migration of African Americans from the rural South, where her grandparents had been enslaved in Kentucky and Tennessee, to the urban North where her father worked as a janitor, never realizing his dream of becoming a physician. Planting seeds of hope in their offspring, her parents were keen to support their daughter’s literary aspirations.

 

As a poet, Brooks participated in important literary movements that signaled her transition from traditional metered verse to alternative forms such as the sonnet-ballad, to modernist free verse and poems crafted with urgent messages for black readers. Having been encouraged in her youth by Langston Hughes, Brooks was known throughout her life for mentoring and encouraging younger poets. Our reading for this course will include a substantial selection of her poetry as well as her distinctive novel, Maud Martha.

Staging Race in Early Modern England

Theatrical Renaissance: Early Modern Texts and Performances
English 153 / Prof. Wagner

In this course, we will explore how early modern dramatists staged race. Readings will include masques and plays by Richard Brome, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, George Peele, William Shakespeare, and John Webster. We will also read excerpts from early modern ethnographies, mythologies, and travel narratives in order to understand the theater’s central role in constructing racial hierarchies in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Our examinations of race in the early modern period will pay close attention to representations of gender, disability, class, and empire.

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 153 with Dr. Wagner in 21F or English 182B.1 with Prof. Little in 16F.

The English Erotic Lyric: 1560 – 1640

Renaissance Subjects
English 155 / Prof. Shuger

The class will begin with the foundational discourses of early modern eroticism: Plato’s Symposium; Ovid’s Amores and/or Ars amatoria; and Petrarch’s Rime sparse. We will then turn to the erotic lyrics of the English Renaissance (Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Donne’s Songs and Sonnets, plus poems by Lodge, Herrick, Strode, or at least some of the above). Each student will write  weekly short (1-2 pp.) papers. Attendance and participation are normally required, but I will try to made a Bruincast recording available to those who find themselves in quarantine or otherwise prevented from coming to campus.

Note: none of this poetry is remotely pornographic, although some of it deals with subjects one might not wish to explain to young children. But, in general, the only body parts to which reference is made are the heart and eyes. This is a course about eros, not libido.

American Sex

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Looby

American Sex will be an interdisciplinary exploration of a series of significant episodes in the long and complicated history of American sex. From the secret diary of a Puritan minister, Michael Wigglesworth (1652-57), in which he recorded his sexual transgressions, to the scandalous “bad book affair” in Jonathan Edwards’s congregation (1744), to Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s famous sex scandal (1790s), and on through the nineteenth century, what counted as “sex” constantly changed and what we call “sexuality” gradually emerged. To trace these changes and this emergence we will also study novels and stories by Charles Brockden Brown, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Julia Ward Howe, Sarah Orne Jewett, Margaret Sweat, Walt Whitman and Theodore Winthrop. In addition we will study notorious neoclassical marble sculptures by Hiram Powers (The Greek Slave, 1843), Harriet Hosmer (Zenobia in Chains, 1859), and Benjamin Paul Akers (The Dead Pearl Diver, 1858), as well as a scandalous painting by Thomas Eakins (Swimming, 1885). In each case, we will ask: how did these texts and art works understand and represent the acts, identities, and pleasures that today are collected under the rubric of “sexuality”?  American Sex will combine rich primary materials with active reflection on interdisciplinary research methods.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 177 with Professor Looby in 21S.

Recent Black and Asian Fiction, Poetry, and Drama in Britain

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.1 / Prof. D’Aguiar

The idea of a changed Britain has much to do with its colonial legacy. The arts of descendants of the former colonies living in the UK have altered how the country sees its past, present and future. We read ficton, poetry, plays and essays, and view films, videos and web materials generated by British Black and Asian Writers.

 

Requirements

Student read weekly assignments and write three essays during the quarter as well as contribute short responses from small group discussions. The final class grade is a mix of student attendance, participation in class discussion, and completion of three assigned essays (each of which is graded).

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 179 on the same topic with Prof. D’Aguiar in previous quarters.

