Writing Seminars

http://writingseminars.jhu.edu/

The Writing Seminars exists to help students combine imaginative writing with scholarship in the general context of the humanities.

Requirements for a B.A. degree

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree)

AS.220.105 Fiction Poetry Writing I and AS.220.106 Fiction Poetry Writing II are prerequisite courses required for all majors and others who want to take advanced courses in writing.  Majors must receive a grade of C- or better in all courses required for the major and no major requirements may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.  

AS.220.105Fiction Poetry Writing I3
AS.220.106Fiction Poetry Writing II3
Four courses of English literature. *12
Two courses in philosophy. It is recommended that one course be a Philosophy Department introductory course. 6
Two courses in history. Majors are encouraged to take one history survey course in the History Department. May include one course from History of Art or from History of Science and Technology.6
AS.220.200Introduction to Fiction3
AS.220.201Introduction to Poetry Writing3
One fiction course at the 300-400 level.3
One poetry course at the 300-400 level.3
One advanced writing workshop.3
Three elective courses at the 200-400 level within the department.9
Foreign language proficiency through the second semester of the intermediate level is required.

*

Expository Writing may not apply towards the English literature requirement.


Honors

A GPA of 3.5 or better in all major requirements is required to earn honors in the major.

The Writing Seminars offers a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in fiction and poetry. Students admitted to the M.F.A. program enroll in two years of course work and produce a substantial manuscript in the form of a novel or collection of fiction or poetry. M.F.A. candidates are chosen on the basis of a manuscript, college transcripts, GRE scores, and appropriate letters of recommendation that testify to the student’s ability and willingness to undertake serious study in the literary arts. Since all students receive financial aid in the form of full tuition and a teaching assistantship, applicants must be able to demonstrate aptitude for college teaching.

The program requires two full years of residency in Baltimore. Students enroll each semester in two courses: a writing workshop in poetry or fiction and a second course in craft or literature taught within the department. At the end of the first year, students present a portfolio of revised work for faculty review. Successful completion of this work is a requirement for continuation in the second year.

The M.F.A. degree in The Writing Seminars is designed for students committed to the study and practice of literary writing at the highest level of accomplishment. Approximately four poets and four fiction writers will be admitted annually. Our pedagogy emphasizes genre-informed discussions, faculty conferences, independent readings, and interactions with visiting writers. Culminating in a book-length thesis, this immersion in literary study is designed to inculcate the habits and skills necessary for a productive writer’s life.

Students applying to the M.F.A. program should have a bachelor’s degree. All must demonstrate competence in a foreign language at the college level.

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

Courses

AS.220.101. Narrative Medicine.

The course will introduce students to the role of storytelling in medicine through a variety of essays, short stories and documentaries, from Susan Sontag's Illness as Metaphor to Atul Gawande's Complications to Terry Wrong's Hopkins. In addition to studying these narratives, students will produce their own written works and meet guest writers from the local medical community. Throughout, the course will provide students with valuable practice in critical analysis and reasoning, skills that are tested on entrance exams such as the MCAT.
Instructor(s): E. Parker
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.105. Fiction Poetry Writing I.

A course in realist fiction and traditional verse, with readings in Eudora Welty, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry James, Robert Frost, Paul Fussell, John Gardner, Seamus Heane, and Gwendolyn Brooks. This first course for writers is a study of forms of short fiction and metered verse. Students compose short stories and poems; includes practice of critical attention to literary models and workshop of student writing. This course is a prerequisite for most upper level courses. This course is part one of the year-long Introduction to Fiction and Poetry, and must be taken before AS.220.106.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.106. Fiction Poetry Writing II.

The second half of IFP, a course in counter-traditional antirealist fiction and free verse (Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bishop, Franz Kafka, Italo Calvino, and William Carlos Williams). This course is a prerequisite for most upper level courses.
Prerequisites: AS.220.105
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.108. Introduction to Fiction & Nonfiction.

A course in realist fiction and nonfiction, with readings by Eudora Welty, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry James; George Orwell, Beryl Markham and Truman Capote. Students compose short stories and essays with attention to literary models. AS.220.105 can be substituted for AS.220.108.
Instructor(s): J. Cavanaugh-Simpson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.112. The Problems with Myth: Mythology in 20th Century Literature.

This course examines how and why important 20th century writers reinterpreted ancient myths to explore modern themes of ennui, violence, and the absurd hero. We begin with classical authors then jump to those of the 20th century: for example, Louise Glück, James Joyce, Albert Camus, and Eugene O'Neill. In addition to reading literature and essays, students write original poems and sketches in order to understand how mythic narratives continue to satisfy the modern voice.
Instructor(s): R. Oh
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.118. Plagues and Pandemics in Literature.

All plagues seem to begin in mystery: What is happening? Why? Who can we blame? What needs to change? How we react to these questions in the midst of a mass disaster has fascinated writers for centuries. Looking to literature, this class will examine pandemics ranging from the Black Death to Influenza to HIV/AIDS. We will also discuss vampires, zombies, and laboratory experiments gone disastrously wrong. Students will write their own poems and short stories.
Instructor(s): P. Kirkpatrick.

AS.220.121. Writing for Children: Craft and Charm.

This course will critically examine modern and contemporary children's literature as models from which students will produce writing for children. We will investigate why the most successful children's books are the most difficult to restrict to that category, through a focus on literary merit and analysis, interplay of word and image, treatment of adult subjects, and author histories. Students will write creatively in response to topics including: picture books; children's poetry; Harold Bloom on the Junior Canon; fantasy blockbusters and "high/low" literature; magic, fairytales, and Disneyification; and gender divisions in middle grade works. Prerequisite: AS.220.105.
Instructor(s): C. Sender
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.123. B'More: Baltimore in Fiction, Film, TV.

Please note, class will meet Saturday, Jan. 24 in the event of inclement weather. This course is for freshmen ONLY. Baltimore has long inspired a diverse group of writers & filmmakers. Students will gain access to the creative soul of the city by reading works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Russell Baker, and Anne Tyler; watching films by Barry Levinson and John Waters, and viewing episodes of The Wire. They will also take a literary walking tour of Mount Vernon, and meet with local writers and filmmakers. Finally, students will write their own Baltimore-inspired stories and scripts. "IFP1 not a prerequisite, but preferred".
Prerequisites: AS.360.108 AND AS.270.119 AND AS.371.189 AND AS.060.153 AND AS.060.126 AND AS.100.197 AND AS.300.100 AND AS.360.176 AND AS.220.116 AND AS.280.205 AND AS.230.216 AND AS.220.190 AND AS.220.194
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.125. Short Fiction of David Foster Wallace.

In this course we will explore David Foster Wallace's shorter fiction with an eye towards the philosophical questions raised therein: How can we be authentic when the self is a social construct? How do we escape solipsism while remaining aware of our helpless subjectivity? How do we feel empathy while acknowledging irony? Is it impossible to escape the self, or is that just me? Recommended Course Background: AS.220.105
Instructor(s): E. Levitz
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.126. Serious Nonsense: Light & Comic Poetry.

This course will provide a guided tour of some of the funniest poems ever written in the English language. Genres covered will include light verse, satire, parody, absurdism (nonsense), and others. Lessons will explore the serious side of comic poetry and vice versa. Students will have the opportunity to write their own comic verse in the genres discussed.Prerequisite: AS.220.105.
Instructor(s): A. Allen
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.127. Music and Narrative.

In today's fast-paced, literate society, it is easy to forget that storytelling began as an oral tradition--an early music. We will explore, in broad strokes, the relationship between musical compositions and written stories, the ways in which composers/songwriters and authors alike build into their creations the elements of a story--setting, voice, character, conflict. Our canon will include everything from Thriller to Beethoven's 3rd, Gluck to Gladiator, Cather to Carver. Work load includes weekly readings, one major creative writing assignment, and the completion of a critical essay.
Instructor(s): A. Creighton
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.131. Place, Identity, & Memory in Poetry.

This course focuses on poetry that deals with the ways in which place and memory inform a poet's identity. For centuries, poets have explored the individual's relationship with place, linking spaces to specific memories or experiences in an attempt to articulate how our environment defines us. Students will read a wide selection of poems that deal with "place"--from WB Yeats' exploration of Roman ruins, to Anthony Hecht's reflections on his childhood in New York City. Students will write and workshop their own poems weekly. This course will culminate in a final portfolio of the student's poetry.
Instructor(s): K. Parr
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.132. The Glory of Love: Writing Love Poems.

This class will explore a variety of love poetry including, but not limited to, patriotic love, familial love, divine love, and of course romantic love. We will write poems weekly in both free verse and meter. Readings will include poems by Keats, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Yeats, John Berryman, Jack Gilbert, and others. We will also read prose by Plato, Erich Fromm, Emerson, and others in order to discuss the poems more deeply. Fun is mandatory! IFP 1 not a prerequisite, but preferred.
Instructor(s): S. Greer
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.133. Writing the Personal and the Political.

This class will explore selected American fiction and poetry through the lens of social consciousness specifically, race, gender, and class. How does one write socially conscious fiction and poetry without the soapbox? Starting with W.E.B. Du Bois notion that all art is propaganda, we'll study how authors use their craft to make a statement. In addition to writing and reading assignments, class work will include discussion board posts on current events, and a final critical essay. Prerequisite: AS.220.105.
Instructor(s): J. Takacs
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.134. Words & Music.

Although poetry's origins are in song, we often think of the two art forms as separate--each with unique artistic strategies and historical traditions. This course explores the close relationship between poetry and music, focusing especially on: poems set to music, with examples from the Renaissance to the present; a musical and an opera libretto adapted from literary sources; and original lyrics from a range of songwriters from Bob Dylan to contemporary hip hop artists. Students will analyze their own choices of song lyrics and will try their hands at the various forms studied in class. Prerequisite:AS.220.105.
Instructor(s): R. Hofmann
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.135. Flash Fiction & Prose Poetry.

In this workshop course we will read and write the short form. As fiction writers we will learn from the poet's sensitivity to the sonic and rhythmic possibilities of language, and look to the origins of short forms at the advent of modernity. As poets we will learn from the fiction writer's cultivation of voice and dictional particularity and explore the psychodynamics of narrative. We wil conclude by studying the proliferation of new forms in literature, asking what this means in the context of tradition.
Instructor(s): C. Phinney
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.136. Poems of Love and Sexuality.

