English

http://english.jhu.edu/

The Department of English offers separate undergraduate and graduate programs, each designed to suit the needs of its particular student body. The undergraduate program, in the context of university requirements and elective courses, provides the basis for a liberal education and prepares students for graduate work or professional schools, such as medicine and law, as well as professional teaching and literary scholarship. The graduate program prepares advanced students for professional teaching careers in English literature.

Facilities

Besides the Sheridan Libraries, Hopkins students have easy access to the 12 million volumes and innumerable historical manuscripts of the Library of Congress, as well as the library at Dumbarton Oaks, the Folger Library, the Freer Library, the library of the National Gallery, and many other specialized public collections. Students learn about advances in research and criticism and confer with leading American and European scholars and critics through participation in the activities of the Tudor and Stuart Club, the ELH Colloquium, and the department’s other programming.

Courses in the department are open to all qualified students in the university. 

Requirements for the B.A. Degree

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

In addition to demonstrating foreign language proficiency in at least one classical or modern foreign language, the English major requires students complete general courses in the humanities and social science, a required course in literary study (AS.060.107 Introduction to Literary Study), and nine additional English courses, of which at least three must be literature before 1800.  Within the nine additional English courses, at least two and no more than four courses must be designated as lecture courses. Students may identify lecture courses by the presence of the POS-Tag ENGL-LEC in a course description in the schedule of classes. Pre-1800 literature courses are identified by the POS-Tag ENGL-PR1800. Additional details include:

  • Only two courses towards the nine required English courses for the major may be taken outside of the department and those must be cross-listed with the English department.
  • Only two independent studies or senior essay courses may apply towards the major.
  • Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all major requirements and courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.  
  • Up to two courses taken through approved study abroad programs may be applied towards the major with approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

Major Requirements:

Two courses in the humanities or social sciences6
Foreign language proficiency through the intermediate level0-17
AS.060.107Introduction to Literary Study *3
Nine Additional English Courses (divided as follows): **
One non-lecture course in pre-1800 literature3
Two courses in pre-1800 literature 6
Six 200 to 400-level English courses 18
Total Credits36-53
*

Should be taken no later than sophomore year.

**

Students are required to take at least two lectures courses and up to four lecture courses may apply towards this requirement.


Advising for Students

All students, whether their goals are professional or not, should choose courses in consultation with their major advisor to suit their individual needs and satisfy departmental requirements. Students planning to enter graduate school in English should study a second foreign language. Students who have not yet been assigned to a major advisor may discuss departmental requirements and curriculum planning with the director of undergraduate studies.

Sample Program

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Intro Course in Humanities or Social Sciences3AS.060.107Introduction to Literary Study3
Intro Course in Humanities or Social Sciences3English Elective at 200-level (ENGL-LEC)3
  6  6
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Foreign language4Foreign Language4
Pre-1800 Course at 200-level3English Elective at 300-level3
  7  7
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Foreign language3Foreign Language3
Pre-1800 Course at 300-level3English Elective at 300-level3
English Elective at 200-level (ENGL-LEC)3 
  9  6
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
English Elective at 300-level3Pre-1800 Course at 200- or 300-level3
English Elective at 300-level3 
  6  3
Total Credits: 50

Honors in English

Departmental honors are awarded to undergraduate English majors who achieve a cumulative average of 3.6 or higher for all English courses taken to satisfy the major requirements. For more information about Honors in English, contact the director of undergraduate studies in English.

Senior Essay Option

Majors with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.8 in English courses by the end of the fall semester of their junior year may apply to write a senior essay in the fall of their senior year. For further information and deadlines, contact the director of undergraduate studies in English.  

English Minor

Students who wish to graduate with a minor in English must take AS.060.107 Introduction to Literary Study, generally within one year of declaring the minor. Six additional English courses are required, of which at least two and no more than three must be lecture courses. At least one of the six courses must be a pre-1800 course. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all minor requirements and courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. 

Minor Requirements:

AS.060.107Introduction to Literary Study3
One course in pre-1800 literature3
Four additional English courses12
Total Credits18

The Department of English offers advanced programs and guided research leading to the Ph.D. degree in English and American literature in the following major literary fields: the Renaissance, the 18th century, the Romantic period, the Victorian period, American literature, and 20th-century literature.

The department accepts only full-time students working toward the Ph.D.; there is no autonomous M.A. program. Because of its small size and the close association between faculty and students, the department is able to offer an intensive program leading to the Ph.D. in five years.

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

Students are required to enroll in three graduate courses in each of the semesters of their first year of study and two in each of the semesters of their second year. By the end of the third year, students will have completed 10 graduate seminars, an oral examination in two fields, and examinations in one or two foreign languages. Fourth-year students will receive dissertation fellowships.

Teaching experience is regarded as an important part of the graduate program, and graduate students are required to teach in the department’s literature and expository writing courses during their second, third, and fifth years at Hopkins.

For further information about graduate study, contact the graduate coordinator at the Department of English or go to http://english.jhu.edu/graduate/.

For current course information and registration go to https://sis.jhu.edu/classes/

Courses

AS.060.100. Introduction to Expository Writing. 3.0 Credits.

Introduction to “Expos” is designed to introduce less experienced writers to the elements of academic argument. Students learn to recognize “The Fundamental Structure of Academic Argument” as they learn to read and summarize academic essays, and then they apply the fundamental structure in academic essays of their own. Classes are small, no more than 10 students, and are organized around three major writing assignments. Each course guides students’ practice through pre-writing, drafting, and revising, and includes discussions, workshops, and tutorials with the instructor. In addition to its central focus on the elements of academic argument, each “Intro” course teaches students to avoid plagiarism and document sources correctly. “Intro” courses do not specialize in a particular topic or theme and are available to freshmen only.
Instructor(s): A. Brodsky; M. O'Connor; P. Kain; W. Evans
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.102. The Novel and the American Family. 3.0 Credits.

While America and the “American Dream” promise the possibility of unlimited individual development, the American family has often resisted this promise and cramped America’s style. In this course we will explore works by Philip Roth, Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, and Jonathan Franzen that dramatize this tension in devastating and hilarious ways. Against the backdrop of post-WWII America, these writers struggle with issues of race, sex, and the erosion of tradition, shedding light on the challenging relation between the individual and the family.
Instructor(s): R. Day
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.103. Novels After 9-11. 3.0 Credits.

This course explores various novels written in English in the wake of the tragedy of 9-11, from various perspectives around the globe. It asks how the form of the novel responded to the events of that date and its aftermath, and in doing so, considers the role of art in shaping our understanding of global events, violence, and the forces that produce them. This course offers a greater appreciation of the novel and its role in history, as well as a framework for comparing different perspectives on a major historical event. It should improve your skills as a reader of fiction and analyst and judge of what you read. In the course of the semester you will: 1)Survey how novels from a variety of positions and perspectives represent and understand the events of 9-11. 2)Learn to analyze the form of the novel, its various elements, and its role in culture and history. 3)Read and evaluate reviews of major novels, from different contexts. 4)Learn to write an intelligent and informed review of a novel.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.104. Counterfactual Literature and Film. 3.0 Credits.

This course will concern the imagination of our unled lives—the lives we might have led but have not. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is the most familiar instance of this preoccupation, but Frost is only one of many artists for whom unled lives have been an ongoing concern--Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Phillip Larkin, Ian McEwan, and Sharon Olds are among the many others. Why are people so interested in what has not happened to them? And why should writers and film-makers in particular be so interested in these non-events?
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.107. Introduction to Literary Study. 3.0 Credits.

This course serves as an introduction to the basic methods of and critical approaches to the study of literature. Some sections may have further individual topic descriptions; please check in ISIS when searching for courses.
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist; J. Hickman; J. Jackson; M. Thompson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.108. Time Travel. 3.0 Credits.

Why is time travel such a consistent and perplexing them in literature and film over the last 150 years? Why is modernity so concerned with peeking backwards or forwards? This course will examine the history of time-travel fiction, from its beginning in utopian fiction through its box-office dominance in the 1980s, and into today. Writers will likely include Mark Twain, Edward Bellamy, Harold Steele Mackay, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Philip K. Dick. Movies will include *The Terminator*, *Back to the Future*, and *Primer*.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.110. The African American Novel. 3.0 Credits.

This course will survey classic novels by African-American writers. From slavery to freedom, from subjection to the qualified triumph of integration, we’ll examine several examples of black writers writing about what it means to be "black" in America, and what it means to be "white" from a "black" perspective.
Instructor(s): D. Tye
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.111. How Not to Be Afraid of Poetry. 3.0 Credits.

What is poetry? And why don’t we like it? This course will explore what makes poetry turn ordinary language into something extraordinary, into shapes and sounds so that sometimes we find it difficult to understand and sometimes we find it gives us great delight. This seminar will open up a range of poetry written in English, including some of the greatest writers of the English language. This course is designed for the students without a strong background in reading poetry but who have the desire to gain it; the main emphasis is exploration of the world and words of poetry and developing an appreciation and analytical understanding of the ways poetry can express, advocate, record, and move. Assignments will include reading poems, becoming an expert about a single poet, attending public poetry readings, creating poems, and writing short weekly assignments about poems. You will be expected to be an active member in classroom discussion and activities. Pre 1800 course.
Instructor(s): S. Achinstein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.112. Major Authors: Dickens and Film. 3.0 Credits.

From the earliest moments of cinema, Charles Dickens’ writing has proven extraordinarily stimulating for film-makers. Why might this be? What does it tell us about Dickens—and what does it tell us about the pleasures and demands of both fiction and film? To address these complex questions we’ll read a handful of Dickens’ works (most likely Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Christmas Carol and Little Dorrit), watch their adaptations, and read a small set of critical essays. Requirements are likely to include two papers, response papers, and a class presentation.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.113. Expository Writing. 3.0 Credits.

“Expos” is designed to introduce more confident student writers to the elements of academic argument. Students learn to apply “The Fundamental Structure of Academic Argument” in academic essays of their own. Classes are capped at 15 students and organized around three major essay assignments. Each course guides students’ practice through pre-writing, drafting, and revising, and includes discussions, workshops, and tutorials with the instructor. In addition to its central focus on the elements of academic argument, each “Expos” course teaches students to document sources correctly and provides its own topic or theme to engage students’ writing and thinking. Please see the following list of individual course descriptions to decide which sections of “Expos” will most interest you. “Expos” courses are available to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, and to seniors by special permission.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.114. Expository Writing. 3.0 Credits.

“Expos” is designed to introduce more confident student writers to the elements of academic argument. Students learn to apply the paradigm of academic argument in academic essays of their own. Classes are capped at 15 students and organized around four major writing assignments. Each course guides students’ practice through pre-writing, drafting, and revising, and includes discussions, workshops, and tutorials with the instructor. In addition to its central focus on the elements of academic argument, each “Expos” course teaches students to document sources correctly and provides its own topic or theme to engage students’ writing and thinking. Please see the following list of individual course descriptions to decide which sections of “Expos” will most interest you. “Expos” courses are available to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, and to seniors by special permission from the English Department.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.116. Reading Muslims in Global Fiction and Film. 3.0 Credits.

This course will explore representations of complex, fully-developed Muslim characters in fictions detailing experiences from the Balkans, the Indian Ocean, Britain, and the United States. These may include novels by Abdulrazak Gurnah, Orhan Pamuk, and Leila Aboulela, as well as films like A Separation (2011). In studying the way each text represents Muslims and their relationships to their faith, the class will analyze themes of belonging and identity politics, imagined relationships to geographies, and representations of individuality alongside rituals of belief. It will look at how race, socio-economic status, gender, and citizenship contribute to these representations, when and how these texts are read as political acts, and what contributions such fiction has made to aesthetics.
Instructor(s): N. Hashem
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.123. Freshman Seminar: Prophecy After Science. 3.0 Credits.

This course explores the history of prophecy from ancient Greek and Judaic sources to current intimations of technological singularity and ecological doom. We will focus on the influence of prophecy on the rise of science (and vice-versa). Readings will include texts by William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Mary Shelley, and Philip K. Dick.
Instructor(s): W. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.124. Politics, History and Autobiography. 3.0 Credits.

Students will write a mini-autobiography in the form of seven 3000 word essays, work shopped in class. Readings include A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman.
Instructor(s): L. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.127. Muslim Science Fiction. 3.0 Credits.

This course will explore the wondrous and mysterious world of Islamic Sci-Fi. Writers of Muslim Sci-Fi have asserted a long tradition of speculative fiction and fantasy dating back to the 13th century. We will look into this literary history, beginning with earlier texts like The Arabian Nights, al-Qizwini’s alien story Awaj bin Anfaq and Roquia Hussain’s Sultana's Dream all the way through to modern texts like G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen and Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon. We will ask how this genre, as opposed to realism, might enable these writers to productively tackle themes of history, science, belief, and the politics of belonging and difference. We will pair our Muslim readings with more canonical science fiction works, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and more recently, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, to think through the relationship of the SF writer to a particular cultural moment. We will also look at writers of afrofuturism and magical realism, like Octavia Butler and Gabriel García Márquez, to think about how other writers of color have employed fantasy and the fantastical, and to what ends.
Instructor(s): N. Hashem
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.129. Writing Africa Now. 3.0 Credits.

This course surveys post-2000 literary and cultural production from sub-Saharan Africa. Topics will include debates over genre and fiction’s relevance to African experience, legacies of canonical writing about independence, urban Africa as violent or “tragic” landscape, and problems of scale and geographical context. Readings by authors such as Adichie, Wainaina, Duiker, and Vladislavic, and students will be introduced to the main print and online arteries of African intellectual discussion. This class is for non-majors and does not count towards the English major or minor.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.139. Expository Writing: The Narrative Essay. 3.0 Credits.

Telling stories is one of the first and most important ways that human beings try to make sense of the world and their experience of it. The narrative art informs fiction and nonfiction alike, is central to the writing of history, anthropology, crime reports and laboratory reports, sports stories and political documentaries. What happened? The answer may be imagined or factual, but it will almost certainly be narrative. This course focuses on the narrative essay, a nonfiction prose form that answers the question of “what happened” in a variety of contexts and aims to make sense not only of what happened but how and why. We will begin by summarizing narrative essays, will move to analyzing them, and in the second half of the course you will write two narrative essays of your own, the first based on a choice of topics and sources, the second of your own design. Authors may include James Baldwin, Annie Dillard, Chang Rae Lee, Danielle Ofri, George Orwell, Richard Rodriguez, Richard Selzer, and Abraham Verghese. You will learn the power of narrative to inform and persuade as you test that power in your own writing.
Instructor(s): P. Kain
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.141. Nineteenth Century Narrative and Early Film. 3.0 Credits.

This course will situate the birth of the movies within the context of 19th century fiction and visual technology. Filmmakers are likely to include Georges Melies, Sergei Eisenstein, D. W. Griffiths, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, King Vidor, and Rouben Mamoulian; novelists are likely to include Charles Dickens (Christmas Carol or Oliver Twist), Robert Louis Stevenson (Jekyll and Hyde), and perhaps Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway).
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.145. Literature, Science, and Technology. 3.0 Credits.

This class will consider a range of reactions to scientific discoveries in literature, from electricity in the nineteenth century to bioengineering today. We'll pay special attention to the utopian hope, doomsaying despair, and radical reconceptions of reality technological breakthroughs seemed and seem to provide. Authors will include Mary Shelley, Wells, LeGuin, Ishiguro.
Instructor(s): E. Tempesta
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.146. Detective Fiction. 3.0 Credits.

This course will look at the history of English-language detective fiction through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will pay special attention to the way clues and suspense operate, the role of the reader in figuring out the mystery, and the complicated relationship of the detective with official authority. Authors will likely include some selection of Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammet, and Raymond Chandler. This class is for non-majors.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.149. Freshman Seminar: Work and Worth in American Literature. 3.0 Credits.

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry,” Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed in his “Square Deal” speech of 1903. “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Hard work is at the heart of the American dream, but with unemployment rates at historic highs and the global economy proceeding at a rapid clip, Roosevelt’s words resurrect old questions in a new world: What work is worth doing? Who gets the chance to do it? And what happens when people find themselves doing work that isn’t worth doing? In this course we will consider the meaning and consequences of work, from the heroic to the tragic, through a selection of American literature from the last days of slavery to the present. This course will consider work in all its forms, from the plantation to the boardroom, to help us develop the tools to interpret the varieties and values of labor in modern society.
Instructor(s): E. Tempesta
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.150. Freshman Seminar: Milton's Paradise Lost: Contexts and Conversation. 3.0 Credits.

This course undertakes an in-depth study of what is arguably the greatest long poem in the English tradition, John Milton's Paradise Lost. The poem, first published in 1667, is Milton's take on the Judeo-Christian story of the Fall found in the Bible. Paradise Lost does not merely re-tell the biblical account, however. By expanding three chapters of Genesis into a twelve-book epic meant to rival its classical forbears—most importantly Virgil's Aeneid—Milton's poem makes room for new readings of an old story. This course encourages students to find their own new readings of the Genesis story by considering the historical contexts of the poem's production as well as the conversations Paradise Lost continues to provoke to this day. In addition to reading and discussing the poem, students will become familiar with ongoing sites of critical debate, such as the representations of Satan and of Eve. To help negotiate these conversations, students will complete a guided research project that makes use of the materials available through the library's Department of Special Collections, housed in Brody Learning Commons. In addition to early editions of Paradise Lost, this treasure trove of rare books offers a wide variety of materials which may deepen an encounter with Milton's poem, from biblical illustrations to gardening manuals to marriage advice. Students will use the collection to ask questions such as: "How does Milton's representation of Satan differ from earlier traditions of imagining the devil?" and "Does Milton's approach to Eve reinforce or revise conventional ideas about women?" Sufficient class time will be dedicated to introducing students to Special Collections so as to facilitate their individual work over the course of the semester.
Instructor(s): R. Buckham
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.151. American Literature, Race, and Civil Rights. 3.0 Credits.

The course will explore the role played by literature in advancing and reflecting upon the African American pursuit of freedom and civil rights over the course of the twentieth century, from the era of harsh segregation through the post-Civil Rights era. Although we will focus primarily on fiction, we will also consider essays, autobiography, and poetry. Writers to be considered, mostly black but some white, may include James Weldon Johnson, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, William Faulkner, Harper Lee, William Melvin Kelley, Malcolm X, Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, and Paule Marshall. This class is for non-majors.
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.154. Zombies. 3.0 Credits.

