Orange Alert

Department of English Courses

Fall 2022
Linked course titles have extended descriptions. Syllabi provided where available.
Course Title Day Time Instructor Room Syllabus Description
ENG 105 M001 Introduction to Creative Writing TTh 3:30-4:40 PM Grzecki This course will introduce students to three types of creative writing: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including mixed genres). The course will focus on inspiration (why write a poem or a story or an essay?) as well as the techniques of evocative, compelling writing across all literary genres (e.g., point of view, concrete detail, lyricism, image, voice, tone, structure, dialogue, and characterization). Students will examine work by authors from various traditions and produce creative work in each genre. ENG 105 prepares students for upper-level creative writing courses in fiction and poetry.
ENG 107 M001 Living Writers W 3:45-6:35 PM Harwell This class gives students the rare opportunity to hear visiting writers read and discuss their work. The class is centered on six readings and question-and-answer sessions. Students will be responsible for careful readings of the writers’ work. Critical writing and detailed class discussions are required to prepare for the question-and-answer sessions with the visiting writers.
ENG 113 M001 British Literature, Beginings to 1789 MW 5:15-6:35 PM Shaw Dragon-slaying adventures. Bawdy battles of wit. Death-brooding poetics. This course will introduce you to British literature from the earliest Anglo-Saxon epics to the elegiac poetry of the eighteenth century. Along the way, we will study key texts that helped cement story elements like those listed above in the Western imagination. These resounding works will include Seamus Heaney’s contemporary translation of Beowulf, Chaucer’s panoramic entertainment The Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s gender-bending sonnets, and more. We will engage our course readings critically by learning how to situate them within their historical, political, and cultural contexts. Moreover, this discussion-based course will encourage you to consider, among many things, notions of identity – such as nationality, gender, race, class, and more – as well as concepts like time. What does it mean, for instance, to study the “beginning” of British literature? Guided by these and other inquiries, this writing-intensive course will help you develop your reading, analytic, and writing skills as we chart a contiguous course through the British literary canon.
ENG 114 M001 British Literature, 1789 to Present MW 2:15-3:35 PM Goode Few nations in the world have changed more dramatically in the past 250 years than Great Britain, and these changes are evident throughout its literature. This course moves briskly through more than two centuries of Britain’s literary history, covering the art and culture of four distinct periods, spanning the years 1789-2022: Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Post-War/Postmodern/Postcolonial. Historical topics will include: changes in literary forms and genres; slavery and abolition; political revolution; the industrial revolution; the Enlightenment; apocalyptic fears; urbanization; evolution; religion; social reform movements; race, class, gender, and sexuality; nationalism; colonialism and its aftermath; the World Wars; the politics of writing in the English language; cloning; Black Lives Matter; Brexit; and the COVID-19 pandemic. Course texts include a wide variety of poems, short stories, a play, some punk rock and reggae song lyrics, and a few films, as well as the novels Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen), Dracula (Bram Stoker), and Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro). Assignments include three five-page papers and weekly quizzes tied to the lectures and readings.
ENG 117 M001 American Literature, Beginings to 1865 MW 5:15-6:35 PM Adams What is American literature and where did it start? What does it mean to be an “American”? How can an understanding of American literature and culture help us navigate the ever-shifting nature of the place we now call the United States? These questions, and more, will guide us through this semester as we untangle the connections between what the United States is now and what was once “America” for indigenous people, white settlers, enslaved persons, and others. During this course, we will be reading an array of cultural texts. Works such as poems, historical documents, topographical surveys, sermons, treatises, dramas, novels, short stories, sacred texts, and more will be read in tandem. When approaching these texts, we will pay attention to their complicity with and challenges to oppressive racist and colonial logics; ideologies that are still at play today. Crucially, having a social justice framework in mind when approaching these often-troubling works is not to dismiss the importance of reading them and engaging with their ideas. Rather a social justice approach to early American literature is a way of reckoning with texts that continue informing our cultural consciousness that is achieved by reading them thoroughly and critically.
ENG 118 M001 American Literature, 1865 to Present TTh 3:30-4:50 PM Teres This course will introduce you to some of the most compelling and highly valued writing from the diverse American literary tradition. You’ll be invited into the awesome virtual worlds of a variety of accomplished writers such as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Elizabeth Bishop, Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick, Joy Harjo, Gloria Anzaldua, Sherman Alexie, and Rita Dove. We’ll focus on a range of issues like class, gender, ethnicity, and especially race, but in many ways the main subject of this class will be you. I will work hard to convince you that, if you are wise enough to allow it, these writers can have a profound influence on how you live your life—on what your values are, on your personal relationships, on your sense of citizenship and justice, on your own feelings of self-worth, on your capacity to take pleasure in skillful groundbreaking writing, and on your well-being and even joy. I will teach the fiction, non-fiction, and poetry we read together as, in the words of the critic Kenneth Burke, “equipment for living.” Students will have the option of producing midterm and final essays, or a series of shorter response papers. This course satisfies the writing requirement.
ENG 119 M001 Topics in US Literature - US Fiction after 1945 TTh 8:00-9:20 AM Edmunds This course offers a survey of U.S. fiction from the 1940s to the early 2000s. We will read a selection of short stories and novels alongside a range of other genres--including the autobiographical essay, the memoir, New Journalism, poetry, and political manifestos-- in order to investigate the interconnections between literary form and social change. Our texts will engage currents of conflict and change associated with World War II, the counterculture, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Arts Movements, Second Wave Feminism and Black Feminism, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, and climate change.
