Fall 2017 Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions 2018 Fall

First Year Writing (FYW) 110: Preparation for College Writing (formerly ENGL 110)

Atreyee Phukan, Deborah Sundmacher, & Alyona Gorokhova

A writing class designed for non-native speakers of English to prepare them take FYW 150. Instruction in fundamentals of various modes of written expression, including English grammar, sentence structure, understanding the importance of audience, editing and revision. Readings are selected from both non-fiction and fiction prose. Students are required to use the Writing Center, staffed by trained peer-tutors.

Preparation course for FYW 150

First Year Writing (FYW) 115: Intro to College Writing (formerly ENGL 115)

Dennis Clausen

“Introduction to College Writing” introduces students to the writing standards and strategies they will encounter in all of their college courses, helping them to succeed at USD. It provides students with more sophisticated writing and editing strategies so they can continue to improve these skills in other academic courses. It also prepares them for the writing standards that will be required of them when they enter the business and professional communities after graduation.
Educators have known for some time that writing plays an essential role in discovering ideas, understanding their significances and relationships, and articulating them to inform and influence other people. Writing is indispensable in the various stages of our attempts to fully comprehend any subject matter or academic discipline. On a more practical level, one can argue that never before in our nation’s history has there been more demand for our universities to emphasize writing instruction in all academic courses. Many employers also test the writing skills of potential employees before hiring them. The computer age has provided all of us with more information than ever before, but we still need writers to communicate this information clearly and persuasively in our universities, businesses, and professional communities.

Preparation course for FYW 150

English 121: Composition and Literature

Various Professors

Fulfills the core curriculum requirement in lower-division written literacy for students entering USD before the Fall of 2017.  Practice in developing skills of close observation, investigation, critical analysis, and informed judgment in response to literary texts.  Students are encouraged to use the Writing Center, staffed by trained peer tutors. 

First Year Writing (FYW) 150: First Year Writing

Various Professors

Fulfills the core curriculum requirement in lower-division written literacy for students entering USD in or after the Fall of 2017. Develops skills in reading and critical analysis of multiple discourses. Develops writing within multiple discourses, and the transfer of those writing skills to multiple disciplines and occasions. Students practice the entire process for writing, from initial conception, through drafts, to revision and editing. Students are encouraged to use the Writing Center, staffed and trained by peer-tutors.

Must be taken in the first year.

English 220-01: The End of the World is L.A. - CRN 2909

Halina Duraj

In an essay about his love-hate relationship with Los Angeles, author Matthew Specktor writes, “I’m enthralled by Los Angeles because it’s ugly and problematic and lovely, because the bomb has already fallen on it, to some extent, and all I can do is pick my way through the ruins.” Specktor is not the only author who invokes apocalyptic disaster when writing of L.A and California in general; in fact, California is the setting for numerous works of speculative, “post-apocalyptic” literary fiction, including Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Carolyn See’s Golden Days, Claire Vaye Watkins’s Gold Fame Citrus, Mary Miller’s The Last Days of California, and, of course, the film Bladerunner. Some of these dystopias emerge from environmental disaster, others from nuclear disaster, social unrest, or religious prophecy. In this course, your curiosity will guide us through these texts as we ask, ultimately, why California, and especially Southern California, is so often a setting for the apocalyptic imagination. What about this place--its history, culture, economy, geography, landscape and geological features—suggests disaster? Course may include guest lectures by a theologian and a scientist, to help us examine “the end of the world” in literature from an interdisciplinary perspective.

English 220-02: Poetry - CRN 2910

Vivienne MacAdam
Readings include a variety of poetic forms and range across literary periods and nationalities.

English 226-01 & -02: Metaphor - CRNs 2877 & 4378

Carlton Floyd

This course is based on the theory that metaphors are a significant feature of language, that they inform our lives, and inform us about our lives. An analysis of metaphors, particularly those of social and cultural dominance tell us a great deal about ourselves. Our objective in this course is to explore, investigate and analyze our culture through metaphors. To accomplish our objectives, we will use a variety of social and cultural sites (scholarship, literature, advertisements, pictures, film, art, etc.) as texts. You should leave this course with a solid understanding of how language functions and the role that metaphors play in shaping language, thought, and action.

