English Department

Professors: Mark C. Amodio, Beth Darlington, Robert DeMaria, Jr. (Chair), Donald Foster, Ann E. Imbrieab, Colton Johnson, Michael Joycea, Paul Kaneab, Amitava Kumar, Barbara Pagea, H. Daniel Peck, Paul Russell, Patricia Wallace; Associate Professors: Peter Antelyesb, Susan Brisman, Heesok Chang, Leslie Dunnab, Wendy Graham, Jean Kaneb, E. K. Weedin, Jr., Susan Zlotnick; Assistant Professors: Eve Dunbar, Kiese Laymon, Zoltan Markusb, Tyrone Simpson, Laura Yow; Adjunct Associate Professors: Dean Crawford, Marsha Mark, Judith Nichols, Karen Robertson; Adjunct Assistant Professors: Joanne Long, David Means, Julie Rose, Adjunct Instructors: Joshua Harmon, Kristie Carter; Writing Specialist: Natalie Friedman.

ab Absent on leave for the year.

a Absent on leave, first semester.

b Absent on leave, second semester.

Requirements for Concentration: A minimum of twelve units, comprising either eleven graded units and an ungraded senior tutorial, or twelve graded units including a senior seminar in the English 380 range of course offerings. Four units, including either the tutorial or the English 380 seminar, must be elected at the 300-level. At least six units, including either the senior tutorial or the English 380 seminar, must be taken at Vassar. No AP credit or course taken for NRO may be counted toward the requirements for the major.

Historical Distribution: Majors are required to take English 220 / 221. (Prospective majors are strongly advised to take this foundational course in their sophomore year.) Majors are also required to take two additional units of work in literature written before 1800 and one additional unit of work in literature written before 1900.

Recommendations: English 101 and 170 are strongly recommended as foundational courses, and students are also strongly encouraged to work from the 200 to the 300‑level in at least one field of study. Acquaintance with a classical language (Latin or Greek) or with one or more of the languages especially useful for an understanding of the history of English (Old English, German, or French) is useful, as are appropriate courses in philosophy, history, and other literatures.

Further information: Applicants for English 209-210 (Narrative Writing), English 211-212 (Verse Writing), and English 305-306 (Senior Composition), must submit samples of their writing before spring break. Details about these deadlines, departmental procedures, and current information on course offerings may be found on the department website and in the department office.

Correlate Sequences in English: The department offers five correlates in English. Race and Ethnicity; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies; Poetry and Poetics; British Literary History, and American Literary History. Further information is available in the department office.

I. Introductory Courses

101a or b. The Art of Reading and Writing (1)

Development of critical reading in various forms of literary expression, and regular practice in different kinds of writing. The content of each section varies; see the Freshman Handbook for descriptions. The department.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Course.

Although the content of each section varies, this course may not be repeated for credit; see the Freshman Handbook for descriptions.

170a or b. Approaches to Literary Studies (1)

Each section explores a central issue, such as “the idea of a literary period,” “canons and the study of literature,” “nationalism and literary form,” or “gender and genre” (contact the department office for 2006/07 descriptions). Assignments focus on the development of skills for research and writing in English, including the use of secondary sources and the critical vocabulary of literary study. The department.

Open to freshmen and sophomores, and to others by permission; does not satisfy college requirement for a Freshman Course.

172-178. Special Topics ( 1/2)

Courses listed under these numbers are designed to offer to a wide audience a variety of literary subjects that are seldom taught in regularly offered courses. The courses are six weeks in length and held during the second half of the semester; the subjects they cover vary from year to year. Enrollment is unlimited and open to all students. Instructors lecture when the classes are too large for the regular seminar format favored in the English department. Does not satisfy Freshman Course requirement. These courses are ungraded and do not count toward the major. May be repeated.

177a or b. Major Author: James Baldwin ( 1/2)

(Same as Africana Studies 177) This course is an interactive lecture and discussion on the life, meaningful death, and nonfictive work of James Baldwin. Students are expected actively to critique and contextualize Baldwin’s nonfiction, while attempting to apply much of Baldwin’s work to contemporary American and World culture. Texts may include, but not be limited to The Fire Next Time, Nobody Knows My Name, Notes of a Native Son, Conversations with James Baldwin, and The Devil Finds Work. Mr. Laymon.