ENG 121 M001 Introduction to Shakespeare MW 2:15-3:10 PM Callaghan Who was William Shakespeare? This lecture course aims to answer this question via an intensive introduction to his life and language. This class will focus on two key issues: first, the relation between Shakespeare’s life and his work, and secondly, on the language of his plays and poems. No previous familiarity with Shakespeare is required, but you do need to be committed to careful and sustained critical reading and analysis as well as active participation in the discussion sections. The main goals of this class are to help you read and enjoy Shakespeare, to foster rigorous intellectual engagement with his work, to learn about the historical context in which he was writing, and to develop your own critical writing skills. We will emphasize understanding and engagement with Shakespeare’s text rather than simply its “translation” or the rehearsal of plotlines. Since Shakespeare’s language is what most distinguishes him from his rivals and collaborators—as well as what most embeds him in his own historical moment—this class will take language to be the very heart of Shakespeare’s literary achievement rather than as an obstacle to be circumvented by the reader or audience. This is a writing intensive class, which means that it fulfills the writing intensive requirement of the University curriculum. The learning outcomes for this class are: *Intellectual focus*Advanced-level reading skills in the engagement with Shakespeare’s language*Critical thinking*Close reading* Use of textual evidence* Historical knowledge* Writing skills. Students will learn how to develop an academic argument and to communicate clearly, effectively, and eloquently.* Revision—how to improve or re-write a paper
ENG 122 M001 Introduction to the Novel TTh 5:00-6:20 PM Marple
ENG 125 M001 Science Fiction TTh 2:00-3:20 PM Kidd The origins and definition of Science Fiction or speculative fiction are debated by fans and scholars all over the world. Likewise, scholars continue to debate the value of the genre as Literature with a capital L. In this course, we will take the genre and its capacities for uniquely powerful social commentary seriously as we explore possible beginnings, movements, subgenres and shifts within Science Fiction short stories and novels, as well as some television and film. We will look primarily at U.S. American and British texts, but we will expand beyond the West somewhat. This course features opportunities for creative work, as well as critical reading and writing.
ENG 142 M001 Narrative of Culture: Introduction to Issues of Critical Reading TTh 2:00-3:20 PM Moody
ENG 145 M001 Reading Popular Culture MW 2:15-3:10 PM Tiongson This course constitutes a critical engagement with popular culture, examining a range of theoretical approaches as well as key concepts and key debates in the study of popular culture. It will draw on your intimate familiarity with popular culture, specifically as consumers, fans, and producers of popular culture to better understand how popular culture shapes all our lives. The aim of the course is to familiarize you with a critical vocabulary to make sense of the broader significance and relevance of popular culture—how and why popular culture matters—and what it means to approach popular culture as a legitimate area of scholarly inquiry and as a site of political struggle. To accomplish this, we will investigate a number of popular expressive forms including teen magazines, fandom, boy bands, high school proms, quinceaneras, branding, hip hop culture, EDM, the East LA music scene, and Indigenous performance.
ENG 151 M001 Interpretation of Poetry MW 2:15-3:35 PM Haxton This course will involve weekly reading of poems selected as examples of particular poetic techniques: image, narrative, diction, tone, argument, and so on. Each week’s handout will describe the technique in that week’s reading and present relevant questions. Four short essays by students will analyze individual poems with respect to a poet’s use of one of these techniques. Final grades will include papers (70%) and classroom participation (30%). No prerequisites. Attendance required.
ENG 152 M001 Interpretation of Drama MW 11:40-12:35 PM Shirilan This course offers an introduction to the study of Western dramatic literature in English or English translation by surveying a selection of plays and dramatic texts from antiquity through the twenty-first century. We will encounter Greek and Roman theater, medieval and early modern drama (including but not exclusively Shakespeare), Restoration comedy, Romantic theater, Realism, Expressionism, and the wide range of popular and avant-garde theatrical movements and experiments of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will examine the formal features and conventions of Western dramatic traditions while emphasizing the ways these have evolved in dynamic (sometimes conservative, sometimes radical) response to social, cultural, and political pressures. This course welcomes students both new to dramatic literature and those who have studied theater in other contexts. Plays chosen for close study will be selected with care not to repeat the reading lists of DRA courses. Screenings and attendance of theatrical productions required.
ENG 153 M002 Interpretation of Fiction MW 11:40-12:35 PM Mackie This course introduces students to the development of the English language in history. The approach here will be predominately socio-linguistic, focusing on how linguistic development interacts with social and cultural history. At the same time, attention will be given to the description of English conducted through the basic elements of linguistic analysis: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Finally, using both the socio-historical and the formal linguistic perspectival lenses, we will look at how different varieties of the English language have fared historically and how they continue to develop through the present.
ENG 153 M005 Interpretation of Fiction TTh 5:00-6:20 PM Santiago What is fiction, and what is its relationship to reality? We will take an eclectic approach to answering these questions by exploring books, short stories, theater, films, and games (among other forms of media) in order to form a critical literacy of fiction’s formal elements while also testing the boundaries of fiction as it is conventionally understood. By thoroughly investigating matters such as narrative, style, authorship, and audience, we will study fiction not only as a form of art and entertainment, but as a social force that communicates values and ideologies. This is a writing intensive course that provides guidance and opportunities for improving professional composition skills. Through attentive reading and writing, we will delve into a multitude of imaginary worlds and uncover the intricate processes that make fiction powerful.
ENG 154 M002 Interpretation of Film MW 9:30-10:25 AM Scheibel Jr. Film was the dominant medium of the last century and yet we have only begun to understand it, especially in the post-celluloid period of digital and convergent screen cultures. What is the “language” of cinema? What are the elements of style through which films communicate? What are the audiovisual literacy skills necessary to “read” those elements within an aesthetic system? In this course, we will approach these broad but fundamental questions to the interpretation of films as texts. Based in close analysis, the course begins with the formal compositions of cinema, introducing you to techniques of mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. We will then move to contexts that organize cinematic meaning, such as narrative, genre, stardom, and marketing. Further, we will consider film authorship through issues of identity, difference, representation, globalization, and cinema’s relationship to other media. The course includes films from a range of traditions, including studio filmmaking in the Classical Hollywood era (Rear Window, Casablanca), independent and international art-house cinemas (Do the Right Thing, Monsoon Wedding), documentary (No Regret, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story), the avant-garde (Meshes of the Afternoon), animation (Persepolis), and the Hollywood blockbuster (Jaws, Black Panther).
ENG 155 M002 Interpretation of Nonfiction MW 5:15-6:35 PM Caskie This course will introduce you to methods for interpreting nonfiction. Nonfiction is often thought of as a transparent window onto reality, but in this course, we will unpack the way different texts use specific techniques to construct their images of reality. To do so, we will study a range of different genres like essays, memoirs, and histories as well as a variety of different mediums including graphic novels, documentaries, and virtual reality experiences. We will explore and interrogate the rhetorical strategies that authors employ in their work, the relationship between form and content, the institutional certification of “knowledge,” the indexical nature of photography, and the relationship of the viewer to a given nonfiction work. We will explore how meaning and “truth” are produced in these works and how they relate to larger frameworks of gender, race, nationality, class, sexuality, disability, and the environment. This course satisfies the writing-intensive requirement for the Liberal Arts Core.
