SPRING 2014
English Department
Course #
Course Title & Cross-lists
Location
Days
Times
Instructor
LAFs
Engl. 102-01
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 211
MW
8:00-9:20
WA
Engl. 102-02
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 209
MW
8:00-9:20
WA
Engl. 102-03
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 111
TTH
9:30-10:50
WA
Engl. 102-04
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 319
MW
9:30-10:50
WA
Engl. 102-05
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 207
MW
11:30-12:50
WA
Engl. 102-06
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 207
MW
2:30-3:50
WA
Engl. 102-07
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 211
TTH
8:00-9:20
WA
Engl. 102-08
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 209
TTH
8:00-9:20
WA
Engl. 102-09
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 207
TTH
9:30-10:50
WA
Engl. 102-10
Critical Thinking and Writing
HOL 209
TTH
2:30-3:50
WA
Engl. 119-01
World Literature
Cross-listed with AST, REST, & WGST.
HOL 209
TTH
11:00-12:20
Priya Jha
HL
Engl. 126-01
Literary Inquiries
HOL 209
TTH
9:30-10:50
Heather King
HL
Engl. 126-02
Literary Inquiries
HOL 211
TTH
2:30-3:50
Daniel Kiefer
HL
Engl. 130-01
Literature of the Americas
HOL 209
TTH
1:00-2:20
Sharon Oster
HL, WA
Engl. 201-01
Critical Reading
HOL 211
MW
11:00-12:20
Anne Cavender
Engl. 202-01
Texts and Contexts
HOL 209
WF
11:30-12:50
Heather King
Engl. 216-01
Poetry East-West
HOL 207
MW
8:00-9:20
Anne Cavender
HOL 213
MW
2:30-3:50
Nancy Carrick
HOL 213
TTH
11:30-12:50
Judith Tschann
HOL 213
F
1:00-2:20
Nancy Carrick
HOL 213
TTH
2:30-3:50
Nancy Carrick
Claudia Ingram
HL
Cross-listed with AST.
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement.
Engl. 222-01
Shakespeare after 1600
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement.
Engl. 242-01
Studies in Language:
What’s in a Name?
Engl. 261-01
Reading Plays for UK travel
course in May 2014
By instructor permission only.
Engl. 321-01
Renaissance Literature: Milton &
Narrative Illustration of the
Temptation & Fall of Mankind
Cross-listed with ARTH & VMS.
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement.
Engl. 332-01
America Literature: Making it New
HOL 211
TTH
11:30-12:50
Engl. 351-01
Studies in Post-Colonialism:
Disease, Hygiene, & the Colonial
Imaginary
HOL 100
MW
1:00-2:20
Priya Jha
Ben Aronson
Cross-listed with BIOL & REST.
Engl. 362-01
Single-Author Seminar:
HOL 213
MW
1:00-2:20
Judith Tschann
HOL 213
TTH
9:30-10:50
Claudia Ingram
TBA
TBA
TBA
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement.
Engl. 403-01
Contemporary Literary
Criticism and Theory
Engl. 498-01
Honors Independent Research
By instructor permission only.
Sharon Oster
DD, HL,
M3
SPRING 2014
Courses by English Faculty
in other Departments
Course #
Course Title & Cross-lists
Location
Days
Times
JNST 000J-01
Henry James
HOL 211
TTH
9:30-10:50
Instructor
LAFs
Sharon Oster
Bill McDonald
JNST 000O-01 Latin Tutorials
JNST 000P-01
“Daoists, Dragons, Dim Sum”:
HOL 213
WF
9:30-10:50
Judith Tschann
HOL 211
MW
1:00-2:20
Anne Cavender
HOL 209
MW
9:30-10:50
Priya Jha
W
6:00-8:00
TTH
11:00-12:20
The Traditional Arts of China
Cross-listed with AST.
VMS 111-01
Introduction to Film
Cross-listed with ENGL, REST, &
WGST.
