Undergraduate Courses Fall 2013
ENG 110 ONLINE: BASIC GRAMMAR - DR. MICHAEL SALDA
ENG 110, Basic Grammar, is an online course that provides a structured learning environment in which students have the opportunity to master the grammar, mechanics, and conventions of standard English usage. It is a "nuts and bolts" grammar course that focuses on subject/verb agreement, pronoun use, voice, tense, phrase and clause positioning, parallelism, and punctuation.
ENG 311: CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE - DR. MONIKA GEHLAWAT
This class will approach contemporary literature with a particular emphasis on the status of the individual in the postmodern period. What defines postmodernism and how does literature intervene in the culture of late capitalism? Do we really encounter the "death of the subject" during this time and how do authors convey emotions, desire, and individuality in contemporary literature? By focusing on narrative framework, voice and experimental form, we will read widely across a range of contemporary authors including Tom Stoppard, Junot Diaz, Marilynne Robinson and Zadie Smith. In addition to the global diversity reflected in the course reading, we will also encounter a number of literary and non-literary genres such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, theater, and visual arts like film, painting and photography. A truly interdisciplinary course, this survey of contemporary literature will also provide a depth of knowledge about the socio-cultural changes occurring in the latter part of the twentieth century.
ENG 345: INTRODUCTION TO CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE - DR. ERIC TRIBUNELLA
Approaching the assigned readings in terms of literary criticism and history, this course will provide a survey of children’s and young adult literature from the eighteenth century to the present by examining key texts, authors, and genres. We will study the history of literature for youth and consider what this history suggests about changing conceptualizations of childhood and adolescence, and we will practice engaging in the literary analysis of children’s and young adult literature. We also will identify some of the key conventions of these texts and discuss how children’s and young adult literature can be used to think about issues of audience, reception, aesthetics, censorship, complexity, gender, race, imperialism, education, development, and sexuality.
ENG 371: AMERICAN LITERATURE II - DR. MAUREEN RYAN
The aim of this course is to acquaint you with literature in America since the end of the Civil War and with the important cultural and intellectual movements that have been a part of the development of modern and contemporary American literature. Industrialization, immigration, urbanization transformed America and its literature in the last half of the 19th century. Two world wars ushered the U.S. onto the world stage in the early 20th century, the so-called “American century.” Progress and political authority were counterbalanced by the legacy of slavery, changing roles for women, class conflicts, and other internal fissures and cracks in American society. The course will assess the fiction, drama, and poetry by Americans about America in this critical period.
ENG 371: AMERICAN LITERATURE II - DR. JONATHAN BARRON
In this survey of American literature after the Civil War we will look at a few central issues that beset American writers. In so doing we will cover such major literary phenomenon as realism, naturalism, and modernism. As we come to the modernists, too, we will focus on imagism, the Chicago Renaissance, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Southern Renaissance. To get the full flavor of American literature at its best we will read individual novels and collections of poems by such great writes as William Dean Howells, Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jean Toomer among others.
ENG 372: SURVEY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE - DR. SHERITA JOHNSON
ENG 372 will survey the development of African American literature from the colonial era to the present. You will be introduced to black vernacular culture and written traditions. We will read and discuss various selections of poetry, fiction, autobiography, essays, and speeches as well as other vernacular forms (e.g. folk tales and music—religious, secular, and work songs).
ENG 400 H001: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. CRAIG CAREY
"Literature, Media, Modernity"
This course surveys the subtle intersections between literature and new media in the nineteenth century. Moving from romanticism to modernism, we will investigate the boundaries of literature in a century marked by unprecedented technological change.
