Department of English
Case Western Reserve University
Course Listing Spring Semester 2016
* Check Registrar’s listing for course times
For courses listed as “300/400,” undergraduates should list only the “300” number on their registration forms; graduate students should list only the “400” number.
Organized courses and tutorials for non-undergraduates are available to those for whom English is a second language. These are offered by permission of the Writing Center Director only. Contact Dr. Megan Jewell at the English Department, Bellflower 204 (368-3799), firstname.lastname@example.org.
English Grammar for Writers
Tools, Not Rules: English Grammar for Writers
TTH 1:15—2:30 Kang
In this class, you will learn grammar as an important toolkit to use in writing. You will understand what tools are available to you – knowing the terminology of grammar and using it to think about and talk about your writing. By understanding tools that are available, you will understand how they can be used to produce a wide range of rhetorical effects. This class begins with learning the parts of speech and then moves to sentence- and text-level analysis. You will learn how words become sentences, how sentences become paragraphs and how paragraphs create cohesive texts. In addition to learning the toolkit, you will learn how to search a corpus (a large collection of authentic language) to increase your skills in observing the grammar of English in context. This course is specifically designed for multilingual students, but native speakers of English may take the course with the approval of the instructor.
Introduction to Composition
MWF 9:30—10:20 Staff
English 148 is an introductory, three-credit course designed to help students develop basic academic writing skills. The course is appropriate for both native speakers and those for whom English is not a first language. Students will develop strategies for reading texts critically, and effectively communicating their views in writing. Course goals include acquiring greater ease in organizing, focusing, and developing ideas. Classes are small and a great deal of individual tutorial work is provided along with formal instruction. There is a limited enrollment of 12 in each section.
MWF 9:30—10:20 Staff
As a course in expository writing, English 150 requires substantial drafting and revising of written work. The goals of English 150 are:
ideas of other writers and speakers;
Topics, readings, and writing assignments vary across individual course sections. Students enrolled in
SAGES are not required to complete the English 148/150 sequence. Enrollment limited to 20 in each section.
Writing Tutorial (1 credit)
English 180 is a one-credit writing tutorial class designed to develop students’ expository writing skills through weekly scheduled conferences with a Writing Resource Center Instructor. Goals are to produce clear, well-organized, and mechanically acceptable prose, and to demonstrate learned writing skills throughout the term. Course content is highly individualized based on both the instructor’s initial assessment of the student’s writing and the student’s particular concerns. All students must produce a minimum of 12 pages of finished writing and complete other assignments as designed by the instructor to assist in meeting course goals.
ENROLLMENT: Course times are based on both the student’s schedule and instructor availability. After enrolling, students are responsible for contacting the Writing Resource Center to begin the scheduling process. Students may e-mail email@example.com, or call the Director, Dr. Megan Swihart Jewell, at
Academic Writing Studio (1 Credit)
W 3:00—3:50 Staff
The Academic Writing Studio is a 1-credit, pass/no-pass course that meets once a week for 50 minutes. This course is designed for non-native speakers of English who are also enrolled in a University Seminar and want to continue developing their academic writing skills. In a small workshop environment, you will learn academic writing skills such as how to read and annotate a text, how to write a response/research paper, and how to integrate “stakes” and “naysayers” in your academic papers. Upon enrollment, meeting time will be scheduled with instructor. This section is designed for ESL students and other writers who are enrolled in University Seminars.
Writing Workshop for Researchers (2 credits)
Seminar Meetings: T 4:30—5:20
Individual Tutorials (50 minutes/week): TBA Staff
The course is an individualized writing workshop/tutorial for Case Western Reserve University graduate students, faculty, and staff. Although it may be appropriate for native speakers of English, it is
intended primarily for individuals who wish to improve their academic and professional US English skills. It highlights two primary modes of communication—discussion and writing. Students meet together in a weekly seminar to improve oral communication and to address common English writing and grammar concerns. In addition, students meet individually with the instructor weekly for practice and instruction in academic/professional genres of writing.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
Literature in English
TTh 1:15—2:30 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 diverse writers like William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, William Faulkner, 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.
