This course focuses on the rich storytelling traditions of medieval Iceland. The endlessly diverse sagas and eddas introduce readers not only to feats of dragon-slaying heroes, disputes among Old Norse gods, fantastical tales of giants and Valkyries, and legendary explorations as far as North America but also to the more everyday aspects of medieval life—foodways, material culture, healing practices, gender roles, laws and customs, and settlement patterns across Iceland’s dangerous and beautiful landscape.
This course explores a wide range of medieval literature (all in modern English translation) from around the world. The focus will be “global” in two senses: our texts take readers on journeys with medieval heroes, merchants, exiles, pilgrims, and other travelers to far-reaching locations; even more importantly, these works are cross-cultural in form and content, created within global contexts and reflecting a vast array of influences from diverse oral and literary traditions.
A two-semester survey of the cultural and intellectual history of the German speaking peoples particularly after 1750. The historical
A study of works written by or about women, this course is an opportunity to explore the distinct issues that women, their representations, and their writing raise. Possible topics: Women’s Autobiography, Contemporary Black Women Authors, and others. May be repeated once with different topic.
A study of the development of the novel of manners as a genre over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in both England and the United States. This course introduces students to the conventions of the novel of manners and explores the major novelists’ reception and revision of prior works in this influential genre. Authors include: Jane Austen, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.
This course will survey the African American literary tradition from the 1600s to the present, with a particular focus on how the musings of African Americans capture, engage and critique the American narrative. Authors may include: Phillis Wheatley, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles Chesnutt, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, et cetera.
A study of literature written about the American South, primarily but not exclusively Southern literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Authors likely to be studied include William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Margaret Walker, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Wolfe, Eudora Welty, and Ernest J. Gaines.
A survey of Shakespeare’s poems and plays, including sonnets, some ten representative comedies, histories, and tragedies from his earlier, middle and later periods, and a generically mixed romance. While the focus will be on literary analysis, the class will also explore the greater context of Shakespeare, from the historical meanings of words in his texts to the performance of his works today. This course is designed to provide students with extensive practice in close textual analysis in preparation for enjoying Shakespeare throughout their lives.
An introduction to the critical reading of dramatic texts, and to the various implications of the genre itself. The stage will be explored not only as the site for the enactment of literary themes but also as a cultural arena where the representation of cultural values and discourses becomes contested, subverted, reaffirmed, or celebrated. The issues will also be addressed in examining the translation of theater to film.
"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night: God said, Let Newton be!