Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies:
Janice Knight, G-B 308,
Secretary for Undergraduate English: Maria Parks, G-B 309, 702-7092
Program of Study
The undergraduate program in English Language and Literature introduces students to English-language literature, drama, and film. Courses address fundamental questions about topics such as the status of literature within culture, the literary history of a period, the achievements of a major author, the defining characteristics of a genre, the politics of interpretation, the formal beauties of individual works, and the methods of literary scholarship and research.
The study of English may be pursued as preparation for graduate work in literature or other disciplines or as a complement to general education. Concentrators in the Department of English Language and Literature learn how to ask probing questions of a large body of material; how to formulate, analyze, and judge questions and their answers; and how to present both questions and answers in clear, cogent prose. To the end of cultivating and testing these skills, which are central to virtually any career, each course offered by the department stresses writing.
Although the main focus of the Department of English Language and Literature is to develop reading, writing, and research skills, the value of bringing a range of disciplinary perspectives to bear on the works studied is also recognized. Besides offering a wide variety of courses in English, the department encourages students to integrate the intellectual concerns of other fields into their study of literature and film. This is done by permitting up to two courses outside the Department of English Language and Literature to be counted as part of a concentration if a student can demonstrate the relevance of these courses to his or her program of study.
The program presupposes the completion of the general education requirement in the humanities (or its equivalent), in which basic training is provided in the methods, problems, and disciplines of humanistic study. Because literary study itself attends to language and is enriched by some knowledge of other cultural expressions, the concentration in English requires students to extend their work in humanities beyond the level required of all College students in the important areas of language and the arts.
English concentrators must take two additional quarters of work in the language used to meet the College language requirement, or receive equivalent credit by examination.
English concentrators must also take one course in music, art history, visual arts, or General Studies in the Humanities (for courses on the dramatic arts) in addition to the general education requirement. Students may choose an advanced course and it may be in the same discipline as the course that was used to meet the general education requirement.
All English concentrators must take an introductory course (English 10100, Critical Perspectives). This course develops practical skills in close reading, historical contextualization, and the use of discipline-specific research tools and resources and encourages conscious reflection on critical presuppositions and practices. The course prepares students to enter into the discussions that occur in more advanced undergraduate courses. English 10100 is ideally taken in the third year and not later than autumn quarter of the fourth year. English 10100 is offered every year.
The concentration in English requires at least ten departmental courses. Students are expected to study British and American literature and film from a variety of periods and genres. Reading and understanding works written in different historical periods require skills, information, and historical imagination that contemporary works do not require. Students are accordingly asked to study a variety of historical periods in order to develop their abilities as readers, to discover areas of literature that they might not otherwise explore, and to develop a self-conscious grasp of literary history. In addition to courses that present authors and genres from many different eras, the program in English includes courses focused directly on periods of literary history. These courses explore the ways terms such as "Renaissance" or "Romantic" have been defined and debated and raise questions about literary change (influence, tradition, originality, segmentation, repetition, and others) that go along with periodizing. The program requires two courses in literature written before 1700 and two courses in literature written between 1700 and 1900. At least one of these four must be a designated "period" course or, alternatively, three designated "period" courses, with at least one focused on a period or periods before 1700 and at least one focused on a period or periods after 1700. The program also asks that students study both British and American literature, requiring at least one course in each. Furthermore, because an understanding of literature demands sensitivity to various conventions and different genres, concentrators are required to take at least one course in each of the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama/film.
In the fourth year of College study, concentrators may choose to carry out a senior project or to take a senior seminar. To be eligible for departmental honors, a student's senior project or senior seminar paper must be judged of the highest quality.
The senior project may take the form of a critical essay, a piece of creative writing, or a director's notebook or actor's journal in connection with a dramatic production. Such a project is to be a fully finished product, the best-written work of which the student is capable. The senior project may develop from a paper written in an earlier course or from independent research. Whatever the approach, the student is uniformly required to work on an approved topic and to submit a final version that has been written, critiqued by both a faculty advisor and a senior project supervisor, rethought, and rewritten. Students normally work on their senior project over three quarters, and they consult at scheduled intervals with their individual faculty advisor (the field specialist) and with the supervisor assigned to monitor senior projects. Students may elect to register for the senior project preparation course (English 29900) for one-quarter credit.
Senior seminars are advanced courses limited to twelve students. The seminars involve intensive student participation, deep engagement with critical traditions and theoretical perspectives, and require a long final paper.
Summary of Requirements
Concentration 2 Additional quarters of work in the language used to meet the College language requirement
1 Any course in dramatic, musical, or visual arts
not taken to fulfill the college requirement
(in the Department of Art History, the Department of Music, the Committee on the Visual Arts, or the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities)
1 ENGL 10100
3 - 4 English courses to fulfill period requirements:
either two courses pre-1700
and two courses 1700-1900 (including one designated "period" course)
or three designated "period" courses (including one course pre-1700 and one course post-1700); for example, ENGL 15600, 16900, 17800, or 27200
1 English course in fiction
1 English course in poetry
1 English course in drama or film
1 course in British literature
1 course in American literature
0 - 6 English concentration electives (for a total of ten courses in the department; may include ENGL 29900)
Senior Project (optional)
Credit may be granted by examination.
* The total of thirteen required courses must include
ten courses in the English department; two language courses; and one course in dramatic, musical, or visual arts.
NOTE: Some courses satisfy several genre and period requirements. For example, a course in metaphysical poetry would satisfy the genre requirement for poetry, the British literature requirement, and the pre-1700 requirement. However, the number of courses required by the concentration remains the same.
