LITERATURE

COURSE OFFERINGS FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS

Literature I: A student planning to major in the Literature or Writing Programs must take one Literature I course, usually in the first year. Sophomores who have not yet taken Literature I have three sections which give them priority in registration, listed first below. Students exploring literature are welcome in the courses if places are available.

Other Courses: Any course at the 100 level and many courses at the 200 level are open to first-year students.


LIT I A Four Poets: Donne, Marvell, Keats & Yeats

Professor: C. Rodewald

CRN: 11568

Distribution: B

Time: Tu Th 11:00 am - 12:30 pm PRE 127

Close readings of a few works by two 17th-century ("Metaphysical") poets, a 19th-century ("Romantic") poet, and a 20th-century ("Modern") poet. Each of the defining categories will be defined to some extent, questioned to some extent, but the focus will be on the characteristic excellences of each. Frequent short papers. Maximum class size 12-15.


LIT I B Heart of Darkness

Professor: C. Smith

CRN: 11569

Distribution: B

Time: Tu Th 10:30 am - 11:50 am LC 120

cross-listed: MES
We will (re-)read one of the most privileged of twentieth-century texts, Heart of Darkness. But we will read it within a larger field, from which it draws and to which it contributes. Conrad's novella is both a summation of four centuries of European colonization of Africa and a beginning of a distinctly modern kind of knowledge, of the "primitive." Students should expect, therefore, to pay close attention to: the context of Conrad's work (biography, the history of imperialism, aesthetic and intellectual milieu, colonial discourse); critical approaches to the text (psychoanalytic, archetypal, postcolonial, historical, new critical); and its afterlife (travel narratives, popular journalism, V. S. Naipaul, Apocalypse Now, etc.). Required work will include frequent papers and a journal.


LIT I C Alice Walker

Professor: M. Frank

CRN: 11570

Distribution: B/C

Time: Tu Th 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 309


Through close textual analysis of a selection of Alice Walker's fiction, essays and poetry, we will situate Walker's oeuvre within recent literary, social and cultural developments in the United States. We will focus on developing critical approaches to language thorugh energetic class discussion and frequent papers. Some probable texts: Meridian, The Color Purple, You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Revolutionary Petunias, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens.


LIT 121 First-year Fiction Workshop

Professor: L. Davis

CRN: 11729

Distribution: B/F

Time: Fri 10:30 am - 12:30 pm OLIN 310

This workshop, for the highly motivated first-year student, provides and atmosphere conducive to imaginative writing, specifically of prose fiction. Common dynamic principles should emerge from discussion of independently-conceived student work, regularly presented for group evaluation and response. Some outside readings; some in-class and out-of-class exercises, depending on what technical problems may need particular work. Permission of instructor is required, and candidates must submit samples of their writing with a cover letter via campus mail, to Prof. Davis by 12:00 noon on Monday, November 25th.


LIT 127 Introduction to Narrative Theory and Practice

Professor: W. Wilson

CRN: 11571

Distribution: A/B

Time: Tu Th 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm PRE 128

A preliminary reading of traditional and contemporary narrative theory and the consideration of a variety of forms and strategies of narrative. Writing for this course will include both responsive essays and narrative emulation.


LIT 202 Lyric Modes

Professor: B. LaFarge

CRN: 11573

Distribution: B

Time: Tu Th 11:00 am - 12:20 pm OLIN 309

The subject of this course is the short lyric poem--the poem as palimpsest of rhythm, sound, and figurative speech. Our models will be the verse paradigms that make poetry in the English language one of the richest traditions in the world: e.g., the ballad, the sonnet, blank verse, the ode, the song, the dramatic monologue, the villanelle, the sestina, etc. A particular concern will be the kinds of trope that distinguish classical (figurative) from modernist (elliptical) poetry.


LIT 207 Major Romantic Poets

Professor: C. Rodewald

CRN: 11575

Distribution: B

Time: Tu Th 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm PRE 127

Close readings of key works by the "first generation" Romantic poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, and the "second generation" poets Keats and Shelley. Time permitting, we'll try to figure out Byron's relation to Romanticism. Some critical concern with the defining of Romanticism, but the focus will be on individual poems and the characteristic qualities of each poet. Maximum class size 12-15.


