Undergraduate Courses

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11.35pm-12.50pm

Close study of Austen’s novels, with special attention to the critique of social and literary convention. Enrollment limited to freshmen.

Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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 first-year students.

Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Professor: Joseph Gordon
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm

The short story is generally considered to be North American in origin. As one of its goals, the course examines the ways in which the genre has developed in recent decades into a vehicle for storytelling from marginalized or subaltern voices such as those of people of color, women, LGBT people, immigrants and refugees, war veterans, students, and children. The course also explores how collections of stories gathered by a single author may resemble but yet be distinguishable from novels, and examines some very recent short stories that are influenced by nontraditional forms of imaginative writing, such as graphic fiction, self-help manuals, and social media. Authors are likely to include: Grace Paley, Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Rohinton Mistry, ZZ Packer, Sherman Alexie, Tao Lin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edward P. Jones, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz, Phil Klay, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Alison Bechdel, Lorrie Moore, Jennifer Egan, and Teju Cole. Enrollment limited to first-year students.

Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Also HUMS 072

Professor: Alanna Hickey
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

This course investigates the ways literature structures our encounter with our surroundings in both obvious and imperceptible ways, settling into the literary past and present of Connecticut. Inquiries span the role of narrative in our comprehension of place, the persistence of particular historical accounts at the expense of others, and our ethical obligation to the territories we survive upon. Readings include Indigenous texts, political documents, nature writing, dystopic fiction, ecocriticism, and travel memoir. Enrollment limited to first-year students.

Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1135am-12:50pm

“Rebellion,” writes Albert Camus, is “more than pursuit of a claim.” When someone rebels, he “demonstrates with obstinacy, that there is something in him which is worth-while” and that implicit in the act of rebellion is a “spontaneous loyalty to certain aspects of himself.” In these times of intensifying political activism, we might think of rebellion and dissent as the struggle against oppression, the fight for social justice, or the defense of some ideal. But as Camus suggests, people’s individual and collective identities are also deeply implicated in the causes they take up. How do discourses of resistance legitimate marginalized identities? In this course, we will seek to understand the ideologies that motivate dissent and how these discourses subvert social, political, and religious orthodoxies. How do embodied contradictions of cultural norms complicate our ideas about race, class, gender, and sexuality? Is rebellion always empowering? Drawing from a range of perspectives in disciplines that include psychology, anthropology, sociology, theology, philosophy, critical theory, and performance studies, we will consider how resistant thinking and practice shape identity and culture. These various perspectives will inform our discussions on topics such as colonialism, civil rights, and contemporary movements like Zionism and Black Lives Matter.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Rasheed Tazudeen
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

What do we mean when we call something “grotesque”? What makes works of literature, music, art, and cinema grotesque rather than beautiful, and what are the social and political functions of grotesque works? The grotesque, as this course will explore, comes to stand in for all that does not fit into our existing philosophical and aesthetic categories: monsters, human-animal or human-plant hybrids, miniature or gigantic bodily forms, inappropriate intimacies between beings, disembodied voices, dissonant sounds or modes of composition, or any other phenomena that estrange us from our familiar world. The grotesque is also closely linked to carnivalesque laughter, in which social hierarchies are mocked and overturned, as in Francois Rabelais’ comic masterpiece Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-1564). This course will explore the meanings and the social, political, and aesthetic implications and consequences of the grotesque. We will pay close attention to how grotesque works can challenge dominant values, assumptions, and modes of thought and supply new ones in their place.

We will begin by exploring theoretical readings, from Sigmund Freud to Geoffrey Harpham, that attempt to define the ever-slippery term “grotesque.” We will then analyze narratives from Rabelais, Mary Shelley, and Edgar Allen Poe that employ grotesque principles and strategies to defamiliarize our world. From here, we will turn to modern grotesque (literary and musical) works, from Franz Kafka, Béla Bartók, and Igor Stravinsky, that extend these defamiliarizing strategies into new realms in the twentieth century. We will end the semester by looking at the use of the grotesque in classic and contemporary science fiction, from H.P. Lovecraft to Octavia Butler, closing with Boots Riley’s recent multi-genre, satirical (and carnivalesque) film, Sorry to Bother You (2018). Throughout the course, we will explore how the grotesque can transfigure our reality, composing new values and a new world through its destruction of older forms, principles, and systems of belief.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Rasheed Tazudeen
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 4;00pm-5:15pm

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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Andrew Brown
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

Can the study of animal minds and bodies reveal what makes us uniquely human? Authors have long attempted to answer this question: René Descartes imagined “animal machines,” devoid of thought or physical sensation, Jeremy Bentham claimed that, in our treatment of animals, “the question is not, Can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer,” and Jane Goodall unearthed the social and psychological complexity of our primate relatives. This course continues the investigation by asking how we should understand the ties between our own experiences and those of the pets, livestock, and wild animals that inhabit our world. We will examine the boundaries between the animal and the human in order to explore how these relationships inform contemporary social, political, and cultural issues. Questions under discussion might include: how have animals been used to explain the nature of human consciousness? How do animals provide us with food, labor, entertainment, or comfort—and what do we owe them in return? How have conceptions of animality been linked to constructions of race, gender, and sexuality? And how could the prospect of climate change, mass extinction, or food insecurity transform the bonds between humans and animals in the future?