English 226-03: Herodotus - CRN 2879

Joseph McGowan

Known as the ‘father of history,’ Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus, in Caria (Asia Minor; now Bodrum, Turkey), to a Greek father and Carian mother. He travelled widely, though perhaps not as widely as his history did, and bequeathed to us not just the beginnings of writing history (historiography), but a habit of mind, a way of looking at the human activities (which he said he wrote down so that they might not perish utterly) and the world that is skeptical, bemused, tolerant, ironic, dispassionate yet fascinated. Greek Êστορία (historīa) means ‘inquiry,’ an investigation, and Herodotus is also the first known foreign correspondent, war reporter, and ethnographer whose work survives. From his own Greek world, spanning Sicily and southern Italy to western Turkey (Asia Minor), to Egypt, Persia, Scythia, Iran, India, and back again, his ‘inquiry’ spans the world he or his sources knew; and throughout the text sources are drawn on, allowed their say (“the Egyptians say...”), even if Herodotus is uncertain of their reliability (“So much, then, about that”). As a text, Herodotus’s History is also a landmark in storytelling, as his inquiry unspools by telling stories: the reversal of fortune of King Croesus, Solon and the question of happiness, the histories of the Medes and Persians, the terrible vengeance Queen Tomyris of the Massagetae exacts on Cyrus the Great, the gods of Egypt, the geography, peoples, customs of India and Arabia, Zalmoxis the ‘hidden god,’ the Persian invasion of Greece, the Battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis Bay. We will concentrate especially on this last aspect of Herodotus’s text, the nature of his narrative, the nature of storytelling: ‘happiness seldom resides in any one place for long’ Herodotus says (Book I.5), and the ‘reversal of fortune’ is one of his great themes. But so also are the themes of heroic deeds, supernatural occurrences, the visitations of gods, the lesser known or unknown corners of the world, great rivalry and enmity beside great friendship, credulity and skepticism, foolishness beside wisdom. And that last matter may be what the ‘inquiry’ ultimately imparts: a sense that, fatigued by the scope of lands the narrative encompasses, the great cast of varying characters, and the sheer detail assembled by a curious traveller, one comes away from Herodotus’s big book a little wiser.

English 226-04: Gothic Mediations - CRN 4102

Ivan Ortiz

This course will introduce students to the history of Gothic literature, from its origins in the Enlightenment through the early 20th century. Surveying novels, poems, short stories, critical essays, media history, and films, we will consider the Gothic as a genre and a mode that resists containment. In other words, from its earliest traces, the power of Gothic literature has rested in its reach beyond the constraining spaces of fiction and poetry into the world of the reader. This “reality breach” native to the Gothic fundamentally transforms our perception and understanding of the world that surrounds us. We will call this reality breach mediation. As we will see, the phenomenon of Gothic mediation is primarily a reaction to the Enlightenment repression of the supernatural, both as a result of the rise of modern science and England’s religious history as a Protestant nation haunted by a Catholic and feudal past.

The Gothic genre’s tendency to break through its own narrative and fictional frames has made it a highly self-referential and meta-critical genre. As such, it has functioned as a productive metaphor for a host of social, political, economical, sexual and artistic crises. We will engage with Gothic texts that manage to invade the real by a series of narrative devices (frames, letters, found documents, paintings, unreliable narrators) and media technologies (transportation, newspapers, magazines, telegraphs, pre-cinematic devices, and film). We will use these fictional and technological media to think rigorously about why the Gothic is such an adaptable, invasive, and persistent mode of fiction. Works on our syllabus include The Castle of Otranto, Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

English 226-06: Intro to the Middle Ages - CRN 4379

Stefan Vander Elst

This course provides an introduction to the great works of Western European literature of the Middle Ages. Starting with the early medieval writings of the Germanic migrants into the Western Roman Empire, and concluding with the fourteenth-century writings of Dante and Chaucer, we will not only analyze texts but also use them to discuss wider socio-political and historical movements. Readings will include, among others, BeowulfEl Cantar de Mio CidThe Song of RolandLancelotThe Romance of the RoseThe Divine Comedy, and the Canterbury Tales. Special attention will be devoted to imitation and emulation, to reception and cultural continuity, and how these contributed to the formation of Western European literary culture.

English 226-50: Nature Quests - CRN 2878

Bradley Melekian

In this course, we will examine the genre of quest literature, particularly as it relates to the perceived transformative power of the natural world, and the ways in which authors have examined the interplay between the two. We will examine works that combine the tradition of literary nature writing with the tradition of quest literature, studying the perceived power of excursions into nature as a path to personal development, across fictive and non-fictive genres. Questions central to this course: What role has the natural world traditionally played in identity formation (i.e. in the case of Thoreau)? What states drive people to such quests? What questions do such seekers hope that solitary nature experiences will answer? How does the literature that arises from such experiences lead to a better understanding of self, or, conversely, destroy the concept of self? How does the solitary quest into an often harsh and uncaring natural environment force contemplation? We will read works ranging from Henry David Thoreau's account of a solitary life in Walden to Jon Krakauer's journalistic investigation of the life of Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild to Robyn Davidson’s Tracks.

Section 50 is Preceptorial only.

English 226-70: The Philosophy & Literature of Love - CRN 4380

Malachi Black

As much an idea as it is an emotion, love has long been one of western civilization’s central preoccupations.  But what is love, and what does it mean?  From the earliest philosophers to the latest scientists and a multitude of writers in between, human beings have indefatigably sought to measure, define, taxonomy, and analyze the powerful if seemingly indescribable force of love.  In this course, we will both evaluate and contribute to that preexisting discourse.  In light of the highly interdisciplinary nature of our endeavor, we will accomplish a variety of distinct but correlated objectives.  While this is in part a writing class, we will also encounter, interrogate, and analyze competing views of love through the lenses of literature, history, philosophy, psychology, physiology, and sociobiology.  Along the way, we will crystallize and articulate the origins and evolution of notions of love from Plato’s Greece to contemporary America; internalize, critique, and appraise the chief love-related contributions of Greco-Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern societies; and, complementarily, generate original (but not necessarily unprecedented) perspectives on the nature, significance, and substance of love through creative dialogues, stories and/or poems, and a final essay or “treatise.”

