Courses numbered from 100 to 294 (introductory courses) are designed for non-majors and majors alike. With the exception of 200-level creative writing courses these courses have no prerequisites. English 295, "Critical Methods," requires prior completion of one Foundations course and another 6-credit English course. (English 295 is not open to first-year students.) Literature courses numbered 300 and above (upper-level courses) require prior completion of one Foundations course and another 6-credit English course. Intermediate courses in creative writing (200-level) require prior completion of one 6-credit English course; admission to upper-level courses in creative writing (300-level) is by portfolio submission. English 395, "Advanced Seminar," requires prior completion of English 295 and one 300-level course.
Requirements for a Major
Seventy-two credits in English, including the following:
1. Foundations: One designated 100-level course that develops skills of literary analysis and introduces the concept of genre
2. Historical Eras: 36 credits in literature courses numbered 200-395 (excluding 220 and 295) which must include:
a. Group I: 12 credits in literature before 1660
b. Group II: 12 credits in literature between 1660 and 1900
c. Group III: 12 credits in literature after 1900
3. English 295: Critical Methods
4. English 395: Advanced Seminar
5. English 400: Senior Integrative Exercise (A senior may choose one of the following):
a. Colloquium Option: A group option in which participants discuss, analyze and write about a thematically coherent list of literary works.
b. Research Essay Option: An extended essay on a topic of the student's own devising. Open only to students who have completed their Advanced Seminar by the end of fall term senior year.
c. Creative Writing Option: Creation of a work of literary art. Open only to students who have completed at least two creative writing courses (one of which must be at the 300 level) by the end of fall term senior year.
d. Project Option: Creation of an individual or group multidisciplinary project.
Of the 72 credits required to complete the major:
1. at least 6 credits must be taken in each of the following traditions:
a. British literature
b. United States literature
c. English literatures other than British and United States
2. at least 24 credits must be in courses numbered 300-395
3. up to 6 credits may be in literature other than English in the original or translation
4. up to 12 credits may be in creative writing
Double-majors considering completing the integrative exercise during the junior year will need written approval from the departmental chair.
Workshops in Writing
The Department of English offers workshop courses in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction for those students who wish to gain experience in writing. Students are encouraged to submit their work to college publications such as The Lens, manuscript, the Clap, and Carleton Progressive.
Writers on the Carleton faculty include poets Gregory Hewett and Susan Jaret McKinstry and novelist Gregory Blake Smith. In addition to those courses offered by regular faculty members, the department brings visiting writers to campus to read and to conduct workshops in their specialties. Visitors have included playwright Tony Kushner, memoirists Richard Rodriquez and Patricia Hampl, poets Robert Creeley, Carolyn Forche, Sharon Olds, and Andrew Hudgins, nature writers Dan O'Brien and David Rains Wallace, and fiction-writers Jane Hamilton, Ann Beattie, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilynne Robinson and Jonis Agee.
ENGL 099. Summer Writing Program Emphasizing a writing process approach, the Summer Writing Program helps high school seniors learn to compose academic papers that are similar to those they will write in college. Students read both contemporary and traditional literature from classic texts by writers such as Plato and Shakespeare to a variety of modern short stories, essays, and poems by authors such as August Wilson, Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Adrienne Rich. This literature then becomes the focus of their papers. Students write every day, and although occasional creative writing exercises are included, the main emphasis of the course will be on expository prose. Cannot be used for the Writing Requirement. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, ND; NE, SummerStaff
ENGL 100. Writing for Success in College: Reflection, Exploration, Rhetoric Writing makes thinking visible. In this course, students will conduct research projects that involve posing a problem, collecting data (in many forms), choosing what data are relevant, and making a case for action. Readings will range from the Western rhetorical tradition to current events. All students will participate in peer review and oral presentations. 6 cr., AI, WR1, QRE, FallC. Rutz
ENGL 100. Shakespeare on Film This seminar explores the many ways in which Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted for film. From Hollywood to Bollywood to Japan, and from Westerns to Sci-fi to cartoons, Shakespeare has been reworked and reconceived in every filmmaking culture and in every genre. A number of major plays are considered through both "straightforward" adaptations and unconventional appropriations. Using the tools of both literary criticism and film analysis, the course seeks to assess the interpretive value of these films for Shakespeare, their place in performance history and film history, as well as their status as individual works of art. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallP. Hecker
ENGL 100. Visions of the Waste Land In his great post-World War I poem, T. S. Eliot described the waste land of western civilization as "a heap of broken images." We will explore how the writers of the first half of the twentieth-century invented ways of reshaping those broken images into a new literary art that has come to be called Modernism. Writers studied will likely include Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, and Faulkner. Attention will be given to the writing of literary critical papers, and to supplying students with the foundational tools for more advanced literary study. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallG. Smith
