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

Summer 2020

**Please check this page frequently as Summer approaches. We anticipate that we will be adding several more courses before Summer begins.

Lower Division Courses in English (Freshman, Sophomore)

Critical Reading and Writing

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.

Fulfills the Writing II requirement.

Introduction to Creative Writing

English 20W

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

**Unlike Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, Summer offerings of English 20W do not require an application.

Fulfills the Writing II requirement.

Shakespeare

English 90 / Prof. Little
ONLINE COURSE

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

Upper Division Courses in English

Literatures in English Before 1500

Still Crusadin’ After All These Years: Crusades, Medieval and Modern

English 149 / Prof. Mott
Medievalisms

What is it about the Crusades, a defining feature of the Middle Ages, that keeps them alive in the cultural imaginary, and, more’s the pity, cultural practices of 21st century international relations? To answer that question, we will examine some of the major literary products of the Middle Ages and juxtapose those with more recent cultural productions that explore the history, values and beliefs of the Crusades. We will trace some of the cultural changes, for example, that led to the rise of the Romance and away from the social ideals that informed the Epic. In addition, we’ll use key concepts such as Orientalism, Holy War, Colonialism, and Nation-Building to understand better the cultural dynamics manifested in the literary productions of the Middle Ages and more recent film and literature. These dynamics (still) characterize relationships between Christians and Muslims and Jews, between westerners and easterners (already loaded epithets), and between the faithful and the agnostic. Some of the material we will consider: The Song of Roland, Richard the Lionheart, Urban II’s speech at Clermont calling for the First Crusade, Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Chahine’s El Nasar Salah el Dine, Carion’s Joyeux Noel, and Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Literatures in English 1500-1700

Shakespeare: Major Plays

English 150C / Prof. Little
Topics in Shakespeare
ONLINE COURSE

This online upper-division course concentrates on some of Shakespeare’s major plays, taking us on a journey from the beginning to the end of Shakespeare’s illustrious playwriting career while also asking us to think not just about individual plays but what “Shakespeare” means to us popularly, historically, intellectually, politically, etc. The object of this course is for you not to just take in some short lectures but give back to the course by bringing to it a wealth of other sources—from YouTube to the Bible to videogames, from networked editions and online encyclopedias to databases and video streaming (whatever you can find)—in order to have a lively and learning exchange about Shakespeare.  In other words, while we will focus on individual plays (five of them), we will also be asked to think about Shakespeare in the context of broader and, perhaps for us, more urgent topics, such as how Shakespeare fits (or doesn’t) into conversations about women, feminism, race, religion, pop culture, etc.

 

Literatures in English 1700-1850

Jane Austen and Her Peers

English 163C / Prof. Stephan

Placing Jane Austen in context is a tricky but rewarding task: does she belong to the 18th century or the 19th? the Gothic or Romantic traditions? In this course, we will read all six of Austen’s major novels in addition to selections from her juvenilia, as well as contemporary writings on historical and literary issues including (but not limited to) women’s rights; gender and authorship; revolution; slavery, race, and colonialism; sensibility; Romanticism; and the Gothic novel. Our reading will be supported by critical texts examining Austen’s writing from a variety of critical perspectives (biographical, feminist, generic, new historical, and post-colonial, among others).

 

Literatures in English 1850 – Present

American Crime Fiction

American Popular Literature
English 115A / Prof. Zirulnik

This course will examine the development of various popular styles of American crime fiction, especially in the first half of the 20th century, as readers’ common fascination with detectives and the art of detection seems to give way to a different sort of fascination with killers and the art of killing. Readings will include stories and novels by popular crime writers of the period, e.g. Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy B. Hughes, Jim Thomson, and Patricia Highsmith. There will be some short writing assignments throughout the term and a longer seminar-style final paper.

Weather Reports: Seeing the Air in Literature, Art, and Film

Literature and the Environment
English 118E / Prof. Hornby

“But the air! If you stopped to notice, was the air always like this?” writes Katherine Mansfield in “The Garden Party” (1922), posing a question of atmosphere and visibility which this course aims to answer. How do you see the air? How do you report the weather? Our main objects will be works of film and fiction from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, whose skies, altered by poison gas, pollution, airplanes, and radio waves, become newly visible and newly obscure. We will pay particular attention to images of fog, mist, and haze in a corpus of works that interrogate atmospheric perception. How do the clouded skies of the twentieth century inherit the fogs of the nineteenth? What is the role of weather in fiction? How is film a medium of the air? Possible works include paintings by J.M.W. Turner, fiction by Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, and Sam Selvon.

Fulfills an upper-division requirement for the Literature and the Environment minor.

The New York Underground in Film, Music, and Literature, 1955 to 1985

Literary Cities
English 119.3 / Prof. Stefans

This course will examine through poetry, novels, stories, music and film the New York “underground,” whether that be of avant-garde artists, people living on the edge of respectability (such as hustlers or punks), or people otherwise marginalized by dominant cultural norms. We will read stories and watch feature films that depict this “underground,” but also look at material produced by artists that challenged cultural and aesthetic norms. Writers and artists include Frank O’Hara, Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, Martin Scorsese, David Wojnarowicz, Glenn Branca and many others.

