Courses

Professor: David Kastan
TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm

Detailed exploration of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. What makes the plays great in a way that almost all readers and audiences have recognized. The works as plays to be performed, as drama to be read, as texts that have been constructed by the activities of various people, and as plays deeply embedded in the history of their own moment, as well as in later histories for which they are in some part responsible.

Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration; see First-Year Seminar Program for details.

Freshman Seminars
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Joseph Gordon
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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 shifting 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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration; see First-Year Seminar Program for details.

Freshman Seminars
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

Study of literature and the representation of consciousness, focusing in particular on the novel, from Jane Austen to the present. What literature can tell us about the way minds work; how novels represent the felt experience of people going about their lives; how literature partners with other ways of understanding the mind, such as psychology and neuroscience.
 
Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration; see First-Year Seminar Program for details.

Freshman Seminars
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
MW 9:00am-10:15am

Is there really a separation of Church and State in America? Is religion a private matter? Has modernity marginalized religion? In this course, we will examine the role of religion in the public sphere, and we will challenge our understanding of what it means to be religious in a secular world. According to Charles Taylor, we in the West have come to a point where belief in God is no longer unchallenged and the presumption of unbelief is dominant, especially in intellectual milieus. In spite of the decline in religious belief, however, contemporary debates on marriage and sexuality, gender, and race hinge on notions of religious morality. What might these conversations reveal about the boundary between religion and politics? Is a secular outlook the solution to the challenges of religious diversity in America? We will read essays on these debates in disciplines as varied as law, biology, theology, philosophy, anthropology, and race and gender studies. As we explore the relationship between religion and secularity, we will also be concerned with how religion affects the more intimate aspects of our lives. How does religion constitute our identity and define our relationship to others? How does belief or unbelief influence our sense of purpose and fulfillment? We will examine the tensions, conflicts, and anxieties religion inspires in our public and private lives.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

Is there really a separation of Church and State in America? Is religion a private matter? Has modernity marginalized religion? In this course, we will examine the role of religion in the public sphere, and we will challenge our understanding of what it means to be religious in a secular world. According to Charles Taylor, we in the West have come to a point where belief in God is no longer unchallenged and the presumption of unbelief is dominant, especially in intellectual milieus. In spite of the decline in religious belief, however, contemporary debates on marriage and sexuality, gender, and race hinge on notions of religious morality. What might these conversations reveal about the boundary between religion and politics? Is a secular outlook the solution to the challenges of religious diversity in America? We will read essays on these debates in disciplines as varied as law, biology, theology, philosophy, anthropology, and race and gender studies. As we explore the relationship between religion and secularity, we will also be concerned with how religion affects the more intimate aspects of our lives. How does religion constitute our identity and define our relationship to others? How does belief or unbelief influence our sense of purpose and fulfillment? We will examine the tensions, conflicts, and anxieties religion inspires in our public and private lives.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Rasheed Tazudeen
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

How are identities shaped by the sounds and noises we hear? How does sound, and music, influence the construction of our world? This course will investigate the cultural and political role of sound and music from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Rasheed Tazudeen
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

While we tend to speak about “life” as a self-evident concept, the meaning of life has been persistently redefined according to historical pressures and philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic ideas. This course explores contestations over the meaning of life from Ancient Greece to the present.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Jami Carlacio
TTh 9:00am-10:15am

Every day, at every hour, we are bombarded by hundreds of news items via traditional broadcast and print outlets, social media sites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, and more. Confronted with so much information, we must decide what news to consume and which source(s) to trust. The stakes are high: what is available to us and on what platforms affect our choices to take (or not take) action, engage in civil protest, vote in key elections, conserve resources, and more. The rapid and radical changes we witness in our news and information environment make public and private decisions even more difficult, particularly in a global context. In a democratic society, the media are expected to create an informed citizenry able to debate issues in the public sphere. But are they doing their job? How might the news manufacture our consent—that is, to what extent do media shape our opinions rather than create the conditions for democracy?

The central questions of this course include: What role do the media play in US democracy? How has news production and consumption changed, with the rise of citizen journalists? Because most of our news now comes to us in digital form, we must ask ourselves, how do digital forms of news production and consumption affect American democracy?

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Craig Eklund
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

What is the self? Paradoxically, the closest thing to us is the most obscure of all. This course explores the seminal questions of selfhood (free will, subjectivity, consciousness) and novel insights offered by neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and, yes, selfies.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Margaret Homans
WF 1:00pm-2:15pm

Does identity come from deep inside you, or does it depend on your being part of a social group external to you? This course explores the paradoxes of different kinds of identity: racial, gendered, sexual, class, national, ethnic, and so on.