Courses Outside the Department Taken for Concentration Credit. With the prior approval of the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, a maximum of two courses outside the English department (excluding the required language courses and the required course in the dramatic, musical, or visual arts) may count toward the concentration if the student is able to demonstrate their relevance to his or her program. The student must propose, justify, and obtain approval for these courses before taking them. Such courses may be selected from related areas in the University (history, philosophy, social sciences, divinity, and so on), or they may be taken in a study abroad program for which the student has received the permission from the Office of the Dean of Students in the College and an appropriate administrator in the English department.
Reading Courses (English 29700 and 29900). Upon prior approval by the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, the undergraduate reading course (English 29700) may be used to fulfill concentration requirements. No student may use more than two English 29700 courses toward concentration requirements. Seniors who wish to register for the senior project preparation course (English 29900) must arrange for appropriate faculty supervision and obtain the permission of the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. English 29900 counts as an English elective but not as one of the courses fulfilling distribution requirements for the concentration. If a student registers for both English 29700 and English 29900, and if English 29700 is devoted to work that develops into the senior project, only one of these two courses may be counted toward the departmental requirement of ten courses in English. NOTE: Reading courses are special research opportunities that must be justified by the quality of the proposed plan of study; they also depend upon available faculty supervision. No student can automatically expect to arrange a reading course. For alternative approaches to preparing a B.A. paper, see the next section.
Senior Project. Students who wish to undertake a senior project must register with the undergraduate secretary by the Monday of the fifth week of the first quarter of their graduating year. To help ensure the careful finished work that must characterize the senior project, a senior project supervisor and a faculty advisor acting as field specialist monitor seniors' work on their projects. Seniors normally meet with their supervisor and faculty advisor during the first quarter and at regular intervals thereafter. The faculty advisor directs the researching and writing of the senior project; the supervisor guides the student's progress and critiques the versions of the project. In initial meetings, the student and the supervisor seek to define a workable topic and to form a plan for developing the topic; during the winter quarter, the supervisor normally convenes groups of students to discuss their work in progress. Schedules of the quarterly deadlines for registering and for submitting drafts and final essays can be obtained in the undergraduate secretary's office (G-B 309).
There are three kinds of projects that may qualify for the senior project:
- Critical or Historical Essay. The essay should be no more than twenty-five pages, on some topic in British or American literature. The essay should demonstrate the student's ability to identify a question or problem and to pursue it further than is usual in a course paper. The essay is judged by how well a student has thought and rethought a problem, and written and rewritten a response.
- Creative Projects. Those students who exhibit interest in and ability for extended work in writing poetry, fiction, or drama may elect to write a creative senior project. Students must have taken two one-quarter courses in writing to qualify for this option.
- Drama, Film, and Video. Students with particularly strong interests and background in the dramatic arts, film, or video may be permitted to carry out the senior project by producing and/or directing and/or acting in a dramatic or cinematic or video production for which a director's (or actor's) notebook or an explanatory essay is prepared. However, it must be stressed that opportunities to produce or direct a play, film, or video are very limited, and opportunities to act are only somewhat less so. Applications to use the Reynolds Club theaters, for example, must be submitted at least six months in advance of the desired scheduling. Time slots during winter quarter time are usually less in demand than during spring quarter. In this option, as in the others, the senior project requires supervision. Students who wish to pursue this option must have taken two one-quarter courses in relevant subjects (e.g., drama or film). They must obtain prior approval from the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies (with whom an appropriate field specialist is arranged), as well as approval from the appropriate theater or film studies personnel (with whom scheduling is arranged).
The senior project may be carried out either in noncurricular arrangements with the supervisor and field specialist, or through formal course registration (English 29900). The student may prepare the senior project by starting afresh on a topic of his or her choice or by working from a paper previously submitted in a regular course. Because revising and rethinking are vital parts of the process, students cannot wait to begin their preparations until the quarter in which they wish to graduate.
NOTE: As stated above, English 29900 may not be counted among the courses fulfilling distribution requirements for the concentration. Any student may, of course, take English 29900 as an English or free elective. No one can register for English 29900 without previously obtaining permission from a faculty member willing to serve as field specialist for the project.
Senior Seminars. Senior seminars are faculty-taught advanced seminars limited to twelve seniors. They focus on a more specific topic than most of our courses (e.g., a single author, a small group of authors, or a particular genre or theme over a clearly-defined historical period), and are more deeply engaged with critical traditions and theoretical perspectives than other English courses. Students are expected to participate intensively in class discussion, to critique one another's work, and to produce a substantial final paper. Students who wish to receive departmental honors may submit their final paper for consideration for honors.
Advising in the Concentration. Concentrators in English are expected to review their programs at least once a year with the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. In the quarter before graduation, students are required to complete and submit a departmental worksheet that indicates plans for meeting all concentration requirements. These worksheets can be obtained in the undergraduate secretary's office (G-B 309). The Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies has regularly scheduled office hours during which he is available for consultation and guidance on a student's selection of courses, future career plans, and questions or problems relating to the concentration.
Students are encouraged to consult the faculty directory distributed by the English department. This directory lists faculty interests and current projects, providing leads for students seeking general counsel on their intellectual direction or specific guidance in reading courses. Faculty members are available to students during regular office hours posted every quarter.
Grading. Students concentrating in English must receive letter grades in all thirteen courses aimed at meeting the requirements of the degree program. Exceptions are allowed only in creative writing courses where the instructor regards P/N grades as an appropriate form of accreditation. Students not concentrating in English may take English courses on a P/N basis if they receive the prior consent of the faculty member for a given course.