Introduction to Creative Writing
MW 9:00-10:15 Elmore
Introduction to Creative Writing acquaints students with opportunities for creative expression in poetry and short fiction. 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. Students will examine the works of contemporary professional authors from a practitioner’s point of view in order to better understand the craft of creative writing, in addition to regularly producing and workshopping their own writing. Taking this course will help students 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.
Writing for Health Professions
TTh 2:45—4:00 Chaloupka
This course offers practice and training in the professional and technical writing skills common to health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, dentistry). By analyzing medical rhetoric and practicing professional argument, this course encourages students to think critically about all stages of their writing process. Assignments will address a range of audiences including fellow professionals, the general public, and medical school admissions committees. Students will practice scholarly writing within their research areas and professional writing within their future fields. The course thus will engage an array of written genres: literature reviews, public health writing, patient charts and histories, resumes, and medical school application materials. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.
MWF 3:00—3:50 Schaffer
This course offers introductory analysis of modern English from various theoretical perspectives (e.g., structural, sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and cognitive linguistic). In particular, the course provides an introduction to theoretical concepts and methods of linguistics, such as morphology, phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, and dialects, as well as writing systems and the nature and form of grammar. It is designed for any student with interest in language or its use; no prior linguistic background is assumed. This course provides humanities and social science students with training in the description and explanation of important technical aspects of language. This course also provides students of communication disorders with a basic foundation in language science, crucial information to understanding language acquisition.
British Literature 1800 to the Present
MWF 9:30–10:20 Siebenschuh
This course introduces students to a broad spectrum of British literature from the late eighteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth century. Reading will include selections from the great romantic poets—Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats; fiction by Mary Shelley, Dickens, Hardy, and Joyce; and selected readings from Arnold, Browning, Carlyle and Tennyson. Because so many of the works we will read reflect and comment on the dramatic political events and the rich and turbulent intellectual currents of their time, we will be focusing not only on the texts themselves but also on the intellectual, political, and social contexts in which they were conceived and written and with which they are in more or less constant dialog. Course requirements include regular attendance, participation in discussion, two five to seven page papers, a mid-term and a final.
ENGL 303 Intermediate Writing Workshop: Fiction
ENGL 303C: Capstone Intermediate Writing Workshop: Fiction*
W 4:00—6:30 Umrigar
This class aims to build on the knowledge and skills you have acquired in your introductory classes on how to craft a good short story. Toward this end, you will read and critique contemporary short stories, as well as write your own. Your stories will be workshopped by the entire class. This class involves intensive reading and lots of in-class and out-of-class writing exercises, along with the longer short stories. We will also review the elements of a successful short story, including character development, plot development, voice, point of view etc. Pre-requisite: ENGL 203 or ENGL 213.
*Students taking ENGL 303C will have additional responsibilities, including but not limited to, writing a 8-10 page critical introduction to your stories, where you will “situate” or “contextualize” your capstone project
into a specific subgenre or historic period and/or discuss what strategies you employed. You can engage in a conversation with authors or texts that you have used as models for your own work. Pre-requisite: ENGL 303, ENGL 380, and permission of instructor.
Intermediate Writing Workshop: Poetry
Th 4:30—7:00 Lucas
This course continues developing poetic techniques introduced in English 214 (or other qualifying introductory course), with increased emphasis on the following intermediate priorities and skills: continued diversification of poetics and poetic models (using print and digital resources); self-prompting (in writing and reading); experimentation; sharpened editorial skills in the context of peer critiques and the poet’s own revision process. There will be weekly readings in poetics in addition to weekly writing assignments. Class
time will integrate discussions of readings and poetic models with in-class writing exercises and workshop critique sessions. Recitations of memorized poems required at midterm and final meeting. Midterm presentation. End of term portfolio with 8-10 pp critical introduction and revised poems. Pre-requisite: ENGL 203, 214, or permission of the instructor.
