ENGLISH DEPARTMENT COURSES
English 100 [W]
Focuses on rhetorical awareness. In this course, students will explore the reading and writing practices of the academic community. Through primary and secondary research, and through guided writing practice, students will critically examine what these practices mean and consider how students’ own reading and writing practices fit into those of “the Academy.” While additional texts may be assigned, writing produced by students in the class will serve as the principal texts of the course. Additional texts may include Graff & Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say, Harris’ Rewriting: How to do things with Texts, and Richard Lanham’s Revising Prose.
English 100-01: Introduction to Academic Writing
In this section of English 100, “The Heartbeat of America: Writing about the World of Work,” we will explore different kinds of work in contemporary U.S. culture. We will read and discuss narratives of men and women’s working lives and explore the changing nature of work in the post-industrial United States. We will read and respond to texts in variety of genres, including oral histories, memoirs, academic essays, and scholarly writings. We will also read and respond to one another’s writing. Prerequisite: FYS [W] Enrollment is restricted to first-year and sophomore students.
Professor Tatu MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
English 100-02: Introduction to Academic Writing
Focuses on rhetorical awareness. In this course, students will explore the reading and writing practices of the academic community. Through primary and secondary research, and through guided writing practice, students will critically examine what these practices mean and consider how students’ own reading and writing practices fit into those of “the Academy.” While additional texts may be assigned, writing produced by students in the class will serve as the principal texts of the course. Note: This class will be of particular interest to students who have had limited experience with academic writing. Prerequisite: FYS [W] Enrollment is restricted to first-year and sophomore students.
Professor Clayton MWF 3:10 – 4:00 p.m.
English118: Children’s Literature [H, V (Pending)]
An introduction to selected works and critical and theoretical frameworks central to the study of Anglo-American children’s literature. For the final project, students will compose an original picture book.
Professor Falbo MWF 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
English 151: Introduction to Creative Writing [H, W]
An introduction to the fundamentals of creative writing, focusing on strategies for generating, developing, revising, and editing in the genres of poetry and fiction. Through intensive reading, writing, and discussion, students will explore ways to enhance their own creative processes as they identify and seek to duplicate techniques employed by imaginative writers. In turn, students will discover ways to critique the creative work of their peers and to respond with insight to the imaginative writing of a diverse range of writers. Open to first-year students & sophomores. (W)
Professor Upton TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 174: Chicana/o Literature
A sense of place will guide this exploration of Chicana/o literature. We will examine how Mexican American authors represent distinct regional and national identities. Each literary text captures a dynamic relationship between community and space. Settings we will consider include East Los Angeles, the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, Latino neighborhoods in Chicago and New York, and the increasingly militarized border between the US and Mexico. Analyzing Chicana/o fiction and non-fiction written since the 19th century, we will discuss how Mexican American writers have both challenged and enriched popular genres and themes in American Literature. We will also study how Chicana feminist writers created new intersectional frameworks for writing and reading literature in the 1970s and 1980s that would ultimately transform dominant academic and literary traditions. This course will address a variety of Chicana/o fiction and non-fiction written by authors including Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Jovita González, Oscar Casares, Ana Castillo, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Rudolfo Anaya, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Tomás Rivera, Luis Urrea, and current U.S. poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
Professor Uzendoski MWF 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
English 202: Writing Seminar [W]
Writing seminars are courses that make writing and language their explicit subject. Examples include seminars in writing genres (memoir and travel writing), in rhetoric and argument, or in the way language and discourse constitute particular cultural constructions (“the animal” or “race”). While each seminar has a specific focus (to be announced in its subtitle), all seminars emphasize the process of academic reading and writing and use student writing as a primary text. Prerequisite: FYS.
English 202-01: Writing Seminar- “Human Rights and Rhetoric.”