How do poets represent love and sex in their work, longing and desire, fulfillment and pleasure, absence and loss? Why is other people’s love interesting to us? These are questions we will address as we write our own poems and as we closely study poems of love and sex from the ancient world to the present day.
Instructor(s): R. Hofmann
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.137. You Can't Make This Stuff Up.

Topics for this course will be autobiographical in nature. We will be considering our personal experiences and striving to articulate how those experiences relate to the larger world. The work will be both creative and analytical, as we look closely at examples of the personal narrative, and carefully revise and reconsider our own methods of autobiography. The content for the course will consist of personal essays, comics, movies, and podcasts. We will consider work by Joan Didion, James Baldwin, David Foster Wallace, Allie Brosh, Jafar Panahi, and more. IFP1 not a prerequisite, but preferred.
Instructor(s): N. McNamara
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.138. Make 'Em Laugh.

The quickest way to kill a joke is to explain it. So how do we learn to be funny? In this class, we’ll explore techniques in humor writing. Whether poking holes in accepted absurdities or helping us laugh at death, humor makes us smile and think. Each week, we’ll focus on a different type of humor—dark comedy, satire, etc.—through stories, nonfiction, criticism, and author interviews. Students will write imitations and original work.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.141. Poetry Breaking the Rules.

A study of poems that embody Wordsworth's idea of poetry as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. This course will focus on examples of formal excess that arise in poems of ecstasy and despair. Students will read selections from John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and John Berryman's schizophrenic Dream Songs, among other poets, paying particular attention to how each writer celebrates and affirms poetic conventions precisely by excessively deviating from proper poetic norms.
Instructor(s): M. Morton
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.142. Seriously Funny: Writing Humor Poetry.

This course will examine both light verse and how humor can enrich serious subjects in poetry. We will explore many subjects, from bad love to aesthetic experiences. Principal readings will range from classic exemplars such as Shakespeare, Dryden, and Eliot to selections from American poets since 1950, as represented in the anthology "Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else." Students will be required to write several seriously funny poems of their own. Fun is mandatory.
Instructor(s): S. Greer
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.143. Ghosts on the Page.

The origins of the modern short story owe much to old-fashioned ghost stories--tales of wicked, benevolent, or eerily indifferent spirits. In this course we'll read a range of ghost stories, discuss what makes them so compelling, and then try to write some ghost stories of our own. We'll look at classic tales as well as more recent incarnations of the genre.
Instructor(s): N. Washatka
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.144. Metamorphosed.

From ancient Greek mythology to the recent explosion in vampires and werewolves, stories of metamorphosis have not merely captured the human imagination but have also asked us to consider what, essentially, makes us human. Whether undergoing punishment or willfully bringing about their own change, the afflicted must adapt or face rejection, exile, death; thus we begin to see connections to stories of real-world displacement and psychological trauma. But don’t be fooled: in the midst of the drama, stories of metamorphosis are, ironically, often buoyed by mischievousness, humor, and cunning a playfulness that make them only more complex. Ovid, Franz Kafka, Guy Endore, Anne Sexton, and many more; novels, stories, poetry, film; and, for a limited time only, one week exclusively on werewolves. Not for the faint of heart.
Instructor(s): A. Creighton
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.145. Otherwordliness in Contemporary Lit.

In this course, students will examine invocations of fairy tales, Biblical and historical mythologies, and magical realism in modern and contemporary literature, with a focus on short fiction and reference to poetry, novels, and plays. Students will write and workshop their own short pieces in response to class discussion. Selections will be drawn from the works of Karen Russell, George Saunders, Jeanette Winterson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Amy Hempel, Louise Erdrich, Nathan Englander, Carol Ann Duffy, and Tony Kushner, among others.
Instructor(s): C. Sender
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.146. Introduction to Science Writing.

Science writing is science written in plain English and told as a story. Students research, write, edit others, rewrite. They also analyze published stories for structure, substance, accessibility, and clarity.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.147. Writing About Family.

Write what you know! This course gives students the opportunity to write and workshop a short story, a poem, and the first pages of a memoir, isolating the joyful, humorous, and painful moments that define family life. Class discussions will explore the subject and treatment of family in fiction, poetry, and memoir by writers including Junot Diaz, Alice Munro, Marilynne Robinson, Robert Lowell, Louise Gluck, Natasha Trethewey, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Tobias Wolff.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.148. Portraits of the Artists: Writing Self in Fiction.

Flannery O’Connor once said “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” Fiction is a carefully hewn combination of memory and imagination, and while it is impossible to know how much of the literary canon is sourced in autobiography, the truism holds firm: people write what they know. In this course, we will focus on modern and contemporary autobiographical fiction, looking closely at source, creative process, craft, and style, in order to answer the essential question, How does a writer successfully roll fact into fiction? Students will complete writing activities and participate in discussions and workshops. They will produce either an autobiographical story, or the first chapter of a longer work. Novels: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce; The Bell Jar, Plath; The Lover, Duras. Stories by Hemingway, Updike, Munro, O'Brien, Casey.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.150. Steal This Book.

From Spike Lee to The Clash, art can wield immense influence on our worldview. This class will explore the intersection of social critique and American literature. Class texts will also include a range of pertinent films, documentaries, and popular music. We'll examine the social utility of art and how artists use their craft to make a statement. Classwork includes Blackboard posts on current events, weekly creative writing assignments, and a final portfolio of creative work.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.152. Words of Light: Poetry and Photography.

This class will focus on poetry's relationship to time and the visual. Students will read a body of poetry and criticism (essays by Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Penelope Pelizzon, et al.) looking at how the descriptive nature of lyric poetry is fundamentally related to photography -- more closely related to photography, in fact, than poetry is to painting or sculpture. In addition to bringing a worthwhile discussion of the readings to each class, students will submit one original poem and one original photo each week for credit. "IFP 1 preferred.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.154. The "Confessional" Poets: Plath, Sexton, Berryman, Lowell.

A study of confessionalism in American poetry. M.L Rosenthal first described Robert Lowell's poetry as "confessional" in his 1959 review of Life Studies. But what does "confessional" mean? Is intimacy related to poetic voice or subject matter? This course will ask these and other questions, focusing on the work of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, John Berryman, and Lowell. The course will also include a weekly workshop of students' poems inspired by the readings. IFP 1 recommended, but not required.

AS.220.155. Midnight in Paris: Expatriate Writers of the 1920s.

A close study of expatriate authors featured in Woody Allen's popular film Midnight in Paris, which students will view to begin the course. Students will examine texts by Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot, among others. After careful reading and discussion of the assigned works, students will pen their own creative "forgeries," mimicking the styles of studied authors. As a capstone project, students will visit the Baltimore Museum of Art's Cone Collection to study associated works of visual art, and will ultimately write a creative response to a chosen painting.

AS.220.156. Next Week On... : The History and Evolution of Serialized Narratives.

This course will explore the development of serialized narratives across several mediums including the novel, the graphic novel, and television. Authors may include Henry James, Sherwood Anderson, Alan Moore and Art Spiegelman. Students will write in-class sketches and three stories. This course will utilized and build upon the ideas and skills presented in IFP1. Introduction to Fiction and Poetry 1
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.157. Theft: A Literary Tradition.

As the saying goes, great writers steal. In this class, we will read and analyze stories and novels that seem to be “stolen” from others—for example, Lorrie Moore’s “Referential” and Nabokov’s “Signs and “Symbols.” We will consider questions like: what is influence? What does a writer gain by rewriting a classic, and what do readers gain by reading it? Students will analyze “copycat” works and write their own.​
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.158. Leaping Poetry: The Art of Surprise and Surrealism.

A study of poetry that leaps between the conscious and unconscious. Robert Bly's 1972 anthology, "Leaping Poetry" sought to rejuvenate Western poetry by looking towards the energetic writing of world poets. Students will read the work of Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Rainier Maria Rilke, and others in order to understand what makes poetry "leap". Students will respond to the readings by writing and workshopping poetry of their own.

AS.220.159. Poetry and Imitation.

This will be an intensive course for the beginning poet. Students will write in a variety of modes, including elegy and satire, and engage with poetry from before Shakespeare to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on imitation; as T.S. Eliot put it, "immature poets imitate, mature poets steal". Poems will be read with an eye for the metaphorical and rhetorical elements that make them work, and students will be encouraged to apply those newfound techniques in their own writing.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.161. Story in Fiction and Film.

Examine the two primary forms of storytelling in our society: film and fiction. This course will closely examine the writing of Tom Perrotta and Cormac McCarthy, as well as film and television adaptations of their literary works. Students will adapt a film or television show into a work of fiction. Recommended Course Background: AS.220.105
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.162. The Stories We Tell Kids: On Children's Literature.

The Stories We Tell Kids: On Children's Literature. This intersession course will consider canonical works of children's literature - from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Maurice Sendak - alongside contemporary examples of the young adult genre, like Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" trilogy. We will discuss the impact of illustration, recent trends in children's literature, and the publishing process.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.165. Writing Unreality: Fantastical Fiction.

While fiction is by definition not “real,” some modes of fiction present deliberate departures from the world as we know it. This class will examine fantastical and non-realist writing, including surrealist and magic realist stories, as well as works with fairy-tale and folklore influences, and stories with elements of the uncanny or supernatural. Students will read and discuss representative fiction, complete weekly creative assignments, and participate in workshop of a final, full-length piece.
Instructor(s): S. Robinson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.167. Mini-Term III: Serious Nonsense: Light & Comic Poetry.

This course will provide a guided tour of some of the funniest poems ever written in English. Genres covered will include light verse, satire, parody, absurdism (“nonsense”), and others. We’ll explore the serious side of comic poetry and vice versa. Students will have the opportunity to write their own comic verse in the genres discussed.
Instructor(s): A. Allen
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.169. Craft: From Flash Fiction to the Novel.

Worth a (Hundred) Thousand Words: From Flash Fiction to the Novel. In this course, students will explore the tenets of flash fiction, the short story, the novella, and the novel. We will write samples (or segments) of each genre. We will compare and contrast each in terms of craft, reader expectation, and opportunity for experimentation. Readings drawn from Amy Hempel, Lydia Davis, Kurt Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger, Grace Paley, Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, and Ernest Hemingway, among others.
Instructor(s): C. Sender
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.170. Making Poetry Talk: Intro to the New York School Poets.

