The Spring ’13 course cart is now open for undergraduate students! Please take a look at some of the upcoming courses offered:
Department of English
2013 Undergraduate Spring Course Schedule and Course Descriptions
ENG 120: Reading Literature
TTH 1:00-2:30; Arendt, Mark
ENG 201: Creative Writing
MW 9:40-11:10; Turcotte, Mark
MW 1:00-2:30; Green, Chris
TTH 11:20-12:50; Ewell, W. Andrew
TTH 1:00-2:30; Pittard, Hannah
ENG 218: Reading and Writing Fiction
MW 1:00-2:30; Johns-Trissler, Rebecca
ENG 219: Reading and Writing Poetry
MW 11:20-12:50; Rooney, Kathleen
ENG 220: Reading Poetry
MW 1:00-2:30; Rooney, Kathleen
TTH 9:40-11:10; Arendt, Mark
TTH 2:40-4:10; Welch, David
ENG 221: Reading Prose
MW 8:00-9:30; Niro, Brian
MW 9:40-11:10; Fahrenbach, Bill
TTH 11:20-12:50; Pittard, Hannah
ENG 228: Introduction to Shakespeare
MW 11:50-1:20 (LOOP ONLY); Williams, Michael
ENG 232: The Romance
MW 2:40-4:10; Selinger, Eric
English 232 will introduce you to the “popular romance novel,” the most popular of popular literatures (in the United States, at least) in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will pay particular attention to feminist debates over the worth, appeal, and effects of romance fiction on its readers, to the relationships between romance fiction and religion, and to the aesthetics of the genre, especially as these are theorized within the novels themselves. Our course will include both heterosexual and LGBT romances; authors frequently taught include Brockmann, Crusie, Phillips, Beecroft, Stark, Jenkins, Rivers, and Dahl. Please note that many of the texts are sexually explicit, and students uncomfortable with such material should keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to take the class.
ENG 265: The American Novel
MW 2:40-4:10; Anton, Ted
This course looks at some of the great short novels of modern American literature.
ENG 272: Literature & Identity: Harlem Renaissance/Negritude
MW 2:40-4:10; Kohli, Amor
ENG 272-301: Literature & Identity: Sexuality in Latino/a Literature
MW 4:20-5:50; Johnson Gonzalez, Billy
ENG 275-901: Literature & Film: From Page to Screen
T 5:45-9:00 (LOOP ONLY); Meyer, Robert
From their earliest days, the cinematic arts—movies—have been connected to the literary arts. These two forms of expression have much in common, yet a wide gulf separates them, particularly with regard to the way in which an artistic vision is realized. In this course, we will examine the relationship between film and literature by studying film adaptations of novels, short stories and plays. In so doing, we should strive to abandon mundane questions of the relative entertainment value of the two media, choosing instead to shed light on important questions of form and content in the interpretation of narrative art. In addition, we will study the relationship between the history of film and the development of film adaptations.
ENG 275-902: Literature & Film: Anti-Conformity
TH 6:00-9:15, Squibbs, Richard
The histories of American literature and film are full of protagonists who declare their independence from the normal expectations of workaday and family life. Self-reliance and nonconformity have been American axioms since the nation’s founding in the 18th century; yet, as often happens, these self-reliant and nonconformist attitudes ultimately became institutionalized and socially constricting. They developed their own sets of rules and norms, and new protagonists appeared in literature and film to challenge them. This course studies various forms of anti-conformist resistance to the expectations and norms of a nominally nonconformist society as they appear in literary works such as Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener,” Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers, Donn Pearce’s Cool Hand Luke, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, among others. We will also screen all, or parts, of the films that were made of these books, noting how the differences in point-of-view often necessitated by the translation from one to medium to the other impact how the dramatic struggles of anti-conformity are represented. The course will therefore function additionally as an introduction to the basics of film study.
ENG 284: The Bible as Literature
MW 11:20-12:50; Jones, Richard
ENG 291: Intermediate Fiction Writing
TTH 9:40-11:10; Ewell, W. Andrew
This course is a workshop for intermediate fiction writers with some understanding of the mechanics and terminology associated with the craft of writing fiction. Through original writing, peer critique, and the discussion of published fiction, students will sharpen their creative writing and critical skills and leave with at least a few new stories, a stronger sense of the revision process, and a keener sense of how fiction works.
