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Department of English Language and Literature

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Undergraduate Course Descriptions - Fall 2020

Awesome, Cool Classes You Won’t See Every Semester

ENGL 341.001   LITERATURE AND MEDICINE   TR 10:05-11:20   CORIALE

In this course, we will read literature by British, French, Caribbean, Russian, and American writers who explored the subject of contagious disease in their novels, short stories, essays, and narrative poems. As we make our way from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, we will consider how developments in the history of medicine gave rise to innovative forms of narrative, and conversely, how stories and folklore inspired new treatments, cures, and models for understanding the spread of communicable diseases. Along the way, we will consider how our understanding of contagious disease detaches us from the writers we study and makes it difficult to understand the world as they saw it, but we will also search for vital points of connection—including live pathogens—that link past and present. 

Readings will include major works by Daniel Defoe, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Seacole, Katherine Anne Porter, and Albert Camus, and shorter works by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Nathanial Hawthorne, Charlotte Brontë, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James, Anton Chekhov, and others.

ENGL 429.001     RACE, GENDER, AND GRAPHIC NOVELS    TR 10:05-11:20     WHITTED

(Cross-listed with AFAM 515)

A scholarly study of comics that focuses on representations of race and gender. Drawing on a wide range of source material from early newspaper comic strips to contemporary graphic novels as well as comics studies scholarship, we will explore: 1) the role that comic books have played historically in both affirming and challenging narratives of exclusion, bigotry, and ignorance; 2) how race and gender impact the way comics explore the meaning of heroism and other virtues in society; and 3) how visual elements of the medium provide fresh, creative perspectives on the cultural representation of marginalized voices. In keeping with the College of Arts & Sciences “themed semester,” this course will include a unit on how questions of justice are conveyed in comics. Please also note that this course meets with AFAM 515 and WGST 515, and is open to both undergraduate and graduate students

ENGL430.001   FEEDOM TRAINS   TR 10:05-11:20   TRAFTON

(Cross-listed with AFAM 398)

This course explores more than three hundred years of African American writing on the concept of freedom. From slave spirituals to postmodern poetry, from the earliest published volumes of black verse to some of the most recent, from slave narratives and calls for revolution to domestic fiction and landmarks in queer black writing, “freedom” has meant many different things to many different people, and in this course we will read a wide range of texts that investigate these meanings.

This is neither a history course nor a sociology course, but history and sociology are intertwined approaches to understanding this literature, and thus there will be necessary attention paid to the particular historical and cultural contexts which produced the texts we will read; by the end of the semester, a working familiarity with some of these contexts will be expected. At the conclusion of this course, students will be expected to be familiar with the principle features of the African American literary tradition, including the characteristics of specific authors and texts as well as their varying contexts more generally; they will also be expected to show mastery of the skills involved in crafting an analytic essay appropriate for an upper-division English course.

ENGL 439.001   TOPICS: LANGUAGE AND RACISM   TR 10:05-11:20   CHUN

(Cross-listed with LING 305 and ANTH 391)

This course explores the intersection of language, race, and power; it examines this intersection by using conceptual and methodological tools of linguistics and anthropology. Focusing primarily on communities in the United States, this course will address the following topics: 

(1) definitions of race and racism;

(2) psychological aspects of racism;

(3) derogatory meanings of ethnic slurs;

(4) racism in public space;

(5) racism based on pronunciation;

(6) structural racism in media and education;

(7) colorblindness;

(8) microaggressions;

(9) linguistic appropriation;

(10) language crossing; and

(11) anti-racist strategies.

In other words, we will investigate what racism is, how it can be based in language practices (sounds, words, rants), why it is often difficult to see and hear, and what we can do to counter it.

Courses That Satisfy Core AIU & VSR Requirements

ENGL 200.001   Creative Writing, Voice, and Community     TR 11:40-12:55     MADDEN

(AIU & VSR)

Creative Writing, Voice, and Community is an introduction to writing as a form of social engagement with a focus on values, ethics, and social responsibility. This section will also include a service learning component. We will explore possibilities for creative writing as community engagement and public art. We will look at arts and grassroots organizations, we will examine identity-based and community-based projects, and together we will develop community writing projects. In collaboration with the Columbia poet laureate and the office of One Columbia for Arts & History, students will also create “guerrilla poetry” projects to put creative writing into daily life. Both reading and writing assignments will emphasize the exploration of identity and community. We will focus in particular on poetry and creative nonfiction (memoir).

ENGL 270.001  WORLD LITERATURE   MW 3:55-5:10   SMIRNOVA

(Cross-listed with CPLT 270)

Selected masterpieces of world literature from antiquity to present.

ENGL 270.002  WORLD LITERATURE   TR 4:25-5:40   DRISCOL

(Cross-listed with CPLT 270)

Selected masterpieces of world literature from antiquity to present.

ENGL 280.001  LITERATURE AND SOCIETY   TR 10:05-11:20   JELLY-SCHAPIRO

(AIU/VSR)

Since the global economic downturn of 2008, capitalism has been subject to heightened levels of contestation in various public forums—from the streets to the ballot box to the television screen. This course will examine how works of contemporary fiction in particular register and reckon with the political, economic, cultural, and ecological crises of capitalism in the twenty-first century. Our inquiry will be planetary in scope. Taking us from Brooklyn to Milan to Bangkok, the novels we read will help us think about how global capitalism is constituted, experienced, and resisted in distinct spaces and places. Though privileging the current moment, we will also think about the connections between the early-modern origins and present-day iterations of capitalist culture.

