Autumn 2018: 4000-Level Courses

 
English 4150 (10)—Cultures of Professional Writing
Instructor: Staff
 
Examine writing in various workplaces. Analyze writing discourse that shapes professional organizations. Explore ongoing technological and cultural shifts required of workplace writers and the role of digital media.

English 4150 (20)—Cultures of Professional Writing
Instructor: Jennifer Patton
 
Examine writing in various workplaces. Analyze writing discourse that shapes professional organizations. Explore ongoing technological and cultural shifts required of workplace writers and the role of digital media.

English 4189—Professional Writing Minor: Capstone Internship
Instructor: Jennifer Patton
 
Students work onsite in an organization doing writing-related work and meet weekly to discuss related topics.

English 4513—Introduction to Medieval Literature
Instructor: Leslie Lockett
 
This course introduces students to major genres of medieval European literature written over the span of a millennium and situates those works of literature within their diverse historical and intellectual contexts.  Building upon selections from classical Rome and early Christianity, we will explore the medieval literature of feud and warfare, romance, monastic and scholastic learning and popular religion and mysticism.
 
This is a literary history class, so in addition to wrestling with the ideas conveyed by the readings, students will be accountable for learning when, where, and in what languages and genres our readings were composed. We will also devote time to dismantling “presentist” misconceptions about the Middle Ages, particularly those that oversimplify pliable categories such as “hero” and “feminist.” 
 
Major assignments (research papers and in-class presentation) will emphasize research skills and the integration of multiple primary and secondary sources into literary-historical analysis.

English 4520.01—Shakespeare 
Instructor: Jennifer Higginbotham
 
In late sixteenth-century London, on the south bank of the Thames, amongst bear-baiting rings and brothels stood a round wooden theater that brought together people from all walks of life—aristocrats and merchants, cobblers and tailors, seamstresses and fishwives. It was for this space and for these people that William Shakespeare first wrote his influential plays, and in this course, we’ll be imagining what it was like to stand with them and watch Shakespeare’s theater in action. This particular section of Introduction to Shakespeare will be experimenting with cutting edge techniques for facilitating embodied learning through the combination of rehearsal room techniques modeled on professional theater companies with close textual analysis of Shakespeare’s language. Our in-depth exploration will include selected comedies and tragedies, not to mention a lot of fun along the way.

English 4520.02—Special Topics in Shakespeare: Hamlet: Prehistory and Afterlife
Instructor: Christopher Highley
 

Every great actor has aspired to play the lead; many a writer has responded to it; and Shakespearean critics continue to fathom its mysteries. Why for the last 400 years or so has Hamlet—the play and the character—proven so central to the western cultural imagination?  Why is the figure of the prince addressing a human skull so iconic, and the words, ‘to be or not to be,’ so instantly recognizable? This class will approach such questions by placing Shakespeare’s play in a broad literary and historical context—one that looks back to the Greco-Roman origins of revenge drama; examines Shakespeare’s immediate sources as well as contemporaneous revenge tragedies and religious controversies; and traces the afterlife of the play and its title character in other literature, in art, on film and in other popular media. We will discover that Hamlet is not one unchanging thing: Shakespeare’s play survives in three quite distinct early printed versions and its cultural afterlife is one of continual change, adaptation, and reimagining.

Selected texts:
The first quarto, second quarto, and folio versions of Hamlet
Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy
Thomas Middleton, The Revenger’s Tragedy
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Lisa Klein, Ophelia
The Skinhead Hamlet

Students will be examined through a combination of research assignments, critical essays, quizzes, and in-class examinations.


English 4523—Special Topics in Renaissance Literature and Culture: Popularity and Popular Culture in Renaissance England
Instructor: Alan Farmer
 
In addition to being undeniably popular in the theater, Shakespeare was a best-selling author in Renaissance England. But what other authors were popular during this period, and what were other best-selling works? What does it even mean for a text or an author to be “popular,” and what kinds of texts in general were popular?  In this course, we will read “popular” works in Renaissance England as we consider such issues as popular vs. elite culture, the dangers of popularity in politics and culture, and the economics of popularity in the early modern book trade.  The course readings will range from “low” forms of popular literary culture, such as ballads, plays and satirical pamphlets by authors such as Shakespeare, Thomas Kyd and Thomas Dekker; to more elevated forms of political and scientific writing by such authors as Francis Bacon and King James; to some of the most important religious works in Renaissance England, including sermons, prayer books, treatises, and various translations of the Bible and Psalms. Finally, this course will involve hands-on research in Ohio State’s Rare Books Library as we investigate the production and material history of popular books in Renaissance England. Course requirements include curiosity, creativity, several research exercises, a longer final essay, several quizzes and active participation.

