English Department

Professors: Mark C. Amodio, Beth Darlington, Robert DeMaria, Jr.ab, Donald Fosterb, Michael Joyceb (Co-Chair), Paul Kaneb, Amitava Kumar, H. Daniel Peck, Paul Russell, Ronald Sharp, Patricia Wallace; Associate Professors: Peter Antelyes (Co-Chair), Heesok Chang, Leslie Dunn, Wendy Grahamb, Jean Kane, E. K. Weedin, Jr., Susan Zlotnick; Assistant Professors: Eve Dunbar, Hua Hsu, Dorothy Kim, Kiese Laymona, Zoltán Márkusa, Molly McGlennen, Tyrone Simpson, II, Julie Park, Hiram Perez, Laura Yow; Visiting Associate Professors: David Means, Karen Robertson; Visiting Assistant Professors: Natalie Friedman, Joshua Harmon, Lee Rumbarger; Adjunct Associate Professors: Dean Crawford, M Mark, Judith Nicholsab, Ralph Sassone; Adjunct Assistant Professors: Joanne Long (and Dean of Freshman), Julia Rose.

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 300 range of course offerings. Four units must be elected at the 300-level. At least six units, including either the senior tutorial or the 300-level seminar must be taken at Vassar.  No AP credit or course taken NRO may be counted toward the requirements for the major.

Distribution Requirements: Majors are required to take two units of work in literature written before 1800 and one unit of work in literature written before 1900.  They must also take one course that focuses on issues of race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity.  These courses must be taken at either the 200- or 300-level.

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 in the Alphabet Book available in the department office.

Correlate Sequences in English: The department offers seven correlates in English. Race and Ethnicity; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies; Poetry and Poetics; Literary Forms; British Literary History; American Literary History and Creative Writing. Further information is in this booklet.

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 Writing Seminar.

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

110b. Process, Prose, and Pedagogy(1)

(Same as College Course 110b)

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 2009/10 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 Writing Seminar.

172-179. 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 Writing Seminar requirement. These courses are ungraded and do not count toward the major. May be repeated.

177a or b. Special Topic:(1/2)

The Great White Whale: Herman Melville's Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. In the context of supporting readings that range from the biographical to the ecological, we explore the myriad complexities of this elusive novel, which was hailed in its time as both "extraordinary" and as "trash belonging to the worst school of Bedlam literature." If you've ever wanted the chance to read this magnificent tome and lavish some time and attention on it, this is the course for you. Ms. Friedman.

179a. Special Topic: Henry David Thoreau(1/2)

(Same as Environmental Studies 179a) Thoreau's writings have deeply influenced American culture, including artistic, political, and environmental thought of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Works studied include Thoreau's account, in Walden, of his famous "experiment in living"; his influential treatise "Civil Disobedience" and his writings opposing slavery; travel works such as The Maine Woods and Cape Cod; and his lifelong journal. Areas of consideration include the origins of Thoreau's thought in Emersonian Transcendentalism; his relation to the new sciences of his day; his role in formulating modern environmental thought; his influence on twentieth-century public figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.; and his profound and diverse influence on different forms of modern and contemporary American literature. Mr. Peck.

184a. New Voices, Old Stories: New Immigrant Jewish Writers and their Roots(1)

(Same as Jewish Studies 184a) American history is, in some ways, the story of immigrants, and one of the first immigrant groups to publish their stories were Jews, particularly those from Eastern Europe. American Jewish writers established the immigrant literary scene that today has become multifaceted and multicultural. In this class, we read the newest, most popular young writers to emerge from the recent Eastern European Jewish diaspora, and compare them to their classic forerunners. We examine the themes of assimilation, religious awakening, and responses to the Holocaust by members of the Second and Third Generation. New texts include Gary Shteyngart's The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated, and Lara Vapnyar's There Are Jews in My House; older voices include those of Abraham Cahan, Henry Roth, and Anzia Yezierska. Ms. Friedman.

Open to freshmen only. Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

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 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, Ms. Long.

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. Mr. Hsu.

Prerequisite: open to students who have taken any of the other 200-level writing courses in English 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. Ms. Kane.

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. McGlennen.

