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 2020

**Are you graduating in Spring or Summer 2020? Please be advised that, due to faculty availability, pre-1500 course offerings will be limited in Spring and Summer. Students planning to graduate during the next two terms would be well-served by completing their pre-1500 requirement THIS QUARTER.

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. Decker

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. In doing so, we will continually probe how various American identities and, in particular, experiences of the “American dream,” are rendered in art and popular culture across a variety of mediums, electronic as well as print. Poetry and novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, James M. Cain, Adrienne Rich, Sandra Cisneros, and Claudia Rankine. Autobiography and essays by Frederick Jackson Turner, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Richard Rodriguez. Movies and TV include Citizen Kane, The Godfather, The Last Black Man In San Francisco, Us, Father Knows Best, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ugly Betty, Black-ish, and Fresh Off the Boat. Music from jazz to Motown to rap.

 

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

Introduction to Creative Writing

English 20W / Instructors TBD

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

Enrollment by instructor consent and NOT by enrollment pass time: Interested students should apply by 8 pm on November 15. Applications received after this date will be considered only if additional space should become available and may not receive a full review or response. Enrollment preference for English 20W will be given to first and second-year students. Approved applicants will receive a PTE directly from the instructor.

To apply, please prepare a brief (no more than 250 words) note explaining why you wish to take this course, and what previous experience you have with creative writing courses (if any—none required!).  Applications may be submitted through our approved web form, which you can reach by clicking here.

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

Introduction to 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.

Major American Authors

English 80 / Prof. Hyde

How has fiction shaped the way authors and readers imagine what it means to be an American? What role did fiction play in shaping competing visions of America in the aftermath of the American Revolution, when the U.S. did not yet have a clearly defined cultural identity or literary tradition? And what new meanings does literature hold for us today? This survey will introduce students to several American literary traditions—gothic literature, the slave narrative, transcendentalism, romance, and realism—paying special attention to the way literature creates and reimagines the contested origins, identities, and meanings of “America.” We will read literature by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Charles Chesnutt, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Adrianne Rich.

The Gothic in U.S. Literatures and Cultures

Topics in American Cultures
English 87.1 / Prof. Hyde

As a way of introducing students to the American Literature and Cultures major, this seminar examines the gothic origins and traditions of early U.S. literature and culture. Readers long have been fascinated by the gothic excesses of early 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 seminar uses the nineteenth gothic to introduce students to the interdisciplinary connections between American literature, culture, and politics. We will approach the gothic—and its unreliable narrators, doppelgangers, and obsession with foreignness and race—as an opportunity to understand the political and cultural anxieties about identity and power that divided and haunted the tumultuous century between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Readings will include secondary criticism, as well as primary texts by Jefferson, Brown, Poe, Sigourney, Apess, Melville, Jacobs, and Jordan Peele. Students will write short weekly posts, give a presentation, and submit a final paper.

 

This course is a required preparatory course for the major in American Literature and Culture and enrollment will be restricted during first pass to American Literature and Culture majors only. If you plan to major in American Literature and Culture and are not yet declared, contact the English undergraduate advising offices for assistance during your enrollment pass.

 

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

Indigenous Literatures and California

Topics in American Cultures
English 87.2 / Prof. Mo’e’hahne

This seminar considers Indigenous literatures that are connected to the geographies, currently, identified as California. By reading fiction, poetry, memoir, and critical theory as well as examining performance and visual art, we will analyze how Indigenous authors/artists conceive of Indigeneity and sociality in ways that speak to the deep Indigenous histories and presences in California as well as historic and on-going settler imperial violences. We will read the work of authors/artists who are Indigenous to California as well as those who have migrated to or locate their work in these geographies. We will consider how Indigenous authors re/map the urbanized and non-urbanized Indigenous homelands of California through anti-colonial forms of memory, belonging, gender and sexuality. We will ask, how do the Indigenous literatures of California represent significant spaces of decolonial thought and practice that reframe dominant conceptions and narrations of Indigeneity, place, and temporality as well as Indigenous migrations in the North-American U.S. settler colony.

 

This course is a required preparatory course for the major in American Literature and Culture and enrollment will be restricted during first pass to American Literature and Culture majors only. If you plan to major in American Literature and Culture and are not yet declared, contact the English undergraduate advising offices for assistance during your enrollment pass.

 

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

Introduction to Poetry

English 91A / Prof. Dickey

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

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.

Hamlet

Honors Research Seminar for Freshmen and Sophomores
English 97H / Prof. Jaurretche

This class will focus on Hamlet as our set text, or case study, for gaining familiarity with various areas of research methods in literary studies. Our goal will be not only acquaintance with Hamlet for its own sake, but also orientation to the many perspectives and strategies critics have used over the centuries in their efforts to interpret the play. Among our explorations will be textual studies and the history of the book; the use of archives; locating; reading and applying secondary research; and historical and contemporary critical approaches.  Guest speakers will introduce their areas of expertise, and students will pursue a variety of assignments ranging from critical reviews, annotated bibliographies, and a literature review at the end of the term. Funds and logistics permitting, one class held on Saturday morning January 25 at Huntington Library in San Marino. This course will prepare you to undertake any kind of undergraduate research in literature.
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Censoring Hollywood

English 98T / Lew

This is an undergraduate research-oriented course on the history of film censorship in Hollywood cinema of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Most people notice that old movies seem a lot more prudish–married couples sleeping in twin beds and such–but they don’t realize that films were actively shaped that way because of an organization called the Production Code Administration, which determined the “moral” content (as well as issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality) of all movies during Hollywood’s Golden Age (much to the chagrin of most filmmakers). If you would like to learn more about this history and its lasting legacy for American film–as well as how to conduct formal film analysis and archival research–then this class is for you! All majors welcome; no previous experience in film studies required. Class will meet Tuesdays from 11am to 1:50pm. If you have questions, feel free to email kirstenmlew@ucla.edu.

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.

UCLAPoem

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

This course is for students in UCLAPoem, which creates and sponsors poetry readings, events, and activities throughout the year, as well as plans and directs an annual UCLAPoetry Festival every spring quarter. If you are interested in joining UCLAPoem, please come to the first meeting.

 

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 Film for English and American Literature Majors

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

Introduction to writing about cinema for students enrolled in base American Literature and Culture or English courses for which analysis of film is required. Familiarizes students with formal systems, e.g. cinematography, editing, mise-en-scène, and sound. Addresses study of cinema in discipline-specific framework of English courses, especially critical analysis of films and film styles within broader social context

 

This course is only open for enrollment to students concurrently enrolled in English 106, 118B, M118F, 129, 177.1, 177.2, 179.3, 179.4.

 

Please note that this is a 2-unit course.

Memory In Women’s Writing

Writing in the English Major: Transfer Students
English 110T / Prof. Underwood

This class will focus on helping students develop their critical writing abilities by exploring the way women authors use memory in fiction and nonfiction. Students will have the opportunity to refine their argumentative skills through weekly in-class writing assignments and discussions. The class 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. Reading for this class may include works by Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, and Zadie Smith.This course is only open to Fall 2019 transfer students. To enroll, please contact the English Undergraduate Advising Office at 310-825-1389 or via MyUCLA MessageCenter.

 

Literatures in English Before 1500

**Are you graduating in Spring or Summer 2020? Please be advised that, due to faculty availability, pre-1500 course offerings will be limited in Spring and Summer. Students planning to graduate during the next two terms would be well-served by completing their pre-1500 requirement THIS QUARTER.

Chaucer: From Canterbury to the World

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
English 140A / Prof. Chism

Although Geoffrey Chaucer has often been constructed as a humanist father of English poetry, recent scholarship has brought forth a less comfortable, more interrogatory figure, traversing not just English landscapes but global ones in a time of unprecedented social mobility, opportunity, and danger.  From the tragic pagan impasses of the Knight’s Tale to the exquisite scatology of the Miller’s, and from the passive sufferings of Constance to the aggressive engagements of the Wife of Bath, Chaucer constructs a world where meaning is at issue, judgment is difficult, and individual careerism cross-cuts social and religious imperatives for reform.  Chaucer was a producer and consumer of narrative worlds; only a few of his tales are situated in England, and most draw from sources that circulated in the Mediterranean and broader Eurasia: This class will focus on Chaucer’s last great work, The Canterbury Tales, exploring the ways it  thinks both through and beyond “every shires end/ of Engelond” and reimagines the premodern world.  It will address such current topics in Chaucer studies as feminism, sexuality, race, migration/diaspora, translation, and cultural studies. Texts will include Canterbury Tales, critical scholarship on different aspects of Chaucer’s writing, and recent receptions of Chaucer across modern global cultures.

Requirements: Two 1800-word papers: (50%); Weekly response papers (20%); optional class presentation to replace one of the papers; mapping project (10%); Active class participation: 20%.  There will be no midterm and no final.

Beowulf

Topics in Old English
English 141C / Prof. Weaver

Although it only survives in one half-burned copy, Beowulf is today both an early medieval poem that begins countless British literature surveys, and the subject of blockbuster movie and novel adaptations. Yet, even as the poem invites one into its mead halls and dragon hoards relatively easily, it remains impossible to say exactly when or by whom it was written; or what its earliest audiences may have thought of it. Students will translate key scenes from original Old English, while reading the whole through a range of translations and critical lenses. One guiding theme is intimacy: How close can one get to know a poem (and language) from 1,000 years ago? And what ways of reading can help illuminate it? Study serves as a laboratory for different interpretive approaches, from manuscript analysis to theoretical frameworks. Students will also pursue an original research project on the poem and its readers, both medieval and modern.

