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Course Offerings

Fall 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Brodie, Gavaler, Oliver (Multiple Sections)

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Wheeler

A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Children's Literature

ENGL 234 - Leland

A study of works written in English for children. The course treats major writers, thematic and generic groupings of texts, and children's literature in historical context. Readings may include poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books, including picture books that dispense with text.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Dobin

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - STAFF / Adams

Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topic:

ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: Seeing Gothic (3). Ruined castles, haunted houses, secret passages, apparitions, doppelgangers, vampires, monsters, murder, and madness--in short, the stuff of nightmares and the focus of this course. This class surveys the "gothic": works dealing with the horrific, the grotesque, the uncanny, and the supernatural. We begin by examining the first appearance of gothic novels in the presumptively rational and clearheaded eighteenth century (authors include Walpole, Radcliffe, and Beckford) before turning to some notorious nineteenth-century examples of the genre (such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and stories by Edgar Allan Poe). Our ultimate aim, though, is to track how these earlier gothic works influenced twentieth-century horror cinema. To that end, we read the aforementioned texts alongside gothic films like Kubrick's The Shining, Roeg's Don't Look Now, Dreyer's Vampyr, Mizoguchi's Ugetsu, and Aronofsky's Black Swan. Along the way, we see that gothic texts continually blur the thin line between madness and sanity, make a place for the supernatural in an increasingly rationalized world, and force us to face the limits of human experience. (HL) Staff

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Renault-Steele

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topic:

ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Spectatorship and Sexuality (3). How might we come to understand the relationship between image, spectatorship and gender? For the past 40 years, cinema has been a principle terrain upon which feminist debates over representation and identity have emerged. Through a sampling of key films and texts, this course charts those debates. Beginning with the psychoanalytic discussions of the 1970s and '80s, we venture through to the postcolonial and "postmodern" responses of the late 1990s and conclude with an extended consideration of femininity in contemporary popular film. Through class discussion and written critique, students are invited to become discerning spectators of their own visual landscapes. (HL) Renault-Steele

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Keen

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Justice in Late Medieval Literature; Tragedy and Comedy; Western American Literature; Emily Dickinson; and Thomas Hardy: Novelist and Poet.

Fall 2014 Topics:

ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Detective Fiction (3). A close study of the popular sub-genre, detective fiction, culminating in the writing of a research paper. We study detective fiction from the beginnings of the form in the nineteenth century to contemporary examples, touching on the golden age of British detective fiction ("whodunits" and puzzlers), private eyes, hard-boiled detectives, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, and historical and metaphysical mysteries. Authors are selected from among the following: Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Josephine Tey, P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Paul Auster, Laurie R. King, Walter Mosley, P. B. Kerr, and Alan Bradley. Some authors and modes are represented by film adaptations rather than by novels. (HL) Keen  

ENGL 299-02: Seminar: The Native Writes Back:American Indian Literatures and U.S. History (3). "History is written by the victors. Literature is written by the survivors." For most of U.S. history, the voices and testimonies of Native American writers have been absent, silenced, or erased from our textbooks and cultural mythology. With few exceptions, non-natives usually told the Native American story in America. With the start of the Native American Literary Renaissance in the late 1960s, however, Indian writers have been using fiction, memoir, poetry, creative non-fiction, film-making, stand-up comedy, and music to re-write U.S. history from a Native point of view. This course examines specific events in U.S History from a Native American perspective as reflected in Native-authored texts to see how Indians present that re-visioning, how it is translated from various sources into literature, and the effectiveness it has in helping U.S. citizens re-imagine ourselves in contemporary times. (HL) Miranda.

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Miranda

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Justice in Late Medieval Literature; Tragedy and Comedy; Western American Literature; Emily Dickinson; and Thomas Hardy: Novelist and Poet.

Fall 2014 Topics:

ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Detective Fiction (3). A close study of the popular sub-genre, detective fiction, culminating in the writing of a research paper. We study detective fiction from the beginnings of the form in the nineteenth century to contemporary examples, touching on the golden age of British detective fiction ("whodunits" and puzzlers), private eyes, hard-boiled detectives, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, and historical and metaphysical mysteries. Authors are selected from among the following: Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Josephine Tey, P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Paul Auster, Laurie R. King, Walter Mosley, P. B. Kerr, and Alan Bradley. Some authors and modes are represented by film adaptations rather than by novels. (HL) Keen  

ENGL 299-02: Seminar: The Native Writes Back:American Indian Literatures and U.S. History (3). "History is written by the victors. Literature is written by the survivors." For most of U.S. history, the voices and testimonies of Native American writers have been absent, silenced, or erased from our textbooks and cultural mythology. With few exceptions, non-natives usually told the Native American story in America. With the start of the Native American Literary Renaissance in the late 1960s, however, Indian writers have been using fiction, memoir, poetry, creative non-fiction, film-making, stand-up comedy, and music to re-write U.S. history from a Native point of view. This course examines specific events in U.S History from a Native American perspective as reflected in Native-authored texts to see how Indians present that re-visioning, how it is translated from various sources into literature, and the effectiveness it has in helping U.S. citizens re-imagine ourselves in contemporary times. (HL) Miranda.

Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir

ENGL 309 - Miranda

Flannery O'Connor once said that any writer who could survive childhood had enough material to write about for a lifetime. Memoir is a mosaic form, utilizing bits and pieces from autobiography, fiction, essay and poetry in ways that allow the author to muse (speculate, imagine, remember, and question) on their own life experiences. Modern literary memoir requires tremendous work from the author, as she moves both backward and forward in time, re-creates believable dialogue, switches back and forth between scene and summary, and controls the pace and tension of the story with lyricism or brute imagery. In short, the memoirist keeps her reader engaged by being an adept and agile storyteller. This is not straight autobiography. Memoir is more about what can be gleaned from a section of one's life than about chronicling an entire life. Like a mosaic, memoir is about the individual pieces as much as the eventual whole. Work focuses on reading established memoirists, free writing, and workshopping in and out of class.

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao

This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales. We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales, as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?

Contemporary British and American Drama

ENGL 354 - Pickett

This course examines both the masterpieces and undiscovered gems of English language theater from Samuel Beckett to the present. The course investigates contemporary movements away from naturalism and realism towards the fantastical, surreal, and spectacular. Student presentations, film screenings, and brief performance exercises supplement literary analysis of the plays, though no prior drama experience is presumed.