Section 70 is Transfer Preceptorial only.

English 230-01 & 230H-02: Native American Literature - CRNs 2914 & 2915

Sr. Mary Hotz

In this course we will read and study novels written by Native Americans about Native American experiences. To deeply appreciate and understand Indian cultures at the heart of these novels, some basic knowledge of the tribal histories and mythologies, in addition to crucial moments of Native American history of the last two centuries, will be necessary. Such moments and historical fact figure prominently in Native American novels and inform the actions of the characters within the works we will read this semester. The reading material for the course is structured around what Paula Gunn Allen has termed “the three waves in Native American literature (“Introduction,” Song of the Turtle, 3-17). The first wave of Native fiction (Welch) deals with issues of recovery and identity engendered by the long war and the reservation era. Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the second wave of Native literature (Silko) focuses on a sense of renewal and home, a reassertion of Native identity and the incorporation of ritual elements drawn from the ceremonial traditions. Third-wave fiction (Power, Erdrich, and Diaz) seeks to articulate Native American identity as constituted by “inclusion, incorporation and transformation of alien elements into elements of ceremonial significance” (Allen 13). Satisfies ELTI and FDD1.

Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice.
Section 02 is Honors only.

English 230-03: Hip Hop Epistemology - CRN 2916

Mychal Odom

Engaging African American literary and vernacular tradition, this course engages the literature and other cultural forms and lived experiences that has created the practices and worldview embedded in Hip-Hop Culture.

Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice.

 

English 230-04: Immigration & Literature - CRN 2917

Gail Perez

Immigration is foundational to our understanding of American social formations and identity.  This course will broaden our notion of the American experience to include the Americas, voluntary immigration, migration, conquest and slavery.  We will explore literature and historical texts that reflect on European immigration, Asian and Latin American immigration as well as communities that are indigenous but are now viewed as “immigrant.”   In addition, we will look at key policies that have shaped our sense of “who is American.”  Texts might include works by Junot Diaz, Luis Urrea, Fae Myenne Ng, Brian Roley, Chitra Divakaruni, Le Thi Diem Thuy, and many others.

Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice.

English 230-05: The Harlem Renaissance - CRN 2918

Timothy Randell

By the late Teens of the 20th Century, a rising black middle class in Harlem began to produce and attract artists and intellectuals who debated and portrayed diverse and collective forms of black cultural and political identity within local, expatriate, and international contexts. This was a contentious project considering the diversity of black artists and the demands of white consumers for portrayals of “exotic, ghetto life.” The Harlem Renaissance was a fertile if not always harmonious mixture of elements political/aesthetic, African/American, black/white, rural/urban, lower/upper class, educated/uneducated, and male/female. By 1926, the political/aesthetic divisions had become so contentious that W. E. B. Du Bois created a symposium in The Crisis, the official magazine of the NAACP, to explore the question: “The Negro in Art―How Shall He Be Portrayed?” This course will explore how and why various artists and intellectuals chose to live and portray as they did black identity, culture, and economic/political purpose. We will study key figures, including Louis Armstrong, Claude McKay, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, Willis Richardson, Carl Van Vechten, Aaron Douglas, Nella Larsen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston, and we will interpret texts of various genres, including short fiction, essays, autobiography, poetry, drama, visual art, popular song/music, dance, film, and criticism.

Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice.

English 236-01 & -02: Global Anime & Manga - CRNs 2920 & 2921

Koonyong Kim

This course examines anime and manga as important cultural forms that are deeply embedded in, and give representation to, our contemporary society. While covering widely-acclaimed anime and manga from Japan, we will also look at texts from other countries as a way to delve into transcultural production, circulation, and consumption in a global context. As we closely analyze anime and manga against the backdrop of the ascendance of visual popular culture and digital technology, we will place special emphasis on such topics as globalization and cultural hybridity; human-machine interfacing; nature and ecology; reality vs. simulation; utopia and apocalypse; new media and cyberspace; war and trauma; and animals and anthropocentrism.

English 236-03 & -04: Literature in Violent Times - CRNs 2922 & 2923

Irene Williams

We will be reading stories of the human cost of genocide, occupation, war, racism, sexism, and state-sponsored terrorism written by writers who know how to make language burn.  As distinct from survivor testimony or textbook accounts, “literature” makes it hard for readers to remain altogether detached from difficult subject matter.  The writer of literature drags a fragment of history into the present in the form of a story that gets inside you when you read it.  It may be fiction, but it feels true.  Literature from Bosnia, Germany, Russia, Palestine, Rwanda, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Austria may include works by Kanafani, Darwish, Babel, Mandelstam, Levi, Borowski, Drndic, Tochman, Jaber, Walsh, Lispector, Jelinek, Monenembo or others

English 240-01 & 02: Shakespeare - CRNs 4623 & 4624

Stefan Vander Elst

This course will explore some of the most important dramatic works of William Shakespeare, arguably the greatest English playwright of all time. We will explore the language of each play individually and discuss major themes, stakes and metaphors that connect the plays to each other. Finally, we will look at the greater historical, political and intellectual circumstances of Elizabethan England in order to contextualize Shakespeare and his works.

This course will satisfy the Shakespeare requirement in the old Major, and count as a lower division elective in the new Major.

