English

  

Chair, Fall 2014: Theresa M. DiPasquale
Chair, Spring 2015: Scott Elliott (on Sabbatical, Fall 2014)
Sharon Alker
Adam Gordon (on Sabbatical, Spring 2015)
Christopher Leise
Gaurav Majumdar
Mary Raschko
Katrina Roberts
Kisha L. Schlegel

Adjunct Faculty:
Johanna Stoberock
Jenna Terry

Affiliated Faculty:
Lydia McDermott, General Studies and Writing Center

English Department Website »

The courses in English provide opportunity for the extensive and intensive study of literature for its aesthetic interest and value and for its historical and general cultural significance.For courses in expository writing, see the General Studies section of the catalog and the descriptions for General Studies 170, 210, and 320.

Distribution: Courses completed in English apply to the humanities and cultural pluralism (selected courses) distribution areas, with the following exceptions:
     Fine arts: 150, 250, 251, 252, 320, 321, 322, and 389

Learning Goals - English Major:

  • Major-Specific Areas of Knowledge
    • Upon graduating, English majors will be able to perform sophisticated close readings of literary texts, applying genre-specific literary terminology in demonstrating their understanding of the relationship between form and content. They will be able to demonstrate their familiarity with various approaches to literary studies, to identify the effects of literary allusions, and to investigate the relationship between a text and the culture in which it was written.
  • Accessing Academic Community/Resources
    • They will be able to make good use of library resources and to read and explore literary texts independently.
  • Critical Thinking
    • They will have developed sensitivity to literary aesthetics and style and will be able to analyze texts and discourses in a variety of media--written, performed, visual, and oral; they will be able to synthesize a broad range of information bearing upon the interpretation of these discourses.
  • Communication
    • They will be able to think, speak, and write intelligently about what texts do in their various functions. They will speak and write clearly, confidently, persuasively, and with nuance.
  • Quantitative Skills
    • They will understand the principles of poetic meter and be capable of scanning metrical verse. 
  • Research Experience
    • Be capable of writing an extended literary analysis paper supported by primary and secondary research. Honors thesis students: Identify literary questions, pose a particular hypothesis about how the question might be answered, and then research the question through the analysis of primary sources and synthesis of secondary sources.

The English major: A minimum of 36 credits selected to include the following:

  1. English 290.
  2. Four period courses in English and American literature from English 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 348, 349. At least two courses must be in English literature with one of them chosen from 336, 337, 338; at least one course must be in American literature selected from 348 or 349.
  3. One course in a major English-language writer or writers from English 350, 351, 352, 357. English 367-369 may also count toward the major author requirement when it is so noted in the course description.
  4. English 491.
  5. Two additional courses in English above 300, except 401, 402, and 498. (One of the electives may, with the written approval of the English department, be a literature course in world literature numbered 300 or higher or a course in literature offered by the department of foreign languages and literatures numbered above 306.

No more than 12 credits earned in off-campus programs, transfer credits, credits from courses offered by other Whitman departments, or cross-listed courses may be used to satisfy major requirements. Courses used to satisfy requirements in other majors or minors cannot also be used to satisfy requirements in the English major or minor.

Courses taken P-D-F may not be used to satisfy course and credit requirements for the major.

The English department strongly recommends at least two years of a foreign language, especially for students planning to attend graduate school.

Honors in the major: English Majors do not apply for admission to candidacy for honors. If they wish to pursue honors, senior majors must apply to write a thesis, register for English 497, and proceed to write a thesis that fulfills the requirements for honors as described in the English Majors’ Handbook. If a senior’s thesis proposal is accepted and he or she proceeds to write an honors-level thesis, he or she will be granted Honors in Major Study if he or she:

  • earns distinction on his or her Senior Comprehensive Examinations;
  • has completed a total of at least 36 credits in English (excluding English 497);
  • attains Cumulative and Major GPAs specified in the faculty code (3.300 and 3.500, respectively); and
  • earns a grade of A or A- on the thesis.

The Chair of the English Department will notify the Registrar of those students attaining Honors in Major Study no later than the beginning of the third week of April, at which time the Registrar will change the thesis course in which they are registered from English 497 to English 498. Two copies of each honors thesis must be submitted to Penrose Library no later than Reading Day.

