Bates College Catalog: 2010-2011
Professors Taylor, Dillon, Malcolmson, Nayder (chair), and Dhingra; Associate Professors Freedman and Federico; Assistant Professor Osucha; Visiting Instructor Godfrey; Senior Lecturer Farnsworth; Lecturers Nickel and Strong
Through a wide range of course offerings the Department of English seeks to develop each student's capacity for reading—the intense, concerned involvement with textual expression. All courses are intended to foster critical reading, writing, and thinking, in which "criticism" is at once passionate appreciation, historical understanding, and the perpetual rethinking of values. More specifically, the English major prepares students for careers such as teaching, publishing, and writing, for graduate study in literature, and for graduate programs leading to the study or practice of medicine or law. Though the department embodies a variety of teaching styles and interests, the faculty all believe in the art of patient, engaged reading as both knowledge and pleasure.
Departmental offerings are intended to be taken in sequence. Courses at the 100 level are open to all students. Courses at the 200 level are more difficult in both the amount of material covered and the level of inquiry; they also address questions of theory and methodology in more self-conscious ways. Most 200-level courses have prerequisites. Seminars at the 300 level are generally for juniors and seniors who have completed several English courses (the latter requirement may be waived at the discretion of the instructor for certain interdisciplinary majors). More information on the English department is available on the website (www.bates.edu/ENG.xml).
Major Requirements. Majors must complete eleven courses of which a minimum of seven must be taken from Bates faculty in the English department. Students may receive no more than two credits for junior-semester-abroad courses, and, normally, no more than two credits for junior-year-abroad courses. Under special circumstances, and upon written petition to the English department, junior-year-abroad students may receive credit for three courses. One course credit is granted for Advanced Placement scores of four or five, but these credits count only toward overall graduation requirements, not toward the eleven-course major requirement. No English Short Term courses can be counted toward the major.
The eleven courses required for the major must include one or two courses at the 100 level and nine or ten courses at the 200 level or above. Upper-level courses must include: a) three courses on literature before 1800; b) one course emphasizing critical thinking; c) two junior-senior seminars; and d) a senior thesis (English 457), which may be undertaken independently or as part of a junior-senior seminar (457A with a thesis written through 395A, for example). Although writing a thesis through a seminar may fulfill both a seminar requirement and the thesis requirement, it counts as a single course credit.
First-Year Seminar 291, 323, 333, 334, 335, 341, 359, and 379 may count toward the major as the equivalent of 100-level courses.
Students may count one course in creative writing toward the major.
Students may count any two literature courses outside the department toward the English major, including foreign literature courses (with a primary focus on literature rather than on language instruction), or literature courses offered by the Department of Theater and Rhetoric (with a primary emphasis on literature not production). Foreign literature courses include those focusing on Greek and Latin literature; the English department strongly recommends that majors take a course in Homer, Virgil, Ovid, or classical mythology. These courses are listed under the Program in Classical and Medieval Studies.
Creative Writing. English majors may elect a program in creative writing. This program is intended to complement and enhance the English major and to add structure and a sense of purpose to those students already committed to creative writing. Students who wish to write a creative thesis must undertake this program.
Requirements for the focus on creative writing include:
1) Two introductory courses in the writing of prose (291), poetry (292), or drama (Theater 240).
2) One advanced course in the writing of prose or poetry (391 or 392).
3) Three related courses in the English department or in the literature of a foreign language.
4) A one- or two-semester thesis (nonhonors) in which the student writes and revises a portfolio of creative work.
Students who elect the creative writing concentration must fulfill all English major requirements but may count toward them one creative writing course as well as the related literature courses and thesis.
Honors. With departmental approval, students may write a two-semester honors thesis in the senior year. Majors who wish to present themselves as potential honors candidates are encouraged to register for at least one junior-senior seminar in their junior year. Majors who elect to participate in a junior year abroad program and who also want to present themselves as honors candidates must submit evidence of broadly comparable course work or independent study pursued elsewhere; such persons are encouraged to consult with the department before their departure or early in their year abroad. At the end of their junior year, prospective honors candidates must submit a two-page proposal and a one-page bibliography; those wishing to write a two-semester creative thesis must submit a one-page description of a project and a substantial writing sample. Both are due at the department chair's office on the first Friday of the Short Term.
Graduate Study. Students planning to do graduate work should seek advice early concerning their undergraduate program, the range of graduate school experience, and vocational options. Graduate programs frequently require reading proficiency in up to two foreign languages, so it is strongly recommended that prospective graduate students achieve at least a two-year proficiency in a classical (Latin, Greek) or modern language.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses counting toward the major.
ENG 110. Seven Modern Irish Poets.A study of the work of seven significant twentieth- and twenty-first-century Irish poets, especially as they respond to the complications of Ireland's social and political history. Beginning with concentrated study of key poems by W. B. Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh, students then examine work by contemporary inheritors of these major figures' legacies: Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Eavan Boland, Nuala ni Dhomnhaill, and Paul Muldoon. Not open to students who have received credit for English 264. Enrollment limited to 50. Offered with varying frequency. R. Farnsworth. Concentrations.
CM/EN 111. The Lord of the Rings in Context.This course examines J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy in a variety of contexts, including its sources, inspirations, uses, and audiences. Particular attention is paid to Tolkien's creative process and academic background, along with a focus on how Tolkien's books and Peter Jackson's films reinforce each other as modern cultural phenomena. Enrollment limited to 50. S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG 121. Colloquia in Literature.Colloquia introduce students to the study of literature from a variety of perspectives, with a focus on such objects as author, genre, and literary period. These courses not only delve into their particular subject matter, they also allow a preliminary discussion of critical vocabulary and methods that will carry over into more advanced courses. Discussion and frequent writing assignments characterize each section. Prospective majors are urged to take at least one colloquium. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. Concentrations.
