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ENG 104 Introduction to Literature: Fiction

Floyd, Courtney

In English 104, “Archetypes and Anarchy,” we will explore the basic elements of fiction via one of its most enduring forms: the fairy tale. As the course title indicates, we will begin by considering the archetype, a concept derived from Jungian psychology which refers to “a pervasive idea, image, or symbol that forms part of the collective unconscious.” Archetypes abound in fairy tales, and as we encounter them we will spend time examining how they function and why they matter. But we will also consider modern “re-tellings” to think about how and why we revise, or break with, these archetypes. Students will perform critical analysis of fairy tales not through the archetypal English assignment (the essay), but rather by collaborating to research and create a podcast.

A&L; Major II: Lower-Division Elective

ENG 104 Introduction to Literature: Fiction

Rovak, Angela

This course will focus on the literary representations of black girlhood. In ENG 104: Introduction to Fiction we will read the stories of young black women as they move through the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. We will read novels and short stories that show a diversity of experiences of black girlhood. We will consider how black women’s stories of girlhood and coming-of-age narratives function as literature through discussions of plot, characterization, historical context, point of view, setting, voice, narrative structure, and experimentation. While this class is not a survey of black fiction or black women’s fiction, we will consider how the intersection of race, gender, and age influence authors’ literary strategies.

A&L; Major II: Lower-Division Elective

ENG 105 Introduction to Literature: Drama

Wonham, Henry

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 performative dimensions of drama as well. The course will provide a broad introduction to theoretical and historical debates that stand at the center of 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.

A&L; Major II: Lower-Division Elective

ENG 106 Introduction to Literature: Poetry

LaRiviere, Katie Jo

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.

A&L; Major II: Lower-Division Elective

ENG 110 Introduction to Film & Media

Graman, Claire

Today it’s easier than ever to access media through streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, yet their selection of films made before 1980 is surprisingly sparse. Where are these classic films and why should we care? This course will introduce you to cinema studies, including theory, history, aesthetics, and production, through classic film, while exploring larger issues of gender, race, and class. Through discussion and research, you’ll learn to analyze films as part of a rich history and as windows onto broader cultural ideals.

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

ENG 200 Public Speaking as a Liberal Art

Crosswhite, James

While the primary emphasis of this course will be students’ frequent practice and evaluation of their own 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.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective; WSCR

ENG 205 Genre Topic: Robot Stories

Bovilsky, Lara

This course will survey the long history of stories about the creation of artificial men and women. We’ll look at the desires expressed by this genre, most of all, the desire to perfect or eliminate what is most human. Familiar questions – can robots feel? can we tell who is a robot? – will be considered alongside the traditional use of robots to understand or emblematize justice, sin, progress and modernity, self-awareness or simplicity, indifference, skill, invention, emotion, and art itself. Examples will be drawn from both real and fictional robots in literature and in film. Texts will include: Homer, Hesiod, Spenser, Descartes, Vaucanson, Shelley, Hoffmann, Capek, Lem, Metropolis, Terminator 2, and Blade Runner.

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

ENG 205 Genre Topic: Tragedy

Peppis, Paul

Genre courses focus on particular genres and forms crucial for the study of English, American, and Anglophone literature and culture and are aimed primarily at English majors. This course on tragedy traces the historical development and transformation of the genre and places strong emphasis on close reading and critical analytic skills. The course studies a variety of examples of and responses to tragedy across literary history from ancient Greece to the present. It aims to help students develop the ability to read tragedies with discernment and comprehension and to understand their conventions and perform critical formal analyses of tragedies as writers adopt and adapt the genre across time. The course assumes that any history of tragedy is at root a history of forms and conventions rather than a comprehensive survey of canonical works and authors. It emphasizes the idea that each tragedy can be approached as an encounter with previous tragedies, whose formal patterns and assumptions it repeats, modifies, or rejects. Likely texts to be covered include: SophoclesOedipus Rex; William Shakespeare, Hamlet; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Nella Larsen, Passing; Eugene O’Neill, A Long Day’s Journey into Night; Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman; Brian Vaughan, Pride of Baghdad.

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

ENG 208 Shakespeare

Myers, Katie

Late Shakespeare

In self-reflexive characters we might categorize as lovers, fools, and madmen, the later plays of Shakespeare confront the political and social concerns of his original audiences, concerns that continue to challenge us today, including issues of gender, race, class, and interiority. In this course, we will scrutinize Shakespeare’s representations of these ideas and others that emerge in plots involving mistaken identity, love, heartache, generational conflict, and vengeance. To this end, students will read four plays—Twelfth Night, or What You Will, King Lear, Winter’s Tale, and Tempest—and develop interpretive arguments using the skills of close reading and analysis to produce critical essays of varying length, totaling 8-10 pages. Students will leave the course having read carefully 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.