American Poetry at Mid-Century

ENGL 364 - Wheeler

Readings from the middle generation of 20th century U.S. poets with attention to the Beats, the New York School, Black Arts, and many other movements. Writers may include Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Robert Hayden, and others.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Smout

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 50 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and author of a major motion picture. Our key questions: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript, but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture--and through this new visual mode of storytelling. This course is very much an exploration of how to interpret and appreciate film broadly, as we learn the concepts and lexicon of film with Shakespeare as our case study. Our methods vary: sometimes we study the play in detail and compare several film versions; or we see a film fresh--without having read the play--to approach it as a work of art on its own terms; or we hear individual reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. The films we view range from multiple versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, to adaptations of As You Like It and Henry V, to original Shakespeare-inspired films such as Forbidden Planet, A Thousand Acres, and My Own Private Idaho. (HL) Dobin. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-03:  Advanced Seminar:  The American Political Novel (3).  What makes a novel political?  Can political novels be good art?  And where do we draw the line between propaganda and literature?  This class examines the engagement between American novels and American politics from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.  We pay particular attention to the ways novelists addressed politically charged issues of race and gender.  We also consider the suitability of different fictional modes—particularly sentimentalism, realism, and modernism—to the form of the political novel. Novels include Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; The Bostonians, Henry James; The Marrow of Tradition, Charles Chesnutt; The Awakening, Kate Chopin; Passing, Nella Larsen; Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. (HL) Bufkin. Fall 2014

ENGL 380-04: Thrilling Tales: New North American Fiction (3). A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. We examine the recent movement of literary fiction into genres traditionally limited to pulp writing. Texts may include: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales edited by Michael Chabon; Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake; Isabel Allende's Zorro; Sherman Alexie's Flight; Octavia Butler's Fledgling; Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. (HL) Gavaler. Fall 2014

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Dobin

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 50 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and author of a major motion picture. Our key questions: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript, but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture--and through this new visual mode of storytelling. This course is very much an exploration of how to interpret and appreciate film broadly, as we learn the concepts and lexicon of film with Shakespeare as our case study. Our methods vary: sometimes we study the play in detail and compare several film versions; or we see a film fresh--without having read the play--to approach it as a work of art on its own terms; or we hear individual reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. The films we view range from multiple versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, to adaptations of As You Like It and Henry V, to original Shakespeare-inspired films such as Forbidden Planet, A Thousand Acres, and My Own Private Idaho. (HL) Dobin. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-03:  Advanced Seminar:  The American Political Novel (3).  What makes a novel political?  Can political novels be good art?  And where do we draw the line between propaganda and literature?  This class examines the engagement between American novels and American politics from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.  We pay particular attention to the ways novelists addressed politically charged issues of race and gender.  We also consider the suitability of different fictional modes—particularly sentimentalism, realism, and modernism—to the form of the political novel. Novels include Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; The Bostonians, Henry James; The Marrow of Tradition, Charles Chesnutt; The Awakening, Kate Chopin; Passing, Nella Larsen; Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. (HL) Bufkin. Fall 2014

ENGL 380-04: Thrilling Tales: New North American Fiction (3). A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. We examine the recent movement of literary fiction into genres traditionally limited to pulp writing. Texts may include: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales edited by Michael Chabon; Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake; Isabel Allende's Zorro; Sherman Alexie's Flight; Octavia Butler's Fledgling; Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. (HL) Gavaler. Fall 2014

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - STAFF / Adams

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 50 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and author of a major motion picture. Our key questions: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript, but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture--and through this new visual mode of storytelling. This course is very much an exploration of how to interpret and appreciate film broadly, as we learn the concepts and lexicon of film with Shakespeare as our case study. Our methods vary: sometimes we study the play in detail and compare several film versions; or we see a film fresh--without having read the play--to approach it as a work of art on its own terms; or we hear individual reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. The films we view range from multiple versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, to adaptations of As You Like It and Henry V, to original Shakespeare-inspired films such as Forbidden Planet, A Thousand Acres, and My Own Private Idaho. (HL) Dobin. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-03:  Advanced Seminar:  The American Political Novel (3).  What makes a novel political?  Can political novels be good art?  And where do we draw the line between propaganda and literature?  This class examines the engagement between American novels and American politics from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.  We pay particular attention to the ways novelists addressed politically charged issues of race and gender.  We also consider the suitability of different fictional modes—particularly sentimentalism, realism, and modernism—to the form of the political novel. Novels include Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; The Bostonians, Henry James; The Marrow of Tradition, Charles Chesnutt; The Awakening, Kate Chopin; Passing, Nella Larsen; Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. (HL) Bufkin. Fall 2014

ENGL 380-04: Thrilling Tales: New North American Fiction (3). A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. We examine the recent movement of literary fiction into genres traditionally limited to pulp writing. Texts may include: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales edited by Michael Chabon; Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake; Isabel Allende's Zorro; Sherman Alexie's Flight; Octavia Butler's Fledgling; Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. (HL) Gavaler. Fall 2014

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Gavaler

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 50 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and author of a major motion picture. Our key questions: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript, but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture--and through this new visual mode of storytelling. This course is very much an exploration of how to interpret and appreciate film broadly, as we learn the concepts and lexicon of film with Shakespeare as our case study. Our methods vary: sometimes we study the play in detail and compare several film versions; or we see a film fresh--without having read the play--to approach it as a work of art on its own terms; or we hear individual reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. The films we view range from multiple versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, to adaptations of As You Like It and Henry V, to original Shakespeare-inspired films such as Forbidden Planet, A Thousand Acres, and My Own Private Idaho. (HL) Dobin. Fall 2014 ENGL 380-03:  Advanced Seminar:  The American Political Novel (3).  What makes a novel political?  Can political novels be good art?  And where do we draw the line between propaganda and literature?  This class examines the engagement between American novels and American politics from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.  We pay particular attention to the ways novelists addressed politically charged issues of race and gender.  We also consider the suitability of different fictional modes—particularly sentimentalism, realism, and modernism—to the form of the political novel. Novels include Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; The Bostonians, Henry James; The Marrow of Tradition, Charles Chesnutt; The Awakening, Kate Chopin; Passing, Nella Larsen; Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. (HL) Bufkin. Fall 2014

