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.
Instructor: Pesta, Duke
Description: English 353 offers students a rare opportunity to study in great depth one of the world's most racy, brilliant, innovative, and profound poets. Our focus will be the poems of John Donne (1572-1631). From raunchy love lyrics to profound religious reflections, Donne's metaphysical verse is intellectual, versatile, and shocking in its ability to move and awe. Combining wit, depth, erudition, and ebullience, Donne is absolutely unique among English poets, and a tremendous influence on subsequent writers from his time through today.
Instructor: Stewart Cole
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 481-002 Seminar in English Studies:
Instructor: Christine Roth
Description: This course will begin by exploring the lives, work, and legacy of the Beat Generation, the counterculture of the 1950s, with a special focus on Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. By reading poetry, novels, and essays; listening to jazz and spoken word performances; and viewing art and film, we will come to a greater understanding of the nature of the Beat vision and its effect on contemporary culture. We will then focus on the Hippie movement, the counterculture of the 1960s. We will focus on similarities in the art and literature of the two movements--the correspondence between a bohemian lifestyle and their ideals, the rejection of mainstream society, the role on spontaneity, themes of rebellion and revolution, and Eastern religion/philosophy. We will also explore some of the central differences in the two, such as the contrasting emphasis on the individual and the subcultural in Beat texts and the group and the countercultural in Hippie texts. Throughout the course, we will look closely at how the art, literature, and music worked together in each movement.
704-001: Methods In Research
Instructor: Marguerite Helmers
Description: About the library, Emily Dickinson wrote, "A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is/To meet an antique book, / In just the dress his century wore." Just as Dickinson was thrilled to peer into the published works of the past, we as scholars in English can be excited about the world of books. This course is designed to explore the pleasures of the text, which include learning about others' ideas, asking questions, and seeking answers to those questions. You will focus on becoming inquisitive and productive scholars in the humanities, both as graduate students in our department and members of a profession at large. We will cover primary and secondary sources, aspects of scholarly publishing, and the digital humanities. This course will be labor intensive throughout the semester: there will be weekly reading and writing projects as well as formal researched work and oral presentations at the end. In addition, you will need to work collaboratively with other members of class as we edit an unpublished primary source.