This course provides an introduction to the language, conventions, and implications of Shakespeare’s work. Students need not have prior familiarity with Shakespeare or early modern literature to succeed in this class.

A&L; Major I: Shakespeare; Major 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. This class requires substantial reading and writing and vigorous participation.

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

ENG 242 Introduction to Asian American Literature

Li, David

Reading Asian American texts as a form of cultural representation, the class will be concerned with the following:

  1. Where is Asian America? What are its geographical, social, and epistemological boundaries?
  2. What is Asian American? Is it a racial concept, cultural construct, biological determinant, historical condition, individual choice, political collectivity or a varying combination of these possibilities?
  3. Who are determining the meanings of Asian America or what it means to be Asian Americans?

The ideal class will be an engaged intellectual dialogue between students and the professor through interpretations of the assigned texts. We hope to gain both a deeper appreciation of Asian American literature as a means of imagining community and a deeper understanding of language and discourse in the shaping of individual, ethnic, and national identities.

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

ENG 244 Introduction to Native American Literature

Brown, Kirby

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, plays, and novels, as well as consider short films and comics alongside YouTube videos, op-eds, and other media.

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

ENG 260 Media Aesthetics

Steinhart, Daniel

Media Aesthetics (ENG 260) teaches the vocabulary required to formally analyze cinema and related media, with an emphasis on narrative, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. Students will learn to identify, define, and apply key vocabulary used to describe and analyze the aesthetics of media; this vocabulary anchors the analytical (ideological, historical, etc.) and production work of the Cinema Studies curriculum.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective; DH

ENG 267 History of the Motion Picture

Gopal, Sangita

ENG 267, the third of three courses that study the historical evolution of cinema as an institution and as an art form from its origin, covers the time period from the “end” of the studio system in the 1960s to the present day. It may be taken individually or as part of a series (with ENG 265 and 266) designed to provide a broad introduction to interpretive, theoretical, and institutional issues central to the study of film and media. The aim of the course is to develop interpretive and critical skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of both Hollywood and world cinema. Like the other two courses in the series, ENG 267 enables students to engage with major issues within the field, including star studies, the film industry, and censorship.

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

ENG 303 Foundations of the English Major: Text

Ginsberg, Warren; Kaufman, Heidi; Ovalle, Priscilla

English 303 is designed to help students acquire analytic reading skills that are informed by the methods and approaches studied previously in ENG 301 and ENG 302. The course is divided into three parts, each of which focuses on using close reading skills across media and literary forms while pursuing the question, “What is a text?” The first section of the course will focus on a Victorian novel, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Discussions will focus on two linked reading strategies–slow reading and close reading–and the varieties of interpretive work these reading practices make possible. In the second section of the course we will focus on film and televisual texts to analyze how formal media properties convey ideological meaning through cinematography, editing, sound, performance, and mise-en-scene. Finally, in the third section of the course we’ll read William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. We will pay close attention to the difficult textual history of the play and the ways in which it has been read at various times. We will also discuss what happens to the text of the play when it is staged.

Major I & II: Major Requirement

ENG 313 Teen and Children’s Literature

Saxon, Rebecca

This course will explore multicultural youth literature, covering literature for ages 0 to young adult. Students will engage with literature that represents a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, primarily in the American context. We will read books such as Brown Girl DreamingThe Hate U GiveAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Lenore Look’s Alvin Ho and Ruby Lu books.

Multicultural Youth Literature is often discussed in terms of mirrors (reflections of one’s own experience) and windows (insights into other people’s experiences). Recently the debate about diverse literature, its importance, and who possesses the authority to write it has heated up. In this course we will explore examples of inclusive literature, reflecting on questions such as: Why does diverse literature matter? How do we identify quality diverse youth literature that accurately portrays culture beyond “food, fashion, fiestas, folklore, and famous people?” How can cultural outsiders write and/or evaluate diverse literature?