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Margaret Deli
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

In a society as obsessed with celebrity as ours is today, what does the urge to gossip tell us about where we live and who we are—as a nation, as a community, and as people?  In this ENGL 114 course, we’ll ask ourselves why certain names, faces, and bodies are elevated above others, and how we participate in the performance of celebrity. We’ll think about gossip and scandal: not just as a means of policing human behavior, but as two different strategies for protecting the less powerful.  And we’ll consider how social media has definitively altered the conception and consumption of fame. In other words, this is a class that celebrates and scrutinizes Instagram, web apps, and all things Kardashian, which will touch on topics as diverse as anthropology, sociology, art history and media studies. Along the way, we’ll tackle the following questions: Are gossip, scandal, and celebrity fundamentally frivolous?  And how can they best be employed in contemporary society?

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Craig Eklund
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 9:00am-10:15am

The meaning and value of racial, sexual, and political identities are hotly contested in our world today.  Who and what we are, however, does not begin and end with our identification with a group.  We also tend to think of ourselves as possessed of something that is uniquely ours, an intangible thing we call the self.  On the face of it, this idea is as plain as can be (for we all know that we are selves, after all), but, on closer examination, it becomes apparent that the nature of the self is vague and indeterminate.  This course confronts the paradox that the closest thing to us is the most obscure of all.  What is the self?  Over the semester, through works of philosophy, fiction, film, and self-portraiture, we will explore the seminal questions of selfhood: free will, subjectivity, morality, and the nature of consciousness.  We will also take up novel perspectives on the self offered by new disciplines, technologies, and trends, turning to neuroscience, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, and, yes, selfies.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Anna Hill
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 4:00pm-5:15pm

How does nostalgia shape the present? Can one feel nostalgic for the future, or for a past that never existed? When can nostalgia become dangerous? This course explores the vexed histories and ongoing role of nostalgia in contemporary American culture.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Arthur Wang
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

Why is physical pain so difficult to communicate? What kinds of pain—and which bodies in pain—tend to receive priority over others? Given the challenges of perceiving the suffering of other beings, how can we hold ourselves responsible for the pain we inflict, witness, and experience? This course will investigate philosophical, political, aesthetic, and bioethical strategies for expressing and responding to physical pain. We will begin with theoretical readings on the challenges that the experience of pain poses for linguistic, visual, and auditory communication. Pain is universal but not uniform, and we will consider how race, gender, and species shape the political recognition of pain. Turning to contemporary medical ethics and public health, we will explore dilemmas of pain management, and their applications to chronic pain, disease, euthanasia, and end-of-life care.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Rosemary Jones
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Ann Killian
Term: Spring
Day/Time: mW 9:00am-10:15am

Can nonviolent resistance overcome injustice in all situations? How might a just and peaceful society be built within a state that governs through systemic, militarized violence? In the twentieth century, leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., galvanized national reforms through largely peaceful mass demonstrations. Today, Black Lives Matter and Occupy movements worldwide claim this legacy of civil disobedience and noncooperation to denounce oppression, raise consciousness, and catalyze social change. This writing seminar explores the ideal of principled nonviolence alongside real- world strategies for addressing humanitarian crises and national defense. We will study rationales for what is called direct action, or bodily acts of civil disobedience, and we will investigate how activists have used media (oratory, journalism, cultural critique) to make their demands and persuade opponents. How do we measure the effectiveness of historical movements in rallying mass support and catalyzing systemic transformation? What new opportunities and challenges exist in multicultural, interreligious/secular, global contexts? How is social media changing the ways people organize?

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Timothy Kreiner
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

According to the World Bank, an increase in global temperatures of more than 2°C by the year 2100 will likely submerge coastal cities from New York to Shanghai beneath rising seas. Yet as many theorists note, the global supply chains the World Bank helps facilitate also fuel global warming. How do we make sense of economic institutions warning us of disasters their actions may hasten? Why is there so much disagreement among scholars concerning the quickening pace of climate change alongside the emergence of supposedly post-industrial economies in the developed world? And what can we do about that pace today? This class surveys two sweeping transformations of social life in recent decades to pose such questions. Climate change, we will wager, can’t be understood apart from the logistics revolution that made globalization possible: The massive freeway systems, ports, algorithms, microprocessors, and container ships transporting goods and money from one corner of the globe to another. Along the way we will pay particular attention to the uneven racial and gender dynamics governing who lives where and acquires what they need to survive how in a world arranged by the logistics revolution driving climate change today.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Eric Ensley
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

Where is Hell?

Does Hell have a purpose?

For Dante it was a space of punishment and suffering, while Milton’s Satan formulated Hell as the absence of God. Much later, Sartre famously writes that “Hell is other people.” Hell is a malleable construct that changes over time and can be molded to express and perhaps even contain humanity’s greatest fears and most deplorable demons. In this course we will interrogate what makes Hell and how the qualities, contents, and denizens of Hell shift over time.