Intermediate Writing Workshop: Journalism
Magazine and Feature Writing
M 3:00-5:30 Sheeler
Students in this class will learn how to write for various magazines (both print and online) as well as how to craft effective pitch letters to send to magazine editors as freelance writers (many students have successfully published stories from this class to magazines throughout the country). Students will also learn the intricacies of fact-checking their work and the work of others. The class will analyze some of the best narrative non-fiction writing and students will speak via videoconference with Pulitzer Prize- and National Magazine Award-winning writers throughout the country. The bulk of the class will focus on techniques for crafting compelling true stories with a discernible beginning, middle, and end — stories that take readers places they’ve never been, both physically and emotionally. Students choosing to take this course as their capstone 307C will be required to do the same work as the other students as well as an extended final project and oral presentation with other capstone students.
History of the English Language
MWF 10:30-11:20 Emmons
This course explores the cultural, political, and linguistic forces that have shaped the 1,200-year history and anticipates the future(s) of the English language. As familiar as English may be to many of us, we modern speakers hardly recognize the language of Beowulf as even related to the poetry of Hip-Hop or Rap music. Nevertheless, many of the words and forms found in today’s hip-hop music (e.g., ain’t, multiple negation) have long and complicated stories to tell us about the development of the English language. This course will investigate these (and other) stories as it traces the general sound, word, and grammatical changes the language has undergone in its transitions from Old to Middle to Early Modern to Modern English.
The course goals are:
Literature of Science and Magic
MWF 11:30—12:20 Vinter
This course focuses on literature about scientific and magical subjects by renaissance writers including Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon, John Donne, John Milton,
and Margaret Cavendish. Though today the practices of magic and science generally appear completely separate, for much of their history they were closely intertwined. Chemistry has its roots in alchemy. Isaac Newton is remembered for his significant advances in mathematics and physics but was also fascinated by occult studies. William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, was involved in adjudicating witchcraft trials. The recognition of science as a distinct discipline with superior truth claims, and the corresponding decline of magic, only occurred gradually over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Over the semester, we’ll read about magicians, demons, and witches alongside microscopes, atoms and air pumps. In part, our goal in studying this literature will be to track when and how the separation between magic and science came about. What makes scientific and magical approaches distinct? What social, economic, religious and cultural factors enabled the emergence of science as a serious pursuit and led to skepticism about magic? But we’ll also look carefully at how science and magic relate to literature, especially through some early examples of science fiction. What links exist between the modes of thought and styles of language used to understand or manipulate the physical world, and those used to create imaginary worlds? When have magical or scientific understandings influenced or provided metaphors for literary writers? Conversely, when have literary ideas influenced or anticipated scientific ones?
The requirements for this course include regular participation in the classroom and on Blackboard, two 5-7 page papers, and a final project. This class fulfills pre-1800 distribution requirement for the English major.
Comedies and Romances
MW 9:00—10:15 Vinter
In this course we’ll read a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies and romances. These texts span the entirety of Shakespeare’s career, and in part we’ll be using them to understand the development of his drama and his shifting place within the renaissance theater and wider social sphere. What made Shakespeare so successful in his own time? What differences emerge as we move from early comedies such as The Taming of the Shrew to middle period problem plays such as Measure for Measure and late romances such as The Winter’s Tale? How do the plays respond to changing artistic fashions and performance conventions, as well as to different social, political and economic conditions? In particular, how is Shakespeare reflecting, commenting on or contesting common renaissance understandings of drama and language, gender roles and sexual identities, ethnic and religious differences, and trade and financial speculation? But we’ll also be thinking about what it means to be reading and watching Shakespeare today, in part by looking at more recent reception and adaptations of some of his plays. What explains the continued attraction of Shakespeare? What is gained and what is lost when we treat him as our contemporary?
Requirements for 325 include regular participation in the classroom and on Blackboard, two 5-7 page papers, and a final project. This class fulfills pre-1800 distribution requirement for the English major.
Students registering for ENGL 325C—the Capstone version of this class—will be required to develop and complete a Capstone research project in the wider field of study covered by the course. This Capstone project will have an approximate length of 25pp. and will also include a public presentation of the project. This Capstone research project will fulfill the formal writing requirements for 325. All other reading, class participation, and final exam requirements will be identical for 325 and 325C. Completion of the major’s pre-1800 requirement is a prerequisite for 325.
Graduate students taking this course at the 400 level will have extra readings, extra class meetings, and must write a 20-25 page research paper.