COURSE CANCELLED: Literary Tour of Dublin

Literary Cities
English 119.5 / Prof. Corman

Course cancelled for Summer 2020.

Graphic Novels and Poetry Comics

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

This course explores expanded forms of comics—from traditional graphic novels to the most recent experiments in text and image. Alongside a study of foundational works in comics and graphic novels, we’ll also survey recent publications in manga, memes, webcomics, light novels, and other experiments in graphic forms. What distinguishes comics from a range of emerging formats and genres online? How do the “sequential arts” continue to develop in dynamic digital environments? In each instance, this course attends to issues of representation in comics, including questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability in new modes of graphic storytelling. Students will also experiment with making their own critical comics and visual poetry. Throughout, we will read many comics and related forms, including the work of Seosamh & Anka, Alison Bechdel, Tamryn Bennet, Jamal Campbell, Eleanor Davis, Blue Delliquanti, Brandon Graham, Kenneth Koch, Marjorie Liu, Scott McCloud, Annie Mok, Porpentine, Dan Salvato, Marjane Satrapi, Hito Steyerl, Egypt Urnash, and Brian K. Vaughan, among others—up to and including those we discover together in the course of our study.

American Literature, 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Salway

What was life really like after the Civil War? This survey course explores how deceptively simple, reassuringly coherent terms like “Reconstruction” and “Gilded Age” conceal the chaos of a nation at odds with itself. We will examine a variety of postbellum texts—fiction, poetry, essays, political speeches, and Constitutional Amendments—as cultural artefacts of an era with a contested legacy. Our particular areas of inquiry will include: political negotiations over the meaning of the War; literary responses to the limited expansion of birthright citizenship; the rise of cosmopolitanism and the genteel tradition in New England; nationalism, regionalism, and the so-called “war” over American realism.

COURSE CANCELLED–American Fiction since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Huehls

Course cancelled for Summer 2020.

 

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

Early Chicana/Chicano Literature, 1400 to 1920**

English M105A / Prof. Lopez

Survey of Chicana/Chicano literature from poetry of Triple Alliance and Aztec Empire through end of Mexican Revolution (1920), including oral and written forms (poetry, corridos, testimonios, folklore, novels, short stories, and drama) by writers such as Nezahualcoyotl (Hungry Coyote), Cabaza de Vaca, Lorenzo de Zavala, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Eusebio Chacón, Daniel Venegas, and Lorena Villegas de Magón.

 

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

Literatures of Resistance: Queer Punk as Method

Studies in Gender and Sexuality
English M107B / Prof. Hansen

What does it mean when artistic work is world making? Students will think through queer punk as a method by looking at resistant literatures: things that are not just gay but queer, critical, and creative, that resist the confines and values of traditional capitalist driven creative projects. In true spirit of queer praxis, literature is understood not as written word alone. Music, video, art, dance, performance, ritual, and collective experiences are all works of artistic merit and meaning, and contribute to body of knowledge that shapes queer and punk epistemologies and identities. Students will read and analyze work from classic and contemporary creators, writers, musicians, skateboarders, zinesters, dancers, astrologers, and more. Students will think about what it means to make queer art that is oppositional, affirming, and community building; that creates, critiques, and negotiates power; and that responds to gaps. Students will write a paper and create an original zine.

Jane Austen and Her Peers

English 163C / Prof. Stephan

Placing Jane Austen in context is a tricky but rewarding task: does she belong to the 18th century or the 19th? the Gothic or Romantic traditions? In this course, we will read all six of Austen’s major novels in addition to selections from her juvenilia, as well as contemporary writings on historical and literary issues including (but not limited to) women’s rights; gender and authorship; revolution; slavery, race, and colonialism; sensibility; Romanticism; and the Gothic novel. Our reading will be supported by critical texts examining Austen’s writing from a variety of critical perspectives (biographical, feminist, generic, new historical, and post-colonial, among others).

 

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

Early Chicana/Chicano Literature, 1400 to 1920**

English M105A / Prof. Lopez

Survey of Chicana/Chicano literature from poetry of Triple Alliance and Aztec Empire through end of Mexican Revolution (1920), including oral and written forms (poetry, corridos, testimonios, folklore, novels, short stories, and drama) by writers such as Nezahualcoyotl (Hungry Coyote), Cabaza de Vaca, Lorenzo de Zavala, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Eusebio Chacón, Daniel Venegas, and Lorena Villegas de Magón.

 

**Qualifies as a pre-1500 course for American Literature and Culture majors

 

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

American Crime Fiction

American Popular Literature
English 115A / Prof. Zirulnik

This course will examine the development of various popular styles of American crime fiction, especially in the first half of the 20th century, as readers’ common fascination with detectives and the art of detection seems to give way to a different sort of fascination with killers and the art of killing. Readings will include stories and novels by popular crime writers of the period, e.g. Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy B. Hughes, Jim Thomson, and Patricia Highsmith. There will be some short writing assignments throughout the term and a longer seminar-style final paper.

