English



ENGS 005A ~ Crime/Story
CRN: 90338

It would be hard to tell from our story-telling habits that human beings don't like violence. From ancient works like the Book of Genesis or Oedipus Rex to modern films and television shows, we seem to be powerfully attracted to forms of physical, emotional, or psychological abuse that should repel us. No doubt one of the reasons for this paradox is that stories about violence-- especially stories about criminal acts and their aftermath--are inherently "plotted"; that is, criminal acts are precisely structured as stories: as events, they have beginnings, middles, and ends that mimic the very process of linear narration that shapes our most cherished stories. Just as important, our responses both to real criminal acts and to stories encourage in the witness, judge, or reader similar modes of ethical evaluation: what do we take to be right or wrong--a virtuous act or a moral failing, an act done freely or one compelled? And in our analysis of these responses, we often discover that our professed values are at odds with what we feel deep inside. In this course, then, we will be considering the relationship between story-telling and crime and/or the aftermath of crime, and in our writing we will be exploring, both creatively and critically, our own capacities--intellectual, emotional, and psychological--to understand just how perverse human beings really are. Texts for the course will include prose-fiction stories (e.g., Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find), non-fictional accounts (e.g., Truman Capote's In Cold Blood), both fiction and documentary films (e.g., Pulp Fiction, Thin Blue Line), and episodes of recent or current television series (Law and Order, The Sopranos, and/or The Wire).

Requirements Satisfied: Literature
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:55pm-2:45pm
Contact: 802-656-4151, andrew.barnaby@uvm.edu

Andrew Barnaby: Associate Professor of English, spends most of his time chasing after his kids or fighting the good fight as an active member of the faculty union at UVM. He occasionally skis, gardens, and plays tennis (terrific two-handed backhand). When he does get a chance to do scholarly work, he is at work on two projects, one creative and one interpretive: a dramatic adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and a study of Shakespearean ethics in the context of Freudian psychoanalysis.


ENGS 005B ~ Writing UVM: From the Personal to the Professional
CRN: 90340

What makes college writing different from high school writing? What kinds of research go on at UVM, and how do researchers decide what to explore next? This seminar will address these questions and more, starting with a look at students' own writing history and their own curiosities, and ending with a look at research across the disciplines here at UVM. Working together to generate research questions, we'll explore ways of answering those questions and construct our own intellectual tour of UVM. Students will begin by experimenting with different ways of telling their own stories about writing. From there they will move into an investigation of questions they've raised and the academic departments that might address those questions. We'll be reading about writing and writing about reading, and by the end of the semester, students will have much clearer (and more complicated!) ideas about what can make writing work for them.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 8:30am-9:45am
Contact: 802-656-0878, Susan.Harrington@uvm.edu

Susan Harrington: Professor of English, researches students, writing, and literacy (looking especially at questions about the assumptions people make about "good writing," "good English," and "good students.") Relatively new to UVM, she's full of curiosity about her new home, and looks forward to seeing the campus through the eyes of first-year students.


ENGS 005C ~ English Language Politics
CRN: 90341

Our language is almost as essential to us as the air we breathe--and frequently just as invisible-- yet there are interesting questions to ask about the words we take for granted. Who decides what goes in our dictionaries, and what was English like before we had them? What makes Standard Written English "standard," and whose voices does it leave out? How do the powerful use language to reinforce their power, to blind or to silence the opposition? These are some of the many questions we'll tackle this semester as we consider English's mongrel history, its global present, and the political ramifications of its potential future.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 1:00pm-2:15pm
Contact: 802-656-2221, Jennifer.Sisk@uvm.edu

Jennifer Sisk: Assistant Professor of English, writes about the literature and religious culture of late medieval England. That obscure specialization is the eventual result of a long series of affections for words and language that may have started when she was given a dictionary at a very early age. She grew up amidst the Joshua trees of the Mojave Desert, but she enjoys all of Vermont's distinctions, including its cheese, snow, dogs, and progressive politics.


ENGS 005D ~ From Pucks to Parliament: Canada's Cultural Landscape
CRN: 90346

If you ask the average American about Canada, you'll find that most know very little about this mysterious land north of the U.S., labeled on most American maps as nothing more than "Canada." In this course's exploration of Canadian culture, we'll "travel" from coast to coast to coast in our quest to learn more about the people, culture, politics, and history of Canada, the United States' largest trading partner and one of its most important allies. Throughout our journey, we'll be paying particular attention to contemporary Canadian literature, music, popular culture, media, and, naturally, hockey.


This is a technology-driven, writing-intensive course that will have you writing, blogging, and even podcasting about your new discoveries about Canada. The course will include a mandatory class trip to Ottawa, Canada's capital, during which we will visit Parliament, the National Gallery and Museum of Civilization, and, yes, even attend a hockey game. The Ottawa trip, run annually for well over fifty years now, is frequently cited by graduating seniors as their favorite experience at UVM. For the duration of the course, each student will also be loaned an iPod loaded with Canadian music, audio books, and lectures connected to the topics we will be studying.

Students participating in this course are also invited to apply to reside in Canada House, part of Living/Learning's Global Village Residential Learning Community. Residents include Canadian Studies majors and past and present members of UVM's TAP classes on Canada. Canada House activities may include field trips, movie nights, curling, and lamenting the lack of poutine or Tim Hortons in Vermont.


