Great Classes in Fall 2017

Check out these great lecture classes,
each taught by one of our department's award-winning instructors!

English Literary Traditions (Eng 210-2) with Prof. Jules Law

Monday/Wednesday 1-1:50, plus discussion section

In this course we will survey some of the most representative, influential, and beloved works of English literature from Romantic Poetry to the modernist novel, with a special emphasis on the Gothic. We will consider these literary texts in relation to major historical developments such as the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of imperialism, new print and transportation technologies, rapidly increasing literacy rates, and the emergence of mass culture. Special attention will be paid to the role of metaphor in thought, in the constitution of human nature, and in the relationship of self to society. An overview of a turbulent, transformative century, English 210-2 provides excellent training in the discussion and analysis of literary texts.

Introduction to Shakespeare (Eng 234) with Professor Susie Phillips

Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:50, plus discussion section

This course will introduce students to a range of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and romances. During the quarter, we will be considering these plays in their Early Modern context—cultural, political, literary and theatrical. We will focus centrally on matters of performance and text. How is our interpretation of a play shaped by Shakespeare’s various “texts”— his stories and their histories, the works of his contemporaries, the latest literary fashions, and the various versions of his plays that circulated among his audience? Similarly, how do the details of a given performance, or the presence of a particular audience, alter the experience of the play? To answer these questions, we will consider not only the theaters of Early Modern England, but also recent cinematic versions of the plays, and we will not only read our modern edition of Shakespeare but also examine some pages from the plays as they originally circulated. Our readings may include Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Henry V, and the Tempest.

Introduction to 20th Century American Literature (Eng 273) with Professor John Alba Cutler

Monday/Wednesday 11-12:20, plus discussion section

When Henry Luce, the publisher of Time magazine, declared in 1941 that it was time to create “the first great American Century,” he meant to advocate for the spread of quintessential American values—freedom, democracy—throughout the globe. But the idea of the American Century has also been invoked to call attention to the United States’ perceived harmful influence in world affairs. This course surveys some of the most important works of modern American literature by examining the intense ambivalence of US writers—including Ernest Hemingway, Nella Larsen, Gish Jen, and Junot Díaz—about their place in the world. How have some writers sought to escape the perceived provincialism of their American identities? How have writers grappled with the legacy of American military interventions abroad? What are the United States’ ethical obligations to the world?