Undergraduate Courses

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AML 3311


John Mac Kilgore
TuTh 11:35-12:50

Why was so much great US literature published between 1850 and 1855? That’s the question we will try to answer in this course. Over seventy years ago, F. O. Matthiessen coined the term the “American Renaissance” to describe the inventive outpouring of national literature in this half-decade—classics such as Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850), Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851), Thoreau’s Walden (1854), and Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855). While scholars have long since criticized and revised Matthiessen’s exclusively white, male club of “renaissance” writers, it remains a curious fact that many of the most significant texts in today’s expanded canon were also published in the same half-decade—among them, Sojourner Truth’s “I Am a Woman’s Rights” (1851), William Wells Brown’s Clotel (1853), John Rollin Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta (1854), Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall (1854), and Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). In a survey of “major figures,” 1850-1855, we will work to understand this broad literary revolution across US letters. To do so, we will consider the historical context, publishing world, political movements, and aesthetic forms/genre experimentation that situate this body of literature.

AML 3673

Foundations and Futures of Asian America: Asian American Literature

Frances Tran
Tu/Th 8:00AM - 9:15AM

This class is an introduction to Asian American literature and theory. Over the course of the semester, we will chart the historical, cultural, and political formation of Asian America, from the making of the transcontinental railroad and the social movements of the Civil Rights Era to the haunting legacies of World War II and the contemporary flows of globalization. Engaging a wide range of work, including that of David Henry Hwang, Julie Otsuka, Manjula Padmanabhan, and Gene Luen Yang, among others, we will discuss how Asian American authors, artists, and activists have continually sought to redefine Asian America as a construct that is both real and imagined, material and aspirational. As such, in addition to analyzing the social and historical contexts that inform the production of Asian American literature and culture, we will also push ourselves to reflect on and articulate the stakes attached to this work. From a study of foundational texts, theories, and histories, we will aim, in short, to elaborate what potential futures for Asian America might look and feel like today, especially in a moment marked by rising anti-Asian hate and xenophobia due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as increased Asian American representation in popular media and culture.

This course satisfies the distribution requirements for diversity.

AML 3682

American Multi-Ethnic Literature: Imagine Otherwise

John Ribó
Tu/Th 11:35 AM - 12:50 PM

Of what possible use is literature in the face of a global pandemic and accelerating climate change? Why read books when the world faces multiple, seemingly unsurmountable and interminable apocalyptic crises? This class looks to the fantastic, the speculative, and the supernatural in art, music, performance, and literature by people of color to answer Christina Sharpe’s call to “Imagine otherwise. Remake the world.”

This course satisfies three of the six hours of the distribution requirement for diversity.

AML 4111

The 19th Century American Novel: Haunted America

Diane Roberts
M/W 4.50 - 6.05pm

The ghosts of the past, the cruelty of slavery, the madness of politicians, the nature of obsession, and the nature of sexuality: Novelists such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville dove deep into our psychic ocean of guilt, sin, and repression and came out with brilliant works of art that still inspire (and haunt) such writers as Toni Morrison, Jeff VanderMeer, and Nikole Hannah-Jones. What was going on in America between the 1830s and 1900 that ignited such an explosion of great novels? We’ll try to find some answers—or at least identify the most exciting questions.

This course satisfies the genre requirement for LMC majors.

AML 4213


John Mac Kilgore
TuTh 4:50-6:05pm

How does Florida (especially Tallahassee) choose to preserve, narrate, and commemorate its early history through museums, memorials, monuments, and other historical sites? What does Mission San Luis say—or not say—about Spanish colonization of the area, the Goodwood Museum about plantation slavery? How does our “public memory” of Florida change, how are official histories challenged, when we prioritize Black and Indigenous voices and knowledge, literature and culture? And more to the point for this class, can we think of literature as itself a form of cultural memory opening up alternative narrative perspectives on Florida history and culture? This course will tackle questions such as these by surveying the early literature of Florida from the period of first nations through the nineteenth century, and then putting our reading into conversation with sites of public memory in and around Tallahassee. That means you will be making a few site visits in town and analyzing the material rhetorics of history and place. The goal is to understand the political, cultural, and literary legacy of Florida, yesterday and today, from an anti-racist, anti-colonial viewpoint. We will consider the power of early Florida literature to shape our contemporary politics of public memory; conversely, we will approach sites of public memory as narrative forms which tell weighted stories about Florida at the intersection of fact and fiction, history and ideology.

This course meets the pre-1800 requirement.