Honors. Special honors in English are reserved for graduating seniors who have excellent course grades and who complete a senior seminar essay or senior project judged to be of the highest quality. For honors candidacy, a student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average overall and a 3.5 grade point average in departmental courses. Senior projects are evaluated by the supervisor, faculty advisor, and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. Senior seminar papers are evaluated by the seminar instructor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. Completion of a senior project or senior seminar paper is no guarantee of a recommendation for departmental honors. Honors recommendations are made to the Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division by the department through the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. Students who wish to receive departmental honors on the basis of their senior seminar papers should take the senior seminar at least one quarter before the quarter in which they intend to graduate.
The London Program (Autumn). This program provides students in the College with an opportunity to study British literature and history in the cultural and political capital of England in the autumn quarter. In the ten-week program, students take four courses that are each compressed into approximately three weeks and taught in succession by Chicago faculty. The fourth course, which is on the history of London, is conducted at a less intensive pace. The program includes a number of field trips (e.g., Bath, Canterbury, and Cambridge). The London program is designed for third- and fourth-year students with a strong interest and some course work in British literature and history. While not limited to concentrators in English Language and Literature or History, such students will find the program to be especially attractive and useful. Applications are available online via a link to Chicago's study abroad home page (study-abroad.uchicago.edu) and are normally due in mid-winter quarter. For details on the 2001-02 program, see the following course descriptions: English 20100 (20101-20102-20103).
Lauren Berlant, Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on African & African-American Studies, and the College; Director, Center for Gender Studies
David M. Bevington, Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities; Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
JOHN BREWER, John & Marion Sullivan University Professor in the Departments of English Language & Literature and History, and the College
William L. Brown, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
James K. Chandler, George M. Pullman Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature and the College
BRADIN CORMACK, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Jacqueline Goldsby, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Elaine Hadley, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Miriam Hansen, Ferdinand Schevill Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Department of English Language & Literature, Cinema & Media Studies, Committees on the Visual Arts and General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
Elizabeth Helsinger, John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Art History, and the College; Chair, Department of English Language & Literature
GEORGE HILLOCKS, Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Education
J. Paul Hunter, Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College; Director, Franke Institute for the Humanities
Janice L. Knight, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Loren Kruger, Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, Committee on African & African-American Studies, and the College
MARK KRUPNICK, Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, the Divinity School, and Committees on Jewish Studies and General Studies in the Humanities
James F. Lastra, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on Cinema & Media Studies, and the College
SANDRA MACPHERSON, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Saree Makdisi, Associate Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, and the College
CARLA MAZZIO, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
MARK MILLER, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
W. J. T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Art History, Committee on the Visual Arts, and the College
Janel Mueller, William Rainey Harper Professor in the College; Professor, Department of English Language & Literature; Dean, Division of Humanities,
Michael J. Murrin, David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor in the Humanities; Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, the Divinity School, and the College
Deborah Nelson, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Lawrence Rothfield, Associate Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, and the College
Lisa Ruddick, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
Jay Schleusener, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Joshua Scodel, Associate Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
ERIC SLAUTER, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College
Richard G. Stern, Helen A. Regenstein Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
JACQUELINE STEWART, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on Cinema & Media Studies, and the College
Richard A. Strier, Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on Visual Arts, and the College; Frank L. Sulzberger Professor of Civilizations in the College
KATIE TRUMPENER, Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature, Germanic Studies, Comparative Literature and Cinema & Media Studies, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
William Veeder, Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
Robert von Hallberg, Professor, Departments of English Language & Literature, Germanic Studies, Comparative Literature, and the College
Christina von Nolcken, Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature and the College; Chair, Committee on Medieval Studies
Kenneth W. Warren, Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Committees on General Studies in the Humanities and African and African-American Studies, and the College
Anthony Yu, Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Departments of English Language & Literature and Comparative Literature, the Divinity School, and Committees on Social Thought and East Asian Languages & Civilizations
For a description of the numbering guidelines for the following courses, consult the section on reading the catalog on page 15.
Boldface letters in parentheses refer to courses that fulfill the following program requirements: (A) Period; (B) Pre-1700; (C) 1700 to 1900; (D) Poetry; (E) Fiction; (F) Drama/Film; (G) American; (H) British.
10100. Critical Perspectives. Required of English concentrators; ENGL 10100 is ideally taken by English concentrators in their third year and not later than autumn quarter of their fourth year. This course develops practical skills in close reading, historical contextualization, and the use of discipline-specific research tools and resources, and encourages conscious reflection on critical presuppositions and practices. The course prepares students to enter into the discussions that occur in more advanced undergraduate courses. R. von Hallberg, Autumn; R. Strier, Spring.
10200-10300. Problems in Gender Studies (=ENGL 10200-10300, GNDR 10100-10200, HUMA 22800-22900, SOSC 28200-28300). PQ: Second-year standing or higher. Completion of the general education requirement in social sciences or humanities, or the equivalent. May be taken in sequence or individually. This two-quarter interdisciplinary sequence is designed as an introduction to theories and critical practices in the study of feminism, gender, and sexuality. Both classic texts and recent conceptualizations of these contested fields are examined. Problems and cases from a variety of cultures and historical periods are considered, and the course pursues their differing implications in local, national, and global contexts. Both quarters also engage questions of aesthetics and representation, asking how stereotypes, generic conventions, and other modes of circulated fantasy have contributed to constraining and emancipating people through their gender or sexuality.
10200. This course addresses the production of particularly gendered norms and practices. Using a variety of historical and theoretical materials, it addresses how sexual difference operates in the contexts of nation, race, and class formation, for example, and/or work, the family, migration, imperialism, and postcolonial relations. S. Michaels, Autumn; L. Salzinger, Winter.