Also WGSS 114.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Rosemary Jones
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

What shapes our definition of beauty? In this course we will explore whether society’s desire for certain kinds of beauty may obscure or distort the potential of beauty to represent or suggest a conception of truth.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Timothy Kreiner
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

How do we make sense of social divisions? Why do those divisions seem to have intensified in recent years? And what is to be done about them? This course seeks to shed light on the persistent problem of inequality by querying what we mean when we say equality today. 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? 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 trouble with equality today in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class before bringing what we glean to bear upon how the Black Lives Matter movement responds to mass incarceration and the legacy of slavery. We will conclude by examining the rise of the Alt-Right and no-platform campaigns that have reignited debates over free speech on campus here at Yale and elsewhere.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Timothy Kreiner
TTh 4:00pm-5:15pm

How do we make sense of social divisions? Why do those divisions seem to have intensified in recent years? And what is to be done about them? This course seeks to shed light on the persistent problem of inequality by querying what we mean when we say equality today. 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? 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 trouble with equality today in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class before bringing what we glean to bear upon how the Black Lives Matter movement responds to mass incarceration and the legacy of slavery. We will conclude by examining the rise of the Alt-Right and no-platform campaigns that have reignited debates over free speech on campus here at Yale and elsewhere.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Justin Park
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

Do we really need empathy? Is “putting yourself in another’s shoes” the remedy to the political, racial, and economic divisions that fill our headlines and newsfeeds? In 2006, then senator Barack Obama suggested as much when he argued that a “sense of empathy” needs to “infuse our politics.” But is there a limit to what empathy can do? Is putting yourself in another’s place even possible? If it is, whom should we feel empathy for?

We will start with Adam Smith’s influential work on empathy, asking what are empathy’s necessary conditions, along with Achille Mbembe’s work on enmity and society. Then we will move to cognitive science and studies on empathy produced in readers of literary fiction; we will test those claims by reading Recitatif by Toni Morrison. We will examine “empathy-projects”: contemporary works that mobilize a radical engagement with empathy to transform a reader’s position on such issues as trans rights, class politics in the 21st century, neo-liberalism and the commodification of emotion, and the clash between religion and medicine. We will conclude by asking if humans are the only fit subject for empathy. What about animals, the environment, and even machines? We will ask: what does it take for empathy to transform the subject and what are the limits of that transformation? As Anne Fadiman writes, “empathy is so hard – harder than anger, harder than pity.”

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Palmer Rampell
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

In an era pervaded by alarms about the death of privacy, this course asks: Why does privacy matter to us? What are its origins? Does it protect all equally? Topics to be considered include: abortion, digital surveillance, and social media.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Greg Ellermann
MW 4:00pm-5:15pm

Today, most of us would accept the claim that art is political. TV shows, movies, music – we assume that such cultural objects can express ideals, make arguments, represent characters in politically significant ways, and even teach us how the world works. But where do our intuitions come from? Do they stand up to scrutiny? Drawing on perspectives from philosophy, political theory, the history of media, black studies, and gender studies, this class explores the uneasy place that artworks occupy on the terrain of the political. To begin, we will consider the status of art in the modern world. How do the economic and technological transformations of modernity change our sense of art’s capabilities? In response to this question, we raise the thorny issue of mass culture and its relation to high art and artistic subcultures. Can art today ever be more than a commodity? What does it mean to create in opposition to the mainstream? We then delve into the ongoing debate about the politics of vision, representation, and the gaze in film and other visual media. We will consider in detail the limits of what art can or should show us, without giving up on the idea that art reveals the world in new and life-altering ways.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Jill Campbell
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Seo Hee Im
MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

According to the writers at Wired, ours is a snack culture in which cultural commodities are made for quick consumption and disposal, “to be munched easily with increased frequency and maximum speed.” How, then, do phenomenally strange and often unpalatable works elicit fierce, long-term loyalty? We will begin by articulating some reasons for cult fiction’s peculiar appeal; develop theories for why we might seek risk or difficulty in art when there is enough risk and difficulty in life; and consider the otaku, the strange case of a niche culture gone global. Throughout, we’ll ask what cult classics can tell us more generally about modernism, which is also known for compressing elements previously thought to be incommensurable.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

Throughout English literary history, the Bible has played a major role in the formation of literature. From medieval plays to contemporary poetry, the Bible’s is a rich trove of tropes, allusions, and character schemas. The literature uses these tropes to ask variations on a not so simple question: Where does God fit in the chaos of the world? For example, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained would be a literary treatise on God’s plan for human history and has become a reference point for the literature to follow. Among these texts that would follow is African American literature, which asks this same question with different stakes at play. This class will look at how African-American literature engages with the Bible to think about history, freedom, hope, suffering, and death. For example, the Exodus is a prominent symbol of escape, hope, and movement found across generations of writers. In addition, the life and figure of Christ becomes a metaphor of undeserved suffering and the possibility of (or foreclosure on) the possibility of redemption. As we will we read, stories like The Fall, Abraham ad Isaac, and the Crucifixion are reshaped and reinterpreted in poems, short stories, and novels, we’ll seek to understand. What does a religious text have to say to an increasingly secular world? In what ways has the Bible shaped formations of race? Why is the Bible such an important text to canonical African-American writers, such as Phillis Wheatley, James Weldon Johnson, and Zora Neale Hurston, among others? Can literature play a role in creating a more inclusive theology?

