Humanities: English, 2012-2013
The English department offers courses in the literary traditions of the English-speaking world. The department aims to develop in its students the ability to respond to texts thoughtfully and critically, and to articulate those responses in clear and fluent English. In our curriculum, we seek to maintain a working balance between a commitment to the traditional canon of British and American literature and an expanding horizon of fresh concerns, including courses in African American literature, Asian-American literature, Postcolonial literature, South African literature, Irish literature, gender and sexuality studies, and courses inflected by particular theoretical foci, such as performance theory, queer theory, post-colonial theory, trauma theory, media and visual studies, and environmental studies. This discipline prepares interested students for postgraduate work in English and other subjects, for advanced work in professional and business schools and for service in government and social work.
English majors who plan to do post-graduate work should know that doctoral programs require a reading knowledge of one or two foreign languages.
Students may count courses in English taken at Bryn Mawr toward the Haverford English major. Students with interest and ability in creative writing may receive major credit for one semester of course-work in such writing. Students who submit a portfolio of work, no later than the end of first term of their junior year, may be admitted to the creative writing “concentration,” which consists of three courses in creative writing, one of which is the senior portfolio written for ENGL 399.
Up-to-date information about the English department’s activities and courses, including extended course descriptions and syllabi, is available via the department’s home page at www.haverford.edu/english.
Interim Provost and Francis B. Gummere Professor of English Kimberly Benston
Professor C. Stephen Finley (on leave academic year 2012-2013)
Associate Professor Laura McGrane
Associate Professor Maud McInerney, chair
Associate Professor Rajeswari Mohan
Assistant Professor Debora Sherman
Associate Professor Gustavus Stadler
Associate Professor Christina Zwarg
Visiting Assistant Professor Ashly Bennett
Visiting Assistant Professor Thomas Devaney
Visiting Assistant Professor Barbara Riebling
Visiting Assistant Professor Asali Solomon
Visiting Lecturer Alice Boone
ENGL 298 and 299, the two-semester Junior Seminar in English; ENGL 399 a and b or “Senior Conference”; plus a minimum of seven additional courses. The program should include courses across the spectrum of the department’s offerings and evince the richness of an archive drawn from British, American and World Anglophone literature. At least two courses must be in literature written before 1800, and two courses must be at the 300-level.
The department gives major credit for a semester course in a foreign literature in the original language or for COML 200. Admission to the major requires completion of two courses at the 200 level by the end of the sophomore year; one of these must be an “introductory emphasis” course (a list of such courses is issued each semester). Students may take ENGL 150 in place of one 200–level course. Final evaluation of the major program centers on written work and oral examinations conducted in the context of the work for ENGL 399. The department will award no more than four major credits for work done beyond the Tri-College community, whether abroad or in the U.S.
The department awards Honors in English on the basis of performance in course-work within the Tri-College departments, the senior essay and the oral examination conducted at the end of the senior year. High Honors are reserved for distinguished achievement in all three of these areas.
150 Introduction to Literary Analysis HU (Cross-listed in Writing Program)
A. Bennett, A. Boone, B. Riebling, D. Sherman
Open only to members of the first-year class as assigned by the Director of College Writing. Satisfies the first year writing requirement.
CREATIVE WRITING COURSES
291 Poetry Writing: A Practical Workshop HU
Students write a poem a week, usually following an assignment that focuses on a particular strategy or form, from dramatic monologues to prose poems to sonnets. Students present their work for discussion and friendly critique by the workshop, and are encouraged to revise their work over the semester. There are some in-class writing exercises, but students do most writing outside of class. Light reading assignments include modern and contemporary as well as older poetry. There is also a mini-session on the business of poetry. Prerequisite: A writing sample is required for consideration, to be submitted to the English department (in Woodside Cottage) by 05/31. Typically offered every Fall.
292b Poetry Writing II–Contemporary Voices HU
This is an advanced creative writing workshop focusing on poetry. Student work is the focus along with analysis of selected readings. Students write poems each week (using a modeling method) and respond to the selected readings. Students are required to keep an online journal. A final portfolio of revised work is required. Prerequisite: A writing sample required for consideration, to be submitted to the English department (in Woodside Cottage). Typically offered every Spring.