IDS 365-01
Proudian Sophomore Seminar I
HOL 200
Daniel Kiefer
MAY TERM 2014
English Department
and courses by English faculty
in other Departments
Course #
Course Title and Cross-lists
Location
Days
Times
Instructor
LAFs
Engl. 118-01
Literature of the Bible
HOL 209
MTWTH
1:00-3:50
Daniel Kiefer
HL
Engl. 161-01
Mark Twain and the Gilded Age
HOL 211
MTWTH
10:00-12:50
Sharon Oster
HL
Engl. 161-02
Homer’s Odyssey
HOL 213
MTTHF
10:00-12:50
Judith Tschann
HL
HOL 315
MTTHF
9:30-12:20
Heather King
HOL 315
MTWTH
1:00-3:50
Anne Cavender
HOL 207
MTWTH
10:00-12:50
Claudia Ingram
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement.
Engl. 215-01
Children’s Literature
Cross-listed with VMS & WGST.
Engl. 362-02
Single-Author Seminar
William Carlos Williams:
Beyond “The Red Wheelbarrow”
JNST 000J-01
Sappho’s Legacy
REL 226-01
Travel course:
Nancy Carrick
Religions in Europe
Bill Huntley
CC
SPRING 2014
English Department
ENGL 119-01
World Literature
Cross-listed with Asian Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies,
and Women’s and Gender Studies
Priya Jha
TTH 11:00-12:20
HL
The use of the fantastic, the supernatural, the monstrous, and the spiritual has haunted
works of literature. We will discover that often the imaginative mind conjures up
characters such as the monstrous mother, the vampire, and the witch, among others in
order to redress inequities across lines of gender, sexualities, race, class, and nationalism.
What anchors these figures is the way in which they define the concept of the “Other”,
which is, to a degree, defined as the part of ourselves we cannot or will not readily face. If
you love gothic, fantasy, or horror movies/books, you are already participating in this
critique of “what’s real”. The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud called this feeling the
uncanny, which is “undoubtedly related to what is frightening — to what arouses dread
and horror” and which is oddly familiar and strange simultaneously. In order to
understand why writers, filmmakers, politicians, and other public figures resort to these
specific forms and techniques, we will examine various sites of “hauntings” - social,
cultural – even political. In doing so, we will span time, space, and cultures. Our primary
goal will be reflect upon such hauntings as they seep into our collective unconscious today.
Certainly, in the 21st century, the image and the symbolic weight of the “terrorist” defines
much of how we construct an American identity which directly defines itself as other than
“terrorist.” We will first begin by reading about and theorizing the gothic and its
connection to the anxieties of modernity as reflected in Bram Stoker’s famous novel,
Dracula. We will then extrapolate key themes from the novel and use them to examine how
some of these very fears continue to haunt us well into the 21st century.
ENGLISH 126-01
Literary Inquiries
Heather King
TTH 9:30-10:50
HL
This course will cover a range of British and American literature and a range of genres.
Over the course of the semester, we will work on developing the analytic skills necessary to
have a meaningful conversation about a piece of writing, and then put those skills to
practice in both our in-class discussions and in written essays. The central theme that will
unify the reading list is the image of the monster. How have authors represented
monstrosity? What do the monsters we imagine tell us about our world? Ourselves?
Readings may include: Paradise Lost (Milton), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), and 1984 (George
Orwell).
ENGLISH 126-02
Literary Inquiries
Daniel Kiefer
TTH 2:30-3:50
HL
Let’s study a whole array of good writing, in fiction, poetry, and drama, starting with
Shakespeare’s Macbeth and ending up with contemporary works. The purpose is to
increase your enjoyment of literary form by seeing how it’s constructed. We’ll have plenty
of discussion in class, and you’ll do various kinds of writing, so as to sharpen your skill in
making arguments. And we'll attend a performance of the Shakespeare play as well. More
pleasure in reading by reading more deeply—that’s our chief aim.
