Actual reading lists vary significantly depending on the expertise and teaching philosophy of the instructor, but all sections of the course offer students a broad introduction to the study of literary fiction. Whether readings focus on the stories and novels of major writers or on works from a specific period or national tradition, students develop analytical skills that will allow them to think, write, and speak intelligently about fiction. The course addresses basic questions about the nature of prose narrative and the interrelated activities of reading, writing, and interpretation. What is a story, and what role do stories play in our cultural and political lives? Is interpretation of a literary text a purely subjective process, or are some interpretations more valid than others? Narrative technique, point of view, and character development are some of the terms and concepts examined in the course, though each instructor will bring his or her own analytical framework to the class. Weekly readings of short stories and novels are substantial in scope and difficulty, and students will be asked to compose critical essays of varying length, totaling at least 8-10 pages. As a basic introduction to a major genre in the field of literary studies, this course satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. It is not recommended for English Majors, who are encouraged to enroll in the department’s more historically oriented and comprehensive Introduction to the English Major sequence, ENG 220-222.
This course is an introduction to drama, one of the major genres in literary studies. Students will read, discuss, and analyze plays from a variety of periods and national traditions in order to become familiar with the major styles, techniques, and conventions that characterize dramatic literature. Although this is a course on drama as literature, with an emphasis on the interpretation and analysis of dramatic texts, students will explore the preformative dimensions of drama as well. The course will provide a broad introduction to theoretical and historical debates that stand at the center literary studies today, and students will have the chance to enter into these debates through critical writing assignments totaling at least 8-10 pages. Readings typically average one play per week, in addition to which students may be expected to attend out-of-class screenings of dramatic performances. As a basic introduction to texts, issues and questions that are central to the study of dramatic literature, this course satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. It is not recommended for English Majors, who are encouraged to enroll in the department’s more historically oriented and comprehensive Introduction to the English Major sequence, ENG 220-222.
This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the formal properties of poetry in English. Through careful analysis of poems by major writers, students will be challenged to explain not only what a given poem might mean to its readers, but also how a poem communicates meaning differently than a work of fiction, drama, or some other mode of literary expression. ENG 106 is not a comprehensive introduction to the traditions of English and American poetry; it is, rather, a series of intensive exercises designed to equip students with the analytical tools needed to read, discuss, and write about poetry effectively. Weekly readings are relatively short but extremely demanding, and students will do a substantial amount of critical writing, including formal essays totaling at least 8-10 pages. As a basic introduction a major genre in the field of literary studies, this course satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. It is not recommended for English Majors, who are encouraged to enroll in the department’s more historically oriented and comprehensive Introduction to the English Major sequence, ENG 220-222.
This is one of three courses that form a three-part chronological survey of international trends in literature from its archaic and classical origins to the present. These courses can be taken as a yearlong sequence, or they can be taken individually. All works are read in English translation. There are no prerequisites, and no background knowledge of international literary history is expected. All three courses seek to give students a truly global sense of literary history by incorporating works in various genres from Asia, the Near East, Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America, and elsewhere. ENG 107 begins with the archaic period and ends with the late Middle Ages in Europe. ENG 108 spans the period from the European Renaissance to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, focusing on cultural relations between the Near East and Europe. ENG 109 covers the 19th and 20th centuries, with emphasis on the emergence of global cultural movements such as Romanticism, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. All three courses seek to juxtapose Western and non- Western readings, challenging students to locate “classic” literary works within a global perspective. Weekly readings of short stories and novels are substantial in scope and difficulty, and students will be asked to compose critical essays of varying length, totaling at least 8-10 pages. With their comparative focus on various literary traditions, all three courses satisfy the University Multicultural Requirement in the International Cultures category. In offering students a broad introduction to college-level literary studies, ENG 107, 108, and 109 also satisfy the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.
Gen Ed; Multicultural; Elective
Between Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Stephenie Meyer’s Edward, vampires have evolved from seductive villains to become troubled anti-heroes, each embodying fears and hidden desires haunting their historical moment. Discover the roots of the American vampire and explore its transgressive appeal through reading, interpreting, and writing about novels, films and television. Develop your critical thinking skills with Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and learn the basics of academic research while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Explore our culture’s fascination with those dwelling on the boundaries between evil and virtue, life and death, seduction and violence. Examine your own fears and attraction to monsters and horror in order to understand the cultural truths underlying these taboo fantasies that both attract and repel us.
