UNDERGRADUATE ENGLISH FLYER SPRING 2023
SEE BACK PAGES FOR THE ENGLISH MAJOR REQUIREMENTS
ENG. 2060: Study of American Literature: (11203) American Literature and the Monstrous
Dr. Jennifer Travis
This online course will examine how representations of witches, vampires, cannibals, and monsters have shaped American cultural discourse and literary history. Reading texts Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, Henry James, H.P. Lovecraft, and may include Toni Morrison. We will ask why monsters play such an important role in our cultural imaginations. How do individuals and societies define themselves in relation to the monstrous? What is a monster and what can monsters tell us about humanity, community, and our deepest fears and values? For questions please email Dr. Travis: email@example.com.
ENG. 2200: Reading and Writing for English Majors (14874)
MR 3:25 – 4:50 PM
Dr. Dohra Ahmad
This course is designed to give students the opportunity to gain and practice the skills that will help you succeed as an English major, minor, or concentrator. We will read a small number of texts of various genres and historical periods at a fairly slow pace, collectively generating critical analyses and essay topics. Some of the skills to be covered include identifying genres and literary techniques; analyzing evidence; developing topics and arguments; drafting and revising essays; and conducting supplementary research.
ENG. 2200: Reading and Writing for English Majors (13324)
TF 1:50 – 3:15 PM
Dr. Stephen Sicari
This course is designed to introduce new English majors and minors, as well as students in the School of Education concentrating in English, to the reading and writing practices necessary for success as a student of English. We will practice what we call “close reading,” the careful and thoughtful analysis of texts not only for their meaning but also for their rhetorical effects. While we will read some fiction (Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler), we will place special emphasis on the reading of poetry and become comfortable with the genre that often seems the most intimidating. Your writing will be mainly short formal essays about our texts, but you will also work on some “creative” pieces of your own inspired by our reading.
ENG. 2300: Topics in Theory (13291)
MR 12:15 – 1:40 PM
Dr. Elda Tsou
This course is an undergraduate introduction to the key concepts, thinkers, and intellectual movements called literary theory. What we term “theory” is a diverse a group of texts drawn from various disciplines like philosophy, psychoanalysis, linguistics, history, anthropology and sociology. The goal of this course is less about mastery than familiarity with a set of thinkers and their key concepts. Since this course takes the position that theory is not a set of formulas to be applied to various texts but a critical way of thinking, our emphasis will be on understanding these thinkers and comprehending their relationship to the conversations that preceded them. Our ultimate goal will be to try to understand theory as a way of thinking about the activity of thinking itself. We will try to view theory as a series of questions about the activities of thinking, interpreting, and meaning-making as they apply to different objects of study: the human subject, literature, language, sex, gender, race, society. In our readings, we will learn to think critically and carefully about the object of our scrutiny, and to examine our ways of knowing that object, and what that knowledge entails for us as knowing subjects.
ENG. 3100: Medieval English Literature (14937) Medieval Drama
TF 12:15 – 1:40 PM
Dr. Nicole Rice
This course introduces some of medieval and sixteenth-century England’s major dramatic traditions, with their dynamic, often comic, fusions of sacred and secular concerns. We begin with the civic cycles, collections of short plays dramatizing history from Creation to Doomsday. We will also read a play about the Virgin Mary and selected morality plays, in which the vices and the virtues battle for domination. How did medieval city dwellers adapt legendary stories to their contemporary social conditions? How did drama engage with political and religious controversies? How and where did women perform in medieval drama, and how did our plays engage questions of gender and authority? We will work with glossed Middle English texts and learn to read the original language. No prior knowledge of Middle English is necessary. We will complement our readings with videos and recent performances. If there is sufficient interest, students may choose a performance option for their final project.
ENG. 3140: Shakespeare: The Jacobian Plays: (13751) Jacobean Shakespeare: Are Plays Real?