ENG 156 M001 Interpretation of Games MW 9:30-10:25 AM Hanson This course serves as an introduction to game studies and we will explore key critical frameworks and concepts for analyzing and understanding games and gameplay. In addition to games, we will also study screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the concepts of game studies. Attendance at weekly discussion sections and evening screenings is required.
ENG 164 M001 Children's Literature TTh 9:30-10:50 AM Kidd This course surveys a history of children’s literature – primarily European and American, but with some global reach. Children’s literature through time charts the evolving cultural attitudes about children and childhood, as well as adulthood and parenting. Likewise, as educational material, literature for children reflects ideas about what constitutes a citizen of a nation, a family member, and a good person, more generally. Because texts for children are what we generally engage with during the times when our brains are most rapidly developing, we are influenced profoundly by these texts. Relatedly, Children’s Literature is the most likely to be contested or banned. We’ll read and view a variety of genres and mediums, from nursery rhymes and fairy tales to graphic novel, film, and television. Readings will include works by Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, Judy Blume, and Beverley Cleary, along with works in the Sesame Street and Disney universes, and many more.
ENG 164 M002 Children's Literature TTh 11:00-12:20 PM Kidd This course surveys a history of children’s literature – primarily European and American, but with some global reach. Children’s literature through time charts the evolving cultural attitudes about children and childhood, as well as adulthood and parenting. Likewise, as educational material, literature for children reflects ideas about what constitutes a citizen of a nation, a family member, and a good person, more generally. Because texts for children are what we generally engage with during the times when our brains are most rapidly developing, we are influenced profoundly by these texts. Relatedly, Children’s Literature is the most likely to be contested or banned. We’ll read and view a variety of genres and mediums, from nursery rhymes and fairy tales to graphic novel, film, and television. Readings will include works by Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, Judy Blume, and Beverley Cleary, along with works in the Sesame Street and Disney universes, and many more.
ENG 172 M001 The Literature of War and Peace TTh 3:30-4:50 PM Roylance This course will examine artistic representations of American war and peace, studying how art reflects and also reimagines violent conflict. Ranging from the inspirational to the darkly satirical, and including fiction, reportage, poetry, film, television, graphic novels and songs, the texts covered in this course will show the varying responses of artists to the aesthetic, political and moral provocations of war. The course will not be arranged chronologically, but we will study texts that deal with major conflicts in American history, such as the U.S. Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam, as well as armed conflict between European Americans and Native Americans and the wars of the post-9/11 era.
ENG 174 M001 World Literature, Beginings to 1000 TTh 11:00-12:20 PM Teres This course will expand your understanding of cultures from around the world as you read and discuss some of the most achieved and influential examples of literature from African, Asian, and Western traditions. These diverse texts and cultures will provide vital contexts for your exploration of your own life, and contemporary social life in general. We will begin with some of the oldest literature in the world (Gilgamesh and Egyptian love poems), and go on to read sections from the Hebrew Bible, Sanskrit and Greek epics (The Ramayana and The Iliad), classical Chinese philosophy (Confucius and Zhuangzi), Greek and Roman lyric poetry (Sappho, Catullus, and Ovid), The New Testament, Saint Augustine’s Confessions, Chinese Tang and Song dynasty poetry (Wang Wei, Li Bai, Du Fu, and others), excerpts from the Qur’an, stories from 1001 Nights, and excerpts from The Tale of Genji by the Japanese woman writer Murasaki Shikibu, arguably the first novel ever written. Classes will alternate between lectures and discussions. You will have the option of either producing shorter response papers or traditional midterm and final interpretive essays.
ENG 181 M003 Class and Literary Texts MW 3:45-5:05 PM Conrey From William Blake’s descriptions of living conditions in early industrialized England, James Agee’s stories of tenant farmers during the Depression, to Ursula LeGuin’s’s speculative fiction focused on labor exploitation, questions of social class have long been a focus of novelists’, poets’ and essayists’ work. Parallel to the ways that writers affect and engage social class, critical readers can engage with the concepts of social class as they read. Concerned with the social divisions of privilege, wealth, power and status, class, like race and gender, is a social construction that is imposed on, and performed by, all of us as a way of stratifying and defining who we are. Though the restraints of social class readily subject us to the power of others, these restraints may also, when well understood, provide a springboard for advocacy and direct social action. This course provides an introduction to these concepts and exposes students to key texts in literature, film and other media as a way of fostering critical engagement and developing richer social responsibility through textual interpretation.
ENG 182 M001 Race and Literary Texts MW 5:15-6:35 PM Charles In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B Du Bois claims that Black Americans are gifted with a “second sight,” calling on a visual metaphor to describe Black subjectivity. Not only Du Bois, but a number of Black intellectuals such as Frantz Fanon, James Baldwin, and bell hooks have taken up seeing, looking, viewing, and (in)visibility as central concerns in Black life. This course will explore how “the visual” has shaped meanings of blackness through a range of texts such as novels, short stories, poems, graphic novels, films, and television shows. We will question: What is blackness? How is blackness shaped by intersections of gender, sexuality, and class? What does blackness do and how has visuality shaped its varied meanings? Our course objective will be to complicate both what it means to see and to be “seen.” Potential authors include Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Kyle Baker. Potential films and television include shows such as Black-ish and I am Not Your Negro. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement of the Liberal Arts Core. The purpose of the writing-intensive course is to familiarize students with the thought processes, structures, and styles associated with writing in the liberal arts.
ENG 182 M002 Race and Literary Texts TTh 12:30-1:50 PM Kumavie In this introductory class, we will consider Black literatures and cultures as a “call and response.” This means we will consider Black literatures and cultures as interrelated rather than a discrete set of literary and cultural practices. We will use the framework of “call and response”—a participatory model of civic, literary, and musical forms—to stage a conversation between literary and cultural texts written at different periods of time. Questioning how writers have been inspired by, critical of, and have repeated with difference the themes, traditions, and concerns of earlier generations, we will engage the broad scope of Black literatures as an interactive, critical, and experimental body of literary and cultural works. Throughout the course, we will interrogate the persistent presence and engagement with transatlantic slavery, race and racism, violence, gender and sexuality, and the nation-state in Black literatures and cultures.
