Fall 2017 Courses – English and Film & Television Studies
This is not a complete listing. Please view the schedule of courses under the registrar's website to see all our course offerings.
ENGS 001 Written Expression CRN: 94005 Section: A4 Instructor: Grosvenor, J.
Food, glorious food. At its best, food nourishes and sustains us, it provides a sense of place and cultural identity, it tantalizes and delights, and can eventake us on sensory explorations to other worlds.But it can also be fraught with peril: disorders andtoxins and social injustice. In this class, we will immerse ourselves in the writing that surrounds food, such as narratives,recipes,treatises,research studies,documentaries, and blogs. Students will read, research, and write a range of discourses that explore different aspects of food in our lives, and the lives of those around us.
International is a course in foundational writing and information literacy, designed to help International students develop and improve their writing ability using in-class writings, workshops, multiple draft essays, close reading, discussion, and research. As an International section, a range of linguistic backgrounds and levels of English proficiency will be represented in the classroom. While students in this course are expected to challenge themselves to become much more effective and accomplished writers in English, the course will focus on expression of ideas, communicative competence, and rhetorical discernment rather than spending too much time on issues like articles, verb tense, and prepositions that tend to take many years of practice to master.
This course focuses on the development of writing skills for various rhetorical situations. The main activity in class will pertain to the development, review, and revision of four different writing assignments. We will rely primarily on discussion directed toward drafting and assessment techniques, as well as examples from student papers and published prose models. Each assignment will involve multiple drafts, with revision aided by peer review workshops, instructor feedback, and readings consistent with the rhetorical strategies addressed by the assignment. Readings will be accompanied by regular quizzes and short, informal writings (both in and out of class). We will also examine dimensions of grammar to help achieve clarity and elegance in your writing, regardless of rhetorical context. Evaluation will be based on individual grades for each multi-draft assignment, plus attendance, quizzes, class exercises, and informal writings.
ENGS 005 TAP: Graphic Novels/Narrative Theory CRN: 91728 Section: B Instructor: Fogel, D.
In this seminar, we will read seven graphic novels in order to explore a few key questions: Why is story-telling central to human life? Why do we value story-telling so highly, and how does each of the graphic novels we read fulfill the criteria of value we have identified? What is the use of theorizing about narratives, and what is the value and power of applying systematic and rigorous analytic terms to the study of narrative? And what must we do to supplement the formal, structural study of narratives in order to honor the specificity of historical, economic, social, political, cultural, anthropological, and philosophical contexts essential for understanding the works. Works covered will include Art Spiegelman's Maus, Jason Lutes's Berlin, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. We will also read H. Porter Abbott's Cambridge Introduction to Narrative and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. In addition to the overall goals of the TAP seminar program (which follow), in reading our graphic novels we will aim 1) to improve our ability to read closely and think rigorously about the formal properties of the works and at the same time about their historical contexts; 2) to understand and apply the basics of narrative theory to analysis of our primary texts; 3) to explore the interplay between images and language in graphic novels; 4) and to write with increasing pleasure and authority as a mode of inquiry. This course shares with all TAP seminars four foundational goals: 1) Information literacy: access and work effectively and ethically with print and digital sources, learning to discern searchable key words within a complex research question; distinguish between primary and secondary and scholarly and popular resources; critically evaluate sources for relevance, currency, authority, and bias; and manage and appropriately document information sources; 2) Rhetorical discernment: Compose for varying purposes and audiences, learning to develop texts with sufficient detail, astute organization, and appropriate documentation, diction, and style for each assignment’s purpose and audience; 3) Substantive revision: Through persistent inquiry and informed by feedback from peers and the instructor, compose and revise so that texts and ideas grow in effectiveness and complexity; and 4) Critical reading: Read critically by engaging with texts and ideas, properly summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting others’ ideas while effectively integrating with and developing one’s own ideas.