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 2009/10.

215b. Pre-modern Drama: Text and Performance before 1800(1)

Study of selected dramatic texts and their embodiment both on the page and the stage. Authors, critical and theoretical approaches, dramatic genres, historical coverage, and themes may vary from year to year.

Topic for 2009/10: Pre-Modern Drama: Medieval Drama and the Chester Cycle. Medieval Drama could be considered one of the earliest forms of community theater, and definitely one of the earliest instances of drama for the regular folk. In this class, we examine all of the Chester Cycle, a play cycle of 24 plays produced and acted by various craft guilds of the town of Chester from the fourteenth century into the sixteenth century. Ms. Kim.

[ 216b. Modern Drama: Text and Performance after 1800 ](1)

Study of modern dramatic texts and their embodiment both on the page and the stage. Authors, critical and theoretical approaches, dramatic genres, historical coverage, and themes may vary from year to year.

Topic for 2009/10b: Twentieth-Century American Drama: Dysfunctional Families. This course explores modern plays that present debacles in the private sphere and its most widely accepted, codified, and institutionalized social manifestation: the family. As a site of incessant conflicts and negotiations between the individual and the other and between the intimate and the public, the family offers an ideal framework and subject matter for commentary on a variety of moral and social issues. Through an overview of twentieth-century American drama, this course pays particular attention to the vestiges of the American Dream in a range of dramatic representations of dysfunctional families. As a survey with a special focus, the course may include plays by Thornton Wilder, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, August Wilson, David Mamet, Wendy Wasserstein, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, and Suzan-Lori Park. Mr. Markus.

Not offered in 2009/10.

217b. Literary Theory and Interpretation(1)

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

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

(Same as Africana Studies 218 and 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. Ms. Dunbar.

Topic for 2009/10: Black Feminism.

222, 223. Founding of English Literature(1)

These courses offer an introduction to British literary history through an exploration of texts from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries in their literary and cultural contexts. The fall term begins with Old English literature and continues through the death of Queen Elizabeth I (1603). The spring term begins with the establishment of Great Britain and continues through the British Civil War and Puritan Interregnum to the Restoration. Critical issues may include discourses of difference (race, religion, gender, social class); tribal, ethnic, and national identities; exploration and colonization; textual transmission and the rise of print culture; authorship and authority. Both courses address the formation and evolution of the British literary canon, and its significance for contemporary English studies. Ms. Kim, Ms. Dunn.

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). Mr. Kane.

226b. 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 movements 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. Peck.

227a. The Harlem Renaissance and its Precursors(1)

(Same as Africana Studies 227a) This course places the Harlem Renaissance in literary historical perspective as it seeks to answer the following questions: In what ways was "The New Negro" new? How did African American writers of the Harlem Renaissance rework earlier literary forms from the sorrow songs to the sermon and the slave narrative? How do the debates that raged during this period over the contours of a black aesthetic trace their origins to the concerns that attended the entry of African Americans into the literary public sphere in the eighteenth century? Ms. Dunbar.

228b. African American Literature, "Vicious Modernism" and Beyond(1)

(Same as Africana Studies 228b) In the famous phrase of Amiri Baraka, "Harlem is vicious/ Modernism." Beginning with the modernist innovations of African American writers after the Harlem Renaissance, this course ranges from the social protest fiction of the 1940s through the Black Arts Movement to the postmodernist experiments of contemporary African American writers. Ms. Dunbar.

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

This course considers 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. Mr. Hsu.

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

(Same as Latin American and Latino/a Studies 230a) 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. Mr. Perez.

231b. Native American Literature(1)

Drawing from a wide range of traditions, this course explores the rich heritage of Native American 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. McGlennen.

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.

237a. Chaucer(1)

The major poetry, including The Canterbury Tales.

Topic for 2009/10: Chaucer: Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde. The class examines Chaucer's largest finished poetic work Troilus and Criseyde. We read the sources of the Troilus and Criseyde story, including Benoit de St. Maure's Roman de Troie, Boccaccio's Il Filistrato, and some of the continuations of the story including Henryson's Testament of Creseid and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. We also look at some of Chaucer's dream vision poetry and examine the Kelmscott Chaucer. Ms. Kim

238b. 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. Mr. Amodio.

