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 2022

Lower Division Courses in English (Freshman, Sophomore)

 

Critical Reading and Writing

English 4W / Various Instructors

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.

 

This course fulfills a preparatory requirement for the English major. 

 

Fulfills Writing II requirement.

Introduction to Creative Writing

English 20W / Various Instructors

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.

 

 

Fulfills Writing II requirement. Not open to students with credit for English 20.

Upper Division Courses in English

 

Literatures in English Before 1500

Romancing the Border: England and the Global Middle Ages

English 142 / Ishikawa
Later Medieval Literature

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were a time of marked global change: new empires rose as others fell; trade and travel rapidly expanded, facilitating new forms of cross-cultural contact; wars were fought; and a hemispheric pandemic radically reshaped life for those who survived. This course will examine how English writers, located at the periphery of Christendom, (re)imagined their world in relation to global, macro-level change. Looking closely at Middle English romance, students will explore how the language of magic, marvels, and monsters function as a vehicle for drawing (and redrawing) the borders between England and the wider world. Special focus will be given to the impact of the Mongol empire, and of the Black Death. Texts for the course will include: the Canterbury Tales (selections), Mandeville’s Travels, and The King of Tars. 

 

Literatures in English 1500-1700

Rome in Shakespeare

English 150C / Wagner
Topics in Shakespeare

This course will examine, from a variety of vantage points, what Rome was to Shakespeare and what Shakespeare’s Rome was to early modern England. We’ll read Shakespeare’s plays and a poem about Rome—The Rape of Lucrece, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, and Cymbeline—alongside excerpts from Shakespeare’s classical reading (including Ovid, Virgil, Livy, and Plutarch) and in the context of early modern England’s emerging visions of empire. We’ll consider how the figure of Rome provided Shakespeare with a template for thinking about imperial power, how early modern processes of racialization distinguished England’s imperial ambitions from those of Rome, and how Shakespeare’s Roman plays imagine the interplay of theatrical embodiment and classical textuality.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 150C in Summer 2021 with Dr. Bonnici.

 

Literatures in English 1700-1850

 

American Literature, 1776 to 1832

English 166B / Gallagher

Historical survey of American literatures from Revolution through early republic, with emphasis on genres that reflect systematic attempts to create representative national literature and attention to American ethnic, gender, and postcolonial perspectives.

 

**This course qualifies as a pre-1848 course for the American Literature and Culture major.

CLASS CANCELLED – The Gothic Imagination

English 169 / Bistline
Topics in Literature, circa 1700 to 1850

CLASS CANCELLED FOR SUMMER 2022.

Literatures in English 1850 – Present

 

 

Reparative Readings and Queer Histories

Queer Literatures and Cultures after 1970
English M101C / Whittell

In Touching Feeling, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick introduces “reparative reading” as a queer method that, instead of interrogating the objects of study to find their faults, allows us to glimpse alternatives to the way things are (or were) by focusing on pleasure, generosity, and hope. This course will consider where and how reparative readings should be applied to history. What defines a queer relationship to history? How do we imagine histories outside of white, heteropatriarchal canons? Can we keep reparative readings of history from sliding into nostalgia? This course will introduce contemporary authors whose work broaches these questions, including John Ashbery, Tommy Pico, Jordy Rosenberg, and Shola von Reinhold. We will also discuss recent period piece films and excerpts of theory by Lauren Berlant, Jose Muñoz, Tavia Nyong’o, and Sedgwick to help us clarify our questions. Students can either complete a final paper or turn in a creative project—poetry, fiction, art, etc.— that embarks on its own queer retelling of a history or archive of interest to them.

CLASS CANCELLED – Monster, Alien, Cyborg: Race, Gender, and Disability in Speculative Fiction

Studies in Disability Literatures
English M103 / Wolf

CLASS CANCELLED.

Bioscientific Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Biocultural Imagination

Science Fiction
English 115E / Toy

The rapid acceleration of technological advancement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has given rise to a number of works of speculative fiction that imagine bio/technological solutions to the world’s ecological and health crises.  In exploring the bioscientific worlds envisioned by artists, filmmakers, and writers from diverse backgrounds, we will consider how bio/technology produces environmental and health disparities, resulting in the development of expendable populations designed for biowarfare, labor exploitation, and/or scientific experimentation. We will pay particular attention to issues of biocapitalism and neocolonialism and their intersection with categories of difference, including race, class, gender, and sexuality.  Exploring these texts and issues will allow us to answer the following question: what is the value of storytelling in the study of science, technology, and society?

