2006 - 2007


1201x,y. First-Year English: Reinventing Literary History
[For more information see course web site or 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. Required for all first-year students.  May not be taken for P/D/F. 3 points. Click to link to listing of section times and topics or consult departmental bulletin board.

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.  Permission of the instructor required. —Director and Staff.  3pts.


Sec. 1

M W 9:10-10:25

M. Kolisnyk


Sec. 2

M W 2:40-3:55

P. Cobrin


Sec. 3

T Th 11:00-12:15

J. Runsdorf


Registration in each course is limited and permission of the instructor required. A student is not permitted to take two writing courses 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.  Application process and permission of the instructor. 3 points. Sec. 1 Tu Th 1:10-2:25—N. Piore, Sec. 2 MW 11:00-12:15—P. Cobrin

(ENGL BC 3101 does not count for major credit.)

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.   Essay Writing (3103-3104) can count for major credit.


Sec. 1

T 2:10-4. 

P. Ellsberg.


Sec. 2

Th 11-12:50

A. Schneider


Sec. 3

W 4:10-6

P. Kain


Sec. 1

Th 11:00-12:50

P. Cobrin


Sec 2

Th 4:10-6:00

N. Piore

Sec. 3 Journalism

not offered in 2006-07

see new course:
BC 3120: Creative Non-Fiction Journalism

Creative Writing

Registration in each course is limited and the permission of the instructor is required; for courses 3105­3118 and 3120, submit a writing sample in advance.   Departmental application forms are available in the department office, Room 417 Barnard. The signed forms and writing samples must be filed with the Director of Creative Writing, Professor Timea Szell (423 Barnard) before the end of the program planning period.

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.   Two non-film creative writing courses may not be taken concurrently.

3105x, 3106y. Fiction and Personal Narrative
Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing.—x: C. Baker; y: J. Leigh. 3 points.  x: W 6:10-8; y: M 2:10-4:00

3107x, 3108y. Introduction to Fiction Writing
Practice in writing short stories and autobiographical narrative, with discussion and close analysis in a workshop setting.—x: M. Swann; y: N. Piore.  3 points.  x: M 2:10-4:00; y: T 4:10-6:00

3110x,y. 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: K. Swenson; y: S. Hamilton. 3 points.   x: Th 2:10-4:00; y: W 2:10-4:00

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

3114y. Advanced Playwriting
Advanced workshop to facilitate the crafting of a dramatic play with a bent towards the full length form. —J. Jordan.  3 points.  Th 11:00-12:50.

3115x, 3116y. Story Writing
Advanced work in writing, with emphasis on the short story.   Prerequisite: Some experience in the writing of fiction.—x,y: M. Gordon.  3 points.  Conference hours to be arranged.  x, y: T 4:10-6:00/p>

3117x. Fiction Writing
Assignments designed to examine form and structure in fiction. Some attention given to the role of the writer in society.—A. Hamburger. 3 points. W 4:10-6:00.
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. W 4:10-6:00.

3120y. Creative Non-Fiction: Journalism.
This course will explore the forms used by contemporary journalists, including memoir, profile, review, travel essay, arts criticism, etc.—C. Pierpont.   3 points.  M 4:10-6.  As with the fiction and poetry courses, submission of a writing sample is required.


(cross listed with the Film Studies Program)

FILM 3119x,y. 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.   Since this is a Film Concentration course, it does not count as a writing course for those with a Writing Concentration.— x: D. McKenna; y: M. Regan.  3 points.  x: W 2:10-4:00; y: M 11-12:50.
Please note: For Prof. Regan's course in the spring, students must submit a 2-3 page, dramatic writing sample by December 1st.  They may be placed in her box in the English Department office (417 Barnard Hall).

(For the listings on the new Film courses click on the course numbers below to  link to Film course listings page:
FILM 3120y: Advanced Screenwriting.—G. Gallo
FILM 3215y: Auteur Study: Clint Eastwood.—D. McKenna)

FILM 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. —x:  G. Fletcher; y: S. Luckow.  3 points. x: T 6-9; y: W 2:10-5.
Prerequisite: ENGL BC 3201x and permission of the instructor.   Sophomore standing.  Enrollment is limited to 12 students.  Students must send a one-page application to the instructor via e-mail (to OjedaFilms[at]aol.com) 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.

FILM 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 5:40-9:30.

(See Film Department Listings for Film Seminar Courses)



Registration in each course is limited.  Students need to sign up outside the English Department office, room 417 Barnard Hall.

