2004 - 2005


1201x, y. First-Year English: Reinventing Literary History [web site] [library research guide]
Close examination of texts and regular writing assignments in composition, designed to help students read critically and write effectively. Sections of the course are grouped in three clusters: I. Legacy of the Mediterranean; II. The Americas; III. Women and Culture. The first cluster features a curriculum of classic texts representing key intellectual moments that have shaped Western culture, as well as excursions to the opera, the theatre, and museums. Offering revisionist responses to the constraints of canonicity, the last two clusters feature curricula that explore the literary history of the Americas and the role of women in culture.—Director and Staff. 3 points.

1202x. Studies in Writing
Intensive practice in writing, emphasizing drafts, revision, peer response, and individual conferences. Consideration of the conventions of English style, usage, and grammar by means of both informal and formal writing, culminating in expository essays. Recommended for (but not limited to) first-year students and students whose first language is not English. Permission of the instructor required.—Director and Staff.  3pts.  Sec 1. T Th 9:10-10:25; Sec. 2 M W 2:40-3:55;  Sec. 3 T Th 4:10-5:25.


Registration in each course is limited and permission of the instructor required; for courses 3105-3118, submit a writing sample in advance.  File signed departmental registration blanks with the Director of Creative Writing, T. Szell (423 Barnard).  Two creative writing courses may not be taken concurrently.

3101x. The Writer's Process: A Seminar in the Teaching of Writing
An exploration of theory and practice in the teaching of writing, designed for students who plan to become Writing Fellows at Barnard. Students will read current theory and consider current research in the writing process, and engage in practical applications in the classroom or in tutoring. 3 points.

Sec. 1   T Th 1:10-2:25   N. Piore
Sec. 2   T Th 2:40-3:55   P. Cobrin

3103x, 3104y. Essay Writing
English composition above the first-year level.  Techniques of argument and effective expression. Weekly papers. Individual conferences.  Some sections have a special focus, as described.  Section 3 is offered Autumn semester for students whose first language is not English and who seek an upper-level writing course. 3 points.

Sec. l  W 2:10-4.   M. Ellsberg.
Sec. 2  Th 4:10-6.   A. Schneider
Sec. 3  M 11-12:50.   P. Kain  (ESL)

Sec. 1 This section has been cancelled   H.Schulze
Sec. 2  W 11:00-12:50   J. Runsdorf
Sec. 3  W 4:10-6   F. Brady

Creative Writing

3105x, 3106y. Fiction and Personal Narrative
Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing.—x: T. Szell; y: A. Hamburger.  3 points. x: W 2:10-4; y: W 6:10-8.

3107x, 3108y. Introduction to Fiction Writing
Practice in writing short stories and autobiographical narrative, with discussion and close analysis in a workshop setting.—x: N. Piore, y: C. Baker.  3 points.  x: Th 4:10-6; y: T 6:10-8:00.

3110x. Introduction to Poetry Writing
Varied assignments designed to confront the difficulties and explore the resources of language through imitation, allusion, free association, revision, and other techniques.—x: S. Hamilton; y: L. Gregg.  3 points. x: M 4:10-6:00; y: M 2:10-4:00. 

3113x. Playwriting
A workshop to provoke and investigate dramatic writing.—E. McLaughlin. 3 points. M 4:10-6.

(For spring semester, see Theatre BC3300: Playwrighting Lab.   This course can count toward an English/Creative Writing Concentrate.)

3115x, 3116y. Story Writing
Advanced work in writing, with emphasis on the short story.  Prerequisite: Some experience in the writing of fiction. Conference hours to be arranged. —x,y: M. Gordon.  3 points.  T 4:10-6.

3117x. Fiction Writing
Assignments designed to examine form and structure in fiction.  Some attention given to the role of the writer in society.—R. Antoni. 3 points. T 4:10-6.

Students will have already written a substantial body of work.  Prerequisite: Writing sample and interview with the instructor.