ENGL 100. Writing About America and Globalization Focusing on rhetorical choices and writing strategies, we will seek to read critically, formulate questions, and write persuasively about contemporary issues of globalization. Varied readings, journalistic, scholarly, and literary, as well as our own experiences, will provide a springboard for discussion of the impact of globalization on particular cultures (in the United States and other countries), economic justice, national sovereignty, sustainability, and human rights in the face of increasing economic interdependence and instant communication in our "globalized" world. Students will refine persuasive skills through research, writing and revising several major essays, peer review, and a final oral presentation. 6 cr., AI, WR1, IS, FallE. McKinsey
ENGL 100. The Questing Hero This class explores the enduring genre of romance. Chivalric romance has given us the familiar image of the wandering knight in search of adventure, but has also generated the modern novel and many forms of popular cinema, including westerns and sports films. As we read examples of romance from the Middle Ages up to the present, we will consider what has made this genre so durable, flexible, and popular. And we will consider how the narrative model of the questing knight continues to influence contemporary stories of trial, maturation, and success. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallG. Shuffelton
ENGL 100. Occupy Wall Street: Melville's "Bartleby" Taking up the mysteries of Herman Melville's 1853 tale of a disaffected office-worker in mid-ninteenth century New York, we will pursue a variety of interpretive and critical means to situate its protest in its day and understand it for our own. Our work will lead us into the era's discourses of labor and economy; gender, domesticity, and family; slavery and authority, virtue and political resistance. Additional readings in Dickens, Marx, the Bible, Stowe and Transcendentalism. Students will write analytical essays and develop research skills using the holdings of Gould library to produce collaboratively a contextual guide to "Bartleby, the Scrivener." 6 cr., WR; AI, WR1, FallP. Balaam
ENGL 100. Spirit of Place We will consider a range of texts (in fiction poetry, drama, nonfiction) that explore the intangible and multifaceted nature of "place" in literary works. We will attempt to determine what influence place has on human perception and behavior and study the variety of ways in which writers have attempted to evoke a "spirit of place." Authors read will include Shakespeare, Hardy, Frost, Erdrich and Heaney. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallM. Kowalewski
ENGL 100. Imagining a Self This course examines how first-person narrators present, define, defend, and construct the self. We will read an assortment of autobiographical and fictional works, focusing on the critical issues that the first-person speaker "I" raises. In particular, we will consider the risks and rewards of narrative self-exposure, the relationship between autobiography and the novel, and the apparent intimacy between first-person narrators and their readers. Authors will include James Boswell, Charlotte Bronte, Harriet Jacobs, Sylvia Plath, and Dave Eggers. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallJ. Leiman
ENGL 109. Introduction to Rhetoric English 109 is the single Carleton course devoted exclusively to the study and practice of expository prose. It is designed to provide students with the organizational and argumentative skills they will need in order to write effectively at the college level and beyond. All sections of the course feature diverse readings, weekly writing exercises and essays, and individual tutorials. 6 cr., ND, WR; NE, WR2, Winter,SpringN. Cho, G Shuffelton
ENGL 113. American Voices This course provides a foundation for further study in poetry and the American tradition. We will examine the work of four pairs of American poets and explore the ways in which they helped define a national literature. Beginning with the startling Puritan verse of Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor, we move to the iconoclastic Romantic-Transcendentalist poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, followed by the Modernist experiments of T.S. Eliot and H.D., and finally the Beat poetry of Allen Ginsberg and Confessional poetry of Sylvia Plath. Works include: Song of Myself, The Waste Land, Howl and Daddy. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 114. Introduction to Medieval Narrative This class will focus on three of the most popular and closely connected modes of narrative enjoyed by medieval audiences: the epic, the romance, and the saint's life. Readings, drawn primarily from the English and French traditions, will include Beowulf, The Song of Roland, the Arthurian romances of Chretien de Troyes, and legends of St. Alexis and St. Margaret. We will consider how each narrative mode influenced the other, as we encounter warriors and lovers who suffer like saints, and saints who triumph like warriors and lovers. Readings will be in translation or highly accessible modernizations. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterG. Shuffelton
ENGL 115. The Art of Storytelling Jorge Luis Borges is quoted as saying that "unlike the novel, a short story may be, for all purposes, essential." This course focuses attention primarily on the short story as an enduring form. We will read a selection of short stories drawn from different literary periods and from various parts of the world. Stories to be read include those by Poe, Gilman, Chekhov, Joyce, Borges, John Cheever, Alice Munro, Toni Bambara, Grace Paley, Margaret Atwood, Lorrie Moore, Edwidge Danticat, Salman Rushdie, and Sherman Alexie. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, SpringK. Owusu
ENGL 116. Introduction to English Drama This class introduces the varied forms of English drama over the last six hundred years. We will move chronologically, from the religious street theater of the medieval city and the rapid development of professional theater in Renaissance England, all the way up to the work of twentieth-century playwrights. We will consider changes to the staging and audiences of drama, and ask ourselves what sorts of cultural work drama can perform. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 117. African American Literature This course pays particular attention to the tradition of African American literary expression and the individual talent that brings depth and diversity to that tradition. The course's broader aims will be complemented by an introduction to the concept of genre and by the cultivation of the relevant skills of literary analysis. Authors to be read include Baraka, Ed Bullins, Countee Cullen, Douglass, Ellison, Nikki Giovanni, Hughes, Weldon Johnson, Larsen, and Wheatley. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, IDS, SpringK. Owusu
