Upcoming New and Special Topics Courses

Summer and Fall 2017

ENGL 375A6: Modernism, Poetry, and Periodicals–ONLINE SUMMER MAY/JUNE

Dr. Scanlon

This is a five-week course taking as its primary text the issues of Poetry magazine from 1912-1922 as digitized by the Modernist Journals Project. Poetry was arguably the most important “little magazine” of its time, publishing a wide variety of poems, reviews, poetic manifestos, and literary debates that reveal the slow emergence of what we came to call Modernism. Using the artifacts of the digital archive and working collaboratively in primary research and close reading, we will discuss 1) the poetry itself, mastering the vocabularies and methods of poetic analysis, and 2) the development of the schools, ideals, and voices of Modernism, including but not limited to its negotiation of war, national culture, audience, and literary tradition and experiment.  This course is asynchronous; work will be completed in half-week blocks.

 

COMM 307G: Gender and Communication–ONLINE SUMMER MAY/JUNE

Dr. Johnson-Young

Communication and gender will explore the ways in which communication constructs gender. This course will be a guided study of the different areas in which communication and our understanding and expectations of gender emerge. Starting with theoretical foundations and approaches to understanding gender and communication, the course will move into areas such as family, workplace, media, and politics. Students will have the opportunity to critically engage with scholarship and apply this to real-world examples through their own reflections, creations, and other original works.

 

ENGLISH 375B4 OL: LATE VICTORIAN DECADENT LITERATURE: READING THE AVANT-GARDE LITERARY MAGAZINE THE YELLOW BOOK WITHIN BRITISH FIN-DE-SIÈCLE CULTURE–ONLINE SUMMER MAY/JUNE

Dr. Foss

This course takes for its primary focus the groundbreaking avant-garde literary magazine The Yellow Book, which was published by The Bodley Head in 13 volumes between April 1894 and April 1897.  Arguably the defining periodical of its day, The Yellow Book had a dual emphasis on literature and visual art.  This course, as an English department offering, only will require you to read the former, although you are welcome to explore the relationship between the art and the literature in any number of your assignments, if you are so inclined.  Its written materials offered its readers an astonishingly wide variety of texts (poetry, short fiction, novellas, drama, and multiple types of nonfiction offerings as well) by approximately 140 different writers, including Max Beerbohm, Olive Custance, Kenneth Grahame, Henry James, Ada Leverson, E. Nesbit, Arthur Symons, Graham R. Tomson/Rosamund Marriott Watson, H.G. Wells, and William Butler Yeats.

For more info., please email Professor Chris Foss (cfoss@umw.edu)

 

LING 470S “Endangered Languages, Vanishing Voices”–FALL 2017

Dr. Fallon

By the end of this century, linguists estimate that at least half of the world’s languages will become extinct. More radical estimates are that by 2100, 90% of languages now spoken will die. This course will examine the phenomenon of language extinction and endangerment and will grapple with the following questions: What is it like to be the last speaker of a language? What is it like to speak a language that has not been passed on to a younger generation? What social, political, and economic factors contribute to language endangerment? What can be done to reverse language loss through revitalization efforts? Finally, the course will explore what is lost when a language is lost, not only in terms of linguistic diversity, but also the invaluable cultural knowledge of indigenous peoples of their ecosystems and the environment.

 

ENGL447N: Renaissance Drama–FALL 2017

Dr. Mathur

The English Renaissance (c.1500-1700) is most often associated with the works of William Shakespeare. But Shakespeare wrote only a small fraction of the approximately two thousand plays that were performed between 1576, when James Burbage opened the first public playhouse, and 1642, when the theaters were closed on the eve of the English Civil War. In this senior seminar, we will turn our attention to the work of Shakespeare’s lesser-known but equally talented contemporaries, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker, and Thomas Middleton. We will also examine the work of some early female dramatists, including Mary Sidney, Elizabeth Cary, and Margaret Cavendish. We  will pay close attention to the medieval theatrical traditions that influenced their work, explore the genres in which they wrote, study the historical circumstances of their work, and their critical reception in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 

Studies in Exploitation CinemaFALL 2017

Dr. Barrenechea

This course investigates the historical, aesthetic, and ideological dimensions of low-budget “exploitation” cinemas produced around the world.  Although lowbrow cinema culture (“paracinema”) has traditionally been relegated to the margins by the academy, it has recently begun to gain attention from the scholarly community.  This includes us!  Consideration will be paid to how “trash” cinema traditions reveal particular attitudes about modernity, global integration, and the worldwide influence of Hollywood.  The course proceeds through national and international case studies while tracing issues of production, distribution, and exhibition from the silent cinema to the digital age.

 

English 375B3: Sexuality and the Origins of Modernity–FALL 2017

Dr. LaBreche

Sexuality—and particularly sexual excess—became increasingly central to literature and identity over the course of the seventeenth century. “Sexuality and the Origins of Modernity” will explore why these changes occurred and how they continue to impact our understanding of modernity. We will explore and enjoy a variety of English and French texts from this period; topics of special interest will include the development of individualism, the political stakes of sexuality, sexuality as a response to philosophy and science, urbanization and the development of homosexual community, conceptions of gender, pornography, and obscenity, and the relationship of these concepts to comedy, the novel, and women’s writing.

 

ENGL 376ZZ: 19th- and 20th-Century British Feminist Novel (Gender in the Novel, and Other Revolutions of the Mind)–FALL 2017

Dr. Lorentzen

This course is designed as an in-depth, reading-intensive course in one of the more interesting (sub?)-genres of the British novel, the Feminist novel or narrative.  In English 376ZZ, we will examine a number of different concerns upon which scholars have focused in Feminist or Gender Studies, including issues of education, reading, gender(s), class, nationality, empire, violence, sexuality, desire, transgression, and “revolutions of the mind.”  We will explore just how well the critical commonplaces about feminist novels hold up, as we scrutinize or own unique genealogy of the 19th- and 20th-century British feminist novel.  While we will recognize that there is great disagreement about what “feminism” is or does, we will not be seeking to re-define the term in any corrective way.  Rather, we will be exploring the ways in which what we will be calling “feminisms” function in the British novel, and the ways they can help us excavate the literature and cultures of the last 200+ years, with regard to these particular narratives.  Authors include Mary Wollstonecraft (of course!), Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Jeanette Winterson.

Spring 2017

ENGL 202A1: Writing through Myth

Dr. Bylenok

This general education, writing intensive course focuses on how contemporary writing uses, adapts, steals from, or re-envisions the ‘old stories’ of mythology (Greek, Roman, Norse, among others) and brings them into a contemporary context. Myths tell stories of encounters between the human and the supernatural or divine—stories of creation, destruction, power, mortality, and identity, that seek to explain the natural and cultural world we find ourselves in. We will explore the implications and consequences of these stories in the 21st century, and we will ask: what is myth in the age of the Anthropocene? Readings will include texts in a variety of genres, including essay, fiction, poetry, and film. Students will develop critical and creative writing skills through historical research, literary analysis, and creative adaptation and response.