3118y. Advanced Poetry Writing
Weekly workshops designed to critique new poetry. Each participant works toward the development of a cohesive collection of poems.  Short essays on traditional and contemporary poetry will also be required.—S. Hamilton. 3 points. M 4:10-6:00.

You may not apply for more than one writing course at a time or enroll in two creative writing courses simultaneously.  Since screenwriting is considered part of the Film Concentration, you may apply to screenwriting in addition to either a poetry or prose course.  However, you are strongly advised to take only one writing class in any given semester.

(For Screenwriting, see 3119y under the Film category)


Registration in each course is limited and permission of the department required.  Sign up on the bulletin boards outside the English Department.

3121x. Uses of Speech
An introduction to effective oral presentation, including interviewing and public speaking. Emphasis on self-presentation, research, organization, and audience analysis. 3 points.—P. Denison. T Th 10:35-11:50.


Registration in each course is limited.  Students may sign up for theatre courses outside the Theatre office, Room 507 Milbank Hall.  See Theatre Department course descriptions for Theatre History (THTR 3150, 3151), Drama, Theatre, and Theory (THTR 3166), Modernism and Theatre (THTR 3737), and The History Play (THTR BC 3750).

[For information about studio courses in theatre, go to the Theatre office, 5th floor Milbank.]

ENTH 3136y. Shakespeare in Performance
The dramatic text as theatrical event. Differing performance spaces, production practices, and cultural conventions promote differing modes of engagement with dramatic texts. We will explore Shakespeare's plays in the context of actual and possible performances from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Enrollment limited to 18 students. —P. Denison. 4 pts. T 11:00-12:50.   Not offered in 2004-05.

ENTH 3137y. Restoration and 18th-Century Drama
Performance conventions, dramatic techniques, and cultural contexts from 1660 to 1800. Playwrights include Wycherley, Etherege, Behn, Trotter, Centlivre, Dryden, Congreve, Farquar, Gay, Goldsmith, and Sheridan. Enrollment limited to 18 students. —P. Denison. 4 pts.  Not offered in 2004-05.

ENTH BC 3139x. Modern America Drama and Performance
Modern American drama in the context of theatrical exploration and cultural contestation. Playwrights include Glaspell, O’Neill, Odets, Johnson, Hurston, Hansberry, Williams, Hellman, Stein, Miller, and Fornes.  Enrollment is limited to 18 students. $60 fee.—P. Denison. 4 pts. T 11:00-12:50.

ENTH BC 3140 Women in Theatre
An exploration of the impact of women in theatre history—with special emphasis on American theatre history—including Glaspell, Crothers, Hellman, Finley, Hughes, and Smith.—P. Cobrin. 4pts. Th 11:00-12:50.   Enrollment limited to 18 students.


3119y. Screenwriting.
A practical workshop in dramatic writing for the screen. Through a series of creative writing exercises, script analysis, and scene work, students explore and develop the basic principles of screenwriting. Either a polished short film script or a preliminary draft of a feature screenplay is the final project.  (Preference given to students concentrating in film. Does not count as a course for those concentrating in writing.)  M. Regan.  3 points. M 11:00-12:50.

3200x,y. Film Production.
An exploration of basic narrative tools at the filmmaker's disposal, with a particular emphasis on camera work and editing.  Examines basic cinematic syntax that provides a foundation for storytelling on the screen.—L. Engel.  3 points. x: T 10:00-1:00, y: M 1:00-4:00.
Prerequisite: ENGL BC 3201x and permission of the instructor.  Sophomore standing.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.  Students must send a one-page application to the instructor via e-mail (lbe1 [at] Columbia [dot] edu) explaining why the student wishes to take the course, the foundation work (whether academic or work-related) in film, video, the arts, etc. the student has had, and any final project the student may have in mind.  They should also include their affiliation, year of graduation and major or concentration.

