English 4150: 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 (10): 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 4189 (20): Professional Writing Minor—Capstone Internship
Instructor: Lindsay Martin
Students work onsite in an organization doing writing-related work and meet weekly to discuss related topics.
English 4321: Environmental Literature, Cultures and Media
Instructor: Thomas Davis
In Fall of 2016 the Working Group on the Anthropocene declared that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that humans have exited the Holocene, the geological epoch of the last 11,700 years that was characterized by climatic stability and incredibly swift human development. The Anthropocene declares that human activity has forced the Earth system for the first time beyond natural variability. Energy extraction, large scale agriculture, atomic testing, urban growth, deforestation, and mass consumption among other factors have altered the cryosphere, the biosphere, and the atmosphere. The rapid rate of biodiversity loss has led many to claim we are living in the midst of the Sixth Extinction. What will constitute a livable future on such a changing planet? What cultural resources do we have to begin imagining other ways of relating to humans and to nonhuman nature? What cultural resources do we need to create?
We will read widely in contemporary literature, Environmental and Energy Humanities scholarship, view documentaries and visual art, and collaborate with the Museum of Biological Diversity. Students will engage in image curation, collectively develop a Lexicon for the Anthropocene, and pursue other projects. Authors may include Jeff VanDerMeer, Octavia Butler, Anna Tsing, Eileen Crist, Ross Gay, Layli Long Soldier, Elizabeth Kolbert and Naomi Klein, as well as writings from Extinction Rebellion and the Degrowth Movement.
English 4400: Literary Locations—Venice
Instructor: Alan Farmer
This Literary Locations program offers students the opportunity to study the history and representation of Venice in English and European literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, and to spend almost two weeks (May 1-13, 2020) exploring the historical and cultural sites of Venice and Padua. A city of labyrinthine canals and alleys, known for its vast wealth and its mix of Eastern and Western art and architecture, but also for its courtesans, con men, casinos and Carnival, Venice has for centuries inspired tales of cultural conflict, sexual intrigue, magic and mystery, decay and death. We will see the Basilica of St. Mark near which the main character in Ben Jonson's Volpone
impersonates a mountebank, the Ghetto where Shakespeare's Shylock lives and prays in The Merchant of Venice
and the canals and palazzi that both fascinated and disturbed writers like John Ruskin and Henry James. We will visit the prison that held Casanova in the Doge's Palace, the beaches where Thomas Mann's Aschenbach roams in Death in Venice and the insane asylum on San Servolo where Jeanette Winterson's The Passion
ends. The city's impressive churches and museums will offer students the chance to see masterpieces by the Venetian artists Tintoretto, Titian, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Gentile Bellini and Giovanni Bellini. The course will also include a visit to Padua, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and to a dazzling series of frescoes by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel. Cost of program: TBA. Application Deadline: November 15, 2019. Application information available from the OIA website
English 4513: Introduction to Medieval Literature
Instructor: Christopher Jones
English 4513 guides students through representative works of literature produced across Europe during the Middle Ages (roughly 500-1500 A.D.). The course approaches medieval writings both as objects of study in their own right and as important backgrounds for understanding subsequent developments in European and American literature. The syllabus is not limited to any particular genre or theme but will visit major works of many different kinds, including early Christian epic (Prudentius's Psychomachia) and philosophy (Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy), mythography (Snorri's prose Edda), heroic sagas (tales of the Irish warrior CuChulainn and the Germanic champion Sigurd/Siegfried) and Arthurian legends (the romances of Chretien de Troyes), as well as works illustrating the emergence of allegory and (auto)biography as important modes of expression. The culmination of the class will be a reading of selections from the medieval work that subsumes many genres and trends of the period as a whole, namely Dante's Divine Comedy. Requirements include reading-comprehension quizzes or informal writing assignments, one short essay, one longer research paper and a cumulative final exam. Regular attendance and participation are also required. This class satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English Major.
English 4520.01 (10): Shakespeare
Instructor: Hannibal Hamlin
As Robert Bridges wrote, "The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good -- in spite of all the people who say he is very good." Shakespeare was one of the greatest playwrights who has ever lived and one of the greatest creative artists. As an artist, Shakespeare's medium was language - words, sentences, metaphors, puns and allusions. The Oxford English Dictionary credits Shakespeare with introducing more words into the English language than any other person ever, including "dwindle," "bedroom," "bloodstained," "anchovy," "skim milk" and "foul-mouthed." He also invented dozens of phrases we now use every day, like "full circle," "foregone conclusion," "wild-goose chase" and "with bated breath." This course will explore Shakespeare's plays from many different perspectives, but we will pay particular attention to their language, beginning with a cluster of particularly rich poetic plays written in the mid-1590s and then turning to several of the greatest Jacobean tragedies. Plays will include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. We'll also read some contextual material and critical essays which will be available via Carmen. Assignments will include two critical papers, a midterm test and a final exam.