Section Expectations: 1) Finish all reading assignments for the day they are listed as DUE on the syllabus; 2) Attend class regularly, perform well on periodic quizzes on assigned readings, and participate actively in class discussion. One unexcused absence is allowed, no questions asked; 3) Complete periodic assigned study questions on assigned readings (some in-class and some out-of-class); 4) Complete several short papers on instructor-assigned topics tied to current readings (assigned lengths will vary from 250 to 400 words and assignments will always be made at least one week in advance); 5) Submit six journal entries of at least 250 but no more than 400 words, one entry roughly every other week; 6) Complete a major project entailing an essay introductory to, and footnotes for an assigned portion of, Jason Lutes’s BERLIN; 7) Compile all work completed for the course, including drafts and final graded versions of quizzes, study questions, and essays, in a course portfolio for submission with the final project.
Evaluation: Letter grades will be assigned for each of the main requirements: the short papers; participation (which includes completion of study questions, quizzes, and journal entries as well as participation in discussions); and the final paper. The average of the grades on the short papers will make up 25% of the course grade. The average of the grades on all elements of participation will make up 35% of the final grade. And the final project will be the last 40% of the course grade (25% for the essay, and 15% for the annotations). While the course grade will be based on the weighted average of these course components, I will take overall improvement into account in figuring individual cases.
ENGS 005 TAP: Tolkien and the Problem of Modernity CRN: 94884 Section: F Instructor: Kete, M.
Tolkien’s fantasy takes us beyond the confines of time and space through story telling. We will be interrogating Tolkien’s engagement with the cultural debates of the first half of the 20th-century and we will be thinking about how our engagement with Tolkien participates in the cultural debates of this new century. This seminar has two related goals. The first is to examine the contexts (historical, political and aesthetic) within which Tolkien imagined his epic while we examine the context within which we read his epic. The second is to improve our ability to understand the components of narrative in order to how storytelling works.In addition to Tolkien, we will be reading primary works by authors such as Orwell, Hemingway, Adams, Eliot, Yeats, Marinetti, Owen, Benjamin, Hitler, Mosley and Sassoon.
*You must have completed the LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT at least once before the class begins. It will be impossible to do well in the course otherwise.
*Early in the semester (if possible), we will be celebrating Bilbo and Frodo's birthday with a hike to some caves where we will share a LOTR's inspired picnic feast. This hike can be done in sneakers. Think about a Middle Earth food you'd want to try!
ENGS 005 TAP: Writing Science & Nature CRN: 93944 Section: H Instructor: Grosvenor, J.
We write in order to share information, yes, but also to make meaning of our lives in connection with the myriad happenings around us—the web of life.
In this nature-, medicine-, and science-based composition course, you’ll do just that: utilize writing to increase understanding—others’ and your own. The focus, for the most part, will be on sustainability—encompassing environmental concerns, medical practices, ecological literacy, and social connection. In the words of physicist and prolific writer, Fritjof Capra, the objective will be “to develop a conceptual framework that integrates the biological, cognitive, and social dimensions of life.” Through various forms of writing, you’ll learn to keep a close eye on detail, to recognize the wait—what? moments, and then translate those into writing that creates a desired cause-and-effect in your intended audience. Through grappling with the unruly play between all these parts, you’ll gain insight into systematic understandings of life and learn to think in terms of patterns and networks.
Readings will include: a nature memoir by eminent feminist and naturalist, Terry Tempest Williams; stories by clinical writer and renowned neurologist, Oliver Sacks; celebrated physicist, Fritjof Capra’s Hidden Connections, A Science for Sustainable Living; and a variety of diverse and far-reaching essays from The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015, in which editor Rebecca Skloot (author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the 2012 UVM incoming freshman read) writes: “People often think of science and writing as vastly different endeavors, but they’re very much the same. They’re both driven by curiosity, by noticing small moments—a single, unexpected piece of data in an experiment, a sentence someone says in passing, a tiny crack in a rock face—and taking time to see where those moments might lead, what larger stories they might uncover that can teach us about everything from the tiniest organism to the entire solar system.”
