At the beginning of the 19th century, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge redefined the work of the writer around the ability of some men (poets) to transmit their feelings to other men (readers). In so doing, they began a new tradition of questioning the sources of literary value, the nature of the work of the writer, and the importance of reading literature, that continues to this day. This course offers an introduction to the many ways in which British writers asked these questions in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as to the assumptions and concerns about society, the family, the nation, and modernity that have informed and complicated the ways in which they have answered them. Writers for the course will include: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, Dickens, Browning, Tennyson, G. Eliot, Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Woolf. Applicable English Cluster: Modern and Contemporary Literature.
This course provides a broad overview and introduction to media. We will cover histories of different types of media (internet, telegraph, radio, audio recordings, television, film, journalism, magazines, etc.) as well as various theories and approaches to studying media. No prior knowledge is necessary, but a real interest and willingness to explore a variety of media will come in handy. Occasional outside screenings will be required (but if you cannot attend the scheduled screenings, you may watch the videos on your own time through CLABS or the Multimedia Center reserves). Students will be evaluated based on assigned writing, class room discussion leading, participation, short quizzes, midterm exam and final exam. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
This course is intended for beginning fiction writers. Although focused as a traditional workshop in which students discuss each others’ short stories or novel segments as a group, there will also be assigned readings of selected short stories and literary essays. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Clusters: Creative Writing; Novels.
This introductory course is a workshop/seminar on the writing of poetry intended for students who have already begun to write poetry on their own. The course will aim not only to develop writing skills, but to improve our ability to talk about and appreciate a wide variety of poetry from narrative to lyric, formal to experimental. Our study presumes that good writers are good readers, and class time will be divided between the study of poetic models and the poetry workshop, itself, where student writing will be openly discussed. Throughout the semester students will be required to complete a variety of writing assignments, including: exercises, poems, critiques, responses to reading, and a final poetry portfolio. Permission of instructor is required. Please submit 3-5 poems to the instructor, preferably before the first class, since space is limited. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
2.0 credits. A course devoted to the understanding and execution of dramatic writing that is unique to the theatre. Students will analyze and discuss selected readings while writing an original one-act play to be completed by the end of the semester. Meets during one half of the semester only. Contact the Theatre Program at 275-4959 for details. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
A creative writing course (formerly ENG 119) dedicated to literary and/or commercial writing with an emphasis on fantasy (high fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy), science fiction, magic realism, and any other fiction with a "fabulist" bent to it. See Prof. Higley, preferably with some work, before registration. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
More than twenty years ago the poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote, "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open." In this course we shall examine women's lives through the act of non-fiction writing. Focusing on prose writing (rather than poetry), each student will actively practice the creative act of telling the truth about her own and other women's lives. We shall also read many diverse examples of women's autobiographical writing and other non-fiction genres, by such acclaimed practitioners as Virginia Woolf, bell hooks, Alice Walker, Annie Dillard, Dorothy Allison, and Maxine Hong Kingston. Weekly exercises will focus on creative writing and critical reading, as well as critiquing each other's works. Each student will also complete one longer project, worked on throughout the semester. No previous experience is required, just a willingness to write often, revise constantly, and read other women's work with an open mind. The weekly class meeting will be supplemented by periodic individual meeting times with each student. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
The study and practice of longer, more complicated newspaper and magazine stories, such as investigations and profiles. Emphasis will be on the consideration of the various techniques of non-fiction writing. ENG 131 and permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Editing Practicum concentrates on the newspaper editing process, including specific copy preparation skills and overall management. Among topics included during the term are copy editing; layout and design; news decision- making; organization and management; directing coverage; First Amendment issues; libel and ethics; editorials and opinion; photo selection and graphics. Students meet weekly to discuss reading and interview assignments; critique current issues of Campus Times; participate in writing and editing projects; periodically hear presentations on specific topics by guest editors and executives of Gannett Rochester Newspapers; and develop detailed reports on key topics in editing. Open, by permission of the instructor, to students who have completed ENG 131 and ENG 132, or who are Campus Times editors or senior staff members. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Basic public speaking is the focus of this course. Emphasis is placed on researching speeches, using appropriate language and delivery, and listening critically to oral presentations. ENG 134 requirements include two quizzes, a final exam, and four speeches to be given by the student. The speeches include a tribute, persuasive, explanatory, and problem solving address. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The purpose of this course is to give students an appreciation for and knowledge of critical thinking and reasoned decision-making through argumentation. Students will research both sides of a topic, write argument briefs, and participate in formal and informal debates. Students will also be exposed to the major paradigms used in judging debates. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Students will build their knowledge of debate theory and practice through varsity level intercollegiate competition and research. Prerequisites: ENG 135 or permission of instructor. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
An introduction to Technical Theatre and Theatre Technology: its materials, techniques and equipment. Focuses on the principles and practice of set construction; the nature and use of electricity; lighting and sound equipment; tools; production organization and management; and the importance of safety in all areas. Course will include both lecture and significant hands-on experience. Practical laboratory work in association with the productions of the International Theatre Program is included.