Designed for students who have completed course 141B.

Women’s Work and Medieval Slavery

Later Medieval Literature: Research Component
English 142R / Prof. Fisher

In 2019 the UCLA Library acquired a deed for the sale of a slave woman, Magdalena, from one woman to another in Barcelona in 1401. Identified as a “neophyte” from “Tartary,” Magdalena’s story raises many literary (as well as historical) questions about the past. This course will focus on this primary document, and how to generate and pursue research topics that radiate out from it. Students will work hands-on with the manuscript in YRL’s Special Collections.
We will learn how to develop historical research questions, how to conduct research, and how to begin to answer those questions in substantial literary critical papers.We will be reading clusters of primary medieval texts that focus on slavery in medieval Europe, on representations of domesticity and gendered medieval labor, on medieval romance depictions of the “Tartar’ east, and writing by medieval women. We will use these clusters of texts to ground our explorations of the medieval past. We will also be using the new UC Annotate tool to ask and answer questions collaboratively. The library has a great resource on research methods – see the tools and videos at https://uclalibrary.github.io/research-tips/categories/There will be two papers: a 5-6 page paper (20%), and a final 20 page paper (50%). You will also make a formal 15 minute presentation on your research project during the second half of the quarter (10%). Each week, you will write a reading response and post it to the class CCLE site (10%) before 5pm every Tuesday. Class participation is expected (10%).

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. 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?

Medieval Outlaws, Rebels, and Rioters

Medieval Story Cycles and Collections
English 146 / Prof. Fisher

Everybody knows Robin Hood. Or, more accurately, everybody knows some later version of Robin Hood, whether the 1991 film starring Kevin Costner, or Disney’s 1973 animated film. This class will explore how Robin Hood was invented in later medieval England. We will investigate the medieval stories that introduced a number of medieval outlaws, from outlawry’s most famous son, Robin Hood, to lesser-known rebels such as Fouke fitz Waryn and Hereward the Wake. We’ll consider what it means to be out of the law, and explore the various ways in which outlaws behaved and functioned as social, political, and economic rebels in English literature.

We will read a series of medieval outlaw tales and Robin Hood texts, and then follow the tradition through early modern ballads and broadside, and possibly into nineteenth-century stories and novels.

 

Grading shall be as follows: First paper: 15%. Second paper: 25%. Final Paper: 40%. Weekly Reading Responses: 10%. Participation: 10%

Literatures in English 1500-1700

Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays

English 150A / Prof. Watson

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

Shakespeare: Later Plays

English 150B / Prof. Dickey

An exploration of selected plays from the latter half of Shakespeare’s professional career, including Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

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.

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.

Students will write weekly short papers on the week’s readings and do a final project.

Literatures in English 1700-1850

 

Frenemies: Pope, Swift, Montagu and Eighteenth-Century Satire

Literature of Restoration and Earlier Eighteenth-Century
English 160A / Prof. Deutsch

The eighteenth century was the first great age of print, the age that invented the professional author, and above all the age of satire. This course focuses on the work of three satirists who were bound by both friendship and enmity: Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. We will pay particular attention to the way that the first two of these authors defined themselves and their authorial personae through their careful manipulation of print, while the third, bound by social convention and liberated by aristocratic privilege, worked largely anonymously to equally fascinating effect; each of these authors worked across a wide range of prose and poetic genres. We will also consider the vast archive of pamphlet attacks and visual portrayals (both serious portraits and irreverent caricatures) of these authors that responded to and provoked some of the most witty, vicious, and visceral literature in English.  Supplementary course readings will situate these writers in the larger context of the period (e.g. John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, John Gay, Eliza Haywood).   I also hope to organize a class visit to UCLA’s Clark Library for students to view course materials in their original form.

Transatlantic Romanticism

English 163B / Prof. Sanchez

Transatlantic studies have been central in generating new conceptual frameworks for thinking through complex issues related to interconnectedness of Atlantic rim cultures. With focus on ways in which cultures, ideologies, and political identities are reworked and reinscribed by transatlantic movement of peoples, ideas, and cultural artifacts, expansion of notions of Romanticism to include transoceanic perspectives that understand early 19th-century Romantic literature as transatlantic phenomenon.

Jane Austen and Her Peers

English 163C / Prof. Stephan

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

Aestheticism and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

19th-Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Rainwater

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the best-known work of British Aesthetic fiction, but Oscar Wilde’s novel belongs to a broader tradition of literature in the nineteenth century that was interested in Aestheticism: the movement that valued beauty and pleasure in art over its utilitarian or moral function. The Aesthetic novel’s stylistic flourishes can be traced to the Fashionable fiction of the early nineteenth century (a genre depicting the upper class and aristocracy), and we’ll begin with one of the most popular of these novels written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. We will then read one of the lush romances of Ouida (Marie Louise Ramé), who was known as the Queen of the Circulating Library during the 1860s and 1870s. Greatly admired by Wilde, Ouida’s extremely popular fictions feature luxurious descriptive prose and languorously sensual characters. Next, we will turn to the delightfully decadent Dorian Gray with its gothic overtones. In the hands of Wilde, the aesthetic novel became firmly associated with dissident desire, and Dorian Gray was used as evidence against Wilde when he was put on trial for homosexuality. We will finish the course with Lucas Malet, who extended the legacy of the aesthetic novel into the early twentieth century. We will read her best-selling fiction from 1901: The History of Sir Richard Calmady, which investigates male disability, lesbian desire, and sensual celibacy. Throughout the quarter, we will think about critical cultural and political contexts, including shifting ideas about class, gender, and sexuality. We will also become familiar with Aestheticism’s concurrent developments in art and poetry.

Global 19th Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Literature, 1776 to 1832–COURSE POSTPONED

English 166B / Prof. Silva

Course postponed until Spring 2020.

American Poetry to 1900

English 167A / Prof. Salway

Study of American poetry from Puritan period through end of 19th century.

Literatures in English 1850 – Present

 

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. Yarborough

Survey of African American literature from World War I through the 1950s, including poetry, fiction, and essays by such authors as Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Nella Larsen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer.  The class will focus first on the unprecedented outpouring of artistic production during the Harlem (or New Negro) Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.  Next it will examine the diverse literary voices that emerged in the 1940s and 50s, many of whom were influenced by the radical left politics of the time.  The class will consider the historical and cultural contexts of the works as well as strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.  Requirements include a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam.

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

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys examples of Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward. We consider the various meanings (aesthetic, social, sexual, racial, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx. We’ll use this term because it complicates a simple binary gender identification over the term Chicana/o or Chican@. The class considers Chicanx experience as a dynamic result of global European expansion encountering indigenous civilizations. This bears thematic and formal consequences for ways that Chicanx literature engages the legacy of colonialism and globalization. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis in order to generate clear, effective analytical thought about the texts we read. This analysis will consider relevant cultural and historical contextualization. The goals of the class will be: 1) to express oneself in a clear and organized way; 2) to analyze literary material critically; and, 3) to generate original ideas from a synthesis of different critical thoughts and analyses.

Queer American Autobiography

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

Autobiography has been essential to the emergence of queer identities in the modern world. Autobiographies, memoirs, and other genres of self-writing have to do with selfhood and subjectivity; gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and other queer forms of selfhood and subjectivity have often been articulated in such forms and even, it can be argued, were substantially created by autobiographical forms. This course will explore various self-authoring forms (including several diaries, a travel narrative, several memoirs, a medical case study, a graphic novel, and a film). Some of them are queer in ways anyone would recognize, such as Mary MacLane’s remarkable I Await the Devil’s Coming (first published in 1902 under a more innocuous title, The Story of Mary MacLane), Ralph Werther’s Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918), Jonathan Caouette’s film Tarnation (2003), and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006). Others will test the boundaries of what we mean by “queer,” for example the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth (1653-1657) and Francis Parkman’s The Oregon Trail (1849). Careful attention will be given to the ways in which queer gender and sexuality intersect with experiences of race, ethnicity, class, and nationality.

Keywords in Theory: Culture

English 122 / Prof. Dimuro

Using a wide variety of written and visual texts, this course explores the meaning of “culture,” a word which has a complex history and that continues to have a wide currency in literary, political, and critical discourse. We will trace the term’s anthropological, sociological, and ideological meanings as they developed over the last two centuries. Topics include cultural capital, popular culture, the culture wars, kitsch, conspicuous consumption, and culture as a regulatory system. We read Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy, the literary criticism of T.S. Eliot, Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction, the essays of Clifford Geertz, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ German Ideology, and other theorists. We will read literary works by Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather. The goal is to use the idea of culture as a critical framework to interpret literary texts in ways that amplify the skills of close reading. Requirements: short essays, quizzes, a longer paper, and a comprehensive final examination.

 

This course qualifies as a Critical Theory course for departmental honors applicants.

