Fall 2017 Electives

English Electives

Advanced Topic Seminars provide our students with the opportunity for imaginative, intensive discussion and research on some of the most exciting subjects in the study of English today. While the content of these seminars varies--some take up topics in history and culture; some, the life and work of individual writers; some, interdisciplinary topics or contemporary theory-- each seminar trains students in critical thinking and independent research. Students interested in writing Honors theses are encouraged to take at least one ATS. Limited to 15.


Black and Popular T Th 9 Frederick
ENGL3527 General Linguistics M W F 10 Connolly
ENGL3383 Asian American Film M W F 1 Klein
ENGL4006 Eco-Fictions T Th 1:30 Seshadri
ENGL4017 Black Nature: Race and Ecology M W F 2 Howard
ENGL4637 Capstone: Vision Quest Th 1:30-3:50 Miller
ENGL2212 Introduction to Medical Humanities T Th 1:30 Tanner
ENGL4006 Eco-Fictions: World Economy & the Meaning of Nature  T Th 1:30 Seshadri
ENGL4007 Literature of Mental Health M W F 1 Roberts
ENGL4020 Fake News: What's it good for? T Th 10:30 Ards
ENGL4560 Making it Weird:
20th Century Experiments in Literature and Arts  
T Th 12 Lydenberg
ENGL4697 Dante's Divine Comedy in Translation W 3-5:20 Shepard


ENGL2470 Black and Popular T Th 9 Frederick 
ENGL3383 Asian American Film M W F 1 Klein
Capstone: Vision Quest
Th 1:30 - 3:50      
 ENGL2212  Introduction to Medical Humanities T Th 1:30  Tanner
 ENGL4637  Capstone: Vision Quest Th 1:30-3:50  Miller
 ENGL4670  Capstone: Into the Woods T 10-12:30  Rudner
 ENGL4671  Magazine Production and  Publishing T 4:30-6:55  Boucher

ENGL2225 War Stories  (Tues. 4:30)    Aeron Hunt
(1 credit course)

War has been a subject of stories across the centuries. This one-credit seminar will focus on nineteenth- through twenty-first-century accounts of war in novels, stories, nonfiction, poems, and films. We will analyze how texts create war stories that are celebratory or cynical, and sometimes both at once, with a focus on issues such as heroism, psychology and trauma, violence, sacrifice, and national belonging. Students will write five short reflection papers (approximately 2 pages each) and a take home final exam with an essay format.

ENGL3001 Walking Infinite Jest  (Wed. 3pm)    Christopher Boucher
(1 credit course)

David Foster Wallace describes Enfield, Massachusetts—an important setting in his 1996 novel Infinite Jest—as "a kind of arm-shape extending north from Commonwealth Avenue and separating Brighton into Upper and Lower, its elbow nudging East Newton's ribs and its fist sunk into Allston...". Sound familiar? In this course, we'll conduct a Bostonian's reading of Wallace's opus. Students will be required to write weekly critical reading responses, and should be prepared for the course's non-traditional structure: weekly meetings won't begin until week three, and will sometimes be canceled in lieu of weekend "on-site" meetings in Brighton and Boston.

ENGL3308  Diving into the Antebellum Archive  (Wed. 12pm)    Paul Lewis
(1 credit course)

Every other week the group will read a short work of American literature online in the digital version of the magazine in which it originally appeared (for instance, an essay by Fuller or Thoreau in the Dial; a story by Poe in the Southern Literary Messenger, Stowe in the Atlantic, or Hawthorne in the Democratic Review; a poem by Longfellow in the Knickerbocker or by Sigourney in the Children’s Miscellany). In each of the following weeks, we will discuss forgotten, contemporaneous works that students find in the digital archive—works that deal with ideas, images, or characters that figured in the work read the week before. During the last 2 weeks of the term, students will research and write a 6-page course essay that follows the method of the seminar by reading a known literary text along with forgotten, contemporaneous works that dealt with similar matters.