ENGL 202F: Writing about Appalachian Folklore

Dr. Almond

As a general education writing seminar, this course is designed to further develop the students’ writing skills within the context of Appalachian folklore as it is presented in various literary forms by and about the people of Appalachia. This course requires participation in all class activities—instructor facilitated discussions, small group discovery and discussions, peer reviews and feedback, in-class writing assignments, and formal presentations. In addition to these day-to-day activities, students are required to write an oral history, a critical analysis, a book review, and a research paper. While the work load is impressive, it yields rich results.

English 342 – Contemporary British Fiction

Dr. Haffey

Great Britain in the post-WWII years was a society in transition. Not only were dozens of former colonies to the British Empire gaining their independence, but also England itself was experiencing a great demographic change. As Louise Bennett writes in a 1957 poem, England was experiencing “colonization in reverse,” as people from the former British colonies were immigrating to English cities by the thousands. The literature of the period thus reflects these shifting demographics as writers rethought national and political identities in new ways. Through the consideration of a diverse set of fictional texts from the latter half of the twentieth century, this course offers an introduction to contemporary British literature in an era defined by postcoloniality, changing class relations, shifts in conceptions of gender and sexuality, technological innovation, and globalization. In this course, we will focus specifically on the years between 1960 and 2000, employing feminist and postcolonial theory as a way to examine the racial, ethnic, and gender relations of the time. During the second half of the semester, we will turn our attention to the conventions of postmodern literature and theory.

Engl 376A1: South-Asian Literature and Film

Dr. Dasgupta

This class will explore contemporary South-Asian literature and film from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and its Diasporas. Many of these texts represent and respond to important historical events like India’s Independence movement, the violence of the Partition, the “Emergency” of 1975, or socio-economic and cultural phenomenon like immigration, globalization and liberalization of South-Asian economies while exploring emerging ideas of nationhood, and the changes in gender dynamics and the structures of class and caste through the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With a hands-on approach to literary research, the class will focus on how to critically read culturally different texts.  Class requirements are weekly quizzes, two term papers and a group presentation.

Engl 375 B5 Medievalism and the Modernist Temper

Dr. Kennedy  

This course explores the relationship between late Victorian and Modern authors to medievalism—a focus of study one could argue was in fact invented by the birth of philology during the late Victorian period. The works of such writers as Joyce, Yeats, Pound, Eliot and Auden all reflect what could be described as a frustrated medievalist temperament; how they read and understood medieval writers such as Dante, Petrarch, Chaucer, and some Arthurian material will help students actively engage in comprehending a key moment in British literary history.

ENGL 460E: Seminar in Ethics and Literature

Dr. Scanlon

In this advanced seminar we will read works by many of the leading theorists in the field Ethics and Literature and will also read a number of literary works, applying and developing the theoretical models we study.  We will keep before us questions such as these: what is literature for?  Can it help us to live well in a suffering, complicated world?  When an author writes, what is his or her obligation to the subject matter, the language, or the readers who will eventually receive that text?  Who has the authority to represent certain viewpoints, experiences, or historical events?  How can literature act as witness, as resistance, or as a site at which we may encounter the (human and nonhuman) Other? When we read, what is our obligation to the text, the author’s utterance, and/or the world we re-encounter after our reading?  In the midst of all this, it is vital as well to ask. . . but what about beauty?

English 449R – The Bloomsbury Group

Dr. Haffey

Named after the area of London in which they lived and worked, the Bloomsbury Group was an assemblage of English artists, writers, philosophers, and critics who made enduring contributions to their respective fields during the first half of the twentieth century. Among its most famous members are novelists Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster, artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, art critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell, biographer Lytton Strachey, and economist John Maynard Keynes. These individuals were connected less through a shared aesthetic and more through the enduring ties of their personal relationships with one another. As Dorothy Parker has famously said of the group, they “lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles.” The members of the Bloomsbury Group are famous (or perhaps infamous) not only for their individual accomplishments, but also for the new kinds of domestic, romantic, and sexual arrangements they forged. As critic Victoria Rosner has claimed, Bloomsbury’s legacy lies in its creation of “a new kind of domestic life, one far more flexible, radical, and experimental than that of its Victorian predecessors.” In this course, we will explore the literature, art, and criticism of the Bloomsbury group, paying special attention to their approach to personal relationships and domestic arrangements. Though we will read a variety of texts from the group’s various members, we will devote the bulk of the semester to its novelists: Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster.

LING 375J: Language and Race

Dr. Lee

This course examines the ways in which race and ethnicity manifest in language use and in ideas about language in the United States. Students will produce an educational video as well as critically reading and evaluating current sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological scholarship in race and ethnicity. This course fulfills elective requirements in the English major and the linguistics minor.

LING 470R: Discourse Analysis

Dr. Lee

What is discourse? How do we study it? What is the significance of discourse analysis in the field of linguistics and other related fields? What are different types of discourse analysis?

While studying the history of the field and reading seminal pieces in the field, we will participate in bi-weekly discourse analyses. About half of class time will be spent on us jointly coming up with a transcription system, listening to recordings that class members collected and analyzing them collectively, learning and practicing discourse analytic techniques, and working towards the final project.

ENGL 376A6: Sherlock Holmes

Dr. Lorentzen

English 376A6 is designed as an in-depth, reading-intensive course in one of the most enduring writers of the British Victorian and Modernist ages, John H. Watson (or, for those who prefer, Arthur Conan Doyle), and his wonderful novels, adventures, and memoirs of his super-detective, Sherlock Holmes.  Sherlock captured the interest and attention of a reading public like no other detective, in a century with a long history of detective and sensation fiction, had ever done to that point, and he still remains the most famous (fictional?) detective the world has ever seen.  As part of the time period in which novels became the ascendant literary genre, we would normally approach the fiction of this age by examining a number of different concerns upon which scholars have focused in studies of the rise of the novel specifically, and fiction generally.  From serial publication and other questions of form to the debate over the effect of novel-reading on various populations of readers (women readers, working class readers, colonial readers), and from the reception history of British fiction to the rise of the public lending libraries, railway novel stands, and other popular outlets, we would engage the crucial questions about the genre that readers of the era often faced.  From concerns with imperial issues to exponentially increasing levels of literacy, and from the “Woman Question” to revolutionary evolutionary theories, these periods embodied drastic changes in all facets of British life.  In the midst of a simultaneous “Industrial Revolution” and “Age of Reform,” Victorian (and Edwardian) fiction often addressed the comprehensive “Condition of England” question by examining some of these changes in a variety of cultural spheres.  Indeed, the criticism of the literature of this age is often overwhelming in its sheer volume, breadth, and intensity.  There are many critical areas which we might expect to explore in our intellectual community, including issues of education, reading, gender, class, nationality, empire, social reform, industrialization, evolution, revolution, colonialism, public health, and the numerous and ubiquitous social institutions — including, but not limited to schools, courts, the police, churches, the military, the medical professions, government institutions, and philanthropic societies.  If Watson’s chronicles of Sherlock are like most Victorian novels, we might suppose that they are novels which are largely about novels themselves, books about books, filled with readers and texts of unimaginable variety, interpretation, decoding, signifying, representation, and the many pitfalls inherent in such hermeneutic processes.  Indeed, the academic and intellectual joy inherent in studying this literary time period primarily often involves the great wealth of didactic messages about both this world and our own 21st-century lives that we can learn from these terrific texts, reaffirming the crucial power that reading fiction can have in our real day to day existence.

