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

Winter 2019

Lower Division Courses in English (Freshman, Sophomore)

Please note that these courses do NOT fulfill any requirements for the major or minor in English.

Introduction to American Cultures

English 11 / Prof. McMillan

This course utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to examine U.S. culture writ large, specifically “America” itself, as an imagined and often-contested national idea, a trenchant source of belonging and exclusion, and a fecund site of aesthetic and cultural production. We will explore the manifestation of these ideals across a panoply of artistic sources in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—including poetry, critical theory, visual culture, film, performance, sonic cultures, and manifestos. In doing so, we will continually probe the relationship between experience and form, especially how artists, writers, poets, and performers render their various identities, and experience of the “American dream,” through their art. The class will center on several keywords in American Studies to guide our discussion of these often-contested meanings including: aesthetics, indigenous, citizenship, labor, race, prison, performance, visual, and sound. We will discuss canonical work by W.E.B DuBois and Omi and Winant, readings by contemporary writers such as Tommy Pico and Claudia Rankine, interdisciplinary scholarship in American Studies such as visual culture theorist Nicole Fleetwood and music scholar Josh Kun, the art of LA-based Latinx artist Ramiro Gomez, and film screenings of The 13th and Paris is Burning. 

 

This class meets certain GE-Foundations and College Diversity requirements. See the schedule of classes for more information.

Introduction to Visual Culture

English M50 / Prof. Hornby

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

Literature and Society: The Novel and Public Humanities

Special Topics in English
English 88M.1 / Prof. Johnsen

In this course, we will gain hands-on experience with the public humanities through projects in support of the Marathon Reading, an annual literary event put on by the English department. You will read this year’s book selections, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series. Class discussions and assignments will engage with questions of how these novels might capture the public imagination and generate conversations within a community through successful literary programming. Instead of a final essay, you will undertake a practical project directed by your own personal and professional interests. Practical projects might include (but are not limited to): generating press releases and other professional writing aimed at securing media coverage and celebrity involvement; social media and website management; text and visual design for promotional materials across various media (e.g. promotional videos, flyers); and fundraising initiatives.

Literature and Society: The Novel and Public Humanities

Special Topics in English
English 88M.2 / Prof. Kello

In this course, we will gain hands-on experience with the public humanities through projects in support of the Marathon Reading, an annual literary event put on by the English department. You will read this year’s book selections, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series. Class discussions and assignments will engage with questions of how these novels might capture the public imagination and generate conversations within a community through successful literary programming. Instead of a final essay, you will undertake a practical project directed by your own personal and professional interests. Practical projects might include (but are not limited to): generating press releases and other professional writing aimed at securing media coverage and celebrity involvement; social media and website management; text and visual design for promotional materials across various media (e.g. promotional videos, flyers); and fundraising initiatives.

Shakespeare

English 90 / Prof. Dickey

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

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

 

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 meeting.

Public Poetry Project

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

In this course, we will first explore examples of the ways poetry has been and might be made more “public,” through celebratory festivals, conferences, reading series, installations, and innovative or unexpected presentations.  Ultimately, participants will work individually and/or in teams to create public poetry projects to be presented in Spring quarter.

 

Enrollment is by instructor consent.  To apply for the course, please send to rwilson@english.ucla.edu  your name, class level, major, and a brief (no more than 250 words) statement that describes your experience with poetry, and that explains why you would like to be part of the Public Poetry Project.  Are you a poet?  Have you taken creative writing courses in which you wrote poetry?  In what courses have you studied or been engaged with poetry?  Who are three of your favorite poets?

Writing in the English Major: Pre-Professional Portfolio

English 110P / Prof. Cunningham

Although a degree from the English Department (whether in American Literature and Culture or English) is a professional degree, the world outside of UCLA is not always aware of this. English 110P aims to help you make your professional skills evident to potential employers and/or admissions committees. In this course, you’ll reflect on analytical and argumentative writing you’ve already done, and you’ll get a taste of some of the writing in various professions to which you might adapt your abilities.  Initially the course focuses on written self-reflection about your individual skills, then it turns to samples of writing for such audiences as business, non-profit, legal, and global workplaces, and public writing for nonacademic settings. We’ll practice identifying the purposes and conventions of writing in these different communities and adapting your writing to each of them. At the end of the course, each of you will have a writing portfolio that includes a sample resume and cover letter(s) and that demonstrates the ways you can transition your writing from the conventions and interests of the English majors to professional and educational contexts after graduation.  P/NP grading only.

 

Please note that because English 110P is graded P/NP, it is not eligible to be applied for major credit.

Elective-Only Courses

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

Writing About Memory in Post-1945 American Literature

Writing in the English Major: Adjunct
English 110B / Prof. Underwood

This class will consider the role of memory in Post-1945 American Literature.  We will mainly function as a writing workshop. Much of our time will be spent discussing literature and developing our critical writing skills through peer editing.  Since this course is linked to other “base” American literature courses (see list below), we will attempt to make connections between the novels that we encounter in this course and those read in other “base” classes.

 

This course is only open for enrollment to students concurrently enrolled in English 170B, English 174B, English 174C (sections 1 and 2), English 175, and English 177 (sections 1 and 2).

 

Please note that this is a 2-unit course. English majors may satisfy 1 English elective if they take multiple upper-division English 2-unit courses (for a total of at least 4 units).

Writing in the English Major: Transfer Students

English 110T / Prof. Stephan

This course provides instruction in critical writing about literature and culture specifically for English major transfer students at UCLA. Its goal is to help students improve their skills and abilities at literary and cultural analysis. It’s a workshop for discovering richer literary questions, developing more nuanced analyses of complex texts, sustaining arguments, and developing your own authoritative voice. The course assumes writing is a process, so students write, rewrite, and workshop all writing assignments. Requirements include short writing tasks (1-3 pages) and a final paper (6-8 pages). Grades are based 50% on the final paper (including prewriting and drafts), and 50% on other written assignments and participation. English 110T qualifies as an elective for the English major and cannot be taken for credit if you have taken English 110A. Transfer American Literature and Culture majors are also welcome to enroll. Enrollment is limited to fall 2018 transfer students; please contact the English undergraduate advisors via MyUCLA Message Center to be enrolled in the class.

The Letter of the Law

Junior Research Seminar
English 180R / Prof. Hyde

The skills developed in literary study—textual interpretation and rhetorical persuasion—are among the most valued in legal practice. In the US, these skills play an especially important role in legal practice, for a simple reason: the US Constitution is written. As such, it is textually bound, subject to interpretation, and fairly difficult to revise. This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of “law and literature” by examining the formative role that rhetoric played in the political development of the United States in the long 19th century. Students will read key founding political documents, and the revolutionary literary traditions that developed alongside and against them (the slave narrative, abolitionist fiction, protest literature, transcendentalism, etc.). Since this is a “junior seminar,” the course will give students a chance to develop their own writing and research skills in a small, interactive format. Assigned readings will include works by Jefferson, Madison, Walker, Douglass, Child, Thoreau, Stowe, Melville, and Wilson.

Literatures in English Before 1500

 

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Identity Politics

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
English 140A / Prof. Gerber

Certain scholastic traditionalists disparagingly refer to people who study their own minority cultures and protected classes as adherents to “identity politics,” implying that the only studies devoid of identity are those of heteronormative white men. However, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a collection of tales written by a heteronormative white man but narrated through different characters’ voices, relies on precisely these identities to lend the poem relevance. This course focuses on these identities and their so-called politics to explore how they produce Chaucer’s narrative voice in the Canterbury Tales and how they continue to generate meaning for the modern age. Part of our objective for the quarter will be to create new curricula for studying Chaucer, curricula that, like the Canterbury Tales, generate new voices for peoples and communities often overlooked in British literature.

Making Chaucer: Minor Poems and English Majors’ ‘Canon’ Fodder

Chaucer: “Troilus and Crisedye” and Selected Minor Works
English 140B / Prof. Gerber

Chaucer left an indelible mark on the English language and on literary history. But what inspired this influential writer of the fourteenth century? And, more importantly, why do English departments still fuss over him more than six centuries later? This class will explore the international sources that shaped Chaucer’s reputedly minor works and the readers (including scribes, poetic imitators, and modern scholars) who deemed them essential for the English literary canon. Together, we will cover much more than the singular Chaucer; we will recreate his legacy according to those who helped establish it. In the process, we will examine our own roles in making Chaucer canonical by producing a new, digital manuscript of his works and their place in modern history.