10300. This course focuses on histories and theories of sexuality: gay, lesbian, heterosexual, and otherwise. This exploration involves looking at a range of materials from anthropology to the law, and from practices of sex to practices of science. M. Miller, Autumn; S. Michaels, Winter.
10400. Introduction to Poetry. This course involves intensive readings in both contemporary and traditional poetry. Early on, the course emphasizes various aspects of poetic craft and technique, setting, and terminology and provides extensive experience in verbal analysis. Later, emphasis is on contextual issues: referentially, philosophical and ideological assumptions, and historical considerations. L. Ruddick. Spring. (D)
10700. Introduction to Fiction. In the first half of this course, we focus on the principal elements that contribute to effect in fiction (i.e., setting, characterization, style, imagery, and structure) to understand the variety of effects possible with each element. We read several different writers in each of the first five weeks. In the second half of the course, we bring the elements together and study how they work in concert. This detailed study concentrates on one or, at most, two texts a week. W. Veeder. Winter. (E)
10800. Introduction to Film I (=ARTH 19000, CMST 10100, COVA 25400, ENGL 10800, GSHU 20000). This course introduces basic concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial oeuvres. Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of the cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception. Films discussed include works by Hitchcock, Porter, Griffith, Eisenstein, Lang, Renoir, Sternberg, and Welles. J. Stewart. Autumn. (F)
11000. Novel Subjects: Theory and History of the Novel. This course examines the novel, which has tended to dominate the field of narrative study and popular culture, by working through the arguments of both "the grand novel theorists" and more recent scholars. Starting with the most recent novel by Winterson, The Power Book, that thematizes Internet technology and subjectivity, we then move to Scott's Waverly, Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Gissing's The Odd Women, Richardson's Pamela, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and Rushdie's Midnight's Children. Our cannon of critical thinkers includes theorists and historians of the novel such as Dorrit Cohn, Fredric Jameson, Nancy Armstrong, and Michael McKeon. Z. Aslami. Spring. (E)
12000/31900. Topics in Critical Theory. This course is an introduction to theories of language and mind, and their relations to literary theory, from the beginning of the century through the 1970s. We track the Continental and the Anglo-American schools from Frege and Saussure to Wittgenstein, Quine, and Davidson, on the one side; and to Derrida and Foucault, on the other. J. Schleusener. Spring.
12500/59000. Fiction Writing. PQ: Consent of instructor; submit writing sample to G-B 309 by November 15, 2001 (Winter); or January 31, 2002 (Spring). This class is run as a workshop, meaning that student writing is its soul and subject. Our concentration is on language and craft, and we talk about some of the practical aspects of the writing life. Each student submits two stories or chapters from a work in progress for group discussion, and then meets with the instructor for a conference. Each student substantially rewrites one of his/her stories. In addition, we read a number of recent works of fiction by contemporary writers. Finally, there are brief, periodic lectures on different elements of fiction writing (e.g., plot, character, and point of view) followed by open discussion. Staff. Winter, Spring. (E)
12600/32600. Visual Culture (=ARTH 25800/35800, CMST 37800, COVA 25400, ENGL 12600/32600). PQ: Any 10000-level ARTH or COVA course, or consent of instructor. This course explores the fundamental questions in the interdisciplinary study of visual culture: What are the cultural (and, by the same token, natural) components in the structure of visual experience? What is seeing? What is a spectator? What is the difference between visual and verbal representation? How do visual media exert power, elicit desire and pleasure, and construct the boundaries of subjective and social experience in the private and public spheres? How do questions of politics, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity inflect the construction of visual semiosis? W. J. T. Mitchell. Winter.
13000/33000. The Little Red Schoolhouse (Academic and Professional Writing). PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing. P/N grading optional for non-English concentrators. This course teaches the skills needed to write clear and coherent expository prose and to edit the writing of others. The course consists of weekly lectures on Thursdays, immediately followed by tutorials addressing the issues in the lecture. On Tuesdays, students discuss short weekly papers in two-hour tutorials consisting of seven students and a tutor. Students may replace the last three papers with a longer paper and, with the consent of relevant faculty, write it in conjunction with another class or as part of the senior project. Materials fee $20. L. McEnerney, K. Cochran, T. Weiner. Winter, Spring.
