Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

English

Course Descriptions

English Department Course Offerings for Fall 2016

10-124 Great Reads: Crime Fiction Tough guys with pasts you don’t want to know about. Even tougher dames who’d kill you just as soon as look at you. A cigarette glowing in the dark down by the tracks. The barrel of a gun still warm to the touch. We’ll be looking at crime stories from the time when somebody took a bite out of an apple to the present day. Some sad. Some funny. Most, you just can’t look away. (Kilfoyle)* Xlisted with Paideia.

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

10-154 Survey of British Literature I The purposes of this class are two-fold: it will provide a sketch of the most important elements of British literary development between 1390 and 1755, and it will develop a conversation about the history of gender in that period. (Saenger)* Xlisted with Paideia.

10-174 American Literature  Beginning before Columbus and coming into the twenty-first century, this overview of American texts will emphasize both historical and close readings not only of novels (MobyDick and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in particular) and short stories but also of sermons, poetry, political speeches, music, and film. Evolving definitions of “America” and “literature” will be shared through lines with reader responses to individual texts. (Gaines)*

10-204 Greek and Roman Mythology See Classics 07-204.

10-234 Philosophy and Literature See Philosophy 18-204.

10-254 Introduction to Film Studies Film Studies discourses will be foregrounded by way Joanne Hollows and Mark Jancovich’s Approaches to Popular Film and Susan Hayward’s Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. While examining the premises and applications of Auteurism, Genre Theory, Star Studies, Psychoanalytic Feminism, and Cultural Studies a wide variety of films will be viewed in part. A few-such as Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Do the Right Thing, and Thelma and Louise—will be viewed and studied in their entirety. (Gaines)*

10-304 Don Quixote We will read Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote in its entirety, along with a number of short critical and theoretical texts. The principle focus of the course will be to consider how this novel participates in the emergence of early-modern theories of identity, and how those theories resurface in modern notions of mental health and mental illness. (Christensen)* Xlisted with Paideia.

10-304 Creative Writing: Flash Fiction This class will introduce students to the form of fictional narrative sometimes referred to as “Flash Fiction,” “Sudden Fiction,” “Micro Fiction,” or the “Short-Short Story,” — a piece of creative writing that usually falls somewhere between 250 to 750 words long, (though sometimes “short-shorts” are as brief as 75 words, or as long as 1,000.) By approaching writing at this micro-level, students will learn to sharpen their skills and address the technical, grammatical, syntactic and semantic problems that are often more difficult to identify and remedy in longer works. Mastering the short-short provides a writer with the skills necessary for attempting an extended narrative, such as a standard-length short story or a novel-length work, but more than just providing a map for structuring longer works of fiction, the short-short form is also capable of making powerful social statements with more focus than some longer forms allow. (Pipkin)*

10-304 Victorian Mystery This course will focus on the genre of Victorian Mystery novels, published during the heyday of nineteenth-century sensationalism (1853-1887). Sensation novels reflected the anxieties of an increasingly unstable social order through blood-curdling tales of bigamy, arson, adultery, forgery, incest, child abandonment, and murder. Beginning with the first police Detective in Dickens and continuing to the end of the century with Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, we will chart narrative representations of crime and punishment against changing social and economic conditions in nineteenth-century Britain. (Cleere)*

10-444 Speaking Across Languages When translation happens, we see ideas, words and cultures in a new light. We will study Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Federico Garcia Lorca and we will also explore the most important issues of translation theory. IStudents will study various theoretical frameworks that can be used to understand what translation keeps, loses, and transforms. (Saenger) Xlist with Spanish and German

10-504 Jewish American Movies This course will focus on film studies through a Jewish lens. How has film across genres coded, codified, and diversified Jewish identity performances? How did the development of sound and Hollywood simultaneously express and repress Jewish difference? How has indie film culture (including documentaries, women’s film, and queer cinema) changed and/or continued such trends? Viewings will include works by well-known Jewish auteurs (e.g., Woody Allen and the Coens) as well as films not usually categorized as Jewish (e.g., Van Sant’s Milk). (Meyers) Xlisted with RES. 

10-654 Restoration Drama We’ll be reading selected plays from one of the most robust and controversial eras of English-language playwriting and play-acting. We’ll examine plays by Wycherley, Behn, Etherege, Congreve, Centlivre, and others. Cheating, lying, stealing, gender-bending, sword-fighting! Women on stage for the first time! You name it! A high-octane visit to the 17th and 18th centuries!(Kilfoyle) Xlisted with Theatre and Paideia.

10-754 Contemporary American Novel An exploration of some of the freshest American literary fiction from contemporary writers. Authors studied may include Jonathan Letham, Jennifer Egan, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jonathan Franzen, Margare Atwood, Ben Lerner, David Foster Wallace, Teju Cole, Donna Tartt, and Karen Russell. (Pipkin) 

10-834 Postcolonial African Fiction This course looks at a range of novels representing environments in Africa under colonialism and after decolonization. It engages issues of identity, social justice, and cultural authority in contexts of cultural intersection and conflict. We will be looking at works by Ba, Achebe, Armah, Daoud, Head, Ngugi, Salih, and others. (Kilfoyle) Xlisted with RES and Paideia.

10-934: Capstone—Theory and the Novel This course will address and attempt to answer the most basic of literary questions-what is a Novel?-by exploring some of the major aesthetic, historical, and philosophical statements about the genre in literary criticism. In addition to common theoretical readings, together we will read one important British novel, Charles Dickens’s 1850 David Copperfield, using it as a genealogical anchor for our ideas about what is often termed “the rise and development” of the novel form.

*Appropriate for First Year