An introductory/intermediate course on the materials, techniques and equipment involved in Sound and Lighting as used in theatrical applications. Focuses on the principals and practices of implementation and design. Safety practices will be taught. Course will include lecture, one-on-one tutorials, and hands-on practical laboratory work in association with a production of the International Theatre Program.
Acting Techniques II focuses on developing the student's ability to analyze texts from a performer's viewpoint, on heightening the actor's sensitivity to language, on developing the actor's physical and vocal technique, on building a deeper awareness of character and characterization in the student actor, and on engaging and actively developing creativity and imagination. This is done by the constant investigation, rehearsal, and presentation of assorted texts ranging from poetry to contemporary and classical scenes and monologues. Attendance at all classes is mandatory. Note: Acting Techniques I is NOT a requirement for this class.
The history of the English language is a history of upheavals and invasions. Brought to the British Isles by the Angles and the Saxons in the fifth century, "English" and the people who spoke it rapidly ousted the Brythonic (or p-Celtic) people and established the Old English "heptarchy": the seven realms of Anglo-Saxon England. These nations, in turn, were beset by Viking raids and the intrusions of Scandinavians; and after King Alfred had made a treaty with the so-called Danes, and had set the stage for a flowering of English culture and learning that left us the Old English literature we study today, William of Normandy conquered English in 1066, changing forever the direction England would take, and the nature of its language. We will study texts from the Old, Middle, and Modern English periods, and chart the ways in which our language grew from a relatively simple Germanic tongue to the powerful, ductile, and eclectic language it is today, with one of the largest vocabularies in the world. Borrowings from French, Latin, and Greek greatly enriched our lexicon in the Old, Middle, and early Modern Periods, and as the English settled colonies in America, which in turn became a melting pot of different nationalities, increasing its vocabulary. We will read texts about the English language by King Alfred the Great, Aelfric (10th C.), Robert of Gloucester, Chaucer, the Gawain-Poet, Caxton, Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Mulcaster, Locke, Hume, Defoe, Swift, and Samuel Johnson; Thomas Jefferson, Noah Webster and the start of American dictionaries; and trace writings about 19th and 20th century concerns of language. We will end with discussions of Black Dialect, Ebonics, "uptalk," "Valley Speak," and language issues of concern to women. This class will fulfill the pre-1800 requirement for the major. Applicable English Cluster: Medieval Studies.
Through our reading of romances, saints lives, and dream visions, we will garner some sense of the stories, sounds, and interests distinctive to (mainly) English writing in the later Middle Ages. We will pay special attention to versions of manhood and masculinity, as these are expressed from clerical, knightly, popular, visionary, and ordinary perspectives. We will begin with Abelard’s spiritual / sexual autobiography, and Heloise’s explicit fantasies about her castrated former lover. We will then read a series of chivalric romances including the unsurpassed Gawain and the Green Knight, the great stories of Arthur’s death, violent narratives both popular and elite, tales of love and friendship concentrating on knightly ideals and particularly on the tastes of the more ordinary women and men who sponsored and devoured these books. We will then read lives of several holy women and men, addressing the ways in which saints stories moved and reshaped the consciousness of readers and listeners. Finally we will look at Pearl, which makes private grief into an out-of-body experience, and then spend the last weeks on Piers Plowman, the autobiographical vision of a frenzied layman seeking Truth on the still-recognizable streets of London. Students will offer presentations, write short responses / analyses, and a longer final paper. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English Cluster: Medieval Studies.
