department of english

114 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– Main Office: 401.874.5931 - Graduate Office: 401.874.4663

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English Courses

Fall 2016

ENG 110 – Introduction to Literature
Multiple sections available see e-Campus for details.
LEC: (4 crs.) Analysis of literature through reading and discussion of a number of genres derived from a variety of literary cultures. Not available for English major credit.

ENG 160 – Literatures of the World
Multiple sections available see e-Campus for details.
Also available on the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Cross-listed as (ENG), CLS 160. Introduction to significant works of world literature.

ENG 201 – Principles of Literary Study
Multiple sections available see e-Campus for details.
Also available on the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Introduction to the study of literature through reading and discussion of major methodologies, analytical approaches, and perspectives in literary study. Students will also participate in a series of faculty presentations reflecting current critical and creative practices in the discipline. Restricted to English majors.

ENG 205A – Creative Writing: Poetry
TuTh 3:30 – 4:45 TBA
LEC: (4 crs.) Writing and analysis of works written by class members and professional writers. ENG 205A may be offered online. Students may repeat ENG 205 for a total of 16 credits but may not repeat the same letter (A, B, C, D).

ENG 205B – Creative Writing: Fiction
MW 3:30 – 4:45 TBA.
Also available on the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Writing and analysis of works written by class members and professional writers.  ENG 205B may be offered online. Students may repeat ENG 205 for a total of 16 credits but may not repeat the same letter (A, B, C, D).

ENG 205C – Creative Writing: Nonfiction
TuTh 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. TBA
LEC: (4 crs.) Writing and analysis of works written by class members and professional writers. Type of writing varies with instructor.  Students may repeat ENG 205 for a total of 16 credits but may not repeat the same letter (A, B, C, D).

ENG 205D – Creative Writing: Screen Writing
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 Professor Ricardo Rebelo
LEC: (4 crs.) Writing and analysis of works written by class members and professional writers.  Students may repeat ENG 205 for a total of 16 credits but may not repeat the same letter (A, B, C, D).

ENG 241 – U.S. Literature I
MWF 11:00 – 11:50 Professor Martha Rojas.
Also available on the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Selections from U.S. literature, beginnings to the mid-19th century.

ENG 242 – U.S. Literature II
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 TBA
LEC: (4 crs.) Selections from U.S. literature, mid-19th century to the present. ENG 241 not required for 242.

ENG 243 – The Short Story
Multiple sections available see e-Campus for details.
LEC: (4 crs.) Critical study of the short story from the early 19th century to the present.

ENG 245 – Introduction to Film Decades
MW 2:00 – 3:15 TBA
LEC: (4 crs.) Introduction to study of film in cultural context over an historical decade, e.g., Modernism and the Silent Era of the Twenties; Cinema of Wartime in the Forties; Vietnam, Nixon, and the Seventies Blockbuster. May be repeated once with a different emphasis.

ENG 247 – Introduction to literature of the African Diaspora
TuTh 11:00 – 12:15 Professor Gitahi Gititi
LEC: (4 crs.) Cross-listed as (ENG), AAF 247. Major themes, genres, and motifs of the literatures of Africa and the Americas. Focus on one or more of these regions. Study of black oral and written literatures with emphasis on cultural, historical, political, and socioeconomic contexts.

ENG 251 – British Literature I
TuTh 2:00 – 3:15 TBA
LEC: (4 crs.) Selections from British literature, beginnings to 1798.

ENG 252 – British Literature II
MW 3:30 – 4:45 TBA
LEC: (4 crs.) Selections from British literature, 1798 to the present. ENG 251 not required for 252.

ENG 260 – Women and Literature
MW 3:30 – 4:45 Professor Mary Capello
LEC: (4 crs.) Critical study of selected topics.

ENG 263 – Introduction to Literary Genres: The Poem
TuTh 11:00 – 12:15 Professor J Jennifer Jones
LEC: (4 crs.) Introduction to the study of the poem.

ENG 265 – Introduction to Literary Genres: The Novel
MW 2:00 – 3:15 Professor Sarah Eron
LEC: (4 crs.) Introduction to the study of the novel.

ENG 300B – Literature Into to Film: Narrative
Th 2:00 – 4:45 Professor Ryan Trimm
LEC: (4 crs.) Analysis of themes, techniques, printed and film narratives.

ENG 303 – Cinematic Auteurs
Available at the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Literary study of one or more major directors with a substantial body of work exhibiting recurrent themes and distinctive style (e.g. Hitchcock, Kubrick, Kurasawa). Emphasis will vary. May be repeated once with different director.

