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ENGLISH 12A: Introduction to English III: Introduction to African American Literature (AFRICAAM 43, AMSTUD 12A)

(Formerly English 43/143). In his bold study, What Was African American Literature?, Kenneth Warren defines African American literature as a late nineteenth- to mid-twentieth-century response to the nation's Jim Crow segregated order. But in the aftermath of the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement, can critics still speak, coherently, of "African American literature"? And how does this political conception of African American literary production compare with accounts grounded in black language and culture? Taking up Warren's intervention, this course will explore African American literature from its earliest manifestations in the spirituals and slave narratives to texts composed at the height of desegregation and decolonization struggles at mid-century and beyond.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

ENGLISH 15Q: Family Trees: The Intergenerational Novel

The vast majority of novels feature a central protagonist, or a cast of characters whose interactions play out over weeks or months. But some stories overflow our life spans, and cannot be truthfully told without the novelist reaching far back in time. In this Sophomore Seminar, we will consider three novels that seek to tell larger, more ambitious stories that span decades and continents. In the process, we will discuss how novelists build believable worlds, craft memorable characters, keep us engaged as readers, and manage such ambitious projects.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Smith, A. (PI)

ENGLISH 17Q: Political Poetry

This workshop is devoted to reading and creating politically engaged poetry. Students will look closely at the intersection between activism, identity, and form, focusing on 20th and 21st century poets responding to their sociohistorical moment.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 19Q: I Bet You Think You're Funny: Humor Writing Workshop

Nothing is harder than being funny on purpose. We often associate humor with lightness, and sometimes that's appropriate, but humor is inextricably interlinked with pain and anger, and our funniest moments often spring from our deepest wounds. Humor can also allow us a platform for rage and indignation when other forms of rhetoric feel inadequate. This workshop will take students through the techniques and aesthetics of humor writing, in a variety of forms, and the main product of the quarter will be to submit for workshop a sustained piece of humor writing. For undergrads only.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
Instructors: Porter, E. (PI)

ENGLISH 20Q: Making of the Modern Woman: Robots, Aliens, & the Feminine in Science Fiction (FEMGEN 20Q)

What does the genre of science fiction have to say about gender identity? How are women in science fiction represented by themselves and by others? Who are women? What is gender and how is it constructed and performed? What is the relationship between man and machine? Between woman and machine? How is gender represented through narratives of literal alien otherness? What does it mean to be a woman online or in gamer culture? Material will include feminist analysis of gender in popular science fiction literature and visual media from 19th through 21st centuries. Texts range from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Alex Garland¿s Ex Machina.nnThis course will be reading and writing intensive but should also offer opportunities for spirited discussion. We will be engaging with sensitive subjects such as race, class, gender, and sexuality. Assignments include weekly short essays, discussion leadership, individual presentations, and a final research paper.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

ENGLISH 40N: Theatrical Wonders from Shakespeare to Mozart

What is the secret of theatrical illusion? How does the theater move us to wonder, sympathetic identification, and reflection? How can the theater help society understand and manage social conflict and historical change? We will ask these questions through a close examination--on the page and on the stage--of dramatic masterpieces by Shakespeare and Mozart. We will attend live performances of Gounod¿s opera Romeo and Juliet and of Mozart¿s opera The Marriage of Figaro. No prior knowledge of music or foreign languages is required; neither is prior experience in theatricals.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Hoxby, B. (PI)

ENGLISH 43A: American Indian Mythology, Legend, and Lore (AMSTUD 143M, ENGLISH 143A, NATIVEAM 143A)

(English majors and others taking 5 units, register for 143A.) Readings from American Indian literatures, old and new. Stories, songs, and rituals from the 19th century, including the Navajo Night Chant. Tricksters and trickster stories; war, healing, and hunting songs; Aztec songs from the 16th century. Readings from modern poets and novelists including N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, and Leslie Marmon Silko, and the classic autobiography, "Black Elk Speaks."
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

ENGLISH 51N: The Sisters: Poetry & Painting (ARTHIST 160N)

Poetry and painting have often been called the "sister arts". Why? Sometimes a poem or a painting stands out to us, asking that we stay with it, that we remember it, although we cannot exactly say why. Poems have a way of making pictures in the mind, and paintings turn "rhymes" amid the people, places, and things they portray. Each is a concentrated world, inviting an exhilarating closeness of response: why does this line come first? Why does the artist include that detail? Who knows but that as we write and talk about these poems and pictures we will be doing what John Keats said a painter does: that is, arriving at a "trembling delicate and snail-horn perception of Beauty." Each week explore the kinship between a different pair of painter and poet and also focuses on a particular problem or method of interpretation. Some of the artist/poet combinations we will consider: Shakespeare and Caravaggio; Jorie Graham and (the photographer) Henri Cartier-Bresson; Alexander Pope and Thomas Gainsborough; William Wordsworth and Caspar David Friedrich; Christina Rossetti and Mary Cassatt; Walt Whitman and Thomas Eakins; Thomas Hardy and Edward Hopper.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ENGLISH 52N: Mixed-Race Politics and Culture (AFRICAAM 52N)

Today, almost one-third of Americans identify with a racial/ethnic minority group, and more than 9 million Americans identify with multiple races. What are the implications of such diversity for American politics and culture? In this course, we approach issues of race from an interdisciplinary perspective, employing research in the social sciences and humanities to assess how race shapes perceptions of identity as well as political behavior in 21st century U.S. We will examine issues surrounding the role of multiculturalism, immigration, acculturation, racial representation and racial prejudice in American society. Topics we will explore include the political and social formation of "race"; racial representation in the media, arts, and popular culture; the rise and decline of the "one-drop rule" and its effect on political and cultural attachments; the politicization of Census categories and the rise of the Multiracial Movement.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

ENGLISH 80N: Modern "Meanings of Life": Aestheticism, Perfectionism, Ecstasy

This course asks about the "meaning of life" in our time, the 21st century, and over the past 200 years. It proposes that some classic reasons for living, and modes of giving value to life, ethics, religion, family are no longer particularly active; while new, poorly articulated and ill-acknowledged systems of life-evaluation rule our senses of meaning. In particular, the course will discover, try to systematize, and then test a few of these covert modern life philosophies: aestheticism; perfectionism; ecstasy. Representatives of more classic systems of meaning Christian experience, and Aristotelian ethics will offer comparative cases. Students will be challenged to articulate and evaluate their own reasons for living and anticipated meanings of life, and to become skillful interpreters of both art and ideas in texts, learning methods from literature, philosophy, and history. They should also develop richer and more precise understandings of those contested terms, modern and modernity. Readings may include Wordsworth, Thoreau, Flaubert, Aristotle, Thomas à Kempis, Theresa of Avila, Whitman, Dickinson, Sontag, plus contemporary sources.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Greif, M. (PI)
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