LIT R210 Body, Mind and Spirit in Dostoevsky

Professor: M. Kostalevsy

CRN: 11758

Distribution: B/D

Time: Tu 3:40 pm - 5:40 pm OLIN 303

cross-listed: Russian and Eurasian Studies
An exploration of three dimensions of Dostoevsky's world. Particular attention paid to the way Dostoevsky experiments with the themes of body and sexuality, intellectual pursuit and philosophy, spiritual quest and religion. Readings include three short stories and two major novels: "Bobok," "A Gentle Creature," "Notes from the Underground," Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. Analysis of ideas, devices and structures of these texts supplemented by reference to major critical and theoretical writings. The course is meant to provide both an approach to Dostoevsky and to contemporary views of his art and prose as such. All readings and discussions in English.


LIT 220 Confession and the Art of Autobiography

Professor: B. LaFarge

CRN: 11730

Distribution: B

Time: M W 3:30 pm - 4:50 pm OLIN 101

Autobiography is a distinctive genre--different from history and biography on the one hand and fiction on the other, yet partaking of both. Like biography, it tries to give us the impression of being a "true" account. Like fiction, it allows us to see the events recounted through a private consciousness, a privilege denied to history and biography. Like fiction, too, autobiography holds our attention only to the degree that its author's persona--the mask or version of the self which the story presents--is believable. Our inquiry into this multifaceted genre will be concerned with the difference between memoir and confession in stories of success or achievement, the slave or captivity narrative, and the spiritual narrative. Our focus will be on the art of narrative, the means by which an author tries to convince us that he or she is telling the truth. Authors will include St. Augustine, Rousseau, De Quincey, Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, Richard Wright, Mary McCarthy, Primo Levi, Maxine Hong Kingston, and either V. S. Naipaul or Philip Roth, among others.


LIT 221 Writers Workshop: Prose Fiction

Professor: P. Sourian

CRN: 11433

Distribution: B/F

Time: M 10:30 am - 12:30 pm ASP 302

Practice in imaginative writing. Students will present their own work for group response, analysis, and evaluation. Also reading of selected writers. Permission of the instructor is required; samples of writing must be submitted before registration. Candidates must submit samples of their work before registration with optional cover letter via campus mail to Prof. Sourian by 12:00 noon on Monday , November 25th.


LIT 222 Writer's Workshop: Poetry

Professor: R. Kelly

CRN: 11566

Distribution: B/F

Time: F 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 309

Students present their own work to the group for analysis and response. Readings in contemporary poets and the problematics of poetics. Attention will be given to the reality of presenting the poem: the notation on the page, the articulation of the breath aloud. This course is intended for students who have already completed at least one college-level writing workshop (Literature 121, 221, or the equivalent). Candidates must submit samples of verse before registration via campus mail to Prof. Kelly by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 21st


LIT 223 Cultural Reportage

Professor: P. Sourian

CRN: 11434

Distribution: B/F

Time: M 3:40 pm - 5:40 pm ASP 302

For the self-motivated student interested in actively developing journalistic skills relating to cultural reportage, particularly criticism. Stress on regular practice in writing reviews of plays, concerts, films, and TV. Work will often be submitted for group response and evaluation. College productions may be used as resource events. Readings in Shaw's criticism, Cyril Connolly's reviews, Orwell's essays, Agee on film, Edmund Wilson's Classics and Commercials, Susan Sontag, and contemporary working critics. Enrollment limited, and by permission of the instructor, but not restricted to majors.


LIT 234 Ben Jonson: Plays, Poems, and Masques

Professor: W. Wilson

CRN: 11732

Distribution: B

Time: Th 10:30 am - 12:30 pm TBA

Seminar study of the work of this prominent and influential intellectual, contemporary to Shakespeare and John Donne, rival to both in drama and verse, deeply involved in the political, scholarly, and cultural life of his time. In addition to major plays, a significant number of poems, and important "political" court masques, the seminar will consider Jonson's ideas relevant to a theory of literature. Some knowledge of the time, or of Shakespeare, or of Donne will be helpful but is not required.