ENG 305B – Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 Professor Derek Nikitas
LEC: (4 crs.) Intensive writing and reading workshop for students at the advanced level who have preferably taken at least one previous class in creative writing.  Student may repeat ENG 305 for a total of 16 credits but may not repeat the same letter (A, B, C, D).

ENG 305C – Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction
MW 2:00 – 3:15 Professor Mary Cappello
LEC: (4 crs.) The primary aim of this intensive writing course will be to expand the horizons and challenge the assumptions that we have about non-fiction writing through our intensive reading, writing, and workshopping. Students will be encouraged to experiment with form and to widen the repertoire of the subject of their writing. To those ends, we will study and produce prose forms that speak to the new challenges posed by the category: “Creative Non-Fiction.” This will include but not be limited to multi-genre writing (“essays” that attempt to bring divergent discourses into the same space—e.g., scientific and poetic observation; writing that tests the borders of poetry and prose); experimental autobiography (e.g., autobiography that does not presume that language is a transparent vehicle to the self); literary memoir; “autocriticism” (analytic essays that investigate the nature of a reading subject); invented nonfiction forms, to name a few. At the same time that our writing practices will make new truths available to us, we will, given the category of “creative non-fiction,” find ourselves inquiring into the nature of truth, the ethics of representing others, the transformative power of memory, and the politics of literary genre. What is a lyric essay? What does it mean to say that an essay is a form for making, breaking, and reinventing order? How can we write memoir that resists the confessional mode? Why would we want to? How can the writing of non-fiction contribute to a collective remembering? What does it mean to be a politically responsible writer? What specific challenges does the digital age pose to our practice? How can each of us assemble our own uncommon archive as wellspring to the writing we produce? Some of the writers whose work we’ll be in dialogue with include: Lyn Hejinian, Lydia Davis, Alison Bechdel, Adam Phillips, Robin Hemley, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin, James Agee, Roland Barthes, Mikhail Epstein, Cynthia Ozick, Sarah Kofman, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Natalia Ginzburg, and Osip Mandelstam. Frequent writing experiments and group critiquing sessions will yield substantive, multi-genre mid-term and final portfolios for each student. This course will also be linked to public readings by distinguished visiting writers (the English Department’s Read/Write Series), and, if seminar participants are so moved, to public performance of their own work. We will also plug in to numerous non-fictive opportunities as they arise, from film screenings or related exhibits to site-specific fieldwork of students’ own choosing and design.

ENG 305D – Advanced Creative Writing: Screenwriting
Available at the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Intensive writing and reading workshop for students at the advanced level who have preferably taken at least one previous class in creative writing. Student may repeat ENG 305 for a total of 16 credits but may not repeat the same letter (A, B, C, D).

ENG 363 – African-American Fiction
Available at the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Cross-listed as (ENG), AAF 363. Study of formal and thematic developments in the African-American novel and short story. Focus on Baldwin, Chesnutt, Ellison, Gaines, Hurston, Jacobs, Marshall, Morrison, Naylor, Reed, Walker, Wideman, Wilson, and Wright.

ENG 367 – The Epic
Available at the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Studies in epic literature from Homer to the modern period. Historical emphasis will vary with instructor.

ENG 368 – The Bible: The Old Testament
TuTh 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Professor Karen Stein
LEC: (4 crs.) Betrayal, jealousy, infidelity, theft, murder! The characters in the Bible violate the 10 commandments and then some. With its tales of passion, of faith and doubt, cowardice and courage, weakness and strength—powerful stories that range over the gamut of all human emotions—the bible has remained a best-seller. Its cadenced language has influenced innumerable authors. Biblical themes resonate throughout our literature.  The Bible is the foundational text of 3 of the world’s major religions. We will study it as literature remaining mindful of its status as a sacred text. We will read selections from the New Revised Standard version (NRSV), from the Old Testament, focusing on notable stories and poetry.
This course fills the major requirement for the pre-1500 historic period.

ENG 376 – Topics in Victorian Literature and Culture
Available at the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Notable literary and cultural movements and motifs of the Victorian era. May include prose, poetry, or dramatic works by major authors and their contemporaries. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENG 377 – Topics in Romanticism
TuTh 2:00 – 3:15 Professor J Jennifer Jones
LEC: (4 crs.) Notable literary and cultural movements and motifs of Romantic literature and culture. May include prose, poetry, or dramatic works by major Romantic authors and their contemporaries. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENG 381 – Topics in Medieval Literature
TuTh 3:30 – 4:45 Professor Kathleen Davis
LEC: (4 crs.) Emphasis on cultural and interdisciplinary issues.  May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENG 382 – Topics in Renaissance Literature
Available at the Providence Feinstein Campus.
LEC: (4 crs.) Emphasis on cultural and interdisciplinary issues.  May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENG 383 – Modernist Literature, 1900-1945
MW 3:30 – 4:45 Professor Stephen Barber
LEC: (4 crs.) This course offers an in-depth study of four early twentieth-century writer-thinkers whose works revolutionized the genre of the novel: Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf. We will read their major works alongside those figures with and against whom their novels think: Henri Bergson, Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Our concern is to theorize how, in their aesthetic function as social critique and in their achievement of presenting the “untimely,” the novels combine, at one and the same time, formal, psychological, philosophical, and sociological innovations.

