ENGL-UA 65 | Major American Writers: American Feminisms | Cameron Williams
In this overview of the history of feminist thought in American literature we will investigate why feminist discourses formed the way they did, and what the historical alternatives have been. Further, we will ask how feminist scholarship has intervened in the canon of “Major American Writers,” and how that scholarship has thought about reading and writing as social activities. In addition to literary genres like poetry, novels, and plays, we will read creative interventions in other disciplines, like anthropology and biology, that produce knowledge about sex and gender. Our authors will include Julia Ward Howe, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Stein, Lorraine Hansberry, Donna Haraway, Octavia Butler, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Audre Lorde, Bernadette Mayer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Claudia Rankine, among other primary and secondary readings
ENGL-UA 101.001 | Introduction to the Study of Literature | Katherine Biers
This course will introduce students to the tools and techniques of literary study in a variety of genres, from lyric poetry to detective fiction, from antiquity to the present. What kinds of questions can we ask of literature, and why are such questions important? Essays, assignments, and class discussions will emphasize the pleasures of solving interpretive problems and the unexpected revelations of close reading. Four plenary lectures will introduce students to some of the major practices and methodologies in the field.
ENGL-UA 101.002 | Introduction to the Study of Literature | Carolyn Dinshaw
This is a course in reading and writing. We’ll spend a lot of time on a handful of texts, reading them closely and learning how to write analytically about them. We’ll learn how poems, novels, short stories, and plays work: how do we analyze their language, style, tone, plot, character? What additional skills do we need to read a graphic novel? What difference does genre make? How do we write good analytical papers? And why does that skill matter?
ENGL-UA 101.003 | Introduction to the Study of Literature | Lenora Hanson
What are we doing we say we are reading? We focus and get distracted; we pay attention to minor details and create large patterns; we get absorbed by language and think about what gets left out of texts. This course provides students with the chance to reflect and build upon these and other practices to better understand how reading and writing work. In it, we will familiarize ourselves with how that work happens in the context of literary analysis.
Moving across poetry, novels, and prose, we will develop our close reading skills into tools that sustain reflection in writing. Alongside the texts from plenary lectures, students can expect to read material from the 18th century up to the Contemporary. Ultimately, this course asks students to sharpen the particular practices of close reading and sustained, reflective writing, but also to articulate their own reading methods along the way.
ENGL-UA 101.005 | Introduction to the Study of Literature | Pat Crain
In this section of English 101, students will read closely, discuss thoughtfully, and write copiously about a range of texts, with a slight tilt towards American works (Melville, Poe, Dickinson, probably, but also Virginia Woolf), across periods and genres: poetry, the novel, the tale, and drama, along with essays modeling critical voices and theoretical approaches. The dramatic text will depend on what’s on theatrical offer in the fall, as we’ll hope to go to a performance (likely a Shakespeare play). Four plenary lectures by English Department faculty introduce students to some of the questions literary scholars ask and the kinds of materials they work with. Students will have a chance to strengthen their close reading, discussion, presentation, editing, and revising skills, their knowledge and use of literary-critical and cultural-studies terminology, and all the methods for translating the pleasures and labors of reading into those of analyzing and writing about literary artifacts.
ENGL-UA 111 | Literatures in English I: Medieval and Early Modern Literatures | Gilman & Hoover
This course surveys literature in English from the Old English epic, Beowulf (ca. 700) to John Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost (1674). Other readings will include selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play, selections from Malory’s Morte Darthur, Spenser’s The Fairy Queen, the English sonnet, More’s Utopia, along with Bacon’s The New Atlantas, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, selected poetry by Donne, Herbert, Jonson, and Marvel. The focus throughout will be on the close reading of the literary texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
ENGL-UA 112 | Lits in English II: Literatures of the British Isles & Empire 1660-1900 | Lee & McDowell
This course offers an intensive introduction to major works of British literature across genres from the Restoration to the late Victorian period. Selected texts may include Wycherley’s The Country Wife (1675); Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813); selected poems by Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, and Coleridge; Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre(1847); and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). We will consider how these writers and others responded to the conflicts and continuities of their moment, paying special attention to issues of class, empire, and gender. Through lectures, class discussion, written responses, and longer essay assignments, students will work to acquire knowledge of the fundamentals of literary history and of critical reading and writing.
