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Students may complete a major or minor in English. Within the major, students may complete a concentration in creative writing. English majors may also complete concentrations in Africana studies, in environmental studies and in gender and sexuality.


Linda-Susan Beard, Associate Professor (on leave semester II)
Peter M. Briggs, Professor (on leave semester II)
Anne F. Dalke, Senior Lecturer
E. Jane Hedley, Professor (on leave semester I)
Gail Hemmeter, Senior Lecturer
Nimisha Ladva, Lecturer
Warren Liu, Assistant Professor
Raymond Ricketts, Lecturer
Katherine A. Rowe, Professor and Chair
Bethany Schneider, Assistant Professor
Mayumi Takada, Lecturer
Jamie Taylor, Assistant Professor
Kate Thomas, Assistant Professor
Karen M. Tidmarsh, Associate Professor
Michael Tratner, Professor (on leave semester I)

The Department of English offers students the opportunity to develop a sense of initiative and responsibility for the enterprise of interpretation. Through its course offerings, individual mentoring and intense conversations in and out of class, the department provides rigorous intellectual training in the history, methods and theory of the discipline.

With their advisers, English majors design a program of study that expands their knowledge of diverse genres, literary traditions and periods. We encourage students to explore the history of cultural production and critical reception and also to interrogate the presuppositions of literary study. A rich variety of courses allows students to engage with all periods and genres of literatures in English, including modern forms such as film and contemporary digital media.

The department stresses critical thinking, incisive written and oral analysis of texts, and the integration of imaginative, critical and theoretical approaches. The major culminates in an independently written essay, in which each student synthesizes her creative and critical learning experience.

Major Requirements

The English major requires at least 11 course selections, including three required courses: ENGL 250, 398 and 399. Of the eight elective English courses, at least three must be at the 300 level; one of the 200-level courses may be a unit of creative writing. After having completed at least two 200-level courses, students take ENGL 250 (Methods of Literary Study) in their sophomore or junior year. In their senior year, students enroll in ENGL 398 (Senior Conference) in the fall and ENGL 399 (Senior Essay) in the spring.

As students construct their English major, they should seek to include:

  • Historical depth/construction of traditions.
  • Breadth, to include more than one genre, more than one cultural tradition.
  • Courses that build on one another.
  • Exposure to several approaches, theories or models of interpretation.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for an English minor are ENGL 250 and five second-year or advanced units in English literature. At least one unit must be at an advanced (300) level.

Concentration in Creative Writing

Students may elect a concentration in creative writing. This option requires that, among the eight course selections besides ENGL 250, 398 and 399, three units will be in creative writing; one of the creative writing units may be at the 300 level and may count as one of the three required 300-level courses for the major. Students enrolling in this concentration must seek the approval of their major adviser in English and of the director of the Creative Writing program; they must enroll in the concentration before the end of their sophomore year.

Other Concentrations

The Department of English contributes courses toward concentrations in Africana studies, in environmental studies, and in gender and sexuality studies.

ENGL B125 Writing Workshop

This course offers students who have already taken College Seminar 001 an opportunity to develop their skills as college writers. Through frequent practice, class discussion and in-class collaborative activity, students will become familiar with all aspects of the writing process and will develop their ability to write for an academic audience. The class will address a number of writing issues: formulating questions; analyzing purpose; generating ideas; structuring and supporting arguments; marshalling evidence; using sources effectively; and developing a clear, flexible academic voice. Students will meet regularly with the course instructor, individually and in small groups, to discuss their work. (Ladva)

ENGL B126 Writing Workshop for Non-Native Speakers of English

This course offers non-native speakers of English a chance to develop their skills as college writers. Through frequent practice, class discussion and in-class collaborative activity, students will become familiar with the writing process and will learn to write for an academic audience. Student writers in the class will be guided through the steps of composing and revising college essays: formulating questions; analyzing purpose; generating ideas; structuring and supporting arguments; marshalling evidence; using sources effectively; and developing a clear, flexible academic voice. Writers will receive frequent feedback from peers and the instructor. (staff)