We will read Beowulf in its entirety in the original Anglo-Saxon, focussing not only on language and poetic effect, but on theme and significance. We will also read some pertinent criticism, and John Gardner's Grendel. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English Cluster: Medieval Studies.
A survey of English Renaissance writers, with an emphasis on poetry and fictional prose. The course will focus on major authors of the period (including Bacon, Deloney, Donne, Herbert, Jonson, Lodge, Marlowe, Milton, More, Shakespeare, Sidney and Spenser) with some attention to other authors, both male and female, who influenced their writing. Renaissance writers and their audiences were trained to recognize a number of literary conventions that are not always familiar to modern readers. We become familiar with those conventions and spend quite a bit of time in careful analysis of style and form in order to appreciate why Renaissance audiences found these authors so compelling and to understand how their writing responded to readers' cultural, literary, political and religious concerns. Please note that the English Department has defined this as a course in nondramatic Renaissance literature. The department also offers a number of regular courses (Renaissance Drama, Introduction to Shakespeare, Shakespeare) and elective courses for students interested in Renaissance drama. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the major.
This course will focus on plays representing each of Shakespeare's major dramatic forms - comedy, history, tragedy, and romance. We learn about the literary and theatrical conventions that would have been second nature to Shakespeare and his audience 400 years ago; consider how Shakespeare's writing responded to his audience's cultural, literary, political, and religious concerns; and ask how Renaissance stage practices might help us to better understand his plays and better appreciate why Renaissance audiences found them so compelling. Classes will center around careful study of individual plays. We will discuss, among other topics, Shakespeare's method of constructing his characters' psychological interiority, his staging of funeral pageants and madness, his use of anachronism, his interest in memory, his insistent references to contemporary performance practices (including the Renaissance tradition of boy actors playing women's roles), and his depiction of proper relations between ruler and subject, husband and wife, parents and children, and European and non-European characters. We also will become familiar with 16th and 17th century theatrical spaces - their geographical location and physical properties, the composition of their audiences, the training and performance practices of their actors, and the aesthetic, economic, and political contexts of their productions. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English Clusters: Great Books, Great Authors; Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
The course focuses on the writings of John Milton, one of the most radical and challenging of English poets. Our work will center on Milton's epic poem of the creation and fall of man, Paradise Lost, along with shorter works of lyric and dramatic poetry, such as his biblical tragedy, Samson Agonistes. Readings will also include selections from Milton's prose writings, in particular those that address questions about the freedom of writing and belief. One central theme of the course will be the quality of Milton's poetic inventiveness, his combination of tradition and revolution. We'll be thinking about Milton's extravagant poetic language; his ways of the re-appropriating stories and visions of the Bible; his complex pictures of divinity, of heaven and hell, God and Devil; his dynamic and seductive depictions of the created world; and his stark dramas of human moral choice. During the semester we'll also be considering Milton's changing relation to the political and religious crises of his time, especially the English Revolution of 1642-1660. In order to get a an idea of Milton's crucial influence on later English writers, we'll be ending the semester by reading selections from the poetry of William Blake, especially The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The course fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English Clusters: Great Books, Great Authors; Poems, Poetry, and Poetics.
This course will study the 17th-century lyric poetry that combines the carnal and the transcendent in a manner sometimes called "metaphysical." We will discuss the historical and intellectual contexts of these poems as well as their formal and figural properties; the majority of class time will be spent on close reading. Poets will include Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughn, Traherne, and Marvell. Course requirements: a short mid-term, a non-cumulative final, and two 5-page papers. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.
"Romanticism" is associated with the thrills and chills of literature in extremis. In an era of tremendous cultural and political change--and corresponding violence and stress--British Romantic writers of astounding talent conducted radical literary experiments. They explored the extremes of imagination hoping to find new and better ways of expressing the ultimate pleasure and pain, the deepest fear and grief, the greatest perversion and depravation. In many cases this determination to break out of old restrictions and pursue human experience to its outer limits brought them to the dangerous edge where dreams meet reality in "visions" and hallucinations, sometimes with tragic consequences. In other cases they experimented with new ways of representing the ordinary features of ordinary lives in hopes of achieving unprecedented literary depth and intensity. We shall sample authors, modes, and genres across the breadth and scope of British Romantic writing, such as William Blake's apocalyptic fusion of texts and designs The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Wordsworth’s groundbreaking autobiographical poem The Prelude, Coleridge's aborted opium dream Kubla Khan, Mary Shelley's philosophical gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft's radical feminist manifesto A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and Byron's outrageous comic-erotic satire Don Juan. Our strategy will be governed by four concepts that are fundamental to the art of reading: sound, sight, metaphor, narrative. As we sample Romantic writing, we'll work simultaneously to develop reading skills in these four areas.