293 Fiction Writing: From the Conventional to the Experimental HU
This is an introduction to the techniques and strategies of fiction writing, with particular emphasis on the short story. Weekly reading assignments include both anthologized stories and student-generated ones. Prerequisite: A writing sample required for consideration, to be submitted to the English department (in Woodside Cottage). Typically offered every Fall.
294 Fiction Writing HU
This advanced fiction workshop focuses on basic elements of fiction writing such as character development, dialogue, plot and prose style, with special attention devoted to finding a form and distinctive voice, and to the process of revision and "finishing" a story. Prerequisite: One fiction writing course or consent and submission of writing sample for consideration. Submit sample to course professor. Typically offered every Spring.
201 Chaucer: Canterbury Tales HU
This course is devoted to close reading of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; secondary readings include critical approaches and brief excerpts from other medieval sources. Typically offered in alternate years.
205 Legends of Arthur HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an exploration of the Arthurian legend, from its earliest versions to most recent retellings. The tradition of Arthurian tales is complex and various, combining Celtic and Christian mythologies. Sometimes called the "matter of Britain," the Arthurian narrative has been critical in establishing national and ethnic identities ever since the Middle Ages. Medieval notions of chivalry and courtly love also raise fascinating questions about the conflict between personal and private morality, and about the construction of both identity and gender. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
210 Reading Poetry HU
This is an introduction to the most common types of poetry in English: narrative, dramatic and lyric. The working approach is that of close reading, often word by word, in order to investigate the poetic uses of rhythm and pattern; of sound and music; of appeals to the senses; of allusion to history, art, other literature; of connotation and denotation; and of metaphor. Typically offered in alternate years.
211 Introduction to Postcolonial Literature HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an introductory survey of English literature from regions that used to be part of the British Empire, focusing on topics such as the representation of first contact, the influence of western education and the English language, the effects of colonial violence, displacement, migration, and exile; we focus specifically on the aesthetic strategies that have come to be associated with this body of literature. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
212 The Bible and Literature HU
This is a study of the Bible and its diverse genres, including legendary history, law, chronicle, psalm, love-song and dirge, prophecy, gospel, epistle and eschatology. This study is accompanied by an extremely various collection of literary material, drawn from traditional and contemporary sources, and from several languages (including Hebrew), in order to illustrate the continued life of biblical narrative and poetry. Typically offered in alternate years.
213 Inventing [the] English HU
AThis is an investigation of the evolution of both the English language and the concept of Englishness. The course explores the literature of the British Isles ca. 1000–1500, including Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Latin, Anglo-Norman and Middle English. We consider the ways that Germanic, Celtic and Classical mythologies contribute to a sense of what it means to be “English,” and also the impact of the Crusades and Crusade literature upon what it means to be “Western.” This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
217 Humanimality: (Dis)Figurations of the Animal in the Shaping of Human Institutions HU (Cross-listed in Independent College Programs)
This is an examination of how the animal, as both fact and image, functions in the construction and practice of human institutions. Conversations among historians, artists, anthropologists, philosophers, scientists and jurists guide exploration of animals' place in human culture's ongoing story. Typically offered in alternate years.
218 The Western Dramatic Tradition HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an investigation of Western drama through close study of major representative plays. We examine evolving notions of the dramatic event, from classical to modern and "post-modern" theaters, in relation to developing ideas of heroism, destiny, social structure, linguistic power, and theatricality itself. The course places emphasis on both thematic and structural problems of "play" and on the relation of the text to consequences of performance (e.g., acting, stagecraft, and audience response). This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
220 The Epic in English HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an exploration of the long narrative poems that shape the epic tradition in anglophone literature. Readings are in classical epic and medieval epic, Milton, Romantic epics and the modern aftermath of epic. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years
224 Early Modern Travel Narratives HU
An exploration of the long narrative poems that shape the epic tradition in anglophone literature. Readings in classical epic and medieval epic, Milton, Romantic epics and the modern aftermath of epic. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
225 Shakespeare: The Tragic and Beyond HU
This is an "introductory emphasis" study of the major tragedies and related histories, comedies and romances, with special reference to the evolution of dramatic form, poetic style, characterization and ideology as shaped by Shakespeare's persistent experimentation with dramas of extravagant will, desire, tyranny, skepticism, and death. The class pays particular attention to key scenes in an effort to assess both Shakespeare's response to contemporary literary and cultural concerns and the internal reformation of his own craft. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
227 Gender in the Early Modern Period HU
This is an investigation of cultural and political negotiations around the idea of female rule in Renaissance Britain. The class studies works including plays by Shakespeare, Webster, Middleton and Dekker, and writings by Milton and Knox.