Why is the zombie figure so prominent in modern literary and cinematic texts? What particular anxieties does this figure of mindless violence disclose? Why does the zombie genre so often lend itself to political allegory? How do we make historical sense of this figure's original association with Afro-Atlantic religions like Haitian voodoo? This course is designed for non-majors interested in developing critical reading and writing skills by investigating this surprisingly rich topic. Texts , literary and cinematic, may include: firsthand accounts of the Atlantic slave trade, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, Rudolph Fisher's "The Conjure-Man Dies", "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (dir. Don Siegel), "The Serpent and the Rainbow" (dir, Wes Craven), "Pontypool" (dir. Bruce McDonald), and "Zombieland" (dir. Ruben Fleischer).
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.155. Expository Writing: Introduction to the Research Paper - Controversies in Adolescence. 3.0 Credits.

“Introduction to the Research Paper” is designed to introduce more experienced student writers to the fundamental skills of the research process. These include asking research questions, evaluating the usefulness of sources to answer them, synthesizing sources, reading sources critically, and developing arguments that deliver an original thesis. Students will work with a research librarian at the Eisenhower Library, with whom they will learn to navigate traditional databases as well as new media sources. The Research Paper is topic-based and divided into three linked units of instruction. The course culminates with a paper of 10-12 pages that draws upon the cumulative skills of the semester. Each course is capped at ten students and available only to those who have taken “Expository Writing” (060.113/114)
Instructor(s): A. Watters
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.157. J.R.R. Tolkien and the Contemporary Fantasy Epic. 3.0 Credits.

J.R.R. Tolkien's “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy can honestly be said to have initiated a new genre: a novel-based epic narrative set in a fantasy world. Since Tolkien's works were first published in the 1940's, there has been a massive flowering in similar works, as later authors expanded and developed the notion of the multi-volume fantasy narrative. However, these later texts are also, importantly, creative responses to the models Tolkien developed. In this course, we are going to study this genre, identify its history and formal features, and consider the nature of fantasy fiction more generally. What do authors hope to achieve by setting plots and characters in a completely imagined world? What narrative possibilities does such a decision enable, and what possibilities does it foreclose? Does the fantasy genre mask certain ideologies, and how can we uncover them? Authors will include Tolkien, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, and Steven King, and may also include selections from Brandon Sanderson, David Eddings, Patrick Rothfuss, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Elizabeth Moon. This course is for non-majors. (Limit 18)
Instructor(s): P. Fessenbecker
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.159. James Joyce's Ulysses. 3.0 Credits.

As a class, we will read James Joyce's Ulysses in its entirety. Readings will be supplemented with appropriate secondary sources, but the focus will be the novel. No prior knowledge of Joyce is necessary
Instructor(s): J. Hoffmann
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.164. The Marriage Plot: From Jane Austen to Bridesmaids. 3.0 Credits.

No device has been more essential to the modern novel than that of marriage. In this course we will examine the history of the marriage plot in literature and film, beginning with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and concluding with the 2011 film Bridesmaids. We will have occasion to inquire into the significance of marriage to the form of the novel as well as the ways in which the marriage plot has been appropriated, adapted, and deconstructed in nineteenth-century novels and contemporary novels alike. This class will also include a digital component as we will all collaborate to create a growing database of tropes common to marriage plots.
Instructor(s): G. Shreve
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.171. Russian Classics & Their Afterlives. 3.0 Credits.

The idea of the "Russian Soul” has long been a source of captivation to English-language writers. How has their imagination of the dense nineteenth-century works for which Russian literature is best known evolved in the era of globalization? This course reads three major Russian novels in tandem with recent works that invoke them: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina with Nilo Cruz’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics; Dostoevsky’s Demons with J.M. Coetzee’s 1994 novel Master of Petersburg; and Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons with Tom Stoppard’s 2002 Coast of Utopia trilogy. We will attend both to the aspects of Russian writing that find perennial appeal, and to the nuances of Russian intellectual history that get lost in the clamor to claim it as universal.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.176. The Russian Novel: Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. 3.0 Credits.

If there is no God, how can I be a captain?" We'll examine this and other religious, philosophical, and historical questions in Tolstoy's and Dostoevsky's titanic novels. Readings (in translation) include War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov. No prerequisites. Substantial reading; 6-8 page paper; 10 page paper; weekly exercises and quizzes. Freshman/sophomore seminar. This class is for non-majors.
Instructor(s): S. Cameron
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.180. Introduction to the Gothic. 3.0 Credits.

Intended as a survey of American and British Gothic fiction (with some excursions into poetry, film, and television), this course will introduce students to the genre of the Gothic and some of its key terms via a selection of major works of Gothic literature from the 19th and 20th Centuries, as well as some of its more popular incarnations (True Blood, the Twilight series). By the end of the course students should have a better understanding of why the Gothic mode continues to play such an important role in our cultural imagination and be better equipped to think and write critically about any manifestation of Gothic terror, from In Cold Blood to True Blood. Students will write short (1-2 page) weekly response papers along with one longer 5-7 page paper.
Instructor(s): A. Zecca; E. Steedley
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.202. What is Tragedy?. 3.0 Credits.

This course is an introduction to tragedy. What is a tragedy? How has the genre been defined and redefined over its long and varied existence? And why do authors and audiences keep returning to these spectacles of pity and fear? To consider these questions, we’ll examine plays including Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Racine’s Phèdre and Beckett’s Endgame, ending with the Coen Brothers’ film No Country for Old Men.
Instructor(s): W. Miller
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.203. Bible as Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course looks at the ways in which the bible has and can be read as literature.
Instructor(s): M. Thompson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.204. Satan in Literature. 3.0 Credits.

What is it about Satan that has captured the literary imagination? From moral opposition to God in the Book of Job, to divine punishment in Dante's Inferno, from political revolution in Milton's Paradise Lost to irreverence of tradition in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, this class will examine the ways in which Satan has been used in literature to represent a variety of moral, political and social forces, from Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern eras.
Instructor(s): J. Chilton
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.205. Feminist Fiction: Violence, Sex and Gender. 3.0 Credits.

This course will start with passages from Lysistrata and the Book of Judges, and have as a running concern the overlapping structures of violence, race and gender. Novels will include the following pairs: Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea, The Bluest Eye and Bastard Out of Carolina, The Handmaid’s Tale and Octavia Butler’s novella Bloodchild.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.206. Friends and Enemies in Jane Austen. 3.0 Credits.

Jane Austen’s novels are often treated as forms of escape from our complicated world to a simpler, more rational time. Arguably, however, her novels originally helped readers navigate profound social problems, particularly the difficulty of knowing friends from enemies. In this course, we will consider depictions of friendship and enmity in four of Austen’s major novels. We will compare these novels to four recent films inspired by her works.
Instructor(s): W. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.207. Shakespeare. 3.0 Credits.

Reading the major comedies, histories and tragedies alongside the narrative poem “Venus and Adonis” and the sonnets, this survey course considers Shakespeare’s hybrid career as poet and playwright. Pre 1800 course.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel; J. Hickman
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.208. British Literature I. 3.0 Credits.

British Literature I is a survey of English writing on the isle of Britain from the seventh to the seventeenth centuries. It traces the formal experimentation in poetry and prose, and in narrative, lyric, and drama, through which that writing eventually became pre-eminent in Britain. It will also attend to the social and cultural circumstances—in the court, in church, and in the evolving public and private spheres—that shaped the many genres that emerged in this rich 1000 years and developed a definition of ‘literature’ itself . Author’s read include Chaucer, Langland, Kempe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Lanyer, Donne Herbert, Marvel, and Milton. Through lectures, class discussion, written responses, and longer essay assignments, students will master the fundamentals of English literary history as well as the techniques of critical reading and writing.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.210. British Literature II. 3.0 Credits.

This course provides a framework for grasping the dazzling variety and explosive innovation of literature in English during the last quarter-millennium. Attending both to textual details and to historical contexts, we will see how Wordsworth, Austen, Keats, Tennyson, Dickens, Wilde, Woolf, Rushdie, and other writers extend and undo tradition, illuminate their times and places as well as our own, and conspire to bring to us the intense experience distinctive to great literary art.
Instructor(s): A. Guevarez; D. Mao
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.211. British Literature I. 3.0 Credits.

What is British Literature? Beginning in the fourteenth century and concluding in the eighteenth century, this survey course examines the time period in which the notion of vernacular English literature, the corporate body of “Great Britain” as a national framework, and, with it, “British-ness” as an imaginary, synthetic identity, were all created. Participants will read a representative group of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”, Book I of Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”, the entirety of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, and Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock.” The course is designed as an introductory level lecture course and is open to all students curious about the beginnings of the English literary canon. It is recommended that students follow this course with its sequel, Professor Mao’s “British Literature II,” which will be offered the following semester. Pre-1800 course
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.212. British Literature II: 18th Century to the Present. 3.0 Credits.

A survey of major authors such as Wordsworth, Keats, Austen, Tennyson, Dickens, Wilde, Woolf, Joyce, and Rushdie. Substantial attention to formal conventions as well as stylistic innovation, to aesthetic value as well as social meaning.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.213. The Novel and Globalization. 3.0 Credits.

Novels have long been classified by the national origin of their author, and, for the most part, the great works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries take place primarily in one country. In the postcolonial era of the 1980s and 90s, many prominent writers explored the process of diasporic movement from one country to another. Recently, though, there has been a lot of talk about a new kind of “rootless” novel that jumps between many locales around the globe. This course reads some of the prime examples of this genre in relation to its immigrant predecessors, identifying its key formal and thematic attributes (such as perspectival and geographical range, multi-stranded plots, and an acute consciousness of linguistic and generic hybridization). We will discuss the trade-offs inherent in developing many places rather than one in terms of style and character development, as well as the political and even ethical implications of abandoning the concept of “home.” Primary works by Abdulrazak Gurnah, Caryl Phillips, David Mitchell, Taiye Selasi, Chimamanda Adichie, and Imraan Coovadia.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.214. Jane Austen. 3.0 Credits.

An in-depth study of Austen’s writing, from her juvenilia through her posthumously published novels, with an occasional glance to movie adaptations. The course will focus on persistent questions about Austen’s relationship to feminism, and issues of gender and sexuality, as well as issues of style and technique.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.219. American Literature to 1865. 3.0 Credits.

A survey course of American literature from contact to the Civil War.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.220. What is the Great American Novel?. 3.0 Credits.

This course will investigate the curiously persistent idea of the "Great American Novel" (GAN) through a close engagement with three exemplary candidates for the title that span American literary history (Moby-Dick, Song of Solomon, and Freedom). Students will also read several critical essays to provide both a history of the concept as well as criteria for what might make an American novel "great." Through analyses of the individual novels, students will be encouraged to reflect on the persistence, efficacy, and validity of the GAN.
Instructor(s): G. Shreve
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.222. American Literature, 1865 to today. 3.0 Credits.

This course is a survey of major developments in American poetry and narrative fiction from the end of the Civil War to the present day. Authors to be covered may include Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Henry James, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, and John Ashbery.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.223. African American Literature from 1900 to Present. 3.0 Credits.

A survey of the major and minor texts written by African Americans during the twentieth century, beginning with Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition and concluding with Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
Instructor(s): L. Jackson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.224. The Modern Novel. 3.0 Credits.

This course covers the British novel from the late nineteenth century to the present, with a particular focus on the decades around World War I. We’ll balance attention to formal innovations and experiments with consideration of social and historical context, exploring issues such as gender, empire, psychology, the city, and war. Our goal will be to understand what makes these novels “modern” and sets them apart from their predecessors; to this end, we’ll examine how many important authors also wrote extensively on the craft and aims of fiction. Readings will include representative selections by authors such as Henry James, James Joyce, Ford Madox Ford, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Ian McEwan.
Instructor(s): A. Grener
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.229. The Antihero: Heathcliff to Walter White. 3.0 Credits.

Although it’s common to think of literature a source of ethical wisdom, literary history is actually full of proud, often cynical, figures who lack respect for conventional norms and compel attention by their sheer force of will. This course constructs an abbreviated history of the anti-hero by exploring works of art that both privilege and criticize anti-heroic villains—including Heathcliff (from Wuthering Heights), Mr. Hyde (from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and Walter White (from Breaking Bad).
Instructor(s): M. Flaherty
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.231. Novels Into Film. 3.0 Credits.

What does it take to turn a novel into film? How different are the demands and possibilities of these two forms? Why do some novels repeatedly attract filmmakers? And how should we evaluate films that adapt novels? Beginning with the novel Frankenstein and its various film progeny, we will look at a series of pairings between novels and films. These may include Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Dickens’ Great Expectations, Tarkington’s The Magnificent Ambersons, Stoker’s Dracula and McEwan’s Atonement along with various critical readings about the genre of the novel and the medium of film.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.255. The Bible as Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course looks at the Bible's influence on literature by examining the use and impact of the most common biblical stories on canonical literary works. Pre 1800 Course
Instructor(s): M. Thompson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.262. Literature and Knowledge. 3.0 Credits.

Can poems, plays, and imaginary narratives teach us something about the real world? Or does their fictional status make them unreliable as sources of knowledge? This course explores these questions by examining classical and contemporary discussions of the topic in conjunction with major works of literature. Primary sources include works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and William Golding, while the criticism will be represented among others by Aristotle, Dr. Johnson, and Martha Nussbaum.
Instructor(s): R. Maioli dos Santos
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.265. Nineteenth Century British Novel. 3.0 Credits.

Reading major novelists from the nineteenth century including Austen, C. Brontë, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, and Conrad. We will pay attention to formal conventions, and relation to social and historical context.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.302. Theology of the Narrative. 3.0 Credits.

Everything happens for a reason." "I guess it wasn't meant to be." People often impose a narrative logic on life events by reference—however attenuated—to a transcendent order of meaning. This course asks two basic questions: How do theological concepts such as God's omniscience, Providence, predestination, and prophecy get translated into particular narrative structures? How does narrative experimentation function as a critique of traditional theological viewpoints, particularly around the question of how divine agency is related to the existence of evil? Course texts may include: The Book of Job, Denis Diderot, Jacques the Fatalist; Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain; Marilynne Robinson, Gilead and Home; Scarlett Thomas, Our Tragic Universe; Terrence Malick, dir., The Tree of Life.
Prerequisites: AS.060.107 Intro to Literary Study, English Lecture Course, or Instructor approval.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.304. Large Novels. 3.0 Credits.

This course will look at novels that are not only large in size, but which also think about the meaning and methods of trying to capture huge segments of the world into a piece of art. How much can be fit into a novel? What is gained and what is lost? How large is too large? We will read Charles Dickens's "Bleak House", Lev Tolstoy's "War and Peace", and Thomas Pychon's "Gravity's Rainbow".
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.307. Training\Writing Consltn. 1.0 Credit.

A one credit course for those undergrads who have been nominated as Writing Center tutors. Permission required.
Instructor(s): A. Sheeran
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.308. The Novelty of the Novel. 3.0 Credits.

The English novel has been traditionally regarded as having originated in the eighteenth century, with the works of Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding. This view of the novel’s origins owes much to the influence of Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel (1957). Watt claims that the prose fiction written by these three authors is defined and distinguished from other varieties by its “formal realism” – a set of procedures that made the novel much more lifelike than picaresque tales, courtly novellas, or the romance. Watt’s view of the canon is now taken to be too restrictive, but his thesis concerning what was novel about the novel remains influential. In this course students will engage with two aspects of Watt’s argument that have been criticized by later critics but still retain some of their original force: the idea that eighteenth-century prose fiction marks a break with the past and that the tradition emerging at that point has English origins. We will be testing these two theses by reading and contrasting older and newer forms of prose fiction from England, France, and Spain, comparing their formal procedures, and discussing how satisfactorily Watt accounts for them. We will also be reading critiques and defenses of Watt by critics including Michael McKeon, J. Paul Hunter, Margaret Anne Doody, and Nicholas Seager. Primary sources will include excerpts from Roger Boyle’s romance Parthenissa (1651) alongside Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722); the picaresque tale Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) together with Fielding’s road epic Joseph Andrews (1742); and the conjugal drama of Madame de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves (1678) together with Richardson’s treatment of a similar topic in Pamela (1740). As we read the primary sources we will be also reading the relevant chapters of The Rise of the Novel. By gaining a first-hand view of the actual changes in prose fiction students will be able to appreciate the force of Watt’s thesis as well as its limitations. Toward the end of the course they will also engage with the provocative final chapter of Watt’s book, which claims that the problems raised by formal realism as practiced by Richardson and Fielding are finally resolved in the work of Jane Austen. Sense and Sensibility should provide the testing ground for this thesis. Pre 1800 course.
Instructor(s): R. Maioli dos Santos
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.309. Home and Wanderlust in Modernist Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course will examine forms of wanderlust and tensions between rootedness in one’s own culture and a cosmopolitan orientation in Henry James, Joyce, Tagore, Hemingway, Isak Dinesen, and Hualing Nieh. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course.
Instructor(s): N. Zhang
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.310. Work and Worth in American Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course will engage contemporary discussions of economics, labor, and vocation with representations of people at work in the writings of Douglass, Melville, Hurston, Steinbeck, Frost, Yates, Springsteen, and others. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship Course
Instructor(s): E. Tempesta
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.312. Literature of the Gray Zone: The Holocaust and Its Shadow. 3.0 Credits.

Primo Levi’s well-known essay “The Gray Zone” describes complex states of complicity and moral erosion between the categories of “victims,” “perpetrators,” and “bystanders” during and after the Holocaust. Literature written at the time or in the immediate aftermath, whether memoir, commentary, or fiction, contains many illustrative examples, but even more have arisen at one or another remove from the events, as later generations have confronted an atrocity frequently taken to be historically and morally unique. How did the Holocaust become a touchstone for both extremities of human behavior and problems of representation? When did the Holocaust become available to literature or to the once unthinkable strategies of satire, post-modernism, and even pornography, and can these strategies be considered examples of “the gray zone”? The course will deal with the testimonies of perpetrators such as Rudolf Höss (commandant of Auschwitz) and historical documents setting forth plans for genocide; with memoirs of prisoners such as Filip Müller forced into participation in the Holocaust; and more particularly with literary depictions of life in “the gray zone.” The sequence of readings will be organized mainly around literary texts, but these will be paired, sometimes in two-week sequences, with historical and critical materials that take up the problem of complicity through various perspectives: the role of Jewish leaders during the Holocaust; attempts to fictionalize extremities of evil (e.g., Hitler); the aestheticizing of atrocity; the moral responsibility of bystanders; and the extension of genocidal paradigms to other dimensions such as slavery and animal rights. Texts to be studied (mostly, though not exclusively, written first in English) may include: Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved; Rudolph Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz; Tadeusz Borowski, This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; George Steiner, The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H.; Leslie Epstein King of the Jews; Sylvia Plath, selected poems; Philip Roth, The Plot against America; D. M. Thomas, The White Hotel or Pictures At an Exhibition; Caryl Philips, The Nature of Blood; and J. M. Coetzee Elizabeth Costello.
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.313. Edmund Spenser. 3.0 Credits.