240a or b. Shakespeare(1)

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

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

[ 241-242. Shakespeare ](1)

(Same as Drama 241-242) 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. Ms. Dunn.

Not open to students who have taken English 240.

Not offered in 2009/10.

[ 245a. 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. Ms. Park.

246b. 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. Ms. Park.

247b. Eighteenth-Century British Novels(1)

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

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. Mr. Sharp.

[ 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 2009/10.

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. Mr. Kane.

251a. Topics in Black Literatures(1)

(Same as Africana Studies 251) This course considers Black literatures in all their richness and diversity. The focus changes from year to year, and may include study of a historical period, literary movement, or genre. The course may take a comparative, diasporic approach or may examine a single national or regional literature. Ms. Yow.

252b. Writing the Diaspora: Verses/Versus(1)

(Same as Africana Studies 252b) Black American cultural expression is anchored in rhetorical battles and verbal jousts that place one character against another. From sorrow songs to blues, black music has always been a primary means of cultural expression for African Americans, particularly during difficult social periods and transition. Black Americans have used music and particularly rhythmic verse to resist, express, and signify. Nowhere is this more evident than in hip hop culture generally and hip hop music specifically. Mr. Laymon

This semester's Writing the Diaspora class concerns itself with close textual analysis of hip hop texts. Is Imani Perry right in claiming that Hip Hop is Black American music, ot diasporic music? In addition to close textual reading of lyrics, students are asked to create their own hip hop texts that speak to particular artists/texts and/or issues and styles raised.

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.

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

Significant twentieth-century novels from Great Britain and Ireland. Mr. Chang.

Not offered in 2009/10.

[ 257. 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.

Not offered in 2009/10.

[ 260b. 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 2009/10.

261a. Literatures of Ireland(1)

Authors, genres, themes and historical coverage may vary from year to year. Readings may range from the Táin Bó Cuailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley) and other sagas; to Anglo-Irish authors of various periods, including Swift, Goldsmith, Thomas Moore, Maria Edgeworth, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde; to the writers of the Irish literary revival, including Roger Casement, Lady Gregory, Padraic O'Conaire, Pádraig Mac Piarais, Synge, and Yeats; to modernists Joyce, Beckett, Flann O'Brien, and Elizabeth Bowen; to contemporary Irish poets, novelists, dramatists, and musicians. Ms. Kane.

[ 262b. 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.

Not offered in 2009/10.

265a or b. 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. Mr. Russell, Ms. Zlotnick.

Topic for 2009/10a: Vladimir Nabokov.

Topic for 2009/10b: Jane Austen.

[ 275b. Caribbean Discourse ](1)

(Same as Africana Studies 275) Study of the work of artists and intellectuals from the Caribbean. Analysis of fiction, non-fiction, and popular cultural forms such as calypso and reggae within their historical contexts. Attention to cultural strategies of resistance to colonial domination and to questions of community formation in the post-colonial era. May include some discussion of post-colonial literary theory and cultural studies.

Not offered 2009/10.

277b. Sea-Changes: Caribbean Rewritings of the British Canon(1)

(Same as Africana Studies 277) From William Shakespeare's The Tempest to James Joyce'sUlysses, the classic texts of the British literary canon have served as points of departure for Caribbean writers seeking to establish a dialogue between a colonial literary tradition and post-colonial national literatures. This course addresses the many re-writings of British texts by Caribbean authors from Roberto Fernandez Retamar's Caliban to Jamaica Kincaid's The Autobiography of My Mother. Among the texts to be discussed are Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, V.S. Naipaul's Guerillas, Micelle Cliff's Abeng and No Telephone to Heaven, Maryse Conde'sWindward Heights, and Riosario Ferre's Sweet Diamond Dust. Ms. Yow.

