Did you know… Employers in many diverse fields – including business, law, government, research, education, publishing, human services, public relations, culture/entertainment, and journalism – LOVE to hire English majors because of their ? ? ? ? ? ability to read and write effectively and articulately excellent verbal communication and listening skills capacity to think critically and creatively comprehensive knowledge of grammar and vocabulary ability to weigh values and present persuasive arguments PLUS, knowledge about literature allows for intelligent conversation at work, dinner, meetings and functions.
Go English Majors! In conjunction with UB’s “Finish in Four” Program, explore the resources of UB’s Discovery Seminar Program for a roster of faculty-led one-credit seminars that encourage you to explore a new topic or engage a whole area of study. Explore, Discover and Engage UB’s Discovery Seminar Program provides first and second-year students with the opportunity to engage with a distinguished faculty member around a thought-provoking and challenging topic in a small-class environment. Students who participate in one of these one-credit courses will have the opportunity to: ?
Explore a unique topic in a comfortable, small-group setting ? Engage with an outstanding faculty member who is passionate about the material as well as teaching undergraduates ? Discover new ideas ? Enhance abilities to think critically and communicate effectively with peers and faculty Read more about the program and the previous and upcoming offerings at academies. buffalo. edu/discoveryseminars. English Department Discovery Seminars for Spring 2014: UE 141: Section A (1 credit) “Open the book: Introducing Literary Studies” Tuesdays, 2:00-2:50, Reg. No. 18421.
Professor Barbara Bono Do you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a CEO—or, maybe, a political and policy leader? How about a creative writer, a novelist, a journalist, a publisher or an arts manager? A professor or a teacher? Do you like to read and write, to interpret fact and to tell stories? Then you should consider a major, a minor, or significant elective credit in UB’s nationally-ranked, award-winning English Department, where in addition to our wide roster of historical, generic and critical courses we offer a journalism certificate and a creative writing focus.
Every year we place our graduates in medical school (where they want strong humanities electives), law school (a classic target for English majors), in government (a recent graduate wrote speeches for the previous two governors), in journalism and publishing (another wrote scripts for Michel Moore and now writes for The Nation), in the arts, and in education. And every semester our c.
40 full-time faculty members (2 SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professors, 8 SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners for Excellence in Teaching, 3 Milton Plesur Student Teaching Award winners) and our advanced graduate students (on average 3 Graduate School Teaching Awards a year) offer some 60 or so mostly small- to mid-sized undergraduate courses on subjects like “Love in the Western World,” “Mythologies of the Americas,” “Shakespeare in Film,” “The Gothic,” “American Novel,” “Irish Literature and James Joyce,” “Literature of the African Diaspora,” “Feminist Theory,” “Creative Writing: Poetry,” “Ethics in Journalism,” and the renowned “Buffalo Film Seminars” (http://csac. buffalo.
edu/bfs. html ). Explore our Department on-line at http://english. buffalo. edu, especially those pages devoted to “Undergraduate” and—under “Current Courses”—to our famous Whole English Catalogue of detailed descriptions of past, present, and future offerings. And take this 1-credit exploratory course, where every other week Professors from the Department will drop by to talk about their specialty and their passions, while, in between, under the guidance of the organizing Professor—in this case Chancellor’s and Plesur Award winner Barbara Bono—we process, discuss, and apply what they’ve had to say. Open the book . . . .
UE 141: Section K (1 credit) “Nobel, Ig Nobel, and Everything in Between: Telling the Stories of Science, Medicine, and Technology” Thursdays, 10:00-10:50, Reg. No. 17858 Douglas Basford The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics went to a pair of expatriate Russian researchers whose isolation and characterization of the exciting new super-substance graphene began with their lab’s habitual.
Friday afternoon engagement with off-beat experiments: the decisive one that kicked off the research leading to the Nobel involved stripping away layers of graphite with Scotch tape. One of the two winners, Andre Geim, is also renowned for having magnetically levitated a frog (for which he won an “Ig Nobel Prize”) and for listing his favorite hamster as a co-author on one of his published papers.
