Up to all English Courses for 2021-22 Show Filters

English (En) Graduate Courses (2021-22)

En 100. Artificial Life: Literary Automata. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Well before the advent of the Machine Age, literary texts have been populated by various kinds of ingenious automata, often in animal or human form. This course surveys the role of the automaton in literary texts in order to consider how the notion of "artificial life" changes over time, with a focus on the special case of the human machine. Readings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to include texts by la Mettrie, Hoffmann, Kleist, Shelley, Poe, and de l'Isle-Adam. We will conclude with a classic text from the twentieth century: Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot". Instructor: Holland.
En 101. Recalling the Wild. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. City-dwellers invented the concept of wilderness, as a space apart from human laws and culture. This course takes a critical look at the different values attributed to that space as it has been colonized by the human imagination. Our discussions will focus on the emergence of the perception of wilderness in European literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but we conclude with the question: what meaning do we invest the concept of "wilderness" with today? Readings will include works by Buffon, Toqueville, Chateaubriand, Byron, Thoreau, Wells, and London. Instructor: Holland.
En 103. Introduction to Medieval British Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course offers a tour of major (as well as some minor) genres and works written in Britain prior to 1500. Far from a literary "dark age," the Middle Ages fostered dramatic experiments in narrative form, bequeathing to modern literature some of its best-loved genres and texts. We will practice reading in Middle English-the language of Chaucer and his contemporaries-while we concentrate on the following questions: how did these texts circulate among readers? How do they establish their authority? What kinds of historical and cultural currents to they engage? Texts may include the lives of saints, the confessions of sinners, dranma, lyrics, romances, selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and Malory's Morte Darthur. Readings will be in Middle and modern English. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 104. Imagining the Medieval in the Nineteenth Century. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Following the Enlightenment and amidst the Industrial Revolution, the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw a surging interest in the literature, lives, art, and architecture of the Middle Ages. In this course, we will explore how authors represented, invoked, and often idealized the medieval past-with its knights, peasants, saints, and monsters-as a way to think through the challenges-social, literary, political, aesthetic-of their own time. We will read several novels, poems, and treatises, including Henry David Thoreau's essay, "Walking;" Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court; Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King; and others. Requirements for the course will include weekly response papers and two essays. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 105. Old English Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. "Moððe word fræt." Want to learn how to read the riddle that begins with these words? This course will introduce students to Old English: the earliest form of the English language, spoken in England from roughly the years 450 to 1100. In studying the language, we will turn to its diverse and exciting body of literature, including one poem commemorating the brutal defeat by a Viking army and another based on the biblical story of Judith, who tricks the evil king Holofernes into sleeping with her-but not before slicing off his drunken head. We will also read a variety of shorter texts: laws, medical recipes, humorously obscene riddles. Successful completion of the course will give students a richer sense not only of the earliest period of English literature, but also of the English language as it is written and spoken today. No prior experience with Old or Middle English is necessary for this course. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 106. Poetry and the Project of Justice. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course explores how contemporary poets grapple with the most urgent questions of our moment: identity, equality, environmental crisis, and justice. In this class, students will gain confidence in reading, discussing, and writing about contemporary poems and will encounter recent and more distant traditions of protest poetry. We will ask how poetic language articulates questions of embodiment, community, law, and memory. The syllabus will focus in particular on writers of color, including queer and indigenous poets, and will include opportunities to attend local poetry readings. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Jahner.
En 107. Medieval Romance. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. The medieval term romanz designated both a language, French, and a genre, romance, dedicated to the adventures of knights and ladies and the villains, monsters, magic, and miles that stood in their way. This course explores key examples from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries, while also examining evolutions in the form. We will consider how romances figured love and desire as well as negotiated questions of law, territory, and cultural difference. Authors and texts may include Chretien de Troyes, Marie de France, Gawain and the Green Knight, Arthurian legends, outlaw tales, and hagiography. Instructor: Jahner.
En/VC 108. Volcanoes. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Long before torrents of lava cascaded down Los Angeles streets in the 1997 film Volcano, volcanic disaster narratives erupted across 19th-century British pages, stages, and screens. This class will examine the enduring fascination with volcanoes in literary and visual culture and the socio-political tensions that disaster narratives expose. Students will analyze Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Tambora's infamous 1815 eruption, James Pain's 1880s pyrotechnic adaptation of Vesuvius's 79AD eruption, and paintings of global sunsets after Krakatoa's 1883 eruption. Additional literary and visual texts may include works by: Felicia Hemans, Isabella Bird, M.P. Shiel, Charles Dickens, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and J. M. W. Turner. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Sullivan.
