Spring 2018 Course Descriptions

Click here for downloadable pdf of current English Department Courses...

English 50 Classical Mythology (4) 


What did the Greeks and Romans really think about the gods? How did they envision their interactions with divinities and other powerful forces in their world? What did they imagine about humans whose exceptional powers elevated them to the special status of hero or heroine? We will examine how those questions were conveyed in the form of traditional stories in a variety of ancient sources, including literary ones, such as Homer's Odyssey, the dramas of Euripides, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. We will also examine how many of these myths were represented in Greek and Roman art. Cross-listed with CLSS 50 (12537) 

MW 12:45-2:00 Pavlock 

English 91 Save the Earth: Environmental Literature in a Time of Crisis (4) 


With increasingly powerful hurricanes and record temperatures becoming the norm, climate change has become hard to ignore. Tied to it are a wide variety of other environmental issues, such as population growth, food production, clean water and air, social justice, and consumerism in general. In this course, we will consider a wide variety of works of literature to see what they have to tell us about these issues. These works will include novels by T.C.Boyle, Ruth Ozeki, and Barbara Kingsolver. We will also read essays and non-fiction, starting with excerpts from Thoreau, and working our way through Muir, Leopold, Carson and McKibben. In addition, I hope to find time for a trip along some local forest paths. In the end, students will have read and thought about the natural world in ways that enable us to live in harmony with the earth and the humans who inhabit it. 

TR 9:20-10:35 Lotto 

English 96 Rereading Romance: Marriage Plots and Rom-Coms (4) 

(13244) Few people think of romantic comedies as high art. They’re “chick flicks”-- fluffy, light cinematic confections. Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters, on the other hand, are considered serious literature. Together, this class will imagine the relationships between the two genres by pairing classic romances with contemporary romantic comedies in order to examine their literary roots, identifying themes and patterns that transcend form and time. These pairings will allow the class to investigate the ways in which cultural beliefs inflect our perceptions of romance, and how romantic comedies as a genre either reinforce ideas of “normal” romance, or offer plots constructed around challenges to love based in cultural difference. Cross-listed with WGSS 96 (14107) 

MW 11:10-12:25 Horn 

English 97 Love in Modernity (4) 


This course examines a range of 20th- and 21st-century representations of love in literature, film, and popular culture in order to answer the following questions: What is love? Why do we yearn for love? What makes love so difficult to attain? What social factors have historically prevented expressions of love? Can love be destructive? Readings will include novels by Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison; poetry by Pablo Neruda and Walt Whitman; and films such as West Side Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Moonlight. 

TR 1:10-2:25 Reibsome 

English 100 Working with Texts (4) 

(10252) A course to help students to become, through intense practice, independent readers of literary and other kinds of texts; to discern and describe the devices and process by which texts establish meaning; to gain an awareness of the various methods and strategies for reading and interpreting texts; to construct and argue original interpretations; to examine and judge the interpretations of other readers; to write the interpretive essay that supports a distinct position on some literary topic of importance; and to learn to find and assimilate into their own writing appropriate information from university library resources. To be rostered as early as possible in the English major's program. 

TR 1:10-2:25 Weissbourd 

English 104 Our Robots, Ourselves: Sentient Machines in 21st C Film and Television (4) 


This course explores a group of Anglo-American films and television dramas that tell stories about human relationships with computers, robots and avatars. These fictions imagine not just what humans might do with sentient machines, but what we might want from them: Will we want them to love us? To merge with us? To submit to us? And of course these dramas provide multiple perspectives on what robots might want. (We will consider, for example, why we like to imagine that conscious machines will try to exterminate humanity). The course will pay particular attention to the gendered construction of artificial intelligence. Texts include Ex Machina, Her, The Matrix, Alien: Covenant and the television dramasWestworld, Black Mirror and Humans. As we examine these stories, we will be asking how they use the audio-visual language of film to present a speculative world. This course will also ask you to examine your own relationships with artificially intelligent machines and virtual versions of self and others. Works by Sigmund Freud, Sherry Turkle, and Jessica Benjamin, and other writings about technology and contemporary society, will help to illuminate our uneasy relationship with ever more intelligent machines. Cross-listed with WGSS 104 (13581) 

MW 2:35-3:50/Lab M 7-10 Handler 

English 115 Vital Signs: Medicine and Popular Culture (4) 


Does popular culture have a “fever” for medical narratives? If so, does it merely represent or actually influence how biomedicine is thought of and practiced in everyday life? What makes contagious disease fit so well within the genre of science fiction, or makes surgery and psychiatry so conducive to horror? How does pharmaceutical advertising play upon anxieties and desires of general or specific populations in Western culture? 