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

 

Chicana/o Literature from Mexican Revolution to el Movimiento, 1920s to 1970s

English M105B / Prof. Aviles Rodriguez

Chicana/Chicano literature from 1920s through Great Depression and World War II, ending with Chicana/Chicano civil rights movement. Oral and written narratives by writers including Conrado Espinoza, Jovita González, Cleofas Jaramillo, Angelico Chávez, Mario Suárez, Oscar Acosta, and Evangelina Vigil.

Indigenous Literatures of North America

Studies in Native American and Indigenous Literatures
English 106 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

In this course, we will be introduced to the Indigenous literatures of North America by reading Indigenous fiction and poetry from Canada and the United States. We will analyze how authors imagine decolonial forms of memory, kinship, gender, and sexuality. Our readings will trace the ways that Indigenous literatures enact healing connections to homelands, waters, and more-than-human life through Indigenous cosmologies. We will examine how writers imagine Indigenous futures beyond colonialism while critiquing settler-imperial violences of the past and present. We will also consider the ways that Indigenous literatures represent significant sites of ecological, feminist, queer and political theorizing and thought.

Queer Indigenous Literatures

Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

This course considers the intersections of queerness and Indigeneity in the Indigenous literatures of North America. Reading fiction, poetry, performance, visual culture, and critical theory, we will trace the ways that queer Indigenous literatures craft decolonial conceptions of gender, sexuality, the erotic, and futurity. Listening to and thinking with these artists, we will consider the centrality of dismantling settler-imperial heteropatriarchy to Indigenous practices of decolonization. We also examine how queer Indigenous speculative and ecological writing represent vital spaces for enacting anticolonial politics, ethics, and relationships with the more-than-human world.

 

Not open for credit to any student having completed English M191E/LGBTQS M191E in 19F or 20F.

Noisy Books: Reading and Listening to Postcolonial African Literature

Studies in Postcolonial Literature
English 131 / Prof. Newman

This course introduces students to 20th- and 21st-century African literature with a focus on the representation of sound in Anglophone writing. There is no regional or national limitation to African literature in this course: students will explore African literary traditions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the diaspora. Sound is also broadly conceived in this course to allow examination of a range of sonic phenomena such as orality, voice, noise, music, audio technology, and soundscapes of the natural world. Students will investigate – among other questions – how indigenous oral traditions have influenced the novel in Africa, how Black voices are constructed, how disabled speech is written on the page, how African fiction has developed alongside trends in music, and how sound gives shape to social relations like nationalism or pan-Africanism. Assigned reading and listening will include novels, short stories, poems, films, podcasts, and audiobooks, alongside theory and criticism.

Democracy’s No-Place: The Literature of Greater Britain

Culture and Imperialism
English 132.1 / Prof. Vignola

This class will explore the literature of British settler colonialism in the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on depictions of Indigeneity and the role of speculative fiction in shaping imperial identities. Readings will include novels, poems, and non-fiction from or about South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Many Forms of American Empire

Culture and Imperialism
English 132.2 / Prof. Fosbury

Since the late fifteenth century, empire and colonization have taken many forms throughout the Americas. In this course, we will investigate how empire was formed in various geographies and aesthetic forms. Covering the sixteenth century to the twenty-first, we will consider how empire was imagined, disseminated, enforced, and then remembered in prose, verse, and film.

Tongues of Settlement: Where the World Becomes Basque

Transatlantic Literatures and Cultures
English 133 / Prof. Allmendinger

The Basques were the first people to settle in central Europe.  They speak the world’s most difficult language, which is unrelated to any other language known to humankind.  They also have the rarest blood type on earth.  This course will include a history of the Basques, their immigration to the American West, and their contributions to literature, sports, dancing, and music.  We will also study travel guides, language acquisition materials, and transnational scholarship that examines similarities and differences between Basque Americans and their European ancestors.

 

Requirements:  One 10-15 page research paper (75% of your grade), attendance and regular participation in class discussions (25%).

What Was America?

