Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Course Descriptions

English Department Course Offerings for Fall 2016

10-124: Great Reads We will be reading a series of books that cope with the idea of compulsion—across generations, species, and cultures. Our readings, going from Ancient Rome to Imperial Russia to modern America, will offer a variety of styles, genres and perspectives. No previous training in English literature is necessary. (H) (Saenger)*

10-134: Introduction to Creative Writing An introductory workshop course focused primarily on fiction. (Pipkin)*

10-164 Romantics to Moderns: Survey of English Literature II  The nineteenth century was a period of tremendous economic, scientific, political, and technological change, and throughout the semester we will attempt to chart some of these developments through a historical survey of the major figures, movements, and trends in English literature.  Special attention will be given to particular debates that raged throughout the Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist periods, from the decline of the feudal system and the rise of the middle classes, to the contentious “Woman Question,” to religious and cultural anxieties about religion, war, and empire. (Cleere)*

10-244: Introduction to Literary Studies  This course will demystify literary interpretation and provide students with tools to become more effective critical readers and writers.  We will focus on the diverse and often interrelated questions that literary critics ask of texts; the range of questions demonstrates that literature speaks of (and to) aesthetic, political, biographical, and cultural issues. (Meyers)*

10-303: Digital Frontiers in American Literature This course is cross-listed with Feminist Studies and Race and Ethnicity Studies.  We will explore texts from early to contemporary American authors that comment on the notion of the frontier with reference to issues of slavery, colonialism, and gender identity. Our class will also explore new frontiers in literary study with a substantial digital humanities component. (Nunes)

10-344: Advanced Creative Writing This is an advanced writing workshop focused primarily on fiction. English 10-134 and instructor permission required. (Pipkin)

10-454-01: Feminist Film Studies This course will focus on the way films define gender, and on the direction that film criticism takes when feminism goes to the movies.  Viewing films from the 1940s to the present, we will examine the way that popular culture implicitly (and explicitly) locates gender, sexuality, and maternity along a continuum of acceptable and perverse types.  Films may include Vertigo, Aliens, Rosemary’s Baby and Obvious Child. (Cleere) X-listed FST.

10-524: American Movies A survey of Hollywood and Independent narrative cinemas from their beginnings to the present. Historical context, aesthetic matters, and technological evolution are emphasized through the lenses of film studies discourses. Having taken “Introduction to Film Studies” (10-254) is highly desirable. Screenings, oral reports, assigned papers, and examinations. (Gaines)

 10-604: Chaucer We will be reading Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and a few earlier works in Middle English.  We will learn something about the Middle Ages in general, and how the study of a great medieval poet can sharpen our thinking about our own lives. Lively and stimulating discussions guaranteed! (Kilfoyle)

 10-624: Shakespeare We will begin with a play by Kyd about ghosts, revenge and Spain, and we will continue with a strategic study of some widely varied works by Shakespeare. We will be mostly reading and discussing plays, but we will often speak or perform them as poetic scripts. One course in English or permission of the instructor. (Saenger)

 10-734: Transcendentalism A survey of the major essays and works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau.  We will also also examine the historical context of early nineteenth-century America and how the philosophical views of the Transcendentalists shaped the American identity. (Pipkin) 

10-874: American Ethnic Literature This course examines representations of ethnic and racial identity in contemporary American literature. Our study is attentive to the intersections of ethnicity and race with gender, sexuality, citizenship, and class in works by Junot Diaz, Jhumpa Lahiri, Spike Lee, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, GB Tran, and Colson Whitehead. (Hoffpauir)

10-934: Capstone—Aesthetic (Re)Turns This course will examine a number of critical-theoretical and literary texts that foreground ideas of beauty and pleasure but also dismay, disgust, boredom. Class conversation and student research projects will aim at expanding, clarifying, and testing how affect and affect studies work for and upon us as readers. (Kilfoyle)

*Appropriate for First Year