The Virgin, the Wife, and the Widow: Telling Stories of Medieval Holy Women

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

Stories of holy women – hagiographical narratives – offer a space for thinking through the shifting relationship between the church and the holy woman, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, as well as between animals and saints. The course extends from the travails of the runaway bride Christina of Markyate and the visions of Hildegard of Bingen to the feats of Catherine of Siena, and the travails of Dorothea of Montau and Margery Kempe. Throughout, our focus will be on the narrative characteristics of late medieval hagiography and the historical work they do. We will read writings about and by holy women (and a couple by holy men) alongside relevant materials on dream-visions, narrative strategies, books of rhetorical composition, digests of law, and other institutional documents on issues ranging from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure, from writing to preaching, from secrets shared and secrets betrayed. Questions for discussion include: What make these narratives compelling or powerful? To what extent do formal conventions of storytelling help invent powerful female characters in an otherwise male-dominated world?

The Auchinleck Manuscript

Medieval Story Cycles and Collections
English 146 / Prof. Fisher

We will spend the next ten weeks reading the Auchinleck manuscript, a book written in London in the 1330s. The codex contains a fascinating array of texts, including saints’ lives, romances, and history writing set amidst shorter pieces of satire, social and political complaint, and religious instruction. We will consider the idea of the medieval book, both as a pre-print artifact, and also as a digital phenomena. We will also focus on the idea of the popular: what it meant to write for  a broad audience in medieval England, how popularity, celebrity, and virtue function in the manuscript’s texts, and how the constructions of exotic national, geographic, and religious others was part of that idea.

Literatures in English 1500-1700

Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays

English 150A / Prof. Dickey

A study of representative comedies, history plays, and tragedies from the first half of Shakespeare’s career.

Shakespeare: Later Plays

English 150B / Prof. Watson

An intensive study of Shakespeare’s works from 1604 onward, including Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus and The Tempest. Students will write a brief exposition essay and a longer final essay, and will take midterm and final exams. Careful reading of the plays in their original language before class is essential, and regular attendance and participation is required.

Shakespeare: Major Plays

Topics in Shakespeare
English 150C / Prof. Little

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

London Theater

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

Shakespeare’s plays were written in highly competitive and collaborative theatrical environment. Survey of competition, from Christopher Marlowe to Ben Jonson and John Webster and John Ford. Topics include transvestism, same-sex romance, fraud, world-conquering, and much else. Participant familiarity with Shakespeare, early modern theater buildings, and Industry would be advantage.

The Rhetoric of Reformation

Devotion and Dissent
English 156 / Prof. Hedlin

This course explores the religious thought-world of early modern poets and dramatists, including John Donne, George Herbert, Mary Sidney, John Milton, Edmund Spenser, Anne Locke, and William Shakespeare. We’ll read the work of influential Reformation theologians alongside archival materials and canonical literature, investigating how ideas like forgiveness, penance, freedom, and sin are negotiated and nuanced after the Protestant Reformation.

The Ancient Foundations of Modernity: Renaissance Translations from the Classics

Translation and Innovation in English Renaissance and Early Modern Period
English 157 / Prof. Shuger

Until the late 19th century (and to some extent into the mid-20th), Greco-Roman texts written between 750 BC and ca 200 AD dominated the curriculum from grade school through college in both England and America. These are works of extraordinary importance (e.g., the checks-and-balances structure of the American constitution comes from the 1st century BC Greek historian, Polybius), and also of extraordinary beauty, variety, and intelligence. The course focuses on English Renaissance translations of the classics because the Renaissance was the rebirth (the re-naissance) of classical learning and literature, and one of the topics will be the translation of ancient texts into early modern cultural contexts, but the class also provides a general introduction to the classical underpinnings of English literature. Readings include selections from Homer, Ovid, Cicero, Pliny, Plutarch, Hesiod, Xenophon on topics as far-flung as love, duty, sex, science, and empire.

Literatures in English 1700-1850

 

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

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

Gothic U.S.

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

Readers long have enjoyed the gothic excesses of nineteenth century U.S. literature— its haunted origins stories, murderous plots, and unreliable narrators. However, critics have not always taken the gothic tendencies of early U.S. literature seriously—seeing in its overblown conventions the signs of an underdeveloped and almost juvenile culture. This lecture introduces students to the gothic conventions of early U.S. literature, asking how its unreliable narrators, doppelgangers, and obsession with foreignness and race can help us to understand the political and cultural anxieties about identity and power that divided and haunted the tumultuous century after the American Revolution. Readings will include select pieces of secondary criticism, as well as works of literature by Brown, Irving, Poe, Sigourney, Apess, Melville, Jacobs, Chesnutt, and others. The course will conclude its discussion of the history of the gothic with Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out.

Later Romantic Literature

English 162B / Prof. Sanchez

Despite traditional assessments of British Romanticism as a literary period predominantly concerned with transcendence, solitary genius, and the love of Nature, historicist scholarship over the past several decades has taught us that British Romantic literature was first and foremost a literature about global conflict, social, cultural, and political strife, empire, and, most importantly, transatlantic revolution. This course situates its survey of Later Romantic literature within the context of the Napoleonic Wars and the political crisis that followed the battle of Waterloo. In addition to the canonical authors Byron, Shelley, and Keats, we will read the works of lesser-known writers of this period including Felicia Hemans, John Clare, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon.

Romanticism and Revolution

English 163A / Prof. Nersessian

This course attends both to the poetry of the so-called Age of Revolutions (we will focus on the French and Haitian ones) and to theories of revolution and revolutionary action produced in this same moment. Readings from Babeuf, Barbauld, Blake, de Gouges, Godwin, L’Ouverture, Robespierre, P.B. Shelley, C. Smith, Spence, Thelwall, H.M. Williams, Wordsworth (maybe), and Wollstonecraft, among other Romantic-era writers, as well as C.L.R. James, Karl Marx, and some contemporary poets, too.

The Woman Question in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

19th-Century Novel
English M164C / Prof. Wilhelm

In this course, we’ll take a close look at four nineteenth-century novels that address the so-called “woman question”: a catch-all term for the contemporary debates surrounding the changing cultural and political status of women.  The sweep of our reading—we begin with Jane Austen’s social comedy Persuasion (1817) and conclude with Olive Schreiner’s proto-modernist The Story of an African Farm (1883)—will show us how these debates changed over time and in different contexts.  As we will see, these novels offer distinct and often contradictory perspectives, but they reflect on many of the same central concerns about gender difference, women’s economic opportunities, and the shifting nature of marriage.  Throughout the quarter, we will also have the opportunity to examine how nineteenth-century conversations about gender intersected with other pressing issues such as class, race, and sexuality.  Finally, the formal diversity of these texts will enable us to explore a variety of more general topics related to the nineteenth-century novel, including the rise of literary realism and innovations in print technology.  Requirements include two formal papers and several smaller writing and research assignments as needed (no final exam).  Not open to students who completed 164C in Fall 2017.

Global 19th Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

This course examines the making of the modern world in British literature during the long nineteenth century. Beginning with Sir Walter Scott and ending with Joseph Conrad, this course will explore the role of literature in the production of a global consciousness throughout a key phase in the history of globalization. In addition to exploring the role of race, class, and gender in shaping the modern world, we will consider a variety of themes reflecting the globalism of nineteenth century literature including empire and migration, labor and revolution, and warfare and revolution.

American Literature, 1776 to 1832

English 166B / Prof. Colacurcio

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.

Literatures in English 1850 – Present

 

Butch-Femme Worlds in LGBTQ Literature

Queer Literatures and Cultures after 1970
English M101C / Prof. Alarcon

This course introduces students to key themes and topics in LGBTQ literature post 1970.  We begin with the Stonewall Rebellions to frame the political and historical contexts for reading “queer” and queer of color U.S. writings and film.  Topics include race, class, gender, sexual identities and politics, and forms of oppressing-resisting.  In particular, we will examine butch-femme constructions across several texts.  Select theoretical readings, critical concepts, and frameworks will complement our major texts.  We will read a repertoire of classic and contemporary writings including such forms as the novel, autobiography, memoir, drama, and poetry and we will screen narrative and documentary films.  Primarily, this course is dedicated to examining diverse representations and creative innovations in the vast repertoire of LGBTQ literature and film.