We will investigate the peculiar quality of romanticism and the particular achievement of romantic writers in the United States during the period before the Civil War. Three capacious topics will organize discussions: nature and art, society and history, and individuals and communities. We will read works by Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Melville, Poe, Douglass, Hawthorne, Jacobs, Stowe, Whitman, and Dickinson. Of particular interest throughout the term will be the hopes that American romantic artists invested in literature and the imagination as crucial parts of the nation's life and as indispensable resources for America's people. Applicable English Cluster: American and African American Studies.
When the now-classic novels of writers like Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and D.H. Lawrence were published in the first part of the 20th century, readers were shocked by both their style and content. In the face of revolutionary upheavals in social and political life and in the understanding of human psychology and personal relationships (including the devastating effects of WWI), modernist writers proclaimed the end of fiction as we know it, calling into question the very notion of "reality". Looking back at this fiction from our vantage point at the beginning of the 21st century, we will reconsider what made these works both "modern" and shocking". We will pay particular attention to the challenges they posed to received understandings of gender, sexuality, history, and personal identity, and to the ways they explored the limits and possibilities of language and representation. Pairing earlier twentieth-century novels with novels from the second half of the century, we will also look at the way later writers revised the idea of modern consciousness and the fiction appropriate to it and at the ways they responded to the post WWII remapping of the British Empire and to the construction of postmodern and postcolonial identities. Applicable English Clusters: Novels; Modern and Contemporary Literature.
The course in Postmodern Fiction will explore, challenge and trouble ideas of postmodernity in the American novel in order to address a few basic questions: what do we mean by "postmodernist" fiction? Is there a discernible shift between Modernist fiction and postmodern fiction? By examining the postmodern novel's formal features (for instance, its fragmented structure, inter/intra textuality, regressive levels of narration, language games, superficiality, mix of pop-culture with the high concept terrain of modernism), we'll explore its history and development in relation to Modernist fiction, and more generally in relation to the cultural ideas and movements which characterize the postmodern world. Authors will include Thomas Pynchon, William Burroughs, Katherine Dunn, Ishmael Reed, Paul Auster and Kathy Acker. Applicable English Cluster: Modern and Contemporary Literature.
The term confessional first appeared in literary criticism in M.L. Rosenthal’s 1959 review of Robert Lowell’s Life Studies. Confessional has since stood to describe poetry that announces aspects of the poets personal life that would ordinarily remain concealed. Robert Lowell, John Berryman, and Sylvia Plath are three important forerunners and with their poetry our study will begin. Although the term confessional will select the poetry for this course, certainly the semester will proceed mostly as an explication of contemporary lyric poetry how the I sees and sings. We will consider how it may be useful to think about the confessional in poetry written today, as well as the ways in which poets may now reject ideals of the confessional. How do contemporary lyric speakers sound most honest? Personal? Convincing? Our study will likely include contemporary poetry by John Ashbery, Louise Gluck, Frank Bidart, Jorie Graham, and Ann Carson, as well as some of the newest voices in poetry today. Applicable English Clusters: Creative Writing; Poems, Poetry, and Poetics; Modern and Contemporary Literature.
What is an author? This course begins with the premise that the answer to this question is anything but self-evident. How does the literary ideal of the author as solitary genius as sole creator of a unique, original work of art correspond to the actual practices of ordinary writers? And, for that matter, how does it correspond to the actual practice of even the great authors (Shakespeare, for example) it purportedly describes? Was such an ideal ever anything but a myth? What role do editors play in the practice of authorship? When does an editor count as a co-author? How do market factors and modes of publication affect what and how an author writes? How has our understanding of authorship changed in a world of virtual authors and virtual texts? How do we make sense of the journalistic scandals (involving authors, editors, and sources) that seem to have become so prevalent today? What happens when readers become authors, as in zines? For some time now, debates have raged, in both the academy and the popular media, about the nature and practice of authorship. Looking at examples drawn from both literature and journalism, this class will examine a number of sites of these debates: collaborative authorship; ghost writing; editorial theory and practice; forgeries and hoaxes; plagiarism; cult or celebrity authorship; pulp fiction, best-sellerdom, and popular authorship; authorial practices in media other than print (film, electronic and digital media, etc.); vanity presses and on-demand publishing; copyright law; readership and reception. Students will have the opportunity to do original research and pursue case studies of their own choosing. May be applied on an exceptional basis to the English cluster in Media, Culture and Communication.