ENG 121A. Monsters, Magicians, and Medievalism.Medieval literature is famous for its monsters and magicians: from the dragon of Beowulf to the fairies of romance and the Merlin of the Arthur story, supernatural beings play a significant role in the plot and purpose of narratives from the Middle Ages. Likewise, in modern stories about the Middle Ages (especially Tolkien's), magicians and monsters figure prominently. This course explores the multiple meanings and effects related to this population of supernatural beings; students consider how and why such creatures appear in the texts and how they help to define the genre of medievalism. They read a number of medieval texts (in modern English translation) and a sampling of modern texts about the Middle Ages. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG 121C. Frost, Stevens, Williams.Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams constitute a solid American modernist grain in twentieth-century poetry. Thorough reading of their work lets us question their surprising affinities and differences: What did each poet take to be the place and function of poetry? Does the regional/parochial flavor in Frost's work enhance or limit its impact? To what extent are we justified in deeming Stevens a philosophical poet? Does Williams's materialist aesthetic limit the range of his work, or deepen its impact? What vision of life in America does each seem to offer? Students may consider the work of tutelary ancestors, competitors, and critics, but the focus is on comprehensive reading, writing, and discussion of these poets' poems, early and late. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. R. Farnsworth. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
CM/EN 121D. Arthurian Literature.The story of King Arthur of Britain and his Knights of the Round Table is one of Western civilization's most enduring legends. This course explores those elements of the Arthur story that make it so universally compelling in addition to the ways in which its details have been adapted according to the needs and desires of its changing audience. Topics considered include feudal loyalty and kinship, women and marriage, monsters and magic, the culture of violence and warfare, and the stylistic and narrative features of the legendary mode. Students consider modern versions of the story by Marion Zimmer Bradley and T. H. White, Victorian versions by Tennyson and Beardsley, and, in modern English translations, French, English, and Latin versions made popular in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries. Not open to students who have received credit for Classical and Medieval Studies/English 121C. Not open to students who have received credit for CM/EN 121C. Enrollment limited to 25. S. Federico. Concentrations.
CM/EN 121F. Tolkien's Middle Ages.An examination of Tolkien's medieval influences through a study of Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Middle English philology and literature, with particular attention to those texts taught and edited by Tolkien and to The Lord of the Rings as a form of mythology. Enrollment limited to 25. S. Federico. Concentrations.
EN/WS 121G. Asian American Women Writers.This course examines from a sociohistorical perspective fictional, autobiographical, and critical writings by Asian American women including Meena Alexander, Sui Sin Far, Gish Jen, Maxine Hong Kingston, Tahira Naqvi, Cathy Song, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Hisaye Yamamoto. Students explore their issues, especially with concerns of personal and cultural identity, as both Asian and American, as females, as minorities, and often as postcolonial subjects. The course highlights the varied immigration and social histories of women from different Asian countries, often homogenized as "Oriental" in mainstream American cultural representations. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. L. Dhingra. Concentrations.
ENG 121H. The Brontes.Reading a selection of fiction and poetry by the three Bronte sisters, as well as critical essays about them, students consider questions of authorial intention, and discuss the relation between literature and history in the Victorian period. Particular attention is paid to the Brontes' representations of gender and class, and to the interrelations between these social categories. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 306. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. L. Nayder. Concentrations.
ENG 121I. Poetry in the Twenty-First Century.A critical study of the variegated terrain of American poetry in the twenty-first century. Readings include mainstream and experimental poetic works, critical works, and commentary. Students use music, film, and visual art to reflect on unique themes and novel directions for poetry in this century. Written work includes short response papers and a longer essay. Students also produce a small sample of poems in order to better grasp questions concerning the craft of poetry. Enrollment limited to 25. R. Strong. Concentrations.
AA/EN 121J. African American Literature.This introductory course traces the development of a distinct African American literary tradition by focusing on the call-and-response pattern of slavery through the civil rights, feminist, and Black Power liberation movements. Students examine the music, oratory, letters, poems, essays, slave narratives, autobiographies, fiction, and plays by Americans of African descent. Two essential questions shape this course: What is the role of African American literature in the cultural identity and collective struggle of black people, and what should that role be? What themes, tropes, and forms connect these texts, authors, and movements into a coherent living tradition? Enrollment limited to 25. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 121K. Frankenstein's Creatures.Focusing on the monstrous figures of nineteenth-century fiction, this course explores their cultural meaning for Victorians as well as ourselves, examining their ongoing fascination and purpose—their relation to changing conceptions of the marginal and "other" and to social norms and their violation. Students consider the tie between the monstrous or "unnatural" and the threat of class revolt, sexual "deviance," and imperial rise and fall. Readings include Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and The War of the Worlds, as well as contemporary revisions of these works in novels and films. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Nayder. Concentrations.
ENG 121L. Modern Short Stories.A study of the short story and novella as characteristic twentieth-century genres, with a brief introduction to works in the nineteenth century. The course focuses on both "classic" and contemporary texts by writers selected from among Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, W. Somerset Maugham, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Jhumpa Lahiri, Virginia Woolf, Susan Sontag, Susan Minot, and David Leavitt. Students also have the opportunity to experiment with writing a short story. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. L. Dhingra. Concentrations.
ENG 121M. Castaways.This introductory course considers the motif of being stranded on a deserted island in literary and cultural texts from Shakespeare to the present. It traces the ways in which certain mythic figures, most notably Robinson Crusoe, strive to rebuild society in its absence or choose to "go native." A key focus is the relation between this recurrent fantasy and historical or political concerns: What do such island myths tell us about a given culture's conceptions of race, class, nation, gender, or sexuality? Enrollment limited to 25. T. Nickel. Concentrations.
CM/EN 121N. Victorian Medievalisms.Tracing the stirrings of Victorian medievalism from the landscapes of Arthurian romance to the Gothic revival in literature, architecture, and art, this course examines how nineteenth-century visions of the past intersect with issues of gender, class, nationalism, industrialization, and faith. Special attention is given to the relationship between nostalgia, medievalism, and "the ache of modernism" in Thomas Hardy's late novels—in particular, how these impulses impact the traditional Victorian novel's project of social realism; the critical, rational vision it espouses; and its inevitable extinction as a culturally dominant form. Additional authors may include Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Ruskin, Rossetti, Eliot, and Wilde. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 121Q. Photographic Narratives.The invention of photographic technology in the early nineteenth century transformed modes of perception and social life in significant ways. The photograph became an object both magical and mundane, unprecedented and absorbed into daily life. This course traces the impact of this emergent technology and explores various intersections between photography and literature in the Victorian era. The course looks at the representation of photographs and photographers in novels and short fiction and also analyzes early photographs as texts in their own right. One key objective is to explore the ways photography reshaped writing style in the period and contributed to the conception of literary realism. Texts to be studied may include The House of the Seven Gables, The Romance of a Shop, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, A Laodicean, The Red Badge of Courage, and photographs by Matthew Brady, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Roger Fenton, Clementina Hawarden, Henry Fox Talbot, Oscar Rejlander, and Henry Peach Robinson. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 379. Enrollment limited to 25. T. Nickel. Concentrations.