AML 4680

Asian American Speculative Fiction: Studies in Ethnic Literature

Frances Tran
Tu/Th 9:45AM - 11:00AM

While memoir writing and realist narratives have been vital to the establishment of Asian American literary studies, this course examines the burgeoning genre of Asian American speculative fiction. We will explore the work of authors, artists, and activists who employ science fictional and speculative tropes to reflect on what it means to be Asian American, including historical and ongoing struggles for home, belonging, and community. By engaging cultural productions by Samira Ahmed, Rachel Heng, Mohsin Hamid, Ken Liu, Karen Tei Yamashita, and others, we will discuss how the fantastical and speculative elements of their writing creates openings not only for grappling with violent histories of Asian racialization but also for imagining new modes of kinship and solidarity. Together, we will strive to elaborate how the genre of speculative fiction functions for Asian Americans and other minoritized subjects, not as a means of escape or merely a form of entertainment, but as a radical medium for envisioning the possibility of more equitable, livable, and joyful worlds.

This course satisfies the distribution requirements for diversity.

CRW 3311

Poetic Technique

Virgilio Suarez
Tu/Th 11:35am – 12:50pm

We will discuss all aspects of poetry in class and you will get a chance to write and workshop a few of your poems as you try different techniques.  Your grade depends on your in-class contributions, writing, and peer editing.

CRW 4320

Poetry Workshop

David Kirby
Wed 3:05-6:05pm

In A Few Good Voices In My Head, Ted Solotaroff says that a piece of writing is a writer’s “only way to organize and to some extent comprehend life’s fullness and perplexity.” In this class we’ll be studying and writing that kind of poem in a format that departs from the traditional workshop set-up.

The usual workshop method works fine, but here we’ll begin by front-loading craft lessons in the first month. What this means is that I’ll present around 40 very different craft poems that have in common Solotaroff’s two principles, the organization and at least partial understanding of some significant experience. I’ll start having conferences immediately, you’ll be paired with a series of rotating partners, and after I present the craft poems, we’ll alternate between select students giving 20-minute readings of their work to the rest of the class and roundtable discussions of particular poems presented by individual students.

So put your helmet on! Knowledge is going to fly at you from six directions: craft poems, roundtable poems, peer poems, a get-acquainted conference, two comprehensive conferences, poem swaps with partners. The Republic of Poetry has a rich topography; we’ll see it all.

Course Pre-Requisites: CRW 3311 (Poetic Technique) and Application: Please send Kirby a few poems. Also, when did you take Poetic Technique, with whom, and what was your grade? And when do you expect to graduate?

CRW 4320

Poetry Workshop

Virgilio Suarez
Tu/Th 9:45am – 11am

You will write, workshop, and revise approximately 8 poems during the semester.  All work must be typed and copies must be brought to class one workshop in advance.  Everyone must comment. Your grade depends on your writing, editing, and workshop contributions.

ENC 4218

Visual Rhetoric in a Digital Age: Praxinoscope, Kaleidoscope, and Stereoscope: 19th-century Optical Toys and the Rhetorics of Social Change

Kristie Fleckenstein
Tu/Th 11:35am - 12:50 pm

Focusing on the proliferation of visual technologies in the United States during the long nineteenth-century, this iteration of ENC 4218 explores the connections between visual media, especially those considered considered “toys” or parlor entertainment, and the rhetorics of social change. It frames that exploration with a visual-material orientation that encompasses rhetorical and media-specific analysis. In so doing, the course challenges even as it embraces dominant theories of visual rhetoric, which emphasize the visual or the visual-verbal interface extracted from the materiality of the medium enabling both.

The course is project-driven, involving extensive work with both current scholarship and archival databases. Students will select a visual technology (from the magic lantern to various forms of photography, including everything from the daguerreotype to the kinetoscope) and an issue (including, but not limited to, the Dress Reform movement, the Sanitary Revolution, woman suffrage, abolition, citizenship, immigration, evangelicalism, gendered identity [cross-dressing], racialization, and so forth).

Grades will be based on the following: three interconnected essays, one essay exam, one group presentation, and participation in regular class activities.

ENC 4404

Advanced Writing and Editing

Perry Howell
M/W/F 10:40-11:30 AM,

This is a course about helping yourself, and helping others, to use writing to think and communicate more clearly. This class strives to help you to improve your writing and editing skills across a wide range of writing situations. We carefully consider matters of audience, tone, and effect. Writing and editing are distinct, though related, skills, and editing yourself is a very different situation than editing the work of others, and we work on both. In this class, we openly confront the challenges to writing and editing well. The primary goals here are that you become a better writer and editor at the end of the class than you were at the beginning, regardless of your starting level of competence and confidence. This class will help you to get better at organizing ideas and at getting those ideas across to others. We read and discuss a lot of writing, and, especially, do a lot of writing and editing. Your success in this course depends on your whole-hearted engagement in these activities.

