English Language and Literature
Director of undergraduate studies: Michael Warner, 107 LC, 432-2224; associate director of undergraduate studies: Sunny Xiang, 107 LC, 432-2224; registrar: Erica Sayers, 106 LC, 432-2226; assistant registrar: Jane Bordiere, 107 LC, 432-2224; english.yale.edu/welcome-english-major
The undergraduate program in English cultivates students' powers of argument and analysis while developing their understanding of important works of English, American, and world literatures in English. Courses offered by the department are designed to teach students foundational research and writing skills; to provide historical perspectives from which to read and analyze literary works; and to deepen students' insight into their own experience. For students interested in creative writing, the department offers an array of courses taught by renowned professional writers in all of the major genres, including fiction, poetry, play and film writing, nonfiction prose, and journalism.
The ability to write well remains a rare but prized skill in almost every domain of our world, and English majors go on to careers in many fields of endeavor. The analytic talents and the writing and speaking skills honed in the major can lead graduates to careers in fields such as advocacy, publishing, teaching, the arts, law, venture capital, medicine, and policy making.
Courses for Nonmajors and Majors
All English courses are open to both majors and nonmajors, although advanced seminars are intended primarily for junior and senior majors.
Introductory courses Courses numbered from 114–130 are introductory and are open to all students in Yale College. Students planning to elect an introductory course in English should refer to the department website for information about preregistration. Once preregistered, students must attend the first and all subsequent course meetings for that particular section until the end of the second week of classes in order to retain a place. If a student misses a class meeting during this period without informing the instructor beforehand, his or her place will immediately be filled from the waiting list. Students may change their section by attending the desired section. If there are no available seats, the student may be placed on the waiting list for that section.
Advanced courses Advanced courses are open to upper level students; the faculty recommends that students both within and outside the major prepare for such work with two terms of introductory English. Sophomores and juniors are encouraged to enroll in lecture courses in order to gain broad perspectives in preparation for more focused study. Seminars offer more intensive treatment of their topics, which are also often more specialized. While both lectures and seminars are frequently offered more than once, students should not expect the same courses to be offered from one year to the next.
Writing courses Besides introductory courses that concentrate on the writing of expository prose (ENGL 114, 115, 120, and 121), the English department offers a number of creative writing courses. The introductory creative writing course, ENGL 123, is open to any student who has not taken an intermediate or advanced course in the writing of fiction, poetry, or drama. Interested students must preregister for ENGL 123, but they need not submit a writing sample to gain admission. Many of the more advanced creative writing courses require an application in advance, with admission based on the instructor's judgment of the student's work. Application details and forms for these courses are available on the department website. Students with questions about this process should consult the department registrar. Students may in some cases arrange a tutorial in writing (ENGL 470), normally after having taken intermediate and advanced writing courses. All students interested in creative writing courses should also consult the current listing of residential college seminars.
It is valuable for students majoring in English to have both a detailed understanding of major poets who have written in English and some acquaintance with the classics of American and world anglophone literature. All majors are accordingly required to take three of the four foundational courses from ENGL 125, 126, 127, 128. Prospective English majors are strongly encouraged to complete these requirements by the end of the sophomore year. Those who have not enrolled in the Directed Studies program should also consider taking both ENGL 129 and 130, foundational courses in the European literary tradition.
If, due to a late change of major or other circumstance, it is impossible to take three foundational courses, students may satisfy the requirements of the major by substituting for one foundational course (1) DRST 001 and 002, (2) ENGL 129 and 130, or (3) two advanced courses that deal substantially and intensively with similar material. All substitutions require permission from the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).
Requirements of the Major
At least fourteen courses are required for the major, including the senior requirement. Each student, in consultation with a departmental faculty adviser, bears the responsibility for designing a coherent program, which must include the following elements:
Each student must take: (1) three foundational courses chosen from ENGL 125, 126, 127, and 128; (2) at least one advanced course (numbered 131 or higher) in each of the following four historical periods, as indicated in the course listings: Medieval, Renaissance, 18th/19th Century, 20th/21st Century; (3) at least one seminar in both the junior and the senior years.
A student whose program meets these requirements may, with permission of the DUS, count as electives toward the major as many as two upper-level courses in other departments. One of these courses should normally be a literature course in English translation or in another language, and neither may be counted toward any requirement of the major. Certain residential college seminars, with permission of the DUS, may also be substituted for electives in the major.
A student may count up to five introductory courses and up to two creative writing courses toward the English major. ENGL 123 counts towards the introductory rather than towards the creative writing limit.
Library requirement Each English major must make an appointment to meet with Yale's Librarian for Literature in English or another research librarian within the first four weeks of the term during which the student is fulfilling the first of the two term senior requirements for the major.
Credit/D/Fail Courses taken Credit/D/Fail may be counted toward the requirements of the major.
The Writing Concentration
The writing concentration is an intensive track for English majors who want more sustained work in creative writing. While there are many ways to pursue creative writing at Yale, and within the English Department, the writing concentration provides a structure for creative work and a community of support that many writers find rewarding. The writing concentration is not a separate degree or certificate; it is a part of the English major and builds on the wealth of its literary offerings. It aims to give English majors with demonstrated interest and achievement in writing an opportunity to plan the writing courses they take in a coordinated way and to do advanced work in tutorial. The writing concentration accepts students with demonstrated commitment to creative writing at the end of the junior year or, occasionally, in the first term of senior year.
Students who enter the writing concentration must fulfill the same requirements as all English majors, except that they count four creative writing courses toward the major, including ENGL 489, a tutorial in which students produce a single sustained piece of writing or a portfolio of shorter works. It is expected that senior applicants will have completed by the end of the fall term the following: (1) at least two creative writing courses numbered 451 or higher, with at least one of these courses in the genre in which they plan to complete ENGL 489 (i.e., poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or drama) and (2) one course in another genre, which may include a creative writing course numbered 131 or higher. Creative writing concentrators must complete at least eleven literature courses in addition to their creative writing courses, for a total of fifteen courses. Residential college seminars are not acceptable for credit toward the writing concentration, except by permission of the DUS. The writing concentration senior project may be offered in partial fulfillment of the senior requirement. Concentrators should fulfill the senior library requirement in the term in which they do the literature component of their senior requirement.
Proposals for the writing concentration should be submitted to the English department office in 107 LC or online as directed on the department website, during the designated sign-up period in the term before enrollment is intended.
Seniors must complete a two-course senior requirement consisting of one of the following combinations: (1) two senior seminars; (2) a senior seminar and a one-term senior essay; (3) a two-term senior essay, with permission of the DUS; (4) a senior seminar or one-term senior essay and the senior project in the writing concentration. Students who wish to complete the senior requirement by the end of the fall term of the senior year may begin it in the spring of the junior year. Each English major must make an appointment to meet with Yale's Librarian for Literature in English or another research librarian within the first four weeks of the term during which the student is fulfilling the first of the two term requirement for the major. A junior seminar in which the student, with the permission of the DUS and of the instructor, fulfills the senior requirement may be counted as a senior seminar. At the start of term the student must arrange with the instructor to do any additional work necessary to make the course an appropriate capstone experience.
Senior seminar Senior seminars are designated "Senior Seminar" in the course listings, but they are open to interested juniors, as well. The final essays written for senior seminars are intended to provide an appropriate culmination to the student's work in the major and in Yale College. Such essays should rest on significant independent work and should be of substantial length. In researching and writing the essay, the student should consult regularly with the seminar instructor, and may consult with other faculty members as well.
Senior essay The senior essay is an independent literary-critical project on a topic of the student's own design, which is undertaken in regular consultation with a faculty adviser. Writing a senior essay provides a structure for English majors who want the opportunity to explore a research topic in a more sustained and intensive way, as well as a community of support that many majors find rewarding. It should ordinarily be written in an area on which the student has focused in previous studies. It may be written during one or two terms; single-term essays may be converted to two-term essays through application to the DUS. See the course listings for ENGL 490 and 491 for procedures. Students fulfilling the senior requirement through a two-term senior essay or through a senior essay and the senior writing concentration project must take a seminar during their senior year, but it need not be a senior seminar.
Prospectuses and applications for senior essays should be submitted to the office of the English department in 107 LC or online as directed on the department website, during the designated sign-up period in the term before enrollment is intended.
Students planning a program of study in English are strongly encouraged to consult a faculty adviser in the English department, the departmental representative in their residential college, or the DUS for advice about their course choices. A list of departmental representatives is available on the department website.
In the fall of the junior year, each English major formally chooses a faculty adviser from the English department, and, in consultation with that adviser, completes a statement outlining progress in the major. Course schedules for all majors should be discussed with, and approved by, their faculty advisers. The DUS and the ADUS can also discuss and approve schedules, if necessary. Schedules may be submitted to the residential college dean's office only after approval.
Individual programs of study In exceptional cases, a student whose interests and aims are well defined may, in consultation with the DUS, work out a program of study departing from the usual requirements of the major. Such a program must, however, meet the stated general criteria of range and coherence. For interdepartmental programs that include courses covering English literature, see Literature; Directed Studies; American Studies; African American Studies; Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; Theater Studies; and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Graduate school Students considering graduate work in English should be aware that a reading knowledge of certain classical and modern European languages is ordinarily required for admission to graduate study, and that a course orienting them to critical theory can be especially helpful preparation.