228 Topics in Early Modern Literature HU
This is an exploration of the political, cultural and religious questions brought into focus by Renaissance plays representing Italy.
241 Inventing the Novel HU
This course introduces a variety of prose narratives that shaped the emerging novel as a literary genre and a popular form of entertainment in the 18thcentury (1700s). Exploring the novel before it called itself by that name, we consider the interplay between romance and history, memoir and letter, in discussions about authorship, narrative structure, memory and time. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years. Typically offered in alternate years.
243 Transatlantic Exchanges: Conversion & Revolution in Britain HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This course examines religious, domestic and political literature that defined a Trans-Atlantic model of print culture in 18th-century Britain and America. There is an emphasis on journal/newspaper reviews and comparative notions of literary, sexual, national and racial identities. Typically offered in alternate years.
245 Jane Austen HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
A reading of Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats, with attention to early/late works and to the interfiliation of theory and poetry. Offered occasionally.
251 Literature and Culture of the 19th Century HU
This course explores the many spaces—homes, streets, schools, theaters, shops and museums—that shaped Victorian literature and culture in the context of industrialization, colonial expansion and dramatically shifting gender roles and conceptions of sexuality. Authors studied will include C.Bronte, Dickens, Patmore, Martineau, Gaskell, Schreiner, Rossetti and Tennyson.
252 Romantic Poetry and Criticism HU
This course involves reading Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats, with attention to early/late works and the interfiliation of theory and poetry. Offered occasionally.
253 English Poetry from Tennyson to Eliot HU
This is a study of Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, Dickinson, Hopkins, Hardy, Owen and Eliot, from In Memoriam (1850) to Little Gidding (1942). The course strives to subvert the convenient opposition of Victorian/modern, focusing upon the poet's role in mediating/exposing the social order, the relation between poetry, catastrophe and traumatic memory, and the structuring modalities of lyric and elegy. Typically offered in alternate years.
254 Topics in Victorian Literature HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This is an exploration of representations of the reader in written and visual texts to understand concerns about class mobility, shifting gender roles and colonial expansion. Authors include Austen, Shelley, Collins, Rossetti, Bronte, Ruskin, Macaulay and Wilde. Offered occasionally.
256 Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetes and Decadents: Gender and Sexuality in 19th-century Literature HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course investigates the myriad ways in which sexuality was imagined in nineteenth century England; our primary source materials are novels and poetry (C. Bronte, Stoker, Wilde, Du Maurier, LeFanu, M. Shelley, Byron, Rossetti and J.A. Symonds). In an attempt to get a closer look at Victorian mores, however, we also look at extra-literary documents such as child-rearing manuals, personal diaries, and psychological case studies. The course also includes introductory-level readings in gender studies and cultural theory (Foucault, Marcus, etc.). Offered occasionally.
257 British Topographies 1650-1914 HU
This is a the intersections of place, locality, topography, cartographies, gardening, self-canceling, ruin, remembrance and ecological crisis amid the historical and cultural construction of landscape. The course begins with Andrew Marvell's, "Upon Appleton House" and closes with Thomas Hardy. Typically offered in alternate years.
258 The Novel HU
This is a survey of the British novel in the 20th century, during which radical transformations were wrought in conventions of realism, characterization, plot, and narration. Texts include novels by Conrad, Woolf, Joyce, Greene, Carter, Fowles, Rushdie and McEwan. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
260 In the American Grain: Traditions in North American Literature HU
This course conceptualizes American literature as a comparative literature whose traditions emerged from certain inalienable forces released as English became the dominant political language of North America. We explore theories of translation and language. Readings include Derrida, Shakespeare, Cabeza de Vaca, Behn, Rowlandson, Mather, Wheatly, Equiano, Franklin, Nat Turner and Poe. The course concludes with a review of the drifting, searching, world aboard Melville's Pequod in Moby-Dick. This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement. Typically offered in alternate years.
261 American Literature 1865-1914 HU
An introduction to American fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries with emphasis on the literary response to historical developments such as the transformation of private life, the rise of technological society, and the intensification of racial and class conflict. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Offered occasionally.