Course Pre-Requisites: ENC3416

This course counts toward the “EWM Advanced Requirements” for the EWM major and can be used as electives credit for most other majors across the university. All are invited.

ENG 3803

History of Text Technologies

Leigh Edwards

This EWM course explores the history of the changing media technologies that people have used to communicate. It examines a range of forms, including tattoo, scroll, manuscript, print, photograph, film, television, radio, and digital multimedia. We will assess how such technologies impact the meaning of texts as well as their socio-cultural conditions. “Text” can refer to any meaningful combination of “signs” (or symbols) that can be analyzed and interpreted, and textuality refers to how texts make meaning in context. This course combines the fields of media history, history of the book, and digital humanities as well as text technologies.

We will consider larger questions such as: How does the medium or the delivery technology impact a text’s meaning? For example, when your favorite novel is turned into a film, how does that alter its meaning? When the delivery technology changes, as when you go from listening to your favorite song on a vinyl record to listening to it on a digital streaming platform, how does that affect the song’s meaning?

Our case studies range from cave paintings to YouTube, Gutenberg to Google. We will tackle larger debates, such as the relationship between mediums, how different delivery technologies have their own affordances and constraints, how media change happens (technological determinism versus cultural determinism), what happens to old media when new media emerges, and how best to study media history (medium specific analysis or transmedia analysis). Assignments include Canvas discussion posts, a midterm exam, a shorter essay, and the longer final essay.

ENG 3804

History of Illustrated Texts: Illustrating the Natural World

Molly Hand
Tu/Th 3:05-4:20

This course examines the complex relationships between word and image in texts ranging from medieval illuminated manuscripts to postmodern graphic novels. We will examine reasons for incorporating images into texts; impacts of graphic representations on audience understanding, meaning, and value of texts; and the interplay between text, image, and culture over the centuries and into our current moment. This class will examine a variety of textual formats (manuscript, print, digital), genres, digital databases, and examples of “found” illustrated texts from everyday life.

More specifically, this course will focus on representations of the natural world – that is, the nonhuman beings that surrounds us – in illustrated texts from bestiaries, herbals, fables, emblems, and scientific treatises, to children’s literature, memes, graphic novels, and beyond. We will examine a range of media, and our discussions will be grounded in critical readings in textual studies as well as ecocriticism and animal studies. This focus will enable students to build a strong foundation of critical thinking skills and knowledge and to achieve course objectives, with potential for application of acquired knowledge and skills in a range of contexts.

Meets the Genre requirement for LMC.

Course Pre-Requisites: ENG 3803 (recommended)

ENG 4020

Rhetorical Theory and Practice: 19th Century Black Citizenship Rhetoric

Kristie Fleckenstein
Tu/Th 1:20– 2:35pm

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has long asserted that, for nineteenth-century African Americans, alphabetic literacy, or mastery of language, constituted the sine non qua of the civilized individual. Thus, even as pro-slavery advocates depicted all Blacks, free or bound, “as devoid of reason,” and therefore incapable of functioning as productive citizens, nineteenth-century African Americans “metaphorically wrote themselves to freedom by articulating the complexity of their human subjectivity” (xxxi) through language (xxxi). “Freedom” Gates observes, “was embodied in literacy precisely because the ability to create forms through language use was one of the critical mainstays of the Enlightenment and well beyond. To many, it was the most visible embodiment of reason itself, and if one were ‘reasonable,’ then one's humanity could not easily be denied” (xxxi).

In this incarnation of ENG 4020, we explore the rhetorical efforts by which African Americans “wrote themselves” to freedom and citizenship—again and again—across the nineteenth century. Following a historical trajectory, we begin with overview of Black nineteenth-century rhetoric, aligning it with the complicated history of U.S. citizenship. We then investigate Black rhetoric in two (of eight) moments W. E. B. Du Bois identifies in 1945 as significant in the struggle for Black civil rights: 1850-1865, examining the rhetoric of Black civic virtue; and 1866-1877, analyzing the rhetoric by which Black activists sought to retain their civic rights. Throughout, we intertwine research in history, citizenship, and rhetoric to understand the specific rhetorical performances of Black activism.

Grades are based on the following: three essays and a group presentation on an African American periodical. Note: Archival research is an integral element of this class.

