Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook

English (ENGL)

ENGL 1003  (c)   Shakespeare's Afterlives  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Romeo and Juliet as garden gnomes, Richard III as Adolf Hitler, King Lear as aging patriarch of an Iowa family farm...these are just some of the ways that Shakespeare’s plays and characters have been reimagined in literature produced in the time since he lived and wrote for the London stage. Placing individual plays by Shakespeare in conversation with particular adaptations, we examine the aesthetic, cultural, and political dimensions of Shakespearean drama and his literary and cultural legacy as found in later fiction, drama, and film. Plays by Shakespeare may include 1 Henry IV, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, King Lear, and The Tempest, together with adaptations by Oscar Wilde, Tom Stoppard, Jane Smiley, and Arthur Philips.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Fall 2020.

ENGL 1004  (c)   Film Noir  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores, by focusing on a selection of films made in Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s, the development of what will become known as film noir. Considers some of the hard-boiled detective films most famously associated with this category, as well as lesser-known films in which the dangerous forces of noir (evil, violence, and corruption) threaten to destroy the post-World War II fantasy of the American family. Films may include Murder, My Sweet; Out of the Past; Double Indemnity; Gun Crazy; In a Lonely Place; The Reckless Moment; and Panic in the Streets. (Same as: CINE 1004)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023.

ENGL 1005  (c)   Victorian Ghosts and Monsters  

Aviva Briefel.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Examines the ghosts and monsters that emerge from the pages of Victorian narratives. What do these strange beings tell us about literary form, cultural fantasies, and anxieties, or about conceptions of selfhood and the body? How do they embody (or disembody) identities that subvert sexual, racial, social, and gendered norms? Authors may include Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Oscar Wilde. (Same as: GSWS 1005)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 1007  (c)   Joan of Arc  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 at the age of nineteen. This course explores the long history of this warrior, heretic, and saint, beginning with the medieval records of her trial and execution and then moving through the centuries and the countless stories told about her in literature, art, music, and cinema all the way up to the present moment.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 1008  (c)   Unhappy Queers  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Unhappiness has been pivotal in shaping queer cultural productions and in mobilizing the visibility of queer life in literature and media. In representing the difficulties of coming out, the social ramifications of HIV and AIDS, or the institutional, personal, and systemic violence imposed on queer bodies and communities—queer texts became an archive that rendered queer practices legible through feelings of sadness and despair. This seminar examines contemporary queer literature and media to critically examine the role that sadness plays in this archive, and to think deeply about the role of emotion in representing queer lives and experiences. What is the role of happiness, hope, and joy in an archive so focused on negative emotions and outcomes? How is the concept of happiness reliant on normative attitudes and ideologies, and how do queer texts disrupt this equation by highlighting alternative ways of succeeding, thriving, and existing in the world? How do sad queer texts push us to acknowledge the insufficiency of progress-driven narratives that are circulated today? Through writing, reading, and examining a variety of queer fiction and media, students will develop their own answers to these questions (Same as: GSWS 1040)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 1011  (c)   Trolls, Frogs, and Princesses: Fairy Tales and Retellings  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores the resiliency of fairy tales across cultural boundaries and historical time. Traces the genealogical origins of the classic tales, as well as their metamorphoses in historical and contemporary variants, fractured tales, and adaptations in literature and film. The class is designed to help students write confidently and with power in a variety of contexts, harnessing the resources of grammar, style, rhetorical form, persuasion, argumentation—and magic, of course.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 1012  (c)   Jane Austen  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

A study of Jane Austen’s major works, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion. (Same as: GSWS 1025)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 1017  (c)   Global Asian Fantasy Fiction  

Belinda Kong.
Every Other Fall. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Focuses on contemporary anglophone fantasy fiction of Asian-inspired worlds by writers of East and Southeast Asian descent. Examines how authors draw on diverse Asian genres such as the Chinese martial arts and magic cultivation epic, Hong Kong triad and gangster film, Korean fox and tiger myth, Singaporean and Malaysian ghost tale, and broadly Asian imperial court drama to address issues of gender and sexual identity, racial and class politics, empire and geopolitics, nationhood and state power, and historiography and literary representation. Authors may include Kat Cho, Zen Cho, Rebecca Kuang, Fonda Lee, Russell Lee, Yoon Lee, Ken Liu, Shelley Parker-Chan, Nghi Vo, Neon Yang, and Xiran Jay Zhao (Same as: ASNS 1017)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2022.

ENGL 1018  (c)   Jane Eyre, Everywhere  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel, “Jane Eyre,” had a profound impact not only on subsequent nineteenth-century fiction, but also on twentieth- and twenty-first century literary representations of female experience. Begins with a close reading of Brontë's novel and then moves on to exploring modern literary rewritings of this narrative. Considers both how Brontë's themes are carried out through these various texts and why her narrative has been such a rich source of reinterpretation. In addition to Brontë, authors may include Du Maurier, James, Messud, Park, and Rhys. (Same as: GSWS 1018)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 1021  (c)   Writing with and about Generative Artificial Intelligence  

Guy Mark Foster.
Every Fall. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

In this course, we will study together what it means to write with and about AI. We will pay particular attention to writing about literary and visual art as we think about the impact of generative AI on these forms. How might AI assist us as we seek to develop our own ideas and our own writerly voices? When does AI get in our way? How can we navigate the most pressing challenges of generative AI, including those related to its ethical use and environmental impact? Course texts will include recent work on generative AI in a variety of forms (blogs, essays, podcasts); theoretical perspectives; and several works of literature that will help us historicize the relationship between art and technology. Students will have the opportunity to create final projects about generative AI related to their own areas of interest, drawing on course readings and original research. Shorter writing assignments will help students build skills and develop ideas for the final project.

ENGL 1026  (c)   Freedom Stories  

Tess Chakkalakal.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Explores the ways in which the idea of American freedom has been defined both with and against slavery through readings of legal and literary texts. Students come to terms with the intersections between the political, literary, and historical concept of freedom and its relation to competing definitions of American citizenship. (Same as: AFRS 1026)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2021, Fall 2020.

ENGL 1027  (c)   The Real Life of Literature  

Guy Mark Foster.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Examines literary fiction set against the backdrop of actual historical events, such as wars, social protest events, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the Holocaust, and political assassinations. Students not only analyze the literary strategies writers employ to fictionalize history and to historicize fiction, but also explore the methodological and philosophical implications of such creative gestures. In the end, this two-fold process transforms both categories in ways that permanently unsettle the status of fiction as merely imaginative and the historical as merely fact. Potential authors: Virginia Woolf, Octavia Butler, Yasmina Khadra, David Mura, Nicole Krause, Andrew Holleran, among others.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2022, Fall 2021.

ENGL 1033  (c)   Modernity at Sea  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Beginning with Walt Whitman’s celebration of a seafaring globe “spann’d, connected by network,” the figure of the oceanic has spoken to a dream of embracing everything, from far-flung peoples to the earth’s most evasive animal life. Makes use of of twentieth/twenty-first-century century American visual and textual materials to consider the ways in which poetry, stories, film, and multimedia works have advanced and critiqued Whitman’s vision of a unified modernity. Subtopics include modernist aesthetics; globalization and its limits; place, space, and the representation of landscape; and the artistic retrieval of lost or undocumented histories, such as the slave trade and migration. Authors may include Herman Melville, Sarah Orne Jewett, Hart Crane, Robert Hayden, Rachel Carson, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Ruth Ozeki. Class visits neighboring coastal sites, including the Coastal Studies Center.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023.

ENGL 1034  (c)   America in the World  

Morten Hansen.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Examines America as it is seen in literature from home and abroad. How have American authors described America’s place in the world? How has America’s present role as the sole global superpower affected how we view its past? What does America look like today from the perspective of the third world? Explores the way literature represents space and time, from current events to world history. Authors include Henry James, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Fall 2021.

ENGL 1043  (c)   Fact and Fiction  

Brock Clarke.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

An introduction to the study and creation of various kinds of narrative forms (short story, travel essay, bildungsroman, detective fiction, environmental essay, satire, personal essay, etc.). Students write critical essays and use the readings in the class as models for their own short stories and works of creative nonfiction. Class members discuss a wide range of published canonical and contemporary narratives and workshop their own essays and stories. In doing so, the class dedicates itself to both the study of literature and the making of it.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Fall 2020.

ENGL 1060  (c)   English Composition  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Practice developing the skills needed to research, write, and revise college-level essays in this workshop-based course. Focus on the nuts and bolts of academic writing, including grammar and style, strategies of argument and analysis, and citation practices. Gain useful writing and research skills for college and life after college. Does not count toward the English major.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023, Spring 2022, Spring 2021, Fall 2020.