This course will examine core principles of rhetoric and writing by engaging the theme of human rights. After studying the basic principles of human rights, students will explore numerous ways that writers and artists use human rights rhetoric to advocate the rights of individuals and collective groups. Historical events that will be discussed in class include the Holocaust, the Sierra Leone civil war, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. To better understand how writers and artists craft their appeals to respond to these specific historical contexts, we will analyze a variety of genres—such as academic essays, memoirs, short stories, documentaries, films, graphic novels, and investigative reporting. By exploring rhetorical strategies through the lens of human rights, we will examine the power and limitations of language for vulnerable groups to protest abuse and instigate political and social change in the world.
Professor Uzendoski MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
English 202-02: Writing Seminar- Creating America: Arguments and Conversations
In this course, we will explore some of the core arguments and conversations in American cultures. We will consider how these arguments throughout American history influence what we think and write about today. Questions we may ask include: Who are Americans? What are their dreams? How do they define work and success? What defines an American family? Why and how do Americans construct an “enemy”? We will analyze, evaluate, and reflect on the strategies various writers and speakers use to appeal to different audiences while creating our own persuasive writing portfolios.
Professor Clayton MWF 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
English 202-03 & 04: Writing Seminar – Grammar, Style, and the Politics of the English Language
This course will ask students to refine their writing styles as they think about the relationship among grammar, style, and meaning making. It will be grounded in a socio-linguistic framework that assumes we are studying an evolving language shared by many disparate groups and used toward competing ends. As such, it will approach grammar and style as complex phenomena that invoke various linguistic, socio-cultural, and political questions. The course will ask students to think and write about practical and theoretical manifestations of these questions: How do different writing styles work and what rhetorical effects can they produce? How did Standard Written English become standard? Is splitting an infinitive as bad as chewing with your mouth open? And is a grapholect just a dialect with an army?
Section 03 TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Section 04 TR 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.
Writing for the Ear – 30730 – ENG 202 – 05
In an age of ever shifting media platforms, podcasts – stories written for the ear – might seem like a throwback. But they’re more popular than ever. Studies show podcast listening grew 23 percent between 2015 and 2016. Students will create their own podcasts, learn how audio stories differ from print and find what stories works. They’ll write scripts, conduct interviews and find stories.
Professor Parrish Monday, 7-9:50 PM
English 205: Seminar in Textual Practices [H]
This course provides students with an introduction to the theory and methodology of literary study by focusing on three questions: What is a literary text? How do we read a literary text? How do we write about a literary text? By considering the rhetorical, aesthetic, and ideological issues that determine literary value, students examine their assumptions about literature. Required of all English majors and minors. Prerequisite: Any 100-level literature course
This course introduces students to some of the questions they should be asking as English majors: what is a text? Why are some texts considered literary? How do professors and scholars think about texts, and why should we care? Such questions are centered around short stories by O’Connor, Salinger, Gilman, Hawthorne, poetry from a range of writers, The Waste Land, Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Lolita, and True West. These primary texts will be supplemented by numerous critical readings.
Professor Belletto TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Primary texts in section 2 of English 205 will include Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Henry James’s The Turn of The Screw, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus. These readings will be supplemented with secondary essays that exemplify various schools of critical interpretation, including reader-response, psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, and deconstructive interpretive strategies.
Professor Cefalu TR 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.
English 206: Literary History
How is literary history constructed? What is the canon of great works and how is it formed? This course inquires into the specific cultural practices that construct literature and engages students in an exploration of canon formation, marginalization, intertextuality, and influence. Readings are chosen from British, American, and Anglophone literatures and from various genres; texts from at least three literary periods are studied in depth. Prerequisite: Any 100-level English course.
English 206-01: Literary History
The focus of this section—“Medieval-ish: The Idea of the Middle Ages”—is on how the medieval period gets talked about in post-medieval literature and popular culture. We’ll pair medieval stories of Beowulf, King Arthur, and Robin Hood, among others, with modern reimaignings of these stories in Romantic poetry and in the fantasy writing of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (of Game of Thrones fame). Our goal is to explore how our ideas and fantasies about the medieval period have structured the literary canon as, in part, a series of attempts to come to grips with a past that seems remote from us even as we depend upon it to define ourselves.
Professor Wadiak MWF 2:10 – 3:00 p.m.