3121x. Uses of Speech
An introduction to effective oral presentation, including interviewing and public speaking. Emphasis on self-presentation, research, organization, and audience analysis.—P. Denison. 3 points. Enrollment limited to 14 students.  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 and Film (THTR BC 3143), 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 BC 3136y. Shakespeare in Performance
The dramatic text as theatrical event. Differing performance spaces, production practices, and cultural conventions promote different 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. 4 points.—P. Denison. T 11:00-12:50. 

ENTH BC 3144y. Black Theatre
An exploration in Black Theatre, specifically African-American performance traditions, as an intervening agent in racial, cultural and national identity. African-American theater artists to be examined include Amiri Baraka, Kia Corthron, W.E.B. Du Bois, Angelina Grimke, Langston Huges, Georgia Douglas Jognson, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrian Piper and August Wilson.—P. Cobrin. 3 points.   M 11-12:50

Language and Literature

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

3140x: (fall)

1. Prophets, Women and Social Change in Renaissance England
Examines the emergence of women prophets (e.g. Anna Trapnel, Margaret Fell) ---writings by and about them-- in Civil War England, within the context of the Bible (and its uses), contemporary male prophets, social upheaval, the obsession with "the end times," and the radical desire for social change and justice.—Achsah Guibbory. T Th 9:10-10:25

2. 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 2:40-3:55.

3140y: (spring)

1. Erring Othello: Othello and Appropriation.
For 400 years authors have felt compelled to revisit Othello’s tragic narrative with new perspectives on issues of desire, loyalty, honor, love, sexuality, and race. This course examines appropriations of the Othello story in literature, film, and visual arts with a focus on how these later works address issues of race, gender, colonialism and desire.—K. Hall. This course is canceled

See Film Department offerings for film seminars usually listed here.

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.—x: P. Ellsberg y: C. Plotkin  3 points.  x: M W 11-12:50; y: T Th 5:40-6:55.

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.  

ENG/FILM 3145y. 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 rooms" to the work of Alain Resnais.—R. Hamilton.  3 pts.   Not offered in 2006-07.

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 10:35-11:50. (No auditors)

3158x. Medieval Literature: Paths to Heaven and Hell
Journeys, -- infernal, quotidian, and mystical -- in selected medieval texts.  The notion of life as pilgrimage, travel as spatially and metaphorically liminal.   Readings include the Old English "Wanderer," Marie de France, "St. Patrick's Journey to Purgatory," Dante's "Inferno," "The Romance of the Rose," Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gottfried von Strassburg's, " Tristan and Isolt," "The Book of Margery Kempe," "Mandeville's Travels," and selections from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." —T. Szell. 3 points.  T Th 4:10-5:25

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

Students may substitute 3 courses--from ENGL 3154-3158, 3163-3164, 3165-3169, or ENTH 3136-3137.  This 3140y sec. 2 will also count as a substitution.  Students may also take 1 colloquium and 2 substitutions. At least one of these courses must cover Medieval or Renaissance material; at least one material of the 17th or 18th Century.  One of these will also count toward satisfying the "before 1900" requirement.

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 for an appropriate style.
—x,y: R. Hamilton. x: T 6:10-8; y: W 9-10:50.

II. Skepticism and Affirmation
The development of modern concepts of subjectivity and authority.   The rise of art and the artist. Humanism and education.  Rationalism and empiricism. The tension between belief and doubt. The exploration of the limits and the limitless.
—x: A. Guibbory; y: E. Schmidt. x: Th 11:00-12:50; y: Tu 2:10-4:00.

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: P. Platt; y: C. Plotkin. x: W 2:10-4:00; y: W 4:10-6:00.

IV. Order and Disorder
The Tension, conflicts, and upheavals of an era in the arts, religion, politics, politics, aesthetics, and society.
—x: A. Prescott; y: J. Basker. x: Tu 4:10-6:00; y: M 2:10-4

3163x, 3164y. Shakespeare I & II 
A critical and historical introduction to Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances.  3 points. —P. Platt. x, y: M W 9:10-10:25.
This course is limited to 60 and requires signing up with the English Department.

3166x. Seventeenth-century Prose and Poetry
Lyric poetry about love, sex, death, and God in Donne and others (e.g., Herbert, Lanyer, Wroth, Herrick, Marvell, Phillips). Prose about science, politics, religion, and philosophy (e.g., Bacon and Cavendish, Hobbes and early communists "The Levellers") in what has been called the "century of revolution."—A. Guibbory. 3 points. T Th 2:40-3:55.