Major I & II: 1789+

ENG 316 Women Writers’ Forms: Native Feminist Fiction

Warren, Joyce Pualani

This course will examine Native women’s fiction, paying particular attention to the ways its form and content uphold and contest terms like “feminism,” “fiction,” and “native.” The central concern of this course is Native women’s textual representations of their bodies and voices, both physical and figurative. We will examine texts by writers from various Pacific Islands and North America. Using the Native Hawaiian concept of “makawalu,” which means to view something from multiple perspectives, we will trace theories of Native feminisms as they play out in connection to the environment, reproduction, race, nuclearization, sovereignty, and sexuality, among other concepts. This intersectional genealogy will guide our critical analysis of short stories and novels, as well as their cinematic adaptations and representations in popular culture.

IP; Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Gender/Ability/Sexuality

ENG 321 English Novel

Bohls, Elizabeth

The novel as we know it today did not exist until the early nineteenth century, the end point of this course. Before then, fictional prose narratives circulated in Britain under various labels, including “romance,” “history,” “true history” or “secret history,” as well as “novel.” Moreover, the divide between fact and fiction that we now know (or think we know) is not easy to find in some of these early narratives. The early novel was disreputable: as the print market rapidly grew, adding newly literate readers and middle-class authors, cultural and moral gatekeepers warned against it as frivolous and dangerous, especially to the young. How and why did English narrative fiction evolve, and what can we learn from reading various types of proto-novels? We’ll sample several: Daniel Defoe’s picaresque, Samuel Richardson’s epistolary novel, Eliza Haywood’s parody of Richardson, Frances Burney’s Bildungsroman and Jane Austen’s novel of manners.

A&L; Major I & II: 1500-1789

ENG 330 Oral Controversy and Advocacy

Frank, David

In this course we will examine theories of reasoned-based argumentation in the oral mode, and then incorporate those theories into the practice of making effective speeches that advocate for particular positions on arguable issues of public concern. We will analyze and critique oral arguments as they function in the realm of public debate. We will develop in-class assessment criteria for effective oral advocacy, and students will be asked to use those criteria to evaluate themselves and their peers.

Oral Controversy and Advocacy asks students to practice and evaluate effective oral argumentation in controversial matters of public concern with attention to fundamental theories of ethics and rhetoric. For our purposes, oral advocacy is an act of inquiry and a search for shared understanding. This means you have to listen as carefully as you speak. Students will develop practices of listening, speaking, responding, discussing, and researching to enhance their invention of arguments and their positions as informed advocates in a discourse community of thinkers and inquirers. Further, students will cultivate habits of noting, examining, and responding to the various and multiple reasonable and unreasonable positions one can take on controversial matters. To discern what divides “reasonable” and “unreasonable” will be our ongoing challenge.

Prereq: WR 122 or equivalent; not open to freshmen.

A&L; Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Theory/Rhetoric; WSCR

ENG 360 African American Writers

Whalan, Mark

African American Authors of the Harlem Renaissance

This course will examine the work of three major African American authors: Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes. These three did much to set the tone of the flourishing of black literary culture after World World One known as the Harlem Renaissance, producing work as influential as it was controversial for its bold representations of sexuality, urban vice, folk culture, and the secular music of jazz and the blues. This course will set these writers in their historical, intellectual, and cultural contexts, considering aspects including the world socialist movement, ethnography and the revaluation of American folk cultures, modern mass culture, and the great migration. We will read a selection of their poetry, novels, short fiction, essays, and personal memoirs.

IP; Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity

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, visual culture, and other literary forms. 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 offer nuanced articulations of the black experience and offer insight into the complex ways in which black South Africans survived under an oppressive apartheid regime. We will also examine a range of films and filmmaking practices in the post-apartheid period in order to analyze a) the shifts in representations of blackness between the apartheid and post-apartheid periods and b) the complexities of representing blackness in post-apartheid South Africa. We will also broadly engage with questions of aesthetics and the notion of the national and national cinema in the South African context. Through screenings, interdisciplinary readings, and writings 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.

A&L; IP; Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture; Empire/Race/Ethnicity; DH

ENG 381 Film, Media, and Culture

Miller, Quinn

This course introduces students to critical thinking about the historical and economic factors influencing film, media, and cultural production in Hollywood and in response to Hollywood. Unconventional textual and contextual dynamics, understood as queer history, are the focus of the course, which draws on critical approaches to race, ethnicity, class, education, and ability in order to discuss the power relations and unpredictable signifying practices involved in taste stratification and family norms; erotic possibilities and gender differentiation; censorship and celebrity; and art, marketing, and advertising.