MR 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Dr. Steven Mentz
How does the fictional world of the stage touch the real world of everyday life? Can plays, in fact, “catch the conscience” of a guilty audience, as Prince Hamlet claims? We will read a series of early modern English plays that explore the relationship between reality and fiction, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Tempest, Macbeth, and The Winter’s Tale. We will place these works in dialogue with two non-Shakespearean plays, both of which will be performed in New York by Red Bull Theatre in early 2023. The first, the anonymous Arden of Faversham, dramatizes the scandalous events of a real-life domestic murder perpetrated in early modern England. The second, Francis Beaumont’s experimental The Knight of the Burning Pestle, brings audience members on stage to comment on the theatrical action. We aim to generate, over the course of the semester, a series of ideas about how art influences life and how life responds to art. Students will write three papers, one of which may be a creative option.
ENG. 3240: Romantic Literature (13785)
T. 10:40 – 12:05 PM FACE TO FACE AND ONLINE ASYCHRONOUS THE REST OF THE WEEK
Dr. Gregory Maertz
This course explores the themes of love and death in the literature of the Romantic Period. Works to be read and discussed include a selection of Robert Burns’s love poetry; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, the internationally bestselling novella of star-crossed lovers that ends in suicide; “The Sick Rose” and “London,” poems by William Blake about the pathogens released by erotic love; William Wordsworth’s cycle of love poems dedicated to a dead child; Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lesbian vampire poem “Christabel”; Latitia Elizabeth Landon’s poem “Revenge” which celebrates erotic schadenfreude; Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, a Gothic romance in which love outlasts the grave, and several of Brontë’s poems; and the heartrending last poetry of the dying John Keats—“Ode on Melancholy,” “To Autumn,” and “Bright Star.” Face-to-face class meetings will take place on Tuesdays; video lectures will be posted on Fridays.
ENG. 3250: Victorian Literature (15095)
TF 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Dr. Amy King
The Victorian age (1837-1901) is named after the long reign of a single monarch—Queen Victoria— but the period was anything but monotonous. Nineteenth-century Great Britain underwent enormous change, including rapid industrialization, technological innovation, urbanization, democratization, imperial expansion, and increased social change and religious pluralism. Like our own society, Great Britain in the Victorian age was an urban industrial society— indeed the first in history, with the population doubling between 1800 and 1850 from nine to eighteen million — and subject to its own form of shock from information overload and technological change. Our own middle-class, economic, mobile, complex and interwoven world, was described and mapped in this period through various literary forms. We will read across multiple genres, including Victorian poetry, journalism, science, and children’s literature, as well as the period’s dominant genre: the novel.
ENG. 3390: Special Topics (15094) Literature of Bohemianism
*PRE-1900* TF 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Dr. Granville Ganter
This course will trace the emergence of bohemian literature in Europe and America as a lifestyle and discourse from the 1840s to the present. It will look at the emergence of bohemian clubs and artist communities in New York and San Francisco in the nineteenth century, and move toward the later 20th century bohemians of the West Village and read from some Beats, counterculturals, and hippies. Principal literary authors will include Whitman, Ginsberg, DiPrima, Kerouac, Johnson, Wolfe, The Last Poets, as well as leftist critics of bohemiana, such as Manuel Martinez.
ENG. 3520: Modern World Literature (14936)
TF 10:40 – 12:05 PM
Dr. Amy King
This course will look at literature around the significant historical events and ideological shifts that mark the start of a truly global modernity. We will concentrate on the enormous social change brought by the industrial and political revolutions of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (including France, Haiti, and America), and the emergence of realism— a newly urban, unheroic, global literary style. Rather than reading the national literatures of Britain or America in isolation, this course will more broadly engage a selection of writers in translation from the broad expanse of world literature, focusing on the period from 1776 to roughly 1900. We will focus our course through the concept of freedom. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the question of freedom became an intense preoccupation worldwide. From debates about African slavery and the national independence from peoples under colonial rule in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, to freedom of thought and personal liberty, the question of who had a right to freedom (including citizens, people of African descent, women, factory workers) and what it entailed, shaped literary, philosophical, and political writers alike. Since the mass literacy of England by the mid-19th century was not the experience of majority of the world’s population, we will also consider freedom through texts from the oral literature tradition. We will also take up the rubric of freedom through a study of the Romantic poets and their successors, as well as through various nineteenth-century realist short fictions from Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Japan, and Bengal. The course concludes with a unit on empire and our reading of Peter Kuper’s 2019 graphic-novel adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902).