English 240-51: Shakespeare - CRN 4381

Jeanie Grant Moore

Shakespeare 240 is part of the LLC Collaborate theme, which focuses on civic engagement. The event of a play actually creates civic engagement, since in a public gathering theatre may do much more than entertain: it often presents relevant cultural concerns and challenges the status quo of the dominant society. Shakespeare’s plays, comic or tragic, nearly always stage significant social issues that remain significant problems in present-day society. For example in Much Ado About Nothing, the false accusation of one young woman affects her, her relationship, her family, and her whole community. We will ask the question, “To what extent does placing unwarranted blame on a female still exist today, in what forms, and to what effect on our society as a whole”?  Also, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice presents a view of a prejudiced social order that ghettoized Jews and sometimes demonized them. The recent novel by Howard Jacobson, Shylock is My Name, brings these issues into a 21st-century setting, where Antisemitism still exists. Looking at these and other plays in their own historical context will provide some interesting parallels with our present-day social order.

Section 51 is LLC only.
This course will satisfy the Shakespeare requirement in the old Major, and count as a lower division elective in the new Major.

English 250-01: Literary Foundations - CRN 2926

Sara Hasselbach

In this course, we will explore foundational English-language literature and hone skills in sensitive reading, critical thinking, and persuasive writing. We will focus on authors who were pioneers of form and content and who contributed to the formation of literary traditions. Why are metaphysical poets such fitting bedfellows with Modernists? What’s the literary trajectory from the Bible to William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell? How does Shakespeare adapt Chaucer, and why does Milton’s Paradise Lost appear throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? How does Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative participate in multiple genres, setting the stage for T. S. Eliot’s polyvocal The Waste Land? We will use the narratives that we read to generate a greater narrative of literary history.  Authors may include: Ovid, Petrarch, Chaucer, Wyatt, Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Swift, Wollstonecraft, Equiano, Blake, Keats, Shelley, Poe, Dickinson, Carroll, Hopkins, Eliot, Hughes, Auden, and Lorde.

Note: This course is required for the new major, but students continuing in the old major are welcome to take it as a lower-division elective. It also fulfills the Core Literary Inquiry requirement.

English 260-01: Critical Thinking - CRN 2927

Abraham Stoll

This is the new gateway course for the English Major. It is required for all students in the new Major and Minor, but also recommended for those continuing with the old English Major. If you are in the old Major, this can count in place of 222, or it can count as a lower-division elective. It’s a great way to get to know other English Majors, to get to know the English Department, and to gain perspective on the intellectual path you have chosen.
In this course we will explore the ways we can read literature, from close reading to readings based in historical research and literary theory. We will ask “What is literature for?” and “Why be an English Major?” We will practice using criticism and doing research. We will also look to connect these theoretical discussions to the material facts of literature at USD, by attending the Old Globe Theatre and the Cropper Writers Series, and by considering our curriculum, our courses, the events, internships, publications, and research opportunities in the Department. In the Fall we will be reading carefully Shakespeare’s King Lear, the Romantic poets (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley), and Toni Morrison’s Sula, as well as  looking at theoretical selections from Aristotle, Sidney, Freud, Bakhtin, Derrida, Foucault, Wittig, and others.

Required for new Major.  Counts as lower division elective in the old Major.

English 292: Southeast San Diego Tutoring Project

Timothy Randell

This is a ten-week course/internship during which you will tutor children in a local elementary or middle school in basic reading, writing, and math (depending on your assigned teacher/class). You will work at the school to which you are assigned with a teacher who will structure your activities with the children. Each week you will write a short journal to reflect on your experiences concerning a specific element of the school, your pupils, and other experiences concerning lesson plans or the learning environment (see the attached journal assignment sheet for specific topics). You will turn in the journal assignments periodically throughout the semester (not once a week or all at once at the end of the semester) to ensure accurate, unhurried, and thoughtful reflection. Tutors may commit to 3, 6, or 9 hours of tutoring per week (for 1, 2, or 3 academic credits per semester, respectively), and the course may be taken more than once (as often as tutors wish) to accommodate academic needs and time schedules.

The course counts as academic credit in an English elective. Lower Division students register for English 292, and Upper Division students register for English 492 (formerly ENGL 298 & 498)

English 300-01: British Literature to 1800 - CRN 2730

Jeanie Grant Moore

Ten centuries of literature is an immense span of time for one semester, but we will attempt to achieve some depth as well as breadth, moving from the Old English Beowulf through the medieval and Renaissance periods, sweeping on through the Restoration, and finishing with “The Age of Reason,” the 18th Century. We will pay particular attention to the historical, political, and social contexts of the works we read, explore our personal relationship to them, and consider various modern approaches to literature as we think critically about these texts. Texts include: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol A: The Middle Ages, 8th edition; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol B: The Sixteenth Century and Early Seventeenth Century, 8th edition; and The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith, Oxford edition.

English 300 is required in the old major and minor. It can be taken as an upper-division elective in the new major.

 

English 301-01: Intro to Creative Writing (formerly ENGL 375) - CRN 2931

Lisa Hemminger

Introduction to Creative Writing guides you to see the world and people in a different light, to read with a greater immersion, and to write with imagination and knowledge. Experience, discuss, and imitate works in four genres. Writing and philosophies of artists including Emily Dickinson, Truman Capote, and Stephen King will be highlighted.

