Spring 2012 CORE Literature Offerings

Core 161 A Introduction to Literature (Stiles)
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 161 B Introduction to Literature (Coniglio)
This introduction to literature will focus on texts examining themes such as love, identity, family, power, culture, and gender, reflecting on how literature mirrors, critiques, challenges, and influences individuals and society. Texts will include examples from fiction, poetry, drama, and film that inspire students to think critically about literary art and the voices that are heard through genres and across time. A variety of authorial perspectives will be included.

Core 162 A: Kafka and Co.: Central European Literatures (Kraszewski)
An overview of important works from the literatures of Austria, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Our course readings will begin in the medieval and Renaissance periods, but our special concentration will be the modern and contemporary periods, from World War One to the end of the 20th century. Featured authors will include Franz Kafka, Jaroslav Hašek, Georg Trakl, Zbigniew Herbert, Witold Gombrowicz, and others. Selections from all the major literary genres will be discussed.

Core 163: British Literature from Arnold to Auden. (Kraszewski)
The modern tradition in British literature. We will begin with one of the more traditional Victorians (Matthew Arnold), and then consider the great innovators of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as Thomas Hardy and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Lesser known lights like Rupert Brooke will be glanced off the giants of contemporary letters, like T.S. Eliot; later poets influenced by Eliot (W.H. Auden) will be featured, as well as those who took a different route entirely -- like Dylan Thomas. Poetry, prose and drama will be discussed.

Core 163B: Historical Perspectives in Literature: British (Grasso)
While this course may sound as though it’s about the past, the issues which arose during the Industrial Revolution are as current now as they were then. This course will survey some of the major writers (poets, essayists, and fiction writers) beginning with the Romantic Poets of the Nineteenth Century up through the writers of the Twentieth Century to show how what is called the "Modern Age" of British Literature evolved. We will examine social, political and artistic characteristics to see how literature reflects aspects of our modern age: the emergence of nations; individual rights and thinking; and experiments with written form. We’ll also discuss cultural shifts, such as questions about the treatment of workers; science and religion (surrounding ideas on evolution and Darwinian discoveries); the role of women in society; and what makes for “good” government. The basic forms and expression of literature--its structure, style and language--may change over time, but these works remain dynamic vehicles for communicating people’s emotions, ideas and hopes both then and now.

CORE 164 A/B: American Gothic (Little)
This course will examine depictions of horror and terror in American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Gothic literature exaggerates our individual and cultural fears (of the unknown, the supernatural, the irrational, the repressed, the monstrous, and the grotesque, for example) in order to help us examine and confront them. Essentially, gothic literature helps us to think about who we are as individuals and as a society by examining our fears. We will read authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, and Stephen King.

CORE 164 C: Fairy Tale Themes in Literature (Sterling)
This course will begin with a study of traditional fairy tales and their interpretations. We will read versions of “Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Bean Stalk,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Bluebeard” (among others). Additionally, we will read analytical pieces about these tales. Once students are familiar with fairy tales, their meanings, and their uses, we will explore the ways that literature and film incorporate fairy tale elements and themes. Readings may include work by Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, and Anne Sexton.

CORE 164 E: Immigrant Fictions (Field)
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.