However, in English 376A6, our primary critical question could very well be whether these critical methodologies, although they are most appropriate for the other fiction from the age of Sherlock, are equally efficacious in the study of his works.  We might find, as much as we love to read about our favourite detective’s adventures, that we will have to ask serious questions about the “literariness” of the Holmesian canon.  The first, and most uncomfortable question, may well be: “Is an undergraduate course devoted exclusively to the study of Sherlock Holmes worthwhile?”  Is there enough intellectual content to supplement the entertainment that the tales undoubtedly deliver?  One brief look at the canon of Sherlock criticism reveals that the lines of inquiry that scholars employ in essays, articles, and books about Holmes prove very different from the concerns upon which other period intellectuals focus.  Does Sherlock necessitate different scholarly approaches, thereby creating a vibrantly unique field of critical endeavor, or do these disparate critical conversations indicate some sort of lack in academic substance?  There are very few undergraduate courses in America solely devoted to Sherlock Holmes; why is this the case, in view of the immense popularity that the books enjoy in terms of film and television adaptations?  Is a course on Sherlock Holmes invariably a Cultural Studies offering instead of an English class?  If so, is that OK???

Texts may include some of the writers who come before, and give birth to, Sherlock Holmes . . . such as Vidocq, Poe’s detective stories, a Wilkie Collins mystery novel, and Victorian detective fiction written by, or about, some women who take a proud place as detectives in Victorian literary narratives.  Of course, the class will also read three Holmes novels (Study in Scarlet, Sign of Four, and Hound of the Baskervilles) and quite a few of the short stories.  Finally, in line with the above question about cultural studies methodologies, we will examine a number of Sherlock interpretations from the worlds of film, television, and other popular culture.  The game is afoot!

Summer and Fall 2016

ENGLISH 375B4 OL: LATE VICTORIAN DECADENT LITERATURE: READING THE AVANT-GARDE LITERARY MAGAZINE THE YELLOW BOOK WITHIN BRITISH FIN-DE-SIÈCLE CULTURE–Dr. Foss

SUMMER 2016, 5-WEEK MAY/JUNE TERM

This course takes for its primary focus the groundbreaking avant-garde literary magazine The Yellow Book, which was published by The Bodley Head in 13 volumes between April 1894 and April 1897.  Arguably the defining periodical of its day, The Yellow Book had a dual emphasis on literature and visual art.  This course, as an English department offering, only will require you to read the former, although you are welcome to explore the relationship between the art and the literature in any number of your assignments, if you are so inclined.  Its written materials offered its readers an astonishingly wide variety of texts (poetry, short fiction, novellas, drama, and multiple types of nonfiction offerings as well) by approximately 140 different writers, including Max Beerbohm, Olive Custance, Kenneth Grahame, Henry James, Ada Leverson, E. Nesbit, Arthur Symons, Graham R. Tomson/Rosamund Marriott Watson, H.G. Wells, and William Butler Yeats.

For more info., please email Professor Chris Foss (cfoss@umw.edu)

ENGL 376F: Globalization and Literature–Dr. Dasgupta  Fall 2016

This course will use theory, literature and film to first understand globalization as a phenomenon by studying how globalization has impacted both the global north and the global south (first and third world settings). Then we will analyze how globalization is represented in literature and the ways in which globalization has influenced literature, especially categories like “global literature” or “world literature”. We will engage both with the critiques of globalization, especially from within a postcolonial praxis which has positioned globalization as a form of neocolonialism and oppression, as well as with critical frames which have focused on how globalization has enabled a new kind of mobility and new modalities of identity and belonging.

ENGL 301: Magazine Writing–Professor Subramanian.   Fall 2016

This course is an immersion into longform journalism, reporting that uses literary tools such as plot, point of view, characterization and scene setting that are typically associated with fiction. The class will function as an online magazine covering the city of Fredericksburg, in which students will publish reported personal essays, personality profiles and multimedia story packages. These writings will be informed by the examination of texts ranging from Walt Whitman’s dispatches during the Civil War to Cosmo and Rolling Stone to web publications such as Slate and BuzzFeed. Through these readings, students will also learn about the relatively recent, and uniquely American, development of the longform genre. In addition to the writing, students are expected to contribute to class discussions and workshops as well as prepare a formal presentation on a print glossy of their choosing.

ENGL 375JJ: Literature of the Great War–Dr. Scanlon  Fall 2016

World War I (1914-1918) was also known as the Great War and, shortsightedly, the War to End All Wars.  This class, prompted by the centenary of that conflict, focuses on literary representations of the war and its far-reaching effects not only on individuals and governments but on social hierarchies, beliefs, practices, and institutions.  War literature has been emphatically and narrowly defined as a masculine genre shaped by direct experience of combat and the camaraderie of fighting men.  Our readings will broaden that convention by including both traditional war texts and literature from the Home Front and of women’s experiences of service. We will gain basic understanding of the war’s conflicts, technologies, and maladies. Topics include but are not limited to production of/challenges to values such as heroism, honor, and patriotism; representation of trauma, disability, and mental illness; constructions and representations of gender, sexuality, identity.

ENGL 313F: Ecoliterature–Professor Pineda  Fall 2016

In this WI course, we will both study and produce narratives with a focus on nature and the environment, as well as seek to define (and, perhaps, redefine) the landscapes comprising our sense of place.  The course will feature numerous multi-genre texts, ranging from nature-based memoir to eco poetics, and we will utilize the writing workshop model for critiques of the creative work.