ENGLISH 130-01
Literature of the Americas
Sharon Oster
TTH 1:00-2:20
HL, WA
This introduction to American literature will focus on the “making of Americans.” As we
look back from the Colonial era to the present, we will investigate how conflicts of religion,
race, gender, class, and sexuality have been central to, if sometimes elided, in the invention
and reinvention of “Americans,” and how literature opens up space for contests of power.
We will focus on narratives of the exceptional and the idiosyncratic in the face of a
conformist social world. We will examine liminal experiences of murder, magic, and
madness that form a paradoxically central thread in American literature, and explore
themes such as the meaning of the self; the rights of the individual vs. the demands of the
group; race, gender, and the law; the meaning of tolerance in American culture; and the
struggle for and meaning of democracy. Above all, we will think about how literature
shapes this ongoing project and our own contributions to it as readers. What social
functions do literary genres like autobiography, drama, the essay, the novel, short story,
and poetry perform in the invention and reinvention of Americanness? What aesthetic and
social values do literary works enact? We will develop our literary critical skills, and
improve our capacities as readers, thinkers, and writers. By analyzing interpretive
elements like context, audience, figurative language, and narrative structure, we will
explore how literature acts in and on culture and society—not merely reflecting, but
shaping and informing how Americans live.
This course is also writing-intensive, and will therefore require you to develop a regular
writing practice. It will involve every stage of writing including brainstorming, posing
provocative questions, literary analysis, addressing different audiences, developing
interpretive arguments, challenging those arguments, drafting, and revision, revision,
revision. We will discuss assigned literature each class period, and engage in writing
mini-lessons throughout the term.
ENGLISH 201-01
Critical Reading
Anne Cavender
MW 11:00-12:20
This course is designed to train students for the English Literature major/minor, or
Creative Writing and Johnston students with an interest in textual analysis. After a week
investigating the roots of the English language, we will practice the close, critical reading of
literary texts (lots of lyric poetry, an epic, a novel), paying attention to the characteristics
and effects of literary language, varieties of form, structure, style and genre. We will share
our responses and analyses with each other in a variety of ways: curious, complex
discussions and precise, persuasive writing. Part of the path to becoming a literary critic is
to read other critics in order to evaluate and contextualize different approaches to specific
texts. We will practice this skill by reading a few critics throughout the semester.
Prerequisite: one 100-level literature class or comparable first-year seminar or by permission.
ENGLISH 202-01
Texts and Contexts
Heather King
WF 11:30-12:50
This course is designed to build upon the close-reading skills you developed in English 201,
further preparing you for upper-level work in literary studies. We’ll continue the close
reading practices with which you’re familiar, and we’ll move into other kinds of reading,
like historical criticism, feminist criticism, post-colonial criticism, and other schools of
reading to increase the number of lenses with which you can approach a text. You will also
complete a research paper, so that you become familiar with the standard research methods
and sources in our field. The tentative reading list includes Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Paradise
Lost (Milton), eighteenth and nineteenth responses to that epic, include Joseph Addison’s
and William Blake’s, along with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
(vol. 4).
Prerequisite: Engl. 201.
ENGLISH 216-01
Lyric Poetry East-West
Cross-listed with Asian Studies
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
Anne Cavender
MW 8:00-9:20
HL
This course will explore the nature of the lyric poem as it appears in the Chinese and
Anglo-American contexts. Most of our energies will be engaged in the attentive reading of
poems from all periods, ancient to modern, as we attempt to come to some conclusions
about the basic similarities and differences between these two extensive poetic traditions.
The course will also introduce certain key examples of poetic theory in order to consider
more generally the long history of theoretical disputes about what poetry is or does in both
traditions. No previous knowledge of Chinese language or literature is required.
ENGLISH 222-01
Shakespeare after 1600
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
Nancy Carrick
MW 2:30-3:50
English 222 explores Shakespeare’s plays written after 1600, the world they present,
Shakespeare's language and theatre. We will confront the dilemmas and ethical questions
posed in the plays and, through informal writing and research, an exam, and performances,
gain greater appreciation for Shakespeare's art.