ENG 184 M002 Ethnicity and Literary Texts TTh 11:00-12:20 PM Frieden A panorama of great stories written by Jewish authors, including Ecclesiastes, Sholem Aleichem, Peretz, Kafka, Agnon, Wiesel, and Yiddish women writers. Topics include narrative techniques and figurative language, shtetl life in E. Europe, modernization, love, marriage, humor, the Nazi genocide, and post-war trauma. Emphasizing the interconnections between theme and rhetoric, students will be required to submit short analyses on Blackboard before each class. This writing intensive course might also be called a writing marathon. While learning about Jewish literature as an ethnic literary tradition in this course, students develop skills such as close reading and rhetorical analysis, critical thinking, incisive writing, and public speaking. Change your style; change your life.
ENG 192 M003 Gender and Literary Texts TTh 5:00-6:20 PM Gleesing What is gender? What does it mean to say that gender is a social construction? How does gender intersect with other social formations like race, class, sexuality, and (dis)ability? How do gender and texts work to represent and create bodies? This course will explore textual representations of gender and sexuality and their cultural, historical, and social implications. Through an examination of novels, short stories, films, and other media forms, we will address these questions and think about the ways that literary texts construct, rewrite, and interrogate gender as a social category. We will think about how literary texts represent and challenge ideological and social structures like heteronormativity, marriage, feminism, racism, and patriarchy. Potential authors and theorists include Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Alison Bechdel, Justin Torres, bell hooks, and Ocean Vuong.
ENG 192 M001 Gender and Literary Texts MW 5:15-6:35 PM Krumel What is gender? What does it mean to say that gender is a social construct? How does gender intersect with other social formations like race, class, religion, sexuality, and (dis)ability? How do gender and texts work to represent and create bodies? This course will explore textual representations of gender and sexuality and their cultural, historical, and social implications. Through an examination of poetry, novels, short stories, films, and other media forms, we will address these questions and think about the ways that literary texts construct, rewrite, and interrogate gender as a social category. We will think about how literary texts represent and challenge ideological and social structures like heteronormativity, marriage, feminism, racism, citizenship, and patriarchy. Potential authors include Julia Ward Howe, Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, Zitkala-Ša, Mario Puzo, and Sylvia Plath.
ENG 193 M001 Introduction to Asian American Literature TTh 5:00-6:20 PM Green What does it mean to be “Asian American”? Who and what decides, and how have conceptions and understandings of "Asian America" shifted over time? How have Asian American writers, artists, and scholars explored these questions through their work, and what can we learn about U.S. imperialism and colonialism, immigration, labor, citizenship, and the diversity of Asian American identity formation by engaging with them? We will explore these questions through various texts such as novels, short stories, poetry, and films by Asian American authors of various backgrounds. Our exploration will be informed by key historical and political events, such as changes in immigration and citizenship legislation and wars, as well as social movements such as the Civil Rights Movement and Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate. This context will better our understanding and analysis of the authors’ engagement with these topics.
ENG 195 M001 Arab American Literature and Culture MW 5:15-6:35 PM El-Eid Given the flourishing of Arab American cultural productions and scholarship in the last two decades alone, now is an immensely exciting and important moment for studying Arab American literatures and cultures. This course surveys the burgeoning field of Arab American literature, from its roots in the early 20th century until present-day, with a heightened focus on contemporary texts and cultural productions. We will examine how different social and political movements (such as WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, 9/11, and the ongoing War on Terror) historically and contemporarily shape Arab American identities, experiences, and works. In doing so, we will study texts such as short stories, novels, poetry, music videos, films, and stand-up comedy. Through this diverse range of texts, we will come to know the multiplicities and complexities of what is today called “Arab America.”
ENG 215 M001 Introductory Poetry Workshop T 3:30-6:15 PM Emma Timbers Thomas Hardy wrote “Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.” In this introductory workshop you will acquire the craft in order to write original poems in the pursuit of such art. You will be required to write both creatively and critically as you compose your own poems, work on imitations, revise, and analyze and critique the poems of others. There will be a variety of creative prompts, critical exercises, and assigned readings to deepen your knowledge of poetry, as well as contribute to your growth as a creative writer. All poetic souls welcome. Participation and attendance are necessary
ENG 216 M001 Introductory Literary Nonfiction Workshop Th 12:30-3:15 PM Brunt This course will introduce students to the nonfiction workshop. Together, we will investigate the art of nonfiction as writers in a generous and challenging environment. We will explore nonfiction’s possibilities, hone our craft and technique, and develop a creative process. In class, we will read, analyze, interpret, and discuss student work as well as published work. Students will learn to use literary devices such as setting, point of view, character, dialogue, plot construction, and metaphor to craft artful, factually accurate essays about real events.
ENG 217 M001 Introductory Fiction Workshop M 3:45-6:30 PM Grzecki This course will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Students will learn how to write a story, how to read closely, and how to critique and revise stories. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. There will be in-class writing exercises and prompts, which will lead students to create stories of their own. Attendance and participation are mandatory
ENG 217 M003 Introductory Fiction Workshop T 3:30-6:15 PM Erica Frederick This course will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Students will learn how to write a story, how to read closely, and how to critique and revise stories. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. There will be in-class writing exercises and prompts, which will lead students to create stories of their own. Attendance and participation are mandatory
ENG 242 M001 Reading and Interpretation TTh 12:30-1:50 PM Torres-Saillant Introduces students to the study of English as an academic field focusing on reading practices, axes of analysis, and schools of thought in criticism and theory of literature. Students learn that the outcome of the act of reading varies in accordance with the perspective from which a reader approaches a given text. They become aware of their own a priori critical or theoretical stance and acquire the conceptual tools with which to examine their mode of reading in relation to those of others. Students enhance their skills as interpreters of texts able to grasp the elements contained in literary works as well as in the socio-historical contexts in which texts and readers exist. The course offers a sampling of criticism and theory from antiquity to the present and guides students through the reading of works such as Antigone, Othello, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through a critical lens that may differ from their reading practice when they first encountered the stories told in those texts. The course will survey various ways of reading critically and several theoretical approaches, while exploring the questions of authorship, literariness, representation, artistic communication, and historical reality, inter alia. We examine the claim that literature deepens our understanding of our place in the world, enabling our preparedness to contend with uncertainty and training us to empathize with others, precisely the resources we need in times of collective affliction such as the present.