American Literature 1914-1960
The Beat Generation
MWF 2:00—2:50 Marling
Study the legends! Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, di Prima and more. This course opens up the culture and writing of the famous, rebellious coterie of mid-20th century American youth culture known as The Beats. We will do some background reading, watch several films, and read the central texts.
Required texts: you must have the books, and you must bring them to class. You cannot take the course on screens.
Charters, The Portable Beat Reader
Bukowski, Ham on Rye
Burroughs, Naked Lunch
Di Prima, Memoirs of a Beatnik
Kerouac, On the Road
Kerouac, Big Sur
Knight, Women of the Beat Generation
Baraka (Leroi Jones) Dutchman
Background texts: Dr. Spock, Kinsey Reports, Mailer, Advertisements for Myself
supplied as pdfs
Grades will be based on three short papers and attendance/participation: Short paper #1 on Bukowski or background – 25%; #2 on Kerouac’s On the Road – 25%; #3 on poetry or female writer(s) or the “gender troubles” of The Beats” – 25%. Class attendance and participation – 25% Attendance is taken on random days.
Introduction to Film
TTh 2:45—4:00 (class time)
T 7:00—9:30 (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 U.S. 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
TTh 10:00—11:15 (class time)
Th 7:00-9:30 (film viewing) Spadoni
What happens when we watch a film? This course examines three ways this process has been understood. First, theories of spectatorship ask how films “position” viewers, often regardless of the type of viewer and even of the particular film being screened. Second, historical reception studies examine how particular films have been viewed by specific audiences. Third, reflexive interpretations find ways individual films might be commenting on some aspect of the film experience, including its viewing. As we examine these approaches to understanding film viewing, we’ll watch and discuss a film most weeks.
Students registered for 368 will write two essays (5-6 and 8-10 pages), take part in a group presentation, and take occasional brief quizzes (lowest is dropped).
Students who wish to register for 368C, the Capstone section, must first meet the following requirements: a) have met with Robert Spadoni and registered for ENGL 368C by the last day of classes in the semester preceding the semester in which the capstone is being offered; b) have declared an English Major with a Concentration in Film, have declared both an English Major and a Film Minor (and have completed at least three courses successfully toward the minor), or received official notification of approval for a self-designed film major; c) have taken ENGL 380; and d) have taken ENGL 367—Introduction to Film. Capstone students will write a short essay (5-6 pages), take part in a group presentation, take occasional brief quizzes (lowest is dropped), and write a major research paper (approximately 25 pages), in connection with which they will submit a proposal and bibliography, and give a public presentation.
Grad students registered for 468 will write a short essay (5-6 pages), take part in a group presentation, take occasional brief quizzes (lowest is dropped), and write a research essay, in connection with which they will submit a proposal and annotated bibliography.
ENGL/WLIT 368: TOPICS IN FILM
Peninsular Spanish Cinema
T 2:45-5:30 (includes filmviewing)
Th 2:45-4:00 Ehrlich
This course will provide an overview of the cinema of Spain, from the silent era, through the Spanish Civil War period, up to the present. Particular focus will be on several of Spain’s greatest directors: Buñuel, Bardem, Berlanga, Saura, Erice, and Almodóvar. In addition, we will look at a new generation of experimental documentary filmmakers: Guerín, Lacuesta, and Álvarez. The course will also include mini-units on Catalan cinema and on Basque cinema.
One research project will be carried out at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Requirements will include: a class presentation, annotated bibliography, Spanish art object study, and Summary+Notes of some readings. There will be three short essays and a final “summing up” essay.
All films are subtitled in English.
Textbooks: Jordan, Barry. Spanish Cinema: A Student’s Guide. Hodder Arnold (2005) 987-0-340-80745-3. Resina, Joan Ramon. Burning Darkness: A Half-Centry Of Spanish Cinema. SUNY Press (2008). 978-0-7914-7504-1. (recommended) Corrigan, Tim. A Short Guide to Writing about Film (Pearson E-book).