English 206-02: Literary History: Theorizing Early Modernism
This semester we will focus on texts that were originally written during the Early Modern period (16th through 17th centuries) and then radically re-written or re-interpreted according to romantic, modern and postmodern sensibilities. Our primary texts will be supplemented by critical essays on the question of periodization and the origins of terms like “classical, “ “Renaissance,” “Reformation,” “Early Modern,” “Restoration,” “Romanticism” “Modernism,” and “Postmodernism.” One of our goals will be to determine the range of choices made by readers, publishers, critics, authors that contribute to the construction of literary history. Primary texts will include Beowulf, Gardner’s Grendel, More’s Utopia, Huxley’s Brave New World, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Coetzee’s Foe, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest in relation to postcolonial reimaginings of Shakespearean romance. This course satisfies the literary history requirement for the English major. Prerequisite: Beginning with the Class of 2017, any introductory English Department course (101-199) or AP Credit.
Professor Cefalu TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 231: Journalistic Writing [W]
This course introduces the fundamentals of journalism through its most basic form: news reporting. Students will learning how to write clearly and succinctly, conduct interviews, locate and use accurate and relevant information, think analytically, recognize a good story, and work on deadline. The course also examines the changing media landscape as it pertains to digital media and the role of the journalist in a democratic society. Prerequisite: FYS.
Professor Parrish Tues. 7:00 – 9:50 p.m.
English 245: International Literature [H, GM1, GM2]
“International literature” calls for an expansion of the traditional canon of British and American texts that has long been the staple of English studies. Over the last few decades especially, several highly regarded world authors have emerged whose presence has dramatically altered the literary scene. This course introduces us to a variety of these authors who broaden the scope of our literary education and both challenge and enrich our perception of the world. Literature, then, serves as a critical tool enabling us to encounter a changing world that invites us to look beyond the comfort of our usual literary horizons.
Professor I. Smith TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
ENG 250 Writing Genres [W]
Writing Genres introduces students to the expectations and purposes of a particular written genre and offers them intensive practice composing texts that function within the conventions and boundaries of this genre. Students will compose multiple texts in drafts, participate in workshops and discussions, and produce critical analyses and reviews. Sample genres include the essay, autobiography, hypertext and electronic media, travel writing, and science writing. The English Department will distribute a description of the specific genre(s) under consideration before the registration period each semester.
English 250-01: Writing Genres – Professional Writing and Communication
In this workshop course, we will define, examine, analyze, and practice professional writing and communication through the rhetorical concepts of audience, purpose, and context. We will develop and strengthen the ability to think critically, understand visual design principles, deliver presentations, communicate effectively as part of a team, and understand the written and presentation conventions of several different subgenres of professional writing and communication. Work for this course includes multiple individual and team written documents and several individual and team presentations.
Professor Clayton MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m.
English 250-02: Writing Genres: Playwrighting
This workshop course introduces students to the expectations and purposes of writing for the theater and offers them intensive practice composing and revising texts that function within the conventions and boundaries of the genre. Students will compose multiple texts in drafts, participate in workshops and discussions, meet with practicing playwrights, attend plays and readings, and develop and revise a short play. Special attention in the course will be given to the ways writing a play differs from writing for film or television. Readings will include numerous contemporary plays. Students should note that this course will require attendance at some evening and weekend events.
Professor O’Neill MW 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 256: Fiction Writing Workshop [W]
An intensive workshop course in fiction writing at the intermediate level. Students will compose short stories, study the art and craft of accomplished fiction writers, and participate in revision and editing workshops. Increasingly complex short story structures will be analyzed and practiced as the semester develops. A final portfolio of fiction will be required. (W)
Prerequisites: English 151 or English 255 or permission of instructor. “For permission, contact Professor Upton through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Professor Upton TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 300: Chaucer [H,W]
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (c. 1386-1400) dramatizes the story-telling competition among a group of travelers thrown together by chance. As the contest evolves from a way of passing the time into a wide-ranging and sometimes heated debate, the question of how we should engage with fictional narratives—whether to laugh, shudder, get mad, get even, or break down in tears—takes center stage in a poem that asks us to think about the ultimate value of the stories we tell each other. We will read all two dozen Canterbury tales—from romances and animal fables to tales of seduction and trickery—along with a smattering of early verse. We’ll explore the stories both for themselves and for what they might tell us about Chaucer’s evolving sense of himself as a writer doing something unprecedented. Readings are in the Middle English of Chaucer’s day, but no prior experience is assumed or required. Prerequisite: ENG 205 and ENG 210, or permission of the instructor.