English 4520.01 (20): Shakespeare
Instructor: Luke Wilson
This course is designed as an introduction to some of the more important critical problems and issues in Shakespeare studies through close study of plays in each of the dramatic genres in which Shakespeare wrote. Our primary concern will be with Shakespeare's text, but we will also spend some time discussing theatrical performances as well as film adaptations. Written assignments will encourage you to develop your knowledge of Shakespeare by way of different sets of skills: informal response; close textual and semantic analysis; engagement with secondary (scholarly) discussions of Shakespeare; group work on play performance; a review of a theatrical production; and the production of substantial critical argument of your own.
English 4520.02: Special Topics in Shakespeare—Shakespeare's Sense of Humor
Instructor: Sarah Neville
This upper level special topics course examines humor in the plays of Shakespeare by considering not only the genre of comedy, but also humorous moments in his histories and tragedies. We will investigate questions like:
- How did Shakespeare create moments that are funny?
- Why did Shakespeare’s jokes sometimes use racist or sexist tropes?
- What sorts of linguistic play is at work in a pun?
- How does stage action reinforce or undermine dialogue?
- When does humor mask aggression?
- How can speeches signal slapstick or physical effect?
- Why is farce considered a lower form of drama than romance?
- What is the effect of putting a child or dog onstage?
Writing assignments will include a research paper, a theatre review and short reflections.
English 4533: The Early British Novel—Origins to 1830
Instructor: Sandra MacPherson
Shipwreck! Attempted rape—of women and men! Murder! Demonic Possession! Impotence! If you think contemporary life is weird and twisty, wait until you meet the past. Want to know how we ended up in a world with Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey? Then this is the course for you! Students will be introduced to early experiments in prose narrative that made possible their favorite thriller, romance, comedy or adventure tale. Without Samuel Richardson, there would be no Jane Austen or Ian McEwan—without Pamela (1739), no Sense and Sensibility, or Atonement. Without Henry Fielding, there would be no Charles Dickens or Mark Twain—without Joseph Andrews (1742), no Great Expectations, or Huckleberry Finn. Without Daniel Defoe, no Robert Louis Stevenson or Cormac McCarthy: no Robinson Crusoe (1719), no Treasure Island or The Road. Without the gothic fictions of Horace Walpole and Matthew Lewis and Anne Radcliffe, no Edgar Allen Poe, no Stephen King, no Nightmare on Elm Street. You get the picture. In order to bring into view the black hole that is fiction before Austen, we will move chronologically from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, reading, in addition to Robinson Crusoe, Pamela, and Joseph Andrews, we will read Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688), Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina (1725), Laurence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey (1768), Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796), The Woman of Colour (1808) by Anonymous, and occasional secondary sources on the history and theory of the novel. We will conclude with an example of a contemporary novel indebted to this history, Jennifer Egan’s The Keep (2006). The course will satisfy the pre-1800 requirement. And, among other things, might help to explain where blogging comes from.
English 4552: Special Topics in American Poetry Through 1915—Reconstruction and the Gilded Age in America
Instructor: Elizabeth Renker
The occasion for our class is the current 150-year commemorations of the post-Civil War periods often called "Reconstruction" and "The Gilded Age." Activism by and on behalf of the civil rights of millions of newly freed slaves provoked massive and routine terrorist violence against them in the former rebel states. Settlers pushed into "the West," and indigenous peoples lost their lands and their lives. The rise of big business and robber barons, conflict between labor and capital, wealth inequality and massive economic shifts arising from large-scale industrialization, immigration and other massive social changes upended daily life. Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's 1873 novel of social critique, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, sarcastically gave this period its name. Our class will explore these complex social conflicts by reading short selections from the public conversations of the time; scholarly essays about our key historical topics; and literary works addressing these social changes. Most of our literary texts will be short poems, an extremely popular genre at the time and one that addressed all the crucial issues of the day. (Focusing on short poems also helps us to cover complex material while restricting reading to a number of pages manageable for students.) Authors will include Frances E.W. Harper, Sarah Piatt, Walt Whitman, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Bret Harte, E. Pauline Johnson, William Dean Howells, Emma Lazarus and anonymous and lesser-known poets. Textbooks: a paperback edition of the poems of Sarah Piatt; primary texts available through Ohio State library databases. Requirements: daily attendance, daily quizzes, daily participation in discussion; two brief (3-page) primary-source research assignments; and a menu of options for graded assignments from which students may choose, including a midterm and final exam; a midterm and final 7-page paper; or a single 15-page sustained research paper based in primary sources, an option especially useful for students working toward a writing sample for graduate school.