Geim’s story almost writes itself, but science journalists and historians of science regularly grapple with complicated concepts, contentious politics, and the bugbear of scientific uncertainty in translating science, medicine, and technology for the public and even for specialist readers.
This seminar will explore a number of historical and recent episodes in scientific research, discerning through popular science writing, primary sources, and historical scholarship some crucial techniques for writing effectively about them, and culminating in students writing their own science stories on subjects of their own choosing. UE 141: Section L (1 credit) “Living Deliberately: Thoreau’s Walden and the Writings of American Transcendentalists” Monday, 11:00-11:50, Reg. No. 17863 Prentiss Clark What makes a human life significant? ethical? meaningful?
How might the natural world, personal experiences, and interactions with fellow persons instruct us, and what kinds of knowledge might we receive? Grounded in the writings of the American transcendentalists, this course is a broad investigation of the following topics: philosophies of life, the individual and society, humankind’s relations to the natural world, the concepts of knowledge and experience, and the ethical question, “How shall I live”?
Our investigations will build around a semester-long study of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (variously considered nature writing, escape literature, social critique, and spiritual autobiography, and noted for its influence on civil rights thinkers such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. ).
Along the way we will engage neighboring texts such as the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a selection from Margaret Fuller’s “The Great Lawsuit,” excerpts from Henry Bugbee (a 20th-century philosopher of the wilderness and exemplar of “the examined life”), and short lectures by psychologist and philosopher William James. Class participants will be asked to keep an ongoing Reading Journal in which they will informally respond to course texts and further pursue the topics and questions of interest to them.
This course welcomes students from all academic fields and emphasizes intellectual exploration and thoughtful self-expression. This class offers participants an opportunity to build critical reading, thinking, and communication skills in an informal and collegial setting. Similarly, as a discussion-based class this course will provide students with an opportunity to interact closely with — and to learn from — their peers.
Finally, students in this course will receive an introduction to some of the foundational and lastingly influential American literary texts, texts that speak to a wide range of local and global concerns. UE 141: Section M (1 credit) “Vampires and Zombies: Lifestyles of the Undead and (In)Famous. ”
Tuesdays, 2:00-2:50, Reg. No. 17834 John Browning The first part of this multidisciplinary course will follow the story of the vampire across time and culture, from its earliest beginnings, to Gothic literature, to contemporary popular culture and the modern phenomenon of self-identifying human “vampires. ” In the process, students will use literary texts, history, film, and animation to investigate how vampires have been used to negotiate fears ranging from mortality, immigration, and miscegenation to homophobia and AIDS.
The second part of the course will explore the zombie’s historical significance and representation across horror and fantasy texts as students engage in and apply scholarship from a variety of disciplines, including literary studies, cultural studies, film and media studies, race theory, history, Continued . .. anthropology, medicine, and economics.
In addition, an overview of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend (1954) and the zombie’s filmic progeny will help students to explore the zombie’s particular strains and narrative complexity, as well as its continuous hybridization by other, more non-traditional, genres and narrative forms. This seminar is bound to appeal to students from various disciplines and will accommodate a variety of tastes and interests.
In the course of the semester, students will be able to identify the main threads of the vampire’s and the zombie’s legacy in folklore, literary and filmic narratives, and in modern-day subcultures, using not only secondary texts by leading scholars in the field, but also primary texts, from reports detailing grave exhumations of “suspected vampires” in seventeenth century Europe and nineteenth century America to interviews with real-life vampires and recent news accounts of “zombie murders. ”
Students will finish the course with not only a firm grasp of the vampire’s cultural importance and versatility, but they will be able to map out the structural principia upon which modern zombies are generally defined based on Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend (1954) and the filmic work of George Romero and subsequent, related offshoots.