3201x. Introduction to Film and Film Theory.
A survey of the history of American and international film and an introduction to film theory, including feminist, psychoanalytic, structuralist, and post-structuralist methodologies. Film contextualized through theory and through the lens of popular culture (advertising, television, music videos) and genre (the Hollywood film, women’s film, action movies, westerns, sci-fi, documentary, “Third World,” and “alternative” film, etc.) Weekly screening.—M. Regan.  3 points. M 6:10-10:00.

Re Film:
(See 3140y and 3998y for Film Seminar Courses)
New at Columbia this semester: CLEN W 3390x. Studies in Narrative - The Road Movie. See below.

Language and Literature

3140x, y. Seminars on Special Themes. 3 pts. Registration is limited. Sign up on bulletin boards across from the English Department office, 417 Barnard Hall.


1. Explorations of Black Literature: 1760-1890.
Poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction, with special attention to the slave narrative. Includes Wheatley, Douglass, and Jacobs, but emphasis will be on less familiar writers such as Brown, Harper, Walker, Wilson, and Forten. Works by some 18th-century precursors will also be considered. —Q. Prettyman. M W 11-12:15.

2. Fable and Fantasy.
Selected works by 19th- and 20th-century authors Lewis Carroll, Ursula LeGuin, C.S. Lewis, and others. Their use of religious and philosophical fable, nonsense, and paradox; their creation of other worlds.—A. Prescott. T Th 11-12:15.

3. The Eighteenth Century Novel.
The eighteenth century in Britain is the age of the rise of the novel.  The course pays special attention to the development of the novel form, oppositions between city and the country, social order, and the construction of gender.  Authors include Burney, Defoe, Edgeworth, Fielding, Goldsmith, and Richardson.—G. Gerzina. T Th 10:35-11:50.

1. Madness and Literature
Explores the literary representation of "madness" in works ranging from antiquity to the present. Authors include Euripides, Chretien de Troyes, Shakespeare, Swift, Bronte, Dostoevsky, Woolf, Plath, Kesey, and others.—E. Weinstock. M W 1:10-2:25.

2. Christians, Jews, and Israel in 17th Century England & America
Explores how Christians represented themselves as Israel, the relation of Christianity to Judaism, and the relation of Christians and Jews. Readings include George Herbert, John Milton, some Quakers, John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Roger Williams, and Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel.-A. Guibbory. T Th 2:40-3:55

3. Topics in Literature and Film: Memory and Forgetting
An experimental course that links literature to painting, photography and film, as well as texts in psychology (Freudian trauma theory and recovered memory). We will explore the role of personal and cultural memory in the creative process through key examples from the medieval "memory room" to the work of Alain Resnais.—R. Hamilton and H. Schulze. T Th 4:10-5:25.

4. Topics in American Literature and Film: War and Propaganda.
The course examines the role of American film-makers in dramatizing, promoting and critiquing America's participation in the military conflicts of the past sixty years. From the gung-ho patriotism of Howard Hawks' SGT YORK to the calculated cynicism of Barry Levinson's WAG THE DOG, we explore shifting political realities and cultural expectations: How do they shape the artistic perspectives that materialize during specific eras, from World War II to the war on terrorism?—D. McKenna. T 6:10-10:00. This class has unlimited enrollment.

3141x, 3142y. Major English Texts.
A chronological view of the variety of English literature through study of selected writers and their works. Autumn: Beowulf through Johnson. Spring: Romantic poets through the present. Guest lectures by members of the department.—P. Ellsberg. 3 points. x: T Th 10:35-11:50; y: M W 11:00-12:15.

3143y. Middle Fictions: Long Stories, Short Novels, Novellas.
Discussion of fictions between 60-150 pages in length. Authors include James, Joyce, Mann, Nabokov, Cather, Welty, West, Porter, Olsen, Trevor.—M. Gordon. 3pts. T Th 1:10-2:25.