ENGL 1105  (c)   Introduction to Poetry  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 50.  

An examination of how to read a poem and how the poem is made. The course focuses on the evolution of poetic forms: sonnets, villanelles, stanza poems, elegy, and free forms (including free verse and spoken word) will be studied, drawn from a variety of historical, national, and cross-cultural traditions and anti-traditions. Students are introduced to the mechanics of poetry, such as prosody, poetic devices, and ekphrasis. For those who love or fear poetry.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 1106  (c)   Introduction to Drama  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 24.  

Explores the history of drama written in English from its origins in the deep past through to the present day. Studies how plays across space and time have moved spectators to laugh, cry, and gasp. Authors include Samuel Beckett, Tony Kushner, William Shakespeare, and August Wilson. (Same as: THTR 1806)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 1111  (c)   Introduction to LGBTQ Fiction  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Using an intersectional reading approach, students closely analyze both classic and more contemporary lesbigay, trans, and queer fictional texts of the last one hundred years. Students consider the historically and culturally changing ways that sexuality has been understood within popular, medical, as well as religious discourses. And because gender conflict and the tendency to analogize the struggles of sexual and racial minorities are key features of this literary tradition, students are expected to engage this subject matter sensitively and critically. Possible texts include The Well of Loneliness, Giovanni’s Room, Rubyfruit Jungle, A Single Man, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and The Limits of Pleasure. (Same as: GSWS 1111)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 1117  (c, DPI)   Introduction to Environmental Literature  

Samia Rahimtoola.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 50.
  

Introduces students to literature that features the relationship of humans with their ‘natural’ environment, while asking how such relationships are sustained and delimited by structures of class, race and ethnicity, citizenship, and gender/sexuality. Students will gain an understanding of environmental literature’s powerful role in shaping conversations about national belonging, American ethnic and racial identity, and how to best live an environmental life, while directing the majority of their attention to how writers from the margins—African American, Latinx, Indigenous, and global—challenge these orthodoxies. Key topics include American agrarianism, the pastoral and wild, and the literatures of environmental justice. Authors may include Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Willa Cather, Helena María Viramontes, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Octavia Butler. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors (Same as: ENVS 1117)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 1118  (c)   Introduction to Media Studies  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 50.  

What does it mean when we say that we live in the age of media? First, we will examine some of the classical theoretical texts that define the study of media and look at new forms of modern mass media that emerged in the twentieth century, such as radio and television. Later, we will look more closely at our contemporary world of computerized media and information technology, including software and social media. Throughout the course, we will examine the factors that influence media as well as the ways in which media influences society and individuals. Texts include films by Jordan Peele, Ryan Coogler, Allan J. Pakula, Sidney Lumet, and Billy Wilder, students’ students’ own social media practices, and theoretical texts by Marshall McLuhan, Friedrich Kittler, and Alexander R. Galloway. (Same as: CINE 1118)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2021.

ENGL 1119  (c)   Medieval Mythology  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 50.  

Explores the mythology of the Middle Ages by reading the stories of legendary characters—heroes, kings, queens, saints, and gods like Robin Hood, Mansa Musa, the Queen of Sheba, the Virgin Mary, and Thor—from their origins all the way to the present moment. Focuses in particular on the themes of adaptation (on how and why stories change across space and time) and identification (on how and why we as readers identify and do not identify with these characters). Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023.

ENGL 1120  (c, DPI)   The Art and Power of Conversation  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 50.  

Explores conversation as both a vital cultural practice and form of human expression central to literature, drama, and philosophy. Highlights the capacity of conversation to cultivate empathy, self-knowledge, and ethical awareness, as well as to build and sustain communities. In our readings and classroom activities, we foreground the structures of difference, power, and inequity that shape our conversations, while also attending to the obstacles and opportunities posed by digital media. In addition to writing about conversation as a literary and cultural structure, students will enhance their own conversation skills through practice sessions, interviews, and reflective writing, as well as in conversation with special guests from Bowdoin and beyond.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 1225  (c)   Introduction to Poetry Writing Workshop  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Intensive study of the writing of poetry through the workshop method. Students expected to write in free verse and in form, and to read deeply from an assigned list of poets. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2022, Fall 2020.

ENGL 1228  (c)   Introductory Fiction Workshop  

Brock Clarke; Zahir Janmohamed.
Every Semester. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 12.
  

Introduces the beginning fiction writer to the craft of fiction writing, with an emphasis on the literary short story. Studies a wide range of published stories as well as examines student work. Critical writings on craft introduce students to technical aspects of the form: character, dialogue, setting, point of view, scene, summary, etc. Exercises and short assignment lead to longer works. All are expected to read, comment on, and discuss in depth each story that passes through the workshop, as well as to complete a major revision. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2020.

ENGL 1240  (c)   The Art of the Essay  

Guy Mark Foster.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 12.
  

An introduction to creative nonfiction writing through an examination of traditional and experimental forms of the essay, including narrative, lyric, and persuasive. Students will read and discuss a range of published works to gain an understanding of the form and its techniques -- voice, tone, structure, pacing -- and will write and revise a series of essays. All are expected to fully participate in weekly workshop discussions. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 1241  (c)   The Art of Creative Research  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

A creative nonfiction course that regards research as inspiration for the imagination. Teaches archival research, while also expanding the definition of the archive. Addresses the creation of a research plan, methods of organizing research, and fact-checking, as well as the use of imagined scenes and speculation in nonfiction, hybrid and meta-narratives, and other forms of factual invention. Students read a wide range of published work, including that by D’Agata, Biss, Fremont, Skloot and others, as well as studying podcasts and other media. Students are expected to participate fully in workshop discussions and write short essays leading to a longer final project. While students are expected to write nonfiction for all assignments, the course is intended to be useful to the fiction writer as well in the tools it covers. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2021.

ENGL 1242  (c)   Writing the History, Culture, and Politics of Food  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Students read a wide range of published works about the history, culture, and politics of food— including writings by Henry David Thoreau, M.F.K. Fisher, Edna Lewis, and Michael Pollan—and write and revise substantial narratives that combine personal and researched material. Focuses on the craft of writing, particularly on structure and voice. All students are expected to fully participate in weekly workshop discussions. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2023, Spring 2022.

ENGL 2000  (c)   Contemporary Literature  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. Examines “the contemporary” as both our current historical moment in the twenty-first-century and an experience of coming to grips with the present. How do writers conceive of the now, and how can their representations of the present help us understand emergent phenomena such as migration, climate crisis, new social arrangements of race, gender, and labor, social media, and the function of art in the twenty-first century? To help assess what might be new about contemporary life and literature, we will explore various critical and theoretical approaches to the present. Focuses on twenty-first-century American texts, including poetry, prose, film, and cross-genre works. Authors may include Teju Cole, Ben Lerner, Claudia Rankine, Renee Gladman, and others. Note: beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, and multiethnic American or global literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2004  (c, DPI)   White Negroes  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate seminar. Close readings of literary and filmic texts that interrogate widespread beliefs in the fixity of racial categories and the broad assumptions these beliefs often engender. Investigates whiteness and blackness as unstable and fractured ideological constructs that become most visible in narratives of racial passing. These are constructs that, while socially and historically produced, are no less real in their tangible effects, whether internal or external. May include works by Nella Larsen, Norman Mailer, John Howard Griffin, Mat Johnson, Toi Derricotte, and Mohsin Hamid. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2654, GSWS 2257)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2011  (c)   Science and Art of the Sex Photograph  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate seminar. Explores the way in which late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scientific uses of the photograph (e.g., by scientism, eugenics) to configure sexuality and gender were adjusted by modern visual arts and literary photographs. We will consider a variety of early scientific studies, contemporary theories of sexuality and biopolitics (Foucault), and of photography (Benjamin, Barthes, Sontag ); photographs by Man Ray, Claude Cahun, Gordon Parks (with Ralph Ellison), Catherine Opie; film by Michelangelo Antonioni (“Blow-up”); prose works by Virginia Woolf, W.G. Sebald, Claudia Rankine. (Same as: GSWS 2602)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 2012  (c)   Chaucer  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate seminar. Introduces students to the major works of Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English literature, focusing on his masterpiece, “The Canterbury Tales.” Explores Chaucer's work in the context of his sources from Plato to Dante as well as his lasting influence on later literature, cinema, and culture. [Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.]