262 The American Moderns 1915-1950 HU
This course involves selected readings in poetry, fiction, and/or drama. Readings include Pound, Eliot, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Barnes, West, Stevens, Toomer, Williams, Crane, Warren and Kerouac. Offered occasionally.
265 African American Literature HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
This is an exploration of African American satire, focusing on fiction. While continually developing and refining our definition of satire, we situate satire by black artists in a broader American tradition. Offered occasionally.
269 Another Country: Queer Sexualities in the American Novel HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This is an examination of non-normative sexualities and gender identifications as the guiding thematic and formal force in a series of U. S. novels, mostly canonical and mostly 19th-century. Prerequisite: ENGL 150L or a 200-level course in English, or the instructor’s consent. Offered occasionally.
270 Portraits in Black: The Influence of an Emergent African-American Culture HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
Tools of literary history used to examine the influence of African-American culture in the United States. Focus on the literary events of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Emphasis on the authority of African-American culture for U.S. fictions of democracy. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Typically offered in alternate years.
272 Introduction to Film: Form, History, Theory HU
This course aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to film. Structurally, it will trace film's historical trajectory beginning with its invention as a technology, a look at early cinema as well as an exploration of film's prototypes. The course concludes with an exploration of film's reinvention as an apparatus in the age of digital filmmaking, a reinvention augured by contestations to the studio in avant-garde and experimental film forms. Prerequisite: Freshman Writing or the instructor’s consent. Offered occasionally.
273 Modern British Literature HU
An exploration of literary modernism in Britain through analysis of fiction, criticism, and aesthetic manifestos in their historical contexts. Typically offered in alternate years.
274 Modern Irish Literature HU
Irish literature from Swift to O'Brien and Heaney. The course considers this literature as the politically articulate inscription of complex and multiple intersections of history, class and culture. Throughout the course, Irish history, particularly the Famine, (re)appears as an episode of trauma, historical memory and literary investment. This course satisfies the Introductory Emphasis Requirement for the major. Offered occasionally.
275 Thinking Globally, Writing Locally HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
The course will examine the ways the global circulation of people, ideas, languages, and literary and cultural forms brought about by colonialism, decolonization, and immigration shape specific Anglophone literary traditions. Offered occasionally.
276 Literature and Politics of South African Apartheid HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
This course explores the history and historiography of South African apartheid from its inception in 1948 to its democratic overthrow in 1994. We will consider the interplay between complex definitions of race, gender, nation and difference in novels, plays, and poetry written during the apartheid years. We will also discuss the tension between an ethics and aesthetics of literary production in a time of political oppression. What would it mean for one to write an apolitical text in a cultural space rife with racial and social tensions? Authors will include Nadine Gordimer, Alan Paton, J.M. Coetzee, Bessie Head, and Alex La Guma. Typically offered in alternate years.
277 Postcolonial Women Writers HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
A study of a sampling of women writers from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, as well as from the postcolonial diaspora in Britain and the U.S., focusing on the aesthetic strategies developed to represent modernity, globalization, sexuality, and gender roles. Offered occasionally.
278 Contemporary Women Writers HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course involves readings in novels, short fiction, poetry and some non-fictional prose by contemporary women writers. We focus on a study of the interrelations between literature written by female authors and the questions, concerns and debates that characterize contemporary feminist theory. Readings include Moore, Jordan, Gaitskill, Barry, Rankine, Parks, Ng, Morrison, etc. Typically offered in alternate years.
279 Asian American Literature HU
This course features works by Kingston, Li-Young Lee, Minatoya, Chang Rae Lee and Hagedorn. The course considers this body of work in relationship (cultural convergences, literary inheritances, thematic ties) to other canonical American literature: Whitman, Henry Adams, Chandler and Dos Passos. Offered occasionally.
281 Fictions of Empire HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This is a study of representative texts from the 18th century to the present that deal with the British colonial encounter. Readings include Defoe, Behn, Haggard, Kipling, Conrad, Forster, Dinesen, Cary, Coetzee and Achebe. Offered occasionally.
282 An Energy of Profusion, An Energy of Line: The Modernist Movement, 1900-1920 HU
This course considers modernism as a collective enterprise, self-conscious and deliberate, in the earlier part of the 20th century that took various forms in art, literature and architecture. Readings are grouped around Joyce's Ulysses, Cubist painting and modernist architecture, and are comprised of both contemporary and critical prose, poetry, philosophic, political and aesthetic manifestos. Offered occasionally.
