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, Jonis Agee, Paul Auster, and Siri Hustvedt.
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, NE, SummerStaff
ENGL 100. Drama, Film, and Society With an emphasis on critical reading, writing, and the fundamentals of college-level research, this course will develop students' knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the relationship between drama and film and the social and cultural contexts of which they are (or were) a part and product. The course explores the various ways in which these plays and movies (which might include anything and everything from Spike Lee to Tony Kushner to Christopher Marlowe) generate meaning, with particular attention to the social, historical, and political realities that contribute to that meaning. Attending live performances in the Twin Cities will be required. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallP. Hecker
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. Childhood's End: Coming of Age in Times of Conflict With an emphasis on critical reading and writing in an academic context, this course will examine coming of age narratives from different global locations that have as their backdrop times of conflict and war. We will study the ways in which social conflict and individual identity are related. 6 cr., AI, WR1, IS, FallA. Chakladar
ENGL 100. Literary Revision: Authority, Art, and Rebellion The poet Adrienne Rich describes revision as "the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction." This course examines how literature confronts and reinvents the traditions it inherits. Through a diverse selection of fiction, poetry, and drama, we will examine how writers rework literary conventions, "rewrite" previous literary works, and critique societal myths. From Charles Chesnutt to Charles Johnson, from Henrik Ibsen to Rebecca Gilman, from Charlotte Bronte to Jean Rhys, from Maupassant and Chekhov to contemporary reinventions, we will explore literary revision from different perspectives and periods. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallN. Cho
ENGL 100. Digital London We will explore the great nineteenth-century capital, the city of Austen, Dickens, and Sherlock Holmes, through the works of its writers and artists and through modern digital humanities resources such as online archives, databases, maps, 3-D models, and virtual exhibits. Students will have the opportunity to conduct original research on topics of their choice for their final projects. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallC. Walker
ENGL 100. Literature and Science Literature and science will seem to most of us disparate enterprises arising from fundamentally different kinds of knowing. This course investigates how nineteenth-century literature responded to the burgeoning authority of newly professionalized natural sciences and what the new sciences borrowed from literature. Reading both literary and scientific texts and paying attention to how writers of either kind understand themselves and their tasks, we will seek to observe how science and literature both threatened and served each other. In the second half of the term we will sample some twentieth-century examples of this fraught and fruitful relation. 6 cr., AI, WR1, FallP. Balaam
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., NE, WR2, Winter,SpringP. Balaam, E. Ciner
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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
ENGL 114. Introduction to Medieval Literature This course surveys the poetry and prose of later medieval England, from about 1350-1475--an era of great accomplishment and considerable variety in English writing and great changes and considerable upheaval in English society, a period of plague, heresy, rebellion, and civil war. Readings (in modern translation) will include travel literature and autobiography, dream visions and Arthurian romances, sermons, saints' lives, and allegories. 6 cr., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. SpringF. Grady
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., LA, WR2, SpringK. Owusu
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., LA, WR2, IDS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, WinterT. 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., LA, WR2, IDS, WinterA. Estill
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., LA, WR2, FallC. Walker
ENGL 131. Reading Fiction Selected texts to be read in this course include those by Daniel Defoe, Thomas Hardy, Charles Johnson, J.M. Coetzee, Zadie Smith, and Sherman Alexie. We will pay close attention to the language of fiction, to the nature of narrative, and to narrative traditions in our ten-week journey from the world of Defoe's Moll Flanders to that of Alexie's Part-Time Indian. 6 cr., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, IS, SpringA. Chakladar
ENGL 136. Twenty-first Century Black Voices What does it mean to be black in the twenty-first century? In this course, we will practice literary analysis by engaging with texts that explore this question across continents and genres, including: Hilton Als' White Girls, Kiese Laymon's How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, Zadie Smith's NW, Sapphire's Push, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, Kara Walker's My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, Claudia Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station, and Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele's Key and Peel. 6 cr., LA, WR2, IDS, FallA. Sloan
ENGL 144. 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 ability to think critically about literature. Note: Declared or prospective English majors should register for English 244. 6 cr., LA, WinterP. Hecker
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., ARP, WR2, Fall,Winter,SpringS. Jaret McKinstry, G. Hewett, G. Smith
ENGL 194. The "Great War" and the Literary Imagination The First World War shaped the world that we recognize as ours, creating new ways of remembering and forgetting as well as new forms of artistic expression. Writers shattered poetic forms and visual artists traditional modes of representation in order to register the previously unimaginable horrors of mechanized trench warfare and industrial-scale slaughter. Focusing primarily on poetry we will follow the arc of this aesthetic engagement from both British and German perspectives, starting with the late-Romantic musings of Rupert Brooke, through the haunting poems of Wilfred Owen, on to the various short-lived movements that marked the birth of modernism. 6 cr., WR; LA, WR2, IS, FallT. Raylor, P. Petzschmann
ENGL 201. Chaucer: Canterbury Tales Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is justly celebrated for its richness and variety, both literary--the Tales include fabliaux, romances, sermons, hagiographies, fantasies, satires, fables and exempla and--thematic, with its explorations of courtly love and scatology, piety and impiety, chivalry and pacifism, fidelity and adultery. In this class we'll study those Tales in as much depth as we can manage, to try to figure out what makes them so compelling, or, alternately, so disturbing. We’ll also explore the ways in which Chaucer’s work has proven amenable or--susceptible to contemporary critical approaches attentive to issues of gender, class, and language. 6 cr., WR; LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. SpringF. Grady