ENG 121R. Addictions, Obsessions, Manias.This course traces the development of pathologized identities in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Topics include alcoholism, cigarette smoking, coffee drinking, narcotic use, fetishism, kleptomania, erotomania, collecting, shopping, and gambling. Authors may include Balzac, Baudelaire, Conan Doyle, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Freud, Huysmans, London, Mann, Norris, Tolstoy, Wilde, and Zola. Enrollment limited to 25. T. Nickel. Concentrations.
ENG 121S. The Child in English Literature.This course explores representations of children and childhood in English literature from the medieval period to the present day. From the dead, missing, and violated children of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, to the images of innocent childhood encoded in Romantic poetry, to the abused and eroticized children of Gothic fairy tales and modern fiction, students interrogate how childhood is represented within given historical periods and how the figure of the child relates to larger questions of innocence, experience, nostalgia, and futurity. Authors may include William Shakespeare, John Webster, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Christina Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 121U. The Tudor Myth on Stage and in the Movies.William Shakespeare promoted the "Tudor Myth" in Richard III and questioned it in Richard II. Recent films and several television series are developing a new Tudor myth, since Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are remarkably popular at the box office. Why this recent obsession with the Tudors? This course explores the original myth through Shakespeare's plays, other works of the time, and modern historical accounts. Students consider the power of the myth for our culture in television and movie versions. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
ENG 121W. Image and Sound: Reading and Writing Poems.This course introduces students to lyric poetry written in the last two centuries, and in varied cultural settings, from the "canonical" English and American classics to the contemporary, multicultural, and transnational. Poets studied may include Meena Alexander, Agha Shahid Ali, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Allen Ginsberg, Audre Lorde, John Keats, Cathy Song, Rabindranath Tagore, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, and W. B. Yeats. The focus is on "close reading" with some attention to the poets' varied historical and sociocultural contexts. Students have opportunities to attend live poetry readings and to write their own poems. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 323. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Dhingra. Concentrations.
AA/EN 121X. Music and Metaphor: The Sounds in African American Literature.While African American musical traditions command attention on stages across the world, they have a unique home in African American literature. This course explores folk, sacred, blues, jazz, and hip-hop music as aesthetic and sociopolitical resources for African American authors. Course texts may include poetry, drama, fiction, criticism, and theory. Authors include Sterling Plumpp, Toni Morrison, Jayne Cortez, Albert Murray, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Larry Neal, and Ralph Ellison. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 287. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 121Z. Eliot and Hardy.This course considers the relations between two major Victorian novelists, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy. Students examine a number of literary and cultural issues such as realism, medievalism, and visuality; sympathy, sentimentality, and worldliness; industrialization, modernity, and faith; gender, childhood, and the marriage plot. Texts may include The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 141. American Writers to 1900.A study of ten to twelve American texts selected from the works of such writers as Bradford, Mather, Bradstreet, Edwards, Franklin, Cooper, Hawthorne, Fuller, Emerson, Thoreau, Jacobs, Melville, Douglas, Stowe, Wilson, Whitman, and Poe. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. Normally offered every year. E. Osucha. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG 142. Early American Literature.A survey of significant works and voices from the diverse traditions that contributed to the creation of a U.S. national literature, including the oral storytelling traditions of the indigenous peoples of North America. The course of reading extends from fifteenth- and sixteenth-century European accounts of "New World" exploration through the turn of the nineteenth century and the emergence of a distinctive tradition of the American novel and its genres. Authors include Bradford, Morton, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, Tyler, Franklin, Jefferson, Wheatley, Equianah, de Crevecoeur, Occum, Brockden Brown, Foster, and Rowson. Enrollment limited to 25. E. Osucha. Concentrations.
ENG 143. Nineteenth-Century American Literature.A critical study of American literary history from the early national period through the Gilded Age. Students examine a wide range of texts, giving attention to the historical phenomena and events that shaped them and to the aesthetic and political traditions that dominated literary production in that century. Authors may include Melville, Poe, Hawthorne, Emerson, Fuller, Dickinson, Douglass, Howells, Davis, Fuller, Cooper, Child, Gilman, Jacobs, Jewett, Chesnutt, and Chopin. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every other year. E. Osucha. Concentrations.
ENG 152. American Writers since 1900.A study of ten to twelve American texts selected from the works of such writers as Dickinson, Twain, Gilman, Chesnutt, James, Adams, Dreiser, Hughes, Frost, Stein, Hemingway, Larsen, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Pound, Eliot, Crane, Cullen, Wright, Stevens, Williams, Baldwin, Plath, Albee, Brooks, Walker, Ellison, Pynchon, and Morrison. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. Normally offered every year. S. Dillon, E. Osucha, C. Taylor. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
EN/ES 201. African and Diasporic Ecological Literature.While it has always been part of global culture and politics, Africa is now recognized as a continent of import in a most necessary global conversation about ecological change. This course examines ecological influences on literature by Anglophone authors of African descent. The study of the aesthetic and cultural imprint of individual authors is informed by readings that detail broader issues affecting ecological perceptions in human groups. Students also examine interpretations of human biodiversity that have contributed to the neglect of African and African diasporic artistic and philosophic perspectives on ecological issues. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Recommended background: course(s) in African American studies and/or environmental studies. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations.
CM/EN 206. Chaucer.Reading and interpretation of The Canterbury Tales, the greatest work of the fourteenth-century Middle-English poet. All works are read in Middle English. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Not open to students who have received credit for English 206. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) [W2] Normally offered every year. S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG 209. Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Culture.Why study pre-1800 literature? This course seeks to engage students in reading a culture very different from, and yet significantly linked to, our own. Attention is given to issues of religion, gender, sovereignty, and the invention of a national culture in English literature from the late fourteenth century through the reign of Elizabeth I. Readings may include selections from Geoffrey Chaucer, the Pearl poet, Margery Kempe, Thomas Malory, John Skelton, and Edmund Spenser; lyrics by Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney, and Queen Elizabeth I; and plays by Marlowe and Shakespeare. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG 211. English Literary Renaissance (1509–1603).A study of the Elizabethan Age through developments in literature, particularly the sonnet (William Shakespeare, Louise Labe, Philip Sidney, Mary Wroth) and Spenser's romance epic Faerie Queene. Attention is given to developments in religion, politics, and society. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
AA/EN 212. Black Lesbian and Gay Literatures.This course examines black lesbian and gay literatures in English from Africa, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Students are introduced to critical and historical approaches for analyzing literature about black queer sensibilities. Open to first-year students. [W2] C. Nero. Concentrations.