ENGL 380-04: Thrilling Tales: New North American Fiction (3). A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. We examine the recent movement of literary fiction into genres traditionally limited to pulp writing. Texts may include: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales edited by Michael Chabon; Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake; Isabel Allende's Zorro; Sherman Alexie's Flight; Octavia Butler's Fledgling; Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. (HL) Gavaler. Fall 2014

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - STAFF / Adams

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Gertz

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include poetic voice, ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and modern Irish studies.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Memoir (3). This course examines 20th- and 21st-century self-writing, considering theories of selfhood within genres of fiction, memoir, and the personal essay. Concepts of memory, identity, experience, agency and audience are theorized and studied in relation to disparate texts, including the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and memoirs by Mary Karr, Deborah Miranda, and Eric Wilson. We also view self-writing as narrative, studying autobiographical texts as art forms, reading details about individual lives and historical moments primarily as crafted art forms. At the same time, we study the techniques of self-writing by analyzing individual texts in relation to specific tools writers have identified as useful to the composition of autobiography. We take all of this and apply it to the development of our own self-writing, which we practice in response to prompts that are keyed to the week's topics and generic forms. In the final third of the course, after completing a research paper on autobiographical texts, we develop a longer piece of creative self-writing that reflects the careful thinking about theories of selfhood, as well as specific writing tools, that we have studied and/or used throughout the term. (HL) Gertz ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Queering the Text (3). Does text have a gender or sexuality? Or does text both embody and challenge socio-political norms? One of the aims of this seminar is to investigate the inherent queerness of text and the textuality of queerness. Reading select texts across historical periods, we ask whether postmodern constructs of sexuality and gender inform or problematize studies of premodern and early modern texts, and how race, class, and culture complicate notions of the queer. We learn how to engage in practices of queering, a la Raymond Williams, through a series of keywords: desire, friendship, romance (and "bromance"), performativity, author, reader, time, normativity, marriage, conduct, reproduction, the abject, and happiness. Short primary texts may include works by Geoffrey Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Truman Capote, and Carson McCullers. Queer theorists may include Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Wayne Koestenbaum, Jack Halberstam, Lee Edelman, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, and José Esteban Muñoz. Students compile a portfolio of reading responses in the first half of the seminar as preparation for their individual guided research project. (HL) Kao ENGL 413-03: Senior Research and Writing: Cultural Conflicts in the American West (3). In this section, we study a few key texts about the American West and then see what else each student wants to explore. There are many cultural conflicts from which to choose and wonderful texts about these conflicts in many genres. Among the conflicting groups are American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, and white Europeans, all fighting for their land, families, names, ethnic identities, histories, culture, economic livelihood, and virtually everything else human beings can fight for. Although we focus on literature, we also explore these conflicts historically and politically, grappling with the challenges of dealing with them today. (HL) Smout  

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Kao

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include poetic voice, ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and modern Irish studies.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Memoir (3). This course examines 20th- and 21st-century self-writing, considering theories of selfhood within genres of fiction, memoir, and the personal essay. Concepts of memory, identity, experience, agency and audience are theorized and studied in relation to disparate texts, including the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and memoirs by Mary Karr, Deborah Miranda, and Eric Wilson. We also view self-writing as narrative, studying autobiographical texts as art forms, reading details about individual lives and historical moments primarily as crafted art forms. At the same time, we study the techniques of self-writing by analyzing individual texts in relation to specific tools writers have identified as useful to the composition of autobiography. We take all of this and apply it to the development of our own self-writing, which we practice in response to prompts that are keyed to the week's topics and generic forms. In the final third of the course, after completing a research paper on autobiographical texts, we develop a longer piece of creative self-writing that reflects the careful thinking about theories of selfhood, as well as specific writing tools, that we have studied and/or used throughout the term. (HL) Gertz ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Queering the Text (3). Does text have a gender or sexuality? Or does text both embody and challenge socio-political norms? One of the aims of this seminar is to investigate the inherent queerness of text and the textuality of queerness. Reading select texts across historical periods, we ask whether postmodern constructs of sexuality and gender inform or problematize studies of premodern and early modern texts, and how race, class, and culture complicate notions of the queer. We learn how to engage in practices of queering, a la Raymond Williams, through a series of keywords: desire, friendship, romance (and "bromance"), performativity, author, reader, time, normativity, marriage, conduct, reproduction, the abject, and happiness. Short primary texts may include works by Geoffrey Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Truman Capote, and Carson McCullers. Queer theorists may include Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Wayne Koestenbaum, Jack Halberstam, Lee Edelman, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, and José Esteban Muñoz. Students compile a portfolio of reading responses in the first half of the seminar as preparation for their individual guided research project. (HL) Kao ENGL 413-03: Senior Research and Writing: Cultural Conflicts in the American West (3). In this section, we study a few key texts about the American West and then see what else each student wants to explore. There are many cultural conflicts from which to choose and wonderful texts about these conflicts in many genres. Among the conflicting groups are American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, and white Europeans, all fighting for their land, families, names, ethnic identities, histories, culture, economic livelihood, and virtually everything else human beings can fight for. Although we focus on literature, we also explore these conflicts historically and politically, grappling with the challenges of dealing with them today. (HL) Smout  

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Smout

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include poetic voice, ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and modern Irish studies.

Fall 2014 topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Memoir (3). This course examines 20th- and 21st-century self-writing, considering theories of selfhood within genres of fiction, memoir, and the personal essay. Concepts of memory, identity, experience, agency and audience are theorized and studied in relation to disparate texts, including the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and memoirs by Mary Karr, Deborah Miranda, and Eric Wilson. We also view self-writing as narrative, studying autobiographical texts as art forms, reading details about individual lives and historical moments primarily as crafted art forms. At the same time, we study the techniques of self-writing by analyzing individual texts in relation to specific tools writers have identified as useful to the composition of autobiography. We take all of this and apply it to the development of our own self-writing, which we practice in response to prompts that are keyed to the week's topics and generic forms. In the final third of the course, after completing a research paper on autobiographical texts, we develop a longer piece of creative self-writing that reflects the careful thinking about theories of selfhood, as well as specific writing tools, that we have studied and/or used throughout the term. (HL) Gertz ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Queering the Text (3). Does text have a gender or sexuality? Or does text both embody and challenge socio-political norms? One of the aims of this seminar is to investigate the inherent queerness of text and the textuality of queerness. Reading select texts across historical periods, we ask whether postmodern constructs of sexuality and gender inform or problematize studies of premodern and early modern texts, and how race, class, and culture complicate notions of the queer. We learn how to engage in practices of queering, a la Raymond Williams, through a series of keywords: desire, friendship, romance (and "bromance"), performativity, author, reader, time, normativity, marriage, conduct, reproduction, the abject, and happiness. Short primary texts may include works by Geoffrey Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Truman Capote, and Carson McCullers. Queer theorists may include Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Wayne Koestenbaum, Jack Halberstam, Lee Edelman, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, and José Esteban Muñoz. Students compile a portfolio of reading responses in the first half of the seminar as preparation for their individual guided research project. (HL) Kao ENGL 413-03: Senior Research and Writing: Cultural Conflicts in the American West (3). In this section, we study a few key texts about the American West and then see what else each student wants to explore. There are many cultural conflicts from which to choose and wonderful texts about these conflicts in many genres. Among the conflicting groups are American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, and white Europeans, all fighting for their land, families, names, ethnic identities, histories, culture, economic livelihood, and virtually everything else human beings can fight for. Although we focus on literature, we also explore these conflicts historically and politically, grappling with the challenges of dealing with them today. (HL) Smout  

