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 - Expository Writing
This course is an introduction to composition directed toward writing analytical essays. Class session will be scheduled in and make use of the computer lab. During the first eight weeks of the class, students will write several out-of-class and in-class essays based on reading selections in an anthology titled The Conscious Reader. Students will not only read for ideas but also analyze how the readings effectively employ rhetorical and literary devices. Their essays will include both close analysis of texts and personal experience. Although students will be encouraged to meet frequently with the instructor, at midterm all students will conference with the instructor to assess the strengths and weaknesses in their work. The last part of the term will be devoted to developing a longer, researched paper. The emphasis will be on the process of writing the longer paper, including finding a suitable topic, accessing and evaluating sources, efficiently gathering and accurately recording information, writing and documenting a paper of approximately 2000 words. Students will return to the reader during the last two or three weeks and write an in-class (and optional out-of-class) essay. A final conference is required. A final examination will be administered as scheduled by the Registrar.
English 101 - Expository Writing: AWriting with Imagination
This course in writing the personal and researched essay stresses the need for writers to exercise intelligent choice at every stage of the writing process and to visualize a successful finished product. The full-size American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed. is also required.
English 101 - Expository Writing
I am focusing on the relationship between one=s opinions on key issues and the notion of identity. The relationship between conformity and inauthenticityBthe Aunexamined@ lifeBwill also be a theme of the course.
English 101 - Expository Writing
To develop the whole person, reads Wittenberg's mission statement; this course takes up that challenge. The first half of the course teaches academic strategies through the reading of difficult but academically valued writing by professionals. You will write personal narratives in response. These narratives allow each student to draw on her own lifestory as a body of evidence. That evidence can then be drawn into service as the student analyzes it using basic academic strategies, complicating stereotypes, etc., to create the kinds of arguments that will ultimately be most valuable to professors. The first half of the course uses portfolio grading to allow for the kind of risk-taking that is scary, but essential, to successful college-level writing. The second half of the course builds on that foundation. First, we analyze and explore powerful academic writing, read during the first half of the semester, in line with the way this analysis is practiced within the discipline of English. Then we analyze and explore the way popular magazines identify and target audiences. Finally, all students conduct a research project into an academic discipline in which they are interested, and specifically, the kind(s) of writing and research that is practiced in the scholarly journals of that field. This course is writing intensive.
English 101 - Expository Writing
The focus of this 101 section will be the use of Ahard-boiled@ detective and crime fiction to help teach composition. The detective story, that genre so reliant on (and playful with) the relationship between writer and reader, is the ideal kind of writing to help develop the students= critical reading and writing skills. As the students become expert in the hard-boiled genre, they=ll begin to see how the genre has developed, how writers both work within the rules and transform those rules, and how critical thinkers approach these texts. That, of course, is what I=ll be asking my students to do in their own writingBrecognize the general rules of academic writing, and learn to become comfortable enough with those rules to create his/her own writing voice. Students will analyze and respond to popular hard-boiled texts and critical works on detective fiction, including short stories by authors such as Hammett, Chandler, Grafton, Paretsky, and Ellroy. We=ll be reading three novels, and viewing a film or two. There will be three major essays (analysis, research, writeyourownmystery), short response papers, a midterm and final, and the occasional quiz. Students will write multiple drafts, peer respond, and will engage in frequent group discussions.
English 101 - Expository Writing
This is a composition course in which students will improve their ability to write clear, forceful prose, to formulate and support a compelling thesis, to employ rhetorical strategies effectively, and, when appropriate, to observe the conventions of academic writing. In the course of the term students will explore a variety of forms, from film reviews to academic research papers, and will also work collaboratively in writing workshops to aid in the revision of their prose. Because the best way to learn to write is to practice writing, some form of written work will be required at nearly every class meeting. This section of English 101 will be unusual in that the majority of readings and other content in the course first appeared in a single year, 1929, and the final research assignment will involve examining life in Springfield during that year as well. Four papers and a final examination.