13200/33200. Writing Poetry. PQ: Consent of instructor; submit writing sample to G-B 309 by September 1, 2001 (Autumn), November 15, 2001 (Winter), January 31, 2002 (Spring). This course is designed to give poets at all levels a workshop atmosphere in which to present poems for group discussion and criticism. Assignments are offered to emphasize various elements of poetry: rhythm and meter, imagery, person, tone and diction, form, theme, and mood. However, students may present work of their own choice if they prefer. Emphasis is placed on the fact that writing can and should be a matter for hard work and improvement. Though the course focuses on student work, poems by contemporary American poets (as well as works from English and foreign literature) are brought in as time allows. Topics for continuing discussion include clarity, economy, revision, translation, imitation, publication, prevailing styles, fixed forms, and the cultivation of a writer's life and career. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring. (D)
13600. Playwriting (=ENGL 13600, GSHU 26600). PQ: Consent of instructor; consult Tiffany Trent (702-9021) for more information. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course introduces the basic principles and techniques of playwriting through creative exercises, discussion, and the viewing of contemporary theater. Structural components of plot, character, and setting are covered as students develop their dramatic voices through exercises in observation, memory, emotion, imagination, and improvisation. C. Allen. Autumn. (F)
13700. Advanced Playwriting (=ENGL 13700, GSHU 26700). PQ: ENGL 13600 and consent of instructor. This course presumes the basic principles and techniques of playwriting and explores the steps toward developing a production-worthy script for contemporary theater. In addition to the instructor, students have the benefit of Michelle Volansky, dramaturg and literary manager at Steppenwolf Theater, who discusses dramatic structure and what she looks for in a play; and Sandy Shinner, artistic associate at Victory Gardens Theater, who shares a director's viewpoint for bringing the text to production. C. Allen. Winter. (F)
13800/31000. History and Theory of Drama I (=ANST 21200, CLAS 31200, CMLT 20500/30500, ENGL 13800/31000, GSHU 24200/34200). May be taken in sequence with GSHU 24300/34300 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, to discover what is at work in the scene, and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended. D. Bevington, D. N. Rudall. Autumn. (B, F, H)
13900/31100. History and Theory of Drama II (=CMLT 20600/30600, ENGL 13900/31100, GSHU 24300/34300). May be taken in sequence with GSHU 24200/34200 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the late seventeenth century into the twentieth: Molière, Goldsmith, Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, Wilde, Shaw, Brecht, Beckett, and Stoppard. Attention is also paid to theorists of the drama, including Stanislavsky, Artaud, and Grotowski. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, to discover what is at work in the scene, and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with some other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended. D. Bevington, D. N. Rudall. Winter. (C, F)
14300/34300. Advanced Poetry Writing. PQ: Consent of instructor; submit three to five sample poems to G-B 309 by September 1, 2001 (Autumn), November 15, 2001 (Winter), January 31, 2002 (Spring). (E)
14600. Dialect Voices in Literature (=AFAM 21100, ENGL 14600, LING 24500/34500). In this course we use linguistic techniques to analyze literary texts, especially to assess how successfully dialect is represented, whether it matches the characters and cultural contexts in which it is used, and what effects it produces. About half the quarter is spent articulating linguistic features which distinguish English dialects (including standard English!) from each other and identifying some features that are associated with specific American dialects. During the second half of the quarter we read and critique some writers, applying techniques learned during the first half of the quarter. S. Mufwene. Autumn.
14700. Creative Writing: Fiction. PQ: Consent of instructor; submit a short story to G-B 309 by September 1, 2001. Students are expected to rewrite, revise, and reevaluate their original work from week to week based on our readings, discussions, and analysis. Lectures are based on issues that arise from student work. There are occasional exercises outside the students' own writing. The workshop meets weekly. A. Obejas. Autumn. (E)
15100/35100. Old English Seminar at the Newberry Library: The Exeter Book. PQ: ENGL 14900/34900 or equivalent. This course meets at the Newberry Library; for more information, consult Christina von Nolcken (702-7977, email@example.com). T. Hall. Winter. (B, H)
15500. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (=ENGL 15500, FNDL 25700). PQ: Knowledge of Middle English or of Chaucer's poetry not required. We examine Chaucer's art as revealed in selections from The Canterbury Tales. Our primary emphasis is on a close reading of individual tales, although we also pay attention to Chaucer's sources and to other medieval works providing relevant background. C. von Nolcken. Spring. (B, D, H)
15600. Medieval English Literature (=ENGL 15600, GNDR 15600). This course examines the relations among psychology, ethics, and social theory in fourteenth-century English literature. We pay particular attention to three central preoccupations of the period: sex, the human body, and the ambition of ethical perfection. Readings are drawn from Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain-poet, Gower, penitential literature, and saints' lives. There are also some supplementary readings in the social history of late medieval England. M. Miller. Winter. (A, B, D, H)
15800/35800. Medieval Epic (=CMLT 25900/35900, ENGL 15800/35800). Major works such as Beowulf, The Song of Roland, The Cid, and II Pergerio are examined, and attention is also given to poems such as the alliterative Morte d'Arthur. M. Murrin, Winter. (B, E, H)
16300/36300. Renaissance Epic (=CMLT 39100, ENGL 16300/36300, RLIT 30900). The emphasis of this class is on the neoclassical epic, its theory, and its connections with history. We read Camoe's Lusiads, the epic about the first European voyage around Africa to India; Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, the epic about the First Crusade that influenced The Faerie Queene; plus his Discourses on the Art of Poetry, in which he sets up a theory of neoclassical epic that also affected Milton. Finally, we read Milton's Paradise Lost. M. Murrin. Winter. (B, E, H)
16400. On Hurt: Shakespeare and the Tradition of Revenge. This course explores tropes and dramas of revenge in the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England. We consider revenge as a form of performance and repetition, as a mode of historical representation, and as a genre preoccupied with questions of agency, justice, social, and national forms of government, and the possibility of articulating-and-inflicting various forms of hurt. We compare revenges by Shakespeare (e.g., Titus Andronicus and Hamlet) with other contemporary revenge dramas (e.g., The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, and The Duchess of Malfi) and consider the relationships between theatre, revenge, and vocabularies of vulnerability available to Renaissance writers and dramatists. C. Mazzio. Autumn. (B, F, H)