The English minor: A minimum of 20 credits selected so as to include the following:

  1. Two  period courses in English literature from English 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341.
  2. One period course in American literature from English 348, 349.
  3. One course in a major English-language writer or writers from English 350, 351, 352, 357. English 367-369 may also count toward the major author requirement when it is so noted in the course description.
  4. One additional course in English numbered above 300, except 401 and 402.

Courses taken P-D-F may not be used to satisfy course and credit requirements for the minor.

For courses in expository writing:

See General Studies 170, 210, and 320.

150 Introductory Creative Writing
4, 4 Fall: Roberts, Schlegel; Spring: Elliott, Roberts

The writing of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Experience not necessary, but students should expect to complete weekly exercises, share work aloud, and write responses for peers. In addition, extensive reading and analysis of pieces by established writers in a variety of literary forms.

177 Introduction to Poetry
4, x A. Gordon

The forms, strategies, voices, and visions of British and American poetry from the Middle Ages to the present day.

178 Introduction to Fiction
4, 4 Fall: Stoberock, Terry; Spring: Elliott, Terry

The principal aims and techniques of fiction through the study of traditional and experimental novels, short stories, and novellas. Work by such authors as Dickens, the Brontës, Conrad, Chekhov, Faulkner, Hemingway, Kafka, Crane, Malamud, Bellow, Gallagher, Paley, and Barth may be included.

179 Introduction to Drama
4, x Raschko

The study of the forms and techniques of drama; the study of plays as literary texts and as scripts for production, including plays from antiquity to the present.

181, 182 Introduction to Literature and the Humanities
4

The study of selected texts in the humanities, with particular attention to literature written in English, offered at the introductory level and designed to fulfill the Humanities distribution requirement. These courses are writing intensive (involving at least 18 pages of formal, graded writing assignments and including instruction in academic writing) and involve a substantial amount of reading. Subjects for the section change from semester to semester and year to year in order to provide students with a variety of choices for literary study at the 100-level. Any current offerings follow.

181 VT: Introduction to Literature and the Humanities: The HumAnimal
4, x Schlegel

The poet Toma┼ż Šalamun has said of himself, “I’m more the beast than the zoo director.” His concept articulates the impulses of many writers who complicate the boundaries between the human and animal. In this course, we will examine "Critter Lit," an emerging genre that engages the colliding identity of wild animals and humans. With our focus on wild rather than domesticated animals, we will ask: How do these texts rekindle or refashion our relationship to wild animals? What does the human/animal distinction mean and how do these distinctions impact our reading of a text? What philosophical and moral issues arise from poems, novels, and essays that use animals as symbols? In discussing these and other questions, the class converses with the emerging field of anthrozoology (human-animal studies) and ecocriticism while engaging established traditions of fairy tales, surrealism, and more. Readings include Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” Marianne Moore’s “The Pangolin,” Justin Torres’ We The Animals, Georges Bataille, Descartes and Montaigne, Kanye West’s video “Runaway,” Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and more. Students write weekly responses and three 6-page papers. May count toward the elective requirement in Environmental Humanities. Distribution area: humanities.

182 VT: Introduction to Literature and the Humanities: Arthurian Literature
x, 4 Raschko

In this course, we will read the famous legends of King Arthur, exploring the appeal and adaptability of these stories across more than 900 years. The course features medieval texts in translation, including Chrétien de Troyes’ Arthurian Romances, the “Vulgate Cycle” Quest of the Holy Grail, and Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur, as well as more modern texts like Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. We will also watch select film versions of the legends, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Distribution area: humanities.

250 Intermediate Creative Writing – Fiction
4; not offered 2014-15

An intermediate workshop in fiction writing offering students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of fundamental techniques and important works in the genre. Students will write original short stories and experiment with strategies and structures through exercises meant to increase their awareness of, and proficiency in, the elements of fiction. Extensive analysis of peer work and important established models in the genre. Weekly assignments in reading and writing to develop critical and creative faculties. Final portfolio of creative and critical work. Prerequisite: English 150 or consent of instructor.

251 Intermediate Creative Writing – Poetry
4, x Roberts

An intermediate workshop in poetry writing, intended to expand knowledge of fundamental techniques, and to familiarize students with many important writers in the genre. Students will have the opportunity to write and revise poems based on prompts as well as on their own. There will be weekly reading and journal exercises, and extensive analysis of peer work and established models to develop critical and creative faculties. Final portfolio of creative and critical work. Prerequisite: English 150 or consent of instructor.