A study of the spontaneous and art-obsessed poetry known as The New York School. Students will read selected poems by Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. A workshop will be held each week in which students will incorporate devices from the week's reading into their own poetry. The New York School's influence on contemporary poets will also be emphasized.
Instructor(s): C. Ernst.

AS.220.171. Humor and Poetry.

In this class we'll take humor seriously by reading (and writing) poems that aren't so serious. We'll read poems by W.H. Auden, Wendy Cope, May Swenson, Anthony Hecht, and others. We'll ask questions: how does humor work differently from direct statement? What are the different ways a writer can be ironic? Students will write poems in a variety of forms and styles, and learn to describe the specific style of a comic writer. They'll also read scholarly work on humor, including passages from Daniel Dennett's Inside Jokes and Rachel Giora's On Our Mind. We'll explore how poetry and humor allow us to say so much with so few words.
Instructor(s): J. Frantz
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.180. Special Opportunities in Undergraduate Learning: Metaphor and Poetry.

We all use figurative language, such as metaphor, simile, and irony. But what does it mean for language to be figurative, and how does this affect its meaning? This course will approach these questions from the angle of poetry. We’ll ask further questions like: how do some poets use metaphor differently from others? What does Shakespeare mean when he says “my love is as a fever”? We’ll read passages from different critics on metaphor, including several from Lakoff and Turner’s More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor and Denis Donoghue’s Metaphor. Students will write poems with specific metaphorical requirements; they’ll learn to use conceits (metaphors that govern an entire poem); they’ll learn to use conventional metaphors; most importantly, they’ll learn to think critically about why certain metaphors work and certain ones don’t.
Instructor(s): J. Frantz.

AS.220.183. Introduction to Dramatic Writing: Film.

An examination of the screenplays as a literary text and blue-print for production. Professional screenplays will be critically analyzed, with focus on character, dialogue, plot development, conflict, pacing, dramatic foreshadowing, the element of surprise, text and subtext, and visual story-telling. Students will learn professional screenplay format and write a short script.
Instructor(s): M. Lapadula
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.186. The American Poem.

This course will examine the broad family tree of American poetry, from Whitman and Dickinson to the present day. We will focus on several poets of the 20th century as exemplars of major trends and/or instigators of change over the last hundred years, and we will seek to chart their influences. Through our own poems and essays, we will enter into a conversation with the myriad voices that have composed the poem in America.
Instructor(s): S. Lackaye
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.188. Fitzgeralds in Baltimore.

Zelda Fitzgerald received psychiatric treatment in Baltimore from 1932-1936. As part of her therapy, she wrote a novel that analyzed the deterioration of her marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald. We'll examine Zelda's depiction of the Fitzgeralds marriage in Save Me the Waltz and Scott's subsequent counter-depiction in Tender is the Night, both written in Baltimore. Scott felt partly responsible for Zelda's mental instability, because of his intense scrutiny of their marriage in his two previous novels. And yet, Scott did not hesitate to dissect their marriage a third time. To compensate both for his callous refusal and his helpless inability to cure Zelda, Scott depicts his fictional double (a psychiatrist/husband) curing Zelda's fictional double (a patient/wife). How does Scott explore the ethics of balancing professional and personal commitments? Why does Zelda analogize her fictional double to Oedipus in Sophocles's Theban Plays? Prerequisite: AS.220.105.
Instructor(s): J. Rockefeller V
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.190. B'More: How to Be Scary: Ghost stories and the Art of Giving Chills.

Students explore Baltimore through a variety of media that tell stories- writing, movies, radio shows, photography, and more. The course will include short stories by Laura Lippman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Ann Tyler, David Simon's "The Wire" and films by John Waters, photography by Aubrey Bodine, class trips and guest speakers. Students will also try their hand at journalism, documentary, and other creative avenues of storytelling.
Prerequisites: Students may enroll in one B'More course only. AS.371.189 AND AS.270.119 AND AS.270.118 AND AS.060.153 AND AS.060.126 AND AS.100.197 AND AS.300.100 AND AS.360.176 AND AS.280.205 AND AS.230.116AND AS.220.194
Instructor(s): L. Reding
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.194. B'More: The Water Taxi Diaries: Travel Writing.

Through readings, movies, and trips in Baltimore, we'll explore the genre of travel writing and do some of our own. We'll read and view The Motorcycle Diaries and Into the Wild, explore the Inner Harbor, among other neighborhoods, and write our own collaborative travelogue. The Water Taxi Diaries will include both our observations and our imagined experiences, from Hons to pirates.
Prerequisites: Students may enroll in one B'More course only. AS.371.189 AND AS.270.119 AND AS.270.118 AND AS.060.153 AND AS.060.126 AND AS.100.197 AND AS.300.100 AND AS.360.176 AND AS.220.116 AND AS.280.205 AND AS.230.116 AND AS.220.190
Instructor(s): R. Parson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.195. Fitzgerald's Short Stories.

An examination of F. Scott Fitzgerald's major short stories in the 1920s and 1930s. We'll analyze Fitzgerald's commitment to exploring the tension between two opposing intellectual movements: literary naturalism (which championed the primacy of environmental determinism) and literary realism (which championed the primacy of free will). We'll trace Fitzgerald's mercurial loyalty to each movement: his abandonment of one school of thought for the other, from one year to the next. In "May Day" he even embraced both movements equally—testimony to his belief that "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function". Did Fitzgerald ultimately advocate one school of thought over the other? Or, did he intend simply to stage the debate between them?
Instructor(s): J. Rockefeller V
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.199. Ekphrasis: Writing the Visual.

This class will explore different ways of responding poetically to visual art (painting, photographs, film) and will examine ekphrastic poems alongside the artwork that inspired them. We will examine the possibilities as well as the challenges associated with this sort of writing. Coursework will include in-class writing exercises, take-home assignments, and weekly workshops. A portfolio of original poems will be due at the end of the course.
Instructor(s): C. Wahmanholm
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.200. Introduction to Fiction.

Study in the reading and writing of short narrative with focus on basic technique: subject, narrative voice, character, sense of an ending, etc. Students will write weekly sketches, present story analyses in class, and workshop one finished story. Selected parallel readings from such models of the form as Henry James, Anton Chekov, James Joyce, John Cheever, Alice Munro, and others. Permission Required. (Formerly AS.220.191.)
Prerequisites: AS.220.105 AND AS.220.106
Instructor(s): R. Mitchell; T. Davies
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.201. Introduction to Poetry Writing.

A study of the fundamentals and strategies of poetry writing. This course combines analysis and discussion of traditional models of poetry with workshop critiques of student poems and student conferences with the instructor. Permission Required. (Formerly AS.220.141)
Prerequisites: AS.220.105 AND AS.220.106
Instructor(s): A. Allen; D. Yezzi; M. Salter
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.202. Introduction to Non-Fiction: Matters of Fact.

A first course in nonfiction writing, emphasizing how facts can be woven into narrative forms to portray verifiable, rather than imagined, people and events. Students read and discuss model works, then write frequent papers to refine their own style. (Formerly AS.220.145.)
Instructor(s): W. Biddle
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.204. Introduction to Dramatic Writing: Film.

Screenwriting workshop. This course will look at the screenplay as both a literary text and blue-print for production. Several classic screenplays will be analyzed. Students will then embark on their own scripts. We will intensively focus on character development, creating "believable" cinematic dialogue, plot development, conflict, pacing, dramatic foreshadowing, the element of surprise, text and subtext, and visual story-telling. Several classic films will be analyzed and discussed (PSYCHO, CHINATOWN, BLADE RUNNER). Students will learn professional screenplay format and write an 8-12 page screenplay that will be read in class and critiqued.
Instructor(s): M. Lapadula
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.205. Introduction to Dramatic Writing: Plays.

Instructor(s): M. Lapadula
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.206. Writing About Science I.

This course is designed to teach students the skills of daily science news reporting. The focus is on turning complex scientific information into lively prose for the general public. Lectures will cover such topics as how to compose news “ledes,” how to get great quotes, how to find stories, and how best to interact with researchers and outside experts. Scientists from Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and other local institutions will present their latest research to the class. Students will ask questions, as journalists would, at a news conference. Students will convert these talks into news stories, which will be critiqued in class. As a final project, students will be asked to write a daily news story of their own devising. Please note that a brief writing test is required for this course. To schedule this test, please contact the instructor at dgrimm5@jhu.edu .
Instructor(s): D. Grimm
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.209. Poetic Symbols: Past and Future.

Poetic Symbols: Past and Future. In this course we will trace the lineages of familiar poetic symbols, or tropes, that have occurred centrally and with regularity in literary history. We will investigate how they evolve with time and reveal changing styles and sensibilities from author to author and age to age. That’s the past. The future is the next poem you will write as the assignment for each of the symbols we read. Recommended Course background: AS.220.105
Instructor(s): G. Williamson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.210. Introduction to Non-Fiction: Science as a Social Activity.

Using the political and economic milieu of science and technology as a context for our writing, we will study how social factors such as government, money, secrecy, and ethics affect the conduct and public presentation of scientific and medical research. Controversies from 20th century history as well as current events will be discussed. Writing assignments to satisfy the W requirement will consist of short papers derived from classroom topics.
Instructor(s): W. Biddle
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.211. Journalism for Writers.

Learn reporting through analysis of famous and infamous work by contemporary journalists such as Janet Malcolm, Michael Finkel, Sarah Corbett and Seymour Hersch. Students will use readings to understand concepts central to news and feature writing, including libel, fair use, balanced reporting, and appropriate sourcing. They will then head out to find and write their own stories about local issues using best practices learned in class. Sarah Harrison Smith is a former managing editor of the New York Times Magazine and the author of "The Fact Checker's Bible.
Instructor(s): S. Smith
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.303. Intermediate Dramatic Writing: Plays.

Intensive workshop development of one play by each student. Repeatable for credit with permission of instructor. Permission Required.
Prerequisites: Prerequisite AS.220.205
Instructor(s): M. Lapadula
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.309. Writing Healthy Baltimore.