UE 141: Section N (1 credit) “Reading Freud: From Religion’s Illusions to Civilization’s Discontents” Fridays, 10:00-10:50, Reg. No. 17844 Rick Feero “One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be ‘happy’ is not included in the plan of ‘Creation. ‘” Sigmund Freud This seminar will focus on Freud’s The Future of and Illusion and Civilization and Its Discontents.
While Freud begins both by noting the source of humanity’s suffering in nature and civilization, the earlier text ends with him lamenting the notion of God as a father protecting helpless infants. Here, religion is a wish fulfilling illusion, evading attempts at proof, and destined to wither in the face of science, “our God Logos.
” However, Freud’s interpretation shifts, and he “[finds] a formulation” that does more “justice” to the role of religion than this “essentially negative valuation” : “while granting that [religion’s] power lies in the truth which it contains, [he shows] that that truth was not a material but a historical truth. ” Our goal will be to explore what Freud means by “historical truth” through a close reading of Civilization and Its Discontents, and to compare his analysis with the seemingly more generous views of William James and Carl Jung.
We’ll conclude our enquiry with selections from H. D. ’s Tribute to Freud, a text that in part traces the conflict between H. D. ’s mystical Christian beliefs and Freud’s atheism, enacting something of Jesus’s dictum to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
” This class is meant not only for those interested in the beginnings of psychoanalysis and its interpretation of religion, but for anyone who is interested in the ways this discourse both bears on the realm of personal experience and animates aspects of academic discourse.
It should appeal to students in a variety of disciplines, especially those that draw on the insights of Freud, Jung and James, but without necessarily spending time with their actual texts. Department of English ~ Spring 2014 Subject to change 193 207 207 207 221 225 241 242 251 252 252 253 253 258 271 273 281 Fundamentals of Journalism (JCP) Intro Writing Poetry/Fiction (CW) Intro Writing Poetry/Fiction (CW) Intro Writing Poetry/Fiction (CW) World Literature Medieval English Literature American Writers I American Writers II Short Fiction Poetry Poetry Novel Novel Mysteries
African American Literature Women Writers Special Topics: Pattern Poetry W (eve) T Th MWF T Th T Th MWF T Th MWF MWF T Th MWF MWF MWF T Th MWF MWF T Th 7:00 2:00 12:00 9:30 3:00 11:00 9:30 3:00 4:00 12:30 11:00 10:00 12:00 11:00 10:00 1:00 11:00 Galarneau McCaffery Hall Victor Manuratne Gutmann Godley Sylvester Hubbard McCaffery Algozin Spiegel Chaudron Schmid Young Zigon Ma 301 301 Criticism Criticism MWF T Th 11:00 9:30 Feero Ma 310 Shakespeare, Late Plays (E) *(Recitation: F @ 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00)
Milton (E) British Drama 18th Century Literature (E) Victorian Literature Studies in Irish Literature (B) American Literature to Civil War 19th Century U. S. Fiction The Novel in the U. S. Studies in African American Literature (B) Studies in U. S. Literature Studies in British & American Lit (B): University Honors Poetry Movements (CW) Queer Theory (B): University Honors Heaven, Hell & Judgment (E) National Cinemas Creative Writing Poetry Workshop (CW)
Creative Writing Fiction Workshop (CW) Writing Workshop: Spectrum Newspaper MW*F 9:00 Bono MWF T Th T Th T Th T Th MWF MWF MWF MWF T Th MWF T Th Tuesdays Mondays (eve) MW T Th Mondays (eve) Mondays 4:00 11:00 8:00 2:00 12:30 10:00 12:00 2:00 9:00 11:00 2:00 3:30 3:30 7:00 12:00 12:30 7:00 5:00 Eilenberg Alff Alff Brown Keane Dauber Dauber Daly Holstun Lam Hubbard Kim Dean Christian Spiegel Goldman Anastasopoulos Biehl 315 317 319A 322 331 333 335 338 341 348 349 362A 371 375 381 390 391 394 Continued… 398 399 399 400 407 418 434 438 480 Ethics in Journalism (JCP) Journalism (JCP) Journalism (JCP).