280a. Classics of Modern Children's Literature(1)

This course provides a theoretically informed introduction to some of the most significant and foundational classics of modern children's literature within the Anglophone tradition. The readings encountered within the first several weeks of the course suggest that the perceived canonical traditions of literature written specifically for an audience of younger readers begin early on both to embrace and to question the Romantic and subsequent early Victorian legacies that posited "Childhood" as a privileged social construct - i.e., as a stage that was to be characterized most by its posture of fragile and somehow intangible innocence. The individual authors and works read throughout the term themselves trace a fascinating dialectic between those who would look somehow to perpetuate both such a construct and its implications (e.g. Arthur Ransome, "B.B.", Alison Uttley) on the one hand, and those who would (perhaps) openly disavow those same notions (e.g., Richard Hughes, Natalie Babbitt) on the other. The course thus - in the process of introducing (and perhaps occasionally reintroducing) students to some of the most enjoyed and perennially popular texts for children written in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries - engages in a vital and on-going debate regarding the history and nature of childhood itself, and openly addresses the perception of children and young adults both as the consumers and as the possible constructions of such literature, while also addressing a number of significant issues related to the cultivation of national, cultural, and ethnic identity, generally. Texts may include Richard Hughes, A High Wind in Jamaica (1929), Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons (1930), Noel Streatfeild, Circus Shoes (1938), "B.B." [Denys Watkins-Pitchford],Brendon Chase (1944), Noel Langley, The Land of Green Ginger (1936), Alison Uttley, A Traveller in Time (1939), Lucy M. Boston, The Children of Green Knowe (1954), Gillian Avery,The Elephant War (1960), Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting (1975), Robert O'Brien, Z for Zachariah (1975).  Mr.  Mack.

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.

300a 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.

307b. Senior Writing Seminar(1)

Experimental first offering of an advanced writing course in parallel with the long-established senior composition sequence, accommodating the multiple approaches, genres, forms and interests that represent the diversity of a contemporary writing life. Ms. Wallace, Mr. Harmon.

[ 315. 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.

Not offered in 2009/10.

317a. 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.

Topic for 2009/10: Critical Theory Since 1965.

[ 319b. Race and Its Metaphors ](1)

(Same as Africana Studies 319) Re-examinations 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. Dunbar.

Not offered in 2009/10.

320b. 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.

324b. European and American Drama(1)

(Same as Drama 324b) Historical and critical study of European and American dramatic literature, theory and criticism, playwrights, and/or aesthetic movements.

Topic for 2009/10: Genet Revisited: Life, Art, and the Production of Self. This course explores the significance and relevance of Genet's work today. We read Genet's novels, plays, essays, poems, letters, and examine the impact of his activism and politics of representation. Readings also include theoretical essays and the writings of other artists about Genet. Weekly presentations culminate in a final theatrical rendering of one of Genet's texts. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 221/222 or permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

325a or b. 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.

Topic for 2009/10a: The Multiple Modes of Black Urbanism. This course explores the black encounter with the American city. The class draws from a wide range of scholarship in the humanities. We look at historical examples in which cities have functioned in the political interests of Blacks, such as antebellum Boston and its radical abolitionism. We review the wide range of sociological scholarship-from W.E.B. DuBois to William Julius Wilson-that has cast the urban as a besieged chocolate space. We review the work of anthropologists such as John Jackson and Steven Gregory that account for black encounter with gentrification and urban change. The course culminates with a critical look at black cultural uses of the city, among them, graffiti, hip hop, sports, religion, and music. Mr. Simpson.

Topic for 2009/10b: Studies in Genre: Medieval Travel Writing. The class looks at medieval travel literature that include pilgrimage accounts, fabulous tales from the East, maps, romances, chronicle, and hagiography. Some of the texts we look at include: The Book of Margery KempeThe Old English Wonders of the EastThe Travels of John Mandeville, crusading romances, and the Hereford World Map, the letter of Prester John. Ms. Kim.

326b. Challenging Ethnicity(1)

An exploration of literary and artistic engagements with ethnicity. Contents and approaches vary from year to year.