16500. Shakespeare I: Histories and Comedies. This course is an exploration of Shakespeare's major plays in the genres of history plays and romantic comedy, from the first half (roughly speaking) of his professional career: Richard III, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night, and Measure for Measure. We also give serious attention to issues of political conflict, formation of national identity, self-fashioning, gender role-playing, courtship, maturation, innovations in genre, and staging (including, when we have time, film). D. Bevington. Winter. (B, F, H)
16600. Shakespeare II: Tragedies and Romances. PQ: ENGL 16500 recommended but not required. This course studies the second half of Shakespeare's career, from 1600 to 1611, when the major genres that he worked in were tragedy and "romance" or tragicomedy. Plays read include Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear (two versions), Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Pericles, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. R. Strier. Spring. (B, F, H)
16700. Shakespeare in Performance (=ENGL 16700, GSHU 25200). PQ: Consent of instructor. Theater experience helpful but not required. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course explores the dramatic texts of Shakespeare through scene-study and the mechanics of performance. Students begin by working to develop awareness of and freedom with the verse in the sonnets. Moving toward more extensive dialogue and scene-work from the plays, students explore the building blocks of performing Shakespeare from the text itself to the actor's voice and body. The class teaches specific approaches to both verse and prose, developing a methodology of analysis, preparation, and performance. Each participant directs and performs scenes for class. G. Witt. Winter. (B, F, H)
16800. Advanced Shakespeare Scene Study (=ENGL 16800, GSHU 25700). PQ: ENGL 16700 or equivalent Shakespeare training, and consent of instructor. Previous experience with Shakespeare helpful, but not required. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. How do you translate the politics, poetics, and cultural issues of Shakespeare's texts into actual staging? Moving beyond the simple understanding and delivery of verse drama, this class explores in depth the visual, physical, and thematic resonances of Shakespeare's plays. Students focus at length on individual scenes, discovering them from a range of approaches to unlock their inherently theatrical elements. G. Witt. Spring. (B, F, H)
17500. English Poetry from Wyatt to Milton. This course explores the field of Renaissance poetry in the context of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century culture more generally. Although we focus on the lyric in such writers as Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton, our readings also include historical poetry and selected literary and rhetorical criticism from the period. B. Cormack. Autumn. (A, B, D, H)
17900. Early English Utopias: From Thomas More to the Restoration (1516-1660s). The publication of Thomas More's Utopia is our starting point as we examine the development of this genre throughout England's turbulent seventeenth century. We look at Shakespeare's magical variation, Francis Bacon's scientific exploration, and Goodwin's lunar vision before turning to the radical political platforms of the English Civil War and the Interregnum (e.g., Milton, Winstanley, and Harrington) and the comic and experimental developments of the Restoration (e.g., Margaret Cavendish). We conclude by looking at Milton's Paradise Lost and considering the views of a final theorist on the question of a twentieth-century utopia: Disneyland. Z. Cannon. Autumn. (B, F, H)
20101-20102-20103. London Program Courses.
20101. London Narrative Poets. M. Murrin. Autumn. (B, D, H)
20102. Victorian London in Literature and Art. E. Helsinger. Autumn. (A, C, D, E, H)
20103. London in the Age of the American Revolution. E. Slauter. Autumn. (C, G)
20500. The British Novel in the Romantic Period. The late eighteenth and the early nineteenth century was a time of great innovation in the novel. We examine a variety of literary modes in the Romantic period: social/philosophical problem novels (i.e., Goodwin, Shelley, and Edgeworth), Gothic tales (i.e., Radcliffe and Shelley), novels of sentiment and sensibility (i.e., Radcliffe, Scott, and parodies of Austen), and the historical and realist novel (i.e., Edgeworth, Scott, and Austen). In addition, students read two texts with questionable fictional status: Hazlitt's Liber Amoris and De Quincey's Confessions, raising questions about the status of "the literary" in the period and what makes a novel a novel, as well as the relationships among character, feeling, sentiment, and subjectivity. We conclude by exploring Wuthering Heights and its connections to these earlier texts. H. Strang. Autumn. (C, F, H)
20800/30800. From Sensibility to Romanticism. This is a course in the fertile literature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, which was the period of the "great transformation." Its main themes include the role of feeling and imagination in the new writing; the emergence of the woman writer; the transformations of genres; and the politics of "romanticism," especially in relation to political economy, reform and revolution, and new developments of science. We read such authors as Sterne, MacKenzie, Burney, Edgeworth, Blake, Barbauld, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, the Shelleys, Austen, and Scott. J. Chandler. Winter. (C, H)
21100/40000. Victorian Wives, Mothers, and Daughters (=ENGL 21100/40000, GNDR 21300). This introduction to modern theoretical debates concerns the role of gender in Victorian society with a focus on the female gender in history, as well as instructive and medical texts. We begin with readings by Armstrong, Poovey, and Langland. We then concentrate on several contested and much-studied modes of identity: marriage, motherhood, the role of daughters, and related categories such as leisure and labor. E. Hadley. Winter. (C, E, H)
21500/31500. John Locke in Historical Context (=ENGL 21500/31500, HIST 21500/31500). Observers agree that John Locke's thought is at the heart of liberal political thinking. Yet very few have sought to understand his writings in the political and social contexts in which they were written. This course begins by discussing the value of historical approaches to political thought. We then proceed to examine his notions of government, his political economy, and his religious arguments in dialogue with his contemporaries. The course focuses heavily on primary texts, both by Locke and others. S. Pincus. Winter. (B, H)
21700/42400. The Politics of Culture. Whether focused on beauty and justice or on issues of race, class, and gender, critical work in the humanities tends to take for granted the assumption that (as ideology, ethical resource, source of resistance, means of transcendence, moral improvement, or otherwise) culture matters politically. Yet that assumption is itself worth exploring. This course examines the history of the ways in which, beginning in the Victorian period but intensifying over the last half century, culture has been defined as an object of political concern, an objective of political action, or a means to a political end. Topics may include the understanding of the arts and humanities. In addition to reading key texts by a diverse group of cultural critics, philosophers, economists, and writers, we evaluate the arguments that have been made in several concrete policy debates from recent years. L. Rothfield. Spring. (C)
