English Courses Spring 2019
See English 4578, below
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 2201 British Literature—Medieval to 1800 3 Credits
Power. Heroism. Sexuality. Religion. These are among the concerns of literature studied in English 2201, which surveys major literary texts from the late 7th century until the end of the eighteenth century—the dawn of the Romantic period. We will consider this literature in its historical contexts and explore changing literary conventions and styles. The course will feature "close reading" of selected texts. These will include Beowulf; a Shakespeare play; poetry by Shakespeare and Donne; and selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, among others.
Required for English majors. Fulfills GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class and fulfills GE requirement for Diversity—Global Studies.
MWF 9:05-10:00 or 10:10-11:05 Beth Sutton-Ramspeck
English 2202 Selected Works of British Literature: 1800 to Present 3 Credits
This course is an introductory critical study of the works of major British writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. We'll read poetry, fiction, drama, and essays; we'll consider historical developments and literary periods, including the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, imperialism and decolonization, war, gender roles, science and religion, , Romanticism, the Victorian Age, modernism, and postmodernism. While students will be provided with background information, ample time will remain for us to develop interpretations of the works through discussion, writing exercises, and other collaborative work.
This course or English 2291 is required for English majors. Fulfills GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class, and fulfils GE requirement for Diversity—Global Studies.
T/TH 11:15-12:35 David Adams
English 2261 Introduction to Fiction 3 Credits
This course will examine the elements of fiction–plot, character, setting, point of view, theme, symbol, etc.–in an effort to determine the part each element plays in creating the overall effect of a short story or novel. Students will have the opportunity to read a wide variety of short stories written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by authors from around the world. This variety will help highlight the social and historical aspects of literary meaning. Class discussions and regular writing assignments will enable students to develop and communicate their responses to the texts.
This course fulfills the GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class.
T/TH 12:45-2:05 David Adams
English 2275 Thematic Approaches to Literature: Harry Potter 3 Credits
This is a class about the Harry Potter books, designed both to introduce them to first-time readers and to offer new perspectives on the series to life-long fans. We will examine the literary techniques and cultural roots of the novels, exploring such themes as coming of age, the quest, and the nature of heroism. In addition we will consider why the books are so popular, as well as why they have been condemned as dangerous, addressing them as social commentaries and as reflections of contemporary attitudes towards religion, rule-breaking, power, race, class, gender, education, human and animal rights, sports, celebrity, and so on. Yes, we will read all seven books. Because we will be studying the books closely, students are strongly encouraged to write in their books; please purchase paperbacks you don’t mind marking up. Graded work: two papers, final exam, brief response papers, quizzes, group exercises.
This course fulfills GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class.
MWF 11:15 – 12:10 Beth Sutton-Ramspeck
English 2275 Power and Powerlessness in YA Novels and Films 3 Credits
There is little doubt that Young Adult novels have become incredibly popular in recent years, as have the films based on them. The first goal of English 2275, then, will be for us to explore together why these stories speak so powerfully to readers, and what the themes and concerns the works raise tell us about this time of life. Some of the topics we will discuss will be power/powerlessness, identity, conformity/rebellion, group dynamics (insider/outsider status), love and sexuality, and death. In addition, students will be encouraged to generate their own ideas about the thematic elements of YA novels. Works we will study are Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), The Fault in Our Stars (John Green), Feed (M. T. Anderson), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie), and Life As We Knew It (Susan Beth Pfeffer). We will also watch and discuss the films Before I Fall (2017) and Carrie (2013). Students will be asked to contribute actively in class, to compose an analytical essay, and to complete a final exam.
This course fulfills GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class.
MWF 2:30-3:25 Doug Sutton-Ramspeck
English 2281 Introduction to African-American Literature 3 Credits
Cross-Listed As: AFAM/AST 2281
A study of representative literary works by African American writers from 1760 to the present.
This course fulfills GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class, and fulfills GE requirement for Social Diversity.
T/TH 8:00-9:20 Zak Nyongesa
English 2290 Colonial and U.S. Literature 3 Credits
English 2290 offers an introduction to American literature from its colonial period to the mid-nineteenth century. In the course of our readings, we will examine in what ways both colonial and the U.S. literary texts reflect the ideologies and lives of our predecessors. We will address topics such as the role of religion and dissent in colonial literature, the literary and legal debates over race and slavery, and concerns over economic opportunity and women’s rights. We will read a range of genres: poems, short stories, sermons, captivity narratives, and slave narratives. In addition, we will discuss literary works of Native American tribes.
Required for English majors. This course fulfills GE requirement for Arts and Humanities literature class.
