Summer 2018 English Courses


  • University Writing – First Year

    English 100 – University Writing Strategies (multiple sections)

    We offer many sections of our foundational writing course, University Writing Strategies. English 100 teaches students the fundamentals of first year university writing, as well as valuable transferable skills. You’ll hone your ability to read critically, respond thoughtfully in discussions, and compose well-structured and well-reasoned arguments. And you’ll be introduced to the basics of citing sources and researching responsibly. The course examines aspects of contemporary culture through a variety of print and other media. Course themes and cultural content are chosen by individual instructors, who ensure the course material is both engaging and relevant.

    Creative Writing – First Year

    English 190-01 – Creative Writing I: David Geary – Session I, May 14, to June 29, 2018

    Students sharpen their writing craft by work-shopping their prose, poetry, drama, and/or creative non-fiction while also studying contemporary practice in a selection of these genres.

    Literature – First Year

    English 103-01– Studies in Contemporary Literature: Brook Houglum – Session I, May 14, to June 29, 2018

    Monstrosity and Adaptation
    We will investigate literary and filmic representations of “monsters” and monstrosity in a wide range of genres and forms, with a particular focus on the dynamics of adaptation. We will study the gothic novel Frankenstein, the science fiction text Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep (adapted into the film Bladerunner), the screenplay and an excerpt from the novel The Shape of Water (along with the film of the same name), and Autobiography of Red, a poetic novel, and the Greek myth of Herakles it takes on.

    English 103-02– Studies in Contemporary Literature: Carlos Reyes – Session II, July 9, to August 24, 2018

    Life, Literature, and the Pursuit of Flourishing: Literature as Pathology and Eudaemonics
    pathology (from Greek páthos, suffering): The study of dis-ease, suffering.
    eudaemonics (from Greek eudaímōn, a good or benevolent spirit): The art of happiness.

    “Storytelling... is medicine against misery, despair, and death. It is a way of choosing and prolonging life.”
    —Stephen Greenblatt

    Studying comics, poetry, biography, memoir, fiction, and film, we shall examine how literature illuminates the dynamics of suffering—its causes, development, and effects. Moving from pathology to eudaemonics, we shall also consider literature’s potential to contribute to the pursuit and cultivation of well-being and human flourishing. Texts include: Bakewell, Sarah. How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer. Vintage, 2011, Barry, Lynda. One Hundred Demons. Sasquatch Books, 2002, Kawakami, Mieko. Ms Ice Sandwich. Pushkin, 2018, Rexroth, Kenneth. One Hundred Poems from the Japanese, New Directions, 1981, Tomine, Adrian. Killing and Dying. Drawn and Quarterly, 2015.

    English 109-01 – Contemporary Issues in Literature and Culture: Cassidy Picken – Session I, May 14, to June 29, 2018

    The Novel and the New
    In today’s art, music, literature, fashion, cinema, and beyond, value is determined by novelty. We live in the empire of the new. What shapes our preoccupation with novelty, and what can this preoccupation teach us about the contemporary world? This course explores these questions from a double perspective. On the one hand, we will look to the ways writers and artists have responded to the demand for novelty first articulated by the poet Arthur Rimbaud: “one must be absolutely modern.” On the other hand, we will contextualize these writers' works by digging into a longer history of novelty, focusing in particular on the genre we call the novel. If the novel is the genre that most emphatically ventures to give form to newness, we will see how it also raises important questions about the persistence of the old, the residual, and the archaic. In turn, we will consider the relevance of the novel today, at a moment in which other genres and media sometimes seem to have left the novel behind. Readings will include works by Jane Austen, Charles Baudelaire, Anne Boyer, Wayde Compton, Sheila Heti, Tom McCarthy, and Gertrude Stein.

    Literature – Second Year

    English 219-01 – Reel Lit: Literature into Film: Carlos Reyes – Session I, May 14, to June 29, 2018

    The Same But Different: Moving Images from Comics to Film
    In biology, adaptation in the evolutionary sense requires three factors to operate—inheritance, variation, and selection. Examining adaptations of comics to film, we can use analogues of these factors to illuminate the processes of adaptation.

    While some features are easily replicated in the translation from comics to film—features like imagery, narrative structure, character development, and genre—other features must necessarily undergo transformations because of the formal and stylistic differences between the two media and the varying circumstances (social, historical, economic, and so on) in which particular works are produced and consumed. Studying the convergences and divergences between a variety of comics and their film adaptations, we will develop both our enjoyment and understanding of comics and film as distinct but interdependent—cross-fertilizing and co-evolving—media. Texts include: Clowes, Daniel. Ice Haven. Pantheon, 2011, Clowes, Daniel. Ghost World. Fantagraphics, 2015, Ito, Junji. Uzumaki. Viz, 2013, McCloud, Scott. Making Comics. HarperCollins, 2006, Pekar, Harvey. The New American Splendor Anthology. Ballantine, 1993, Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. Pantheon, 2004, Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. Harper, 2018. Films include: American Splendor. Dir. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, Ghost World. Dir. Terry Zwigoff, Persepolis. Dir. Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, Rope. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, Uzumaki. Dir. Higuchinsky, Where the Wild Things Are. Dir. Spike Jonze.