This course introduces students to some of the most significant literature from the Romantic, Victorian, and Modern literary periods. Beginning with the outbreak of the French Revolution and ending with World War I, the years covered by this course represent a time of dramatic political, economic, and cultural change. The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of industrialism, rapid imperialist expansion, religious crisis, increasing democracy, and shifts in gender and class identity. In exploring this tumultuous time period, the course will focus on an array of novelists, poets, and essayists who will serve as touchstones for the key political, intellectual, and aesthetic problems of their times (e.g. Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Dickens, G. Eliot, Browning, J.S. Mill, Arnold, Ruskin, Yeats, and Woolf). During the course, we will address the political, aesthetic, and intellectual issues that are traditionally viewed as characterizing Romantic, Victorian, or Modernist literature. Students will not only gain a greater appreciation for individual authors, but they will also be able to situate them within a larger framework of ideas and historical currents.
This course will examine developments in American literature and, in particular, the American novel, from the mid nineteenth-century to the late twentieth-century. Our specific focus will be the question of how changing social contexts including the technologies, ideologies, and philosophical perspectives that impact a particular historical moment affect the ways in which Americans understand the nature of identity. We begin with two mid nineteenth-century texts, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and Rebecca Harding Davis' Life in the Iron Mills (1861) in order to examine the shift from romanticism to realism, as the self is put into crisis by the potentially objectifying power of daguerreotype technology and the demands of industrialized labor. Framing our discussion with a brief analysis of William James' writings on pragmatism, we will next consider the strategies and implications of realism in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage (1895) and Henry James' Daisy Miller (1878). The second half of the course will consider the relationship between the objects of consumer culture and American identity, first, in a reading of Theodore Dreiser's novel Sister Carrie (1901), and later, in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (1971), a disturbing novel about the far-reaching and destructive effects of a particularly insidious version of the American dream. We will end the term with Don DeLillo's postmodern vision of American life, White Noise (1984). Significant to all of our discussions throughout the term will be the consideration of how identities are constructed within the matrices of race, gender, and class through the peculiar interplay of visual perception and desire.
Applicable English Cluster: American and African American Studies. This course provides an introduction to the history of African American literary expression, focusing primarily upon the development of black autobiography, poetry, and fiction. Students will trace a number of important themes such as the quest for freedom and literacy, the influence of folk traditions, double consciousness, the process of Northern migration, and the role of the trickster in classic African American texts. In our study of this important American literary tradition, we will also pay close attention to the intellectual debates concerning audience, language, and the purpose of art that have shaped key texts and historical time periods. We will explore how African American writers used artistic expression as key modes of political protest, creative affirmation of self, cultural validation, and social reform. Lectures will provide social and cultural background to the literary works discussed in class.
This course provides a broad overview and introduction to media. We will cover histories of different types of media (internet, radio, audio recordings, television, cable, film, journalism, magazines, advertising, public relations etc.) as well as various theories and approaches to studying media. No prior knowledge is necessary, but a real interest and willingness to explore a variety of media will come in handy. Occasional outside screenings will be required (but if you cannot attend the scheduled screenings, you may watch the films on your own time through the Multimedia Center reserves). Students will be evaluated based on assigned writing, class room discussion leading, participation, short quizzes, midterm exam and final exam. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
This class provides an introduction to the writing of poetry and fiction. Students will experiment with different poetic and literary forms, and will engage in writing exercises to develop and refine their use of images, characters and descriptive language. We will begin by studying the basic components of poetry and the short story. The course will conclude with a workshop in which every student will present material to be reviewed by the entire class.
This course will concentrate on the craft of fiction through readings of published stories and exercises involving tone and voice, culminating in the writing of at least one short story.
This is an introductory course for students who have already begun to write some poetry on their own. Every week students' poems will be discussed in a workshop format. Selected works by contemporary poets (such as Plath, Walcott, Ginsberg, Ashbery, Rich, Heaney, and others) will provide an essential background for examining various approaches and techniques. Specific or "open" assignments will be given weekly. Permission of instructor required. Please submit 3-5 poems to the instructor, preferably before the first class, since space is limited. Applicable English Clusters: Poems, Poetry, and Poetics; Creative Writing.