ENGL 282.001   TOPICS IN FICTION: SHORT FICTION   TR 11:40-12:55   FELDMAN

This course studies the short story as an evolving genre by considering works by some of its most skilled, innovative, and entertaining English and American practitioners. Some of the major fiction writers on the syllabus include Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Katherine Anne Porter, Ralph Ellison, Kate Chopin, Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O’Conner, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, James Alan McPherson, Shirley Jackson, Philip Roth, James Joyce, Jamaica Kincaid, Franz Kafka, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Margaret Atwood, John Steinbeck, Amy Tan, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston Richard Wright, and others. Lecture/ discussion method. Class participation is important.

ENGL 283.001   TOPICS IN BRITISH LITERATURE: HEROISM   TR 1:15-2:30   SHIFFLETT

In this class, we will explore British authors’ uses of sex and death to create their own renditions of beauty.  Reading across centuries and genres to examine the uses to which sex and death combine to create compelling literary masterpieces, we will analyze how various authors engage their readers and the major issues of their historical moments.  Beginning with John Donne’s strange seduction-by-bug poem, “The Flea,” and concluding with such contemporary works as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the semester’s reading includes classics and lesser-known wonders that press at the boundaries of what constitutes beauty.  Assignments include reading responses, two short papers, a midterm, and a final exam.

ENGL 286.001   POETRY   TR 1:15-2:30   DOWDY

Designed for poetry lovers, the poetry curious, students who want to tackle their fears of poetry, and those who love language, this course introduces a range of forms, traditions, and types of poetry. For each poem we read, we will examine its literary, cultural, and historical contexts. Frequent audio and video recordings will highlight the relationships between poetry in print and in performance. Requirements for this discussion-based course include class participation, a poetry recitation, a midterm, and a final.

Prerequisites

ENGL 287.001   AMERICAN LITERATURE     TR 1:15-2:30   FORTER

(Designed for English majors)

This course traces the history of literature in the U.S., focusing especially on the years from 1850 to around 1990. We will discuss major literary movements and their relationship to the historical moment at which each emerged. At the same time, the course will emphasize the persistence of certain concerns across the periods under study: the meaning of “freedom” and its relationship to the idea of America; the legacy of chattel slavery and the place of race in the imagination of white and black authors; the persistent attempts by women and minority writers to develop literary forms adequate to their experience; and the role of capitalism (industrial and consumer) in the literary imagination of writers from all backgrounds. TEXTS: F. Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; N. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance; N. Larsen, Passing; K. Chopin, The Awakening; A. Spiegelman, Maus I and Maus II; additional readings on Blackboard; REQUIREMENTS: 1 paper; take-home midterm; final exam.


ENGL 287.003     AMERICAN LITERATURE     TR 10:05 – 11:20     KEYSER

(Designed for English majors)

This class, designed for English majors, provides an introduction to U.S. literature from the early nineteenth-century to the present day. We will read poetry, short stories, essays, and autobiography by some of the best-known writers of the past two centuries. During the course of the semester, we will ask how artistic choices (genre, form, setting, characterization, diction, and tone) reflect the aspirations, philosophies, and politics of these writers. We will also consider the ways that historical and cultural forces (industrialization, the Civil War, the suffrage movement, slavery and emancipation, the Harlem Renaissance, urbanization and mass mediation, etc.) shape the literary movements and ideals of their times.


ENGL 287.004     AMERICAN LITERATURE     MW 2:20 – 3:35     GREVEN

(Designed for English majors)

In 1820, one English commentator observed, “In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?” By the end of the century, American literature had won, as one critic puts it, “a grudging respect” in the transatlantic literary marketplace. This course focuses on the development of a national literature in the nineteenth-century United States, paying attention to the transition from romanticism to realism. Grounding our analysis in considerations of form, we will explore the ways that literature registered broader conflicts over race, gender, sexuality, and class in the emergent nation. Participation will be graded, and other requirements will include individual presentations, unannounced quizzes, two essays, a midterm, and a final.


ENGL 287.005     AMERICAN LITERATURE     MWF 12:00 – 12:50     TBA

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to American literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.

 

ENGL 288.001     ENGLISH LITERATURE     MW 2:20 – 3:35     GRAVES

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to English literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.


ENGL 288.002     ENGLISH LITERATURE     TR 11:40 – 12:55     CORIALE

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to English literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.


ENGL 288.003     ENGLISH LITERATURE     TR 1:15 – 2:30     STERN

(Designed for English majors)

The survey is designed to give you a broad overview of major themes and concerns of English literature; this section will focus on literature from 1780 to the present.  Students will learn to identify stylistic and generic modes of various literary periods; will be introduced to the historical underpinnings of the literature; and will learn theoretical tools through which to interpret literary works beyond the scope of this class.  Homework and paper assignments emphasize thesis development, concise writing, and critical analysis.

Pre-1800 Literature

ENGL 380.001   EPIC TO ROMANCE     TR 11:40-12:55     GWARA

(Cross-listed with CPLT 380.001)

A study of genres, characterization, and salient themes in five major texts: Homer’s Iliad, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Beowulf, Marie’s Lais, and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde.