A&L; IP; Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture; Gender/Ability/Sexuality; DH

ENG 392 American Novel

Li, David

This class is a selective and sweeping reading of four novels that span from the 1920s to 2000. It covers the geographic regions of American northeast and the Deep South by authors of black, white, and Jewish descent. Nearly all of the texts on the reading list are classic and canonical 20th century American fiction: Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925), Faulkner, Light in August (1932), Ellison, Invisible Man (1952), and Roth, The Human Stain (2000).

A&L; Major I & II: 1789+

ENG 392 American Novel

LeMenager, Stephanie

This course begins with the question of what is the American novel? It is a question asked and answered by some of the most ingenious and challenging thinkers of the 20th century, who, as it turns out, were novelists. But for these thinkers who thought in the form of novels, the 20th century was in many respects about breaking down the form of the novel and the idea of “Americanness,” as it had been traditionally understood by white settlers. This is a century of tradition-breaking, deep reckonings with history, and radical new identity formation in the cultural contexts of immigration, war, sexual liberation, feminism, black power, LGBTQ rights, and new media from comics to t.v. to Twitter. The fact that the novel survived all this and persists as a popular form will be one of our enduring riddles.

Willa Cather, My Antonia (1913)

William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

Octavia Butler, Kindred (1979)

Allison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)

A&L; Major I: 1789+; Major II: 1789+; Gender/Ability/Sexuality

ENG 392 The American Novel (WEB)

Wood, Mary

In this online course, we will read four novels that span the time period from the early twentieth century to the present day, interpreting each novel in relation to its historical and cultural contexts. While the selected novels cannot fully represent the vast range of ethnically and culturally diverse literature produced within this genre in the U.S. over the last two centuries, studying them will give students a sense of the formal and thematic range as well as the cultural diversity of American novel writers. Over the course of the term, students will practice close reading selected passages, will engage in small discussion (live online) of each novel, and will have an opportunity to do a creative project on one of the novels.

A&L; Major I & II: 1789+

ENG 399 Special Studies: Living Theater

Wheeler, Elizabeth

This theater class is a great chance to branch out into creative work and community involvement. UO students create and perform a play together with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities from the Eugene-Springfield community. Tell stories from your life, work on the script, improv, write, act, dance, play music, or manage lights, sound, costumes, and props. No tests or papers, but classes are 6 hours/week to allow rehearsal time. Also counts for the Disability Studies Minor. For more information, contact Prof. Elizabeth Wheeler:

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Gender/Ability/Sexuality; DBST

ENG 399 Special Studies: Living Writers

Gershow, Miriam

In this course, we will study the works of contemporary fiction writers and then meet with the writers to directly engage them in ideas about their work.  Visiting writers to ENG 399 in Spring 18 include Danielle Evans, Andre Dubus III, Laila Lalami and Peter Hoffmeister.  Students will facilitate conversations with the writers in class and also attend campus readings and events.

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective

ENG 407 Seminar: Claude McKay “a fierce hatred of injustice”

Upton, Corbett

Credited with inaugurating the Harlem Renaissance and inspiring the Negrítude movement, Claude McKay is best known as America’s most important protest sonneteer. McKay’s storied literary career documents the life of a black expatriate modern and his sense of the Black Atlantic experience during the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Jamaica in 1889, McKay is often limited to his work in the United States in the 1920s. According to the received story, McKay only develops his true poetic voice and political impulses in the United States, not as a product of the Black Diaspora, the sphere of English colonialism and American influence abroad, or international socialism. This St. Louis Seminar seeks to expand the borders of McKay’s poetry by examining key portions of McKay’s oeuvre to illuminate not only the nostalgic immigrant protest sonneteer of Harlem but also the young Jamaican anti-colonial nationalist, free-thinker, immigrant, radical, world traveler, and convert to Catholicism—a modern poet who employed traditional forms to deal directly with specific places and events, specific political and social conditions. This course will also explore the nuances of American identity and cultural influence outside an exclusively Anglo-American configuration. While the class will focus primarily on McKay’s poetry, it will also deal with his most important journalism, novels, and memoir.

Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity

ENG 407 Seminar: Writing for Comics

Van Meter, Jen

In this seminar, professional comics writer Jen Van Meter (Hopeless SavagesThe Death Defying Doctor Mirage) will help students explore the function and demands of the script as a technical tool in the process of making contemporary comics. Readings will include professional scripts and comics across a range of genres and production/publication models. Discussion and exercises will address formal conventions and script utility toward effectively communicating the creative goals for the finished comic. Over the term, students will produce 2-3 original short comic scripts and related sample supporting documents.