T/TH 4:00-5:20 Gosia Gabrys
English 2367.01 U.S. Experience: Language, Identity, and Culture 3 Credits
Diversity through TV Land is a critical and expository popular culture course that examines the history of television diversity beginning with the Norman Lear family sitcoms of the 1960s to current shows Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. Scholarly reading will focus on how television is a representation of U.S. cultural consciousness, race relations, and racial perceptions. This course fulfills GE requirement for Writing and Communication Level 2, and fulfills GE requirement for Social Diversity.
English 2367.02H Honors U. S. Experience in Literature 3 credits
In this honors course on the U. S. Experience in Literature, the form of literature will be film and the U. S. experience the world of noir. During its classic period between 1941 and 1960, a new type of crime film filled American movie screens with desperate men. They moved through a nightmare world of dark alleys, narrow stairways, and flashing neon lights, confronting femme fatales in cracked mirrors and extreme camera angles. French critics dubbed these works “film noir,” literally “black film.” Classics such as Born to Kill, Gilda, The Breaking Point, Out of the Past, and Force of Evil share labyrinthine plots full of violence, sex, greed, and complex time frames. The original cycle 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 in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate. Neo-noirs such as Taxi Driver, Night Moves, and Body Heat mirrored the cynicism of the era. The genre has since continued to develop with brilliant originality in such works as Blue Velvet and Memento. Requirements: four papers, class participation.
This course fulfills GE requirement for Writing and Communication Level 2, and fulfills GE requirement for Social Diversity.
T/TH 9:30-10:50 a.m. John Hellmann
English 4566 Writing Poetry II 3 Credits
This class is
designed for students who have some experience in writing poetry and want to
continue to develop and refine their creative writing skills. 4566 will be a
“project-based” class, meaning that students will begin thinking about the
writing of poetry beyond the creation of the individual poem. One section of
the semester will focus on a variety of ways of “performing” poetry (in live or
audio readings, in videos, and in digital venues). But the largest portion of
the semester—both inside and outside of the classroom—will be devoted to having
students put together a chapbook of connected work. Students will design the
collections as well as arrange the works for publication. A good deal of class
time will also be devoted to the mechanics of publication. We will look at a
variety of undergraduate literary journals and evaluate the types of works they
accept for publication, and how students might find outlets for their own
poetry. Note to English majors: fulfills the requirement for a course in
an area of English study other than literature. Note to Creative Writing
minors: fulfills one of two upper-division course requirements. Note to all
students: creative writing classes such as English 4566 may be repeated once
for credit. In other words, even if you took this class before, you may still
complete it again.
MWF 1:25-2:20 Doug Sutton-Ramspeck
English 4578 Special Topic in Film: Romantic Comedy 3 Credits
will begin with an overview of the major periods of one of Hollywood’s most
popular genres. This first unit will identify the iconography, narrative patterns,
and ideology informing the screwball movies of the 1930s and 1940s (My Man
Godfrey), the sex comedies of the 1950s and 1960s (Pillow Talk), the
radical comedies of the 1970s (Annie Hall), and the neo-traditional
films of the late 1980s and 1990s (You’ve Got Mail). We will next turn
to a concentrated exploration of arguably the greatest period of romantic
comedy, the madcap movies (The Lady Eve, His Girl Friday, It
Happened One Night, The Awful Truth, Adam’s Rib) popular
during the Great Depression and World War II. Our course will then culminate in
an exploration of the contemporary sensibility of recent romantic comedies
produced by Hollywood, British, and indie cinema: Groundhog Day, Lost
in Translation, Notting Hill, As Good As It Gets, and
Upper-level elective for English Majors.
Tuesday 2:30-5:20, Thursday 2:30-3:50 John Hellmann
Other Classes Taught By Our English Faculty Spring Term
Film Studies 2367.01 The American Film Auteur 3 Credits
He was famous during his long career as the Master of Suspense. The movie director Alfred Hitchcock has long since come to be recognized as an incomparable auteur (French for “author”) of cinematic masterpieces. We will examine the intriguing plot device Hitchcock called the MacGuffin, consider his lucid explanation of the difference between shock and suspense, and discover how such entertaining films as Rear Window and Psycho can possess such unexpected depths of meaning. If you sign up, expect to develop your skills in expository reading and writing. Also expect to enhance your analytic skills in visual literacy. All the while, you will learn about the art and influence of one of the supreme artists of the cinema. Requirements: four papers, class participation This course fulfills GE requirement for Writing and Communication Level 2.
T/TH 11:15-12:35 John Hellmann