Roadmap See visual roadmap of the requirements.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 14 courses (incl senior req)
Distribution of courses 3 courses chosen from ENGL 125, 126, 127, and 128; 1 adv course (numbered 131 or higher) in each of four historical periods as specified; 1 junior seminar; up to 5 courses numbered ENGL 130 or below; up to 2 creative writing courses; Writing concentration—same, except 4 creative writing courses including at least 2 numbered 451 or higher, one in same genre as ENGL 489; and 1 in another genre, numbered 131 or higher; at least 11 literature courses
Substitutions permitted DRST 001 and 002 or ENGL 129 and 130 or two upper-level courses with overlapping material may substitute for one foundational course; up to 2 relevant upper-level courses in other departments may substitute for electives in the major; residential college seminars may substitute for electives in the major; all substitutions require DUS permission
Senior requirement Standard major—2 senior sems, or 1 senior sem and 1 senior essay (ENGL 490), or a two-term senior essay (ENGL 490, 491); Writing concentration—senior sem or senior essay, and ENGL 489. All seniors must meet with a research librarian in the first term of their senior requirement.
Even though Yale College has no formal requirement in English, nearly all first-year students choose to take one or more courses in the English department. Whatever majors they later choose, students need to learn to read analytically and write clearly at the college level. The English department offers Yale undergraduates a wide variety of introductory courses that enhance students’ skill and confidence as readers and writers. These courses are taught in seminar-sized groups and are open to students of all interests and backgrounds. All first-year courses except ENGL 123, Introduction to Creative Writing, may be applied toward the Yale College distributional requirement in writing. It should be noted that medical schools encourage, and in many cases require, their applicants to have taken one term or more of English.
Introductory English courses (ENGL 114–ENGL 130) offer a variety of ways for students to develop their skills as insightful readers and writers. ENGL 114 and ENGL 115 are writing seminars designed for the majority of first-year students to introduce them to college-level critical analysis and modes of academic argumentation. ENGL 120–123 offer writing workshops in a range of creative and nonacademic genres. ENGL 125–130 offer wide-ranging introductions to literature and are designed for first-year students who think they might go on to do advanced work in the humanities at Yale, whether as majors or nonmajors. The foundational courses ENGL 125–128 are especially recommended for students considering a major in English.
Departmental representatives will be available to answer any questions you may have about your selection of an English course at the English department advising session during First-Year Orientation.
English 114 and English 115
ENGL 114 and ENGL 115 offer instruction in academic writing, pushing students to develop and expand their skills of critical analysis and argumentation. ENGL 114 offers students the opportunity to practice writing essays about various topics across academic disciplines. ENGL 115 hones students’ skills as writers in the context of literary study. Students in both courses emerge as strong writers prepared for the demands of further course work throughout the university.
- ENGL 114 prepares students to write the kind of well-reasoned analyses and arguments required in college courses. The course stresses the importance of reading, research, and revision as the bases of effective writing, and it gives students the opportunity to enter into academic debates on significant contemporary issues. Each section uses readings from modern nonfiction prose to focus on a different interdisciplinary topic, such as the city, childhood, globalization, inequality, food culture, sports, and war.
- ENGL 115 develops students’ critical insight and analytical acuity through investigation of important works of literature. Individual seminars focus on topics such as justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Special attention is given to the development of college-level writing skills and to the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.
English 120–English 123
ENGL 120–123 offer instruction in various creative and nonacademic genres of writing, including the modern essay (ENGL 120), ways of writing in specific fields of endeavor (ENGL 121), and various genres of creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and drama (ENGL 123).
- ENGL 120, Reading and Writing the Modern Essay, uses close study of selected works of nonfiction to prepare students to become critical readers and to apply professional strategies to their own writing. Readings are drawn from the works of authors such as Joan Didion, Malcolm Gladwell, Maxine Hong Kingston, N. Scott Momaday, George Orwell, Brent Staples, Jonathan Swift, Henry David Thoreau, Tom Wolfe, and Alice Walker. Written assignments, involving frequent revision, represent such forms of the essay as autobiography, portraiture, nature writing, cultural critique, and formal argument.
- ENGL 121, Styles of Academic and Professional Prose, concentrates on different kinds of academic or professional writing and explores their distinctive features. Through written and oral assignments, students both analyze and compose writings in the field. Each section is devoted to one specific kind of writing. Students learn to identify and use evidence, argument, clarity, proper style, and original thought as these are defined in the genre. Sections may focus on such topics as science writing, food writing, legal writing, writing in the social sciences, and writing about the arts. Enrollment in the fall term is not open to first-year students. Enrollment in the spring term is open to first-year students who have completed ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.
- ENGL 123, Introduction to Creative Writing, focuses on the craft of creative writing in the genres of poetry, fiction, and drama.
English 125–English 130
ENGL 125–130 offer wide-ranging introductions to literature and are designed for first-year students who think they might go on to do advanced work in the humanities at Yale, whether as majors or nonmajors. All courses offer substantial writing instruction and serve as excellent introductions to college-level writing. The foundational courses ENGL 125–128 are especially recommended for students considering a major in English.
ENGL 125, Readings in English Poetry I, provides an introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the seventh through the seventeenth centuries. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the many varieties of identity and authority in early literary cultures. Readings may include Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Middle English lyrics, The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, and poems by Isabella Whitney, Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, Amelia Lanyer, John Donne, and George Herbert, among others. The density and complexity of poetic language make this literature an ideal starting place for the training of sophisticated readers and effective writers. Through critical analysis, active discussion, and especially written argument, students balance a broad view of literary tradition with close attention to language and form. ENGL 125 is a foundational course for the English major but is open to all students regardless of intended major.
ENGL 126, Readings in English Poetry II, continues the introduction begun in ENGL 125 to the abiding formal and thematic concerns of anglophone poetic traditions, through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing, diverse genres and social histories, and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others. This course emphasizes continued development of students’ critical and analytic writing and argumentation skills. ENGL 126 is a foundational course for the English major but is open to all students regardless of intended major.
- ENGL 127, Readings in American Literature, offers an introduction to the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the place of race, class, gender, and sexuality in American literary culture. Authors may include Phillis Wheatley, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, Alan Ginsberg, Chang-Rae Lee, and Toni Morrison, among others. Ranging across historical periods and literary genres, the course allows for the sustained study of single works while acquainting students with a variety of poetic and narrative forms and with the historical contexts of American writing. Each semester the course studies at least one living writer who visits campus to meet with students. Recent visitors in this role include Teju Cole, Louise Glück, and Hilton Als. ENGL 127 is a foundational course for the English major but is open to all students regardless of intended major.
ENGL 128, Readings in Comparative World English Literatures, offers an introduction to the literary traditions of the anglophone world in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic, cultural and racial histories; and on the politics of empire and liberation struggles. Authors may include Daniel Defoe, Mary Prince, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, C. L. R. James, Claude McKay, Jean Rhys, Yvonne Vera, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Wole S̩óyinká, J. M. Coetzee, Brian Friel, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Alice Munro, Derek Walcott, and Patrick White, among others. Frequent writing assignments focus on critical analysis, the development of voice and argument, and the use of archival and secondary sources. ENGL 128 is a foundational course for the English major but is open to all students regardless of intended major.
- ENGL 129, Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition, provides an intensive introduction to one of the most powerful forms in Western literature. Students explore tragic drama from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome through the European Renaissance to the present day. This course addresses themes of justice, religion, free will, family, gender, race, and dramaturgy, beginning with Homer’s Iliad, and continuing in plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, Soyinka, and others. Strong emphasis on the development of student writing accompanies study of the texts.
- ENGL 130, Epic in the European Literary Tradition, investigates the path of the epic tradition from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to its manifestation in the modern novel. Students explore in depth topics such as exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; and the politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, James Joyce’s Ulysses, and at least one additional novel selected by the instructor. Strong emphasis on the development of student writing accompanies study of the texts.
Students who have taken ENGL 120 in the fall may continue with ENGL 121 or with any English literature course numbered 125–130 in the spring. Students who complete ENGL 114 or ENGL 115 in the fall term with a grade of A or A– should consider moving into ENGL 120–ENGL 130 in the spring term.
Placement in Introductory Courses
There are different ways to determine which English course is right for you. Grades on standardized tests and in high school humanities courses (especially English courses) can offer some guidance. But a better measure can be found in your level of confidence in those courses, and especially in your own sense of confidence as a reader and writer. Students who feel they need to develop skills of college-level reading and writing generally enroll in ENGL 114 or ENGL 115. Students who are more self-assured readers and writers, and who enjoy writing and want to hone their skills, often enroll in ENGL 120–ENGL 130.
Also important is consideration of the kinds of reading and writing that are done across the range of introductory courses. In particular, it is useful to distinguish between courses that are literature courses (ENGL 115, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130) and those with a focus on nonliterary materials (ENGL 114, 121) or creative writing (ENGL 120, 123). While all of the introductory courses offer significant instruction and practice in writing, the literature offerings spend substantial class time analyzing a diverse set of great works of literature. As stated above, students considering the English major, or any major in the humanities, might find these courses especially helpful as points of departure.
Students are invited to consult with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or with a departmental officer at the English department advising session during First-Year Orientation.