This course seeks answers to many questions: What happens when the devil and demons walk among humanity? How does Hell serve as a vehicle for authors to discuss social anxieties about class, race, gender, and other issues? Can the concept of Hell contain and ameliorate these societal anxieties? Can Hell exist without its virtuous antithesis in Heaven? This course will grapple with these and other questions, ultimately asking you to formulate what Hell is and what is its purpose in various cultures and authors’ works.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Scarlet Luk
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

How do writers of color deal with the nefarious call of “ethnic literature” and write authentically to themselves? Do they ghost the accusation, or take it up with aplomb? Negotiate with its terms, resign themselves to the idea, or destroy it entirely? This course will examine representations of the Asian diaspora in literature and film, and diaspora as literature and film. Suspended between two or more cultures, languages, and lives, we will look at how our writers confront the perils of writing as a permanently hyphenated people (Asian-American, Asian-Australian, British-Asian), and take the implications of that hyphen to task.

Focusing on fiction that hails from North America, the United Kingdom and Australia—where many Asian émigrés have staked their lives and fortunes—we will analyze the conundrums that diasporic writers confront in their fiction. This includes such issues as the relationship between immigrant parents and their children; how diaspora manifests along gendered lines; the troubles of being queer and Asian; the perils of professional writing circuits; whiteness; class anxieties; and the struggle with competing notions of success and failure. And in the process, we will hopefully begin to understand the literary and personal legacies that diaspora has procured for its children—that there is, indeed, a place for us.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Peter Raccuglia
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm

“All art,” in Walter Pater’s famous phrase, “constantly aspires to the condition of music.” This class asks how literature has tried to approach that condition by emulating the sounds, forms, and experience of music. The bulk of our investigation will track this question across two intertwined traditions: European (primarily German) musical culture from Romanticism to modernism, and African American musical culture from spirituals to hip hop. We will see how both traditions use music to explore dimensions of race, gender, social and political belonging, historical progress and decline, the philosophy of art, and the limits of language. We will also pay close attention to the ways that poets, in particular, have understood and exploited the musical qualities of language itself.

As we plot a chronological trajectory from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, we will be on the lookout for unexpected interactions between writers who shared a historical moment but are almost never read together. We will ask how our received literary and historical narratives must be modified to see the correspondences and divergences between Leo Tolstoy and W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcel Proust and James Weldon Johnson, Gwendolyn Brooks and Thomas Mann, or Toni Morrison and Thomas Bernhard. Throughout the course, our readings will be paired with major theoretical texts (Moten, Adorno, Barthes) as well as recordings, films, and music videos.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Paul Franz
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 9:00am-10:15am

What makes loss so rich in imaginative gains? We will pursue this question across verbal and visual media from Western and non-Western cultures, from antiquity to the present. Central among our concerns will be the role of loss in forming selves and societies. Whether as a plot device or as a set of emotions, loss is complicated. From Walt Whitman forging a personal connection with a public figure, to Shakespeare’s Hamlet struggling to transform unfocused grief into purposeful revenge, to Virginia Woolf’s depiction of a mother seeking to remake a lost life out of fragments, we will see how loss simultaneously challenges and provokes our efforts at making sense of our selves and our worlds, both in life and in art.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Kim Shirkhani
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35-12:50

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: David M. deLeon
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30-3:45

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Clay Greene
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 9:00-10:15

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00-2:15

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Pamela Newton
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00-2:15

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Sarah Robbins
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00-2:15

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35-12:50

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Barbara Stuart
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30-3:45

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Emily Ulrich
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35-12:50

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Andrew Ehrgood
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30-3:45

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

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

Professor: Randi Epstein
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00-2:15

Medical and public health stories shape the way individuals view health and disease. The coverage can influence 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 and also for scientists. 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 will also have the chance to interview a patient from Yale-New Haven Hospital, a physician, and researchers.

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.

 

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35-12:50

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.

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

Professor: Heather Klemann
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00-2:15

How do we put ideas about modern financial markets and corporate strategies into words and images? This course examines the art and efficacy of white papers, cases studies, investment memos, and open letters in corporate America. Each unit of the course considers assignment-specific questions: Who is the primary audience? What is the objective of the genre? What stylistic, organizational, and rhetorical practices does the genre deploy? Alongside these more customary business genres, we will consider creative journalism that brings to life the seemingly data-driven, mechanistic worlds of finance. Through workshops, readings, and in-class discussions, we will practice building concise and persuasive arguments, and, alternatively, dramatizing details, description, and dialogue to tell Wall Street stories.

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

Professor: Adam Reid Sexton
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30-3:45

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.

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

Professor: Shifra Sharlin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35-12:50

This course is for anyone who has ever had a favorite book and who would like to explore new ways to talk about that old favorite and more reasons to love it. Any and all kinds of books will do for our purposes. They don’t have to be fancy, don’t have to be fiction, don’t even have to be for grown-ups–they just have to be books you like thinking about. Assignments might include book blurbs, acknowledgements, forewords, afterwords, long-form reviews, Amazon reviews, personal essays, author profiles, interviews, and that old standby literary criticism.