English 4553: Twentieth-Century U.S. Fiction
Instructor: Francis Donoghue
This will be a very unconventional approach to this very popular course in the English department's curriculum. We will first read each of the main texts - Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Walter Tevis' The Hustler and Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, conventionally: analyzing the novels' plots, characters, central themes - just as you would expect from any upper level English course. However, once we've covered each novel we will then consider it as if it were a case study in a graduate level business course. That is, we will ask: "Did major characters make optimal decisions, and if they didn't, what else might they have done?" We will, in other words, first talk about the novels in a way typical of English studies, and then talk about them in a way that engages the analytical tools and rhetoric of a very different academic discipline. We may inhabit independent departments, but we need to remind ourselves that we are also part of the same university. Requirements: there will be one short paper, a final paper and a comprehensive final exam. Instead of a midterm, there will be intensive small group work and in-class presentations.
English 4554: English Studies and Global Human Rights
Instructor: Sona Hill
Covers key human rights concepts and the role that humanities-based methods of analysis can play in the study of human rights. Examines how human rights are described in legal texts, cultural narratives, public discourses and artistic representations. Also considers conflicting and contested representations, how they work and how they are used in particular contexts.
GE diversity global studies.
English 4565: Advanced Fiction Writing
Instructor: Lee Martin
This is a creative writing workshop that focuses on short literary fiction. Each student will present two pieces or original fiction for workshop discussion and significantly revise one of those pieces to submit at the end of the semester. There may be additional readings and/or writing exercises, but the bulk of our work will involve the discussion of our own fiction.
English 4566: Advanced Poetry Writing
Instructor: Kathy Grandinetti
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—Digital Protest and Online Activism
Instructor: Christa Teston
Because of their networked nature and participatory potential, digital media can be powerful actors in affecting social change. We tag, tweet, retweet, reblog, reshare, swipe left, swipe right, add filters, link, like, follow, friend and more. Connections are made. Alliances are forged. Technology, power and values are wonderfully and frightfully connected. In this class, we will investigate and experiment with digital media's affordances and constraints - particularly for the ways they do or do not engender social concern, garner attention, mobilize human and monetary resources and spark social justice. This course, then, is critical and creative. We will both think about and tinker with digital media. Class discussions will provide a rich and safe environment for you to explore and experiment with the consequences of humans' relationships with digital media, while studio days will afford hands-on guidance in leveraging digital media for the purpose of protest and activism. I also anticipate that events in the world will go on happening as they did before this class ever existed. So while the course has overarching learning objectives, how those objectives are achieved may be modified in response to uprisings, disasters, attacks and other events of social consequence yet to occur.
English 4572: English Grammar and Usage
Instructor: Daniel Seward
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 4578 (20): Special Topics in Film—From Exploitation Films to the Exploit
Instructor: Jian Chen
This course explores the cheap, low-culture sensation of exploitation films. As a class of films that became visible the 1920s in the U.S., exploitation films featured all that was considered excessive and prohibited under the Hollywood Hayes Production Code, including interracial relationships, sex, violence, nonheterosexual sexualities, single parent families, criminality, gore, the superhuman, and the supernatural. By the 1960s and 1970s, exploitation films became defined through specific genres targeting niche audiences, such as Blaxploitation, horror, sexploitation, martial arts, spaghetti westerns, gangster and prison films. Hollywood’s incorporation of exploitation’s smaller scale, niche production and iconography and the growing international cinematic market contributed to this shift. Beginning in the last decade of the twentietch century, electronic networks and global Hollywood have helped to further absorb, disperse, and reassemble exploitation films for hybrid transnational circulation. This course will track the development of the exploitation phenomenon alongside and within classical Hollywood cinema and then as a general feature of global postindustrial Hollywood and media. Course requirements may include an in-class presentation; midterm; and final project. Course materials may include films by Jack Hill, Ji-woon Kim, Robert Rodriguez, Jordan Peele, and Doris Wishman and critical discussions by Ed Guerrero, Carol Clover, Eric Schaefer and José Capino.
