Spring 2016 English Department



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ENGLISH 130-01 TTH 1:00-2:20

Literature of the Americas: HL, WA

Murder, Magic, Mortality, Madness”



Cross-listed with Race and Ethnic Studies

Sharon Oster
American writers since the Colonial era have written about extreme experiences: the inexplicable, the exceptional, and the idiosyncratic, particularly in the face of an otherwise conformist social world. This course will focus on some of the experiences that challenge our thinking: murder, magic, mortality, and madness. Why are such experiences attractive to writers? How do they help writers challenge and redefine everyday experience? Or inherited beliefs about race, religion, gender, sexuality, and mental illness? Or structures of power? What kinds of literary characters do they produce and what do they reflect about what it means to be American? In this introduction to American literature, we will read a variety of authors who represent the tension between extreme individuality and conformity, and the problem of tolerance in American culture. We consider ourselves a tolerant people, but what happens when our tolerance, or even our understanding, reaches its limit?
This course is also writing-intensive, and will therefore require you to develop a regular writing practice. This will involve every stage of literary-critical writing including brainstorming about texts; discovering their interpretive problems; close, careful interpretation of evidence and literary data; developing and refining interpretive arguments; composing for different audiences; drafting; and revision, revision, revision. We will discuss assigned literature each class period, and engage in writing mini-lessons throughout the term. Finally, this course will introduce the basic genres of literature: poetry, drama, and prose, including both short stories and full-length novels. We will read some EXCELLENT works! Be prepared to be shocked, disturbed, and delighted!
ENGLISH 201-01 MW 9:30-10:50

Critical Reading

Priya Jha
How does literature work? This introductory course in the theory and method of literary reading has two goals that might, at first, seem contradictory: (1) to introduce the conventions of reading, thinking, and concept-making crucial to flourishing as an English major; and (2) to step back from those processes of interpretation to examine them critically, turning naïve reading into self-conscious method. In light of our literary texts, those short theoretical works will provide new models of reading; ask new questions about literature and its relations to the world; and push us to see from new angles the very processes of close reading, interpretation, and contextualization that are the bread and butter of college English. Our goal, in other words, will be to develop a self-aware, historically-grounded sense of how we read and why --an urgent problem at a moment when new media technologies have altered forever, we’re told, our most cherished ideas of what counts as thinking.

Prerequisite: one 100-level literature class or comparable first-year seminar or by permission.
ENGLISH 202-01 MW 1:00-2:20

Texts and Contexts

Sheila Lloyd
This course provides students who have taken English 201 with a more advanced introduction to the scholarly and critical study of literature. It is appropriate both for students who have had some course work in literary theory and criticism and for those who are relatively new to these modes of textual engagement. We will begin with an examination of key critical terms such as “writing,” “interpretation,” “representation,” and “literature” in order to fix our aim on what is at stake in the scholarly enterprise of literary studies. We will then proceed to read a number of literary texts, both canonical and counter-canonical, in relation to two ways of contextualizing literature. One way of initially establishing a context for interpreting literary texts will involve studying the composition, textual, and early reception histories of selected textspracticing, that is, some of the basics of literary scholarship. At the same time that we explore these more formalist methods of literary analysis, we will also consider the social contexts of cultural and political history, personal biography, colonial and minority discourses, and rhetorical and generic fields. Along with the literary texts assigned for this course, we will also read relevant essays representing critical and theoretical frames such as new criticism, feminist and gender studies, postcolonialist and race studies, structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction.

Prerequisite: ENGL 201 recommended.
ENGLISH 206-01 TBA

Composing in New Media WA

Instructor to be announced
Practice in modes of literacies enabled by new media. Introduction to a range of issues, theories, and practices relevant to working in new media environments. May include writing in digital environments, digital video, weblogs, document, and web design.
ENGLISH 213-01 TTH 2:30-3:50

Drama HL

Nancy Carrick
As Tolstoy tells us, “All happy families are like one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” We will read plays in which unruly love challenges families and the communities they comprise. From Agamemnon and Clytemnestra to Kate and Petruchio, from Romeo and Juliet to Stella and Stanley, we will explore the consequences of passion as depicted on the stage. We will read Greek tragedy and modern comedy, Shakespeare and Williams, and view a few contemporary films. As each work invites you into its world and the perspectives of the time in which it was written, we will discover both the traditions of tragedy and comedy and innovations in the forms. We will read, discuss, debate, perform, and write.

