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English and Comparative Literature

204 Greenlaw Hall, CB# 3520
(919) 962-5481

First Session, 2020

CMPL 477 Wicked Desire: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, on Page and Screen (RUSS 477) (3)

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita (1955) became a global phenomenon due to its unflinching portrayal of pedophilia. This course will delve deeper into the novel’s moral complexity, its international context, and its reflection in mass culture, including movies by Stanley Kubrick (1962) and Adrian Lyne (1997). Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.

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. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 102 and ENGL 102I, 105, or 105I.

ENGL 123 Introduction to Fiction (3)

ONLINE. Novels and shorter fiction by Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Faulkner, Wolfe, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and others.

Fiction after the Apocalypse:

We will be reading and discussing works of fiction that explore life during and after irrevocable transformative events, including pandemics. Apocalypse will here be considered in its original Greek meaning: to uncover, or disclose. Despite present-day connotations, the apocalypse is not the end, but rather a transition, a peeling back to reveal what was hidden. We will examine how writers depict apocalypse on the macrocosmic level (large, socio-historical metamorphoses) and on the microcosmic level (personal revelations and life-changing experiences). And in turn, we will keep in mind that it is the special power of literature to initiate an apocalypse in us as readers.

ENGL 125 Introduction to Poetry (3)

ONLINE. A course designed to develop basic skills in reading poems from all periods of English and American literature.

ENGL 128 Major American Authors (3)

ONLINE. 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.

The United States was founded through dissent, and the tradition of collective action has shaped the country and its literature ever since. This course will focus on major American authors who engaged in forms of literary protest from approximately 1850 to 1950 including Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Jacobs, Stephen Crane, James Weldon Johnson, Kate Chopin, John Steinbeck, and Mine Okubo.

We will think of literature and protest as broadly as possible to make connections across time to consider the rich literary history that continues to inform our contemporary moment. The historical period covered in this class, from the dawn of the Civil War until World War II, established may political and cultural trends that continue to shape forms of protest in the 21st century. Accordingly, we will study the past with an eye to how it informs our present.

Through our study of major American authors, we will attempt to answer some of the following questions: How has literature been mobilized as a form of protest? What impact has dissent had on American literature? What cultural narratives shape our understanding of protest and dissent?

ENGL 140 Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Culture and Literature (WGST 140) (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 143 Film and Culture (3)

ONLINE. Examines the ways culture shapes and is shaped by film. This course uses comparative methods to contrast films as historic or contemporary, mainstream or cutting-edge, in English or a foreign language, etc.

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.

In this course, students will critically analyze five popular genres dystopian literature, science fiction, detective fiction, fantasy, and one additional genre.

The media through which the class will study popular genres include novels, movies, television shows, blogs, and websites. Whereas up to this point most of us have enjoyed popular genres as entertainment without thinking critically about them, this class will be a departure. Students in this class will examine the assigned texts from an analytical perspective. We will look at formulaic analysis, historical context, cultural context, and ideological approaches, among others. What does popular literature tell us about the world in which we live? What kinds of influences are we making ourselves susceptible to when we read this literature?

ENGL 146 Science Fiction/Fantasy/Utopia (3)

ONLINE. Readings in and theories of science fiction, utopian and dystopian literatures, and fantasy fiction.

This course examines the birth and development of science fiction in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially as science fiction intersects with the tradition of utopian and dystopian speculation. Texts will include Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888), H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine (1895), E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), Olaf Stapledon’s Starmaker (1937), and Ayn Rand’s Anthem (1938). Films will include 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Koyaanisqatsi (1982), Ex Machina (2015), and Don Hertzfeldt’s animated short The World of Tomorrow (2015), as well as episodes of Black Mirror.

ENGL 235 Studies in Jane Austen (3)

HYBRID. There is an additional fee for this course. Fulfills a major core requirement. 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. Instruction will be primarily online but attendance at the Jane Austen Summer Program Symposium (held in Carrboro, NC, June 18-21, 2020) is required. Previously offered as ENGL 340.

Video Content: Study Jane Austen’s novels, her time period, and how the novels have been adapted across time, medium, and culture.

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.

Second Session, 2020

ENGL 100 Basic Writing (3)

Required for incoming students with SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or ACT scores below a threshold set by the department. Please visit the department Web site for the most updated scores. The courses focuses on academic writing in a variety of contexts. Workshop format involves frequent writing and revision. ***Canceled***

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. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 102 and ENGL 102I, 105, or 105I.