Internship in Literary Editing with <i>Shenandoah</i>

ENGL 453 - Smith

An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students each 12-week term with the editor of Shenandoah , Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts, proofreading/copyediting, the arrangement of work within an issue, selection of cover art, composing contributor's notes, responding to queries, and issuing news releases. Interns also work toward an understanding of the role of journals in contemporary literature. May be applied once to the English major or Creative Writing Minor and repeated for a maximum of six additional elective credits, as long as the specific projects undertaken are different.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Brodie, Gavaler, Miranda, Smout, Wheeler (Multiple Sections)

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu).


Spring 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Poetic Forms

ENGL 205 - Wheeler

A course in the practice of writing poetry, with attention to a range of forms and poetic modes. Includes workshops, literary study, community outreach, and performance. A service-learning course. This course blends three activities: exercises for generating poems; workshops devoted to student writing; and literary analysis of verse forms and modes, from terza rima to performance poetry. Local field trips and special events augment regular class meetings. For each class, students complete readings, generate a new poem draft, and undertake other short assignments. Students establish a daily writing practice and participate in a service-learning project.

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Leland

A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Eco-Writing

ENGL 207 - Green

A course emphasizing students' creative encounters with their environment and their writing about it, along with major works and writers. This expeditionary course in environmental writing allows a four-weeks' immersive study and explores the work of writers from Virgil, Emerson, Whitman, and Frost to Charles Frazier, Annie Dillard, William Cronan, and Gary Snyder.

Superheroes

ENGL 255 - Gavaler

The course explores the early development of the superhero character and narrative form, focusing on pulp literature texts published before the first appearance of Superman in 1938. The cultural context, including Nietzsche's Übermensch philosophy and the eugenics movement, is also central. The second half of the course is devoted to the evolution of the superhero in fiction, comic books, and film, from 1938 to the present. Students read, analyze, and interpret literary and cultural texts to produce their own analytical and creative works.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Smout

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2014 Topic:

ENGL 293: Topics in American Literature: American Short Story (3). This course is a study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic and international, tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th century. We also explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work--Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We examine how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) B. Oliver.

Fall 2013 Topic:

ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: History, Trauma, and Human Rights (3). In this course on contemporary American literature, we focus on works by writers of Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern descent that bear witness to historical displacement--both national and international. Given the political divisions between America and their countries of origin, it is perhaps no surprise that so many of these writers organize their creative work around the idea of trauma. The psychic dislocation within these writers' communities, and its artistic dramatizations, is at the heart of this course. We investigate the ways in which characters and individuals within various cultural productions navigate between their ancestral and American homes and, in so doing, contribute to debates on immigration, assimilation, and national identity. Attending to the transnational aspects of their work, we also consider how some of these writers engage with contemporary human rights struggles in such places as China, Palestine, and Iran. Major reading selections may include Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine. Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Shahriar Mandanipour's Censoring An Iranian Love Story, among others. (HL) Darznik.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380A - Keen

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. 

Spring 2014 topic:

ENGL 380B-01: Advanced Seminar: The 1960's in American Literature and Film: Toward "Edge City" (4). "Edge City" is the term Ken Kesey coined to describe his quest to "go beyond" conventional boundaries, to arrive at a new consciousness through spontaneous and communal art, drugs, sex, and criminality. The term serves to describe the "progress" and, for a radical few, the desired destination of an increasingly apocalyptic era, the 1960s. It was a decade of crises and cataclysms, of ecstatic celebrations and violent conflicts. The tenor of the period is reflected in the titles of prominent histories about the time: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; The Unraveling of America; Fire in the Streets; Smiling through the Apocalypse; and others. Mention of the Sixties can still provoke strong reactions, even among those who were not alive then or were very young. Politically, culturally, and artistically, the decade continues to be a lightning rod. This course explores why, through reading and viewing a few of the influential artistic works of the time. (HL) Oliver.

Winter 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Filming Jane (3). This seminar uses film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice as a lens to study aspects of the film industry in Hollywood, Britain, and India, with a focus on constructions of British and Indian national identity. Readings include Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones' Diary, along with Andrew Higson's work on heritage film, Rajindar Kumar's Dudrah's essays on Bollywood, and H. Mark Glancy's new book, When Hollywood Loved Britain. Films range from Robert Z. Leonard's 1940 P&P with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, to Bollywood's Bride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, and Renee Zellweger also featured along the way. (HL) Brodie.

ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Stuck on the Dixie Express: William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor (3). In this seminar, we study two of the South's greatest writers, talking about the picture of the South they have conveyed to the world and the problems it has caused. Is the South a Gothic land of dilapidated old mansions, freaks, murder, incest, rape, and mental torture destroyed by moral evils, or a glorious land of mint juleps, learning, culture, civility, and honor we prefer to reenact at Washington and Lee? Why did Faulkner and O'Connor tell their gruesome stories? What have we who live in the South gained and lost because of their literary power? And how do Southern readers and writers get rid of these stereotypes now and move on, so everyone is not stuck forever on this version of the Dixie Express, but can tell other stories that paint the South in a more positive light? (HL) Smout.  

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380B - Oliver

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. 

