English 100 - English as a Second Language - Hayes
Designed for non-native speakers of English, this course emphasizes reading and writing about American culture. Students write several brief papers and participate in debates, presentations, and surveys, culminating in a final biographical research paper. Workbook exercises provide support in typical problem areas such as pronouns, prepositions, and articles.
English 101 - Expository Writing - General Description
English 101 introduces writing on the college level. Its purpose is to foster the skills necessary to produce coherent, persuasive prose: developing ideas thoroughly, using rhetorical strategies appropriate to subject and audience, focusing and supporting a thesis, structuring well developed paragraphs, generating mature and effective sentences, choosing precise and expressive language, and observing the conventions of written prose. Individual sections employ a variety of techniques for inculcating standards of good prose; but all 101 classes require a variety of writing assignments including paragraphs and short essays written in and out of class (about 4000 words in total) and a short research paper designed to introduce techniques of library research and documentation (about 2000 words).
English 101 - Investigating Popular Culture - M. Dixon
Like all sections of English 101, this course will attempt to make you a better writer by taking you through the process of thinking, planning, drafting, revising, criticizing, and editing a series of essays. To generate material for writing, we will use the text Seeing and Writing, which focuses on contemporary issues and popular culture, particularly the visual images that flood us daily in the media. Topics for discussion and analysis may include print and TV advertising, popular music and MTV, film, journalism, computers and the Internet, and will explore media representations of family, gender and ethnic identity, cultural icons, violence, politics. There will be several short papers, revisions, peer editing, introduction to library and Internet resources, and individual research papers focusing on some aspect of the media or popular culture.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Wilkerson
This course has been designed to aid in your development into a confident, responsible and persuasive writer. Specifically, it should help you to develop competency in all stages of the writing process, develop critical thinking and reading skills and develop a writing standard consistent with the MLA style guide. The course will revolve around a different theme each semester. Students will be required to write four essays, keep a reading journal and participate in class discussion that focuses on the theme for the course and read an assigned novel. There will probably be quizzes on the reading throughout the semester and a final exam.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Jones
The American frontier–home to Native American prophets, drought-and-grasshopper-dueling farmers, black cavalrymen, women earning more in the gold fields from their pie baking than their customers did in the mines, Irish and Chinese railroad construction workers, bank robbers and cattle rustlers and social reformers–was declared "closed" 112 years ago. Yet it has remained a central element of American culture. We'll use the 19th century American frontier as the focal point for the term's writing and research. Students will write a series of short papers culminating in a research paper. The course goals are to develop writing skills which will be useful in subsequent college courses and to explore a fascinating period of America's past and its influence on contemporary American life. Occasional out of class assignments, probably including a visit to an 18th century trade fair on Labor Day weekend, will be required; do not plan visits home that weekend until the first paper assignment is discussed.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Richards
A writing course is always hard to define. There is no content to master. There is not even a secret to this craft. For there are no step-by-step procedures that guarantee that every paper turns out just right. Rather writing is a practice. It is a way of knowing, of questioning, of positioning yourself in the world. With this end in mind, the assignments for this course will often ask you to reflect on your own position in the world and how you relate to others. The text I have chosen for this course, Ways of Reading, focuses on the cultural contexts that help us define ourselves and determine our way of understanding others. There will be several short essays in this course as well as one longer, research paper and oral presentation.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Proll
Writing at the college level involves a huge shift for students, one that asks them to move away from report-style essays and toward more thesis-driven analytical writing. This class will focus on honing those analytical skills. We will read a variety of essays–often controversial, always stimulating–that center on the kinds of issues being debated in our culture, and you will practice your writing as you contribute your own ideas to those on-going conversations. As you do so, you will be acquiring the kinds of writing skills you will need to succeed in college, including summary, analysis, compare and contrast, and above all, thesis. We will devote a great deal of time to the process of revising the drafts you write of each paper. Students will produce a number of shorter essays, in which you will practice the skills that we discuss in class, as well as three longer papers. The final paper will be an extended research project.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Ashworth
Britney Spears, Harry Potter, American Pie, Eminem, Tiger Woods, cell phones, ecstasy, body piercing, tattoos, Abercrombie, co-ed sleepovers, the Columbine shootings. Teen idols, icons, and trends. Together they represent what troubles and fascinates us most about the "youth universe." In this class we'll take an in-depth look at the adolescent world–at "coming-of-age" narratives and the hype that surrounds youth in this country. Along the way, we'll read, think, talk, and write about what adolescence is–about the "so-called life" that popular media present us with.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Incorvati
In this class we will approach writing as having both a private and a public function. First, we will use writing as a means of personal reflection and as a way of examining and sharpening your own ideas. Then, we will focus on writing as an avenue for informing and influencing others, and we will practice using some techniques that can make your ideas more persuasive to a critical audience. In the process of preparing your writing for this public function, you will have opportunities to hone your research and writing skills, and you will read essays by some influential writers who have attempted to win over their readers on such topics as environmental policy, civil rights, and freedom of speech. The writing component of this class involves multiple drafts and critical feedback from classmates.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Hayes
Student writing takes center stage in this section of English 101. Each class is likely to include some kind of writing, either preparatory to class discussion or as "prewriting" for one of the course's formal papers. Your own papers will form a significant part of the reading for the course, in addition to a novel, a short story, plays and essays centered around the concept of "justice." While your papers for the class will take a variety of forms (letters, reviews, personal essays, and a research essay of about 2,000 words), all will be examined for critical thinking as well as rhetorical skill. Peer and instructor review will help you improve. There will be midterm and final exams and occasional quizzes.