English 4578 (30): Special Topics in Film—Television, Narrative, Seriality
Instructor: Sean O'Sullivan
This course will consider central questions of televisual art and narrative, focusing on the first seasons of three twentty-first-century series: The Wire, Mad Men and Orange Is the New Black. What are the basic narrative practices and structures of television—and serial television in particular? How are storyworlds created? What are the strategies and effects of devices such as the episode and the season? How does character operate within television narrative? How does televisual storytelling organize space and time? What are the consequences of genre conventions and audience responses? A recurring subject for the class will be the tension between the episodic and the serial—between individual aesthetic experiences and sprawling fictional universes. Throughout, we will examine the vital intersections of an array of fields and practices: film studies, narratology, literature, media studies, visual culture and the segmented organization of experience.
English 4580: Special Topics in LGBTQ Literatures and Cultures
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 - particularly, artists of color - invoked, invented and reimagined? Whom have they claimed as their predecessors, ancestors or antagonists? What historical moments and cultural contexts have they perceived as worthy of investigation and representation? Alternatively, what kinds of "queer" worlds, environments and inhabitants have writers and filmmakers postulated in utopian and dystopian futures?
English 4583: Special Topics in World Literature in English
Instructor: Adeleke Adeeko
This discussion and lecture class will study selected Anglophone fiction, poetry, film, music and video produced by artists who came onto their own as culture leaders in the 21st century and among whom a small, forceful segment has termed the group's outlook on the world as Afropolitan. Unlike their predecessors, the Afropolitan group references and claims wherever work or pleasure takes them as theirs. Their stories, films and poems traverse Lagos, Accra, Harare, London, Kampala, Addis Ababa, Detroit, Johannesburg, Busan, Brussels and Nairobi. In the texts, occupying many time zones, sometimes simultaneously, is real and not magical. Fluency in several registers of English is simply assumed by the characters.
Why then, we shall be asking, does the need to locate a "home" somewhere in Africa haunt all the texts, although it is clear that the satisfaction of arriving at such a place is almost always fleeting?
Grading & Evaluation: Punctual and regular attendance; 2 oral presentations; 3 analytical papers
Tentative Reading List: J. P. Clark, America, their America (1962); Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears (2007); Teju Cole, Open City (2011); NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (2013); Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go (2013); Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (2014); Nicole Armateifio, "An African City" (2014); Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (2014); Ryan Coogler, "Black Panther" (2018)
English 4587: Studies in Asian American Literature and Culture
Instructor: Pranav Jani
From the stereotype of the "model minority" to the caricature of Apu on "The Simpsons," South Asians continue to be regarded as strange, exotic Others in the US. This course, focused on the voices of South Asian migrants themselves, gives an inside look on "desi" literature and culture that shatters simple myths and narratives. Through novels, short stories, poetry, music videos and film by and about South Asians from the US, UK, Kenya and elsewhere, students will learn about complex histories of migration and empire that have shaped this diaspora.
Requirements: intensive, class participation, 3 papers, oral presentation, online discussion.
English 4590.02H: The Renaissance—Mixed Media Before the Modern Instructor
Instructor: Hannibal Hamlin
Mixing media was a thing long before the digital age. Renaissance writers, artists and musicians didn't need cameras, video, recording and the web to produce exciting works of art that delighted both the eye and the ear, that blended words and music, poetry and images, print and pictures, and performances that added to all this dance, costume, spectacle, stage machinery, and even the court or cityscape itself. This course will explore the inventive mixed media of the Renaissance, including songs of all sorts (ballads, ayres, street cries, hymns), emblems (a riddling blend of poetry, symbolic images, cryptic mottoes and quotations), proto-graphic-novel-type combinations of art and text, the lavish performance-art extravaganzas of the court masque and the too-often-neglected multiple media of popular plays. Especially in his late plays, Shakespeare included dancing, singing, instrumental music, visual images and arresting stage mechanics. Works will include songs by John Dowland, Thomas Campion and Henry Lawes, emblems by Geoffrey Whitney, Francis Quarles and George Wither, the remarkable cut-and-paste illustrated Bibles of the Ferrar women of Little Gidding, the court masques of Ben Jonson (poet), Alfonso Ferrabosco (composer) and Inigo Jones (designer and architect), and Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. We'll consider what happens when different media are combined into a single synaesthetic experience, and we may also think about the challenges of preserving, recapturing, studying and appreciating these works in the twenty-first century. Students with an interest in music, painting, design and other arts are most welcome, but no particular expertise in non-literary media is required.