ENGLISH 242-01
Studies in Language: What’s In a Name?
Judith Tschann
TTH 11:30-12:50
In our broad-ranging investigation of what’s in a name, we will begin by studying aspects
of phonology, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics, e.g., categorizing the particular sounds
that members of the seminar use in speaking English, and describing rules and conventions
we follow in forming words and sentences and in conversing. For the fun of it, we’ll
diagram sentences in old and new ways. To emphasize change in language, we will turn to
the history of English, introducing ourselves to Old English and Middle English, and
considering especially the nature of metaphor in a few literary works (perhaps in Beowulf,
“The Pardoner’s Tale,” and Romeo and Juliet). Throughout the semester, we will also
consider sociolinguistic issues, especially concerning multilingualism.
Prerequisite: sophomore standing or by permission.
ENGLISH 261-01
Reading Plays for UK travel
Nancy Carrick
F 1:00-2:20
This one-unit course is designed for students traveling to the UK during May Term 2014.
We will read the plays that we will see at the Globe and the National Theatre, discuss them,
write responses to them, and perform some passages, all in preparation for May.
Prerequisite: Instructor permission only.
ENGLISH 321-01
Renaissance Literature: Milton and Narrative Illustration
of the Temptation and Fall of Mankind
Cross-listed with Art History and Visual and Media Studies
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
Nancy Carrick
TTH 2:30-3:50
Beginning with a few sonnets and the closet drama Samson Agonistes, English 321 will focus
on Paradise Lost, the Christian epic that tells the story of a great war in heaven and the fall of
angels, their debate about what to do next, the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen
angel Lucifer/Satan, Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden and its
consequences. In addition, we will explore narrative illustrations of the temptation and fall
as they appear in mosaics, book illumination, and stained glass from the 6th through the 16th
centuries. Milton’s purpose is ambitious – to “justify the ways of God to men” – and along
the way he addresses marriage, politics, the monarchy, fate, predestination, free will, good
and evil, and the paradoxes of our human existence. We will read, discuss, debate, and
write.
Prerequisite: Engl. 202 or by permission.
ENGLISH 332-01
American Literature: Making It New
Claudia Ingram
TTH 11:30-12:50
Literary movements and experiments proliferated in the twentieth-century United States,
and some hitherto neglected literatures attained wider audiences. All of this produced
wildly various novels and poetry, some of which will teach us new ways of reading.
Prerequisite: English 202 or by permission.
ENGL 351-01
Studies in Postcolonialism:
Disease, Hygiene, and the Colonial Imaginary
Cross-listed with Biology and Race and Ethnic Studies
Priya Jha and Ben Aronson, Biology
MW 1:00-2:20
DD, HL, M3
From the “first contact” to the contemporary period, images of disease, filth, and cleanliness
have been used as metaphors in literature and other cultural forms to justify colonialism on
the part of the colonizers and to reinforce the barriers between the Subject and the Other. In
reality, however, heretofore unknown diseases were also introduced upon the native
populations. Further, images of the “dirtiness” of the natives went hand-in-hand with the
images of the colonies as diseased. These images, it can be argued, continue to haunt our
understanding of other cultures and inform contemporary concerns over biological warfare
and the (newer) proliferation of AIDS in the third world, for example. At the same time, a
feminist analysis demonstrates that the metaphor of disease applied to gendered subjects in
Empire came to bear negatively not only upon women, but upon the colonies themselves,
insofar as the colonies were themselves gendered as “feminine.” This course explores these
themes in various forms of medical, bio-political, literary and popular cultures – literature,
film, social medicine history, medicine and policy, historical documents, and material
culture to name but a few. We will cluster around three, perhaps four issues relating to
medicine, public health, and empire. We will be attentive to how particular diseases or
notions of cleanliness took particular forms during colonial contact – through
implementation of particular state policies and treatment of colonial subjects.