Speculative Environmental Fiction and Art

Literature and the Environment
English 118E / Tanaka

This course explores speculative fiction and art that address environmental crisis, justice, and futurity. What does speculation—as form, aesthetics, and practice—afford in literature and art? How do speculative fiction’s different genres and forms (science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, utopia/dystopia) invent different orientations to ecological thinking and worldmaking? This course examines speculative narratives that innovatively thematize and formalize environmental issues such as climate change, urbanization, toxicity, energy, disaster, and violence. We will analyze the complex relations between nature and power by exploring ecology’s entanglements with race, capital, gender, and empire. Readings will include literature, film, video games, and conceptual art—ranging from monster films and speculative novels to a puzzle-platformer adventure video game and sensory installation art—by writers, filmmakers, and artists.

 

This course is eligible for credit on the Literature & the Environment minor.

 

Reading Service Work: The Rise of Service Sector Fictions After Deindustrialization

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C / Mendoza

This course will explore contemporary fictional representations of different forms of labor in the service sector.  After the rise of American deindustrialization starting in the late 1960s (when manufacturing firms depart from the US for cheap labor in undeveloped areas), a majority of workers are excluded or expelled from industrial production and find work in the service sector, leading to a massive rise of the service economy. Although the term “service sector” has been read as an unstable term that can designate a vast array of activities (from the work of the Professional-Managerial Class done in offices to various forms of hustling or informal labor performed in the streets), this course will approach the instability of the term “service sector” as productive. Our class will engage various contemporary representations of service labor in order to foreground the latent connections between them. Specifically, we will explore how contemporary American fiction engages the ways in which different service sector jobs shape or demand different forms of affective or care labor—from representations of white-collar labor in the contemporary office novel to depictions of tip-centered labor in restaurant fiction. In addition, we will examine how low-wage service labor or informal labor has been represented in popular media (television shows and social media) and popular culture (films and songs). This course will also explore how such a variegated representation of labor in the service sector contributes to and complicates discourses surrounding the political representations of service labor found in newspapers and social media. 

Cultural texts may include Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter (2016), Ling Ma’s Severance (2018), Stephanie Land’s Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive (2019),  Maid (2021 Netflix Miniseries directed by Molly Smith Metzler), Sorry to Bother You (2018 Directed by Boots Riley), Atlanta (FX TV Series created by Donald Glover). Critical texts may include writing by Annie McClanahan, Jasper Bernes, Sianne Ngai, Leigh Clair La Berge, John Macintosh, and Sophie Lewis.

 

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

 

Reparative Readings and Queer Histories

Queer Literatures and Cultures after 1970
English M101C / Whittell

In Touching Feeling, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick introduces “reparative reading” as a queer method that, instead of interrogating the objects of study to find their faults, allows us to glimpse alternatives to the way things are (or were) by focusing on pleasure, generosity, and hope. This course will consider where and how reparative readings should be applied to history. What defines a queer relationship to history? How do we imagine histories outside of white, heteropatriarchal canons? Can we keep reparative readings of history from sliding into nostalgia? This course will introduce contemporary authors whose work broaches these questions, including John Ashbery, Tommy Pico, Jordy Rosenberg, and Shola von Reinhold. We will also discuss recent period piece films and excerpts of theory by Lauren Berlant, Jose Muñoz, Tavia Nyong’o, and Sedgwick to help us clarify our questions. Students can either complete a final paper or turn in a creative project—poetry, fiction, art, etc.— that embarks on its own queer retelling of a history or archive of interest to them.

CLASS CANCELLED – Monster, Alien, Cyborg: Race, Gender, and Disability in Speculative Fiction

Studies in Disability Literatures
English M103 / Wolf

CLASS CANCELLED.

Bioscientific Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Biocultural Imagination

Science Fiction
English 115E / Toy

The rapid acceleration of technological advancement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has given rise to a number of works of speculative fiction that imagine bio/technological solutions to the world’s ecological and health crises.  In exploring the bioscientific worlds envisioned by artists, filmmakers, and writers from diverse backgrounds, we will consider how bio/technology produces environmental and health disparities, resulting in the development of expendable populations designed for biowarfare, labor exploitation, and/or scientific experimentation. We will pay particular attention to issues of biocapitalism and neocolonialism and their intersection with categories of difference, including race, class, gender, and sexuality.  Exploring these texts and issues will allow us to answer the following question: what is the value of storytelling in the study of science, technology, and society?

Speculative Environmental Fiction and Art

Literature and the Environment
English 118E / Tanaka

This course explores speculative fiction and art that address environmental crisis, justice, and futurity. What does speculation—as form, aesthetics, and practice—afford in literature and art? How do speculative fiction’s different genres and forms (science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, utopia/dystopia) invent different orientations to ecological thinking and worldmaking? This course examines speculative narratives that innovatively thematize and formalize environmental issues such as climate change, urbanization, toxicity, energy, disaster, and violence. We will analyze the complex relations between nature and power by exploring ecology’s entanglements with race, capital, gender, and empire. Readings will include literature, film, video games, and conceptual art—ranging from monster films and speculative novels to a puzzle-platformer adventure video game and sensory installation art—by writers, filmmakers, and artists.