English 101 - Expository Writing: The Media is the Message - K. Dixon
This course will cover all the bases of any English 101–critical thinking, writing and rewriting, research and documentation. The particular focus of this section of 101 will be the visual media–TV, advertising, and movies for the most part. To say "the medium is the message" suggests these media are never "pure," but rather, are always manipulated and manipulating, and drive our popular culture. Essentially this course will examine this general proposition from a variety of angles. Our primary text is Seeing & Writing, by McQuade and McQuade. There will be films and pictures, a journal, short tests, two exams, lots of discussion, and careful attention to the development of each student's style.
English 101 - Expository Writing - Hinson
English 101, is, first and foremost, a composition course designed to give you intensive practice in the art of expository writing. The course emphasizes the writing process and the development of clear, purposeful, well-focused writing that addresses a well-defined audience. The course will focus on the conventions of academic writing and selecting, integrating, and documenting sources. Also, it will help you to discover that reading and writing are not separate activities, but assignments, and a research project.
English 180 - Scribbling Women in Oprah's Book Club - Ashworth
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne "dissed" popular (women) writers and the masses who read their books. "America is now given over to a d–d mob of scribbling women," he said, "and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash–and should be ashamed of myself if I did." He was talking about a class of writers whose novels centered on hearth, home, morality, sensibility, and social accountability. And crankiness aside, Hawthorne was right: the leading bestsellers of the nineteenth century were, by and large, authored by women. This course will engage those texts and their 21st century legacy. Thus, we'll read across a historical continuum: from nineteenth-century short fictions and the potboiler of a bygone age (Uncle Tom's Cabin) to contemporary texts that–with Oprah's stamp of approval–likewise attract a massive popular audience. Along the way, we'll engage the following questions: Do these texts do similar cultural and personal work? What vision of the world does the Book Club create? What "truths" does it propagate?
English 180 - Film Noir - Hinson
Film noir, or "black film" has been variously labeled as a period in film history, a style of film, and a separate film genre with its own themes and conventions. No matter how you define it, films labeled as noir are "deeply unromantic" films that "take a sneaking delight in their displays of passion gone wrong and of murderous calculation confounded." This course will examine the distinctive "noir" visual style and the characteristic "noir" thematics of lives ruled by an unkind fate. We will also trace the history of film noir from its origins in German expressionism and postwar nihilism, to its golden period in the 1940's and 1950's, and to its persistence through the rest of the 20th century in neo-noir, neo-B-noir, and Technicolor noir. We will also look at the debt that these films owe to what the French called "serie noir," the searing crime and detective fiction of the 1930's, 40's, and 50's. The course requires frequent quizzes, a midterm and final exam, an oral presentation, a series of shorter papers and a longer term paper. Writing intensive. The course also requires attendance at weekly film screenings outside of class. Students who register for this course are required to attend film screenings on Wednesdays from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
English 180 - Demons, Devils, and Hellfire - Incorvati
We generally like being able to explain our experiences in rational ways because doing so gives some assurance that we live in an intelligible, meaningful, and perhaps even a just world. But our desire to explain is often frustrated when we're confronted with irrational malice, with unwarranted suffering, and with general wrong-doing. One way of grappling with this problem is to imagine a force of evil at work in the universe, and in the Western tradition, there's no more vivid way of conjuring up such a notion than with images of hell and its resident demons. Once we've put a devilish face on these energies, though, a peculiar thing sometimes happens: despite their associations with all things abhorrent, some of us find ourselves, truth be told, more than a little fascinated with these diabolical ideas. Not only have a number of writers been guilty of such a fascination, but their preoccupation with things devilish also seems to have been responsible for unleashing some conspicuously exuberant works of literary imagination. This class brings together a number of texts preoccupied with demons, devils, and hellfire including works from medieval world (Dante's Inferno), the early modern age (John Milton's Paradise Lost), the Romantic period (William Blakes's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell), and the 20th century (C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce); we will also consider the substantial inroads that diabolical forces have made in some contemporary films. Throughout this course, we'll use these various depictions of devils and the underworld to see how writers have attempted to account for some thorny aspects of human experience. We will also have the advantage of considering a wide variety of literary forms (epic poems, ballads, plays, novels, and films), so we will devote part of our semester to learning the conventions associated with each of these forms and sharpening our skills as readers of these types of expression. There will be a midterm and a final exam as well as several papers.