Let the Games Begin!: American Sports Poetry: “I’m gonna float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. / His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.” Engage sports poems and sports history from Frances Sargent Osgood to Muhammad Ali. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, American poets have turned to popular (and not so popular) sports as subjects and figures to express themes of human achievement, love, struggle and suffering, deep philosophical and spiritual contemplation, and public life. In this course, you will discuss and analyze a wide range of American poetry and the role of sports in public and private life, talk with guest speakers, attend sporting events, compose original work, and learn about the resources available on campus to conduct your own research about sports poetry.
Study and practice of public speaking as grounded in the five rhetorical canons of invention, arrangement, style, delivery and memory.
Students read, discuss, and critique Shakespeare’s early comedies and tragedies. Plays covered generally include (but are not limited to) A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV (Part One), Richard II, Henry V, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet. Weekly readings and occasional screenings of plays demand a considerable investment of time and effort, in addition to which students will be asked to compose critical essays of varying length, totaling at least 8-10 pages. The course introduces students to central questions in the study of dramatic art, as well as to issues pertaining more broadly to the study of literature in English. Students will leave the course having read extensively from the works of one of the major writers of the western tradition, and they will have acquired interpretive, analytical, and communication skills that will aid them in their future coursework in English and other disciplines. ENG 207 satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.
Gen Ed; Shakespeare
Students read, discuss, and critique Shakespeare’s later comedies and tragedies. Plays covered in ENG 208 generally include (but are not limited to) Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, and Othello. Weekly readings and occasional screenings of plays demand a considerable investment of time and effort, in addition to which students will be asked to compose critical essays of varying length, totaling at least 8-10 pages. The course introduces students to central questions in the study of dramatic art, as well as to issues pertaining more broadly to the study of literature in English. Students will leave the course having read extensively from the works of one of the major writers of the western tradition, and they will have acquired interpretive, analytical, and communication skills that will aid them in their future coursework in English and other disciplines. ENG 208 satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.
Gen Ed; Shakespeare
This course provides students with an overview of English literature from the Early, High and late Middle Ages through the first decades of the Early Modern period. It is designed to give students some understanding of key themes, issues, aesthetic features, and literary developments that texts from these historical periods illustrate. The course will explore the reciprocal dynamic between history and text as well as illuminate the literary features common in vernacular texts of the Middle Ages and Early modern period. Readings include works such as Beowulf, The Bayeux Tapestry, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, short selections from the Canterbury Tales, and Thomas More’s Utopia.
Assessment includes: Quizzes in discussion sections, midterm, two formal papers (each revised after feedback), and a final exam.
This course provides students an exposure to English and French literature important for the English literary tradition in translation from the very Early to Late Middle Ages. The course will include Arthurian quest narratives, medieval historical accounts of Arthur, and late medieval versions of the Arthurian material, but will also look at some examples of typical medieval literature concerned with the world and its challenges from 800 to 1500. It will not typically include texts covered in other English courses focused on medieval literature. Readings may include: Arthurian stories in fiction and in historical chronicles, medieval dream visions, poetry and drama, as well as some attention to medieval visual art and artifacts that connect to the world of early, high, and late medieval English literature. Requirements include: attendance, participation, quizzes, 2 papers, a group presentation project, final exam.
In 1968, Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for American literature. Momaday’s award signaled for many the “arrival” of Native authors to the American literary scene, and ushered in an unprecedented era of Native literary production widely known as the Native American Renaissance. While the explosion of Native writing and the critical tradition that emerged from it carved out much needed cultural and institutional spaces for Native self-representation and Native Studies, it had the unintended effect of privileging contemporary Native novels over writing from other periods and across a variety of genres and forms. This introductory survey of Native American literature widens the net to include an array of native self-representation across genres, regions, periods, forms and tribal nations. We will read cultural critiques and policy debates alongside short stories and novels, as well as juxtapose drama and short films alongside YouTube videos, op-eds, and other media.