283 American Postmodernism HU
This is a consideration of 20th- and 21st-century novels, films, and other media events that revise or adapt texts from the Enlightenment period as a means to explore major concerns of postmodern culture: mediation, intertextuality, technology, authorial presence or erasure, cooptation, and strategies of critique. Readings include Barth, Pynchon, Coetzee, Wideman, Kurzweil, Morrow and Jong.
285 Disabilities: Autobiography, Education, and Theory HU
This course examines contemporary autobiographies of disability, in four key contexts: literary history and genre, academic disability studies, rehabilitation sciences and the American educational system, as it has been shaped by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Offered occasionally.
289 Contemporary Poetry HU
This is ostensibly a survey of American avant-garde poetry from 1950 to the present. This course endeavors to examine the ways in which poetry since WWII has undertaken the task of redefining itself, and in the process also sought to redefine its relation to politics, to tradition and history, and more importantly to language. Offered occasionally.
298 Junior Seminar I HU
Junior seminar comprises of a two-part sequence that, through class readings, discussion and writing tutorials, engage students in a study of (1) a series of texts representing the range and diversity of the historical tradition in British and American literature, and (2) critical theory and practice as it has been influenced by hermeneutics, feminism, psychology, semiology, sociology, and the study of cultural representation, and as it reflects the methods of literary criticism. Typically offered every Fall.
299 Junior Seminar II HU
L. McGrane,M. McInerney,G. Stadler
Part II of the sequence focuses on narrative and its theorization and criticism. Readings include George Eliot's Middlemarch, stories by Henry James and Edgar Allen Poe, and James Joyce's Ulysses. Prerequisite: ENGL 298. Typically offered every Spring.
399 Senior Conference HU
Students work closely with a faculty consultant over the course of their senior year in the research and writing of a 25-30 page essay or a piece of creative writing accompanied by a critical preface (for the creative writing concentration). The course culminates in an hour-long oral examination that covers the thesis and coursework done for the major. Senior majors only. Typically offered every Spring.
The prerequisite for all 300-level topics courses is two courses in English at the 200 level or the instructor’s consent, unless otherwise indicated. Courses vary from year to year and include:
301 Topics in Middle English: Sex & Gender in the Middle Ages HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies
This seminar examines the construction and representation of sex and gender in the Middle Ages. Our focus is on medieval texts (polemic, drama, lyric, narrative, autobiography), but we accompany these primary readings with secondary readings in feminist and queer theory and the history of the body, as well a couple of contemporary novels that revise or reread medieval texts and ideas.
302 Speaking in Tongues HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course proposes to speak the unspeakable, to map the curious congruencies and disjunctions between mystical, aesthetic and philosophical modes of transcendence.
318 The Western Dramatic Tradition HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an investigation of dramatic form, principally in the genre of tragedy, from Aeschylus to Beckett, read alongside theoretical and cultural reflections on theater and the "performative" by such writers as Plato, Aristotle, Pico, Gosson, d’Aubignac, Nietzsche and Foucault. Offered occasionally.
320 Topics in Early Modern Literature HU
This is an examination of Shakespeare's plays in relation to classical and Renaissance political thought.
325 Advanced Shakespeare HU
This course explores interactions among historical, psychological, and theatrical interests in the development of Shakespeare's vision alongside theoretical readings from various critical traditions (including cultural history, psychoanalysis, feminism, [post]structuralism, performance studies and postcolonial studies). Typically offered in alternate years.
343 Transatlantic Exchanges: Anatomies of Conversion and Revolution in Britain and Early America HU
This is an exploration of political, philosophical and popular literature that defined a Trans-Atlantic model of print culture in 18th-century Britain and America. Emphasis is on comparative notions of literary, gender, national and racial identities in interdisciplinary context. Typically offered in alternate years.
346 Topics in 18th-century Literature: Virginia Woolf's Eighteenth Century HU
An exploration of technology, gender, and the nature of knowledge in Gothic novels of the late 18th century and early 19th century. Authors include Walpole, Radcliffe, Brockden Brown and Lewis, as well as later Gothic authors such as Poe, Stevenson and Egan. Offered occasionally.