English-Women's Studies ENWS BC 3144y. Minority Women Writers in the United States.
Literature of the 20th-century minority women writers in the United States, with emphasis on works by Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American women. The historical and cultural as well as the literary framework.—Q. Prettyman. 3pts. M W 2:40-3:55.

3149y. Cultures of Colonialism: Palestine/Israel
The significance of colonial encounter, statehood, and dispossession in Palestinian and Israeli cultures from 1948 to the present, examined in a range of cultural forms: poetry, political tracts, cinema, fiction, memoirs, and travel writing. Authors include: Darwish, Grossman, Habibi, Khalifeh, Khleifi, Kanafani, Oz, Shabtai, Shalev, and Yehoshua.—B. Abu-Manneh.  3pts.  T Th 9:10-10:25.  (No auditors)

3155y. Canterbury Tales.
The foundation of early modern literature. Chaucer as inheritor of late-antique and medieval conventions, and as founder of the later English literary tradition. Formalist, historicist, and feminist approaches.—T. Szell. 3pts. T Th 1:10-2:25.

3158x. Medieval Literature
Literatures of the British Isles and their continental connections, from late antiquity to the close of the Middle Ages. Emphasis on issues of cultural transformation, authorship and textuality, and "identity" (individual, social, cultural).—E. Weinstock. 3 points. T Th 1:10-2:25.

3159x, 3160y. The English Colloquium
Major writers and literary works of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, examined in terms of leading ideas in those periods. Required of majors in the junior year. 4 pts.

Students may substitute 3 courses—from ENTH BC 3137, 3141, 3163 or 3164 or ENTH BC 3136, 3165-3169, 3173-3174, or 3179. This year 3140.4 Renaissance Women Writers may also count as a substitution. At least one substituted course must cover material before 1660 (i.e. Renaissance) and one material after 1660 (i.e., Restoration or 18th Century). One of these substituted courses will also count toward satisfying the "before 1900" requirement. 4 pts.

I. Imitation and Creation
New ideas of the mind's relation to the world. New perspectives, the emergence of new forms, experimentation with old forms, and the search foran appropriate style.
x: R. Hamilton. W 11-12:50 y: J. Basker. W 2:10-4

II. Skepticism and Affirmation
The development of modern concepts of subjectivity and authority. The rise of art and the artist. Humanism, rationalism, and empiricism. Sadism and evil. The exploration of limits and the limitless.
x: A. Prescott. W 2:10-4 y: R: Hamilton. T 2:10-4.

III. Reason and Imagination
Humanism, reformation, and revolution: the possibilities of human knowledge; sources of and strategies for secular and spiritual authority; the competing demands of idealism and experience.
x: C. Plotkin. T 4:10-6 y: C. Plotkin. W 4:10-6.

3163x, 3163y. Shakespeare
A critical and historical introduction to Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances. 3 pts. —P. Platt. M W 9:10-10:25.

3165y. The English Renaissance
Continuities, recoveries, and innovations from Thomas More to Sidney and Spenser; humanism, love poetry, the literature of history and exploration, wit and humor, religious conflict. Not offered in 2003-2004.
See also: CLEN W 4122 Renaissance in Europe: Humor and Satire T Th 2:40-3:55 — A. Prescott.

3166x. Seventeenth-Century Prose and Poetry
God, love, sex, and politics in the literature of the late English Renaissance. Works by Donne, Jonson, Wroth, Herbert, Herrick, Milton, Philips, Marvell, Bunyan, and Behn. 3 pts. Not offered in 2003-2004.

3167y. Milton
Milton's career from his early poems and prose to Paradise Lost and beyond. Topics include poetic vocation, political controversy, sex and gender, and Biblical interpretation.— A. Prescott. 3 pts.
T Th 11:00-12:15.