178a or b. Major Author: Charles Dickens ( 1/2)

Charles Dickens was a major literary force of mid-nineteenth-century England. As novelist and storyteller, journalist and editor, entertainer and social critic, he exerted far-reaching influence. We read two or three novels (including perhaps Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, and Our Mutual Friend) and read selections from other fiction; we look at the Dickens’s journals, All the Year Round and Household Words; and we look at other nineteenth-century texts, such as Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, for further illustration of the world Dickens was interpreting. Ms. Long.

II. Intermediate

Prerequisite: open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with one unit of 100-level work or by permission of the associate chair. Students applying for permission to elect 200‑level work without the prerequisite must present samples of their writing to the associate chair. Freshmen with AP credit may elect 200-level work after consultation with the department and with the permission of the instructor. First-year students who have completed English 101 may elect 200-level work with permission of the instructor. Intermediate writing courses are not open to freshmen.

205a or b. Composition (1)

Study and practice of various forms of prose and poetry. Reading and writing assignments may include prose fiction, journals, poetry, drama, and essays. The a-term course is open by special permission to sophomores regardless of major, in order of draw numbers, and to juniors and seniors, in order of draw numbers, with priority given to English majors. The b-term course is open by special permission to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, in order of draw numbers, with priority given to English majors. To gain special permission, students must fill out a form in the English department office during pre-registration.

One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.

206a or b. Composition (1)

Open to any student who has taken English 205 or an equivalent course.

Special permission is not required.

One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.

207a or b. Literary Nonfiction (1)

Study and practice of literary nonfiction in various formats. Reading and writing assignments may include personal, informal, and lyric essays, travel and nature writing; and memoirs. Frequent short writing assignments. Mr. Kumar.

One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.

208b. Literary Nonfiction (1)

Development of the student’s abilities as a reader and writer of literary nonfiction, with emphasis on longer forms. Ms. Mark

Prerequisite: open to students who have taken English 207 or by permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour course and individual conferences with the instructor.

209-210. Narrative Writing (1)

Development of the student’s abilities as a writer and reader of narrative, with particular emphasis on the short story. Mr. Laymon.

Deadline for submission of writing samples is before spring break.

One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.

211-212. Verse Writing (1)

Development of the student’s abilities as a writer and reader of poetry. Ms. Wallace.

Deadline for submission of writing samples is before spring break.

One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.

[213. The English Language] (1)

Study of the history of English from the fifth century to the present, with special attention to the role of literature in effecting as well as reflecting linguistic change. Treatment of peculiarly literary matters, such as poetic diction, and attention to broader linguistic matters, such as phonology, comparative philology, semantics, and the relationship between language and experience.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[215. Forms of Drama] (1)

Study of selected dramatic texts that mark important moments in the history and development of dramatic literature in English, from the mystery cycles of the middle ages to the present day. Particular attention will be paid to the evolution of specific dramatic forms as influenced by development and change in literary and cultural aesthetics, in drama’s social and historical purposes, and in theories surrounding the nature and function of theatrical and literary representation. Readings may be drawn from such playwrights as the Wakefield Master, Marlowe, Jonson, Behn, Dryden, Gay, Shaw, Beckett, O’Neill, Churchill.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[217. Literary Theory and Interpretation] (1)

A study of various critical theories and practices ranging from antiquity to the present day.

Not offered in 2006/07.

218b. Literature, Gender, and Sexuality (1)

(Same as Women’s Studies 218) This course considers matters of gender and sexuality in literary texts, criticism, and theory. The focus varies from year to year, and may include study of a historical period, literary movement, or genre; constructions of masculinity and femininity; sexual identities; or representations of gender in relation to race and class.