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

Professor: John Rogers
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Anastasia Eccles
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Anastasia Eccles
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Greg Ellermann
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Sunny Xiang
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Stephanie Newell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 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; on 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, Claude McKay, Jamaica Kincaid, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, J. M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Salman Rushdie, and Mohammed Hanif among others.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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; on 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, Claude McKay, Jamaica Kincaid, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, J. M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Salman Rushdie, and Mohammed Hanif among others.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

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; on 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, Claude McKay, Jamaica Kincaid, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, J. M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Salman Rushdie, and Mohammed Hanif among others.

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Craig Eklund
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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

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Students who wish to enroll in this seminar should participate in online preregistration, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. - January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Alfred Guy
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:30pm-2:20pm, 1 HTBA
20/21 C Lit

A survey of twentieth- and twenty-first-century science fiction, focusing on how changing technologies produce new ideas about human identity. Emphasis on innovations in science and engineering as well as new forms of social, political, and economic life. Works by Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin, and William Gibson.

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Students who wish to pre-register for a discussion section of this course should visit https://students.yale.edu/ocs-preference/select/select?id=17665 to submit their preferences before January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

In this course, we’ll examine the various aspects of craft employed by writers of fiction. You might say that if most literature classes focus on why we value writers ranging from James Joyce to Flannery O’Connor, this class is devoted to discussing the ways in which Joyce, O’Connor, and many others achieved their effects, using only ink, paper, and the words in the dictionary – humble and common materials, available to anyone, but rendered potent and unprecedented by writers who combined them in very particular ways.

Although any good story involves characters, voice, structure, and etc., we’ll concentrate, each week, on a single aspect of craft in the stories we’ve read.

How, for instance, did Joyce structure the narrative in the short story “Araby?” How did O’Connor develop the vivid and believable characters in “Good Country People?”

We’ll be performing writing exercises as well, for much of the semester, and during the final weeks you’ll be asked, simply, to write a story of your own, using what you’ve learned about craft.

With regrets, I’ve confined the reading list to stories written in English, which of course eliminates a great deal of significant world literature. I’d rather, however, that we read and discuss the stories without wondering over the quality of their translations.

There is no text for this course – our reading is sufficiently wide-ranging that you’d have to buy at least a dozen books. The readings will be posted each week.

ENGL 134 is open to all students. Although a background in literature and writing is helpful, it’s not required, nor is the standard creative writing course application. Interested students should attend the first class for placement information.

SYLLABUS

Professor: Adam Reid Sexton
Term: Spring , Term: Fall
Day/Time: 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.

Professor: Heather Klemann
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:25pm, 1 HTBA
18/19 C Lit, 20/21 C Lit with permission

What happens when a mirror held up to our world reflects back something ominously and unreasonably distorted? How do the sublime, the uncanny, and the supernatural fashion and fracture our sense of self? Examining gothic novels from the 18th and 19th centuries—the stuff of craggy cliffs, mysterious dungeons, and their paranormal inhabitants—alongside 20th and 21st-century films, this course explores the historical origins and deep cultural legacy of literary responses to the so-called Age of Reason. As we tour medieval monasteries, shadowy back alleys of London, and abysmal realms of the subconscious, we will consider how literary representations of unreason affirm and unsettle our understanding of lived experience and our faith in laws of science and logic. Gothic fiction has long provided fertile ground for cultivating ideas about race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism—special attention will be given to these topics throughout the course. Readings include Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula. Films include Get Out, Black Swan, and Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

Prerequisite: Freshmen must have taken a WR seminar course in the fall term.

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Students who wish to pre-register for a discussion section of this course should visit https://students.yale.edu/ocs-preference/select/select?id=17668 to submit their preferences before January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Emily Thornbury, Professor: Alexandra Reider
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm
Medieval Lit

An introduction to the rich literary tradition of Anglo-Saxon England (c. 650 - c. 1100). Emphasis on the diversity of ways the Anglo-Saxons approached, preserved, and appreciated the written word. Readings include poems, histories, travel narratives, and riddles; all readings in Modern English.

Professor: Jessica Brantley
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:00pm-2:15pm
Medieval Lit

An exploration of medieval dramatic traditions in the context of other medieval and modern performative practices, including pageantry, song, spectacle, recitation, liturgy, and meditative reading. Texts include the York plays, Everyman, Mankind, the Digby Mary Magdalene, and Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play.

Also THST 279

Professor: Dudley Andrew, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MWF 11:35am-12:25pm
20/21 C Lit

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

Also FILM 240/LITR 143

Professor: Anthony Reed
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35pm-12:25pm, 1 HTBA
20/21 C Lit

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

Also AFAM 185

Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1.30pm-2.20pm, 1 HTBA
20/21 C Lit

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

Professor: David Kastan
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm, 1 HTBA
Renaissance Lit

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.

