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Department of English

Course Offerings: Fall 2012

Below is a list of Current Upper-Division Undergraduate Course Offerings and our Current Graduate-Seminar Offerings.


ENG 265.0001
Prof. Sarah Eron

MW 3:30 - 4:45 PM


This course will explore the genre of the Gothic in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, looking also at its contemporary assimilation into twentieth-century genres and modes of fiction and film. Subtopics will include the natural and the supernatural, reason and the passions, the figure of the wanderer in the Gothic romance, and spaces of enclosure. Some attention will also be given to issues of gender and sexuality in the Gothic novel. Authors may include: Horace Walpole, Matthew Lewis, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen.

ENG 304.0001
Prof. Simmons
TuTh 5:00-6:45 PM


Literary study of the particular conventions and evolution of one or more film genres (e.g. romantic comedy, science fiction, western). Emphasis will vary. May be repeated once with a different genre.

ENG 305A.0001
Prof. Peter Covino
TTH 12:30-1:45 PM


Intensive writing and reading workshop for students at the advanced level who have preferably taken at least one previous class in creative writing. 305A Poetry; 305B Fiction; 305C Nonfiction; 305D Screen Writing. In 305C, type of writing varies with instructor. 305A and B may be offered online. Students may repeat for a total of 12 credits but may not repeat the same letter.

ENG 350.0001
Prof. Stephen Barber
MW 3:00-4:15 PM


Introduction to theories of literature and their application in the analysis of selected texts. May be repeated for credit as often as topic changes.

ENG 352.0001
Prof. Gitahi Gititi
TTH 12:30-1:45 PM


Since the late 1890s, motion pictures (and later, television) have had a more tremendous impact on the American mind than any other entertainment medium. Film has profoundly influenced and perpetuated the constructed images of African-descended peoples across the world. This course explores the cultural, economic, political, and ideological motivations behind the problematic representations of "Blacks" in cinema in the US and other areas of the world, while examining film as a genre with a vocabulary and idiom of its own.  

ENG 364.0200
Prof. Gitahi Gititi
T 4:00-6:45 PM


Like literature and related disciplines, contemporary African film concerns itself with questions of self-definition and the establishment of an authentic tradition of self-representation. A corollary issue is the creation of African film as both intellectual property and commercial artefact, allied to the larger process of establishing and maintaining political and economic power; the reconstruction of cultural foundations eroded by European colonization. Seen as a more direct tool of communication than many other modalities, film addresses issues of individual and group morality, ethics, social class formation and its consequences, gender disparity, and other problems afflicting post-colonial African states, including the nature of political authority and its legitimization, nation-building, conflict resolution, as well as projections of the present and the future.

ENG 374.0001
Prof. Sarah Eron
MW 2:00-3:15 PM


How might we think of satire as an act of secrecy, as a private moment of sharing made public through the act of writing? What is the relationship of satire to the politics of scandal? This course will examine the formal elements of satire as a genre along with the social and political implications of satire and its obsession with gossip, secrecy, and scandal. We will consider satire's relationship to such topics as: imitation, theater, and performance, irony and rhetoric, social and political idealism, wit and judgment, religion and sexuality. Beginning with eighteenth-century works of satire, we will look at a variety of satiric forms and genres in a period known as "the age of satire." We will then discuss the relationship between these early satiric works and more contemporary modes of satire. Authors may include: Swift, Pope, Gay, Rochester, Manley, Wycherly, Johnson, Fielding, Sterne, and Voltaire—alongside selections from contemporary literature, television, and film.

ENG 377.0001
Prof. Jennifer Jones
TTH 9:30-10:45 AM


Notable literary and cultural movements and motifs of Romantic literature and culture. May include prose, poetry, or dramatic works by major Romantic authors and their contemporaries. May be repeated once with a different topic. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENG 378.0001
Prof. Valerie Karno
TTH 12:30-1:45 PM


This course will consider the many different modes of thought and writing comprising "Postmodernism." Thinking about the role of space and place, we will study varying literary genres and an international array of authors, to explore the roles nations, cities, location, temporality, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality play in writing labeled "postmodern". We will examine how or if identities get formulated through multiplicity and fragmentation; we will consider the ways history gets used in the formulation of the postmodern. There will be a range of writing assignments, and a Final exam.

ENG 383.0001
Prof. Stephen Barber
MW 1:00 - 2:15 PM


Poetry, drama, fiction, and/or nonfiction prose with an emphasis on writers such as Eliot, Faulkner, Hurston, Joyce, Stevens, Yeats, Woolf, and Wright.

ENG 387.0200
T 7:00-9:45 PM


Study of literary works that trace the origins and ongoing definitions of modern homo/heterosexual identities. Selections from writers such as Whitman, Wilde, Proust, Woolf, Lawrence, Gide, Mann, Cather, and Baldwin.

HPR 411.0001
Prof. Mary Cappello

T/Th 2:00-3:15 PM


"Sonorous envelopes." Vestibular aesthetics. Radical mutism. What happens when we bring our attention to the phenomena of listening, voice, sound, noise, and silence in literary texts? This course will introduce students to what has recently been termed an “auditory turn” in the Humanities and the question of what our acoustical environments can tell us about being human in the 21st century. Guided by the work of cultural theorists and composers Andra McCartney, Hildegard Westerkamp, and World Soundscape Project founder, Barry Truax, the semester will be framed by two “Sound Walks,” one at the beginning, and one at the end of the semester, newly inflected by what students in the course will have learned. We’ll focus on six literary case studies to moor us, and continuously re-visit what we thought we knew when we immerse ourselves in theoretical texts drawn from psychology, philosophy, history, medicine, environmental studies, and architecture. Students’ inquiries, investigations and analyses will take the form of creative as well as critical writing, sound experiments, and original research (annotated bibliographies and a final analytic essay). Unless a student is taking the course for English credit, the final project may or may not focus on literary texts.