252 Intermediate Creative Writing – Nonfiction
4, x K. Schlegel

An intermediate workshop in creative nonfiction writing, intended to expand knowledge of fundamental techniques, and to familiarize students with many important writers in the genre. Students will write original essays and experiment with strategies and structures through exercises meant to increase their awareness of, and proficiency in, the elements of nonfiction. Extensive analysis of peer work and important established models in the genre. Weekly assignments in reading and writing to develop critical and creative faculties. Final portfolio of creative and critical work. Prerequisite: English 150 or consent of instructor.

290 Approaches to the Study of Literature
4, 4 Fall: A. Gordon; Spring: Alker, DiPasquale

A course in practical criticism designed to introduce students to some of the approaches that can be used in literary analysis. Not open to first-semester first-year students.

320 Advanced Creative Writing – Fiction
x, 4 Elliott

An intensive advanced workshop in fiction. Students will continue to develop their proficiency in fiction writing by reading deeply and analyzing established models, completing exercises, producing drafts of original stories and revisions, participating in discussions of peer work, and giving presentations based on close readings. Final portfolio of creative and critical work which may include some consideration of where the student’s work fits into a fiction-writing tradition. Prerequisite: English 250 or equivalent and consent of instructor.

321 Advanced Creative Writing – Poetry
x, 4 Roberts

An intensive advanced workshop in poetry. Students will have the opportunity to develop proficiency in poetry writing by completing exercises, producing drafts and revisions of poems for peer discussions, reading deeply and analyzing established models, and actively participating in rigorous and constructively critical discussions. Weekly poem assignments, as well as reading and journal exercises. Final portfolio of creative and critical work. Prerequisite: English 251 or equivalent and consent of instructor.

322 Advanced Creative Writing – Nonfiction
x, 4 K. Schlegel

An intensive advanced workshop in “the fourth genre,” creative nonfiction. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with form, to address a range of subjects in weekly creative nonfiction pieces, and to read deeply and analyze established models as well as peer work to develop important critical faculties. Students will be expected to participate actively in rigorous, constructively critical discussions. Weekly exercises, as well as reading and journal assignments. Final portfolio of creative and critical work. Prerequisites: English 252, or equivalent, and consent of instructor.

336-341 Studies in British Literature
4

Courses designed to introduce students to the literature and culture of England in each of six literary periods: the Middle Ages (English 336), the Renaissance (English 337), the Restoration and 18th Century (English 338), the Romantic Period (English 339), the Victorian Period (English 340), and 1900-Present (English 341). The specific focus of each course will vary from year to year. Topics in a particular literary period may be taken a total of two times, but only one may count toward the fulfillment of the period course requirement. A second topic taken in a particular literary period may count toward the elective requirement. Any current offerings follow.

336 VT: Medieval Literature: Social Bodies
4, x Raschko

This course will explore varying forms of community in medieval literature, ranging from the comitatus bond uniting Anglo-Saxon warriors and the fellowship of the Round Table, to merchant guilds and spiritual communities of nuns, monks, and friars. We will examine how kinship, belief systems, and ways of living form communal bonds, and we will explore the condition of individuals marked as outsiders. Texts will include Beowulf, select Old English poems from the Exeter Book, Ancrene Wisse (a rule for anchoresses), Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the prologues to the Canterbury Tales and Piers Plowman, the York Crucifixion play, and more. Distribution area: humanities.

337 VT: Renaissance Literature: Eden’s Lost and Found
x, 4 DiPasquale

Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English writers were fascinated by the classical myth of the Golden Age and the biblical story of Eden. They struggled to imagine an original, perfect state of existence, to understand how it could have been lost, and to conceptualize various ways of reclaiming it. They sought to define the causes of human suffering and sorrow, and they asked how and where human beings might find a new Paradise. On a private estate, in the life to come, or by voyaging to the New World? Through politics or divinity? As a community or in blissful solitude? We will explore a range of approaches to such questions as they are answered in a variety of early modern literary genres. Distribution area: humanities.