 

This course is eligible for credit on the Literature & the Environment minor.

From Dictators to Dictatorships

Literature of the Americas
English 135 / Encinas

The class will explore representations of the colonial, revolutionary, and post-independence periods in the Americas by looking at a particular genre of literature—the dictator novel. Beginning with Francisco López de Gómara’s portrait of the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés as the prototype of the dictator, we will read Domingo Faustino Sarmiento’s Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism (considered by many as the first “dictator novel”) and Gabriel García Márquez’s Autumn of the Patriarch. These Latin American novels focus mostly on the figure of the dictator and ask questions about the desires and motives that animate such figures. The class will then shift to two novels written in the U.S., Salvador Plascencia’s People of Paper and Carolina de Robertis’ Cantoras. These two novels think about dictatorships as institutional forms that dictate the destructive ideologies of racism, sexism, and homophobia, while at the same time reflecting on the dictatorial power of the author. By bringing together texts from Argentina, Colombia, and the U.S., these texts construct the Americas as a larger geographic unit through which we can think about the long historical problem of dictatorial power overtaking democratic projects.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 135 with TA Encinas in Summer 2021.

 

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

 

Bioscientific Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Biocultural Imagination

Science Fiction
English 115E / Toy

The rapid acceleration of technological advancement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has given rise to a number of works of speculative fiction that imagine bio/technological solutions to the world’s ecological and health crises.  In exploring the bioscientific worlds envisioned by artists, filmmakers, and writers from diverse backgrounds, we will consider how bio/technology produces environmental and health disparities, resulting in the development of expendable populations designed for biowarfare, labor exploitation, and/or scientific experimentation. We will pay particular attention to issues of biocapitalism and neocolonialism and their intersection with categories of difference, including race, class, gender, and sexuality.  Exploring these texts and issues will allow us to answer the following question: what is the value of storytelling in the study of science, technology, and society?

Speculative Environmental Fiction and Art

Literature and the Environment
English 118E / Tanaka

This course explores speculative fiction and art that address environmental crisis, justice, and futurity. What does speculation—as form, aesthetics, and practice—afford in literature and art? How do speculative fiction’s different genres and forms (science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, utopia/dystopia) invent different orientations to ecological thinking and worldmaking? This course examines speculative narratives that innovatively thematize and formalize environmental issues such as climate change, urbanization, toxicity, energy, disaster, and violence. We will analyze the complex relations between nature and power by exploring ecology’s entanglements with race, capital, gender, and empire. Readings will include literature, film, video games, and conceptual art—ranging from monster films and speculative novels to a puzzle-platformer adventure video game and sensory installation art—by writers, filmmakers, and artists.

 

This course is eligible for credit on the Literature & the Environment minor.

From Dictators to Dictatorships

Literature of the Americas
English 135 / Encinas

The class will explore representations of the colonial, revolutionary, and post-independence periods in the Americas by looking at a particular genre of literature—the dictator novel. Beginning with Francisco López de Gómara’s portrait of the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés as the prototype of the dictator, we will read Domingo Faustino Sarmiento’s Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism (considered by many as the first “dictator novel”) and Gabriel García Márquez’s Autumn of the Patriarch. These Latin American novels focus mostly on the figure of the dictator and ask questions about the desires and motives that animate such figures. The class will then shift to two novels written in the U.S., Salvador Plascencia’s People of Paper and Carolina de Robertis’ Cantoras. These two novels think about dictatorships as institutional forms that dictate the destructive ideologies of racism, sexism, and homophobia, while at the same time reflecting on the dictatorial power of the author. By bringing together texts from Argentina, Colombia, and the U.S., these texts construct the Americas as a larger geographic unit through which we can think about the long historical problem of dictatorial power overtaking democratic projects.

 

Not open for credit to students who took English 135 with TA Encinas in Summer 2021.

American Literature, 1776 to 1832

English 166B / Gallagher

Historical survey of American literatures from Revolution through early republic, with emphasis on genres that reflect systematic attempts to create representative national literature and attention to American ethnic, gender, and postcolonial perspectives.

 

**This course qualifies as a pre-1848 course for the American Literature and Culture major.

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

 

Bioscientific Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Biocultural Imagination

Science Fiction
English 115E / Toy

The rapid acceleration of technological advancement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has given rise to a number of works of speculative fiction that imagine bio/technological solutions to the world’s ecological and health crises.  In exploring the bioscientific worlds envisioned by artists, filmmakers, and writers from diverse backgrounds, we will consider how bio/technology produces environmental and health disparities, resulting in the development of expendable populations designed for biowarfare, labor exploitation, and/or scientific experimentation. We will pay particular attention to issues of biocapitalism and neocolonialism and their intersection with categories of difference, including race, class, gender, and sexuality.  Exploring these texts and issues will allow us to answer the following question: what is the value of storytelling in the study of science, technology, and society?

