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Course Descriptions



Fall 2006


Summer 2006 Courses

NOTE: Courses are subject to change depending on enrollment and faculty teaching assignments. Please check BANWEB for more current information on the availability of all courses.

English 1101 and 1102 are prerequisites for all coursU1:Pes from ENGL 2110 through 4386.

A “W” designation after a section number of a 3000- or 4000-level course signifies that the course is a Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) course. WAC accepts as a guiding principle the idea that writing is a valuable tool for learning and communication. Therefore, the components of a course so designated are designed to help you learn the material and communicate what you have learned. Students are required to take two “W” courses for the undergraduate degree.




  XIDS 2100: Arts and Ideas ENGL 4106: Studies in Genre  
    ENGL 4109: Film as Literature  
  2000-level ENGL 4155: Twentieth-Century British Literature  
  ENGL 2120: British Literature ENGL 4185: Studies in Literature by Women  
  ENGL 2130: American Literature ENGL 4188: Individual Authors  
    ENGL 4300: Studies in the English Language  
  ENGL 3200: Creative Writing 6000-level  
    ENGL 6120: Seminar in Amererican Literature II  
    ENGL 6385: Seminar in Special Topics  


XIDS 2100

XIDS 2100-05: Arts and Ideas, Prof. Lucy Curzon
MW 2:00pm-4:45pm, TLC 1112
Meets Session II

Satisfies Area C1 of the core.

Description: Postmodernism has maintained a dominant presence in literary, aesthetic, and cultural theory over the last few decades. It is a complicated and contentious topic – one that is simultaneously praised and maligned for its ability to de-stabilize knowledge or destroy it altogether. The aim of this course is to become familiar with postmodernism as a theory and cultural practice. To do this, we will examine how the postmodern manifests itself in contemporary (post-1950) architecture, music, philosophy, film, and literature.

Texts: Christopher Butler, Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction ( Oxford: Oxford University press, 2003); Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (New York: HarperCollins/Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1999); Readings on e-reserve in the Ingram Library.

Requirements: Attendance and participation; written critical response to 5 cultural events; midterm and final exam.

XIDS 2100-06: Arts and Ideas, Prof. Debra MacComb
Representing American Womanhood
MTWR 5:00pm-7:45pm, Humanities 206
Meets Session III

Satisfies Area C1 of the core.

Description: Through the analysis of representations in the literary and visual arts of both the high and popular cultures, this course will examine a range of identities, images and ideologies associated with the American woman from the early Republic to the modern period.

Texts: Chopin, The Awakening, Fern, Ruth Hall, Foster, The Coquette, Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Requirements: Active and informed participation in class discussion, two midterm exams, and a group media report.

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ENGL 2000-level

ENGL 2120

ENGL 2120-01: British Literature, Prof. Micheal Crafton
MTWRF 3:00pm-5:15pm, Humanities 205
Meets Session III

Required for English majors. May count for credit in Core Area C.

Description: In this hold-on-to-your-hat, breath-taking survey of the entire history of British Literature from the earliest stages of the Anglo-Saxon period to the contemporary, both major figures and some minor, we will attempt to read the literature in light of genre and mode, so Beowulf and heroic, Chaucer and satire, Shakespeare and historical drama, and many more representing early voices of women writers, lyrical revolutionaries, and mystical visionaries.

Texts: Abrams, M. H., gen. ed . TheNorton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors 7th ed. One Volume (The Middle Ages to the Present) Norton, 2001, ISBN 0-393-96150-8 / paper; Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Harcourt, 2001. ISBN: 015505452X. (or a rough equivalent).

Requirements: There will be two short papers and two exams as well as daily reading quizzes and opportunities for participation.

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ENGL 2130

English 2130-01: American Literature, Prof. Alison Umminger
MTWRF 10:00am-12:15pm, Humanities 209
Meets Session IV

Required for English majors. May count for credit in Core Area C.

Description: This survey class on American literature centers upon the theme: “The Search for Identity: The American Experience in Black and White.” The first week will read Toni Morrison’s short story “Recitatif,” and discuss cultural assumptions about race, gender, and identity. We will then move back in time and work our way forward, starting our reading of longer texts with Ben Franklin and Frederick Douglass’s autobiographies, examining the tension between how an individual shapes his own identity, and how the larger culture determines how an individual’s identity will be shaped. We will then move to look at The Scarlet Letter and Harriet Jacobs’ autobiography, complicating questions of race with the intersecting rubric of gender norms and their hold on women. Rounding out our discussion of the nineteenth century will be a number of short readings, including sections of Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” Melville’s “Benito Cereno,” and the longer text of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Our discussion of twentieth century literature will begin with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and will include a discussion of the two major literary movements of this time: Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. We will also read poetry by Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, and Carson McCullers’s Member of the Wedding. The course will conclude with the neo-slave narrative, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, as part of a larger discussion of postmodernism. While race figures prominently in many of these readings, we will also be attentive to gender and sexuality, community and tradition as important factors in creating American identity and American literature.