Through imitation and the writing process, you’ll learn the craft of employing the written word not simply for education and comprehension but so that these sustainability-based narratives become touchstones to the deepest of human concerns and values—as well as action and hope for change.
How did they do it? you’ll ponder, and then track scientific queries and pluck ideas from the rich pasture of nature and the environment. How does this impact the quality of life over time? What can I do? you’ll wonder as you explore sustainability and discover both solutions and recreation—through writing itself, as a sustaining tool and activity. Warning: Expect a lack of closure. This course content is sure to generate questions that will last a lifetime. Prepare for the journey. Trust the process.
Introduction to Fiction is an introduction to the short story, the novella, and the novel. In addition to considering the basic elements of fiction, we will also consider how the literature we read reflects the social and cultural attitudes within which it was written. We will read works by Kate Chopin, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Ann Porter, Edith Wharton, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Assignments may include a discussion leader activity, a close reading essay, a course project, and a mid-term and final exam.
ENGS 027 IHP: Literature of the Western Tradition CRN: 91734 Section: A Instructor: Simone, R.
First Year students only
Concurrent enrollment in History 14 and Religion 27.
Readings, discussion, writing, student presentations.
Literature from Homer to Dante
Full participation in IHP.
Class participation, reading, writing, essays.
Students in this course will be reading work by Native writers from the early nineteenth century through the contemporary period, from various regions of North America, from New England to the Pacific northwest.
Writers may include Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, and others, working in both fictional and autobiographical modes. We will explore the nature and dynamics of cultural interaction with the European matrix, from the earliest contact to the twenty first century, its effect on both communities and individuals, and what the implications of that have been on the idea of a "Native" or "Indian" identity.
ENGS 057 Race & Ethnicity in American Literature CRN: 93443 Section: F Instructor: Noel, D.
We will read two novels, a graphic novel, short stories, poems and essays that explore national, racial, ethnic and cultural identity and multiculturalism, whiteness and the relationship between social/personal politics and literary arts. We’ll consider our authors’ views on family, community, nation, history and the role of art in our culture. Featured writers include: Phillis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Hisaye Yamamoto, Art Spiegelman, Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat, Sherman Alexie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chimamande Ngozi Adichie, and Junot Diaz, among others.
Grading: Participation (including attendance, preparedness, discussion) 25%, Four Short Writing Assignments in the Discussion Board 25%, Mid Term Essay 25%, Final Essay 25%.
ENGS 057 Contemporary American Race Novel CRN: 93949 Section: H Instructor: Huh, J.
In The Souls of Black Folk (1903), the great cultural critic W. E. B. Du Bois wrote that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." More than a century after this statement, race and racism remains one of today’s most pressing social, legal, and ethical concerns. This class will explore how some of today’s most influential authors envision the racial terrain across racial and ethnic borders. Through these contemporary American race novels, we will consider the complex question of racial identity, test the boundaries of DuBois’s color line across multiple racial communities, and explore how writing and reading can both reflect and challenge racial categories, hierarchies, and perceptions. Some of the themes we will investigate include whiteness and multiculturalism, immigration, inclusion/exclusion, gender and sexuality, regionalism, inter-generational conflicts, authenticity, and universalism vs. localism.
Potential authors may include Viet Thanh Nguyen, Toni Morrison, Paul Beatty, Junot Diaz, Celeste Ng, Salvador Plascencia, Louise Erdrich, and Michael Muhammad Knight. This is a reading-intensive and discussion-based course. Students are expected to complete each assignment prior to class and participate in class discussion. Assignments may include: reading quizzes, in-class writing, oral presentations, and short papers.
ENGS 085 Intro to Literary Studies CRN: 95251 Section: D Instructor: Sisk, J.
This is a foundational course in the reading methods of the English major, its key vocabulary, and its broad categories of genre and literary history. Readings will include essays, poems, plays, and prose fiction. We'll consider what exactly we mean by the word "literary," paying particular attention to texts that seem in some ways to be self-conscious about their literariness. We'll think about HOW texts mean (in addition to WHAT they mean), and we'll consider issues of authorship, audience, and authority as we ask how and where a text's meaning is determined.
