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University of Oregon

Summer 2017



ENG 105 Introduction to Literature: Drama

Fogarty, William

Drama is a literary art. In this course, we will focus on the literary aspects of seven plays, studying their formal elements and their locations in literary history. Drama is a performing art, too, so we will also pay attention to staging and production. Our range will be broad: we’ll start with a version of Sophocles’ Antigone and one of Shakespeare’s last plays before reading works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We’ll be mindful of the specific historical and cultural contexts of these plays as we inquire generally into the relationship between dramatic art and social reality. Students will be expected to read the plays closely and critically and to write about them effectively and argumentatively. Along with reading and writing, rigorous participation in class discussion–in which we’ll identify elements of drama and certain facets of dramatic history–will be crucial to success in this course.

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

ENG 110 Introduction to Film and Media

O’Kelly, Brendan

This course will introduce you to the formal and narrative study of film. We will focus on film history, the technology of film production, and the methodology of film studies as an academic discipline. Along with film itself, we will pay particular attention to the cultural, political, and economic contexts from which it emerges. To emphasize—and unpack—the formal conventions of narrative cinema, much of the required viewing falls within readily identifiable genre categories (i.e. crime and horror), but we will also analyze experimental, realist, and documentary films.

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

ENG 207 Shakespeare

Myers, Kate

Madness, truth, honor, pity—these are a few of the concepts Shakespeare explores in his earliest plays. We will scrutinize the representations of these ideas and others that emerge in plots of political intrigue, tyranny, rebellion, and vengeance. Working within this frame, we will attempt to understand how Shakespeare’s plays confronted the political and social assumptions of his original audiences and how his writing continues to challenge similar concerns we face in our own culture. To this end, students will carefully read four plays 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 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. Course readings may include Richard III, Henry IV, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Merchant of Venice, or Midsummer Night’s Dream. You need not have prior familiarity with Shakespeare or early modern literature to succeed in this introductory class.

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

ENG 260 Media Aesthetics

Rust, Stephen

This course will focus on helping you build the critical skills to understand, analyze, and interpret visual media texts. It will do so by highlighting the fundamental formal elements of film and television. Using this vocabulary, we will explore the complex interplay of technical design, social and environmental influence, and cultural conventions that shape our media production and consumption experiences. We will also take time to consider how the construction of a media text invited participatory meaning-making with viewers. By the end of the class, you will be able to use this knowledge to complete a vocabulary project that details technical terms and write argument-based film analysis that ties technical aspects to thematic meanings. ENG 260 is one of four required Fundamentals courses for the cinema studies major, as such this course level is designed for second-year students with this major.

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

ENG 280 Introduction to Comic Studies

Gilroy, Andréa

Comics are suddenly everywhere. Sure, they’re in comic books and the funny pages, but now they’re on movie, TV, and computer screen and inspire millions of people to attend conventions around the world. Comics aren’t “just” popular culture, either: artists now win major book awards and prestigious national grants. On top of that, comics of all kinds are finding their way onto the syllabi of courses in colleges across the country–like this one! This course provides an introduction to the history and aesthetic traditions of Anglo-American comics, and to the academic discipline of Comics Studies. Together we will explore a wide spectrum of comic-art forms (especially the newspaper strip, the comic book, the graphic novel) and to a variety of modes and genres. We will also examine several examples of historical and contemporary comics scholarship.

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

ENG 316 Topic: Women Writer Detective

O’Fallon, Kathleen

The names of male writers like Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashiell Hammett have long dominated the study of detective fiction, leaving the significant contributions of women writers to be marginalized and dismissed as formulaic, “cozy” or stylistically uninteresting. This course aims to question assumptions about female detectives and female writers of detective fiction by examining novels by women who began defining the conventions of the mystery/detective fiction genre before Sherlock Holmes was created, who challenged established conventions, who created some of the genre’s most memorable detectives, and who refused to be limited by common conceptions of what can be achieved in crime fiction. We will study a range of novels and short stories from the genre-defining 19th century works of A.K. Green to widely influential contemporary fiction that challenges and extends genre boundaries.

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

ENG 325 Literature of the Northwest

Witte, John

Literature of the Northwest surveys the rich contribution of the Northwest to our nation’s literature. The objective of the class will be to identify and explore principles of literary regionalism. Throughout the term, we will revisit the questions, Is there a distinctly regional Northwest literature? And if so, how might we describe it?


Our work begins with the oral tradition of the Northwest’s indigenous people – part story, part song – in particular the myths and tales of the Calapooya who inhabited what is now the Eugene area. A section on Northwest fiction follows, including Ken Kesey’s notorious One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and “Brokeback Mountain,” by Annie Proulx, with discussions of their Academy Award-winning film versions. Northwest poets are represented by Portlander Hazel Hall, who enjoyed a brief, meteoric career in the 20s and 30s, Theodore Roethke, the most famous of our region’s poets, the late, beloved William Stafford, and the always dangerous Sherman Alexie. Finally, a number of seminal essays on Northwest literature will help us consolidate our readings and formulate a judgment whether a unique literature of our region can be identified. The class will focus on, and be propelled by, the students’ written responses to the daily reading assignments.