ENG 213. Shakespeare.A study of the major plays, with some emphasis on the biography of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan milieu. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Not open to students who have received credit for English 215. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. (Pre-1800.) Normally offered every year. C. Malcolmson, S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 213-214. Shakespeare.A study of the major plays, with some emphasis on the biography of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan milieu. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Not open to students who have received credit for English 215. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. (Pre-1800.) Normally offered every year. C. Malcolmson, S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 214. Shakespeare.A study of the major plays, with some emphasis on the biography of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan milieu. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. (Pre-1800.) S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 215. Shakespeare: Race and Gender.The course explores the history of race through the multiple and shifting meanings of cultural difference in Shakespeare's plays. Written before the word "race" took on the meaning of biological difference, the plays demonstrate that religion, nation, class, and gender could play a more fundamental role than race in defining cultural difference, but also contribute to the emergence of modern forms of racism. Throughout the course, students focus on race and gender in the plays as distinct but cooperating hierarchies of difference that allowed Shakespeare to both question the status quo and to racialize existing power structures. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Not open to students who have received credit for English 213. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
ENG 220. Dickens Revised.Focusing on several works that span Dickens's career, students place Dickens in his Victorian context and consider how and why his fiction has been adapted and reworked in the twentieth century. Students discuss film and musical adaptations as well as fictional reworkings, and examine changes in Dickens's reputation and the evolving cultural meaning of his stories. Novels, films, and musicals include Oliver!, Jack Maggs, The D. Case, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood: The Solve-It-Yourself Broadway Musical. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Nayder. Concentrations.
ENG 222. Seventeenth-Century Literature.A study of significant writers of the seventeenth century. Writers may include William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, John Milton, and Aphra Behn. Attention is given to the intellectual, political, and scientific revolutions of the age. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
AA/EN 223. Survey of Literature of the Caribbean.This course examines the literatures of the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Some texts are drawn from Anglophone authors such as Lamming, Anthony, Walcott, Brodber, Danticat, Lovelace, Brathwaite, and Denis Williams; others, from Francophone and Hispanophone writers, including Guillen, Carpentier, Conde, Chamoiseau, Depestre, Ferre, and Morejon. The course places each work in its historical, political, and anthropological contexts. Students are introduced to a number of critical theories and methodologies with which to analyze the works, including poststructuralist, Marxist, Pan-African, postcolonial, and feminist. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. S. Houchins. Concentrations.
ENG 226. Milton's Paradise Lost.Milton's Christian epic, Paradise Lost (1668), which retells the story of man's fall from Paradise, is one of the most influential and interesting works in English literature. Students read this poem twice: once before midterm, with attention to internal form and structure, and then again afterwards, focusing on significant problems from the history of Milton criticism and on the remarkable influence of Milton's poem in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level course in English. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) S. Dillon. Concentrations.
ENG 229. Constructing Sexuality in the Enlightenment.This course examines eighteenth-century literature in relation to recent histories of sexuality, based largely on the work of Michel Foucault. It considers whether modern sexual identities emerged during the long eighteenth century (1660-1789) and whether literature played an active role in shaping such categories. Authors may include Behn, Charke, Cleland, Congreve, Defoe, Etherege, Fielding, Haywood, Rochester, Pope, Swift, and Wycherley, along with nonliterary works from the period. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level course in English. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) T. Nickel. Concentrations.
ENG 232. Eighteenth-Century Literature.A study of Restoration and eighteenth-century British authors, including Dryden, Congreve, Swift, Pope, Fielding, and Johnson. Attention is given to parallel developments in Continental literature and to continuity with Renaissance humanism. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. (Pre-1800.) S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 238. Jane Austen: Then and Now.Students read Austen's six major works, investigate their relation to nineteenth-century history and culture, and consider the Austen revival in film adaptations and fictional continuations of her novels. The course highlights the various and conflicting ways in which critics represent Austen, and the cultural needs her stories now seem to fulfill. Readings include Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Nayder. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG 241. Fiction in the United States.Critical readings of a diverse selection of novels and shorter fictions, ranging from works by earlier writers such as Hawthorne, Howells, James, Wharton, Jewett, and Chesnutt, to more recent writing from James Baldwin, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Donald Barthelme, Sherman Alexie, and David Foster Wallace, among others. In addition to major directions in the history of American fiction, more recent developments concerning postmodernism, multi-ethnic literature, and emergent forms—graphic novels and electronic texts—are considered. Class discussions and writing assignments also address critical terms and methods. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. E. Osucha. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG 242. American Realisms: Narrative, Aesthetics, and Cultural Politics at Centuries' Ends.This course examines the aspiration to "realism" that is the predominant aesthetic and political impulse in American fiction at the end of the nineteenth century, as it resurfaces in the literature and art of the decades surrounding this last century's turn. Central among the course's critical concerns is the question of how these realist texts "map" American identities at moments of political crisis and national social transformation. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. E. Osucha. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG 243. Romantic Literature (1790–1840).The theoretical foundations of English and European Romanticism, including its philosophical, critical, and social backgrounds. The course concentrates on Rousseau, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Attention is also given to Lamb, Hazlitt, De Quincey, Swedenborg, and other prose figures and critics of the period. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. R. Farnsworth, S. Dillon, S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 245. Sexuality in Victorian Literature.One dictionary definition of Victorian is prudish, and the Victorian period has often been associated with sexual repression. Yet Michel Foucault argued that the Victorians were far from silent on the topic of sexuality; in his view, the Victorians talked about sex all the time. Surveying authors such as Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Lewis Carroll, Walter Pater, Thomas Hardy, and Oscar Wilde, this course looks at the ways that Victorian literature talks openly or obliquely about homosexual and heterosexual desire, the erotic child, and sexual morality. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. S. Dillon. Concentrations.
AA/EN 253. The African American Novel.An examination of the African American novel from its beginnings in the mid-1800s to the present. Issues addressed include a consideration of folk influences on the genre, its roots in the slave narrative tradition, its relation to Euro-American texts and culture, and the "difference" that gender as well as race makes in determining narrative form. Readings include narratives selected from among the works of such writers as Douglass, Jacobs, Wilson, Delany, Hopkins, Harper, Chesnutt, Johnson, Toomer, Larsen, Hurston, Wright, Petry, Ellison, Baldwin, Walker, Morrison, Marshall, and Reed. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 254. Modern British Literature since 1900.An introduction to the birth of modern British literature and its roots, with attention to its social and cultural history, its philosophical and cultural foundations, and some emphasis on its relationship to the previous century. Texts are selected from the works of writers such as Forster, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Mansfield, Eliot, Yeats, Orwell, Rushdie, and Lessing. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Dhingra, S. Dillon. Concentrations.