In this class, we will draw from several disciplines to think about medicine as both a biological reality and social construction so that we may understand medicine’s “cultural work” in the context of history, sociology, and literary, film, and cultural studies. We will consider the role of different genres (drama, science fiction, horror, and reality TV, to name a few) and media forms (fiction, news, social media, video games, film, and television). Topics will include doctor-patient relationships, mental illness, contagious disease, medical education, pharmaceuticals, enhancement, and bioethics. To these ends, our objective is to explore how biomedicine produces and is a product of our culture. Students will learn how to think and write critically about medicine as a science/technology, system of thought, and social force. Cross-listed with HMS 115 (13578). 

TR 9:20-10:35 Servitje 

English 124 American Lit II: The Challenges of Modernity 1865-present (4) 


This course offers a survey of American literature from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. We will read fiction, poetry and non-fiction by some of the most celebrated writers in the American tradition -- as well as by some authors who are less well known. We will consider the large social, political and psychological questions that have preoccupied American writers since the Civil War, including the ongoing contradictions of race relations in the U.S., the extraordinary transformations in attitudes about gender and sexuality, and the hopes and crises that have accompanied industrialization. We will consider the evolving literary strategies employed by American writers in order to explore these questions, from the era of realism to the revolutionary moment of modernism and on to the post-modern experiments of our own time. Each of you will be encouraged to read individual texts with care and precision, in order to learn what these texts have to tell us about American life in the last century and a half -- and also in order to learn what it is about stories and poems that most moves and delights you. 

TR 1:10-2:25 Moglen 

English 128 Development of Theatre and Drama II (4)


Survey of theatre and dramatic literature from the Renaissance to the present. Cross-listed with Theatre 128 (10251) 

TR 9:20-10:35 Hoelscher 

English 142 Introduction to Writing Poetry (4) 

(11755) This poetry workshop is a craft course in which the first priority is the intensive study of versification and prosody. Through readings and discussions of canonical and contemporary poetry, as well as texts on the craft of poetry; through structured writing experiments and exercises; and through discussions and critiques of original work produced by class participants, the students in this class will seek familiarity and facility with the tools of writing poetry (in particular, rhythm and meter, sound, form, imagery, figurative language, and tone). 

MW 2:35-3:50 Watts, B. 

English 144 Introduction to Writing Fiction (4) 


This class is an introduction to writing fiction—in our case, short stories—for workshop criticism. Over the course of the semester, you’ll get extensive practice in techniques of the craft, including plot development, characterization, perspective, dialogue, setting, and the use of figurative language. Through your commitment to the workshop format, you will also develop your skills as a critical reader of others’ work and of your own. We’ll do a lot of reading and a lot of writing, and by the end of the semester you’ll have portfolio of creative work that you can build on in the future. 

TR 9:20-10:35 Bauknight, L. 

English 170 Amaranth 1 


Amaranth editorial staff. Students can earn one credit by serving as editors (literary, production, or art) for Lehigh’s literary magazine. Work includes soliciting and reviewing manuscripts, planning a winter supplement and spring issue, and guiding the magazine through all phases of production. Editors attend weekly meetings with the faculty advisor. 

R 12:10-1:00 Watts, B. 

