Location: Bowdoin / English / Courses / Fall 2009


Fall 2009

010. Modern American Poets
Celeste Goodridge T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 CT-16 Whiteside Room
Analysis of the work of authors who may include Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, and Marianne Moore.

011. Slavery and the Literary Imagination
Tess Chakkalakal T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-114
Introduces students to the literature of slavery. Looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century slave narratives, antislavery/proslavery fiction and non-fiction, and visual representations of slavery in the form of photographs, paintings and minstrel performances. Authors include Equiano, Wheatley, Jefferson, Melville, Douglass, and Stowe. Twentieth- and twenty-first-century narratives include former slave testimonials, novels by Morrison, Faulkner, Williams, Styron, and Jones.

012. Stoic Heroes and Disenchanted Knights
Mary Edsall T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 HL-311 (third floor)
An inquiry into the construction of heroic and chivalric masculinities in literature from Virgil to Chaucer, with a strong focus on the historical and social contexts that help make these pre-modern texts intelligible. Attention given to sex/gender systems; to the ideological power of myth, legend, and romance; and to the afterlife of ideals of heroism and chivalry. Texts may include Virgil’s "Aeneid," "Beowulf," "The Song of Roland," Chrétien de Troyes’ "The Knight of the Lion," Chaucer’s "Knight’s Tale," and selections from the nineteenth-century “chivalric revival.”

013. Hawthorne
William Watterson T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Mass-McKeen Study
Readings include selected short stories, "Fanshawe," "The Scarlet Letter," "The Blithedale Romance," "The House of the Seven Gables," "The Marble Faun," "Septimus Felton," and James Mellow’s "Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times."

014. Shanghai Imagined
Belinda Kong T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Mass-McKeen Study
Examines literary and filmic representations of 1930s and 1940s Shanghai. Explores how Shanghai imagined itself through its own writers at the time, as well as how it has been imagined retrospectively by contemporary writers and filmmakers, both within mainland China and in the diaspora. Topics include Shanghai’s history of semi-colonialism; conceptions of cosmopolitanism and modernity; intersecting discourses of gender, nationalism, and colonialism; the status of Westerners and the figure of the Eurasian; the Sino-Japanese War and representations of the Japanese soldier; the Jewish ghetto, and hybrid cultural forms such as Shanghai jazz.

015. Utopian Aesthetics
Aaron Kitch M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Mass-Faculty Room
Explores literary dreamworlds from Plato to contemporary America. How do idealized societies relate to existing social orders? What forms of aesthetic, political, and cultural desires find a place in political fantasies? Considers dystopias as well as utopias. Readings may include Plato, Thomas More, Jonathan Swift, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, William Morris, B. F. Skinner, and Margaret Atwood; films may include "Blade Runner" and "Brazil."

016. Alternative Intelligences
Hilary Thompson T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Searles-115
Investigates the concept of intelligence by analyzing literary representations of ways of thinking that are frequently considered exceptional: artificial intelligence, animal cognition, and indigenous knowledge. Explores the societal impact of different definitions of intelligence and considers whether recent literature might suggest new understandings of this concept. Authors to be studied may include Arthur C. Clarke, Kurt Vonnegut, Stanislaw Lem, Jorge Luis Borges, Amitav Ghosh, Colson Whitehead, and Haruki Murakami.

060. English Composition
Hilary Thompson T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Searles-127
Practice in developing the skills needed to write and revise college-level expository essays. Explores the close relationship between critical reading and writing. Assignment sequences and different modes of analysis and response enable students to write fully developed expository essays. Does not count toward the major or minor in English.

104. From Page to Screen: Film Adaptation and Narrative
Aviva Briefel T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-208
Explores the topic of “adaptation,” specifically, the ways in which cinematic texts transform literary narratives into visual forms. Begins with the premise that every adaptation is an interpretation, a rewriting/rethinking of an original text that offers an analysis of that text. Central to class discussions is close attention to the differences and similarities in the ways in which written and visual texts approach narratives, the means through which each medium constructs and positions its audience, and the types of critical discourses that emerge around literature and film. May include works by Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Anita Loos, Vladimir Nabokov, and Ridley Scott.