Migrant Asian American Literature

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

This course examines the growing ethnic diversity and formal complexity in Asian American writing.  Attempts to recover ethnic history are accompanied by ambivalence about static notions of race or ethnicity, especially in light of the transnational affiliations of many new immigrants.  Complicating the earlier impulse among Asian American writers to “claim America” or reclaim an Asian heritage is a sense of hybridity or diaspora. Issues explored include what constitutes family and whether home is a haven or a repressive environment; whether one should hold on to ethnic heritage, fully “assimilate,” or forge a global citizenship; obstacles that emerge on account of gender, class, sexual orientation, or religion; tactical uses of points of view such as unreliable narrators or narrators whose gender or ethnic backgrounds differ from the authors’; interracial dynamics and the formation of interethnic or transnational communities.

African American Literature from Harlem Renaissance to 1960s

English M104B / Prof. Streeter

This course surveys Black American literature from 1900 to 1960 using the framework of the Migration Narrative. The Great Migration was the phenomenal movement of hundreds of thousands of Black migrants from the rural South to Northern urban centers in the early part of the 20th century. Henry Louis Gates has called the Great Migration “the largest movement of black bodies since slavery” creating “a new culture – a cross-pollinated black culture, one northern and urban yet thoroughly southern in its roots.” The course includes literature of the Harlem Renaissance – the early 20th century artistic movement based in New York City. The multidisciplinary course examines literature, photography, visual art and music. Required books include Cane (Jean Toomer) Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson), Passing and Quicksand (Nella Larsen), 12 Million Black Voices (Richard Wright), The Street (Ann Petry) and Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison).

Chicana/Chicano Literature since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward that examines the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx (a term that complicates the gendered impact of “Chicano” and “Chicana”). The class will analyze literary texts to consider them as cultural expressions configuring and critiquing what it means to develop a sense of collective class and ethnic identity in the context of Mexican and Mexican-American history. We will consider how Chicanx thought and culture has developed within a postcolonial and transnational history of imperial control. We will consider the thematic and formal concerns that Chicanx literature makes manifest: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis and logical argumentation. The goal is to generate clear, effective analytical thought based on deep historical contextualization.

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion in American Fiction

Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Cheung

This course focuses on the depiction of national and transnational interracial encounters: coalition and antagonism, gay and straight liaison, loyalty and espionage. Besides seeing literature as mirroring society, we will think critically about how literature can depict racial relations in a much more nuanced way than in history and social sciences, how it can offer a unique access to sociological questions and unsettle chauvinism, binary notions of race, and heteronormativity.

Environment and Narrative

Literature and Environment
English 118E / Prof. Heise

This lecture focuses on the stories and metaphors we use to discuss current ecological problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, pollution, and environmental injustice. How do environmental stories differ or even conflict between different regions, countries, cultures, and social groups? What differences are there between environmental stories told in print, in film, on television, through photography, and online? How do these stories relate to wild, rural, and urban settings? What role does humor play in environmentalism? How does science figure in these stories? Which stories are old, which new, and how effective are they for environmental communication? Readings will include theoretical and critical texts from structuralism to cognitive science, as well as stories in a variety of genres and media from novels to disaster movies, and from pastoral to apocalyptic and utopian visions in science fiction.

 

This course also satisfies an upper-division requirement for the Literature and the Environment minor.

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

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

Henry James

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Dimuro

Henry James (1843-1916) wrote essays, reviews, autobiographies, criticism, plays, and travel narratives, but it is primarily his achievements in prose fiction that we will study. We will cover James’s work from his first popular success Daisy Miller (1878) to one of his later, most complex novels, The Ambassadors (1903). The course covers the great realist novels of James’s middle career such as The Portrait of a Lady (1880-1881) and The Bostonians (1886). We will also consider James’s aesthetic theory in his landmark essay “The Art of Fiction” (1884) and read a number of the “Prefaces” he wrote for the 1909 New York edition of his works. We will read some of James’s famous tales and short stories such as “The Pupil” (1891) and “The Beast in the Jungle” (1903), as well as other stories from the 1890s that usher in James’s so-called “late” style. We also read The Spoils of Poynton (1897), a study in greed and possession that represents James’s return to writing fiction after an unsuccessful turn as a dramatist for the London stage. We will also consider the “international theme,” the issue of child abuse, gender and sexuality, renunciation, social ideology, psychological realism, and other related topics.

20th Century Dramatist: Harold Pinter

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Goodwin

Since the 1960s Harold Pinter has had great influence on modern theater and on culture more generally.  With emphasis on drama as enacted, spoken-word art the course examines the major Pinter plays (which include The Caretaker, The Collection, The Homecoming, No Man’s Land, Betrayal), some of his stage sketches, the memoir of his early acting years “Mac,” and collateral reading and viewing in the work of Kafka, Hemingway, Beckett, Martin McDonagh, and David Mamet.

Emphasis in the course is placed on the material as theater and towards this end there will be dramatic reading from the texts and viewing of scenes on video in class.

Virginia Woolf

Individual Authors
English 139.3 / Prof. Hornby

This course will explore a selection of Virginia Woolf’s major works. We will address the central questions of how Woolf cultivates discourses of British modernism and how she responds to modernism’s particular aesthetic charges. We will consider how she experiments with genre: in particular, how she charts the territory between fiction and biography in her work. What is the relationship between her own life and the fictional worlds that she creates? How does she theorize biography? In addition to her novels and short fiction, we will supplement with readings from her critical essays, diary entries, autobiographical writings, and letters, and we will engage with the scholarly criticism surrounding her writing.

The Woman Question in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

19th-Century Novel
English M164C / Prof. Wilhelm

In this course, we’ll take a close look at four nineteenth-century novels that address the so-called “woman question”: a catch-all term for the contemporary debates surrounding the changing cultural and political status of women.  The sweep of our reading—we begin with Jane Austen’s social comedy Persuasion (1817) and conclude with Olive Schreiner’s proto-modernist The Story of an African Farm (1883)—will show us how these debates changed over time and in different contexts.  As we will see, these novels offer distinct and often contradictory perspectives, but they reflect on many of the same central concerns about gender difference, women’s economic opportunities, and the shifting nature of marriage.  Throughout the quarter, we will also have the opportunity to examine how nineteenth-century conversations about gender intersected with other pressing issues such as class, race, and sexuality.  Finally, the formal diversity of these texts will enable us to explore a variety of more general topics related to the nineteenth-century novel, including the rise of literary realism and innovations in print technology.  Requirements include two formal papers and several smaller writing and research assignments as needed (no final exam).  Not open to students who completed 164C in Fall 2017.

American Literature 1850 to the Present

English 170A / Prof. Dimuro

This is a course about literary realism in the United States from the beginning of Reconstruction to 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 Sarah Orne Jewett all explored provocative social issues that remain relevant to understanding the complexity of American culture in our own time. Against the historical background of racial conflict, the explosive growth of cities, bold advances in technology, the rising political and sexual consciousness of women, and the dominance of consumer capitalism, this course explores 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 individual text, discuss the ethical dimensions of each work, and explore the question of canonicity and values that have attached to each of the authors on our reading list.

American Literature 1900 to 1945

English 170B / Prof. Mehlman

This course will engage American prose and poetry between 1900-1945. We will be paying particularly close attention to how our writers engage, topically and formally, with some of the most pressing concerns of these turbulent years—economic and racial divisions, unprecedented bloodshed, a global imagination, new media, and new social and institutional forms. Authors will include Willa Cather, W.E.B. DuBois, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nathaniel West.

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, and others. The class will have a mid-term and final examination, and require one paper.

Novel Perspectives

20th-Century British Fiction
English 171C / Prof. Miller

This course is a survey of British Fiction in the twentieth century, a revolutionary time for the novel form. As the developments of the modern world forced authors to look at their own reality in new ways, the reliably omniscient narrator of the nineteenth-century realist novel became increasingly unrealistic. Instead, and reflective of the epistemological uncertainty of the time, writers began to explore and experiment with various alternative modes of narration – including that of the unreliable first-person; of the cacophony of competing voices; and of course, of stream of consciousness. As such, this class will be a study in points of view. Theirs, and yours. Likely texts will include: The Good Soldier (1915), A Passage to India (1924), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), The Comforters (1957), Trumpet (1998), and Atonement (2001).

American Poetry, 1900 to 1945

English 173A / Prof. Salway

This course explores the diverse ways that early twentieth-century American poets responded to a rapidly modernizing world. Our focus will be on the relationship between experience and innovation, and on the role of the “new” in articulating the reality of the modern subject. The course will cover poetry from the Modernist movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and World War II.