339 VT: Romantic Literature: Fear, Anxiety, and the Romantic Imagination
4, x Alker

War, revolutions, and rapid social and technological change created intense instability during the Romantic era, as did increasingly organized resistance to the social order and the resulting legislative and political action to enforce control. Literature emerging from this chaotic time used a wide variety of creative strategies to grapple with the ubiquity of fear and anxiety. This course will examine a variety of these creative techniques, ranging from representing the tormented body or mind of the oppressed, to overtly critiquing the government and calling for political action, to turning away from politics towards nature and nostalgia. Readings may include the work of the canonical poets, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Byron, as well as the work of other important writers such as Equiano, Godwin, Wollstonecraft, Burke, Hogg, Hemens, and Mary Prince. Distribution area: humanities.

341 VT: British Literature, 1900 to the Present: Informality in British and Irish Modernism
4, x Majumdar

Informality (broadly defined as a condition that does not accord with conventional or prescribed form) is crucial to modernist literature. Informal language and behavior mark the modernist response to demands for inventiveness, to new arguments for sexual expression, to global crises, and to dominant figures from the past. This course will study literature from the “High Modernist” period (1910–1940) to examine how informal attitudes and structures give modernist literature means for its arguments, ranging from nostalgic and melancholic cultural criticism in the work of T. S. Eliot to exuberant and irreverent combinations of disparate contents in the work of James Joyce. Other works studied may include writings by Mina Loy, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy, W. H. Auden, and G. V. Desani. Distribution area: humanities.

347-349 Studies in American Literature
4

This includes two period courses designed to introduce students to American literature and culture in two broad periods: early and middle American literature as well as modern and contemporary literature. One special topics course, 347, with a topic that will vary every year, will examine one area of American literature in depth. English 348 and 349 will count toward period requirements, and 347 will fulfill an elective requirement. English 347 can be taken twice if a different topic is offered and both times can be counted toward the elective requirement. Any current offerings follow.

348 The American Literary Emergence, 1620 - 1920
4, x A. Gordon

Beginning with the pre-Revolutionary texts by those newly arrived to the Atlantic Coast colonies, and including the writings of those already present on the continent, we will study how an “American” literature came into being. As the population boomed and expansion moved westward, the newly formed United States became a national entity and global presence. We will study the development of American individualism, the rise of genres such as the captivity narrative and the slave narrative, and major literary movements such as the shift to realism and naturalism. Authors may include Bradstreet, Emerson, Douglass, Hawthorne, Whitman, Twain, Wharton, James, Dunbar, and many more.

349 American Literature, 1920 to the Present
x, 4 Leise

A study of the major authors in the American literary tradition from “the roaring twenties” to the present. Topics may include modernism; postmodernism; tensions of race, class, and gender; reconsiderations of American “individualism”; and the role of capital, technology, and the corporation in contemporary American culture. Authors may include T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, E. E. Cummings, Frank O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Louise Erdrich, Paul Auster, Suzan-Lori Parks, Colson Whitehead, and other contemporary writers.

350 Chaucer
4; not offered 2014-15

Reading, discussion, and lectures on The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, and some of the minor poems. They will be read in the original Middle English. Offered in alternate years.

351 Shakespeare
4, x DiPasquale

A study of the major plays written before about 1601. Plays to be read and discussed may include The Comedy of Errors; Romeo and Juliet; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Richard II; Henry IV, 1 and 2; The Merchant of Venice; Julius Caesar; Much Ado About Nothing; and Twelfth Night.

352 Shakespeare
x, 4 Raschko

A study of the sonnets and the major plays written after about 1601. Plays to be read and discussed may include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, A Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

357 Milton
x, 4 DiPasquale

A study of the major poetry and selected prose of John Milton. Paradise Lost will receive primary emphasis. Offered in alternate years.

367-369 Special Authors
4

An intensive study of one significant author such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, Ben Jonson, Henry James, Emily Dickinson. Any current offerings follow.

371 Dramatic Literature: Medieval through Eighteenth Century
4; not offered 2014-15

A course in the history and development of Western drama from the Middle Ages through the 18th century. Dramatists to be studied may include the Wakefield Master, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Lope de Vega, Molière, Racine, Congreve, Beaumarchais, and Sheridan. May be elected as Theatre 371. Offered in alternate years.

372 Dramatic Literature: Nineteenth Century to Now
4; not offered 2014-15

A study of the directions modern dramatic literature has taken from the 19th century to the present. Dramatists to be studied may include Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Brecht, O’Neill, Williams, Miller, Beckett, Pinter, Fornés, Mamet, Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Caryl Churchill. May be elected as Theatre 372. Offered in alternate years.