ENG 242 M002 Reading and Interpretation MW 3:45-5:05 PM Torres-Saillant Introduces students to the study of English as an academic field focusing on reading practices, axes of analysis, and schools of thought in criticism and theory of literature. Students learn that the outcome of the act of reading varies in accordance with the perspective from which a reader approaches a given text. They become aware of their own a priori critical or theoretical stance and acquire the conceptual tools with which to examine their mode of reading in relation to those of others. Students enhance their skills as interpreters of texts able to grasp the elements contained in literary works as well as in the socio-historical contexts in which texts and readers exist. The course offers a sampling of criticism and theory from antiquity to the present and guides students through the reading of works such as Antigone, Othello, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through a critical lens that may differ from their reading practice when they first encountered the stories told in those texts. The course will survey various ways of reading critically and several theoretical approaches, while exploring the questions of authorship, literariness, representation, artistic communication, and historical reality, inter alia. We examine the claim that literature deepens our understanding of our place in the world, enabling our preparedness to contend with uncertainty and training us to empathize with others, precisely the resources we need in times of collective affliction such as the present.
ENG 300 M001 Selected Topics - Creating Characters TTh 12:30-1:50 PM Dee Characters are a storyteller’s raw material. But how are you supposed to build a “character” out of words, exactly? How much description is enough, and how much is too much? They’re supposed to be consistent, but they’re also supposed to change: what’s that about? Does the reader have to like them? Does the writer? Sometimes they’re based on real people, but can they also be real people? We’ll look at how these answers have evolved over time by analyzing some of the most memorable characters (good and bad) in literary history, and by doing a little storytelling ourselves.
ENG 300 M002 Selected Topics - The Poetry of Letters & Dreams TTh 5:00-6:20 PM Gibbs In this course, we’ll focus on dream poems and epistles (letters in the form of poems) and investigate the ways in which poems behave as experiments in self-invention, constructing or destabilizing identity. How do they communicate in ways that both reveal and conceal, enchant and confound? How do they invite stranger, more expansive representations of our inner lives, and as such, construct a personal mythology? How do they mediate, fragment, and reformulate experience? How do such poems use language in ways that seduce, mystify, or forge an intimate bond with the reader? In this generative class, we’ll study wide-reaching examples, from ancient Rome to modern day, and we will write our own dream poems and epistles.
ENG 301 M001 Practium in Reading and Writing Prose TTh 5:00-6:20 PM Grzecki In this course, students will discuss, analyze, and reproduce the techniques of published prose writers in various nonfiction genres, including the personal essay, literary journalism, flash nonfiction, memoir, and the lyric essay. Authors to be studied as models may include James Baldwin, Tom Bissell, Jenny Boully, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Jay Caspian Kang, Barry Lopez, Joseph Mitchell, Jon Ronson, and Zadie Smith. Students will be required to produce both creative and analytical responses to the texts.
ENG 303 M002 Practium in Reading and Writing Fiction TTh 9:30-10:50 AM Harwell All creative disciplines depend on the study and imitation for mastery of its elements. In this course, students will read and analyze short stories to in order to deepen their understanding of a variety of concerns in storytelling, including voice, style, image, story, and character. We will attempt to answer the question: how have authors generated emotions, interest, and power in creative texts? Students will be required to display an understanding of these issues by producing creative and analytical responses to the texts studied. Possible authors include Donald Barthelme, James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, Edward P. Jones, Joy Williams, ZZ Packer, and Kirsten Valdez-Quade.
ENG 305 M001 Topics in Critical Analysis - Literature and its Media TTh 11:00-12:20 PM Forster We usually talk about "novels," "poems," and "films" (and "texts" of various other kinds). But what about the paper and ink (or parchment or wax or celluloid or LCD screens or tablets) that carry those texts? Do these materials affect the forms and content represented? Do they change what, or how, we read? This class draws on media studies to investigate the ways that materiality impacts textual meaning. This class will cover a diverse and historically broad set of materials and concerns, looking at the history of text technologies from the ancient world through to contemporary developments in digital culture. To explore these questions, we’ll focus on a few literary texts which foreground questions of textual materiality, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), Tristram Shandy (1759), as well as more recent experiments in digital fiction.
ENG 312 M001 Race and Literary Periods TTh 3:30-4:50 PM Torres-Saillant Offers students a historical understanding of the literary periods in which writers, social theorists, theologians, and humanists most explicitly advanced or refuted views that regard the various branches of the human family as meriting differing degrees of worth based on race (their phenotype and/or ancestry). Texts covering ancient Mesopotamia, the Greco-Roman world, Hebrew society, Africa, early Christendom, China, and early Ottoman Empire will recover the lost memory of periods prior to the rise of phenotype and ancestry as factors mediating social relations among people with physical and cultural differences from one another. Most readings will cover the early modern period through the present, a span matching the new era of social relations that the conquest of the Americas by Christian nations of Europe spearheaded after the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492. This new era corresponds to the rise of literary, scholarly, and intellectual archives penned by Western learned elites who over 450 years stepped up as warriors to certify with the word the subjugation and dispossession of foreign peoples that the conquering armies had effectuated with the sword. This racial archive grew rapidly and exponentially, insistently upholding the ranking of ancestries and phenotypes based on a scale of differential value. We will read the likes of Sepulveda, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Aphra Behn, Coleridge, Jefferson, Lydia Maria Child, and Frederick Douglass.   