ENGL B201 Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

Access to and skill in reading Middle English will be acquired through close study of the Tales . Exploration of Chaucer's narrative strategies and of a variety of critical approaches to the work will be the major undertakings of the semester. (Taylor, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B202 Understanding Poetry

This course is for students who wish to develop their skills in reading and writing critically about poetry. The course will provide grounding in the traditional skills of prosody (i.e., reading accentual, syllabic and accentual-syllabic verse) as well as tactics for reading and understanding the breath-based or image-based prosody of free verse. Lyric, narrative, and dramatic poetry will be discussed and differentiated. We will be using close reading and oral performance to highlight the unique fusion of language, rhythm (sound), and image that makes poetry different from prose. (Hedley, Kirchwey, Division III)

ENGL B205 Introduction to Film

This course is intended to provide students with the tools of critical film analysis. Through readings of images and sounds, sections of films and entire narratives, students will cultivate the habits of critical viewing and establish a foundation for focused work in film studies. The course introduces formal and technical units of cinematic meaning and categories of genre and history that add up to the experiences and meanings we call cinema. Although much of the course material will focus on the Hollywood style of film, examples will be drawn from the history of cinema. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HART B205)

ENGL B207 Big Books of American Literature

This course focuses on the “big books” of mid-19th-century American literature, viewed through the lenses of contemporary theory and culture. Throughout the course, as we explore the role that classics play in the construction of our culture, we will consider American literature as an institutional apparatus, under debate and by no means settled. This will involve a certain amount of antidisciplinary work: interrogating books as naturalized objects, asking how they reproduce conventional categories and how we might re-imagine the cultural work they perform. We will look at the problems of exceptionalism as we examine traditional texts relationally, comparatively and interactively. (Dalke, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B209 Emerging Genres: Form and Transformation

Beginning with a biological evolutionary model, we examine a range of explanations for how and why new genres evolve. Readings will consist of critical accounts of genre; three hybrid novel forms will serve as imaginative test cases for these concepts. Students will identify, compare and write an exemplar of a genre that interests them. (Dalke, Division III)

ENGL B210 Renaissance Literature: Performances of Gender

Readings chosen to highlight the construction and performance of gender identity during the period from 1550 to 1650 and the ways in which the gender anxieties of 16th- and 17th-century men and women differ from, yet speak to, our own. Texts will include plays, poems, prose fiction, diaries and polemical writing of the period. (Hedley, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B211 Renaissance Lyric

Both the continuity of the lyric tradition that begins with Wyatt and the distinctiveness of each poet's work are established. Consideration is given to the social and literary contexts in which lyric poetry was written. Poets include Donne, Herbert, Jonson, Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser and Wyatt. (Hedley, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B214 Here and Queer: Placing Sexuality

The power of the marching-cry “We're here. We're queer. Get used to it.” emanates from the ambiguity of the adverb “here.” Where is “here?” In the face of exclusion from civic domains, does queerness form its own geography or nationality? This course will ask what it means to imagine a queer nation, and will work towards theorizing relations between modern constructions of sexuality, nationality and ethnicity. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which assertion of queer presence can cut both ways: both countering discourses of displacement and functioning as vehicles for colonial or racial chauvinism. (Thomas, Division III)

ENGL B215 Boundaries of Yellow: Contemporary East Asian American Literature

By examining plays, novels and films written by or about Asian Americans, this course will explore how the boundaries of Asian America have been historically, critically and aesthetically produced in and through contemporary literature and film. (Takada, Division III)

ENGL B220 Writing in Theory/Writing in Practice

This course is designed for students interested in tutoring college or high-school writers or teaching writing at the secondary-school level. Readings in current composition studies will pair texts that reflect writing theory with those that address practical strategies for working with academic writers. To put pedagogic theory into practice, the course will offer a praxis dimension. Students will spend a few hours a week working in local public school classrooms or writing centers. In-class collaborative work on writing assignments will allow students to develop writing skills and share their insights into the writing process with others. (Hemmeter, Division III; cross-listed as EDUC B219)