Literature of the Americas
English 135 / Prof. Fosbury

America was not discovered. It was invented. America is as much an idea or an art project as it is a place or a polity. In this course, we will investigate the many meanings of America in literary history. We will start with the first contacts between Indigenous peoples and European colonizers in the early modern era, and we will end when the United States begins to monopolize the term in the nineteenth century. Our studies will take us between North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean as we investigate how empire, colonialism, slavery, transnational dynamics, and cross-cultural transformations among indigenous, European, and African civilizations impacted the history of “America.” Together, we will question how America was invented, and often contested, in literary forms and genres that range from colonial records and natural histories to poems and novels. In these ways of writing about America, what did the place and term mean to different people at different times in the past? What was America then, and how does it help us understand what it is today?

Colonial Beginnings of American Literature [PRE-1848 COURSE]

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.

 

**This course fulfills the pre-1848 requirement for the American Literature & Culture major. Enrollment will be limited to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass; English majors may enroll during second pass.

American Literature, 1776 to 1832 [PRE-1848 COURSE]

English 166B / Prof. Silva

This course is a survey of American literature from the period broadly known as the Age of Revolutions. We will read a range of texts (including novels, poetry, autobiographies, essays, manifestos, and speeches) that respond to the major political, social, and aesthetic movements of the era. We will consider, for example, how colonies reimagined themselves as nations, how theorists reimagined the functions of liberalism and citizenship, and how writers reimagined the work of history and literature. At each stage, we will be attentive to the diverse voices that shaped the modern world as well as to the many acts of resistance to dispossession and enslavement that defined the ethical boundaries of our work.

**This course fulfills the pre-1848 requirement for the American Literature & Culture major. Enrollment will be limited to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass; English majors may enroll during second pass.

Recent Black and Asian Fiction, Poetry, and Drama in Britain

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.1 / Prof. D’Aguiar

The idea of a changed Britain has much to do with its colonial legacy. The arts of descendants of the former colonies living in the UK have altered how the country sees its past, present and future. We read ficton, poetry, plays and essays, and view films, videos and web materials generated by British Black and Asian Writers.

 

Requirements

Student read weekly assignments and write three essays during the quarter as well as contribute short responses from small group discussions. The final class grade is a mix of student attendance, participation in class discussion, and completion of three assigned essays (each of which is graded).

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 179 on the same topic with Prof. D’Aguiar in previous quarters.

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

Literary Creoles, Invented Tongues: Novels in Non-standard Englishes

Experimental Fiction
English 116A / Prof. Stefans

What are the differences between a spoken language and a “literary” language? What constitutes the “standard” or “official” language of a nation when most nations have a wealth of dialects and street idioms spoken within them? What happens when geopolitical forces such as war, colonization and forced immigration cause languages to mix such that new “languages” emerge? And how can we imagine, given the history of linguistic miscegenation and transformation, “English” in the near and far future? These are among the many questions we will consider through works that, on the one hand, mine the rich store of “non-standard” Englishes employed by people today, and, on the other, speculate on how “English” will be transformed years from now after (imaginary, but not impossible) political events — the ascendance of a new global international power, for example, or a nuclear apocalypse — have created situations where languages are either forgotten or merge and transform each other. The first two weeks will focus on basic linguistic theory and the history of English, providing the student with some tools with which to investigate the syntactic, lexical, semantic and phonetic bases of a “language.” We will also review some early 20th-century experiments with non-standard Englishes in short excerpts from works by authors such as Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, James Joyce, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston and others. The next two weeks focus on science fiction: Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (which, trigger warning, depicts scenes of extreme violence) and Russell Holban’s Riddley Walker. We then move on to acclaimed works written in actual, if not conventionally literary, Englishes: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Jamaican author Nicole Dennis-Benn’s recent, widely acclaimed, novel Patsy. After a session on “the poetics of the Americas” about poetry from North America, the course closes with two works not from the Americas: Nigerian author Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English and Scottish author Irving Welsh’s Trainspotting. Students in this course should be prepared to read around 300 pages of fiction a week. However, all of the novels assigned are very entertaining and accessible (and will be often accompanied by lexicons). Assignments include short weekly response papers and a final paper which can develop an idea from one of the response papers.