Gen Ed; Multicultural; Elective
This course aims to develop media literacy by providing students with a precise set of critical tools for analyzing photographic, cinematic and televisual texts. Although its primary focus is on the formal analysis of image and sound rather than media history or social issues, the course considers the interplay between artistic and social conventions and the role of ideology in shaping the meaning of media texts. We view and critique numerous film and television clips, as well as several feature-length films. Student presentations enable the class to shape course content by choosing media clips that illustrate concepts covered by readings and lectures. While not oriented toward the technical or industrial aspects of media production, the course builds skills that are beneficial to both media producers and consumers. Requirements include weekly writing assignments, a group presentation, an extensive sequence analysis, and two exams.
This course together with 266 & 267 forms a chronological survey of the evolution of cinema as an institution and an art form. The courses can be taken individually or as parts of an integrated sequence. ENG 265 moves from the origins of cinema in the late 19th century through World War II. The primary texts for the course are the films themselves, but supplementary readings will also be assigned. Students will submit a media journal and a term paper, and there will be two exams. The aim of each course is to develop interpretive skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of major movements in Hollywood and world cinema. As a broad introduction to interpretive, theoretical, and institutional issues that are central to the study of film, both courses satisfy the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.
Gen Ed; Elective
This class is conceived as an introduction to the art of comics, and to the methodologies of the new academic discipline of Comics Studies. Course content will vary from term to term, according to the specialist interests of the individual instructor, within the following parameters. Students will be exposed to a spectrum of comic-art forms (i.e., at a minimum, three of the following archetypal forms: the gag cartoon, the editorial cartoon, the newspaper strip, the comic book, the graphic novel, the web comic.) Students will be exposed to a historical range of comic texts, ranging from (at least) the early 1900s to the present. Students will be required to read several professional critical or theoretical essays over the course of the term alongside the primary materials the instructor of record assigns. These essays will be drawn relevant academic peer-reviewed sources. Scott McCloud’s influential book, Understanding Comics, will be required reading for all versions of the class.
The names of male writers like Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashiell Hammett have typically dominated the study of detective fiction, while the significant contributions of women writers have been marginalized or completely ignored. This course shifts the focus to women writers who defined some conventions of the mystery/detective genre and challenged others, who created some of the genre’s most memorable detectives, and whose work challenges narrow conceptions of what can be accomplished in crime fiction. Three groups of women writers will be studied:
- The Pioneers (pre-Poe and Doyle)
- The Forgotten (1930s to 1970s)
- The Sisters in Crime (post-1980)
Reading will include short stories and novels by a diverse group of women writers from Anna Katherine Green and Pauline Hopkins, to Dorothy Sayers and Dorothy Hughes, to Sue Grafton and Katherine V. Forrest.
Multicultural; 1789+, FEW
Rise of the novel from Defoe to Austen. The 18th century ushered in a new form of literature in England: the novel. Novels took various forms, including the epistolary novel, the picaresque novel, the gothic novel, and the novel of manners. AS we study examples of these novels by some of the most influential authors of the day, we will discuss how the culture of the time shaped the literature, and we will tackle the problem of creating a working definition for a genre that – from its very beginnings – was anti-conventional and diverse.
Gen Ed; 1500-1789
ENG 322 is the second of a three-part chronological survey of the English novel from its beginnings in the 18th century to the present. ENG 322 covers the 19th century. No prerequisites are required, but students should be capable of advanced university-level work in literary studies. Although readings in each course focus on a specific period in British literary history, each course raises questions central to literary study more generally, questions about identity, gender, ethnicity, class, language and history. As part of an extensive survey of major fictional works, ENG 322 satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. The courses on the English novel, ENG 321, 322, and 322, may be taken as a sequence, or each may be taken individually.
Gen Ed; 1789+
ENG 323 is the third of a three-part chronological survey of the English novel from its beginnings in the 18th century to the present. ENG 323 covers the period from the early 20th century to the present. No prerequisites are required, but students should be capable of advanced university-level work in literary studies. Although readings in each course focus on a specific period in British literary history, each course raises questions central to literary study more generally, questions about identity, gender, ethnicity, class, language and history. As part of an extensive survey of major fictional works, ENG 323 satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. The courses on the English novel, ENG 321, 322, and 322, may be taken as a sequence, or each may be taken individually.
Gen Ed; 1789+
Analysis and use of patterns of reasoning derived from the disciplines of rhetoric, informal logic, cognitive science, and the theory of argumentation. Prereq: WR 122 or equivalent.