After a diagnostic introduction to his early poetry, this reading intensive seminar will concentrate upon Edmund Spenser’s masterpiece, The Faerie Queene (1590/1596), which we will read in its entirety. Over the course of its sprawling Six Books and its concluding Mutability Cantos, The Faerie Queene marshals an enormous cast of characters (knights, ladies, magicians, giants, monsters) in order to allegorically represent the virtues of Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice and Courtesy. Through this framework, his text models the ethical regulation of the body, the aesthetic construction of gender, the politics of national myth-making, and the ongoing processes of colonial violence in which Spenser was himself complicit. But across its vast yet incomplete expanse, Spenser’s text is always centrally concerned with the task of reading. Accordingly, students should emerge from their encounter with this demanding but rewarding poem with a deeper understanding of the task of interpretation itself. As a group we will collectively traverse the surface of the text, and work together to construct a functional account of allegory’s effects. You will be asked to respond to the challenge of Spenser’s work in class discussion, weekly short responses, and three analytic papers.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.314. Social Media Fictions. 3.0 Credits.

Writers around the world are now searching for ways to incorporate new modes of social interaction - e.g. Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and Skype - into their print work. This course explores the various techniques they have adopted for this purpose, with an eye to critically evaluating their implications for narrative structure and its "reality effect." From Teju Cole's very public experiments with the Twitter novel to a Zimbabwean writer's attempt to capture plot turns through SMS, we will discuss the ways in which narrative is helped or hindered by the ubiquity of social media. Writers studied will include Tendai Huchu, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, and Eben Venter.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.315. Poetry by Other Means. 3.0 Credits.

In this course, we explore the makings of a new genre: the poet’s novel. Reaching back to the modernist works of Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes to look for its resources and its models, searching for antecedents in the queer avant-gardes of the 1970s, and finally delving into the key poets’ novels of just the last five or ten years—including works written by Eileen Myles, Juliana Spahr, Ben Lerner, and Bhanu Kapil—we will collectively develop an account of its yet-uncharted territory and some of its attractions. Our work will open onto a series of questions about both the category of poetry and the significance of narrative, while following thematic threads of friendship, gender and sexuality, self-reflection, feeling, crisis, and utopia. Deans Teaching Fellowship course.
Instructor(s): C. Westcott
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.316. Mapping the Global Metropolis. 3.0 Credits.

Cities have long taken on a central role in literature, but much of our reading about urban space is confined to a few Western hubs. And while the city has traditionally been a space for fictional characters to develop into national subjects, much of the most innovative contemporary writing sees the city as a character of its own. This course will address the representational challenges of globalization through fiction and genre-bending memoir about contemporary metropolises that act as its microcosm: Johannesburg, Lagos, Delhi, London, and New York. We will read primary works by Ivan Vladislavic, Chris Abani, Aravind Adiga, Zadie Smith, and Teju Cole, as well as supplementary excerpts from books including Capital, by Rana Dasgupta, Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums, Ato Quayson’s Oxford Street, Accra, and Loren Kruger’s Imagining the Edgy City. Finally, the course will include theoretical readings about globality and representation, such as Fredric Jameson’s essay on “Cognitive Mapping” and Arjun Appadurai’s seminal book Modernity at Large.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.317. Time Well Wasted: Reading Fiction in the 18th Century. 3.0 Credits.

Is reading fiction just escapism? Or can novels speak to us about real life? We will discuss this question by reading classic works by Defoe, Swift, Fielding, and Sterne. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship Course. Pre 1800 course
Instructor(s): R. Maioli dos Santos
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.319. Values and Gender in Nineteenth-Century British Literature. 3.0 Credits.

The course considers how nineteenth-century British authors—including Ruskin, Gaskell, Eliot, and Wilde—engage and oppose various sets of values in their representations of gender.
Instructor(s): M. Flaherty
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.320. Icons of Feminism. 3.0 Credits.

This course looks at four crucial figures who have haunted feminist thought and responses to feminism over the centuries. Sappho, known as the first female poet, remains an enigmatic icon of feminine desire and creativity; Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus and the heroine of Sophocles’s play Antigone, still inspires feminist analyses of women’s relationship to law, the state and civil society; and Joan of Arc, the militant maid of Orleans, troubles thinking about women and violence as well as women, religion and spirituality. The last figure is Mary Wollstonecraft, often cited as the first modern feminist. The course will examine literary works written about these iconic figures, as well as contemporary feminist writing about their influence and viability as models for the future of feminism.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.321. Victorian Poetry. 3.0 Credits.

In this class, we’re going to briefly survey the major poets of the Victorian era: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his sister Christina, Matthew Arnold, George Meredith, and others. Moreover, we’ll try to situate them in the social, political, and intellectual contexts that gave rise to their works, and investigate the questions that stimulated them and which their works address: we will, for instance, follow Arnold in thinking about the place of religion in the modern world, Meredith in thinking about the nature of moral egoism, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in recovering the voices of oppressed classes. We’ll also try to address the various formal innovations of poetry in the Victorian era, attending to—for example— Tennyson’s complex re-imagination of the verse of the Arthurian legends and Robert Browning’s development of sophisticated forms of irony. Specific poems to be studied include Tennyson’s “Ulysses” and “The Lady of Shalott,” George Meredith’s “Modern Love,” and Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”
Instructor(s): P. Fessenbecker
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.322. Indian Ocean. 3.0 Credits.

This course will explore the development of a cosmopolitan ethos in postwar fiction from the Indian Ocean region, with particular focus on South Africa, South Asia, and the Malay Archipelago. Authors will include Aravind Adiga, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Lloyd Fernando, Tan Twan Eng, and J.M. Coetzee.
Instructor(s): J. Haley
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.324. Modern Literature and the Land. 3.0 Credits.

This course will examine literary representations of ecological change and environmental crisis. As a class, will read four novels written in the early twentieth century, a period of unprecedented technological development. Needless to say, environmental upheaval was not unique to the modern period. Earlier writers marveled at the railroad’s influence on the landscape, while Victorian novelists grappled with the baleful ecological consequences of industrializing cities. Nevertheless there are key differences with the authors examined in this course: D.H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, and Claude McKay. Whereas railroads united countries, and factories reorganized cities, the disruptions of the early twentieth century affected the entire planet. The telegraph and telephone, steam ships and airplanes knitted nations into a global network. In response, writers worked to register the local effects of these global events, translating planetary change into concrete examples of people adapting to a transforming landscape. In this course, we will reflect on the specific ways that humans influence the environment – how people bend the land to their will in light of specific historical conditions – and more important, how nature responds to those forces. Dean's Teaching Fellowship Course.
Instructor(s): J. Hoffmann
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.325. George Eliot. 3.0 Credits.

In this course we will read the major novels (and some essays) by George Eliot, one of the most intellectually engaging of British novelists. Her fiction explores ethical, social, and aesthetic issues concerning sexual politics, the limits of morality, the demands of family, the desperation of skepticism, and the capacities of the novel form. Students should leave the course with a heightened sense of the powers of the novel and the seriousness of its ambitions. Texts are likely to include Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss, but our focus will be on her two last and most ambitious novels, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.327. Best Sellers in the Early Nineteenth Century: Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and Jane Austen. 3.0 Credits.

Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron were the best-selling authors of their day by a significant margin. In this course, we’ll attempt to come to terms with their unprecedented success, which was felt within the business of the publishing industry as much as it was in the minds of their fellow writers. Readings include Scott’s poems set in Scotland’s legendary past, Byron’s scandalous and heroic poems (including his masterpiece, Don Juan), as well as a novel by their less-popular contemporary, Jane Austen, whose formally elegant novels must be understood as drawing on and competing with the works of her age’s most dominant literary figures. Additionally, we’ll place a strong emphasis on understanding how the workings of the publishing industry affected not only the habits of reading, but also of writing, during this crucial period in literary history. Secondary readings will help to situate the authors and primary texts in their historical and literary context, and provide practical tools for literary analysis. Assignments will include reading quizzes, response papers, and three longer papers. Required Texts: Walter Scott, The Poetical Works of Walter Scott (Wildside Press) Walter Scott, Waverley (Broadview) Lord Byron, The Major Works (Oxford) Jane Austen, Persuasion (Oxford)
Instructor(s): N. Bujak
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.328. Restoration and 18th Century Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course is a survey of the major authors and genres in English from 1660-1800. Topics include the rise of the novel, politics and satire, gender and women writers, landscape and ecological consciousness, philosophy, science and literature.
Prerequisites: AS.060.107
Instructor(s): J. Kramnick
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.329. Prophecy after Science. 3.0 Credits.

Prophets and their prophecies are everywhere: whether preached by evangelical visionaries of Rapture, opined by primetime sports forecasters, or sold at hourly rates by countless fortunetellers and astrologers. Our dizzying era, predicated economically, technologically, and politically on objective methods of prediction, comfortably accommodates and even welcomes pre-scientific, prophetic modes of futurity. We look up our horoscopes on our smartphones. How did we come to balance these futures so blithely? Do we – and should we – think of these modes as continuous or separate, complementary or conflicting? This course explores the history of prophecy, from ancient Greek and Judaic sources to current intimations of technological singularity and ecological doom, with a focus on the effect of the rise of science in shaping the course of prophetic writings. The majority of texts in this course come from the literature of 1600-1800 – centuries that witnessed the emergence of our modern scientific disciplines, and the recasting of prophecy in terms of the human imagination.
Instructor(s): W. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.331. Poetry and Perfect Worlds. 3.0 Credits.

A seminar exploring poetic representations of ideal realms. Beginning with classical pastorals, we will move on to medieval and Renaissance arcadias, Romantic geographies, modernist utopias, and the ecopoetics and necropastoral of the twenty-first century. We will consider in detail what makes a place Edenic or utopian and how the fabrication of an imaginary world relates to the construction of a poetic text. Writers studied may include Theocritus, Virgil, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Shelley, Tennyson, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Lisa Robertson, and Juliana Spahr.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.332. Jewish American Fiction. 3.0 Credits.

This course will consider the development of Jewish American fiction over the past century through an examination of major authors and topics, with particular attention to novels whose historical trajectories reach geographically back and forth from America to Europe, and temporally back and forth across the Holocaust, the century’s defining event. These novels thus frequently have multiple settings and treat familial, communal, and intellectual life, along with topics such as emigration, anti-Semitism, and religious belief, over a span of several generations. The list includes authors whose works first appeared in Yiddish (Lamed Shapiro and Isaac Bashevis Singer) and authors whose sensibilities are decidedly American, but all write with attention to the tenuous assimilation, dislocation, trauma, and linguistic complexity that often marked twentieth-century Jewish life, no less in the United States at times than in Europe. Works studied will include: Dara Horn, In the Image; Rebecca Goldstein, Mazel; Bernard Malamud, The Fixer; Lamed Shapiro, The Cross and Other Jewish Stories; Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shosha; Cynthia Ozick, The Shawl; Nicole Krauss, A History of Love; Jerzy Kosinski, Steps; Philip Roth, Nemesis; Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.333. God on Trial. 3.0 Credits.

This course traces an illustrious literary tradition, spanning centuries, that dramatizes the subjection of a deity to a human legal inquiry. We will especially attend to how and with what implications massive theological and philosophical questions such as the existence and nature of the divine and the meaning of and proper ethical response to suffering are worked out through this very specific representational gambit. Texts may include: The Book of Job; Voltaire, Candide; Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov; Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron-Mills; Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God; Tony Kushner, Angels in America; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale; James Morrow, Blameless in Abaddon; OMG: Oh My God! dir. Umesh Shukla; graphic novelists Jonathan Hickman et al., God is Dead.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.336. Victorian Modernity. 3.0 Credits.

This course will study the idea of modernity, a term that has been of continuing use in trying to understand ourselves and our society. We will focus on the major works of prose and poetry that attempted to come to terms with modernity in Victorian Britain. Texts are likely to include non-fiction prose by Mill, Arnold, Darwin, Nightingale, and Pater; Eliot’s novel Middlemarch; and poetry by Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Tennyson, Emily Bronte, Christina Rosetti, Hopkins, and Hardy.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.337. James Joyce. 3.0 Credits.

A seminar covering the oeuvre of James Joyce, including but not limited to Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and parts of Finnegans Wake. Selected readings in other writers and in relevant historiography; some attention to Joyce criticism.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.338. Literary Scenes. 3.0 Credits.

From Paris in the 1920s to San Francisco in the 1960s and beyond, this course will cover literature produced within major and minor literary “scenes” of the 20th Century. Authors include Hemingway, Stein, Woolf, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and others. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course.
Instructor(s): A. Zecca
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.339. Lunatics, Lovers, Poets: Obsessive Minds in Romantic and Victorian Verse. 3.0 Credits.

Focusing on the long nineteenth century, we will examine how major Anglo-American poets treat the complex relationship between madness, passion, and genius. Additional readings in philosophy and psychoanalysis. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course.
Instructor(s): J. Hann
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.340. The Literature of Atlantic Slavery. 3.0 Credits.

This seminar will trace the historical development of the slavery debate in the Atlantic world through examination of key texts from a host of genres and locations—Quaker religious tracts, political documents like the Haitian Declaration of Independence, Cuban antislavery novels, slave narratives, and “classics” of American literature like Melville’s Benito Cereno. We will consider how the institution of Atlantic slavery was variously represented, justified, and criticized, discovering in the process the deep structures of modern slavery discourse. Texts may include: Aphra Behn, "Oroonoko"; John Woolman's "Journal"; Robert Wedderburn, "The Horrors of Slavery and Other Writings"; Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, "Sab"; Frederick Douglass, "My Bondage and My Freedom"; Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno"; Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Dred"; Antonio Castro Alves, "The Slaves".
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.341. Milton. 3.0 Credits.

This class will study Milton’s poetry and prose across the whole of his writing career, with special attention to Paradise Lost, the great epic poem retelling the story of the fall of humankind. We will consider Milton’s literary background, his contemporary political and social milieu, as well as critical debates that surrounding the poet, who was accused of being ‘of the devil’s party.’ Pre-1800 course.
Instructor(s): S. Achinstein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.342. Contemporary Novel of Ideas. 3.0 Credits.

The novel of ideas is often traced to 18th century French or 19th century Russian writing, but it has come broadly to signify works of robust philosophical contemplation. The inherently slippery term seems to indicate a work in which “form” is subsidiary to “content,” or at least, in which narrative structures adapt to prioritize thought rather than style, image, or even character. But how, exactly, and about what, do novels “think?” In large part, the novel of ideas is now conflated with a rote and recognizable brand of social realism. This course asks what might qualify as a novel of ideas today, both in terms of the novel’s changing relation to geographical space (and thereby the formal spaces in which philosophy might lurk), and of the particular “ideas” it critiques or puts forth. We will read novelists including J.M. Coetzee, Marlene van Niekerk, Jonathan Franzen, Teju Cole, and Ronan Bennett within a longer literary-philosophical tradition, with reference to works such as Candide, War and Peace, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Kierkegaard’s Diary of a Seducer.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.343. Milton and Liberty: Public and Private. 3.0 Credits.

This course examines John Milton’s commitment to liberty in its many varieties, both public and private, as articulated in his early prose writings and as imagined in his poetic works. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship Course. Pre 1800 course.
Instructor(s): R. Buckham
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.344. The American Renaissance in Technicolor. 3.0 Credits.

The American Renaissance" refers to the boom in U.S. literary production between the 1830s and the 1860s that gave us the American writers who have achieved the greatest stature in the popular mind--Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman. This work was in large part animated by literary nationalism--by the self-conscious effort to produce a distinctively "American" literature that could take its rightful place on the world stage. As such, questions about the meaning of American history and the nature of American identity were central to this work both as implicit impetus and explicit theme. Importantly, these questions were being asked during the heyday of "Manifest Destiny"--of Euro-American westward expansion, which displaced Native peoples and Hispanic settlers and perpetuated the enslavement of African Americans. The goal of this course is to read some of the major works of the period's canonical Euro-American male writers in conjunction with works by African, Native, Latino, and female American writers in order to gain a fuller picture of literary and cultural history during this formative moment. Texts may include: Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays and antislavery lectures; the anonymous historical romance of the Aztec conquest, Xicotencatl; William Apess, A Son of the Forest, "Eulogy on King Philip"; Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom; Henry David Thoreau, Walden, "Slavery in Massachusetts," "Plea for Captain John Brown"; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Herman Melville, "Hawthorne and His Mosses," Benito Cereno, Moby-Dick; Nathaniel Hawthorne, tales and sketches, The Blithedale Romance; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855 edition).
Prerequisites: AS.060.107 or English department lecture, or instructor permission.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.345. Mapping Victorian England. 3.0 Credits.

The landscape of England changed dramatically during the course of the nineteenth-century, from the unprecedented expansion of the British Empire and the rapid growth of cities and urban environments, to the increasing psychological investment in more confined spaces like the home. In this course, we’ll explore how Victorian literature “maps” these various spaces and, perhaps more importantly, the connections between them. The bulk of our reading will be novels by authors such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy, and Rudyard Kipling, though we’ll also turn to poems, non-fiction prose, and short theoretical readings to enrich our understanding of how Victorian writers attempted to represent the spatial, social, and economic geography of their nation. In addition to examining the “horizontal” connections drawn by these novels—between, for example, the country and the city, the colonies and the capital, the home and the nation as a whole—we’ll also explore how these novelists draw on intellectual developments like the emerging Darwinian worldview and incorporate what we might call “vertical” mapping to understand how the past shapes the present. Throughout, we’ll pay careful attention to how these writers represent the specificity of place and investigate the influence of environment on character and personal development.
Instructor(s): A. Grener
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.346. The American Romance. 3.0 Credits.