Department Honors: Cinematic Modernism Books of the Ancient Mayas (E) or (B) Topics in African American Literature/History (B) Advanced Creative Writing Poetry (CW) Film Directors (Off Campus @ Market Arcade Theatre) Creative Writing Capstone (CW) T Th Tuesdays (eve) Thursdays (eve) MWF T Th MWF Thursdays (eve) Tuesdays (eve) Wednesdays (eve) 11:00 7:00 7:00 1:00 9:30 1:00 7:00 7:00 7:00 Kleinberg-Biehl Andriatch.
Anzalone Solomon Tedlock Young Kim Jackson Anastasopoulos CREATIVE WRITING CERTIFICATE COURSES 207 207 207 Intro Writing Poetry/Fiction Intro Writing Poetry/Fiction Intro Writing Poetry/Fiction T Th MWF T Th 2:00 12:00 9:30 McCaffery Hall Victor 362A 390 391 434 Poetry Movements Creative Writing Poetry Workshop Creative Writing Fiction Workshop Advanced Creative Writing Poetry T Th T Th Mondays (eve)
Thursdays (eve) 3:30 12:30 7:00 7:00 Kim Goldman Anastasopoulos Kim (Pre-requisite course for the Creative Writing Certificate Program) JOURNALISM CERTIFICATE COURSES 193 Fundamentals of Journalism Wednesdays (eve) 7:00 Galarneau 394 394 398 399 399 399.
Writing Workshop (Spectrum Newspaper Writers) Writing Workshop (Spectrum Newspaper Photographers) Ethics in Journalism Journalism Journalism: Editing for the Conscientious Writer Journalism: Journalism in the Iphone age Mondays Mondays T Th Tuesdays (eve) Thursdays (eve) Monday (eve) 5:00 4:30 11:00 7:00 7:00 7:00 Biehl Biehl Biehl Andriatch Anzalone McShea (Pre-requisite course for Journalism Certificate Program).
Compilation of Required Courses for the English Major Spring 2014 Criticism 301 301 Criticism Criticism Feero Ma Earlier Literature 310 315 319A 375 407 Shakespeare, Late Plays Milton 18th Century Literature Heaven, Hell, and Judgment Books of the Ancient Mayas Bono.
Eilenberg Alff Christian Tedlock Breadth of Literary Study 331 341 371 407 418 Studies in Irish Literature Studies in African American Literature Queer Theory: University Honors Book of the Ancient Mayas African American Literature/History Keane Holstun Dean Tedlock Young Fundamentals of Journalism (pre-requisite course for the JCP) Andrew Galarneau, Wednesdays (eve) 7:00 – 9:40 Reg. No. 11329 This course will teach you to think, act and write like a journalist. The course is a gateway into the Journalism Certificate program and will provide an introduction to the basic principles of research, reporting and writing for print, broadcast and the web.
We will cover essential reporting tools (researching, interviewing, observing) and learn to write hard news stories, short features, blogs, TV broadcasts and reported opinion pieces. You may even write the same story for three different mediums. By the end of the semester, you will be able to produce a news story on deadline for print or web and develop news feature ideas and report and write them competently. If a big story breaks, prepare to cover it.
In the classroom, in addition to lectures, presentations, discussions and assignment reviews, students will do writing exercises, lots of writing exercises. Outside the classroom, students will cover assignments in the city. To be a good reporter you have to be informed about what’s happening in the world around you.
For this class, you have to read The New York Times and Buffalo News every day. Once a week you will have a brief news quiz on the big stories of the week. Journalism Certificate Course 193 English 207 is also a pre-requisite course for all subsequent creative writing workshops and the Creative Writing Certificate Curriculum.