Prerequisite: one previous literature course required or by permission. Engl. 251 recommended.
ENGLISH 362-01
Single-Author Seminar: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
Judith Tschann
MW 1:00-2:20
Besides the pleasure of encountering Middle English grammar as we read Canterbury
Tales, we will study Chaucer’s poetics and his particular vitality as a storyteller. The many
kinds of tales, including bawdy fabliau, romance, Arthurian legend, and beast epic, invite
us to read in many different ways, so we will discuss allegorical, mythical, feminist,
psychoanalytical, New Historical and other approaches. We will also use the different
pilgrims (knight, prioress, monk, lawyer, physician, pardoner, weaver, merchant, etc.) as a
basis for studying aspects of late fourteenth-century English social structures, including
vocations, gender roles, clothes, and food.
ENGLISH 403-01
Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory
Claudia Ingram
TTH 9:30-10:50
What are the effects on literature and literary study of an increasingly global,
technologically mediated culture? What kinds of powers and pleasures operate in and
through literature, and how does it work on us? The twentieth and twenty-first centuries
have seen an explosion of theories that address these and related questions. We will read
some of them and consider works of literature and other cultural artifacts in light of their
formulations.
Prerequisite: junior standing or by permission.
SPRING 2014
Courses by Literature Faculty
in other departments
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000J-01
Henry James
Sharon Oster and Bill McDonald
TTH 9:30-10:50
For a full six years Sharon Oster and Bill McDonald have been hoping to host an advanced
seminar in the writing of American novelist Henry James (1843-1916). And in the spring of
2014 the time has finally come! Now we’re hoping for a group of readers who will fall
under James’s spell as we have, and who are eager to join us in reading his fictions as
closely and empathetically as we can. James self-consciously set out to be a writer in his
twenties, using the discipline of reviews and criticism, and several long sojourns in Europe,
to hone his craft and broaden his experience. He published his first novel in 1875. Book
after great book followed—we can’t read them all, alas—and the inexhaustible subtleties of
human consciousness, perception and social gesture drew him ever further into the
intricacies of language and style. Thematically, loyalty and betrayal, human freedom and
the ethical, seeing people as ends or means, are among the subjects that run deepest in his
work. Stylistically, he is a realist evolving toward modernism, and a figure whom every
succeeding serious novelist and literary critic must take into account. He’s also a brilliant
reader of the novel’s history. We’re proposing two “anchor” novels for the course: first, The
Portrait of a Lady, then his last complete novel, The Golden Bowl. After pre-registration we’ll
meet to choose the rest: Washington Square?? The Bostonians? The Turn of the Screw? What
Maisie Knew? “The Beast in the Jungle”? “The Jolly Corner”? “Daisy Miller”? “The Real
Thing”? Help us choose! We’re also proposing a few (maybe 4?) Friday afternoon
voluntary gatherings, organized by Bill, to watch some remarkable movie/TV productions
of James’ work: Jane Campion’s controversial film of The Portrait of a Lady, and the 1973
BBC series recreating The Golden Bowl. Benjamin Britten’s mesmerizing opera The Turn of
the Screw is another of several other possibilities.
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000O-01
Latin Tutorials
Judith Tschann
WF 9:30-10:50
For some of you, this Latin tutorial will be the second-semester continuation of intensive
beginning college Latin. We will quickly review some aspects of grammar from the first
semester, and then plow ahead in Wheelock to the glorious end, covering such fine points
of grammar as the various forms and uses of the subjunctive, deponent verbs, gerunds and
gerundives, “fear” clauses, sequence of tenses, and much more. We will emphasize the
practice and theory of translation as we move beyond exercises to real (albeit highly edited)
passages of literature and history.
For others, this tutorial will be an intensive beginning Latin class, requiring daily
homework, memorizing, possible quizzes, a collaboratively designed midterm
demonstration of learning, and an ambitious final project. By the end of the semester, you
will have a firm grasp of basic grammar (of Latin and of English), a developing sense of the
joys and challenges of translating, a bigger vocabulary, and at least a budding interest in
Roman literature and history.
