English Language and Literature
Director of undergraduate studies: Jessica Brantley, 107 LC, 432-2224, firstname.lastname@example.org; associate director of undergraduate studies: Sunny Xiang, 107 LC, 432-2224, email@example.com; registrar: Erica Sayers, 106 LC, 432-2226, firstname.lastname@example.org; assistant registrar: Jane Bordiere, 107 LC, 432-2224, email@example.com; english.yale.edu/welcome-english-major
The undergraduate program in English teaches students foundational research and writing skills and cultivates their powers of argument and analysis. Courses offered by the department are designed to develop students' understanding of important works of English, American, and world literatures in English; to provide historical perspectives from which to read and analyze these 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. Student writers at Yale work in all of the major genres, including fiction, poetry, play and film writing, nonfiction prose, and journalism, and they often enjoy the satisfaction of publication or performance for both local and national audiences.
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
Introductory courses Courses numbered from 114 to 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 departmental 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. Lecture courses cover major periods, genres, and figures of English and American literature. They serve as general surveys of their subjects, and are typically offered every year or every other year. Sophomores and juniors are encouraged to enroll in lecture courses in order to gain broad perspectives in preparation for more specialized study. Seminars, by contrast, offer more specialized or intensive treatment of their topics, or engage topics not addressed in the lecture courses. While seminars are often offered more than once, students should not expect the same seminars to be offered from one year to the next. All courses are open to both majors and nonmajors, although advanced seminars are intended primarily for junior and senior English majors.
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 are available on the English 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. A student may count up to five introductory courses toward the major.
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. Courses that deal with more than one writer are acceptable for this purpose. Substitute courses for the foundational requirement may also count toward the historical distribution requirements. All substitutions require permission from the 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 the historical period requirement. Certain residential college seminars, with permission of the DUS, may also be substituted for electives in the major. No more than two courses in creative writing may be counted toward the major; ENGL 123 does not count toward this 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 a limited number of serious writing students 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 course in the genre in which they plan to complete ENGL 489 (i.e., either 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 11 literature courses in addition to their creative writing 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.
Applications for the writing concentration should be submitted to the English department office in 107 LC or online as directed on the departmental website, during the designated sign-up period in the term before enrollment is intended.
Students 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, usually numbered 400–449, 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 yearlong 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 400-level 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.
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); meeting with Yale librarian; Writing concentration—senior sem or senior essay, and ENGL 489
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 English Department Placement 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 (115, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130) and those with a focus on non-literary materials (114, 121) or creative writing (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 English Department Placement 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 and on the departmental website. Syllabi indicating the different topics to be covered in sections of ENGL 114, ENGL 115, and ENGL 121 will be posted on the departmental site approximately two weeks before the beginning of classes. Students uncertain about which course to take should attend English Department Placement during Freshman Orientation.
If, after consulting the departmental website, you have questions about English courses, call 432-2226 or send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (Chair), Margaret Homans, Amy Hungerford, David Scott Kastan, Jonathan Kramnick, Traugott Lawler (Emeritus), Lawrence Manley, Donald Margulies (Adjunct), Stefanie Markovits, Alastair Minnis, Stephanie Newell, John Durham Peters, Caryl Phillips, David Quint, Claudia Rankine, Marc Robinson, John Rogers, Caleb Smith, Robert Stepto, Emily Thornbury, Katie Trumpener, Michael Warner, Ruth Yeazell
Associate Professors Catherine Nicholson, Anthony Reed, R. John Williams