207 Intro to Writing Poetry/Fiction – Three sections available: Professor Steve McCaffery T Th 2:00-3:20 Reg. No. 23638 Joseph Hall MWF 12:00-12:50 Reg. No. 19094 Divya Victor T Th 9:30-10:50 Reg. No. 20718 Through a series of linked exercises and related readings, ENG 207 will introduce students to fundamental elements of the craft of writing poetry and fiction.
We will study differing modes of narration (the benefits of using a 1st person or a 3rd person narrator when telling a story, or how an unreliable narrator is useful in the creation of plot). We will examine character development (why both “round” and “flat” characters are essential to any story), as well as narrative voice (creating “tone” and “mood” through description and exposition), and think about “minimal” and “maximal” plot developments.
We will consider the differences between closed and open forms of poetry. The use of sound and rhythm. We will try our hand at figurative language and consider how imagery is conveyed through our choice of words.
We will study prosody and the practice of the line. Selected readings will expose you to a variety of poetic forms, fictional styles and narrative models. Assigned exercises will give you the space to practice and experiment with unfamiliar forms. Students will also be given the opportunity to meet with visiting poets and fiction writers at Poetics Plus and Exhibit X readings on campus and in downtown Buffalo. It may come as no surprise that Nabokov also noted that he has “rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever published. ” This introductory course is designed to be the first step on the long journey of literary practice. CW Certificate Course.
Vladimir Nabokov once reflected that “a writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist. ” This introductory course is specifically designed for beginning writers who would like to take the first steps towards exploring the craft of poetry and fiction. Students will be introduced to the fundamental vocabulary and basic techniques of each genre.
Throughout the semester, the class will also be presented with a diverse group of readings to study and emulate in order to kindle our own imaginative strategies. No prior writing experience is necessary. 221 World Literature Salwatura Manuratne T Th 3:00 – 4:20 Reg. No. 24053 225 Medieval English Literature Sara Gutmann MWF 11:00 – 11:50 Reg.
No. 22780 Women in Asian Literature In Theri Gatha (songs by early Buddhist nuns in India) the nun Sumangalamata sings: “from the pestle/From my husband/ . . . And my pots and pans/ . . . From all these released am I. ” These early nuns sing of their freedom in visceral ways: freedom from grief, body, family, and work. We learn from them that they live in a world shaped, not only by their gender, but by class and caste differences. They speak of that rare freedom of the mind that we often associate with modern thinking, repeatedly singing of their own profound separation from everything that oppressed them.
There is no one way, we see, to be a woman even within one historical age or social milieu. From such pre-modern writings about womanhood to modern representations of living at the cross-roads of tradition and modernity, oppression and resistance, Asian literature consists of a rich tradition of writing by and about women in Asian countries and cultures.
This survey course in Asian Studies invites you to examine a range of literary and cinematic works to explore how religious/cultural ideas and material realities shape women’s identities in a variety of Asian contexts. The course will be organized around four modules: ideologies of women and/in the family, women and caste, women and class, and women and politics. It will focus on literary texts from Japan, China, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Palestine, and Lebanon that focus on women’s experiences and their place in society.
In addition, the course content will include cinematic works from Iran and India. The main genres covered in the course will be fiction, diaries/memoirs, written texts emerging from oral traditions, and cinema. Course requirements include active class participation, a short midterm paper, a longer researched paper at the end of the semester, class quizzes, graded online semi-formal discussions, and graded in-class student-led discussions. All texts will be in English and no prior knowledge about Asia is required.
What constituted the “world” in the medieval mind? This class will take an “ecological” approach to the literature of the medieval period by looking at how worlds were imagined and represented. The environments we will consider are expansive and local, familiar and dangerous, human and supernatural. We will begin our odyssey with the formation of a physical world, writ large in the biblical story of Genesis and on a smaller but still continental scale with excerpts from chronicle history.