Topic for 2006/07: Black Feminism. This course examines the development and history of black feminism in the United States. Through reading works of fiction, memoir, and theory, we explore the central concerns of the black feminist movement, and consider black feminism’s response to Civil Rights, Black Nationalism, and white feminism. Authors may include Anna Julia Cooper, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and others. Ms. Dunbar.

220/221. British and American Literature Origins to the Early Twentieth Century (1)

Study of British and American literatures in their historical and cultural contexts, from the medieval to the modern era. Multiple sections with lectures shared among the seminar leaders.

Two 50-minute lectures.

One 75-minute seminar.

225a. American Literature, Origins to 1865 (1)

Study of the main developments in American literature from its origins through the Civil War: including Native American traditions, exploration accounts, Puritan writings, captivity and slave narratives, as well as major authors from the eighteenth century (such as Edwards, Franklin, Jefferson, Rowson, and Brown) up to the mid-nineteenth century (Irving, Cooper, Poe, Emerson, Hawthorne, Fuller, Stowe, Thoreau, Douglass, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson).

226. American Literature, 1865-1925 (1)

Study of the major developments in American literature and culture from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Literary move-ments such as realism, naturalism, regionalism, and modernism are examined, as well as literatures of ethnicity, race, and gender. Works studied are drawn from such authors as Twain, Howells, James, Jewett, Chestnutt, Chopin, Crane, London, Harte, DuBois, Gilman, Adams, Wharton, Dreiser, Pound, Eliot, Stein, Yezierska, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, O’Neill, Frost, H. D., and Toomer. Mr. Simpson.

227a. African American Literature, Origins to 1946

(Same as Africana Studies 227) This course examines the origins of black literature in America. Our exploration begins with West African and African-American oral texts: chants, sorrow songs, hymns, sermons, folk tales. Particular attention is paid to the lyrics of Phyllis Wheatley and the political discourse of such figures as Ida B. Wells, Maria Stewart, and David Walker. We also examine the textured autobiographies of writers like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Wilson, and Harriet Jacobs before studying the early African-American novel. Reading the works of writers like Charles Chestnutt, James Weldon Johnson, and Jessie Fauset we hope to understand how these written texts created their own aesthetic principles while interacting with dominant literary traditions of the day. Ms. Dunbar.

228b. African-American Literature, 1946-present (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 228) Beginning with the literature of social realism we cover almost sixty years of African-American Literature, including some of the major critical discourses (modernism, protest fiction, the black arts movement, postmodernism) that have guided its development over the past century. This course seeks to identify literary characteristics that have evolved out of the culture and contemporary experience of black people in America. One of our goals is to better understand how black literature created its own aesthetic principles in its interaction with the dominant literary traditions of the day. Ms. Dunbar.

229a. Asian-American Literature, 1946-present (1)

Such topics as memory, identity, liminality, community, and cultural and familial inheritance within Asian-American literary traditions. May consider Asian-American literature in relation to other ethnic literatures.

230b. Latina and Latino Literature in the U.S. (1)

(Same as Latin American and Latino/a Studies 230) This literature engages a history of conflict, resistance, and mestizaje. For some understanding of this embattled context, we examine transnational migration, exile, assimilation, bilingualism, and political and economic oppression as these variously affect the means and modes of the texts under consideration. At the same time, we emphasize the invented and hybrid nature of Latina and Latino literary and cultural traditions, and investigate the place of those inventions in the larger framework of American intellectual and literary traditions, on the one hand, and pan-latinidad, on the other. Authors studied may include Americo Paredes, Piri Thomas, Cherrie Moraga, Richard Rodriguez, Michelle Serros, Cristina Garcia, Ana Castillo, and Junot Diaz.

231b. Native American Literature (1)

Drawing from a wide range of Native American traditions, this course explores the rich heritage of our earliest literature. Material for study may comprise oral traditions (myths, legends, place naming and story telling) as well as contemporary fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Authors may include Zitkala Sa, Black Elk, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Silko, Louise Erdrich, Simon Ortiz, Sherman Alexie, and Joy Harjo. Ms. Nichols.

235a. Old English (1)

Introduction to Old English language and literature. Mr. Amodio.