English 180 - Introduction to Fiction - Proll
This class will provide an introduction to the art form we call "fiction"–that is, to the literary genres of the short story and the novel. Because the short story and the modern novel are primarily 19th and 20th century inventions, the course will focus on fiction written in English during the last two centuries. We will read a wide array of authors, from Poe and Hawthorne to Joyce and Lawrence and beyond to the experimental writers of the 1960s. As we do so, we will talk about how to read literature and how to analyze its constituent parts: plot, character, conflict, theme, symbol, point of view, and setting. At the same time, students will learn to interpret literature in formal essays, a skill that will hone your abilities to write the kind of thesis-driven essays that will be required in most of your college classes. As the course is writing intensive, you will be asked to produce three formal essays, as well as a series of shorter response papers. There are no major exams in the course, but students will take frequent reading quizzes. Please note that we will be reading three complete novels in addition to the short stories.
English 180 - Making Romance: He Said, She Said - Richards
A love story. The oldest story. Yet the least understood? What are the narratives of love? Its structure? Conventions? Familiar gestures? Consistent cadences? Its deep underlying meanings? Its psychological ramifications? And how do these stories vary according to the one telling the story? In particular, how does gender influence the structure of these narratives and, even more significantly, how do these narratives influence our understanding of gender and the "roles" we play as men and women? This course will provide a historical overview of the romance, beginning with the highly scripted "luf-talking" of Arthurian romance and moving to the fragmentary, uncertain yet just as scripted musings of the postmodern novel. The course will pair male and female authors, continually asking how these "gendered" narratives both differ and concur. In the course of this "paired" survey, we will read such authors as Chretien de Troyes and Marie de France, William Shakespeare and Mary Wroth, William Congreve and Aphra Behn, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Bharati Mukherjee, David Henry Hwang and Jeanette Winterson. Along the way, we will explore both the primary poetic vehicle for declaring one's love–the sonnet–and ubiquitous prosaic one–the fairy tale. This course is discussion-based. There will be three shorter formal papers, one longer research-oriented paper, and frequent informal writing. There will be no exams.
English 200 - Introduction to the Discipline of English - Richards
So you want to be an English major? If you are like me, that decision is probably based on a love of reading, a more ambivalent, yet equally intense fascination with writing, and a vague conviction that literature may provide a key to life. But what makes this love of reading, writing and literature a discipline? This question is perhaps one of the most hotly debated in the discipline, and the course will examine some of the key positions in the debate as well as ask you to reflect formally on your own definition of what constitutes literature. Why do we read? Certainly, we will not be able to answer this question fully in this course, but we will begin exploring it, in particular through examining various theoretical approaches such as feminism, postmodernism, and cultural studies. Yet as much as this course will seek to discipline your love of reading, it will also help to foster it. Hence, writings will be both personal and academic, exploratory and critical. (There will be frequent response papers as well as several longer, critical essays.) Readings will range across all genres, and will introduce you to some of the more complex and compelling texts of our discipline.
English 200 - Introduction to the Discipline of English - Hinson
This course might better be termed "introduction to textual studies," since it strives to introduce you to a new kind of textual awareness. Literary studies today is asking some fundamentally new questions, questions that challenge long-standing assumptions about readers, writers, and texts–about why we read, what we read, and how we read. This course will introduce you to those questions currently shaping literary thought. In addition, we will focus on close reading skills, writing critical arguments, and the art of literary analysis. We will also examine a number of critical theories or schools, including feminism, psychoanalysis, New Historicism, cultural studies, and deconstruction. The course requires a reading journal, a series of short response and position papers, an oral presentation, and a research project.