English 455J: Seminar: Moby-Dick– Professor Mary Rigsby    Fall 2016

Spend the semester immersed in a study of Herman Melville’s highly acclaimed 1851 novel Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Students in this seminar will become the crew of the Pequod, each student being assigned to a particular whale boat or a job on board the ship. Study will involve three levels of research. First, as members of the crew, students will enhance their close reading of the text by enacting scenes related to tasks associated with whaling, as well as other key events that happen on board the Pequod. Students will maintain a log of their experiences, write letters to their friends and families back on land, engage in discussions of published texts that were available to readers in 1850, and develop their own interpretations of Captain Ahab’s choices in the pursuit of the white whale. Second, as time travelers outside the fictional world, students will also have the task of creating a profile of Herman Melville to better understand the experiences, values, and interests that likely motivated his creation of the novel. Third, as active twenty-first century literary critics, students will generate their own assessment of the novel and join the meta-level of academic critics who have not wanted to give up the ship, so to speak. Perhaps some students know what happens to the Pequod. Those students are urged to be silent about the outcome, so as not to discourage other students from registering for this seminar! This seminar will emphasize the careful reading of the novel and is appropriate for senior English majors whether they have previous experience studying the novel or are having their first encounter. Class is capped at 15. No stowaways allowed!

Engl 375 B5 Medievalism and the Modernist Temper– Dr. Kennedy   Fall 2016

This course explores the relationship between late Victorian and Modern authors to medievalism—a focus of study one could argue was in fact invented by the birth of philology during the late Victorian period. The works of such writers as Joyce, Yeats, Pound, Eliot and Auden all reflect what could be described as a frustrated medievalist temperament; how they read and understood medieval writers such as Dante, Petrarch, Chaucer, and some Arthurian material will help students actively engage in comprehending a key moment in British literary history.

Engl 251HH Folktale, Myth and Archetype–Dr. Kennedy  Fall 2016

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the notion of archetype as a flexible way to understand how patterns in literary texts repeat across time in order to create a coherent sense of meaningfulness in everyday life. Developed most famously by Joseph Campbell’s applications of the work of Carl Jung, archetypal criticism combines an appreciation for psychological approaches to literature with anthropological and broader cultural questions of the human habit of narrating experience.

LING 470P: Language, Gender, and Sexual Assault–Dr. Parker  Fall 2016

Prerequisites for LING 470P: Students must have successfully completed Linguistics 101 and a 300-level linguistics course, or contact the professor by email to describe relevant academic preparation (e.g. coursework, major in women’s and gender studies) regarding possible Permission of Instructor.

This seminar will introduce students to research and thinking on the language and linguistic strategies found in discourse about sexual assault. In our interdisciplinary approach, we’ll draw from knowledge, research methods, and applications developed primarily in linguistics, as well as psychology and women’s and gender studies across the curriculum. We’ll discuss and apply linguistic methods for analyzing women’s language about sexual assault in a variety of contexts. We will examine how constraints, conventions, and social forces present in immediate situations of sexual assault and broader levels of society influence the language people use in discourse about sexual assault.

We will examine sources from different genres represented in qualitative and quantitative research studies, scholarship, and activist contexts, including interviews, narratives, reports, and testimony in courtroom and community social justice contexts and projects. We’ll make use of several theoretical frameworks (e.g. feminist theory, intersectionality, black feminist thought, and queer theory) to analyze how our use of language is influenced by the intersection of diverse factors (e.g. gender, ability, age, education, ethnicity, nationality, occupation, sexual identity and orientation) as they play out in dynamics of personal, cultural, and social contexts within hierarchies of power.

Through the semester, students will develop their abilities to present and lead discussions of existing research and scholarship, as well as conduct and present empirical and action-research projects. Research papers/projects, exams, reflective and other speaking and writing exercises, in-class activities, and occasional quizzes will contribute to evaluation of student work.

Spring 2016

English 375B3: Sexuality and the Origins of Modernity–Dr. LaBreche

Sexuality—and particularly sexual excess—became increasingly central to literature and identity over the course of the seventeenth century. “Sexuality and the Origins of Modernity” will explore why these changes occurred and how they continue to impact our understanding of modernity. We will explore and enjoy a variety of English and French texts from this period; topics of special interest will include the development of individualism, the political stakes of sexuality, sexuality as a response to philosophy and science, urbanization and the development of homosexual community, conceptions of gender, pornography, and obscenity, and the relationship of these concepts to comedy, the novel, and women’s writing.

ENGL 375B2:  Introduction to Cultural Studies: Literature, Theory, and Pedagogy (or, “Only Connect!”)—Dr. Lorentzen

            In this course, we will begin by becoming familiar with the major genealogies of cultural studies theory, from its origins in the 1960s at the Birmingham Centre in England through the ways in which they have evolved throughout the subsequent decades of the 20th and 21st centuries. After this introduction, we will begin an examination of cultural studies pedagogy in the literature classroom, paying special attention to the plight of the liberal arts university today, in the midst of marginalizing STEM initiatives. Perhaps in more than any other area of academic endeavor, the necessity for embracing an “only connect” pedagogical philosophy in the literature classroom is of utmost importance.   Indeed, the study of literature in the university demands a number of connections: between literary texts and students’ lives, between popular culture and putatively canonical texts, between theory and experience, between English and a vast variety of texts and experiences from other disciplines, between the past and present, and between academic realms and actual societal realms desperately in need of social justice. We will be striving to make all of these connections in English 375B2. As Paulo Freire has suggested, we must read the world critically as well as reading the word critically!

Hence, during the remainder of the course, we will turn our critical gazes toward a few literary works, such as a couple of Shakespeare plays about the problems of aging and a shorter Dickens novel on the dangers of Utilitarian education and “fact”-based schooling, but also toward some historical texts, some texts about media, some films, television, music, and other areas of popular culture. Finally, we will practice what we preach by having the students in class contribute some of the texts they wish to study to our final weeks of the syllabus. Requirements may include some reading quizzes, a group project, a short final paper, and a final exam.

LING 470Q: The Quest for Phonological Features—Dr. Fallon

In the world’s languages, there are about 200 different vowels, and over 600 consonants. Yet these speech sounds can be described in a much smaller, universal inventory of only one or two dozen distinctive features–the atoms of sounds. This course will take students on an exciting intellectual quest for the ultimate constituents of language, the fundamental elements of Universal Grammar. We will review important proposals from various intellectual currents, from the Prague School (Trubetzkoy, Jakobson) to various strands of generative phonology (Jakobson, Chomsky, Halle, and others). We will grapple with the nature of features (whether they are binary, privative, or multivalent) and their organization (whether they occur in bundled matrices or are enriched by a featural hierarchy). We will also examine the issue of underspecification, a state when features are not activated in the mind. We will see how different assumptions and models change the answers to our questions. The focus will be on feature theory and theory building and refinement, not on the detailed analysis of the phonology of any particular language. The course will include a phonetics overview. Other phonological concepts will be reviewed as they arise.

