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ENGLISH 161: Narrative and Narrative Theory (COMPLIT 161E)

An introduction to stories and storytelling--that is, to narrative. What is narrative? When is narrative fictional and when non-fictional? How is it done, word by word, sentence by sentence? Must it be in prose? Can it be in pictures? How has storytelling changed over time? Focus on various forms, genres, structures, and characteristics of narrative.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ENGLISH 162W: Writing Intensive Seminar in English (WISE)

In these highly regarded, small-group seminars, students explore unique topics in English language literature, reading select primary texts alongside exemplary critical works and/or other cultural artifacts, while also honing their research and writing skills through series of assignments that culminate in a substantial original research essay. Classes are capped at 8, allowing for individualized attention and rich feedback. 2019-2020 course topics include: African American author-critics; Asian encounters in American literature; queer drama of the AIDS crisis; Elizabeth Bishop and 20th century poetry; Shakespeare and Marx; dialogue and narrative theory; the politics of ¿bad reading¿; and protest literature. Click ¿Schedule¿ below to see individual course titles (in Notes). For fuller descriptions, go to https://english.stanford.edu/writing-intensive-seminars-english-wise. Enrollment is by permission. English majors must take at least one WISE to fulfill WIM. Non-majors are welcome, space permitting (contact vbeebe@stanford.edu).
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Repeatable for credit

ENGLISH 163D: Shakespeare: The Ethical Challenge (TAPS 163D)

Was the eighteenth century right in proclaiming Shakespeare to be the greatest moral philosopher? What are the ethical challenges Shakespeare's major plays still pose for us? Can we divorce ethical decisions from the contingencies of experience? We will ask a series of normative ethical questions (to do with pleasure, power, old age, self-sacrifice, and truth telling) and attempt to answer them in relation to the dramatic situation of Shakespeare's characters on the one hand and our own cultural situation on the other. The ethical challenge of Shakespearean drama will be set against selected readings in ethical theory.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ENGLISH 163F: Shakespeare Now and Then

In this Introduction to Shakespeare on film, we will study approximately five Shakespearean plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth, alongside a selection of their movie adaptations. As well as getting to grips with the plays printed texts, we will investigate how the plays meanings and significations can change radically in performance.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

ENGLISH 167H: The Ethical Gangster

(English majors must register for 5 units) A study of recent developments in understanding human moral psychology using mafia movies to explore the differences between Kantian and Utilitarian moral theory. We will study the greatest hits of gangster fiction and film, from Fielding's Jonathan Wild to The Sopranos.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

ENGLISH 182E: Photography in Fiction

Since its invention in the early 19th century, photography has found countless documentary and artistic applications. As an art form, it is not only a medium of its own, but one which has entered into fascinating dialogue with other media, from film to dance. Perhaps nowhere has photography been put to such intriguing multimedia use as in fiction. Since the early 20thcentury, authors as diverse as Virginia Woolf, German novelist W.G. Sebald, and the contemporary Sri-Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, have deployed photographs throughout their texts. In this course, we will look at this literary tradition, exploring the way that text and image enter into a complex dance, at times enhancing narrative, at times troubling it. What can we make of these strange and wonderful hybrids? What place do images have in traditional narratives? What are the ethics of such work in an age in which the technological distinction between truth and fiction is becoming ever more blurred? As we read (and look), we will find ourselves not only drawn into the narratives themselves, but sent beyond them, into questions of history, gender, trauma, and memory.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

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)
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