Gen Ed; Theory
ENG 340 Jewish Writers
In recent years Jewish fiction and non-fiction writers have turned to the archive quest narrative to explore family secrets, confusing histories, and lost or misunderstood rumors about Jewish culture and people. These narratives are interested not only in recovering events from the past but in charting the writer’s experience of recovering the past. Not surprisingly, one of the prominent features of these works is the obsession with the archive’s material fragments—bunches of letters, photographs, old train tickets, diaries, and/or misplaced objects from another world. As the characters in these narratives search (impossibly) for “historical truths” they wrestle with relationships among history, narrative, and the meaning of Jewish identity. In this course we will study a selection of archival quest narratives written by contemporary Jewish writers to understand how the archive’s objects/papers work rhetorically and aesthetically to create stories; how fiction and/or memoir shape and reflect knowledge of Jewish history and culture; and why archival objects and texts carry or unleash so much emotional power.
Gen Ed; Multicultural; 1789+, FEW
ENG 364 Comparative Ethnic American Literatures
Bildungsroman. Arguably one of the most widely recognized and hotly contested critical terms in literary studies, it has been read as everything from an organic, mimetic allegory of national community to an insidious instrument of social discipline. Its coincidence with the emergence of empire, nationalism, bourgeois individualism and modernity not only encourages interrogation of its normative representations of social order and subject formation. It also demands interpretive frameworks and comparative methodologies capable of addressing intersections between race, class, nation, gender/sexuality and coloniality that consistently exceed the genre’s formal impulse toward containment and closure. Informed by such conversations and methods, this course explores ethnic American negotiations with the American bildungsroman in five novels from the modernist 1920s-30s: Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers, John Joseph Mathews’ Sundown, Ameríco Paredes’ George Washington Gomez, Nella Larsen’s Quicksand, and Youngill Kang’s East Goes West: The Making of an Oriental Yankee. Marked by post-War Anglo-nativism, intensified racial violence across the South and Southwest, drastic shifts in immigration and federal Indian policies, and the cultural/literary influences of modernity and American modernism, these writers chose the bildungsroman as the literary form through which to examine the contradictions of national subject formation for the racially-marked American “citizen.”
This course studies works of film and media as aesthetic objects that engage with communities identified by class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. It considers both the effects of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination on media and filmmaking practices and modes of reception that promote cultural pluralism and tolerance. It historicizes traditions of representation in film and media and analyzes works of contemporary film and media to explore the impact and evolution of these practices. Classroom discussion will be organized around course readings, screenings and publicity (interviews, trailers, etc.). Assignments will supplement these discussions by providing opportunities to develop critical /analytical /evaluative dialogues and essays about cinematic representation. ENG 381 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement by actively engaging students in the ways the discipline of film and media studies has been shaped by the study of a broad range of identity categories, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class. By requiring students to analyze and interpret cinematic representation from these perspectives, the course will promote an understanding of film as an art form that exists in relation to its various social contexts. ENG 381 also satisfies the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance multicultural requirement by enabling students to develop scholarly insight into the construction of collective identities in the mass media forms of film and television. It will study the effects of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination on mainstream media. Students will study the ways representational conventions, such as stereotypes, have resulted from filmmaking traditions that have excluded voices from varying social and cultural standpoints. The course will also consider filmmaking practices and modes of reception that promote cultural pluralism and tolerance.
Gen Ed; Multicultural; Elective
What is the difference between a story told with words and one told with pictures? How does the latter change our understanding of traditional literary conventions like genre, plot, tone, character, and audience? Gaining rapid momentum since the 1960s, graphic fiction emerged as a phenomenon which not only extended but challenged a well-established canon of newspaper cartoons and serial comic books, not only developing unique formal qualities but incorporating completely new content. Rarely did we see the traditional figures of the superhero and his archnemesis; now real, ordinary people, with their very human weaknesses and limits, took center stage. And the worlds which they inhabited were both familiar and terrifying. This shift raises a number of important disciplinary and methodological questions, each of which will be taken up in this course. How do we “read” these novel combinations of text and image – what new methods and vocabularies are needed? In exploring these new modes of inquiry, students will learn not only a new set of analytical and interpretive skills but how to apply them in a wide variety of interdisciplinary contexts. The course thus satisfies university-wide General Education requirements; the “literary theory/criticism” requirement for the English major; and also counts towards the Comics and Cartoon Studies minor.