ENGL 118. Introduction to Poetry We will look at the whole kingdom of poetry, exploring how poets use form, tone, sound, imagery, rhythm, and subject matter to create what Wallace Stevens called the "supreme fiction." Examples will be drawn from around the world, from Sappho to spoken word. Participation in discussion is mandatory; essay assignments will ask you to provide close readings of particular works; a couple of assignments will focus on the writing of poems so as to give you a full understanding of this ancient and living art. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Winter,SpringA. Estill, T. Raylor
ENGL 119. Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature We will begin by examining the forefathers and mothers of Latino/a literature: the nineteenth century texts of exile, struggles for Latin American independence, and southwestern resistance and accommodation. The early twentieth century offers new genres: immigrant novels and popular poetry that reveal the nascent Latino identities rooted in (or formed in opposition to) U.S. ethics and ideals. Finally we will read a sampling of the many excellent contemporary authors who are transforming the face of American literature. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IDS, FallA. Estill
ENGL 120. Introduction to Literarary Modernism "On or about December 1910 human character changed," Virginia Woolf once observed, and indeed, something did happen at the beginning of the twentieth century that changed the course of literature forever. We will look at the great poets and novelists of modernism--Yeats, Joyce, Eliot, Faulkner among many others--and try to come to terms with the literary movement that helped shape the consciousness of the twentieth century. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 121. Introduction to Narrative How do we tell stories, and why? What are the different elements of narrative (words, images, even sounds), and how do they work across disciplines and forms, both fictional and non-fictional? This course will study the form and function--and the power and persuasion--of narrative, examining examples of fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, illustrated books, poetry, television, and cinema. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 129. Introduction to British Comedy "And those things do best please me / That befall prepost'rously." A survey of comic plays, novels, short stories, films and television from Shakespeare, Austen, Lewis Carroll, Gilbert and Sullivan, Oscar Wilde, through P.G. Wodehouse and beyond. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterC. Walker
ENGL 135. Imperial Adventures Indiana Jones has a pedigree. In this class we will encounter some of his ancestors in stories, novels and comic books from the early decades of the twentieth century. The wilds of Afghanistan, the African forest, a prehistoric world in Patagonia, the opium dens of mysterious exotic London--these will be but some of our stops as we examine the structure and ideology and lasting legacy of the imperial adventure tale. Authors we will read include Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Rudyard Kipling and H. Rider Haggard. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, IS, SpringA. Chakladar
ENGL 160. Introduction to Creative Writing This course offers training in the writing and revision of poetry and prose fiction, supplemented by examples from published writers and some essays on the creative process. Discussion of each participant's writing is the central mode of instruction. 6 cr., AL, WR; ARP, WR2, Fall,Winter,SpringS. Jaret McKinstry, G. Hewett, G. Smith
ENGL 201. Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales A study of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English (no previous knowledge assumed), concentrating on the pilgrims as narrating subjects, and on Chaucer's legendary status as the "Father" of English literature. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, SpringG. Shuffelton
ENGL 210. From Chaucer to Milton: Early English Literature An introduction to some of the major genres, texts, and authors of medieval and Renaissance England. readings may include works of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and the lyric poets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 212. Nineteenth-Century American Literature A survey of the major forms and voices of nineteenth-century American literature during the Romantic and Realist periods, with attention to the historical and intellectual contexts of that work. Topics covered will include the literary writings of Transcendentalism, abolition, and the rise of literary "realism" after the Civil War as an artistic response to urbanization and industrialism. Writers to be read include Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Douglass, Dickinson, Whitman, Twain, James, and Wharton. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Fall,SpringG. Hewett, E. McKinsey
ENGL 213. Christopher Marlowe Christopher Marlowe lived fast, died young, and left behind a beautiful body of work. The course will explore the major plays and poems, as well as the life, of this transgressive Elizabethan writer. 3 cr., AL; LA, WR2, WinterP. Hecker
ENGL 214. Revenge Tragedy Madness, murder, conspiracy, poison, incest, rape, ghosts, and lots of blood: the fashion for revenge tragedy in Elizabethan and Jacobean England led to the creation of some of the most brilliant, violent, funny, and deeply strange plays in the history of the language. Authors may include Cary, Chapman, Ford, Marston, Middleton, Kyd, Tourneur, and Webster. 3 cr., AL; LA, WR2, WinterP. Hecker
ENGL 215. Modern American Literature A survey of some of the central movements and texts in American literature, from World War I to the present. Topics covered will include modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat generation and postmodernism. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterM. Kowalewski
