English

Students may complete a major or minor in English. Within the major, students may complete a concentration in Creative Writing. Students may also combine an English major with or minor in Africana Studies, Environmental Studies, or Gender and Sexuality Studies; alternatively, a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies is available.

Faculty

Linda-Susan Beard, Associate Professor of English and Director of Africana Studies

Peter Briggs, Professor of English (on leave semester II)

Anne Dalke, Term Professor of English

Colby J. Gordon, Assistant Professor of English

Jody Griffith, Lecturer

Jennifer Harford Vargas, Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of the Latin American, Latina/o and Iberian Studies Program

Jane Hedley, K. Laurence Stapleton Professor of English (on leave semester I)

Gail Hemmeter, Senior Lecturer in English and Director of Writing

Jesse Hoffman, Visiting Assistant Professor

David Kenosian, Lecturer

Hoang Nguyen, Associate Professor of English and Director of Film Studies

Matthew J. Rigilano, Lecturer

Matthew Ruben, Lecturer in English and the Emily Balch Seminars

Bethany Schneider, Associate Professor of English

Eleanor Stanford, Instructor

Jamie Taylor, Associate Professor of English

Kate Thomas, Chair and Associate Professor of English

Michael Tratner, Mary E. Garrett Alumnae Professor of English (on leave semester I)

The English Department offers a wide range of courses in British, American, and Anglophone literatures, from medieval romance to contemporary novels and film. Students develop their own paths through the major, experimenting with historical periods, genres, and forms while also developing expertise in specific areas.

The department stresses critical thinking, incisive writing and speaking, and a sense of initiative and responsibility for the enterprise of interpretation. With their advisers, English majors design a program of study that deepens their understanding of diverse genres, textual traditions, and periods. We encourage students to explore the history of cultural production and reception and also to question the presuppositions of literary study. The major culminates in an independently written essay of 30-40 pages, developed during a senior research seminar in the fall semester and individually mentored by a faculty member in the spring. Students are expected to take at least two English courses at Bryn Mawr before signing up for the major or minor.

Summary of the Major

The major requires a total of eleven courses. At least five courses at the 200 level (exclusive of 250) and at least three at the 300 level (exclusive of 398 and 399). All 300 level courses must be taken at BMC or HC. Note: One 200 level Creative Writing course can count towards the major.

  • ENGL B250 Methods of Literary Study, (must be taken before the senior year. Prerequisite: at least one 200 level course)
  • ENGL B398 Senior Seminar (offered Mondays in the fall, 2:30-4pm)
  • ENGL B399 Senior Essay (taken in the spring, with an individual adviser)

Summary of the Minor

Students must declare their minor by the end of their junior year.

  • Five English courses (at least one at the 300 level). 300 levels must be taken at BMC or HC. One 200 level Creative Writing course may count towards the minor.
  • ENGL B250 Methods of Literary Study (must be taken before the senior year. Prerequisite:1 or preferably 2 200-level English courses)

Writing Requirement

By the end of their junior year, English majors must satisfy the College’s Writing Intensive Requirement by taking one Writing Intensive (WI) course taught by English Department faculty.

Minor in Film Studies

There is no limit to the number of courses in film studies that may count toward the English major, except for a student majoring in English who is also seeking to declare a minor in film studies. In that case two (and only two) of the courses that comprise the six-course film studies minor may also count towards the 11-course English major. The minimum number of courses required to complete an English major and a minor in film studies is thus 15 courses.

Concentration in Creative Writing

Students may elect a concentration in creative writing. (In addition to the eight English courses, students must take English 250, English 398, and English 399, as described above) One of the creative writing units at the 300 level 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 minors in Africana Studies, in Environmental Studies, and in the Program in Gender and Sexuality.

Students Going Abroad

Students should complete both English 250 and one 300-level course before leaving for a semester or year abroad.

English Majors and the Education Certification Program

English majors planning to complete an education certification in their senior year should file a work plan with the chairs of the Education and English Departments no later than December 1 of their junior year. English majors on this path will follow an accelerated writing schedule in their senior year.

Extended Research

Some students seek a longer horizon and a chance to dig deeper into their research interests. Rising juniors and seniors in English frequently apply for fellowship support from the Hanna Holborn Gray program, to pursue original research over the summer or through the year. The projects may be stand-alone or may lead to a senior essay. In either case, students work closely with faculty advisers to define the goals, methods, and potential outcomes of their research

Departmental Honors

Students who have done distinguished work in their courses in the major and who write outstanding senior essays will be considered for departmental honors.

COURSES

ENGL B193 Critical Feminist Studies
Combines the study of specific literary texts with larger questions about feminist forms of theorizing: three fictional texts will be supplemented by a wide range of essays. Students will review current scholarship, identify their own stake in the conversation, and define a critical question they want to pursue at length.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B203 Imagined Worlds: Utopia and Dystopia in Literature
When Thomas More coined the term “Utopia” in 1516, it meant both “good place” and “no place” – an ideal society, and an unreachable one. Since then, the term (as well as its opposite, dystopia) has been applied to representations of imagined worlds that hold a mirror up to our own. In this class, we’ll read texts from the early modern period (Utopia, The Blazing World) through the present day (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games) that use invented societies to critique the ‘real world.’ We will pay particular attention to how descriptions of imagined places explore very real tensions around class, gender and racial identities. Do these texts offer a path to better worlds, or do such fantasies always remain out of reach?
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Nguyen,H.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B206 Romance to Bromance
This course examines the ongoing popularity of romance, examining the genre from the Middle Ages to contemporary romantic comedies. In doing so, we will pay particular attention to the gender politics romance produces, supports, and challenges, exploring how various historical moments and media conceptualize love, desire, sex, and marriage. Texts will include Chaucer’s _Troilus and Criseyde_, Marlowe’s _Hero and Leander_, Richard Hurd’s eighteenth-century _Letters on Chivalry and Romance_, and nineteenth-century bodice rippers. We will also discuss the ongoing publication of Harlequin romances, the popularity of romantic comedy in film (from the 1930s to now) as well as the reimagining of romance tropes and male intimacy in films like “Brokeback Mountain” and buddy comedies.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B207 Eating Empire: Food, Diaspora and Victorian Britain
This class will explore British culinary culture across the long nineteenth century, focusing on how food culture was used in the ordering and Othering of the world and its populations. Our lens is the relationship of food to nineteenth-century colonial and imperial discourse and we will analyze how food both traced and guided global networks of power, politics and trade. We will be particularly interested in theorizing the paradox that the trademark English comestibles – the sweet cup of tea, the curry – are colonial imports, and we will also construct a history of the industrialization of food that facilitated exportation. As we are tracing the flows of capital and foodstuffs, we will also consider the power of resisting food, by studying anti-saccharite abolitionist protests, hunger strikes and food adulteration campaigns. Organizing units will include sugar, chocolate, tea, spices. Texts will include slave narratives, nineteenth century cookbooks and colonial culinary memoirs, Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Stoker’s Dracula, Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B208 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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Dalke,A.
(Fall 2016)