Topic for 2009/10: Race and Melodrama. Often dismissed as escapist, predictable, lowbrow or exploitative, melodrama also has been recuperated by several contemporary critics as a key site for the rupture and transformation of mainstream values. Film scholar Linda Williams argues that melodrama constitutes "a major force of moral reasoning in American mass culture," shaping the nation's racial imaginary. This course investigates the lasting impact of such fictions as Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Fannie Hurst's Imitation of Life, the romanticized legend of John Smith's encounter with Pocahontas, and John Luther Long's "Madame Butterfly." What precisely is melodrama? If not a genre, is it (as diverse critics argue) a mode, symbolic structure, or a sensibility? What do we make of the international success of melodramatic forms and texts such as the telenovela? How do we understand melodrama's special resonance historically among disfranchised classes? How and to what ends do the pleasures of suffering authenticate particular collective identities (women, the working-class, queers, blacks, and group formations yet to be named)? What relationships between ethnic or racial identity, affect and consumption does melodrama reveal? Texts may also include work by David Belasco, Peter Brooks, Mary Ann Doane, David Eng, Sui Sin Far, Sigmund Freud, Christine Gledhill, Todd Haynes, David Henry Hwang, Nella Larsen, Annie Proulx, and Douglas Sirk. Mr. Perez.

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.

329a. 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. Mr. Simpson.

330a. 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, and Dos Passos. Ms. Graham.

331b. Post-modern American Literature(1)

Advanced study of American literature from the second half of the twentieth century to the current date. 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. Mr. Hsu.

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.

Topic for 2009/10: The Gawain-Poet and his Contemporaries. Mr. Amodio.

341b. Studies in the Renaissance(1)

(Same as Women's Studies 341b) Intensive study of selected Renaissance texts and the questions they raise about their context and interpretation.

Topic for 2009/10: Elizabeth I: Representation of the Virgin Queen in iconography, poetry, and prose. Ms. Robertson.

342a. Studies in Shakespeare(1)

Advanced study of Shakespeare's work and its cultural significance in various contexts from his time to today.

Topic for 2009/10: Wholly Hamlet! "Are the commentators on Hamlet really mad," inquired Oscar Wilde, "or only pretending to be?" It has been said that "Hamlet invented modern subjectivity"; that Hamlet engages us "not as a work by Shakespeare but as a work of western culture," "a field of operation for thoughtful play," "a poem unlimited." The Hamlet story survives in medieval folk tales and in a thousand modern redactions, including three substantially different "Shakespeare" scripts (1603, 1604, 1623). In this interdisciplinary seminar we shall consider folk Hamlets, stage Hamlets, printshop Hamlets, burlesque Omelets; Hamlet as transposed to the painter's canvas and to the silver screen; Hamlet in textual scholarship, literary history, classroom editing, dramatic theory, art history, psychiatry, anthropology, philosophy, gender studies, queer theory, kiddie lit, theology, Bardolatry, anti-Stratfordianism, pop culture, world culture, and the Internet. Nor shall Ophelia drown without notice. Mr. Foster.

345b. Milton(1)

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

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

Focuses on a broad literary topic, with special attention to works of the Restoration and eighteenth century: 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.

Topic for 2009/10: Interior Life in Eighteenth Century England. Ms. Park.

351b. 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).

Topic for 2009/10: Deals with the Devil. This course examines the Faust theme in works of nineteenth-century British literature. The story of the scholar-magician who sold his soul to the prince of darkness compelled the imaginations of many British writers of the Romantic and Victorian era. Often they associated this legend with the myth of Prometheus, the Titan who dared to steal divine fire for the benefit of humankind. The course studies the various faces of the archetypal over-reacher and the significance of the archetype for us at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Ms. Darlington.

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. Ms. Darlington.

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.

356a. 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. Mr. Joyce.

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.

362b. 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.

Topic for 2009/10b: 20s/20s. In the United States during the 1920s there was an unusually close collaboration between writers and artists, who often knew one another well and shared aesthetic programs and cultural agendas. Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and William Carlos Williams for example, understood their work in relation to that of American artists like John Marin, Georgia O¹Keeffe, and Charles Demuth. A century before, in the 1820s, the emergence of the Hudson River School landscape painters goes hand in hand with the emergence of a national literature in works by writers such as Washington Irving. In both decades, important cultural institutions, such as little magazines in the 1920s and New York City writers and artists clubs in the 1820s, helped establish an intimate dialogue between literature and art. In this course, we seek to learn why this kind of dialogue was unusually rich during these two decades of American life. Mr. Peck.