ENG 313 M001 Race & Literary Periods Before 1900 - American Beginings TTh 12:30-1:50 PM Roylance When, where and with what does “American literature” begin? At stake in this question are our basic assumptions about what Americanness is, as well as our basic assumptions about what literature is. Who gets to be called an “American” and what counts as “literature”? Should Native American oral stories be part of the canon of American literature? How about the letters from Spanish and French explorers describing the Americas and its peoples? How about William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which takes place on an island obviously inspired by the New World and which voices cutting critiques of colonization through its indigenous character Caliban? This class will place traditionally revered accounts of the British settlements at Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay into the context of a more expansively defined “early America,” encompassing Native America, the colonial Americas (Spanish, French, British and Dutch), and the writers in Europe who were responding to the idea of the New World (new to them, at least). Indigenous perspectives will be emphasized throughout the semester as a necessary context for understanding writing that emerged from settler colonial projects.
ENG 325 M002 History and Varieties of English TTh 3:30-4:50 PM Moody
ENG 345 M001 Critical Theory MW 2:15-3:35 PM Madarieta This course is an introduction to “Critical Theory,” with a focus on Literary and Cultural theories. We will explore critical conversations in, for example, queer and trans* theory, race and ethnicity, the anti-, post- and decolonial, Indigenous, memory, and dis/ability studies, to name but a few. This course is a great follow-up to ENG 242 “Reading and Interpretation,” and excellent preparation for anyone considering graduate school in the Humanities or Social Sciences.
ENG 352 M002 Race, Nation, and Empire - 20th Centure US Immigrant Fiction TTh 9:30-10:50 AM Edmunds Celebrations of the immigrant past are common in the U.S., where we like to associate immigrant stories with the American Dream and the idea of the American Melting Pot. But the fiction of our immigrant writers reveals a much more complex picture. In this course, we will read fiction that portrays immigrant experiences marked by ethnic and racial conflict, shifting gender and family norms, debates about the value of assimilation, and the traumatic effects of war, dislocation and uncertain legal status. We will also examine literary tropes developed across immigrant traditions during a century in which the United States’ rise to global dominance has not only changed who immigrates to the U.S. and why, but also the stories immigrants tell. In addition to the longer required texts identified below, we will read work by Nam Le, Sui Sin Far, Abraham Cahan, James T. Farrell, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ha Jin, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Edwidge Danticat and Valeria Luiselli.
ENG 361 M001 Reading Gender and Sexuality before 1900 - Feminist Fiction TTh 12:30-1:50 PM Klaver This course will explore the history of Anglo-American feminism through the novels, novellas, short stories, and select nonfiction narratives that figured the social, cultural, and theoretical issues facing feminist thinkers and activists alongside their political writings and actions. These novels reveal the strengths and limits of Anglo-American feminist thought at key moments in the development the feminist movements, exploring the way that feminist frameworks at specific moments fueled certain changes, even while reinforcing the status quo in in other ways, as well as the way they created possibilities for some women, even as excluding others from their liberatory promises. The course will begin with Maria Wollstonecraft’s novel, Maria, or The Wrongs of Women and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and then put these in conversation with Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Following these texts, we will read a selection of novels and novellas from 19th and 20th-Century Britain and North America. Students will be responsible for oral presentations on the history of feminism concurrent with the writing of these novels, two formal essays, and one creative engagement with feminism and fiction.
ENG 403 M002 Advanced Writing Workshop: Fiction T 3:30-6:15 PM Dee This class will develop and expand upon the literary skills introduced in ENG 217 (which is a prerequisite). The primary focus will be on how to write better, more effective, more technically sophisticated short stories and/or novel excerpts; the secondary focus will be on how to critique constructively others’ work in these same forms. There will be some in-class exercises, as well as some published work to analyze. But most of the class will center on the writing and constructive critique (both written and verbal) of original work created by you: 2-3 submissions over the course of the semester, maximum 25 pages each, distributed to your peers a week in advance for their reading pleasure. We’ll talk as well about the writing life beyond the college workshop: publishing, graduate MFA programs, etc.
ENG 407 M001 Advanced Critical Writing, Topics Before 1900 TTh 2:00-3:20 PM Bartolovich In this class, we will discuss utopian/dystopian texts and you will produce a 10-15 paged research paper on the topic. Utopian (“good/noplace”) –or more commonly today, dystopian (bad place)—narratives abound in every medium, as you probably have noticed. You might not know, though, that the origin of such stories is often traced to a 16th century Latin book by Thomas More: Utopia. We will read the earliest English translation of More’s book along with several precursors, and then look at later texts considered to belong to this category, from the sixteenth century through the 21st. Along the way, we will ask why utopian and dystopian narratives have been so compelling—and/or disturbing-- to so many readers and viewers in different locations, historical and geographical, and why what looks like “utopia” to some is often not so to others. “White Utopia was Black inferno,” Sylvia Wynter observes of “new world” colonization, for example. As we learn how utopian and dystopian form works, we will hone research writing skills through a series of scaffolded assignments toward the completion of individual research projects. PREREQUISTES: WRT 105 and 205; ENG 242 and at least two upper division ENG courses.
ENG 421 M001 Cultural Production and Reception before 1900 - Mysteries of the Manor House MW 12:45-2:05 PM Goode In fiction and in film, the country manor is a haunted house—always figuratively, sometimes literally. British and Irish novelists especially have invested the manor’s stately walls, immaculate grounds, and luxurious interiors—not to mention its ruined wings, secret gardens, and sometimes scheming inhabitants—with a host of conflicting cultural associations. It can be a symbol of national stability, wealth, tradition, taste, moral improvement, feminine refinement, and order. Depending on the novel, it can just as easily stand for decay, excess, domination, patriarchy, repression, simulation, scandal, and mystery. In this course, we will study how different generations of novelists and filmmakers use the setting of the British manor house to comment on England, Britain, and the British Empire, as well as to define what it means to be English and British. In so doing, we shall examine how manor house novels and films are often commenting in turn on the activity and artifice of national fiction-making. Course texts will include novels by Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth, Clara Reeve, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Henry James, Evelyn Waugh, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, and Sarah Waters, and films by Alfred Hitchcock, Merchant and Ivory, Robert Altman, Sam Mendes, and Alejandro Amenábar.
ENG 494 M001 Research Practium Th 3:30-6:20 PM Bartolovich This one-credit course introduces students to the scope and demands of an honors and/or distinction project in English. Enrollment is by invitation to participate in the distinction program, and/or honors program, only. In five formal meetings, and a series of scaffolded assignments, we will cover choosing an adviser, developing a suitable topic with engaging research questions, compiling a bibliography, reading critically, taking notes effectively and situating yourself in a scholarly community. Our work should prepare you to write your thesis in the spring semester, when you will enroll in the second half of this course, ENG 495, the Thesis Writing Workshop.