ENGL 216. Milton Radical, heretic, and revolutionary, John Milton wrote the most influential, and perhaps the greatest, poem in the English language. We will read the major poems (Lycidas, the sonnets, Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes), a selection of the prose, and will attend to Milton’s historical context, to the critical arguments over his work, and to his impact on literature and the other arts. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, FallT. Raylor
ENGL 217. A Novel Education Samuel Johnson declared novels to be "written chiefly to the young, the ignorant, and the idle, to whom they serve as lectures of conduct, and introductions into life." This course will explore what kinds of education the novel offered its readers during a time when fiction was considered a source of valuable lessons and a vehicle for corruption. We will read a selection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels, considering how they engage with contemporary educational theories, notions of male and female conduct, and concerns about the didactic and imaginative possibilities of fiction. Authors include Richardson, Lennox, Austen, Edgeworth, and Dickens. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, FallJ. Leiman
ENGL 218. The Gothic Spirit The eighteenth and early nineteenth century saw the rise of the Gothic, a genre populated by brooding hero-villains, vulnerable virgins, mad monks, ghosts, and monsters. In this course, we will examine the conventions and concerns of the Gothic, addressing its preoccupation with terror, sex, and the supernatural. As we situate this genre within its literary and historical context, we will consider its relationship to realism and Romanticism, and we will explore how it reflects the political and cultural anxieties of the age. Authors include Walpole, Radcliffe, Lewis, Austen, M. Shelley, and E. Bronte. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterJ. Leiman
ENGL 220. Arts of Oral Presentation Instruction and practice in being a speaker and an audience in formal and informal settings. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, ND; NE, Fall,Winter,SpringG. Shuffelton, M. Kowalewski, T. Raylor
ENGL 222. The Art of Jane Austen All of Jane Austen's fiction will be read; the works she did not complete or choose to publish during her lifetime will be studied in an attempt to understand the art of her mature comic masterpieces, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, FallS. Jaret McKinstry
ENGL 223. American Transcendentalism "The question of the times," Emerson writes, "resolve[s] itself into a practical question of the conduct of life. How shall I live?" An outgrowth of liberal religious culture in and around Boston in the decades before the Civil War, the U.S. Transcendentalist movement remains one of most debated but influential intellectual movements in American cultural history. This course will offer in-depth exposure to the experiments in thought, writing, and conduct for which the movement is known, and to its still unsettled legacy on such topics as Revolution, slavery, religion, nature, and friendship. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 224. Children's Literature A literary investigation of children's literature with close attention to the particular aesthetic issues that follow from the genre's mixing of delight and didacticism, whimsy and pedagogy. We will trace the nineteenth and twentieth-century rise of works written for a child audience back to origins in the power struggles and wish fulfillment of oral tradition tales, the Enlightenment "fairytale," and the Romantic-era "invention of childhood." Works by the Grimms, Straparola, Basile, Perrault, d'Aulnoy, Bettelheim, Wordsworth, Burnett, Kipling, E.B. White, and Sendak. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, SpringP. Balaam
ENGL 227. Borderlands: Places and People The borderlands provide a powerful metaphoric vehicle for American cultural expression. We will engage this metaphor through a broad chronological and generic range of literary and visual texts. Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands and John Sayles's Lone Star will initiate our discussion through their reflections on the U.S.-Mexico border and its production of border identities. Modernism provides us entry into early twentieth century concerns around mulatto bodies and community construction. Subsequent texts allow us to trace the development of fears and utopian imaginings around a variety of hybrid identities through the twentieth and into twenty-first century science fiction. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; HI, WR2, IDS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 228. The American Novel: Revolution to Romance (1790-1850) We will trace the cultural history of the U.S. as a democratic republic from the Revolution to the eve of the Civil War through the hopeful and anxious visions of eighteenth- and ninteenth-century American novelists. Topics will include the political meanings of the sentimental and the Gothic, contested claims about North American space, the "vanishing" Indian, the delayed confrontation with slavery, the issue of women's rights, and the cultural work of the "romance." Works by Hannah Foster, Brockden Brown, Cooper, Hawthorne, Fanny Fern, and Melville. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. FallP. Balaam
ENGL 229. The American Novel: Romance to Realism (1850 to 1910) Post-Civil War writers refashioned the cultural work of fiction to express the new taste for realism and the even more chastened mode of naturalism. The novels of this period have a documentary feel, as though charged with representing and re-envisioning the drama of real American lives in a disenchanted, industrialized, and rapidly consolidating world. Readings from Howells, James, Crane, Jewett, Gilman, Dreiser, Chesnutt, and Wharton. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. WinterP. Balaam
ENGL 234. Literature of the American South Masterpieces of the "Southern Renaissance" of the early and mid-twentieth century, in the context of American regionalism and particularly the culture of the South, the legacy of slavery and race relations, social and gender roles, and the modernist movement in literature. Authors will include Allen Tate, Jean Toomer, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, William Percy, and others. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IDS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 235. Asian American Literature This course is an introduction to major works and authors of fiction, drama, and poetry from about 1900 to the present. We will trace the development of Asian American literary traditions while exploring the rich diversity of recent voices in the field. Authors to be read include Carlos Bulosan, Sui Sin Far, Philip Kan Gotanda, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Milton Murayama, Chang-rae Lee, Li-young Lee, and John Okada. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IDS, FallN. Cho