ENGL-UA 113 | Literatures in English III: American Literatures to 1900 | Sonya Posmentier
This course is a literary historical survey of US literature from colonial encounter through the end of the 19th century, tracing distinctive traditions of writing that have shaped the development of modern literature and thought in the United States. How was this writing shaped by the history of occupation and colonialism; encounters among Indigenous, European, and African cultures; the arts of religious devotion and cosmopolitan enlightenment; the cultural politics of revolution and modern nationalism; the expansion of capitalism and slavery; the development of print media and modern literary values; the philosophy and aesthetics of American transcendentalism and sentimentalism? How might we situate the literature of what would eventually become the United States in relationship to literature of the Americas more broadly?
Students will learn to read with attention both to history (what was American literature before the United States?) and to genre (poetry, fiction, letters, newspaper accounts, political and religious tracts, and autobiography). Writing assignments, exercises, and exams will reflect these dual commitments to historiography and literary interpretation. Writers studied may include: William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Washington Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Edgar Allan Poe, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Francis E.W. Harper, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and Charles Chesnutt.
ENGL-UA 114 | Literatures in English IV: Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Literatures | Deer & Waters
This course provides a review of English-language literary production as it expands and diversifies from 1900 onward. Attending to such matters as the emergence of transatlantic modernism, the growing influence of U.S. culture around the world, proliferating literary activity in colonial and postcolonial contexts, and the intensifying demographic complexity of the U.S. and Britain, the course considers the changing scope and significance of English-language writing within an increasingly globalized cultural field.
The course will explore the parallels and contrasts among a variety of forms including literature, film, art, music, stressing the uneven developments of the period, with special attention paid to the tension between highbrow and popular forms. The course will read texts as both response to and symptom of the ongoing crises of modernity unleashed by urbanization, immigration, war, imperialism, revolution, shifts in gender roles, race relations, and class conflict. We will investigate the influence on literature and culture of patterns of migration and diasporic movement between the US, Britain and the Global South and examine the relationship between the metropolis and other spaces such as rural areas and underdeveloped regions, the suburbs, and colonial metropolises and territories, and wartime home fronts. We will consider writers’ claims to represent the dominant cultural response to their age as they confront radical transformations in literary representation, the rise of mass culture and advertising, and revolutionary changes in the technologies of mass communications like film, documentary, radio and popular music.
The course consists of larger lecture classes and a required recitation. Readings may include the work of Joseph Conrad, W.E.B. Dubois, James Joyce, T.S, Eliot, Harlem Renaissance poets like Langston Hughes, Claude Mackay and Gwendolyn Brooks, Virginia Woolf, Mulk Raj Anand, George Orwell, Chinua Achebe, Jean Rhys, Wole Soyinka, Kazuo Ishiguro, Phil Klay, Riverbend, Zadie Smith and Junot Diaz.
ENGL-UA 201.001 | Reading as a Writer: Writing the City | T. Urayoán Noel
How can creative writing engage the city in ways that complement or complicate the academic study of urban space (e.g. by historians, urban planners, sociologists, and others)? Working across genres, cultures, and aesthetics, we will examine and respond to attempts to write the city, by poets, fiction writers, playwrights, and others, strategically blurring the lines between creative and critical engagement. While our focus will be on New York City, students will be encouraged to research and imagine connections to other urban spaces, present, past, or future. Readings may include literary texts by Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Langston Hughes, Federico García Lorca, Henry Roth, H.T. Tsiang, Pedro Pietri, Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Shaun Tan, Josefina Báez, and Claudia Rankine, as well as critical texts about cities from fields such as history, urban studies, sociology, anthropology, geography, and economics. We will also do one or more excursions (possible venues include the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the Poe Cottage in the Bronx, and the Downtown Collection at NYU's Fales Library), and we will host one or more guest writers.