236b. Beowulf (1)

Intensive study of the early English epic in the original language. Mr. Amodio.

Prerequisite: English 235 or demonstrated knowledge of Old English, or permission of the instructor.

237b. Chaucer (1)

The major poetry, including The Canterbury Tales. Mr. Amodio.

[238. Middle English Literature] (1)

Studies in late medieval literature (1250-1500), drawing on the works of the Gawain-poet, Langland, Chaucer, and others. Genres studied may include lyric, romance, drama, allegory, and vision.

Not offered in 2006/07.

239a. Renaissance Drama (1)

A study of major Renaissance works for the stage exclusive of Shakespeare’s plays. Mr. Markus.

240a or b. Shakespeare (1)

Study of some representative comedies, histories, and tragedies. Mr. Weedin, Ms. Robertson.

Not open to students who have taken English 241-242.

241-242. Shakespeare (1)

Study of a substantial number of the plays, roughly in chronological order, to permit a detailed consideration of the range and variety of Shakespeare’s dramatic art. Mr. Foster.

Not open to students who have taken English 240.

245b. Pride and Prejudice: British Literature from 1640-1745 (1)

Study of various authors who were influential in defining the literary culture and the meaning of authorship in the period. Authors may include Aphra Behn, John Dryden, Anne Finch, John Gay, Eliza Haywood, Mary Leapor, Katherine Philips, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

246a. Sense and Sensibility: British Literature from 1745-1798 (1)

Study of the writers who represented the culmination of neoclassical literature in Great Britain and those who built on, critiqued, or even defined themselves against it. Authors may include Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Edmund Burke, William Beckford, William Cowper, Olaudah Equiano, Hester Thrale Piozzi, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, Anne Yearsley, and Hannah More.

[247. Eighteenth-Century British Novels] (1)

Readings vary but include works by such novelists as Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, and Austen.

Not offered in 2006/07.

248a. The Age of Romanticism, 1789-1832 (1)

Study of British literature in a time of revolution. Authors may include such poets as Blake, Wordsworth, and Keats; essayists such as Burke, Wollstonecraft, Hazlitt, Lamb, and DeQuincey; and novelists such as Edgeworth, Austen, Mary Shelley, and Scott. Ms. Darlington.

[249. Victorian Literature: Culture and Anarchy] (1)

Study of Victorian culture through the prose writers of the period. This course explores the strategies of nineteenth-century writers who struggled to find meaning and order in a changing world. It focuses on such issues as industrialization, the woman question, imperialism, aestheticism, and decadence, paying particular attention to the relationship between literary and social discourses. Authors may include nonfiction prose writers such as Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold, Pater, and Wilde as well as fiction writers such as Disraeli, Gaskell, Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Not offered in 2006/07.

250a. Victorian Poets: Eminent, Decadent, and Obscure (1)

A study of Romantic impulses and Victorian compromises as expressed in the major poems of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Swinburne. The second half of the course turns from economies of the aesthetic to material conditions of the literary marketplace and to challenges met and posed by women writers such as Felicia Hemans, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Michael Field (Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper), and Alice Meynell. Some preliminary study of romantic poetry is strongly recommended. Mrs. Brisman.

251a. The Black Woman as Novelist (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 251)

252b. Writing the Diaspora (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 252)

255a. Nineteenth-Century British Novels (1)

Readings vary but include works by such novelists as Scott, Dickens, Thackeray, the Brontës, Trollope, George Eliot, and Hardy. Ms. Zlotnick.

[256. Modern British and Irish Novels] (1)

Significant twentieth-century novels from Great Britain and Ireland.

Not offered in 2006/07.

257b. The Novel in English after 1945 (1)

The novel in English as it has developed in Africa, America, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, India, Ireland and elsewhere. Mr. Crawford.

[260. Modern British Literature, 1901-1945] (1)

Study of representative modern works of literature in relation to literary modernism. Consideration of cultural crisis and political engagement, with attention to the Great War as a subject of memoir, fiction, and poetry, and to the new voices of the thirties and early forties. Authors may include Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Lawrence, Woolf, Conrad, Graves, Vera Brittain, Rebecca West, Orwell, and Auden.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[261. The Literary Revival in Ireland, 1885-1922] (1)

Study of the background and growth of national expression in Ireland between 1885 and 1922, with emphasis on Yeats, A. E., Synge, Lady Gregory, and Sean O’Casey.