347 Spectacle & Spectatorship in 18thc. London HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course explores the act of seeing and the status of the seen in 18th century British literature and culture. In a burgeoning London, readers and viewers understood faces, clothing and even postures as meaningful texts. Relying on theorists of the imagination and the visual, we examine both the pleasures and the more troubling implications of visual culture in 18th century British literature (drama, poetry, novel and popular culture). Typically offered in alternate years.
348 Topics in 19th Century Literature HU
This course provides an exploration of the feelings, ranging from happiness and sympathy to anger and shame, that shape Romantic and Victorian novels. Authors include Eliot, Austen, Bronte sisters and Stoker.
352 Romanticism and Theory HU
This seminar begins by posing a series of fundamental questions about romantic poems, beginning with Heidegger’s essay of 1946, “What Are Poets For?” We draw readings from five principal romantic careers: Blake, Wordsworth, Mary and Percy Shelley and Keats.
353 Poverty and Its Representation in 19th-century Britain HU
This is a study of the "street-folk" and working poor of the 1840s and 1850s, in social documents, novels and radical critique.
354 Remembrance and Mourning: Literature of the Great War HU
This course follows the responses of literature to the personal, historical and spiritual catastrophe of the Great War, 1914–1918. Our theoretical center is the study of the processes of traumatic memory.
356 Studies in American Environment and Place HU
Typically offered in alternate years.
361 Topics in African-American Literature HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
362 Topics in American Literature HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
363 Topics in American Literature HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Martyr, fanatic, hero, revolutionary, terrorist, sage? Who was John Brown, and what did he come to represent for our culture? This course uses the spectacular life and death of John Brown to examine a common set of interests in a diverse set of texts produced both before and after the Civil War. These interests include the place of violence in the cause of liberty, the relationship of aesthetic value to changing social and political claims, the role of race and gender in the construction of divergent cultural narratives and memories.
364 After Mastery: Trauma, Reconstruction, and the Literary Event HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course exposes students to recent trauma theory and the segregated traditions of literary history. Thinking about trauma theory before and after Freud, we look again at authors attempting to bring together (and sometimes keep apart) cultural traditions irrupting into literary form throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
365 Topics in American Literature: How to Do Things With Books: Literature, Performance, Pedagogy HU
This course examines fiction, poetry, and criticism by a series of 19th-century American writers who have positioned the encounter between reader and text as an act or event with unpredictable effects. A central focus is these texts' notion of pedagogy: framing our reading through contemporary theory, we ask how literature teaches, what it teaches and how you come to believe that you've been taught something, or that you've not been taught something. Offered occasionally.
371 Writing, Sound, and Modernity HU
A textual, cultural and historical study of transforming ideas about writing, sound and their relationship to one another. The course's focus is the United States of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, but also includes relevant British and Continental works. Frames of study include dialect literature, poetics and orality, urbanization, technologies of reproduction, theory and philosophy of cognition. Offered occasionally.
372 Topics in Irish Literature: Joyce/Beckett HU
This course looks at the work of these two major figures as epitomizing an Irish rhetoric in post-colonial reading that “enacts a movement that begins in aphasia and ends in eloquence” [Seamus Deane], in this case in a comprehensive reading of Joyce in the most prolix of texts, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and Beckett, where texts seemingly court in silence their own undoing. Typically offered in alternate years.
373 Modernist Narratives HU
A study of the historical, aesthetic, and epistemological implications of literary modernism in Britain. The course explores narrative strategies in writers such as Conrad, Ford, Joyce, Woolf, Bowen, West, Rhys and Durrell devised to bring coherence and resolution to the experience of crisis and fragmentation associated with modernity. Typically offered in alternate years.
377 Problems in Postcolonial Literature: Violence, Terror, and Identity HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This is an examination of the rhetorical and narrative strategies adopted by postcolonial texts as they negotiate the aesthetic challenges and political complexities of representing violence and terror. Working with fiction, non-fiction and film, the course explores the different effects of realism, magical realism, surrealism and the grotesque as modes of representation. Typically offered in alternate years.
381 Textual Politics: Marxism, Feminism, and the Deconstruction HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This course addresses theories relating language to culture, history and power. Theorists studied include Marx, Althusser, Macherey, Volosinov, Williams, Barthes, Derrida, Kristeva, Cixous and Irigaray. Offered occasionally.
382 On the Sublime HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is a study of the literature of the sublime as, variously, a crisis of representation or the shattering of forms of knowledge; temporal and spatial disruption raised to a metaphysics of place and person; a deeply gendered and problematic poetics of (male) desire; a psychological structuring of the traumatic encounter with the Other; and a recuperative gesture in a poetics of memory. Offered occasionally.