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2013  (c)   African American Writers and Autobiography  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. The struggle against anti-black racism has often required that individual African Americans serve as representative figures of the race. How have twentieth- and twenty-first-century black authors tackled the challenge of having to speak for the collective while also writing narratives that explore the singularity of an individual life? What textual approaches have these authors employed to negotiate this tension between what theorists of the genre broadly call referentiality and subjectivity? Authors include W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X, Jamaica Kincaid, Maya Angelou, Samuel Delaney, Barack Obama, among others. Note: Fulfills the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2652)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 2017  (c)   Beowulf  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. Surveys the earliest literature written in the British Isles, the surrounding seas, and the wider world: the sagas of the Vikings, the songs of the Christians, and the chronicles of Muslim ambassadors from Baghdad. Focuses in particular on the earliest poetry written in the English language. Culminates in the study of Beowulf, the greatest poem of this period. Texts include: Beowulf, The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, and The Book of Ahmad Ibn Fadlān. Note: This class fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2018  (c)   Odd Jobs: Work in Victorian Literature and Culture  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. Explores both fictional and nonfictional representations of labor in the Victorian period. Of central concern will be the intersections and differences between journalistic and literary depictions of manual labor; the ways in which different novelistic genres (realism, children's literature, the gothic) depict work in distinct ways; and the varying representations of working class and middle-class modes of working. Authors may include Dickens, Gaskell, Hardy, Kingsley, Marx, and Mayhew. As an intermediate seminar, this course offers the opportunity for more intensive work in literary analysis and deeper focus on methodological skills required for advanced research in the major.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2019  (c, DPI, IP)   Fictions of Global English  

Hilary Thompson.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Intermediate seminar. Explores modern and contemporary literature from around the world, considering modes of writing that have developed with the global spread of the English language and other languages’ collision with English. Attention given to vernacular writing and the embrace of so-called non-standard, weird, or rotten English. Examines ways writers have engaged with the history of colonialism and the forces of globalization as well as their attempts to forge a new cosmopolitan literature. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2020  (c)   Modern American Poetry  

Samia Rahimtoola.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Intermediate Seminar: Approaches twentieth- to twenty-first-century American poetry as a mode of thought and form of critique in dialogue with modernity’s social and technological upheavals. Considers poems on the page and in the ear, poets’ roles in society (as prophets, outlaws, recluses, and revolutionaries), and heated debates about what poetry is and why it matters. Serious attention paid to formal intricacies of language and to the contexts—social, political, scientific—in which this language gains significance. Through closely reading poems, students will learn to appreciate and analyze this at times baffling, at times incisive form. Poets include Dunbar, Dickinson, Stevens, Pound, Stein, Hughes, Brooks, O’Hara, Mayer, Notley, Hejinian, and Long Soldier.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 2023  (c)   Asian Dystopias  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. Focuses on contemporary dystopian novels by Asian and Asian diaspora writers. Explores the idea that dystopic fiction works not simply by reimagining time and forecasting bleak futures but also by remapping political spaces and redrawing social boundaries. Anarchists and vigilantes, aliens and clones, murderous children and mythic animal deities populate these worlds as writers examine totalitarianism and dissidence, globalization and labor slavery, pandemics and biotechnology, race riots and environmental devastation. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: ASNS 2808)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2024  (c)   Embodying the Renaissance  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores the body as a source of knowledge and experience in prose, drama, and poetry of the English Renaissance (c.1500—1650). Topics include the body as an expression of gendered identity and as an object of racial, religious, sexual, and scientific discourse. We also consider the “humoral” theory of the body, the cult of virginity in Elizabethan England, and material practices of marking the body (e.g., tattoos). This writing-intensive seminar culminates in a student-designed research project drawing on readings and materials from Special Collections & Archives. Authors may include William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Aemilia Lanyer, Katharine Philips, John Donne, and Margaret Cavendish. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors. (Same as: GSWS 2021)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2021.

ENGL 2027  (c, IP)   Worlds Beyond the Human  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. This course looks at the ways writers from around the world are crafting narratives that are no longer merely human-centered. We will examine depictions of an array of nonhuman species, including animals, animal spirits, insects, plants, and more. We will explore new ideas about ways to read creaturely and multispecies fictions, particularly in our era of globalization and planetary environmental concern, and we may venture beyond the bounds of literary fiction to look at varieties of science and fantasy fiction. Guiding questions include the following: How far can fiction stretch its traditional bounds in attempting to inhabit the forms of consciousness, perception, and sentience of other species? How does even fiction that portrays human stories change when it represents these as intertwined with or interrupted by the lives of other species? How might our ideas of the human and our place on the planet become transformed as we read such narratives? Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 2028  (c)   Mean Women Writers  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Intermediate Seminar. Parul Sehgal has described Muriel Spark’s genius as a writer “cruelty mixed with camp, the lightness of touch, the flick of the wrist that lands the lash.” Spark herself said that she “loves her characters like a cat loves a bird.” This course will study a variety of modern women writers, whose writing has been variously called “mean,” “cruel,” “indifferent,” “cold.” We will examine a number of genres (including the graphic novel) in a style that is “scrupulously mean,” to borrow from James Joyce’s characterization of his early writing, which has been famously praised for producing the very same effects that are seen as harsh or harmful in women writers of the same era, until today. We will consider both gendered theories of writing along with primary texts; authors may include such writers as Maggie Nelson Virginia Woolf, Hannah Arendt, bell hooks, Muriel Spark, Patricia Highsmith, Elfriede Jelinek, Dorothy Parker, Octavia E. Butler, Cathy Park Hong, and Emil Ferris. (Same as: GSWS 2028)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 2029  (c)   Women and the Eighteenth-Century Novel  

Ann Kibbie.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Intermediate Seminar. Explores how women are represented in eighteenth-century fiction, and the impact of women writers and readers on the development of the novel. Readings may include Eliza Haywood's Love in Excess, Samuel Richardson's Pamela, Henry Fielding's Shamela, and Mary Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Woman, and Jane Austen's Lady Susan and Pride and Prejudice. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors. (Same as: GSWS 2029)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2104  (c)   King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table  

Emma Maggie Solberg.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

Explores the legends of King Arthur, Merlin, Queen Guinevere, and the knights of the Round Table, progressing from the stories’ origins in medieval myth and romance through to their many Renaissance, Victorian, and modern revivals. Texts include: Geoffrey of Monmouth, “History of the Kings of Britain”; Sir Gawain and “The Green Knight”; Thomas Malory, “The Death of Arthur”; Tennyson, “Idylls of the King”; “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2109  (c)   Medieval Women Writers  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

This course introduces students to the writings of medieval women, cis and trans—queens and princesses, heretics and saints, scientists and philosophers—who lived in the four centuries between the years 1000 and 1400 CE. We will read their autobiographies, manifestos, secret letters, visions of paradise, love poems, and fairy tales. Although this course focuses on women who wrote in the English language, it also explores the wider world in which these women lived and traveled, from Paris to Timbuktu and Shiraz to Iceland. We will put the medieval texts we read into conversation with the work of contemporary women writers like Michaela Coel, Sally Rooney, and Jia Tolentino. Note: This class fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. (Same as: GSWS 2109)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2200  (c, VPA)   English Renaissance Drama  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Focusing on plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, this class explores new genres, character types, and modes of experience made possible by the development of professional theater in early modern London. In addition to situating plays by Christophe Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and other authors in their political and cultural contexts, we will also ask how their plays elevated questions of race, gender, and sexuality. Students will select, memorize, and ultimately perform one scene from one of the plays, working together in small groups to bring new life to old texts. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: THTR 2823)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2203  (c)   Shakespeare and Politics  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 40.  

Considers Shakespeare as a political thinker whose plays both interrogate important works of political philosophy and respond to pressing political matters of his day (and beyond). This team-taught course encourages open-ended debate and argumentation in order to foster informed and critical conversation between Shakespeare and Cicero, Plutarch, Machiavelli, and Montaigne, among others. Beginning with ancient and early modern philosophical reflection on human nature, the state, justice, the virtues of rulers, and ideas of citizenship, the course proceeds to take up Shakespeare’s dramatization of these topics in the context of the changing English monarchy, religious controversy, the enduring influence of the Roman Republic, the emergence of capitalism, and the politics of race and gender. Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors. (Same as: GOV 2245)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2205  (c, VPA)   Shakespeare's Tragedies: Pathos and Politics  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An introduction to the magnificent power and beauty of Shakespeare’s tragedies, with special attention to their poetic expansiveness, theatrical structure, and emotional impact. Studies Shakespeare's evolution as an artist and maker of theater while also raising important questions about race and gender in his works. Secondary readings on tragedy by Aristotle, Hegel, and others will guide our inquiry, though we will also explore links between Shakespeare and contemporary culture. Students will also have the opportunity to memorize and perform short scenes from the plays over the course of the semester. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: THTR 2207)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 2206  (c)   English Renaissance Poetry  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores the creative expansion and importance of English poetry written during the English Renaissance (c. 1500—1650), with special attention to the rise and fall of particular genres such as the sonnet, the minor epic, and the country house poem. We also study poetry about Blackness, religion, and nature, while attending to important political and cultural contexts in both early modern England and our contemporary world. Topics include the proliferation of new verse forms, the material circulation of poetry, and political contexts of poetry by authors such as Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, and John Milton. Note: This class fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2207  (c, VPA)   Remaking Shakespeare  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 20.  

