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University of Oregon

Fall 2017

English

 

ENG 104 Introduction to Literature: Fiction

3 Sections

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? The narrative technique, the 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.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 106 Introduction to Literature: Poetry

1 Section

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.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 107 World Literature

Shankman, Steven

We will read foundational works from three different ancient cultures: China, Greece, and Israel. We will pay particular attention to the question of the kinds of values that these foundational works were meant to instill in their ancient audiences. What, for each culture, constitutes the exemplary person, sometimes referred to as the “hero” or “heroine”? In particular, what does each work have to say about the nature of war, peace, and ethics understood as my responsibility – impossible to shirk – for the unique and irreplaceable other in front of me?

 

Emphasis will be on a close and attentive reading of texts. Literature during this period was meant to be taken in by the ear rather than the eye, and we will emphasize the oral [spoken aloud]/aural [heard] dimension of these works. Students will train their ears to hear and scan ancient verse, even if they do not know the ancient languages (Chinese, Greek, and Hebrew) themselves; and to hear modern attempts at approximating the aural effects of ancient poetry and prose.

 

You will develop the ability to appreciate and analyze literary texts from a variety of cultural and linguistic traditions in the ancient world. You will be asked to demonstrate this ability in both written and spoken English. In our increasingly multicultural world, both in the classroom and in the workplace, you will be increasingly expected to develop what is called “intercultural competence.” This class, by exposing you to foundational texts from three ancient and very different cultures, will boost your “intercultural competence.”

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

ENG 110 Introduction to Film and Media

Ellapen, Jordache

The Aesthetics of Black American Cinema

This course introduces students to a wide range of popular, commercial films that examine the African American experience from different perspectives. Through film screenings, readings, and writing we will examine the African American image on screen and filmmaking practices from the silent era to the contemporary period. We begin by examining the crude, racist representation of films like King Kong (1933) and Birth of a Nation (1915), as well the Hollywood entertainment musicals of the 1940s (Cabin the Sky), the Blaxploitation era (Shaft), the LA Rebellion films of the 70s (Killer of Sheep), independent black films of the 90s (Daughters of the Dust), and the films of contemporary Black directors like Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) and Ava Duvernay (Selma). This class will cover the debates and issues focused on the development of black American cinema, including the representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will consider the contributions African Americans have made to mainstream cinema as well as the importance of the independent productions that mark African American efforts to build an emergent, fully representational black cinema practice. This course will examine films made for, by, and about African Americans and students will develop the critical analytic tools to examine representations of blackness and to situate such representations within the social, cultural, and political contexts in which they emerge.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 200 Public Speaking as a Liberal Art

Horton, Kathleen

While the primary focus of our class will be in the practice of public speaking, we will also discuss theories of rhetoric; the identity, characteristics, and relationship of speaker (self) and audience (other), the importance of listening as an aspect of speaking; the role of gender, culture, and context in public discourse, and the common challenges and barriers humans face and overcome when engaged in public speaking. In addition, we will explore ethics and morality as foundational concerns in any arena in which speakers seek the assent of others. By the end of this course, students will have developed their capacities in the following areas:

  • understand foundational rhetorical and ethical theory
  • develop a toolbox of rhetorical practices for use in composing and engaging in public discourse
  • practice listening and speaking exercises as a form of dialogic engagement in the development of ideas
  • discern best use and balance of ethos, pathos, logos in public discourse
  • consider the value of the liberal arts as an aspect of public discourse
  • evaluate the public discourse of self and others with clarity and discernment
  • improve as public speakers and listeners
Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 205 Genre: Romance

Brown, Kirby

Course description: Though signifying idealized notions of love in popular parlance, romance is about more than the transcendent power of romantic love. As a genre and a narrative mode, the romance interrogates tensions ranging from class conflict and anxieties over religious, racial, and national identity to the dissolution of social institutions, normative authority, and society itself. Understood in these terms, romance permeates everything from “serious” literature and “high” culture to Harlequin romances and pulp detective fictions and finds expression in a variety of forms ranging from epic poems, Renaissance dramas, and Gothic short stories to fantasy novels, superhero comics, television series, and blockbuster films. This class will explore the romance through close attention to a handful of representative texts across a variety of forms. While not attempting anything approximating comprehensive historical coverage, it will situate primary texts in relation to the historical contexts and debates out of which they emerge and to which they’re responding. We’ll pay particular attention to the development of formal conventions and narrative strategies that mark a romance as such, while also developing a critical vocabulary and a set of analytic tools to interpret various expressions, complications, and refusals of the genre/mode.