Assistant Professors Anastasia Eccles, Marta Figlerowicz, Ben Glaser, Alanna Hickey, Naomi Levine, Priyasha Mukhopadhyay, Joseph North, Jill Richards, Sunny Xiang
Senior Lecturers James Berger, Michael Cunningham, Richard Deming, Shifra Sharlin, Cynthia Zarin
Lecturers Melissa Barton, Felisa Baynes-Ross, Steven Brill, Jami Carlacio, Danielle Chapman, Susan Choi, Andrew Ehrgood, Greg Ellermann, Randi Epstein, Joseph Gordon, David Gorin, Karin Gosselink, Derek Greene, Rona Johnston Gordon, Rosemary Jones, Heather Klemann, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Timothy Kreiner, Katja Lindskog, 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 010b, 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 015a / AFAM 016a / AFST 015a, South African Writing after Apartheid Stephanie Newell
An introduction to creative writing published in South Africa from the end of Apartheid in 1994 to the present. Close readings of contemporary fiction with additional material drawn from popular culture, including films, magazines, and music. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* ENGL 021b, Fiction and Consciousness Jonathan Kramnick
Study of literature and the representation of consciousness, focusing in particular on the novel, from Jane Austen to the present. What literature can tell us about the way minds work; how novels represent the felt experience of people going about their lives; how literature partners with other ways of understanding the mind, such as psychology and neuroscience. 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 imaginative writing, such as graphic fiction, self-help manuals, and social media. Authors are likely to include: Grace Paley, Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Rohinton Mistry, ZZ Packer, Sherman Alexie, Tao Lin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edward P. Jones, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz, Phil Klay, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Alison Bechdel, Lorrie Moore, Jennifer Egan, and Teju Cole. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* ENGL 024a, Suspense and Narrative Anastasia Eccles
Exploration of suspense as a significant narrative mode and a historically conditioned feeling. Readings trace an arc from the rise of suspense in sentimental and Gothic fiction in the eighteenth century, through its preeminence in the nineteenth-century novel, to its consolidation as a marketable genre in the twentieth century. With brief supplemental readings in the philosophy of aesthetics and narrative theory. 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 026b, Poetics of Place: Literature in/of Connecticut Alanna Hickey
This course investigates the ways literature structures our encounter with our surroundings in both obvious and imperceptible ways, settling into the literary past and present of Connecticut. Inquiries span the role of narrative in our comprehension of place, the persistence of particular historical accounts at the expense of others, and our ethical obligation to the territories we survive upon. Readings include Indigenous texts, political documents, nature writing, dystopic fiction, ecocriticism, and travel memoir. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* 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 121a or b, 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, 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 126b, 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 132b, Science Fiction Alfred Guy
A survey of twentieth- and twenty-first-century science fiction, focusing on how changing technologies produce new ideas about human identity. Emphasis on innovations in science and engineering as well as new forms of social, political, and economic life. Works by Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin, and William Gibson. WR, HU
* ENGL 134a 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. HU
* ENGL 135a, 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. HU
ENGL 136b, 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. Prerequisite: Freshmen must have taken a WR seminar course in the fall term. WR, HU
* ENGL 150a / LING 150a, Old English Emily Thornbury
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 153b, The Earliest English Literature Emily Thornbury and Alexandra Reider
An introduction to the rich literary tradition of Anglo-Saxon England (c. 650 - c. 1100). Emphasis on the diversity of ways the Anglo-Saxons approached, preserved, and appreciated the written word. Readings include poems, histories, travel narratives, and riddles; all readings in Modern English. WR, HU
* ENGL 177b / THST 279b, Medieval Drama Jessica Brantley
An exploration of medieval dramatic traditions in the context of medieval and modern performative practices, including pageantry, song, spectacle, recitation, liturgy, and meditative reading. Texts include the York plays, Everyman, Mankind, the Digby Mary Magdalene, and Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play. WR, HU
ENGL 183a, Poetry since 1950 Langdon Hammer
Poets and poetic movements from the second half of the twentieth century in the United States, England, Ireland, and the Caribbean. Authors include Bishop, Lowell, O'Hara, Ginsberg, Plath, Ashbery, Merrill, Larkin, Gunn, Hill, Heaney, Muldoon, and Walcott. WR, HU