ENG 260. Passages to and from India.This course introduces fiction, poetry, and films by writers who are of South Asian descent, Indian American immigrants, or who have considered the Indian subcontinent their home. Topics include British influence on South Asia, the partition of India, national and diasporic identity formation, women's social roles, the impact of Western education and the English language, and the emergence of a new generation of postcolonial and immigrant literary artists. Writers are selected from among Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Anita Desai, Satyajit Ray, Rabindranath Tagore, Jhumpa Lahiri, U. R. Anantha Murthy, and E. M. Forster. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Dhingra. Concentrations.
ENG 264. Modern Irish Poetry.A study of the development and transformation of Anglo-Irish poetry in the twentieth century, especially as it responds to the political, social, and gender forces at work in Ireland's recent history. Beginning with brief but concentrated study of key poems by W. B. Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, and Louis MacNeice, the course then examines work by inheritors of these major figures' legacies, including Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Eavan Boland, Nuala ni Dhomnhaill, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson and Medbh McGuckian. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. R. Farnsworth. Concentrations.
AA/EN 268. Survey of Literatures of Africa.This course explores folklore, myths, and literary texts of the African continent. These include works written by Anglophone authors such as Achebe, Soyinka, Ngugi, Vera, Njau, Nwapa, and Head; those drawn from oral traditions of indigenous languages transcribed into English, such as The Mwindo Epic and The Sundiata; and those written by Lusophone and Francophone authors including Ba, Senghor, Liking, Neto, Mahfouz, and Kafunkeno. The course contextualizes each work historically, politically, and anthropologically. Students are introduced to a number of critical theories and methodologies with which to analyze the works, such as poststructural, Marxist, Pan-African, postcolonial, and feminist. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. S. Houchins. Concentrations.
ENG 275. English Novel.A study of the English novel from its origins to the early nineteenth century. Readings include selections from Homer's Iliad, and novels by Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Radcliffe, Austen, and Scott. Among the issues addressed by this course are the relation of the novel to the epic, and the social and political orientation of this new genre. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Pre-1800.) L. Nayder. Concentrations.
ENG 291. Prose Writing.A course for students who wish to have practice and guidance in the writing of prose. The course may alternate between fiction and nonfiction. Admission by writing sample. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. C. Taylor. Concentrations.
ENG 292. Poetry Writing.A course for students who wish to have practice and guidance in the writing of poetry. Admission by writing sample. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. S. Dillon. Concentrations.
ENG 295. Critical Theory.Major literary critics are read, and major literary works are studied in the light of these critics. Critical approaches discussed may include neoclassical, Romantic, psychoanalytical, formalist, generic, archetypal, structuralist, and deconstructionist. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Critical thinking.) Normally offered every year. S. Freedman. Concentrations.
EN/WS 297. Feminisms.This course develops students' ability to analyze gender in relation to other issues, including race, class, and sexuality. Students explore the multiple theories of how these issues intersect in literature, including black feminism, socialist feminism, queer theory, deconstruction, and psychoanalytic theory. Some attention is paid to media feminism, both the brand of feminism popular in current movies and television shows, and media reactions to feminism. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Critical thinking.) C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
INDS 325. Black Feminist Literary Theory and Practice.This seminar examines literary theories that address the representation and construction of race, gender, and sexuality, particularly, but not exclusively, theories formulated and articulated by Afra-diasporic women such as Spillers, Ogunyemi, Henderson, Valerie Smith, McDowell, Busia, Lubiano, and Davies. Students not only analyze theoretical essays but also use the theories as lenses through which to explore literary productions of women writers of Africa and the African diaspora in Europe and in the Americas, including Philip, Dangarembga, Morrison, Herron, Gayle Jones, Head, Conde, Brodber, Brand, Merle Collins, and Harriet Wilson. Cross-listed in African American studies, English, and women and gender studies. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. (Critical thinking.) S. Houchins. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Normally offered every semester. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 365. Special Topics.Offered occasionally by a faculty member in subjects of special interest. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 391. Advanced Prose Writing.Prerequisite(s): English 291. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. R. Farnsworth. Concentrations.
ENG 392. Advanced Poetry Writing.Prerequisite(s): English 292. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. R. Farnsworth. Concentrations.
ENG 395. Junior-Senior Seminars.Seminars provide an opportunity for concentrated work in a restricted subject area. Two such seminars are required for the English major. Students are encouraged to see the seminar as preparation for independent work on a senior thesis. They may also choose to use the seminar itself as a means of fulfilling the senior thesis requirement. Sections are limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Concentrations.
ENG 395A. Godard and European Film.Jean-Luc Godard is perhaps the most important filmmaker of the second half of the twentieth century. His films are essays in what images can do; they analyze narrative, structure, and sound. This course considers the major films of his career, from romantic early works like Breathless (1959), to politically severe films like Weekend (1967), to the philosophical meditation of In Praise of Love (2001). Each week course participants study one film by directors such as Antonioni, Bergman, Dreyer, Fellini, Marker, Pasolini, Tarkovsky, and Truffaut. Taken together, Godard and these European directors show why twentieth-century film is truly "the seventh art." Prerequisite(s): one English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] S. Dillon. Concentrations.
AC/EN 395B. Privacy, Intimacy, and Identity.This seminar explores American concepts of "self" in historical and cultural context, focusing on distinct yet overlapping discourses of privacy, intimacy, and identity, as these are shaped by evolving understandings of race, sexuality, gender, class, and nation. Beginning with a critical investigation of how the nation's Puritan settlers articulated, practiced, and regulated "the self" and concluding with a consideration of how self and identity are presented in mediated environments such as Facebook and MySpace, students consider scholarship in American literary and cultural history, critical theory, and primary literary and legal texts. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level English course or one 200-level American Cultural Studies course and English 141 or 152. Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] E. Osucha. Concentrations.
AC/EN 395C. Frontier and Border in U.S. Literature.The American "frontier" has long been a controlling idea in the production of U.S. national identity: less physical reality than ideological framework, what historian Frederick Jackson Turner called "the meeting point between savagery and civilization." Drawing on theoretical and historical writings, studied alongside twentieth-century U.S. literary texts, this course examines the history and legacy of this concept, and the new interpretive and cultural paradigms of "the border" that have supplanted Turner's "frontier thesis." Studying the border as "contact zone," students read widely in Chicana/o and Native American literatures, studying connections and commonalities in what are often treated as distinct traditions, toward a more nuanced understanding of the diverse territories — real and imagined — engaged by critical discourses of the border. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level course in American cultural studies or English. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] E. Osucha. Concentrations.