Not offered in 2006/07.

262a. Postcolonial Literatures (1)

Study of contemporary literature written in English from Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere. Readings in various genres by such writers as Chinua Achebe, Margaret Atwood, Janet Frame, Nadine Gordimer, V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Derek Walcott, Patrick White. Some consideration of postcolonial literary theory. Ms. Kane.

[265. Selected Author] (1)

Study of the work of a single author. The work may be read in relation to literary predecessors and descendants as well as in relation to the history of the writer’s critical and popular reception. This course alternates from year to year with English 365.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[270. Harlem Renaissance] (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 270)

Not offered in 2006/07.

275b. Caribbean Discourse (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 275)

290. Field Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite: 2 units of 200-level work in English, and by permission of the associate chair. 1 unit of credit given only in exceptional cases.

298a or b. Independent Study ( 1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite: 2 units of 200-level work in English, and by permission of the associate chair. 1 unit of credit given only in exceptional cases.

III. Advanced

Prerequisite: Open to juniors and seniors with 2 units of 200-level work in English; or, for juniors and seniors without this prerequisite, 2 units of work in allied subjects and permission from the associate chair.

300 a or b. Senior Tutorial (1)

Preparation of a long essay (40 pages) or other independently designed critical project. Each essay is directed by an individual member of the department.

Special permission.

305-306. Composition (1)

Advanced study and practice of various forms of prose and poetry. Open in the senior year to students concentrating in English. Deadline for submission of writing samples immediately before spring break. Mr. Russell.

315a. Studies in Poetry (1)

Advanced study of selected topics in the history and theory of poetry, exploring a range of interpretive contexts for understanding individual poems. Discussions may consider such issues as the poetic canon, attacks on the defenses of poetry, and the boundaries of what constitutes poetry itself. The course includes both poetry and criticism, and may focus upon a particular period, genre, poet, or poetic tradition. Mrs. Brisman.

Topic for 2006/07: Spenser’s Faerie Queene.

317b. Studies in Literary Theory (1)

Advanced study of problems and schools of literary criticism and theory, principally in the twentieth century. May include discussion of new criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, reader-response theory, new historicism, and Marxist, psychoanalytic, phenomenological, and feminist analysis. Ms. Graham.

319a. Race and Its Metaphors (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 319) Re-examination of canonical literature in order to discover how race is either explicitly addressed by or implicitly enabling to the texts. Does racial difference, whether or not overtly expressed, prove a useful literary tool? The focus of the course varies from year to year. Ms. Yow.

320a. Traditions in the Literature of England and America (1)

The course studies varied attempts by writers to imagine human conduct and speech that is heroic and yet not ridiculous in the time and landscape of the writer and the reader. The writers read may include Homer, Virgil, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Radcliffe, Austen, Twain, Faulkner, Cheever, and Angelou. Mr. Weedin.

325b. Studies in Genre (1)

An intensive study of specific forms or types of literature, such as satire, humor, gothic fiction, realism, slave narratives, science fiction, crime, romance, adventure, short story, epic, autobiography, hypertext, and screenplay. Each year, one or more of these genres is investigated in depth. The course may cross national borders and historical periods or adhere to boundaries of time and place. Mr. Simpson.

326b. Studies in Ethnic American Literature (1)

Exploration of literature by members of American ethnic groups, such as Asian-American, Latina/o, Jewish-American, and other literatures. The content may vary from year to year, from works by writers of one particular group to a comparison of works from two or more groups. Readings cover a number of different genres, as well as historical, critical and theoretical writings which place the works in the contexts of the ethnic experience and discussions about the nature of American ethnicity.