Registering for Courses
Registration for many fall-term English courses is for a specific section of that course. Details about the registration process will be available in the Calendar for the Opening Days of College and on the department website. Syllabuses indicating the different topics to be covered in sections of ENGL 114, ENGL 115, and ENGL 121 will be posted on the department website approximately two weeks before the beginning of classes. Students uncertain about which course to take should attend the English department advising session during First-Year Orientation.
If, after consulting the department website, you have questions about English courses, call 432-2226 or send an email to Erica Sayers.
A Note about Class Attendance
- To retain their place in a section, students must attend the first and all subsequent class meetings for the section until the end of the second week of classes. If a student misses a class meeting during this period without informing the instructor beforehand, his or her place will immediately be filled from the waiting list.
- Students may attempt to change their section by attending the desired section. If there are no available seats, the student may be placed on the waiting list for that section.
Students who have not enrolled in an English course in the fall but wish to take one in the spring should visit the departmental website during the first week of December for instructions and a link to the online preregistration site.
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
Professors Harold Bloom, Jessica Brantley, Leslie Brisman, David Bromwich, Ardis Butterfield, Jill Campbell, Joe Cleary, Michael Denning, Wai Chee Dimock, Anne Fadiman (Adjunct), Paul Fry (Emeritus), Louise Glück (Adjunct), Jacqueline Goldsby, Langdon Hammer, Margaret Homans, Amy Hungerford, David Scott Kastan, Jonathan Kramnick, Traugott Lawler (Emeritus), Lawrence Manley, Donald Margulies (Adjunct), Stefanie Markovits, Stephanie Newell, John Durham Peters, Caryl Phillips, David Quint, Claudia Rankine, Marc Robinson, John Rogers, Caleb Smith, Robert Stepto (Emeritus), Katie Trumpener, Michael Warner, Ruth Yeazell
Associate Professors Marta Figlerowicz, Catherine Nicholson, Emily Thornbury, R. John Williams
Assistant Professors Anastasia Eccles, Ben Glaser, Alanna Hickey, Cajetan Iheka, Naomi Levine, Priyasha Mukhopadhyay, Joseph North, Jill Richards, Sunny Xiang
Senior Lecturers James Berger, Michael Cunningham, Richard Deming, Shifra Sharlin, Cynthia Zarin
Lecturers Felisa Baynes-Ross, Steven Brill, Danielle Chapman, Susan Choi, Andrew Ehrgood, Greg Ellermann, Joseph Gordon, Rona Johnston Gordon, Karin Gosselink, Derek Greene, Rosemary Jones, Heather Klemann, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Timothy Kreiner, Katja Lindskog, Sarah Mahurin, Pamela Newton, Mark Oppenheimer, Timothy Robinson, Karin Roffman, Pamela Schirmeister, Adam Sexton, Kim Shirkhani, Margaret Spillane, Michele Stepto, Sarah Stillman, Barbara Stuart, Rasheed Tazudeen, Ryan Wepler, Christian Wiman, Bob Woodward
* ENGL 010a, Jane Austen Stefanie Markovits
Close study of Austen's novels, with special attention to the critique of social and literary convention. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* ENGL 023b / HUMS 072b, Reading Recent North American Short Fiction Joseph Gordon
The short story is generally considered to be North American in origin. As one of its goals, the course examines the ways in which the genre has developed in recent decades into a vehicle for storytelling from marginalized or subaltern voices such as those of people of color, women, LGBT people, immigrants and refugees, war veterans, students, and children. The course also explores how collections of stories gathered by a single author may resemble but yet be distinguishable from novels, and examines some very recent short stories that are influenced by nontraditional forms of writing, such as graphic fiction, self-help manuals, and social media. Authors are likely to include: Grace Paley, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Raymond Carver, Lucia Berlin, Sherman Alexie, Tao Lin, Lydia David, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edward P. Jones, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz, Phil Klay, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Alison Bechdel, Nathan Englander, Kristen Rupenian, Jennifer Egan, and Teju Cole. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* ENGL 025a / LITR 023a / SAST 059a, Modern South Asian Literature, 1857-2017 Priyasha Mukhopadhyay
Exploration of literary texts from South Asia, 1857 to the present. Close reading of literary texts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, alongside political speeches, autobiographies, and oral narratives. Topics include colonialism, history writing, migration, language, caste, gender and desire, translation, politics and the novel. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration is required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* ENGL 027a, Poetry and Protest in America Alanna Hickey
Survey of poetry’s work within social movements form the 1960s to today. Readings range from the Civil Rights, Third World, and Women’s Liberation movements of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s to more recent writing from Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and climate change activists. What radical thinking does poetry make possible within activist contexts? How can we recover and engage in poetry’s life off of the page and within workshops, sit-ins, public readings, or artistic collaborations? How might a longer timeline of activist work enrich our understanding of politically-informed poetic composition today? WR, HU
* ENGL 028b / AFST 028b / LITR 025b, African Literature in the World Cajetan Iheka
This seminar introduces students to a subset of African literature that has entered the canon of world literature. Bookended by the writings of Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie, we explore the marks of regional specificity in these works and how they transcend local geographical markers to become worldly artifacts. Our considerations include why certain texts cross the boundaries of nation and region while others remain confined within territorial bounds. We also examine advantages of the global circulation of African literary works and the pitfalls of a global readership. The class moves from an introductory unit that orients students to African and world literature to focus on close reading of primary texts informed by historical and theoretical nuances. From analyzing works responding to the colonial condition and the articulation of anticolonial sensibilities, to those narrating the African nation at independence and the postcolonial disillusionment that followed, the seminar attends to the formal and thematic implications of globalization for African literary writing. Authors include Chinua Achebe, Mariama Ba, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Mbolo Mbue, NoViolet Bulawayo, Taiye Selasie, and Chimamanda Adichie. WR, HU
* ENGL 030b / HUMS 083b, Fantasy in Literature and Film Alfred Guy
Study of how fantasy ideas about race and gender, good and evil, and religion and culture reflect and influence changing ideas about what it means to be human. Authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, & Nalo Hopkinson. Major fantasy films include Prisoner of Azkeban and Get Out. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm, M 7pm-9pm
* ENGL 114a or b, Writing Seminars Staff
Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as the city, childhood, globalization, inequality, food culture, sports, and war. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR
* ENGL 115a or b, Literature Seminars Staff
Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 120a or b, Reading and Writing the Modern Essay Staff
Close reading of great nonfiction prepares students to develop mastery of the craft of powerful writing in the humanities and in all fields of human endeavor, within the university and beyond. Study of some of the finest essayists in the English language, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Orwell, David Foster Wallace, and Virginia Woolf. Assignments challenge students to craft persuasive arguments from personal experience, to portray people and places, and to interpret fundamental aspects of modern culture. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR
* ENGL 121b, Styles of Academic and Professional Prose Staff
A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics, which change yearly, are listed at the beginning of each term on the English departmental website. This course may be repeated for credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major. Preregistration required; see under English Department. Prerequisite: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale. WR
* ENGL 123a, Introduction to Creative Writing Staff
Introduction to the writing of fiction, poetry, and drama. Development of the basic skills used to create imaginative literature. Fundamentals of craft and composition; the distinct but related techniques used in the three genres. Story, scene, and character in fiction; sound, line, image, and voice in poetry; monologue, dialogue, and action in drama. Preregistration required; see under English Department. HU
* ENGL 125a or b, Readings in English Poetry I Staff
Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the seventh through the seventeenth centuries. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the many varieties of identity and authority in early literary cultures. Readings may include Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Middle English lyrics, The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, and poems by Isabella Whitney, Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, Amelia Lanyer, John Donne, and George Herbert, among others. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 126a or b, Readings in English Poetry II Staff
Introduction to the English literary tradition through close reading of select poems from the eighteenth century through the present. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse genres and social histories; and modernity’s multiple canons and traditions. Authors may include Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and Derek Walcott, among others. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 127a or b, Readings in American Literature Staff
Introduction to the American literary tradition in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and in diverse historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic and social histories; and the place of race, class, gender, and sexuality in American literary culture. Authors may include Phillis Wheatley, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, Alan Ginsberg, Chang-Rae Lee, and Toni Morrison, among others. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 128a or b, Readings in Comparative World English Literatures Staff
An introduction to the literary traditions of the Anglophone world in a variety of poetic and narrative forms and historical contexts. Emphasis on developing skills of literary interpretation and critical writing; diverse linguistic, cultural and racial histories; and on the politics of empire and liberation struggles. Authors may include Daniel Defoe, Mary Prince, J. M. Synge, James Joyce, C. L. R. James, Claude McKay, Jean Rhys, Yvonne Vera, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, J. M. Coetzee, Brian Friel, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Alice Munro, Derek Walcott, and Patrick White, among others. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 129a / LITR 168a, Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition Staff