A course devoted to the understanding and execution of dramatic writing that is unique to the theatre. Students will analyze and discuss selected readings while writing an original one-act play to be completed by the end of the semester. Meets during one half of the semester only. Contact the Theatre Program at 275-4959 for details. Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
The study and practice of longer, more complicated newspaper and magazine stories, such as investigations and profiles. Emphasis will be on the consideration of the various techniques of non-fiction writing. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Basic public speaking is the focus of this course. Emphasis is placed on researching speeches, using appropriate language and delivery, and listening critically to oral presentations. ENG 134 contains two quizzes, a final exam, and four speeches to be given by the student. The speeches include a tribute, persuasive, explanatory, and problem solving address. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The purpose of this course is to give students an appreciation for and knowledge of critical thinking and reasoned decision-making through argumentation. Students will research both sides of a topic, write argument briefs, and participate in formal and informal debates. Students will also be exposed to the major paradigms used in judging debates. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Students will build their knowledge of debate theory and practice through varsity level intercollegiate competition and research. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
The study and analysis of a few high-impact news stories. Through readings and interviews with the reporters and editors who worked on the story, as well as interviews with the subjects of the stories, the class will gain an understanding of the issues involved in covering major news events.
This course introduces the basic aesthetic and technical elements of video production. Emphasis is on the creative use and understanding of the video medium while learning to use the video camera, video editing processes and the fundamental procedures of planning video project. Video techniques will be studied through screenings, group discussions, readings, practice sessions and presentations of original video projects made during the course.
An introduction to Technical Theatre and Theatre Technology: its materials, techniques and equipment. Focuses on the principles and practice of set construction; the nature and use of electricity; lighting and sound equipment; tools; production organization and management; and the importance of safety in all areas. Course will include both lecture and significant hands-on experience. Practical laboratory work in association with the productions of the International Theatre Program is included.
Acting Techniques II focuses on developing the student's ability to analyze texts from a performer's viewpoint, on heightening the actor's sensitivity to language, on developing the actor's physical and vocal technique, on building a deeper awareness of character and characterization in the student actor, and on engaging and actively developing creativity and imagination. This is done by the constant investigation, rehearsal, and presentation of assorted texts ranging from poetry to contemporary and classical scenes and monologues. Attendance at all classes is mandatory. Note: Acting Techniques I is NOT a requirement for this class.
This is a new 4 credit, full semester course, aimed at helping student performers explore the full range and expressiveness of their speaking voice, explore the relationship between text and vocal expression, expand their movement ranges, while learning a descriptive system for understanding movement and meaning, and analyze their own movement profiles as actors, creating characters through clear movement choices, and embodying these characters fully.
Medieval Drama is essentially a course in religious comedy--bawdy, pious, threatening, salvific comedy. The course begins with a brief look at Christian liturgical drama, then traces the origins of vernacular folk drama through the mystery cycles to the humanistic writers and Tudor drama of the 16th century. We will read most of two cycles of the mystery plays (the York cycle and N-Tow), along with excerpts from others (Chester and Towneley, particularly the Wakefield master), three saints and conversion plays, a couple of morality plays, some examples of humanistic drama, and conclude with Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus." We will examine the plays in terms of their craft, their message, their staging and performance, their comic genius, and their cultural significance. Some attention will be devoted to iconography and parallels of representation within the plays and other literary and fine arts. We will make a day trip to Toronto later in the semester to see a couple of productions at the Center for Medieval Studies. Texts: David Bevington, MEDIEVAL DRAMA; King & Beadle, YORK MYSTERY PLAYS; Emmerson, APPROACHES TO TEACHING MEDIEVAL ENGLISH DRAMA; Peck, HEROIC WOMEN FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT IN MIDDLE ENGLISH VERSE; PEARL; Bonaventura, THE MIND'S JOURNEY TO GOD. Applicable English Clusters: Medieval Studies; Plays, Playwrights, and Theater. May be used to fulfill the pre-1800 requirement for the major.