Note: In order to participate in this class, students must have/or obtain a passport no later than October 1, 2009. This is due to new regulations coming into effect in the summer of 2009 which mandate that passports be shown when re-entering the United States.

Requirements Satisfied: Literature
Meets: Wednesday 4:05pm-7:05pm
Contact: 802-656-8451, Paul.Martin@uvm.edu

Paul Martin: Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Canadian Studies Program, grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, and moved here in 2003. He enjoys Vermont, but still pines for Tim Hortons coffee and donuts and the big sky of the Canadian prairie. His research areas include Canadian literature in both English and French and contemporary fiction. Despite having grown up playing music instead of hockey, Martin remains a diehard Edmonton Oilers fan.


ENGS 005E ~ Detecting the Detective
CRN: 90348

This course is an introduction to the figure of the detective in classical and contemporary detection fiction. We will begin by exploring the emerging figures of the genre, namely Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. We will then delve into twentieth- and twenty-first century detective figures representing a diversity of perspectives in detection including gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and nations and cultures. Some of the questions addressed will include: Who is the detective figure and what are the various categories of detection fiction (classic, hard-boiled, postmodern, etc.)? How does the detective detect and what are his/her limitations? How do the American detective figures differ from the detective methods of other nations (including England, Japan, Spain, and Africa)? How do these detectives comment upon and critique social and political concerns as well as ethical and moral problems? In addition to literary representations, we will also examine the detective figure in film and popular culture.

Requirements Satisfied: Literature
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 11:30am-12:45pm
Contact: 802-656-1358, Jinny.Huh@uvm.edu

Jinny Huh: Assistant Professor of English, is a researcher of digital literacy who gets to play with bizarre, humorous, and sometimes disturbing new digital works and forms of Assistant Professor of English, specializes in Asian American and African American literatures, comparative race studies, and detective fiction. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Irvine, Master's in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California. She was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA in the Bunche Center for African American Studies. As a
recent transplant from Los Angeles, Prof. Huh has learned to adapt to Vermont winters by practicing her culinary skills and chasing after her new puppy, Charlie.


ENGS 005F ~ Reading American Wilderness
CRN: 93608

Four hundred years ago, colonial Americans depicted wilderness as a "howling waste" and a "penalty impos'd." Two hundred years later, American romantics glorified wilderness for its association with natural divinity. So what brought about this incredible change of heart? And how do we characterize our relationships with nature today? This course will explore these questions. Over the course of the semester, we will read and think about how literary interpretations have challenged and reshaped American attitudes toward nature and identity. Selected readings include Wilderness and the American Mind, Walden, My Antonia, The Bear, A Walk in the Woods, and Into the Wild. In addition to reading, writing about, and discussing these texts, we will visit UVM's Fleming Museum, and conclude the semester with an optional afternoon hike/snowshoe in Stowe.

Requirements Satisfied: Literature
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3:00pm-3:50pm
Contact: 802-656-1152, Hesterly.Goodson@uvm.edu

Hesterly (LeeLee) Goodson: Senior Lecturer in English, has taught American literature and writing at UVM since 1996. She is originally from Stowe, and when not teaching or reading, she is outside riding, skiing, and hiking.


ENGS 005G ~ Beyond the Bedtime Story: Short Fiction from Poe to the Present
CRN: 93968

Once upon a time, for the first time, someone told you a story. Since then, you've heard and read many tales, and you've acquired a set of narrative expectations. Fairy tales and folk tales written for children often have predictable forms, familiar conflicts between good and evil, plot complications that are nicely resolved by the tale's end, and a moral that teaches readers a lesson. Short stories written for more sophisticated readers take more complex forms and deliver subtler messages. In this class, we'll be reading stories that exhibit a range of styles and genres by authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen Crane, Willa Cather, Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Carver, Kelly Link, and China Mieville, among others. As we study this form, we'll engage in lively class discussions, and students will write literary analyses, compose creative imitations and produce short, web-based research projects.

Requirements Satisfied: Literature
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:35am-10:25am
Contact: 802-656-3838, Deborah.Noel@uvm.edu

Deborah Noel: Senior Lecturer in English, still likes bedtime stories (though now she usually reads them to her kids). She received a B.A. in English from UMass Amherst (1991) and a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Georgia (2003). Her favorite works of literature are historical fictions, and she enjoys being challenged by difficult authors like William Faulkner and Toni Morrison who focus on how conventional narratives try to tame our imaginations and fail. For fun, Dr. Noel plays a mean axe and hikes.


ENGS 005H ~ Canon of Toni Morrison
CRN: 94302

A Nobel Prize and numerous appearances on Oprah: Is she that good? Toni Morrison's canon thus far spans close to 40 years and contains nine novels, six children's books, a short story, three works of non-fiction, plus numerous pieces of scholarly and social criticism. This TAP course will consider a selection of her works short and long and will explore her impact upon the American literary canon through a variety of written responses both traditional and not. Questions we might consider include: What makes a good writer? Why was she given a Nobel Prize for literature? What does that mean? Why "should" we read her, or should we?

Requirements Satisfied: Literature and Race Relations and Ethnicity in the U.S.
Meets: Tuesday, Thursday 2:30pm-3:45pm
Contact: 802-656-1412, Sarah.E.Turner@uvm.edu

Sarah E. Turner: (long-time) Lecturer in English, enjoys pop culture, book clubs, and black women writers, and her courses often focus on constructions of race in literature and/or popular culture.