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
TTh 9:00am-10:15am

In the last two hundred years, our planet has changed at an unprecedented rate: humans have extinguished other species, toxic chemicals have poisoned ecosystems, and greenhouse gases have altered our very atmosphere. In this course, we will study Anglo American, African American, Native American, Latina/o, and British authors who have engaged with these transformations. On the one hand, we will ask a range of literary questions: How have novels, essays, poems, and other forms depicted the more-than-human world? How have images, symbols, settings, and other devices created a sense of place? On the other hand, we will pursue a series of historical inquiries: How have literary texts reproduced the ideologies that allow us to (ab)use our environments? Conversely, how have literary texts critiqued destructive policies, illuminated ecological crises, and inspired environmental movements? Throughout, we will pay particularly close attention to the relationships between social conflict and ecological change, and indeed, the indivisibility of these processes; how, we will ask, have gender, race, and class shaped the ways we write and think about environments? Authors may include Harriet Jacobs, Henry David Thoreau, José Martí, John Muir, Zitkála-Šá, Willa Cather, Langston Hughes, Ann Petry, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Piri Thomas, Leslie Marmon Silko, Helena María Viramontes, and Indra Sinha, supplemented by readings in eco-criticism and the environmental humanities.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Stephanie Ranks
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

By what authority can a government declare something to be true?  And by what power can citizens resist that imposition?  This course will look at how literary works throughout history have dealt with the real or threatened imposition of authoritarian power – how literature provides a means and a mechanism for resistance against the oppression of the state in ways that harness unexpectedly rigorous and logical scientific thinking.  We will read selections of John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667), and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World (1666), paired with theoretical texts by political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, and scientist Robert Hooke.  We will also examine dystopian science fiction such as George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985).  We will use these works to think together about how literature both fails and succeeds as a concrete form of protest, and how this strangely entwined impotence and efficacy functions at the level of language.  Together we will explore how language can both ameliorate and sew discord, depending on how it is used.  And, centrally, we will ask whether and how that discord can ever be resolved into something like universal truth, and if so, who has the power to determine it.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Andrew Ehrgood
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Derek Green
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Angus Ledingham
MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Brandon Menke
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Pamela Newton
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Shifra Sharlin
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Barbara Stuart
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Randi Epstein
MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Briallen Hopper
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Adam Reid Sexton
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Kim Shirkhani
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Ben Glaser
MW 9:00am-10:15am

Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse genres and social histories; and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Langdon Hammer
TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm

Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse genres and social histories; and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Naomi Levine
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse genres and social histories; and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Naomi Levine
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse genres and social histories; and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Joseph North
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse genres and social histories; and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
TTh 9:00am-10:15am

Introduction to the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the place of race, class, gender, and sexuality in American literary culture. Authors may include Phillis Wheatley, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, Alan Ginsberg, Chang-Rae Lee, and Toni Morrison, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
American Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

Introduction to the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the place of race, class, gender, and sexuality in American literary culture. Authors may include Phillis Wheatley, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, Alan Ginsberg, Chang-Rae Lee, and Toni Morrison, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
American Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Michael Warner
TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm

Introduction to the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the place of race, class, gender, and sexuality in American literary culture. Authors may include Phillis Wheatley, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, Alan Ginsberg, Chang-Rae Lee, and Toni Morrison, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
American Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Joseph Cleary
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

An introduction to the literary traditions of the Anglophone world in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic, cultural and racial histories; and on the politics of empire and liberation struggles. Authors may include Daniel Defoe, Mary Prince, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, C. L. R. James, Claude McKay, Jean Rhys, Yvonne Vera, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, J. M. Coetzee, Brian Friel, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Alice Munro, Derek Walcott, and Patrick White, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Jill Richards
TTh 9:00am-10:15am

An introduction to the literary traditions of the Anglophone world in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic, cultural and racial histories; and on the politics of empire and liberation struggles. Authors may include Daniel Defoe, Mary Prince, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, C. L. R. James, Claude McKay, Jean Rhys, Yvonne Vera, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, J. M. Coetzee, Brian Friel, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Alice Munro, Derek Walcott, and Patrick White, among others.

Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
Term: Spring
2018
MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Katja Lindskog
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

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 this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Introductory Classes
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

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 application required prior to the first class.

SYLLABUS

Creative Writing
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Adam Reid Sexton
MW 2.30pm-3.45pm

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 application required prior to the first class.

Creative Writing
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: David Gorin
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 application required prior to the first class.

Creative Writing
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Roberta Frank
MW 9:00am-10:15am

An introduction to the literature and culture of earliest England. A selection of prose and verse, including riddles, heroic poetry, meditations on loss, a dream vision, and excerpts from Beowulf, all read in the original Old English.

_

Also LING 150.

Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit
Medieval Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
MW 2:30pm-3:20pm +1HTBA

Introduction to medieval English literature and culture in its European and Mediterranean context, before it became monolingual, canonical, or author-bound. Genres include travel writing, epic, dream visions, mysticism, the lyric, and autobiography, from the Crusades to the Hundred Years War, from the troubadours to Dante, from the Chanson de Roland to Chaucer.

Also FREN 216, HUMS 134, LITR 194.

Lectures
Pre-1800 Lit
Medieval Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: R. John Williams
MW 1:30pm-2:20pm +1 HTBA

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.

Lectures
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Marijeta Bozovic, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

Examination, through the lenses of histories, network studies, and cultural studies, of how human beings have seemingly overnight learned to use and depend on computer networks for various kinds of work, military operations, pursuits of scientific knowledge, religious proselytizing, political organization, searches for mates and social communities, illegal activities, and infinite varieties of play.

