Upcoming Courses – Spring 2017

Listed below (with descriptions!) are the Humanities topic courses for Spring 2017.

For full English department course listings, see MyCampus’s Schedule Planner.

ENG 277H/0001: Audio Story Telling (The Audio Essay)

Instructor: Professor Gretchen Legler

This course is designed to teach students strategies for writing entertaining, provocative, and persuasive audio essays for broadcast, internet, or internet radio. Audio essays explore topics using spoken text, audio interviews, archival recordings, music, environmental sounds, and sound effects. They can be structured using the conventions of argument and evidence, narrative devices, as well as poetic and experimental structures. As we will see, the audio form offers the essayist a fascinating mix of constraints and opportunities, much in the same way that film or photography does. Voices and sounds are full of intimate presence, are in fact the very signs of presence, and can provoke in unexpected ways. In radio, sometimes a sound is worth a thousand pictures. The emphasis of the course will be on research and writing strategies, but you will also learn basic audio recording and production.  No prior experience in radio or digital audio is required.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 100; for students in CWR, ENG, SEN, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181

ENG 277H/0002: Words Into Pictures

Instructor: Professor Teal Minton

This course will look at the process of adapting literature to film, with an emphasis on the films of Stanley Kubrick. Working from books and short stories by a diverse group of contemporary authors, Kubrick crafted films that stand on their own as works of film literature. Throughout the course we will read original works, adapted screenplays, and view the films while considering the differences between these two storytelling mediums and reflecting on the peculiar challenges of turning words into pictures. The course will require some viewing of films outside of class.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 100; for students in CWR, ENG, SEN, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181

ENG 277H/0003: Milton

Instructor: Professor Dan Gunn

This course will be an in-depth study of the works of the English poet John Milton (1608-1674). A large portion of the semester will be devoted to careful reading of Paradise Lost (1667, 1674), Milton’s beautiful and complex epic poem about the fall of Adam and Eve, but we will also read “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” (1631), Lycidas (1638), Of Education (1641), Aereopagitica (1641), Paradise Regained (1671), Samson Agonistes (1671), and other works. The course is open to interested students in all majors: the only prerequisite is ENG 100, and no previous experience with Milton or with traditional English literature is required.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 100

ENG 277H/0004: Literary Theory and Social Media

Instructor: Professor Michael Johnson

Primary readings in literary and cultural studies theory will provide conceptual frameworks for offering critical commentary on contemporary culture (literature, film, television, music, etc.). That commentary will take the form of blog posts, reviews, recaps, tweets, podcasts, etc.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 100; for students in CWR, ENG, SEN, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181

ENG 477H/0001: The Self-Conscious Novel

Instructor: Professor Dan Gunn

In this course, we will consider the kind of novel which, in Robert Alter’s words, “systematically flaunts its own condition of artifice and…by so doing probes into the problematic relationship between real-seeming artifice and reality.” By the novel’s “condition of artifice,” Alter means its status as an artificial, constructed thing, a work of art. Some novels try to suppress awareness of their artificial condition in order to create an intense mimetic illusion. By contrast, novels in the self-conscious tradition we will be studying “flaunt” this condition in a playful way, exposing and subverting conventions, imitating and parodying other works of art, and drawing attention to their own multiple stylistic textures. The reading list will include Cervante’s Don Quixote, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Nabokov’s Pale Fire, and Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler.

Prerequisite(s): One 300-level ENG literature course other than ENG 300.


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