Summer 2023 Undergraduate Courses

Course bulletin (including Academic Calendars)
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Text course descriptions below:

Summer Session I: June 5 – July 3, 2023

Gateway Course Required for the Beginning Major

ENGL 25000
Introduction to Literacy Study

4196 Sec. 1AA Tyson Ward M TU W TH 8:30am – 11:05am

This course offers an introduction for beginning English majors to the practices and concepts in the study of literature. We will think carefully about literature as a form of representation – about what literary texts mean as well as how they mean. The course will help students to develop a critical vocabulary and method for reading and writing about literature, as well as introduce them to the cultural contexts and backgrounds of various literary traditions. Our readings will explore a variety of genres and styles – short fiction, the novel, narrative poetry, lyric poetry, and forms of drama. Above all, this is a class in reading and (frequent) writing which will emphasize close reading techniques, interpretive approaches, the making of arguments, and the development of individual critical voices in order to prepare students to succeed in advanced English elective courses.

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 36410
Abolitionist Literature

4398 Sec. 1LL Michael Druffel M TU W TH 11:30am – 2:05pm
(Note: on TH the class meets online synchronously)

Building on a long tradition of transatlantic thought, contemporary abolitionists ask important social questions like: What would a society without prisons look like? What does it mean to defund the police? Can the United States’ criminal justice system be reformed? “Abolitionist Literature” works backwards to uncover the philosophical, literary, and cultural currents that birthed the abolitionist movement today. In exploring abolitionism’s literary history, we’ll better understand the successes and failures of different abolitionist strategies, how contemporary abolitionism developed, and what an abolitionist future might look like. We’ll begin by reading contemporary non-fiction writers including Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Angela Davis, moving backwards to examine abolition in twentieth-century fiction by examining writers such as John Edgar Wideman and Chester Himes, before finally exploring the nineteenth-century roots of abolitionism through writers such as Frederick Douglass, James Williams, David Walker, Harriet Jacobs, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. We’ll supplement these primary sources with short, contemporary readings from scholars including Cedric Robinson, Saidiya Hartman, Sylvia Wynter, and Katherine McKittrick. By the end of the course, we’ll have better understood how literature responded to and shaped abolition, how history influenced transatlantic writing, and the complicated relationship between capitalism and race. Class sessions will focus both on understanding course reading through discussion and ungraded, in-class written assignment and learning to make our own arguments about the literary history of abolition through writing.

Summer Session II: July 6 – August 1, 2023

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 31871
A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery: critical reading of Russian texts in translation

4516 Sec. 2LL Anna Linetskaya M TU W TH 11:30am – 2:05pm
(Note: on M TU the class meets online synchronously)

In this workshop-style summer intensive, we will perform a close investigation of English translations of selected canonical Russian texts in an attempt to uncover hidden meaning that might have been lost in transit. After a brief overview of socio-cultural, political, and historical factors that inform the process of cross-language and cross-media translation, we will spend a week on each chosen text; we will conduct a close reading of existing English translations and augment our understanding of the Russian originals with the help of other art forms that evolved around them (think: paintings, plays, operas, films). At the end of each week, students will engage in a translation workshop exercise, during which they will attempt to produce their own—well informed—English versions of the selected passages from the Russian classics.

Suggested texts (subject to change):
– Nikolai Gogol, “The Nose”
– Lev Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina” (selected chapters)
– Mikhail Bulgakov, “Master and Margarita” (selected chapters)
– Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “The Day in Life of Ivan Denisovich”

Course delivery (subject to change):
Hybrid modality: Mon + Tue – Online Synchronous (11:30 – 2:05); Wed + Thu – In Person (11:30 – 2:05)
* I might need to move the times to AM hours, depending on my finalized plans for that month

No prior knowledge of Russian is required to participate in this class.

ENGL 34200
Advanced Grammar

4207 Sec. 2LL Nicole Treska M TU W TH 11:30am – 2:05pm

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 35411
Sexuality, Festivity, and Animality in the English Renaissance

4382 Sec. 2MM Robert Yates M TU W TH 2:30pm – 5:05pm
(Note: on W TH the class meets online synchronously)

The course surveys early modern texts to ask what roles sex and sexuality and celebrations and festivities play in constructing the concept of the animal (human and non-human)? This course will explore the strategies that early modern texts (poems and plays, religious and scientific tracts, works of political philosophy and household management) used to represent, categorize, know, and speak of and for animals (human and non-human).

In this course, we will attend closely to primary texts. It is important to be able to speak about a text—ideas it might have and may indeed continue to express, how it is structured, its relation to other texts within its genre or form, its relation to historical events, its material history—with precision and concision. We will engage with texts through weekly seminar discussions, short presentations, writing, and critical readings.

Scholarly essays, articles, book chapters, and the occasional book will invite us to consider how the early modern texts continue to live within works of history, theory, literary criticism, and popular culture. More particularly, we will investigate how critical writings form objects of study, such as sex and sexuality or ritual celebrations and festivities, through their engagement with the early modern texts we are reading.

Course Goals

The goals for the course are for you to develop:

  • facility reading, interpreting, and analyzing early modern texts through a survey of Renaissance literature across multiple genres and disciplines.
  • knowledge of early modern debates about sex and sex acts, festivity and celebrations, and animals and their roles in constructing conceptions of the human.
  • the skills needed to read complex theoretical and critical essays, discern their key claims, assess their arguments, and position them in a larger scholarly dialogue.
  • critical self-awareness, especially of the usually tacit methods and presuppositions that guide the way you read, write, and talk about literature.

Creative Writing Courses

ENGL 22000
Introduction to Creative Writing

4210 Sec. 2LL Estha Weiner M TU W TH 11:30am – 2:05pm

Writing is reading, revising, and re-writing. Intro to Creative Writing asks students to do all three, while trying their hands at 3 different genres (types of literature): poetry, drama, and short fiction. We’ll enjoy and discuss the tools of each genre, discuss the workshop format, then workshop your writing in a supportive environment. The readings act as prompts/ catalysts for the creation of your work. A final manuscript and a Reading Day (reading one piece of revised work aloud) completes the class.

ENGL 23000
Writing Workshop in Prose

4209 Sec. 2AA Matthew Gahler M TU W TH 8:30am – 11:05pm

This course is an introduction to the various forms that comprise creative nonfiction, from the personal essay and memoir to narrative journalism and beyond. Students enrolled in this course will learn to tell “true stories,” while also interrogating what a “true” story is.