Students will explore public health issues in Baltimore and then write about them first in short pieces, and then in longer, polished works. The framework will be the mayor’s Healthy Baltimore 2015 initiative – launched in 2011 to address the city’s top-10 public health problems, including obesity, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, STDs, cancer, and environmental health hazards. Students will study the initiative and its historical context; examine data sets; explore where and how the initiative intersects with public health practitioners and advocacy groups at the neighborhood level; and write what they learn in different formats, including essays, breaking news, and substance analysis. Students will then “workshop” each other’s papers.
Instructor(s): K. Masterson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.310. Intermediate Fiction: Nature Writing.

Our central text will be Thoreau's "Walden". Most of our readings will be American, though we will read excerpts from Lucretius and Darwin. We will examine various ways in which the natural world has been depicted in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Students will write critical papers on nature writers as well as to do creative nature writing of their own. Our authors may include: Emerson, Rachel Carson, Loren Eiseley, John Updike, Robert Frost, Donald Culross Peattie.
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.311. Intermediate Fiction: Point of View.

A consideration of not just the obvious point-of-view choices writers face - first person or third? one perspective or many? - but also questions of reliability and distance. Reading may include Chekhov, Faulkner, Nabokov, Munro, Diaz, and others. Students will write and workshop their own short stories.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.312. Intermediate Fiction: Detail and Description.

An intermediate workshop focusing on the question of how to make fictional worlds feel real. We'll read 19th, 20th, and 21st century short fiction by authors such as Anton Chekhov, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, and Alice Munro, focusing particularly on how authors make the lives on the page feel three-dimensional. Students will write stories and exercises, including exercises that involve exploring Baltimore in order to observe and write about the city in which we live. Recommend Course Background: Students need to have completed a 200-level Writing Seminars course.
Prerequisites: Prereqs: AS.220.105 AND AS.220.106
Instructor(s): K. Noel
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.315. Intermediate Poetry: Sound Effects.

This course explores the crucial role sound plays in the power of poetry, from early roots in oral traditions to contemporary contexts. Through readings, discussion, academic reflection, and creative exercises, participants will explore a range of sound techniques in their own poems and in the poems of others.
Instructor(s): D. Malech
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.316. Seminar: Opinion Writing.

The study of exposition and argument in literary prose, with exposure to journalistic practices. Instructor will assign topics on which students write essays and subsequently discuss in class and critique for style, grammar, coherence, and effectiveness. Permission required.
Instructor(s): J. Cavanaugh-Simpson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.317. Writing about Science II.

Skills taught will include how to construct a long-form narrative, how to create profiles, and how to maintain reader interest throughout. Class speakers will include award-winning science journalists from New York to DC, who will share the secrets of their craft. The primary writing assignment will be a 3,000-word feature piece that is pitched, reported, and workshopped throughout the course of the class. "Writing About Science I"(formerly Becoming a Science Journalist) is recommended as a prerequisite for this course. Students who have not taken this course will need to complete a short writing test and obtain the permission of the instructor to enroll.
Instructor(s): D. Grimm
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.318. Intermediate Fiction: Voice.

This workshop will focus intensely on student writing, and on reading stories with a strong narrative voice, the kinds of stories in which the reader can hear the narrator speaking, where the voice gets stuck in the reader's mind, where the story feels like an invasion of the narrator's private thoughts, or is a retelling of the tale for some invisible public, or is the quiet, clear prose of a diarist, journaling into the void.
Instructor(s): M. Klam
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.324. Intermediate Fiction: Landscape & Setting.

An intermediate fiction workshop focusing on the question of place. We'll read 19th, 20th, and 21st century short fiction (including some set in Baltimore) in which setting strongly affects plot. While we'll talk about each story holistically, we'll also spend time discussing how authors make the physical world feel three-dimensional, and how place can lean on--even change--what happens in a story. Students will write stories and exercises, including exercises that involve exploring Baltimore in order to observe and write about the city in which we live.
Instructor(s): K. Noel
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.325. Intermediate Fiction: Story and Plot.

The study of plot, with questions, both practical and theoretical, inevitably raised by the short story form. Readings in Chekhov, James, O'Connor, Cheever, Joyce, and Hemingway.
Instructor(s): T. Davies
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.327. Intermediate Fiction: Characters.

A study of fictional persons in works by Fitzgerald, Joyce, W.C. Williams, and Rilke. Students write sketches and compose at least one complete story.
Instructor(s): A. McDermott
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.329. Intermediate Fiction: Forming The Short Story.

Readings in the first hundred years of the short story in the Western tradition. Authors include Hoffmann, Kleist, Pushkin, Gogoi, Turgenev, Maupassant, James, Chekhov, and Wharton. Numerous pastiches will be assigned.
Instructor(s): T. Davies
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.331. Intermediate Fiction: Forms of Fiction.

A look at some non-realistic methods, in stories and novels, for dealing with the "real world." Students will write one page excercises and short stories Recommended Course Background: Students need to have completed a 200-level Writing Seminars class.
Prerequisites: Prereqs: AS.220.105 AND AS.220.106
Instructor(s): T. Davies
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.334. Intermediate Fiction: Indexed Fiction.

A course in fiction writing that utilizes a wiki environment. Students will write and maintain multiple fictional data sets, read and edit other students’ work in the same, and coordinate and interlink their sets with the goal of creating a collaborative web-based fiction.
Prerequisites: AS.220.200
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.337. Intermediate Dramatic Writing: Film.

An intensive workshop focusing on methodology: enhancing original characterization, plot development, conflict, story, pacing, dramatic foreshadowing, the element of surprise, text and subtext, act structure, and visual storytelling. Each student is expected to present sections of his/her "screenplay-in-progress" to the class for discussion. The screenplay Chinatown will be used as a basic text.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.339. Seminar: Science Stories.

Science Stories is designed to teach students the skills of daily science news reporting and writing. Lectures will cover topics such as how to write news ledes, how to get great quotes, how to find stories, and how best to interact with researchers and outside experts. Every other week, scientists from local institutions will present their latest research to the class. Students ask questions and are given a week to write up a daily news story, which is workshopped during the following class. As a final project, students will be asked to find and write a daily news story on their own.
Prerequisites: AS.220.146 or 220.203 or permission of instructor
Instructor(s): D. Grimm
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.344. Intermediate Fiction: The Short-Short Story.

A consideration of the short-short story. Students will weekly present in the short-short story form. We will read the following anthologies: Short Shorts, Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, and Sudden Fiction.
Prerequisites: AS.220.200
Instructor(s): G. Blake
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.351. Intermediate Fiction: Forms of International Fiction.

A course which reads fiction written by leading innovators in form such as, but not limited to, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Angela Carter, Amos Oz, Italo Calvino, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A.S. Byatt, Margarett Atwood, Ian McEwan. Students will write variations of the forms of fiction.
Prerequisites: AS.220.200
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.368. Intermediate Fiction: Contemporary American Fiction.

This seminar will examine how three schools of American fiction address the fate of linear narrative in the late 20th century. Permission required.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.370. Intermediate Fiction: Dialogue and Exposition.

We will look at a variety of ways in which dialogue furthers artistic ends. We will ask questions like: When is dialogue best expressed directly? When is it best summarized? How does dialogue-heavy short fiction differ from a play? When can dialogue stand on its own, and when does it require an author's explanation or interpretation? Students will write both creative and expository papers. Recommend Course Background: Students need to have completed a 200-level Writing Seminars class.
Prerequisites: Prereqs: AS.220.105 AND AS.220.106
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.376. Intermediate Fiction: Outdoor Stories.

Students will write sketches and stories, in a class organized around readings in classic texts of wilderness encounter. Hawthorne, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Faulkner, Styron, Cormac McCarthy, Kate Chopin, Melville, McGuane, Conrad. Permission Required.
Instructor(s): R. Roper
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.377. Intermediate Poetry: Poetic Forms.

A consideration of a variety of poetic forms and conventions, analysis and discussion of characteristic approaches, with a balance of workshop of student poems. Admission requires completion of Introduction to Poetry. Permission Required.
Instructor(s): G. Williamson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.378. Intermediate Poetry: Poetic Forms II.

The course builds on the information and techniques encountered in Poetic Forms I, and uses them in reading and imitating a range of contemporary poets. Permission required.
Instructor(s): G. Williamson
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.379. Intermediate Poetry: Performing Shakespeare.

This course, which begins with careful textual study, offers students the opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s language as a spoken expression, marked by rhythm, sound, rhetoric, and emotion. By working with (and ultimately committing to memory) sonnets, speeches, and scenes, students will deepen their understanding of Shakespeare’s art, through performance and brief critical writings. Recommended Course Background: Need to have completed a 200 - level Writing Seminars' class.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.380. Intermediate Fiction: The Scene.

Emphasis in writing scenes-the building blocks of fiction-units of action, units of dialogue. Readings will include the stories of Chekhov, Cheever, Hemingway, and Carver. Recommended Course Background: AS.220.200
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.382. Intermediate Poetry: Narrative Strategies in Poetry Writing.

Before a poem is anything else, it is the hint, implication, outline, or raw matter of a story, that fundamental human-making shape of expression. Story-writing is learned behavior and its alternative approaches are the makers of form and vision, of communication that is worth re-experiencing, or not. In this course we consider how poets have written narratives and how today's poets continue to do so. We will read one book of poems by each of eight contemporary poets who will visit the class, including Pulitzer Prize winners Claudia Emerson and Stephen Dunn, and discuss narrative strategies with these poets. Students will then write a poem "imitating" each visitor and we will workshop the poems on next class meeting after the visit. There will also be short response papers and a final essay (or examination--the student's choice).
Instructor(s): D. Smith
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.383. Intermediate Fiction: The 20th Century.

We will look at modern American novellas. Authors will include: Henry James, Edith Wharton, Katherine Anne Porter, John Updike, Steven Milhauser, Truman Capote, Elizabeth Spencer. Frequent short writing assignments, to be discussed in workshop.
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.384. Intermediate Nonfiction: I, Me, Mine: American Autobiography.

The class will read and discuss classic autobiographical texts by Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Henry Thoreau, Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein, Malcolm X, and others. Students will write and workshop their own life stories of substantial length.
Instructor(s): W. Biddle
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.385. Intermediate Nonfiction: Communicating Risk.

Scientists, engineers and physicians create and define risks. The public perceives these risks and decides what is acceptable. We will study the psychology and politics of risk communication between experts and laymen.
Instructor(s): W. Biddle
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.387. Intermediate Poetry: The Poet as Observer.