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.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B211 The Lives of Nineteenth-Century Monsters
This course explores the centrality of monstrosity to the nineteenth-century British novel. Our work will involve placing these monsters in the tradition of the Gothic in order to understand the cultural, social, and literary metaphors they represent. In some cases, we will read about monsters with hideous bodies, but our work will also include reading about monstrosity that is kept hidden from view. To aid our work—and to provide adequate protection—we will read about the sublime, the uncanny, and the other topics that monstrosity veils and exposes such as gender and sexuality. Literary texts might include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, George Eliot’s The Lifted Veil, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B215 Early Modern Crime Narratives: Vice, Villains, and Law
This course taps into our continuing collective obsession with criminality, unpacking the complicated web of feelings attached to crime and punishment through early modern literary treatments of villains, scoundrels, predators, pimps, witches, king-killers, poisoners, mobs, and adulterers. By reading literary accounts of vice alongside contemporary and historical theories of criminal justice, we will chart the deep history of criminology and track competing ideas about punishment and the criminal mind. This course pays particular attention the ways that people in this historical moment mapped criminality onto dynamics of gender, race, sexuality, disability, religion, and mental illness according to cultural conventions very different from our own. Authors may include Shakespeare, Marlowe, Massinger, Middleton, Dekker, Webster, and Behn.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Gordon,C.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B216 Re-creating Our World: Vision, Voice, Value
To this shared project, the discipline of English literary studies will contribute an awareness of the limits and possibilities of representation, asking what is foregrounded, what backgrounded or omitted, in each verbal, visual, aural or tactile re-presentation of the world. Asking, too, what might be imagined that has not yet been experienced, “Re-creating Our World” invites students both to create their own multi-modal representations of the spaces they occupy, and to re-create, in some way, the space that is Bryn Mawr. This course offers a shared exploration of imaginative images and texts, with a global reach and in a range of genres (photography, film, poetry, as well as multiple narratives, in forms that will vary from satire to science fiction, from apocalypse to utopia). On field trips to local sites, we will also study “representations” of the world in the form of various “shaped spaces,” including The Center for Environmental Transformation in Camden, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, John James Audubon’s house @ Mill Grove, Wissahickon Valley Park, Chanticleer (a pleasure garden in Wayne), and the Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Environmental Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B217 Narratives of Latinidad
This course explores how Latina/o writers fashion bicultural and transnational identities and narrate the intertwined histories of the U.S. and Latin America. We will focus on topics of shared concern among Latino groups such as struggles for social justice, the damaging effects of machismo and racial hierarchies, the politics of Spanglish, and the affective experience of migration. By analyzing a range of cultural production, including novels, poetry, testimonial narratives, films, activist art, and essays, we will unpack the complexity of Latinidad in the Americas.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harford Vargas,J.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B218 Ecological Imaginings
Re-thinking the evolving nature of representation, with a focus on language as a link between natural and cultural ecosystems. We will observe the world; read classical and cutting edge ecolinguistic, ecoliterary, ecofeminist, and ecocritical theory, along with a wide range of exploratory, speculative, and imaginative essays and stories; and seek a variety of ways of expressing our own ecological interests.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Environmental Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B221 Roaring Girls & Ranting Widows: Narratives of Crime
Narratives of Crime and Adventure will explore the figure of the female outlaw (picara), in literary and visual texts from the early modern period to today. Through reading British and American texts that feature the figure of the female outlaw (or picara), students will understand the ways in which literary content and literary form function together, and how they reflect cultural changes and norms. Students will focus their readings through the role of the female outlaw to the more common picaro, male outlaw. Students will learn how the “female picaresque” (as seen in novels, other writings, and visual texts) explores gender, changes in moral and aesthetic values, class, race, politics, colonialism, the body, and sexuality.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B228 Silence: The Rhetorics of Class, Gender, Culture, Religion
This course will consider silence as a rhetorical art and political act, an imaginative space and expressive power that can serve many functions, including that of opening new possibilities among us. We will share our own experiences of silence, re-thinking them through the lenses of how it is explained in philosophy, enacted in classrooms and performed by various genders, cultures, and religions.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B229 Movies and Mass Politics
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 that allude to Communism and Fascism, seeking to understand how they join in political debates and comment upon the mass experience of movie going.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B230 Topics in American Drama
Considers American plays of the 20th century, reading major playwrights of the canon alongside other dramatists who were less often read and produced. Will also study later 20th century dramatists whose plays both develop and resist the complex foundation established by canonical American playwrights and how American drama reflects and responds to cultural and political shifts. Considers how modern American identity has been constructed through dramatic performance, considering both written and performed versions of these plays.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B232 Pirates in the Popular Imagination
This course will explore popular representations of pirates from the seventeenth century to the present, in memoirs, first-hand and fictional accounts (including children’s literature), and films. The context will be global, with an emphasis on the transatlantic world. Topics will include slavery, gender/sexuality, captivity, class/status, race, and imperialism/colonialism.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B233 Spenser and Milton
The course is equally divided between Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Milton’s Paradise Lost, with additional short readings from each poet’s other work.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Briggs,P.
(Fall 2016)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Tratner,M.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B236 Latina/o Culture and the Art of Migration
Gloria Anzaldúa has famously described the U.S.-Mexico border as an open wound and the border culture that arises from this fraught site as a third country. This course will explore how Chicana/os and Latina/os creatively represent different kinds of migrations across geo-political borders and between cultural traditions to forge transnational identities and communities. We will use cultural production as a lens for understanding how citizenship status, class, gender, race, and language shape the experiences of Latin American migrants and their Latina/o children. We will also analyze alternative metaphors and discourses of resistance that challenge anti-immigrant rhetoric and reimagine the place of undocumented migrants and Latina/os in contemporary U.S. society. Over the course of the semester, we will probe the role that literature, art, film, and music can play in the struggle for migrants’ rights and minority civil rights, querying how the imagination and aesthetics can contribute to social justice. We will examine a number of different genres, as well as read and apply key theoretical texts on the borderlands and undocumented migration.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harford Vargas,J.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B237 Latino Dictator Novel in Americas
This course examines representations of dictatorship in Latin American and Latina/o novels. We will explore the relationship between narrative form and absolute power by analyzing the literary techniques writers use to contest authoritarianism. We will compare dictator novels from the United States, the Caribbean, Central America, and the Southern Cone.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B240 Wit and Witness: 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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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, Jonson, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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: Wordsworth, Browning, Christina Rossetti, Yeats, Heaney, Walcott.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B244 Unsettling Literacy
Taught, by teachers in the Education Program and English Department, each instructor is serving a “term professorship” at Bryn Mawr College, while doing long(er) term instruction at Riverside Correctional Facility in North Philadelphia. We will offer these two “walled communities” as comparative contexts for experiences and reflections on what it means to “learn our letters”: What gives us access, to texts and selves? What are the outcomes of such educational processes? Do we imagine “letters,” in Frederick Douglas’s words, as providing “the pathway from slavery to freedom,” and/or (as claimed by a contemporary criminologist) as “training good workers for a problematic system”? Does becoming “lettered” enable learners to fill roles in stratified, normalizing institutions, and/or give us increased leeway in living our lives, perhaps even opening up what educator Jean Anyon calls “radical possibilities”? Co-requisite: Students must register for both EDUC B244 and ENGL B244.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Dalke,A., Cohen,J.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B247 Shakespeare’s Teenagers
There was no such thing as a teenager in Shakespeare’s England; the word doesn’t enter the English language until the 20th century. Yet present-day writers and filmmakers often cast Shakespeare’s young adults as teenaged characters, using adaptations to tell the story of today’s teens coming of age. In this course, we’ll study several Shakespeare plays and current versions them, including film, fiction, music and even a production of Romeo and Juliet conducted entirely over Twitter. Why do so many artists choose to represent present-day teen culture through Shakespeare? And can the notion of a “teen” protagonist productively be applied to Shakespeare’s plays?
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B249 Love and Madness in Victorian Poetry
We commonly associate Victorian Britain with great works of fiction by writers such as Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë. However, the development of Victorian poetry over the same period of time, roughly 1830-1901, is a frequently overlooked site of immense creativity. This course will cover a broad array of topics from the Victorian Poetess to the Pre-Raphaelite School with a particular emphasis on the innovation of the dramatic monologue. Unlike the Romantic lyric, the dramatic monologue enables us to hear directly from a diversity of speakers who are frequently lovesick and mad. From murderers to narcissistic painters, the dramatic monologue represents the nuances of human thought that surface in language. Readings will include texts by Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, George Meredith, Matthew Arnold, Augusta Webster, Amy Levy, and Oscar Wilde.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hoffman,J.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B250 Methods of Literary Study
We will explore the power of language in a variety of linguistic, historical, disciplinary, social, and cultural contexts, focusing on the power of the written word to provide a foundational basis for the critical and creative analysis of literary studies. This course will help to broaden our ideas of what texts and language accomplish socially, historically, and aesthetically. Students will thus refine their faculties of reading closely, writing incisively and passionately, asking productive questions, producing their own compelling interpretations, and listening to the insights offered by others. Prerequisite: One English course or permission of instructor. English Majors and Minors must take before their senior year.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schneider,B., Harford Vargas,J., Taylor,J.
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017)