English 101 - Expository Writing
Britney Spears, Harry Potter, Buffy, 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 they represent: its unbridled sexuality; its tendency toward defiance, violence, or rebellion; its latent power and genius. In this class, we'll take an in-depth look at that adolescent world 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 childhood and adolescence is: about the sugar, spice, rats, and snails that boys and girls are made of; about the socioeconomic niches that we grow up within; about the so-called life that popular media presents us with; and about the cultural history that our private histories directly engage. Exercises and projects will include four essays, a reading journal, a presentation, and in-class writings.
English 101 - Expository Writing
This section of English 101 will center loosely around the theme of Aidentity.@ What elements in your life contribute to the way you understand yourself? Chances are that some of them will be discussed in this class. Topics have included family relationships, group identities, education, employment, and possessions. Within the theme, there is ample room for students to explore some topics and readings of their own choice.
English 101 - Expository Writing
Writing at the college level usually 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, which you will practice as you contribute your own ideas to on-going debates within the larger academic and political community. To this end, we will read a wide variety of essays that demonstrate some of the conversations people are carrying on all around us. The readings will raise such questions as How are men different from women? How does social class affect your perception of the world? What does education do for people? What should it do? What does it mean to live in a multicultural society? As we ponder these and other issues, you will be acquiring the kinds of writing skills that will be crucial to your success in all college-level writing, including summary, analysis, comparison and contrast, and especially thesis. We will also devote a great deal of time on the process of developing a thesis and revising drafts for each major paper. In addition to a series of response papers, students will write two essays based on course readings and personal experience. Students will produce a longer, researched paper at the semester's end.
English 180 - Words and Worlds: Tolkien, Lewis and The Inklings
Film-goers wait with bated breath for the winter release of the movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien's modern classic, The Fellowship of the Ring, but only Tolkien's true believers may know some of the history of his work. Likewise, many readers are devoted to C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe but know little of his other fiction and non-fiction or his life as a scholar and critic of English literature. Lewis and Tolkien are connected by their membership in a group known as the Inklings; with other writers, they gathered both to socialize and to read and discuss their work. In this class, be prepared to read these writers= fiction and a little non-fiction, too; we'll also watch films and (like the Inklings!) read and discuss our own work.
English 180 - The Horror Film
This course will, among other things, introduce students to the discipline of film studies, including the terminology used to describe/analyze/interpret film and key concepts. In this class we'll be focusing on horror, that disturbing and endlessly fascinating genre of film and literature, and discussing what kinds of cultural and social anxieties are revealed in horror texts. In addition to screening several films, we'll also be reading horror literature and critical essays. Films may include a few Hammer Studios films, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, The Omen, The Re-animator, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead 2, Alien, The Blair Witch Project and Pitch Black. Warning: Some of these films feature graphic violence and might be disturbing to some students. We'll be reading at least one novel and several short stories. Students will write one-page response papers and a research essay (complete with annotated bibliography). There will also be a midterm and final, quizzes, and a group presentation at the end of the semester. This is a discussion-based course, so you=ll be expected to actively participate in class discussion. Students who register for this course are required to attend out-of-class film screenings.
English 180 - Women in Hollywood Cinema
From Bette Davis' eyes and Joan Crawford's shoulders to Rita Hayworth's legs and Judy Garland's ruby slippers, Hollywood stars have defined our ideas of modern womanhood. In this course, we will begin by learning some basic terminology and approaches to analyzing film as an art form. Centering on the Classical Hollywood Cinema (1930-1960), we will then turn to a thematic and historical consideration of the various kinds of roles assigned women in different films and film genres. We will see how certain types of women-madcap heiresses, longsuffering mothers, lonely career women, sex symbols, and girls next door, for instance-have defined stars' careers and, more importantly, our society's images of women. There will be required screenings of the movies outside class each week. Writing intensive. Counts for Women's Studies. Arts learning goal.