328a. Literature of the American Renaissance (1)

Intensive study of major works by American writers of the mid-nineteenth century. Authors may include: Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Fuller, Stowe, Delany, Wilson, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson. In addition to placing the works in historical and cultural context, focusing on the role of such institutions as slavery and such social movements as transcendentalism, the course also examines the notion of the American Renaissance itself. Mr. Peck.

329b. American Literary Realism (1)

Exploration of the literary concepts of realism and naturalism focusing on the theory and practice of fiction between 1870 and 1910, the first period in American literary history to be called modern. The course may examine past critical debates as well as the current controversy over realism in fiction. Attention is given to such questions as what constitutes reality in fiction, as well as the relationship of realism to other literary traditions. Authors may include Henry James, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Charles Chestnutt, Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, and Willa Cather. Ms. Graham.

330b. American Modernism (1)

Intensive study of modern American literature and culture in the first half of the twentieth century, with special attention to the concept of “modernism” and its relation to other cultural movements during this period. Authors may include Dreiser, Wharton, Cather, Frost, Anderson, Millay, Pound, Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, O’Neill, H. D., Faulkner, Wright, Eliot, Williams, Moore, Stevens, Crane, Yezierska, Toomer, Hughes, Cullen, Brown, Hurston, McKay, Steinbeck, and Dos Passos.

331a. Post-modern American Literature (1)

Advanced study of American literature in the second half of the twentieth century. Authors may include Welty, Ellison, Warren, O’Connor, Olson, Momaday, Mailer, Lowell, Bellow, Percy, Nabokov, Bishop, Rich, Roth, Pynchon, Ashbery, Merrill, Reed, Silko, Walker, Morrison, Gass, and Kingston. Ms. Dunbar, Mr. Anteleyes.

340a. Studies in Medieval Literature (1)

Intensive study of selected medieval texts and the questions they raise about their context and interpretation. Issues addressed may include the social and political dynamics, literary traditions, symbolic discourses, and individual authorial voices shaping literary works in this era. Discussion of these issues may draw on both historical and aesthetic approaches, and both medieval and modern theories of rhetoric, reference, and text-formation. Mr. Amodio.

Topic for 2006/07: The Middle English Romance.

341b. Studies in the Renaissance (1)

Intensive study of selected Renaissance texts and the questions they raise about their context and interpretation. Mr. Foster.

Topic for 2006/07: Reconstructing the Renaissance.

345b. Milton (1)

Study of John Milton’s career as a poet and polemicist, with particular attention to Paradise Lost. Mr. Weedin.

[350. Studies in Eighteenth-century British Literature] (1)

Focuses on a broad literary topic such as satire, with special attention to works of the Restoration and eighteenth century, and a consideration of the genre of satire as a way of understanding the world; or sensibility and the Gothic, a study of the origins of these literary trends and of their relationship to each other, with some attention to their later development.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[351. Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature] (1)

Study of a major author (e.g., Coleridge, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde) or a group of authors (the Brontës, the Pre-Raphaelite poets and painters) or a topical issue (representations of poverty; literary decadence; domestic angels and fallen women; transformations of myth in Romantic and Victorian literature) or a major genre (elegy, epic, autobiography).

Not offered in 2006/07.

352a, 353b. Romantic Poets (1)

Intensive study of the major poetry and critical prose of Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge (first semester), and Byron, Shelley, and Keats (second semester) in the context of Enlightenment thought, the French Revolution, and the post-Napoleonic era. Readings may include biographies, letters, and a few philosophical texts central to the period. Some preliminary study of Milton is strongly recommended. Mrs. Brisman.

[355. Modern Poets] (1)

Intensive study of selected modern poets, focusing on the period 1900-1945, with attention to longer poems and poetic sequences. Consideration of the development of the poetic career and of poetic movements. May include such poets as Auden, Bishop, Eliot, Frost, Hopkins, Moore, Pound, Stein, Stevens, Williams, and Yeats.

Not offered in 2006/07.

356b. Contemporary Poets (1)

Intensive study of selected contemporary poets, with attention to questions of influence, interrelations, and diverse poetic practices. May include such poets as Ashbery, Bernstein, Brooks, Graham, Harjo, Heaney, Hill, Merrill, Rich, and Walcott. Ms. Page.