ENG 385 / GWS 385 – Women Writers: Emily Dickinson and Adrienne Rich
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 Professor Karen Stein
LEC: (4 crs.) Emily Dickinson and Adrienne Rich are major American poets; Dickinson in the 19th century and Rich in the 20th, born almost exactly a century apart.  Each in her own way was a radical; each broke poetic traditions and led an unconventional life. Dickinson rarely left her house but she left a strong impression on those who visited her or received her gnomic, poetic letters. Rich was a poet, teacher, scholar, and activist who wrote cultural and literary criticism as well as poetry. We will read about their lives and read their poetry and prose extensively.
This course fulfills the English Department major requirement for either the 1800–1900 or 1900–present historical period.

ENG 432 – Cultural History of the English Language
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 Professor Kathleen Davis
LEC: (4 crs.) Studies in the history of the English language with a focus on cultural and social context. Attention to the relation between linguistic change and the role of language in cultural and political events.  Not for graduate credit.

ENG 447 – Poetry
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 Professor Peter Covino
SEM: (4 crs.) Study of major contributions and movements in poetry of any period. (Seminar) Not for graduate credit.

ENG 469 – The Novel
TuTh 3:30 – 4:45 Professor David Faflik
SEM: (4 crs.) This course examines the “long” American nineteenth century, paying special attention to the structure of the novel as a literary genre during its early evolution in the United States. Thematically, we will read works that make “home” their central subject and setting. Conceptually, we will contest any number of structural boundaries that we encounter along the way – whether those boundaries involve literal and figurative constructions of domestic space itself, the generic space of the novel, or even the cultural space of “America.” Readings will include such authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, Henry James, and Edith Wharton, among others.

ENG 472 – Shakespeare
TuTh 12:30 – 1:45 Professor Travis Williams
SEM: (4 crs.) This course will develop the skills appropriate to reading and interpreting dramatic texts by William Shakespeare. You will develop advanced competence in textual analysis and cultural interpretations appropriate to the texts. You will think critically about how Shakespeare’s plays engage readers culturally and aesthetically. You will distinguish between and explore the connections between literary and dramatic interpretations of play texts. You will enhance and challenge your understanding of Shakespearean genres and formal structures. You will master the methods of research, argument, and reference. As researchers you will find, assess, and correctly utilize sources drawn from print and electronic media. As writers you will master the ability to write effectively and persuasively in a variety of forms, including the critical essay and the analytic description. We will study about 8 plays.

ENG 480 – British Restoration and Enlightenment Authors
MW 3:30 – 4:45 Professor Sarah Eron
SEM: (4 crs.) Studies in works by one or two major Restoration and Enlightenment authors. (Seminar) May be repeated once for a total of 8 credits, barring duplication of writers. Not for graduate credit.

ENG 482 – American and U.S. Authors to 1820
MW 2:00 – 3:15 Professor Martha Rojas
SEM: (4 crs ) Recognizing that foundational fictions are central and centralizing discourses with which we have a responsibility to engage, redirect, and be redirected by, this course examines the cultural history of revolutionary politics at the moment of the US founding. Through readings of legal, literary, political, religious, scientific, and visual texts, we will ask what “revolution,” “liberation,” and “freedom” meant for various inhabitants and figures of the British colonies and the new United States. We will discuss the nature of a deliberating public; the place of feeling in the age of reason; the valorization or denigration of “primitive” peoples; the paradox of slavery in democracy; the benefits and costs of sovereignty and self-government, of political and domestic virtue, of female education and the rights and obligations of women; and what the new nation might (have?) become. We will ask how we as political actors in the present negotiate the legacies of the past that include insurrection, revolution, slavery, colonialism, and state violence. Where might we find the cultural resources for resistance and/or political transformation? Authors will include Abigail Adams, Thomas Paine, Phillis Whaetley, Charles Brockden Brown, Benjamin Franklin, J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Alexander Hamilton, Leonara Sansay, Catherine Maria Sedwick, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
This course will satisfy the 1660-1800 historical period requirement upon completion and submission of a Curriculum Modification form.

GRADUATE CLASSES

ENG 510 – Introduction to Professional Study I
TBA
SEM: (1.5 crs.) Orientation to the major discourses, critical frameworks, and databases constituting graduate research in language and literary studies, including computer-assisted research methodologies.  Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor. S/U grades only.