English 4535—Special Topics in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture: Literature of Slavery and Freedom during the Enlightenment
Instructor: Roxann Wheeler
 

This course will feature the ways that slavery and colonization shaped English literature, particularly the novel. Wrestling with the new information available about the world, writers during the time period 1660-1800, known as the Enlightenment, told a variety of stories about native Americans, Africans, and the hybrid populations of the Caribbean, many of whom were enslaved, and also told stories impersonating their perspectives critical of Britons. Students will read both the literature of Britons and the literature by former slaves and women of color. A cultural study of literature, we will also read recent theories about Enlightenment views of race, racism, and about the institution of slavery in Britain and the Caribbean sugar colonies.

Selected texts:
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or The Royal Slave (1788)
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
The Inkle and Yarico stories in poetry, fiction, and comic opera
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African (1789)
Anonymous, The Woman of Colour (1808)

English 4551—Special Topics in 19th-Century U.S. Literature: Social Reform and American Literature
Instructor: Elizabeth Hewitt
 
The nineteenth century was a period in United States history that saw an explosion of social reform projects – practical experiments and theoretical investigations designed to make the world happier, healthier, safer, and more equitable. However, it was also a period in which chattel slavery was legal and that saw rising social inequities as the American population grew larger and more diverse. In our course, we will focus on the literature of these social reform projects: women’s suffrage, abolitionism, temperance, worker’s rights, immigrant rights, agrarianism, sexual liberation, prison reform, and financial reform. Authors will include David Walker, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Rebecca Harding Davis, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, T.S. Arthur, Ida B. Wells, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Frank Norris, Jacob Riis, Helen Hunt Jackson and Sutton Griggs. 

English 4553—Twentieth-Century U.S. Fiction
Instructor: Jessica Prinz
 
A study of American fiction after 1914, with emphasis on such major figures as Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner.

English 4559—Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Theory
Instructor: Brian McHale
 
“Narrative” is a current buzzword and a catch-all term— everything is narrative nowadays!  However, it is also one of the principle means of organizing experience in everyday life and conversation, popular culture and literary works. This course introduces students to the basic concepts and tools of “classical” narrative theory and analysis, in four general areas: the underlying structure of story; the reordering of story-events in the plot; the production of a story-world (narrative time and space); and the representation of selves (narrators, speakers, perceivers, minds).  We will study a selection of classic essays in narrative theory, and we will read and analyze a variety of mainly literary narrative – fairy tales, short stories, novels, one graphic narrative and at least one film.  We will also survey some of the developments in “post-classical” narrative theory, including rhetorical narrative theory, feminist and queer narratology and cognitive narrative theory.

English 4560—Special Topics in Poetry: The Experience of Poems
Instructor: Hannibal Hamlin
 
Dylan Thomas said that poetry was what made his toenails twinkle, Carl Sandburg that a poem was an echo asking a shadow dancer to be a partner, and Marianne Moore that poems were imaginary gardens with real toads in them. What are poems really, how do they work, and how should we read them? This course will focus on short, lyric poems in English from the middle ages to the present, exploring the different things poems do, the different forms they take and sounds they make, and the experience of reading them. We'll also try talking and writing about them. We'll read many poets, including William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, E.E. Cummings, Elizabeth Bishop and Derek Walcott.

English 4564.02—Major Author in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Literature: Charles Dickens' Bleak House
Instructor: Jill Galvan
 
This course will center around one masterpiece novel, Charles Dickens’ Bleak House (serialized 1852-53). The class will have two main aims: to close-read a celebrated nineteenth-century work, and to think about literary genres as instruments of social critique—then and now. Bleak House is a work of satire; it uses humor to make biting observations about contemporary society. Additionally, as the title hints, this novel borrows from the Gothic, also for social criticism. Ominous secrets and settings help Dickens to comment on Victorian problems, including urban poverty, inadequate legal systems, and constraining gender norms. Ultimately, the course will turn to a few related texts: Hannah Crafts’ The Bondwoman’s Narrative, a nineteenth-century American slave narrative that draws on Bleak House; and three recent films, It Follows (2014), Mudbound (2017), and Get Out (2017), all of which contain some form of the Gothic, and the last of which is also a satire. Through this juxtaposition, students will ask how socially critical fictions change over time, and how they deploy genre in different ways. What new objects of cultural horror do modern Gothic stories unearth? How does satire today differ from nineteenth-century satire, reflecting new priorities, values, injustices, etc.?
Tentative requirements: engaged participation; frequent reading quizzes; five or six short analytical response papers (1-2 pp. each); and one longer term paper (5-7 pp.).