ENGL 187a / AMST 239a, Love and Hate in the American South Caleb Smith
An introduction to the literature and culture of the American South, a region of the mind identified with the former Confederate States of America and fabricated from a mix of beautiful dreams and violent nightmares, including: histories of slavery and settler colonialism, gothic fiction, the Delta blues, Hollywood movies, evangelical sermons, The Confessions of Nat Turner, love poems, protest poems, prison songs, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, country music, photographs, “Strange Fruit,” folk tales, memoirs, cookbook recipes, and other fantasies. Close reading, cultural analysis, and historical context. Literary works by Capote, Faulkner, Hurston, Jacobs, O’Connor, Poe, Twain, Toomer, Walker, Welty, Wright. Music, film, and other media. HU
ENGL 192b / FILM 240b / LITR 143b, World Cinema Dudley Andrew
Development of ways to engage films from around the globe productively. Close analysis of a dozen complex films, with historical contextualization of their production and cultural functions. Attention to the development of critical skills. Includes weekly screenings, each followed immediately by discussion. HU
ENGL 193b / AFAM 185b, The Harlem Renaissance Anthony Reed
Study of the social, political, and aesthetic circumstances of the Harlem Renaissance, one of the most important periods in African American life. Focus on constitutive debates and key texts to better understand the origins and aims of the movement and its connection to formal politics and activism. Frequent use of relevant materials in Beinecke Library. WR, HU
ENGL 196b / FILM 160b, Introduction to Media Francesco Casetti
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 200a, Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances Lawrence Manley
Love, sex, gender, society, and theater practice in Shakespeare's comic genres, from the early farces and romantic comedies to the problem plays and late romances. WR, HU
ENGL 201b, Shakespeare: Histories and Tragedies David Kastan
A study of Shakespeare's histories and tragedies, focusing on attentive reading of the play texts and consideration of the theatrical, literary, intellectual, political, and social worlds in which the plays were written, performed, and experienced. HU
* ENGL 204b, Shakespeare and Marlowe Lawrence Manley
A study of mutual influence and literary rivalry in major plays and poems by Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Attention to Elizabethan dramaturgy, poetics, and theater history; to the authors' debts and contributions to the intellectual heritage of the Renaissance; and to their controversial treatments of politics, religion, mass violence and crowd psychology, ethnicity, and sexuality. 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 214b / THST 207b, Introduction to Dramaturgy Staff
Introduction to the discipline of dramaturgy. Study of dramatic literature from the ancient world to the contemporary, developing the core skills of a dramaturg. Students analyze plays for structure and logic; work with a director on production of a classical text; work with a playwright on a new play; and work with an ensemble on a devised piece. 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 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 235a / AMST 346a / HUMS 252a, 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 237b / EVST 237b, Animals in Literature and Theory Jonathan Kramnick
Consideration of the role animals play in our aesthetic, ethical, political, and scientific worlds through reading of fiction, poetry, philosophy, and critical theory. Topics include: animal sentience and experience; vegetarianism; animal fables; pet keeping; animals alongside disability, race, and gender; and the representation of animal life in the visual arts. WR, HU
* ENGL 241a / 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.
* ENGL 244b / 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. WR, HU
* ENGL 245a 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.
* ENGL 246a 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. RP
* ENGL 247a / HSAR 460a, 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. WR, HU
* ENGL 248a 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.
* ENGL 249b, English Literature and the French Revolution David Bromwich
A survey of political, moral, and literary works evoked by the revolution controversy, including those by Burke, Wordsworth, and Wollstonecraft. 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 252b, Poets and Painters: Wordsworth, Constable, Byron, Turner Paul Fry
The rise of landscape in the works of Wordsworth, Constable, Byron, and Turner, with emphasis on the nonhuman in relation to consciousness and history. Some attention to the influence of earlier poetry and visual art and to effects on later painters. WR, HU
* ENGL 255b, 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. Recommended preparation: ENGL 120. WR
* ENGL 258b, 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. WR
* ENGL 259a, 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.
* ENGL 260b, 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. Permission of the instructor required.
