Below you will find the course descriptions for Optional Content courses in the English Department for Fall; additions and updates will be posted as soon as they are made available.
To read all of the course descriptions for the department, go to the current issue of the Undergraduate Bulletin or toTitanWeb. For more information about these courses--or about *any* English courses you are interested in taking--do not hesitate to contact the instructor named in the course listing in TitanWeb, or contact the English office.
354/554-001, Studies in Travel, Literature & Culture (OC): Literature and Culture(Expatriate Writers in Paris)
Instructor: Christine Roth
Description: Gertrude Stein once wrote, "America is my country, and Paris is my hometown." Indeed, throughout much of the twentieth century, Paris exercised a magnetic attraction upon several generations of artists and intellectuals, large numbers of whom migrated to the French capital from all over the world. The number of English-speaking expatriates was especially impressive. In this course, we will study and reflect on the history of British and American expatriate fiction from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Writers on the syllabus may include Arthur Symons, Oscar Wilde, Djuna Barnes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. We will ask what characterizes expatriate writing thematically and stylistically; how fiction written in Paris in this period suggests ways of thinking, feeling, judging; and how expat writers' particular backgrounds and interests refract what they have in common.
Description: This course will study works that testify to both the shaping influence of war on the British fiction of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries and the continued prevalence of love stories in the era. Spanning from the early-twentieth-century beginnings of Modernism to our contemporary moment, and reading works that take both World Wars as well as more domestic conflicts as their historical backdrop, we will examine the ways in which love and war entwine and interpenetrate: lovers separated by war, the unexpected loves forged amidst war, and even love itself as a kind of war. Authors to be considered include Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Ford Madox Ford, D. H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, and Ian McEwan.
Instructor: Miriam Schacht
Course Description: This course focuses on Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) literatuare, both oral and written, and its relationship to Ojibwe history, culture, and politics. Anishinaabe stories and tribal histories form the framework for many contemporary authors' stories and poems, and traditional stories are a literary form in their own right. We will discuss oral storytelling and selections from collections of traditional stories as well as from histories of the Anishinaabe people. The class will read texts from a wide range of Ojibwe authors in a variety of genres, and examine various critical approaches to these texts.
English 379/579-001 American Poetry
Instructor: Loren Baybrook
Description: This course will examine the major poetry of America since 1855, learning to understand the nation's most significant voices, from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson to Robert Frost and Elizabeth Bishop. The course will also study what a "poem" is, how it works, why poetry stands at the center of literary studies, and who or what determines the value of a literary text. Prerequisite: English 281 or permission from the instructor.
English 387/587-001 Special Topics in Rhetoric: Feminist Approaches to Rhetoric, Writing, and Language
Instructor: Samantha Looker
Description: In recent decades, feminist scholars have worked to make women's contributions and perspectives more prominent within writing and language scholarship. Thanks to feminist rhetorical historians, we're now aware that ancient rhetoric wasn't all Aristotle and Plato (Haven't heard of Aspasia? You will!). Thanks to feminist linguists, we're conscious of how language features like the masculine generic (using "he" when gender is unknown) and gendered job titles (like steward/stewardess) perpetuate gender inequity in society. Thanks to feminist writing studies scholars, we're now more aware of how gender affects our ways of writing and learning. This course will examine these and many other ways in which feminist theories and methods have contributed to rhetoric, writing studies, and linguistics. You don't need to identify as female or feminist to enjoy this course; you just need to be interested in hearing what women have to say.
English 394/594 -001 Multiethnic Literature: War and Multiethnic Literatures
Instructor: Mijeong Park
Description: This course will discuss a series of African American, Asian American, Native American, and Latin American literary works that deal with the Second World War and the Vietnam War experiences.
The Second World war and the Vietnam War have created numerous cultural productions such as novels, essays, memoirs, poetry, plays, films, and TV shows. In addition, the wars made significant impacts on the social tensions related to class, race, ethnicity, and gender. And yet, the popular narratives of two wars have not fully accommodated the accounts from many diverse parties and the ideologies of war.
The course aims to examine the issues that are quite absent in the popular narratives of the Second World War and the Vietnam War with the following questions: What is war? Can we ever stop war? How do the wars relate to the building of the United States as a multiethnic nation-state and a global superpower? How are the wars represented in the popular media? How have racial/ethnic minorities been involved in each war? How does each selected work counter the popular memories of the wars? How does each writer express the unspeakable events? How do the battlefield experiences resonate to the home fronts?
The reading list includes Joy Kogawa's Obasan, Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, John A. Williams's Captain Blackman, Lan Cao's Monkey Bridge, and more. Theoretical works, documentaries, and other visual texts are also used to supplement the readings. The course requires active class participation, two essays, and one class presentation.
Instructor: Jordan Landry
English 481-001 Seminar in English Studies:Instructor: Don Dingledine
Description: Students will read Herman Melville's Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851), along with a selection of criticial analyses of Melville's novel. Students will write fifteen- to twenty- page projects concerning Moby-Dick; final projects will include abstracts and annotated bibliographies.
Instructor: Aaron Dunckel