22300. Henry James: Fiction of Crisis. In 1895, Henry James suffered his first nervous breakdown. Over the next five years, he produced several of the greatest novellas and novels of the nineteenth century. How fiction writing became a mode of self therapy for James is one of the issues this course explores. In addition, we examine how self-analysis interacted with a mordant social analysis to produce fiction that simultaneously looks outward and inward. By a close reading of James's texts and of various theorists, we work to engage the forces that produced James's masterpieces. Texts include The Aspern Papers, The Pupil, The Spoils of Poynton, In the Cage, The Turn of the Screw, What Maisie Knew, The Awkward Age, and "The Great Good Place." W. Veeder. Spring. (C, E, G, H)
23400. Virginia Woolf (=ENGL 23400, GNDR 23400). Readings include The Voyage Out, Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, Between the Acts, and selected essays. L. Ruddick. Winter. (E, H)
23800. Pope's Essay on Man and Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (=ENGL 23800, FNDL 27100, GSHU 28300). Pope's Essay on Man is, among other things, a memorable repository of influential ideas (none original with Pope himself) about man's place in God's universe and the implications of this view for human conduct and belief. The doctrines thus represented by Pope, together with more orthodox modes of Christian thought, are examined, with deadly amiability, in Hume's posthumously published Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. The course proceeds in awareness of the remarkable literary qualities of both works: Pope's superb prosodic and linguistic achievement and Hume's brilliantly ironic exploitation of the dialogue form. E. Rosenheim. Autumn. (C, D, H)
24100. Literature and Contact: Early Modern England and North America. The literature of contact includes not only the numerous encounters between colonialists and Native Americans, but the meetings and encounters between Europeans who were abroad and often in conflict with one another in North America. Readings begin with portions of the early exploration narratives by Columbus, Hakluyt, and others, then focus on late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travel narratives by Behn, Defoe, Charlotte Lennox, Equiano, and some captivity narratives. The course also includes selections from current histories of eighteenth-century colonialism and transatlantic culture to contextualize the literature, along with selections from primary sources. H. McMurran. Spring. (C, G, H)
24800. Gender and South African Writing (=ENGL 24800, GNDR 24800). In this course we develop our understanding of South African writing. A major interest is in the changing social constructions of masculinities and femininities during the period from 1950 to 1990, and the effects of race/racism and class on conceptions of gender. Texts include stories by Can Themba, Gcina Mhlope, Miriam Tlali, and Zoe Wicomb; autobiographies by Noni Jabavu, Ellen Kuzwayo, and Emma Mashinini; and a novel by Nadine Gordimer. D. Driver. Autumn. (E)
25500. Tough Broads (=ENGL 25500, GNDR 26000). PQ: ENGL 10200-10300. This course is a reading of selected works by some of the postwar era's "exceptional women," as Adrienne Rich defined the term: Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt, Elizabeth Hardwick, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, and more. Great stylists and often brilliant thinkers, these writers, who mostly came of age before feminism and often had a difficult relationship to it, help us to pose some questions to feminism and so-called post-feminism alike: questions about isolation and community, intellectual authority, personal austerity, pain and suffering, autonomy, and self sacrifice. We very likely juxtapose their work with that of feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich, and Audre Lorde. D. Nelson. Autumn. (C)
25900. Reading the American Renaissance. This course introduces students to surveys of the "classic" texts of the antebellum cannon and theoretical and historical questions concerning canon-formation and literary periodization. We examine American Renaissance writers' intense concern with the relations between literary practice and social and political ideology and with the productive relations that their own literary practices may have on readers. Authors include Emerson, Whitman, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Douglass, and Melville. V. Bertolini. Winter. (A, C, G)
26700. Masculinities: U.S. Literature and Culture, 1789-1860. This course explores the emergence of (and resistance to) a new, unifying ideal of "white manhood" as the ground for citizenship and for economic independence in U.S. literature and culture before the Civil War. Our texts include novels (e.g., James Fenimore Cooper's The Pioneers and Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple), short fiction (e.g., Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman), autobiography (e.g., Benjamin Franklin and Frederic Douglas), social history, and literary criticism. H. Layson. Spring. (C, F, G)
26800/36800. The Age of Realism and Naturalism. Literary histories tell us that realism and naturalism were aesthetic movements that redefined American fiction at the turn of the nineteenth century. Cultural histories of the era tell us that Americans fiercely debated what constituted the "real" and the "natural" as they coped with the revolutionary changes that turned their worlds upside down between the Civil War and World War I. This course moves between these two accounts to appreciate the varied styles and issues that characterized the literature of this moment. Authors include Rebecca Harding Davis, William Dean Howells, Theodore Dreiser, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, Sui Sin Far, Helen Hunt Jackson, Charles Chestnut, Mark Twain, and Henry James. J. Goldsby. Autumn. (A, C, E, G)
27100. African-American Literature on Film (=AFAM 21100, CMST 27100). This course surveys a range of twentieth-century African-American literary works that have been adapted to the screen, exploring (1) the formal and stylistic relationships between literature and the cinema, and (2) our approaches to them as objects of intellectual inquiry. Titles we examine include novels and films by Oscar Micheaux; Richard Wright/Pierre Chenal/Jerrold Freedman (Native Son); Lorraine Hansberry/Daniel Petrie (A Raisin in the Sun); Chester Himes/Ossie Davis (Cotton Comes to Harlem); Alice Walker/Steven Spielberg (The Color Purple); Malcolm X and Alex Haley/Spike Lee (The Autobiography of Malcolm X); Walter Moseley/Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress); and Julie Dash's film and novel Daughters of the Dust. J. Stewart. Autumn. (F, G)
27200. Nineteenth-Century New England Literary Cultures. This course surveys a variety of New England writers of the first half of the nineteenth century. Attentive to the cultural context, we read texts by Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Stowe, Sedgewick, Fuller, and Melville. J. Knight. Autumn. (A, C, E, G)
27300. The Harlem Renaissance. In this course we first examine the major descriptions and evaluations of the Harlem Renaissance as a literary period (i.e., Nathan Huggins, David Levering Lewis, Houston Baker, and George Huchinson), and then we take up some of the chief creative and intellectual architects of the movement: Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, W. E. B. Du Bois, Nella Larsen, Jessie Fauset, Jean Toomer, and others. K. Warren. Spring. (A, C, G)
28000. Film Aesthetics, Spectatorship, and Cinema Experience
(=CMST 27100, ENGL 28000, GSHU 20700). This course focuses on the relation
between the film medium, its aesthetic possibilities and practices, and the
forms of reception mandated by and available within the institution of cinema.
