Fall 2018 List of Courses

English 56 Myth and the Hero: Homer’s Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno (4) (44037)

This course will examine how myth is used to portray Odysseus (later known as Ulysses) as the greatest hero of intelligence and cunning.  We will begin by analyzing seminal myths of Homer’s Odyssey, such as the entrapment of Ares and Aphrodite, the song of the Sirens, and the ruse of the Trojan horse, and by considering the responses to these stories by characters within the narrative, including the hero himself.  We will then turn to the negative view of Odysseus in Sophocles’ tragedy Philoctetes, which questions the ethics of Odysseus as it takes up a myth mentioned in Homer’s Iliad about the absence of the wounded warrior Philoctetes.  Finally, we will explore how the late medieval poet Dante powerfully re-imagines this hero in the Inferno, where Ulysses, condemned to eternal punishment, tells the story of his final journey after he returned home from his wanderings following the Trojan War. Cross-listed with Classics 56 (44031)

MW 12:45-2:00     Pavlock


English 60 Dramatic Action (4) (40111)

How plays are put together; how they work and what they accomplish.  Examination of how plot, character, aural and visual elements of production combine to form a unified work across genre, styles and periods. Cross-listed with Theater 60 (40318)

TR 10:45-12:00     Ripa


English 96 Poetry Matters (4) (43109)

This course will teach you why poetry matters in the 21st century—why it matters today, perhaps more than ever in a 24-hour virtual world of emoticons, internet memes, and streaming videos. How do poems enable us to protest injustice? How do they help us to build community? As we explore questions about poetry's place in the world, students will learn about several influential traditions in modern American poetry. In addition to class discussion, students will attend poetry events on campus and will be encouraged to craft their own original poetry.

TR 1:10­ 2:25     Fillman


English 100 Working with Texts (4) (40112)

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.

MW 11:10-12:25     Whitley


English 104 Viewing Mad Men:  Window, Mirror, Screen (4) (44038)

Mad Men (AMC 2007-2015), a television series set in the 1960s about a New York advertising agency, is widely considered one of the best TV shows ever made, a landmark that helped to establish serial television as the preeminent form of 21st-century storytelling. Awarded 16 Emmys and five Golden Globes, Mad Men has been acclaimed for its complex characters, sophisticated storytelling, cinematic style and lush production design.  The series was particularly distinguished for the period accuracy of costumes and settings, and for seamlessly weaving historical events of the time period into its fictional plots.  But Mad Men presents itself as more than a window onto the past. It also asks us to look in the mirror. The series dramatizes social issues that are urgent in the present, such as pervasive sexual harassment, normalized racism, and the negative influence of advertising.  Its depiction of sexism and racism in the 1960s continually provokes viewers to ask how much social norms have and haven’t changed. However, the show’s point of view on the supposedly outdated norms of the past has been controversial, as Mad Men both indicts and glamorizes the world it depicts.  This course examines Mad Men’s multifaceted relationship to past and present, and its creative use of the narrative and visual strategies of television serial drama.  Texts will include historical accounts of mid-20th century America, ads, movies, fiction, and non-fiction from the period, and readings from the debates about the show’s cultural significance in the early 21st century.  Cross-listed with WGSS 104 (44039).

TR 2:35-3:50     Handler


English 115 The Afterlives of Frankenstein: Science, Literature, Bioethics (4) (41840)

The title of a recent article in Science proclaims, “Frankenstein Lives On.” Published 200 years ago, Mary Shelley’s novel about the scientist Victor Frankenstein’s creation of a “monster” continues to serve as a cautionary tale of scientific hubris. And, the word “Frankenstein” has become shorthand for expressing anxiety about ethically unsettling developments in biotechnology and medicine. In this class we will read the novel to learn about the early-nineteenth-century scientific advances it grew out of, as well as the way it features in current bioethical discussions. In addition, as a class, we will co-host Lehigh University’s contribution to the international event Frankenreads on Halloween, during which groups all over the world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of this iconic novel.  Cross-listed with HMS 115 (41841)

MW 12:45-2:00      Dolan


English 119 Intro to the American Horror Film (4) (44018)