The Talented Ms. _______

American Fiction Since 1945
English 174B / Prof. Miller

Much of what we think of American fiction Post-1945 has been characterized by its esteemed male authors: Pynchon, Roth, Updike, Ellison, Delillo, Vonnegut (to name but a few). Influential as those men have been, however, this course will trace a parallel trajectory of American fiction, focusing instead on some of the major women writers whose works were equally essential in defining this period of literary history. Likely figures will include Patricia Highsmith, Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, and Sandra Cisneros.

What’s Queer About Gay Marriage? Contemporary Queer Fiction and Film, 2008-2018

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

When Supreme Court Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion legalizing marriage rights for gay people in Obergefell v Hodges (2015), he suggested that “new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations” in the move towards broader social equality. In this course, we explore how contemporary queer literature after 2008 (when Proposition 8 was passed) conceives of queer life in the shadow of discourses of LGBT rights that focus on inclusion within institutions like marriage. In the quest for equal rights, what dimensions of queer life have been erased, minimized, or forgotten? Through contemporary queer fiction, we uncover how queer activism reacts to a tendency in mainstream politics to incorporate queer figures into normalized institutions. We will investigate how texts from Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts to films like Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight index issues in contemporary activism, from economic marginalization, racial discrimination, to U.S. imperialism abroad, through the intersectional lens brought by an array of queer U.S. authors of various backgrounds.

After Liberation: LGBTQ Literature and Art, 1978-2005

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

Moving from the heady days of Gay Liberation in the 1970s into the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s before landing in the new millennium, this course will explore how LGBTQ literature and art in America has developed in content, form and political consciousness against the backdrop of profound social, economic and cultural changes. By putting art in dialog with historical materials and contemporary criticism, we will assess how the goals of a “queer politics” and a “queer life” have evolved across the last fifty years and where recent works indicate LGBTQ culture and politics is heading. Authors and artists surveyed may include Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Audre Lorde, Rita Mae Brown, Gloria Anzaldua, Barry Jenkins, Marlon Riggs, Leslie Feinberg, Cheryl Dunye, Gil Cuadros, Jennie Livingston, Robert Mapplethorpe, Justin Chin, Tommy Pico, Luca Guadagnino, and others.

Revolutions in Non-Fiction Prose of the 1960s, from Agitprop to Underground Comix

American Nonfictional Prose
English 175 / Prof. Solomon

In this course we will examine emerging movements in the non-fiction prose writing of the 1960s that were designed to challenge literary, political, and social conventions in U.S. culture. Specifically, we will focus our attention on the way journalists, satirists, political activists, and visual artists adapted existing prose styles in order to acknowledge uncomfortable truths, or to give voice to emerging political or social movements whose very existence challenged the status quo.

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

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Decker

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

“Tune In, Turn On:” Film and Fiction of the 1960s Counterculture

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Solomon

This course will focus on creative texts designed to reflect the revolutionary goals of the youth movements/countercultures during the “long 1960s.” We will examine artistic engagements with the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the Antiwar Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Women’s Movement, urban unrest, college campus activism, the drug culture, and the sexual revolution.

Alice Munro, Realism, and the Short Story

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

Alice Munro redefined what could be accomplished in a short story, and in doing so introduced new literary pleasures and techniques. Her capacity to render ordinary life in depth, with great subtlety and complexity makes her the preeminent realist of our time and earned her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. In this course, we will study two or more of Munro’s short stories a week. Lectures and class discussions will be augmented by student presentations covering such topics as literary influences and allusions, historical context, and sexual politics.

Networks, Systems, Media

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

No doubt we live in a world of networks, systems, and media. But what that means and what it looks like and feels like may be another story–or a number of different, and rival, stories. This course will look at some modern and contemporary novels, and visual culture, that will make it possible to reconsider how we live in and with this situation today. Readings will include novels by, for example, Raymond Chandler, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Highsmith, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Tom McCarthy, accompanied by film and anime. The course will require two 5-7 papers, and the papers will require close reading and sustained interpretation. There may be a final exam. Attendance, participation, and on-time papers are required; no exceptions.

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies

 

Butch-Femme Worlds in LGBTQ Literature

Queer Literatures and Cultures after 1970
English M101C / Prof. Alarcon

This course introduces students to key themes and topics in LGBTQ literature post 1970.  We begin with the Stonewall Rebellions to frame the political and historical contexts for reading “queer” and queer of color U.S. writings and film.  Topics include race, class, gender, sexual identities and politics, and forms of oppressing-resisting.  In particular, we will examine butch-femme constructions across several texts.  Select theoretical readings, critical concepts, and frameworks will complement our major texts.  We will read a repertoire of classic and contemporary writings including such forms as the novel, autobiography, memoir, drama, and poetry and we will screen narrative and documentary films.  Primarily, this course is dedicated to examining diverse representations and creative innovations in the vast repertoire of LGBTQ literature and film.

Migrant Asian American Literature

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

This course examines the growing ethnic diversity and formal complexity in Asian American writing.  Attempts to recover ethnic history are accompanied by ambivalence about static notions of race or ethnicity, especially in light of the transnational affiliations of many new immigrants.  Complicating the earlier impulse among Asian American writers to “claim America” or reclaim an Asian heritage is a sense of hybridity or diaspora. Issues explored include what constitutes family and whether home is a haven or a repressive environment; whether one should hold on to ethnic heritage, fully “assimilate,” or forge a global citizenship; obstacles that emerge on account of gender, class, sexual orientation, or religion; tactical uses of points of view such as unreliable narrators or narrators whose gender or ethnic backgrounds differ from the authors’; interracial dynamics and the formation of interethnic or transnational communities.

African American Literature from Harlem Renaissance to 1960s

English M104B / Prof. Streeter

This course surveys Black American literature from 1900 to 1960 using the framework of the Migration Narrative. The Great Migration was the phenomenal movement of hundreds of thousands of Black migrants from the rural South to Northern urban centers in the early part of the 20th century. Henry Louis Gates has called the Great Migration “the largest movement of black bodies since slavery” creating “a new culture – a cross-pollinated black culture, one northern and urban yet thoroughly southern in its roots.” The course includes literature of the Harlem Renaissance – the early 20th century artistic movement based in New York City. The multidisciplinary course examines literature, photography, visual art and music. Required books include Cane (Jean Toomer) Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson), Passing and Quicksand (Nella Larsen), 12 Million Black Voices (Richard Wright), The Street (Ann Petry) and Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison).

Chicana/Chicano Literature since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward that examines the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx (a term that complicates the gendered impact of “Chicano” and “Chicana”). The class will analyze literary texts to consider them as cultural expressions configuring and critiquing what it means to develop a sense of collective class and ethnic identity in the context of Mexican and Mexican-American history. We will consider how Chicanx thought and culture has developed within a postcolonial and transnational history of imperial control. We will consider the thematic and formal concerns that Chicanx literature makes manifest: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis and logical argumentation. The goal is to generate clear, effective analytical thought based on deep historical contextualization.

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion in American Fiction

Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Cheung

This course focuses on the depiction of national and transnational interracial encounters: coalition and antagonism, gay and straight liaison, loyalty and espionage. Besides seeing literature as mirroring society, we will think critically about how literature can depict racial relations in a much more nuanced way than in history and social sciences, how it can offer a unique access to sociological questions and unsettle chauvinism, binary notions of race, and heteronormativity.

Adaptation, Inspiration, and Reinvention: Queer Lit and Film

Studies in Visual Culture
English 118C / Prof. Torres

This course will ask what are the costs, and what are the compensations, of adaptation both in art and in life? We will look at a wide range of literary works with queer themes and their cinematic adaptations: Billy Budd / Beau Travail, The Color Purple, The Haunting of Hill House, and Kiss of the Spider Woman are just some examples. How have filmmakers like Almodovar, Campion, Jarman, and Fassbinder, approached literary adaptation? What, if anything, is queer about adaptation?

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

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

“Queer Futurity” and “Temporal Drag”

Feminist and Queer Theory
English M126 / Prof. Firunts

This course examines critical texts in feminist and queer theory alongside topical engagements in film, video, and performance. Attending to gender and sexuality through an intersectional lens, we will consider how discourses in this field are invoked across a range of media. For example, we will investigate how the temporal drag described by Elizabeth Freeman might be read through the videos of Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz and the street actions of Sharon Hayes. In a similar vein, we will look to the queer futurities theorized by José Esteban Muñoz as they are articulated in the digital games of Anna Anthropy and the performances of Dynasty Handbag. Coursework will include reading responses, a midterm essay, and a final essay.

