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 TheySay/I Say, Harris’ Rewriting: How to do things with Texts, and Richard Lanham’s Revising Prose. Prerequisite: FYS. Enrollment is restricted to first-year and sophomore students.
English 100-01: Academic Writing -Writing about the world of work [W]
In our reading and writing this semester, 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. You will read and respond, both orally and in writing, to texts from a variety of genres, including oral histories, memoirs, academic essays, and scholarly writings from such fields as history, economics, and sociology. The primary emphasis, however, will be on your writing and that of your peers. Students will contribute to a class blog site and be graded on their contributions to an ongoing discussion about issues in the world of work.
Professor Tatu MWF 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
English 100-02: Introduction to Academic Writing [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.
Professor Uzendowski TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 100-03: Introduction to Academic Writing [W]
Writing enhancement in academic settings for non-native speakers of English. Includes reading and analysis of published essays, practice in research, and production of a research paper. Writing skills are designed to build fundamental skills step by step through exploration of rigorous academic content. Critical thinking skills move from skill building to application of the skills that require critical thinking. Permission of the instructor required.
Professor Kang, TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 116: Film and Literature: Blackness in Print; Blackness on Screen [H]
From the minstrel show to contemporary issues in film and representation like #OscarsSoWhite, African Americans have always had a precarious relationship to film. On the one hand, film has been a vehicle for African Americans to assert their political, social and cultural agency; on the other, film has also been a technology that ensnares African Americans into the same controlling images and stereotypes that both produce and perpetuate their dehumanization and require white affirmation for legibility and validity. Nevertheless, African American literary figures have still found themselves drawn to this cultural medium. This course will explore the various intersections of African American literature and film from the early twentieth century to the contemporary moment. What was it about the Negro Federal Theatre that drew Harlem Renaissance luminaries like Zora Neale Hurston and Arna Bontemps to its productions? Why did James Baldwin find film criticism essential to his overall critique of racial politics in American writ large in The Devil Finds Work? What could Isaac Julien’s film Looking for Langston tell us about Langston Hughes that his writing could not? This course will consider these questions as well as contemporary film and television adaptations of popular African American novels and plays including Their Eyes Were Watching God, Fences, Queen Sugar, and Moonlight.
Professor Gill-Sadler MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
English 119: Literary Women [GM1, H]
This semester Literary Women will focus on fiction, plays, and poems that depict the experiences of girls and women living in poverty or near-poverty conditions. We will examine U.S. public discourse about poor women, and contrast this discourse with the stories that impoverished women tell about their own lives. Among the works we may read are Toni Morrison’s Sula, Dorothy Alison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, Wendy Kesselman’s My Sister in this House, T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain, Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle, and Amber Hollibaugh’s My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home. For the major group project, students will have the option of learning from and working with low-income women in the local community.
Professor Byrd MWF 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
English 135: Literature and Human Experience [H, V]
An examination of a significant social or cultural problem as reflected in literary texts. Topics vary from semester to semester and will be announced during the registration period. May be taken more than once with different content.
English 135-01: Irish Literature and Culture [H, V; GM2 pending]
This course focuses on Irish writers of the period 1880-1930, a time when Ireland fought for political independence from England and underwent a civil war that led to the partitioning of the island into the modern-day republics of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We’ll be examining how the literature of this era, which has come to be known as “The Irish Literary Renaissance,” both reflects and responds to the political, religious, and socio-economic turmoil of the times. Readings will include fiction by James Joyce and James Stephen; the poetry of William Butler Yeats, and plays by John Millington Synge, Lady Augusta Gregory, and Sean O’Casey.
Professor Byrd MWF 3:10 – 4:00 p.m
English 135-02: Reading Animals [H, V]
This course investigates the ways in which non-human animals are situated within literary and cultural discourses. We will seek to understand how various animals are valued and used in our culture, what ideas underlie such distinctions, and how the human/animal relation is represented in literary texts. The course begins with a broad introduction to the ways animals have been theorized within our own (Western) intellectual tradition and then examines representations of the human/animal boundary in twentieth-century and contemporary novels, short stories, and poems.
Professor Rohman TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 151: Introduction to Creative Writing [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.