English 301-02: Intro to Creative Writing (formerly ENGL 375) - CRN 2932

Adam Veal

This class will introduce students to the workshop method of creative writing.  This class will discuss constructive methods for critiquing each others’ work.  Students will be required to produce a fair amount of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.  Students will also submit at least one sample of each to the class for critique.  In addition, we will discuss the basic elements of each genre:  character, image, plot structure, etc., focusing on both building up a basic set of skills to work with, and ways in which one might delve into experimentation.

English 304W-01: Advanced Composition: Writing Autobiography - CRN 1937

Fred Robinson

Our purpose is to learn how to write active, analytical, descriptive, structured prose through writing about a complex subject that you know a great deal about, more than anyone else: your life so far.  This is not a course in learning how to write an autobiography, nor in studying the genre, but in advanced composition.  The course will be run as a workshop, with students reading their work aloud.  A few autobiographical essays will be discussed.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits.

English 304W-02: Advanced Composition - CRN 2062

Vivienne MacAdam

A workshop course in the writing of expository, descriptive, and critical prose. This course is designed to fulfill the upper division written literacy requirement for non-English majors; it will fulfill an upper division elective for English majors.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 304W-03: Advanced Composition - CRN 2487

Timothy Randell

This course offers intensive practice in active reading, critical thinking, and close analyses of texts and writing within various rhetorical situations, genres, and discourse communities.  The course highlights academic skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  It emphasizes an understanding of what Wayne Booth calls “the rhetorical stance,” which includes “discovering and maintaining in any writing situation a proper balance” among three aspects of the communicative process:  “the available arguments about the subject itself;  the interests and peculiarities of the audience; and the voice (the implied character) of the speaker.”  This course asks students to consider how different audiences and contexts shape the rhetorical situation.  We will analyze texts from popular culture in class to explore ideas related to the assignments, and you will research examples of popular culture on your own as part of your writing projects.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors. May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 304W-04 & 05: Advanced Composition - CRNs 4006 & 4382

Lisa Smith

A workshop course in the writing of expository, descriptive, and critical prose. This course is designed to fulfil the upper-division written literacy requirement for non-English majors; it will fulfill an upper-division elective for English majors.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 315-01: Eighteenth Century Women Writers - CRN 2933

Cynthia Caywood

“Eighteenth Century Women Writers” takes up the rich range of literature written in English by women from the long Eighteenth Century (1660-1800). As women’s writing became professionalized, writers embraced a variety of genres, such as playwriting, poetry, criticism, biography, and fiction, to earn their livings. We will consider such topics as women and silence; women and sexuality; motherhood; and protest. Writers may include Aphra Behn, Anne Finch, Fanny Burney, Eliza Haywood, Delariviere Manley, Susannah Centlivre, Anne Bradstreet, Phyllis Wheatley, Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen.

Satisfies the Literary Histories requirement of the new English major. Counts as an upper-division elective for the old major.

English 319-01: Frankenstein: Context & Legacies - CRN 2934

Ivan Ortiz

This course will consider the contexts and legacies of Mary Shelley’s influential novel, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus (1818). Long regarded as a masterpiece of fiction and a cultural touchstone, Frankenstein raises universal questions about the nature of science and technology, politics, religion, education, psychology, and gender. It is also considered a seminal text in the traditions of Gothic literature, science fiction, sentimental literature, Romanticism, and post-humanism. Students in this course will read and discuss literary, political, and scientific texts that Mary Shelley read to write Frankenstein, as well as works of literature, philosophy, and film that were influenced by her radical novel. Special attention will be paid to Frankenstein’s afterlife in scientific and philosophical thinking about artificial intelligence. Authors to be explored include John Milton, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Percy Shelley, Erasmus Darwin, and Donna Haraway.

Satisfies the Literary Histories requirement of the new English major. Counts as an upper-division elective for the old major.

English 321-02: Lit of Race, Gender, & Sexuality: Justice, Song, and the City from Plato to Kendrick Lamar - CRN 2935

Marcelle Maese-Cohen

In The Republic (380BC), Plato links the good city with good human behavior, setting the stage for contemporary debates concerning the relation between ethics, aesthetics, and politics. Our close-reading of this foundational text of Western philosophy will establish a template for understanding how justice, song, and the city inform the contemporary novel, film, and album. We will also trace a genealogy from Plato’s “philosopher-king” and “good city” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid” and “M.A.A.D city.” Why does Plato consider the poet a dangerous trafficker of untruths? How does expelling poets from the polis establish the philosopher-king as guardian of a just community? Does the antagonistic relationship between king and poet depend upon an ideology of gender and sexuality? How are we to read the roles of worker, wife, and slave in Plato’s republic? Along the way from Plato to Kendrick we will investigate James Baldwin, John Rechy, and Toni Morrison, as well as John Singleton’s film Poetic Justice (featuring lyricists Tupac Shakur and Maya Angelou). Students interested in the relation between philosophy, music, and social justice are encouraged to use the interdisciplinary nature of this course to further explore their own interests and perspectives.