Spring 2014 topic:

ENGL 380B-01: Advanced Seminar: The 1960's in American Literature and Film: Toward "Edge City" (4). "Edge City" is the term Ken Kesey coined to describe his quest to "go beyond" conventional boundaries, to arrive at a new consciousness through spontaneous and communal art, drugs, sex, and criminality. The term serves to describe the "progress" and, for a radical few, the desired destination of an increasingly apocalyptic era, the 1960s. It was a decade of crises and cataclysms, of ecstatic celebrations and violent conflicts. The tenor of the period is reflected in the titles of prominent histories about the time: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; The Unraveling of America; Fire in the Streets; Smiling through the Apocalypse; and others. Mention of the Sixties can still provoke strong reactions, even among those who were not alive then or were very young. Politically, culturally, and artistically, the decade continues to be a lightning rod. This course explores why, through reading and viewing a few of the influential artistic works of the time. (HL) Oliver.

Winter 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Filming Jane (3). This seminar uses film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice as a lens to study aspects of the film industry in Hollywood, Britain, and India, with a focus on constructions of British and Indian national identity. Readings include Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones' Diary, along with Andrew Higson's work on heritage film, Rajindar Kumar's Dudrah's essays on Bollywood, and H. Mark Glancy's new book, When Hollywood Loved Britain. Films range from Robert Z. Leonard's 1940 P&P with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, to Bollywood's Bride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, and Renee Zellweger also featured along the way. (HL) Brodie.

ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Stuck on the Dixie Express: William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor (3). In this seminar, we study two of the South's greatest writers, talking about the picture of the South they have conveyed to the world and the problems it has caused. Is the South a Gothic land of dilapidated old mansions, freaks, murder, incest, rape, and mental torture destroyed by moral evils, or a glorious land of mint juleps, learning, culture, civility, and honor we prefer to reenact at Washington and Lee? Why did Faulkner and O'Connor tell their gruesome stories? What have we who live in the South gained and lost because of their literary power? And how do Southern readers and writers get rid of these stereotypes now and move on, so everyone is not stuck forever on this version of the Dixie Express, but can tell other stories that paint the South in a more positive light? (HL) Smout.  

Hotel Orient

ENGL 382 - Kao

This seminar charts the historical encounters between East and West through the very spaces that facilitate cross-cultural transactions from the medieval to the postmodem. If modem hotel consciousness is marked by transience, ennui, eroticism, and isolation, we ask whether or not the same characteristics held true in premodern hotel practices, and if the space of the Orient makes a difference in hotel writing. Semantically, "Orient" means not only the geographic east. As a verb, to orient means to position and ascertain one's bearings. In this sense, to write about lodging in the East is to sort out one's cultural and geopolitical orientation.

Supervised Study in Great Britain

ENGL 386 - Pickett

An advanced seminar in British literature carried on in Great Britain, with emphasis on independent research and intensive exposure to British culture. Changing topics, rotated yearly from instructor to instructor, and limited in scope to permit study in depth.

Spring 2014 topic:

ENGL 386: Shakespeare in Performance: Supervised Study in Great Britain (4). Prerequisites: English 299 or instructor consent. A study of Shakespeare in performance in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England. In Stratford, students see the performances of the Royal Shakespeare Company and participate in programing and workshops with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. In London, students experience shows and workshops at the Globe Theatre, as well as other venues. (HL) Pickett. Spring 2014


Winter 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Gavaler

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Miranda

A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Leland

A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Poetry

ENGL 230 - Wheeler

An introductory study of poetry written in English. The course may survey representative poems or focus on a theme. In all versions of the course, students will develop a range of interpretive strategies, learning the vocabulary appropriate to poetry's many structures, modes, and devices.

Film

ENGL 233 - Adams (Multiple Sections)

An introductory study of film in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of film.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao

Why does King Arthur continue to fascinate and haunt our cultural imagination? This course surveys the origins and histories of Arthurian literature, beginning with Celtic myths, Welsh tales, and Latin chronicles, followed by medieval French and English traditions, as well as modern Arthurian medievalisms. In addition to historical and literary contexts, we explore theoretical issues surrounding the texts, especially the relationship between history and fantasy, courtly love and adultery, erotic love and madness, romance and chivalry, gender and agency, and Europe and its Others. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature: Masculinity and Monstrosity

ENGL 250 - Kao

This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception.

Winter 2014 emphasis: Masculinity and Monstrosity. This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. Our particular focus is on the diverse conceptions and representations of masculinity and monstrosity in texts such as Beowulf, Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare's King Lear, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and Milton's Paradise Lost. Can heroic, courtly, or spiritual masculinity exist without monstrosity? And how does female masculinity or male femininity navigate the monstrous and the normative? We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception. (HL) Kao.

 

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Gertz

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play

Literary Approaches to Poverty

ENGL 260 - Miranda

Examines literary responses to the experience of poverty, imaginative representations of human life in straitened circumstances, and arguments about the causes and consequences of poverty that appear in literature. Critical consideration of dominant paradigms ("the country and the city," "the deserving poor," "the two nations," "from rags to riches," "the fallen woman," "the abyss") augments reading based in cultural contexts. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Dobin

Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2014 Topic:

ENGL 292: Topics in British Literature: Representing Queen Elizabeth (3). This course focuses on the figure of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) and the ways in which she has been represented in literature and film. We read works written during her lifetime that address her, or that directly or obliquely represent her, by authors such as Shakespeare and Spenser. However, the majority of the course examines works about the public and private Elizabeth since her death; those works include dramas, poems, fiction, operas, films (starring actors such as Helen Mirren and Bette Davis), children's books, etc. A key component of the course is a large group project to research and collect such representations, organize the data and write commentaries, and ultimately construct a website--employing exciting, new tools of the digital humanities--as both a learning exercise and a resource for interested students and scholars. (HL) Dobin.

Fall 2013 Topic:

ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: Romanticism and Landscapes (3). This class is an introduction to Romantic poetry through a focused attention to one of its central themes, the natural world and its landscapes. The course begins with some examples of important precursors to the Romantic landscape in Milton, Pope, and Cowper, but the bulk of our attention is to how the Romantic theme of imagination was grounded in the personal experience of the natural world and emphasizes the poetry of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats. We conclude with how these themes were later transformed in Mary Shelley's gothic horror fiction Frankenstein and Jerome K. Jerome's comic travel novel Three Men in a Boat. (HL) Adams.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Oliver

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2014 Topic:

ENGL 293: Topics in American Literature: American Short Story (3). This course is a study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic and international, tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th century. We also explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work--Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We examine how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) B. Oliver.