En 109. Madness and Reason. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Madness threatens to dissolve boundaries of the most various kinds: between the human and the inhumane, reality and fantasy, sickness and health. One of the tasks of a literary text is to subdue and contain madness through the construction of rational frameworks. How does a literary text accomplish this? Which strategies, such as the use of irony and humor, are the most effective? What role do insane characters play in literary texts? And when - if ever - should we consider an excess of reason as a kind of madness in its own right? Selected readings from Shakespeare, Voltaire, Goethe, Hoffmann, Büchner, Gogol, and Schnitzler, among others. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Holland.
En/VC 110. Sinners, Saints, and Sexuality in Premodern Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This class explores the history of sexuality and gender across the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Exploring both literary texts and visual representation, it considers how previous eras and cultures understood embodiment, sexuality, and gender and asks how we, as modern readers and viewers, approach these questions across the distance of centuries. We will read across a wide range of literature, including theology, philosophy, fiction, romance, and spiritual biography, and examine manuscript illustrations and other early visual media. Questions we will take up include the following: how did writers and artists construct the "naturalness" or "unnaturalness" of particular bodies and bodily acts? How did individuals understand the relationship between their own bodies and those of others? In what ways did writing and art authorize, scrutinize, or otherwise parse the boundaries of the licit and illicit? Finally, how have modern critics framed these questions? How do we approach and make use of earlier theories of sex and gender? Instructor: Jahner.
En 111. Violence and Reconciliation on the Shakespearean Stage. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Sir Francis Bacon famously described revenge as a "wild justice," and there are vivid examples of such justice in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries: revenge for political betrayal and tyranny, for sexual infidelities and desires, for religious misbehavior and dogmatism. But what of the experience of reconciliation on the Shakespearean stage? What pathways to concord and peace did these plays offer? This course explores the relationship of violence to the fleeting experience of reconciliation in early modern drama. The plays of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, Middleton, and Dryden allow us to consider how drama as text and performance engaged and continues to engage playgoers as they watch the religious, social, and political upheaval of their worlds mounted to the stage. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Koch.
En 112. Nineteenth-Century American Poetry. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. In the 1855 edition of "Leaves of Grass", Walt Whitman claimed that "the United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem." We might ask any number of questions in response to Whitman. If the United States are a poem, then who wrote it? What is this poem about? What genre is it? Is anyone reading it? Is it actually any good? Though we might approach Whitman's statement with some apprehension from our historical moment, this course will take seriously American life lived within poetry and the lives poems lived across the country. Together, we will track the development of American poetry as it engages with enslavement, abolition, genocide, war, beauty, nature, racialization, constructions of gender, sexuality, and affect. Ultimately, we will ask what reading nineteenth-century American poetry, or nineteenth-century America as a poem, might mean for our understanding of the country today. Readings will include Wheatley, Emerson, Bryant, Poe, Longfellow, Oakes Smith, Schoolcraft (Bamewawagezhikaquay), Whitman, Dickinson, Harper, and Dunbar amongst others. Instructor: Hill.
En 113. Shakespeare's Career: Comedies and Histories. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The first of a two-course sequence on Shakespeare's career as a dramatist and poet. We will read plays from the first half of Shakespeare's career, his comedies and histories. Particular attention will be paid to Shakespeare's use of his sources and to the textual history of the plays. En 113 and En 114 may be taken independently and, usually, are taught in alternate years. Instructor: Pigman.
En 114. Shakespeare's Career: Tragedies and Tragicomedies. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. The second of a two-course sequence on Shakespeare's career as a dramatist and poet. We will read works from the second half of Shakespeare's career, his tragedies, tragicomedies, and Sonnets. Particular attention will be paid to Shakespeare's use of his sources and to the textual history of the plays. En 113 and En 114 may be taken independently and, usually, are taught in alternate years. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Pigman.