English 187 18th-Century Origins of Science Fiction (4) 


Mad scientists and automatons, journeys to the moon and to the center of the earth, dis-topias and femi-topias, superheroes and talking animals, alien visitors to earth and virulent plagues attacking it, time travel and bleak post-apocalyptic futures—this general list of fantastic themes, people, places, events and things has specific origins in the 18th-century fiction written by British, American and European men and women. This introductory course explores the ways writers use fiction to grapple with the greatest scientific and philosophical questions of their day—questions that we’re still grappling with in contemporary science fiction movies, TV shows and books. Texts (some in excerpted form) will include: Dr. Faustus (1592), The Tempest (1611), The Blazing World (1666), The Isle of Pines (1668), A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Voyage to Cacklogallinia (1727), Niels Klim’s Journey to the World Underground (1741), Micromégas (1752), The Year 2440 (1771), The Remarkable History of Robin Hood, and Little John (1787), Wieland, or, The Transformation: An American Tale (1798), “The Sandman” (1817), “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) The Last Man (1826). 

TR 10:45-12:00 Dominique 

English 198 Rebel with a Cause: Literature of Protest in America (4) 


“Rise up / when you’re living on your knees / you rise up / tell your brother that he’s gotta / rise up / tell you sister that she’s gotta / rise up.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 

The United States is a country built on protest. Our first piece of literature as a nation—The Declaration of Independence—is an act of resistance, and it has inspired countless protest movements since 1776. This course is designed to give students a foundational knowledge of the history of literature as a form protest in the United States. We will begin with the Declaration, and explore the literature and movements it inspired, including texts protesting slavery, documenting injustices committed against Native Americans, and advocating for women’s right to vote. Together, we will consider how the history of American protest literature has contributed to social transformation and what this might mean for our contemporary moment. To ground the course in current events, we will also view the documentary Beyond Standing Rock, which explores ongoing issues of tribal sovereignty, energy access, and land use in North Dakota, Colorado, and Utah. 

TR 2:35-3:50 Monahan 

English 201-10 Immersion Writing (4) 


“Immersion Writing” is a subgenre of Creative Nonfiction in which writers become engaged participants in an unfamiliar milieu, so that they can produce an insider’s look at a subject. These first-person accounts read like works of fiction because they include rich description, scene-by-scene construction, sensory details, and dialogue, yet they also reflect the background research that accompanies an immersive project. We will read a series of examples, studying them with a “writer’s eye,” focusing on methodology and technique. We’ll read all or part of extended immersion narratives such as Black Like Me (1961), Dispatches (1977), Nickel and Dimed (2001), Self-Made Man (2006), The Unlikely Disciple (2009), War (2010), Working in the Shadows (2010), and The American Way of Eating (2012), as well as shorter pieces. Students will work on a series of short writing assignments and one longer immersion project over the course of the semester. Our primary textbook will be Ted Conover’s Immersion: A Writer’s Guide to Going Deep. 

MWF 10:10-11:00 Kroll 

English 201-11 Social Issues in Contemporary Young Adult Novels (4) 


Adolescence is a time of personal change and an increase in autonomy, but also of growing awareness of the larger world. This intersection creates a perfect backdrop for contemporary young adult novels—providing readers with a chance to understand, explore, and work through social issues that may or may not feel personally relevant. In this course students will analyze YA novels that deal with topics like rape culture, race relations, and mental illness, and explore social issues through their own writing in a supportive workshop environment. 

MW 1:10-2:25 Schmidt 

English 304 Filmmaking Studio: Documentary on the History of Lehigh's Women,Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (4-3)

10(14229) 11(14346) 

Lehigh University's program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has been a vital part of the educational and cultural landscape of our institution for several decades. This course will focus on researching, producing, and premiering a documentary film on the evolution of this program and the many people who have played vital roles in this process. Students will study filmic conventions, learn how to conduct archival research, develop filming, recording, and editing techniques, and work to market their film. We will also consider ethical concerns of documentary study and practice interviewing and camera skills as we learn to become proficient filmmakers. Our goal will be to premier the film in the fourteenth week of the Spring 2018 semester. Instructor permission required. Fulfills elective requirement. Cross-listed with WGSS 304-10 (14231) and 11(14347). 