3169y. Renaissance Drama: Kyd to Ford
Major plays of the English Renaissance (excluding Shakespeare), with emphasis on Marlowe and Middleton.—P. Platt. 3 pts. M W 1:10-2:25

3171x. The Novel and Psychoanalysis
The 19th-century novel in the context of Romanticism, Realism, and Psychoanalysis, with readings in Freud and Lacan. Works by Austen, Emily Bronte, Balzac, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Hardy, Fontane, D. H. Lawrence.—M. Jaanus. 3 pts. Not offered in 2003-2004.
See also: CLEN G4463x Psychoanalysis and Literature Th 6:10-8:00. —M. Jaanus.

3173y. Eighteenth-Century Literature, 1660-1740
Tradition and innovation in several forms, with emphasis on colonialism, travel writing, and imaginary geographies. Readings in Dryden, Behn, Defoe, Pope, Addison, Montagu, Swift, Gay.—C. Yang T Th 10:35-11:50

3174x. The Age of Johnson in Literature: 1740-1800
The works of Johnson, Boswell, and their circle in historic context; rise of the novel (Richardson, Fielding, and Sterne); poets from Pope to Blake and Wordsworth; women writers from Carter and Collier to Wollstonecraft; working-class writers; topics include slavery and abolition in literature, the transition to romanticism, and the democratization of culture. 3 pts.
Offered in 2003-2004 as CLEN W4301 Age of Johnson M/W 9:10-10:25. —J. Basker. Barnard undergraduates welcome to enroll.

3176y. The Romantic Era
Romantic writers in their intellectual, historical, and political context, with reference to contemporary movements in philosophy, music, and the plastic arts. Authors include Goethe, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, P. B. Shelley, and Keats. An emphasis on close reading of the poetry. —R. Hamilton. 3 pts. T Th 10:35-11:50.
See also: CLEN G4321 Reformation to Romanticism W 6:10-8:00. —R. Hamilton.

3178x. Victorian Poetry and Criticism
Poetry, art, and aesthetics in an industrial society, with emphasis on the role of women as artists and objects. Poems by Tennyson, Arnold, Christina and D. G. Rossetti, Swinburne, and Elizabeth and Robert Browning; criticism by Ruskin, Arnold, and Wilde; paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites and Whistler; photographs by J. M. Cameron.—W. Sharpe. 3 pts. T Th 11-12:15.

3179x. American Literature to 1800 [ web site]
The formation and development of American literary traditions. Writers include Bradford, Shepard, Cotton, Bradstreet, Taylor, Rowlandson, Edwards, Wheatley, Franklin, Woolman, Brown.—L. Gordis. 3 points. M W 11-12:15.

3180y. American Literature, 1800-1870 [ web site]
The development of a national literature from the late Republican period through the Civil War. Writers include Irving, Emerson, Poe, Fuller, Thoreau, Douglass, Stowe, Jacobs, Whitman, Dickinson. —L. Gordis. 3 pts. M W 11-12:15.

3181x. American Literature, 1871-1945.
American literature in the context of cultural and historical change. Writers include Twain, James, Du Bois, Wharton, Cather, Wister, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hurston.—J. Kassanoff. 3 points. T Th 10:35-11:50.

3182y. American Fiction
American fiction from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Writers include Rowson, Hawthorne, Melville, Alcott, Twain, James, Wharton, Faulkner, Hurston.—J. Kassanoff. 3 pts. T Th 10:35-11:50.

3183x. American Literature since 1945
American fiction, literary and cultural criticism since 1945, with special attention paid to interrogating the concept of “Americanness” both as a subject for fiction and as a category around which “canon” formation takes place. Authors include Bellow, Ellison, Nabokov, Capote, Didion, Pynchon, Morrison, Kingston, Alexie, Allison, and Roth. —M. Miller. 3 points. T Th 9:10-10:25.