En/VC 117. Picturing the Universe. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Whether you are a physicist, photographer, or bibliophile, grab a warm jacket. The night sky beckons. In addition to observing and photographing our own starry skies, we will study 19th-century literary, artistic, and scientific responses to new understandings of the universe as dynamic, decentered, and limitless. In Victorian England, picturing the universe in literature and recording celestial light in photographs defied the physiological limitations of human observation and fueled larger debates about objective evidence and subjective documentation. Authors studied may include: Anna Laetitia Aikin, Keats, Byron, Tennyson, Hardy, Agnes Clerke, E. E. Barnard, Tracy Smith, and Dava Sobel. Instructor: Sullivan.
En 118. Classical Mythology. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Why did the Greeks and Romans remain fascinated with the same stories of gods and demigods for more than a thousand years? On the other hand, how did they adapt those stories to fit new times and places? Starting with the earliest Greek poems and advancing through classical Athens, Hellenistic Alexandria, and Augustan Rome, we consider the history of writing poetry as a history of reading the past; the course also serves as an excellent introduction to ancient literary history at large. Readings may include Homer's 'Odyssey,' Hesiod, Aeschylus, Euripides, Apollonius Rhodius, Ovid, and Seneca. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Haugen.
En 119. Displacement. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. The literary fascination with people who change places, temporarily or permanently, over a short distance or across the globe, in works dating from our lifetimes and from the recent and the remote past. How readily can such stories be compared, how easy is it to apply traditional categories of literary evaluation, and, in the contemporary world, how have poetry and prose fictions about migration survived alongside other media? 21st-century works will receive considerable attention; other readings may include Virgil, Swift, Flaubert, Mann, Achebe, Nabokov, Didion, Morrison. Instructor: Haugen.
En 120. What Women Want: Desire and the Modern American Novel. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The question of what a woman wants animates a central strain of the modern American novel, as do evolving ideas about what women can and cannot have. This course considers female desire-for personal agency and freedom, self- and sexual fulfillment, economic and social opportunity-across a half dozen novels written from about 1880 - 1940, in light of some of the cultural forces that shape and constrain characters' (and real women's) horizons. Authors covered may include Henry James, Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, Anzia Yezierska, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Jurca.
En 121. Literature and Its Readers. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. The course will investigate readers who have made adventurous uses of their favorite works of literature, from Greek antiquity through the 20th century. Sometimes those readers count, at least temporarily, as literary critics, as when the philosopher Aristotle made Sophocles' Oedipus the King the central model in his wildly successful essay on the literary form of tragedy. Other readers have been even more experimental, as when Sigmund Freud, studying the same play, made the "Oedipus complex" a meeting point for his theory of psychology, his vision of human societies, and his fascination with literary narrative. It will discuss some basic questions about the phenomenon of literary reading. Does a book have a single meaning? Can it be used rightly or wrongly? Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Haugen.
En 122. Early History of the Novel. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. The realistic novel is a surprising, even experimental moment in the history of fiction. How and why did daily life become a legitimate topic for narrative in the 18th century? The realistic turn clearly attracted new classes of readers, but did it also make the novel a better vehicle for commenting on society at large? Why were the formal conventions of realistic writing so tightly circumscribed? Authors may include Cervantes, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Walpole, Boswell, and Austen. Instructor: Haugen.
En 123. The 19th-Century English Novel. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. A survey of the 19th-century novel from Austen through Conrad, with special emphasis upon the Victorians. Major authors may include Austen, Shelley, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray, Gaskell, Brontë, Collins, Trollope, Stoker, Hardy. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmore.
En 124. 20th-Century British Fiction. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. A survey of the 20th-century British and Irish novel, from the modernist novel to the postcolonial novel. Major authors may include Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Forster, Lawrence, Orwell, Amis, Lessing, Rushdie. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 125. British Romantic Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. A selective survey of English writing in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Major authors may include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, and Austen. Particular attention will be paid to intellectual and historical contexts and to new understandings of the role of literature in society. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmartin.
En 126. Gothic Fiction. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The literature of horror, fantasy, and the supernatural, from the late 18th century to the present day. Particular attention will be paid to gothic's shifting cultural imperative, from its origins as a qualified reaction to Enlightenment rationalism, to the contemporary ghost story as an instrument of social and psychological exploration. Issues will include atmosphere and the gothic sense of space; gothic as a popular pathology; and the gendering of gothic narrative. Fiction by Walpole, Shelley, Brontë, Stoker, Poe, Wilde, Angela Carter, and Toni Morrison. Film versions of the gothic may be included. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmartin.