ENGL B221, B222 Early Modern English Drama to 1642

This two-semester survey of the astonishing growth, variety, culture and excellence of theater in England during the reigns of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs (1498-1642) will include examples of all genres and modes: Ford, Greene, Jonson, Marlowe, Marston, Peele and Webster among many other authors, will be read and discussed from numerous perspectives. 221 (Tudor Drama) is not a prerequisite for 222 (Stuart Drama): a student may elect to take either course or both. (Rowe, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B223 The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories

In this course we will experiment with two interrelated and reciprocal inquiries — whether the biological concept of evolution is a useful one in understanding the phenomena of literature (in particular, the generation of new stories), and whether literature contributes to a deeper understanding of evolution. We will begin with several science texts that explain and explore evolution and turn to stories that (may) have grown out of one another, asking where they come from, why new ones emerge, and why some disappear. We will consider the parallels between diversity of stories and diversity of living organisms. Lecture three hours a week. (Dalke, Grobstein, Division II or Division III; cross-listed as BIOL B223) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B225 Shakespeare

A basic introduction to the plays of Shakespeare. Course emphases will include Shakespeare's dramaturgy, the material text, Bardolatry, adaptation, gender performance, symbolic geography, Shakespearean recycling. Readings will include selections from the Sonnets, “A Lover's Complaint,” Titus Andronicus, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, The Two Noble Kinsmen. (Rowe, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B227 American Attractions: Leisure, Technology and National Identity

(Ullman, Division III; cross-listed as HIST B227) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B231 Modernism in Anglo-American Poetry

The purpose of this course will be to familiarize students with the broad outlines of that movement in all the arts known as Modernism, and in particular to familiarize them with Modernism as it was evolved in Anglo-American poetry — both from its American sources (Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams) and from its European sources (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein). The course is intended to prepare students for ENGL 232, American Poetry Since World War II; together, these courses are intended to provide an overview of American poetry in the 20th century. (Kirchwey, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B232 Voices In and Out of School: American Poetry Since World War II

This course will survey the main developments in American poetry since 1945, both as made manifest in “movements” (whether or not self-consciously identified as such) and in highly original and distinctive poetic voices. The course will consider the work of the Beats, Black Mountain poets, Confessional poets, New York School , political-engagement poets, post-New Criticism poets, Poundians, Surrealists, Whitmanians, Zen and the environment poets, and other individual and unaffiliated voices. (Kirchwey, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B234 Postcolonial Literature in English

This course will survey a broad range of novels and poems written while countries were breaking free of British colonial rule. Readings will also include cultural theorists interested in defining literary issues that arise from the postcolonial situation. (Tratner, Division III; cross-listed as COML B234) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B236 Contemporary Literature Seminar

(Kirchwey, Division III; cross-listed as ARTW B236)

ENGL B238 Silent Film

This course surveys the history of cinema as commercial product and specific cultural form, from the years surrounding the technological advent of moving images to just before the commercial addition of synchronous sound. An overview of the rise of national cinemas in the silent era, we will discuss the aesthetic movements and traditions of the period as they pertain to changes in social and cultural contexts of cinema. This course will incorporate accounts of cinema presented in audience ethnographies, the documentary history of the cinema and film publicity. Past topics included: DeMille, Griffith, Micheaux and the Birth of Film Art. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HART B238) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B239 Women and Cinema: Social Agency and Cultural Representation

This course explores the wide range of roles played by women throughout the 100-year history of filmmaking. If the representation of women on the silver screen has tended to be narrow and damaging, these images are only part of the larger picture of women's involvement in cinema. The course examines the spectrum of generic images of women in feature films. It also locates where else women have been represented in the industry and examines the impact women have had on film culture as writers, editors, directors, publicity agents, technical artists and as film exhibitors and critics. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HART B239)

ENGL B240 Readings in English Literature 1660-1744

The rise of new literary genres and the contemporary efforts to find new definitions of heroism and wit, good taste and good manners, sin and salvation, individual identity and social responsibility, and the pressure exerted by changing social, intellectual and political contexts of literature. Readings from Defoe, Dryden, early feminist writers, Pope, Restoration dramatists and Swift. (Briggs, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B242 Historical Introduction to English Poetry I

This course traces the development of English poetry from 1360 to 1700, emphasizing forms, themes and conventions that have become part of the continuing vocabulary of poetry, and exploring the strengths and limitations of different strategies of interpretation. Featured poets: Chaucer, Donne, Jonson, Milton and Shakespeare. (Briggs, Division III)