A workshop course with readings and writing assignments that emphasize the artistic value of the outward gaze. Students will keep a daily journal of observations, and over the semester will develop those observations into at least 10 new poems. Course readings will include work by Rainer Maria Rilke, Elizabeth Bishop, and Theodore Roethke. Permission Required.
Instructor(s): J. Arthur
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.389. Intermediate Poetry: The Dramatic Element.

This course will explore the dramatic mode of poetry, from the plays of the Greeks and Shakespeare to the lyric poems of Hardy, Yeats, Frost, Brooks, Hecht, and others. Weekly writing assignments, suggested by the readings, will include character monologues, dialogue, conflict, and other aspects of the dramatic lyric. Student poems will be discussed in a workshop format.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.391. Performing Poetry & Fiction.

Performing Fiction & Poetry: An Acting Workshop for Writers. This hands-on performance workshop, combining literary and theatrical practice, will look closely at what makes a performance or reading compelling, clear, and resonant. Through textual analysis, vocal technique, and group discussion, students will create a pliant and powerful reading style to best serve their work. The course includes regular writing assignments in poetry and fiction and weekly performance and group discussion.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi.

AS.220.392. Intermediate Poetry: Tall Tales and Short on Narrative Poetry.

Tall Tales and Short: On Narrative Poetry. Many of the most resonant and influential stories in history have been told in verse—The Iliad, The Aeneid, Beowulf, The Divine Comedy, The Prelude. This course will examine narrative poems—from Homer to the present, both long and short—with an eye toward how they function formally and generically. Students will adapt an array age-old storytelling techniques for their own poems. There will be weekly writing assignments in poetry and group discussion of student writing.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.393. Intermediate Poetry: Poets in Conversation.

An exploration of poetic process as ongoing discourse within and across generations. Readings, writing assignments, and in-class workshop of student poems will encourage and enable course participants to join the conversation themselves.
Instructor(s): D. Malech
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.397. Intermediate Poetry: The Lyric.

What is a lyric poem in the 21st Century? What causes such a thing? What does it sound like? What is it good for? Who writes them? We will. By reading lyric poems written over the last 500 years in English, and by writing our own original work we will find some answers to these questions. This class will have a special emphasis on Free Verse and the particular challenges and joys of such a poem. This workshop aims to generate new work and to cultivate skills necessary for a writer. Permission Required.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.399. Intermediate Poetry: Playwriting for Poets: Suiting the Action.

Many of the finest modern and contemporary poets were also groundbreaking dramatists, including Goethe, Yeats, Eliot, Millay, Cummings, Brecht, and Walcott. Taking these writers' poetic dramas as models, students will explore the elements of playwriting - plot, character, rhythm, etc. - in order to create original dramatic works. Speeches, scenes, and short plays will be read aloud in class and considered in a workshop setting.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.400. Advanced Poetry Workshop.

The capstone course in poetry writing. Consideration of various poetic models in discussion, some assigned writing, primarily workshop of student poems. Students will usually complete a “collection” of up to 15 poems. Permission Required. (Formerly AS.220.396.)
Instructor(s): A. Motion
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.401. Advanced Fiction Workshop.

The capstone course in writing fiction, primarily devoted to workshop of student stories. Some assignments, some discussion of literary models, two or three completed student stories with revisions. Completion of Intermediate Fiction is required for admission. Permission Required. (Formerly AS.220.355)
Instructor(s): J. McGarry; R. Puchner
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.403. Readings in Poetry: The Branch Will Not Break.

Readings in Contemporary Poetry. Confession, place, myth and image are the four compass points of American poetry best embodied in the work of James Wright. With the work of Wright at the center of the compass, we will read the Selected Poems of four major living poets and discover how these directions and forces play out over the course of a career. Permission required.
Instructor(s): S. Scafidi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.406. Readings in Fiction: Hard-Boiled Fiction and Film Noir.

Students read six novels by Hammett, Chandler, Cain, Burnett, and Woolrich and view seven films made from these novels by Huston, Hawks, Wilder, Dmytryk, Richards, Walsh, and Farrow. Cross-listed with Film and Media Studies.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.409. Readings in Fiction: Faulkner, Fitzgerald, & Hemingway.

An examination of the fiction of three American modernist masters in the context of the early 20th century movement in the verbal and visual arts. Not a workshop course.
Instructor(s): J. Irwin
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.410. Readings in Poetry: Four Women Poets.

A study of technique and strategy in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Amy Clampitt. Not a workshop course.
Instructor(s): M. Salter
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.411. Readings in Poetry: Sex & Death in Contemporary American Poetry.

Between sex and death the body has a varied wild life in American poetry. In a survey of contemporary work this seminar will consider the life of the body, its relationship to the imagination and the kaleidoscopic world of the senses. Reading erotic poems, elegies, poems of sickness and health, and of age and youth, we will find an intimate politics of the body. Students will read and respond critically to American poems written over the last fourty years.
Instructor(s): S. Scafidi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.412. Readings in Poetry: Eliot,Crane & Stevens.

An examination of the poetry of Eliot, Crane and Stevens in the context of the modernist movement in the verbal and visual arts. Not a workshop course. Juniors and seniors majors are given preference.
Instructor(s): J. Irwin
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.416. Readings in Fiction: Five from the Fifties.

We will examine five American writers who were emerging or thriving in the middle of the 20th century: John Cheever, Flannery O'Connor, Peter Taylor, John Updike, and Vladimir Nabokov. We will read short stories by all five, as well as the following novels: O'Connor's Wise Blood, Updike's Of the Farm, Nabokov's Lolita and Pale Fire.
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.417. Advanced Nonfiction Workshop.

Classes will be devoted to writing and collective editing of factual work of significant length and ambition, including essays, journalistic reports, histories, and biographies. Instructor permission required.
Instructor(s): W. Biddle
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.418. Readings in Fiction: The Novella.

Registration Restrictions: Permission required. Twentieth-century novellas, with a new author and book each week. The course asks: What can and has been accomplished by American fiction writers in fewer than 150 pages?
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.420. Readings in Contemporary Fiction: Coetzee, Delillo, Freudenberger, Johnson.

The central concern of this course is to read, study, think about, and discuss several novels and short story collections, paying special attention to the voice and structural techniques these authors have invented to create compelling works.
Instructor(s): M. Klam
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.422. Readings in Fiction: Women Behaving Badly!.

This course will focus on fiction that centers around a profoundly flawed female protagonist, an antiheroine. Why is it that we love some of these women in spite of their wrongdoings? How do we connect to a character who is acting in ways that we would never hope to act? And how is it that bad behavior is often perceived as sexy? Are evil women any less or more evil than their male counterparts? Students will read 8 books with villainesses whose crimes range from poor parenting to serial killing. One final paper (10-20 pages) will be due at the end of the semester on a topic of the student’s choosing, relating to one or more of the protagonists from the reading list.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.423. Readings in Fiction: Castaways in Literature.

Our primary text will be Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. We will read spin-offs of Robinson Crusoe (Muriel Spark's Robinson, J. M. Coetzee's Foe, Elizabeth Bishop's "Crusoe in England") as well as Golding's Lord of the Flies and Sylvia Townsend Warner's Mr. Fortune's Maggot. Selections from Homer, Swift, and Byron. We will conclude with Shakespeare's The Tempest. (Leithauser)
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.424. Science as Narrative.

Class reads the writings of scientists to explore what their words would have meant to them and their readers. Discussion will focus on the shifting scientific/cultural context throughout history. Authors include Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, Crick and Watson.
Instructor(s): R. Panek
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.425. Readings in Fiction: The Story Cycle.

A study of the short story cycle as a literary form. Authors may include Joyce, Schulz, Anderson, Welty, Calvino, Munro, Erdrich, Diaz and others.
Instructor(s): R. Puchner
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.426. Readings in Poetry: Early Auden and his Contemporaries.

A close study of the writing that Auden, Isherwood, Spender, and MacNeice produced during the 1930s against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Spanish Civil War, and the rise of Nazism. This is not a workshop course, but students will have the opportunity to respond artistically as well as analytically to the course readings.
Instructor(s): J. Arthur.

AS.220.427. Readings in Fiction: The Novella.

A study of the novella as a literary form. Authors may include Melville, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Kafka, James, Wharton, Baldwin, Porter, Rulfo, Smiley, and others.
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.428. Readings in Fiction: The Stories and Letters of Anton Chekhov.

We will read the major long and short stories of Chekhov, along with selected letters written in the full course of his lifetime. Juniors and Seniors only.
Prerequisites: AS.220.105 AND AS.220.106 AND AS.220.200 AND 300 level Intermediate Fiction
Instructor(s): J. McGarry
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.429. Readings in Poetry: Poetry of Ireland Since 1900.

A close study of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Irish poetry. Course readings will include work by W.B. Yeats, Austin Clarke, Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Eavan Boland, Ciaran Carson, and others. This is not a workshop course, but students will have the opportunity to respond artistically as well as analytically to the course readings.
Instructor(s): J. Arthur
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.430. Readings in Poetry: Lives of the Poets.

Lives of the Poets: Hecht, Merrill, Sexton, Plath. “The intellect of man is forced to choose / perfection of the life, or of the work,” wrote Yeats. This course examines important intersections between the life and the work in the poems and memoirs of four, biographically interconnected poets. Poems treating subjects of depression and mental illness (Hecht, Sexton, Plath), the terror of war (Hecht), the depredations of disease (Merrill), and suicide (Sexton, Plath), find their sources in these poets fascinating—and, to varying degrees, troubled—lives.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.431. Readings in Fiction: Origins of the Short Story.

This course will trace the development of the short story beginning with its tentative emergence from the shadow of the novel, through the early commercial period triggered by the invention of inexpensive newsprint, and to its full maturation at the turn of the 20th century. Works by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Heinrich Von Kleist, Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James, Anton Chekhov, and Edith Wharton.
Instructor(s): T. Davies
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.432. Readings in Fiction: Innovators of the Short Story.

In this class, we'll look at particularly influential writers who've had a lasting effect on the form of the short story, reshaping it through their own idiosyncratic vision. Authors may include Hawthorne, Kafka, Chekhov, Babel, Joyce, Borges, O'Connor, Welty, Barthelme, Paley, and Munro.
Instructor(s): R. Puchner
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.434. Readings in Poetry: The Mind in Motion: The Rhetoric of Poetry. 3 Credits.