Reviewers in the nineteenth century noted that narrative fiction on either side of the Atlantic seemed to be moving in different directions—the social-realist panoramas of Charles Dickens and George Eliot were confronted by the metaphysical puzzle-boxes, allegorical curios, and sentimental interfaces of Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Lydia Maria Child, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. In the period, this divergence was often characterized by reference to a generic or modal distinction between the novel—the very name of which advertised its modernity—and the romance, which was associated with medieval literary traditions. British novelists sensibly confined themselves to representing and anatomizing that which was probable in contemporary social reality, whereas American romancers insisted on violating verisimilitude via flights of fancy (e.g., deathless black cats and white whales), whether out of political activism, aestheticist indulgence, or esoteric exploration. The twofold objective of this course is, first and foremost, simply to engross ourselves with a series of compellingly weird narrative fictions by American writers that self-identify as—and self-consciously theorize—modern romance—a reward in itself; and, second, to trace the history of the romance/novel distinction from early nineteenth-century reviews to contemporary criticism, discovering in the process the cultural work this distinction—and its elision—has been made to do. Primary texts may include: Lydia Maria Child, Hobomok; Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Hope Leslie; Edgar Allan Poe, tales, Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym; Nathaniel Hawthorne, tales, The House of Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance; Herman Melville, Mardi; Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Minister’s Wooing.
Prerequisites: Pre-req: AS.060.107 or permission of the instructor.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.347. American Bibles. 3.0 Credits.

This course will examine texts drawn from across the Americas—from Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana to Melville´s Moby-Dick to Euclides da Cunha’s Os Sertões (Rebellion in the Backlands) to Kushner´s Angels in America—that are fundamentally biblical in their inspirations, aspirations, proportions, and allusions. We will consider these texts’ attempts, in the face of globalizing and secularizing forces like Atlantic slavery and German higher criticism, to affirm, undermine, appropriate, and redirect the authority of the ur-canonical text. Recommended Course Background: AS.060.107 or lecture course in English department.
Prerequisites: AS.060.107 or a lecture course in the English department.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.348. Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. 3.0 Credits.

An exploration of the achievements and investments of one of the most influential coteries in the history of Britain. In addition to delving into key fictions by Virginia Woolf, we will examine novels by Leonard Woolf and E. M. Forster, art criticism by Roger Fry and Clive Bell, biographical essays by Lytton Strachey, economic writings by John Maynard Keynes, and poetry by T. S. Eliot.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.349. Clint Eastwood, Race, and the American Western. 3.0 Credits.

Drawing from the body of work reflecting the Hollywood gunfighter and outlaw folk-hero Clint Eastwood, the course will investigate American cinematic representations of slavery (and more specifically its absence), the Civil War and racial formation along the United States’ southwestern frontier in films produced from the 1950s through the contemporary period. A focus on the cultural icon Clint Eastwood enables a close examination of American cinematic fantasies of the frontier, frontier violence and the desire to escape or erase the tensions of race and slavery that have deeply permeated the American cultural consciousness, particularly the creation of American masculine ideals. The course will also take decided note of the national shift from liberal “Great Society Programs” of the 1960s to the conservative “neoliberal” social and cultural ideals in the 1980s and 1990s. Our purpose is to consider the organization and reformation of hegemonic power by way of the complex morality play the western film evokes, typically considering the interstitial geographies between civilization and savagery, belonging and alienation, and metropolitan and colonial outpost. We will privilege in our discussions the contested frontiers of racial dominion. The curriculum is complicated by several significant points of departure from the traditional category of the Hollywood-based American western: a film to frame the question of colonialism and resistance, as well as examples of black cinematic efforts re-drawing boundaries of the racial frontier. (Are they formed at the Caribbean, the easternmost littoral? The postindustrial city? Do they correspond to the romance of organized crime and its fantasy of empire?)
Instructor(s): L. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.350. Literature by Other Means: Experimental and Conceptual Fiction and Poetry. 3.0 Credits.

This course will introduce students to experimental, conceptual, and constraint-generated literature. In some cases, the texts we will read were created through the application of some particular premise, constraint, or rule-governed system. In other cases, practices of appropriation, creative re-use, or sampling were involved in the generation of textual material (sometimes subjected to editing and transformation, sometimes presented “as is”). What happens to literary meaning, genre identification, and the author/reader contract under these conditions? Can an experiment be evaluated as a success or failure as literature? What’s so “conceptual” about this practice, anyway? And why are the results- often typecast as difficult or resistant to understanding- frequently so funny? In search of answers, we will read widely in experimental and conceptual literature and in the manifestos and critical analyses that surround this work, and we will look at the overlap between experimental and avant-garde literary movements and concurrent processes of “dematerialization” in play within the related domain of the visual arts. Finally, we will consider the importance of digital tools, search engines, and databases in the construction of experimental literature at the present time. Possible authors/texts include Raymond Queneau “Exercises in Style”, Raymond Roussel “How I Wrote Certain of My Books”, Georges Perec “A Void”, Harry Matthews “Oulipo Compendium”, Walter Abish “Alphabetical Africa”, Marjorie Perloff “Unoriginal Genius”, William S. Burroughs “The Cut-Up Method”, Charles Bernstein, “The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book”, Vanessa Place “Notes on Conceptualisms”, Kenneth Goldsmith “The Weather”, Gary Sullivan “The Flarf Files”, Aaron Kunin “The Sore Throat”, Christian Bok “Eunoia”, and David Trinidad and D. A Powell’s “By Myself, An Autobiography”.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.351. Theory of the Novel. 3.0 Credits.

We all know a novel when we see one, but it’s surprisingly hard to say just what one is. This seminar will introduce the theory of the novel by reading a number of novels along with the works of central thinkers about the novel. We will look at the connection of the rise of the novel form with historical and cultural changes and investigate key stylistic elements. Novelists will likely include Miguel de Cervantes, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jane Austen, Gustave Flaubert, and Virginia Woolf.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.352. John Keats' Guide to City Living. 3.0 Credits.

This course will take John Keats’ poems and letter as a guide to London in the 1810’s; from the anatomy theaters of the hospitals where he trained, to the raucous parties and poetry slams of his radical literary friends; from museums and theaters to brothels and sickrooms. Keats’ intensely sensual poems are at once bookish and attuned to his environment: they provide lessons on how to abide in a large urban center. For his writing is intensely urban, even when it ventures far from the gloom of the metropolis. Reading the letters he wrote to his brother on the (then-) frontier in Kentucky, we can find yet another key to how he shaped London. We will look at maps of the city, see where the new housing developments were being constructed as old buildings were torn down, visit the jail where his friend, Leigh Hunt, was incarcerated for ridiculing the Prince Regent, see the theater posters and pamphlets Keats saw, as well as the parks and squares he could not enter. The goal for this course is to learn about Keats’ work, but also to try to reconstruct how his city looked and sounded and felt and what, finally, it meant to the poet. Ideally, the course will collectively create a digitized map of Keats’s London that serves as well as a guide to his poems.
Prerequisites: Pre-req: AS.060.107
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.353. World Literature in Theory and Practice. 3.0 Credits.

This course takes stock of how the current hot topic of “world literature” has evolved from Immanuel Wallerstein’s work on world-systems theory over the course of the last three decades. We will read work by a wide range of literary critics engaged with the topic of world literature, including Franco Moretti, Pascale Casanova, David Damrosch, Emily Apter, and Alex Beecroft, as well as major “world” novels by Herman Melville, Amitav Ghosh, and Chimamanda Adichie. Students will also be introduced to critical approaches that offer a conceptual alternative to the world literature framework, for example, Edward Said’s ideas on worldliness and contrapuntalism, Gaston Bachelard’s phenomenology of the home, Fredric Jameson’s concept of cognitive mapping, and Eric Hayot’s work on literary “world-creation.” We will ask just how broadly the field can be defined before it loses its critical cohesion. In other words, does world literature exist?
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.355. Eighteenth Century British Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course surveys major authors, genres, and literary movements from 1690-1800. Topics to be discussed include the gendered division of labor, ecological consciousness, British imperialism, the rise of capitalism, and the relation between literary and material labor. We will be reading a variety of texts in poetry, prose, drama, and the novel from authors including Alexander Pope, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Eliza Haywood, Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, Mary Leaper, Samuel Richardson, Thomas Gray, Oliver Goldsmith, William Wordsworth, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and William Blake. Texts will be supplemented with historical, philosophical, and theoretical materials where appropriate. A pre-1800 course.
Instructor(s): K. O'Briain
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.356. Gordimer and Coetzee: Politics and Form. 3.0 Credits.

A comparative study of major works by the South African Nobel Laureates Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee. Special attention to critical essays by both writers about each other, as well as about issues of shared historical and literary concern. Topics will include the role of the public intellectual in apartheid-era South Africa, competing scales of literary reception and evaluation (e.g. national, international, and universal), and the relationship between politics, form, and genre.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.357. The Novels of Jane Austen. 3.0 Credits.

An intensive study of Austen's six major novels, read in their literary and historical context.
Instructor(s): J. Kramnick
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.358. Prophecy and Enlightenment. 3.0 Credits.

This class considers the relationship between prophecy and enlightenment. These two knowledge regimes, the revelatory and the rational, are often assumed to be opposed, with rationality triumphing over revelation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In recent years, notably post-9/11, we have seen a resurgence of this view from a variety of perspectives, whether that of the new atheism or that of historians of enlightenment. We will turn to a number of important primary texts associated with major enlightenment thinkers in order to interrogate more closely the opposition of prophecy and enlightenment at the point of its supposed origin. Doing so should help at once to clarify and complicate the important contemporary narrative pitting science against religion and vice versa. Later in the semester, we will turn to a number of twentieth-century thinkers who bring quite different perspectives to the role of revelation in the history of reason. Pre-1800s course.
Instructor(s): W. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.359. Posthumanist Literature. 3.0 Credits.

Much of the attention surrounding posthumanism has centered upon a late twentieth-century archive of speculative fiction. This 300-level course would take a longer view, tracing a prehistory of literary and critical discourses that challenge the distinction between humanity and its nonhuman others from the late enlightenment to the present day. Students will begin with sections from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal, then progress through texts that link the humanist themes of exploration and conquest to problems of consumption and divergent forms of life, including Herman Melville's Typee and Thomas M. Disch's The Genocides. Next they will turn to the link between the bildungsroman, human enhancement, and the concept of "bare life." Readings in this section include Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age, Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Franz Kafka's "The Hunger Artist," and Primo Levi's If This Is a Man. We will then consider the link between "monstrosity," hetero-normativity, and sexual abjection. Readings include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, James Baldwin's Another Country, and Margaret Atwood's Handmaiden's Tale. The course will conclude with two units on posthuman ethics. The first of these, on the concept of "singularity," will include J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World and William Gibson's Neuromancer. Finally, students will consider what Donna Harraway has termed "companion species," with readings to include Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and J.M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello. Critical readings will include selections from Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman; Donna Harraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto”; Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All too Human; Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. I; Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community and Homo Sacer; Jean Jacques Rousseau, Émile; H.G. Wells, Anticipations and Mankind in the Making; Nick Bostrom, Human Enhancement and Global Catastrophic Risks; Alan Weisman, The World Without Us; Peter Singer, Animal Liberation; J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals; and introductory essays by Andy Miah and Neil Badmington.
Instructor(s): J. Haley
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.362. Art and the Arab Spring. 3.0 Credits.

Much has been made of the political ramifications of the Arab Spring: the potential move towards democratic representation, the realization of minority and gender rights, the economic liberalization of markets, the jockeying by world powers to assert influence in the region, and the revitalization of dissident movements. This course will turn its attention to the role of artistic representation in the Arab Spring in order to complicate these political discussions. We will explore widely, considering works of prose, poetry, film, music, performance art, and visual art, from photography to graffiti. We will think through how these mediums are used and to what end, whether as evidence of atrocities, as inspiration and mobilization of dissent, as satirical commentary, or to revitalize appreciation for artistic expression. We will also think about the impact of social media on distribution possibilities and implied audience and track how certain art forms invoke and are invoked by liberal or conservative discourses in complex ways.
Instructor(s): N. Hashem
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.363. Henry James. 3.0 Credits.

This seminar will focus on the novels and short fiction of one of the most brilliant crafters of prose and plot ever to write in English. Extensive attention will be devoted to the intricacies of James’s language; to his transatlantic situation; to his relationship to other authors; and to his place in the histories of literature, criticism, and theory. In a few instances, we will read his work in relation to writing by his brother, the pioneering philosopher and psychologist William James.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.365. Literature and Modern Philosophy. 3.0 Credits.

Does literature have moral value? How might we begin to answer such a question? This course will survey major attempts by both writers and philosophers to understand the relation between morality and literature, especially fiction. Course will be taught by incoming professor Andrew Miller.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.366. Ellison. 3.0 Credits.

After his landmark novel "Invisible Man" appeared in 1952 and won the National Book Award, Ralph Ellison was one of the most highly regarded and influential American writers. Although his writing—beginning with the powerful short stories and criticism that he published in the 1930s and 40s—was steeped in African American history, literature, music, and folklore, he also thought of himself as part of the great tradition of American, European, and classical literature, from Homer through Joyce. He quickly set to work on a second novel dealing with the assassination of a racist senator during the height of the Civil Rights movement, but he came to the end of his life in 1994 without having completed the novel to his own satisfaction. This massive book, which appeared posthumously in a very abbreviated form as Juneteenth and more recently in the much longer Three Days before the Shooting, reveals the work of a master while at the same time it leaves critics and readers with an exceptional puzzle: What would his final intention have been? Why was he unable to complete the novel? How does it speak to the key issues of African American identity, freedom, and the American ideal that Ellison grappled with all his life? At the same time that he worked on his second novel, Ellison became one of the most prolific and important essayists of the twentieth century, and wrote brilliantly about American race relations from the era of segregation through the twentieth century. Even as he was celebrated by the literary establishment, however, Ellison at times found himself as odds with younger black writers and thinkers who felt that public activism, not just artistic greatness, was required of the African American writer. Using Ellison as a lens through which to see the course of American race relations from slavery to the present, the course will include study of all of Ellison’s major work: the short stories collected in "Flying Home"; "Invisible Man"; the essays collected in "Shadow and Act" and "Going to the Territory", as well as others; and "Three Days before the Shooting".
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.368. Aesthetic Play in the Contemporary Global Novel. 3.0 Credits.

This seminar will explore the role of aesthetic play within contemporary world literature in order to ask the question: what challenges to global issues such as imperialism, racial and identity politics, gender parity and socioeconomic disparities are being made not only through subject matter, but through novel approaches to form? We will read short stories, novels, graphic novels, and watch films which subvert expectations about the structure of storytelling: these may include works by Mohsin Hamid, Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, Haruki Murakami, J. M. Coetzee, and Marjane Satrapi. We will also read critical scholarship on the subject of world literature like Pascale Casanova’s World Republic of Letters and Aamir R. Mufti’s “Orientalism and the Institution of World Literatures.”
Instructor(s): N. Hashem
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.370. The Nineteenth Century Novel. 3.0 Credits.

In this course we will read some of the most significant–and enjoyable–of nineteenth-century novels, focusing on the questions they presented for their first readers and present for readers today. Our focus will be on the technical means by which the novelists achieve their effects. How do they convey the thoughts and feelings of their characters, for instance? How do they represent the interactions between their characters within broader social environments? How do these novels represent history? How do they represent different genders? By means of what literary devices do they do all this? Our aims in the course will be to understand the fiction of the period and to see how the devices used by these authors to conceive their psychological, ethical and political worlds continue to inform our conception of our world.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.373. Literary Theory. 3.0 Credits.

Two great arguments structure literary criticism and theory: what makes something literature, and what makes something good literature? These arguments will surely never end; but to participate in them can be a great pleasure, and it can sharpen your appreciation of literary writing across the ages. This course will introduce you to the long conversation that has come to be called “literary theory,” with the aim of helping you learn to love not only reading literature, but describing it. Our readings will range from Plato and Aristotle to Kant, Hegel, and Scheiermacher, on to Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche, and finally to a range of recent thinkers.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.374. Border Crossings: Travel Writing and the Journeys of Nonfiction. 3.0 Credits.

The rise of “creative nonfiction”, in tandem with the acceleration of “reality hunger” in recent years, has shifted scholarly attention (and book sales) in the direction of that which is perceived to be real or true rather than merely imagined or fabricated. But how fictional is “faction”, and through what narrative means is the “real” produced? If nonfiction is a journey that involves the simultaneous opening and occulting of the real, then how does travel writing stitch together its quilts of place and emplacement? These are the kinds of questions we will be asking in this course, based on readings of celebrated contemporary nonfiction writers from across the globe: Haruki Marukami (Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche), Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity), Bruce Chatwin (The Songlines), Jonny Steinberg (A Man of Good Hope), Paul Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar), and V.S. Naipual (The Enigma of Arrival). Only open to English Major/minors and Writing Seminars Majors
Instructor(s): L. de Kock
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.376. Staging Church and State in Early Modern England. 3.0 Credits.

Freedom of religion and the separation of church and state are among the fundamental principles of modern western government, and yet they are frequently misunderstood. Why would people believe they have a mandate from God to grant freedom of worship to religious minorities? Why did the state give up its monopoly on religion? What role should religious beliefs play in public life? These all remain live questions in today's political discourse, but today their complex answers tend to hide behind the ill-defined concept of secularity. This course examines a pivotal moment in the development of modern governance to ask what imaginative writing can tell us about the ways in which the early moderns sought to resolve these tensions between religious belief and participation in diverse civil society. Dean's Teaching Fellowship. Open Only to English Majors and Minors, and Writing Seminars majors.
Instructor(s): K. Roberts
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.377. Re-Writing Democracy in America, 1865-1920. 3.0 Credits.

In his landmark two-volume work Democracy in America (1835, 1840), Alexis de Tocqueville famously argued that the ideal of democratic equality pervaded all aspects of life in America. Despite these claims, it was only after the Civil War, with the Reconstruction Amendments (1865-1870), that the language of equality made its way into the U.S. Constitution. Even as Africans Americans gained the promise of equality before the law by 1870, Jim Crow laws persisted well into the 20th century, while women did not win the long fight for suffrage until 1920. This course will consider how American writers between 1865 and 1920 consciously or unconsciously re-wrote Tocqueville’s analysis of democracy in America to account for the opening up of political equality to once-excluded groups as well as the undemocratic realities that many people experienced in their everyday lives (in the form of discrimination, deepening class divisions, and gender inequality). Reading novels, poems, autobiographies and travel narratives from this era, we will explore the extent to which democratic reform registers in lives of everyday individuals, with an eye for those moments when state-level changes are reflected or, more commonly, come up short in practice.
Instructor(s): J. Sampson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.379. Stage and Screen. 3.0 Credits.