Writing the City

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

Through readings in fiction, poetry, prose, the graphic novel and film and television, we will explore the relationships between writing and urban space.  How do we imagine the city in writing? How does the city transform writing?  What kinds of relationships can be imagined in modern urban settings that seem unimaginable in other contexts?  How does urban writing change as we move from London and Paris to Cairo, Nairobi, Djakarta, and Baltimore, or from the 19th century to the 20th and 21st?  What difference does it make to read the city in fiction as opposed to memoir, essay, verse or graphic novel? What about the transposition from the page to the screen? Readings will include work by such authors as Virginia Woolf, Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, Djuna Barnes, Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Laura Ford, Abdou Malique Simone, JG Ballard, Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Beryl Gilroy, George Lamming, Marguerite Abouet, Gertrude Stein, Alain Mabanckou and Naguib Mahfouz as well as films such as Bladerunner and tv shows including The Wire.

J.M. Coetzee

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Goodwin

In one self-portrait the South African, now Australian, novelist J.M. Coetzee describes himself as “a figure of comedy.  Dour comedy.”   We will engage his tragicomic side with Youth and Slow Man.  Another side to our portrait of the writer involves women as protagonists (Foe and Elizabeth Costello).  Others entail perspectives on apartheid and civil war (Life and Times of Michael K), postcolonial society (Disgrace), animal rights (“The Lives of Animals”), and the aging male soul (Slow Man).  Included will be selections from four literary influences:  Defoe, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Beckett.

Course requirements are:  consistent attendance and participation, in-class midterm and final examinations, and an essay due at final examination.

Joyce’s Ulysses

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Hornby

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

Aestheticism and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

19th-Century Novel
English M164C / Prof. Rainwater

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the best-known work of British Aesthetic fiction, but Oscar Wilde’s novel belongs to a broader tradition of literature in the nineteenth century that was interested in Aestheticism: the movement that valued beauty and pleasure in art over its utilitarian or moral function. The Aesthetic novel’s stylistic flourishes can be traced to the Fashionable fiction of the early nineteenth century (a genre depicting the upper class and aristocracy), and we’ll begin with one of the most popular of these novels written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. We will then read one of the lush romances of Ouida (Marie Louise Ramé), who was known as the Queen of the Circulating Library during the 1860s and 1870s. Greatly admired by Wilde, Ouida’s extremely popular fictions feature luxurious descriptive prose and languorously sensual characters. Next, we will turn to the delightfully decadent Dorian Gray with its gothic overtones. In the hands of Wilde, the aesthetic novel became firmly associated with dissident desire, and Dorian Gray was used as evidence against Wilde when he was put on trial for homosexuality. We will finish the course with Lucas Malet, who extended the legacy of the aesthetic novel into the early twentieth century. We will read her best-selling fiction from 1901: The History of Sir Richard Calmady, which investigates male disability, lesbian desire, and sensual celibacy. Throughout the quarter, we will think about critical cultural and political contexts, including shifting ideas about class, gender, and sexuality. We will also become familiar with Aestheticism’s concurrent developments in art and poetry.

Global 19th Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Poetry to 1900

English 167A / Prof. Salway

Study of American poetry from Puritan period through end of 19th century.

American Literature 1865 to 1900

English 170A / Prof. Colacurcio

Historical survey of American literature from end of Civil War to beginning of 20th century, including writers such as Howells, James, Twain, Norris, Dickinson, Crane, Chesnutt, Gilman, and others working in modes of realist and naturalist novel, regional and vernacular prose, and poetry.

10 American Poets

Contemporary American Poetry
English 173C / Prof. Mullen

Instead of sampling poems in an anthology, we will read ten books by ten poets: Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Terrance Hayes, Martín Espada, Dorothea Lasky, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Arthur Sze, Ellen Bryant Voigt, W.S. Merwin, and Dean Young. This will allow deeper immersion in the work of each poet. Most of the books are slender, yet poems require multiple readings, so you will need to devote sufficient time to the works in order to experience the pleasures of poetry. This course requires constant reading, writing, and active participation in class discussion. Each student should keep a reader’s journal. Instead of lecture, the class format is student-centered discussion, based on your journal entries, in-class writing assignments, and oral presentations, which will include reading and interpretation of poems, critical questions for discussion, aesthetic and cultural perspectives on the poets’ work. Poets and works were chosen for accomplishment, diversity, and influence on American poetry.

American Fiction Since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Perez-Torres

World War II – with its Nazi death machines and the US nuclear horrors – proved a traumatic and tremendous moment in world history. Two convulsive reactions occurred in the US following the second Great War. One reaction was to seek comfort: reaffirming differences and definitions, marking out clearly defined national, racial, sexual, and class boundaries. The other reaction was to embrace change, but a change responding to profound historical injustices. These opposite convulsive reactions have generated the cultural, social, and political dynamics moving the US over the last seven decades. This course surveys some of literary works following World War II that help us identify and analyze the dynamics of this nation as it at once emerges as both a superpower on the world stage and yet incapable of attending to its troubled past. We will examine novels, poetry, and short stories whose fictional worlds help reveal the contradictions, problems, and potential of a nation at change. In the process, we will focus on precise textual and literary analyses. Argumentation, summoning, and employing evidence, and clarity in written and verbal expression form the rudimentary skills.

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

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / 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.

Screenplay Adaptation: Science Fiction and the Algorithmic Image

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Stefans

What challenges does a screenwriter face when adapting a literary work for the screen? What tools are available to the writer of novels and short fiction that are not available to the director, and vice versa? In this course, we will read several works of fiction and the screenplays based on them with a particular focus on science fiction. In addition to reviewing elements of drama (such plot and character), screenplay format and the general 3-act structure of a mainstream film, we will also examine closely the technologies behind the creation of the more fantastic sides of these film visions. To this end, in addition to writing and analysis, students will be introduced (in a rudimentary way) to image making processes such as 3D modeling and computer programming to get a behind-the-scenes look at special effects (students don’t have to purchase software). Some fiction/films that we will look at include Blade Runner (based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), Ender’s Game, Ready Player One and Arrival (based on a short story by Ted Chiang). We will also review some theory on the rise of digital culture, the history of special effects, video game studies and other writing in discourses related to specific works. This class involves weekly writing / creative assignments, a short mid-term paper, a final exam and a final paper/project.

Classics of British Children’s Literature, from Alice in Wonderland to Winnie-the-Pooh

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

This class introduces students to a range of children’s classics that transformed the imaginative worlds that became accessible to young readers from 1860s through the 1920s. The syllabus includes such works as Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, and Other Tales, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. A special aspect of the course involves engaging with the philosophical and political aspects of these narratives, especially in relation to debates about educational practices, physical disability, racial difference, and language theory. The course is assessed through participation, a midterm, a paper topic, and a final.

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

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.2 / Prof. D’Aguiar

We examine the emergence of a black aesthetic in Britain among writers born in Britain or brought up there from childhood. The various genres work together to showcase an aesthetic that emerges out of a preoccupation with the politics of belonging in Britain.  Each novel, play, film or poetry collection brings a concern with elsewhere in coalition with an idea of Britishness. Race, place, sexuality, gender, identity, and aesthetics are among the enduring subjects of these arts of the imagination.

Requirements

Weekly short response papers and one long essay.

 

Not open to students who took English 179 with Prof. D’Aguiar in Fall 2018.

Modernism: Experimentation, Fragmentation, Confluence

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.3 / Prof. Hornby

In this course we will investigate the forms and cultures of British modernism, paying attention to the development of literary modernism alongside visual art, film, psychoanalysis, contemporary scientific discourses, war, violence, gender, and sexuality. Among our questions: what was modernism? What are the technologies of modernism? Are there still modernists? Does modernism have an afterlife? Readings will be drawn from works by Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, and Elizabeth Bowen, among others.

Systems, Networks, Media

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.4 / Prof. Seltzer

We live in a world of systems and networks, mass media and social 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 stage those stories—and so 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.

Not open to student who took English 179 with Prof. Seltzer in Winter 2019.

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality 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.

African American Literature from Harlem Renaissance to 1960s

English M104B / Prof. Yarborough

Survey of African American literature from World War I through the 1950s, including poetry, fiction, and essays by such authors as Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Nella Larsen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer.  The class will focus first on the unprecedented outpouring of artistic production during the Harlem (or New Negro) Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.  Next it will examine the diverse literary voices that emerged in the 1940s and 50s, many of whom were influenced by the radical left politics of the time.  The class will consider the historical and cultural contexts of the works as well as strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.  Requirements include a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam.

Neo-Slave Narratives and Memory

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

This course is an introduction to neo-slave narratives, which Ashraf Rushdy defines as “contemporary novels that assume the form, adopt the conventions, and take on the first-person voice of the ante-bellum slave narrative.” With a particular focus on the way haunting figures in neo-slave narratives are meant to represent collective memory, we will read novels like Octavia Butler’s Kindred, J. California Cooper’s Family, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

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

English M105C / Prof. Perez-Torres

This class surveys examples of Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward. We consider the various meanings (aesthetic, social, sexual, racial, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx. We’ll use this term because it complicates a simple binary gender identification over the term Chicana/o or Chican@. The class considers Chicanx experience as a dynamic result of global European expansion encountering indigenous civilizations. This bears thematic and formal consequences for ways that Chicanx literature engages the legacy of colonialism and globalization. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis in order to generate clear, effective analytical thought about the texts we read. This analysis will consider relevant cultural and historical contextualization. The goals of the class will be: 1) to express oneself in a clear and organized way; 2) to analyze literary material critically; and, 3) to generate original ideas from a synthesis of different critical thoughts and analyses.