Also FILM 394, LITR 409, RSEE 350.

Lectures
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: David Kastan
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm 1 HTBA

A study of Shakespeare’s histories and tragedies, focusing on attentive reading of the play texts and consideration of the theatrical, literary, intellectual, political, and social worlds in which the plays were written, performed, and experienced.

Lectures
Pre-1800 Lit
Renaissance Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: R. Howard Bloch
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

A study of some of the principal forms of Arthurian, chivalric, courtly, and parodic romances of medieval French and English tradition.

Also FREN 214, HUMS 187, LITR 182.

Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit
Medieval Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: John Rogers
T 9:25am-11:15

A survey of seventeenth-century poetry and prose, exclusive of Milton. Authors include poets Donne, Herbert, and Crashaw; playwrights Jonson and Dryden; philosophers Bacon, Hobbes, and Wilkins; essayists Burton and Browne; and fiction writers Cavendish, Bunyan, and Behn.

Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit
Renaissance Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Introduction to the poetic genres of lyric, epic, and pastoral in the European Renaissance. Focus on questions of desire, love, and gendered subjectivity. The historical contexts and political uses of discourses of eroticism and pleasure in Italy, Spain, France, and England. Written exercises include poetic imitations of Renaissance texts.

Also LITR 179.

Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit
Renaissance Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: John Rogers
MW 11:35am-12:50pm 1 HTBA

A study of John Milton’s poetry, his engagement with the cultural, social, political, and philosophical struggles of the seventeenth century, and the surprising influence of Paradise Lost on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American letters and religion.

Lectures
Pre-1800 Lit
Renaissance Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Margaret Homans
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

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.

Also WGSS 224.

Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit
18/19 C Lit, 20/21 C Lit with permission
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Claudia Rankine
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

An interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of whiteness. Discussion of whiteness as a culturally constructed and economic incorporated entity, which touches upon and assigns value to nearly every aspect of American life and culture.

Also AFAM 232.

Seminars
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: James Berger
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Attempts since the late nineteenth century to imagine, in literature, cinema, and social theory, a world different from the existing world. The merging of political critique with desire and anxiety; the nature and effects of social power; forms of authority, submission, and resistance.

Also AMST 330.

Seminars
Term: Spring
2018
TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm

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 application required prior to the first class.

Also FILM 397, THST 228.

Creative Writing
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Susan Choi
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

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

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

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.

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Cynthia Zarin
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

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

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Derek Green
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

This course focuses on crafting television drama with a strong emphasis on creating and developing an original concept from premise to pilot. Much has been written about the current “golden age” of dramatic television; the course takes as one of its precepts that the finest television dramas being created today aspire to literary quality. Our aim this term is to demystify the process of creating and writing serious television drama, for students of all levels, from beginners to more experienced writers of drama and fiction.
 
We will approach the writing of television drama like any other form of fiction writing, as a craft. To that end, we will closely read original scripts of critically-acclaimed series from a diverse range of creators. By the end of the course, students will be responsible for creating a series “bible” which will include formal story and world descriptions, orchestrated character biographies, a detailed pilot outline, and two or more acts of an original series pilot.

No application required prior to the first class.

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Ryan Wepler
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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 application required prior to the first class.

Creative Writing
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Briallen Hopper
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

Development of skills essential to non-fiction writing, with an emphasis on memoir, characterization, and narrative, as well as the ethical and practical considerations involved in writing about real people. Students review the work of classmates and professional writers to learn techniques for representing love, intimacy, and family structures and systems.

No application required prior to the first class.

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Barbara Stuart
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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 application required prior to the first class.

Creative Writing
WR
Term: Spring
2018
TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

A prehistory to the current political moment, tracing the relationship between the United States and Russia from the pre-revolutionary years to the fall of communism through both countries’ forms of aesthetic production, including literature, film, and the visual arts.

Also RSEE 320, RUSS 320, HUMS 334.

Seminars
American Lit
Medieval Lit with permission, Renaissance Lit with permission, 18/19 C Lit with permission, 20/21 C Lit with permission
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Alastair Minnis
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

A study of medieval narrative traditions and their appropriation in modern film. Beowulf, selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Malory’s Morte D’Arthur are compared with modern film and television adaptations.

Also FILM 281.

Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit w/Permission
Medieval Lit with permission
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Alice Kaplan, Professor: David Bromwich
T 9:25am-11:15am

Political writing of the mid-20th century with emphasis on ideologies, including communism, fascism and democracy. Emphasis on British, French, and American authors such as Orwell, Camus, Sartre, Greene, Duras, and Arendt.

Students must be in sophomore, junior, or senior year.

Also HUMS 404, FREN 383.

Seminars
20/21 C Lit
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Marc Robinson
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Intensive study of a turning point in American theater. Following the example of the post-war European avant-garde, playwrights after 1960 undid fixed ideas of realism, expanded the lyric range of dramatic speech, and multiplied definitions of character and narrative. Many sought to reflect the era’s eruptive politics; others offered a newly ambiguous vision of psychology. Readings include works by Edward Albee, Adrienne Kennedy, Maria Irene Fornes, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Amiri Baraka, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, and Suzan-Lori Parks.

Also THST 365, AMST 372.

Seminars
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Richard Deming
TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm

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, poems, short fiction, and essays.

Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit, American Lit
18/19 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: James Berger
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Literary portrayals of animals are used to examine the relations between literature, science, and social and political thought since the late nineteenth century. Topics include Darwinist thought, socialism, fascism, gender and race relations, new thinking about ecology, and issues in neuroscience.

Meets during reading period.

Also AMST 358.

Seminars
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Robert Stepto
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Visual art in African American books since 1900. Artists include Winold Reiss, Aaron Douglas, E. S. Campbell, Tom Feelings, and the FSA photographers of the 1930s and 1940s. Topics include Harlem Renaissance book art, photography and literature, and children’s books. Research in collections of the Beinecke Library and the Yale Art Gallery is encouraged.

Also AFAM 423, AFAM 743, AMST 384, AMST 654, ENGL 952.

Seminars
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Michele Stepto
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

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.

Meets during reading period.

Seminars
20/21 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Ben Glaser
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

Study of full range of English-language poetics with emphasis on both critical analysis and imitation. Additional focus on lyrical style in music, especially hip-hop. Course includes visits from poets and linguists, visits to the Beinecke to look at drafts, and some experimenting with computer-based analysis. Opportunity for hybrid creative-critical final projects.

Seminars
20/21 C Lit with permission
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Leslie Brisman
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

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.

Also LITR 154.

Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit w/Permission
18/19 C Lit with permission
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

Literary representations of the natural world, beginning with works written during the political upheaval of the mid-seventeenth century and ending with the dawn of ecological consciousness nearly two centuries later. We will examine how several major genres of environmental writing developed ideas of the national landscape as well as imperial periphery at an important moment of change.

Also EVST 409.

Senior Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit
Renaissance Lit with permission, 18/19 C Lit with permission
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

Overview of the works of Charles Dickens and George Eliot through exploration of a series of paired texts that allow perspective on two different approaches to a variety of novelistic modes, including the Bildungsroman, the historical novel, and the political novel.

Prior course work on Victorian literature and on the novel is recommended.
 
This class meets during reading period.

Also ENGL 807.

Senior Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit
18/19 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Leslie Brisman
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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.

Meets during reading period.

Also ENGL 810.

Senior Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit
18/19 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Th 9:25am-11:15am

Consideration of the literary, cultural, and political implications of staging race and religion in plays by Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Cary, Ben Jonson, Thomas Heywood, and others. How sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Londoners derived impressions of the outside world from the theater, particularly exotic strangers in the form of villainous and virtuous Jews, seductive and tyrannical Turks, noble and ignoble Moors, Indian princesses, decadent Catholics, tricksy Venetians, and cross-dressing, gender-bending pirates.

Also ER&M 427.

Senior Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit
Renaissance Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Joseph Cleary
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

For much of the nineteenth century Ireland was widely regarded as a literary periphery of England, but during the last decade of the nineteenth century and in the first several decades of the twentieth century a series of intersecting cultural movements sought to change this situation by furnishing modern Ireland with its own national literature and by making Dublin a cultural capital in its own right. These movements stimulated an extraordinary literary ferment, generally termed the Irish Literary Revival, during which time Ireland produced some of the most notable Anglophone writers of the twentieth century. However, the aesthetic and cultural ambitions of those involved varied widely and now, a century later, the achievements of the Revivalist period remain controversial. Some scholars contend that the Revival produced an essentially neo-romantic literary vision of Ireland while for others it stimulated one of the finest bursts of twentieth-century postcolonial and modernist creativity. Authors discussed may include Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Elizabeth Bowen, and Samuel Beckett.

Course Work: Writing for this course involves completing two essays (7-10 midterm; 12-15 pages final). Students will also be asked to submit questions in advance of some seminars and may be required to do short presentations or other class assignments.

Also LITR 449.

Senior Seminars
20/21 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Wai Chee Dimock
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

A broad selection of short stories, poems, and novels, accompanied by class performances, and 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; book illustration; game design; and creative use of social media. Readings include poetry by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson; plays by Susan-Lori Parks; and fiction by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ray Bradbury, Walter Mosley, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Junot Diaz.

Also ENGL 838, AMST 475, AMST 775.

Senior Seminars
Pre-1900 Lit, American Lit
18/19 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: James Berger
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

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.

Senior Seminars
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Robert Stepto
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

The complete works of Ralph Ellison and related works (in various art forms) of his contemporaries, including Wright, Baldwin, Bearden, and Louis Armstrong.

For seniors who intend to fulfill the senior requirement for the English major by enrolling in a senior seminar. Open to interested juniors and seniors outside the major when space is available.

Also AFAM 437, AFAM 563, AMST 420, AMST 651, ENGL 951.

Senior Seminars
American Lit
20/21 C Lit
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Cynthia Zarin
T 2.30pm-3.45pm

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 6, at noon.

APPLICATION FORM

Lectures, Creative Writing
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Cynthia Zarin
T 2.30pm-3.45pm

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 6, at noon.

APPLICATION FORM

Lectures, Creative Writing
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Anne Fadiman
Th 2:30-5:20

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.

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

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. Each week, we will read two works on a particular theme, one “old” (ranging from four decades to more than two centuries ago) and one “new” (mostly from the last two decades) —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 on the English Department Website by noon on Wednesday, December 6. 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, in which case please note the prompt).