ENG. 3580: Postcolonial Literature (14932)
MR 10:40 – 12:05 PM
Dr. Dohra Ahmad
What is postcolonial literature? Some would say that it’s literature from the formerly colonized nations of Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia. Others would say that colonialism never truly ended, and has only been replaced by other relationships of transnational exploitation. In this class, we will read a wide variety of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction written by authors from Barbados, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, and elsewhere. We will consider each text as a product of its historical circumstances, while also paying close attention to literary style. How do our writers deploy voice, symbolism, structure, and plot in order to recognize and move past the legacy of colonialism? What can literature teach us about the complexities and paradoxes of power, authority, and representation within and beyond colonial and neocolonial systems?
ENG. 3620/CLS. 1240: Classical Mythology (13787)
TF 9:05 – 10:30 AM
Dr. Robert Forman
Our objective is to establish what myth means and how it develops in relation to social and historical concerns. We will relate our readings to these and consider how written mythic texts frequently are metatextual (responding to a previous text) and subtextual (having significant underlying meanings). In this connection, we will examine Sir J.G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough and the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss.
ENG. 3680/CRES 1000: Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (14281)
MR 10:40 – 12:05 PM
Dr. Raj Chetty
This class will introduce students to fundamental concepts and debates within the fields of critical race studies and critical ethnic studies. Students will learn about the emergence of critical race studies and ethnic studies as distinct academic fields of study. Students will become familiar with the particular ways in which these fields analyze the phenomena of racial formation, ethnic group formation, racism and racial discrimination, ethnic life, and ethnic stratification as central features of global modernity. The processes of racialization and ethnic group formation will be viewed as components of overlapping historical processes of social stratification that are fundamental features of the modern world-system. Large-scale forms of group-differentiated marginalization will be examined through the lens of “structural racism.” Students will explore the role that ethnic and racial stratifications play in dominant economic and political systems and institutions, and the role they have played throughout the world. This course will root itself in Indigenous Studies and Black Studies as foundations for thinking about global forms of racism, anti-racist struggle, and international solidarity movements. In addition to texts focused on Indigenous and Black histories and social movements, we will also read excerpts of works by mid-century writers, thinkers, and activists whose works are now central to these interdisciplinary fields: Frantz Fanon, Walter Rodney, the Combahee River Collective, June Jordan. We will read contemporary scholars who take up those earlier thinkers, and the revolutionary movements in which they participated: Robin D. G. Kelley, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Gloria Anzaldúa, Gary Okihiro, Vijay Prashad, Jean Casimir, Laurent Dubois, Joseph Pierce, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, among others.
ENG. 3690: Special Topics in Cultural Studies (14933) Baseball, Black Culture, & Literature
MR 12:15 – 1:40 PM
Dr. Raj Chetty
The course presumes no interest in baseball or sport, instead looking at baseball as a meaningful cultural field where race, color, gender, and class are articulated and contested. We will engage critical writings on the concepts of culture, race, and sport, drawing from Black Cultural Studies to counter the idea that certain areas of cultural life, such as sport, are not sufficiently intellectual or academic, not “cultivated” or “cultured” enough for serious reflection or study. We will explore how this is a double dilemma for black sporting cultures. The course centers black cultural life in baseball, in the U.S. and the Caribbean. To develop a set of tools to study baseball as culture, we will study the landmark cultural study of cricket, Beyond a Boundary, by the Trinidadian intellectual C. L. R. James. This class will engage an array of cultural materials: novella, play, poetry, film, short fiction, and print and visual media. In addition to James, we will engage critical studies of baseball and blackness by Rob Ruck, Adrian Burgos, Andrew McCutchen, and José Bautista, and creative cultural productions by August Wilson, Don DeLillo, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Yolanda Arroyo-Pizarro, Martín Espada, and Alejandro Gautreaux.