Infrastructure and the Built Environment

Literature and Environment
English 118E / Prof. Toy

The emerging field of critical infrastructure studies offers an alternative way of imagining the relationship between people and the built environment, taking into consideration the human and nonhuman entanglements that structure everyday life.  This course considers how artists, filmmakers, and writers from low-income communities and communities of color have positioned infrastructure as the locus for narratives of cultural, political, and social conflict.  As we navigate an array of literary, ethnographic, and multimedia texts, we will address the following questions: how can attention to the materiality, politics, and temporality of infrastructure reframe conventional understandings of space, place, and the environment?  How do core literary methodologies, including the practice of close reading, enrich and supplement the study of infrastructure, which has largely emerged in cultural anthropology?  And, perhaps most importantly, how does infrastructure impact the way we approach and engage with the world at large?

History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory

English 120 / Prof. Nersessian

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

 

This class fulfills the critical theory requirement for students recently admitted to the departmental honors program.

Staging Race in Early Modern England

Thatrical Renaissance: Early Modern Texts and Performances
English 153 / Prof. Wagner

In this course, we will explore how early modern dramatists staged race. Readings will include masques and plays by Richard Brome, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, George Peele, William Shakespeare, and John Webster. We will also read excerpts from early modern ethnographies, mythologies, and travel narratives in order to understand the theater’s central role in constructing racial hierarchies in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Our examinations of race in the early modern period will pay close attention to representations of gender, disability, class, and empire.

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 153 with Dr. Wagner in 21F or English 182B.1 with Prof. Little in 16F.

Later Victorian Poetry: Aesthetes, Decadents, Imperialists

Late 19th-Century Poetry
English 171A / Prof. Bristow

This course explores the development of English, Irish, and Indian poetry in relation to several late nineteenth-century cultural and political movements: aestheticism, decadence, and imperialism. The syllabus begins with the controversial poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne and Dante Gabriel Rossetti before moving to the writings of significant women poets, including Amy Levy and Michael Field (the professional name of the coauthors Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper). Special attention will be paid to the emergence of decadent poetics in the 1890s, particularly in relation to the writings of Arthur Symons and Ernest Dowson. We will also look closely at Oscar Wilde’s poetry, which addresses such topics as homoeroticism and prison reform. Different aspects of anti-colonial and imperial politics will be examined in the writings of Sarojini Naidu and Rudyard Kipling.

20th Century British Poetry

English 171B / Prof. Jaurretche

In this class we will read major British poets from 1900 to the present.  We’ll begin with study of Thomas Hardy and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and incorporate the poets of World War I. The greater part of the course will be given over to detailed study of the writings of William Butler Yeats and T.S. Eliot. Our term will conclude with introduction to contemporary British poets such as Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Eavan Boland, and others. The class will have a mid-term and final examination, and require one paper.

The Love Story

American Fiction since 1945
English 174B / Prof. Simpson

We will consider the evolution of narratives inventing, defining and interrogating romantic love.

US Fiction since the Cold War

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C / 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 Jeffrey Eugenides, Percival Everett, Junot Diaz, and Jennifer Egan.

 

Not open for credit to students who completed English 174C with Prof. Huehls in 16S, 17F, or 21S.

American Sex

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Looby

American Sex will be an interdisciplinary exploration of a series of significant episodes in the long and complicated history of American sex. From the secret diary of a Puritan minister, Michael Wigglesworth (1652-57), in which he recorded his sexual transgressions, to the scandalous “bad book affair” in Jonathan Edwards’s congregation (1744), to Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s famous sex scandal (1790s), and on through the nineteenth century, what counted as “sex” constantly changed and what we call “sexuality” gradually emerged. To trace these changes and this emergence we will also study novels and stories by Charles Brockden Brown, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Julia Ward Howe, Sarah Orne Jewett, Margaret Sweat, Walt Whitman and Theodore Winthrop. In addition we will study notorious neoclassical marble sculptures by Hiram Powers (The Greek Slave, 1843), Harriet Hosmer (Zenobia in Chains, 1859), and Benjamin Paul Akers (The Dead Pearl Diver, 1858), as well as a scandalous painting by Thomas Eakins (Swimming, 1885). In each case, we will ask: how did these texts and art works understand and represent the acts, identities, and pleasures that today are collected under the rubric of “sexuality”? American Sex will combine rich primary materials with active reflection on interdisciplinary research methods.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 177 with Prof. Looby in Spring 2018 or 2021.