ENGL 123 Introduction to Fiction (3)

ONLINE. Novels and shorter fiction by Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Faulkner, Wolfe, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and others.

Fiction after the Apocalypse:

We will be reading and discussing works of fiction that explore life during and after irrevocable transformative events, including pandemics. Apocalypse will here be considered in its original Greek meaning: to uncover, or disclose. Despite present-day connotations, the apocalypse is not the end, but rather a transition, a peeling back to reveal what was hidden. We will examine how writers depict apocalypse on the macrocosmic level (large, socio-historical metamorphoses) and on the microcosmic level (personal revelations and life-changing experiences). And in turn, we will keep in mind that it is the special power of literature to initiate an apocalypse in us as readers.

ENGL 126 Introduction to Drama (3)

ONLINE. Drama of the Greek, Renaissance, and modern periods.

Drama is a literary form that is visual, aural, and in the moment. There is a play of interpretation and theatricality inherent in the language and form of literature designed for performance. For these reasons, we will pay attention to aesthetic questions concerning language and interpretation, but also attend to questions of performance and staging. We will explore this overview of drama through an intensive engagement with texts and with our own reading and performance responses.

Course Goals: Students will:

  1. Gain a general overview of theater history, themes, dramatic theory, and dramatic form.
  2. Develop close reading techniques
  3. Engage in critical analysis centered on literary and performance elements, cultural context, and history
  4. Show growth in writing expository and analysis essays

ENGL 128 Major American Authors (3)

ONLINE. 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)

ONLINE. Fulfills a major core requirement. Studies in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, Anglo-Indian, Caribbean, gay-lesbian, and other literatures written in English. Honors version available

Diverse Stars of Contemporary American Literature

An exploration of fiction and nonfiction by diverse contemporary American literary stars including TaNehisi Coates (Between the World and Me), Jhumpa Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies), and Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street).

ENGL 131 Introduction to Poetry Writing (3)

Intended for sophomores and first-year students. A writing-intensive introductory workshop in poetry. Close study of a wide range of published poetry and of poetic terms and techniques. Composition, discussion, and revision of original student poems. Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 131 and ENGL 133H. This course (or ENGL 133H) serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the poetry sequence of the creative writing concentration and minor.

Welcome to ENGL-131, a workshop/lecture centered class focused on poetry writing. Over the semester, you will have the opportunity to try a variety of exercises; to explore new styles and techniques; to receive detailed feedback on poems and essays, and to develop practices and habits that will help you in your writing life.

Our class will be run as a workshop/lecture, which means that your attendance, timely work, and active participation in class discussions are crucial to the community we will build here.

You will read and write a great deal in this class. We’ll begin each unit by reading works I hand out or provided in your required textbook. Then move into discussing works-in-progress by your peers.

By the end of this course, you will be able to identify and apply the critical components of poetry. You will also be able to outline and explain various styles, structures, and modes of contemporary writing, evaluate their usefulness, and apply this knowledge in both classroom critique and revision. You will be able to identify and explain the uses and effects of styles in poetic forms. Throughout the semester, you’ll develop your pieces using modern and contemporary works as models.

ENGL 140 Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Culture and Literature (WGST 140) (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 143 Film and Culture (4)

ONLINE. Examines the ways culture shapes and is shaped by film. This course uses comparative methods to contrast films as historic or contemporary, mainstream or cutting-edge, in English or a foreign language, etc.

ENGL 146 Science Fiction/Fantasy/Utopia (3)

ONLINE. Readings in and theories of science fiction, utopian and dystopian literatures, and fantasy fiction.

ENGL 147 Mystery Fiction (3)

ONLINE. Studies in classic and contemporary mystery and detective fiction.

Crime, Sex, & the Social Underbelly:

In mystery fiction, we’re going to examine the genre from the point of view of the writer and critic.  We’re going to look at how mysteries and crime fiction are written (setting, plotting, voice, point-of-view, characterization, etc…), while analyzing their social relevance and larger thematic concerns (crime, paranoia, sexuality, gender, race, class).  We’re going to treat mystery fiction like we would any kind of literature in an English class, but we’re also going to examine how it works as a “genre” and its connection to film (For example: There have been over 20 film and TV versions of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles.)  By the end of the class, you should have a strong background on how mysteries function, what sort of literary tropes re-occur, and why it persists as such a popular genre.

ENGL 148 Horror (3)

ONLINE. This course examines the complexities and pleasures of horror, from its origins in Gothic and pre-Gothic literatures and arts. Topics include psychology, aesthetics, politics, allegory, ideology, and ethics.