ENGL B243 Historical Introduction to English Poetry II

The development of English poetry from 1700 to the present. This course is a continuation of ENGL 242 but can be taken independently. Featured poets: Browning, Seamus Heaney, Christina Rossetti, Derek Walcott and Wordsworth. (Briggs, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B249 Beauty: A Conversation Between Chemistry and Culture

This course will explore the topic of “beauty,” ranging from the molecular to the political levels, with considerable time spent on aesthetics. The conversation will occur in four stages — Exploring Form: What Is Beautiful; Apprehending the Physical World: The Structures of Nature; Appreciating Beautiful Objects: What Moves Us, How and Why; and The Shaping Work of Politics or The Ethical Turn: On Beauty and Being Just. The class will draw heavily on the work of John Dewey (whose Art as Experience will be a guiding text). There will be aesthetic objects on-and-about which we will conduct our analysis of beauty. (Burgmayer, Dalke, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B250 Methods of Literary Study

Through course readings, we will explore the power of language in a variety of linguistic, historical, disciplinary, social and cultural contexts and investigate shifts in meaning as we move from one discursive context to another. Students will be presented with a wide range of texts that explore the power of the written word and provide a foundational basis for the critical and creative analysis of literary studies. Students will also refine their faculties of reading closely, writing incisively and passionately, asking speculative and productive questions, producing their own compelling interpretations and listening carefully to the textual readings offered by others. (Thomas, Tratner, Division III)

ENGL B251 Eating Culture: Britain and Food 1789-1929

This class will explore British culinary culture across the long 19th century, paying particular attention to the relationship of food to the 19th century colonial and imperial discourse. We will also work towards theorizing the materiality of food. Units may include: sugar and slavery; industrialization and chocolate; corn laws, potato famine and rebellion; vegetarianism and socialism; cannibalism and vampirism. (Thomas, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B254 Subjects and Citizens in American Literature, 1750-1900: Female Subjects

This course traces the changing representation of the citizen in U.S. literatures and cultural ephemera of the 18th and 19th centuries. We will explore the ideal of American civic masculinity as it developed alongside discourses about freedom and public virtue. The course will focus on the challenges to the ideals of citizenship produced by conflicts over slavery, women's suffrage, homosexuality and Native-white relations. In addition to critical articles, legal and political documents, and archival ephemera, texts may include works by Henry Adams, Margaret Fuller, Thomas Jefferson, Herman Melville, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Harriet Wilson. (Schneider, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B256 Milton and Dissent

John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, was written during a period of cultural turmoil and innovation. This Renaissance poem has helped shape the way later writers understand their profession, especially their obligation to foster dissent as a readerly practice. Exploring this legacy, readings interleave Paradise Lost and Milton's political writings with responses by later revolutionary writers, from William Blake to Philip Pullman. (Rowe, Division III)

ENGL B259 Victorian Literature and Culture

Examines a broad range of Victorian poetry, prose and fiction in the context of the cultural practices, social institutions and critical thought of the time. Of particular interest are the revisions of gender, sexuality, class, nation, race, empire and public and private life that occurred during this period. (Thomas, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B262 Survey in African American Literature: Laughin' to Keep from Cryin'

A study of African American representations of the comedic in literary and cinematic texts, in the mastery of an inherited deconstructive muse from Africa, and in lyrics that journey from African insult poetry to Caribbean calypso to contemporary rap. We will examine multiple theories about the shape and use of comedy, and decide what amendments and emendments to make to these based on the central texts of our analysis. (Beard, Division III)

ENGL B263 Toni Morrison and the Art of Narrative Conjure

All of Morrison's primary imaginative texts, in publication order, as well as essays by Morrison, with a series of critical lenses that explore several vantages for reading a conjured narration. (Beard, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B266 Travel and Transgression