Requirements: You will be expected to write two short papers and one longer essay, as well as take two hourly exams. Active reading and participation is expected.

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ENGL 3000-level

ENGL 3200

ENGL 3200-01: Creative Writing, Prof. Katie Chaple-Borton
MTWR 5:00pm-7:45pm, Humanities 209
Meets Session III

No more than two 3000-level courses may be counted toward the major in English.

Description: TBA

Texts: TBA

Requirements: TBA

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ENGL 4000-level

ENGL 4106

ENGL 4106-01W: Studies in Genre, Prof. Jane Hill
MTWRF 10:00am-12:15pm, Humanities 209
Meets Session III

Required for certification in Secondary English Education. Satisfies a requirement for the major under the new program initiated in Fall 2006. May be repeated for credit as genre or topic varies. May be taken for 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Through reading a selection of short fiction and four novels, we will examine the various ways that the texts called “fictions” have worked over time and across cultures. Joan Didion has said that “We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” suggesting that these creative “lies” have enormous importance to our “reality.” And critic Wayne Booth has argued that the ways in which stories are told—the rhetoric of fiction, as he has famously termed the practice—have serious ethical and cultural import. Through a combination of historical, cultural, and formalist critical approaches, we will try to understand the ethical and human significance that Didion and Booth ascribe to fictions.

Texts: Richard Bausch and R. V. Cassill, eds., The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction (Shorter 7 th Edition); Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple; Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Albert Camus, The Stranger; and Carol Shields, Unless.

Requirements: In addition to active and informed participation and the willingness and ability to keep up with the relentless pace of reading and writing, regular reading quizzes, three response papers, a documented essay of at least eight pages, and two online presentations to the class.

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ENGL 4109

ENGL 4109-01W: Film as Literature, Prof. Angela Insenga
Just Whistlin’ Dixie?: The Celluloid South
TR 8:00am-10:45am, TLC 1114
Meets Session II

May be repeated for credit as topic varies. May be taken for 3 hours of WAC requirement. May be taken to satisfy the American Literature II area of the major.

Description: What makes the South southern? Beyond geographical positioning, what makes it a region unto itself, one so alien that “Yankee” John Kelso in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil insists that the real and “fantastic” South is “like Gone with the Wind on mescaline!”? Is it the heat? Peaches and grits? NASCAR? The fact that we harbor our eccentric “sheep-children” well? A violent and troubled past? A shared climate of political opinion? Our course will ask whether or not there is a recognizable and viable southern iconography promulgated on film. As a correlating idea, we will discuss how the South has actively ostracized and “othered” certain groups and has been historically “othered” by the rest of the country; conversely, we will take into account a current socio-political notion that Dixieland heavily influences the whole of American culture. If such an idea presents a truth, then the iconic systems in these film-texts can help us to conceive of and understand the larger cultural frame in which they exist. In essence, we will theorize how filmic images labor in an even larger system that constructs meanings about the region below the Mason-Dixon “line.”

Students will view films produced between 1939 and 2004 in four course categories and read myriad essays by historians, sociologists, politicians, literary critics, religious leaders, and even a few “good old boys” as they traverse the red clay of the South’s celluloid terrain.

Texts: Students will be required to watch the following departmentally-owned films by dates set down in the course syllabus: The Mythic South:Song of the South (now banned by Disney, though ripe for study); Gone with the Wind; Showboat. The Troubled South: 4 Little Girls (documentary); Mississippi Burning or Rosewood; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Long Walk Home. The Decadent South: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; Interview With the Vampire; Pretty Baby. The Female South: Hell's Belles; Norma Rae or Coal Miner's Daughter; Fried Green Tomatoes; A Love Song for Bobby Long; The Eyes of Tammy Faye (documentary). Course readings will include various selections on course reserve in the library.

Requirements: Film Journal (personal reactions, thoughts, and annotations related to each film); Weekly, argument-driven Reading Responses (2 pages each, eight in all); One discussion-generating presentation on a single film with supporting research; Annotated Bibliography (minimum of seven sources); Final Project (10-12 page essay with a written proposal and preliminary Works Cited due at mid-term).