ENGL2133.01 Studies in Narrative - T Th 12 - Hunt

This course introduces students to questions that they might bring to the study of narrative works—primarily novels, tales, and non-fictional narratives, though it may also include drama, film, and narrative poems. It aims to introduce the various critical frames through which we construct interpretations. As part of the process of reading, students will be introduced to common critical terms; narrative genres, conventions, and discourses; the construction of the character and the ways of representing consciousness; and the ordering of narrative time. The course will also expose the student to the implications of taking critical positions.

ENGL2133.03 Studies in Narrative - T Th 9- Restuccia

This section (taught by Professor Restuccia) of Studies in Narrative will include modern and contemporary novels, with an emphasis on their narrative structures as they convey the meaning of the text.  Our novels will hark from various countries of the world to expose students to diverse cultures.  Major voices in contemporary theory will also be heard.  Psychoanalytic theory, post-structuralism, Marxist, feminist, and possibly film theory, as well as cultural criticism will be introduced.  Writing will also receive our full attention.    

ENGL2133.05 Studies in Narrative - T Th 10:30 - Song

This section aims to help students to expand their critical vocabulary, to improve their close reading skills, and to refine their writing abilities. We will read a wide variety of literary texts from different historical periods, but with an emphasis on more contemporary works. They will be both highbrow and popular, which will allow us to test the boundaries around what we think of as “literature.” We will think a lot  about what a narrative is, what purposes it serves, and how it continually changes over time. In addition, we will think self-reflexively about how the interpretation of narratives continues to change. Toward this end, we will also read several works of literary and cultural criticism.

The goals of the course are close reading of poetry, developing the student's ability to ask questions which open poems to analysis, and writing lucid interpretative papers.

Fall 2017

 Course Number  Course Name  Day/Time  Professor
ENGL2131.01 Studies in Poetry T Th 1:30 Howes
ENGL2131.05 Studies in Poetry M W F 9 Haskin
ENGL2131.07 Studies in Poetry T Th 3 Ohi
ENGL2131.09 Studies in Poetry M W F 10 Weiskott
ENGL2131.17 Studies in Poetry T Th 1:30 Wallace


ENGL2122 Language in Society - T TH 1:30

Cross Listed with: ENGL2122, SOCY3362

Satisfies core requirement for: Cultural Diversity.

This course provides an introduction to the study of language in its social context, including varieties of language associated with social class, ethnicity, locale, and age; bilingualism; pidgin and Creole languages; proposals about the relationship of language, thought, and culture; and the structure and role of discourse in different cultures. Sociolinguistic issues of contemporary interest, including language and gender, language planning, and language and public policy will be studied.
Margaret Thomas

ENGL3527 General Linguistics - M W F 10

Cross Listed with: ENGL3527

An introduction to the history and techniques of the scientific study of language in its structures and operations, including articulatory and acoustic phonology, morphological analysis, historical reconstruction, and syntactic models. This course provides an intensive introduction to the study of what languages are and how they operate. Exercises in the analysis of fragments from various languages supplement the theoretical lectures and readings.
M.J. Connolly

ENGL6675 The Art & Craft of Literary Translation - T TH 3

The Art and Craft of Literary Translation: A Seminar (Spring:3.0)

Prerequisites: Knowledge of a Classical, Germanic, Romance or Slavic language beyond the intermediate level

Cross Listed with: RLRL8899, ENGL6675, SLAV4061

Permission of instructor required for undergraduates and for languages beyond those in the course description.

Literary translation as an art. Discussion of the history and theory of literary translation in the West and in Russia, but mainly practice in translating poetry or artistic prose from Germanic, Romance, Slavic, or Classical Languages, into English.