Bridging the unhelpful divide between critical scholarship and performance studies in studying drama, this co-taught course enables students to “remake” Shakespeare as an author for both page and stage. By integrating techniques of theatrical performance with modes of textual analysis, the course balances critical and performative approaches to produce a thorough and embodied understanding of Shakespeare. In analyzing Shakespearean language with an eye to performance, for example, students will increase their understanding of the plays. Likewise, producing scholarly writing about Shakespeare will enhance the way that students perform his works. Students will produce scene studies as well as a range of writing assignments, including a research essay. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors. (Same as: THTR 2812)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2208  (c, VPA)   Shakespeare's Comedies  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores Shakespeare’s evolution as a master of comic drama by considering his accomplishments in plot, characterization, and language. We will pay special attention to the politics of his humor both then and now, as well as to historical staging practices and issues of race, gender, and class that animate many of the plays. We will enhance our readings of the plays by watching videos of recent performances of the plays by the Globe Theater, Royal Shakespeare Company, and other professional companies. Students will also have the option to create and perform scenes working in small groups. Plays may include The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Much Ado about Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors. (Same as: THTR 2208)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2290  (c)   Paradise Lost  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

A critical study of Milton’s epic poem, “Paradise Lost.” Readings will include other works by Milton that are relevant to our focus on this major work. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2021.

ENGL 2301  (c)   True Lives: Creating Fame, Infamy, and Celebrity in the Eighteenth Century  

Every Other Spring. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores the representation of private life in the poetry and prose of the period (including diaries, private journals, public and private letters, and autobiographies), with an emphasis on the emergence of the modern author. Works may include James Boswell’s London Journal, Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock and autobiographical poems, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s travel letters, Lord Chesterfield’s letters of advice to his illegitimate son, and the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. [Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.]

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2022.

ENGL 2305  (c)   Imagining London in Eighteenth-Century Literature  

Ann Kibbie.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

Focuses on journals, plays, poems, and novels in which London itself plays a vital role, including James Boswell’s “London Journal,” Daniel Defoe’s “Moll Flanders,” John Gay’s “Trivia”; or the “Art of Walking the Streets of London,” and Frances Burney’s “Evelina.” In addition to engaging in critical analysis of these literary texts, students learn how to use digital mapping, spatial analysis, and image markup to imagine eighteenth-century London and work collaboratively to create maps charting the movements of real people (such as Boswell) and fictional characters (such as Moll Flanders) within the city. Theaters, coffeehouses, shops, prisons, hospitals, and parks are among the public spaces explored in order to contextualize, enrich, and question the literature. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors. (Same as: URBS 2305)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 2405  (c)   Victorian Plots  

Aviva Briefel.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

Focusing primarily on the novel, examines Victorian narrative form. Considers whether there are certain types of plots that are peculiar to the period; the ways in which characters develop (or not) as stories unravel; and how literary elements such as description, dialogue, and setting emerge in Victorian texts. Along the way, analyzes the economic, social, and cultural factors that determine aspects of the novel. Authors may include Emily Bronte, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Anthony Trollope.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2426  (c)   The Horror Film in Context  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the genre of the horror film in a range of cultural, theoretical, and literary contexts. Considers the ways in which horror films represent violence, fear, and paranoia; their creation of identity categories; their intersection with contemporary politics; and their participation in such major literary and cinematic genres as the gothic, comedy, and family drama. Texts may include works by Craven, Cronenberg, De Palma, Freud, Hitchcock, Kristeva, Kubrick, Poe, Romero, and Shelley. Note: Fulfills the film theory requirement for Cinema Studies minors. (Same as: CINE 2426, GSWS 2426)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2021.

ENGL 2428  (c, VPA)   Introduction to Film Theory  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

A survey of some of the major currents in film theory from the early days of motion pictures to the present, including formalism, genre theory, auteur theory, psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. Includes mandatory evening film screenings; a choice of two screening times available for each film. Note: Fulfills the film theory requirement for cinema studies minors.. (Same as: CINE 2428)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2022.

ENGL 2451  (c)   Modernism/Modernity  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the cruxes of the “modern,” and the term’s shift into a conceptual category rather than a temporal designation. Although not confined to a particular national or generic rubric, takes British and transatlantic works as a focus and includes fiction, poetry and visual art. Organized by movements or critical formations of the modern, i.e., modernisms, psychoanalysis, postmodernism, cultural critique, transnationalism. Readings of critical literature in conjunction with primary texts. Authors/directors/artists may include T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Langston Hughes, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Zadie Smith, J. M. Coetzee, Roberto Bolaño, Man Ray, Stanley Kubrick. (Same as: GSWS 2247)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2453  (c)   "Words are all we have": The Irish Story  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

This course considers the storied nature of ideas about Ireland through the consideration of a variety of Irish artists. Part of the aim of the course is to register the changes in the ways Irish letters have been reimagined by writers and critics in the last fifty years. In this iteration, we will be focusing on Samuel Beckett’s oeuvre, which includes prose, drama (famously and notoriously, Waiting for Godot), essays, radio, and film (e.g., Film with Buster Keaton in 1964). He has been designated a modernist, a postmodernist and not Irish at all, having lived in France for most of his writing life: “exile was a condition of Being.” Beckett’s reach has been enormous: his work has been the subject of numerous critical thinkers in the last century, including Theodor Adorno and Jacques Lacan, whom we will read. We will look at his Irish contemporaries, including James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Edna O’Brien, and his outside impact on others, e.g., J.M. Coetzee, Maggie Nelson, and painters such as Jasper Johns. (Same as: GSWS 2453, THTR 2869)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2454  (c)   The Modern Novel or What the Novel Thinks  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An abiding description of the dramatically carnivalesque Circe chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses is as the “unconscious” of the novel. This is provocative in a number of ways, not least of which is through its suggestion that the novel, rather than a character or narrator per se, has a mind, which can both think and suppress thought. Such an idea represents a turn on the classic modernist technique of “stream of consciousness” or the postmodern concept of “metafiction.” Another staple comment about Joyce’s novel suggests that the novel reads its readers, as well as, or better than, the other way around. This course will examine these ideas of novelistic knowingness through several modern and contemporary novels, drawing on a variety of narrative theories, cognitive and affect theories, and psychoanalysis. Possible authors include Ian McEwen, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, W. G. Sebald, J.M Coetzee, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Muriel Spark, Roberto Bolaño, Franco Moretti, and Roland Barthes. (Same as: GSWS 2454)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2457  (c, VPA)   Modern Drama in Theory and Practice  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 25.  

Ibsen, Brecht, and Beckett are undoubtedly some of the most influential playwrights of the twentieth century. As both scholarly and performance texts, their plays have long presented challenges to scholars and theater artists alike. Yet they—the scholarly and artistic-- rarely work together to benefit from the insights each approach can offer. Beginning with plays like, for example, “A Doll's House,” “The Good Person of Setzuan,” and “Waiting for Godot,” students then move to more contemporary masters, including groundbreaking playwrights of color Lorraine Hansberry and Suzan Lori-Parks, and provocateur Martin McDonagh. Lastly, students examine the legacy of Beckett’s work in television by examining contemporary television drama like “Pose”. (Same as: THTR 2410)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2505  (c)   American Literature to 1865  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Surveys American literature from the colonial period to the Civil War. Studies accounts of early contact, narratives of captivity and slavery, sermons, autobiographies, poems, and novels. Authors include Winthrop, Rowlandson, Franklin, Douglass, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson. Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2506  (c)   American Literature II: 1865 - 1920  

Every Other Spring. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Continues the themes and issues introduced in American Literature I into the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, examines the aftermath of the Civil War and slavery, both its material devastation as well as the technological and literary innovation it generated that helped the country prosper for the next five decades. Examines the development of various literary movements including, realism, naturalism, and African American literature through readings of works by William Dean Howells, Henry James, Edith Wharton, W.E.B. DuBois, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Booker T. Washington, Stephen Crane, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mark Twain, Ida B. Wells, Frank Norris, Pauline Hopkins, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Same as: AFRS 2506)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2548  (c)   Wild Things: Gender, Sexuality, and Wilderness  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines how ideas of wildness and wilderness have been used to generate different gender and sexual identities and politics through literature and other cultural forms in the United States. Considers wilderness and wildness in relation to rugged individualism; transgressive sexualities; representations of health, disease, and disability; the extension of and resistance to state control of the body; and the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and class. Students will learn how the idea of wilderness has been associated with and adopted by different bodies and identities over time, from the early European colonists’ first encounter with Indigenous peoples and the American continent to the twenty-first century, which scientists have characterized as the era of the sixth mass extinction. Readings include canonical works of wilderness writing and lesser-known texts, including queer pastorals, feminist travelogues, and HIV/AIDS memoirs. (Same as: ENVS 2548, GSWS 2548)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023.

