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Undergraduate Program

Advanced Seminars


ENG 380 The Horror Film

Instructor: J. Middleton
CRN: 26573, Fall 2018
T 1650-1930

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 Authors, Editors, and the Literary Marketplace

Instructor: B. London
CRN: 26584, Fall 2018
MW 1525-1640

What is an author? This course begins with the premise that the answer to this question is anything but self-evident. Does the idea of the author as solitary genius correspond to the actual practices of ordinary writers? And does it correspond to the practice of even the “great” authors like Shakespeare? Was such an ideal ever anything but a myth? What role do editors play in the practice of authorship? Should they count as co-authors? How do market factors and modes of publication affect what and how an author writes? How has our understanding of authorship changed in a world of virtual authors and virtual texts? Looking at a wide range of examples, we will examine a number of sites of debate: collaborative authorship; ghost writing; forgeries and hoaxes; plagiarism; celebrity authorship; bestsellers; film, electronic and digital media; self- and on-demand publishing; copyright. Students will have the opportunity to do original research on topics of their own choosing.

ENG 380 Literary Style

Instructor: E. Tawil
CRN: 24762, Fall 2017
W 1650-1930

This seminar will focus on the fascinating but somewhat murky idea of “style” in literature.  Often described as the how rather than the what of writing, the notion of style as a particular feature of literary texts is an attempt describe how different artists can use the same basic materials (for example, the same lexicon, genre conventions, character types, or basic plot points) and yet put these common elements together in a unique way.  This principle of style is easier to recognize than to define.  We know when we are in the presence of a distinctive style (think of famous literary stylists like Ernest Hemingway or William Faulkner), but to define it clearly is a different matter.  In this class, we will look at a broad range of literary examples (from the Renaissance to the twentieth century), as well as some works of criticism that have attempted to theorize style (D.A. Miller’s Jane Austen, or The Secret of Style, Edward Said’s On Late Style among others).  

This course fulfills the advanced seminar requirement for majors in English, but is open to students across the divisions (space permitting).

ENG 380 The Politics of Television

Instructor: J. Burges
CRN: 26310, Fall 2017
TR 1815-1930

In this class, we will explore the politics of television from three primary directions. First, we will look at traditional political programming such as news reporting, debates, morning shows, and late night satire alongside series such as The West Wing, Homeland, Occupied, and Law and Order. Second, we will explore the cultural politics of television, considering how it tackles issues of race, sexuality, and gender directly and indirectly across different genres of television. Finally, we will consider the relationship of television to political economy, asking how television functions as a culture industry; how it makes visible (or not) the relationship between the political and the economic in the stories it tells; and how it narrates class and capitalism in non-fiction and fiction television alike. Priority to junior and senior English majors, and to FMS majors. Email the instructor to inquire about enrollment.