ENGL 236. American Nature Writing A study of the environmental imagination in American literature. We will explore the relationship between literature and the natural sciences and examine questions of style, narrative, and representation in the light of larger social, ethical, and political concerns about the environment. Authors read will include Thoreau, Muir, Jeffers, Abbey, and Leopold. Students will write a creative Natural History essay as part of the course requirements. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 238. African Literature in English This is a course on texts drawn from English-speaking Africa since the 1950's. Authors to be read include Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah, Buchi Emecheta, Bessie Head, Benjamin Kwakye, and Wole Soyinka. 6 cr., AL, RAD; LA, IS, WinterK. Owusu
ENGL 243. Text and Film Each text selected for this course will be paired with its filmic adaptation for a series of discussions focused on narrative structures, points of view, frames of reference, and textual (in)fidelity. We will read the following texts and watch their film versions: Wright's Native Son, Malcolm X and Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place, Walker's The Color Purple, McMillan's Waiting to Exhale, and Mosley's Devil in a Blue Dress. 6 cr., AL; LA, IDS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 244. Shakespeare I A chronological survey of the whole of Shakespeare’s career, covering all genres and periods, this course explores the nature of Shakespeare’s genius and the scope of his art. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between literature and stagecraft ("page to stage"). By tackling the complexities of prosody, of textual transmission, and of Shakespeare’s highly figurative and metaphorical language, the course will help you further develop your abilities to think critically about literature. 6 cr., AL; LA, FallP. Hecker
ENGL 245. Bollywood Nation This course will serve as an introduction to Bollywood or popular Hindi cinema from India. We will trace the history of this cinema and analyze its formal components. We will watch and discuss some of the most celebrated and popular films of the last 60 years with particular emphasis on urban thrillers and social dramas. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 247. The American West Wallace Stegner once described the West as "the geography of hope" in the American imagination. Despite various dystopian urban pressures, the region still conjures up images of wide vistas and sunburned optimism. We will explore this paradox by examining both popular mythic conceptions of the West (primarily in film) and more searching literary treatments of the same area. We will explore how writers such as Twain, Cather, Stegner and Cormac McCarthy have dealt with the geographical diversity and multi-ethnic history of the West. Weekly film showings will include The Searchers, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Unforgiven, and Lone Star. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. FallM. Kowalewski
ENGL 248. Visions of California An interdisciplinary exploration of the ways in which California has been imagined in literature, art, film and popular culture from pre-contact to the present. We will explore the state both as a place (or rather, a mosaic of places) and as a continuing metaphor--whether of promise or disintegration--for the rest of the country. Authors read will include Muir, Steinbeck, Chandler, West, and Didion. Weekly film showings will include Sunset Boulevard, Chinatown and Bladerunner. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, IDS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 249. Irish Literature We will read and discuss modern Irish poetry, fiction, and drama in the context of Irish politics and culture. Readings will include works by W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanaugh, Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, Edna O'Brien, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Ciaran Carson, among others. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, FallC. Walker
ENGL 250. Modern Indian Fiction In this course we will follow the various paths that the novel in India has taken since the early twentieth century. Reading both works composed in English and some in translation we will probe in particular the ways in which questions of language and national/cultural identity are constructed and critiqued in the Indian novel. We will read some of the most celebrated Indian writers of the last 100 years as well as some who are not as well-known as they should be. The course will also introduce you to some fundamental concepts in postcolonial studies. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 251. Contemporary Indian Fiction Contemporary Indian writers, based either in India or abroad, have become significant figures in the global literary landscape. This can be traced to the publication of Salman Rushdie's second novel, Midnight's Children in 1981. We will begin with that novel and read some of the other notable works of fiction of the following decades. The class will provide both a thorough grounding in the contemporary Indian literary scene as well as an introduction to some concepts in post-colonial studies. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. WinterA. Chakladar