This course examines how argument and formal thought shape poetry. Through class discussion about readings ranging from Donne to Dickinson to contemporary poets, and through critical and creative exercises, students will explore poems that reveal not only feeling and observation, but also the architecture of the analytical mind at work.
Instructor(s): D. Malech
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.435. Readings in Poetry: The Romance Tradition. 3 Credits.

A writer's survey of the medieval romance and of the subsequent poetry that it inspired. Course readings will include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur, and romances by Chretien de Troyes, as well as poetry by Spenser, Tennyson, and Robert Browning. This is nota workshop course, but students will have the opportunity to respond artistically as well as analytically to the course readings.
Instructor(s): J. Arthur
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.436. Readings in Fiction: A Writer's Journal. 3 Credits.

We will study the role journals play in the work of Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Anton Chekov. Readings include novels, stories, and diaries.
Instructor(s): J. McGarry
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.437. Creating the Poetry Chapbook.

Students will build on previous work in the major by completing a project of sustained length, depth, and cohesion (25-35 pages) in their final semester. The course will include independent creative and critical work, peer review and discussion, and meetings with the instructor. Application only; Advanced Poetry prerequisite.
Prerequisites: AS.220.400
Instructor(s): D. Malech
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.438. Readings in Poetry: Of Late: Poetry & Social Justice.

In this Community-Based Learning course, students will explore poetry of social and political engagement in partnership with high-school age writers from Writers in Baltimore Schools. Participants will put learning into practice by organizing community conversation, reflection, and collaboration. Participation in some events outside of class time will be required.
Instructor(s): D. Malech
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.439. Readings in Fiction: Caribbean Voices.

Caribbean history is reflected in the literature of emigration and collapse of empire. We'll study novels by Naipaul, Rhys, and other 20th century authors.
Instructor(s): W. Biddle
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.501. Independent Study.

Ordinarily no more than one independent study course may be counted among the eight Writing Seminars courses presented for graduation.

AS.220.502. Independent Study.

Instructor(s): D. Yezzi; G. Williamson; Staff.

AS.220.505. Writing Seminars Internship.

Instructor(s): Staff.

AS.220.506. Writing Seminars Internship.

Instructor(s): Staff.

AS.220.507. Honors Thesis.

Permission Required.
Instructor(s): Staff.

AS.220.508. Honors Thesis.

Department Permission Required.

AS.220.509. Practicing Journalism Internship.

This internship is given in conjunction with local media and must be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. It covers many aspects of the operation of a metropolitan newspaper or magazine or TV station. Permission Required. Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory only.
Instructor(s): M. Klam; Staff; T. Davies; W. Biddle.

AS.220.510. Practicing Journalism.

Permission Required.
Instructor(s): T. Davies
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.513. Teaching Writing.

Permission Required.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.570. Independent Study-Intersession.

Instructor(s): G. Williamson; Staff; T. Davies.

AS.220.572. Practicing Journalism Internship.

Instructor(s): T. Davies; W. Biddle.

AS.220.592. Internship-Summer.

Instructor(s): Staff.

AS.220.594. Practicing Journalism Internship.

Instructor(s): D. Basford; J. Arthur; J. McGarry; T. Davies; W. Biddle.

AS.220.596. Teach Writing-Internship.

Instructor(s): S. Dixon.

AS.220.598. Independent Study.

Instructor(s): G. Blake; G. Williamson; J. McGarry; Staff; T. Davies.

AS.220.604. Readings in Contemporary Fiction: Coetzee, Delillo, Freudenberger, Johnson.

The central concern of this course is to read, study, think about, and discuss several novels and short story collections, paying special attention to the voice and structural techniques these authors have invented to create compelling works. Restricted to Graduate Students.
Instructor(s): M. Klam
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.605. Readings in Fiction: Can you say Bildungsroman? The Coming-Of-Age Novel.

We will examine a number of classic and contemporary coming-of-age novels. Students will compose their own: an original work of fiction that may well described as such.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.610. Readings in Fiction: Alternatives to Realism.

Instructor(s): A. McDermott.

AS.220.613. Writing about Science.

A seminar in the writing of factual prose about scientific matters, whether for the general reader or for professional scientists as audience. Weekly writing, editing, and reading assignments. Permission required.
Instructor(s): A. Finkbeiner.

AS.220.614. Graduate - Science Workshop.

Intensive seminar, at a professional level, in writing factual prose about science for the general reader. Students find, research, and structure their own stories. Weekly writing, editing. Permission required.

AS.220.619. Graduate Poetic Forms I.

AS.220.623. Fiction Workshop.

Discussion and critique of fiction manuscripts by students enrolled in the M.F.A. program. Some assignments possible.
Instructor(s): J. McGarry.

AS.220.624. Graduate Fiction Workshop.

Discussion and critique of fiction manuscripts by students enrolled in the MFA program. Some assignments possible.
Instructor(s): A. McDermott.

AS.220.625. Poetry Workshop.

Discussion and critique of poetry manuscripts by students enrolled in the M.F.A. program. Some assignments possible.
Instructor(s): M. Salter.

AS.220.626. Graduate Poetry Workshop.

Discussion and critique of poetry manuscripts by students enrolled in the MFA program. Some assignments possible.
Instructor(s): G. Williamson.

AS.220.629. Readings in Poetry: Contemporary American Poetry.

A study of American poetry written after 1945 with discussion of aesthetic movements, events, historical and contextual, and the character of evolution and practices in poetic structures. Readings vary.
Instructor(s): D. Smith
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.638. Readings in Fiction: Chekhov: Stories and Letters.

We will read all--or most--of Chekhov's short stories, his "notebook," as well as the letters that have been translated into English.

AS.220.643. Readings in Poetry: Hardy, Yeats, Frost.

A study of three major poets (English, Irish, American) who each introduced signature tones, techniques, and themes in modern poetry. Some other figures, such as Louise Bogan and the World War I poets, may be discussed.
Instructor(s): M. Salter.

AS.220.644. Graduate Readings in Poetry: 14th Century Alliterative Poetry.

A course in the poetry of the 14th-century alliterative revival in which students will read and study Middle English works such as Patience, Cleanness, Pearl, Gawain and the Green Knight, and Piers Plowman. Graduate students only.
Instructor(s): J. Irwin
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.645. Graduate Readings in Fiction: Castaways in Literature.

Our primary text will be Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. We will read spin-offs of Robinson Crusoe (Muriel Spark's Robinson, J. M. Coetzee's Foe, Elizabeth Bishop's "Crusoe in England") as well as Golding's Lord of the Flies and Sylvia Townsend Warner's Mr. Fortune's Maggot. Selections from Homer, Swift, and Byron. We will conclude with Shakespeare's The Tempest. Graduate students only.
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.646. Graduate Readings in Fiction and Poetry.

A graduate course designed to develop both close reading and genre study, and to support the teaching of Introduction to Fiction and Poetry (IFP) I and II. Readings in selected works of American, English, and European poetry and short fiction. Course required by all graduate students in fiction and poetry.
Instructor(s): D. Yezzi; M. Klam
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.647. Readings in Poetry: Form and Free Verse.

A practical study of prosody rooted in the formalist tradition and continuing into theories of free verse. Readings include essays by Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, Charles Olson, and Denise Levertov. This is not a workshop course, but students will have the opportunity to respond artistically as well as analytically to the course readings. Graduate students only.
Instructor(s): J. Arthur
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.648. Forms: The Longer Poem as Anthology.

A study of form through three poets especially concerned with formal variety as a complement to, and manifestation of, theme and voice. Readings will include book-length works by George Herbert (The Temple); Auden (The Sea and the Mirror); Schnackenberg (The Throne of Labdacus).
Instructor(s): M. Salter
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.649. Readings in Poetry: Form and Freedom: Whitman, Dickinson, and Hopkins.

This course focuses on three poets whose individual relationships with form, inspiration, and innovation continue to shed light on the poetic process.
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.650. Readings in Poetry: The English Elegies: Keats, the War Poets, and Larkin.

Based on a close reading of major texts, this course will look at the ways in which Romantic and port-Romantic British poetry deals with the passage of time, how it creates elegiac structures, and how it records various kinds of loss: the loss of self, the loss of traditional consolations (especially in terms of the environment), and the threatened loss of poetry itself. Students will be encouraged to respond creatively, as well as critically. Restricted to graduate students in the MFA program.
Instructor(s): A. Motion
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.651. Readings in Fiction: Five from the Fifties.

We will examine five American writiers who were emerging or thriving in the middle of the 20th century: John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Vladimir Nabokov, Jean Stafford, John Updike. We will read short stories by all five, as well as the following novels: Malamud's The Assistant, Nabokov's Lolita and Pale Fire. Restricted to graduate students in the MFA program.
Instructor(s): B. Leithauser
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.652. Readings in Poetry: Poetry and the Environment.

This course will look at the way poets have responded to the environment, from the early Romantic period to the present day. In the process, it will study and show how the role of the natural world in poetry has changed from being a cause for celebration and a mirror for self-scrutiny, into a way of continuing these things while also expressing anxiety about the effects of global warming any other dangers to the health of the planet. Poets included in the discussion will include Wordsworth, Clare, Hopkins, Frost, Auden, Hughes and Heaney.
Instructor(s): A. Motion
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.653. Readings in Fiction: The Writer's Bookshelf: Unsung Novels That Writers Love.

Which books do writers often foist on other writers, telling them "You have to read this"? In this course, we'll look at books that have yet to find much popular appeal, but which writers often speak about in reverential tones. Authors may include James Salter, Paula Fox, Dezso Kosztolanyi, J.L. Carr, Juan Rulfo, Tom Drury, Christina Stead, Evan S. Connell, Leonard Gardner, Joy Williams, and Penelope Fitzgerald.
Instructor(s): R. Puchner
Area: Humanities.

AS.220.800. Independent Study.

Instructor(s): Staff.

AS.220.802. Thesis.

Instructor(s): Staff.

Cross Listed Courses

Film and Media Studies

AS.061.205. Introduction to Dramatic Writing: Film.