Shakespeare’s King Lear has a paradoxical reputation in that it is arguably the greatest drama in English, yet it cannot be performed on stage, at least not without sacrificing its dramatic power. What happens when this notoriously unstageable play is turned into a film, as in Akira Kurosawa’s epic masterpiece Ran? Does Kurosawa compensate for the limitations of the stage? What is gained or lost when the drama takes place in Japanese instead of Shakespeare’s blank verse? This course will examine the ways that playwrights, theatre producers, and filmmakers manage the dramatic possibilities of text, stage, and cinema. Alongside their cinematic counterparts, we will read tragedies by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Goethe, eighteenth-century comedies, and modernist dramas, and as a class, we will discuss the often fraught transition between literary text and dramatic spectacle. How do filmmakers convey psychological states through camera techniques and editing that are unavailable to producers of live performances? What dramatic effects can be achieved in the intimate setting of a theatre that are impossible at a twenty-screen cineplex, or on your couch while streaming Netflix? Along with addressing these questions, the course is intended to cultivate active, informed viewership in conjunction with close readings of the plays themselves. Authors likely to be included: Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear; Marlowe - Doctor Faustus; Goethe - Faust; Wycherley - The Country Wife; Congreve - The Way of the World; Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Rabindranath Tagore, Henrik Ibsen. Visual media will include recordings of performances and adaptations by Lawrence Olivier, Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jan Švankmajer, and Dangerous Liaisons, starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich, plus the broadway musical, Damn Yankees!
Instructor(s): J. Hoffmann
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.380. Romantic Poetry: Imagining the People. 3.0 Credits.

Perhaps the most influential moment in modern letters, the Romantic period not only straddled the age of democratic revolutions, abolition, mass media and industrialization, it ushered in the modern concept of Literature and its social role. Among the most pressing issues of Romantic poetry were those related to representing, speaking for and speaking to an imaginary creature called The People, not wholly commensurate with that other imaginary creature, The Nation or its Citizens. So for instance, the Ballad revival of the period brought into print the ancient songs of “the folk,” but the movement was riddled with fakes and forgeries. Rising literacy inspired working class poets, women and ethnic minorities to reshape the English language through poetry. Yet at the same moment, literary gentlemen began to produce their own version of a marginalized and dispossessed “people.” All these efforts can be set against a State effort to introduce the first national census, to account for all subjects of the crown. A struggle over who “counts” in the realm of literature clashed with fights over political institutions and the new science of political economy.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.381. 2500 Years of Tragicomedy. 3.0 Credits.

Spanning an arc from ancient Greek drama to the bleeding edge of contemporary literature, this course gathers together representative examples of a hybrid dramatic mode which has been derided by philosophers and dramatic theorists but beloved by audiences for millenia: tragicomedy. Variously understood as a comic play with dark elements or a dark play with a happy outcome, tragicomedy raises challenging questions about the nature of genre taxonomy, and the slippery relationship between authorial “tone,” artistic intention, and emotional temperament. As such, tragicomedies offer a particularly revealing insight into both the history of drama and philosophical questions about the nature of spectatorial pleasure. Grounding ourselves with a reading of Aristotle’s Poetics and a consideration of Plautus’ “Amphitryon”, we will read a broad swathe of plays divided evenly between a first half which focuses upon the ancient and early modern period and a second half focusing on the last century, possibly including: Euripedes “Alcestis”, Christopher Marlowe “The Jew of Malta”, Anonymous, “Arden of Faversham”, William Shakespeare “Hamlet” and “All’s Well That Ends Well”, John Fletcher “The Faithful Shepherdess”, John Dryden “The Maiden Queen”, Samuel Beckett “Endgame”, Tom Stoppard “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”, Harold Pinter “The Caretaker”, Joe Orton, “The Erpingham Camp”, Young Jean Lee “The Shipment.” Pre-1800 course.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.382. Jewish American Literature. 3.0 Credits.

A survey of major works, principally novels.
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.383. Contemporary Russian Novel in English. 3.0 Credits.

Russia is back in the headlines, and its resurgence seems unlikely to waver anytime soon. But while many students are familiar with nineteenth-century novelists like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, more recent Russian writing is often a mystery. This course approaches contemporary Russia through the careers of its two major living novelists, Vladimir Sorokin and Ludmila Ulitskaya, both of whose work spans the late Soviet period (1980s and 90s) through today. In addition to questions of genre, translation, and contemporary Russian literary culture’s relation to Soviet models, we will consider how Sorokin and Ulitskaya have brokered Russia’s intellectual standing on a world stage. Works studied will include Ulitskaya’s Sonechka, The Funeral Party, and Daniel Stein, Interpreter, and Sorokin’s The Queue, Day of the Oprichnik, and The Blizzard.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.387. Black Empire. 3.0 Credits.

This course examines the transnational visions of Black Empire as articulated and framed by black thinkers, writers, and visual artists around the world, roughly between 1850 and 1950. We will consider how both individuals and groups (such as the United Negro Improvement Association) responded to imperialist maneuvers through discourses of Ethiopianism, Pan-Africanism, and anti-colonialism, and how these discourses interacted with one another in surprising ways, ways that reveal the black world’s simultaneous attraction to and rejection of the imperial model in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Our reading will include novels, poems, essays, and critical texts—at least two of which share a title with this course—by W. E. B. Du Bois, Pauline E. Hopkins, Sutton E. Griggs, J. A. Rogers, Langston Hughes, George S. Schuyler, Claude McKay, Brent Hayes Edwards, Paul Gilroy, Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Michelle Ann Stephens, and others.
Instructor(s): N. Nurhussein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.388. Old World/New World Women. 3.0 Credits.

The course considers the transatlantic writing of three women in the early modern period, Anne Bradstreet, Aphra Behn, and Phillis Wheatley. We will consider issues of identity, spatiality, religion, commerce, enforced labor, sexuality, race, and gender, along with literary tradition, formal analysis and poetics. We will read a good deal of these early women writers. Foremost in our mind will be the question of how perceptions of space and time are mediated through the global experiences of early modernity.
Instructor(s): S. Achinstein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.390. Literature and Visual Modernity. 3.0 Credits.

This course will study the idea of modernity, a term that has been of continuing use in trying to understand ourselves and our society. We will focus on the major works of prose, poetry, and painting that attempted to come to terms with modernity in the nineteenth century. Texts are likely to include non-fiction prose by Mill, Baudelaire, Darwin, and Benjamin; fiction by Henry James, Conrad, and Vernon Lee; poetry by the Brownings, Tennyson, and Hardy; and paintings (some at the BMA) by D.G. Rossetti, Turner and Cezanne
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.391. Early American Literature. 3.0 Credits.

This course is an introduction to literatures drawn from across the Americas, although primarily the British North American colonies that would eventually become the United States, from first contact in 1492 up through the American wars of independence. Our readings are roughly organized according to chronology and genre. We will think about the adapted and emergent generic forms through which “the New World” was ongoingly invented, including genres like the Indian captivity narrative and the slave narrative that arguably make their debut in world literary history in the Americas during this time frame. We will conclude by attending to the rather late emergence of the novel in American literary history, reading four novels that appeared in the early US national period. The objective of the course is simply to contextualize and analyze a wide array of texts, each of which richly rewards the engaged reader, in order to trace the origins of American literatures. Course texts may include contact narratives (Columbus, Caminha, Smith, Hennepin); conquest narratives (Mather, Las Casas, Poma de Ayala); Indian captivity narratives (Cabeza de Vaca, Rowlandson, Staden); slave narratives (Gronniosaw, Jea, Cugoano); revolutionary polemics (Paine, Bolívar); and the earliest American novels: William Hill Brown, The Power of Sympathy; Hannah Webster Foster, The Coquette; Leonora Sansay, Secret History or, the Horrors of Santo Domingo; Charles Brockden Brown, Arthur Mervyn. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.392. Reading Ayn Rand. 3.0 Credits.

This course will investigate Ayn Rand, both as a novelist and as an enormously influential thinker. Special attention will be paid to the Soviet and American contexts that produced Rand’s work, as well as her place in a lineage of conservative thought, and the influence she has had on American politics. The approach of this course will be critical, but, I hope, fair. Readings will likely include Anthem and Atlas Shrugged, as well as selections from Rand’s philosophical works: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and The Virtue of Selfishness.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.393. Geoffrey Chaucer: Ribaldry, Romance and Radical Religion. 3.0 Credits.

Geoffrey Chaucer is sometimes called the 'father of English literature', but the deftness with which he captured the variety of the human condition, in poetic forms that were each, in themselves, startlingly new, was in so many ways an inheritance too rich for literary tradition to absorb. One reason to return to Chaucer's writing now is to see how funny (and even obscene) verse narrative can be, and how compelling a fourteenth-century love story remains. It is also to open a window onto a culture entirely different from our own but in which the power of language (the role of free speech), the freedom of the individual, the status of women, violent tensions between cultures and ethnicities and the role of religion in civil society were not only topical, but made the more so by Chaucer's powerful political vision and thought. Chaucer is timeless because he wrote so well that he always rewards reading (and the Middle English in which he wrote is very easy to master) but he is always worth reading because reading him is at once so eye-opening and such a pleasure, a way of stretching one's sense of the present by understanding (really understanding) a particular moment in the past. This class will pursue such understanding by paying particular attention to Chaucer's masterpieces, Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury Tales. But we will begin with a quick and easy workshop on Chaucer's language, and try to define, along the way, some of the more interesting aspects of his style. Our goal will be to learn to enjoy Chaucer's poetry by reading it carefully enough to take the full measure of what exactly it was about. Recommended Course Background: AS.060.208
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.394. Class Fictions. 3.0 Credits.

This seminar investigates one of the central concerns of nineteenth-century fiction: social and economic class. Why did raising oneself from humble beginnings and falling into poverty, become such familiar stories? And why are they still so familiar today? We will look at how a number of writers approached the topic of class mobility, each with a unique blend of excitement and anxiety. Authors will likely include Jane Austen, Honoré de Balzac (in translation), Charles Dickens, and William Dean Howells. In order to understand our topic better, we will also look at a selection of theoretical work on the nature of class.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.395. Global Tales of Transformation. 3.0 Credits.

A traveling salesman turns into a giant cockroach, an American adman switches bodies with his wife, a Brazilian philosopher may or may not be reincarnated as his beloved dog, and a British scientist creates half-animal humanoids on a secluded island. These are just a few examples of the fantastical, allegorical, comical, dreamlike, grotesque, and bizarre stories that were produced throughout the world during the modernist period. Modernism has often been associated with social and political change; colonial rule was waning, cosmopolitanism emerging, and new modes of production were affecting social organization. In literature, modernist authors broke from the realist style and turned instead to myths, folktales, and new forms of expression. In this class, we will consider a range of cultural and historical conditions that inform these stories of transformation. Do these stories reveal anxieties about dehumanization in an increasingly high-pressure workplace or do they reveal fantasies about idleness? Are they nostalgic for a local folkloric tradition in an age of cosmopolitanism or are they creating a kind of mythic universalism? How do these character transformations allow for reassessments of identity in terms of gender construction, sexuality, or in terms of human and animal relations? Authors include: Edgar Allan Poe, Nickolai Gogol, Franz Kafka, H. G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Machado de Assis, T. S. Eliot, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Thorne Smith, and James Joyce. Throughout the semester, the primary texts will be supplemented with secondary reading and critical interpretations. Primary Texts: Machado de Assis, “Philosopher or Dog” T. S. Eliot, "The Wasteland" Charlotte Gilman Perkins, “Herland” Nikolai Gogol, "The Nose Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis” Ovid, selections from “Metamorphoses” Edgar Allan Poe, selections Thorne Smith, “Turnabout” H. G. Wells, “Island of Dr. Moreau” Rebecca West, “The Return of the Soldier” Virginia Woolf, “Orlando”
Instructor(s): K. Wedekind
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.397. Thomas Pynchon. 3.0 Credits.

Intensive reading of two major Pynchon novels, along with theories of modernity, postmodernity, etc.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.398. Obscenity and the Law in 20th-Century Literature. 3.0 Credits.

In order to log on to JHU’s GuestNet you must “agree that your activities on the Guest Network shall not…[among other things] be obscene.” But what is obscene? What does the law determine as obscene today, and how has that determination changed over the past century? These questions will lead us to considerations of publicity and privacy, morality and standards of decency. This course will examine artworks and performances in a variety of media that have been publicly accused of indecency or obscenity. We will read legal judgments of obscenity and discuss their implications for figures such as Wilde, Joyce, Miller, Ginsberg, Bruce, Carlin, Prince, 2 Live Crew, and others.
Instructor(s): J. Chilton
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.501. Independent Study. 3.0 Credits.

Instructor(s): C. Nealon; D. Mao
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.502. Independent Study. 0.0 - 3.0 Credits.

Instructor(s): J. Hickman; M. Thompson.

AS.060.505. Internship - English. 1.0 Credit.

Instructor(s): D. Mao.

AS.060.506. Internship-English. 0.0 - 3.0 Credits.

Instructor(s): J. Hickman.

AS.060.509. Senior Essay. 3.0 Credits.

The English Department offers qualified majors the option of writing a senior essay. This is to be a one-semester project undertaken in the fall of the senior year, resulting in an essay of 30-35 pages. The senior essay counts as a three-credit course which can be applied toward the requirements for the major. Each project will be assigned both an advisor and a second reader. In addition, students writing essays will meet as a group with the Director of Undergraduate Study once or twice in the course of the project. The senior essay option is open to all students with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher in English Department courses at the end of the fall term of their junior year. Project descriptions (generally of one to two pages) and a preliminary bibliography should be submitted to a prospective advisor selected by the student from the core faculty. All proposals must be received at least two weeks prior to the beginning of registration period during the spring term of the junior year. Students should meet with the prospective advisor to discuss the project in general terms before submitting a formal proposal. The advisor will determine whether the proposed project is feasible and worthwhile. Individual faculty need not direct more than one approved senior essay per academic year. Acceptance of a proposal will therefore depend on faculty availability as well as on the strength of the proposal itself. When completed, the senior essay will be judged and graded by the advisor in consultation with the second reader. The senior essay will not be part of the Department’s honors program, which will continue to be based solely on a cumulative GPA of 3.6 in English Department courses.
Instructor(s): Staff
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.597. Independent Study. 3.0 Credits.

Instructor(s): E. Sundquist; F. Ferguson; J. Rosenthal.

AS.060.598. Internship - English. 1.0 Credit.

Instructor(s): Staff.

AS.060.606. Renaissance Comedy.

Why is comedy so easy to enjoy and so hard to think about? Is “the comic” a genre, a mode, an affective state, a social practice, or none/all of the above? What does comedy have to do with the body? What does it have to do with social location? What historical accidents, psychological barriers and cultural taboos must be re-considered in order to address these questions? Starting from classic texts in genre theory and psychoanalysis, this course try to put Aristotle and Freud into dialogue with recent early modern critical scholarship on affect, drama and the body. Possible texts/authors include: Aristotle’s Poetics; Sigmund Freud, Jokes and Their relation to the Unconscious; Rosalie Colie The Resources of Kind; Gail Kern Paster, The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England; Will Stockton, Playing Dirty: Sexuality and Waste in Early Modern Comedy; Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection; Alenka Zupancic, The Odd One In: On Comedy, and others. The historical spine of the course will be a weekly sequence of classical and early modern comic plays by Plautus, Terence, Aristophanes, Peele, Lyly, Shakespeare, Jonson, Beaumont, Wycherley, Etherege, and Behn.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.607. Lives and Afterlives of Anti-Humanism.

This seminar will offer a preliminary history of the 20th-century critique of "humanism" -- a critique that has continued to take new forms, long after we might imagine humanism to have been laid to rest. Beginning with Heidegger and Carl Schmitt, we will spend time with Sartre, Althusser, the phenomenologists, and key post-structuralists, before moving on to the current variety of post- and anti-humanisms in philosophy (object-oriented ontology, speculative realism), and cultural and critical theory (eco-criticism and queer theory). Why has it been important to critique "humanism"? What is the ongoing appeal of making that critique?
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.608. The Idea of Tradition.

The idea of tradition -- of a body from texts from the past that helps explain the genealogy of the present -- is central to literary criticism, and indeed to all of the humanities. But where did we get the idea that the present could be understood best through texts from the past? Can we imagine a humanities without it? This course will look at the development of the idea of tradition in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We will pay particular attention to the connections between the developing ideas of tradition and the changing forms of literary expression in those periods---particularly the developmental novel. Novelists will likely include Goethe, Scott, Austen, Eliot and James. In terms of theory we will pay particular attention to questions of historicity and presentism in historiography, hermeneutics and Marxist theory. Theorist will likely include Vico, Shaftesbury, Dilthey, Lukacs, Heidegger, Adorno, Horkeheimer, Gadamer, Jauss, Kosseleck, and T.S. Eliot.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.609. Extreme Criticism.

“How far can I go?” It is a question (memorably posed by Neil Hertz) of what we might call interpretive tact: what will your readers or listeners accept? How far can you take them with you as you enter into the interpretive possibilities that have come to matter to you, that you believe to be true, meaningful, important, interesting . . . When, eyes slowly unfocusing, do they start drifting away? That most of the critics we read are determinedly tactful is an occasionally dismaying thought. This seminar, by contrast, will engage the issue of interpretive tact by reading critics who might be thought to violate it. I’d like to think about the issue with a collection of interested students. Among the potentially tactless works we might discuss are Stanley Cavell’s essay on King Lear, Laura Kipnis’s Against Love: A Polemic T.J. Clark’s The Sight of Death, Michael Fried’s Flaubert's "Gueuloir," Avita Ronnell’s Telephone Book (or perhaps her less extreme Stupidity), Roland Barthes’ S/Z, Garrett Stewart’s Reading Voices, Franco Morretti’s Distant Reading, Lauren Berlant’s Desire/Love, William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity, Lee Edelman’s No Future, Barbara Johnson’s “Bringing Out D. A. Miller” I’d be open to other suggestions by seminar members.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.610. What is Reading?.

What is reading? The question is not meant metaphorically. “We take for granted,” Mark Taylor writes, “our capacities to invent and interpret, and devote ourselves to exercising those capacities and publishing the results.” Yet, he continues, “It is the capacities themselves that need explaining. Reading is not giving a reading . . . Giving readings is important and could be done better if we understood reading. . . . The most amazing phenomenon our profession confronts, and the one for which we have the least explanation, is that a reader can make sense of a text, and that there are certain regularities across the individual senses made of a given text” (Taylor 19). This seminar aims to bring us close to understanding the “most amazing phenomenon our profession confronts,” drawing on recent work in cognitive psychology, history of the book, disability studies, and theories of media new and old. We will consider debates about modes of reading as different as paleography, Braille, and scansion, and reckon with the possibility of non-human reading. I hope to invite in faculty from Cognitive Science and Informatics, Disabilities Studies, Classics and Library Science to explain what they mean when they talk about reading. But the final goal of the seminar is to help us identify the importance of literary studies in that conversation. To what extent does the literary object teach us about reading?
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.611. Early/Modern/Violence.