ENG. 3720: Creative Non-Fiction Workshop (14944) I Is an Other
*COUNTS FOR WRITING MINOR*
F. 1:50 – 3:15 PM FACE TO FACE AND ONLINE ASYCHRONOUS THE REST OF THE WEEK
Professor Gabriel Brownstein
This is a class in a single word, “I,” which is a very peculiar word. It means a different thing for every person who writes it, and once written down, it rapidly loses its attachment to the person who wrote it. (I bet that if you read the journals and emails and love notes you wrote three years ago, you will find an “I” that’s not quite the same as the “I” you are now.) “I is another,” wrote Arthur Rimbaud, and maybe the simplest way to understand that is that every time you put the word “I” on a page you’re putting on a persona. According to Joan Didion, “Writing is the act of saying I.” On the page, I is always a performance. We’ll read work that stands between genres: prose poems, essays that are somewhere between poem and memoir, and stories that feel like poems. Some of the writers we’ll study include: Ayad Akhtar, Claudia Rankine, Anne Beattie, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, and Charles Baudelaire. You’ll write your own work, and share your work with your classmates, and revise your work, all in the hopes of developing a persona on the page.
ENG. 3730: Poetry Workshop (15350)
*COUNTS FOR WRITING MINOR* *COUNTS FOR WOMEN’S, GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES*
MR 10:40 – 12:05 PM
Professor Lee Ann Brown Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In this poetry writing course, we will “read poetry and imagine ourselves writing it” (Alice Notley). We will also explore the relationship of poetry to collage, song, sound, performance, poets theater, ritual and other visual work. Linked readings in contemporary poetry and poetics lead to the member’s new poems and individual statements of poetics. Required texts include the Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms, and Sleeping on the Wing by Kenneth Koch and Kate Farrell. Word artists read and listened to this semester will include Guiliaume Apollinaire, Rae Armantrout, William Joe Brainard, Teresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lucille Clifton, Joseph Cornell, Emily Dickinson, Lucia Hinojosa Gaxiola, Terrance Hayes, Adrienne Kennedy, Bernadette Mayer, Harryette Mullen, Loraine Niedecker, Frank O’Hara, Julie Patton, Lynne Sachs, Gertrude Stein, Sei Shonagon, Cecilia Vicuna, Walt Whitman and others. Playing with a range of traditional and experimental poetic forms, students will develop original poetry manuscripts of at least 22 pages by end of semester, as well as a short poetics statement, and a response paper on a poetry performance or event. Willingness to try out new forms and modes of writing in a participatory setting is required.
ENG. 3740: Fiction Writing Workshop: Monsters! (14144)
*COUNTS FOR WRITING MINOR*
T. 3:25 – 4:50 PM FACE TO FACE AND ONLINE ASYCHRONOUS THE REST OF THE WEEK
Professor Gabriel Brownstein
This class is an introduction to writing fiction—students will write stories, fragments, chapters, and even pieces of novels. We’ll read great writers and think about their work, and students will write regular exercises which will lead to original works of fiction. You’ll share your work with your classmates, receive and offer critiques, and work toward developing a style and subject that suits you. While you won’t be required to write a monster story, all the fiction we will read this semester will be about monsters. The writers we will study include: Carmen Maria Machado, Victor Lavalle, Angela Carter, H. P. Lovecraft, and Franz Kafka.
ENG. 3890: Topics in Film Genre (14968) Horror Film
T. 1:50 – 3:15 PM FACE TO FACE AND ONLINE ASYCHRONOUS THE REST OF THE WEEK
Dr. Scott Combs
This course looks at the horror film genre from its origins in early and silent cinema to its current resurgence on both big and small screens. Examples include works by Murnau, Whale, Franju, Hitchcock, Powell, Hooper, Peele, and Aster, along with a selection of television. Requirements include a midterm exam, an essay, and weekly readings.