Major I: Lower-Division Elective; Major II: Genre Requirement

 

ENG 207 Shakespeare

Dawson, Brent

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.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: Shakespeare; Major II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 209 Craft of the Sentence

Clark, Stephanie

Grammar is a tool for describing how written sentences work and figuring out and explaining why they don’t work. In this course, you’ll learn the language of grammar: the technical terms and the conceptual principles needed to describe the grammatical structure of sentences. You’ll learn sentence diagramming in order to help see the patterns behind grammatical concepts. We will pay careful attention not only to the rules of grammar but also to the logic behind those rules. Furthermore, you will learn about the historical development of some of those rules–why, for instance, English sentences are punctuated the way they are, why the passive voice should be avoided, and whether it is acceptable to ever split an infinitive. Along the way, we’ll consider further questions about the nature of spoken vs. written language, dialects, and standardized language. As we will see, knowledge of grammatical concepts can help writers think through and revise their own written ideas more effectively.

Major I: Lower-Division Elective; Major II: Lower-Division Elective, Writing Requirement

 

ENG 225 Age of King Arthur

1 Section

Introduction to the literature of the Middle Ages set against the backdrop of medieval culture.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 241 Introduction to African American Literature

Thorsson, Courtney

This course is a survey of writings by African American authors. Studying fiction, essays, and poetry, we will read representative texts to consider whether there are specific formal and thematic elements that characterize an African American literary tradition. We will consider how these texts fit into or defy ideas about race, gender, and class on the one hand and classifications of genre, period, and literary style on the other. We will study relationships among these works to uncover how they reflect on, depend on, or revise one another. We will look for relationships between these works and other art forms such as music and visual arts. This means that as we read each text closely, we may also listen closely to a relevant speech, poetry reading, or piece of music. The goal of this course is to help you engage with African American literature, improving your writing, reading, and critical thinking skills in the process. This class requires substantial reading and writing and vigorous participation.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 260 Media Aesthetics

Miller, Quinn

Analysis of media, material objects, aesthetics, and cultural history related to media with a focus on print, still photography, audiobook, Tumblr, digital video, and film.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 260 Media Aesthetics

1 Section

Conventions of visual representation in still photography, motion pictures, and video.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 265 History of the Motion Picture

Aronson, Michael

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 (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

 

ENG 280 Introduction to Comic Studies

Saunders, Ben

O’Kelly, Brendan

This class provides an introduction to the political and aesthetic history of Anglo-American comics and to the academic discipline of Comics Studies.  You will be exposed to a spectrum of comic-art forms (the newspaper strip, the comic book, the graphic novel) and a variety of modes and genres (fiction, non-fiction, kids comics, crime comics, and so on).  You will also be asked to read several examples of contemporary comics scholarship.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective; CCS Minor Requirement

 

ENG 301 Foundations of the English Major: Context

Ginsberg, Warren; Kaufman, Heidi; Ovalle, Priscilla

ENG 301 is the first part of the year-long Foundations of the English Major series. English 301 will study literary and cultural texts with a focus on the following questions: What is a cultural context? How are cultural contexts tied to the historical imagination? To answer these questions, each part of the course studies its literary and media forms within their cultural and historical contexts. We use comparative methodologies to appreciate how cultural, historical, biographical, and archival concerns frame the way we understand and approach each text. These are the foundational skills that you will continue to practice as English majors. In the Medieval portion of the term, we examine such contextual factors as how the difference between orality and writing in the Old and Middle English periods and the status of English in a bi- and tri-lingual society influenced the production and reception of literary texts. In the Victorian portion we focus first on print culture and the Victorian experience of reading. From there we’ll read Dickens’ Oliver Twist (serialized from 1837-8) within the context of Victorian Poor Laws (1834), ideas about fallen women, and murder. In the Newer Media portion, we ask similar questions of context to explore the historical and cultural trajectories of technology, power, and performance that led to a newer media classic, Citizen Kane (1939).