ENG 395D. Victorian Crime Fiction.The seminar examines the detective fiction written by British Victorians, the historical context in which this literature was produced, and its ideological implications. Students consider the connection between gender and criminality, and the relation of detection to class unrest and empire building. Readings include works by Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Grant Allen. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] L. Nayder. Concentrations.
CM/EN 395E. Medieval Romance.Romance was the most popular literary genre of the later Middle Ages. Originating in France in the twelfth century, this highly adaptable form quickly became an international phenomenon, with numerous examples found across Europe and the British Isles. Many romances tell tales of amorous exploits, exotic travels, and quests for knowledge; the celebration of chivalric ideals is a central theme. But many of these tales seem to question and sometimes undermine the very ideals they otherwise espouse: courtly love mingles with sexual adventurism, for instance, and loyalty to one's lord often results in alienation or death. Students read a selection of romances from France and Britain (all texts are in modern English translation or manageable Middle English) with an eye toward how they variously articulate and deconstruct the notion of chivalry. Prerequisite(s): one English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Pre-1800.) [W2] S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG 395F. To Light: Five Twentieth-Century American Women Poets.Concentrated study of five major American poets, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich, whose various poetic achievements illuminate particular dilemmas facing female poets—issues of subject matter, visibility, literary tradition, and ideology. Corollary readings are drawn from the work of both peers and inheritors, such as Marianne Moorse, H. D., Edna St. Vincent Millay, Denise Levertov, Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Louise Gluck, Jorie Graham, and Marie Howe. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] R. Farnsworth. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
CM/EN 395H. Medieval Chivalry.This course examines the many vocabularies of chivalry that arose during the Western High Middle Ages (1100-1500), a period of profound cultural change. In response to shifts in marriage and property customs, the papal schism, the Black Death, social rebellions, and civil wars, texts produced in the age of chivalry feature pointed representations of aristocrats and peasants, courtly ladies and prostitutes, crusaders and heathens, not to mention tournaments, treason, weaponry, and outlawry. These timely and sensitive topics appear in such varied genres as romances, court poetry, courtesy literature, letters, legal documents, city charters, and conduct books. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Pre-1800.) [W2] Offered with varying frequency. S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG 395J. The Lyric Answer.This seminar focuses on lyric poems that respond to other poems, to works of visual art, or to public occasions. We tend to think of the lyric poem as essentially private and inward, as a speech act or composition peculiarly personal and dreamily symbolic, or arising just from the catalyzing frictions of language itself. In this course, students consider a wide array of poems responsive to specific (that is, objectively verifiable) events, objects, and places in order to observe and relate their various formal, figurative, and expressive behaviors. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] R. Farnsworth. Concentrations.
ENG 395K. The Arctic Sublime.Now the focus of grave concerns over global warming, the Arctic generated a different set of anxieties in the nineteenth century. Perceived as strange and terrifying, and deadly to those who tried to chart and conquer it, the region was a source of the sublime; its inhuman greatness both inspired and appalled. Drawing on various genres, students examine the "Arctic sublime," considering its artistic and ideological purposes for Romantics and Victorians. Works include Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym as well as works of visual art and selections from nineteenth-century theorists of the sublime. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 350. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] L. Nayder. Concentrations.
EN/WS 395L. Feminist Literary Criticisms.This seminar examines feminist literary theories and the implications and consequences of theoretical choices. It raises interrelated questions about forms of representation, the social construction of critical categories, cross-cultural differences among writers and readers, and the critical reception of women writers. Students explore the use of literary theory through work with diverse texts. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] Normally offered every year. L. Dhingra, C. Malcolmson, C. Taylor. Concentrations.
ENG 395M. The Digressive Paths of Tristram Shandy.Tristram Shandy, an eighteenth-century novel by Laurence Sterne, opens perplexing questions about narration as its experimental digressions strain the idea of what belongs to a novel. Was it at birth born unto another time, the modernism of the twentieth century? This course investigates narratological strategy and digression in particular as it places Sterne in the idiom of Swift (Tale of a Tub), Carlyle (Sartor Resartus), and Proust (Swann's Way). The films Tristram Shandy (Winterbottom), Passion (Godard), and Night Watching (Greenaway) offer additional artistic commentary on the workings of digression. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) (Pre-1800.) [W2] S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 395N. Ulysses and Its Others.From its initial banning to the international celebration of Bloomsday, James Joyce's modernist novel has become a key text for almost every strain of critical and cultural theory and for many subsequent transformations of anti-heroic epic journeys. Students consider the work's experiments in language, structure, and form in relation to its rich sources, Homer's Odyssey primary among them. They also examine its legacy of literary provocation for "othered" literary traditions, represented here by Derek Walcott's Omeros, Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, and Gerald Vizenor's Hiroshima Bugi: Atomu 57. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] Offered with varying frequency. C. Taylor. Concentrations.
ENG 395O. Poetry and Place.Premised on William Carlos Williams's definition of culture as the relation of a place to the lives lived within it, this course begins with a brief exploration of Western conceptions of the pastoral, then focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century visions of nature's relation to the poetic imagination, where nature is understood to include ideas of wilderness, cultivated landscape, and even urban space. Psychological, political, philosophical, and prophetic preoccupations come to startling focus in poetries specifically responsive to the earth and locale. From several traditions a number of poets is considered from among Virgil, Horace, Marvell, Basho, Wordsworth, Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, Baudelaire, Hardy, Frost, E. Thomas, W. C. Williams, Jeffers, Neruda, Kavanagh, Bishop, Snyder, Heaney, Momaday, Ammons, Berry, Walcott, Oliver, and Haines. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] R. Farnsworth. Concentrations.
ENG 395P. The Narrative Image.This course considers the relationship between literature and visual culture, examining how poets construct visual works of art through language as well as the narratives that images silently weave. Topics include medieval, Renaissance, and Romantic ekphrasis; medieval dream vision poetry; idolatry and iconoclasm; Elizabethan iconography; Pre-Raphaelite portraiture; and the connections among narrative, cinema, and photography in the modern novel. Authors may include Chaucer, the Gawain Poet, Shakespeare, Webster, Blake, Keats, Browning, Hardy, and W. G. Sebald. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Pre-1800.) [W2] Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 395Q. Orientalism.The course explores the ideological function of representations of the "East" in the Western tradition and in contemporary literature and film. Students consider Edward Said's influential formulation in light of feminist and other critiques and examine the claim that certain modes of Western feminism are Orientalist. Topics include Orientalism after 9/11, its operation and analysis in film, and works by contemporary Arab British and Arab American writers. Prerequisite(s): one English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
CM/EN 395R. Gender Issues in Medieval Literature.The most popular forms of literature in the Middle Ages, including chivalric epic, courtly romance, hagiography, and fabliaux, work from specific assumptions regarding normative gender roles. The qualities of a perfect knight, for example, include certain types of gendered behavior, including casual promiscuity with women and an appetite for violence with men. This course examines literary representations of medieval gender roles in relation both to their origins (often in Church teachings) and their manifestations in the social world. Students read a number of late medieval poems, prose treatises, and excerpts from legal and theological documents. Readings are in (manageable) Middle English or in Modern English translation. Prerequisite(s): one English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Pre-1800.) [W2] S. Federico. Concentrations.