ENG 630 M002 Graduate Proseminar Th 9:30-12:15 PM Shirilan This course provides a point of entry for students interested in early modern texts and the disciplinary history of early modern studies. We will spend as much time with the literature of the period as the stories that scholars have come to tell about the “Renaissance,” the “premodern” and the “early modern.” We begin with the modern disciplinary invention of the Renaissance in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and will follow the rise and fall of formalisms, criticisms, materialisms, and historicisms new and old, as we encounter the major generic forms of English Renaissance literature in a European and, finally, transatlantic context. A chief concern will be to examine the ways in which the early modern period has been both credited and discredited as the progenitor of modernity. Our discussions will trace developments in the representation of raced, classed, and gendered identities, observing continuities and discontinuities in the conceptualization of nation and empire, the natural and the artificial, ability and disability, privacy and community, subjectivity and sovereignty, as informed by a period of unprecedented economic, ecological, political, philosophical and religious upheaval.
ENG 631 M001 Critical Theory M 3:45-6:30 PM Madarieta This course offers both a foundational and future-oriented overview of “Critical Theory,” with a focus on Literary and Cultural theories. It gathers inter-, intra-, and multi-disciplinary approaches across various fields into an accretive syllabus with the goal that prior readings will provide the language and framing for understanding subsequent ones. To this end, each section is a curated scholarly conversation around a particular theme across time and space within a specific theoretical framing or critical tradition. This course is an excellent resource for graduate students in various departments and disciplines across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences.
ENG 650 M005 Forms - Tentacles Longer than Night M 9:30-12:15 PM Awad In this course, we will explore horror as a mode, thinking about how it operates in fiction and its immense potential for storytellers. We will read classic and contemporary stories (we’ll also watch some films) and think about what makes horror so successful and compelling. We'll examine the roots of the genre, where it has gone and where fictionalized horror still might go. What we can learn from horror as fiction writers writing both outside and within the genre? What does horror have to teach us about life in America and about the ways in which we story that life? We'll use these discussions to elicit new creative works and think about what horror can offer us as artists today. We’ll look closely at writing techniques and tropes from the genre—use of perspective, setting, unreliable narration, the tension between the real vs the imagined, the handling of wonder, the grotesque, the uncanny and the supernatural—and discuss how they can be deployed in order to achieve particular narrative effects.
ENG 650 M002 Forms - Mysteries T 12:30-3:15 PM Benz In this course, we will look at the craft, range, and power of the literary mystery. From unlikely detectives to unreliable narrators, silences and absences, quests and secret rites, doubles and ghosts, we will explore what delights and haunts us about pursuing the unknown. Mysteries, whether religious, macabre, psychological, mystical or Borgesian, are searches for the truth, but whatever the revelation, the truth is never just one story.
ENG 650 M006 Forms - Literature of Salvation & Catastrophe (Both Personal & Historic)--all genres Th 9:30-12:15 PM Karr ONLINE Which texts do we not just read and "get" but compulsively reread--not just for aesthetic pleasure or distraction but for survival? For me it's often the darkest & the lightest, the most agonized & the most redemptive. The class will draw from all genres, and topics will include encounters with the divine both secular and religious. In some ways, the purpose of the class is for students to cultivate tools to save themselves (and any worthy others). Religious texts peppered in will include Psalms translated by Robert Alter, Sufi mystics, excerpts from The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse edited by Kaveh Akbar & Paige M. Lewis, and an essay by Simone Weil ("The Love of God & Affliction"). We'll start with Benjamin LaBatut's stunning new linked stories, When We Cease to Understand the World. We'll choose what to read from other fiction: very short stories from Babel's Red Calvary Stories ("A Letter", "Italian Sun", "Gedali", "The Life of Matvey Rodionovich Pavlichenko", "Konkin", "Grishchuk"); Chekov ("Misery"); DeLillo ("The Angel Esmerelda" & "The Itch") ;Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl"; Tillie Olson ("I Stand Here Ironing"); excerpts from Melissa Chadburn's A Tiny Upward Shove. Witness literature might include essays by Audre Lorde ("Poetics of Survival" & "Uses of the Erotic") and/or Primo Levy (Survival at Auschwitz). Poetry will come from Lucille Clifton, Robert Hayden, Marie Howe, Zbigniew Herbert, Yusef Komunyakaa, Osip Mandelstam, Czeslaw Milosz, Sharon Olds, Tomas Transtromer, Marina Tsvetayeva, Ocean Vuong. If y'all wanna read memoir, I would consider teaching one:, Melissa Febos (anything!), Heavy by Kiese Laymon, Carmen Machado In the Dream House, Crying at H Mart by Michelle Zauner. Even graphic memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. We'll hone the syllabus as I like to do the first few classes. Assignments will tend toward creative exercises. We will talk books and beauty and try to plot a course to stay alive & thrive.
ENG 650 M007 Forms - Poetry and it Others T 5:00-7:45 PM Smith Poetry in dialogue with other forms: plays, novels, film, news, prayer, song, science [and the natural world], psychotherapy, and art. Think of Frank O’Hara’s poems in close dialogue with the journalism [and art] of his time. Think of 20th century Irish poetry and the news and what Edouard Glissant called relational or cross-cultural poetics. Think of Agha Shahid Ali interpretations of Muslim prayers. Think of Terrance Hayes, Kevin Young, Langston Hughes, Patricia Smith and Harryette Mullen’s “affectionate rivalry with song.” Think of poetry in animated conversation with its neighboring discourses. “Poems come into being,” as Jahan Ramazani says, “by echoing, playing on, reshaping, refining, heightening, deforming, inverting, combating, hybridizing, and compressing extrapoetic forms of language.” Students will be asked to write each week a poem in dialogue with other forms. The final project for the semester will be a presentation of the student’s work in collaboration with artistic and non-artistic forms.
ENG 715 M001 First Poetry Workshop Th 12:30-3:15 PM Haxton Students in this workshop will write one poem each week and revise at least four of these into carefully considered versions on the basis of workshop analysis. Reading and writing assignments will address issues that arise in workshop. Admission is strictly limited to first-year students in the MFA Program in Poetry.
