A range of courses taught in tandem with "W" courses in other disciplines. Students may earn three literature hours and fulfill the writing proficiency requirement. May be repeated.
Introduction to Literature (3/4) This course introduces students to the skills of reading and writing that enable us to appreciate, understand, and enjoy literary texts. It fulfills the Sophia literature and the LO2 Women’s Voices Certification requirement. W sections of this course also allow students to fulfill the writing proficiency requirement.
This interdisciplinary course explores how literature shapes and reflects human responses to nonhuman animals, using theoretical frameworks and direct experience of human-animal interactions to focus these explorations. This course responds to the transformation of human understanding of nonhuman animals as the older view of animals as instinct driven machines is replaced by new recognition of animal agency and culture. This transformation challenges us to take nonhuman animals more seriously in literature and society.
This course studies writings that engage their readers with the natural environment. We will learn the ways of reading that these texts teach in order to bring us into fuller contact with our surroundings and the living energy they share with us. The course readings—poetry, fiction, and non-fiction—emphasize different roles humans take in their relations with nature: observer, indweller, dependent, exploiter, caretaker. We will consider carefully the ways in which people are gendered into these roles and the global implications of our civilization’s exploitative dependence on nature.
What role do literary works play in advocating for a more just society? Can literature provide a platform for social exploration? An opportunity to engage the emotions of the public? A space for disruption and critique? What are the limitations of literary representations of social justice issues? This course uses these guiding questions to examine works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Readings of contemporary women writers since the 1960s.
What can literature tell us about experiences of health, illness, and health care? How do literary works represent and even intervene in medical contexts? How are literary representations of medical topics related to gender, sexuality, race, and class? What literary histories inform contemporary writing about health and illness? This course considers the ways literature contributes to knowledge about medicine and invites reflection about concepts including health, illness, dying, and disability.
From Homer and Dante to Anthony Burgess and Anne Rice, this course examines one of the oldest and most fascinating of literary tropes, the “Descent into the Underworld,” exploring how the concepts of hell and sorcery have evolved from classical times through our own. Texts may include Dante, Inferno; Marlowe, Doctor Faustus; Shakespeare, Macbeth; Mozart, Don Giovanni; Lewis, The Monk; Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Rice, Memnoch the Devil and others.
An exploration of the myth of Arthur from its medieval roots to the present day. While this course will focus on literary depictions of Arthur, we might also foray into how this mythic king has been represented in other media, including film.
A study of Jane Austen’s fiction in the context of her life and times. We’ll read several of her major novels.
This course explores the importance and the pleasures of fantasy through the work that defined the genre, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. In the first part of the course, we will read works anticipate Tolkien's novel and that influenced and inspired him. In the middle part of the course, we will read The Lord of the Rings carefully. In the course's last part, we will consider some major works of recent fantasy to see what some of Tolkien's most notable successors do—thematically, stylistically, and politically—with the model for the genre he established.
Materials grouped variously for each class by theme, genre or historical period. May be repeated.
Materials grouped variously for each class by theme, genre, or historical period. May be repeated.
William Carlos Williams (WCW), one of the 20th century’s most crucial American poets, also worked as a tireless doctor, who, by his own count, delivered around 3,000 babies. He also made daily house calls, and even though one might think his medical profession would detract from his poetry and poetics, he saw the exact opposite to be the case. His attentiveness to his patients deepened his attentiveness to language, and vice-versa, so much so that his medical practice could be described as a poetics of listening. The content and the assignments of this course, then, are designed specifically for nursing students (though students from any major are welcome to take it as well). Along with two more traditional essays (one focusing on WCW’s early poetics, one focusing on his later poetics), students will keep an Attentiveness Journal. Students will also complete an ekphrasis project that further deepens their attentiveness to their surroundings and to language.
At the turn of the 20th century, talented women of every description were fighting to have a voice: in politics, in society, in marriage; over their education, their bodies, and their economic destiny. How that struggle worked its way into the fiction and drama of the era (roughly 1880 to 1920) is the focus of this course. A recurring motif is the woman of great natural abilities – someone with a “genius” for this or that calling – who attempts, against steep odds, to win a public audience for her talents, whether from the lectern, the stage, the pulpit, or print.
This course explores the power of narrative as a tool for understanding our world, our region, and our community. We will interrogate how stories come into being, whose voices have the authority to tell stories, how stories are transmitted and circulated, and how stories are received by diverse audiences. Literary readings will consider how these questions have been answered in myriad ways over time and in different cultural contexts. We will use our discussions of literary works as a foundation for examining the stories we tell about ourselves and the communities in which we live. We will then put these discussions into practice by exploring an archival collection held at a local museum or library and asking what stories can and should be told from these items. Informed by current digital humanities scholarship, we will then collaborate to create a digital exhibit that introduces an as-yet untold narrative about our community to the broader public. Students will gain facility with multiple digital tools during this course.