ENGL-UA 201.002 | Reading as a Writer | TBA
Creative and critical reading and writing as reciprocal activities. Theories and criticism of literature. Close attention to genre, style, and mode.
ENGL-UA 250 | 18th & 19th Century African American Literature | TBA
Survey of major autobiographies, fiction, and poetry from the early national period to the eve of the New Negro Renaissance. Writers considered typically include Equiano, Wheatley, Jacobs, Brown, Douglass, Harper, and Wilson.
ENGL-UA 252.004 | The Novel at School | Franklin
The Novel at School investigates an institution both powerful and mundane. The school is central to the identity of the nation. It’s where people go to become citizens, learn how to take up jobs, and for most people, it is the place where they get exposure to formally credentialed knowledge. Yet the work performed by schools is hotly contested. Does schooling reinforce hierarchies of race, class and gender, or is it our only means of transcending inequality? While we hope that schools will equip children with the skills that they need to live independently, we attempt to deliver this education in institutions that deny any autonomy to their pupils. We will examine how writers, sociologists, revolutionaries and artists have depicted schools as sites of possibility and sources of anxiety. We will conduct an exploration of the British novel of education from Romanticism to post-imperialism, following the course of conservative, liberal, Marxist and anarchists ideas of education, in order to track changes to the idea of the child, the nation and the function of literature. In so doing, we will reflect on our experiences and ideals of education. Readings might be taken from Roger Ascham, John Locke, William Wordsworth, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Muriel Spark, Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich, Tayyib Salih, Kazuo Ishiguro, Tsitsi Dangarembga, J.K. Rowling, and Zoe Heller.
ENGL-UA 261 | Theatre of War | Patrick Deer
What impact has war had on literature and culture? How have writers, intellectuals and citizens struggled to find a voice during wartime in the face of censorship, propaganda, trauma and the technologies of violence? What does it mean to live in a culture of war or to perform in wartime? How has theater of different ages explored ethical and political questions of patriotism, heroism, sacrifice, loyalty, or the struggle for peace? Why have recent playwrights and theater projects turned so often to Greek tragedy to understand and confront the traumatic impact on soldiers and civilians of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? This course explores these questions in a range of British, American, postcolonial and classical drama and cinema, paying close attention to questions of performance, production and audience. Beginning with some foundational war drama by Sophocles, Aristophanes and Shakespeare, we will explore dramatic representations of modern conflict from the imperial era of colonial warfare and total warfare during and after the First World War. We will explore the ways that dramatists and film-makers have represented more recent conflicts like the “People’s War” of World War Two, the apocalyptic imaginary of Cold War, guerilla warfare and counterinsurgency, to the mythology of “high tech warfare” and the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Focusing in particular on questions of gender, imperialism and resistance, we will read drama alongside selected war poetry, fiction, memoirs, military writings and theoretical texts.
Readings may be drawn from the work of: Sophocles, Aristophones, Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Alfred Jarry, Bertolt Brecht, Virginia Woolf, CLR James, Jean Genet, Rodney Ackland, John Osborne, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, Sarah Kane, Maurice Decaul, Martin McDonagh, Rajiv Joseph, and others. The course will also include discussions of a variety of films and popular culture.