In this course we will explore the basic principles of visual storytelling in narrative film as they apply to the design and execution of a screenplay. During the course of the semester, each student will work on different writing exercises while they search for their specific story and the best way to approach it. We will study different narrative tools and methods of screenwriting by analyzing films to ascertain how they work or fail to do so at script level. Through in-class critiques, group discussions and one-on-one sessions, students will apply these techniques to their own work as they undergo the process of designing, breaking down, outlining and writing a screenplay for a short film. In-class analysis and debate on the strengths and challenges posed by the students' work will help shape the thematic emphasis of the second half of the course.
Instructor(s): R. Buso-garcia
Area: Humanities.

AS.061.315. Screenwriting By Genre.

Story design for the screenplay with special attention to the genres of comedy, horror, melodrama, and adventure. Regular workshops, short written exercises, and a longer final project.
Prerequisites: AS.061.313 or AS.220.342 or instructor's permission
Instructor(s): L. Bucknell
Area: Humanities.

AS.061.371. Unrealities: The Fantastic in Film & Fiction.

The fantastic, the absurd, the blackly comic in films by Cocteau, Hitchcock, and others; and in the short fiction of Barthelme, Cortázar, Hrablal, and others. Several short creative exercises and a longer final project.
Instructor(s): L. Bucknell
Area: Humanities.

AS.061.373. Intermediate Dramatic Writing: Film.

This course will explore different approaches towards understanding the fabric of story as it pertains to film. Students will be exposed to key challenges in conceiving, structuring and executing a compelling, memorable and vibrant feature-length screenplay. By studying key examples, we will discuss possible solutions to these issues. In every class, students will share their work in progress and will help each other find approaches or solutions to their specific challenges and issues. We will analyze films with screenplays that effectively play with the form to create lasting, thought-provoking and affecting stories. Through in-class critiques, group discussions and one-on- one sessions, students will apply new tools and approaches to their own work as they undergo the process of designing, breaking down, outlining and writing a full step outline, a beat sheet and the first ten pages of a feature length screenplay. As the semester progresses, in-class analysis and debate on the strengths and challenges posed by the students' work will shape the thematic emphasis of each class.
Prerequisites: AS.220.204 OR AS.061.205
Instructor(s): R. Buso-garcia
Area: Humanities.

AS.061.376. Arts and Culture Journalism: Interactive Media, Online Publishing.

Students will participate in the ongoing creation of BmoreArt.com, an online arts and culture publication that serves the Baltimore community. In conjunction with visiting professionals, students will investigate the Baltimore cultural community and create different types of editorial content using interactive media including film, video, sound, and writing. Students will produce creative content utilizing their individual areas of expertise - such as visual art, art history, music, literary arts, film, and theater - while working together as a professional organization. A strong emphasis will be placed on the student’s collaborative participation and creative experimentation. Students with differing backgrounds in media will approach this project from unique perspectives, which will be valued and cultivated. Students with previous experience in journalism are welcome. An introductory writing or film course is suggested as a prerequisite.
Instructor(s): C. Ober
Area: Humanities.

AS.061.404. Advanced Dramatic Writing: Film.

Intensive workshop course where students will write both a first draft and a full revision of a feature length screenplay. Classes will be designed and centered on the specific challenges of the students’ works-in-progress, with an emphasis on exploring and discussing different narrative approaches and solutions that will enhance their writing and revision processes. Select films will be screened and analyzed as they pertain to the students’ scripts. Students will aim to have a polished draft of their screenplay to be submitted to industry-recognized screenwriting labs at the end of the semester.
Prerequisites: AS.061.373 or AS.220.337
Instructor(s): R. Buso-garcia.

Anthropology

AS.070.203. Healing: Politics and Poetics.

Metaphors of health and illness; individual and social. The body in pain and the body politic. Ethnographies of historical memory vis-à-vis medicine, epidemics, sacredness, shamanism, terror, humanitarianism, truth and reconciliation.
Instructor(s): J. Obarrio
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.070.306. Healing: Politics and Poetics.

Metaphors of health and illness. Individual and social healing. The body in pain and the body politic. History of immunity (biological, legal). Ethnographies of collective memory vis-à-vis medicine, epidemics, sacredness, shamanism, terror, truth and reconciliation.
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.070.337. Digital Media, Democracy, and Control.

This course examines how digital technologies enable new publics that circumvent state and social controls as well as how they are mobilized to confirm existing racial, gendered, and political hierarchies.
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

German & Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.211.472. Barbers and countesses: conflict and change in the Figaro trilogy from the age of Mozart to the 20th century.

2016 marks the bicentennial of Rossini’s irreverent masterwork The Barber of Seville, which premiered in Rome in February 1816. Thirty years earlier, in 1786, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro had opened in Vienna. The two operas, based on the first two plays of Beaumarchais’ controversial “Figaro trilogy”, stage conflicts of class and gender, challenging the assumptions of the aristocracy as well as the ludicrous pretentions of the raising bourgeoisie. The same themes inform the post-modern portrayal of the past in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (1991), which ideally completes the musical afterlife of the trilogy. By studying how the plays were adapted to the opera stage within their different cultural and historical contexts, the course will explore the representation of the ideological, social, and political turmoil that, eventually, culminated in the French Revolution. The course will also include field trips and screenings of movies such as Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975) and Milos Forman’s Amadeus (1984). This course may be used to satisfy major requirements in both the French and Italian majors.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities.

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

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.213.309. Walter Benjamin and His World.

All readings and class discussions in English. This course will provide an introduction to the thought, writing, and world of Walter Benjamin—one of the most interesting and influential German writers of the early 20th century. Although he died in exile having published only a single book in his lifetime, in the past three decades his ideas and preoccupations have changed the way we think about Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Literary Studies, German thought, Jewish mysticism, and the philosophy of history. We will be examining some of his major writings in tandem with precursors such as Charles Baudelaire and Louis Aragon; contemporaries such as Theodor Adorno and Gershom Scholem; and the legacy of his work among contemporary theorists, critics, and artists.
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.336. Dancing About Architecture: Jewish Humor and the Construction of Cultural Discourse.

Are all Jews funny, or only the ones from New York? This course will be an advanced-undergraduate examination of literary, theatrical, cinematic, and televised representations of Jewish culture focusing on the construction of cultural discourse through comedy. Taking as a point of departure Sigmund Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, we will consider the joke as a mode of narration and cultural coding with specific resonances for the Jewish encounter with modernity. Among the topics to be addressed in this course will be the origins of modern Jewish humor in traditional modes of storytelling and study; the problems of anxiety and otherness articulated and neutralized through humor; the significance of Jews in creating popular culture through the mass media (particularly though not exclusively in the United States) as well as the role of these mediums in transmitting and translating Jewish references to the general culture; the status of the Yiddish language as a vehicle for satire and a vehicle of resistance between tradition and modernity; the uses and abuses of Jewish stereotypes and the relationship of Jewish humor to anti-Semitism; the connections between Jewish humor and other modes of minority discourse; and the question of translation of Jewish humor both from Yiddish into other languages and from the Jewish “in-group” to a “post-ethnic” audience. Authors and performers to be examined will include Avrom Goldfaden, Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, Dzigan and Szumacher, Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, Phillip Roth, Woody Allen, Larry David, Sarah Silverman, and the Coen Brothers. All readings and discussions conducted in English.
Instructor(s): M. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.361. The Holocaust in Film and Literature.

How has the Holocaust been represented in literature and film? Are there special challenges posed by genocide to the traditions of visual and literary representation? Where does the Holocaust fit in to the array of concerns that the visual arts and literature express? And where do art and literature fit in to the commemoration of communal tragedy and the working through of individual trauma entailed by thinking about and representing the Holocaust? These questions will guide our consideration of a range of texts — nonfiction, novels, poetry — in Yiddish, German, English, French and other languages (including works by Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, and Isaac Bashevis Singer), as well as films from French documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters (including films by Alain Resnais, Claude Lanzmann, and Quentin Tarantino). All readings in English.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.387. Major City, Minor Literature? Berlin in German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature. 3 Credits.

Between the two World Wars, a period of intense artistic and intellectual vitality, Berlin was an international center for theater, visual arts, and literature. Many important Yiddish-language writers were drawn to Berlin and, together with their German- language counterparts, produced a body of literature that explores issues of modernity and identity. By comparing works in Yiddish and German, we will learn about inter-War Berlin’s cultural diversity and richness, while also gaining insight into the particular issues of writing about Jewish identity in the 1920s, and the implications of writing in a minor language (Yiddish). We will read works by authors including Joseph Roth and Alfred Döblin in German, and Moyshe Kulbak and Dovid Bergelson in Yiddish. All texts will be in translation. Some questions we will explore include: • What is a minority/minor language or literature? • How did German and Yiddish interact in cultural and social spheres? • Can texts in different languages comprise a single body of literature? • What did it mean to be German and what did it mean to be Jewish? • Are assimilation and hybridity useful concepts? • Is there such a thing as Jewish modernism? • How did literature of the period respond to the rise of the Nazi party and the intensification of antisemitism?
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

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

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.

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

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.

AS.215.463. Borges: His Fiction and Critical Essays.

This course will deal with close readings of Borges ficciones and critical essays in order to determine how his thinking on the problem of writing and thinking is fictionalized in his stories.
Instructor(s): S. Castro-Klaren
Area: Humanities.

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.

AS.216.300. Contemporary Israeli Poetry.

This course examines the works of major Israeli poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Zach, Dalia Rabikovitch, Erez Biton, Roni Somek, Dan Pagis, Yona Wollach, Yair Horwitz, Maya Bejerano, and Yitzhak Laor. Against the background of the poetry of these famous poets we will study recent developments and trends in Israeli poetry, including less known figures such as Mois Benarroch, Shva Salhoov and Almog Behar. Through close reading of the poems, the course will trace the unique style and aesthetic of each poet, and will aim at presenting a wide picture of contemporary Hebrew poetry.
Prerequisites: Students may receive credit for AS.216.300 or AS.300.413, but not both.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.342. The Holocaust in Israeli Society and Culture.

This course examines the role of the Holocaust in Israeli society and culture. We will study the emergence of the discourse of the Holocaust in Israel and its development throughout the years. Through focusing on literary, artistic and cinematic responses to the Holocaust, we will analyze the impact of its memory on the nation, its politics and its self-perception.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.370. Israel Through Prose.