EN/WS 395S. Asian American Women Writers, Filmmakers, and Critics.This seminar studies from a literary and a sociohistorical perspective the fiction, memoirs, and critical theories of Asian American women such as Meena Alexander, Ginu Kamani, Maxine Hong Kingston, Lisa Lowe, Bapsi Sidhwa, Cathy Song, Shani Mootoo, Jhumpa Lahiri, Joy Kogawa, and Hisaye Yamamoto. It explores their constructions of personal and national identity, as hybridized Asians and Americans, and as postcolonial diasporics making textual representations of real and "imaginary" homelands. Films by Trinh Minh-ha, Deepa Mehta, Mira Nair, Jayasri Hart, and Renee Tajima are also analyzed through critical lenses. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] L. Dhingra. Concentrations.
ENG 395U. Postmodern Novel.The seminar examines diverse efforts to define "postmodernism." Students read novels by Joyce, Pynchon, Wallace, Eco, and Rushdie. Contemporary reviews, secondary criticism, narrative theory, issues of socially constructed reality, and some problems in the philosophy of language mark out its concerns. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 395V. John Donne and T. S. Eliot in Our Time.Critics and literary historians credit T. S. Eliot in the mid-1920s with reviving poetic and intellectual interest in metaphysical poetry, particularly in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poetry of John Donne, the so-called Monarch of Wit. This course investigates why Eliot identifies Donne, like Baudelaire and himself, as a poet of intellectual disorder and emotional chaos; it queries why Eliot labels Donne, whom he views as "imprisoned in the embrace of his own feelings," a modernist. Students read Donne's lyrics, elegies, long poems, homilies, and letters within the context of Eliot's The Waste Land, essays on metaphysical poetry, and lectures and writings from 1925 to 1931. Recommended background: English 213, 214, 222, or 254. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] Normally offered every other year. S. Freedman. Concentrations.
EN/WS 395W. Mary Elizabeth Braddon.Known among Victorians as the "Queen of the Circulating Libraries," Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835–1915) was immensely popular in her day. Reading a selection of Braddon's best- and lesser-known works, students explore the reasons for her popularity. They consider the subversive and conservative strains in Braddon's writing, her aims and accomplishments as a "sensation novelist," and the significance of her own unconventional lifestyle. Readings include a number of Braddon's novels, short stories, and plays, as well as biographical and critical studies. Not open to students who have received credit for EN/WS 395E. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] L. Nayder. Concentrations.
ENG 395X. "Pretty and Apt": Philosophical Method and the Study of Literature.Ancient Greek philosophers, in their efforts to explain their world, drew readily from literature. The same has not been the case for the most influential philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition. Literary commentary appears stinted in Wittgenstein's writings, hardly flourishes in Davidson, Putnam, Goodman, and Rorty. When we investigate European voices such as Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida, do we come away thinking differently about the fit between philosophy and literature? How does philosophical method apply to literature? Do varying accounts of metaphor, reference, or truth concern literary explanation? Concepts, such as Gricean maxims, Davidsonian intention, Cavellian presence, and Derridean markers form a ground to judge their aptness in reading literature. We, then, seek answers to Moth's query in Love's Labors Lost, "I pretty, and my saying apt? Or I apt, and my saying pretty?" Recommended background: Philosophy 234 and 241 and English 295. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] Normally offered every year. S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ENG 395Y. Colonialism and Literature in Early Modern England.The course considers the simultaneous development of "high" literature during the age of Shakespeare and colonial settlement in Ireland and the Americas, as well as British trade and exploration in Africa and Asia. Particular attention is paid to early versions of "race," the role of gender in representing "New World" encounters, and the relationship between travel narratives and scientific discourse. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English class. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Pre-1800.) [W2] C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
AA/EN 395Z. African American Literature and the Bible.The Bible is unmatched in its influence on African American literary and cultural traditions. No other book has inspired such a broad scope of oral and written work. From explorations of the Exodus narrative to the Gospel writers' parables of Jesus, this course examines the way Hebrew and Christian biblical texts have inspired African American artists. Beginning with oral traditions such as spirituals and sermons, students then consider the Bible's role in scribal literacy and political discourse, and conclude with its impact on contemporary writers. Students combine interpretation of biblical texts and course readings with literary/cultural theory and criticism. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English or African American studies course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 457. Senior Thesis.Students register for English 457 in the fall semester and for English 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both English 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for English 457 in the fall semester and for English 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both English 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for English 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both English 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations.Short Term Courses
ENG s11. Chaucer and the Child.Although Geoffrey Chaucer is called "the father of English poetry," critics note that the poet often aligns himself with the figure of the child. This course examines a selection of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in which children appear as figures of innocence, violence, pathos, and futurity. Students investigate nineteenth- and twentieth-century rewritings of Chaucer's tales as children's literature. For the service-learning component of this course, students read and discuss these modern rewritings with local schoolchildren. In addition, students produce an original collection of Chaucer's tales for children. Enrollment limited to 12. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG s12. In the Presence of the Ancestor.Familial and social relationships, which contribute so centrally to our physical, spiritual, and mental identities, encode our ancestral ties to the past. As an instructive presence, the ancestor figure is both an essential part of African American communities and also is central to their representative literatures. Using works by various African American writers, especially Langston Hughes, Gloria Naylor, David Bradley, John Edgar Weidman, and Toni Morrison, students analyze the ways in which ancestors function as complex repositories of black culture and history. In the literary imagination of many black writers, the ancestor may be represented as a living person, a spirit, or a cultural artifact and plays an integral role in the conceptualizing black identities. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG s13. Politics and the Theater.This course investigates drama as a political forum. Some attention is given to Western historical uses such as Greek tragedy and Shakespeare's history plays, but the course focuses primarily on contemporary works. Visiting artists speak about their plays and performances. Students analyze texts, but also respond to current political issues by writing and staging their own scenes. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. C. Malcolmson. Concentrations.