Professor Fernandes TR 9:30 – 10:45 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 & 02 Writing Seminar – Grammar, Style, and the Sentence
Most Lafayette students can write complete sentences. However, many don’t have a great understanding of how and why sentences work. Or the steps they can take to improve their own. This state of affairs makes me, as an English professor, a little sad, as they’ll be writing sentences almost every day for the rest of their life. And it is, after all, nice to be good at something you have to do all the time. But fear not! If you take this course, you will leave with a solid understanding of how sentences work and a much-improved writing style. You’ll be able to write a good sentence and not just a complete one. In addition to improving your sentences, you’ll also learn about the socio-political dimensions of grammar and style, which, for the most part, will make you a wiser human being.
Professor Laquintano Section 01 MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m
Section 02 MWF 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
English 202-03: Writing Seminar: Multimodal Composition
The focus of this course will be representing scholarly work using a variety of modes (textual, visual, auditory, gestural, etc.) and media (print, audio, digital, presentational, etc.). Particular emphasis will be placed on representing data and communicating scholarly work to both expert and non-expert audiences. Projects in the course may include a scholarly web text, audio essay, blog posts, an infographic, video essay, and other forms of multimodal texts.
Professor Tatu TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 202-04: Art and Argumentative Writing
This writing seminar helps students hone their argumentative writing skills by exploring various aspects of the art debate. We will have a chance to workshop one another’s writing with the goal of refining both our analytical reading and writing abilities.
Professor Belletto TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 205: Seminar in Textual Practices
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 introductory English Department course (100-199) or AP credit.
English 205- 01 & 02: Seminar in Textual Practices [H]
In this course we will address some fundamental questions raised by the practice of literary interpretation: What is a literary text? What critical tools and vocabularies might one use in order to analyze literature? How has the field of literary criticism changed over the last fifty years or so? How should we theorize the relationship between the author and reader of a literary text? In raising and attempting to answer these questions we will discuss literary methodologies and forms of literary criticism, including reader-response, psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, and deconstructive interpretive strategies. To this end, our primary texts– Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Henry James’s The Turn of The Screw, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Art Spiegelman’s Maus — will be supplemented with secondary essays that exemplify various schools of critical interpretation. The general aim of the course is to provide you with an appreciation of critical pluralism and the historically contingent status of any literary work of art. Prerequisite: Any 100 level literature course, AP credit, or approval of instructor.
Professor Cefalu Section 01 MWF 8:00 – 8:50 a.m.
Section 02 MWF 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
English 206: Literary History [H]
How is literary history constructed? What is the canon of great works and how is it formed? This course enquires 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 literature course, AP credit, or approval of instructor.
English 206-01: Literary History: When In Doubt, Go to the Library [H]
How can we know the history of literature? How do we make sure we have the right texts to read? How do we study authors’ careers, and how does doing so change how we see their writings—and the times in which they lived? Can we get at literary history by looking at readers as well as authors? Emphasizing familiarization with a wide range of library research tools, we will explore these questions through several case studies: the maddening magic of editing literary texts, the often-difficult relationship between authors’ careers and literary periods, and the reading habits of pre-Civil War Easton residents via the Easton Library Company’s records. Field trips and research at the Easton Area Public Library may be required.
Professor Phillips MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
English 206-02: Literary History: Medievalish—The Idea of the Middle Ages [H]
The problem with defining the Middle Ages, as one scholar drily notes, is that everyone sees in them what they want to: “The Renaissance invented the Middle Ages in order to define itself; the Enlightenment perpetuated them in order to admire itself; and the Romantics revived them in order to escape themselves.” The upside of this problem of definition is that one can learn quite a lot about how a given period saw itself by looking at its idea of the Middle Ages. This course takes some foundational medieval and early-modern texts—Beowulf, Hamlet, and tales of King Arthur—and asks how later periods made these stories their own. We’ll find that Hamlet, for instance, draws on much earlier medieval ghost stories even as Shakespeare’s play itself continues to haunt the Gothic imagination centuries later. Our goal will be to explore how the idea of the Middle Ages helped give rise to the very notion of a literary tradition in English. And since we are still imagining the Middle Ages now—from Game of Thrones to the fantasy writing of Kazuo Ishiguro—we will end the course by asking what our ideas of the Middle Ages might say about us.