3167y. Milton
Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes and selections of Milton's earlier poetry and prose (defenses of free press, divorce, individual conscience, political and religious liberty) read within the context of religious, political, and cultural history, but with a sense of connection to present issues.—A. Guibbory. 3 points. T Th 10:35-11:50

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

3173y. Eighteenth Century Literature: The Novel.
Origins and development of the novel in England. Topics will include: historical, cultural, and literary influences; narrative innovation and experimentation; sentimentalism; Gothicism. Some attention to recent theories of the development of the novel. Readings will include Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterrne, Machenzie, Walpole, Austen. Enrollment limited to 20 students.—B. Rizzo. 3 points. T Th 11:00-12:15 

ENGL W 4301x Age of Johnson.
The works of Johnson, Boswell, and their contemporaries in historic context; rise of the novel (Richardson, Fielding, and Sterne); poets from Pope to Blake and Wordsworth; women writers from Carter to Collier to Wollstonecraft; working class writers; topics include slavery and abolition in literature, the democratization of culture, and the transition to romanticism.—J Basker. Tu Th 9:10-10:25

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 Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, P.B. Shelley, and Keats. An emphasis on close reading of the poetry.—R. Hamilton. 3 points. T Th 9:10-10:25

ENGL V 3260y. The Victorian Age in Literature
The 19th century saw the birth of the social and psychological sciences, along with the new representations of the self in everyday life. Works by Dickens, Eliot, Meredith, Darwin, Arnold, Mill, Ellis, and others.—W. Sharpe. 3 points. MW 9:10-10:25

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 points. MW 11:00-12:15.

3179x. American Literature to 1800[web site]
Early American histories, autobiographies, poems, plays, and novels tell stories of pilgrimage and colonization; private piety and public life; the growth of national identity; Puritanism, Quakerism, and Deism; courtship and marriage; slavery and abolition. Writers include Bradford, Shepard, Bradstreet, Taylor, Rowlandson, Edwards, Wheatley, Franklin, Woolman, Brown. 3 points.—L. Gordis. MW 11:00-12:15.

3180y. American Literature, 1800-1870
Texts from the late Republican period through the Civil War explore the literary implications of American independence, the representation of Native Americans, the nature of the self, slavery and abolition, gender and woman's sphere, and the Civil War. Writers include Irving, Emerson, Poe, Fuller, Thoreau, Douglass, Stowe, Jacobs, Whitman, Dickinson.—L. Gordis. 3 points. MW 11:00-12:15.

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

3183y. American Literature since 1945
American fiction, literary and cultural criticism since 1945. Topics include: the authorial and critical search for the great contemporary American novel, the particularity of "American" characters, genres, aesthetics, subjects, the effect of these debates on canon formation and the literary marketplace. Authors may include: Bellow, Ellison, Nabokov, Capote, Kerouac, Didion, Pynchon, Morrison, Roth, Allison and Franzen.—M. Miller. 3 points. T Th 10:35-11:50

3184y.  House and Home in American Culture
An interdisciplinary examination of house, home, and family in American life from 1850 to the present. Attention to the interrelation between architectural design, ideologies of family, class identity, racial politics and gender formation. Historical sites include the plantation, the nomadic dwelling, the mansion, the tenement, the apartment, and the suburb. —W. Sharpe.  3 points.  Not offered in 2006-07.

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. MW 9:10-10:25.

ENGL W4502x. British Literature 1950 to the Present.—M. Spiegel.
English fiction (and a few films), with attention to narrative drift, history, temporality, memory and current travails of representation; voice and the status of subjecthood; the colonial legacy, globalized and "post-national" identities;.  Writers include: Martin Amis, John Banville, Pat Barker, Graham Greene, Kazuo Ishiguro, James Kelman, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipual, John Osborne, W.G.Sebald.  Films by Carol Reed, Michael Apted, Joseph Losey, Tony Richardson, Mike Leigh, Stanley Kubrick and Stephen Frears. 3 pts.—M. Spiegel. MW 6:10-7:25.

3188y. The Modern Novel
Works by Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, Lawrence, Forster, West, Barnes, and Desani. 3 points.—M. Vandenburg. Not offered in 2006-07.

3189y. Postmodernism
New literary forms emerge from the rubble of representation produced by the tyranny of progress (commodification, mass media, globalization) and the deconstruction of grand narratives.  Works by Pynchon, Nabokov, Barthelme, Reed, Auster, Robinson, Delany, Barnes, Beckett, Pinter, Ashbery, Merrill, and Hejinian.—M. Vandenburg T Th 4:10-5:25

3190y. Global Literature in English
A selective survey of fiction from the ex-colonies, focusing on the colonial encounter, cultural and political decolonization, and belonging and migration in the age of postcolonial imperialism. Areas covered include Africa (Achebe, Aidoo, Armah, Ngugi); the Arab World (Mahfouz, Munif, Salih, Souief); South Asia (Mistry, Rushdie, Suleri); the Carribean (Kincaid); and New Zealand (Hulme).3pts.—B. Abu-Manneh. T Th 2:40-3:55.