Video Game Studies: Beyond the Console

Studies in Visual Culture
English 118C / Snelson

In this course, we will examine transmedia storytelling in several major video games, including, potentially: League of Legends, Undertale, The Witcher (I-III), Pokémon, GTA V, Final Fantasy (I-XV), and Mass Effect, among others. We will collectively adopt critical tactics to address stories that transcend media iterations and canonical formulations. Working among short stories, internet videos, gameplay sessions, graphic novels, fan fictions, actual plays, feature films, and even cosplay conventions, we will investigate what it means to study both the collective lore and the lived experience of a game. Final projects for the course will feature both creative and critical components. Participants will have the option to create new multimedia spinoffs based on the game of their choice. Short weekly experiments and play sessions on Discord will engage with a wide range of media and storytelling modalities. Beyond a desire to play, no previous experience in games or gaming communities is necessary!

Speculative Environmental Fiction and Art

Literature and the Environment
English 118E / Tanaka

This course explores speculative fiction and art that address environmental crisis, justice, and futurity. What does speculation—as form, aesthetics, and practice—afford in literature and art? How do speculative fiction’s different genres and forms (science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, utopia/dystopia) invent different orientations to ecological thinking and worldmaking? This course examines speculative narratives that innovatively thematize and formalize environmental issues such as climate change, urbanization, toxicity, energy, disaster, and violence. We will analyze the complex relations between nature and power by exploring ecology’s entanglements with race, capital, gender, and empire. Readings will include literature, film, video games, and conceptual art—ranging from monster films and speculative novels to a puzzle-platformer adventure video game and sensory installation art—by writers, filmmakers, and artists.

 

This course is eligible for credit on the Literature & the Environment minor.

 

 

Reading Service Work: The Rise of Service Sector Fictions After Deindustrialization

Contemporary American Fiction
English 174C / Mendoza

This course will explore contemporary fictional representations of different forms of labor in the service sector.  After the rise of American deindustrialization starting in the late 1960s (when manufacturing firms depart from the US for cheap labor in undeveloped areas), a majority of workers are excluded or expelled from industrial production and find work in the service sector, leading to a massive rise of the service economy. Although the term “service sector” has been read as an unstable term that can designate a vast array of activities (from the work of the Professional-Managerial Class done in offices to various forms of hustling or informal labor performed in the streets), this course will approach the instability of the term “service sector” as productive. Our class will engage various contemporary representations of service labor in order to foreground the latent connections between them. Specifically, we will explore how contemporary American fiction engages the ways in which different service sector jobs shape or demand different forms of affective or care labor—from representations of white-collar labor in the contemporary office novel to depictions of tip-centered labor in restaurant fiction. In addition, we will examine how low-wage service labor or informal labor has been represented in popular media (television shows and social media) and popular culture (films and songs). This course will also explore how such a variegated representation of labor in the service sector contributes to and complicates discourses surrounding the political representations of service labor found in newspapers and social media. 

Cultural texts may include Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter (2016), Ling Ma’s Severance (2018), Stephanie Land’s Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive (2019),  Maid (2021 Netflix Miniseries directed by Molly Smith Metzler), Sorry to Bother You (2018 Directed by Boots Riley), Atlanta (FX TV Series created by Donald Glover). Critical texts may include writing by Annie McClanahan, Jasper Bernes, Sianne Ngai, Leigh Clair La Berge, John Macintosh, and Sophie Lewis.

 

 

Creative Writing Workshops

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

Creative Nonfiction Across Genres and Forms

Topics in Creative Writing
English M138 / Solis

This course explores the vast terrain of creative nonfiction. We will analyze formal techniques for producing creative nonfiction narratives across different mediums and genres, from true crime podcasts to profiles of places and people, from music to memoir writing. How do we define creative nonfiction? What does creative nonfiction offer us as a category, and how do some writers trouble this category? Possible authors we will work with include David Wong Louie, Hanif Adburraqib, Myriam Gurba, Maggie Nelson, Virginia Woolf, and Sally Rooney. In addition to reading and discussing work by these and other writers, students will work to hone their own creative skills through a final narrative nonfiction project. Thinking through our own writing processes and experiences, we will ask: What do we write about and why? Where does our writing come from? What do we owe to the people we write about? What are some unique challenges of producing creative nonfiction narratives?

 

This topic is eligible for credit on the Professional Writing minor.