Course Pre-Requisites: ENG 3021

ENG 4115

Film Theory: Hitchcock: Allegories for Seeing (Cinematically)

Christina Parker-Flynn
Tu/Th 1:20pm - 2:35pm

In this course, we will approach film theory organically through an examination of Alfred Hitchcock’s body of work as a film director. Indeed, French film critics of the 1950s encouraged a re-evaluation of film—and thus a re-invention of film theory itself—based on the belief that a director’s films reflect his/her individual artistry. Hitchcock was one of their primary and strongest prototypes of director as auteur, or author, who wields what they would designate as the “camera-pen.” Hitchcock’s body of work has since attracted substantial attention by film criticism, and his films have been analyzed through a variety of theoretical approaches, including structural, psychoanalytic, and feminist.

We will read film theory (Eisenstein, Bazin, Metz, Heath, Bellour, Doane, Mulvey, Modelski) and address the complex historico-theoretical relation between film theory and cinema with a particular focus on Hitchcock. We will further consider Hitchcock’s films as instruments that allow for the displacement of anxiety and the dispossession of socially unacceptable desires, fears, and traumatic memories. Film study will be comprised of both theoretical and mechanical elements; students will attend to structural elements such as cinematography, mise-en-scène, and sound.

Films for study will include: The Lodger, Rebecca, Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds.

Requirements: This course satisfies the requirement for coursework in Understanding Genres.

ENG 4815

What is a Text?

Perry Howell
Section .001: M/W 1:20 - 2:35 pm, Section .003: M/W 4:40 - 6:05pm,

This class is an adventure in trying to answer the question posed in the course’s title. If you are up for this adventure, you can begin this class thinking that you know the answer, sure that you do not know the answer, or even believing that the question cannot really BE answered.

We will be exploring texts and textuality by creating a lot of different kinds of texts ourselves, by discussing how many other people have tried to answer the “What is a text?” question, and by looking for textuality in uncommon places. Can clouds be texts? What about dreams? By experiencing texts both as creators and as audience, we will gain a fuller understanding of what a text can be.

Success in this class depends almost entirely on your honest and energetic engagement with the course activities and almost not-at-all with the instructor’s agreement with your final answer to the course’s primary question.

This course counts toward the “EWM Advanced Requirements” for the EWM major and can be used as electives credit for most other majors across the university. All are invited

ENG 4815

What Is a Text?

Leigh Edwards

This course for the EWM track investigates theories of textuality, which refers to how "texts" make meaning by being understood in context. We will test out key theories by discussing some vibrant films as case studies. Our reading includes theories of textuality as well as relevant film theory. While we explore different ideas about what counts as a "text" and where the meaning of a text resides, we will assess debates about the relationship between the text and vital contexts. These contexts include the socio-historical context, audience reception, and the "paratext," which refers to associated material surrounding the text but that is separate from the text itself. In addition to theoretical debates about how to define "text" and "textuality," we will study theories of paratextuality, intertextuality, adaptation, cross-cultural textuality, interactive textuality, remediation, and textuality and cultural value. We will consider, for example, films that have been adapted from literature and how to unpack the meanings of different kinds of texts as well as what contexts can influence our reading of them, from associated material like a film trailer to theories of how fans interact with films to larger discourses like the cultural expectations of different mediums and genres. Assignments include Canvas discussion posts, a midterm exam, a shorter essay, and the longer final essay. In a final project involving both theory and practice, students will get the chance to produce their own multimedia text and to analyze how their own work engages issues of textuality.

ENG 4815

What is A Text?

A.E.B Coldiron

This capstone course for the EWM track investigates the history and theories of textuality in terms of major media transitions. Our own moment of media transition is the most recent in a very long line: our course traces the development of writing systems on stone, clay, skin, and wax; the addition of papyrus/paper substrates; the major move from scroll to codex, with its religious and political ramifications; the addition of print technologies to this ancient manucript culture; and the recent addition of electronic texts. From this very big picture, students will select one focal point for a capstone project (a particular text, a particular means of representation, even a particular rhetorical trope, image, or narrative episode, meme, or unit) and will follow it from its prehistories through its multiple media instantiations. Drawing on theories of orality, écriture, and hybridity, we will consider along the way not only what a text is, but what it can do; we will investigate not only how we construct texts but how they can construct us. Grade is based on HWs and open-book exercises about the readings and video lectures; a scaffolded Final Project replaces the final exam. The course is conducted on Canvas so functioning technology is necessary. A commitment to steady work, careful reading, independent writing, and collaborative sharing of individual results are essential for success in this course.

Course Pre-Requisites: ENG 3803 strongly recommended

ENG 4938

Advanced Seminar in English: Metamorphosis

Jamie Fumo
Tu/Th 11:35am - 12:50pm

Explores literary representations of metamorphosis.

