Undergraduate Courses Spring 2014

For descriptions of courses being offered on our Gulf Coast campus, please click here.

 

ENG 102H H04H: HONORS COMP II - PROF. BRINN STRANGE

Bridging the Old and New: Understanding American Indians’ Relationship to the Environment While Exploring Modern Permaculture Practices

This section of 102H focuses on the environment. Students will utilize the USM Medicine Wheel to research indigenous ecologies of the Southeast and compare these to contemporary ideas of sustainability. Additionally, student will collaborate to create activities in the garden for children attending USM’s Golden Eagle Intertribal POW WOW in April. Readings will include will include a practice-oriented textbook on rhetorical analysis and research, as well as Barbara Kingsolver’s nonfiction autobiography Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life.  

 

ENG 203H H01H: WORLD LITERATURE - DR. KATE COCHRAN

Course Description:

This Honors section of ENG 203 World Literature will trace the importance and use of fairy and folk tales in both ancient and contemporary texts.  We will examine some of these most enduring fictional stories in versions from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas, as well as revised and retold tales from the 20th and 21st centuries, including the film Pan’s Labyrinth, the graphic novel American Born Chinese, the novel Nights at the Circus, various poems, and the autobiography The Dark Child. With close reading, class discussion, lectures, and analytical writing, students will develop critical thinking and communication skills that will be used in their specific areas of study; throughout, we will consider how human beliefs and values have shaped human behavior through an examination of the fantastic and the marvelous in literature.

Required Texts:

  • Carter, Nights at the Circus
  • Jones and Schacker, Marvelous Transformations: An Anthology of Fairy Tales and Contemporary Critical Perspectives
  • Laye, The Dark Child
  • Mahdi, ed., The Arabian Nights
  • Yang, American Born Chinese
  • Poetry handouts

 

ENG 314: POPULAR & GENRE LITERATURE: CLASSICS OF SCIENCE FICTION - DR. LUIS IGLESIAS

Beginning with tales of fantastic adventures, Science Fiction has evolved throughout the 19th and 20th centuries not only as a popular genre, finding expression in all forms of media, but also as a form of speculative fiction that reflects upon the pressing issues of the contemporary world. “Classics of Science Fiction” will read the foundational works of SF from Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Rice Burroughs to modern classics by Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick and Octavia Butler. Along the way, we will uncover the ways SF, while imagining new worlds through time and space, has (and continues to) explore the ways our society and consciousness has been shaped by science and the world we create (and potentially risk) through technology.

  • Jules Verne: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864)
  • H.G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896)
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars (1917)
  • Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles (1945)
  • Frank Herbert: Dune (1967)
  • Philip K. Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
  • Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974)
  • Octavia Butler: Lilith’s Brood [Dawn] (1987)

For additional information contact Dr. Luis Iglesias.

 

ENG 332: ADVANCED COMPOSITION - PROF. LOUIS A. DI LEO

This advanced composition course will explore language and legal discourse in an effort to explore the rhetorical links between the law and justice. We will read a variety of legal documents, including the Constitution, judicial opinions, and statutes, as well as explore representations of the law and justice in literary works by Thoreau, Kafka, Vonnegut, and others. Students will have the opportunity to read, analyze, research, and write about the ways legal documents and literary texts attempt to represent justice in American culture. 

 

ENG 370: SURVEY OF AMERICAN LIT I - DR. JEFFREY PUSCH

Savage Indians. Vengeful gods. Headless ghosts. Invading armies. Suffering. Slavery. Captivity. Madness. 

Filled with all sorts of frightening elements, life for the New World colonists wasn't easy. Their fears helped form and shape the new nation of the United States and helped give birth to a fundamentally and distinctively American Literature. In this class, a chronological survey of American literature from Discovery to the Civil War, we will read a broad range of texts in a variety of genres. From the captivity narrative to the slave narrative, from sermons to stories, we will examine how writers' fears came to shape and inform their understanding of American literary identity. Required texts will include the Norton Anthology of American Literature as well as two novels: Sedgwick's Hope Leslie and Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance. Assignments will include two essays, a portfolio of reading journals, a short oral presentation, and a final exam.

 

ENG 371: SURVEY OF AMERICAN LIT II - DR. JONATHAN BARRON

This class will ask the question, how much free will does anyone have given the pressure of family, friends, and general social expectations. This central question of American literature will be discussed through some major fiction writers and poets from 1885 to the modern era. We'll read William Dean Howells, Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Jean Toomer, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.

 

ENG 400 H001: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. ALEXANDRA VALINT

"The body demands its own form of logic.”

-Every Day, David Levithan

What is the relationship between the soul and the body? To what extent and in what ways does one’s body create one’s identity? And how does one’s identity, in turn, shape the body? And how does the adolescent body, by definition a dynamic and changing body, complicate the soul-body dichotomy? In this course, we’ll consider the representation of the body in a generically diverse selection of contemporary young adult literature (including realism, fantasy, dystopia, and the graphic novel). The titles of self-help manuals aimed at teens and preteens such as What’s Happening to My Body? and It’s Perfectly Normal underscore the anxiety, fear, and confusion surrounding the adolescent body. In this course, we’ll encounter bodies under attack and bodies that attack. We’ll encounter ill bodies and recovering bodies. We’ll encounter bodies that question the limits of the human. In all cases, we’ll encounter characters struggling to understand and come to terms with their unique bodies. To help us critically discuss bodies, we’ll be reading theoretical approaches to the body from fat studies and gender, race, and queer theory.