ENGL-UA 320 | Chaucer Colloquium: Pretexts, Inter-texts, and Meta-texts | Martha Rust
In one of his early poems, The House of Fame, Geoffrey Chaucer tells the story of a dream he had, in which he was transported, in the grip of an eagle’s claws, to a celestial territory where he visited two fanciful houses: a House of Fame and a House of Rumor. In the first, he admires the poets of antiquity who uphold the fame of their nations; in the second, he encounters a much humbler variety of text--the “tidings” that circulate among a motley crowd of pilgrims, pardoners, sailors, and messengers. In this colloquium we will explore Chaucer’s poetry by situating it in the context of the diverse “architectures” of literature that he himself surveys in the House of Fame though for the purposes of our exploration we shall term those structures pre-texts, intertexts, and meta-texts. Pre-texts will encompass the genres, historical contexts, and ideas about writing that precede Chaucer’s work, influencing its content and determining its form. A few important pre-texts for Chaucer’s poetry include the genres of dream vision, romance, and fabliau and the still-tenuous status of a poet writing in the vernacular. The category of intertexts will take in the vast library of texts in which Chaucer finds his materials and upon which he builds: from the Bible and patristic writers such as Jerome and Augustine to the thirteenth-century “best-seller” The Romance of the Rose. Finally, meta-texts will include writing about, on, or after Chaucer’s texts, including Chaucer’s reflections on his own writing practice, glosses on his texts in medieval manuscripts, selections from the centuries-long tradition of literary-critical response to Chaucer’s work, and, last, examples drawn from the rich hoard of take-offs on Chaucer’s oeuvre--from poems by his fifteenth-century admirers, to re-writes of Chaucer for children, to Brian Helgeland’s The Knight’s Tale, to Baba Brinkman’s rap Canterbury Tales.
ENGL-UA 410 | Shakespeare | John Archer
In this survey of William Shakespeare’s career as a playwright we will consider the relation between the mingled genres of his plays (festive and problem comedy, history, tragedy, and romance) and the social and political conditions that shaped his developing sense of dramatic form. Critical analysis of the plays as both performances and written works will make up the fabric of this course; the connection of the drama to its culture will be the guiding thread. Excerpts from film, video, and audio performances will be played and discussed in class along with other visual materials. We will explore nine plays. The requirements include two essays, two exams, and consistent attendance at both lectures and recitations.
Individual editions of the plays from the Pelican Shakespeare series will be ordered for this course, easy to read and to carry. Plays: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale
ENGL-UA 675 | ANIMALS AND THE ENVIRONMENT | Yanoula Athanassakis
This class explores interactions between both human and nonhuman animals and the environment in contemporary media (literature, film, art, and graphic novels, among others). Human beings are now living in the time of the Anthropocene: they are experiencing new extremes of major power, on the hand, and great vulnerability, on the other. What is the place of the arts in broaching subjects like species extinction, climate change, animal agriculture, interspecies ethics, and environmental justice? This course welcomes students of all majors to collaboratively explore big questions on animals and the environment through a variety of methods: readings, viewings, site visits, public lectures, and films. Readings will include fiction and nonfiction (Jonathan Safran Foer, Ruth L. Ozeki, Michael Pollan, J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Eric Schlosser), excerpted critical theory (The Sexual Politics of Meat, Bodily Natures, Bodies That Matter), essays on environmental justice and climate change, and films: Sharkwater, Cowspiracy, Racing Extinction, Death on a Factory Farm, and Blackfish.
ENGL-UA 712.001 | Major Texts in Critical Theory | Jay Mueller
In this course we will come to understand why nothing is obvious, why language is not transparent, and how various thinkers have thought about power, subjectivity, race, caste, class, capital, sexual identity, and knowledge. Every idea has a history; nothing is given or natural in this course. Writers will include Plato, Marx, Freud, Fanon, Judith Butler, and others, from antiquity to the present.
ENGL-UA 712.002 | Major Texts in Critical Theory | Katherine Biers
The difference between an ordinary theory and a critical theory is summed up by Karl Marx: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” But what makes a particular interpretation of the world transformative, and how does interpretation effect change? The first half of the course will provide an in depth study of critical theorists who have been influential for literary study, including Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, and Raymond Williams. The second half of the course will examine the legacy of these thinkers for specific late 20th and 21st century movements in critical theory, including new historicism, gender studies, queer theory, post-colonial theory, and eco-criticism. We will conclude with an examination of the current “post-critical” turn in literary study. Is transformative interpretation possible today?
ENGL-UA 714 | Literature of Riots | Lenora Hanson
Saboteurs and slaves, anarchists and insurrectionists, the unemployed man and the working-class woman. These characters make up the ranks of rioters in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature and journalistic writing. This course looks to such accounts in order to define a literature of riots.
Throughout the semester, we will consider the relationship between the history and writing of riots. On the one hand, we will ask what discernible effects riots and their social, economic, and political contexts might be said to have on novels, poetry, and other writing. While the idea of revolutionary literature has been commonplace since at least the nineteenth century, we will discuss the features of what might be called a literature of riots. Looking to instances of food and prison riots, of sabotage, insurrection and slave rebellion, we will consider how writing that spans from roughly 1720-1850 responded to those specific, and often highly localized, events. On the other hand, we will treat the riotous as a literary style, attempting to understand why certain kinds of literature came to be described as spontaneous and anarchic, unconscious and animalistic, or feminine and passive in much the same manner as riots. As literary writing was frequently criticized for demonstrating such unsettling qualities, our task is to understand what connection literature and riots might have beyond the documentary or contextual.
Questions that inspire this course include: Can figurative language and narrative form do more than represent riots and similar events that erupted throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? How might poetic form help us to understand material demands rather than revolutionary ideals? How do poems and novels deal differently with the population “problem” and the mounting socio-political pressures induced by it? Does novelistic narrative establish coherence or create anarchy? And how does literature’s obsession with circulation make riots in England inseparable from rebellions in the colonies?
Authors may include: Daniel Defoe, Thomas Malthus, Hannah More, William Godwin, William Blake, Edmund Burke, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, William Cobbett, John Gareth Stedman, Juan Francisco Manzano, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Karl Marx, Charles Dickens, John Clare and others. We will also read selected critical sources.
ENGL-UA 780 | Intro to Postcolonial Studies: Anti-colonial Resistance in Lit & Film | Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
Resistance to colonialism took many forms, from non-violent civil disobedience (as propounded by Gandhi in India) to revolutionary violence (as advocated by Fanon in Algeria). It was enacted as individual protest as well as collective rebellion. It happened in every part of the colonized world: India, Africa, the Caribbean. It found cultural expression in the idioms of liberty and patriotism, protest and satire, and in the form of songs, pamphlets, speeches, history, drama, poetry, stories and novels which formed an important constituent of anti-colonial and nationalist movements. Postcolonial literary and cinematic texts have engaged the colonial past both through representation of such resistance, as well as attempts to understand and analyze the meaning of their instances, their impact, and their historical gains and losses.
In this course we will read/watch some of the key texts of anti-colonial resistance. Some of these were written by the leaders of liberation movements like Gandhi and Fanon, or offer accounts of them (like C.L.R. James’s famous Black Jacobins about the Haitian revolution), offering us insights into the rationale, the strategies, the ethics and politics, and the limits and possibilities of anti-colonial struggles on the ground. Some books were consciously envisaged as ‘writing back’ to empire, challenging ‘colonial’ texts like Shakespeare’s Tempest, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In many postcolonial literary texts the colonizer’s language—English, or French-- is resisted, deplored and despaired of as a colonial legacy, even as it cannot be entirely rejected. Several texts show the tragic consequences for colonial subjects suffering from profound cultural dislocation and trauma. Others—consequently—urge the necessity of ‘decolonizing the mind.’
We will consider a variety of texts reflecting the many aspects of ‘resistance’, broadly understood: novels by Tayib Salih, Rabindranath Tagore, Tsistsi Dangarembga, plays by Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka, poems by Neruda, Faiz, Cesaire, Darwish, Nourbese Philp, John Agard, essays by Edward Said, Jamaica Kincaid, Ngugi wa Thiongo and Chinua Achebe, and films by Gillo Pontecorvo (Battle of Algiers), Satyajit Ray (Home and the World, The Chess Players), and Michael Haneke.
