English Courses Autumn 2019
See English 4582, Studies in African-American Literature:
Protest and Witness in African-American Fiction, Poetry, Music, and Film
Unless otherwise indicated, the prerequisite for a 2000- or 3000-level course is English 1110 or an equivalent.
Unless otherwise indicated, the prerequisite for a 4000- or 5000-level course is two English courses at the 2000- or 3000-level or permission of the instructor; a 2367 course in any department can substitute for one of the English courses.
English 2263 Introduction to Film 3 Credits
Movies are so much a part of cultural life that we take
them for granted, and they exert vast influence over us. Students can expect to
learn how to explore the social, psychological, and political depths beneath
the surfaces of an art form that so easily counterfeits life. We will view and
discuss the techniques employed in a wide variety of dazzling films, ranging
across national cinemas, periods, and genres. Examples include the screwball
romantic comedy Woman of the Year (1942), the Swedish psychological
drama Persona (1966), and the sports biopic I, Tonya (2017).
Requirements: two examinations, one short paper, class participation.
This course fulfills the GE requirement for a course in Visual and Performing Arts.
Tu 2:30-5:20, Th 2:30-3:50 John Hellmann
English 2265 Writing of Fiction I 3 Credits
This creative writing class will encourage students to be
creative, to take chances, and to enjoy the process of generating
fiction. We will focus most of our energies on inventing fictional worlds,
generating source materials, discussing the types and shapes of stories, and
engaging in exercises and collaborative work aimed to increase the facility at
launching into the fictional world and the narrative river. We will also
study the essential techniques of fiction writing: showing versus telling,
characterization, plot, setting, point of view, and style. Peer workshops
and individual conferences with the instructor will help students to read with
a more critical eye, and to develop the stubborn work ethic necessary for
creating effective public fiction. Some class time will be devoted to the
mechanics of getting published.
English 2265 counts toward the Creative Writing Minor and is a prerequisite for 4565, which will be offered in the spring of 2020 and fulfills the non-literature requirement for English majors.
MWF 1:25-2:20 Doug Sutton-Ramspeck _______________________________________________________________________________
Film Studies 2367.02 The American Film Genre 3 Credits
and 1955, a new genre of crime film filled movie screens with desperate men.
French critics dubbed these works film noir, literally “black film.” In film
noirs, the protagonist moves through a nightmare world of dark alleys, narrow
stairways, and flashing neon lights, confronting the allure of glamorous femme
fatales. Classics such as Born to Kill, Gun Crazy, The
Breaking Point, Out of the Past, and The Big Heat share
labyrinthine plots full of violence, sex, greed, and complex time frames. The
original cycle of the genre all but died out as the hardened attitudes and
confused aftermath of World War II softened amid the affluence and renewed
confidence of the Kennedy era, but the genre resurfaced in the mid-1970s. With
a curious mix of nostalgia and imaginative originality, neo-noirs such as Taxi
Driver, Body Heat, and Blue Velvet mirror the lingering
cynicism toward our institutions in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate.
Requirements: four papers, class participation.
This course fulfills GE requirement for Writing and Communication Level 2.
TR 9:30-10:50 a.m. John Hellmann
English 3398 Methods for the Study of Literature 3 Credits
The purpose of this “methods” course is to
familiarize students with literary studies in such a way as to prepare them for
advanced courses in all literary fields. Required of English majors, it is open
only to English majors or minors, or to others who obtain department
permission. We will concentrate on learning the theoretical assumptions behind
different critical methods and on how to apply those methods in approaching a
literary text. A particular test case for us will be Alfred Hitchcock’s classic
English 3398 is required of all English majors. Majors should take 3398 as soon as possible in their college careers.
TR 11:15 a.m.-12:35 p.m. John Hellmann
English 4582 Studies in African-American Literature: 3 Credits
Protest and Witness in African-American Fiction, Poetry, Music, and Film
A case could be made that all literature is political, but protest and witness are often explicit in works by African-American artists. In this course we will study explorations of race and racial tensions spanning from the Jim Crow era to contemporary times, focusing on concepts such as institutional and internalized racism, Afrocentricity and folk motifs, intersectionality, African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), social constructions of race, differential racialization, and voices of color. Assigned works may include fiction by Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison; poetry by Langston Hughes, Claudia Rankine, and Danez Smith; music by Beyoncé and N.W.A.; and films by Spike Lee and Ava Marie DuVernay. A seminar paper and short assignments will be required.
Note to English Majors: Fulfills the Upper-Level Diversity Requirement for English Studies.
MWF 2:30-3:25 Doug Sutton-Ramspeck
English 4592 Special Topics in Women in Literature and Culture 3 Credits
This course’s theme is “Bad Girls and Rebels in Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writing.” What did it mean to be a “bad” woman in the nineteenth century? Some of the behaviors we will encounter in our reading, such as murder and infanticide, seem inarguably bad; but other behaviors will invite us to interrogate the concept of “badness” and will also invite questions about what it meant to be “good.” What were the expectations for “good women” that the naughty ones were rebelling against? We will read about bigamy, drug addiction, interracial love, prostitution, and suicide. We will encounter unwed mothers and bratty daughters, lesbians and cross dressers, con women and thieves, rebellious slaves, abolitionists, feminists, and other uppity women—and maybe a female pirate. The texts will include novels, short stories, poems, nonfiction, and possibly a play. All of the texts will be by women writing in English, mostly from the U.S. and the U.K. Of course simply to write about such topics raised the question of whether the authors themselves were immoral women. Are you daring enough to join us?
Requirements: seminar paper, presentation, occasional brief writings, and active participation.
Note to English Majors: Fulfills
the upper-level diversity requirement for English Studies.
May be used for the Minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
MWF 9:05-10:00 Beth Sutton-Ramspeck
Other Classes Taught By English Faculty Autumn Term
WGSS 1110 Gender, Sex and Power 3 Credits
“Gender, Sex and Power” is designed to introduce students from various backgrounds and disciplines to the interdisciplinary field of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The course will address such questions as
- In what ways are gender and sexuality inherent, and in what ways are they learned?
- How does gender shape, construct, and define our daily lives?
- What is a feminist? Can men be feminists?
- What is meant by “intersectionality”?
- How do race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, age, and ability impact our lived realities?
- How do race, class, sexuality, ethnicity, age, and ability shape institutions, policies and cultures—and vice versa?
- What are the issues surrounding the #MeToo movement?
- How do U.S. gender roles fit into a broader transnational context?
This course is a pre-requisite for the major and minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and satisfies three General Education requirements: Cultures & Ideas; Social Science: Individuals and Groups; and Social Diversity in the United States.
TR 9:30-10:50 Beth Sutton-Ramspeck