ENG 432.0001
Prof. Kathleen Davis
TTH 11:00-12:15 PM


This course examines the history of the English language with a focus on language in its cultural and social context. We will develop a picture of English as it functions in the world of people speaking, writing, reading, and using language as a social, political, literary and economic instrument. We will begin by covering the grammatical and theoretical concepts necessary for analyzing the changing structure of English and its many dialects, and will then treat in detail the English of the MiddleAges, the Renaissance, and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the English used in the Americas and elsewhere in the world today. As we proceed, we will work to understand the relationship between technical aspects of language, such as syntax, phonology, and morphology, and the role of language in cultural and political events in England, the United States, and around the globe.

ENG 478.0001
Prof. Kathleen Davis
TTH 3:30-4:45 PM


Studies in works by one or more major medieval authors. (Seminar) May be repeated once, barring duplication of writers. Not for graduate credit.


ENG 510.0001
Prof. Michael Pennell
TH 4:00 - 6:45 PM
Three workshops, schedule TBA


Orientation to the major discourses, critical frameworks, and databases constituting graduate research in language and literary studies, including computer-assisted research methodologies.

ENG 514.0001
Prof. Ryan Trimm
M 7:00-9:45 PM


Historical survey of critical theory from antiquity to the present.

ENG 557.0001
Prof. Jean Walton
T 4:00-6:45 PM


In this graduate seminar, we will read mostly British (and some American) novels
through the related organizing tropes of "habit" and "habitation." "Habit" has enjoyed
an astonishing array of referents in the English language, ranging from an internal bodily
system (as in "Least‥anie of the excrements shoulde hastilie be receiued into the habit of
the bodie"(1584); to the surface of the body (as in "Some parts of Air, may continually
pass into the Body and Blood, by the habit, or pores of the skin"(1675); to a conscious
mental constitution or custom; to an involuntary disposition to act in a certain way; to an
automatic "mechanical" reaction to stimuli acquired by learning and/or repetition; to the
practice of taking drugs. Indeed, habit seems to have shifted, over time, from an innate to
an acquired bodily or cognitive phenomenon. But habit also slides out from the bodily
and cognitive to include one's apparel, attire, habiliments, and beyond that to abode or

We will thus proceed along an array of neural pathways as we consider: willed versus
autonomic activity; the comforts or irritations of repetition in relation to the ecstasy and
trauma of disruption; the relationship between pragmatic accounts of habituation and
post-structuralist accounts of subjectification; the residential conditions of rootedness,
wandering, displacement, expatriotism; the narrative occupancy of the country estate, the
urban lodgment, the suburban bungalow, the dugout, the boarding house, the sanitorium,
and the squatter's shack. By thinking not only about the representation of habit and
habitation within the fictional worlds of these novels, but also the literary habits of style,
tone, structure, characterization etc, it is hoped that we will create for ourselves a new
context for posing, with a fresh eye, questions of gender, sexuality, race, and class.

Authors may include but will not be limited to: Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Ford
Madox Ford, Jean Rhys, DH Lawrence, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Samuel Beckett, but
we will also read some key texts by Freud, Klein, William James, Bergson, Simmel,
Benjamin, Beauvoir.

Students taking the course as a requirement for the WMS certificate will be expected to
pursue a project that is explicitly focused on gender, sexuality or feminism.

ENG 590.0001
Prof. Valerie Karno
T 7:00-9:45 PM


This course will read both foundational work in the Digital Humanities (like Katherine Hayles), as well as numerous trajectories emanating from core ideas of the digital and post human. We will study video and war games, cinema and internet, circuitry and the human body/medicine, digital copyright law (and the notion of "fair use"), preservation of history, and sound and sonar studies. We will be considering the numerous ways in which the digital impacts our understanding and regulation of humanity and animality. Anchored in current digital theories, the course will look into history for how the digital rewrites, as well as into futurity for what it might forecast.

ENG 625.0001
Prof. Gitahi Gititi
W 7:00-9:45 PM


The great variety of geographies, cultures, political and cultural movements, art and cinema that constitute the African Diaspora remain largely unknown even in the great academies of the West. The course will expose students to film from Africa, the Caribbean, the US, and Latin America. Common to the cinema of these diverse regions are, inter alia, issues of race, the representation of blackness, ideology, identity, national development, the economics of production and distribution, the dearth of objective criticism/reception, and the creation of a coherent body of works and the appropriate language of criticism. Among the questions for discussion are: How do cinematic practice and cinema cultures reveal forms of cultural production and consumption? How do theory and practice in African Diaspora cinema intersect? How do patterns of the (post)colonial, the (post) modern, and globalization affect filmmaking practices and diasporic experience? What testimony do the films studied provide of the black self emerging across the world as the product of a growing consciousness of the black experience deriving from a common relation both to the world of exile and the relation to Africa? The films screened for this course may provide a new critical cinematic space focusing on African and Afro-diasporic histories, traditions, and artistic forms.