This course looks at the intertwining of the categories of secular and religious in the English literature of violence in the early modern period. Literary representations of, and meditations upon, violence will be considered in Spenser, Nashe, Marlowe, Milton and Behn. Early modern thinkers will include humanists, theologians and philosophers (Augustine, Ficino, Calvin, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke). We will consider such topics as: How religion is (or is not) a ‘transhistorical’ category; how the Enlightenment’s critique of religion was founded on the experience of the ‘wars of religion’; the creation of religious Others; the connection between religion and the rise of the modern state; the war-peace distinction; the friend-enemy distinction; how the sacredness of human life is understood; the links between violence and humanitarianism (indeed, what is the human?); torture; ‘violence’ as a transhistorical category; the pairing of violence to justice. There will be engagement with contemporary thought of Arendt, Derrida, Benjamin, Zizek, Anidjar, Asad, Tilly, Virilio, Schmidtt, Girard, Scarry, Taylor and others.
Instructor(s): S. Achinstein
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.612. Poetry and Poetics After the Linguistic Turn.

This course is a survey of recent critical work on English-language poetry, mostly North American. Much of the work is by younger scholars. I have chosen to highlight this recent body of writing because I think that, taken together, it signals a shift away from what since the 1980s had been the dominant model for “reading” poetry, which was under the sign of “Theory.” Readings will include work by Jasper Bernes, Joel Nickels, Nadia Nurhussein, Margaret Ronda, Daniel Tiffany, and others.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.613. American Movement.

This seminar will examine representations of people in motion in U.S. writing from 1900 to the present. Migration, international and intranational, will be central to our study, but we’ll also consider other forms of travel, transits of authorial and readerly attention, the policing and pleasures of vagrancy, and predicaments of stasis in both primary texts and critical/theoretical work around mobility. Our syllabus is still in process, but authors and directors studied may include Henry James, Anzia Yezierska, Claude McKay, Gertude Stein, Muriel Rukeyser, John Steinbeck, John Ford, Simone de Beauvoir, Victor Villaseñor, Juliana Spahr, and Jayne Anne Phillips.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.614. Postcolonial/Global/World.

The field now known as “global Anglophone literature” has emerged from a complicated and rapidly advancing disciplinary lineage. A host of past and present recodings – including postcolonial, Commonwealth, Third World, global, transnational, world, and the Global South – provide a record of the wider profession’s anxieties in relation to non-Western literary traditions. This course prepares graduate students to be able to articulate some of the subtle differences in approach that this nexus of closely related terms may obscure, from the heyday of postcolonial theory in the 1980s and 90s to contemporary subfields like Indian Ocean studies. In addition to key critical texts by theorists including Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Franco Moretti, Peter Hallward, and Emily Apter, students will be introduced to some outstanding recent methodologies and critiques from the adjacent body of work on comparative literature.
Instructor(s): J. Jackson
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.615. The Literary and the Secular.

Embedded in many theses of secularization is an implicit process of tropologization—the sign that secularization is underway is precisely when sacred forms and contents begin to circulate as figures unmoored from their original devotional contexts and thereby become subject to everything from blasphemous parody to heterodox elaboration to blasé immanentization, in a word, to the whims of the literary imagination. This seminar will examine theories of secularization that reflect and reflect upon this tacit linkage of the secular and the literary and also trace crucial developments in the literary and intellectual history of Atlantic Romanticism (with a special focus on the distinctive genre of the American romance) that might offer alternative views of undeniable transformations perhaps ineffectively referred to the rubric of “secularization.” Secondary texts may include T.E. Hulme, “Romanticism and Classicism”; Carl Schmitt, Political Theology; Hans Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age; M.H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism; Charles Taylor, A Secular Age; Roberto Calasso, Literature and the Gods; Michael Kaufmann, “The Religious, the Secular, and Literary Studies”; Colin Jager, Unquiet Things: Secularism in the Romantic Age. Primary texts may include selected poetry of William Blake, Percy Shelley, Friedrich Hölderlin, and others; canonical theoretical definitions of the “romantic” from the Schlegels, Coleridge, etc.; Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon; Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Gordon Pym; Nathaniel Hawthorne, prefaces, selected tales, The House of Seven Gables, The Marble Faun; Herman Melville, Mardi; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Dred; Martin Delany, Blake or, the Huts of America.
Instructor(s): J. Hickman
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.616. Milton.

A seminar covering the career of John Milton, including all his major poetry and much of his prose. There will be attention to the history of printing, publication and concepts of reading and writing, as well as to current issues and topics within early modern studies that bear on Milton (e.g. materialism, secularization, 'surface' reading, political theology, quantitative vs hermeneutic methods, actor-network theory). As such, the course will also be an introduction to various methods in early modern studies.
Instructor(s): M. Thompson; S. Achinstein
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.618. Modernism and Authenticity.

Could modernism as we know it have emerged absent anxiety about what it means really to live, really to feel, really to think? We will explore this question through a range of texts—long and short, fictional and non-fictional, poetic and in prose—by authors such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Gabriele D’Annunzio, W. B. Yeats, T. E. Hulme, E. M. Forster, Mina Loy, T. S. Eliot, F. T. Marinetti, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, William Carlos Williams, Nella Larsen, Wallace Thurman, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Lionel Trilling. Topics to be considered will include decadent imposture, the attenuation of experience, enchanted and disenchanted violence, and technology-driven alienation.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.619. The Time is Out of Joint: Shakespearean Temporalities.

This course is designed to serve a double purpose: first, we shall read and analyze a substantial body of Shakespearean drama and poetry for its resources as a means for thinking about time, temporality, and historical change. Concurrently, we shall read and respond to debates in recent early modern literary scholarship about secularity, modernity and the problem of “presentism” as a critical orientation towards the past. If a previous critical generation enlisted Shakespeare into service as an exemplar of an incipient modernity based upon a tacit assumption of a secular bias, has that assumption been complicated by recent evidence and fresh readings? How might we rethink the relationship between religious discourse and academic periodization? In the process of answering these questions, it is hoped that a plurality of other Shakespeares- whether medieval, untimely, recusant Catholic, crypto-atheist, queer, anachronistic, or “presentist”- might emerge. In addition to Shakespeare, possible critical and secondary authors include Augustine, Henri Bergson, Johannes Fabian, Jan Kott, Madhavi Menon, Elizabeth Freeman, Kathleen Davis, Agnes Heller, Paul Kottman, Eric Mallin, Hugh Grady and Stanley Cavell.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.620. Topics in Criticism: The Frankfurt School.

This course offers a critical and historical introduction to the Frankfurt School.
Instructor(s): M. Thompson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.621. The Cultures of the Sonnet in the English Renaissance.

This is a course on lyric theory in the Renaissance and as such is a good introduction to early modern literary study. We will take up the early modern form of the sonnet as a test case for the interaction between vernacularity and globalization. We will consider early modern topics including “invention,” “imitation,” and rhetoric, as well as explore formal concerns that are intertwined with political, social, cultural and economic experiences of early modernity. Along with the consideration of the emergence of literatures in new languages and nationalist differentiation, we will also consider mechanization (whether in print or literary trope) that produced both early modern literature and political life in an international system. We will consider such topics as sequence; modes of address; vernacularity and linguistic nationalism; the themes of love v. empire; the social role of the sonnet; the nature and materiality of writing; patronage and circulation; the question of private, occasional, and public poetry; the place of sonnets in manuscript collections; the histories of books; poetic subjectivity and objective thought; and we will also read a good many sonnets, largely in English, through close attention to language, media and transmission histories. Some contemporary literary theory on the sonnet will be introduced, as well as sonnets in European languages other than English, depending on the students’ interests and proclivities. Students will be expected to work in the manuscript and print collections of the Bodleian library to prepare a class report on their chosen topics. The class puts the sonnet in relation to other forms in Renaissance literature and thus should serve as a good survey of the period and its issues.
Instructor(s): S. Achinstein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.622. Perspective.

Perspective, or point of view, is a seemingly inescapable term in critical work on fiction. In this course we will study this concept as it has been developed in literary studies and, contrastively, in art history and film studies. We’ll enter two overlapping areas of study, one theoretical, one critical. The first concerns the concept of perspective as developed in literary theory, art theory, and film theory; the second concerns a set of fictions, paintings, and films Our aims will be to develop a more adequate understanding of the concept and to assess the implications of our current usage of it.
Instructor(s): A. Miller
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.623. Cross-Period Literary Study.

This seminar will be an experiment in training graduate students to develop an awareness of scholarship outside their own historical period, so as to re-think contemporary questions of periodization and modernity, as well as genre and form. The course will be organized around literary-critical readings from recent scholarship from the classical period to the 21st century, and around visits from scholars, especially junior scholars, working in those periods.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.624. Romanticism and the Ends of Affect.

This seminar will consider both what affect studies have learned from Romanticism and the limits –practical, ethical, intellectual --of reading Romantic poetry within the framework that has been constructed by affect studies over the past two decades. It will provide a general survey of scholarship on affect, of criticism attending to the self-consciously affecting literary experiments of the age, and to primary works by a select number of romantic writers, most probably Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical ballads, Joanna Baillie’s Plays and the letters and poems of John Keats.
Instructor(s): M. Favret
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.626. Reading for Race at the Movies and on TV, in the years 2015-16.

2015-16 was a radical, decisive two-year period for many things, including film by and about African-Americans. This course seeks to understand this phenomenon through current events, wider aesthetic and historical trends, and the body of critical work devoted to reading filmic representations of cultural and political ideologies. 2015-16 films and TV shows under consideration will include: Moonlight; Creed; Hidden Figures; Fences; Birth of a Nation; Straight Outta Compton; OJ: Made in America; Atlanta; Black-ish; This Is Us; Luke Cage; The People v. OJ Simpson.
Instructor(s): M. Thompson.

AS.060.627. Poetry and Performance.

This course will be devoted to the histories and theories of 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century poetry and performance, beginning with William Wordsworth’s and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads. Upon hearing the poets read, William Hazlitt remarked that “[t]here is a chaunt in the recitation both of Coleridge and Wordsworth, which acts as a spell upon the hearer, and disarms the judgment.” This early instance of reception history will provide the backdrop for our discussion throughout the semester. Besides Wordsworth and Coleridge, our reading list will include verse, theory, and criticism by Robert Browning, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Pritchard, Amiri Baraka, Tracie Morris, Christian Bök, Lisa Gitelman, Frederich Kittler, Peter Middleton, John M. Picker, Susan Stewart, and others.
Instructor(s): N. Nurhussein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.629. Poetry and Poetics after The 'Linguistic Turn'.

This seminar will canvas a few of the many developments in english-language poetry, and in poetic theory, that have emerged since the heyday of post-structuralism, on the one hand, and "language"-driven poetry, on the other. The readings will include recent critical work by Joel Nickels, Ruth Jennison, Oren Izenberg, Maria Damon, and others; the poetry will be a combination of recent volumes by contemporary writers, and individual poems.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.630. Mapping Frederick Douglass’s Escape: An Historic Maryland Odyssey.

This course provides an in-depth portrait of the historic Marylander Frederick Douglass, born near Hillsboro in Talbot County, Maryland around 1818, and who successfully escaped slavery in Baltimore in September 1838. We will read Douglass’s three autobiographies and other writings, as well as two biographies of Douglass to understand his importance in American life over time. The course includes three “living classroom” components. At the Douglass/Meyers Museum at Fells Point, Baltimore, students will learn 19th century techniques to build a sailing such as Douglass learned when he worked in the shipyards. Students will tour the Anacostia, DC Frederick Douglass Museum. The course culminates with a sailing trip from Baltimore’s Fells Point to historic St. Michael’s, kayaking along the Tuckahoe and Miles Rivers, and overnight camping on the grounds of a former plantation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Instructor(s): L. Jackson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.631. Tyranny in Early Modern Literature.

In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers: for there is no power but of God: and the powers that be, are ordained of God.” In the wake of such a declaration, what constitutes tyranny? When is resistance to tyranny justified? What forms of recourse are compatible with the Christian obedience enjoined by Paul? How did early modern literature offer a means of leverage, redress and coping with the depredations of “the powers that be”? In search of provisional answers to these questions, this course tracks the representation and rhetorical evaluation of the tyrant figure at the intersection of political philosophy and literature. Political writings by Aristotle, Plato, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Jean Bodin, James I, John Milton and Hanna Arendt are placed in dialogue with historical and theoretical writing by Greg Walker, Stanley Cavell, Mary Nyquist and Terri Snyder on tyranny, slavery, resistance theory and biopolitics. Literary texts, principally drama and prose romances, will include The Wakefield Master’s “Herod the Great”, Sir Philip Sidney’s “The New Arcadia”, Christopher Marlowe’s “Tamburlaine”, Robert Greene’s “Planetomachia”, William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “The Winter’s Tale”, Ben Jonson’s “Sejanus His Fall”, and Elizabeth Cary’s “The Tragedy of Mariam, Fair Queen of Jewry”.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.647. Capitalism for Humanists.

Recent global crises of capital accumulation have obliged both scholarly and journalistic accounts of capitalism to become more sophisticated and comprehensive. This course will be an introduction to some of those accounts. We will approach the problem of describing capital and its dynamics from several angles: conversations about combined and uneven development, about the racialization of enslaved and “surplus” populations; about the forms of social reproduction (often gendered) proximate to the wage; about technological change, robotification, and its implications for the production of capitalist value; about theories of the value-form itself. One aim of this course will be to think about how a better understanding of capital — its history and its mechanics — can make us better scholars of literature, so we will also devote ourselves to assessing the resources and the limits of earlier literary-critical accounts of literature’s relationship to capital accumulation.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.649. African-American Literature.

This course serves as an advanced introduction to the texts, issues and criticism surrounding African-American literature. In it, we will read works from the field's major genres: the slave narrative; the novel; poetry; autobiography; the essay; and literary criticism. Authors under consideration will include: Wheatley; Du Bois; Douglass; Jacobs; Hurston; Hughes; Wright; Baldwin; Morrison.
Instructor(s): M. Thompson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.651. Form and Matter.

This course takes a look at revived interest in formalism and materialism in critical theory as it bears on the literature of the long eighteenth century: topics include formalism and close reading from the new criticism to the present, object oriented ontologies and eighteenth-century materialisms, cognitive criticism and phenomenology.
Instructor(s): J. Kramnick
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.663. Sacred Spaces and the Novel, 1853-1926.

This course offers both a survey of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century prose fiction of Britain and its empire and an examination of recent scholarship on literature’s relation to religion and the geographies of modernity. We’ll begin with three Victorian novels inhabiting the convergence between historical imagination and religious inquiry (Charles Kingsley, George Eliot, Walter Pater), move on to three turn-of-the-century narratives in which the momentum of the quest confronts sacred implacability (Olive Schreiner, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling), and conclude with three novels of the 1920s propelled by pagan ecstasy (E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence, Sylvia Townsend Warner). Primary readings will be accompanied by critical and theoretical texts from György Lukács, René Girard, Fredric Jameson, David Harvey, Leela Gandhi, and others.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.665. Whitman and Dickinson.

An examination of the formal, conceptual, and philosophical innovations in the work of the two major nineteenth-century American poets. We'll consider the premises behind Whitman's poetry of wholes (nothing left out) and Dickinson's poetry of fragments. How does Whitman reconcile the need for formal universals with the emotional attachment to substantive particulars? How does Dickinson find a language for the off-the-map quality of private experience?
Instructor(s): S. Cameron.

AS.060.671. Blazing Worlds: Renaissance Utopia and Contemporary Apocalypse.

This course takes its cue from a basic etymological kinship between “discovery” and apocalypse (??????????, literally “un-covering”). How are world-building and world-ending related? What pathways join the literary and philosophical construction of new worlds with theological and theoretical scenarios of revelation, extinction, and doom? In search of answers, this course reads Renaissance narratives of cosmogony, proto-science fiction and utopian discovery alongside contemporary theories of “worlding”, environmental futurity, climate change, and planetary precarity. After commencing with Lucian and Plutarch, we will read a comprehensive sequence of early modern fictions in which utopias, new worlds and/or new planets are visited or “discovered”: Thomas More, Utopia; Robert Greene, Planetomachia; Tommaso Campanella, The City of the Sun; Johannes Kepler, Somnium (The Dream); Francis Bacon, New Atlantis; Margaret Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World; Aphra Behn’s translation of Fontenelle’s Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds. These early modern texts will be read alongside works in primary philosophy and contemporary eco-theory that constellate key concepts: earth, planet, and world. Texts include Martin Heidegger, Being and Time; Jacques Derrida, “Of An Apocalyptic Tone Recently Adopted In Philosophy”; Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World; Jeffrey Cohen, Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory Beyond Green; Ray Brassier, “The Truth of Extinction” (from Nihil Unbound); Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Planetarity” (from Death of A Discipline).
Instructor(s): A. Daniel
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.673. Migrant Modernism.

Responding to literary scholarship’s continuing concern with the exile, the refugee, the cosmopolitan, and the networks and flows of modernity, this seminar examines the migrant origins and later migrations of English-language modernism. Readings in Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Mike Gold, Claude McKay, Jean Rhys, George Lamming and other writers will be complemented by relevant critical and theoretical texts.
Instructor(s): D. Mao
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.676. Facts and Fiction.

We will examine the vexed place of facts in literature and literary criticism. What are the historical and ideological preconditions for focusing on the study of people that never existed, and events that never occurred? And how did literary criticism privilege an analysis of meaning of works or literary moments, as opposed to verifiable, and reproducible facts? What does all of this tell us about the recent rise of quantitiative literary analysis, and the strong resistance it has encountered? This discussion will include an examination of how different disciplines define notions like "fact," "argument," and "evidence"---in order to better understand our own discipline's principles. In addition to a selection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels yet to be determined, readings will include Émile Zola, Martin Heidegger, Wolfgang Iser, Hans-Robert Jauss, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Bertolt Brecht, Georg Lukács, Fredric Jameson, Theodor Adorno, Karl Popper, Mary Poovey and Franco Moretti.
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.679. Realism: Theory and Practice.