The genre of tragedy from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome through the European Renaissance to the present day. Themes of justice, religion, free will, family, gender, race, and dramaturgy. Works include Homer's Iliad and plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, and Soyinka. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 130b / LITR 169b, Epic in the European Literary Tradition Staff
The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer's Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, Cervantes's Don Quixote, and Joyce's Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing. Preregistration required; see under English Department. WR, HU
* ENGL 149b / LING 109b, History of the English Language Alexandra Reider
The evolution of English from its beginnings nearly 1500 years ago to the language of Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Jane Austen, Melville, Twain, Langston Hughes, Woody Allen, Maya Angelou, and Cardi B. An overview of the 'Englishes' that populate our globe, including a look at the ways that technology affects language. HU
* ENGL 150a / LING 150a, Old English Alexandra Reider
An introduction to the language, literature, and culture of earliest England. A selection of prose and verse, including riddles, heroic poetry, meditations on loss, a dream vision, and excerpts from Beowulf, which are read in the original Old English. HU
ENGL 154a / FREN 216a / HUMS 134a / LITR 194a, The Multicultural Middle Ages Ardis Butterfield
Introduction to medieval English literature and culture in its European and Mediterranean context, before it became monolingual, canonical, or author-bound. Genres include travel writing, epic, dream visions, mysticism, the lyric, and autobiography, from the Crusades to the Hundred Years War, from the troubadours to Dante, from the Chanson de Roland to Chaucer. Formerly ENGL 189. HU
ENGL 158a, Shakespeare: Page, Stage, and Screen Catherine Nicholson
A lively and wide-ranging introduction to the plays of William Shakespeare: comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances, in print, on stage, and as adapted for television, film, and other media, from the early modern period to the present. In addition to giving novices and Shakespeare buffs alike a thorough grounding in the content and contexts of the plays themselves, this course aims at developing students' abilities to analyze, interpret, and take pleasure in linguistic complexity, to think critically and creatively about the relationship between text and performance, to experiment with reading like an actor, a director, a costume designer, a queer theorist, an anti-theatrical Puritan, or a sixteenth-century playgoer, and to explore enduring issues of identity, family, sexuality, race, religion, power, ambition, violence, and desire. Lectures are complemented by weekly discussion sections, conversations with practicing theater artists, a trip to the Beinecke Rare Books Library, and opportunities to see plays in performance. WR, HU
ENGL 159b / HUMS 213b / LITR 339b, Global Shakespeares: Race, Gender, and the Idea of the Human Ayesha Ramachandran
Shakespeare today is a global phenomenon: over five hundred years after his death, the playwright’s legacy continues to flourish with new performances, reworkings, appropriations, and adaptations continuously produced across the world in a range of languages and across various media. Once exported along with the ideologies and practices of empire, Shakespeare’s works have now become an index for the complex histories of colonialism and postcolonialism as well as a crucial site for studying processes of racialization and the universalizing idea of “the human.” How did Shakespeare become global? Was the cultural imagination of his plays always already global, written at a time with the very notion of the modern world as we know was being shaped? This course explores the political afterlives of “Shakespeare” as a cultural icon and aesthetic touchstone for the Western tradition through a close reading of four plays alongside their adaptations: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra. We look at films, novels, manga comics, memoirs, stand-up comic routines, along with classic stagings of the plays to elucidate the themes that have made Shakespeare global—in particular, questions of race, gender, sexuality, generational conflict, and political intrigue. Authors and directors include Akiro Kurosawa, Vishal Bharadwaj, Janet Suzman, Iqbal Khan, James Baldwin, Sulayman Al-Bassam, Tayeb Salih, Preti Taneja, and Derek Walcott. HU
ENGL 160b, Milton John Rogers
A study of John Milton’s poetry, his engagement with the cultural, social, political, and philosophical struggles of the seventeenth century, and the surprising influence of Paradise Lost on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American letters and religion. Formerly ENGL 220. WR, HU
ENGL 163b / WGSS 163b, Vampires, Castles, and Werewolves Heather Klemann
Study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gothic fiction and the persistence, resurgence, and adaptation of gothic tropes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century film, television, and prose. Readings include Frankenstein, Northanger Abbey, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula. Films and TV include Inception, Black Swan, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, and episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Formerly ENGL 136. Prerequisite: First years must have taken a WR seminar course in the fall term. WR, HU
ENGL 191a / HUMS 206a / LITR 318a / NELC 201a, The Arabian Nights, Then and Now Shawkat Toorawa and Ayesha Ramachandran
Exploration of Arabian Nights, a classic of world literature. Topics include antecedents, themes and later prose, and graphic and film adaptations. HU
ENGL 194a / WGSS 194a, Queer Modernisms Jill Richards
Study of modernist literature and the historical formation of homosexual identity from the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Topics include: sexology as a medical and disciplinary practice; decadence and theories of degeneration; the criminalization of homosexuality in the Wilde and Pemberton-Billing trials; cross-dressing and drag balls in Harlem; transsexuality and sex-reassignment surgery; lesbian periodical cultures; nightlife and cruising; gay Berlin and the rise of fascism; colonial narratives of same-sex desire in Arabia and the South Pacific; Caribbean sexual morality; and the salon cultures of expatriate Paris. WR, HU
ENGL 196a / FILM 160a, Introduction to Media Robert Williams
Introduction to the long history of media as understood in classical and foundational (and even more recent experimental) theories. Topics involve the technologies of modernity, reproduction, and commodity, as well as questions regarding knowledge, representation, public spheres, and spectatorship. Special attention given to philosophies of language, visuality, and the environment, including how digital culture continues to shape these realms. WR, HU
* ENGL 202b / LITR 176b / WGSS 171b, Medieval Women Writers and Readers Jessica Brantley
This course explores writings by and for women in medieval Britain, with attention to questions of authorship, authority, and audience. Readings include the Lais of Marie de France, Ancrene Wisse, The Life of Christina of Markyate, the Showings of Julian of Norwich, The Book of Margery Kempe, the Digby Mary Magdalene play, and the Paston letters. WR, HU
* ENGL 210a / HUMS 204a, The Drama of Justice and Mercy Lawrence Manley and Trina Hyun
An examination of justice, mercy, and the law in drama, film, and writings from disciplines at the intersection of literature, law, ethics, and religion. Reconsidering the usual binaries of convict and victim, self and other, judgment and forgiveness from antiquity to the present, the seminar gives voice to enduring questions about the brokenness of freedom, human rights, and the status of religious belief. Plays by Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Soyinka, and Peter Brook; films by Sidney Lumet, Gavin Hood, and Martin Scorsese; selected readings in philosophy and religion from Plato, Aristotle, the Bible, Montaigne, Hannah Arendt, Martha Nussbaum, and Howard Lesnick; and recent publications on the mass incarceration crisis in the U.S. (Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy; John Pfaff’s Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration; Danielle Allen’s Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.). The seminar models a gracious and inclusive learning community, seeking to move past the paralysis that often occurs in well-meaning conversations on politics and controversial social issues. To this end, we welcome students of all backgrounds and majors: theater/performance majors, English majors, non-majors, those with long-standing opinions and insights, and/or those with fresh eyes and genuine interest. WR, HU
* ENGL 211a / THST 315a, Acting Shakespeare James Bundy
A practicum in acting verse drama, focusing on tools to mine the printed text for given circumstances, character, objective, and action; noting the opportunities and limitations that the printed play script presents; and promoting both the expressive freedom and responsibility of the actor as an interpretive and collaborative artist in rehearsal. The course will include work on sonnets, monologues, and scenes. Admission by audition. Preference to seniors and juniors; open to nonmajors. HU RP
* ENGL 215a, Early Modern Devotional Poetry John Rogers
A study of the invention of the devotional lyric in English, with a focus on the work of the seventeenth-century poets John Donne, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw, Henry Vaughan, and Thomas Traherne. The impact of this experimental literary movement on such twentieth and twenty-first century critics and poets as T. S. Eliot, William Empson, Simone Weil, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Carson, and Christian Wiman. WR, HU
* ENGL 221b / AFAM 212b, African American Literature in the Archives Melissa Barton
Examination of African American literary texts within their archival context; how texts were planned, composed, revised, and received in their time. Students pair texts with archival materials from Beinecke Library, including manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera. Readings include Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, August Wilson, and Richard Wright. HU
* ENGL 223b / HSAR 479b, Blake and Milton John Rogers and Sarah Weston
An interdisciplinary exploration of the Romantic poet William Blake and his literary and visual engagements with the work of the Renaissance poet John Milton. Relying on the unique Blake holdings at the Yale Center for British Art, the course considers not only Blake’s Milton, but Blake’s artistic and textual treatments of other early modern writers, including Shakespeare, Bacon, Bunyan, and Newton. WR, HU
* ENGL 232b, Early Native American and Indigenous Print Practices Alanna Hickey
Survey of Native North American cultures of print through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Explores the continuum between adaptations of European technologies of writing and community-specific practices of graphic communication that pre-date colonization. Questions include: What are the stakes involved in opening up the category of “print” to include non-European practices? How was print used as a weapon in the fight for representation, land, and sovereignty? How do we read creative print including poetry, novels, and short stories alongside overtly political writings like treaty documents, tribal histories, and speeches?