Class size limited to a maximum of fourteen students.

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective; CCSE

ENG 410 Topic: Literature and the State

Whalan, Mark

This course will examine a variety of texts that engage the modern state–its functions and possibilities; its ability to repress and coerce; its ability to forge new and enduring kinds of social connection; and what place, if any, it allows for literary culture. It will examine some of the ways in which literature and the state engage with one another—the tradition of utopian and dystopian literature; how the state surveilled and monitored radical writing in the twentieth century; how writers wrote about war; and how literature offers modes of resistance to state policies of racial inequality. We will also consider theoretical models which have mapped the relationship between culture and the state. Readings include work by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, J. M. Coetzee, Claude McKay, Wilfred Owen, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Major I & II: 1789+

ENG 427 Chaucer

Laskaya, Anne

ENG 427 invites students to engage selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Texts will include the more familiar comedic tales, like the Miller’s Tale but also the less familiar elegiac, philosophic, beast fable and several highly problematic tales, like the Clerk’s Tale.  Often called ‘the father of English literature,’ Chaucer will be read in the original Middle English, providing students a chance to engage rigorously with one of the most influential late medieval English authors. We will consider what meanings Chaucer has now, in the twenty-first century, for each of us as individuals but also for our larger socio-cultural milieu.

The course also exposes students to important interpretations of Chaucer’s work produced in our own time by scholars who read Chaucerian texts quite differently. This means that besides working on Middle English for the term, students will gain some exposure to and negotiate the differences found within contemporary Chaucerian literary criticism.

Close reading, discussion, quizzes, papers, and some informal writing will provide the basis for assessment in the course. Discussion, punctuated with occasional lectures, will focus most class sessions. A few lectures will provide literary, cultural, archival, and historical frameworks and will examine linguistic features of texts; however, most work in class–once students gain familiarity with the Middle English–will be discussion-based. We will probe the text, and our own interpretations, locating key interpretative questions and reflecting on our own assumptions from several different analytical perspectives.

Major I & II: Pre-1500

ENG 430 Topic: Beowulf Monsters

Clark, Stephanie

This course will use the tools and knowledge acquired in previous terms of Old English to read the monsters section of Beowulf in Old English with critical and philological skill. We will pay attention to language, literary, and scholarly issues, and assignments will especially focus on poetic form, reading/editing from manuscripts, and translating theory. OEI and OEII are prerequisite; however, interested students who have taken OEI (but not OEII) may join the course with permission from the instructor.

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective

ENG 452 19th Century British Fiction Topic: Novel and Language

Brundan, Katy

The Language of Novels

This course will focus on the politics of language in nineteenth-century novels, exploring elements such as translation, “primitive” language, philology, the spoken/unspoken, and different registers of dialogue. We will encounter novels that imagine various linguistic scenarios: what if animals could be taught language? What if we could recover cultural and linguistic identity previously lost to us? As the novel emerged as the primary site for literary activity, language took on the task of delineating the borders of the literary as well as the wider relationship between imperialist Britain and the rest of the world. The novels for this course portray “other” identities and places, so we will read historical and scientific sources (including Darwin and F. Max Müller) that place each novel in context. The primary aim of the course is to equip students with the tools to analyze different kinds of linguistic use in novels and consider linguistic use in wider debates about empire, class, and scientific discourse. Novels will include George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876), H. Rider Haggard’s She (1886), and H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr Moreau (1896). We will use theoretical and critical texts to illuminate aspects of the novels, which will drive both of the two course essay assignments.

Major I: 1789+; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity

ENG 455 Romantic Writers

Pyle, Forest

This course will be a sustained examination of the question: “What is Romanticism? This is a question which has no single or ultimate answer given that there seem to be as many answers as there are “askers.” There is, however, a rich and complex body of literature and critical commentary to which we assign the adjective “Romantic.” I’ve organized our readings of some of the principal writers of the period thematically rather than chronologically. I believe this offers us a better way to explore in a single term the conceptual issues posed by these texts and their resonance in subsequent periods. Our principal project will be the close reading and discussion of some of the most important and influential texts within that “tradition,” from William Blake through Emily Bronte. We will consider the various historical, biographical, philosophical, political, and aesthetic contexts of British Romantic literature, but our primary focus will be on the texts themselves and on the theoretical and cultural responses to Romanticism.