En 127. Jane Austen. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will focus on the major novels of Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion. Film and television adaptations will also be considered, and students may have the opportunity to read Austen's unfinished works, as well as related eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British fiction and non-fiction. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmartin.
En 128. Modern and Contemporary Irish Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The development of Irish fiction, poetry, and drama from the early 20th-century Irish literary renaissance, through the impact of modernism, to the Field Day movement and other contemporary developments. Topics may include the impact of political violence and national division upon the literary imagination; the use of folk and fairy-tale traditions; patterns of emigration and literary exile; the challenge of the English language and the relation of Irish writing to British literary tradition; and recent treatments of Irish literature in regional, postcolonial, and global terms. Works by Joyce, Yeats, Synge, Friel, O'Brien, Heaney, Boland, and others. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmartin.
En/VC 129. Literature/Photography/Facticity. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. "It is the picture of life contrasted with the fact of life, the ideal contrasted with the real, which makes criticism possible," insists Frederick Douglass. This course will take an historical approach to the relationship between literature and photography by examining what Douglass refers to as the contrast between "picture" and "fact" from the advent of photography in the nineteenth century to our present moment. Together, we will think about how each medium creates images, invites different ways of reading or viewing, and makes forms of individual, collective, and political representation possible. We will also examine the ways in which photography and literature shape our understanding of temporality, truth, memory, and history. In addition to our experience of literary and photographic works, theoretical texts on photography will inform the ways of reading and ways of seeing we will develop in this course. Readings may include Boucicault, Douglass, Dunbar, Hartmann, Barthes, Lorde, and Rankine. Instructor: Hill.
En 131. Poe's Afterlife. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course focuses on Edgar Allan Poe and the considerable influence his works have had on other writers. Authors as diverse as Charles Baudelaire, Jules Verne, Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov, John Barth, and Philip Roth have used Poe's stories as departure points for their own work. We shall begin by reading some of Poe's s classic short stories, including "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," "The Purloined Letter," and others. We shall then explore how and why Poe's stories have been so important for authors, despite the fact that his reputation as a great American writer, unlike Hawthorne's and Melville's, for example, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Instructor: Weinstein.
En 132. After Austen: Nineteenth-Century British Women's Writing. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. The Victorian period introduced a huge array of new possibilities and constraints for women of all classes, as it witnessed rapid urbanization and industrialization, a changing conception of marriage and motherhood, and a new set of professional restrictions but also opportunities. This class focuses on novels by and about women, as it seeks to take the measure of these transformations and of a larger culture's reaction to them. How did women imagine and re-imagine themselves and what they wanted? How did notions of femininity and masculinity change? How do the imaginings of the Victorians resonate now? Authors studied may include Eliot, Gaskell, the Brontes, Oliphant, Braddon, and Scheiner. Instructor: Gilmore.
En 134. The Career of Herman Melville. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The course will analyze Melville's career starting with Typee and ending with Billy Budd. Special attention will be given to Moby-Dick and Pierre. The centrality of Melville's position in American literature will be considered from a variety of perspectives, including aesthetics, representations of race, class, and gender, the role of the audience, and connections with other authors. Instructor: Weinstein.
En/VC 135. Dickens's London. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Charles Dickens and London have perhaps the most famous relationship of any writer and city in English. In this course, we will investigate both the London Dickens knew, and the portrait of the city that he painted, by reading one of Dickens's great mid-career novels alongside a selection of contemporary texts and images and secondary historical sources. We will think about the gap-or overlap- between history and fiction, the idea of the novelist as alternative historian, and the idea of the novel as historical document. Historical topics covered may include: the development of the Victorian police force; plague and public health; Victorian poverty; colonialism and imperialism; Dickens and his illustrators; Victorian exhibition and museum culture; and marriage and the cult of domesticity, among others. Students will practice both textual and visual analysis skills. In addition to written work, students should expect to be responsible for making a short research presentation at some point in the term. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmore.