                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? Your letter need not be conventional; it should sound like you.

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.

Creative Writing
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Peter Cole, Professor: Robyn Creswell
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

This course combines a seminar on the history and theory of translation (Tuesdays) with a hands-on workshop (Thursdays). The readings will lead us through a series of case studies comparing, on the one hand, multiple translations of given literary works and, on the other, classic statements about translation—by translators themselves and prominent theorists. We’ll consider both poetry and prose from the Bible, selections from Chinese, Greek, and Latin verse, classical Arabic and Persian literature, prose by Cervantes, Borges, and others, and modern European poetry (including Pushkin, Baudelaire, and Rilke). Students will be expected to prepare short class presentations, participate in a weekly workshop, try their hand at a series of translation exercises, and undertake an intensive, semester-long translation project. Proficiency in a foreign language is required. May be taken for graduate credit by permission of the student’s department.

No application required prior to the first class.  

Also HUMS 427, JDST 316, LITR 348, CPLT 925.

Creative Writing
Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Claudia Rankine
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

A seminar and workshop in the writing of verse.

May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.
 

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: John Crowley
W 1.30pm-3.20pm

A writing workshop that addresses aspects of the craft of fiction that the genres of romance share with all fiction, including tactics and strategy of narrative, point of view and voice, and reader expectations.

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Susan Choi
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

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

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

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

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.’

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

A workshop devoted to the writing and the rewriting process. Students submit first drafts of short stories, or opening chapters of novels and, during the course of the semester, submit second and then third, drafts for discussion about the ways in which the narrative has moved forward with each progressive draft. There are no prerequisites. The course is open to students at all grade levels. To apply, submit a writing sample of 25 pages or less, along with a letter of intent.

May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.

SYLLABUS

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

Creative Writing
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Bob Woodward
T 2.30-4.20

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.

SYLLABUS

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

Also PLSC 253.

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

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 6. 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.)

Journalism
WR
Term: Spring
2018

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 6, 2017 for spring-term projects and by April 20, 2018 for fall-term projects.

Prerequisites: two courses in writing.

Application Form

Creative Writing, Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall

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 6, 2017 for spring-term projects and by April 20, 2018 for fall-term projects.

Prerequisites: two courses in writing.

Application Form

Creative Writing, Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Professor: Mark Oppenheimer
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

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.

Spring application due by noon on December 6.

After completing the online APPLICATION FORM, upload one Word or Adobe PDF document that contains your name, the course number (e.g., ENGL 245), instructor’s name, a statement of purpose, a writing sample of approximately 5-10 pages or up to 4500 words of poetry, double-spaced. For the statement of purpose, please write a paragraph about why you wish to take this specific writing course. The file should be named with the course number and your name (Sample: ENGL 245_Sayers-Erica.pdf).

Journalism
WR, Hu
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Richard Deming
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

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 Workshop. No application required prior to the first class.

Senior Seminars, Creative Writing
American Lit
WR
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Richard Deming
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

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 Workshop. No application required prior to the first class.

Senior Seminars, Creative Writing
American Lit
WR
Term: Spring
2018

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 6, 2017 for spring-term projects and by April 20, 2018 for fall-term projects.

Application Form

Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall

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 Thursday, April 12, 2018 for fall-term projects.

Visit http://yalecreativewriting.yale.edu/writing-concentration for the complete program description, project guidelines, and application form.

Creative Writing, Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall

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 Thursday, April 12, 2018 for fall-term projects.

Visit http://yalecreativewriting.yale.edu/writing-concentration for the complete program description, project guidelines, and application form.

Creative Writing, Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall

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.

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 6, 2017 for spring-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the spring term and by April 20, 2018 for fall-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the fall term.

Application Form

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.

Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall

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 6, 2017 for spring-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the spring term and by April 20, 2018 for fall-term essays or for yearlong essays beginning in the fall term.

Application Form

Independent Projects
Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Professor: Roberta Frank
Th 9:25am-11:15am

A close reading of Beowulf, with some attention to shorter heroic poems.

Advanced undergraduate students who already know Old English are welcome.

Also LING 501.

Graduate Seminars
Pre-1800 Lit, Medieval
Medieval Lit
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Jessica Brantley
T 9:25am-11:15am

This course investigates the relation between manuscript studies and traditional literary criticism. It includes an introduction to working with medieval manuscripts (no prior experience required) and continues with a series of case studies that ask what thinking about manuscripts can contribute to literary scholarship. Manuscripts to be considered include the Ellesmere Chaucer, the Douce 104 Piers Plowman, the Vernon MS (a devotional miscellany), the Book of Brome (a household miscellany), the York Register (cycle drama), and Cotton Nero A.x. (the Gawain-poet).

Also MDVL 570.

Graduate Seminars
Medieval
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Alastair Minnis
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

A study of The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, and The Legend of Good Women, in addition to a substantial selection of Canterbury Tales. These texts are related to the “discourses of dissent” current in Chaucer’s day, an age of extreme political, social, and intellectual turmoil.

Graduate Seminars
Medieval
Term: Spring
2018
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Between 1500 and 1645, vernacular verse was reinvented—by poets, pedagogues, literary theorists, publishers, and readers—as a self-conscious and self-authorizing national literary tradition. This seminar explores the celebrated achievements, failed experiments, forgotten controversies, and historical accidents that conspired to make rude rhyme newly legible (and audible) as English poetry.