English 240 - Beginning Creative Writing - McClelland
"Writing is easy," the writer Gene Fowler once said. "All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Fowler may well have been right, but in this class we'll try to make it a little easier than that. The course will provide students an introduction to four genres of creative writing–poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and playwriting. Students will hear what some writers have to say about writing, read and discuss some of what is being written today, keep a journal of their own progress as writers, and workshop the writing of their classmates. Most of all, students will write. You will be expected to produce pieces in all four genres, and do a major revision of a work of your choice.
English 241 - Beginning Journalism - McClelland
This course will provide a basic introduction to the practice and principles of journalism, with an emphasis on newspaper production. We will discuss news, features, opinion and sports writing; journalistic ethics, copy-editing, layout and other related topics. Students will write regularly, and will be encouraged to contribute to the Torch.
Prerequisite: English 101
English 240 - Beginning Creative Writing - K. Dixon
This is a beginning creative writing course. It assumes nothing about the student's previous reading or writing experience. We will take ourselves seriously as writers, however, and build from the rudiments individually, each at his and her own pace, and we'll do this in four major genres–fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction. By the end of the semester, students will have narrowed the field to one or two genres, turning in their best work, in each genre, for a final portfolio evaluation. The balance of the grade is based on a journal/writer's notebook, and in-class participation. Class format is "workshop," essentially group critique of student work as well as published work–classic and current. All students will have at least two of their works edited and critiqued by the rest of the class. There may be an occasional quiz, and there are no exams. However, there is a list of "expectations," terminology and techniques, that must be met to get best credit for the course. English 240 is a pre-requisite for all advanced English 322 courses. It's not a good first semester freshman course, though experienced writers may by-pass these pre-requisites (rarely) by permission of the instructor, based on a review of the student's previous work. Accordingly, it is not recommended for High School Honors students, though exceptions may be made: see instructor, as per above for freshmen.
Prerequisites: Engl 101 and Engl 180 (or 170 or 190) is strongly recommended.
English 280 - British Survey I - Buckman
In this survey of English literature from its beginnings to the early eighteenth century, students will be introduced to the writing of a variety of authors working in a variety of genres: sonnet, dramatic comedy, epic poem, essay, novel, and others. In order to impose some structure on a rather diverse body of writings, we will trace several broad themes across these works while attending to, so far as is possible in a course of this type, the historical milieux in which these texts were written and read or performed. A reading journal, three papers, a midterm and final.
English 280 - British Survey I - M. Dixon
In this course, we will look at the development of English literature from its beginnings in the Middle Ages to the rise of the novel in the eighteenth century. We will read and discuss representative literary texts and ask a series of important questions: how do these texts grow out of their historical and cultural contexts? How do they build upon, speak to one another? How do they define and redefine the roles of writer and reader? What part does a growing literary canon have in constructing what it means to be a British subject, a self, a man, a woman? We will explore as well the way genres–epic and romance, tragedy and comedy, prose fiction–emerge, change, disappear, in response to a changing culture and readership. You should come out of this course with a foundational knowledge of important writers, dates, literary styles, genres, and critical terms that you can build on in more advanced courses. The course will include some periods and a comprehensive final; two or three formal papers and several informal responses to the reading.
Prerequisite: English 200
English 290 - American Survey I - Askeland
In 1782, Hector de Crevecoeur published the first text to explicitly ask the question, "What is An American?" This course will take that question as its starting point, allowing us to explore texts from a wide range of authors who would answer that question in a variety of ways. Indeed, since most Americans inevitably discuss the importance of "freedom" in attempting to define what the United States are or ought to be about, we will also use Toni Morrison's discussion in her book Playing in the Dark as one critical counterpoint to that perspective. She, in fact, emphasizes that the particularly "American" and Enlightenment notions of freedom did not coincidentally emerge along with the European practice of the mass enslavement of African Americans: "Nothing highlighted freedom–if it did not in fact create it–like slavery." Within the context of that debate we will explore the tensions between forms of captivity and freedom, between the desire to explore the frontier and to settle it, between men and women, between native peoples and European colonizers, and between various, contested notions of spirituality and rationality. We will read captivity narratives; autobiography and history; poetry; journalistic columns; fiction; and cultural manifestoes. Students will write several short papers, participate in a listserv discussion group, and write a midterm, two interpretive essays, and a final exam. Books: Lauter, ed., The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1, and Morrison, Playing in the Dark.
