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81 - 90 of 294 results for: ENGLISH

ENGLISH 101C: Pursuits of Happiness

This course offers a critical and historical examination of our culture¿s obsession with defining, measuring, and representing happiness. We will explore the sources of contemporary ideas about happiness in nineteenth-century debates over the relationship between self and society; the shifting balance of desire and duty; and the complex entanglement of art, morality, and pleasure. Readings will include influential philosophical accounts of happiness from across the century, alongside major literary representations of the happiness and misery of modern life in works by Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens, and Wilde. We will consider literature¿s special power to evoke visions of the happy life, even as it questions dominant ideas about the nature and value of happiness. At the same time, we will reflect on the ways happiness informs our reading, writing, and thinking about literary texts¿above and beyond the satisfactions of a happy ending.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Taylor, M. (PI)

ENGLISH 103B: Introduction to Old English Language and Literature: Writing Stories and History in Anglo-Saxon Age

Students will learn the language skills necessary to parse and translate the earliest literature written in the English language. The course will look at how Anglo-Saxon authors used the particularly rich qualities of their vernacular to craft texts that represent and reflect on war, a principal institution of their medieval society. Our discussion will consider how the conventions of genre and form, as well as contextual forces like religion, cultural tradition, and contemporary history, shaped their writing on the subject.
Terms: Win | Units: 5
Instructors: Ashton, M. (PI)

ENGLISH 104: The Art of the Book: Renaissance to Modernism

W.B. Yeats once sought inspiration in "the foul rag and bone shop of the heart," a place where litter and scraps were recycled into the paper that held his poems. In this course, we will reconsider the literary text as a physical object, tracing how writers integrate its physical characteristics into their poetry and prose during eras of increasing mechanization. How do these texts ask us to ¿read¿ the printed page? When and why do we ignore it? How does literature engage our senses and call attention to itself? This course will include meetings in Stanford Special collections to examine original editions of our texts. Readings include works by William Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Laurence Sterne, William Blake, William Morris, W.B. Yeats, and Gertrude Stein.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ENGLISH 105E: Early Medieval English Poetry

This course introduces students to the earliest recorded poems of the English medieval period. Material in this course will range from the seventh through to the end of the fourteenth century and will include a variety of poetic genres: epic and elegy, lyric and lament, riddle and romance, and more. We will encounter heroes, saints, lovers, mourners and monsters. Students will conduct close readings of individual works as well as situate poems in broader historical and literary contexts. Additionally, the readings are selected to showcase the development of the English language as it transitioned between Old and Middle English as well as shifting cultural influences from within Britain to medieval Europe more broadly. Sample texts: Cædmon¿s Hymn, Beowulf, Dream of the Rood, Exodus, Sir Orfeo, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5
Instructors: Quick, J. (PI)

ENGLISH 106: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence in Fiction (AMSTUD 106A)

From self-driving cars to bots that alter democratic elections, artificial intelligence is growing increasingly powerful and prevalent in our everyday lives. Literature has long been speculating about the techno-utopia¿and catastrophe¿that A.I. could usher in. Indeed, literature itself presents us with a kind of A.I. in the many characters that speak and think in its pages. But how do we classify an intelligence as ¿artificial¿ or not? Is there a clear boundary that demarcates bodies from machines? What, if anything, separates the ¿genre¿ of technology from that of literature? What classifies literature as ¿science fiction,¿ ¿scientific,¿ ¿futuristic,¿ ¿psychological,¿ or ¿dystopian¿? And can technology or literature ever overcome the ultimate division between all intelligences¿the problem of other minds? This course consists in curated multi-genre combinations of literature, philosophy, film, and television that explore what makes someone¿or something¿a person in our world today. Special events will include celebrating the current bicentennial of Mary Shelley¿s Frankenstein (1818) in Stanford Special Collections; a possible visit to Stanford¿s A.I. Laboratory; and chatting with the ELIZA chatbot.
Last offered: Autumn 2018

ENGLISH 106B: Bad Taste

While English classes usually focus on works of art and literature collectively considered good, this class revels in the bad: the embarrassing or disgusting, the artistic failure, the guilty pleasure. With the help of some influential theorists of aesthetic badness, and a selection of ¿bad¿ examples drawn from poetry, fiction, film, and visual art, we will examine the categories¿ugly, kitschy, campy, sappy, problematic, and so on¿that have been and continue to be used to police what is and is not art, and to distinguish ¿good¿ art from ¿bad.¿ We will consider how artistic hierarchies become entangled with other kinds of hierarchies, exploring how ¿bad¿ art both sustains and subverts racial, sexual, and economic power. Why, for example, are the terms ¿rom com¿ and ¿chick flick¿ so often used dismissively? What makes a work of art provocative and avant-garde, rather than offensive¿or simply gross? And when does the ¿merely¿ bad become ¿so-bad-it¿s-good¿? In the final three weeks of the course, the students will be asked to reflect on the terms they themselves use to evaluate and describe cultural products, and to provide categories and case studies from their own experiences as consumers.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Taylor, M. (PI)

ENGLISH 108: Disability Literature (HUMBIO 177)

This course explores literary and filmic narratives about disability in the Global South. Authors including Edwidge Danticat, Bapsi Sidhwa, and Ricardo Padilla highlight the unique aesthetic potential of what Michael Davidson calls the defamiliar body and Ato Quayson describes as aesthetic nervousness. While engaging universal issues of disability stigma, they also emphasize the specific geopolitics of disability how people in the Global South face greater rates of impairment based on unequal exposure to embodied risk. The course particularly welcomes students with interests in fields of medicine, policy, or public health.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

ENGLISH 108A: Intro to Disability Studies: Disability and Technology (HUMBIO 178A)

For a long time, disability studies has focused on the past, early representations of people with disabilities and histories of the movement for disability rights. This course turns toward the future, looking at activism and speculative fiction as critical vehicles for change. Drawing on fiction by Samuel Beckett, Muriel Rukeyser, and Octavia Butler, this course will address the question of the future through an interrogation of the relationship between disability and technology, including assistive technology, genetic testing, organ transplantation.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5

ENGLISH 109A: Riotous Assemblies (1660-1730)

By the close of the eighteenth century, the First Amendment to the US Constitution would acknowledge a right to assembly; in England a century before, no such right existed. This course considers how print media in this period (incl. newspapers, petitions, plays) convened embodied assemblies (the coffeehouse, the theater) as well as more suspect, disembodied ones (virtual congregations of religious and political dissidents). What we might call riotous texts summoned unruly gatherings¿ones that could never be fully subject to state control.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5

ENGLISH 110: The Indian Novel

When we imagine the exemplary global or postcolonial novel, we're likely to think of novels from India. But the current dominance of Indian Anglophone fiction was hardly the tryst with destiny it seems in retrospect. This course offers a perspective on the emergence of the Anglophone novel in India through a conversation with its linguistic and generic others works in the competing modes of short stories, poetry, and film. The course may include writings by Mulk Raj Anand, G.V. Desani, Anita Desai, and Arundhati Roy, as well as selections from the volume A History of the Indian Novel in English.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
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