Major I & II: Major Requirement

 

ENG 380 Film, Media, and History

Wilde, Jenée

The New Hollywood Blockbuster

ENG 380 looks at the history of the American film and media industry not just as the sum of its products (i.e., films designed for mass consumption), but also as a complex cultural, economic and aesthetic system that produced complex cultural products. From early in its history, Hollywood dominated and continues to dominate, the world in a way in which no other cultural producer has dominated an industry or art form. This course focuses on the New Hollywood blockbuster film and its relationship with the American film industry from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. The course explores the ways in which Hollywood responded to industrial, political, social, technological, and aesthetic challenges during this period. In order to more fully understand the relationship between Hollywood, American culture, and its films, this course emphasizes in-class viewing, discussion, and analysis. As an upper-division English class, it is also reading and writing intensive. ENG 380 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture

ENG 381 Film, Media, and Culture

Ellapen, Jordache

This course introduces students to the manner in which South Africans have been represented through fiction, documentary, and experimental films from the pre-apartheid to the post-apartheid eras. We will focus specifically on representations of blackness in South Africa in order to understand the historical perspective of the black South African experience through cinema and visual culture. South Africa is credited as having one of the oldest filmmaking industries in the world and film was historically mobilized as a propaganda tool both before and during apartheid. However, films were also used as a tool of activism and resistance against the apartheid regime. Many of these films (the latter) offer nuanced articulations of the black experience and offer insight into the complex and contradictory ways in which black South Africans survived under an oppressive apartheid regime. Through screenings, interdisciplinary readings, and writing we will develop an understanding of the South African experience as it has been defined by race and racial formations. We will also examine representations of class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Some films may include Siliva the Zulu (1928), Come Back, Africa (1959), Cry the Beloved Country (1951), Mapantsula (1988), Tsotsi (2005), Zulu Love Letter (2004), Skin (2008), The Wound (2016), we remember differently (2005), Difficult Love (2010), Keeping Up with the Kamdasamys (2010).

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture, Empire/Race/Ethnicity

ENG 391 American Novel

Clevinger, Kara

The novel as a newer literary genre was a powerful, even potentially dangerous force in the newly-formed American nation. One 1838 critic declared that “the object of novelists, in general, appears to be to seize the public mind, and hold it with a sort of enchantment.” What captivated and enchanted Americans about the novel? This course will explore developments in the American novel over the nineteenth century. We will study examples of gothic, sentimental, romantic, and realist novels and consider them within their historical, social, and political moments. To what extent has the novel been able to successfully represent diverse American perspectives and how has it been complicit in narrowly defining American identity? As we examine the possibilities and limitations of the novel to enchant readers and express American experience, students will strengthen their critical reading and analytical writing skills. Students will learn the narrative elements of a novel and apply these along with knowledge of historical and cultural contexts to develop their literary interpretations. Our readings this term may include: Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland, Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Elizabeth Stoddard’s The Morgesons, Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona, and Henry James’s What Maisie Knew.

Ged Ed (A&L); Major I & II: 1789+

 

ENG 392 American Novel

Wonham, Henry

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.

Ged Ed (A&L); Major I & II: 1789+

 

ENG 399 The Black Atlantic: Literature, History, Theory

Bohls, Elizabeth

Slavery shaped the ecology, economy, and culture of the Atlantic Rim, including parts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the long eighteenth century (1660-1838), British slavery on the Caribbean sugar islands reached its peak, was fought by the abolitionist movement and ended by Parliament. Meanwhile, a rather different slave society matured in the United States. We will study the literary production of early Black writers and the representation of slavery in the Anglophone literature of the Atlantic Rim, including historical contexts and influential critical approaches. Primary materials include travel narratives, slave narratives, planter histories, political tracts, diaries and ships’ logs, as well as novels and poetry.

Major I: 1500-1789; Major II: 1500-1789, Empire/Race/Ethnicity

 

ENG 420 Art of the Sentence

Bergquist, Carolyn

We will look very closely at sentences 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. The course will mix technical study of sentence structure and reflection upon the artful potential of those sentence elements, with the goal that each of us is able to see and describe how sentences achieve their effects.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Upper-Division Elective, Writing Requirement

 

ENG 428 Old English I

Clark, Stephanie

Introduction to Old English, the language in which Beowulf was written. OEI is the first of a three-course sequence studying the language and culture that flourished in England from the 5th-11th centuries. In this class, you’ll learn the basic grammar and vocabulary of Old English. We’ll read a variety of texts (some in OE, some in translation), and students will write a “Travel Guide to Anglo-Saxon England” (including an Old English phrasebook for tourists!) allowing for exploration of basic cultural information. OEI can be taken alone to fulfill the pre-1500 requirement, or the sequence can be taken twice (OEI-III, then repeat OEII-III the next year) to fulfill your foreign language requirement.

