Literature in English
MW 4:30—5:45 Kondrlik
In this course, we explore literary texts that you are likely to encounter at the college level. The course takes up four different genres, each with its own unit: (1) short stories, (2) drama, (3) poetry, and (4) novels. We will discuss the genre conventions and experiences of reading involved in each of these four genres, exploring works from different time periods and geographical locations. We will center our discussions around the topic of identity, reading works by important and diverse writers such as William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Sherman Alexie, and Ursula K. LeGuin. We will also use our readings and understandings of these generic conventions to help us develop interpretations of the texts, and to compare those interpretations to those of others—classmates’ as well as literary critics’—using textual evidence to support our own arguments (spoken and written) about how the texts can/should be read and interpreted. There are no prerequisites for this course. Non-majors and those without specific training in literature are encouraged to enroll in this course, as we will be discussing strategies for approaching literary texts within the college classroom.
Recommended preparation: Concurrent enrollment in ENGL 150 or USFS 100.
Introduction to Creative Writing
MW 9:00—10:15 Blakeslee
Introduction to Creative Writing acquaints students with opportunities for creative expression across genres. The course primarily focuses on poetry and prose – though playwriting, screenwriting, and genres of creative nonfiction will also be explored. We will attend to those elements that make for vivid, effective writing, including relevant detail, lyrical language, and memorable images; inventive metaphor and simile; and authentic voice, setting, and characterization. Taking this course will help us to further develop an understanding and practice of creativity in the medium of language and to distinguish among the creative opportunities and constraints of different literary genres.
Introduction to Journalism
MWF 10:30—11:20 Sheeler
Students will learn the basics of reporting and writing news stories, but also the traditions behind the craft and the evolving role of journalism in society. Instruction will include interviewing skills, fact-checking, word choice and story structure—all framed by guidance on making ethically sound decisions. Assignments could include stories from a variety of beats (business, entertainment, government, science), along with deadline stories and breaking news Web updates, profiles and obituaries. No prerequisites.
Introduction to Fiction Writing
T 4:30—7:00 Umrigar
This class introduces the student to the basic elements of craft that go into writing a successful short story. You will learn about character development, plot development, establishing a sense of place, dialogue writing, etc. Since reading and writing are intrinsically woven together, you will be assigned weekly readings from an anthology of contemporary short fiction. Students will learn to develop a critical vocabulary to discuss their readings. The class will be conducted as a writing workshop, which means you will read and critique stories submitted by your classmates. Apart from writing two, full-length short stories, students will be expected to do weekly in-class and out-of-class writing exercises.
Introduction to Poetry Writing
W 4:00—6:30 Gridley
This is a course for students who are relatively new to the practice of poetry. Its purpose is to engage students critically and creatively with the primary elements of a poem: form, music, syntax, diction, tone, imagery, and tropes. In regularly scheduled workshops, student poems will receive responses and speculations from peers. The work for this course involves the close study of poetic models; readings in poetic craft and theory; writing and critiquing poems; in-class writing exercises; memorization and recitation; a midterm project and presentation; and a final portfolio including revised poems and critical introduction. Students will receive regular feedback in the form of written comments and conference sessions. Grading determined by portfolio evaluation. No prerequisite.
Introduction to Film
TTh 2:45—4:00 (class time)
T 7:00—9:30 pm (film viewing) Spadoni
An introduction to the art of film. Each week we’ll take an element of film form (editing, cinematography, sound, and so on) and examine how filmmakers work with this element to elicit effects. Most weeks we’ll also screen a whole film and discuss it in light of the week’s focus. Films screened will include masterworks of the silent era, foreign films, Hollywood studio-era classics, and more recent US cinema. Students will write two essays (5-6 and 8-10 pages) and take a scheduled quiz, midterm, and final exam. Grad students write a longer second essay and, in connection with it, submit a proposal and annotated bibliography.
Topics in Film:
History of Film—Origins to Present
TTh 10:00—11:15 (class time)
Th 7:00—9:30 pm (film viewing) Spadoni
A brisk survey of the historical development of cinema from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century to the present. We’ll take into account film movements in various countries and also ways in which theorists and others have sought to understand the medium at different times. We’ll consider cultural contexts of the past production and reception of films as we pay close attention to the history of film style. Students will write two essays (5-6 and 8-10 pages), take part in a group presentation, and take occasional brief quizzes (the lowest is dropped). Grad students write a longer second essay and, in connection with it, submit a proposal and annotated bibliography.