ENGL 382.001   THE ENLIGHTENMENT   TR 1:15-2:30    JARRELLS

This course provides an introduction to some of the key texts and arguments of the Enlightenment. What was the Enlightenment, we’ll ask, and why did it happen when and where it did, in eighteenth-century books, periodicals, coffeehouses, letters, and salons? What is the Enlightenment now, we’ll also ask: what does “Enlightenment” mean today and why has this question become more and more pressing in recent years, both in literary studies and in public discourse? To address such questions, we’ll read works by David Hume, Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, Olaudah Equiano, William Godwin, William Wordsworth, and Mary Shelley. In addition, we’ll take a look at some twentieth- and twenty-first-century attempts to explain, critique, and re-contextualize the Enlightenment.

ENGL 390.001   GREAT BOOKS OF THE WESTERN WORLD I     TR 1:15-2:30     DAL MOLIN 

(Cross-listed with CPLT 301)

European masterpieces from antiquity to the beginning of the Renaissance.

ENGL 404.001  ENGLISH DRAMA TO 1660   MW 9:40-10:30   GIESKES

This class will provide an introduction to the rich field of non‐Shakespearean early modern drama. Shakespeare was far from the only playwright working in the period and we will read a selection of plays that held the stage alongside and in competition with his works. We will be reading plays by Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, John Marston, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and Francis.  We will read plays in all the major genres of the early modern stage—from history to revenge tragedy to comedy.  These playwrights’ careers coincide with or come after Shakespeare’s and they found themselves in various kinds of competition with him and with each other.  They cite each other, parody each other, and criticize each other in overt and covert ways.  This back and forth commentary is an important aspect of the period’s drama and our reading of these plays will attend to this intertextual play which will in turn enrich your reading of Shakespeare’s plays. Three papers, quizzes, one short archival assignment, and a final exam.

ENGL 406.001   SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES AND HISTORIES   TR 10:05-11:20   SHIFFLETT

We shall study plays that address ethical and political themes relevant both to Shakespeare’s time and ours. Comedies and romances may include Much Ado about Nothing, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. Histories may include Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, and Henry V. Requirements are likely to include an essay, a midterm exam, and a take-home final comprehensive exam.

Post-1800 Literature

ENGL 341.001   LITERATURE AND MEDICINE   TR 10:05-11:20    CORIALE

In this course, we will read literature by British, French, Caribbean, Russian, and American writers who explored the subject of contagious disease in their novels, short stories, essays, and narrative poems. As we make our way from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, we will consider how developments in the history of medicine gave rise to innovative forms of narrative, and conversely, how stories and folklore inspired new treatments, cures, and models for understanding the spread of communicable diseases. Along the way, we will consider how our understanding of contagious disease detaches us from the writers we study and makes it difficult to understand the world as they saw it, but we will also search for vital points of connection—including live pathogens—that link past and present. 

Readings will include major works by Daniel Defoe, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Seacole, Katherine Anne Porter, and Albert Camus, and shorter works by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Nathanial Hawthorne, Charlotte Brontë, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James, Anton Chekhov, and others.

ENGL 350.001  INTRODUCTION TO COMIC STUDIES    TR 11:40-12:55   MINETT

(Cross-listed with FAMS 350)

Tackles questions of storytelling, industry, history, culture, legitimation, and audiences. Readings range from Donald Duck to Maus, from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns to Fun Home, from Archie to The Avengers, from Persepolis to Lumberjanes, and from Tales from the Crypt to Young Romance.

ENGL 386.001     POSTMODERNISM     MW 3:55 – 5:10     VANDERBORG

The class examines an international selection of post-World War II literature, focusing on the metaphor of the city. How are communal spaces and histories described, who inhabits these postmodern cities, and what new narrative structures do they produce? We'll read novels, short stories, prose-poetic travel vignettes of fantasy cities--or are they real-world ones?--a science fictional study of war trauma, a graphic design text about a shape-shifting haunted house, a Holocaust memoir in comics format, an autobiography blending nonfiction and fantasy from China and the United States, a photo-journal pursuing a mysterious stranger across Venice, a Caribbean narrative about slavery's legacy, and a poetry labyrinth build out of 500 index cards. Welcome to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Mark Danielewski.'s House of Leaves, Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Art Spiegelman's MAUS, Borges's short stories masquerading as essays, Robert Grenier's Sentences, Dionne Brand's In Another Place, Not Here, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, and Sophie Calle's Suite venitienne. There will be a paper, a midterm and final, creative class preparation assignments, quizzes, and discussion posts.

ENGL 392.001     GREAT BOOKS OF THE EASTERN WORLD     MWF 2:20 – 3:10     PATTERSON

(Cross-listed with CPLT 303)

Classical and contemporary poetry and prose of the Middle and Far East.

ENGL 427.001     SOUTHERN LITERATURE     TR 11:40 – 12:55     POWELL

Southern literature of the past and present contributes in interesting ways to regional and national dialogue. Studying it not just as American literature, but as the output of a particular regional tradition and set of circumstances, is useful to readers from different backgrounds who are interested in how literature is created and its relationship to the society in which it is written, published, and read. With these assumptions, this course introduces key characteristics, phases, and issues in southern literature through a systematic survey of selected major authors that emphasizes slave narratives, the Southern Renascence, and contemporary literature of the New South. Prospective course texts include one substantial anthology of southern literature, William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard. Students may expect lectures, group activities, discussion, one or more midterms, two essays, and a cumulative final exam.