En 136. The Fiction of Charles Dickens. 9 units (3-0-6): . An overview of the Great Inimitable's fiction, concentrating on four texts representative of different phases of his novel-writing career and their relationship to the changing world of Victorian Britain: Oliver Twist, Dombey and Son, Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 137. African American Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course analyzes some of the great works of American literature written by African Americans. This body of writing gives rise to two crucial questions: How does African American literature constitute a literary tradition of its own? How is that tradition inextricable from American literary history? From slave narratives to Toni Morrison's Beloved, from the Harlem Renaissance to Alice Walker, from Ralph Ellison to Walter Mosley, African American literature has examined topics as diverse and important as race relations, class identification, and family life. We shall analyze these texts not only in relation to these cultural issues, but also in terms of their aesthetic and formal contributions. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 138. Twain and His Contemporaries. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course will study the divergent theories of realism that arose in the period after the Civil War and before World War I. Authors covered may include Howells, James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Twain, Sarah Orne Jewett, Jacob Riis, Stephen Crane, and W. E. B. DuBois. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 140. Literature in the Marketplace of Books. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. How did early readers experience the printed page? How did changes in the conditions of book production shape this experience? And what can modern readers learn of these experiences through our own technologies? In this course, we will explore these questions and ask how our understanding of literature changes when books are considered in terms of their physical characteristics and in relation to the broader marketplace of which they were a part. Our inquiry will be organized around important developments in the history of the early printed book: the re-discovery of classical texts by humanists; the mass production of religious books during the Protestant Reformation; the emergence of political pamphlets and newsbooks during the English Civil War; and the rise of new forms of literature like playtexts, romances, and novels. The course will include work with rare materials at the Henry E. Huntington Library as well as an introduction to the digital tools that scholars are developing to analyze books at scale. Instructor: Koch.
En 150. Chaos and Literature. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. We tend to think of literary texts as models of a stable poetic order, but modern and postmodern writers conduct increasingly bold experiments to test the contrary. This class explores how writers from the nineteenth century onward draw upon ancient and contemporary concepts of chaos to test out increasingly sophisticated models of disorder though writing. Readings to include Lucretius, Serres, Calvino, Barth, Stoppard, and Kehlmann. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Holland.
En 151. Keeping Time. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. The way in which humans perceive and record time has a discernable history, and literary texts offer us one of the best ways to study it, particularly in times of war and natural catastrophe. With a focus on 16th- through 18th-century European literature, we will examine various techniques of literary time-keeping as they relate to topics such as, fame and mortality, as well as the experience of time's slowness and acceleration. Readings will include selections from Baroque emblem books as well as texts by Montaigne, Milton, Pepys, Defoe, and Rousseau. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Holland.
En/VC 160 ab. Classical Hollywood Cinema. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course introduces students to Hollywood films and filmmaking during the classical period, from the coming of sound through the '50s. Students will develop the techniques and vocabulary appropriate to the distinct formal properties of film. Topics include the rise and collapse of the studio system, technical transformations (sound, color, deep focus), genre (the musical, the melodrama), cultural contexts (the Depression, World War II, the Cold War), audience responses, and the economic history of the film corporations. Terms may be taken independently. Part a covers the period 1927-1940. Part b covers 1941-1960. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Jurca.
En/VC 161. The New Hollywood. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course examines the post-classical era of Hollywood filmmaking with a focus on the late 1960s through the 1970s, a period of significant formal and thematic experimentation. We will study American culture and politics as well as film in this era, as we consider the relation between broader social transformations and the development of new narrative conventions and cinematic techniques. We will pay particular attention to the changing film industry and its influence on this body of work. Films covered may include Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and Jaws. Instructor: Jurca.
En 164. Contemporary Black Diasporic Literature and Culture. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. What is a Black diasporic analytic and how might it deepen our understandings of the cultural, environmental, literary, and political implications of globalization and racialization today? The literary and expressive genius of Black people across the global African diaspora has resulted in an extensive tradition of Black diasporic analytic works that have become unique portraits of a variety of Black international experiences within and beyond English-speaking nations. While this course focuses on contemporary Black diasporic literature and culture, it will nevertheless foreground the various linguistic, literary, and national histories that inform and shape this body of work. Additionally, students will learn how recent Black diasporic literature and culture have in turn shaped our current understandings of diaspora, family, gender, history, identity, labor, migration, nation, race, sexuality, and more. Overall, this course will introduce students to several pivotal Black diasporic literary and cultural works; representative modes of criticism and methodologies in the disciplines of diaspora studies; and the cultural, historical, and social realities of Black lives from the 1980s to today. All readings will be provided in English. Instructor: Murphy.