This seminar will offer an in-depth examination of the theory and practice of the nineteenth-century realist novel in three traditions: American, British, and French. Our aim will be to understand the central theories and controversies surrounding realism, as well as to interrogate the centrality of realism to novel theory and narrative theory. Authors will likely include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Frank Norris, and William Dean Howells. Theorists and critics will likely include Erich Auerbach, M. M. Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Leo Bersani, Bertolt Brecht, Richard Chase, René Girard, Howells, Roman Jakobson, Henry James, Fredric Jameson, Harry Levin, G. H. Lewes, Georg Lukács, Boris Tomashevsky, Ian Watt, and Émile Zola
Instructor(s): J. Rosenthal
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.682. The 21st Century University.

This seminar will focus on the changing contours of the American university in an era of economic instability and crisis. With a look back at the formative relationship between monopoly capitalism and the university in the 19th century, we will investigate the effect on the university of the unraveling of American economic power, with attention to the rise of administrative power and the loss of faculty governance, to the pressures of financialization, and to the contradictory situation into which the university is placed by student activism that calls its founding premises into question. We will also ask what intellectual life looks like under conditions of adjunctification and de-politicization. Reading will include selections from Gerald Graff, Professing English, Christopher Newfield’s Ivy and Industry and Unmaking The Public University, Benjamin Ginberg’s The Fall of The Faculty, Stefano Harney's and Fred Moten’s Undercommons, and [the x’s] The University Against Itself, as well as material produced by student and faculty activists in the university struggles of the last 5 to 10 years.
Instructor(s): C. Nealon
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.692. The Enlightenment, Aesthetics and Race.

This course examines the philosophical interplay between Enlightenment aesthetics and the construction of the concept of race. We will read texts in aesthetics and on human difference by Rousseau, Voltaire, Condorcet, Kant, Herder, Jefferson, Burke, Hume and others, in an attempt to see the points at which reflections on art and notions of human biological hierarchy intersect. Particular attention will be paid to the idea of the sublime as it pertains to early anthropological thought.
Instructor(s): M. Thompson
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.696. Journal Club.

Instructor(s): A. Daniel.

AS.060.800. Independent Study.

Instructor(s): M. Thompson; S. Achinstein.

AS.060.801. Teaching Practicum.

Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities.

AS.060.893. Individual Work.

AS.060.894. Independent Reading.

Area: Humanities.

AS.060.895. Journal Club.

Instructor(s): A. Daniel.

Cross Listed Courses

History

AS.100.257. From Voice to Parchment: Media and Communication before the Printing Press, 800-1440. 3.0 Credits.

Epic traditions, call to Crusade, public curses, music of the troubadours: this course examines oral tradition and music—the "viral media" of pre-modern Europe—while tracing the impact of new recording technologies: early musical notation, manuscripts, and book production.
Instructor(s): J. Phillips
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

History of Science & Technology

AS.140.674. Science and Medicine in Early Modern Atlantic World Culture.

How were changes in scientific and medical ideas reflected in cultural products of the early modern Atlantic world? We will study these ideas as they appeared in literary genres such as poetry,utopias, natural histories and travel narratives. Likewise, we will examine the visual culture of the Atlantic space for clues about changing conceptions about the natural world. Our expedition will encompass Anglophone, French and Hispanic regions, and will pay careful attention to hybrid cultural products that reflect the interaction between indigenous cultures and the (changing) European understanding of the natural world.
Instructor(s): M. Portuondo.

Jewish Studies Program

AS.193.304. Everyday Voices of the Holocaust: Popular Jewish Poetic Expression in the Ghettos and Camps. 3.0 Credits.

The course aims to encourage knowledge of a relatively unknown mass phenomenon - poetic creativity by Jews under Nazi Rule, in the Ghettos and Camps. The study of multi-lingual texts, written by non-professional writers, will enable to better understand the complexity of immediate Jewish reaction to Holocaust reality, in its multi-cultural contexts. Texts from selected ghettos and camps, originally written in Yiddish, Polish, German and Hebrew will be read in English translation and analyzed. Emphasis will be put on the differences and similarities between Eastern and Western European Jewry.
Instructor(s): M. Trinh
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

German & Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.211.295. Staging History: Theater and Society in the Courts of Europe. 3.0 Credits.

During the 17th century, the growth of the play-going public of London, Madrid, and Paris transformed theater into an exceptional channel for cultural expression. This course combines the study of theater history, including the spaces, audiences, actors, and playwrights, with the literary analysis of major plays by Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Lope de Vega, Pierre Corneille, and Madame de Villedieu. The main objective of this course is to examine and discuss early modern drama in light of contemporary life at court.
Instructor(s): F. Gomez Martos
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.361. Narratives of Dissent in Israeli Society and Culture. 3.0 Credits.

In this course we will study and analyze the notion of dissent in Israeli society and culture on its various literary and artistic forms. We will examine the emergence and the formation of various political and social protest movements, such as the Israeli Black Panthers, Israeli feminism and the 2011 Social Justice protest. We will discuss at length the history and the nature of dissent in the military and in relation to Israeli wars and will track changes in these relations. Significant portion of the course will be dedicated to the literary, cinematic and artistic aspects of Israeli dissent and their influence on Israeli discourse. We will explore the nature and role of specific genres and media such as the Israeli satire, Israeli television, newspaper op-ed and the recent emergence of social media. Students wishing to work in English exclusively for 3 credits should enroll in section one. Students who are fluent in Hebrew and are wishing to attend an additional hour-long Hebrew discussion session per week with Professor Cohen (time TBD in consultation with enrolled students) for 4 credits should enroll in section two.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.445. Rogues, Tricksters, and Saints: Boccaccio's Decameron. 3.0 Credits.

Boccaccio’s Decameron (1352), a collection of 100 short stories, ranges from the bawdy through the cynical to the romantic and even fantastic. It has inspired numerous writers, artists, musicians and film-makers. We will read Boccaccio’s masterpiece on its own terms and in relation to the development of story-telling, from gossipy “news” (novelle) to artistic short story, theatrical adaptation, literary fairy-tale, and the fantastic. The Decameron will be compared with its forerunners in saints’ lives, bawdy fabliaux, and moral exempla, and with its literary, theatrical, and cinematic imitators in Italy and Europe. Italian graduate students and undergraduate majors will attend an extra weekly meeting conducted in Italian.
Prerequisites: Students may not have taken AS.214.445.
Instructor(s): W. Stephens
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.211.475. Inside the Writer's Laboratory. 3.0 Credits.

How do books come to life? Behind every masterpiece is a tale of hard work, dialogue with other texts, and constant negotiations with social and material circumstances that evolve over time. This course opens up the "laboratory" of figures of the European Renaissance like Erasmus, Machiavelli, and Montaigne to explore the world of writerly culture in its manifold expressions, including authorial revision, self-translation, controversy, censorship, intertextuality, and forgery. Our own laboratory will be the Department of the Special Collections, where we will spend a good deal of our time handling manuscripts and early printed books. Course may be used to satisfy major requirements in both French and Italian sections.
Instructor(s): S. Miglietti
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.211.479. Dante's Journey through the Afterlife. 3.0 Credits.

Dante's Divine Comedy presents a complete picture of the medieval world-view in all its aspects: physical (the structure of the cosmos), historical (the major actors from Adam to Dante himself) and moral (a complete system of right and wrong). Dante shows how the Christian religion portrayed itself, other religions, the nature of God, humans, angels and devils, and human society. We will explore these topics both from the viewpoint of Dante's own time, and in terms of its relevance to our own societal and cultural concerns.
Instructor(s): W. Stephens
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.212.205. Winter Is Coming: Writing and Rewriting French Dark Ages. 3.0 Credits.

This course will not aim at drawing the exhaustive literary landscape of French Middle Ages, neither will it be a Comparative Literature or History class. It may be considered a gateway to French Medieval literature, given that the Modern Fantasy has obviously improved the last decades, the latter being built as a rewriting of Medieval themes and Western European folklore. Looking at texts originally written in Old French, including prose and poetry, but also at the French Medieval iconography, we will try to understand the old roots of the Modern and so popular (but sacrificing) Fantasy Literature. Basic French will be required.
Instructor(s): M. Alhinho
Area: Humanities.

AS.212.478. Guillaume de Machaut: exploring medieval authorship in the digital age. 3.0 Credits.

Using new websites devoted to the lyrics and music of Guillaume de Machaut, the foremost poet and composer of the 14th-century French royal court, this seminar will explore the role of music and literature during the Hundred Years War. The course aims to give students a thorough grounding in Machaut’s literary and musical works, while also introducing them to digital tools to view and analyze original illustrated musical manuscripts of his work. Critical analysis of Machaut’s work will be assessed not only through more traditional essay writing, but also through the creation of a multimedia digital edition of a section of his oeuvre using Omeka exhibition software. The course is designed so that no prior knowledge of musical notation or medieval French is necessary.
Instructor(s): T. Rose-Steel
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.318. The Making of Modern Gender. 3.0 Credits.

Taught in English. Gender as we know it is not timeless. Today, gender roles and the assumption that there are only two genders are diligently contested and debated. With the binary gender system thus perhaps nearing its end, we might wonder if it had a beginning. In fact, the idea that there are two sexes and that they not only assume different roles in society but also exhibit different character traits, has emerged historically around 1800. Early German Romanticism played a seminal role in the making of modern gender and sexuality. For the first time, woman was considered not a lesser version of man, but a different being with a value of her own. The idea of gender complementation emerged, and this idea, in turn, put more pressure than ever on heterosexuality. In this course, we will explore the role of literature and the other arts in the making and unmaking of gender.
Instructor(s): K. Pahl
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.321. Bodies and Pleasures. 3.0 Credits.

Taught in English. This course traces a literary history of sexuality from the Middle Ages to contemporary women’s writing. We will analyze how sexual pleasure changed over time. In particular, we will discuss what role literature plays in the reproduction and transformation of bodily pleasures. The course explores how the pleasures of bodies are imagined in and through literature, but also whether words are bodies that give pleasure and perhaps even have their own pleasures. Authors discussed will include Boccaccio, Cleland, Rousseau, Schlegel, Kleist, Hoffmann, Novalis, Arnim, Büchner, Freud, Rilke, Kafka, Rich, Foucault, Kristeva, Cixous, Giddens, and Winterson.
Instructor(s): K. Pahl
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.616. The Aesthetic Discourse of Modernity.

When, in 1985, Jürgen Habermas published his lectures on The Aesthetic Discourse of Modernity, he pursued a double aim. He offered a critique of French Theory while at the same time providing a foundation for a normative category of modernity in the tradition of Hegel. Curiously there is one subject he does not touch on, though it seems necessary for a sufficient understanding of modernity: the realm of art and literature. This course will develop a critique of Habermas’ normative notion of modernity through re-readings of texts by Nietzsche, Benjamin, Horkheimer/Adorno, Derrida, Bataille and Foucault to elaborate an alternative category of aesthetic modernity. Taught in English. Reading knowledge of German and French is not required, but recommended.
Instructor(s): A. Geisenhanslueke
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.666. “To be continued”- Seriality in Literature and Other Media.

Taught in German. By ending with the words “(To be continued)” [“(Ist fortzusetzen)“], Goethe’s Wilhem Meisters Wanderjahre not only reflects on the open form of the modern novel but also points toward serialized formats of fiction as they emerge in the 19th century due to advances in printing technologies. The publication of fiction in periodical installments in magazines or newspapers brings about the development of new genres (serialized novel/Feuilletonroman) along with specific serial narrative techniques. The cliffhanger e.g. – although invented earlier – becomes a prominent technique to create suspense. The course analyzes seriality with respect to narrative forms and genres across various media (literature, theater, film, TV) from the 19th century to the present. It further discusses serial aesthetics, seriality in structuralist and poststructuralist theory as well as the ambivalent status of seriality in the arts between avantgarde and popular culture. The course material will include: Stifter, Fontane, excerpts from the magazine “Die Gartenlaube”, Wagner, Freud, Kafka, Lévi-Strauss, Deleuze, Eco, Iser, “The Perils of Pauline” (serial, 1914), “Copycat” (Jon Amiel, 1995), “Twin Peaks” and current US-American TV series.
Instructor(s): E. Strowick
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.725. Proto-, Modern, and Post-: Locating the –ism in Modernism.

All discussions in English. This graduate seminar will seek to disentangle the interrelationship among “proto-modernism,” “modernism,” and “post-modernism” from the straightjacket of periodization and taxonomy by focusing instead on questions of temporality and phenomenology. When is the time of modernity? What precedes modernism? How is post-modernism a continuation of modernism and a break with modernity? What follows the “post” or precedes the “proto”? How does literature establish a dialogue not just across linguistic borders but temporal ones as well? And when do these processes repeat themselves due to historical and political factors? By way of complicating all of these questions we will be considering writers from “across” the 20th century, including Walter Abish, Thomas Bernhard, André Breton, Orly Castel-Bloom, Henry Dumas, Moyshe Kulbak, Machado de Assis, Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Joseph Roth, Anton Shammas, Gertrude Stein, and Robert Walser.
Instructor(s): M. Caplan.

AS.214.125. Freshman Seminar: Dangerous Liaisons: Words and Music Through the Ages. 3.0 Credits.

How do music and words interact? Do words have a priority on music or vice versa? Does music need words to be understood and interpreted? Are words filled with meaning by music? A variety of readings and musical examples will be discussed, including genres as diverse as medieval songs, madrigals, Romantic Lieder, opera, the American musical, and contemporary pop music. The seminar will include field trips to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Peabody Institute, and the Evergreen Museum and Library. Students will also have the opportunity to attend a live HD broadcast of Mozart’s Don Giovanni from the Metropolitan Opera. No musical skills required; strong doses of curiosity most welcome.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities.

AS.214.333. Shakespeare on the Opera Stage. 3.0 Credits.

From Rossini’s Otello to Cole Porter’s Kiss me Kate, from Verdi’s Macbeth to Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, the works of William Shakespeare have been an extraordinary source of inspiration for musical theatre. By exploring operatic adaptations of Shakespeare in different periods and contexts, this course will examine the ways in which composers and librettists have interpreted and reshaped the plays. The course, primarily focused on the 19th century Italian reception of Shakespeare and, in particular, on operas by Rossini and Verdi, will also consider the phenomenon within a broad transnational perspective up to include contemporary opera and musical.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.341. The Book of Nature, the Nature of Books: The Origins of Literary Ecology. 3.0 Credits.

This course investigates how ecological factors inspired storytellers, influenced modes of literary publication, and determined reader responses in Europe before 1700.Students enrolling in section 2 will attend a supplementary one hour session at a time to be mutually decided and complete the work in Italian.
Instructor(s): T. Tower
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.477. Magic, Marvel, and Monstrosity in the Renaissance. 3.0 Credits.

Magic, Monstrosity,and Marvels or Wonders call into question what we see and experience: what is reality, what is illusion; what’s natural and what’s supernatural? What’s human and what’s more, or less, than human? During the Renaissance, ideas about the nature of reality were bound up with questions and issues very different from those of our time. With the exact sciences still being invented, the nature of the world was much less hard and fast for Renaissance people than it is for the modern educated person. The literary masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance provide vivid illustrations of the early modern sense of wonder. Foremost among these are the theatrical comedies which Italian authors revived in imitation of the ancients, and the romances, especially Ariosto’s Orlando furioso (1532) and Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata (1581). These and other works influenced ideas about magical and marvelous phenomena across Europe for centuries to come. Works will be read and discussed in English. Italian majors and graduate students (who should enroll in section 2) will attend a weekly supplemental discussion in Italian and compose their written work in Italian.
Instructor(s): W. Stephens
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.479. Dante Visits the Afterlife: The Divine Comedy. 3.0 Credits.

Dante’s Divina commedia is the greatest long poem of the Middle Ages; some say the greatest poem of all time. We will study the Commedia critically to find: (1) What it reveals about the worldview of late-medieval Europe; (2) how it works as poetry; (3) its relation to the intellectual cultures of pagan antiquity and Latin (Catholic) Christianity; (4) its presentation of political and social issues; (5) its influence on intellectual history, in Italy and elsewhere; (6) the challenges it presents to modern readers and translators; (7) what it reveals about Dante’s understanding of cosmology, world history and culture. We will read and discuss the Commedia in English, but students will be expected to familiarize themselves with key Italian terms and concepts. Students taking section 02 (for 4 credits) will spend an additional hour working in Italian at a time to be mutually decided upon by students and professor.
Instructor(s): W. Stephens
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.639. The Sound of Poetry: Early Modern Approaches to Poetics, Rhetoric, and Music.

Although naturally and historically intertwined, music and poetry tended to be described in the early modern period as competing rather than interacting. By looking at both literary and theoretical texts, the seminar aims to explore the ways in which this controversial relation is revealed by the interplay of poetics, rhetoric, and music theory. Reading materials will include classical sources (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Ps.-Longinus, Quintilian) and their early modern interpretations. Special attention will be given to Torquato Tasso, Giambattista Marino, and Giambattista Doni, whose works will be also discussed in the light of the contemporary development of musical genres (e.g. madrigals, opera). No musical skills required.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.640. Film Theory.

The seminar deals with film theory in its history and its current trends. We will examine structuralist, post-structuralist, feminist, Marxist, psycho-analytic and other theoretical approaches to understanding and interpreting the cinematic medium. We will look at several different genres of contemporary films from Italy, France, Spain, and Latin American Film, from auteur-films to independent documentary collectives, animation films to blockbusters. We will invite at least one film theorist and one filmmaker to class during the semester.
Instructor(s): B. Wegenstein
Area: Humanities.

AS.214.684. The Commentary Tradition and the Birth of Literary Scholarship.

The practice of commenting on texts lies at the foundations of what we call today “literary criticism.” From the Bible to Dante’s Divine Comedy, from Greek and Latin poetry to medieval and Renaissance literary writings, the many questions posed by the commentators have contributed widely to the shaping of the modern notions of reading and interpretation. What do we look for when we read a text? How do we approach it? How does our reading interact with the author’s intention? To what extent is the commentator appropriating the author’s prerogatives? By exploring a wide range of case studies, the seminar aims to reassess the role of the commentary tradition within the development of literary scholarship and as a genre per se. Some sessions will take place at the Hopkins Special Collections and at the Walters Art Museum, where students will have the opportunity to work on both manuscripts and early prints, and select materials for their presentations.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.748. Vico and the Old Science.

Giambattista Vico’s Principi di scienza nuova d’intorno alla comune natura delle nazioni (1725, 1730, 1744) was intended to found an “ideal” and “eternal” model of human development, valid for all societies. Vico considered his project both philology and philosophy, and tried to revolutionize thinking about human history as practiced between about 1550 and 1700, by exposing misconceptions behind attempts to square “sacred history” (the presumed historical accuracy of the Bible) with “profane” or non Judeo-Christian concepts of history, both ancient and modern. The culture shock underlying this “old science” stimulated Vico to base philosophical and historical knowledge of mythology on a conception of narration. Recommended Course background: Italian and Latin
Instructor(s): W. Stephens
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.312. The Great Latin American novel according to Carlos Fuentes. 3.0 Credits.