ENGL B254 Female Subjects: American Literature 1750-1900
This course explores the subject, subjection, and subjectivity of women and female sexualities in U.S. literatures between the signing of the Constitution and the ratification of the 19th Amendment. While the representation of women in fiction grew and the number of female authors soared, the culture found itself at pains to define the appropriate moments for female speech and silence, action and passivity. We will engage a variety of pre-suffrage literatures that place women at the nexus of national narratives of slavery and freedom, foreignness and domesticity, wealth and power, masculinity and citizenship, and sex and race “purity.”
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B260 Origin Stories: Human Perspectives on Beginnings
This course is part of the “Origin Stories” 360. It will begin with an examination of “Western” origin stories and philsosophies of progress and history, with the intention of both historicizing and “making strange” the cultural inheritances most prevalent in Europe and post-contact North America. We will then turn to an in-depth analysis of the Diné Bahane’, or “Story of the People,” the creation cycle of the Navajo, focusing attention on a geographically specific and temporally non-linear philosophy of origin and continuity. We will conclude with a series of contemporary Science Fiction and Fantasy engagements with the problem of origin, asking how we continue to reinvent our beginnings, and why. Throughout the course we will turn our attention to origin stories from various parts of the world that might specifically illuminate the science in the other two courses.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schneider,B.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B262 Survey in African American Literature
Pairing canonical African American fiction with theoretical, popular, and filmic texts from the late-19th Century through to the present day, we will address the ways in which the Black body, as cultural text, has come to be both constructed and consumed within the nation’s imagination and our modern visual regime.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Beard,L.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B264 Black Bards: Poetry in the Diaspora
An interrogation of poetic utterance in works of the African diaspora, primarily in English, this course addresses a multiplicity of genres, including epic, lyric, sonnet, rap, and mimetic jazz. The development of poetic theories at key moments such as the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement will be explored.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B267 The Romantic Imagination
Many of our contemporary ideas about both the imagination and the power of art to change the world originate from British Romantic literature. These ideas developed in a short but intensely creative period of literary and cultural history spanning from the 1790s to the 1820s. This is an age of political upheaval, scientific discovery, and social revolution. We will foreground our discussion of these radical transformations in art and politics by reading the prose of Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Godwin. We will then examine the rise of Romanticism in the poetry of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge by focusing on their groundbreaking text _Lyrical Ballads_. We will use this poetry to define the power of what these writers called the “imagination.” The course will then turn toward the later Romantics, who responded to these artistic and political ideals in surprising ways. Readings may include Percy By sshe Shelley’s _The Cenci_, John Keats’s Odes, and Lord Byron’s _Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage_. Our study of verse will be complemented by fiction writers of the period such as Jane Austen and Mary Shelley. An assortment of critical texts will enable us to situate these works in their cultural, social, and literary contexts.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hoffman,J.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B268 Native Soil and American Literature:1492-1900
This course will consider the literature of contact and conflict between English-speaking whites and Native Americans between the years 1492 and 1920. We will focus on how these cultures understood the meaning and uses of land, and the effects of these literatures of encounter upon American land and ecology and vice-versa. Texts will include works by Native, European- and African-American writers, and may include texts by Christopher Columbus, John Smith, William Bradford, Handsome Lake, Samson Occom, Lydia Maria Child, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, John Rollin Ridge, Mark Twain, Mourning Dove, Ella Deloria and Willa Cather.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Child and Family Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B272 Queer of Color Critique
Queer of color critique (QoCC) is a mode of criticism with roots in women of color feminism, post-structuralism, critical race theory, and queer studies. QoCC focuses on “intersectional” analyses. That is, QoCC seeks to integrate studies of race, sexuality, gender, class, and nationalism, and to show how these categories are co-constitutive. In so doing, QoCC contends that a focus on gay rights or reliance on academic discourse is too narrow. QoCC therefore addresses a wide set of issues from beauty standards to terrorism and questions the very idea of “normal.” This course introduces students to the ideas of QoCC through key literary and film texts.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Nguyen,H.
(Spring 2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Beard,L.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B281 Writing Taste: Food Studies with Resident Food Writer
After a discussion of key texts on “taste”—from philosophy, literature, and sociology, students will analyze the “new world” of taste criticism from important food critics to Yelp. As food has become increasingly virtual (food advertising and online forums), does the intellectual vocabulary for taste also need to change? After analyzing the cultural-historical background of food writing (from M.F.K. Fisher to Anthony Bourdain), James Beard Award-winning food writer Craig Laban will lead the class through a wide range of tasting/thinking/writing exercises. These will include in-class tasting sessions where students will develop critical and—crucially—creative ways of talking about what they taste in conjunction with specially designed field exercises (local restaurants and markets, building local food maps of cities, interviews with food organizations).
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B284 Women Poets: Giving Eurydice a Voice
This course covers English and American woman poets of the 19th and 20th 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 Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lucille Clifton, H.D., Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Christina Rossetti, Anne Sexton, and Gertrude Stein.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B288 The Novel
This course will explore the multi-vocal origins of the novel in English and the ways in which its rapid development parallels changes in reading, vision, thought, and self-perception. The course will trace the novel’s evolution from its 17th-century beginnings in romance, spiritual autobiography, and travel literature; through its emergence as a middle-class mode of expression in the 18th century; to its period of cultural dominance in the Victorian era; and to modernist and postmodern experimentation. In studying the novel’s historical, cultural, and formal dimensions, the course will discuss the significance of realism, parody, characters, authorship, and the reader.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B290 Modernisms
This course will examine a range of works (novels, poems, paintings, and movies) that have been called “Modernist”—in general, these are works that are plotless, characterless, fragmented, eerie or just plain strange. The central question we will be exploring is, why did artists decide to create such distinctly unrealistic works? The course is organized as an exploration of several different lenses through which to view what was going on in the early twentieth century when modernism emerged; each lens presents a different theory of why new literary forms emerged.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B293 Critical Feminist Studies: An Introduction
Combines the study of specific literary texts with larger questions about feminist forms of theorizing. Three book length texts will be supplemented by on-line readings. Students will review current scholarship, identify their own stake in the conversation and define a critical question they want to pursue at length.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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 know 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.”
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2017)