383 Topics in American Literature:The Influence of Henry James, or the Lessons of the Master HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality Studies)
This is a reading of the major works in their subtle and ambiguous moral and political economies of desire. Offered occasionally.
385 Apocalyptic Literature HU
This course centers on readings of John, Langland, Dante and Blake, but requires the reading of images as well as texts. This may include (but is not limited to) medieval manuscript illuminations in illustration of the Apocalypse of John, medieval and early modern allegorical paintings, and Blake’s Illuminations.
388 Problems in Narrative: Obsession, Trauma, Hysteria, Oblivion, Bliss HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an inquiry into narrative process via scrutiny of moments, styles, themes and perspectives that threaten to subvert, disable or radically transform the very forms in which they appear. Texts for thus scrutinizing narrative and its internal transgressions include novels, short-stories, films, plays, paintings and theoretical ruminations. Offered occasionally.
389 Problems in Poetics: The Interpretation of Lyric HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is an examination of theoretical issues and presentational strategies in various verse structures from Ovid to Bishop. Close readings of strategically grouped texts explore the interplay of convention and innovation with close attention to rhetorics of desire, external and internal form, and recurrent lyric figures, tropes and topoi. Typically offered in alternate years.
390 The Celtic Fringe: Irish, Scots and Welsh Poetry 1747-2009 HU
This course includes readings in the English-language poetry of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. It explores works by Dylan Thomas, W.B. Yeats, Hugh MacDiarmaid and Seamus Heaney, as well as those of more recent poets such as Paul Muldoon, Carol-Ann Duffy, Kathleen Jamie, Tom Leonard and Gwyneth Lewis. We pay special attention to the roots of contemporary Welsh, Irish and Scottish poetics in the native traditions of the Celtic languages and to the contribution of these poems to post-colonial discourse. Offered occasionally.
480 Independent Study HU
COURSES OFFERED IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS CROSS-LISTED IN ENGLISH
240 As the World Turned: Milton and Early Modern Revolutions HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This is a study of John Milton's major poems and prose in their historical contexts, with particular attention to Milton's engagements with aesthetic, scientific, and political inventions of the 17th century. Prerequisite: Freshman Writing. Offered occasionally.
290 History of Literary Theory: Plato to Shelley HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Classical Studies)
Prerequisite: Open to students with sophomore standing or above. Typically offered in alternate years.
COURSES OFFERED AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE
201 Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
202 Understanding Poetry
205 Introduction to Film
210 Renaissance Lit: Performance of Gender
220 Teaching of Writing
223 The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories: Exploring Diversity
225 Shakespeare I
229 Movies and Mass Politics
231 Modernism in Anglo-American Poetry
232 Voices in and out of School: American Poetry Since WWII
233 Spenser and Milton
234 Postcolonial Literature in English
240 Readings in English Literature 1660-1744
242 Historical Introduction to English Poetry
243 Historical Introduction to English Poetry
250 Methods of Literary Study
254 Female Subjects: American Literature Before the Vote
259 Victorian Literature and Culture
263 Toni Morrison & the Art of Narrative Conjure
269 Vile Bodies in Medieval Literature
279 Modern African Fiction
284 Women Poets: Giving Eurydice a Voice
288 The Novel
293 Critical Feminist Studies
309 Reverberations: Native American Literature
310 Victorian Media
322 Love and Money
324 Topics in Shakespeare: Shakespeare on Film
329 Screen Melodrama
334 Topics in Film Studies: Queer Cinema
354 Virginia Woolf
355 Performance Theory
360 Women & Law in the Middle Ages
361 Transformation of the Sonnet: Petrarch to Marilyn Hacker
362 African American Literature
374 Experimental Poetry
379 The African Griot(te)
385 Problems in Satire
387 Allegory: Theory & Practice
398 Senior Seminar
ARTW 159 Introduction to Creative Writing
ARTW 231 Poetry as Performance
ARTW 260 Writing Short Fiction I
ARTW 261 Writing Poetry: Subjects and Predicates
ARTW 262 Playwriting I
ARTW 264 Feature Journalism
ARTW 265 Creative Nonfiction
ARTW 266 Screenwriting
ARTW 382 Poetry Master Class