Gen Ed; Theory
In this course, we will examine formal strategies and thematic concerns of 19th century American novels. Using close reading and historical context, we’ll investigate these questions: How do our authors imagine Americanness? What are the possibilities and limits of the novel form and how are they tied to national identity? How do these novels construct race, class, and gender? How do ethnic American and women writers shape this tradition? This course is designed to help you engage in literary study and intellectual conversation. It is thus an opportunity to hone your critical faculty through scholarly discussion and analytical writing about literature.
Gen Ed; 1789+
English 392 together with 391 forms a chronological upper-division survey of the American novel from its beginnings in the 19th century to the present. These courses can be taken as a sequence, or they can be taken individually. ENG 391 covers the 19th century, while ENG 392 covers the 20th. No prerequisites are required, but students should be capable of advanced university-level work in literary studies. Although readings focus on a specific period, both courses challenge students to locate American fiction within broadly conceived historical, social, and political contexts. As concentrated surveys of major American fiction, both courses satisfy the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.
Gen Ed; 1789+
English 395 together with 394 forms a chronological upper-division survey of modern literature from America, Britain, and Europe. Both courses incorporate works of prose, poetry, and drama, and both attend closely to philosophical, political, and cultural events that run parallel to developments in 20th century literary history. These courses can be taken as a sequence, or they can be taken individually. ENG 394 covers the period from 1890 through 1945; ENG 395 covers the period from 1945 to the present. No prerequisites are required, but students should be prepared for advanced university-level work in literary studies. Although readings in each course focus on a relatively narrow fifty-year period, both ENG 394 and 395 address issues, movements, and intellectual trends (Freudianism, Marxism, Fascism, Existentialism, for example) that are central to 20th century intellectual history more generally. As parts of a broad survey of major European, British, and American literature, both courses satisfy the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.
Gen Ed; 1789+
English 395 together with 394 forms a chronological upper-division survey of modern literature from America, Britain, and Europe. Both courses incorporate works of prose, poetry, and drama, and both attend closely to philosophical, political, and cultural events that run parallel to developments in 20th century literary history. These courses can be taken as a sequence, or they can be taken individually. ENG 394 covers the period from 1890 through 1945; ENG 395 covers the period from 1945 to the present. No prerequisites are required, but students should be prepared for advanced university-level work in literary studies. Although readings in each course focus on a relatively narrow fifty-year period, both ENG 394 and 395 address issues, movements, and intellectual trends (Freudianism, Marxism, Fascism, Existentialism, for example) that are central to 20th century intellectual history more generally.
Gen Ed; 1789+
In Anglo-Saxon England theft was a capital crime while murder was not. Why might this be? In the 12th century there was a lively debate on whether it was appropriate to love one’s spouse. Who would debate this and why? This class will consider questions like this as we read from a broad selection of early medieval literature. To frame the medieval literature, we will read several modern works that consider how and why objects circulate as gifts, how gifts gain meaning, and how gift-giving works as a form of symbolic communication to say things that often can’t be said outright. We will focus on several over-arching questions: What social functions and meanings does the gift have and how can these meanings be manipulated? Which is better (and why, and to whom): the gift that expects reciprocation, or the gift freely given with no expectation of return? How can we tell when a giver’s intentions in gift-giving are pure (and why does this matter)? In what ways is a gift a test, what does it test, and can it ever be a trap? As the opening questions show, pursuing this topic will lead us in some surprising directions through a variety of medieval genres, such as heroic epic, sermons, and romance. While gift-giving was much more central to pre-modern societies than it is today, thinking about early practices of gift-giving can help us see ourselves more clearly and imagine alternative ways of organizing society and exchanging things.
This course will examine the foundations of modernist literature in systems of transnational circulation. We will examine topics such as diasporas in modernism; modernism and imperialism; modernism and primitivism; the significance of exile, expatriation, and translation on modernist style; the globalization of American culture; and modernism and global war. Works and topics will include French Dada “invading” New York; translation; Joseph Conrad on Imperialism and surveillance; and the literature of the Spanish Civil War.