Everyone is welcome.
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST OOOP-01
“Daoists, Dragons and Dim Sum”:
The Traditional Arts of China
Cross-listed with Asian Studies
Anne Cavender
MW 1:00-2:20
This course will be an interdisciplinary exploration of the cosmology, philosophy, language,
literature and cultural arts of ancient China. After a short introduction to the classical
Chinese language, we will negotiate which direction to go in next, which depending on the
personnel could include feng-shui and divination practices from the I-ching, mythology,
philosophy, poetry, garden design, politics and statecraft (The Art of War), martial arts
novels, or wherever our curiosities lead us. If theory-heads enroll, we can end the course
by probing the long-standing U.S. fascination with the Chinese language (here’s looking at
you, Ezra Pound and Joss Whedon), but with three thousand years to cover, that might
have to wait for a future semester.
VISUAL AND MEDIA STUDIES 111-01
Introduction to Film
Cross-listed with English, Race and Ethnic Studies,
and Women’s and Gender Studies
Priya Jha
MW 9:30-10:50
Film Screening Lab W 6:00-8:00
In this class, we will discover together the multifaceted world of cinema. It will introduce
you to the pleasures of cinema, both as spectator and as critic. You will get an overview of
the main theoretical frameworks, critical concepts, as well as developing and using film
vocabulary in class discussions and in written assignments. We will think about movies
critically, as technological, cultural and artistic products.
MAY TERM 2014
English Department and
Courses by English Faculty
in other departments
ENGLISH 118-01
Literature of the Bible
Daniel Kiefer
MTWTH 1:00-3:50
HL
And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will
give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written: that thou
mayest teach them. —Exodus 24:12.
But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard
them not. —John 8:6.
The Hebrew and Christian Bibles abound with all kinds of written forms: story, allegory,
history, proverb, law, poetry, prophecy, psalm, parable, epistle, apocalypse, and more.
Let’s explore the literary power of these genres as the basis of scripture. We’ll take up
questions of revelation, translation and canonicity; inspiration and faith; rhetoric and
tradition; allusion and originality; always from the standpoint of literature.
We’ll have plenty of reading every night, and not just the King James Bible, but literary
interpretations of its various books as well. Then we’ll have plenty of discussion together
every day and substantial critical writing every week. Please come prepared for new ways
of understanding the written constructions of these many, marvelous books.
ENGLISH 161-01
Mark Twain and the Gilded Age
Sharon Oster
MTWTH 10:00-12:50
HL
Humorist, novelist, lecturer, philosopher, satirist and social critic: these all describe Mark
Twain (or rather, Samuel Clemens), one of the most iconic and controversial writers in the
United States. The fundamental focus of this seminar will be to look at Twain as a satirist,
one whose life and work raise more questions than provide answers. How does Twain’s
satire work? Who and what are his targets? How are irony, the doubling of characters, and
literary imposture effective literary techniques? Entrenched racism, religious hypocrisy,
corporate scandal, political corruption, economic crisis: these are some of the social and
political phenomena that led Twain to dub the late-19th century the “Gilded Age,” an “era
of incredible rottenness.” Are we living in a “second Gilded Age”? What can Twain tell us
about his era, but also our own? Is Twain a relevant social critic for readers in 2014?
Prepare to immerse yourself in the work of one of the smartest, wittiest, and most
politically and socially satirical writers of the last two centuries! We will read about two
dozen of Twain's short stories spanning his nearly forty-year career, and three novels
including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Students will be asked to set up blogs in
groups in which to contribute weekly posts about the reading, to post a “quote of the day”
for each day of class, and to write a final paper that expands upon one of their best blog
postings. Students will be evaluated on these assignments as well as weekly quizzes, and
contributions to class discussions.