Fall 2013 Topic:

ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: History, Trauma, and Human Rights (3). In this course on contemporary American literature, we focus on works by writers of Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern descent that bear witness to historical displacement--both national and international. Given the political divisions between America and their countries of origin, it is perhaps no surprise that so many of these writers organize their creative work around the idea of trauma. The psychic dislocation within these writers' communities, and its artistic dramatizations, is at the heart of this course. We investigate the ways in which characters and individuals within various cultural productions navigate between their ancestral and American homes and, in so doing, contribute to debates on immigration, assimilation, and national identity. Attending to the transnational aspects of their work, we also consider how some of these writers engage with contemporary human rights struggles in such places as China, Palestine, and Iran. Major reading selections may include Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine. Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Shahriar Mandanipour's Censoring An Iranian Love Story, among others. (HL) Darznik.

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Smout

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Justice in Late Medieval Literature; Tragedy and Comedy; Western American Literature; Emily Dickinson; and Thomas Hardy: Novelist and Poet.

Winter 2014 Topics:

ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Stuck on the Dixie Express: William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor (3). In this seminar, we study two of the South's greatest writers, talking about the picture of the South they have conveyed to the world and the problems it has caused. Is the South a Gothic land of dilapidated old mansions, freaks, murder, incest, rape, and mental torture destroyed by moral evils, or a glorious land of mint juleps, learning, culture, civility, and honor we prefer to reenact at Washington and Lee? Why did Faulkner and O'Connor tell their gruesome stories? What have we who live in the South gained and lost because of their literary power? And how do Southern readers and writers get rid of these stereotypes now and move on, so everyone is not stuck forever on this version of the Dixie Express, but can tell other stories that paint the South in a more positive light? (HL) Smout. ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Speculative Poetry (3). "Speculative fiction" encompasses science fiction and fantasy, but can it include poetry, too? In this gateway seminar, we read recent poetry that departs from consensus reality and estranges the status quo. As students study verse by James Merrill, Tracy K. Smith, and others in conjunction with theories of the fantastic, they also practice the skills of research writing in stages, preparing for the essay requirements of upper-level English courses. (HL) Wheeler.

Fall 2013 Topics:

ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: The Brontës (3). This class studies the lives and literature of the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. We focus on Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and the poems of Emily Brontë, asking how young women living relatively secluded lives beside the Yorkshire moors produced works of imaginative brilliance. Other authors, read in excerpted form (Byron, Scott, Austen), provide a literary context for the Brontës' achievement. We also consider how the Brontës' work commented on political and social issues in Victorian England, such as Caroline Norton's divorce case, The Custody of Infants' Act of 1839, the education of young children, and working conditions for the poor. (HL) Brodie.

ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: American Indian Literatures and History: The Storyteller Writes Back (3). Indigenous literatures outside the European canon are the focus of this particular section, and we take as our guide this anonymous statement: "History is written by the victors. Literature is written by the survivors." With few exceptions, non-natives have usually narrated the story of being Indian in America. With the start of the Native American Literary Renaissance in the late 1960's, however, Indian writers have been using fiction, memoir, poetry, creative non-fiction, film-making and music to re-write U. S. history from a Native point of view. This course examines specific Native American novels, creative non-fiction and poetry to see how Indians present that re-visioning, asks questions about how that re-visioning is translated into literature, and the effectiveness it has in helping all U. S. citizens re-imagine ourselves in contemporary times. (HL) Miranda.

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Wheeler

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Justice in Late Medieval Literature; Tragedy and Comedy; Western American Literature; Emily Dickinson; and Thomas Hardy: Novelist and Poet.

Winter 2014 Topics:

ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Stuck on the Dixie Express: William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor (3). In this seminar, we study two of the South's greatest writers, talking about the picture of the South they have conveyed to the world and the problems it has caused. Is the South a Gothic land of dilapidated old mansions, freaks, murder, incest, rape, and mental torture destroyed by moral evils, or a glorious land of mint juleps, learning, culture, civility, and honor we prefer to reenact at Washington and Lee? Why did Faulkner and O'Connor tell their gruesome stories? What have we who live in the South gained and lost because of their literary power? And how do Southern readers and writers get rid of these stereotypes now and move on, so everyone is not stuck forever on this version of the Dixie Express, but can tell other stories that paint the South in a more positive light? (HL) Smout. ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Speculative Poetry (3). "Speculative fiction" encompasses science fiction and fantasy, but can it include poetry, too? In this gateway seminar, we read recent poetry that departs from consensus reality and estranges the status quo. As students study verse by James Merrill, Tracy K. Smith, and others in conjunction with theories of the fantastic, they also practice the skills of research writing in stages, preparing for the essay requirements of upper-level English courses. (HL) Wheeler.

Fall 2013 Topics:

ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: The Brontës (3). This class studies the lives and literature of the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. We focus on Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and the poems of Emily Brontë, asking how young women living relatively secluded lives beside the Yorkshire moors produced works of imaginative brilliance. Other authors, read in excerpted form (Byron, Scott, Austen), provide a literary context for the Brontës' achievement. We also consider how the Brontës' work commented on political and social issues in Victorian England, such as Caroline Norton's divorce case, The Custody of Infants' Act of 1839, the education of young children, and working conditions for the poor. (HL) Brodie.

ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: American Indian Literatures and History: The Storyteller Writes Back (3). Indigenous literatures outside the European canon are the focus of this particular section, and we take as our guide this anonymous statement: "History is written by the victors. Literature is written by the survivors." With few exceptions, non-natives have usually narrated the story of being Indian in America. With the start of the Native American Literary Renaissance in the late 1960's, however, Indian writers have been using fiction, memoir, poetry, creative non-fiction, film-making and music to re-write U. S. history from a Native point of view. This course examines specific Native American novels, creative non-fiction and poetry to see how Indians present that re-visioning, asks questions about how that re-visioning is translated into literature, and the effectiveness it has in helping all U. S. citizens re-imagine ourselves in contemporary times. (HL) Miranda.

Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 307 - Miranda

A workshop in writing poems, requiring regular writing and outside reading. Students who have successfully completed either ENGL 204 or 205 should inform Mrs. O'Connell, who will grant them permission to enroll. All others should email a short sample of their poetry to Professor Miranda at mirandad@wlu.edu.