Indigenous Literatures of North America

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

In this course, we will be introduced to the Indigenous literatures of North America through fiction, poetry, and memoir as well as cinema and visual art. We will examine how authors/artists imagine Native lifeworlds, affective and embodied experiences, and genders and sexualities in ways that index, challenge, and transcend historic and on-going settler and imperial violence in the Americas. We will also consider how authors/artists draw on Indigenous cosmologies and relationships with other-than-human life in narrating anti-colonial forms of memory, intergenerational connection, and spatiality. With an emphasis on writers/artist who are indigenous to the geographies currently claimed and occupied by the United States and Canadian North-American, settler-imperial colonies, we will ask, how do Indigenous literatures represent vital anti-colonial sites of cultural, ecological, feminist, queer, and political theorizing with the power to enact a decolonial present and future?

Queer American Autobiography

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

Autobiography has been essential to the emergence of queer identities in the modern world. Autobiographies, memoirs, and other genres of self-writing have to do with selfhood and subjectivity; gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and other queer forms of selfhood and subjectivity have often been articulated in such forms and even, it can be argued, were substantially created by autobiographical forms. This course will explore various self-authoring forms (including several diaries, a travel narrative, several memoirs, a medical case study, a graphic novel, and a film). Some of them are queer in ways anyone would recognize, such as Mary MacLane’s remarkable I Await the Devil’s Coming (first published in 1902 under a more innocuous title, The Story of Mary MacLane), Ralph Werther’s Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918), Jonathan Caouette’s film Tarnation (2003), and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006). Others will test the boundaries of what we mean by “queer,” for example the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth (1653-1657) and Francis Parkman’s The Oregon Trail (1849). Careful attention will be given to the ways in which queer gender and sexuality intersect with experiences of race, ethnicity, class, and nationality.

The Orpheus and Eurydice Project: Multimedia Avatars of a Myth

Literature and Other Arts
English 118B / Prof. Gallagher

This course examines a selection of exemplary and experimental appropriations of one of the touchstone myths of Greek antiquity, the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Two recent cultural events, featured among the course materials, illustrate the myth’s fecundity. Anaïs Mitchell’s folk opera musical Hadestown, an ambitious retooling of the legend, swept the 2019 Tony Awards with eight wins, including the prizes for Best Musical and Best Original Score. Meanwhile, a new opera based on Sarah Ruhl’s 2003 play Eurydice, which retells the story from the usually disregarded perspective of Eurydice, has been in preparation by the American composer Matthew Aucoin and is receiving its world premiere at Los Angeles Opera in February 2020. Together, Hadestown’s compelling mix of song, dance, and narrative and Eurydice’s vivid recapture of the ancient tale’s provocative force disclose the myth’s contemporary eloquence as a vehicle for reclaiming the power of poetry and music to expose and diagnose critical fault lines in social and political life. Taking its cue from these recent works, the course’s investigative topics include domestic abuse, forced labor, inequitable incarceration, and constrictive gender identities, as well as more subtle forms of estrangement and dislocation–debilitating illness, micro-betrayals of intimacy, and the difficult bond between memory and forgetting. As Mitchell’s and Aucoin’s adaptations also show, avatars of the myth across several genres recurrently mobilize both hearts and minds to corrective and reparative action in the face of manufactured harms that exploit the essential precariousness of life, even as the mythic assemblage also acknowledges the compromises and pressures that hedge art’s transformative possibility. Sample texts included in the available course materials: in poetry, Virgil’s Georgics, Ovid’s Metamorphoses (selections), the Middle English romance Sir Orfeo, Milton’s pastoral elegy Lycidas, Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus sequence (sel.) Jori Graham’s “Orpheus and Eurydice,” Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard; in drama, Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending, Sara Ruhl’s Eurydice; in prose nonfiction, Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, Eric Gill’s Beauty Looks After Herself (sel.); in prose fiction, Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel The Sandman: Fables & Reflections, Philip K. Dick’s short story “Orpheus with Clay Feet”; in music, Claudio Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Jacques Offenbach’s opéra-bouffe Orphée aux Enfers, Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera The Consul, Mohammed Fairouz’s song cycle No Orpheus, Anaïs Mitchell’s musical Hadestown, Matthew Aucoin’s opera Eurydice; in film, Orphée (dir. Jean Cocteau), Black Orpheus (dir. Marcel Camus), Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo (dir. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau). All non-English-language texts will be read in English translation.

Course activities include a group visit to the world premiere of Aucoin’s Eurydice at LA Opera as well as visits to UCLA archives relating to the myth at the Clark Memorial Library and the Hammer Museum. Students will select and curate a relevant document for a digital exhibit and mini-conference presentation. Digital projects may be designed individually or collaboratively for inclusion in the cumulative course digital exhibit. As a follow-up, students will have the bonus opportunity to present their individual or collaborative project in a mini-conference (“The UCLA Orpheus Project”) in spring quarter (date TBD), at which they will briefly present their research and/or creative projects for the course.

Keywords in Theory: Anthropocene

English 122.1 / Prof. DeLoughrey

The Anthropocene is a term scientists are using to suggest that the activities of human beings have created a new geological epoch akin to a meteor strike. Markers of human impact include the rise of agriculture, nuclear radiation, and plastics. Scholars in the social sciences and humanities are asking, which humans are making the impact?  They point to histories of empire, militarism, and globalization as fundamental causes, and raise questions as to how to tell the Anthropocene story (or stories) with attention to both local context and planetary scale. This interdisciplinary course explores the Anthropocene debate from the perspective of writers, artists, and filmmakers, particularly from islands in the global south. It turns to key concepts in the emergent field of Anthropocene studies such as climate, weather, scale, and species. Using the key metaphor of the “island as a world,” the course will be particularly concerned with Caribbean and Pacific island perspectives, especially the relationship between land and (rising) sea. Requirements include a presentation, final research paper, and a visit to an environmental art exhibit.

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

 

This course qualifies as a Critical Theory course for departmental honors applicants.

Writing the City

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

Through readings in fiction, poetry, prose, the graphic novel and film and television, we will explore the relationships between writing and urban space.  How do we imagine the city in writing? How does the city transform writing?  What kinds of relationships can be imagined in modern urban settings that seem unimaginable in other contexts?  How does urban writing change as we move from London and Paris to Cairo, Nairobi, Djakarta, and Baltimore, or from the 19th century to the 20th and 21st?  What difference does it make to read the city in fiction as opposed to memoir, essay, verse or graphic novel? What about the transposition from the page to the screen? Readings will include work by such authors as Virginia Woolf, Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, Djuna Barnes, Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Laura Ford, Abdou Malique Simone, JG Ballard, Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Beryl Gilroy, George Lamming, Marguerite Abouet, Gertrude Stein, Alain Mabanckou and Naguib Mahfouz as well as films such as Bladerunner and tv shows including The Wire.

Voices of the Early Black Atlantic–COURSE POSTPONED

Literature of Americas
English 135 / Prof. Silva

Course postponed until Spring 2020.

J.M. Coetzee

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Goodwin

In one self-portrait the South African, now Australian, novelist J.M. Coetzee describes himself as “a figure of comedy.  Dour comedy.”   We will engage his tragicomic side with Youth and Slow Man.  Another side to our portrait of the writer involves women as protagonists (Foe and Elizabeth Costello).  Others entail perspectives on apartheid and civil war (Life and Times of Michael K), postcolonial society (Disgrace), animal rights (“The Lives of Animals”), and the aging male soul (Slow Man).  Included will be selections from four literary influences:  Defoe, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Beckett.

Course requirements are:  consistent attendance and participation, in-class midterm and final examinations, and an essay due at final examination.

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. 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?

Jane Austen and Her Peers

English 163C / Prof. Stephan

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

Aestheticism and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

Nineteenth-Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Rainwater

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the best-known work of British Aesthetic fiction, but Oscar Wilde’s novel belongs to a broader tradition of literature in the nineteenth century that was interested in Aestheticism: the movement that valued beauty and pleasure in art over its utilitarian or moral function. The Aesthetic novel’s stylistic flourishes can be traced to the Fashionable fiction of the early nineteenth century (a genre depicting the upper class and aristocracy), and we’ll begin with one of the most popular of these novels written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. We will then read one of the lush romances of Ouida (Marie Louise Ramé), who was known as the Queen of the Circulating Library during the 1860s and 1870s. Greatly admired by Wilde, Ouida’s extremely popular fictions feature luxurious descriptive prose and languorously sensual characters. Next, we will turn to the delightfully decadent Dorian Gray with its gothic overtones. In the hands of Wilde, the aesthetic novel became firmly associated with dissident desire, and Dorian Gray was used as evidence against Wilde when he was put on trial for homosexuality. We will finish the course with Lucas Malet, who extended the legacy of the aesthetic novel into the early twentieth century. We will read her best-selling fiction from 1901: The History of Sir Richard Calmady, which investigates male disability, lesbian desire, and sensual celibacy. Throughout the quarter, we will think about critical cultural and political contexts, including shifting ideas about class, gender, and sexuality. We will also become familiar with Aestheticism’s concurrent developments in art and poetry.