En 165. Black Feminist and Womanist Literature and Thought. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. For centuries, Black feminists, especially queer and trans women, and non-binary and queer folx, writing in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the United States, and more, have used literature to reimagine feminisms. In the decades following the second-wave feminist movement, a body of writing coalesced around the terms "Black feminist" and "womanist." These years are remembered for decolonization and postcolonialism; Anita Hill's testimony; the passing of Title IX; the first Take Back the Night marches; the introduction of terms "intersectionality" by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw and "third-wave feminism" by Rebecca Walker; the widespread publishing of works by feminists; the creation of Ethnic Studies and Women's and Gender Studies departments across institutions of higher education; and more. It was a moment in which Black people across identities and national origins wrote a number of works that radically retheorized family, home, gender, love, race, sexuality, work, and more, in ways that challenged cultures of violence in favor of imagining beloved communities. In this course, students will read, discuss, and better understand multiple literary and critical works participating in Black feminisms in order to then theorize new possibilities for Black feminist futures. Instructor: Murphy.
En 178. Medieval Subjectivities. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. In the seventeenth century, Descartes penned his famous expression "I think therefore I am!" and thus the modern subject was born-or so the simplified story goes. But long before the age of Descartes, the Middle Ages produced an astonishing range of theories and ideas about human selfhood, subjectivity, and interiority. For instance, writing from prison more than one thousand years earlier, Boethius came to realize that what distinguishes a human being from all other creatures is his capacity to "know himself." The meaning of this opaque statement and others like it will command our attention throughout this course, as we explore the diverse, distinctive, and often highly sophisticated notions of subjectivity that developed in the literatures of the Middle Ages. We will take up questions of human agency, free will, identity, self-consciousness, confession, and secrecy as we encounter them in some of the most exciting texts written during the period, including among others) Augustine's Confessions, Prudentius's Psychomachia, the Old English poem The Wanderer, the mystical writings of Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich, and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 179. Constituting Citizenship before the Fourteenth Amendment. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. What can a slave's narrative teach us about citizenship? How did the new nation identify citizens when its Constitution seemed so silent on the matter? And how did one tailor's pamphlet result in one of most massive restrictions of free speech in U.S. history? Our goal over the semester will be to sketch a story of African American literary production from the latter half of the eighteenth century to the Civil War and to tease out, through this literature, developing understandings of citizenship in the United States. We will read letters, poems, sermons, songs, constitutions and bylaws, short stories, and texts that simply defy easy categorization. We will also spend several sessions becoming familiar with key newspapers and magazines-Freedom's Journal, Frederick Douglass's Paper, The Anglo-African Magazine, Christian Recorder, and The Crisis-to deepen our understanding of the kinds of things people were reading and writing on a regular basis and the kinds of arguments they were making. Writers up for discussion may include: Frederick Douglass, James Madison, Harriet Jacobs, Henry David Thoreau, Sojourner Truth, and David Walker. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 180. Special Topics in English. 9 units (3-0-6): offered by announcement. This is an advanced humanities course on a specialized topic in English. It is usually taught by new or visiting faculty. The course may be re-taken for credit except as noted in the course announcement. Limited to 15 students. See registrar's announcement for details. Instructors: Staff, visitor.
En 181. Hardy: The Wessex Novels. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course will examine the body of work that the late Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy published under the general title The Wessex Novels, that is, the sequence of works from Far from the Madding Crowd to Jude the Obscure. The six main novels will be read critically to give a sense of the totality of this greatest British regional novelist's achievement. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 182. Literature and the First Amendment. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. "Freedom of speech," writes Benjamin Cardozo in Palko v. Connecticut (1937), "is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom." We will go inside the matrix, focusing on how it has affected the books we read. This is not a course in constitutional law or political philosophy, but an opportunity to examine how American literary culture has intersected with law and politics. We will investigate the ways in which the meanings of "freedom," what it entails, and who is entitled to it have changed over time. Possible topics include the obscenity trials surrounding Allen Ginsberg's Howl and James Joyce's Ulysses, crackdowns on anti-war propagandists, and the legal battle between Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and televangelist and Moral Majority cofounder Jerry Falwell. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 183. Victorian Crime Fiction. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. In 19th-century Britain, for the first time in human history, more of a nation's citizens came to live in urban areas than in rural ones. This result of the Industrial Revolution produced many effects, but in the fiction of the period, one of the most striking was an obsession with the problem of crime. Victorian authors filled their novels with murder, prisons, poisonings, prostitution, criminals, and the new figure of the detective; in this class we will look at the social history, publishing developments, and formal dilemmas that underlay such a response. Authors studied may include Dickens, Collins, Braddon, Conan Doyle, Chesterton, and Conrad, among others. Instructor: Gilmore.
