Course Descriptions Fall 2013

 

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH BEFORE 1500

English 140A          Chaucer: Canterbury Tales           
Prof. Smith


Introductory study of Chaucer's language, versification, and historical and literary background, including analysis and discussion of his long major poem, Canterbury Tales.

English 146 The Matter of Britain: King Arthur, the Once and Future King
          Medieval Story Cycles and Collections           
Prof. Smith


King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table often constitute a modern person's first exposure to "medieval" culture; however, contemporary renderings of King Arthur are far different from their medieval predecessors. In this class, we will explore the origins of the Arthurian legend and the many political and artistic Arthurs invented by historians and poets in the Middle Ages. Our reading will begin in the 12th c. with Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-historical rendering of King Arthur in the Historia Regum Britanniae and end in the 15th c. with Sir Thomas Malory's romantic rendering of the king in his Le Morte D'Arthur. In between, we will be reading selections from or the entirety of every major Arthurian work written in medieval England, including Layamon's Brut, Wace's Roman de Brut, the Alliterative Morte Arthur, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Readings will include texts in Middle English and in translation. Major assignments include a Midterm, Final Exam, and Final Paper or Project. Classes will be a combination of lecture and discussion.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1500-1700

English 150A     Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays
Prof. Dickey


Intensive study of selected poems and representative comedies, histories, and tragedies through Hamlet.

English 150B      Shakespeare: Later Plays
    Prof. Watson


A study of Shakespeare works from 1604 onward, including Othello, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus and The Tempest.

English 151   Milton
Prof. Shuger

Milton is the last Renaissance poet; his poetry, the culmination of the rebirth of Antiquity, both Classical and Christian, that began in Italy some three centuries earlier. Yet, if heir to the ancient traditions, Milton is also harbinger of what the dollar bill (look in your wallet) calls Novus Ordo Seculorum, the New Order of the Ages. Of the perhaps sixty paintings that encircle the walls of the New York Public Library's reference room, hung in chronological order to compose a visual narrative of American history, two (the second and third) are of Milton. . . . The course will focus on the major poetry, especially Paradise Lost, but since Milton was a political thinker and a fairly important figure in the English Revolution, we will also read some of the key prose tracts, including his seminal defense of a free press. There will be two papers and ten quizzes, but neither midterm nor final.

English 166A    Colonial Beginnings of American Literature Prof. Colacurcio


Historical survey of American literatures of discovery and exploration, contact, and settlement, with emphasis on genres that express distinctive colonial identities, myths, and religious visions.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1700-1850

English 164B
Beauty, Justice, and Social Change: Imagining Aesthetic
and Political Transformation in Nineteenth-Century Britain
19th-Century Critical Prose
Prof. Bristow

English 164B focuses on a broad range of nineteenth-century writers who intervened in pressing debates about the need for art, beauty, and culture—as well as knowledge of political economy—in a society that encountered many obstacles as it sought to establish greater democratic freedoms. The class starts with Thomas Carlyle's skeptical comparison of a class-divided, industrialized Britain with the integrated life of a medieval monastery. The syllabus then looks at the Harriet Martineau's instructive stories about political economy before turning to John Stuart Mill's reflections on liberalism and women's rights. The class subsequently evaluates Mill's political writings with those of art theorist John Ruskin in Unto This Last (1860). The readings proceed to Matthew Arnold's demand in the 1860s for a type of "culture" that promises to uplift an ignorant society. The concluding weeks of the class examine the works of writers who had a strong commitment to the elevating experience of art in an ugly world. This part of the class focuses on Walter Pater's influential approach to medieval and early modern art in Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) before turning to William Morris's utopian narrative, News from Nowhere (1890), which explores a beautiful imaginary society in which no private property exists. Throughout the class, students will also have the opportunity to compare the works of several women writers (including Frances Power Cobbe, Mona Caird, and Eliza Lynn Linton) that discuss labor, social justice, fashion, cuisine, marriage, and the need to advance women in higher education.

English 164C.2
The Victorian Novel in the First-person
19th-Century Novel
Prof. Grossman


In this course we will read two famous novels of the Victorian period: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens's Bleak House. Both of these novels employ a first-person female narrator, and both represent historic formal experiments in literature. We will think about and analyze their form of fictional autobiography, and we will consider the histories relevant to it: of gender, of colonialism and race, of revolutions in communications and transport, and more.

English 165B
Secret Histories of Gender in the Eighteenth Century
Gender, Sexuality, and Body, 1700 to 1850
   Prof. Boone


Shocking revelations, coy suppressions, authorial gamesmanship: the secret history promises to tell all, and then it threatens further revelations in future publications. The genre of the secret history was wildly popular in the early eighteenth century as a means to circulate stories of political intrigue and romantic scandal; their popularity among readers helped construct notions of a private and public self. This course will examine the genre's titillating revelations and strategic withholdings in authors such as Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Leonora Sansay. We will also consider how later authors such as Muriel Spark and Sheila Heti play with features of the eighteenth-century secret history genre in their contemporary experiments with metafiction and memoir.

English 167B
American Fiction to 1900
Prof. Hyde

This course provides a survey of American fiction from transatlantic tales of seduction, revolution, and exile to postbellum plots of inheritance, passing, and reconciliation. Attending to the generic and material histories that linked literary experiments on both sides of the Atlantic—as well as formative anxieties about the cultural impoverishment of the nascent U.S. nation—the course will situate literary nationalism alongside competing aesthetics of cosmopolitanism, regionalism, and provinciality. The course will introduce the major movements of the period—the gothic, the historical novel, romance, and realism—asking students to investigate the importance of genre to the virtual communities constituted in fiction. Readings will include novels and short stories by Susanna Rowson, Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lydia Maria Child, Herman Melville, Edward Everett Hale, Henry James, Charles Chesnutt, and Mark Twain.

English 168
Major American Writers
   Prof. Johnson


Broad survey of representative American writers across several centuries, designed to give concise account of broad narrative of American literary development, from origins through 19th century. Includes mainly works that have traditionally been identified as American classics and asks both what makes American literature distinctive and what its relations are to other literatures in English.

