Undergraduate Program

Advanced Seminars

 

ENG 380 The Horror Film

Instructor: J. Middleton
CRN: 25172, Fall 2016
TR 1400-1515

This course examines major critical issues surrounding the horror genre, through close study of Classical Hollywood, post-classical, and international horror films, and readings in critical theory. Issues to be explored include boundary transgression and bodily abjection in the construction of the horror monster; gender, pregnancy, and the monstrous-feminine; social Otherness (race, class, sexuality) as monstrosity; the figure of the serial killer and the shift from classic to modern horror; the grotesque and the blending of comedy and horror in the zombie film. As a research seminar, the course will involve the development of a substantial research project.


ENG 380 Power, Sex, Suicide: Dido and the Shaping of Feminine Identities

Instructor: T. Hahn
CRN: 80755, Fall 2016
MW 1525-1640

For 2000 years, Virgil’s African Queen was the most studied and most familiar woman of antiquity for all schoolboys (and many schoolgirls). A contradictory emblem of power (monarch, empire builder, colonizer), sex (gracious host, crazed lover), and suicide (powerless victim, noble sacrifice), Dido has re-shaped male fantasies and female identities across an astonishing spectrum of images and media. Dido absorbs the traits of other mythic women – Medea and Cleopatra – and is revised, revisited, and “translated” by later writers and artists (for us, Augustine, Chaucer, Christine de Pisan, Marlowe, and Shakespeare to A. S. Byatt, African post-colonial fictions, and more). We close by studying her star turn in experimental art (theater, dance, opera) in the 21st century. Students will work with nearly 2000 digitized images on the course website, ranging from manuscripts thru’ museum paintings to internet improvisations, editing files, adding metadata, and improving design. In-class presentations and final paper.


ENG 380 Digital Projects: The English Renaissance

Instructor: R. Kegl
CRN: 23604, Spring 2016
TR 940-1055

This advanced seminar considers how digital projects contribute to our understanding of English Renaissance Literature. We examine digital editing projects, manuscript and print archives, indexes and catalogues, journals and books, teaching resources, and sites whose compiled materials are dedicated to individual authors, practices, or spaces (like the theaters). In order to assess the accessibility, applicability, and reliability of these digital projects, we read both works of English Renaissance literature and works of literary criticism. Readings include literary works by Jonson, Milton, Shakespeare, and Spenser. Students submit short research exercises throughout the semester and assemble one longer research paper or project.


ENG 380 The "American Renaissance"

Instructor: E. Tawil
CRN: 23983, Spring 2016
TR 1230-1345

In this seminar, we will do two things at once: first, read a group of literary texts associated with the “American Renaissance.”  At the same time, we will read and analyze some of the masterworks of twentieth-century literary criticism that have produced, defended, and contested this tradition.  The course will proceed by alternating week by week between a work of literature and a work of criticism, and by doing that will be able to establish an interesting reciprocal dialogue between the two kinds of writing.  Of the critical texts, we will ask such questions as:  What authors or works (or features of texts) do different critics tend to value or devalue, emphasize or forget in order to produce a “tradition”?  What happens when we focus on the narrative elements of criticism?  For example, when are literary histories themselves structured and emplotted like the literary texts they discuss?  Of the literary works themselves, we will ask:  what features of form or content made these works the harbingers of a cultural “rebirth”?  And is there any sense in which these literary works do something like “criticism”—in thinking, for example, about their own value as fulfilling the call for a national aesthetic?  What happens when we key into this “self-theorizing” dimension of the literary work?  Readings include literary works by Melville, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, and critical works by D.H. Lawrence, F.O. Matthiessen, Leslie Fiedler, and Richard Poirier.


ENG 380 The Horror Film

Instructor: J. Middleton
CRN: 23995, Spring 2016
WF 1150-1305

This course examines major critical issues surrounding the horror genre, through close study of Classical Hollywood, post-classical, and international horror films, and readings in critical theory. Issues to be explored include boundary transgression and bodily abjection in the construction of the horror monster; gender, pregnancy, and the monstrous-feminine; social Otherness (race, class, sexuality) as monstrosity; the figure of the serial killer and the shift from classic to modern horror; the grotesque and the blending of comedy and horror in the zombie film. As a research seminar, the course will involve the development of a substantial research project.