COMM 370P: Political Speech Writing—Dr. Ohl

*Special for Spring 2015*: In anticipation of the 2016 elections, this special topics course in political speech writing will focus on the critique, reception, and invention of persuasive political messages. Digital media creates new demands and obstacles for speechwriters attempting to gain public attention and shape the citizenry. The ephemeral and participatory nature of digital media greatly favors the production of immediate and inventive messages—oftentimes in 140 characters of less! Students will learn and practice rhetorical strategies tailor-made for twenty-first century political discourse. This class is designed for majors in Communication and Digital Studies, as well as those interested in working for governmental and non-profit agencies.

ENGL 451A: After Books—Dr. Whalen

When books end, what happens to literature? What forms will replace or remediate the paper codex? Is that succession an inevitable event, and if not, why does the notion of books disappearing produce so much anxiety as expressed in fiction and film? This seminar will be an exploration of the material histories and digital futures of the book. Through a series of “mediations” and a final, large-scale seminar paper, students will explore and propose some answers to these provocations.

 

Summer and Fall 2015

ENGL 375A6: Modernism, Poetry, and Periodicals–ONLINE SUMMER MAY/JUNE

Dr. Scanlon

This is a five-week course taking as its primary text the issues of Poetry magazine from 1912-1922 as digitized by the Modernist Journals Project. Poetry was arguably the most important “little magazine” of its time, publishing a wide variety of poems, reviews, poetic manifestos, and literary debates that reveal the slow emergence of what we came to call Modernism. Using the artifacts of the digital archive and working collaboratively in primary research and close reading, we will discuss 1) the poetry itself, mastering the vocabularies and methods of poetic analysis, and 2) the development of the schools, ideals, and voices of Modernism, including but not limited to its negotiation of war, national culture, audience, and literary tradition and experiment.  This course is asynchronous; work will be completed in half-week blocks.

ENGL 206A: Global Issues in Literature–SUMMER (MAY/JUNE term)

Chris Foss

This course fulfills your Global Inquiry (GI) or the Arts, Literature, and Performance—Appreciation (ALPA) general education requirement. It will ask you to engage with multiple perspectives on a cluster of interrelated themes/issues as expressed in literature in order to explore the contact zone between Anglo-European perspectives and disparate world cultures outside Western Europe and North America. You will read one textual representative from each of the continents (with the exception of routinely-overlooked Antarctica): NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, Selma Dabbagh’s Out of It, Louise Erdrich’s The Antelope Wife, Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, and Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project. As you move from continent to continent, your goal will be to consider both the universal and the particular aspects of love, sorrow, joy, pain as inflected by the different contexts of self, family, community, culture and by the various possibilities for arrival, displacement, assimilation, resistance.

ENGL 202W: Writing the Open Road--FALL

Professor Johnson

This is a writing intensive course that will explore the various iterations of the road trip. Students will read and respond to contemporary poems, essays, stories, and novels. Readings will be focused on the road trip as it is rendered in American literature and will include books by Cormac McCarthy, Rebecca Solnit, Denis Johnson, and others. Students will write both critical and creative responses to the assigned readings.

ENGL 202F: Writing about Appalachian Folklore–FALL

Professor Almond

As a writing seminar, this course is designed to further develop the students’ writing skills within the context of Appalachian folklore as it is presented in various literary forms by and about the people of Appalachia. This course requires participation in all class activities—instructor facilitated discussions, small group discovery and discussions, peer reviews and feedback, in-class writing assignments, and formal presentations. In addition to these day-to-day activities, students are required to write an oral history, a critical analysis, a book review, and a research paper.

While the work load is impressive, it yields rich results.

ENGL 375KK: British Romantic Women Poets, 1770-1840–FALL

Chris Foss

Until only about fifteen years ago, most classes in British Romantic Literature focused almost exclusively on an all-male set of poets often referred to as the Big Six: William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth. This course proposes an alternative Big Eleven of women writers for your consideration. This alternative female canon breaks nicely into two distinct generations, as does the male pantheon. We will begin with a first generation I have dubbed (appropriating the name of another famous all-male club) The Magnificent Seven, all born before American Independence: Anna Seward, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Hannah More, Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Joanna Baillie, and Mary Tighe. Then, we will turn to a second generation I have dubbed The Fab Four, all born after the French Revolution: Felicia Hemans, Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.), Caroline Norton, and Mary Howitt. The course finishes up with a two-part Canonball unit, for which you will get to join in constructing a part of our calendar of readings that I have reserved for student-selected works. We will begin by reading texts by some of the other 51 women poets in our anthology that have been selected as canon-worthy by the students who took this class the last time it was offered. Then, we will read a poem (or a small set of poems) nominated by each and every one of you as equally worthy of canonization; these poems not only will be the focus of your major project, but they will become part of the official assigned readings the next time I teach this course.

ENG 340: Modern British Fiction– FALL

Dr. Haffey

This course is an in-depth study of the fiction produced in Great Britain from approximately 1890 to 1939. Throughout the semester, we will consider some of the forces acting on the literature of this period and focus on the various ways, means, and dilemmas of written expression in a modern society. We will examine the defining characteristics of modernism and its particular responses to the literary conventions that came before. Modernist fiction is known for its experimental styles, and we will explore how these texts play with narrative techniques in innovative ways. The course will pay special attention to issues of identity related to race, class, nationality, gender, and sexuality as they appear in the literature of the period. Authors on the syllabus include Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, E. M. Forster, Christopher Isherwood and others.

ENGL 376C: Early Modern Libertinism–FALL

Dr. LaBreche

Sexual excess plays a key role in seventeenth-century British and French literature. This course will offer the chance to explore and enjoy some of these texts and will ask why libertinism meant so much to early modern writers and readers. Assignments and discussion will include topics such as changes in comedy, the emergence of pornography (and the novel!), the development of homosexual subcultures, and the growth of literature by women. We will also explore how libertine sexuality connects to modernization in religion, science, philosophy, and politics. English authors will include Marvell, Rochester, and Behn as well as earlier and later libertine writers. French authors will include figures such as Montaigne, Molière, La Fayette, and Bayle.

English 441Q: Virginia Woolf–FALL

Dr. Haffey

This course will be an in-depth study of both the fiction and nonfiction of Virginia Woolf. As a class we will trace Woolf’s career and the development of her narrative style in the years between the two World Wars. Though the majority of the class will focus on Woolf’s novels, we will spend time examining Woolf as an essayist and as a literary and cultural critic in works including A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas.

Spring 2015

FSEM100L3: Jane Austen: Text/Film/Web

Dr. McAllister

No other classic writer dominates popular culture quite like Jane Austen. This course asks “Why Austen?” by looking at selected novels; scholarly research on Austen’s popularity; and a wide variety of Austeniana, including films, videos, blogs, games, fan sites, and more.