ENGS 095 Australian/New Zealand Literature CRN: 95762 Section: C Instructor: Painter, H.
This class will introduce the literature and culture of New Zealand and Australia. We will use novels, short stories, and films of the 20th and 21st centuries to explore the formation of the Australian and Kiwi national identities and the roles of environment, isolation, and conflict in shaping and challenging those identities. The selected texts will also challenge us to consider how the experience of being an Australian or Kiwi differs depending on a person’s race, class, gender, and religion. In particular, we will examine the historical and present-day relationships between Europeans and their descendants and Aboriginal Australians and NZ Maoris through texts by indigenous and non-indigenous writers.
This course combines lecture and discussion formats. Students should expect to read 100-120pp each week, with additional time spent on short writing assignments and research for a group presentation.
ENGS 104 Tutoring Writing CRN: 91736 Section: A Instructor: Dinitz, S.
English 104 is open only to students who have been selected as tutors for the Writing Center. What brings us together in the class is an interest in how writers write and a desire to engage with others in the writing process, thereby helping all involved to become more confident and effective writers. This implies not so much learning right answers or tricks as learning to listen and to converse. By the end of the semester, you should
be able to set an appropriate agenda for a session
know strategies for helping writers progress through various aspects of the writing process
develop a tutoring style that works successfully for you
be familiar with how academic writing is shaped by disciplinary contexts
understand connections between cultural background and literacy practices
be able to design a session to fit the individual needs of the writer
be a more self-aware, knowledgeable, and skilled writer
This course combines discussion and activity formats. Once tutoring begins in mid-September, students should expect to spend two hours a week in class, 4-6 hours a week outside of class on reading and writing assignments, and 3 hours a week tutoring in the Writing Center. There are 2 required texts on various aspects of tutoring writing.
ENGS 112 Black Identities CRN: 95255 Section: A Instructor: Losambe. L.
This section of the course examines the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as the ways these concepts subvert and ( re)shape identities in African American , Caribbean and African literatures. Authors include Nella Larsen, Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, Derek Walcott, Claude Mckay, Alice Walker, and Mariama Ba. Films such as Ethnic notions, Sankofa, Keita, Neria, and Flame will also be discussed in the course.
ENGS 114 Writing Magical Realism CRN: 95257 Section: B Instructor: Hummel, M.
As a critical term, magical realism first emerged in painting and later to apply specifically to Latin American fiction where real-world settings included fantastical elements. The longer the term has stuck around, however, the more magical realism has become the most succinct label we have for the global explosion of 20th and 21st century fictions that blend the grounded “real-world” precision of the short story with the stretchiness and glitter of fairy tales and myths. In this course, we will read classic magical realist fictions from writers including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leo Tolstoy, Clarice Lispector, and Ánibal Monteiro Machado, as well as newer stories by Karen Russell, Aimee Bender, Sherman Alexie, and others. Week by week, we will discuss and test out some of the dominant paradoxes that drive magical realist stories, such as the story-tale, the strange-familiar, the monster-marvel, the animate-inanimate, and the part-whole.
Students will write two magical realist short-short stories (under 1000 words), one longer story (9-12 pages), and revisions. Imagination-stretching activities, notebook keeping, and workshop will also be key elements. Grading reflects students’ engagement with all aspects of the course, with a heavy emphasis on attendance, participation, and writing assignments.
ENGS 118 Advanced Writing: Fiction CRN: 92090 Section: A Instructor: Hummel, M.
This course examines two dominant elements that shape a narrative: character and idea. In the first weeks of the course, we will read how writers like Junot Diaz, Elizabeth Tallent, and Jhumpa Lahiri create real people on the page, and what it means to make character-based fiction. We will use writing prompts to capture our own overzealous, innocent, earnest, dangerous, and conniving characters in stories. Later, we will explore how authors use idea to sculpt fiction, from the fantastic forays of Susanna Clarke to the formal antics of Daniel Orozco to George Saunders’ absurdism. In addition, we will spend a couple classes on novel openings, and on the work of a guest author.