Satisfies the Literary Cultures and Theories requirement of the new English major. Counts as an upper-division elective for the old major.

 

English 325-01: Narrative Theory - CRN 4383

Fred Robinson

Our purpose is to understand the fundamental issues in regard to theorizing narratives; 2) to understand the nature of narrative voice as something that generates and shapes meaning; 3) to learn the technical vocabulary necessary to understanding narrative voice; 4) to help you become lifelong readers of stories by hearing them narrated by voices that speak inside your heads with an inflection, emotion, agency and purpose that actively changes as the story proceeds. We will read short stories and a few novels, including works by Carol Shields, Vladimir Nabokov, Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Edward P. Jones, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Herman Melville, James Joyce, and others.

Satisfies the Literary Cultures and Theories requirement of the new English major. Counts as an upper-division elective for the old major.

English 331-01: Greek Myth - CRN 2936

Joseph McGowan

As an upper-division approach to the subject, we will look at Greek myth as recorded by Greek mythographers (starting with Apollodorus’s Bibliothēkē), poets, dramatists, historians, and philosophers (Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Apollonius of Rhodes, et alii), as well as sources less well-known (especially inscriptions, which often give a more daily-life sense of the range, type, and value of Greek myths in the wider Greek-speaking world). Beyond the major mythic narratives of the cosmogony, war of the gods, war of the Titans, Twelve Labors of Hercules, Jason and Medea and the Argonauts and golden fleece, Trojan War, and Theban Cycle, we will look at the many other mythic traditions of ancient Minoan, Mycenaean, and Hellenic societies. As familiar and enduring as the major myths and mythic figures are, a sense of strangeness quickly develops when looking critically at the broader, older traditions – the mystery and violence of ancient rituals, a sense of looming and lingering chaos being kept at bay, the links to the ancient Near East and to other Indo-European cultures (Italic, Celtic, Germanic). We will consider also over the course of the term the nature of myth, its explanatory power and its inculcation of the mysterious; looked at more and more closely, and comparatively, the most familiar of myths become stranger, and perhaps closer to their original function. We will also make use of the work of comparatists such as Sir James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough and Robert Graves’s The White Goddess to understand both the underlying nature of myth and its continuing call even in a ‘postmodern’ age.

English 352-01: U.S. Literature to 1900 - CRN 1803

Dennis Clausen

This class will analyze the development of American fiction and poetry from the beginnings to 1900. The emphasis will be on poems, short stories and novels, although occasional films and essays will also be used to reinforce major themes and issues in the course. Various interdisciplinary approaches—especially from history, philosophy and art history—will be used to give students a broader sense of the development of the history of ideas that provides the foundation for American literature.
The course will focus on various tensions that develop early in our nation’s history, and how they are reflected in our art, culture and literature. The course will also address the technical development of the American short story, novel and poetry as works of art.
The primary goal of English 352 (“U. S. Literature to 1900”) is to help students create interdisciplinary connections between American cultural, historical, philosophical, and literary traditions during the nineteenth century. Another goal is to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of voice, point of view, structure, and other techniques that shape all literary genres. Assessment of students’ growth will be based on weekly in-class written responses to assigned readings, a 3-hour midterm exam, a 2 ½ hour final exam, and a 15-16 page course paper with 2 required hand-edited rough drafts. Students who take English 352 will be able to identify and discuss the rich history of ideas that connects literary texts to other academic disciplines. Students will also be able to identify and articulate more intelligent insights into the literary techniques and themes that shape American literature to 1900. These goals and outcomes can be summarized:
1) Employ critical reading as an effective basis of literary inquiry, through close reading of literary form and discourse, and through engagement with literary contexts.
2) Employ a strong understanding of the contexts of literature as a basis of literary inquiry. These contexts include: the influences of culture, race, and gender; genre, literary traditions, and historical periods; literary production, and the insights of literary theories.
3) Develop strong writing skills relevant to literary inquiry. These skills include clear expression and sound mechanics, and are productive of critical insight. They can be practiced in creative writing, research, and critical argument.
     
Satisfies Literary Inquiry in the new Core.
 

English 358-71: Photography & Literature - CRN 2732

Marcelle Maese-Cohen

By teaching us how to see the world, photographs also teach us a language and way of being in the world. Like literature, photographs provide a virtual space where different people and ideas meet. What are the politics of this encounter? Who is seen? Who is silenced? The authors we will read incorporate photographs within the pages of the books they write. The visual images they include are as an important to creating a narrative as the words they place on the page. As viewers and readers, our study of the relation between photography and literature will ask questions concerned with beauty, power, and desire. We will survey photographs from Walker Evans to selfies.

TLC Preceptorial only.

English 358-72: Staging Ameria - CRN 3066

Cynthia Caywood

“Staging America” examines how the American theatre has staged the idea of America and what it means to be American. We will examine plays about both the American dream and the American nightmare and consider their political and cultural contexts. We will also study the elements of drama, including staging, in order to understand plays both generically and in performance. We will see several productions on film and, when possible live, thus taking advantage of San Diego’s rich theatre community.  Texts might include August Wilson, The Piano Lesson; Tony Kushner, Angels in America; Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992; David Henry Hwang, Chinglish; Stephen Sondheim, Assassins; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; Rogers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma; Josefina Lopez, Real Women Have Curves; and Anne Washburn, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.