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ENGL 4155

English 4155-01W: Twentieth-Century British Literature, Prof. Maria Doyle
MW 5:00pm-7:45pm, Humanities 208
Meets Session II

May be taken for 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: Early in the twentieth century, W.B. Yeats asserted in “The Second Coming” that “things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” By the century’s end, Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia would posit: “We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind.” The movement from modernist disillusionment to postmodern fluidity will serve as a framework for our discussion of a century engrossed in the question of how things fall apart even as they move forward. Exploring anarchist bombers and evening parties, existential wastelands and postmodern fairy tales, this course will ask how the shifting currents of history – including the breakup of the British Empire, the politics of World Wars I and II and the rise of the British welfare state -- have also fractured literary time, cultural meaning and the definition of Britishness itself. Classes will explore a variety of literary forms including short stories, plays, novels and poems from across the period.

Texts: Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent, Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harold Pinter, The Homecoming, Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber, Salman Rushdie, East, West, Tom Stoppard, Arcadia, poems by W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney.

Requirements: Short response paper, research paper, oral presentation, quizzes and final exam.

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ENGL 4185

ENGL 4185-01W: Studies in Literature by Women, Prof. Lisa Crafton
Resisting Readers and British Women Writers
TR 11:00am-1:45pm, Humanities 206
Meets Session II

May be taken for 3 hours of WAC requirement. May be taken to satisfy the Brit Lit II area of the major.

Description: The contemporary novel/film The Hours reclaims and renews Woolf’s modernist novel Mrs. Dalloway. Following three different women searching for meaning and connection at different places and times, the novel blurs the boundaries between life and literature, between fictional characters and both the authors who create them and individuals who read them. These ideas, especially the notion of how readers are created by texts ( in Judith Fetterley’s phrase, how readers “resist” or comply), will shape our study of British women writers in context. From medieval mystics to radical Romantic women writers to contemporary postcolonial writers, we will consider especially the presentation of the connection between the female body and the body politic, that is how the maternal, eroticized, in all cases material body figures in the construction of cultural norms. We will include diverse poetry, drama, fiction, music, and film in our exploration of British women writers and use The Hours as a culminating filmic exploration of the issues of the course.

Texts: Wollstonecraft, Maria; or the Wrongs of Woman; Shelley, Frankenstein; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; The Hours (film); an Austen film; and a coursepack including Julian of Norwich, Amelia Lanyer, Aphra Behn, Christina Rosetti, Nadine Gordimer, Angela Carter et al.

Requirements: Active discussion, reading quizzes, 1 analytical essay, 1 longer researched essay, take-home final.

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ENGL 4188

ENGL 4188-01W: Individual Authors, Prof. Debra MacComb
Mark Twain
TR 2:00pm-4:45pm, Humanities 206
Meets Session II

May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Shakespeare may be taken for up to six (6) hours, if topic varies, with department chair’s permission. May be taken for 3 hours of WAC requirement. May be taken to satisfy the American Lit II area of the major.

Description: Samuel Clemens is the only significant American author to be known by his pen name, Mark Twain. As author, humorist and celebrity, “Mark Twain” was an brand-name enterprise that included popular travel writing, coast-to-coast lecturing, door-to-door subscription book sales, a publishing house, and speculations in various inventions. “Mark Twain” conjures up diverse and frequently contradictory images, however: a funny man with talent for literature of the “low” sort; a serious author who despaired of being forever typed a “humorist”; a satirist whose subtle meanings were frequently overlooked; a writer of beloved children’s books. With no hope of offering a definitive “Mark Twain,” this course will nevertheless provide an overview of his career as it is informed by the tradition known as realism and as it inscribes—in its trenchant representations of antebellum nostalgia, post-reconstruction race relations, and gilded-age capitalism—the complex character of America during the years 1865-1910.

Texts: Twain, Great Short Works (Ed. Kaplan), Innocents Abroad, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pudd’nhead Wilson, A Connecticutt Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Requirements: Informed and regular participation in class discussion, a reading journal, two short response essays, midterm and final exams, 8-10 page documented essay.

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ENGL 4300

ENGL 4300-01: Studies in the English Language, Prof. David W. Newton
MTWR 5:00pm – 7:55pm, TLC 1116
Meets Session IV

Required for certification in Secondary English Education. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.