METAMORPHOSIS. Shapeshifters, monsters, hybrids, grotesques, and werewolves—permutations of the human—elicit fascination not just in today’s popular culture but in remote literary periods as well. This seminar explores metamorphosis, or radical transformation, in a variety of imaginative discourses. A favorite literary topic in classical antiquity, metamorphosis was moralized by medieval and early modern intellectuals, and its legacy surfaces in post-Enlightenment discourses of psychology and evolution. Our approach is broadly historical and comparative: it considers how notions of change are themselves transformed over time and across cultures. Working with literary texts in an interdisciplinary framework, we will treat metamorphosis as a cultural, artistic, and philosophical issue. Course materials pursue metamorphosis across English and European literary traditions (all foreign language materials will be read in translation), from the first century C.E. to the twenty-first, but we will dwell most extensively on the formative ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Authors to be studied in depth include Ovid, Apuleius, Marie de France, Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, and Italo Calvino. No prior experience with these materials is expected, but seminar participants must be willing to read, analyze, and actively discuss an array of challenging texts of diverse genres and historical periods.

Course Pre-Requisites: Admission to the department's honors-in-the-major program.

ENL 3334

Introduction to Shakespeare: The play’s the thing!

Terri Bourus (Mategrano)
Mon 3:05 – 6:05pm

This introductory course on Shakespeare is designed to increase your enjoyment and understanding of these canonical plays through a close reading of the playtexts in relation to performance of the plays, their social and historical settings, and the development of the plays as dramatic performances, on stage and on film.

Required Texts:

  1. You will have free access through Strozier library to our primary text, The New Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (ISBN: 9780198749721)
  2. Shakespeare: The Basics, Sen McEvoy, Routledge ISBN: 9780415682800

This course satisfies the pre-1660 or pre-1800 requirement.

ENL 3334

Introduction to Shakespeare: The play’s the thing!

Terri Bourus (AKA Terri Mategrano)

This introductory course on Shakespeare is designed to increase your enjoyment and understanding of these canonical plays through a close reading of the playtexts in relation to performance of the plays, their social and historical settings, and the development of the plays as dramatic performances, on stage and on film.

Required Texts:

  1. You will have free access through Strozier library to our primary text, The New Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (ISBN: 9780198749721)
  2. Shakespeare: The Basics, Sen McEvoy, Routledge ISBN: 9780415682800

ENL 4112

Eighteenth-Century Novel

Candace Ward
Tu /Th 9:45 - 11:00 AM

Yes!!! There were novels before those written by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters! This course is intended to introduce you to a variety of eighteenth-century works that preceded later novels like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre that might be more familiar to English majors. ENL 4112 will enable you to develop a familiarity not only with these early novels, but also with the material and cultural circumstances in which they were produced.

Throughout the semester, you will be called on to discuss the texts in class and to write about them in papers and on exams. In order to successfully fulfill the paper and exam requirements, you must exhibit not only a mastery of the course content (i.e., of the novels themselves and the background information provided in lectures, class discussions, and independent research), but also the ability to communicate your ideas using the critical and analytical techniques that characterize literary and cultural studies.

Required Texts*
Oroonoko (1688), Aphra Behn
Fantomina (1725), Eliza Haywood
Moll Flanders (1722), Daniel Defoe
Pamela (1740), Samuel Richardson
The Adventures of David Simple (1744) and Volume the Last (1753), Sarah Fielding
A Simple Story, Elizabeth Inchbald
Caleb Williams (1794), William Godwin
Maria; or the Wrongs of Woman (1798), Mary Wollstonecraft
The Woman of Colour (1808)

This course fulfills the Genre (Novel) Requirement AND the Pre-1800 requirement

ENL 4240

British Romantic Literature: Gothic

Judith Pascoe
Section .001 M/W 3:03 – 4:20pm, Section .002 M/W 4:50 – 6:05pm

The British Romantics wrote some of the most remarkable poetry and prose in literary history, works whose influence lives on in genres as varied as horror movies and political manifestos. This class will serve as an introduction to Romantic-era literature with a special emphasis on the Gothic. Together, we will explore literary works in which ghosts, madwomen, and monsters circulate in haunted castles and other desolate settings. We will consider why Romantic-era writers were both seduced and repelled by Gothic trappings, and also why Gothic tropes (zombies, vampires, haunted houses, doppelgangers) continue to inspire writers and filmmakers as they address the current cultural moment.

Class requirements include: regular attendance, discussion posts, short papers, and either critical or creative final project. Students from all majors and areas of concentration are welcome.