Professor Wadiak TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 212: The Civil War and American Literature [H]
This course offers a thematic survey of American literature from the colonial era to the present day centered on the question of what place the Civil War has in American writing: is it the great dividing point in literary history? A fundamentally tragic subject? A national story? A region-specific or genre-specific event? Did the war give birth to literary Realism? (All these have been argued in the last century.) Beginning with canonical representations of war, death, nation, and slavery, we will turn to writings that grew out of the war as it took place; Louisa May Alcott, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Mary Bolkin Chesnutt will be among the featured authors. After Spring Break, the course will examine fiction and poetry from each subsequent generation, looking at how literary movements such as Realism and Modernism relate (or don’t) to American’s ongoing obsession with the Civil War and its contested meanings. Along the way, the course will involve a field trip to Gettysburg.
Professor Phillips MWF 2:10 – 3:00 p.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 Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
English 232: The Short Story [H]
This course will explore the short story—primarily American—across a variety of writers and modes—from the earliest American stories to representative examples of Romanticism, realism, modernism, post-modernism, and what has been termed “meta-fiction.” Through close reading of stories and of commentaries by some of the writers themselves, we’ll investigate how storytelling, over time, has changed and has remained the same; that is, how writers have used an old art form to engage the circumstances of contemporary life as they experienced it, and how writers have modified this art form to re-engage with many of the age-old matters of human living.
Professor Johnson MWF 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
English 250 Writing Genres [W]
Writing Genres introduces students to the expectations and purposes of a particular written genre and offers students 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.
English 250-01 and 02 Writing Genres: Professional Writing and Communication [W]
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 Section-01: TR 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.
Section-02: TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 250-03:Young Adult Fiction Writing Workshop: Writing Teen in an Adult World [W]
This course introduces students to the writing of young adult literature. We will read and write narratives targeted (and marketed) to the young adult audience. We will read widely in young adult fiction in the first half of the semester so that we can investigate technical questions particular to the genre such as: What are the differences between great literature geared toward teens and those texts written for adults? I hope we will discover a writer’s idea of young adult literature and how it functions for the reader and the writer. What makes something “YA” in terms of tone, point of view, pace, voice and subject matter? How do we determine quality in the genre? What kinds of boundaries—regarding craft, style, and ethics—must we consider? Are these parameters the same in adult fiction? As we read we will consider our plans for our own work through writing prompts, note taking and, if we choose, outlining. We will begin workshopping our own work in the second half of the semester.
Professor Gilmore Tuesday 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m
English 255: Creative Nonfiction [W]
This is a workshop course that focuses on a broad range of nonfiction prose writing including literary journalism, lyrical and persuasive writing, travel writing, reviews, profiles, memoir, biography, etc. By exploring how nonfiction engages with creative literary devices such as voice and point-of-view, students will be asked to analyze how these techniques push at the genre conventions of nonfiction’s uneasy commitment to “truth-telling.” Students will examine how contemporary trends in nonfiction storytelling have evolved over the last century and furthermore, explore nonfiction in a professional publishing context. Permission of the instructor required.
Professor Fernandes Monday 1:10 – 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 attempted as the semester develops. A final portfolio of original fiction will be required. Prerequisites: English 151, 255, or permission of the instructor.
Professor Lee Upton MW 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 326: Gender, Class, and Race in Romantic Poetry [H, W]
English 326 focuses on written texts, especially poetry, published in Great Britain from 1780-1830. In addition to discussing literary texts as aesthetic objects, we’ll talk about how these texts were shaped by—and helped to shape—the culture in which they were produced. Central to the course will be an examination of ways in which Romantic era texts reproduce and/or challenge interlocking systems of power and privilege, especially those related to gender, race, and class. Writers include S.T. Coleridge, Mary Prince, Olaudah Equiano, Lord Byron, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary and Percy Shelley, John Keats, and a number of important but less well-known writers of the period. Prerequisite: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Byrd MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m.