* ENGL 234b / AFAM 206b, Literature of the Black South Sarah Mahurin
Examination of the intersections between African American and Southern literatures, with consideration of the ways in which the American South remains a space that simultaneously represents and repels an African American ethos. HU
* ENGL 235b / AMST 346b / HUMS 252b, Poetry and Objects Karin Roffman
This course on 20th and 21st century poetry studies the non-symbolic use of familiar objects in poems. We meet alternating weeks in the Beinecke library archives and the Yale Art Gallery objects study classroom to discover literary, material, and biographical histories of poems and objects. Additionally, there are scheduled readings and discussions with contemporary poets. Assignments include both analytical essays and the creation of online exhibitions. WR, HU
* ENGL 236b / AMST 330b, Dystopic and Utopian Fictions James Berger
Attempts since the late nineteenth century to imagine, in literature, cinema, and social theory, a world different from the existing world. The merging of political critique with desire and anxiety; the nature and effects of social power; forms of authority, submission, and resistance. HU
* ENGL 240b / GLBL 349b, Reporting and Writing on War Janine di Giovanni
This course examines how to identify, interview, and document human rights violations in the field while reporting on war. It is aimed at students who want to work as journalists, advocates or policy makers, or anyone who wants to work as a practitioner during a conflict or humanitarian crisis. The instructor brings her twenty-five years as a field reporter in war zones into the classroom: the goal is to make the learning functional. The course teaches students how to compile their findings in the form of reports and articles for newspapers, magazines as well as advocacy letters, op-eds, and Blogs. We develop skills for “crunching” talking points for presentations and briefing papers. Each week focuses on a theme and links it to a geographical conflict. Students emerge with practical research, writing, and presentation skills when dealing with sensitive human rights material–for instance, victims’ evidence. Course open only to juniors and seniors. SO RP
* ENGL 243b / BRST 211b, Queen Victoria and Royal Representations Margaret Homans
What made the Victorian era “Victorian?" This course studies Victorian literary and visual culture by investigating Queen Victoria’s role as a monarch and empress who was also a wife, widow, and mother. Readings include Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, fiction by Margaret Oliphant and George Eliot, and the queen’s own writings. WR, HU
* ENGL 250a, Romantic Poetry Leslie Brisman
Introduction to the work of Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats, with some attention to Byron, to the poets’ own problematic revisions, and to the minor poets of this rich period of poetic innovation and revolutionary spirit. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 251a / WGSS 251a, Experiments in the Novel: The Eighteenth Century Jill Campbell
The course provides an introduction to English-language novels of the long eighteenth century (1688-1818), the period in which the novel has traditionally been understood to have "risen." Emphasizing the experimental nature of novel-writing in this early period of its history, the course foregrounds persistent questions about the genre as well as a literary-historical survey: What is the status of fictional characters? How does narrative sequence impart political or moral implications? How do conventions of the novel form shape our experience of gender? What kind of being is a narrator? Likely authors include Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Jennifer Egan, Colson Whitehead, and Richard Powers. WR, HU
* ENGL 254b / BRST 212b, Virginia Woolf's London Margaret Homans
This course considers Virginia Woolf’s London novels in the context of the lively groups of artists, writers, and local and international political activists in the London of her day. Topics include her experiments with literary form, her approaches to questions of sexuality, gender, race, and imperialism, and her legacy today. WR, HU
* ENGL 261b, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Prose David Bromwich
Nonfiction prose of the later eighteenth century, with emphasis on the essays of Hume, the speeches of Burke, and the Lives of the English Poets by Samuel Johnson. WR, HU
* ENGL 263a / HUMS 327a, The Victorian Political Novel Stefanie Markovits
The engagement of the Victorian novel with the world of politics. Emphasis on how systems interact with individual agents to make stories and how methods such as realism, romance, and the courtship plot portray the mechanics of government. Units on revolution and riot (Dickens and Gaskell), reform (Eliot and Trollope), and anarchy (James and Conrad). WR, HU
* ENGL 264b / HIST 405Jb, The Real Thing: Forgery and the Authentic, 1500-1800 Kathryn James and Maria Del Mar Galindo
This course leads from the premise that our primary relationship with the textual object, and perhaps most particularly to the forged textual object, is epistemological: we want to believe—but in what? We begin with a condensed “boot camp” for approaching objects, introducing some of the specialized and technical knowledge that can help us make sense of what is in front of us. We consider what methods and questions can yield the most complex and intriguing answers, and grapple with our own impulses to make meaning, particularly when it comes to objects that do not quite conform to our expectations (or perhaps conform to our expectations a little too closely, as forged materials often do). WR, HU
* ENGL 267a, Love and Desire in the Nineteenth Century Naomi Levine
Exploration of forms of love and desire in Victorian literature, with attention to their philosophical, historical, and aesthetic contexts. How history licensed or constrained the Victorian erotic imagination; how the pleasures of reading and looking shaped nineteenth-century aesthetics; how desire drives literary genres such as the sonnet sequence, the sensation novel, elegy, the love letter, aestheticist prose. Authors may include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, William Morris, Christina Rossetti, Walter Pater, Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake), Michael Field, and Oscar Wilde, with additional readings in Sappho, Dante, Hegel, Stendhal, and Freud. Visits to the Yale art collections inform discussion. WR, HU
* ENGL 268a / HUMS 254a / LITR 463a / PHIL 227a, Literature and Philosophy, Revolution to Romanticism Jonathan Kramnick
This is a course on the interrelations between philosophical and literary writing beginning with the English Revolution and ending with the beginnings of Romanticism. We read major works in empiricism, political philosophy, and ethics alongside poetry and fiction in several genres. Topics include the mind/body problem, political ideology, subjectivity and gender, and aesthetic experience as they take philosophical and literary form during a long moment of historical change. WR, HU
* ENGL 272b / HIST 105Jb / HUMS 352b, American Imagination: From the Gilded Age to the Cold War David Bromwich and Bryan Garsten
Survey of major ideas, writings, and cultural movements that have shaped American life and thought from 1880 to 1990. Assignments encompass works of fiction, philosophy, social and political thought, and film. HU RP
* ENGL 275b, Emerson, Dickinson, and Melville Richard Deming
Study of central works by three foundational writers of the nineteenth century. Cultural and historical context; questions concerning American identity, ethics, and culture, as well as the function of literature; the authors' views on the intersections of philosophy and religious belief, culture, race, gender, and aesthetics. Readings include novels, poems, short fiction, and essays. WR, HU
* ENGL 287b, Literature and the Future, 1887 to the Present Robert Williams
A survey of literature's role in anticipating and constructing potential futures since 1887. Early Anglo-American and European futurism during the years leading up to World War I; futures of speculative fiction during the Cold War; futuristic dreams of contemporary cyberpunk. What literature can reveal about the human need to understand both what is coming and how to respond to it. WR, HU
* ENGL 288b, Modern Poetry Benjamin Glaser
Introduction to major movements and figures of modern poetry with emphasis on formal innovation, avant gardes, and the relation to poetic tradition. Poets include Yeats, Frost, Eliot, Pound, Moore, Stevens, H.D., Hughes, Brown, and Williams. Formerly ENGL 439. WR, HU
* ENGL 290b / LITR 261, The Canon in the Colony: Reading English Literature Abroad Priyasha Mukhopadhyay
Exploration of the life of English literature in the colonial and postcolonial world, from the nineteenth century to the present. Close reading of literary texts, publishing statistics, school textbooks, film, and postcolonial theory. Topics include canon formation, education reform, colonial publishing, gender and education, global Shakespeare. WR, HU
* ENGL 291a / WGSS 340a, Feminist and Queer Theory Evren Savci
Historical survey of feminist and queer theory from the Enlightenment to the present, with readings from key British, French, and American works. Focus on the foundations and development of contemporary theory. Shared intellectual origins and concepts, as well as divergences and conflicts, among different ways of approaching gender and sexuality. WR, HU
* ENGL 294b, Novels of Education and Formation Joseph Cleary
An examination of the bildungsroman (novel of formation), künstlerroman (artist’s novel) educational treatise, and campus novels forms, this course invites students to reflect on the nature and evolution of modern education and the different ways in which the ideals, purposes, challenges, and frustrations of university life especially have been represented from the later nineteenth century to the present. For some, the university has always upheld the interests of traditional elites, privilege and inequality; for others, it should be a transformative institution for overcoming social ills and divisions of class, race, religion, and gender. Beginning with classic nineteenth-century writers including Tocqueville, Arnold, Newman, and Hardy on education and cultural aspiration, the course examines major twentieth-century exponents of the bildungsroman, künstlerroman, and campus novel forms, including distinguished works by Forster, Joyce, Woolf, Waugh, Mary McCarthy, Du Bois, Gandhi, Fanon, Tayib Salih, and J. M. Coetzee, and then concludes with notable twenty-first century works on this subject by Zadie Smith, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Sally Rooney. WR, HU
* ENGL 295a / AFST 295a / LITR 461a, Postcolonial Ecologies Cajetan Iheka
This seminar examines the intersections of postcolonialism and ecocriticism as well as the tensions between these conceptual nodes, with readings drawn from across the global South. Topics of discussion include colonialism, development, resource extraction, globalization, ecological degradation, nonhuman agency, and indigenous cosmologies. The course is concerned with the narrative strategies affording the illumination of environmental ideas. We begin by engaging with the questions of postcolonial and world literature and return to these throughout the semester as we read the primary texts, drawn from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. We consider African ecologies in their complexity from colonial through post-colonial times. In the unit on the Caribbean, we take up the transformations of the landscape from slavery, through colonialism, and the contemporary era. Turning to Asian spaces, the seminar explores changes brought about by modernity and globalization as well as the effects on both humans and nonhumans. Readings include the writings of Zakes Mda, Aminatta Forna, Helon Habila, Derek Walcott, Jamaica Kincaid, Ishimure Michiko, and Amitav Ghosh. WR, HU
* ENGL 302b, Chaucer Ardis Butterfield
A study of a selection of Chaucer's major poems, including Book of the Duchess, House of Fame, selections from Troilus and Criseyde, and Legend of Good Women, in addition to selections from his Canterbury Tales. WR, HU
* ENGL 305b, Shakespeare and Religion David Kastan
This course is about how various understandings of religion (and religions) circulate through Shakespeare’s plays, as they were written, performed, and read—and as they have continued to be sometimes re-written, performed, and read. Whatever Shakespeare’s own religion was, it is clear that religion is central in the plays: it haunts them (think Hamlet) and was in so many ways inescapable in his England. We read a number of plays (including The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale), various historical sources, as well as theological and philosophical texts, as we try to understand how religion functions in these plays as an essential, but often perplexing dimension of early modern identity (and perhaps of our own). HU