357a. Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature (1)

Intensive study of literatures of the twentieth century, with primary focus on British and postcolonial (Irish, Indian, Pakistani, South African, Caribbean, Australian, Canadian, etc.) texts. Selections may focus on an author or group of authors, a genre (e.g., modern verse epic, drama, satiric novel, travelogue), or a topic (e.g., the economics of modernism, black Atlantic, Englishes and Englishness, themes of exile and migration). Mr. Chang.

362a or b. Text and Image (1)

Explores intersections and interrelationships between literary and visual forms such as the graphic novel, illustrated manuscripts, tapestry, the world-wide web, immersive environments, the history and medium of book design, literature and film, literature and visual art. Topics vary from year to year.

English 362a. Woven Stories: Medieval Texts and Tapestries (1)

Intensive study of selected medieval texts and tapestries and the relationships between them. Tapestries include important series such as the Apocalypse, Courtiers in a Rose Garden, Los Honores, and the Hunt of the Unicorn. The texts, drawn from a variety of genres, include Everyman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Romance of the Rose and selections from bestiaries, herbals, and Middle English lyrics. Portions of the Iliad and the Bible will also be read. Questions pertaining to theories of narratology and iconography will be explored. Students are taught how to design and weave a small medieval-style tapestry. Field trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters are scheduled. Ms. Willard and Ms. Tina Kane.

[362b. Visual Translations of American Literature] (1)

In this course we examine the complex ways in which images in painting, photography, and film translate literary texts in American literature, from the nineteenth century to the present day. How, for example, do Tim Burton’s film The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Michael Mann’s film The Last of the Mohicans illuminate or subvert the “classic” nineteenth-century texts from which they derive? How do movements in art such as Luminism, or plein air oil painting, speak to Thoreau’s Walden? What is the relationship between modernist texts like Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Toomer’s Cane, or Hart Crane’s The Bridgeto photography, painting, and film of their era? In what particular ways do Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of the American southwest illuminate the text of Mary Austin’s Land of Little Rain? Can contemporary installation art, such as perishable earthworks, be considered profitably alongside improvisatory “talk-poems,” such as those by David Antin? In such a series of dialogues between images and texts, consideration is given both to the comparisons, as such, and to the methodologies of making those comparisons. Mr. Peck.

Not offered in 2006/07.

365. Selected Author (1)

Study of the work of a single author. The work may be read in relation to literary predecessors and descendants as well as in relation to the history of the writers’s critical and popular reception. This course alternates from year to year with English 265. Mr. Russell.

Topic for 2006/07: James Joyce.

370a. Transnational Literature (1)

This course focuses on literary works and cultural networks that cross the borders of the nation-state. Such border-crossings raise questions concerning vexed phenomena such as globalization, exile, diaspora, and migration—forced and voluntary. Collectively, these phenomena deeply influence the development of transnational cultural identities and practices. Specific topics studied in the course vary from year to year and may include global cities and cosmopolitanisms; the black Atlantic; border theory; the discourses of travel and tourism; global economy and trade; or international terrorism and war.

Topic for 2006/07: War. War by its very nature often involves a contest over borders and national boundaries. As we can see in the case of Iraq, war relies on a mobilization of armies to distant lands; for the victims of conflict, turned often into exiles and refugees, there is another kind of movement that results from war’s terrible violence. If war is a global phenomenon, in what ways can the response to war be global too? This course examines writing produced in the context of war over the past hundred years. We return again and again to the experience of violence and ask how we remember and how we act-and therefore how we live. Texts may include Periodic Table by Primo, Levi, W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous, Hannah Arendt’s On Violence, Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell, John Hersey’s Hiroshima, Michael Herr’s Dispatches, Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Uzodenma lweala’a Beasts of No Nation, and Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead, as well as short stories by Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, Danilo Kis, Tobias Wolff, Ha Jin, and George Saunders. In addition, essays and reports by Walter Benjamin, Edward Said, Elaine Scarry, Urvashi Butalia, Antjie Krog, Eliot Weinberger, John Sifton, and others. Mr. Kumar.