LITERATURES IN ENGLISH 1850-PRESENT

English M102B Home and the World
Contemporary Asian American Literary Issues and Criticism
Prof. Cheung

This course examines the growing ethnic diversity and formal complexity in Asian American writing. Attempts to recover ethnic history are accompanied by ambivalence about static notions of race or ethnicity. Complicating the earlier impulse among Asian American writers to "claim America" or reclaim an Asian heritage is a sense of hybridity or diaspora. Issues explored include what constitutes family and whether home is a haven or a repressive environment; whether one should hold on to ethnic heritage or fully assimilate; obstacles that emerge on account of gender, class, or sexual orientation; interracial dynamics and the formation of ethnic or interethnic communities.

English M104A Early African American Literature Prof. Yarborough

Survey of African American literature from the 18th century to World War I, including oral and written forms (folktales, spirituals, sermons; fiction, poetry, essays). Authors covered include Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The class will focus both on the historical and cultural contexts for the literary works and also on strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.

English M104C African American Literature of 1960s and 1970s Prof. Mullen

Introductory survey of African American literary expression from late 1950s through 1970s. Topics include rise of Black Arts Movement of 1960s and emergence of black women's writing in early 1970s, with focus on authors such as Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, and Ernest Gaines.

English M105B Chicana/Chicano Literature from Mexican Revolution
to el Movimiento, 1920 to 1970s
Prof. Lopez

Chicana/Chicano literature from 1920s through Great Depression and World War II, ending with Chicana/ Chicano civil rights movement. Oral and written narratives by writers including Conrado Espinoza, Jovita González, Cleofas Jaramillo, Angelico Chávez, Mario Suárez, Oscar Acosta, and Evangelina Vigil.

English 164B Beauty, Justice, and Social Change: Imagining Aesthetic
and Political Transformation in Nineteenth-Century Britain
19th-Century Critical Prose
Prof. Bristow

English 164B focuses on a broad range of nineteenth-century writers who intervened in pressing debates about the need for art, beauty, and culture—as well as knowledge of political economy—in a society that encountered many obstacles as it sought to establish greater democratic freedoms. The class starts with Thomas Carlyle's skeptical comparison of a class-divided, industrialized Britain with the integrated life of a medieval monastery. The syllabus then looks at the Harriet Martineau's instructive stories about political economy before turning to John Stuart Mill's reflections on liberalism and women's rights. The class subsequently evaluates Mill's political writings with those of art theorist John Ruskin in Unto This Last (1860). The readings proceed to Matthew Arnold's demand in the 1860s for a type of "culture" that promises to uplift an ignorant society. The concluding weeks of the class examine the works of writers who had a strong commitment to the elevating experience of art in an ugly world. This part of the class focuses on Walter Pater's influential approach to medieval and early modern art in Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) before turning to William Morris's utopian narrative, News from Nowhere (1890), which explores a beautiful imaginary society in which no private property exists. Throughout the class, students will also have the opportunity to compare the works of several women writers (including Frances Power Cobbe, Mona Caird, and Eliza Lynn Linton) that discuss labor, social justice, fashion, cuisine, marriage, and the need to advance women in higher education.

English 164C.2 The Victorian Novel in the First-person
19th-Century Novel
Prof. Grossman

In this course we will read two famous novels of the Victorian period: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens's Bleak House. Both of these novels employ a first-person female narrator, and both represent historic formal experiments in literature. We will think about and analyze their form of fictional autobiography, and we will consider the histories relevant to it: of gender, of colonialism and race, of revolutions in communications and transport, and more.

English 167B
American Fiction to 1900
Prof. Hyde

This course provides a survey of American fiction from transatlantic tales of seduction, revolution, and exile to postbellum plots of inheritance, passing, and reconciliation. Attending to the generic and material histories that linked literary experiments on both sides of the Atlantic—as well as formative anxieties about the cultural impoverishment of the nascent U.S. nation—the course will situate literary nationalism alongside competing aesthetics of cosmopolitanism, regionalism, and provinciality. The course will introduce the major movements of the period—the gothic, the historical novel, romance, and realism—asking students to investigate the importance of genre to the virtual communities constituted in fiction. Readings will include novels and short stories by Susanna Rowson, Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lydia Maria Child, Herman Melville, Edward Everett Hale, Henry James, Charles Chesnutt, and Mark Twain.

English 168
Major American Writers
   Prof. Johnson


Broad survey of representative American writers across several centuries, designed to give concise account of broad narrative of American literary development, from origins through 19th century. Includes mainly works that have traditionally been identified as American classics and asks both what makes American literature distinctive and what its relations are to other literatures in English.

English 170A American Literature, 1865 to 1900 Prof. Dimuro

The course focuses primarily upon narrative fiction of various kinds, including the short story, novella, and the novel. We will focus on literary realism and naturalism in works written between Reconstruction and the onset of modern urban civilization. Readings include Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Charles W. Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs, Henry Blake Fuller's The Cliff-Dwellers, Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, tales by Henry James, and Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie, among other materials. Topics include narrative techniques, race and gender, historical versus fictional narrative, and the economic dimension of human value. Requirements include two or three papers and a comprehensive final examination.