This course examines the changing shape of the American horror film from its inception in 1931 with Tod Browning’s “Dracula”. We will move from the “classic horror” of the 1930s, through the “sci-fi horror” of the 1950s (The Thing from Another World and Invasion of the Body Snatchers) to the game-changing Psycho (1960) and the emergence of the slasher film in the 70s and 80s (HalloweenFriday the 13th) as well as the "natural" horror film (Jaws). From there, we turn to the self-reflexive, irony of the 90s (Scream), the faux-documentary horror at the end of the century (Blair Witch Project), to what seems to be the virulent renaissance of the genre in our post-9/11 world, including so-called “torture porn” (the Saw cycle, Hostel II) and the resurgence of the “possession” film, obsessed with the angry, malevolent dead (Paranormal ActivityThe ConjuringIt Follows). We'll end by considering the stunning success of horror in 2017, in particular--notably Get Out and It. Throughout, we will ask, what is horror, exactly, and why has it remained so popular?

TR 10:45-12:00     Keetley


English 125 Violence and Terror:  British Literature I (4) (40113)

Since its beginnings, literature in English has been obsessed with terrorism and violence. When it is justified? Who can authorize it? How can it be stopped? How can it be encouraged? We will explore these questions by discussing such texts as Beowulf, Gawain and the Green Knight, Margery Kempe’s autobiographical writings, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Milton’s Samson Agonistes, Behn’s Oroonoko, Equiano's Interesting Narrative, and Jane Austen’s Emma.  Can fulfill British to 1660 or British 1660-1900 requirement.

TR 1:10-2:25     Gordon


English 127 Development of Theatre & Drama I (4) (44286)

Historical survey of western theatre and dramatic literature from their origins to the Renaissance.  Cross-listed with Theatre 127 (44287)        

TR 9:20-10:35     Hoelscher


English 142-11 Introduction to Writing Poetry (4) (44020)

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 144-11 Introduction to Writing Fiction (4) (44021)

"Life is a field of corn.  Literature is the shot of whiskey it distills down into."  Lorrie Moore

Fiction writing is about the production and critique of narrative form.  To create and shape their visions, writers must tap into a range of experiences, emotions, peer writings and literary influences.  This course will encourage students to develop a schedule and habit of writing; to use peers as sources of help, support and inspirational to read widely and well some of the leading practitioners of contemporary fiction; and to explore their communities and surroundings in an effort to deepen their characters and settings and to appreciate the time and place in which most of their current stories will be set.

Students will complete short exercises and contribute to class discussions in workshops.  The context of the work they produce will be largely of their choosing and the result of guided exercises.  Writing classes are about learning the fundamental skills of the genre and sustaining and deepening one’s writing efforts.  The late, great science fiction writer Octavia Butler admonished the early career writer to develop the habit of writing rather than waiting on the thrill of inspiration.  “Habit will sustain you where you’re inspired or not.”  Habit will help you finish and polish your stories.  Inspiration won’t.  Habit is persistence in practice.”  Students will produce two stories for workshop and one story to be illustrated and produced as a short story on film.

MW 2:35-3:50     Watts, S.


English 163 Introduction to Film (4) (43041)

This course offers an introduction to historical, technical, aesthetic, and cultural elements of film.  We will briefly consider issues of filmic production and devote specific attention to different film movements and critical approaches.  Students should develop a critical vocabulary for talking about film as well as various critical tools/strategies for analyzing film.  Our primary goal will be to enhance our enjoyment of film by learning to think about the filmic industry and its aesthetic productions more critically.

TR 9:20-10:35     Kramp


English 170 Amaranth (1) (40868)

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. 

T 12:10-1:00     TBD


English 309 Critical Theory and Practice (4-3)  10(44024) 11(44028)                                                                  

This course offers an introduction to literary theory from its origins in ancient Greek philosophy to its most recent iterations in post-modernism and cultural studies. Reading theoretical pieces along with representative works of literature, film, and music, we will ask a range of questions that are united in exploring how literary texts are a crucial resource for understanding the urgent social and political issues in our world.     

We will begin by asking some fundamental questions: What is literature? Why is it valuable? And how is it distinctive from other modes of discourse? We will then move on to explore specific theoretical approaches including feminism, Marxism, and post-colonialism. Learning the basics of these and other methodologies, we will consider how literature—and other imaginative modes—are powerful forms of representation that help shape human identity and inform our understanding of what it means to live justly.  Fulfills critical theory requirement for Department Honors or an elective requirement.