English 4565—Advanced Fiction Writing
Instructor: Lee Martin
 
This is an advanced workshop in which students will write and critique original fiction. Each student will produce two pieces of fiction, either short stories or excerpts from novels, and will significantly revise one of them to present at the end of the semester.

English 4566—Advanced Poetry Writing
Instructor: Marcus Jackson
 
Advanced workshop in the writing of poetry. This is a class for serious students of creative writing. Admission is by portfolio submission to the instructor.

English 4568—Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
Instructor: Elissa Washuta
 
Advanced workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction. This is a class for serious students of creative writing. Admission is by portfolio submission to the instructor.

English 4569—Digital Media and English Studies
Instructor: John Jones
 
Have you ever wondered what your voice-activated speakers are saying about you after you’ve left the room? Did you know that your Fitbit was a published author? In this course, students will explore how digital culture enables physical objects to argue, both in the production of new genres of written text and in their interactions with people and the environment. We will explore the rhetorical possibilities of emerging interfaces such as voice control, paying particular attention to the new forms of digital creativity they are enabling as well as to how the data they produce are impacting privacy and security. In order to do so, we will not only analyze these objects but become makers ourselves, using tinkering as a way of thinking about new relations between people and the physical world that are enabled by our devices and the new forms of writing these relations can support. 

English 4572—Traditional Grammar and Usage
Instructor: Staff
 
An examination of terminology and structures traditionally associated with the study of English grammar and usage rules, especially problematic ones, governing edited written American English. 

English 4574—History and Theories of Writing: From Clay Tablets to Trump's Tweets
Instructor: Christa Teston
 
This class will explore how writing has evolved since premodern times to contemporary cultural practices.

English 4575—Special Topics in Literary Forms and Themes
Instructor: Angus Fletcher
 
Study of the origins, definitions, and development of writing, including historical, cultural, technological, theoretical and/or ideological issues. 

English 4577.02—Folklore II: Legend, Superstition and Folk Belief
Instructor: Merrill Kaplan
 
This course introduces students to legend, superstition and folk belief, genres that include reports of alien abductions, sightings of Slender Man, the sharing of fake news and that haunted house near where you grew up. Students will gain familiarity with traditions of several places and times while exploring the relationship between legend, belief and personal experience, and the nature of legend as contested truth. By the end of the course, students will have learned strategies for interpreting legend and rumor as meaningful expression. Written work will include a folklore collection project.
 
Folklore Minor course. 

English 4578—Special Topics in Film: Films of the 1990s
Instructor: David Brewer
 
This course will investigate the film (mostly American) produced in the decade in which most Ohio State undergraduates were born, though you may not have then watched anything beyond Toy Story.  In so doing, we will consider what we gain by approaching films in relation to their chronological peers, rather than organizing them by genre or director.  The '90s saw the advent of "indie" film, the expansion of ways of watching movies outside of theaters and the increasing use of digital technology in filmmaking.  Likely assignments will include a viewing journal, a presentation and a series of short writing exercises.  Possible viewings include Pulp Fiction, The Silence of the Lambs, The Big Lebowski, Trainspotting, L.A. Confidential, American Beauty, The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, Chasing Amy, Crooklyn, Delicatessen, Chunking Express and Princess Mononoke.

English 4580—Special Topics in LGBTQ Literatures and Cultures: Historical Fictions, Speculative Futures
Instructor: Martin Ponce
 
This course examines twentieth- and twenty-first-century U.S. literary texts and films that explore “queer” pasts and futures. Which historical figures have LGBTQ writers and filmmakers invoked, reimagined, and represented? Whom have they claimed as their predecessors, ancestors, or antagonists? What historical moments and cultural contexts have they perceived and invoked as worthy of “queer” investigation and representation? Alternatively, what kinds of “queer” worlds, environments, and inhabitants have writers and filmmakers postulated in utopian and dystopian futures? Has queer life gotten better or worse? Possible authors and filmmakers include Samuel Delany, Cheryl Dunye, Thomas Glave, Isaac Julien, Larissa Lai, Mark Merlis, Joanna Russ, Monique Truong and Craig Womack.

English 4581—Special Topics in U.S. Ethnic Literatures 
Instructor: Pranav Jani
 
Study of selected issues or forms in U.S. ethnic literatures and cultures. Topic varies. Examples: Native American autobiography, Asian American poetry; Latino/a novel. 