The success of Peter Jackson’s recent trilogy of films has renewed critical interest in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy, The Lord of the Ring. Once considered an odd fictional sideshow, Tolkien’s masterpiece is now generally considered a mainstream literary phenomenon, a classic that reinvigorated the genre of the epic even as it reinvented the genre of the fantasy. It has been enjoyed by millions of readers who have deemed it the most influential and important book of the last one hundred years; its author, a shy Oxford academic with a staggering linguistic intellect, has in turn been called the "author of the century." But few of its countless readers have critically studied Middle-earth as a literary creation, looking beyond The Lord of the Rings both to Tolkien’s sources, like the Old English epic Beowulf, and to his other stories, like The Silmarillion, that are set in and around this magical land that is at once foreign and familiar. In this class we will do just this, seeking a greater appreciation of both the myth of middle-earth and the man who created it.
This course will explore the construction of Native American identity by reading and discussing the work of a variety of white and Indian writers. In the earliest texts European explorers and settlers present different versions of the Indians as either fallen or noble savages, as pastoral representatives of a green world, or as fatal partners in violent fantasies of ethnic and racial identity. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the Native Americans are writing back with their own accounts of themselves and of white others. We will read novels, personal narratives, and poems by a variety of writers including Mary Rowlandson, Cooper, Mary Jemison, Silko, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and others. Applicable English Cluster: Literature and Cultural Identity.
This course will explore the developments in world cinema - industrial, technological, social and political - in the second half of the sound period (1959 to the present). What brought about the collapse of the Hollywood studio system? What's new about the French New Wave? What do we mean by "Third Cinema"? How do different national cinemas influence each other? Requirements: mandatory weekly screenings, participation in class discussions, weekly film journals, and three take-home exams. Applicable English Clusters: Modern and Contemporary Literature; Media, Culture, and Communication.
Outside of longstanding anxieties about its undue "influence" and in spite of its pivotal role in post-WWII American culture, television has rarely received the serious attention it deserves. This course seeks to counter such neglect by closely examining the complex history, technology, and forms of television in the U.S. Emphasizing the social element of the televisual medium, the course also involves an analysis of television's diverse audiences and an interrogation of the various ways in which American culture both shapes and is shaped by TV. In addition to a survey of the medium's history, we will explore the distinctive elements of the televisual form (flow, liveness, seriality, advertising), TV's key genres (soap, sitcom, drama, news, reality), modes of TV reception (fandom, distraction, surfing), and television's construction and conception of social difference in America (representation and narrowcasting strategies). Additional topics may include: quality television and cultural hierarchies, HBO and the cable/satellite shift, teen TV, representing "reality," the gendering of television, disaster and televisual immediacy, rerun TV and cultural memory, and American television in the global sphere. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The course will deal with a selection of films directed (and some also written) by the highly regarded contemporary director, Martin Scorsese. We will proceed in roughly chronological order, examining the growth and development of his career, his characteristic manner and matter, his successes and failures. We will also discuss the concept of the auteur as it applies to his work. The course work will include screenings of a dozen or so films, study of some relevant primary and secondary texts, class lecture and discussions, and papers of an appropriate number and length. Not open to freshmen. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
In spite of their perceived marginality, queer images, artists, and audiences have long played a crucial role in the history of cinema. Tending to this rich, complex, and often erased, history, this course explores the diversity of queer cinemas in both American and international contexts. We will first examine the primary codes (and effects) of queer representation in Hollywood cinema, paying attention to queerly coded genres (musicals, melodramas, horror films) and the various ways in which queer audiences have negotiated "the celluloid closet" through complex reception strategies (camp, gossip, fantasy, protest/resistance). The course will then survey the many possibilities and parameters of queer cinema through an analysis of the work of a wide range of queer international filmmakers in both the narrative and experimental modes. We will also engage with the politics of documentary and activist video in the era of AIDS as well as investigate the New Queer Cinema of the early 1990s. Various readings from the field of queer theory will help us frame the film screenings, complicate the notion of sexual identity, and interrogate the mainstreaming impulse in contemporary lesbian and gay culture. While our focus will be on queer/non-normative forms of cinematic sexual expression, the overall course is more generally meant to foreground the productive and disruptive potential of screening sexuality. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The course aims to understand the social psychology of modern and contemporary Western/American family experience, and especially its means of abetting the concealment, repression, and suppression of peoples emotional lives. Study of the films combined with the readings seek to develop critical understanding of the nuclear family (and versions of it) and the conditions it may create for child-rape, racism, homophobia, murder, and self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, self-mutilation, and suicide. Sometimes the violence is arbitrary, sometimes it is inevitable, sometimes it is incomprehensible. In each case the courses attention is on the personal and collective machineries of repression, the resulting rage in many individuals, and the frequent (and now often familiar) violent results. Readings in the course include those by Erik Erikson, Nancy Chodorow, Alice Miller, and Stephanie Coontz. Films are to be taken from the following list: A Price Above Rubies (1998), A Thousand Acres (1994), All My Sons (1948), American Beauty (1999), American History X (1999), Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Dolores Claiborne (1995), Falling Down (1993), Fargo (1996), Fried Green Tomatoes (1992), Heavenly Creatures (1994), In the Bedroom (2001), Ju Dou (1991), Mildred Pierce (1945), Monster (2002), Monsters Ball (2001), Ordinary People (1980), Piano Teacher (2003), Unfaithful (2002). Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Museums are no longer mere repositories of fine art treasures - they are complex, multipurpose organizations that exhibit a growing variety of artifacts and cater to an increasing diverse public. Taking full advantage of George Eastman House's rich cultural heritage and screening facility, this course combines a training in motion picture, video, and photography archiving, with classes in the following: preservation; research; programming; cataloging; digital technologies; management and interpretation of collections; museum politics and policies; philosophies of collecting; museum architecture; fundraising; and education. Students have the opportunity to pursue specific projects and are encouraged to maintain an active involvement in an area of study relevant to their academic interests and professional talents. Film screenings will be organized on a weekly basis at the end of each class. Bus transportation to the George Eastman House is provided. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
This course investigates technical theater beyond the realms of Eng 170/171 (Technical Theatre). It focuses on work related to the scenic design and technical production of the two Fall Theatre Program productions. Working in small seminars and one-on-one tutorials, the instructor will assist students in learning more in the chosen technical areas and about problem solving scenic and technical questions raised by the set/s being built. Course work will consist of supervisory responsibilities, one major and several smaller research projects.
This course, essentially, will attempt to deal with the subject of creative nonfiction, the writing of publishable prose, the sort of writing about literature, film, the arts, culture, etc. that appears in newspapers and magazines. It will also include some work in practical criticism. We will read and discuss numerous examples of various excellent, lively, innovative essays and articles by some of the best writers of the 20th century, in general circulation publications. Students will try their hand at book, film, drama, and art reviewing of the sort that distinguishes some of the best periodicals in the country. We will discuss matters of style, individual voice, and ways to publish one's work. Not open to freshmen. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
It helps to know first what Media ABC is not. It is not a traditional media studies course; it does not focus on modern mass media or the politics of media. Instead, Media ABC is an introduction to the very idea of medium and media--as in, for example, the medium of photography" and "contemporary media." The goal is to come to a basic understanding of that concept. The perspective of the course is broadly historical and comparative. The guiding assumptions are four: that media of communication are not peculiar to the modern world; that the form of communication -- the human voice, the engraving, the telegram, the TV, the digital file--shapes its "content" - words, pictures, sounds, etc.; and that the unique characteristics of any one medium are made more visible by comparison with the characteristics of other media; media never stand alone; they participate in systems of communication. There have always been media, and there must be media, because life simply cannot be lived without them. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Presidential Rhetoric, taught by former Presidential speechwriter Curt Smith, helps students critically examine the public rhetoric and themes of the modern American presidency. Particular attention will be given to the symbolic nature of the office, focusing on the ability of 20th-century presidents to communicate via a variety of forums, including the press conference, inaugural and acceptance speeches, political speech, and prime-time television address. Mr. Smith will draw on many of his experiences in Washington and with ESPN/ABC Television to link the most powerful office in the world and today's dominant medium. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Each student in Plays in Production participates fully in the exciting behind-the-scenes world of theatrical production. Students build sets, create and make props and costumes, hang and rig lighting and sound equipment, and create and distribute publicity materials for the plays currently in production in Todd Theatre. The class comprises a once-weekly lecture and a series of practical labs. This 4.0-credit course meets for the entire semester. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