TR 1:10-2:25 Kramp 

English 310 Introduction to TESOL Methods & Materials (4-3)

10(11978) 11(11979)

An introduction to the principles and practices of teaching English as a second or foreign language. Topics include theories of second language acquisition, ESL/EFL teaching methodology and materials, lesson planning, and classroom observations. Fulfills elective requirement. 

R 1:10-4:00 Oullette 

English 318 The Harlem Renaissance (4-3) 

10(12678) 11(12820) 

This course will provide students with an overview of the Harlem Renaissance. We will explore the unparalleled explosion of African American literary, artistic and political life that took place in and around Harlem in the opening decades of the twentieth century. We will read fiction and poetry by writers such as Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Helene Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Anne Spencer and Jean Toomer. Although literary texts will provide the central focus of our attention, this seminar will also conduct an interdisciplinary exploration of the Renaissance as an ambitious and complex cultural phenomenon. We will read and discuss major political writings in this period by W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Marcus Garvey and A. Phillip Randolph. We will also consider developments in the visual arts (including the paintings of Aaron Douglass and Archibald Motley, the photographs of James VanDer Zee and Richard S. Roberts, and the sculpture of Augusta Savage and Sargeant Claude Johnson) and in African-American music (Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson). This seminar will contribute to the English department’s Literature and Social Justice curriculum, focusing attention on the ways in which the literature and expressive cultures of the Harlem Renaissance contributed distinctively to the African American freedom struggle, and to feminist and socialist movements in the early twentieth century. Students do not need prior experience in interdisciplinary methods, but they will be expected to explore the connections among varied forms of artistic and political expression. Fulfills 20th century requirement. 

TR 2:35-3:50 Moglen 

English 327 The Canterbury Tales (4-3) 

10(14171) 11(14173) 

This course examines Chaucer’s ambitious and unfinished literary experiment, the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s self-consciousness about artistic production and his complex consideration of the ways that narrative might both delight and instruct has resonated with readers of the Tales since the Middle Ages. In addition to their rich poetic language and philosophical reflection, the Tales raise compelling questions about historical events, political concerns, and religious debates of fourteenth-century England. In order to appreciate fully Chaucer’s wit and attention to detail, we will attend to the written and spoken conventions of Middle English, investigate many of the literary and philosophical sources for the Tales, read social, political, and religious histories and primary documents, and survey critical approaches to the Tales. 

Although the Tales respond to political, philosophical, and religious concerns of fourteenth- century England that are quite different from our own historical moment, the Tales raise questions about community, social hierarchy, art, and belief that have continuing relevance: What kinds of human relationships, communities, and models of governance are possible to imagine? Why are we so often drawn to conflict, the reproduction of suffering, and hierarchies of inequality? How can we understand the relationship between a fidelity to a religious, political, and/or philosophical ideal and a responsibility to other people? In what ways can poetry and narrative offer distinctive insight on ethical and moral concerns and in what ways might they subvert that insight? What is the relationship among wrongdoing, justice, and redemption? Through readings of recent criticism, the course will include a consideration of the meanings of the Canterbury Tales for late-twentieth century readers, and will we conclude with a discussion of Gloria Naylor’s Bailey’s Cafe, a novel by a twentieth-century African-American writer that critiques and draws on the Canterbury Tales as part of an enduring literary tradition. No previous experience with either Chaucer or Middle English is required. Fulfills British to 1660 requirement. 

TR 1:10-2:35 Edwards 

English 328 Shakespeare (4-3) 

10(14174) 11(14175) 

Chances are you’ve heard of William Shakespeare. You may even have heard him referred to as “the greatest writer in the English language.” But why? Does Shakespeare still matter? In this class, we are going to explore why these plays and poems written roughly 400 hundred years ago still resonate today. We’ll read some of the “greatest hits” (e.g. Macbeth, King Lear, Twelfth Night, and the Sonnets) as well as a few lesser known works, focusing first on how these texts were understood in the time they were written and then on how they manage to still seem relevant now. We will also explore Shakespeare’s significance not only as literature but as performance: we’ll watch adaptations of the plays from around the world, try our hands at acting and directing some scenes, and discover how theatrical practice can bring 17th century language and themes to life. Fulfills British to 1660 requirement. 