ENG 291: Intermediate Poetry Writing
M 6:00-9:15; Rooney, Kathleen
Contemporary poet Marvin Bell has remarked that “The plain truth is that, except for mistakes that can be checked in the dictionary, almost nothing is right or wrong. Writing poems out of the desire to find a way to be right or wrong is the garden path to dullness.” This class will do its best to keep your poems from ever being dull by means of an obstructionist approach, predicated on the idea that a poet can often find the greatest freedom of expression within the strictest of restraints. If you enter this class with an open mind and strive to cultivate an attitude of flexibility and fun, your willingness to embrace these obstructions and interferences will lead you to discoveries—about structure, about content, and about your processes and preoccupations as a reader and writer of poetry.
ENG 307: Advanced Fiction Writing
TTH 1:00-2:30; Stolar, Dan
ENG 308: Advanced Poetry Writing
MW 4:20-5:50; Turcotte, Mark
EN 309-301: Topics in Writing: The Craft of Argument
MW 9:40-11:10; McQuade, Paula
Have you been told that you have good ideas but need help expressing them as an argument? Or that your argumentative writing lacks precision and focus? Are you interested in going to Law School and want to work on your writing? If so, this is the course for you! Developed from the instructor’s experience in the well-regarded Writing Program at the University of Chicago, English 309: Argument and Style is a course designed for students who need help writing argumentative essays. It focuses upon the basics of argument: reasons, evidence, and claims. It also teaches students how to write an introduction that sets up a ‘problem’ that will make your readers want to read more at the same time that it addresses stylistic issues.
EN 309-302: Topics in Writing: Nature and Science Writing
MW 11:20-12:50; Anton, Ted
This course introduces students to the lucrative, fun field of science and nature writing, an excellent, little-known career choice, featuring guest professionals and a class trip. No previous science experience required.
EN 309-303: Topics in Writing: Writing Childhood
TTH 11:20-12:50; Harvey, Miles
EN 309-304: Topics in Writing: The World Outside the Story
TTH 2:40-4:10; Ewell, W. Andrew
This course proposes to study the aspects of storytelling that give literary works an impression of permanence–of a world that continues beyond the final page. What is it, after all, that causes us to ask, with curiosity and excitement and longing, even after we’ve turned over the back cover of a great book, “But what happens next?” Specific topics include how to create shared back-story through dialogue, how to write settings that expand beyond the domestic space, and how to craft details that speak to a larger community and place.
EN 309-305: Topics in Writing: First-Person Narratives
TTH 4:20-5:50; Pittard, Hannah
EN 309-901: Topics in Writing: Geography of Memory
W 6:00-9:15, Borich, Barrie Jean
The most compelling memories are located somewhere, beholden to landscapes it takes all our senses to describe. How do literary memoirists and essayists use location to: ponder the relationships between memory, landscape, politics and identity; explore issues of immigration and exile; scrutinize loyalty to home and places of origin; and embrace or reject some ground they can’t forget? In this workshop focused on creative nonfiction and place we write, critique and revise new writing as we consider the work of a few creative nonfiction writers whose stories and inquiries are bound to particular geographies and whose works attempt to describe, explore, question, and honor the hard-to-pin-down aspects of place. Students read example texts, write and revise essay-length nonfiction prose drafts, and participate in creative writing peer workshops.
EN 310: English Literature to 1500
MW 1:00-2:30; Fahrenbach, Bill
ENG 310 is an introduction to medieval English literature from its beginnings to the fifteenth century. The course is divided into two parts, Old English and Middle English, corresponding to the two periods of medieval English literature defined by modern scholars. The first part deals primarily with Beowulf in translation, with attention to methods of composition, forms, and central themes of Old English poetry in the oral, heroic tradition. The second part of the course shifts attention to the increasingly literate, late-medieval traditions of Middle English poetry, represented by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and other works. Throughout the course, we will be concerned with the formal character of medieval English literature, the thematic and stylistic implications of the shift from oral to written composition, and some broad historical themes, especially representations of the individual as they vary from one period to the other.