Advanced Writing: Fiction follows a guild model, focusing on apprenticeship, community, craft, and revision. Students will write several short exercises; one 5-7 page story; one 8-10 page story/chapter modeled on their own chosen master writer; and revisions of both stories. Students also be responsible for active reading and workshopping, and weaving a tight group that summons all its writers to do their very best work.
FTS 143 Film Theory and Pratice CRN: 95662 Section: A Instructor: Jewell, M.
With one of the shortest growing seasons in the country, how is Vermont agriculture leading the way in sustainable farming practices and ‘localvore’ food culture? The Vermont Farm Project is a SERVICE LEARNING class in which students either approach a community partner, or are placed with a community partner in the greater Burlington area, to produce media for distribution within the agriculture community. The class will work with the Vermont Folklife Center to also archive all material for preservation purposes.
One of the main goals of the class is to combine theory and practice. Students engage with a variety of film theories and documentary modes and apply these ideas to the practice of filmmaking. The class time will prepare students with formal approaches to representing reality, as well as hands-on technical production experience.
Besides lectures and discussions around the reading list, there will be sections around the individual roles of media production; producing, directing, sound recording, editing and marketing/distribution. The class will treat the overall scope of the project as a feature documentary, working from pre-production, production, post-production and distribution, but in the field, students will spend time with their community partners and collaboratively produce media that will more immediately help serve the farming community around Vermont and beyond. Although the long vision is to use the source material shot by students to produce a feature, the students are tasked with making short autonomous videos for individual consumption. The media produced will include short videos focused around agricultural practices for each community member on a local level, but also how the distribution of this knowledge can help foster communication between farming communities in general.
ENGS 156 19th-Century Literary Cultures CRN: 95262 Section: B Instructor: Kete, M.
Cultures may be defined by geography, language, time, belief, or practices. This course examines the role played by literature in the formation of American cultural identity during the 19th century. In other words, we will be investigating how reading, writing, buying, selling, giving, and receiving literature contributed to the ways that 19th-century people were able to imagine themselves as American. This course focuses on three critical terms (culture, literature and America) while exploring the role played by reading and writing in the people’s attempts to make sense of themselves. We will be focusing on three distinctive literary communities:one bound by a shared status: (mourning, race, childhood,gender), a second bound by shared political commitment (abolition, women's rights, pro-slavery), and a third bound by shared location (Concord, NYC, Richmond, Burlington). This course is reading and writing intensive. Some of the authors we will be reading may include Alcott, Douglass, Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau, Sigourney, Longfellow, Harper, Hawthorne, Poe, Stowe, Webb. This course would serve towards the American Concentration as well as the Cultural Studies Concentration.
ENGS 221 Doubt and Knowledge CRN: 94060 Section: A Instructor: Sisk, J.
This course will focus on epistemology, specifically the theories of knowing that were a part of the Western Christian intellectual tradition which informed early English literature (the course will cover both medieval and Renaissance literary texts). We will consider various ideas about how knowledge is obtained (revelation? sensory perception? book learning?), the understood limits of the knowable, the perceived value or danger of intellectual seeking, and the place of doubt within paradigms of knowing. If you're interested in intellectual history, philosophy and/or theology, early English literature, or the long history of Christian attitudes toward learning, then this might be the class for you.
ENGS 345 Theories and Practice in Composition Pedagogy CRN: 91740 Section: A Instructor: Bessette, J.
The goal of this course is to introduce you to some of the major pedagogical conversations in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies that should guide, inflect, and invigorate your work as a teacher of writing in English 1. Over the course of the semester, we will explore a variety of topics that have concerned scholars of composition pedagogy—ranging from inquiry to citizenship to digital composing to multilingualism. The project of the seminar is not only for us to listen to what scholars have had to say about these topics but also to engage these conversations ourselves, reflecting on how and why certain scholarship might resonate with our own pedagogical investments as well as with the programmatic goals of the writing program at the University of Vermont. By the end of the semester, you might not have all the answers as to how to teach writing—no one ever does—but you will have gained a provisional understanding of some of this field’s major pedagogical concerns, and these concerns should enable you to become a more thoughtful, reflective, and engaged teacher during your time here at UVM and throughout your career beyond this institution.