The Art of the Novel from Austen to Wharton

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

This course considers the generic development of the English novel throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. We will track the novel’s artistic transformation from a popular choice of entertainment to a prestigious literary form with wide cultural implications. We will read five different masterpieces, each of which highlights a number of important achievements in narrative form and theme: Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1864), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872), Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1882), and Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (1920). Discussions will include historical and social background, economics, narrative theory, issues around sexuality and social class, as well as style and structure. There are two papers and a comprehensive final examination, in addition to a weekly discussion board. (1850-present), (GICT).

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 164C with Prof. Dimuro in Fall 2018 or 2019 or Spring 2021.

Illness and Narratives in Literature and Philosophy

ONLINE CLASS
Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.3 / Prof. Kaufman

This course traces the theme of illness in American and European literary and philosophical texts from the late 19th century through the late 20th century.  It will consider depictions of physical and mental illness and the way factors such as cultural and intellectual background, and gender and sexual orientation, affect the perception of both patients and caretakers.  It will also consider Continental philosophical writings about illness and their pronounced tendency to de-pathologize the experience of illness, compared to other narrative and philosophical approaches.  We will read fictional and creative non-fictional selections by authors such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Helen Keller, David Wojnarowicz, Hervé Guibert, Diana Fuss, and Anne Fadiman; and critical and philosophical works by thinkers such as Nietzsche, Foucault, Fanon, Weil, and Sontag.

 

 

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. Stefans

Course Description:

This class as an “intensive” workshop to the degree that students are expected to: draft and redraft their own material weekly, complete a series of worksheets based on assigned reading, and research a poet of the student’s own choosing leading to an oral presentation of that poet’s work. The worksheets will not be overly time intensive and will largely involve craft exercises, but they must be completed with care and attention. Students are expected to complete a small portfolio of their own work by the end of exam week including a final project of new work (equivalent to a final paper) that follows through on a conceptual or formal idea. We will also, given student interest, edit and design a short anthology of student poems and hold a public reading as a sort of “launch” for the issue. Enrollment is by instructor consent (PTE). If admitted, you must attend the first class.

How to Apply:

Please submit in PDF form to stefans@humnet.ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu up to 5 poems (or 7 pages of poetry) including in the document: 1) your student identification number, 2)  your email address, 3) year of graduation, and 4) a brief statement about other creative writing or literature courses you’ve taken.

In the subject line of your email, include your last name and this course section number: English 136.1 (example: “JOHNSON 136.1”).

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, MARCH 18, 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: Poetry

English 136.2 / 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!).

The subject line of your message should be your last name followed by the course number (example: Smith 136.2) 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 “136.2” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 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. D’Aguiar

Course Description:

The compression of short stories make them the most challenging of the fiction forms. We read, write and discuss short stories in a workshop format to distill the various facets of the art. Published exemplars of the form along with original student work comprise the class reading and discussion. Requirements: The course website requires students to post weekly remarks for each of the original stories set for class discussion. A portion of class time examines examples of published work. Students write three stories and revise them based on the class commentary and submit a final portfolio of those revised stories at the end of the quarter. Enrollment is by instructor consent (PTE).

How to Apply:

Students send along an example of their short fiction (one short story or an extract from a longer work or a few pieces of flash fiction, or a combination of these, of up to about 12 pages) and a paragraph (or two) that describes their recent readings of fiction and states if they have had any creative writing class experience.

When e-mailing submissions to freddaguiar@ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu,  please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Henry 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 FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 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 137.2 / Prof. Simpson

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 weekly one or more great short stories, which the students will be expected to read three times and annotate in an effort to grasp its mechanics and magic.

Students will write one (very) short story every other week, based on a prompt the teacher will offer. The goals of the class are 1) to turn every student in the class into a lifelong daily reader 2) to help the students develop a regular practice of writing and 3) to foster and train technical skill. We’ll work on revision and the development of a sound critical faculty. Emphasis will be on developing the student writer’s voice. Enrollment is by instructor consent (PTE).

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.)

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

Submissions must be e-mailed to monasimpson@mac.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: Jacobs 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 FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 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 137.3 / 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. Submissions must be e-mailed to jtorres7@ucla.edu 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: Rodriguez 137.3).