ENG 514 – History of Critical Theories
M 4:00 – 6:45 Professor Ryan Trimm
LEC: (3 crs.) Historical survey of critical theory from antiquity to the present.  Pre: graduate standing or permission of instructor.

ENG 601 – Seminar in Creative Writing
Tu 4:00 – 6:45 Professor Derek Nikitas
SEM: (3 crs.) Critics like Erich Auerbach, Ian Watt and James Wood have argued that innovations in narrative craft in Western Culture over the last two and a half centuries have happened largely at the service of greater and greater “realism.” Meanwhile, E.M. Forster argues a timeless approach to fiction, where all authors sit in simultaneous conversation around the proverbial table.  In this class we will study the history of narrative technique from our points of view as fiction and creative nonfiction writers. We will gain an historical perspective, yes, but we’ll also explore the ways that the insights of past masters can be applied to our own contemporary art.  We’ll practice these techniques through short exercises (including direct imitations) and longer fiction or creative nonfiction pieces. We’ll also think about how “realism”—that endlessly tricky term—has played a role in the continuous evolution of fictional technique (or not).  Our reading list will likely include complete or excerpted worked from Flaubert, Chekhov, Woolf, Hemingway, Nabokov, Calvino, Morrison, and more. Students who enroll in this course should read (or re-read) Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina over the summer (the Penguin Classics edition translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky).

ENG 610 – Seminar in Historical Periods
W 4:00 – 6:45 Professor Carolyn Betensky
SEM: (3 crs.) Victorian Blind Spots: How could Charles Dickens, famous for his sensitivity to the suffering of the oppressed, have written both humanitarian epics and racist screeds? How could Elizabeth Gaskell painstakingly represent the conditions that prompted exploited millworkers to go on strike – and then proceed to tell her readers of Mary Barton that the workers were misled into thinking they needed a union? How is it possible that Charlotte Brontë could have written a novel in 1847 (Jane Eyre) that both made common cause with the enslaved and demonized people of color — and why did it take so long, furthermore, for twentieth-century critics to become aware of the role race played in the novel?

The fact that so many progressive-seeming (to use an anachronism) nineteenth-century texts are awash in instances of casual racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, and class bigotry will come as no surprise to most of us. Coming to terms with the disjunctures between novels’ aspirational aspects and their explicit prejudices, however, remains a challenge. What does it mean to maintain, a propos of such textual incidents, that the Victorians were just “like that” – that they were not, in other words, as enlightened as we are?

Literary critics, historians, and theorists offer several paradigms for understanding the contradictory impulses that seem to characterize so many, if not all, Victorian cultural products. Some have demonstrated that what appear to be contradictions are in fact records of the continuity between the moral and aesthetic cultural developments of which Britons were most proud and their rampant exploitation of the colonized and the working classes. Some have understood Victorian novels through theories of suture; for these theorists, novels serve as mechanisms that allow capitalist societies to seem to dissolve their contradictions. Connected to this last group are those theorists who see Victorian novels as prime participants in the production and reproduction of ideology; novels actively train their readers in the practice of misrecognition.

This course will reconsider some of the blind spots in Victorian novels and what we do with them from a variety of representative – as well as some less expected — theoretical and disciplinary traditions.

ENG 625 – Seminar in Media
Th 4:00 – 6:45 Professor Gitahi Gititi
SEM: (3 crs.) The great  variety of geographies, cultures, political and cultural movements, art and cinema that constitute the African Diaspora remain largely unknown even in the great academies of the West. The course will expose students to film from Africa, the Caribbean, the US, and Latin America. Common to the cinema of these diverse regions are, inter alia, issues of race, the representation of blackness, ideology, identity, national formation/development, the economics of production and distribution, the dearth of objective criticism/reception, and the creation of a coherent body of works and the appropriate language of criticism. Among the questions for discussion are: How do cinematic practice and cinema cultures reveal forms of cultural production and consumption in the zones of African Diaspora? How do theory and practice in African Diaspora cinema intersect? How do patterns of the (post)colonial, the (post)modern, and globalization affect filmmaking practices and diasporic experience? What testimony do films studied for this course provide of the black self emerging across the world as the product of a growing consciousness of the black experience deriving from a common  relation both to the world of exile and the relation to Africa? The films screened for this course may provide a new critical cinematic space focusing on African and Afro-diasporic histories, traditions, and artistic forms.

 ENG 999 – Methods of Teaching Literature
TBA
SEM: (0 crs.) Materials and various methods of teaching literature on the college level. Required of graduate students who teach English Department literature courses. Pre: graduate standing.

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