TR 10:45-12:00 Weissbourd 

English 342 Advanced Poetry Writing (4-3) 

10(12860) 11(12681) 

This course is designed to be an intensive practice in the craft of poetry and study of the creative process through close readings of poems, essays on craft, and the workshopping of students’ poems. The word “poet” comes from the Greek meaning “maker,” and we will always precede understanding that a poem is not just an expression of an idea or an emotion, but a consciously and carefully made artifact. In addition, one of our goals this semester will be to extend your knowledge of the various formal and stylistic possibilities of the art of poetry and the choices available to each writer. Thus, we will read widely and intensively from a diverse selection of contemporary and canonical poetry, both individual poems and whole collections. Students will write in and out of class, poetry exercises as well as critical analyses, and will workshop each other’s work in a supportive, respectful manner. 

MW 11:10-12:25 Watts, B. 

English 344 Advanced Fiction Writing (4-3) 

10 (12682) 11(12683) 

Advanced Fiction Writing is a workshop course for writers with experience in the creation and evaluation of contemporary fiction. Students should be familiar with the fundamental concepts of the craft. Either 144 Introduction to Fiction Writing or 201 Topics in Fiction Writing are acceptable prerequisites for this course. Course work will include group collaborations, experiential learning exercises, directed readings of the works of leading contemporary authors, short exercises and assignments, performances and class lectures and the creation of three original short stories--one of which will be a digital storytelling project. The majority of class time will be devoted to fiction lab and workshop to evaluate the original writing produced by students. 

T 1:10-4:00 Watts, S. 

English 367 The Colonial Rise of the Novel (4-3) 

10(14190) 11(14191) 

In The Colonial Rise of the Novel, Firdous Azim states, “The novel is an imperialist project based on the forceful eradication and obliteration of the Other” (37). Since the colonial Other is frequently employed in a number of texts associated with the rise of the novel genre, this course will explore Azim’s statement as it relates to 18th century British novelists and the Others described in their texts. We will approach the novel’s development as a form that went hand-in-hand with Britain’s plan for colonial expansion. The novel, perhaps, provided Britons with justification and inspiration for this plan. To explore these ends we will consider 18th century British novelists’ obsessions with colonialism—obsessions that, curiously, begin and reach their height in novels written by British women. Texts will include: Oroonoko (1688), Robinson Crusoe (1719), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), The Adventures of Mr. Anderson (1754), The Female American (1767), Obi; Or, The History of Three Fingered Jack (1799), The Woman of Colour (1808), Mansfield Park (1814) Fulfills British 1660-1900 requirement. Department Permission Required. Writing Intensive. English Majors Only. 

TR 9:20-10:35 Dominique 

English 369 Romantic-Era Literature (4-3) 

10(14193) 11(14193) 

Living between the beginning of the French Revolution (1789) and the Reform Act (1832), the writers we call the British Romantics witnessed rapid social change and radical shifts in political power in Europe. As the British Empire began to take hold in the world, the British population passionately expressed a variety of opinions about pressing social problems, including parliamentary reform, the slave trade, the problem of poverty, women’s rights, and the ethics of scientific inquiry. In this course we will explore the ways in which writers in this period translated into art this sense of unrest and concern with power. We will focus in particular on the different ways in which canonical male writers (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Byron) and female writers that were popular in their own time (Anna Letitia Barbould, Helen Maria Williams, Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans) represent political, emotional, artistic, scientific, and natural power in their work. We will also read several novels in this context. Fulfills British 1660-1900 requirement. 

MW 1:10-2:25 Dolan 

English 378 American Realism (4-3) 

109(41960) 11(14197) 

This course takes as its starting point two assumptions about U.S. social history and American literary history: by the turn of the twentieth century the United States had become a predominantly urban rather than a rural culture; and by the late-nineteenth century the major focus of American literature had shifted from Romanticism to Realism. We will analyze how American authors made a sometimes rocky transition from Romanticism to Realism at the same time that they chronicled the lives of characters adapting to the demands of increasing urbanization. Readings will include Henry James's Washington Square, Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Sport of the Gods, and other texts from the period. Fulfills American to 1900 requirement. 

