All of these courses carry the pre-requisite of first-year writing (ENGL 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011).
ENGL 2101-Z81: British Literature II
Instrutor: Frederick Roden
British Literature II examines a broad variety of genres (poetry, non-fiction prose, and novel/short story) in three historical periods, from 1800 to roughly 1950: Romanticism, Victorianism, and Modernism. We will pay particular attention to works and movements on the margins of these categorical terms. This era was one of tremendous change with respect to definitions of identity: race, class, gender, sexual orientation, national and ethnic self-understanding, and religion — just to name a few. Honors students will select to focus on clusters of historical documents concerning some of these themes and will develop their formal course writing around those texts. Professor Roden will mentor these projects individually, and we will meet as an Honors group to workshop this independent study. Collectively as a full class, we will analyze the literature in the context of the politics of identity and the idea of “subjectivity”: the speaking self.
ENGL 2301W-003: Anglophone Literatures
Instructor: Patrick Hogan
The obvious feature that connects Anglophone literatures is the colonial history (partially) shared by their countries of origin. Why would we otherwise link such different nations as Nigeria, India, Canada, and Australia? This course will, therefore, stress colonialism and the ways in which these diverse literatures emerged from colonial conditions. Of course, the diversity of these literatures is as consequential as the similarity. In connection with this, it is important to distinguish various kinds of colonialism. Colonialism in Nigeria is not the same as colonialism in Canada, for example. As this is a literature course, we also need to be aware of the various literary approaches to “emplotting” colonialism, which is to say, creating stories that address the colonial condition. We will begin the semester by considering just what constitutes colonialism (e.g., how we might define “colonialism”). From there we will turn to the chief varieties of colonialism and some of the recurring structures—particularly story genres—taken up by authors in examining colonialism. In connection with these theoretical topics, we will read and discuss some theoretical work—Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity< and perhaps Dane Kennedy’s Decolonization. (This further engagement with theoretical writing is the main difference between the Honors and non-Honors versions of the course.)
After a few weeks on these theoretical topics, we will turn to literary works. In the course of the semester, we will consider narratives from different types of colony. For example, we will examine a work from Canada (Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing) and one from Australia (Nugi Garimara’s Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence), works from India (including some poetry and visual art from Kashmir), and works from the very different African colonies of Kenya (Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat) and South Africa (J. M. Coezee’s Waiting for the Barbarians and Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act), as well as a selection of stories from across the continent–Ama Ata Aidoo’s African Love Stories. As the title of Aidoo’s collection suggests, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which authors take up the love story genre to address colonialism, though we will touch on other recurring genres as well.
Coursework will include short responses to readings, one or two group presentations, and general class participation, one 6-page essay explicating part of one of the literary works or rewriting it creatively (in line with themes explored in the course), and one 10-page essay involving cultural or historical research integrated with explication of part of one of the literary works, as well as outlines and drafts of the two essays. (Though the course is primarily in person, a limited number of lectures will be recorded and made available on HuskyCT instead.)
CA 4-Int, W.
ENGL 2701-003: Creative Writing I
Instructor: Sean Forbes
Finding Your Artistic Voice Through Creative Writing Prompts
In this introduction to creative writing class we will examine the different approaches that a writer can take when trying to establish a speaker in a poem or short story. We will look at exemplary works of poetry and fiction from writers like David Dominguez, Allison Joseph, Richard Blanco, and Justin Torres. Students will produce a final portfolio of their original work. Class participation is an essential component to this largely workshop-based course along with weekly writing prompts such as writing in iambic pentameter and challenging prose sketches.
ENGL 3640-001: British Film
Instructor: Gregory Semenza
In this course, we will trace the long and colorful history of British film since the invention of the cinema around 1895 until the present day. One of the original powers of the global film industry—along with the US, Germany, France, and Italy—the British cinema experienced serious decline in the early years of World War I. Although, according to some (especially British) film historians, it has never fully recovered, the British filmmaking industry has been at the forefront of numerous historical innovations and developments, serving important roles in the rise of documentary film, wartime propaganda film, cinematic realism, and the evolution of the horror film, heritage film, franchise film, and especially film adaptations of literature—to mention only a few key examples. Through all these changes, the British film industry has always been linked closely to Hollywood, serving not only a training ground for directorial and acting talent (from Charlie Chaplin to Alfred Hitchcock to Ridley Scott to Emma Thompson), but also as an important site and collaborator in an increasingly multinational film industry (from The Bridge on the River Kwai to Star Wars to Harry Potter).
The course will consider all of these contributions within the context of questions about Britishness itself. Given the violent forces that forged the British union since the Middle Ages, ideas of Britishness have always had an intensely constructed, political quality which certain powerful interests wished to portray as permanent and consensual. But from the vantage point of 2021, the artificial nature of this project is much more apparent and seems on the verge of flying apart. The recent Scottish vote for independence was the logical extension of the politics of devolution dating back at least to 1920, when Home Rule in Northern Ireland was implemented and a parliament was established there a year later. The politics of devolution are at this moment putting “English” identity under extreme pressure—as are changes ushered in by the ongoing reconfiguration of traditional geographical, racial, ethnic, class, and sexual hierarchies. In this course, we will need to think, therefore, much about ever-changing definitions of what constitutes “British” in order to truly understand the history and culture of British film.
Required films will include, but not be limited to, the following: David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945); Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (1947); Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949); Tony Richardson’s A Taste of Honey (1961); Peter Watkins’ The War Game (1966); Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973); Franco Rosso’s Babylon (1980); Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero (1983); James Ivory’s A Room with a View (1985); Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette (1985); Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting (1996); Steve McQueen’s Hunger (2008); Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (2009); Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block (2011); Sam Mendes’ Skyfall (2012); and Steve McQueen’s Small Axe (2020).