3184x. House and Home in American Culture
An interdisciplinary examination of the images and discourses of house, home, and family in American life from 1850 to the present. The house as both a physical structure and a "home" -- the site where a complex array of forces (economic, social, aesthetic, and sexual) combine to create a distinctly "American" domestic space. Attention to the interrelation between architectural design, environmental context, ideologies of the family, economic contingency and class identity, racial politics and gender formation in a variety of media. Historical sites include the plantation, the tenant farm, the nomadic home, the urban mansion, the tenement, the apartment, and the suburb. — J . Kassanoff. 3 points. T Th 2:40-3:55.

3185x. Modern British and American Poetry
The poetry of three decades, 1915-25, 1955-65, and 1991-2001. Poems by Yeats, Eliot, Williams, Millay, Larkin, O’Hara, Rich, Hughes, and others.—W. Sharpe. 3 points. T Th 1:10-2:25.

3186. Modern Drama
Modern drama in the context of historical and cultural developments such as Marxism, feminism, and psychoanalysis. Works by Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, O'Neill, Genet, Pinter, Churchill, and others.—E. Dalton. Not offered 2003-2004.

3188y. The Modern Novel
Works by Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, Desani, Lawrence, Forster, West, and Barnes. — M. Vandenburg. 3 pts. T Th 2:40-3:55.

3189x. Postmodern Literature
Writers since 1945, mostly English and American, and concepts of postmodern culture. Works by Beckett, Borges, Nabokov, Rhys, Barthelme, Pynchon, and others.—E. Dalton. 3 points. Not offered 2003-2004.

3190y. Global Literature in English
The production of literary texts in English by a variety of peoples of different countries, races, and cultures; the encounter of Western and non-Western heritages; the clash of legacies and ideologies; mutual revisions and re-evaluations.—L. C. Mehta. 3 pts. T Th 9:10-10:25.

CLEN W3270y British Literature 1950-Present
This course will trace English fiction (and a few films) from the center and from the margins, from the post-WWII era to contemporary and postmodern preoccupations. Writers will include: Martin Amis, John Banville, Pat Barker, Anthony Burgess, Amitov Ghosh, Graham Greene, James Kelman, Ian McEwan, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie.—M. Spiegel M W 4:10-5:25

3191x, y. The English Conference
Enrollment limited: sign up in the Department office.
Special topics presented by visiting scholars in courses that will meet for four weeks during each semester. To be taken only for pass/fail. 1 point. To receive credit for this course students must attend all lectures. Information will be available online.

3193x, y. Critical Writing [sample website]
The purpose of the course is to provide experience in the reading and analysis of texts and some knowledge of conspicuous works of literary criticism. Frequent short papers. Required of all majors before the end of the junior year. Sophomores are encouraged to take it in the Spring Term even before officially declaring their major. Transfer students should plan to take it in the Autumn Term. Registration in each section is limited. Please sign up on the bulletin board between rooms 403 and 405 Barnard Hall.—Members of the Department. 4 pts.

Section 1—M 2:10-4:00
Section 2—M 4:10-6:00
Section 3—T 2:10-4:00
Section 4—Th 4:10-6:00

Section 1—M 12:10-2:00
Section 2—T 4:10-6:00
Section 3—Th 9:10-11:00
Section 4—Th 2:10-4:00
Section 5—Th 4:10-6:00

3194x, y. Critical and Theoretical Perspectives on Literature

1. A History of Criticism
What is literature? What does it do? What should it be and do? How does it function? Why is it beautiful? When is it sublime? On what basis can we make judgments about it? These questions form the matter of a conversation among philosophers, writers, thinkers, and, latterly, “critics” that has gone on for two-and-a-half millennia. Their responses both reflect and influence the literature contemporary with them. Readings from Classical, Renaissance, Baroque, neo-Classical, Romantic, post-Romantic, late 19th-century, and 20th-century authors to 1960, with attention to contemporaneous literature. Not offered 2003-2004.