English 180 - War Literature
There will be wars and rumors of wars. . . . From the Biblical assaults on the walls of Jericho to yesterday's bombing missions against Afghanistan, war seems always with us. Apparently, war is an archetypal experience. Combat changes soldiers forever and, as it becomes more total, affects civilians as well. The course readings will range from the American Civil War through World Wars I and II to Vietnam and the Gulf War and perhaps, given published materials, even to the present Awar on terrorism. Readings will be supplemented by occasional films. Writing will include several short papers and one long one. Active class participation is a must.
English 180 - Epic: Ancient and Modern
This course is a blend of both English 180: Mythology and English 180: Travel, if you happen to be looking for either of those. In Epic: Ancient and Modern, we will read in toto a fair number of ancient epics from different cultures, different times, including both of Homer=s: The Iliad and the Odyssey, Ovid=s Metamorphoses, Apuleius' The Golden Ass, and selections from Petronius' Satyricon and Vergil=s Aneid. Also, the one that starts it all off: the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, some three thousand years older than Homer. That will give you an immense background in classical mythology, without having to read that Edith Hamilton trot.
With the Greek and Roman epic under our belt, we will turn to modern appropriations of the form, touching on its development through Western literature (Chaucer, Milton, Pope; Stephen Vincent Benet, et al,), but concentrating on important 20th century Aepics, such as Kerouac's On the Road, or Bellow's Adventures of Auggie March, or some wild highly experimental ones, Erica Lopez's Flaming Iguanas, or Nathaniel West's Dreamlife of Balso Snell, or the 1992 Nobel-winning Omeros, by Derek Walcott. It is the episodic nature of these works, and the discovery that all outward journeys are also inward, and the simpler fact that one has to get home again for the story to be told, that makes Epic and Travel so close in form, and we will experiment with our own episodic epic journeys, chronological and psychological. As the poet Rilke says, There is only one journey. Going inside yourself.
Besides the experiments in creative writing, there will be four or five short (1 page) papers, a short collective rendition (your own translation from other translations), two combo written/objective exams, videos of Joseph Campbell on mythology and epic, a crash course in Freud and Jung, and other explorations and modes of exploration of epic/travel narratives. The course is definitely Writing Intensive, but also subliminally mythopoeic.
English 180 - Escape from Civilization
Most people think of Acivilization as a good thing: as the place in which we find a home and safety with other human beings. Sigmund Freud, however, postulated in Civilization and Its Discontents that society demands a significant trade-off, in which we repress our most basic instincts in exchange for the benefits that come with living communally. It's a reasonable trade, but one that, according to Freud, leaves us repressed and unhappy much of the time. In this course we will examine a wide variety of novels, plays, short stories, and films in which individuals attempt to break free from the constraining rules (sexual, social, and otherwise) that society imposes. Students will write three papers and a number of response papers, in addition to passing frequent reading quizzes. Writing Intensive.
English 180 - The Fall and After
When we feared the dragons, were we fearing a part of ourselves?, asks Carl Sagan in The Dragons of Eden-a good question. . . and one this course attempts to answer. For as Loren Eiseley has written, The study of Eden is a greater allegory than man has ever guessed. For it was truly man who, walking through the bars of sunlight and shade in the morning of the world, sat down and passed a wondering hand across his heavy forehead. Time and darkness, knowledge of good and evil, have walked with us ever since. In one way or another all of us have and will reenact the Fall; for it is a paradigm, a symbol, Paul Tillich has written, for the human situation universally, not... a story of an event that happened once upon a time. This class explores the implications of the myth-how do the garden, the serpent, the tree of knowledge, surface in our lives? Is the Fall fortunate or unfortunate? Can cultures fall? What about the future world (Arthur Clarke says of HAL the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a serpent had entered his electronic Eden-hmmm, can a computer choose? Fall? To examine the theme the class will explore a wide range of literature from Coleridge to Toni Morrison. It will include a variety of works such as Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Camus's The Fall, James Dickey's Deliverance, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Morrison's Sula or similar texts, and a number of short stories and some poetry. Cross disciplinary in nature, the course reflects on the commonality of the theme as it surfaces in various academic areas, in popular culture, and in the events that constantly occur around us. Students will be asked to write two or three essays, occasionally prepare written assignments for class discussion, and complete a project reflecting each person's personal exploration of the theme using whatever mode of inquiry and whatever texts she or he wishes. The project will be shared with the class at the end of the term. There will be a final examination and likely a midterm. Writing intensive/A Course.