ENGL 252. Caribbean Fiction This course will examine Anglophone fiction in the Caribbean from the late colonial period through our contemporary moment. We will examine major developments in form and language as well as the writing of identity, personal and (trans)national. We will read works by canonical writers such as V.S Naipaul, George Lamming and Jamaica Kincaid, as well as by lesser known contemporary writers. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 258. Contemporary American Playwrights of Color This course examines a diverse selection of plays from the 1960s to the present, exploring how different theatrical contexts, from Broadway to regional theater to Off-Off Broadway, frame the staging of ethnic identity. Playwrights and performers to be studied include Amiri Baraka, Alice Childress, Ntozake Shange, George C. Wolfe, Luis Valdez, David Henry Hwang, August Wilson, Philip Gotanda, Maria Irene Fornes, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Anna Deavere Smith. There will be occasional out-of-class film screenings, and attendance at live theater performances when possible. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 270. Short Story Workshop An introduction to the writing of the short story (prior familiarity with the genre of the short story is expected of class members). Each student will write and have discussed in class three stories (from 1,500 to 6,000 words in length) and give constructive suggestions, including written critiques, for revising the stories written by other members of the class. Attention will be paid to all the elements of fiction: characterization, point of view, conflict, setting, dialogue, etc. Prerequisite: One prior 6-credit English course. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, AL, WR; ARP, WR2, Fall,WinterG. Smith
ENGL 271. Poetry Workshop This course offers newer poets ways of developing poetic craft and vision. Through intensive writing and revision of poetry, supplemented by reading and discussion of poetry, each member of the group will create a portfolio of poems. Prerequisite: one prior 6-credit English course. 6 cr., AL, WR; ARP, WR2, Fall,WinterG. Hewett
ENGL 272. A Journey in Journalism In this workshop-style class in journalistic storytelling, the classroom becomes a newsroom and students become working journalists reporting on Carleton and Northfield events as well as broader social issues, personalities, and trends of their choosing. Working in a multimedia lab, students will create and publish their stories online in a variety of digital platforms and styles. Guided by the journalistic values of truthfulness, fairness, and serving the public interest, students in this class may choose stories of any locale and scale and work in any online medium they choose--from blogging and still photography to videos, podcasts, and infographics. 6 cr., WR; LA, WR2, SpringD McGill
ENGL 275. Rhetoric and Self-presentation Given that 75% of Carleton graduates enroll in graduate or professional school within five years of graduation, today’s undergraduates can expect to be required to present themselves, their personal histories, their ideas, and their career goals in writing for various prestigious audiences. In this course, we will examine the rhetoric of self-presentation in contexts such as personal statements, fellowship applications, and research proposals. Students should expect frequent peer workshops and extensive revision toward polished, formally written products. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher. 6 cr., ND, WR; NE, WR2, QRE, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 278. London Program: Imperial Britain: Then and Now A combination of talks, background readings and guided site visits will give students perspectives on British culture and history as its Empire developed, flourished and as the country transitioned to its modern day status as a major artistic and financial center. The course will explore some of the political, social and economic forces involved in each of these transitions. 4 cr., S/CR/NC, AL; HI, WinterD. Wiles
ENGL 280. Creative Non-Fiction Workshop This course explores the translation from event to effective writing through a variety of creative non-fiction forms, including memoir, journalism, and personal essay. Discussion of each participant's writing is the central mode of instruction, supplemented by examples from published writers, current magazines and newspapers, and essays on the creative process. Each student will create a portfolio of their work. Prerequisite: One prior 6-credit English course. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, AL, WR; ARP, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 282. London Program: London Theater We will attend productions of classical and contemporary plays in London and perhaps Stratford-on-Avon (about two per week) and do related reading. Class discussions will focus on dramatic genres and themes, production and direction decisions, acting styles, and design. Possible guest speakers may include actors, critics, and directors. Students will keep a theater journal and develop several entries into full reviews of plays. 6 cr., AL; LA, WinterD. Wiles
ENGL 286. London Program: After Sunset: British Fiction, Film and Drama 1945-1989 Britain after 1945 underwent a transition from its status as an empire to that of a junior partner of an ascendant United States during the Cold War. That shift in status was reflected in works that appeared on stage, in print, and on film as Britain divested itself of its colonies, worked to transform itself socially and recover from the damage of two World Wars. This course will explore Britain’s views of itself as reflected in its fiction as it looked back, looked inward and looked anew at its people, institutions and history. 6 cr., AL; LA, WinterD. Wiles
ENGL 295. Critical Methods Required of students majoring in English, this course explores practical and theoretical issues in literary analysis and contemporary criticism. Not open to first year students. Prerequisite: Prior completion of one Foundations course and another 6-credit English course. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Fall,SpringP. Balaam, A. Chakladar