ENGL 2551  (c)   American Literature since 1945: Beats, Cyborgs, Primitives  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An exploration of how American authors responded to the rise of totalitarianism, corporate bureaucracy, consumer culture, and the emergence of new technologies of automation and war that were seen to threaten the individual in the mid-twentieth century. Traces the emergence of new literary practices associated with postmodernism as efforts to represent and critique these trends, and examines key figures—the Beat poet, the cyborg, and the primitive—as flashpoints in cultural debates about what constitutes the human. Key topics include the aesthetics of spontaneity, the status of art in a time of consumerism, the influence of mass media on the feel of everyday life, and art's at times contentious, at times inspired relationship with technology. Texts may include novels, poems, and readings by Hannah Arendt, Flannery O’Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Theodor Adorno, Norbert Wiener, Charles Olson, Jack Kerouac, Diane Di Prima, PK Dick, and Amiri Baraka.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2555  (c)   Fictions of Finance  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

The world of economics and the world of literature have for centuries shared a vocabulary. Words such as speculation, value, interest, and depression have both financial and cultural connotations. In this course, we will examine this connection as it develops across the 20th- and 21st -century American fiction. How do the stories we tell and the ways we tell them evolve with shifts in the marketplace? How does culture influence the economy? How have authors and filmmakers dealt with huge economic events such as the financial crisis of 2007? In considering the social ramifications of the world of finance, the course will also draw on a variety of theoretical texts ranging from political economy to cultural studies. Authors and filmmakers include Edith Wharton, W. E. B. Du Bois, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ursula K. Le Guin, Don DeLillo, Marlon James, Ben Lerner and Martin Scorsese.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 2556  (c)   America and the Globe  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

What does it mean when we say that we live in a global age? And what are the connections between the global and the American? We will examine contemporary fiction, film, and culture from or about the United States that contemplate America’s place in the world. We will consider the global reach and dominance of American culture and the increasingly multiethnic nature of contemporary American life. We will examine questions of race, gender, and class under a global lens and reflect on how such subjects as global migration, worldwide media like the internet, and increased economic interdependence are portrayed in novels and films. Texts include novels by Toni Morrison, Teju Cole, Valeria Luiselli, and Tommy Orange; films by Boots Riley and Bong Joon-ho; and theoretical texts by Saskia Sassen, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Sylvia Wynter. [Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors.]

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2557  (c)   Poetry and the City  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 35.  

This course takes up the life of twentieth-century US poetry in the city, including in public school systems, urban social movements, cafes and bars, on the radio, at poetry slams, and elsewhere. Students will attend to the public contexts in which poetry takes place and consider the role of poetry in urban society and the influence of urbanism on verse. Serious attention is paid to both the formal intricacies of language on the page and the social analysis of the context of poetry’s creation, reproduction, and reception in cities. We explore three cities—Chicago, New York, and San Francisco—through the eyes of poets, including Philip Levine, Adrienne Rich, Jack Spicer, Frank O’Hara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Amiri Baraka. (Same as: URBS 2557)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 2582  (c)   Reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin"  

Tess Chakkalakal.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Introduces students to the controversial history of reader responses to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Students engage with various theoretical approaches—reader response theory, feminist, African Americanist, and historicist—to the novel, then turn to the novel itself and produce their own literary interpretation. In order to do so, students examine the conditions of the novel’s original production. By visiting various historic locations, the Stowe House on Federal Street, the First Parish on Maine Street, Special Collections of the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, students compare the novel’s original historical context to the history that the novel produced. Aside from reading Stowe’s antislavery fiction, students also read works produced with and against Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2582)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2603  (c)   African American Fiction: Humor and Resistance  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores rich traditions of African American humor in fiction, comics, graphic narratives, and film. Considers strategies of cultural survival and liberation, as well as folkloric sources, trickster storytellers, comic double-voicing, and the lampooning of racial ideologies. Close attention paid to modes of burlesque, satirical deformation, caricature, tragicomedy, and parody in historical and contemporary contexts, including such writers and performers as Charles Chesnutt, Bert Williams, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Pryor, Ishmael Reed, Aaron McGruder, Dave Chappelle, and Suzan-Lori Parks. (Same as: AFRS 2603)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 2604  (c, VPA)   African American Literature and Visual Culture  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores creative collaborations and cross currents in African American literary and visual arts over the past century. Considers the problems of minstrelsy, masking, and caricature -- as well as instruments of militant image-making in both literary and visual forms. Topics of special interest include uplift and documentary photography; modernist resistance languages of the Harlem Renaissance; shadows, silhouettes, and invisibility; comic strips and graphic narratives; and contemporary images -- prints, texts, and illustrations -- that introduce alternative socio-political allegories. The course will engage with works held in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and in Special Collections and Archives. (Same as: AFRS 2604)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2021.

ENGL 2605  (c)   The Harlem Renaissance  

Elizabeth Muther.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

Focuses on the African American literary and cultural call-to-arms of the 1920s. Modernist resistance languages; alliances and betrayals on the left; gender, sexuality, and cultural images; activism and literary journalism; and music and visual culture are of special interest. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2605)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2650  (c)   African American Fiction: (Re) Writing Black Masculinities  

Guy Mark Foster.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

In 1845, Frederick Douglass told his white readers: “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.” This simple statement effectively describes the enduring paradox of African American male identity: although black and white males share a genital sameness, until the nation elected its first African American president the former has inhabited a culturally subjugated gender identity in a society premised on both white supremacy and patriarchy. But Douglass’s statement also suggests that black maleness is a discursive construction, i.e. that it changes over time. If this is so, how does it change? What are the modes of its production and how have black men over time operated as agents in reshaping their own masculinities? Reading a range of literary and cultural texts, both past and present, students examine the myriad ramifications of, and creative responses to, this ongoing challenge. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2650, GSWS 2260)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2651  (c, DPI)   Queer Race  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

How does the concept of queerness signify in cultural texts that are ostensibly about the struggle for racial equality? And vice versa, how does the concept of racialization signify in cultural texts that are ostensibly about the struggle for LGBT recognition and justice? While some of this work tends to reduce queer to traditional sexual minorities like lesbigay and trans folk while downplaying racial considerations, others tend to limit the category race to people of color like blacks while downplaying questions about sexuality. Such critical and creative gestures often place queer and race in opposition rather than as intersecting phenomena. Students examine the theoretical and cultural assumptions of such gestures, and their implications, through close readings of selected works in both the LGBT and African American literary traditions. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2651, GSWS 2651)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2653  (c)   Interracial Narratives  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Violence and interracial sex have long been conjoined in U.S. literary, televisual, and filmic work. The enduring nature of this conjoining suggests there is some symbolic logic at work in these narratives, such that black/white intimacy functions as a figural stand-in for negative (and sometimes positive) commentary on black/white social conflict. When this happens, what becomes of “sex” as a historically changing phenomenon when it is yoked to the historically unchanging phenomenon of the “interracial”? Although counter-narratives have recently emerged to compete with such symbolic portrayals, i.e. romance novels, popular films and television shows, not all of these works have displaced this earlier figural logic; in some cases, this logic has merely been updated. Explores the broader cultural implications of both types of narratives. Possible authors/texts: Richard Wright, Chester Himes, Ann Petry, Lillian Smith, Jack Kerouac, Frantz Fanon, Kara Walker, Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, John R. Gordon, Kim McLarin, Monster’s Ball, Far From Heaven, and Sex and the City. Note: beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, and multiethnic American or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2653, GSWS 2283)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023.