ENGL 202F: Writing about Appalachian Folklore

Professor Almond

As a writing seminar, this course is designed to further develop the students’ writing skills within the context of Appalachian folklore as it is presented in various literary forms by and about the people of Appalachia. This course requires participation in all class activities—instructor facilitated discussions, small group discovery and discussions, peer reviews and feedback, in-class writing assignments, and formal presentations. In addition to these day-to-day activities, students are required to write an oral history, a critical analysis, a book review, and a research paper.

While the work load is impressive, it yields rich results.

 

ENGL202T: Writing Through Memoir

Professor Pineda

This course will provide you with an introduction to the contemporary memoir. We will study and discuss various elements of craft in creative writing (Point of View, Characterization, Imagery, Framing, etc.) within critically acclaimed works by memoirists Bechdel, Bottoms, Flynn, Grealy, Land, Satrapi, and Strauss.

 

ENGL 202X: Writing about Music

Dr. Hale

Music, especially Rock music, transcends boundaries and disciplines. Writing has and continues to be a core aspect of Rock music, from the artists writing the songs and giving interviews to the scholars and journalists who write on the music and movements brought about by the songs themselves. Often dismissed as being a passing fad or having no social or academic value, Rock music tells a story. The genres can include Motown, blues, progressive, punk, disco, grunge, rap, and indie rock. Each captures moments in history and social movements. Further, rock music gives rise to iconic figures who, for better or worse, become the voice of a generation or group. There are so many ways to examine rock music as it lends itself to discussions on race relations, copyright, censorship, feminism, youth subcultures, and the notion of value and art. This class intends to engage students, through writing and readings, in the music as well as the discussions surrounding the music.

 

ENGL 251AA: Games and Culture

Dr. Whalen

A critical exploration of cultural value within video games — including issues of gender, race, sexuality, class, labors — and the ways by which contemporary and historical games represent or respond to those topics.

 

English 251EE: Dickens at 200

Dr. Lorentzen

This course is designed as an in-depth, reading-intensive course in one of the greatest writers in the history of the English language, Charles Dickens. Writing during the Victorian era, arguably the period in which novels increasingly became the most widely read literary genre, Dickens captured the interest and attention of a reading public like no other English writer ever has (ironically, the closest example we may have is the recent popularity of J. K. Rowling, who both knows her Dickens very well and has may things in common with him). In English 251EE, we will examine a number of different concerns upon which scholars have focused in Dickens studies, an area of criticism that is second only to Shakespeare studies in its sheer volume, breadth, and intensity. As the desultory subtitle for the course indicates, there are many critical areas which we can explore in our intellectual community, including issues of education, reading, gender, class, nationality, empire, social reform, industrialization, evolution, revolution, colonialism, public health, and Dickens’ many institutions — including, but not limited to schools, courts, the police, churches, the military, the medical professions, government institutions, and philanthropic societies. And, like most Victorian novels, Dickens’ novels are largely about novels themselves, books about books, filled with readers and texts of unimaginable variety, interpretation, decoding, signifying, representation, and the many pitfalls inherent in such hermeneutic processes. Through reading the fascinating novels we will encounter in English 251EE, we will try to develop a sense of the “inter-connectedness” of Dickens’ literary works, and how his works of fiction “speak to each other.” By examining how his literary motifs (such as “literacy” or “education” — major motifs in this class) are developed, revised, challenged, parodied, and turned on their heads throughout different novels and their corresponding historical contexts, we will attempt to expand our notions of what constitutes the “Dickens canon.”   Finally, we will constantly consider what we can learn about our own 21st-century lives from these terrific texts, reaffirming the crucial power that reading Dickens’ fiction can have in our real day to day existence.

 

English 375C: Sex, Love, and Power in Renaissance England

Dr. LaBreche

English 375C will focus on the role of sexuality, sex, and gender in England’s earliest modern literature: the poems, plays, and prose of the sixteenth century. We will explore in particular how Englishmen and women conceived of sex and gender in this period, how these conceptions drew upon continental and classical sources, and how they helped support the larger structures of England’s social, political, religious, and intellectual life. Over the course of the semester, we will study the social realities of sex and sexuality in Renaissance England, practice textual analysis, and work on oral and written presentation and argumentation skills. Ultimately this course will help you understand sources of and alternatives to our own conceptions of sex and sexuality, and give you a strong basis for enjoying the beautiful, funny, sometimes raunchy, and sometimes troubling texts of England’s golden age.

ENGL 376VV: Electronic Literature

Dr. Whalen

A survey of born-digital literary work: poetry, fiction, and other genres of literary work produced and experienced through computers.

 

Engl 376A1: South-Asian Literature and Film

Dr. Dasgupta

This class will explore contemporary South-Asian literature and film from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and its Diasporas. Many of these texts represent and respond to important historical events like India’s Independence movement, the violence of the Partition, the “Emergency” of 1975, or socio-economic and cultural phenomenon like immigration, globalization and liberalization of South-Asian economies while exploring emerging ideas of nationhood, and the changes in gender dynamics and the structures of class and caste through the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With a hands-on approach to literary research, the class will focus on how to critically read culturally different texts.  Class requirements are weekly quizzes, two term papers and a group presentation.

 

ENGL 457P: Seminar on Emily Dickinson and H.D. 

Dr. Scanlon

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) and H.D. (1886-1961) are two of the most important poets that America has produced, and this seminar will undertake a deep study of their work, both individually and in a provocative co-reading. H. D. knew the poetry of Dickinson (who died just months before her birth) and admired it, but the class is less about direct influence than poetics and receptions, which correspond in striking ways: their tight lyric forms, their experimental use of punctuation, their response to war(s), their use of natural imagery, their critical containment as poetesses of “feminine lyric,” and their personal/critical diminutions as “darling lunatics,” to name just a few. Our interest, of course, will be in (literary, gendered, and other) discontinuities across the century of their writing as well as these and other similarities.

Though the class will focus primarily and deeply on poetic works, our primary readings will be broader. We will also read Dickinson’s letters (themselves beautifully wrought works on nature, humanity, religion, and poetry). For H.D., our reading will include one of her thinly-veiled autobiographical novels and one of her reflective memoirs (Tribute to Freud, an account of her long relationship to Sigmund Freud, of whom she was twice an analysand).

 

ENGL 457X: Radical Black Fiction Writers

Dr. Tweedy

The course will be exploration of African American texts and authors that attempt to mediate American racism through fictive constructions of Afro-topia predicated upon violent revolt against oppression.

 

LING 470P: Language, Gender, and Sexual Assault

Dr. Parker

Prerequisites for LING 470P: Students must have successfully completed Linguistics 101 and a 300-level linguistics course, or contact the professor by email to describe relevant academic preparation (e.g. coursework, major in women’s and gender studies) regarding possible Permission of Instructor.