ENL 4311

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

Jamie Fumo
Tu/Th 3:05 - 4:20pm

In this course, we will closely examine Chaucer's unfinished and highly experimental masterpiece, the Canterbury Tales, in the original Middle English. We will read as many of the Tales as possible, becoming literate in a wide range of medieval literary forms -- courtly romance, beast fable, saint's life, and bawdy comedy, as well as some that defy classification. In addition, we will become closely acquainted with Chaucer's language, the dynamic of tradition and innovation, and the dramatic relationship between tale and teller. Some questions we will puzzle over: Why does Chaucer emerge as such an instrumental figure in the development of English literature? And how "medieval" (or "modern," or even "postmodern") are Chaucer's accomplishments and values as a fourteenth-century poet in a time of cultural transition?

All Chaucer readings will be in the original Middle English. No prior experience with Middle English is necessary, though learning it is a formal expectation of the course. Reading Chaucer in Middle English, aloud as well as silently, is tremendous fun, but it requires commitment and steady effort; good study habits and a healthy sense of intellectual curiosity are vital for success in this course. Assignments tentatively include regular quizzes, a Middle English recitation exercise, informed class participation, a series of linked written exercises culminating in an original research project, and a final exam.

This course meets the pre-1800 requirement for LMC majors.

Specific textbook to be used (physical book required; no substitutions):

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (Original-Spelling Middle English Edition), ed. Jill Mann. Penguin, 2005. ISBN 978-0-140-42234-4

ENL 4333

Shakespeare: Shakespeare the Dramatist

Carla Della Gatta
M/W 3:05 – 4:20

This course will offer an advanced study of a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies and romances: Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale. The scholarly focus will be methods for reading plays as theatrical texts, situating them in their performance contexts during Shakespeare’s time and interpreting how they are performed today.

This course meets the pre-1800 requirement for LMC majors.

ENL 4341


Bruce Boehrer
Tu/Th 11:35am – 12:50pm

Study of Paradise Lost and selected earlier verse, with particular emphasis on close reading, gender dynamics, and the intersection of classical and Christian traditions.

This course fulfills the general literature requirement for one course pre-1800.

IDS 2375

Third World Cinema

Robin Goodman with Daniel Raschke
Tu/Th 3:05 - 4:20pm

In 1969, Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino coined the phrase “Third Cinema” to mark the emergence of a new aesthetic in filmmaking. Their manifesto, “Towards a Third Cinema,” reimagines film as a revolutionary praxis and revolution itself as requiring a new aesthetic that uses the techniques of the European avant-garde, documentary, Soviet experimentation, and the narrative forms of Hollywood. This course considers some of the products of what became a movement in cinema and what kinds of filmmaking it inspired in its aftermath, asking questions about the relationships between aesthetic form, narrative content, and politics. Films may include classics like Battle of Algiers, Black Girl, Los Olvidados, The Hour of the Furnaces (La hora de los hornos), and The World of Apu but also less well-known films like an exemplar of Brazilian Cinema Novo Vidas secas (Barren Lives) and a feminist film from the Iranian New Wave, At Five in the Afternoon. In this course, we will study great cinema from Latin America, to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Some of the required viewing for this class includes disturbing images.

This course meets the Diversity and Genre requirements for LMC majors and the Ethics, Humanities and Cultural Practice, and Diversity requirements for Liberal Studies.

IDS 2465

Honors program seminar: To Work, Learn, or Play? The Role of the Child in British Fiction 1830-1914

Meegan (Margaret) Kennedy Hanson
Tu/Th 11:35 AM - 12:50 PM

The nineteenth century is sometimes considered the golden age of the novel. It is also the time when the dry, moralistic children’s tales of the 18th century, which form the seed of the category of “children’s literature,” gave way to an expanded and more complex literary rendering of children. Young people have of course always existed in human communities, but the Victorians pursued intensive debates over what it means to be a child in the modern world. What is the role of the child in an industrialized society? And how did Victorians from diverse backgrounds write about different kinds of children? This course will focus on 19th- and early-20th -century British fiction with child protagonists and the social and cultural forces that shaped these depictions, such as the changing landscape of legislation governing child labor and the institution of orphanages, schools, and children’s sports and games. We’ll also examine how these were shaped by structures of race, gender, religion, and class. Many of the books and stories we’ll read are considered “children’s texts” but some were designed for all ages or for adult audiences. We’ll compare stories and novels about children to poems, paintings, popular songs, magic lantern shows, and advertisements featuring child protagonists; and we will compare Victorian children’s roles to the lives of children today. Texts include Dickens, Carroll, Stevenson, Nesbit, Burnett, Barrie, among others.

