Course Catalog for English Department - Fall 2016

By: Anonymous Staff Writer  |  March 22, 2016

Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for English Department – Fall 2016

Hope The Writing Center Hired More Tutors This Semester (Previously Titled “Freshman Comp.”) — ENGL 1000 — TBD

Thought you knew how to write an adequate essay? Want to further overwhelm your already overstimulated freshman brain? Itching to know what it means to ask a ‘genuine question’? Look no further than the seventh floor of 215 Lexington Avenue for all of your writing needs. You will be lovingly ushered into a windowless classroom in which you will join other crying freshman. You will watch as your peers beg adjunct professors to explain what ‘unpacking a quote’ means, while attempting to bribe department chairs for a B+ and coming to the exciting realization that you’ll never be required to use JSTOR ever again.

Prerequisites: Must have high threshold for feeling confused, lost and panicked. Also, must have thorough knowledge of how to navigate the poorly designed Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website. (Students are suggested to seek guidance/comfort from an upper-class English Major for the duration of the course in order to maintain optimal sanity. Please see Writing Center for actual help.)


Star Wars and Shakespeare — Professor Gina Grimaldi — ENGL 1198

Our Shakespeare scholar-in-residence will lead a fascinating class on the overlapping themes of Shakespeare and Star Wars. This course will explore questions such as: What are the similarities between the Millenium Falcon and the Globe Theatre? What are the romantic implications of Romeo and Juliet and Han Solo and Princess Leia? Is Claudius really Hamlet’s uncle? Find out answers to these questions and more in this exciting new course! Students are highly encouraged to have strong opinions on the proper ranking of the Star War films, and should be prepared to defend said opinions (obviously Episodes Four, Five and Six come first). Additionally, students will be expected to both memorize and perform key scenes from several of Shakespeare’s works, all while speaking in the Darth Vader voice.

Prerequisites: Must have previously seen, analysed, and worshipped all Star Wars films, and at least one movie version of Romeo and Juliet (preferably the Zeffirelli version). **Professor Manfred Weidhorn will occasionally appear as Obi-Wan Kenobi (in full garb).**

May count towards English Lit. Major, and/or bragging rights that you took a college course on Star Wars and Shakespeare, and actually got credit for it.


Joyce:Misunderstood Modernist or Liverpool Lush? — Dr. Seamus O’Malley — ENGL 1289

This course will discuss the works of the great Modernist writer, James Joyce, and will be taught through the writer’s own biographical perspective: utter intoxication. Students will revel in what Hemingway called the “write drunk, edit sober” method as they delve into: Ulysses, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Students will have the opportunity to judge for themselves whether this literary icon’s success stems from his innate talent of writing, or his keen selection of the perfect Merlot. Students are encouraged to drink study in groups in order to fully appreciate the course. In addition to cultivating an excellent taste in both white and red wines, students will learn the following skills: To write chapter-length run-on sentences; to convey the feeling of estrangement through window imagery; and how to confuse enlighten readers through obscure Irish references.

Prerequisites: Students enrolled in this course should come to classroom 718 to receive a special ID sticker indicating that possession of alcohol on campus is merely for academic inebriation.


Whitman and Shir HashirimProfessor Matt Miller — ENGL 2367

While most students have learned Shir Hashirim or read couplets from Walt Whitman’s poetry, this course aims to further explore the unknown territory of the similarities and differences between Leaves of Grass (specifically, Song of Myself) and Shlomo HaMelech’s Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs). These two poets were both considered sages of their times, producing timeless works of poetry and counsel, yet never before have they been studied side by side as in depth as this course will do. Students will be expected to have a strong background in poetry, history of the first Holy Temple and sensuous metaphors. There will be several short reading responses, one 8-10 page research paper, and a class trip to Whitman’s grave.

Prerequisite: Must have taken ‘Emerson and Psalms’ (Prof. Miller, ENGL 4290) or BIBLE 1001.

May count towards an American Minor or Judaic Studies Minor.


Harry Potter Movie Adaptations — Dr. Linda Shires — ENGL 4201

Why was Daniel Radcliffe chosen to play Harry Potter if he arguably did not know how to act until the third movie? Who was the better Dumbledore — Michael Gambon or Richard Harris? How could they have not included Peeves in any of the movies? These questions (and more!) will be explored in this groundbreaking new course which will cover all seven novels and viewings and discussions of all eight movies. Students are encouraged to sort one another into houses, and create original spells and hexes. Students will be expected to speak in British accents only. Assignments may include, but are not limited to, Quidditch games in Bryant Park, fan-fiction writing workshops and one 12-30 page critical lens paper with annotated bibliography.

Prerequisite: Must have strong background in and enthusiasm for Harry Potter fandom, passionate arguing and sporting house colors proudly.

Can count towards a Creative Writing Minor or Associate’s Degree in Witchcraft.


American Hermits: Emily Dickinson and Mother Goose — Dr. Joy Ladin — ENGL 9609

Join one of America’s leading experts on Emily Dickinson’s poetry to delve into the world of two of America’s recluses and their works that inspired timeless classics such as “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “We turn not older with years but newer every day.” (Fun fact — That last one is actually the whole poem.) Students are encouraged to compare and contrast the language, messages and rhetoric used in both works. This course will explore the following questions: Is there any evidence to suggest that Ms. Dickinson herself was Mother Goose, and also the Old Lady in The Shoe? How can we reconcile the Little Teapot considering Miss Dickinson’s stance on guests? What are witty social commentaries are hidden in gems like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”? Classes will take place in a semi-circle to encourage class discussions, questions and general existential quandaries.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000 and Intro to Creative to Writing.

May count towards an American Studies Minor or Education Major/Minor.

Deep Breathing and Morning Pages — Dr. Anne Peters — ENGL 6612

This class seeks to inspire and calm students who are so overwhelmed with work they are in a state of constant writer’s block. Class discussions will be based on readings and current events. Students are required to keep a notebook to mark down any moments of inspiration the moment they occur. (This will eventually be developed into a longer paper by the end of the semester.) Classes will begin with Morning Pages which will encourage students to enter a state of soothing tranquility as well as a state of semi-panic as they actually realize how many things are weighing on their minds.

Prerequisites: An affinity for the 1890s, American poets and exploring NYC on a weekly walk. Students are are also required to attend weekly conferences for pieces that are to be workshopped later to the class. Can be counted towards the American Studies Minor.


Pride, Prejudice and the Parsha – Dr. Nora Nachumi — ENGL 8547

The timeless quality of Jane Austen’s writing has been topic for many English literature scholars. Our own scholar, Dr. Nachumi will approach things from a different tack; she’ll examine the similarities between Jane Austen’s canon and the weekly Torah portion. Students are expected to do Shnayim Mikra on both texts. Students must be fluent in both major movie versions of Pride and Prejudice (BBC and 2005), and are expected to defend said positions. Class requirements include dressing in empire waist gowns, speaking in Regency era jargon and owning Artscroll Chumashim. (Please buy editions specified!)

Can be counted towards the Women’s Studies Minor and towards BIBLE Core requirements.