ENGLISH 215-01 WF 9:30-10:50

Children's Literature

Cross-listed with Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Heather King
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 and the transition to adulthood. This course will cover some of the old and new classics of children's and young adult fiction. Possible titles include: Catch You Later, Traitor (Avi), Keeping Score (Suzanne Lori Park), Breaking Stalin’s Nose (Eugene Yelchin); Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), Ring of Endless Light (Madeleine L’Engle); Tale of Desperaux (Kate diCamillo), The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents (Terry Pratchett); Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins). Our examination of this literature will be grounded in relevant secondary and theoretical texts. The Charlotte Huck Children’s Literature Festival will take place on campus February 26 and 27th. Interested students are encouraged to attend and take advantage of the chance to meet authors (please note, the registration fee is $200 and will include lunches on Friday and Saturday and dinner on Friday. For more information: http://www.redlands.edu/academics/school-of-education/21427. aspx#.Vhvh5flVhHw). Active discussion and frequent writing assignments will provide avenues for you to explore your ideas in more depth. JNST students, LBST students, and non-majors welcome.

Prerequisite: sophomore standing; one literature course recommended or by permission.
ENGLISH 216-01 TTH 8:00-9:20

Lyric Poetry East-West HL, WA

Cross-listed with Asian Studies

Fulfills pre-1800 requirement

Anne Cavender
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 217 -01 TTH 2:30-3:50

Images of Women: “Portrait of a Lady” DD, HL

Cross-listed with Asian Studies and

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Anne Cavender
This course will explore “portraits” of women in a wide variety of texts by American, British and Chinese writers. We will investigate cross-cultural topics such as the construction of female identity, definitions of beauty, the power of the gaze, and the link found in both cultures between “female” emotions and desire and “male” reason and restraint. Texts will include novels: Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse, Zhang Ailing Rouge of the North; poetry by Li Qingzhao and H.D.; and short stories by Katherine Mansfield, Ling Shuhua, Bai Xianyong, and others, and a few bits of feminist theory.
ENGLISH 222-01 MW 2:30-3:50

Shakespeare after 1600

Fulfills pre-1800 requirement

Nancy Carrick
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 WF 11:30-12:50

Studies in Language: What’s In a Name?

Judith Tschann
In our broad-ranging investigation of what’s in a name, we will begin by studying aspects of phonology, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics, categorizing (e.g. ) 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, and jump into arguments about the brain and language raised by cognitive scientists. 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, notably multilingualism.
Course open for evaluation.

ENGLISH 332-01 TTH 9:30-10:50

American Literature: Making It New

Dead White Men (and one White Woman) I’ve Been Meaning to Read”



Sharon Oster
What makes a text “canonical”? This course will focus on representations of sex, violence, and behaviors deemed “deviant” in key canonical texts in American literature from WWI until the post-WWII era. It’s also a chance for us to read a stack of books by famous white male writers I’ve been meaning to read (not all of whom are actually dead; one of whom is a woman; another Jewish; and a few whose works I’ve actually read, but not taught). These texts mark key “canonical” moments in American literature. Why? Each is devoted to exploring war, violence, race, sex, sexuality, gender, or Americanness (in some cases, by Americans living outside the U.S), and some explore several of these overlapping issues. Many were banned books at one time or another. Some reflect transformations in literary technique and style, from the post-WWI modernist rejection of inherited realisms to the postmodern experimentation in form, playful referentiality, and cynical disdain for sincerity following WWII. We will explore questions like: What qualities led these novels to be awarded, remembered, or banned, and ultimately rendered part of a literary tradition? What qualities also make them problematic? How do representations of sex and violence change over time in these works? And how do these changes register on the level of literary form? Do these works illustrate the radical shifts in style that the categories “modernism” and “postmodernism” suggest? And how is literary subjectivity constructed in these works in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality or religion? We will read some theory to help us answer these questions. Authors may include Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, Carson McCullers, Vladimir Nabokov, Ken Kesey, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip Roth. Please expect to read and write a lot, to challenge each other, and be challenged.

