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ENGLISH 185A: Literature and Medicine

Virginia Woolf once wrote, "The merest schoolgirl when she falls in love has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her, but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.¿ Problems of representation are at the heart of the experiences of physical suffering and medical care; how has literature defined and redefined its relationship to these experiences? Topics include medical and literary interpretation, illness and metaphor, and the evolution of the surface-depth model of the self. The course centers on major works of literature that engage the imaginative potential of medicine and the narrative structures of disease, by authors including Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, and Arthur Conan Doyle, read alongside paintings (Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp), film (Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers), medical descriptions of disease, diagnostic tools, and theory (e.g., Sontag's Illness as Metaphor).
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ENGLISH 189D: Literature and Science

How do novelists and scientists render visible the invisible? How do they think outside the accumulated meanings of their time? And how do they confront the risk of disenchantment that knowledge and explanation pose? This course centers on major literary works including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Topics include experimentation in science and in art, the use of fictions in science, how science and art train our perceptual capacities, imagination and responsibility, metaphor and metaphorical thinking, & objectivity and its alternatives.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ENGLISH 190S: Short Story Salon

Who better to discuss a book with than its author? In this course we will immerse ourselves in eight short story collections and meet with many of the authors of these collections to hear about their experience drafting, revising, and sending their books out into the world. We will read as writers for inspiration and craft and analyze the collections for structure, character development, dialogue, setting, language, and theme. We will pay particular attention to the range, arrangement, and architecture of the story collection as a whole. How does a collection become greater than the sum of its parts? How does an author manage so many stops and starts? We will write about, discuss, and present the collections we read, participate in Q&A with visiting authors, and complete weekly in-class writing exercises designed to inform and inspire our own writing.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Repeatable for credit

ENGLISH 190W: Contemporary Women Writers (FEMGEN 190W)

"Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version¿¿is this what sets contemporary women writers apart? How can we understand the relation between the radically unprecedented material such writers explore and ¿the official version¿? What do we find compelling in their challenging of structure, style, chronology, character? Our reading- and writing-intensive seminar will dig into the ways women writers confront, appropriate, subvert, or re-imagine convention, investigating, for example, current debate about the value of ¿dislikable¿ or ¿angry¿ women characters and their impact on readers. While pursuing such issues, you'll write a variety of both essayistic and fictional responses, each of which is designed to complicate and enlarge your creative and critical responsiveness and to spark ideas for your final project. By affirming risk-taking and originality throughout our quarter, seminar conversation will support gains in your close-reading practice and in articulating your views, including respectful dissent, in lively discourse¿in short, skills highly useful in a writer¿s existence. Our texts will come from various genres, including short stories, novels, essays, blog posts, reviews, memoir.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
Instructors: Tallent, E. (PI)

ENGLISH 191: Intermediate Creative Nonfiction

Continuation of ENGLISH 91. Reading a variety of creative essays, completing short writing exercises, and discussing narrative techniques in class. Students submit a short (2-5 page) and a longer (8-20 page) nonfictional work to be workshopped and revised. Prerequisite ENGLISH 90 or ENGLISH 91. NOTE: First priority to undergrads. Students must attend the first class meeting to retain their roster spot.
Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Repeatable for credit

ENGLISH 192T: Topics in Intermediate Poetry Writing

Generation and discussion of student poems. How to recognize a poem's internal structure; how to seek models for work. Students submit portfolio for group critique. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: ENGLISH 92.
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Repeatable for credit

ENGLISH 195B: How to Write a Great Essay: A Writing Bootcamp for Undergraduates

The course will be a practical workshop for undergraduates on how to improve essay-writing skills. we will focus on the finer points of vocabulary, grammar, mechanics, logic, timing, intellectual precision; how to connect with (and delight) an audience; how to magnify a theme; how to deflect counter-arguments; how to develop your own sophisticated authorial 'style'; how to write sentences (and papers!) your reader will care about and admire and maybe even remember.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 196A: Honors Seminar: Critical Approaches to Literature

Overview of literary-critical methodologies, with a practical emphasis shaped by participants' current honors projects. Restricted to students in the English Honors Program.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Staveley, A. (PI)

ENGLISH 224: Doing Literary History: Orwell in the World (HISTORY 200K)

This course will bring together the disciplines of history and literary studies by looking closely at the work of one major twentieth-century author: the British writer and political polemicist George Orwell. In 1946, Orwell writes, "What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art." In these years, Orwell writes about-- and often participates in or witnesses first-hand--a series of major events and crises. These include British imperialism in Burma, urban poverty in Europe, class inequality in England, the conflict between Socialism and Fascism in Spain, and the rise of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union. In engaging all of these events, Orwell experiments with different literary forms, moving between fiction and non-fiction, novel and autobiography, essay and memoir, manifesto and fable, literature and journalism. Few writers demand such sustained and equal attention to text and context: in this course we will move back-and-forth between Orwell's varied writing and the urgent social and political contexts it addresses.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ENGLISH 240A: Crooks, Quacks, and Courtesans: Jacobean City Comedy (ENGLISH 340A, HISTORY 232E, HISTORY 332E)

We will read a series of plays set in or around early modern London, written by playwrights such as Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and John Marston. The course will explore the plays¿ hilarious representations of the London underworld, with its confidence tricksters and naive victims, as well as more serious topics such as social mobility and social relations, economic expansion, disease transmission, and the built environment. Plays studied will include: The Alchemist, Epicene, The Roaring Girl, A Chaste Maid In Cheapside, The Dutch Courtesan.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
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