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Gertz

Famous for his mistresses and marriages, his fickle treatment of courtiers, and his vaunting ambition. Henry VIII did more to change English society and religion than any other king. No one understood Henry's power more carefully than his daughter Elizabeth, who oversaw England's first spy network and jealously guarded her throne from rebel contenders. This course studies the writers who worked for the legendary Tudors. focusing on the love poetry of courtiers, trials and persecution of religious dissidents. plays. and accounts of exploration to the new world. We trace how the ambitions of the monarch. along with religious revolution and colonial expansion. figure in the work of writers like Wyatt, Surrey and Anne Askew; Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare and Southwell; and Thomas More and Walter Ralegh.

Shakespearean Genres

ENGL 320 - Pickett

In a given term, this course focuses on one or two of the major genres explored by Shakespeare (e.g., histories, tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies/romances, lyric and narrative poetry), in light of Renaissance literary conventions and recent theoretical approaches. Students consider the ways in which Shakespeare's generic experiments are variably inflected by gender, by political considerations, by habitat, and by history.

Cowboys and Indians

ENGL 360 - Smout

A post-modern study of the "Cowboys and Indians" motif in American literature. Beginning with some stories of Native Americans, we examine how they were depicted in early American literature and history, leading up to "Indian removal" to the West, Custer's Last Stand, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. We then study the rise of the Western itself as a story of national origins, psychology, policy, and destiny focused in the figure of the cowboy. We trace some competing versions of "Cowboy and Indian" stories told since then as America changes and develops, through fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and film by many famous writers and moviemakers including contemporary Native American writers. The goal is to understand why the "Cowboy and Indian" trope is one of the most powerful and widely known stories in the world.

Studies in Contemporary Poetry

ENGL 365 - Wheeler

Focused study of poetry in English from 1980 to the present. Topics vary but can include the role of place in contemporary writing or 21st-century poetry and performance. Depending on interest and department needs, readings may involve mainly U.S. authors or English-language poetry from other regions such as Ireland or the Pacific.

Winter 2014 topic:

ENGL 365: Studies in Contemporary Poetry: Here, Nowhere. (3) Literature is deeply informed by landscape, human community, and geographical boundaries. In this class, we focus on contemporary poetry concerning endangered, damaged, or imagined locations, beginning with the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A midterm hinge swings us through the works of two Lexington poets. In the second half, we turn to writers who consider Aotearoa, New Zealand, as homeland, colony, and Pacific nation. (HL) Wheeler

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Brodie

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. 

Spring 2014 topic:

ENGL 380B-01: Advanced Seminar: The 1960's in American Literature and Film: Toward "Edge City" (4). "Edge City" is the term Ken Kesey coined to describe his quest to "go beyond" conventional boundaries, to arrive at a new consciousness through spontaneous and communal art, drugs, sex, and criminality. The term serves to describe the "progress" and, for a radical few, the desired destination of an increasingly apocalyptic era, the 1960s. It was a decade of crises and cataclysms, of ecstatic celebrations and violent conflicts. The tenor of the period is reflected in the titles of prominent histories about the time: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; The Unraveling of America; Fire in the Streets; Smiling through the Apocalypse; and others. Mention of the Sixties can still provoke strong reactions, even among those who were not alive then or were very young. Politically, culturally, and artistically, the decade continues to be a lightning rod. This course explores why, through reading and viewing a few of the influential artistic works of the time. (HL) Oliver.

Winter 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Filming Jane (3). This seminar uses film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice as a lens to study aspects of the film industry in Hollywood, Britain, and India, with a focus on constructions of British and Indian national identity. Readings include Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones' Diary, along with Andrew Higson's work on heritage film, Rajindar Kumar's Dudrah's essays on Bollywood, and H. Mark Glancy's new book, When Hollywood Loved Britain. Films range from Robert Z. Leonard's 1940 P&P with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, to Bollywood's Bride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, and Renee Zellweger also featured along the way. (HL) Brodie.

ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Stuck on the Dixie Express: William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor (3). In this seminar, we study two of the South's greatest writers, talking about the picture of the South they have conveyed to the world and the problems it has caused. Is the South a Gothic land of dilapidated old mansions, freaks, murder, incest, rape, and mental torture destroyed by moral evils, or a glorious land of mint juleps, learning, culture, civility, and honor we prefer to reenact at Washington and Lee? Why did Faulkner and O'Connor tell their gruesome stories? What have we who live in the South gained and lost because of their literary power? And how do Southern readers and writers get rid of these stereotypes now and move on, so everyone is not stuck forever on this version of the Dixie Express, but can tell other stories that paint the South in a more positive light? (HL) Smout.  

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Smout

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. 

Spring 2014 topic:

ENGL 380B-01: Advanced Seminar: The 1960's in American Literature and Film: Toward "Edge City" (4). "Edge City" is the term Ken Kesey coined to describe his quest to "go beyond" conventional boundaries, to arrive at a new consciousness through spontaneous and communal art, drugs, sex, and criminality. The term serves to describe the "progress" and, for a radical few, the desired destination of an increasingly apocalyptic era, the 1960s. It was a decade of crises and cataclysms, of ecstatic celebrations and violent conflicts. The tenor of the period is reflected in the titles of prominent histories about the time: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; The Unraveling of America; Fire in the Streets; Smiling through the Apocalypse; and others. Mention of the Sixties can still provoke strong reactions, even among those who were not alive then or were very young. Politically, culturally, and artistically, the decade continues to be a lightning rod. This course explores why, through reading and viewing a few of the influential artistic works of the time. (HL) Oliver.

Winter 2014 topics:

ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Filming Jane (3). This seminar uses film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice as a lens to study aspects of the film industry in Hollywood, Britain, and India, with a focus on constructions of British and Indian national identity. Readings include Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones' Diary, along with Andrew Higson's work on heritage film, Rajindar Kumar's Dudrah's essays on Bollywood, and H. Mark Glancy's new book, When Hollywood Loved Britain. Films range from Robert Z. Leonard's 1940 P&P with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, to Bollywood's Bride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, and Renee Zellweger also featured along the way. (HL) Brodie.

ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Stuck on the Dixie Express: William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor (3). In this seminar, we study two of the South's greatest writers, talking about the picture of the South they have conveyed to the world and the problems it has caused. Is the South a Gothic land of dilapidated old mansions, freaks, murder, incest, rape, and mental torture destroyed by moral evils, or a glorious land of mint juleps, learning, culture, civility, and honor we prefer to reenact at Washington and Lee? Why did Faulkner and O'Connor tell their gruesome stories? What have we who live in the South gained and lost because of their literary power? And how do Southern readers and writers get rid of these stereotypes now and move on, so everyone is not stuck forever on this version of the Dixie Express, but can tell other stories that paint the South in a more positive light? (HL) Smout.  