MW 11:10-12:25      Crassons


English 315 How Literature Made Medicine Modern (4-3) 10(43508) 11(43509)

This course will focus on the relationship between literature and medicine during the period in which medicine became “scientific,” from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century. We will look at when, how, and why doctors became both heroes and villains in fiction, paying close attention to the technological and social developments that informed these representations. At the same time, we will explore how different literary forms and techniques made their way into medical writing and science. 

How was the character of Sherlock Holmes influenced by the invention of the sphygmograph (used to measure blood pressure)? What is the relationship between third-person narration and objectivity? Why were some poets captivated by anesthesia? What does Dracula have to do with syphilis and malaria? When do we see the first fictional account of bioterrorism?  In this class, we will consider how literary forms—science, detective, realist, and horror fiction—negotiated cultural anxieties and aspirations during the period of some of the most rapid, radical developments in medical science and practice: germ theory, epidemiology, toxicology, antibiotics, blood transfusion, among others. Reading literature from this period, not only provide us with a fascinating account of medical history, but more pressingly, it pushes us to consider how the literary form provides a unique way to understand the complexities, tensions, and ambiguities that come with medical advances. This interdisciplinary inquiry will put into question the notion that medical progress equates to better health outcomes, access to health care, and social justice. 

Please note that extensive biological or medical knowledge is not required for the course, although it is welcome. Students are encouraged to bring their own disciplinary expertise and knowledge from other coursework into the discussion.  Cross-listed with HMS 315 (43510).  Fulfills 20th-century requirement.

MW 11:10-12:25 Servitje


English 318 Imagining Freedom: 19thC African-American Lit & Politics (4-3) 10(43138) 11(44029)

In the face of slavery and its violent aftermath, African Americans turned their minds to the question of freedom.  How could they free themselves? What would a free society look like? What forms of freedom did human beings most need in order to flourish?  These imaginings of freedom are among the richest cultural legacies of the American people and they are a necessary part of any effort to understand the contradictory history of the United States.  This seminar will provide an introduction to 19th-century African American literature and politics, an extraordinary tradition in which an enslaved people dreamed of justice. We will read autobiographical slave-narratives, novels and poems, protests against slavery and lynching, demands for political rights and women’s equality, calls for slave rebellion and appeals for inter-racial cooperation.  In addition to less well-known works, we will read some of the most famous writings in the African American tradition. (Readings will include: David Walker, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Maria Stewart, Henry Highland Garnet, Harriet Wilson, T. Thomas Fortune, Ida B. Wells, Charles Chesnutt, Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois.)  By listening to spirituals and work-songs, we will also attempt to hear the aspirations of those who endured the experience of slavery and its aftermath, as they have been handed down through vernacular musical traditions.  Throughout the semester, students will be encouraged to consider how these 19th-century freedom dreams are relevant to the challenges we face in 21st-century America.  No prior study of African American history or culture will be required, but a willingness to engage in interdisciplinary inquiry will be expected.   Cross-listed with AAS 318-10 (42993), AAS 318-11 (44030).  Fulfills American to 1900 requirement.

TR 1:10-2:25 Moglen


English 364 Shakespeare to Milton: Gender, Poetry, and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (4-3) 10(44099) 11(44101)

Seventeenth-century England was marked by intellectual, political, and religious upheaval. During this transformative period, poetry served multiple and sometimes conflicting ends: poems were crafted to seduce, to praise, to mourn, to mock, to overthrow, to rebuild. We will begin our course with the epyllions written by William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe in the 1590s, wind our way through sonnet sequences and epic romance, compare the wit of Ben Jonson to that of Aemilia Lanyer, assess England from the New World with Anne Bradstreet, explore mid-century politics with Andrew Marvell and Katherine Philips, and examine the political implications of the Biblical poetry of John Milton and Lucy Hutchinson. Our readings will be drawn from both canonical and non-canonical authors, and we will be attuned to the cultural contexts and historical events that influenced the production of poetry by individuals of different genders and social classes. We will pay particular attention to how ideas about gender—especially women’s social and cultural positions—played a role in English poetic and political life.   Writing Intensive.  Department Approval Required.  Fulfills British to 1660 requirement.