Prerequisite: Engl. 202 or by permission.
ENGLISH 361-01 MW 1:00-2:20

Studies in Literature:

Women Poets of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Claudia Ingram
… because there are so many and they are so fabulous: witty, haunting, wild.

Prerequisite: Engl. 202 or by permission.

ENGL 361-02 TTH 11:30-12:50

Studies in Literature:

Afro-Asian Literary and Cultural Studies: Race, Politics, Aesthetics

Cross-listed with Asian Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies,

and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Priya Jha
Different people across the globe have been suppressed and oppressed by the people of dominant groups in the name of caste, creed, religion, gender, colonization and race. Over the past several decades, we have witnessed how oppressed people have also raised a war against people of the dominant ideology and cultural hegemony through their arts and literature and often by forging bonds with cultures other than their own, thus eschewing nationalism in favor of transnational and transhistorical aesthetic forms. What are the transnational dimensions to these forms of resistance? How do we theorize the aesthetics of such work even as it wraps itself into a politics of resistance? In the interest of exploring one such example of this kind of cultural resistance, the aim of this course is two-fold: 1) to introduce you to the historical linkages between African-American and South Asians – both in India and the U.S. – since the 19th century; and, 2) to introduce and historicize the literary contributions of the untouchables, known as Dalits, in India and the links they have formed with African-American political and literary traditions, in particular slave narratives and the Harlem Renaissance. The critical and creative interventions that the Dalits have made rely upon different language, style, techniques, images, similes, symbols, metaphors, myths, miracles, fables, legends, folksongs and folklore.

Prerequisite: Engl. 202 or by permission.
ENGLISH 362-01 MWF 11:30-12:50

Single-Author Seminar: Adapting Jane Austen

Cross-listed with Visual and Media Studies and

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Heather King
A quick Netflix search or browse through Amazon attests to the enduring legacy of Jane Austen as a writer and, some would argue, as a cultural commodity. This course will focus on one of Jane Austen’s most beloved (and adapted) novels, Pride and Prejudice. We will use an interactive e-book edition of the novel to help establish the historical context for Austen’s work, supplemented by reading in relevant contemporary texts. Then we will consider both print and film adaptations (possible titles include: Longbourne, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Bridget Jones’ Diary, The Marvel Illustrated Classic version, and The Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor). We will also consider the film tradition, from Sir Lawrence Olivier’s drastic re-write to the current darling of Facebook, Guinea Pig Pride and Prejudice. To ground our discussions of adaptation, we will use Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation. The class will not assume previous familiarity with Austen, but will begin from the premise that all students enrolled are sophisticated readers of complex texts, comfortable with identifying and analyzing literary devices such as irony and symbolism, and ready to engage in rigorous written and oral conversation about them. The final project for the course will be creating your own adaptation of Austen, informed by the theories and practices we’ve examined all semester. JNST students welcome.

ENGLISH 403-01 TTH 1:00-2:20

Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory

Cross-listed with the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Daniel Kiefer
Readers and writers have long investigated, from different vantage points, how poetry, drama, and fiction work. Considering literary criticism as the practical response to an individual work, and literary theory as a more abstract undertaking concerned with its own argument, we’ve been engaged in criticism all along, with theory as our subliminal conversation. This course takes up that conversation directly, looking to critical theory for bright thought about literary structure, aesthetic pleasure, personal and cultural experience, and human knowledge.
There are many schools of contemporary literary theory: new critical, deconstructive, Marxist, psychoanalytic, feminist, queer, new historical, postcolonial, and more. We’ll choose several schools to study pretty thoroughly, reading essays by prominent thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, and Judith Butler, and we’ll look at other schools more briefly. We’ll also study plays, poems, and stories in light of those theorists.
By writing an essay each month you’ll sharpen your own powers of argument. Propose a thesis about the theory you’re addressing, defend it example and embellishment, and demonstrate its use by interpreting passages of the literary work. Later in the term you’ll lead discussion of particular works, in teams of two or three. If you’re working on a project like a senior thesis that involves theory, even political or anthropological or economic theory, these essays will help focus your methodology.