English 180 - Scribbling Women and Oprah=s Book Club
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne Adissed 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 and home, courtship and marriage. And crankiness aside, Hawthorne was right: the leading bestsellers of the nineteenth century were, by and large, authored (and read) by women.
> This course will engage those texts and their 21st-century legacy. Thus, we'll read the potboilers of a bygone age-novels that garnered almost cultic followings in their time, including Uncle Tom's Cabin and Little Women. And we'll read contemporary texts that-with Oprah's stamp of approval=likewise attract a massive popular audience: Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World, and others. Do these texts do similar cultural and personal work? Has Oprah initiated a reading phenomenon that we've seen before?
Intellectual exercises and projects will include a reading journal and essay, group presentations, in-class writings, a critical paper, and a final exam.
English 190 - AThe Modern World as Read
The kaleidoscope of world literature suggests that the impulse to tell stories, sing songs, and act out conflict is universal. This course deliberately focuses on the sweep of 20th-century fiction, poetry, and drama outside the western tradition: from Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean. A multicultural approach is consistent with the goal of making students aware of the diversity of human experience. This semester, the course is NOT writing intensive.
English 190C - Afro-Caribbean Studies: Migratory Subjects
Caribbean Studies: Migratory Subjects will examine major writers from contemporary Caribbean literature. The course will introduce students to the literary works and cultural history of English-speaking Caribbean authors who have migrated from their respective Islands to the U.S., Canada and Europe. In Caribbean Studies: Migratory Subjects, we will examine short stories, poetry, political essays and novels as an entry point into the migratory experience that aids in the formation of nationhood for Caribbean writers of the African Diaspora. Students will be introduced to writers such as George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Grace Nichols, and Derek Walcott.
English 200 - Introduction to the Discipline of English
English 200 is an ambitious course, one that sets out to raise the foundational questions of our discipline (what we read and why we read it), as well as to introduce students to some of the ways that we locate meaning in texts (how we read). This version of the course will address the two vexing prior questions in the midst of an extended consideration of the third. To this end, the course will begin with a unit devoted to the practice of Aclose reading@ before proceeding to a survey of several influential theoretical approaches to reading and writing about literature. Throughout the course I will encourage students to take interpretive risks with the newly-acquired theoretical and analytical resources by offering their own readings of selected texts. Students will memorize and recite selected poetry, keep a journal of reading responses, write three mid-length papers, and take a midterm and final exam. Writing intensive.
English 240 - Beginning Creative Writing
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 genresBfiction, 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 on 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 WI, and is a pre-requisite for all advanced English 322 courses. Pre-requisite for Engl 240 is Engl 101, and Engl 180 (or 170 or 190) is strongly recommended. It's not a good first semester Freshman course, though experienced writers may by-pass these prerequisites (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.
English 240 - Beginning Creative Writing
In this class we will be exploring a variety of genres, texts, and approaches to creative writing. The focus will be on poetry and fiction , with some attention on creative non-fiction and drama. This is a class for READERS and writers, so please be prepared to do quite a bit of both. You will be required to do weekly readings, and creative projects, as well as participating in evaluative workshops of your classmates' work. In addition to the creative writing assignments throughout the semester you will be required to complete one large project toward the end of the semester, which will count as a significant percentage of your over-all grade.
English 241 - Beginning Journalism
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. The course is writing intensive.
Prerequisite: English 101
English 242 - Writing and Peer Editing
This intermediate writing course will help students both write more fluently and become more effective critics of their own and others= writing. Designed chiefly for prospective writing advisors in the Writing Center, it also attracts future teachers, those needing editing skills in a later profession, and those who simply wish to strengthen their writing. The course focuses on the personal essay, a genre which encourages individuality and creativity, and emphasizes collaborative learning; the main text is the students= own writing. Through a combination of readings, writing exercises and projects, and peer editing sessions, students will explore a variety of rhetorical strategies, audiences, structures, and styles. Class organization features a workshop approach and practical experience. This course is limited to 15 students, and the instructor=s permission is required before enrolling.