Description: In this course, we will explore the structure or grammar of the English language and work toward understanding the principles or rules that make it work. This course is primarily designed for English majors who seek to improve the grammatical proficiency of their writing and for future teachers at the secondary and college level. However, this course also has applications for students entering business and industry, science and medical fields, law and politics, media and public relations, or anyone who recognizes the essential human value of language and who understands how the ability to use language contributes to personal and professional success in life. After all, when you are talking to friends, asking someone out on a date, debating sports or politics, buying clothes at the mall, or writing a paper, you are using the structures and principles of English grammar, even when your sentences are not grammatical! However, knowing a language and knowing about the language are different kinds of knowledge. Even the ability to speak grammatically correct sentences in no way guarantees that a speaker knows enough about English to explain what makes those sentences grammatical. This course is designed to help you achieve that knowledge. We will refer frequently to Standard English, and, certainly, one of the benefits of this course is that it will help you refine your written and verbal language skills. However, this is not simply a course about grammatical correctness; instead, this course is designed to help you understand how the English language functions, what structures and rules are behind the sentence constructions that you and others create every day. To accomplish this task, we will learn some basic linguistic and grammatical concepts, and we will learn how to analyze (and diagram) different sentence constructions. We will also learn how elements of the language (verbs, nouns, sentence structure, pronouns, etc.) emerged and changed over time to create the language we use today.

Texts: Calderonello, Martin, and Blair. Grammar for Language Arts Teachers. Longman, 2003.

Requirements: For undergraduates, active participation, four exams (a midterm and final included in this number), and in-class and homework assignments. For graduate students, all of the items above, as well as an annotated bibliography and a research essay on grammar and pedagogy.

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ENGL 6000-level

ENGL 6120

ENGL 6120-01 : Seminar in American Literature II, Prof. Barbara Brickman
The Art of Southern Short Fiction
MW 2:00pm-4:45pm, TLC 2237
Meets Session II

Registration requires permission of Dr. Maria Doyle, Director of Graduate Studies, English Dept.

Description: This seminar will examine the development and art of Southern short fiction, from Edgar Allen Poe’s gothic nightmares to Bobbie Ann Mason’s rural relationships. In her essay, “Writing Short Stories,” Flannery O’Connor defines two qualities that “make fiction”—a “sense of mystery” and a “sense of manners”—and, fortunately for the Southern writer, both inhere in their society “that is rich in contradiction, rich in irony, rich in contrast, and particularly rich in its speech.” This course will address both the qualities that make up Southern short fiction and the culture that informs the literary imagination there. Moving from notions of the gothic and grotesque to questions of religion, regionalism, race, and marginality, we will discuss writers as diverse as Kate Chopin, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Bobbie Ann Mason, Dorothy Allison, and, of course, O’Connor and Poe.

Texts: Edgar Allen Poe, The Portable Edgar Allan Poe; Zora Neale Hurston, The Complete Stories; Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose; Flannery O'Connor, The Complete Stories; Carson McCullers, Collected Stories of Carson McCullers; Bobbie Ann Mason, Shiloh and Other Stories; Dorothy Allison, Trash: Stories.

Requirements: An oral presentation, weekly responses, and a research paper.

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ENGL 6385

ENGL 6385-01: Seminar in Special Topics, Prof. Tom Dvorske
The Modern Poetic Sequence
MW 11:00am-1:45pm, TLC 2237
Meets Session II

Registration requires permission of Dr. Maria Doyle, Director of Graduate Studies, English Dept.

Description: From its origins in the 19 th-century to the present day, the modern poetic sequence continues to be the most decisive mode in poetry. More than just a formal choice, it is a visionary mode through which poets take the most intimate lyricism to the boundaries of epic proportion. Always inter-generic in its expression, it is equally international and intergenerational—from Whitman’s “Song of Myself” to Derek Walcott’s Helen of Antigua, modern sequences deconstruct mythologies as they rewrite them, plumbing the depths of subjectivity while at the same time writing, in the words of Ezra Pound, “the tale of the tribe.” We will begin with close analysis of each work’s lyrical structure, then broaden our investigation to study the pressures that bear on these structures—cultural, historical, technological, psychological, literary, mythical and religious and so on.

Texts: The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats: Vol 1, the Poems(ed. Richard Finneran); Geoffrey Hill, New and Collected Poems 1952-1992; T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (Norton Critical Edition); Hart Crane, The Bridge; William Carlos Williams, Paterson; Derek Walcott, Omeros.

Requirements: Active participation; Seminar paper (15-20 pages); 5 short response papers; synopses and discussion of two relevant secondary sources on a particular poem.

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