ENGS 360 James Joyce: Modernism and Beyond CRN: 95268 Section: a Instructor: Simone, R.
This graduate seminar addresses the broad achievement of James Joyce’s major works and influence. The core of the course is absorbing as much of Ulysses (1914-1922) as possible. This reading is supported by reading Joyce’s Dubliners (1904-1914) and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1904-1916). There will be a brief reading from Joyce’s “book of the dark” Finnegans Wake (1923-1939). The course will begin the study of Joyce and his revolutionary vision and style of human experience. Grading is by student-teacher contract. Course format is as a seminar with discussion, major student presentations, two short essays and a term essay.
As far as possible we will sample some of the works influenced by Joyce, especially Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) and Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925). Though Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (1929) and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1954) may be used.
Two additional topics will be an aspects of genetic criticism, the generation and history of texts, and Joyce’s fin e attention both mental and physical nuance that intersects with the neurology of language and neuroesthetics. Aspects of Modernism and postmodernism will be reflected on.
Properly edited texts are essential. Most important is the Gabler edition of Ulysses (VINTAGE ISBN 9780394743127. This is the standard scholarly edition and is required.) By student-teacher contract.
ENGS 360 Postcolonialism & Globalism CRN: 95269 Section: B Instructor: Losambe, L.
Assessing the state of world postcoloniality in 1993, in his book Culture and Imperialism, the late Palestinian American cultural analyst and literary critic Edward Said rightly affirmed that: “ [P]artly because of empire, all cultures are involved in one another; none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinarily differentiated, and unmonolithic” (xxv-xxvi). The Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o made a similar point at the same time, stating: “[S]lavery, colonialism, and the whole web of neocolonial relationships so well analyzed by Frantz Fanon, were as much part of the emergence of the modern West as they were of modern Africa. The cultures of Africa, Asia and South America, as much as those of Europe, are an integral part of the modern world.” (Ngugi 1993 ). And stretching further Said and Ngugi’s point, a few years after the end of apartheid in South Africa and at the dawn of the twenty first century, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2000) proclaimed the end of imperialism(as far as it is defined by extensions of sovereignties) and celebrated contemporary world’s transition to a new centerless global empire. According to them, the new “ Empire can only be conceived as universal republic, a network of powers and counterpowers structured in a boundless and inclusive architecture. This imperial expansion has nothing to do with imperialism, nor with those state organisms designed for conquest, pillage, genocide, colonization, and slavery(166-167)”. The new empire is therefore sustained by a constant liberating tension between, on the one hand, its normalizing socioeconomic, political and cultural forces shaped by modern, capitalist institutions like IMF, WTO, World Bank, multinational corporations, and nation-states, and on the other, its subversive deterritorizing forces made of multitudes like “Occupy Wall Street”, “ Black Lives Matter”, public square movements, the Arab Spring, and workers’ mass protests catalyzed and facilitated by global social networks, videography, audio-visual arts, music, and transnational literary production.
In order to understand the working of this global network of normalizing powers and subversive, deterritorizing counterpowers which shape and reshape contemporary subjectivities within and across national boundaries, a number of postcolonial scholars have suggested trans-disciplinary critical approaches such as planetarity or planetary humanism(Gayatri Spivak 2003 and Paul Gilroy 2005), tidalectics( Elizabeth DeLoughrey 2007), globalectics( Ngugi wa Thiong’o 2014), critical regionalism(Spivak 2008), decolonial(Walter Mignolo 2013), and so on. Among the questions that these approaches and this course seek to examine are: how did we get here? why are we still witnessing class, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual and religious hostilities and injustices1? what are the conditions of possibility of a new humanity that promotes and celebrates multiculturalism, mutualism, bio- diversity, and conviviality?
Last modified April 14 2017 03:47 PM