ENGL 202. The Bible as Literature We will approach the Bible not as an archaeological relic, nor as the Word of God, but "as a work of great literary force and authority [that has] shaped the minds and lives of intelligent men and women for two millennia and more." As one place to investigate such shaping, we will sample how the Bible (especially in the "Authorized" or King James version) has drawn British and American poets and prose writers to borrow and deploy its language and respond creatively to its narratives, images, and visions. 6 cr., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. SpringP. Balaam
ENGL 209. Twelfth Night: A Project Course This interdisciplinary course will explore one of Shakespeare's greatest and most complex works. We will investigate Twelfth Night's historical, political, religious, and theatrical contexts by reading and researching works by Montaigne, Jonson, Marston, Dekker, Rich, and Stubbs, as well as early modern documents on everything from puritanism to sexuality to music to clowning. How should an understanding of the world that produced this play inform a modern production of it? How can performance offer interpretive arguments about the play's meanings? A vital part of the course will be students' active participation in a full-scale Carleton Players production of the play. Corequisite: Theater Arts 190 6 cr., ARP, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, FallP. Hecker
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., LA, WR2, SpringN. Cho
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., LA, 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., LA, 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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, SpringT. 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., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. 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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, WinterC. Walker
ENGL 223. American Transcendentalism Attempts to discern the nineteenth-century Zeitgeist come down, Emerson says, to a "practical question of the conduct of life. How shall I live?" This interdisciplinary course will investigate the works of the American Transcendentalist movement in its restless discontent with the conventional, its eclectic search for better ways of thinking and living. We will engage major works of Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Whitman alongside documents of the scientific, religious, and political changes that shaped their era and provoked their responses. 6 cr., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. FallP. Balaam
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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
ENGL 226. Modernism In the first decades of the twentieth century, modernist writers, artists, and thinkers confronted a modern world of rapidly accelerating industrialization, urbanization, and militarization with radically new ideas and forms that, by the estimation of many, upended twenty centuries of culture. This course, while centered on literature, will explore the modernist movement on both sides of the Atlantic and across genres and disciplines. We will study William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Albert Einstein, and Sigmund Freud, among others. 6 cr., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. FallG. Hewett
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., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, IDS, Offered in alternate years. SpringE. McKinsey
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., LA, WR2, IDS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, IS, SpringK. 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., LA, IDS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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 ability to think critically about literature. Note: non-majors should register for English 144. 6 cr., LA, WinterP. 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., LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. SpringA. Chakladar
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., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, IDS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, WinterC. 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., LA, WR2, IS, WinterA. Chakladar
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., LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
ENGL 257. Irish Literature and Culture in Ireland: Contemporary Irish Literature In this course students will read contemporary Irish literature and meet with writers. Students will learn how to write short book reviews and how to interview an author. The goal of the course is for student writers to become familiar with the rich, unique world of Irish letters today, and more generally, to understand how a community of writers works. 6 cr., LA, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, IDS, SpringN. Cho
ENGL 260. Irish Literature and Culture in Ireland: Creative Writing in Ireland Students will be asked to do journal writing covering their experiences of place, people, history, legend, contemporary events and conflicts, etc.--out of which they will produce a portfolio of short prose fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction (a hybrid of personal essay and expository writing). The goal of this course is to synthesize experience into creative writing and develop proficiency in one of the three genres. 6 cr., ARP, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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, 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., ARP, WR2, WinterG. Hewett
ENGL 272. Telling True Stories: A Journey in Journalism In this workshop class, the classroom becomes a newsroom and students create and publish their own works of journalism in digital media of their choosing including but not limited to personal blogs, podcasts, videos, still photography, online graphics and multimedia. Journalism as a truth-finding and truth-telling discipline--using vernacular language and digital tools to communicate critical social truths accessibly--is the underlying skill set taught in a "learning by doing" (as opposed to lecture style) format. Short classroom discussions on ethics and craft, based on recent published journalism and current events, are interspersed throughout. 6 cr., ARP, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
ENGL 273. Writing Memoir This writing workshop allows students to explore the craft of memoir through intensive writing, critique, and revision in order to create their own memoir. To develop their skills, students will read and discuss memoirs in varied forms (including visual arts), and consider the competing demands of truth, narrative, fiction, and non-fiction in this rich and complex genre. Prerequisite: One prior 6-credit English course or permission of the instructor. 6 cr., S/CR/NC, ARP, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