* ENGL 308a / FILM 242a / HUMS 454a / LITR 398a, Interpreting Film Masterpieces David Bromwich and Dudley Andrew
Exploration of seven auteurs from Europe and Hollywood, 1937–1967. Assessment of methods that deepen appreciation of the films and the medium. WR, HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm, M 6:30pm-9pm
* ENGL 311a, Milton's Paradise Lost David Kastan
An intensive reading of Milton's Paradise Lost, along with some of the relevant prose, focusing on the ways in which the poem responds at the level of form to the various literary, political, and theological pressures that bear upon it. Formerly ENGL 415. Prerequisite: ENGL 220. WR, HU
* ENGL 312b, Victorian Poetry Leslie Brisman
The major Victorian poets, Tennyson and Browning, in the context of the romanticism they inherited and transformed. A selection of other Victorians whose genius or popularity warrants attention, including Morris, the Rossettis, Hardy, Swinburne, Hopkins, and Barrett Browning. Formerly ENGL 412. WR, HU
* ENGL 313a, Poetry and Political Sensibility Joseph North
Close reading of selected lyric poetry from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focus on ways in which the poems illuminate and engage contemporary habits of political evaluation and response. Poets include Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas, W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden, Lesbia Harford, Pablo Neruda, Bertolt Brecht, Frank O'Hara, Wislawa Szymborska, Edith Södergran, and Audre Lorde. WR, HU
* ENGL 318b, The Possibilities of Romanticism: Byron, Shelley, Keats Paul Fry
Poetry and prose of Byron, Shelley, and Keats with emphasis on both their differences and their common qualities. Special attention is given to the complex interactions of these poets with Wordsworth and Coleridge. WR, HU
* ENGL 320a, Novel Feelings Anastasia Eccles
This course studies the emergence of the modern novel as an event in the history of emotions. The long eighteenth-century saw the rise of the novel as we know it as well as a major intellectual shift in how the passions and emotions were conceptualized. We investigate the relationship between these developments, particularly as they converged in the cultural movement of sentimentalism. With our focus on this historical nexus, we take up broader questions about the ways that aesthetic form mediates the emotions, and the ways that emotion responds to social realities like capitalism, imperialism, secularization and patriarchy. Our focus is on those feelings that might be considered distinctively novelistic—feelings that have influentially served to theorize the novel as a genre (interest for the German romantics; desire for psychoanalytic accounts of narrative), and that novels of the period helped codify and theorize (embarrassment, sympathy, wonder, happiness, complicity). Authors include Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe, Laurence Sterne, Henry Mackenzie, Frances Burney, William Beckford, William Godwin, and Jane Austen. WR, HU
* ENGL 325a / AMST 257a, Modern Apocalyptic Narratives James Berger
The persistent impulse in Western culture to imagine the end of the world and what might follow. Social and psychological factors that motivate apocalyptic representations. Differences and constant features in apocalyptic representations from the Hebrew Bible to contemporary science fiction. Attitudes toward history, politics, sexuality, social class, and the process of representation in apocalyptic texts. HU
* ENGL 326b / AMST 406b, The Spectacle of Disability James Berger
Examination of how people with disabilities are represented in U.S. literature and culture. Ways in which these representations, along with the material realities of disabled people, frame society's understanding of disability; the consequences of such formulations. Various media, including fiction, nonfiction, film, television, and memoirs, viewed through a wide range of analytical lenses. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 333b / AMST 344b, The Nonhuman in Literature since 1800 Wai Chee Dimock
Nonhuman life forms in fiction and poetry from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first, including plants and animals, monsters and viruses, intelligent machines, and extraterrestrial aliens. The complexity and variety of nonhuman ecology. Formerly ENGL 433. WR, HU
* ENGL 346a / HUMS 253a / RLST 233a, Poetry and Faith Christian Wiman
Issues of faith examined through poetry, with a focus on modern Christian poems from 1850 to the present. Some attention to poems from other faith traditions, as well as to secular and antireligious poetry. HU
* ENGL 350a, Literary Sound Studies Benjamin Glaser
Following recent theoretical turns in media studies, music theory, African American studies, and literary studies, this course teaches close listening to the soundscapes of twentieth- and twenty-first century literature. We study both written and performed texts across genres, as well as musical lyrics, to ask what social and aesthetic value lies in the production and reception of sound. Primary emphasis is on sound’s racial construction, especially in dialect and musical performance. Additional topics include the relation of voice and gender, sonic expressions of colonialism and migration, and the influence of recording technology on poetry and its performance traditions. WR, HU
* ENGL 358b, Literature for Young People Michele Stepto
An eclectic approach to stories and storytelling for and by children. Authors include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Carlo Collodi, Jean de Brunhoff, Ursula LeGuin, J. K. Rowling, Maurice Sendak, Kate diCamillo, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Neil Gaiman. In most course meetings, we also spend some time discussing a selection of picture books (on reserve) featuring children of color. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 362b / AFAM 406b / AMST 405b, Autobiography in America Robert Stepto
A study of autobiographical writings from Mary Rowlandson's Indian captivity narrative (1682) to the present. Classic forms such as immigrant, education, and cause narratives; prevailing autobiographical strategies involving place, work, and photographs. Authors include Franklin, Douglass, Jacobs, Antin, Kingston, Uchida, Balakian, Rodriguez, and Bechdel. Formerly ENGL 405. WR, HU
* ENGL 369a / AMST 374a / EAST 369a, Cultures of Militarism in Asia and the Pacific Sunny Xiang
This seminar explores the diverse cultural manifestations of war, empire, and militarism in Asia and the Pacific during the long Cold War (roughly the 1940s-1980s). A portion of the course is devoted to iconic literary and cultural figures who came to prominence through cultures of militarism (e.g., Jade Snow Wong, James Michener, C.Y. Lee, Richard Mason, Epeli Hauʻofa). We consider important genres privileged by cultural imperialism and soft power (e.g., autobiography, travel writing). We also read more faddish and less canonical writers (e.g., Kim Yong Ik, Induk Pahk, Janice Mirikitani, Maria Yen) and engage stranger and more ephemeral cultural objects (e.g., advertisements, fashion magazines, tourist guidebooks). Important topics for the course include refugee migration, the model minority, global education reform, and the belated resurgence of reparation movements. We conclude the semester by examining the Asian American Movement of the 1960s and the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in 1975. WR, HU
* ENGL 377a, Contemporary British Fiction Caryl Phillips
A study of literature that responds to a changing post–World War II Britain, with attention to the problem of who "belongs" and who is an "outsider." Authors include William Trevor, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jean Rhys, Samuel Selvon, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and John Osborne. Formerly ENGL 416. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 379b, Ulysses and Omeros: The Postcolonial Epic Joseph Cleary
An extended reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and Derek Walcott’s Omeros (1990), two of the most ambitious and challenging Anglophone epics of the twentieth century. Beginning with a discussion of the modern epic as prose and poetic form, the class considers Joyce’s and Walcott’s re-workings of Homeric epic and their respective engagements with the wider Western literary tradition. Questions concerning the structure, style, narrative form, and symbolic meaning of these two exceptionally ambitious works are engaged and we also consider the critical controversies and interpretative challenges that Ulysses and Omeros have generated and continue to provoke. WR, HU
* ENGL 380a / AFST 250a, African Reconciliation Narratives Meredith Shepard
This course focuses on the literary and visual cultural productions that took shape around national efforts at reconciliation in three African contexts: post-apartheid South Africa, post-genocide Rwanda, and post-civil war Nigeria. These disparate case studies examine the impact on cultural productions of differing judicial and political formations, as well as the role that literature and film have played in shaping reconciliation law and policy. Our primary readings include novels, memoir, theater, and film, in addition to legal documents from reconciliatory justice systems. Our secondary readings include theories of reconciliation from the fields of law, political science, and cultural studies. HU
* ENGL 381a / AFAM 426a / AMST 443a, Toni Morrison & the Matter of Black Life Daphne Brooks
This seminar examines key texts in the Toni Morrison canon that resonate as literary masterworks, innovative in narrative and aesthetic structure as well as content, and also as historical studies, expansive and probing in their interrogations of past struggles and future possibilities for African American communities and the American body politic more broadly. We consider how her novels explore the ongoing disasters that were and are settler colonialism, the Middle Passage and the Atlantic slave trade, the systemic violence of Jim Crow segregation, the violence of patriarchy, the traumas of war and American empire, and the insidious presence of misogyny in the everyday lives of her characters. But, we also look closely at the richness of love and intimacy, the radical roots of self-fashioning, and the insurgent potentiality of mobility and aesthetic creativity coursing through the lives of her protagonists who cut a fugitive path out of slavery, ride the waves of Reconstruction, the Great Migration, Civil Rights era hope and organizing, and post-Soul searching. We read key scholarship in direct conversation with Morrison’s oeuvre, and we examine her robust and demanding critical essays on American literature, on contemporary events, and on the topic of writing. HU RP
* ENGL 384a / FILM 461a / LITR 364a / THST 416a, British Cinema Katie Trumpener
Survey of the British film tradition, emphasizing overlap with literature, drama, and art; visual modernism; documentary's role in defining national identity; "heritage" filmmaking and alternative approaches to tradition; and auteur and actors' cinema. HU RP
M 1:30pm-3:20pm, U 7pm-10pm
* ENGL 395b / LITR 154b, The Bible as a Literature Leslie Brisman
Study of the Bible as a literature—a collection of works exhibiting a variety of attitudes toward the conflicting claims of tradition and originality, historicity and literariness. The course should not be taken concurrently with RLST 145 and is not open to first-year students; but it is open to non-majors who have taken a prior WR course or others who are eager to profit from the progress possible from one to another of the five writing assignments. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 404a or b, Reading Fiction for Craft Staff
Fundamentals of the craft of fiction writing explored through readings from classic and contemporary short stories and novels. Focus on how each author has used the fundamentals of craft. Writing exercises emphasize elements such as voice, structure, point of view, character, and tone. Formerly ENGL 134. HU
* ENGL 406a, Reading Poetry for Craft David Gorin
An introduction to reading and writing poetry. Classic examples from Shakespeare and Milton, the modernist poetics of Stein, Pound, Moore, and Stevens, and recent work in a variety of forms and traditions. Students develop a portfolio of poems and write an essay on the poetic craft of poets who have influenced their work. Formerly ENGL 135. HU
* ENGL 407a or b, Introduction to Writing Fiction Staff
An intensive introduction to the craft of fiction, designed for aspiring creative writers. Focus on the fundamentals of narrative technique and peer review. Formerly ENGL 245.