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 FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 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.

Writing About Food

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

Course Description:

 

In writing about food, we write about so much more than what’s on a plate, including customs, cultures, family, culinary techniques, cooks, farmers and farming, the environment, restaurants, animal husbandry, markets (local to global), food laws and legislation, and globalization—for starters!

In this class, we will read some classic writing about food and then try our hands at personal essays, reported articles, profiles, recipe writing, and restaurant reviews. Enrollment is by instructor consent (PTE).

 

How to Apply:

  1. In 100 words or less tell me why you are interested in writing about food.
  2. Please submit a very short narrative (NO MORE than 2 pages) about a memorable meal OR about a specific food (or dish) that is of some significance to you. I will be looking for how you tell a story based on food.
  3. Please list any writing classes you’ve taken in the past.
  4. Also, please tell me your class standing (sophomore, junior, etc.)

 

Submissions must be e-mailed to huneven@me.com. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and FOOD WRITING in the subject line (example: Smith FOOD WRITING).

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2022.

 

Acceptance Notifications:

NOTE: A class list will be posted in the English Department Office before Spring classes begin. Those accepted will be notified by March 25th. If you are NOT notified, alas, you are not in the class.

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

 

This course is an eligible non-fiction topic for Professional Writing Minor credit.

 

Narrative Nonfiction Workshop

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

Course Description:

We will study short samples of narrative nonfiction, and students will write their own pieces to be shared and discussed in the workshop. Forms and genres may include description, chronology, cause and effect, analysis and argument, memoir, interview and the research article.  Enrollment by instructor consent (PTE).

How to Apply:

Interested students should submit a 250-word personal statement about their writing goals, a list of writing and literature courses taken so far, and a 5-10 page double-spaced nonfiction writing sample.  Please submit all applications via email to <ejager@humnet.ucla.edu>.

Acceptance notifications:

Accepted applicants will be notified before the first class meeting. Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions, the professor will be unable to provide feedback or suggestions on the students’ submitted work.

 

This course is an eligible non-fiction topic for Professional Writing Minor credit.

Poetry Field School

Topics in Creative Writing
English M138.4 / Prof. Kahn

Course Description:

 

In this poetry writing workshop, we will explore language as an art medium; class proceeds along the lines of an advanced studio course. Emphasis will be placed on imagination, experimentation, momentum, intensive discussion of student work and collaborative review. Class is held in dialogue with a wide variety of artists, writers and evocations. Particular attention will be given to the practice of reading aloud and engaging with the basic physicality of language. Students contribute to the development of the class through sharing their work and providing thoughtful feedback on the writing of their peers.

Enrollment is by instructor consent (PTE).

 

How to Apply:

Interested students should fill out the short form located at tinyurl.com/unpopularcoupons and submit 3-5 poems, by email, to elaine@poetryfieldschool.com. Make sure to include your last name in the subject line.

Submissions must be e-mailed to  elaine@poetryfieldschool.com. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and POETRY FIELD SCHOOL in the subject line (example: Oliver POETRY FIELD SCHOOL).

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 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.

 

Senior/Capstone Seminars

What We See When We Read

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A / Prof. Bistline

What do we see when we read? Words on the page? Images in our minds? Something in between? Using concepts from material textual studies, comics studies, and the phenomenology of reading, this course explores the relationship between the words we read, the images we see, and the fictional worlds we imagine. We will study texts that range from 18th-century broadsheets and Victorian illustrated novels to contemporary graphic narratives and memes. Topics for discussion may include: What can words represent that visual images cannot and vice versa? What kinds of meaning happen when we combine words and images? How do words or pictures on the page conjure compelling fictional worlds? And, how does an awareness of seeing and reading affect our understandings of visible and invisible differences including, but not limited to, disabilities, race, gender, and sexuality?