TR 2:35-3:50 Whitley 

English 380 Literature for the Adolescent (4) 

(14212) This course examines literature primarily for but sometimes about adolescents with attention to the political and social history of adolescence as a concept and a lived experience. In terms of the history of young adult literature and culture, readings will emphasize the 1960s into contemporary. This course will engage issues of race, class, and gender in terms of how young adult literature and scholarship in the area has evolved over time, and will feature a diverse, multi-ethnic list of young adult literature. The course will be conducted as a seminar and participation is crucial. Reading will include primary and critical texts. Fulfills 20th century requirement. Department Approval Required. Writing Intensive. English Majors Only. Cross-listed with AMST 401 (13648). 

MW 2:35-3:50 Jimenez Garcia 

English 391 Southsider: An Online News Source Celebrating Bethlehem's South Side (Culture and Art (1) 


Southsider (www.thesouthsider.org) is an on-line news source that celebrates the vibrant arts district by creating a forum for reportage on arts programming and local artists on the South Side of Bethlehem. Students enrolled in this one-credit course will compose reviews of theatrical performances, musical shows, films, and gallery openings. Students also may interview area artists, create articles about local arts organizations and/or artists, and create blogs for the site about on-going arts programming. In their writing for the site, students will receive intensive instruction on writing, editing, and revising material for the web publication. Additionally, local professional reporters will visit our class to share their insights into journalism focused on local and regional arts events and artists. 

Online Foltz 

English 433 Days of Miracle and Wonder (3) 


When Mary Magdalene reaches out to embrace the risen body of Christ, he reproaches her with the infamously harsh words, "Noli me tangere" [Do not touch me]. When the apostle Thomas meets the risen Christ, Jesus invites him to touch his body saying, "Show forth … thy hand and put it here in my side." These separate biblical episodes are depicted back to back in two medieval plays that are part of a larger dramatic cycle. Their juxtaposition begs the question: How should we understand these utterly divergent encounters with Christ's miraculously risen body? Why is Thomas allowed and encouraged to touch Christ, while Mary Magdalene is explicitly forbidden from doing so? How is it that Mary Magdalene comes to believe in the resurrection without the sensory evidence that seems necessary for Thomas? 

The questions generated by these opposing plays offer only one example of the tensions and complexities endemic to medieval representations of miracles. The literature of the miraculous in this period is exceptionally rich, and we will study a range of fascinating works over the course of the semester. For example, we will read the life of a holy woman who awakes from her own funeral and levitates among the rafters of the church to escape the smell of the sinful people there. We will explore a play in which Christ's body bursts out of the Eucharistic bread that is being tortured by a group of Jews. We will study a poem in which the corpse of pagan judge comes to life ultimately ascending to heaven after the local bishop intervenes. As we read these and other texts, we'll consider the strident interpretive challenges they pose, and we'll ask a question recently raised by a well-known literary critic: "Did the Middle Ages believe in their miracles?" 

Linking the close reading of texts with relevant historical and theological discourse, we will also explore how medieval thinkers sometimes challenged widespread belief in miracles, alleging fraud on the part of church and excessive credulity on the part of "lewd" Christians. At the end of the semester we will consider how these critical accounts of the miraculous might play a role in the apparent skepticism and iconoclasm of the Protestant Reformation. Is Shakespeare correct when he writes "miracles have ceased?" (Henry V). 

If we can gather the necessary resources, I hope that we can take a class field trip or "pilgrimage" to St. Anthony chapel in Pittsburg which houses the largest collections of relics outside of the Vatican. Department Approval Required. 

MW 11:10-12:25 Crassons 

English 471 Letters and Networks in the Transatlantic Eighteenth Century (3)


Network theory has emerged as an exciting field in the last decade, and network maps have become familiar digital projects. This course will explore networks and letters in the transatlantic eighteenth century. It is a commonplace that early fictions treat letters as a form capable of creating an unusually intimate representation of immediate experience. But only recently have critics begun to treat letters as instruments by which individuals, separated geographically, establish and extend networks that can be mobilized for many purposes: to benefit self, to aid others, to further social movements, to cement religious fellowship, to enable economic projects. To explore these issues, we will read a variety of texts, including Five Love Letters from a Nun to a Cavalier; Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther; Richardson’s Pamela; Griffith’s Delicate Distress; Imlay’s Emigrants; Foster’s Coquette; Brown’s Wieland; and Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as letter collections by William Penn, John and Abigail Adams, and Mary Penry. Department Approval Required. 