English 4582—Special Topics in African-American Literature: Black Experiments 
Instructor: Martin Ponce
 
This course explores the innovative formal experiments that African American writers have invented and practiced across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Through historically contextualized readings of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction, we will consider such topics as the relations between the orality and literacy, music and writing, opacity and accessibility, traumatic pasts and speculative futures, radical art and radical politics, as well as the intersections among race, gender, sexuality, class, and location. Possible authors include Elizabeth Alexander, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Dumas, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Douglas Kearney, Audre Lorde, Nathaniel Mackey, Toni Morrison, Harryette Mullen, Claudia Rankine, Sonia Sanchez, Evie Shockley and Jean Toomer.

English 4583—Special Topics in World Literature in English: Afropolitans and Afropolitanism
Instructor: Adeleke Adeeko
 
Study of literatures written in English and produced outside of the U.S. and Britain; topics include colonial/postcolonial writing, regional literature, theoretical and historical approaches, genres.

English 4587—Studies in Asian American Literature and Culture
Instructor: Jian Chen
 
Focuses on problems and themes in Asian American literature and culture from the late nineteenth century to the present. Topic varies. Examples: Asian American Literature and Popular Culture; Empire and Sexuality in Asian American Literature. 
 
Cross-listed in Comparative Studies 4803
Combined section class

English 4590.01H—The Middle Ages
Instructor: Christopher Jones
 
Intensive study of the middle ages. 

English 4590.06H—The Modern Period: The Art of Anthropocene; or, An Unnatural History of Modernism
Instructor: Thomas Davis
 
For a long time we understood modernism as the art of the bustling metropolis, furious technological change, radical social developments, and the massive political crises that defined the first half of the 20th century.  This class investigates the various ways modernist cultures think through the changing relationships between human and nonhuman nature in the first half of the twentieth century.  We will examine the ways modernism interacted with ecology and environmental science, economic theories of growth, population expansion after World War II, fossil fuels and energy and transformations in geopolitics and empire.  Our archive of materials will be global and we will draw heavily from contemporary work in the Environmental Humanities.  Authors may include: H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Jean Rhys, Amos Tutuola, the Italian Futurists, Anthony Burgess, early documentary cinema, Doris Lessing, J.G. Ballard and others.

English 4592—Special Topics in Women in Literature and Culture
Instructor: Roxann Wheeler
 

The class will combine recent feminist essays about women in regard to class and patriarchy as well as race and empire as a way to interpret fiction and non-fiction written by eighteenth-century women. As a rule, in this era which first saw an outpouring of commercial feminist writing, women wrote satirical, didactic, utopian and realistic fiction about women’s situations. Students will examine both the conservative and radical traditions of women’s writing. Two biographies will also anchor our readings and provide a rich cultural context for the literature: biographies about a famous elite woman and an actress.

Selected texts:

Sarah Scott, Millenium Hall (1762)
Frances Burney, Evelina (1779)
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
Amelia Opie, Adeline Mowbray (1805)
Anonymous, A Woman of Colour (1808)
Amanda Foreman, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Claire Tomlin, Mrs. Jordan’s Profession


English 4597.01—The Disability Experience in the Contemporary World
Instructor: Margaret Price
 
This course is organized around the question, What does it mean to “see” disability? We will begin with an examination of the common metaphor for disability awareness, “visibility,” moving from there to questions of staring, blindness, visual culture, and representation. We will investigate ways that disability is represented multimodally, and will create such multimodal compositions ourselves.

English 4597.02—American Regional Cultures in Transition: Appalachia, Louisiana  and the Texas Border Country
Instructor: Dorothy Noyes
 
This course will introduce you to the folklore of three American regions. Each is famous for its traditional culture, but each is often thought of as deviating in a distinctive way from the  national culture: Louisiana is “creole,” Texas is “border,” and Appalachia is “folk.” While exploring these differences, we’ll also observe the commonalities: positive and negative stereotyping from outside, complex racial and class composition, heavy in- and out-migration, environmental distinctiveness and stress, extraction economies, tense and often violent relationships with both government and business. We’ll look at historical change through the prism of celebrated folklore forms such as Louisiana Mardi Gras, Appalachian fairy tales, and the Tex-Mex corrido. We’ll also explore the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, mountaintop-removal mining and the energy economy in Appalachia, and the cross-border trafficking of people, drugs, and capital.  A general question arises: what counts as America? 
 
Folklore Minor course.
 
0