This course introduces students to graphic narrative as a form utilizing words (literature) and drawings (visual art) in combination. Focusing on works by multiethnic writers, it attends closely to the themes and issues surrounding cultural diversity and the manner in which discourses addressing these issues are represented in the texts.
A study of how narratives evolve and transform when fiction is adapted for the silver screen. Emphasis is on literary and cinematic elements, techniques, and conventions.
Readings through the Romantic, Victorian, modern and contemporary periods. Includes such authors as Blake, Wordsworth and other Romantics, Austen, the Brontes, Tennyson, and 20th-century poets.
A range of courses offering literary study. May be repeated.
This course examines the history of the book from the Classical period through the modern day, in both European and global contexts. It traces the development of textual media from the cuneiform tablet to the ebook and interrogates how formal and material shifts in production methods might have influenced how written works were read by classical and premodern audiences. Exploration of the book as a historically defined technological device further allows consideration of how the book is continuing to develop within the current digital age and how these developments might shape how future generations will navigate textual environments. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course traces the development of English from Old English to the present. We examine how Old English originated from the Indo-European language family, and we consider the geographic, political, and social forces that led to the evolution of Middle English and Modern Englishes. As we turn our attention to present forms of English, we interrogate contemporary attitudes toward dialectical forms of English in America, and across the globe.
This course explores the origins and development of English literature from c. 700-1500. We will read a selection of Old English, Anglo-Norman French, and Middle English works in light of their historical, political, social, and literary contexts. Works in Old and early Middle English and in Anglo-Norman French will be read in translation. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course engages with the works of Chaucer and examines his literary output in the broader context of late medieval thought and culture. Throughout the course, we discuss the continued pertinence of studying Chaucer in the 21st century and read selections of modern retellings of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
Traces the development of English literature from the end of the Middle Ages and the Reformation to the English Civil War and the Restoration, with particular attention to the impact of religious and political controversy on the development of poetic form and language. Readings include lyric and narrative poetry, drama, and prose by major writers of the period, including women poets Lanyer, Wroth, Phillips, and Cavendish and male poets Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, and Milton. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
Representative comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances, with emphasis on theatre. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
The study of a representative selection of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances with particular attention to formal analysis of the plays and to Shakespeare's interest in the power of art to change life. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A critical and historical study of the novel in Britain from Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
The quest for new literary forms and new audiences, with emphasis on the Restoration stage, parody and satire, the novel and other prose experiments, and the emergence of professional women of letters. Behn, Pope, Finch, Swift, Johnson, Wollstonecraft, Austen and others. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A survey of British Romantic literature and culture (1790-1837). Includes such authors as Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Radclife, Percy and Mary Shelley, Dorothy and William Wordsworth, and others. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
An overview of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century feminist writings in social, political, and historical context, with particular attention to Mary Wollstonecraft and her circle. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A survey of British literature and culture during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Includes such authors as Arnold, Eliot, Browning, Dickens, Newman, and Tennyson. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A critical and historical study of the novel in Britain from Jane Austen to Tomas Hardy. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
We will read novels by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte: Jane Eyre, Villette, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. We will also read a contemporary biography of Charlotte Bronte, written by her good friend and fellow novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, as well as selected introductions, critical histories, and critical essays on some novels. Additional short background readings will also be assigned to provide better understanding of women’s legal rights and related issues in nineteenth-century Britain. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A critical and historical study of the novel in Britain from Joseph Conrad to the present. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course explores colonial era and early U.S. literature, focusing on American and Atlantic World contexts. The class introduces students to key genres in American literature to 1865 including the spiritual autobiography, the slave narrative, the novel, and the lyric poem. As this course moves into the middle decades of the nineteenth century, when both the amount of material being printed and the scale of the American reading public greatly expanded, we will focus on strategies for engaging texts with past and present readers in mind. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course explores fiction, drama, and poetry published from the end of World War II to the present. The class emphasizes innovation and experimentation in literary forms by American authors responding to cultural upheaval in the late twentieth century. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course examines competing accounts of the natural world in American literature before 1900. We’ll consider literary representations of American nature in relationship to settler colonialism, slavery, resistance, revolution, and the ideology of the “nation.” As we examine debates about nature in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature, we’ll focus especially on ways of organizing the natural world and the relationships between humans and nonhumans. We’ll ask: How are human beings related to the natural world? What conflicts emerge from competing visions of “nature”? What is exciting or threatening about the close relationship between human and nonhuman beings? In what ways are humans represented as nonhuman or other-than-human, especially along the lines of race, ethnicity, and gender? Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course explores how writers grapple with language and consciousness from Stein’s radical breaking-through the (false) construct of ordered prose, to the ways writers explore hybridity, trauma, and healing through this thing we call language. Questions emerge. Can one have consciousness without human language? Is language the best “mirror” of the mind, and if so, which genre best represents what is actually happening within one’s (un)conscious mind? Does language eclipse/confine consciousness?—or does language illuminate/expand consciousness? Can one heal from trauma? If so, how is language involved in that healing process?—or rather, what does “healing” look like on the printed page? And, most crucially, where is the body in all of these interactions? As the course moves from Stein to Toomer, Anzaldúa, Faulkner, Spiegelman, DeLillo, McCarthy, and then to contemporary poets, we span the 20th century. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