LIT 251 English Literature II

Professor: N. Leonard

CRN: 11577

Distribution: B/C

Time: M W 1:20 pm - 2:50 pm ASP 302

This course is the second part of a three-semester sequence which studies major writers, genres and issues in the history of English literature from the medieval to the modern period. Literature 251 takes up poetry, fiction, drama and criticism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including the poetry of Donne, Herbert, Ben Jonson and Marvell, Milton's Paradise Lost, Congreve's Way of the World, Defoe's Moll Flanders, the poetry of Alexander Pope, and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. The course aims to encourage students to understand the production of literature as an intimately historical process, and to begin reading with a greater awareness of genre, convention and form as well as culture and ideology. Any course in the sequence may be taken independently; all students interested in English literature, especially those considering graduate studies, are encouraged to take one or more part of the course. Fulfills the Literature Program requirement.


LIT 254 Middle English Literature

Professor: M. Lambert

CRN: 11576

Distribution: B

Time: M W 10:30 am - 11:50 am OLIN 310

cross-listed: Medieval Studies
An introduction to the culture and vernacular literature of Medieval England and Scotland. We shall read in the major narrative poets of this period (Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl-poet, Gower, Barbour, Henryson) consider traditions of lyric poetry, study some of the mystery plays and, if members of the group are interested, prose writings of the English mystics. No previous knowledge of Medieval English is required, but students should have a lively interest in language, since they will be expected not simply to learn to understand and pronounce the older tongue, but to keep thinking of English as a medium for artistic expression.


LIT 257 Literature of the United States I: Cross-Referencing the Puritans

Professor: E. Frank

CRN: 11578

Distribution: B/C

Time: Th 10:30 am - 12:30 pm ASP 302

cross-listed: American Studies
Writings from the first three generations of Puritan settlement in seventeenth-century Massachusetts are closely examined not only in relation to each other but also to later American texts bearing persistent traces of Puritan concerns. We will explore such essential Puritan obsessions as the authority of divinely authored Scripture, original sin, predestination, election, free grace, "the city on a hill," and covenanted relations between mankind and God. Our focus will be the contradictory and problematic features of Puritan culture as they find expression in Puritan literature, with its predilection for the plain style, figurative language, the rhetoric of religious emotion, and the construction of the radically individual self. Authors include notable Puritan divines, poets, historians and citizens, as well as later writers, among them Jonathan Edwards, Washington Irving, Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, and Robert Lowell.


LIT 265 Contemporary British and Irish Fiction

Professor: D. D'Albertis

CRN: 11574

Distribution: B/C

Time: Tu Th 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 201

cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies
An intensive (and inevitably idiosyncratic) review of contemporary fiction in Great Britain and Ireland, with special attention to the revolutionary effects of recent postcolonial and Anglophone literature. We will consider how ideas of national literary tradition (particularly, a distinctive English and an Irish tradition) have changed in response first to the collapse of empire and then to the dismantling of the Welfare State. As Bill Buford, editor of Granta, wrote of his literary contemporaries in 1993, "I still don't believe I know anyone who is British; I know people who are English or Scottish or Northern Irish (not to mention born-in-Nigeria-but-living-here or born-in-London-of-Pakistani-parents-and-living-here)." Cultural crossings between Britain and India, Africa and the Caribbean have dramatically reshaped the English novel, as Booker Prize competition over the last decade or so makes clear. Writers under consideration may include: Amis, Ballard, Barker, Carter, Doyle, Ishiguro, Kureishi, Lessing, McCabe, McEwan, Moore, O'Brien, Phillips, Swift and Trevor. The intersection of literary culture and cinema will also be explored through the work of such filmmakers as Jarman, Jordan, Julien, Loach, and Leigh.