American Fiction Since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Perez-Torres

World War II – with its Nazi death machines and the US nuclear horrors – proved a traumatic and tremendous moment in world history. Two convulsive reactions occurred in the US following the second Great War. One reaction was to seek comfort: reaffirming differences and definitions, marking out clearly defined national, racial, sexual, and class boundaries. The other reaction was to embrace change, but a change responding to profound historical injustices. These opposite convulsive reactions have generated the cultural, social, and political dynamics moving the US over the last seven decades. This course surveys some of literary works following World War II that help us identify and analyze the dynamics of this nation as it at once emerges as both a superpower on the world stage and yet incapable of attending to its troubled past. We will examine novels, poetry, and short stories whose fictional worlds help reveal the contradictions, problems, and potential of a nation at change. In the process, we will focus on precise textual and literary analyses. Argumentation, summoning, and employing evidence, and clarity in written and verbal expression form the rudimentary skills.

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

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / 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.

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

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.2 / Prof. D’Aguiar

We examine the emergence of a black aesthetic in Britain among writers born in Britain or brought up there from childhood. The various genres work together to showcase an aesthetic that emerges out of a preoccupation with the politics of belonging in Britain.  Each novel, play, film or poetry collection brings a concern with elsewhere in coalition with an idea of Britishness. Race, place, sexuality, gender, identity, and aesthetics are among the enduring subjects of these arts of the imagination.

Requirements

Weekly short response papers and one long essay.

 

Not open to students who took English 179 with Prof. D’Aguiar in Fall 2018.

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 examples of Chicanx literature from the 1960’s onward. We consider the various meanings (aesthetic, social, sexual, racial, cultural, political, economic) evoked by the term Chicanx. We’ll use this term because it complicates a simple binary gender identification over the term Chicana/o or Chican@. The class considers Chicanx experience as a dynamic result of global European expansion encountering indigenous civilizations. This bears thematic and formal consequences for ways that Chicanx literature engages the legacy of colonialism and globalization. The class will pursue a careful method of rigorous textual analysis in order to generate clear, effective analytical thought about the texts we read. This analysis will consider relevant cultural and historical contextualization. The goals of the class will be: 1) to express oneself in a clear and organized way; 2) to analyze literary material critically; and, 3) to generate original ideas from a synthesis of different critical thoughts and analyses.

Indigenous Literatures of North America

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

In this course, we will be introduced to the Indigenous literatures of North America through fiction, poetry, and memoir as well as cinema and visual art. We will examine how authors/artists imagine Native lifeworlds, affective and embodied experiences, and genders and sexualities in ways that index, challenge, and transcend historic and on-going settler and imperial violence in the Americas. We will also consider how authors/artists draw on Indigenous cosmologies and relationships with other-than-human life in narrating anti-colonial forms of memory, intergenerational connection, and spatiality. With an emphasis on writers/artist who are indigenous to the geographies currently claimed and occupied by the United States and Canadian North-American, settler-imperial colonies, we will ask, how do Indigenous literatures represent vital anti-colonial sites of cultural, ecological, feminist, queer, and political theorizing with the power to enact a decolonial present and future?

Keywords in Theory: Anthropocene

English 122.1 / Prof. DeLoughrey

The Anthropocene is a term scientists are using to suggest that the activities of human beings have created a new geological epoch akin to a meteor strike. Markers of human impact include the rise of agriculture, nuclear radiation, and plastics. Scholars in the social sciences and humanities are asking, which humans are making the impact?  They point to histories of empire, militarism, and globalization as fundamental causes, and raise questions as to how to tell the Anthropocene story (or stories) with attention to both local context and planetary scale. This interdisciplinary course explores the Anthropocene debate from the perspective of writers, artists, and filmmakers, particularly from islands in the global south. It turns to key concepts in the emergent field of Anthropocene studies such as climate, weather, scale, and species. Using the key metaphor of the “island as a world,” the course will be particularly concerned with Caribbean and Pacific island perspectives, especially the relationship between land and (rising) sea. Requirements include a presentation, final research paper, and a visit to an environmental art exhibit.

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

 

This course qualifies as a Critical Theory course for departmental honors applicants.

Writing the City

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

Through readings in fiction, poetry, prose, the graphic novel and film and television, we will explore the relationships between writing and urban space.  How do we imagine the city in writing? How does the city transform writing?  What kinds of relationships can be imagined in modern urban settings that seem unimaginable in other contexts?  How does urban writing change as we move from London and Paris to Cairo, Nairobi, Djakarta, and Baltimore, or from the 19th century to the 20th and 21st?  What difference does it make to read the city in fiction as opposed to memoir, essay, verse or graphic novel? What about the transposition from the page to the screen? Readings will include work by such authors as Virginia Woolf, Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, Djuna Barnes, Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Laura Ford, Abdou Malique Simone, JG Ballard, Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Beryl Gilroy, George Lamming, Marguerite Abouet, Gertrude Stein, Alain Mabanckou and Naguib Mahfouz as well as films such as Bladerunner and tv shows including The Wire.

Voices of the Early Black Atlantic–COURSE POSTPONED

Literature of Americas
English 135 / Prof. Silva

Course postponed until Spring 2020.

J.M. Coetzee

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Goodwin

In one self-portrait the South African, now Australian, novelist J.M. Coetzee describes himself as “a figure of comedy.  Dour comedy.”   We will engage his tragicomic side with Youth and Slow Man.  Another side to our portrait of the writer involves women as protagonists (Foe and Elizabeth Costello).  Others entail perspectives on apartheid and civil war (Life and Times of Michael K), postcolonial society (Disgrace), animal rights (“The Lives of Animals”), and the aging male soul (Slow Man).  Included will be selections from four literary influences:  Defoe, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Beckett.

Course requirements are:  consistent attendance and participation, in-class midterm and final examinations, and an essay due at final examination.

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.

Students will write weekly short papers on the week’s readings and do a final project.

Transatlantic Romanticism

English 163B / Prof. Sanchez

Transatlantic studies have been central in generating new conceptual frameworks for thinking through complex issues related to interconnectedness of Atlantic rim cultures. With focus on ways in which cultures, ideologies, and political identities are reworked and reinscribed by transatlantic movement of peoples, ideas, and cultural artifacts, expansion of notions of Romanticism to include transoceanic perspectives that understand early 19th-century Romantic literature as transatlantic phenomenon.

Global Nineteenth Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Literature, 1776 to 1832–COURSE POSTPONED

English 166B / Prof. Silva

Course postponed until Spring 2020.

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

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.2 / Prof. D’Aguiar

We examine the emergence of a black aesthetic in Britain among writers born in Britain or brought up there from childhood. The various genres work together to showcase an aesthetic that emerges out of a preoccupation with the politics of belonging in Britain.  Each novel, play, film or poetry collection brings a concern with elsewhere in coalition with an idea of Britishness. Race, place, sexuality, gender, identity, and aesthetics are among the enduring subjects of these arts of the imagination.

Requirements

Weekly short response papers and one long essay.

 

Not open to students who took English 179 with Prof. D’Aguiar in Fall 2018.

Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Critical Theory

 

Queer American Autobiography

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

Autobiography has been essential to the emergence of queer identities in the modern world. Autobiographies, memoirs, and other genres of self-writing have to do with selfhood and subjectivity; gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and other queer forms of selfhood and subjectivity have often been articulated in such forms and even, it can be argued, were substantially created by autobiographical forms. This course will explore various self-authoring forms (including several diaries, a travel narrative, several memoirs, a medical case study, a graphic novel, and a film). Some of them are queer in ways anyone would recognize, such as Mary MacLane’s remarkable I Await the Devil’s Coming (first published in 1902 under a more innocuous title, The Story of Mary MacLane), Ralph Werther’s Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918), Jonathan Caouette’s film Tarnation (2003), and Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006). Others will test the boundaries of what we mean by “queer,” for example the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth (1653-1657) and Francis Parkman’s The Oregon Trail (1849). Careful attention will be given to the ways in which queer gender and sexuality intersect with experiences of race, ethnicity, class, and nationality.

The Orpheus and Eurydice Project: Multimedia Avatars of a Myth

Literature and Other Arts
English 118B / Prof. Gallagher

This course examines a selection of exemplary and experimental appropriations of one of the touchstone myths of Greek antiquity, the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Two recent cultural events, featured among the course materials, illustrate the myth’s fecundity. Anaïs Mitchell’s folk opera musical Hadestown, an ambitious retooling of the legend, swept the 2019 Tony Awards with eight wins, including the prizes for Best Musical and Best Original Score. Meanwhile, a new opera based on Sarah Ruhl’s 2003 play Eurydice, which retells the story from the usually disregarded perspective of Eurydice, has been in preparation by the American composer Matthew Aucoin and is receiving its world premiere at Los Angeles Opera in February 2020. Together, Hadestown’s compelling mix of song, dance, and narrative and Eurydice’s vivid recapture of the ancient tale’s provocative force disclose the myth’s contemporary eloquence as a vehicle for reclaiming the power of poetry and music to expose and diagnose critical fault lines in social and political life. Taking its cue from these recent works, the course’s investigative topics include domestic abuse, forced labor, inequitable incarceration, and constrictive gender identities, as well as more subtle forms of estrangement and dislocation–debilitating illness, micro-betrayals of intimacy, and the difficult bond between memory and forgetting. As Mitchell’s and Aucoin’s adaptations also show, avatars of the myth across several genres recurrently mobilize both hearts and minds to corrective and reparative action in the face of manufactured harms that exploit the essential precariousness of life, even as the mythic assemblage also acknowledges the compromises and pressures that hedge art’s transformative possibility. Sample texts included in the available course materials: in poetry, Virgil’s Georgics, Ovid’s Metamorphoses (selections), the Middle English romance Sir Orfeo, Milton’s pastoral elegy Lycidas, Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus sequence (sel.) Jori Graham’s “Orpheus and Eurydice,” Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard; in drama, Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending, Sara Ruhl’s Eurydice; in prose nonfiction, Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, Eric Gill’s Beauty Looks After Herself (sel.); in prose fiction, Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel The Sandman: Fables & Reflections, Philip K. Dick’s short story “Orpheus with Clay Feet”; in music, Claudio Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Jacques Offenbach’s opéra-bouffe Orphée aux Enfers, Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera The Consul, Mohammed Fairouz’s song cycle No Orpheus, Anaïs Mitchell’s musical Hadestown, Matthew Aucoin’s opera Eurydice; in film, Orphée (dir. Jean Cocteau), Black Orpheus (dir. Marcel Camus), Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo (dir. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau). All non-English-language texts will be read in English translation.