Children’s Literature: 1930-2014
TTh 1:15—2:30 Vrettos
This is the companion course to Children’s Literature: 1865-1929, though each course can be taken on its own. The course examines classics of children’s literature from the 1930’s through the first decades of the twenty-first century. We will focus on narrative and thematic developments in the genre, the historical
contexts in which these stories were written, as well as their influence on later writers. Beginning with The Hobbit and ending with the first and last books of Rowling’s Harry Potter series, texts will probably include C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, White’s Charlotte’s Web, Sharp’s The Rescuers, Eager’s Half Magic, Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and/or James and the Giant Peach, Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy, and Koenigsberg’s From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler, among others. We will also discuss some of the film adaptations of these texts. Requirements include attendance and active participation in class discussion and a choice of paper assignment plans (the equivalent of three 5-7pp. papers). There will, in addition, be informal oral reports, short in-class writings, and a take-home final exam. Prerequisite: FSEM (or equivalent).
Visual and New Media Studies
Comics and the Graphic Novel
TTh 11:30—12:45 Grimm
An exploration of comics and the graphic novel with an emphasis on how this genre fits into a larger literary context. Readings will include works by authors/artists such as Neil Gaiman, Harvey Pekar, Allison Bechdel, Art Spiegelman, Charles Burns, Frank Miller, as well as articles on related topics. The class will include collaborative endeavors, response papers, and an end-of-semester project.
Twentieth Century Poetry
TTh 10:00—11:15 Clune
In this course we will explore a wide and deep selection of the most significant twentieth century poetry. We will investigate the diversity of responses to such basic questions as what poems are, what kinds of knowledge they convey, what forms of relationship they imagine. Poets studied include W. B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Hart Crane, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath, and Jaime Saenz. Written work will consist of several short response papers, and two longer papers.
Studies in Drama
Silence, Profanity, and the Anxiety Preceding a Kick in the Pants
The Plays of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter
MW 3:00—4:15 Orlock
This discussion-based course will offer an in-depth consideration of the major dramatic works of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, two Nobel prize-wining playwrights whose vision and style continue to reverberate within and inspire the sexual, social, and intellectual dimensions of contemporary theater.
The over-arching question of the seminar: How does rhetoric connect with stagecraft to generate the bleak minimalist slapstick of Beckett’s nostalgia-haunted curmudgeons or the undefined menace of Pinter’s collection of con men and lost lovers?
In addition to reading the texts, we will view and discuss video productions of the plays in performance.
Topics in Language
Theory and Practice of Second Language Writing
TTH 10:00—11:15 Kang
This course aims to familiarize you with key concepts and theories in the field of L2 writing as well as their implications in classroom teaching. The first few classes provide a basic foundation in L2 writing – things you definitely need to know in order to be an effective L2 writing educator, such as needs analysis, L2 writers’ perspectives, and L2 teaching approaches. The rest of the course examines the relationship between L2 writing and L1 culture/rhetoric and identity and second language acquisition. L2 writing is becoming a richly interdisciplinary field, incorporating ideas not only from applied linguistics and composition, but also from education, sociology, and anthropology. In all topics we discuss, you will be strongly encouraged to reflect critically on how these ideas inform your beliefs about teaching L2 writing and the image of the teacher you want to be.
Twenty-First Century Literature
TTh 1:15—2:30 Clune
Where are we now? Most critics and writers believe we have moved beyond postmodernism, but there is no consensus about the nature of contemporary literature. In this course we will explore the writing of the new millennium, with the goal of identifying emerging themes and forms. We will seek to develop a flexible way of reading appropriate to a time when a canon has not yet emerged, and when the history of our period has yet to be written. Writers studied will include Maggie Nelson, Roberto Bolano, Claudia Rankine, Marilynne Robinson, Kevin Barry, and Tao Lin. Written work will consist of several short responses, a paper of 4-5 pages, and a final paper of 10-12 pages.
Professional Communication for Engineers
English 398 introduces principles and strategies for effective communication in both academic and workplace engineering settings. Through analysis of case studies and of academic and professional genres, this course develops the oral and written communication skills that characterize successful engineers. Students will prepare professional documents that focus specifically on communicating academic and technical knowledge to diverse audiences. Because such documents are always situated within professional, social, and rhetorical contexts, this course also requires students to explain and justify their communicative choices in order to become adept in navigating the rhetorical environments they will encounter as professional engineers. As a SAGES Departmental Seminar, English 398 also prepares students for the writing they will do in Capstone projects.