The Literature of the Law

Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
English 181B / Prof. Shuger

The seminar will read selections from the classic texts of British law, from Bracton in the thirteenth century to Blackstone in the eighteenth. We will explore a variety of topics: contract, oaths, the jury system, sexual regulation, murder, equity, suicide, censorship, contempt of court, and (my favorite) stellionatus. The readings tend to be long and hard—and therefore wonderful preparation for law school (especially since 90% of modern American law is rooted in the English common law)—although we will also read some utterly electrifying trial narratives. Although the course has obvious relevance for prospective law students, it should also be of great value for those intending to do graduate work in English history or literature. . . . I strongly recommend reading J.H. Baker’s Introduction to English Legal History over spring break. There will be weekly short papers on the readings, but no exams.

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.

Engendering Whiteness in Shakespeare’s Henriad

Topics in Renaissance and Early Modern Literature
English 182B.2 / Prof. Wagner

This seminar will examine the interplay of gender and race in Shakespeare’s Henriad: Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Shakespeare frequently depicts women at the center of competing racial, national, and religious forces. How can Shakespeare provide a framework for thinking about intersectional feminism, and how can we use Shakespeare to challenge the biological aspirations of white supremacy? Although intersections of race and gender will ground our study, we will use our readings to stage discussions of religion, nation, myth, and genre, and read Shakespearean scholarship invested in a variety of critical and theoretical approaches, including disability studies, ecocriticism, feminism, book history, and premodern critical race studies.

TWO by Willa Cather: A Reading and Writing Intensive for Fiction Authors

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

In this class we will do intensive, close readings of two Willa Cather novels, My Antonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop to see what we, as aspiring fiction writers, can learn from her style, her technique, and her writing life. Student presentations, creative writing prompts, final project.

 

Reserved for American Literature & Culture majors only on first pass. Open to English majors on second pass.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Topics in 19th Century American Literature
English 183B / Prof. Colacurcio

With some interest in the biography, we will attempt to trace Hawthorne’s developing career: from the obscurity of Salem in the 1820’s and early 30’s, when he wrote, anonymously, some the most brilliant historical tales in the language; through the more sociable “Concord Period” (1842-45), when his attention turned to the liberal and transcendental reforms of his own agitated age; to that so-called “Major Phase” in which he wrote his three American Romances in just under three years. Emphasis at first on response to historical (Puritan) sources, then on the attempt to tell the history of his own time.No final exam. Course assumes perfect, punctual attendance, careful preparation, two in-class presentations on an assigned topic, and a critical/analytical paper of 12-15 pages–which must enter into significant conversation with published criticism.

 

Reserved for American Literature & Culture majors only on first pass. Open to English majors on second pass.

Dracula and Other Vampires

Capstone Seminar
English 184.1 / Prof. Bristow

This capstone seminar focuses on the narrative complexity of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) before turning to some of the main influences that shaped this powerful novel. The syllabus includes discussions of John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819) and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1872). Toward the end of the quarter, students will have the opportunity to consider the legacy of Dracula in such works as F. W. Murnau’s silent film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922), Jewell Gomez’s queer rewriting of the vampire myth, The Gilda Stories (1991), Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). If time permits, our discussion will engage with more recent reworking of the vampire myth—such as Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows (2014).

Our So-Called Present: Studies in Very Recent Contemporary U.S. Fiction

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Huehls

How do we turn our experiences in the present into a conception of the present? In an attempt to answer that question, this course will read U.S. fiction published in the past two years. The majority of the texts chosen by the students. We will read one novel per week. Weekly response papers, thorough participation, and final project required.

 

Reserved for American Literature & Culture majors only on first pass. Open to English majors on second pass.

Contemporary Asian American Short Fiction

Topics in Asian American Literature
English M191C / Prof. Ling

In this seminar, we are going to close-read a range of Asian American short fiction (including a novella) produced from the pre-WWII period to the present. We will explore their subject matters, writing styles, social implications, and contributions to the diversity of the American literary canon. The reading assignments in the class are determined with an eye to their artistry, readability, and the breadth of their representation of Asian American issues or experiences. Graded work in this seminar includes: 1) participation (10%); 2) an in-class oral presentation (10%); 3) a take-home paper of 4 double-spaced pages in lieu of the midterm examination (30%); and 4) a course paper of 12 double-spaced pages (50%).

 

Reserved for American Literature & Culture majors only on first pass. Open to English majors on second pass.