Summer 2017 university & major requirement-satisfying ENG courses with open seats!
ENG 105: Intro to Literature: Drama (CRN: 42388), William Fogarty. Gen Ed (A&L); Major II: Lower-Division Elective
Drama is a literary art. In this course, we will focus on the literary aspects of seven plays, studying their formal elements and their locations in literary history. Drama is a performing art, too, so we will also pay attention to staging and production. Our range will be broad: we’ll start with a version of Sophocles’ Antigone and one of Shakespeare’s last plays before reading works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We’ll be mindful of the specific historical and cultural contexts of these plays as we inquire generally into the relationship between dramatic art and social reality. Students will be expected to read the plays closely and critically and to write about them effectively and argumentatively. Along with reading and writing, rigorous participation in class discussion–in which we’ll identify elements of drama and certain facets of dramatic history–will be crucial to success in this course.
ENG 260: Media Aesthetics (CRN: 42385), Stephen Rust. Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective
This course will focus on helping you build the critical skills to understand, analyze, and interpret visual media texts. It will do so by highlighting the fundamental formal elements of film and television. Using this vocabulary, we will explore the complex interplay of technical design, social and environmental influence, and cultural conventions that shape our media production and consumption experiences. We will also take time to consider how the construction of a media text invited participatory meaning-making with viewers. By the end of the class, you will be able to use this knowledge to complete a vocabulary project that details technical terms and write argument-based film analysis that ties technical aspects to thematic meanings. ENG 260 is one of four required Fundamentals courses for the cinema studies major, as such this course level is designed for second-year students with this major.
ENG 325: Literature of the Northwest (CRN: 40807), John Witte. Major I & II: 1789+
Literature of the Northwest surveys the rich contribution of the Northwest to our nation’s literature. The objective of the class will be to identify and explore principles of literary regionalism. Throughout the term, we will revisit the questions, Is there a distinctly regional Northwest literature? And if so, how might we describe it? Our work begins with the oral tradition of the Northwest’s indigenous people – part story, part song – in particular the myths and tales of the Calapooya who inhabited what is now the Eugene area. A section on Northwest fiction follows, including Ken Kesey’s notorious One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and “Brokeback Mountain,” by Annie Proulx, with discussions of their Academy Award-winning film versions. Northwest poets are represented by Portlander Hazel Hall, who enjoyed a brief, meteoric career in the 20s and 30s, Theodore Roethke, the most famous of our region’s poets, the late, beloved William Stafford, and the always dangerous Sherman Alexie. Finally, a number of seminal essays on Northwest literature will help us consolidate our readings and formulate a judgment whether a unique literature of our region can be identified. The class will focus on, and be propelled by, the students’ written responses to the daily reading assignments.
ENG 363 Latinx Sci-Fi and Environmental Justice (CRN: 42500), David Vázquez. Multicultural (IP); Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity
In the opening pages of Junot Díaz’s 2005 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the eponymous protagonist utters the words, “What more sci-fi than Santo Domingo? What more fantasy than the Antilles?” Despite the more than 200 years of literary history during which Latina/os have written and published in the United States, it has only been for the past 20 or so that we have engaged genres like science fiction to express what Ramón Saldívar describes as a “new imaginary” that is oriented around the irresolvable tension between a desire for justice and the impossibility of its fulfillment. In this course we will examine a series of sci-fi novels, with an eye towards how, as critic Ralph Rodríguez observes, these texts function as “cultural commodities that have much to tell us about the historical, social, and political milieu in which they emerged.” Consequently, we will think about how “serious” literary texts engage such non-serious forms. In particular we’ll pay careful attention to how Latina/o authors engage sci-fi and fantasy in order to express environmental imaginaries that are in excess of “mainstream environmentalism.” Along the way, we’ll think about how these novels use non-traditional forms to speak to and represent issues of race and racialization, sexuality and gender, history and colonization, environmental justice and space, and labor and migration as intimately intertwined.
ENG 399 Special Studies: Ken Kesey (CRN: 42386), David Arnold. Major I & II: 1789+
This course explores the literature of Ken Kesey—famed writer, Prankster and U of O grad, viewed in the context of American literary precursors (Melville, Faulkner), two significant novels (Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes A Great Notion—so fine on the rain, what it feels like to live in the Northwest!), and subsequent writings by and about the author (Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the course wrapping with brief accounts of Kesey’s capacity to engage us with wonder in times he helped define).