Gothic U.S.

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

Readers long have enjoyed the gothic excesses of nineteenth century U.S. literature— its haunted origins stories, murderous plots, and unreliable narrators. However, critics have not always taken the gothic tendencies of early U.S. literature seriously—seeing in its overblown conventions the signs of an underdeveloped and almost juvenile culture. This lecture introduces students to the gothic conventions of early U.S. literature, asking how its unreliable narrators, doppelgangers, and obsession with foreignness and race can help us to understand the political and cultural anxieties about identity and power that divided and haunted the tumultuous century after the American Revolution. Readings will include select pieces of secondary criticism, as well as works of literature by Brown, Irving, Poe, Sigourney, Apess, Melville, Jacobs, Chesnutt, and others. The course will conclude its discussion of the history of the gothic with Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out.

Virginia Woolf

Individual Authors
English 139.3 / Prof. Hornby

This course will explore a selection of Virginia Woolf’s major works. We will address the central questions of how Woolf cultivates discourses of British modernism and how she responds to modernism’s particular aesthetic charges. We will consider how she experiments with genre: in particular, how she charts the territory between fiction and biography in her work. What is the relationship between her own life and the fictional worlds that she creates? How does she theorize biography? In addition to her novels and short fiction, we will supplement with readings from her critical essays, diary entries, autobiographical writings, and letters, and we will engage with the scholarly criticism surrounding her writing.

The Virgin, the Wife, and the Widow: Telling Stories of Medieval Holy Women

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

Stories of holy women – hagiographical narratives – offer a space for thinking through the shifting relationship between the church and the holy woman, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, as well as between animals and saints. The course extends from the travails of the runaway bride Christina of Markyate and the visions of Hildegard of Bingen to the feats of Catherine of Siena, and the travails of Dorothea of Montau and Margery Kempe. Throughout, our focus will be on the narrative characteristics of late medieval hagiography and the historical work they do. We will read writings about and by holy women (and a couple by holy men) alongside relevant materials on dream-visions, narrative strategies, books of rhetorical composition, digests of law, and other institutional documents on issues ranging from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure, from writing to preaching, from secrets shared and secrets betrayed. Questions for discussion include: What make these narratives compelling or powerful? To what extent do formal conventions of storytelling help invent powerful female characters in an otherwise male-dominated world?

The Woman Question in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

19th-Century Novel
English M164C / Prof. Wilhelm

In this course, we’ll take a close look at four nineteenth-century novels that address the so-called “woman question”: a catch-all term for the contemporary debates surrounding the changing cultural and political status of women.  The sweep of our reading—we begin with Jane Austen’s social comedy Persuasion (1817) and conclude with Olive Schreiner’s proto-modernist The Story of an African Farm (1883)—will show us how these debates changed over time and in different contexts.  As we will see, these novels offer distinct and often contradictory perspectives, but they reflect on many of the same central concerns about gender difference, women’s economic opportunities, and the shifting nature of marriage.  Throughout the quarter, we will also have the opportunity to examine how nineteenth-century conversations about gender intersected with other pressing issues such as class, race, and sexuality.  Finally, the formal diversity of these texts will enable us to explore a variety of more general topics related to the nineteenth-century novel, including the rise of literary realism and innovations in print technology.  Requirements include two formal papers and several smaller writing and research assignments as needed (no final exam).  Not open to students who completed 164C in Fall 2017.

The Talented Ms. _______

American Fiction Since 1945
English 174B / Prof. Miller

Much of what we think of American fiction Post-1945 has been characterized by its esteemed male authors: Pynchon, Roth, Updike, Ellison, Delillo, Vonnegut (to name but a few). Influential as those men have been, however, this course will trace a parallel trajectory of American fiction, focusing instead on some of the major women writers whose works were equally essential in defining this period of literary history. Likely figures will include Patricia Highsmith, Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, and Sandra Cisneros.

What’s Queer About Gay Marriage? Contemporary Queer Fiction and Film, 2008-2018

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

When Supreme Court Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion legalizing marriage rights for gay people in Obergefell v Hodges (2015), he suggested that “new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations” in the move towards broader social equality. In this course, we explore how contemporary queer literature after 2008 (when Proposition 8 was passed) conceives of queer life in the shadow of discourses of LGBT rights that focus on inclusion within institutions like marriage. In the quest for equal rights, what dimensions of queer life have been erased, minimized, or forgotten? Through contemporary queer fiction, we uncover how queer activism reacts to a tendency in mainstream politics to incorporate queer figures into normalized institutions. We will investigate how texts from Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts to films like Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight index issues in contemporary activism, from economic marginalization, racial discrimination, to U.S. imperialism abroad, through the intersectional lens brought by an array of queer U.S. authors of various backgrounds.

After Liberation: LGBTQ Literature and Art, 1978-2005

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

Moving from the heady days of Gay Liberation in the 1970s into the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s before landing in the new millennium, this course will explore how LGBTQ literature and art in America has developed in content, form and political consciousness against the backdrop of profound social, economic and cultural changes. By putting art in dialog with historical materials and contemporary criticism, we will assess how the goals of a “queer politics” and a “queer life” have evolved across the last fifty years and where recent works indicate LGBTQ culture and politics is heading. Authors and artists surveyed may include Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Audre Lorde, Rita Mae Brown, Gloria Anzaldua, Barry Jenkins, Marlon Riggs, Leslie Feinberg, Cheryl Dunye, Gil Cuadros, Jennie Livingston, Robert Mapplethorpe, Justin Chin, Tommy Pico, Luca Guadagnino, and others.

Revolutions in Non-Fiction Prose of the 1960s, from Agitprop to Underground Comix

American Nonfictional Prose
English 175 / Prof. Solomon

In this course we will examine emerging movements in the non-fiction prose writing of the 1960s that were designed to challenge literary, political, and social conventions in U.S. culture. Specifically, we will focus our attention on the way journalists, satirists, political activists, and visual artists adapted existing prose styles in order to acknowledge uncomfortable truths, or to give voice to emerging political or social movements whose very existence challenged the status quo.

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

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Decker

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

“Tune In, Turn On:” Film and Fiction of the 1960s Counterculture

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Solomon

This course will focus on creative texts designed to reflect the revolutionary goals of the youth movements/countercultures during the “long 1960s.” We will examine artistic engagements with the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the Antiwar Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Women’s Movement, urban unrest, college campus activism, the drug culture, and the sexual revolution.

Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies

 

Migrant Asian American Literature

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

This course examines the growing ethnic diversity and formal complexity in Asian American writing.  Attempts to recover ethnic history are accompanied by ambivalence about static notions of race or ethnicity, especially in light of the transnational affiliations of many new immigrants.  Complicating the earlier impulse among Asian American writers to “claim America” or reclaim an Asian heritage is a sense of hybridity or diaspora. Issues explored include what constitutes family and whether home is a haven or a repressive environment; whether one should hold on to ethnic heritage, fully “assimilate,” or forge a global citizenship; obstacles that emerge on account of gender, class, sexual orientation, or religion; tactical uses of points of view such as unreliable narrators or narrators whose gender or ethnic backgrounds differ from the authors’; interracial dynamics and the formation of interethnic or transnational communities.

Chicana/Chicano Literature since el Movimiento, 1970s to Present

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward that examines the various meanings (social, sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx (a term that complicates the gendered impact of “Chicano” and “Chicana”). The class will analyze literary texts to consider them as cultural expressions configuring and critiquing what it means to develop a sense of collective class and ethnic identity in the context of Mexican and Mexican-American history. We will consider how Chicanx thought and culture has developed within a postcolonial and transnational history of imperial control. We will consider the thematic and formal concerns that Chicanx literature makes manifest: social inequalities, collective political action, oppositional consciousness, gender and sexual identification, class consciousness, aesthetic production, and racial stratification. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis and logical argumentation. The goal is to generate clear, effective analytical thought based on deep historical contextualization.

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

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

Introduction to Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Literature

Culture and Imperialism
English 132 / Prof. Cohen

This course offers an introduction to the literatures, concepts, and theories of imperialism, transnationalism, and postcolonialism (ITP). It presumes no prior experience studying these topics.

 

Imperial, transnational, and postcolonial literatures combine a number of histories and periods, stretching from the medieval to the present; they are not localized to specific geographies; and they encompass a vast field of literatures in English, from writings by authors of the commonwealth nations that emerged from the breakup of the British empire, to creole literatures that arose historically from contact between colonizing and indigenous languages and peoples, to canonical British and American writing that addresses those nations’ respective empires in one form or another.

