Course Details

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. An important component of this course will be attending live performances in the Twin Cities. These required events may be during the week and/or the weekend.
6 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; P. Hecker

ENGL 100: How We Read: The History and Science of Reading

In recent years, a 500-year-old technology for reading (the printed book) has been challenged by a very new one (the LCD displays in our phones and tablets). At the same time, advances in cognitive neuroscience have deepened our understanding of reading as a mental process. This makes it a good moment to consider how we read now and how we read in the past. We will examine a variety of reading practices, including reading aloud and silent reading, as well as the emotional impact of reading. The course will emphasize the foundational skill of academic reading--“close” reading--but also consider “distant” and “surface” reading. In addition to relevant scholarship, we will read poetry and novels as we reflect on our own habits as readers.
6 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; G. Shuffelton

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 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; J. Leiman

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 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; N. Cho

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 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; P. Balaam

ENGL 100: Rhetoric: Art of Persuasion

Rhetoric's all around us: in political manifestos and legal pleadings; in professions of love and advertisements for dog food. We use it whenever we urge someone to believe what we say or do what we want. But how well do we understand the foundations and protocols of this art that teaches us "to see the available means of persuasion?" In this class we'll study the origins and theory of rhetoric (via Aristotle), examine exemplary instances (from Pericles to Trump), and consider the charges (via Plato) that it's all lies and trickery, while learning how to compose persuasive academic papers and presentations.
6 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; T. Raylor

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 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2019; G. Smith