Examines ancient and medieval travel literature, exploring movement and cultural exchange, from otherworld odysseys and religious pilgrimages to trade expeditions and explorations across the Atlantic . Mercantile documents, maps, pilgrim's logbooks and theoretical and anthropological discussions of place, colonization and identity-formation will supplement our literary analysis. Emphasizes how those of the Middle Ages understood encounters with “alien” cultures, symbolic representations of space, and the development of national identities, exploring their influence on contemporary debates surrounding racial, cultural, religious and national boundaries. (Taylor, Division III; cross-listed as COML B266)

ENGL B270 American Girl: Childhood in U.S. Literatures, 1690-1935

This course will focus on the “American Girl” as a particularly contested model for the nascent American. Through examination of religious tracts, slave and captivity narratives, literatures for children and adult literatures about childhood, we will analyze U. S. investments in girlhood as a site for national self-fashioning. (Schneider, Division III)

ENGL B273 Masculinity in English Literature: From Chivalry to Civility

This course will examine images and concepts of masculinity as represented in a wide variety of texts in English. Beginning in the early modern period and ending with our own time, the course will focus on texts of the “long” 18th century to contextualize the relationships between masculinity and chivalry, civility, manliness and femininity. (Ricketts, Division III)

ENGL B276 Contemporary American Fiction: Visions and Versions

This course will focus on (relatively) recently published American novels. We will attend to questions of style, authorship and interpretation against the backdrop of contemporary cultural and political history, and explore how representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and class inform and shape these visions/versions of the contemporary. (Liu, Division III)

ENGL B277 Nabokov in Translation

(Harte, Division III; cross-listed as RUSS B277) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B278 The Short Film: Experimentation, Attraction and Adaptation

The international history of short documentary, experimental and sponsored film. Issues particular to the short film explored through film, narrative and critical theory. The course addresses preservation issues affecting film study. Students write regularly on films, compile research bibliographies and prepare a research paper of substantial length. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HART B278)

ENGL B279 Introduction to African Literature

Taking into account the oral, written, aural and visual forms of African “texts” over several thousand years, this course will explore literary production, translation and audience/critical reception. Representative works to be studied include oral traditions, the Sundiata Epic, Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah, Ayi Kwei Armah's Fragments, Mariama Bâ's Si Longe une Lettre, Tsitsi Danga-rembga's Nervous Conditions, Bessie Head's Maru, Sembène Ousmane's Xala, plays by Wole Soyinka and his Burden of History, The Muse of Forgiveness and Ngugi wa Thiong'o's A Grain of Wheat. We will address the “transliteration” of Christian and Muslim languages and theologies in these works. (Beard, Division III; cross-listed as COML B279)

ENGL B281 Power and Place in Literature and Film

In examining the intersection of power and place in literature and film, we will explore how people, ideas, and history collide to produce both the possibility of conflict and of new forms of community. We will redefine place over the duration of the course as it relates to questions of home, national and/or cultural belonging, social status and the like. A change of place may be salutary or destructive or both. It might be generated by global forces, such as colonialism, or it might be the result of a more personal and individual quest. (Ladva, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B284 Women Poets: Giving Eurydice a Voice

This course covers English and American woman poets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries whose gender was important for their self-understanding as poets, their choice of subject matter, and the audience they sought to gain for their work. Featured poets include Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Gertrude Stein, H. D., Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich and Sylvia Plath. (Hedley, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B286 Asian American Poetry, 1900 to Present

This course will provide a historical overview and a disciplinary framework through which to trace the development of Asian American poetry. We seek to understand that development in relation to larger questions of identity and citizenship, and explore how Asian American poetry intertwines with American literature as a whole. (Liu, Division III)

ENGL B293 Critical Feminist Studies: An Introduction

Combines the study of specific literary texts with larger questions about feminist forms of theorizing. A course reader will be supplemented with three fictional texts to be selected by the class. Students will review current scholarship, identify their own stake in the conversation and define a critical question they want to pursue at length. (Dalke, Division III)

ENGL B294 Art and Exploitation: Gender and Sexuality in 1960s American Cinema

(Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as HART B294)

ENGL B296 Introduction to Medieval Drama

Introduces students to the major types of dramatic production in the Middle Ages: mystery plays, morality plays and miracle plays. Also examines early Protestant political drama known as “interludes” and the translation of medieval plays into contemporary films and novellas. Explores the construction of local communities around professional acting and production guilds, different strategies of performance, and the relationship between the medieval dramatic stage and other kinds of “stages.” (Taylor, Division III; cross-listed as ARTT B296)