ENGL 2654  (c)   Staging Blackness  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines the history and contributions of African Americans to United States theater from the early blackface minstrel tradition, to the revolutionary theater of the Black Arts writers, to more recent postmodernist stage spectacles. Among other concerns, such works often dramatize the efforts of African Americans to negotiate ongoing tensions between individual needs and group demands that result from historically changing forms of racial marginalization. A particular goal is to highlight what Kimberly Benston has termed the expressive agency with which black writers and performers have imbued their theatrical presentations. Potential authors include Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Ron Milner, Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, George C. Wolfe, Anna Deavere Smith, Afro Pomo Homos, and August Wilson. Note: Fulfills the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 2630, THTR 2854)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 2700  (c, IP)   The Animal and the Human  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Considers the changing philosophical and political significance of representations of the animal and of human/animal interactions in modern and contemporary literature. Focuses on global fiction and investigates the role of the animal in the theories and philosophies of biopolitics, shamanism, and animism. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2706  (c, IP)   Novels Across Nations  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Modern and contemporary fiction that engages the global by having characters who cross borders or inhabit more than one national category; having stories that make readers question the homogeneity and cohesiveness of the traditional nation-state; or having readerships located beyond the settings of their narratives. Writers from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East may be considered, as well as issues of anti-colonialism, globalization, warfare, migration, and diaspora. Possible authors read include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Amitav Ghosh, Helon Habila, Mohsin Hamid, Kazuo Ishiguro, Randa Jarrar, Andrea Levy, Dinaw Mengestu, Chinelo Okparanta, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Elif Shafak, and Kim Thuy. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2707  (c, IP)   New Modes of Magic  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An exploration of the ways new fiction by global and diasporic anglophone authors has turned away from strict realism towards forms of the supernatural, paranormal, and magical. We will examine how such works both draw on and transform diverse cultural traditions, blurring the boundaries between literary, fantasy, and science fiction as they critically address contemporary issues such as the inheritances of imperialism, the politics of migration, the power dynamics of gender and sexuality, and the threats of ecological devastation and extinction. Note: beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, and multiethnic American or global literature requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 2749  (c, IP)   Global Asian Popular Fiction  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores the ways global Asian women writers have transformed popular genres as well as traditional forms as they address issues of gender identity, migration, political polarization, imperialist expansion, and ecological crisis. Examines how writers from East, South, and Southeast Asian lineages merge the anglophone novel and modern short story with modes spanning Asian and Western literary traditions, including myth, fairy tale, ancient epic, fantasy, romance, ghost tale, martial arts and magical narrative (wuxia and xianxia), and science fiction. Featured authors include Zen Cho, R. F. Kuang, and Tasha Suri, with possible brief works by Amanda Lee Koe, Anjali Sachdeva, Vandana Singh, Nghi Vo, and J. Y. Yang. (Same as: ASNS 2809)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2021.

ENGL 2750  (c, DPI)   Asian American Literature  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An introduction to the writings of Asian America and this literature's development from early twentieth century to the present. Focuses on the ways Asian American writers have responded to and contested dominant Western discourses of Asia/Asians. Also explores the intersections of race with gender, sexuality, class, and country of origin in shifting notions of Asian American identity. Authors include Winnifred Eaton, Carlos Bulosan, Monica Sone, John Okada, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, and David Henry Hwang. Note: beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, and multiethnic American or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: ASNS 2801)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2021.

ENGL 2758  (c, DPI)   New Fictions of Asian America  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Examines developments in Asian American literature since 2000 and asks how postmillennial fictions extend earlier writings' core concerns with racial identity and national belonging in the United States. Themes and contexts include globalization and transnationalism, illegal immigration and refugee experience, the post-9/11 security state and surveillance, the expansion of Asian capital, the global financial crisis, digital technology and social media, and climate change. Considers the diverse genres and functions of Asian American literature as not simply ethnic self-writing but also social satire, political critique, historical archaeology, cultural memory, and dystopic science fiction. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: ASNS 2806)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Spring 2021, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2760  (c, DPI)   Asian America's Margins  

Belinda Kong.
Every Other Year. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

Explores the margins of Asian America through literary perspectives of queerness, mixed-race identities, transnational and transracial adoption, disability, and mental illness. Examines the ways authors contest dominant white discourses of Asianness as well as the stigmatized zones within Asian American life. Authors may include K-Ming Chang, Alexander Chee, Nicole Chung, Thanh-Thao Sue Do, Velina Hasu Houston, Yiyun Li, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Matthew Salesses, Jane Jeong Trenka, Ocean Vuong, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Alice Wong. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: ASNS 2805)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2801  (c, VPA)   Of Comics and Culture  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

An introduction to comics, graphic narratives, and sequential art. Explores elements of the history of the comics -- especially in a United States cultural context -- while examining the formal dimensions of this hybrid art. Considers the cultural functions of this work in theoretical terms, as well as the sociology of its reception. Examines comics as personal narrative, social criticism, political commentary, fantasy, and science fiction, among other modes. Special focus on the functions of humor, irony, pathos, and outrage, as deployed in historical and contemporary comic forms.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2804  (c)   Maine Writers and the Environment  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Explores the wild and diverse literary territories of the state of Maine -- past and present -- with a focus on coastal narratives and environmental writing. Considers Maine's multi-ethnic folkways, its austere modernisms, remorseless gothic landscapes, natural splendors and antagonisms, coastal rhapsodies and adversities, and contemporary environmental imperatives. Includes poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, personal narratives, children's literature, nature writing, and environmental advocacy by such writers as Thoreau, Jewett, Robinson, Millay, Beston, Carson, McCloskey, King, Russo, Strout, and Bryan. Taught in residence at the Bowdoin College Schiller Coastal Studies Center. English 2804/Environmental Studies 2804 is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2232 (same as Environmental Studies 2232), Biology 2330 (same as Environmental Studies 2233), and Biology 2501 (same as Environmental Studies 2231) are co-requisites of this course. (Same as: ENVS 2804)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 2805  (c)   Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 18.  

This course explores theories and practices of the peer tutoring in writing, emphasizing collaborative learning, linguistic diversity, and student voice. We will explore the role that language standardization plays in perpetuating white supremacy and systemic racism, along with strategies to support all student writers. The history, theory, and practice of Writing Studies, paired with Critical Pedagogy, prepares selected Writing Assistants for to work in the Writing Center. This course does not count toward the English major. Only open to students selected as Writing Assistants.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023, Spring 2022, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2806  (c)   The American Shore Ode  

Anthony Walton.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

We will read and discuss a series of poems that concern themselves with the American shore and coastline. Examples are Whitman’s "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," Ammon’s "Corson's Inlet," Steven’s "Idea of Order at Key West," Eliot's "Dry Salvages," Crane's "Voyages," Bishop's "At the Fishouses," Clampitt's "Beach Glass," and several more. We will also read, to begin, Rachel Carson's "The Edge of the Sea." According to American critic Paul Fussell, "This kind of poem does more than simply engage in transcendental meditations about the sea: the important thing is this dissimilarity between shore and sea, sand and water, separateness and cohesiveness, analysis and synthesis––a dissimilarity which explains and justifies their paradoxical marriage." Students will write critical papers and reflections, and will also have an opportunity to compose their own shore ode(s). (Same as: ENVS 2806)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023.

ENGL 2841  (c)   Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Explores some of the most important and compelling aspects of literary and cultural theory from the past century. Situates critical movements such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, structuralism, deconstruction, queer theory, postcolonial theory, critical race theory, and cultural studies in their historical and intellectual contexts. Includes such authors as Marx, Freud, Benjamin, Barthes, Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Sedgwick, Butler, and Žižek.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2023, Spring 2022, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2852  (c)   Creative Writing: Poetry II  

Anthony Walton.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 12.
  

Builds upon the method of studying and crafting poetry encountered in English 1225. Students exposed to advanced methods of writing and interpretation, including the in-depth study of one particular poet’s oeuvre and evolution. Students encouraged to develop a more comprehensive view of their own individual poetic practices. Each week students responsible for evaluating the assigned reading and for writing poems. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2853  (c)   Advanced Fiction Workshop  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Presumes a familiarity with the mechanics of fiction and, ideally, previous experience in a fiction workshop. Uses published stories and stories by students to explore questions of voice and tone, structure, and plot, how to deepen one’s characters, and how to make stories resonate at a higher level. Readings will consist of a series of novels, short stories, and essays that seek to decolonize literature and to push us to examine questions of identity, power, and the state. Students write at least two stories during the semester and revise at least one. Workshop discussion and critiques are an integral part. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2023, Spring 2022, Spring 2021.

