Spring 2016 Featured Courses

ENGL 3218W: Ethnic Literatures of the United States

Instructor: Veronica Makowsky

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800; open to juniors or higher, or others with permission of the instructor.

What is an American? How does ethnicity affect one’s sense of identity? How do class, race, sexuality, gender, generation, and location(s) interact with ethnicity to form or challenge identity or to suggest identities contingent upon context? In addition to these broad questions about ethnicity and identity, this course also considers how movement over time and space (within the US, to the US, from the US, and globally) may lead to unstable or fluid senses of identity. We will read a play, short stories, novels (including a graphic novel), and autobiographies. The texts encompass Native American works (Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories (excerpts) and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House); African American works (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun); and works concerning immigrant experiences: a collection of short stories by Anzia Yezierska, Tina De Rosa’s Paper Fish, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese (a graphic novel), Cristina Garcia’s Dreaming in Cuban, and Noviolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names. Grades will be based on: 1) active participation in daily discussion which usually includes in-class writing assignments based on the day’s assigned reading; 2) a series of short papers (totaling 15 pages) and their revision, some including research using the MLA International Bibliography.

(CA 4, W)

ENGL 2407-005: The Short Story

Instructor: Katharine Capshaw

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011

This survey of the short story will analyze its central features (plot, point of view, characterization, setting, theme, and symbol). The second half of the course will include attention to Edwidge Danticat, a contemporary major writer. Our goal is to understand our own engagement with stories. Why do we like what we like? Why do some stories make us cringe? Why do others transport us emotionally or intellectually? How do stories build whole worlds in such limited space? In analyzing the approaches that generate our responses, we’ll examine diction, structure, tone, imagery, patterns, beginnings, and conclusions. Our readings are structured through particular ideas that writers pursue – ideas about love, war, childhood, loss, and the strange and surprising human condition.

(CA 1)

ENGL 2101-001: British Literature II

Instructor: Jonathan Hufstader

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011

An overview of British literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the literary movements known as Romanticism, the Victorians (there is no such thing as Victorianism), followed in the twentieth century by the Modernists and then, for want of a better term, the Post-Modernists. We will read, in an Anthology, major works of poetry, prose (essays and short stories), and drama. The class will be conducted as a discussion. Two essays, a mid-term and final.

(CA 1)

ENGL 1701-002: Creative Writing I

Instructor: Sean Forbes

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800

The Speaker: The Eye of the Poem and the Short Story

According to Frances Mayes, “the poet ‘finds’ the right speaker and the right listener, usually by trying out several approaches.” 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 Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Carson, 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.

GEOG 1700-004: World Regional Geography

Instructor: Dean Hanink

World Regional Geography concerns a variety of global geographical patterns: environmental, cultural, economic, and others, that are related to the way the world works.  This course provides a brief survey of the patterns in general and then takes up selected continental-scale regions in turn for more specific investigation. World Regional Geography meets both the multicultural diversity (international perspective) and social science requirements of general education at UConn.  In meeting both it emphasizes the interaction between diverse groups of people both across and within many regions of the world. The course has weekly writing assignments and three tests.

(CA 2, CA 4-Int)