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Students who wish to pre-register for a discussion section of this course should visit https://students.yale.edu/ocs-preference/select/select?id=17671 to submit their preferences before January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor: Lawrence Manley
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 1:00pm-2:15pm
Renaissance Lit

A study of mutual influence and literary rivalry in major plays and poems by Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Attention to Elizabethan dramaturgy, poetics, and theater history; to the authors’ debts and contributions to the intellectual heritage of the Renaissance; and to their controversial treatments of politics, religion, mass violence and crowd psychology, ethnicity, and sexuality.

Professor: Lynda Paul
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

Introduction to the discipline of dramaturgy. Study of dramatic literature from the ancient world to the contemporary, developing the core skills of a dramaturg. Students analyze plays for structure and logic; work with a director on production of a classical text; work with a playwright on a new play; and work with an ensemble on a devised piece.

Also THST 207

Professor: Melissa Barton
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 9:25am-11:15am
20/21 C Lit

Examination of African American literary texts within their archival context; how texts were planned, composed, revised, and received in their time. Students pair texts with archival materials from Beinecke Library, including manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera. Readings include Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, August Wilson, and Richard Wright.

Also AFAM 212

Professor: Sarah Mahurin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm
20/21 C Lit

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

Also AFAM 206

Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35-12:50
18/19 C Lit

This course is on the representation of animal life and consciousness in works of literature and also an introduction to the emerging field of critical animal studies. We will pose such questions as: What have non-human animals meant for Western and non-Western cultures? How do poetry and fiction attempt to represent the experience of animals by asking us to inhabit their sensations or emotions or thoughts? How has philosophy understood our moral obligation to animals? In the broadest sense, what role do animals play in our aesthetic, ethical, political, and scientific worlds? We will read fiction, poetry, philosophy, and critical theory, and we will discuss animal sentience and experience, vegetarianism, animal fables, pet keeping, animals alongside disability, race, and gender, and the representation of animal life in the visual arts.

Also EVST 237, HUMS 234, LITR 323

Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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

Professor: Susan Choi
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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 5.

APPLICATION FORM

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

ATTENDANCE

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

WORKSHOP

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

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

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

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

FEEDBACK

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

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

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

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

READING, AND WRITING EXERCISES

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

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

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

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

Professor: Richard Deming
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm

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 5.

APPLICATION FORM

Professor: Derek Green
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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 document 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.

Professor: David Bromwich
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm
18/19 C Lit

A survey of political, moral, and literary works evoked by the revolution controversy, including those by Burke, Wordsworth, and Wollstonecraft.

Open to graduate students.

Professor: Jill Campbell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
18/19 C Lit

The course provides an introduction to English-language novels of the long eighteenth century (1688-1818), the period in which the novel has traditionally been understood to have “risen.” Emphasizing the experimental nature of novel-writing in this early period of its history, the course foregrounds persistent questions about the genre as well as a literary-historical survey: What is the status of fictional characters? How does narrative sequence impart political or moral implications? How do conventions of the novel form shape our experience of gender? What kind of being is a narrator? Likely authors include Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Jennifer Egan, Colson Whitehead, and Richard Powers.

Professor: Paul Fry
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 3:30pm-5:20pm
18/19 C Lit

The rise of landscape in the works of Wordsworth, Constable, Byron, and Turner, with emphasis on the nonhuman in relation to consciousness and history. Some attention to the influence of earlier poetry and visual art and to effects on later painters.

Professor: Ryan Wepler
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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.

Professor: Barbara Stuart
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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.

Professor: Danielle Chapman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am
Renaissance Lit with permission

This course aims to demystify the Bard by discerning elements of his craft, introducing students to contemporary poets inspired by Shakespeare, and teaching students how to employ aspects of Shakespeare’s craft in their own poems—without sounding Elizabethan. With the belief that Shakespeare’s poetry is still utterly alive, and that many of the best contemporary poems finds their origin in his protean touch. Weekly reading alternates between one of the plays and one book of contemporary poetry, while weekly assignments alternate between critical response papers and creative assignments, focusing on specific craft elements, such as “The Outlandish List: How to Make Anaphora Exciting,” “Verbs: How to Hurtle a Poem Forward,” “Concrete Nouns as the Key to Clear Narrative,” “The Poet as Culture Vulture: How to Collect and Command Contemporary Details,” “Wilding: How to Loot and Weirden the Natural World,” “Layers of the Word: Wit and Double Meanings,” “Exciting Enjambments: How to Keep Iambic Pentameter From Being Boring,”  “Finis: How to Make a Poem End.” Students decide before midterm whether they want to take the course as a Renaissance Literature or Creative Writing credit, and this determines whether their final will be a creative portfolio or a critical essay; their midterm assignment will be the opposite of their final assignment, so a student taking the class as a Literature credit (and writing a critical essay for their final) will do the creative writing option at midterm.

Senior Seminar or Creative Writing Workshop. No advance application required.