TLC Preceptorial only.

 

English 358-73: Contemporary Ethnic Dystopias - CRN 4384

Jason Crum

This course will examine late 20th & early 21st Century Ethnic Dystopian fiction and popular culture in the United States. Our sources for this cultural studies course will be varied and will include recent trends in literature, film, digital storytelling, graphic novels, & video games. We will trace the development of imaginings and re-imaginings of utopia, their exclusions and gaps, and seek to examine how ethnic and racial minorities in the United States have contested such ideas as utopia/dystopia, class, race, gender, & sexuality. Readings will include works such as Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, Samuel Delany’s Trouble on Triton, Nedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Cynthia Khodata’s In the Heart of the Valley of Love. We will also turn to and look analytically at the political, social, and economic climate that allows for the portrayal of ethnicity in recent pop culture titles such as Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men and video game productions such as Bioshock: Infinite.

TLC Preceptorial only.

English 358-74: Spoken Words: Pronouns & Participatory Reading - CRN 4618

Atreyee Phukan

This course uses the conceptual framework of “spoken word”—performance, word play, and improvisation—to assess the special role of pronouns in fiction, from the slave narrative, post-colonial bildungsroman, to the graphic novel. We will study how a writer’s fictional I or you is a performative gesture in breaking walls between text and audience, thus strategically inviting the reader into new and otherwise unfamiliar imaginative worlds. We will focus on mostly world literature and engage specifically with the aesthetics of participatory reading, a kind of close-reading that attends to the deep interconnections between literary structure, political protest, and reader response. In addition, we will incorporate theoretical writings (including, but not limited to, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Gloria Anzaldua, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o) on literary expression and production, culture and resistance, and the post-colonial diaspora. These will provide important historical, cultural, and political contexts so as to deepen our analysis of the literature and the writer’s world. By integrating these multiple perspectives and disciplinary approaches, we will acquire a vocabulary and conceptual framework to guide our semester-long inquiries into how genre and narrative strategies are employed in the art of story-telling. Writers include Mary Prince, Aphra Behn, Jamaica Kincaid, Junot Diaz, J.M. Coetzee, and Mohsin Hamid.

TLC Preceptorial only.

English 364-01: Global Literature & Culture - CRN 3854

Carlton Floyd

Engaging with issues of diversity and social justice in a global context, this course examines literature and other cultural forms and media from various geographic regions, including Africa, South Asia, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

English 377-01: Development of the English Language - CRN 2734

Joseph McGowan

This course will trace the origins and historical development of the English language from its Indo-European roots to contemporary dialects of American English and varieties of World English.  By the end of the course students will have mastered the fundamentals of language analysis and introductory linguistics and developed the ability to describe and analyze language and language varieties. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics of current American English, with additional emphases upon dialectology, language change, and theories of language acquisition.

English 381-01: Intermediate Poetry Writing - CRN 1805

Malachi Black

This course is designed to serve as an immersion in the study and practice of poetry. With both study and practice in mind, participants will divide their attention between reading, thinking about, writing about, composing, and revising poems. We will begin by elaborating critical foundational notions concerning the nature and components of poetic discourse, and will operate under two general assumptions: (1) that the medium of poetry is subgenre of literary fiction, and (2) that poetry’s existence is formed and in effect defined by the presence of one or more features of rhetorical and/or musical activity. While these features are too numerous to be exhaustively or even comprehensively defined within the limits of a single semester, we will nevertheless proceed by dedicating each week to the examination and habitation of a different major category of poetic exercise with the express purpose of developing deeper intimacy with poetic technique and possibility. Our specific areas of focus will include both discrete (non-repetitive) and repetitive elements of style and method. Among these will be: evocation; imagery (both literal and figurative); disjunction and lyrical procedure; diction, tone, and voice; personae and personification; rhythmic and musical effects; repetition of words, phrases, and lines; syntax; and lineation. Through regular engagement with exemplary texts from a wide range of living and dead writers, we will also interrogate a series of poetic forms—e.g., the couplet, the stanza, the sonnet, blank verse, the villanelle, and the prose poem—and poetic genres such as the dramatic monologue, the ode, and the elegy.  In short, we will be attending to how poems work, considering their families and varieties, and then using that knowledge to compose and revise new poems. Each class meeting after the first will be split between seminar and workshop discussions. Students should budget for printing and/or photocopying.

Prerequisite: Engl 301 Intro to Creative Writing (formerly Engl 375)

English 382-01: Intermediate Fiction Writing - CRN 1806

Halina Duraj

In this course we will read and write short stories to examine how literary fiction— published or in-progress—achieves its unique, emotional and technical effects. Students will read and present on published stories (about robot boyfriends, zombie aunts, morally conflicted pillaging Vikings, and drug-addled emergency room orderlies--to name a few), building on foundations established in ENGL 301 and deepening our understanding of authors’ craft tools. Students will also experiment with weekly prompts to generate their own stories. In the first half of the semester, “workshop” will mean we read each other’s experiments for what Alice LaPlante calls “hot spots”—areas of energetic excitement and mystery deserving deeper exploration, and we’ll ask questions and make observations that help the writer clarify her vision of the story as it takes shape. In the second half of the semester, “workshop” will mean revisiting your experiments as more fully developed drafts with an eye toward concision, precision, and constantly evolving principles of the short story. ENGL 301 is the prerequisite for this course.