How does the introduction of new media, from early print to the development of the telegraph, phonograph, typewriter, phonograph, and cinema, shape how writers experiment with literary form? We’ll approach this question through a combination of theoretical, historical, and literary texts: readings in media theory and media history (McLuhan, Benjamin, Mumford, Ong, Barthes, Derrida, and Gitelman); case studies of literary works published on the threshold of media change (authors will likely include Emerson, Holmes, Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Twain, James, Chopin, Bierce, Hopkins, and Baum); and contemporary debates about the role of new media and the digital humanities in literary study. The course will provide students with a set of theoretical and practical tools they can deploy in their future studies, research, and careers.
Participants should plan to give one presentation, write 2-3 short formal response papers, and pursue original research on a topic related to the class readings. They will also have opportunities to collaborate with their peers through the use of new media tools (Omeka, wikis, WordPress, and Zotero), which we will harness to remediate our scholarly findings for the digital age.
ENG 400 H002: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. MARTINA SCIOLINO
"Writing for the Commons: Environmental Art and Activism"
In this course, we’ll consider the necessary rhetorical risks of writing for all earthlings-- humans and nonhumans.
We’ll begin with the text that launched the environmental movement, Rachel Carsons’ 1962, Silent Spring, which led to national and international legislation against the use of the industrial toxin, DDT. How did Carson’s find a position from which to speak for that which can’t speak for itself?
We’ll bring those considerations to contemporary concerns in our next reading, Water Wars, by Vendana Shiva. A trained physicist, Shiva is a prolific author who has written on agriculture, oil and deep ecology and the international economies that shape environmental policy making. She has helped farmers in India change laws to protect their traditional relationship to their crops, and she writes for a world audience.
Our last major text will be of a lesser known but equally wise writer, Native American poet, novelist and essayist, Linda Hogan. Her novel, Power dramatizes the initiation of a young woman into a world where human rights, animal rights, indigenous custom and modern law work against each other. We’ll pair Hogan’s novel with recent work by contemporary visual artists to better understand activist art as it is being used in hot spots around the world in the fight for environmental justice.
Participants should plan to give a presentation, develop some short formal responses and, after the midterm, to pursue original research on a topic related to our readings.
ENG 406: HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE - DR. ELIZABETH KAY HARRIS
ENG 452: ARTHURIAN LITERATURE - DR. MICHAEL SALDA
"Arthurian Literature: The Beginnings"
A survey of seminal British, Welsh and continental Arthurian works, c. 500-1500.
Primary readings will include selections from Gildas, Bede, Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Mabinogion, the Welsh Annals, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, Malory, and others.
Student requirements will include exams, presentations, and a research essay.
ENG 469: STUDIES IN BRITISH LITERATURE - DR. ALISON LACIVITA
"Irish Writing: Spaces and Places"
This course focuses on the idea of place in Irish literature and the ways in which place and geography influence the production of literary texts. In this course, we also explore the variety of Irish literature and seek to dismantle certain stereotypes that form in regards to what we define as “Irish.” The course is divided up into four sections, each section addressing one of the four provinces of Ireland: Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connacht. Through parallel explorations of landscape, geography, history, politics, and culture, we will be examining how ideas of place are constructed and represented in Irish literature.
ENG 475: STUDIES IN AMERICAN MODERNISM - DR. MAUREEN RYAN
"Making it New: American Literary Modernism"
“Around 1922,” wrote Willa Cather, “the world broke apart.” In America, the literature of the first half of the 20th century, influenced by earlier artistic developments in Europe, attempted to capture—and create—a new century, what came to be called “The American Century.” This literary sensibility responded to world wars; prosperity and economic collapse; technological advances; the rise of a mass, popular culture; and a growing sense that human beings are increasingly alienated in a rapidly transforming American society.
Focusing on narratives by now-canonical American authors of the period (Cather, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Wright, etc.), this course will explore “American modernism”—its literary representatives, its agendas, its challenges, its innovations and limitations. Other cultural texts (film, music, the visual arts, historical material) will contextualize and complement the literary texts.
The aim of this course is to acquaint you with important American literature of the period—i.e., roughly 1900 to 1945—and with the important cultural and intellectual movements that have been a part of the development of early twentieth century American literature.