Major I: 1789+, Literary Theory/Criticism; Major II: 1789+, Theory/Rhetoric

ENG 479 Major Authors: Toni Morrison

Thorsson, Courtney

In this course, we will study selected writings of Toni Morrison in their historical, political, and literary contexts. In addition to Morrison’s work as a novelist, we will consider her work as a literary scholar, editor, and advocate for and representative of contemporary African American Literature. We will work to contextualize her fiction and non-fiction writings in relationship to the writings of her contemporaries, Black Feminism, the increased visibility of African American women writers in the late-twentieth century, and the long African American literary tradition. 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.

Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Gender/Ability/Sexuality

ENG 480 Modern American Superhero

Saunders, Benjamin

In this class we will map the path of the American comic book superhero and explore the ways in which that journey reflects larger processes of social change. We will consider these superheroes not only as expressions of an ancient mythic heroic tradition, but also as distinctly “modern” creations, whose origins and adventures reflect the tumultuous epistemic and political transformations of the 20th century. We will also analyze several key examples of this popular comic-book genre in aesthetic terms, regarding them as expressions of a misunderstood and under-appreciated art form, as uniquely American as Jazz. Together we will try to formulate a critical vocabulary to discuss this remarkable artistic legacy. Finally, we will make an effort to understand better the ongoing imaginative appeal of the costumed crime-fighter — an appeal that can apparently overlap significant distinctions of age, gender, nation, and culture, and which no amount of silliness or cynicism seems quite able to dispel.

Major I & II: 1789+; CCSE

ENG 485 Television Studies

Miller, Quinn

This course analyzes situation comedies about consumer culture as works of art that explore U.S. cultural politics from a queer perspective. Examining sitcoms as inquiries into privilege and inequality, we discuss aesthetics, the economics of the media industries, the interdisciplinary field of TV studies, and the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity, and ability.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture; Gender/Ability/Sexuality ; DH

ENG 488 Race & Representation in Film: Native American Film and Literature

Brown, Kirby

There is perhaps no image more widely recognized yet more grossly misunderstood in American popular culture than the “Indian.” Across a variety of discursive forms, “the Indian” has been represented as everything from an irredeemable savage and an impediment to progress to an idealized figure of romantic freedom and an arbiter of New Age eco-spiritualism.“ The emergence of cinematic technologies in the early twentieth century and the explosion of film production and distribution in the ensuing decades solidified the Noble Savage/Vanishing American as indelible, if contradictory, thread in the fabric of the U.S. national story. Of course, the Reel Indians produced by Hollywood say very little about Real Native peoples who not only refuse to vanish but who consistently reject their prescribed roles in the U.S. national imaginary. Through a juxtaposition of literary, critical, and cinematic texts, the first third of the course will explore the construction of “Reel Indians” from early ethnographic documentaries and Hollywood Westerns to their recuperation as countercultural anti-heroes in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The last two-thirds of the course will examine the various ways in which Native-produced films of the late 1990s to the present contest—if not outright refuse—narrative, generic, and representational constructions of “the white man’s Indian” on the way to imagining more complex possibilities for “Real Indians” in the twenty-first century.

Major I: FEW; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture; Empire/Race/Ethnicity

ENG 494 Reasoning, Speaking, Writing

Crosswhite, James

In this course, you will review and explore important concepts in rhetoric and argumentation theory, and you will gain skill in discovering the questions that drive controversies and the arguments that can be made on all the different sides of an issue. You will also practice speaking, writing, and reasoning as a way to develop the strengths and the habits of mind and heart on which the best kind of reasoning, writing, and speaking depend. Be prepared to think and speak on your feet in class, to work in groups, to participate in debate, and to learn by practicing and in part by trial and error.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Theory/Rhetoric; WSCR

Writing, Folklore

WR 320 Scientific and Technical Writing

3 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 423 Advanced Composition

Jenée Wilde

Emphasis on critical thinking skills and rhetorical strategies for advanced written reasoning in different academic disciplines.

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

FLR 411 Folklore and Religion

Wojcik, Daniel

Examines the research questions and theoretical models used by folklorists and other scholars in the study of vernacular religion and popular spirituality. We will examine religion and spirituality as it is “lived,” focusing primarily on beliefs and practices that are informally learned and generally unsanctioned by institutional doctrines and authorities. The course is organized to reflect particular topics and areas of research that have preoccupied folklorists, and we will explore the issues and perspectives that have informed their studies. The role of folklore in peoples religious lives will be explored through the analysis of narratives, rituals, beliefs, customs, celebrations, pilgrimages, trance states, and numinous experiences.

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