English 173C The Postmodern Lyric
Contemporary American Poetry
Prof. Stefans


If a large part of "postmodernism" is characterized by the critique or deconstruction of the subject, then how could the lyric poem, that most subjective of literary genres — in which the "I" of the work most nearly approximates the "I" of the author — survive? But survive it has, along with many of the literary forms, such as the ballad and the sonnet, associated with lyric poetry. This class will examine seven books of poetry by younger writers working in the wake of postmodernism; perhaps these are "post-postmodern" writers, but as it's not quite clear what that means, and as many of these writers are working within the tradition of the "postmodern" rather than pretending there is (or was) no such thing, postmodern will do fine. Some techniques associated with the postmodern lyric include: appropriation of "found" language from a variety of sources (the dictionary, the internet) to examine subjectivity in its highly constructed or socialized nature; the transformation of traditional forms, such as the sonnet and ballad, and genres, such as the elegy or the blues, as an act of appropriation itself; "meta"-poetics, or poetry as gameplay, in which the poem seems to comment on its own status as a poem, highlighting the artifice and mechanics of its construction, often as a procedural poetics that work according to instructions or constraints; something like a "pop" poetics that overtly collapsed the distinction between high and low, permitting a variety of non-literary cultural references to permeate the poem; and finally, a "somatic" poetics that takes the central site of the lyric not the subjective "I" (which is to say, simply the mind) but the body itself (as material, as object) as the larger frame of contact of the mind with the world. Using the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, we'll examine several of the trends from the 20th century — New York School poetry, Beat poetry, Language poetry, feminist, post-colonial and multicultural poetics, Surrealism and other avant-gardes — that have informed the poetry of these 21st century writers. Poets to be covered include Ben Lerner, Harryette Mullen, Sharon Mesmer, Jennifer Moxley, Michael Robbins, Matthea Harvey, Ariana Reines, CA Conrad and Kate Durbin among others. At least one, if not more, poets from the Los Angeles area will visit the classroom for a reading and discussion.

English 174A American Fiction, 1900 to 1945
Prof. Allmendinger


The first half of the twentieth century was a transitional period in American literature. Writers, looking back nostalgically on the nation's rural, pre-industrial past, criticized many of the economic, political, and cultural changes that were occurring in modern society. The works in this course reveal how Americans responded to many of these tumultuous events, including the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, two world wars, growing urban development, and racial unrest. Authors covered in this course will include John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Nathanael West, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Raymond Chandler, and Pearl Buck. Requirements: one 7-10 page paper, in-class midterm and final.

English 174B
American Fiction since 1945
Prof. Huehls


This class examines the relationship between literature and politics in the United States since 1945. While exploring the fictional development of political themes throughout the second half of the twentieth century, we will also closely consider literary form's role in deploying these themes. By the end of class, students will have a comprehensive understanding of how innovations in literary form worked to make sense of conceptual changes occurring on both personal and global scales.

GENDER, RACE, ETHNICITY, DISABILITY, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES

English M102B Home and the World
Contemporary Asian American Literary Issues and Criticism
Prof. Cheung

This course examines the growing ethnic diversity and formal complexity in Asian American writing. Attempts to recover ethnic history are accompanied by ambivalence about static notions of race or ethnicity. Complicating the earlier impulse among Asian American writers to "claim America" or reclaim an Asian heritage is a sense of hybridity or diaspora. Issues explored include what constitutes family and whether home is a haven or a repressive environment; whether one should hold on to ethnic heritage or fully assimilate; obstacles that emerge on account of gender, class, or sexual orientation; interracial dynamics and the formation of ethnic or interethnic communities.

English M104A Early African American Literature Prof. Yarborough

Survey of African American literature from the 18th century to World War I, including oral and written forms (folktales, spirituals, sermons; fiction, poetry, essays). Authors covered include Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The class will focus both on the historical and cultural contexts for the literary works and also on strategies for engaging formal aspects of the assigned materials.

English M104C African American Literature of 1960s and 1970s Prof. Mullen

Introductory survey of African American literary expression from late 1950s through 1970s. Topics include rise of Black Arts Movement of 1960s and emergence of black women's writing in early 1970s, with focus on authors such as Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, and Ernest Gaines.

English M105B Chicana/Chicano Literature from Mexican Revolution
to el Movimiento, 1920 to 1970s
Prof. Lopez

Chicana/Chicano literature from 1920s through Great Depression and World War II, ending with Chicana/ Chicano civil rights movement. Oral and written narratives by writers including Conrado Espinoza, Jovita González, Cleofas Jaramillo, Angelico Chávez, Mario Suárez, Oscar Acosta, and Evangelina Vigil.

English M107A British Women Writing Dangerous Women
Studies in Women's Writing
Prof. Stephan

This course will examine how British women writers develop and construct complex— even transgressive—female characters throughout the long nineteenth century. In the various literatures of the period, concerns about women's changing roles in culture and society gave rise to a wide range of representations of evil and destructive women. While both male and female authors employed the figure of the dangerous woman, our study of novels, short stories, and poetry by women writers will reveal their unique engagement and experimentation with this trope. Authors considered will include (but will not be limited to) Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Vernon Lee, and Virginia Woolf.

English 108 Crossing Racial Boundaries in Post-Civil Rights Fiction and Film
Interracial Encounters
Prof. Streeter

This class looks at narratives depicting interracial relationships and mixed-race identities in the United States. We focus on the period between 1970, immediately after miscegenation laws were declared unconstitutional, through the 1990s, when social awareness about mixed-race became particularly widespread. Course materials include the novels Caucasia (Senna) and A Feather on the Breath of God (Nunez), and the memoir The Color of Water (McBride). The course concludes with materials published in the 21st century, including the short story collection Mixed (Prasad) and the study When Half is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities (Murphy-Shigematsu). The syllabus also includes critical essays, documentary shorts, and independent short films.

English 117 Literature of California and American West Prof. Cheung

This offering of English 117 focuses on interracial encounters in Asian American fiction set in California. We will look at our neighborhoods through the lens of people of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, and examine the alliances and cleavages in interracial communities.

English 165B Secret Histories of Gender in the Eighteenth Century
Gender, Sexuality, and Body, 1700 to 1850
Prof. Boone


Shocking revelations, coy suppressions, authorial gamesmanship: the secret history promises to tell all, and then it threatens further revelations in future publications. The genre of the secret history was wildly popular in the early eighteenth century as a means to circulate stories of political intrigue and romantic scandal; their popularity among readers helped construct notions of a private and public self. This course will examine the genre's titillating revelations and strategic withholdings in authors such as Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Leonora Sansay. We will also consider how later authors such as Muriel Spark and Sheila Heti play with features of the eighteenth-century secret history genre in their contemporary experiments with metafiction and memoir.