 

This course organizes this diverse set of topics by introducing the major concepts that structure its theoretical and literary histories. The course will answer the basic question—what is ITP?—by using literary texts to define a series of critical keywords, including “empire,” “transnationalism,” “postcolonialism,” “oceanic,” “hemispheric,” “diaspora,” and “migration.”

 

Readings may works by nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first-century authors such as Herman Melville, Rudyard Kipling, Maxine Hong Kingston, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Junot Diaz, and others.

 

Satisfies the College’s Diversity requirement.

Global 19th Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

This course examines the making of the modern world in British literature during the long nineteenth century. Beginning with Sir Walter Scott and ending with Joseph Conrad, this course will explore the role of literature in the production of a global consciousness throughout a key phase in the history of globalization. In addition to exploring the role of race, class, and gender in shaping the modern world, we will consider a variety of themes reflecting the globalism of nineteenth century literature including empire and migration, labor and revolution, and warfare and revolution.

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

 

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion in American Fiction

Topics in Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
English 109 / Prof. Cheung

This course focuses on the depiction of national and transnational interracial encounters: coalition and antagonism, gay and straight liaison, loyalty and espionage. Besides seeing literature as mirroring society, we will think critically about how literature can depict racial relations in a much more nuanced way than in history and social sciences, how it can offer a unique access to sociological questions and unsettle chauvinism, binary notions of race, and heteronormativity.

Hebrew Bible in Translation

English 111A / Prof. Maniquis

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

 

This course qualifies as foreign literature in translation. English majors may apply this course either to an upper-division major requirement, or to their major foreign language/literature requirement, but not both.

Christian Biblical Texts in Translation

English 111B / Prof. Maniquis

Literary study of canonical New Testament and other Christian texts (deuterocanonical, apocryphal, gnostic, etc.), with emphasis on literary devices and narrative structures in relation to Judeo-Christian historical, political, psychological, philosophical, and theological themes.

 

This course qualifies as foreign literature in translation. English majors may apply this course either to an upper-division major requirement, or to their major foreign language/literature requirement, but not both.

Environment and Narrative

Literature and Environment
English 118E / Prof. Heise

This lecture focuses on the stories and metaphors we use to discuss current ecological problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, pollution, and environmental injustice. How do environmental stories differ or even conflict between different regions, countries, cultures, and social groups? What differences are there between environmental stories told in print, in film, on television, through photography, and online? How do these stories relate to wild, rural, and urban settings? What role does humor play in environmentalism? How does science figure in these stories? Which stories are old, which new, and how effective are they for environmental communication? Readings will include theoretical and critical texts from structuralism to cognitive science, as well as stories in a variety of genres and media from novels to disaster movies, and from pastoral to apocalyptic and utopian visions in science fiction.

 

This course also satisfies an upper-division requirement for the Literature and the Environment minor.

Literary London: Tales of Two Cities

Literary Cities
English 119 / Prof. Makdisi

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

History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory

English 120 / Prof. Huehls

This course surveys the history of aesthetic philosophy and literary theory in the western tradition, stretching from Plato to Nietzsche. We explore changing ideas about art’s purpose, origin, ideal form, and potential politics.

Attachment and Detachment in Criticism and Literature

Keywords in Theory
English 122 / Prof. Kareem

While we think of artists as passionate, to be a critic, we imagine, is quite different: critics are detached, dispassionate and, above all, critical–think of the character Anton Ego in the film Ratatouille, for example. What happens when critics try to talk about how literature makes them feel? What role do personal feelings, attachments, and preferences play in the task of writing criticism? This course will examine these questions through the lens of two key concepts: attachment and detachment. We will consider recent critical discussions of attachment and detachment as well as works of fiction that thematize the scholar’s vexed relationship to literature. Authors we will consider include A. S. Byatt, Vladimir Nabokov, David Lodge, Rita Felski, and Bruno Latour.

“Queer Futurity” and “Temporal Drag”

Feminist and Queer Theory
English M126 / Prof. Firunts

This course examines critical texts in feminist and queer theory alongside topical engagements in film, video, and performance. Attending to gender and sexuality through an intersectional lens, we will consider how discourses in this field are invoked across a range of media. For example, we will investigate how the temporal drag described by Elizabeth Freeman might be read through the videos of Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz and the street actions of Sharon Hayes. In a similar vein, we will look to the queer futurities theorized by José Esteban Muñoz as they are articulated in the digital games of Anna Anthropy and the performances of Dynasty Handbag. Coursework will include reading responses, a midterm essay, and a final essay.

Performance and Protest

Performance, Media, and Cultural Theory
English 127 / Prof. Firunts

How might performance be considered a form of direct action, and what is the relationship between aesthetic activity and political activism? This course will address how performance intersects with protest, from the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will examine theories on the relationship between art and politics alongside performances by a range of groups and artists including ACT UP, Asco, Tania Bruguera, Coco Fusco, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, and Hito Steyerl. Coursework will include reading responses, a midterm essay, and a final project.

Gothic U.S.

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

Readers long have enjoyed the gothic excesses of nineteenth century U.S. literature— its haunted origins stories, murderous plots, and unreliable narrators. However, critics have not always taken the gothic tendencies of early U.S. literature seriously—seeing in its overblown conventions the signs of an underdeveloped and almost juvenile culture. This lecture introduces students to the gothic conventions of early U.S. literature, asking how its unreliable narrators, doppelgangers, and obsession with foreignness and race can help us to understand the political and cultural anxieties about identity and power that divided and haunted the tumultuous century after the American Revolution. Readings will include select pieces of secondary criticism, as well as works of literature by Brown, Irving, Poe, Sigourney, Apess, Melville, Jacobs, Chesnutt, and others. The course will conclude its discussion of the history of the gothic with Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out.

Henry James

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Dimuro

Henry James (1843-1916) wrote essays, reviews, autobiographies, criticism, plays, and travel narratives, but it is primarily his achievements in prose fiction that we will study. We will cover James’s work from his first popular success Daisy Miller (1878) to one of his later, most complex novels, The Ambassadors (1903). The course covers the great realist novels of James’s middle career such as The Portrait of a Lady (1880-1881) and The Bostonians (1886). We will also consider James’s aesthetic theory in his landmark essay “The Art of Fiction” (1884) and read a number of the “Prefaces” he wrote for the 1909 New York edition of his works. We will read some of James’s famous tales and short stories such as “The Pupil” (1891) and “The Beast in the Jungle” (1903), as well as other stories from the 1890s that usher in James’s so-called “late” style. We also read The Spoils of Poynton (1897), a study in greed and possession that represents James’s return to writing fiction after an unsuccessful turn as a dramatist for the London stage. We will also consider the “international theme,” the issue of child abuse, gender and sexuality, renunciation, social ideology, psychological realism, and other related topics.

20th Century Dramatist: Harold Pinter

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Goodwin

Since the 1960s Harold Pinter has had great influence on modern theater and on culture more generally.  With emphasis on drama as enacted, spoken-word art the course examines the major Pinter plays (which include The Caretaker, The Collection, The Homecoming, No Man’s Land, Betrayal), some of his stage sketches, the memoir of his early acting years “Mac,” and collateral reading and viewing in the work of Kafka, Hemingway, Beckett, Martin McDonagh, and David Mamet.

Virginia Woolf

Individual Authors
English 139.3 / Prof. Hornby

This course will explore a selection of Virginia Woolf’s major works. We will address the central questions of how Woolf cultivates discourses of British modernism and how she responds to modernism’s particular aesthetic charges. We will consider how she experiments with genre: in particular, how she charts the territory between fiction and biography in her work. What is the relationship between her own life and the fictional worlds that she creates? How does she theorize biography? In addition to her novels and short fiction, we will supplement with readings from her critical essays, diary entries, autobiographical writings, and letters, and we will engage with the scholarly criticism surrounding her writing.

The Auchinleck Manuscript

Medieval Story Cycles and Collections
English 146 / Prof. Fisher

We will spend the next ten weeks reading the Auchinleck manuscript, a book written in London in the 1330s. The codex contains a fascinating array of texts, including saints’ lives, romances, and history writing set amidst shorter pieces of satire, social and political complaint, and religious instruction. We will consider the idea of the medieval book, both as a pre-print artifact, and also as a digital phenomena. We will also focus on the idea of the popular: what it meant to write for  a broad audience in medieval England, how popularity, celebrity, and virtue function in the manuscript’s texts, and how the constructions of exotic national, geographic, and religious others was part of that idea.

