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Department of English

 

Spring 2012

 

English Major Course descriptions, Spring 2012

 

ENGL 202—01  Introduction to English Studies II - Larry Lake 

This course provides instruction for writing using research.  Students will complete a literary research project of their choice, to be presented in two formats (scholarship, creative work/reflective essay).  The professor will model writing using research for each stage of the project, as well as mentoring students on their projects. Besides revising a chapter of his book on colonial scientists and explorers, Dr. Lake will also prepare an essay (part of his memoir Unsettling New Guinea ) reflecting on his own experiences with white privilege while a child in Netherlands New Guinea. Requirements: assigned readings, weekly writing assignments on the research process, an 8-10 page scholarly research paper, and 8-10 page creative or reflective response related to the scholarly research paper topic (short story, poems, reflective essay, or biography chapter for a generally educated audience). Course texts: Murfin and Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms; Turabian  A Manual for Writers, 7th ed and MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition).  TR 800-930.

 

ENGL 202-02 Introduction to English Studies II - Samuel Smith

This course provides instruction for writing using research.  Students will complete a research project of their choice, to be presented in two formats (scholarship, creative work/reflective essay).  The professor will model writing using research for each stage of the project, as well as mentoring students on their projects.  Professor Smith’s research question: what does Milton mean by “regaining paradise” in his poem Paradise Regained; how does Milton relate the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness to his saving work on behalf of humanity?  Requirements: assigned readings, weekly writing assignments on the research process, an 8-10 page scholarly research paper, and 8-10 page creative or reflective response related to the scholarly research paper topic (short story, poems, reflective essay, or biography chapter for a generally educated audience).  Course texts: Murfin and Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms; Turabian  A Manual for Writers, 7th ed and MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition).  TR 1045-1215.

 

ENGL 230 Linguistics – Eugene Rohrbaugh

An introduction to language and linguistics with an emphasis on tolls and methods for language study.  MWF 1020-1120.

 

ENGL 305 Magazine Writing – Christopher Markley

Introduction to magazine journalism, entailing the planning, research, and writing of several feature articles, and their submission for publication.  Emphasizes interview techniques, correspondence with editors, and the writer’s development of long-range publishing plans.  W 6-9 p.m., satisfies ENGL 212 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 305/360 Persuasive Essay – David Dzaka

Introduction to and practice in advanced levels of expository writing, as well as focus on evaluation skills and the process of writing.  Emphasis will be on persuasion – writing for argument. MWF 1130-1230, satisfies ENGL 304 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 305/360  Travel Writing Workshop - Larry Lake 

Reading and writing essays and other personal accounts of travel and tourism, to consider contemporary techniques and controversies of travel writing.  Students will write about their own travel experiences, including brief  local class fieldtrips, resulting in short weekly pieces and a larger term-length work framed as an article, book chapter or memoir fragment.  Extensive reading and study of magazine articles and book-length travelogues, probably including Paul Theroux The Happy Isles of Oceania, and Michael Crichton Travels. Students will each read and report on a book such as Peter Hessler River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze,  Colin Thubron The Lost Heart of Asia, and Peter Mayle  A Year in Provence.  Careful attention will be given to the theory and postcolonial politics of travel writing, using Jamaica Kincaid A Small Place and excerpts from Miriam Kahn Tahiti Beyond the Postcard, Krista Thompson An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque, and  Mary Louise Pratt Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. TR 1405-1535, satisfies ENGL 309 in the old English major.

 

ENGL 305/360 Poetry Workshop: Closed Form – Matthew Roth

William Wordsworth praised the sonnet form as an antidote to “the weight of too much liberty” and Robert Frost once declared that writing poems without form was like “playing tennis with the net down.”  These poets, like many others before and since, found in the challenge of poetic forms an artful and satisfying way to give body to meaning and emotion.  In this workshop, we will work in a variety of traditional forms, including the sonnet, villanelle, sestina, and couplets. Students will also create their own forms and write in forms devised by their peers.  TR 1045-1215, satisfies ENGL 306 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 320-01 Romantic British Literature - Crystal Downing   

In this course we will study the British Romantic era (1785-1825) in a romantic spirit. Like Blake we will consider the relationship between the visual and the verbal; like Keats we will creatively respond to art that touches our souls; like Shelley we will discuss the impact of poetry on the world; like Hazlitt and Lamb we will consider the lives of the poets; like Byron we will focus on women: not to seduce them the way he did, but to assess their writing, looking especially at Jane Austen and Mary Shelley. Best of all, we will end the course imitating Wordsworth and Coleridge: hiking through beautiful countryside while sharing our favorite poetry. TR 12.25-1.55, satisfies ENGL 246 in the old English major curriculum.