Chaucer's reputation as "Father of English Literature," though deserved, sometimes obscures the fact that he is perhaps the funniest (lol) writer in our language. He is also among the most intellectually curious, most book-learned, and most experimental of authors. Writing at a moment when there was virtually no "serious" poetic tradition in English (hence the paternity claim), Chaucer more or less invented vernacular writing (and style) as a category. He did this in part by placing the writer "Geffrey" - a version of himself - at the heart of many of his fictions, and this entirely likeable but totally elusive sense of Chaucerian personality contributes greatly to the pleasure and challenge of reading. Chaucer's language (Middle English) is old, and initially requires conscious effort for understanding; it is also one of the most distinctive and direct versions of English that we have, melodious, abrupt, and plangent by turns, memorable in itself and in the ways it forces us to pay attention to the language we now speak. We will read Troilus and Criseyde (one of the two or three greatest poems in English), a selection from The Canterbury Tales, and a selection of shorter narrative poems. Students will have a chance to read and recite medieval English, and will write two short papers or reports (2-3 pages each), and a longer final paper; there will be a final exam. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English Clusters: Medieval Studies; Great Books, Great Authors.
This course will survey the non-dramatic poetry and prose of the English Renaissance. We will focus on Spenser, Donne, and Milton, but we will also pay attention to the non-dramatic writings of Marlowe and Shakespeare, as well as the work of less-familiar authors, such as Wyatt, Sidney, Lyly, Foxe, Jonson, Bacon, Herbert, and Marvell. Topics for discussion will include humanism, court politics, reformation theology, early modern gender, the new science, the English civil war, and colonialism. Course requirements: attendance, two papers, a midterm, and a non-cumulative final.
This course will focus on plays representing each of Shakespeare's major dramatic forms - comedy, history, tragedy, and romance. We learn about the literary and theatrical conventions that would have been second nature to Shakespeare and his audience 400 years ago; consider how Shakespeare's writing responded to his audience's cultural, literary, political, and religious concerns; and ask how Renaissance stage practices might help us to better understand his plays and better appreciate why Renaissance audiences found them so compelling. Classes will center around careful study of individual plays. We will discuss, among other topics, Shakespeare's method of constructing his characters' psychological interiority, his staging of funeral pageants and madness, his use of anachronism, his interest in memory, his insistent references to contemporary performance practices (including the Renaissance tradition of boy actors playing women's roles), and his depiction of proper relations between ruler and subject, husband and wife, parents and children, and European and non-European characters. We also will become familiar with 16th and 17th century theatrical spaces - their geographical location and physical properties, the composition of their audiences, the training and performance practices of their actors, and the aesthetic, economic, and political contexts of their productions. Fulfills the pre-1800 requirement for the English major. Applicable English clusters: Great Books, Great Authors; Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
In 1660, after an eighteen-year ban on theatre, the English playhouses reopened, and quickly proved their vitality. Women acted on stage for the first time, radically changing the dynamics of performance, as well as the way that plays were written. The period also saw the rise of the professional female playwright, as well as the emergence of the Celebrity Actor. Comedy flourished in particular, relishing in bawdy repartee and the figure of the Rake, while exploring gender roles, the institutions of courtship and marriage, relations between children and parents, and the value of Wit. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the object of humor was often the theatre itself: playwrights pushed the limits of traditional genres such as the Heroic Tragedy, and introduced elements of farce, opera, and political satire, as well as reflections of middle-class life. This course will examine a variety of plays, while also considering issues of social context, genre and performance. Playwrights will include Behn, Centilivre, Congreve, Dryden, Etherege, Farquhar, Fielding, Gay, Goldsmith, Steele, and Sheridan.