* ENGL 262a / HIST 262Ja / HUMS 410a, Modernities: Nineteenth-Century Historical Narratives Stefanie Markovits and Stuart Semmel
British historical narratives in the nineteenth century, an age often cited as the crucible of modern historical consciousness. How a period of industrialization and democratization grounded itself in imagined pasts—whether recent or distant, domestic or foreign—in both historical novels and works by historians who presented programmatic statements about the nature of historical development. WR, HU
ENGL 265a / WGSS 266a, Gender, Class, and Narrative Form in the Victorian Novel Ruth Yeazell
A selection of nineteenth-century novels, with particular attention to questions of gender, class, and narrative form. Authors chosen from the Brontës, Gaskell, Dickens, Collins, Eliot, Trollope, and Hardy. HU
* 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 276a, Jane Austen and Walter Scott: History and Manners in the Romantic Novel Anastasia Eccles
Reading of selected works by Jane Austen and Walter Scott—the preeminent novelists of the Romantic period—with special attention to reception and the formation of the related concepts of “history” and “manners.” Readings include: Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Waverley, and Ivanhoe. WR, HU
* ENGL 278a / AMST 281a, Antebellum American Literature Michael Warner
Introduction to writing from the period leading up to and through the Civil War. The growth of African American writing in an antislavery context; the national book market and its association with national culture; emergence of a language of environment; romantic ecology and American pastoral; the "ecological Indian"; evangelicalism and the secular; sentimentalism and gender; the emergence of sexuality; poetics. WR, HU
* ENGL 279b, Indigenous Poetics and Politics of Resistance Alanna Hickey
This course interrogates the deep historical relationship between political resistance and poetic expression within particular Indigenous communities, reading broadly on poetics and Native and Indigenous studies. Texts and inquiries span from non-alphabetic writings and Indigenous understandings of communal and political life, to the recent flourishing of formally innovative collections by Indigenous poets working on issues like climate justice, sexual violence, police brutality, and language revitalization. Poets include Heid E. Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Marshallese), Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota), Deborah Miranda (Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen), and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Nishnaabeg). WR, HU
* ENGL 286b / HUMS 462b, Elemental Media John Peters
In this class we study a wide range of recent scholarly writings on elemental media. What does it mean to live in a moment of both carbon overload and data overload in our atmospheres? What do the environmental perplexities of our time have to do with informational ones? Students explore the links between such apparently natural phenomena as the sky, the atmosphere, the ocean, fire, or soil and such obviously unnatural ones as drones, computer networks, submarine cables, audiovisual culture, and genetic modification. It was only in the late nineteenth century that the term “media” came to refer to institutions of mass communication such as the press, film, radio, and so on and to this day the term retains its historical sense of natural habitats or environments. Media theory gives us a way to ask a question that many scholars and citizens have been posing in our moment: just what is nature in an age when human action has so radically reshaped life on Earth? Preference given to upper-level students. HU
* ENGL 287a, 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 290a / LITR 261a, The Canon in the Colony: Reading 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 310b / BRST 208b, Discovering Literary London Cynthia Zarin
Students explore London and write a series of guided themes, four days a week, of about 350-400 words. The prompts include visits to historical and architectural sites, among them Shakespeare's Globe, The Tower of London, The Imperial War Museum, Bloomsbury, and The National Portrait Gallery, as well as streets and places referred to in British literature, such as The Old Curiosity Shop, Baker Street, Charing Cross and Kings' Cross Stations, and Brick Lane. Readings are drawn from diverse sources and include poetry, novels, plays, and works of non-fiction: the exemplary readings encourage students to experiment with and engage with tone, style, and subject matter. Writers considered include John Keats, Charles Dickens, Conan Doyle, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, P.L Travers, Monica Ali, Zadie Smith, and Hanif Kureishi. When possible there will be visits from British writers, who will discuss how the city figures in their work. WR, HU
* ENGL 314a, The Irish Literary Revival Joseph Cleary
A broad overview of Irish culture and literature between roughly 1890 and the end of World War II. The efforts of Irish writers to end Ireland's long-standing cultural subordination to England and to create a distinctive and distinguished Irish national literature. Discussion of recent postcolonial, Marxist, and world literature critical approaches to the period. Authors include Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, and Samuel Beckett. 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 334b, Postcolonial World Literatures, 1945 to the Present Stephanie Newell