Course activities include a group visit to the world premiere of Aucoin’s Eurydice at LA Opera as well as visits to UCLA archives relating to the myth at the Clark Memorial Library and the Hammer Museum. Students will select and curate a relevant document for a digital exhibit and mini-conference presentation. Digital projects may be designed individually or collaboratively for inclusion in the cumulative course digital exhibit. As a follow-up, students will have the bonus opportunity to present their individual or collaborative project in a mini-conference (“The UCLA Orpheus Project”) in spring quarter (date TBD), at which they will briefly present their research and/or creative projects for the course.

Food Cultures and Food Politics

English M118F / Prof. Hall

As Maggie Kilgour points out, eating “depends upon and enforces an absolute division between inside and outside; but in the act itself that opposition disappears, dissolving the structure it appears to produce.” Troubling the divide between within and without, and between material and figurative, food offers a lens for interrogating the ideologies that shape our tastes, and the often overlooked ways in which we are connected to food systems. In this course, we will study primary texts – including novels, poetry, life writing, journalism, and films – that grapple with the complicated issues surrounding food, appetite, hunger, and taste. We will also read foundational theorists of taste and consumption including Claude Lévi-Strauss, Mary Douglas, and Pierre Bourdieu. Sample texts include The Tropic of Orange by Karen Tei Yamashita, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “How to Feed a Wolf” by M.F.K. Fisher, and “Babette’s Feast” (dir. Gabriel Axel).

 

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

Keywords in Theory: Anthropocene

English 122.1 / Prof. DeLoughrey

The Anthropocene is a term scientists are using to suggest that the activities of human beings have created a new geological epoch akin to a meteor strike. Markers of human impact include the rise of agriculture, nuclear radiation, and plastics. Scholars in the social sciences and humanities are asking, which humans are making the impact?  They point to histories of empire, militarism, and globalization as fundamental causes, and raise questions as to how to tell the Anthropocene story (or stories) with attention to both local context and planetary scale. This interdisciplinary course explores the Anthropocene debate from the perspective of writers, artists, and filmmakers, particularly from islands in the global south. It turns to key concepts in the emergent field of Anthropocene studies such as climate, weather, scale, and species. Using the key metaphor of the “island as a world,” the course will be particularly concerned with Caribbean and Pacific island perspectives, especially the relationship between land and (rising) sea. Requirements include a presentation, final research paper, and a visit to an environmental art exhibit.

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

 

This course qualifies as a Critical Theory course for departmental honors applicants.

Keywords in Theory: Culture

English 122.2 / Prof. Dimuro

Using a wide variety of written and visual texts, this course explores the meaning of “culture,” a word which has a complex history and that continues to have a wide currency in literary, political, and critical discourse. We will trace the term’s anthropological, sociological, and ideological meanings as they developed over the last two centuries. Topics include cultural capital, popular culture, the culture wars, kitsch, conspicuous consumption, and culture as a regulatory system. We read Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy, the literary criticism of T.S. Eliot, Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction, the essays of Clifford Geertz, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ German Ideology, and other theorists. We will read literary works by Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather. The goal is to use the idea of culture as a critical framework to interpret literary texts in ways that amplify the skills of close reading. Requirements: short essays, quizzes, a longer paper, and a comprehensive final examination. 

This course qualifies as a Critical Theory course for departmental honors applicants.

Writing the City

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

Through readings in fiction, poetry, prose, the graphic novel and film and television, we will explore the relationships between writing and urban space.  How do we imagine the city in writing? How does the city transform writing?  What kinds of relationships can be imagined in modern urban settings that seem unimaginable in other contexts?  How does urban writing change as we move from London and Paris to Cairo, Nairobi, Djakarta, and Baltimore, or from the 19th century to the 20th and 21st?  What difference does it make to read the city in fiction as opposed to memoir, essay, verse or graphic novel? What about the transposition from the page to the screen? Readings will include work by such authors as Virginia Woolf, Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, Djuna Barnes, Joe Sacco, Alan Moore, Laura Ford, Abdou Malique Simone, JG Ballard, Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Beryl Gilroy, George Lamming, Marguerite Abouet, Gertrude Stein, Alain Mabanckou and Naguib Mahfouz as well as films such as Bladerunner and tv shows including The Wire.

J.M. Coetzee

Individual Authors
English 139.1 / Prof. Goodwin

In one self-portrait the South African, now Australian, novelist J.M. Coetzee describes himself as “a figure of comedy.  Dour comedy.”   We will engage his tragicomic side with Youth and Slow Man.  Another side to our portrait of the writer involves women as protagonists (Foe and Elizabeth Costello).  Others entail perspectives on apartheid and civil war (Life and Times of Michael K), postcolonial society (Disgrace), animal rights (“The Lives of Animals”), and the aging male soul (Slow Man).  Included will be selections from four literary influences:  Defoe, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Beckett.

Course requirements are:  consistent attendance and participation, in-class midterm and final examinations, and an essay due at final examination.

Joyce’s Ulysses

Individual Authors
English 139.2 / Prof. Hornby

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

Medieval Outlaws, Rebels, and Rioters

Medieval Story Cycles and Collections
English 146 / Prof. Fisher

Everybody knows Robin Hood. Or, more accurately, everybody knows some later version of Robin Hood, whether the 1991 film starring Kevin Costner, or Disney’s 1973 animated film. This class will explore how Robin Hood was invented in later medieval England. We will investigate the medieval stories that introduced a number of medieval outlaws, from outlawry’s most famous son, Robin Hood, to lesser-known rebels such as Fouke fitz Waryn and Hereward the Wake. We’ll consider what it means to be out of the law, and explore the various ways in which outlaws behaved and functioned as social, political, and economic rebels in English literature.

We will read a series of medieval outlaw tales and Robin Hood texts, and then follow the tradition through early modern ballads and broadside, and possibly into nineteenth-century stories and novels.

 

Grading shall be as follows: First paper: 15%. Second paper: 25%. Final Paper: 40%. Weekly Reading Responses: 10%. Participation: 10%

Jane Austen and Her Peers

English 163C / Prof. Stephan

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

Aestheticism and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

19th-Century Novel
English 164C / Prof. Rainwater

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the best-known work of British Aesthetic fiction, but Oscar Wilde’s novel belongs to a broader tradition of literature in the nineteenth century that was interested in Aestheticism: the movement that valued beauty and pleasure in art over its utilitarian or moral function. The Aesthetic novel’s stylistic flourishes can be traced to the Fashionable fiction of the early nineteenth century (a genre depicting the upper class and aristocracy), and we’ll begin with one of the most popular of these novels written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. We will then read one of the lush romances of Ouida (Marie Louise Ramé), who was known as the Queen of the Circulating Library during the 1860s and 1870s. Greatly admired by Wilde, Ouida’s extremely popular fictions feature luxurious descriptive prose and languorously sensual characters. Next, we will turn to the delightfully decadent Dorian Gray with its gothic overtones. In the hands of Wilde, the aesthetic novel became firmly associated with dissident desire, and Dorian Gray was used as evidence against Wilde when he was put on trial for homosexuality. We will finish the course with Lucas Malet, who extended the legacy of the aesthetic novel into the early twentieth century. We will read her best-selling fiction from 1901: The History of Sir Richard Calmady, which investigates male disability, lesbian desire, and sensual celibacy. Throughout the quarter, we will think about critical cultural and political contexts, including shifting ideas about class, gender, and sexuality. We will also become familiar with Aestheticism’s concurrent developments in art and poetry.

Global 19th Century

English 164D / Prof. Sanchez

Examination of 19th-century literature as global phenomenon. Ways imaginative works engaged with 19th-century global formations, that may include structures and discourses of empire, international law, communication and transport systems, political boundaries and state sovereignty, slave trade, transnational economics, travel and exploration, religious communities, military engagements, and/or cultural conflicts.

American Poetry to 1900

English 167A / Prof. Salway

Study of American poetry from Puritan period through end of 19th century.