The Rhetoric of Reformation

Devotion and Dissent
English 156 / Prof. Hedlin

This course explores the religious thought-world of early modern poets and dramatists, including John Donne, George Herbert, Mary Sidney, John Milton, Edmund Spenser, Anne Locke, and William Shakespeare. We’ll read the work of influential Reformation theologians alongside archival materials and canonical literature, investigating how ideas like forgiveness, penance, freedom, and sin are negotiated and nuanced after the Protestant Reformation.

Romanticism and Revolution

English 163A / Prof. Nersessian

This course attends both to the poetry of the so-called Age of Revolutions (we will focus on the French and Haitian ones) and to theories of revolution and revolutionary action produced in this same moment. Readings from Babeuf, Barbauld, Blake, de Gouges, Godwin, L’Ouverture, Robespierre, P.B. Shelley, C. Smith, Spence, Thelwall, H.M. Williams, Wordsworth (maybe), and Wollstonecraft, among other Romantic-era writers, as well as C.L.R. James, Karl Marx, and some contemporary poets, too.

Global 19th Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

This course examines the making of the modern world in British literature during the long nineteenth century. Beginning with Sir Walter Scott and ending with Joseph Conrad, this course will explore the role of literature in the production of a global consciousness throughout a key phase in the history of globalization. In addition to exploring the role of race, class, and gender in shaping the modern world, we will consider a variety of themes reflecting the globalism of nineteenth century literature including empire and migration, labor and revolution, and warfare and revolution.

American Literature 1850 to the Present

English 170A / Prof. Dimuro

This is a course about literary realism in the United States from the beginning of Reconstruction to 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 Sarah Orne Jewett all explored provocative social issues that remain relevant to understanding the complexity of American culture in our own time. Against the historical background of racial conflict, the explosive growth of cities, bold advances in technology, the rising political and sexual consciousness of women, and the dominance of consumer capitalism, this course explores 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 individual text, discuss the ethical dimensions of each work, and explore the question of canonicity and values that have attached to each of the authors on our reading list.

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, and others. The class will have a mid-term and final examination, and require one paper.

Novel Perspectives

20th-Century British Fiction
English 171C / Prof. Miller

This course is a survey of British Fiction in the twentieth century, a revolutionary time for the novel form. As the developments of the modern world forced authors to look at their own reality in new ways, the reliably omniscient narrator of the nineteenth-century realist novel became increasingly unrealistic. Instead, and reflective of the epistemological uncertainty of the time, writers began to explore and experiment with various alternative modes of narration – including that of the unreliable first-person; of the cacophony of competing voices; and of course, of stream of consciousness. As such, this class will be a study in points of view. Theirs, and yours. Likely texts will include: The Good Soldier (1915), A Passage to India (1924), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), The Comforters (1957), Trumpet (1998), and Atonement (2001).

American Poetry, 1900 to 1945

English 173A / Prof. Salway

This course explores the diverse ways that early twentieth-century American poets responded to a rapidly modernizing world. Our focus will be on the relationship between experience and innovation, and on the role of the “new” in articulating the reality of the modern subject. The course will cover poetry from the Modernist movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and World War II.

The Talented Ms. _______

American Fiction Since 1945
English 174B / Prof. Miller

Much of what we think of American fiction Post-1945 has been characterized by its esteemed male authors: Pynchon, Roth, Updike, Ellison, Delillo, Vonnegut (to name but a few). Influential as those men have been, however, this course will trace a parallel trajectory of American fiction, focusing instead on some of the major women writers whose works were equally essential in defining this period of literary history. Likely figures will include Patricia Highsmith, Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, and Sandra Cisneros.

What’s Queer About Gay Marriage? Contemporary Queer Fiction and Film, 2008-2018

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

When Supreme Court Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion legalizing marriage rights for gay people in Obergefell v Hodges (2015), he suggested that “new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations” in the move towards broader social equality. In this course, we explore how contemporary queer literature after 2008 (when Proposition 8 was passed) conceives of queer life in the shadow of discourses of LGBT rights that focus on inclusion within institutions like marriage. In the quest for equal rights, what dimensions of queer life have been erased, minimized, or forgotten? Through contemporary queer fiction, we uncover how queer activism reacts to a tendency in mainstream politics to incorporate queer figures into normalized institutions. We will investigate how texts from Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts to films like Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight index issues in contemporary activism, from economic marginalization, racial discrimination, to U.S. imperialism abroad, through the intersectional lens brought by an array of queer U.S. authors of various backgrounds.

After Liberation: LGBTQ Literature and Art, 1978-2005

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

Moving from the heady days of Gay Liberation in the 1970s into the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s before landing in the new millennium, this course will explore how LGBTQ literature and art in America has developed in content, form and political consciousness against the backdrop of profound social, economic and cultural changes. By putting art in dialog with historical materials and contemporary criticism, we will assess how the goals of a “queer politics” and a “queer life” have evolved across the last fifty years and where recent works indicate LGBTQ culture and politics is heading. Authors and artists surveyed may include Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Audre Lorde, Rita Mae Brown, Gloria Anzaldua, Barry Jenkins, Marlon Riggs, Leslie Feinberg, Cheryl Dunye, Gil Cuadros, Jennie Livingston, Robert Mapplethorpe, Justin Chin, Tommy Pico, Luca Guadagnino, and others.

Revolutions in Non-Fiction Prose of the 1960s, from Agitprop to Underground Comix

American Nonfictional Prose
English 175 / Prof. Solomon

In this course we will examine emerging movements in the non-fiction prose writing of the 1960s that were designed to challenge literary, political, and social conventions in U.S. culture. Specifically, we will focus our attention on the way journalists, satirists, political activists, and visual artists adapted existing prose styles in order to acknowledge uncomfortable truths, or to give voice to emerging political or social movements whose very existence challenged the status quo.

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

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / Prof. Decker

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

“Tune In, Turn On:” Film and Fiction of the 1960s Counterculture

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Solomon

This course will focus on creative texts designed to reflect the revolutionary goals of the youth movements/countercultures during the “long 1960s.” We will examine artistic engagements with the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the Antiwar Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Women’s Movement, urban unrest, college campus activism, the drug culture, and the sexual revolution.

Alice Munro, Realism, and the Short Story

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

Alice Munro redefined what could be accomplished in a short story, and in doing so introduced new literary pleasures and techniques. Her capacity to render ordinary life in depth, with great subtlety and complexity makes her the preeminent realist of our time and earned her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. In this course, we will study two or more of Munro’s short stories a week. Lectures and class discussions will be augmented by student presentations covering such topics as literary influences and allusions, historical context, and sexual politics.

Networks, Systems, Media

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

No doubt we live in a world of networks, systems, and media. But what that means and what it looks like and feels like may be another story–or a number of different, and rival, stories. This course will look at some modern and contemporary novels, and visual culture, that will make it possible to reconsider how we live in and with this situation today. Readings will include novels by, for example, Raymond Chandler, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Highsmith, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Tom McCarthy, accompanied by film and anime. The course will require two 5-7 papers, and the papers will require close reading and sustained interpretation. There may be a final exam. Attendance, participation, and on-time papers are required; no exceptions.

Creative Writing Workshops

Admission to all Creative Writing Workshops by application only.

 

Creative Writing: Poetry

English 136.1 / Prof. D’Aguiar

A poetry workshop, English 136.1 reads exemplary models from published poems and poses weekly writing assignments to emulate those successful examples. Also, we write in-class exercises and discuss those results. Students attend at least two poetry readings during the quarter and submit a final portfolio of revised assigned poems. Texts: TBA

 

Admission Process:

Email (Word Doc or PDF) 3 or 4 of your original poems along with a two-paragraph statement about recent poetry books that you have read or poetry readings that you have attended to freddaguiar@ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. If you are applying to both poetry workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course section number on the subject line (example: Jackson 136.1). Deadline for submission is Wednesday, January 2, 2019. A list of accepted students’ names will be posted in the main English department office (149 Kaplan Hall) by Monday, January 7.

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

Creative Writing: Poetry

English 136.2 / Prof. Mullen

Applications are due by 4:00 PM on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

 

Course description: In this creative writing workshop, students must write original poetry and submit multiple copies of their drafts for weekly class discussion. Students will compose new drafts each week for discussion in each workshop session. Each student is also required to contribute constructive written and oral feedback to fellow writers, and to make an oral presentation on the work of a published poet. Criteria for grading include regular and punctual attendance and completion of assignments, participation in discussion with respectful critique of fellow writers, as well as a final portfolio of revised poems. Enrollment is by instructor consent.