ENGL 301. The Courtly Chaucer None of the 493 documents in the Chaucer Life Records mention his poetry; most describe his activities as a courtier and royal administrator. This course seeks to reconcile this courtly Chaucer with his writing prior to the Canterbury Tales. As we read his early dream visions, we will immerse ourselves in the courtly cultures Chaucer learned by reading French and Italian works in translation, and by examining the art and manners of the English court. The final weeks will be spent reading his finished masterpiece, Troilus and Criseyde, sometimes called "the first novel in English." 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 309. Renaissance Selves What is a "self?" And where do our ideas of it come from? Some scholars have argued that modern notions of individuality, subjectivity, interiority, and of performative "self-fashioning" emerged during the Renaissance; others respond that this is not history, but myth. We’ll join the debate by reading the major scholarly contributions (including work by Burkhardt and Greenblatt); by studying (in translation) the texts around which the argument revolves-Castiglione’s Courtier, Machiavelli’s Prince, Montaigne’s Essays; and by examining exemplars of the literary genres most directly associated with the expression of selfhood: autobiography (Anne Clifford), essay (Bacon), and lyric poem (Sidney, Shakespeare). Prerequisite: one course numbered 110-175 or written permission of the instructor. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 310. Shakespeare II Continuing the work begun in Shakespeare I, this course delves deeper into the Shakespeare canon. More difficult and obscure plays are studied alongside some of the more famous ones. While focusing principally on the plays themselves as works of art, the course also explores their social, intellectual, and theatrical contexts, as well as the variety of critical response they have engendered. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and Shakespeare I. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, SpringP. Hecker
ENGL 313. Major Works of the English Renaissance: The Faerie Queene A study of Spenser's romance epic. 3 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 314. Major Works of the English Renaissance: Paradise Lost An examination of Milton's masterwork. 3 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 319. The Rise of the Novel A study of the origin and development of the English novel throughout the long eighteenth century. We will situate the early novel within its historical and cultural context, paying particular attention to its concern with courtship and marriage, writing and reading, the real and the fantastic. We will also consider eighteenth-century debates about the social function of novels and the dangers of reading fiction. Authors include Behn, Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Walpole, and Austen. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and one other 6-credit English course. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, SpringJ. Leiman
ENGL 323. English Romantic Poetry "It is impossible to read the compositions of the most celebrated writers of the present day without being startled with the electric life which burns within their words"--P. B. Shelley. Readings in Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and their contemporaries. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and one other 6-credit course in English. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterC. Walker
ENGL 327. Victorian Novel We will study selected British novels of the nineteenth century (Eliot’s Middlemarch, Dickens’ Bleak House, Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Du Maurier’s Trilby, C. Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and E. Bronte’s Wuthering Heights) as literary texts and cultural objects, examining the prose and also the bindings, pages, and illustrations of Victorian and contemporary editions. Using Victorian serial publications as models, and in collaboration with studio art and art history students, students will design and create short illustrated serial editions of chapters that will be exhibited in spring term. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 328. Victorian Poetry Victorian poets are prolific, challenging, inventive, and deeply engaged with the intersection of words and visual images in poetry, painting, and photography. We will read works by Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Oscar Wilde, Matthew Arnold, Dante Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Gerard Manley Hopkins, and others. We will examine Pre-Raphaelite painting and poetry, and collaborate with Linda Rossi's photography students to create Victorian photographs that depict Victorian poets and poems, which will be exhibited at the end of the term. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterS. Jaret McKinstry
ENGL 329. The City in American Literature How do American authors "write the city"? The city as both material reality and metaphor has fueled the imagination of diverse novelists, poets, and playwrights, through tales of fallen women and con men, immigrant dreams, and visions of apocalypse. After studying the realistic tradition of urban fiction at the turn of the twentieth century, we will turn to modern and contemporary re-imaginings of the city, with a focus on Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Selected films, photographs, and historical sources will supplement our investigations of how writers face the challenge of representing urban worlds. Prerequisite: One Foundations English course and another 6 credit English course. Or by permission of Instructor. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. WinterN. Cho
ENGL 332. Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald An intensive study of the novels and short fiction of William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The course will focus on the ethos of experimentation and the "homemade" quality of these innovative stylists who shaped the course of American modernism. Works read will be primarily from the twenties and thirties and will include The Sound and the Fury, In Our Time, Light in August, The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, and Go Down, Moses. Prerequisite: One foundations course and one other six-credit English course. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, SpringM. Kowalewski
