ENGL 241: American Traditions in Literature – LT (online, Summer 1)

Prof. James Albrecht
Topic: “Rethinking Individualism—American Selves in Social Contexts”

Almost all literature explores, from one perspective or another, the tension between individuals’ desires for personal fulfillment and the social institutions that both create and limit the possibilities for such fulfillment. This theme is especially prominent in American Literature, given our culture’s commitment to individualism and our national myths that depict American institutions – and the North American continent – as providing an unparalleled newness, liberty, and openness. Wrestling with both the ideals and realities of the American experience, American writers have confronted questions of liberty, racism, and the legacy of slavery; individual fulfillment and social reform; socio-economic mobility and the myth of the melting pot; gender, sexuality, and marriage. We will trace such themes in the work of American writers representing a variety of historical periods and literary genres from the colonial era to the late twentieth century. We’ll read texts by colonial writers Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley and Anne Bradstreet; nineteenth century writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Emily Dickinson; and twentieth century novelists Kate Chopin and Toni Morrison.

ENGL 393: The English Language (on campus, Summer 1)

Prof. Rona Kaufman
11:30am – 2:20pm, Admin 211B

Studies in the structure and history of English, with emphasis on syntactical analysis and issues of usage.

ENGL 398A: Studies in Literature and the Body – LT, C (online, Summer 1)

Prof. Nancy Simpson-Younger
Topic: “Reading Medieval Bodies”

If a “corpus” can be either a body or a book, what does this say about perceptions of embodied being during the medieval period? As we delve into this question, we’ll analyze texts written between 700 and 1400 CE, with a particular emphasis on depictions of human, animal, plant, monster, and faery bodies. Since this is an advanced class, we’ll also be exploring criticism in depth, by spotlighting articles on gender, sexuality, and other major topics of embodiment by critics like Caroline Walker Bynum and Karen Cherewatuk. Ongoing class discussions will cover medieval views of disability, humanness, manuscript culture, theologies of physiology, humoral theory, human-animal relationships, and the idea of sentience. By the end of the class, students should be able to discuss a wide range of bodily presentations within medieval contexts, using the Oxford English Dictionary and primary source documents to create thoughtful arguments about changing perspectives on corpuses—in all their forms.