ENG 319: Topics in Medieval Literature: Medieval Women Writers
TTH 9:40-11:10; Bartlett, Anne
This course explores a wide range of literature written by medieval European women in the later Middle Ages (c. 1100-1535). These include selections from visionary literature, autobiography and biography, poetry, chivalric literature, and a travel narrative. We will discuss these works in their historical (medieval) and modern critical contexts.
Course requirements include intensive and careful reading, an annotated bibliography and presentation, a research paper and active participation on all in-class and on-line course activities. ENG 319 fulfills the DT and R (Research-Intensive) requirements for the English major.
ENG 320: English Renaissance Literature
MW 11:20-12:50; McQuade, Paula
ENG 328: Shakespeare
TTH 2:40-4:10; Kordecki, Lesley
ENG 330: Restoration and 18th Century Literature
TTH 2:40-4:10; Squibbs, Richard
ENG 340: Nineteenth Century English Literature
MW 2:40-4:10; Conary, Jennifer
This course offers a brief introduction to the major literary and historical developments of 19th-century Britain. Particular emphasis is given to English Romanticism; industrialization and Victorian reform; changing views on class and gender, especially in regards to women’s rights; and the role of serialization and periodical publication on the form and content of 19th-century British literature. Authors covered will likely include Wordsworth, Coleridge, P. B. Shelley, Keats, Byron, Mary Shelley, Dickens, Tennyson, R. Browning, Hardy, and Wilde; novels covered will likely be Frankenstein, Great Expectations, and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
ENG 350: Modern British Literature
W 6:00-9:15; Fairhall, James
ENG 361: American Literature 1830-1865
TTH 11:20-12:50; Mikos, Keith
The “American Renaissance” refers to a period of intense literary production that gave rise to the first truly American authors. The course will familiarize students with the principle writers of this important era, as well as the key historical, cultural, and philosophical concepts manifested in their works. We will consider the murky stories by Poe and Hawthorne, the transcendentalist essays of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller, the innovative poetry of Dickinson and Whitman, and the timely novels of Douglass and Melville, among others.
ENG 362: American Literature 1865-1920
TTH 2:40-4:10; Ingrasci, Hugh
The post-Civil War period, dubbed the Robber Baron Era, saw vast fortunes (= trillionaires) spawned from the sweat-shop labor of immigrants. The woes of urban laborers spurred journalists-turned-fiction-writers to expose their cities’ squalor resulting from industrialists putting profit above people’s lives, thereby creating our slums. Our course will study these social ills, chronicled in the literature of this “Gilded Age” ─ this age of immense U.S. wealth veneered over the massive suffering, toil, and tenement slum life of millions ─ via works which attempted to expose untenable life-conditions that needed reform. We’ll study Twain’s Huck Finn and Chopin’s The Awakening re the racial and gender milieus which they indicted. We’ll study the anti-war stories of Bierce, Howells, and Crane, and we’ll examine closely Dickinson’s poems on the “second-sex” situation of women in a traditional patriarchal society.
ENG 363: American Literature Since 1920
MW 1:00-2:30; Johnson Gonzalez, Billy
ENG 365: Modern American Fiction
TTH 1:00-2:30; Smith, Gary
This course follows the chronology of core courses within the American literature curriculum: English 360, “American Literature to 1830,” English 361, American Literature 1830-1865, English 362, American Literature 1865-1920 and English 363, American Literature Since 1920. As a survey course, English 365 proposes to chart the emergence and development of modern American fiction from the onset of the First World War (1914) to the end of the Second World War (1945). Reading emphasis will thus be placed upon representative writers who best respond to several key questions about the American literary canon: What is American modernism? How can we distinguish it, thematically, from its European counterparts? And, stylistically, how do American modernist literary works help define what is “modern” about American history and its socio-culture?