EN/RH s14. Place, Word, Sound: New Orleans.This course offers an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to the study of New Orleans, the most African city in continental North America. The goal of the course is to understand the impact of place on culture and aesthetic practices, learn how institutions represent New World and creole transformations of Africanity, and introduce students to historical and contemporary debates about African influences in the United States. Students examine cultural memory, questions of power, and definitions of cultural terrain as expressed in literature, art, music, and architecture. In addition to attending the seven-day Jazz and Heritage Festival, students visit various sites of literary, cultural, and historical significance to New Orleans. Recommended background: a course in African American studies offered in English, music, rhetoric, or African American studies. Not open to students who have received credit for English/Rhetoric s29. Not open to students who have received credit for EN/RH s29. Enrollment limited to 16. Instructor permission is required. C. Nero, Staff. Concentrations.
ENG s15. 9/11 in Literature and Art.The events of September 11, 2001, serve as a powerful reminder of how public trauma, private grief, and cultural memory are not simply "events" in the lives of individuals or societies but are "mediated" by aesthetic productions—literary fiction, poetry, narrative film, theater, visual art, and comics. Students consider examples of all of these texts and media in order to explore the concept of a "post-9/11" American public culture. They also address how catastrophic events, political violence, and individual deaths are grieved and remembered at the intersection of personal expressions of loss and public acts of memorialization. Enrollment limited to 25. E. Osucha. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG s18. For the Love of Dogs.This course focuses on literary and nonliterary texts on the relationship, bonds, and boundaries between humans and dogs. Although the primary focus is on fiction, poetry, and film, readings may be drawn from multiple disciplines and perspectives—including biology, psychology, philosophy, religion, and environmental studies—that consider the evolution of humans and other animals, the rights of nonhuman animals; interspecies communication; human-animal bonds; animal-human healing partnerships and pet-assisted therapy; and cross-cultural differences and similarities in individual and societal treatment of dogs. Students are required to undertake service-learning at local veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, therapy-dog settings, or boarding kennels. Enrollment limited to 15. L. Dhingra. Concentrations.
ENG s19. Myth, Legends, and the Superhero/ine.Through television shows like NBC's Heroes and blockbuster movies such as Marvel Comics' X-Men, Spiderman, and Iron Man, the superhero genre has emerged as a legitimate and central part of mainstream American culture. This course examines the history of the superhero comic as a representational art form and analyzes the political and cultural implications of the genre. Students analyze comic books, graphic novels, literature, television, and film, and engage such issues as race, class, gender, and ethnicity, from a national and international perspective. Students to become engaged "heroic" citizens by participating for four hours in a service-learning program in conjunction with the Harward Center for Community Partnerships. Enrollment limited to 30. One-time offering. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG s20. NewsWatch.What criteria determine that some aspects of experience are regarded as newsworthy and others not? What conventions determine how to represent this news? What are the boundaries between journalism and other nonfictional narratives (history, essay, documentary, biography, for example)? What tensions exist between "all the news that's fit to print" and commercial, consumer-based media? This course considers how diverse media collect, represent, and comment on the "news," drawing on media and cultural studies, discourse analysis, and narrative theory to critically explore both dominant media representations in the United States and alternatives to it, especially in foreign presses and/or alternatively supported media. C. Malcolmson, C. Taylor. Concentrations. Interdisciplinary Programs.
ENG s21. Hip Hop, Jazz, and Blues: Musical Influence on Poetry and Prose.As distinctly American art forms, jazz and the blues have served as source books for the rhythms, themes, and narratives of American poetry and fiction. In this course, students trace the way jazz and the blues, as well as their descendant, hip hop, have shaped American expression at the intersection of politics, art, spirituality, and violence. Students not only examine the influences of these musical forms on literature but also produce their own poetry, creative prose, and music. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] Offered with varying frequency. R. Strong. Concentrations.
ENG s22. The Art of the Film.A study of one or two major directors of film such as Chaplin, Griffith, Renoir, Ford, or Bergman; or a study of a major genre of the film. Students view and discuss relevant films. Lectures on related aspects of the art of the film. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Freedman. Concentrations.
ED/EN s28. Children's Writing Workshop.Students read and discuss a wide range of literature for and by children as well as pertinent critical studies, and travel weekly to Dunn Elementary School in New Gloucester to work with third, fourth, and fifth graders on well-known poetry and fiction as well as the children's own creative writing. With help from the children, they produce a classroom magazine and organize a poetry/fiction reading. A thirty-hour field experience is required. Prerequisite(s): one course in either English or education. Enrollment limited to 12. L. Nayder. Concentrations.
CM/EN s29. The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien.J. R. R. Tolkien, in his double roles as popular writer and Oxford medievalist, taught countless numbers of readers to appreciate many of the central themes of medieval literature. These overarching themes—including the relationship between the natural and the supernatural spheres, the struggle between good and evil, and the morally ambivalent status of monsters and magicians—are largely found in early Celtic and Norse mythology. In this course students analyze these myths in an attempt to better understand where Tolkien's Hobbit is coming from, and how the novelist adopted and adapted medieval material for his modern audience. All texts are read in modern English. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG s32. Advanced Expository Writing and Peer Editing Workshop.This course is designed for strong student writers who want to work in a collaborative setting to improve their expository writing and editing skills, to learn more from other people's perspectives, and to explore the importance of drafting and revising. Students discuss selected readings, ranging from considerations of mechanics and style to essays exemplifying good nonfiction prose. They also maintain an individually designed reading program. In addition to regular class meetings, students meet in smaller tutorial groups several hours a week to read and comment extensively on the assignments written by them and their classmates. Prerequisite(s): submission of a short graded essay from any Bates course prior to registration. Enrollment limited to 16. Instructor permission is required. E. Hansen. Concentrations.
CM/EN s33. Screening the Middle Ages.This course examines cinematic representations of the Middle Ages, focusing especially on the cultural energies that produce certain visions of the past. The films offer an opportunity to reflect on how our various modern designs on (and desires for) the medieval illuminate the present as much as they animate the past. Students read selections from medieval history and poetry (in translation or manageable Middle English) in conjunction with daily viewings and written assignments; secondary readings are drawn from modern and postmodern film criticism and theory. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. S. Federico. Concentrations.
ENG s43. Shakespeare in the Theater.A study of Shakespeare's plays in performance, intended to acquaint the student with problems that are created by actual stage production in the interpretation of the plays. Students see Shakespearean productions in various locations, including London and Stratford-on-Avon, England. Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: English 213, 214, and 215. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Staff. Concentrations.
ENG s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations.