Native American Heritage Month: Poems and Essays

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In celebration of Native American Heritage month, poets.org has collected work by and about Native American poets. Our very own Prof. Mark Turcotte has been featured.

Read Prof. Turcotte’s poem, “Burn.”

See the full list of poems and essays.

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Course Spotlight: American Literature 1865-1920

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This class covers American fiction written during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, roughly the period spanning from after the Civil War up through World War I. Scholars of this period have long noted a rapidly expanding yet increasingly diverse nation that arose from advances in industrialization, urbanization and immigration. This course examines the artistic strategies (realism, naturalism, the stirrings of modernism) by which writers of fiction represented a growing multiplicity of points of view among different communities as well as the tensions that arose from competing needs and desires. Writers studied include Edith Wharton, Henry James, Mark Twain, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kate Chopin, Zitkala-Sa, and Theodore Dreiser. MW 11:20-12:50

Course Spotlight: Covering Latino Communities

Covering Latino Communities

If you still are looking for a Winter term class, consider Prof. Escalona’s Covering Latino Communities. The class is an amazing opportunity to learn about Latinx in the media from a journalism perspective, but you do not have to be a journalism major to take it. It is also an excellent opportunity to improve your writing, build your portfolio and network with the amazing professional speakers that will visit the class.

Class meets Thursday nights 5:45 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. in the Daley Building (14 E Jackson).

Please contact Prof. De Moya (director of the Latino Media and Communication program) at mdemoyat@depaul.edu  if you have any questions.

Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

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By Caitlyn Ward, contributor to the Underground

Clay Jannon, hit with the hard times of the recession, has been shuffled away from his life as a San Francisco corporate drone and has been plopped right down into the tall and daunting aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Working the night shift, Clay soon discovers that this strange and dusty store is more curious than he could ever have imagined. The customers are few and far between, and while there are some random passers-by, there is also a small community that frequents the store often. These eccentric customers borrow from a mysterious, and quite tall, section of the store, habitually checking out large and strange volumes that Clay has been warned not to read. As it becomes more evident that these regulars belong to some strange kind of book club, Clay’s interest in these bizarre volumes grows. Succumbing to his suspicions, Clay engineers an analysis of the bookstore and the behavior of its clientele. With the help of his romantic interest, a data analyst for Google, his roommate, a special effects artist, and his best friend, a successful designer of a “boob-simulation software,” Clay sets out on a quest to discover the secrets that lie far beyond this bookstore’s walls.

In a world where the book is threatened by advancements in technology, the author, Robin Sloan, takes on the intersection between old and new media. Sloan crafts a warm and enjoyable novel, while also raising questions about the power that books and technology contain in today’s society. He does this by bringing these issues to attention, but never pushes these thoughts rudely to the head at the expense of the story. Sloan creates a quirky constellation of characters, such as Clay Jannon and Mr. Penumbra himself, as they work together to solve the 500-year-old puzzle that lies within these peculiar texts. The many references to technology places the novel firmly in the present day. Although Clay and his friends encounter setbacks, they live in a world that provides the answers in one simple Google search. Sloan seamlessly marries these new ideas of technology with old-school paper and ink and the cleverness of it all makes the story hard to put down. By creating a novel that is simultaneously a love letter to books, a meditation on technology and its limits, a mysterious adventure, and a requiem, Sloan is able to tackle the cohabitation of old and new media in today’s world. Rendered with irresistible language, interesting characters, and dazzling wit, Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore creates an intriguing world in which you have to enter, and will not want to leave.

Course Spotlight: Science & Nature Writing

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Science and Nature writing is an immersion in the fun of writing about the natural world with the art of the novelist. We meet scientists and hear from guest professionals, reading works covering the inner and outer realms of the mind and body. It’s a great course for well-paying jobs with travel, every bit as creative as fiction and poetry. Absolutely no prior science background is necessary. If you liked Cosmos, The Jinx or Serial, this is a little-known writing field looking for you.
MW 2:40-4:10

Course Spotlight: Shakespeare & Rome

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This course fulfills the Research-Intensive requirement for English majors.

A study of Shakespeare’s career-long engagement with Roman literature, mythology, and history. As a research-intensive course, we will use both primary source archives and recent criticism to consider Rome as not only a source for Shakespeare’s poetic and dramatic writing, but also a unique experiment in defining the success of English literature at the turn of the seventeenth century. Activities include visits to Special
Collections, curating a digital exhibit of images from books that are more than four centuries old, analyzing the film history of Shakespeare’s Rome, and a group-oriented approach to research methods.

MW 2:40-4:10

Course Spotlight: Melville & Ellison

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Moby-Dick (1851) has been called the greatest American novel, yet in the nineteenth century, it was a critical and commercial flop. Just over a century later, Ralph Waldo Ellison published Invisible Man and it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. In considering the opposite trajectories of these two ambitious novels as we read them closely over the course of the semester, we also will consider the relationship between politics and art, and race and representation, in the mid-nineteenth and –twentieth centuries, the ongoing evolution of the American literary canon, and continuing debates about “great” literature. Additional writings by Melville and Ellison as well as literary criticism and theory will contextualize our focus on the two substantial novels.

This course is cross-listed as ENG 382 and ENG 371. As 371, it will satisfy the RES or DT requirement. MW 2:40-4:10