 

 

ENGL 320-02/60 Modern and Postmodern in 20th-Century British Short Fiction - Samuel Smith  

We will begin with the short fiction of modern writers such as James Joyce (Dubliners), Katherine Mansfield, D.H. Lawrence, and Virginia Woolf, and finish with the short fiction of postmodern writers such as, Doris Lessing, Julian Barnes (The History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters), Salman Rushdie (East and West), and Angela Carter (Saints and Strangers). We will pay considerable attention to the art and development of short narrative in Britain from the beginning of the 20th-century to its end.  TR 8.00-9.30, satisfies ENGL 344 in the old English major curriculum.  Note: seniors who completed my Spring 2010 ENGL 344 may take this course as an elective—sign up for ENGL 320, and it will count as an ENGL 349 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 340 American Lit after 1900: "Imagining Freedom” - Jennifer McFarlane-Harris

In the United States, what is more desirable—or more contested—than “freedom”? Across the twentieth century, American debates over “freedom” have had both real-world and aesthetic consequences, from political and social issues (lynching, “Americanization,” civil rights, labor relations, changing gender and sexual roles, etc.) to literary movements (realism and naturalism, the Harlem Renaissance, regionalism, modernism, postmodernism, etc.). This upper-division American literature course is designed as a survey of depth; we will spend our time on one or two literary works at each weekly class meeting. The first two-thirds of the course will focus on literature from 1900 through the 1950s (including Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Wharton, The House of Mirth; Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; various modernist and Harlem Renaissance poets; short stories by Hemingway and a Steinbeck novella; plays by Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, and Lorraine Hansberry; Ellison, Invisible Man; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!). The last third of the class will be devoted to the latter part of the twentieth century and the radical implications of authors such as Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Allen Ginsberg, Yusef Komunyakaa, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sandra Cisneros, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Jeffrey Eugenides. Requirements: Students will be expected to attend all classes and participate actively in all discussions. 6 short response papers will be required over the course of the term, as well as a midterm exam and a 5-7 page essay that expands on a question explored in one of the response papers. The term will conclude with small-group presentations during the final exam period, where students will present their own analytical projects on the theme of “freedom” in American literature. M 6-9 p.m., satisfies ENGL 356 or 359 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 360/340 Nabokov and the Novel – Matthew Roth

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) enjoyed unique success as a novelist in both Russian and English. Critics and general readers alike have recognized his novel, Lolita, as one of twentieth century’s greatest works of fiction.  Though he is known as a master of style and wit, Nabokov’s novels nevertheless pose profound moral and aesthetic questions that remain as relevant today as they were in his lifetime. In this course, we will delve into the best of his Russian and English works, paying special attention to his formal inventiveness and favored themes.  Works will include his autobiography, Speak, Memory, as well a variety of novels and novellas, including The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Pnin, Lolita, Pale Fire, and his unfinished novel, The Original of Laura.

MWF 1240-1340, satisfies ENGL 359 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 350 Postcolonial Literature - Larry Lake 

This course will examine literary expressions of colonial and postcolonial experiences. Careful attention will be paid to ethnographic, geographic, and historical modes of understanding the multi-layered effects of colonialism. Texts will be drawn from Africa, India, Ireland, Latin America, the Caribbean,  and the Pacific, and will be discussed in relation to major themes in postcolonial studies including Identity, Power, Resistance, Hybridity, Globalization and Neo-colonialism.  Requirements: assigned readings, response papers and question preparation for discussion groups, two in-class reports on major literary figures or movements or colonial empires, an essay exam, and a choice of final paper: critical interpretation of a text we have read, or a creative response to one of the novels. Probable texts: Hereniko and Wilson  Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific;  Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart;  Jamaica Kincaid A Small Place,  Brian Friel Translations, Salman Rushdie Midnight’s Children;  Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude,  Marjane Satrapi Persepolis, Pramoedya Ananta Toer  This Earth of Mankind;  Witi Ihimaera  The Whale Rider; and Alan Duff Once Were Warriors.  MWF 910-1010, satisfies ENGL 362 in the old English major curriculum.

 

ENGL 370 Critical Theory: "Critical Adaptation and Literary (Re)vision" - Jennifer McFarlane-Harris

In this upper-division theory course, we will investigate criticism and literature that calls attention to its own construction, studying works that comment on and intersect with one another. Through careful examinations of these literary conversations across multiple genres—poetry, short stories, novels, autobiography, drama, film, opera, and, of course, theory—we will develop a critical vocabulary related to some of the key terms, practices, interpretive strategies, and debates that define the discipline of English. That is, we will examine schools of critical thought (e.g., feminism, Marxism, formalism, psychoanalysis, cultural criticism, new historicism, deconstructionism, reader-response theory) in relation to hybrid texts. Our readings in literary theory will be structured in “units” around text pairings, including: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, Polly Teale's play After Mrs Rochester, and Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair; Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and the recent opera Margaret Garner (libretto by Morrison). We will also view at least one film, study the problem of authorial intentionality through formalist responses to poetry by Emily Dickinson, and read some short stories to discuss narratology. Requirements: Participation in class discussion is a vital component of the course, including one 20-minute small-group presentation on a critical movement. Short writing assignments will also facilitate engagement with primary texts and theoretical contexts. There will be a final exam and two analytical papers.

MW 3-4:30 p.m.

 

ENGL 496 Writing Seminar – Helen Walker

This course is the capstone course for the writing emphasis.  Students will explore the intersection of their faith and their writing practice, through reading and "practice experiments."  As well, they will commit to an ambitious Work in Progress writing project in a genre of their choice, building on earlier college-level work.  TR 1545-1715.

 

 

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