We will focus on American literature and culture from 1865 to 1914 with emphasis on the novel. We will consider the developments and tensions in U.S. culture and society at this time. Realigning relationships of class, race, and gender as well as the influence and implications of nationalism and imperialism will be of particular interest. Readings will include works by Dreiser, Norris, Wharton, James, Adams, DuBois, Chopin, Alger, Chesnutt, and others. May be used to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement for the English major. applicable English Cluster: American and African-American Studies.
In recent decades some of the most powerful and innovative American literature has emerged from black women. We will study the social and political contexts of Civil Rights, the Black Power movement and debates about feminism to ground our readings of such authors as Gayl Jones, Toni Morrison, Angela Davis and Ntozake Shange. Special attention will be paid to the dynamics between black men and women, the balance between self fulfillment and family responsibilities, modes of resistance and the emotional legacies of slavery. Students are expected to be active participants in this discussion based seminar.
Looking back over the twentieth-century, this course will concentrate on the innovative, often wildly experimental writing produced in the period we still call "modernist". We will concentrate on five writers, two of them American (T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound), two of them Irish (W.B. Yeats and James Joyce), and one of English (Virginia Woolf). We will read some of the most beautiful and ambitious works of the century (Eliot's "Waste Land", Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway"), but the centerpiece of the course will inevitably be our extended reading of Joyce's novel "Ulysses" - one of the most difficult, most rewarding books in our language. And while we will consider the individual achievements of all the writers, we will also consider their work in the context of the avant-garde aesthetic and social movements in which these writers participated. Applicable English cluster: Modern and Contemporary Literature.
In this course, we will read the novels and critical essays of selected fiction writers in order to investigate the terms by which they elaborate, critique, and/or misread (as the case may be) the writing of other novelists. Taking Maurice Blanchot's fictions as well his theories of fiction and fictional language as the lynchpin of the seminar, the class will begin by reading several of Gogol's short stories ("The Nose" and "The Overcoat" respectively), before turning to Nabokov's critical work on Gogol and his novel Lolita. From the first volume of Proust's In Search of Lost Time (Swann's Way), we will then turn to Beckett's book on Proust. From Franz Kafka's The Trial, we will turn to Blanchot's several essays on Kafka, then to Blanchot's fictions Thomas the Obscure and Madness of the Day. We will continue on to Helene Cixous' comparative essay of Blanchot's fiction and the novels of Clarice Lispector, then move on to a reading of Lispector's novel The Hour of the Star and Cixous' novel The Day I Wasn't There. Finally, we'll end with a consideration of Robbe-Grillet's "New Novel" project and its execution in the fiction Jealousy. The structure of this course, in other words, will take on a "chain-link" approach-connecting writers to writers, their fictions, as well as their theories on writing in order to investigate the poetics of writers as they describe them in their own terms. We will ask questions such as: why does Nabokov deem Gogol a "ventriloquist" (with regard to the question of realism), or Gogol's fictions "four-dimensional?" What do these terms reveal about Nabokov's own techne, and the problems of narration he undertakes to resolve in his own work? By investigating the roles of both writer and critic with which writers have alternately played during their careers, this course hopes to answer not just how writers think about fiction when they write, but to also identify the problems with which they struggle-how they choose to elaborate the questions they have.
An undeniable product of modernity, the manifesto is a genre of many ambitionsnot the least of which is to enable revolutions. Often a conclusion about the state of literary affairs (it takes stock of the existing works and norms), the manifesto is also the point of departure for literary works, movements, and formal innovation. On the one hand, the manifesto is a fascinating genre in its own right (manifestoes are provocative, entertaining and self-aware). On the other hand, its main function is to determine the direction of future artistic developments, and allow for the modification of various genres and media; as such, a manifesto can provide a very useful point of access to many modernist masterpieces. It can also help us follow the developments of literary history. Through close analyses of manifestos, such as the Communist Manifesto and the Surrealist Manifestos, we will investigate the political origins of the genre, determine the characteristics of the genre, and trace its evolution. We focus particularly on what is arguably the Golden Age of the manifesto: the modernist era. Applicable English Cluster: Modem and Contemporary Literature.