ENGL 428B.001     AFRAICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE II     TR 1:15 – 2:30     TRAFTON

(Cross-listed with AFAM 428B)

Representative works of African-American writers from 1903 to the present.

ENGL 429.001     RACE, GENDER, AND GRAPHIC NOVELS     TR 10:05 – 11:20     WHITTED

(Cross-listed with AFAM 515)

This course is a scholarly study of comics that focuses on representations of race and gender, with special emphasis on the experiences of African Americans. Using a range of genres, we will explore:

1) the role that comic books have played historically in both affirming and challenging narratives of exclusion, bigotry, and ignorance;

2) how race and gender impacts the way comics explore the meaning of heroism and other virtues in society; and

3) how visual elements of the medium provide fresh, creative perspectives on the cultural representation of marginalized voices.

ENGL 430.01     FREEDOM TRAINS     TR 10:05 – 11:20     TRAFTON

(Cross-listed with AFAM 398)

This course explores more than three hundred years of African American writing on the concept of freedom. From slave spirituals to postmodern poetry, from the earliest published volumes of black verse to some of the most recent, from slave narratives and calls for revolution to domestic fiction and landmarks in queer black writing, “freedom” has meant many different things to many different people, and in this course we will read a wide range of texts that investigate these meanings.

This is neither a history course nor a sociology course, but history and sociology are intertwined approaches to understanding this literature, and thus there will be necessary attention paid to the particular historical and cultural contexts which produced the texts we will read; by the end of the semester, a working familiarity with some of these contexts will be expected. At the conclusion of this course, students will be expected to be familiar with the principle features of the African American literary tradition, including the characteristics of specific authors and texts as well as their varying contexts more generally; they will also be expected to show mastery of the skills involved in crafting an analytic essay appropriate for an upper-division English course.

ENGL 431A.001     CHILDREN’S LITERATURE     TR 10:05 – 11:20     JOHNSON-FEELINGS     

This course introduces students to the field of contemporary children’s literature, encompassing picture books as well as short novels written for audiences of young people. Topics of exploration include (but are not limited to) the history of children’s literature, the world of children’s book prizing, the legacy of Dr. Seuss, the disturbing image in children’s books, and literary/artistic excellence in children’s literature. In some ways, this is an American Studies course; students will consider ways in which children’s literature infuses our culture—“There’s no place like home.” Students will leave the course with an understanding of central issues and controversies in the industry of children’s book publishing and the literary criticism of children’s books. Most importantly, students will explore the relationship between children’s literature and the idea of social justice.

ENGL 432.001     YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE     TR 8:30 – 9:45     JOHNSON-FEELINGS

The subject matter of this course is contemporary American young adult (YA) literature. Students will examine texts that are in some way related to central ideas about America and Americans of various backgrounds and experiences. Discussion topics will include the meanings of literary excellence in the young adult literature world, the politics of the children’s book publishing industry, and current issues and controversies in the field, including awards, censorship, gender, authorship, race, and more. Most importantly, students will give attention to the relationship between literature and social justice.

ENGL 437.001     WOMEN WRITERS     MW 2:20 – 3:35     SCHOEMAN

(Cross-listed with WGST 437 and JSTU 491)

If you ever asked yourself, “What do women not want?” this is the course for you.

I will choose eight memoirs by extraordinary women and we will have a great time exploring their revolutionary thinking and understanding what in their history, in their families, and in their societies made these women really miserable and what they did—and tell us to do ourselves—to  change that.

ENGL 441.001     GLOBAL CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE     MW 3:55 – 5:10     WOERTENDYKE

This course will focus on 21st century literature by writers from around the world. We will interrogate what it means to call something “global” and what role literature often plays in its various guises. Globalization is polarizing – variously understood in utopian and dystopian ways. Literature registers the tensions of the global, its retractions and expansions, its surfaces and depths, and its visibility and invisibility, profoundly and beautifully. Ecological crisis, economic disparity, political ambiguity shape so much of contemporary literature – our time in this semester will be spent on untangling the complications, destructions, and possibilities these global issues pose. Contemporary writing mediates the broad range of the global landscapes, challenging readers to confront catastrophe and change through poetry, beauty, art. Authors may include Margaret Atwood, Rachel Cusk, Amitov Ghosh, Moshin Hamid, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Michael Ondaatje, and Sally Rooney.

 Creative Writing

ENGL 360.001     CREATIVE WRITING     TR 11:40 – 12:55     DINGS

This course is an introduction to creative writing which will focus on short fiction and poetry, one-half semester for each genre.  Students will learn fundamental techniques and concepts by reading professional stories and poems as models; students then will write their own original stories and poems to be discussed in a workshop format by their peers and instructor.  All work will be revised before grading by portfolio.


ENGL 360.002     CREATIVE WRITING     TR 1:15 – 2:30     BARILLA

This course will explore strategies for producing compelling creative work in different genres. At the beginning of the course, we will work with elements of short fiction, and move in more experimental directions as the course proceeds. The course will function primarily as a workshop, in which students will share work in progress with other members of the class. The course will also involve reading and discussing published models, as well as numerous writing exercises. Students will produce a portfolio of original creative work, which they will turn in at the end of the course for a final grade.