Professor: Danielle Chapman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am
Renaissance Lit with permission

This course aims to demystify the Bard by discerning elements of his craft, introducing students to contemporary poets inspired by Shakespeare, and teaching students how to employ aspects of Shakespeare’s craft in their own poems—without sounding Elizabethan. With the belief that Shakespeare’s poetry is still utterly alive, and that many of the best contemporary poems finds their origin in his protean touch. Weekly reading alternates between one of the plays and one book of contemporary poetry, while weekly assignments alternate between critical response papers and creative assignments, focusing on specific craft elements, such as “The Outlandish List: How to Make Anaphora Exciting,” “Verbs: How to Hurtle a Poem Forward,” “Concrete Nouns as the Key to Clear Narrative,” “The Poet as Culture Vulture: How to Collect and Command Contemporary Details,” “Wilding: How to Loot and Weirden the Natural World,” “Layers of the Word: Wit and Double Meanings,” “Exciting Enjambments: How to Keep Iambic Pentameter From Being Boring,”  “Finis: How to Make a Poem End.” Students decide before midterm whether they want to take the course as a Renaissance Literature or Creative Writing credit, and this determines whether their final will be a creative portfolio or a critical essay; their midterm assignment will be the opposite of their final assignment, so a student taking the class as a Literature credit (and writing a critical essay for their final) will do the creative writing option at midterm.

Senior Seminar or Creative Writing Workshop. No advance application required.

Professor: Richard Deming
Term: Spring
Day/Time: TTh 11:35pm-12:50pm
18/19 C Lit

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

Professor: Alanna Hickey
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 2:30pm-3:45pm
20/21 C Lit

This course interrogates the deep historical relationship between political resistance and poetic expression within particular Indigenous communities, reading broadly on poetics and Native and Indigenous studies. Texts and inquiries span from non-alphabetic writings and Indigenous understandings of communal and political life, to the recent flourishing of formally innovative collections by Indigenous poets working on issues like climate justice, sexual violence, police brutality, and language revitalization. Poets include Heid E. Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Marshallese), Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota), Deborah Miranda (Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen), and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Nishnaabeg).

Professor: Wai Chee Dimock
Term: Spring
Day/Time: CANCELED
20/21 C Lit

From the global histories of sugar and salt to the latest research on chicken and antibiotics, this course explores some key texts—by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sinclair Lewis, Ruth Ozeki, Monique Truong, Jonathan Safran Foer, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood—both as works of luminous imagination and as entry points to deeper scientific knowledge, encouraging cross-pollination among disciplines.

Also AMST 428, AMST 888, EVST 284

Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm
20/21 C Lit

In this class we will study a wide range of recent scholarly writings on elemental media. What does it mean to live in a moment of both carbon overload and data overload in our atmospheres? What do the environmental perplexities of our time have to do with informational ones? We will explore the links between such apparently natural phenomena as the sky, the atmosphere, the ocean, fire, or soil and such obviously unnatural ones as drones, computer networks, submarine cables, audiovisual culture, and genetic modification. It was only the late nineteenth century that the term “media” came to refer to institutions of mass communication such as the press, film, radio, and so on and to this day the term retains its historical sense of natural habitats or environments. Media theory gives us a way to ask a question that many scholars and citizens have been posing in our moment: just what is nature in an age when human action has so radically reshaped life on Earth?

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher.

Also HUMS 462, FILM 405

Professor: Claudia Rankine
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm
20/21 C Lit

This course surveys experimental writing by Black American women poets in the 21st century. Contextualized in the work of black women writers and theorists before them, we foreground attentiveness to experimentation in relation to language, identity, and the societal pressures that shape them. Augmenting the attention to race with gender, we follow a question posed by poets Evie Shockley and Terrance Hayes: “Does it take something more or different for Black poets to be understood as experimental poets?” The class begins with an overview of poets from Phyllis Wheatley to Audre Lorde in order to understand the literary landscape from which these poets emerge and continues with the work of living writers ranging from M. NourbeSe Philip and Harryette Mullen to Evie Shockley and Simone White, and others in between, as they engage with the lyric across poetic mediums including the poetry collection, the essay, sound and performance, and narrative prose. Devoting two weeks to each poet or poetic pairing, we spend in-depth time with their works, their influences, relevant theoretical writings and criticism, and in many instances, the poets’ own critical writings. Many (if not all) of these writers may visit for in-class discussion and a series of public readings.

Prerequisite: introductory level ENGL or AFAM course.

Also AFAM 237

Professor: Stephanie Newell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 9:25am-11:15am
20/21 C Lit

Introduction to key debates about postwar world literatures in English, to the politics of English as a language of postcolonial literature, and to debates about globalization and culture. Themes include colonial history, postcolonial migration, translation, national identity, cosmopolitanism, and global literary prizes.

Professor: Jill Richards
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm
18/19 C Lit with permission, 20/21 C Lit with permission

Historical survey of feminist and queer theory from the Enlightenment to the present, with readings from key British, French, and American works. Focus on the foundations and development of contemporary theory. Shared intellectual origins and concepts, as well as divergences and conflicts, among different ways of approaching gender and sexuality.