* ENGL 408a or b, Introduction to Writing Poetry Staff
A seminar workshop for students who are beginning to write poetry or who have no prior workshop experience at Yale. Formerly ENGL 246. RP
* ENGL 411b, American Horror Stories Richard Deming
From its earliest days, the horror genre, although often denigrated, has had a persistent presence in American literature and culture. This course investigates the reasons for this hold on the American imagination and what its social function has been. We explore how the genre is a way that people can navigate questions concerning identity, gender, sexuality, and ethics, as well as grief, loss, and the fear of isolation. We look at the fraught representations of violence, subjectivity, and otherness these works provide. Texts include novels, short fiction, and films. The course is an exciting blend of creative and critical writing. Students write short creative responses and present on specific films and literary texts. The end of the course culminates in a longer project that can be either a scholarly engagement with specific texts and issues or a creative response that explores the ideas arising from the semester’s discussions. This allows students to work with the ideas in ways that most suits their strengths and interests. HU
* ENGL 418a / EVST 224a, Writing About The Environment Alan Burdick
Exploration of ways in which the environment and the natural world can be channeled for literary expression. Reading and discussion of essays, reportage, and book-length works, by scientists and non-scientists alike. Students learn how to create narrative tension while also conveying complex—sometimes highly technical—information; the role of the first person in this type of writing; and where the human environment ends and the non-human one begins. Formerly ENGL 241. Admission by permission of the instructor only. Students interested in the course should email the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: 1.) A few paragraphs describing your interest in taking the class. 2.) A non-academic writing sample that best represents you. WR
* ENGL 419a / HSAR 460a / HUMS 185a, Writing about Contemporary Figurative Art Margaret Spillane
A workshop on journalistic strategies for looking at and writing about contemporary paintings of the human figure. Practitioners and theorists of figurative painting; controversies, partisans, and opponents. Includes field trips to museums and galleries in New York City. Formerly ENGL 247. WR, HU
* ENGL 423b / FILM 397b / THST 228b, Writing about the Performing Arts Margaret Spillane
Introduction to journalistic reporting on performances as current events, with attention to writing in newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere. The idea of the audience explored in relation to both a live act or screening and a piece of writing about such an event. Students attend screenings and live professional performances of plays, music concerts, and dance events. Formerly ENGL 244. WR, HU
* ENGL 425a or b, Writing the Television Drama Staff
Crafting the television drama with a strong emphasis on creating and developing an original concept from premise to pilot; with consideration that the finest television dramas being created today aspire to literary quality. Students read original scripts of current and recent critically acclaimed series and create a series document which will include formal story and world descriptions, orchestrated character biographies, a detailed pilot outline, and two or more acts of an original series pilot. Formerly ENGL 248.
* ENGL 428b, Young Adult Writing Jake Halpern
A course on the craft of fiction writing for young adult readers. At the start of the semester, we read widely in the genre to identify the principles of craft at the sentence—and narrative—level, with the aim of creating a style that is original and a story narrative that is powerful. In the second half of the semester, students read and critique one another’s fiction. Open to writers of all levels and abilities. Formerly ENGL 259.
* ENGL 429b, Writing Humor Ryan Wepler
Skills essential to humor writing, with an emphasis on texture, tone, character, and narrative. Students read the work of classmates and pieces by professional humor writers with the goal of generating an ever-expanding set of techniques for both reading humor and writing humorously. Formerly ENGL 255. Recommended preparation: ENGL 120. WR
* ENGL 432b, Writing about Food Barbara Stuart
Writing about food within cultural contexts. Through reading essays written by the luminaries of the food world, students explore food narratives from many angles, including family meals, recipes, cookbooks, restaurant reviews, memoir, and film. Formerly ENGL 258. WR
* ENGL 434a / THST 215a, Writing Dance Brian Seibert
The esteemed choreographer Merce Cunningham once compared writing about dance to trying to nail Jello-O to the wall. This seminar and workshop takes on the challenge. Taught by a dance critic for the New York Times, the course uses a close reading of exemplary dance writing to introduce approaches that students then try themselves, in response to filmed dance and live performances in New York City, in the widest possible variety of genres. No previous knowledge of dance is required. WR, HU
* ENGL 444b / AMST 466b, Contemporary Historical Novels James Berger
Attempts of contemporary American authors to put the complexities of history into written form. Narrative as the privileged mode of historical representation; differences between what is regarded as academic history, popular history, and historical fiction; the influence of power and of the writer's own historical position on historical narrative; effects of ethnicity, gender, and race on the creation and reception of history; writers' use of historical fiction to change the ways readers think about the present and the future. HU
* ENGL 447b, Shakespeare and the Craft of Writing Poetry Erica Chapman
This course aims to demystify the Bard by discerning elements of his craft, introducing students to contemporary poets inspired by Shakespeare, and teaching students how to employ aspects of Shakespeare's craft in their own poems—without sounding Elizabethan. With the belief that Shakespeare’s poetry is still utterly alive, and that many of the best contemporary poems finds their origin in his protean touch. Weekly reading alternates between one of the plays and one book of contemporary poetry, while weekly assignments alternate between critical response papers and creative assignments, focusing on specific craft elements, such as “The Outlandish List: How to Make Anaphora Exciting,” “Verbs: How to Hurtle a Poem Forward,” “Concrete Nouns as the Key to Clear Narrative,” “The Poet as Culture Vulture: How to Collect and Command Contemporary Details,” “Wilding: How to Loot and Weirden the Natural World,” “Layers of the Word: Wit and Double Meanings,” “Exciting Enjambments: How to Keep Iambic Pentameter From Being Boring,” “Finis: How to Make a Poem End.” Students decide before midterm whether they want to take the course as a Renaissance Literature or Creative Writing credit, and this determines whether their final will be a creative portfolio or a critical essay; their midterm assignment will be the opposite of their final assignment, so a student taking the class as a Literature credit (and writing a critical essay for their final) will do the creative writing option at midterm. Formerly ENGL 260. Permission of the instructor required.