LIT 270 History of German Literature in Translation

Professor: F. Kempf

CRN: 11579

Distribution: B/DB>

Time: W 10:30 am - 12:30 pm LC 206

see GER 321 for description


LIT 272 The Irish Renaissance

Professor: T. Dewsnap

CRN: 11579

Distribution: B

Time: M 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 310

cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies
The Irish Renaissance of the first few decades of the twentieth century was the creation of those cultural leaders who founded the Abbey Theatre to nourish a specifically Irish (not British, not European) imagination. The revival exploited three sources: the mythical Ireland of Celtic legend where Cuchulain, Maeve, Finn, and Fergus waged epic battles over cows and birthrights with the aid and interference of magic; western Ireland, poetry and story; and a political history that is a persistent record of invasion, oppression, and faction, and of heroic gestures accompanied by a mood of tragic failure. The course begins with a brief history of Ireland, concentrating on three discrete moments: the end of the seventeenth century and the battles of Boyne and Aughrim, the abortive rising of 1798, and the 1890s spirit of nationalistic renewal. Then we consider the Abbey Theatre and its reconstruction of the legends of the past and the use of idioms and characters of the west of Ireland, chiefly in the drama of Yeats and Synge. We will look at the development of these themes in the literature associated with the troubles of 1916-22 and in later writings, which continue or challenge the themes of the Renaissance, including works by Sean O'Casey, Liam O'Flaherty, Frank O'Connor, Flann O'Brien, and Brendan Behan.


LIT 301 Joyce Conference

Professor: C. Rodewald

CRN: 11580

Distribution: B

Time: M W 1:20 pm - 2:50 pm PRE 127

Depending on the wishes and capacities of the group, to be determined at Registration, we'll either do a semester-long close reading of Ulysses or attempt to do both Ulysses and an introductory survey of Finnegans Wake. It would be helpful if class members had already read some Joyce and Homer's Odyssey. Preference given to upper-college literature majors. Maximum class size 12-15.


LIT 319Film Aesthetics Seminar: Filma and Fiction in Post World War II Italy

Professor: J. Pruitt/W. Weaver

CRN: 11751

Distribution: A/D

Time: Tu 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm PRE
Screening: M 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm PRE FILM

See Integrated Arts 319 for description


LIT 322 Poetry Workshop

Professor: J. Ashbery

CRN: 11586

Distribution: B/F

Time: F 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 301

Students present their own work to the group for analysis and response. Suggested readings in contemporary poets. Optional writing assignments are given for those poets who may find this useful. This course is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, but only by permission of the instructor. Candidates must submit a half dozen pages of their poetry (more or less), with optional cover letter via campus mail to Prof. Ashbery by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 21st.


LIT 323 Turn of the Century Venice, 1490-1510

Professor: W. Wilson

CRN: 11734

Distribution: A/B

Time: Tu 10:30 am - 12:30 pm LC 206

cross-listed: Italian Studies
A consideration, in seminar, of intellectual and cultural achievement in Venice in the last years of the fifteenth and the first years of the sixteenth centuries when the Republic was on the cusp of its political and cultural decline. The seminar will be in various ways interdisciplinary depending on enrollment; it will be structured by periodic reports to the seminar which result from directed independent and group research, and the terms' work will lead to as significant term paper at its end. Attention can be given to Pietro Bemho's Gli Asolini, to it near relative, Il Cortegiano, to Il Polifilo (a "hermeneutic" narrative in pictures), to the achievements and influence of Aldus Manutius and the Aldine Press, in architecture to Sanseverino's Marciana library and its relation to the early work of Palladio, to the new "pastoral" music that led to Pergolesi, to the development of easel painting in oil by Bellini, Giorgione, and Titian, and these cultural achievements can be placed in the context of the political, commercial, and social life of the city.