2. Literary Theory
A history of literary theory from the "grand theories" of the Nineteenth Century (Darwin, Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche) to modernism and postmodernism. Readings include Gramsci, Foucault, Bourdieu, Derrida, de Man, Barthes, Baudrillard, Butler.—C. Plotkin. T Th 5:40-6:55.

3. Psychoanalytic Approaches to Literature
Literary expression in the light of psychoanalytic thought. Psychoanalytic writings by Freud, Jung, Melanie Klein, and Lacan; literary works may include texts by Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Dickens, Kafka, Lawrence, Jean Rhys, and others. Not offered 2003-2004.

4. Postmodern Texts and Theory
Postmodern literary and theoretical texts with guest artists, writers, and theoreticians. Our focus will be the revolutionary redefinition of image and word as we investigate visual/verbal perception and expression, pleasure, love, and the unconscious. Not offered 2003-2004.

3810y. Literary Approaches to the Bible
This seminar will explore a variety of interpretive strategies for reading the Bible as a work with literary, historical, and social dimensions. In addition to close reading of the biblical texts, we will examine the contributions of scholars of differing persuasions in illuminating problematic passages. Considerations of poetic and rhetorical structures, narrative techniques, and feminist exegesis will be included. The influence of the Bible on later classics of English and American literature, combined with the more formal disciplines of biblical studies and practical interpretation, will provide topics for reports by participants in the class. —P. Ellsberg. 4 points. Enrollment limited to 20 students. M 11:00-12:50.

3195x. Modernism
Modernist responses to cultural fragmentation and gender anxiety in the wake of psychoanalysis and world war. Works by Woolf, Joyce, Yeats, Eliot, Stein, Hemingway, H.D., Pound, Lawrence, Barnes, and other Anglo-American writers.—M. Vandenburg. T Th 1:10-2:25.

3196x. Home to Harlem: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
Explores the cultural contexts and aesthetic debates surrounding the Harlem or New Negro literary renaissance, 1920-30s. Through fiction, poetry, essays and artwork, topics considered include: modernism, primitivism, patronage, passing and the problematics of creating a "racial" art in/for a community comprised of differences in gender, class, sexuality, and geographical origin.—M. Miller.  T Th 2:40-3:55.

3200x, y. Film Production.
3 pts.  x: —Larry Engel. Th 10:00am-1:00pm; y: —Diana Kane. M 11:00-12:50

3996x, y. Special Project in Theatre or Writing
Senior majors who are concentrating in Theatre or Writing and have completed two courses in writing or three in theatre will normally take the Special Project in Theatre or Writing (3996x, y) in combination with another course in their special field. This counts in place of one of the Senior Seminars. In certain cases, Independent Study (3999) may be substituted for the Special Project. Permission of the instructor and department representative is required.

3997x, 3998y. Senior Seminars: Studies in Literature
Required of all majors, these seminars are designed to deepen knowledge of periods, writers, works, genres, and theories through readings, discussion, oral reports, and at least one significant research paper. Written permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to seniors.  4 pts.


1. Violent Thought
Violent thought from Reformation to Romanticism. How does thought reflect and respond to cultural violence? We will pose this question, and consider answers, reading literature, philosophy, theology, and law. Authors include Montaigne, Shakespeare, Descartes, Bacon, Locke, and Wordsworth.—R. Hamilton. W 2:10-4.

2. Victorian and Modern Drama
Drama in transition. Changing social structures at the turn of the century. The relationship between convention and invention in the plays of Shaw, Wilde, Pinero, Ibsen, Chekhov, Robins, and others.
—P. Denison. M 11-12:50

3. Body and Language
Interpretations of the female body and feminine sexuality in relation to issues of pleasure, love, death, and the unconscious in various postmodern literary and theoretical (mainly Lacanian) texts.—M. Jaanus. &T 2:10-4.

4. Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers [web site]
In 1885, Nathaniel Hawthorne complained to his publisher that America was "wholly given over to a d—d mob of scribbling women."   Consideration of the literary productions of some of these women, with special attention to works that consider the status of women, the challenges facing women artists, and the position of women in the literary marketplace.  Authors include Rowson, Fuller, Stowe, Stoddard, Alcott, Phelps, Dickinson, and Freeman.— L. Gordis. M 2:10-4.

5. Postcolonial Literature
Examines the dilemma of the postcolonial world and the resultant identity questions that are raised. The focus will be on the literature of Africa, the Caribbean, and Canada. Writers include J. M. Coetzee, V. S. Naipaul, and Michael Ondaatje.—C. Phillips. T 2:10-4.

6. Gender and Politics in the Medieval Romance
An interdisciplinary exploration of the romance genre and the romance heroine (the adulterous queen, the lord’s daughter, the ravishing maiden) in the context of major social and political developments of the eleventh century (e.g., the rise of feudalism, changes in marriage and inheritance practices, and conflicts between the Church and secular authorities). Readings include works by Chrétien de Troyes, Béroul, Marie de France, Chaucer, and others; also some readings in anthropology, social and cultural history, and literary criticism.—E. Weinstock. Th 2:10-4


1. Text and Context: The Legend of Troilus and Cressida
The metamorphoses of the myth (in terms of sexual politics, courtship, identity, and gender) from classical to medieval continental and English accounts, closing with Shakespeare’s cognominal play in light of literary, historicist, political, and cultural approaches.—T. Szell. T 11-12:50

2. The City in Literature
How 20th-century New Yorkers have created a self-consciously modern and ethnic brand of American culture. Emphasis on the literary and artistic representation of assimilation, alienation, race, and cultural difference amid the city.  Works by Wharton, James, Yezierska, Hurston, Hughes, DiDonato, and others.—W.Sharpe.  T 11-12:50

3. Black Stereotype and Racial Performance: Negotiations of Identity and Difference
Exploration of the relationship between stereotypical images of African Americans and their constant rewriting and revision in American literary and visual culture. Topics addressed: blackface minstrelsy, tricksters, passing, standards of beauty, Hollywood, and the art market. Authors include Brown, Stowe, Melville, Twain, Chesnutt, Larsen, C. Johnson, Ellison, and Morrison. Artwork, films, and performance pieces.—M. Miller.  Th 6:10-8.

4. The Family in Turn-of-the-Century American Fiction
An inter-disciplinary examination of changing cultural dynamics of the American family.  Considers issues such as the family and the market, immigration, “race,” reproductive politics, and nativism.   Authors include James, Wharton, Crane, Hopkins, Gilman, Cather, and Faulkner.—J. Kassanoff. W 11-12:50.

5. Film: The Man in the Crowd/The Woman of the Streets
In novels, stories, and films, this course explores 19th- and early 20th–century formulations of the masses, the public, the people, the social nebulae, and the individual as conceived in relation to them.  Readings include works by Dickens, Gissing, Poe, Sinclair Lewis, Dos Passos, Nathanael West; films by Vidor, Chaplin, Capra, and others; and some readings in early sociology on mass psychology, conformity, and theories of the crowd.—M. Spiegel. Th 4:10-6.

6. Late Shakespeare: Visions and Revisions
Shakespeare’s last plays as both experimental and revisionary.   Topics will include aesthetics, philosophy, politics, sexuality, and gender, as well as 20th-century criticism’s reconstruction of these final plays.  Probable texts: Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.—P. Platt.  2:10-4:00.

3999x, y. Independent Study
Senior majors who wish to substitute Independent Study for one of the two required senior seminars should consult the Department Representative. Permission is given only to students who present a clear and well-defined topic of study, who have a Department sponsor, and who submit their proposals well in advance of the semester in which they will register.   Consult with your adviser for more information.  Permission of the instructor and department representative required.   4 pts.

page last updated 5/16/11