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.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B301 Women on Top: Gender and Power in Renaissance Drama
From virtuous queens to scheming adulteresses and cross-dressed “Roaring Girls,” powerful female characters are at the center of a number of Renaissance plays. This class will explore how playwrights such as Shakespeare, Webster and Dekker represent both fantasies and anxieties about tough women who take charge of their destinies. We will read these plays first in the context of the historical position of women in early modern England, and then turn to gender theory (e.g. Butler, Sedgwick, Rubin) to examine constructions of gender identity and female agency.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B307 Philadelphia Freedom: Slavery, Liberty, Literature 1682-1899
Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, a space of religious diversity, the hotbed of the American Revolution, the first large “free” city north of the slave states, a major center of free Black culture. In this course we will examine literature written in and about Philadelphia before the Civil War, exploring how and why Philadelphians engaged questions of freedom and non-freedom. Beginning with William Penn and the colonial city, moving through the literatures of Revolution and the Civil War, we will conclude with W. E. B. DuBois’ The Philadelphia Negro. We will take two field trips to the city and students will be expected to pursue city-based research projects.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B310 Confessional Poetry
Poetry written since 1950 that deploys an autobiographical subject to engage with the psychological and political dynamics of family life and with states of psychic extremity and mental illness. Poets will include Lowell, Ginsberg, Sexton, and Plath. The impact of this`movement’ on late twentieth century American poetry will also receive attention. A prior course in poetry is desirable but not required.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B311 Renaissance Lyric
For roughly half the semester we will focus on the sonnet, a form that was domesticated in England during the sixteenth century. The other half of the course will focus on the “metaphysical” poetry of John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell. There will be a strong component of critical and theoretical reading to contextualize the poetry, model ways of reading it, and raise questions about its social, political and religious purposes.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B312 The Pencil of Nature: Victorian Literature and Photography
This seminar examines the complex and mutually-informing relationship between Victorian literature and photography. For example, to what extent is the realist novel indebted to photography’s invention, or alternatively, how has the novel shaped photography? To approach questions of this magnitude, the course is divided into a series of foundational thematic units that examine works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. We begin by thinking about the history of photography in several key texts by Susan Sontag, Carol Mavor, Roland Barthes, and Walter Benjamin. After we develop a vocabulary to discuss the medium’s history, we turn to its conception and how photography stems from the literature of Romanticism. This grounding in photography’s early language will help us to read fiction and poetry of the 1830s and 1840s. Other units will address photography’s role in constructing visions of the city, the use of photography in the Victorian culture of mourning, the ways in which the photograph can engender desire, the influence of photography on Pre-Raphaelite artists, and the sensationalism of Victorian crime depicted in photographs and stories.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B324 Topics in Shakespeare: Shakespeare on Film
Films and play texts vary from year to year. The course assumes significant prior experience of Shakespearean drama and/or Renaissance drama.
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Gordon,C.