ENGL-UA 800.001 | Ghosts, Migrants, Astronauts | S.S. Sandhu
“When a person dies, he constantly roams about and becomes a ghost / It is the soul that roams about. / The roaming soul is like air. / So a ghost is like air. It can go everywhere” -(Bhawan Singh, Indian prisoner of war, 1917)
“Full of the excitement of arrival, the migrant said, ‘Here you can find gold on the ground. I am going to start looking for it.’ The friend who had been in the city for two years answered him: ‘That is true. But the gold fell from very high in the sky, and so when it hit the earth, it went down very very deep.” -(John Berger, A Seventh Man, 1975)
“Far above the world / Planet Earth is blue / And there’s nothing I can do” - (David Bowie, Space Oddity, 1969)
This is a class about people who move, who are forced to move, whose descriptions of movement move readers and listeners and filmgoers. This is a class about empire and post-empire and, not just black and Asian writers, but displaced rural dwellers, Roma, ‘mad travellers’, Poles, Irish itinerants. This is a class about people who have been orphaned by the end of manufacturing, about working-class communities rendered obsolete by political and economic ideologues, about loneliness, about utopia.
This is a class about fear and hatred and defeat. This is also a class about dreams, yearning, giant steps.
We will look at photo-texts, ghost stories, horror films, science fiction.
We will explore outer space, inner space, and the dream life of pixels.
We will listen to Morrissey, to David Bowie, to pirate radio.
We will read about the global pandemic of people turning into bamboo, about travelling to the Philippines to get yourself crucified, and the memoir of a man who drilled a hole in his head.
Final papers may be submitted in the form of screenplays, short stories, films, exhibitions, creative non-fiction, radiophonic pieces.
ENGL-UA 800.002 | Literature & Science | Cliff Siskin
When Isaac Newton first connected falling apples to orbiting planets, “Literature” referred to all types of writing” and “science” just meant “knowledge” (“nescience” meant “ignorance”). How, then, did we end up having to make a choice between them? To major in one is to leave the other behind. Our journey to understand how literature and science parted ways will have four primary stops: 1) the 17th-century revolution in knowledge in the words of Francis Bacon, Mary Cavendish, Isaac Newton, and Mary Astell; 2) the 18th-century takeoff in knowledge, featuring Watt’s steam engines, the formation of the novel, and the rise of lyric; 3) the 19th-century emergence of the modern disciplines and their partition into humanities/sciences/social sciences as embodied in Charles Darwin and Matthew Arnold; and 4) the 21st-century possibility of a new compatibility among the disciplines as they all remake themselves to face the same digital future.
ENGL-UA 800.003 | Reading Poems, Romantic to Modern | Peter Nicholls
The course will engage in close readings of a series of poems from the late eighteenth- to the late-twentieth century. We shall explore questions relating to genre (epic, lyric, dramatic monologue) and historical context, but our main focus will be on the practice of close reading and recitation, looking in detail at a range of poetic devices—rhyme, rhythm, meter, apostrophe, sound and image, for example—so as to develop an understanding of the particular kinds of attention poems seem to demand. Students will be expected to read a relatively small number of poems across the semester, but that reading will be an intensive one both in private study and in seminar discussion. Poems may be chosen from the works of William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Lorine Niedecker, Wallace Stevens, Jean Toomer, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, George Oppen, Derek Walcott, Denise Riley, and J. H. Prynne.
The course will be assessed by two 8pp. papers and students will be expected to make several oral presentations to the group.
ENGL-UA 962 | Postwar American Epics | Jo Hendin
An epic may convey a culture’s vision of its origins, mythic or real, and its values and aspirations. Postwar American epics offer tales of the formation and development of the United States across national, ethnic and racial borders that range from extreme violence to visions of mediation and transcendence, to twenty-first century encounters with the pervasive force of globalization. It is a fiction bent on exploring the forces shaping both sociopolitical concerns and the dynamics of personal life.The course will include selected short fiction and six revelatory epics: Blood Meridian: or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy, V. by Thomas Pynchon, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz, and Underworld by Don DeLillo. A selection of critical essays will supplement these primary sources and explore the impact of migration and globalization on the imagination of the American epic.
ENGL-UA 970 | Critical Ethnic Literary Studies | Pacharee Sudhinaraset
This course examines key concepts and debates that arise at the intersection of literary and ethnic studies. Central to this class is a consideration of how the study of literature contributes to analyses of racialized and gendered histories of migration, labor, war, incarceration, imperialism, and globalization. Possible texts include: Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ Spill: Scenes of Black Feminine Subjectivity; Kao Kalia Yang’s The Song Poet; Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees; Paul Beatty’s The Sellout; Joy Harjo’s How We Became Human or The Woman Who Fell from The Sky; Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street.
ENGL-UA 973 | Authorship | David Hoover
**will either be held in a computer lab or require students to bring personal laptops to class**
Although Roland Barthes famously proclaimed "The Death of the Author," in 1967, authors, authorship, authorial intention, and the questions surrounding them remain important to the study of literature. In this seminar, we will look back at Barthes's famous provocation, and at Foucault's "What is an Author?" and also at some more recent discussions of significance of authors, authorship, and authorial intention for literary studies. We will also study authorship from a more practical point of view by learning some computational tools for telling authors apart and learning something about their styles. We will applytools and methods of Digital Humanities to some real-world authorship attribution problems and to questions of authorial style. The course assumes no knowledge of computer programming, and we will not be writing programs, but we will be using a general purpose statistical analysis program and some tools written for Excel. You will need to be comfortable with computers, and you will need a relatively recent laptop with Excel installed. The other tools will be supplied, or are available on the Virtual Computer Lab website.
ENGL-UA 974 | Transatlantic Modernism | Peter Nicholls
This course explores the evolution of literary modernism in Britain, Ireland and the United States. We shall begin with fin-de-siècle writing by Joris-Karl Huysmans, W. B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde, and then move to consider some of the canonical figures associated with modern poetry and fiction. Authors to be studied will likely include Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Jean Toomer, Djuna Barnes, John Dos Passos and Samuel Beckett. The course is recommended as an advanced introduction to literary modernism but those already familiar with some of the texts to be studied will have plenty of scope to develop existing interests in new directions. The course will be assessed by two 10pp. papers and students will be expected to make several oral presentations to the group.
ENGL-UA 975 | City, Space, Literature | Ato Quayson
Using literature and film, this course will explore the representation of cities from a variety of perspectives. The focus will be thematic rather than chronological, but an attempt will also be made to trace the different ways in which cities have been represented from the late nineteenth century to recent times. Ideas of space, cosmopolitanism, and the urban will be explored through films such as The Bourne Identity and The Lunchbox, as well as in the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Mosley, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Mohsin Hamid, among others.
ENGL-UA 995 | CLS Lab | Nicholas Boggs
The purpose of this two (2) credit course is to bridge scholarly inquiry and professional training by providing students with an intensive introduction to the world of contemporary literature: its writers, its communities, and its professional organizations and institutions. It is built around the English Department’s Contemporary Literature Series (CLS), which brings noted authors who are on course syllabi that semester to the NYU campus (see www.nyu-cls.org). By facilitating student contact with authors , literary arts administrators, and others working in and on literary communities in New York City, CLS Lab prepares students to translate their interests and skills as English majors into the intellectual and professional contexts of the literary world in New York City and beyond. This course is open to all English majors and minors and the prerequisite is "ENGL-UA 101 Introduction to the Study of Literature" (formerly called "Literary Interpretation"). **STUDENTS MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE INSTRUCTOR OF THE COURSE IN PERSON OR VIA EMAIL TO ENROLL.**