English and Comparative Literature
204 Greenlaw Hall, CB# 3520
FIRST SESSION, 2017
ENGL 126 Introduction to Drama (3). Drama of the Greek, Renaissance, and modern periods. What makes drama such a distinctive representational art? Why has drama rattled so many cages over time, provoking proposals to ban or censor the form, from Plato to the Puritans to modern social critics? How is drama torn by contradictory impulses toward realism or verisimilitude and conceptualism or abstraction? How does genre, and the expectations it arouses among readers and viewers, shape meaning and cultural reception? These are some of the questions we will be addressing as we look closely at four groups of plays that range from medieval to post-modern. Our play list includes three plays that present an allegory of human life (Everyman, Shakespeare’s King Lear, and Beckett’s Endgame); three that explore comedy and courtship (Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Congreve’s The Way of the World, and Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest); three that anatomize the tragedy of the American family (O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and Wilson’s Fences); and two that mix genres to disrupt cultural expectations (Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Churchill’s Cloud Nine).
We will read and discuss the plays, but because drama is a performative art, we will use film clips of many of the plays (including multiple interpretations of individual scenes) as well as doing some of our own impromptu acting. Also included will be a full showing of the new Denzel Washington and Viola Davis film of August Wilson’s Fences.
ENGL 138 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction (3). A course in reading and writing creative nonfiction, prose based in fact, but treated in a literary manner, e.g., personal essays, travel narratives, science and nature writing, immersive interviews and profiles, reportage, and belles-lettres. Composition, class discussion, and revision of work written for this class.
ENGL 140 Intro to Gay & Lesbian Literature (WMST) (3). ONLINE. Introduces students to concepts in queer theory and recent sexuality studies. Topics include queer lit, AIDS, race and sexuality, representations of gays and lesbians in the media, political activism/literature.
ENGL 144 Popular Genres (3). ONLINE. Introductory course on popular literary genres. Students will read and discuss works in the area of mystery, romance, westerns, science fiction, children’s literature, and horror fiction.
ENGL 146 Science Fiction/Fantasy/Utopia (3.) ONLINE. Readings in and theories of science fiction, utopian and dystopian literatures, and fantasy fiction.
ENGL 225 Shakespeare (3). A survey of representative comedies, tragedies, histories, and romances by William Shakespeare. Honors version available.
ENGL 265 Literature and Race, Literature and Ethnicity (3). MAYMESTER. Considers texts in a comparative ethnic/race studies framework and examines how these texts explore historical and contemporary connections between groups of people in the United States and the Americas.
ENGL 292 Depictions of Childhood in Literature and the Visual Arts (3). MAYMESTER. This course considers a range of texts, including children’s literature, to focus on the aesthetic, historical, and social factors grounding depictions of childhood. Other material includes literature and visual texts in various forms. The course stresses original student research. Course flyer.
ENGL 340 Studies in Jane Austen (3). This course focuses on both the novels of Jane Austen and their fate since publication in the early 19th century. They have inspired countless imitations, over 150 sequels and continuations, and more than 30 full-length films. We will trace the transmission and transformation of the original texts across time and cultures. Students in this course will read all six of Jane Austen’s major novels. There will be online discussions with the instructor and other students and interactive media with weekly assessments. The course will culminate in participation in an on-site event in Chapel Hill-Carrboro from June 15-18: the fifth annual Jane Austen Summer Program, this year entitled “200 Years of Persuasion.” Participation in this symposium is mandatory. Students will attend lectures, join in a banquet and a Regency ball, and see rare manuscript and art exhibits, all with the goal of learning about various aspects of Austen’s literature and world. See a full schedule of the on-site portion of this Summer School class at https://janeaustensummer.org/schedule/. Students will pay a discounted fee of $250 for the Jane Austen Summer Program. Students who need housing can request help from the program organizers, Inger Brodey and James Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ENGL 345 American Literature, 1900-2000 (3). MAYMESTER. Instructors choose authors or topics from the period 1900 to 2000. The course may be organized chronologically or thematically but is not intended as a survey.
ENGL 347 The American Novel (3). MAYMESTER. The development of the American novel from the late 18th century through the 20th century. May proceed chronologically or thematically. AMERICAN VERTIGO This course examines Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film “Vertigo” as reflecting a general sense of disorientation in American culture in the contemporary moment. Treating the condition “vertigo” as a broad cultural diagnosis of the era spanning 1950 to the present, we will examine the “dizziness” caused by new media, technology, and other cultural changes as they shapes the American novel in particular. From Scotty’s wandering on the streets of San Francisco in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” to Oedipa Maas’s obsessive California trek in “The Crying of Lot 49,” we will explore postwar and contemporary filmmakers and authors who present disorientation in a variety of stories–about lost drivers on road trips, about protagonists not entirely at home in reality, and other estranging situations. The aim will be to gain a deeper understanding of the American novel in its postwar and contemporary contexts.
ENGL 443 American Literature before 1860-Contemporary Issues (3). MAYMESTER. A junior- or senior-level course devoted to in-depth exploration of an author, group of authors, or topic in American literature to 1860.
SECOND SESSION, 2017
ENGL 100 Basic Writing (3). Required for incoming students with SAT I Writing scores of 460 or lower. Provides frequent practice in writing, from short paragraphs to longer papers, focusing on analysis and argument. Workshop format.
ENGL 105 English Composition and Rhetoric (3). This college-level course focuses on written and oral argumentation, composition, research, information literacy, and rhetorical analysis. The course introduces students to the specific disciplinary contexts for written work and oral presentations required in college courses.
ENGL 123 Introduction to Fiction (3). ONLINE. Novels and shorter fiction by Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Faulkner, Wolfe, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and others.
ENGL 124 Contemporary Literature (3). ONLINE. The literature of the present generation.
ENGL 128 Major American Authors (3). A study of approximately six major American authors drawn from Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Whitman, Clemens, Dickinson, Chesnutt, James, Eliot, Stein, Hemingway, O’Neill, Faulkner, Hurston, or others.
ENGL 129 Literature and Cultural Diversity (3). Studies in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, Anglo-Indian, Caribbean, gay-lesbian, and other literatures written in English.
ENGL 140 Intro to Gay & Lesbian Literature (WMST) (3). Introduces students to concepts in queer theory and recent sexuality studies. Topics include queer lit, AIDS, race and sexuality, representations of gays and lesbians in the media, political activism/literature.
ENGL 155 The Visual and Graphic Narrative (3). ONLINE. This course examines a number of visual texts, including graphic novels and emerging narrative forms that include visuals as well as words. The course explores how meaning can be conveyed through the composition, juxtaposition, and framing of images as well as through the relationship between words and images.
ENGL 283 Life Writing (3). Exploration of different forms of life writing such as autobiography, biography, and autoethnography. Readings will include theories of autobiography and selected literature.