Also LITR 426, WGSS 340

Professor: Michele Stepto
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm
18/19 C Lit with permission, 20/21 C Lit

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

Professor: Margaret Homans
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Renaissance Lit with permission, 18/19 C Lit with permission, 20/21 C Lit with permission

This course explores feminist and queer literary criticism and theory, the use of feminist and queer literary methods across disciplines, and the uses of literary evidence in gender and sexuality studies. Rather than covering a particular period or genre of literature, the course uses a selection of primary texts in English from Shakespeare to the present, from multiple literary genres (fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, creative nonfiction), and from popular culture and non-literary sources as well as canonical texts. Most of the reading, however, will be in literary criticism and theory and in scholarly writing that makes use of literary methods. Topics include the power of narrative and of representation to create norms; the intersectional gender politics of language, including issues of access, code-switching, and appropriation; the uses of narrative as a scholarly tool and of narrative methods across disciplines; historicisms and presentisms; and art as activism. Students learn to do research in literary criticism and theory, and practice thinking broadly about the cultural work that literature does and about the uses of literary methods and practices in other fields.

Also WGSS 352

Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 6:00pm-9:00pm

Trauma is widely explored in contemporary writing but all too often, writers are careless in how they depict trauma. In such depictions, trauma serves as pornography—a way of titillating the reader, a lazy way of creating narrative tension. We see trauma as it unfolds but are rarely given a broader understanding of that trauma or its aftermath. In this course, we explore what it means to write trauma ethically in fiction and creative nonfiction. We read texts that explore trauma in some form or fashion and also produce writing that explores trauma. Over the course of the semester, we try to answer several questions by engaging in the practice of writing trauma. How do we convey the realities of trauma and its aftermath without being exploitative? How do we write trauma without traumatizing the reader? How do we write trauma without re-traumatizing ourselves when we write from personal experience? How do we write trauma without cannibalizing ourselves or the experiences of others? How do we tell stories of trauma without allowing the trauma to become the whole of our narratives? Finally, what does it mean to write trauma?

Also WGSS 399, AFAM 330

Professor: Traugott Lawler
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 9:25-11:15
Medieval Lit

A study of Piers Plowman, William Langland’s restless and wide-ranging poem, produced in three versions between the 1360s and about 1390. We will read the C-text, slowly and carefully, and a number of critical and interpretative essays as well.

Also ENGL 534

Professor: Robert Stepto
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm

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

Also AFAM 406, AFAM 588, AMST 405, AMST 710, ENGL 948

Professor: Sunny Xiang
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 11:35am-12:50pm
20/21 C Lit

A study of how “literature” services, reflects, and contradictions the political formation “Asian America.” Examines the role of literature in 1960s-1970s Asian American Movement and representations of literariness in contemporary Asian American novels, poems, plays.

Also ER&M 354

Professor: Michael Warner
Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm

This course reexamines the literature of the early US from the context of climate change. As we contemplate what kinds of culture might be more sustainable or resilient in the future, it helps to reexamine the paths by which the present crisis—and our awareness of it—arose. The period from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War makes an especially interesting case: it developed the modern concept of the environment, in ways that still shape our consciousness of climate change; but it was also the period in which industrialization and national expansion dramatically altered the continent and the ways of life sustained on it. Where some saw the pastoral utopia of “Nature’s nation,” others saw violent displacement and an unsustainable future. These changes and struggles were so pervasive that they mark every area of the culture, not just nature writing. The class will involve a brief introduction to some current debates about climate change and the humanities, including the Yale Tanner lectures given in 2015 by Dipesh Chakrabarty. Students will then read some work in US environmental history. The primary focus of the class, however, will be the writers of the time, including both classic works by Jefferson, Cooper, Emerson, Fuller, Melville, Thoreau; writings of and about Native Americans, including the rise of the image of the “ecological Indian”; writing about the Prairies and the West, as well as about the new urban environments. A central aim of the course will be to assess the formation and legacy of key ideas in environmentalism, some of which may now be a hindrance as much as a foundation–for example, the idea of nature or wilderness as a primordial equilibrium from which the human is estranged. The course ends with the disclosure, by George P. Marsh’s Man and Nature (1864) that what we describe as nature has already been shaped—often destructively–by human development.

Also AMST 425

Professor: Ruth Yeazell
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Selected novels by Henry James, from Roderick Hudson through The Golden Bowl. Particular attention to the international theme and to the ways in which James’s later novels revisit and transform the matter of his earlier ones.

Professor: Wai Chee Dimock
Term: Spring
Day/Time: CANCELED
20/21 C Lit

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

Also AMST 475, AMST 775, ENGL 838

Professor: Mark Oppenheimer
Term: Spring
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm

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.

Spring application due by noon on December 5.

APPLICATION FORM

To Apply: Write a sample daily theme as described below.

Write a scene with two characters of very different ages. Make their difference in ages clear through description or dialogue or anything at all, except by mentioning their actual ages—don’t do that. The scene should be between 200 and 400 words. It can be entirely fictional or have elements of nonfiction.