MW 10:45-12:00     Lay


English 380 Writing for an Endangered World: Contemporary American Literature of Environmental Crises (4-3) 10(44238) 11(44239)

How does contemporary American literature intervene into debates about environmental crises?  How does literature, in form and in content, challenge readers to think differently about human impact on the world? In Lawrence Buell’s pivotal work of literary ecocriticism titled Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the U.S. and Beyond, he suggests that contemporary environmentalist fiction engages with “toxic discourse,” which he defines as “an expressed anxiety arising from a perceived threat of environmental hazard due to chemical modification by human agency.  As such, it is by no means unique to the present day, but never before the late twentieth century has it been so vocal, so intense, so pandemic, so evidentially grounded” (30-31).  Following Buell, this course will address contemporary literature that depicts toxic America and the environmental crises as well as the human (and other animal) tragedies that result from a variety of contemporary practices that deny human connectivity to and dependence upon ecosystems.  Students can expect to engage with some of the most important novels written in the contemporary period that call readers to address human impact on planetary ecology and to imagine alternative and less ruinous ways of being in the world. This course will be especially valuable for students in the humanities and for students in the environmental sciences that are invested in the how literary works provide resources for imagining sustainable futures and inspiring readers to engage with the challenges of the Anthropocene.  Fulfills 20th-century requirement.

TR 2:35-3:50     Foltz


English 391      Southsider: An Online News Source Celebrating Bethlehem's Southside Culture and Art (44112)  (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.  

F 12:10-2:00    Foltz


English 435        Sex, Gender and Sexuality in the Middle Ages      (3)  (44079)

This course examines the strategies that a diverse group of medieval texts use to construct normative ideals of sex, gender, and sexuality and to imagine (and, often, simultaneously refuse) alternative possibilities. This inquiry aims, to borrow Joan W. Scott’s words, “to disrupt the notion of fixity, to discover the nature of the debate or repression that leads to the appearance of timeless permanence” of binary categories like masculinity and femininity, heterosexuality and homosexuality, and male and female. We will pay particular attention to how these representations of marriage, virginity, romantic love, sexual transgression, erotic pleasure, and the body reflect philosophical, economic, and theological conflicts about community belonging, social hierarchy, national identity, and faith.

Because debates about gender and sexuality take place across a range of social and political institutions, course readings include legal statutes and cases, penitential manuals, and medical treatises, alongside literary texts in order to offer a nuanced account of the ways that gender and sexuality signified power relations in the Middle Ages. Readings include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Cleanness, Alain de Lille’s Complaint of Nature, theKatherine Group, selections from Gower’s Confessio Amantis, and selections from Aquinas, Augustine, and St. Paul, among others. To sharpen our understanding of what is at stake in any analysis of this historical archive, readings in feminist theory and queer theory will inform our inquiry. Texts will be in Middle English and in translation. Prior experience with Middle English is helpful, but not required.  WGSS attribute.  Department Approval Required.

TR 1:10-2:25    Edwards


English 445     Frankenstein: Before and Beyond    (3)(44066)

The most frequently taught book in both high school and college literature classes, Frankenstein, celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018. In addition to reading this seemingly immortal novel, we will explore the contemporary texts that influenced Mary Shelley’s creation (Milton, Goethe, Wollstonecraft, Godwin), and some of the fiction that Mary Shelley after (Mathilda, The Last Man, short stories). For a sense of the on-going global resonance of Frankenstein will read Frankenstein in Bagdad (2018) by Ahmed Saadawi, winner of the international prize for Arabic Fiction. In addition, we will co-host Lehigh University’s contribution to the international public humanities event Frankenreads on Halloween, during which groups all over the world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein’s publication, sharing their experiences on digital and social media platforms.  Department Approval Required.

M 4-7            Dolan


English 447   Novel Prescriptions: Victorian Literature and Medicine      (3)  (44071)                                                                                                                                                               

What are the implication of the realist and social problem novel coinciding with medical scientific developments such as the notion of objectivity and the field of public health? How did literature navigate the uneven developments and contradictions manifested by medicine’s relationship with liberalism, imperialism, and industrialization? Why was fiction such a frequent venue for and direct influence on medical science during the nineteenth century?