3191x,y. The English Conference: The Lucyle Hook Guest Lectureship.
Enrollment limited: sign up in the Department office.
Special topics presented by visiting scholars in courses that will meet for two to 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.

Fall: (ENGL BC 3191x). "John Ruskin"
This course will examine selected writings of the great Victorian sage, John Ruskin.  We will pay special attention to how Ruskin's thinking about aesthetics--in particular, why the world looks the way it does--forced him to become an unwilling social critic and the consequences of this radical reorientation for Ruskin's writing, for social-reform movements of his day, and for Ruskin personally.—R. Gurstein. W 6:10-7:25 on October 4, 11, 18, and 25th.

Spring: (ENGL BC 3191y). "Whitman and After: the First Person Singular"
Four lectures devoted to the first person voice in literature and its special attraction for iconic American authors as well as for contemporary writers.  This series of talks will cross genres, with individual sessions on poetry, fiction and forms of nonfiction including memoir and the personal essay.  The first lecture will focus on Walt Whitman (with a couple of nods to Emily Dickinson).  The second lecture, turning to fiction, will consider The Great Gatsby in depth but will also look at Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn.  The third and fourth lectures discuss forms of nonfiction (literary journalism, the personal essay and other autobiographical forms), perhaps the signature genres of contemporary letters. —P. Hampl.  February 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 4:10-6

3193x,y. Literary Criticism and Theory [sample web site]
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. 4 points.—Members of the Department.


Sec. 1



C. Brown


Sec. 2



M. Spiegel


Sec. 3



E. Schmidt


Sec 4



D. Swift


Sec. 5



M. Cregan




Sec. 1



J. Pagano


Sec. 2



B. Abu-Manneh


Sec. 3



J. Runsdorf


Sec. 4



C. Plotkin


Sec 5



R. Hamilton


3194x Critical and Theoretical Perspectives on Literature:
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.—R. Hamilton.  3 points.  T 4:10-6. Not Offered in 2006-07.

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. 3 points.—M. Vandenburg. T Th 1:10-2:25.

3199x. Poetics.
An investigation of philosophies of poetry and imagination. Selected prose and poetry by Petrarch, Coleridge, Clare, Dickinson, WIlliams, Celan, and others.—S. Hamilton. 3 points. M W 1:10-2:25

3996x,y. Special Project in Theatre, Writing, or Critical Interpretation
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 the chair required.  In rare cases, with the permission of the chair, a special project in conjunction with a course may be taken by other English majors.  Click here for the form to complete.  1 point.

Please Note: because paperwork for Independent Study has to be submitted at least a day before the program can be filed, the deadline for completing these form is one business day before the end of Program Filing period.

3992x, 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 points.

ENGL BC 3992x. Senior Post-Colonial Literature Seminar: The literature of the Middle Passage
Not offered in 2006-07.

3997x, 3998y.  Senior Seminars: Studies in Literature
3997x (fall):

1. Body and Language
Interpretation of femininity in relation to issues of identification, sexuation, desire, love, and anxiety in various postmodern literary and theoretical (mainly lacanian) texts.—M. Jaanus W 11-12:50

2. Reading and Writing Women in Colonial America
In April 1645, John Winthrop lamented the sorry state of Ann Yale Hopkins, "who fallen into a sadd infirmytye, the losse of her vnderstandinge & reason . . . by occasion of her giving her selfe wholly to readinge & writing, & had written many bookes."   Many colonial women were avid readers and writers, composing and publishing poetry, autobiographies, captivity narratives, novels, and commonplace books.  Consideration of these texts, including works by Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Phillis Wheatley, and Hannah Foster, as well as texts that reveal women's reading and publication practices, such as accounts of Anne Hutchinson and Milcah Martha Moore's Book.—L. Gordis. W 2:10-4:00.

3. Masterpieces
An inquiry into the historical and theoretical relationship between grand narratives and masterpieces, this course weighs the political dangers of obeying the laws of canonicity against the aesthetic risk of defiance.  Works by Aeschylus, Nabokov, Barthelme, and Kincaid.—M. Vandenburg Th 4:10-6.

