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    ENGL S-139. England After Empire

    Instructor: Duncan E. White, DPhil.
    Lecturer on History and Literature
    Day & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 8:30–11:30am (EDT)
    Summer 7-week session | CRN 35056
    Limited to 19 students

    This course considers the way England was transformed through the demise of its empire after the Second World War through to the advent of Brexit. From the birth of the welfare state to the rise of Thatcherism, from post-colonial migration to multicultural Britain, from the swinging sixties to punk rock and riots, we track these radical political, social, and cultural changes...

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    ENGL S-237. Myth and Mystery in Post-World War II US Short Fiction

    Instructor: Patrick Whitmarsh, PhD
    Lecturer on History and Literature
    Day & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:15–6:15pm (EDT)
    Location: Science Center 110
    Summer 7-week session | CRN 35390
    Open Enrollment

    This course surveys a host of short prose fiction published in the United States after 1945. Ranging from canonical works by Thomas Pynchon and Philip Roth to lesser-known works, including several by women and writers of color, this course explores the various ways that authors grapple with political uncertainty, social instability, and cultural...

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    English 90ah. Asian American Theater and Performance

    Instructor: Ju Yon Kim
    Tuesday, 12:45-2:45pm | Location: TBA
    Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

    This seminar will explore Asian American theater and performance. We will examine how Asian American theater and performance artists have responded to popular images of Asian immigrants and cultures; how Asian American theater companies have cultivated and expanded our understanding of American theater and Asian American identity; and how artists and productions have experimented with conceptions of racial and gender performance. In addition to reading, viewing, and listening to a range of performances, students will participate in workshops led by artists and develop their own final performances.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    English 90eb. Elizabeth Bishop and Others

    Instructor: Vidyan Ravinthiran
    Wednesday, 12:45-2:45pm | Location: TBA
    Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

    This course introduces students to the poetry, literary prose, and artful correspondence of one of the major poets of the twentieth century, considering her innovations in all these genres. We will look at her writing in multiple genres alongside the mid-century shift from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ verse forms, and relate stylistic issues to the intellectual and social changes, and political and historical developments of the period. Bishop’s critique of received ideas about nationality, race, power, gender, sexual orientation, and the overlap between culture and nature, is connected with her status as a cosmopolitan poet with links to Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.  ‘Others’ refers both to how her writing comes to terms with the (sociopolitical) reality of other people, and to the comparisons we’ll draw between her writing and that of other poets.   

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    English 90rc. Re-mediating Colonialism

    Instructor: Pamela Klassen
    Tuesday, 12:00-2:00pm | Location: TBA
    Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

    This class will focus on how telling stories on paper, online, and on the land continue to make and remake North America and Turtle Island. Treaties, deeds of property, maps that survey a domain to facilitate resource extraction, sacred scriptures, missionary journalism, transcripts of Royal Commissions, and petitions from representatives of Indigenous nations are all textual modes that claim land, with greater or lesser force. Today, many digital humanities projects attempt to re-mediate these texts to forward a critical consciousness of the ongoing effects and assumptions of settler colonial stories of land (see the websites of the Yellowhead Institute at https://yellowheadinstitute.org/ or the Land Grab Universities project at https://www.landgrabu.org/ ). The readings will focus on Indigenous/settler relations in Canada and the United States, with attention to book history, the materiality of texts, and diverse forms of mediation (e.g. newspapers, statues, websites, TikTok). We will also take field trips to archives and sites in the Cambridge area that help us to see and experience the interaction of texts, land, and memory in the making of colonial nations. Assignments will include a primary source reflection, essay drafts, presentations, and a final essay or digital story.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    English 90yp. W.B. Yeats

    Instructor: Peter Sacks
    Wednesday, 12:00-2:00pm | Location: TBA
    Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

    An undergraduate seminar examining the poetry of William Butler Yeats.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    English 90rj. Race and Jurisprudence

    Instructor: Louis Menand
    Wednesday, 9:45-11:45am | Location: TBA
    Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

    How has the American judicial system dealt with racial discrimination, racial segregation, racial exclusion, and systemic or institutional racism? Has the design of the American legal system made it easier or harder to remedy cases of racial inequality and injustice? What should we expect from the courts in the future?

    We study cases involving Americans of African and of Asian ancestry, beginning with Dred Scott and ending with the Harvard College admissions case. Visitors include Drew Faust, Mae Ngai, Richard Pildes, and William Lee and Felicia Ellsworth, the trial lawyers in the Harvard College case.