Spring 2017: Global Shakespeare. We will read Shakespearean drama alongside the global performance archives that update and remix Shakespeare for a world shaped by the War on Terror, globalization, occupation, and revolution. By pairing original texts and their adaptations, this course considers pressing issues in postcolonial theory, including cosmopolitanism; appropriation; colonial education and canon formation; nationalism; and the global city.

ENGL B325 Why Shakespeare?
Shakespeare has been widely proclaimed the greatest playwright in the English language – but why and how did this come to be? Did Shakespeare really, as one famous critic has claimed, “invent the human,” or have a series of historical circumstances conspired to set the playwright on a pedestal? This course has two aims: first, we will perform close readings of selected Shakespeare sonnets and plays through the lens of cultural history; second, we will draw on critical theory (e.g. Barthes, Foucault) to investigate theories of authorship and “genius,” exploring how the posthumous construction of Shakespeare as an author shaped how we understand these very categories.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B326 Topics in Renaissance Literature
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B330 Sidekicks: Natives in the American Literary Canon from Crusoe to Moby Dick
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.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schneider,B.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B333 Lesbian Immortal
Lesbian literature has repeatedly figured itself in alliance with tropes of immortality and eternity. Using recent queer theory on temporality, and 19th and 20th century primary texts, we will explore topics such as: fame and noteriety; feminism and mythology; epistemes, erotics and sexual seasonality; the death drive and the uncanny; fin de siecle manias for mummies and seances.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thomas,K.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B335 The Mind is a Body Part: Materialism in Modern Literature
This course will explore recent “materialist” approaches to literature which reject the notion that what is human is better than what is non-human. Generally what supposedly makes humans valuable is the mind, so we will look at works that treat the mind as just another body part. We will also read some critical theory that explains how valuing the mind over the body, the human over the animal, has been used to support racism, sexism, and colonialism--and has led to the destruction of the ecological system. The course will include both works that present the social, political, and biological horrors resulting from the separation of the non-human from the human, and works that imagine humans merging with nature. The reading in the course will include selections from books of “materialist” theory (such as Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things), novels (Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis), nonfiction (Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek), and movies (Ousmane Sembene, Xala, James Cameron, Avatar).
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Tratner,M.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B336 Topics in Film
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Nguyen,H.

Fall 2016: Global Queer Cinema. This course asks, “What can the theories of globalization, transnationalism, and diaspora contribute to the study of same-sex eroticisms in the cinema?” To help us answer this question, we will base our investigation on a corpus of films drawn from across the globe (mostly from non-US contexts) that deal with non-normative sexualities.

ENGL B345 Topics in Narrative Theory
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harford Vargas,J.

Fall 2016: Theory of the Ethnic Novel. This course traces the development of the U.S. ethnic novel. We will examine novels by Native Americans, Chicana/os, and African Americans, focusing on key formal innovations in their respective traditions. We will be using – and testing -- core concepts developed by narrative theorists to understand the genre of the novel. We will be using--and testing--core concepts in critical theory to understand the genre of the novel and ethnic literary imaginaries.

ENGL B347 Medievalisms
This course assesses how the “Middle Ages” has been and continues to be constructed as a period of history, an object of inquiry, and a category of analysis. It considers how the past is formulated and called upon to conduct the ideological and cultural work of the present, and it reads historical documents and literary texts in dialogue with one another. Suggested Preparation: At least one 200-level course in any area of medieval studies (although more than one course is preferred), or by permission of the instructors. Additionally, this course is not open to students who took ENG/HIST 246 in 2013.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B354 Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf has been interpreted as a feminist, a modernist, a crazy person, a resident of Bloomsbury, a victim of child abuse, a snob, a socialist, and a creation of literary and popular history. We will try out all these approaches and examine the features of our contemporary world that influence the way Woolf, her work, and her era are perceived. We will also attempt to theorize about why we favor certain interpretations over others.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B355 Performance Studies
Introduces students to the field of performance studies, a multidisciplinary species of cultural studies which theorizes human actions as performances that both construct and resist cultural norms of race, gender, and sexuality. The course will explore “performativity” in everyday life as well as in the performing arts, and will include multiple viewings of dance and theater both on- and off-campus. In addition, we will consider the performative aspects of film and video productions.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B361 Literature of Dissent
This course examines literary and historical texts engaged with the social, political, and religious upheavals in late medieval England, including the Black Death, the Hundred Years War, the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, the tyranny and deposition of Richard II, and religious repression. In doing so, this course asks students to think about relationships between literary production and political resistance, legal threat, and social change. In what ways can literature formulate and foment social dissent? How does literature comment on contemporary political, religious, or social controversies? What literary opportunities and forms emerged from the peculiar instability of this period? Suggested Preparation: At least one 200-level English or literature course.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Taylor,J.
(Spring 2017)