Conducted entirely in English as a workshop.
Maxim D. Shrayer

ENGL2255 Introduction to Postcolonial Literature  T Th 4:30 Seshadri
ENGL4427 Topics in Theory:
Psychoanalysis and Literature
 T Th 12 Lydenberg

ENGL4015 Women in Irish Literature Before 1900

M W F 11

Long before Joyce, there was Sydney Owenson—a writer with as much wit and even more audacity. This course explores pre-1900 Irish literature and culture from the unique perspective of the Irish woman. Women came in all shapes and forms in early Irish and English writing: queens, faeries, hags, vampires, and, most importantly, writers themselves. We will study how women formulated the Irish novel, asking questions like, what is the relationship between history and sexuality, imperialism and literature, myth and reality, the “wild” native woman and the Landlord? Selected authors include: Sydney Owenson, Maria Edgeworth, W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Gaskell, as well as Irish language poets.
Colleen Taylor

ENGL4010 Scribbling Women and Suffragettes: Human Rights and American  Women's Writing, 1850-1920

M W F 2

(Satisfies core requirement for: Cultural Diversity.
Fulfills pre-1900 requirement)

This course focuses on American women writers who engaged questions of difference and justice and played pivotal roles in social reform, ranging from movements for women’s and indigenous rights to abolitionism and labor activism. How did nineteenth-century women use print culture as a forum for political debate and a means of democratic participation prior to the Nineteenth Amendment? How did women writers work within the sentimental tradition and contribute to new developments in science fiction, literary journalism, and realism? Authors include Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, Maria Ruiz de Burton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Zitkala-Sa, and Sarah Winnemucca.
Lori Harrison-Kahan

ENGL2110 Classical & Biblical Background/English Literature - M W F 11

The course is open to students of any major and in any year. Its goals include: (1) exposure to a broad range of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew literature in translation (myths, histories, authors, characters, plots, themes); (2) attentiveness to what is at stake, theoretically and practically, in translation into English; and (3) the development of comparatist practices of reading that respect and explore cultural differences. Emphasis on the Homeric epics, Greek tragedies, the more conspicuously literary parts of the Hebrew Bible, and the metamorphoses of the Greek and Hebrew traditions in the Roman world during the transition to the Common Era.
Dayton Haskin

CLAS2230 Classical Mythology (Fall:3.0) - T TH 3
Cross Listed with: ENGL2220

This course explores the mythology of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East within its cultural, political, historical, and religious contexts. You will meet (or renew your acquaintance with) mythical figures like Zeus, Gilgamesh, Medusa, and Helen as they appear in multiple literary genres and other artistic media. In order to analyze and interrogate these myths we will use ancient and modern frameworks for thinking about what mythology is and what it does. What can a myth tell us about the civilization that created, adopted, or adapted it? What do our uses of Classical mythology - and our creations of our own myths - tell us about ourselves?
Hanne Eisenfeld

ENGL2227 Classics of Russian Literature (In Translation) - T TH 12
Classics of Russian Literature (in translation) (Fall:3.0)

Cross Listed with: ENGL2227
Satisfies core requirement for: Literature.

All readings and lectures in English. Undergraduate major elective. Russian Major requirement

A survey of selected major works, authors, genres, and movements in nineteenth-century Russian literature, with emphasis on the classic works by Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov.
Maxim D. Shrayer

ENGL2221 Intro to Creative Writing Th 4:30-6:55 O'Har
ENGL2221 Intro to Creative Writing W 11:30-1:55
ENGL2221 Intro to Creative Writing Th 4:30-6:55
ENGL2221 Intro to Creative Writing F 2-4:30 Garcia
ENGL4008 Writing as Social Action W 2-4 25 Mathieu
ENGL4412 Writing Workshop:
Creative Nonfiction
F 9-11:25 Roberts
ENGL4412 Writing Workshop:
Creative Nonfiction
M 9-11:25 Donovan-Kranz
ENGL4412 Writing Workshop:
Creative Nonfiction
M 2-4:25
ENGL4412 Writing Workshop:
Creative Nonfiction
M 4:30-6:55
ENGL4539 Advanced Creative Nonfiction:
Writing the Past
F 11:30-1:55 Berne
ENGL4577 Writing Workshop: Poetry M 11:30-1:55 Adair
ENGL4579.01 Writing Workshop: Fiction T 9-11:25 Matson
ENGL4579.02 Writing Workshop: Fiction T 4:30-6:55
ENGL4671 Magazine Production and Publishing W 4:30-6:55 Boucher
ENGL6002 Experimental Writing
Th 2-4:25 Rotella