Graduate Seminars
Term: Spring
2018
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

This course focuses on the material culture of reading, writing, and printing from 1400 to 1900 in England and America, although students are welcome to develop their own topics based upon the Beinecke’s collections. We do hands-on research, drawing on the extraordinary collections of manuscripts and printed texts in the Beinecke. The course offers students an opportunity to explore archives and develop publishable projects relevant to their future research. Topics include theories of materiality; fetishism and relics; “persons” and “things”; the bible and the body; authorship and anonymity; writing as a material practice; the manuscript production and circulation of poetry from John Donne to Emily Dickinson; graffiti; letter-writing.

Graduate Seminars
Early Modern
Renaissance Lit
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Jill Campbell
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Study of literary treatments of plant life between Carl Linneaus and Charles Darwin. Special focus on botany and gender; new systems of classification; the aesthetics of flowers in poetry and the decorative arts; the movement of plants around the globe through imperial trade and settler colonialism; medicinal and commercial uses of plants; and nascent environmentalism. Readings include poems by William Cowper, Erasmus Darwin, William Wordsworth, and Charlotte Smith; prose fiction by Daniel Defoe, Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and Johann Wyss; and samples of reference works and treatises. Opportunities for students to explore related topics through independent research.

Graduate Seminars
18/19th Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Katie Trumpener
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

In the eighteenth century, the novel became a popular literary form in many parts of Europe. Yet now-standard narratives of its “rise” often offer a temporally and linguistically foreshortened view. This seminar examines key early modern novels in a range of European languages, centered on the dialogue between highly influential eighteenth-century British and French novels (Montesquieu, Defoe, Sterne, Diderot, Laclos, Edgeworth). We begin by considering a sixteenth-century Spanish picaresque life history (Lazarillo de Tormes) and Madame de Lafayette’s seventeenth-century secret history of French court intrigue; contemplate a key sentimental Goethe novella; and end with Romantic fiction (an Austen novel, a Kleist novella, Pushkin’s historical novel fragment). These works raise important issues about cultural identity and historical experience, the status of women (including as readers and writers), the nature of society, the vicissitudes of knowledge—and novelistic form. We also examine several major literary-historical accounts of the novel’s generic evolution, audiences, timing, and social function, and historiographical debates about the novel’s rise (contrasting English-language accounts stressing the novel’s putatively British genesis, and alternative accounts sketching a larger European perspective). The course gives special emphasis to the improvisatory, experimental character of early modern novels, as they work to reground fiction in the details and reality of contemporary life. Many epistolary, philosophical, sentimental, and Gothic novels present themselves as collections of “documents”—letters, diaries, travelogues, confessions—carefully assembled, impartially edited, and only incidentally conveying stories as well as information. The seminar explores these novels’ documentary ambitions; their attempt to touch, challenge, and change their readers; and their paradoxical influence on “realist” conventions (from the emergence of omniscient, impersonal narrators to techniques for describing time and place).

Also CPLT 646.

Graduate Seminars
18/19th Century
Term: Spring
2018
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

Overview of the works of Charles Dickens and George Eliot through exploration of a series of paired texts that allow perspective on two different approaches to a variety of novelistic modes, including the Bildungsroman, the historical novel, and the political novel.

Also ENGL 410.

Graduate Seminars
18/19th Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Leslie Brisman
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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.

Also ENGL 412.

Graduate Seminars
18/19th Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Wai Chee Dimock
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

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 Díaz.

Also ENGL 438, AMST 475, AMST 775.

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Michael Warner
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Readings in the poetry and prose of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. We study their works, careers, and contexts, including their relation to the nineteenth-century culture of verse—a topic that has been newly invigorated by “historical poetics.” Scholarly understanding of both poets has been revised in recent years in connection with the digitization of their work, so we study the history, development, and design of the Walt Whitman Archive and the Emily Dickinson Archive. We also look at critical debates about both writers, including the long history of comment about their relation to sexuality, gender, and queerness.

Graduate Seminars
18/19th Century
Term: Spring
2018
W 9:25am-11:15am

Since the late nineteenth century, human and nonhuman voices have been technically amplified, recorded, distorted, enhanced, synthesized, and measured for purposes of art, science, and politics. This class explores classic and recent books and essays on the media of sound and culture, with a particular focus on the voice. We are guided by two fundamental questions: How do voices get into bodies and bodies into voices? How do media capture something whose existence amounts to vibrations and whose essence involves disappearance? The voice is a key but conflicted site for defining what it means to be a human being. This complex organ or apparatus depends on lungs, brain, vocal tract, emotion, training, and culture. The voice implicates physics and music, communication and culture, anatomy and art. It raises questions about beauty, identity, power, religion, art, poetry, style, culture, race, gender, and age. Animals and machines have voices; so may the stars.

Also FILM 802.

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Marc Robinson
T 10:00am-11:50

A study of European and American dramatic realism, from its beginnings in the 1870s through its radical revision in the twenty-first century. Works by Ibsen, Zola, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Hauptmann, Belasco, and Shaw, as well by María Irene Fornés, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Annie Baker, Richard Maxwell, David Levine, and other contemporary figures. Readings in pertinent theory and criticism; discussion of nineteenth- and twentieth-century staging practices; and, when possible, video viewings of important recent productions.