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Smith

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Gavaler

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include poetic voice, ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and modern Irish studies.

Winter 2014 Topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research & Writing: The Art of Narrative (3). This course focuses on the history and development of narrative strategies in short stories and narrative essays. Students identify specific literary techniques, analyze them, and apply them in their own writing--fiction, non-fiction, or a combination. A literary technique is any use of language that can be studied in the context of a literary work, abstracted into a general method, and then recreated in an entirely new work. Students develop two major pieces of writing simultaneously: 1) a portfolio of original short fiction and/or personal essays that employ several identified techniques; and 2) an analytical essay exploring literary techniques from a range of published works. The essay establishes patterns of technique use and argues why certain techniques are employed for similar or contrasting effects in varying contexts. (HL) Gavaler.

ENGL 413-02: Senior Research & Writing: Ritual, Religion, and Drama (3). Is drama inherently ritualistic, even religious? While scholars once speculated that ancient Greek drama evolved out of religious rituals, post-Reformation drama (including Shakespeare's) often actively worked to minimize its religious content to avoid accusations of idolatry. The role of the body, especially the senses, in dramatic performance (and spectatorship) fosters much of the controversy surrounding its ritual elements; divergent attitudes towards those ritual elements continue even into modern and postmodern drama. The course pairs theoretical readings about ritual, performance, and religion with dramas that interrogate or illustrate various aspects of the relationship among ritual, religion, and drama. Playwrights may include Euripides, Shakespeare, Middleton, Beckett, Pinter, and Soyinka. (HL) Pickett.  

Fall 2013 Topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Intradramatic Form: Plays Within Plays (3). Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the first dramatists to experiment with intradramatic form--nesting a small dramatic presentation within a larger one--and since then, the device has been an effective and popular theatrical technique. This course examines the power of dramatic performance to manipulate an audience's aesthetic, emotional, and social response. By studying plays as varied as Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, Weiss' Marat/Sade, and Shaffer's Equus, we see ways in which plays involve, alienate, or control audience by both disguising and exposing theatrical artifice on the stage. We also view several films that take similar advantage of this device: Shakespeare in Love, Kiss Me Kate, and Olivier's Henry V. Dobin.

ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Cultural Conflicts in the American West (3). In this section we study a few key texts about the American West and then see where each student wants to go from there. There are many cultural conflicts from which to choose and many wonderful texts written about those conflicts in virtually every genre. We figure out how to study these conflicts and to each write in stages a convincing long paper explicating one of them in depth, to be shared along the way with the rest of us. Among the Western groups in conflict are American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, and white Europeans from many different backgrounds, all fighting for their land, their economic livelihood, their culture, their families, their names, their ethnic identities, their histories, and virtually everything else human beings can fight for. Although our primary texts are literature, students who take this section also explore some of the historical and political manifestations of these conflicts and grapple with the challenges of resolving them today. Smout.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Pickett

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include poetic voice, ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and modern Irish studies.

Winter 2014 Topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research & Writing: The Art of Narrative (3). This course focuses on the history and development of narrative strategies in short stories and narrative essays. Students identify specific literary techniques, analyze them, and apply them in their own writing--fiction, non-fiction, or a combination. A literary technique is any use of language that can be studied in the context of a literary work, abstracted into a general method, and then recreated in an entirely new work. Students develop two major pieces of writing simultaneously: 1) a portfolio of original short fiction and/or personal essays that employ several identified techniques; and 2) an analytical essay exploring literary techniques from a range of published works. The essay establishes patterns of technique use and argues why certain techniques are employed for similar or contrasting effects in varying contexts. (HL) Gavaler.

ENGL 413-02: Senior Research & Writing: Ritual, Religion, and Drama (3). Is drama inherently ritualistic, even religious? While scholars once speculated that ancient Greek drama evolved out of religious rituals, post-Reformation drama (including Shakespeare's) often actively worked to minimize its religious content to avoid accusations of idolatry. The role of the body, especially the senses, in dramatic performance (and spectatorship) fosters much of the controversy surrounding its ritual elements; divergent attitudes towards those ritual elements continue even into modern and postmodern drama. The course pairs theoretical readings about ritual, performance, and religion with dramas that interrogate or illustrate various aspects of the relationship among ritual, religion, and drama. Playwrights may include Euripides, Shakespeare, Middleton, Beckett, Pinter, and Soyinka. (HL) Pickett.  

Fall 2013 Topics:

ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Intradramatic Form: Plays Within Plays (3). Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the first dramatists to experiment with intradramatic form--nesting a small dramatic presentation within a larger one--and since then, the device has been an effective and popular theatrical technique. This course examines the power of dramatic performance to manipulate an audience's aesthetic, emotional, and social response. By studying plays as varied as Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, Weiss' Marat/Sade, and Shaffer's Equus, we see ways in which plays involve, alienate, or control audience by both disguising and exposing theatrical artifice on the stage. We also view several films that take similar advantage of this device: Shakespeare in Love, Kiss Me Kate, and Olivier's Henry V. Dobin.

ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Cultural Conflicts in the American West (3). In this section we study a few key texts about the American West and then see where each student wants to go from there. There are many cultural conflicts from which to choose and many wonderful texts written about those conflicts in virtually every genre. We figure out how to study these conflicts and to each write in stages a convincing long paper explicating one of them in depth, to be shared along the way with the rest of us. Among the Western groups in conflict are American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, and white Europeans from many different backgrounds, all fighting for their land, their economic livelihood, their culture, their families, their names, their ethnic identities, their histories, and virtually everything else human beings can fight for. Although our primary texts are literature, students who take this section also explore some of the historical and political manifestations of these conflicts and grapple with the challenges of resolving them today. Smout.

Internship in Literary Editing with <i>Shenandoah</i>

ENGL 453 - Smith

An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students each 12-week term with the editor of Shenandoah , Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts, proofreading/copyediting, the arrangement of work within an issue, selection of cover art, composing contributor's notes, responding to queries, and issuing news releases. Interns also work toward an understanding of the role of journals in contemporary literature. May be applied once to the English major or Creative Writing Minor and repeated for a maximum of six additional elective credits, as long as the specific projects undertaken are different.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Conner, Pickett, Smith (Multiple Sections)

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu).