FALL 2020 ENGLISH DEPARTMENT COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
50 Classical Mythology (4) (44093)
What did the Greeks and Romans really think about the gods? How did they envision their interactions with divinities and other powerful forces in their world? What did they imagine about humans whose exceptional powers elevated them to the special status of hero or heroine? We will examine how those questions were conveyed in the form of traditional stories in a variety of ancient sources, including literary ones, such as Homer's Odyssey, the dramas of Euripides, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. We will also examine how many of these myths were represented in Greek and Roman art. Cross-listed with Classics 50-10 (44052)
MW 3:00-4:15 Pavlock
54 Greek Tragedy (4) (44542)
This course will examine major works of Greek tragedy that continue to have a powerful impact on readers and audiences. The three great tragic playwrights adapted well known Greek myths for the plots of their plays that focus on the “downfall” of the tragic hero or heroine. We will explore how the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides raise important questions about human responsibility and explore tensions between personal and civic obligations through the conflicts experienced by the hero or heroine. The readings will include Aeschylus' great trilogy Oresteia on the disastrous return home of the hero Agamemnon and the dilemma of revenge faced by his son Orestes; Sophocles' powerful tragedy Ajax on the madness and death of the great Trojan War hero and Antigone on the determination of the heroine to bury her fallen brother Polyneices; and finally, Euripides' experiments with powerful female characters in Hippolytus and Medea. Cross-listed with Classics 54 (44543) and Theater 54 (44544)
MWF 10:45-11:35 Pavlock
60 Dramatic Action (4) (40105)
How plays are put together; how they work and what they accomplish. Examination of how plot, character, aural and visual elements of production combine to form a unified work across genre, styles and periods. Cross-listed with Theater 60 (40297)
MW 10:45-12:00 Ripa
90 Shakespeare's Teenagers (4) (42995)
There was no such thing as a teenager in Shakespeare's England; the word doesn't enter the English language until the 20th century. Yet present-day writers and filmmakers often cast Shakespeare’s young adults as teenaged characters, using adaptations to tell the story of today's teens coming of age. In this course, we’ll study several Shakespeare plays and current responses to them from a range of media: film, fiction, music and even YouTube and Twitter. Why do so many artists choose to represent present-day teen culture through Shakespeare? Can the notion of a “teen” protagonist productively be applied to Shakespeare’s plays?
Assignments will include traditional academic essays, blog-style pieces for a general audience, and the chance to create a modern Shakespeare adaptation of your own.
*This is a College of Arts and Sciences first-year seminar.
TR 10:45-12:00 Weissbourd
96 Women and Work in U.S. Literature (4) (42459)
When we think of women and work, we likely imagine more iconic images, such as Rosie the Riveter. However, Rosie only gives one story of women and work in the U.S. This introductory course explores literary and pop culture representations of working people, particularly women and families, in the U.S. context. Together, we will analyze how gender, race, and class shape experiences of work and labor through women writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Tillie Olsen, Lorraine Hansberry, and Helena Maria Viramontes. Additional texts include music and oral histories. Throughout the semester, we will cover a variety of topics, including coerced labor, social mobility, relationship dynamics, immigration, and domesticity. Cross-listed with WGSS 96 (44875)
TR 12:10-1:25 Sorensen
97 The Jane Austen Experience (4) (44740)
Jane Austen remains one of the most popular novelists of all time and her stories have been adapted perpetually to various formats, reaching new and different audiences through film, fan fiction, music, and internet series. We will study Austen’s work to consider her larger impact as a cultural figure. Students will have the opportunity to read Austen’s writing, consider her commentary on a developing society, and evaluate the ways in which her stories interact with complex cultural issues of her period—and our own. We will consistently ask three central questions: (1) how does Austen’s fiction evaluate the challenges of modernity? (2) how does her work inform notions of cultural change and transition? and (3) why has her work remained consistently popular, adaptable, and meaningful to new generations of readers and viewers. . Cross-listed with WGSS 97 (44741)
TR 9:20-10:35 Kramp
100 Working with Texts (4) (40106)
A course to help students to become, through intense practice, independent readers of literary and other kinds of texts; to discern and describe the devices and process by which texts establish meaning; to gain an awareness of the various methods and strategies for reading and interpreting texts; to construct and argue original interpretations; to examine and judge the interpretations of other readers; to write the interpretive essay that supports a distinct position on some literary topic of importance; and to learn to find and assimilate into their own writing appropriate information from university library resources. To be rostered as early as possible in the English major's program.
TR 10:45-12:00 Dominique
105 Intro to Latinx Literature and Culture (4) (44665)
This course provides an overview of the literary history and criticism of Latinx literature and media. Through a combination of critical and literary theory, we will focus on Latinx-centered texts including poetry, prose, film, and television which portray issues of migration/immigration, colonialism, history, race, and gender. We will also examine the role of literature in the development of Latinx Studies. Authors and scholars featured in the course include José Martí, Pura Belpré, Pedro Pietri, the Young Lords Party, Julia Alvarez, and Gloria Anzaldua. Some questions that will inform our readings of these texts: 1) How do Latinx writers incorporate and revise U.S. and Latin American literary traditions? 2) How does the organization of Latin@ literature present challenges to U.S. canon formation?
The course readings will consist of a combination of popular articles, speeches, poetry, fiction, and scholarly works. The readings are meant to guide students through a foundation of theory and research into areas of practice, and also raise issues regarding the “canon” and the “counter-canon.” Assignments include a short written analysis of a text (5 pages) and a longer, research project (8-10 pages) which can take the form of a research paper, teaching plan, or multimedia video. Student will also keep a service-learning journal from our interactions with local community organizations. The interactive format (lecture, small group discussion, in-class writing) of this course will also require students active participation. Cross-listed with LAS 105-10 (44666). Fulfills 20th c American and British requirement.
MW 12:10-1:25 Jimenez-Garcia
125 Heroes and Weirdos: British Literature I (4) (40107)
Since its beginnings, English literature has grappled with questions of national identity and belonging. What does it mean to belong to a particular culture? Who gets to be part of an “us,” and who gets labeled as an outsider? In this course, we will explore how some of the “heroes” of British literature (e.g. Shakespeare, Behn, Blake) use both exemplary and oddball characters to define (and sometimes push the boundaries of) an idealized national identity – alongside some “weirdo” lesser-known texts that may completely up-end your expectations of early British literature. Throughout, we’ll pay attention to the relevance of these earlier texts to our present-day understandings of culture, belonging and national identities. Fulfills British to 1660 or British 1660-1900 requirement.
TR 1:35-2:50 Weissbourd
127 Development of Theatre & Drama I (4) (43151)
Historical survey of western theatre and dramatic literature from their origins to the Renaissance. Cross-listed with Theatre 127 (43152)
TR 9:20-10:35 Hoelscher
142 Introduction to Writing Poetry (4) 10(42649) 11(42660) This poetry workshop is a craft course in which the first priority is the intensive study of versification and prosody. Through readings and discussions of canonical and contemporary poetry, as well as texts on the craft of poetry; through structured writing experiments and exercises; and through discussions and critiques of original work produced by class participants, the students in this class will seek familiarity and facility with the tools of writing poetry (in particular, rhythm and meter, sound, form, imagery, figurative language, and tone).
(10) MW 12:10-1:25 Watts, B. (11) MW 3:00-4:15 Watts, B.
144 Introduction to Short Fiction (4) (44081)
This course will provide an introduction to the craft of writing short fiction, focusing on the short-short story—also known as Flash Fiction and Surprise Fiction. Students will consider fundamental aspects of fiction and the relationship of narrative structure, style, and content, exploring these elements in their own work, and in assigned readings in order to develop an understanding of the range of possibilities open to the fiction writer. Readings will be drawn from contemporary global writers. The course is conducted as a workshop, in which students will have their own pieces of short fiction read and discussed in a supportive, respectful, yet challenging atmosphere.
R 1:35-4:15 Setton
196 Sexbots and Terminators: Cinematic Fantasies of the Intelligent Machine (4) (44736)
This course explores film and television dramas that imagine human relationships with robots and artificial intelligence. These speculative fictions imagine not just what humans might do with sentient machines, but what we might want from them: will we want our machines not merely to obey, but to love us? If their “feelings” are simulated, will we care? Why do films so often represent female robots as sexual partners? And why, in so many stories, are the robots trying to kill us? Ultimately, we will be asking what fictional robots reveal about human relationships: love, sex, exploitation and domination. This course will also ask you to examine your own relationships with artificially intelligent machines and virtual versions of self and others. Finally, as we examine these stories, we will be asking how they use the audio-visual language of film to build speculative worlds. Films and TV shows may include The Matrix, Blade Runner, Ex Machina, Her, Black Mirror and Westworld. Works by Sigmund Freud, Sherry Turkle, and Jessica Benjamin, and other writings about technology and contemporary society, will help to illuminate our uneasy relationship with ever more intelligent machines. Cross-listed with Film 196-10 (44737) and WGSS 196 (44738)
TR 3:00-4:15 Handler
301 Literature for the Adolescent (4-3) 10(44667) 11(44669)
The concept of childhood and adolescence has been the source of anxiety and contention for decades within Western culture. U.S. popular culture, in particular, demonstrates an intense preoccupation with the habits, dress, music, and reading materials of the nation’s youth after World War II. This course examines literature primarily for but sometimes about adolescents with attention to the political and social history of adolescence as a concept and a lived experience. In terms of the history of young adult literature and culture, readings will emphasize the 1960s into contemporary. This course will engage issues of race, class, and gender in terms of how young adult literature and scholarship in the area has evolved over time, and will feature a diverse, multi-ethnic list of young adult literature. The course will be conducted as a seminar and participation is crucial. Assignments will include a short close-reading assignment (5 pages), and a final research paper/project (8–10 pages). Writing Intensive. Department Approval Required. English Majors Only. Fulfills 20th c American and British requirement.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
El Bronx Remembered (specifically three short stories; see below) by Nicholasa Mohr
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
MW 3:00-4:15 Jimenez-Garcia
312 Feminist and Queer Theory (4-3) 10 (44082) 11(44083)
This course will focus on the different ways that theorists have examined race, gender and sexuality in feminist and queer theory. Beginning with the groundbreaking collection titled This Bridge Called My Back: Writing By Radical Women of Color, we will explore how this text first published in 1981 calls for a shift in feminist theory by addressing the multiple and intersecting forms of oppression that women of color experience. Reading work by essayists and poets from this anthology including Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Cherríe Moraga, Norma Alarcón, and Gloria Anzaldúa, we will analyze how these prominent authors importantly link gender, race, class, and sexuality in ways that continue to influence critical race theory, feminist theory, queer theory, and literary studies. With this text as a starting point, we will turn to other major work by Anzaldúa and Moraga to explore how insights offered in This Bridge are developed with greater force in longer works. Moving to a discussion of Black feminist theory, we will read Patricia Hill Collins’ thorough overview of major features of such theory and discuss Kimberlé W. Crenshaw’s and Dorothy Roberts’s contributions to critical race theory with a focus upon violence against women of color and reproductive rights. Concluding the first half of the semester with Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity, we will trace how writing by radical women of color in the 1980s and 1990s continues to influence recent feminist theory. Turning to queer theory in the second half of the semester, we begin by exploring how contemporary critics have returned to Foucauldian works with an eye toward how this influential theorist’s focus on the deployment of sexuality might be expanded and revised to address constructions of race. Building from theoretical engagement with Foucault’s understanding of biopower with particular attention to Ann Laura Stoler’s Race and the Education of Desire, we will read multiple recent queer theoretical texts that work with and against Foucault to forward a “queer of color critique.” Addressing José Esteban Muñoz’s Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics and Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, Roderick A. Ferguson’s Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique, and Juana María Rodríguez’s Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings and Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces, we will discuss their analyses of a variety of forms of queer cultural production that document multiple forms of oppression, but also offer visions of resistance to white supremacy and heteronormativity. To close the course, we will address David L. Eng’s critique of queer liberalism because of its focus on normative family structures and consumerism in contrast to his conceptualization of queer disaporas that mark radical forms of kinship beyond those promoted by neoliberalism.
MW 1:35-2:50 Foltz
331 Milton (4-3) 10(44711) 11(44712)
Why Milton? Why now? In this seminar, we’ll ask what the literature and politics of John Milton might offer our present moment. Milton wrote during the English Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration, a time of great political change and social unrest, and we will read his works with this context in mind. After we trace Milton’s early literary and political career through his lyric poetry and polemical prose—including pamphlets written in support of divorce (scandalous!), freedom from censorship (radical!), and killing the king (revolutionary!)—we will devote approximately half of the course to Paradise Lost, an epic that imagines the entirety of human and divine history in a gripping narrative of pride, temptation, and faith. We’ll compare Milton to a handful of his predecessors and contemporaries—women who tackled the same issues but have not received the same canonical attention—and we’ll pay particular attention to issues of religious liberty, political resistance and revolution, and gender and sexuality. Fulfills British to 1660 or British 1660-1900 requirement.