Well explore the medium of theater by focusing on this central question: what distinguishes a script on the page from a play on the stage? Do you know about the phonograph effect? Thats how technologies of sound recording have altered the way music is performed live (and changed the way audiences want their music and even changed the way they hear it). That is, changing the form of the medium has changed its content. Theater may have been subject to something similar, first the book effect and, more recently, the movie effect. Perhaps it was the book effect that caused Charles Lamb to claim, 200 years ago, that he preferred reading Shakespeares tragedies to seeing them acted live. Our course will investigate issues like these. To make them concrete rather than abstract, well draw heavily on live performances--especially the inventive production of Shakespeares tragedy King Lear that will be directed by Nigel Maister for the UR International Theatre Program in spring 2007. Maister, his actors, and his visiting designers will be guests in our class.
An isolated country parsonage. A half mad father. A wastrel brother addicted to drugs. Three uniquely gifted sisters who burned their hearts and brains out on the moors but not before leaving us some of the most passionate and revolutionary literature of the 19th century. This is the stuff of the Bront legend. This course will explore the continuing appeal of the Bronts and the peculiar fascination that they have exercised on the literary imagination. Through intensive study of some of the best-loved novels our culture has produced the literary works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bront we will explore the roots and reaches of the Bront myth. We will also consider the Bronts legacy in todays popular romantic fiction and in some of the many adaptations (and continuations) of their work in print and on the screen. And we will look at our seemingly insatiable appetite for new tellings of the Bronts life stories. The course, then, will consider not the only the Bronts literary productions, but also our cultures production and reproduction of the Bronts over the years. Applicable Clusters: Gender and Writing; Great Books, Great Authors; Novels.
In this 2.0 credit course we will examine 4 major novels and 4 major short stories by Joseph Conrad, and, hopefully, draw some general conclusions about Conrads entire literary output: his place in the history of English and world literature; artistic, ideological, philosophical and psychological mastery of his works; international contexts of his works, including Polish and East-Central European contexts; and the importance of Joseph Conrads literary output to American culture and literature. Some film screenings outside of class time.of Victorian debates about such questions as the place of tradition in an age of innovation; the definition of culture; and the relation betwen gender and genre. We will focus on what Eliot's models of community, ethics, and representation have to tell us about 19th-century definitions of psychology, identity, gender, ethnicity, and Englishness. And we will read 19th- and 20th-century criticism of her works both in order to engage with a variety of ways of understanding those works, and in order to discuss the politics of the literary canon and of the practices of literary criticism. May be used to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement. Applicable English Clusters: Novels; Great Books,Great Authors; Gender and Writing.
Theater in England will be conducted in London from Saturday, December 29, 2008, through Saturday, January 10, 2009. Students should arrive in London no later than the evening of December 28. They may return on Sunday, January 11. We will see and have classes on approximately 20 plays. At the end of the course, students will submit a journal that discusses all the plays seen. The journal is due at the beginning of the third week of classes after we get back. I do not yet know what plays we will be seeing, but you can be certain that we will see the best of what is available in the world's theater Mecca. Last year we saw such productions as Ian McKellen in Shakespeare's King Lear, Simon Russell Beale and Zoe Wanemaker in a legendary production of Much Ado About Nothing, and Chiwetel Ejiofor's definitive performance in the title role of Othello. As an out of town break, we went to Stratford-upon-Avon to do homage to Shakespeare, and see David Warner's Falstaff in Henry IV, Parts I and II. The range of the offerings was terrific, from Nick Stafford's War Horse (with its amazing larger than life puppetry) and a fascinating adaptation of Euripides' Women of Troy to a brilliant example of in-yer-face theater in Anthony Nielson's God in Ruins. We saw big musicals like Billy Elliot and Mary Poppins and fringe productions like Fletcher's Custom of the Country and Neil Labute's Bash. For information about the course over the past sixteen years go to www.courses.rochester.edu/peck/theatre/ The course is restricted to 23 students and carries 4 credits. The fee is $2550.00, which includes tickets to all plays and housing. Students must obtain passports and make their own travel arrangements. You may obtain the application from the English Department or Professor Peck. You need permission of the instructor to register. Contact Professor Russell Peck (firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 275-0110 or 585-473-7354).