ENGL 360.003     CREATIVE WRITING     MW 2:20 – 3:35     BLACKWELL

What makes a good story? How do you create believable characters? Can you move a reader’s emotions without resorting to sentimentality? This section of creative writing will focus on short fiction. Across the first half of the semester you’ll explore (through readings) and practice (through exercises) the elements of literary fiction. Then workshops will begin, with each student submitting an original short story for group discussion. Along the way, we’ll also discuss writing as a way of life and a possible profession.

ENGL 464.001     POETRY WORKSHOP     TR 11:40 – 12:55     COUNTRYMAN

The focus of this course will be writing and revising new poems. Students will refine their ability to articulate their own poetic aims and style, while also expanding their view of what a poem can be and do through readings of contemporary poetry and writing exercises tied to those readings. Peer response will factor heavily into the final grade. The final goal of this course is a portfolio of original creative work. Students should have taken ENGL 360 previously, but those with experience writing poetry or taking creative writing workshops are welcome. 

ENGL 465.001     FICTION WORKSHOP     TR 2:50 – 4:05     BAJO

This course explores the intricacies of the literary elements studied basically in English 360  to teach students how to write literary short stories. Students will use models and discussion to gain an understanding of the level of story composition at stake in this course, then they will begin submitting new stories of their own to workshop assessment in order to discover how to enhance readerly impact. The course is designed for writers aspiring to the profession or to students of literature who wish to deepen their perspective on language by exploring the other side of the printed page.

ENGL 469.001     CREATIVE NONFICTION     MW 2:20 – 3:35     BARILLA

Welcome to a workshop in creative nonfiction. What does that mean? Memory, the self, the writing process, the little known world . . . these will be the focus of our class. This class is designed to explore the constellation of subgenres that make up the broader category of nonfiction. We will begin with memoir, looking inward, and then proceed to work our way out into the world. We will write essays of varying length and complexity, some of which draw upon experiences and knowledge you already have, while others will require you to have new experiences and acquire new knowledge. The objectives, or goals, for this course, are to: 1) sharpen your skills as a writer; 2) become familiar with the spectrum of nonfiction subgenres; 3) improve your ability to offer constructive editorial feedback, and 4) learn to revise your own work productively.

We will spend a good portion of our time in workshop, discussing student work, but we will punctuate our discussions with classes devoted to the consideration of technique in outside reading. We will also spend considerable time on exercises, both during class and at home. You will turn in a portfolio of your revised work at the end of the semester, in which I expect you to include four polished essays. Please note that while I will provide detailed written analyses of your workshop submissions, I will be unable to respond in writing, beyond assigning a grade, to your revisions.

ENGL 492.001     ADVANCED FICTION WORKSHOP     MW 3:55 – 5:10     BLACKWELL

Want to tell better stories, create richer characters, and develop a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between form and content? Designed for students with some previous writing experience, this workshop class will focus on your original fiction, though we’ll occasionally break to tackle a craft exercise, consider a published work, argue about writing as an art form, or discuss publishing and other aspects of writing as a way of life and a profession.

Rhetoric, Theory, and Writing

ENGL 363.001     INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING     MW 3:55 – 5:10     BROCK

Overview of concepts, contexts, and genres used in professional communication. Intensive practice in analyzing, emulating, and creating textual and multimedia documents for a variety of professional, non-academic purposes (including commercial, informative, persuasive, and technical).

ENGL 387.001     INTRODUCTION TO RHETORIC     TR 2:50 – 4:05     EDWARDS

This course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric. What is rhetoric? Is it deceptive or empty speech? Is it a heuristic to uncover truth? Is it a means through which we create understanding and find moments of agreement in situations where truth is an unattainable ideal? Is it speech or action? Is it art or science? What is its object? What is its status? What, in the end, does it mean for us? 

During this semester, we will search for answers to these and other questions. By engaging with the course readings and  your own rhetorical analysis, we will develop a working understanding of rhetorical theory and a variety of critical methods emerging from that theory, each of which sheds light on how we might better differentiate between communication that sponsors violence or closes down dissent and communication that opens opportunities for understanding, productive disagreement, and collective action.

ENGL 460.001     ADVANCED WRITING     TR 2:50 – 4:05     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of nonfiction writing.

ENGL 462.001     TECHNICAL WRITING     MWF 1:10 – 2:00     TBA                       

Preparation for, critical examination of, and extensive practice in types of writing important to technical communicators. Genres explored include brief memos, instructions and procedural documentation, formal proposals, reports, and usability tests.

ENGL 463.001     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 10:05 – 11:20     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.002     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 2:50 – 4:05     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.003     BUSINESS WRITING     MWF 12:00 – 12:50     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.004     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 4:25 – 5:40     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.006     BUSINESS WRITING     MWF 10:50 – 11:40     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.007     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 1:15 – 2:30     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.009     BUSINESS WRITING     MW 2:20 – 3:35     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.


ENGL 463.10     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 6:00 – 7:15     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports


ENGL 463.11     BUSINESS WRITING     MW 5:30 – 6:45     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 468.001    DIGITAL WRITING     MW 2:20 – 3:35     RULE

Students will develop a rhetorical framework through which to explore, analyze, and create ranging and changing digital genres, including analysis and composition in video, audio, image and social networking, as well as alphabetic language. Students will develop skills, knowledge, and creative rhetorical strategies for composing all manner of savvy and effective digital content -- critical experience for any twenty-first century life and career.