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.
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Beard,L.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B364 Slum Fiction: From Dickens to The Wire
David Simon’s acclaimed television show The Wire has repeatedly been related to the Victorian novel. This course links Victorian London and 20th-century Baltimore by studying: literary relations between Dickens and Poe; slum writing; the rise of the state institution; a genealogy of serial fiction from the nineteenth century novel to television drama.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thomas,K.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B367 Asian American Film Video and New Media
The course explores the role of pleasure in the production, reception, and performance of Asian American identities in film, video, and the internet, taking as its focus the sexual representation of Asian Americans in works produced by Asian American artists from 1915 to present. In several units of the course, we will study graphic sexual representations, including pornographic images and sex acts some may find objectionable. Students should be prepared to engage analytically with all class material. To maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and solidarity among the participants in the class, no auditors will be allowed.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B368 Pleasure, Luxury, and Consumption
Course will consider pleasure and consumerism in English texts and culture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Readings will include classical and neoclassical philosophies of hedonism and Epicureanism, Defoe’s “Roxana”, Mandeville’s “Fable of the Bees”, Pope’s “Rape of the Lock”, John Cleland’s “Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” and early periodical essays, among others. Secondary readings will include critical studies on cultural history and material culture. Prerequisites: at least two 200-level English courses.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B373 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.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B375 Sex on Screens
This course will provide a historical and theoretical overview of the ways moving image sex acts have been represented on screen, from early cinema’s silent film loops to today’s celebrity sex tapes. We will examine the ideological operations of sex in the cinema and aim to comprehend the multifarious ways viewers, filmmakers, critics, and scholars respond to dominant conceptions of sex-sexuality through alternative cinematic production and critical scholarship. Units include: stag movies, the Production Code and ratings system, European art cinema, sex ed, underground and the avant-garde, cult / sexploitation / blaxploitation, sexual revolution, hard core, women’s cinema, home video, queer cinema, HIV/AIDS, the digital revolution, feminist porn, and the Internet. Prerequisites: HART / COML B110: Identification in the Cinema; or ENGL / HART 205: Introduction to Film; or ENGL B299 History of Narrative Cinema, 1945 to the Present.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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.
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B381 Post-Apartheid Literature
South African texts from several language communities which anticipate a post-apartheid polity and texts by contemporary South African writers which explore the complexities of life in “the new South Africa.” Several films emphasize the minefield of post-apartheid reconciliation and accountability.
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Beard,L.
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B388 Contemporary African Fiction
Noting that the official colonial independence of most African countries dates back only half a century, this course focuses on the fictive experiments of the most recent decade. A few highly controversial works from the 90’s serve as an introduction to very recent work. Most works are in English. To experience depth as well as breadth, there is a small cluster of works from South Africa. With novels and tales from elsewhere on the huge African continent, we will get a glimpse of “living in the present” in history and letters.
Counts towards: Africana Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ENGL B398 Senior Seminar
Required preparation for ENGL 399 (Senior Essay). Through weekly seminar meetings and regular writing and research assignments, students will design 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.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hemmeter,G., Schneider,B., Taylor,J.
(Fall 2016)

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.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Hemmeter,G., Taylor,J.
(Spring 2017)

ENGL B403 Supervised Work
Advanced students may pursue independent research projects. Permission of the instructor and major adviser is required.
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2016)

ENGL B425 Praxis III: Independent Study
Praxis III courses are Independent Study courses and are developed by individual students, in collaboration with faculty and field supervisors. A Praxis courses is distinguished by genuine collaboration with fieldsite organizations and by a dynamic process of reflection that incorporates lessons learned in the field into the classroom setting and applies theoretical understanding gained through classroom study to work done in the broader community.
Counts towards: Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ARTT B312 Ladies’ Voices Give Pleasure: Plays by Women
This course introduces students to the rich and multifarious tradition(s) of dramatic literature (broadly construed) by women (broadly construed). Through close readings of texts that diverge from what some feminist critics have called the dominant “ejaculatory” model of dramaturgy rooted in Aristotelian teleology and replicative of the male sexual experience, we will explore the formal and thematic preoccupations of 20th and 21st century playwrights who complicate notions of desire, community, history, identity, difference, and representation. Prerequisite: 200 level course in Theater, English, or Comparative Literature.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Rizzo,J.
(Fall 2016)

ARTW B159 Introduction to Creative Writing
This course is for students who wish to experiment with three genres of creative writing: short fiction, poetry and drama, and techniques specific to each of them. Priority will be given to interested first- and second-year students; additional spaces will be made available to upper-year students with little or no experience in creative writing. Students will write or revise work every week; roughly four weeks each will be devoted to short fiction, poetry, and drama. There will be individual conferences with the instructor to discuss their progress and interests. Half of class time will be spent discussing student work and half will be spent discussing syllabus readings.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Reeves,C.
(Spring 2017)

ARTW B260 Writing Short Fiction I
An introduction to fiction writing, focusing on the short story. Students will consider fundamental elements of fiction and the relationship of narrative structure, style, and content, exploring these elements in their own work and in the assigned readings in order to develop an understanding of the range of possibilities open to the fiction writer. Weekly readings and writing exercises are designed to encourage students to explore the material and styles that most interest them, and to push their fiction to a new level of craft, so that over the semester their writing becomes clearer, more controlled, and more absorbing.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Torday,D.
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017)