An investigation into the historical development of the great Latin American novel according to Carlos Fuentes new book on the subject. Course includes reading novels by machado de Assis, Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, Cortazar and Piglia
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities.

AS.215.353. Women Writing in Latin America: Prose and Poetry by Sor Juana, Mistral, Lisoba, Pizarnik, Castellanos, and other poets. 3.0 Credits.

The first objective of the course is to train students in close reading and analysis of literary texts. The second objective is to read prose and poetry by some of the canonical texts in the Latin American tradition written by women. Taught in English.
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.361. A multidisciplinary Introduction to the Study of Latin America. 3.0 Credits.

The course brings together knowledges drawn from the fields of geography, history, anthropology, literature and art in order to provide access to the complexity of "Latin America". Students may opt do the reading in the original Spanish or Portuguese and also write in either language.
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.452. Che Guevara and Magical Realism. 3.0 Credits.

His detractors often compare him to Hitler while many of his admirers see in him a saint and a martyr like Jesus Christ. Cuban school children are taught to be like him. Che was killed in 1967, the same year in which Gabriel García Márquez published Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitute). We will study Guevara's life as a militant revolutionary through his own writings and the exorbitant style known as realismo mágico, crafted by García Márquez, one of Che's great admirers. Four movies will anchor our visual take on the myth and the man: Los diarios de motocicleta (Walter Salles, 2004), Che I and Che II (Steven Soderbergh, 2008), and Wall Street (Oliver Stone, 1987). The nineteen-eighties narcotraffic boom in Colombia and the cocaine-driven financial high times during the late Reagan years will frame our study. Taught in Spanish
Instructor(s): E. Gonzalez
Area: Humanities.

AS.215.489. Poetry in Latin America: A multilingual survey from 1200 to the present.. 3.0 Credits.

The course focuses on a presentation of the multiple traditions of poetry writing that make up the Latin American tradition from the Mexica poets at about 1200 to current writers in Latin America. Original poetry in Nahuatle, Maya-Quiche, Spanish and Portuguese will be read along side translations into English. Attention will be paid to translation theory.
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.650. Mexico and the Invention of America.

Departing from O'Gorman, the course will entail a reconsideration of the discursive invention of Mexico-America. Anonymous, Sahagun, Clavijero, Humboldt, Dussel and Alzandua will conform part of the readings. Taught in English
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.653. The Poetics of Writing Prose and Poetry in Modern Latin America: Vallejo, Mistral, Borges, Paz, Lisboa, Castellanos and Pizarnik.

This course will focus on the art of writing poetry, the art of reading poetry and the poetics of each of the poets whose work is the textual matter of the course.
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.658. Whose Caribbean? Colonialism and its Legacies.

Readings from colonial times to the present from three cultural legacies, Hispanic, English and French. Centered on slavery and its sequels.
Instructor(s): E. Gonzalez.

AS.215.747. Borges in Theory.

The course engages close readings of Borges critical essays and some of his fiction in order to establish the points of interpellation that Post-modern theory takes from or shares with Borges's meditation on the problem of writing.
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren.

Humanities Center

AS.300.111. Shakespeare and his 'Goddess'. 3.0 Credits.

Shakespeare's description of his lover's eyes as 'nothing like the sun' is both an homage and a sendup of a 300-year-old poetic convention reaching back to the days of Petrarch and the early humanist poets. In this course we will trace that tradition from the perspective of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, finishing the semester with several plays, including 'The Taming of the Shrew,' that further illustrate and problematize Shakespeare's 'goddess' reference. Readings will include poetic dialogues between male and female poets, such as those by the early Italian Petrarchans Vittoria Colonna, Michelangelo, Veronica Gambara, and Gaspara Stampa; their French counterparts, Maurice Scéve and Les Dames des Roches; and the later English reflections on the sonnet tradition by Sir Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and Sidney's niece, Lady Mary Wroth. All works will be read in translation. Freshmen only.
Instructor(s): E. Patton
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.113. Freshmen Seminar: Drama and Gender in Shakespeare's England. 3.0 Credits.

In this seminar we will read male and female authored plays and discuss how they reflect contemporary social expectations in Tudor and Stuart England. Authors include William Shakespeare; Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke; Christopher Marlowe; Elizabeth Cary; Ben Jonson; and Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth.
Instructor(s): E. Patton
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.211. Great Poems of the Americas. 3.0 Credits.

This course investigates the long poem or post-epic in 20th- and 21st-century North and Latin America. The epic has been rearticulated in sequences and series, verse novels, lyric cycles, and collage poems: from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, the encyclopedic Cantos of Ezra Pound, and the sweeping Canto General of Pablo Neruda to works by Derek Walcott and Gwendolyn Brooks and fragmented series by Gertrude Stein, Hart Crane, and César Vallejo. We will examine Aimé Césaire’s Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, Vicente Huidobro’s playful Altazor, and very recent epic poems from Canadian women poets such as Anne Carson, Lisa Robertson, and M. NourbeSe Philip. As we test the term post-epic against these texts, we will consider whether it may be applied equally to the heroic tale and the open field poem. How do poets interpret the idea of “the Americas” as lands and nations in these works, and in what tangled ways do their poetics develop through dialogue across linguistic and geographical distances? To situate the long poem in history, we’ll examine developments in poetic form alongside modernization and globalization, and technological and socio-political changes. We will draw on theories of poetry and poetics as well as critical theory, taking a comparative, Hemispheric Studies approach to literature.
Instructor(s): R. Galvin
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.283. Nineteenth-Century Science Fiction: Ecology, Utopia, and Catastrophe. 3.0 Credits.

This course will introduce students to some of the key texts of science fiction as the genre emerged during the nineteenth century. We will consider the intellectual contexts for the form’s development in Britain, France, and the United States, as well as its emerging narrative conventions. In particular, we will consider how early sci-fi writers used non-realistic modes to dramatize problems and discoveries were at once real and yet hard to fathom within the parameters of everyday cognition: deep geological time, alternative social arrangemts, post-human landscapes. Texts may include H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, Edward Bulwer Lytton’s The Coming Race, William Morris’ News from Nowhere, and Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Instructor(s): S. Lecourt
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.302. Making Modern Poetry. 3.0 Credits.

Making Modern Poetry” will explore the intersection and conversation between literature, art history, and graphic design by examining the rapid global development of poetry, art, and print from 1890 to 1930. We will read canonical modernist poets such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound as well as those less familiar, like Mina Loy and César Moro, considering texts comparatively across national borders and through their relations to other arts. All readings will be in English.
Instructor(s): B. Gillespie
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.321. Rise of the Modern Short Story. 3.0 Credits.

A comparative tour of examples of short stories from three continents that emerged from earlier narrative forms in the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention will be given to new structural, rhetorical, and thematic concerns including the development of new sub-genres, e.g. fictions of detection, case histories, portraits of the artist, and the adaptation of several stories to newer media [at least 2 of the longer narratives translated to film will be screened]. A detailed syllabus of our readings will be available later in the summer; because there is no anthology that quite fits our needs, all the texts or translations, as well as critical and contextual notes will be supplied in digital forms. Note: there will also be an optional hour for questions & discussion TBA.
Instructor(s): R. Macksey
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.323. Shakespeare and Ibsen. 3.0 Credits.

William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen are the two most frequently performed playwrights in history, and both have been credited with reinventing drama: Shakespeare for the Elizabethan stage and Ibsen for the modern. In this course we will pair together plays by each author – those that stand in an explicit relation of influence as well as those that share a significant set of concerns – in order to investigate how each takes up and transform key problems in the literary, political, and philosophical tradition for their own historical moment. Plays to be studied: by Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, The Tempest, A Winter’s Tale; by Ibsen, St. John’s Night, Hedda Gabler, Rosmersholm, The Wild Duck, The Master Builder, When We Dead Awaken.
Instructor(s): L. Lisi
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.329. Literature of the Everyday. 3.0 Credits.

The ordinary, the common, the everyday: why does literary realism consider the experiences of the average individual to be worthy of serious contemplation? In this course, we will read closely a set of novels by Flaubert, Mann, Dickens, Zola, Tolstoy, and Woolf from the period between 1850 and 1950 in which the development of realism reaches it climax. These novels explore the nature of work, family, the body, consciousness, and the changing relation between individual and tradition in modernity. We will situate these novels in their social, historical, and literary contexts, and establish a set of terms for the formal study of the novel as a genre (plot, character, setting, narrative, etc).
Instructor(s): Y. Ong
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.330. Trauma in Theory, Film, and Fiction. 3.0 Credits.

An examination of the representation of trauma in literary theory, psychiatry, survivor literature, films, novels, and comics. Works by Sebald ("The Emigrants"), Lanzmann ("Shoah"), Spiegelman ("In the Shadow of No Towers"), McCarthy ("Remainder"), and others.
Instructor(s): M. Fried
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.300.335. Victorian Literature as World Literature. 3.0 Credits.

What does it mean to read literature in a global context? How are literary texts that we think of as products of distinct national cultures plugged into larger global systems – even if they seem unaware of it? In this course we’ll consider these questions through sustained readings of major Victorian literary texts such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1861). We will retrace how these books exercised cultural influence beyond the borders of Great Britain; how networks of trade, tourism, and imperial power brought authors from different cultures into contact with one another; and how Victorian texts have become a part of our culture in unexpected ways. Other primary texts may include Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four (1890), the poetry of Romesh Chunder Dutt, and first-hand accounts of Oscar Wilde’s 1882 American lecture tour; critical readings will cover postcolonial theory, media theory, and histories of colonialism and urbanization.
Instructor(s): S. Lecourt
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.346. Forms of Moral Community: The Contemporary World Novel. 3.0 Credits.

Literary and philosophical imaginations of moral community in the post-WWII period (1950-2001). Texts include: Coetzee, Disgrace; McEwan, Atonement;Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Ishiguro, An Artist of the Floating World; Roy, The God of Small Things; Lessing, The Grass is Singing; Mistry, A Fine Balance;Morrison, Beloved; and essays by Levi, Strawson, Adorno, Murdoch, Beauvoir and Barthes on the deep uncertainty over moral community after the crisis of World War II. Close attention to novelistic style and narrative will inform our study of the philosophical questions that animate these works. What does it means to acknowledge another person’s humanity? Who are the members of a moral community? Why do we hold one another responsible for our actions? How do fundamental moral emotions such as contempt, humiliation, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, and regret reveal the limits of a moral community? Cross listed with English.
Instructor(s): Y. Ong
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.349. Capitalism and Tragedy: from the 18th Century to Climate Change. 3.0 Credits.

In contemporary discussions of climate change, it is an increasingly prevalent view that capitalism will lead to the destruction of civilization as we know it. The notion that capitalism is hostile to what makes human life worth living, however, is one that stretches back at least to the early eighteenth century. In this class, we will examine key moments in the history of this idea in works of literature, philosophy, and politics, from the birth of bourgeois tragedy in the 1720s, through topics such as imperialism and economic exploitation, to the prospects of our ecological future today. Authors to be studied: George Lillo, Balzac, Dickens, Marx and Engels, Ibsen, Weber, Brecht, Arthur Miller, Steinbeck, Pope Francis, and contemporary fiction, politics and philosophy on climate change.
Instructor(s): L. Lisi
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.363. Reading Judith Shakespeare: poetry and drama by women writers in Elizabethan England (ca 1558-1650). 3.0 Credits.

Virginia Woolf's account of the thwarted career of Shakespeare's hypothetical sister, Judith (in A Room of One's Own) frames our reading of plays and poetry by Shakespeare and contemporary women writers, including Isabella Whitney, Elizabeth Cary, Mary Sidney, Aemelia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, and others. Students will create fictional biographies of “Judith Shakespeare” and her literary accomplishments. Cross listed with English, Theater Arts, Writing Seminars, and WGS.
Instructor(s): E. Patton
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.300.371. The Modernist Novel: James, Woolf, and Joyce. 3.0 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to survey works by three of the greatest, most relentless innovators of the twentieth century – Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce -- who explored and exploded narrative techniques for depicting what Woolf called the “luminous halo” of life. Selected works include: "The Beast in the Jungle," The Portrait of a Lady, Jacob’s Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses.
Instructor(s): Y. Ong
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.609. Vollendungsroman: The Novel of Age.

This seminar explores the Vollendungsroman, or novel of age, as a twentieth- and twenty-first-century counterpart to the late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bildungsroman that Moretti and others view as the symbolic form of modernity. We will examine how Vollendungsromane broach the relation between subjectivity and "age" (not only in the sense of individual maturity, but also in the sense of historical epoch); how they bring into question traditional conceptions of growth, authority, interiority, body-soul, authenticity, and reconciliation; how they represent alternatives to the modes of moral response and being valorized in the Bildungsroman; and how, in and through their very form, they meditate upon the philosophical significance of the classic phase of the novel. Selected novels by Goethe, Austen, Brontë, Joyce, Woolf, Coetzee, Ishiguro, and McEwan. Open to qualified undergraduates.
Instructor(s): Y. Ong
Area: Humanities.

Interdepartmental

AS.360.133. Freshman Seminar: Great Books at Hopkins. 3.0 Credits.

Freshman Seminar: Students attend lectures by an interdepartmental group of Hopkins faculty and meet for discussion in smaller seminar groups; each of these seminars is led by one of the course faculty. In lectures, panels, multimedia presentations, and curatorial sessions among the University's rare book holdings, we will explore some of the greatest works of the literary and philosophical traditions in Europe and the Americas. Close reading and intensive writing instruction are hallmarks of this course; authors for Fall 2016 include Homer, Plato, Boccaccio, Diderot, Shelley, Nietzsche, Nabokov, Douglass, and Woolf.
Instructor(s): A. Daniel; E. Patton; S. Weiss; W. Egginton
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

AS.363.302. Queer Identity?. 3.0 Credits.

What does "queer" mean? And who gets to say? This course examines tensions, ambiguities, and contradictions that have emerged in popular, political, and theoretical discourses over the past 25 years.
Instructor(s): J. Chilton
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.363.326. Capitalism and Gender. 3.0 Credits.

This course explores a range of critical work relating capitalism to gender, sex, and sexuality: from theoretical accounts of witchcraft, marriage, and prostitution at the birth of capitalist social relations, to classic feminist debates around housework and reproduction, to contemporary thought on affect, finance, and the global dimensions of women’s labor. As a centerpiece to the course we will read sections from Capital, interrogating the place of gender in Marx’s text while developing a grasp of its arguments and influence.
Instructor(s): C. Westcott
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

Program in Museums and Society

AS.389.343. Edgar Allan Poe and His Afterlives. 3.0 Credits.

We will investigate the creative development and iconic afterlife of a canonical American author, Edgar Allan Poe, as a case-study in literary legacy and cultural heritage. What is the lifespan of a literary work, and how do works “stay alive” for later generations? Students will examine rare Poe materials and create a digital exhibition of Poe archives.
Instructor(s): G. Dean
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.389.355. Literary Culture in the Nineteenth-Century Library. 3.0 Credits.

What did people actually read in the nineteenth century? What can we learn from their books and magazines? In this class, we read nineteenth-century English and American literary works and examine nineteenth-century literary objects from the collection of the George Peabody Library, to better understand the cultural and material environments within which literary works circulated. Featured writers likely to include Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane. Several field trips to the Peabody Library throughout the semester.
Instructor(s): G. Dean
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.389.359. Literary Archive. 3.0 Credits.

This course invites students to grapple with the theory and practice of building literary archives in 19th- and 20th-century American culture. For the final project students will work collaboratively to build a digital archive and exhibit of selected materials from the JHU rare book and manuscript collections. Meets in Special Collections. Coss-listed with English. M&S practicum course.
Instructor(s): G. Dean
Area: Humanities.

For current faculty and contact information go to http://english.jhu.edu/people/

Faculty

Chair

Christopher Nealon
American literature, aesthetic theory, poetry and poetics, the history of sexuality

Professors

Sharon Achinstein
Sir William Osler Professor of English: Early modern literature, poetry and poetics, gender

Chris Cannon
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor: Medieval literature, philosophy

Mary Favret
British Romanticism, late 18th- early 19th-century English literature, war studies, gender and genre, literature and violence

Lawrence Jackson
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor: African American Literature, Literary History, Biography, American History

Douglas Mao
British, Irish, and U.S. poetry and fiction since 1860; interdisciplinary study of modernism.

Andrew Miller
Literature and moral philosophy; nineteenth century British literature; literary theory

Christopher Nealon
American literature, aesthetic theory, poetry and poetics, the history of sexuality

Eric Sundquist
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities: American literature and culture, including African American and Jewish American; literature of the Holocaust.

Mark Thompson
19th- and 20th-century African-American literature, 20th-century German Idealism, French philosophy and aesthetics, theory.

Associate professors

Andrew Daniel
Early modern literature, critical theory, aesthetics.

Jared Hickman
American literature, intellectual and cultural history of Atlantic (anti) slavery, religion and radical politics, critical race studies.

Nadia Nurhussein
African American literature, late 19th- and early 20th-century American literature, Poetry and Poetics

Assistant professors

Jeanne-Marie Jackson
Theory of the novel, literature and philosophy, sub-Saharan African literature, Russian realism, global regionalisms.

Jesse Rosenthal
American literature, aesthetic theory, poetry and poetics, the history of sexuality.

Professors emeriti

Sharon Cameron
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emerita of English: American literature.

Frances Ferguson
Literature, aesthetic theory, and moral/legal philosophy in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Neil Hertz
Professor Emeritus (Humanities): Romantic literature and critical theory.

Ronald Paulson
William D. and Robin Mayer Professor Emeritus of the Humanities: 17th- and 18th-century literature and Romantics.

Research professor

Larzer Ziff
Caroline Donovan Professor Emeritus of English Literature: American literature.

Joint appointments

John T. Irwin
Professor (Writing Seminars): American literature.

Lecturers

Aliza Watters
Lecturer: Expository Writting Program

Anne-Elizabeth Murdy Brodsky
Lecturer: Expository Writing Program.

Williams Evans
Senior Lecturer: Expository Writing Program.

Patricia Kain
Senior Lecturer and Director: Expository Writing Program.

George Oppel
Lecturer: Expository Writing Program.

Marisa O’Connor
Lecturer: Expository Writing Program.