Although we will continue to consider biblical narratives, since Christianity and faith were driving forces in the Middle Ages, we will also read of the pre-Christian “British” in Arthurian lore and the English folk depicted by Chaucer and Langland.
Then, moving from the “safety” of the physical and populated worlds, we will shift our gaze to spiritual worlds in the visionary narratives of The Dream of the Rood, an excerpt from Langland’s Piers Plowman, the ecstasies of Margery Kempe, as well as in the humorous Second Shepherd’s and Chester Noah’s Flood plays. After this midpoint of the semester, we move to even more uncertain territory in worlds decidedly nonhuman. We will look at Gower’s retelling of Ovidian myth and Chaucer’s “chick lit. ”
From animality we move to monstrosity with Beowulf, Marie de France’s tales of fairies and werewolves, and the strange
journeys of Arthurian knights. Having already broken boundaries and compressed time, the final worlds we will consider are the mysteries of the East and the morality play Mankind. 241 American Writers 1 James Godley T Th 9:30 – 10:50 Reg. No. 14335 Often without realizing it, when we identify ourselves as “Americans” we are laying claim to something— a shared history, a tradition, a set of core assumptions and beliefs–which seem to us to hold together in an imagined unity, literally a “united state. ”
Scratch the veneer a bit, and this supposed unity reveals a complex and discontinuous infrastructure, rife with historical tension, patterned as much out of dreams as reality.
Soon it becomes obvious that rather than giving us a stable sense of identity, “America” is an index of the way we are cut up and shaped from within by images and signs, some of which are brightly lit and all-too-familiar, others of which are aberrant, obscure, even perverse. If America is a kind of story, it might best be characterized as a ghost story. We Americans are its haunted, afflicted with its ideals and ideology, whether we know it or not. But every ghost had a life, once.
In this course we journey through the weird underside of American culture, from the fever-dreams of the Puritans to the utopic visions of the Spiritualists andTranscendentalists. We will investigate such American specters as the witches of Hawthorne’s horror The House of the Seven Gables, or the shellshocked characters of Ambrose Bierce’s bloody Civil War Stories, or the actual historical nightmare of slavery through Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Which horror is worse, the disaster of history or the disaster of fantasy? How are they intrinsically related? We will plumb the depths of the American unconscious in search of answers. 242 justice and literary production, economic and social collapse, political activism and revolt, as well as the aesthetics of violence in general and war in particular.
Our course’s organization along both chronological and conceptual lines will allow us to think through the social and historical contexts and frameworks of our readings, while also enabling us to ask whether or not these explanatory models do justice to the breadth and depth of the texts themselves. Our goal, in the end, will be to assemble our own critical models and frameworks that take into account such historical and social contexts, but also allow us to say something new about the examples of American writing we will be considering and the definitions and models of American-ness they offer.
These texts will include novels such as Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jean Toomer’s Cane, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, and Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of
Lot 49, poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Poud, and Alan Ginsberg, short stories and selections by Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Toni Morrison, as well as Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesmen. Students will be required to participate in class discussion and activities, take two exams, and write two, five-page papers throughout the course of the semester.
251 Short Fiction Professor Stacy Hubbard MWF 4:00 – 4:50 Reg. No. 24219 American Writers 2 Christopher Sylvester MWF 3:00 – 3:50 Reg. No. 11226 Our course will survey works of American literature from 1865 to the present. We will seek to answer questions about what it means to be an American, and to be an American writer, by investigating how this designation is defined and re-defined throughout a period of intense social, economic, demographic, and political upheaval.
In order to properly undertake this investigation, we will read a wide variety of novels, short stories, poems, and plays arranged chronologically, but also grouped by a number of concepts and issues that will repeat throughout the semester, such as: gender performance and sexual difference, questions and conflicts over race and ethnicity, Short stories are the 50-yard dashes, the balance beam back flips, the high wire acts of fiction—they depend upon economy, precision and power.