This course explores the collaborative work of creating queer spaces, queer social relations, queer archives, and queer art objects. We will examine this work by re-producing television history, especially the queer, trans, straight, and cis plot lines of programs like “All My Children” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Reading assignments and discussions focus on melodrama and soap opera; theories of queer world-making and queer cultural production; filmmakers including Malic Amalya, Kenneth Anger, Michelle Citron, Shirley Clarke, Cheryl Dunye, George Kuchar, Mike Kuchar, Marie Menken, Barbara Rubin, Jack Smith, José Rodriquez-Soltero, and Andy Warhol; and particularly on film, video, and multimedia artists involved with “underground” queer productions.
We will study sentences very closely to see how they work, how the individual parts of speech draw together into syntax, and what effect (artistic and otherwise) these patterns of syntax create. We will explore sentence structures with diagramming, to develop a clear sense of sentence structure, and reflect upon the artful potential of those sentence elements. In discussion of student-selected examples, individual style analyses, and shared readings, we will develop a critical language based in grammar for describing style. Students will also study their own sentences and academic writing in order to gain more artistic and technical control. Throughout, we will reflect on the process of learning and engaging with sentences at this level of detail. Graduate students will complete additional readings and a substantial style project. We may also, perhaps, enjoy the possibilities of English and have some fun with words.
Introduction to the Old English language.
This course will focus on excess and indulgence in Shakespeare’s works. At the outset of Twelfth Night, a love-sick duke hopes to binge on romance until his appetite for it bursts. Similarideas of excess are everywhere in contemporary culture, from “binge-watching” television to being “addicted” to fitness. This course will examine Shakespeare as an influential author and analyst of the modern penchant for exorbitance. Students will learn about 16th- and 17th-century religious, political, and medical thinking that shaped attitudes toward self-regulation and self-indulgence. Alongside Shakespeare, students will read some pre-modern ideas of indulgence’s positive value in authors like Montaigne, Donne, and Lucretius, as well as in some contemporary writing by Adam Phillips, Michel Foucault, and others. The course will examineissues of gender and sexuality as well as health and medicine. Plays may include: The Merchant of Venice, 12th Night, Antony and Cleopatra, and Timon of Athens.1500-1789
This course explores the concept of nature from a literary and philosophical perspective, focusing on the temporal aspect of nature and its role in contemporary debates about gender, sexuality, and race. We will read poems and novels in conversation with nonfictional works from the history of science and natural philosophy in order to ask whether nature is something fixed or evolving, static or dynamic. Does nature have a history or is it always contained in “what is”? Do humans have a nature and if so, do we have the ability to change that nature? We will pose such questions through texts such as Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, Darwin’s The Origin of Species, Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native, Gertrude Stein’s, Natural Phenomena, and Anne Fausto-Sterling’s “The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female are Not Enough.”
This course will be an intensive survey of the major fiction of two of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.
Chess. Sudoku. World of Warcraft. Battleship. Candy Crush. Basketball. Roulette. These are all things we call games – but what exactly do they have in common? This course introduces students to the fundamentals of games as cultural phenomena. Beginning with a seemingly obvious question which has frustrated generations of scholars and theorists – what is a game? – we will go on to examine games in terms of function, purpose, mechanics, design, and audience. Students will learn how to talk about games and then how to put that knowledge to work in designing their own games. This course satisfies the Department’s Theory requirement and may satisfy an elective requirement for the New Media & Culture Certificate.
Screening, interpretation, and analysis of films from developing non-European cultures and by people of color. Mechanisms of racism in dominant U.S. media. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Prereq: Junior standing.
Theoretical topics addressed by 20th-century rhetorical critics. Varieties of rhetorical interpretation, from neo-Aristotelian to reader-response, postmodernist views of metaphor.
The practice and ethics of tutoring writing in the context of writing in various academic disciplines. Theories of teaching, tutoring techniques and assessment of writing.
Practice in writing and analyzing internal and external messages common to business, industry, and professions. Suggested for business and management students.
This course introduces students to the research questions, theoretical orientations, and fieldwork methods used to study folklore, and therefore satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirements. Students will examine concepts that are central to folkloristic inquiry, survey the social groups and folklore genres that have preoccupied folklorists, investigate the meanings and functions of folklore, and explore relationships between folklore and social issues. The course provides an overview of research methods and theories of culture, and explores topics such as narrative, genre, identity, gender, race, and ethnicity as these apply to everyday life, and the meanings of cultural heritage and expression in cross-cultural perspectives. Students will develop critical thinking and research skills, as well as their abilities to communicate orally and in writing, and will be given the tools and opportunity to document and analyze folkloric expression through interviews, fieldwork, and a research paper.