English 328: American Renaissance [H, W]
The years before the Civil War produced a watershed for American literature. Uncle Tom’s Cabin galvanized the abolitionist movement; a hundred years later, Walden became the unofficial bible of the environmental movement. Much of this art was fueled by massive, contradictory energies. As the national slavery crisis heated up and Indian Removal rapidly changed the western landscape, writers from Frederick Douglass to Herman Melville looked for new ways to talk about race in American culture. With tensions between national parties growing each year, writers like H. W. Longfellow reached to Native American mythology to find a vision for the Union, while others like Walt Whitman turned to nature as a model of social unity. And writers from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Fanny Fern used fiction to explore the meaning of gender in a rapidly changing social order. In other words, the American Renaissance is not only a major source for American culture as we know it—it was also a great deal like our own time. Substantial research projects and a required field trip to New York will guide us through a reading list of long-revered classics and recently-revalued books as we consider what it means that, in the words of one recent commentator, “it’s 1857 all over again.” Prerequisite: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Phillips MWF 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
English 334: Emotion and Genre in Medieval Literature [H,W]
What if genre, rather than being just a set of conventions, could be viewed in terms of its real effects on us—its direct bodily and emotional consequences? We do this with some genres automatically; think of horror movies, for instance, or of the difference between comedy and tragedy as the difference between laughing and crying. Medieval people thought a great deal about the “affective” dimensions of the stories they told, which they said evoked pity (compassio), wonder (admiratio), “lust, ”drede,” and a host of other emotions. This course introduces you to medieval literature, mostly in English, by asking you to think about the emotional stakes of reading different kinds of medieval narratives, including passion plays, humorous tales, saints’ lives, romances, and mystical writing. As we’re exploring the diversity of this literature, we’ll also ask some basic questions about the nature of emotions, what they are exactly, and whether they are “anthropological constants” or to some degree conditioned by historical experience. To that end, we’ll engage with recent arguments for the view that people of different cultures don’t just think and believe but potentially even feel differently. Prerequisite: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Wadiak TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 337: Milton [H, V, 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: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Cefalu MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m.
English 341: The Nineteenth-Century British Novel [W]
During the 19th-century in Great Britain, novels reflected and helped to shape public perceptions of some of the major social and psychological problems of the day (e.g., the impact of scientific progress and industrialization on English life and national identity, challenges to a rigid social structure and repressive moral code, attempts to redefine the nature and role of women). At the same time, novel reading, especially unchecked and unsupervised, was hotly debated. Looking at selected novels and other historical materials, we will consider the cultural work of novels in Great Britain during the 19th century. Reading includes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Charles Dickens’s, Our Mutual Friend, and Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Prerequisite: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Falbo TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 350: Rhetoric, Language, and Power [W]
Rhetoric—a term often used (especially in the media), but rarely used properly. Typically, it is meant to characterize pompous, inflated, manipulative speech that signifies little. Soundbites. No substance. This characterization ignores rhetoric’s impressive legacy, its origin in classical Athens (Plato, Aristotle, Gorgias), its importance in classical Rome (Cicero) and Renaissance England (Shakespeare), its ongoing development throughout the centuries, its status as THE academic subject in early American colleges and universities (Harvard, Lafayette), its post-Freudian revision by Burke and Perelman. It also ignores the fact that virtually ALL language, in one way or another, is persuasive—persuading us to go to lunch, adopt a perspective, assume an identity. When we study rhetoric, we study the power of language as an instrument of argument, persuasion, and reality-construction. When we study rhetoric, we study the power of language to make a difference in the so-called “real world,” to make something happen. Rhetoric is a form of action. In this class, we will study the history of rhetoric, various theories of rhetoric, and a range of rhetorical operations (argumentative structures, rhetorical tropes and devices). We will apply this understanding to the analysis (primarily) of everyday texts, verbal and visual, including advertisements, photographs, editorials, television programs, public spaces. We’ll also consider how a literary text may be read “rhetorically.” You will finish this course feeling—dare I say it—powerful. Prerequisites: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Donahue TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 351: Environmental Writing [W]
This is a workshop class focused on personal, journalistic, and creative writing about the environment. We will examine questions about the natural world from a variety of perspectives: personal, scientific, socio-political, ethical, and aesthetic. Students will be encouraged to think broadly about environmental issues, as we ask: why and how does place matter? How do we define terms such as “nature” or “wilderness”? Who (if anyone) controls it, and why, and how? How do environmental issues intersect with matters of class, race, and gender? How is our relationship to animals evolving? What role does technology play in our interactions with the natural world? Prerequisites: ENG 205 or ENG 250 or ENG 251 or ENG 255 and permission of the instructor.