375 Literary Theory
x, 4 Majumdar

This course introduces students to arguments about the shaping, the effects, and the interpretation of literature. Themes for the course will vary, but among the questions we will consistently examine are the following: Through what kinds of assumptions do we read literature? How do characters in literary texts themselves read? How do these texts interpret what they represent? We will devote approximately equal time to the study of theoretical texts and to reading literary works through theoretical lenses. Writers may include Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Pater, Foucault, Derrida, Said, and Deleuze. Offered in alternate years.

376 Studies in Colonial and Anti-Colonial Literature
4

This course will examine texts from former colonies in South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Australia. We will study how these works negotiate the past and present, and how they explore multiple forms and conditions of colonialism and postcolonialism. Discussions of primary works will be supplemented with readings from theoretical and critical texts. Writers may include Kipling, Tagore, Conrad, Manto, Emecheta, Carey, Gordimer, and Rushdie. Offered in alternate years. Any current offerings follow.

387 Special Studies
4

Studies of English or American literature and language generally not considered in other courses offered by the department. The specific material will vary from semester to semester. Any current offerings follow.

387A ST: Neal Stephenson’s Anathem – An Interdisciplinary Adventure
4, x DiPasquale

Neal Stephenson’s acclaimed novel Anathem (2008) is a work of speculative fiction that incorporates elements of science fiction and satire. It offers readers a literary experience suffused with reflections on concepts and issues arising from a range of disciplines, including mathematics, physics, philosophy, and sociology. We will read the novel, reviews of the novel, a range of critical works exploring the science fiction and speculative fiction genres, and selections from texts that Stephenson claims as influences, including physicist Julian Barbour’s The End of Time, Rare Earth by paleontologist Peter Ward and astronomer Donald Brownlee, and The Emperor’s New Mind by mathematician/physicist/philosopher Roger Penrose. Class discussion will be informed by many guest lectures featuring Whitman faculty from across the curriculum, including mathematicians, social scientists, philosophers, and scientists. Students will write literary analysis papers, review essays, and critical responses informed by their study of the various disciplines represented in the reading and lectures. Distribution area: humanities.

387A ST: Medieval Work, Wealth, and Poverty
x, 4 Raschko

In this course, we will explore issues of economic controversy and crisis in the literature of late medieval England. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were marked by dramatic social change, largely due to severe plague, an ensuing labor shortage, and a crisis of leadership in the church. As we read satire, autobiography, debate poems, and historical records, we will investigate models of social hierarchy, attitudes toward physical labor, ideas of vocation and spiritual work, and critiques of abuses within various professions. Moreover, we will explore questions about the dangers of material wealth, the plight of those who cannot work, the scope of charity, and the virtue of choosing poverty. Texts include Langland’s Piers Plowman and literary responses to it, The Book of Margery Kempe, tales of Robin Hood, and more. Distribution area: humanities.

387B ST: Rhetorical Bodies
x, 4 McDermott

This course examines the rhetorical construction of bodies as well as the ways in which bodies are often used rhetorically. In order to carry out this examination, we will apply a variety of critical rhetorical lenses to written and visual texts. We will be particularly concerned with the intersections of social factors such as gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability and the ways in which these intersections are written on our bodies. We will read texts by classical and contemporary theorists and authors, such as Hippocrates, Quintilian, Judith Butler, Kenneth Burke, Patricia Hill Collins, Debra Hawhee, and Robert McCruer. This course will be writing intensive. May be elected as Rhetoric Studies 377. Distribution area: humanities.

387C ST: Playwriting/Writing for Performance
x, 4 Kosmas

In order to generate a shared vocabulary, we will begin with critical readings of contemporary plays, paying special attention to structure. Reading will be balanced by a great deal of student writing. Students will write during every class period and draft several short plays over the course of the semester. Collectively, we will examine and question our ideas about what a play is and ought to be. Student playwrights will ask essential questions such as: What is my process as a writer? What are my materials as a playwright? What is my aesthetic point of view? Students will gain techniques for writing practice and broaden and refine vocabularies for the discussion of creative writing. They will sharpen critical and evaluative skills of thought, speech, and writing applicable to a variety of disciplines including but not limited to theatre. May be elected as Theatre 330. Prerequisite: participation in Instant Play Festival writing workshops or consent of instructor.