Major I & II: 1789+

ENG 363 Latinx Sci-Fi and Environmental Justice

Vázquez, David

In the opening pages of Junot Díaz’s 2005 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the eponymous protagonist utters the words, “What more sci-fi than Santo Domingo? What more fantasy than the Antilles?” Despite the more than 200 years of literary history during which Latina/os have written and published in the United States, it has only been for the past 20 or so that we have engaged genres like science fiction to express what Ramón Saldívar describes as a “new imaginary” that is oriented around the irresolvable tension between a desire for justice and the impossibility of its fulfillment. In this course we will examine a series of sci-fi novels, with an eye towards how, as critic Ralph Rodríguez observes, these texts function as “cultural commodities that have much to tell us about the historical, social, and political milieu in which they emerged.” Consequently, we will think about how “serious” literary texts engage such non-serious forms. In particular we’ll pay careful attention to how Latina/o authors engage sci-fi and fantasy in order to express environmental imaginaries that are in excess of “mainstream environmentalism.” Along the way, we’ll think about how these novels use non-traditional forms to speak to and represent issues of race and racialization, sexuality and gender, history and colonization, environmental justice and space, and labor and migration as intimately intertwined.

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

ENG 380 Film, Media, and History

McGuffie, Allison

ENG380 explores the relationship between film and history. This section will use the Western as our primary example by which to examine exactly how a film genre shapes the production, distribution, and exhibition of cinema. ENG 380 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement by actively engaging students in the ways the discipline of film and media studies has been defined by historical inquiry.

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

ENG 381 Film, Media, and Culture

Wilde, Jenée

Otherness in Speculative Film & Media This course introduces students to critical thinking about the representation of  “otherness” in speculative film and television media. The “what if” of speculative narrative places alternative/future history in conversation with present-day conceptions of identity and alterity — self and other — that underlie social prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. Students will analyze how science fiction, fantasy, superheroes, and other non-realistic genres may work to simultaneously mask and unveil cultural attitudes about gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, nation, and ability. We will also examine the contexts of media production and diverse social positionings of viewers and fans that prompt (un)conventional readings of cinematic entertainment. The course will employ a range of theoretical paradigms, including perspectives from feminist film theory, masculinity studies, queer studies, postcolonial theory, reception theory, and science fiction studies. ENG 381 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement, as well as the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance multicultural requirement.

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

ENG 392 American Novel

Wood, Mary

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. The selected novels cannot possibly “represent” the vast range of  ethnically and culturally diverse literature produced within this genre in the U.S. over the last two centuries. However, they 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 of each novel, and will have an opportunity to do a creative project on one of the novels.

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

ENG 399 Special Studies: Ken Kesey

Arnold, David

This course explores the literature of Ken Kesey—famed writer, Prankster and U of O grad, viewed in the context of American literary precursors (Melville, Faulkner), two significant novels (Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes A Great Notion—so fine on the rain, what it feels like to live in the Northwest!), and subsequent writings by and about the author (Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the course wrapping with brief accounts of Kesey’s capacity to engage us with wonder in times he helped define).

Major I & II: 1789+

Writing, Folklore, and Other


FLR 235 Folklore and the Supernatural

Wojcik, Daniel

Introduces the study of beliefs about the supernatural by examining diverse approaches to the description and analysis of belief traditions and religious cultures. Topics include apparitions, miracles, prophecy, apocalyptic cults, magic, angels, pilgrimage, vampires, UFOs, zombies, possession states, and supernatural assault.

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

FLR 236 Magic in the Middle Ages

Bayless, Martha

This course is an examination of the period often considered the most “magical,” the Middle Ages. Looking at the practices of medieval western Europe, particularly Britain, we will examine how medieval culture defined magic, what they hoped to achieve by practicing (or forbidding) magic, and how magic provides an insight into the medieval understanding of how the universe worked. Along the way we will investigate the medieval origins of two modern American holidays, Hallowe’en and Christmas. The course will also cover medieval witches, as well as elves, fairies, and other small beings. We will also examine the role of magic in fiction — the origin of modern fantasy and superhero stories — and reflect on what that suggests about our relationship to the world. Finally, we will look at some of the modern legacies of medieval thought about magic, from modern practices such as throwing coins in fountains to “new religions” such as Wicca and neo-paganism. The study of medieval magic will allow us to understand the role of magic in both the medieval and the modern world and give us the tools to give informed opinions about modern controversies.

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

WR 321 Business Communication

Upton, Corbett

Business Communication provides practice in writing and analyzing the major genres of internal and external messages common to business, industry, and professions.

Prerequisites for the course are the completion of the UO general writing requirement and junior standing.

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

WGS 352: Gender, Literature, and Culture

Rovak, Angela

WGS 352 Race and Reproduction: Black Women’s Writing, Motherhood, and Reproductive Justice looks at the particular condition of black American reproductive history, exploitation, and resistance as shown through black women’s literature. How does race and gender intersect in how we understand motherhood? How has science used stereotypes of black women to manipulate and exploit their reproductive health? How does the history of enslaved women’s motherhood impact how we understand genetic engineering today? We will look at how black women writers have approached these questions in their literature. We will read and discuss literature from the era of American slavery all the way through the 21st century. We will deepen our understanding of biography, short stories, poetry, and novels with theoretical readings of black feminist theory and black feminist critique.

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