Prerequisite: junior standing or by permission.

SPRING 2016

Courses by Literature Faculty

in other departments


ASIAN STUDIES 111-01 TTH 11:30-12:50

Introduction to Chinese Literature CC, HL

Cross-listed with English

Fulfills pre-1800 requirement

Anne Cavender
This course will introduce you to a wide range of Chinese literature written over a three thousand year span, from ancient folk songs to Zen poetry to a play about transgressive lovers. We will be investigating two interlocking topics: the nature of writing, and the writing of nature. In other words, how does the Chinese tradition define the nature of writing? In different contexts, Chinese writers have emphasized literature’s ability to express emotions, to provide role models for moral development, to offer political critique, or to work through philosophical truths. At the same time, the theme of nature, and the human being’s communion with or separation from nature, is one of the most important themes in the Chinese literary tradition. How do Chinese writers write about the natural world and their relationship with it? Does literature reserve a special place for the unnatural, the ghostly and the weird? All works will be read in English; no previous knowledge of Chinese language or culture is required.
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000E-01 TTH 1:00-2:20

Greek Stories in Plays and Vase Painting

Cross-listed with Art History, English, and Visual and Media Studies

Fulfills pre-1800 requirement

Nancy Carrick
This seminar will explore the stories the Greeks told as they are revealed in the great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and in ancient Greek vase painting. We will examine how the playwrights and painters alike chose their stories from the traditions they inherited and how they presented the details of those stories. We will explore Greek theatrical performance and stagecraft, the craft of actors and chorus, the conventions of narrative art, and topics of your choosing. You will have opportunities to investigate this material in discussion, informal journal reflection, researching an aspect of the making of the stories, and writing – opportunities that will offer you a variety of ways to encounter the Greeks’ world through its art and theatre.

JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000L-01 WF 9:30-10:50

Latin Tutorials

Judith Tschann
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 practices and theories of translation as we move beyond exercises to unaltered literary and historical works.
For others, this tutorial will be an intensive beginning Latin class. 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 000P-01 TTH 11:00-12:20

Decadence and Its Rubble

Daniel Kiefer and Julie Townsend
Malcolm: I don't believe that there is much of a future to speak of.

Pearl: We're in a bit of a decadent spiral, aren't we?

Billy: Sinking fast. –Todd Haynes, Velvet Godlmine
If we think of decadence as a falling away from aesthetic or moral elevation, especially in fin de siècle arabesques of beauty and horror, eroticism and death, we have many questions to ask. What makes for decadent form and subject in literature, painting, opera, and film? How do the aesthetics of decadence engage with surrounding aesthetic, political, sexual, and social formations? How have decadent aesthetics changed over time? Where is decadence at play in our contemporary moment?
We may begin with poems by John Keats, Alfred Tennyson, and Charles Baudelaire (The Flowers of Evil, 1857) before moving on to Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his 1893 play Salomé, and the brilliant 1895 opera Salomé by Richard Strauss. Here are some other possibilities: Rachilde’s novel The Juggler (1900), Arthur Schnitzler’s novella Night Games (1926). Caravaggio’s baroque paintings (1600-1610), Derek Jarman’s film Caravaggio (1986), and films by Todd Haynes, Velvet Goldmine (1998), and John Cameron Mitchell, Shortbus (2006).
We’ll study critical works by Walter Pater, David Weir, Eugenio Donato, and others. Your writing will be frequent and performed; that is, you’ll present your short essays to the class every other week or so. This seminar will serve as a 300-level course for the English literature major.


MAY TERM 2016

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