M 1:10-4:00 Gordon 

English 478 Post-45 American Women Writers (3) 


In Amy Hungerford’s widely circulated account of new directions in the study post-45 literary production titled “On the Period Formerly Known as the Contemporary,” she follows Wendy Steiner in noting that the turn of the century marked a shift in literary criticism in which critics began to break down the “reigning bifurcation of contemporary fiction into the ‘postmodern’ avant-garde and the writing of women and people of color that was so often dismissed as naively realist or concerned more with social issues than with the development of literary aesthetics” (411). Despite the shift that she outlines, Hungerford notes that central surveys of the field (The Cambridge History of American Literature, for example) continue to produce structures in which fiction produced by women of color or queer folk are separated from accounts of aesthetic “innovation” around “central” topics of the period such as global wars, late capitalism, and nationalism. To extend Hungerford’s argument, during the past four years, published overviews of literary criticism produced during a given year in Year’s Work in English Studies reveal that the majority of critical studies of the post-45 period focused on a single author address male writers; further, literary criticism reviewed in the “Fiction since 1945” section primarily continue to analyze and to celebrate works written by men. Our course will counter the continuation of the trend to subordinate writing by women by examining both the aesthetic experimentation of women writers of the post-45 period as well as the import of realist and regionalist works that address so-called social issues. As a survey of prominent American women writers of the post-45 period, students can expect to read major works from each decade of the late 20th century and into the 21st century. The course may include novels written by Ann Petry, Dorothy West, Flannery O’Connor, Eileen Myles, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joyce Carol Oates, Marge Piercy, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gayl Jones, Kathy Acker, Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Ruth Ozeki, Leslie Marmon Silko, Sandra Benítez, Lydia Millet, and Linda Hogan. Department Approval Required. 

T 4:10-7:00 Foltz 

English 482 Theories of Literature and Social Justice (3) 


This course introduces students to theories of literature and social justice. The course will begin with a look at foundational concepts, exploring questions such as: What is social justice? How does literary criticism offer distinctive ways of grappling with questions of social justice? How do literary works reinforce or challenge dominant ideologies? In what ways do literary works provide tools to map exploitative or oppressive social and political formations? Following the unit on social justice foundations, we will move into a group of more thematic explorations. The second unit will explore links between representations of the early modern colonial encounter with concepts and arguments in postcolonial theory as well as the emergent decolonial movement in New World studies. A third unit will consider religious conversion as a social and political act in both the early modern world and in postcolonial societies, with a focus on the complex role gender can play. We will conclude with a unit addressing social justice issues in archival study, focusing on race, gender, and canon formation. In pursuing this inquiry, we will be working with a mix of primary texts across a range of historical periods (from Thomas More's Utopia to works from contemporary India) as well as theoretical texts. Together, we will develop a broad set of tools for thinking about social justice that will be applicable to a number of historical periods and geographic regions. Department Approval Required. 

W 1:10-4:00 Lay/Singh 

English 491 Introduction to Digital Humanities (3) 


This course offers students an introduction to the concepts, techniques, and history of digital scholarship in the humanities. In addition to exploring the theoretical and methodological practices of the digital humanities, we will look at how these practices can be used to interpret literary and cultural texts. Students will become conversant with various concepts and methods in the digital humanities--from data-mining large textual corpora to curating archives of carefully edited texts--and will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate digital scholarship. In addition, we will study the work of scholar-activists within the academy who are working to make the field of digital humanities scholarship more attentive to social justice concerns. No prior experience with digital technology is required, but a willingness to experiment with and explore digital tools is expected. Department Approval Required. 

TR 1:10-2:25 Whitley 

© IMRC CAS 2016