Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Course Descriptions

English Department Course Offerings for Spring 2015

10-124 Great Reads: Things Change* We will be reading a series of books that cope with the idea of change—across generations, species, and cultures.  Our readings, going from Ancient Rome to Imperial Russia to modern America, will offer a variety of styles, genres and perspectives. No previous training in English literature is necessary. (H) (Michael Saenger)

10-134 Intro to Creative Writing* This introductory-level class examines the form and structure of narrative prose fiction with special attention to character and plot development.  We will read short stories to examine how authors practice their craft, and regular writing assignments will help students develop story ideas. (H) (John Pipkin)

10-174 American Literature* This course is an introductory level survey of American literature, undertaking a historical approach. The course is organized chronologically with a concentration on the following major periods: exploration, Puritanism, the Great Awakening, the Enlightenment, romanticism, transcendentalism, realism, naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism. (H) (Americas Paideia Cluster) (Carina Hoffpauir)

10-214 Children’s Literature See Education 45-734

10-244 Introduction to Literary Studies* This course helps students extend and hone their skills at interpreting and writing about literature. It extends their familiarity and facility with tools of literary research, and it helps them engage with the range of questions critics and literary studies typically ask. (H) (Investigating Identity Paideia Cluster) (Jim Kilfoyle)

10-304-01 Odyssey with Sunoikisis See Classics 07-304

10-304-02 Writing for the Stage See Theatre 74-304

10-304-03 Indigenous Myth and Narrative See Religion 19-304

10-334 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry This course is designed for students committed to improving their skills in writing and reading poetry.   Each week we’ll focus on a different skill, reading both canonical and contemporary poems.   You’ll write one poem a week, and provide thorough and thoughtful written responses to the work of your classmates. (H) (Julia Delacroix)

10-354 Creative Non-fiction: Sports Writing This creative writing class will explore the genre of sports-writing (not journalism) to discover how writers make use of factual material to create a work offering insights beyond the description of an athletic event.  We will read representative works in this genre with special attention to form. Also ESS 46-304 (H) (John Pipkin)

10-444 Topics in Theory: Speaking across Languages When translation happens, we see ideas, words and cultures in a new light. We will study Ovid, Shakespeare and Neruda as poetic texts and we will also explore the most important issues of translation theory. If students are taking the class as a Spanish or Chinese class, they will complete work in those languages—a full final paper, translation labs and weekly discussion if Spanish; writing with extensive quotation and translation if Chinese. As an English class, students will study various theoretical frameworks that can be used to understand what translation keeps, loses, and transforms. Also CHI 22-304, LAT 14-304, SPA 15-304 (H) (Michael Saenger)

10-454 Feminist Film Studies This course will focus on the way films define gender, and on the direction that film criticism takes when feminism goes to the movies. We will study the development of feminist film criticism and theory from 1975 to the present, viewing films in a range of genres from romance to action to horror. Also FST 04-554. (H) (Eileen Cleere)

10-514 World Cinema This film history survey course will examine First (Hollywood), Second, and Third World Cinemas over time and across cultures. A basic familiarity with film studies approaches and terminology are assumed and will be built upon. Ideas about class, race, gender, and sexuality will be in the forefront of analyses and discussions. (H) (David Gaines)

10-624 Shakespeare This course offers an intensive introduction to the works of William Shakespeare. The selection of works varies from semester to semester but will address the breadth of Shakespeare’s achievement. Also THE 74-704 (H) (Michael Saenger)

10-674 Slumming: Victorian Literature and Social Reform Victorian reform literature encouraged philanthropy by enabling middle-class readers to “discover” the poor: to vicariously experience the extreme poverty and distress endemic to slums and fever nests in the urban environment. This course will begin with first-hand accounts of Victorian slumming by journalists and ethnographers, and will include novels by Dickens, Gaskell, Eliot and Hardy. Also ENV 49-674, FST 04-664 (H) (Eileen Cleere)

10-714 Prison Narratives and Digital Archives: A Multidisciplinary Approach to American Literature This special topics course will address the genre of the prison narrative in American literature.  The course has a significant digital archives component; in addition to practicing literary analysis and research skills, students will learn and implement digital tools such as Omeka, Glifos, and video-editing software. Also FST 04-304, RES 37-304 (H)  (Charlotte Nunes)

10-734 American Transcendentalism: Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau A survey of the major essays and works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau.  We will also also examine the historical context of early nineteenth-century America and how the philosophical views of the Transcendentalists shaped the American identity. (H) (John Pipkin) 

10-864-01 Post-Holocaust Jewish American Lit From Warsaw to Newark, from secular feminist Yiddishists to Orthodox rabbis, studying Talmud to queering comic books—contemporary Jewish American writers (such as Michael Chabon, Rebecca Goldstein and Philip Roth) mourn the catastrophic losses of the European Shoah while embodying the renaissance of Jewish American life and letters. Also FST 04-694, RES 37-304 (H) (Helene Meyers)

10-864-02 Literature as Activism This course examines texts that advocate for social change. We will read poetry, novels, and short stories, including Uncle Tom’s CabinThe Jungle, Silent Spring, and Latino/a poems, and look at ways that authors challenge their societal norms. We will also put these texts in conversation with contemporary issues, like the poverty marketing done by companies like Tom’s Shoes or current conversations about immigration and same-sex marriage. The course will include an off-campus community activism component. Also FST 04-694, RES 37-304 (H) (Jessica Goudeau)

10-874 Black Women Writers This course provides an overview of African American women’s writing in the post civil rights era, investigating the intersections between race, class, and gender. We will also think about the ways in which African American women writers have represented the political goals of Black Power feminism(s), multiculturalism, and globalism. Also FST 04-764, RES 37-764 (H) (Carina Hoffpauir)

10-934 Capstone Seminar: Chabon—Gender and Literary Borderlands We will first explore some key novels by Michael Chabon in relation to gender/sexuality theory, adaptation theory, and the porous boundaries between literature and popular culture. Then we will turn to your own research essays, bringing authors/texts of your choice into dialogue with the theoretical issues of the course. (H) (Helene Meyers)

 *Appropriate for First Year