Note: ENGL 398 complements ENGR 398, a 1-credit co-requisite lecture course, which introduces major practical, theoretical, and ethical issues that shape the environment for communication among professional engineers. For details of the ENGR 398 objectives, work commitments, grade breakdown, and assignments, please see the separate syllabus for that course.
Additional Note: ENGL 398 is a departmental seminar, and as such, the workload and time commitment outside of class time will be demanding. Be prepared and plan ahead. Beginning assignments early, particularly near the end of the semester as things get busier, will allow you to finish on time and submit
your best work. This course asks you to develop your writing skills while also honing your professional skills, including time management, organization, and punctuality. By the end of English 398, students should be able to:
Produce written texts in a variety of professional genres – texts that communicate effectively and adhere to professional ethical standards.
Advanced Creative Writing
T 2:45—5:15 Grimm
“Rules for the first draft: Do it…. Do it quickly.”
—Stephen Koch (Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction)
This is an intensive course for students who want to try their hand at a novel, and who have already had substantial experience in writing prose fiction. Students will produce a working synopsis and go on to write and workshop 80-100 pp. of a novel. Readings will include the work of contemporary novelists, as well as various theoretical approaches to the text and the author. Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of instructor.
American Literature Seminar
The Novels of Toni Morrison
M 4:00—6:30 Umrigar
This seminar features works by writer Toni Morrison and attempts to situation her fiction within the context of the larger cultural and historical movements of the day. Starting with slavery and going through the years of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement and into the Age of Obama, we will read works that engage with and inform these crucial moments in American history. We will also discuss common motifs–such as the quest for identity–that runs through much of her work.
English Literature 1800-1900
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
The Embodied Mind: Victorian Literature and Psychology
T 4:30—7:00 Vrettos
This course will study the development of “psychological realism” as the dominant genre of British fiction during the Victorian era and its relationship to nineteenth-century (pre- Freudian) psychology. The focus of the course will be predominantly historical; that is, rather than applying 20th– and 21st-century psychological models to 19th-century fiction, we will be studying how Victorian novelists understood the mind, and how they were influenced by, and in turn helped to influence, contemporary debates in the field of
psychology. Over the course of the semester we will study the appearance in literature of such issues and theories as: phrenology and physiognomy; mesmerism and hypnotism; monomania and moral insanity; crowded minds, divided minds, wandering minds, emerging theories of multiple personality; theories of character development, personality, eccentricity, habit, free will, and the self; theories of sympathy, affect, emotional evolution and duration; theories of memory, nostalgia, the unconscious, and paranormal
experiences (such as ancestral memory, emotional memory, telepathy, déjà vu, spiritualism, and other psychic phenomena); and, finally, theories of attention, reverie, and consciousness (including the emergence of the term “stream of consciousness”). Although we will take brief forays into genres such as Victorian gothic
and sensation fiction (which were influenced by developments in the field of abnormal psychology and
research into the paranormal), most of our attention will focus on the development of psychological realism in authors and texts such as George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native, Henry James’s Portrait Of A Lady, Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. We will also read excerpts from works by Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Alexander Bain,
Henry Maudsley, George Henry Lewes, and William James, as well as selections from popular advice manuals such as Samuel Smiles’ Self Help and Sarah Ellis’s The Women of England, and recent works of literary criticism, history, and theory. Requirements for the course include attendance and active participation in seminar discussions, one short paper early in the semester, and one research paper submitted in two forms—as a 10pp. conference paper presented to the class towards the end of the semester, and as a 20pp. seminar paper due in revised form around the final day of classes.
W 4:00—6:30 Siebenschuh
The focus will not be historical, and there will be no attempt at full coverage of an historically representative spectrum of texts. Using mainly modern autobiographies and theory we will discuss the many issues—literary, cognitive, psychological, & cultural—raised by the nature and many motives for the act of self-life writing and written self-presentation. These issues will include the relationship between the history of concepts of identity and autobiographical form, the many possible motives of the writer, the nature of autobiographical “truth”, and the possibilities and complexities introduced by the many new means of self-presentation now available via the electronic and digital media. Readings will include theoretical essays (mainly handouts) as well as primary texts.