380-389 a or b. Advanced Literary Study (1)

The content and the requirements for the completion of the work in each section vary from year to year. Permission of the instructor required. Forms for requesting permission are available in the department office.

Enrollment is limited to 12.

380a. Cannibals and Christians: Representations of the Primitive (1)

This interdisciplinary seminar examines the primitive as a production of Western knowledge and sets against it other ways of knowing the world. We begin by investigating the basis of categories central to the opposition of “primitive” and “civilized”—such as orality and textuality, myth and religion, ritual performance and representation—before we turn to their formulation in the West, beginning with Montaigne’s “Of Cannibals.” After a grounding in the imperial British and French epochs, the seminar examines their influence on twentieth-century art, literature, and institutions, among them postcards, museums, and world fairs. The final section of the class investigates some of the ways in which the subjects of these representations have claimed them to imagine new forms of agency and art. Among the works we study are Malek Alloula’s The Colonial Harem, Donna Haraway’s Primate Visions, D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love,Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan, Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, Ben Okri’s The Famished Road, the Museum of Modern Art’s controversial 1980 exhibition of primitive art, and Coco Fusco’s performance installation, documented in the video The Couple in the Cage. Ms. Kane.

381a. The Brontë Sisters (1)

The aims of this course are two-fold: a detailed study of the major works of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë as well as an examination of the interpretive frameworks through which the sisters’ novels and poems have been read. We acquaint ourselves with the different critical lenses through which the Brontës have been viewed (e.g., biographical, feminist, historicist, postcolonial), in order to explore the ways in which the “meaning”’ of the Brontë sisters and their writings has evolved over time. Primary readings include Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the Brontës’ poetry and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë. Ms. Zlotnick.

384b. Rewriting the Text: Writing New Words from Old (1)

Save for one’s own neologisms, all our language is received. How can one write newly in language that was devised by the past in order to speak in and to its time? Can one ignore a language’s literature and make a fresh start with old words? Does one need to know the past of a language in order to write in its present? Authors studied in the course know earlier authors’ works, which they use to make new fictions. The authors may include Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton, Pope, Radcliffe, Austen, Malory, Twain, Forster, and Cheever. Mr. Weedin.

385b. Poetry as Public Speech: Yeats’s later poems, essays and broadcasts (1)

Writing on “Public Speech and Private Speech in Poetry” in 1938, the American poet Archibald MacLeish praised W.B. Yeats as the supremely “modern” poet in English, declaring Yeats’s poetry, “the first poetry in English in more than a century in which the poem is again an act upon the world... the first poetry in generations which can cast a shadow in the sun of actual things.” Yeats had been concerned with the public role of poetry at least since his essays of the 1890’s on “popular poetry,” and he had been presenting programs of his poetry and his thoughts about “modern poetry” since 1935 in radio broadcasts for the BBC. Through close study of the poetry, beginning generally with the volume of 1916 called Responsibilities, later essays, and manuscripts, typescripts, and reading scripts of his broadcasts, this seminar explores the evolution of Yeats’s public voice and the roles of public speech and personal experience in English poetry in the first half of the twentieth century. Mr. Johnson.

386b. Work (1)

This seminar is devoted to an understanding of labor. The search for work is an extremely powerful engine of change. How have writers written about work? Do working people describe their labor very differently? How does work work, and how has its nature changed? The required texts in the first part of the seminar include Hard Times by Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Studs Terkel, Working, Nickle and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, and a screening of Michael Moore’s documentary, “Roger and Me”; in the latter half, we take a closer look at migrant labor as well as newer forms of globalization, and the required texts in this part of the course are Sam Selvon’s, Lonely Londoners, John Berger’s, A Seventh Man, Hari Kunzru’s Transmission, Richard Rodriguez’s essay, “Illegal Immigrants,” Isabel Hilton’s report, “Made in China,” and a screening of the feature film Dirty Pretty Things by Stephen Frears. Mr. Kumar.

399 a or b. Senior Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Open by permission of the Chair.

One unit of credit given only in exceptional cases.