MW 10:45-12:00 Lay
377 American Romanticism (4-3) 10(44085) 11(44085)
Classic works of American literature such as Moby-Dick, Uncle Tom's Cabin, fiction by Edgar Allan Poe, and poetry by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson emerged within an aesthetic culture that valued strong emotional reactions and powerful expressions of an author's imagination. They were also written during a time of tremendous social upheaval that witnessed debates over slavery, women's rights, labor, and indigenous sovereignty. Our understanding of how nineteenth-century U.S. literature engaged with these issues has been expanded by other texts from the period, such as Frederick Douglass' and Harriet Jacobs' slave narratives and Lydia Mariah Child's historical novel about Native American life in the early colonies, Hobomok. Taken together, these texts demonstrate how aesthetics and politics came together in a transformative moment of U.S. history. Fullfills American to 1900 requirement.
TR 9:20-10:35 Whitley
391 Southsider: An Online News Source Celebrating Bethlehem's South Side Culture and Art (4-3) 10(43021) 11(44663)
Southsider (www.thesouthsider.org) is an on-line news source that celebrates the vibrant arts district by publishing reportage on arts programming and local artists on the South Side of Bethlehem. Students enrolled in this course will learn how to write about art and culture for general audiences and will publish their work on the website. In particular, students will compose reviews of theatrical performances, musical shows, films, and gallery openings. Students also may interview area artists, create articles about local arts organizations and/or artists, and create blogs for the site about on-going arts programming. In their writing for the site, students will receive intensive instruction on writing, editing, and revising material for the web publication. Additionally, local professional reporters will visit our class to share their insights into journalism focused on local and regional arts events and artists.
MW 9:20-10:35 Foltz
433 Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Middle Ages (3)(44662)
This course examines the strategies that a diverse group of medieval texts use to construct normative ideals of sex, gender, and sexuality and to imagine (and, often, simultaneously refuse) alternative possibilities. As part of the English department’s ongoing discussion about literature and social justice, we will pay particular attention to the ways that representations of marriage, virginity, romantic love, sexual transgression, erotic pleasure, and the body reflect philosophical, economic, and theological reflections on race, social hierarchy, national identity, and religion.
Because debates about gender and sexuality take place across a range of social and political institutions, course readings include legal statutes and cases, penitential manuals, and theological treatises alongside narrative texts in order to offer a nuanced account of the ways that gender and sexuality signify in the Middle Ages. Readings will include The Life of Christina Markyate, the Katherine Group, Marie de France’s Lais, selections from the Canterbury Tales and the Confessio Amantis, The Assembly of Ladies, and The Floure and the Leafe. To sharpen our understanding of what is at stake in any analysis of this historical archive, readings in feminist theory, queer theory, and critical race theory will inform our discussions. Department Approval Required.
TR 1:35-2:50 Edwards
442 Racial Thought in 18th Century British Literature (3) (44661) In separate American and British monographs, Katy Chiles and Roxann Wheeler have argued that, "Racial thought at the close of the eighteenth century differed radically from that of the nineteenth century, when the concept of race as a fixed biological category would emerge. Instead, many early Americans [and 18th-century Britons] thought that race was an exterior bodily trait, incrementally produced by environmental factors, and continuously subject to change."
This course explores the ways in which British writers captured the radical difference of 18th century racial thought in an assortment of plays, poetry, novels, short stories, slave and epistolary narratives. Using gender as a strategic narrative guide, we will trace some of the complexities associated with changes in racial thought as it develops from being a fluid concept to a fixed one. Along the way, we discuss how historical events such as the Mansfield Judgment, the abolition of the British slave trade, the Glorious Revolution, the Hardwicke Marriage Act and the Jewish Naturalization Bill affected representations of British men and women as well as the residents who are deliberately Othered within the nation (Negroes, slaves, Creoles, Nabobs, Jews, Irish). We will also read recent theories about gender and racial construction in the eighteenth century in order to probe an assortment of related questions: how do issues like marriage, libertinism, and sexual double standards influence 18th century racial thought? What roles do slavery and miscegenation in the colonies play in the establishment of racial thought in Britain? Is Jewishness a racialized identity in the 18th century? Is whiteness a fluid or fixed racial category? How does blackness function as a political tool?
Texts will include a variety of canonical and obscure texts including Behn's The Fair Jilt, The Adventure of the Black Lady and Oroonoko, selections from Dunton's Athenian Sport, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, The Woman of Colour, Edgeworth's Harrington, Equiano's Interesting Narrative, Macready's Irishman in London; or, the Happy African, and Day and Bicknell's "The Dying Negro." Department Approval Required.