Language and Linguistics (all fulfill the Linguistics overlay requirement)

ENGL 389.001   THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE     MW 2:20-3:35  

(Cross-listed with LING 301.001)

The English Language introduces linguistics through an in-depth exploration of many aspects of English. We will examine the English sound system (phonetics and phonology), word structure (morphology), grammar (syntax), and meaning and usage (semantics). We will also consider other aspects of English, including its acquisition by children, its history as a language, and its social context.

ENGL 389.002   THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE     MW 3:55-5:10  

(Cross-listed with LING 301.002)

The English Language introduces linguistics through an in-depth exploration of many aspects of English. We will examine the English sound system (phonetics and phonology), word structure (morphology), grammar (syntax), and meaning and usage (semantics). We will also consider other aspects of English, including its acquisition by children, its history as a language, and its social context.

ENGL 439.001     TOPICS: LANGUAGE AND RACISM     TR 10:05 – 11:20     CHUN

(Cross-listed with LING 305 and ANTH 391)

This course explores the intersection of language, race, and power; it examines this intersection by using conceptual and methodological tools of linguistics and anthropology. Focusing primarily on communities in the United States, this course will address the following topics: 

(1) definitions of race and racism;

(2) psychological aspects of racism;

(3) derogatory meanings of ethnic slurs;

(4) racism in public space;

(5) racism based on pronunciation;

(6) structural racism in media and education;

(7) colorblindness;

(8) microaggressions;

(9) linguistic appropriation;

(10) language crossing; and

(11) anti-racist strategies.

In other words, we will investigate what racism is, how it can be based in language practices (sounds, words, rants), why it is often difficult to see and hear, and what we can do to counter it.

ENGL 450.001   ENGLISH GRAMMAR     TR 4:25-5:40     HOLCOMB

(Cross-listed with LING 421.001)

This course focuses on the teaching of English grammar for future educators in both English and Linguistics. We’ll begin by examining the term “grammar” itself and its different meanings. We’ll then dive into the particulars of grammar in English (its morphology and syntax), while also discussing strategies for presenting this material in the classroom. Along the way, we’ll discuss such topics as language variation, grammar in the writing classroom, systemic functional grammar, rhetorical grammars, and stylistics (that is, reinforcing instruction in grammar by using its terms and categories as a vocabulary for analyzing literary and non-fiction texts).

Honors College Courses (restricted to SC Honors College Students)

ENGL 280.H01     LITERATURE AND SOCIETY     TR 1:15 – 2:30     JELLY-SCHAPIRO

Since the global economic downturn of 2008, capitalism has been subject to heightened levels of contestation in various public forums—from the streets to the ballot box to the television screen. This course will examine how works of contemporary fiction in particular register and reckon with the political, economic, cultural, and ecological crises of capitalism in the twenty-first century. Our inquiry will be planetary in scope. Taking us from Brooklyn to Milan to Bangkok, the novels we read will help us think about how global capitalism is constituted, experienced, and resisted in distinct spaces and places. Though privileging the current moment, we will also think about the connections between the early-modern origins and present-day iterations of capitalist culture.

ENGL 282.H01   TOPICS IN FICTION: FICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH     TR 10:05 – 11:20     JACKSON

Attending school can be stressful for all of us, but according to a 2019 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, America’s colleges are currently witnessing a “student mental health-crisis.” In the last decade, a number of students visiting campus counseling services for depression and anxiety has grown by forty percent. What can fiction possibly teach us about mental health, and how might fiction help us achieve and maintain it? In this course, we’ll find out. We’ll read a variety of contemporary novels and short stories about anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and trauma but also consider fictions about healing, happiness, and wellness. We’ll probe the boundaries of what counts as fiction by reading clinical case histories and memoirs, and we’ll investigate how fiction has operated in therapeutic practices such as Bibliotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We’ll cover a wide range of approaches to interpreting and analyzing fiction and along the way learn about some basic concepts in mental health and wellness. Assessment will be by a variety of essays, short take home assignments, and a research project. This class is not a substitute for attending counseling, but our emphasis will be on reading fiction in ways that are not only perceptive but also helpful and hopeful.

ENGL 282.H02     TOPICS IN FICTION: BORDERS IN LITERATURE     TR 2:50 – 4:05     OZSELCUK

In this course we will approach the idea of the border and border-crossing from a range of perspectives, probing literary depictions of national/territorial borders, psychic borders of the self (and other), borders between human and animal, as well as borders that construct and sustain civilizational, racial, gender and class divisions. We will read texts in various genres, including sci-fi, transnational fiction, graphic novel, historical fiction, and immersive/hypertext fiction, which complicate the neat division that the border as a concept signifies between outside and inside. Besides the content, we will also examine the structures and narrative strategies of these texts to see how they might be enacting border-crossings in their very form.

ENGL 283.H01     TOPICS IN BRITISH LIT: ENLIGHTENMENT AND ITS DISCONTENTS     TR 11:40 – 12:55     JARRELLS            

In this course, we will ask several questions about the Enlightenment, particularly as it constitutes a “theme” in British literature. We will ask, for instance, what Enlightenment was or is and we will look into why it happened when and where it did: in eighteenth-century books, periodicals, coffeehouses, letters, and salons. In addition, we will look at the beginnings of a counter-Enlightenment that started in the Romantic period and that continues into our own present, a moment when the question of whether we live in an age of enlightenment or in an enlightened age seems to have become a bit more pressing. Readings will include works by David Hume, Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, William Wordsworth, and Mary Shelley. In addition, students will look at some twentieth- and twenty-first-century attempts to explain, critique, and re-contextualize the Enlightenment.