More than any other legends, apart from those of the Bible, the stories of King Arthur have provided Western Europe and North America with a vehicle for cultural propaganda, reassessment, and pleasure. From the 12th to the 21st centuries, artists in all genres and modes have recast Arthurian narratives and images to explore and redefine the moral and social concerns of their day. After a brief introduction to Arthurian backgrounds, the course focuses on Geoffrey of Monmouth and Arthurian literature of the High Middle Ages (Chretien de Troyes and Marie de France) and England in the 14th century, then examines the culmination and decline of that ideology toward the end of the 15th century (Malory), the reinvigoration of the myth in new directions in the Renaissance (Spenser), and then concludes with readings and art of the nineteenth century (Tennyson, the PreRaphaelites, Twain) and the twentieth century (T.S. Eliot, E.A. Robinson, T.H. White, and Marion Zimmer Bradley). We will study seven movies: Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot," Disney's "Sword in the Stone," "The Fisher King," "The Mighty," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," and Borman's "Excalibur." The readings for the course are extensive and richly rewarding, as are the viewings. Texts from the medieval English period will be studied in the original Middle English dialects. Readings from Latin and French will be in modern English translation. Applicable English Cluster: Medieval Studies; Literature and Cultural Identity.
The course would examine these two genres of film that both purport to have a direct effect upon the spectator's body - provoking laughter, screams, or, often, a combination of both. It would explore each genre's history and defining characteristics, while also emphasizing moments of intersection between the two, as in the increasingly campy slasher films of the 80s and 90s, or horror film parodies.
We will screen and study approximately 12 gangster and crime films from the rich genre of such movies. We will also read some related fiction and some critical studies of the form. We will look at films spanning the history of cinema from "Little Caesar" to "The Godfather", examining the devices of the form, those elements that seem to define it, the relation of the subject to the culture, the meaning of the film, and so forth. The course will include lectures and discussion. Applicable English Clusters: Modern and Contemporary Literature; Media, Culture, and Communication.
The course aims to understand the social psychology of modern and contemporary Western/American family experience, and especially its means of abetting the concealment, repression, and suppression of people's emotional lives. Study of the films combines with the readings seek to develop critical understanding of the nuclear family (and versions of it) and the conditions it may create for child-rape, racism, homophobia, murder and self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, self-mutilation, and suicide. Sometimes the violence is arbitrary, sometimes it is inevitable, sometimes it is incomprehensible. In each case the course's attention is on the personal and collective machineries of repression, the resulting rage in many individals, and the frequent (and now often familiar) violent results. Readings in the course include those by Erik Erikson, Nancy Chodorow, Alice Miller, and Stephanie Coontz. Films are to be taken from the following list: A Price Above Rubies (1998), A Thousand Acres (1994), All My Sons (1948), American Beauty (1999), American History X (1999), Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Dolores Claiborne (1995), Falling Down (1933), Fargo (1996), Fried Green Tomatoes (1992), Heavenly Creatures (1994), In the Bedroom 2001), Ju Dou (1991), Mildred Pierce (1945), Monster (2002), Monster's Ball (2001), Ordinary People (1980), and others.