Short Description: Changing role of the Victorian child

IDS 2673

Pop Music in Lit: Pop Music in the Age of Streaming

Barry J. Faulk
MW 3:05 - 4:20pm

This course explores how the phenomenon of streaming music has transformed popular music: how it’s made and marketed, shared, experienced, and interpreted. We will draw on keywords and concepts from media studies in order to develop a critical approach to digital music culture and the forces that drive the practice. We will pay special attention to “post-genre” artists such as Willow Smith, Taylor Swift, Post Malone, and Olivia Rodrigo, whose musical eclecticism seems directly related to our ability to access the entirety of recorded music on demand using our digital tools.

LIT 3124

Understanding Literary History II

Barry J. Faulk
M/W 4:50-6:05PM

Literary history has always been central to the professional study of “English” in the university. Writing literary history inevitably raises the issue of inclusion: of whose literature should be studied, whose history is worth preserving. We will explore these questions as we read 19th, 20th, and 21st century fictions about crime and violence: the violence that we inflict on ourselves and others as well as upon our non-human made surroundings. Course reading includes: Franz Kafka, The Trial; Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley; Chester Himes, A Rage in Harlem; Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men; Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer; Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation: a Novel.

This class is a survey of literature written in English from the turn of the nineteenth century and fulfills an LMC Gateway/core requirement.

LIT 4034

Postmodern/Contemporary Poetry: American Poetry Since 1945

Andrew Epstein
Tu/Th 3:05-4:20pm

This course will provide students with a firm grounding in the major figures, movements, and innovations in American poetry since World War II. We will pay special attention to the rich period from the 1950s to the 1970s, as we focus on such topics as the postwar reaction to modernism and to the New Criticism, the conflict between closed and open forms, the turn to the self, the development of a poetics of everyday life, and the tension between individuals and literary movements. We will discuss how contemporary poetry grapples with issues related to gender, race, and the dialogue between poetry and politics, and will situate the poetry within the cultural climate and politics of Cold War America, the 1960s and beyond.

As we trace the roots and development of postmodernist American poetry, we will explore how and why these poets invent new, unconventional literary methods to address changing ideas about the nature of the self, language and literature, racial and sexual identity, and America itself, in a world undergoing dramatic transformations.

Poets discussed will likely include Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Carolyn Forché, and Yusef Komunyakaa.

Meets the Genre requirement for LMC.

LIT 4184

Literature and Nationalism in Postcolonial Ireland: Who Speaks for Ireland?

S. E. Gontarski
Tu/Th 4:50 – 6:05pm

The Irish writer, Samuel Beckett, liked to tell the story in which the nations of the world are asked to write an essay on “The Camel.” The Frenchman’s was called “The Camel and Love”; the German’s was “The Camel and Metaphysics”: the Irishman’s “The Camel and the fight for Irish Freedom.” Such then is the nature of the Irish ethos and sensibility, the Irish preoccupation if not obsession for some 700 years. The purpose of this course is to examine the Irish quest for independence in a literary context and concurrently to examine Post-colonial Irish literature (that is, after the winning of independence in 1921 and ratifying a Free State in 1922) in its broader cultural context that includes Northern Ireland (NI). We will study several dominant figures in modern (that is essentially twentieth century, although in Ireland the past always weighs heavy on the present) Irish literature, particularly William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, and Sean O’Casey, as they develop in, struggle with, and develop beyond an Anglo-Irish literary heritage, and the conflicts of subsequent generations of Irish writers to develop and flourish in their shadows. We will also examine the shift into more popular forms of culture like Irish film and music.

One basic question we will examine in this struggle (and the subsequent struggle to overcome the obsession with the struggle) is who speaks for Ireland, whose voice is that of the Irish? What writers, which politicians, what group speaks for Ireland? And on whose authority? We need to keep in mind as well that Ireland is still, after more than eighty years of independence, still a work in progress, a nation still trying to define what it means to be Irish. Are the Irish those that live within the borders of what is now Ireland, or does one need to have been born there. Is there a religious test to Irishness? And what of the six counties that are part of the island of Ireland but are still under British rule, the territory we call Northern Ireland. Or what of the Irish diaspora, the scattering of the Irish all across the world at least since the mid nineteenth century famine. Are they Irish, or hyphenated Irish: Australian-Irish, Canadian, Irish, Irish-American. In what order should the compound be stated? These are some of the issues we will try to grapple with this term.