ARTW B261 Writing Poetry I
In this course students will learn to “read like a writer,” while grappling with the work of accomplished poets, and providing substantive commentary on peers’ work. Through diverse readings, students will examine craft strategies at work in both formal and free verse poems, such as diction, metaphor, imagery, lineation, metrical patterns, irony, and syntax. The course will cover shaping forms (such as elegy and pastoral) as well as given forms, such as the sonnet, ghazal, villanelle, etc. Students will discuss strategies for conveying the literal meaning of a poem (e.g., through sensory description and clear, compelling language) and the concealed meaning of a text (e.g., through metaphor, imagery, meter, irony, and shifts in diction and syntax). By the end of the course, students will have generated new material, shaped and revised draft poems, and significantly grown as writers by experimenting with various aspects of craft.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ahmed,D.
(Fall 2016)

ARTW B262 Playwriting I
An introduction to playwriting through a combination of reading assignments, writing exercises, discussions about craft and ultimately the creation of a complete one-act play. Students will work to discover and develop their own unique voices as they learn the technical aspects of the craft of playwriting. Short writing assignments will complement each reading assignment. The final assignment will be to write an original one-act play.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ARTW B263 Writing Memoir I
The purpose of this course is to provide students with practical experience in writing about the events, places and people of their own lives in the form of memoir. Emphasis will be placed on open-ended investigation into what we think we know (about ourselves and others) and how we think we came to know it. In addition to writing memoir of their own, and workshop discussions, students will also read and discuss works by writers such as Montaigne, Hazlitt, Freud, H.D., J.R. Ackerley, Georges Perec, and more contemporary writing by writers such as Akeel Bilgrami, Elif Batuman, Emily Witt, Lawrence Jackson. Although little mention will be made of the master narratives of American memoir—Christian redemption, confession, captivity, and slavery—the class will consistently struggle to come to terms with their foundational legacy in American life and letters.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ARTW B264 News and Feature Writing
Students in this class will learn how to develop, report, write, edit and revise a variety of news stories, beginning with the basics of reporting and writing the news and advancing to longer-form stories, including personality profiles, news features and trend stories, and concluding with point-of-view journalism (columns, criticism, reported essays). The course will focus heavily on work published in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. Several working journalists will participate as guest speakers to explain their craft. Students will write stories that will be posted on the class blog, the English House Gazette.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ferrick,T.
(Fall 2016)

ARTW B265 Creative Nonfiction
This course will explore the literary expressions of nonfiction writing by focusing on the skills, process and craft techniques necessary to the generation and revision of literary nonfiction. Using the information-gathering tools of a journalist, the analytical tools of an essayist and the technical tools of a fiction writer, students will produce pieces that will incorporate both factual information and first person experience. Readings will include a broad group of writers ranging from E.B. White to Anne Carson, George Orwell to David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion to James Baldwin, among many others.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Torday,D.
(Spring 2017)

ARTW B266 Screenwriting
An introduction to screenwriting. Issues basic to the art of storytelling in film will be addressed and analyzed: character, dramatic structure, theme, setting, image, sound. The course focuses on the film adaptation; readings include novels, screenplays, and short stories. Films adapted from the readings will be screened. In the course of the semester, students will be expected to outline and complete the first act of an adapted screenplay of their own.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Spring 2017)

ARTW B268 Writing Literary Journalism
This course will examine the tools that literary writers bring to factual reporting and how these tools enhance the stories they tell. Readings will include reportage, polemical writing and literary reviewing. The issues of point-of-view and subjectivity, the uses of irony, forms of persuasion, clarity of expression and logic of construction will be discussed. The importance of context—the role of the editor and the magazine, the expectations of the audience, censorship and self-censorship—will be considered.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ARTW B269 Writing for Children
In this course, students have the opportunity to hone the craft of writing for children and young adults. Through reading, in-class discussion, peer review of student work, and private conferences with the instructor, we will examine the specific requirements of the picture book, the middle-grade novel, and the young adult novel. This analytical study of classic and contemporary literature will inspire and inform students’ creative work in all aspects of storytelling, including character development, plotting, world building, voice, tone, and the roles of illustration and page composition in story narration.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Jensen,C.
(Fall 2016)

ARTW B360 Writing Short Fiction II
An exploration of approaches to writing short fiction designed to strengthen skills of experienced student writers as practitioners and critics. Requires writing at least five pages each week, workshopping student pieces, and reading texts ranging from realist stories to metafictional experiments and one-page stories to the short novella, to explore how writers can work within tight confines. Suggested Preparation: ARTW B260 or work demonstrating equivalent expertise in writing short fiction. Students without the ARTW B260, must submit a writing sample of 10-15 pages in length (prose fiction) to the Creative Writing Program during the preregistration period to be considered for this course.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Liontas,A.
(Fall 2016)

ARTW B361 Writing Poetry II
This course assumes that reading and writing are inextricably linked, and that the only way to write intelligent and interesting poetry is to read as much of it as possible. Writing assignments will be closely connected to syllabus reading, including an anthology prepared by the instructor, and may include working in forms such as ekphrastic poems (i.e. poems about works of visual art or sculpture), dramatic monologues, prose poems, translations, imitations and parodies. Suggested Preparation: ARTW B261 or work demonstrating equivalent familiarity with the basic forms of poetry in English. For students without ARTW B261, a writing sample of 5-7 poems must be submitted to the instructor to be considered for this course.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Todd,J.
(Spring 2017)

ARTW B362 Playwriting II
This course challenges students of playwriting to further develop their unique voices and improve their technical skills in writing for the stage. We will examine how great playwrights captivate a live audience through their mastery of character, story and structure. Through a combination of weekly reading assignments, playwriting exercises, theater explorations, artist-driven feedback, and discussions of craft, this class will facilitate each student’s completion of an original, full-length play. Prerequisite: ARTW 262; or suitable experience in directing, acting or playwriting; or submission of a work sample of 10 pages of dialogue. All students must complete the Creative Writing preregistration questionnaire during preregistration to be considered for the course.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Feldman,L.
(Fall 2016)