ENGL 2860  (c)   Character, Plot, Scene, Theme, Dream: The Fundamentals of Screenwriting  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Introduction to the basic practices of writing for the screen, including concepts, techniques, and predictable problems. Students study and analyze films and scripts from the perspective of the screenwriter and complete a writing project of their own. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors. (Same as: CINE 2860)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022, Fall 2021, Fall 2020.

ENGL 2861  (c)   Advanced Narrative Nonfiction: Writing About the History, Culture, and Politics of Food  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Students read a wide range of published works about the history, culture, and politics of food— including writings by Henry David Thoreau, M.F.K. Fisher, Edna Lewis, and Michael Pollan—and write and revise substantial narratives that combine personal and researched material. Focuses on the craft of writing, particularly on structure and voice. All students are expected to fully participate in weekly workshop discussions. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2020.

ENGL 2862  (c)   Longform Nonfiction Writing  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

A creative nonfiction course on the application of fictional techniques to journalistic material in magazine-length pieces. Examines why, in an age of text messages and tweets, longer narrative is experiencing a resurgence. Engages with the history and evolution of literary journalism, while addressing many considerations that face the writer, including choice of subject matter, structure, pacing, dialogue, scene, and style. Students read a wide range of published work, including pieces by Elif Batuman, Katherine Boo, Truman Capote, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, John McPhee, Rachel Monroe, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Guy Talese, and others, and will write in several main subgenres of the field. Full participation in workshop discussions is required. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2021.

ENGL 2863  (c)   The Fractured and The Lyric: Advanced Forms of Creative Nonfiction  

Guy Mark Foster.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 12.
  

Examines the relationship between form and content in contemporary creative nonfiction, and how formal experimentation is used to evoke risky, unconventional, or suppressed narratives, from the traumatic to the ecstatic. Students read a wide range of essays, memoir, and hybrid work that uses lyricism and fragmentation. Authors may include Gloria Anzaldúa, Eula Biss, Jenny Boully, Anne Carson, Jamaica Kincaid, Kiese Laymon, Maggie Nelson, Andrés Neuman, Lia Purpura, Claudia Rankine, and others. Students write and substantially revise their own narratively daring work, with an emphasis on structure and voice. All students are expected to fully participate in weekly workshop discussions. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

ENGL 2864  (c)   The Personal (Essay) is Political  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Takes Carol Hanisch’s canonical 1970 essay “The Personal is Political” as inspiration to consider how memoir has been, and still might be, used to illuminate broader societal inequities and galvanize social change. Asks how writers shape personal political narratives to transcend testimony and become art, and how political and social justice opinion writing can effectively incorporate personal narrative. Focuses on contemporary writers, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kaitlyn Greenidge, bell hooks, Kiese Laymon, Meredith Talusan, Megan Stielstra, Michelle Tea, Wesley Yang, and others. Students will read and discuss published works in a variety of styles and on a diversity of topics to gain an understanding of form and technique. They will use these techniques to write both op-eds and longer personal political essays. All are expected to fully participate in weekly workshop discussions. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2022, Fall 2021.

ENGL 2865  (c, IP)   Structures of the Short Story  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Explores fundamentals of narrative construction through reading short masterworks of Russian literature alongside a variety of creative writing assignments. What makes a story compelling—or, for that matter, what makes it a story at all? This course focuses on the complex machinery producing what John Gardner called the “vivid and continuous dream” of fiction, moving from what a story means to how it means. Our guides in this process will be the Russian writers who helped innovate and fine-tune the modern short story, from Pushkin to Turgenev to Chekhov, and whose legacies continue to hold sway over the form. In response to readings, students write short creative or analytical assignments on the narrative techniques under study. This course is meant for writers and literature students alike; no previous creative writing experience required. All course materials are in English. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors. (Same as: RUS 2232)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 2866  (c, VPA)   Creative Writing Workshop: Playwriting  

Abigail Killeen.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 12.
  

Playwrights say nothing compares to hearing their words onstage in live performance. But how does a story become a play? How is a play different than a novel, a short story, or a screenplay? This creative writing class focuses on writing for live performance and includes exercises in writing dialogue, character, conflict, scenes, and solo performance texts, then moves to the writing (and rewriting) of a short play. Students also read plays critically, considering how writers use image, action, speech, and silence; how they structure plays and performance pieces; and how they approach character and plot. Weekly writing exercises are critiqued in a group workshop format. (Same as: THTR 2401)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2867  (c)   Decolonizing the Craft of Writing  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Toni Morrison once said, "I have spent my entire writing life trying to make sure that the white gaze was not the dominant one in any of my books.” This course takes that quote as inspiration and examines how writers of color, queer writers, female-identifying writers, and differently abled writers, have created works of fiction and nonfiction that do not pander to the dominant gaze. Students will read contemporary books on craft and identity by authors like Felicia Rose Chavez, Melissa Febos, David Mura, and Matthew Salesses and be asked to produce, and then workshop, fiction and nonfiction pieces that respond to the ideas found within these books. Additional readings may include Garth Greenwell, Brandon Taylor, Maxine Hong Kingston, Salman Rushdie, and other authors whose work expands ideas and expectations of what a story can and should be, especially when told by writers who historically have been on the margins. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 2903  (c, DPI)   A History of Anti-Semitism  

Marilyn Reizbaum; Todd Berzon.
Every Other Year. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 35.
  

Introduces students to a history of anti-Semitism (and its antecedent, anti-Judaism) as discursive operations in the world. Its title reflects the approach to this topic— rather than trace a linear narrative of the history of anti-Semitism, students will investigate particular moments, cases, loci, and flashpoints of anti-Semitism via film, drama, short stories, treatises, dialogues, and scripture. Focusing on a range of forms and contexts, the course analyzes the continuities and discontinuities within the polemical discourses representing Jews and Judaism. The course will consider, for example, Biblical supersessionism; Blood Libel; The Merchant of Venice, Protocols of the Elders of Zion; Christian Zionist anti-Semitism; the Jewish Museum of London’s recent exhibit Jews, Money, Myth; contemporary politics and BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions); and the rise of white nationalism. (Same as: REL 2214)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2904  (c, DPI)   Queer Latinx Literature and Culture  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

This seminar examines representations of queer Latinx identities and experiences through intersectional and interdisciplinary lenses, focusing on texts crafted by US-based Latinx authors. Students develop an understanding of the aesthetic and ideological elements that inform the narrativization of queer Latinx experience and the tensions that arise through the intersection of sexuality, gender, race, and ethnicity in a variety of texts and genres. In addition to highlighting the value of reading literature written by authors who belong to the marginalized groups that they write about, this course is meant to disrupt monolithic and homogenizing understandings of what it means to be queer and Latinx. Potential topics include futurism, la familia, borderlands, machismo and patriarchy, the coming-out narrative, and memory. This course satisfies the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, Multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: GSWS 2704, LACL 2304)

Prerequisites: GSWS 1000 - 2969 or GSWS 3000 or higher or ENGL 1000 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 2906  (c, DPI)   Asian America and Empire: History, Society, Literature  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Asian America encompasses a diverse and dynamic population. This interdisciplinary course explores the complexities of Asian America by focusing on key historical and contemporary issues. Recognizing that much Asian American experience comes from the processes and history of US empire building, we will examine topics such as immigration, citizenship, the politics of race and ethnicity, identity formation, literary and cultural self-representation, community building, class and generational divides, gender and sexuality, and political mobilization. We will use a variety of lenses to gain critical perspective, including history, social relations and practices, and cultural production, such as literature, film, media, and art. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: ASNS 2882, HIST 2163, SOC 2264)

Prerequisites: ASNS 1000 - 2969 or ASNS 3000 or higher or ENGL 1000 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher or HIST 1000 - 2969 or HIST 3000 or higher or SOC 1000 - 2969 or SOC 3000 or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2023.

ENGL 3002  (c)   James Joyce Revolution  

Marilyn Reizbaum.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 15.
  

An examination of James Joyce’s signal contributions to modern writing and critical theories. Reading includes the major works (“Dubliners,” “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” “Ulysses”), essays by Joyce, and writings by others who testify to the Joyce mystique, e.g., Oliver St. John Gogarty, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Jacques Derrida, Seamus Heaney, Maud Ellmann.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2021.

ENGL 3007  (c)   The Secret Life of Things  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

We tend to focus on the people who populate literary texts, but what do we see when we direct our attention to the things that they create, use, or wear; buy, sell, or steal; produce or consume; treasure or destroy? Explores this world of things (money, jewels, tools, weapons, clothing, portraits, animals), and the literary, legal, and philosophical questions that such things raise in a wide variety of texts. Readings will include major novels, such as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Roxana; a collection of popular “it narratives” (that is, stories “told” from the point of view not of a person, but of an object, such as a wig, a shoe, and a gold coin); essays in which eighteenth-century writers explore Great Britain’s consumer culture; and satires, such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. This course fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 3011  (c)   African American Film  

Elizabeth Muther.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2024. Enrollment limit: 16.
  