Gen Ed, Multicultural; Elective
Introduces students to the theories and methods used in the study of folklore and popular culture; examines a diversity of approaches to the description and analysis of “common culture,” including popular narratives, legends, rituals, ethnic and gender stereotypes, carnivalesque events, fan cultures, subcultures, DIY, and the commodification of youth culture. Special focus on the ways that folklore and popular culture reflect and shape dominant ideologies, and how people may use mass cultural products to create new, personal, and sometimes subversive meanings.
Gen Ed, Multicultural; Elective
Intersections between folklore and sexuality provide an entry point for examining contemporary social issues relating to sexuality, including sexual identities, courting practices, sexism, pride, violence, body image issues, and resistance.
Study of popular ballads in the Anglo-American tradition—styles, origins, forms, content, and dissemination. History and influence of popular media.
In our time of seemingly endless wars, we will read one of the world’s greatest war novels, Tolstoy’s massive War and Peace. We will read War and Peace in light of the thought of two of the 20th-century’s greatest philosophers, Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929) and Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995). Tolstoy, who was himself a soldier and a nobleman, ended his life as a pacifist and a radical egalitarian. War and Peace is a meditation, based on Tolstoy’s own personal experience, on the Napoleonic wars, including Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, and on war in general.
Alongside War and Peace, during fall quarter we will read Rosenzweig’s Understanding the Sick and the Healthy, which the philosopher wrote as a guide to his great but very difficult book The Star of Redemption. Rosenzweig composed The Star from the trenches in which he fought in the first World War (the so-called “Great War”). We will also read Levinas’s essay “The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig” (In the Time of the Nations, pp. 150-160), which is the preface to an important book on Rosenzweig by Stéphane Mosès.
Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption views World War I as a kind of culmination of the history of Western philosophy that finds its expression in Hegel’s book The Phenomenology of Spirit/Mind. The thought of Levinas, which was deeply influenced by Rozenzweig, is a response to the horrors of World War II. Levinas’s reading of Russian literature as a young man, including his reading of Tolstoy, had a profound impact on the development his philosophical thought. During winter quarter, we will focus on Levinas’s book Ethics and Infinity, and particularly on Levinas’s distinction, which he clarifies in chapter six of this book, on the distinction between ethics and politics. Levinas is here drawing on the thought of Rosenzweig, who is acutely aware, as is Tolstoy, of the difference between the political and the ethical self, of the difference, that is, between the human being viewed as playing a role in the unfolding of an impersonal world historical drama or narrative, on the one hand, and the human being seen as absolutely unique and irreplaceable, on the other. If ethics is peace, is war perhaps the inevitable result of pursuing politics at the expense of ethics?
The topic of this two-quarter colloquium is central to the concerns of the UNESCO Chair in Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and Peace at the University of Oregon.
The class will meet on Thursday evenings from 6-8:50 in OSP (the Oregon State Penitentiary) during winter and spring quarters, 2016. I have received the endorsement of the education coordinator at the Oregon State Penitentiary to teach this class over two consecutive quarters. It will be the first Inside-Out class to be taught in this manner. This innovation is necessary in the case of reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is simply not possible to read this great, massive novel with the attention it deserves in a single academic quarter. The two-quarter sequence will allow us to do precisely this, and it will deepen the Inside-Out experience by expanding our time together from the usual one quarter to two quarters. Both inside and outside students will need to commit themselves to both winter and spring quarters before they sign up for the course winter quarter.
Texts for Winter Quarter:
Emmanuel Levinas, “The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig,” In the Time of the Nations,
trans. Michael B. Smith
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, the Maude translation, ed. and revised by George
Gibian, Norton Critical Edition, Second Edition (Norton, 1996)
Franz Rosenzweig, Understanding the Sick and the Healthy, trans. Nahum Glatzer
(Harvard University Press, 1999)
Texts for Spring Quarter:
Emmanuel Levinas, Ethics and Infinity: Conversations with Philippe Nemo, trans. Richard A. Cohen (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1985)
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, the Maude translation, ed. and revised by George
Gibian, Norton Critical Edition, Second Edition (Norton, 1996)
Creative Writing course descriptions can be found at http://pages.uoregon.edu/crwrweb/courses/.