IMPERIAL, TRANSNATIONAL, AND POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES

English M105B Chicana/Chicano Literature from Mexican Revolution
to el Movimiento, 1920 to 1970s
Prof. Lopez

Chicana/Chicano literature from 1920s through Great Depression and World War II, ending with Chicana/ Chicano civil rights movement. Oral and written narratives by writers including Conrado Espinoza, Jovita González, Cleofas Jaramillo, Angelico Chávez, Mario Suárez, Oscar Acosta, and Evangelina Vigil.

English 131 Literary Transculturation in the Caribbean Contact Zone
Studies in Postcolonial Literatures
Prof. Sharpe

Contact zones are spaces of transculturation in which European culture shaped its colonies and the colonies left their imprint on European culture. Literary arts of the contact zone involve critique, collaboration, parody, and imagination. Through a reading of Caribbean literature alongside European works, this course examines the islands as both a real and imaginary space: an earthly paradise and nightmarish hell, a place inhabited by fairy spirits and gentle Amerindians as well as zombies and fierce cannibals. It also considers how the clash and collaboration of diverse cultures engendered new literary forms both in Britain and the Caribbean. Literary texts will include Shakespeare's The Tempest, Césaire's A Tempest, Behn's Oroonoko, Equiano's Interesting Narrative, Philips's Cambridge, Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, Cliff's Abeng, and poems by Edward Kamau Brathwaite and Olive Senior, among others.

English 133 Atlantic Slavery, Atlantic Freedom
Transatlantic Literatures and Cultures
Prof. Cohen

This course will introduce students to the literatures of slavery and antislavery in the Atlantic world, from the 18th century to the present. Our rubric will be the Atlantic Ocean, which we will consider as both a physical and imaginative space. The Atlantic was the stage for African slavery, a system that connected the peoples of four continents. On that stage, one of the major tragedies of Western history played out, in ways that continue to mark the world today. To understand this drama, we will read works from the Americas, Europe and Africa, the narratives of slaves, sailors, abolitionists, and twentieth and twenty-first-century authors seeking to understand the legacies of the first modern world system. Authors may include: Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, Mary Prince, Herman Melville, Aleksandr Pushkin, Prosper Mérimée, Michelle Cliff, Robert Hayden, M. NourbeSe Philips, Toni Morrison, and Marlon James.

English 166A Colonial Beginnings of American Literature Prof. Colacurcio


Historical survey of American literatures of discovery and exploration, contact, and settlement, with emphasis on genres that express distinctive colonial identities, myths, and religious visions.

GENRE STUDIES, INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, CRITICAL THEORY

English 113A History of English Language Prof. Minkova

This course surveys the most important changes in the history of the English language in relation to historical events, demographic shifts, and new cultural and literary contexts. Familiarity with some basic linguistic concepts and terminology is welcome, but not essential. We will look at language change on all levels: phonology, grammar, vocabulary. Special attention will be given to the language in the age of Chaucer and Elizabethan English and the differences between British and American English.

English 115D Detective Fiction
Prof. Allmendinger


In this course we will study the evolution of the detective genre and various related subgenres. We will begin by analyzing the British mystery tradition, exemplified by Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. We will contrast the British tradition with the hard-boiled American detective tradition (noir), reading works by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Walter Mosley. We will also consider how suspense and horror writing relates to the mystery-detection genre, examining writers such as Patricia Highsmith, Truman Capote, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Harris, and one local writer (to be chosen later) who will come speak to the class.

English 116A Experimenting through Simulation
Experimental Fiction
Prof. Pulizzi

Experimental literature and film often breaks with established genre conventions or with the reader's expectations of how the art work represents reality (as human senses perceive it). These two traits are closely intertwined, and in this course, we will examine how various literary and cinematic works break with generic conventions by also challenging the genre's ability to mimic reality. On the one hand novels and films simulate our experiences with textual or cinematic technologies, but on the other they also shape how we perceive an interact with the world around us. This feedback becomes apparent with the introduction of digital simulation technologies. To call is some literature or cinema experimental is also to say that it challenges the way we structure our world.

Readings will include works by Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Julio Cortázar, Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard, and Mark Z. Danielewski. Films will include Antonioni's Blow Up (1966), Nolan's Momento (2000), and the Wachowskis' The Matrix (1999).
English 117 Literature of California and American West Prof. Cheung

This offering of English 117 focuses on interracial encounters in Asian American fiction set in California. We will look at our neighborhoods through the lens of people of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, and examine the alliances and cleavages in interracial communities.

English 118A Science, Literature, and the Speculative Imagination, 1818-present
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature
Prof. Camara

This class explores the dynamic conversation between science and literature taking place in the nineteenth century and continuing through the present day. Although literary authors respond to scientific discoveries with their fictions, such works are not content to merely reiterate the findings of science. Rather, authors use scientific knowledge to speculate on the most extreme possibilities for the natural world, individual and collective human development, and the fate of biological life on Earth. We will also read scientific texts by natural historians, chemists, and physicists. In addition to enhancing our understanding of scientific theory, these texts allow us to question the role of literary aesthetics in scientific discourse. What, we will ask, is the relationship between literary and scientific creativity? Course readings tentatively include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Edwin Abbott's Flatland, and William Gibson's Neuromancer, alongside shorter works by Charles Darwin, Christina Rossetti, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Tom Stoppard, and Octavia Butler.

English 120 History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory Prof. Huehls


This class investigates the canonical texts grounding the history of aesthetics, critical theory, and interpretation from Greeks through 19th century. Readings include but are not limited to selections from Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Augustine, Sydney, Hume, Kant, and Hegel.

English 122 Keywords: Culture
Keywords in Theory
Prof. Dimuro

The late Marxist literary critic Raymond Williams noted that the concept of "culture" has a long etymological history of varied meanings across several European languages. As a result, he concludes that "culture" is one of the most complex words in the English language to define, even though its meaning is essential to the structure of several different academic disciplines. This course takes up the challenge of defining the meaning of this essential "keyword" in the lexicon of literary study and contemporary theoretical discourse. We will carefully consider the anthropological, sociological, ideological, and literary dimensions of culture within the context of modernity. Topics include the formation of residual, emerging, and dominant cultures; the concept of the "cultural work" literary texts perform; the origins of multiculturalism; the relationship among culture, politics, and ideology; and culture as a regulatory system of constraint and mobility. To pursue these topics in some depth, we will read Matthew Arnold's influential Culture and Anarchy, the literary criticism of T.S. Eliot, Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class, Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction, the anthropological essays of Clifford Geertz, Marx and Engels' The German Ideology, Sigmund Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, essays by Stephen Greenblatt and others. As we go along, we will read relevant literary works by Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather. The point of the course is to track the evolution of the meanings and uses of the concept of culture in the human sciences. Our goal is to develop a new critical framework to interpret literary texts in ways that broaden formalist analysis or "close reading". Requirements include two essays, quizzes on the reading material, various exercises, and a comprehensive final examination.

English 123 History, Time-telling, and Narrative
Theories of History and Historicism
Prof. Grossman


This course is about literature in relation to the various past ways in which people have conceptualized history. It is also about narrative in relation to the history of telling time. If in other courses you often productively situate literature in an historical context, in this course we will think about history as a possible historical context and theorize about it. If in many stories, time is often that in which plots unfold, the strange stories we will attend to here are explicitly about clocks and time itself. We will read literary theory about history and time. Our literature will begin after the first historical novel, written in 1814, likely pass through Dickens, and stretch to...now.

English 129
Crime, Mystery, Suspense
Topics in Genre Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Critical Theory
Prof. Seltzer
 
This course will look at a series of novels, and some films, in examining the strange attraction between everyday reports of violence and a modern world. Crime, mystery, and suspense are popular genres of a modern self-reporting world. The forms of art (literature and cinema) that show this lurid popularity can tell us a good deal about how we experience private and public life today. The focus will be primarily on the intersecting genres of mystery, crime, and suspense fiction. The challenge will be to read, or to look at, these fast-paced stories slowly and attentively. Readings may include novels by Agatha Christie, James M. Cain, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Highsmith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Max Brooks, and Tom McCarthy, among others, and related films. The course will require two 6-7 page papers, and the papers will require close reading and sustained interpretation. There may be a final exam. Attendance, participation, and on-time papers are required; no exceptions.
 
English 164B Beauty, Justice, and Social Change: Imagining Aesthetic
and Political Transformation in Nineteenth-Century Britain
19th-Century Critical Prose
Prof. Bristow

English 164B focuses on a broad range of nineteenth-century writers who intervened in pressing debates about the need for art, beauty, and culture—as well as knowledge of political economy—in a society that encountered many obstacles as it sought to establish greater democratic freedoms. The class starts with Thomas Carlyle's skeptical comparison of a class-divided, industrialized Britain with the integrated life of a medieval monastery. The syllabus then looks at the Harriet Martineau's instructive stories about political economy before turning to John Stuart Mill's reflections on liberalism and women's rights. The class subsequently evaluates Mill's political writings with those of art theorist John Ruskin in Unto This Last (1860). The readings proceed to Matthew Arnold's demand in the 1860s for a type of "culture" that promises to uplift an ignorant society. The concluding weeks of the class examine the works of writers who had a strong commitment to the elevating experience of art in an ugly world. This part of the class focuses on Walter Pater's influential approach to medieval and early modern art in Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) before turning to William Morris's utopian narrative, News from Nowhere (1890), which explores a beautiful imaginary society in which no private property exists. Throughout the class, students will also have the opportunity to compare the works of several women writers (including Frances Power Cobbe, Mona Caird, and Eliza Lynn Linton) that discuss labor, social justice, fashion, cuisine, marriage, and the need to advance women in higher education.

English 164C.2 The Victorian Novel in the First-person
19th-Century Novel
Prof. Grossman

In this course we will read two famous novels of the Victorian period: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens's Bleak House. Both of these novels employ a first-person female narrator, and both represent historic formal experiments in literature. We will think about and analyze their form of fictional autobiography, and we will consider the histories relevant to it: of gender, of colonialism and race, of revolutions in communications and transport, and more.

English 167B
American Fiction to 1900
Prof. Hyde

This course provides a survey of American fiction from transatlantic tales of seduction, revolution, and exile to postbellum plots of inheritance, passing, and reconciliation. Attending to the generic and material histories that linked literary experiments on both sides of the Atlantic—as well as formative anxieties about the cultural impoverishment of the nascent U.S. nation—the course will situate literary nationalism alongside competing aesthetics of cosmopolitanism, regionalism, and provinciality. The course will introduce the major movements of the period—the gothic, the historical novel, romance, and realism—asking students to investigate the importance of genre to the virtual communities constituted in fiction. Readings will include novels and short stories by Susanna Rowson, Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lydia Maria Child, Herman Melville, Edward Everett Hale, Henry James, Charles Chesnutt, and Mark Twain.
English 173C The Postmodern Lyric
Contemporary American Poetry
Prof. Stefans


If a large part of "postmodernism" is characterized by the critique or deconstruction of the subject, then how could the lyric poem, that most subjective of literary genres — in which the "I" of the work most nearly approximates the "I" of the author — survive? But survive it has, along with many of the literary forms, such as the ballad and the sonnet, associated with lyric poetry. This class will examine seven books of poetry by younger writers working in the wake of postmodernism; perhaps these are "post-postmodern" writers, but as it's not quite clear what that means, and as many of these writers are working within the tradition of the "postmodern" rather than pretending there is (or was) no such thing, postmodern will do fine. Some techniques associated with the postmodern lyric include: appropriation of "found" language from a variety of sources (the dictionary, the internet) to examine subjectivity in its highly constructed or socialized nature; the transformation of traditional forms, such as the sonnet and ballad, and genres, such as the elegy or the blues, as an act of appropriation itself; "meta"-poetics, or poetry as gameplay, in which the poem seems to comment on its own status as a poem, highlighting the artifice and mechanics of its construction, often as a procedural poetics that work according to instructions or constraints; something like a "pop" poetics that overtly collapsed the distinction between high and low, permitting a variety of non-literary cultural references to permeate the poem; and finally, a "somatic" poetics that takes the central site of the lyric not the subjective "I" (which is to say, simply the mind) but the body itself (as material, as object) as the larger frame of contact of the mind with the world. Using the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, we'll examine several of the trends from the 20th century — New York School poetry, Beat poetry, Language poetry, feminist, post-colonial and multicultural poetics, Surrealism and other avant-gardes — that have informed the poetry of these 21st century writers. Poets to be covered include Ben Lerner, Harryette Mullen, Sharon Mesmer, Jennifer Moxley, Michael Robbins, Matthea Harvey, Ariana Reines, CA Conrad and Kate Durbin among others. At least one, if not more, poets from the Los Angeles area will visit the classroom for a reading and discussion.

English 174A American Fiction, 1900 to 1945
Prof. Allmendinger


The first half of the twentieth century was a transitional period in American literature. Writers, looking back nostalgically on the nation's rural, pre-industrial past, criticized many of the economic, political, and cultural changes that were occurring in modern society. The works in this course reveal how Americans responded to many of these tumultuous events, including the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, two world wars, growing urban development, and racial unrest. Authors covered in this course will include John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Nathanael West, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Raymond Chandler, and Pearl Buck. Requirements: one 7-10 page paper, in-class midterm and final.

English 174B
American Fiction since 1945
Prof. Huehls


This class examines the relationship between literature and politics in the United States since 1945. While exploring the fictional development of political themes throughout the second half of the twentieth century, we will also closely consider literary form's role in deploying these themes. By the end of class, students will have a comprehensive understanding of how innovations in literary form worked to make sense of conceptual changes occurring on both personal and global scales.


CREATIVE WRITING

Admission to all Creative Writing Workshops by application only. Applicants must have completed English Composition 3 and English 4W or 4HW to be eligible. Applicants who have not met these requirements by Fall 2013 will NOT be considered for any workshops.

English 136.1 Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Mullen


Applications are due Friday, September 20th by 4pm and earlier submissions will have priority.

Course description: In this creative writing workshop, students must write original poetry and submit multiple copies of their drafts for class discussion. Each student is also required to contribute constructive written and oral feedback to fellow writers, and to make an oral presentation on the work of a published poet. Criteria for grading include regular and punctual attendance and completion of assignments, participation in discussion with respectful critique of fellow writers, as well as a final portfolio of revised poems. Enrollment is by instructor consent.

To apply for enrollment, please submit five (5) poems along with a brief statement about your interest in reading and writing poetry and your previous experience in literature and creative writing courses. Please include your student identification number and e-mail address. Please deliver a print copy to the English Department Office (149 Humanities Bldg.) and also send an electronic version to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Students on the wait list should attend the first class meeting for a chance to claim any spaces that open up.

English 136.2 Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Stefans

This class focuses on developing your own distinctive idiom for writing poems as well as exploring, through exercises in formal and procedural writing, new avenues to pursue. You will be asked to keep a journal of your writing ideas — your own "poetics" — as well as submit, by course's end, a portfolio of your writing.

Along with basic workshop activities — largely verbal and written critique of the writing of your peers and the regular submission of work — you will be asked to "adopt" a poet (one who has at least a few books and a substantial reputation) and give a presentation on their work at some point in the quarter.

Applicants to this class should send 5-7 pages of poetry (set in either 10 pt or 12 pt, one poem per page) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as well as submit a hard copy of the work to the English Department.

Please include a cover letter describing your previous experience in writing poetry, your favorite poets or books of poems, what it is you think you do (or like to do) in poetry, and anything else you think is relevant to a course like this. Don't forget to include your email address, student ID number, your year and major at the head of the cover letter.

If you are applying to another CW class, please let me know that as well (you can only take one CW class per quarter).

Submissions are due Friday, September 20th by 4 pm. I'll post a list of accepted students (with a wait list) by the following Tuesday.

English 137.1 Creative Writing: Short Story
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Huneven

This class will be an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short fiction. We will consider the short story form, studying one great short story weekly, which the students will be expected to read two to three times in an effort to understand its tricks and mechanics. Students will be asked to read intensively and to reread, to write in-class exercises and homework assignments (which will be read aloud in class), and to complete a short story and a longer story in the course of our ten weeks together. Students should expect to write daily.

To be considered for the class, please submit six to ten pages of your fiction and tell me what workshops you've taken in the past and your present class standing (sophomore, junior etc.). Also, please list your three favorite short stories and their authors. Mention the book you're reading right now.

DEADLINE: September 9th via email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it – Be sure to put in the subject line "English 137.1."

Please be sure you're available the following dates to attend readings by fiction writers. ATTENDANCE AT THESE EVENTS WILL BE MANDATORY.

October 10th evening
October 14th 3pm
October 29th evening
November 12th evening
December 2nd evening
December 10th evening

English 137.2 Creative Writing: Short Story
Creative Writing Workshop
Prof. Simpson

This class will be an intensive workshop on the reading and writing of short fiction. We will consider the short story form, studying one great short story weekly, which the students will be expected to read two to three times in an effort to understand its tricks and mechanics. Students will be asked to read intensively and to reread, to write in-class exercises and homework assignments (which will be read aloud in class), and to complete a short story and a longer story in the course of our ten weeks together. Students should expect to write daily.

To be considered for the class, please submit six to ten pages of your fiction and tell me what workshops you've taken in the past and your present class standing (sophomore, junior etc.). Also, please list your three favorite short stories and their authors. Mention the book you're reading right now.

DEADLINE: September 9th via email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it – Be sure to put in the subject line "English 137.2."

Please be sure you're available the following dates to attend readings by fiction writers. ATTENDANCE AT THESE EVENTS WILL BE MANDATORY.

October 10th evening
October 14th 3pm
October 29th evening
November 12th evening
December 2nd evening
December 10th evening

English 138 Talk Show: Exploring Adaptation
Topics in Creative Writing
Prof. Franco


This course combines several disciplines in an exploration of the adaptation process. Students will delve into fiction, non-fiction, creative writing, filming, performing and editing to study the convergence of imagination and reality. This will be a collaborative course and potential students should be open to their classmates' contributions. In every class each student will be asked to adapt a theme from the list of required texts, and present it in the form of a talk show leading to an open discussion.

Students will be graded on their participation throughout the entirety of the process: interpretation of the literature, creative writing, filming, performing, and editing, as well as mandatory attendance.

To Apply: Students interested must submit a 1 page comedy monologue about "Contemporary Culture." The monologue may be on any theme, i.e. political, pop culture, a movie, etc. Submissions should be addressed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and include a contact e-mail address. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, September 10th. Accepted students will be notified via e-mail no later than Sunday, September 29th. First class meets Monday morning, September 30th.

Required Texts:
1. American Nerd: The Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent
2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
3. Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell
4. Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce: by Albert Goldman and Lawrence Schiller (Jan 1, 1992)
5. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood by Peter Biskind
6. Zeroville by Steve Erickson
7. Concrete Comedy: An Alternative History of Twentieth-Century Comedy by David Robbins
8. The LAST PICTURE SHOW: A Novel by Larry McMurtry
9. Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
10. The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez by Philip Carlo
11. Monster: The Autobiography of an LA Gang Member by Sanyika Shakur, aka Monster Kody Scott

SENIOR ENGLISH CAPSTONES/SEMINARS

English 181B Asceticism
Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies
Prof. Kaufman

This course will examine key texts of asceticism, predominantly but not exclusively in the Christian tradition, from the sayings of the Desert Fathers to Medieval women mystics, up to Weber on Protestantism and Foucault on Ancient askesis, with literary works by Melville and Kafka, and if time permits some of the writings of Simone Weil.

English 184.1 The Poetry of London, 1870-1914
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Bristow

Capstone Seminar

This research-led seminar focuses on the strong interest that late nineteenth-century British poets expressed in the inspiring and often overwhelming experience of London: the largest metropolis in a bustling imperial world. The seminar, which will combine the use of electronic and print media, aims to provide students with the opportunity to discover different kinds of information that throws light on the primary sources. The class will begin by looking closely at the contents of one of the first poetry anthologies exclusively devoted to this vast city: W.E. Henley's beautifully illustrated A London Garland (1895), which gathers poems from the time of Chaucer to the late Victorian age. Thereafter, we will concentrate our inquiries on three noteworthy collections: James Thomson ("B.V."), The City of Dreadful Night and Other Poems (1870, revised 1874); Amy Levy, A London Plane-Tree and Other Verse (1889); and Arthur Symons, London Nights (1896). The syllabus will also include selected poems by Thomas Hardy, Alice Meynell, John Davidson, and several members of The Rhymers' Club. All of these writings illuminate developments in aestheticism and literary Decadence: key movements in literary history before the advent of modernism.

English 184.2 Documenting LA: Oral Histories,
Podcasting and the Future of the Archive
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Lopez

Capstone Seminar

This capstone seminar begins with a study of oral history as a genre of Chicano and Latino literature and culminates with the production of a podcast that will be publicly distributed as part of a new series from UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center. Who collects oral histories? Whose stories are told? How are they stored and who hears them? Why are they literary? We will consider these questions and more before students turn to producing their own oral histories. We will study contemporary, LA-based Chicano writers, conduct oral histories with them, and then edit those interviews into one audio and one video podcast. We will think about podcasting as a storytelling medium as well as the difference between audio, video, and text-based stories. We will also work with the CSRC library to process and store the material students collect. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. All equipment and training will be provided in-class; students will gain valuable, broadly transferable skills as archivists, community historians, as well as in the basics of digital editing and producing.

English 184.3 Stories Our Ancestors Tell:
History and Memory in Women's Poetry
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Rowe

Capstone Seminar

In autobiographical writings, interviews, theoretical essays, and poetry by (primarily) American 20th-C. authors such as Anzaldúa, Atwood, Cervantes, De Leon, Harjo, Klepfisz, Lorde, Majah, McElroy, Mirikitani, Mora, Plath, Rich, Rose, Rukeyser, Silko, Tapahonso, Thúy, Wong, and Walker (Margaret and Alice), women speak of growing up replete with memories, ancestral echoes, and resonant maternal voices. Each poet connects the present with the past, often by hearing stories from grandmothers and mothers who tell a collective history of family, homeland, and spiritual beliefs. By heeding truths gleaned from an ancestral past, each woman comes to know her "self" by infusing poetry with a unique vision and voice that makes lives old and new into poetic memoirs. Each student adopts a poet/poems as the basis for intensive study and class presentation. Students create portfolios and a capstone critical paper or creative project.

English 184.4 Transcendentalism: Experiments in Writing & Living
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Cohen

Capstone Seminar

Transcendentalism was a philosophical, religious, literary, and social movement that began in the early nineteenth century and lasted until the American Civil War. It emerged from a set of international controversies about divinity and the natural world, and eventually became a full-scale effort to reform humanity. In the U.S., the Transcendentalist movement coincided with the flowering of literary culture (much of what we now consider "classic" American literature—Walden, Leaves of Grass, Moby Dick—came out of this period) and the proliferation of reform movements, including antislavery, utopian socialism, environmentalism, and women's rights. We will study Transcendentalism as a set of interrelated projects, including philosophical and religious inquiry, social reform, and literature, that seek to create new forms of expression and new ways of being in the world. Authors may include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, and Louisa May Alcott.

English 184.5 Modern American Song
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Goodwin

Capstone Seminar

The interdisciplinary seminar "Modern American Song" involves a range of American literature and music, from canonical poetry and modern fiction to blues and folk traditions and to Broadway and popular song.

The literature for this seminar includes work by Walt Whitman and Wallace Stevens, Beat poetry and prose, an August Wilson drama, and fiction by Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. Among the lyricists and composers we consider are Andy Razaf, Dorothy Fields, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Lorenz Hart, Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, and Bob Dylan.

The seminar's approach to this material is based in ideas of performance, tradition, adaptation, and improvisation and in contexts of folklore, African-American heritage, and the music culture industry. Readings on these ideas and contexts are assigned from articles by Victor Turner, Clifford Geertz, Susan McClary, LeRoi Jones, Albert Murray, Angela Davis, Gerald Early, and others.

The playlist of music for the course includes, among many performing artists, the vocalists Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Diana Krall and the singer songwriters Woody Gutherie and Bob Dylan.

English 184.6 Speculative Asian American Fiction
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Ling

Capstone Seminar

This seminar examines a range of Asian American literary texts—novels and short stories—under the general rubric of speculative fiction, a generic category derivative from science fiction. We will read works from both genres, exploring their representational bents, stylistic features, and ambiguous boundaries, as a way of making sense of the nature and function of the speculative imagination in Asian American prose narrative. Course requirements include one formal oral report (15%), one take-home mid-term examination (30%), and a 13-page course paper (55%).

English 184.7 Rebels and Reactionaries:
Female Mystics and the Late Medieval Church

Capstone Seminar
Prof. Thomas

Capstone Seminar

The generic category of female "mystical" writing offers a space for thinking through the ever changing relationship between the church and the female individual, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, between rebellion and conformity. Ranging from the Vita of the runaway bride Christina of Markyate to the trials of the beguine Marguerite Porete to the travels of the itinerant wife Margery Kempe, this seminar focuses on the ways in which women representative of the so-called medieval "mystical" tradition shaped the norms of the medieval Church by rebelling against and at the same time conforming to them. We will close read female mystical texts alongside relevant trial records, itineraries, maps, statutes as well as other ecclesiastical documents on issues from virginity to marriage, from travel to enclosure, from vernacular writing to preaching. Questions for discussion include: How did women find agency within ecclesiastical norms designed to control their lives? To what extent did female mystical writing, complement, challenge, and even co-produce late medieval orthodoxy? The course is concerned with literary and conceptual topics that contemporaneous readers would themselves have addressed, along with the vantage point of the reader today.

Enrollment by instructor consent only. E-mail Arvind Thomas ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) with a short note on why you are interested in taking the course and how it connects with the courses you have taken thus far and the work you intend to do in the future.

English 184.8 Literary Life
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Simpson

Capstone Seminar

For this capstone seminar, we'll consider the discourse and practice of leading a contemporary literary life. We'll read the works of several contemporary fiction writers – Allan Gurganus's Local Souls, Ayana Mathis's Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Dana Spiotta's Stone Arabia. We'll also consider other kinds of discourse: the critical (Elaine Blair) and the biographical (Scott B,) and the update (Dracula.) We'll read these authors' work and meet them and hear them read and talk.

Students will be required to attend the Hammer Museum's "Our Favorite Writers" series on the evenings of the following dates: October 10, October 29, November 12, December 2, and December 10.

English 184.9 Spiritualism in Nineteenth Century American Literature
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Finley

Capstone Seminar

This capstone seminar will focus on the rise of Spiritualism in mid-nineteenth century America, its prehistory, and its influence on the late nineteenth century occult resurgence. Spiritualism began when two young girls communicated with the spirit of a peddler in their New York home; soon thereafter, the whole country became infected with a mania for talking to the dead. Major writers such as Melville, Hawthorne, and James explore the claims of the Spiritualists via fiction, while Emerson dismisses the trend in his essay, "Demonology." We will read the popular, pro-Spiritualist novels of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Paschal Beverly Randolph's occultist critique of the Spiritualists, and Pauline Hopkins' ode to "the unclassified residuum" of occult phenomena, Of One Blood. We will also consider the mystical writings of Swedenborg and the American seer, Andrew Jackson Davis, as well as Poe's writings on mesmerism, as important antecedents to this popular American religion.

There are a great many options for this capstone seminar's culminating project, although an individual author focus is encouraged. The print culture spawned by Spiritualism, such as the magazines The Spiritual Telegraph and Banner of Light, as well as the appearance of channeled texts by long-dead icons, would also be an appropriate site for further research. The course is rooted in questions of epistemology, nineteenth century definitions of science, and the history of American religion, but throughout we will pay close attention to race, class, gender, and sexuality, and how these embodied conditions exist in tension with the spirit. Students are expected to share their culminating project with the class, even if it takes the form of a research paper; artistic, creative, multimedia and/or web-based projects are welcome.

English 184.10 The Literature of the American Civil War
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Johnson

Capstone Seminar

This seminar will examine literature produced during and shortly after the Civil War in order to examine how Americans responded to and wrote about the internecine struggle. Poems and short pieces written by a wide range of individuals—black and white, male and female, old and young—appeared in every issue of periodicals devoted to news and literature published during the war years. Soldiers produced accounts of their experiences in letters and reminiscences during and after the war, most regiments created official histories to record their exploits for posterity, and major poets like Walt Whitman and Herman Melville produced books dedicated to documenting and examining the struggle. We will focus especially on issues of race, gender, and the body.

English 184.11 Shadow Lines: South Asian Diasporas
Capstone Seminar
Prof. Shay

Capstone Seminar

The writer Amitav Ghosh defines shadow lines as the murky, invisible lines of borders and boundaries that divide families, communities, and nations from each other. While we cannot see them, they force communities apart and they also become the connective tissue that draws communities home. This course will explore the shadow lines existing between countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and their South Asian immigrant communities living in diaspora throughout the UK, North America, east Africa, and the Caribbean. We will study novels, short stories, poetry, and theatre evoking these diasporic communities, as well as cultural products such as Desi hip-hop and the international sport of cricket, in order to consider how transnational shadow lines shape and inform conceptions of nation, identity, gender, sexuality, religion. How are diasporas created and sustained? How is exile conceptualized and what kinds of connective lines extend back to South Asia and forward to a new home?