Prerequisite: English 101
English 243 - Business and Professional Writing
Technical communication is a fast-paced occupation full of deadlines. The technical communicator needs to acquire skills of punctuality, organization, strong discipline, and responsibility. This course will focus on those skills as well as the skills required to become a competent technical communicator in the growing field. This class will be structured similarly to a technical communicator=s environment. Through projects assigned in the class, students will learn a reader-centered writing process that can be implemented in their study of the profession. Students should expect to use the computer in-class lab sessions and be open to learning new ways to use technology.
English 280 - Survey of British Literature I
In the course, we will read, discuss, and write about representative texts from the Middle Ages to the beginnings of the British novel in the eighteenth century. We will also seek to locate these texts within the historical and ideological conditions which helped to determine their meaning for their contemporary readers. The course will focus on several themes, such as the construction of the self and the relationship of literature to the state. These themes will help us organize and familiarize a diverse body of literature that can often feel quite foreign to the modern reader. Early British attitudes toward the writer, reader, the text can also vary from our own and we will remain attentive to how these attitudes change over the centuries. In the process, you will acquire a basic knowledge of literary terms, styles, forms, critical concepts and significant dates. Finally, we will step back from these concerns to reflect on how English is made and why it is that we read these particular works as representative. This course is discussion-based and writing intensive. There will be a midterm and final examination, two formal papers, and frequent response papers.
Prerequisite: English 200
English 280 - Survey of British Literature I
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 genresBepic and romance, tragedy and comedy, prose fictionBemerge, 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 lecture, but will be discussion-based. Requirements include several shorter exams on literary periods and a comprehensive final; two or three formal papers and several informal responses to the reading. Writing intensive.
Prerequisite: English 200
English 290 - American Survey I
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 302 - British Survey II
Writing in the early decades of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf famously proclaimed that Aon or about December 1910 human character changed. Clearly, though, the world was not transformed overnight; indeed, the issues that shaped the 19th century in many ways inaugurated the vast changes that would also come to define the 20th. The first half of this course will be devoted to the poets and essayists of the 19th century, paying special attention to the work of Keats, Wordsworth, and Tennyson and to essays concerning the woman question, evolution, and the consequences of industrialism. The second half of the syllabus will focus on the phenomenon known as British Modernism, concentrating on the short fiction of Woolf, Lawrence, Joyce, and Mansfield, as well as the poetry of Yeats and T.S. Eliot. Students will be asked to take frequent reading quizzes, as well as a midterm and final exam. Two formal interpretative papers will also be required.
English 307 - The Theatre of the Eighteenth Century: Performing the Self
On one hand, the theatre of the eighteenth century is absurdly trivial, replete with domestic dramas in which lovers make hasty entrances and exits, and where little is accomplished beyond the delivery of a witty, and usually downright bawdy, comment. On the other hand, the eighteenth-century theatre is remarkably significant: for the first time, women are on the stage, stars are in the making, and even the spectator becomes the object of furious speculation. In fact, the theatrical emerges as one of the dominating tropes of the period.
In this course, we will read the significant playwrights of the period, a list that includes both male and female authors (i.e., Aphra Behn, William Congrove, William Wycherley, Oliver Goldsmith, Susanna Centlivre, and Robert Sheridan, to name just a few). But we will also look at the drama behind the stage (and by that, I mean more than the gossip of the period, although we will look at some of that as well.) We will examine how the trope of theatricality helps to shape our very notion of self, how this period=s pervasive anxiety over performance begins to fashion our own inner terrain. Hence, we will read selections from several autobiographies of the period (those of Fanny Burney, James Boswell and Olaudah Equiano) and, in serial installments, the novel Clarissa.