    The primary readings are legal documents: the Constitution, judicial opinions, and the statutes judges interpret. We’ll analyze the opinions in order to understand the legal logic that led to their outcomes. We will see, by doing this, how courts are constrained by the system that was designed by the Constitution’s framers and by the traditions of the common law. We will also consider the historical context in which these cases were decided. Two papers and class participation required.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    AFRAMER 130x. Richard Wright: Literature, Philosophy, and Politics

    Instructor: Glenda Carpio and Tommie Shelby
    Monday, 3:00-5:00 pm | Location: TBA

    This course examines the major fiction and nonfiction works of Richard Wright from a literary, philosophical, and political perspective. We will take an interdisciplinary approach to this wide-ranging and canonical American author, contextualizing him within the broader tradition of black letters. Readings include but are not limited to Uncle Tom's Children, Native Son, Black Boy, American Hunger, 12 Million Black Voices, The Outsider, Black Power, The Color Curtain, White Man Listen!, and Eight Men. The course also explores major influences in Wright's development including the work of Marx, Sartre, and Freud.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    English 164p. 20th Century Poetry

    Instructor: Peter Sacks
    Wednesday, 3:00-5:00pm | Location: TBA

    There are almost as many paths through Twentieth Century Poetry as there are individual poems.  Each iteration of this course will have different – and evolving – emphases.  For the Spring of 2023 we shall focus on the Century’s relation between poetry and history.  Poets include W.B.Yeats, T.S.Eliot, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Muriel Rukeyser, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill.  Brief attention will also be devoted to poetry in translation by Mandelstam, Celan, Lorca, Cavafy, Anna Swir, Zbigniew Herbert, and others.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Poets" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    English 178x. The American Novel: Dreiser to the Present

    Instructor: Philip Fisher
    Monday & Wednesday, 10:30-11:45am | Location: TBA

    A survey of the 20th-century novel, its forms, patterns of ideas, techniques, cultural context, rivalry with film and radio, short story, and fact.  Wharton, Age of Innocence; Cather, My Antonia; Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms and stories; Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury and stories;  Ellison, Invisible Man; Nabokov, Lolita; Robinson, Housekeeping; Salinger, Catcher in the Rye and stories; Ha Jin, Waiting; Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station. Stories by James, London, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gaitskill, Wallace, Beattie, Lahiri, and Ford.

    English 181a. Introduction to Asian American Literature: What Is Asian American Literature?

    Instructor: Ju Yon Kim
    Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30-2:45pm | Location: CGIS South S020
    Course site

    Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers (1974) was one of the earliest attempts to collect writings that were, to quote the editors, “exclusively Asian-American.” Yet as their lengthy—and controversial—explanation of the selection process makes clear, Asian American literature defies neat categorization. This course is both a survey of Asian American literature and an introduction to ongoing debates about what constitutes Asian American literature. We will study a variety of literary genres and ask how formal and stylistic conventions, as well as shifting sociohistorical circumstances, have shaped conceptions of Asian American literature.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Migrations" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    English 182. Science Fiction

    Instructor: Stephanie Burt
    Monday & Wednesday, 12:00-1:15 pm | Location: Harvard Hall 202 
    Course site

    Utopias, dystopias, artificial intelligence, life on new planets, and much, much more-- from the late 19th century to the present, *mostly in novels and short stories but also in comics, poetry, games, film and TV.* Likely readings include Mark Twain, H. G. Wells, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Robert A. Heinlein, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), Octavia Butler, William Gibson, Nalo Hopkinson, Ted Chiang, Tillie Walden, Charlie Jane Anders, N. K. Jemisin…. We will also be playing a tabletop role playing game as part of the class.

    This course satisfies the English Concentration "Diversity in Literature" requirement for students on the “Common Ground” curriculum.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.

    Freshman Seminar 60C. Comics and Graphic Novels

    Instructor: Stephanie Burt
    Monday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: Barker 218 

    Comics and graphic novels, or sequential art, are one of the world’s great storytelling media: we’re going to learn how to read them, how to talk about how they get made and how they work, how to understand—and how to enjoy— some of the kinds of comics and graphic novels (that is, some of the genres) that make up the history of this medium in the modern English-speaking world. That history has three strands, which cross and re-cross, but which need to be understood independently, and we will see all three: short-form strip comics, designed for newspapers beginning in the 1890s and now flourishing on the Web; action-adventure and superhero comics, invented in the late 1930s, transformed in the 1960s and again in the 1980s, usually created by teams, and important to popular culture today; and a third strand beginning with “underground” or “alternative” comics or comix (with an x) in the 1960s and evolving into long form graphic novels, often created by single writer-artists, today.  That history comes with visual references, which you will learn to recognize; comics also comes with its own set of theoretical terms, which you’ll learn to use. Comics today share a medium (pictures and usually words in sequence) but belong to several genres: we’ll learn how to talk about them, and how they’ve evolved.You’ll get the chance to make comics, and to figure out how creators collaborate, advocate, distribute, and sometimes even earn a living from the comics they make, but the course will focus on existing comics, from McCay to Bechdel, from Kirby to Ms. Marvel— as events in culture and as works of art.

    This course satisfies the “1900-2000 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.