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ENGLISH 135C: Reading and Writing the Personal Essay

This course examines the literary and cultural significance of the personal essay. We will begin with some influential theories of the essay, and conclude by considering the changing media from periodicals to blogs in which it appears. In between, we will explore some of the many reasons writers have had for writing themselves into their essays, such as explaining their personal tastes, demanding action from their readers, bearing witness to trauma, and making the personal political. Course readings will be drawn from across the rich history of the personal essay, including works by Charles Lamb, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Alice Walker, David Foster Wallace, Elif Batuman, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. As we explore the literary history, structure, and style of the personal essay, we will also reflect on what this genre reveals about the modern person. How are individuals shaped by social, cultural, and political forces? How are the ways we construc more »
This course examines the literary and cultural significance of the personal essay. We will begin with some influential theories of the essay, and conclude by considering the changing media from periodicals to blogs in which it appears. In between, we will explore some of the many reasons writers have had for writing themselves into their essays, such as explaining their personal tastes, demanding action from their readers, bearing witness to trauma, and making the personal political. Course readings will be drawn from across the rich history of the personal essay, including works by Charles Lamb, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Alice Walker, David Foster Wallace, Elif Batuman, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. As we explore the literary history, structure, and style of the personal essay, we will also reflect on what this genre reveals about the modern person. How are individuals shaped by social, cultural, and political forces? How are the ways we construct and express ourselves affected by changes in the media? And what might the personal essay reveal about the shifting boundaries between self and other, public and private, fact and fiction? Throughout the course, students will complete a series of short critical assignments, culminating in a final paper in which they will apply what they have learned to produce personal essays of their own.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Summer 2018 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ENGLISH 138: Facts and Fictions: British Writing in the 1930s

In American politics where `alternative facts has entered the lexicon in a `post-truth attempt at media control, and in Britain where Brexit has reactivated a `little England model of insular nationalism, the concerns of British writers in the 1930s that `low dishonest decade as the poet W.H. Auden famously described it on nationalism, militarism, and the politics of language seem especially prescient now. Alert to nativism in a post-Depression era, and the losses of progressive ideals (unevenly) cultured during the 1920s, these writers explored the relationship and stakes between words and politics as they faced an increasingly fascistic continent. Writers include: George Orwell, Storm Jameson, Winifred Holtby, Vera Brittain, Naomi Michinson, Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, and C.L.R. James.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Staveley, A. (PI)

ENGLISH 139B: American Women Writers, 1850-1920 (AMSTUD 139B, FEMGEN 139B)

This course traces the ways in which female writers negotiated a series of literary, social, and intellectual movements, from abolitionism and sentimentalism in the nineteenth century to Progressivism and avant-garde modernism in the twentieth. Authors include Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, Rebecca Harding Davis, Emily Dickinson, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, Gertrude Stein, Willa Cather, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ENGLISH 143A: American Indian Mythology, Legend, and Lore (AMSTUD 143M, ENGLISH 43A, 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."
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Fields, K. (PI)

ENGLISH 144: Major Modernists: Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, T. S. Eliot

What made modernism `new? Is the movement `evergreen? We examine representational change, narrative innovation, and political aesthetics in the poetry, short fiction, and novels of four iconic pioneers: Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, and T.S. Eliot.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ENGLISH 145D: Jewish American Literature (AMSTUD 145D, JEWISHST 155D, REES 145D)

From its inception, Jewish-American literature has taken as its subject as well as its context the idea of Jewishness itself. Jewish culture is a diasporic one, and for this reason the concept of Jewishness differs from country to country and across time. What stays remarkably similar, though, is Jewish self-perception and relatedly Jewish literary style. This is as true for the first-generation immigrant writers like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Anzia Yezierska who came to the United States from abroad as it is for their second-generation children born in the United States, and the children of those children. In this course, we will consider the difficulties of displacement for the emigrant generation and their efforts to sustain their cultural integrity in the multicultural American environment. We'll also examine the often comic revolt of their American-born children and grandchildren against their (grand-)parents nostalgia and failure to assimilate. Only by considering these transnati more »
From its inception, Jewish-American literature has taken as its subject as well as its context the idea of Jewishness itself. Jewish culture is a diasporic one, and for this reason the concept of Jewishness differs from country to country and across time. What stays remarkably similar, though, is Jewish self-perception and relatedly Jewish literary style. This is as true for the first-generation immigrant writers like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Anzia Yezierska who came to the United States from abroad as it is for their second-generation children born in the United States, and the children of those children. In this course, we will consider the difficulties of displacement for the emigrant generation and their efforts to sustain their cultural integrity in the multicultural American environment. We'll also examine the often comic revolt of their American-born children and grandchildren against their (grand-)parents nostalgia and failure to assimilate. Only by considering these transnational roots can one understand the particularity of the Jewish-American novel in relation to mainstream and minority American literatures. In investigating the link between American Jewish writers and their literary progenitors, we will draw largely but not exclusively from Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ENGLISH 146A: Steinbeck (AMSTUD 146A)

Introduction to the work of an American writer, beloved by general readers, often reviled by critics, whose career spanned from the Great Depression through World War II to the social upheavals of the 1960s. Focus on the social and political contexts of Steinbeck's major works; his fascination with California and Mexico; his interdisciplinary interest in marine biology and in philosophy; his diverse experiments with literary form, including drama and film.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ENGLISH 146S: Secret Lives of the Short Story

An exploration of the Short Story's evolution and variety of voices from its emergence in the 19th century to the present day. Weekly themes include the Detective Story, Immigration, Failure, Science Fiction, and Adolescence. We'll read a range of mostly American writers Edgar Allan Poe, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Grace Paley, Alice Sola Kim with an eye to uncovering the historical, cultural, and stylistic secrets of the Short Story, from both a literary criticism and a creative writing viewpoint.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ENGLISH 148: Family Drama: American Plays about Families (TAPS 248)

Focus on great dramas about family life (Albee, Kushner, Shephard, Vogel, Kron, Nottage, Parks). Communication in writing and speaking about conflict central to learning in this class.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2013 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ENGLISH 150D: Women Poets (FEMGEN 150D)

The development of women's poetry from the 17th to the 20th century. How these poets challenge and enhance the canon, amending and expanding ideas of tone, voice and craft, while revising societal expectations of the poet's identity. Poets include Katharine Philips, Letitia Barbauld, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charlotte Mew, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Boland, E. (PI)
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