ENGL B297 Terror, Pleasure and the Gothic Imagination

Introduces students to the 18th-century origins of Gothic literature and its development across genres, media and time. Exploring the formal contours and cultural contexts of the enduring imaginative mode in literature, film, art and architecture, the course will also investigate the Gothic's connection to the radical and conservative cultural agendas. (Ricketts, Division III)

ENGL B299 History of Narrative Cinema

(King, Division III; cross-listed as HART B299)

All courses at the 300-level are limited in enrollment and require permission of the instructor to register.

ENGL B303 Piers Plowman

A contemporary of Chaucer, William Langland dedicated his life to writing and re-writing a moving poem that questions the relationship between artistic expression, social activism and spiritual healing. We will read his great text, Piers Plowman , both as our subject and point of departure for thinking about the literary, political and religious cultures in late 14th- and early 15th-century England . In addition, we will contextualize the poem using selections from penitential manuals, legal documents, treatises on translation, and rebel broadsides, as well as texts by contemporary authors (including Chaucer, Gower and Lydgate). (Taylor, Division III)

ENGL B305 Sociology of Culture

(Washington; cross-listed as SOCL B325)

ENGL B306 Film Theory

This course is an introduction to major developments in film theory and criticism. Topics covered include: the specificity of film form; cinematic realism; the cinematic “author”; the politics and ideology of cinema; the relation between cinema and language; spectatorship, identification and subjectivity; archival and historical problems in film studies; the relation between film studies and other disciplines of aesthetic and social criticism. Each week of the syllabus pairs critical writing(s) on a central principle of film analysis with a cinematic example. Class will be divided between discussion of critical texts and attempts to apply them to a primary cinematic text. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as COML B306 and HART B306)

ENGL B309 Native American Literature

This course focuses on late-20th-century Native literatures that attempt to remember and redress earlier histories of dispersal and genocide. We will ask how various writers with different tribal affiliations engage in discourses of humor, memory, repetition and cultural performance to refuse, rework or lampoon inherited constructions of the “Indian” and “Indian” history and culture. We will read fiction, film and contemporary critical approaches to Native literatures alongside much earlier texts, including oral histories, political speeches, law and autobiography. Readings may include works by Sherman Alexie, Diane Glancy, Thomas King, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko and Gerald Vizenor. (Schneider, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B310 Victorian Media

This course proposes that the Victorian era was an information age — an age in which the recording, transmission and circulation of language was revolutionized. The railroad, the postal system, the telegraph, the typewriter and the telephone were all 19th-century inventions. These communication technologies appeared to bring about “the annihilation of time and space” and we will examine how they simultaneously located and dislocated the 19th-century British citizen. We will account for the fears, desires and politics of the 19th-century “mediated” citizen and analyze the networks of affiliation that became “intermediated”: family, nation, community, erotics and empire. (Thomas, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B315 Experimental Fictions, 1675 to 1800

This course will examine a deliberately eclectic set of readings, mostly in prose, in order to explore different dimensions — aesthetic, social, psychological, substantive — of 18th-century creativity. Readings will range from Bunyan and Defoe to Fielding and Sterne, from Aphra Behn to William Hogarth to Frances Burney. Prerequisite: sophomore standing and permission of the instructor. (Briggs, Division III)

ENGL B316 Spenserian Allegory

This course will focus on Edmund Spenser's allegorical epic, The Faerie Queene, which will be read in its entirety to gain access to the rich resources of the allegorical mode as it was understood and practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: resources for staging self-confrontation, constructing and reconstructing the experience of falling in love, and probing the mysteries of life and death, good and evil. The course will also explore the allegorical mode in the 19th and 20th centuries, as it appears in works such as Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. (Hedley, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B317 Exhibition and Inhibition: Movies, Pleasures and Social Control