Topic for 2009/10b: Because Dave Chappelle Said So. From Hip Hop to Paul Beatty's White Boy Shuffle to Spike Lee's Bamboozled to Dave Chappelle to Aaron McGruder's Boondocks to Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G character, black masculinity seems to be a contemporary site of massive satire. This course explores the history, style, content and movement of black, mostly male, satirical comic narratives and characters. Using postmodernism as our critical lens, we explore what black satirical characters and narratives are saying through "tragicomedy" to the mediums of literature, film, television and comics, and to the ideals of morality, democracy, sexuality, femininity and masculinity. Are these narratives and characters, while asserting some sort of critical citizenship, actually writing black women's subjectivity, narratives and experience out of popular American textual history? Does satire have masculinist underpinnings? How are these texts and characters communicating with each other and is there a shared language? Is there a difference between a black comic text and a black satirical text? These are some of the questions we explore in "Because Dave Chappelle Said So." Mr. Laymon.

365a or b. 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. Ms. Yow, Mr. Peck.

Topic for 2009/10a: William Faulkner.

Topic for 2009/10b: F. Scott Fitzgerald.

370a or b. 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 2009/10a. The Marvelous. This course investigates and critiques "magic," spirituality, and supernatural event in historical and contemporary narrative, verse, and visual imagery. The course includes Latin American, Indian, Irish, and African works in English and in translation. Ms. Kane

Topic for 2009/10a: Oz Lit: From Down Under to Up Over. Postcolonial cultures are often divided into two types: indigenous and settler, according to the circumstances of colonization and subsequent history. This course examines one of the settler cultures, Australia, through the lens of its literature, as it has developed since the nation's origins as a British penal colony. The focus, however, is mainly on modern and contemporary literature, which has developed with such extraordinary vitality in recent decades. In addition to exploring the dynamics of this new Australian literature—or Oz Lit—we consider the impact of British and American influences, and the unique situation of Aboriginal culture in Australia. In placing it in the broad context of globalized writing in the twenty-first century, we seek to understand Australia's ongoing contribution to anglophone literature. Authors may include Peter Carey, Helen Garner, David Malouf, Gwen Harwood, Richard Flanagan, Alice Pung, Les Murray, Inga Clendinnen, Alex Miller and others. Course fulfills the race, gender, sexuality or ethnicity requirement. Mr. Kane and Mr. Sharp.

Topic for 2009/10b: Literature of Globalization. This course focuses on the novels that deal with contemporary globalization: Joseph O'Neill's Netherland; Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss; Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Orhan Pamuk's Snow; Ha jin, A Free Life; Uzodenma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation, and William Gibson's Pattern Recognition. We also read various theorists of globalization, including David Harvey, Gayatri Spivak, Saskia Sassen, Mike Davis, Edward Said, Also under discussion, four films on reserve in the library: Monsoon Wedding (2001), Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Syriana (2005) and Babel (2006). Each student writes one short essay (5 pages) and one long essay (12 pages). Mr. Kumar.

380-389a Advanced Literary Study(1)

The content and the requirements for the completion of the work in each section vary from year to year.

Enrollment is limited to 12.

380a. J.D. Salinger and the Craft of Writing(1)

This seminar focuses on the craft of writing in J.D. Salinger's work, including Catcher in the Rye,Nine StoriesFranny and ZooeyRaise High the Roofbeams and Hapworth 16, 1924. The course also explores Salinger's relation to social and literary movements of the 1950s, such as the Beats, and his influence on other writers, including those of the twenty-first century such as Jonathan Safran Foer and Aimee Bender. Of special interest to creative writers. Ms. Wallace.

384b. The Literature of Friendship(1)

This seminar explores the treatment of friendship in a wide range of texts, mainly literary but also historical and philosophical, from antiquity through the present, including works by Aristotle, Cicero, Sappho, Po Chu-I, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Dr. Johnson, Keats, Wilde, Frederick Douglass, Jorge Luis Borges, Anna Akhmatova, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Groucho Marx, Adrienne Rich, Michael Harper, Helen Garner, and Carol Smith-Rosenberg. Mr. Sharp.

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

Open by permission of the Chair.

One unit of credit given only in exceptional cases.