“Terror and Horror are so far opposite that the first expands the soul, and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life; the other contracts, freezes and nearly annihilates them.” – Ann Radcliffe, “On the Supernatural in Poetry”

This course will explore how the visceral interplay between terror and horror lies at the heart of a genre that confronts its readers with the darker side of human nature. We will explore horror fiction from its origins in the Gothic novel to the contemporary work of Stephen King alongside film examples that range from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Readings will include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Haunting of Hill House and shorter works by Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Richard Matheson. To enrich our discussion of the literature, we will also watch classic horror films such as Psycho, Alien and The Exorcist.

ENGL 149 Digital and Multimedia Composition (3)

ONLINE. In this class students will practice composing in contemporary digital writing spaces. Students will study theories of electronic networks and mediation, and their connections to literacy, creativity, and collaboration. Students will also develop their own multimedia projects using images, audio, video, and words. Topics include the rhetoric of the Internet, online communities, and digital composition.

Copywrong: Fan Fiction and the Internet

We find ourselves in a world where libraries, museums, and movie theaters are indefinitely closed—what do we do? For many people, the internet provides opportunities to imagine themselves with Doctor Who on the Tardis, falling in love with Kylo Ren, strolling through the hallways Hogwarts with Harry Potter, or in a relationship with Edward from Twilight. What happens when we use stories or characters from a well known and loved franchise, but make something new from it? Is it a new story or just fan fiction?

This class will explore the differences in production and consumption between fan fiction, adaptation, appropriation, and “original” stories to find the lines between these distinct categories are often blurred. Students will learn how fan fiction is defined and functions on the internet through different forms ranging from stories to videos. The summer will culminate in students creating their own multimedia fan fiction composition.

ENGL 152 Twentieth-Century American Literature (3)

Survey of American literature in the twentieth century covering the major literary movements of the century: realism, modernism, postmodernism, and contemporary. Meets for two hours, four days per week, Monday – Thursday. Late afternoon.

ENGL 155 The Visual and Graphic Narrative (3)

ONLINE. This course examines various visual texts, including graphic novels and emerging narrative forms, and explores how meaning is conveyed through composition, the juxtaposition and framing of images, and the relationship between words and images. Students create their own visual narratives.

ENGL 283 Life Writing (3)

Students will analyze and compose different forms of life writing such as autobiography, biography, and autoethnography. Readings will include theories of autobiography and selected literature.

Memoirs, Black Music and Faith:

What are life narratives? How can reading about other’s lives and writing about our own life experiences help healing? This is especially relevant in the wake of our global health pandemic. In this course, we will read, listen to, and write through diverse genres, including memoirs, biography, music playlists, creative non-fiction, religious autobiography, poetry and visual art. Students will read excerpts from writing as craft models that enable them to better develop their writing voice and vision and they will write and workshop their own life narratives. Note this course focuses on African American and Black authors. Authors include: Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World, Hanif Abdurraqib, Go Ahead In the Rain, Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, Farah Jasmine Griffin, If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery, In Search of Billie Holiday, June Jordan, Soldier, A Poet’s Childhood, and Monica Coleman, Bipolar Faith, A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith.

ENGL 284 Reading Children’s Literature (3)

ONLINE. Spend this summer in some exciting places. Plunge down the rabbit hole with Alice, get whirled to Oz with Dorothy or fly to Neverland with Peter and Wendy, go shopping on Diagon Alley with Harry and Hagrid. In English 284 “Reading Children’s Fiction,” read (or reread) some of the most influential and lasting books written in English. Enjoy works hailed as classics alongside works recovered for their importance and vitality—get lost one week in Little Women and the next in the pictures and stories of the children’s magazine, The Brownies Book, edited by W. E. B. Du Bois and a masterwork of the 1920s.

This class asks: why did these works matter when they were written? What do they tell us about their times? What definitions and values of youth do they offer? Why have they persisted? We’ll consider what Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh tells us about the race to the South Pole, what the Lost Boys suggest about the Great War, what Harry Potter offers regarding the information age.

In addition to the reading and asynchronous discussion work, you will complete a project—in two five-page stages in which you can build on feedback—based on a book for children or youth drawn from the digitized pre-1923 titles of our own University’s Juvenile Historical Collection. These were the books that young people in Chapel Hill came to the library to borrow, the works that they actually read at the time. Together you and I will choose one of them that matters to you and you will become the expert on it, researching where it came from (who was its author? its illustrator? its specific audience?) and what it means. For your final, you will share the excitement and significance of that work.