ENG 367: Topics in American Studies: American Lit & The Environment
SAT 10:00-1:15; Fairhall, James
“American Literature & the Environment” is an interdisciplinary course that examines American attitudes toward nature from pre-Columbian times to the present, with a special look at Chicago. There will be three field trips, including a hike through a forest preserve along the Chicago River and an urban nature walk through the LPC neighborhood. Besides novels, stories and literary nonfiction, we will read part of an environmental history of Chicago.
Works include: Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire; William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago & the Great West; Faulkner, “The Bear”; Hemingway, “Big Two-Hearted River”; Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Steinbeck, The Pearl; and Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge.
ENG 374: Native American Literature
MW 2:40-4:10; Turcotte, Mark
ENG 386: Hard Boiled Fiction/ Film Noir
TH 6:00-9:15 PM; Ingrasci, Hugh
The hard-boiled fiction of Black mask magazine and the detective fiction of the 1930s and 1940s became the genre-basis and script-basis for the film NOIR surge of 1940s-50s movies. German expatriate Jewish directors brought a dark vision of urban reality (via expressionism and existentialism) to Hollywood’s post-WW II cinema that portrayed cities as a labyrinth, a socially inescapable trap dooming its lower-class inhabitants to become Darwinian victims. Our course will explore classic works from this period, as well as neo-NOIR works by Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, and Ridley Scott from 1960 to the present, films which evoke a morally corrupt culture’s violently dysfunctional denizens as predators and preyed-upon. Works will include novels: Double Indemnity, Red Harvest, Farewell, My Lovely,, The Black Dahlia and The Road. Films will include Detour, Body Heat, Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, Blue Velvet, The Professional, L.A. Confidential, and A History of Violence. Plot quizzes on each novel will assure that all students join in for our small-group discussions.
EN 388: Topics in Translantic Literature: Black Freedom: Modernity and the Atlantic World
MW 4:20-5:50; McNeil, Daniel
Numerous artists, writers and filmmakers have drawn attention to the problems of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We have been informed about the problem of the color line, the problem of difference and, perhaps most intriguingly, the problem of freedom. This course will focus on how critical thinkers have questioned the shape and contours of freedom after the formal abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. It will explore key issues relating to the marketing and reading of slave narratives; expressions of lynching and mob violence; the ways in which the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade is remembered and commemorated; the relationship between anti-colonialism, surrealism and existentialism; and the politics and poetics of Black Consciousness and prison abolitionist movements. In joining a conversation about freedom dreams, the horrible gift of freedom, and the meaning of freedom in contemporary societies, the class will draw on the resources of various disciplines – including, but not limited to, literature, diaspora studies, cultural studies, philosophy, critical sociology, and the history of art. Along with studying the continuing relevance of intellectuals who have passed (such as Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Aimé Cesairé, Frantz Fanon and Steve Biko), we will address the critical work of scholars, artists and activists who speak directly to the problem of freedom in our contemporary societies (such as Angela Davis, Ava DuVernay, Marcus Wood, David Theo Goldberg and Paul Gilroy).
ENG 390: Senior Capstone: History of Reading
TTH 9:40-11:10; Rinehart, Lucy
I have chosen the history and practice of reading as the topic of this section of The Writer, the Work, and the World because reading is both central to our disciplinary self-definition (“Why do you want to be an English major?,” someone once asked you, and you more than likely replied, “Because I love to read”) and also relatively unexamined, almost reflexive. In one of many such studies in the last 10 years, the National Endowment of the Arts declared “reading at risk” in their 2004 “survey of literary reading in America.” Is there another “reading revolution” afoot—perhaps undoing the effects of the previous revolutions that have been occasioned by all major innovations in printing and publishing technology since Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type? What is the future of reading? What is your future as a reader? As dedicated readers of literature, we have much to learn by spending ten weeks thinking, writing, and talking about our own ways of reading (what we read, how, why, even where and when we read) within the context of a longer history of reading. Drawing on the insights and methods of two established fields of literary criticism—reader-response theory and history of the book—as well as on all you have learned in and beyond your major, we will chart the changing sociology and technologies of reading in an effort to understand the pleasure and profit—and problem?—of our own reading.