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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

American Literature

english department

English Electives Offered Spring 2017



ENGL2143 American Literary History III (Spring:3.0)

This course focuses on literature written in America from World War I to the present, a time that includes the modern and post-modern periods. Readings can include works by Faulkner, Eliot, Nabokov, Ellison, Warren, Bellow, O’Connor, Kerouac and others of more recent vintage. Themes may vary, as context shifts, but some discussion of national identity, as it is manifested in the writings, can be counted on, as well as issues of race, gender, and class.
George O'Har

ENGL2150 African and African Diaspora Literature (Spring:3.0)
Cross Listed with: AADS1108

By studying creative writing by African writers and writers of African descent, this course examines how diasporic Africans created viable lives for themselves in the "New World." Questions that define this study include: how were Africans in the diaspora able to negotiate the complex social, political, and cultural spaces they encountered? What ancestral traces have they retained and how do these traces co-exist within New World realities?

Rhonda Frederick

ENGL2277 Introduction to American Studies (Fall, Spring:3.0)

This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture. It is not a survey of American cultural history; rather, we will concentrate on approaches, methods, and themes of interest as we assemble critical skills for making interpretive arguments about aspects of culture in their historical moment. The forms we analyze will include examples from literature, film, painting, music, theater, landscape, and architecture, among others. Members of the American Studies faculty will present guest lectures to highlight various aspects of the field.

Lori Harrison-Kahan

ENGL3301 Literature of the Beat Generation (Spring:3.0)

This course will examine the work of the mid-twentieth century writers known as "The Beats"—Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Diane di Prima, Gary Snyder and others. Over the course of the semester we'll analyze these writers' aesthetic principles and study the cultural atmosphere in which the "Beat Generation" was born. To what, we'll ask, do we attribute these works' thematic concerns and stylistic traits? What led Kerouac to hit the road, and Ginsberg to howl?

Christopher Boucher

ENGL3346 Asian American Experience (Spring:3.0)

This course is a multidisciplinary introduction to the experiences of Asians in the United States. We will draw on history, literature, psychology, sociology, film, fine arts, and popular culture to understand how Asian Americans make, and remake, identities and cultures for themselves. We will explore the diversity and heterogeneity of a racial group that has long had a major, if frequently under-appreciated, impact on American society as a whole. Asian American studies faculty will give guest lectures to the class to share their expertise.

Min Song

ENGL3353 Contemporary Literatures of Migration (Spring:3.0)

This course will examine fiction and essays by twenty-first-century writers who foreground themes of migration or immigration. Topics will include globalism, exile, choice, national and trans-national identities. Looking closely at language itself, we will ask what means for some of these writers to write in a second language. Texts by Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Anne Enright, Anne Fadiman, Eva Hoffman, Gary Shteyngart, and others. Irish writer Anne Enright will visit campus in March. Requirements include several papers, a final exam, and an audio or video interview with an immigrant.

Elizabeth Graver

ENGL4478 Poe and the Gothic (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

Working with Poe as a central figure, this course examines the development of English and American Gothic fiction from The Castle of Otranto to "The Yellow Wallpaper" and beyond. In addition to Poe, we will read work by some of the following writers: Horace Walpole, Matthew Lewis, Jane Austen, C. B. Brown, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Gilman, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King.

Paul Lewis

ENGL4626 American Studies Senior Seminar: Studies in American Culture (Fall, Spring:3.0)

Admission by permission of instructor

In this seminar, which also draws on elements of a writing workshop and a course in methodology, we examine selected subjects in American culture: music, landscape, sport, work, childhood, crime, and more. Seeking to develop effective ways to balance storytelling and interpretation, character and argument, we draw on a variety of models for approaching the problem of writing analytically about culture. Authors on the syllabus may include Tom Wolfe, Anne Fadiman, William Finnegan, Jennifer Price, Henry Louis Gates Jr., David Simon, and Edward Burns.

Carlo Rotella, Lynne Feeley

UNCP5567 Capstone: Five Heroic Americans (Spring:3.0)
Prerequisites: Seniors only. Cross Listed with: ENGL4628
Capstone classes may NOT be taken Pass/Fail. You may take only ONE Capstone class before graduation

This course will examine the writings of two American women and three American men whose intellectual and spiritual gifts have enriched our heritage. We will read: Thoreau’s journals; poems by Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost; essays by Emerson; and selections from Mary Rowlandson’s account of her capture by the Quabog Indians. Students will discuss their observations in light of the Capstone program: relationships; work; civic responsibility; and spirituality.

Fr. Robert Farrell, S.J.

ENGL4632 Advanced Topics Seminar: Friendship, Love & Social Taboo (Spring:3.0)

This course will explore why taboo-defying relationships—in particular, interracial friendships and romances, interfaith marriages, adultery, incest, and same-sex love—have been central to American literature and cultural history. Beginning with classic nineteenth-century works by writers such as James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain, the course will move on to a study of twentieth-century writers such as Israel Zangwill, W. E. B. Du Bois, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, James Baldwin, and Alice Walker and of cultural texts such as West Side Story and Lone Star. Readings will include literary criticism, theory, and historical documents.

Lori Harrison-Kahan


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