In this course, we’ll be reading the kind of stories that are hard to get out of your head after you encounter them: stories about murder, lust, religious ecstasy and office work, people in the throes of mortal terror and people fishing or going to the supermarket—everything from the mundane (made luminous or strange) to the improbable Continued . . . (brought close and made real).
We’ll also do a few readings about how short stories are put together, what makes them work or not, and how they relate to their social and historical contexts (discussions meant to enhance your experience as a reader, and to enrich your own practices if you are a fiction writer).
We’ll also watch two film adaptations of short stories (Smooth Talk, based on Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? ” and Everything Must Go, based on Raymond Carver’s “Why Don’t You Dance? ”) to see what happens when these tight little tales are expanded and visualized as feature-length films.
We’ll read stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Raymond Carver, Bharati Mukherjee, Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates, Jamaica Kincaid, Ha Jin, and others. This course requires no particular background—all are welcome: students looking for an elective or fulfilling a general education requirement, and prospective or declared English majors getting their feet wet in the field.
The course will help you to develop skills of closereading and critical writing and introduce you to elements of narrative form and style. Most importantly, it will expose you to a range of masterful writers whom you’ll want to read and reread for years to come. Requirements include regular attendance and active participation, two 5-7 page papers and a final project for which there will be several options (including some offbeat and creative ones). 252 Poetry Professor Steve McCaffery.
T Th 12:30 – 1:50 Reg. No. 23642 This course is designed to introduce students to the mechanics and forms of poetry: its four defined historic functions (to imitate, to teach, to express, to invent), its different partitions (genres) and how and why it differs from prose. We will consider a wide range of forms from the sixteenth century to the present and learn to analyze the structure of poems in detail.
The range of texts will include, among others, the sonnet, ode, elegy, pastoral and the more recent examples of concrete and sound poetry. The goals of the class are, among others, to assist students improve their reading skills, engage in class dynamic, compare and analyze texts in both their formal and historical contexts, and develop their communication skills in both written and oral form. Assignments include: reading aloud (the sound of poems is so important! ), periodic quizzes (largely on terminology), a mid-term exam, and a final 10-page paper.
Required texts: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, shorter 5th edition. Course Kit Recommended: M. H. Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms 252 Poetry Joseph Yearous-Algozin MWF 11:00 – 11:50 Reg. No. 20717 What is a poem? How are Shakespeare’s Sonnets anything like William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow”? How can the same word be used to describe both of these texts that are separated by hundreds of years and an ocean?
At the core of ENG 252 is this seemingly simple question: When we say that something is a poem, what do we mean? While each poet provides an answer in his or her own way, there must be characteristics that span centuries.
Accordingly, in this class we will immerse ourselves in the long tradition of English language poetry, so that we can begin to understand what about poetry has remained over centuries and what has fallen by the wayside. Not only will we encounter such figures as Shakespeare and Chaucer who have shaped this tradition, but poets like Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, whose work questions this very tradition in order to change it.
We will work together to sharpen our critical tools to engage and discuss each poet’s use of meter, rhyme, and genre, while looking at the historical contexts that shape this work, as well as the poet’s own Continued . . . statements on their poetry.
As a class we will develop methods for close readings and use them to write critically and formulate critical arguments based on historical evidence and poetic statements, as well as how to conduct appropriate secondary research. While the core texts are the starting point for our inquiries, it is our in-class discussions as we trace out connections and gaps between this wide range of texts that is the engine for this course.
At times, I will provide lectures and additional reading materials, but it is through our on-going examination of these texts as a community of scholars and readers that will allow us not only to approach poetry in this course, but look towards our own contemporary moment, as well.
The ultimate goal, then, for this course is that by the end of our time together, if someone asked you how Aram Saroyan’s single word, “lighght,” is a poem, while you might not have a ready answer, you will have the tools available for further investigation. 253 Novel Professor Alan Spiegel MWF 10:00 – 10:50 Reg. No. 19097 A selection.