En 185. Dickens and the Dickensian. 9 units (3-0-6): . The adjective "Dickensian" makes an almost daily appearance in today's newspapers, magazines, and other media sources. It is used to describe everything from outrageous political scandals, to Bollywood musicals, to multiplot novels. But what does the word really mean? And what part of Charles Dickens's output does it refer to? This class will consider some of Dickens's most famous works alongside a series of contemporary novels, all critically described in "Dickensian" terms. The main concern will be equally with style and form, and 19th-century and present-day circumstances of production (e.g., serialization, mass production, Web publication, etc.). Authors considered (aside from Dickens) may include Richard Price, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, and Jonathan Franzen. Not offered 2021-2022.
En 186. The Novel of Education. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This class takes up a set of mostly very funny, mostly 20th century British novels to frame a simple-seeming, yet deceptively complicated set of questions: What does it mean to be educated? Who has access to education? What does an ideal education consist in? And ultimately: What is a university for? As we think through these questions we will read op/eds and investigative journalism in addition to fiction, and we will consider a variety of university-centered topics (determined by student interest) including issues of gender, class, privilege, race, and genius. Authors read may include Sayers, Larkin, Amis, C.P. Snow, Lodge, and Zadie Smith. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Gilmore.
En 190. Chaucer. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. This course devotes itself to the writings of the diplomat, courtier, bureaucrat, and poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. Best known for the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer also authored dream visions, lyrics, and philosophical meditations. This course will introduce you to some better-known and lesser-known works in the Chaucerian corpus, while also exploring questions central to the production and circulation of literature in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. What did it mean to "invent" a literary work in late medieval England? How did Chaucer imagine himself as a writer and reader? What are the hallmarks of Chaucerian style, and how did Chaucer become the canonical author he is today? We will read Chaucer's works in their original language, Middle English, working slowly enough to give participants time to familiarize themselves with syntax and spelling. No previous experience with the language is necessary. Not offered 2021-2022. Instructor: Jahner.
En 191. Masterworks of Contemporary Latin American Fiction. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course studies Latin America's most influential authors in the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on short stories and novellas produced by the region's avant-garde and "boom" generations. Authors may include Allende, Bombal, Borges, García Márquez, Quiroga, Poniatowska, and Vargas Llosa. All readings and discussions are in English. Not offered 2021-2022.
En/H 193. Cervantes, Truth or Dare: Don Quixote in an Age of Empire. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Studies Cervantes's literary masterpiece, Don Quixote, with a view to the great upheavals that shaped the early modern world: Renaissance Europe's discovery of America; feudalism's demise and the rise of mass poverty; Reformation and Counter-Reformation; extermination of heretics and war against infidels; and the decline of the Hapsburg dynasty. The hapless protagonist of Don Quixote calls into question the boundaries between sanity and madness, truth and falsehood, history and fiction, objectivity and individual experience. What might be modern, perhaps even revolutionary, in Cervantes's dramatization of the moral and material dilemmas of his time? Conducted in English. Instructor: Wey-Gomez.
En/H 197. American Literature and the Technologies of Reading. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course explores the material forms of American literature from the colonial era through the nineteenth century. We will study how and by whom books and other kinds of texts were produced, and how these forms shaped and were shaped by readers' engagement with them. Possible topics include the history of such printing technologies as presses, types, paper, ink, binding, and illustration; the business of bookmaking and the development of the publishing industry; the rise of literary authorship; the career of Benjamin Franklin; print, politics, and the American Revolution; and manuscript culture. Not offered 2021-2022.

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