ENGL 335. Postcolonial Literature In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Marlow notes, "The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only." In this class we will explore both the ways in which this "idea" has been written about in European fictions about empire, and some responses to it from those on the receiving end. In particular, we will probe the ways in which the cultural identity of both the colonizer and the colonized are created, staged and written under colonialism and its aftermath. 6 cr., AL, RAD; LA, IS, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 337. Art and Argument in U.S. Literary Realism From the 1870s to World War I, the realists produced novels they hoped would be aesthetically superior to those of the past as well as deeply responsive to the rapid social and moral changes of the era. Readings will be drawn from the fiction and theory of Twain, Howells, James, Crane, Jewett, Gilman, Wharton, Dreiser, and Du Bois. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 350. The Postcolonial Novel: Forms and Contexts Authors from the colonies and ex-colonies of England have complicated understandings of the locations, forms and indeed the language of the contemporary English novel. This course will examine these questions and the theoretical and interpretive frames in which these writers have often been placed, and probe their place in the global marketplace (and awards stage). We will read writers such as Chinua Achebe, V.S Naipaul, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Salman Rushdie, Nuruddin Farah, Arundhati Roy and Zadie Smith as well as some of the central works of postcolonial literary criticism. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and one other 6-credit English course. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, FallA. Chakladar
ENGL 352. Toni Morrison: Novelist Morrison exposes the limitations of the language of fiction, but refuses to be constrained by them. Her quirky, inimitable, and invariably memorable characters are fully committed to the protocols of the narratives that define them. She is fearless in her choice of subject matter and boundless in her thematic range. And the novelistic site becomes a stage for Morrison's virtuoso performances. It is to her well-crafted novels that we turn our attention in this course. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and another 6-credit English course. Or by permission of the instructor. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, IDS, FallK. Owusu
ENGL 362. Narrative Theory "Does the world really present itself to perception in the form of well-made stories?" asks Hayden White, metahistoriographer. To try to answer that question, we will read contemporary narrative theory by critics from several disciplines and apply their theories to literary texts, films, and cultural objects such as graphic novels, television shows, advertisements, and music videos. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and one other 6-credit English course. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, Not offered in 2012-2013.
ENGL 370. Advanced Fiction Workshop An advanced course in the writing of fiction. Students will write three to four short stories or novel chapters which will be read and critiqued by the class. Students wishing to register for the course must first submit a portfolio of creative writing (typically a short story) to the instructor during Registration (see the English Department's website for full instructions.) Final enrollment is based on the quality of the submitted work. Prerequisite: Written permission of instructor based upon portfolio submission. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, AL, WR; ARP, WR2, SpringG. Smith
ENGL 371. Advanced Poetry Workshop For students with some experience in writing poetry, this workshop further develops craft and vision. Readings and exercises will be used to expand the poet's individual range, and to explore the power of poetic language. Over the ten weeks, each poet will write and revise a significant portfolio. Students must submit three poems to the instructor prior to registration. Final enrollment is based on the quality of the submitted work. Prerequisite: Submit three poems to instructor. 6 cr., AL, WR; ARP, WR2, SpringG. Hewett
ENGL 395. James and Wharton Focusing on major fiction of Henry James and Edith Wharton, we will also read criticism to learn a bit about their lives and literary friendship and to examine the ways they use American and international materials to explore human relationships, gender and national identities, the intersections of economic and social structures, and the nature of human consciousness. Prerequisite: English 295 and one 300-level course. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, FallE. McKinsey
ENGL 395. Murder From the ancient Greeks to the King James Bible to the modern serial killer novel, murder has always been a preeminent topic of intellectual and artistic investigation. Slaying our way across different genres and periods, we will explore why homicide has been the subject of such fierce attention from so many great minds. Prepare to drench yourselves in the blood of fiction and non-fiction works that may include: the Bible, Shakespeare, Poe, Thompson, Capote, Tey, McGinniss, Malcolm, Wilder, and Morris, as well as legal and other materials. Warning: not for the faint-hearted. Prerequisite: English 295 and one 300-level course. Or by permission of the Instructor. 6 cr., AL, WR; LA, WR2, WinterP. Hecker
ENGL 395. Advanced Seminar: V.S. Naipaul V.S. Naipaul is considered by many to be the greatest living writer in the English language, and is by any measure one of the most important and lauded novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. We will follow his trajectory from Trinidad to England, from comic novelist to chronicler of what he has termed "colonial schizophrenia." We will read all the major novels and some excerpts from his travel writing. Paying particular attention to his language, we will examine Naipaul's interrogation of the possibility of an authentic individual self within and against the possibility of community. Prerequisite: English 295 and one 300-level course. Or by permission of the instructor. 6 cr., AL, WR, RAD; LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. SpringA. Chakladar
ENGL 400. Integrative Exercise Senior English majors may fulfill the integrative exercise by completing one of the four options: the Colloquium Option (a group option in which participants discuss, analyze and write about a thematically coherent list of literary works); the Research Essay Option (an extended essay on a topic of the student’s own devising); the Creative Option (creation of a work of literary art); or the Project Option (creation of an individual or group multidisciplinary project). The Research Essay Option is open to students who have completed a senior seminar in the major by the end of Fall term senior year. The Creative Option is open only to students who have completed at least two creative writing courses (one of which must be at the 300 level) by the end of Fall term senior year. 6 cr., S/NC, ND, WinterStaff