389 Special Studies in Craft
4

Studies of literary craft not considered in other courses offered by the department, intended for upper-level creative writing students. Active participation in rigorous discussions and intensive workshops expected. Final portfolios of creative and critical works. Specific material will vary from semester to semester. The distribution area is fine arts. Prerequisites: English 250, 251, or equivalent, and consent of instructor. Any current offerings follow.

389 ST: “Same River Twice”: Imitation, Adaptation, Appropriation
4, x Roberts

Despite a notion that there are limited subjects and themes to address, as Heraclitus suggests, “it’s impossible to step twice into the same river”; and yet, poets indeed find continual inspiration and provocation in the works of other writers and artists – diving into and emerging from some of the “same" verbal waters to produce unique iterations, and often forging innovative bridges and vessels to convey current (and revolutionary) versions of meaning. Working through a diversity of texts by writers possibly including Graham, Hayes, Simic, and Shaughnessy, students will have opportunities to consider ideas of poetic influence and invention, while producing their own critical and creative works. Prerequisites: English 250, 251, or consent of instructor. Distribution area: fine arts.

401, 402 Independent Study
1-4, 1-4 Staff

Directed reading and the preparation of a critical paper or papers on topics suggested by the student. The project must be approved by the staff of the department. Thus, the student is expected to submit a written proposal to the intended director of the project prior to registration for the study. The number of students accepted for the work will depend on the availability of the staff. Independent Study may not count as one of the electives fulfilling minimum requirements for the major or minor without prior written approval of the English department. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

491 Seminars in English and American Literature
4

Seminars require a substantial amount of writing, a major written project of at least 15 pages involving research in secondary sources, and oral presentations. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Open to junior and senior English majors only. Prerequisite: English 290. Any current offerings follow.

491A VT: Contemporary American Fiction*
4, x Leise

*In scholarly and scientific writing, footnotes often serve the role of providing evidence that makes an argument more convincing. What happens when fiction writers use footnotes offering “facts,” real or invented, to complement their primary narratives? This course will explore the relationship between form, fiction, and believability in Junot Diaz’s Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Percival Everett’s Glyph, Sergio de la Pava’s Personae, Joyce Carol Oates’s The Accursed, Ruth Ozecki’s Tale for the Time Being, and Hanya Yanigahara’s The People in the Trees. We will also focus on the practice of writing criticism that analyzes emerging fictions. Distribution area: humanities.

491B VT: Ulysses, Modernism, and Modernity
4, x Majumdar

This seminar will study James Joyce’s Ulysses as an important instance of modernity and modernism. Joyce’s extraordinary novel provokes a reconsideration of the uniqueness of national literary traditions and national languages, and calls for a combinative, comparatist reading, across linguistic, disciplinary, and geographical borders, all at once. We will examine Joyce’s writing as an insistently different form of expression and modernism’s foremost novelistic experiment. The class will require a rigorous reading of Ulysses, carried out against a backdrop of literary, political, historical, and theoretical considerations. Students will get a sophisticated entry into Ulysses, while simultaneously becoming acquainted with prominent issues of modernism. Joyce’s text is clearly aware of, and active in, the traditions that modernism transforms. Analyzing how this reconstitution takes place, the class will study how Ulysses addresses modernity itself. Further, it will interrogate the political strategies of the novel for Joyce’s claims as a postcolonial writer. Distribution area: humanities.

497 Thesis
4, 4 Staff

Designed to further independent research projects leading to the preparation of an undergraduate thesis. The creative thesis, an option for a student of exceptional ability in creative writing, will be a substantial, accomplished collection of work in a particular genre. Limited to, but not required of, senior English majors. Prerequisite: approval of a proposal submitted to the English department prior to registration by a date designated by the department. For full details, see the English Department Handbook.

498 Honors Thesis
4, 4 Staff

Designed to further independent critical and creative research projects leading to the preparation of an undergraduate thesis. The creative thesis, an option for a student of exceptional ability in creative writing, will be a substantial, accomplished collection of work in a particular genre. Required of and limited to senior honors candidates in English. The candidate will be assigned to an appropriate thesis adviser, depending upon his or her field of interest. Prerequisite: approval of a proposal submitted to the English department prior to registration by a date designated by the department. For full details, see the English Department Handbook.