Introduction to key debates about postwar world literatures in English, to the politics of English as a language of postcolonial literature, and to debates about globalization and culture. Themes include colonial history, postcolonial migration, translation, national identity, cosmopolitanism, and global literary prizes. WR, HU
* ENGL 338a / AFST 445a, The Fathers and Daughters of African Literature Meredith Shepard
What do we read when we read African literature? For most of the twentieth century, African literature was defined by its “fathers,” the influential figures of Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and Wole Soyinka, among others. The twenty-first century, however, has seen an explosion of writing by African women authors, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, NoViolet Bulawayo, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, and Yaa Gyasi. These women writers take up many of the same themes as their male predecessors, but with new perspectives and aesthetic techniques. We will consider these “daughters” of African literature as updating the work of their literary “fathers” (and “mothers”) but also and more importantly as forging new directions in literary production. Much as the first generation of African literature can be interpreted both as a response to colonial literature and as an independent body of work, so too can twenty-first century African women writers be read in relation to their forebears or on their own terms. One of our key lines of inquiry will be to examine how the fathers and daughters of African literature engender new ways of looking at different stages of African history and African identity formation. In addition to literature, we will study some of the key scholarship on African identity as inflected by race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with a range of theoretical writings by early postcolonial intellectuals and contemporary scholars. This course is intended for advanced undergraduate students. Readings include Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart, Purple Hibiscus, Kintu, A Grain of Wheat, Dust, Death and the King’s Horseman, La Noire de… (Black Girl), Homegoing, Nervous Conditions, We Need New Names, Blackass. 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 354a / AMST 235a, Language, Disability, Fiction James Berger
Portrayals of cognitive and linguistic impairment in modern fiction. Characters with limited capacities for language as figures of "otherness." Contemporaneous discourses of science, sociology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. The ethics of speaking about or for subjects at the margins of discourse. HU
* ENGL 357a or b / LITR 426a or b / WGSS 340b, Feminist and Queer Theory Jill Richards
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 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, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Philip Pullman, and Neil Gaiman. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 359b / WGSS 352b, Feminist and Queer Literary Methods Margaret Homans
This course explores feminist and queer literary criticism and theory, the use of feminist and queer literary methods across disciplines, and the uses of literary evidence in gender and sexuality studies. Rather than covering a particular period or genre of literature, the course uses a selection of primary texts in English from Shakespeare to the present, from multiple literary genres (fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, creative nonfiction), and from popular culture and non-literary sources as well as canonical texts. Most of the reading, however, will be in literary criticism and theory and in scholarly writing that makes use of literary methods. Topics include the power of narrative and of representation to create norms; the intersectional gender politics of language, including issues of access, code-switching, and appropriation; the uses of narrative as a scholarly tool and of narrative methods across disciplines; historicisms and presentisms; and art as activism. Students learn to do research in literary criticism and theory, and practice thinking broadly about the cultural work that literature does and about the uses of literary methods and practices in other fields. WR, HU
* ENGL 361a / THST 329a, Theater Now Marc Robinson
Study of the drama, performance, and dance theater created in the last ten years, with special attention to work produced in 2017-2018. Readings from both published and unpublished American and British plays, contemporary criticism and theory, interviews, and essays by the artists themselves. Video of works created by companies such as Elevator Repair Service and the Nature Theater of Oklahoma. May include attendance of productions at performance spaces in and around New York City. HU
* ENGL 385a / WGSS 339a, Fiction and Sexual Politics Margaret Homans
Historical survey of works of fiction that have shaped and responded to feminist, queer, and transgender thought from the late eighteenth century to the present. Authors include Wollstonecraft, C. Bronte, H. Jacobs, C. P. Gilman, R. Hall, Woolf, Wittig, Walker, Anzaldua, Morrison, Kingston, Winterson, and Bechdel. WR, HU
* ENGL 395a / LITR 154a, 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 401a, The Gawain Poet Jessica Brantley