English 4591.01H: Special Topics in the Study of Creative Writing—Retellings and Responses
Instructor: Michelle Herman
In this course, we'll look at retellings and reimaginings of fairy tales and bible stories, beloved children's stories, Shakespeare's plays, Chekhov's stories and other works of literature - along with fiction about real people that "retells" their lives--which we will read alongside the material that inspired them. And then you will make your own short retelling in the genre of your choice. Final projects will be longer retellings of a work you choose yourself - one we have not looked at in the course.
For more information, contact Professor Michelle Herman at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in to see her in 468 Denney Hall any Wednesday this autumn between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (or email her for an appointment at a more convenient time). If you are an honors student who has taken English 2265, 2266, 2267, or 2268, you will not need Professor Herman's permission to register for the course. All others are invited - but please be prepared to show/send Professor Herman a sample of work you have produced in your discipline. Honors standing is not necessary.
English 4591.02H: Special Topics in the Study of Rhetoric—Communicating about/with Illness and Disability
Instructor: Margaret Price
We spend each day in a flood of communication about illness and disability (and related ideas, including “health,” “wellness,” and “self-care”). In the United States, we spend almost $10,000 per person per year on health care, while also being bombarded with information about the “Campus Mental Health Crisis.” Buzzfeed videos show us the latest stair-climbing wheelchair; Twitter debates Serena Williams’s choice of athletic attire; and Facebook is filled with requests to donate to GoFundMe for a person whose life-saving surgery has left them bankrupt. We, as writers and readers, are both the authors and the audience of all this information. The purpose of this course is to offer you a chance to think through and discuss these complicated discourses—what they say, how they circulate, what cultural stories they unearth and ultimately what they mean for you and your own understanding of health and illness.
English 4592: Special Topics in Women in Literature and Culture—The Marriage Plot, Then and Now
Instructor: Robyn Warhol
Girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl marries boy in the end. . .
But does she always have to?
This course traces the convention of the marriage plot from its literary roots in Shakespeare’s comedies, through its flowering in Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, to its dominance in mainstream U.S. popular culture throughout the twentieth century and today. Looking at Hollywood films, T.V. shows, popular novels and literary fiction, we will identify the 21st-century strongholds of the marriage plot and explore variations, subversions and queerings of the form. Readings will include Stephanie Coontz’s 2006 Marriage: A History, or, How Love Conquered Marriage; Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing (1598); Austen’s Persuasion (1818); Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847); Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958); and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1983), as well as selected examples from U.S. popular culture.
English 4592 (20 and 30): Special Topics in Women in Literature and Culture—Womanhood in Black and White
Instructor: Koritha Mitchell
What is womanhood in the United States? How does being white shape one's womanhood? How does not being considered white affect one's experience of womanhood? How does being cis gender determine experience? This class will explore questions like these while examining how American authors have addressed them creatively. Likely authors include Kate Chopin, Frances E. W. Harper, Jhumpa Lahiri, Julie Otsuka, Toni Morrison, and Jaqueline Woodson.
English 4595: Literature and Law
Instructor: Clare Simmons
"Literature and Law" is a course in the representation of law in literature and the literary analysis of legal discourse; it is not a course in the study of law, but should be of interest to anyone who wants to engage with the role of law in culture; the legal and literary representation of human rights; and how law uses language. Literature and Law can be applied towards the English major and Human Rights minor; many students from other departments also take it to fulfill upper-level course requirements, so the course provides an excellent opportunity to meet students from a wide variety of fields who are interested in law and perhaps thinking about Law School. We will read both some legal materials and some literature that represents law in action. The special topic of this course is "The Outsider in the Court Room," so we will read some actual cases and also a variety of fictional representations of law in action, and consider how the rights of outsiders are protected, or sometimes forgotten, by the law. We will also practice some court-room procedures of our own in mock=trials. Readings will include a 2000-year-old murder trial; some medieval animal trials; Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice; the Amistad trial; Wilkie Collins's novel The Law and the Lady; Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men; and a collection of famous trials available online. Students will be responsible for regular attendance and participation, including in group mock-trials; three short case briefs; a longer research paper; and reading questions.
English 4998H: Honors Undergraduate Research in English
Undergraduate research in variable topics; independent study.
Prereq: Honors standing, and permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 3 completions. This course is graded S/U.