Finally, we will stage our own theatre of the eighteenth century, donning the masks of both the players and the spectators. Our final project will be the staging of selected scenes from these dramas, with class members both playing the parts and reproducing the conditions of the original production. Other assignments will include a midterm and final exam, two formal papers, and frequent informal response papers. Writing intensive.
English 315 - Novels of the African Diaspora
Novels of the African Disapora will examine several major authors of African descent. The course will review the cultural history of the African diaspora through literature that spans Africa, The Caribbean, England and the United States. We will read 4-5 novels, a few essays, and quite a bit of poetry in this course that introduces students to post-colonial studies in Africana literature. Authors to look forward to reading include: Derek Walcott, W.E.B. DuBois, Chinua Achebe, Norbese Phillip, Edwidge Danticat, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
English 318 - Women in Literature I
It has been common knowledge for ages that women exist, bear children, have no beards, and seldom go bald; but save in these respects. . . we know little of them, because, says Virginia Woolf, women have seldom told their own stories. In all the libraries of the world the man is to be heard talking to himself and for the most part about himself. In this course we will listen women and what they say about women=s lives during a period when educational, legal, and cultural conditions made it almost impossible for women to write. The course will focus primarily on women writersBfrom medieval storytellers and visionaries to early novelists and Jane Austen but we will also look at the ways women shaped literary tradition as patrons, readers, and audiences. We will set these readings in a context of social history and of images of women found in a few canonical male writers (Chaucer's Wife of Bath, Shakespeare's Shrew, Milton's Eve). We will focus on central cultural themes: women's speech and silence, woman as subversive other (unruly women, shrews, witches, sinners), women as chaste, erotic, or maternal bodies, the relation of public and private power (goddesses, queens, amazons; mothers, daughters, mistresses). The course will raise critical questions about how the literary canon is formed, how literature shapes and is shaped by culture, how gender is constructed, how our own lives are rooted in the speech and silences of the past. This course complements British Survey I and provides a foundation for Women in Literature II, to be offered in alternate years.
Short papers, one involving interdisciplinary research (social, legal, or medical history, art history, feminist theory); a take-home exam. Discussion format with occasional background lectures and slides.
English 321 - Advanced Journalism
This course will focus on honing the skills needed for a career in journalism, with a heavy focus on producing publicationBquality work. Areas covered will include advanced news reporting techniques, magazine writing, editing, journalistic issues and ethics, and writing for radio and television. We will learn by doingBstudents will write and submit at least one full-length magazine story and a number of shorter articles. Each student will be expected to do an outside internship at Wittenberg=s Torch or a comparable journalistic organization.
The course is designed for students serious about pursuing a career in journalism or a related field. The course is, obviously enough, writing intensive.
Prerequisite: English 241, Beginning Journalism
English 322 - Advanced Creative Writing: Creative Non-fiction
This is a WI writing course with prerequisites 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 rubric 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 the travel narrative. It will not 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 read and write a lot.
English 330 - Major Authors: Robert Frost
The focus of this course will be on the development of Robert Frost as a poet. The complete poetry of Frost will be studied in the light of the literary traditions of which he first sought, and later insisted, to be a part and of the many wise things Frost wrote and said about poetry. Students will be required to write 1) a short essay of practical criticism; 2) a medium essay, (7-8 pages) describing a volume of poetry in the context of Frost=s biography; and 3) a longer researched essay on an approved topic, with enough range to interest students from other majors.