Major I & II: Pre-1500

 

ENG 436 Advanced Shakespeare

Dawson, Brent

Students in this course will closely read Shakespeare’s plays and poems, attending to Shakespeare’s rich language, nuanced characters, and persistent fascination toward topics of the self, desire, imagination, and group identity. In the first half of the course, students will look at examples from several recent critical approaches to Shakespeare, including animal studies, post-colonial studies, sense studies, and queer theory. In the second half, students will learn about how Shakespeare became “Shakespeare,” the iconic figure of popular and high culture, examining how different cultures and eras have re-interpreted his plays and biography. We will examine some contemporary films, short stories, and graphic novels that continue this process of re-interpretation. Prereq: Junior standing

Major I & II: 1500-1789

Writing, Folklore, Other

 

WR 312 Principles of Tutoring Writing

Horton, Kathleen

WR 312 is the gateway course into the Writing Associates Program, in which English majors of demonstrated excellence serve as writing tutors to assist struggling students in lower-division literature courses with their writing process. After successfully completing WR 312, students may choose to continue in the Program as Writing Associates by registering for the variable-credit ENG 404 WA internship. WR 312 and the subsequent internship(s) are designed to give students professional experience and insight as they move toward graduation and possible futures in English.

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective

 

WR 320 Scientific and Technical Writing

2 Sections

Emphasis on form, function, and style of scientific, professional and technical writing: weekly writing assignments include proposals, reports, definitions, instructions, summaries. Use of documentation in publication. Junior standing required. Prerequisite: completion of UO writing requirement.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Writing Requirement; Upper-Division Elective

 

WR 321 Business Communications

Upton, Corbett

Practice in writing and analyzing internal and external messages common to business, industry, and professions. Suggested for business and management students.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Writing Requirement; Upper-Division Elective

 

FLR 320 Car Cultures

Sayre, Gordon

In this course, we study car collecting and customizing as vernacular art traditions, and survey of some of the astonishing range of human behaviors and traditions with cars and trucks. To better understand this material we also will learn about the history of the automotive industry, and about environmental issues arising from cars, and U.S. public policies on automotive safety, emissions, and fuels.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: FEW; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture

 

FLR 350 Folklore and the Bible

Dugaw, Dianne

“The Bible and Folklore” (FLR 350) will bring together key readings of the Judeo-Christian Bible in connection with mythological and traditional contexts and meanings from ancient times up to the present. Students will read sections of the Bible in the King James translation—both from the Hebrew and the Christian sections—that have continuing presence in Western culture and literature in order to explore these as shaped by oral traditions and as they express traditional symbolic and narrative patterns. A range of critical commentary and analysis will complement the primary biblical readings. Work for the course will include a midterm exam, a reading journal, a presentation with a written report, and a final project.

Major I: FEW; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture

 

FLR 413 Folk Art and Material Culture

Wojcik, Daniel

Explores current and longstanding issues in the study of “folk” or vernacular art, including terminological distinctions, research methods, and current theoretical orientations in addition to conventional studies of traditional arts and material culture. We will examine topics that expand or challenge notions of folk art, such as informal art environments, subcultural expressive behavior, recycled objects and art, body adornment, automobile decoration, murals and graffiti, prison art, self-taught artists, outsider art, and visionary art.

Major I: FEW; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture

 

HUM 240 Medical Humanities

Wood, Mary

What are the meanings of and responses to human suffering in an increasingly globalized world? How are those meanings and responses inflected by race, class, gender, ethnicity, and national identity? How does Western biomedicine define disease and wellness (both now and historically) and how are those definitions imposed on and adapted within the Global South? How have new genetic and reproductive technologies affected medical ethics? What happens when different cultural understandings of disease conflict with one another? How can the arts (literature, visual art, film, music) and philosophy have an impact on medicine and vice versa? How do cultural narratives inform both popular and expert understandings of medicine? This class explores crucial questions about health, well-being, medicine, and social inequality in the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on how narrative works in medical contexts.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective

INTL 410 Schizo Across Cultures

Wood, Mary; Yarris, Kristin

This course examines the ways madness, as lived experience and as social category, has been studied and represented across cultures and genres. As a mental illness, schizophrenia challenges conventional ways of knowing the relationships between mind and body, thought and perception, illness and cure, and self and society. Given the limits of biomedical understandings of the causes, courses, and treatments for schizophrenia, we must look across disciplines for insights into the lived experience of psychosis, cultural representations of madness, and schizophrenia as a social category. In this class, anthropology offers insights from cross-cultural studies, examining the extent to which schizophrenia exists in the world – as a diagnostic category and as a cluster of experiences assigned similar or different meanings for different social groups. Critical cultural and narrative studies allow us to examine madness as lived and as transformed into story  – through autobiography and fiction – and to analyze how representations of madness signify social tensions, around race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective