Undergraduate Courses

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Freshman Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit

Close study of Austen’s novels, with special attention to the critique of social and literary convention. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online Freshman Seminar preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: David Kastan
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Freshman Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit

It is on the pillars of the four major tragedies that Shakespeare’s reputation most firmly rests. The seminar is designed to explore these four plays in detail, trying to see what makes them great in the way that almost all readers and audiences have recognized. We will think about them as plays to be performed, as drama to be read, and as texts that have been constructed by the activities of various people, Shakespeare of course the first among them. And we will think about them as plays deeply embedded in the history of their own moment, as well as in later histories, which they in some part are responsible for.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online Freshman Seminar preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Joseph Gordon
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Freshman Seminars

Close reading of novels, memoirs, and journalism from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to understand how certain novelists have set about to rework fiction and nonfiction source materials to create new narrative. The significance of such artistic means as revising the setting, altering or questioning gender identity or sexual orientation of characters, or shifting the historical moment or political framework of the action. Exploration of how new works dispose the reader to reinterpret earlier works, providing a basis for redefining what constitutes originality in writing fiction. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online Freshman Seminar preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Readings include:

Alice Munro, “Home” (2 versions)

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham, The Hours

Shakespeare, Othello, Verdi and Boito, Otello (opera), Q Brothers, Othello: The Remix (hip hop performance piece)

Freud, Five Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, and A. Anatoli Kuznetsov, Babi Yar: A Documentary in the Form of a Novel, D.M. Thomas, The White Hotel

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 9.00am-10.15am
Course Type: Seminar/Freshman Seminars

“Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.” This saying, often attributed to Mark Twain (incorrectly, as it happens) may no longer hold in a historical moment in which human activity is radically changing the atmosphere. The ways we talk, and what we do, about weather have changed radically in the past two centuries, and even more recently with the rising awareness of potentially irreversible climate change. The sky is once again, as it was anciently, a screen for reading human destiny, especially in an age in which we call online data-centers by the name “the cloud.”

Despite its reputation as boring and mundane, which is probably a modern invention, weather has been a source of enduring fascination for humans, a topic of endless richness for sketching mood and narrative, and a phenomenon that has invited rich scientific and technical exploration. This class builds on the idea that weather is an elemental medium of human life and that studies of such media should be interdisciplinary across domains of imaginative endeavor, including literature and science, philosophy and religion, painting and popular culture. This class will be an interdisciplinary adventure in atmospheric thinking and an effort to come to terms with the stories we tell about, and with, the temperamental and nebulous materials of weather. An open mind and eager imagination are requirements for studying the diversity of meanings that the weather can hold.

We will start with a quick look at the long history of how weather has figured as a medium for dramatic comment on the human condition in the Bible, the ancient Greeks and Romans, and Shakespeare, and then focus more closely on the past two centuries, which have seen radical changes in the ways that human beings craft the weather, both materially and imaginatively. One challenge for this class is that the selection of potential materials is endlessly rich. In some ways, weather seems one of the primary, if not the primary, topic of literature. The Bible, The Canterbury Tales, The Tempest, and The Waste Land—to pick a few highpoints at random—all start with meteorological phenomena. Indeed, the problem of abundance will nag at us, since almost every form of imaginative writing deals with atmospheric phenomena in one way or the other. One task for the class will be to compile relevant examples and to figure out how to sort out the vast archive of weather-friendly writing. The readings on the syllabus are often chosen as highlights or useful examples, not as comprehensive or necessarily canonical. We will focus largely on England and North America but range elsewhere at times as well. Our materials will be plays, poems, paintings, stories, songs, essays, and scholarly research. One obvious gap will be the novel. Dickens’ Bleak House, Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Cather’s Prairie Trilogy (to make another incomplete list) all use weather as theme and accent, and so do a number of more recent novels, some of them examples of “cli-fi” (climate fiction) such as Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, Eggers’ Zeitoun, Galchen’s Atmospheric Disturbances, or McEwan’s Solar. Another obvious gap is film (think of The Wizard of Oz, The Fog, or Groundhog Day). In their research papers, students can certainly take up such texts. Such novels and films join a recent outpouring of exciting writing on the cultural, technical, and scientific history of weather and its varied disciplines. At the end of the class clouds, rain, and sky should never look the same again.

Also FILM 020.

Prerequisite: Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.
 
Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online Freshman Seminar preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
 
Principal Readings
 

Books:

Aristophanes, The Clouds (translation TBA)

Harris, Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies (2015)

Hu, A Prehistory of the Cloud (2015)

Pretor-Pinney, The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds (2007)

Shaw, The Drama of Weather (1941)—other editions acceptable (many available online)

Other readings include:

Bible: brief selections from Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Job, Jonah, Matthew, Acts

Brief selections possible from Aristotle, Homer, Lucretius, Pliny

Shakespeare: selections from Hamlet, King Lear, and The Tempest (at least).

Several short poems such as:

Baudelaire, “The Stranger”

French original: “L’étranger” http://bacdefrancais.net/etranger-baudelaire.php

Bierce, “Weather” (1906)

Dickinson, “A Cloud withdrew from the Sky” (895), “The Sky is low” (1075)

Emerson, “The Snowstorm” (compare McClatchy “A Winter Without Snow”)

Goethe, “In Honor of Howard,” “Atmosphere,” related poems

German originals: http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/gedichte-ausgabe-letzter-hand-7129/285

Richardson, “Essay on Clouds” (2015)

Shelley, “The Cloud” (1820)

Wordsworth, “I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud”

Short works of prose such as:

Benjamin, selections from the Arcades Project, Folder D

Howard, Essay on the Modification of Clouds (1803)

Ruskin, “Present State of Meteorological Science” (1839), Works of John Ruskin (London: G. Allen, 1903), vol. 1, 206-210, available online as ebook.

Ruskin, “Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century” (1884)

Scholarly articles such as:

Katherine Anderson, “Looking at the Sky: The Visual Context of Victorian Meteorology,” British Journal for the History of Science 36 (2003): 301-332

Connor, “Obnubilation” (2009)

Connor, “An Air that Kills: A Familiar History of Poison Gas” (2003)

Daston, “Cloud Physiognomy” (2016) http://rep.ucpress.edu/content/135/1/45

Edwards, “Meteorology as Infrastructural Globalism”

Jacobus, “Cloud Studies: The Visible Invisible,” Journal of the Imaginary and the Fantastic 1:3 (2009)

Kelsey, “Reverse Shot: Blue Marble and Earthrise in the American Imagination”

Krauss, “Stieglitz/Equivalents” (1979)

Russill, “Forecast Earth: Hole, Index, Alert,” Canadian J of Communication 38 (2013): 421–42.

Serres, “The Case of Turner” (1997)

Sturken, “Desiring the Weather: El Niño, the Media, and California Identity,” Public Culture 13, no. 2 (2001)

Works of Art:

Paintings by Constable and Turner, including visit to Yale Center for British Art

Stieglitz, “Equivalents” (sky photographs from the 1920s)

Possible discussion of recent artists such as Baldessari, Chivers, Nakaya, Pétillon, Saraceno, Smilde

Professor: Heather Klemann
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

SYLLABUS

As digital technologies direct human thought processes, mediate interpersonal relationships, and enable unprecedented access to all types of information, how are notions of childhood changing, or, perhaps more surprisingly, remaining the same? Considering a variety of fields from politics to photography and pediatrics, in this course we investigate how developments such as Pokémon Go, Twitter, and iPhones impact the role of children, for example, in debates over privacy, violence, and inequality. As part of our exploration, we will practice with digital analytical tools, including Voyant and Google Books NGram Viewer, and hone our oral presentation skills through an academic mini-conference and TED-style talks. With your own experiences as so-called digital natives in mind, we will ask: do digital environments present vast frontiers of educational opportunity or incalculable threats to the innocence, health, and safety of society’s most vulnerable members?

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Jordan Brower
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

The title of this course brings together two terms that rest uneasily alongside each other. On one hand, beginning in the late 1910s, the American film industry, or what we now call “Classical Hollywood,” produced works of art – something like dreams – that appealed to audiences around the world. On the other, it did so by way of a tremendously complex and thoroughly managed industry populated by studios – something like factories – of various sizes and strengths. How did Hollywood overcome this tension and maintain its dominance despite a wide array of challenges, both internal (for instance, the coming of sound) and external (for instance, the threat of censorship or the rise of television)? In addressing this question, we will reflect on others that have only become more important as media have ever more fully saturated our daily lives. Are art and commerce fundamentally opposed? Do popular media forms have an ethical obligation to limit the range of their expression for the benefit of society? In what ways does the content of mass media works relate to large-scale events like economic crises and wars? Through readings in disciplines as varied as economics, film history, and political science, as well as through the careful viewing of notable films, we will come to understand what the great critic André Bazin termed “the genius of the system.”

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Karin Gosselink
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 9:00am-10:15am
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

What does it mean to be a “citizen of the world”?  This writing seminar explores the ethics of acting globally: of intervening in the economic, political, social and/or cultural lives of those who live far away. In an era of global media where images of poverty and war, threats of global health and climate change crises, and stories of international human rights violations and corruption are constantly present, what are the ethical demands placed on those who witness these events from afar? How do we gain knowledge when other stories—of the long histories of political struggle, creative innovation, and the everyday work of local citizens—tend to be underreported in the international media that reaches the U.S.? What are the ethics of intervening in communities where international actors may have relatively little knowledge of local languages, customs, or histories? What political, economic, and cultural ideologies shape current cross-border interactions and alliances? Are there viable alternatives?

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Margaret Homans
Term: Spring
Day/Time: WF 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

Is identity a deeply felt inner sense of your unique self, “a subjective feeling of self-sameness” in the words of psychologist Jane Kroger?  Or is it primarily social, cultural, or political (as in “identity politics”), derived from your relation to a group that pre-exists you and is external to you?  In this course we will read, talk, and write about different understandings of identity and how they diverge and connect.  We will explore many varieties of identity, including racial, ethnic, national, gendered, sexual, class, and ability/disability-related; and we will explore them through the lenses provided by scholarly disciplines such as psychology, social history, anthropology, philosophy, gender studies, critical race studies, and political theory and by genres such as memoir, documentary film, fiction, the personal essay, and the editorial.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Rosemary Jones
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

Beauty captivates and attracts, and sometimes repels, and for centuries the idea of beauty has challenged thinkers to describe and account for its place in our lives. The quest for beauty can inspire us to think and create in new ways or lead us to follow beauty’s lure to darker places. Does beauty matter? Does it propel us forwards or obfuscate our view of reality? How do we account for different aesthetic viewpoints about what is beautiful and what is not? In this course we will explore questions about what shapes our definition of beauty and why. We will also investigate some of the forces that the underside of beauty reveals. Students will have the opportunity to follow their own lines of enquiry into the vagaries of beauty as we look at art objects that are beautiful – or not – and read work by Scarry, Nehamas, Berger and Bordo.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Timothy Kreiner
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 9:00am-10:15am
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

How do we make sense of social divisions today? Why does inequality persist? And why is it getting worse? This class seeks to shed light on the persistent problem of inequality by querying what we mean when we use the word equality. Perhaps most provocatively, we will spend a good deal of time making heretical if corollary inquiries: What if the trouble lies with the notion of equality itself? Could the trouble with equality help explain the persistence of inequality? To do so we will tarry with a few historical touchstones such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and the Declaration of Independence. From there we will take up the limits of equality today in terms of race, class, and gender, before bringing what we glean to bear upon the Black Lives Matter movement and contemporary inquiries into mass incarceration and the legacy of slavery. We will conclude with a case study that considers recent events at Yale concerning questions of racial and gender equality in light of our previous inquiries.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Katja Lindskog
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

What is beauty? How do we define it in ourselves and others? What role does it play in our lives? Throughout history, writers and thinkers have offered a great many definitions and explanations of its power and appeal – and with equal ingenuity they have warned us of its danger to our bodies and minds. In order to better understand some of our own assumptions about beauty, we will explore the notion of beauty from a variety of angles, such as its relationship to gender, sex, evolution, art and economics. The course will approach beauty with a specific inquiry in mind: what can we learn by looking at what is considered beautiful in a particular time and place? To answer this question we will read and discuss texts that cover theories of fashion, art, history and aesthetics. We will also trace the outlines of a long-running debate between scholars of sociology and biology, on the one hand, and feminist and cultural critics, on the other: are perceptions of physical beauty innate and biological, or are they a social construct, a tool to help regulate our attitudes toward gender and socioeconomic status? At the end of the course we will take a step back and see if we can formulate a more sophisticated answer to our framing question: what is beauty? And how does it matter to us today, in our daily lives?

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Pamela Newton
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

What lies behind our desire to travel? Do we leave home in search of the foreign and exotic, a glimpse of beauty, a broader knowledge of others, or a deeper knowledge of ourselves? Is a tourist a type of person, a person in a certain set of circumstances, or a person with a certain state of mind? Is there a difference between a traveler and a tourist? What do we gain from becoming travelers and/or tourists? What do we lose? In this course, we will investigate these and other questions through our study of texts about travel and tourism in a variety of disciplines, including sociology, philosophy, history, and literary theory, as well as through cultural artifacts, such as newspaper articles, photographs, and film and television clips. Our final unit will focus on non-fiction travel writing. Keeping our own travel and tourism experiences in mind throughout, we will engage with these materials in order to explore the changing figure of the tourist, including the way current technologies shape our travel experiences, and the effects of tourism on both the visitor and the visited. We will also investigate a number of constructs within the study of tourism, including exoticism, consumerism, personal discovery, and the quests for the authentic and the sublime.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Bofang Li
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

Swiddleston, Hiddleswift, Swiddles, Tayto: however you may have taken the news, it was hard in summer 2016 to escape coverage of the star-crossed romance of Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston, a love-affair described by one publication as “[the closest] we’ll get to two memes dating.” Dragging their massive and fervent fanbases in their wake, the furore surrounding Swiddles encapsulated the state of modern fandom: noisy, opinionated, and emerging increasingly, irrepressibly, from the subcultural underbelly into the mainstream. Where the first fan-published magazines in the 1960s positioned fan culture as subcultural in the fullest sense of the word— at once subversive and subordinate— today’s fan behaviours and their platforms readily reveal what was long suspected: that we are all fans of something. Whether of a sports team or band, book or TV series, being a fan and participating in the shared culture of a fandom is an experience that binds strangers together as much as it drives them apart. From Potterheads to Twihards, Beliebers to Little Monsters, soccer hooligans to gamers, this course looks at the expressions of fan culture in a variety of fandoms in order to examine the formation and practices of these cultures.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Andrew Willson
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

“We no longer live life, we consume it.” – Vicki Robin

            Consumerism has changed our national landscape by covering our towns with malls and making retail businesses the largest employers of Americans. And consumerism has also become so embedded in the ways we think that it influences how we see activities much different from buying goods at a store. The ideal of consumer choice affects not only how many different types of jeans we can buy from the Gap or how many different iPods from the Apple store but also how we choose things like partners, health care, and colleges. What is the significance and what are the effects of the language and logic of consumerism permeating society? What does this permeation tell us about the world we live in and how we think?

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 4:00pm-5:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as vision, globalization, generosity, experts and expertise, the good life, and dissent in American culture.

SYLLABUS

The English word science comes from the Latin scientia, which means “knowledge.” But can any body of knowledge, any collection of information, be considered a science? Who decides what counts as real science, and on what authority? Is the scientific community a group of experts who are separate from and superior to the general public, or can this term refer to any society based on rational ideals? How can non-scientists intelligently evaluate political claims expressed in scientific rhetoric? In this writing seminar, examination of the concept of science will lead us to explore relations between objectivity, culture, and ethics. We will begin with Plato’s Republic, a text that tries to imagine a completely rational society. Next, we will assess competing accounts about the nature of legitimate science. In the third unit we will analyze the tensions inherent in a scientific community more closely, and ask whether resistance against science is an important feature of democracy or a dangerous exercise of anti-intellectualism. Finally, we will investigate how scientific rhetoric is used to justify certain normative claims, especially in debates about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Jill Campbell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

What distinguishes the period we call childhood from other stages of life?  How have works of literature shaped our understanding of what children are like?  What does the experience of reading books offer to children themselves?  Might books offer children windows into a wider world, reveal that there are other people like themselves, introduce them to lives different from their own, and/or inculcate ideas that restrict or close down their views?
 

This seminar will explore these questions by considering select works of literature both for children and about them.  We will read several classic works of children’s literature, including J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, as well as more recent favorites such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  We will investigate the intertwined histories of modern conceptions of childhood and of the children’s book trade, reading poems about childhood by Wordsworth and Blake and visiting the Beinecke to view early works of children’s literature.  We will also sample memoirs of childhood, such as Richard Wright’s Black Boy and Pauli Murray’s Proud Shoes.  Throughout, we will attend to how the meaning of childhood is shaped by categories of race, gender, and socioeconomic class.  We will meet on one or more occasions with children from New Haven Public Schools to learn more about their creative responses to what they read.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Margaret Deli
Term: Spring
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

SYLLABUS

This course will challenge us to consider why “bad bitches” and “nasty women” have moved to the center of our cultural imaginary.  We are entranced by Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and fascinated by Amy Dunne (Gone Girl).  We cheer when Arya Stark gets her man and watch, captivated, as Daenerys Targaryen burns cities to the ground (Game of Thrones).  Popular opinion might call some or all of these women mad, bad, and dangerous to know—but are they also victims of the power structures they undermine?  And how do they fit into a broader tradition of western storytelling? Beginning in ancient Greece and ending in the present day, we will follow the paths of vengeful mothers and crazy spinsters, husband-hunters, femme fatales and corporate harpies to ask: What is the relationship between femininity and physical or mental deviance? Do stories about powerful women uphold the status quo? And what exactly is a female sociopath—if she exists at all? Texts and screenings will include Euripides’ Medea, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, the short stories of Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and the recent HBO series Game of Thrones.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Rebecca Rush
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
WR, Hu

Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

From Cupid’s arrows to mighty Aphrodite, the language of love is filled with images that underscore love’s irresistible power over human hearts. Beginning with Shakespeare’s account of the tragic love between two potent rulers in Antony and Cleopatra, this course grapples with questions about the ways in which love and power are entangled with one another: Why do literary lovers so often emphasize their own powerlessness? Are the pursuit of love and the pursuit of power mutually exclusive? How do rulers and authority figures attempt to regulate desire? As we analyze works like John Donne’s “To His Mistress Going to Bed,” Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, we will not only explore the power dynamics involved in erotic relationships, but attend to the ways in which these dynamics are bound up with the legacy of colonialism and slavery and inflected by race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Elizabeth Wiet
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm -3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
WR, Hu

Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

What would compel a vice president to throw a young journalist in front of a moving train? Why would a housewife leave her husband to trace the origins of a mysterious anti-governmental postal system she believes dates back to the early seventeenth century? Why would an avant-garde performance artist go to extraordinary ends to ensure that his early experimental films never end up in the Anthology Film Archives? Who are these people? And why are they so paranoid?

In this seminar, we will attempt to answer all of these questions by exploring the meaning of paranoia across cultures and time periods. We will examine novels, plays, and films which present characters who are variously bent on revenge, wracked by feelings of persecution, policed for unorthodox sexual preferences, obsessed by conspiracy, and driven by a desire to know everything. Texts and screenings include Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, William Godwin’s Caleb Williams, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, the performance art of Jack Smith, Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, David Lynch’s film Mulholland Drive, and the recent Netflix series House of Cards.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Sunny Xiang
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 9:00am-10:15am
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
WR, Hu

Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

English 115 explores a theme in the social and historical life of literature through. Our section will focus on Oceanic Politics. For our purposes, the “politics” of oceans are threefold: oceans are the source of aesthetic inspiration; the routes of trade and conquest; and the interface between human and nature. We will explore oceanic politics across different genres and media, including poetry, narrative, drama, film, and digital media. This range of genres and texts will anchor our encounters with regionally-specific historical flashpoints: for example, the Atlantic slave trade, the Indian Ocean opium wars, settler colonialism in the Pacific Islands. We will also wrestle with the myriad contradictions that oceanic politics make available. How ought we understand the romance of exploration in conjunction with the brutalities of conquest? How do oceans function as both sites removed from the territorial centers of power and the very premise of imperial violence? Writers on the will include William Shakespeare, Jack London, Toni Morrison, Jean Rhys, Safiya Sinclair, Ruth Ozeki, and Amitav Ghosh.  

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

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SYLLABUS

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, between December 12, 2016 and January 12, 2017.

Term: Spring
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

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SYLLABUS

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Robert Holden
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

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SYLLABUS

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Briallen Hopper
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Shifra Sharlin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35pm-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

___

SYLLABUS

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Barbara Stuart
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Emily Ulrich
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture.

___

SYLLABUS

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Andrew Ehrgood
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics include legal, humor, travel, or nature writing; writing about medicine and public health, religion, the visual arts, or food; writing in the social sciences; writing reviews of the performing arts; and writing for radio. May be repeated for course credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

SYLLABUS

Law has an intellectual structure of its own, and the lawyers and judges who make law and interpret it have peculiar ways of imagining and talking about the world, habits of thought and expression that can mystify the nonlawyer.  In this course, you will begin to learn to read and speak and write the lawyer’s language: you will learn to reason and argue in distinctively lawyerly ways about the sorts of problems that lawyers are paid to attend to.  And as you acquire and become adept at this odd language, you will also evaluate it, assessing its appeal and usefulness to you as a thinker, writer, and citizen.

Prerequisites: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Randi Epstein
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics include legal, humor, travel, or nature writing; writing about medicine and public health, religion, the visual arts, or food; writing in the social sciences; writing reviews of the performing arts; and writing for radio. May be repeated for course credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

SYLLABUS

Medical and public health stories shape the way individuals view health and disease, and coverage sometime influences scientific research or health policy. This course will give students the chance to join this conversation by writing about medicine and public health for general audiences. To do this well, students must develop a keen sense of audience as they translate complicated science, explain its ramifications, and provide historical context.

Students will write breaking news stories, blog posts, a researched feature article, and a personal essay. They may also have the chance to interview a patient from Yale-New Haven Hospital.

In class, we will analyze essays, book chapters, and news stories for craft. Students will also explore visual media to hone observational skills, and we’ll visit the Center for British Art for a workshop on observation developed for Yale medical students.

Prerequisites: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Briallen Hopper
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics include legal, humor, travel, or nature writing; writing about medicine and public health, religion, the visual arts, or food; writing in the social sciences; writing reviews of the performing arts; and writing for radio. May be repeated for course credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

Religion touches everything—politics, history, literature, art; friendship, family, food, pop culture; ritual, belief, belonging, community; race, gender, sexuality, and souls. It makes sense that writing about religion is incredibly capacious, creative, and diverse.

In this class we will read and write about religion in a variety of genres, including personal and academic essays; journalistic genres, including reported and opinion pieces; and literary and devotional work, such as poems, short stories, and prayers. We will spend time with religious art and artifacts in the archive and at the museum, and explore a variety of sacred spaces on and off campus. In the process, students will strengthen their research and writing skills, and use these skills to pursue their own religious interests and questions.

Prerequisites: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics include legal, humor, travel, or nature writing; writing about medicine and public health, religion, the visual arts, or food; writing in the social sciences; writing reviews of the performing arts; and writing for radio. May be repeated for course credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

SYLLABUS

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If history happens and no one writes about it, what have we missed? If a historian writes about history and no one wants to read it, how could that historian have done a better job?

In writing about history, you place yourself between the history and your audience. Without you, the connection is not made. But history, historian, and audience are always changing: we uncover new sources and ask new questions of old sources; the grand old men of historical scholarship are now history themselves; diverse readerships look to history for information, for inspiration, for entertainment, for identity.

In this class we will talk, read, and write about who we are when we write history and about how we can write a history – from biography to obituary, from museum guide to encyclopedia entry – that is both engaging and honest.

Prerequisites: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Adam Reid Sexton
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics include legal, humor, travel, or nature writing; writing about medicine and public health, religion, the visual arts, or food; writing in the social sciences; writing reviews of the performing arts; and writing for radio. May be repeated for course credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

SYLLABUS

It has been said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture – and indeed, evoking melody, harmony, and rhythm with words can challenge even the most observant and eloquent among us.  In this section of English 121, students will read and discuss writing on music by not only scholars and critics (e.g. Margo Jefferson and Kalefa Sanneh) but also journalists (Joan Didion and Susan Orlean), a poet (LeRoi Jones), a  novelist (Jonathan Lethem), and many others.  The focus will be on popular music, very broadly defined, and among the concepts to be investigated are taste and “cool.” Written assignments will include a critical review of a performance or recording, a literary essay on a musical topic, a profile of a musician, and an academic paper.  The goal of the course is for students to improve their skills at observation, description, and analysis of culture.

Prerequisites: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Kim Shirkhani
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics include legal, humor, travel, or nature writing; writing about medicine and public health, religion, the visual arts, or food; writing in the social sciences; writing reviews of the performing arts; and writing for radio. May be repeated for course credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

SYLLABUS

An examination of how exemplary critics, such as David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, Eula Biss, Kelefa Sanneh, Ariel Levy, Ian Frazer, Kyoko Mori, Adam Gopnik, Henry Louis Gates, Louis Menand, Ted Conover, Amitava Kumar, Wesley Yang, Malcolm Gladwell, Roxane Gay, Eric Schlosser, and Elizabeth Kolbert, and others, use elements of style—diction, tone, narrative structure—as both a mode of investigation and a means of persuasion. Our close attention to how these writers use style as argument will help students develop crucial rhetorical skills especially in light of recent social scientific studies that have affirmed that when it comes to persuading readers on cultural issues, the emotional and experiential are at least as important as the rational or factual.

Units will be organized around readings that highlight a particular stylistic approach—critique via personal narrative, artful analyses of cultural framing (society’s narrative instinct), and more in-depth critiques that interweave personal narrative or perspective with research and analysis. Students will close read model essays for craft, research cultural objects that interest them, and craft their own cultural critiques designed to question and persuade not merely with style but by way of style.

Prerequisites: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: John Rogers
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
An introduction to the diversity and the continuity of the English literary tradition through close reading of four poets from the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Donne. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing.
 

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Ben Glaser
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

An introduction to the diversity and the continuity of the English literary tradition through close reading of four poets from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, and Eliot or another modern anglophone poet. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Joseph North
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

An introduction to the diversity and the continuity of the English literary tradition through close reading of four poets from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, and Eliot or another modern anglophone poet. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Joseph North
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

An introduction to the diversity and the continuity of the English literary tradition through close reading of four poets from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, and Eliot or another modern anglophone poet. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: David Quint
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

An introduction to the diversity and the continuity of the English literary tradition through close reading of four poets from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, and Eliot or another modern anglophone poet. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Anthony Reed
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1.00pm-2.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

An introduction to the diversity and the continuity of the English literary tradition through close reading of four poets from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, and Eliot or another modern anglophone poet. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Michael Warner
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
American Lit

Major works of the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on analytical reading and critical writing. Authors may include Melville, Poe, Hawthorne, Bryant, Whitman, Dickinson, Thoreau, Emerson, Douglass, Stowe, Twain, Wharton, Cather, H. Crane, Stevens, Stein, L. Hughes, Paredes, Ellison, O’Connor, Ginsberg, Lowell, O’Hara, M. Robinson, C. McCarthy, Morrison, E. P. Jones, J. Díaz.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Jason Bell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 4.00pm-5.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
American Lit

Major works of the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on analytical reading and critical writing. Authors may include Melville, Poe, Hawthorne, Bryant, Whitman, Dickinson, Thoreau, Emerson, Douglass, Stowe, Twain, Wharton, Cather, H. Crane, Stevens, Stein, L. Hughes, Paredes, Ellison, O’Connor, Ginsberg, Lowell, O’Hara, M. Robinson, C. McCarthy, Morrison, E. P. Jones, J. Díaz.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

In this introductory course, we explore how literature has challenged, constrained, and expanded what counts as American. Although we read poetry, novels, essays, film, and music from a range of time periods, geographies, and traditions, this course is not a survey.  We focus on fundamental techniques of analyzing literature in order to examine the narratives of belonging central to our concept of citizenship. Careful, creative reading will be our means of participating in debates that animate both literary studies and popular media. While this course will teach you to be a thoughtful and precise writer, it will also prepare you to treat literature as a resource for everyday living in America today. Authors studied include Claudia Rankine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, James Baldwin, Emily Dickinson, John Williams, Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, nila northSun, Paula Gunn Allen, and Agnes Martin.

Professor: Palmer Rampell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes
American Lit

Major works of the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on analytical reading and critical writing. Authors may include Melville, Poe, Hawthorne, Bryant, Whitman, Dickinson, Thoreau, Emerson, Douglass, Stowe, Twain, Wharton, Cather, H. Crane, Stevens, Stein, L. Hughes, Paredes, Ellison, O’Connor, Ginsberg, Lowell, O’Hara, M. Robinson, C. McCarthy, Morrison, E. P. Jones, J. Díaz.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Craig Eklund
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and Joyce’s Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Also LITR 169.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and Joyce’s Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Also LITR 169.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Karin Roffman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Introductory Classes

The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and Joyce’s Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Also LITR 169.

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Professor: Adam Reid Sexton
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

Fundamentals of the craft of fiction writing explored through readings from classic and contemporary short stories and novels. Focus on how each author has used the fundamentals of craft. Writing exercises emphasize elements such as voice, structure, point of view, character, and tone.

This course is open to all students, but freshmen and sophomores are especially welcome.

No advance application is required for this course.

Professor: Danielle Chapman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

An introduction to reading and writing poetry. Classic examples from Shakespeare and Milton, the modernist poetics of Stein, Pound, Moore, and Stevens, and recent work in a variety of forms and traditions. Students develop a portfolio of poems and write an essay on the poetic craft of poets who have influenced their work.

This course is open to all students, but freshmen and sophomores are especially welcome.

No advance application is required for this course.

Professor: Heather Klemann
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 10.30am-11.20am +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures
Pre-1900 Lit w/ permission

Study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gothic fiction and the persistence, resurgence, and adaptation of gothic tropes in twentieth and twenty-first century film, television, and prose. Readings include Frankenstein, Northanger Abbey, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula. Films and TV include Inception, Black Swan, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, and episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

SYLLABUS

Prerequisite: Open to Freshmen who took a WR seminar course in the fall term.

Professor: Roberta Frank
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit

An introduction to the language and literature of earliest Norway and Iceland. Texts (to be read in the original) include runic inscriptions left behind by the Vikings, verse of their official skalds, the sometimes irreverent mythological poetry of the Edda, and the sagas telling of the Norse discovery of America.

Professor: Shawkat Toorawa
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures

Exploration of Arabian Nights, a classic of world literature. Topics include antecedents, themes and later prose, and graphic and film adaptations.

Also NELC 201, LITR 318, NELC  601.

The medieval Arabic cycle of stories known as The Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights is a classic of world literature. The course is divided into two components: in one, we read the Nights and discuss both its dominant themes—inter alia deceit, love, sex, revenge, violence, and justice—and its storytelling contexts and antecedents (e.g. the the Middle Persian Tales of Bidpai); and in the other, we explore the ways in which its themes and tales have been adapted and appropriated by later authors (e.g. Barth, Gaiman, and Poe in English, Borges in Spanish, Potocki in French and Polish, and Naguib Mahfouz in Arabic); and by filmmakers such as Korda, Pasolini and Barron.

Requirements

* Liking to read (admittedly fun material)
* 12 (twelve) informal weekly reaction essays (3 pages each), due Tuesdays
* Final project (comparative 10-15-page paper)
* Attending three outside talks

Required texts

The Arabian Nights, trans. Husain Haddawy
Sindbad and other stories from the Arabian Nights, tr. Haddawy
Daniel Heller-Roazen, The Arabian Nights (Norton Critical)
Naguib Mahfouz, Arabian Nights and Days
Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Shusha Guppy, The Secret of Laughter
Robert Louis Stevenson, New Arabian Nights [online]
Mary Zimmerman, The Arabian Nights: A Play
Jin-seok Jeon, SeungHee Han, One Thousand and One Nights (v. 1)
Neil Gaiman, Sandman: Fables & Reflections (v. 6)
G. Willow Wilson, Alif The Unseen

Films

‘Croire, imaginer, penser,’ ‘Public and Private Life: The Muslim Town,’ (2001), dir. Philippe Calderon
‘Thief of Baghdad’ (1940), dir. Alexander Korda et al
[Disney’s] ‘Aladdin’ (1992) (dir. Ron Clements)
‘Arabian Nights’ (2000), dir. Steven Barron
‘Arabian Nights’ (1970), dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini [Note: contains nudity and is therefore entirely optional]

Optional

The Arabian Nights, vols 1–3, trans. Malcolm Lyons
John Barth, Chimera
Robert Louis Stevenson, New Arabian Nights
Amina Shah, Tales from the Bazaars of Arabia
Jan Potocki, The Manuscript Found in Saragossa
Marina Warner, Strange Magic
 

Professor: Dudley Andrew, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12.25pm +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures

Development of ways to engage films from around the globe productively. Close analysis of a dozen complex films, with historical contextualization of their production and cultural functions. Attention to the development of critical skills. Includes weekly screenings, each followed immediately by discussion.

Optional WR

Also FILM 240/LITR 143

Professor: Anthony Reed
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.20pm +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures
American Lit

Study of the social, political, and aesthetic circumstances of the Harlem Renaissance, one of the most important periods in African American life. Focus on constitutive debates and key texts to better understand the origins and aims of the movement and its connection to formal politics and activism. Frequent use of relevant materials in Beinecke Library.

Also AFAM 185.

Professor: R. John Williams
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1.30pm-2.20pm +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures

Introduction to the long history of media as understood in classical and foundational (and even more recent experimental) theories. Topics involve the technologies of modernity, reproduction, and commodity, as well as questions regarding knowledge, representation, public spheres, and spectatorship. Special attention given to philosophies of language, visuality, and the environment, including how digital culture continues to shape these realms.

Also FILM 160

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 10.30am-11.20am +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures
Pre-1800 Lit

Love, sex, gender, society, and theater practice in Shakespeare’s comic genres, from the early farces and romantic comedies to the problem plays and late romances.

Professor: Jessica Brantley, Professor: Ann Killian
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit

This course explores writings by women in medieval Britain, with attention to questions of authorship, authority, and audience. Readings include the Lais of Marie de France, Ancrene Wisse, Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies, the Showings of Julian of Norwich, The Book of Margery Kempe, the Digby Mary Magdalene play, and the Paston letters.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 9.00am-10.15am
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit

Study of the medieval verse tales that are at the root core of humorous, realistic, and idealist literature in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. Readings include a wide range of short works such as French fabliaux, fables and lais, novella from Boccaccio’s Decameron, English short tales and lyrics. English translations will be available for all texts, which will also be studied alongside their original languages.

Also FREN 300/HUMS 161

Professor: David Quint
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35am-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit

Examination of Shakespeare’s depiction of tragic experience, the alienation of the tragic protagonist both from nature and from the normative ties of culture. Consideration of five major tragedies (Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra), one history (1 Henry IV, Part One), and three major romances (Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest). Readings also include theories of tragedy and tragic thought.

Prerequisite: for English majors, ENGL 125 or 126. For Literature majors, LITR 120. The course is open to non-majors, but they will not have first priority.

Professor: Lawrence Manley
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1.00pm-2.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit w/ permission

A study of London in poetry from the Middle Ages to the present, with attention to the interplay of form, genre, and tradition with the changing life of the metropolis.

Prerequisite: ENGL 125-126 or equivalent.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit

Poets who fall outside the mainstream of major English poetry, either by circumstance or by choice, and their role in the evolution of the English poetic tradition. Focus on poetry written between 1500 and 1800, when the idea and contours of a vernacular canon first took shape. The historically contingent character of qualities such as genius, beauty, and good taste.

Professor: John Rogers
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 10.30am-11.20am +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures
Pre-1800 Lit

A study of John Milton’s poetry, his engagement with the cultural, social, and political struggles of the English Revolution, and his surprising influence on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American letters and religion.  The focus of the course will be on Milton’s major poems, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, as well as some of the earlier works, such as Comus and Lycidas. The semester will conclude with a consideration of Milton’s American legacy. We will examine, first, Thomas Jefferson and his contemporary, the freed slave Olaudah Equiano, as avid eighteenth-century readers of Milton.  We turn next to the nineteenth century, with an examination of the religions of Mormonism and Seventh-Day Adventism, both of which were shaped at their founding by Paradise Lost.

Professor: Jan Hagens
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11.35am-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

Close reading of dramas of reconciliation from the Western canon that have traditionally been categorized as tragedies. Ways in which the recategorization of such plays lends additional complexity and meaning to their endings and allows for new interpretations of the texts, their authors, and the history of drama.

Also LITR 349/THST 317

Professor: Margaret Homans
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1.00pm-2.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit with permission

Construction of race and gender in literatures of Great Britain, North America, and the Caribbean from the early nineteenth century to the present. Focus on the role of literature in advancing and contesting concepts of race and gender as features of identity and systems of power, with particular attention to the circulation of goods, people, ideas, and literary works among regions. Some authors include Charlotte Bronte, Sojourner Truth, Zora Neale Hurston, Virginia Woolf, Audre Lorde, Chimimanda Adichie, and Kabe Wilson. Second of a two-term sequence; each term may be taken independently.

Professor: Sunny Xiang
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

Examination of “postcolonial” in relation to Asian Anglophone literature from 1948 to 2008. Concepts include independence and partition, Third Worldism, globalization, and financialization.

Also ER&M 305

Professor: Ayesha Ramachandran, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1.00pm-2.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

The fundamental notion of “the self” interrogates categories of race, class, and gender as dimensions of understanding personhood. Introduction to major philosophical frameworks for thinking about “the self” from antiquity to the present; students examine case studies from across the world, aiming to put contemporary debates about these issues in historical perspective.

Also HUMS 402/LITR 319

Professor: Sarah Mahurin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
American Lit

Examination of the intersections between African American and Southern literatures, with consideration of the ways in which the American South remains a space that simultaneously represents and repels an African American ethos.

Also AFAM 206.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

This course is designed for students who have strong opinions about one or more of the performing arts and who would like to learn how to launch those opinions into print—in newspapers, magazines and the blogosphere. This class will require participants to write like journalists—vividly, provocatively and on deadline.  Students will run a class blog on the performing arts, and will attend screenings and live professional performances of plays, music concerts and dance events.

No advance application required.

Also FILM 397/THST 228.

Professor: Susan Choi
Term: Spring
Day/Time: F 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

An intensive introduction to the craft of fiction, designed for aspiring creative writers. Focus on the fundamentals of narrative technique and peer review.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Because this semester’s shopping period will only accommodate one meeting each of Professor Choi’s sections of ENGL 245 and ENGL 465 before schedules are due, Professor Choi will hold an Informational Session for students interested in either of the classes on Friday, January 20, 2017, from 1:00-3:00pm in LC 319. Professor Choi will distribute syllabi for the classes and answer any questions. Students already admitted or wait-listed are strongly encouraged to attend. All interested students are welcome.

Welcome to English 245! In this class you will write fiction; receive and give out constructive criticism; and read and analyze outstanding published works of fiction. Below are the requirements for this course, as well as general guidelines to assure a productive workshop for us all.

ATTENDANCE

Your regular attendance is crucial for the success of the workshop as a whole. In this course you’re equally an author and a critic, and fulfilling your critical responsibilities to your fellow writers is as important here as producing your own work. If you have more than one unexcused absence, each additional unexcused absence will lower your grade 1/3 of a letter.

WORKSHOP

You’ll sign up to submit work to our workshop twice this semester. Choose for your submissions the work on which you most want feedback.

Submission length:  There is no set length for workshop submissions, but consider the ballpark as between 5 and 15 pages.

Format:  Double-space, number your pages, and include your name. If you can, please print double-sided as well, to avoid waste.

Distribution:  Writers must bring to class hard copies of their submissions one week in advance of their workshop, to be distributed to classmates and to me.

FEEDBACK

As a member of the workshop, I’ll expect your regular participation in classroom discussions of the writing ‘up’ for workshop any given week.  In addition, I expect you to treat each workshop submission in the following way:

1)   read each submission first for pleasure; put your feet up, and don’t hold a pen.

2)   a bit later, read the submission again, as a critic. This time, hold a pen, and make what marginal comments occur to you on the page.

3)   last, summarize your critical response to the submission in a typed paragraph. When doing this, think of the sort of feedback you, as a writer, would appreciate. Be specific, yet constructive. Print and bring to workshop two copies of your critical response, one for the author of the piece, and one for me.

READING, AND WRITING EXERCISES

Every week for the first 6 weeks of class there will be assigned reading of published works, and assigned writing exercises, which I’ll announce and explain during class. Assigned readings may include works by such writers as Julia Alvarez, Jennifer Egan, Vladimir Nabokov, and Michael Cunningham. Exercises will focus on specific aspects of craft such as point of view, characterization, dialogue, setting, and plot. You will be responsible for these assignments regardless of whether you might also be ‘up’ for workshop on the due date of a given assignment. You are welcome to submit a writing assignment piece as your workshop piece. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to contact either me or a classmate to find out the assignment.

PUBLIC READINGS
Every year, the Yale Creative Writing Program brings outstanding writers to campus. You are not required, but you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this resource.

FINAL REVISION
A substantial revision of one of your two workshop pieces will be due to my box in the English Department on a date to be announced during Reading Period.  

GRADING
Your final grade will be based upon your attendance, participation in discussions, critical responses to your peers, and timely completion of all reading and writing assignments.

Professor: Cynthia Zarin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

A seminar workshop for students who are beginning to write poetry or who have no prior workshop experience at Yale.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: Please also submit your application form, Writing Sample, and Statement of Purpose in hard copy to the English Department office, LC 107.

Professor: Paul Fry
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit, Pre-1800 with permission

The emphasis on selfhood in both romantic painting and romantic literature in the early nineteenth century presents itself in two very different ways. On the one hand, Wordsworth and Constable use the vehicle of landscape to move the human subject to the margins of representation, resituating consciousness amid the vastness of its surroundings (environment or cosmos) while celebrating the imaginative power of this very gesture. On the other hand, Turner and Byron–who also have ways of miniaturizing the represented figure–sustain the values of history painting and social description as their narrative and emotional focus, albeit with a deepened and newly dynamic sense of nature as backdrop, to connect attitudes derived from classicism and the Enlightenment to a more personal preoccupation with heroism in history and the artist as hero. The first weeks will provide the prehistory of poetry and painting from which Wordsworth and Constable emerge. The hinge of the seminar will be a session on the romantic portrait. To conclude, the influence of Byron will be explored not just in Turner but in Bonington, Gericault, and Delacroix. The question underlying the entire seminar will be: how did the nonhuman in all its forms acquire independent importance and then perhaps (in Byron and Turner) lose it again?

Professor: Peter Cole
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
American Lit

Consideration of American poetry written by Jews and Jewish poetry written by Americans and the relation these poems bear to other American poetry and to the poetry written by Jews elsewhere in the world. Key figures include Emma Lazarus, Gertrude Stein, Moshe Leyb-Halpern, Charles Reznikoff, Louis Zukofsky, Allen Ginsberg, Anthony Hecht, Adrienne Rich, and Harold Bloom. All readings in English.

Also LITR 322/JDST 341

Professor: Ryan Wepler
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

To present a piece of writing for the express purpose of making your audience laugh takes a peculiar combination of courage and confidence. After all, you aren’t simply seeking to avoid the audience’s displeasure; a humorous work must create pleasure, or else it has failed. The notion that you can give a large number of people the pleasure of laughter when most others cannot takes an abnormally high level of confidence in your ability to perceive, create, and express (or an extreme lack of self-awareness). This class is for students who have the guts and conviction that they can make others laugh, or for those seeking to acquire such confidence by discovering and understanding the comic techniques employed by great humorists.

This course will emphasize four broad elements of humorous writing: texture, tone, character, and narrative. We will focus less formally on the various genres of humor writing (parody, satire, farce, &c.).  Above all, this is a writing course. Humor writing demands an exceptionally high level of linguistic grace and precision, as a slight difference in expression can mean the difference between a laugh and a groan. A strong emphasis will be placed on crafting sentences elegantly and expressing meanings with exactitude, skills essential not just to writing humorously, but to all genres of writing.

Prerequisites: ENGL 120 recommended, but not required.

No advance application required.

Professor: Barbara Stuart
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

In this course students will read essays by the luminaries of the food world exploring food narratives from many angles: family meals, recipes, cookbooks, restaurant reviews, memoir, and film. The units in this course will explore food within its cultural contexts.

No advance application required.

Professor: Stephen Longmire
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Workshop/Creative Writing

Sometimes words aren’t enough. This is a course for writers who turn to images for inspiration and want to incorporate them into their work. At once a seminar and a workshop, it offers students a series of models, past and present, to focus assignments that invite them to pair visual and verbal expression in various ways, believing the two are complementary, perhaps inseparable.

The course takes its lead, and part of its title, from a term the novelist and photographer Wright Morris coined to describe the experimental books he began making in the 1940s, pairing his fiction and photography on equal terms. In his photo-texts, the words are not captions and the images are not illustrations. Photo-text has been called silent film in book form. William Blake’s illuminated books, poems he wrote, illustrated and printed himself, and today’s artists’ books and graphic novels, are related forms, image-texts where two media join hands to form another. Words and images also go hand in hand in children’s literature, collage, graffiti, language poetry, screenplays, and a host of other hybrid forms. Such hybrids often follow moments of technological innovation, and we are living through one of the greatest since Gutenberg, in the way text and images are disseminated. What are the image-texts of the digital era?

The physical aspects of image-texts, from letterpress to digital printing and basic bookbinding, will be emphasized as creative opportunities, remembering that writing and imagery are material, as well as virtual, realities. Writers of fiction and non-fiction, playwrights and poets are all welcome. No experience making images is required.

No advance application required.

Professor: Ruth Yeazell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.25pm +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures
Pre-1900 Lit

A selection of nineteenth-century novels, with attention to cultural contexts. Authors chosen from the Brontës, Gaskell, Dickens, Collins, Eliot, Trollope, and Hardy.

Professor: David Bromwich
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1.00pm-2.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1900 w/ permission

Major shorter poems in English from the second generation of Romantics to the first generation of moderns. Among the poets likely to receive most attention are Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Whitman, Dickinson, Hardy, Hopkins, Yeats, Robinson, Frost, and Eliot.

Recommended though not required: ENGL 126 or a course on pre-20th-century poetry.

Professor: Richard Deming
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit, American Lit

Study of central works by three foundational writers of the nineteenth century. Cultural and historical context; questions concerning American identity, ethics, and culture, as well as the function of literature; the authors’ views on the intersections of philosophy and religious belief, culture, race, gender, and aesthetics. Readings include novels, short fiction, and essays.

Professor: R. John Williams
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1.00pm-2.15pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

A survey of literature’s role in anticipating and constructing potential futures since 1887. Early Anglo-American and European futurism during the years leading up to World War I; futures of speculative fiction during the Cold War; futuristic dreams of contemporary cyberpunk. What literature can reveal about the human need to understand both what is coming and how to respond to it.

Professor: Martin Haggland
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 3.30pm-4.20pm +HTBA
Course Type: Lecture & 1 HTBA/Lectures

An examination of concepts and assumptions in contemporary views of literature. Theories of meaning, interpretation, and representation. Critical analysis of formalist, psychoanalytic, structuralist, poststructuralist, Marxist, and feminist approaches to theory and to literature.

Professor: Joseph Cleary
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

A broad overview of Irish culture and literature between roughly 1890 and the end of World War II. The efforts of Irish writers to end Ireland’s long-standing cultural subordination to England and to create a distinctive and distinguished Irish national literature. Discussion of recent postcolonial, Marxist, and world literature critical approaches to the period. Authors include Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, and Samuel Beckett.

Professor: James Berger
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
American Lit

Portrayals of cognitive and linguistic impairment in modern fiction. Characters with limited capacities for language as figures of “otherness.” Contemporaneous discourses of science, sociology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. The ethics of speaking about or for subjects at the margins of discourse.

Also AMST 235

Professor: Michele Stepto
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

An eclectic approach to stories and storytelling for and by children. Authors include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Carlo Collodi, Jean de Brunhoff, Ursula LeGuin, J. K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Philip Pullman, and Neil Gaiman.

Professor: Marc Robinson
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars

Study of the drama, performance, and dance theater created in the last ten years, with special attention to work produced in 2016-2017. Readings from both published and unpublished American and British plays, contemporary criticism and theory, interviews, and essays by the artists themselves. Video of works created by companies such as Elevator Repair Service and the Nature Theater of Oklahoma. May include attendance of productions at performance spaces in and around New York City.

Also THST 329.

Professor: Leslie Brisman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Seminar/Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit w/ permission

Study of the Bible as a literature—a collection of works exhibiting a variety of attitudes toward the conflicting claims of tradition and originality, historicity and literariness. Pre-1800 with completion of supplementary assignments in the language of the King James Bible. If there is sufficient interest, a second section will be offered.

English: Pre-1800 with instructor’s permission and completion of supplementary assignments in the language of the King James Bible.

Also LITR 154

Professor: Robert Stepto
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars
American Lit

A study of autobiographical writings from Mary Rowlandson’s Indian captivity narrative (1682) to the present. Classic forms such as immigrant, education, and cause narratives; prevailing autobiographical strategies involving place, work, and photographs. Authors include Franklin, Douglass, Jacobs, Antin, Kingston, Uchida, Balakian, Rodriguez, and Bechdel.

Also AFAM 406/AMST 405

Professor: Leslie Brisman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.50pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit

The major Victorian poets, Tennyson and Browning, in the context of the romanticism they inherited and transformed. A selection of other Victorians whose genius or popularity warrants attention, including Morris, the Rossettis, Hardy, Swinburne, Hopkins, and Barrett Browning.

Professor: Katie Trumpener
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars
Pre-1900 w/ permission

Examination of ways that twentieth-century British, American, and anglophone writers rewrite, revise, and reconcile key novels by Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë as prototypes of a women’s novel tradition. Particular attention to narrative voice, reader identification, and the novel’s function as a record of social norms and as an agent of historical change.

Professor: Joseph Cleary
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 2.30pm-4.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars

Drawing on recent scholarship on modernist studies, postcolonial studies, and literary world-systems, this seminar explores how some leading Anglophone writers produced bold new works that engaged with conceptions of European civilizational crisis, the transfer of political power and cultural capital from Europe to the United States, and a rapidly-changing world order. Readings include Pascale Casanova, Alexis de Tocqueville, Henry James, Ford Maddox Ford, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Also LITR 412.

Professor: Wai Chee Dimock
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars
American Lit

A broad selection of short stories, poems, and novels, accompanied by class performances, culminating in a term project with a significant writing component. “Performance” includes a wide range of activities including: staging; making digital films and videos; building websites; game design; and creative use of social media. Readings include poetry by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Claudia Rankine; fiction by Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Junot Diaz.

Also AMST 475

Professor: Robert Stepto
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars
American Lit

The African American practice of poetry between 1900 and 1960, especially of sonnets, ballads, sermonic, and blues poems. Poets include Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Walker, and Robert Hayden. Class sessions at the Beinecke Library for inspection and discussion of original editions, manuscripts, letters, and other archival material.

Also AFAM 408/AMST 460

Professor: James Berger
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1.30pm-3.20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars
American Lit

Attempts of contemporary American authors to put the complexities of history into written form. Narrative as the privileged mode of historical representation; differences between what is regarded as academic history, popular history, and historical fiction; the influence of power and of the writer’s own historical position on historical narrative; effects of ethnicity, gender, and race on the creation and reception of history; writers’ use of historical fiction to change the ways readers think about the present and the future.

Also AMST 466

Professor: Stephanie Newell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 9.25am-11.15am
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars

Introduction to experimental African novels that challenge realist and documentary modes of representation. Topics include mythology, gender subversion, politics, the city, migration, and the self. Ways of reading African and postcolonial literature through the lenses of identity, history, and nation.

Also AFST 449

Professor: Cynthia Zarin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Workshop/Lectures, /Creative Writing

Writing of prose at the intermediate level. Daily assignments of c. 300 words, a weekly lecture, and a weekly tutorial. Application forms available on the Web by mid-November. Counts as a nonfiction course in the writing concentration. All undergraduate students are welcome to apply.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The special application form for ENGL 450 Daily Themes can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Professor: Cynthia Zarin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 2.30pm-3.45pm
Course Type: Workshop/Lectures, /Creative Writing

Writing of prose at the intermediate level. Daily assignments of c. 300 words, a weekly lecture, and a weekly tutorial. Application forms available on the Web by mid-November. Counts as a nonfiction course in the writing concentration. All undergraduate students are welcome to apply.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The special application form for ENGL 450 Daily Themes can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Professor: Anne Fadiman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 2:30-5:20
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

A seminar and workshop in first-person writing. Students explore a series of themes (including food, family, love, and identity) both by writing about their own lives and by reading British and American memoirs, autobiographies, personal essays, and letters. An older work, usually from the nineteenth or early twentieth century, is paired each week with a more recent one on the same theme.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: Please also submit your application form, Writing Sample, and Statement of Purpose in hard copy to the English Department office, LC 107.

Please read the course description below, paying special attention to sections highlighted in bold, some of which describe exceptions to the standard application procedure.
 
This is a reading and writing class—part lecture, part seminar, part workshop—in which students explore a series of themes (including love, loss, family, and identity) both by writing about their own lives and by reading British and American memoirs, autobiographies, letters, and personal essays.
 
First-person writing is a peculiar blend of candor, catharsis, narcissism, and indiscretion. The purpose of this class is to harness these elements with sufficient rigor and imagination that self-portraiture becomes interesting to others as well as to oneself. An older work, written between the late eighteenth and the mid-twentieth century, will be paired each week with a more recent one on the same theme—a coupling designed to erode the traditional academic boundaries between eras and between “ought” and “want” reading. (For instance, when we consider the theme of love, we will read excerpts from H. G. Wells’s On Loves and the Lover-Shadow and Joyce Maynard’s At Home in the World, and write personal essays on an aspect of love, not necessarily romantic.) Readings will include works by James Baldwin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joan Didion, Lucy Grealy, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mary McCarthy, James Thurber, and Virginia Woolf, among others. Our connections to the readings will be reinforced by several author visits. By writing a thousand-word first-person essay every other week, students will face the same problems the authors in our syllabus have faced, though they may come up with very different solutions. Students will critique each other’s work in class and by e-mail. Each student will have at least five individual conferences with me, most of them an hour long, in which we’ll edit your work together.
 
Students who wish to apply to “Writing about Oneself” should submit the standard Application for Creative Writing and Journalism Courses to the “English Student Resources” Drop Box on Classesv2 by noon on Wednesday, December 7. Please note the following special instructions for English 455 applications:
 
                1. The standard application specifies “a” writing sample. Ignore that! I can assess your work better if you submit two samples, totaling 5-15 pages if double-spaced work or around half that if single-spaced. (If the total length exceeds that, please mark the sections to which I should pay particular attention.) You may even submit three samples if one is very short (for instance, a Daily Themes one-pager).
 
           2. If possible, your samples should belong to the same genre we’ll be reading and writing (“non-non”–nonacademic nonfiction). Personal essays, other nonacademic essays, and literary journalism would all be appropriate. In other words, writing about yourself would be welcome but not required. (If fiction is your strength, one but not both of your samples may be a short story. Similarly, if you’re a playwright, one sample may be a scene from a play. The other sample should be non-non.) Choose pieces that give your literary style a thorough airing. Cogency will be valued; interminable tomes will cause me to droop.
 
           3. Your “statement of purpose”—essentially, a letter to me—should explain some things your samples won’t tell me. The application suggests “a paragraph,” but you are welcome to write as long a letter as you wish. For instance: Why do you want to take the class? What would you contribute to it? What writing experience and honors have you accumulated? (I’ll still consider you if the answer is None and None.) What are you majoring in? (English majors receive no special preference.) Is there anything else that might help me understand you as a writer or a person?
 
           4. When you list the writing classes you’ve taken, please include the name of the class and the instructor, not just the number.
 
I am not looking for a particular kind of writer. My ideal class is a mix of experienced journalists and creative writers (usually fiction writers or playwrights), with a couple of students who fit no category but just happen to write beautifully. Although most of its members will likely be juniors and seniors, anyone may apply. There are no prerequisites.
 
Once English 455 is up on Classesv2, the site may have a bit more information at the bottom of the course description, including the names of a couple of former students who have offered to answer questions about the class.
 
Professor: Peter Cole
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

Intensive readings in the history and theory of translation paired with practice in translating. Case studies from ancient languages (the Bible, Greek and Latin classics), medieval languages (classical Arabic literature), and modern languages (poetic texts).

Also HUMS 427/JDST 316/LITR 348.

No advance application required.

Professor: Claudia Rankine
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

A seminar and workshop in the writing of verse.

May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.
 

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

 
Professor: John Crowley
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

Practice in all aspects of writing a screenplay. Focus is on elements shared with other forms of fiction, including story, character, dialogue, and audience expectations. Students plan, pitch, outline, and write a large part of a single original screenplay through the semester, while studying screenplays and films selected to illustrate narrative modes and styles, as well as briefer examples of scene construction and dialogue.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: Screenplay excerpts are welcomed but not required as application writing samples for this course.

Also FILM 396.

Professor: Susan Choi
Term: Spring
Day/Time: F 3.30-5.20
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

An advanced workshop in the craft of writing fiction. May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: In your Statement of Purpose, please describe your interest in fiction-writing and in this course in particular.

Because this semester’s shopping period will only accommodate one meeting each of Professor Choi’s sections of ENGL 245 and ENGL 465 before schedules are due, Professor Choi will hold an Informational Session for students interested in either of the classes on Friday, January 20, 2017, from 1:00-3:00pm in LC 319. Professor Choi will distribute syllabi for the classes and answer any questions. Students already admitted or wait-listed are strongly encouraged to attend. All interested students are welcome.

Welcome to English 465! This class is an intensive fiction workshop. While there are no official prerequisites for this class, participants are expected to be avid readers of fiction with prior experience in the writing of fiction and basic familiarity with the workshop format. Each student will submit three pieces for workshop, the third being a revision of one of the first two. Students will also provide each other with written editorial feedback, and will maintain a daily ‘notebook.’ Below are these requirements and general guidelines in greater detail.

ATTENDANCE

Your regular attendance is crucial for the success of the workshop as a whole. In this course you’re equally an author and a critic, and fulfilling your critical responsibilities to your fellow writers is as important here as producing your own work. If you have more than one unexcused absence, each additional unexcused absence will lower your grade 1/3 of a letter.

WORKSHOP

You’ll sign up to submit work to our workshop three times this semester. Your third submission must be a revision of either of the first two submissions.

We’ll divide the semester into three ‘cycles’ (Round One, Round Two, Revision) and I’ll ask you to sign up for a workshop date within each of the three cycles.  Once you commit to your workshop dates, you will be expected to stick with them if at all possible. If it is absolutely necessary for you to reschedule, please discuss with me first.

Submission length:  There is no set length for workshop submissions, but consider the ballpark as between 5 and 15 pages.

Format:  Double-space, number your pages, and include your name. If you can, please print double-sided as well, to avoid waste.

Distribution:  Writers must bring to class hard copies of their submissions one week in advance of their workshop, to be distributed to classmates and to me. *Exceptions will be made for our first workshop and our post-recess workshop. In those cases, writers will distribute their work to the class via email on a date to be determined and readers are responsible for printing out the stories under discussion.  All discussion of work in class will be from hard copies.

FEEDBACK

As a member of the workshop, I’ll expect your regular participation in classroom discussions of the writing ‘up’ for workshop any given week. In addition, I expect you to treat each workshop submission in the following way:

1)   read each submission first for pleasure; put your feet up, and don’t hold a pen.

2)   a bit later, read the submission again, as a critic. This time, hold a pen, and make what marginal comments occur to you on the page.

3)   last, summarize your critical response to the submission in a typed paragraph. When doing this, think of the sort of feedback you, as a writer, would appreciate. Be specific, yet constructive. Also, be concise. Print and bring to workshop two copies of your critical response, one for the author of the piece, and one for me.

DAILY ‘NOTEBOOK’

Given the volume of reading and writing the workshop alone will require, I will not assign additional reading, or specific exercises. I will, however, ask you to make a commitment to that part of your attention dedicated to fiction-writing by keeping a ‘notebook’ in which you make a daily ‘entry’ of about 100 words. 100 words happens to be the exact length of the three numbered instructions, taken together, which appear immediately above this paragraph. As you can see, it’s not a lot of words. This entry can be anything at all: an idea for a story;  a quick sketch of a character or a setting; a few lines of overheard diagloue; a rumination; an account of a dream; a memory. The object here is to keep in touch with the fiction-writing impulse, and to ‘bank’ ideas and sentences, throughout a busy semester. To help you maintain this habit, your notebook entries will take the form of daily emails to meI will not read your entries but I’ll make sure you’re making them, and prod you if you aren’t. To help me organize my inbox, please use the same subject heading for all entries:  465 daily notebook. If you are emailing me for another reason, please be sure to change the subject heading.

PUBLIC READINGS
Every year, the Yale Creative Writing Program brings outstanding writers to campus. You are not required, but you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this resource.

GRADING
Your final grade will be based upon your attendance, participation in discussions, critical responses to your peers, and timely completion of all reading and writing assignments, including the daily ‘notebook.’

Professor: Calvin Baker
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 3.30pm-5.20pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

An advanced workshop in the craft of writing fiction. May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Professor: Bob Woodward
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 2.30-4.20
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing, /Journalism

English 467b is a seminar that examines the practices, methods, ethical dilemmas, and impact of journalism. The main attention will be on investigative political reporting and writing: How others have done it, what works, and what doesn’t. Students will be exposed to best practices in journalism as revealed in newspaper and magazine articles and books.

The course is designed not just for those considering journalism or writing as a career but for anyone hoping to enter a profession in which conveying information is central to success. That may be almost everyone. Think of the seminar as a class to improve your methods for obtaining, skeptically evaluating and assessing information, and then writing it up for others to read.

Students will read specific articles and books that will be discussed in class and analyzed in occasional short papers.

I will meet or speak by phone with students individually during the term in order to provide evaluations, assistance on reporting, writing or the final project, and, if sought, career guidance. Since this is only my fourth year teaching a formal course, it will continue to be a learning experience for me and I hope to get strong feedback from the students as the course proceeds on what is valuable to them — the readings, writing assignments, and class discussion. Some assignments may change based on student reactions and feedback.

Evelyn Duffy, my full-time assistant who has worked on my last four books, will help me with the class. Chris Haugh, a second-year Yale Law student and alumni of this course, is my teaching fellow this year. They are both available – Chris in New Haven, Evelyn by email or phone – to help with assignments or logistical issues. Don’t hesitate to contact Evelyn (EvelynMDuffy@gmail.com) or Chris (christopher.haugh@yale.edu) with any questions or ideas for improvement you may have.

SYLLABUS

Fulfills the core seminar requirement for Yale Journalism Scholars. No prerequisites.

Also PLSC 253.

This course requires an application, which is due by Saturday, December 10, at noon (extended deadline). The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: The seminar is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors, and graduate students (with department approval). The application will consist of two parts. The first should be a personal statement explaining your interest in the course, your Yale class year, any previous writing courses, your main extra-curricular activities, and any journalism or work experience. The second part should be a writing sample–an article that has been published anywhere or a paper you have submitted for a class. The application form, which is available on the English department website, should be submitted by noon on December 10 by uploading it to my course site on Classes*v2 (or emailing it to erica.sayers@yale.edu if the site is not available). I encourage people who are writers or editors of campus publications to apply, but I also want students who have little or no experience with campus publications to apply as well.

Instructor’s Biography

Woodward graduated from Yale in 1965 and is currently an associate editor of The Washington Post where he has worked since 1971. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for the Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein and second as the lead reporter for the Post’s coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored 18 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Twelve of those have been #1 national bestsellers, ranging from All the President’s Men (1974) to Obama’s Wars (2010).

In 2014, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said that he wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him…his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.” Gates is, of course, representing the government’s position about people telling the truth and talking about what he thinks they shouldn’t address. The class is going to be very much directed at this idea of finding out what the government and others don’t want reporters or the public to know.

(See www.bobwoodward.com under “Full Biography” for more details and background.)

Professor: Bob Woodward
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 2.30-4.20
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing, /Journalism

English 467b is a seminar that examines the practices, methods, ethical dilemmas, and impact of journalism. The main attention will be on investigative political reporting and writing: How others have done it, what works, and what doesn’t. Students will be exposed to best practices in journalism as revealed in newspaper and magazine articles and books.

The course is designed not just for those considering journalism or writing as a career but for anyone hoping to enter a profession in which conveying information is central to success. That may be almost everyone. Think of the seminar as a class to improve your methods for obtaining, skeptically evaluating and assessing information, and then writing it up for others to read.

Students will read specific articles and books that will be discussed in class and analyzed in occasional short papers.

I will meet or speak by phone with students individually during the term in order to provide evaluations, assistance on reporting, writing or the final project, and, if sought, career guidance. Since this is only my fourth year teaching a formal course, it will continue to be a learning experience for me and I hope to get strong feedback from the students as the course proceeds on what is valuable to them — the readings, writing assignments, and class discussion. Some assignments may change based on student reactions and feedback.

Evelyn Duffy, my full-time assistant who has worked on my last four books, will help me with the class. Chris Haugh, a second-year Yale Law student and alumni of this course, is my teaching fellow this year. They are both available – Chris in New Haven, Evelyn by email or phone – to help with assignments or logistical issues. Don’t hesitate to contact Evelyn (EvelynMDuffy@gmail.com) or Chris (christopher.haugh@yale.edu) with any questions or ideas for improvement you may have.

SYLLABUS

Fulfills the core seminar requirement for Yale Journalism Scholars. No prerequisites.

Also PLSC 253.

This course requires an application, which is due by Saturday, December 10, at noon (extended deadline). The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: The seminar is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors, and graduate students (with department approval). The application will consist of two parts. The first should be a personal statement explaining your interest in the course, your Yale class year, any previous writing courses, your main extra-curricular activities, and any journalism or work experience. The second part should be a writing sample–an article that has been published anywhere or a paper you have submitted for a class. The application form, which is available on the English department website, should be submitted by noon on December 10 by uploading it to my course site on Classes*v2 (or emailing it to erica.sayers@yale.edu if the site is not available). I encourage people who are writers or editors of campus publications to apply, but I also want students who have little or no experience with campus publications to apply as well.

Instructor’s Biography

Woodward graduated from Yale in 1965 and is currently an associate editor of The Washington Post where he has worked since 1971. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for the Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein and second as the lead reporter for the Post’s coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored 18 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Twelve of those have been #1 national bestsellers, ranging from All the President’s Men (1974) to Obama’s Wars (2010).

In 2014, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said that he wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him…his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.” Gates is, of course, representing the government’s position about people telling the truth and talking about what he thinks they shouldn’t address. The class is going to be very much directed at this idea of finding out what the government and others don’t want reporters or the public to know.

(See www.bobwoodward.com under “Full Biography” for more details and background.)

Professor: Donald Margulies
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 2:30-5:00
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

An intensive workshop in advanced playwriting techniques. Discussion of works by contemporary playwrights. In addition to weekly exercises, students write a full-length play. Prerequisite: an intermediate course in playwriting or screenwriting, or with permission of the instructor.

Also THST 327b.

This course requires an application, which is due by Wednesday, December 7, at noon. The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions: Playwriting applicants should submit five pages of creative writing in any genre and a letter of intent (no maximum length).

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Creative Writing, /Independent Projects

A writing tutorial in fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, or nonfiction for students who have already taken writing courses at the intermediate and advanced levels. Conducted with a faculty member after approval by the director of undergraduate studies.

Applications are due by December 7, 2016, for spring-term projects and by April 21, 2017, for fall-term projects.

Prerequisites: two courses in writing.

Application details and forms are available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Creative Writing, /Independent Projects

A writing tutorial in fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, or nonfiction for students who have already taken writing courses at the intermediate and advanced levels. Conducted with a faculty member after approval by the director of undergraduate studies.

Applications are due by December 7, 2016, for spring-term projects and by April 21, 2017, for fall-term projects.

Prerequisites: two courses in writing.

Application details and forms are available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Professor: Mark Oppenheimer
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1.00pm-4.00pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing

We are clearly in a golden age of podcasting. Many of the shows that we associate with the medium have first lives as radio shows: This American Life, Radiolab, Snap Judgment, etc. But they all now have more listeners, by orders of magnitude, in their downloadable podcast form; what’s more, many of them do extended, more ambitious versions, or versions that keep all the original (read: obscene) dialogue, for their podcast audiences. Then, of course, there are the audio shows that have no existence on terrestrial radio: Serial, 99% Invisible, WTF with Marc Maron, and others. The podcast has become the medium for the most innovative radio nonfiction—indeed, for the best creative nonfiction today, radio or otherwise. In this course, we will study the medium, including its deep history and origins, and collaboratively produce a series of podcasts on undergraduate life at Yale, for (we hope) a wide national, even international audience.

Every week, we will have reading or listening, or both, in the history of nonfiction (and occasionally fiction) audio. We will journey from the early, transglobal, empire-sustaining innovations of the BBC to the legendary radio work of Orson Welles; pick up with the beginnings of underground and community radio in the United States; and read and listen widely in the work of the great legends of what might be called the public-radio era, from the mid-1970s on, including Joe Frank and the Kitchen Sisters. Special attention will be paid to contemporary radio documentarians and storytellers like Jay Allison, Glynn Washington, Ira Glass, Scott Carrier, and The Moth under artistic director Catherine Burns.

Simultaneously, drawing on that history, we will dive right in and produce our own podcasts. Using audio resources available at Yale, as well as those that we will purchase, we will learn basic techniques for audio production: recording, cutting audio, sound design. Students will be expected to select a topic for the final project by the second week and begin reporting and collecting “tape” (not tape, but the term lives on) by the third week. Students will have to choose topics that a) focus on Yale undergraduate life, and b) do not conflict with one another. That way, we will finish with a 12-part series of podcasts that together can make a season of a show about undergraduate life at Yale (I’m tentatively calling it Undergrad!, but I hope we can do better). We’ll post them on our own website, but we’ll also get big distribution, I am sure … but more on that later.

In-class workshops, in which we listen to each other’s tape and critique it, will be the center of this course. The other center will be the considerable time spent reporting and editing, on software that you may just be learning. The other center will be writing the script that will hold your podcast together, the connective tissue. Many centers, it seems.

Radio editing is very time-intensive, as is radio-listening (there is no way to “skim” two hours of listening). You can spend three hours just trying to get one second of tape to sound just right. So this course will require a lot of hours. While it should be the most fun course you ever take, it is not a good idea to treat it as a gut or a breezy fifth class. If you work hard, you’ll probably get a good grade; if you don’t work hard enough, it may be difficult to pass.

Prerequisite: Strong comfort in learning new software, or at least eagerness to try.

Students are encouraged to apply by Wednesday, December 7, at noon, but interested students are also welcome to attend the first class meeting.

The standard application form can be found on the Applications and Deadlines page.

Special application instructions:

1. Although you won’t be held to this, if you had to decide right now, what topic would you choose for a short podcast episode about undergraduate life?

2. In lieu of a writing sample, you may email an audio production to the professor at mark.oppenheimer@yale.edu.

Professor: Mark Oppenheimer
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 2:30pm-4:20pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing, /Journalism

The history and practice of writing journalistic essays or articles in which the principal actor is not a person but a notion or idea. Conventions, tropes, and authorial strategies that give rise to the best works work in the genre, focusing on examples from the 20th century, including George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, Tom Wolfe, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm. Students write their own example of the journalism of ideas.

No advance application required.

Professor: Mark Oppenheimer
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 2:30pm-4:20pm
Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Creative Writing, /Journalism

The history and practice of writing journalistic essays or articles in which the principal actor is not a person but a notion or idea. Conventions, tropes, and authorial strategies that give rise to the best works work in the genre, focusing on examples from the 20th century, including George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, Tom Wolfe, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm. Students write their own example of the journalism of ideas.

No advance application required.

Professor: Richard Deming
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars, /Creative Writing, Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Senior Seminars, /Creative Writing
American Lit with permission of instructor (Senior Seminar only)

A study of contemporary poetry and poetics that explores both literary criticism and creative writing. Ways to assess prevailing poetic values and articulate one’s own. Attention to critical skills for engaging recent developments in the field; development of a sense of the current aesthetic landscape. Includes four additional class meetings with influential contemporary poets who represent a variety of styles and modes.

Senior Seminar or Creative Writing. No advance application required.

Professor: Richard Deming
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Course Type: Seminar/Senior Seminars, /Creative Writing, Course Type: Advanced Workshop/Senior Seminars, /Creative Writing
American Lit with permission of instructor (Senior Seminar only)

A study of contemporary poetry and poetics that explores both literary criticism and creative writing. Ways to assess prevailing poetic values and articulate one’s own. Attention to critical skills for engaging recent developments in the field; development of a sense of the current aesthetic landscape. Includes four additional class meetings with influential contemporary poets who represent a variety of styles and modes.

Senior Seminar or Creative Writing. No advance application required.

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Independent Projects

Special projects set up by the student in an area of particular interest with the help of a faculty adviser and the director of undergraduate studies, intended to enable the student to cover material not otherwise offered by the department. The course may be used for research or for directed reading, but in either case a term paper or its equivalent is normally required. The student meets regularly with the faculty adviser. To apply for admission, a student must submit an application and prospectus signed by the faculty adviser to the office of the director of undergraduate studies.

Applications are due by December 7, 2016, for spring-term projects and by April 21, 2017, for fall-term projects.

Application details and forms are available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Creative Writing, /Independent Projects

A term-long project in writing, under tutorial supervision, aimed at producing a single longer work (or a collection of related shorter works). An application and prospectus signed by the student’s adviser must be submitted to the office of the director of undergraduate studies by November 11, 2016, for Spring 2017 projects and by April 13, 2017, for Fall 2017 projects. The project is due by the end of the last week of classes (fall term), or the end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term).

Visit http://yalecreativewriting.yale.edu/writing-concentration for more information.

Application form is available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Creative Writing, /Independent Projects

A term-long project in writing, under tutorial supervision, aimed at producing a single longer work (or a collection of related shorter works). An application and prospectus signed by the student’s adviser must be submitted to the office of the director of undergraduate studies by November 11, 2016, for Spring 2017 projects and by April 13, 2017, for Fall 2017 projects. The project is due by the end of the last week of classes (fall term), or the end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term).

Visit http://yalecreativewriting.yale.edu/writing-concentration for more information.

Application form is available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Independent Projects

Students wishing to undertake an independent senior essay in English must apply through the office of the director of undergraduate studies. Applications are due by December 7, 2016, for spring-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the spring term; applications are due by April 21, 2017, for fall-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the fall term.

Application details and forms are available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

For one-term senior essays, the essay itself is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) end of the fourth week of classes: five to ten pages of writing and/or an annotated bibliography; (2) end of the ninth week of classes: a rough draft of the complete essay; (3) end of the last week of classes (fall term) or end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term): the completed essay. Consult the director of undergraduate studies regarding the schedule for submission of the yearlong senior essay.

Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Course Type: Independent/Independent Projects

Second term of the optional yearlong senior essay. Students may begin the yearlong essay in the spring term of the junior year, allowing for significant summer research, with permission of the instructor. After ENGL 490.

Students wishing to undertake an independent senior essay in English must apply through the office of the director of undergraduate studies. Applications are due by December 7, 2016, for spring-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the spring term; applications are due by April 21, 2017, for fall-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the fall term.

Application details and forms are available at http://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

For one-term senior essays, the essay itself is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) end of the fourth week of classes: five to ten pages of writing and/or an annotated bibliography; (2) end of the ninth week of classes: a rough draft of the complete essay; (3) end of the last week of classes (fall term) or end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term): the completed essay. Consult the director of undergraduate studies regarding the schedule for submission of the yearlong senior essay.