Major museums around the world are now collecting motion pictures and other types of moving image and audio-visual art with a level of commitment equal to their traditional interests in paintings, sculptures and other established art forms. These creative works exist in unique formats that bring special challenges to curators and archivists responsible for their conservation and proper exhibition. Taking full advantage of the George Eastman House's rich archival film collection and screening facilities, this course offers instruction in curatorial and preservation standards for motion picture, video, digital and audio materials with a contextual focus on museum, library and archive institutions. Class instruction emphasizes basic concepts of preservation, research, programming, cataloging, digital technologies and preservation; management and interpretation of collections; museum and institutional collections development policies; museum architecture relating to audio-visual media; fund raising and education. Students will be assisted in selecting a topical area of interest in film and media studies, relating to their broader academic pursuits, from which they will develop a special research project. 35mm archival film and other media screenings presented on class night in the Dryden Theatre at 8:00pm are considered part of the class. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
This course investigates technical theater beyond the realms of Eng 170/171 (Technical Theatre). It focuses on work related to the scenic design and technicial production of the two Fall Theatre Program productions. Working in small seminars and one-on-one tutorials,the instructor will assist students in learning more in the chosen technical areas and about problem solving scenic and technical questions raisted by the set/s being built. Course work will consist of supervisory responsibilities, one major and several smaller research projects.
Advanced creative writing workshop in poetry. Work by various contemporary poets will provide the framework for explorations into technique and poetic narrative. Students' poems will be discussed weekly. Students will be expected to do extensive reading and research on their own and to keep a poetic journal. Assignments will be given, but there is a lot of latitude for students who wish to design a poetic project or work on a series. Permission of instructor is required (submit 3-5 typed poems, preferably before the first class). Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.
This course, essentially, will attempt to deal with the subject of creative nonfiction, the writing of publishable prose, the sort of writing about literature, film, the arts, culture, etc. that appears in newspapers and magazines. It will also include some work in practical criticism. We will read and discuss numerous examples of various excellent, lively, innovative essays and articles by some of the best writers of the 20th century, in general circulation publications. Students will try their hand at book, film, drama, and art reviewing of the sort that distinguishes some of the best periodicals in the country. We will discuss matters of style, individual voice, and ways to publish one's work.
This course prepares selected undergraduates for work as writing advisors. The course design reflects the kind of growth that is necessary for a strong, intuitive writer and speaker to become a successful reader, listener and responder in peer-advising situations. Through a great deal of writing and rewriting, criticalreading of published essays and student work, and informal and formal speaking, students will develop a conscious understanding of themselves as communicators and become aware of the choices they make to reach their audience. The course work includes four formal essays in draft and revised forms, group and individual presentations, informal writing and speaking, and regular critiques of peers' written and spoken work. Through a mentor program coordinated by the current writing fellows, students will also observe writing tutors conducting writing conferences and then begin conducting their own sessions. By the semester's end, students should be ready to take on their own hours as writing advisors.
"Presidential Rhetoric", taught by former Presidential speechwriter Curt Smith, helps students critically examine the public rhetoric and themes of the modern American presidency. Particular attention will be given to the symbolic nature of the office, focusing on the ability of 20th-century presidents to communicate via a variety of forums, including the press conference, inaugural and acceptance speeches, political speech, and prime-time television address. Mr. Smith will draw on many of his experiences in Washington and with ESPN/ABC Television to link the most powerful office in the world and today's dominant medium. Applicable English Cluster: Media, Culture, and Communication.
Each student in Plays in Production participates fully in the exciting behind-the-scenes world of theatrical production. Students build sets, create and make props and costumes, hang and rig lighting and sound equipment, and create and distribute publicity materials for the plays currently in production in Todd Theatre. The class comprises a once-weekly lecture and a series of practical labs. This 4.0-credit course meets for the entire semester. Applicable English Cluster: Plays, Playwrights, and Theater.
This is an independently designed course, focusing on specific theatre or theatre-related projects, and demanding significant skill application or acquisition, independent and self-motivated research, including advanced written work, if appropriate. Topics may include elements of theatre related to production, management and/or design.
This is a workshop for students who have completed ENG 117 or have some experience writing fiction on their own and are ready to concentrate on more ambitious projects. We'll read short stories by contemporary writers along with fiction by the students in the workshop, and we'll discuss ways writers can sharpen the conversation between text and reader. We'll also consider editing and reviewing techniques. Students will be expected to write and revise at least three original stories (or three chapters of a novel-in-progress). Applicable English Cluster: Creative Writing.