Professor Fernandes TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
ENG 352: Special Topics in Black Literature: U.S. and Caribbean Black Feminist Literature and Theory [GM1, W]
This course will be both a deep exploration of and meditation on Black feminists’ literary and theoretical production from the United States and the Anglophone Caribbean. The course will introduce students to foundational works in Black feminist thought from both regions as well as contemporary debates on respectability politics; the precarious status of Black feminist theory in the neoliberal university; globalization and Black feminism’s critique of empire. Students will explore how our conceptualizations of what is “Black” and what is “feminist” are deeply influenced by geography and national identity. As a result, in addition to exploring the parallels between U.S. based and Caribbean Black feminists, we will also explore divergences in U.S. based and Caribbean Black feminists’ thought with respect to literary aesthetics and critical vocabularies. These explorations will help us answer the courses overarching question: In what ways might Black feminist theories and literatures chart a course away from white, capitalist, colonial ways of existing in the world? In addition to response papers and in-class presentations, the course will also require students to develop a Black feminist service project based on the material from class. The course will include readings from M. Jacqui Alexander, Carol Boyce Davies, Michelle Cliff, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Katherine McKittrick, Marlene Nourbese Philip, Carolyn Rodgers, Omise’eke Tinsley and Sylvia Wynter. Prerequisites: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Gill-Sadler MWF 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
English 361: Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry [W]
Students will explore a wide variety of poems, write poems each week, and engage in intensive workshops in which their own poetry is critiqued. The course requires completion of advanced exercises in structure and style and the composition of a final portfolio of poetry. ENG 250 or ENG 251 or ENG 255 or permission of the instructor.
Professor Lee Upton Wednesday 1:10 – 4:00 p.m.
ENG 365: Seminar in Literary Criticism [W]
An advanced introduction to the history of literary criticism and its dominant theoretical practices. Students read representative texts from various schools of criticism– formalism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, gender studies, cultural studies, posthumanism– and consider them in relation to several literary works. Especially recommended for students seeking honors in English or considering graduate study in literature. Prerequisites: English 205 AND English 206 or permission of the instructor.
Professor Rohman TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 369: Postmodernism [H, W]
A pervasive cultural movement that appeared after the Second World War, postmodernism has exerted widespread influence on our everyday lives. Interested observers can locate evidence of a postmodern sensibility in numerous aspects of postwar culture, from art and architecture to “highbrow” novels to examples of popular culture like cartoons and video games. In this course, we focus on literary postmodernism. Because it is a complicated and conflicted term, one of our broad course goals is to develop our own definition(s) of postmodernism. In order to do this, we think about the primary characteristics of the postmodern as articulated in fiction and critical theory. Readings include work by DeLillo, Didion, Pynchon, Nabokov, Silko, Everett, Borges, Barth, Lyotard, Derrida, Baudrillard, White, Jameson, and Hutcheon. English 205 or permission of the instructor.
Professor Belletto TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 395 Problems and Possibilities; Researching Popular Reading and Writing Practices [W]
The English department has long been home to a variety of methods used to study the ways language, writing, and literature work in the world. Creative writers have used ethnography to learn about new cultures, literary critics have employed surveys to study readers’ relationships to popular literature, and writing scholars have interviewed and observed writers to understand how writing is produced. More recently, the digital humanities has turned to computational and quantitative methods to ask statistical questions about writing and literature. This class will introduce students to a number of research methods employed to study reading and writing. We will begin by learning some of the basics about research methods (including their limitations) and then collaborate on a number of different projects to practice them. In one project, we will attempt to turn award-winning literature into data, and in another project, we will try to assess the influence of Harry Potter on contemporary popular culture. The course will conclude with students acquiring experience in proposal writing as they produce their own individual research proposals. English 205 or permission of the instructor.
Professor Laquintano MWF 2:10 – 3:00 p.m.