Courses by English Faculty
in other departments
ENGLISH 161-01 MTWTH 10:00-12:50
Studies in Literature:
Law, Lawyers, Legal Storytelling
Storytelling—by witnesses, lawyers, judges, and others—is crucial to the process of making legal meaning. This class will examine both narratives internal to legal processes and narratives told about those processes. This focus will require us to reexamine how stories themselves function—the cultural assumptions they may embody, the identities they may create for their narrators, and their implication of readers and auditors in their design.
ENGLISH 161-02 MTWTH 1:00-3:50
Studies in Literature: HL
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
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’s adventures, 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, relevance, moral force, and humor.
ENGLISH 217-01 MTWTH 1:00-3:50
Images of Women DD, HL
Cross-listed with Race and Ethnic Studies,
Visual and Media Studies, and
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
This course is meant to appeal to students in English, Visual and Media Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Race and Ethnic Studies. It will begin by questioning the very notion of an “images of women” approach to representations of women and girls by shifting to an approach that requires examining representations produced by women, specifically by African-American women working in postmodern art and literature. English 217 will focus on African-American women visual artists and writers who have been active from the second half of the twentieth century to today and who have brought technical and aesthetic challenges to their fields. Not only do these writers and artists push the boundaries of their fields with their bold and daring reconceptualizations of the
social, political, and ethical roles of the arts, they also invite readers and viewers to see literature and art anew. Artists and writers will include the photographers, Carrie Mae Weems and LaToya Ruby Frazier; poets, Claudia Rankine and Tracy K. Smith; conceptual artist and philosopher, Adrian Piper; paper artist, Kara Walker; and playwrights, Adrienne Kennedy and Suzan-Lori Parks.
ENGLISH 261-01 MTTHF 9:00-11:50
Holding out for a Hero: Graphic Novels and Comics
Cross-listed with Visual and Media Studies
and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Since 1939, super heroes have been a part of our cultural landscape, a uniquely American literary production. This course will consider the big three – Super Man, Batman, and Wonder Woman – as well as more recent additions to the super hero galaxy in both the D.C. and Marvel universes (most likely Captain America and the Avengers as a group). We will use texts like Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and samples from the extensive secondary material on superheroes to investigate how caped crusaders show us our fears and aspirations at different points in their historical development. Beginning in the Jewish immigrant experience, superheroes have become important symbols of national identity and metaphors for how we handle difference in our society. We will also read Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. We will take advantage of the immersive nature of May term to watch selected film and television representations as well. We will consider the comics and graphic novels as literary, visual, and cultural products, exploring representations of gender and class, among other lines of inquiry. VMS and JNST students welcome.
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000F-01 MTWTH 10:00-12:50
Interrogating Jewish Literature and Criticism
There is a debate currently underway over the concept of identity in Jewish Studies. Benjamin Schreier’s study, The Impossible Jew (2015), for example, asks: is Jewish Studies necessarily the study of Jews? Why is Jewish American literature contained in a sort of “academic ghetto,” alienated from fields like comparative ethnic studies, American studies, and multicultural studies? Can the field engage in self-critique about the very meaning of the term “Jewishness,” in relation to “race” and “nation” (i.e., diaspora, Zionist politics, etc.), as other identity-based literary fields do? Is literary Jewishness “post-ethnic,” as Dean Franco asserts? Fundamentally, we might also ask: how well do conceptions of race and ethnicity account for Judaism, for Jewish religious experience in literature?
Given the brevity of May term, this course will focus on a limited range of authors we can study in depth, whose literature helps us interrogate the very meaning of “Jewishness,” perhaps not as a given—the culture of a self-evident population to be represented—but something being invented or questioned through literary discourse itself. Authors may include some of the following: Abraham Cahan, Mary Antin, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Chaim Potok, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, or maybe even Gish Jen. I’ll be open to suggestions, possibly including film. Interested students: please get in touch soon!
JOHNSTON SEMINAR, JNST 000G-01 MTTHF 10:00-12:50
The Greeks’ War with Troy: The Stories and the Evidence
Cross-listed with Art History, English, and Visual and Media Studies
Fulfills pre-1800 requirement
This May Term travel course will explore the archaeological, physical, and textual depictions of Helen and the Greeks’ war with Troy, both in their world of the 13th-century BCE late Bronze Age and the classical 5th-century BCE of the great tragedians. We will read historian Bettany Hughes’s book Helen of Troy and some classical Greek tragedies such as Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia and Euripides’ Helen and Iphigenia at Aulis. We will spend the first part of the course on campus discussing the history and plays and preparing research questions to guide our time in Greece. In Greece we will begin in Athens in the National Archaeological Museum (and of course see the major sites on the Acropolis), visit the best preserved classical theatre at Epidaurus to get an idea of the original performances of the great tragedies, visit Mycenae (home of Agamemnon), Delphi (by way of Marathon and Thebes), the mouth of the river where Odysseus quizzed the shades, and then explore the well preserved Minoan site of Knossos on Crete, which yields important information about the Greeks’ and Trojans’ bonze age, and we’ll visit Mycenaean sites on Crete. Other sites can be negotiated with the group.
We will be accompanied by Greek guide Maria Synodinou, an archaeologist and wonderful host (she led my last May Term student group as well as two University of Redlands Alumni groups).
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 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.
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.
As of late, I have taken to a new, and very expensive hobby: globe-trotting. The love I have always had of reading novels from and about places and people far and farther, of watching films about the same, and listening to their music has now found a different kind of home in my travels in the globalized world of the 21st century. The intersections of passions, imaginations, cultural productions like food and music as well as divergences from the same breathe new life into my classes and in my own critical practices. I get excited to hear about adventures – of the mind and of the body – that my students take and how they are able to synthesize it with their intellectual life at Redlands.
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.
Born in Claremont, CA, I come back to the area by way of Boston University (BA) and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.), now recreating a sunny Southern California childhood for my two sons. My research on 18th century British writers 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.
Sheila Lloyd teaches courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century African-diasporic literatures and on American literature from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; specific courses include “War in Literature and Film,” “James Baldwin,” “The Dark Side of Innocence,” “American Industry and Enterprise,” “Film and Literature,” and “Introduction to Film.” Her most recent research projects include a study on neoliberalism, desire, and fantasy in African-American literature and film.
My scholarship focuses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literary realism, religion and the novel, and Jewish literature, as well as literature of the Holocaust. I am also interested in spatial and digital approaches to literature. I teach a range of courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature featuring authors like Henry James, Abraham Cahan, Edith Wharton, and Mark Twain; courses like "Coming of Age in the Gilded Age"; "Holocaust Memoirs: Reading, Writing, Mapping"; "Immigrant Literature"; "American Jewish Literature"; "Autobiography and Graphic Narrative"; “History of Literary Criticism and Theory”; and occasionally courses on satire, time travel, or on the 1960s.
Judy Tschann teaches a variety of courses in literature and language, including Chaucer, Shakespeare, History of English, Linguistics, and History of Literary Criticism.