106. Introduction to Drama
Aaron Kitch M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Chase Barn Chamber
Traces the development of dramatic form, character, and style from classical Greece through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary America and Africa. Explores the evolution of plot design, with special attention to the politics of playing, the shifting strategies of representing human agency, and contemporary relationships between the theater and a variety of forms of mass media. Authors may include Sophocles, Aristophanes, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dryden, Ibsen, Wilde, Beckett, Mamet, and Churchill.

125. Creative Writing: Poetry I
Anthony Walton M 6:30 - 9:25 Mass-McKeen Study
Intensive study of the writing of poetry through the workshop method. Students are expected to write in free verse and in form, and to read deeply from an assigned list of poets.

200. Getting Real: The Development of Literary Realism
Marilyn Reizbaum M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Mass-McKeen Study
Examines the development of literary Realism in English letters. Considers the wider movement in the arts, in particular the visual arts, taking into account, in photography, for example, the scientific propositions that underlie certain theories of the “real” or “objective reality.” Touches on theoretical debates surrounding the genre. Authors may include Ruskin, Dickens, Hardy, Peter Brooks, Virginia Woolf, Sherwood Anderson, Susan Sontag, Erich Auerbach, Lorrie Moore, and Frederick Wiseman.

204. Tolkien's Middle Ages
Mary Edsall M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-208
A study of the philological, historical, and literary backgrounds of J. R. R. Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings." While some attention is given to major and minor works by Tolkien, as well as to Peter Jackson’s films, the main focus of the course is on the nineteenth-century theories of philology and mythology that influenced Tolkien; on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English language, literature, and culture; as well as on Tolkien’s essays, especially those on "Beowulf" and on Fairie. Presumes that students have a real familiarity with the text (as opposed to the film version) of "LOTR." Medieval texts may include Snorri Sturlusons’s "Gylfaginning," "The Kalevala," "The Battle of Maldon," "Beowulf," "Lanval," "Sir Orfeo," and "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

210. Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances
William Watterson T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-117
Examines "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," "The Merchant of Venice," "Twelfth Night," "As You Like It," "The Winter’s Tale," and "The Tempest" in light of Renaissance genre theory.Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

213. Telling Environmental Stories
Anthony Walton M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Searles-116
Intended for students with a demonstrated interest in environmental studies, as an introduction to several modes of storytelling, which communicate ideas, historical narratives, personal experiences, and scientific and social issues in this increasingly important area of study and concern. Explores various techniques, challenges, and pleasures of storytelling, and examines some of the demands and responsibilities involved in the conveyance of different types of information with clarity and accuracy in nonfiction narrative. Engages student writing through the workshop method, and includes study of several texts, including "The Control of Nature," "Cadillac Desert," "Living Downstream," and "Field Notes from a Catastrophe."

229. Milton
Ann Kibbie M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-107
A critical study of Milton’s major works in poetry and prose, with special emphasis on "Paradise Lost."Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

235. Radical Sensibility
David Collings M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-109
Examines the rise of and reactions to the literature of radical sensibility in the wake of the French Revolution. Focuses upon such topics as apocalyptic lyricism, anarchism, non-violent revolution, and the critique of marriage, family, male privilege, and patriarchal religious belief, as well as the defense of tradition, attacks on radical thinking, and the depiction of revolution as monstrosity. Discusses poetic experimentation, innovations in the English novel, and the intersections between political writing and the Gothic. Authors may include Burke, Paine, Blake, Wollstonecraft, Godwin, Opie, Percy Shelley, and Mary Shelley.

246. Drama and Performance in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Marilyn Reizbaum M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Boody-Johnson House Seminar Room
Examines dramatic trends of the century, ranging from the social realism of Ibsen to the performance art of Laurie Anderson. Traverses national and literary traditions and demonstrates that work in translation like that of Ibsen or Brecht has a place in the body of dramatic literature in English. Discusses such topics as dramatic translation (Liz Lochhead’s translation of Molière’s "Tartuffe"); epic theater and its millennial counterpart (Bertold Brecht, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill); political drama (Frank McGuinness, Athool Fugard); the “nihilism” of absurdist drama (Samuel Beckett); the “low” form of the musical (as presented, for example, by Woody Allen); and the relationship of dance to theater (Henrik Ibsen, Ntozake Shange, "Stomp," Enda Walsh). Readings staged. Formerly English 262.