10 American Poets

Contemporary American Poetry
English 173C / Prof. Mullen

Instead of sampling poems in an anthology, we will read ten books by ten poets: Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Terrance Hayes, Martín Espada, Dorothea Lasky, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Arthur Sze, Ellen Bryant Voigt, W.S. Merwin, and Dean Young. This will allow deeper immersion in the work of each poet. Most of the books are slender, yet poems require multiple readings, so you will need to devote sufficient time to the works in order to experience the pleasures of poetry. This course requires constant reading, writing, and active participation in class discussion. Each student should keep a reader’s journal. Instead of lecture, the class format is student-centered discussion, based on your journal entries, in-class writing assignments, and oral presentations, which will include reading and interpretation of poems, critical questions for discussion, aesthetic and cultural perspectives on the poets’ work. Poets and works were chosen for accomplishment, diversity, and influence on American poetry.

American Fiction Since 1945

English 174B / Prof. Perez-Torres

World War II – with its Nazi death machines and the US nuclear horrors – proved a traumatic and tremendous moment in world history. Two convulsive reactions occurred in the US following the second Great War. One reaction was to seek comfort: reaffirming differences and definitions, marking out clearly defined national, racial, sexual, and class boundaries. The other reaction was to embrace change, but a change responding to profound historical injustices. These opposite convulsive reactions have generated the cultural, social, and political dynamics moving the US over the last seven decades. This course surveys some of literary works following World War II that help us identify and analyze the dynamics of this nation as it at once emerges as both a superpower on the world stage and yet incapable of attending to its troubled past. We will examine novels, poetry, and short stories whose fictional worlds help reveal the contradictions, problems, and potential of a nation at change. In the process, we will focus on precise textual and literary analyses. Argumentation, summoning, and employing evidence, and clarity in written and verbal expression form the rudimentary skills.

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

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.1 / 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.

Screenplay Adaptation: Science Fiction and the Algorithmic Image

Interdisciplinary Studies of American Culture
English 177.2 / Prof. Stefans

What challenges does a screenwriter face when adapting a literary work for the screen? What tools are available to the writer of novels and short fiction that are not available to the director, and vice versa? In this course, we will read several works of fiction and the screenplays based on them with a particular focus on science fiction. In addition to reviewing elements of drama (such plot and character), screenplay format and the general 3-act structure of a mainstream film, we will also examine closely the technologies behind the creation of the more fantastic sides of these film visions. To this end, in addition to writing and analysis, students will be introduced (in a rudimentary way) to image making processes such as 3D modeling and computer programming to get a behind-the-scenes look at special effects (students don’t have to purchase software). Some fiction/films that we will look at include Blade Runner (based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), Ender’s Game, Ready Player One and Arrival (based on a short story by Ted Chiang). We will also review some theory on the rise of digital culture, the history of special effects, video game studies and other writing in discourses related to specific works. This class involves weekly writing / creative assignments, a short mid-term paper, a final exam and a final paper/project.

Classics of British Children’s Literature, from Alice in Wonderland to Winnie-the-Pooh

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

This class introduces students to a range of children’s classics that transformed the imaginative worlds that became accessible to young readers from 1860s through the 1920s. The syllabus includes such works as Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, and Other Tales, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. A special aspect of the course involves engaging with the philosophical and political aspects of these narratives, especially in relation to debates about educational practices, physical disability, racial difference, and language theory. The course is assessed through participation, a midterm, a paper topic, and a final.

Systems, Networks, Media

Topics in Literature, circa 1850 to Present
English 179.4 / Prof. Seltzer

We live in a world of systems and networks, mass media and social 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 stage those stories—and so 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.

Not open to student who took English 179 with Prof. Seltzer in Winter 2019.

Creative Writing Workshops

Admission to most Creative Writing Workshops is by application only.

 

Creative Writing: Poetry

English 136.1 / Prof. D’Aguiar

Course Description:

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.

 

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.

 

If you are applying to both poetry workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference. Submissions must be e-mailed to freddaguiar@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: Hughes 136.1).

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.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2020.

NOTE: A list of students accepted into the class will be posted in English Department Office on Jan 6th, 2020.

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

Creative Writing: Poetry

English 136.2 / Prof. Kevorkian

Course description:

You will write a poem every week to turn in for discussion by the rest of the class. You also provide written comments to the other writers in the class. Class poems are written in response to readings of published work and exercises that focus on subjects and strategies of contemporary poetic craft.  As your ideas about poetry develop, you revise the poems. No grades are given during the term; a course grade is assigned largely based on a portfolio of revised poems turned in after the final class. You also will attend at least two poetry readings during the quarter.

 

How to Apply:

Send 3-4 poems of your own composition with a brief statement about recent poetry books read and readings attended. Also include information about any poetry workshops or classes in poetry that you’ve taken.

 

Include your 9-digit UID number. If applying to both poetry workshops, please indicate the one that works best for you.

 

Deadline for submission:

Deadline for submission is Wednesday, January 1, 2020,  via email.

Put your last name and the course section number in the subject line (for example, Plath 136.2).

Submit to kkevorkian@humnet.ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu

 

Acceptance to class:

A list of accepted students’ names will be posted in the main English department office, 149 Kaplan Hall, by Monday, Jan. 6.

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 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 workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference so we can try to accommodate it.

 

Submissions must be e-mailed to huneven@me.com and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: 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 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18th

 

NOTE: A class list will be posted in English Department Office at the beginning of winter quarter, 2020.

 

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 workshops and have a preference, please indicate that preference. Submissions must be e-mailed to jtorres7@ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.  When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Rodriguez 137.2).

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 WEDNESDAY, DEC 18th.

NOTE: A list of students accepted into the class will be posted in English Department Office on Jan 6th.

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

Creative Writing: Writing About Food

English M138.1 / Prof. Huneven

In writing about food, we write about so much more than what’s on a plate, including customs, cultures, family, culinary techniques, cooks, farmers and farming, the environment, restaurants, animal husbandry, markets (local to global), food laws and legislation, and globalization—for starters!In this class, we will read some classic writing about food and then try our hands at personal essays, reported articles, profiles, recipe writing, and restaurant reviews.

TO APPLY:

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

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

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18th

NOTE: A class list will be posted in the English Department Office located at 149 Kaplan Hall before classes start in January.

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

Creative Writing: Gaming Experiments and Multimedia Scripting

English M138.2 / Prof. Snelson

This creative writing course explores new genres of writing with games. We’ll write games and game writing. And, most importantly, play a variety of games as generator for creative writing. We’ll experiment in a wide array of genres and media, including: procedural writing experiments, interactive hypertexts, dating simulators, tabletop (and online) role playing games, Nordic LARPs, and VR/AR poetics, alongside documentary practices like collecting, journaling, podcasting, machinima, and actual play recording. Studying gaming platforms and histories alongside contemporary art and poetry, we’ll reimagine experimental and multimedia writing practices through a constellation of contemporary approaches to gameplay. Using a collective workshop format, we’ll engage in a series of gaming experiments that attempt to find some of our own poetic responses to today’s technological environment. No previous training in games, creative writing, or new media is required.

To Apply: please submit a cover letter introducing yourself and a sample of your writing or creative work in any format (no more than five pages, links to online work in any genre encouraged). In your cover letter, please include the following: your student identification number, email address, year of graduation, and a brief statement that addresses your interest in the course and any relevant coursework or creative practices.

Please email your submission in PDF to dsnelson@humnet.ucla.edu and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. Please title your PDF starting with your last name, i.e.: lastname_winter-gaming_submission.pdf.

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN “M138.2” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019.

NOTE: A class list will be posted in English Department Office, 149 Kaplan, at the beginning of winter quarter.

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

COURSE CANCELLED (Creative Writing: Black Writing and Screenplay Adaptations)

English M138.3 / Prof. Underwood

In this class, we will read works by Black writers that have been adapted for the screen and consider how writers reimagined these works for broader audiences.  We will watch and discuss these films in class. As part of our final class project, each student will choose a fictional work and write the first act of a screenplay adaptation. The reading list may include works by James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison.

Please note that this workshop does not require an application. Enrollment will be first-come, first-served through MyUCLA.

Creative Writing: Mindful Learning/Mindful Writing: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Enhance Creativity and Well-Being

English M138.4 / Prof. Melzer

Course description:

This course will teach students a mindful awareness and use it as a foundation upon which to build their reading and writing skills. Mindfulness trains us in the surprisingly transformative power of our attention. In fact, our attention is one of our most vital of resources, although most of us don’t realize it. (Advertisers do know it, which is why they pay millions of dollars for just a second of it!)  This resource is foundational for the creative process as well as the learning process.

This course will help students explore their attention, turning their focus inward on their own learning process as they engage with a variety of texts, fiction and non-fiction. They will explore how language and literary art are focus frames that direct our attention. Students will use their mindfulness skills to heighten their own ability to peer into the mundane to see the potentially momentous hidden within and write about it. Through the art of paying attention, they can discover worlds within world within worlds, as did William Blake when he saw “the world within a grain of sand.” The students will write anecdotes/stories from their daily lives to see how they embody larger, more intellectual abstractions. Stories can be an embodied form of learning. To help students shape their stories and commentaries, we will consider the larger frames of narrative and rhetorical analysis.