This seminar will introduce students to research and thinking on the language and linguistic strategies found in discourse about sexual assault. In our interdisciplinary approach, we’ll draw from knowledge, research methods, and applications developed primarily in linguistics, as well as psychology and women’s and gender studies across the curriculum. We’ll discuss and apply linguistic methods for analyzing women’s language about sexual assault in a variety of contexts. We will examine how constraints, conventions, and social forces present in immediate situations of sexual assault and broader levels of society influence the language people use in discourse about sexual assault.

We will examine sources from different genres represented in qualitative and quantitative research studies, scholarship, and activist contexts, including interviews, narratives, reports, and testimony in courtroom and community social justice contexts and projects. We’ll make use of several theoretical frameworks (e.g. feminist theory, intersectionality, black feminist thought, and queer theory) to analyze how our use of language is influenced by the intersection of diverse factors (e.g. gender, ability, age, education, ethnicity, nationality, occupation, sexual identity and orientation) as they play out in dynamics of personal, cultural, and social contexts within hierarchies of power.

Through the semester, students will develop their abilities to present and lead discussions of existing research and scholarship, as well as conduct and present empirical and action-research projects. Research papers/projects, exams, reflective and other speaking and writing exercises, in-class activities, and occasional quizzes will contribute to evaluation of student work.

 

 

Fall 2014

ENGL 376ZZ: 19th- and 20th-Century British Feminist Novel (Gender in the Novel, and Other Revolutions of the Mind) 

Dr. Lorentzen

This course is designed as an in-depth, reading-intensive course in one of the more interesting (sub?)-genres of the British novel, the Feminist novel or narrative.  In English 376ZZ, we will examine a number of different concerns upon which scholars have focused in Feminist or Gender Studies, including issues of education, reading, gender(s), class, nationality, empire, violence, sexuality, desire, transgression, and “revolutions of the mind.”  We will explore just how well the critical commonplaces about feminist novels hold up, as we scrutinize or own unique genealogy of the 19th- and 20th-century British feminist novel.  While we will recognize that there is great disagreement about what “feminism” is or does, we will not be seeking to re-define the term in any corrective way.  Rather, we will be exploring the ways in which what we will be calling “feminisms” function in the British novel, and the ways they can help us excavate the literature and cultures of the last 200+ years, with regard to these particular narratives.  Authors include Mary Wollstonecraft (of course!), Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Jeanette Winterson.

ENGL 449N: Partition of India

Dr. Dasgupta

The senior seminar will explore South-Asian literature and film from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and its Diasporas which depict the Partition of India into India and Pakistan (1947), an event which led to 2 million deaths, displaced between 12-16 million people on both sides of the border and continues to destabilize the region to the present day. We will study the representations of social suffering, mourning as well as healing and survival in literary and cinematic texts from the 1940s to 2000s, both vernacular (in translation) and Anglophone. We will explore the following questions: How is violence represented in literature? Can one theorize upon Partition literature as the literature of trauma? How does literature and film intersect with historical narratives about the Partition? Who is the Other in these narratives? How did race, class, caste and gender shape one’s experiences? Literature and film will be contextualized with historical narratives, survivor testimonies, newspaper reports and the scant visual archive of the Partition. We will read some postcolonial, feminist and trauma theory.

 

ENGL 313E: Fantasy Writing

Dr. Rochelle

You want to write fantasy? Elves, dragons, and wizards, right? Werewolves and vampires? Contemporary fantasy is far more than that. Students will develop and write stories set in their own secondary worlds both mundane and magical, and read selected works of in the genre.

 

ENGL 375JJ: Literature of the Great War

Dr. Scanlon

World War I (1914-1918) was also known as the Great War and, shortsightedly, the War to End All Wars.  This class, prompted by the centenary of that conflict, focuses on literary representations of the war and its far-reaching effects not only on individuals and governments but on social hierarchies, beliefs, practices, and institutions.  War literature has been emphatically and narrowly defined as a masculine genre shaped by direct experience of combat and the camaraderie of fighting men.  Our readings will broaden that convention by including both traditional war texts and literature from the Home Front and of women’s experiences of service. We will gain basic understanding of the war’s conflicts, technologies, and maladies. Topics include but are not limited to production of/challenges to values such as heroism, honor, and patriotism; representation of trauma, disability, and mental illness; constructions and representations of gender, sexuality, identity.

 

ENGL 364: CONTEMPORARY ASIAN NOVEL: JAPAN

Dr. Rabson

This course introduces students to contemporary works of Japanese fiction in social and historical context. It is divided topically into five segments: World War II and Its Legacies; The Continuing Military Presence; The Changing Status of Women; Japan’s Minorities; and Living in a High-Growth Economy. Background essays provide contexts for works of literature in each segment. The course seeks a balance in reading literary texts as social commentary and as works of art. Students are encouraged not to explicate a work simply as an anecdotal presentation of an issue, but to evaluate critically how—and whether—its impact is achieved successfully.

 

ENGL 251DD: 19th-Century British Gothic Novel (“Zoinks!”: Monstrosity, Scary Castles, and Scooby-Doo Villains) 

Dr.  Lorentzen

“Here there be monsters!”  This course is designed to function as a lower-level introduction to the British Gothic novel of the 19th-century, and to Gothic Studies as a genre.  We will examine multiple versions of Gothic sensibility, monstrosity, alternative literacies, and the sublime experience of terror/horror that these novelists, in disparate ways, sought to evoke.  Since this course is both reading-intensive and lower-level, your assignments will be limited to five reading quizzes, two essay “blue book” exams, and energetic and engaged participation.  We’ll start with “classic” British Gothic, and then move to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the Romantic period.  Next, we will turn to the long Victorian age, and read Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and then finish up with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

ENGL 202W: Writing the Open Road

Professor Johnson

This is a writing intensive course that will explore the various iterations of the road trip. Students will write personal essays, research essays, and critical responses to assigned readings. The readings will be focused on exploring the road trip as rendered in American literature, from Kerouac and Nabokov to more contemporary writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Rebecca Solnit.

 

ENGL 202T: Writing through Memoir

Professor Pineda

This course will provide an introduction to the contemporary memoir.   We will study and discuss various elements of craft in creative writing (POV, Characterization, Framing, etc.) within four critically-acclaimed works by memoirists Bechdel, Land, Manguso, and Small.

 

ENGL 202F: Writing About Appalachian Folklore

Dr. Almond

Students will read works of fiction and non-fiction that reflect the folk traditions and values of the people of Appalachia. Students will also write four papers:  documentation of an oral history, a critical analysis of a piece of fiction by an Appalachian writer, a research paper, and a book review.