Plays in Performance is a class made up of actors and stage managers working on the current production in Todd Theatre. Actors are cast after auditioning at the beginning of each semester. Students wishing to stage manage should approach the director of the production either at the time of auditions or before the beginning of the play's rehearsal process. Although there is no written component for this course (the performance of the play constitutes a final "exam"), a significant time commitment is required of actors and stage managers, both on weekday nights and over weekends. This class meets during the second half of the semester. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
Plays in Performance is a class made up of actors and stage managers working on the current production in Todd Theatre. Actors are cast after auditioning at the beginning of each semester. Students wishing to stage manage should approach the director of the production either at the time of auditions or before the beginning of the play's rehearsal process. Although there is no written component for this course (the performance of the play constitutes a final "exam"), a significant time commitment is required of actors and stage managers, both on weekday nights and over weekends. This class meets during the first half of the semester. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
Mandatory acting lab for actors in Eng 293. Permission of instructor required. 1.0 credit.
This is an independently designed course, focusing on specific theatre or theatre-related projects, and demanding significant skill application or acquisition, independent and self-motivated research, including advanced written work, if appropriate. Topics may include elements of theatre related to production, management and/or design.
This is a workshop for students who have completed ENG 121 or have some experience writing fiction on their own and are ready to concentrate on more ambitious projects. We'll read short stories by contemporary writers along with fiction by the students in the workshop, and we'll discuss ways writers can sharpen the conversation between text and reader. We'll also consider editing and reviewing techniques. Students will be expected to write and revise at least three original stories (or three chapters of a novel-in-progress). Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
Advanced creative writing workshop in poetry. Work by various contemporary poets will provide the framework for explorations into technique and poetic narrative. Students' poems will be discussed weekly. Students will be expected to do extensive reading and research on their own and to keep a poetic journal. Assignments will be given, but there is a lot of latitude for students who wish to design a poetic project or work on a series. Prerequisites: Eng 122 or equivalent work. Permission of instructor required. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
RESEARCH SEMINAR. This seminar stipulates the following issues as underlying problems of Western civilization: pederasty, slavery, censorship, heresy, witch-hunting, androcentrism and misogyny, violence against children, and war. It studies literary treatments of these issues as well as some nonliterary texts. Emphasis is on how literature (and our responses to it) dealing with these problems reaches forms of understanding that are distinct from what is given by critical and historical accounts. The seminar addresses how the different problems overlap and continue in contemporary societies. We will ask how they are rationalized and treated as normal or as strange aberrations, though rarely as practices that constitute civilization. The seminar proceeds in two phases. The first part, of seven or eight weeks, articulates the themes. Modern readings come from Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas, Kafka, Morrison, Ibsen, Dostoevsky, and Freud's commentaries on the problems of civilization. Classical readings will likely include: Plato's Symposium and Republic, Aristotle's Biology, Aristophanes' Lysistrata, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. The second part of the course asks members to present research proposals related to one or more of the stipulated problems. Readings and discussions in this part of the course are determined by the students' research projects. Open only to Junior and Senior English majors.
This course will examine literary and non-literary texts concerned with the practice of magic in early modern England. Alongside Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, Jonson's The Alchemist, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Milton's Comus, we will read the works of Renaissance magicians such as Ficino, Agrippa, and Bruno, as well as those of twentieth-century historians and anthropologists of magic. As we explore the dynamic and conflicted relationship between poetry and magic in the English Renaissance, we will also attempt to elaborate theories of the relationship between literary and magical language in general. Course requirements: two ten-page research papers. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the major. Open only to Junior and Senior English majors.