Also DRAM

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Robert Stepto
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

This seminar pursues close readings of Ralph Ellison’s essays, short fiction, and novels. The “in context” component of the seminar involves working from the Benston and Sundquist volumes on Ellison to discern a portrait of the modernist African America Ellison investigated, with at least Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Romare Bearden also in view. Texts include Ellison’s Collected Essays, Flying Home and Other Stories, Invisible Man, and Juneteenth; K. Benston, Speaking for You; E. Sundquist, Cultural Contexts for Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; and A. Nadel, Invisible Criticism: Ralph Ellison and the American Canon.

Also AFAM 437, AFAM 563, AMST 420, AMST 651, ENGL 445.

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Robert Stepto
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Visual art in African American books since 1900. Artists include Winold Reiss, Aaron Douglas, E.S. Campbell, Tom Feelings, and the FSA photographers of the 1930s and ’40s. Topics include Harlem Renaissance book art, photography and literature, and children’s books. Research in collections of the Beinecke Library and the Yale Art Gallery is encouraged.

Also AFAM 423, AFAM 743, AMST 384, AMST 654, ENGL 306.

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: R. John Williams
W 3.30pm-5.20pm

This course examines transformations in temporality that occurred in the sciences and arts during the twentieth century. From the arrival of Einsteinian relativity to more contemporary proofs on quantum nonlocality, the question of time in the twentieth century threatened to overturn some of our oldest assumptions about cause and effect, duration, history, presentness, and futurity. These new temporalities were as scientifically and philosophically vexing as they were rife with spiritual and aesthetic possibility—a dynamic reflected in the literary and artistic forms that were central to these transformations. Our reading reflects this deeply cross-cultural and interdisciplinary trajectory, including histories of science and technology (Peter Galison, N. Katherine Hayles, David Kaiser), philosophies of time (Heidegger, Bruno Latour, Bernard Stiegler, McLuhan, Luhmann), critical theories of temporal form (Derrida, Adorno, Jameson, Pamela Lee, Kojin Karatani), a wide array of literary texts (William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tom McCarthy, and others), as well as important cinematic innovations (Jodorowsky, Godard, Kubrick). What is the “time” of literature? of film? How does art transform or reinforce theories of temporal flow? How do new technologies of composition and circulation alter the temporal effects of a given work? What was the “End of History”?

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
20/21 C Lit with permission
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Caleb Smith
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Recent efforts to defend and renovate the critical humanities—reparative reading, surface reading, postcritique, and so on—have made a watchword of attention. It is said that the best reading practices are characterized not by the canons they build or by the theories they develop but by the styles of receptivity they cultivate. The study of the arts is coming to be understood as a kind of therapy, the antidote to mass distraction, and as an ethics, a way of becoming more humble and more humane. This seminar explores what is gained and what is lost when criticism takes disciplined attentiveness as its norm. We begin with an overview of contemporary debates about the hermeneutics of suspicion and its alternatives (Sedgwick, Hayles, Best and Marcus, Love, Felski). We move on to piece together a partial genealogy of attentiveness, taking a special interest in questions of secularism and secularity, from classical and medieval spiritual exercises through romanticism and modernism (Benjamin, Weil, Crary, Foucault, Hadot). We conclude with an extended reading of a key text, Henry Thoreau’s Walden (1854), drawing from historical and critical sources to consider Thoreau’s ideas about strenuous reading, ascetic self-culture, and an ethics of openness to the world.

Graduate Seminars
Term: Spring
2018
Professor: Jill Richards
M 9:25am-11:15am

This course surveys political theories of gender/sexuality through attention to citizenship, the nation-state, rights discourses, civil society, migration, biopolitics, criminality, security, and social death. The course looks to establish a foundational understanding of the conjunctures between liberal governance and the regulation of reproductive, sexual, and family life. At the same time, our wider conceptual arc takes up more recent critical debates on the entanglements of sexual intimacy, race, and national belonging. Textual selections move across a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, history, literature, critical race theory, queer theory, indigenous studies, environmental studies, and law. Key authors include Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Engels, Habermas, Arendt, Foucault, Orlando Patterson, C.B. Macpherson, Wendy Brown, Ann Laura Stoler, Saidiya Hartman, Joan Wallach Scott, Cheryl Harris, Lauren Berlant, Michael Warner, Jasbir Puar, Elizabeth Povinelli, Paul Gilroy, Pheng Cheah, Inderpal Grewal, Frank Wilderson, Salamishah Tillet, Achille Mbembe, Adriana Petryna, Lisa Marie Cacho, Mark Rifkin, José Muñoz, Dean Spade, Lisa Lowe, Talal Asad.

Also WGSS 850.

Graduate Seminars
20th/21st Century
Term: Spring
2018

Designed to help fill gaps in students programs when there are corresponding gaps in the department’s offerings. By arrangement with faculty and with the approval of the DGS.

Open to current students in the English graduate programs. Submit a completed Directed Reading Proposal Form to the department registrar by the end of the first week of classes.

Graduate Seminars
Term: Spring
2017