English 380 - The Divided Self
If each, I told myself, could be be housed in separate entities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the aspirations of his more upright twin. . . . It was the curse of mankind that . . . . in the agonized womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously struggling. -Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
I fear losing my devil lest I lose my angels as well. -Rilke
GENERAL DESCRIPTION. The shift to subjective reality and the emergence of the Self as the center of values in Romantic literature led to the extensive exploration of the inner Self in much early modern literature. This course explores the concept of the Divided Self and its various related themes (The Other, The Doppelganger, The Opposing Self, The Mirror Image, The Androgynous Self, the Shadow Figure) in a range of literature in the post-Romantic age, mostly in 19th and 20th century works, including texts by Mary Shelley, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Charlotte Gilman , Fyodor Dostoyevsky, James Dickey, and Toni Morrison (and various poetical texts and shorter prose pieces). During the course, reference will be made to various psychological and critical studies of the topic. Class discussion will be an essential component in the class, and at times two or three students will prepare collaborative assignments to help direct class discussion. Writing will be a major part of the course, including some informal outside and in-class writing and two or three more formal short essays. Students will be asked to complete an independent project exploring the theme at the end of the course. There will be a final examination at the time scheduled by the Registrar.
NOTE: This course satisfies the English major requirement for a course in a later period of literature.
English 401 - Senior Seminar: Of Bodies, Pleasures, and Texts
To write significant works of literary criticism students must grapple with literary theory, which a) is often difficult and b) does not always give them pleasure, especially at first, because it is a discipline, and c) they therefore sometimes feel like all this thinking about thinking and reading and writing and etc. is pointless. That is the first premise of this course, whether you like it or not. Hence, although it may not seem like it at first, all activity in this course will be directed to the production of 20-30 page critical essays on a piece of literature that pleases you. But that very pleasure is precisely the question that this course will most closely examine: can we as readers trust the pleasure we feel in reading? Does that pleasure sometimes, or even perhaps always, signify a participation in having one's own sense of power and cultural status confirmed-and often at the expense of others who are less powerful? Or can physical, visceral pleasure-particularly when it is felt as a nameless sort of hunger, a kind of bliss, perhaps signify that we are in the presence of something worth paying attention to? [Emily Dickinson says, If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that it is off, I know that it is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?] Frequent group and individual conferences, often in lieu of class discussions, will ensure the primacy of your work. In addition to the research paper, you will write responses to each reading assignment, an annotated bibliography, and perform one informal oral presentation as well as one formal presentation. Books: selections from Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, Woolf, A Room of One's Own; Dickinson, Open Me Carefully; Foucault, A History of Sexuality, Vol. 1; McWhorter, Bodies and Pleasure, and Ensler, The Vagina Monologues.
English 401 - Senior Seminar: Mapping Paradise Lost
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.
English 402 - Senior Writing Seminar
English 402 is the capstone writing seminar for the English Major with a Writing Concentration. Students will produce a creative portfolio of at least 20 pages and a critical thesis of at least 10 pages. Creative work will be either fiction or creative non-fiction. The thesis will focus on some aspect of the literary world that relates to your own writing an influential writer or writers, a school of literary theory, etc. Students will workshop one another's writing regularly, and will conference with the professor on their own work several times during the semester. At semester's end, each student will give a public reading from his or her creative work. Each student will also present and defend the critical paper to a faculty panel as the oral part of the senior comprehensive exercises.
English 402 - Senior Writing Seminar
An intensive, workshop-style course, English 402 is the capstone writing seminar for the English Major with a Writing Concentration. This section will emphasize poetry writing and the writer's craft more generally. The thesis for the course will include a portfolio of new and revised creative work; and introductory essay describing the genesis, aims, and composition of this work; and a substantial critical paper on an author whose work reflects the student's own concerns as a writer. Students will write extensively over the course of the semester, but they will also read and discuss the writing of their peers as well as contemporary works by established writers. Each student will present his or her thesis in shortened form to a committee of English Department faculty near the end of the term and will give a final public reading.M
AMERICAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT
COURSE DESCRIPTION SPRING 2002
American Studies 100
American Studies applies a variety of disciplines and methodologies to an examination of American culture.
This semester, American Studies 100 will focus on a single book, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, examining it as a product of and catalyst on the larger American society. We will, however, examine it from a wide variety of points of view: we'll listen to Woodie Guthrie songs and watch feature films and newsreels and travel Route 66. We'll apply approaches from literature and sociology, history and political science architecture and agriculture. Though The Grapes of Wrath provides the focus, we'll read several other books as well. Writing will include several short papers as well as one long one. Active class participation is a must.