English Department Courses Fall 2019

ENGL (CLSS) 050: Classical Mythology
4 credits – CRN 44093
Introduction to the study of the Greco-Roman myths in their social, political, and historical contexts. Equal emphasis on learning the myths and strategies for interpreting them as important evidence for studying classical antiquity.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
ENGL (CLSS) 054: Greek Tragedy
4 credits - CRN 44542
This course will examine major works of Greek tragedy that continue to have a powerful impact on readers and audiences. The three great tragic playwrights adapted well known Greek myths for the plots of their plays that focus on the “downfall” of the tragic hero or heroine. We will explore how the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides raise important questions about human responsibility and explore tensions between personal and civic obligations through the conflicts experienced by the hero or heroine. The readings will include Aeschylus' great trilogy Oresteia on the disastrous return home of the hero Agamemnon and the dilemma of revenge faced by his son Orestes; Sophocles' powerful tragedy Ajax on the madness and death of the great Trojan War hero and Antigone on the determination of the heroine to bury her fallen brother Polyneices; and finally, Euripides' experiments with powerful female characters in Hippolytus and Medea.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
ENGL (THTR) 060: Dramatic Action
4 credits – CRN 40105
How plays are put together; how they work and what they accomplish. Examination of how plot, character, aural and visual elements of production combine to form a unified work across genre, styles and periods. Recommended as a foundation for further studies in design, literature, or performance. English majors cannot use this course for WI
Attribute/Distribution: HU
ENGL (WGSS) 096: Women and Work in U.S. Literature 
4 credits - CRN 42459
When we think of women and work, we likely imagine more iconic images, such as Rosie the Riveter. However, Rosie only gives one story of women and work in the U.S. This introductory course explores literary and pop culture representations of working people, particularly women and families, in the U.S. context. Together, we will analyze how gender, race, and class shape experiences of work and labor through women writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Tillie Olsen, Lorraine Hansberry, and Helena Maria Viramontes. Additional texts include music and oral histories. Throughout the semester, we will cover a variety of topics, including coerced labor, social mobility, relationship dynamics, immigration, and domesticity.
Attribute/Distribution: HU, BUD
ENGL (WGSS) 097: The Jane Austen Experience
4 credits - CRN 44740
Jane Austen remains one of the most popular novelists of all time and her stories have been adapted perpetually to various formats, reaching perpetually new audiences. We will study Austen’s work to consider her larger project as a novelist. Students will have the opportunity to read almost all of Austen’s writing and evaluate her maturation as a writer, her commentary on a developing society, and the ways in which her stories interact with complex cultural issues of her period—and our own. We will consistently ask three central questions: (1) how does Austen’s fiction evaluate the challenges of modernity, (2) how does her work inform notions of cultural change and transition, and (3) why has her work remained consistently popular.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
ENGL 125: Heroes and Weirdos: British Literature 1
4 credits – CRN 4107
Since its beginnings, English literature has grappled with questions of national identity and belonging. What does it mean to belong to a particular culture? Who gets to be part of an “us,” and who gets labeled as an outsider? In this course, we will explore how some of the “heroes” of British literature (e.g. Shakespeare, Milton, Behn, Blake) use both exemplary and oddball characters to define (and sometimes push the boundaries of) an idealized national identity – alongside some “weirdo” lesser-known texts that may completely up-end your expectations of early British literature. Throughout, we’ll pay attention to the relevance of these earlier texts to our present-day understandings of culture, belonging and national identities.
Attribute/Distribution: HU