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Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: (610) 526-5306
Fax: (610) 526-7477

Bryn Thompson, Administrative Assistant

Course Descriptions






B 125 Writing Workshop All sections N. Ladva, M. Ruben

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, Ruben)

B 202 Understanding Poetry TTh 11:30 am-1 pm   J. Hedley
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, Division III)

B 205 Intro to Film TTh 2:30-4:00 pm   H. Nguyen
This course is intended to provide students with the tools of critical film analysis. We will consider film forms, genres, and histories within the broader framework of visual culture practices. Emphasis will be placed on readings of documentary, feminist, and avant-garde film, video art, and new media alongside Hollywood production. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory.

B 223 Evolution of Stories TTh 1:00-2:30 pm   A. Dalke

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)


B 225 Shakespeare I MW 10:00-11:30 am   K. Rowe
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)

B 229 Movies & Mass Politics TTh 10:00-11:30 am        Screening F 1-4:00 pm   M. Tratner
This course will trace in the history of movie forms a series of debates about the ways that nations can become mass societies, focusing mostly on the ways that Hollywood movies countered the appeals of Communism and Fascism. (Tratner, Division III; crosslisted as Comparative Literature)

B 230 Topics in American Drama MW 1:00-2:30 pm G. Hemmeter

In this course, we will consider American plays of the 20th century, reading the major playwrights of the canon, those like Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Edward Albee, alongside other dramatists of the 20th century who, because their plays experiment with form or represent minority perspectives, are less often read and produced, for example, Gertrude Stein, Susan Glaspell, Angelina Grimke, and Rachel Crothers.  We will also study later 20th-century dramatists whose plays both develop – and resist – the complex foundation established by canonical American playwrights, for example, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, Maria Irena Fornes, Sam Shepard.   We will explore how American Drama reflects and responds to major cultural and political shifts of the 20th Century and consider how modern American identity has been constructed through dramatic performance.  Whenever possible, we will consider both written and performed (filmed or live) versions of these plays.   (Division III)

B 231 Modernism in Anglo-
American Poetry
TTh 10:00-11:30 am
K. Kirchwey
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)

B 233 Spenser and Milton MW 1:00-2:30 pm P. Briggs
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. (Briggs, Division III)

B 243 Historical Intro to English Poetry II MWF 9:00-10:00 am P. Briggs
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)

B 250, I Methods of Literary Study MW 1:00-2:30 pm J. Taylor
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.

B 250, 2 Methods of Literary Study TTh 1:00-2:30 pm M. Tratner
See description for section I
B 257 Gender & Technology MW 2:30-4:00 pm Blankenship, Dalke
This course will explore the historical role technology has played in the production of gender; the historical role gender has played in the evolution of various technologies; how the co-construction of gender and technology has been represented in a range of on-line, filmic, fictional and critical media; and what all of the above suggest for the technological engagement of everyone in today's world.
B 279

Intro to African Literature

TTh 1:00-2:30 pm L. Beard
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)

B 288 The Novel TTh 11:30 am-1 pm R. Ricketts
  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 seventeenth-century beginnings in Romance, spiritual autobiography, and travel literature; through its emergence as a middle-class mode of expression in the eighteenth century; to its periodof 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.

B 355 Performance Studies TTh 2:30-4:00 pm R. Ricketts
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)

B 360 Women & Law in the Middle Ages MW 10:00-11:30 J. Taylor
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)

B 362 African American Lit T 7:00-10:00 pm L. Beard
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)

B 387 Allegory in Theory & Practice MW 2:30-4:00 pm J. Hedley
Allegory and allegories, from The Play of Everyman to The Crying of Lot 49. A working knowledge of several different theories of allegory is developed; Renaissance allegories include The Faerie Queen and Pilgrim's Progress, 19th and 20th century allegories include The Scarlet Letter and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. (Hedley, Division III, cross-listed as Comparative Literature)

B 399 Senior Essay by appointment with Advisor


Bryn Mawr Courses
Spring 2009

Fall 2009

Haverford Courses
Spring 2009