Summer 2021 Undergrad Courses




Summer Session One:  June 7 – July 1, 2021

300- Level Literature Courses

Please note: 300-level classes assume some background and prior experience at the 200-level. Students should complete two 200 level courses before embarking on 300 level work.  Generally, these classes require two shorter essays and one longer assignment or final paper involving research or reference to secondary materials.

ENGL 31890
Detective Fiction
7840                  Sec. 1LL                                  Chet Kozlowski                       M TU W TH    11:30am – 2:05pm

Detective novels, a.k.a. whodunits, have been a staple of popular American literature since the 1930s. An escapist response to the rigors of WWI and Prohibition, this subgenre of Pulp appealed to the masses by offering vicarious trips into the dark side of human nature, under revealing aspects of ourselves while seeking “the truth.” This course examines the work of writers such as Raymond Chandler (“The Big Sleep”), Dorothy B. Hughes (“In a Lonely Place”), and when possible their film adaptions, in a wild ride of thrills, chills, double crosses, kingpins, and femme fatales. 

ENGL 36404
Measuring American Poetry

7882                  Sec. 1MM                                 Joshua Barber                           M TU W TH    2:30pm – 5:05pm
Traditionally used to describe the meter in which a given poem is written, the concept of measure is one that American poets have problematized with special intensity. One such poet is William Carlos Williams, who in 1948 suggested that measure is the place where poetry “comes into contact with reality.” If it is true that thinking about measure leads to thinking about poetry’s contact with reality, then it is necessary to ask an additional question: namely, can poetry affect and even change the reality with which it makes contact? This course introduces students to major American poets, paying particular attention to the ways in which these poets have experimented with measure in the hopes of making changes to reality.
Students will be asked to think about why American poets in particular have paid such close attention to measure and, at the same time, how poetry has an impact on our imagination of how the world should be. What is the relation between what poetry allows into its form and what its form allows it to push away and ignore? What kinds of events will poets allow their poems to be influenced by, and what kinds of events in the world can poems make happen? These questions allude to the fact that we will sometimes find poetry serving as a means of contesting reality and sometimes as the kind of thing that keeps us from facing reality’s deep and difficult truths. At minimum, students who take this course will be given the time and space to read representative works of the American poetic tradition and have the chance to think more like poets about their scholarly work.

ENGL 36902
New Media Fairy Tales

7883                  Sec. 1AA                              Caitlin Geoghan                              M TU W TH   8:30am – 11:05am
Fairy tales, historically told to entertain or caution children against danger, have migrated through time and been reinvented on social media platforms like TwitterTik Tok, and Instagram.   The evolution of these age-old stories has broadened the audience, purpose, and arrangement of these tales, but the old themes—evil queens, isolated princesses, and brave heroes persist. This course will investigate how traditional fairy tales have evolved in the context of new media and analyze whether @redridinghood is still warning us about #bigbadwolves. 

Creative Writing Courses

ENGL 22000                           
Introduction to Creative Writing
6622        Sec. 1AA                                       Noelle Nagales                        M TU W TH           8:30am – 11:05am
Introduction to Creative Writing is a practical and workshop class that introduces writers to the elements of poetry, fiction and drama and is open to beginning and continuing writers. Class work will include reading the work of established writers in various genres, studying the craft of writing, and will involve considerable creative writing within and outside the boundaries of those genres. There are no prerequisites.
Students in this course will participate in a variety of possible activities, including but not limited to: group writing, workshop, technique-specific practices, reading and group discussion, and more. These activities are meant to support the purpose of the class, which is to familiarize the student with the techniques of writing, poetry, fiction and drama.                                 

ENGL 22100
Prerequisite: English 22000
Intermediate Creative Writing: Reading as Writers
6498      Sec. 1LL                                       Estha Weiner                              M TU W TH          11:30am – 2:05pm                   
Reading and Writing go together.  This Intermediate Creative Writing Workshop links reading and discussing poems, short stories (fiction), and drama with improving your own writing in those three genres.  You will read the texts as readers and writers, becoming more aware of the tools of each genre, as you do so. The readings should act as a catalyst/prompt for your own work. Be prepared to discuss those works.  Then comes presentation of your own first drafts in a workshop format on Zoom, culminating in a final manuscript, and a required Reading Day.  If we are able to workshop or privately meet about your final drafts, we will. And, of course, attend as many on-line or, if and when possible, in-person readings as you can!