ENGL 274. Irish Literature and Culture in Ireland: The History and Culture of Ireland through Literature Through selected readings, discussion, and lecture, this interdisciplinary course will provide the necessary intellectual foundation and context for understanding Ireland past and present. The goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to Ireland. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., NE, WR2, QRE, FallC. Rutz
ENGL 276. The Art of Research: Weaving the Personal Essay In this creative writing class, we will look at the work of essayists like Maggie Nelson (Bluets), Anne Carson (Decreation), and John Berger (Photocopies) in order to better understand: how can research broaden the cultural implications of our own stories? When constructing our view of the world, why not include the scenes that repeat in our memories from history, a favorite film or a painting? As we draft our essays, we will investigate the threads of culture, film, religion, philosophy and science that we can follow to better understand and write about our selves. 6 cr., ARP, WR2, FallA. Sloan
ENGL 277. London Program: Urban Arts Students will demonstrate their knowledge of London through the design and production of a visual project in this Arts Practice course. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, ARP, WinterS. Jaret McKinstry
ENGL 279. London Program: Urban Field Studies A combination of background readings, guided site visits, and personal exploration will give students tools for seeing London itself as a multilayered text under constant expansion and revision. Starting from the city's pre-urban geology and the still visible structures of its Roman past, students will study evidence of Victorian London at the height of the British Empire and the city's current status as a major artistic and financial center facing contemporary urban issues. 3 cr., S/CR/NC, NE, WinterLocal Faculty
ENGL 280. Crafts of Writing: Creative Non-Fiction 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., ARP, WR2, SpringD. Cass
ENGL 281. London Program: Framing Empire The Victorian era was the height of the British Empire, encompassing almost 1/5 of the world's population. With London as our classroom, we will explore the flourishing and floundering of the British Empire through Victorian architecture, arts, and literature. Readings include works by Charles Dickens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Lewis Carroll, and Virginia Woolf. Field trips include visits to the Tate Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, British Library, Sir John Soane's Museum, Kensington Palace, Leighton House, and the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. 6 cr., LA, WR2, IS, WinterS. Jaret McKinstry
ENGL 282. London Program: London Theater Students will attend productions of classic and contemporary plays in London and Stratford-upon-Avon (at least two per week) and do related reading. Class discussions will focus on dramatic genres and themes, dramaturgy, acting styles, and design. Guest speakers may include actors, critics, and directors. Students will keep a theater journal and write several full reviews of plays. 6 cr., LA, WR2, WinterLocal faculty
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., LA, WR2, Fall,SpringP. Balaam, S. Jaret McKinstry
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 English 144 or 244. 6 cr., LA, WR2, SpringP. Hecker
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., LA, WR2, WinterJ. 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., LA, WR2, SpringC. 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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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 course and one other 6-credit English course. Or by permission of the instructor. 6 cr., 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. 6 cr., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
ENGL 334. Postmodern American Fiction We will get lost in the funhouse of postmodern fiction, in whose mirrored rooms we will encounter Maxwell's Demon, a depressed Krazy Kat, and the icy imagination of the King of Zembla. (Time will be budgeted for side-excursions into pastiche, dreck, and indeterminacy.) Authors read will include Nabokov, Pynchon, Barthelme, and DeLillo. 6 cr., LA, FallG. Smith
ENGL 335. England in India/India in England This class will begin by exploring the representation of India in the colonial British imagination and segue into the representation of Britain by contemporary South Asian immigrant writers. We will examine the ways in which British and Indian identities are staged, contested and constructed in both the colonial and postcolonial period. Primary texts will include novels by Kipling, Forster, Kureishi and Kunzru; we will also read a range of postcolonial theory and watch related films and television shows. Prerequisite: One Foundations course and one other 6-credit English course. 6 cr., LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, IS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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 one other 6-credit English course, or by permission of the instructor. 6 cr., LA, WR2, IDS, Not offered in 2014-2015.
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., LA, WR2, Offered in alternate years. Not offered in 2014-2015.
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, 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., ARP, WR2, SpringG. Hewett
ENGL 395. Salman Rushdie In this seminar we will read the major works of Salman Rushdie, ranging from the novels that established and cemented his reputation in the 1980s to some of his more recent work. In addition to his fiction we will read selections from his essays as well as from the significant body of criticism on his fiction. We will seek to understand his place in the late twentieth century and contemporary literary landscape. Prerequisite: English 295 and one 300-level English course. 6 cr., LA, WR2, IS, Offered in alternate years. FallA. Chakladar
ENGL 395. Seductive Fictions Stories of virtue in distress and innocence ruined preoccupied English novelists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This course will focus on the English seduction novel, considering the following questions: What was the allure of the seduction plot? What does it reveal about sexual relations, gender, power, and class during this period? How does the seduction plot address and provoke concerns about novel-reading itself during a time when the novel was considered both an instrument of education and an agent of moral corruption? Authors include: Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Choderlos de Laclos, Thomas Hardy, and Bram Stoker. Prerequisite: English 295 and one 300-level English course. 6 cr., LA, WR2, SpringJ. Leiman
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, Winter,SpringStaff