TR 3:00-4:15 Dominique
477 Modernism, Mourning & Social Justice (3) (44725)
This seminar will explore major works of American literary modernism. We will consider how the formally experimental literature of the early 20th century enabled American novelists and poets to map the structures of domination distorting American life, including intensifying economic exploitation during a period of rapid industrialization, the pathologies of the racial order during the era of Jim Crow, and anxious efforts to reassert male dominance in response to rapid changes in the sex-gender system. We will devote attention to the emotional work performed by modernist poems and novels, as writers struggled to mourn for the violent and alienating aspects of modern life and to work through the effects of traumatic collective experience. We will explore the still-undervalued utopian dimension of modernist writing in the United States, analyzing the sometimes fragmentary efforts of poets and novelists to imagine freer, fuller and more equitable ways of life. We will consider why some writers respond to social injury and loss by withdrawing into despair, by scapegoating the most vulnerable members of the social order – or by participating in movements for social justice. We will read fiction by Cather, Dos Passos, Faulkner, Hemingway, Hurston, and Toomer and poems by Eliot, Frost, H.D. Hughes, and Williams. Because we will be considering the ways in which literary works embody intimate psychological responses to large-scale social processes, students will read works of psychoanalytic theory about mourning and trauma, complemented by critical and theoretical works modeling other modes of interpretation. Department Approval Required.
W 4:25-7:05 Moglen
485 Introduction to Writing Theory (2) (40108)
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a theoretical, historical, and disciplinary introduction to important issues in the teaching of college composition, and its goal is to support both your immediate and long-term development as a teacher/scholar. Together we’ll explore some of the myriad ways that writing can be taught, learned, and practiced while learning about the historical development, theoretical underpinnings, and ethical implications of these approaches. Some of our specific topics will include the history and development of the first-year composition course, the process and post-process movements, rhetorical approaches to teaching writing, teaching writing in the digital age, as well as cognitive, expressive, social constructionist, and social justice writing pedagogies. You’ll also have the opportunity to focus on your own professionalization: By the end of the semester, you should be able to place your individual pedagogical practices in the context of the larger debates that constitute composition studies, and you will begin to introduce your teaching philosophy and practice to potential and future colleagues. Department Approval Required.
M 1:35-2:50 Rollins
486 Teaching Comp: Practicum (1) (40109)
An introduction to teaching writing at Lehigh, this course includes bi-weekly discussion of practical issues and problems in the teaching of freshman composition. It is required of all new Teaching Fellows in the department. Department Approval Required.
WF 1:35-2:50 Rollins
496 Introduction to Graduate Studies (1) (42689)
This course will introduce students to the pragmatics of graduate school, from the research methods and tools that will inform the development of seminar papers to the expectations and values of our program and discipline. It is designed to support students as they navigate the first semester of graduate coursework, and to give them the opportunity to interact with multiple different faculty members. The course will meet every other week, beginning the first week of the semester, and will culminate in the development of a conference abstract and a preliminary reflection on the avenues for exploration that each student hopes to pursue while in the program. Department Approval Required.
F 12:10-1:25 Singh
497 The Environmental Imagination (3) (44733)
A recent book, The Invention of Nature, argues that Alexander Von Humboldt provides the categories and concepts that allow us to think about the natural world. If this is true, then humans are responsible for our attitudes and beliefs about nature. Another recent book on the politics of the Anthropocene urges us to take responsibility for the effects of our creations. In this course we will try to come to a better understanding both of how we arrived at our present ideas of nature and which ones help us act with social justice. We will read influential writers like Thoreau, Muir, Pinchot, Burroughs, Leopold, Ozeki, McKibben, and KIngsolver. In addition, I hope to find time for a trip along some local forest paths. In the end, students will have read and thought about the natural world in ways that enable us to live in harmony with the earth and the humans who inhabit it. This is a course for those who value natural places and want to write and read their way to a better understanding of the interconnections within the natural world. Cultivating our own environmental imagination is essential in our troubled times. Departmental Approval Required.
MW 12:10-1:25 Lotto
498 Decolonizing (Digital) Humanities (3) (44960)
This course introduces students to the emerging field of digital humanities scholarship with an emphasis on social justice-oriented projects and practices. The course will begin with a pair of foundational units that aim to define digital humanities as a field, and also to frame what’s at stake. What are the Humanities and why do they matter in the 21st century? How might the advent of digital humanities methods impact how we read and interpret literary texts? We’ll also explore a series of thematic clusters, including “Race, Digital Humanities and Digital Media,” “Resistant Networks,” “Archives, Editions, and Collections,” and “Text as Data.” Along the way, we’ll explore specific Digital Humanities projects that exemplify those areas, and play and learn with digital tools and do some basic coding using R and Python. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to collaborative, student-driven projects. No programming or web development experience is necessary, but a willingness to experiment and ‘break things’ is essential to the learning process envisioned in this course. Department Approval Required.
TR 10:45-12:00 Singh