Please send your writing sample as an email attachment to writingcourseapplications@yale.edu. Be sure to include your name and email address. Save the attachment as a .DOCX or .PDF document and name it with the course number, instructor name, and your name in the following manner:

ENGL_450-Oppenheimer_YourLastName-YourFirstName.pdf

Students who are accepted or placed on the wait list will receive an email by Wednesday, December 19, 2018. Please note that attendance at the first lecture is required, whether you’re on the acceptance or waiting list (wait-listed students are often admitted). If you are admitted to the class, and plan not to take it after all, please let me know as soon as possible (mark.oppenheimer@yale.edu) so that I may give your spot to a student on the waiting list. After that first lecture, I’ll assign the places of students not present at the first class to others on the wait list.

Thank you.

Professor: Anne Fadiman
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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 5.

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 5. 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.

Professor: Claudia Rankine
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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 5.

APPLICATION FORM

Term: Spring
Day/Time: W 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.

SYLLABUS

May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.

Spring application due by noon on December 5.

APPLICATION FORM

In this workshop, we’ll spend the semester writing a single story, from opening line through two revisions. I hope to provide the chance for you to better understand, and share, the actual writing process: to experience first-hand how stories are constructed, reconsidered, and re-constructed.

It is on one hand a relatively traditional workshop, in that we’ll submit, read, and discuss each others’ work. It’s also, on the other hand, an untraditional workshop, in that it focuses on the ways in which a story can be honed, broadened, restructured, and etc., as it works its way toward becoming the most powerful version of itself that it can possibly be.

We’ll move, during the first three weeks, from opening lines to opening paragraphs; from there to a narrative’s initial complication (as in, the thickening of the plot).

We’ll also read, at the start of the semester, three very different short stories, and talk about how they achieve their effects.

As of week four, you’ll start submitting stories of your own.

We’ll go on to discussing your completed stories, and from there to discussing second drafts of your stories – it’s true (trust me) that writing is, to a certain degree, re-writing.

So much so that we’re going to write third drafts, during the final weeks of the semester.

I’ve found that this approach better simulates the actual writing process. Virtually every writer I know puts a story through multiple drafts. The stories we read and admire are never first draft.

The only requirements for this course are a writing sample of 25 pages or less, and a letter about your interest in fiction-writing and in this course in particular.

Your writing sample should, ideally, be one or two short stories or the opening chapter or two of a novel, but I’ll consider poetry and the opening pages of plays as well. Submitting an expository writing sample is least preferred, but is not out of the question.

Students are not required to have taken previous writing classes or, for that matter, any particular class at all. The course is open to students at all grade levels.

Professor: Susan Choi
Term: Spring
Day/Time: 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 5.

APPLICATION FORM

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.’

Professor: Bob Woodward
Term: Spring
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm

English 467b is a seminar that examines the practices, methods, ethical dilemmas, and impact of journalism. The main attention will be on in depth 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. 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 fifth 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 5.

APPLICATION FORM

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 5. 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). Fear: Trump in the White House is his 19th book an was published in September 2018.

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

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

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

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

Also THST 327b

Spring application due by noon on December 5.

APPLICATION FORM

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

Professor: Deborah Margolin
Term: Spring
Day/Time: MW 1:30pm-3:20pm

A seminar and workshop in advanced playwriting that furthers the development of an individual voice. Study of contemporary and classical plays to understand new and traditional forms. Students write two drafts of an original one-act play or adaptation for critique in workshop sessions. Familiarity with basic playwriting tools is assumed.

Prerequisite: THST 320 or 321, or a college seminar in playwriting, or equivalent experience.

Also THST 322.

Special application instructions: Open to juniors and seniors, nonmajors as well as majors, on the basis of their work; priority to Theater Studies majors. Writing samples should be submitted to the instructor before the first class meeting.

Professor: Peter Cole
Term: Spring
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

A sequel to LITR 348, The Practice of Literary Translation. Students apply to this workshop with a project in mind that they have been developing, either on their own or for a senior thesis, and they present this work during the class on a regular basis. Practical translation is supplemented by readings in the history of translation practice and theory, and by the reflections of practitioners on their art. These readings are selected jointly by the instructor and members of the class. Topics include the history of literary translation—Western and Eastern; comparative approaches to translating a single work; the political dimension of translation; and translation in the context of religion and theology. Class time is divided into student presentations of short passages of their own work, including related key readings; background readings in the history of the field; and close examination of relevant translations by accomplished translators. Students receive intensive scrutiny by the group and instructor.

Prerequisite: LITR 348/ENGL 456.

Also LITR 305, JDST 343

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.

Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at https://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Prerequisite: two courses in writing.

Application Form

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.

Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at https://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Prerequisite: two courses in writing.

Application Form

Term: Spring , Term: Fall

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.

Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at https://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Application Form

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 November 16, 2018, for spring-term projects and by April 11, 2019, for fall-term projects. The project is due by the end of the last week of classes (fall term), or the end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term).

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

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 November 16, 2018, for spring-term projects and by April 11, 2019, for fall-term projects. The project is due by the end of the last week of classes (fall term), or the end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term).

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

Term: Spring , Term: Fall

The Senior Essay is an extended critical research and writing project undertaken with the guidance of a faculty advisor. 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 in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at https://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.

Visit https://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/senior-essay for the complete program description, project guidelines, and application form.

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.

Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at https://english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.