English 310 - 20th Century British Literature - Proll
During the first decade of the last century, the Western world was reeling from a series of profound declarations: Nietzsche proclaimed that God was dead; Freud announced that human beings are driven by irrational, unconscious motivations; and Einstein explained that time itself is relative. In the wake of these extraordinary pronouncements, Ezra Pound instructed his literary contemporaries to "make it new," and that they did. In the years just before and after the First World War, a generation of new writers began experimenting with fictional modes, delving into psychology, playing with perspective, and altering the most basic of fictional elements: time. We will read the representative work of these British Modernists, focusing on the fiction of Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Ford Maddox Ford and Katherine Mansfield, and the poetry of W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot. Students will write two major analytical essays, as well as a series of shorter response papers, and will pass a midterm and final exam.
English 311 - American Renaissance - Davis
This course spans a brief period–from the publication of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature in 1836 to the end of the Civil War in 1865. That period, the American Renaissance, produced some of the most extraordinary writers in American literature–Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, Stowe, Whitman, Melville, Douglass, Poe, and others–although it didn't seem that way at the time. Charles Dickens had overtaken Sir Walter Scott as the most popular writer on either side of the Atlantic, and American authors, by and large, were brushed off as trivial and derivative, hardly worth the trouble. "In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?" the British journalist Sydney Smith wrote. Emerson steps into this debate with iron-shod boots, insisting that a genuinely American literature–based on democratic literary models, capturing American idiomatic speech, and nourished by the spirituality of nature–was just coming into being. The word "renaissance" itself denotes this sense of rebirth or reawakening. We'll witness this birth moment many times in the course–in the natural resurrections of Walden and Leaves of Grass, in the rebirth of Jonah from the belly of the whale in Melville, and in the reawakening of spirit in Frederick Douglass. But there's a dark side to this story as well, as there always is. The bloated corpses "resurrected" in Poe's stories, Dickinson's poems, and literally and horrifically on the battlefields of Antietam and Gettysburg bear witness to another kind of renaissance, the resurrection of the monstrous, a return of the repressed. This internal tension between hope and terror, resurrection and haunting, optimism and despair, gives the literature of the American Renaissance its unmistakable shape and power. Students in this course will write two major papers, one of them a researched essay, and take both a midterm and a final exam.
English 313 - Harlem Renaissance - Wilkerson
Scholar David Levering Lewis describes the Harlem Renaissance as "a somewhat forced phenomenon, a cultural nationalism of the parlor..." A period of social, artistic and political advancement for African Americans during the pre-World War era of 1908-1983, the Harlem Renaissance is extremely important to the study of twentieth century African American literature. This course will focus on short fiction, poems, political essays, manifestos and speeches by several prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance, particularly W.E.B. DuBois, Jessie Fauset, Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, Nelle Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston. Students will be expected to write two critical research papers, a few reading response papers during the term and be responsible for any quizzes or exams as well as preliminary research documents and oral presentations for the two assigned papers.
English 319: Women & Literature, Part II: 1800-Present - Askeland
"Transatlantic Women: of Nations, Empires, and the Post-Colonial, Anglophone World." In an interview, Indian writer Arundahti Roy reported that potential American publishers for her book, The God of Small Things, told her that, for U.S. readers, she "should explain more, that [she] was introducing people to ‘alien territory.'" But, Roy replied, "‘Alien for whom?' I wouldn't open an Updike [novel] and want him to explain some American gizmo.'" In fact, "when asked recently in London about the exotic nature of her fictional world, she gestured around her at the Soho hotel and said: ‘For me, this is exotic.'" This course will explore writings by British, American, and former Commonwealth writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. It will look, specifically, at writings that include travel to "exotic" places in the English-speaking world, and which therefore involve the characters in questions about national identity, and what it means to be a woman in various times and places. These questions were particularly challenging for women, who could not vote in any of the countries until the 20th century was well underway. The course will include two 4-6 page essay, one research paper with annotated bibliography, and a final exam. Potential texts may include: Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Edith Wharton, the Age of Innocence, Virginia Woolf, Orlando and selected essays, Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Jean Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea, Paule Marshall, Praisesong for the Widow, Arundahti Roy, The God of Small Things. And selected poetry, throughout.
English 322 - Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction - McClelland
There is really only one way to become a superior fiction writer: Write, then read, then go write some more. In this class, we will do plenty of both. Students will continue developing the skills and techniques introduced in Beginning Creative Writing through readings, discussion, work shopping, journal-keeping and lots of writing. Each student will produce three short stories and will do a major revision of one of those pieces. Our goal will be for each student to write at least one story suitable for submission to a literary journal.