Reading List:

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson
  • I am J by Cris Beam
  • Black Hole by Charles Burns
  • Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Liar by Justine Larbalestier
  • Every Day by David Levithan
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

 

ENG 400 H002: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. MICHAEL SALDA

King Arthur and Film

This seminar explores the relationship between Arthurian literature and film adaptations of the legend.  We will focus on two seminal Arthurian texts: Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur and Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Film treatments are likely to include Knights of the Round Table, Sword of Lancelot, Lancelot du Lac, Excalibur, First Knight, King Arthur, and many screen versions of Connecticut Yankee from 1920 to the present day.

Enrollment is limited to English majors with senior standing.

 

ENG 400 H003: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. MONIKA GEHLAWAT

In this seminar, we will read literature written in the post-World War Two era by American and European authors. We will focus on the literary representation of city walkers who are constantly on the move in a range of urban spaces. Through our engagement with novels, short stories and poetry, we will study the practice of flânerie, or urban wandering, and why it has been considered by some philosophers to be a radical act of intervention by the metropolitan subject. What kinds of experiences become possible when one wanders through the city? What threats, surprises or pleasures avail themselves to the flâneur? And finally, what do we learn from literary representations of this practice? Throughout the course, we will study how narrative, voice, setting, and other formal literary conditions are informed by the author’s interest in the city walker. We will supplement our reading of literature with exposure to film and cultural theory.

Reading List

  • J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
  • Frank O’Hara, Selected Poems
  • James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man
  • W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn
  • Grace Paley, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • Teju Cole, Open City
  • Tao Lin, Taipei

 

ENG 406: HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE - DR. STANLEY HAUER

This course surveys the history of our language from its origins in Indo-European through the present day. In intervals of two weeks, we shall study the following topics:

  • the Principles of Language
  • the Alphabet
  • Indo-European
  • Old English
  • Middle English
  • the Renaissance and 18th Century
  • American English

Assignments and Written Work:

  • final examination
  • two midterm examinations
  • quizzes and special assignments

Texts include Algeo's The Origins and Development of the English Language, the workbook accompanying that text, and a book-length syllabus/study guide by the professor.

 

ENG 410: STUDIES IN ETHNIC LITERATURE - DR. JONATHAN BARRON

Jewish American Literature

This class will look at poets and fiction writers from Emma Lazarus in the 19th century to Philip Roth in our own time. We will ask the question what is Jewish American literature. What, if anything, distinguishes this literary tradition from non-Jewish American literature. And we will also ask what is especially American about such literature. No familiarity with Judaism or Jewish culture is necessary.

  

ENG 445: STUDIES IN CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE - DR. JAMEELA LARES

The Bible and Children's Literature

A writing-intensive seminar exploring the extent to which certain titles in children’s or young adult literature encode or reflect Scripture itself and also the extent to which the Bible concerns itself with children. As a class we will read portions of the King James Bible (the most enduring literary version) and also following:

  • John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • James Janeway, A Token for Children
  • Hesbah Stretton, Jessica’s First Prayer
  • C. S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia
  • Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen
  • Charles Dickens, The Life of Our Lord
  • Isaac Watts, selected poetry
  • Anna Laetitia Barbauld, selected poetry
  • Madeline L’Engle, The Journey with Jonah (or some other dramatic text).

Requirements:  thoughtful reading of texts, regular attendance and participation in seminar discussions (20%); regular blog posts and responses on Blackboard (20%); an oral presentation of an additional text with a short written component (10%); participation group facilitations of class discussion (10%); and a researched seminar paper (40%). 

 

ENG 451: CHAUCER - DR. ELIZABETH KAY HARRIS

This class will focus on The Canterbury Tales in Middle English.  As well as reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, students will become familiar with Middle English pronunciation and read selected essays from Chaucer: An Oxford Guide.  Our theoretical framework will be Sigmund Freud’s On Dreams (available online).   While Chaunticleer’s dream in “The Nun’s Priest Tale” provides several examples of dreaming in The Canterbury Tales, other tales less obviously dream-oriented, nevertheless, lend themselves to the application of major principles of Freud’s work on dreams.

Requirements: Students will take two exams, write two papers, and make one presentation.

 

ENG 476: LITERATURE AFTER 1945 - DR. MARTINA SCIOLINO

Contemporary Literature and Transitional Culture

This course situates contemporary literature into transition culture—a discourse of change that sees beyond industrialization to offer personal practices, appropriate technologies and social movements that resist the capitalist destruction of the biosphere.

Readings for the class will include several theoretical and other informational texts via pdf. Other common readings will include the following literary: Don Delillo’s Cosmopolis, Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam and Linda Hogan’s The Book of Medicines. After the midterm, students will organize themselves into reading groups to continue discussions of one author, Delillo, Atwood or Hogan.  Participants will also be asked to research, prepare and present a conference-length paper on a panel at the semester’s end.