Prerequisite: Engl 301 Intro to Creative Writing (formerly Engl 375)

English 383-01: Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing - CRN 2063

Bradley Melekian

In this Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing course, students will generate works of creative nonfiction, ranging from the memoir to the personal essay to nonfiction feature writing. We will explore the genre of narrative nonfiction—that is, nonfiction subjects written with fictional techniques. We will approach this course with the understanding that good writing is the culmination of serious thinking, heartfelt conviction, diligent work and a commitment to rewriting, reshaping, rethinking. Our understanding will further be that learning to write seriously, originally and creatively—which must be the goal of every student enrolled in this course—is an instruction in process. To that end, students will read landmark works of nonfiction from writers like Baldwin, Didion, McPhee, Mailer, Capote, Wolfe, Talese, Dillard and others to explore the ways in which the genre has developed and changed, and to consider how the best nonfiction writing goes beyond factual reporting to access truths about the human experience.  Students will be expected to generate original writing each week, to read and critique the work of their classmates, to read and discuss exemplary works of the genre, to workshop (read aloud) their work and to consider the artful pairing of factual experience with creative writing.

Prerequisite: Engl 301 Intro to Creative Writing (formerly Engl 375)

English 410-01: Advanced Writing in the English Major: Victorian Studies - CRN 4386

Sr. Mary Hotz

We will explore the literary history of the Victorian era as an expression of (and participant in) broader political, cultural, and intellectual developments of this crucial period. Drawing on readings from a wide range of forms, genres and disciplines, we will examine several quintessentially Victorian issues and describe the ways these issues make themselves felt within literary texts. In particular, the relationship of Victorian culture to social relations will be a primary focus for the course. Further, we will analyze and write about Victorian literature through a variety of aesthetic, ideological and theoretical approaches. Analyses of literary criticism invite students both to formulate and assess the arguments of others and to present their own questions and answers about the literature under discussion.
This is also an Advanced Writing course, fulfilling your Core requirement (and required of all English majors). We will be working on the process of writing advanced literary essays. This endeavor involves developing organizational skills and research skills as well as engaging with Victorian literature through criticism.

English Majors & Minors only. Fulfills CADW (Advanced Writing Competency), and fulfills the W requirement for students in the old Major.

English 492: Southeast San Diego Tutoring Program

Timothy Randell

This is a ten-week course/internship during which you will tutor children in a local elementary or middle school in basic reading, writing, and math (depending on your assigned teacher/class). You will work at the school to which you are assigned with a teacher who will structure your activities with the children. Each week you will write a short journal to reflect on your experiences concerning a specific element of the school, your pupils, and other experiences concerning lesson plans or the learning environment (see the attached journal assignment sheet for specific topics). You will turn in the journal assignments periodically throughout the semester (not once a week or all at once at the end of the semester) to ensure accurate, unhurried, and thoughtful reflection. Tutors may commit to 3, 6, or 9 hours of tutoring per week (for 1, 2, or 3 academic credits per semester, respectively), and the course may be taken more than once (as often as tutors wish) to accommodate academic needs and time schedules.

The course counts as academic credit in an English elective. Lower Division students register for English 292, and Upper Division students register for English 492. (formerly ENGL 298/498)

English 493: Writing Center Tutors

Deborah Sundmacher

Theory and practice for Writing Center tutors. Consent of Writing Center director required.

English 495-01: Senior Project - CRN 1810

Koonyong Kim

A capstone course designed to guide seniors in the development and production of an original research paper. This course will hone your research methods and critical thinking, connect you with English faculty who specialize in your area of interest, and deepen your engagement with literary theory and with the writing-revision process. Senior Project is open to all senior English majors and minors who are interested in performing in-depth guided research and producing a substantial research paper on a specialized topic (interdisciplinary interests and approaches are welcome). This course is highly recommended for students planning to pursue graduate study in English or related fields.
       
English Majors & Minors only.
 

English 496-01: Alcalá Review - CRN 3179

Malachi Black

Reserved for active members of the editorial staff of the Alcalá Review only, this course serves as a practicum in literary magazine editing, concentrating on the strategies, activities, and procedures associated with all facets of managing, planning, and publishing a literary periodical.

1-Unit Internship; Instructor Approval required. 

English 496-02: The Tudor Plays Project - CRN 3180

Maura Giles-Watson and Paul Evans

The Tudor Plays Project is a 1-credit Digital Humanities research project and creative activity that develops new Internet resources for the study and performance of earlier Tudor drama (before Shakespeare), especially the ​​comic plays​ ​written and ​performed at the court of Henry VIII. These​ ​​digital​​ ​resources are then published at tudorplays.org. Permission of instructor is required for registration. If you are interested in participating (whether for credit or not), contact​ ​​Paul Evans (pevans@usd.edu) or​​ ​Maura Giles-Watson (mgileswatson@sandiego.edu). Meetings occur in the​ Digital Humanities Studio, Humanities Center (Serra 200); meeting times TBD by participants' availability.