In this seminar, we will investigate the mutually constitutive relationship between literature and medicine during the nineteenth century. We will consider the way medicine increased its jurisdiction into varied aspects of daily life, and became a technology of marking and enforcing difference. Primary readings will include recognizable texts such as Eliot’s Middlemarch¸ Dickens’s Bleak House, along with work by more diverse authors, such as The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands by the Jamaican Creole nurse Mary Seacole. Additionally, we will look to prose by influential thinkers and figures such as Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale. Our secondary texts will be comprised of the seminal and most recent work in Victorian studies, along with theoretical readings that will be productive and applicable to students working outside of the nineteenth century and medical humanities (e.g. Foucault, Haraway, Agamben, and Levine). In these readings, we will interrogate how literature both challenged and reinforced the social injustices wrought by medico-scientific advances.  Department Approval Required.

W 5:30-8:30   Servitje

English 477     Harlem Renaissance     (3)   (44072)     

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 New Negro renaissance as an ambitious and complex cultural phenomenon.  We will read and discuss major political writings during this period by W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Marcus Garvey and A. Philip Randolph. We will also consider developments in the visual arts (including the paintings of Aaron Douglas 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).  We will consider these works in the context of contemporary scholarly debates about African American modernism and the problematics of diaspora.  This seminar will also contribute to the 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.   Department Approval Required.

T 4:10-7:00       Moglen


English 481         Organizing People/Building Community    (3)  (42741)      

In Wendy Brown’s Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (2014; 2018), she begins by asserting that “What we have come to call a globalized world harbors fundamental tensions between opening and barricading, fusion and partition, erasure and reinscription.” She considers the various ways in which we have used walls—material and metaphorical—to separate people, engendering distinct groupings and perpetually excluding others. These and related tensions invite us to consider our prominent methods for organizing people within a culture: how and why do we organize and separate people? Throughout this seminar, we will explore various techniques and traditions that nations, societies, and groups have used for organizing individuals; we will, then, place these techniques and traditions in dialogue with methods for building community. Seminar participants will be invited to consider how these two cultural activities require distinct tools even as their methods inevitably overlap; moreover, we will devote specific attention to the potential of community building to counter various strategies of cultural organization. Readings for the course will be taken from such thinkers as Wendy Brown, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Giorgio Agamben, Sara Ahmed, Benedict Anderson, Roberto Esposito, Judith Butler, Gayatri Spivak, Didier Debaise, Roderick A. Ferguson, Elizabeth Grosz, Gilles Deleuze, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Étienne Balibar, Saidiya V. Hartman, Michel Foucault, Patricia Hill Collins, Jacques Derrida, and Slavoj Zizek. In lieu of a traditional seminar paper, seminar members will generate consistent public writing using our readings in critical theory to engage with and communicate challenges associated with organizing people and building community. We will have a combined seminar blog, and each participant will also create her/his own portfolio of public writing. Department Approval Required. 

TR 10:45-12:00     Kramp


English 485    Introduction to Writing Theory  (2)  (40114)        

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a theoretical, historical, and disciplinary introduction to important issues in the teaching of college composition, and its goal is to support both your immediate and long-term development as a teacher/scholar. Together we’ll explore some of the myriad ways that writing can be taught, learned, and practiced while attending to the historical development, theoretical underpinnings, and ethical implications of these approaches. Some of our specific topics will include the history and development of the first-year composition course, the process and post-process movements, rhetorical approaches to teaching writing, teaching writing in the digital age, as well as cognitive, expressive, social constructionist, and resistance writing pedagogies. You’ll also have the opportunity to focus on your own professionalization: By the end of the semester, you should be able to place your individual pedagogical practices in the context of the larger debates that constitute composition studies, and you will begin to introduce your teaching philosophy and practice to potential and future colleagues.  Department Approval Required.

M 1:10-2:25     Rollins


English 486      Teaching Composition:  A Practicum     (1)  (40115)  

An introduction to teaching writing at Lehigh, this course includes bi-weekly discussion of practical issues and problems in the teaching of freshman composition.  It is required of all new Teaching Fellows in the department.   Department Approval Required.

WF 1:10-2:25   Lotto


English 496        Introduction to Graduate Studies      (1)  (43507)  

This course will introduce students to the pragmatics of graduate school, from the research methods and tools that will inform the development of seminar papers to the expectations and values of our program and discipline. It is designed to support students as they navigate the first semester of graduate coursework, and to give them the opportunity to interact with multiple different faculty members. The course will meet every other week, beginning the first week of the semester, and will culminate in the development of a conference abstract and a preliminary reflection on the avenues for exploration that each student hopes to pursue while in the program.  Department Approval Required.

W 2:35-3:50    Lay