ENGLISH 161-02
Homer’s Odyssey
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
Judith Tschann
MTTHF 10:00-12:50
HL
Ten years after the end of the Trojan War, the hero Odysseus has still not returned home to
Ithaka. His son, Telemachus, decides he must search for his father, and his wife Penelope
keeps up her hopes and her weaving tricks, holding off the suitors who pester her
endlessly. What has detained Odysseus, and how does he finally get home? If you haven’t
read Homer’s epic poem, you have a great treat ahead: wily Odysseus’ adventures,
romances, and temptations, the goddess Athena’s intervention in human affairs,
Telemachus’s coming of age, Penelope’s strength, and a family reunion full of ruthless
vengeance as well as tender love. If you have read this epic, you will have the joy of
rediscovering its beauty, freshness, relevance, moral force, and humor.
ENGLISH 215-01
Children's Literature
Cross-listed with Visual and Media Studies
and Women’s and Gender Studies
Heather King
MTTHF 9:30-12:20
The stories we tell children serve a variety of purposes - from explaining away childhood
fears to inculcating values we would like to see replicated - and a closer look at many
children's stories reveals both surprisingly adult themes and interesting messages about
how a culture defines childhood. This course will focus on the fairy tale tradition, with an
emphasis on how those stories are then translated into modernized versions, including film
and television productions. Our reading will take a wide historical sweep, from the early
folk tales to the literary tales of Perrault, Basile, Grimm, and others (Cinderella, Little Red
Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast) to the later offerings of Wilde and Andersen (The Snow
Queen, The Little Mermaid), and the modern twists available in pictures books (Dinorella?)
and young adult fiction (A Tale Dark and Grimm). In addition, because we’re looking at a
story tradition that moves from oral to written, it seems especially appropriate to be
mindful of our equivalent to oral traditions: film and TV. We’ll consider the influence of
Disney, the counter tradition of Studio Ghibli, and live-action offerings like Brothers Grimm,
Mirror, Mirror, or television’s Once Upon a Time. Our reading will be supplemented by
secondary articles that will help provide additional insight into how children’s literature
communicates a complex range of ideological content. The syllabus for this course is not
yet carved in stone, so interested students with ideas should contact me as soon as possible.
There will be a LOT of reading for this class, since we will need to move through texts
rather quickly to cover ground over the month; be prepared for that. Active discussion and
frequent writing assignments will provide avenues for you to explore your ideas in more
depth. Please also plan to be available for evening film screenings once to twice a week.
Prerequisite: sophomore standing; one literature course recommended or by permission.
ENGLISH 362-02
Single Author Seminar
William Carlos Williams: Beyond “The Red Wheelbarrow"
Anne Cavender
MTWTH 1:00-3:50
This course will focus on the poetry and prose of William Carlos Williams. We will start
with his autobiography, and then move on to close readings of his ground-breaking
experimental works "Kora in Hell” and "Spring and All” and a wide swath of his lyric
poetry, culminating with of his epic hybrid prose-poem Paterson. Because Williams refers
so widely in his work to other writers (H.D., Pound, Stevens, Joyce, Stein) and visual artists
(Cezanne, Brancusi, Duchamp, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley), you’ll come out of this
course having learned a great deal about early 20th century modernism generally.
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000J-01
Sappho’s Legacy
Claudia Ingram
MTWTH 10:00-12:50
We don’t know much about Sappho beyond the fragmentary remains of her poetry, but she
may nevertheless be thought to have several legacies. She is the first known European
woman poet, producing lyrics in the sixth century BCE. Judging by their fragmentary
remains, many of her lyrics were love poems directed toward other women. Although
nearly all of her work was destroyed over the centuries, the fragments that remain suggest
a compelling style. Two twentieth-century poets—Olga Broumas and T Begley—maintain
that Sappho’s work embodies a poetics of praise. Others have engaged it as a way of
thinking about fragmentary expression and how it may be read. Writers have read and
reread her work for all of these reasons.
Since this is offered as a Johnston seminar, I’d like to know what strands of Sappho’s legacy
you might be interested in pursuing. I’d like us to read later poetry and / or novels—and
I’d like to hear from you. Come see me!
