Spring 2011 Core-Literature Offerings

Core 161/A: Introduction to Literature (Stiles)
MWF, 8:00-8:50am, McGowan 201
An examination of major literary works that provide a unique perspective on human experience and society.  Emphasis is placed on developing close reading and interpretation skills through the analysis of literary texts.  Special attention will be given to relations between thematic content and formal properties and readings must include key works of poetry, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction from a range of historical moments and cultural contexts.

Core 162/A: German Literature in English (Kraszewski)
TTh, 9:30-10:45, Hafey-Marian 614
Few nations have had as significant an impact -- for both good and bad -- on the modern world as Germany.  The Protestant Reformation, Romanticism, God-is-dead individualism, Social Welfare, Nationalism, Communism, and the responsibility that present generations bear for the sins of the past, are all movements or topics that either originated among the Germans, or were fundamentally impacted by them.  This course introduces the students to major works of modern German literature, beginning with the Renaissance and leading up to our contemporary era.  Among authors included for reading and discussion are Luther, Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Nietzsche, Brecht, Böll, and Grass.

Core 164/A: Contemporary Global Literature (McClinton-Temple)
MWF, 1:00-1:50pm, Hafey-Marian 603
You may have heard of Salman Rushdie, the Indian author who spent over 10 years in hiding in fear for his life, but do you know what's in The Satanic Verses, the book that caused all the trouble in the first place?  You may have enjoyed the film Bend it Like Beckham, but did you know that this entertaining film has a lot to say about gender, ethnicity, and immigration?  You may have watched the World Cup in South Africa this year, but do you know how much this country has changed since its racist, imperialist past? A book like J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians can tell you.  In this class, we will read works from around the world that reflect on the events, social movements and problems, and intellectual traditions of the late 20th century to the present.  The focus of the class will be the interpretation and analysis of texts, and in order to perform these interpretations, we will have to consider factors such as art, culture, religion, history, gender, and ethnicity. 

Core 164/B: Comedy (O’Connor)
MW, 2:00-3:15pm, Corgan Library, Library Auditorium
From ancient Greek theater to modern 'mockumentaries,' comedy is a theme that has run through classic literature, theater and film for millennia. Many influential theorists, including Mark Twain, have used comedy and satire to comment on politics, philosophy and other socio-cultural topics. In this course, students will work with a range of comic texts from different media, the cultures that produced them, and various theories of comedy. Authors and directors studied will include Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Zora Neal Hurston, and Charles Chaplin.

Core 164/C: WWII in Literature and Film (Sanders)   
TTh, 8:00-9:15am, Hafey-Marian 213
This course examines texts and films pertaining to World War II. Students will engage recurring themes, diverse viewpoints, and historical perspectives of this great struggle. Films such as A Midnight Clear, Catch-22, The Great Raid, Conspiracy, and Saints and Soldiers will be studied as significant works of art. Two longer readings are required: Night and Slaughterhouse-Five. Shorter fiction by James Jones, George Weller, William Faulkner, Kay Boyle, Irwin Shaw, and Noel Houston, among others, will also be studied. Included is poetry by James Dickey, John Ciardi, Howard Nemerov, Kenneth Koch, Phyllis McGinley, Robinson Jeffers, Randall Jarrell, Karl Shapiro, Archibald MacLeish, E.E. Cummings, and Dorothy Coffin Sussman. Requirements include participation in all assignments and projects, reaction papers for films, a reflective literature journal, and an essay exam.

Core 164/D: Comedy (O’Connor)
TTh, 9:30-10:45, Corgan Library, Library Auditorium
From ancient Greek theater to modern 'mockumentaries,' comedy is a theme that has run through classic literature, theater and film for millennia. Many influential theorists, including Mark Twain, have used comedy and satire to comment on politics, philosophy and other socio-cultural topics. In this course, students will work with a range of comic texts from different media, the cultures that produced them, and various theories of comedy. Authors and directors studied will include Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Zora Neal Hurston, and Charles Chaplin.

Core 164/E: Immigrant Fictions (Field)
W, 6:00-8:30pm, Hafey-Marian 213
This course will examine the experience of immigrants in America in the 20th century in literature and film. We will ponder: How do immigrants see America? And how does America view immigrants? What does “the American dream” mean to immigrants? And how do they achieve it?  What is the meaning of home? We will study the range of immigrant experiences by reading such authors as Anzia Yezierska, Bernard Malamud, Hisaye Yamamoto, John Okada, Bharati Mukherjee, Doreen Baingana, Julia Alvarez, and Junot Diaz. Possible films include The Immigrant, El Norte, Maria Full of Grace, The Namesake, Sweet Land, and In America.

Core 164/F: Environmental Literature (Bukeavich)
TTh, 12:30-1:45pm, McGowan 118
This course offers a broad introduction to environmental—or nature-oriented—literature.  We will read, discuss, and analyze various literary works concerned with humankind’s complex relationship with the natural world.  The course will allow students to examine two fundamental and often antagonistic responses to “nature”: the Baconian desire to master the world by exploiting its resources and developing ever-more sophisticated technologies to maintain or raise living standards; and the wish to return to a golden age of which human desires and natural resources purportedly existed in what we now call ecological balance.  We’ll read one or two novels, watch one or two films, and work through a variety of poems, short stories, and essays.  Authors might include Geoffrey Chaucer, Aphra Behn, Andrew Marvell, William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, E.M. Forster, Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Ursula K. le Guin, Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Karen Tei Yamashita, Richard Powers, and Jeanette Winterson.   Graded assignments include regular reading quizzes, two exams, and two argumentative essays.

Core 164/BRDH: Contemporary Global Literature (McClinton-Temple)
MWF, 11:00-11:50am, Administration 212
You may have heard of Salman Rushdie, the Indian author who spent over 10 years in hiding in fear for his life, but do you know what's in The Satanic Verses, the book that caused all the trouble in the first place?  You may have enjoyed the film Bend it Like Beckham, but did you know that this entertaining film has a lot to say about gender, ethnicity, and immigration?  You may have watched the World Cup in South Africa this year, but do you know how much this country has changed since its racist, imperialist past? A book like J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians can tell you.  In this class, we will read works from around the world that reflect on the events, social movements and problems, and intellectual traditions of the late 20th century to the present.  The focus of the class will be the interpretation and analysis of texts, and in order to perform these interpretations, we will have to consider factors such as art, culture, religion, history, gender, and ethnicity.  THIS SECTION IS RESTRICTED TO STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE “BORDERHOUSE PROGRAM” AND WHO ARE THEREFORE ENROLLING IN “BRDH 131: WESTERN CIVILIZATION TO 1914.”