LIT 4233

Anglophone Postcolonial Literature: Voices of the Caribbean

Candace Ward
Tu/Th 1:20 - 2:35 PM

Course Overview: Although mainstream representations of the Caribbean in the U.S. are dominated by images of a tropical paradise for tourists, the literature of the region provides truer, less idealized depictions of life in the Caribbean. In this class, we will read a variety of novels and use those texts as a starting point from which to engage numerous questions about coloniality and postcoloniality (including a skeptical reconsideration of the term “postcolonial”!). Because the course emphasizes works in English, most of the novels we’ll read are written by authors from Caribbean nations once considered part of the British Empire: Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua, St. Vincent, and Guyana. As a way to explore the rich history of Caribbean literature, the course offers an overview of novels produced from the independence-era of the 1960s and 70s, through works from the present day: Paule Marshall’s Chosen Place, Timeless People (1969), G. C. H. Thomas’s Ruler in Hiroona (1972), Erna Brodber’s Myal (1988), Earl Lovelace’s Salt (1996), Austin Clarke’s The Polished Hoe (2002), Edwidge Danticat’s Claire of the Sea Light (2014), and Ingrid Persaud’s Love After Love (2021). All of these works reveal the development of a distinct genre of literature, one that celebrates Caribbean voices shaped not only by centuries of enslavement, colonialism, neoliberalism, and globalism, but also by resistance and resilience.

This course fulfills the Diversity Requirement.

LIT 4322

Folklore: The Name Game

Jerrilyn McGregory
Tu/Th 4:50 - 6:05pm

The field of onomastics (name studies) holds great fascination for many people. Names and naming patterns constitute a significant aspect of our daily lives. Although an autonomous discipline, it overlaps the subject matter of many other disciplines such as Folklore. The most significant research in onomastics occurs in European countries. However, specialized courses in onomastics are not usually possible at most U.S. universities. When a course is devoted to the study, it almost always focuses on place names. As designed, this course will focus on personal, literary, and other types of naming such as mascots, brand names, the naming of craft beers, etc. Perhaps, you will discover that a particular domain of naming has not been scrutinized and decide to carry out your own research on an area not previously examined! Come aboard and lets discover what’s in a name.

Since no suitable textbook is available, No book will be required. Instead, the course readings will be compiled in a course packet for purchase and/or available online.

LIT 4714

Modernism: (Understanding) Modernism

S. E. Gontarski
Tu/Th 3:05 - 4:20pm

This course serves as an introduction to modern literary/cultural Modernism. We will discuss some of the key questions that animate discussion among literary scholars today, including the nature of Modernist art, the relation between culture and power, and the interpretation of texts. Most of our time will be spent carefully reading and assessing the arguments in the essays that we read. We will also consider how literary theory and conceptions of Modernism have evolved over the last century within its various historical, social, and institutional contexts.

Most of our reading will come from Modernism: An Anthology. Ed. Lawrence Rainey. London: Blackwell, 2005.

(Additional information available at: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=p1qso99TB6IC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=related:oo0MjLdLJ88J:scholar.google.com/&ots=C1IzHu-fv_&sig=W_mS--yvdSH1GgADlzfYu0TDYUM#v=onepage&q&f=false)

We will test our critical reading skills on a variety of literary texts that relate to our Modernist theory reading. The course requirements include periodic exams consisting of short answer questions, a final research project, and active and consistent participation in class discussion.

Learning Objectives

1) become familiar with several influential critical and theoretical approaches to Modernist literature and theory.

2) grow adept at identifying and distinguishing among these approaches 3) enhance analytic skills by thinking through particular theoretical frameworks 4) refine writing skills through practice in expressing and supporting complex ideas

LIT 4934

Senior Seminar in Literature: Varieties of Disturbance: New Directions in Literature since 2000

Andrew Epstein
Tu/Th 11:35 AM – 12:50 PM

How has literature of the 21st century grappled with the rapidly changing and tumultuous nature of contemporary culture and experience? Focusing entirely on very recent works, all published since 2000, this course gives students the tools to understand some of the new directions literature has taken in our own cultural moment. We will consider how writers in the post-2000 era have experimented with both form and content, as they seek to respond to the dramatic upheavals of the new millennium, including 9/11 and its aftermath, the war on terror, the realities of climate change, contemporary capitalism, and the digital era, the polarized politics of the Obama and Trump eras, and ongoing conflicts over race, gender, class, and identity.

We will examine how recent literary texts wrestle with philosophical, political, and ethical questions about selfhood and identity in contemporary culture; about the nature of reality in our mediated existence; about popular culture, social media, and living online; and about the experience of racism, immigration, and the impacts of globalization, environmental crisis, new technologies and scientific advances within daily life in our seemingly dystopian present and future. Authors will likely include Percival Everett, Jennifer Egan, Margaret Atwood, Ling Ma, Claudia Rankine, Terrance Hayes, Moshin Hamid, Tom McCarthy, Patricia Lockwood.

Short Description: Very recent literature and its response to contemporary culture