LIT 324 Advanced Fiction Workshop

Professor: B. Morrow

CRN: 11721

Distribution: F

Time: M 10:30 am - 12:30 pm OLIN 309

For writers who have made personal commitment to creating fiction, the course is designed to help refine narrative skills and develop writing habits. A few of the elements we will engage: how to balance spontaneity with discipline, how to edit work, how creatively and critically to read ms. Of others--these are a few of the elements of the craft we will engage. Attendance at readings of some visiting writers required. Candidates must submit samples of their fiction (max 10-15 pages) with optional cover letter via campus mail to Prof. Morrow by 12:00 noon Monday, November 25th. Registration for this course will be taken on registration day by Prof. Sourian.


LIT 328 Alienation and Ideological Commitment in Modern Literature

Professor: J. Rosenberg

CRN: 11587

Distribution: A/C

Time: W 10:30 am - 12:30 pm ASP 302

In this course we examine how political ideas and theories are dramatically realized in literature. Works by T. S. Eliot, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Malraux, Auden, Brecht and others, writing in different genres, styles and languages, are analyzed for their ideological content, depth of conviction, method of presentation, and the artistry with which these authors synthesize politics and literature into a meaningful aesthetic experience. We address also the boundary between art and propaganda and whether it is possible to fully appreciate a work of literature whose political orientation is diametrically opposed to ours. In our discussions we will draw upon examples from other art forms such as music and painting.


LIT 331 Translation Workshop: Prose

Professor: W. Weaver

CRN: 11588

Distribution: D/F

Time: W 10:30 am - 12:30 pm OLIN 307

Although some knowledge of a foreign language is necessary, this is not a language course, and no particular proficiency is required. An interest in language, especially English, is the most important thing. Students will be expected to work on some translation project (preferably prose); but their work will serve chiefly as a basis for the discussion of general problems of translation, its cultural significance, and the relationship between translation and creative writing.


LIT 333 Contemporary Innovative Fiction

Professor: B. Morrow

CRN: 11590

Distribution: B

Time: M 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 201

As we come to the end of the century, a number of novels and collectiosn of short fiction have emerged as high-water marks which may begin to define the state of the art for this historical period. Not only is the novel not dead as a vital art form, but it appears to be in a period of dynamic development. The same is true of short fictions and the novella. The diversity of formal narrative strategies employed by serious contemporary prose fiction writers is matched only by the range of what is chronicled in their work. This course will examine fictional narratives by some of the more pioneering practitioners of the form. Authors whose work we will read include Cormac McCarthy, Angela Carter, Thomas Bernhard, John Hawkes, Joyce Carol Oates, Kazuo Ishiguro, William Gaddis, Michael Ondaatje, Jeanette Winterson, Lynne Tillman. Author Joyce Carol Oates and critic Sven Birkerts are scheduled to visit class to discuss their book and read from recent work.


LIT 353 The Image of Africa in the West

Professor: C. Achebe

CRN: 11591

Distribution: B/C

Time: W 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 101

What springs to the mind of Europeans and Americans when they hear the word Africa? How much of this derives from fact and how much from fiction; how much from past history and how much from the current media? What role has "serious" literature played in all this? Does the attitude of an individual author make a difference or is every author merely a product of his/her times? Books written by visitors to Africa will be studied side by side with books by Africans. Readings Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness; Joyce Cary: Mr. Johnson; V. S. Naipaul: A Bend in the River; Chinua Achebe: Arrow of God; Cheikh Hamidou Kane: Ambiguous Adventure; Ferdinand Oyono: Houseboy; Gassire's Lute: A West African Epic translated by Alta Jablow.


LIT 364 Shakespeare Seminar

Professor: N. Leonard

CRN: 11592

Distribution: B

Time: Tu 10:30 am - 12:30 pm ASP 302

A close study of eight Shakespeare plays drawn from a range of genres and phases of his work. The contexts of our study will be contemporary critical theory as it is represented within Shakespeare studies--new historicism, psychoanalysis, and materialist feminism, for instance--and historical work in stage history, politics, and social history that places the plays within a particular historical moment. The plays to be read are A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV (Part One), Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, Coriolanus, and The Tempest.