ENG 285.H01     TOPICS IN AMERICAN LIT: GLOBAL CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE     MW 2:20 – 3:35     WOERTENDYKE

This course will focus on 21st century literature by writers from around the world. We will interrogate what it means to call something “global” and what role literature often plays in its various guises. Globalization is polarizing – variously understood in utopian and dystopian ways. Literature registers the tensions of the global, its retractions and expansions, its surfaces and depths, and its visibility and invisibility, profoundly and beautifully. Ecological crisis, economic disparity, political ambiguity shape so much of contemporary literature – our time in this semester will be spent on untangling the complications, destructions, and possibilities these global issues pose. Contemporary writing mediates the broad range of the global landscapes, challenging readers to confront catastrophe and change through poetry, beauty, art. Authors may include Margaret Atwood, Rachel Cusk, Amitov Ghosh, Moshin Hamid, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Michael Ondaatje, and Sally Rooney.

ENGL 287.H01    AMERICAN LITERATURE     TR 8:30 – 9:45     POWELL

(Designed for English majors)

English 287 provides an introduction to American literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature. This reading-intensive honors section presents competing narratives of U.S. literary history by clustering exemplary works by representative writers from a range of American literary traditions as they deal with selected characteristic themes across several centuries, beginning with nonfiction by Benjamin Franklin and Olaudah Equiano and concluding with poems by Audre Lorde and Billy Collins. The conversation clusters will draw on exemplary works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama, to support the exploration of advantages and limitations of thinking about literary history in terms of traditions, what narratives about literary history may reveal about literary influence and innovation in particular, and what they may also obscure. Students may expect lectures, group activities, discussion, one or more midterms, two essays, and a cumulative final exam.

ENGL 360.H01     CREATIVE WRITING     TR 10:05 – 11:20     DINGS

This course will focus equally on short fiction and poetry.  We will read closely various stories and poems by some of our best writers, but we will read as writers, noting what we can about the techniques and structures that we too might use in the creation of our own stories and poems.  Ordinarily, writing assignments will be made that require students to focus on key abilities/ skills—basic, core things that any good writer simply needs to be able to do.  That said, students are expected to add to the basic assignment in ways that develop their artistic interests and imaginations.  The individuation of each student’s style and sensibility is a core goal, but in order for this to happen, burgeoning writers must explore and develop an array of techniques and skills from which to choose at any given artistic moment.  This course is designed to facilitate that process, but any serious writer must learn how to learn and take initiative in his or her own development.

ENGL 462.H01     TECHNICAL WRITING     TR 2:50 – 4:05     HAWK

Examination of and practice in types of writing important to technical communicators and professional writers. The course will take a rhetorical approach to genre such as memos, white papers, instructions, proposals, reports, and usability tests in order to understand how they function in communicative situations. Students should expect to read rhetorical theory, analyze examples of the genre, and write extensively.

SCHC 350.H02     THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF THE BOOK: FROM GUTENBERG TO GOOGLE     TR 1:15 – 2:30     JACKSON

With the rise of the Internet calling into question the very future of the book as a viable technology, it seems like an especially good time to explore the book’s past.  Where do books come from?  How are they printed, published, and promoted?  How are they shipped, stored, sold, and read?  How long have they been around, and how much longer are they likely to be so?  The Birth and Death of the Book will explore the history of the book as a technology, as a means of information storage and retrieval, as a commodity, an art form, and as way of understanding the world.  It will introduce students to the history of the book from the beginning of the first millennium to the beginning of the second, ranging across continents, cultures, and centuries.  It will also explore the ways in which the book has been threatened with extinction or irrelevance by other forms of communication including telephones, televisions, and especially the Internet, and consider the book’s possible futures.  The class will entail a mixture of readings in historical and literary sources; hands on experience with books hundreds of years old and hot off the press; experimentation with printing presses and web publishing, and lots of bold, speculative thinking.  Possible themes will include the psychology and physiology of reading; the Harry Potter craze as a publishing phenomenon; book hoarding, book burning, and book theft; the invention of the printing press; the rise of book clubs; the emergence of amazon and the decline of bricks-and-mortar book stores; the transformation of publishing; the experience of reading, writing, and publishing digitally; and many other topics.  The class should be of interest to students in English, History, Sociology, Psychology, and any other field of humanistic exploration.

SCHC 353.H01     TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE BOOK: POSTMODERN FICTION AND POETRY     MW 2:20 – 3:35     VANDERBORG

How have the idea and the form of the modern book changed over the mid-20th and early 21st centuries? This course examines an international selection of postmodern texts (and a few exciting precursors) that have radically redefined the codex and the way it communicates.

These texts experiment with typography, page layout, narrative sequence, and illustration, and they offer new perspectives on the relationship between print books and electronic texts. This should appeal to anyone interested in print and digital literature, in postmodern culture, in graphic design and other visual arts, in comics and graphic novels, in children’s books, and in interactive fiction/games. The unit on “bio poetry”—two texts that code a poem into a DNA sequence and then implant it inside a bacterium to truly make a “living poem”—should appeal to students with a biology background and interest in bio-engineering, as well as in the relation between science, science fiction, and poetry.