ENG. 4994: Seminar in Themes/Genres (13293) Taco Literacies: Writing Transnational Mexican Foodways
TF 12:15 – 1:40 PM
Dr. Steven Alvarez
In recent years, there has been a steady increase of interest in the transnational migrations of Mexican food popularized by social media influencers, bloggers, television food shows, and travel journalists. In addition to the immense number of reviews, trade publications, and cookbooks, important social justice issues in regard to multilingualism, global trade, genetically modified foods, cultural appropriation, and migrant labor have also become topical. This course will focus on Mexican foodways literacies, a study combining foodways, which describe the practices in the production and consumption of food, with the humanizing connections of literacies as transformative knowledge. Foodways are always contextually bound in places and histories, and always connected with the people who produce and consume foods, as expressed through literacies, which are also always contextually bound. When foodways are decontextualized, the potential to build walls that dehumanize people increases, however, when linked with literacies, we can better understand how foodways and languages unite us in humane ways across borders. Readings will include scholarly articles, various websites centering around the themes of foodways and literacies, and works by Gustavo Arellano, José Ralat, Vandana Shiva, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Robert Sietsema, the Southern Foodways Alliance, among others. For more about the class see @tacoliteracy on Twitter and Instagram.
ENG. 4994: Seminar in Themes/Genres (14906) Comparative Racialization
MR 3:25 – 4:50 PM
Dr. Elda Tsou
Comparative Racialization Is racialization always about othering? This course will explore this question and its theoretical and political consequences by examining processes of race-making across different racial groups in the United States—Asian American, African American, Native American, Latinx, white. We will consider the concept of differential racialization in the context of empire, indigeneity, gender/sexuality, labor history, whiteness and class. More important by relating Asian Americans to Latinx Americans and whites or Native Americans to African Americans and Latinx Americans, we will expand our understanding of race beyond the domestic US framework of white/black and reveal how racial meanings are relational: in other words, representing Asian Americans as model minorities requires that African Americans and Latinx Americans be framed as lacking and re-presents whiteness as the unnamed and un-raced norm. We will also consider whether race and racialization, typically understood as processes of other-making, might also function in alternate modes, ones that foreground affinity, proximity and inclusion instead of difference, alterity and exclusion. Class readings will draw from legal cases, literary texts, standup comedy, social media and television.
*WITH PERMISSION OF CHAIR ONLY*
ENG. 4903: Internship In English (11100) 3 CREDITS
ENG. 4906: Internship In English (10654) 6 CREDITS
ENG. 4953: Independent Study (12480) 3 CREDITS
BUSINESS WRITING AND OTHER ENGLISH ONLINE COURSES
ENG. 1040: WRITING FOR BUSINESS (11440)
ENG. 2100: LITERATURE AND CULTURE (14146)
ENG. 2210: STUDY OF BRITISH LITERATURE (11202)
The English Major and Minors in English and Writing
The major in English is a 36-credit program.
Core Courses (9 credits)
English 1100C: Literature in a Global Context
English 2200: Reading/Writing for English majors
English 2300: Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory
Courses Prior to 1900: Select any 3 courses.
Courses that qualify are indicated on the course description flier as (9 credits)
Pre-1900 Additional Electives to be drawn from any SJC English courses (15 credits)
Senior Capstone (3 credits)
Total credits in the English major: (36 credits)
Please note: the credit requirements for the English and Writing Minors has changed from 18 credits to 15 credits for all students: Minor in English: 15 credits Students wishing to minor in English must 15 credits in English. 1100c may count toward the total number of credits.
Minor in Writing: 15 credits Students who minor in writing must take the following courses:
* Four writing courses *
Any additional course in the SJC English Department. 1100c may count toward the total number of credits.
Note: English majors who minor in writing must take four writing courses plus one additional English course (fifteen credits in all) in addition to their major coursework.