WINTER TERM 2013
ENG 277H 001
Tropical Nature: Costa Rica
Travel Course: January 4-15
For two weeks, we will explore the astonishing diversity of many of Costa Rica’s ecosystems, including rain forests, cloud forests, mangrove swamps, and beach ecosystems. The course will emphasize natural history, field studies of ecological patterns, tropical conservation, and reflecting on and writing about your experiences.
Trip Fee: $2,483.00
Study of an author, a literary form, a sequence of texts, or specific area or genre of creative writing, or some other special topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite(s): To be determined for each course. (Pass/Fail Option) Every Year.
Mons. and Weds., 6:00-7:30
The study of a specialized topic not offered in the usual curriculum.
Prerequisite: CHI 201H (Intermediate Chinese) or Instructor Permission
Tues., and Thurs., 12:00-1:40
This creative writing workshop will explore the different genres available to writers of fiction, from high-fantasy to avant-pop and everything in between. We will address serious questions about what makes good genre work and what are the pliable boundaries between the genres. Through an examination of major authors and critics in the genres as well as looking closely at student work we will explore the possibilities of these entertaining and popular, and often socially charged, forms of fiction.
Prerequisite: ENG 100.
Writing The Stage Monologue
A monologue is a mini-play, each with a beginning, a middle, and an end, all within a paragraph, a page, or a few pages. This workshop course focuses on the production of monologues for the stage. Students will read monologues from plays ranging from Hamlet to The Laramie Project, and examine the qualities that contribute to successful stage monologues, as well as those that don¿t. Students will produce several drafts of a number of monologues during the semester. In addition to reading and discussion of published and newly-written monologues, students will see monologues in performance, and by the end of the semester, see their own monologues produced on a stage.
Prerequisites: ENG 100; CWR, ENG, or SEN major or ELE/LAl concentration; or permission of instructor.
$7.00 Course Fee
Popularizing Paradise Lost
Tues. and Thurs., 3:50-5:30
An intensive study of Milton’s Paradise Lost and its place in the popular imagination, from early spectacles and magic lantern shows to recent cinema, song, and other transmediations. In addition to working carefully through Milton’s epic, we will also read John Collier’s screenplay adaptation of the poem and explore the meaning of “popular” culture itself.
Prerequisite(s): ENG 100; for students in CWR, ENG, SEN, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.
Recent American Poetry
Mons. and Weds., 8:40-10:20
Though often described in terms of schools or movements, contemporary American poets embrace a range of influences and practices difficult to grasp through anthology exposure alone. Structured around whole books of poems rather than anthology selections, Recent American Poetry will be, among other things, a course in slow, attentive reading. Throughout the semester we will consider our own responses to the texts: what does it feel like to inhabit a text by Susan Howe or Heather McHugh? After a brief overview of some elements of postwar poetry, we will move quickly into the present, reading and responding to an eclectic group of poetic texts written in the U.S. in the past 30 years. While we will learn about critical groupings such as the New York School, Conceptual poetry, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, our focus will be on the way individual poets engage questions about language, the self, and the world.
Prerequisites: ENG 181 and ENG 272.
Jane Austen and Contemporaries
Tues. and Thurs., 3:50-5:30
This course will examine Jane Austen’s writings in the context of her contemporaries’ works. Oftentimes, students envision Austen as a stand-alone author, a reclusive figure who wrote in a genre and time all of her own. This course will ask students to read Austen’s fiction alongside poetry, prose, and drama written by her contemporaries. In addition to Austen, students will be introduced to writers such as Anne Radcliffe, Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria Edgeworth, and Hannah More.
This course covers writings from the 1790s-1810s and could fill a women’s studies requirement for minors.
Prerequisites: ENG 251 or 252, plus one 300-level literature course.
The Meaning of Life
Tues. and Thurs., 12:00-1:40
What is life all about? And why? Are all religions right, are they all wrong, or is there one true religion? Does natural science have a better answer? Is science compatible with traditional religious answers, or are they opposed? Is the truth about the meaning of life in the eye of the beholder, or is it objective in some way? How can we know? This course explores these and other questions relating to the meaning of life through a variety of readings and some films. We will read selections from a variety of sources including well known authors such as Plato, Chuang-tze, Marcus Aurelius, Aquinas, Darwin, Simone Weil, Sartre, and Camus, as well as many authors who are less well known. We will articulate our own views about the meaning of life and seek to understand the views of others. We will see how those views apply in our own lives through an “ethics project” and other out-of-class activities.
Contemporary Japanese Philosophy
Mons. and Weds., 3:40-5:20
In the late nineteenth century, a period known as the Meiji era, Japan transitioned from an isolated feudalist society to a modernized industrial world economy. With this change came a massive influx of Western culture. The end of the Meiji era, however, brought with it a reaction against Westernization and the rebirth of a unique Japanese cultural tradition. As part of this rebirth, Japanese philosophers began to produce broad critiques expressing the shortcomings of Western philosophy, rejecting especially its focus on the individual as well as its tendency to separate the study of ethics from the study of nature. These writers argued for a return to a traditional Japanese worldview, particularly that of Buddhism, which they creatively reinterpreted as a critique of the Western worldview. This course explores some of the key philosophical writings from this period in twentieth-century Japan, focusing particularly on works by Nishida Kitaro, Nishitani Keiji, and Watsuji Tetsuro. Through a careful reading of these works and with special attention to the historical circumstances in which they emerged, students in this course have the opportunity to both broaden and deepen their understanding of twentieth-century philosophy.
Prerequisite(s): One course in Philosophy or instructor’s permission.
Films of Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman is considered to be one of the masters of modern film, whose work is characterized by recurring signature images, techniques, and themes. In this class, we will view seven films by this renowned Swedish filmmaker. Viewed together, they create a narrative about the human search for ultimate meaning in modernity, the relative silence of God in the face of this search, and the rediscovery of possible modes of deriving a sense of meaning in such a transcendentally silent situation.
Prerequisite: One course in religion.
The Latin American Experience
Weds., and Fris., 1:20-3:00
In this interdisciplinary course we will explore Latin America as a trope through history, literature, film, art, music and pop culture. What does this experience mean to different people, and how is it articulated in various cultural products and media? We will pay particular attention to metaphors of conquest, feminization and insularity; to the encounters between Spanish explorers and native Latin American peoples; to colonial dreams of emancipation; to foundational fictions of national identity and independence; to the identity politics of the so-called magical realists; to uprisings and resistance, urban and state terrorism, urban poetry, graffiti and the Argentine punk movement, and to the new Latin American artists of generation Y. Course taught in Spanish.
Prerequisites: SPA 206, study abroad or permission of instructor.