An exploration of recent immigrant and second generation women’s writing in a variety of genres, engaging with enduring questions about self, community, family, social responsibility, and identity. The course will consider how immigrant women writers negotiate between their inherited cultural and artistic influences and American values and how gender complicates cultural difference. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A critical and historical study of novels by such authors as Hawthorne, Melville, James, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Bellow. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
In this course, we will read and analyze a variety of genres of texts by contemporary authors from around the world, including novels, author talks, graphic narrative, and nonfiction prose. All of the texts on the syllabus can be analyzed as examples of cultural and artistic expression and are informed by their varied and complex national, ethnic, religious, sociopolitical, and gendered contexts. Throughout the semester, we will discuss how the texts reflect the varied and intertwined histories from which these writers emerge, and how they participate in a larger conversation about our increasingly globalized perspectives. Moreover, we will note the multiplicity of stylistic and artistic choices reflected in the literature we read and consider how global literature challenges our expectations as Western readers. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
In this course, students will read novels, short stories, drama, and nonfiction prose by writers from various countries across the African continent. Throughout our readings, we will pay close attention to issues of language, power, gender, and identity. In particular, we will consider how literature reflects the continuing effects of conquest and imperialism, independence, and postcolonialism. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
A study of significant examples of women’s literature from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean written after the end of British colonialism with attention to their engagement with complicated histories of colonization and independence and to their contribution to an understanding of feminism that challenges Western perceptions. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course considers Caribbean women’s writings in the light of the intersection of feminist, queer, and postcolonial theory in Caribbean literary studies. The region’s colonial history – and the violent oppression and connected to that history – produced institutions and movements that deeply affected and continue to affect the lives of Caribbean women. We will examine the manner in which their literature represents sexual violence and the ideological appropriation of the female body, sexuality and gender identity, and patriarchy and gender roles. In particular, we will consider how the thematic recurrence of these issues across the texts is related to the social, political, economic, cultural, and ethnic conflicts endemic to colonization and its aftermath. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
Trends, themes, genres and movements in contemporary American poetry, contextualized with relevant works from other periods, cultures and traditions. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course introduces to the major approaches to theorizing the nature and function of literature and the practice of criticism as they have developed from the 19th century to the present. Our method of approaching theory will be to place theoretical texts in dialogue with literary texts. Prerequisite: Completion of 'W' requirement, or one ENLT course, or instructor permission.
This course examines gender and sexuality in 19th-century American literature. We’ll explore the flourishing world of 19th-century American women writers, and slavery, abolition, and Black women’s writing will be central to our course. Together we’ll ask: What gender ideologies shaped nineteenth-century American literature? How do race, gender, sexuality, and class intersect in course texts? What queer and trans histories emerge from 19th-century archives? How can we productively engage with, critique, interpret, and enliven these texts in relationship to contemporary scholarship in Black studies, feminism, and queer theory?
A range of courses offering advanced literary study. May be repeated.
May be repeated.
The study of a representative selection of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances with particular attention to historical analysis of the plays and to Shakespeare's engagement with contemporary social, political, and religious issues. Prerequisite for all ENLT courses numbered 401 to 490 is a 300-level ENLT course or permission of instructor.
This course explores the world of Restoration and 18th-century theatre. The Restoration was one of the greatest periods of English drama, a time when an especially brilliant form of theatre—Restoration comedy—was created. This genre will be a main focus of the class, but we will also encounter other genres, including such mongrel genres as weeping comedy and bourgeois tragedy. As we examine the effects of gender, class, politics, and religion on plays throughout the 18th century, we will investigate the effects of innovation and reaction, theater design, the changing make-up of audiences, and the advent of women as actors and professional playwrights. Prerequisite: 300-level ENLT course, or permission of the instructor.
From Whitman, Dickinson, and their followers to the confessional disclosures of the mid-20th-century poets, from the imagists to the Beat Poets to ecopoets, American voices and poetic movements are the focus of this course. Prerequisites: 300 level ENLT or instructor permission
This course explores Dickinson’s poems and letters in the context of current scholarship, including monographs, journal articles, online archives, and more. Prerequisite: 300-level ENLT course, or permission of the instructor.
A range of courses offering advanced literary study. May be repeated.
Required of English Literature majors during the first semester of the senior year. Intensive seminar with a select number of texts, involving a research project which will draw upon the student's interpretive skill and her grasp of critical issues within literary and historical contexts. Successful completion of the Senior Seminar satisfies the comprehensive examination requirement for the B.A. Prerequisite: ENLT 385 and senior standing as ENLT or ENLW major.
May be repeated.