4. Poets and their Correspondence
How do poets' letters inform our understanding of their poetry? From the eighteenth to the twentieth century, poets have used their intimate correspondence to "baffle absence," as Coleridge remarked. This course will examine the ways several masters of the letter (including Cowper, Keats, Dickinson, Eliot, Bishop, and Lowell, among others) shaped their prose to convey spontaneity in paradoxically artful ways, illuminating their major work as poets and making the private letter a literary form in its own right.—S. Hamilton.  M 4:10-6

5. Nation and Novel
Interrogates relationship between nationalism and novel-form in global fiction. Focuses on issues of cultural and political theory, history, and literary form.   Asks: Is the novel the voice of the nation, and is the terrain of the nation adequate for understanding the novel?—B. Abu-Manneh. T 2:10-4

6. Fallen Women
We will follow Eve's legacy from the Reformation to the present.   Gendered notions of embodied sin and the acquisition of knowledge, the emblematic associations with the figure Fortuna and Natura, the figure of the prostitute and the redeemed or redeeming women.   Readings from the Bible, Augustine, Shakespeare, and Milton but also Defoe, Flaubert, Brontë, Collette and Rhys.—R. Hamilton. T 4:10-6.

3998y (spring):

1. Christians and Jews in the Renaissance and After
Reading a variety of texts both "literary" (Shakespeare, Milton) and not.  Course focuses on England and (to a lesser degree) America in the 17th century, but also looks back to earlier (including Biblical) definitions of Christian identity, particularly in relation to Judaism and Jews, and forward towards the present. —A. Guibbory.  Th 2:10-4

2.Film: The Man in the Crowd/The Woman of the Streets
Explores theories of the crowd, mass behavior and the individual in American fiction and film, from idealizations of democracy to lynch mobs. Works by Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Crane,  Lewis, West, Baldwin, Le Bon, Benjamin, Canetti, films by Vidor, Chaplin, Capra, Lang, Kazan, and others.—M. Spiegel.  Th 4:10-6.

3. The Family in Turn-of-the-Century American Fiction.
An interdisciplinary 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, Cahan, Hopkins, Gilman, Cather, and Faulkner.—J. Kassanoff.  Th 2:10-4.

4. 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.  T 4:10-6

5. City in Literature- London and New York
How did New Yorkers create a self-consciously modern and ethnic brand of American culture?  This course will explore literary and artistic representations of the city, especially at nighttime, and the ways in which the city has been used as an arena to explore issues of sexuality, violence, assimilation, alienation, race, cultural difference, and aesthetic form. Reading list and interdisciplinary framework (art, literature, architecture, music, photography, etc.) to be shaped by the students.—W. Sharpe. T 2:10-4:00.

6. Modernist Visions: Conrad, Eliot, Woolf
Themes of the heart of darkness, the waste land, and voyages, in the first decades of the 20th century. London; overseas; gender divisions; fragmentation and reconstruction.—C. Brown.  W 4:10-6:00.

3999x,y. Independent Study
Senior majors who wish to substitute Independent Study for one of the two required senior seminars should consult the chair.  Permission is given rarely and 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. There is no independent study for screenwriting or film production.  Permission of the Instructor and Department Chair is required.  Click here for the form to complete.  4 points.

Please Note: because paperwork for Independent Study has to be submitted at least a day before the program can be filed, the deadline for completing these form is one business day before the end of Program Filing period.

Additional Courses

ENGL V 3260y. The Victorian Age in Literature. —W. Sharpe.

CLEN G4995x.  Special Topics in Modern Literature: Reading Lacan.
An intensive reading of selections from the late Lacan: Seminars XIV  The Logic of the Phantasm; XVII Psychoanalysis upside down; XX Encore; XXIII The Sinthome and selected works by Molière, Laclos,  Camus, Duras, James, D.H. Lawrence, and others.  Emphasis on the relevance of Lacan’s thought to literature and culture, and his redefinition of sexuation, feminine sexuality, jouissance, love, and the symptom.—M. Jaanus. 3pts. T 11:00-12:50

CLEN  W4122y.  Wit and Humor in the Renaissance
A study of how a number of writers in the European Renaissance tried to be witty in the service of satire, polemics, social commentary, or simple pleasure. Texts include some classical models (Petronius, Apuleius, extracts from Cicero), brief passages from Aretino and Alberti, texts by Rabelais, Louise Labé, Marguerite de Navarre, Erasmus, Thomas More, Thomas Nashe, Sir John Haington, Joseph Hall, Edmund Spenser, and John Donne as well as a sampling of jokes from the jestbooks. —A. Prescott. M W 4:10-5:25

ENGL W4301x.  Age of Johnson.—J. Basker.

ENGL W4502x. British Literature 1950 to the Present.— M. Spiegel.

page last updated 5/16/11