This course is a wide-ranging exploration of what it means to go to the movies. In it, we investigate the changing nature of the cinema in society — including all cinematic modes of display and exhibition, spanning pre-cinematic visual technologies to more recent film and video practices. Topics covered include audience segregation, film censorship and the reform movement, the Hollywood production code, movie theatre architecture, fan cultures of various kinds, journalistic and narrative accounts of moviegoing, and the shift from analog to digital images. Readings from film and cultural theory on mass spectacle, the observer, the spectator and the mass audience will shape our discussion and guide our individual research. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HART B317) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B319 A Sense of Place

The purposes of this course are to explore strategies for the artistic representation of place and to look into historical, emblematic and theoretical dimensions of literary and pictoral settings. The course will also ask whether classical, European and American writers sought to realize settings in similar or distinctively different ways. (Briggs, Division III; cross-listed as COML B319) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B322 Love and Money

This course focuses on literary works that explore the relationship between love and money. We will seek to understand the separate and intertwined histories of these two arenas of human behavior and will read, along with literary texts, essays by influential figures in the history of economics and sexuality. The course will begin with The Merchant of Venice , proceed through Pride and Prejudice to The Great Gatsby , and end with Hollywood movies. (Tratner, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B323 Movies, Fascism and Communism

Movies and mass politics emerged together, altering entertainment and government in strangely similar ways. Fascism and communism claimed an inherent relation to the masses and hence to movies; Hollywood rejected such claims. We will examine films alluding to fascism or communism, to understand them as commenting on political debates and on the mass experience of movie going. (Tratner, Division III)

ENGL B324 Topics in Shakespeare

Topics vary from year to year; the course supposes significant prior experience of Shakespearean drama and/or Renaissance drama. (Rowe, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B329 Screen Melodrama

This course will explore the broad range of sentimental and sensationalist techniques used in the melodramatic mode of representation on screen. Our focus will be on the affective and spectacular strategies of film and television drama, and narratives in which ethical or moral judgement result in redemption, salvation or punishment. Topics to include: Hollywood's “woman's weepies”; Bollywood spectacle; race films; the culture of kitsch; the family romance; rescue fantasies; music and melodrama. Critical approaches to melodrama drawn from classical literary theory, psychoanalytic and classical film theory, and feminist theory. Prerequisite: ENGL B205 or HART B299 and junior or senior standing. (staff, Division III; cross-listed as HART B329) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B330 Writing Indians: Sidekicking the American Canon

How have written Indians — the Tontos, Fridays, Pocahontases and Queequegs of the American canon — been adopted, mimicked, performed and undermined by Native American authors? This course will examine how canonical and counter-canonical texts invent and reinvent the place of the Indian across the continuing literary “discovery” of America from 1620 to the present. Readings include The Last of the Mohicans , The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven , Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe . Critical texts, research presentations, written assignments and intensive seminar discussion will address questions of cultural sovereignty, mimesis, literacy versus orality, literary hybridity, intertextuality and citation. (Schneider, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B334 Topics in Film Studies

(King, Division III; cross-listed as HART B334) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B337 Contemplating Art Cinema : Michael Haneke, Claire Denis and the Dardenne Brothers

(Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as HART B337)

ENGL B340 Brown Affect: Narrating Latina and Latino Lives

(Lima , Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B329) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B341 Cultural Genres: Camp, Kitsch and Trash Cinema

(Gorfinkel, Division III; cross-listed as HART B341)

ENGL B349 Theories of Authorship in the Cinema

(King, Division III; cross-listed as HART B349)

ENGL B355 Performance Studies

Introduces students to the field of performance studies, a multidisciplinary species of cultureal studies which theorizes human actions as performances that both constructu “culture” and resist cultural norms. Explores performance and performativity in daily life as well as in the performing arts. (Ricketts, Division III)

ENGL B359 Dead Presidents

Framed by the extravagant funerals of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, this course explores the cultural importance of the figure of the President and the Presidential body, and of the 19th-century preoccupations with death and mourning, in the U. S. cultural imaginary from the Revolutionary movement through the Civil War. (Schneider, Division III)