This course examines representations of various aspects of Israeli society and culture in contemporary Israeli prose. The course will follow both a thematic and chronological path in order to study the ways in which Israeli prose reflects political, ideological, social and cultural aspects of contemporary Israel. In this context, we will read works by several major authors such as: Agnon, Shabtai, Kahanah-Carmon, Oz, Kenaz, Yehoshua, Grossman, Castel-Bloom, Matalon, Laor, Kashua and Hoffmann. Students who sign up for section 2 will work an additional hour in Hebrew with Professor Cohen at a time mutually agreed upon by the professor and the students enrolled.-Carmon, Oz, Kenaz, Yehoshua, Grossman, Castel-Bloom, Matalon, Laor, Kashua and Hoffmann.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.373. War in Israeli Arts and Culture. 3 Credits.

In this course we will study the various representations of what functions as one of Israel’s most unifying and yet dividing forces: war. By analyzing literary and cinematic works as well as visual art and popular culture we will attempt to understand the role of war in shaping Israeli society, culture and politics. Topics such as commemoration and mourning, dissent and protest, trauma and memory and the changing image of the soldier will stand at the center of the course. Students with a knowledge of Hebrew wishing to do extra work in Hebrew should enroll in section 2 and the fourth hour will be scheduled at a time convenient to the enrollees and instructor.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.398. Zionism: Literature, Film, Thought.

This course studies the relation between Israeli culture and Zionism. Based on a close reading of both literary and non-literary Zionist texts, we will explore the thematic, social and political aspects of the Zionist movement. The course focuses on primary sources and its main goal is to familiarize students with the history of Zionism and its influence on Israeli culture. In the last part of the semester we will investigate the different meanings of Post-Zionism through contemporary literary and non-literary texts as well as recent Israeli films.Students wishing to do additional work in Hebrew should enroll in section 2 where students will meet for an additional hour at a time TBD and will earn 4 credits for the course.
Prerequisites: Students may receive credit for AS.216.398 or AS.300.398, but not both.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.412. The Divine in Literature and Cinema.

This course studies various issues concerning literary and cinematic representations of the divine. We will investigate theoretical, theological, generic and aesthetic aspects of the topic and will familiarize ourselves with the general problem of the relation between religion, literature and cinema. Among the topics to be discussed are, negative theology in literature and film, theodicy and anti-theodicy, the question of religion and literary modernism, providence and narratology in the modern novel and in contemporary cinema.

AS.216.444. Apocalypse Now: Apocalypse in Literature and Cinema.

This course studies literary and cinematic representations of the apocalypse. We will investigate theoretical, theological, generic and aesthetic aspects of the topic and seek to trace the narrative dynamics as well as literary and cinematic means of apocalyptic representations. We will discuss works from various periods, languages, cultures and religions. Among the issues to be discussed: what is the apocalypse, war and the apocalypse, the Holocaust as apocalypse, Biblical apocalypse, post-apocalyptic works, the apocalypse in popular culture, realism, anti-realism and the apocalypse.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.612. The Divine in Literature and Cinema.

This course studies various issues concerning literary and cinematic representations of the divine. We will investigate theoretical, theological, generic and aesthetic aspects of the topic and will familiarize ourselves with the general problem of the relation between religion, literature and cinema. Among the topics to be discussed are, negative theology in literature and film, theodicy and anti-theodicy, the question of religion and literary modernism, providence and narratology in the modern novel and in contemporary cinema.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl.

Theatre Arts & Studies

AS.225.324. Adaptation for the Stage.

For aspiring playwrights, dramaturgs, and literary translators, this course is a workshop opportunity in learning to adapt both dramatic and non-dramatic works into fresh versions for the stage. Students with ability in foreign languages and literatures are encouraged to explore translation of drama as well as adaptation of foreign language fiction in English. Fiction, classical dramas, folk and fairy tales, independent interviews, or versions of plays from foreign languages are covered.
Instructor(s): J. Martin
Area: Humanities.

AS.225.330. Playwriting Strategies.

A seminar and workshop in playwriting with Dr. Joe Martin, playwright and dramaturge. Student writers, developing their plays, will learn how to open up to the creative process, “brainstorm,” refine their work, and shape it toward an act of artistic communication. Writer’s techniques, such as attending to plot or “story,” delineation of character, creating effective “dialog,” even overcoming “writer’s block,” will be addressed. This course is designed to be complementary to – not a replacement for – playwriting classes in the Writing Seminars.
Instructor(s): J. Martin.

Humanities Center

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

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.300.133. Freshmen Seminar: Women of Epic Fame in Literature and Drama, 800 BCE-1650 CE.

From Homer's Odyssey to Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, powerful women who achieve their ends by working from within the system are often overlooked or not fully explored. Our readings and discussions will foreground these women of fiction, while we also consider the social conditions of their living contemporaries. Readings will include: Homer’s Odyssey (Penelope); Virgil’s Aenead (Dido); Dante’s Inferno (Beatrice); Milton's Paradise Lost (Eve), and several accounts of Cleopatra in plays by Shakespeare and his contemporary women writers. Cross listed with Theater Arts, Writing Seminars, and WGS.
Instructor(s): E. Patton
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.139. Introduction to Intellectual History.

This course offers a conceptual and historical introduction to Intellectual History. What makes the “history of ideas” different from the history of other objects? What, if anything, distinguishes the history of ideas from the history of philosophy? What is it exactly that we call “ideas”? In what sense do they have a history? These are examples of the kind of questions addressed in the course.
Instructor(s): P. Marrati; S. Carmel
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.143. Introduction to Comparative Literature.

This course offers an introduction to the history, theory, and praxis of comparative literature. We will read texts from some of the founding figures of the discipline and look at the most recent debates in the field, including translation studies, literary theory, and world literature, among others. Particular attention will be given to the methodologies and problems of studying literatures in different linguistic traditions and the relation between literature and other areas of thought and culture, such as philosophy, art history, and psychoanalysis. Case studies in comparative approaches to literature will provide concrete examples to our discussions.
Instructor(s): L. Lisi
Area: Humanities.

AS.300.356. From Literature to Film - the case of Israeli Cinema.

This course explores the differences and similarities between two artistic mediums: literature and cinema. Our case study will be the interesting transformation of Hebrew fiction into Israeli films-- a dominant phenomenon in Israeli cinema since its very beginning. Our main framework will be narrative theories, but we will also consider the specific historical, ideological and geo-political aspects involved in this transformation. By comparing the two artistic modes and studying the transformation of 5 literary works into films, students will become familiar with the history of modern Hebrew literature, contemporary Israeli cinema, and the relationship between these two artistic mediums. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Writing Seminars
Instructor(s): N. Stahl
Area: Humanities.

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

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.

AS.300.413. Israeli poetry.

This course examines the works of major Israeli poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Zach, David Avidan, Dalia Rabikovitch, Yona Wollach, Maya Bejerano, and Yitzhak Laor. These works will be read against the background of the poetry of previous literary generations of writers such as H.N Bialik, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Alterman and Lea Goldberg in an attempt to uncover changes in style, themes and aesthetic. Through close reading of the poems, the course traces the unique style and aesthetic of each poet, and aims at presenting a wide picture of contemporary Hebrew poetry. Class will be conducted in English and texts will be read in both English translation and the Hebrew original. Open for both Hebrew and non-Hebrew speakers. Students may receive credit for AS.216.300 or AS.300.413, but not both.
Prerequisites: Students may receive credit for AS.216.300 or AS.300.413, but not both.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl.

East Asian Studies

AS.310.116. Romantic Love in Chinese Literature.

This course aims to introduce students to a variety of literary texts featuring romantic love from the 9th to the mid-20th centuries in China. The target materials cover a wide range of literary products from Bo Juyi’s court poem to the modern Shanghai novella by the woman writer Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang). As we read romance in a variety of narrative forms such as fiction, drama, and poetry, we will examine changing ideas about marriage, love, sexuality, family, emotion, and morality within the literary discourse as well as in society. Thus, students are expected to connect various literary texts about romance to their socio-historical, literary, and political surroundings. At the same time, we will discuss the shifting significance of romance for writers and reading public and consider how literary texts formed ideas about romance in society. The course is organized chronologically and thematically. Reading assignments are all in English.
Instructor(s): F. Joo
Area: Humanities.

Interdepartmental

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

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 2015 include Homer, Thucydides, Dante, Milton, Diderot, Shelley, Nietzsche, Nabokov, and Douglass.
Instructor(s): E. Patton; E. Russo; R. Bett; S. Achinstein; W. Stephens
Area: Humanities.

Program in Latin American Studies

AS.361.316. Caribbean Writing in Shakespeare, V. S. Naipaul, and Alejo Carpentier.

Readings and polemics concerned with Shakespeare´s play The Tempest (1610-1611) and its postcolonial afterlives; V. S. Naipaul´s novel A House for Mr. Biswas (1961); and Alejo Carpentier´s El siglo de las luces (1962). The socio historical and political contexts of each work and authorship will be considered in depth in terms of dominant notions of writing in current critical theory. Cross-listed with GRLL, English, and Writing Seminars.
Instructor(s): E. Gonzalez
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Center for Africana Studies

AS.362.304. Reading and Writing Black Poetry.

This course is an exploration of twentieth and twenty-first century black poetry and poetics. Readings include Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Natasha Trethewey, Terrance Hayes, Claudia Rankine, and Danez Smith. Texts will be mined for theme as well as formal technique as a basis for poetic experimentation.
Instructor(s): A. Gunn
Area: Humanities.

For current faculty and contact information go to http://writingseminars.jhu.edu/faculty_directory/index.html

Faculty

Co-Chairs

Jean McGarry
Professor, fiction

Mary Jo Salter
Professor, poetry

Professor

Brad Leithauser
Fiction

Visiting Associate Professors

Wayne Biddle
Nonfiction

Senior Lecturers

Tristan Davies
Fiction

Greg Williamson
Poetry

Associate Professor

David Yezzi
Poetry

Decker Professor in the Humanities

John T. Irwin
Criticism and poetry

Assistant Professors

James Arthur
Poetry

Matthew Klam
Fiction

Dora Malech
Poetry

Eric Puchner
Fiction

Richard A. Macksey Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities

Alice McDermott
Fiction

Homewood Professor of the Arts

Andrew Motion

Professor Emeritus

John Barth
Fiction