LIT 372 Charles Dickens

Professor: M. Lambert

CRN: 11593

Distribution: B

Time: Tu 10:30 am - 12:30 pm OLIN 310

cross-listed: Victorian Studies

A study of change, of growth, and especially of continuity in the works of a master novelist. Recurring patterns of action, setting, characterization, and language in six books (Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, Our Mutual Friend) are considered from a variety of perspectives: psychological, biographical, historical, formalist.


LIT 374 Jane Austen

Professor: D. D'Albertis

CRN: 11582

Distribution: B/C

Time: F 10:30 am - 12:30 pm OLIN 301

cross-listed: Gender Studies, Victorian Studies
A seminar devoted to the close study of Austen's major novels: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. We will examine each work in relation to a rich critical tradition surrounding it, charting the waxing and waning of Austen's reputation as successive generations of readers rediscover and attempt to explain her subtle art. Upper-college standing is assumed; some familiarity with literary history, as well as theory is also to be desired.


LIT 380 Salman Rushdie

Professor: C. Smith

CRN: 11584

Distribution: B

Time: F 10:00 am - 12:00 pm OLIN 202

cross-listed: MES
A detailed examination of this writer's fiction and nonfiction work in its cultural, intellectual and historical contexts. We will certainly read Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses as well as either Shame or The Moor's Last Sigh. Our study of the context of his work and career will focus on the following issues: "Commonwealth" and "Postcolonial" literatures, postimperial British society, Indian and South Asian history, race relations in Britain, migration and diaspora, magical realism, Indian epic, the politics of culture, and The Satanic Verses controversy. In addition to Rushdie's work we will consider material by figures such as Kureishi, Markandaya, Julien, Ghosh, and Garcia Marquez. Requirements: one short paper, one long term paper, and a seminar presentation.


LIT 383 American Narratives of Race at the Turn of the Century

Professor: M. Frank

CRN: 11583

Distribution: B

Time: W 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 204

cross-listed: MES, American Studies
of related interest: Gender Studies

On the eve of our own fin de siŠcle, in which conceptions of race and ethnicity are central to U.S. national consciousness, it might be provocative to look back a century to analyze America's construction of its racial self as represented in various cultural texts. Our texts will include, among others, literary narratives, legislative documents, at least one film, and contemporary scientific discourse.


LIT 397 Semiotics

Professor: F. Grab

CRN: 11594

Distribution: A/B

Time: Tu 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm OLIN 310

Early in the twentieth century, the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure conceived the science of semiotics as follows: "Language is a system of signs that express ideas, and is therefore comparable to writing, to the deaf-mute alphabet, to symbolic rites, to codes of good manners, to military signals, etc. It is simply the most important of these systems. A science that studies the life of signs in society is therefore conceivable: it would be a part of general psychology; we shall call it semiology (from the Greek semeion, sign). Semiology would teach us what signs are made of and what laws govern their behavior. Since this science does not yet exist, no one can say quite what it will be like, but it has a right to exist and it has a place staked out in advance." Since that time, the place of semiotics (Saussure's semiology) has assumed increasing importance in a wide variety of fields: literature, cinema, painting, music, and others. Culture in general has been studied as a system of signs; "any reality drawn into the sphere of culture begins to function as a sign," according to the Soviet theorist Jurij Lotman. In this course we will study a number of texts which attempt to define the history and the current status of "the tell-tale sign."


LIT 422 Writing Workshop for Non Majors

Professor: R. Kelly

CRN: 11567

Distribution: B/F

Time: Th 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm OLIN 309

A course designed for juniors and seniors who are not writing majors, but who might wish to see what they can learn about the world through the act of writing. Every craft, science, skill, discipline can be articulated, and anybody who can do real work in science or scholarship or art can learn to write, as they say, "creatively"--that is, learn how to make what concerns them also interest other people by means of language. This course will give not more than a dozen students the chance to experiment with all kinds of writing. Poetry is the name of an activity, and that activity will sometimes produce objects called poems and sometimes other sorts of texts. Towards all resultant texts our attention will turn. This is not a course in self-expression, but in making new things.