* ENGL 450b, Daily Themes Mark Oppenheimer
Writing of prose at the intermediate level. Daily assignments of c. 300 words, a weekly lecture, and a weekly tutorial. Application forms available on the Web by mid-November. Application open to all undergraduates. Counts as a nonfiction course in the writing concentration. WR
* ENGL 453a / THST 320a, Playwriting Donald Margulies
A seminar and workshop on reading for craft and writing for the stage. In addition to weekly prompts and exercises, readings include modern American and British plays by Pinter, Mamet, Churchill, Kushner, Nottage, Williams, Hansberry, Hwang, Vogel, and Wilder. Emphasis on play structure, character, and conflict. RP
* ENGL 454a, Nonfiction Writing: Voice and Structure Fred Strebeigh
A nonfiction workshop, confronting the challenges of journalism as an art. Emphasis on voice and structure. Study of texts that may suggest modes, voices, forms, and styles for nonfiction pieces. Frequent writing projects and revisions. WR RP
* ENGL 455b, Writing about Oneself Anne Fadiman
A seminar and workshop in first-person writing. Students explore a series of themes (e.g., family, love, loss, identity) both by writing about their own lives and by reading British and American memoirs, autobiographies, personal essays, and letters. An older work, usually from the nineteenth or early twentieth century, is paired each week with a more recent one on the same theme. WR
* ENGL 456b / HUMS 427b / JDST 316b / LITR 348b, The Practice of Literary Translation Peter Cole
This course combines a seminar on the history and theory of translation (Tuesdays) with a hands-on workshop (Thursdays). The readings lead us through a series of case studies comparing, on the one hand, multiple translations of given literary works and, on the other, classic statements about translation—by translators themselves and prominent theorists. We consider both poetry and prose from the Bible, selections from Chinese, Greek, and Latin verse, classical Arabic and Persian literature, prose by Cervantes, Borges, and others, and modern European poetry (including Pushkin, Baudelaire, and Rilke). Students are expected to prepare short class presentations, participate in a weekly workshop, try their hand at a series of translation exercises, and undertake an intensive, semester-long translation project. Proficiency in a foreign language is required. HU
* ENGL 459a / EVST 215a / MB&B 459a, Writing about Science, Medicine, and the Environment Carl Zimmer
Advanced non-fiction workshop in which students write about science, medicine, and the environment for a broad public audience. Students read exemplary work, ranging from newspaper articles to book excerpts, to learn how to translate complex subjects into compelling prose. Admission by permission of the instructor only. Applicants should email the instructor at email@example.com with the following information: 1. One or two samples of nonacademic, nonfiction writing. (No fiction or scientific papers, please.) Indicate the course or publication, if any, for which you wrote each sample. 2. A note in which you briefly describe your background (including writing experience and courses) and explain why you’d like to take the course. WR RP
* ENGL 460a or b, Advanced Poetry Writing Staff
A seminar and workshop in the writing of verse. May be repeated for credit with a different instructor. RP
* ENGL 462b / FILM 401b / THST 453b, Writing Screenplay Adaptations Donald Margulies
A workshop on the art of screenplay adaptation. Students read short stories, novels, and non-fiction; the screenplays based on that source material; and view and analyze the final product, the films themselves. Instruction focuses on the form, economy, and structure specific to screenwriting. Weekly writing exercises supplement the creation of a final project: a short screenplay based on source material of the student's choosing.
Previous experience in writing for film or stage would be advantageous but is not required. Restricted to juniors and seniors, or by permission of the instructor. HU
* ENGL 465a or b, Advanced Fiction Writing Staff
An advanced workshop in the craft of writing fiction. May be repeated for credit with a different instructor.
* ENGL 466a, Writing the Contemporary Essay Cynthia Zarin
A seminar and workshop in the contemporary essay. Public versus private voice, the responsibilities of the essayist, and the evolution of writing in the first person. Readings include essays by Joan Didion, Jonathan Lethem, Jenny Diski, Zadie Smith, M. F. K. Fisher, Bruce Chatwin, John Berger, and Oliver Sacks.
* ENGL 467a / PLSC 253a, Journalism Steven Brill
Examination of the practices, methods, and impact of journalism, with focus on reporting and writing; consideration of how others have done it, what works, and what doesn’t. Students learn how to improve story drafts, follow best practices in journalism, improve methods for obtaining, skeptically evaluating, and assessing information, as well as writing a story for others to read. The core course for Yale Journalism Scholars. No prerequisites. WR
* ENGL 469a, Advanced Nonfiction Writing Anne Fadiman
A seminar and workshop with the theme "At Home in America." Students consider the varied ways in which modern American literary journalists write about people and places, and address the theme themselves in both reportorial and first-person work. Application required in advance; see the English website for deadline and instructions. WR, HU
* ENGL 473b, The Journalism of Ideas James Surowiecki
The history and practice of writing journalistic essays or articles in which the principal actor is a notion or idea. Conventions, tropes, and authorial strategies that give rise to the best work in the genre; focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers such as George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, Janet Malcolm, Michael Lewis, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Students write their own example of the journalism of ideas. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 474a, The Genre of the Sentence Verlyn Klinkenborg
A workshop that explores the sentence as the basic unit of writing and the smallest unit of perception. The importance of the sentence itself versus that of form or genre. Writing as an act of discovery. Includes weekly writing assignments. Not open to freshmen. HU
* ENGL 477a / THST 321a, Production Seminar: Playwriting Deborah Margolin
A seminar and workshop in playwriting. Emphasis on developing an individual voice. Scenes read and critiqued in class. Admission by application, with priority to Theater Studies majors. A writing sample and statement of purpose should be submitted to the instructor before the first class meeting.
* ENGL 478b, Writing about Place Cynthia Zarin
An exploration of reading and writing about place. Definitions of home; different meanings and intent of travel. Readings include exemplary contemporary essays from the eighteenth century to the present. Workshop for assigned student essays. WR, HU
* ENGL 480b, Reporting and Crafting the Long-form Narrative Sarah Stillman
A feature-writing workshop in the reporting and writing of memorable long-form magazine narratives. Close readings of exemplary investigative works. Emphasis on reporting strategies and storytelling tools for interviewing diverse subjects, generating suspense, crafting scenes, and reconstructing events through use of human and non-human sources.
* ENGL 481b / THST 322b, Advanced Playwriting Deborah Margolin
A seminar and workshop in advanced playwriting that furthers the development of an individual voice. Study of contemporary and classical plays to understand new and traditional forms. Students write two drafts of an original one-act play or adaptation for critique in workshop sessions. Familiarity with basic playwriting tools is assumed. Open to juniors and seniors, nonmajors as well as majors, on the basis of their work; priority to Theater Studies majors. Writing samples should be submitted to the instructor before the first class meeting. Prerequisite: THST 320 or 321, or a college seminar in playwriting, or equivalent experience. RP
* ENGL 487a or b / ENGL 470, Tutorial in Writing Michael Warner
A writing tutorial in fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, or nonfiction for students who have already taken writing courses at the intermediate and advanced levels. Conducted with a faculty member after approval by the director of undergraduate studies. Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines. Prerequisites: two courses in writing.
* ENGL 488a or b, Special Projects for Juniors or Seniors Michael Warner
Special projects set up by the student in an area of particular interest with the help of a faculty adviser and the director of undergraduate studies, intended to enable the student to cover material not otherwise offered by the department. The course may be used for research or for directed reading, but in either case a term paper or its equivalent is normally required. The student meets regularly with the faculty adviser. To apply for admission, a student must submit an application and prospectus signed by the faculty adviser to the office of the director of undergraduate studies. Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.
* ENGL 489a or b, The Writing Concentration Senior Project Michael Warner
A term-long project in writing, under tutorial supervision, aimed at producing a single longer work (or a collection of related shorter works). An application and prospectus signed by the student's adviser must be submitted to the office of the director of undergraduate studies by November 16, 2018, for spring-term projects and by April 11, 2019, for fall-term projects. The project is due by the end of the last week of classes (fall term), or the end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term). Application details and forms are available at english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines.
* ENGL 490a or b, The Senior Essay I Benjamin Glaser
Students wishing to undertake an independent senior essay in English must apply through the office of the director of undergraduate studies in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines. For one-term senior essays, the essay itself is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) end of the fourth week of classes: five to ten pages of writing and/or an annotated bibliography; (2) end of the ninth week of classes: a rough draft of the complete essay; (3) end of the last week of classes (fall term) or end of the next-to-last week of classes (spring term): the completed essay. Consult the director of undergraduate studies regarding the schedule for submission of the yearlong senior essay.
* ENGL 491a or b, The Senior Essay II Benjamin Glaser
Second term of the optional yearlong senior essay. Students may begin the yearlong essay in the spring term of the junior year, allowing for significant summer research, with permission of the instructor. Students must apply in the previous term; deadlines and instructions are posted at english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines. After ENGL 490.
Other Courses Related to English Language and Literature
* DRST 001a and DRST 002b, Directed Studies: Literature Staff
An examination of major literary works with an aim of understanding how a tradition develops. In the fall term, works and authors include Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Virgil, the Bible, and Dante. In the spring term, authors vary somewhat from year to year and include Petrarch, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Goethe, Tolstoy, Proust, and Eliot. WR, HU
* HUMS 150a, Shakespeare and the Canon: Histories, Comedies, and Poems Harold Bloom
A reading of Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and poems, with an emphasis on their originality in regard to tradition and their influence on Western representation since the seventeenth century. Secondary readings included. HU
* HUMS 151b, Shakespeare and the Canon: Tragedies and Romances Harold Bloom
A reading of Shakespeare's tragedies and romances, with an emphasis on their originality in regard to tradition: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. HU
* HUMS 152a, Poetic Influence from Shakespeare to Keats Harold Bloom
The complexities of poetic influence in the traditions of the English language, from Shakespeare to Keats. HU
* HUMS 153b, Poetic Influence from Shakespeare to Hart Crane Harold Bloom
The complexities of poetic influence in the tradition of the English language. Works by Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Yeats, followed by an American sequence of Whitman, Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, and Hart Crane. HU
THST 110a and THST 111b, Survey of Theater and Drama Shilarna Stokes
An introduction to theater history, plays, aesthetic theories, and performance techniques. From antiquity to the Restoration period in the fall and continuing through to the present in the spring. HU