253. Twentieth-Century American Literature: American Fiction between the Wars with Emphasis on the 1920s
Celeste Goodridge T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Whiteside Room
Authors may include Wharton, Cather, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Nella Larsen, and Faulkner. Considers how these authors both reflect and subvert the dominant ideologies of the period. Formerly English 272.Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

261. African American Poetry
Elizabeth Muther T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Mass-Faculty Room
African American poetry as counter-memory—from Wheatley to the present—with a focus on oral traditions, activist literary discourses, trauma and healing, and productive communities. Special emphasis on the past century: dialect and masking; the Harlem Renaissance; Brown, Brooks, and Hayden at mid-century; the Black Arts Movement; black feminism; and contemporary voices.Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

271. Introduction to Asian American Literature
Belinda Kong T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-406
An introduction not only to the writings of Asian America, but also to the historical development of Asian American literature as a field of discussion, study, and debate. Begins by focusing on a seminal moment in the formation of this field: the critical controversy sparked by the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s "The Woman Warrior" (1976). Then turns to earlier classics as well as more recent fiction and questions of how to reconceive Asian American literature in light of these works. In addition to Kingston, authors may include Amy Tan, David Henry Hwang, Frank Chin, John Okada, Jade Snow Wong, Carlos Bulosan, Chang-rae Lee, and Jhumpa Lahiri, Susan Choi, Lan Cao, and Iê thi diem thúy. Formerly English 284. Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

318. Oscar Wilde
Aviva Briefel T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Mass-Faculty Room
An in-depth study of Wilde’s fiction, poetry, drama, and critical essays within the context of fin-de-siècle British culture. Topics include decadence, aestheticism, dandyism, queer performance, and the Wilde trials. Also examines Wilde’s position within current literary criticism.

322. African American Literature and Visual Culture
Elizabeth Muther F 1:30 - 4:25 Mass-Faculty Room
Explores the semiotics of racial representation in African American literature and culture over the past century, focusing in particular on comics and graphic narratives. Considers the problems of minstrelsy, masking, and caricature—as well as instruments of militant image-making, in both literary and visual forms. Of special interest will be modernist resistance languages of the Harlem Renaissance; collage as a mid-century metaphor for invisibility and black subjectivity; and contemporary images—comics, narratives, and illustrations—that introduce alternative socio-political allegories.Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

330. Resist! Black Novels, Newspapers, and Transnational Violence
P. Foreman M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 CT-16 Harrison McCann
From their very beginnings, Black American newspapers have concerned themselves not only with resistance movements within the US but also with revolts and revolutions throughout the Black Diaspora. Examines a short story, a novella, and a novel all published in important and popular Black papers. Interdisciplinary focus allows easy search newspaper databases for African American coverage of the British and French Caribbean, Cuba and Latin America, West and East Africa and the Italian invasion of the last remaining independent nation, Ethiopia, during its war against colonization--all while examining fiction serialized in the Black press. One-half credit.This course will not count for credit toward the major.

334. The Secret Life of Things
Ann Kibbie M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 Mass-McKeen Study
We tend to focus on the people who populate literary texts, but literature is also filled with significant things: money; tools; weapons; clothing; furniture; toys; portraits; jewels; body parts that, once detached from their “owners,” have become mere objects, such as hair and amputated limbs; and those beings that are sentient but non-human, and therefore resist easy classification, animals. Explores the role of things, and the aesthetic, legal, and philosophical questions they raise, in a variety of literary texts, including Daniel Defoe’s "Robinson Crusoe," Jonathan Swift’s "Gulliver’s Travels," Alexander Pope’s "The Rape of the Lock," and Charles Dickens’ "Our Mutual Friend."Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.