Prerequisite: English 240
English 322 - Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry - Rambo
If poems are, as Jorie Graham writes, "records of true risks taken by the soul of the speaker" then the intent of this advanced writing course in poetry is to create the conditions for taking such risks. The course will be composed of equal parts reading and writing poetry to introduce students to developments in contemporary poetry and to help them develop further their own craft. Students will also explore different forms of poetry such as the sonnet, villanelle, and sestina, along with free verse and prose poems. Regular writing workshops, a poet's notebook, diverse reading assignments, and a final manuscript.
Prerequisites: English 240 or instructor's permission.
English 322 - Advanced Creative Writing: Creative Non-fiction - K. Dixon
This is a WI writing course, satisfying 4 credits of the Fine Arts (A) requirement, with pre-requisites of English 101 and English 240. It counts as an upper level writing course in both the Writing Minor and the English Major with a Writing Concentration.
The rubic "Creative Non-Fiction" covers just about everything that isn't poetry or fiction, but this course will focus on just three subgenres: the personal essay, literary journalism, and travel narrative. It may include memoir. We may experiment with a new monstrous hybrid form: fiction-as-essay/essay-as-fiction. We will read up on each genre, study examples thereof, and write samples of our own for each. Then the student will specialize in one or two of the genres, writing a longer piece or several shorter ones, to include in a portfolio for final evaluation. We'll read at least three anthologies (essay, travel, new journalism), a wide selection of how-to-articles, and each other's work in the context of class workshopping. Grade will be based at least one half on the portfolio, the remaining half on participation and other related aspects (notebook, class presentation, etc.). There will be individual conferences with the instructor. Tests and exams are always a possibility, but are kept at bay by good preparation and active class participation. As a student so aptly put it on course evaluation: "Don't take this course if you don't want to write a lot." That goes for reading, too.
English 327 - History of the English Language - Wilkerson
In this course students will analyze various aspects of language. Our focus will be on differences which demonstrate how the language has been influenced socially and culturally. Gender or regional based differences will be considered in order to make for an interesting study. Dialectal differences can be thought-provoking, therefore the major project for the course will be an ethnographic study. This ethnographic study will require an instructed format that will be discussed in greater detail in class. Various class activities and discussions about language and the origins of language will serve as preparation for the ethnography and as the foundation for the course.
The objectives of this course are to provide students with an understanding of:
English 331 - Shakespearean Tragedy and Romance - M. Dixon
This course will focus on the later plays of Shakespeare, the great tragedies (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Anthony and Cleopatra) and his final plays, the "romances" (Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest). We will look at how Shakespeare creates his own version of tragedy, and how his tragic pessimism in these plays is absorbed into a broader comic vision in his final "tragicomic" works. When possible, we will look at important film versions of the plays (for example, Olivier's and Branagh's Hamlets, a contemporary Hamlet 2000 with Ethan Hawke, a Russian King Lear directed by Grigori Kosintsev, a Japanese version of Macbeth, Throne of Blood, by Kurosawa), which will allow us to think not only about contemporary production of the plays, but also about the modernity of tragedy and about Shakespeare's persistence in the modern, global community. We will also, whenever possible, attend stage productions of Shakespeare in the local community, or in a field trip to the Shakespeare Festival in Canada. There will be about seven required evening film screenings. The trip to Canada will be optional. The course is discussion-based, with several short papers and one longer independent project, and a final exam. Students who have already taken English 180, Shakespeare on Film, are welcome to enroll–this course covers mostly new material, and studies the familiar plays in greater depth. If you are interested in the field trip to Canada, please contact me ASAP this term to reserve tickets!
English 401 - Senior Seminar: Mapping Paradise Lost - Buckman
Although in the first part of this course students will examine in considerable detail Paradise Lost and some of the best literary criticism it has inspired, the focus of the seminar will remain on the writing of a twenty-five page senior thesis on an author or work or theme of the student's choice. Students will prepare for this task by extensive reading in primary and secondary materials relevant to their topics, compiling annotated bibliographies, drafting tentative outlines, and completing other assigned stages in the writing process. Throughout the semester students will assist each other by participating in writing groups and group conferences with the instructor; of course, the composition of a successful thesis will ultimately depend upon the pluck and hard work of each thesis writer. Additional course requirements include a formal oral presentation based on the thesis to select English department faculty and a thesis defense in class at the end of the semester.