The course offers a contextual study of four of the greatest (and most enigmatic) Middle English poems—Pearl, Patience, Cleanness, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. At its center is British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x, the single medieval book that contains them all. In addition to reading the poems closely in their manuscript context, we examine associated artworks, from the twelve illustrations in the Cotton MS, to St. Erkenwald, a poem preserved elsewhere that some argue was written by the same author. Finally, we think about the modern reception of the poems through a serious engagement with scholarly debate surrounding them, and also through comparative work with translations. HU
* ENGL 405b / 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. WR, HU
* ENGL 416a, 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. WR, HU RP
* ENGL 426a / LITR 412a, Modernism, Empire, World Crisis Joseph Cleary
Drawing on recent scholarship on modernist studies, postcolonial studies, and literary world-systems, this seminar explores how some leading Anglophone writers produced bold new works that engaged with conceptions of European civilizational crisis, the transfer of political power and cultural capital from Europe to the United States, and a rapidly-changing world order. Readings include Pascale Casanova, Alexis de Tocqueville, Henry James, Ford Maddox Ford, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. WR, HU
* ENGL 427b / ER&M 354, Asian American Literature Sunny Xiang
A study of how literature services, reflects, and contradicts the political formation "Asian American." The role of literature in the Asian American movement of the 1960s and 1970s; representations of literariness in contemporary Asian American novels, poems, and plays. WR, HU
* ENGL 430b / AMST 425b / EVST 430b, American Culture and the Rise of the Environment Michael Warner
U.S. literature from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War explored in the context of climate change. Development of the modern concept of the environment; the formation and legacy of key ideas in environmentalism; effects of industrialization and national expansion; utopian and dystopian visions of the future. WR, HU
* ENGL 435b, Henry James Ruth Yeazell
Selected novels by Henry James, from Roderick Hudson through The Golden Bowl. Particular attention to the international theme and to the ways in which James's later novels revisit and transform the matter of his earlier ones. WR, HU
* ENGL 449a / AFAM 449a / AFST 449a, Challenges to Realism in Contemporary African Fiction Stephanie Newell
Introduction to experimental African novels that challenge realist and documentary modes of representation. Topics include mythology, gender subversion, politics, the city, migration, and the self. Ways of reading African and postcolonial literature through the lenses of identity, history, and nation. WR, HU
* 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 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 456a / HUMS 427a / LITR 348a, The Practice of Literary Translation Robyn Creswell
Intensive readings in the history and theory of translation paired with practice in translating. Case studies from ancient languages (the Bible, Greek and Latin classics), medieval languages (classical Arabic literature), and modern languages (poetic texts). 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 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 or b / PLSC 253a or b, Journalism Staff
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 468b / THST 327b, Advanced Playwriting Workshop Donald Margulies
An intensive workshop in advanced playwriting techniques. Discussion of works by contemporary playwrights. In addition to weekly exercises, students write a full-length play. Admission by application only. Application details and forms are available at english.yale.edu/undergraduate/applications-and-deadlines. RP
* 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 place, and address the theme themselves in both reportorial and first-person work. No prerequisites. WR, HU
* 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 480a, 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 483b / HUMS 428 / JDST 343b / LITR 305b, Advanced Literary Translation Peter Cole
A sequel to LITR 348, The Practice of Literary Translation. Students apply to this workshop with a project in mind that they have been developing, either on their own or for a senior thesis, and they present this work during the class on a regular basis. Practical translation is supplemented by readings in the history of translation practice and theory, and by the reflections of practitioners on their art. These readings are selected jointly by the instructor and members of the class. Topics include the history of literary translation—Western and Eastern; comparative approaches to translating a single work; the political dimension of translation; and translation in the context of religion and theology. Class time is divided into student presentations of short passages of their own work, including related key readings; background readings in the history of the field; and close examination of relevant translations by accomplished translators. Students receive intensive scrutiny by the group and instructor. Prerequisite: LITR 348.
* ENGL 487a or b / ENGL 470, Tutorial in Writing Jessica Brantley
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 Jessica Brantley
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 Jessica Brantley
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 Jill Richards
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 Jill Richards
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 Elise Morrison
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