ENGL 23000
Writing Workshop in Prose
7845       Sec. 1MM                                     Peter C. Jones                            M TU W TH          2:30pm – 5:05pm
When you sit down to write something do you know what to call it, or does that not matter to you? The scope of writing today has extended so far beyond the old boxes we’re used to—Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Essay etc.—and the borders between them are becoming less easy to define. For our purposes, we will consider “Prose” as a unique and inter-genre mode of writing—a kind of chameleon of styles including anything from memoir and lyrical essay to reviews and cultural criticism. This approach will allow us to question not only how we write, but also the numerous ways in which our writing can reach the world. ​

ENGL 32000
Prerequisite: English 22100
Workshop in Fiction                        
7816        Sec. 1LL                                            Emily Rosenblatt                      M TU W TH   11:30am – 2:05pm
This workshop is designed for students seeking a launch pad and a community for writing fiction. It is only to be taken by those who have already completed English 220 and 221 — Intro. and Intermediate Creative Writing. Students will read exemplary short stories and novel excerpts, using the critical vocabulary of the craft. This includes: characterization, point-of-telling, dialogue, pace, setting, voice, and narrative structure. Students will participate in regular in-class writing exercises, turn in their own fiction submissions, and read and evaluate each other’s work in a workshop model. At the end of the session, each student will turn in a thoughtful revision of their previously-submitted work.

Summer Session Two: July 6 – August 2, 2021

300- Level Literature Courses

Please note: 300-level classes assume some background and prior experience at the 200-level. Students should complete two 200 level courses before embarking on 300 level work.  Generally, these classes require two shorter essays and one longer assignment or final paper involving research or reference to secondary materials.

ENGL 31870
Love as Illness in the Medical and Literary Traditions

7879                 Sec. 2YY                                  Jane Shmidt                            M TU W TH    5:30pm – 8:05pm
This course will trace the conception of unfulfilled love as an illness in medical and literary thought from antiquity through the early 20th century, exploring how lovesickness was diagnosed and treated in different medical paradigms throughout history and how the lovesickness theme was deployed in literary texts to uncover and interrogate a variety of psychological, social, and medical issues. Ideally, the course would be interdisciplinary, incorporating texts from the medical, philosophical, and literary disciplines, and spanning a variety of cultural and linguistic contexts. This selection of texts will allow us to address, among others, the following questions: what notions of illness and health does the lovesickness paradigm uncover? How is the relationship between the body and the psyche elaborated in these texts? Do genre and gender influence the way love is conceived and enacted?
Proposed selection of literary texts: Ovid’s “Heroides” & “The Remedy of Love,”Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, Madame de Lafayette’s The Princess of Cleves, Aphra Behn’s Love Letters to a Gentleman, Racine’s Phaedra, Pope’s “Eloisa to Abelard,” Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, Tennyson’s “Mariana” and “The Lady of Shalott,” Turgenev’s First Love, James’ The Portrait of a Lady or Wharton’s House of Mirth, and Mann’s Death in Venice.
Proposed selection of medical/philosophical texts (excerpts): Plato’s The Phaedrus, Aristotle’s “Problem 30,” Galen of Pergamon’s On Prognosis, Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, Cheyne’s The English Malady, Whytt’s Observations on Those Disorders…, Cox’s Observations on Insanity, Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia.”

ENGL 34200
Advanced Grammar
7880                 Sec. 2AA                                  Nicole Treska                          M TU W TH    8:30am – 11:05am

Advanced Grammar reviews principles of traditional English grammar and usage (parts of speech, sentence structures, punctuation, pronoun/verb form/agreement, etc.) for English majors and minors, especially for those who plan to teach or work as tutors or editors.  It is not a remedial course for non-majors who struggle with writing problems, though many non-majors take it.  There is a custom-published workbook for the course, and used copies of it are not allowed

ENGL 37901
Selected Topics in Literature and Science: 21st Century Ecopoetics

7881          Sec. 2LL                                           Robert Balun                            M TU W TH    11:30am – 2:05pm
Ecopoetics is the study of literature that is concerned with ecology and nature. However, beyond just literature about nature, this course will examine how ecology and nature have become complicated in the 21st century, the age of the Anthropocene (don’t worry, we will define Anthropocene and other key terms).
In the 21st century, humans are now confronted with a growing awareness of their impact on the earth, its environments, and its non-human inhabitants. From this perspective, how does one meaningfully engage with climate change, ecological collapse, ecological justice, and non-human beings in literature, art, and culture? How do we think about the climate crisis? How do we think about nature? How do we write about the climate crisis? How can the study of ecopoetics actually help us think about the complicated, interconnected social and environmental challenges of the 21st century at large?
Ultimately, in this class, we will discuss these profound questions raised by the study of ecopoetics, questions of what it means to be human, to live in an organized society, on a finite earth, now, and 100 years from now.

Creative Writing Course

ENGL 22000
Introduction to Creative Writing

6500             Sec. 2AA                                       G.D. Peters                                   M TU W TH  8:30am – 11:05am
ENGL 22000 is an undergraduate, two-hundred level course, which is a prerequisite to the 300 level workshops. In this course you will become familiar with literary elements, terminology, and stylistic devices, such as voice, setting, structure, character and characterization, dialogue, exposition, symbolism, imagery, figurative language (metaphors, similes, personification, alliteration) and so forth, all of which will form a foundation for your writing, and prepare you for the 300 level workshops.
This is a reading- and writing-intensive course for beginning writers who are curious to explore various genres of creative writing, and we will explore four genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and drama. We will read and write in each of these genres, and each of you will produce short works in several of these. We will also engage in the close reading (and discussion) of published literature in each genre.