Professor Wadiak MW 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.
English 301: Shakespeare [W]
Often regarded as sitting at the pinnacle of English literary studies, Shakespeare is not an unreachable figure but one whose texts resonate dynamically with issues of a writer embedded in and responsive to his society. Working in the public commercial theater of his time, he was subject to the derision, criticism, and marginalization that accompanied bias and condemnation. What kind of Shakespeare emerges from such a pressure-filled social context: the elite playwright and poet that most students invariably encounter or a writer and thinker fully committed to the politics of language and art? Prerequisite ENG 205 and a literary history course (ENG 206, ENG 210, ENG 211, ENG 212, or ENG 213), or permission of the instructor.
Professor I. Smith TR 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.
English 304: American Writers: Hemingway/Faulkner [H,W]
Hemingway and Faulkner remain the two best-known American novelists of the twentieth century. No American writers have been more widely acclaimed or had more influence on the writing of fiction by others. The distinctive styles and narrative methods of each have fostered several generations of imitators and innovators. In this course, students will read and discuss major and minor works by Hemingway and by Faulkner, attempting to assess through an analysis of style, theme, and narrative perspective the basis of their separate claims to be major literary figures of the twentieth century. Prerequisite: English 205 and a literary history course (English 206, 207, 210, 211, 212, or 213), or permission of the instructor.
Professor Johnson MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m.
English 327: Victorians [H,W]
The Victorians examines the prose, poetry and fiction of the British Victorian period (~1837-1901). We explore how these works of literature respond to and influence central Victorian themes such as the Industrial Revolution, the “Woman Question,” the rise of the middle class, and faith and science. The Victorian era marks the painful and exciting rise of the modern capitalist, urban age. Its literature—varied, challenging, and extraordinarily creative—reflects the triumphs and fears of a society awash in profound and rapid change. Prerequisite: English 205 and a literary history course (English 206, 207, 210, 211, 212, or 213), or permission of the instructor.
Professor Armstrong TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 337: Milton [H,W]
“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary.” These famous lines from Areopagitica (1644) were written by John Milton, not only one of England’s greatest national poets, but also a profoundly influential theologian, philosopher and revolutionary apologist for the execution of England’s King, Charles I, in 1649. In this course we will read Paradise Lost in its entirety and selections from Milton’s prose and other poetry, focusing not only on literary themes, style and genre, but also on the place of Milton’s writings in the history of religious and political thought. We will devote considerable attention to Milton’s radicalism, including both his theological “heresies” and left-leaning political sympathies. With regard to Paradise Lost, we will consider Milton’s unique conception of the creation narrative and the “characters” of Adam and Eve, Christ, God, and arguably Milton’s most magnificent creation, Satan. Was Milton, as William Blake provocatively asserted, “of the devil’s party without knowing it?” Why does Milton depict Adam and Eve as hard laborers in so-called Paradise? In raising and attempting to answer these questions, we will spend considerable time reading secondary criticism on Milton’s theological and philosophical viewpoints. Prerequisite: ENG 205 and
ENG 210, or permission of the instructor.
Professor Cefalu W 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
English 343: American Fiction to the Gilded Age [W]
In this survey of American literature, we will read foundational texts by American authors written in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through our readings, we will examine how literary representations of two distinct narrative settings—the American frontier and the American city—were essential to the building of a unique American identity. The authors discussed in this class were among the first to distinguish American literature from other national literatures. Considering how post-independence American writers published fictional and non-fictional texts in order to define the American ethos—what it means to be an American—we will examine how the birth of a new literary tradition was intrinsically tied to the birth of a new nation. Authors discussed in this course include Edgar Allen Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, James Fennimore Cooper, William Apess, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Henry James, Herman Melville, Harriet Jacobs, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman. Prerequisite: ENG 205 and a literary history course (ENG 206, ENG 210, ENG 211, ENG 212, or ENG 213), or permission of the instructor.