Students will also be encouraged to start class by bringing in additional graphic novels, computer games, and codex experiments related to each course unit.

SCHC 383.H02     MATHEMATICS AND SHAKESPEARE     TR 1:15 – 2:30    GAVIN

With the public release of digital versions of major authors like William Shakespeare, as well as with the availability of large-scale datasets like Early English Books Online, it's now possible to study early modern literature and history using quantitative methods. Researchers have used computers to measure the social networks of Shakespeare's tragedies, to show how the English language changed over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and to map the landscapes of fictional worlds. In this course, students will learn how to perform this kind of research, with special emphasis on the basic principles of literary mathematics. We'll survey concepts from set theory, point-set topology, statistics, matrix and linear algebra, and graph theory, showing in each case how their mathematical principles inform research design in the study of literature. However, this is not a math class. Students will not be asked to take tests or write proofs. Instead, they will be invited to design research projects, to execute simple analyses, and to describe their work using formal expressions. There are no prerequisites for this course. All necessary concepts will be explained in our class meetings, and first-year students are encouraged to enroll. However, students should be comfortable with mathematical abstraction and notation and they must be willing to learn and experiment - and they should be comfortable reading Shakespeare, because we'll dig into a play or two, as well as into some contemporaneous publications. This course is ideal for two kinds of students: 1) STEM majors interested in learning about exciting new applications of quantitative methods, and 2) humanities majors who remember math fondly and would enjoy a new perspective on the works and times of Shakespeare. Requirements will include 3-4 short homework assignments and a final research project.

SCHC 450.H04     LITERARY HAUNTINGS: GHOSTS, SPECTERS, AND OTHER UNDEAD     TR 4:25-5:40     FORTER

This course asks why the dead refuse to stay dead. We will look at a range of literary works and films that depict ghosts, specters, and other visitors from the “spirit world,” with an eye toward the following questions: Why have ghosts and ghost stories had such long-standing appeal? How do ghosts in novels and films serve as metaphors for social or psychological processes that more “realistic” depictions have a hard time grasping? What kinds of loss and what failures of memory make stories of ghosts and the undead urgent at particular historical moments? We will read and analyze works that push these questions in three main directions. A first set of texts treats ghosts and specters as figures for the continued “life” in the present of colonialism and chattel slavery. A second set views ghosts as beings impossible to categorize (neither dead nor alive), and hence as figures that disrupt the categories we use to make sense of the world (hetero vs. homosexual; male vs. female; black vs. white). A third group of works depicts ghosts and specters as the occasion for exploring psychic traumas and the challenge trauma poses to efforts at keeping the past in the past.

SCHC 450.H06     HAWTHORNE AND HENRY JAMES: GENDER, ROMANCE, AND REALISM     MW 3:55 PM - 5:10 PM     GREVEN

American literature's transition from Romance to Realism comes alive in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James. Focus will be on issues of representation (gender, sexuality, race, and class), theories of fiction, literary influence, and the significance of the novel to modernity.

SCHC: 451.H02   TOLKIEN’S LEGENDARIUM     TR 2:50 – 4:05     GWARA

Nations often have culture heroes from a pseudo-medieval past. The Celts of Wales, Cornwall and Brittany esteemed King Arthur, “quondam rex et futurus.” Americans admire Luke Skywalker, a “knight” from “a long time ago.” The French revere the fictional Roland more than the historical Charlemagne. Tolkien’s characters from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are transatlantic culture heroes of comparable preeminence. For many they are literary heroes of our time. Surveys of “favorite books” in Britain and the US usually include LOTR alongside novels assigned in school. But no one ever assigned LOTR in a classroom. It’s 1,000 pages of epic fantasy full of dense language, mythic histories and inscrutable characters with ethnic identities of granular verisimilitude. Tolkien clearly spent decades living in his head, imagining the world of Middle Earth. His construct was inevitably suffused with his deeply held views of human nature. The subject of this course will be the grand themes suffusing Tolkien’s complex legendarium.

SCHC 452.H04     OUTSTANDING BRITISH LITERATURE FOR DIFFICULT AMERICAN TIMES     TR 10:05 – 11:20      STERN

This course is designed specifically for the 2020 election season.  We'll read for politics and pleasure across a range of literary works from the early nineteenth century to the present.  Authors include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Bram Stoker, Sarah Waters, Tana French, and others.  We'll take up big issues ... or not, as we see fit.  Balancing rigorous literary analysis with escapist enjoyment, we'll have a joyful romp through two centuries of British novels.  Assignments include reading responses, two short research assignments, and a 10-15 page research paper.

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SCHC 455.H02     THE NEW YORK SCHOOL     MWF 10:50 – 11:40     GLAVEY

This course will examine the work of a group of poets based in New York City between the 1950s and the 1980s. Borrowing their name from the school of Abstract Expressionist painters that became an international phenomenon and helped cement New York as the center of the art world in the years after World War II, these poets collectively created a vision of poetry that made new connections between art and popular culture, tradition and experiment, as well as between seriousness and fun. Together we will think about this work and what it means to read it now, paying particular attention to what it tells us about the changing experience of gender and sexuality in the United States over the past 50 years. In addition to poetry by figures including John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Joe Brainard, Ted Berrigan, Bernadette Mayer, and Lorenzo Thomas, we will also spend time looking at the art and listening to the music that made that cultural moment so fascinating and influential.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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