RELIGIOUS STUDIES 226-01
Travel Course: Religions in Europe
Nancy Carrick and Bill Huntley
Join us on a May Term tour of London and Oxford, southern Scotland and the island of
Iona, the west coast of Ireland and Dublin.
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BIOGRAPHIES
NANCY CARRICK
Nancy teaches Shakespeare, Milton, and drama in its many guises. She is especially
interested in the interdisciplinary study of dramatic images on stage and in book
illustration, in classical texts and vase painting, and in the interaction of text and
performance.
ANNE CAVENDER
Anne Cavender studies and teaches classical Chinese poetry, British and American
modernism, and cross-cultural poetics, particularly the relationship between literature and
ethics in the Chinese and Western traditions. Many of her classes will be cross-listed with
Asian Studies and can be taken for credit under either major.
CLAUDIA INGRAM
Years ago I was a lawyer, and I’m still interested in that discourse. Now I’m drawn to the
ways poems and novels complicate things.
PRIYA JHA
I am a nomad in many senses of the word, from being someone who has traveled many
parts of the world to someone whose intellectual training has traversed just as many critical
and linguistic spaces. A friend once described me as “a delectable mélange of East Indian,
New York, and valley girl dialects” and, to a large extent that reflects who I am – someone
who straddles and (hopefully) challenges many cultural and national boundaries. Because I
feel more comfortable belonging in a world that extends beyond India (my place of birth) or
the United States (where I have spent most of my life), I have found myself continuously
drawn to writers and critics who examine various aspects of cross-cultural identities,
historically, culturally, and politically and their various negotiations. In any of my classes,
whether it be World Literature, Post-colonial literatures, Film, or Cultural Studies, students
find themselves encountering these issues in our analyses of a multitude of cultural and
literary forms.
DANIEL KIEFER
It took only a few years for Redlands to change my dreary existence to a life of glamour. I
used to be so drab, teaching only the household poets of the nineteenth century. Now I go
dancing under the stars with disreputable poets and theorists of every kind. After decades
of earnest propriety--seminary high school in Cincinnati, college in Boston, graduate work
at Yale, teaching in the coal fields of Southern Illinois--I have become dissolute in
Tinseltown. If Johnston is the cause of my ruin, that's all right; somebody had to take over.
HEATHER KING
Born in Claremont, CA, I come back to the area by way of Boston University (BA) and the
University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.). My research on 18th century British women writers and
has convinced me that discussions of literature should always be both rigorous and a bit
irreverent. My particular interests center on women’s writing and questions of morality,
but don’t let that mislead you -- whatever the genre, whatever the time period, I'm
determined to find the meaning and the merriment in the text.
SHARON OSTER
My scholarship focuses on late-nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature, with
particular interests in literary realism and the novel, Jewish literature, and literature of the
Holocaust (Nazi genocide). While my current book project is about how time, particularly
sacred time, figures in American literary realism, I have recently become interested in
literary figurations of space and geography, and metaphorical mapping. In my classes, we
explore the complexities and pleasures of literary aesthetics—of literature as art—
sometimes for its own sake, other times for the sake self-expression, social critique or ethical
injunction (and often several of these combined). I teach a range of courses in nineteenthand twentieth-century American literature featuring authors such as Henry James, Edith
Wharton and Mark Twain; in immigrant and ethnic literatures; in studies of the novel;
graphic novels; the 1960s; and literary and oral accounts of the Holocaust. On one side, I
teach works that explore experiences of oppression, suffering, extreme violence, resistance,
and mortality; on the other, I teach satire and parody, if only to retain a sense of balance
and humor.
JUDITH TSCHANN
Judy Tschann teaches a variety of courses in literature and language, including Chaucer,
Shakespeare, History of English Linguistics, and History of Literary Criticism. She’s
working up a course on Laughter. Send suggestions (or a good joke).
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Course Descriptions - Spring and May Term 2014