Professor Uzendoski MWF 2:10 – 3:00 p.m.
English 361: Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry [W]
Intensive weekly workshop in poetry. The course requires completion of advanced exercises in structure and style and the composition of an ambitious final portfolio of poetry. Prerequisites: English 250 or English 251 or English 255 or permission of instructor. Students who wish to take the course should contact Professor Fernandes by e-mail at email@example.com as soon as possible to gain permission.
Professor Fernandes W 1:10 – 4:00 p.m.
English 365: Seminar in Literary Criticism [W]
English 365: Seminar in Literary Criticism An advanced introduction to the history of literary criticism and its dominant theoretical practices. Students read representative texts from various schools of criticism, such as structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, psychoanalysis, gender studies, and cultural studies, and apply them to several literary works. Recommended for students seeking honors in English or considering graduate study in literature. Prerequisite: English 205 and a literary history course (English 206 or 212). or permission of the instructor. [W]
Professor Fernandes MW 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.
English/Thtr 369: Women in American Theater – Writers in Focus
This course will examine the significant contributions of women to the development of theatre throughout its history, with a particular focus on women’s roles in writing and creating theatre in the United States over the last century. Students will study significant female theatre practitioners, as well as notable plays and musicals created, directed, designed and/or produced by women. In addition, students will explore theory, criticism, productions and interviews relating to these plays, playwrights and practitioners. Prerequisite: ENG 205, and a literary history course (ENG 206, ENG 210, ENG 211, ENG 212, or ENG 213), or permission of the instructor.
Professor Lodge TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m. (WAC Theater, 248 N. 3rd Street)
English 385: The Beats
Are you now or have you ever been a hipster? Are any of your loved ones hipsters? Ever been to Williamsburg or Greenpoint only to be overcome with awe at the sights and sounds of hipsterdom? If so, you may be interested to learn that we owe this particular cultural phenomenon to a group of writers who were the original American hipsters: the so-called “Beat Generation.” The Beat literary movement began with a small group of friends in New York and San Francisco in the 1940s and 1950s, but eventually radiated out to achieve worldwide significance. In fact a far cry from the hipsters of today, the Beats produced some of the most interesting and enduring literature of the twentieth century, even as they were dismissed by academic critics as lazy, “know-nothing bohemians.” Works like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, and William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch are now recognized as classics of American literature, and for decades generations of young people embraced these and other Beat works as their guides to the authentic life. Indeed, Beat literature has influenced everyone from The Beatles (who borrowed the term when they named their band) to Thomas Pynchon to Maxine Hong Kingston to our most recent Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Bob Dylan. This course examines the Beat Generation as it was constructed by the Beats themselves and by the culture in and against which they wrote and lived. We will look at how Beat texts initiate a conversation about the values and self-image of America from the 1940s well into the 1970s and beyond, leveling trenchant critiques of race and class in America, and introducing frank discussions of previously taboo topics such as “free love,” homosexuality, and drug use. We will therefore examine Beat writing both in terms of its political critique and its considerable aesthetic innovations. We will read not only the “major” Beat writers mentioned above, but also many others who were crucial to the movement, including Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. We will also focus attention on African American Beats, including Ted Joans, Bob Kaufman, and LeRoi Jones; Beat women writers, including Bonnie Bremser, Hettie Jones, Joyce Johnson, Joanne Kyger, and Lenore Kandel; and other groundbreaking poets such as Philip Whalen, John Wieners, Philip Lamantia, Lew Welch, Tuli Kupferberg, and Ed Sanders. The course will include trips to Skillman Library Special Collections, which is building an archive of Beat-related materials, including “little magazines” and rare poetry books from the 1950s and 1960s. Prerequisite: ENG 205 and a literary history course (ENG 206, ENG 210, ENG 211, ENG 212, or ENG 213), or permission of the instructor.
Professor Belletto TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m