ENG 716 M001 Second Poetry Workshop W 12:45-3:30 PM Smith Students in this course will be asked to write twelve poems, one “free” poem to push back against the world with the imagination per week. The emphasis will be both on the craft -- the language and the shaping and forming of the writing, and the imagination -- the vision that's unique to each individual. Classroom work will consist primarily of workshop style discussion of student work, although each class will begin with poems, ancient and modern, as model or target for discussions of technique as well as examples of tapping the resources available to the writer. This term I’ll begin class with what I call, an “exemplary” poet – avoiding the more proscriptive term “essential.” Exercises will include ways to locate the source of your poems as well as ways to "music" them, to shape them, and to revise them.
ENG 717 M001 FirstFiction Workshop W 12:45-3:30 PM Benz
ENG 718 M001 Second Fiction Workshop M 5:15-8:00 PM Awad
ENG 719 M002 Third Poetry Workshop W 12:45-3:30 PM Karr This is an advanced course, so I assume you’re all passionate about poetry and motivated enough to read a) write, b) critique each other’s work with utmost care and respect, c) rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. It’s a class based almost entirely on revision, so your notes on each other’s poems should be detailed and serious. I’d also like to see your revisions fairly regularly in conference, and for you to keep different drafts of the same poems. First and foremost, you must get along with each other, and anyone engaging in an ad hominem attack on anyone else in the group will be asked to leave the room. No violence, no threats of violence. You can be ironic about yourselves or me but not each other. Congeniality is a requirement for the class. You can disagree with each other, but I expect respectful comments and tone. Anyone unable to get along will not pass the class. Often people say, “We don’t have to love each other…” This class works best if we love each other. It’s part of my pedagogy. If yall agree we’ll take turns reading one of yall’s work per week—6-12 poems per week depending on length.
ENG 721 M005 Third Fiction Workshop ONLINE ONLINE Saunders ONLINE
ENG 730 M002 Graduate Seminar T 9:30-12:15 PM Bartolovich This seminar will consider utopia/dystopia in four contexts: 1) early modern “primitive accumulation” of capital in Europe and the colonies (e.g. More, Bacon, “City on a Hill,” Garcilaso-Inca; Aphra Behn); 2) long 19th century industrialization and colonization (e.g. Bellamy, Morris; Metropolis; Modern Times; “Sultana’s Dream”; DuBois); 3) decolonization and the cold war (e.g. Zamyatin, Huxley, Armah, Le Guin, Piercy, Gomez) and 4) 21st century intimations of “apocalypse” (e.g. Octavia Butler, Okorafor, Erdrich, Nanobah Becker, Vandermeer; Alice in Borderland). Please note that the parenthesis designate examples of possible items on the syllabus, which is not yet finalized -- suggestions for authors/titles/topics of particular interest welcome.We will also dip into the voluminous theoretical literature on utopianism, which does not restrict itself to discussion of literary or other cultural forms, but explores “utopia” variously as a “principle of hope”/diagnostic tool/impulse/misfortune/project of mastery/vehicle of estrangement, etc. (differentiating among these perspectives will be one of our ongoing conversations). Other questions we might consider include: Why have differently-positioned (raced, gendered, classed, indigenized . . . ) bodies view “utopia” so differently (e.g. Sylvia Wynter: “White utopia was Black inferno”), and what does this portend for utopia? Is dystopia the genre of the 21st century, as Junot Diaz and others have argued? Why? Why has complete rejection of utopia (as opposed to critiquing particular visions of it, or resorting to dystopia) been largely – though not completely – a “conservative” response? What happens to utopia/dystopia when we recognize nonhumans to be participating in it? And of course: your questions, which will no doubt be many and take our discussion in directions I haven’t considered. Every question will be a contribution to our consideration of why, for over 500 years, “utopia” has been the site of robust—ever changing-- debate and struggle, arguably rendering it a “keyword” in Raymond Williams’ sense. As we accumulate expertise on utopia/dystopia in general, each of you will be exploring a particular “keyword” (other than utopia!) that you will take up in your seminar paper (attention will be given to developing the research skills necessary to such a project).
ENG 730 M003 Graduate Seminar T 3:30-6:15 PM Kumavie This class investigates the centrality of ecology in new and ongoing conversations on Blackness, indigeneity, globality, the nation-state, race, and racism. It examines the histories and contemporary instantiations of Black ecologies and the uneven and unequal effects of climate change. It takes as its point of departure Nathan Hare’s argument that “Blacks and their environmental interests have been so blatantly omitted that Blacks and the ecology movement stand in contradiction to each other.” The ongoing elision of Black ecological concerns has led to the neglect of Black peoples’ violent dispossession and continuing marginalization in the study of ecology. Thus, Blackness remains unthought and undertheorized in much of the theoretical conversation on ecology. Centering ecologies has increasingly become fundamental in the way we approach and study the natural and built environment, as well the continuing devastation of the planet. We will interrogate, for instance, how the Anthropocene and its ethics continue to neglect blackness, as well as how Black ecological concerns remain incommensurable with contemporary environmental justice projects.
ENG 730 M001 Graduate Seminar - Screen Performance M 12:45-3:35 PM Scheibel Jr. We often talk about cinema in terms of actors (e.g., “Did you see the new Oscar Isaac movie?”), but why we respond to certain performances—and how those performances are created—is deceptively obvious and therefore difficult to explain. Identification with screen actors was long thought to be subordinate to identification with the camera, an assumption that reduces the interpretation of characters to matters of story. Film performance has been either taken for granted as an actor’s “natural” state of being or devalued as merely the product of editing. This seminar will proceed from a contrary position, following James Naremore’s argument in his book Acting in the Cinema, to teach you how “films depend on a form of communication whereby meanings are acted out.” Focusing on U.S. narrative cinema, we will watch a different film each week that is in some way “about” performance. We will discuss performance codes and methods, including naturalism, anti-naturalism, dance, and vocal performance. In the last four weeks of class, we will also consider work that complicates or expands on our understandings of cinema’s performed meanings, such as stunts, cameos, animation, and the uses of special-effects technologies.