 

To apply for enrollment, please submit up to five poems, along with your student identification number, and a brief statement about your interest in reading and writing poetry and your previous experience in literature and creative writing courses. Please deliver a print copy to the English Department Office and also send an e-mail version to me at mullen@humnet.ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu:

 

Professor Mullen

149 Kaplan Hall

UCLA English Department

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530

 

If you are applying to both poetry workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course section number on the subject line (example: Jackson 136.2).

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

 

Students on the wait list should attend the first class meeting for a chance to claim any spaces that open up.

Creative Writing: Short Story

English 137.1 / Prof. Huneven

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

 

We will consider the short story form, studying one or more great short stories weekly, which the students will take turns presenting to the rest of the class. All students will be expected to read these stories multiple times and annotate them to identify the mechanics and the magic.

 

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

 

Emphasis will be on developing the student writer’s individual voice and writing ability

 

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 both Winter quarter short story workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference.

 

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

 

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

 

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY DECEMBER 18.

 

NOTE: A class list will be posted in English Department Office.

 

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

Creative Writing: Short Story

English 137.2 / Prof. Torres

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

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

If you are applying to both Winter quarter short story workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference. Submissions must be e-mailed to both 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 137.2).

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

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY DEC 18th.

NOTE: A list of students accepted into the class will be posted in English Department Office on Jan 7th.

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

Creative Writing: Place and Perspective in Fiction

English M138 / Prof. Flournoy

This class is a workshop on the reading and writing of fiction, with an emphasis on how characters’ relationships to setting help to create compelling narratives. With an eye toward understanding how world-building impacts a work of fiction’s structure and themes, we will consider both the short story form as well as excerpts from longer works. Students will be asked to study, reread and be prepared to discuss assigned texts in class. Students will complete several shorter writing assignments and one longer story.

 

To be considered for the class, please submit five pages (double spaced) of your fiction and indicate which workshops, if any, you’ve taken in the past. Also, please mention the book you’re reading right now and a line or two about one thing the author does well.

 

When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course section number on the subject line (example: Jackson M138.1) and e-mail to EnglishM138@gmail.com AND creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.  Deadline for submission is Tuesday, December 18, 2018 and look for list of accepted students’ names to be posted in the main English department office (149 Kaplan Hall) by Monday, January 7.

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN “M138.1” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

Senior/Capstone Seminars

 

London Life 1666-1800

Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminar
English 181B / Prof. Makdisi

Seminar will be held off campus at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (2520 Cimarron Street, Los Angeles, CA 90018).

 

This seminar will explore a variety of texts expressing the thrills and challenges of life in London through the eighteenth century, reading the city with and against its literary and visual representations.  Readings—including memoirs, diaries, poetry, fiction, caricatures, journalism, prints and guidebooks—will draw on materials housed in the Clark Library collection, and will cover the gamut of London life from the Great Fire to the emergence of London as a global capital of empire and commerce, and will include work by Defoe, Hogarth, Pepys, Robinson, Blake, Johnson, Burney, Gay and others.  Readings in urban studies will help us frame our approach to the literature of the city.

 

The seminar is open to upper-division students from any UCLA department; no special technical knowledge is required.

 

Interested students should send an e-mail to Professor Makdisi (makdisi@ucla.edu) with the following information, by November 15, 2018:

-Your name, major, and year; a list of any courses you have taken that prepare you in some way for this seminar, either in subject matter (urban studies, literature and the arts, etc.) or in research methods (any course with a research paper)

-A clear statement of what interests you about this course, and what you hope to get out of it.

 

After successfully completing the seminar, students will receive a $1,000 scholarship, funded by the Ahmanson Foundation and administered through the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies.

 

For more information, visit http://www.1718.ucla.edu/research/undergraduate.

The English Erotic Lyric: 1560-1640

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

The class will begin with the foundational discourses of early modern eroticism: Plato’s Symposium; Ovid’s Amores, Ars amatoria, and/or Heroides; 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). The professor will lead the initial classes, but once we turn to the English poetry, students will be responsible for structuring the discussion and presenting the material. Each student will write a half-dozen short (1-2 pp.) papers, plus a concluding seminar paper of ca. 10 pp. Since this is a seminar, attendance and participation are required.

Note: none of this poetry is remotely pornographic, although some of it deals with subjects one might not wish to explain either to one’s children or one’s parents. 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.

Philip K. Dick: Fiction, Film, Culture

Topics in 20th and 21st Century American Literature
English 183C / Prof. North

A study of the fiction of Philip K. Dick and a few of the films derived from it. We will try to determine why a writer who was only a middling success in his lifetime became a major cultural force toward the end of the 20th century. Works considered will include The Man in the High Castle, Ubik, VALIS, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” “Minority Report,” A Scanner Darkly, and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

 

Enrollment in this seminar will be restricted to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass, and will open up to English majors during second pass.

London Theatre and the New King

Capstone Seminar
English 184.1 / Prof. Braunmuller

Scottish King James VI and I replaced Elizabeth I on the English throne in 1603. In their individual ways both monarchs were interested in the theatre, and the theatre was interested in them.  How did the new political order influence the public theatres? we will read some famous plays from 1603-06 in order to formulate a few hypotheses. Knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays and early modern English are important advantages in this seminar as is the intellectual confidence to pursued research topics individually. Seminar presentations and one long paper required.

From Ancient Epic to Medieval Romance

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Jager

This course explores how the ancient Mediterranean epic bequeathed to the medieval European romance a wide range of character types, narrative patterns, themes and imagery having to do with war, eros, justice, spirituality, the community (city, kingdom, etc.) and the personal journey or quest. The assigned books change year by year but are typically drawn from the following list: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Augustine’s Confessions, Beowulf, The Song of Roland, Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot, The Romance of the Rose, The Lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. Assigned work includes weekly reports and a (10-12 pp.) research essay due at the end and also to be adapted for presentation at a concluding tenth-week mini-conference. Students wishing to take this course should submit a résumé of literature courses taken so far, along with a brief (3-5 pp) writing sample from a previous course (hardcopy only), to the instructor’s mailbox in 149 Humanities. Admission by instructor’s permission (PTE) only.

Pornography and the Politics of Sexual Representation

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Mott

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

 

Enrollment in this seminar will be restricted to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass, and will open up to English majors during second pass.

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

Capstone Seminar
English 184.4 / Prof. Rowe

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

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

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

Enrollment in this seminar will be restricted to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass, and will open up to English majors during second pass.

Medieval and Cavalier Poetry

Capstone Seminar
English 184.5 / Prof. Watson

This seminar will focus primarily on the canonical figures of earlier seventeenth-century English lyric poetry (Donne, Herbert, Jonson, and Marvell) alongside less famous contemporaries such as Carew and Traherne, and on some crucial themes of the period (such as economic inequality, science vs. magic, radicals vs. conservatives, gender and sexuality, the Protestant Reformation, the appeal of nature, and the fear of death). Through careful reading and open discussion, we will attempt to understand not only what these poems say — often no small task — but also their place in the configurations of Jacobean and Caroline society.  What tensions and changes in that culture, as well as in the lives of the poets, might these works have helped to negotiate?  How and why did the Metaphysical and Cavalier modes emerge in a period of intense theological and political struggle, and what is the interplay of form, content, and meaning?  What kind of work were they doing, and how well were they doing it? What kinds of work should we do on them now?

 

Students will participate actively in every discussion, write weekly response papers during the first half of the course, make a presentation to the class, and culminate their work with a lengthy final essay.

Magical Realism

Capstone Seminar
English 184.6 / Prof. Sharpe

This course examines the emergence of magical realism as a late twentieth-century genre. We will see how magical realism differs from fantasy fiction by looking at its transformation of the conventions of realism through a unique narrative style that expands the parameters of historical fiction. Since the genre is most closely identified with Latin American literature, we will begin by reading in translation classic works of magical realism before proceeding to see how subsequent generations of hemispheric American writers incorporate dreams, spirits, inexplicable phenomena, and mythological creatures for establishing the reality of historically identifiable worlds. The course will cover novels and short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Borges, Rosario Ferré, Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz.

 

Enrollment in this seminar will be restricted to American Literature and Culture majors during first pass, and will open up to English majors during second pass.