Weather Reports: Seeing the Air in Literature, Art, and Film

Literature and the Environment
English 118E / Prof. Hornby

“But the air! If you stopped to notice, was the air always like this?” writes Katherine Mansfield in “The Garden Party” (1922), posing a question of atmosphere and visibility which this course aims to answer. How do you see the air? How do you report the weather? Our main objects will be works of film and fiction from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, whose skies, altered by poison gas, pollution, airplanes, and radio waves, become newly visible and newly obscure. We will pay particular attention to images of fog, mist, and haze in a corpus of works that interrogate atmospheric perception. How do the clouded skies of the twentieth century inherit the fogs of the nineteenth? What is the role of weather in fiction? How is film a medium of the air? Possible works include paintings by J.M.W. Turner, fiction by Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, and Sam Selvon.

Fulfills an upper-division requirement for the Literature and the Environment minor.

The New York Underground in Film, Music, and Literature, 1955 to 1985

Literary Cities
English 119.3 / Prof. Stefans

This course will examine through poetry, novels, stories, music and film the New York “underground,” whether that be of avant-garde artists, people living on the edge of respectability (such as hustlers or punks), or people otherwise marginalized by dominant cultural norms. We will read stories and watch feature films that depict this “underground,” but also look at material produced by artists that challenged cultural and aesthetic norms. Writers and artists include Frank O’Hara, Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, Martin Scorsese, David Wojnarowicz, Glenn Branca and many others.

COURSE CANCELLED–Literary Tour of Dublin

Literary Cities
English 119.5 / Prof. Corman

Course cancelled for Summer 2020.

Graphic Novels and Poetry Comics

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

This course explores expanded forms of comics—from traditional graphic novels to the most recent experiments in text and image. Alongside a study of foundational works in comics and graphic novels, we’ll also survey recent publications in manga, memes, webcomics, light novels, and other experiments in graphic forms. What distinguishes comics from a range of emerging formats and genres online? How do the “sequential arts” continue to develop in dynamic digital environments? In each instance, this course attends to issues of representation in comics, including questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability in new modes of graphic storytelling. Students will also experiment with making their own critical comics and visual poetry. Throughout, we will read many comics and related forms, including the work of Seosamh & Anka, Alison Bechdel, Tamryn Bennet, Jamal Campbell, Eleanor Davis, Blue Delliquanti, Brandon Graham, Kenneth Koch, Marjorie Liu, Scott McCloud, Annie Mok, Porpentine, Dan Salvato, Marjane Satrapi, Hito Steyerl, Egypt Urnash, and Brian K. Vaughan, among others—up to and including those we discover together in the course of our study.

COURSE CANCELLED–American Fiction since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Huehls

Course cancelled for Summer 2020.

Creative Writing Workshops

Unlike during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters, Summer creative writing workshops operate based on OPEN enrollment. No application needed!

Creative Writing: Three-Act Screenplay

English M138.1 / Prof. Ekimyan

Throughout the course students will develop an original screenplay, learning how to craft story, plot, character, dialogue, theme, and tone, ultimately enabling them to produce a complete Three Act Outline and a polished First Act of their script.

 

Not open to student who took English M138 with Prof. Ekimyan in Summer 2018 or 2019.

Creative Writing: The Art of the Memoir

English M138.2 / Prof. Grobel

Understanding oneself and others by looking inward. A seminar in self-analysis. Uncovering the highlights and the traumas of one’s life; shaping and structuring it into a narrative. “A memoir,” Gore Vidal wrote, “is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked.” F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed, when depression sets in, it can seem like it’s always three o’clock in the morning. This is a course designed to help students through the labyrinth of their college years, to get them past the darkness of 3:00 A.M. And what better way to understand and deal with this than to write about it? To express yourself through the written word. You’ll be presented with a reading list and weekly writing assignments which will be workshopped. A memoir can be many things—a snapshot or a portrait. You decide.

Asian-American Creative Non-Fiction: Tell Your Story!

English M191C / Prof. Banerjee

Asian American writers have been dominating and reinventing the Creative Non-Fiction genre for the past twenty years. In this class, students will survey Asian American creative non-fiction writing, experiment with writing their own creative non-fiction essays, learn to workshop each other’s work, & also get practice pitching and submitting work to an established publication.

 

Senior Seminar

Asian-American Creative Non-Fiction: Tell Your Story!

English M191C / Prof. Banerjee

Asian American writers have been dominating and reinventing the Creative Non-Fiction genre for the past twenty years. In this class, students will survey Asian American creative non-fiction writing, experiment with writing their own creative non-fiction essays, learn to workshop each other’s work, & also get practice pitching and submitting work to an established publication.