Advanced Seminar. Explores a spectrum of films produced since 1950 that engage African American cultural experience. Topics may include black-white buddy movies, the L.A. Rebellion, blaxploitation, the hood genre, cult classics, comedy and cross-dressing, and romance dramas. Of special interest will be the documentary impulse in contemporary African American film; gender, sexuality, and cultural images; the politics of interpretation—writers, filmmakers, critics, and audiences; and the urban context and the economics of alienation. Extensive readings in film and cultural theory and criticism. Note: Fulfills the film theory requirement for Cinema Studies minors. Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 3011, CINE 3011)

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 or higher or AFRS 1000 or higher or FILM 1000 or higher or CINE 1000 or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 3012  (c)   Cosmopolitics and Creaturely Life  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

Advanced seminar. An exploration of the ways contemporary planetary consciousness has influenced conceptions of the human and the animal, as well as their supposed difference. Examines, in light of modern and current world literature, new models for both the exemplary world citizen and human species identity. Investigates to what extent, and by what creative means, reconsiderations of humans’ impact on the planet and place in the world are recorded in narratives of other creatures and the perceptual possibilities of their worlds. (Same as: URBS 3012)

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 1049 or ENGL 1100 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2020.

ENGL 3015  (c)   James Baldwin  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 15.  

Examines the major postwar writings of the controversial African American author and the role his fiction and nonfiction played in challenging that era’s static understandings of racial, gender, and sexual politics. Although Baldwin lived abroad for much of his life, many critics associate the author narrowly with the United States black civil rights and sexual liberation struggles. In recent years, however, Baldwin has increasingly been recognized as a transnational figure and for his invaluable contributions to the discourse of globalization. Indeed, Baldwin’s “geographical imagination,” one informed by critical racial literacy, led him to anticipate many of the central insights of contemporary Queer Studies, Whiteness Studies, as well as Africana philosophical thought. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: AFRS 3015, GSWS 3015)

Prerequisites: ENGL 2000 - 2969 or AFRS 2000 - 2969 or GLS 2000 - 2969 or GSWS 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 3028  (c, DPI, IP)   Imagined Asias  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines how Asia has been represented by America and Europe and how Asian authors have responded. Draws from a wide archive of literature, theory, film, and mass culture from mid-nineteenth century to the present. Not a survey: focus on case studies that explore historical exemplars of as well as conceptual alternatives to the critical model of orientalism, which regards western depictions of Asia as necessarily reflecting the culture of empire. Issues include US racial discourses of exoticism and the yellow peril; western modernist and postmodern appropriations of “oriental” cultures for self-critiques; and strategies of hybridity, self-orientalism, and occidentalism by Asian and Asian diasporic writers and filmmakers. Possible works by Edward Said, Pierre Loti, Bret Harte, Jack London, Winnifred Eaton, David Henry Hwang, Ezra Pound, Italo Calvino, Roland Barthes, Gayatri Spivak, Rey Chow, J. G. Ballard, Kazuo Ishiguro, Amitav Ghosh, Haruki Murakami, Bei Dao, Shan Sa, Su Tong, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, and Stephen Chow. Note: Beginning with the Class of 2025, this class will fulfill the African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latinx, multiethnic American, or global literature requirement for English majors. (Same as: ASNS 3801)

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher or ASNS 1000 - 2969 or ASNS 3000 or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024, Spring 2022.

ENGL 3030  (c)   Ecopoetics: Poetry and the Environment  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines the relationship between poetry and the environment beyond nature poetry. Topics include poets’ search for a “natural” language, the construction of the environmental subject; the persistence of preindustrial modes of life within poetic practices; poetry as a resource for the invention of new environmentalisms; the mastery of the natural world through technology and art; the oft-debated relationship between poetry and activism; and race, gender, sexuality, and ecopoetics. Begins with concepts arising from foundational ecocritical texts, before turning to modern and contemporary American ecopoetry, including works by Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Olson, Lorine Niedecker, Wanda Coleman, Craig Santos Perez, and C.S. Giscombe.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2023.

ENGL 3032  (c)   Gawain and the Green Knight  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

This seminar is intended for advanced students who are ready to focus on one exquisite literary text for an entire semester. In this course, that text will be Gawain and the Green Knight, a novel-length poem written in the Middle Ages by a mysterious author whose identity has never been discovered. In the first half of the course, we will learn to decipher the poem’s code and comprehend its encrypted meaning. In the second half of the course, we will attempt to rise to the text’s challenge and solve the complex riddles with which it tests its readers. This class fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 1049 or ENGL 1100 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2023, Fall 2020.

ENGL 3034  (c)   Victorian Realism: Dickens and Eliot  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines the genre of Victorian realism through major works by Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Among other aspects, we will consider the ways in which each author works to create the "real" in their novels; study the idea of verisimilitude as a literary and ideological concept; and think about narrative form in relation to issues of gender, class, sexuality, and race. Engagement with literary criticism on these works will also be central to our discussions.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 3035  (c)   Networks of Literature/Literature of Networks  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

What role has the rise of networks of information had on the way we live our lives? Have technological and social networks changed how texts are written and has literature influenced the way we think of technology? In this course, we will read a broad range of contemporary texts that in different ways make use of networks to answer the question of what networks are and what they do. We will look at both traditional works of literature, including novels and poems, as well as texts written for and on the Internet. Our readings will also include secondary texts about the history of new media, philosophical investigations of networks, and new forms of critical engagement that make use of digital technology. Authors will include Colson Whitehead, Jennifer Egan, Thomas Pynchon, China Miéville, Agha Shahid Ali, Cathy Park Hong, and Teju Cole.

Prerequisites: ENGL 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2022.

ENGL 3036  (c)   The History of the Common Body  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines the history of the common body in Western culture in festivals, ideas of the body politic and of the commons, and fears of exposure to shared embodiment. Traces attempts to contain this common body through codes of manners; the fascination for what is loathed, including the female body, the "mob," and the racial and sexual other; and episodes of collective violence, public hangings, and lynchings. Considers transformations of the common body in biopower, capitalism and its environmental consequences, communism, and mass society. Examines carnivalesque comedy, early pseudofactual fiction, grotesque satire, urban gothic, the psychoanalytic case study, blackface performance, mass spectacle, and contemporary online culture. Authors may include Euripides, Jonson, Hobbes, Erasmus, Swift, Marx, Twain, Stevenson, and Freud, alongside readings in Bakhtin, Elias, Lott, Bersani, and Debord. Note: fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

Prerequisites: ENGL 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.

ENGL 3037  (c)   The Female Gothic in Literature and Film  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

In her memoir, In the Dream House, author Carmen Maria Machado defines the female gothic as consisting of "woman plus habitation." In this class, we will examine literary and cinematic texts that represent the endangerments faced by women in architectural and social spaces. We will explore the affects of fear and paranoia and their relationship to domesticity, as well as the ways in which more recent modes of the gothic have shifted their concerns to intersectional identities. Authors and directors may include Ari Aster, Alfred Hitchcock, Shirley Jackson, Henry James, Carmen Maria Machado, Toni Morrison, Jordan Peele, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Fulfills the advanced seminar requirement for English majors and Cinema Studies minors and the theory requirement for Cinema Studies minors. (Same as: CINE 3037, GSWS 3037)

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 - 2969 or ENGL 3000 (same as GSWS 3000) or higher or CINE 1000 - 2969 or CINE 3000 or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2022.

ENGL 3800  (c)   Reconstruction and Realism  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Advanced Seminar. Explores the rise of American literary realism that occurred following the Civil War and its relationship to the social and political events of the South’s Reconstruction. Studies works by the major figures of the movement such as Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. Students are required to develop original readings of these literary texts that engage the political and social contexts in which they were produced. All students present their research in written and oral form. Fulfills the advanced seminar requirement for African studies and English majors. (Same as: AFRS 3010)

Prerequisites: AFRS 2000 - 2969 or ENGL 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2021.

ENGL 3801  (c)   Herman Melville and Africa  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

This course explores the African sources of three of Herman Melville's most important books—Benito Cereno, Moby-Dick, and Redburn—that have become central to the canon of American Literature. Students will write short analytical essays as well as complete a final collaborative interdisciplinary project. (Same as: AFRS 3801)

Prerequisites: AFRS 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2024.