Beginning with a few classical film theorists (i.e., Balazs, Kracauer, Eisenstein,
and Benjamin), we explore questions of film aesthetics and spectatorship through
more contemporary theorists in the psychoanalytic-semiotic vein (i.e., Metz,
Baudry, and Mulvey). We also consider the perspective of recent film history
(i.e., Gunning, Musser, Tsivian, Carbine, and Hansen) that emphasizes the significance
of the entire cinema experience (i.e., the social space of the theater, music,
programming, and the public horizon of the audience) for the process by which
films convey meaning, pleasure, and subjectivity. M. Hansen. Winter.
28800. Power and Resistance: East Germany in Eastern Europe
(=GRMN 28800, HUMA 26800) When the Eastern bloc collapsed in 1989, many
understood this historical change as a liberation from repressive regimes. Viewing
socialist states "from above" (as occupation regimes that were supported largely
by Red Army tanks), this approach does little to explain the sudden, almost
noiseless implosion of the socialist states in 1989, let alone their long-term
stability. Focusing on the dissident culture of East Germany, this course examines
some of the inner binding forces that held socialism together for more than
forty years but also slowly eroded it. Moreover, our analyses of different forms
of resistance and complicity developed in East German literature, film, underground
art, queer culture, political theory, and so on, will take issue with the general
assumption that intellectuals in East Germany were more conformist than their
Eastern European counterparts. Placing East German dissident culture in the
context of cultural productions from Czechoslovakia and Poland, we expose the
historical specificity of the GDR as a state between East and West, fascism
and socialism. The course is framed with a discussion of concepts of power and
resistance developed inside and outside of a socialist context (texts by Wolf,
Fühmann, Hein, Kirsch, Brasch, Bahro, Havel, Milosz, Michnik, Hrabal, Foucault,
Kristeva, and Adorno; films by Wajda, Forman, and Beyer). A. Pinkert. Winter.
29100. Confessional Poetry in Post-World War America. The so-called confessional poets are some of the most influential of the twentieth century. This course's primary goal is to develop, through close reading, a strong familiarity with five major poetry collections that helped define the confessional lyric and postwar literary culture in America: Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Robert Lowell's Life Studies, W. D. Snodgrass's Heart's Needle, Anne Sexton's To Bedlam and Part Way Back, and Sylvia Plath's Ariel. We also examine sequences in John Berryman's Dream Songs, listen to confessional poets reading from their work, and, later in the quarter, examine collections of poetry that have been labeled "post-confessional." A secondary purpose of this course is to locate confessional poetry in the highly charged cold war atmosphere in which it was produced and received. S. Gee. Spring. (D, G)
29300/48700. History of International Cinema I: Silent Era (=ARTH 28500/38500, CMST 28500/48500, COVA 26500, ENGL 29300/48700, MAPH 33600). This is the first part of a two-quarter course. The two parts may be taken individually, but taking them in sequence is helpful. The aim of this course is to introduce students to what was singular about the art and craft of silent film. Its general outline is chronological; we also discuss main national schools and international trends of filmmaking. Y. Tsivian. Autumn. (F)
29600/48900. History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960 (=ARTH 28600/38600, CMST 28600/48600, COVA 26600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700). PQ: ENGL 29300/48700 or consent of instructor. This is the second part of the international survey history for film covering the sound era up to 1960. The crystallization of the classical Hollywood film in terms of style and genre, as well as industry organization, is a key issue. But international alternatives to Hollywood are also discussed, from the unique forms of Japanese cinema to movements such as Italian Neo-Realism and the beginnings of the New Wave in France. Texts include Thompson Bordwell, Film History, An Introduction, and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, Godard, and others. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir. T. Gunning. Winter. (F)
29700. Reading Course. PQ: Consent of instructor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. May not be taken for a letter grade. The kind and amount of work to be done are determined by an instructor within the Department of English Language and Literature who has agreed to supervise the course. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.
29801. Senior Seminar: Cather, Wharton, and Parker: Realism and the Unsayable. In this seminar we read three novels/collections each of Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, and Dorothy Parker. We think about the place of biography, cultural history, and genre in their works; and we look specifically at the relation between their commitments to realism and their constant return to that which realism fails. L. Berlant. Autumn. (E, G)
29802. Senior Seminar: Shakespeare and the Senses. This course explores metaphors and models of sense perception and cognition in Shakespearean drama. We focus in depth on visual, auditory, and tactile modes of transmission, communication, and miscommunication in a number of comedies, tragedies, and romances, where plots often hinge on moments of sensory unreliability. Further, we consider the place of the senses in the domain of performance more generally, where "audiences," "spectators," and "assemblies" gather in a communal setting requiring a complex interplay of bodily and cognitive "sense." C. Mazzio. Winter. (B, F, H)
29900. Independent B.A. Paper Preparation. PQ: Consent of instructor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. May not be counted toward the distribution requirements for the concentration, but may be counted as a departmental elective. In consultation with a faculty member, students devote the equivalent of a one-quarter course to the preparation of a B.A. paper. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.