ENGL B360 Women and Law in the Middle Ages

Studies the development of legal issues that affect women, such as marriage contracts, rape legislation, prostitution regulation and sumptuary law, including the prosecution of witches in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in official documents and imaginative fictions that deploy such legislation in surprising ways. Asks how texts construct and interrogate discourses of gender, sexuality, criminality and discipline. Broadly views the overlap between legal and literary modes of analysis. Examines differences between “fact” and “fiction” and explores blurred distinctions. (Taylor, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B361 Transformation of the Sonnet: Petrarch to Marilyn Hacker

Theory and practice of the sonnet in the Renaissance, 19th and 20th centuries. Sonnets and sonnet sequences by Barrett Browning, Countee Cullen, Dante, Dove, Frost, H.D., Hacker. Hopkins, Millay, Petrarch, Christina Rossetti, Shakespeare, Sidney, Wordsworth and others. (Hedley, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B362 African American Literature: Hypercanonical Codes

Intensive study of six 18th-21st century hypercanonical African American written and visual texts (and critical responses) with specific attention to the tradition's long use of speaking in code and in multiple registers simultaneously. Focus on language as a tool of opacity as well as transparency, translation, transliteration, invention and resistance. Previous reading required. (Beard, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B369 Women Poets: Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath

In this seminar we will be playing three poets off against each other, all of whom came of age during the 1950s. We will plot each poet's career in relation to the public and personal crises that shaped it, giving particular attention to how each poet constructed “poethood” for herself. (Hedley, Division III)

ENGL B374 Experimental Poetry: Form and Experience

This course will focus on the questions of poetic experiment and their worth: What is “experimental poetry,” and why would anyone want to write it? The course will focus on the histories of American experimental form in conjunction with the material conditions of class, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. We'll seek to understand contemporary theorizations of “form” itself, and develop a deeper understanding of the larger field of poetics and poetic theory. Students will be responsible for in-class presentations, two essays (one of which contains a significant research component) and a number of short, creative assignments. (Liu, Division III)

ENGL B378 Eating Culture: Food and Britain 1798 to 1929

This class will explore British culinary culture across the long 19th century. One of our main goals will be to explore the role of matters culinary in the ordering and Othering of the world and its populations. We will pay particular attention to the relationship of food to 19th-century class and labor relations, colonial and imperial discourse and analyze how food both traces and guides global networks of power, politics and trade. We will work towards theorizing food's materiality, considering the physiognomy of food, the aesthetics of a menu, and the hermeneutics of taste. (Thomas, Division III)

ENGL B379 The African Griot(te)

A focused exploration of the multi-genre productions of Southern African writer Bessie Head and the critical responses to such works. Students are asked to help construct a critical-theoretical framework for talking about a writer who defies categorization or reduction. (Beard, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B385 Problems in Satire

An exploration of the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of great satire in works by Blake, Dryden, Pope, Rabelais, Smiley, Swift, Wilde and others. (Briggs, Division III) Not offered in 2007-08.

ENGL B398 Senior Seminar

Required preparation for ENGL 399 (Senior Essay). Through weekly seminar meetings and regular writing and research assignments, students will explore a senior essay topic or topics of their choice, frame exciting and practical questions about it, and develop a writing plan for its execution. Students will leave the course with a departmentally approved senior essay prospectus, an annotated bibliography on their chosen area of inquiry, and 10 pages of writing towards their senior essay. Students must pass the course to enroll in ENGL 399. (Hemmeter, Ricketts, Rowe)

ENGL B399 Senior Essay

Supervised independent writing project required of all English majors. Students must successfully complete ENGL 398 (Senior Conference) and have their Senior Essay prospectus approved by the department before they enroll in ENGL 399. (staff)

ENGL B403 Supervised Work

Advanced students may pursue independent research projects. Permission of the instructor and major adviser is required. (staff)

ENGL B425 Praxis III


Bryn Mawr currently offers the following courses in creative writing:

ARTW B159 Introduction to Creative Writing
ARTW B236 Contemporary Literature Seminar
ARTW B260 Short Fiction I
ARTW B261 Poetry I
ARTW B262 Playwriting I
ARTW B263 Writing Memoir I
ARTW B264 Feature Journalism
ARTW B360 Writing Short Fiction II
ARTW B361 Writing Poetry II
ARTW B366 Writing Memoir II
ARTW B403 Supervised Work


Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000