When we step into the unknown of learning something new, we often meet the demons of confusion and uncertainty that can block us. We will cultivate mindfulness techniques to help transform this confusion into creativity, trusting in a mysterious kind of inner knowing that we often don’t know we have. We will explore how to open up thought, not close it down in the quest for a false certitude.

This course will be divided into three parts structured around the learning/writing process. The first part will focus on exploratory, “pre-writing” exercises to help students make the concepts from the readings and their mindfulness experience their own. The second part will focus on fleshing out and framing these exercises into a more polished, structured forms. The third will focus on revising the drafts, continuing our focus on narrative structure and rhetoric.

Although I have scheduled additional time for this course as a “lab”, it is likely we will not need all of this time. This “lab“ will provide space and time for you to do in-class “free-writes”  as drafts  for your homework assignments. This will speed up your productivity and progress. We will combine these “free –writes” with mindfulness exercises. This  “lab” will give you time to develop your mindfulness practice, which strives to create new healthy habits of mind to replace your old ones. The new healthy habits will promote greater creativity and ease of well-being. This takes time and practice! Think of it as a gym where you go to work out the muscles of your attention!!

How to Apply:

Enrollment by instructor consent (PTE#). Interested students should write a letter (200-350 words) introducing themselves. Include the following: name, student ID number, and a brief statement about why you want to take this particular course. Include what experience, if any, you have in writing, creative expression or mindfulness practices. Additionally, describe briefly 1-2 important learning moments you have had at UCLA, either in class (any subject matter) or outside of class.

Please email your letter to Melzer@humnet.ucla.edu  and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu. Put your last name and course/section number in the subject line (example: Kabat-Zinn/English M138.4). YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

 

Deadline for submission:

Deadline for submission is Wednesday, December 18th.

 

Acceptance to class:

A list of students accepted into the class will be posted in English Department Office (Kaplan 149) at the start of Winter quarter.

Creative Writing: Global Instability & The Political Essay

English M138.5 / Prof. Naffis-Sahely

How do writers around the world respond to political instability, social injustice, state oppression and civil unrest? This course will examine essays by writers including Binyavanga Wainaina, Arundhati Roy, Joan Didion and Natalia Ginsburg to see how they crafted thoughtful and timely responses to moments of turmoil in the U.S., Kenya, Italy and India. This will provide a cue to students who will then compose their own political essays.

Enrollment by instructor consent (PTE). Interested students should submit a 250-word personal statement about their writing goals, a list of writing and literature courses taken so far, and a 5-10 page sample (double spaced) of nonfiction writing.  Please submit applications to the instructor’s mailbox in 149 Kaplan Hall and via email: andrenaffis@gmail.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: Machiavelli M138.5).

YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

NOTE: A class list will be posted in English Department Office by the beginning of winter quarter, 2020.

Creative Writing: Creative Non-fiction–The Great American True Story

English M138.6 / Prof. Simpson

We will hope to develop and refine each writer’s voice, until it is distinctive, personal and indelible as a fingerprint. We will do this by studying the contemporary forms: blogposts, op-ed pieces, reported stories, reviews and essays, both personal and analytic. Students will be asked to complete weekly reading and writing assignments and to make time for field trips.  We will study masters of the form (Orwell, Nabokov, Ellison, Malcolm, Didion and many more.)

For admission to the class, please submit an essay introducing yourself to the professor at monasimpson@mac.com and creativewriting@english.ucla.edu.

When e-mailing submissions, please put your last name and the course and section number in the subject line (example: Maxwell 138.6).

YOUR APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL AND MUST CONTAIN “138.6” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. YOUR SUBMISSION MAY NOT BE READ IF YOU OMIT THIS TAG IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019

NOTE: A class list will be posted in English Department Office by the beginning of winter quarter, 2020.

Senior/Capstone Seminars

 

Early English Verse Structure

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A.1 / Prof. Minkova

This seminar will survey the changing modes and principles of poetic composition in English examined in relation to language history. We will start with a general introduction to scansion using 21st-century (non-free) verse and discuss the similarities and differences between verse and prose. This requires an overview of the pronunciation and stress patterns of Old, (7th-11th century), Middle (11-15th century) and later English. The core of the course will address: (1) the metrical structure of Beowulf and other Old English alliterative compositions, possibly including Ælfric’s “rhythmical prose”, (2) the alliterative innovations and constraints in Middle English, (3) the (dis)continuity of alliteration in modern writing and culture, (4) the emergence and the evolution of rhyme and syllable-counting in English prior to Chaucer, and (5) the iambic pentameter: metrical rules and violations in Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare. A solid analytical grounding in the general principles of poetic meter, speech rhythm, the semiotics of verse structure, and the differences between prose and verse, should lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the constantly changing interplay between language and literature.

Crime Stories

Topics in Genre Studies
English 181A.2 / Prof. Seltzer

This seminar will look at crime fiction—primarily novels, some films and anime—over the past century or so.  Crime stories have a long history but a special place in a modern world.  What can such stories tell us about how we experience our personal lives and our public life?  What form do these stories take?  Why do we like them?   How can they help us understand the ways in which we work, interact, and play today? Readings may include writers such as Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, Patricia Highsmith, James M. Cain, Cormac McCarthy, Tom McCarthy, and Natsuo Kirino.   Focused literary analysis will center the course and the required work:  the primary course requirement is two interpretive papers (5-7 pages each).   Consistent attendance, and active participation in seminar discussions, are required too.

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.

Con Artists, Cross-Dressers, Imposters, and Frauds: The Secret History of the Western Frontier

Capstone Seminar
English 184.2 / Prof. Allmendinger

This seminar exposes various forms of deception practiced by writers, artists, and ordinary men and woman on the western frontier at the turn of the previous century.  These figures include geologist and nature writer Clarence King, who passed as black while he was secretly married to an African American woman; Willa Cather, who cross-dressed as a man while writing about unconventional women in the American West; Yone Noguchi, an immigrant Japanese poet with a fluid sexual orientation, who published an “autobiographical” novel called The American Diary of a Japanese Girl; Isadora Duncan, the founder of modern American dance; Sylvester Long, a mixed-race individual who posed as a full-blooded Native American chieftain in silent film; and James Addison Reavis, who sought to defraud the US government by forging a Spanish land grant which allegedly entitled him to ownership of the entire Arizona and New Mexico Territories.  The syllabus will include their published works, as well as silent films, sketches, drawings, forged archival documents, photographs, and biographies of these individuals.  Requirements include weekly attendance and participation in seminar, one oral report, and a research paper due on the last day of class.

 

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.

From Ancient Epic to Medieval Romance

Capstone Seminar
English 184.3 / 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.

 

Admission by instructor’s permission (PTE) only. Students wishing to take this course should submit a list 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.

Pornography and the Politics of Sexual Representation

Capstone Seminar
English 184.4 / 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 184.5 / 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.

Dreams, Visions and Apparitions in Medieval Literature

Capstone Seminar
English 184.6 / Prof. Thomas

Dreams, visions and apparitions are constitutive of medieval literature writ large. They are ubiquitous in hagiographical writings, academic commentaries, theological treatises and poetic compositions. They often inaugurate treatises and tales, raise expectations, fulfill or even frustrate audience expectations. Wherever they occur, they offer a space for thinking through the relations between the real and the visionary, between the historical and the fantastic, between the empirically verifiable and the spiritually valuable, between medieval discourses or disciplines including rhetoric, history, law, and theology. In this course, we will explore dreams, visions and apparitions in texts ranging from the “lives” of holy women and men (such as the semi-autobiographical The Passion of St. Perpetua and Felicity, the anonymous biography of the bride Christina of Markyate, and Eadmer’s Life of Anselm) to the great poetic works of Chaucer (The Parlement of Foules, The House of Fame, The Canterbury Tales), Gower (Confessio amantis) and Langland (Piers Plowman). Our focus will be on the ways in which writers handle dream experiences not just for their content but also their form. We will read fictional compositions framed by dreams, visions and apparitions alongside relevant dream theories/commentaries such as Macrobius’s influential Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, glosses to his commentary and Augustine’s Literal commentary on Genesis.

Fiction of the Harlem Renaissance

Topics in African American Literature
English M191A / Prof. Yarborough

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s was a remarkably productive period for African American artists in a range of fields, including music, literature, dance, film, drama, and the visual arts.  Catalyzing this phenomenon were several factors, among them the unprecedented migration of blacks from the rural South to the urban North and a burgeoning interest in African American culture on the part of whites.  In addition, we see a generation of African Americans coming of age with new educational opportunities and fresh orientations toward politics and toward black identity itself.

 

In this seminar, we will focus on novels and short stories produced by African Americans during this period with the goal of coming to an appreciation of the diversity of stylistic approaches in the assigned texts as well as of the wide variety of topics engaged.  Among the authors to be covered are Claude McKay, Jesse Fauset, George Schuyler, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, and Wallace Thurman.  Requirements include attendance and class participation, weekly online response posts, one oral presentation, two term papers.

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.

The Self as Nation in Chinese American Literature

Topics in Asian American Literature
English M191C / Prof. Cheung

This course covers Chinese American texts written between 1970s and 2020, tracking Chinese American Literary history and its three cultural nationalist trajectories (“claiming America,” “claiming diaspora,” and “simultaneity of geography”) and its gender/ sexuality crosscurrents (“remasculation,” feminism, and alternative gender).

 

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.