ARTW B364 Longer Fictional Forms
An advanced workshop for students with a strong background in fiction writing who want to write longer works: the long short story, novella and novel. Students will write intensively, and complete a long story, novel or novella (or combination thereof) totaling up to 20,000 words. Students will examine the craft of their work and of published prose. Suggested Preparation: ARTW B260 or proof of interest and ability. For students without ARTW B260, students must submit a writing sample of 10-15 pages in length (prose fiction) to the Creative Writing Program during the preregistration period to be considered for this course.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Torday,D.
(Spring 2017)

COML B293 The Play of Interpretation
Designated theory course. A study of the methodologies and regimes of interpretation in the arts, humanistic sciences, and media and cultural studies, this course focuses on common problems of text, authorship, reader/spectator, and translation in their historical and formal contexts. Literary, oral, and visual texts from different cultural traditions and histories will be studied through interpretive approaches informed by modern critical theories. Readings in literature, philosophy, popular culture, and film will illustrate how theory enhances our understanding of the complexities of history, memory, identity, and the trials of modernity.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: International Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

COML B398 Theories and Methods in Comparative Literature
This course, required of all senior comparative literature majors in preparation for writing the senior thesis in the spring semester, has a twofold purpose: to review interpretive approaches informed by critical theories that enhance our understanding of literary and cultural texts; and to help students prepare a preliminary outline of their senior theses. Throughout the semester, students research theoretical paradigms that bear on their own comparative thesis topics in order to situate those topics in an appropriate critical context.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

EDUC B244 Unsettling Literacy: Praxis
Taught, by teachers in the Education Program and English Department, each instructor is serving a “term professorship” at Bryn Mawr College, while doing long(er) term instruction at Riverside Correctional Facility in North Philadelphia. We will offer these two “walled communities” as comparative contexts for experiences and reflections on what it means to “learn our letters”: What gives us access, to texts and selves? What are the outcomes of such educational processes? Do we imagine “letters,” in Frederick Douglas’s words, as providing “the pathway from slavery to freedom,” and/or (as claimed by a contemporary criminologist) as “training good workers for a problematic system”? Does becoming “lettered” enable learners to fill roles in stratified, normalizing institutions, and/or give us increased leeway in living our lives, perhaps even opening up what educator Jean Anyon calls “radical possibilities”? Co-requisite: Students must register for both EDUC B244 and ENGL B244.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Counts towards: Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Cohen,J.
(Spring 2017)

FREN B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities
An examination in English of leading theories of interpretation from Classical Tradition to Modern and Post-Modern Time. This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisites: FREN 102 or 105.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Sanquer,M.

Fall 2016: Critic Approaches to the World. This course will be taught in English and focus on works of French feminist, postcolonial and post-structuralist theory. While our primary critical texts will draw from a particular linguistic tradition (namely French), and more or less distinctly circumscribed fields, we will also look at the broader transcultural and translinguistic influences that brought these “schools” into being and, most importantly, what fields of thinking they have subsequently inspired across language traditions.

HART B299 History of Narrative Cinema, 1945 to the present
This course surveys the history of narrative film from 1945 through contemporary cinema. We will analyze a chronological series of styles and national cinemas, including Classical Hollywood, Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and other post-war movements and genres. Viewings of canonical films will be supplemented by more recent examples of global cinema. While historical in approach, this course emphasizes the theory and criticism of the sound film, and we will consider various methodological approaches to the aesthetic, socio-political, and psychological dimensions of cinema. Readings will provide historical context, and will introduce students to key concepts in film studies such as realism, formalism, spectatorship, the auteur theory, and genre studies. Fulfills the history requirement or the introductory course requirement for the Film Studies minor.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

HART B306 Film Theory
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. Prerequisite: A course in Film Studies (HART B110, HART B299, ENGL B205, or the equivalent from another college by permission of instructor).
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): King,H.
(Spring 2017)

HART B334 Topics in Film Studies
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Feliz,M.

Fall 2016: Visual Culture and Technology. This course examines the intersections of art and technology across a wide range of visual culture and popular media. Beginning with an exploration of a set of aesthetic and cultural production that includes 16th century woodcuts, 17th century cabinets of curiosity, 18th century magic lantern shows, and 19th century stereoscopes and panoramas, the course will provide historical context for a consideration of the role that various forms of technology have played in shaping art, film and new media in the 20th and 21st century.

ITAL B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities
An examination in English of leading theories of interpretation from Classical Tradition to Modern and Post-Modern Time. This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

RUSS B238 Topics: The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Harte,T.

Spring 2017: Silent Film: From U.S. to Soviet Russia & Beyond. This course will explore cinema from its earliest, most primitive beginnings up to the end of the silent era. While the course will focus on a variety of historical and theoretical aspects of cinema, the primary aim is to look at films analytically. Emphasis will be on the various artistic methods that went into the direction and production of a variety of celebrated silent films from Russia, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere. These films will be considered in many contexts: artistic, historical, social, and even philosophical, so that students can develop a deeper understanding of silent cinema’s rapid evolution.

RUSS B277 Nabokov in Translation
A study of Vladimir Nabokov’s writings in various genres, focusing on his fiction and autobiographical works. The continuity between Nabokov’s Russian and English works is considered in the context of the Russian and Western literary traditions. All readings and lectures in English.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

SPAN B332 Novelas de las Américas
What do we gain by reading a Latin American or a US novel as “American” in the continental sense? What do we learn by comparing novels from “this” America to classics of the “other” Americas? Can we find through this Panamericanist perspective common aesthetics, interests, conflicts? In this course we will explore these questions by connecting and comparing major US novels with Latin American classics of the 20th and 21st century. We will read these works in clusters to illuminate aesthetic, political and cultural resonances and affinities. This course is taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: at least one SPAN 200-level course.
Counts towards: Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)