 

LING470Q: Quest for Phonological Features

Dr. Fallon

In the world’s languages, there are about 200 different vowels, and over 600 consonants. Yet these speech sounds can be described in a much smaller, universal inventory of only one or two dozen distinctive features–the atoms of sounds. This course will take students on an exciting intellectual quest for the ultimate constituents of language, the fundamental elements of Universal Grammar. We will review important proposals from various intellectual currents, from the Prague School (Trubetzkoy, Jakobson) to various strands of generative phonology (Jakobson, Chomsky, Halle, and others). We will grapple with the nature of features (whether they are binary, privative, or multivalent) and their organization (whether they occur in bundled matrices or are enriched by a featural hierarchy). We will also examine the issue of underspecification, a state when features are not activated in the mind. We will see how different assumptions and models change the answers to our questions. The focus will be on feature theory and theory building and refinement, not on the detailed analysis of the phonology of any particular language. The course will include a phonetics overview. Other phonological concepts will be reviewed as they arise. This course fulfills the seminar requirement for English and Linguistics majors.

 

FSEM 100M: The Good Society: Exploring Utopia
Prof. Rochelle

What, then, is a good society? How can we best live well? Can we ever come close to the utopian myth of the Golden Age, when humans supposedly inhabited a perfect world as a gift from the gods? This course will consider these questions and others as we examine utopian and dystopian fiction and film and their rhetoric—for what the author is arguing for or against. Our primary focus will be on contemporary works, but we will ground our discussion in such classical utopian narratives as Genesis, Plato’s Republic and More’s Utopia. Students will visit a nearby intentional community and design their own better society.

 

FSEM 100K5: Documentary Filmmaking: Its Rhetoric and Production

Dr. Rao

This FSEM will be part of a Living and Learning Community called “Documenting Life at UMW”. Students in this FSEM will work with Rao’s COMM 353: Visual Rhetoric class to produce a multimedia documentary about life at UMW. The class will also discuss the use of documentaries to reflect, shape, and alter public argument and discussion. Interested students should contact Anand via email (arao@umw.edu) for entry into the class.

 

COMM 353: Visual Rhetoric

Dr. Rao

*Special for Fall 2014: COMM 353 will work with Rao’s FSEM on the multimedia project “Documenting Life at UMW.” Both courses will make use of the new Technology Convergence Center, and COMM 353 will meet in the Active Learning Classroom.
This course is centrally concerned with the study and production of visual artifacts as they are used for persuasive effect. The visual component of any argument has long been recognized for its importance, from the color of the suit worn by the speaker, to the backdrop for the press conference. With the use and development of new communication media, the study of rhetoric and argumentation has grown to include more sophisticated understandings of what visual rhetoric entails and how it is produced.

 

Spring 2014

 

ENGLISH 376A4: Post-Civil War American Novels

Dr. Kolakoski

In this course, we will trace the development of the American novel from the post-Civil War era through the twentieth century, paying particular attention to form and content. Some of the texts under consideration include Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Cather’s My Antonia, Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Ellison’s Invisible Man, Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, Plath’s The Bell Jar, Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, and/or Morrison’s Beloved. In addition to reader-response theory, we will employ a variety of theoretical approaches to the novel, including but not limited to American Pragmatism, New Criticism, New Historicism, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Feminism, Modernism, Structuralism and Deconstruction.

ENGL 451A: After Books (Seminar in New Media)

Dr. Whalen

Taking its course number as a cue (as in Fahrenheit 451), this Seminar in New Media examines creative and critical works that address anxieties toward the obsolescence of the book in this late age of print. This course fulfills the seminar requirement for English Majors and satisfies the capstone requirement for Minors in Digital Studies.

ENGL 376VV: Electronic Literature

Dr. Whalen

This is a survey of historical and contemporary work produced in the genre of Electronic Literature, broadly defined as “born digital” texts meant to be accessed via digital technology. Sub-genres and modalities include: hypertext fiction, interactive fiction, playable media, net.art, and others. Students will study electronic literature and produce their own.

American Poetry Since 1975

Dr. Wade

Taking as its point of departure the year 1975–the year in which Saigon fell; Rocky Horror Picture Show and women’s basketball debuted in the U.S, on film and television, respectively; and  Space Mountain opened in a Tomorrowland that no longer represents a possible future but rather a nostalgic vision of what could have been–this course investigates contemporary American poetry, tracing its many forms and iterations through approximately the last four decades and focusing particularly on living writers. Students will compose formal papers and informal reflections on the readings in addition to actively participating in class discussion. Texts will include a combination of anthologies and single-author books.

Engl 376A1: South-Asian Literature and Film

Dr. Dasgupta

This class will explore contemporary South-Asian literature and film from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and its Diasporas. Many of these texts represent and respond to important historical events like India’s Independence movement, the violence of the Partition, the “Emergency” of 1975, or socio-economic and cultural phenomenon like immigration, globalization and liberalization of South-Asian economies while exploring emerging ideas of nationhood, and the changes in gender dynamics and the structures of class and caste through the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With a hands-on approach to literary research, the class will focus on how to critically read culturally different texts.  Class requirements are weekly quizzes, two term papers and a group presentation.

COMM 370F: Social Media

Dr. Rao

This is an intensive special topics class in which we will explore the theory and practice of social media with a focus on the use of social media by both individuals and groups. Students will explore the theories and concepts of online social networking, and develop an understanding of how social media strategies can be applied in a variety of settings.

LING 470N: Sociolinguistic Field Methods

Dr. Lee

This seminar offers a hands-on introduction to the theoretical underpinnings and practical tasks of conducting sociolinguistic research based on ethnographic fieldwork. In the process of carrying out a semester-long research project, students will learn various data collection methods (e.g, ethnographic fieldnotes, sociolinguistic interviews, and recording of interaction and interviews) and ethnographically-informed discourse analytic techniques.

LING 375J: Language and Race

Dr. Lee

This course examines linguistic practices of and language ideologies about various ethnoracial groups in the U.S. as well as exploring the influence of historical events and sociocultural forces such as immigration and slavery on sociolinguistic phenomena.

ENGL 376A2: American Drama since 1945

Dr. Richards

ENGL 376A2: American Drama since 1945 surveys mainstream drama of the United States from the middle of the twentieth century to the present with emphasis on the form and content of literary texts rather than on the plays’ production histories. Requirements of the class include bi-weekly quizzes, three short response papers, a midterm examination, and a final examination. The texts under consideration are: Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Loraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart, Marsha Norman’s ‘night, Mother, August Wilson’s Fences, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, Suzan-Lori Parks’s Fucking A, and Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park.

English 376A9: British Victorian Pastoral Novel — George Eliot & Thomas Hardy

Dr. Lorentzen

In English 376A9, we will examine the Pastoral Novel tradition in the mid- and late Victorian periods through an in-depth, reading-intensive exploration of the texts of its two major novelists: George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) and Thomas Hardy.  We may also read one of Richard Jefferies’ novels for context, as well as a few of Hardy’s poems.  Works may include Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, Far From the Madding Crowd, Return of the Native, Tess of the D’urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure.